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Biography of Prof. George Bush

George Bush, one of the most eminent Biblical scholars and Orientalists of his time in America, was born in Norwich, Vt., June 12, 1796, a son of John and Abigal (Marvin) Bush, and grandson of Capt. Timothy Bush. The boyhood of George Bush was mostly passed in Hanover, New Hampshire, whither his father removed when he was quite young. The son gave early indications of superior intelligence. His eldest sister says “he had a ravishing love of books from her first remembrance of him.” He frequented the College library at Hanover and would bring home ponderous volumes, almost as large as he could carry. Old residents remember him riding to mill on horseback with his face hidden in the pages of an open book that he held before him. At the age of nineteen he entered Dartmouth College, graduating in 1818 with the valedictory and the highest honors of his class, which was of more than average ability, containing among others such scholars as Professor William Chamberlain of Dartmouth College, and the late Professor Thomas C. Upham of Bowdoin College. During a part of his college course, Mr. Bush was a private tutor in the family of Honorable Mills Olcott, and there probably was formed an intimate friendship between himself and Rufus Choate of the class of 1819. The two young men chummed together during the college course, and Mr. Choate ever after kept a high regard for and estimate of his college friend. After teaching one year in the Orange County Grammar School at Randolph, Vt., Mr. Bush commenced the study of theology at Princeton Seminary, where he...

Biography of Honorable Daniel Azro Ashley Buck

Daniel Azro Ashley Buck, the eldest son of Honorable Daniel and Content (Ashley) Buck, was born at Norwich, Vt, April 19, 1789. He received a collegiate education, graduating at Middlebury in 1807, in the same class with William Slade and Stephen Royce, a class which is said to have contained more eminent men in proportion to its numbers than can be matched in the record of any American college. The following year he graduated from West Point Military Academy, and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers, to date from January 25, 1808. Oliver G. Burton, a native of Norwich but at that time a resident of Irasburg, was also a graduate from West Point of the same year. D. A. A. Buck served on the northern frontier during the second war with England. He was commissioned a captain in the Thirty-first Regiment of United States Infantry, an organization composed wholly of Vermonters, April 30, 1813, raised for one year’s service. Ethan Burnap of Norwich was captain of a company of the Thirty-first and his brother, Calvin Burnap, lieutenant. At other times during the war, Mr. Buck served as an officer of artillery, and in November, 1812, was appointed major in a volunteer corps by the Vermont legislature, though it is doubtful if he ever accepted this appointment. At the close of the war he left the military profession, studied law with his father at Chelsea, Vt., and for the ensuing twenty years was a prominent figure in public affairs in Vermont. During this period he represented Chelsea fourteen years in the state legislature, five years of which he served...

Biography of Honorable Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck came to Norwich in 1784 or ’85, and opened the first lawyer’s office in town, on the hill near the old center meeting house, then just being completed and there continued to live and transact business for twenty-five years, or until he removed to Chelsea in 1809. Norwich then contained probably about one thousand inhabitants, but no village, there being at that time not over three or four dwellings where Norwich village now stands. But little is known of Mr. Buck previous to his coming to Norwich. He was born at Hebron, Conn., November 9, 1753, and was the second son and child of Thomas and Jane Buck of that town. He had been a soldier in the Revolution, and had lost an arm at the battle of Bennington. He had also lived some time in Thetford, which was settled largely by people from Hebron, and perhaps also in Hanover, N. H. He acted as secretary to the council in June, 1785, when the Vermont legislature assembled at Norwich, having been assistant secretary of the same body during their session at Rutland the preceding October. He seems to have been a householder at Norwich at this time, as by a resolution of the council on June 17, the treasurer of the State was directed “to pay Daniel Buck twenty shillings hard money for the use of his house, etc.” For several years the young attorney does not appear to have made much headway in his profession, the townspeople sharing in the ancient dislike to lawyers so prevalent in the early days of New England. The town records...

Burton Family of Norwich Vermont

Jacob Burton It is quite impossible to indulge in even a brief review of Mr. Burton‘s advent into Norwich from Preston, Conn., without repeating something of what is said of him in other places in this volume. Mr. Burton came to Norwich, to reside, in the latter part of 1765, bringing with him his sons, Elisha, John, Josiah, Isaac, and Asa, and his eldest daughter, Anna, who, soon after, married Simeon Carpenter. For some time she was the only young lady in town. Before locating in town, Mr. Burton had purchased two one hundred acre lots of land, which embraced the greater part of the present Norwich village, and built his dwelling-house (the first one erected in town) on the southern and eastern part of his purchase, and tradition has it that it was built directly over a large pine stump, which protruded through the floor, and its top having been smoothed off and recesses made in its sides for cupboards, it was used as the family table. Elisha, one of the sons, built the house where Samuel A. Armstrong resides, and John, another son, built the house now the home of Thos. A. Hazen. Mr. Burton‘s political record is given under its appropriate head in another part of the book.1 Of Mr. Burton it may be said that he was literally and truly one of the fathers of the town. Reverend Doctor Asa Burton Was born at Stonington, Conn., August 25, 1752, and was the sixth of the thirteen children of Jacob Burton. His parents removed to Preston, Conn., when he was about one year old. Here his...

Migration of Families out of Norwich VT

At the first enumeration of the inhabitants of eastern Vermont, as made by the authority of New York in 1771, Norwich was found to be the most populous of all the towns of Windsor County, having forty families and 206 inhabitants. Windsor followed with 203, and Hartford was third with 190. The aggregate population of the county (ten towns reported) was then but 1,205, mostly confined to the first and second tiers of towns west of the Connecticut River. Twenty years later, in 1791, Hartland led all the towns of the county with 1,652 inhabitants, Woodstock and Windsor coming next with 1,605 and 1,542 respectively. Exceptional causes made the little town of Guilford (now numbering scarcely more than one thousand inhabitants), till after the year 1800, the most populous town in the state. In Norwich, the great falling off in the size of families in recent years is seen in the fact, that in the year 1800, the number of children of school age was 604, out of a total population of 1,486, while in 1880 with a nearly equal population (1,471) it was but 390. In the removal of large numbers of the native-born inhabitants by emigration, we must find the principal cause of the decline of our rural population. Preeminently is this true of Norwich. The outflow of people began very early and now for more than a century there has been one unbroken, living stream of emigration pouring over our borders. Several families that had first located here became, before the close of the Revolutionary War, the pioneer settlers of Royalton, Tunbridge, and Randolph. Some of...

Biography of Frank A. Jordan

Frank A. Jordan, a veteran of the Civil War, who is carrying on a thriving business as a stone cutter in Plainfield, N.H., was born in this town, April 19, 1840, son of Anthony W. and Mercy (Root) Jordan. It is known that some of his ancestors served in the Revolutionary War. His grandfather was James Jordan, who died May 10, 1860, aged eighty-two years. He was a native of Plainfield and a son of the first member of the family to settle here. James Jordan was a contractor for the construction of roads and bridges, and also carried on a farm. He married Waitte Kenyon, of Plainfield, born in January, 1782, and reared seven sons, namely-Anthony W.; William Riley, first, Raymond K.; Wardner; Lester; Kenyon; and Jarvis -none of whom are living. The majority of them were farmers; and all became heads of families except Kenyon, who died at the age of twenty years. William Riley Jordan, first, married a Miss Esther Spaulding, of Plainfield; and six of his eight children survive. Wardner, who was overseer of the poor farm for seventeen years, married Lucy Whittaker, of Grantham, N.H.; and of his four children two are living. Lester married Luzina Stone, and had a family of eight children, none of whom are living. Jarvis was Sergeant of Company C, Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, during the Civil War. Three of his sons were also soldiers, and two died while in service. He was prominent in public affairs, and served as a Selectman for some time. Raymond K. Jordan was a cooper by trade and a hard-working temperate man....

Biography of Loren Coburn

Although a resident of Pescadero, the active years of Mr. Coburn’s life have been spent in the mining regions of California and the growing cities of Oakland and San Francisco. Loren Coburn was born in Berlin, Orange County, Vermont, January 11, 1826, with New England blood, a promise of future success. When ten years of age, his home was changed to Massachusetts, where he remained until he started for California in 1851. He shipped from New York on the steamer Falcon, bound for Cuba. After passing over the Isthmus of Panama he took passage on the ship Panama, arriving in San Francisco on June 1, 1851. From there he went to the northern mines, by way of Sacramento, Greenwood valleys, and remained four months at the placers, on the middle fork of the American River. On returning to San Francisco, laden with the fruits of his successful mining experience, he was induced to enter a business life. He engaged in the livery business in Oakland where he remained four years, after which he disposed of his stable and bought another in San Francisco, continuing in active business for twelve years. While still in the city, Mr. Coburn purchased the Punto del Ano Nuevo Rancho, a Spanish Grant of four leagues. After the sale of his San Francisco business he leased his ranch to the Steele Brothers, and in 1866 took his long deferred trip back to the land of his birth. Returning in 1868, he spent the next four years in San Francisco and at the expiration of the Steele Brothers lease in 1872, he removed to Pigeon Point...

Biography of Captain Harry C. Fay

Captain Harry C. Fay, editor-in-chief of the National Eagle, a bright and thoroughly up-to-date newspaper published in Claremont, was born in Richmond, Vt., November 30, 1830, son of Captain Nathan and Polly (Colby) Fay. Stephen Fay, his great-great-grandfather, was an early settler in Bennington, Vt., and was the father of eight children. His son John kept the Catamount Tavern, which during his day became a meeting-place for many great statesmen, who formed a legislative body, and held there meetings known as “Councils of Safety.” He, John, fell in the battle of Bennington. His son, Nathan Fay, served as a Colonel Warner’s command. Nathan, who was a cloth-dresser by trade, removed from Bennington to Richmond, Vt., about the year 1781, and established there a cloth-dressing house, which he carried on successfully for a number of years, leaving a flourishing business at the time of his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-seven. He married a daughter of Colonel Safford, a member of an old and prominent family of Bennington. Captain Nathan Fay, father of the subject of this sketch, continued the business of clothdressing after the death of his father; but, it subsequently becoming less profitable, he turned his attention in part to farming, and at the time of his death was the owner of one thousand acres of land. A member in early life of the Democratic party, he held office continuously for twenty-five years, representing his town in the legislature at six different periods, and serving it as Selectman throughout his public career. A good penman and a close student, he possessed also a fair knowledge of...

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Edward Horatio Foster

Dr. Edward Horatio Foster, formerly a well-known medical practitioner of Concord, was born October 13, 1839, in Canterbury, N.H., son of David M. and Sarah (Bradley) Foster. He is a direct descendant of Reginald Foster, who settled in Ipswich, Mass., in 1635. His grandfather, Asa Foster, served in the French and Indian War, and under General Pepperell was at the capture of Louisburg. During the Revolutionary War Asa was one of General Arnold’s body-guard at the time of the General’s desertion. When he died in Canterbury in 1862, he was ninety-six years old. His son, David M. Foster, a native of Canterbury, followed the occupation of school teacher in his earlier days, and was greatly interested in politics. David’s wife, Sarah, was born in Brunswick, Me. Edward H. Foster attended public and private schools in his native town, and then entered Pittsfield, Mass. He graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, in 1866. Dr. Foster first located in Bradford, Vt., remaining one year. For three years thereafter he was located in Marblehead, Mass. In July, 1872, after spending a year on the Pacific Coast, he came to Concord, where he practised for the remainder of his life. In politics Dr. Foster voted independently. He was President of Pass Creek Ranch Company, of Wyoming, and also of the Eureka Headache Cure Company, of this city. Dr. Foster was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Ella M. Merrill, was a native of Marblehead. She had one child-Edward L. Foster, of Concord. On September 16, 1879, he was married to Clara B. Smith, of Lowell, Mass. By this marriage there are...
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