Early Settlers of Berlin Vermont

Short biographical sketches of the early settlers of Berlin, Vermont.

Jacob Fowler

Jacob Fowler was the first settler who resided here permanently, or left descendants in town. He was a hunter, and had often been through the town on Winooski river and its branches during, and perhaps previous to, the Revolutionary War. At the time of the burning of Royalton in 1780, when the Indians went down the Winooski, he was up Waterbury river. On returning to the mouth of the river, he came on the trail, and followed it back to Berlin Pond. Finding indications of encampments at the mouth of Dog river, and on the west side of Berlin Pond, near the neck, he supposed they had been to Newbury or Corinth until he arrived at this place, when the trail bearing to the south, he concluded they had come from another direction. He has sometimes been accused, but probably unjustly, of having been a Tory. It is said that he was enlisted in the garrison stationed at Corinth during the latter part of the Revolutionary War, and was employed by Gen. Wait, the commander, as an Indian scout. It is related of him, by the late Hon. D. P. Thompson:

“I used to think,” said the hunter, “I had as much wit as any wild varmint that was ever scared up in our woods. But a sly old moose once completely baffled me in trying to get a shot at him. This animal’s usual range was on Irish hill, in the vicinity of Berlin Pond. This I discovered by finding one day, as I was coming along the margin of the pond, a path leading down to the water, which I knew, by the tracks of great size, and of different degrees of freshness, was made by a large moose that must have come down daily to drink. On making this discovery I resolved to have him. But after trying on three different days to get a shot at him, I utterly failed; for either by the keenness of his sight, or smell, or hearing, he always took the alarm, and made off without allowing me more than a mere glimpse of him. As I was turning away from the last attempt, it occurred to me there might be other ways to choke a dog than by giving him bread and butter, so I laid a plan my moose would not be looking for. The next day I shouldered a bear trap I possessed, weighing nearly forty pounds, with the iron teeth more than an inch long, went up to the pond, and set it at the water’s edge in the path where he came down to drink, chained it securely to a sapling, and went home. The next day I went there again, and as I drew near my trap, I saw a monstrous moose stand over the spot where I had set it. He had got one fore-foot into it, and those murderous interlocking teeth had clenched his fetlock and held him like a vice. The next moment I put a bullet through his heart, and brought him to the ground, when cutting out his tongue, lips, and the best part of a round, I went home not a little proud of the exploit of outwitting him at last.”

It is said that Fowler spent the last years of his life in Canada, and died there at an advanced age.

Hezekiah Silloway

Hezekiah Silloway came to Berlin from Corinth in 1788, and settled on the “Shepard farm” at the mouth of Dog river, where he resided about twenty years, when he sold the farm to Mr. Shepard, and removed to Montpelier, where he lived till his death, at the age of 90 years. He had been a Revolutionary soldier.

Hon. Salvin Collins

Hon. Salvin Collins, born in Southboro, — — — , Mar. 6, 1768, when about twenty-three, came to Berlin, and purchased a farm adjoining Zachariah Perrin and Jabez Ellis, to this day known as the old Collins farm. He married Rebecca Wilder, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, and had 5 children. His eldest daughter married Hon. John Spaulding, of Montpelier. After 14 or 15 years, Mr. Collins sold his farm to Zachariah Perrin, and moved to the “Corners,” then containing a store, tavern and several mechanics shops. In 1805 and ‘6 he was representative of the town; in 1811, assistant Judge of the new County of Jefferson, and took up his residence at Montpelier village. In 1812 he received a second election as County Judge, and in 1815, was elected Judge of Probate of Washington County, to which office he received five successive elections, a greater number then ever was received in this district by any man except Judge Loomis. For the last twenty years of his life, at least, he was constantly in the commission of the office of justice of the peace, and for a greater portion of the time did a large share of the justice business of the village.

He was one of the earliest and most exemplary members of the Congregational church of Berlin, and on removing to Montpelier, united himself with the Congregational church of this place, of which in a few years he was chosen a deacon, and as such officiated for the remainder of his life. His first wife dying in 1816, he married Mrs. Lucy Clark, who survived him about 8 years. Unobtrusive, unassuming, quiet, social and intelligent, few men were better calculated to make friends than Judge Collins, and few men ever had more of them. His abiding integrity was never doubted; while the offices to which he was time and again elected show in what estimation his intellectual powers, though unaided by any but the commonest of education, were held by the public. He died Nov. 9, 1831, age 63; an extensive circle of relatives and the public as mourners. — [ FROM D. P. THOMPSON.]

John Taplin, Esq.

John Taplin, who though by common usage entitled to the military appellation of Major and the civil one of Honorable, was yet generally known by the unpretending designation of Esquire Taplin, was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, 1748. In about 1764, he removed with his father, Colonel John Taplin, to Newbury, Vermont, and soon after to Corinth, of which town his father was one of the original proprietors.

His father, one of the most noted men or his times, had been a colonel in the British army under Gen. Amherst, and actively engaged with Rogers, Putnam, Stark and other distinguished American officers in reducing the fortresses on Lake Champlain and fighting their red allies, then prowling through the entire wilderness territory of Vermont. And young Taplin, after receiving a fair common-school education for his years, was, from the age of 12 to 15 out with his father, in this French and Indian war, being generally stationed at Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Soon after his removal to Vermont, Colonel Taplin was appointed under the jurisdiction of New York, chief judge of the court of what was then called Gloucester County, but afterwards Orange County. And young Taplin then designated as John Taplin, Junior, was, though then but barely 21, appointed high sheriff of the same court and county. Kingsland, now Washington, was at first fixed upon as the shire town of this new county, and the new court was once actually opened there, though the town was then wholly an unbroken wilderness. We have already, while treating of the New York grants in this section, alluded to the singular opening of a court in the woods in this place; but as the record of this curious transaction, which has but recently come to light, cannot fail to be regarded as an interesting antiquarian document, we will copy it entire.

Kingsland, Gloucester County,
Province of New York, May 29, 1770.

“Court met for the first time, and the ordinance and comitions Being Read.

John Taplin, Judges being appointed
Samuel Sleeper, by the Government of
Thomas Sumner, New York,

were present, and the Courts opened as is usual in other Courts — Also present

James Pennock,
Abner Fowler, Justices of the Quorum.
John Peters,
John Taplin, Jr., Sheriff.

“N. B. these Courts were the Courts of Quarterly sessions and the Court of common Plea for Said County.

“Court adjourned to the last Tuesday in August next to be held in said Kingsland.

“Opened accordingly, and appointed four Constables, Simeon Stevens for Newbury, Jesse McFarland for Moretown, Abner Howard for Thetford, and Samuel Pennock for Strafford, and adjourned to the last Tuesday of Nov. “Nov. 27, Court opened at Kingsland. Called over the docket of 8 cases only, put over and dismissed them, and appointed Ebenezer Green constable for Thetford, and Samuel Pennock, Ebenezer Martin and Ebenezer Green and Samuel Allen Surveyors for the County, and adjourned to February next last Tuesday.

Feb. 25, 1771.

Sett out from Moretown for Kings Land, travelled untill Knight there Being no Road, and the Snow very depe, we travelled on Snow Shoes or Racats, on the 26th we travelled Some ways, and Held a Council when it was concluded it was Best to open the Court as we Saw No Line it was not whether in Kingsland or not. But we concluded we were farr in the woods we did not expect to See any House unless we marched three miles within Kingsland and no one lived there when the Court was ordered to be opened on the spot, present

John Taplin, Judge of the Quorum
John Peters
John Taplin Jr., Sheriff.

all Causes Continued or adjourned over to Next term the Court, if one, adjourned over until the last Tuesday in May Next at which time it was opened and after disposing of one case of bastardy, adjourned to August next.

“John Peters


Thus ends this curious specimen of judicial records. It will be seen at the first court nothing is hinted about the court being held in the woods and snows. It was probably held at the nearest house in Corinth, and, by a judicial fiction, treated as a court at Kingsland. But it does not appear that the court was ever called at Kingsland after the so-called August Term, 1771, having the next term met at Newbury, where it continued to hold sessions till the breaking out of the Revolution. The court did not, however, give up the idea of making Kingsland the seat of justice, for they ordered their young Sheriff, John Taplin, Jr., to build a log jail there, which he promptly executed, and made return to the court accordingly, though it is believed that the jail, as such, was never occupied. This singularly originated log-jail was situated a mile or two South-East of the present village of Washington, near the sources of the brook which, running northerly into Stevens’ Branch, thence forward, took the name of Jail Branch. On the opening of the Revolution, Colonel Taplin declining to take sides against the King who had distinguished him, retired during the war into Canada, leaving our John Taplin, Jr., on the paternal property in Corinth, where he resided until many years after Vermont had become a State, and was so much esteemed by his fellow-townsmen as to have received from them at least two elections as their representative in the legislature. In the summer of 1787 he removed to Berlin, having purchased that excellent farm on the lower part of Dog River, since known as the old John Hayden place, and became the first representative of Berlin, and for several years the first officiating justice of the peace in all this vicinity.

At the age of twenty he married Miss Catharine Lovell, daughter of Colonel Nehemiah Lovell, of Newbury, who was grand-son of the celebrated hero of the Lovell Pond Indian battle. His first wife dying in 1794, he married the following year Miss Lydia Gove, of Portsmouth. By his first wife he had 12 children, by his last, 9 — twenty-one in all, and what is still more remarkable, they all except one, which was accidentally scalded, causing death in infancy, lived to marry and settle down in life as the heads of families, furnishing an instance of family fruitfulness and health that perhaps never had a parallel in the State. Mr. Taplin‘s practical knowledge of men and the ordinary affairs of life was, from his varied opportunities for observation, quite extensive, and his natural intellectual capacities were at least of a highly respectable order. But probably what are called the sentiments or moral affections should be considered as constituting the predominant traits of his character. At all events, kindness to all, an active benevolence and charity to the poor and distressed, were very conspicuous elements of his nature, and his house and hands were ever alike open to relieve the wants of those who might solicit his hospitalities or more substantial assistance. As is too often the case, the sharp, selfish world failed not to take advantage. The free horse was at length almost ridden to death. At the age of fifty he found himself badly involved in pecuniary embarrassments, growing out of his general system of benevolence in a good degree, though mainly out of his acts of accommodation in becoming bondsman for others. These so sadly reduced his property as to compel him to part with his valuable old homestead for one less costly, and which last he was also induced after a time, from growing infirmities, to resign, and reside with one of his sons in the village. The last years of his life were thus clouded, but he was held in the estimation of all as one of the most amiable and best of men and Christians, and as one of the most useful citizens. He died in Montpelier, Nov. 1835, aged 87, his memory being warmly cherished by all who remember his tall, comely person, the mild dignity of his deportment, and never-varying amenity of manners toward all classes of people.

Capt. James Hobart

James Hobart came to Berlin in 1787, from Newbury, Vermont, settling at the mouth of Jones’ Brook. He had formerly lived in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where his son (Rev.) James was born, said to have been the first male child born in that town. Although religiously inclined, careful and particular as the head of a family, he never made a public profession of religion until at about the age of 91 years he joined the 1st Cong. church of Berlin. About 100 years before his birth one of his ancestors, Rev. Peter Hobart, a Congregational minister, came to this country from England, and was a minister in Hingham, Massachusetts, a great many years. Capt. Hobart spent about 10 years of the last of his life with his son Rev. J., working at the cooper’s trade and cutting his own fire-wood. He died in 1834, aged 95 years.

See Also: Biography of Rev, James Hobart

Zachariah Perrin

Zachariah Perrin came with his family from Hebron, Connecticut, in 1789, and settled in the east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, J. Newton Perrin. In March, with two pairs of oxen and sled, bringing wife and two children and a stock of provisions, he came by the Connecticut and White rivers to Brookfield, which was then the end of the road. The remainder of the way was by marked trees, and snow 3 to 4 feet deep. He took an active part in the organization and settlement of the town; was a friend of education, and a consistent member of the Congregational church, for the support of which he gave liberally. He lived to raise up a large family, and accumulate a large property as a farmer, and died May, 1838, aged 88.

Eleazer Hubbard

Eleazer Hubbard, a native of Connecticut, age about sixty, came from Glastenbury, Connecticut, with an ox-team, bringing mill-stones and irons, and purchased the lot of land in which is Benjamin’s Falls, on Pond brook, at the head of which in 1790 or ’91 he erected the first saw and grist-mills in town. The mills were occupied a number of years after his death in 1819, at the age of 89 years, but nothing now remains of them but the foundation walls and one granite millstone.

David Nye

David Nye, son of Melatiah Nye, and grand-father of the writer of this article, came to Berlin from Glastenbury, Connecticut, with his wife, (Honor Tryon), and two children, a son and a daughter, in 1790, having served his country several years in the Continental army as a musician; was in the battle on Long Island in 1776. When the town was organized in 1791, he was elected the first town clerk, and in several succeeding years was re-elected to the same office, as well as other important offices. A few years after he came to town, Mr. Nye united with the Congregational church, of which while he lived he was an active and consistent member, and for a number of years and until his death, he was an acting deacon. For several years he divided his time between cultivating his farm, and buying and driving beef cattle to the Boston market. When the temperance reformation spread over the land previous to 1830, he was one of the first in this town to adopt and stand upon the platform of total abstinence. He died in Sept. 1832, at 72 years of age.

Elijah Nye

Elijah Nye, brother of David Nye, removed to Berlin at the same time, and settled in the southeast part of the town. He removed to Montpelier in 1825, where he died in 1852, at the age of 84 years.

Solomon Nye

Solomon Nye, a native of Glastenbury, Connecticut, brother of David and Elijah, at the age of 18 enlisted in the Continental army, and served as a teamster. He came to Berlin about 1808; was a farmer; died in 1857, aged 93 years.

Joshua Bailey

Joshua Bailey, a native of Newbury, Massachusetts, came from Newbury, Vermont, in 1790, and settled on the farm afterwards the home of his son. Cyrus Bailey. He died in 1804, aged 53.

Capt. James Sawyer

Capt. James Sawyer, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1738, was Captain of a company of minute men, 1776. At the breaking out of the Revolution he owned a good farm, which he sold, was paid in continental currency, and was consequently left almost penniless. After living in various places, he came to Berlin with his son in 1790, and died in 1801, aged 63 years.

James, son of Captain James, came to Berlin with his father in 1790, and settled on Dog River, where he was successful as a farmer and lived until his death, in 1859, at the age of 93.

Jabez Ellis

Jabez Ellis came from Gilead, Connecticut, in the spring of 1789, and located in the east part of the town. He returned for a wife the December following; married Hannah Mack, of Hebron, Connecticut, whom he brought on with a stock of provisions upon an ox-sled, coming up the west side of the mountains to Essex, and up the Winooski to Montpelier. He also brought on some tea for sale to the settlers. By industry and perseverance he accumulated a handsome property, and gave liberally for the support of the institutions of religion. He represented the town in the Legislature of Vermont in 1815 and ’17, and died in 1852, aged 88.

William Flagg

William Flagg came from Holden, Massachusetts, in 1789, and settled on a farm on the west side of the pond. He died in 1838, at 84 years of age. Mr. Flagg enlisted as a soldier at the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, was in the Battle of Bunker Hill and of Monmouth.

Jacob Black

Jacob Black, a native of Holden, Massachusetts, came about the same time as Flagg, and settled on a lot adjoining him. Mr. Black and Mr. Flagg appear to have been born the same year and lived to about the same age. They probably enlisted at about the same time in the service of the country, and were in nearly the same battles, beginning with that of Bunker Hill. They were both in the battle at Monmouth Court House under Washington, 3 years later. Mr. Black, in addition to clearing and cultivating his farm, worked for his neighbors as occasion required as a carpenter and joiner. About 1818, Mr. Black removed to Marshfield, where he died in 1838, age 84.

Silas Black, son of Jacob, born in Holden, was 12 years old when his father came to Berlin. When of age he settled on a farm adjoining his father. Tending saw-mill when a young man, seated on a log to keep it in place, while the saw was cutting through it, the wind blowing his frock before the saw, the saw descending took in both frock and leg, inflicting a deep gash below the knee, and a second stroke above the ankle-joint, jerked out nearly all the sinews in this part of the leg, severed by the first cut of the saw. Again Mr. Black was assisting in taking down a barn-frame, a heavy timber fell upon one of his legs near his body, crushing it to a mass of jelly, and breaking the bone badly, after which he always limped in his walk. He died in 1867, aged 90.

Capt. Daniel Taylor

Capt. Daniel Taylor came to Berlin in March, 1793; married Miss Ruhamah Ellis, sister of Jabez Ellis. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and for a time a prisoner in the hands of the British. For some time after he commenced on his farm, at the center of the town, he kept a tavern, and small stock of goods and groceries for sale. He was a man of energy and decision. When the call came for men to go to Plattsburg to beat back the British army, then advancing up the Lake, Mr. Taylor mounted his horse at dusk, and taking his trusty fire-lock in his hand, rode to Burlington during the night, and in the morning crossed over the Lake to Plattsburg, and was with the detachment sent up the river to prevent the enemy from crossing. He died in 1831, aged 74.

Capt. James Perley

Capt. James Perley, born in Methuen, Massachusetts, in 1760, at the age of 16 years enlisted as a soldier in the war of the Revolution under Gen. Knox, and served 3 years. The next 8 years of his life he spent upon the ocean as captain’s mate, visiting different places in both hemispheres. He came here in 1791, and settled on a farm near the center of the town, which he occupied the remainder of his life. Capt. Perley and his son, Samuel Perley, were both at the Battle of Plattsburg, N. Y., Sept. 11, 1814. He died in Berlin, in 1850, aged 90 years.

Stephen Pearson

Stephen Pearson, born in Rowley, Massachusetts, in 1756, when seventeen, enlisted for the war. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, the inspecting officer ordered him to give up his gun to a larger man, he being of smaller stature, but Pearson, stepping back, presented the muzzle, saying, “You must take it this way if at all, I am going into the fight.” He did go, and came out without a scratch. He came to Berlin in 1793; was a respectable farmer; died in 1842, aged 82.

Joel Warren

Joel Warren, born in Northboro, Massachusetts, Nov. 1772, came in 1796, and purchased a lot of land a little west of the center of the town; worked one year, and put up a log-house, into which he moved the next year with his wife; was a prosperous farmer, raised a moderately large family of children, and accumulated a handsome fortune; represented the town in the Legislature in 1819; died in April, 1849, aged 77 years.

Abel Knapp, Esq.

Abel Knapp, Esq., and wife were among the early settlers; resided nearly two generations upon the farm at the cross-roads at the center. He was town clerk except one year of Dr. Gershom Heaton’s service, from 1795 to 1845 — 49 years, and was justice of the peace 50 years; judge of probate of his county 1813, ’14; member of the constitutional convention of 1836; town treasurer several years; town representative 14 years, 1809 — 1823. He was also a surveyor; kept his survey notes, and helped settle many a dispute about surveys. He was a native of Rehoboth, Massachusetts; married Miriam Hawks of Charlemont, Massachusetts; children 5 sons, 4 daughters. His monument bears this memorial of a good man: “His record is on high.” — From C. L. KNAPP, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Major Samuel Jones

Major Samuel Jones settled at the mouth of Jones brook, which took his name, upon a farm James Hobart had lived on 10 years. He was an energetic man, accumulated a good property and raised a large family. He died in 1859, age 86.

Major Josiah Benjamin

Major Josiah Benjamin, son of William Benjamin, was born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, June, 1769; married Lucy Banning of Connecticut, Oct. 10, 1791; came to Berlin in 1793. After occupying and clearing up several farms in 1800, he finally settled on the farm on Stevens Branch, now occupied by his son Josiah Benjamin, where he died June, 1836, aged 67. His title was earned in the State militia at a time when it meant something.

Elisha Andrews

Elisha Andrews, second son of Elisha, Jr., of Eastbury, Connecticut, moved to Sandgate, Vermont, about 1783, or ’85. He built a hut of poles with but a hand-sled to get the materials together with; roofed his little residence with boughs; when it rained he and his wife covered the children with blankets; but after a short time he removed to Manchester into better quarters, and from there to Berlin, about 1796. He was among the first settlers here, and located in the woods near the west end of the pond. He put up a log-house into which he used to draw with a horse logs for the back-log of his fire, 8 feet in length. He cleared the land, cultivated the soil, reared a large family, and died June 19. 1826, aged 67.

Safford Cummings

Safford Cummings came here when 7 years of age, from Ward, (now Auburn,) Massachusetts; remained till he was 12; walked back to his native town; stayed a number of years and returned to Berlin on foot. About this time, he married Mary Stickney. He died in 1867, age 87 years.

Col. James Johnson

Col. James Johnson, a native of Massachusetts, came here in 1794, and settled on Dog river. He lived on his farm till his death; accumulated a handsome property and never had a lawsuit. He served one year as captain in the war of 1812; the time being mostly spent upon our northern frontier. The title of Colonel was honorably earned in the service of the State. Died in 1861, age, 88.

Abraham Townsend

Abraham Townsend, a native of Westboro, Massachusetts. A soldier in the revolutionary army; was in the battle of Bunker Hill; came here about 1800, was a farmer; died in 1825, aged 84.

Abel Sawyer

Abel Sawyer came here from Hartland in 1788. Entered the service of his country at the age of 16, as a blacksmith; died in 1836, aged 76.

Dea. Fenno Comings

Dea. Fenno Comings, (son of Col. Benjamin and Mary Cooper Comings,) was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, Mar. 21, 1787; married Rebecca Smart, Nov. 22, 1810, (daughter of Caleb and Catharine Black Smart; born in Croydon, New Hampshire., July 26, 1788). He settled here in 1815, as a tanner and currier, which business he carried on until his death. He was a man doing what he found to do with his might; a member and officer of the Congregational church — a lover of order and peace. He died, Jan. 24, 1830, his death leaving a void not often felt, and being regarded as an irreparable loss to the church and community. His widow married Rev. Jonathan Kinney, in Jan. 1833, who died, May 7, 1838. She died in Berlin, Oct. 10, 1865. [1]Caleb Comings and Rebecca Smart are my 5th great-grandparents. I descend through another daughter, Polly Smart, who married Nathaniel Humphrey and resided at Croydon NH. Dennis Partridge, creator of … Continue reading

Russell Strong

Russell Strong, born in Bolton, Connecticut, Aug. 29, 1785; married Miss Susanna Webster, a native of the same place, (born Oct. 10, 1787, died Apr. 5, 1872, aged 85 years); came here Feb., 1814, and purchased 40 acres on the upper part of Dog river tor $200 dollars, and a few years afterwards 20 acres more on which he resided until his death, 25, Feb. 1864, in his 79th year.

Nathaniel Bosworth

Nathaniel Bosworth, born in Rhode Island in 1753, when about 21, enlisted and served in the Revolutionary war 4 or 5 years. At one time he was a prisoner in the hands of the British, and confined in a prison ship on the Delaware river, and escaped as follows: One night he contrived to get down into the water by the side of the ship unobserved, and attaching one end of a string to his knapsack, took the other in his mouth and swam off; the knapsack floating behind served to keep back the waves which would otherwise have broken over his head, and as he became exhausted might have overcome him. By swimming, near as he could judge, about 3 miles, he landed and escaped. In 1780, when Royalton was burned, Mr. Bosworth was stationed at Corinth, Vermont. After a short residence in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Chelsea, Vermont, he came to Berlin in 1806, and settled at Berlin Corner. He was a blacksmith, which business he followed here. He died in 1844, age, 91 years.

Dea. Jonathan Bosworth, son of Nathaniel Bosworth, born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, in 1787, followed the business of his father, and came with him to Berlin. After working a few years at custom work, he commenced the manufacture of edged tools, particularly scythes and axes, having a good water-power, with trip hammers and other machinery. But this branch of the business not proving successful, in about 1830 he added such other machinery as was deemed necessary, and commenced the manufacture of cast steel and steel-plated hoes. Each of his four sons worked in the shop, and in turn became partners in the business, and carried it on to success. Since 1870, the business has been discontinued. Mr. Bosworth was many years a member of the Congregational church and one of its deacons until within a few years of his death and its attending feebleness, active duties were left to younger hands. Died April, 1878, aged 91 years.

Asa Andrews

Asa Andrews, third son of Elijah Andrews, and who occupied the same farm as his father, died Sept. 14, 1876, aged 91. For about 20 years he kept 40 cows or more, and marketed his butter and cheese in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he went with his own team five or six times a year, until a few of the last years of his labor, he sent his produce by rail. He represented the town in the Legislature in 1847, ’48.

Joseph Arbuckle

Joseph Arbuckle was born near Glasgow, Scotland, and came to America with Gen. Burgoyne’s army as a soldier, and was with the army when it surrendered to Gen. Gates in 1777; after which he came to Berlin, and settled on a farm on the banks of the Winooski river, below the mouth of Dog river. He died about 1841, aged 84 years.

Porter Perrin

Porter Perrin, second son of Zachariah Perrin, was the first male child born in town, Feb. 1, 1790. He married Miss Lucy Kinney, daughter of Rev. Jonathan Kinney, of Plainfield, Vermont, (born in Plainfield, Oct. 7, 1796). Mr. Perrin probably accumulated more property in farming than any other man before his time, in that business exclusively, in town, a greater part of which he gave to charitable and religious purposes, and to his large family of children during his lifetime, and the balance, which was ample for the purpose intended, to his widow during her lifetime. All his dealings with his fellow-men were characterized by a strict regard for justice. He was a worthy member of the Congregational church for many years before his death, May, 1871, aged 81 years.

Henry Luther Stuart, Esq.

Henry Luther Stuart, Esq., died Sept. 17, 1879, at Athens, Georgia, the day being his 64th birthday. He was born at Berlin, in this State, and after studying medicine, law and engineering, he went to New York in 1843, where he became known in connection with the first efforts to lay an Atlantic cable, and also as the designer of the model on which the public schools are still built. He was also the first to introduce the piano into these institutions. He aided in founding the Five Points Mission in 1851, and was later instrumental in causing the establishment of the Normal College. He was an old friend of Horace Greeley. He devoted his whole life to the public service, and the Woman’s Hospital of New York State and the Eclectic Medical College are, in a measure, indebted to him for their foundation. He was also much interested in the progress of experiments with torpedoes as a means of coast defense. His visit to Georgia was undertaken in connection with the honors lately paid there to Dr. Long, whose name is well known in connection with the history of anesthetics. His death was caused by paralysis. — Burlington Free Press.

Hon. Charles Bulkley

Hon. Charles Bulkley, a native of Colchester, Connecticut, came to Berlin previous to 1800, and settled near the red arch bridge. He was a prominent lawyer, his office being in Montpelier. He was Judge of Probate for Orange County Court in 1800 and 1801, and chief judge of Washington County on its organization in 1813, and representative for Berlin in the State Legislature in 1818. He was an able man, a good citizen and an earnest and efficient member of the Congregational church here in its early days, and at his death was the oldest member of the bar in this County. He died April, 1836, age 72 years. We were late in finding the data for this notice, or it would have appeared among the early settlers previously noticed.


Article is based largely on the The Vermont historical gazetteer : a magazine embracing a history of each town, civil, ecclesiastical, biographical and military.
Additions, corrections, changes, and design have been made to the original source to produce this article. Those additions and changes are © 2020 by Vermont Genealogy.


1 Caleb Comings and Rebecca Smart are my 5th great-grandparents. I descend through another daughter, Polly Smart, who married Nathaniel Humphrey and resided at Croydon NH. Dennis Partridge, creator of Vermont Genealogy

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