Addison Vermont Biographies

Benjamin Kellogg brought his family into the town in 1766. He traded his farm of one hundred acres in Connecticut for 3,000 acres lying in Addison and Panton. When the settlers were driven off, Kellogg went to Mount Hope, N. Y., with his family, and subsequently to Bennington, where he took part in the battle there. Subsequently he and Lieutenant Everest came back to Addison to look after the cattle they had left here, and found that a Mr. Gale had sold them to the British, and had also reported their owners as spies. They were both captured on the strength of this accusation, but Everest escaped, while Kellogg was taken to St. Johns, where he was imprisoned about a year. He was then liberated, but in making his way to a neighboring village was so badly frozen that he died soon after. Mrs. Kellogg died at Ticonderoga in 1792.

Zadock Everest came to Addison in the summer Of 1765 and began his clearing, as before mentioned. On his place he built a log house and there kept the first public house in the county. After the breaking out of the war he fled his family to Whitehall, and from thence sought refuge in Pawlet, Rutland county, where he was elected representative in March, 1784. During that year he returned to Addison, and represented the town of Panton in 1785 and Addison in 1788, 1789 and 1795; he also held the prominent town offices through a series of years and was a prominent man. His dwelling was used for a time as the county court-house, and afterwards as a dwelling and a jail. Mr. Everest’s remains rest in Lake View, cemetery, and the following inscription marks his tomb-stone:


Born in Saybrook, Conn., March 5, 1744. In the fourth year of his age he removed with his father, Benjamin Everest, to Salisbury, Conn., where he lived until twenty-one years of age : in the fall of the same year, A. D. 1765, he removed to Addison, Vt., where he lived until Arnold’s defeat on Lake Champlain, A. D. 1776, at which time he was driven from his home by the enemy: In May, 1783, after the close of the Revolutionary War, he moved back to Addison, where he lived until his decease, Much beloved and respected: He died April 30, 1825, in the eighty-second year of his age, leaving a widow and twelve children to mourn his death:

He was a beloved husband, in affectionate father, and an ornament to the church.

Lieutenant Benjamin Everest came with his father to Addison when he was sixteen years old; his father’s name was also Benjamin, and Zadock was his brother. He is said to have been a man of prowess and courage, and with his brother was conspicuous in aiding Allen and Warner to drive out the “Yorkers” from the county. On receipt of news of the battle of Lexington, Everest repaired to Allen’s headquarters, and was given a lieutenant’s commission. He was with Allen when he entered the fort at Ticonderoga, and went with Warner to the capture of Crown Point. After Allen was made prisoner Everest and his company was assigned to Colonel Seth Warner’s regiment, and took part in the battle of Hubbardton and also at Bennington, for his bravery in which he received the thanks of Warner. The account of his thrilling escape from a party of Indians is thus related by Colonel Strong:

“After the capture of Burgoyne, Everest obtained a furlough, with the intention of visiting Addison to look after his father’s property – his father having gone back to Connecticut with his family. Not knowing how matters stood in that section, he approached warily, keeping on the highlands between Otter Creek and the lake, intending to strike the settlement of Vergennes and then turn back to Addison. Arriving at the falls at dark he kindled a fire and lay down. About midnight he was awoke by the war-whoop, and found himself a prisoner to a party of Indians that were on their way to Lake Memphramagog, to attend a council of most of the tribes of Canada, New York and New England. He suffered much from the thongs with which he was bound at the first, but understanding the nature of the Indians very well, he so gained their confidence that they showed him more leniency afterwards. On the breaking up of the council he was brought back to the western shore of Lake Champlain, near Whallon’s Bay, where they encamped for the winter. He had been pondering in his mind for a long time various plans for escape, but concluded to wait until the lake was frozen. It was now December, and the lake had been frozen for some two or three days, the ice as smooth as glass; the sun shone out quite pleasant, and the air was comfortable. The Indians prepared for a frolic on the ice; many of them had skates and were very good skaters. Everest asked to be permitted to go down and see the sport, as he had never seen any one skate; they gave him leave to go, two or three evidently keeping an eye on him. He expressed his wonder and delight at their performances so naturally that all suspicion was lulled. After a time, when the Indians began to be tired, and many were taking off their skates, he asked a Young Indian, who had just taken off a very fine pair, to let him try and skate. This the Indian readily consented to, expecting to have sport out of the white man’s falls and awkwardness. Everest put on the skates, got up, and no sooner than down he came, striking heavily on the ice; and again he essayed to stand and down he fell, and so continued to play the novice until all the Indians had come in from outside on the lake. He had contrived to stumble and work his way sonic fifteen or twenty rods from the nearest, when he turned and skated a rod or two toward them, and partly falling, he got on his knees, and began to fix and tighten his skates. This being done, he rose, and striking a few strokes toward the eastern shore, he bent to his work, giving, as he leaned forward, a few insulting slaps to denote that he was off. With a whoop and a yell of rage, the Indians that had on their skates started in pursuit. He soon saw that none could overtake him, and felt quite confident of his escape. After getting more than half across the lake, and the ice behind him covered with Indians, he looked toward the east shore and saw two Indians coming round a point directly in front of him. This did not alarm him, for he turned his course directly up the lake. Again he looked and saw his pursuers (excepting two of their best skaters, who followed directly in his track) had spread themselves in a line from shore to shore. He did not at first understand it, but after having passed up the lake about three miles, he came suddenly upon one of those immense cracks or fissures in the ice that so frequently occur when the ice is glare. It ran in the form of a semi-circle from shore to shore, the arch in the center and up the lake. He saw he was in a trap. The Indians on his flanks had already reached the crack in the ice and were coming down towards the middle. He flew along the edge of the crack, but no place that seemed possible for human power to leap was there. But the enemy was close upon him; he took a short run backward, and then shooting forward like lightning, with every nerve strained, he took the leap, and just reached the farther side. None of the Indians dared to follow. Finding snow on the ice at Panton, he left it and made good his way to his regiment.”

In 1778 Everest commanded the fort at Rutland, and many other deeply exciting narratives of his experiences in those troubled days are related of him, for which we cannot spare space. He died a member of the Baptist Church and much respected in the county. His tomb-stone bears the following inscription:

Lieut. Benjamin Everest was born at Salisbury, Conn., Jan. 12, 1752, and moved with his father [Benjamin] to this town in 1768, and died here March 3, 1843, aged 91 years.

Thus lies the Christian,
The Philanthropist
The Revolutionary hero
And the Patriot.

General David Whitney came here soon after the Revolution and located upon the farm previously owned by Kellogg; but subsequently removed to a farm on the north bank of Ward’s Creek, where lie resided until a few years previous so his death, when he removed to Bridport. He died May 10, 1850, aged ninety-three years. He was a member of the constitutional conventions of 1793, 18I4, 1836 and 1843; represented Addison in the Legislatures of 1790, ’92, ’93, ’97, 1808 to 1815 and ’24, and was during his long life here one of the leading men of the town.

Jonah Case located in the northeastern part of the town, on the old “‘Squire Arzah Crane place,” where William J. Conant recently resided. The old brick house is still standing, built by him in 1780 – the first brick dwelling erected in the county. Here he kept a public house for a long time, and the county courts were held here for several years. It is said that Case first built a log house but while putting on the roof the building was blown down, and that he then built the present house of brick manufactured on the farm. In the masonry at each corner of the building was placed a pint of liquor and a piece of silver, that the occupant “might never be without whiskey nor money.”

Benjamin Southard, from New Jersey, settled upon a farm in the southern part of the town; married Cynthia Mason, reared fourteen children, and died August 7, 1845. Ransom Southard is the only descendant now in the town.

Ebenezer Merrill and his sons, Aaron and Correll, were early settlers in the northeastern part of the town. He died here March 8, 1827, aged eighty-two years. Correll reared a family of eight children, of whom Charles is the only one now living, and died August 29, 1849, in his eighty-third year. Hiram Merrill is a son of Aaron.

Asa Willmarth, one of the five brothers of John Willmarth, and the progenitor of the Willmarth families now in Addison, was born in Providence, R. I., April 27, 1746, and married Chloe Peck, September 20, 1770. They resided in North Adams, Mass., for a time, then immigrated to Addison in 1788, locating in the eastern part of the town. The country was then nearly an unbroken wilderness, the road to Vergennes being simply a bridle path marked by blazed trees. Asa died February 8, 1830. At the time of his wife’s death, October 22, 1829, they had lived together fifty-nine years and raised a family of ten children, eight of whom became the heads of families. Five were sons, who settled about the old homestead so closely that their farms adjoined. The daughters married and moved away, two of them to Canton and one to Farmington, N. Y. A representative of each of the brothers now resides on the respective homesteads. Asa Willmarth, sr., erected a framed dwelling modeled after the style of those times, east Of which there were but three others in the township; but this was subsequently remodeled into the present comfortable and handsome residence. The farm descended to George, and from him to Asa, the present proprietor. George was a public-spirited man; represented the town in the Legislature; was a justice of the peace many years, and served in the War of 1812. Asa has in his possession several interesting relics, among which is a powder-horn which was used at the battle of Bennington, a pair of knee-breeches worn by his grandfather, and the old sword and epaulets worn by George when captain of the State militia.

Amos Smith came here in 1788, locating upon the farm now owned by Olin A. Smith. He died soon after, leaving a family of eight children, four of whom, Henry, Daniel, Rufus and Russell, located in the eastern part of the town. The four eldest sons were all at the battle of Plattsburgh, and were prisoners of the War of 1812. Truman, son of Henry, aged over eighty years, is still a resident of the town. Olin is a son of Daniel. Henry Smith, son of Amos, was born in Cheshire, Mass., October 6, 1769. He married Anna Blanchard, daughter of Seth Blanchard, of Adams, Mass., February 7, 1790, and moved with his father’s family to Addison in the spring of 1790, and settled on the farm, a part of which is still owned by his youngest son, Truman Henry Smith, better known as ‘Squire Smith, was a prominent citizen of his day, having been justice of the peace nearly fifty years, represented the town in the Legislature during the years 1833-34, and at different times held all the offices within the gift of the people of Addison. His family consisted of three sons and two daughters. His oldest son, Amos, was born November 27, 1794; married Barbara Westcott, daughter of Stukely Westcott, of Charlotte. He purchased the farm joining his father’s on the south, at the time of his marriage, in 1819; he owned and occupied this farm until his death, which occurred in November, 1874. His family consisted of two sons and two daughters. His youngest son, Stukely, survives him and resides on the homestead. Stukely W. Smith was born February 19, 1826; married to Mariah 0. Dorwin May 27, 1884, and like his grandfather Henry has been elected to all the offices within the gift of the people of the town. His family consisted of two sons and one daughter. His oldest son, Dr. M. D. Smith, was born April 28, 1848, graduated in April, 1870, from the old Eclectic College of Philadelphia, and in 1884 from Hahnnemann College, Chicago. (See Middlebury Chapter.)

James Stickle, born in New Jersey in 1769, came to Addison in early life, locating in the eastern part of the town, where he died December 18, 1850. The homestead came into Charles Stickle’s possession in 1847, who was born in 1807, and in 1878 reverted to H. A. Stickle, the present owner, it having never left the family since it was reclaimed from the wilderness.

John Fisher, from Massachusetts, located in the eastern part of the town, upon the farm now owned by Osman H. Fisher, at an early date. The homestead passed into the hands of his son Henry, and from him reverted to Osman H. John, whose remains rest in the cemetery near Olin Smith’s place, had a family of five children.

Elijah Elmer, from Amherst, Mass., came to Addison in 1783, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Wright Elmer. He had a family of four sons, only one of whom, Chester, attained mature age. He married a sister of Governor Silas Wright.

Frank Adams, from Salisbury, one of the original proprietors, was an early settler. His father, Benjamin, came on subsequently, locating upon the farm now owned by his great-grandson, William Adams. Benjamin was commissioned a second lieutenant by President Hancock in 1776, and afterwards took a prominent part in the war.

William Allis, from Massachusetts, came to Addison in 1785, locating upon the farm now Owned by Edgar, son of the late Nathaniel Allis, who was his last surviving child. The present house was built by Nathaniel in 1831, succeeding the old log house.

Daniel Champion, a Revolutionary soldier, was an early settler, locating near Chimney Point Newell B. Smith, who came here in 1800, and afterward served in the War of 1812, married Electa, one of Daniel’s twelve children. Austin Smith is the only one of their children now living.

Abel Norton, from Connecticut, located upon the farm now owned by Hiram Norton, in 1790, and died here in 1833, aged fifty-six years. Hiram has eight children, all of whom except Lucy (Mrs. F. M. Moulton, of Vergennes) reside near the old farm.

Gideon Seeger, from Shaftsbury, Vt., located upon the farm now owned by Byron Smith in 1791. He was one of the early postmasters, an office he retained for many years, and which was afterwards held for a long time by Gideon, jr. Luman Seeger, here now, is a grandson of Gideon.

Peleg Whitford, the founder of the Whitford family in Addison, was born in Rhode Island in 1744, and after three months’ schooling was apprenticed to a tailor. He married in the town of Coventry, and removed to Lanesboro, Mass., living for a short time near a place called “Cheshire Meeting-House,” and since known as “Whitford’s Rocks.” In the spring of 1781 he again moved, this time to Shaftsbury, Vt., where he remained until February, 1802, when he sold out and came to this town, and resided here until his death, at the age of eighty-eight years. His only son, William, was a resident of the town many years, served in the War of 1812, and left a family of ten children.

Levi Meeker came to Addison from Elizabethtown, N. Y., in 1806, locating in the southeastern part of the town upon the farm lately owned by Horace Meeker, deceased, and now the property of his nephew. He held various town offices, and died at the age of seventy-eight years.

Israel Taylor came to Addison from Middlebury in 1816. He followed the carpenter and joiner trade; reared nine children, two of whom, Cyrillo H. and Esther, now reside here.

Samuel J. Benedict is a son of John Benedict, an early settler in Weybridge, who died in Cornwall in 1873, aged eighty-seven years. S. J. Benedict has been in Addison thirty-four years, thirty-one of which on this place, which he sold to his son-in-law, Frederick P. Owen, in the spring of 1883.

Arnold Gulley, from Rhode Island, came to Addison in 1804, locating upon the place now occupied by his son Erasmus.

Henry Brevoort came from West Haven, Vt., in 1811, and located upon the farm now owned by his son Henry F. He was a tanner and shoemaker by trade, and a very public-spirited man. He represented the town in the Legislature in 1825-26; was a justice of the peace thirty years, and died here in 1880, aged ninety-two years.

James Gorham came on foot from Massachusetts in 1810, locating upon the farm now owned by his son Edward. He was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and was ever respected as an upright, industrious citizen.

Gideon Carpenter, from Bennington, Vt., located in 1802 upon the farm now occupied by his son Isaiah. He had four children, viz. Ruth, who married Daniel Jackson ; Roxana, who married Erasmus Gulley Truman, a resident of Vergennes, and Isaiah. Gideon died in 1803 or ’04, aged eighty-four years.

Asaph Haywood, who settled in Weybridge in 1805, upon the farm now occupied by Joseph Brown, was the grandfather of Benjamin Haywood, who resides in the northeastern part of this town.

James Hindes came from New Jersey in 1800, locating upon the farm now owned by Aaron Hindes, in that part of the town known as “Nortontown.” The homestead descended from James to Aaron, and thence to Aaron, jr., who has been a prominent man in town affairs, being now upwards of seventy-five years of age.

Wheeler French located in Addison in 1833, and his father, Nathaniel, was one of the early settlers in New Haven. George, son of Wheeler, now resides here, one of the ex-representatives of the town in the General Assembly.

John Vanderhoof, from New Jersey, located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Oliver Vanderhoof, early in the present century.

Asahel Barnes was a native of Bristol, Conn. From there he removed to New Haven, where he remained about seven years, then went to Canada and remained two years, and finally in 1823 came to Addison, locating upon the place now occupied by his son Asahel, Jr. The earliest settler on this place was Benjamin Paine, though Mr. Barnes bought it of James Lewis, whose wife was an adopted daughter of Paine. Mr. Barnes died In June, 1859, in his eighty-second year, while on a visit to his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Roscoe, of New Haven. Asahel, Jr., was born in 1810, at Bristol, Conn., and came to Addison with his father. He purchased the homestead in 1844. In 1837 he removed to Canada, but returned in 1845. Mr. Barnes married Salina Northrup, of Burlington, October 8, 1844, who died May 14, 1847, and in November, 1849, he married Ellen S. Crane, of Addison. Mr. Barnes has had six children born to him, though but four are living, viz.: Charles N., born March 28, 1847 now residing with his father; Albert, born in June, 1853, now of Chicago ; Ella, born in September, 1854, wife of Winslow C. Watson, of Plattsburgh, N. Y.; and Millard Fillmore, born August 21, 1856.

Arzah Crane came from Burlington in 1814 and settled on the farm now occupied by Shepard Olcott, about one and one-fourth miles north of Asahel Barnes’s. His daughter E1len is the wife of Asahel Barnes. He died at Essex, N. Y., in 1861.

In the following paragraph we give briefly the names and the location chosen by a number of the early settlers, which, with what we have already written, will give the reader a tolerable idea of the town in its early days:

John Murray located upon the farm now owned by Judson Hurd. The Picket family located in the southwestern part of the town, on the lake shore. Jeremiah Day located near “The Corners,” but subsequently moved to Canton; among his descendants are Judson and George Day. Levi Hanks, father of William, located in the southeastern part of the town, near Asa Willmarth’s; Lyman Hurd, just south of Asa Willmarth’s; Simon Smith, in the northeastern part of the town; Samuel Low, in the eastern part of the town; Eli Squires settled in the northeastern part of the town. Isaiah Clark settled near the center of the town and had three sons, Lyman, Asahel and Isaiah, jr., and Lyman occupies the old homestead Asahel is represented by his sons Warren D. and Isaiah, jr., by his son George, and a daughter, Mrs. Byron Smith; Thomas Dexter, in the western part of the town; Otis Pond upon the place now owned by George Clark. Aaron Warner located upon a farm north of the present residence of C. W. Reed. Justus Smith, father of Byron Smith, lived and died about three-fourths of a mile cast of the meeting-house at the Center. Joseph Spencer lived in the northeast part of the town upon the farm now occupied by Joseph Barber, and had a son Joseph and a daughter Susan. Andrew Murray settled in the western part of the town. The Sacket family located in the northeastern part of the town; Jeremiah Adams and David White in the northeastern part of the town ; Robert Chambers in the western part of the town; Jacob and John Post in the neighborhood of the Willmarths; William Mills in the northeastern part of the town. David Pond settled upon the farm now owned by his son Alvin. Benjamin Norton settled in what is now known as “Nortontown.” John Herriman located in the southwestern part of the town, near Hospital Creek, which formerly bore his name.


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