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HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF GRAFTON

      GRAFTON is an irregularly outlined town lying in the center of the northern tier of towns of the county, in lat. 43° 11' and long. 4° 4', bounded north by Chester, in Windsor county, east by Rockingham, south by Athens and Townshend, and West by Windham. It was originally granted by New Hampshire, April 8, 1754, to Jonathan WHITNEY, William HOLT, Nathan HARRIS, Philip GOODRIDGE and sixty-one associates, by the name of Thomlinson, being the last town chartered by New Hampshire previous to the breaking out of the French war.

      On July 9, 1761, the time for fulfilling the conditions of the charter was extended; but notwithstanding this extension of time, however, there probably was a failure to comply with the conditions, for a new charter was granted, September 1, 1763, to the same persons who had held the former charter. The name Thomlinson was retained until 1788, when, for some cause, the "h" was omitted, and on October 31, 1791, the name was changed to Grafton, under the following circumstances: Many of the citizens of the town were anxious to have the town named after the town from which they emigrated, and to give each an equal chance it was decided to put the name of the town up at auction ; and on the 31st day of October, 1791, it was sold, and Joseph AXTELL being the highest bidder, for the sum of $5, had the pleasure of having the town named Grafton, he having removed from Grafton, Mass.

      According to the charter the township was to be divided into sixty-four shares and to contain an area of six miles square, or 23,040 acres; but October 30, 1816, a part of Athens and Avery's Gore was annexed to it, and November 2, 1846, a part of Grafton was set off to Athens.

      The surface of the territory is very uneven, though there is much fine, arable land in the valleys and on the hill slopes. All grades of grains and grasses are grown to advantage, though the town is much better adapted to grazing than tillage. Saxton's river forms the principal water-course, being formed here by the union of several branches and flowing a southeasterly course into Rockingham. A branch of Williams river flows an easterly course through the northern part of the town, nearly parallel with the north line. These streams afford several very good mill-privileges. The principal rock entering into the geological structure of the territory is gneiss. In the southern part is a large bed of steatite which is quarried to a great extent. In connection with this deposit are found fine green laminated talc, chlorite, potstone, and crystals of actynolite and bitterspar. The potstone is of a greenish gray color and is less frangible than the steatite. The crystals of actynolite are large, and of a light green color. Those of bitter spar are of different sizes, presenting rhomboidal surfaces, and are embedded in the steatite. They are usually perfect, but not transparent. Their color is a light gray, and their lustre more pearly than that of calcareous spar. Their structure is distinctly laminated, and they dissolve without effervescence in diluted nitric acid. Cyanite, or sapphire, is also found. It is of a light blue color, and is in compressed hexagonal prisms in mica slate and in massive garnet. Garnets abound both in talcose and mica schist, and hornblende is very common. Also the sulphuret of iron in small brown cubes, plumose mica or mica slate, limpid quartz in transparent crystals, greasy and milky quartz, schrol and precious serpentine. The schrol is in triangular prisms, bevelled at their lateral edges, and striated longitudinally, having triedral terminations. Gold also has been discovered in small quantities.

      In 1880 Grafton had a population of 929, and in 1882 had nine school, districts and contained nine common schools, employing thirteen female teachers at an aggregate salary of $849.85. There were 169 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,092.54, with C. W. TERRILL, superintendent.

      GRAFTON is a post village located at the confluence of the north and south branches of Saxton's river. It has two churches (Congregational and Baptist), three stores, a hotel, chair-splint factory, carriage shop, blacksmith. shop, etc., and about eighty dwellings. The Green Mountain telegraph and Boston & Northern telephone lines each have offices here.

      HOUGHTONVILLE is a hamlet located about two miles south of the north line of the town, and the same distance from the west line. It has a store, a blacksmith shop, and a few scattered dwellings. There formerly was a postoffice here, but it was discontinued some years since, by petition of the citizens.

      CAMBRIDGEPORT is a post village located on the line between Grafton and Rockingham. In this town it has a store, telegraph office, and three or four dwellings.

      MECHANICSVILLE is the local name given an extension of Grafton village, where most of the manufacturing interests are centered.

      George N. FRENCH & Son's carriage, wagon and sleigh manufactory, located at Grafton, was established in x833, by Lyman FRENCH, who conducted it until his death, in 1852, when George N. FRENCH became proprietor of the business. In 1877 his son, George D., was made a partner. Their shop on School street, together with that of Dexter B. FRENCH, on Water street, gives employment to six men.

      WHITE & WILBUR's saw, shingle, grist and cider-mill, located at Mechanicsville, was originally erected by William WIER, in 1824, as a cider-mill. He sold out to Abner PARKER, who put in carding machinery, and who in turn sold to BURDETTE & GIBSON. It was afterwards converted into a woolen factory, by John and William WOOLLEY, about 1830. About 1857 L. S. WALKER became the owner of the property, and subsequently re-converted it into a saw-mill. In 1873 C. S. WHITE became interested in the business, purchased the property, and in 1881 sold a half interest to V. A. WILBUR. The firm now manufactures about 300,000 feet of lumber, 500,000 shingles, and also does a custom grinding and feed business.

      BUTTERFIELD & SMITH's soap-stone mills and quarry, at Cambridgeport, give employment to about twenty men, in the manufacture of all kinds of soap-stone goods.

      S. W. GOODRIDGE has been engaged about twelve years at Grafton in the manufacture of fine fishing rods. His goods have attained just celebrity among distinguished anglers in this and most of the other States.

      HARSH & LELAND's chair-splint factory, located at Grafton village, was established in 1882. It gives employment to ten men in the manufacture of black ash splints for the seats and backs of chairs.

      W. L. BURNAP's grist and saw-mill, located on road 28, is operated by water-power.

      There was no settlement of the town commenced until several years after the date of the charter. In the year 1768, a man by the name of SLACK removed to town and built a log house on the farm now owned by Seth WRIGHT. This is said to be the first house built in town. About the same time three families named HINKLEY, HILL, and WALTON, removed into town and began a settlement on whet is now end since then has been celled HINKLEY Brook, near the present residence of R. M. Cook. HINKLEY built near the brook, Welton some rods north on higher lend, now owned by Deacon Allen FAY, and HILL on land lately owned by Martin DAGGETT. Neither of these families remained in town but a few years, but all left, and the first permanent settlement was made about the year 1780. In the year 1779 Asa FISHER, of Hopkinton, Mess., Aaron PUTNAM, James GUILD, William PARKHURST, of Winchendon Conn., and Thomas KINNEY, of Marrowfield, Conn, purchased land in this town of Thomas and John CHANDLER, of Chester. Their deeds were all recorded in the town of Rockingham. The first deed recorded in the land records of Thomlinson, where either grantor or grantee were residents of the town, is a deed from Thomas KINNEY, of Thomlinson, to Esek SANDERS, of Ashford, Conn., dated Dec. 27, 1781, and recorded June 17, 1782. Aaron PUTNAM was then town clerk. The first town records commenced in 1782. Several deeds were executed and recorded at that date. The value of the ratable property in town in 1781, was 200 pounds. In 1791 the population was 561 souls. The first birth in town was a child to Mr. and Mrs. HILL, during their stay on Hinkley Brook. The first record of a death is that of Asa FISHER, Jr., son of Asa and Esther, who died June 19, 1780, in the sixteenth year of his age. His body was buried in the burying-ground at the center of the town.

      The first town meeting on record was held in 1783, though there is evidence that the town was organized in 1781, when Aaron PUTNAM was chosen town clerk; Amos FISHER, constable; and Miles PUTNAM, Samuel SPRING, and Aaron PUTNAM, selectmen. The first justice of the peace was Charles PERKINS, in 1786. The first representative was Miles PUTNAM, in 1780. The first school was taught by Hester FISHER, in a log barn owned by Maj. John DWINNELL. The first hotel and store were under the same roof, and kept by Henry BOND, located where widow Nancy FISHER's house now stands. It was a log house with one room and one bed for family and guests. The first goods placed in the store was a barrel of new rum, in 1787. This was drawn from Saxton's River, most of the distance in the river, with oxen, on a drag built for the purpose, there being no road. On the arrival of the goods the citizens flocked to the store to inspect them. They were pleased with the quality and purchased freely until quite a number had taken a larger quantity then they found themselves able to carry away. In 1788 the town voted that Samuel SPRING should keep tavern on the place now owned by Capt. A. H. BURGESS. David STICKNEY, Joab GLEASON, and Ensign Jonathan GIBSON, were also licensed to keep taverns.

      As a specimen of the business transacted at the early town meetings, we print the following, the first being the meeting held in 1783: At that meeting it was voted to have preaching from neighboring towns that season, and David STICKNEY was appointed to get preaching that season; and it was voted that hogs should not run at large. In town meeting 1784, chose Ebenezer BURGESS town clerk; Ebenezer BURGESS, Aaron. PUTNAM, and Edward PUTNAM, selectmen; chose Samuel SPRING a committee to look out a road or part of a road to Rockingham; chose Charles PERKINS brander of horses. In town meeting 1785, chose Stephen HAYWARD, town clerk; Charles PERKINS, brander of horses. Voted that a man shall have three shillings a day for highway work, and a yoke of oxen two shillings a day; voted that the law book should be kept at the town clerk's office; voted that all ox sleds in town shall be four feet wide; voted to purchase ground for a burial place, and that each man give one day's work to clear the ground. This place was located at the center of the town.

      Josiah BAIRD was one of the first settlers in town; he settled upon the farm lately owned by S. S. DAVIS, known as the Sabin GOWING farm; he enlisted in the Indian war, was captured by the Indians, and remained a prisoner several years, but escaped and returned in 1788. He was father of George W. BAIRD, who was married in 1820, to Mary CUTTER and resided until his death, in 1856, on the farm where her father, Nathaniel CUTTER, settled in 1802.

      Benjamin DWINNELL, father of Maj. John DWINNELL, was also one of the earliest settlers in town He settled on land near the village, and the first school was taught in his barn.

      Among the 117 tax payers in Grafton in 1792, may be mentioned the following: Joseph AXTELL, Alexander AXTELL, Amos DENNISON, Benjamin DWINNELL, Oliver DAVIS, John GOODRIDGE, Jr., Moses GOODRIDGE, Solomon GILSON, John KIDDER, Stephen HAYWARD, Ziba HAYWARD, (the family name being now spelled HOWARD), Robert HOLMES, Mannasseh HOUGHTON, Capt. David PALMER, Lieut. Thomas PALMER, Edward PUTNAM, Elijah PHELPS, Samuel SPRING, Dr. William STICKNEY, William STICKNEY, Jr., George SMITH, Jr., Peter PETTENGILL, Capt. Joseph WHITCOMB, and Peter WHITCOMB.

      Job GLEASON built the framed house now standing on road 8, in 1787, being, probably, the first framed house erected in the town. A large stone chimney stands in the center of the house, while the hardwood floor is pinned down by wooden pegs. Benjamin BURGESS located on the place in 1800. His family consisted of the following, children, Lyman, Laura, Hubbard and Maria, the latter of whom now occupies the place.

      Thomas DAVIS located just east of Bear hill, in 1789, moving into along shanty that was not supplied with a door. As a substitute for the useful appendage, Mrs. DAVIS hung a heavy bed-quilt over the opening, thus serving as a curtain. It was in the autumn of the year, and the nuts from the beech trees in front of the cabin were dropping plentifully about the door-yard, forming a very tempting bait for any wandering bruin that might pass that way. Late one afternoon, as Mrs. DAVIS sat quietly knitting near the hanging curtain, thinking, perhaps, of the friends and dear ones she had left within the pale of civilization, she was suddenly startled by having the curtain cooly raised by the black snout of a huge black bear. At sight of her, bruin gave an ominous growl; but the screech that Mrs. DAVIS gave completely drowned the growl, cut short the inquisitive beast peregrinations, and he turned tail and trotted off into the forest. Such were the pleasant visitors our pioneer mothers were called upon to entertain. It is needless to state, perhaps, that not many hours elapsed before Mrs. DAVIS had caused her husband to make a more substantial door of split logs.

      Oliver DAVIS, born in Massachusetts in 1767, married Triphena GLEASON and settled near Houghtonville in 1789. His bride died, however, only thirty days after their wedding. In 1783 Mr. DAVIS married Hannah BAIRD, who bore him children as follows: Triphena, Hannah, Betsey, Oliver, Jr., Alice and Benoni, the latter being twins and at whose birth Mrs. DAVIS died. In 1799 Mr. DAVIS married, for his third wife, Martha PAGE, who bore him children as follows: Silas, Sally, Lucinda, Benoni, Ascenath and Joel. The latter married Harriet BRIGGS and had one son, George. Norman R. married Ellen STILES, has one daughter, is one of the present town selectmen, and resides on the old homestead.

      John SMITH, from Dedham, Mass., came to Grafton in 1781, and settled, with Mr. PALMER and Mr. BAKER, in that district known as "Howeville." All three families were large, and the first school taught here was made up of thirty scholars from these three families. The first school-house was built of logs, on the SLACK farm. John SMITH raised nine children, of ten born to him. John SMITH, Jr., married Elizabeth CLOSSON and at one time owned 500 acres of land about his birthplace. He raised three children, one of whom was a son. The two daughters are now living, Mrs. George LAWRENCE, of Grafton, and Mrs. Sarah SANDERSON, of Townshend.

      Elijah PHELPS came to Grafton among the earliest of its permanent settlers, making the first settlement in the northwestern section of the town, previous to 1788. During that year his son Joseph was born. He became a blacksmith, SMITH, married, and built a residence at Houghtonville, where he carried on business until his death. Five of his seven children are now living, at Grafton village as follows: Samuel, Francis, Leverett, Charles and Harlan.

      John GOODRIDGE came to Grafton, from Keene, N. H., in 1786, having purchased his farm in 1783. He subsequently sold the farm to his son Moses, with whom he spent the latter years of his life. Moses married Abiah WADSWORTH, of Keene, N. H., December 24, 1790, and reared a family of ten children.

      Robert CONVERSE, born in 1773, spent his youth at Marlboro, N. H., and at the age of twenty-one years married Edna HALE. In January of the following year, 1799, with his wife and her sister, Mercy HALE, who afterwards became Mrs. Ebenezer BURGESS, he came to Grafton and located upon the farm now owned by his son, Newton R. CONVERSE. Newton R. married Mary STUART, of Andover, who died January 7, 1883, and reared five sons and four daughters, of whom Nelson resides in Illinois; Edna married Rev. E. W. WHITE, of Castile, N. Y.; Martha became Mrs. H. T. WRIGHT, of Massachusetts; Sarah V. graduated from the Boston School of Oratory; and Clara A. graduated from Smith college, of Northampton.

      Given HOLMES made the first settlement on the farm now owned by D. W. TWITCHELL, on road 25, where he brought up a large family, from which HOLMES hill derived its name. Only three of his children, Henry, Harry and Harriet, permanently located in the town. Harriet became Mrs. Harvey STODDARD. Henry was thrice married, originally carried on the blacksmith business, but subsequently was many years a merchant and manufacturer of the town; was a member of the constitutional convention of 1870, and held many of the town trusts. He died in August, 1871, aged sixty-five years. The family is now represented here by his son Sidney, who carries on the manufacture of churns, a business established by his father.

      Thaddeus TAYLOR born in Massachusetts in 1768, came to Grafton in 1795, locating on DAVIS hill. Early in the following year he married Sally TAYLOR, who bore him four sons and four daughters, of whom Horace, born October 24, 1796, married Fanny ALEXANDER, of Athens, their family being four sons and one daughter, of whom Thaddeus N. resides with his mother at the village; Charles L. was lost at the battle of the Wilderness; Harry was killed in a powder-mill in 1856; George M., of Brattleboro, is sergeant-at-arms in the House of Representatives at Washington; and Helen S. married Edwin HAMILTON, who was killed by lightning in Missouri, in 1871. In 1857, the father, Horace was thrown from his wagon while on his way to church, the injuries received resulting in his death, while at the same time Mrs. TAYLOR had both wrists broken.

      James THOMPSON came from Derry, N. H., at an early date, locating on road 35, upon what is now known as Kidder hill. All of his seven sons spent their lives in Grafton, and in turn reared large families. John THOMPSON married Betsey CONANT and reared six children, three of whom were sons, Stillman, Elliot, and John. The latter inherited the homestead, married Chastina FAIRBANK, and Charles E., their only child, now occupies the homestead. Stillman married Martha SMITH, reared three children. One of these, Henry A., resides on road 36. Herbert E. THOMPSON, of Cambridgeport, is a great-grandson of James.

      Abraham HILL, of Cambridge, Mass., was a Revolutionary soldier and was engaged in the battle of Bunker Hill, where a ball from one of the enemy's rifles passed through his hat and another through his cartridge-box. He subsequently married Ruth BLODGETT, of Lexington, Mass., and, with his wife and five daughters, came to Grafton in 1797, locating on road a, upon the farm now occupied by his son Thomas. He had three sons and three daughters born in Grafton, of whom Thomas married Roxanna WHITE, of New Hampshire. Abraham died in 1838, aged seventy-eight years, and Mrs. HILL died in 1858, aged ninety-two years.

      David STILES, a cooper by trade, came to Grafton with his family in 1798, locating in school district No. 11. His children were Anna, Lydia, David, Joseph, Ephraim, Mark, Orrin, Elkanah W., Hosea B., Harriet, Philinda and Miranda. His first wife died in 1832, and in 1833 he married the widow GLEASON. Elkanah married Mary R. RUGG, of Townshend, and had three children, Mary H., David and Harriet. David married Lucy A. HOLDEN, of Townshend, and is now a prosperous farmer on the STILES homestead, upon which was erected the first framed house in the western part of the town.

      David GILSON came to Grafton in 1801, and married Eliza McALLISTER. Wesley W. GILSON of this family married Myra STEARNS, of Grafton, by whom he had two sons, Albert W. and Earnest D. His wife died in 1864, and he subsequently married Mary WOLF, by whom he has one daughter, Cora E.

      Capt. Joseph WHITCOMB and his father Peter came to Grafton from Swanzey, N. H., previous to 1792. Capt. Joseph located on road 28, near the present residence of C. S. WHITE, where he reared four children. William, the youngest son, married Annis CONVERSE, and spent his life here as a farmer. He was a deacon of the Baptist church fifty years, held many of the various town trusts, and died in 1876, aged seventy-four years. Three of his four children are living, viz.. George R. WHITCOMB and Mrs. Wealthy W. CONANT, on road 36 in this town, and Rev. Winchester W. WHITCOMB, in North Amherst, Ohio.

      Alexander ZUILL, a merchant, came from Scotland to Boston, Mass., where he had four children born to him. His son Alexander, born at that place in 1763, married and came with his wife and three children to Grafton about 1797, where four other children were added to the family. Col. N. A. ZUILL, the oldest native resident of the town, was born in 1800, on the farm now owned by Otis RANNEY. Four of seven children are living, Nathan O., on road 12, J. T., on road 23, and two daughters, Louisa M. PARK and Abigail M. ZUILL.

      Ephraim SMITH, from Worcester, Mass., located in Rockingham in 1783, at the age of fourteen years. In 1803 he came to Grafton, locating on road 36, where Stillman and H. A. THOMPSON now reside. He married Patty DALE about 1790, who bore him a number of children, and after her death, in 1815, he married Dorcas STREETER, of Surry, N. H., who bore him three children, of whom Martha, the eldest, married Stillman THOMPSON and resides on the old homestead. Hannah married Almon RICHMOND and removed to Illinois. Ansel married Adaline KIDDER and went to Duluth, Minn., where he died.

      William NOURSE, of Framingham, Mass., married Lydia BRUCE, and with his wife and three sons and five. daughters located in Windham in 1807. Mr. NOURSE was a Revolutionary soldier, served in the battle of Stillwater, and died in 1828. His son Joel married Mary BAXTER, of Massachusetts, their family consisting of three sons and one daughter, of whom A. C. NOURSE married Sarah STILES, of Peru, and has one son and one daughter, who reside with their parents in Houghtonville.

      Simeon CONANT came to Grafton from Lunenburg, Mass., about 1808, locating with his family just west of road 36. Luther, his third child, spent his life in Grafton. He married Mary HILL, who bore him two children, Mary (Mrs. S. S. BAILEY), and one son, Simeon D., residing on road 36. The latter represented the town in the legislature of 1867-'68, and has held other offices.

      Dr. John BUTTERFIELD came to Grafton from Rockingham in 1808, succeeding Dr. Amos FISHER, who was probably the first resident physician in the town, and who died about 1808. Dr. BUTTERFIELD married Zilpha PIERCE, of Windham, their family being Mary, born in 1815, and died in 1824, John L., born in 1820; and Sophia, born in 1826, now the wife of a Mr. DUNCAN, of Boston. John L. married Jane SMITH, of Saxton's River, and with Charles SMITH is successfully engaged in quarrying and manufacturing soapstone. He occupies the homestead where his father dwelt, in Grafton village.

      Levi FAIRBANK, from Massachusetts, came to Grafton with his wife and eight children, in 1810, locating where Chillson C. FAIRBANK now resides. Of this family Cornelius married Sarah PHILBROOK, and had two sons and one daughter, Chillson C., Charles and Christina B. Chillson C. married Fanny L. EVANS, of Grafton, and has two sons, Edwin and Everett.

      Luther TENNEY, born at Marlboro, N. H., located in Windham about 1810. He married Fanny FAY and reared two sons and three daughters, of whom Ellery C. married Fanny STODDARD and is proprietor of a shingle and planing mill and a teacher of vocal music, at Grafton village.

      David BLOOD, of Amherst, Mass., born in 1760, was a Revolutionary soldier and was at the battle of Ticonderoga. In 1815 he settled in Grafton, married Jane GILSON, and reared three sons, of whom A. Luke married Marcia O. WOOLLEY, and has one son, Herbert C., a member of the police force at Providence, R. I., and one daughter, Bertha M., resided with her parents at Houghtonville.

      Samuel WALKER, born November 11, 1791, came to Grafton in 1817, and resided here until his death, in 1864, having taken a prominent part in the public affairs of the town, holding many of the town offices. He married Mercy SMITH, March 26, 1815, who died March 14, 1837. For his second wife he married Ulepsa BRIGGS, sister of Gov. George P. BRIGGS, of Massachusetts. By his first wife he had seven children, the eldest of whom, Romanzo, born March 8, 1816, studied law with Gen. Daniel KELLOGG and practiced his profession until his death, in 1850. His second son, Lewis S., born May 5, 1817, is a successful lawyer in Grafton, where he has always resided. He has represented the town in the legislature and for many years held town offices. Of the remaining children, Samuel M. and Alden have resides in town from their birth, engaged in farming.

      Samuel BAILEY, a native of New Hampshire, born in 1787, came to Rockingham in 1817. He married Susannah BRITTON and reared four sons and six daughters, of whom Samuel S., born in 1813, married Mary CONANT, rearing one son and three daughters -- Ossian F., of Brattleboro; Marcia A., (Mrs. George M. TAYLOR), and Rosetta F., (Mrs. Joseph C. PAGE). Samuel S., with Peter W. DEAN and others, erected a woolen factory here in 1839, which was in successful operation until 1854.

      Nathan WHEELER built a grist-mill at the lower village in 1828, and also a saw-mill about the same time. They were run by William WHITCOMB many years and are now owned by Wilder BURNAP and run by R. W. BULLARD.

      Willard L., son of Stephen WHITE, married Elisabeth D. ROSS, of Walpole, N. H., and located on the Erastus BURGESS farm, in 1846. He had three sons and one daughter, as follows: Elbridge W., a graduate of Hamilton college, now a Baptist clergyman at Castile, N. Y.; Willis, a merchant of Greenville, N. Y.; Stella, and William. Mrs. WHITE died in 1872, and Willard subsequently married Josephine PARKER.

      Stephen Sherwin was born in Amherst, N. H., October 14, 1795, married Rhoda CHAPMAN, of Grafton, and settled in this town. His family of eight children were all born in Grafton. He was one of the leading carpenters of the town, a prominent member of the Baptist church, and also owned a grist and saw-mill, located about half a mile below Grafton village. He moved to Brattleboro in 1864, though he remained but about a year, when he returned to Grafton, and died here. His wife died in Manchester, N. H., in April, 1875. Only two of their children are living, Stephen P., in Brattleboro, and Rev. ALDEN, a Baptist clergyman, of Manchester, N. H.

      Amos PUFFER, born at Keene, N. H., in 1757, enlisted as a Revolutionary soldier, served two years, received a pension, married in 1785, reared four sons and five daughters, and died in Chester, in 1832. Amos, Jr., married Lena BAKER, located in Grafton, and now resides with his daughter, Mrs. A. P. HOLDEN, on the old PUFFER homestead, on road 37.

      Almon E. WETHERELL was born in Massachusetts, in 1809, and when two years of age, came to Westminster with his parents. In 1833 he married Betsey N. LEE, daughter of Rev. Richard LEE, of Springfield, Vt., and in 1840 removed to Winhall, Vt., where he resided forty years. In 1881 he came to Grafton, and died here in 1882. His widow, his son, S. L. WETHERELL, and his daughter, Mrs. L. L. KINGSBURY, resides on road 28, in this town.

      Ebenezer BURGESS, born in 1743, married Hannah GIBBS. Of his family, Ebenezer, Jr., born in Massachusetts in 1768, married Mary HALE, of Grafton; Ambrose, born in 1798, married Abby H. GOODRIDGE, of Grafton, and had two sons and four daughters, Eben H., Clara G., Elizabeth S. JOHNSON, Lucy A., and Ambrose H. The latter married Fanny A. STEELE, of Springfield, Vt., and now resides on the old homestead.

      Willard DEAN came to this town, from Chester, Vt., married Lydia RICE, and reared six children, one of whom, Willard A., resides on road 51, carrying or a farm with his son, Myron A.

      Peter W. DEAN, a native of Massachusetts, born in 1797, came to Grafton, from Manchester, Vt., in 1827. He married Philinda WILLEY, of this town, and reared two sons and four daughters, one of whom, Lemira M., married Isaac L. CLARK, who was for many years a prominent lawyer of Illinois. He was Lieut.-Col. of the 96th Ill. Vols., and was killed at the battle of Chicamouga, in 1863, at the age of thirty-nine years. His widow and one son, Elam L., a student in Dartmouth college, reside in Grafton village.

      Uziah WYMAN, born in Townshend, Mass., in 1764, married Lydia NUTTING, in 1787, and reared ten children, of whom Uziah, aged ninety-four years, John, aged seventy-nine years, and Rhoda, widow of Philemon HOLDEN, now reside here. John's daughter, Martha E., married Clark L. TORREY, of Cambridgeport, and has four children.

      Thomas DAVIS came to Grafton in 1789, locating on the easterly side of Bear mountain, about a mile south of Grafton village. He married Sarah RICHMOND, of Taunton, Mass., the union being blessed with sixteen children, of whom Thomas married Lucy WOOLLEY, and lived and died in Grafton; Micah married Abigail WOOLLEY, and settled and died in Athens; Sally married Benjamin FARMER, and removed to the State of New York; and Simon married Josepha PUTNAM, of Windham, and removed to Florence, Oneida county, N. Y., in 1820, and died there in 1853. Of his family, one son, L. S. DAVIS, resides in Rome, N. Y., and a daughter, Mrs. Celian M. KNOX, resides at Knoxboro, Oneida county, N. Y. Anna married Eber CHAFFEE, and removed to the West. Amos married Eliza CHAFFEE and settled in Athens. Florilla married Simeon OAKS and removed to Jefferson county, N. Y. Mrs. C. W. FAIRBANK, a granddaughter of Thomas DAVIS, now occupies the old homestead, which has never been owned out of the family since first settled.

      The following named soldiers from Grafton lost their lives in the late civil war: F. D. WHIPPLE, Henry CAMBRIDGE, Solon HOLMES, C. A. SHERWIN, Erastus TARBELL, A. H. RICE, J. H. Ayers, R. F. J. GROUT, P. A. CHAPMAN, E. REED, F. T. HARRIS, H. C. SPRING, J. M. HOWARD, A. PARK, H. EASTMAN, Austin BLOOD, and D. C. GOULD, all of whom are buried in Grafton, while the burial place of the following are unknown: C. L. TAYLOR, M. C. CHAPMAN, J. R. BOTHRICK, George ROUNDY, D. PERHAM, C. H. HOWARD, D. A. HOUGHTON, William GRAVES, O. G. GIBSON, F. BLOOD, B. S. HOWARD, and H. C. HADLEY.

      The First Congregational church in Thomlinson, located at Grafton village, was organized June 20, 1785, with seventeen members. In 1786 Mr. BULLEN, also a Mr. SMITH preached each a short time, but the people were not agreed to hire either, and in 1787 Rev. William HALL, after preaching a few weeks on trial, accepted a call to settle as pastor of the church, upon a salary of thirty pounds for the first year, and to be increased ten pounds a year until the sum amounted to sixty pounds, to be paid in rye, at four shillings per bushel, or wheat, at five shillings per bushel. The subject of erecting a church building was agitated in town meetings as early as 1786, but final action was not taken until 1792, when at a town meeting held at the house of Ensign Jonathan GIBSON, it was voted to build a meeting-house. The spot selected for the site was near, if not the same spot where the last meeting-house stood at the center of the town. It was voted to sell the pews on the ground floor to raise a fund to build with. Ensign Jonathan GIBSON was allowed fifteen shillings and nine pence for flip furnished the 13th day of February, 1792, at the selling of the pews. This building was used until 1834, when the present brick structure was built, at a cost of $3,000.00. It will seat about 300 persons and is valued, including grounds, at $6,000.00. The society now has seventy-four members, with Rev. Earl J. WARD, pastor.

      The Grafton Baptist church, located at Grafton village, was organized in 1803, Rev. Elijah SHUMWAY, installed February 10, 1810, being the first regular pastor. The church building, which will seat about 500 persons, was built in 1814. The society now has 130 members, with no regular pastor.

Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Windham County, Vt., 1724-1884.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Printed At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
Page 183-194.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004