Wardsboro, 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.



WARDSBORO. Pages 669 - 683.


The town of Wardsborough is west of the center of Windham county in the second tier of towns on the eastern slope of the Green Mountains, bounded E. by Newfane and Townshend, S. by Dover, W. by Somerset and Stratton, and N. by Jamaica. The center of the town is 9 miles brom Fayetteville and 20 from Brattleboro. It was granted and chartered by Vermont, Nov. 7, 1780, to William WARD of Newfane, and 62 associates. An act was passed Oct. 18, 1788, dividing the town into two districts, to be called the North and the South districts. The two districts were substantially separate towns, each having a separate board of town officers. They met together once in a year for the election of State officers and a town representative. The districts were incorporated Oct. 30, 1810, into two distinct towns, the northern Wardsborough and the southern Dover, surveyed and allotted by a Mr. CAMDEN.


Gorham NELSON, Joseph PARTRIDGE, Jacob HAYWARD, Caleb CHENEY, John ROBINSON, Joseph GIBBS, Warfield HAYWARD, Wm. SPRAGUE, Elias PENNIMAN, Joseph JONES, Jr., Abel MUNROE, Philip PAINE, Moses ROBINSON, Esq., Neh. NELSON, Adam STREETER, James SUMNER, Oliver CHAPIN, Ephraim PASKET, Jona. JONES, Josiah BROWN, Daniel CORBITT, Major Gideon ORMSBY, Hannah WARD, Samuel HAYDEN, John MAWNEY, Samuel JOHNSON, Timothy JONES, Ez'l JONES, Isaac KIMBALL, Eben. MCFARLAND, Thos. MCFARLAND, Issac CHAPIN, Moses GREENWOOD, Abraham BALL, Silas BROWN, Jona. TEMPLE, Jr., John JONES, Col. Eben. WALBRIDGE, His Excellency, Thos. CHITTENDEN, Esq., Joshua PARKER, Oliver WILDER, Aaron HUDSON, Abial LYON, Amos HAIL, Edward HARRIS, James HAIL, Jr., Elkanah WOODCOCK, Jona. EDCOMB, Silas HAMILTON, Elisha BLAKE, Henry WOODHOUSE, John HAMILTON, Eben'z HATRON, Col. William WILLIAMS, Amos SHEPARDSON, Elijah ALFORDS, James ROBERTS and Phillip GURDON.


Ithamar ALLEN, John JONES, Abner HOLBROOK, Eben'z SEARS, Jacob CHAMBERLAIN, Thomas JEWETT, James WALLIS, John GANSON, John WALLACE, Daniel WARREN, Lemuel BRALEY, Thomas LOVE, Abner PERRY, James SLADE, Thomas MCDANIELS, Nathan GANSON, William STRICKLAND, Searle FAIRBANK, Samuel DAVIS, Richard HISCOCK, William BRADLEY, Eli PERRY, William HALL, Rufus HARVEY, Aaron CLARK, Asa BARNEY, Timothy WOOD, Eben'z SPARKS, Eben'z BILLS, Joseph UNDERWOOD, Jos. DIX, Abner ALLEN, Phillip NEWELL, Edward WALKER, Paul DAVIS, John STACY, Hiram NEWELL, Lemuel BRYANT, Thaddeus WRIGHT, Richard HUNT, Noah SHERMAN, Penel SHERMAN, Richard CROWINSHULD, Thomas WOODWARD, Asa UNDERWOOD, Roger BIRCHARD, Silas WRIGHT. In all 48.


The first annual March meeting warned by Luke KNOWLTON, just of the peace, was held at the dwelling house of John JONES in Wardsborough, Tuesday, March 14, 1786, and Luke KNOWLTON was chosen moderator; Aaron HUDSON, town clerk; Ithamar ALLEN, John GANSON, Abner HOLBROOK, Eben. SEARS, Jacob CHAMBERLAIN, selectmen, and duly sworn; Philip NEWELL, treasurer, sworn; Thomas JEWETT and Abner SLADE, constables, sworn; James WALLIS, Abner PERRY and Roger BIRCHARD, listers, sworn; Samuel DAVIS and Edward WALKER, grand jurors, sworn; Abner ALLEN, supervisor, sworn; Samuel BRIANT, leather sealer, sworn; Elijah BALDWIN and John JONES, tythingmen, sworn; Bazaleel GLEASON, horse brander; John GANSON, Silas WRIGHT, Elkanah WOODCOCK, Thaddeus WRIGHT, Samuel DAVIS, John and Abner PERRY, highway surveyors, and sworn.


Zadock THOMPSON in his Gazetteer of Vermont, 2d edition, 1840, states, upon what authority is unknown to the writer, that John JONES and Ithamar ALLEN were the pioneers in the settlement of the town. It is shown, however, by the town records that Samuel DAVIS and wife came into town about one year prior to that of Mr. JONES and Mr. ALLEN, as his eldest son, Ebenezer, was born May 18, 1779, being the first birth in the town; whereas JONES and ALLEN did not arrive in town with their families until June, 1780.

Mr. DAVIS purchased a lot of land in the west part of the town on which he lived many years, and reared a large family. Mr. DAVIS' native town was Milford, Mass.

Mr. ALLEN removed from Sturbridge, Mass., with his family, and began a settlement in the north-westerly part of the town where he resided until 1804, when he left town.

Mr. JONES, born in Milford, Mass., came from Orange, Mass., with six sons and three daughters, and commenced a mile or more southeast of the centre of the township. His eldest daughter married Lemuel BRALEY, and the second Nathaniel GOULD. These are believed to have been the first marriages in town.

Other settlers who came early were Phillip NEWELL, Asa WHEELOCK, Abner HOLBROOK, Elijah HOLBROOK, Josiah BROWN, Thomas JEWETT, Aaron HUDSON, Elkanah WOODCOCK, Stephen WARREN, John STACY, Asa UNDERWOOD, John HOLBROOK. A large majority of there were young men under 30, of an intelligent class. Some of the number were veterans of the Revolutionary army.


By Rev. James TUFTS, Jr.

The Congregational church was organized at the house of John RICE, May 1, 1798, consisting of 12 members - 8 males and 4 females: John SMITH, Abner HAZELTON, John JONES, Samuel CHAPIN, Lemuel BRYANT, Edward WALKER, Daniel HAZELTON, Asa JONES, Abigail JONES, Elizabeth SMITH, Eunice WALKER and Beanlah CHAPIN.

Rev. James TUFTS was ordained the first pastor, Nov. 4, 1794, and continued pastor 42 years, and for five years senior pastor.


was installed colleague pastor, Oct. 5, 1836, and dismissed in 1842.


was ordained over the North church.


was ordained over the South church.

The churches have since united.


was born in New Braintree, Mass., of William and Margaret TUFTS, Sept. 30, 1764; g[ra]duated at Brown University, 1789, and completed his theological studies with Dr. EMMONS of Franklin. He was ordained Nov. 4, 1794, at the house of Col. Dan'l REED.

The first postoffice in town was kept by Mr. TUFTS. He was postmaster for over 29 years, and his house was the only office for the three towns of Wardsboro, Stratton, and Somerset.

He died a happy death, Aug. 11, 1841, aged nearly 77, and was buried among his own people, beside the graves of those at whose funerals he had officiated.


Submit HAYDEN (Mrs. TUFTS,) was born in Grafton, Mass., April 18, 1777, daughter of Daniel HAYDEN and Submit FLAG HAYDEN, and married to Mr. TUFTS, Feb. 1807.

Children: Submit J., - TUFTS, born Feb. 29, 1808; married Allen MORRON, in 1835, has lived most in Aurora and Clinton, N. Y., educated their son Hamilton College. Mrs. Submit TUFTS MORRON died Sept. 14, 1878.

Eliza TUFTS, born Sept. 9, 1809, married Hollis T. ROBINSON, Esq., of Newfane, 1830. They lived in Canada till 1848; since then in Williamsville, Vt. Mrs. Eliza TUFTS ROBINSON died Feb. 15, 1885.

Nancy TUFTS, born May 29, 1811, married Hon. Marshal NEWTON, of Newfane, 1836; has lived in Fayetteville, Vt.


born Nov. 2, 1812, graduated at Yale College in 1838. He taught in the Academy in Fairfield, Ct., two years. Was superintendent of schools in Windham county, 1848-'49; has resided in Monson the last 33 years, engaged in teaching; was married in 1855 to Mary E. WARREN, daughter of Dr. J. P. WARREN, Wardsboro.


born Sept. 11, 1814, married D. S. BARBER of Townshend, 1847; justice of the peace, State senator two years. He sold the home farm in Wardsboro in 1850, removed to a farm in Geneseo, Ill. He died Feb. 15, 1885. He was man who will long be remembered for the good he has done - one of those men whose very presence is a rebuke to evil. He leaves a wife and six children - five sons and one daughter, all of whom but one, Dr. A. H. TUFTS of Sioux Falls, Dak., were present at the funeral.

The youngest of the family of the old pastor of Wardsboro church was Fanny Woodbury TUFTS, born April 17, 1816; married Dr. John COOKE, Manchester, Vt., died in Englishtown, N. J., June, 1865.


of Wardsborough was organized Oct. 1792, by a council composed of five pastors and delegates, Elder Aaron LELAND of Chester, moderator, and John DYER of Jamaica, clerk.


was installed in 1795. He was from Massachusetts and was the first preacher, and had the reputation of being a zealous minister. The deacons were Lemuel BRALEY and Ebenezer SEARS.

The society erected their meetinghouse on land of Noah SHERMAN in 1795.


succeeded Elder COOMBS in 1803; ordained over this church in 1806; continued his labors until 1811, when they were terminated by death.

After the decease of Elder CHOATE, Elder Calvin ORCUTT was pastor until 1815; Elder John SHEPARDSON until 1818; Elder Lyman GLAZIER preached from 1818 to 1824; Elder Joseph GAMBILL, pastor, 1824-1830.

Elder P. B. FISH from 1830-1836, preached for the church.

Elder Joshua VINCENT was ordained over the church at the close of Elder FISH'S pastorate.


The earliest Methodist preaching began in 1825. It was connected with Jamaica, Windham, Fayetteville, and Stratton, and called Newfane Circuit. In 1831 the name of the circuit was changed to Wardsboro. During the year the M. E. church was organized under the supervision of Rev. Guy BECKLEY and colleague, Rev. J. M. FULLER, with 29 members, and increased during the year to 44. Up to this and the succeeding year, the meetings were held in school houses and private dwellings in different parts of the town.

In 1832 their church edifice was built.



In 1842, the M. E. Church became an independent station under the care of one pastor. From this period to the present, 1870, the following pastors have received appointments by the Vermont Conference: Revs. I. SMITH, C. W. KELLOGG, I. A. KELLOGG, I. A. SHERBURN, P. P. RAY, I. W. BEMIS, H. EASTMAN, K. HADLEY, I. L. SMITH, D. WELLS, H. I. FOREST, W. B. HOWARD, C. P. FLANDERS. Succeeding Mr. FLANDERS was Rev. George E. CHAPMAN. Some of the number were veterans of the Revolutionary army. Their moral and religious characteristics were soon manifested by their inaugurating measures for the support of the preaching of the gospel, and for common district schools; for it is recorded: "April, 1789, that the town voted to raise a certain sum for preaching."


As has been represented, the surface of this township is "very un-uneven and some parts of it rocky," but in neither of these respects is it a much so as some of the adjoining towns. Between this town and Dover there is range of high hills - a spur from the Green Mountains, which extend from west to east parallel with and nearly on the line which separates the towns.

The eastern part of the town is comparatively level. At the extreme western section upon a high bluff there is presented on of the most magnificent landscapes on which the eye ever rested. The crests of the Green Mountains, Monadnock, Ascutney, Wachuset, and White Mountains are distinctly in view in a cloudless day.


In 1791, 483; 1800, 868; 1810, 1159; 1820, 1016; 1830, 1148; 1840, 1102; 1850, 1112; 1860, 1004; 1870, 866.

The timber is a large growth of the sugar and white maple, beach, birch, ash, bass wood, spruce and hemlock. There was also a large growth of the white pine at an early period of the settlement.

The town is well watered. The main stream, the North Branch, so called, is formed chiefly by the union of two rivulets which rise one in Somerset, the other in Stratton and near the base of the Green Mountains, and uniting with some other streams flows through the entire length of the town and falls into the West River in Jamaica.


came into town with his family of four children from Brattleboro, in 1796, and built the first grist-mill, and first saw-mill. He died Jan. 1831, aged 94 years.


There are now in town 2 grist-mills, 6 saw-mills, 2 tanneries, 6 dry goods and grocery stores, 2 taverns, 7 school districts and houses, 4 meeting-houses, viz: 2 Cong'l., 1 Bap., 1 Meth.; shops for the manufacture of buckets, pails, boxes, sieves, etc., have been in operation some years at a place called Unionville.

The first fulling and dressing-mill for cloth was build by Shepard ELLIS, 1802.

A machine for carding wool was built by Joseph CROSBY a few rods east of the center of the town in 1806 and he soon came with his family. In connection with his carding machine, Mr. CROSBY built a cabinet-shop, and his son-in-law, Joseph SWEETSER, built a tannery; about his time, also, came other mechanics and among them Joseph WILDER, the blacksmith, and since the place is known as Wilder Hollow.


Within the last few years, Frederick BALDWIN, a native of the town, by his own unaided efforts has invented and put in operation a machine, which he styles the automatic lathe, and which can among other things, turn bed-posts, fish-poles of any desired length, and the most delicate penholder. Rights patented have been sold in all the New England States. Mr. BALDWIN, has of late made some improvements to render his lathe more practical by which house-mouldings, etc., of any style can be wrought.


It cannot be determined with accuracy who taught the first district school in town. Mr. William SIMPSON, a son-in-law of Mr. John JONES, taught several winters in the east part of the town. William ALLEN, son of Sylvester ALLEN, taught a school in the winter of 1800, at the dwelling-house of Elijah HOLBROOK in the west part of town. These were among the first, if not the very first teachers. Stephen CHOATE taught school in 1803.


was an accomplished teacher. She married Clarendon MUSSEY of Middlebury, this State, and went a missionary to India, where she died a few years since.


a daughter of John KIDDER of this town was for a time a teacher of schools at the West. She has now gone as a missionary and teacher to Japan.


one of the earliest settlers in town and town clerk in 1788.


of these were John STACEY, Samuel KENNEY, Hinsdale HAMMOND, Asa WHEELOCK, Stephen WARREN, Elisha CONVERSE, Daniel READ, Eph'm. RICE, Nath'l CHAMBERLAIN, Adam HOWARD, Edward WALKER, Gideon BRIMHALL, David HARRIS, Thomas BOGLE.


participated in the battle of Yorktown, Virginia: but does not appear ever to have been a pensioner.


Served during the war of the Revolution in the artillery and had a discharge in the hand-writing of General KNOX, which was shown to the writer, and for which the soldier was required no other voucher to entitle him to a pension from the Government.


Asa WHEELOCK and Hinsdale HAMMOND were both at the battle of Saratoga; WHEELOCK appears on our pension list; HAMMOND does not.


Was at Boston in 1795[1775]; at the battle of Long Island in 1778.


Also a hero of the Revolutionary time, was in the battle of Bunker Hill.


Daniel READ, Asa WHEELOCK, Eph'm. RICE, Gideon BRIMHALL, Nath'l CHAMBERLAIN, Daniel HARRIS, Thomas BOGLE, Edward WALKER, Samuel KENNEY.

An interesting reminiscence of an event which occurred while that portion of the army under the command of Gen. WASHINGTON was encamped in the State of New Jersey, in 1778, from the mouth of two of the above witnesses, and communicated verbally to the writer, was as follows:

An order had been given to build a breast-work within the lines, and a squad of men detailed to perform that service under the charge of a corporal who felt the grave responsibility of the position which had been assigned him, but who knew not Gen. WASHINGTON personally. As the work was nearing completion, the General attended by his staff officers, came to inspect it, and perceiving the need of some more pieces of turf to round off the breast-work, spoke to the corporal to lay it, to which he indignantly replied that he was a corporal and did not lay turf. Without uttering a word in reply the General removed his gloves and laid on the turf and passed along the line. Many of the soldiers of the party knew the General and before he was out of their sight three rousing cheers and "a tiger" were given for the general, and the corporal was from that time, made the scorn and derision of the army, as he deserved to be.


The first militia company here was commanded by Capt. Dan'l READ, afterward know as Gen. READ. His successor in office was Abner PERRY. The first captain in the north district was


The company was formed about the year 1799 or 1800. They first met for drill in the month of June on the farm of Ithamar ALLEN in the northwest part of the town.


Daniel READ was promoted to the office of brigadier general at an early period in the history of the town. He was a gallant and meritorious officer.

Of the subordinates, Abner HOLBROOK, Jonathan ROBINSON, Holland PLIMPTON were colonels; Henry WHEELOCK and William KELLY, Jr., were majors.


Daniel READ, John BRALEY, John CAFFREY, Fuller BOYLE, Joseph SMITH.



Volunteers for three years, credited under the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 volunteers, of Oct. 17, 1863: Charles A. ALLEN, Benj. F. BILLINGS, Albert W. BISSETT, Geo. M. BISSETT, Francis N. BROWN, Calvin COOK, Edward FITTS, died; Lyman D. GROVER, Erwin E. HANCOCK, Sam'l HARRINGTON, Merrill L. HODGKINS, Milton L. HOWARD, Edwin S. JOHNSON, Geo. H. JOHNSON, Erastus H. JONES, Henry A. KILBURN, Warren N. NEEDHAM, Daniel PERRY, Erwin L. PUTNAM, Geo. N. PUTNAM, Romanzo G. RICE, Orrin L. RICE, John W. SANDERS, Bradford F. SCOTT, Newton I. SCOTT, Charles W. SMITH, Edwin R. SMITH, Robert H. SMITH, Stillman SMITH, William SMITH, Lewis A. TYLER, Alvin H. WHITE, Charles A. WHITE, Cyrus M. WHITE, Erastus N. WHITE, William F. WHITE.


Credits under subsequent calls of Oct. 17, 1863: John ARMSTRONG, Edward B. BISSELL, Leroy L. BRYANT, Stephen BURROUGHS, Daniel CHEHINN, Ebenezer HOLMAN, James HUMPHREY, Leroy HOLLAND, William H. PARSONS, William SCOTT, Sewell SIMPSON, Franklin SQUMISTER, Philip FASCHEREAU.


R. Jonathan BABCOCK, Elmer FITTS, John M. HAMMOND, Emery S. JONES, Nat'h A. KILBURN, Daniel M. STOCKER, Cyrus M. WHITE, Geo. A. WHITE.


George M. BISSELL, George CLOUGH, Merrell L. HODGKINS, Henry A. KILBURN, Waitstill R. PETTEE, Romanzo G. RICE.


Elbridge BISSELL, Wm. F. CLARKE, Merrick J. DOWLEY, Chas. G. FLETCHER, Hamilton L. HOWARD, Gilbert N. INGRAM, Chandler LEONARD, Sidney L. MAY, Samuel L. PARSONS, Warren PIERCE, Augustine W. RICHARDS, Francis C. SPRAGUE, Dan'l M. STOCKER, Otis WARD, John M. WHITE, William H. YOUNG.


Guy C. HARTSHORN, Edwin S. JOHNSON, Henry M. KIDDER, Elliot MAY, Oscar M. NEWELL, Charles E. NICHOLS, Sam'l S. PERRY, WELCOM, A. RAMSDELL, Chas. E. SIMONDS, Elon N. TAYLOR, Charles A. WHITE.


Mark PIERCE, Geo. H. SMITH, Henry A. WHITE.


Lewis A. TYLER.


Aaron HUDSON was chosen first town clerk, March 14, 1786. Paul DAVIS, Mar. 5, 1787; Rufus HARVEY, Apr. 27, 1790; Asa WHEELOCK, Mar. 7, 1791; Rufus HARVEY, Mar. 3, 1794; Asa WHEELOCK, Mar. 9, 1807; and reelected each successive year until 1840. J. P. WARREN, Mar. 2, 1840; John TUFTS, Mar. 7, 1842; Silas DEXTER, Mar. 4, 1844; J. G. HIGGINS, Mar. 13, 1850; A. J. DEXTER, Mar. 6, 1866, and holds the office at the present time, 1870.


Aaron HUDSON was chosen first representative in 1786; Asa WHEELOCK, 1789 to '97, '98 to 1803, 1807 to 1815; Daniel READ, 1797, 1805, '06, '54, '55; Abner PERRY, 1803, '04; Stephen PRESSON, 1815, '16; Paul WHEELER, 1817, '18, '25; Pearley FAIRBANKS, 1800, '20; Abner HOLBROOK, 1821, '22; Jonathan ROBINSON, 1823, '24; Leland FAIRBANKS, 1826, '27; Freeman HOLBROOK, 1828; Nathaniel WARD, 1829, '30; Silas DEXTER, 1831, '33; Emery WHEELER, 1832, '37, '38; Solomon NEWELL, 1836, '39; John P. WARREN, 1840, 41; Lyman W. JOHNSON, 1842, '43; Justice KNOWLTON, 1848; Wales A. BRIDGES, 1851, '52; Erasmus PLYMPTON, 1854, '55; Holland PLYMPTON, 1856, '57, 1864, '65; Avery J. DEXTER, 1858, '59; Dennis WELLS, 1861; Henry N. FITTS, 1862, '63; N. B. JOHNSON, 1867; Lyman M. NEWELL, 1867, '68; Martin LEONARD, 1869; David H. EGAN, 1870. No choice 1834, '35, '44, '45, '46.


Emery WHEELOCK, 1841, '42; John TUFTS, 1849, '50.


Daniel READ, 1797; Asa WHEELOCK, 1822, 1828; Emery WHEELOCK, 1836, '43; Henry RICE, 1850.


Jonathan ROBINSON, 1824; Emery WHEELOCK, 1836, 1843.


Aaron HUDSON, Asa WHEELOCK, Rufus HARVEY, Josiah BROWN, Daniel READ, Perley FAIRBANKS, Nathaniel CHENEY, Asa FELTON.


The first merchant who kept a store in town was


who came from Newfane in 1789 or '90, and established himself and family near the residence of John JONES.


Josiah BROWN opened a store at the Centre, 1800 - perhaps a year or two earlier. In 1804 he sold to Nathaniel CHENEY, who came from Orange, Mass., with a family of five children. He also kept the first tavern. Mr. CHENEY sold his store, etc., in 1814.

Benjamin HEAD opened a dry goods and grocery store at the North Village, then know as "Martin's Mills," 1803.

He remained in town a short time only and was succeeded by two young men, BROWN & STEVENS, from New Hampshire, Mass. BROWN & STEVENS sold to Nath'l CHAPIN, and Jonathan ROBBINS bought of CHAPIN in 1810. Other merchants who sold goods in town at an early day were Leland FAIRBANKS, Nathaniel, Jr., and Adin THAYER.


The first physician in town was Dr. Samuel WHEELER. He was succeeded by Dr. Paul WHEELER, of whom mention is made elsewhere in these papers.

Of those who have practiced here are Dr. Thomas BARKER, whom the writer remembers as an eccentric and intemperate man, who soon left town. Drs._____ ALLEN, W. R. RANNEY, J. P. WARREN, C. W. BARBER, ____ AUSTIN, A. H. GILMAN, A. H. PETTIE, H. RANNEY, S. RANNEY, A. JOHNSON, S. R. BILLINGS and brother, E. P. BURTON, Dana HYDE, M. F. BLISS, ____ HUNGERFORD and F. MARTIN, Drs. BLISS and MARTIN alone remain in town. (1870.)


was born in Shewsbury, Mass., in 1759. He came to town before the close of the Revolutionary war, 1782; purchased a lot of land about a mile southeast of the centre of the town. This became his permanent residence. After making this purchase for a homestead, he returned to his regiment in the army, until the peace of 1783. He was twice married. His first wife, Lucy MAYNARD of Shrewsbury, died of consumption, and a few years after, he married Abigail READ of Worcester, Mass. Three son were the fruit of the first, and two sons and four daughters of the second marriage. He was chosen town clerk in 1791, and held the office 36 years; was a justice of the peace 54 years; represented the town in the legislature 20 years, and was twice elected a member of the constitutional convention of the State. He died, May 23, 1842, aged 83 years.


was born in Rutland, Mass., 1771. In childhood and in youth he was in full health. When about eighteen his father sent him to Leicester Academy where he studied English and Latin, and commenced the study of medicine at twenty-one, with Dr. Reuben WALKER, Barre, Mass., whose office he left after two or more years with out-fit of horse, saddle, bridle, medicines, medical books, surgical instruments and 100 silver dollars, to see what dame fortune had in store for him in the new settlements of Vermont.

Having an uncle in the South district, he commenced practice near him, 1794, but soon removed to the South district where he made his permanent home. Middlebury college conferred upon him the honorary degree of M. D. in 1825. He was our representative three years to the legislature, and held many other offices in the gift of the town.

From 1803 to 1814, Drs. Marcus ROBBINS, Chester THAYER, Shelamath HALL and Eli PERRY, were educated in his office and practice. After 1836, the Doctor relinquished practice. He died suddenly July 24, 1846, aged 75 years.


from whom the town took its name, was born in Mendon, Worcester, County Mass. He married Hannah TAFT of that town in 1778, and soon removed with her to Newfane, Vt. In the record of the town he is styled Col. WARD. One writer, speaking of him, asserts he was chosen the first representative, 1778, to the legislature; but this is a mistake as the records do not show it.

It has been said of him that before the war of the Revolution, he and some others went to Canada for a load of furs and were arrested on the suspicion of being spies, thrown into prison and he died there. The others who were taken with him were released, soon after his death. His widow married Moses JOY of Putney, where she died in February, 1842, aged 86 years.


son of Daniel HAZELTINE, one of the early settlers, was born June, 1793; graduated at Williams College, 1815, at the age of 22 years; commenced the practice of law in Jamestown, N. Y.; served two terms in Congress from 1833 to 1837; was several years district attorney and county judge four years. He died Dec. 14, 1879, at the age of 86.

Laban HAZELTINE studied medicine in town and practiced in Jamestown, N. Y., for many years. He was a man of superior and well cultivated mind and a much esteemed physician and citizen.

Abraham HAZELTINE studied medicine with the writer and practiced in Warren, Pa. He was much beloved as a man and physician.

Jon'a B. KIDDER, son of Samuel KIDDER, graduated at Middlebury in 1821, in the 17th year of his age. He has been a teacher and occasionally preached.

Rev. Corbin Kidder graduated at Amherst College in 1828, and studied divinity at Andover, Mass. He was ordained at Saxonville over a Congregational church, and afterward settled in West Brattleboro. He died in Popple Grove, Ill., December, 1874.

Rev. Pascal P. P. KIDDER, brother of the above, was graduated at Yale College in 1836, and is an Episcopal rector in Western New York.

Alberoni KIDDER has been a Congregational minister in the West, but has retired from the ministry.

Samuel KIDDER died while a student of Lane Seminary, Ohio in 1841.

These four sons were born to


who with four other brothers came into town from Dudley, Mass., and bought farms adjoining each other and were all exemplary citizens.

Nathan E. FELTON was graduated at Middlebury, 1821. He studied law and is in practice in Haverhill, N. H.

Rev. James TUFTS, Jr., son of Rev. Jame TUFTS, was graduated at Yale College in 1838.

Lafayette WARD took is A. B. at Dartmouth College in 1846, and devoted his life to teaching.

James S. THAYER was graduated at Amherst in 1838. He was a lawyer of distinction in New York.

Professor R. L. C. ROBBINS, a graduate of Middlebury in 1835, is now a professor of Greek in that college.

David ROBBINS, father of professor ROBBINS above mentioned, was a noted teacher, and for many years county surveyor. He died in the great sickness of 1813.

J. Parker WARREN and Mark WARREN, sons of David WARREN, read law and were admitted to the bar.

Luke WARREN, son of David WARREN, is a physician in the West.

Calvin WARD practiced law several years in Springfield, Vt., and also in Newfane.

Adams DAVIS, son of Samuel DAVIS, the first settler, studied law.

Oliver PLYMPTON, a son of Abner PLYMPTON, entered the ministry and preached in Peru. He died in 1813, and was buried on the day he was to have been married.

Frederick WHEELOCK is in the practice of medicine in Albion, Mich.

Daniel WALKER studied medicine and settled in Georgia.

G. W. BARBER practiced medicine many years in De Peyster, N. Y., but became insane and committed suicide.

Chas. A. WHITE graduated at Williams College in 1817, graduated at the Dartmouth Medical College in 1820, and practiced medicine over 50 years.

Edward Jenner WARREN, son of John Parker WARREN, was an alumnus of Dartmouth College. He became eminent as a lawyer and judge in North Carolina.

Lieut. John Wheelock WARREN, son of John Parker WARREN, entered Williams College in the class of 1860, but was compelled by failing health to relinquish the course. At the outbreak of the rebellion he enlisted in the 1st Wis. Calvary and served in that Regt. till March, 1865, when he mustered out. He was several times wounded and for some months was a prisoner of war in the prison at Salisbury, N. C. he died at Brattleboro, March 27, 1875.

Samuel R. WARREN, son of John Parker WARREN, graduated at Yale College in the class of 1860. He read law and was admitted to the bar of New York in 1862.

Miles KNOWLTON graduated at Hamilton College, N. Y., and has been a missionary in China the last 15 years.

George GAIKER graduated at Wesleyan University, Conn. He studied law and became a judge in the West.

Levi KNIGHT, Jr., is a teacher in Georgia.

Wales CHENEY was educated at the Military Academy, Norwich, Vt.



Rensselear David Chanceford ROBBINS was born in Wardsboro, in 1812. He was left an orphan at the age of two and a half years, with a sister who afterward married Rev. C. MUZZY of the Madura Mission, where she died early in the missionary service.

His first years were spent on a farm, with such opportunities for education as a common school afforded, until he was 16, when he attended the academy at Brattleboro for a time, and afterward that at Chester, teaching a district school in the winter. He spent a year in New Jersey as a teacher, pursuing his classical studies meanwhile. In the spring of 1832, he entered Middlebury College and graduated in 1835. In this class, one of the largest ever graduated at Middlebury, and peculiarly rich, as it seems to the author, in every variety of talent, he distinguished himself by his fidelity and completeness in every department of study, and especially by his proficiency in the classics. _ Studious and hearty in his intimacies he quietly mastered his place and his work.

In the autumn of 1835 he visited the south, then an inviting field for Northern teachers, and spent a year in that employment, but returned in the winter of 1837, and for nearly a year had charge of the academy in Royalton.

He entered the Theological Seminary at Andover in 1838, but was induced to spend a year at Middlebury College as tutor, when he returned to Andover and graduated with his class in 1841. His ardent relish for classical and sacred literature has here found its gratification and led to his continuation at the seminary till he received his appointment to the Greek professorship at Middlebury College.

Professor ROBBINS has published a translation of Hengstenbeorg�s "Egypt and the Books of Moses;" an annotted edition of Xenophon�s Memorabilia, and various historical, biblical and classical articles in the Bibliotheca Sacra and Biblical Repository. He also edited Prof. STUART'S work.


a much esteemed physician, and his son 10 years of age were drowned near the North Village in the branch that falls into West River, April 26, 1850. The Doctor was at the time residing at West Townsend Village. Having business in Waresboros[sic], he started at 10 A.M., with horse and wagon to go to the North Village: hearing the bridge that way had been swept away by the flood, he took the hill, or old road through the south part of Jamaica, some farther than the stage-road. About three o'clock, he started back, and thinking, doubtless, to save some travel by fording the stream, though cautioned against making the attempt, he made it. On the abutment of the bridge, he took a view; the water was high and swift, the ford-way full of rocks, yet he resumed his seat in his buggy and drove in. He scarcely reached mid-way, as seen by a man who watched with anxiety the attempt, when the body of the wagon, connected to the axle by a king-bolt not keyed, separated from the fore-wheels, throwing the Doctor and his boy into the water upon the rocks, causing the instant death of both. The alarm was given at the village and the bodies rescued and carried home the same night.


From the Washington, Carolina Paper, of Dec. 16, 1876.

We are pained to have to announce the death of one of our most honored and esteemed townsmen. The Hon. E. J. WARREN died at his residence on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 10th inst. He was born in Vermont, Dec. 23, 1826, and came to live in this town soon after he arrived of age. He taught school here for a short time. In 1849, he obtained license as an attorney, and soon took a place in the first rank of the profession along with men of such ability as HAWKS, SPARROW, RODMAN and others.

He represented the county of Beaufort in the Convention of 1860, and several terms in the Legislature. In 1871-72 he was Speaker of the Senate. At the close of the war, he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, which office he held until the adoption of the Constitution of 1868. He discharged its duties in such a way as to receive the entire approbation of all who appeared before him, whether as attorneys or suitors. His reading in the law had been unusually extensive, and its principles were familiar. He rarely erred in their application. Naturally of a warm and earnest temper, he had decided opinions on most questions, political or other, and he had decided likes and dislikes among individuals, but on the Bench, to all persons, in every case, he was patient, attentive, and courteous. Every argument was fully heard and carefully weighed, and his quick, cultivated judgment enabled him to give a prompt decision. His perfect impartiality was never questioned. He will be long remembered by all who practiced before him as the model of a Judge.


At her death it was written [in the obituary - see page 8 of this history.] "She was the second daughter of the late Rev. James TUFTS of Wardsboro, of whose family of six children only two now survive - Mrs. NEWTON of Newfane and Rev. James TUFTS of Monson, Mass. Mrs. ROBINSON was married in 1830, and survived her husband but two weeks. She was a woman of rare mental ability, possessing a tenacious memory and an extensive fund of information upon most literary and scientific subjects - which, however, owing to her extreme sensitiveness, was known only to her most intimate friends. Her familiarity with the Scriptures was well known; in the midst of great trials she always found consolation in the precious promises contained therein. She was the mother of four children - three sons and one daughter - to whom she gave most of her educational advantage. William H. and James T. were residents of Peoria, Ill., for 20 years previous to their decease, and were widely known as successful business men. Henry J. died in early manhood from the effects of malarial fever contracted in Kansas, whither he had gone as a pioneer. The daughter has been spared to take care of her parents in these later years of declining health and strength. By a strange coincidence, the death of Mrs. ROBINSON'S brother, Deacon John TUFTS of Geneseo, Ill., took place of the same day as her own - Feb. 15, 1885.

Thus brother and sister took their flight almost together from their homes, where they were greatly loved, and entered into the rest that remaineth for the people of God."



[Brattleboro Paper.]

In Dr. J. P. WARREN, who died at his residence on Green street, Saturday, Sept. 14, 1878, Brattleboro loses one of those patriarchal landmarks of a former generation, who are so instinctively honored, and Windham county is deprived of what was one once of its largest and most vigorous intellects. Until within a few days of his death he seemed to be in the most robust health, enjoying live with as much zest as many men 40 years younger. He was born in Wardsboro, Aug. 20, 1795, and at this death was trifle over 83. He studied medicine, first with Dr. W. R. RANNEY, and afterwards with Dr. Jonathan A. ALLEN of Brattleboro, and graduated from the Dartmouth Medical College in 1820. He continued in practice in Wardsboro until 1842, earning an excellent reputation as a physician, and being called to nearly every part of the county. He represented the town in the Legislature in 1839 and 1840. Leaving Wardsboro, he removed to Chesterfield, N. H., where he remained a few years. He afterwards resided several years in Fayetteville, taking the place of Dr. OLDS, removing to Brattleboro about 20 years ago.

In 1820 he married Lucy Maynard WHEELOCK, who still survives him [died Sept. 15, 1880], a sister of Judges Henry and Emery WHEELOCK, who have both been prominent men in the county. His family numbered nine sons and three daughters, even of whom are now living. His oldest son Charles, died in this village in early manhood. His second son, Edward Jenner WARREN, was a judge of the Supreme Court of North Carolina; he died in 1876. Five of the sons were in the late war. Lieut. John Wheelock WARREN, a veteran of the 1st Wisconsin calvary, was several times wounded and for some months a prisoner of war in a rebel prison: he died in this town in 1875. Capt. Frank E. WARREN, a veteran of the 8th Vermont volunteers, took part in all of the engagements of his regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Winchester, Va. His youngest son, Charles Herbert, was killed in action. His second daughter, Jennie, died in Michigan in 1880.

Dr. WARREN was a man of noble presence and rare dignity, and while familiar with the best works in literature, devoted much time to reading in the line of his profession. He was particularly fond of botany, mineralogy and chemistry, and made one of the best collections of minerals in Southern Vermont. His educational advantages, supplements by a tenacious memory, practical judgment, vigor and strength of mind, made him, locally at least, one of the great men of the county. Some eight years since he prepared a history of Wardsboro which is now in the hands of Miss HEMENWAY for publication.


Died in Wardsboro, Vt., August 23, 1863, age 104 years and six months.

Very few, probably who read that brief notice, gave it more than a moment's attention, or thought of anything more than the extraordinary old age to which the subject of it attained. But Robert BABCOCK served his country in the war for Independence, and was an actor in one of the most gallant exploits of the war. Of the actors in that exploit, he supposed himself to be, and there is no reason to doubt that he was, the last survivor.

Rather more than two lines are due to the memory of such a man, and though his porsonal [sic] history is unknown, and perhaps of small account except us as connected with that event, it is proper to record in this connection the facts of the transaction.

The capture of Gen. LEE by the British in the summer of 1777, was a serious damage to the American arms, not only by depriving them of his services, which were immediately needed, but by embarrassing them in vain endeavors of effect an exchange of some British officers for him. This they could not do, as they had no officer of equal rank. In this emergency, William BARTON, then a lieutenant-colonel in the Rhode Island militia, and afterwards a resident of Vermont and founder of the town of Barton, conceived the bold idea of capturing a British general, and so effecting the release of LEE. Sir Wm. PRESCOTT, the commander-in-chief of the British forces in Rhode Island, had his headquarters at the house of a Quaker, named OVERING, on an island near the main land. BARTON planned an expedition for his capture, and on the night of July 10, 1777, taking with him 40 picked men in two boats, he eluded the vigilance of the ships and gunboats by which the island was surrounded and arrived undiscovered at the headquarters of Gen. PRESCOTT. He was not aware of their approach till they arrived at the very door of the chamber in which he slept. The door was closed and fastened, and the Americans were considerably delayed in their endeavors to effect an entrance. At length a Negro, named PRINCE, converted his head into a battering-ram, and drawing back a little distance he pitched head-fore-most through the door, and surprised the General in his bed. Without allowing him time even to dress, Gen. PRESCOTT'S captors marched him to the boat, reached the bay in safety, and eventually delivered their prisoner at WASHINGTON'S head-quarters. The capture caused a great deal of chagrin to the British and no less exultation among the Americans. It had the designed effect and secured the speedy exchange of General LEE.

Among those forty picked men was Robert BABCOCK, then only nineteen years of age. His share in that exploit was among the choicest recollections of his live, and after he had outlived a century nothing delighted him more than to recall and narrate the adventures of that eventful night.



Rev. Ebenezer Green BRADFORD died in Leverett, Mass., August 29, 1861, aged 60 years, 3 months and 5 days. He was a lineal descendant in the seventh generation from the distinguished William BRADFORD, one the May-flower Pilgrims, and for thirty years Governor of Plymouth Colony; and through him was related to John BRADFORD, the intimate friend of ROGERS, HOOPER, LATIMER and RIDLEY, and like them a martyr at the stake in Smith-field.

He was the fourth son of Rev. Moses and Sarah (EATON) BRADFORD, and was born in Francestown, N. H., May 24, 1801. He was graduated at Amherst in 1827; studied theology at Andover one year; finished his course with Rev. John M. WHITON, D. D., of Antrim, N. H., and was licensed by the Union Association, at Goffstown, N. H., August 12, 1829. His first settlement was at Colebrook, N. H., where he was ordained February 29, 1832. Rev. James TISDALE, of Guildhall, Vt., preached the sermon.

He was dismissed from Colebrook in February, 1836, and received a call from the Congregational Church in Wardsboro, Vt., May 30, 1836, and was there installed October 5, 1836. His brother, Rev. Moses B. BRADFORD, of Grafton, Vt., preached the sermon. He was dismissed May 24, 1842, and removed to Wisconsin, where he was a stated supply of the N. S. Presbyterian Church in Plattville, a year and three months; of the Congregational Church in Prairie du Lac, three years and two months; and of the Congregational Church in Waupun, three years.

In December, 1850, he commenced preaching at Princeton, Wis., organized a Congregational Church there in 1852, and continued his labors with that church till March 30, 1861. His health failing, he returned to New England, and gradually sank of paralysis.

Peter HAMMOND, of Geneseo, Ill., died on the anniversary of his 102d birthday. Until within a few months Mr. HAMMOND, despite his great years, enjoyed almost perfect health: retained the full measure of his faculties; walked to church nearly a mile on pleasant Sundays; read without glasses and seemed as happy and connected with life as any of his children. The father of Mr. HAMMOND was one of the patriots of the Revolution, and took part in the destruction of the tea in Boston harbor. Subsequently he removed to Wardsboro, Windham county in this state, then a wilderness, where he died in 1842, aged 94 years. Peter remained at Newton with his grandparents until his mother made the journey on horseback after him, a distance of 125 miles, and returned with him, he walking the entire way by her side. In 1802, he married Charlotte HOLBROOK, daughter of a prominent citizen of Wardsboro, and for 53 years they continued to reside in the house which he built and occupied soon after their marriage. At the death of his wife, in 1856, Mr. HAMMOND moved to Geneseo, Ill. At the age of 100 years, his physicians declared that there was not a diseased organ in his body.

Squire ELMER, born in Somers, Ct., 1781, was a soldier of 1812, for 2 years; at 37, one January day, out on business, so froze his feet that he had to have both amputated, and for 47 years after was a hard working man, always walking upon his knees.


died in Shelburne, Mass., Mar. 26th, aged 68 years. He was a native of Coleraine, Mass, but through all the years of active business life resided in Wardsboro. He was a merchant for about thirty years.


whose life was given to education, who has been already mentioned in this history among the educated and distinguished sons of Wardsboro, and who was deceased about two years sine, we think, on the 25th anniversary of the Powers Institute, at Bernardston, was thus eulogized in the speech at the evening of the grand day for Bernardston, by the orator of the occasion. P. W. Williams, Principal of the Davenport (Ia.) high schools:

Prof. L. F. WARD was the first principal of the institute. For seven years his life was the life of the institute. He brought with him the vigor of youth, the ambition of manhood and the discrimination of maturity. As a teacher his illustrations were homely and pointed, his logic clean and his meaning never obscure; with a rich gift of language he never failed for the right word. Soon after Prof. WARD became connected with the school, he demanded a boarding-house, and Cushman hall was built. Under his administration the school was a success, and in 1860 there were 600 pupils connected with the school, a number not since reached. Prof. WARD was the chief and attractive instructor of the first few years. He formed a library and organized debating clubs. He tried in 1860, to get the Legislature to appropriate $20,000 for the purpose of organizing an agricultural department, and the General Court in 1869 was petitioned to found a normal school department in connection with the Powers institute. Both schemes failed. After he left this school he was for three years superintendent of the Northampton schools, a member at one time of the Vermont council of censors, served in the Legislature for two years and for three years was member of the state board of education. He died last year from over-work and the greatest monument of his life is this institution which he loved and for which he did so much. The old pupils that still live are now scattered and each is spreading his little censor of influence secured from the master hand.

Transcribed by a Volunteer List Member of the [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 2003, Sue Downhill [email protected]