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Olcott Family of Norwich Vermont

Hon. Peter Olcott was born at Bolton, Connecticut, April 25, 1733; married Sarah, daughter of Peletiah Mills, Esq., of Windsor, Conn., October 11, 1759, and removed to that place in 1772. That year or the following one he came to Norwich, Vermont. He was the oldest of his parents’ four children (two sons and two daughters), and the only one of them to come to Norwich to reside. Mr. Olcott‘s name first appears in the town records of Norwich in 1773, when he was chosen one of the overseers of the poor, at the annual March meeting. He early took a leading part in public affairs in his new home. He was elected to the most important town offices, and soon came to be regarded as one of the leading men of the place. It is probable that he was a man of considerable means when he came to Norwich, which, united with his superior talents, gave him a commanding influence in the community. The next year (1774) the annual town meeting was held at his house, and such meetings continued to be so held until 1779, after which they were held at the meeting house, except in severe winter weather. Probably his influence was potent in fixing the location of the first meeting house very near to his residence and upon land which he gave for a site. He also gave the land for the old burying ground adjoining. Mr. Olcott was the first justice of the peace in town, being chosen to that office at a special town meeting called for that purpose April 7, 1778. In...

Lord Family of Norwich Vermont

Jonathan Lord, Jr., and David Lord, the first of the name to locate in Norwich, came from Colchester, Connecticut, (in what year is not definitely known, probably about 1773). They were two of several children born to Jonathan and Ruth Lord of that place. Jonathan, Jr., was born February 17, 1752; was a voter in Norwich in 1784. He married, in October, 1782, Mary Smith, and their children were: Porter Lord. Russell Lord. John Lord. Polly Lord. Lydia Lord. John Proctor Lord Rachel Lord. Mr. Lord died at Norwich February 27, 1821. David Lord was born at Colchester August 4, 1756, and died at Norwich January 25, 1803. He married Hannah Hanks, by whom he had eight children: Asa Lord, born in Norwich, October 14, 1783, married (first) Ruth Howe, and their children were: Ira Lord, who died in Thetford, Vermont. Lyman Lord (deceased). Abigail Lord (deceased), married William Cummings. Laura Lord (deceased), married Tarbell Senter. Gideon Lord, born in Norwich, Sept. 8, 1814, and died here Apr. 9, 1898, married Belisant Clough. Amasa C. Lord, removed to Illinois, after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1843, and died at Somonauk, that state. Laura Lord ( deceased), married Jonathan S. Lord. Mills A. Lord, married Livia Seaver of Norwich, daughter of Captain Calvin Seaver. Asa Lord married (second) Amelia Root of Norwich and their children were: Frances Amelia Lord Abel Lord Emma A. Lord M. Ellen Lord William Lord Henry Lord Persis Lord John Lord (son of Jonathan, Jr.) was born in Norwich, August 1, 1782, and died in town June 19, 1882. He married Lucy Bliss, to whom were born: David Bliss Lord (died...

Biography of Doctor Horace Hatch

The son of Honorable Reuben and Eunice (Dennison) Hatch, was born at Tunbridge, Vermont, May 23, 1788. He was educated at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1814, and studied medicine at the same institution, receiving the degree of M. D. in 1817. He settled in the practice of his profession at Norwich the same year, where he pursued the active and laborious duties of a country physician for twenty years. He married January 9, 1821, Mary Yates, daughter of Thomas Smith. His children were born here. In the year, he built upon nearly the same ground where Captain Joseph Hatch had first fixed his abode, the brick dwelling house, now the residence of Mrs. Converse, widow of Doctor Shubael Converse, who in 1837 purchased the property and succeeded to the business of Doctor Hatch; the latter removing to Burlington, Vermont, where he prosecuted his profession for another period of twenty years. In 1861 Doctor Hatch accepted an appointment in the Treasury department at Washington where he continued about four years. While thus employed he rendered valuable service in visiting and relieving many sick and wounded Vermont soldiers in hospitals in and about Washington, whose days and nights of suffering were cheered by his kindly sympathy and by delicacies and comforts provided from his generous purse. In 1865 he became a resident of New York City, where he died Oct. 28, 1873. Mrs. Hatch had died previous to his removal from Burlington. Doctor Hatch held a high standing as a physician and was distinguished for his benevolent and amiable disposition. His son, A. S. Hatch, of the late banking...

Biography of Honorable Reuben Hatch

Reuben Hatch was born at Preston, Connecticut, July 7, 1763, and came to Norwich at an early age with his father, Joseph Hatch. He entered Dartmouth College in 1782, but was unable to complete his course of studies there by reason of ill health. Afterwards he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and became a successful farmer; residing at different times at Tunbridge, Chelsea and Weathersfield. From “Life and Times of William Jarvis” we make the following extracts: “Mr. Reuben Hatch came from Norwich to Weathersfield Bow and bought the large brick house built by a Mr. Jennison, and considerable other property. He had a large family of sons and daughters. * * * Mr. Hatch also bought” (soon after, probably) “Mr. George Lyman‘s house, tavern and store,” (at the Bow) “and Mr. Lyman returned to Hartford, Conn.” “In 1801 or ’02 Mr. Francis Goodhue bought all of Mr. Hatch’s property except the Lyman house and a small store. Mr. Hatch then returned to Norwich,” [another account says he returned to Norwich in 1808.] Mr. Hatch represented Tunbridge in the General Assembly in 1792, ’93 and ’95, Chelsea in 1797, ’98 and 1801; was councilor in 1808. He was candidate for town representative from Norwich, but was defeated by Pierce Burton, and again defeated for the same office in 1812 by Dr. Israel Newton. Mr. Hatch was married to Eunice Dennison, and they had ten children. One daughter married Darius Jones of Weathersfield and Windsor; one, Harriet H., married Rev. Abraham Peters, a distinguished clergyman and author, October 25, 1819; one married Joseph Cutting of Weathersfield, who, afterwards, lived...

Dutton Family of Norwich Vermont

The progenitor of this family in Norwich was Samuel Dutton, a lineal descendant of Thomas Dutton of Washington, Connecticut. Samuel Dutton was born March 1, 1707, and married Abigail Merriam, May 6, 1729. He died in Royalton, Vermont, in 1802, and his wife April 6, 1799. Mr. Dutton came from Washington, Connecticut, to Hartford, Vermont, and from the latter place to Norwich, locating on what is called Dutton hill, a little west of Norwich village. The original farm, with later additions, is now occupied by Otis Metcalf, son-in-law of the late Deacon John Dutton. Mr. Samuel Dutton married (first) Johanna Root in 1764; and (second) Rachel Benedict, in 1772, to whom were born eight children. Mr. Dutton died Feb. 22, 1813, and his wife died July 1, 1828. Daniel Benedict Dutton, son of Samuel and Rachel Dutton, was born August 22, 1773, and died at Norwich September 1, 1849, aged seventy-six years. His wife, Lorana (Smith), to whom he was married December 5, 1796 (born February 15, 1779), died September 15, 1857. From Norwich he removed to Stowe, Vermont, and remained there until just before his father’s decease, when he returned to Norwich for a short time, then returned to Stowe. In 1834 he again came to Norwich, and here died. The late Deacon John Dutton, son of Daniel B. and Lorana (born at Stowe, Vermont, August 23, 1818), came to Norwich with his parents in 1834, and continued thereafter to reside on the ancestral acres until his decease January 16, 1888. Although a lifelong farmer, Deacon Dutton interested himself in other ventures, at times. He represented his town...

Cushman Family of Norwich Vermont

The Cushman family in New England dates from the year 1621, the first after the landing of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, when Robert Cushman, who was a prominent leader and organizer of the Plymouth Colony, brought from England the earliest recruits and supplies to the wasted and famishing settlement. A century and a half later Solomon Cushman, a descendant of Robert, in the sixth generation, born at Plympton, Mass., in 1745, having married Sarah Curtis, daughter of Simeon Curtis, at Lebanon, Conn., in 1768, removed to Norwich, probably in company with the Curtis family. Solomon Cushman (afterward known as Captain Solomon) was in those days a famous hunter and marksman, the terror of bears and catamounts. He once shot and killed a deer at a distance of seventy-two rods1. In the war of the Revolution he served three years as lieutenant in the Norwich militia in the campaign of 1777 against Burgoyne, and the following two years on the northern frontier as captain of a company of Rangers in the regiment of Colonel Timothy Bedel of Haverhill, N. H. His health was much broken as a result of his service in the army. In 1784 he removed to Tunbridge, Vt., where he died in 1799, at the age of fifty-four. His son, Benjamin H. Cushman, born in Norwich, recently died at Tunbridge, upwards of ninety years old, and the father of twelve children. Three years after the removal of Captain Solomon Cushman to Tunbridge, another Solomon Cushman, the fifth in descent from Robert Cushman, the Pilgrim ancestor, came to Norwich from Willington, Conn., with his family. He was...

Biography of Doctor Shubael Converse

The son of Shubael and Phoebe Converse was born at Randolph, Vt., September 7, 1805. He studied his profession with Doctor R. D. Mussey of Hanover, N. H., and at Dartmouth College, graduating at that institution in 1828. Soon after he settled in Strafford, where he resided in the practice of medicine until 1837, when he purchased the business and homestead of Doctor Horace Hatch at the southern border of Norwich village, and removing there was engaged in the active pursuit of his professional duties for a period of thirty years, until his sudden decease August 6, 1867. Doctor Converse possessed in a high degree the respect and confidence of the community, both as a citizen and a physician. A man of enlightened views and much public spirit, he was especially interested in the cause of popular education. He was superintendent of schools in Norwich from 1846 to 1854, and again in 1855 and 1856. After the removal of Norwich University to Northfield in 1866, he was prominent in establishing the Norwich Classical and English Boarding School the following year. He represented the town in the legislature in 1845 and 1846 and was chosen a Senator from Windsor County in 1855 and 1856. Among other young men who pursued medical studies with Doctor Converse at Norwich were Doctor Henry Baxter of Highgate and Doctor Charles D. Lewis of Kentucky. Doctor Converse married in 1841, Louvia E. Morrill, daughter of David and Margery Morrill, of Strafford, Vt., to whom were born two sons and three daughters. The eldest son, Charles B. Converse, graduated at Dartmouth College in 1863, and is...

Curtis Family of Norwich Vermont

Simeon Curtis came to Norwich from Lebanon, Connecticut, as early as the year 1773, in which year he was elected one of the town assessors, and located near the south line of the town, on the farm where Henry S. Goddard now lives. Mr. Curtis died in 1779 at the age of fifty-eight years, and his grave is found in the old cemetery at Norwich village among the graves of other early settlers and near that of his gifted son, Abel Curtis, who survived his father only four years. But little is now known of the Curtis family, as its last representatives seem to have disappeared from town more than half a century ago. The maiden name of Mrs. Simeon Curtis was Sarah Hutchinson, and the home of the family was at ”Lebanon Crank” as it was called, or that part of Lebanon which is now Columbia, Conn., and which was the immediate locality of Moor’s Indian Charity School founded by Doctor Eleazer Wheelock, out of which grew Dartmouth College. Captain Solomon Cushman, who came to Norwich the same year with Simeon Curtis, had married in 1768, at Lebanon Crank, Sarah Curtis, probably a daughter of Simeon Curtis. He removed to Tunbridge, Vt., in 1784, where he was preceded several years by Elias Curtis, another son of Simeon, who had previously lived in Norwich, and where two or more of his children were born (Elias, b. July 4, 1776, Abijah, b. March 11, 1781), but had removed and was living near the first branch of White River in Tunbridge at the time of the burning of Royalton in 1780,...

Cook Family of Norwich Vermont

Three brothers, Samuel, Francis, and Lyman, with their two sisters, (children of Jonathan and Lydia [Aldrich] Cook), ran away from the Shaker settlement at Lancaster, Mass., where they had been placed by their parents before 1800, and came to this vicinity at an early day. Samuel settled in Norwich, and married Anna Pratt, by whom he had nine children. From Samuel the later generations of Cooks in town were descended. Francis also located in Norwich, on the farm now occupied by David Sargent, and there he lived and died. He was never married. Lyman Cook settled in Thetford. Another brother, Washington Cook, settled in New York State, and himself and his son were made prisoners by the Indians, and taken to Canada, but were subsequently released from captivity. Seventeen acres of the farm where Samuel Cook located were bought by him at auction when they were sold for taxes, and fifty acres were purchased at private sale from Stephen Percival. Leonard Cook, son of Samuel, died at Norwich, on the paternal acres, May 13, 1886, aged seventy-seven years. He was the last surviving child of his parents’ nine children, all of whom lived to have children of their own, sixty, all told. Mr. Cook‘s son, Royal E., now resides in Norwich Village, having removed from the ancestral home several years since, leaving it in the possession of his son, George, whose children are the fifth generation of the family to live on the...

Biography of Fairbanks Bush

It is probable that Fairbanks Bush, son of Captain Timothy Bush, came to Norwich with his father when the latter settled in town. His place of birth is not known to us. He first appears as a voter in town in 1807. He married Amy Yeomans. Previous to 1796 he removed to Orange, Vt., but later returned to Norwich, where he died February 24, 1873, lacking but twelve hours of having rounded out a life period of one hundred years. Fairbanks Bush was Norwich’s minstrel poet. We are told that the spirit of our modern age is unfavorable to poetry. However that may be, the poetical temperament and endowment are still found among men, the poet is still born in the world. Among our own townsmen, Mr. Fairbanks Bush was endowed in some degree with the poetic gift. As being a natural musician also, his poetry for the most part took a lyrical shape, which is everywhere the earliest and simplest artificial form of poetical composition. “Lyric poetry is made to be sung, and is song in its nature and essence, Mr. Bush was accustomed to sing his own verses very often from memory. Many that he composed and sung were never committed to writing, and consequently have been lost beyond recall. We give in the latter part of this book a few specimens of the style and scope of his verse. As has so often been the case with the noble fraternity of the poets, fortune did not always smile upon the lot of Mr. Bush. Perhaps he had not worldly thrift; clearly his affairs were often involved in...
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