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 in 1790, aged 22 years, and his second wife in 1825, aged 48 years.
Jasper was born October 5, 1759. It is likely that he came to Norwich with his father. He erected at Norwich Plain an elegant private residence (said to have been one of the finest, at that time, in the state), with large and attractive grounds, in which were a fish pond, where Charles E. Ensworth‘s barn stands, and a flower garden that occupied a large part of Mr. Ensworth‘s dooryard. (Mr. Ensworth‘s mother, who lived in those days, told her son the tale of the fish pond and the flower garden, and it is from him we get the story.) The water to supply the pond was conveyed in bored logs from a spring a little east of the creamery at the north part of the village. Several years since, while Mr. J. S. Currier was digging a ditch on his premises, he came across some of the logs, which were then in a fair state of preservation.
Mr. Murdock‘s enclosure included the present premises of Mr. Ensworth and Dr. Bowles, and extended westerly far enough to take in the premises where Mrs. Burton and Mrs. Norton reside, and, perhaps, the Armstrong meadow.
Attached to the main body of the house were two wings, the south one, (after its removal to its present site, where it is the residence of Charles E. Ensworth) became the abiding place of Judge Aaron Loveland, and in the north one Charles Hutchins kept store. At a later period the north wing was the family home of James S. Currier until its destruction, by fire, Dec. 29, 1889, which conflagration consumed the adjoining main part of the, Murdock mansion (then owned by Dr. W. S. Bowles) and the abutting brick building on the south, erected by John Wright, Esq., in 1828.
At one time Dr. Ira Davis kept the post office in the south room of the Currier house, and in the room on the floor over the post office, Captain Alden Partridge was robbed, about 1824, of about $1,700 by one Crowningshield, a cadet at the military school.
Mr. Murdock married (first) Sarah Olcott, in 1786, by whom he had one child, and (second), Margaret Olcott, daughters of Hon. Peter Olcott. For his third wife he married Martha, daughter of Rev. Lyman Potter. Himself and family, .with Mr. Potter and his family, removed to Ohio in 1801, and there he died in 1803.
The house where Joseph Simoneau lives was Mr. Murdock‘s barn, and was sold to Col. James Dana, who moved it to its present location and converted it into a dwelling.