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The Langlois Family of Prairie du Rocher Illinois

It has been difficult to trace the line of descendants of this founder of Prairie du Rocher. In a document of December 30, 1740, we learn that the late Ettienne Langlois married Catherine Beaudrau, a widow, and had the following children; Marie Louise, who married Pierre Messenger; Marie Josefine, m. Louis Populus sieur de St. Photes; Toinette, m. Pierre Boucher de Monbrum sieur de Soudray; Francois, Louis, Girard, Perine and Auguste. These last five were minors. From other sources it is learned that Ettienne had two brothers, August who lived at Kaskaskia, and Louis. What relation the notary Pierre Langlois was to these is not apparent. He was married to Catherine Normand Labriere, and had two children, Pierre and Marie Louise. The latter signed a marriage contract with Pierre Lefebhve of Vincennes, October 9, 1785. Pierre Langlois died in 1789, and his widow took oath to the inventory of the property December 14, of that...

Messenger Family of Norwich Vermont

Nathan and Nathaniel Messenger were in Norwich at an early day, the former as early as 1765, at which date he built his cabin in the meadow a little south and west of the Norwich terminus of the bridge leading to Hanover, New Hampshire. It was from this primitive home that Mrs. Messenger heard the welcome cry of the baby member of the Hutchinson family as they were about to cross the river to enter the land of promise on the Norwich side of the stream. Soon after 1766 (in which year he was a voter in town) Mr. Messenger disappeared, having been drowned in the river, it is thought. Nathaniel Messenger was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving in a New Hampshire organization, and thereafter resided in Norwich until about 1805, when he deserted his family and went to the State of New York, where he again married. His home in Norwich was in the Pompanoosuc section of the town, where, so we are informed by one of his great-grandsons, he was in trade, and built a large frame house on the road to Thetford. What the relationship was, if any existed, between Nathan and Nathaniel Messenger, is not known to us. Oliver Messenger, a son of Nathaniel, married, in 1803, Charlotte Smith, and they had two sons, Erastus and Nelson. Erastus lived for many years in the Hatch house, built in 1773, and there raised a large family of children, of whom are Norwich’s present town clerk and treasurer, George Messenger, and Charles and Nelson, residing in New...

Hutchinson Family of Norwich Vermont

Hutchinson is an old and numerous family in Norwich, as well as in other parts of the country. They were among the early settlers of Massachusetts and were in Lynn and Salem in that colony as early as 1628, or 1629. A descendant of these early colonists, named Abijah, who was a tailor, removed from Salem to Windham early in the eighteenth century. His son Samuel, born about 1719, in company with his son, John, came to Norwich in 1765. They cleared an island in the Connecticut River, opposite the present residency of John W. Loveland, and planted it with corn. In the fall of that year they returned to Connecticut, and in company with a younger son, Samuel, returned in the spring of 1766, and made a permanent settlement. The elder Samuel spent the remainder of his life in the town, and died February 8, 1809. His wife was Jemina Dunham; she died January 12, 1798. Besides the two sons named above, he had three daughters: Sarah, married Francis Smalley; Tabitha, married Jonathan Delano; Jerusha, married Nathan Roberts. They all died young,’ soon after marriage. Hutchinson, John, son of Samuel, was born in 1741, in Windham, Connecticut, and married Mary Wilson, who was born in Ashford, Connecticut, in August, 1744. He enlisted in the Continental Army, and died at Philadelphia, June 22, 1778. His widow afterwards married Solomon Strong. His children were: Jerome Hutchinson, see further; John Hutchinson, who removed to New York State, where he died; Lydia Hutchinson, who was probably the first child born in Norwich, married D. Hammond, of Thetford; Abigail Hutchinson, married Honorable John...

Baxter Family of Norwich Vermont

The Baxters of this town came here from Norwich, Connecticut, a town which their ancestors with others from Norwich, England, assisted in founding about the year 1632. Elihu Baxter, with his young wife, Tryphena Taylor, to whom he was married October 24, 1777, arrived in Norwich the same year, and here fifteen children (six daughters and nine sons) were born to them, twelve of whom lived to grow up and have families of their own. Mr. Baxter settled on the farm that subsequently became the home of Hon. Paul Brigham. He later removed to the farm where Orson Sargent lives, and there built himself a frame house, a part of which is now in use by the present owner of the property. Of his children: William Baxter, the eldest, born August 3, 1778, studied law with Hon. Daniel A. Buck of Norwich, and removed to Bennington, Vt., where he soon became the leading lawyer in that part of the state, and received many honors from his town and county. He married Lydia Ashley of Norwich, August 17, 1779, and died at Bennington October 1, 1826, aged forty nine years. Hiram Baxter settled in Bennington a little after 1800. Elihu Baxter, Jr., the third child, born in 1781, died at Portland, Me., in 1863, where he had been in the practice of medicine for many years. Chester Baxter, born in 1785, died at Sharon, Vt., in 1863. He married Hannah Root and they had one daughter who married, Deane. James Baxter, the sixth son, born in 1788, established himself at Stanstead, L. C., in 1817, where he became very prominent...

History of the Industries of Norwich VT

Although the products of the industries in Norwich have not been of great magnitude they have been quite varied in character. Such information in regard to these callings as we have been able to obtain we will present to our readers, though not in strict chronological order. Among the earliest establishments coming under this head was a grist mill established as early as 1770, by Hatch and Babcock on Blood Brook, on or near the site of the grist mill now operated by J. E. Willard, a short distance up the stream from where it empties into the Connecticut River. As has been stated in a previous chapter, it was voted at a proprietors’ meeting held September 17, 1770, to give to Joseph Hatch and Oliver Babcock the “tenth river lot on condition they execute a deed * * * * for upholding a grist mill where said gristmill now stands.” Since the ownership by Hatch and Babcock this property has been in the possession among others of Aaron Storrs, who sold it in 1793 to Doctor Joseph Lewis; Horace Esterbrook, who sold it to J. J. Morse; the latter to G. W. Kibling; Kibling to Crandall and Burbank; they to Doctor Rand of Hartford, Vt., and from the latter’s estate, J. E. Willard, the present proprietor, bought it. During Mr. Kibling‘s ownership of the property he had a department for making doors, window sashes, etc., in addition to a grist mill. In 1766, Jacob Burton built a saw mill on the north bank of Blood Brook, a little further down the stream than Messenger and Hazen‘s late tannery...

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...

Norwich Vermont in the Civil War

During the four years of war for the suppression of the Rebellion, Norwich furnished 178 different men for the armies of the Union. There were seven re-enlistments, making the whole number of soldiers credited to the town 185. By the census of 1860, the number of inhabitants was 1759. It appears, therefore, that the town sent to the seat of war rather more than one in ten of its entire population, during the four years’ continuance of hostilities. About the same proportion holds good for the state at large, Vermont contributing, out of an aggregate population of 315,116, soldiers to the number of 34,555 for the defense of the Union. Of the 178 men enlisting from Norwich, twenty-seven laid down their young lives in the service of the country. The soil of every southern state, from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, was moistened by the blood or supplied a grave to one or more of these. The town paid the larger part of these men liberal bounties, amounting to about $32,000, in addition to their state and government pay. All calls for men upon the town by the national authorities were promptly and fully met. The patriotic response of our people to the expenses and sacrifices of the war was, in general, hearty and emphatic; and yet candor and the truth of history compels us to confess that there were here, as in most other towns throughout the north, a few disloyal spirits who sympathized with the Slaveholders’ rebellion, who denounced the war from beginning to end, and who scarcely concealed their satisfaction when news came of rebel...

Norwich Vermont in the Revolutionary War

The sources of information in regard to the part taken by the town in the Revolutionary struggle are few and scanty. The earliest allusion in the town records to this important epoch of the country’s history is found in the election of a Committee of Safety at the annual town meeting, March 11, 1777. This committee was five in number: Deacon Joseph Smalley, Samuel Hutchinson, John Hatch, Captain Hezekiah Johnson and John Hopson. There is much reason to believe, however, that this was not the first Committee of Safety that acted for the town; but was a new committee selected to conform to a recommendation made to the towns in Cumberland and Gloucester Counties by the Convention at Westminster which declared the independence of Vermont the preceding January.1 It is pretty certain that a company of militia was organized in Norwich as early as the year 1774 or 1775. Of this company Peter Olcott was chosen Captain and Thomas Murdock, Ensign, doubtless by the votes of the men enrolled in the same. The company was probably a purely voluntary organization of patriotic young men, in Colonel Seth Warner‘s regiment of Rangers in 1775, in the continental service. Colonel Timothy Bedell, of Haverhill, N. H., also raised a regiment the same year for service in Canada. Fresh regiments were enlisted early in the spring of 1776, by both Colonel Bedell and Colonel Warner. Again on the 7th of March Colonel Morey writes to the New Hampshire Committee of Safety: “Some recruiting officers from Colonel Warner‘s party [regiment] have enlisted a considerable number of fine men, they had the money to...

History of the Bridges Between Hanover NH and Norwich VT

The earliest form of transportation across the Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover of which we have any information was the canoe of Nathan Messenger, who sometime in the summer of the year 1765 established a hunting camp near the bank of the river, a few rods south of where the west end of Hanover bridge now is. In this canoe the family and household goods of John Hutchinson were brought over from the Hanover side in the late fall of the same year, at the completion of their long journey from Ashford, Conn., to their new home. This family with that of Mr. Messenger, were the first white persons known to have passed the winter in Norwich, occupying together the log hut of Mr. Messenger. Jerome Hutchinson, a son of John, then a child of about three years, was fond in his old age of recounting his recollections of crossing the river on that occasion, some incidents of which never faded from his memory. The grotesque appearance in the water of an old white-faced cow (which the family had driven from Connecticut) as she swam behind the canoe during the passage of the river, was indelibly fixed in his mind. Mrs. Messenger, at her home on the Norwich side of the river, was first made aware of the arrival of the Hutchinsons by hearing the cry of their baby from the opposite bank, which she afterwards declared was “the sweetest music she ever heard, ”breaking thus unexpectedly the stillness of her solitary life in the woods. After the founding of Dartmouth College and the settlement of adjacent parts...

Norwich Vermont and Dartmouth College

Notwithstanding the fact that Norwich had for many years within its borders a collegiate institution of its own, founded and directed by its most distinguished son, the relations of their people towards Dartmouth College on the opposite bank of the Connecticut were always intimate and friendly.

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