Location: Windsor County VT

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...

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Biography of Doctor Horace Hatch

The son of Honorable Reuben and Eunice (Dennison) Hatch, was born at Tunbridge, Vermont, May 23, 1788. He was educated at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1814, and studied medicine at the same institution, receiving the degree of M. D. in 1817. He settled in the practice of his profession at Norwich the same year, where he pursued the active and laborious duties of a country physician for twenty years. He married January 9, 1821, Mary Yates, daughter of Thomas Smith. His children were born here. In the year, he built upon nearly the same ground where Captain Joseph Hatch had first fixed his abode, the brick dwelling house, now the residence of Mrs. Converse, widow of Doctor Shubael Converse, who in 1837 purchased the property and succeeded to the business of Doctor Hatch; the latter removing to Burlington, Vermont, where he prosecuted his profession for another period of twenty years. In 1861 Doctor Hatch accepted an appointment in the Treasury department at Washington where he continued about four years. While thus employed he rendered valuable service in visiting and relieving many sick and wounded Vermont soldiers in hospitals in and about Washington, whose days and nights of suffering were cheered by his kindly sympathy and by delicacies and comforts provided from his generous purse. In 1865 he became a resident of New York City, where he died...

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Biography of Honorable Reuben Hatch

Reuben Hatch was born at Preston, Connecticut, July 7, 1763, and came to Norwich at an early age with his father, Joseph Hatch. He entered Dartmouth College in 1782, but was unable to complete his course of studies there by reason of ill health. Afterwards he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and became a successful farmer; residing at different times at Tunbridge, Chelsea and Weathersfield. From “Life and Times of William Jarvis” we make the following extracts: “Mr. Reuben Hatch came from Norwich to Weathersfield Bow and bought the large brick house built by a Mr. Jennison, and considerable other property. He had a large family of sons and daughters. * * * Mr. Hatch also bought” (soon after, probably) “Mr. George Lyman‘s house, tavern and store,” (at the Bow) “and Mr. Lyman returned to Hartford, Conn.” “In 1801 or ’02 Mr. Francis Goodhue bought all of Mr. Hatch’s property except the Lyman house and a small store. Mr. Hatch then returned to Norwich,” [another account says he returned to Norwich in 1808.] Mr. Hatch represented Tunbridge in the General Assembly in 1792, ’93 and ’95, Chelsea in 1797, ’98 and 1801; was councilor in 1808. He was candidate for town representative from Norwich, but was defeated by Pierce Burton, and again defeated for the same office in 1812 by Dr. Israel Newton. Mr. Hatch was married to...

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Biographical Sketch of Captain Joseph Hatch

Captain Joseph Hatch came to Norwich with his elder brother, John, and located at the south end of Norwich Plain, where he built himself a log cabin on a site near the building now standing and formerly used by the late David Merrill for a paint shop. Subsequently, in 1771, he built the house on the opposite side of the way (now known as the Messenger house) which is believed to have been the first frame dwelling house erected at the Plain. He became the owner of a large amount of land, embracing much of the southern and eastern...

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Biography of John Hatch, Esq.

The elder of the brothers, John and Joseph Hatch, was born at Preston, Connecticut, June 9, 1727; came to Norwich Vermont in the earliest days of its settlement and founded his home on the hill farm owned and occupied at a later day by Deacon John Dutton. At a proprietors’ meeting at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1766, Mr. Hatch was elected one of the selectmen of Norwich; at a town meeting at the latter place, held in 1769, he was elected selectman, town clerk and one of a committee of five to lay out highways “where they shall think needful.” He held the office of town clerk continuously until 1780, except for the year 1766, when it was filled by Peter Olcott. Mr. Hatch was a practical surveyor of land, and his services were much in request for that purpose. He made the survey of Norwich into lots in 1766, and laid out in person most of the highways in town during the first twenty-five years after its settlement. In 1778 he was employed to make a survey of the town of Hartford into lots, under the direction of Benajah Strong and Israel Gillett, a committee of that town. At that time he held the office of county surveyor of Cumberland County, by the appointment of the Governor and Council of Vermont. April 10, 1772, he was commissioned a justice...

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Biography of Reverend Samuel Goddard

Mr. Samuel Goddard was born at Sutton, Massachusetts, July 6, 1772. We have no information concerning his early life. His opportunities for education are said to have been scanty. After coming to manhood he was for several years in trade with a brother in Royalston, Mass. Here he married his first wife (Abigail Goddard of Athol, a town adjoining Royalston), and here his older children were born.

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The Emerson Brothers of Norwich Vermont

About the year 1792, Elihu Emerson, just then arrived at his majority, came to Norwich Vermont from Westfield, Massachusetts; followed in 1795 by Joseph and later by Thomas, two younger brothers. These young men became heads of families, and were prominent residents in town for many years. Elihu was a blacksmith by trade, and carried on business in a shop that he built a short distance north of his residence on “Norwich Plain” For his first wife Mr. Emerson married Thankful Grant, and for his second wife Cynthia Brooks. The first wife died in 1834, aged fifty-eight years, and the second wife in 1861, aged eighty years, Mr. Emerson following them in 1873, at the advanced age of over one hundred and two years. He died at his daughter’s in Leicester, Massachusetts, from which place his remains were brought to Norwich and placed in the village cemetery. . By his first wife Mr. Emerson had three daughters: Charlotte, who married John Milton Partridge of Norwich; Harriet, who married Doctor Austin Flint, of Leicester, Massachusetts; and Julia, who never married. Mr. Emerson was a very agile man until well along in years, placing his hands on his horse’s back and mounting thereon from the ground on the seventy-first anniversary of his birth. Joseph and Thomas were inclined towards trade and speculation. Besides occupying the home field in this direction, they...

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Dutton Family of Norwich Vermont

The progenitor of this family in Norwich was Samuel Dutton, a lineal descendant of Thomas Dutton of Washington, Connecticut. Samuel Dutton was born March 1, 1707, and married Abigail Merriam, May 6, 1729. He died in Royalton, Vermont, in 1802, and his wife April 6, 1799. Mr. Dutton came from Washington, Connecticut, to Hartford, Vermont, and from the latter place to Norwich, locating on what is called Dutton hill, a little west of Norwich village. The original farm, with later additions, is now occupied by Otis Metcalf, son-in-law of the late Deacon John Dutton. Mr. Samuel Dutton married (first) Johanna Root in 1764; and (second) Rachel Benedict, in 1772, to whom were born eight children. Mr. Dutton died Feb. 22, 1813, and his wife died July 1, 1828. Daniel Benedict Dutton, son of Samuel and Rachel Dutton, was born August 22, 1773, and died at Norwich September 1, 1849, aged seventy-six years. His wife, Lorana (Smith), to whom he was married December 5, 1796 (born February 15, 1779), died September 15, 1857. From Norwich he removed to Stowe, Vermont, and remained there until just before his father’s decease, when he returned to Norwich for a short time, then returned to Stowe. In 1834 he again came to Norwich, and here died. The late Deacon John Dutton, son of Daniel B. and Lorana (born at Stowe, Vermont, August 23, 1818),...

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Biography of Doctor Ira Davis

The son of Moses Davis, Esq., was born at Dracut, Mass., probably about the year 1797 or 1798. He established himself in the practice of medicine at Norwich Plain in 1830 or 1831, and there continued till his death in March, 1873. He was in constant practice of his profession for more than thirty years.

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Biographical Sketch of Moses Davis

The records in the U. S. Pension Office show that Mr. Davis married Sarah Sawyer, at Dracut, Mass., April 6, 1785. He came to Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1806 or ’07, and from there to Norwich in 1813 or ’14. He was a soldier at the Battle of Lexington and it is supposed that he was in the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1777 he served at Fishkill on the Hudson and the next year at Valley Forge. He was one of the guards over the spy, Major Andre, one or two nights before he was executed. The aggregate of Mr. Davis‘ service in the army was over two...

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Cushman Family of Norwich Vermont

The Cushman family in New England dates from the year 1621, the first after the landing of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, when Robert Cushman, who was a prominent leader and organizer of the Plymouth Colony, brought from England the earliest recruits and supplies to the wasted and famishing settlement. A century and a half later Solomon Cushman, a descendant of Robert, in the sixth generation, born at Plympton, Mass., in 1745, having married Sarah Curtis, daughter of Simeon Curtis, at Lebanon, Conn., in 1768, removed to Norwich, probably in company with the Curtis family. Solomon Cushman (afterward known as Captain Solomon) was in those days a famous hunter and marksman, the terror of bears and catamounts. He once shot and killed a deer at a distance of seventy-two rods 11166 feet. In the war of the Revolution he served three years as lieutenant in the Norwich militia in the campaign of 1777 against Burgoyne, and the following two years on the northern frontier as captain of a company of Rangers in the regiment of Colonel Timothy Bedel of Haverhill, N. H. His health was much broken as a result of his service in the army. In 1784 he removed to Tunbridge, Vt., where he died in 1799, at the age of fifty-four. His son, Benjamin H. Cushman, born in Norwich, recently died at Tunbridge, upwards of ninety years...

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Biographical Sketch of Rear-Admiral George A. Converse

Born at Norwich, May 13, 1844, son of Dr. Shubael and Louvia (Merrill) Converse; was a cadet at Norwich University from 1859 to 1861; graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1864, with the highest honors in a class of 64 members; attached to the European squadron, 1865- ’69, 1870-9 and 1883-85; instructor at the torpedo station at Newport, R. I.; in command of the U. S. S. Montgomery during the war with Spain; now chief of the bureau of navigation, U. S. Navy. He married Laura Shelby Blood, daughter of Henry and Laura (Shelby) Blood, to whom were born several daughters. Admiral Converse‘s great ability in his chosen profession has received merited recognition from his brother...

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Biography of Doctor Shubael Converse

The son of Shubael and Phoebe Converse was born at Randolph, Vt., September 7, 1805. He studied his profession with Doctor R. D. Mussey of Hanover, N. H., and at Dartmouth College, graduating at that institution in 1828. Soon after he settled in Strafford, where he resided in the practice of medicine until 1837, when he purchased the business and homestead of Doctor Horace Hatch at the southern border of Norwich village, and removing there was engaged in the active pursuit of his professional duties for a period of thirty years, until his sudden decease August 6, 1867. Doctor Converse possessed in a high degree the respect and confidence of the community, both as a citizen and a physician. A man of enlightened views and much public spirit, he was especially interested in the cause of popular education. He was superintendent of schools in Norwich from 1846 to 1854, and again in 1855 and 1856. After the removal of Norwich University to Northfield in 1866, he was prominent in establishing the Norwich Classical and English Boarding School the following year. He represented the town in the legislature in 1845 and 1846 and was chosen a Senator from Windsor County in 1855 and 1856. Among other young men who pursued medical studies with Doctor Converse at Norwich were Doctor Henry Baxter of Highgate and Doctor Charles D. Lewis of Kentucky....

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Curtis Family of Norwich Vermont

Simeon Curtis came to Norwich from Lebanon, Connecticut, as early as the year 1773, in which year he was elected one of the town assessors, and located near the south line of the town, on the farm where Henry S. Goddard now lives. Mr. Curtis died in 1779 at the age of fifty-eight years, and his grave is found in the old cemetery at Norwich village among the graves of other early settlers and near that of his gifted son, Abel Curtis, who survived his father only four years. But little is now known of the Curtis family, as its last representatives seem to have disappeared from town more than half a century ago. The maiden name of Mrs. Simeon Curtis was Sarah Hutchinson, and the home of the family was at ”Lebanon Crank” as it was called, or that part of Lebanon which is now Columbia, Conn., and which was the immediate locality of Moor’s Indian Charity School founded by Doctor Eleazer Wheelock, out of which grew Dartmouth College. Captain Solomon Cushman, who came to Norwich the same year with Simeon Curtis, had married in 1768, at Lebanon Crank, Sarah Curtis, probably a daughter of Simeon Curtis. He removed to Tunbridge, Vt., in 1784, where he was preceded several years by Elias Curtis, another son of Simeon, who had previously lived in Norwich, and where two or more...

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Biography of Abel Curtis

In the abundance of able men that adorned the first twenty-five years of the history of the town, there is no more brilliant name than that of Abel Curtis. He was a son of Simeon Curtis and came with his father from Lebanon, Conn., where he was born June 13, 1755. The son graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1776, being the first graduate from this town, one year earlier than the Rev. Asa Burton. Abel Curtis is first mentioned in connection with town affairs in November, 1778, when he was chosen delegate to the Cornish convention of December following, in company with Peter Olcott and Nathaniel Brown. From this time until his death in 1783, a period full of important events shaping the future of state and country, he was prominent in all the transactions of the town, representative for three years in the legislature; serving on many committees; delegate to Congress in 1782, with Ira Allen and Jonas Fay; assistant judge of the county court in 1782; delegate to the Charlestown convention of January, 1781, sitting at Windsor, by the joint action of which with the legislature of Vermont, the second union of New Hampshire towns was effected on the 22nd of February, following; delegate to the Thetford convention of June 1782, by which he was commissioned agent of the towns of Hartford, Norwich, Bradford,...

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