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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...

Biography of James Oscar Sayers

James Oscar Sayers of Fisher, one of the advisory board of editors of the Champaign County History, has had an active experience in this section of the county covering a period of forty-two years. He came here as a young man possessed of no financial resources, and by hard work and constant attention to his duties has built up a mercantile business whose volume is second to none in the village. Mr. Sayers is wide awake to all things that concern this locality and is generally recognized as one of the most capable men of Champaign County. He was born in Morrow County, Ohio, April 29, 1862, the eldest of three children, a son and two daughters, of John Francis and Caroline (Banner) Sayers. The two daughters are: Rose, wife of John Priest of Ashland, Ohio; and Frances B., wife of Oscar Braderick of Fredericktown, Ohio. John F. Sayers, his father, also a native of Morrow County, Ohio, had a common school education and was a farmer by vocation. In 1865 he took his family out to Poweshiek County, Iowa, where he lived until his death in August, 1869, at the very early age of thirty-three. His widow, who was a native of Newark, New Jersey, was a young girl when taken to Ohio, afterwards returned to that state and died in Fredericktown. She was a member of the United Brethren Church. She was of Holland-Dutch stock, her father being unable to speak the English language until after the age of ten. James Oscar Sayers was about three years old when his parents moved from Ohio to Iowa, and...

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