HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF CORNWALL
THE original grantees of Cornwall were probably residents of Litchfield county, Connecticut. The charter granted to them was signed by Benning Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, on the 3d day of November, 1761.
The following are their names;
Elias Reed, Thomas Chipman, Murry Lester, Samuel Lee, Josiah Heath, James Nichols, Josiah Dean, Ebenezer Fletcher, Samuel Keep, Roswell Steel, Alexander Gaston, George Nichols, William Nichols, John Judd, Timothy Brownson, Solomon Linsley, Andrew Esquire, Moses Buck, David Cowles, Moses Read the 3d, Zuriel Jacobs, William Trumbull, Stephen Benton, Sarah Nichols, Benjamin Smalley, John Willoby, Joel Reed, Joseph Williams, James Nichols, jr., Enoch Slawson, Phinehas Holdcom, Josiah Willoby, Samuel Chipman, Thomas Tuttle, Jabez Tuttle, John Skinner, Samuel Hulburd, Hannah Austin, Ruluff White, David Averill, Amos Chipman, Jabez Williams, James Smith, Andrew Brownson and John Scovill, one right; Samuel Judd, Eleanor Smith, Benjamin Woodruff, Jonah Sandford, William Reed, Nathan Benton, Abiel Linsley, John Everts, James Landon, esq., James Landon, jr., Ezekiel Landon, Thomas Landon, John Hutchinson, esq., William Ham, David Reed, David Stevens, Richard Wiberd, esq., Joseph Newmarch, esq., Samuel Beebee, Isaac Benton.
Owing to the glaring discrepancies between the town lines, as established by the charter, and a re-survey dated September 25, 1784, both of which were grossly inaccurate, a controversy arose beween Cornwall and Whiting, which in 1789 ripened into a law suit. The result being unfavorable to Cornwall, the proprietors thereof repeatedly petitioned the Legislature for a rehearing, which was probably granted. Orin Field, an early resident of Cornwall near the Whiting border, is quoted in Matthew’s History of Cornwall as substantially saying:
“The proprietors of Whiting claimed about two miles of the south part of Cornwall, i. e., as far as the north line of Daniel Scovel’s farm, extended eastward and westward to the limits of the town; while Cornwall claimed about the same breadth of territory in the north part of Whiting, and both interpreted their charters as substantiating their demands. After the litigation above described the controversy was settled by a compromise, which assigned about two-thirds of the territory to Cornwall, and the balance to Whiting.”
There was danger for a time, also, of a rupture between the inhabitants of Cornwall and Weybridge respecting that portion of Cornwall which lies north of the Middlebury and Bridport road, Weybridge being inclined to demand the entire tract. The jurisdiction of Cornwall was finally acknowledged, how-ever, on the ground of priority in the date of its charter. In reference to this point, Judge Swift, in his History of Middlebury remarks:
“There are on record several deeds referring to ‘Weybridge Old Corner.’ It is obvious that a different line was originally recognized [claimed by Weybridge] as dividing the towns of Cornwall and Weybridge, and far enough south to include the falls in the latter town, and by persevering examination we find that it forms the division line between Foot’s mill lot and the home farm of the late Colonel Storrs. There is no record of the time and manner of altering this line, nor have I found any living man who had any knowledge of such a line. But it is probable that the change was made by the surveyor-general in 1784, when the town lines of Middlebury were surveyed and corrected. Among the records of Cornwall town meeting in November, 1787, is the following: ‘A petition from Weybridge for setting off from Cornwall to the former old line was read and rejected.”‘
The proprietors, after organizing under their charter, adopted the name of Cornwall, from a town in Litchfield county. Their early meetings were held in Salisbury, Conn. The proceedings at these meetings can be only inferred, however, as the record was burned in Connecticut in 1788. If there were, therefore, any general survey and allotments of land in the town previous to that time, all traces of the division lines were so far obliterated by the loss of the records that the settlers, while claiming under some original right, consulted their preferences respecting the location of their claims. Hence it frequently happened that lots claimed under the same right were situated in different parts of the town. These claims were denominated “pitches.” Lots were also granted to settlers who had performed some town service, such as working on the highways, irrespective of the quantity of land previously granted, a method which resulted in unavoidable confusion and controversy, some of the later claimants finding no land unoccupied, “while many of the settlers, shrewdly observing the boundaries of the pitches occupied by their neighbors, after the lapse of years found vacant lots that had escaped the notice of surveyors and claimants, which they secured for themselves simply by having them surveyed, and the survey entered upon the record.” The difficulties thus engendered were not removed for years, and undoubtedly retarded the settlement of Cornwall. The custom was not confined to this town, however, but prevailed in all or nearly all the towns in the State.
The first settlers of Cornwall were Asa Blodget, James Bentley, James Bentley, jr., Thomas Bentley, Joseph Throop, Theophilus Allen, William Douglass, Samuel Benton, Eldad Andrus, Samuel Blodget, Sardius Blodget, Solomon Linsley, Aaron Scott and Nathan Foot. They arrived and made their pitches in 1774. The eight first named selected their lands in the east part of the township, bounding on Otter Creek, and by the change of limits, in 1796 became inhabitants of Middlebury. The remaining six made their pitches in the northern and central parts of this town.
In 1775 Ebenezer Stebbins, Joel Linsley and John Holley made their pitches, and in 1776 Jonah Sanford, Obadiah Wheeler and James Marsh Douglass settled their locations. None of these names except those of Solomon Linsley and Jonah Sanford is endorsed on the charter. With these exceptions, and two or three others who came after the war, the surveys uniformly specify certain “original rights,” on which their claims were leased.
Eldad Andrus first settled on the farm now occupied by Mrs. T. B. Holly, and afterwards exchanged farms with Zechariah Benedict, whose pitch lay in the west part of the town bounding on Lemon Fair. His first house was built a few rods east of the present buildings. He was taken prisoner in May or June, 1778, by Indians and Tories, and carried across Lake Champlain to the British camp, where he was held for several months. Meanwhile the Indians frequently visited his house, consumed his provisions, destroyed his young fruit-trees, and stole his mare and her colt. It is said that two years later the mare and colt returned, accompanied by another colt, the young beasts being so well matched as to make Andrus a valuable team. Having discovered a chance to escape, he fled the British camp, but soon perceived that he was followed by an Indian. Whereupon, securing a heavy club, he hid himself under a huge log over which his pursuer must pass, and at the opportune moment felled him to the earth, and effected his escape unmolested. Among his descendants now living in town are his grandson, S. S. Andrus, and great-granddaughters, Mrs. James Tracey and Mrs. O. A. Field.
Samuel Blodget pitched on a lot of one hundred acres on the old North and South road from Cornwall to Middlebury, which was destroyed some time before 1860. M. B. Williamson, R. A. Foot, A. M. Williamson, Mrs. M. M. Peet, and Mrs. Alberton S. Bingham are his grandchildren. He was taken prisoner at the same time as Eldad Andrus, and was bound to a tree and threatened with death. Upon making himself known to a British officer as a Freemason, this fate was averted, and it was reserved for him to be taken to Ticonderoga, “where he suffered all the abuse and tortures usual to captives, and was imprisoned on board an old vessel, which abounded with vermin and filth, until he obtained permission to go on shore and drive team and perform other duties which fell to the lot of captives. He was liberated in the fall, and returned to his family, who by this time had removed to Bennington or Arlington, where they remained until the announcement of peace.” He died on his original pitch in 1838, aged eighty-seven years.
The first settlement of Solomon Linsley embraced the farm owned, in 1862, by Milo Williamson, a few rods north of the present farm of M. B. Williamson.
Aaron Scott, of Sunderland, Mass., cleared a hundred acres west of Solomon Linsley, the survey embracing the present farm of Mrs. S. D. Carr, and .extended further west and south. His cabin stood southwest of the site of Mrs. Carr’s house.
Dr. Nathan Foot, from Watertown, Conn., made his first pitch in the extreme east part of the town, on the verge of the swamp. The farm is not now occupied, but was afterward owned by his son Nathan, and in 1862 and later by Maria Foot and William Turner. A few years after his arrival here he built a second log house west of the highway, and later still a framed house. He died in Charlotte in 1807. Mrs. William Turner is his great-granddaughter. These surveys were all made in 1774 by Judge Gamaliel Painter, of Middlebury.
In 1775 John Holley made his pitch on a lot east of the one now owned and occupied by B. C. Parkhill. He afterward effected an exchange with his brother Stephen, and removed to the lot now occupied by Mr. Parkhill. This lot was originally pitched by Samuel Benton, and afterward passed through the hands of Isaac Kellogg, Ashbel Cone, William Crocker, Stephen Holley, John Holley, Eli Everts, Ephraim Andrus, William Slade, Rebecca Slade, Norman B. Slade, Daniel B. Kinner, Truman Eells, and Benjamin Parkhill.
The same year Ebenezer Stebbins settled on the north side of the road, on the place now owned and occupied by his grandson, Loren W. Peet. He was obliged to flee with his family after the recapture of Ticonderoga by Burgoyne in 1777.
Early in 1775 Hon. Joel Linsley, from Woodbury, Conn., made a pitch on a tract which he occupied the remainder of his life. His first log cabin stood sixty or eighty rods east of the building now occupied by Charles Benedict, which he subsequently built. He was a surveyor and became a large land owner. At the organization of the town he was chosen town clerk, and afterwards repeatedly elected, with the exception of two years, until his death in 1818. He represented the town several years in the Legislature; was assistant judge and afterward chief judge of the County Court. His popularity was owing no less to his sociability than to his business energy and capability.
The same year James Marsh Douglass, from Cornwall, Conn., pitched in the south part of the town on a lot afterwards occupied by Elias Douglass, and later still by Eli Stevens. He probably remained here most of the time until 1784, when he brought his family from Connecticut. He owned about five hundred acres in different lots in this vicinity, and apparently intended to have his sons settle about him. He died, however, in 1790, and the estate was divided among his sons.
John Douglass lived on the place now owned by C. and C. E. Ward; Colonel Benajah Douglass on the place where his son N. B. Douglass now lives. N B. Douglass and his three children, James, Maria, and Lilian, are the only descendants in town of James Marsh Douglass.
What settlements and clearing of land had been effected before the inroads of the British, Tories, and Indians had begun, were almost entirely obliterated before the close of the Revolutionary War. Immediately upon the declarationof peace in 1783, however, the fugitive settlers hastened back to their deserted and wasted farms, and began anew the building up of homes and communities, little dreaming of the future greatness of the nation whose foundations they were laying deep and strong.
At this time Orange Throop settled and built a house in the northeast part of the town on the old discontinued road from Middlebury, about sixty rods south of the location of Samuel Blodget. School-house No. 1, according to the first division of the town into school districts in 1787, stood nearly opposite his house. Samuel Ingraham settled about sixty rods further south on the west side of the road in 1786, and Mathew Lewis located a little southwest of him at the same time, but afterward removed to the northwest part of the town, where he died. Samuel Ingraham was an active soldier in the Revolutionary War, and enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his fellow townsmen in Vermont.
The next farm south of Ingraham was originally settled (probably not before 1784) by Ethan Andrus. By gradual accession he soon acquired property amounting to more than three hundred acres. In 1808 he exchanged “two hundred and twelve acres, exclusive of highways,” of this property with Darius Matthews. This farm is nearly the same as that now owned by W. H. and P. T. B. Matthews. Andrus first built a framed house about sixty rods north of the one which he afterwards put up, and which is now occupied by the Messrs. Matthews. Andrus kept a tavern here for several years. Rev. Joseph R. Andrus, the first agent of the American Colonization Society to Africa, was his son, and was born here April 3, 1791.
Daniel Foot, one of the four sons of Dr. Nathan Foot, who settled in Cornwall, made a pitch for himself after the war, on the east side of the road, embracing land now owned by Henry Lane, some distance south of the Matthews’s homestead. He was a fearless, adventurous man, and bore a perilous part in the war. He died August 24, 1848, aged eighty-nine years.
Nathan Foot, jr., came to Cornwall with his father, and in addition to the latter’s donation of land, purchased of him one hundred and twenty-five acres, and pitched some lots on his own account. He built and for many years kept, a tavern, on the site now occupied by Mrs. William Turner. He died November 16,1828.
Abijah Foot built on the corner northeast of the tavern of Nathan, jr., and after a few years sold to Dr. Daniel Campbell. Mrs. Foot was joint tenant of this lot with Abijah. He died at Cayuga, N. Y., in 1841, and Abijah died here in 1795. The property afterwards came into the hands of Dr. Frederick Ford.
Samuel Bartholomew came from Watertown, Conn., in 1786, and settled north of Abijah Foot, on the present farm of Joseph Adams. He devoted himself exclusively to the raising of fruits, but not profiting so highly as he expected, he removed to Kentucky about 1812, where he died a few years later. He was a man of social habits and intelligent mind, but carried a spirit of independence to an eccentric degree. He wrote poetry, and published one volume of nearly one hundred pages, entitled Will Wittling, or the Spoiled Child.
Elijah Durfey settled at an early day on the west side of the road between the lands of Samuel Bartholomew and Nathan Foot, jr. He was a cooper.
Elisha Hurlbut, from Canaan, Conn., first settled in the west part of the town, but afterwards purchased of Elizabeth Avery in 1786 the farm substanbally now occupied by N. Wing. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and was drowned near the “Three Mile Bridge,” in Middlebury, in 1824, aged sixty-four years. Among his descendants are W. S. Hurlbut, a grandson, Mrs. Jason Jones, E. E. Jones, Henry Jones, and Mrs. Robinson.
Timothy Baker settled on the farm opposite Elisha Hurlbut, which was originally surveyed to Thurman Wheeler. After his death, about 1812, his farm was old to William Hurlbut, who owned it for many years. W. S. Hurlbut now lives on the same place.
Thomas Pritchard, from Waterbury, Conn., purchased of Timothy Baker and Daniel Foot, in 1791, the lot next south of Elisha Hurlbut, now occupied by Miss Martha Hill. He was a blacksmith. He sold to Daniel Huntington in 1805. E. D. Pritchard is his grandson.
James Lane, of Mansfield, Conn., bought in 1800 the farm now occupied by Henry Lane. He died in July of that year and was succeeded by his son Job, who remained on the place until his decease in 1860, at the age of seventy-two years. The descendants of James Lane now in town are Henry Lane, grandson, and his son, C. H. Lane, and Rollin Lane, also grandson, and his children, C. R. and Hattie Lane.
In 1787 Samuel Benton bought of Rev. Thomas Tolman all the “ministerial right, pitched and unpitched, excepting two hundred acres,” and in reliance upon this title pitched fifty acres on the north side of the road, south of the farm afterwards purchased by James Lane. In 1789 he sold to Jeremiah Rockwell. He owned more land, perhaps, than any other early settler in town. He was familiarly called “Captain,” “Colonel ” and “General” Benton. He left town before his death, after having become involved in expensive and vexatious litigation arising from his speculations in land.
Jeremiah Rockwell settled on the Samuel Benton farm, building his house on the west side of the road. Mrs. M. R. Porter now lives on the place.
David Parkhill came in May, 1784, from Weston, Mass., and pitched one hundred acres where his grandson, S. C. Parkhill, now lives. His first cabin stood near the site of the present building.
He was several years in the army, was in New York on the arrival of the British, and fought at the battle of Bennington. His widow afterward drew a pension for his services, and lived to the advanced age of ninety one years. His descendants in town are S. C. Parkhill, Mrs. Franklin Hooker, Mrs. Flora Clark and Miss Eva Hooker, and the children of the first three named.
John Robbins settled on the farm just north of David Parkhill now occupied by his son, Ebenezer R. Robbins, in 1798, and remained there until his decease in 1831, at the age of seventy-five years. Henry Robbins is his grandson.
Stephen Holley settled early on the land owned by S. C. Parkhill and E. R. Robbins. He accompanied Arnold to Quebec. His early occupation was that of a carpenter. He died in 1835, aged seventy-nine years. Mrs. T. B Holley is the widow of his grandson.
As early as 1785 Isaac Kellogg settled on the place now owned and occupied by Samuel Everts, but probably did not long remain. The place has been in the hands of the Everts family for many years.
The place now occupied by W. M. Easton was purchased by Nathan Stowell of Judge Linsley in 1796. Stowell came that year from Ashford, Conn., and kept a tavern on the place until his death, and was followed by John Alvord, H. Stowell (his son), Colonel Harmon Samson and others.
Abial Linsley, sr., and jr., father and brother of Judge Joel Linsley, came to Cornwall soon after the War of the Revolution, and settled with the latter. His brother aided him in building a log house large enough to accommodate two families, and afterward built a house for himself on the place now occupied by R. C. Witherell. After a few years’ residence in Cornwall he removed to Augusta, N. Y. His father, Abial, sr., died in Cornwall in 1800, aged seventy years.
Lemuel Peet, a son-in-law of Ebenezer Stebbins, built a house at an early day near the site of the house now occupied by L. W. Peet, his grandson.
The house now occupied by A. W. Frost was built by Daniel Richardson, a blacksmith and another son-in-law of Ebenezer Stebbins.
Stephen Tambling early lived on the place now occupied by C. R. Witherell, making his pitch the year after the war. Just south of him Lemuel Tambling built a house and remained there a short time.
Nearly opposite Stephen Tambling, Isaac Gilbert erected a house which he occupied for many years. Mrs. Luther Tilden and Mrs. Joel Linsley are his daughters. Mrs. Edgar Sanford is his great-granddaughter.
William Slade came from Washington, Conn., to Clarendon, Rutland county, about 1780, and three or four years later removed to Cornwall and made his pitch on the land now owned and occupied by John Towle, where he continued to reside until his death in 1826, at the age of seventy-three years. Being of vigorous and energetic nature and withal a born politician, he took an active part in the management of town affairs, and was sheriff of the county from 1810 to 1811. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and was for a time on board the Jersey prison ship. He was a firm supporter of Madison during the War of 1812. His house was the birth-place of the Rev. Henry H. Hudson, the Shakespearean critic and student.
In 1783 or ’84 Jesse Chipman settled on the farm now occupied by Peter Besette. In 1804 he sold to Ethan A. Sherwood, and removed from Cornwall.
James and Nathan Campbell settled in 1793 on a lot embraced in the well known Benjamin Stevens farm, and remained there, each in a log house, until 1793, when they sold to Benjamin Stevens and removed from town. Stevens came to Cornwall from Pittsford, Vt. He suffered a cruel imprisonment of three years’ duration at Quebec during the War of the Revolution. He died June 16, 1815, aged fifty-three years. The site occupied by James Campbell was afterwards the house of Dr. Solomon Foot, father of Hon. Solomon Foot, and Dr. Jonathan Foot, a sketch of whose lives will be found in the chapters devoted to their respective professions.
Wait Squier built on the east side of the road about sixty rods south of Stevens’s house at an early day, but removed to New Haven in 1793. Opposite him Timothy Squier settled on the place now occupied by Joseph Parker, his house standing on the high ground about sixty rods southwest of the present buildings. Further south on the west side of the road Solomon Plumb settled on the place afterwards known as the Abbott farm, now occupied by Amos Atwood.
Shadrach Norton settled in 1784 on the farm now owned by Charles Stevens. In 1787 Benjamin Hall bought of Joseph Plumb and located on the place now owned by J. M. Stevens. Three years earlier Barzillai Stickney settled on the next farm south. He was chosen constable at the organization of the town. The same year Daniel Scovel, from Cornwall, Conn., located on the farm now the home of Walter Atwood, where he died in 1813. His brother, Ezra Scovel, settled also in 1784 on the present farm of H. S. Scovel, his grandson David B. Woodruff made his pitch and built his cabin east of Ezra Scovel and near the swamp. In 1794 he sold to Lemuel Chapman, who lived there for some time. The place now owned and occupied by Douglass E. Searl was originally settled by Eliakim Mallory. It lies on the town line west of Mallory’s farm. Elisha Field, sr., bought one hundred acres of Eldad Adams, and in 1783 built thereon his log house. He was born in Amherst, Mass., in 1717, removed to Bennington in 1763, and thence to Cornwall in 1782. He died in 1791, in his seventy-third year. Franklin Hooker is his great-grandson. Elisha Field, jr., settled in 1790 on the farm now occupied by Mrs. L. W. Hall. He died at the age of eighty-eight years in 1852. Among his descendants are B S. Field and 0. A. Field, grandsons, and their children, all of this town. Ebenezer Newell owned a lot north of the Field farm, which he afterwards sold in part to Richard Miner and in part to Harvey Bell, a cloth-dresser, who removed to Middlebury.
In 1784 Captain David Nutting located on a hundred-acre lot, on the south line of the town, the same place now occupied by Mrs. G. W. Griswold. Bezaleel Richardson settled early on a fifty-acre lot afterward owned by B. F. Casey.
Nathaniel Cogswell lived for a time south of the Corners, on the east side of the road, in the southwest part of the town. Abisha Delano owned a farm on the east side of the North and South road.
North of the farm occupied a few years ago by Romeo Peck was an old settler by the name of John Ballard, who kept a store there and manufactured potash until 1790. Then he sold to Riverus Newell, who was a blacksmith and lived where Alanson Peck now resides.
Lieutenant Benjamin Reeve, from Litchfield, Conn., built where William Atwood afterward lived, on the place now occupied by Milton Washburn. He held a lieutenant’s commission at the surrender of Burgoyne. After his death his farm passed through the hands of Erastus Reeve, Joshua Stockwell, Benjamin F. Haskell and others. B. F. Haskell is his great-grandson.
Wait Wooster early settled on the farm west of Reuben Peck, where Irving G. Wooster, his grandson, now lives. The Misses Hattie Lorraine and Alice Wooster are his granddaughters.
Deacon Daniel Samson came to Cornwall from Londonderry, N. H., in 1785, and settled on a small lot north of the Reeve farm, now owned by Edgar Sanford. He was a shoemaker, and was born in Newburyport, Mass., November 10, 1758. In 1832 he went to Barre, N. Y., where he died ten years later. He was a rare example of the Christian graces.
Jacob Peck located on the east side of the road north of the Reeve farm in 1786, and remained there until his death in 1837, aged eighty-four years. He was born in Farrington, Conn., in 1753. He reared a numerous and respectable family and left many descendants, some of whom still reside in town. Captain Alanson Peck, his son, occupies a part of the old homestead; M. M. Peck, Henry T. Peck and Mrs. Henry Lane and Mrs. Anna Sanford are children of Alanson. Edgar Sanford, son of the last named, has grandchildren, thus exhibiting the remarkable co-existence of five generations.
Opposite Jacob Peck an early settler named Cory Mead lived on a lot which he bought of Stephen Tambling.
Farther north and on the same side of the road Reuben Bingham settled and built a house which long ago disappeared. He removed thence to the farm afterward occupied for a time by Hiland Hall. Merrill and Alonzo Bingham and Mrs. O. A. Field are his descendants.
In 1784 Benjamin Sanford came from Litchfield, Conn., and settled on the farm adjoining that of Jacob Peck on the north, the farm now occupied by Edgar Sanford. He was born in 1756. He took a prominent part in all the offices of the town from the beginning, and several times represented Cornwall in the State Legislature. Edgar Sanford, Mrs. C. E. Ellsworth and Mrs. T. B. Holley are grandchildren of Benjamin Sanford, and Mrs.Charles H. Lane is a granddaughter.
Deacon James Parker, from Saybrook, Conn., settled in 1789 north of Benjamin Sanford, on the west side of the highway, the farm being now occupied by Frank Mayhew.
Joshua Stockwell, from Enfield, Conn., came to Cornwall about 1793 or ’94, and opened a store and tavern on the southeast corner of the intersection of the roads at West Cornwall, the place being now in the hands of J. M. Tracey. The place was known as “Stockwell’s Corners” until the government gave it the post-office name of West Cornwall. In company with Josiah Austin, of Shoreham, he conducted the store and carried on the manufacture of potash. Mrs. S. S. Halliday, his daughter, still lives in Cornwall, and others of his descendants are B. F. Haskell and A. S. Bingham, grandchildren, and F. H. Haskell and Roy Bingham, great-grandchildren. Dr. Oliver J. Eells occupied the house after Stockwell’s decease. Joseph Cogswell was the first settler on the present farm of Franklin H. Dean. Elder Henry Green was also at one time an occupant of the farm. Mr. Dean has enlarged the farm, which now includes also the place first settled and occupied by Abijah Davis, a tanner and shoemaker, who carried on his business there. East of this farm Matthew, brother of James Parker, bought of Lemuel Stickney in 1791. Still farther east on the south side of the road Stephen Abbott Tambling lived a few years in a log cabin.
Some distance north of the old farm of Edwin Walker, Roswell Post, from Saybrook, Conn., made a pitch in 1783. During the war he lived in Rutland, but at the close of that struggle pushed his way at once to Cornwall. He died in 1827, at the age of seventy-four years. Benjamin Atwood located in 1786 directly south of the farm of Roswell Post, on a small lot sold to him by William Jones. John L. and Amos Atwood are sons of Benjamin.
In 1798 Sanborn Bean, a carpenter, settled on nine acres of land west of Roswell Post, which had once been a part of the Post farm.
William Samson, from Londonderry; N. H., at a very early date pitched on the farm afterward known as the Benjamin Sherwood place, now occupied by H. E. Taylor, and built his first cabin near the site of the present dwelling. He had a large family, was an early deacon of the Congregational Church, and died in 1798, aged sixty-six years. L. J. Samson, Curtis H. Samson and Mrs. R. S. Foot are his great-grandchildren.
South of William Samson and on the east side of the road, Ebenezer Squier settled and built a house which long ago disappeared. Still farther south, in 1787, Henry Gibbs located on a lot bought probably of Barzillai Stickney. S. S. Gibbs is his grandson.
In 1788 David Sperry came from Wallingford, Vt., where he had resided during the war, and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by William Delong. He came originally from New Haven, Conn and was a man of unusual ability. It was his custom, it is said, to wake his sons in the morning with the following roll-call:
“Daniel and Levi,
David and Lyman,
Heman and Dimon,
Ebenezer Peck and Harvey, turn out.”
A. H. Sperry, now a resident of Cornwall, is his great-grandson; Daniel Sperry, son of David lived just north of him, [Note 1]. and south of Jacob Lindsey, sr., while across from the latter Wait Wooster lived.
On the farm owned at an early day by Alonzo L. Bingham, and now owned by Hon. Rollin J. Jones, Simeon Sanford, of Litchfield, Conn., settled, having purchased from Jonah Sanford, an original proprietor. Farther north David Pratt settled in 1793 on a farm purchased from Jared Ives. Deacon Amzi Jones, from Hoosick, N. Y., bought the place of Pratt about 1799, having lived for seven years previously below the bridge across Lemon Fair. He was a son of Zebulon Jones, who settled on the farm next the cemetery, now owned by W. M. Easton. His descendants now living in Cornwall are Hon. Rollin J. Jones, Jason and his children, E. E. and Henry Jones, and Mrs. Robinson.
Jared Ives, from Cheshire, Conn., settled in 1787 on the west side of the road, north of David Pratt. Enos Ives lived nearly across the road from him. John Rockwell, jr., came to Cornwall from Ridgefield, Conn., in 1784, and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, S. S. Rockwell. He first built on the west side of the road. He gradually acquired an extensive farm, which, after his death at the age of seventy-one years, September 5, 1825, become the property of his son, John Rockwell, who conveyed the farm to his son, the present owner, over a quarter of a century ago. John Rockwell, sr., followed his children to Cornwall, and lived on the place now occupied by W. C. Wallace. He died September 9, 1825, aged ninety-two years.
Ezra and Isaac Mead settled in 1786 on the west side of the road, north of John Rockwell. They sold to Jacob Ingraham.
Nathan Jackson located on the east side of the road nearly across from Jacob Ingraham, and followed his occupation of blacksmithing. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and prided himself on enjoying the personal confidence of General Washington.
Rufus Mead, brother of Ezra and Isaac, in 1786 bought of Abel Wright the farm now occupied by Mrs. W. W. Wright, and built, first at the base of the hill and afterward on the present highway. Of his sons, three, Hiram, Martin L. and Charles M., were graduated from Middlebury College, and another, Rufus, was for a number of years editor of the Middlebury Register.
Solomon Mead bought of Abel Wright in 1795 the farm now occupied by Azial Hamilton. From him the farm passed to Timothy Turner, Zenas Skinner, and Reuben P. Bingham. Silas Mead was located farther north on the present farm of S. S. Andrus.
On the farm where J. A. Foot lived, his grandfather, David Foot, from Watertown, Conn., settled at an early day. He had several sons who led prominent lives in town. His descendants here now are J. A. Foot, grandson, R. A. Foot, great-grandson, and his sons Abram and Frank.
On the Wooster farm, so called, just north of the Lemon Fair bridge, William Dwinell first built his log cabin near a spring on the east side of the road. He sold this farm to Deacon Amzi Jones, and he to Moses Wooster, who came from Virginia. He fought in the Revolution and was captured on Long Island, treated cruelly, and at a later day was confined in New York, where he was nearly starved on damaged provisions. He was the father of the Hon. Dorastus Wooster, formerly of Middlebury. The farm is now in the hands of L. H. Payne.
Isaac Mead was an early settler on the farm now occupied by B. B. Rice. General Somers Gale afterwards lived on the farm. He was an influential citizen, and commanded a detachment at Plattsburgh in 1814. He was born in Panton in 1775; the family were driven to Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolution and obliged to stay there a while after its capture. His son, Dr. Nathan Gale, now resides in Orwell. Mrs. S. A. Sanford is his granddaughter, and Mrs. Charles H. Lane, a descendant one degree further removed.
Simeon Powers settled on the farm now owned by Mrs. Martin Wright, and in 1779 sold it to Matthew Lewis.
Samuel Smith was probably the first settler on the farm now owned by J. B, Benedict.
Amos Pennoyer, from Amenia, N. Y., settled about 1798 on the farm now owned and occupied by Mrs. M. J. Ellsworth. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and joined the volunteer forces in the War of 1812.
Jared Abernathy was the first settler on the farm now owned by J. W. and D. Abernathy, having bought the place in sections from Aaron Scott, Martha Douglass and Samuel Benton. Cyrus Abernathy, his father, had before that purchased of Samuel Benton the farm next south. J. W. and Ann Abernathy are grandchildren of Jared. South of the elder Cyrus Abernathy, in 1784, Dr. Frederick Ford pitched a hundred acres, and built a log house on the site afterward occupied by the dwelling of P. B. Warner. In 1795 Dr. Ford sold this estate to his brother-in-law, Moses Goodrich, and removed to a more central location.
On the long since discontinued road which ran north from near the lands now owned by F. H. Dean, formerly the residence of Mrs. Sherwood, to the early home of P. B. Warner, were several settlers, among whom were Jabez Watrous, Rev. Benjamin Wooster, Abbott Tambling, and Henry Daggett; the last two named built a dam across the stream and erected a saw-mill, but soon abandoned the enterprise. Some distance west of the road, near the brook, John Gilman owned one hundred and thirty acres, on which his grantee, Daniel Huntington, lived until 1803. Deacon Jeremiah Bingham and Merrill Bingham afterwards occupied that place.
On the southern branch of a forked road, extending very early from P. B. Warner’s westwardly across Beaver Brook, one division passing the dwelling of Joseph K. Sperry, and the other reaching S. S. Rockwell, resided David Seymour, partly successor to Samuel Benton. He sold to Isaac Hull in 1796. The road was discontinued more than sixty years ago. North of Jared Abernathy, Truman Wheeler made two pitches in 1783, building on the east side of the road; while between the two Benjamin Hamlin built on thirteen acres of land, which he sold in 1803 to Abraham Balcom. Cornelius Butcher settled north of Wheeler on a fifteen-acre lot, and in 1800 sold to Joseph Hamlin, who had bought a lot fifteen years previously of Samuel Benton. Still farther north John Hamlin settled on the farm afterwards owned successively by his son Ira Hamlin, and his grandson, Joseph Hamlin. The farm so long occupied by Deacon Daniel Warner was first settled by Benjamin Hamlin, who was succeeded by John Rockwell, Cone Andrus, Elisha Hurlbut, and Philip Warner, a cooper, who came here in 1806 and prosecuted his trade until his death in 1829. His descendants in Cornwall are P. D. Warner, a grandson, and his children, R. B. Warner and Mrs. E. A. Thrall, and H. C. Warner, grandson also of Philip. The descendants of John Hamlin are Joseph Hamlin, grandson, Mrs. T. P. D. Matthews, great-granddaughter, and Edward Matthews, her son.
Levi Sperry settled in 1788 on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Albert H. Sperry, and received the farm as a gift from his father, David Sperry.
In 1783 Thomas Hall pitched several hundred acres, including the present farm of William Wright. His son David settled southwest from his dwelling. He sold fifty acres of his land in 1791 to Nathan Ingraham, afterwards owned by Pitts Ingraham. Elisha Hurlbut bought a lot of Hall in 1795, and in 1798 sold to John Boynton. William Wright is a grandson of Pitts Ingraham, Mrs. J. K. Wright being a daughter; S. C. Parkhill and Mrs. H. J. Manchester are also his grandchildren. South of Thomas Hall’s, on the road to West Cornwall on land now owned by H. F. Dean, the earliest settler was Jeremiah Bingham, jr., a nephew of Deacon Bingham. He was a soldier of the Revolution. In 1793 he sold to Deacon Jeremiah Bingham.
Hon. Hiland Hall, nephew of Thomas, above named, came from Bennington to Cornwall in the winter of 1783-84. He was kinsman to the late ex-governor, his namesake. He was born at Guilford, Conn., and removed early to Norfolk; served about three years as orderly sergeant and commissary. He died while on a visit to his father at Norfolk in 1789. He was the first treasurer of Cornwall in 1784, and first representative in the General Assembly in 1786. At the organization of Addison county he was appointed one of the judges of the County Court. He settled where Merrill Bingham now lives, having made his purchase of Thomas Hall and Erastus Hatheway. After his death the property passed into the hands of Aaron Delong, who sold to Robert Bingham. He remained on the farm all the remaining years of his long life. The rest of the land of Erastus Hatheway came into the possession of Aaron Delong in 1800, who was a prominent man in the early days of the town. His farm is also included in the land now owned by Merrill Bingham.
Deacon Jeremiah Bingham, who has already been mentioned, was one of the original members of the Congregational Church, and was chosen one of the first deacons. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and took an active part in the battle of Bennington, and was connected with the quartermaster’s department of the garrison at Ticonderoga before the surrender of the fort to Burgoyne. He was a man of indomitable energy and unusual intelligence, a thorough student of the Scriptures, and a conscientious believer in the truths therein inculcated. He frequently wrote poetry for his own edification. He died at the age of ninety-four years.
Town Organization, etc.–The town was organized on the 2d of March, 1784, by the election of the following officers: Moderator, Jeremiah Bingham; town clerk, Joel Linsley; selectmen, Samuel Benton, Jeremiah Bingham, Eldad Andrus; treasurer, Hiland Hall; constable, Barzillai Stickney; listers, Nathan Foot, Roswell Post; highway surveyors, Eldad Andrus, Stephen Tambling, William Jones, Isaac Kellogg.
Other officers were from year to year added to the list, such as deer-rifts or reeves, whose duty it was to protect deer from the hunter from the 10th of January to the 10th of June, when their meat would be of no value; branders of horses, tithingmen, choristers, pound-keepers, etc.
Concerning the setting off to Middlebury of a portion of Cornwall in 1796, further particulars will be found in the chapter on the history of Middlebury.
The early settlers of Cornwall were, almost without exception, men who were inclined by nature to pursuits purely agricultural. The fact of their settling in a town so fertile of soil and poor in water power and shipping facilities sufficiently attests that they hoped to gain a livelihood and more from the tilling of the ground. Communities of men are governed as absolutely by the beneficent and yet inflexible laws of nature’s God as are the inanimate and the inorganic elements of creation. Houses must be built and repaired; boots, shoes and harnesses must be used; horses must be shod, and cloth must be woven and made into garments; consequently carpenters and coopers, shoe-makers and tanners, harness-makers and clothiers and blacksmiths are found among the early settlers of Cornwall, distributed in accordance with the convenience of their patrons. The following list of mechanics is taken from the invaluable History of Cornwall, by Rev. Lyman Matthews: Before 1800– clothier, Harvey Bell; tanners and shoemakers, Abijah Davis, Felix Benton, Elisha Field, Stephen Black, Jeremiah Rockwell; shoemakers, Samuel Peck, Thomas Landon, William Jones, Daniel Samson; cooper and manufacturer of fan-mills, Samuel Ingraham; cooper, Elijah Durfee; joiners, Asahel Phelps, Elizur Newell, Jacob Peck, Thomas Pritchard, Davis & Squier, Daniel Richardson, Ambrose Judd, James Walker; saddler and harness-maker, Abiel Rogers; spinning-wheels, Calvin and Luther Tilden; carpenters and joiners, Sanborn Bean, John Mazuzan, Reuben Peck, Cone Andrus.
Between 1800 and 1860 the following mechanics carried on their respective trades, for a longer or shorter period, in town: Blacksmiths, William Hamilton, Edward Hamilton, William Peck, Shubael Ripley, Stephen Holliday, George Walker; tanners and shoemakers, Asa Bond, Julius Delong, Joseph Myers, Mark W. Mazuzan, Daniel Ford, Daniel Vale and _______Taylor; wheelwrights, William Hamilton, Waterman Sunderland, David Clark; coopers, Jonathan Perry, Philip Warner; tailors,______Brown, H. E. Rust; carpenters and joiners, Salmon North, Matthew Wallace, Nathaniel Wallace, Martin Hopkins, Elijah Foot, Calvin Foot, Isaac Miner, Ebenezer Miner, Luther Balcom, George Balcom, Horace A. Pinney, William Baxter, James Piper, P. N. Cobb, E. C. Crane; spinning-wheels, Benjamin Atwood.
The scanty water power afforded by the sluggish Lemon Fair and the other “thunder shower” streams in town has deterred manufacturers from attempting to build mills of much magnitude. A dam once constructed on land now owned by C. R. Witherell was soon abandoned. A saw-mill was also built at an early day on land formerly owned by Garrison W. Foot, now belonging to A. H. Sperry, and Jared Abernathy and Levi Sperry, with both interested in opening it. About fifty rods below this mill David Pratt built and operated a grist-mill; Levi Sperry also ran it for a time. The only other mill ever built in town was on the brook near the residence of Asa Bond in 1860. Luther Tilden here built a saw-mill and operated also a carding-machine for a short time after 1816 or 1817. It frequently changed owners and has never been a pronounced success.
The first merchants in town were Mr. Ballard and Israel C. Jones. Joshua Stockwell, Josiah Austin, Daniel Campbell, Hosea Brooks, Israel C. Mead, Samuel Everts, William H. Remsen, P. W. Collins, Benjamin F. Haskell, Calvin M. Lewis, Ira Bingham, A. C. Wicker, Daniel Sanford, Joel S. Lane, Sylvester B. Rockwell, and the Cornwall Mercantile Company have carried on business at different periods since the beginning of the century. The only store now in town is kept by Fred S. Haskell. The building is owned by his father, Benjamin F. Haskell, grandson of Joshua Stockwell, who built the rear part before 1820 and kept here for a time in company with Daniel Sanford. B. F. Haskell, sr., followed them about 1825 and traded here for forty years, selling out to Hugh G. Bingham. About 1853 B. F. Haskell, sr., moved the building back and erected the front part as it now stands. Then he and B. F., jr., traded in company for about five years. After Hugh Bingham followed Kirk Bingham, Orren Dalrymple, Harvey Taylor, B. F. Wales, and others. Fred S. Haskell began business here in September, 1878.
The most prominent industry in town, and one for which her people are most widely known, is the raising of sheep. Immediately after the importation of Merino sheep from Spain, by Colonel Humphrey, of Connecticut, and later by Consul Jarvis, of Wethersfield, Vt., some of the farmers of Cornwall procured some of the variety for the purpose of improving their flocks. Merrill and A. L. Bingham have been among the foremost of breeders. They began importing French Merinos about 1846. Hon. Rollin J. Jones, who contributes a valuable portion of our general chapter on sheep raising in the county, has been and still is one of the most prominent breeders and dealers in town, Sylvester B. Rockwell being for some time in company with him in introducing the French Merino in the West. M. B. Williamson, H. F. Dean, Rollin Lane, Henry Lane, J. B. and Ira Hamlin, Henry Robbins, C. H. James, John Towle, Arthur Field, B. S. Field, L. W. Peet, W. H. and T. P. D. Matthews, Edgar Sanford and H. E. Sanford are also at present engaged in the industry.
Early Roads, etc.–One of the earliest and most imperative necessities of the early settlers was the construction of roads and bridges. As in nearly all the towns, a greater number of roads were surveyed than were ever opened, and more were opened than have been continued; so that a thorough acquaintance with the highways as they lead at present throws little light upon their ramifications of a hundred years ago.
The main north and south road from Whiting to Weybridge was laid before 1778, nearly as it now runs. A vote was passed in June, 1786, to build a road from between John Holley’s and Isaac Kellogg’s east through the swamp to Theophilus Allen’s. On account, however, of the expense and labor of constructing it the work was delayed many years. It was then prosecuted so slowly that not until 1825, and under the pressure of the necessity of Salisbury, Ripton and East Middlebury for direct communication with the lake, was the highway opened for travel.
Some time before 1815 the Middlebury Turnpike Company, so called, which proposed to extend the Hubbardton Turnpike to Middlebury, offered Cornwall the free use of the road provided the inhabitants would work out one-half of their annual tax upon it. Though the offer was accepted the road was never constructed.
On the 12th of October, 1784, it was “voted that the north and south roads be six rods wide, and the east and west road, or highway, be five rods wide.”
The main north and south road, ordered surveyed at this meeting, was laid three rods each way from the line surveyed. In 1795 the town decided to make the width of the roads discretionary with the selectmen, in the exercise of which discretion they have considerably narrowed the roads. Before the setting off of a portion of Cornwall to Middlebury, this town was responsible with Middlebury for all the bridges which it was necessary to build over the creek between the towns. Since its release from the expense of sharing in the maintenance of these bridges, the town has had occasion to make appropriations worth speaking of for only two bridges, viz., that across the Fair and the one across Beaver Brook near the old saw-mill. In December, 1785, an appropriation was made “to build a bridge over Lemon Fair, to be paid by the first day of April next, in wheat or work, wheat at 5s per bushel and work at 3s and 6d per day, finding themselves.” Though this vote was reconsidered, the records do not disclose the sequel.
On the list of 1799 a tax was imposed of two cents on the dollar, “to be paid in cattle by the first of October next, and if it is not paid by that time, to be paid in wheat or corn by the first day of January next, for the purpose of building Lemon Fair Bridge, and other town charges.” In this manner the bridges were kept passable, being rebuilt in 1823 and again in 1855. The bridge over Beaver Brook, before mentioned, was rebuilt in 1861 at an expense of one thousand dollars.
Professional Interests.–Many of the lawyers and physicians who have practiced in Cornwall in times past will receive more particular mention in general chapters devoted to their respective professions. Among the former Martin Post stands alone; while representatives of the latter profession are numerous, viz., Drs. Nathan Foot, Frederick Ford, sr., Frederick Ford, jr., Solomon Foot, Abraham Fleming, Horace Brooks, Rodolphus Field, Oliver J. Eells, R. C. Green, C. B. Currier, Thomas Porter Matthews, Marcus O. Porter and Darius Matthews.[Note1].
The physicians now living in town are Drs. E. O. Potter, a sketch of whom appears in the history of Middlebury, and Dr. George W. Bond. He was born in Crown Point, N. Y., on the 10th of April, 1853, was graduated from the Homceopathic Medical College of Cleveland, O., in 1883; practiced one year in Keeseville, N. Y., and a few months in Champlain, N. Y., and came here January, 1885.
The Post-office.–A post-office was not established in Cornwall until about 1824, when Chauncey H. Stowell was appointed. In 1833 he was succeeded by Samuel Everts, who held the office twelve years. Chauncey H. Stowell was then reappointed. His successors have been Charles Merrill, Rev. G. W. Noyes, Calvin H. Lewis, Loyal L. Wright, and Samuel Everts, the present incumbent. Some time before 1860 an office was established at West Cornwall, by the appointment of Benjamin F. Haskell. His successor was Mr. Hamilton. Mrs. M. A. Hamilton succeeded on the death of her husband in June, 1860, and still retains the position.
The following are the officers elected at the March meeting for 1885: Town clerk, C. H. Lane; selectmen, P. N. Cobb, E. D. Searle, A. S. Bingham; listers, C. H. James, N. B. Douglass, R. A. Foot; constable and collector, A. W. Frost; second constable, H. E. Taylor; treasurer, W. H. Bingham; overseer of the poor, R. A. Foot; superintendent of schools, T. P. D. Matthews; auditors, L. W. Peet and Frank Warner; inspector of wood and shingles, P. N. Cobb; agent to prosecute and defend suits, C. G. Lane; representative, H. F. Dean; town grand jurors, W. H. De Long, C. C. Ward, W. H. Matthews.
Military History–Relative to the action of the inhabitants of Cornwall in the War of 1812, Mr. Matthews wrote as follows:
“When our territory was invaded or threatened with invasion, party strifes sunk out of view, and citizens arranged themselves around their country’s standard, and stood shoulder to shoulder, the united opponents of a common foe. When in the spring of 1814 the alarm was sounded that the British forces on the lake were intending to destroy the vessels which afterward constituted McDonough’s fleet, then building at Vergennes, the citizens, as if moved by an electric spark, shouldered their muskets and flew to the rescue, desirous only of knowing how they might best repel the invader. And when, in the following autumn, the alarm again rang along our hills and through our valleys, that a British army was marching upon Plattsburgh, the call to arms met a hearty response from every bosom. Men dropped their implements of labor, seized the weapons of war and set forward to the field of strife.
“The following incidents have been kindly furnished by Major Orin Field, who personally shared the fatigues and perils of the march:
“‘In September, 1814, Plattsburgh, N. Y., was invaded by the British army, 14,000 strong. The alarm was sounded through our valleys, and our militia soon responded to the call. Men left their work and took their guns, not waiting for extra fixings, and in parties, from six to a dozen, were soon on their way to the scene of conflict.
“‘On arriving at Burlington, most of the volunteers from Cornwall embodied themselves in a company commanded by Captain E. B. Hill, while others joined him after reaching Plattsburgh. The night of the 10th of September we encamped three miles south of the fort. Early on the morning of the 11th we were aroused by the booming of cannon in the distance, when it was soon ascertained that the two fleets were engaged. The volunteers, some 1,500 in number, were commanded by General Samuel Strong, of Vergennes; Colonel Lyman, of Charlotte; Colonel Hastings Warren, of Middlebury; Major Somers Gale, of Cornwall, and were soon marching down on the west bank of Lake Champlain. In a short time we came in sight of the two fleets, and we could see the water fly as the balls sped on through the waves. As we neared the fort the column filed to the left and entered an open forest, where a lumber road was traceable.
“‘At this point we soon saw the air filled with shot and shell, some bursting over our heads, knocking down one of our men, who was soon up and in his place again–our destination being the upper crossing of the Saranac. Just before reaching the river we encountered a body of some four hundred of the enemy, who saluted us with several shots or rounds, when they showed us their backs.’
“The following list of the volunteers who were in service at Plattsburgh is gathered from those who were of the number, many of whom still survive and are residents among us. The company from Cornwall, commanded by Captain E. B. Hill, consisted of those who were enrolled and liable to do duty in his company, together with several others who joined him on the way and after arriving at Plattsburgh. The list is as follows:
“Edmund B. Hill, captain; Wm. Hamilton, Erastus Reeve, lieutenants; Ezra Mead, ensign; Daniel Sanford, orderly; Hosea Brooks, acting surgeon; Elijah Foot, Josiah Pond, Rufus Mead, sergeants; Ozias Sanford, corporal. Privates: Roger Avery, John Avery, Daniel Avery, Abiram Avery, Ethan Andrus, E. B. Baxter, Felix Benton, Elijah Benton, Noah L. Benton, Asahel Bingham, Abel Benedict, William Cook, Austin Dana, Chester Fenn, Isaac L. Fisher, Elihu Grant, Truman C. Gibbs, Henry Green, Joel Harrington, Ami Harrington, Ira Harrington, Harry Hill, Wm. Hurlbut, Enos Hamlin, Reuben Gillett, Henry Kirkum, John McNeal, Israel McNeal, Ephraim Pratt, Amos Pennoyer, Russel Richards, Samuel Richards, Daniel Wright, Zadoc B. Robbins, Ransom Robinson, Jonah Sanford, John Sanford, Moses Wooster, Marston Sherwood, Elijah Durfey, Jesse Ellsworth, Lewis W. Ellsworth, Orin Field, Russel Foot, Jesse Keeler, Gilbert Linsly, Wm. Lane, Helon Mead, Paul Moore, Ezekiel Scovel, Nathaniel Sherwood, Ira Wentworth, Warren Wheeler; William Slade, baggage master; Job Lane, Benjamin Atwood, Ezra Scovel, Luther G. Bingham, teamsters.”
When the peace of the town was again disturbed, and the call to arms for the defense of the government was heard, the people responded with the same patriotism that distinguished Vermonters in all parts of the State. The following list shows the names of those who enlisted in the last war in Vermont organizations.
Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:
D. H. Allex, W. H. Austin, A. K. Barlow, N. Baxter, J. Castle, C. Clair, E. Clair, O. Clair, L. Darling, J. Donnelly, L. S. Evarts, J. E. Fenton, E. Frost, D. Goulette, G. Greenleaf, D. Hickey, G. Hodges, F. S. Holley, T. J. Lane, J. J. Manny, E. Mayo, M. Nero, T. D. Peck, E. O. Porter, A. H. Potter, P. G. Potter, O. E. Ross, B. Rider, H. R. Sampson, O. Sanford, I. Searles, W. Shorker, M. W. Smith, C. E. Stearns, I. J. Stearns, J. Stott, E. S. Stowell, A. Youtt, C. E. Youtt.
Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three years.–P. Bear, D. C. Bent, J. Bodoin, J. A. Barrows, L. Goulette, J. C. Hawkins, L. Lavake, A. Mahan, S. Mahan, G. M’Cue, W. D. Watson, A. P. Youtt, C. Youtt.
Volunteers for one year.–B. Brooks, M. Smith.
Volunteers re-enlisted.–A. K. Barlow, H. Currier, J. Castle, P. Fox, M. Nero, C. E. Stearns, J. St. Marie, J. Stott, J. R. Rice, A. B. Wilson.
Enlisted men who furnished substitute.–O. A. Field, R. Lane.
Not credited by name.-Two men.
Volunteers for nine months.–C. Beaudoin, H. W. Bingham, J. Demar, M. S. Keeler, N. S. Lewis, A. Mahan, S. Mahan, H. Mora, L. D. Moody, H. T. Peck, R. R. Peck, A. S. Pinney, H. S. Sheldon, A. B. Simonds, H. D. Wheelock, J. M. Wooster, W. J. Wright.
Furnished under draft.–Paid commutation, H. J. Manchester, W. H. Matthews, L. C. Mead, S. E. Parkill, M. M. Peck, G. Pratt, C. H. Rust. Procured substitute, C. B. Currier, G. E. Dana, M. B. Williamson, I. G. Wooster.
The Congregational Church of Cornwall, the first religious organization in Cornwall, was formed on the 1st of July, 1785, with the following members: Jared Abernathy, Stephen Tambling, James Marsh Douglass, Jeremiah Bingham, Roswell Post, Daniel Sampson, Mary Chipman, and Elizabeth Ives, and during the few weeks following August 21 Jesse Chipman, Mrs. Post, Mrs. Tambling, Nathaniel Cogswell and wife, Joel Linsley, Ethan Andrus, Isaac Kellogg, Hiland Hall, and Mrs. Ives were added to the number.
On the 20th of July, 1787, a call was extended to the Rev. Thomas Tolman, and accepted on the 30th of August. Being the first pastor, he received as his right the lot of land set apart by the charter for the first settled minister, and in addition received from the town “a settlement.” The first deacons were Jeremiah Bingham, Hiland Hall, and Father William Samson. The first meetings were held in Captain Benton’s barn; afterward at his house and the house of Joel Linsley. The first house of worship stood west of the highway on which the old red school-house formerly stood. It was completed, probably in the spring of 1791, and first occupied in the following autumn. Mr. Tolman was dismissed at his own request on the 11th of November, 1790.
In 1796 the place of worship was changed by vote to nearly the present site of the church edifice. The second pastor, Rev. Benjamin Wooster, was ordained February 22, 1797. He was dismissed in January, 1802. Notwithstanding the action of the town in reference to the site of the new meetinghouse, the building was not commenced until 1803. Rev. Jedediah Bushnell was installed on the 25th of May, 1803. His successor, Rev Lamson Miner, served from November, 1836, until January 16, 1839. Rev. Jacob Scales was installed July 3, 1839, and was dismissed June 16, 1842. Rev. Seagrove W. Magill was pastor from July 10, 1844, to the autumn of 1847. In 1846 the church building was entirely rebuilt and renovated at an expense of about $650. The present pastor of this church is Rev. M. C. Stebbins.
The first stated Baptist preaching in Cornwall was by Elder Ephraim Sawyer, who began in 1792. The first church edifice was a log house a few rods north of the ridge near the cemetery. Elder Sawyer remained here until 1801. Measures looking to the erection of a new meeting-house were adopted in 1805 and early in 1807 the building was completed. From 1809 until 1824 Elder Henry Green filled the pastorate. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Palmer, of Middlebury. Since the spring of 1855 there have been intermittent attempts to build up a church of the Methodist persuasion, but the number of persons here are too limited to support a church regularly.
The following figures indicate the variation from one decade of years to another of the population of Cornwall since the taking of the first U. S. census: 1791, 826; 1800, 1,163; 1810, 1,270; 1820, 1,120; 1830, 1,264; 1840, 1,163; 1850, 1,155; 1860, 977; 1870, 969; 1880, 1,070.