Collection: History of Norwich VT

Biographical Sketch of General Lewis S. Partridge

General Lewis S. Partridge, son of Abel and Alpa (Lewis) Partridge, was born in Norwich, Vt., in 1818, a year prolific in the birth of sons in town. In early life he served in clerkships in mercantile business in Norwich, and in Hanover and Claremont, New Hampshire. He became a cadet at Norwich University in 1833, remaining there until 1836. Later on he entered into mercantile business on his own account in his native town. He was at one time proprietor of the “Union Hotel,” at Norwich. From early life Mr. Partridge took an active part in politics and...

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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....

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Biography of Captain Alden Partridge

The subject of this sketch was the second son of Samuel, Jr. and Elizabeth (Wright) Partridge, and was born at Norwich, Feb. 12, 1785, on the farm where his father and grandfather located when they came to this town. He remained at home, doing the work that fell to the lot of the sons of New England farmers in those days, until he entered Dartmouth College in 1802. He continued his course in college until 1805, when he entered the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, being the first person from his native town to enter that institution....

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Partridge Family of Norwich Vermont

Samuel Partridge, Sr., was born in Preston, Connecticut, in 1721. He married Ruth Woodward, and with her and seven of their children (one son remaining in Connecticut to care for the “old folks”) came to Norwich for a permanent settlement about 1765, and settled on a hill farm about one mile west from Norwich village, which farm remained in the possession of the Partridge family for three generations, until sold by the representatives of the estate of Abel Partridge, of the third generation, to the late Deacon John Dutton, who demolished the old mansion. The farm is now owned by the widow of the late Ambrose Currier. By a commission issued by his ”Excellency, Henry Moore, Baronet, Captain General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the Province of New York,” etc., bearing date, the 30th September, 1776, Mr. Partridge was made a lieutenant in the “Regiment of Militia Foot, to consist of the Inhabitants of Norwich in the County of Cumberland, in the Province of New York.” Mr. Partridge died in Norwich Aug. 24, 1826, aged eighty-five years, and his wife passed away April 29, 1786, in the sixty-seventh year of her age. To them were born: Elisha Partridge, who married Margaret, a daughter of Mr. Thomas Murdock, Nov. 14, 1765. Samuel Partridge, Jr., married Elizabeth Wright, daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth (Bliss) Wright, Dec. 6, 1770. Alden Partridge. Isaac...

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Biographical Sketch of Rev. N. R. Nichols

Rev. N. R. Nichols was pastor of the Congregational church at Norwich village from February, 1880, to May, 1904, after completing a seven years’ pastorate at Barnet, Vermont, which was preceded by brief pastorates at Westfield, Massachusetts, and Acworth, New Hampshire. During his term of nearly a quarter of a century here in Norwich, Mr. Nichols faithfully cared for the interests committed to his charge, as the one hundred and ninety-five accessions to his church during his pastorate amply indicate. Not alone to matters connected with his church did he give his attention, but, as well, to those of...

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Murdock Family of Norwich Vermont

Hon. Thomas Murdock removed to Norwich from Preston, Connecticut, as early as 1767 (in which year he was recorded a voter in town), and located on the farm a little north of Norwich Plain and subsequently occupied by Jared Goodell, George Blanchard, Harvey Knights, and now by Judd Leonard. He married Elizabeth Hatch (sister of John and Joseph Hatch, early settlers in Norwich), to whom were born: Asahel, Constant, Jasper, Thomas, Jr., Anna, who became the wife of Ebenezer Brown, Esq., the first lawyer to locate in Norwich, and Margaret, who married Elisha Partridge, November 14, 1765. Mr. Murdock was prominent in both state and local matters, the offices held by him being noticed in other chapters of this book. He died Dec. 5, 1803, followed by his wife in 1814. Asahel, the eldest son, was a voter in Norwich as early as 1782. He married Elizabeth Starkweather in 1779, and they became the parents of six children. He returned to Connecticut in 1800. Constant was a voter in Norwich as early as 1784. By his first wife, Sarah Jewett, he had one child, and by his second wife, Lucy Riley, he had eight children. His home was in the fine residence now occupied by Albert Davis, on the hill a little north of Norwich village. He died in Norwich in 1828, aged 67 years. His first wife died...

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Biographical Sketch of Deacon Israel Newton

The inventor of the well known medical preparations widely known as “Newton’s Bitters,” “Newton’s Pills,” &c, and sold extensively for many years throughout New England and New York, died here in Norwich in January, 1856, seventy-three years of age. Doctor Newton was a thoroughly educated physician, though not in general practice of his profession, and was much respected as a man and a citizen. Besides his medicines, which were valuable, he invented and built a church organ, which was placed in the old first church and was there used for many years. 1At a town meeting held at Norwich, March 25, 1814, it was “Voted that the town willing to have an organ put into the meeting house.” He was gifted with rare mechanical skill, which he exhibited in many ways to the benefit of man-kind. His name and memory deserve this passing word. Doctor Newton held many town offices, and in 1814 represented the town in the general assembly. He was a prominent member of the Congregational church, of which he was one of the deacons for about twenty-five years, beginning in 1812. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and the last of those soldiers to die in Norwich. Footnotes:   [ + ] 1. ↩ At a town meeting held at Norwich, March 25, 1814, it was “Voted that the town willing to have an organ put into...

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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...

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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....

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Loveland Family of Norwich Vermont

One of the farms in Norwich still (1904) owned and occupied by descendants bearing the name of the original settlers, belongs in the Loveland family. Joseph Loveland was born in 1747, in Connecticut; moving from that state to Dartmouth College, Hanover township, New Hampshire, where he enlisted to reinforce the Continental Army at Ticonderoga. In 1778 he settled on a now fertile farm, about a mile and a half from Norwich village, building a home a little off the river road. Ten of his thirteen children were born in town, and six of them made, during most of their...

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Biographical Sketch of Doctor Enos Lewis

The youngest son of Dr. Joseph and Experience (Burr) Lewis, was born at Norwich, Jan. 19, 1784; studied medicine with his father and at Dartmouth Medical College, where he graduated in 1804; surgeon in the U. S. Army, 1808-1810; afterwards practiced his profession in Norwich. He married Katurah, daughter of Beebe Denison of Stonington, Connecticut, at Norwich, June 28, 1812, by whom he had five children. Doctor Lewis died at his home in Norwich, on the site of the residence of the late George W. Kibling, September 14, 1823. He was a scholarly man, of sterling integrity, and took...

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Biography of Doctor Joseph Lewis

Doctor Lewis was the son of William and Naomi Lewis was born at Old Lyme, Connecticut, in November, 1746, and came to Norwich, Vermont, in 1767. During his minority young Lewis showed a fondness for the study of medicine and devoted much of his time during the last years previous to his leaving Connecticut to the study of that science. After settling in Norwich he devoted a year or two to further study, after which he commenced the practice of medicine and continued in practice for more than fifty-five years. During a large portion of this time (from 1785 to 1820) his practice was large, and extended not only through Norwich but into Thetford, Sharon, Hartford and Strafford in Vermont, and to Lebanon, Hanover and Lyme, New Hampshire. The larger part of this practice was performed on horseback. In the winter when the roads became impassable for horses, the doctor resorted to snow shoes, guided through the wilderness by blazed trees; always ready to do what he could to relieve the suffering and the ills of the settlers of those days. No plea of inclement weather or poor health was made in order to shirk his duty in visiting the sick. The poor and destitute were welcome to his services and none who showed a desire to pay were pressed to do so. Doctor Lewis was married in 1771...

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Lewis Family of Norwich Vermont

William Lewis and family, consisting of his wife, Naomi, five sons and three daughters, (Joseph, his eldest son, having been a citizen of the town for some years) came to Norwich in 1781 or 1782 from Windsor, Hartford county, Connecticut, and settled on a farm now owned by Benjamin Clifford, where he resided for a number of years. In 1787 he purchased the farm now occupied by John W. Hutchinson. From time to time he added to it by purchase until at his death it contained 250 acres of good land, mostly covered with a large growth of timber. This farm came into the possession of Noah Lewis, youngest son of William (by will), who owned and occupied it until 1815, when he sold it to Moses Davis, for $3,000, and himself and family immigrated to Kentucky. This farm remained in possession of the Davis family for more than forty years. Mr. Lewis was by trade a blacksmith and carried on that business for a number of years in a shop that stood near where O. W. Hazen lately lived. From the time Mr. Lewis became a citizen of the town he took an active part in the management of its affairs. He was chosen moderator and selectman in 1784 and ’85, and again moderator and selectman in 1786, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’95 and ’96. Mr. Lewis...

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Biography of General William E. Lewis

Gen. William E. Lewis, son of Dr. Enos Lewis was born here May 25, 1815. He married, March 26, 1846, Ruby W., daughter of Hezekiah Hazen, to whom were born six children, two of whom died in early life; the remaining ones, two sons and two daughters, are established in homes of their own. General Lewis was in public office as early as 1838, and thereafter was continuously in town office until the time of his decease, January 5, 1892, during that period serving in nearly every elective office within the gift of his people. He was town clerk...

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Johnson Family of Norwich Vermont

The Johnson Family were numerously represented in the early history of the town. Of this family there were several branches. Captain Hezekiah Johnson was an original proprietor of the town and one of its earliest settlers. He settled on the north bank of the Pompanoosuc River near its mouth and fixed his residence where Mr. Richard Waterman now lives. Captain Johnson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, May 12, 1724, but emigrated to Norwich from Mansfield, Connecticut. He married, at Mansfield, Dorothy Slafter, sister of Deacon John Slafter, January 25, 1750. He was in the fullest sense one of the “fathers of the town.” He was chosen selectman in 1765, ’67, ’68 and 78 and during the fifteen years following the settlement of Norwich held all the most important town offices. He was a member of a committee appointed by the town that laid out most of the earliest roads in town; was also one of the town committee of safety during the Revolutionary war. He gave to the town land for the old burial ground (about two acres), which lies opposite the place of his residence on the south bank of Pompanoosuc river, where his own and the remains of his family are buried, together with many of the early settlers of the northern portion of the town. He gave liberally to the endowment of Dartmouth College in 1770...

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