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,
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
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
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 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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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.
and Business Directory of
County, Vt., 1724-1884.
and Published By Hamilton Child,
At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004