grant of the townships of Benson and Fairhaven (the latter then including
the present town of Westhaven and adjoining Benson on the south), was made
by "the Governor, Council and General Assembly of the Representatives of
the Freemen of Vermont," October 27, 1779. While the Fairhaven charter
bears the above date, for some reason that of Benson was delayed and its
date is May 5, 1780. The grant was made to seventy-five individual proprietors,
with five equal shares for school and gospel purposes, as was customary.
The original proprietors who were active in procuring the charter were
residents of Williamstown, Mass., and its immediate vicinity.
town of Benson lies in the northwest part of the county, and is bounded
on the north by Orwell; east by Sudbury, Hubbardton and Castleton; south
by Fairhaven and Westhaven, and west by Lake Champlain. The town contains
nearly 28,340 acres, or nearly
forty-two and three-fourths square miles. The name of the town was given
in honor of Hon. Egbert Benson one of New York's most dedicated Revolutionary patriots; it is entirely possible that many of the grantees knew him during the War. He was a well-known lawyer, later a judge, whose legal learning was considered second only to Alexander Hamilton. Benson founded the New York Historical Society.
The surface of the town
is considerably broken and uneven in the northern, southeastern and southwestern
parts, giving to about one-third of the area a hilly or mountainous and
rugged character. Through nearly the center of the town from north to south
extends tile slate deposit, which is covered with a fertile soil, extending
from a mile to a mile and a half in width. Most of the remainder of the
soil of the town is clay. The town is well watered, by numerous lakes,
streams and ponds, of which Sunset Lake, a handsome little sheet of water
in the northern part, is the largest. Glen Lake is in the southwestern
part and extends into Fairhaven and Castleton. There are several smaller
ponds in various parts of the town, giving to the general landscape a high
order of natural beauty. Hubbardton River, with its tributaries, is the
principal stream; it rises in the town of Hubbardton and flows southwesterly
through Benson and into Westhaven.
first meeting of the proprietors of Benson was held on the 16th of March,
1779, in the proceedings of which we find that it was "voted to raise £108
18s. on the proprietors by equal assessment," and that "£40 2s. of
said money be paid to Jonathan MEACHAM and Absalom BAKER for looking out
said town," and that "£68 16s. be paid to the surveyor and chainmen
for running out said town;" and that "Jonathan MEACHAM, Matthew DUNNING
and Ezekiel BLAIR be a committee to carry a petition to the General Court
of Vermont for a grant of said town; likewise to take care of the money
to be raised," etc. At the second meeting, held on the 10th of June, 1779,
it was "voted that a committee be appointed to lay out the first division
lots, beginning on the first of October then next." The third meeting was
held at Pownal, December 15, 1779, and subsequent meetings were held at
Bennington, Pownal and Poultney. The fifth meeting of the proprietors,
and the first one held in Benson, took place on the first Wednesday in
April, 1785, at the house of Allen LEET.
the time the charter of this town was granted there was no road leading
into the town, except the unfinished military road leading from Castleton,
through Hubbardton, Benson and Orwell, to Ticonderoga, which was constructed
first settler in this town was Walter DURFEE, who came originally from
Freetown, Mass., but removed to Benson from Poultney. In 1780 he purchased
the entire right of Isaac CLARK, one of the original proprietors of Benson;
and also the entire right (except the first division lot of one hundred
acres) of John GROVER, another original proprietor. He came to Benson in
the spring of 1782, made a clearing and erected a log-house on what became
known as the "Home Farm," now owned by George SEARS. There he continued
to reside until the spring of 1835, when he removed to West Chazy, N. Y.,
where he died in the summer of 1843, aged over ninety years. When Mr. DURFEE
came into the town there was no road north of Carver's Falls in Westhaven,
and he found his way through the woods by a bridle path made by the surveyors
and by their marks on the trees. During the summer and autumn of 1782 he
was the only person who had a settled habitation in the town.
when DURFEE came in the spring of the year last named, he was accompanied
by Daniel BARBER, of Pittsfield, Mass., who was in quest of a mill-site,
and located on the Hubbardton River. He then returned to Massachusetts
and in June, 1783, came again to Benson, with his young wife and a daughter
ten months old; she came on horseback. This daughter became the wife of
Isaac GRISWOLD, and mother of A. H. and George GRISWOLD, of Whitehall,
N. Y., and of Daniel B. and R. W. GRISWOLD, of Michigan, all of whom are
now living; and of I. C. GRISWOLD, late of Whitehall, deceased. Daniel
BARBER, the pioneer, was born in Pittsfield, Mass., October 27, 1761, and
died in Benson, April 17, 1805. His wife died in Benson September 20, 1840.
BARBER, the first born son of these pioneers, and the first male child
of Benson birth, as far as known, was born August 19, 1785, was educated
at Middlebury, and became a successful business man; he died at the old
home, where his son Erwin L. now lives, on the 19th of June, 1849. He married
Aurelia MUNSON, of Bethlehem, Conn., June 6; 1809, and they had a family
of ten children, three sons and seven daughters. Of the sons, Edwin Munson
was born July 6, 1810, graduated at Middlebury in 1830, and died in Ohio
in 1833. Daniel Roswell was born February 14, 1817; married Ellen BOTTUM,
of Orwell; became a successful business man in Benson and removed to Minneapolis
in 1856, where he is proprietor of the Cataract Flouring Mills and a reputed
millionaire. Erwin Loyal BARBER still lives on the old homestead in Benson;
he was born June 4, 1821; married Miss J. E. ADAMS, of Whitehall, N. Y.,
in 1843. They have two children, Marcus Victor, a successful business man
of Toledo, Ohio; and Munson J., who lives at the old homestead. Of the
other children of Daniel BARBER, the pioneer, John died in Illinois in
1876. Edward H. removed to Michigan, and died in 1865. The youngest son
of the pioneer was also named Daniel, and still lives in Michigan at the
age of eighty-six years. A daughter of the elder Daniel, named Salome,
died recently as the widow of Orin DICKENSON, at the great age of ninety-six
BARBER erected the first saw and grist-mills in the town, the saw-mill
being built some time before the grist-mill, and located near the present
mills of Nelson O'DONNELL.
the same year that Mr. BARBER returned to Benson with his wife (1783),
Jonathan MEACHAM and Captain James NOBLE and his son, James, jr., came
in and made preparations for settlement; it is supposed that they brought
their families in the autumn of the same year.
1784 Abijah HOLABIRD settled in the town on the farm afterwards occupied
by his son-in-law, Henry S. EASTON, and tradition reports that for several
weeks, while making his clearing, he obtained rest and shelter in a hollow
log. He died in Benson, November 29, 1825, at the age of seventy-nine
who located in the town in 1784 were Thomas HALE, Captain William BARBER,
Lieutenant Solomon MARTIN, Asa FARNAM, Allen LEET, Allen GOODRICH, James
HOWARD, Amos ROOT, John DUNNING, John SHAW and Benjamin SHAW. Some of these
can be more definitely alluded to.
William BARBER was a Revolutionary soldier, from Pittsfield, Mass.; he
was the first adult who died in the town. He settled a little northeast
of the Landing, on the lake shore. The land he secured is now occupied
by the fourth generation of the family. Asa FARNAM settled on the farm
now occupied by Benjamin BASCOM. Allen GOODRICH located where his grandson,
Charles GOODRICH, now resides. Solomon MARTIN settled in the west part
of the town, about a mile east of the Landing.
the next year (1785) the settlement was increased by the advent of Simeon
and Josiah GOODRICH, the former of whom located where his grandson, Charles
B., now lives; Timothy WATSON, Deacon Jonathan WOODWARD, Stephen OLMSTEAD,
Samuel HOWARD, Abijah HINMAN, Simeon BARBER, Asahel SMITH, Lewis WILKINSON,
Ozias JOHNSON, Calvin MANLEY, Solomon CHITTENDEN and Charles BELDING. Samuel,
James and Daniel HOWARD settled on what became known as "Howard Hill."
Solomon CHITTENDEN located on the place now owned by Mr. RANSOM and occupied
by Nelson LADD.
the early subsequent years the following settlements can be traced: In
1786 John BARNES, John, Jonah and Jabez CARTER, Deacon Stephen CROFOOT,
Jacob and Benoni GLEASON, both of whom were soldiers in the Revolutionary
War. Benoni entered the army in Captain William Ford's company, from Pittsfield,
and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. Returning to Pittsfield
after his discharge, he married Lucy HUBBARD, daughter of Captain James
HUBBARD, and on the first of May, 1786, came to Benson, locating on the
military road. Othniel GOODRICH, James PARKHILL and Lemuel STANDISH, also
came in 1786.
1787 Benjamin HOLTON and Reuben NASH, came into the town; the latter settled
where Byron CARTER now lives; and Lemuel STANDISH where Elijah FISH resides;
Mrs. Henry E. STRONG, daughter of John BARBER, and Mrs. Pulaski MEACHAM,
now living in this town, are granddaughters of Lemuel STANDISH. In 1788
came Captain William FORD, Deacon Joseph CLARK, Thomas GOODRICH, Reuben
PARSONS, Elijah WILCOX and Samuel HIGGINS. Reuben PARSONS located where
Royal D. KING is now living.
eight of the seventy-five original proprietors named in the charter settled
in the town; they were Abraham ISAAC, Jonathan and William MEACHAM, Reuben
NASH, Stephen OLMSTEAD, James PARKHILL and Deacon Jonathan WOODWARD.
first child born in the town was Thomas, son of Thomas and Elizabeth HALE,
August 22, 1784. The first female child, who was also the second child
born in the town, was a daughter, Polly, to the same parents, August 11,
1785. The first marriage was that of Levi BARBER and Rebecca HINMAN, but
the date is not known. He was born in Worcester, Mass., April 6, 1783,
and died in Westhaven January 13, 1856. She was born in Woodbury, Conn.,
February 15, 1768, and died in Westhaven March 4, 1857.
the sketch of this town prepared for the Vermont Historical Magazine, by
the late Loyal C. Kellogg, we find the following relative to the former
homes of many of the early settlers, which merits record here: "The town
of Benson may be said to have been the child of Berkshire county, Pittsfield
contributing the larger number of its early settlers, and Williamstown
the next in number. From Pittsfield came Captains James NOBLE, William
BARBER and William FORD, Lieutenant and Deacon Stephen CROFOOT, Deacon
Joseph CLARK, Daniel and Matthew BARBER, Lieutenant Solomon MARTIN, Josiah,
OTHNIEL, Caleb and Thomas GOODRICH, Amos and Oliver ROOT, Jacob and Benoni
GLEASON, and the families bearing the names of STRONG and BELDING. Asahel
STILES, who removed to Benson from Granville, N. Y., about 1790, was originally
from Pittsfield. Daniel ROOT who removed to Benson about 1806, was also
from Pittsfield. From Williamstown came the families bearing the names
of MEACHAM and OLMSTEAD; Abijah HOLABIRD (who was originally, as is believed,
from Canaan, Conn.), Deacon Jonathan WOODWARD (originally from Plainfield,
Conn.), Timothy WATSON, Lemuel and Asa STANDISH, James PARKHILL, Benjamin
HOLTON, John and Benjamin SHAW (originally from Brookfield, Mass.), John
BARNES and his son Aziel (originally from Wethersfield, Conn.), Lewis WILKINSON,
Jonathan DANFORTH and Stephen SHERWOOD. From Sandisfield came Thomas HALE
and Calvin and William MANLEY (Calvin locating where Arunah WALKER now
lives). From Cheshire came Amos KING, father of Dexter KING. From Killingworth,
Conn., came Allen LEET, Samuel HIGGINS, William JONES, David Le BARON;
and the families bearing the names of CARTER and MERRITT. From Suffield,
Conn., came Asahel SMITH and his son Chauncey, Reuben PARSONS and Pelatiah
and Eli KING. From Litchfield, Conn., came Friend GIBBS and Darius GIBBS.
Asa FARNAM, who removed to Fairhaven, was originally from Litchfield. Allen
GOODRICH came from Glastenbury, Conn., and Simeon GOODRICH from Wethersfield.
Samuel, James and Daniel HOWARD came from Hartford, Conn. Elijah WILCOX,
father of Martin and Philo WILCOX, came from Goshen, Conn. The families
bearing the name of STACEY came from Salem, Mass. Robert BARBER came from
Brookfield, Mass. Francis ARNOLD was from Norwich, Mass. Edward and John
AIKEN were from Londonderry, N. H. David BRIGGS and his sons Simeon and
ARNOLD, were from Berkley, Mass.
these we have noted the place of settlement of a large number; of others
we are able to give the following additional particulars: --
Pere G. LADD came to Pittsford at an early date and subsequently removed
to Benson, locating where Eugene POTTER now lives. He was one of the early
blacksmiths of the town and followed that occupation for many years; he
died in this town March 23, 1838.
Joel DICKINSON moved to this town from Westhaven, and located on the farm
now occupied by William DICKINSON. John Quincy DICKINSON, whose fate is
connected in a tragic way with the Southern Rebellion, was a son of Isaac
and grandson of Captain Joel. He was a graduate of Middlebury College and
went into the service as second lieutenant of Company C, Seventh Regiment,
serving honorably through the war. He afterward removed to Florida, where
he was made assistant secretary of the Senate, and was assassinated on
account of political feeling, on the 3d of April, 1871. His remains were
returned to Benson, where they were buried in the presence of the largest
funeral procession ever gathered in the town.
of the earliest settlers in cast part of the town was Benoni GLEASON, already
mentioned. His father was Jacob GLEASON, one of the earliest settlers in
Pittsfield, Mass., and a Revolutionary soldier. Benoni was also in the
army, as before stated. James GLEASON was born in the house long occupied
by him in this town, on the 27th of April, 1799, and became a prominent
citizen, holding most of the town offices.
NOBLE came to Benson from Pittsfield, Mass., in 1786; he was a son of Captain
James, and died in Benson in 1843. James NOBLE, jr., born in Pittsfield
in 1784, settled on the farm subsequently owned by his son, Loren S. NOBLE.
WILCOX, born in Goshen, Conn., in 1783, came to Benson among the early
settlers and settled on the farm owned by his son, Philo ; he died there,
much respected, August, 1865.
SMITH was a native of Suffield, Conn., and removed to Benson in 1785. He
was moderator of the town meeting at which the town of Benson was organized,
in March, 1786 ; the first of the board of selectmen elected at that meeting,
and the first representative of the town in the General Assembly (1788),
an office which he held continuously until his death ; he was the first
justice of the peace of the town and reappointed until his death, and was
delegate to the State Constitutional Conventions of 1786, 1793 and to the
Convention of 1791, at which the constitution of the United States was
adopted. He died in Benson June 26, 1794, at the age of fifty-five. His
widow married Captain James NOBLE, already alluded to as one of the first
FARNAM (spelled FARNHAM in later years), who has been mentioned
as one of the pioneers of 1784, was a surveyor and merchant, and also a
farmer. He represented the town in 1795; was appointed justice of the peace
in the same year, and died June 13, 1811, aged forty-eight years.
SMITH, son of Asahel, was the first physician in the town and prominent
in other respects; was elected representative in 1794 and re-elected fifteen
times, exclusive of that of 1812, which was successfully contested; was
appointed justice in 1794 and was delegate to the State Constitutional
Convention of 1828; he held the office of justice thirty-five years, and
in 1814 was appointed one of the assistant judges of the Rutland County
Court. He kept a tavern in Benson for many years on the site now occupied
by A. G. SHERMAN, and was an active and influential citizen during most
of his life. He removed to Granville, N. Y., in 1833 and died in Leroy,
N. Y., at the residence of his son, in 1836.
name of Reuben NASH has been mentioned. He was but twelve years old when
his name was inserted in the charter of Benson and he removed to the town
in 1787, and followed inn-keeping, mercantile business and farming. He
married a daughter of Deacon Jonathan WOODWARD, and for his second wife,
Lois (MOORE), widow of Aaron RISING, of Dorset. He was representative of
the town five terms and justice of the peace about fifteen years. In the
summer of 1836 he removed to Silver Creek, N. Y., and died there July 14,
1845, aged seventy-eight years.
Jonathan WOODWARD, whose settlement in 1785 has been mentioned, died in
1802, in his seventy-sixth year.
Joseph CLARK was an early settler and located in 1788 on the farm where
Mrs. MEACHAM (widow of Smith MEACHAM) now lives. He came from Pittsfield,
Mass., was a deacon, with Jonathan WOODWARD, of the Congregational Church
of Benson on its organization in 1790, and died April 28, 1813.
Stephen CROFOOT came to Benson in 1786, from Pittsfield, and settled where
Edwin WALKER lives. He died in Benson March 17, 1 812, in his eighty-fifth
PARSONS, whose arrival in the town in 1788 has been mentioned, was town
clerk of the town for about fifteen years, and justice of the peace from
1808 to 1812. He died in March, 1813, from the epidemic disease that then
spread over this region.
MANLEY settled where Arunah WALKER now resides and was the second and last
clerk of the proprietors of the town; and was also town clerk from 1799
to 1803. He added surveying to his occupation as a farmer, and died in
Solomon MARTIN, who came to the town in 1784, from Pittsfield, Mass., attained
prominence in the Revolutionary War. he marched to Cambridge in April,
1775, when the alarm came from Lexington, with Captain David NOBLE's company
of "minute men," and was second corporal of that company. During the year
1776 he was lieutenant under the same captain. He died at Benson July 10,
1845, aged over ninety-three years.
Perez CHAPIN was a conspicuous figure in the town in early years and came
originally from Granby, Mass., removing to Benson in 1797, it is believed
from Whately, Mass., locating where William N. SKEELS now lives. He practiced
his profession about ten years in Benson. He died at Benson April 26, 1839,
aged eighty-six years, having, as written by another, led a blameless life.
Two of his sons became Congregational clergymen. Alpheus, another son,
was a portrait painter and father of Rev. E. H. CHAPIN, well known as the
pastor of the Universalist "Church of the Divine Paternity," Fifth avenue,
New York, and one of the most eloquent orators of the country.
Oliver ROOT came to Benson in 1781, from Pittsfield, Mass. He was a justice
of the peace about twenty years, and town clerk from 1813 to 1815. He removed
to Castleton in 1837, where he died April 5, 1847, at the age of eighty.
His settlement was made where the widow of Edward HOWARD now lives.
Joel DICKINSON, who removed from Westhaven to Benson in 1809, was originally
from Pittsfield, Mass., where he had been a prominent citizen. He located
where William DICKINSON lives. He was conspicuous in the Revolutionary
War; marched with the "minute men " to Cambridge and arose to the office
of lieutenant and captain; was almost continuously in the service until
the defeat of Burgoyne; was present at the assault on Quebec, in December,
1775, and at Bemis's Heights, Saratoga, in October, 1777. He was made a
justice in 1812 and died in January, 1813, aged sixty-three.
HOWARD settled in the town in 1785, from Hartford, Conn. He was selectman
from 1791 to 1795 inclusive, in 1800 and from 1806 to 1816 inclusive and
represented the town in 1815 and 1823. He died April 18, 1831, at the age
of seventy. His brothers, James and Daniel, have been mentioned as settlers
on "Howard Hill;" James was a deacon in the Congregational Church from
1797 to his death in 1831. Major Edward S. HOWARD, son of Samuel, was an
active and successful business man of the town, and was sent to the Assembly
in 1842. He died June 7, 1863, aged nearly seventy-two years.
settlement and descendants of Lemuel STANDISH have been mentioned. He was
a prominent citizen for many years; was elected constable each year from
1798 to 1815 inclusive, excepting 1799, and one of the selectmen from 1809
to 1815 inclusive; was justice of the peace from 1814 to 1821 inclusive,
and in 1823 and 1826. He removed to Illinois in 1838.
GOODRICH, of Wethersfield and Glastenbury, Conn., came to this town in
1784; was elected town clerk at the organization of the town and held the
office until 1793; was selectman in 1791 and constable in 1793-94; from
1804, to 1814 inclusive he was annually elected the first selectman; was
justice ofthe peace about ten years at different periods, and represented
the town in 1814. He was one of the thirteen organizers of the Congregational
Church, and died March 1 5, 1842, aged eighty-one.
GOODRICH, also from Wethersfield, Conn., was one of the selectmen selected
on the organization of the town, and representative in 1798-99. He died
February 7, 1852, the last survivor of the thirteen organizers of the Congregational
Church, aged ninety-two years. From 1806 to the time of his death he was
a deacon in that church. He served in Colonel BALDWIN's regiment of artificers,
in the Revolutionary War, until January, 1781, when he was severely wounded
in the knee by a blow from a broad axe, while working on a block-house.
We have mentioned the locality of settlement of these pioneers.
HIGGINS came to Benson in 1788, and settled in the southwest part of the
town. He died June 30, 1811. Their son William occupied the homestead for
ROOT came from Pittsfield, Mass., in 1787, making the long journey with
an ox team and his wife riding on horseback, carrying her little son, Sheldon.
He located in the eastern part of the town and died in 1813, as did also
his son Stephen, in the epidemic of that period.
KING settled in Benson in 1797, coming from Cheshire, Mass., with his wife
and two children. He located on the farm now occupied by his grandson,
M. F. KING, one of the prominent citizens of the town.
BASCOM came to Benson in 1815, originally from Newport, N. H.; represented
the town in 1832-33, and was deacon of the Congregational Church many years.
He died in 1852; the farm where he located is now occupied by Benjamin
GRISWOLD came to Benson, from Norwich, Conn., about 1797, and located where
his son Joseph recently lived and died. He became a leading farmer in this
town and an influential citizen. He was made justice of the peace in each
year from 1826 to the time of his death, excepting the years 1834 and 1835.
He died in Michigan in 1844, while on a visit to his son.
PARKHILL has been mentioned as one of the original proprietors. Jesse PARKHILL
was his son and removed to Benson from Williamstown, Mass., with his father's
family in 1786. He was constable from 1817 to 1827 inclusive, and for thirty-five
years justice of the peace (1811 to 1845). He died August 22, 1847, at
the age of sixty nine years.
NORTON was one of the early successful merchants of this town. He settled
on the place now occupied by Mrs. Jonas GIBBS in 1815, having studied medicine
at Castleton, and practiced a brief period at Lisbon, N. Y., but abandoned
the profession when he came to Benson. Here he engaged in mercantile business
which he continued for about twenty-five years. He represented the town
in the General Assembly in 1826 and 1839, and was a senator for the county
in 1840-41. He died in June, 1852, at the age of sixty-two.
AIKEN (son of John) was born May 1, 1808, and died March 6, 1865. He lived
on the place now occupied by his son, James AIKEN. He was an influential
and respected citizen; was first selectman from 186o to 1864.
names thus far given embrace most of the more prominent pioneers of the
town, and their descendants have formed a considerable portion of the inhabitants.
It is impossible, of course, to trace the records of later comers, except
as they may appear in connection with the various industrial interests
of the town. The inhabitants of Benson have given their attention in a
large measure to agricultural pursuits and the making of homes; to this
end the pioneers labored with a degree of energy, perseverance and industry
which can scarcely be appreciated at the present day. In the language of
another, in speaking of this town, "our honorable past in its social, educational
and religious character was made by earnest, and self-denying men and women
– the fathers and mothers who here planted in hope, and bore faithfully
the struggles and trials of life and now rest from their labors."
history of this town, like that of most other Vermont communities in the
early years of the century, was one of slow but steady growth, and the
people were little disturbed by the excitements of life in the great commercial
centers. The pioneers built their log houses and gradually replaced them
with those of a more pretentious character; they built a few mills, though
these were not nearly so numerous as in some localities where water power
was more abundant. The forests fell before the sturdy axes of the pioneers
and the fields soon began to assume the character and aspect of cultivated
War of 1812 disturbed the peacefulness of the inhabitants in this vicinity
for a time; but the ominous clouds were soon dispelled. Stephen STRONG,
who was born in Benson, October 25, 1801, remembers the condition of the
town as far back as that war. He is a son of Warham STRONG, who then lived
on the farm now occupied by the widow of Lawrence PROCTOR. There was then
(1812) only a very small settlement at Benson. Josiah GOODRICH was keeping
a tavern in the place on the site of the Union Hotel, and a grist-mill
and saw-mill were running on the site of O'DONNELL's mills. Back of Mr.
GOODRICH's tavern was a tannery, and a store was kept by Solon DYER just
east of where Mr. Howard KELLOGG's family now resides. The "cold season,"
as it is termed, of 1816 caused a good deal of suffering here, as it did
in most communities. There was but little grain raised and many families
were able to get only a little rye. Priest KENT traveled over the town
on foot, with saddle-bags, collecting rye for the needy. At that time Allen
GOODRICH, as Mr. STRONG remembers, was the only person in the town who
had a buggy. There was then no hamlet at the Landing. In later years George
WATSON had a tannery in the north part of the town near where Patrick LAVERY
town of Benson was organized at a town meeting held March 23, 1786, Captain
Asahel SMITH, moderator, and Allen GOODRICH, clerk. At an adjourned meeting
held March 30, 1786, Captain Asahel SMITH, Simeon GOODRICH and Captain
James NOBLE were appointed selectmen. No listers were appointed in that
year, probably because there was so little property upon which to fix a
valuation. The records of the first two town meetings do not give the place
where the meetings were held any more definitely than "in Benson;" and
no notification or warning of any town meeting appears in the records until
November, 1798. At a meeting held September 28, 1786, it was "voted to
raise six pounds" and "to raise it by the Pole " (poll), and "that there
be six days' work per man done on the roads, with what has been done this
year;" and also "voted a petition to the General Assembly for a tax on
all lands of (one penny) per acre."
the session of the Assembly in October, 1786, an act was passed empowering
the selectmen to levy a tax of one penny on each acre of land in the town,
for the purpose of making and repairing public roads and bridges in the
town; and at the same session the Assembly passed resolutions providing
for taking the sense of the freemen of the State on a proposed project
for "emitting a small bank of paper money on loan or otherwise," and in
respect to the tender acts, so called. In reference to these resolutions
it was voted at a town meeting held in Benson November 23, 1786, "to say
nothing about paper money." The town was first represented in the Assembly
in 1788 by Asahel SMITH.
town suffered as early as the winter of 1795-96 from a sort of ulcerous
sore throat or canker, which caused quite a number of deaths; and a still
more fatal epidemic occurred in the winter of 1812-13, which prevailed
throughout the State. About sixty deaths occurred in this town in less
than three months, the principal ravages of the disease being in the months
of March and April.
later history of the town includes in its records only events and progress
of a peaceful and quiet nature, befitting a growing agricultural community,
until the outbreak of the great Civil War, which involved every hamlet
and neighborhood in the country and left mourners at innumerable firesides.
This town was active in supporting the government in that struggle and
sent many of her sons into the field. The following record gives the names
of all volunteers from this town, and the organizations in which they served,
as nearly correct as it has been possible to obtain them :
for three years, credited previous to the call for 300,000 volunteers of
October 17, 1863: George E. AUSTIN, co. K, cav.; Julius R. AUSTIN, co.
B, cav.; Joseph BASLEY, co. C, 11th regt.; Sheldon BELDEN, Phineas BELDEN,
co. B, 5th regt. ; Robert BLACK, John BIGELOW, co. C, 11th regt. ; Edward
BROWNLEE, co. H, 5th regt.; Anthony BURTON, co. C, 11th regt.; Henry M.
COATES, co. C, 11th regt.; Lewis F. CRADY, co, B, 5th regt.; John Q. DICKINSON,
co. C, 7th regt.; Henry G. GIBBS, co. K, cav.; Leonard GIBBS, co. B, 2d
regt.; Lester GIBBS, co. K, cav.; Perry G. GIBBS, co. 1, 7th regt.; Allen
W. GOODRICH, co. C, 11th regt.; Charles B. GOODRICH, Rodney W. GOODRICH,
co. K, cav.; Orlin H. HIGGINS, co. B, 9th regt.; Judson P. HOWARD, co.
I, 7th regt.; Collins IKELY, jr., co. K, cav.; Edward KNOX, co. B, 2d regt.;
Jonathan LABEE, James MAGSON, co. H, 5th regt.; James MURPHY, co. B, 5th
regt.; William NORTON, co. I, 7th regt.; Auburn T. PATCH, co. B, 2d regt.;
James PATTERSON, co. B, 5th regt.; Samuel PILKEY, Amos PIERCE, co. C, 11th
regt.; Charles L. PETERSON, co. C, 9th regt.; Joseph RABITEAUX, co. C,
11th regt.; Alonzo A. REED, co. I, 7th regt.; Franklin D. SMITH, co. C,
11th regt.; George H. SWEET, William TALMAN, co. B, 5th regt.; Melvin D.
WALKER, Charles WATTS, co. C, 11th regt.; Thomas WATKINS, co. 11th regt.;
James YOUNG, co. B, 2d regt.
under call of October 17th, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent
calls. Volunteers for three years: Riley C. AUSTIN, co. G, 8th regt.; Thomas
CLARK, co. B, 8th regt.; George W. DERBY, Nelson FADDEN, co. B, 8th regt.
; William J. FADDEN, co. B, 8th regt. ; Samuel C. GIBBS, 2d bat. ; James
MCANINY, co. C, 11th regt.; Henry MERRITT, co. H, 5th regt.; Venice RABITAW,
co. B, 8th regt.; John L. SCOTT, co. H, 5th regt.;. Leander VOUDRAY, Clarence
W. WHEELER, co. H, 5th regt.
for one year: John L. ASHLINE, Samuel BISHOP, Stephen BISHOP, I 11th regt.;
Sylvester HAWKINS, 54th Mass.; James A. MALONY, 11th regt.; Ira E. MORSE,
5th regt.; John SHERIDAN, jr., 7th regt.; Levi SMITH, 11th regt.; John
A. THOMPSON, 8th regt.
re-enlisted: Wallace E. BALDWIN, Edward BROWNLEE, co. H, 5th regt.; John
CLAIR, David J. COVEY, co. B, 8th regt.; Lewis CRADY, co. B, 5th regt.;
James C. MAGSON, co. H, 5th regt.; James MURPHY, co. B, 5th regt.; Lewis
STORE, co. F, 5th regt.; George A. SWEET, William TATMAN, co. B, 5th regiment.
credits: Theodore DENNO, Edward O. GARRITY.
not credited by name: Three men.
for nine months: James R. ADAMS, James H. AIKEN, Marcellus I. BARBER, Joseph
I. BASCOM, Williams C. CUMMINGS, Moses DENO, Albert J. DICKENSON, James
H. GOODRICH, Henry S. HOWARD, Richard B. HUNT, Royal C. KING, Royan D.
KING, Eli B. NORTON, Noah N. NORTON, Milo C. PECK, Oliver A. PROCTOR, Frederick
L. REED, Garret S. ROSEBOOM, Gilbert R. SHERWOOD, Stephen P. SHERWOOD,
John W. WOODRUFF.
under draft. Paid commutations: Martin DUNHAM, Olney HIGGINS, Horace A.
MANLEY, Henry A. NORTON, Daniel F. SOUTHWORTH. Procured substitute: Franklin
W. COWEE, Elijah FISH. Entered service: Barney HOSKINS.
following figures show the condition of population at the various years
named; they show that, like many other towns of this county that are cut
off from railroad communication, the population today numbers some hundreds
less than it did at an earlier period: 1791, 658; 1800, 1,159; 1810, 1,561;
1820, 1,481; 1830, 1493; 1840, 1,403; 1850, 1,305; 1860, 1,256; 1870, 1,244;
of the town : Henry HOWARD, town clerk; W. H. KELLOGG, assistant clerk;
W. E. STRONG, C. B. GOODRICH, James H. AIKEN, selectmen; O. H. BUMP, Perry
CARTER, Wilber J. GOODRICH, listers; A. J. DICKINSON, constable and overseer
of poor; town superintendent of schools, Daniel C. NOBLE; A. J. GIBBS,
Royal D. KING, H. E. STRONG, auditors; F. W. WALKER, town agent and town
treasurer; Perry CARTER, H. E. STRONG, B. A. CARTER, fence viewers; Perry
CARTER, O. H. BUMP, A. J. GIBBS, town grand jurors.
1880 Benson had a population of 1,104, was divided into eleven school districts,
and had eleven common schools employing six male and sixteen female teachers,
at an aggregate salary of $1,715.11.
districts, like that embraced in the territory of Benson, do not feel the
waves of political agitation, the bitterness and animosity arising from
political differences and opposition, as do the inhabitants of cities and
large villages, where the struggle for office and for political supremacy
is often hotly contested. The first distinctive political divisions in
this town, according to Mr. KELLOGG, began as early as 1798, at which time
the town was strongly Democratic. Simeon GOODRICH was the candidate of
that party for representative and was elected. The trial of Matthew LYON
for an alleged offense under the famous "sedition law," in the United States
Circuit Court at Rutland, in October, 1798, and his subsequent imprisonment
at Vergennes, excited a degree of feeling in political circles which has
not since, perhaps, been exceeded. He was then the representative of the
Western District of Vermont in Congress, and at the election held in this
district on the first Tuesday in December, 1798, no choice having been
made in the previous September, he was elected by a decisive majority,
although then in jail under his sentence. At this election the vote of
Benson for LYON was 109 against 46 for his federal opponent, judge Samuel
WILLIAMS, of Rutland. (See history of the county press, in a preceding
chapter). Benson was represented largely in the procession of over four
hundred citizens on horseback, who went to Vergennes on the expiration
of Colonel LYON's term of four months' imprisonment, in February, 1799,
and escorted him from the jail to his residence in Fairhaven.
Democrats maintained their ascendency in the town until 1802, when the
Federalists gained their first majority; the vote for governor that year
being for Israel SMITH, Democrat, seventy-four, and for Isaac TICHENOR,
eighty-six. From that time forward the Federalists had a majority each
year on the State ticket, usually a small one, at the annual elections,
except in the year 1807. The nearly equal division of the parties sometimes
made the strife quite animated. Tradition reports that in 1810 Asa and
Lemuel STANDISH were respectively the candidates of the two parties for
town representative, the former Democratic and the latter Federal, and
the latter by virtue of his office of constable, was the presiding officer
at the election. Of the 241 votes cast, Asa received 121 and his brother
the reorganization of political parties under the administration of President
Jackson, the majority of the votes of this town were almost always in harmony
with the prevailing majority in the State. There has been an occasional
active strife for the office of town representative; there were thirteen
ballotings for that office in 1852; nine in 1853, and five in 1854, before
a choice was effected. At the same time the prevailing political preferences
of the town were in those years clear and well-defined.
large number of the inhabitants of this town lived to a great age, the
following list of whom was compiled by Mr. KELLOGG in his sketch of the
ADAMS, died March 26, 1865, aged 97 years. Benjamin HICKOK, died May 5,
1862, aged 96. Asahel STILES, died April 13, 1854, aged 94. Solomon MARTIN,
died July 10, 1845, aged 93. Sarah, wife of Elial SMITH, died March 23,
1862, aged 93. Anna, widow of Arnold BRIGGS, died August 17, 1869, aged
93. Simeon GOODRICH, died February y, 1852, aged 92. Rebecca, widow of
Robert BARBER, died March 18, 1856, aged 92. Elial SMITH, died May to,
1867, aged 92. Othniel GOODRICH, died August 12, 1853, aged 91. Fear, widow
of Captain Stephen OLMSTED, died January 7, 1825, aged 90. William JONES,
died March 23, 1852, aged 89. Timothy WATSON, died August 6, 1852, aged
89. Mary, wife of Robert PARKHILL, died October 26, 1800, aged 89. Stephen
SHERWOOD, died January 11, 1832, aged 89. William MANNING, died January
8, 1847, aged 88. Susanna, widow of Rufus WALKER, died July 20, 1863, aged
first death in this town is not now known; but the first recorded in the
town record of deaths is that of an infant son of Benoni and Lucy GLEASON,
named James, who was born April 5, 1789, and died on the following day.
The spot set apart for a village burial ground was surveyed and laid out
October 5, 1790; but there had been burials previous to that time in the
southeast part of the town, and also in the northwest corner of the school
lot; but no stones were set at these graves and all traces of them have
disappeared. With the exception of the child above mentioned, no inscription
on any gravestone records a death earlier than that of Captain William
BARBER, which occurred August 11, 1789, at the age of forty-six years.
It is believed that he was the first adult who died in the town.
the time when this town was organized it was, in common with other towns,
authorized by the State laws to settle a minister and provide for his support;
and also to erect a meeting-house and to assess a tax for these purposes.
A large majority of the first settlers of the town were Trinitarian Congregationalists,
and providing for preaching and the building of a meeting-house were among
the first subjects considered in the early town meetings.
the annual town meeting held March 19, 1787, at the house of Stephen OLMSTED,
it was "voted to fix the house lately occupied by Solomon CHITTENDEN and
now the property of Asa FARNHAM, so it shall be convenient to meet in on
the Sabbath," and also "voted to hire Mr. RALPH [minister] the space of
one month, to pay in wheat after harvest, at a market price;" and it was
also "voted that the committee appointed to hire Mr. RALPH are to hire
him one-half of the time for two months, if he will be hired for or under
four dollars per Sabbath, to be paid in grain after harvest."
a town meeting held December 29, 1788, it was "voted to hire a Minister
one-half the time next summer, with Fairhaven."Mr. Levi HACKLEY was employed
as a preacher in 1789-90. At a town meeting held on the 22d of March, 1790,
it was "voted to have Mr. Levi HACKLEY settle with us for our Minister,"
and "that the town will raise thirty-five pounds in necessary articles
for building, to be paid to Mr. Levy HACKLEY for a settlement, exclusive
of the right of land which naturally belongs to him as soon as he becomes
our Minister," and "to give to Mr. HACKLEY seventy pounds salary for a
year, to begin with forty pounds the first year, and to rise with the list
of the town, until it amounts to seventy pounds, and there stand;" but
the vote to settle Mr. HACKLEY was reconsidered at an adjourned town meeting,
March 30, 1790. The Rev. Daniel KENT became the first settled minister
in Benson, he having a "call to settle with us in the work of the ministry"
on the 4th of June, 1792. The pastorial relation continued until the 11th
of July, 1828, when he was dismissed.
Church. -- This church was organized in March, 1790, by Matthias
CAZIER, of Castleton, and his delegate, "Mr. Sturtevant;" on its organization,
Deacon Joseph CLARK was appointed "moderator of the church," and Allen
Jonathan WOODWARD, grandfather of ex-Vice-President WHEELER, was the first
deacon, and Rev. Dan KENT, son of Deacon Cephas KENT, of Dorset, the first
pastor and also the first settled minister in Benson. He was born in Suffield,
Conn., April 10, 1758, commenced his pastorate in Benson in 1792, and continued
as pastor of this church thirty-six years. He died in Benson, July 22,
Mr. KENT's ministry the church grew rapidly. He was a man of fervent piety
and great zeal. At several periods during his pastorate there was unusual
interest and the church received large additions to its numbers. The building
of a meeting-house was a subject of frequent consideration in nearly every
one of the early town meetings. On the 7th of December, 1789, a committee
of five was appointed "to draw a subscription paper for building a school-house-meeting-house,
and to see their subscriptions laid out for that purpose." In the following
year a framed building of one story was erected, twenty by twenty-four
feet (and subsequently enlarged to twenty-four by forty feet) ; it stood
on the school lot in the village, on the site of the Willard STRONG residence.
A few years later the building was removed to the lot occupied in recent
years by the Methodist parsonage. Major Ozias JOHNSON was the builder of
the first church; it was designed mainly as a school-house, but was used
for worship until the second church was sufficiently advanced to admit
of its occupation. The settlement of Rev. Mr. KENT for his long pastorate
having been satisfactorily arranged, the building of a better meeting-house
soon engaged the attention of the inhabitants. October 3, 1792, it was
voted " to set the meeting-house on the rise of ground on Mr. FARNHAM's
2, 1794, a committee of six was appointed "to agree upon a place to set
the meeting-house;" and it was voted to "set the meeting-house on the place
where the above committee had set a stake for the purpose," and "to raise
one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid in materials for building a meeting-house;"
and a committee of seven was appointed "to divide the town into classes,
and to take care of the materials raised." October 9, 1794, it was
voted "to build the meeting-house sixty-five feet long and forty-five wide."
March 14, 1796, it was voted "to postpone the framing and raising the meeting-house
till a year, from the 15th of April next." July 17, 1797, it was voted
"to adopt some measure to cover the meeting-house the present summer, and
to raise one thousand dollars, 600 of which to be paid by the first of
January next, and 400 to be paid by the first of October following -- to
be paid in neat cattle or grain, if paid by the times set; if not, to be
paid in money," and that "Reuben NASH be committee for building the meeting-house,
in lieu of Major JOHNSON, dismissed."Samuel HOWARD and Allen GOODRICH were
added to the committee in May, 1801. On the 10th of January, 1797, one
and one-fifth acres of land, on which the meeting-house was subsequently
erected, were conveyed by a lease by Asa FARNAM, esq., to "inhabitants
of the town of Benson," . . " to be used and improved for a meeting-house
and green, as long as the said inhabitants shall want it for that purpose,"
with a condition that the lease was not to be binding, "unless the frame
for a meeting-house is erected within one year from the date hereof." The
frame of this building was erected in the spring of 1797, and covered in
the same year; but it was not finally finished until the summer of 1803.
In the summer of 1824 a large bell was procured by private subscription
at an expense of about $450; this was the first church bell in the town.
The church society was organized December 10, 1799, and called "the First
Congregational Society in Benson;" but this was superseded in November,
1814, by the organization which has been in existence since that date.
the pastorate of Mr. KENT, the church was supplied by several different
preachers down to 1829, when, in July, Rev. Daniel D. FRANCIS was ordained;
he was dismissed October 23, 1844, and his successors were Rev. Azariah
HYDE, January, 1846, to July, 1856; Rev. Ebenezer SMITH, September, 1857,
to September, 1860; Rev. William S. SMART, October, 1860, to May, 1867;
Rev. George P. BYINGTON, March, 1868, to May, 1869. He was succeeded by
Rev. Henry M. HOLMES, he by Rev. George G. LYON, and he by the present
pastor, Rev. E. J. BEACH. In 1842 the old church was demolished and the
present handsome edifice erected at a cost of over $6,000; the membership
is nearly one hundred and fifty.
Episcopal Church. -- This society was organized in 1838, by Rev. Peter
P. HARROWER. There had, of course, been Methodist preaching in the town
many years previous to that time; the first minister remembered being Elder
Tobias SPICER, who was here as early as 1811. In 1837 Albert CHAMPLAIN,
a young minister of this denomination, preached here occasionally during
present church edifice, a comfortable building capable of seating about
250 persons, was built in 1841, and remodeled again in 1876. The original
cost of the building was about $2,000, while the present value of the property
is about $7,500. We need not follow the various pastors in detail, who
have served this church, with the frequent changes necessitated by the
custom of this denomination. Rev. J. H. BOND is the present minister, and
the congregation is about equal in numbers to that of the Congregationalists.
Church. -- The First Baptist Church of Benson was organized by Elder Abel
WOOD, Samuel TOWER and John CARTER, in March, 1797. At its organization
it had fourteen members, with Rev. William PATTERSON as pastor. In 1826
the first building was erected, built of stone; this was followed by a
second in 1843, which was sold and taken down in 1866, the organization
having become extinct; a part of the congregation united with Sudbury and
a part with Westhaven.
municipal history of this town is brief and not of paramount importance,
as must always be the case in a distinctively agricultural region. Closely
following the early settlements in the Vermont towns, hamlets generally
sprang up, their location being often determined by the site chosen for
the grist-mill. As most of the inhabitants were compelled to "go to mill"
with regularity, shops and stores and the post-office were established
in the same vicinity, both for the accommodation of the inhabitants and
to make sure of securing their trade. Thus grew up the village in this
town. Stores were established as early as 1795, when Jonas ABBOTT was in
business and advertised that he "has again refurnished his cheap store
with a fresh stock of European and India goods." Timothy WATSON was then
engaged in shoemaking and selling, and Stephen OLMSTED and Tilly GILBERT
were in general trade; the partnership was dissolved in 1795, and the business
continued by Mr. OLMSTED. We have already mentioned the fact that Daniel
BARBER built the first mills in the town; these were followed by saw-mills
in various other parts of the town, the greater part of which have been
abandoned many years. Previous to the building of Mr. BARBER's mills, the
inhabitants were forced to carry their grain through the wilderness to
Poultney, to get it ground.
grist-mill was built at the settlement on the river known as "Bangall "
as early as 1810, by William CUTLER and Ethan ALLEN.
date of the establishment of the post-office at Benson is not definitely
known. E. R. REED was appointed postmaster in July, 1877, and held the
office until the appointment of the present incumbent, B. A. CARTER. Previous
to Mr. REED's administration H. F. SMITH was postmaster about twelve years,
Mr. CARTER performing the office duties for him. H. A. NORTON filled the
office five or six years previous to Mr. SMITH's administration. Among
those who held the office in still earlier years were Chauncey HIGGINS,
D. R. BARBER, Woodward LADD and H. B. WILCOX.
CARTER keeps a general store at Benson which he has conducted since the
fall of 1865. This store was built by E. H. & D. AIKEN about 1839.
D. R. BARBER was the merchant in it for a time, after which a "union store"
was carried on there ten or twelve years. Norton & Pitts (H. A. NORTON
and Charles D. PITTS) then conducted it about three years, and were followed
by Mr. NORTON alone for two years. The post-office was kept in this store
thirty-five years or more.
store now occupied by H. S. HOWARD, in the hardware trade and tin manufacturing,
was built during the last war and about 1862. A store building stood on
the same site previous to that time, which was built before 1855 and occupied
by J. W. DORSEY, who was burned out. He was succeeded by the firm of Dorsey,
Scott & Company, embracing Frank SCOTT and Cephas KNAPP. This firm
was succeeded by Dorsey & Howard, Mr. HOWARD joining him in the spring
of 1868. The firm continued until 1874, when Frederick REED assumed Mr.
DORSEY's interest. The firm of Howard & Reed continued until April,
1883, since which date Mr. HOWARD has conducted the business alone. Mr.
REED worked here fifteen, or more, years, previous to his joining Mr. HOWARD.
Jennie LADD has a general store, which business was begun in June, 1884,
succeeding her husband, K. G. LADD, who started in the spring of 1883.
was a hotel kept on the site of the present Union Hotel since a very early
day. It is recorded in a hotel register that the building was erected by
Josiah GOODRICH about 1790 and was kept for many years by his widow, Mary
GOODRICH. The house finally ran down and was not open to the public for
many years. The house now on this site was built by J. REED, the present
proprietor, who formerly kept the house now in control of Mrs. E. BAILEY,
about the year 1870.
Briggs House was built about 1839 by John KELLOGG. Others who occupied
it were Luther JOY, William JOHNSON, Horace KNAPP, John and L. F. MILLER,
and J. REED. Amasa BRIGGS occupied the place as a private house until the
winter of 1882-83, when it was opened to the public by A. J. & John
A. BRIGGS; it was kept by them until the spring of 1884, when Miss A. J.
BRIGGS bought out her brother; in the succeeding fall she married E. F.
BAILEY and still conducts the house.
carriage shop at Benson was put in operation by Strong & Brother (H.
E. & W. E. STRONG) in 1851; an old building was then taken and additions
made to it. It was formerly a horse-shoeing shop and was built by Luther
JOY, who was a merchant for a number of years in what is now REED's shoe
shop. The carriage factory was built in between the REED shop and the old
school-house, all of which are now occupied by the Messrs. STRONG for their
W. JOHNSON's shingle factory and cider-mill, located on Hubbardton River,
at Tumble Falls, near road 10, was erected in 1880, and has a fine water
power of twenty feet fall. Mr. JOHNSON manufactures 500 to 600 barrels
of cider per year.
O'DONNELL's grist and saw-mill, located on Hubbardton River, about two
miles from Benson village, is the only grist-mill in the town, manufactures
in connection with flour, etc., 500,000 feet of lumber, 400,000 shingles.
E. MORSE formerly operated a saw-mill, on the north branch of Hubbardton
River, which was built in 1875. The same must be said of the WALKER Cheese
Manufacturing Company, organized in 1873, and the company operating the
Benson Butter and Cheese factory, organized in 1874.
is a small hamlet on the shore of Lake Champlain, north of the Center.
It grew out of the lake commerce which assumed great importance immediately
after the opening of the Champlain Canal in 1823, and was a center of considerable
business for many years. A. L. HALE & Company (E. M. LADD) have kept
a store here for six years, and for the four years just previous to that
were located in business on the dock with J. R. HARLOW, as HARLOW &
HALE. Previous to that time P. G. LADD & Son kept the store on the
dock, the senior members of the firm having been in business there twenty
years or more. There is no other business at this point.
first lawyer who settled in this town was Albert STEVENS, who remained
here between 1800 and 1802. Samuel JACKSON came here about 1807 but absconded
after a few months. Ira HARMON settled in Benson in March, 1810, and practiced
here about twenty years. John KELLOGG came here in May, 1810, and remained
in practice until 1840. He was born at Amherst, Mass., May 31, 1786; came
to Vermont in 1805, and on the 22d of April, began studying law in the
office of Loyal CASE, of Middlebury; finished his studies with Hon. Horatio
SEYMOUR, in Middlebury, and was admitted to the bar in 1810. In Benson
he gained a foremost position and enjoyed a large practice. He was postmaster
from 1813 to 1822, and for twelve years town clerk; delegate to the State
Constitutional Convention of 1822, and represented the, town eight terms;
in 1838 he was Democratic candidate for United States senator, and one
of the delegates at large to the National Convention of the same party.
His professional life was marked by great energy and industry, and his
character was one of decision and sound principles. He was the father of
Hon. Loyal Case KELLOGG. (See chapter on the bar of the county). Marshall
R. MEACHAM began practice in Benson in 1825 and continued to his death
August 24, 1833, at thirty-four years of age. David L. FARNHAM was in practice
here from 1826 to 1828, when he removed to other parts. Richard W. SMITH
practiced here one year (1830-31). Milo W. SMITH, son of Chauncey, was
in practice from 1831 to 1852, when he removed to Indiana and died there.
Loyal C. KELLOGG practiced here from 1839 to 1859, when he was elected
one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the State; in 1860 he removed
physicians who practiced in this town in early years and subsequently are
mentioned in the chapter devoted to the medical profession, as far as anything
is now known of them. There are at the present time two physicians in practice
in the town -- Dr. Henry R. JONES, born December 11, 1823; received his
medical education at Castleton and graduated in the fall of 1849. He practiced
the first two years thereafter in New Haven, Vt., and came to Benson in
1853; he was married in the same year, and has enjoyed an extensive practice
and the esteem of the community.
J. P. NEWTON, born in Swanton, Vt., March 12, 1845, received his medical
education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and graduated in March,
1872. He came at once to Benson (June, 1872), excepting a few weeks in
Long Island Hospital College.
of Rutland County Vermont: with Illustrations &
Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
& Co., Publishers 1886
of the Town of Benson
Transcribed by Karima Allison 2002