Biographical Sketches of Citizens of Guildhall, Vermont

Taken From A History of Guildhall, Vt., Containing some account of the place - of its first settlement in 1764, and the principle improvements made, and events which have occurred down to 1886 - a period of one hundred and twenty two years with various genealogical records and biographical sketches of families and individuals some deceased, and others still living together with a brief sketch of Essex County Vermont by Everett Chamberlain Benton, a native of Guildhall, Waverly, Mass: Everett C. Benton, Publisher, 1884, Chapter 15

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Nancy Piper


Page 205

George Wheeler

Mr. Wheeler was one of the very first settlers of the town, coming in 1764. He came with David page and others as a hunter and trapper, pitching his tent on the south side of "Fisk's Pond;" he followed this life for a few years but finally became a farmer. He resided in town many years, but whether he died here we do not know. We are informed that there are no descendants of his living in the town or vicinity at the present time.

Page 205

Col. Ward Bailey

Col. Bailey, one of the 12 first settlers, appears to have been a very active and prominent man in promoting the interests and conveniences of the early settlement. He assisted in the construction of the first mills on the Mill Brook, and later built the firs mills at the village on the Connecticut. He also erected the celebrated "block house" already referred to. How long Col. Bailey remained in the town we do not know, but he was succeeded in the ownership of his lands by Hon. Eben W. Judd. During the Revolutionary War, Col Bailey was probably the most active man among the settlers; he did much toward the protection of the people and property, and was also Commander of the "Rangers" which we have previously described.

Page 206

Edward Bucknam, Esq.

Esquire Bucknam was one of the 12 first settlers; he was one of a committee appointed to survey the town into lots, and he and Mr. Thomas Darling performed that important service in the year 1787. There are probably no descendants of his in the town now.

Page 206

Col. Jonah Grout

Col. Jonah Grout was one of the 12 first settlers, but we do not know in just what year he came to town; he was a man of some note among the people of those times, but we are unable to learn very much of him. The records say that a "dispute" arose between him and the proprietors; what it was about the records do not state. There are no descendants of his in the town at this time.

Page 206

Reuben Howe

Mr. Howe, settled in town in the year 1779; we are unable to learn much of him. He at one time occupied the Pliny Rosebrook farm.

Page 206

Simon Howe

Simon Howe settled in town in 1779; he was a substantial and independent farmer and one of the pillars of the Church. He had quite a number of sons but they have, we believe, all removed west. One of his daughters was the wife of the late Mr. Anson Fisk, formerly of this town.

Page 206

Samuel Howe

Samuel Howe settled in town about 1780. His wife was the daughter of Capt. Eleazer Rosebrook; they had a large family and both lived to a good old age. He was for many years one of the most respectable substantial and active citizens of the place. Mr. Howe died in April 1842.

Page 207

Micah Amy

Micah Amy was one of the early settlers; he had, previous to coming to Guildhall, settled at Colebrook, N.H., but finally came to this place in 1775 and commenced operations where John W. Webb now resides, in Maidstone, he supposing this to be Guildhall; but it turned out to be included in the "Governor's Right" of Maidstone, and he lost his claim and improvements. His sons, John, Wm., Micah and Caleb, settled in Guildhall, and brought up families, but they have mostly removed from town.

Page 207

William Amy

William Amy known as Esq. Amy, was an excellent carpenter and millwright. His son William, also familiarly known as Capt. Amy, was a most valuable member of the Church; he died in 1845. His death was a great loss to the Church. The clerk of the Church in recording his death speaks of him as "a valuable and beloved member of the Congregational Church."

Page 207

Caleb Amy

Caleb Amy known as Maj. Amy was one of the most active militia officers of those days, and a man of the greatest integrity. He married Rebecca, daughter of Benoni Cutler; they lived in town over 60 years and removed to N.Y. state.

Page 207

James Rosebrook

Mr. Rosebrook joined the settlement in the year 1775 and remained in town as long as he lived. He attained quite a prominent position in the business affairs of the town, being entrusted with many offices of importance.

Page 208

Capt. Eleazer Rosebrook

Capt. Rosebrook was one of the early settlers, locating in 1778, and first resided on the meadow of the John P. Dennison farm, and afterwards lived on what has since been known as the James Perkins farm. During the latter part of the Revolutionary War, he was a scout and ranger. At one time he, with a party, went into Canada on a reconnoitering expedition; but they were suspected of being spies, and upon learning this fact they at once vacated. They were closely followed and obliged to resort to means to deceive their pursuers. Coming to a stream near the head waters of the Connecticut, they built a brisk fire, and then extinguished it with water, then stepped into the stream and followed it for a mile or so, and by so doing left no traces by which the Canadians could follow them, also making it appear as though they had been gone some time. The enemy concluded upon reaching this spot that it was useless to continue the chase and so returned. "Capt. Eleazer Rosebrook made the first settlement at the stie of Fabyan House in 1792. He opened there in 1803 the first house for summer visitors ever kept in the White Mountains. His son-in-law, Abel Crawford, long known as the "Patriarch of the Mountians," settled at Bemis Station in 1793. The latter's son, Ethan Allen Crawford, the most famous of the mountain pioneers, took Rosebrook's house in 1817. In 1819 he opened the first foot-path up Mount Washington. His brother, Thomas J. Crawford, opened the first bridlepath to the summit in 1840, and his father, then 75 years old rode the first horse that ever climbed the mountain."

Page 209

William Rosebrook

William Rosebrook came to Guildhall from Massachusetts; settled near the Allen farm in the south part of the town. He married Lydia Dodge; they had 17 children; ten lived to become heads of familes: Freeland, Eleazer, Dorothy, Esther, James, Lydia, Sarah, Amos, Pliny and Dexter.

Freeland married Mary Kilby and settled in Brighton, Vt., they had ten children.

Eleazer settled in Gouldsborough, Me.

Dorothy married Abel Benjamin, had 3 children, Johnathan, Abel and Mary.

Esther married Uriah Stewart and lived on the farm now occupied by I. Marshall; had three children.

James married a Miss Whipple; had five children.

Sarah married John Crawford and lived on the farm now occupied by O. Crawford, had 4 children, Chas., Sarah, Erastus and Calvin, now of Watertown, Mass.

Amos married Hannah Camp and spent their last years in Guildhall; had 3 children that lived to adult age, Emily, Elbridge and Albert.

Pliny married Elizabeth Amy and commenced farming on the hill, lived there two years, then moved to Burk, lived there 13 years; returned to Guildhall and spent the remainder of his days on the farm now owned by his sons William and Ashley; had 5 children, William, Elizabeth, Lydia, Ashley and Oril.

Dexter went west and died in Dubuque, Iowa.

Page 210

William D. Rosebrook

William D. Rosebrook, son of Pliny Rosebrook, is now one of our smart and enterprising farmers. He has been prominent in town affairs and has for many years been a valuable member of the Congregational Church. He represented the town in the State Legislature for the years 1872 and 1873, and has held many other important town offices.

Page 210-211

Hon. William Heywood

William Heywood was born in Lunenburg, Oct 6, 1804. His father, Wm. Heywood, came to Lunenburg from Charlestown, N.H. His mother came from Hardwick, Mass., her maiden name was Mary Egeny. His father was a farmer and Mr. Heywood lived with him until he was 21, laboring on the farm, except that he went to an Academy five fall terms, and kept a district school three winters. After he was 10 years old they resided most of the time in Concord. He began to study law with Hon. Charles Davis in Waterford, in the fall of 1826. Mr. Davis moved to Danville in 1828 and he went and studied with him there. In the fall of 1830 Mr. Heywood with to Detroit, Mich., and lived there about a year, and while there kept a winter school and studied law a few months with Hon. Sam'l A. Fletcher; returning to Concord he was admitted to the bar at Guildhall September Term 1831. Mr. Heywood began the practice of law at Lunenburg and remained there some four years, and moved to Guildhall in the winter of 1835 and took the place of John S. Wells, who then moved to Bangor, Me.

He was married to Susan Hibbard March 18,1834, and she died March 10, 1881. His two living children are Henry and Isabel Heywood; one child died in infancy and Francis died in the army in the late war. Mr. Heywood practiced law and kept an office at Guildhall about twenty years. He removed to Lancaster, in the spring of 1856 and has been in practice there ever since.

While he resided in Essex County he was State's Attorney for 13 years, Senator for Essex County in 1837 and 1838, was a member of the Constitutional Convention in Vt., in 1851, when considerable alterations were made in the Constitution of the Sate. About the time of Pierce's administration he was a candidate for Representative in Congress and only failed of an election from the fact that the party to which he belonged being in the minority, Elden Sabin was elected against him.

Both in Vermont and New Hampshire he has been pushed by some friends as a candidate for the Supreme Court Bench, but since he went to N.H., he has sought no office. He is esteemed a very sound, thorough and highly respectable lawyer, and has an extensive practice.

Page 211

William T. Barron

Although not long one of our townsmen, Mr. Barron was a smart, clear-headed attorney; he practiced at the bar of our court from 1845-1848, and was a promising young lawyer, but to him the field seemed hardly large enough and he removed to Chicago, Ill., where he rose to the position of Judge; but very unfortunately, about 1860 he was killed in a railroad accident.


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