a local History of
all the Towns in the State,
Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military.
The Towns of Windham County.
Abby Maria Hemenway.
Mrs. Carrie E. H. Page,
Transcribed as it appears in the book with the exception of the last names changed to all CAPS.
LONDONDERRY. By Miss Nancy COCHRAN. Pages 15 - 29.
This township is situated in the N. W. corner of Windham county, bounded N. by Landgrove and Weston; E. by Windham; S. by Jamaica, and W. by Winhall and Landgrove.
It is the western division of a township granted by New York, Feb. 13, 1770, to Col. James ROGERS of Londonderry, N. H., and by him named Kent. The grant was bestowed upon ROGERS for services in the French war, and through his influence it was first settled, just before the Revolutionary war. In 1778, Colonel ROGERS, who was a Tory, fled into Canada and his lands were confiscated. The town was again chartered by the government of Vermont, April 20, 1780, Edward AIKEN, Samuel FLETCHER and Jonathan TYLER, a committee appointed by the legislature to carry out a resolve passed March 16, 1780, regranting the town. In this charter the township is called Londonderry, after Londonderry, N. H., from which the first settlers came. The first settlers who came in 1773, were Col James ROGERS, James PATTERSON, Samuel THOMPSON, Edward AIKEN, James McCORMICK and John WOODBURN. The last three in the division of the town by the legislature in 1795, fell to the part cut off for Windham, to which history we will leave the history of these three.
--Mrs. L. B. WOODs Windham.
THE FIRST TOWN MEETING.
In March, 1777, we have a record of a regularly organized town meeting:
"Colonel ROGERS, moderator.
Deacon Edward AIKEN, town clerk.
Town Committee: Dea. Edward AIKEN, James McCORMICK, Robert MACK, Capt. Edward AIKEN, John WOODBURN.
Constables: Hugh MONTGOMERY, Nathaniel AIKEN.
Selectmen: James MILLER, John WOODBURN, Edward AIKEN.
Listers: Robert McCORMICK, Robert MILLER.
Committee to fix on a suitable location for a meeting-house: Edward AIKEN, David COCHRAN, Robert MACK."
The ancestors of our first settlers were Scotch Presbyterians from the North of Ireland, who emigrated to America, 19 families together with their pastor, Rev. James McGREGOR at their head, in 1738.
A hardy, industrious race, they were thrifty farmers in New Hampshire; their removal to Vermont did not change their habits.
They introduced the culture of the potato and of raising flax. The fresh soil was fertile, producing 30 bushels of wheat, and 40 of rye to the acre; potatoes and corn yielded bountifully; flax flourished on the new burned field; pillow-cases, table-cloths, towels, and all the summer clothing of men and women were made from flax. Almost every family manufactured fine linen for the market.
The homespun woolens comfortably clothed these farmers and their families for winter; and the farmers daughters ambitious for a nice dress selected out the fleece of long, fine wool which they combed for worsted and spun on the little-wheel, dyed different bright colors and wove in a neat plaid.
Bears and wolves made havoc among their flocks. Shortly after Dea. AIKEN settled at Kent, his wife going out to assist in pulling a field of flax, placed her little children under a tree near the spot where she was at work. Soon a little dog that followed them out, looking up to the tree barked furiously. There was a bear in the tree right over the children. The Deacons rifle brought bruin down, wounded, not killed; throwing out his great paw, the old forester caught the dog up for the death-grip; but the Deacon, thrusting the muzzle of his gun through the distended jaws of the bear, strangled him off from his dog, when himself and the dog soon dispatched their enemy.
At another time, the Deacon observing tracks in a corn-field before the house, watched at his door in the evening. Soon as dark, there was a drop from the fence, a moment after, the snap of an ear of corn. The Deacon took a line in the direction of the sound, proceeding till two eyes flashed on him. He fired, there was a heavy fall. When the place was examined by light, a large black bear laid dead on the ground.
But wolves were far more destructive; they came out in droves, as if resolved on being paid in mutton for every deer that was picked off by the rifles of the new comers.
Early in the summer of 1777, a band of tories and Indians scoured the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. Some of the inhabitants were scalped in their dwellings; others fled in consternation to older settlements, leaving their cattle to be driven off and houses fired; the battle of Hubbardton followed on the 15th of July.
Shortly after the battle, a rumor reached Kent that a body of 200 Tories and Indians were upon the Green mountains and would probably pay them a visit.
What was to be done? There was no fort within reach where they could place their families in safety. They resolved to remain at their homes and trusting in the protection of an Almighty arm, defend as best they might their own firesides or perish in the attempt: and the event proved the wisdom of the decision, for no hostile foe visited this infant settlement.
The next news was, BURGOYNE had concentrated his forces at Skenesboro; the whole country was in alarm. The Council of Safety sent dispatches to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for aid, and proceeded forthwith to sell all property belonging to Tories, applying the means thus raised to raising a regiment and supplying them with provisions.
Settler James ROGERS, a colonel in the Continental army during the French and Indian war, who was known to favor the British, at this crisis visited Canada and his estate was confiscated.
Early in August, General STARK arrived from New Hampshire with 800 men, and all the men who could be spared from Kent joined his regiment, and were in the battle of Bennington.
In 1780, the town of Kent was chartered to Edward AIKEN, Samuel FLETCHER and Joseph TYLER, and at the request of the town was called Londonderry.
At a town-meeting March 21, 1782, the inhabitants voted to raise two men for the ensuing campaign.
"Voted to excuse Saml EAYRS, John McCORMICK and John MACK from paying any part of the bounty in consideration of their having been out themselves in the three years service."
"Voted to hire Jonathan AIKEN and James MACK to go into service, to give each of them £7, 10s. bounty and give them for wager 2 pounds per month, to be paid in clearing land for 2 pounds per acre, the land to be made fit for seed by the first of Sept. 1783."
The Continental currency was the money in circulation and a stagnation of business followed injurious to our settlement; but notwithstanding it continued to grow slowly and steadily during the war in population and wealth.
The first saw-mill was at the head of Pond Brook, built by Deacon EDWARD and Captain Edward AIKEN in 1774, and was held many years by Geo. McMURPHY and called McMURPHYs Mill; the first mill, also on West river, was built by Capt. Edward AIKEN and owned many years by his son, Jonathan. It stood where OSBORNEs mill stands.
Col. ROGERS built a large, two-story framed house as early as 1776.
DIVISION OF THE TOWNSHIP.
The census of 1790 gives Londonderry 362 inhabitants. Five years later it was divided by line from the north line of Jamaica, running due north along the summit of Glebe Mountain till it strikes the middle branch of Williams river; thence due north to the south line of Andover, giving to the western division, retaining the name of Londonderry, an area of 18,332 square acres.
In the division of the township the largest portion of the settlers fell on the Windham side of the line. Those who remained were, William COX, Capt. Edward AIKEN, David COCHRAN, James PATTERSON, Samuel THOMPSON, Hugh MONTGOMERY, Joseph OUGHTERSON and John COX.
In 1795, James ROGERS petitioned the Legislature for one-half the confiscated lands formerly belonging to his father, which remained unsold. This was granted, and in 1797 he petitioned for the other half, which was granted.
The first settlers of Londonderry, up to the division of the town, appear to have lived in utmost harmony. A law suit was a thing unknown.
Dr. LAZEL taught the first school at the houses of David COCHRAN, Joseph OUGHTERSON and Hugh MONTGOMERY.
Previous to 1810, the town was divided into 5 districts. In 1820, there were 9 districts, 8 schoolhouses and 450 scholars between 4 and 18 years of age. In 1868, it had 13 districts in which schools were taught 4 to 7 months in a year, and each village [North Londonderry and South Londonderry] has a large school building or an academy, where a select school is usually taught a part of the year.
A NEW LONDONDERRY.
In a few years after the war new settlers came in from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The financial state of the country was very much embarrassed. Many were in debt; property could not be sold even on execution, for no one had money to buy. Writs multiplied, the unfortunate was consigned to jail for the crime of being unable to pay his debts.
Some rather than lie in jail mortgaged their farms for a few dollars, and afterwards unable to pay the mortgage were turned out of their homes by creditors.
1800: The habits of the people had undergone a considerable change. A new generation had arisen, some of whom looked upon the rigid Presbyterian regulations as quite puritanical, and change of opinion soon produced change of character.
In 1806 the first settlement was commenced in what is now
Benjamin BALDWIN and Levi RICHARDSON from Andover, purchased a mill-site with a few acres of land adjoining; put up a log house with two rooms for their families and commenced building a saw and grist mill. In a short time both mills were doing a good business.
Five years later Mr. DANFORTH put in a carding-machine under the same roof. Soon a blacksmith by the name of KNOWLTON opened a shop, and these buildings formed the nucleus around which the village has grown up.
It has a daily mail, a post office, two church edifices, three parsonages, a town house, a large school house, two insurance offices, two dry goods stores, one jewelers shop, one hotel and about 40 dwelling houses; most of them neat and commodious.
THE VILLAGE OF LONDONDERRY.
Previous to the division of the town in 1795, a saw and grist mill had been build, and Major Jonathan AIKEN who built the mill, kept also a tavern. But whether it was because the place lacked that important preliminary, a blacksmiths shop, or from some other cause, it did not flourish much for several years. But since the turnpike was built across the Green Mountains and a line of stages established from Manchester to Chester, it has increased annually in population and in wealth, and is now a flourishing village containing about 40 dwelling houses, a Congregational meeting house, a parsonage, a town hall, a large school-house, a woolen factory, two dry goods stores, a tin and hardware shop, two marble shops, and has four physicians, one lawyer, one minister, a post office and daily mail.
Londonderry, like all mountain towns, is hilly; but less so than the surrounding towns. The forests afforded the first settlers a large quantity of pine which they used so lavishly, but little now remains. Hemlock and spruce are still abundant, but the sugar maple is the pride of our forests; affording an ample supply of sugar and syrup of the very best quality.
The soil richly repays the labors of the husbandman.
Almost every farm is watered by springs of running water.
West river which passes through the town from north to south, affords, with the help of its tributaries, many excellent mill-sites.
THE FIRST CHURCH IN TOWN.
Nearly all the first settlers were members of the Presbyterian church of Londonderry, N. H., who looked upon them as a colony and occasionally supplied them with preaching. There was no other church in town for thirty years.
We regret the records of this church are lost. The members have all passed away. All we can say is gathered from the memories of their descendants and the early town records.
On the record of the first regularly organized town meeting, less than four years after the first family arrived, we find a vote to erect a house for public worship. They chose a building committee; selected a building spot and prepared materials; but the Revolutionary war was at its height, and all their available means was called for to help support the army, and before the close of the war the depreciation of the currency, and consequent financial embarrassment put an end to building.
By the time they were able to build, the division of the town began to be agitated, and this again put a stop to the building of a meeting house.
But every passing year records a vote to raise money to pay for preaching, and designates a private house where meetings shall be held.
About 1805, a school house was built at the middle of the town, and some of the church members contributed towards the building that they might have the privilege of holding meetings there on the Sabbath.
About 1809, the church finding it extremely difficult to procure Presbyterian preaching, concluded to adopt the Congregational form of government. Aug. 29, 1809,
A CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
was organized by Rev. Rufus CUSHMAN of Fairhaven, assisted by Rev. Wm. HALL of Grafton, consisting of 10 members: David COCHRAN, Mary COCHRAN, John COX, Mary COX, Arrington GIBSON, John COCHRAN, David COCHRAN, JR., Betsy COCHRAN and Lois HUNTING.
Londonderry being considered missionary ground was supplied from time to time by home missionaries.
Rev. David H. WILLISTON,
Rev. Rufus CUSHMAN,
Rev. Moses PARMALEE,
Rev. Urbane HITCHCOCK,
Rev. Isaac P. LOWE,
Rev. Christopher LAWTON,
and several others labored here: some of them being supported in part by missionary societies, others wholly by the church.
A MEETING HOUSE
was built in 1813, at the middle of the town. They had some preaching every year: and when none, met on the Sabbath; had a sermon read.
David COCHRAN was chosen deacon soon after the organization and held the office until he moved to Dorset a short time before his death.
Jesse HUNTING, Edmund INGALLS, and Luther STOWEL were chosen deacons in 1819.
REV. PHILETUS CLARK
commenced his labors in this place in 1824 and was installed in 1827. During his pastorate the church attained its greatest prosperity. It had about 100 communicants. He was dismissed in 1833, and the church remained without a pastor till 1838, when
REV. LINUS OWEN
was installed. He was dismissed in 1844.
About this time the church began to decline. The Methodist and Baptist societies erected churches in both villages, and the youth of the congregation preferred going to the village churches. By the advice of Rev. Justin PARSONS the church united with the Methodists of South Londonderry and built a union house, each society supplying the pulpit half of the time.
THE SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
of Londonderry was organized Aug. 19, 1868, by a council composed of the ministers of ten Congregational churches and nine delegates, Rev. Alfred STEVENS of Westminster West, moderator.
The church started with 12 members and during the year 12 more were received.
During the first year the church and society purchased and repaired the meeting house they now occupy and built a parsonage.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH. BY REV. RICHARD NOTT.
The history of the Baptist church in Londonderry commenced with the organization of the Baptist church in Peru, Oct. 27, 1809, when an ecclesiastical council met at the house of Asahel GRAVES: after examining certain brethren concerning their views of doctrine, church discipline and practical godliness:
"Voted to answer their request and constitute them a church of Christ."
And Asahel and Lucy GRAVES, William and Anna COOLEDGE, Rufus and Isabel BUTLER, Cyrus and Orpha STAPLES were constituted members.
The first person received by baptism was Fanny HOWARD, Dec. 21, 1809. Within a year from that time 31 were received by baptism. The first minister was Elder Gershom LANE, received by letter, Nov. 11, 1810.
In view of the location of the members of this church and a part of the members of the Windham church, a council was called Feb. 20, 1811, at Londonderry, "for the purpose of uniting a part of Windham church and establishing the same to be the first Baptist church in Londonderry. The council unanimously agreed so to do.
The first mentioned clerk was Levi BALDWIN, March 9, 1811. At the same time Jesse BALDWIN and Abial RICHARDSON were elected deacons.
March 24, 1811, it was voted that: "The church and society give Elder Gershom LANE $52 for preaching with us three-fourths of the time from the first of January last till the first of January next, to be paid in produce or wearing apparel." The records state Elder LANE agreed to accept the above compensation.
Dec. 12, 1812, a subscription of $27 was made by 20 individuals to be paid in produce in one year from date to Elder Thomas BAKER for preaching one-fourth of the time.
Nov. 28, 1815, the Weston church was formed, to which Elder Gershom LANE and five others were dismissed from this church.
March 20, 1817, the Centre school house was fixed upon as the stated place for holding meetings. Subsequent to the beginning of 1830, according to vote, meetings were divided between the school house South Londonderry, a part of the time the school house in North Londonderry, and Thompsonburg, until the erection of the brick meeting house in South Londonderry, which was dedicated in June, 1834.
Previous to the year 1845, the following periods were marked by considerable accessions to the church: the falls of 1810 and 1811, the spring of 1813, the fall of 1817, the winter of 1827 and 1828, the summer and fall of 1828, the year of 1832, the winter of 1836 and 1837 and the month of December, 1839.
The following, baptized into the church, have been licensed to preach by this church or other churches:
Rev. Levi BALDWIN,
Rev. Bradley S. THOMPSON,
Rev. Luke SHERWIN,
Rev. Russell WHEELER,
Rev. Isaiah C. CARPENTER
Rev. Jacob P. HUNTINGTON,
Rev. Charles COON,
Rev. John S. GOODALL,
All except the first and last four were ordained by the church.
Rev. Gershom LANE,
Rev. Seth EWERS,
Rev. David SWEET,
Rev. Sem PIERCE,
Rev. Rufus SMITH,
Rev. David A. RICHARDSON,
Rev. Wm. H. RUGG,
Rev. Nehemiah PIERCE,
Rev. Richard NOTT,
Rev. O. P. FULLER.
Jesse BALDWIN, Abial RICHARDSON, David RICHARDSON, Lawrence PIERCE, Sheldon PIERCE, Amos WOODS, Nehemiah GREEN, R. S. HORTON, Wm. W. RUGG.
Levi BALDWIN, Abial RICHARDSON, Seth EWERS, Sherman PIERCE, David RICHARDSON, Tyler TINKHAM, Thomas S. VIALL, Jacob B. RUGG, Wm. W. RUGG, Isaac C. WYMAN, Amasa CHASE, Josiah PIERCE.
Immediately after the reunion in the summer of 1855, a revival followed which resulted in the addition of 22 by baptism.
During 60 years the church, according to its records, has received 351 persons by baptism, of whom 125 have been received within 15 years since the reunion.
October, 1845, as the result of difficulties, the church separated into two bodies, which maintained preaching by themselves most of the time until the early part of 1855. During the separation, few accessions were made to either body. Since the reunion of the two parties in 1855, the history of the church has been one of growth and prosperity and furnishes an impressive commentary upon the words of inspiration: "Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
MARTIN H. GODDARD,
was born in Londonderry, February 26, 1844. His education was received at the academy in his native town, and at the Black River academy in Ludlow. In his twenty-third year he entered the office of William H. WALKER as a law student, and at the May term of 1869 he was admitted to the bar. Two months later he entered into partnership with Mr. WALKER, and the relationship then assumed was continued until 1884, when Mr. WALKER was called to the bench.
From that time to the day of his death, Mr. GODDARD continued to practice law alone. His professional life has been successful. An untiring worker and an earnest and successful pleader, he had the faculty of seeing everything that in any way might promote the cause of a client, and with intense conviction for the time being, he usually begat in the jury that same conviction.
A life long democrat, he was the nominee of his party in the congressional fight of 1884, and four year later he was a delegate to the democratic national convention at St. Louis. He has also been the party nominee for county senator and States attorney.
In town affairs he has held many offices. He has been superintendent of schools, lister, grand juror, agent to prosecute and defend suits, and was a justice of the peace at the time of his death.
He was a director of the National Black River bank at Proctorsville and of the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance company. He was also a trustee at the Black River academy.
Perhaps in no circle will he be more missed than in the Congregational church, of which he was an active member. For many years he has freely given of his time, money and strength to promote its interests.
He was a member of Altimont Lodge, I. O. O. F. Mr. GODDARD was twice married. His first wife was the daughter of Ransel WILDER of Ludlow. She died several years ago. Of this marriage one child survives, Henry M. GODDARD, a graduate of Middlebury, class of 90, and now a divinity student at Yale. His second wife was Agnes Alinda HENDERSON of Salisbury. She, with three small children survive him.
Mr. GODDARD will be missed in the town in which he lived so long, as much as any man who could have been called from it by death.
was the oldest of the early settlers. He came to Kent about 1774, and brought with him a family, some of whom were young men at the time. He was married in 1739. He settled on the farm now owned by Joseph STEWART, near Glebe Mountain.
He was noted for decision of character and industry; was a prosperous farmer; died in 1787, alone in his field while at work.
He left a widow and children: Eben, who moved West. Rachel, who married James MAGAS of Jamaica. John, who married Betridge MORRISON, and lived and died on the old homestead, leaving a widow and children: Samuel, Mary and John.
came into town about the same time with Mr. PATTERSON, settled in the same neighborhood and lived there with his numerous family till his death.
CAPT. EDWARD AIKEN
came about 1774 and purchased a tract of land a little north of Derry pond. He was always among the foremost in public improvements.
He left a widow and five children: Jonathan, who married Nancy McCORMICK of Windham, who died in a few years, leaving him two sons. He afterwards married Margaret JAMIESON of Manchester.
Daniel married Mary JAMIESON; had seven children, who were made orphans by the epidemic of 1813, which carried off both parents in a little over a week.
William married Nancy WITHERSPOON and had five or six children.
was born in Londonderry, N. H., 1751, and came to this place in 1774; married Mary, eldest daughter of Dea. Edward AIKEN, and settled on the farm now owned by Thomas FAULKNER, where he lived till 1787, when he exchanged land with Nehemiah HOWE and came into possession of the farm where Ezra PIERCE now lives, where he resided until within a short time of his death. In early life he was active in public business, but at the age of 45 his health failed and he ever after lived a very retired life. He raised a family of six sons and four daughters. The sons, except the youngest, settled on farms given them by their father near the old homestead. But ere many years had passed most of them had emigrated to the West. Deacon COCHRAN was a man of sound judgment, and great perseverance. He trained up his family with strict regard to religious obligations.
The oldest daughter, Mary, married Arrington GIBSON. Susan married David RICHARDSON. Betsey married Dr. John GIBSON.
Susan married David RICHARDSON.
Betsey married Dr. John GIBSON.
Deacon COCHRAN died at the house of his oldest son in Dorset, in 1831, in his 80th year.
came into town with Colonel ROGERS in 1774, and assisted him in clearing his farm, and took land for pay at 2s an acre. He married Sarah McCOLLOP. They are believed to be the first couple married in town.
Mr. COX was a prudent, industrious man, accumulated a good property, and lived to a ripe old age. He had five sons and three daughters.
brother of William, came to town at a very early period. He married Mary, widow of Robert McCORMICK. They had two sons and two daughters.
Jane, the oldest daughter, died in the insane asylum at Brattleboro. Both sons were subject to fits of insanity.
Nancy married William STEVENS and spent her life at the paternal homestead.
from Londonderry, N. H., came here about 1775. His wife was a daughter of Rev. James McGREGOR, and sister of Mrs. Col. ROGERS, a woman of superior mind and cultivated manners. They had six children. They all removed to western New York, except Mary, the wife of Dr. Charles CHANDLER of Andover, who was much respected and loved by a large circle of friends.
Rev. Isaac COCHRAN, son of Dea. David COCHRAN, born July 3, 1798, entered Middlebury in 1817. At the end of the term his health failed and he went to North Carolina for a more genial clime. In a year he entered Hamden Sidney college in 1820, and graduated in 1822; studied theology and was licensed by Hanover Presbytery; ordained and installed pastor of the church of Old Concord, Campbell county. He remained there till 1830 or 1831, when he received a call from the church of Buffalo, Pr. Edwards county, where he now is, and but few pastors have lived so harmoniously with the people of their charge for so long a period.
REV. DAVID A RICHARDSON,
son of Dea. David RICHARDSON, born in 1809, early in life united with the Baptists; graduated at Waterville college, Maine, studied theology; was licensed to preach; soon attacked with bronchitis, had to resign preaching; was principal of a classical school at Alton, Ill. several terms; traveled extensively, but consumption conquered.
HON. WILLIAM H. WALKER,
son of Ephriam WALKER of Londonderry, graduated at Middlebury in 1858; studied law, was admitted to the bar; has been State senator and judge of Probate. He settled in Ludlow.
REV. NEHEMIAH PIERCE,
son of Rev. Sem PIERCE, graduated at Burlington in 1865. He had been licensed to preach by the Baptist church in Londonderry, and is now pastor of the Baptist church in Coldwater, Mich.
REV. LEROY M. PIERCE
graduated at Middlebury about 1866. He is now a home missionary in the West.
son of Jonathan and Salome (ESTEN) BUXTON, was born in Smithfield, R. I., March 12, 1796. He died January 28, 1891. When about two years old his parents removed to this town, making the journey in January, over the snow on a sled drawn by two yoke of steers. The family were seven days on their journey and had with them besides Nathan, a younger child in its mothers arms. Jonathan BUXTON had been here before and selected a home, such as it was, in Thompsonburg, and to that spot he was now bringing his little family.
Across the road from Mr. John RAMSDELLs may be seen an old cellar where at that time stood the house of Samuel THOMPSON. He was the first settler in that region and his house was the only one in that vicinity. It was at this house the BUXTONs drove up on a winters night and rested for a few hours and then proceeded to the spot near by where they were to make their home. At that time the road passed eastward at about right angles from the present road, just in the rear of Mr. RAMSDELLs house and bore round by Mr. STEWARTs, out by Mr. HUNTLEYs over the hill. On this road, back of what is now Mr. RAMSDELLs, was a log hut, old and deserted, with half the roof gone, and to this inhospitable spot the BUXTONs wended their way, tied their oxen to a sheltering tree, and made themselves as comfortable as they could for their first night in Londonderry. On the next day Jonathans brother, who had come with him, started with the team back to Rhode Island. They lived in this house several years, and three children were added to the family, Jason, Philena and Hannah.
The family afterwards moved a short distance to the eastward where Mr. BUXTON had bought a house of a Mr. MILLER. This house stood on the George JAMES farm, up back toward the mountain from the house now occupied by Mr. JAMES.
Jonathan BUXTON lived in this town about 39 years, and then with his wife and two youngest children returned to the old farm in Smithfield. He died 100 years old and his wife at 88. He had nine children who arrived at maturity, five of whom are supposed to be living, viz: John, who lives in Chesterfield, N. H., 82 years old; Daniel, who lives in this town, born May 1, 1811. Cyrus, who lives in Michigan, born March 12, 1816; Selah, who lives in Princeton, Mass., born March 13, 1819, and Philena THOMPSON of this town, who was born Nov. 1, 1801.
When Nathan was about 18 years old he went to Westmoreland, N. H., where he worked some five years in a tannery. He married Miss Elizabeth GRISWOLD. They soon moved to this town and united with the Baptist church. They had seven children who arrived at maturity and one died young. Their names were Stephen, Charles, Albert, Horace, Mary, Martha and Adeline. Five died in 1863-1865; Horace, aged 18, at Fort Slocum, Washington, D. C., in 1863; Capt. Albert B., killed at the battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864; Major Charles B., killed at the battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864. Two daughters died of diphtheria in the winter of 1864. One only is living, Stephen, who a few years ago moved West.
Solon THOMPSON, father of Walter and Henry, brought up his family in Londonderry. His fathers name was Samuel, and his grandfather also named Samuel lived in a house that stood over the old cellar nearly opposite John RAMSDELLs house. He was probably the earliest permanent settler of Thompsonburg.
The old cellar on the Glebe side now owned by Collins GRISWOLD was covered by a log house in which Artemus PIERCE originally lived. He afterwards built a frame house near it and subsequently moved this down to the site now occupied by Mr. GRISWOLDs house. The old part was burned a few years ago. In this house Mrs. Emery MELENDY, a daughter of Artemus PIERCE and mother of E. W. and J. W. MELENDY, was born. Artemus PIERCE was born July 10, 1779, and his wife Hannah GOODRICH Oct. 2, 1782. They had nine children. Two of the earliest of the settlers of this town bore the name of McMURPHY and MONTGOMERY. The former erected the first log house in town upon lands now owned and occupied by E. A. BROOKS; the latter on the farm now owned and occupied by H. H. COLLINS. But little can now be learned of McMURPHY; he began his work in 1769, but how long he remained or to whom his farm descended is not known. It came into the hands of Ebenezer SMITH who in the course of time built a frame house in place of the log hut. This frame house stood on the present site of Mr. BROOKS stable. There was a basement story in which the first school in town was kept.
Ebenezer SMITH came from Reading, Mass., where he had been a member of the Baptist church, and this circumstance many account for the fact that Rev. Gershom LANE, who was pastor of the Baptist church in this place, lived in this house for a season and Mr. SMITH boarded with him. Mr. LANEs family consisted of himself, wife and an adopted daughter.
When Mr. SMITH died Avery STOWELL was appointed administrator of the estate, and he sold the property to Washington BROOKS who had come from Hancock, N. H. Washington BROOKS father had nineteen children. There is one sister still living in Michigan, one brother living in Hancock, N. H., and one, the oldest, John BROOKS, living near Hudson, Mich., who will be 105 years old on the 18th of June, 1891. When he was 100 years old the children of the town where he lived made a great celebration at which the venerable man made a little speech in which he said that he "had never used tobacco, drank intoxicating liquors or taken the name of God in vain." Washington BROOKS died Jan. 23, 1887, aged 82 years, respected and beloved by all who knew him.
JOHN P. MARTIN
graduated at the Medical College at Burlington in 1866, and is now practicing at Danby.
THE ARNOLD FAMILY.
from Norton, Mass., came into town about 1779. He had married Nancy WHEELER whose fine social abilities made her home the centre of attraction in the town. Soon after the division of the town, he was representative, which office he held many years. He was town clerk, selectman, and justice of the peace up to the time of his death.
Londonderry is much indebted to him for roads and bridges, for the turnpike across the Green Mountains, and for the fine road from Londonderry to Chester.
He was ever ready to sympathize with and assist the afflicted; his kindness to the widows and orphans, made such by the epidemic of 1813, was remembered with tears of gratitude long after his death.
He died suddenly, May 23, 1839, aged 73. He left a widow, 3 sons and 8 daughters.
SAMUEL ARNOLD, JR.,
the oldest son of Samuel ARNOLD, Sr., after living some years and engaging in public business in his native town, removed to Western New York and died in 1868.
DR. JEREMIAH ARNOLD
lives in the North Village and is a botanic physician; he has a considerable family, and a very pleasant home, the old homestead.
HON. DAVID ARNOLD,
the third son of Samuel, Sr., lives in the same village. He is a lawyer and is largely engaged in mercantile business.
DR. GEORGE J. ARNOLD,
the oldest son of David and Lydia ARNOLD, graduated from the Medical College of Cambridge University in 1858. Gentlemanly deportment and medical skill have already given him a high standing with the physicians of Boston.
Lucy C. m. J. Washburn MELENDY Nov. 26, 1868. C. Emery ARNOLD b. June 7, 1874.
Mary E. m. Geo. C. ROBINSON May 29, 1870. C. Curtis G. b. July 26, 1873. Mary E. b. Sept. 23, 1878.
Judge ARNOLD and his wife are dead. Mrs. MELENDY and Mrs. ROBINSON are the only members of the family now living in town.
Mrs. Nancy ARNOLD, the widow of Samuel, Sr., died in 1867 at the age of 95 years, much respected and beloved.
[We remember this nice, old lady. In 185- the winter before Judge ARNOLD moved to the Village we taught the winter school in his district and boarded with the Judges family, teaching Latin and French in the evening to the two oldest boys and the oldest daughter, a girl of fine scholastic brain that in her studied then almost rivaled her oldest brothers.]
Mrs. Lydia ARNOLD was a DUDLEY, one of the large family of sisters, all brilliantly social, daughters of Peter DUDLEY of Peru. Mrs. Nancy ARNOLD was mother of the Judge, and we remember her knowledge and love of Greek mythology. She delighted to converse on this subject and could give the genealogy of the gods from Jupiter to wood-nymph and naid [naiad]. The schools, 5 1/2 days a week, 5 night sessions, growth not retarded. George and Charles ARNOLD read the first book of Virgils [Homers] Iliad [Iliad], declaimed at examination a Latin oration from Cicero. We taught at the village the next summer, academy building, 73 pupils; these schools have cast for us a soft halo over Londonderry. Over 100 of its youth were once our pupils.
MRS. NANCY COCHRAN,
author of this early history, died at Londonderry, not long since. She was a daughter of Deacon David COCHRAN, a most worthy person. Of all the daughters of Londonderry, none have left her a better benefaction.
REV. WILLIAM H. RUGG, A. M.,
oldest son of Dea. Wm. W. and Rachel D. RUGG, born in South Londonderry, April 9, 1838, united with the Baptist church in South Londonderry, Aug. 19, 1855, during the pastorate of Rev. I. C. CARPENTER; commenced teaching mathematics in West River academy at sixteen; from the fall term in 1857 to 1864 assistant nine terms in Leland & Gray Seminary; fall terms of 1859 and 69 in Brandon Seminary as assistant; principal of Leland & Gray Seminary spring term of 65; was solicited to continue as principal; declined for the purpose of entering the ministry; graduated from the collegiate department of Madison University, August, 1862; from its Theological department in 1865; commenced preaching in the Baptist church in Shaftsbury, September, 1865; ordained pastor, May 30, 1866. At present summer of 69, is town superintendent of common schools, corresponding secretary of Bennington County Sunday School Union, clerk of the Vermont and Shaftsbury Association and assistant clerk and member of the board of trustees of the Vermont Baptist State convention.
MILITARY RECORD DURING THE REBELLION, 1861-1865. *
By Daniel DAVIS.
ABBOTT, George T., age 18, enlisted Sept. 3, 1861, mustered in Sept. 20, 61, wounded in action Dec. 13, 62, discharged and re-enlisted Dec. 15, 63. wounded in action May 4, 64, discharged Sept. 25, 1865.
ALBEE, Silas, age 30, enlisted Nov. 27, 63, mustered in Dec. 11, 63; died at Andersonville, Ga., Sept. 9, 1864.
AIKEN, Alonzo, age 29, enlisted Sept. 24, 61, mustered in Oct. 15, 61, died Nov. 28, 1861.
AIKEN, Walter A., age 31, enlisted Sept. 24, 61, mustered Oct. 15, 61; transferred to invalid corps Sept. 1, 63; no record of his discharge.
BEMIS, William M., age 34, enlisted July 30, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
BIXBY, Armentus B., age 28, commissioned assistant surgeon Oct. 6, 62; discharged Sept. 30, 64.
BUXTON, Horace, age 18; enlisted August 11, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; died April 3, 63.
CAMPBELL, Edward R., age 18; enlisted August 4, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged May 13, 65.
CAMPBELL, Geo. R., age 35; enlisted Aug. 2, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; killed at Cedar Creek Oct. 19, 64.
CAMPBELL, Henry L., age 20; enlisted Oct. 21, 61; mustered in Dec. 31, 61, discharged July 15, 75.
CHURCHILL, William H., age 23; enlisted Oct. 18, 61; mustered in Dec. 31, 61; died Oct. 27, 64, of wounds received in action.
CLAYTON, Austin W., age 25; enlisted July 30, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 12, 65.
EDWARDS, Alonzo T., age 36; enlisted Sept. 7, 61; mustered in Sept. 20, 61; deserted Dec. 10, 62.
FAULKNER, Eli J., age 18; enlisted Nov. 28, 61; mustered in Feb. 12, 62; discharged June 27, 62.
GIBSON, William H., age 18; enlisted August 5, 62. mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
GRISWOLD, Lucius Dana, age 26; enlisted Oct. 7, 61; mustered in November 19, 61; died Mar. 20, 62.
HALL, Albert U., age 27; enlisted July 29, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
HATHORN, Ransom E., age 18; enlisted August 11, 62; mustered Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
HOOKER, Geo. W., age 23; enlisted Sept. 6, 61; mustered in Sept. 26, 61; no record of discharge except for promotion, July 31, 64.
HOUGHTON, Levi, age 24; enlisted in May 7, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; died Nov. 27, 62.
HOUGHTON, Stephen O., age 29; enlisted Aug. 62; mustered in Sept. 30, 62; discharged June 19, 65.
HOWARD, Mason F., age 33; enlisted Aug. 6, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
HOWE, Edwin A., age 19; enlisted July 30, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged Aug. 1, 64.
HOWE, Omar M., age 18; enlisted July 28, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
HOWE, William J., age 18; enlisted Aug. 29, 61; mustered in Sept. 20, 61; discharged Dec. 7, 62.
JAQUITH, Thomas J., age 26; enlisted May 20, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; discharged June 29, 64.
KELLOGG, Aaron, age 21; enlisted Mar. 20, 63; mustered in Apr. 6, 63; discharged July 24, 65.
KELLOGG, Henry, age 18; enlisted July 31, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
KING, Wallace D., age 21; enlisted May 16, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; ; discharged Oct. 17, 62; re-enlisted March. 8, 65; discharged June 28, 65.
MILLER, Edmund G., age 30; enlisted Aug. 27, 61; mustered in Sept. 20, 61; discharged July 9, 62.
PARKER, James P., age 29; enlisted Feb. 13, 62; mustered in Feb. 28, 62; discharged Feb. 14, 65.
PIERCE, William W., age 25; enlisted Sept. 3, 61; mustered in Sept. 20, 61; discharged July 13, 65.
RICE, Edwin L., age 26; enlisted July 28, 62; mustered in Sept. 62; deserted Dec. 2, 62.
RICHARDSON, John C., age 18; enlisted May 16, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; discharged June 24, 64.
RICHARDSON, Lowell M., age 18; enlisted Dec. 7, 61; mustered in Feb. 12, 62; killed in action June 22, 62.
ROBINSON, Charles H., age 25; enlisted Oct. 24, 61; mustered in Dec. 31, 61; transferred to Invalid Corps Sept. 1, 63; no record of his discharge.
SHATTUCK, Samuel A., age 25; enlisted May 27, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; discharged Dec. 30, 63.
SHUMWAY, Edwin R., age 18; enlisted Sept. 5, 61; mustered in Sept. 20, 61; discharged and re-enlisted Dec. 15, 1863; discharged July 13, 65.
STEBBINS, Edwin A., age 25; enlisted Aug. 6, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged Aug. 25, 65.
STEVENS, Joel P., age 45; enlisted Nov. 4, 61; mustered in Dec. 31, 61; discharged July 13, 66.
STEVENS, Warren, age 22; enlisted Oct. 23, 61; mustered in Dec. 31, 61; killed in action Aug. 22, 62.
THOMPSON, Lorin F., age 19; enlisted Aug. 5, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged June 24, 65.
WADE, Stephen, age 27; enlisted Dec. 6, 61; mustered in Feb. 12, 62; died Aug. 11, 62.
WALKER, Horace, age 43; enlisted Dec. 7, 61; mustered in Feb. 12, 62; died Aug. 4, 1862.
WHITCOMB, Orrin L., age 30; enlisted May 21, 61; mustered in June 20, 61; discharged June 17, 62.
WHITMAN, Edwin H., aged 25; mustered in June 20, 61; transferred to Invalid Corps; no record of discharge.
WINSHIP, Charles J., aged 18; enlisted Aug. 1, 62; mustered in Sept. 1, 62; discharged May 15, 65.
WOODCOCK, Hiram, age 24; enlisted May 11, 061; mustered in June 20, 61; discharged Oct. 16, 62.
ABBOTT, Abial S., age 27; enlisted Dec. 26, 63; mustered in Dec. 29, 63; Absent without leave, Aug. 31, 64.
ABBOTT, Charles, age 34; enlisted Nov. 17, 63; mustered in Dec. 29, 63; died Nov. 5, 64.
ALBEE, Justin V., age 18; enlisted Dec. 30, 63; mustered in Jan. 5, 64; discharged June 25, 65.
CAMPBELL, Abner T., age 44; enlisted Nov. 30, 63; mustered in Dec. 17, 63; died Feb. 15, 64.
COVEY, Joseph N., age 37; enlisted Dec. 1, 63; mustered in Jan. 5, 64; discharged Dec. 1, 65.
GREELEY, Cyrus A., age 26; enlisted Nov. 16, 63; mustered in Dec. 29, 63; discharged Feb. 25, 65.
GRISWOLD, Collins R., aged 22; enlisted Nov. 16, 63; mustered in Dec. 29, 63; discharged July 13, 65.
HOLDEN, Harrison, age 38; enlisted Nov. 16, 63; mustered in Dec. 3, 63; no record of discharge.
KELLEY, Anson A., age 21; enlisted Jan. 1, 64; mustered in Jan. 1, 64; discharged Aug. 9, 65.
WALKER, Horace P., age 18; enlisted Jan. 4, 64; discharged Aug. 25, 65.
WHITMAN, Ora O., age 18; enlisted Dec. 30, 63; mustered in Jan. 5, 64; discharged July 18, 65.
WRIGHT, Orrin W., age 18; enlisted Nov. 17, 63; mustered in Dec. 1, 63; discharged June 28, 65.
BAILEY, George F., age 18; enlisted Aug. 19, 64; mustered in Aug. 19, 64; discharged June 28, 65.
BALDWIN, Andrew, age 28; enlisted Aug. 13, 64; mustered in Aug. 16, 64; discharged June 24, 65.
BARNARD, Lucius, age 19; enlisted Aug. 9, 64; mustered in Sept. 1, 64; discharged June 15, 65.
FARNUM, Cortez L., age 21; enlisted Aug. 9, 64; mustered in Aug. 9, 64; discharged June 24, 65.
GODDARD, David B., age 19; enlisted and mustered in Aug. 9, 64; discharged June 24, 65.
HOWARD, George A., age 18; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63; re-enlisted, Aug. 9, 64; discharged June 15, 65.
HOWE, Zeno D., age 18; enlisted and mustered in Aug. 15, 64; discharged June 24, 65.
KINGSBURY, Loren, age 42; enlisted and mustered in Aug. 31, 64; discharged June 13, 65.
DAVIS, Hymenus, age 20; enlisted and mustered in July 5, 64; discharged June 28, 65.
ADAMS, Geo. W., age 22; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63.
WHITMAN, Martin D., age 28; enlisted Aug. 29 ; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63.
PERRY, Daniel W., age 18; enlisted Aug. 29 ; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; died Dec. 31, 62.
STUART, Charles W., age 19; enlisted Aug. 29 ; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63.
ALLEN, Joseph, age 20; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; re-enlisted Mar. 5, 65; discharged July 15, 65.
ARNOLD, Samuel D., age 21; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63.
BENNETT, Jacob W., age 28; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered Oct. 23, 62; discharged Feb. 2, 63.
DAVIS, Daniel W., age 18; enlisted Aug. 29, 62; mustered in Oct. 23, 62; discharged Aug. 10, 63.
PIERCE, Sem Jr., age 36; enlisted and mustered and discharged do.
RUGG, Elijah F., age 22; do.
SHUMWAY, Albert A., age 22; do.
VIALLS [VAILL], Josephus, age 31; do.
WAIT, Dexter, age 24; do.
WHEELER, Calvin R., age 20; do.
WHITE, John D., aged 22; do.
GLEASON, Daniel W., age 24; drafted July 31, 63; discharged Jan. 23, 64.
LANMAN, John T., age 30; drafted July 13, 63; discharged June 26, 65.
TENNEY, Whitney, age 26; drafted July 21, 63; discharged July 15, 65.
BALL, Wallace D., age 21; enlisted Mar. 7, 65; mustered Mar. 18, 65; discharged May 12, 65.
BUXTON, Willard, age 24; enlisted and mustered in March 7, 65; discharged July 24, 65.
COOMES, Edmund G. No record but his name.
DOWLING, William, age 23; enlisted and mustered in Mar. 21, 65; deserted May 31, 65.
HOWE, Frank, age 18; enlisted and mustered in Mar. 23, 65; discharged June 26, 65.
PATTERSON, Samuel, age 42; enlisted and mustered in March 16, 65; discharged July 15, 65.
QUIMBY, Henry R., age 30; enlisted and mustered in March 21, 65; discharged July 14, 65.
The first post-office in town was located on Arnold hill, about one mile west of the village, and was established in March 25, 1823, with Samuel P. ARNOLD, postmaster.
Since that time the following persons have held the office, the date of their commissions being given:
Luther STOWELL, Aug. 10, 1825.
David C. STOWELL, Dec. 11, 1828.
Sylvester W. SHELDON, May 14, 33.
Alexander LELAND, April 20, 36.
Peter DUDLEY, May 10, 42.
Orrin CURTIS, Dec. 7, 48.
Luther STOWELL, Sept. 4, 49.
Jonathan R. WYMAN, May 23, 50.
Nathaniel CURTIS, Sept. 26, 51.
Josiah STOWELL, Mar. 1, 52.
Niles ALDRICH, Dec. 17, 52.
Barnet S. WAIT, Oct. 11, 53.
Henry A. HOWE, Sept. 27, 54.
Isaac W. GIBSON, May 19, 55.
Chas. F. NEWELL, Dec. 18, 55.
Thomas LYMAN, Dec. 24, 56.
Albert S. HAYWARD, Dec. 31, 59.
David ARNOLD, Oct. 18, 61.
Fred M. LEONARD, Mar. 8, 81.
Alonzo A. CURTIS, June 2, 83.
Will A. CHILDS, Sept. 11, 89.
The post office at the south village was established Sept. 20, 1852, with Hiram PORTER as postmaster since that time the following have held the office:
Frederick W. MARSH, Aug. 30, 53.
John L. PIERCE, Aug. 31, 61.
Seth L. RANDALL, Mar. 23, 68.
Geo. G. SMITH, Dec. 14, 69.
Frank M. WOOD, Aug. 27, 85.
Henry W. GODDARD, Jan. 9, 86.
Henry P. CHASE, May 16, 89.
Mr. PORTER, who now resides in Hinsdale, N. H., kept the office in the room now occupied by the town clerk. Mr. PORTER only held the office about one year. Mr. MARSH, now of Chester, removed the office to the store of Pierce & Marsh on the site of the present office. Mr. PIERCE, now of Fitchburg, and who succeeded Mr. MARSH, continued the office in this store till about the close of the war when he removed it to his residence, the birch house, where it remained till he resigned. Mr. RANDALL removed the office to the store again. When Mr. SMITH succeeded to the office, he removed it to his present store where he kept it for 16 years. Mr. WOOD was appointed and continued the office in this location till Mr. GODDARD removed it to the CHASE store, where it remains to-day under Mr. CHASE.
Some 68 years ago a man by the name of David HAZEN, had a fearful encounter with a bear which resulted in the loss of one arm, and must have been the cause of a terrible death to Mr. HAZEN, but for the timely assistance of his son David, a lad of but twelve years. The bear had Mr. HAZEN on his back, with one hand and a portion of the arm in his mouth, when the fathers cry of "come quick David" brought the son to his assistance just in time to save his life. Nahum GODDARD, grandfather of the late M. H. GODDARD of Ludlow, soon appeared on the scene, but the bear had received his death wound from young David. This incident occurred in what is now the sugar orchard owned by Harry PIERCE, near the foot of the mountain in the east part of the town.
Transcribed by Robert Hardin, volunteer list member, [email protected]
This is a work in progress, town histories will be submitted as time allows. Thank you to RootsWeb for hosting this site. You may use the information provided on these pages for your personal genealogical use. No part of these pages may be harvested and sold for profit. Copyright 2001, Sue Downhill [email protected]