John Leverett Merrill.

History of Acworth, with the proceedings of the centennial anniversary, genealogical records, and register of farms online

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vis, Roswell George, J. F. Paige, and S. A. Reed. This mill was
also swept away by high water, and Mr. Reed built a grist and
saw-mill on the same site, at a cost of about $10,000. This build-
ing is certainly creditable to the public spirit of its builder. It is
now owned and occupied by J. F. Paige. He grinds on an aver-
age about 15,000 bushels of grain annually, and saws about
400,000 feet of boards. There was once a grist-mill where Lau-
riston Keyes now resides, owned by Joshua G. Silsby, and after-



136 THE HISTOEY OF ACWOETH.

wards by Jesse Wallace. John Reed had a small grist-mill, for a
little while, where O. R Kemp now resides. John Thompson
once owned a grist-mill at East Acworth, and was succeeded by
Eodney Buss. John Thornton once used the water power now
owned by J. M. Eeed to run a grist-mill.

The iirst saw-mill was probably built and carried away in con-
nection with the first grist-mill. The next mill at South Acworth
was built by William Mitchell, who was followed by John Mitch-
ell, Elisha Parkes, John F. Davis, Roswell George, and Barney &
Porter. The first saw-mill in East Acworth was erected by Dea.
William Carey, and was subsequently owned by Jonas Keyes,
Moors Keyes, Mazelda Keyes, Levi Barney, Abel Bailey, and Si-
mon Graves. It was rebuilt by Ambrose Alexander, and sold to
James and Albert Spaulding. It is now owned by Rodney Buss,
who saws about 400,000 feet of lumber annually, most of which
he manufactures into boxes, and wooden-ware of various kinds.
The saw-mill now belonging to Rufus Hilliard, was built by Dea.
Jonathan, and afterwards owned by his son Dea. Henry Silsby.
There was formerly a saw-mill just below Mr. Hilliard's, built by
Supply Reed, and owned by Supply Reed, Jr., and by David Cur-
rier. The saw-mill on Cold River at the foot of Gates Hill, has
been owned and run by Robert and Thomas Clark, Winchester
Wyman, Ruel Ct. Bascom, John Clark, and now by George F.
Nichols. About 50,000 feet of lumber is sawed there annually.
George and Solyman Spaulding, AVheeler & Scripture, William
Welch and Ephraim Bixby have occupied the saw-mill now
owned by Jason H. Boynton. He saws about 50,000 feet of
lumber annually. Dea. Thomas Ball built a saw-mill in the west
part of the town, which was run a few years.

The first carding-machine in town was in the grist-mill built by
William Mitchell. The second was in a room finished off in the
saw-mill at the bridge in South Acworth. A. M. Crosby erected
the first mill for dressing cloth, near where the present factory
stands. Messrs. Jones & Parks were the first manufacturers of
woolen cloth, and their successors have been Jones & Wetherbee,
Jones & Holden, Holden & Ryder, Ryder & Proctor, John Dean,
John Scribner and Nathan Adams who now manufactures 6500
yards of cassimere annually, using 8000 pounds of raw wool. Dan
Foster built the first mill for dressing cloth in East Acworth, af-
terwards owned by William Boardman, who sold to Seth Adams
in 1814;. He was succeeded by Moores Keyes, who was followed



MILLS— MECHANICS— PRESENT CONDITION. 137

by John Thornton, who did a large business in dyeing and dress-
ing cloth, and in carding wool, for several years. He sold the mill
to Kodney Buss, who converted it into a factory for the manufac-
ture of bobbins and other articles of wooden-ware. John Thorn-
ton afterwards built a large mill below the old one which he sold
to James M. Reed, who now manufactures hoops, etc.

Robert 'Holmes, Dea. William and Robert McClure, Mathew
Towne and Rufus McClure have manufactured fanning-mills.
There was once a flax-dressing machine which was run by horse-
power erected near Dea. Thomas Ball's, by John Lancaster. It
did quite a business in its day. Joab Newton, Benjamin Newton,
Robert McClure, Rufus McClure and Rufus Howe have manufac-
tured hand rakes, and Theron Duncan carried on at one time a
lar<Te business in manufacturing horse-rakes. John Wilson in
early days manufactured spinning-wheels. John Moore, David
Montgomery, William Haywood and Edward Woodbury have
been dealers in stoves. Amos Ingalls made plows. Davidson
& Parks were machinists. • Among the early shoemakers were
Simeon Ingalls, John Williams, Enoch Stevens, Isaac Butter-
field, Dean Carleton, Mason Blanchard, Silas Gleason, Parmenter
Honey, Christopher Ayres and James Wallace. Some of these
went around from family to family to make shoes, while others
had shops. David Campbell was the first wholesale shoemaker,
who was succeeded by Gage & Robinson and Robinson & Chap-
man. The "Acworth Boot & Shoe Co." was a joint stock com-
pany which was bought out by John Blanchard. The business is
now carried on by Blanchard & Woodbury, who manufacture about
11,000 pairs of boots and shoes annually. The first tannery was
established near what is now Dodge's blacksmith shop, by Lemuel
Lincoln. He sold out to Mr. Albree and put down a new yard a
little south of the old burying-ground, where he and after him his
son, Dea. Amasa Lincoln, carried on the business of tanning for
many years. David and Joseph Blanchard put down a tan-yard
and carried on the business where O. R. Kemp now resides. A
tannery once existed on the Underwood Brook, near George W.
Neals'. Dea. Levi Barney put down a tannery many years ago
in East Acworth. A clothes-pin factory has been recently erected
by C. B. Cummings in South Acworth.

As will be seen by reference to the census, the population of Ac-
worth is one-third less than in 1810. Emigration to the West is
the main cause of this decrease. Thousands have gone forth from
18



138



THE HISTORY OF ACWORTH.



these hills to assist in developing the resources of the great West.
This depopulation is mainly felt in the outskirts of the town. The
population of the central village was probably never greater than at
present, and South Acworth for several years has been growing rap-
idly. The wealth of the town has not decreased as the population.
The valuation in 1868 was $481,379; value of lands, 1283,554;
number of sheep 6,771, value $14,122 ; number of neat stock 894,
value $43,967 ; number of horses 292, value $22,887. Amount of
lumber annually cut, reckoned in board measure, 1,200,000 feet.
Amount of grain raised is estimated at 15,000 bushels. Number
of boots and shoes manufactured by Blanchard & Woodbury, 11,000
pairs. Amount of shoe pegs manufactured by Maj. Ephraim Cum-
mings, 5,000 bushels. Number of yards of cassimere made by Na-
than Adams, 6,500, using 8,000 pounds of raw wool. In the manu-
facture of wooden-ware by Rodney Buss about 400,000 feet of lum-
ber are used. One hundred and fifty cords of wood is manufactured
by J. M. Reed into hoops, bails, handles, etc., annually. It is be-
lieved that Acworth surpasses every town in the State in the amount
of maple sugar made. In 1868, 128,400 pounds were manufactured.

CENSUS AND RATE OF MORTALITY.

In this table the average number of deaths annually is given,
each decade embracing five years preceding and five succeeding
the year in which the census was taken :



Year.


Population.


Deaths.


Tear.


Population.


Deaths.


1790,


. . 704




1840, .


. . 1,450


18.3


1800,


. . 1,376


10


1850, .


. . 1.251


23.5


1810,


. . 1.523


23


1860, .


. . 1,180


27.8


1820,


. . 1,479


18.5


1868, .


. . 1,070


22


1830,


. . 1,401


16.8











MODERATORS.




1771-3.


Henry Silsby.


1791.


John Duncan.


1774.


Samuel Sniidi.


1792-3.


Daniel Grout.


1775-9.


Thomas Putnam.


1794.


Henry Silsby.


1780-1.


Daniel Grout.


1795.


Thomas Slader.


1782-3.


John Duncan.


1796.


Daniel Grout, Esq


1784-6.


Daniel Grout.


1797-8.


Thomas Slader.


1787.


John Duncan.


1799.


Lasell Silsby.


1788.


Joseph Finlay.


1800.


Maj. -John Duncan


1789.


John Duncan.


1801-4.


La.'^ell Silsby.


17 'JO.


Tliomas Slader.


1805.


William Grout.



MODERATOES— TOWN CLERKS— TOWN TREASURERS. 139



1<S06.


Joel Angler.


1836.


Jonathan Gove.


1807.


Gawiu Gilinore.


1837.


John Robb.


1808.


Joel Angier.


1838.


Samuel Slader.


1809-10.


Lasell Silsliy.


1839.


Joel Tracy.


1811-14.


Joel Angler.


1840.


Jesse Slader.


1815.


Lemuel Lincoln.


1841.


David Blanchard.


1816.


Edward Slader.


]842.


Joseph G. Silsby.


1817-18.


Gawin Gilmore.


1843-5.


Joel Tracy.


1819.


Joel Angier.


1846.


Joseph G. Silsby.


1820.


Gawin Gilmore.


1847-8.


John Robb.


1821.


Joel Angier.


1849-50.


Joel Tracy.


1822.


Gawin Gilmore.


1851.


John Robb.


1823-4.


Ithiel Silsby.


1852-3.


Joel Tracy.


1825-6.


Eliphalet Bailey.


1854-8.


J. G. Silsby.


1827.


Joel Angier.


1859-60.


C. R. Vilas.


1828.


Gawin Gilmore.


1861.


Zenas Slader.


1829-30.


Elipbalet Bailey.


1862-3.


J. H. Dickey.


1831.


Jonathan Gove.


18G4.


Jesse Slader.


1832.


Ithiel Silsby.


1865-7.


Zenas Slader.


1833-5.


David Blanchard.


1868-9.


William Brooks.




TOWN <


::!LERKS.




1771.


John Rogers.


1817-18.


Elisha Parks.


1772.


Dean Carleton.


1819-20.


Eliphalet Bailey.


1773-80.


Samuel Silsby.


1821-4.


Elisha Parks.


1781.


Peleg Sprague.


1825-30.


Ithiel Silsby.


1782-5.


Isaac Foster.


1831-2.


Eliphalet Bailey.


1786-90.


Lasell Silsby.


1833-4.


Ithiel Silsby.


1791.


Thomas Slader.


1835-6.


Granville Gilmore.


1792.


Lasell Silsby.


1837-9.


Joseph G. Silsby.


1793-4.


James Campbell.


1840.


Daniel J. Warner.


1795-6.


James Campbell.


1841-2.


CM. Woodbury.


1797.


Levi Hayward.


1843-6.


J. H. Dickey.


1798.


James Campbell.


1847.


Joseph Davis.


1799-1801


. James Campljell.


1848-51.


C. M. Woodbury.


1802.


Levi Hayward.


1852-4.


J. H. Dickey.


1803-6.


Gawin Gilmore.


1855-8.


C. M. Woodbury.


1807-9.


Lemuel Lincoln,


1859-61.


S. S. Vilas.


1810-12.


Edward Slader.


1862-5.


C. M. Woodbury.


1813-14.


Levi Hayward.


1866-7.


D. J. Warner.


1815-16.


Lemuel Lincoln.


1868-9.


C. E. Spencer.




TOWN TR


EASURERS.




1776-7.


Henry Silsby.


1792-7.


James CampbeU


1780.


Henry Silsby.


1798-1807. Daniel Nurse.


1781.


Joseph Chatterton.


1808-9.


Amos Keyes.


1782-3.


John Duncan.


1810-lL


Levi Hayward.


1784-5.


Daniel Grout.


1812-15.


Lemuel Lincoln


1786-8.


Jonathan Silsby.


1816-24.


Edward Slader.


1789.


Daniel Grout.


1825-27.


Gawin Gilmore.


1790.


James CampbeU.


1828-9.


Nathaniel Grout


1791.


Amos Keyes.


1830-8.


Edward Slader.



140 THE HISTORY OF ACWORTH.



1839-41. <:Jranville Gilmore.

1842-4. Edward Woodbury.

1845-7. David Montgomery.

1848-51. J. H. Dickey.

1852-9. David Montgomery.

1860. N. E. Sargent.



1861. William Hayward.

186-2-3. C. M. Woodbury.

1864. William Hayward.

1865. J. G. Silsby.

1866. CM. Woodbury.
1867-9. N. Warner.



SELECTMEN.



1771. Henry Silsby, Samuel Harper, William Keyes.

1772. Henry Silsby, Thomas Putnam, John Rogers.

1773. Henry Silsby, Thomas Putnam, Dean Carleton.

1774. Samuel Harper, John Ptogers, Samuel Silsby.

1775. Samuel Harper, Thomas Putnam, George Duncan.

1776. Thomas Putnam, Henry Silsby, John Rogers.

1777. Ephraim Keyes, Samuel Silsby, William Clark.

1778. Thomas Putnam, Alexander Houston, Ephraim Keyes.

1779. Daniel Mack, Henry Silsby, James Wallace.

1780. Henry Silsby, John Duncan, Daniel Grout.

1781. Daniel Grout, James Campbell, Jacob Foster.

1782. Joseph Finlay, Henry Silsby, Joseph Chatterton.

1783. William Mitchell, Joseph Finlay, Jonathan Silsby.

1784. Jacob Hayward, Moses Lancaster, Jonathan Silsby.

1785. Jonathan Silsby, Thomas Slader, Amos Ingalls.

1786. John Duncan, Daniel Grout, Thomas Slader.

1787. John Duncan, Thomas Slader, Lasell Silsby.

1788. John Duncan, Lasell Silsby, Moses Lancaster.

1789. Lasell Silsby, Amos Ingalls, Jonathan Silsby.

1790. Moses Lancaster, Thomas Slader, Lasell Silsby.

1791. Thomas Slader, John Duncan, James Campbell.

1792. Lasell Silsby, Daniel Grout, Thomas Slader.

1793. Isaac Foster, James Campbell, William Grout,
1794-6. James Campbell, Isaac Foster, William Grout.

1797. James Campbell, Thomas Slader, William Grout.

1798. James Campbell, Thomas Slader, Moses Lancaster.

1799. James Campbell, Isaac Foster, William Grout.

1800. James Campbell, Isaac Foster, Edward Slader,

1801. James Campbell, Moses Lancaster, Edward Slader.

1802. Levi Hayward, Moses Lancaster, Edward Slader.

1803. Gawin Gilmore, Moses Lancaster, Edward Slader.
1804-6. Gawin Gilmore, Amos Keyes, Lemuel Lincoln.
1807. Lemuel Lincoln, J.ohn Grout, Ebenezer Grout.
1808-9. Lemuel Lincoln, Ebenezer Grout, Samuel Finlay.

1810. Edward Slader, Samuel Finlay, Ebenezer Grout.

1811. Edward Slader, Maj. Ebenezer Grout, Elisha Parks.

1812. Edward Slader, Elisha Parks, Levi Hayward.

1813. Levi Hayward, Gawin Gilmore, Eliphalet Bailey.

1814. Levi Hayward, Elisha Parks, Eliphalet Bailey.

1815. Lemuel Lincoln, James M. Warner, Samuel Slader.

1816. Lemuel Lincoln, Samuel Finlay, Samuel Slader.
1817-8. Elisha Parks, Eliphalet Bailey, Ithiel Silsby.

1819. Eliphalet Bailey, Itliiel Silsby, Jonathan Gove.

1820. Eliphalet Bailey, Jonathan Gove, David Blanchard.



SELECTMEN— REPRESENTATIVES TO THE LEGISLATURE. 141

1821-4. Elisba Parks, James M. Warner, David Blanchard.

1825-6. Itliiel Silsby, Jonathan Gove, Joel Tracy.

1827-8. Ithiel SiLsby, Jesse Slader, Daniel Nourse, Jr.

1829. Ithiel SiLsby, Daniel Nourse, Jr., David Montgomery.

18.30. Ithiel Silsby, Eliphalet Bailey, David Blanchard.

1831. Eliphalet Bailey, David Blanchard, Joel Tracy.

1832. Eliphalet Bailey, Joel Tracy, John Bobb.
1838. Joel Tracy, Jesse Slader, David Montgomery.

1834. Joel Tracy, David Montgomery, Ithiel Silsby.

1835. David Montgomery, Winslow Copeland, Eliphalet Parks.

1836. Eliphalet Bailey, Joel Tracy, Thomas Ball.

1837. David Blanchard, Joel Tracy, John Bobb.

1838. David Blanchard, John Bobb, Zenas Slader.
1839.- John Bobb, Joel Tracy, Edward Woodbury.

1840. Zenas Slader, Edward Woodbury, Hugh Finlay.

1841. Edward Woodbury, David Blanchard, David Morrill.

1842. Joseph G. Silsby, Daniel Robinson, Granville Gilniore. .

1844. Joseph G. Silsby, David Buss, Nathaniel Merrill.

1845. David Buss, NaMianiel Merrill, J. H. Dickey.

1846. Joseph G. Silsby, Barnet C. Finlay, Joel Tracy.

1847. Joel Tracy, Samuel McLure, William Hay ward.

1848. David Montgomery, Joseph Ball, William Hay ward.

1849. Jesse Slader, Hugh Finlay, C. K. Brooks.
1850-1. Joseph G. Silsby, Harvey Howard, Roswell Walker.
1852. Joseph G. Silsby, Daniel Robinson, C. K. Brooks.
1853-4. Daniel Robinson, Adna Keyes, Ebenezer Grout.

1855. Adna Keyes, Harvey Howard, Daniel Gay.

1856. Daniel Robinson, J. H. Dickey, David Buss.

1857. J. H. Dickey, William Hay ward, Samuel McKeen, Jr.

1858. J. H. Dickey, Jehiel Gowing, Rufus Hilliard.

1859. Wm. Hayward, Thomas Slader, 2d, Samuel McKeen, Jr.

1860. C. K. Brooks, Thomas Slader, 2d, Samuel McKeen, Jr.

1861. C. K. Brooks, Freeland Hemphill, Theron Duncan.
1862-3. J. H. Dickey, John F. Dickey, C. J. Davis.

1864. Zenas Slader, John F. Dickey, C. J. Davis.

1865. John F. Dickey, J. H. Dickey, Joab N. Davis.

1866. Zenas Slader, J. H. Dickey, Joab N. Davis.

1867. Zenas Slader, Charles B. Cumniings, J. F. D. Murdough.

1868. Zenas Slader, J. F. D. Murdough, James A. Wood.

1869. Joab N. Davis, Oliver Chapin, Lyman Buswell.

REPRESENTATIVES TO LEGISLATURE.



1801.



1794

1803.

1804-6.

1807-8.

1809.

1810.

1811-13.

1814.

1815-16.

1817-20.



Capt. William Grout.


1821-2.


Thomas Slader.


1823-4.


Gawin Gilmore.


1825-6.


William Grout.


1827-8.


Thomas Slader.


1829-3C


Gawin Gilmore.


1831-2.


Ebenezer Grout.


1833-4.


William Grout, Esq.


1835-6.


Edward Slader.


1837.


Ithiel Silsby.


1838.



Elisha Parks.
James M. Warner.
David Blanchard.
Daniel Robinson.
Stephen Carleton.
Jonathan Gove.
Eliphalet Bailey.
Joel Tracy.
David Montgomery.
Samuel Me C lure.



142


THE HISTORY OF ACWORTH.


1839.


David Montgomery.


1854-5. J. H. Dickey.


1840-1.


Joseph G. Silsby.


1856-8. Adna Keyes.


1842-3.


Edward Woodbury.


1859-60. Daniel J. Warner


1844-5.


Joel Tracy.


1861-2. Zenas Slader.


1846-7.


William Warner,


1863. C. M. Woodbury.


1848-9.


Granville Gilmore,


1864-6. Levi Prentiss.


1850-1.


James Wallace.


1867-8. William Hay ward


1852-3.


Joseph G. Silsby.


1869. C. K. Brooks.



LIST OF THE SONS OF ACWORTH, AVHO HAVE BEEN EEPRESENT-
ATIVES OF OTHER TOWNS TO STATE LEGISLATURES.



Perley Keyes, Watertown, N. Y. ; also

State Senator.
Amos Stebbins, State Senator, N. Y.
Rufus Blanchard, Vershire, Vt.
Joseph Carleton, Vershire, Vt.
Iloswell Carleton, Whitelield.
Morris Clark, Whitefield.
John M. Gove, Whitefield.
Thomas Montgomery, Whitefield.
Calvin Clark, Mooretown, Vt.
Paul jMason, Mooretown, Vt.
Andrew Mitchell, Lincoln, Vt.
Horace Duncan, Lyman.
Alexander H. Gihuore, Fairlee, Vt.
John li. Mayo, Dover, Me.
Edward A. Slader, Nashua,



Charles C. Gove, Nashua,

Alexander Graham, Claremont.

Milon C. McClure, Claremont.

Hiram Blanchard, Bradford.

William Nourse, Newport.

Shepherd L. Bowers, Newport.

Joseph Davis, Hancock.

Samuel L. Slader, Langdon.

Joseph Copeland, Unity.

Ransom Severns, Unity.

Nedom L. Angier ; also State Treas-
urer, Atlanta, Ga.

Chapin K. Brooks, Lunenburg, Vt.

Charles C. Mathewson, Mound Prai-
rie, 111.



Thomas Putnam,
Henry Silsby,
Mathew Wallace,
Daniel Grout,
James Campbell,
John Duncan,
Thomas Slader,
William Grout,
Gawin Gilmore,
Edward Slader,
Samuel Finlay,
Elisha Parks,
Daniel Robinson,
Jonathan Gove,
Eliphalet Bailey,



JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

Ithiel Silsby,
David Blanchard,
David Montgomery,
Jesse Slader,
John Robb,
Joel Tracy,
Edward Woodbury,
Joseph G. Silsby,
Granville Gilmore,
Chapin K. Brooks,
J, Harvey Dickey,
Erastus Hemphill,
Nathaniel IMerrill,
Joseph Ball,



Robert Clark,
William Warner,
Zenas Slader,
A. J. Cummings,
David Buss,
Adna Keyes,
Jacob B. Richardson,
Daniel Robinson, 2d,
Hezekiah Copeland, 2d,
Harvey Howard,
Daniel J. Warner,
Joseph S. Bowers,
James A. Wood,
N. E. Sargent.






'^l^-<l^l^^^^^^^ J( / / tc^^>^i^-^^>^



CHAPTER n.
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY



SKETCH OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.

Befoee proceeding to sketch the history of the Congregational
Church, some account of the buikling of the first meeting-house
may be proper. At the second town-meeting held three years af-
ter the first settler built his log cabin, it was voted " that the meet-
ing-house be set on ten acres of land taken from the adjoining cor-
ners of lots 10 and 11, ranges 5 and 6, in a square form." But
the troubles of the Revolutionary struggle coming on, nothing
vs^as done until 1779. The size of the house was then determined,
50 feet by 40. They had the same difficulty in agreeing upon a
site that is so often experienced by communities now. Upon appli-
cation a committee was sent by the Court, which selected substan-
tially the same site originally agreed upon by the town. So com-
plicated had meeting-house affairs become, that in 1782 all former
votes were rescinded, and they started anew. When the materials
were nearly gathered for raising the frame the difficulty again arose
of determining the exact site. A committee of citizens of the
neighboring towjis by request fixed the site for the house. Rev.
Eleazer Beckwith, the Baptist minister in Marlow, was a member
of this committee. The meeting-house was raised in 1784. In
1787, while the lumber of the future pews was still flourishing in
the forest, they were sold at auction. In 1789 the house became
ready to use, though the pews were not all finished for some time
after. There are those still living, who remember sitting upon
benches of the rudest kind in the unfinished meeting-house, during
Mr. Archibald's ministry. This house was a frame building of
nearly a square form, and had entrances at the south, east and west
sides, adorned with porches. The pulpit was at the northern end.
The pews were about five feet square. There was ii row of them
all around the walls of the house, and an aisle ran around just in-
side of this row. There was also a middle aisle with two rows of



144 ^HE HISTORY OF ACWORTH.

pews on each side. The deacons' seats were benches Immedi-
ately in front of the body pews. The gallery ran around three
sides of the house, having as below, a row of pews next to the
wall, and also a second row on the front end. Space was thus
left, on the east and west sides, for the singing-seats. The leader
of the sino-ing, with two assistants, was allowed to sit in the dea-
cons' seats below, by vote of the town, by which vote also the
leader was chosen. In calling up the old house in imagination we
must not forget the sounding-board over the pulpit.

March 12, 1773, was observed as a day of fasting by Henry
Silsby, Bethiah Silsby, Thomas Putnam, Eachel Putnam, Samuel
Silsby, Elizabeth Silsby, Dean Carleton and Anna Cross, and by
the assistance of Rev. Bulkley Olcott, of Charlestown, and Rev.
George Wheaton of Claremont, they were organized as a church,
by subscribing to a covenant. This church, organized by these
eio-ht persons, has received to its communion 800 members. It
has thus increased a hundred fold. The four men above named
were leaders in the town, and thus from the very first religion took
the prominent position it has always held. Religious services, as
ministers could be obtained, were held at the house of Henry Silsby.

August 8, 1774, the town gave Mr. George Gilmore a call to
become the pastor of this church, after having heard him preach
for some time, promising him thirty pounds the first year, and
ao-reeing to -add four pounds annually until it should amount to fifty
pounds a year. Afterwards six pounds more were added to en-
courao-e Mr. Gilmore to give his answer in the affirmative. But
he never was settled as pastor, probably owing to the unsettled
state of affiiirs in the country at that time. But they were not
without preaching during the war, as we find that the town pays
Rev. David Goodale sixteen pounds for preaching during 1778,
and at the annual town meeting in 1779, they vote to raise one
hundred and thirty pounds for preaching during the year, and we
find that Isaiah Kilburn preached in town during that year. In
1781 a committee of the town was chosen to secure a minister on pro-
bation, and also a committee to draw up instructions as to the v/ay
the money voted for preaching should be spent. They reported
it " to be* most agreeable to order and to the Word of God, to ap-
ply to the Presbytery, or an association of ministers so-called, for
a candidate, and to admit no person that had not been licensed by
them, to preach," This action resulted in hiring Mr. Goodale to
preach on probation, and In November of that year, a call was voted



SKETCH OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 145

him, offering him <£50 settlement money, and ,£40 the first
year, and ^5 to be added every year until it amounted to
X60. This, however, for some reason, did not result in set-
tling Mr. Goodale. Previous to giving him a call, a more
definite plan of church government was adopted. The church
as first formed was purely Congregational in its government,
but many of the first settlers of the town coming from London-
derry, N. H., it became necessary to so modify the form of gov-
ernment tliat they could conscientiously and heartily unite with
their brethren in the church. Therefore, Henry Silsby, Samuel
Slader, Dean Carleton and Daniel Grout, who Avere Congrega-
tionalists, and Eobert McClure, Joseph Finlay, John Duncan,
Daniel Mack and Alexander Houston, who had been Presbyte-
rians, were chosen a committee to revise the plan of government,
assisted by Rev. Mr. Olcott and Eev. Mr. Goodale. This plan of
government provided for the^ election " of a number of the most
wise, grave and respectable persons under the title and denomina-
tion of Euling Elders." These elders were to examine all candi-
dates for admission to the church, but the candidates could only
be admitted by vote of the whole church. In case^ of discipline,
the trial was had before the elders, unless the party interested
should elect to have his case brought before the whole church as-



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