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Josiah H. (Josiah Henry) Benton.

Address of J.H. Benton, Jr., at the dedication of the Bradford Public Library building, Bradford, Vermont, July 4, 1895 online

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largest income. (The rest of the Art. unchanged.)

This society shall be known as the Bradford Public Library
Art. 1. Association.
Art.o. All business meetings shall be held at 2 o'clock

Amended Jan.

i.iSSi. P.M.



*5 V



By-Laws of Ladies' Library Association.

Adopted 1SS0, The library shall be open every Saturday afternoon

1st. at 3 o'clock for the drawing of books.

Books must be returned in four weeks ; if kept longer the

party detaining them must pay to the Treasurer a fine
2d.

of five cents per week.

Persons not residents of Bradford can draw books on paying

to the Librarian ten cents and depositing with the

Rescinded Jan. Librarian the sum of one dollar. Such books may
2, 1SS6.

be kept the same length of time as others.

The library shall be open to all residents of Bradford not

members of the Library Association at the rate of

4 th - , ,

three cents per week.
No person shall be allowed more than one book at any one

5th. drawing on a single membership.
No books to be loaned to any person not a member of the

6th. Association.
That the Librarian be authorized to appoint an assistant who
_ th shall have the same power as the Librarian in her

Added Feb. v

14, isso. absence.



48



List of Officers of Ladies' Library Association of Bradford,
Vermont, from 1SS0 to 1S95.

1880.

President, Mrs. R. Farnham. Secretary, Mrs. Charles Jones.

Treasurer, Mrs. L. F. Hale. Librarian, Mrs. Phin. Chamberlin.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. L. M. Peaslee, Mrs. Maria L. Haroy,

Mrs. Charles Jones.

18S1.
President, Mrs. R. Farnham. Secretary, Mrs. A. A. Doty.

Treasurer, Mrs. Ellen M. Bailey. Librarian, Miss Anna Stevens.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. L. M. Peaslee, Mrs. Charles Jones,

Mrs. E. A. Barrett.

1S82.
President, Mrs. R. Farnham. Secretary, Mrs. A. A. Doty.

Treasurer, Miss Corinne Leavitt. Librarian, Miss Anna Stevens.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. Eliza A. Barrett, Mrs. H. M. Dickey,

Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard.

1S83.
President, Mrs. Eliza A. Barrett. Secretary, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.
Treasurer, Mrs. Maria L. Hardy. Librarian, Miss I. M. Pattison.
Asst. Librarian, Mrs. J. II. Watson.

Executive Committee :
Mis. Roswell Farnham, Mrs. H. M. Dickey,

Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard.

1SS4.
President, Mrs. Eliza A. Barrett. Secretary, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.
Treasurer, Miss Anna Stevens. Librarian, Miss Sadie Haskins.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. Roswell Farnham, Mrs. H. M. Dickey,

Miss C. E. Strickland.



49

1885.

President, Mrs. E. A. Barrett. Secretary, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbj. 1 1

Treasurer, Miss Anna Stevens. Librarian, Miss Effie A. Wrighi .

Executive Committee :
Mrs. Roswell Farnham, Miss C. E. Strickland,

Mrs. J. B. Peckett.

1SS6.
President, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard. Secretary, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee.
Treasurer, Miss I. M. Pattison. Librarian, Miss Effie A. Wrk.ii i

Executive Committee :
Miss C. E. Strickland, Mrs. J. B. Peckett,

r Mrs. H. M. Dickey.

1887.
President, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard. Secretary, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.
Treasurer, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Librarian, Mrs. E. A. Barrett.

Executive Committee :
Miss C. E. Strickland, Mrs. J. B. Peckett,

Mrs. H. M. Dickey.

1888.
President, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard. Secretary, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.
Treasurer, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Librarian, Mrs. E. A. Barrett.

Executive Committee :
Miss C. E. Strickland, Mrs. H. M. Dickey,

Mrs. R. Farnham.

1889.
President, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard. Secretary, Mrs. Janette C. Hay.
Treasurer, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Librarian, Mrs. E. A. Barrett.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. H. M. Dickey, Mrs. Roswell Farnham,

Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.

1890.
President, Mrs. Wm. B. Stevens. Secretary, Mrs. Janette C. Hay.
Treasurer, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Librarian, Miss Maude Clarke.

Feb. 11, Mrs. W. B. Laud.



50

Executive Committee :
Mrs. H. M. Dickey, Mrs. Roswell Farniiam,

Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts.

i 891.

President, Mrs. II. C. McDuffee. Secretary, Mrs. Janette C. Hay.
Treasurer, Mrs. E. A. Barrett. Librarian, Mrs. W. B. Ladd.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. G. A. Dickey, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts,

Mrs. Roswell Farnham.

1892.
President, Mrs. II. C. McDuffee. Secretary, Mrs. Janette C. Hay.
Treasurer, Mrs. E. A. Barrett. Librarian, Mrs. W. B. Ladd.

July, Mrs. M. J. Jenkins.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. G. A: Dickey, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts,

Mrs. Roswell Farnham.

1893.
President, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Secretary, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard.
Treasurer, Mrs. E. A. Barrett. Librarian, Miss May Pillsbury.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. Laura M. Dickey, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts,

Mrs. Roswell Farnham.

1894.
President, Mrs. H. C. McDuffee. Secretary, Mrs. Orissa J. Prichard.
Treasurer, Mrs. E. A. Barrett. Librarian, Miss May Pillsbury.

Executive Committee :
Mrs. Laura M. Dickey, Mrs. M. L. M. Tibbetts,

Mrs. Roswell Farnham.



APPENDIX 4.

The information contained in the following sketches of the
signers of the Library petition is derived from a search of the
Bradford town records, records of the Academy, church
records, McKeen's "History of Bradford," Hall's "Eastern
Vermont," Hoskin's " History of Vermont," Hayvvard's " New-
England Gazetteer," Thompson's " Gazetteer of Vermont,"
Thompson's "Vermont," Slade's "Vermont State Papers,"
Walton's " Governor and Council," Miss Hemenway's " History
of Vermont," Child's " Orange County Gazetteer," and from
correspondence with descendants of the signers now living in
different parts of the Union. The information for the sketches
which are starred has been collected by Mr. H. C. McDuffee.

Micah Barron, the first signer of this petition, was the then
representative of Bradford in the General Assembly. He was
born in Tyngsboro, Mass., and settled in Bradford in 17S8,
as a merchant. He was for forty-three years a sheriff, and
for four years high sheriff of the county. He died at Bradford,
November 26, 1839, at the age of seventy-seven years.

* John Banfill came from Sanbornton, N.H.,or its vicinity,
about 17S0. He was a physician, and located on a farm, now-
owned by Robert Fulton, in that part of the town known as
Goshen, and practised his profession until about the year 1S00,
when he moved to the neighboring town of Coi-inth, where he
died in 18 1 7. He married Sarah Whitcher, who survived him
and died at ninety years of age. Dr. Banfill and his wife were
both buried in the Corinth Center cemetery. They had four
sons John, Benjamin, David and Mark; and Mrs. Prunella
Celley, daughter of the eldest son, John, now eighty-five years
of age, lives in Fairlee, Vt.

* Benjamin Little was born March iS, 1737. He was a



52

miller, and also engaged in trade in Haverhill, Mass. After-
wards he removed to Salem, N.H., and from there he went to
Bradford as early as 1792. The town records show a certifi-
cate dated April 14, 1792, signed by Edward Bass, minister of
Newbnryport, Mass., showing that Benjamin Little was a mem-
ber of the Protestant Episcopal church of that place.

He bought a farm, in that part of the town known as Goshen,
of Ebenezer Olmstead, which is now known as the " Moody Grow
farm," and lived there until his death, March 19, 1809. He was
an influential and respected citizen, and was buried in the ceme-
tery on the upper plain.

* Ebenezer Metcalf was a descendant in the sixth genera-
tion from Leonard Metcalf, who was rector at Norwood, Eng-
land, from 161 1 to 1616. He was born in Massachusetts, Jan-
uary 25, 1763, and was a son of Samuel Metcalf, a soldier in
the revolutionary war. He lived for a time at Enfield, Conn.,
and from there came to Mooretown, and bought land as early
as 1792. He was engaged in rafting lumber and merchandise
on the Connecticut to Hartford, Conn., and other market-places,
for some years, and was at one time in trade in Bradford.
Afterwards he moved to Corinth, to the farm where Alpheus
Metcalf, his nephew, now lives, where he died in 1809.

* Caleb Putnam was a shoemaker. He came from Massa-
chusetts at a very early date and bought a place on the lower
plain. His shop was nearly opposite the house where Mr.

Albee now lives. In 1796 he appears to have sold his
place to William Case, and to have removed from town.

* Hiram Pearson was a tanner. He came to Bradford
from Orford, N.H., in 1796, and bought a place of Ephraim
Martin on Rowell brook, near the foot of Sharp's hill. He
appears to have sold this place and to have removed from the
town about 1802.



53

* Joseph Clark was born August 9, 17^1, and was one of the
earliest settlers of Mooretown. He lived about a mile south of the
village on the lower plain, in a log house. Afterwards he built
a frame house near by, where he lived until he died, December
4, 183^, at the age of eighty-five years. This house is still stand-
ing, and has always been known as the "Joseph Clark house."

He held the office of selectman more years than any other
citizen, and at different times held nearly all the town offices.
He was a farmer and a good mechanic. He was one of the
committee of the town who superintended the rebuilding of the
Baldwin bridge, first constructed in 1782, and washed away in
1S03. The tax voted by the town for the i-ebuilding of the
bridge was to be "paid in neat stock, wheat, or Indian corn."
He was also one of the contractors with the town to build a
meeting house on the upper plain in 1793. He married .Sarah
Mussey of Corinth, who died March 18, 1S33, at the age of
seventy-four years.

. * Patrick Kenedy was a revolutionary soldier, and appears
to have come to Bradford before 1786, for at that time he owned
wdiat is known as the "Thomas R. Andross farm" on the lower
plain. This he sold to Ebenezer Olmstead March 17, 1786,
and afterwards lived for several years on the South road, so
called. From there he moved to the house now owned by
Homer S. McDuffee, on the upper plain, where he lived until
he died, August 29, 1836, aged seventy- six years.

He appears by the records to have been a member of the
Baptist church in 1792, and is thought to have come to America
from Ireland. He and his wife were buried in the Bradford
cemetery.

* John Peckett was born in England about 1765, and came
to America with his father, Giles Peckett, when he was nine
years of age. His parents first settled in North Haverhill, and
removed to Mooretown about 1779, and settled on the lower
plain. John Peckett became a blacksmith, and had his shop for



54

many years near the east end of the Baldwin bridge. He cast
his first vote in 1789, and was an active and influential citizen.
He married Thankful Martin, and died in 1827. He was buried
in the cemetery on the upper plain.

* Ebenezer Hidden was a mechanic. He settled on a river
farm on the upper plain, and built a shop on Roaring brook.
He afterwards sold out to Manasseh and Israel Willard, who
used the shop for a chair factory. The place was subsequently
known as the "Willard place." After this sale Mr. Hidden re-
moved from Bradford to Windsor, Vt.

* Herbert Ormsbee came from Woodstock, Conn., with his
father, Ichabod Ormsby, in 1774, and settled in Fairlee, on a farm
where William E. S. Celley now lives. In 1794 he came to
Bradford and settled on a farm, which he bought of his father,
on the lower plain. Dr. Joseph Ormsby, one of the early set-
tlers of Corinth, and Robert McK. Ormsby, afterwards a prom-
inent lawyer in Bradford, were cousins of Herbert Ormsby.

John Barron was perhaps the most influential of the earl}-
settlers of the town. He took an active part in procuring its
charter, was its first representative in the General Assembly in
178S, and was a delegate to the convention to consider the
adoption of the United States Constitution, in December, 1790.
He first settled on the meadow in the bow of the Connecticut in
the southeast corner of the town, where he was living at the
time of the Declaration of Independence. He was also an inn-
keeper for many years. He died in 18 13, at the age of sixty-
nine years.

* Ezekiel Little was the son of Benjamin Little, and be-
came owner of the farm in Goshen where his father, Benjamin
Little, had lived and died. He was born July 28, 1762. He
graduated at Harvard College in 1784, and was for many years
a successful teacher in the Boston schools. Edward Everett



55

was at one time his pupil. He was the author of an arithmetic
which was entitled, "The Usher," published at Exeter, N.H.,
in 1799. He sold his farm in Goshen to John and Adams
Wilson, November 28, 1826, and the last years of his life he
lived at Atkinson, N.H., where he died in March, 1840, at the
age of seventy-eight years.

In 1826, Mr. Little was chosen one of the fence- viewers in
Bradford, and the records show that he and Joseph Clark
divided fence for several parties. He was a grandson of George
Little, who came from London and settled in Newbury, Mass.,
in 1640. George Wright, the late Rev. John Sullivan Little,
and Anna and Ellen McDuffee, all of Bradford, are also de-
scendants of George Little.

* Arad Stebbins was one of the earliest physicians of the
town. He was born in Hinsdale, N.H., and was practising in
Bradfoi'd in 1790. He built a large house at the north end of
the village, which was subsequently kept as a hotel, known as
the "Vermont house." He died in 1828, at the age of sixty-
eight years.

The only notice of the Library Society of 1796 which I have
been able to find in the history of Bradford is contained in the
sketch of Dr. Stebbins, which states that, while the doctor was
walking home alone from a Library Society meeting one dark
evening, he stepped off the side of a bridge across a ravine,
which has since been filled up, across the main street just north
of the churches, and received a concussion of the brain, from
which he never recovered, although he lived for ten or eleven
years longer.*

Gardiner Kellogg was the first settled minister of the
town. He was hired under a peculiar vote, passed at a town
meeting called October 12, 1793, which was :

" Voted to hire some preaching this fall, if some candidate
should chance to come this way."

* McKeen's " History of Bradford," p. 395.



56

Referring to this vote, Dr. McKeen quaintly says, " It
seems that Mr. Gardiner Kellogg chanced to come along, and
was employed."

He was first hired for no stated time, then for three months.
In September, 1794, he was settled at a salary of two hundred
pounds a year in labor and materials for a house, part to be
paid in a year, part in two years, and the remainder in three
years. His salary was fixed at fifty pounds for the first year, to
increase by the addition of five pounds till it amounted to seventy-
five pounds, or $375, as a regular salary. One fourth of this
was to be paid in money, the remainder in wheat at five shillings
a bushel, or neat stock equivalent. He remained as the settled
clergyman of the town until 1S09, when he removed to Maine.
He was the first and only minister who was supported by the town
as such.

Andrew B. Peters was born at Hebron, Conn., in 1764,
and came to Bradford with his parents when about seven
years old, or in 1 771 - His father was a Royalist, and at the
revolution went to Nova Scotia, and his son was in the king's
service during the war. After the peace he returned to Brad-
ford and became town clerk in 1798, which office he held for
forty of the ensuing forty-six years. He died in 1 851, at the age
of eighty-seven years.

Robert Hunkins, known as Captain Hunkins, was one of
the earliest settlers. He was a soldier in the French and Indian
wars and was a member of Capt. Moses Hazen's company under
General Stark. He settled on the river in the northeast part of
the town, where he died in 1818, at the age of eighty years. He
was born in Haverhill, Mass. He was one of the town commit-
tee to raise twenty pounds for charges for preaching in 1782,
and was a very prominent and influential citizen.

* Levi Andros was a son of Dr. Bildad Andross, with
whom he came to Bradford from Westminster, Vt., in 1775.



57

He was a highway overseer in 1776, and afterwards held im-
portant town offices. About 1784 he removed to Fairfax, Vt.,
but after a few years returned to Bradford and bought a portion
of his father's farm on the lower plain, where he lived until his
death, June 7, 181 2.

The " Andros landing," so called, where produce and
lumber were shipped to market on rafts down the Connecticut
river, was on this farm.

* Joseph Johnson was one of the earliest settlers of the
town. He held the office of selectman, and was also a lister,
and owned land in the west part of the town, where he prob-
ably lived. He was a Baptist, and the records of that church
show that he had two children, who were baptized July 27,
1800. There is also a written statement signed by him in the
town records as follows: "This will certify to all whom it
may concern that I do not agree in sentiments of religion witli
the majority of the people in this place." Such a statement was
required at that time from all persons not willing to pay a tax
to support the Congregational church. He removed from the
town, but it is impossible now to ascertain when or to what
place.

Benjamin P. Baldwin (probably Benjamin Peters Baldwin)
was born in Orford in 1767. He was a school teacher, subse-
quently a surveyor, and was prominent in all town affairs during
a long life. He died in 1853, at the age of eighty-seven years.

* Benjamin Whitcomb lived in Bradford as early as 1 791 ,
at which time the birth of his first child is recorded. But little
can be ascertained with regard to him, and it does not appear
what his business was, or that he owned real estate in the town.

* William Peckett was born in England, and came to
America with his parents when he was a child. They first set-
tled in North Haverhill, and after a few years came to Moore-



58

town in 1779. His parents lived on the lower plain in a house
known as " the shingled house," because covered with shingles
to the ground, which was near where Joel Morris lived for many
years, and is now owned and occupied by Wesley Smith.

His father and mother were members of the Methodist
church, his mother having been for many years before marriage
a housekeeper for John Wesley. She is said to have been a
very superior woman, and was the founder of the Methodist
church in Bradford. William was one of the members of the
first Methodist class formed in Bradford, and afterwards became
a Methodist preacher of considerable ability. He took the free-
man's oath and voted in Bradford in 1794.

William Case was a carpenter. In 1796 he bought of
Caleb Putnam the place now owned by T. J. Albee, on the
River road, where he lived for several years, and then moved to
Piermont, N.H. George R. Andross of Bradford is his grand-
son.

John Bliss was probably the young man who was drowned
while at work upon a bridge across Wait's river in 1S03. He
was a son of Ellis Bliss, Jr., a revolutionary soldier, who settled
in the south part of the town shortly after the revolution,*

* Thomas Pilsbury was a farmer, and appears by the town
records to have lived in Bradford from 1781 to about 1S00.
The records show that he received a deed of his land in 1792
from the committee appointed by the state to convey lands to the
settlers in town. The records also show that his sheep mark
was a hole in the right ear, and the letters T. P. burned into the
right fore hoof. He apparently moved from Bradford shortly
after the year 1S00.

He had five children Moses, Betsey, Martha, James, and
Lydia.

* McKeen's History, p. 224.



59

John Underwood settled in Bradford in 1784, and built a
log cabin on the south border of the town, where he lived until
his death in 1837 at the age of eighty-three years. He was town
clerk in 1791, 1792, 1793.

* Timothy Ayer came from Haverhill, Mass., about 1780,
and settled on a farm on the South road, where William Martin
now lives. He was a farmer, and by industry and frugality
accumulated quite a property. He held many town offices, and
died on the farm where he had lived so many years, February
13, 1835, at the age of ninety-two years. He married Elizabeth
White, who died August ir, 1S35, at the age of eighty-nine
years. They had four children, John, Timothy, Nicholas, and
Betsey, who, with their parents, are all buried in the Bradford
cemetery, and there are no descendants or relatives of Timothy
Ayer in Bradford.

* Jeptha Sharp was a colored man and a blacksmith. He
came from Massachusetts to " Charlestown No. 4," and from
there to Bradford in 1778 or 1779. He came on horseback, and
is said to have stuck a willow riding stick which he carried into
the ground at the side of the road, near the place where Mrs.
Hartwell Farr now lives, and not far from where he afterwards
built a house and blacksmith shop. This willow grew to be a
very large tree, and many persons now living remember it as
" Sharp's willow." His shop, supposed to be the first in town,
was near the top of the hill on the South road, and that hill was
named "Sharp's hill " from that fact, and has been called by
that name ever since.

Mr. Sharp appears to have bought several pieces of land, and
was one of the petitioners to the legislature for a committee to
convey the land to the settlers. It was from this committee that
he received a deed of a portion of his land. He remained in
town between thirty and forty years, and is remembered by a
few of the oldest inhabitants as having been a very useful and
worth}' member of society.



(50

He had five children, and he removed from Bradford to Lan-
caster, N.H., about the year 1816. He took the freeman's oath
and voted, but does not appear to have held any town offices.

Epiirim Martin was born in Goffstown, N.H., and was
one of the earliest settlers of Mooretown. He first located about
where the centre of the village now is, and owned a considera-
ble strip of land on the main road, and a large part of the
meadows easterly along Wait's river. He owned the first grist
mill on Wait's river, where the brick mill which was owned by
the late John B. Peckett now stands. His house was on the
main road where the Bliss tavern was afterwards erected, and
his orchard was on the opposite side, where the Bradford bank,
and at a later day the savings bank, were situated. He died in
1832, at the age of eighty-five years.

His son, William B. Martin, lived in town in 18SS, with his
son-in-law, J. F. Cushman, at the age of eighty-six years.*

* Lemwell Orsborn was a farmer, and came from Pier-
mont, N.H., and settled in Bradford at an early day. The
town records show that he was elected tything man in 17S6. He
lived on the farm where Harry E. Kelley now lives, on the
River road. He died in 1S4S, at the age of eighty-nine years,
and his wife, who was Lydia Kelley of Bradford, died in 1871,
at the age of ninety-two years.

Mrs. Merritt Davis, Mrs. Hartwell Farr, and Mrs. Joanna
Welton, now of Bradford, are among their descendants.

* Benjamin Baldwin was born in Hebron, Conn., in 1733.
He first removed to Thetford, Vt., then to Orford, N.H.,

and from there came to Bradford about 1768. May 29, 1777,
he was sent by the town as one of the delegates to the con-
vention held at Windsor, and which framed the constitution
f J ul y 2 , 1777- He was also a member of the first Assembly,
which met at Windsor on March 12, 1778, and was chosen

* Child's " Orange County Gazetteer," pp. 177, 17S.



61

clerk of that body on March 13, in place of Thomas Chandler,
who had been appointed secretaiy of state.*

At the next session of the Assembly, which was held at Ben-
nington, June 17, 1778, Mr. Baldwin was appointed one of the
four judges of a special court for the shire of Newbury. He
was a member not only of the first and of the second legislature,
but was also a member during the years 1780, 1 7S3, and 1784.

He was town clerk of Bradford in 17S2, 1783, 17S8, and 1789.
He was also clerk of the county court at one time, and resigned
at the June term in 1783. October 27, 17S5, he was one of the
committee of inspection appointed by the legislature to give title
to settlers on the gore of land between Corinth and Mooretown.

In 1774, Mr. Baldwin built the first sawmill in town, and a
sawmill has existed at that spot ever since ; the original dam be-
ing, it is said, still in use. The mill and bridge across Wait's
river have always been called " Baldwin's mill," and " Baldwin's
bridge." He also built a two-story house on Wait's river road,
now owned by Ellis B. Shumway, which must be at least one
hundred and fifteen years old. He lived in this house and kept a
hotel for many years, and died there February 22, 1818, at the


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Online LibraryJosiah H. (Josiah Henry) BentonAddress of J.H. Benton, Jr., at the dedication of the Bradford Public Library building, Bradford, Vermont, July 4, 1895 → online text (page 4 of 5)