lies in the southwestern part of Washington county, in latitude 44°
4' and longitude 4° 18', and is bounded northerly by Northfield, easterly
by Brookfield in Orange county, southerly by Braintree in Orange county
and Granville in Addison county, and westerly by Warren. Roxbury was granted
November 6, 1780, and chartered to Hon. Benjamin EDWARDS and sixty-four
associates, nearly all of whom were residents of Windsor county. The charter
was given by his excellency Gov. Thomas Chittenden and council, August
5, 1781, with the usual reservations for ministers, schools, grammar school,
and gospel lots. The territory chartered contains 23,040 acres. Two of
the original proprietors, it is thought, settled in this town. We find
in the list of names of those to whom this township was chartered, Thomas
CHITTENDEN, Paul SPOONER, and others who were prominent in the early history
The first meeting of the proprietors was held at the house of Benjamin
BURTCH, an innholder in Hartford, Windsor county, November 20, 1783. Hon.
Paul SPOONER was moderator, and Briant BROWN, clerk. A committee consisting
of Briant BROWN, Esq., Capt. John STRONG, Elisha GALLUP, Abel LYMAN, and
Asa TAYLOR, was chosen to examine the township, and to lay out a first
division of loo acres to each proprietor, with an allowance of five per
cent. for highways. The ensuing Christmas day they held an adjourned meeting,
and voted a tax of ten shillings lawful money on each proprietor's right,
to pay the expenses of surveying. This tax was to be paid in money, wheat,
beef, or pork, at cash price. They also levied an additional tax of two
shillings lawful money on each right to defray the expense of procuring
the charter. Just the time when the survey was made, or how many meetings
were held by the proprietors, can not now be ascertained. The proprietors
held a meeting at the house of Asa EDGERTON, in Randolph, August 6, 1788.
Major Elijah PAINE was moderator, and Deacon David BATES, clerk. It was
voted to lay out two divisions, each proprietor to have one lot in each
division. It is possible that no division had been made previous to this
time. Eventually the township was surveyed into three divisions. The first
and second, including the five per cent. allowance for highways, contained
105 acres in each lot, and the third 136 acres.
The township is situated on the height of land, and forms a part
of the water-shed of the Winooski and White rivers. The surface is broken
and uneven, but the soil is strong and fertile. It is mainly an agricultural
town, and the dairy is the leading industry. Originally it was mainly covered
with hard wood timber, interspersed with hemlock, spruce, and fir in some
The rocks entering into the geological structure of the town are
talcose schist and clay slate, with beds of serpentine (commercial name,
verd antique marble) near the village. The clay slate underlies about one-third
of the eastern part of the town, while the remaining portion of the town
is occupied by the talcose schist formation. Traces of gold in alluvium
are discovered along the principal streams.
The topography of the township is such that it can not have any
large streams. The northern part is drained by three branches of Dog river,
which flow north into and unite in Northfield, while the southern part
is drained by brooks that flow south and enter the White river. And quite
singular, two of these at the village are parallel, but flow in opposite
directions. Years ago the brook running north was turned into the one that
runs south, and was made to do service, in aiding to turn machinery for
Capt. FORD, in Randolph. But the mill owners north soon compelled the Captain
to allow the stream to flow through its natural channel.
The first settlement was made May 1, 1789, by Christopher HUNTINGTON
and his family. Mr. HUNTINGTON was a native of Mansfield, Conn., but had
resided awhile in Norwich, Vt. The way was so rough that he was obliged
to draw his effects on a hand sled several miles, and on bare ground. Mr.
HUNTINGTON was an elderly man, but presumed to be bold and resolute. He
was a Universalist preacher, and after others moved into the town he preached
the first sermon, and held meetings in various locations. One who heard
him preach on several occasions said of him: "He was a pretty likely man,
but not much of a preacher." Several of the children of Mr. HUNTINGTON
were of mature age when he came to Roxbury, and his sons, Jedediah, Thomas,
and Jonathan, were quite prominent in town affairs when the town was organized.
Mr. HUNTINGTON removed to Canada about 1804, and the others of his family
left the town about the same time. One of his sons was afterwards a Baptist
preacher, and settled in Braintree. The Mr. HUNTINGTON who recently died
in Canada, and who bequeathed $25,000 to the state of Vermont, is said
to have been one of his sons. His daughter Lydia died January 23, 1792,
at the age of seventeen, and was the first person who died in Roxbury.
Samuel RICHARDSON, as near as can be ascertained, was the second
permanent settler of Roxbury. He came in the fall of 1790, and built a
log house, into which he moved his family the ensuing spring. Isaac LEWIS,
David, Robert, and Jonathan CRAM, and Benoni WEBSTER and others, were in
town before its organization. Lydia, daughter of Jedediah HUNTINGTON, who
was born March 14, 1795, was the first child born in Roxbury. The first
male child born in town was Philip, son of David CRAM, March 18, 1795,
only four days after Miss Lydia's advent into the town. The first marriage
ceremony performed in town occurred June 27, 1799. Israel CONVERSE, justice
of the peace, officiated. The contracting parties were Sara RICHARDSON
and Chester BATCHELDER.
The first town meeting was held March 25, 1796, at the house of
Jedediah HUNTINGTON, in pursuance of an order or "warning" issued by Joseph
CRANE, a justice of the peace, residing in Williamstown, who it seems attended
the meeting, and kindly piloted the town through its organization. The
officers then elected were Joseph CRANE, moderator; Thomas HUNTINGTON,
town clerk; Samuel RICHARDSON, Isaac LEWIS, and Jedediah HUNTINGTON, selectmen
; David CRAM, treasurer; Jonathan HUNTINGTON, constable; David CRAM and
Thomas HUNTINGTON, listers; Samuel RICHARDSON and Christopher HUNTINGTON,
highway surveyors. The sum total of the grand list at this time was £
(pound sign)165, 15s. The town was first represented in the legislature
in 1804, by Zebediah BUTLER.
The first freeman's meeting was held in 1797. "Record of the meeting:
The freemen of Roxbury, all to a man, met at the house of Jedediah Huntington
in said town, according to warning, when the freeman's oath was duly administered,
by the town clerk, to the following men: Christopher HUNTINGTON, Roswell
ADAMS, Isaac LEWIS, David CRAM, John STAFFORD, Benoni WEBSTER, Jedediah
HUNTINGTON, Perus HUNTINGTON, Benjamin HUNTER, Jr., Daniel CORBIN, and
Samuel RICHARDSON and Thomas and Jonathan HUNTINGTON had before
been qualified to vote. The entire number of voters then residing in town
was fourteen. At a town meeting held in March, 1799, voted, "that from
April 1 to May 20, it shall not be lawful for sheep or swine to run at
large on the commons or highways, and if wilfully or negligently allowed
to run, the owners thereof shall pay double damages." We presume this provision
was made to protect the sugar camps which were then near the settlers'
dwellings, as at that time the town had neither a common nor highways.
The town called a meeting in 1802, "to see if the town would vote to set
the small-pox in town." The voters, after due deliberation, concluded they
did not want it, and dissolved the meeting.
In 1806 the town levied a tax of seven mills on a dollar to purchase
a set of surveying instruments. Samuel ROBERTSON was chosen surveyor, and
was voted the use of the instruments for doing the surveying for the town.
These instruments, a compass and chain, are still the town's property.
The town petitioned the legislature for a land tax, at their session
in Windsor, in October, 1795, which granted a tax of one cent on each acre
in town. The tax was probably collected some time in 1796. This was the
first tax for the town. The first deed found on the town records was recorded
March 24, 1796. This conveyance is from Asa HUNTINGTON to Daniel KINGSBURY,
dated Brookfield, September 3, 1794.
In 1880 Roxbury had a population of 938. In 1888 the township had
ten school districts and a school was maintained in each of them, and were
taught by eighteen female teachers at an average weekly salary, including
board, of $4.25. The whole number of scholars who attended school was 149,
of whom five attended private schools. The entire income for school purposes
was $1,028.66. The amount paid teachers, including board, was $1,074.60.
The whole amount paid for all school purposes was $1,209.28. I. H. FISK
Samuel RICHARDSON built the first saw and grist-mills in town, about
a mile and a half from the village on the road to Warren. Asa TAYLOR was
the first merchant. The next was ROBERTSON & ORCUT, who also manufactured
salts from ashes they received in exchange for their goods. Wool-carding
was commenced as early as 1800, in the eastern part of the town, by Daniel
KINGSLEY. In 1820 Samuel ROBERTSON and Leicester DAVIS manufactured wooden
bowls and plates. Charles SAMSON manufactured potato whiskey on West hill,
near the WETMORE place. Billa WOODARD manufactured saddle-trees (frames
for saddles) successfully several years. Ephraim MORRIS and Nathan KENDALL
run a tannery a few years, at the foot of East hill.
The first settled minister was Rev. Ophir SHIPMAN. Hon. Zed S. STANTON
said in his centennial address, August 22, 1876: "Considerable excitement
was occasioned at the time the first minister in town was ordained. The
charter of the town granted to such person a lot of land. In those days
there were many lay preachers, and one of these, a man named CULVER, was
privately ordained, and laid claim to this lot, together with all the improvements
that had been made upon it. The selectmen of the town objected to this;
but CULVER would not yield, and then they endeavored to have a preacher
named SMITH, better known as ‘Happy John,' ordained. He declined, and Ophir
SHIPMAN was next appealed to. He consented and was the first regularly
ordained minister in Roxbury. He held the value of the land, without improvements.
The result of this strife was the destroying of the Close Communion Baptist
church in this place."
John STAFFORD kept the first tavern on the "ROOD place." John SPAULDING
built the Summit House in 1822, and conducted it for a time. John STAFFORD
was the first physician. The first mail route was established in 1826,
and John SPAULDING was first postmaster. Guy EDSON carried the first mail.
The advent of the stage coach was in 1830, drawn by four and sometimes
six horses, which created about as much excitement as did the first train
of cars, in 1848.
ROXBURY is a post village situated in the northwestern part of the
town, on a branch of Dog river and the Central Vermont railroad. It contains
the shops of J. G. HALL Mfg. Co., where watchmakers' tools are made, one
steam saw-mill, a blacksmith shop, two stores, one hotel, two church edifices,
a school-house, one settled minister, one lawyer, one doctor, and thirty
or forty dwellings.
EAST ROXBURY (p. o.) is a small hamlet situated in the extreme southeastern
corner of the town. It contains a grocery store, school-house, saw-mill,
butcher's shop, and about a dozen families.
E.N. SPALDING's steam mills are located on Broad brook, and near
the track of the C. V. R. R. In 1865 Mr. SPALDING built a water-power mill
on the site of his present mills, and a short time after added steam-power.
December 5, 1862, this mill was destroyed by fire, and the present mills
were built by him during that month. A fifty-horse-power steam engine furnishes
the power, and turns out 1,000,000 feet of lumber yearly. Mr. SPALDING
employs a force of thirty-five men. In 1877 he added machinery for manufacturing
croquet sets, which industry he continued until 1882. His timber supplies
are obtained from his tract of about 4,000 acres of timberlands near his
A.W. TEWKSBURY & Son's steam mills are located near the railroad
crossing in the village. Daniel TARBELL built these mills in the spring
of 1881, run them two years, when they passed into the hands of the first
named firm, who reside in West Randolph. These mills cut out dimension
and chair stock lumber. The lumber for chair stock is shipped to West Randolph,
where it is converted into chair stock. The company has a side track to
their mills, so that the lumber is at once loaded onto cars. The average
output is 1,000,000 feet per annum, and requires a force or ten men, with
Mr. J. Q. FLINT, foreman ; C. W. WILLIAMS, sawyer; and Loren J. WILEY,
Luke TARBELL's saw-mill is in the easterly part of the town, on
the east branch of Dog River, which furnishes the power. The mill was built
by Messrs. Laban WEBSTER and F. A. WILEY, about 1868. This firm was dissolved
by the death of Mr. WEBSTER in 1880. Mr. WILEY conducted the business from
that time until August, 1888, when Mr. TARBELL bought the property. He
has improved it, and built a new dam and conductor. The capacity of the
mill is now about 1,000,000 feet of dressed lumber per year. Mr. TARBELL
employs six men.
E.P. BURNHAM's clapboard, shingle, and grist-mills are located on
Broad brook, road 40, and about sixty rods from the railroad. John PRINCE
built an "up and down" saw-mill here in 1849, which in part he converted
into a butter tub factory and a custom grist-mill for grinding provender.
It is now owned by Mr. BURNHAM, who converted it into its present form.
He turns out from 600,000 to 1,000,000 feet of clapboards and 600,000 shingles
annually, and also grinds provender. He employs from four to six men. Willis
H. CADY is foreman. There is also a blacksmith shop connected with the
Jacob WARDNER's saw-mill is located at East Roxbury, and near the
east line of the town, on the east branch of Dog river, which furnishes
power to run it. It was built by Mr. WARDNER's father, and then contained
both a saw-mill and grist-mill. These buildings run down, and a saw-mill
was rebuilt, furnished with a circular saw. Mr. WARDNER does custom work.
Azro J. BOYCE engaged in butchering and dealing in meat at East
Roxbury in 1865. He has built up a fine trade, and supplies a long list
of patrons from his cart in the villages of Northfield, Brookfield, and
Roxbury. He slaughters about $7,000 worth of live stock annually, and does
his work alone, gathers it in and sells it out.
There are large beds of serpentine (commercial name, verd antique
marble) near Roxbury village. This was discovered and worked from 1853
until 1857, when it was abandoned. The serpentine found here is of superior
quality, receives a fine polish, but was found expensive to quarry, and
required a great amount of labor to properly work and polish it. The tables,
mantles, and monuments made from it were decidedly beautiful.
The J. G. HALL Mfg. Co. has a manufacturing establishment at Roxbury
village, where about ten or twelve hands are employed making watchmakers'
tools. Their specialty is a "staking tool," the invention of J. G. HALL.
Samuel RICHARDSON, a Revolutionary soldier who served about half
of the period of that sanguinary war, was born in Stafford, Conn., June
15, 1750. His wife, Susanna PINNEY, was born in July, 1749. After his marriage
he settled in Randolph. When the Indians burned Royalton, in 1780, they
passed through Randolph, but as his house was located in an obscure spot
the Indians did not see it. Soon after this he removed to Lebanon, N. H.,
where he remained only a short time, and returned to Randolph. In the fall
of 1790 he made his pitch on the branch of Dog river in the northwestern
part of Roxbury. He cleared a patch of ground, built a log house, and returned
to Randolph for the winter. While the snow was quite deep the ensuing spring
he came to his cabin, accompanied by his son Uriah, a lad of sixteen, for
the purpose of making maple sugar. Tradition has it that this stripling
boy brought a five-pail iron kettle on his back all the way; but his niece
makes a more credible story by saying her relative was not a Hercules,
and that he really brought a seven-pail brass kettle. Soon after the sugar
making business was well begun Mr. Richardson returned to Randolph and
left Uriah to carry on the sugar making alone. The only door to his house
was a bed quilt, and he afterwards related that he was accustomed to hear
the wolves howl around his cabin every night. It is said that this plucky
boy remained there alone for six weeks. Suffice to say, he was joined by
the rest of the family as soon as it was possible for them to make their
way through the forest with their effects. Mr. RICHARDSON soon after moved
further up the stream and built the first framed house in the town, on
the site of the one now owned by Julius KENT. This house was afterwards
sold to Jonathan BURROUGHS, and moved down near the village. Mr. RICHARDSON
built a saw-mill and a grist-mill, on the stream above his house, and another
and larger house on the. road running north from the location of his first
framed house, where he died in 1822. Mrs. RICHARDSON survived until 1841.
Mr. RICHARDSON was one of the board of selectmen from the organization
of the town, in 1796, to 1803, and again in 1807 and 1808. He also served
as moderator at town meetings nine years. Mr. and Mrs. RICHARDSON were
people of the old school and very orthodox in religion, and opposed to
all innovations. One of the reasons that induced him to remove into the
forest was the hope to better his condition by building his mills, and
another, and perhaps the more potent one, was that he was opposed to the
marriage of any of his children; and as they were nearing manhood and womanhood
he hoped to place them beyond such "entangling alliances," by hiding them
away in the woods. Again he strenuously opposed introducing the music of
the bass viol into the church at Randolph, but was defeated; hence he hied
him to the forest, to listen to the music of the maples and hemlocks. His
granddaughter mentioned another, which she called one of their "odd notions,"
which was their decided aversion to young men visiting their sweethearts
on Sabbath evenings. Mr. RICHARDSON was a member of the Baptist church,
and Mrs. RICHARDSON was a member of the Congregational church. Notwithstanding
their "odd notions" they possessed grand and noble traits of character.
Samuel RICHARDSON, Jr., at the age of twenty-eight, married Sally
ELLIS, of Randolph, who died April 28, 1819, and left an only daughter,
Sally V., who was born in August, 1811, and who married Enos K. YOUNG and
settled on West hill, road 17. Mr. YOUNG died July 30, 1880. Mrs. YOUNG
still survives, and resides on the old farm. Her son George resides with
her. Mr. and Mrs. YOUNG had eight children, six of whom are now living.
Loren CRAM is a son of Philip and Abigail (HEATH) CRAM, grandson
of Philip, the first male child born in town, and great-grandson of David
CRAM, who settled in Roxbury before March 25, 1796. David CRAM, at the
organization of the town, at the date just mentioned, was elected lister
and town treasurer. Loren CRAM, at the age of twenty-six years, married
Sarah E. RICHARDSON, of Roxbury. In early manhood he was a mason, and followed
his trade several years. He was also a jobber in clearing land, and had
several hair-breadth escapes from death by falling trees. With the aid
of his brother he felled several acres in the following manner: first they
cut the trees partly off at the stump, then fell one which struck against
its near neighbor, which fell against the next, and so successively on
until nearly all went down. Mr. CRAM has a fine farm on road 49, where
he resides, and both of his children are married and live with him.
Joel HILDRETH came from Cornish, N. H., to Roxbury, in the autumn
of 1798, and boarded with a family located near his "pitch," while he built
his log house on the place he had selected for his future home. Mr. HILDRETH
and his family came on in the ensuing spring, and he resided on this place,
which he converted into a farm, until his death, in 1844. This farm remained
in the HILDRETH family until a few years ago, when his grandson, Samuel
A. HILDRETH, sold it to George WILLIAMS. Mr. HILDRETH was a noted hunter,
and claimed to have "unbuttoned many a bear's shirt collar." One evening,
when he was returning through the forest, with his axe on his shoulder,
not his trusty and unerring rifle, he dimly discerned the bulky outlines
of a bear descending from a tree near at hand. With heroic courage he dealt
the bear a blow "to kill" with his axe, and fled home. Returning next morning,
he found, as the result of his prowess of the evening before, that he had
killed a huge hedgehog. The social element was not an "unknown quantity"
with the pioneer settlers. While engaged in chopping one morning the clairon
sound of a rooster's shrill crow came echoing across the wooded valley.
It was a joyful sound to Mr. HILDRETH, unlike that which came to the ears
of Peter of old. And as Mr. HILDRETH is said to have expressed it, " I
put." He went in search of his new neighbors who owned chanticleers, and
found them, after a 'tramp of four or five miles, in Northfield.
Benoni WEBSTER, a native of Connecticut, brought his family to Roxbury
in the spring of 1797, and settled on lot 3, in the northeastern part of
the town. His first house was built of logs, roofed with bark, and had
a floor of basswood, split and smoothed with an axe. In 1810 he built a
large framed house, with rooms two feet higher than those of his neighbors,
with doors of corresponding height, so that his wife's tall relatives could
stand erect and walk in without stooping. He planted a large orchard of
apple, pear, and plum trees-the first in town. In 1804 his entire stock
of cattle, a pair of oxen and two cows, were bitten by a mad dog, and died.
Mr. WEBSTER died January 8, 1823, aged sixty years. Mrs. WEBSTER died in
1838, aged sixty-six years.
Charles WEBSTER, oldest son of Benoni and Sally (METCALF) WEBSTER,
was born in Lebanon, Conn., June 5. 1790, and was seven years of age when
his parents settled in Roxbury. He obtained his education in school district
No. 1, in Roxbury, and by the light of the fire on the hearth in winter
evenings. He was large and strong, and the chief aid of his father in clearing
the farm and making it a comfortable home. He commenced to teach school
at an early age, and taught fourteen winters. He gained so good a reputation
for discipline that his services were sought where others had failed. In
such a school the larger boys had burned his ferule, and made preparation
to pitch him out, as they had his predecessor. The attempt was soon after
made, when the school-master promptly wrenched a leg from a bench, with
which he did such efficient service that he was at once "master of the
situation," and without further trouble "held the fort" to the close of
the term. He married, in August, 1823, Eleanor P. RYDER, and settled or
his farm in East Roxbury. He was instantly killed by being thrown from
his wagon in the night, near the Peck farm in Brookfield.
Robert CRAM settled in the eastern part of Roxbury about the beginning
of this century. He was a farmer and lived to an advanced age. His son
Martin married Louisa STEELE, and remained in Roxbury until 1842, when
he moved to Berlin and built and run a saw-mill. He reared four daughters,
of whom Mrs. Alden RICH is the sole survivor. Jonathan CRAM came from Lynchborough,
N. H., and settled in Roxbury about 1800. He had a family of twelve children.
His son Jonathan, Jr., when fourteen years of age, worked on a farm for
Hon. Charles PAINE, and when the Central Vermont railroad was built he
was a foreman of construction. He married Nancy D. RAND, and they were
parents of four sons and two daughters.
Darius SPALDING and his family were among the earliest who settled
in Roxbury. Mr. SPALDING was born in Plainfield; Conn., settled first in
Cornish, N. H., and about 1800 removed to Roxbury with his wife and eight
children. Later three more children were born to him. One of his daughters
died at the age of twenty years, and another soon after her marriage. All
the others lived to old age, and with their parents were closely identified
with the early history of the town. Mr. SPALDING honorably filled nearly
all the offices in the gift of his townsmen, and he and all his sons who
were then old enough went to Plattsburgh in the War of 1812. Several of
his sons afterwards settled in New York. John M. SPALDING, in 1822, opened
his house for a tavern, and kept it until the railroad was built. Allen,
the only surviving son in this large family, was a merchant, town clerk,
and representative, and held other offices. He is now in his eighty-sixth
year, and enjoys a "green old age." Two of the daughters attained old age.
Hannah married Asa S. SIMONDS, and lived three-score and ten years. Eliza
(Mrs. Huntley D. YOUNG) settled in Kirby, where she still resides.
Samuel ROBERTSON, son of Patrick and Elizabeth ROBERTSON, natives
of Scotland, was born in New London, Conn., August 18, 1775. In August,
1801, Mr. ROBERTSON was married to Persis RICHARDSON, of Tolland, Conn.,
and they came to Roxbury in the spring of 1802. Mr. ROBERTSON visited the
town in 1801. He met some Roxbury men in Keene, N. H., when on his way
to examine lands in New York, who induced him to go to Roxbury. He hired
William GOLD to work for him one year. Mr. GOLD was afterwards well known
in town as "Deacon Gold." It was late in the sleighing season when they
began the journey from Connecticut, but Mr. ROBERTSON experienced no trouble
until he reached Roxbury. When so near their home one of their horses got
down in the snow, and Mr. GOLD was obliged to take its place and help draw
the load. In this condition they were met by the acquaintances Mr. ROBERTSON
had made in Keene, who, with the hospitality of the early pioneers, invited
the strangers to their homes. They accepted the kind offer and stayed with
them two weeks, and in that time Mr. ROBERTSON had completed a log house
on his land. He made sixteen pounds of maple sugar that spring, which was
their whole supply for that year. The ensuing winter, 1802-03, Mr. ROBERTSON
taught school in the first framed house in town, built by Mr. RICHARDSON.
He had sixty-eight pupils, who were packed as close as sardines in a box."
Mr. ROBERTSON lived three miles distant, and made the journey to and from
his school on foot, without any road but what he made in his travels. He
taught here two or three winters, and during the time moved into this house
where he lived a few years. Mr. ROBERTSON in early life held many offices
in town, but was too radical to be a very popular man. He was at one time
in mercantile business with Samuel ORCOTT, and Mr. ROBERTSON used to sell
and drink rum. When the temperance reform commenced, in 1830, he at once
adopted total abstinence, and about the same time stopped the use of-tobacco.
There is an anecdote relating to his learning to use tobacco. Moses CLAFLIN,
a weak minded man, who lived in Roxbury and was most of the time a town
pauper, sometimes had a home with Mr. ROBERTSON. On one of these occasions
Moses sat by the fire-place, while Mr. ROBERTSON sat opposite, chewing
tobacco and spitting into the fire.
After revolving the matter in his mind, Moses asked, " ‘Squire,
what did you learn to chew tobacker for?" Mr. ROBERTSON replied, “Oh, so
I could be a gentleman." Moses, with awful gravity, asked, " Wal ye did
n't make out, did ye ?" Mr. ROBERTSON possessed a strong mind and was not
afraid to express his convictions. His house was called the "minister's
tavern," where they were made welcome and treated to discussion besides,
if they happened to be stiff Baptists or Calvanists. He was also a great
reader, quite a politician, and never failed to vote every year after he
attained his majority until his death. He died September 6, 1872, at the
great age of ninety-seven years.
Jacob WARDNER came to Roxbury in 1801, built a log house, and next
year moved his family into it. He was a German, and was born on board the
vessel in which his parents were emigrating to this country. He used to
boast that he was not born on God's earth."
Moses WOODARD came from Tolland, Conn., and settled on East hill,
in 1802. His son Billa was for many years a prominent figure in Roxbury.
He gained his notoriety by manufacturing saddle-trees, and for years was
the only one in the business in all New England.
Benjamin SAMSON came to Roxbury in 1810. He was a veteran of the
Revolution, rang the church bell to call out the minute men, on Lexington
Green, on the memorable 19th of April, 1775, and participated in the battles
of Lexington and Bunker Hill. His son, Hon. Charles SAMSON, accompanied
his father to Roxbury, and bought and settled on the place previously occupied
by Dr. SPAFFORD, where he had kept the first tavern in town. He became
identified with the affairs of the town, was closely interested in its
success, and held many important positions in the town and county. Mr.
SAMSON represented Roxbury in the legislature of the state thirteen sessions,
and by his influence Roxbury was transferred from Orange to Washington
county in 1820.
Joel RICHARDSON, a relative of Samuel RICHARDSON, the second settler
of Roxbury, came to this town with his parents in 1802, at the age of four
years. He married Susannah BATCHELDER, and settled in Roxbury. Their son
Samuel A. was born April 11, 1832. In 1863 he was drafted into the United
States service, entered the army, and served until the close of the war.
Mr. RICHARDSON was the only drafted man who entered the service from Roxbury.
He married Emily C. RICH, of Berlin, by whom he had five children, four
of whom are living. Mrs. RICHARDSON died January 11, 1886.
George WILLIAMS was born in Northfield, November 25, 1807. He married
Julia SPEAR, of Braintree, April 13, 1831, settled in Roxbury and cleared
a farm on road 58, and died January 31, 1867. His wife died May 1, 1876.
They had nine children. Their son Salmon was born on the homestead where
he now lives, April 4, 1840. October 29, 1862, he married Lucy A. DOWEN,
of Saratoga, N. Y. Mr. WILLIAMS is an honest and capable business man,
one of the reliable citizens of his town, and is now overseer of the poor.
One of his sons resides with him.
Deacon William GOLD was born in Springfield, Mass., October 30,
1780. He came to Roxbury with Samuel ROBERTSON, in the spring of 1802,
and after working for him one year settled on one of the highest mountains
in the town. Any one looking over his location would see that he began
under unfavorable circumstances. In 1847 Mr. GOLD removed to Northfield.
He married Anavera DEWEY, and they had seven children. Deacon GOLD died
in 1859, and Mrs. GOLD in 1856. He was a deacon of the Baptist church.
At his first location in Roxbury the bears visited his corn field. Mr.
GOLD disputed bruin's right, and on looking into his field one evening
he saw a large shaggy fellow helping himself. The trusty gun was loaded,
and bruin received its contents, and apparently was nearly dead. Mr. GOLD
seized an axe, and to make a final finish aimed a heavy blow at his head.
The bear knocked the axe out of his hands by a stroke of his strong paw,
and then came the tug of war : the bear clasped him in so hearty an embrace
that he had almost squeezed his life out when his friend, Mr. PADDLEFORD,
arrived at the scene, and came to his rescue with the axe. "Don't cut the
hide," gasped the Deacon with the little breath he had left. Notwithstanding,
he dealt the brute a heavy bow that cut off two of his ribs, and the Deacon
was saved. The next day the bear was tracked and easily dispatched. Deacon
GOLD always denied trying to save bruin's skin whole, and it is presumed
the episode was added to make a good story.
Job ORCOTT, a carpenter, came from Stafford, Conn., in 1803, and
settled on "the highlands," where the business for the town was transacted
for many years. In his declining years he resided with his son, Captain
Samuel M. ORCOTT, who was an enterprising and influential citizen of Roxbury.
Capt. ORCOTT married Mary BUEL, of Lebanon, Conn., who came to her home
in the wilderness of Roxbury on horseback. At the time of the invasion
of our country in the War of 1812, he led his company, as their captain,
to Plattsburgh. The town meetings were held at his house from 1817 until
1841, a period of twenty-five years. He held most of the offices in the
gift of his townsmen ; was selectman fifteen years and town clerk twenty
years. Capt. ORCOTT was injured by falling timber when he was assisting
at the raising of a building, from which he did not recover. He died in
1835. Captain and Mrs. ORCOTT had seven sons and two daughters. Their son
Benjamin F. emigrated to Michigan. He enlisted from his home there and
served in the Mexican war. At its close he returned to Kalamazoo, Mich.,
and for many years filled the office of sheriff. In the late war for the
Union he entered the service as lieutenant-colonel of the 25th Mich. Regt.,
and served to the close of the war. He was again elected sheriff, and was
fatally shot by a desperado while on official duty. He died December 12,
1867, aged fifty-three years.
Orin W. ORCOTT, son of Samuel M., a native of Roxbury, has resided
in town since he was born, with the exception of one year spent in Massachusetts.
He received a good common school education, and when twenty-five years
of age he entered the mercantile business. His business abilities were
appreciated by his large acquaintance. He has been sheriff, deputy sheriff,
constable, and collector thirty-three years, and postmaster twenty-eight
years. At the age of twenty-two he was married to Angeline SPAULDING, who
died in June, 1874, and left no children. Mr. ORCOTT is now engaged in
the sale of farming implements, and is an agent for the prosecution of
pension claims and fire insurance.
William B. ORCOTT, son of Samuel M., was born in Roxbury, January
15, 1820, and married Catherine AINSWORTH, of Northfield, in 1847. They
have one son who married Ida E. WELLS, of West Randolph. Mr. ORCOTT has
always lived in his native town, is a successful business man, and has
succeeded in accumulating a fine property. He owns a large amount of real
estate, and is also engaged in lumbering and the sale of wood. He is not
without political honors. He represented Roxbury in the legislature of
1859, '60, '78, '79, '80, '81, was associate judge of Washington County
Court two years, town treasurer nine years, and selectman several years,
and during the late war was state agent. Mr. ORCOTT is honest, fair, and
liberal, and enjoys the respect and high esteem of a very large acquaintance.
Asa S. SIMONDS, born in Canterbury, Conn., moved to Royalton, Vt.,
with his mother and step-father, in 1794, and to Roxbury in 1806, when
he was but sixteen years old. In 1815 he married Hannah SPAULDING. He has
been a prominent citizen of Roxbury and filled satisfactorily many town
positions. He served as town treasurer nearly thirty-five years, and died
in 1861. His oldest daughter, Hannah, married Asa PERRIN, of Royalton,
and died in 1860. His daughter Weltha married Elisha ANDREWS and settled
in Northfield. Her husband died in early manhood, and she is now the wife
of Ira PERRIN, of Royalton. Azro A., second son, first married Lucy GREEN,
who died in 1850. He married, second, Margaret DAY, and resides on the
old homestead. W. I. SIMONDS married Lucy W. DARLING, of Berlin, who died
about three years later, and left a daughter only two weeks old. He married,
second, a sister of his first wife, with whom he has lived more than thirty-five
years. Mr. SIMONDS has been an enterprising farmer, and has kept pace with
the age. His leading industry is his diary, and by judicious breeding and
liberal feeding he is able to produce 300 pounds of choice butter per cow
annually. Mr. SIMONDS was the first in the state to build a silo and feed
Jedediah SMITH married Esther FULLER, and came from Randolph to
Roxbury, with his wife and ten children, about 1812, and settled on the
farm where his aged daughter, Mrs. Lucy STEEL, now lives, on road 33. Lucy
was born in Randolph, Vt., February 11, 1805, and came to Roxbury with
her parents at the age of seven years. At the age of nineteen she united
in marriage with Phineas STEEL, whose father was a soldier and served through
the whole of the long struggle of the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. STEEL
resided awhile in Brookfield, but returned to the Smith homestead in 1855.
They had eleven children. Like other mothers in her day, Mrs. STEEL spun
and wove the cloth to clothe her husband and children. The hides of their
beef cattle were taken to the tanners, who converted them into leather
which was manufactured into shoes by an itinerant shoemaker, who, with
his bench and kit of tools, went through a neighborhood from house to house
for that purpose. His labor in this way was termed "whipping the cat."
Mr. STEEL died March 4, 1880. Only four of their large family are now living.
Mrs. STEEL, now aged eighty-four years, is hale and healthy, and is able
to do her own work and attend to her business interests. One of her sons
resides with her.
Ira ROYS is the son of Silas and Lois (Graves) ROYS, who came from
Claremont, N. H., to Northfield, Vt., when it was a wilderness, and where
he settled and reared to maturity a family of eleven children, three of
whom are now living, viz.: Titus in Northfield, aged ninety years; Henry
in Greenfield, Mass., aged seventy-eight years; and Ira, the subject of
this sketch, in Roxbury, aged seventy-five years. At the age of twenty-seven
he married Caroline, daughter of Charles and Sarah (RICHARDSON) SAMSON,
who came from Fitzwilliam, N. H., and settled in Roxbury at an early date.
Mr. ROYS enlisted, in September, 1861, in Co. E, 1st Vt. Cavalry, served
six months, and was discharged by reason of illness. Mr. and Mrs. ROYS
are parents of seven children. Their son Fred W, is postmaster at Roxbury.
Hira G. ELLIS, son of Charles and Esther (WILEY) ELLIS, was born
in Northfield, in April, 1832, and has resided in Roxbury since he was
quite a young man. He is a farmer, and resides on his fine farm near the
village. He is one of Roxbury's reliable citizens, and has served his town
as constable and collector and superintendent of schools. At the age of
twenty-eight he married Mary A. WILEY, of Rochester, Vt. Three of their
children and an adopted son are living, and are school teachers.
George B. STANTON was the youngest child of Ezekiel and Annie (BERRY).
STANTON, and was born in Barrington, N. H., February 14, 1809, and came
with his parents to Washington, Vt., to reside, in early childhood. His
opportunities for obtaining an early education were exceedingly limited,
as he never attended school but a few weeks; but he always had a keen interest
in public affairs, and was a constant reader of current news and the history
of his own country. He came to Northfield, Vt., before attaining his majority,
and was for several years in the employ of Gov. PAINE, at the then called
"Factory Village." January 10, 1841, he married Lucretia, daughter of Zedekiah
and Esther (HOLDEN) SILLOWAY, of Berlin, and soon after went to reside
on the farm in Roxbury that was ever after their home. Mrs. STANTON is
a woman of great energy and force of character, and truly was a helpmate
to her husband, and together they built up from the then wilderness one
of the finest farms in town. Mr. STANTON died July 28, 1888.
David R. STANTON, son of George and Lucretia STANTON, was born in
Roxbury, October 24, 1841, and has always resided in town. Mr. STANTON
has repeatedly held the offices of lister and selectman, and other minor
positions. He never married. He was educated at the common schools of his
Zed S. STANTON, son of George and Lucretia STANTON, was born in
Roxbury, May 1, 1848. After attaining his majority he attended Northfield
Graded School, where he received an academical education, and taught school
for a portion of the year, for several years, in various towns in Washington
county. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Washington county,
March 15, 1880, and has since practiced his profession in Roxbury, with
the exception of one year. He has continuously held the various offices
in town since 1873, and represented Roxbury at the biennial sessions of
the General Assembly of Vermont for 1884 and 1886. He held the office of
assistant judge of Washington County Court from 1884 to 1888, inclusive.
Mr. STANTON was married, May 31, 1880, to Jennie Smith WALBRIDGE, of Roxbury,
who was born in Northfield, July 7, 1854, and they have one child, Jessie
Lucretia, born December 23, 1884.
Alvin L. BRIGHAM was born in Marlboro, Mass. He removed from Fayston
to Roxbury in 1823. He married Flora BAXTER, and they were parents of eleven
children. Ozro, the eldest, fell defending his country in the late war.
Don, the youngest, also enlisted in the Union army and died soon after
he was discharged. Two died early. One son and four daughters live in Lowell,
Mass., and William B. resides in Northfield. Alonzo G. died in Northfield.
Alvin L. BRIGHAM was prominent in the church, and led the choir a long
time before instrumental music was introduced into church service. He died
in 1871, aged seventy-two years.
Deacon Samuel Edwards, born in Massachusetts, May 20, 1809, died
at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eliza ROOD, in Bethel, Vt., June 21,
1888. He came to Roxbury with his parents, Samuel and Lydia, in 1823, and
was a resident of the town sixty-five years. At the organization of the
Congregational church of Roxbury Mr, and Mrs. EDWARDS became members, and
in that year he was chosen deacon, and held the office to the close of
his life. He lived a faithful and exemplary Christian, and was ever ready
to contribute generously for the support of the gospel and for benevolent
objects, and left a generous bequest to the church, the income to be applied
towards its support. In 1837 he married Nancy J. EDWARDS, who died in 1874.
Their children were Wilbur F., Sarah, and Eliza. Wilbur F. EDWARDS was
born in Roxbury, March 1, 1839, and has always resided in his native town.
At the age of twenty-one years he married S. Emma HOWE, and settled on
the homestead. Their only child, a daughter, was born in September, 1864,
and died April 19, 1888. She pursued her academic studies at Randolph Normal
School, at Montpelier, and graduated in the Business department of Green
Mountain Seminary, at Waterbury Center. She was an apt and thorough scholar,
a consistent Christian, and possessed most amiable qualities. Mr. and Mrs.
EDWARDS have kindly given their nephew, Charles A. HOWE, a home with them
for several years. They are staunch and substantial members of the church
and prominent in society. Sarah (deceased) married Rev. Aldin Ladd. Eliza
(Mrs. Rood) resides in Bethel, and kindly administered to the comforts
of her aged father the last few months of his life.
Henry S. Boyce married Mary Wales, December 27, 1927, and settled
in Roxbury, on road 33, where he cleared land and made a good home for
his family. He died October 17, 1859, aged fifty five years, and left his
widow a good property. Mrs. Boyce still survives and resides on a portion
of their old farm. Four of her children reside near her in Roxbury. Her
daughter, Mrs. Jason Freeman, resides in Washington, D. C. One resides
in St. Paul, Min n., and another in Brookfield. Mrs. Boyce is the daughter
of Shubael and. Polly Wales, who came from Plainfield and settled in Roxbury
Stephen Clark Wiley, son of Jonathan and Phebe (Clark) Wiley, was
born in Rochester, Vt., January 27, 1812. His parents came from Rochester
to Roxbury about 1817, and here he has lived since that time. December
6, 1833, he married Lucinda Ford, of Roxbury, who was the mother of four
children, one of whom died in childhood, and two sons reside in Roxbury.
Their daughter married Charles Walbridge, deceased. His second wife, Betsey
J. Merrill, bore him five children, and died in May, 1872. He next married
Melinda Gove, of Cavendish, Vt. His children all live in town except one
son, who is in business in Massachusetts, and two daughters, who reside
Azro J. Boyce, son of Henry and Sarah (Wales) Boyce, was born in
Roxbury, January 22, 1837. At the age of twenty four years he married Sophronia
E. Ryder, of Coventry, Vt. They have had born to them three children, and
all are living. Mr. Boyce is a butcher, and commenced dealing in meats
in 1863. He has succeeded by industry and fair dealing in building up an
extensive trade for a country place. He does his own buying and selling,
in a business that amounts to about $7,000 per year. He served as constable
seven years and lister three years, and performed the duties of these offices
to the satisfaction of his townsmen. Mrs. Royce died December 6, 1887.
Horace A. Thayre, son of Albert and Lydia (Cleveland) Thayre, was
born in Braintree, Vt., and in 1851 came to Roxbury, and settled on the
farm where he now lives, on road 36. Mr. Thayre has been twice married,
first, to Laura A. Howard, of Braintree, who was the mother of two daughters,
one of whom is deceased. Mrs. Thayre died in September, ii 86o. In 186
1 Mr. Thayre married Almira E. Ditty, of Roxbury, who bore him one daughter,
Mrs. Charles H. Flint. Since Mr. Thayre came to Roxbury he has observed
many changes. On the road from Northfield to West Randolph only "Aunt Sally
Richardson," aged eighty, remains of the resident says many have come to
town and gone.
Phineas Wiley came to Roxbury with his parents when he was but eight
years old. The family lived a short time in the first house built m that
part of the town. He married Polly Ellis and settled in Middlebury. In
1837 he returned to Roxbury, where he continued to live the remainder of
his long life, and died at the age of ninety years. His son Philander
was born in Middlebury, July 21, 1819, and came to Roxbury with his father
in 1837. At the age of twenty-five years he married Lucy, daughter of John
M. and Betsey SPALDING, of Roxbury. Early in his life he learned the trade
of builder, which he followed nearly thirty years. When Mr. WILEY came
to Roxbury there was only a hotel, one store, and a dwelling house where
the village is now. The ground now occupied by the church was a field surrounded
by a log fence. Mrs. WILEY died December 23, 1883, and their only daughter
resides with her father.
Ebenezer L. WATERMAN, a native of Connecticut, was born June 5,
1798. He emigrated with his parents to Royalton when he was a small boy.
In 1848 he moved to Roxbury and settled where he now lives, on road 2.
December 28, 1843, he married Polly A. FULLER. Six of their eight children
are now living. Mr. WATERMAN has made diligent exertions in business, which
have been crowned with success.
Erastus N. SPALDING, son of John M. and Betsey G. (MCCLURE) SPALDING,
was born in Roxbury. In his youth he entered the store of the late Judge
TILDEN, at Northfield, where he had a short experience in mercantile business.
His active and energetic temperament impelled him to build up a business
of his own. At the age of eighteen years he is found conducting a grocery
store and manufacturing potash in his native town. He gathered the ashes
from the farmers, by driving from house to house with a box of groceries,
which were bartered for ashes which he converted into potash and sent to
Boston. In 1845 and 1846 he was a jobber in constructing the Central Vermont
R. R. At its completion he received the appointment of station agent at
Roxbury, and filled the position the next fourteen years; and at the same
time did an extensive lumbering business. In 1865 he built a sawmill on
the site of his present steam mills, which he soon changed from water-power
to steam-power. This was destroyed by fire December 5, 1872 and his present
extensive mills were erected on the old site, within the same month. The
output of his mills is 1,000,000 feet of lumber annually. His supplies
of timber are taken from his tract of about 4,000 acres of timber-lands.
Mr. SPALDING is a gentleman of great energy and comprehensive business
ability. Besides giving his attention to this leading industry of his town
he has found time to serve as selectman and representative in the legislature.
At the age of twenty-three years he united in marriage with Miss Amanda
A. RICHARDSON, of Waitsfield. Their children are Willie S., a mail agent
on the C. V. R. R., and a daughter, who resides with her parents. One son
died at the age of eighteen years.
Dr. Ira H. FISKE, the first homeopathic physician who settled in
Roxbury, was born June 15, 1850, in Topsham, Vt. His parents, Hiram and
Mandana (HOLDEN) FISKE, came from Topsham that year, and resided in Northfield,
Vt., until their deaths. Hiram FISKE was known as an honest, upright man,
a painter by trade, yet he acquired an excellent education, and taught
school for thirty-six consecutive winters in Orange and Washington counties.
Mandana (HOLDEN) FISKE was a friend to everybody, rich or poor, and was
a sincere Christian woman, gave much in charity, and never turned a beggar
from her door hungry. Sickness and distress found in her a ready comforter.
The epitaph on her tombstone reads: "She never grew weary in well doing."
There were five children, viz.: Carrie M., Almira N., Elbridge Gerry, Ira
Holden, and Edwin P. Carrie died at Woodstock, Vt.; Almira lives at Calais;
Elbridge died at Brownsville, Texas, a soldier in the 7th Vt. Vols. He
inherited his mother's disposition, and his death was occasioned by a long
march on a terrible hot day, when, in addition to carrying his own knapsack
and gun, he also carried a sick comrade's gun, and received a sunstroke
on the way. This brave boy's death was a terrible blow to the family, and
the shock hastened his father's death. Edwin lives at Morrisville. Ira
H., the subject of this sketch, was a cripple in his boyhood, suffering
from a fever sore occasioned by wading in the river, when overheated; but
notwithstanding his enfeebled, crippled body, he had inherited an indomitable
will, and at the age of nine years had learned without a teacher to read,
write, and cipher, and had commenced the study of philosophy and Latin.
During a number of years he attended school at the Northfield Academy ;
though very lame he walked the distance, three miles, each day, and in
1868 began the study of medicine. In the meantime his father bought him
a rifle, and in roaming the woods and mountains, hunting and fishing, he
regained health and became a stout, athletic young man, and commenced to
teach school in the winters, and kept up the study of medicine at Woodstock.
He began the practice of medicine in Hardwick, Vt., in 1871, at twenty-one
years of age. He married, in 1872, Marion E. AVERILL, of Roxbury, and in
1875 moved and settled in that town, where he now resides. They have two
children, Harold A. and Maud Carol. Dr. FISKE is a member of the Homeopathic
Medical society of Vermont, has been superintendent of schools in Roxbury
from 1884 to December, 1888, inclusive, and represented Roxbury in the
session of the legislature of 1888.
Ai N. TILDEN, son of David R. and Mary (NEWCOMB) TILDEN, was born
in Williamstown, Vt., in January, 1826. He removed to Northfield with his
parents about 1832, where he lived until 1850. He then went to Roxbury
and was a clerk for J. S. WHITE. In 1857 he engaged in mercantile business
for himself, which he has continued to the present time, (December, 1888,)
and is now a member of the firm of Tilden & Son. In 1852 Mr. TILDEN
united in marriage with Betsey A. SPALDING. Their son George A. is of the
firm of Tilden & Son, and their daughter, Mrs. Ira A. BRADLEY, resides
in Auburn, Mass. Mr. TILDEN is one of Roxbury's substantial and reliable
citizens. Besides giving his attention to his own business he has taken
time to aid in the business of his town. He represented Roxbury in the
legislature in 1876-77, and has served as clerk of the town since 1856,
a term of thirty-two consecutive years. He is now clerk and treasurer of
Sylvanus F. RICH, son of Elias and Betsey (COBURN) RICH, was born
in, Northfield. In September, 1849, he married Abbie E. COUSENS. Mr. Rich
was overseer of a cotton manufactory in Waltham, Mass., about five years.
In 1851 he went to California, returning in 1854 to Lawrence, Mass., where
he assisted in starting the ill-fated Pemberton mills. In 1859 he settled
on East hill, in Roxbury, and in 1870 removed to his present home on road
15. Mr. RICH is an enterprising farmer and a respected citizen.
Ashel, son of Phineas and Sarah (CHENEY) FLINT, was born in Braintree,
Vt., October 22, 1813. He married Roxana WILLEY, and after residing in,
several of the surrounding towns finally settled in Roxbury, where he is
engaged in farming, on road 41. Mr. and Mrs. FLINT are parents of three
sons and a daughter (Mrs. Mason C. SHEPARD), of Northfield.
Edwin P. BURNHAM, son of James and Fanny (HIBBARD) BURNHAM, was.
born in Northfield, in September, 1818. At an early age he settled in Roxbury,
where he had various occupations and changes until 1869, when he engaged
in the mercantile business and continued it the ensuing fifteen years.
He has also dealt in wood and lumber. He has established a reputation for
honesty and integrity, and has acceptably served his town in many of its,
offices. His first wife, Harriet EDWARDS, of Roxbury, who was the mother
of his three daughters and son, died in October, 1870. Mr. Burnham married,
second, Mrs. Fanny D. WAKEFIELD, of Stowe, Vt.
Sidney N. MILLER was born in Cambridge, N. Y. His mother died when
he was an infant. When he was five years old his father gave him to Capt.
Sewell Blanchard, of Brookfield, where he had a home until he was seventeen.
He then learned the trade of wheelwright, and became a very competent mechanic.
While engaged in the extensive carriage shop of Mr. Hollis COLLINS, at
Northfield, he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy KATHAN. In 1860 he
removed to Roxbury, bought a saw-mill of Col. J. V. RANDALL, rebuilt it,
and added a carriage shop. Here he has steadily continued in business.
Mr. MILLER is one of Roxbury's highly respected citizens.
In 1823 an enormous panther was killed in Roxbury, the largest ever
killed in the state previous to the one killed in Barnard in 1881 or '82.
His tracks were discovered by Major Allen SPAULDING, who was returning
home very early one morning from a rather prolonged visit to his sweetheart.
He and his neighbor, Joseph BATCHELDER, supposed it to be the trail of
a bear, and together followed it until night. Next day Mr. SPAULDING called
to his. aid Enos YOUNG, a somewhat noted bear hunter, familiarly known
as "Captain Sip." Mr. SPAULDING inferred, from the long leaps the brute
made, that it was not a bear. " Capt. Sip " gruffly replied, "Damn it,
it's one of them old long-legged fellers." They were obliged to give up
the chase at nightfall. Next day a fresh and larger party took the trail.
They heard the barking of a dog not far away, and one of their party, Charles
ELLIS, went to ascertain the cause, and returned with the startling information
that the dog had ‘treed a fox’. The party were armed with guns, and made
an attack upon the animal. John MCNEAL fired his, loaded with shot, and
blinded and enraged the beast; and just as he was about to spring upon
them, Orin ORCOTT dispatched him by firing a charge of chain links into
his open mouth.
Among Roxbury's early settlers Samuel RICHARDSON and Capt. Benjamin
SAMSON are known to have been veterans of the Revolutionary war, and doubtless
there were many others.
Capt. Samuel M. ORCOTT led his company, containing all the men in
Roxbury except Samuel RICHARDSON, who much regretted that he was too aged,
and Job ORCUTT, a lame man, to Plattsburgh, to assist in repelling the
invasion of the British from our northern borders. The company started
from Roxbury on the morning of September 10, 1814, but did not reach Plattsburgh
until Monday evening, September 14. As the battle occurred on Sunday the
Roxbury men did not arrive in time to participate in the battle. They returned
to their homes in Roxbury on Friday.
From Hon. Zed S. STANTON's historical address is taken the following
for Roxbury in the late war for the Union:
"No state in
the Union has a better record in connection with the war of the Rebellion
than Vermont, and no town in the state has a better one than Roxbury. With
a population of 1,060, Roxbury gave the Union army ninety-five brave soldiers,
eight of whom reenlisted. Eight more were credited to this town as the
result of the draft of 1863, and four men were credited to us out of that
number, who enlisted without being credited to any towns, and were afterwards
proportionately distributed among the different towns. When the war closed
Roxbury had a surplus of twenty-three soldiers over all calls, A much larger
percentage than any other town in the state. Company H, 6th Vt. Regiment,
under command of Capt. D. B. DAVENPORT, was recruited in this town, in
the fall of 1861. Besides this company there were residents of this town
in many other regiments. Twenty-six of these died in the service of their
The Union Congregational church of Roxbury was organized by Rev.
Ammi NICHOLS, in 1838, with twenty-two members. Rev. Aldin LADD, the first
pastor, was installed in 1865, and remained until the autumn of 1879. The
church and society built a house of worship, of wood, in 1839. In 1871
their present pleasant and convenient house was built of wood, at the expense
of $3,600, and will comfortably seat 200 people. The church now has thirty-four
members, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Henry C. HOWARD. The estimated
value of church property, including buildings and grounds, is $3,000. Connected
with the church is a Sunday-school of about sixty members.
Of Washington County, Vt. 1783-1899,
and Published by Hamilton Child,
By William Adams.
Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
N. Y.; April, 1889.
by Karima Allison, 2003