OF THE TOWN OF
PUTNEY lies in the eastern part of the county, in lat. 42° 59'
and long. 4° 28', bounded north by Westminster, east by the Connecticut
river, south by Dummerston, and west by Brookline. It was originally chartered
December 26, 1753, by New Hampshire, to Col. Josiah Willard and others,
being a part of the Equivalent Lands, and granted on the same day that
Dummerston and Brattleboro received their charter. A re-grant was given
by New York, however, July 30, 1766, the charter being made out November
14, 1766, to Col. WILLARD and others. Under this New York grant the lands
are held. They originally including an area of 18,115 acres; but October
30, 1764, a part of the land was taken towards forming the town of Brookline,
another part being annexed thereto October 25, 1804, and October 28, 1846,
a part of Dummerston was annexed to Putney.
The surface of Putney is pleasingly diversified by upland and meadow,
while the soil is unusually arable and productive. The bottom lands along
the river and Sackett's brook are rich and alluvial tracts, which amply
repay the toil of the husbandman, the "great meadow" being proverbial for
its fertility. The uplands have mostly a rich, strong soil, well adapted
to grazing and the production of the hardier kinds of grain. The lowest
meadow lands, when the country was new, were covered with a tangled growth
of butternut, elm, soft maple, and yellow pine, while the higher flats
abounded with a white pine of majestic growth. The other forest trees are
oak, maple, beech, birch, walnut, ash, etc. Sackett's brook flows a southerly
course through the central part of the town, emptying into the Connecticut
in the southeastern corner. There are several other streams, though they
are of minor importance, being small tributaries of the Connecticut and
The rock formations on the east side of Sackett's brook are mostly
clay-slate, abounding with garnets and staurotide. Through the center of
the town runs the extensive strata of argilite or roof slate, that extends
from the Massachusetts line far into Vermont. West of this range comes
the mica slate again, interspersed with a hard, black limestone. In the
eastern part of the town has been found a very rare mineral, known as fluate
of lime or, fluorspar, of a beautiful green color, this being the only
locality in the United States where the mineral of an emerald green is
found. Specimens of it have been sent to the most distinguished mineralogists
in this country and in Europe. Serpentine of a beautiful shade, and susceptible
of a high polish, is also found.
In 1880 Putney had a population of 1,124, and in 1882 had ten school
districts and contained ten common schools, employing two male and fourteen
female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,464.00. There
were 220 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools
for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,888.72, with Mark Ward, superintendent.
PUTNEY is a pleasant post village of about 400 inhabitants, lying
in the southern-central part of the town, on Sackett's brook, at a point
where the descent is so sharp as to afford six or eight water privileges
in a distance of eighty rods, all of which are utilized, two of them operating
paper-mills. The village has three churches (Congregational, Methodist
and Baptist), a hotel, two stores, a toy shop, plaining-mill, etc. The
principal streets of the village, High and Main, lie respectively on the
north and east slopes of a hill. Putney station, on the Vermont Valley
railroad, lies about a mile south of the village.
East Putney (p. o.) is a hamlet located in the eastern part of the
town, about a mile from the Connecticut. It has one church, a saw and grist-mill;
and half a dozen dwellings. The postoffice is located at the railroad station,
which was formerly called Cornton.
J. W. STOWELL & Co.'s chair factory and toy shop, at Putney,
gives employment to ten men, turning out about $10,000.00 worth of good
per annum. The factory was built in 1840, by Isaac GROUT.
The Owl paper-mills, William ROBERTSON & Son, proprietors, located
at Putney village, were established by George ROBERTSON, about 1828. The
mills employ seventeen hands and manufacture about 1,800 pounds of manila
tissue paper per day.
Orrin S. THWING's grist-mill, located at Putney village, has two
runs of stones, and grinds about 15,000 bushels of grain per annum.
The Eagle paper-mills, Cole & Gough, proprietors, located at
Putney village, employ about ten men, and turn out from 1,500 to 1,800
pounds of tissue paper per day.
Amasa N. KIDDER's marble works, located on road 50, were established
in 1877. He manufactures about $4,000.00 worth of goods per annum.
Horace BLACK's slate quarries are located on road 39, where they
were opened by H. L. BLACK, about eight years ago.
John W. WALKUP's saw and gristmill, located on road 20, was built
by Lyman MILLER in 1873. Mr. WALKUP came into possession of the property
in 1883, and does custom work.
James H KNIGHT's saw and plaining-mill, located at Putney village,
cuts about 250,000 feet of lumber per year. Mr. KNIGHT also does a general
job and undertaking business.
C. F. FARNUM's carriage shop, located on road 11, turns out about
twenty carriages and sleighs per year.
F. L. PIERCE's saw-mill and box factory, located at East Putney,
gives employment to twenty men, manufacturing about 200,000 feet of lumber,
thirty car loads of chair-stock, and $500.00 worth of boxes per year. Mr.
PIERCE has also a saw-mill on road 38.
F. O. PIERCE's cider-mill, located at East Putney, manufactures
about 200 barrels or cider per year.
Leroy PIERCE's grist-mill, located at East Putney, has one run of
stones, and does custom grinding.
A settlement was begun in Putney soon after the year 1740, and a
garrison called Fort Hill was built in the center of the "meadow;" but
who erected or who occupied the fort is not known. Soon after the breaking
out of the Cape Breton, or first French and Indian war, in 1744, however,
the fort was evacuated and the inhabitants retired to Northfield, Mass.,
which was the frontier post during that war. One circumstance took place,
however, previous to the breaking up of the fort, and which undoubtedly
hastened that event, as follows. On July 5, 1745, a man by the name of
William PHIPPS was engaged in hoeing corn near the southwestern part of
the meadow, when two Indians sprang upon him and dragged him into the woods
near by. Here, after a short parley, one of the Indians departed, leaving
the prisoner in the care of his companion. PHIPPS, with the hardihood characteristic
of the pioneers, watching for an opportunity, struck his keeper down with
his hoe, and seizing the fallen Indian's gun, gave the other, who was returning,
a fatal wound. Thus at liberty again, he sought refuge in 'the fort; but,
unfortunately, before he reached it, he was attacked by three other Indians,
who butchered the brave fellow in cold blood. Shortly after, Nehemiah HOWE,
as he was cutting timber on the "meadow," was captured by Indians and carried
to Canada, where he subsequently died.
Soon after the issue of the New Hampshire charter, which was in
1753, the first permanent settlement was commenced by John PERRY, Philip
ALEXANDER and Michael GILSON, emigrants from Massachusetts. They located
on the "great meadow," as their predecessors had done, and in 1755, in
company with others lately arrived, they erected a fort in the southeastern
part of the town. This fort was oblong in shape, about 120 by 80 feet,
and was built of yellow pine timber, hewed six inches thick and laid up
about ten feet high. Fifteen dwellings were erected within it, the wall
of the fort forming the back wall of the houses. These were covered with
a single roof, called o "salt-box" roof, which slanted upward to the top
of the wall of the fort. In the center of the enclosure was a hollow square
on which all of the houses fronted. A great gate opened on the south toward
Connecticut river, and a smaller one toward the west. On the northeast
and southwest corners, watch-towers were placed. In the summer season,
besides its customary occupants, the fort was generally garrisoned, until
about 1760, by a force of ten or twelve men from New Hampshire.
The only inhabitants on the "great meadow" at the beginning of the
year 1755 were Philip ALEXANDER, from Northfield, John PERRY and John AVERILL,
with their wives and families, and Captain Michael GILSON, a bachelor,
his mother and his two sisters. On the completion of the fort several of
the inhabitants of Westmoreland crossed the river and joined the garrison.
These were Copt. Daniel HOWE, Thomas CHAMBERLIN, Joshua WARNER and son,
Daniel WARNER, wife and son, Harrison WHEELER, Deacon Samuel MINOTT, who
afterwards married Captain GILSON's mother, and Mr. ALDRICH and son, the
latter subsequently becoming General George ALDRICH, who died at Westmoreland,
N. H., in 1807. At the close of the French war all who had removed from
Westmoreland returned, with the exception of Deacon MINOTT. During the
summer Dr. LORD and William WILLARD joined the garrison. Several children
were born in the fort, but the first child born within the limits of the
town is supposed to hove been Aaron, son of Philip ALEXANDER. His birth
took place before the fort was built, and there is a tradition that Col.
Josiah WILLARD, in commemoration of the event, presented to the boy a hundred
acres of land, situated about half a mile east of Westmoreland bridge.
The father of Copt. Daniel HOWE and the father of Harrison WHEELER died
in the fort. Both were buried in the graveyard in Westmoreland on the other
side of the river. Religious services were for a long time observed among
the occupants of the fort, and then the Rev. Andrew GARDNER, who had previously
been chaplain and surgeon at Fort Dummer, preached nearly three years.
The "great meadow" was at this time not more than half cleared, and its
noble forests of yellow pine, with here and there a white pine or a white
oak, presented an appearance which is seldom to be met with at the present
period, in any port of the State. Col. Josiah WILLARD, who owned the meadow,
gave the use of the land as a consideration for building the fort and defending
it during the war. The land was portioned out to each family, and the inhabitants
were accustomed to work on their farms in company, that they might be better
prepared to assist one another in the event of a surprise by the enemy.
There was no open attack upon the fort during the French war, however,
although the shouts of the Indians were often heard in its vicinity in
the night time. On one occasion they laid an ambush at the north end of
the meadow; but the settlers, who were at work on an adjacent island, were
so fortunate as to discover the signs of their presence, and avoided them
by passing down the river in a course different from that by which they
Early in the autumn of 1762, Lieut. Joshua HYDE purchased a tract
of 2,800 acres in the eastern part of the town, and in December following
removed his family and settled with them in a house situated about fifty
rods south of the spot where Westmoreland bridge has since been erected.
At this time, with the exception of the families on the meadow, there were
only two other families in the place-those of John PERRY and Philip ALEXANDER,
who resided not far from the river. There was no saw nor grist-mill in
the town, and the grain for the settler's daily bread was for several years
carried for grinding either to Northfield, Mass., or to Chesterfield or
Westmoreland, N. H. In 1764 Joshua PARKER made the first settlement on
Sackett's brook, or on what has since been called Putney street. Soon after
his purchase of land here he drove the first cart which had ever appeared
in the town through what afterwards became Putney street, having fixed
his residence at the north end of the said street. Although he removed
his family from Canterbury, Conn., in October, he still located them for
the winter in Westmoreland, for the convenience of mills, and did not permanently
settle here until March, 1765. A saw-mill and grist-mill were soon after
put in operation, and the settlers were thus relieved from several of their
greatest embarrassments. Meantime, Henry WALTON, James CUMMINGS, and Moses
JOHNSON had erected dwellings on the street, and Benjamin HUTCHINS and
Samuel SKINNER in the eastern part of the town. Before the middle of the
year 1765 the number of families had increased to fifteen.
In 1768 Noah SABIN, of Rehoboth, Mass., afterwards distinguished
in the annals of Cumberland county, came to Putney, building the first
frame house erected in the town. In this year there were on Putney street,
besides those already mentioned, the families of William WYMAN, Charles
KATHAN, and Amos HAILE. West of the street were three families, viz.: John
BUTLER's, Michael LAW's, and Dennis LOCKLIN's. East of the mouth of Sackett's
brook there were four families, viz.: Jonas MOORE's Leonard SPAULDING's,
Fairbank MOORE's, and Samuel ALLEN's.
In an historical sermon, from which most of the above facts were
obtained, which was preached at Putney, by Rev. E. D. ANDREWS, on Fast
Day, in 1825, the following minute details relative to the early settlement
of the town are given, though there have, of course, been many changes
in the localities as therein mentioned:
According to the census of Cumberland county, taken in 1771, the
town then had a population of 301 souls, the enumeration being as follows:
ninety-four males under the age of sixteen years, seventy-four between
the ages of sixteen and sixty, four over sixty, sixty females under sixteen,
and sixty-nine females over sixteen, fifty-one of the total number being
heads of families. In 1791 the population had increased to 1,848, or 724
souls more than it has to-day.
the Hon. Noah SABIN built the first framed house, on the ground nearly
opposite the Deacon TAFT's; and the building is now a part of the store
of LEAVITT & CRAWFORD. The same year Amos HAILE built a framed house,
opposite the house now occupied by the Hon. Theophilus CRAWFORD.
built the house where Abel HAYNES lives; and Charles KATHAN also built
on the spot where Mrs. McCLELLAN lives, near Dr. CAMPBELL's. Not long after,
Moses JOHNSON built the first two-story house on the street-the house now
occupied by Elijah BLAKE, thirty rods north of the meeting-house.
saw-mill was built on the site of the paper-mill, in 1765 or 1766. The
first grist-mill was built by Deacon MINOTT, where MINOTT's mills now stand,
in 1766. The second grist-mill was built by Jonathan HOUGHTON, about the
year 1769. It was situated fifteen rods east of the paper-mill, on the
site where Newell MOORE's blacksmith shop now stands. The first clothing
works were built in the east part of the town, by Capt. Roswell PARKER,
in the year 1785. The first blacksmith who worked in town was Capt. Daniel
JEWETT. He commenced about the year 1773. The first store was opened about
the year 1770, by Peter WETSON, a little west of the house of Hon. John
NOYES, and here was the first tavern. The second store was opened by Charles
CHANDLER, twelve rods south of the meeting-house, about the year 1783.
The first meeting-house was built in 1773"
On May 8, 1770, the town was organized and the first meeting for
the election of officers was held, when Noah SABIN was chosen town clerk;
Amos HAILE, constable; and Abijah MOORE, Daniel READ and Amos HAILE, selectmen.
The first justices of the peace were Noah SABIN, Jr., and Lucas WILSON,
in 1786. The first representative was Abner MILES, elected in October,
Josiah WHITE came to Putney, from Lancaster, Mass., in 1760, and
settled in the east part of the town, where he died in 18o6, aged eighty-seven
years. His son Alfred was born in this town in 1788, and spent most of
his life here. He died in 1874. He married Tabitha COBB, by whom he had
nine children, four of whom are living, one son, Charles H., in this town.
Abijah, William, Rufus, Gideon, and Jephtha MOORE, brothers, came
to Putney, from Bolton, Mass., March 6, 1769, and settled in what is known
as the MOORE neighborhood. Abijah died about 1851; William, in 1815; Gideon,
in 1834 or ‘35; Rufus, in 1838, and Jephtha, about 1838. Abijah and David
MOORE, of a former generation, were captains in the Revolution, and seven
of their sons and sons-in-law were engaged in that war. A sister of the
MOOREs married Elisha HUBBARD, and removed to Rochester. Vt., where she
raised a family of sixteen children, twelve of whom, as well as eighty-three
grandchildren, and seven' great-grandchildren, survived her. It is related
by their descendants that soon after the MOOREs came here, the stocks,
an ancient contrivance for the punishment of criminals, were carried off
one night and concealed, but were found and brought back. They were again
removed and hidden in a swamp, where many years after they were found and
used for pin timber by Mr. HUBBARD.
Peleg WINSLOW was born in Putney, in 1770, and died in 1805. He
was a farmer, and married Rhoda DUTTON, of Dummerston, about 1792, settling
on West Hill, near the Dummerston line, on the farm now owned by Warren
BENNETT. He raised five children, three sons and two daughters, viz.: Rhoda,
who married Valentine CARR, of Putney; Aaron M., who married Orilla WELLS,
of Coleraine, Mass., and settled on the same farm in Putney; Rebecca F.,
who married Martin GATES, of Dummerston; Peleg, who married Nancy BOWLES,
of Rockingham, Vt., and lived in Dummerston till 1842, but died in Townshend,
in 1871; and Samuel D., who married Sarah W. JOY, of Putney, January 17,
1842, and settled in Townshend, in district number two, where he spent
most of his life, but now resides in Grafton. Peleg and Henry, sons of
Aaron M., are extensive and well-known dealers and raisers of short-horn
cattle in Kankakee, Ill. Three of Rebecca's four children, Sarah, Daniel,
and Emma, are living. The fourth, Martin, died in Kansas, in 1882. Peleg
had four sons and one daughter: George, Nelson, Samuel D., Rhoda, and Lemuel
J. George, Rhoda, and Lemuel J., are dead. The latter was a captain in
the late war, and was afterwards a merchant in Newfane, where he died in
1882. Nelson, who is a merchant in Townshend, has held the offices of town
superintendent, selectman and deputy sheriff. Samuel D., who has been a
merchant for twenty-five years, is president of the Windham County Savings
Bank, and has taught school in California, where he resided four years.
Zenas BLACK, whose father was one of the first settlers in Putney,
was a native of this town, but removed about 1848 to Barnard, where he
died. He was twice married and had seven children, only two of whom are
living, one son, Charles, in Barnard, and another, Horace, in Putney, on
road 39. Hibbard C. BLACK, son of Horace, resides with his father, who
has four other children.
Zenas HYDE was one of the first settlers in Putney, and spent his
life on the farm on which Horace L. SCOTT now lives. He died there in 1841,
aged eighty-three years.
Ebenezer JOHNSON, who came from Massachusetts, was among the first
settlers in Putney. He located near the village of Putney, and engaged
in agricultural pursuits. His son, David B., who was born in the town about
1802, spent most of his life here, and died in 1875. He took an active
part in town affairs, and was honored with official trusts. Eight of his
twelve children are living, two, Willard R. and Mrs. Mary PIERCE, in this
town, the latter of whom resides in the east part of the town. One son,
A. J., of New York, is the publisher of "Johnson's Cyclopedia," and "Johnson's
Analysis of the Bible."
Robert BLOOD came to Putney from Groton, Mass., about 1782, and
settled where his grandson, Oliver BLOOD, now resides, the farm having
since remained in the possession of the BLOOD family. He died in 1816,
aged eighty-four. His son Oliver, who was twelve years old when he came
here, spent his life on the homestead farm, and died there in 1860, in
his ninety-first year. He was succeeded on the homestead by his son, the
present occupant. Another son, Luke, resides on road 2. Miss Sarah BLOOD
and Mrs. Eunice WOOD, of this town, and John BLOOD, of Grafton, Vt., are
descendants of this family.
Samuel BENNETT came to Putney, from Warwick, R. I., in 1780, and
crossed the Connecticut river in his journey hither, on what is commonly
known as the "dark day," (May 19, 1780). He served five years as a soldier
in the Revolution, holding the office of drum-major. He settled in the
west part of the town, and died in Brookline, in 1841, aged eighty-three.
His son Samuel, was born in Putney, in 1791, and spent most of his life
here. He died in Brookline, in 1849. Six of his nine children are living.
Warren is the only one who resides in Putney. Another son, Walter S., resides
in Brookline. His daughter Louisa married Rev. Samuel KINGSLEY, who, together
with his wife and three children, died within eighteen days.
Deacon Abner BACON, son of Nehemiah, born. in Brooklyn, Conn., came
to Putney when about twenty years old, just after the Revolution. He lived
here until ninety-six years of age. He learned the tanner's trade, which
he followed for ten years, when he engaged in farming. He had five sons,
all of whom married and raised families, and two of whom are still living.
His son William was born in Putney in 1804. When about twenty-one years
of age, he left the town, but returned after the expiration of ten years.
He was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and died in Putney in December,
1870. He married Maria M. BLAISDELL, of Haverhill, Mass. His children,
all of whom are living, are Jennie L., wife of Rev. John BERG, of New Haven;
Henry C. and George, both living in Bellows Falls; Ella, wife of Dr. G.
E. CLARK, of Lima, Ohio; and Emma, twin sister to Ella, who resides with
her mother, in Putney.
Rev. Josiah GOODHUE, son of Deacon Samuel GOODHUE, was graduated
from Cambridge college in 1755. He came to Putney from Dunstable, Mass.,
and was the first settled minister in the town. He was for a long time
pastor of the Congregational church, and died here in 1796, aged sixty-eight.
His son Josiah F. was a distinguished surgeon, and lived at Chester, Vt.,
and Hadley, Mass., where he died. Joseph, another son, was also a prominent
physician and surgeon, and served twenty-one years in the United States
army. He died at Deerfield, Mass. Ebenezer, a third son, married Lydia
RANNEY, of Westminster, and settled in that town, where he was engaged
in mercantile business, and in his latter years in farming. He was a deacon
of the Congregational church for many years. His son Homer resides in Westminster.
Dr. Noah PRATT was born in Winchester, N. H., about 1784, graduated
from Dartmouth college, studied medicine, and settled in Rockingham about
1830, practicing in that town until his death, October 13, 1847. He married
Sarah BROWN, of Chesterfield, N. H., about 1810, who bore him seven children.
The eldest, Rev. John B., is an Episcopal clergyman of Madison, Wis. Another
son, Noah, resides in this town, on road 45.
James CAMPBELL, a Revolutionary soldier, was an early settler in
Putney. His son Benjamin, born here July 14, 1781, married Betsey WILSON
when about twenty-one years of age, and reared a family of sixteen children,
fourteen of whom lived to reach maturity. Ezekiel CAMPBELL, born March
6, 1816, and now living in Brattleboro, is the only one of the family in
that town. Ezekiel was engaged in the insurance business a number of years,
and in 1874 was appointed by the State as a director of the Union Mutual
Insurance Company, and when the company organized he was elected its president.
Simon W. HOUGHTON, son of Timothy and Olive (MOORE) HOUGHTON, was
born at Bolton, Mass., November 12, 1812. He married Sarah MEAD, of that
place, April 7, 1837, and came to Marlboro in 1838, where he engaged in
the manufacture of carriages until 1849, when he came to Putney and has
since resided here. He has been a justice of the peace about forty years,
and was a member of the constitutional convention in 1870. All of his eight
children are living. The eldest, Edward T., resides in Springfield, Mass.
During the late civil war he served in the navy, and George A., the second
son, served in the army. Simon W., Jr., is a physician, practicing at Somers,
Abner BACON, one of the early settlers of Putney, married Catharine
REED, in 1793, and reared five children. Of these, Clark married Lydia
KERR, of Putney, in 1836, and removed to Dummerston in 1855. His son, Harrison
K., born in 1842, enlisted in Co. K, 9th Vt. Vols., in January, 1864, was
promoted as lieutenant Co. C, and served until December, 1865, though he
contracted disease from which he died, July 22, 1 866.
Thomas APLIN, from Providence, R. I., came to Putney in 1789, locating
upon the farm now occupied by William S. APLIN. Mr. APLIN was a college
graduate and a man of good business capacity. He married Mary FULLER, and
had three children when he came to the town, Thomas, Jr., Rebecca, and
Mary. Alexander A., born in 1790, fitted himself for teaching, but was
killed at the age of twenty-five years, by a log pile rolling upon him.
Thomas, Jr., married Mary REYNOLDS, daughter of Grendal REYNOLDS, and reared
two sons and one daughter. William S. APLIN, the surviving son, born September
21, 1822, married Mary BLANCHARD and has one son, George T., and one daughter,
Leonard BLANCHARD was born in Weston, Vt., January 30, 1797, married
Eleanor SPAULDING, and reared two sons and four daughters. John, one of
the sons, resides in Marlboro, and the other, Ira S., in this town. Two
of the daughters, Mrs. W. S. APLIN, of this town, and Mrs. Francis BLACK,
of Marlboro, N. H., are living. Leonard BLANCHARD purchased and settled
on the farm he now occupies in Putney, in March 1833.
James CRAWFORD came from Union, Conn., to Westminster about 1767,
and in, 1799 removed thence to Putney, locating on the farm where his great-grandson,
Henry CRAWFORD, now lives. He served as a minute man in the Revolution.
His son Thophilus, who was born in Connecticut about 1764, died in January,
1855, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. He took an active interest
in public affairs. He represented the town for many years, and was a senator
from this county. He was a member of the Governor's Council, was high sheriff
of the county, and justice of the peace. He had ten children, all of whom
reared families. Mark CRAWFORD, son of Theophilus, was born in Putney in
1800, on the farm on which his son Henry and daughter Eliza M. now live,
and died there in 1861. He also represented his town. Henry CRAWFORD has
in his possession a clock which belonged to his great-grandfather, James
Deacon David CRAWFORD, son of Theophilus, was born in Westminister,
August 6, 1789, and was ten years old when he moved with his parents to
Putney, where he spent the remainder of his life. He held various commissions
in the war of 1812, and distinguished himself in several hard-fought battles.
When, at the close of the war, the army was reduced to a peace footing
of 10,000 men, he was retained with full rank, but ill-health compelled
him to decline this complimentary distinction and resign. He represented
the town of Putney in 1828, '29, '32 and '33; was a member of the last
executive council in 1835; a presidential elector in 1836; a senator from
this county in 1840 and '41; a member of the convention to revise the State
constitution in 1843; and a member of the council of censors in 1848. He
was also a selectman for many years and a justice of the peace for a quarter
of a century. He united with the Congregational church in November, 1833,
and in March following was chosen deacon. He was a man of correct moral
principles and strong mental powers. He was slow to form an opinion, but
when a conclusion was reached he exhibited great firmness and decision.
He died March 1, 1871. He had seven children, four of whom are living,
one son, James, and one daughter, Ellen, in this town. Another daughter,
Mrs. Julia CLARK, lives in New York, and another son, George, in Desmoines,
Iowa. His son David went to New York and was engaged in railroading. He
was at one time a director of the New York Central railroad.
Hon. Phineas WHITE, son of Dea. Enoch WHITE, was born in South Hadley,
Mass., October 30, 1770. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1797, and
studied law with Hon. Charles MARSH, of Woodstock, Vt., and Judge Samuel
PORTER, of Dummerston. In 1800 he commenced the practice of his profession
in Putney, where he resided through life. He was called to many positions
of honor and responsibility. He was postmaster at Putney from 1802 to 1809.
He was for several years State's attorney for the county of Windham, was
judge of the probate court, and from 1818 to 1820 was chief judge of the
county. In 1820 he was elected a representative in congress, and served
one term. In 1836 he was a member of the convention for revising the constitution
of Vermont, and from 1838 to 1840 was a State senator, having previously
served three terms as representative from the town. He belonged to the
Masonic order and was grand master of the lodge of Vermont. After his election
to congress he almost wholly abandoned his law business and engaged in
farming. The colleges of the State and various benevolent institutions
shared largely in his counsels and liberality. He was a trustee of Middlebury
college, and was for several years president of the Vermont Bible Society,'
and the Vermont Colonization Society. He was also an active member of the
Congregational church of Putney. He died July 6, 1846, aged seventy-six
years. He married Esther STEVENS, of Plainfield, Conn., who was born in
1777, and died in 1858, aged eighty-one. Only two of his children are living.
One, the wife of John KIMBALL, resides on the old WHITE homestead. Another,
Mrs. Abby WILLIAMS, lives in North Carolina. William Wallace WHITE, son
of Phineas, was born in Putney in 1816. He was a lawyer and practiced for
a few years in New York and St. Louis. He was mayor of Burlington, Iowa,
and president of the Desmoines County Savings Bank. He died in 1871.
Dan DAVIS. came to Putney from Connecticut among the earliest settlers
and located in the west part of the town, on the farm on which Samuel GOODELL
now lives. He was a hatter by trade and also engaged in farming. He had
four children, only two of whom lived to maturity. His son Alanson was
born in Putney in 1798. He married Experience ORVIS, by whom he had three
children, only two of whom are now living, Charles D. and Denison, both
in this town. He died in 1859, aged seventy-one years. Denison is one of
the selectmen of the town.
Samuel WHEAT was one of three brothers who emigrated from England
to Connecticut, from whence he came at an early day to Putney, and settled
in the northwest part of the town, on the farm now owned by Mrs. Ann HOLTON.
He had eight children, all of whom are dead. His son Samuel was born in
Putney in 1788 and lived here until his death, in 1869. He married Rebecca
WILCOX, by whom he had two children, John D. and Samuel E., both of whom
reside in town.
John ROBERTS settled at an early day on the farm on which his grandson,
James C. ROBERTS, now lives, and died in the town of Thetford, Orange county,
in 1829. His son John was born on the farm on which he settled, in 1768,
and resided there until his death, in 1832. Two of the latter's sons, Charles
and James C., and one daughter, Mrs. Minerva FULLER, still reside in the
town, Charles, on road 19, aged eighty-eight, and James C., who has carried
on the carriage' business for eighteen years, on the homestead.
Caleb HARDING came to this town from Connecticut at an early day
and settled at East Putney, where he cleared a farm and raised a family
of five children. One son, Charles, is living in Springfield, Mass. Another,
John R., was born here about 1794, and lived in the town till his death
in 1878. He married Lucy BENNETT, and had six children, three of whom are
William B., who is principal of a school in Hatfield, Mass., and Mrs. J.
K. PARKER and John R., who reside in Putney, the former in the east part
of the town and the latter off road 32.
Chapin BOLSTER, a native of Sullivan, N. H., came to Putney at an
early day, and after living here a short time removed to Londonderry, where
he died in 1865, having, however, lived some twenty years elsewhere. He
was the father of twenty-one children, by three marriages. One of his sons,
Joel C., lives in Putney, and two daughters in other parts of the county.
Richard COBB, from Taunton, Mass., settled at an early day in the
east part of Putney and resided here till his death, about 1832. His son
David, who was born in 1778, was a small boy when the family came to Putney.
He died here in 1805, leaving three children, all of whom are living. Mrs.
Amelia CROSBY, in Waltham, Mass., Josiah, in Charlestown, N. H., and David
R., in Putney.
Abiah FULLER came here from Massachusetts at an early day and died
here about 1836. He was a Revolutionary soldier. His son Joshua spent most
of his life here, and died here about 1855. Gracia FULLER; living in the
east part of the town, and Proctor J. FULLER, living on road 4, are children
Josiah PARKER came to Putney from either Massachusetts or Connecticut
and settled on the farm on which Denison DAVIS now lives. He is said to
have been the first man who drove a team through Putney street. He cleared
a farm and raised a family of children. His son Roswell was born on the
homestead, but afterwards settled in the east part of the town. He was
a clothier by trade, and had a large family. He died in 1844. Warren PARKER,
son of Roswell, was born in the east part of the town and spent most of
his life here. He died January 14, 1882, in his ninety-first year. In his
younger days he was captain of a company of horse. Three of his six children
are living, Mrs. James BOOTH, of Springfield, Vt., Mrs. Caroline BOOTH,
of Arlington, Iowa, and Sterne O., who resides on road 45 in Putney.
Rufus PIERCE came to Putney from Westmoreland, N. H., in company
with his father, Ebenezer, previous to 1790, and settled at East Putney.
He raised twelve children, of whom Leroy is the only one living. Ebenezer
was at the battle of Bennington and was shot by a Tory at Hoosac.
Ephraim and James CLAY, brothers, settled at an early day at East
Putney. Ephraim's son Ephraim was born in Putney and lived here till about
1838, when he removed to West Fairlee, Vt., where he died in 1845. Three
of his seven children are living, one son, William B., on road 65 in Westminster,
another, Jabez, in California, and a daughter, Mrs. Stephen C. RANNEY,
Judge Noah SABIN came to Putney from Taunton, Mass., at an early
day. He was a judge under King George III., at- the time of the massacre
at Westminster court-house. His son Noah was born in Putney and died there.
He raised a large family of children. His son Prentiss was born in Putney
and spent his life here, with the exception of about eight years spent
at Malone, N. Y., where he died. Three of his five children are living,
two of them, George P. and Arabella, in Westminster, Vt.
Lorrin D. THWING was born in Putney about 1805 and spent most of
his life here. He died about 1861. His son Orrin S. now resides at Putney,
where he operates a grist-mill.
James CLARK came to Putney from East Windsor, Conn., about 1808.
He died in Brandon, Vt. His son Hiram was born in East Windsor, Conn.,
in 1799 and came here with his father at the age of nine years. He has
spent most of his life in this town and now resides on road 11.
Obadiah PARKER was born in Putney and learned the tanner's trade
in Brattleboro. He afterwards removed to Westminster, and subsequently
to Northfield, Vt., where he died. His son William was born in Brattleboro
in 1803, and came to Putney at the age of seven years. He has since lived
here most of the time, and now resides with his son Edgar C. on road 11.
William M. CLOUGH came to Putney from Sullivan county, N. H., about
1813, and settled about a mile north of the village, where he engaged in
farming. Six of his seven children are living, four of them in Putney.
He died in 1869 aged eighty-one years. His son Dorr, who resides at Putney,
is deputy sheriff.
Tisdell COBB came to Putney from Coventry, Vt., about 1814, and
located at East Putney, on the farm on which his son Norman now lives.
He was a blacksmith by trade, and lived in this town about fifty years,
when he removed to Westminster, where he died about 1862. He had nine children,
six of whom are living. His son Norman was seven years old when the family
came to Putney, and has since been a resident of the town. For fifty years
he carried on the blacksmithing business, in which he was succeeded by
his son Norman.
Joel WILLARD came to Putney from Warwick, Conn., about 1820, and
settled on road 19, where he pursued the vocation of blacksmithing. He
had ten children, four of whom are living, three of them in Putney village,
William, J. D., and Warren. J. D. served four years in the late war.
Patrick C. O'NEAL was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, about 1807,
and came to Putney about 1817. He has since resided here. He married Mary
A. JOHNSON and has had twelve children, ten of whom are living.
John B. PIERCE came to Putney from Berlin, Mass., about 1822 and
located near Putney village. He was a carpenter by trade, and died in 1849.
Five of his seven children are living, two of them, Mrs. A. B. HEWITT and
George L. PIERCE, in this town.
Rev. Amos FOSTER was born in Salisbury, N. H., March 30, 1797. He
was graduated from Dartmouth college in 1822, and ordained as a minister
at Canaan, N. H., in 1825. In 1833 he came to Putney, where he preached
twenty years and eight months. After an absence of three years in Ludlow,
Vt., and nine in Acworth, N. H., he returned to Putney and acted as pastor
for seven years. He married Harriet A. WHITE, daughter of Rev. Broughton
WHITE, a native of Westmoreland, N. H. They have had seven children, five
of whom are living. One son, Broughton, died in Plymouth, N. C., in 1867;
another, Henry D., died in Grafton in 1869.
George ROBERTSON, a native of Scotland, came to Putney about 1823,
and in company with his brother William established a paper-mill where
the mill of COLE & GOUGH now stands. About 1828 he established the
business where his son William is now located.
John KIMBALL was born in Haverhill, N. H., in 1796, and graduated
from Dartmouth college in 1822. He studied law with Moses P. PAYSON, of
Bath, N. H., and was admitted to the bar in January, 1828, in which year
he commenced the practice of his profession in Claremont. In January, 1829,
he came to Putney, where he has since resided. He has taken an active interest
in public affairs, and has been honored with various public trusts. He
was State's attorney in 1836-'38; a member of the State senate in 1846-'48;
and represented the town in 1861-'62. He has also been a justice of the
peace. In 1834 he married Frances M. WHITE, and has one son, Charles W.,
who resides with him.
Reuben G. PAGE came to Putney from New Hampshire about 1840. He
worked for many years in the woolen mill. He died on the farm on which
his son Charles R. now lives, on road 31, April 26, 1882.
Alexis B. HEWITT was born in Windham in 1822, and came to Putney
in March, 1843. He worked for twelve years in the woolen-mill, and in 1857
purchased a store and was engaged in mercantile business till 1882. He
was appointed postmaster at Putney in 1861 and held the office till 1882,
when he resigned. He has been treasurer of the town since 1867, and town
clerk since 1868. He married Abby F. PIERCE. Their only child, Mary J.,
died in 1867.
Marshall PIERCE came to Putney from Westmoreland, N. H., about 1844,
his parents having been early settlers in that town. He run a ferry across
the Connecticut river for twenty years, has been railroad station agent
for the last twenty-eight years, and is also engaged in farming.
Josiah K. PARKER came to Putney from Landgrove, Bennington county,
in 1847. He is a farmer and has lived for twenty-two years on the farm
on which he now resides. He has served as justice of the peace twelve years
and selectman three years.
Warren LEACH was born in Westmoreland in 1812 and came to Putney
in 1849, locating on the farm on which he now resides. He has been lister
eight years and overseer of the poor seven years. Only one of his three
children is living, George W., in Langdon, N. H.
Haynes E. BAKER was born in Pawlet, Vt., in October, 1810, and in
1835 removed to Newfane, where he was engaged in mercantile business for
about fifteen years. He then came to Putney and pursued the same business
here till the spring of 1871. He died in Minneapolis, Minn., while there
on a visit, in July, 1877. His first wife was Hannah ADAMS, by whom he
had three children, all of whom are dead; his second, Fanny A. Eager, of
Newfane, by whom he had two children, both of whom are living.
Hazen AYER was born in Newbury, N. H., in 1813, and came to Putney
in 1865. He settled on West hill, and three years later removed to the
farm where he now lives, on road 48.
George P. PARKE removed from Landgrove to Londonderry in 1864, and
from thence to Putney in 1874. He settled on the farm on which he now resides.
He is an auctioneer and farmer.
Putney S. HANNUM was born in Williamstown, Mass., in 1827, and removed
with his father, Henry HANNUM, to Weston, Windsor county. In 1880 he carne
to Putney, and is now one of the prosperous farmers of the town.
Congregational church of Putney. -- The first religious meetings
in the town were held at the house of Joshua PARKER, by whom they were
conducted, or in the barn of James CUMMINGS, and afterwards, when the settlers
became more numerous, in more convenient places, until 1773, when a church
building was erected. The society was organized October 16, 1776, with
four members, Rev. Josiah GOODHUE being the first settled pastor. In 1803,
the old building was superseded by a new structure, which in turn gave
place to the present edifice, in 1841. The present wooden structure will
comfortably seat 400 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $9,000.00.
The society now has about one hundred members, with Rev. Lincoln Harlow,
The Methodist Episcopal church, located at Putney village, was organized
at East Putney in 1832, and removed to Putney village in 1842. At its organization
the society had seventy-five members, Rev. Edward A. RICE being their first
pastor. Their first house of worship was erected in 1832, and the present
one in 1842, which is a brick structure capable of seating 250 persons,
and is valued, including grounds, at $6,000.00. The society now has seventy
members, with Rev. F. H. KNIGHT, pastor.
The Universalist church, located at Putney, was organized by Rev.
J. H. FARNSWORTH, with sixty members, in March, 1881, Rev. Edward SMILEY
being their first pastor, who still retains the position. The society has
not erected a house of worship yet, holding their meetings in the town
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