The following data is extracted from History of the Town of Cornish, Sullivan County, New Hampshire.
3. DUDLEY5 CHASE (Samuel4, Daniel3, Moses2, Aquilla1) b. Aug. 29, 1730, in Sutton, Mass.; m. Aug. 23, 1753, Alice Corbett of Mendon, Mass., b. in 1732.
If the honor of being the first settler in Cornish belongs to any one individual more than another it would seem that Dea. Dudley Chase can claim it. At the age of 35, in the strength of manhood and possessed of the spirit of enterprise and a desire to provide ample means for his already numerous family, he, with others, was the first to make a clearing in the wilds of Cornish. (See Settlement of Cornish for particulars.)
Eight children were b. to this couple before coming to town and seven afterwards. The first white child b. in town was their ninth. In many respects this was a remarkable family. Fourteen of the fifteen children grew to maturity and filled useful and even brilliant positions in life. Five of the sons were educated at Dartmouth College, while the entire number sought and acquired high degrees of scholarly attainments.
The modern student may well query: How did they? How could these young men be prepared for college under such circumstances? There were then no "Lessons in Latin made easy," no "English Notes." no "Ponies," but the boys just dug their way through with a determination that would astonish many a modern student, because filled with high aspirations and with the gladness of a pure and happy youth, all difficulties were overcome.
All this was about seventy years before the first railroad car steamed up the Connecticut valley, crossing the farm once theirs, that brought the modern paraphernalia that is called Advanced Civilization.
The relation of a circumstance here may be of interest to many. In 1750 Deacon Chase began to consider ways and means for providing his family with homes for themselves. Being "well-to-do," he proposed to invest in more land. He therefore started out to explore the west branch of White River in Vermont.
He made the journev on foot and alone. Late at night, weary and hungry he made his camp in the unbroken forest, at a point near the present site of Christ's Church in Bethel, Vt. He found a convenient stone for a pillow and there spent the night. He fell asleep, and, like Jacob of old, dreamed a similar dream. He interpreted this as a token that he had found the land that he was seeking. Upon awakening and resuming his search, he saw that the meadow lands up the branch were fair and fertile. He therefore concluded to make an extensive purchase of land, and named it Bethel and the western part Gilead, and BethelGilead it has been unto this day.
Several of his family and their children subsequently settled in Bethel, being the first settlers of that town.
Deacon Chase and wife, however, never removed their home from Cornish, but each lived to an advanced age. After her death which occurred Sept. 13, 1813, he at times conceived himself away from home and would piteously beseech his family to take him home. Still, at times, he would visit his wife's grave with unclouded reason, and he caused this couplet to be inscribed on her tombstone:
"An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave, Legions of angels can't confine me there."
He survived her but a few months, dying April 13, 1814. On his tombstone is written:
"This is the way to immortality."
Children of Dea. Dudley and Alice (Corbett) Chase:
i. JOHN, b. April :30, 1754; d. in July of same year, aged 11 weeks.
ii. MERCY, b. April 6, 1755: m. Sept. 7, 1778, Stephen Child of Cornish. Eleven children. (See Child.) She d. Dec. 27, 18:35.
iii. LOIS, b. Aug. 16, 1756; m. Dec. 9, 1779. Benjamin Smith of Bethel, Vt., b. Dec. 6, 1753, and d. Sept. 12, 1822. Lived in Bethel, where she d. Jan. 4, 1832. Twelve children.
iv. SIMEON. b. June 14, 1755: In. March 9, 1789, Mary M. March, b. in 1700. and d. July 20, 1847, aged 92. Two children: Simeon, Jr.. b. in 1796, and Nancy, b. Nov. 25, 1789. Lived in Bethel, Vt.. where he d. Sept. 6. 1847. aged 89. A farmer.
v. ABIGAIL. b. Nov. 9, 1759; m. Jan. 4, 1779, John Morse, then of Cornish. Eight children. (See Morse_) She d. July 17, 1792.
vi. SALMON. b. July 14, 1761. (See sketch.)
8. vii. ITHAMAR. b. Sept. 27, 1762.
viii. BARUCH, b. March 27, 1764. A graduate of Dartmouth College; m. Ellen Wiggin, dau. of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Clement) Wiggin. Two children. Established himself in the successful practice of law at Hopkinton; was solicitor of Hillsborough Co. rive years; pres. of Merrimack Co. Bank; a much beloved and respected official citizen. He d. -March 4, 1841.
ix. ALICE, b. Oct. 17, 1765. The first white child b. in Cornish; m. April 5, 1759, Bibi L. Cotton. Three children. She was a woman of superior attainments. It is said that she could repeat the whole of Homer's Iliad and that when her brothers were in college, she kept up with each of them severally in Latin and Greek. Res. in Bethel. Vt., where she d. Nov. 29, 1S44. Several distinguished families are among her descendants.
x. SARAH, b. Sept. 14. 1767; m. Jireh Durkee. One son. Shed. in Burlington, Vt., July 2, 1825, aged 58.
xi. DANIEL CORBETT. b. Jan. 13, 1769. He never m; a physician, giving promise of great usefulness; d. at Philadelphia Aug. 14, 1798, "of Yellow Fever, which like the Plague in London, in 1665, clothed the city in Sackcloth."
xii. HEBER, b. Sept. 2, 1770. Also a physician of fine acquirements and promise, but he d. Sept. 4, 1798, in Demerara, S. A. Never m. xiii. DUDLEY, b. Dec. 30, 1771. (See sketch.)
xiv. RACHEL, b. June 10, 1773; m. June 9, 1802, Dr. Joseph A. Dennison, who was b. in Stonington, Conn., Dec. 22, 1774, and d. Sept. 4, 1855. He was a very successful physician; lived in Royalton, Vt., where they spent their lives. She d. Aug. 23, 1858, aged 84. Nine children. "The descendants of this worthy couple are numerous, all of them worthy of high places in the honorable estimation of friends. Many of them are men and women of high professional star g in various parts of the country." Their youngest son, Hon. Dudley Chase Dennison, ex.-M. C., b. Sept. 13, 1819, was living in his native town in 1904.
xv. PHILANDER, b. Dec. 14, 1775. (See sketch.)
Source: History of the Town of Cornish, Sullivan County, New Hampshire