Townshend, Windham County, Vermont


Historical Gazetteer

a local History of

all the Towns in the State,

Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military.

Vol. V.

The Towns of Windham County.


Collated by

Abby Maria Hemenway.

Published by

Mrs. Carrie E. H. Page,

Brandon, VT.




Transcribed as it appears in the book with the exception of the last names changed to all CAPS.




The oldest towns in the present county of Windham were granted by the Colonial government of New Hampshire, when Benning WENTWORTH was governor of that province. Their corporate names remind one of the Earl of Halifax, the Duke of Marlborough, the Earl of Wilmington, the Marquis of Rockingham, Francis FANE and Charles TOWNSHEND, who were distinguished members of the ministries of whose pleasure Gov. WENTWORTH held his office.


Of New Hampshire Grants on the east side of the Green Mountains, the seventh in chronological order was called Townshend. This town is situated a little north of the geographical center of Windham county, and at the time Acton was annexed was bounded N. by Acton and Athens, E. by Athens and Brookline, S. by Brookline and Newfane, W. by Wardsboro, Jamaica and Windham.While on the E. and S. the bounds of 1840 remain at the present day.


Within the limits of the town are four neighborhoods: the East Village, West Village, Harmonyville, and Simpsonville.Of these, the largest is the East Village, which is the business center.


West river in passing through the southwesterly part of the town receives the waters of Acton brook, Fair brook, Negro brook, Jay brook, and Mill brook.FLETCHER brook is a tributary of Acton brook.Numerous springs and rivulets furnish an abundant supply of pure water.The land rises often gradually, sometimes precipitously, to the ridges by which the valleys are terminated.These divides are of considerable height, and especially in the vicinity of West river, preset a succession of rocky hills.Two of these eminencies have been named Peaked mountain and Bald mountain, from the peculiarity of their appearance.


The original town has nearly the rock formations which exist in Acton.Fine specimens of water crystals have been found at the southeast part of the town.A ledge upon the James GREY farm affords material for excellent lime.Boulders of granite and syenite that can be split into fence posts are occasionally found.The primitive forest, unbroken, and extending to the summit of the hills, mostly consisting of maple, birch, beech, hemlock and spruce.Among these are interspersed the ash, oak and elm, basswood, cottonwood, butternut and pine.


Two flourishing villages besides many comfortable and desirable dwellings scattered about town, are outgrowths of what has been done here in the way of business.The inhabitants, with few exceptions, have been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and their success has been such that Townshend in 1891 ranks in populations as ninth of 23 towns comprising the county of Windham, and the sixth in wealth.


The original proprietors of Townshend obtained title from the crown through the Colonial Governor and council of New Hampshire.The town charter is dated June 20, 1753.It is in the usual form and we now give only the particulars wherein it is supposed to differ from any township charter executed by the same magistracy.


The premises conveyed are bounded as follows: �Beginning at a stake and stones, the northeasterly corner of Fane, thence running six miles N. 20� a stake and stones, thence W. 10� N. to a stake and stones, thence S. 20� W. to the N. W. corner of Fane, thence E. 10� S. by Fane aforesaid, to the N. E. corner thereof, being the stake and stones begun at.�


Another portion of the charter is expressed in these words: �The first meeting for the choice of town officers, agreeable to the laws of our said province, shall be held on the last Wednesday in August, next, which meeting shall be notified by John HAZELTINE, Esq., who is hereby also appointed the moderator of said first meeting, which he is to notify and govern agreeable to the laws and customs of our said Province, and the annual meeting forever hereafter, for the choice of such officers of said town, shall be on the second Wednesday in March, annually.�


The ownership of the grant was divided into 74 shares, 69 person whose names are on the back of the charter, took one share each, the other five shares are conveyed in these words: �To his Excellency, Benning WENTWORTH, Esq., a tract of land to contain five hundred acres, which is to be accounted two of the within shares.One whole share for the incorporated society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts.One whole share for the first settled Minister of the Gospel in said town.One whole glebe for the Ministry of the Church of England as by law established.�


The sixty-nine grantees arranged in alphabetical order comprise the following names:

Theodore ATKINSON, Marshall BAKER, Moses BAKER, Isaac BARNARD, Jonathan BARNARD, Joshua BARNARD, Luke BROWN, Abel CHASE, jr., Daniel CHASE, Moody CHASE, Moses CHASE, Samuel CHASE, Samuel CHASE, jr., Alexander CLAYTON, John CLEMENTS, Samuel DAGGETT, jr., Thomas DENNEY, John DOWNING, Joseph DYER, Elisha FISK, Ebenezer FISK, Eleazer FLETCHER, Jonathan FRY, Isaac GALE, Josiah GALE, Samuel GILE, Jonathan HALE, David HALL, David HALL, jr., Isaac HARRINGTON, Isaac HARRINGTON, jr., Samuel HAWLEY, Abner HAZELTINE, Silas HAZELTINE, Antipas HOLLAND, Jonathan HALMAN, Solomon HALMAN, Soloman HALMAN, jr., James LELAND, Phineas LELAND,, Benjamin MARSH, Isaac MILLER, Eliakim RICE, Lemuel ROBBINS, Abner SAWYER, Sampson SHEAFE, Henry SHELBURNE, Jesse SMITH, Samuel SMITH, Joseph SPARHAWK, John STOWELL, Hezekiah STOWELL, Jason WAIT, Jonathan WAIT, Henry WALKER, Hezekiah WARD, Daniel WARNER, Jonas WARNER, jr., James WELLMAN, John WENTWORTH, jr., Richard WIBIRD, Jonathan WILSON, Benjamin WOODBURY, Joshua WOODBURY, William JOANY.Each of the shares, except those of the governor, represents a little more than three hundred and thirteen acres of land.Records in the town clerk�s office show that Rev. Nicolas DUDLEY and Luke KNOWLTON, conveyed the rights which belonged to the governor.The ministerial right passed to Rev. Nicolas DUDLEY, and was located where Deacon BELKNAP afterwards lived.The glebe seems to have been located upon the steepest part of the rocky hill back of the present residence of Col. TWITCHELL.


Nothing is known of what became of the original charter.In the town clerk�s office there is a copy which is duly authenticated by the Secretary of State of New Hampshire, on the 29th of June, 1774. Upon it is also the following certificate, in compliance likely with some action under a resolution of the General Assembly passed in June, 1779.


����������� �State of Vermont.

����������� Surveyor General�s office, Aug. 7, 1780.

����������� The foregoing charter and bounds of the several towns, (Halifax, Marlborough, Fane and Newfane) are recorded (in the first book of New Hampshire charters, from page 20 to 28.

����������������������� Examined by

����������������������������������� IRA ALLEN,

����������������������� Surveyor General.�


Col. John HAZELTINE procured the granting of the township, and the first settlers used to relate that he had names of his neighbors and acquaintances entered as grantees on back of the charter without their knowledge; that soon after the town was granted, he went round and called upon these unadvised proprietors, saying to each: �What shall I give you for a quit claim of your right in Townshend?�The invariable reply was, �I don�t know as I have got any right, or interest there.�This answer brought out the inquiry, �what is it worth to you then, and what will you take for it?�The satisfactory reply was, �Oh, give us a mug of tod, and I will deed you all the right I have to anything up there.�The liquor would soon be furnished, and under its inspiration a deed would be executed.There may be more fact than fiction in the story, for our land records show that within nine months for date of charter, Col. HAZELTINE became owner of sixteen rights for the consideration of one sHILLing each, which is the sum he would have paid for the toddy, had it been brought in when a deed of one of the rights was delivered to him.


The proprietor�s book of records shows what was done by the original grantees to effect a division in severalty of this land, and to forward a settlement of the town; it also contains the pitches of land made by the proprietors, and laid out by committees appointed for that purpose; but no conveyance from grantor to grantee was recorded therein.


����������� We now present a copy of the proprietor�s record prior to the year 1755.

����������� Warning and proceedings of first meeting of the proprietors.

����������������������������������� July the 24th, 1753.

����������� I, the subscriber, being appointed by the governor and council of New Hampshire government to notify the grantees of a new township, viz: Townshend, to attend the first meeting on the last Wednesday of August in this present year: you are hereby notified to attend the first meeting of the grantees of Townshend, in the Province of New Hampshire, said meeting to be held at the house of Mr. Luke BROWN, innholder, in Worcester, at ten of the clock in the forenoon of the last Wednesday of Aug. 1753; to choose town officers for said Townshend, agreeably to the laws of the Province of New Hampshire ; and likewise to choose proprietor�s officers for the township of Townshend ; and also to transact any other affairs, matters or things that the said proprietors or grantees shall think proper to encourage, promote and forward the settlement of the said town of Townshend.

����������� JOHN HAZELTINE.��


At a meeting of the grantees of the township in the Province of New Hampshire, regularly assembled and met at the house of Mr. Luke BROWN, on the last Wednesday of August, at ten of the clock in the forenoon, in the year 1753.Said meeting was authorized and appointed by his excellency, the governor, and the honorable council of said Province of New Hampshire, in and by the charter of said Townshend; and likewise John HAZELTINE appointed moderator of said meetings; at said meeting the following votes were passed, or the things hereafter mentioned were transacted.


1.William YOUNG, chosen town clerk for said Townshend, and likewise clerk for said grantees in land affairs, and sworn to the faithful discharge of his office in the meeting.

2.John HAZELTINE, Esq., Isaac BARNARD, Esq., and Mr. Benjamin WOODBURY, Benjamin MARSH, and William YOUNG, chosen selectmen.

3.William YOUNG and Thomas DENNEY, chosen assessors.

4.Jonathan HAILE, chosen treasurer, and was sworn to the faithful discharge of said office in said meeting.

5.Abner HAZELTINE, chosen constable and collector.

6.Voted, that the above named selectmen to be a committee to prosecute affairs respecting the settlement of said Townshend, and agreeable to such directions as shall be hereafter given them.

7.Voted, that the committee proceed to run the lines or bounds of said township, agreeable to the charter, as soon as may be; likewise that tract of land noted in the charter of which each grantee is to be allotted one acre.

8.Voted, that said committee then proceed and lay out seventy-two lots, each lot to contain as a standard either forty or fifty acres, as said committee upon viewing said township shall judge convenient or most proper : and that said lots be laid out quantity for quality : and also five hundred acres in one tract for his excellency, Benning WENTWORTH, agreeably to the charter.

9.Voted, that a tax of two dollars be assessed on each right, and that said tax be paid to the treasurer at or before next meeting for drawing of the lots.Voted, also, that any of the grantees which shall neglect or refuse to pay said tax as above shall be secluded the privilege of drawing his or their lot or lots.

10. Voted, that the above named committee be a committee to appoint meetings of said grantees for the future; and that they notify all such meetings as they shall appoint by posting up notifications in writing, 14 days before the meeting, at the dwelling houses of Mr. Luke BROWN in Worcester, Jonathan HAILE and Samuel BUCK in Sutton;and that in said notifications be inserted the time when and place where, of such meetings, together with the articles to be acted upon by said grantees when met.

11. Voted, that the charges or expenses of this meeting, viz; five pounds, five shillings and three pence, old tenor, be paid by the treasurer, Mr. Jonathan HAILE, out of the public money of said society of grantees.


Then said meeting was dissolved.

����������� Test,

����������������������� WILLIAM YOUNG, P. Clerk.



While the French and Indian war was raging, a settlement of the town was impracticable, and proceedings of proprietors were suspended during the eventful years from 1754 to 1761.The victory of Wolfe in 1759 and the capitulation of Vaudreuil in 1760, followed by the treaties ofFontainbleau and Paris, severed Canada and the districts east of it from the control of France.French and Indian incursions, which had so long scourged the people of new England, were to be feared no longer.A frontier of wide extent had been opened for settlement under the quiet and security of English rule.Provincial soldiers discharged upon the surrender of the French in Canada, and resolute adventurers flocked hither to occupy and become owners of the land known as the Hampshire Grants.


Settlement of the town was commenced by John BAIRD, Thomas BAIRD and Col. John HAZELTINE about the first of June 1761.Nothing was done this season, except to build a log hut and commence work upon the lots taken by the new comers.Years ago, the following anecdote was in circulation about the first settlement of the town.The story is given as we wrote it from the lips of an old gentlemen :


At a meeting in Massachusetts of the grantees, old Col. HAZELTINE got it so fixed that the proprietor who should get here first, with the intention to settle, might have the first choice of lots which had been surveyed.The two BAIRDs were present; they saw what the Colonel was up to, and mistrusted that he would be in Townshend as soon as possible, to take up the best lots.They determined to get in ahead of him, and started for this town at close of the meeting.Col. HAZELTINE went home and passed the night.Early in the morning he said to his wife, �I am going to Townshend.�He was soon on his way and without an unnecessary halt, came to what is now called the Elder HODGES farm, in Newfane, where he stopped over night.Starting in good season the next day and hurrying on, it was not late when he forded West river where the lower bridge stands.On reaching the bank, he saw a smoke and near it found the two BAIRDs engaged in clearing a spot for their cabin.Instantly comprehending the situation, the old gentleman, with a low bow and bland good-by, gave the bridle reins a jerk or two, put spurs in his horse, rode on and selected lots farther up the river.


The land taken up by Col. HAZELTINE in 1761, was situated in the west part of the town, where he soon afterwards built a log fort upon the meadow now owned by Deacon PIERCE .During the same season, the BAIRDs located their rights near the ford of West river.Joseph TYLER of Uxbridge, and John HOWE of Framingham, commenced their clearings in 1764; the former, upon the present Bridge farm near the east village; the latter, upon the Hiram HOWE farm in school district No. 7.John BURT of Killingly, Conn., and Paul HAZELTINE of Uxbridge, came in 1765.None of the settlers remained here, However, during the winter months prior to 1766.




By an order in council passed on the 20th day of July, 1764, King George the III declared the western of Connecticut river to be the boundary line between his province of New Hampshire and New York.This order was proclaimed by Gov. Colden of New York, on the 10th day of April, 1765; and the governor of New Hampshire by proclamation, recommended to the proprietors and settlers of the �the grants,� submission and due obedience to the authority and laws of the colony of New York.


The proprietors of Townshend were neither alarmed nor made indignant by the transfer of jurisdiction to New York.Management and control of their proprietary interest were little changed thereby.Whatever opposition was made to these land-titles proved to be of a yielding nature, and they submitted to the new authority.In due time, their New Hampshire charter was confirmed by the government of New York, in response to a petition for that purpose.Agreeably to a colonial statute of New York, deeds and conveyances of any interest in real estate were recorded in the secretary�s office of the colony, or in the county records of the county where the real estate was situated.This law was in force while the town remained under the jurisdiction of New York.




Notice is hereby given to the proprietors of Townshend, lying on West river, so-called, to meet at the house of Paul HAZELTINE, in said Townshend, on the first Tuesday of April next, at 10 o�clock in the morning, then and there to act on the following articles:

1.To choose a moderator for the meeting.

2.To see if the proprietors aforesaid will stand by Paul HAZELTINE aforesaid in the suit which said Paul HAZELTINE is to answer, the third Tuesday of April next, at the city hall in New York, by being by the Supreme court made defendant; or lost the land on which he now lives.



����������� JOHN HAZELTINE.


March 22, 1774.


Met at time and place agreeably to the notification for said meeting.


Voted, to send a man to New York, with power of substitution, to get Mr. Paul HAZELTINE made defendant in the suit depending between Luke KNOWLTON, Esq., and John TAYLOR.


To choose a committee to notify the proprietors of Fane and New Marlboro to perambulate the lines of our towns with us, if they will, and if they refuse, said committee to go with a surveyor and measure the lines of the towns of aforesaid, as they shall think proper.Voted, that John HAZELTINE, Esq., William HAYWARD, Joseph TYLER, Benjamin HOWE and Ezra HOLBROOK, be a committee to do the service spoken of.


The division line between the proprietors of Townshend and Newfane had not been mutually established, and the suit above named probably was one of the results of this unmarked boundary.But However this may be, or whatever may have been the object or result to the suit aforesaid, no attempt was ever made to dispossess any claimant under the New Hampshire charter of this town by virtue of the title emanating from the government of New York.A third division of 50 acres of land to each right was ordered on the 29th day of May, 1780.The last meeting of the proprietors was held on the 7th day of October, 1782.




1753, Aug. 29, William YOUNG; 1761, May 25, James TAYLOR; 1766, April 21, Joshua WOOD; 1769, May 10, Samuel FLETCHER; 1778, June 18, Amos HOLBROOK; 1782. Oct. 7, Joshua WOOD.


Persons to whom the township were divided and names, are entered upon the proprietors� book as land owners: Asa Austin, John BARNARD, John BARNARD, jr., Joshua BARNARD, Joshua BARNARD, jr., Thomas BARNES, Daniel BLANCHARD, Eben BURT, Capt. John BURT, Dr. Jonas BUTTERFIELD, Joseph CHAMBERLIN�s heirs, Amariah CHASE, Lieut. Henry CHASE, Joseph CHASE, Jonathan CLAYTON, Moses COOK, Caleb DARLING, Lieut. Amri DOOLITTLE, John DRESSER, Rev. Nicholas DUDLEY, Wid. Elizabeth DYER, John DYER, Joseph DYER, Cyrus FAY, Thomas FAY, John FISH, Josiah FISH, Esq., Benjamin FLETCHER, Samuel FLETCHER, Jonas GRAY, Caleb HAYWARD, Eli HAYWARD, Levi HAYWARD, Silas HAYWARD, William HAYWARD, John HAZELTINE, Esq., John HAZELTINE, son of Silas; Paul HAZELTINE, Peter HAZELTINE, heirs Silas HAZELTINE, Silas HAZELTINE, jr., Caleb HILL, John B. HINDS, Amos HOLBROOK, Asa HOLBROOK, Elias HOLBROOK, Ezra HOLBROOK, Moses HOLBROOK, Peter HOLBROOK, Timothy HOLBROOK, Antipas HOLLAND, heirs; John HOLLAND, Benjamin HOWE, John HOWE, John HOWE, jr., Michael JOHNSON, William JOHNSON, Dr. Moses RANNEY, Enos LINCOLN, David LINDSEY, Thomas LOWE, Mathew MARTIN, Benjamin MURDOCK, Ebenezer OBER, Samuel PARKHURST, Lovett PARTRIDGE, Jesse PENNIMAN, Baily RANSOM, Thomas RANSOM, Benjamin RAY, Thomas READ, Thomas RICE, Lemuel ROBBINS, William ROBBINS, Abner SAWYER, Ephriam SHEPARD, David SMITH, Amariah TAFT, Ebenezer TAFT, Lyman TAFT, Joseph TYLER, Esq., Susannah TYLER, widow ; Wm. UTLEY, jr., James WALDEN, Jeshurum WALKER, Timothy WALKER, William WARD, James WATKINS, James WATKINS� heirs, Patience WATKINS, widow : Edward WHITE, Ensign Samuel WISWELL, Dr. John WOOD, Dr. Joshua WOOD, Thomas WOOD.


By division of the original rights into parts and sale thereof, the number of land owners was increased from 74 to 98, which number to whom the town was laid out on pitch survey.Distributions of the land was correctly done by the proprietors� committees, that courts have never been called upon to decide more land cases from Townshend than from any town where the land was lotted and drawn for in the usual way.No minute or record has been preserved of what was done at any town meeting in Townshend previous to March, 1781.By an official signature of Samuel FLETCHER, it was shown that a constable, who was a resident town officer, was serving here on the 6th day of May, 1771.Probably the town was organized a few weeks before May of the year 1771, and in conformity with the law of New York, requiring certain town officers to be chosen annually on the day named in the charter, or on the first Tuesday in April.The writer of an article in Thompson�s Gazetteer however, says: �The first meeting for the transaction of town business was on the 30th of may, 1771.�


The following is a copy of the census of Townshend, taken early in 1771, pursuant to directions from the governor of New York:


Heads of families in the town of Townshend, John BURT, Moses COOK, Benjamin FIELD, Benjamin FLETCHER, Samuel FLETCHER, Isaac A. HART, Paul HAYWOOD, William HAYWARD, John HAZELTINE, Esq., Paul HAZELTINE, Peter HAZELTINE, Moses HOLBROOK, John HOPKINS, Benjamin HOWE, John HOWE, John HOWE, jr., William JOHNSON, David LINDSEY, Mathew MARTIN, Benjamin MURDOCK, Ebenezer OBER, Thomas READ, Benjamin STREET, Joseph. TYLER.


Number of the heads of families, 25 : males under 16, 33 : males above 16 and under 60, 40 : males 60 and upward, 1 : females under 16, 35 : females above 16, 26 : total 25 : blacks, females above 16, 1 : grand total, 136.SAMUEL FLETCHER.����������

����������������������������������� Constable.

Townshend, May 6, 1771.


In May, 1774, a committee of correspondence, numbering 51 members, was appointed in the city of New York, for the purpose of drawing out and uniting the sentiments of the people in opposition to the Boston Port Bill and other laws of Parliament, and creating that public opinion of which the first Continental Congress, with its resolves and recommendations, was the outcome.Meetings of the people in Cumberland county were held to consider the measures and policy of the British government relating to the administration of the English colonies in North America.The first of these meetings was a convention which assembled at Westminster on the 19th day of October, 1774 : 18 delegates from 12 towns were present, and John HAZELTINE, a delegate from Townshend, was appointed chairman of the meeting.That assembly had under consideration a letter from Isaac LOW, chairman of the committee of correspondence of New York, also the Act of the British Parliament laying a tax or duty on tea, for the purpose of raising a revenue in America : the Boston Port Bill, so called : and divers other late Acts of the British Parliament above named, the convention made a statement of certain rights that belonged to English colonists in America, and then passed the following among other resolutions :


�11. That we defend our king while he reigns over us, his subjects, and wish his reign may be long and glorious, so will we defend our just rights as British subjects, against and power that shall attempt to deprive us of them, while breath is in our nostrels, and blood in our veins.�


1775 - 1777.


Warrants for calling a county convention on the 7th day of February, 1775, were signed by John HAZELTINE, on the 30th day of the preceding January.This body me at Westminster and delegates from 12 towns were in attendance.John HAZELTINE was chosen moderator.This convention recommended it to their constituents, �To choose a man for their supervisor at the next annual meeting, such as they would choose if they were to send him to New York as their assemblyman ; that so the supervisors may select two men out of their body, such as they shall think most proper, which they, the supervisors of the county are desired to return to their constituents for their consideration and approbation by a regular vote, when called upon to choose assemblymen in said county.�


A standing committee of correspondence, consisting of 28 members from 21 towns, was appointed to correspond with the committees of correspondence elsewhere.John HAZELTINE was appointed chairman of the committee of correspondence ; and he was �Empowered to call the county together, by way of their delegates, on any important emergency.�It was ordered that on the application of the committee of three towns to our chairman, it be in his power to call a meeting of the committee if he shall think proper, but on application of five towns by the committees, that then a meeting shall be called immediately.�


No record has been preserved of the election of town officers in this town for years, 1775 and 1776.The Dorset convention of July 24, 1776, was the first representative which decided that an appeal to the inhabitants of the Grants should be made to have them form the same into a seperate State.Townshend was the only town on the East side of the Green Mountains, represented in that Assembly.


The first step taken by the convention towards the making of the appeal was to declare its purpose in the form of a resolution, �that application be made to the inhabitants of said Grants to form the same into a separate district.�A committee was then raised to exhibit the proceedings of the convention to the inhabitants on the East side of the mountain, and to treat with said inhabitants relative to their associating with that assembly.Capt. Heman ALLEN, Col. William MARSH and Dr. Jonas FAY, in conjunction with Capt. Samuel FLETCHER and Mr. Josiah FISK, the tow delegates from this town, were chosen the committee.Dr. Jonas FAY, Col. Thomas CHITTENDON and Lieut. Ira ALLEN were appointed to prepare instructions for said committee.So influential and energetic a committee under so able guidance would be likely to succeed, when success was possible.


When the convention above named was held inhabitants on the West side of the Green Mountains very generally favored the movement for a new State.On the East side of the mountains, however, the new State party did not number one-half of the people.But the party was growing fast.The convention proposed to ruin an adverse majority by sending the wisest and most sagacious members of the that body to labor for this object with the people on the East side of the mountains.


For this town, the plan of the convention was so thoroughly executed, that by the month of December, 1776, all the inhabitants were in favor of independence of the Grants.Every member of the convention, save one, signed the foregoing association.Among the signers are the names of Samuel FLETCHER and Josiah FISK, the delegates from Townsend.After Nov, 1776, no inhabitants of the town were friendly to the jurisdiction of New York.




Residents of this town during the Revolutionary war, who were in active military service, served with continental troops, or they belonged to the militia of Vermont.Militiamen of this town were called out by State officers to fight British troops, to defend this State, and to put down insurrection at home.Names of privates and subalterns upon those occasions are unknown to us; but among the commissioned officers were Brig. Gen�l Samuel FLETCHER, Capt. Josiah FISK, Capt. John BURT, Capt. Josiah TYLER.The military company of this town, with Capt. Samuel FLETCHER at its head, participated in the battle of Bennington, and continued in the field until the surrender of Burgoyne in the following October.Joseph TYLER, a member of the company, received a pension from Vermont, by reason of a wound received in that engagement.Tradition says that every man belonging to the company was at the front during the campaign of 1777; and no one can doubt the truth of the statement, who knows the character and influence of Capt. FLETCHER, or the spirit and patriotism of his townsmen.Of the Vermont militia assembled at Brattleboro in Jan. 1784, in order to crush the Yorkers, the company from this town numbered 53 men and was commanded by Josiah FISK.In Oct. 1781, a provision tax was laid by the legislature for feeding the troops to be employed in the service of this State during the year 1782.


Dec. 13, 1781, the town voted as follows: That $180 and interest on the same since the year 1777, be immediately assessed, and the same be paid to the committee that borrowed this sum of John HAZELTINE, Esq., in the year 1777, for a bounty to the men that went into the service.


During the February session of the Vermont Legislature in 1782, a statute was passed requiring �that there be 300 effective, able-bodied men (including officers) raised in the several towns within the State (except the towns on Connecticut river north of Barnet) to be commanded by 1 major, 5 captains, 10 lieutenants, 20 sergeants, and 20 corporals, and to be allowed 10 drummers and fifers.


In consequence of the country�s domestic troubles, the state of affairs on the Indian frontier, our relations with France, and the claim to belligerent rights made by Great Britain, the president, by act of Congress, approved May 9, 1794, was authorized to require of the executives of the several States to take effectual measures, as soon as may be, to organize, arm and equip according to law, and hold to march at a moment�s warning, the following proportions respectively, of 80,000 effective militia, officers included, to wit: From the State of Vermont 2139 *****


By reason of orders from Vermont officers to carry into effect the foregoing law of Congress, a town meeting was duly called in this town, �To act on the request of Samuel FLETCHER, Esq., and others to raise a sum of money sufficient to make up the wages of those men who are called upon to march at a moment�s warning from this town, to the following sums, viz:For a sergeant, forty-eight shillings per month : corporal and music, forty-four shillings per month: and privates, to forty shillings per month, with what is now allowed them by Congress.Provided the same be not granted them by the Legislature of the State.�


Upon this article of the warning the town voted on the 8th day of September.Although this vote of the town was of no consequence, so far as expenditure of money is concerned, still, it is very gratifying to know that the inhabitants of Townshend, in acritical time, promptly gave the response of a generous and loyal people to the call of President Washington.


At this time as in 1794, no resort was had to arms; and the National laws were enforced no further than to have men ready on summons, to take the field.


WAR OF 1812.


We have the following statement dictated to us by Lucius T. WHEELOCK, in 1869.Early in the spring of 1813, I was engaged in recruiting men for the United States army, and enlisted myself during May of that year, receiving the appointment of sergeant.My commission as ensign is dated in the fall of 1813, and I was second lieutenant when discharged in September, 1815, after war closed.I belonged to the 31st regiment of infantry, commanded by Col. DANA.Of the fights in which I participated, the more important were those at Chateaugay, the Stone Mill, and the battle of Plattsburgh.I remember that Stephen BARNARD, Thomas LOWE, Benjamin SHATTUCK, John SHATTUCK, Thomas HOLBROOK, and Thomas PARKHURST enlisted from this town and served in the last war with Great Britain.John SHATTUCK and LOWE were wounded.LOWE belonged to the 11th regiment of infantry and received a pension during life for wounds received in battle at Lundy�s Lane.


WAR FOR THE UNION, 1861 - 65. *


The town paid to this State a bounty of $400.85 for a recruit from the Southern States: also to Mrs. HUTCHINS $100, being bounty due O. S. HUTCHINS, a three-years man, who died in hospital before leaving the State for the seat of war.




No. nine-months men furnished..25

No. one-year men������13

No. three-years men�����.59

Results of draft�������..9

No. substitutes�������.14

������������������������������������������������ ___

������������������������������������������������ 120


Bounty, paid nine-months men..����������� $ 1,875.00

Bounty paid one-year men���5,177.00

Bounty paid three-years men��.9,000.85

Commutations paid�����...2,400.00

Paid substitutes�������11,300.00

Paid services and expenses of

�� agents to procure men����.1,060.86

��������������������������������������������������� ________

���������������������������������� ���������������$31,013.71




For the last 40 years there has been from 20 to 28 weeks� schooling yearly in nearly all of the districts.The following were chosen superintending committee of schools, under the statute passed in 1827:


1828, Epaphroditus RANSOM, Rev. James KIMBALL, Rev. Joseph M. Graves, Dr. W. R. RANNEY, Oliver WILKINSON, Jr., Samuel GRAY, Dana BAILEY; 1829, Charles PHELPS, James KIMBALL, Epaphroditus RANSOM, Samuel GRAY, Oliver WILKINSON, Jr., Horace STARKWEATHER, W. R. RANNEY; 1830, Charles PHELPS, W. R. RANNEY, James KIMBALL, Silas CLARK, Horace STARKWEATHER, W. R. RANNEY, Simeon CHAMERLAIN; 1832, Charles PHELPS, W. R. RANNEY, Dana BAILEY, Simeon CHAMERLAIN, Charles CLARK; 1833, Simeon CHAMERLAIN, Charles PHELPS, Horatio N. Graves, Epaphroditus RANSOM, Oliver WILKINSON, Jr.


Town superintendents of schools chosen in the following years:

1846-50, 1852-54, Rev. Horace FLETCHER; 1851, Waitstill R. RANNEY; 1855, Rev. John WOOD; 1856-59, Claudius B. SMITH; 1860-63, Rev. Chester L. CUSHMAN; 1864-66-68, Nelson WINSLOW; 1867-71, Lincoln E. SHATTUCK; 1869-70, George H. HOUGHTON; 1872-76, Rev. Franklin W. OLMSTED; 1877-78, Prof. C. C. BOYNTON.


On the 9th of January, 1837, the town appointed Clark WILKINSON, Samuel GRAY, and Horace HOWE, trustees to receive and take charge of such sum of United States deposit money as the town may be entitled to receive from the treasurer of this State, agreeably to an act of the Legislature thereof, approved Nov. 17, 1836.At the same meeting the town passed the following resolution:


Resolved,As the sense of this meeting, that the money to be deposited in the hands of the trustees shall be loaned to individuals of the town with one or more sureties, in sums not less than fifty dollars, nor over one hundred dollars : preference to be given to those who wish it to pay debts, over those who are in easy circumstances.


The following persons were chosen in the years set against their names, to serve as trustees of the United States deposit money:


Clark WILKINSON, 1837-62, Samuel GRAY, 1837-52, Horace HOWE, 1837-42, Ralph BRINTNALL, 1843-45, John BLANCHIN, 1846-65, Charles D. BELLAMY, 1853-58, Charles CLARK, 1859-65, Alfred A. RANNEY, 1864-65, James H. PHELPS, 1866-78.


1847, March 29. The town voted to borrow fifteen hundred dollars of the United States deposit money, for benefit of the town.




Distributed to Townshend on census of 1830�..$3,308.67

Distributed to Townshend on census of 1840��3,083.51

Distributed to Townshend including Acton,

���������������������������������� on census of 1850���..3,888.08

Distributed to Townshend on census of 1860��2,921.83

Distributed to Townshend on census of 1870��2,370.43




Commencing in 1826 and ending in 1833, during the fall of each year a select school was kept at the West Village.The terms for 1826 and 1827 were kept by Mr. FISHER ; those for 1828 and 1829 by Mr. CRESSY; and that for 1830 by Mr. STUART.These gentlemen were college graduates ; the first two of Amherst and the last of Middlebury college.




What is now the LELAND and GRAY Seminary at Townshend, was incorporated by the Legislature of Vermont in 1834, under the name of the LELAND Classical and English School.The name was given in honor of Lieut. Gov. LELAND, a prominent clergyman in the Baptist denomination.The school was organized under the Woodstock Association of Baptist Churches.In 1886, through the efforts of Mr. E. J. KNAPP, a fund of over $11,000 was obtained for this school.A. F. TILTON, A. B., was the first principal.Other prominent names appear as instructors.Among them are Moses LYFORD, H. L. WAYLAND, C. B. SMITH, Horace BURCHARD, Edward JUDSON, Milon DAVIDSON, and C. C. BOYNTON.D. G. SMYTH is the present principal.English and classical studies are taught.Pupils are fitted for any New England college.




The merchants in Townshend, so far back as any record can be found, are a Mr. HARRIS, a Mr. EVANS, DOOLITTLE and RIPLEY, John P. MARSH, Joe BELKNAP.When Townshend or Townshend proper was started, these outside stores began to stop business, and all business began to be done at the centre.SHAFTER & WILSON.E. LATHAN.A. BIRCHARD.Eseck ATWOOD, N. CHENEY, George Lewis JOY. S. F. THOMPSON. Mr. CONVERSE. S. D. WINSLOW, W. S. HOLLAND. Abner JOHNSON. Henry WEATHERBEE. STARKY & HOWARD. A. Elliott HOWARD. HOWARD & SALISBURY. WINSLOW & GOODHUE.Frank THOMPSON.DUNTON & BALLOU.L. I . WINSLOW & E. J. KNAPP, L. O. THAYER.W. E. CORSE.






John HAZELTON was a son of Paul HAZELTINE and grandson of Col. John HAZELTINE.We have the doctor�s autograph and give his spelling of his surname.


In July, 1775, Dr. HAZELTON owned and lived upon the farm where John SANDERSON resides.His house and office stood on the old road leading to Windam.The house was built in 1785.His first wife was Lieut. Amzi DOOLITTLE�s sister, by whom he had 12 children: seven died in infancy and two others did not attain the age of 10 years.His second wife was Dr. Nathan WEEK�s sister: children 5.


During six months of the year 1781, he served as surgeon of Col. FLETCHER�s regiment of State troops, and attended upon the garrisons at Castleton and Pittsford.He represented this town in the General Assembly of 1791, �94 and �95.He died in Manchester, Vt., July, 1822.


Waitstill R. RANNEY moved his family from Chester, Vt., to this village in 1814, and lived here till the fall of 1815, then he went to Wardsboro and resided until he came back here in the spring of 1820.In 1822 he moved from the village to the farm purchased about that time of Ezekiel RANSOM.He lived on this farm until 1837, when he removed to the village of East Townshend and lived there the remainder of his days.He was married twice and had by his first wife 13 children who survived him.He represented Townshend in the constitutional convention of 1828, and General Assembly of 1833, and was one of the senators from this county in the Legislatures of 1836, -�37,-�38.He was elected lieutenant-governor of the State.


As before stated, the children of Dr. RANNEY were thirteen in number, all of whom the father gave a liberal education.They were as follows:Dr. Evander W. who settled in practice and died in New York city, Darwin W. who became a teacher and afterwards a minister and died in Brattleboro, Stella L. wife of Capt. Sheron GRAY, who settled and died in Townshend, Alfred A. died in Colorado, Dr. Henry D. now of New York, Dr. Lafayette settled and died in New York, Amborse, a lawyer of Boston, and at one time member of the national legislature, Dr. Stephen E. now of Bennington, Dr. James W. who died in New York.Helen L. wife of a Mr. BOTTOM of Shaftsbury now dead.Frances L. also married a Mr. BOTTOM of Shaftsbury now dead.Dr. Martin L. now a physician in New York city, and Mary A. now dead, who married a lawyer in New York.


Moses CHAMERLAIN commenced practice here in February, 1834.He moved to Jamaica after living here about one year, and died in that town.His wife was a daughter of Benjamin Felton, Esq.,Anson L. PETTEE moved his family in the spring of 1835, and occupied the house that had just been vacated by Dr. CHAMERLAIN.William M. SADD opened his office here in the fall of 1837.Near the close of 1842 he sold out to John BEMENT, and left town in 1843; he married a daughter of William PARKHURST, and now resides at Claremont, N. H.


Dana HYDE.Before removing here from Wardsboro, in 1845, he had gained and ever after maintained the reputation of a well instructed practitioner.His wife was a daughter of William GREGORY of East Guilford.In 1826 and 27 he represented Guilford, his native town, in the General Assembly : and was Judge of Probate for the district of Marlboro in 1837 and �38.On his way home from a number of professional visits in Jamaica and Wardsboro, he and his son William were drowned while fording the stream below North Wardsboro, in April, 1850.


John W. GRAY.Not long after receiving the degree of Doctor of medicine, he came here in 1851.After staying about a year he moved his family to Bennington, Vt.The following Drs. Have practiced medicine and lived in this part of the town:CHAMERLAIN, RANNEY, Silas CLARK, Charles CLARK, Acherson ALLEN, STARKWEATHER, PERRY, AYER, LOVELL, HIBBARD, ELLIS, DOWNING, KENYON, TERRILL, OSGOOD, and George PORTER.




Samuel B. GOODHUE was admitted to the bar at November term, 1796, of Windham County Court.He opened an office here in 1806, and moved from this town in 1809.He died a patient at the Insane Asylum, Brattleboro, Vt.


Charles PHELPS was a son of Timothy PHELPS of Marlboro; he was admitted to the bar of Windham County Court in 1807, and came here to reside on the 7th day of September of that year.A pair of saddle-bags, with apparel therein, and the colt upon whose back he rode, constituted the sum total of his property.He married the daughter of Jennes HOUGHTON of Guilford, July 21, 1814, and had six children.His wife and four children survived him.He was elected member of the Vermont Council in 1820-21-22; Judge of Probate for the District of Westminster in 1821-22-24; and a Judge of Windham County Court in 1832-33-34.Holding each of the above named offices for three years.


Popular education always found in him a ready and earnest supporter.Through the purchase of warrants located in Illinois and issued to soldiers of the Revolution, he became owner of numerous tracts land in that State.Nearly all of these lots amounting to very many thousand dollars in value, were given to Knox College a few months before his death.Down to 1830, his books and dockets contain abundant evidence to show that his professional practice was large and remunerative.At that time his private affairs claimed and thereafter occupied the greater part of his time.His religious training began with the dawn of understanding.The libraries, lectures, public meetings, and religious privileges of a superior order, which are so common in cities, were strong inducements for putting and end to a longer country life.The residence of a daughter in Cincinnati, Ohio, decided the question.In the fall of 1845, he removed with his family to that city, where he died on the 19th day of November 1854.


James H. PHELPS, son of Charles PHELPS, was born in West Townshend, Vt., September 6, 1817, where he has always made his home.After graduation at Middlebury College in 1835, he studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar of Windham County Court in 1839.About this time his father decided to close his business in Vermont and remove from the State.Settlement of his affairs, which consisted largely of financial transactions, was placed at first, partly, and wholly, in charge of the subject of his notice.But the matters to be handled were many, and were of such character that they could not be concluded short of a term of years.A business thus prolonged and which suited the person conducting it could not easily be abandoned, even when the cause of its beginning had ceased to exist.Hence it soon became a chief means of support, and has continued to the present day.The town offices which the people of his native town have conferred upon him need not be mentioned.He was a register of the Probate District of Westminster from December 1, 1842, to December 1, 1846; a judge of Windham County Court from December 1, 1846, to 1848; he represented Townshend in the General Assembly of 1848, 1849, 1867, and was State senator in 1854 and 1856.He married Miss Sophia A. ROBBINS, November 7, 1844.Their children are: Eliza Sophia, (Mrs. PIERCE ), born June 1, 1851, and Sarah Jane, born October 20, 1853.


Minnus KENNEY, John ROBERTS, Abishai STODDARD, James M. SHARFTER, now of San Francisco, practiced for a while after being admitted to the bar at the time John ROBERTS was here.


Col. John HAZELTINEcame from Sutton, Mass., in the spring of 1769, and during the rest of his life his home was in this town.He lived in the same house with Samuel FLETCHER, his son-in-law.


Col. HAZELTINE owned nearly one-fourth of the town.This proprietorship required a large expenditure of time in procuring settlers to improve and possibly by some of his unoccupied acres.We are informed that his daughters were Rachel, Mrs. Joshua WOOD : Jenny, Mrs. Jonas BUTTERFIELD : Lucy, Mrs. Joshua BARNARD, Mehitable, Mrs. Samuel FLETCHER : and Elizabeth, Mrs. Josiah FISH.


His sons were Paul, who died a resident of this town, Asa, who moved from here to Bakersfield, Vt., and died there; Peter, who lived in this town, and Silas, who was a manufacturer in Sutton, Mass.Townshend land records show that Colonel HAZELTINE was living September 25, 1777, and that he died prior to June 12, 1778.Of his widow, Mrs. Jane HAZELTINE, we have the following account: �Col. HAZELTINE left a great portion of his property to General FLETCHER, and his widow lived with said FLETCHER till she died, (Feb. 16, 1810,) at the age of 104 years.This old lady was very industrious, always spinning at the little wheel as long as she lived.When she was 100 years old it is said that she got up from her wheel and danced.�


From the records of Sutton we learn that the provincial Grant of that town to individuals, is dated May 15, 1704; that Col. HAZELTINE was a dealer in lands there from June 15, 1726, to Dec. 29, 1768; and that the births of some of his children are dated as follows: Paul, Nov. 20, 1728; Rachel, Feb. 26, 1730; Abigail, March 14, 1732; Elizabeth Aug. 9, 1735.


Peter R. TAFT.During the winter of 1798-99, his father, Aaron TAFT, came to this town from Uxbridge, Mass., and bought the farm where Peter HAZELTINE lived on TAFTHILL.Peter R., then 14 years of age, accompanied the family.He came all the way on foot and drove the cow.In the winter, like other farmers� boys, he did chores and went to the district school.During the other months, he spent his time in helping his father carry on the farm.His education, However , was under the oversight of his father, who was a college graduate.Fondness for mathematics resulted in his becoming a land surveyor, and receiving the appointment of county surveyor.The duties of this office often made necessary a long attendance on his part at the terms of our County Court.On such occasions he was a willing as well as attentive listener, and so gained a knowledge of many legal principles which a person of his parts would be apt to apply correctly in unfolding the twist of a complicated law-suit.From his first experience as a trial justice, the entire public had great confidence in him as a magistrate.�� While pursuing his studies, he devoted a portion of his spare moments to reading-a habit which grew with his advancing years.Later in life he was, indeed, a great reader.No person was oftener called upon to fill our town offices.In one position or other his service was almost continuous.This was the case also, in Jamaica, to which town he removed in 1825.When gave up farming and returned to Townshend, in 1837, its voters, with unanimity replaced him in the offices which he had so acceptably filled in former years.In the efforts made to establish what is now LELAND and GRAY Seminary, he took a very active part.As one of the committee for erecting the academy building, his foresight and executive talent were highly appreciated.During his residence in the State he was one of the board of trustees.He was chosen judge of Probate for the district of Westminster in 1830-31-32 and 33; a judge of Windham County Court in 1835-36 and 37; a justice of the peace in 1818 and served 22 years.In the General Assembly of 1818, 20, 22 and 24 he represented Townshend, and 1827, 33 and 34 he represented Jamaica.


At the age of 25 years he was married to Sylvia HOWARD of this town, with who he lived until her death in 1866.


About 1839, his only child, Hon. Alphonzo TAFT, commenced the practice of his profession in Cincinnati, Ohio.To that city the father removed from this town in 1841, and died there Jan. 1, 1867.




Chapin Howard came to town in 1804, and engaged in the tanning business at West Townshend.He, in connection with his various partners, continued in that business at West Townshend until the fall of 1832, when he removed to the East Village, where he lived the remainder of his days.In 1834-5-6 he was chosen representative to the General Assembly.At his death he left a widow a number of daughters and three sons, A. C. HOWARD, Ormando S. HOWARD and Banbridge E. HOWARD.




Chapin HOWARD�s eldest son was born in West Townsend, March 29, 1812, and died at his residence in the East Village Jan. 9, 1881.In 1835 he went to Michigan, then a territory, where he invested in real estate and laid the foundation of his future large fortune.March 9, 1841, he was married to Hannah E., daughter of Daniel and Lucy (STEPHENS) COBB of Windham, and took his wife to Townshend, where he remained until 1858, when he removed to Chester, Vt., remaining there 10 years, when he purchased the homestead of his deceased father, where he spent the remainder of his days.At the time of his death he was a director of the People�s National Bank of Brattleboro.He represented Townshend in the Legislature of 1846 and 1847, and Chester in 1859-60.He was also a member of the constitutional convention of 1870.He bequeathed a legacy of $10,000 for the benefit of the poor of his native town.




Second son of Chapin HOWARD, was born at West Townshend, Jan. 3, 1816, and died at Townshend, July 21, 1889.He was during his life, a resident of his native town.He was married April 26, 1839, to Mary A. FISHER, and again July, 1852 to Mrs. Lucy M. UPHAM.He had a son and a daughter by his last wife.The sons and last daughter survived him.




Joseph TYLER, born in Uxbridge, Mass., May 21, 1737; died at Townshend, Vt., in the year 1815, aged 78.


Ruth, his wife, died in Townshend, Vt., July, 1825, aged 92.


He removed to Townshend from Uxbridge in the winter of 1766.Three children born to them in Uxbridge were: Lydia, Zacheus and Betsey; children born in Townshend: Ruth, Joseph and Mehitable.


His first house was a rude log cabin, and surrounded by dense forests in every direction, when he moved his family to Townshend.There were them some 15 families living near him, all of who, in the spirit of the age, turned out with hand-sleds and went to Brattleboro, 17 miles further down the river to help get his family to the new town.They had no path and had to be guided by the river and marked trees.


Joseph TYLER was a very conscientious, stern man, and was free to rebuke the sins of the early settlers, which caused him to have many enemies.He was no friend to Great Britain and Great Britain no friend of his, as is shown by the British government once offering a reward for his head.


The name of Joseph TYLER appears among the 15 who first formed a Congregational church in Townshend in 1778.The first meeting house was built of logs.The first minister, Rev. Mr. DUDLEY.


The Revolutionary war stirred the patriotic spirit of Joseph TYLER, and he joined a company of Vermonters, under Capt. FLETCHER, and crossed the Green mountains to Ticonderoga and thence to Bennington to join Gen. STARK'S command.He was engaged in the Bennington battle and was severely wounded, and was obliged to leave the service and went to his home a disabled man, in consequence of which he was granted a life pension.


Soon after coming home from the army he was made a justice of the peace and was afterwards elected a member of the Legislature for two years.




Moved to town before Vermont became a State.He built the house where Deacon J. O. Follet now lives in 1801.There were born to him six children.He was an important man in town affairs.He died in 1840.The children were John, Lyman, Moses, Judith, Wealthy and Whitney, all of who are now dead, and mostly lived and died in town or adjoining towns.A grandson, Bela B. BRIGHAM, is the only descendant living at this time in Townshend.


W. M. JAY,


Was a son of Wilder JAY, lived many years ago on the farm south of one OBER�s present place.His children W. L. JAY, now a prominent lawyer and President of Sioux National Bank of Sioux City, Iowa.George L. JAY also of Sioux City and President of Sioux Loan and Trust Company.Helen, who is the wife of a Mr. HUDSON, a merchant of St. Louis.




Brigham FORBES, born in Uxbridge, Mass., in 1803, came with his father, Moses FORBES, to Townshend, when three years old, and is a much respected old man who still lives at the age of 88, about half a mile south of the village.




Was born in Putney, Vt., Feb. 2, 1810.In 1839, he married to Mary H. PLUMMER of Brattelboro.They had five children: only one is now living, H. H. WARE.Mr. WARE represented the town in the Legislature of 1880.The fiftieth anniversary of their marriage was celebrated at their home March 25, 1889.




Was born in Townshend in 1796, he died in 1870.He was the only son of Jonas and Hannah GRAY.He married Melinda JOHNSON.Their children were Martha, May, Oscar and Aurilla.He faithfully served his town in various capacities.He was a liberal supporter of LELAND and GRAY Seminary.At a time of great need he gave the institution five hundred dollars.




Was born in Winchester, N. H., about the year 1805.His father died while Jonas was a young boy, and Jonas was bound out to a blacksmith.He consequently learned the blacksmith�s trade.At 21 years of age he came to West Townshend and worked as journeyman.He soon after married a Miss ROBBINS of Jamaica and moved to East Townshend on what was then known as the TYLER place.He then engaged in black-smithing and farming until his death, Jan. 7, 1878.While on the TYLER places his wife died, and he married for a second wife a Miss FELTON of Jamaica.This last wife still survives him and now lives with one of her daughters in Athol, Mass.Col. TWITCHELL had three daughters and a son by his first wife and two daughters and a son by his last wife.Although Col. TWITCHELL was not liberally educated, he was a man of good judgment and common sense, represented his town in the Legislature and at various times filled all the offices of the town.He was also president of the Windham County Savings Bank at the time of his death.




The First Baptist Church was formed on the 20th day of September, 1810, and existed until near the close of 1840.The meeting-house was built in 1817.The acting pastors of the church and society are as follows:Samuel KINGSBURY, from ordination in 1808, to 1817; Benjamin I. LANE, fall of 1817, to 1819; ____ LATHROP, Jan. 1820, to June 1821; George ROBBINSON, Dec. 1821 to Dec. 1824; Joseph M. GRAVES, Jan. 1825, to Jan. 1829; Simeon CHAMERLAIN, Mar. 1831, to Mar. 1834; Hiram A. GRAVES, spring and summer of 1835; Nathan AMES, 1836; Charles FARRAR, spring of 1837, to spring of 1838.




At the time of the organization of this body a Baptist church had enlisted for 17 years at the West Village.It reported to the Woodstock association 103 members, with Rev. J. W. GRAVES, pastor.Samuel GRAY worked as clerk for forty years.


On the first Sabbath of January, 1828, it was voted to employ Rev. J. M. GRAVES one-third of the time.Voted to secure the services of Elder KINSBURY [sic].The nex year Rev. Simeon CHAMERLAIN supplied one-half the time.


The next three years are memorable as the transition period of the church.In 1832 Rev. R. M. ELY received a call to be pastor, and moved his family into the community.He was the first pastor of the church, and the first minister to transfer his membership to the church and supply its pulpit.In 1838 Mr. ELY resigned and removed to Chester.Rev. W. D. UPHAM supplied the church during his vacation, and in December following became its pastor.His pastorate extended through four years and was marked by a continuous revival.In 1844 Horace FLETCHER was ordained.Mr. FLETCHER had graduated at Dartmouth College at the age of 21, the first scholar in his class,Five years he then spent in teaching and the study of law: was admitted to the bar and had spent 15 years in his practice. Rev. Horace FLETCHER grew in intellectual and spiritual strength.Then honorary title of D. D., conferred upon him from Hamilton Theological Seminar was justly earned.After an uninterrupted pastorate of nearly 28 years, he died Nov. 1871.


Rev. R. R. PRINTICE became pastor May 1, 1872.In 1875 Rev. C. P. FRENYEAR was called to the pastorate.He died may 10, 1876.Rev. T. M. BUTLER settled 1870; dismissed October 29, 1882.Rev. R. S. MITCHEL settled June 30, 1883 : dismissed July 9, 1887.Rev. W. D. ATHEARN settled Oct. 1, 1888; present pastor, 1891.


The First Restorationst Church was organized in 1818, during the ministry of Rev. Russell STREETER, then of Rockingham, who preached in the meeting-hourse once a month for two years.After Mr. STREETER went away the Restorationists ceased to have preaching at stated intervals.




Commencing about the year 1830, the Methodist Conference having charge of this circuit sent some very able clergymen who labored as itinerate preachers in this and neighboring towns to about 1836.The first two who entered upon this service were Rev. Mr. BECKLEY and Rev. Mr. FULLER.They were followed by Rev. Zed. TWITCHELL and Rev. Mr. BREWSTER.In September, 1835, a Methodist camp meeting, which continued about a week, was held in a grove.There was a large attendance at this meeting from the Methodist societies at Athens, Newfane, Wardsboro, and Londonderry.From the spring of 1839 to the spring of 1843, the people of West Townshend and vicinity attended the Methodist church.Clergymen : Rev. Harvey GUERNSEY supplying for first two years of the term, and Rev. William H. HODGES for the last two.




Rev. George PORTER, in his anniversary sermon, sketches the history and growth of this church in the following manner:


The first town meeting of which we have any positive knowledge, was held on the 30th day of May, 1771.This was ten years after the first settlers began to occupy the town, and when the resident families were 25 in number.When and in what number the inhabitants were formed into a church, the town records say not; but the American Quarterly Register states that Rev. Nicholas DUDLEY, born at Epping, N. H., graduated at Harvard College in 1767, was ordained at Townshend, Vt., June 21, 1777, and was dismissed in 1780; thus laboring between two and three years.In August, 1794, Rev. Samuel CHEEVER, D. D., received a call to this church, and remained until 1797.�� From 1797 the church was supplied by Rev. Hezekiah TAYLOR, J. BENNINGTON, and Mr. WHITNEY, neighboring ministers.Mr. Josiah MOULTON received a call, remaining about a year.After Mr. MOULTON, the next pastor of the church was Simeon SNOW, about one year.Rev. William RIDDELL was born at Coleraine, Mass., Feb. 4, 1778; graduated at Dartmouth in 1793; and was licensed to preach at Newbury, Vt., in January, 1794.He remained in Townshend about three years.He married a daughter of Rev. Samuel HOPKINS in 1797, by whom he had seven children, one of who was the well-known Rev. Samuel Hopkins RIDDELL.


The church was supplied by ministers from neighboring towns until March, 1815.


L. WHITCOMB, ordained and installed Aug. 29, 1815; died in Savannah, Georgia, January 2, 1821.Philetus CLARK, was ordained and installed Nov. 21, 1821; dismissed July 6, 1824.James KIMBALL, ordained and installed Jan. 13, 1825; dismissed Oct. 6, 1830.H. N. GRAVES, ordained and installed Feb. 5, 1833; dismissed Sept. 14, 1848.John WOOD came Jan. 1849, settled June, 1850; dismissed Apr. 11, 1854.Remained as pastor till Nov. 11, 1858.C. L. CUSHMAN, ordained and installed Dec. 22, 1859; dismissed Oct. 15, 1866.A. S. BARTON, installed Mar. 12, 1867; dismissed Dec. 13, 1869.F. W. OLMSTEAD, acting pastor; called June 13, 1870; resigned Oct., 1872.George PORTER, acting pastor; called July 1, 1877; resigned Oct. 1882.H. H. ACTERIAN, acting pastor; called July 1, 1883, 1891, present pastor, C. T. SWITZER.




On the farm of General FLETCHER, and a short distance from the present dwelling-house of John S. FULLERTON, were buried all who died in the district prior to 1799.Use of this place for burial purposes was abandoned near the close of 1814.Here are the graves of General FLETCHER and some members of his family.


Maple Grove Cemetery is situated about 100 rods west of Townshend village on the north side of the road leading from said village to West Townshend, and contains about one acre of land.It was given for a burial ground by Zatter BUTTERFIELD.A Mrs. BROWN who died in 1812 was the first body buried in the cemetery.It was the only cemetery near the village until about the year 1862.In the vicinity of 1880 Miss Lucy P. TYLER of Somerville, Mass., and a former resident of Townshend, started a fund, the income of which was to be used in caring for the graves and lots of the friends of the donors.The fund has since been increased to $350.


A substantial brick tomb was built at a cost of about $500, the old tombs removed, the wall rebuilt and other work done at a cost of about $300.In 1890 there was $200 expended in grading the grounds with money that the late Daniel READ gave for the purpose.


Oakwood Cemetery is located about 100 rods south of the westerly part of the village of Townshend.The land was bought by the town in the year 1864, and contains about four acres including the old cemetery, which has been added to it.At the time of purchase a portion of the grounds were laid out into lots, drives and walks; and on June 11, 1884, J. H. PHELPS, S. D. WINSLOW, 2d, and Henry SALISBURY were chosen by the town a committee to take charge of said cemetery.




1778-79, 1807 Samuel FLETCHER; 1780, Silas HAYWARD; 1781, 1785-90, Dr. Joshua WOOD; 1782, no choice; 1783-84, Joseph TYLER; 1791, 1794-95, Dr. John Hazelton; 1792-93-96-1803,������������������������������������������������������� Ephraim WHEELOCK; 1804-06, 1809-11, John DYER; 1808-12-13, Ezekiel RANSOM; 1814-15, Amri DOOLITTLE, jr.; 1816-17-21, Munnis KENNEY; 1818, 20, 22, 24, Peter R. TAFT; 1819-23, Dana BAILEY; 1825, Luke S. RAND; 1826-27, Epaphroditus RANSOM; 1828-30, William R. SHAFTER; 1831, John P. MARSH; 1832, no choice; 1833, Waitstill R. RANNEY ; 1834-36, Chapin HOWARD; 1837-39, John H. BRIGHAM; 1840, Samuel F. THOMPSON; 1841-42, James McSHAFTER; 1843, Nathan FISHER; 1844-45, Henry L. AIKEN; 1846-47, Aurelius C. HOWARD; 1846-49, 1867, James H. PHELPS ; 1850, William H. JAY; 1851, 53, 1861, Francis D. SAWYER; 1854, Rev. Horace FLETCHER ; 1855-56, Esek ATWOOD; 1852, 59, 78-79, Oscar R. GARFIELD; 1859-60, Abishai STODDARD; 1862, Jonas TWITCHELL; 1863-64, Ormando S. HOWARD; 1865-69, John H. CONVERSE; 1868-69, Henry SALISBURY; 1870-71, 82-83, Philip H. RUTTER; 1872-73, Masenna F. BALLOU; 1874-75, John S. FULLERTON; 1876-77, Rev. Franklin W. OMSTEAD; 1880-81, Joseph B. WARE; 1882-83, Oscar R. GARFIELD; 1884-85, Philip H. RUTTER; 1886-87, Henry UNDERWOOD; 1888-89, Choate HOWARD; 1890-91, E. L. HASTINGS.




The first post-office established in town was in West Townshend, March 23, 1811, and the first post-master was made under Madison and Chas. PHELPS, who retained the office for a long period.The only office in town remained here until Dec. 25, 1820, when it was removed to the East Village, which is nearer the centre of the town.Amos DOOLITTLE was appointed by Munroe, the first post-master in the new office.The mail was for a long time carried on horseback.In 1824, a gig was first used and trips were made weekly.In 1828, the first coach was used upon the road.In about 1844, service was increased to daily trips each way and thus continued until carried by rail car, Dec. 20, 1880.The following persons were post-masters after Amos DOOLITTLE, with date of their appointment:


O. DOOLITTLE, Dec. 18, 1824; John P. MARSH, May 21, 1825; Epaphroditus RANSOM, Sept. 14, 1831; Ezekiel RANSOM, Sept. 23, 1834; John Roberts, April 11, 1835; Oscar F. BUTTERFIELD, July 21, 1845; Henry M. WEATHERBEE, May 1, 1851; Oscar F. BUTTERFIELD, April 5, 1832; Nathaniel CHENEY, Nov. 21, 1861; Henry SALISBURY, Sept. 20, 1869; Ann C. HOWARD, Aug. 14, 1885.




It is my will, and I hereby direct, that the sum of ten thousand dollars be set apart and given to the town of Townshend, in the County of Windham and State of Vermont, the interest of said ten thousand dollars to be applied in providing for and comfortably supporting the poor of said town of Townshend, so long as my lineal descendants shall not require the same for their support and maintenance.At a meeting duly held on the 19th of Dec. 1881, three trustees, Horace C. HOWARD, Ormando S. HOWARD and James H. PHELPS were chosen to receive, manager and have the control of the bequest.




The town of Townshend has 370 shares of stock at $100 each, $37,000.


Original stockholders residing in Townshend: Junia D. BARBER, 2 shares $200; James H. PHELPS, 6 shares, $600; Ira R. BATCHELDER, 1 share $100; N. PIERCE , 2 shares, $200; Rev. Mark CARPENTER, 3 shares, $300; Daniel READ, 3 shares, $300; Adin HOLBROOK, 1 share, $100; A. STODDARD, 2 shares, $200; A. C. HOWARD, 10 shares, $1000; Josiah W. TAFT, 1 share, $100; O. S. HOWARD, 3 shares, $300; S. D. WINSLOW, 2d, 2 shares, $200.Number shares taken by persons above named, 36 at $100; number shares taken by the town, 370, at $100.Given by tax-payers of Townshend towards building the railroad.Shares of the town were taken on condition that the railroad from Mill Brook, Harmonyville, to Jamaica line, should be located on and not removed from the east or left bank of West river.




The first tavern keeper in the East Village was a Mr. BUTTERFIELD.He was followed by Capt. James TAGGART, who kept a good house in the brick building which was long after known as the RANNEY residence.Before it was converted into a private residence, Chester RAND kept a hotel, then following Capt. TAGGART who, after selling out to RAND, built the present hotel now kept by O. F. COOMBS.TAGGART had just completed his new hotel when Daniel WEBSTER spoke on the political issues of the day in 1840, on Stratton mountain, to the people of Vermont living both sides of the Green mountains.WEBSTER stopped over night with Capt. TAGGART on his way to Stratton.This is the only hotel in the town to-day, and has been occupied by the following inn-keepers after TAGGART; Abner JOHNSON, ALLEN, TAGGART again, Thomas EVANS, R. M. FLINT, HOLBROOK and BURKE, C. H. WILLARD and the present occupant, O. F. COOMBS.



Transcribed by Cherryl Ball, List Member, [email protected]

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