History of the Town of Wolcott (Connecticut) from 1731 to 1874, with an account of the Centenary Meeting, September 10th and 11th 1873; and with the Genealogies of the Families of the Town

By Rev. Samuel Orcutt

Waterbury, Conn: Press of the American Printing Company, 1874

[under construction, by Robert A. Kraft (September 2003); new materials added 21mr07; much reformatting and proofreading still needed ]



My acquaintance with the Town of Wolcott began in May, 1872. After preaching there a few Sabbaths, with no expectation of continuing in the place, I became interested in the history of the church by discovering that its Centenary would occur in 1873. I soon after accepted an invitation to supply the pulpit for one year. After a few months' labor in the parish, the idea of writing a brief history of the Congregational Church and Society was entertained, and the work was commenced with the expectation that it would not exceed two hundred pages. From that beginning the present volume has grown, and is, therefore, a little different in plan and style from what it would have been if the original design had included so large a field.

The work necessary to the making of this book has been performed with the greatest pleasure, though prosecuted, much of the time, under circumstances of disadvantage and discouragement. Now that it is done, I have no apologies to offer; nor have I any regrets to express, save that the people who form the subject of this volume have not received from my pen as high commendation as they deserve.

The labor has been performed within the space of two years, and has rather aided than hindered parish duties. In the commencement, it was as the Spring-time, full of [[iv]] buds and blossoms of hope; but in the closing it has seemed as Autumn. A shade of sadness has touched my mind as I have taken leave of one and another, individuals and families, when they passed from study and research; for, after so much thought expended upon them, it seemed as if they were friends and neighbors among whom I had spent my days, and I was at last attending their funeral services. The summing up of life, for each one of them, has seemed written in great characters before the mind. in the proverbial expression: "Born, lived, and died." And wherever the mind looks in review of the past, the epitome of history seems recorded in the repetition of this form. Yet in remembering the good of the past (and in fulfilling the responsive feelings of the heart), it is a comfort, if nothing more can be said, to repeat this form, and in it cherish the memory of those who have completed the routine of its
unchangeable decrees: -- "Born, lived, and died."

The style of the work is without ornament, because the times and the character of the persons forming the subject-matter of the history are better represented thus than otherwise. Of the times and circumstances through which the early settlers passed, there can be but one opinion: they were rigorously hard. Although the number who lived to be over three score and ten is large, yet to most of them, life meant hard work with many privations, plain food with scanty allowance at times, little clothing, and that of the plainest kind, restricted to the fashion of two seasons. Of the character of these ancestors, a good summary, in a few words, is given by Dr. Henry Bronson,in his History of Waterbury: "Individually, our Puritan ancestors were very much such men as [[v]] we are; little better, no worse. They were bred in a rigorous age, and were exposed to peculiar hardships, dangers, and temptations. Yet, on the whole, they, like us, were average men" (page 323). In one thing, however, it seems to me they have the pre-eminence, namely, in faithfulness to moral and religious convictions. Modesty, honesty, and integrity in the profession of the Christian religion, might have been written over nearly every man's door, to be read by all the world.

It will be observed that the genealogy of a few families is wanting. The cause of this, in every case, is the want of sufficient information to make a respectable represention of the family. The Blakeslee family was among the first in the parish, but no records could be obtained until it was too late to introduce them in their proper order. I have
hope of including them in the history of another town where their number is larger than in Wolcott. The Ponds and the Baileys were influential and leading families for some years. They are all now gone from the town, and no records have been obtained of them. A few families early in the parish, disappeared so soon that no connected account of them could be obtained. Also, a few came in about 1800, tarried a few years, then joined the grand army which for two or three generations has been steadily marching Westward.

The limited number of subscribers, and hence of copies printed, has compelled the laying aside of all illustrations, after considerable preparation had been made for their publication. This has been to myself and others a source of great regret.

In acknowledging my obligations to the very kind [[vi]] friends who have rendered special aid in this work, it is pleasant to say that all have cheerfully contributed information and encouragement as they were able, and have urged that the book be made as perfect as possible, even though the price of it should be increased. In fulfilling this last desire its publication has been delayed nearly six months. I am specially indebted to Rev. Joseph Anderson, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Waterbury, who has taken much interest in the work from the first, and has rendered very valuable assistance. Also, to Frederick B. Dakin, Esq., of the Waterbury American, a practical book-maker, under whose supervision the volume was printed. The following persons have also rendered special service to the work: Messrs. A. Bronson Alcott, Frank B. Sanborn, and William Ellery Channing, of Concord, Mass.; Judge William E. Curtiss, of New York; Hon. Leman W. Cutler, of Watertown; Hon. Birdsey G. Northrop, of New Haven; E. Bronson Cook, Esq., Editor of the Waterbury American; Hon. Elihu Burritt, of New Britain; Rev. William H. Moore, of Berlin; Rev. Heman R. Timlow, and Messrs. Gad Andrews, Simeon H. Norton, and Isaac Burritt, of Southington; Rev. William R. Eastman, of Plantsville; the late Ralph L. Smith, Esq., of Guilford; Mr. Aaron G. Atkins, of Chenango County, N. Y.; Mr. Lucas C. Hotchkiss, of Meriden; Mrs. Lucina Holmes and Mrs. Lucina Lindsley, of Waterbury.

WATERBURY, November 10th, 1874.


First Settlers - Formation of the First Society - Assembly Act - Warnings - First Meeting - Adjourned Meetings.

Committee to Stick the Stake -- Notification - Order of the Court - The Deed - The House Built - Officers Chosen in 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774

Grant of a Tax - First Call, Mr. Jackson - Second Call, Mr. Gillet - Organization of the Church - Declarations - First Members - The Ordination of Mr. Gillet.

Graduate of Yale - His Father - A Library - Church Discipline - Revival - Results, Repairs on Meeting House, Singing, Additions - Mr. Gillet at Home - His Salary - He closes his Labors - Doings of the Council.

The Call - Letter of Acceptance - Subscription - His Labors - Completion of the Meeting House - Dedication - Mr. Woodward's Salary - Rate Bill - His Death.

The Call - His Ordination - The Ball - His Labors - His Death - Mr. [[viii]] Keys - Urgent Invitations - The Council - Dr. Beecher's Sermon - Sunday School - Efficiency of the Church - Mr. Keys' Resignation and Dismissal.

The Meeting House full - Payment of Debts - Improvement in Singing - Deacon Isaac Bronson - His Gratuitous Labors Five Years - Journal of Rev. Erastus Scranton - The Revival - Dr. Wm. A. Alcott - Sunday School - Procuring a Bell - Subscription - Improvement of the Meeting House - Rev. Nathan Shaw - Rev. Seth Sacket - Rev. W. F. Vail - Pew-holders according to Age.

Anti-slavery - Burning of the Meeting House - Second Society Organized - Efforts to Rebuild the Church - A Council Called, its Findings - Mr. Chapman Dismissed - Difficulties Settled - Rev. Zephaniah Swift - Rev. A. C. Beach - His Settlement - His Labors - His Dismissal.

Mr. Rogers' Settlement - His Illness - He Resigns - Rev. Lent S. Hough - Letter of Commendation - A Communion Service - Revised Articles of Faith - Mr. Hough Closes his Labors - Rev. Mr. Fiske - He Resigns after Three Years - Rev. S. Orcutt - The Home Missionary Society.

The List of Ministers - List of Deacons - Clerks of the Church - Moderators - Clerks of the Society - Treasurers - Prudential Committees - School Committes - Members of the Church.


Episcopalians Early in Wolcott - Withdrawal from the First Society - Call for the First Meeting - Minutes of the First Meeting - Officers - Building a House of Worship - A Site Given by the Town - The House Built. [[ix]]

Early Records - A List of Ministers - Clerks - Society Committees - Wardens - Vestry Men.


Votes of the Society - A Memorial-Act of the Assembly - The Poor - First Town Meeting - Hills of Wolcott - Streams in Wolcott.

Farmington Part - Waterbury, Part - Wolcott Center in 1800 - The Public Green - The Will Place - Atkins' Will - Woodtick - Hotels - Highways.

The Districts - Expenses - Will of Addin Lewis - Whipping Post - Law - Small Pox - Burying Grounds - Yankee Peddlers - Taxes.

List of Freemen - Town Officers - State Officers - Revolutionary Soldiers - Soldiers in the Late War.


John Alcock,
Capt. John Alcox,
A. Bronson Alcott,
Dr. Wm. A. Alcott,
Rev. Wm. P. Alcott,
Joseph Atkins, Senr.,
Dea. Joseph Atkins,
Rev. A. C. Beach,
Rev. J. W. Beach,
Dea. Isaac Bronson,
Timothy Bradley,
Rev. James D. Chapman,
Rev. W. C. Fiske,
Judah Frisbie,
Rev. Alexander Gillet,
Rev. Timothy Gillet,
Dea. Aaron Harrison,
Rev. Lucas Hart,
Lucas C. Hotchkiss,
Rev. Lent S. Hough, [[x]]
Capt. Heman Hall,
Ephraim Hall,
Dr. Ambrose Ives,
Rev. John Keys,
Simeon H. Norton,
Dr. John Potter,
Rev. Nathan Shaw,
Seth Thomas,
Rev. Benoni Upson, D. D.,
Rev. Henry E. L. Upson,
Rev. Israel B. Woodward,

Opening of the Meeting,
Remarks by Rev. A. C. Beach,
" " A. Bronson Alcott,
" " Editor E. B. Cook,
" " Hon. B. G. Northrop,
" " Rev. W. H. Moore
" " Simeon H. Norton.
List of Aged Persons,
The Centenary Poem,
Wolcott People removed to Meriden,
Isaac Burritt's remarks,
Hon. Elihu Burritt's remarks,
Judge W. E. Curtiss' remarks,
George W. Seward's "
Dea. Samuel Holmes' "
Rev. Mr. Hillard's "

Alcott, 425
Atkins, 439
Barnes, 446
Bartbolomew, 449
Beecher, 450
Bradley, 453
Brockett, 456
Brooks, 457
Bronson, 458
Brown, 464
Byington, 465
Carter, 467
Churchill, 471
Curtiss, 472
Fairclough, 473
Finch, 475
Frisbie, 477
Frost, 480
Gillet, 482
Hall, 485
Harrison, 490
Higgins, 497
Hitchcock, 499
Hopkins, 500 [[xi]]
Hotchkiss, 502
Hough, 506
Johnson, 508
Kenea, 509
Lane, 511
Lewis, 513
Lindsley, 5119
Merrill, 520
Minor, 521
Moulthrop, 525
Munson, 528
Nichols, 529
Norton, 531
Pardee, 536
Parker, 538
Peck, 540
Plumb, 541
Potter, 544
Pritchard, 545
Richards, 548
Rogers, 550
Root, 552
Rose, 553
Scarritt, 555
Seward, 556
Slater, 556
Smith, 557
Somers, 558
Sperry, 559
Sperry, 559
Stevens, 560
Sutliff, 561,
Thomas, 563
Todd, 564
Tuttle, 570
Twitchell, 575
Upson, 578
Wakelee, 592
Warner, 594
Welton, 598
Wiard 607



Amidst the rugged hills in the northernmost corner of New Haven County, just on the edge of the extensive granite district which spreads through the western part of Connecticut, lies the town of Wolcott.  It covers an area measuring six miles from north to south, by about three front east to west, and contains within its limits higher ground than any that lies south of it in the State.  In its external features it is a good representative of those rural towns of New England which have failed, for whatever reason, to keep abreast of the age in its rapid onward movement.  On the plateau at the center of the town stand two churches of that nondescript style of architecture so often seen amidst New England bills ; one of them in good repair, through the kindness of out­side friends, the other closed and going to decay.  The Green which lies between these edifices is skirted by dwelling-houses, which have the look of having seen bet­ter times,-amongst these the remains of a flourishing country store, and of an equally flourishing tavern.  There is the same look of incipient decay upon many of the houses of the town, some of which are still waiting for their first coat of paint.  To one who wanders up and down these hills, on a sunless Autumn afternoon, the ef­fect is monotonous and depressing, and even in the pleas­antest Summer days there is but little that is interesting in these remnants of a farm life which must, at its best, have been unusually prosaic and dreary.

         Not alone in its external appearance, but also in its [[xiii]] history, is Wolcott a fair specimen of the rural towns of Connecticut, There are the same noteworthy features in its earlier period ; there is the same steady growth up to a certain point ; and then, after the transition from agri­culture to manufactures has fully set in the State at large, there is the same gradual decline.  The hills of Wolcott, although lying midway between Farmington and the Manhan or Meadows of the Naugatuck, received scarcely a passing thought from the pioneers who settled Waterbury, and whose chief attraction in this quarter consisted in the open meadow-land which they had here discovered stretching along both sides of the river.  The first permanent settlement by the Farmington colonists was made in the valley, and it was only by slow degrees that the population spread backward from the central basin, and extended up the hills.  In course of time, however, as more land for farming purposes was required, the hill country came to be occupied, and the territory lying between Farmington and Waterbury (and there­fore called Farming-bury, according to the old Connecti­cut method of constructing place-names), naturally took the providence in this respect.  As early as 1731, there were residents within the limits of what is now called Wolcott, but it was not until eighty-two years after the First Church in Waterbury was organized that a separate church was established in Farmingbury; and not until 1796 was Farmingbury incorporated as a town, and named Wolcott (after the Lieutenant-Governor, who, as Speaker of the Assembly, gave it the benefit of his casting vote).

Attaining to the dignity of a separate existence so shortly before the great transition which has been referred to began, the period during which Wolcott could be con­sidered a flourishing town was necessarily brief.  As ap­pears from several statements in the following pages, it attained its highest prosperity during the first decade of the present century.  The parish was then one of the strong­est in the county; the Society had over two hundred tax-payers [[xiv]] on its list, and the attendance at public worship was so large that the meeting-house was habitually crowded.  But the population of the town, which num­bered nine hundred and fifty-two in 1810, diminished steadily from decade to decade, until, in 1870, it num­bered only four hundred and ninety-one ; so that at the last census Wolcott was in respect of population one of the three smallest towns in Connecticut.  The population of Waterbury, on the other hand, which in 1800 numbered 3256, but which in 1810 had been reduced to 2784, or less than three times that of Wolcott, received within the next ten years a fresh impulse from the development of new industries within the limits of the town, and has continued to increase from year to year, until it now numbers over fifteen thousand, and is therefore thirty times as great as that of Wolcott.  In comparison, then, with its sister town, not only, but in comparison with most of the towns in the State, Wolcott seems, even to its own inhabitants, insignificant,- so much so that the author of this volume was, in the course of his inquiries, frequently greeted with the remark, "What can you find here of which to make a history?  What can you say of Wolcott-the last place on earth that will interest anybody ?" It was dif­ficult, indeed, to make people feel that such a place could have a history which any practical person would care to hear about.  But this goodly volume, with its varied con­tents, proves not only that the old town upon the hills, now in its decadence, has a history, but that its history is of great interest and value,-partly because of the exam­ple its people have set of quiet, heroic living, and partly because of the impress it has made on the character and career of the nation by the men it has sent forth into other parts of the land.

In view of this last-mentioned fact, it is eminently proper that so large a part of this volume should be occu­pied with biographical sketches of men born and reared on the Wolcott hills.  These sketches constitute one of [[xv]]  the most interesting and valuable portions of the book.  In the biographies of such men as the Rev. Messrs.  Gillette and Woodwind, Deacons Aaron Harridan and Isaac Brandon, Dr. Ambrosia Vies, Seth Thomas, Judas Frisbie-a soldier of the Revolution -and, especially, Dr. William A. Alcott and Mr. A. Bronson Alcott, we find represent­ed the utmost diversity of experiences and the most varied types of character.  Some of these were remark­able for their intellectual ability, others for their enter­prise, others for their philanthropic spirit or their piety ; but, in the case of most of them, their broad and fruitful lives were in striking contrast with the sterile country and the contracted sphere in which they had their birth and training.  In none of these men is the contrast more marked than in him whose biography fills the largest space in the following pages, but who still lingers amongst us, Mr. Bronson Alcott of Concord.  It is a strange transformation, that by which the farmer boy of Spindle Hill, having served his time as a peddler of Yan­kee notions in eastern Virginia, becomes the father of ed­ucational reform in America, a leader of the Transcend­ental school of New England philosophers, the intimate friend of Thoreau and Emerson, and the silver-tongued conversationalist, whose monologues on lofty themes at­tract and charm the selectest spirits of the East and the West. The biographical portion of the book, though large, is not the largest.  Of its six hundred pages, a hundred and fifty-four are devoted to the history of the Congregation­al church and society ; and this is the natural result not simply of the plan according to which the work was put together, but of the prominent position held by church and religion in the life of the people.  In this, as in almost every old town in New England, the history of the commu­nity is to a large extent the history of the church, its meeting-houses and its ministers; and we are thus taught, more impressively than by any deliberate presentation of [[xvi]] the subject, how the fathers of four score years ago de­voted their thought to theology and their lives to religion.

Besides the history of the two churches, and the bio­graphical sketches, we have in the volume an account of the civil history of the town, a full report of the varied exercises of the Centennial Meeting, and a hundred and eighty pages of genealogies.  In each of these divis­ions of the work there is evidence of the industrious research and faithful labors of the author.  He has brought to this work, not indeed a facile pen, but a great fondness for antiquarian investigation and a warm sym­pathy with old-time phases of life and thought ; and the result is a book which is readable not because of its pol­ished periods, but because of its pictures of the past, so full of local coloring, and for a certain simplicity and quaintness of style, imparting to the Fage that flavor so well known to all readers of town and county histories.  Among such histories this volume is destined to hold a creditable place.  The extent of the class of books to which it belongs, no one can apprehend until he exam­ines the work of Ludewig on the "Literature of Ameri­can Local History" (published in 1946), and considers how many local histories have appeared since that bibli­ography was compiled.  To this extensive and steadily increasing literature the present volume constitutes a substantial addition.  It calls attention once more to the minutest details of the old Connecticut life; it increases the store of available materials from which the future his­tories of America must draw their most valuable facts and illustrations.

In scanning these pages, the reader is impressed not only with the prominence of the ecclesiastical element in the life. of this old community, but also with the influence upon the people of the ecclesiastical system to which they adhered.  The period most fully portrayed was one in which church councils, and the consociations which [[xvii]] they represented, were recognized as possessing power. Their advisory function had all the force of authority, as may be seen in the declaration recorded on pages 120-122, and its reception by the Wolcott church and society.  It was a time in which the fellowship of the churches was something more than a name and a formality.  In all acts of fellowship between the Wolcott church and its neighbors, the church in Waterbury took part; for this old parish held to the other the relation of mother and sister at once, and made its influence felt in a beneficent way.  It is to the writer of this a gratifying fact that the pleasant relations so long existing have suffered no real interruption, and that he is permitted as the representa­tive of the older organization, which still seems young and vigorous, to bespeak for the younger, as it seems to grow weak with age, the attention and sympathy of this new and busy generation.  As pastor of the "First Church" of this whole region, I have a special interest in this his­tory of the church and people of Wolcott; and I take pleasure in bidding this volume, in which a precious frag­ment of the past is treasured up, God speed on its useful errand.  Its mission is not alone to the households scat­tered over the Wolcott hills; it should find a place in homes and public libraries throughout our broad country.  Whatever hands it may fall into, may it do a good work in reviving pleasant memories of other days, and render­ing vivid to young eyes the sober pictures of the ances­tral time.  May it incline us to do honor to those New England fathers to whom honor is so largely due ; and may it deepen our reverence for the nation by showing us how its foundations were laid with toil and sweat and patience on New England hills.

Waterbury, Conn., Dec. 16th, 1874.     JOSEPH ANDERSON.



First Society in Wolcott.


In the settlement of Connecticut, and other New Eng­land States, the settlers made their homes first in the valleys and along the rivers and streams of water.  After fifty to seventy years' experience of decimation from fevers and sicknesses, caused by the fogs and mala­ria in these low lands, they began to climb the hills and mountains, and to make their homes where the sun rose before ten o'clock in the morning, and set after four o'clock in the afternoon; so that the first settlers came into Wolcott, upon the hills, fifty-seven years after the settlement of Waterbury, and ninety-one years after the set­tlement of Farmington.

The first settlers of Hartford reached that place in 1635, and "in 1640 the people of Hartford commenced a settle­ment at Farmington, it being the first made in Connecti­cut away from navigable waters.  From this time to 1673, small beginnings were made at Norwich, Derby, Walling­ford, Simsbury, Woodbury, and Plainfield." In the year 1674, "Articles of Association and Agreement" were signed by some of the people of Farmington for a set­tlement in Waterbury, but the first houses were not erected until the summer of 1678.  The Indian " trail " or path by which the people of Farmington reached Mat­tatuck, now Waterbury, lay across the northwest corner of what is now Wolcott, and became, probably, the first "traveled" road in this town.  It is the road that now [[002]] passes Mr. Levi Atkins’ dwelling house, and it is said that the millstones for the first Grist Mill in Woodbury were carried from Farmington on this road, on the back of a horse, the stones being in a sack balancing on each side of the horse, and the horse led by a footman.  In 1731 Mr. John Alcock, of New Haven, settled in the west part of what is now Wolcott, he being the first settler there.  In less than thirty years (in 1760) the people bad become so numerous within this territory as to desire parish privileges, and so petitioned the General Assem­bly to make them a " Distinct Society." They stated that they "occupied a tract of land five miles square, were £2,000 in the list, and lived an inconvenient dis­tance from places of public worship." Waterbury First Society remonstrated with arguments, and the petition was rejected, as was another with forty-three signers, in May, 1762.  In October, 1762, the people, numbering thirty-eight, renewed their petition, and the old Society remonstrated, the chief reason given being the difficulty of supporting the First Society, if Farmingbury, West Farms, and South Farms, should be granted society privileges.  Notwithstanding the cogency of this reason­ing, the people of Farmingbury (so called at this time) were allowed to hire preaching five months in the year, and to set tip a school, and in the meantime to be ex­empt from other society and school taxes.  In the spring Of 1767, thirty-one petitioners of the Winter parish re­quested society privileges, and asked that the limits of the society might be extended into New Cambridge (now Bristol).  They said they numbered seventy-one families, and had a list of £3,8728s.  The petition was denied, as was also another in October, 1768.*

*see History of Waterbury page 279-81


The organization of the First Ecclesiastical Society took place at the house of Mr. Joseph Atkins, on the 13th [[003]]  day of November, 1770.  This house stood south of the highway that now runs westward from the meeting-house, and stood about two hundred rods west from the present meeting-house, in what was then the town of Waterbury. The site may be recognized by a small part of the cellar­wall which still remains.

The preliminaries to this meeting were very carefully attended to according to the Colonial Law of that time, by a grant from the General Assembly, and by orders from the Courts, and legal warnings to the people.  This grant formed the parish from the towns of Waterbury and Farmington, and gave it the name Farmingbury.

            Several efforts had been made between the years 1760-69 to form such Society, but without success.  In the Spring of 1770 a petition, signed by forty-none persons, was presented to the General Assembly, and was laid over until the next October, when the petition was granted.

The territory taken from Waterbury had been settled but a short time,- the first settler, Mr. John Alcock, of New Haven, having taken his residence on Spindle Hill, in March, 1731.  So far as known all other settlers had come into this territory during the thirty-nine years intervening; and so far as known all the settlers in Farmington part of Farmingbury had come in after 1732.*

*Mr. Thomas Upson, moved into the Southeast corner, in 1732-3.

        All the original papers issued for the purpose of form­ing the Society are preserved, though much changed by use, and are of such peculiar character that their insertion here will be particularly interesting.  They are follows:


At a General Assembly if the Governor and Company of the Colony of Connecticut, holden at New Haven, on the Second Thursday of October, AD, 1770;

Upon the Memorial of Joseph Atkins, of Waterbury, in the county of New Haven, and others living within the following lim­its and boundaries, viz.: Beginning half a mile, west from the [[004]] northeast corner of the first "Long Lot" in said Farmington, next to said Waterbury; thence west about two miles and a half by the limits of Cambridge Parish to Northbury Society; thence south ward to the middle of the dwelling-house of Caleb Barnes, of said Waterbury; thence to extend west to a line that is two miles west from the southwest corner of said Cambridge; thence south two degrees east, about three miles to a place two hundred rods north, two degrees from the four mile tree ; thence southward to the mid­dle of the dwelling house of Elijah Frisbie; thence a straight line to a line drawn west from the southwest corner of said Farmington three quarters of a mile ; thence to said corner of Farmington ; thence east on said Farmington south line to the east side of the original twenty rod highway; thence northward to the top of the mountain west of John Merriman's; thence a straight line to the first Station, -praying for society privileges, a committee was ap­pointed [by] this assembly, who having reported in favor of the memorialists, which is approved of by this Assembly and accepted:

Resolved, by this Assembly, that the said Inhabitants living with­in said limits and boundaries as above described be and they are hereby made and constituted a distinct Ecclesiastical Society, and shall be called and known by the name of Farmingbury, with all the privileges and immunities to such societies usually belonging in the Colony, and the said Caleb Barnes hereby has liberty granted him of choosing whether he will be of said New Society or remain and belong to the First Society in Waterbury, and the same liberty is hereby given unto said Elijah Frisbie.

A true Copy of Record,

Examined by


Upon the reception of this grant, application was made to the officers in Farmington and Waterbury, and the ex­ecution of the several papers was attended to as follows:

To Jared Lee, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in Farmington, in the County of Hartford:

The Honorable Assembly Having Constituted Part of Farm­ington and Part of Waterbury, to be a Distinct Ecclesiastical So­ciety, In October, A. D., 1770, we the Subscribers, Principle [[005]] inhabitants of said Society, Do as the Law Directs make applica­tion to the said Jared Lee, Esq., for a warning to the Inhabitants of said Society for a Society Meeting on Tuesday, the 13th day of November, inst., at 12 of the Clock, at the house of Mr. Joseph Atkins, in said Society.

Principle Inhabitants:




On the above said application of Mr. Joseph Atkins, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, and Daniel Byington- these are therefore to command Capt.  Aaron Harrison in His Majesty's name, to give lawful warning to all the Inhabitants in said Society In Farming too Part allowed by law to vote, to meet at the Dwelling house of Mr. Joseph Atkins on the 13th Day of November, Instant, in said Society, at I2 o'clock of said day to Choose a Moderator and Society Clerk, and to do all other business Proper to be Done at said meeting.

Dated at Farmington, the 5th Day of November, A. D., 1770, and in the 11th year of his Majesty's Reign.

                                                                                                JARED LEE, Just. Peace

Pursuant to this warrant, I have proceeded and given Legal warning to the Inhabitants of Farmingbury, in Farmington Part, for a Society Meeting at the house of Mr. Joseph Atkins, on Tues­day the 13th of November, inst., at 12 of the Clock on said Day.

AARON HARRISON, Inhabitant of said Society.


To Mr. Daniel Byington of the Society of Farmington, in the Town of Waterbury, in New Haven County, Greeting:

Whereas, The Honorable General Assembly, in their Session n New Haven, on the 2nd Thursday of October last made and constitiited the said Farmingbury, consisting part of the Town of Farmington, in Hartford County, and part of the Town of Waterb­ury, in New Haven County, a Distinct Ecclesiastical Society, as appears of Record, and it is now necessary that the said Society be convened in Society Meeting for the Lawfull Purposes thereof,­-

These are therefore in His Majesty's name, to Require you to [[006]] warn all the inhabitants of said Waterbury, within the Limits of said Society of Farmingbury, to meet at the Dwelling House of Mr. Joseph Atkins, in said Waterbury, on Tuesday, the 13th Day of Instant Nov., at twelve of the Clock on said Day, then and there to choose a Moderator, Society's Clerk, and other proper Officers, and to do and transact all other Business proper for said meeting according to law.

Dated at Waterbury the 6th day of Nov., 1770, and in the sixth year of His Majesty's Reign.

JOSEPH HOPKINS, Justice Peace.

Inhabitants of said Society:




Pursuant to this Warrant, I have Proceeded and given Legal warning to the Inhabitants of Farmingbury, in Waterbury Part, for Society Meeting at the house of Mr. Joseph Atkins, on Tuesday the I3th of Nov. inst., at 12 o'clock on said Day.

DANIEL BYINGTON, Inhabitant of said Society.

The foregoing Instruments are true copies of the warrants granted for the warning of the First Society Meeting in Farming­bury.

Certified by,

DANIEI, BYINGTON, Society Clerk.


At a Society meeting holden in Farmingbury, the inhabitants being lawfully assembled on the 13th day of November, A. D., 1770, the following votes were, taken.  Capt.  Aaron Harrison was chosen Moderator, Daniel Byington was chosen Society Clerk, Lieut.  Josiah Rogers, Mr. John Alcox, Mr. Stephen Barnes, Mr. John Bronson, and Mr. Amos Seward, were chosen Society Com­mittee for the year ensuing.

Voted, that we will procure preaching the year ensuing-

Voted, to lay a rate of two pence on the pound to be paid on the list of August, 1770, and that the said rate should be paid by the first day of September next.  Curtiss Hall and Daniel Al­cox were chosen to collect said rate.

At the same meeting Lieut. Josiah Rogers was chosen Society [[007]] Treasurer for the year ensuing.  David Norton, Seth Bartholo­mew, Daniel Alcox, Amos Beecher, Joseph Beecber, Justus Peck, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, and Stephen Barnes were chosen School Committee for the year ensuing.

David Warner, Wait Hotchkiss, Simeon Hopkins, Nathaniel Lewis, Capt Aaron Harrison, and Joseph Beecher, were chosen a committee to divide the Society into Districts.  Voted to give Mr. Joseph Atkins £15 sod for the use of his house to meet in on the Sabbath for the year ensuing, till the first of May next.

Jacob Carter, Levi Bronson, Jared Harrison, Stephen Eames, and David Alcox were chosen Choristers for the year ensuing.  Capt.  Aaron Harrison and Mr. Amos Seward were chosen to read the Psalms for the year ensuing.

John Barrett was chosen grave Digger.  At the same meet­ing, voted to build a Meeting house.  Joseph Atkins was chosen Agent to go to the County Court for a committee to stick the stake for said Meeting house.  Capt.  Enos Brooks, Capt.  Enos Atwater, and Col.  Hall were nominated a committee to stick the stake of said Meeting house.  Voted to lay a rate Half Penny on the Pound to defray the Society Charges, and to pay the said half penny rate by the first day of February next, and Joseph Atkins and Jared Hauison were chosen to collect said half penny rate.  Voted to adjourn said meeting to the last Thursday of Inst.  No­vember, at one o'clock in the afternoon.


At the adjournment the Inhabitants did meet and voted as fol­lows, viz. : To accept the doings of the committee in dividing the Society into Districts.  Voted that the Schooling should be by the poll.  Mr. Samuel Upson was chosen School Committee.  Voted that each School committee shall collect their poll rate each one in his own District.  Adjourned for one hour.  At the adjournment the inhabitants did meet and voted to procure a Book for Records.  Voted to adiourn the meeting to the Third Monday in December next at one o'clock in the afternoon.

Met according to adjournment.  Daniel Johnson and Daniel Byington were chosen to take the marks of stray sheep the year ensuing. [[008]]

Voted to have the Society measured by a County surveyor, and to reconsider the vote taken to lay a rate two pence on the pound in order to procure preaching.  Voted to lay a half penny rate to pay for measuring the Society, and that said half penny rate be paid by the first Day of February next.  Joseph Atkins and Jared Harrison were chosen to collect said half penny rate.  Sergeant Samuel Smith and James Warner and Daniel Bronson were cho­sen chairmen, and Lieut.  Ashbel Potter, County surveyor.  Voted to lay a rate of one penny half penny on the pound to procure preaching, and to pay said rate by the first day of September next, and Abel Curtiss and Curtiss Hall were chosen to collect said rate.  Voted to adjourn the meeting to the last Monday in Inst.  December, at one o'clock in the afternoon.

Met according to adjournment and adjourned to the Second Wednesday of January next at one o'clock in the afternoon.

At the adjournment voted to adjourn half an hour, and then met and voted to confide in what the committee did in fixing a place for the Meeting house.  Voted to have Society meetings on the first Monday of December annually.  Voted to dissolve said meeting.

At a Society meeting holden in Farmingbury, on the 21st day of January, A. D., 1771, the inhabitants being lawfully assembled ,on said day, the following votes were taken.  Capt.  Aaron Har­rison was chosen Moderator to lead the meeting.  Voted to ad­journ the meeting one hour, their met and voted to confide in what the late committee did in fixing a place for a Meeting house and dissolved said meeting.

At a Society meeting holders in Farmingbury, on the 22d day of April, A. D., 1771, the inhabitants being lawfully assembled on said (lay the following votes were taken.  Capt.  Aaron Harrison was chosen Moderator.  Lieut. Josiah Rogers, Mr. Samuel Up son, Mr. Stephen Barnes, Mr. Joseph Beecher, and Mr. Daniel Alcox were chosen a Meeting house Committee.  Voted to have all the land in the Society taxed.  Voted to have the tax three pence per acre for four years.  At the same meeting Capt. Aaron Harrison was chosen agent to apply to the Assembly to procure the said tax.  Mr. Stephen Barnes was chosen for the same purpose.  Voted to give Mr. Jacob Richmond his rate; also [[009]] to give Mr. Jedediah Minor his two half penny rates, and also to give Mr. Joseph Talmage his two half penny rates.  Voted to have preaching this summer, and to lay a half penny rate in ad­dition to the penny half penny to be paid the first of September next.  Adjourned to first Tuesday of June next at three o'clock in the afternoon.

At the time, met and adjourned to last Monday in September next, at one o'clock in the afternoon.

Met according to adjournment, and voted to have the said me­morial for said land tax carried into the next Assembly, giving the agents leave to alter in respect to the Churchmen as they shall find best, and Mr. Samuel Upson and Mr. Daniel Alcox were chosen agents to apply to the Assembly to procure said tax.  Mr. Joseph Atkins was chosen for the same purpose.  Daniel Alcox and Stephen Barnes were chosen to collect said tax.  Voted to have our meeting on the last Monday of November, annu­ally, and to warn said meeting by setting up Notifications at these places, viz. : John Barrett's, Isaac Hopkins', Dan Tuttle’s Shop, Cur­tiss Hall's, and Ensign Welton’s.  Voted to dissolve said meeting.  

These several meetings, as recorded, show the effort and labor and patience expended in forming a new Socie­ty and bringing it into working order, and the manner of attending to such duties in those days.  They also bring forward names that are prominent in these records foi­many years afterward, and names which will appear in va­rious relations, and frequently, in the progress of this Historv.

            Farmingbury did not become a town till 1796. Hence many interests were attended to by the Parish Society which belonged properly to township authority, and not to the Church. In those days it was a principle of Christian duty to take special care of political matters and not to leave them in the hands of the neglecters of piety.  This was supposed to be right and righteous, and human experience concurs with the supposition ; for what would the unprincipled man like better than that lie should take care of politics, while men of principle [[10]] should sit at home to be governed like slaves, and then pay the expenses of government ? What would the thief like better than that he should be left to make the laws and execute them at his own pleasure This is not Church and State united, but church men in the state, acting.  To demand that when a man embraces, personally, the benefits of the gospel, he shall forsake the polit­ical interests of his community and nation, leads only to the revival of the days of the Inquisition, that is, in­fliction of punishment for obedience to the Gospel.

From the first, Farmingbury Parish took supervision of the public schools; appointed the committees; voted how much " schooling " they should have each year ; laid taxes for the support of schools, and directed how these should be collected, and appointed the collectors of these taxes.  They appointed the "grave digger" and the keeper of the "key," and persons to take the "marks of stray sheep." In one instance only did they go to the Assembly for power to lay a tax, and that was for a church rate on all the lands "for maintaining the worship of God."*

* At a General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the Colony of Connecticut holden at New Haven, on the 2nd Thursday of October, Anno Domini, 1771:

Upon the memorial of the Society of Farmingbury, prepared by Joseph Atkins, Samual Espon, and Daniel Alcox, agents for said Society, representing to this Assembly that the list of said society is small and they unable to set up and maintain the worship of God among them without some further help, praying for a tax on all the lands within said Society, &c., as per memorial on file:

Resolved by the Assembly, that a tax of three pence on the acre for the term of four years, to be annually collected, be laid on all the lands within said Society which belong to inhabitants living within said Society not being professors of the Church of England, and also on that part of the non-resident professors, which land is not put on the general list of such non-resident persons and subject to pay taxes in other societies and Towns; and Stephen Barnes of Farmington and Daniel Alcox of Waterbury, are hereby appointed fully empowered to collect the said tax of the proprietors of such lands as aforesaid and the same to pay to the [[011]] committee of said Society, to be improved to set up and maintain a Gospel ministry in said Society, and that the Secretary of the Colony shall issue and sign warrants for collecting of said tax in due form of law.

A true copy of Record,





Thus was formed, organized, and put into effectual op­eration the First Ecclesiastical Society in Wolcott, which was as a tree in the wilderness and proved to be "a fruitful vine in the tops of the mountains." The fami­lies of the parish were very much scattered amidst the forests that then covered most of these hills and the small patches of low lands.

It is not certain that at the time of the formation of the parish, there was more than one house at Wolcott Center, that of Abraham Woster, all traces of whose family have disappeared from Wolcott long ago.  He was a carpenter, and was "foreman " or "boss" carpenter at the building of the first Meeting house.  His wife, Rebecca, united with the church on the 12th of January 1777, and on the igth of the same month their son Lyman was baptized.

Mr. Joseph Atkins and his son Joseph lived in one house, a quarter of a mile west of Abraham Woster's house, or of the Center.  Deacon Rogers lived half a mile west of the Center.  Daniel Byington and his son Daniel lived at the "Mill Place." West of this were Mr. John Alcock and several of his children, settled on nearly one thousand acres of land.  North of the Center on the "Bound Line" road there were no residents, except Mr. Talmage, nearer than Thomas Upson, the father bf Charles, Esquire, and where Chartes afterward resided.  The Peck families lived further north-northeast.  East of the Center less than half a mile lived Aaron Harrison (the first Deacon) with his father if then living.  South­west was David Norton ; then Wait Hotchkiss, Isaac Hop­kins, the Sutliff family and Parker family.  In Woodtick [[012]] Judah Frisbie and others; and further east and south, on Bound Line, Amos Seward, and south of him Capt.  Sam­uel Upson on the Turnpike.  On the road from Wolcott to Cheshire were the Halls and Lewises, and east of this on Southington Mountain, the Carters; and further north the Beechers, Brockets, Plumbs, and others. John Bron­son lived in the hollow half a mile directly east of the Cen­ter, and west of Southington Mountain.  It is said that at that time Southington Mountain was the best cultiva­ted part of what is now Wolcott.  And as the forests then consisted of "mighty trees" and the inhabitants were widely separated, it was in reality, "a church in the wil­derness." The wild beasts made night hideous with their he ' ivlings, and it is told as a true story that the mother of the halls used to relate, many years after, how care­ful she was at first, before putting her children to bed, to go to the bed and feel over the top of it, and under the blankets to see if, during the day, the "big snakes" had crept into the children's places.

Another difficulty at this time and for some years after was in the fact that there was not sufficient land cleared to produce food to supply the people, and hence many went to Southington, in summer time, and worked to earn provisions which they carried up the mountain on their backs, so as not to "starve in winter." Much is said at the present day about farming being hard work, but if we were to walk three miles down a mountain, and work from sunrise to sunset and then carry up the mountain three-fourths of a bushel of rye as the reward of such a day's labor we might think farming harder than it now is.  Now, a man laboring by the day earns between two and three bushels of rye, but a hundred years ago he received only three-fourths of a bushel.  The necessity for suidnier work was increased by the fact that very little could be done in the winter by which to get money or provisions.  If they cut down the forests to clear the land, there was no demand for the wood ; this [[013]] must be burned in great heaps where it was cut.  No mechanical work of any extent was required.  The first wag­on in Wolcott was brought in, in 1800, by Lucius Tuttle, and it marked a period of wonder and improvement.  A little could be done by way of getting " logs to the mill " for lumber, but no great amount of work of this kind could be done, for there were but two "sawmills" in the town, one where Mr. Pritchard's mill now is, and one at Woodtick,-and there was but little demand for lumber.  In the house, the women were always at work.  In the fall and beginning of winter they must make the clothes for the family for the year.  As soon as "New Year's Day" was past they prepared to sit down at the “little wheel" to spin the "flax," and from New Year until April the "little wheel " occupied all the leisure time the mother and elder daughters could find.  And in the latter part of spring and on into summer the "big wheel" usurped authority over the "little wheel " and the spin­ning of wool was the great extra work of the house.'

Thus began the church in Wolcott.




At the first meeting of the Society, Nov. 13, 1770, ac­tion was taken in regard to a Meeting house. We find the following votes:

Voted to Build a Meting House.  At the same meeting Joseph Atkins was chosen Agent to go to the County Court for a Committee to stick the stake for said Meeting House.  At the same meeting, Capt. Enos Brooks, Capt. Enos Atwater, and Col. Hall were nominated a committee to stick the stake for said House.  At the same meeting voted to lay a rate Half Penny on the Pound to defray the Society Charges [in this matter].  At the same meeting voted to pay the said Half Penny rate by the first Day of February next, and Joseph Atkins and Jared Harrison were chosen Collectors to collect said rate.”

The energy with which Mr. Joseph Atkins moved in this matter is seen in the fact that the next day after this meeting and after his appointi-nent as agent, he pre­sented his memorial to the Court in Hartford, as appears from the following paper:


"At a County Court held at Hartford, in and for the County of Hartford, on the first Tuesday of November, AD, 1770:

Upon the Memorial of Joseph Atkins of Farmingbury and the Rest of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Farmingbury in said County showing to this Court that at a Society Meeting held in said Society on the 13th day of November, instant, it was voted (wherein more than two thirds of the Inhabitants were in the [[015]] affirmative), to Build a Meeting House in said Parish, and there­upon appointed the said Joseph Atkins their Agent to apply to this Court, for the appointment of a Committee to repair to said Society to affix a stake in said Society, for said Inhabitants to Build a Meeting House upon, for Divine Worship, as per Memo­rial on file, dated the 4th day of November, 1770:

Whereupon this Court appoint Col.  Benjamin Hall, Capt.  Enos Brooks, and Capt.  Enos Atwater, all of Wallingford, in New Haven County, a Committee with full power to repair to the Said Parish of Farmingbury, Notify the Inhabitants of said Parish, View all circumstances, and hear all Parties, and affix a stake upon some convenient spot of ground in said Society, for the Inhabitants thereof to Build a meeting House upon for the Purpose of Divine Worship, and make report of their doings herein to us at the next Court.

A true copy of Record,

Examined By GEORGE WYILYS, Clerk.


To the Inhabitants of the Society if Farmingbury, Greeting:

Whereas, The Honorable County Court at Hartford in Their Session s In November, Instant, appointed us subscribers a Committee with instructions to, repair to Said Society, Give warning to the Inhabitants, view their circumstances, Hear the Parties, &c., and affix a Place for said Inhabitants to build a meeting house upon:

These are Therefore to Notify said Inhabitants to Attend on said Committee on The Last Tuesday of Instant November by Their Agents, Committees, or otherwise as They Shall Think fit in order to Enable said Committee to Do The business assigned Them by Said Court, and Mr. Joseph Atkins of Sd Society is hereby Desired to Notify said Inhabitants accordingly.  Dated at Wallingford the 23rd of November, Anno 1770.


                               BENJAMIN HALL,

                               ENOS BROOKS,

                               ENOS ATWATER,



At a adjourned County Court holden at Hartford, in and for the County of Hartford, on the fourth Tuesday of January, Anno Domini, 1771

Whereas, upon the Memorial of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Farmingbury by their agent Joseph Atkins praying for a Com­mittee to affix a place in said Society for the Inhabitants thereof to Build a Meeting House upon, for Divine Worship, the County Court at their sessions at Hartford within and for Hartford Coun­ty on the first Tuesday of November, A.D., 1770, appointed Ben­jamin Hall, Esq., Capt.  Enos Brooks, Capt.  Enos Atwater a Com­mittee to repair to said Society of Farmingbury- hear all parties and view all circumstances, and affix a place for the Inhabitants thereof to Build a Meeting House upon, for Divine Worship as by the records of said County Court fully appears.

The said Committee having Returned their report in the Premises therein setting forth that on the 27th, 28th, and 29th Days of November, 1770, the Said Parish before being Notified to attend them, did repair to Said Parish of Farmingbury and there heard all parties and viewed all circumstances, and there affixed a Place in said Society, and erected a stake thereon, with stones about it, viz.: on a Beautiful Eminence and on the line Dividing between the Towns of Waterbury and Farmington, a little North­erly of Mr. Abraham Worster's Dwelling House in said Society, near where the North and South Highways cross each other in said Society as per Report on file, Dated the 30th Day of Novem­ber, 1770, which said report this Court accept and approve of, and thereupon this Court Order and Direct that the Place mentioned in the said report of the said Committee be and the same is here­by Established as the Place whereon the said Society Shall Erect and build a Meeting House, for the Purpose of Divine Worship accordingly.

A True Copy of Record,



           The Papers containing the above action of the Court are still preserved, and are signed in the hand writing of George Wyllys, Clerk of Records.  After being folded, [[017]] on one is written: "Copy of record for Mr. Joseph Atkins.

Court Fees       9/3


and Copying fee 6/£o 15'3 "

Mr. Atkins' name in these papers, and frequently in the church Records, is spelled Adkins.  It is herein uni­formly written Atkins ; because when be signed the Deed to the Society, he wrote his name " Joseph Atkins."

This order of the court was given during the Court term which began on the fourth Tuesday of January, 1771; but before the order was received by the Society, and probably before the court made the order, the Society took the following action on the report of the committee, in a Society meeting held on the Second Wednesday of January, 1771 : "Voted to confide in what the late Committee did in fixing a place for the Meeting house." On the 21st day of the same month, in another Society meeting, they again " Voted to confide in what the late Committee did in fixing a place for a Meeting house."

In the next April, 22nd day, at a Society meeting, the following persons were chosen a "Meeting House Com­mittee :"Lieut.  Josiah Rogers, Mr. Samuel Upson, Mr. Stephen Barnes, Mr. Joseph Beecher, Mr. Daniel Alcox.

This was a choice committee.  These men were reli­able, good men; equal, under ordinary circumstances, to the work committed to them; but the difficulties around and before them were peculiarly numerous.  The Parish was new, not yet six months old, and had assumed nearly all the responsibilities of a Town, without the benefits.  They had the work of dividing the parish into school districts, laying taxes for the support of these schools, providing school houses in some parts, and the ordering of the number of months school should be kept.  They appointed a committee to survey the parish and fix the boundaries, and laid a tax to pay the expenses of sur­veying. [[018]]

The Society meetings had voted, besides school tax and surveying tax, a tax for the committee to fix the stake for the Meeting house ; a tax of "one penny half-penny" to procure preaching, and the tax of three pence per acre granted by the Assembly, for "Maintaining of Divine Worship." Besides this, the country was new.  Some of these men were born in Wolcott, but were the first gene­ration. Their fathers all, as near as we can learn, immi­grated to Wolcott.  How were they to build a meeting house?  If the house could be built at the cost of five hundred dollars, from whence was the money to come?  This committee doubtless consulted together, and with the people of the Parish, and much desired to see that Meeting house, but we hear nothing of it for six months.

There was but one thing unfortunate about that committee; the name of Joseph Atkins was not at its bead.  He never slept six months at a time; when he moved others moved also.  Whatever he touched seemed to rise to life, like the bones of the old prophet.  As far as the record shows, be never failed but once, and that when sent by this parish as agent to the General Assembly in 1787 to secure town privileges.  The united opposition of the adjoining towns of Waterbury and Southington was too strong for the energetic Joseph.  Had he been on the committee there would have been some work done somewhere, and a report made at the next meeting ; but as it was, they came to the meet­ing on the 22d day of next November, made Mr. Joseph Atkins moderator, and the first business done is recorded thus: "Voted to go about building a Meeting house forthwith." Voted to build said house 58 feet in length and 42, feet wide.  Voted to have said house 24 feet between joints.  Voted to face said house to the south.  Voted to board the body of said house.  Voted to shingle said house with chestnut shingles.  Voted to clapboard said house with ‘drent’ oak."

On the first Tuesday of the next December, about two [[019]] weeks after the above meeting, they met and "Voted to take 12 feet from the length of the house, and 8 feet from the width, and two feet from the height." Also, “Voted that Abraham Wester should be master builder on said house."

Another meeting was held on the first Tuesday of January, 1772, when it was "Voted to add to the length of said meeting house six feet, and four feet to the breadth." After these last votes there appears to have arisen some further discussion about the Meeting house, when they voted to "Reconsider half the votes taken in said meeting, respecting building a Meeting house, and dissolved said meeting."

This last vote seems to have referred to all the votes taken in all the previous meetings in regard to the build­ing of a Meeting house, for on the 2oth day of the same month (January, 1772), they held another meeting, in which the only business recorded was concerning the Meeting house, as follows: "Voted to build a Meeting house 48 feet long and 36 feet wide.  Voted to have the height of said house left with the carpenter.  Voted to cover said house as the first proposed house was voted to be covered.  Voted to give Mr. Abraham Wester 24 shil­lings for his services." From these records it appears that some work in making preparations, or estimates for building had been done by the master carpenter, and also by others, towards the building of the house.  We are not informed as to the method pursued in building, except it appears that the work was not let by the job, but done by the day, as to the master builder.  Whether work or lumber and materials were given by the parishioners, we are not directly informed, but the probability, from the facts mentioned, is that much was given in this way.*

*The frame of the Meeting house was, probably, raised about the first of April, 1772, lot no record is found concerning it, except the following, which written on the inside of the back cover of the Society Book, without date : " Capt.  Hopkins, Ensign Beecher, Daniel Byington, Isaac [[020]] Twitchell, Joseph Atkins, Jr., Abraham Woster, Isaac Cleveland, Elijah Gaylord, to sell liker and vitels During the time of Raising the meeting house, and any Body Else that is a mind to."

On the first Monday in March next a meeting was held and further action taken.  "Voted to lay the underpin­ning of the Meeting house in lyme mortar.  Voted to have the window frames made of chestnut, and to have 24 panes of 7 by 9 glass in each window."

            The next meeting was held on the first Monday of April, one month later, when they " Voted to lay a rate of two pence on the pound, to defray the Meeting house charges, and that said rate should be paid by the first of October next."

It is very probable that from the first Mr. Joseph Atkins agreed to give the land on which to build a Meeting house, but now that that house was in process of construc­tion, and probably the frame was standing in its place, and a tax was to be collected to pay for the building of the house, it was very proper that it should rest on a good title of land, so that no trouble should arise from this direction.  Therefore Mr. Atkins proceeded to execute the deed.  And here again is seen the character of Joseph Atkins. Instead of giving a plot of ground one hundred feet by fifty, he gave two acres.  This land was given, as is scen by the deed, from the noblest impulses and for the noblest ends.  And wben thus devoted to the publishing of " good tidings " to lost men, it is saddening to know that on one corner of this square was erected a " whipping post," and that at this post were whipped several persons, and among them one woman for stealing.


* The original deed is preserved.

"To all people to whom these presents shall come greeting.  Know ye that I, Joseph Atkins, of Waterbury, in the County of New Haven, in the Colony of Connecticut, in New England, for the Consideration of the love and good will which I have and do [[021]] bear to the Society of Farmingbury, part of which is in Waterbury aforesaid, and part in Farmington, in the County of Hartford, do give, grant, convey, & Confirm onto David Norton, Amos Seward, Daniel Alcox, Stephen Barnes, and Joseph Beecher, as they are Society's Committee for sd Society and their Successors in Quality of Society's Committee, and to the rest of the Inhab­itants of the Society of Farmingbury aforesaid, to be Used & im­proved for the only purpose of Building and continuing a Meeting House for the Public Worship of God thereon, and for needful and convenient accommodations around the same, Two acres of Land.  That is to say, one acre at the Southwest corner of the forty-first Long lot in the West Division in the Township of Farmington aforesaid, Eleven Rods & an half wide at the West end, and nine Rods & an half wide at the East End, Extending East from the Line between the Towns so far as to make one acre buting West on the Line of Waterbury aforesaid, South on High­way, East and North on the Remainder of the said 41st Lot.

And also one acre of land in the Township of Waterbury aforesaid, lying West from the above described land adjoining to the Highway between ad Waterbury & Farmington Twelve Rods wide, North and South, to extend West so far as to make one acre, Buting Northward on Highway, West and South on my own land, & East on Highway; which Land Described as aforesaid, I, the sd Atkins, make over to the Society of Farniingbury aforesd, for their use and benefit as above sd, & for the Church to be gathered, & which shall or may Worship in the said House to be Erected according to the Method, Doctrines, & Discipline now owned and practiced by the churches in the Colony, whither Called Presbyterian, Congregational, or Consociated by way of Distinction from Episcopalians, Baptists, Separatists, or other Secre­taries,- To have and to hold the above granted and given prem­ises, with all the Privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, into them the act grantees and to their successors forever, to & for the use aforesaid.  And also I, the said Joseph Atkins, do for my­self and my Heirs, Executors, and administrators, Covenant with the said Grantees and their successors, that at & until the Ensealing of these presents I am well seized of the premises as a good indefeasible Estate in Fee simple, and have good Right to give [[022]] and Convey the same in manner and form as is above written, and that the Same is free of all Encumbrances whatever.  And fur­thermore, I, the sd Atkins, do by these presents Bind myself and my Heirs forever to warrant and Defend the above granted and given premises to them the sd Grantees and their successors against all Claims and Demands whatever.  In Witness, whereof, I have hereunto set my hand. and seal, the 8th Day of June, in the 12th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Third of Great Britain, &c., King, A.D., 1772.


Signed. sealed, and delivered in the presence of



N.B. The words Eleven Rods & an half Interlined in the 16th line, and the words nine Rods and an half Interlined in the 17th line, and the word eleven, Interlined in the 23rd line, were wrote before the Deed was signed.

Waterbury, in New Haven County, the Day and Date above written, Personally appeared Mr. Joseph Atkins, Signer & Scaler of the foregoing Instrument, and acknowledged the same to be his Free act and Deed.

Before me JOSEPH HOPKINS, Justs.  Peace."

On the Deed, after being folded, is written:

<>" David Norton & others, Inhabitants of Farmingbury.  Deed of Gift of Joseph Atkins. Reed.  June 12th, A. D., 1772, & is Recorded in Farmington, 17th Book of Records, page 427.  Pr Sal. Whitman, Regr. Reed also to Record in Waterbury, July the 6tb, A. D., 1772.

And Recorded in Waterbury Land Records, Book 15th, Page 312. Pr Ezra Bronson, Recorder."

While Mr. Atkins was thus doing his part, the Meeting house was rising to perfectness in its - place, and the people seemed ready to do their part as the cause might need.  They were not only ready to pay the tax already assessed in behalf of the Meeting house, but they met [[023]] again on the "Third Monday of August, following, and voted to lay a rate of four pence on the pound, to be paid the first of December next, said rate being to defray the Meeting house charges."

In order to know what an effort it was for the people to build this church, we must take a little survey of the parish.  The territory was newly settled.  The older, active men in the Society, such as Joseph Atkins, Sen., Curtiss Hall, and Joan Bronson, were born elsewhere, and had come into the community and settled as farmers.  The younger men, like Aaron Harrison, Daniel Byington, Jr., Joseph Atkins, Jr., and many others who were active mem­bers in the Society, were born here, or a little time before their parents came here, and were just beginning in the world, having no fortune of money, or old homesteads left them.  The sixteen thousand acres of land in the parish, with all other taxable property, amounted in the assess­ment on the tax list to about two dollars and fifty cents per acre, or forty thousand dollars, or $8,ooo.  Some of this amount belonged to Episcopalians, and hence was not available to the parish.  The parish proper contained about seventy-five families, and the $40,000 divided equally among them, gives them about five hundred dol­lars of farming capital each, in the assessment list.

If we were building a church to-day, and should find a family with only such a capital in farming, we would be moved to pass by without asking a dollar, even for the church.  Yet they taxed themselves toward blinding the church equal to six dollars a family.  Several of these families were building houses for their own shelter from the cold and the storm.*

* Quite a number of them were living in log house.

How could they, with all other expenses growing out of the forming of a new parish, build and pay for a meeting house ? Yet they did it, for the house was built at [[024]] that time, and we hear nothing of debts for a meeting house afterward.*

* Since writing the above I have found that there was a small amount of indebtedness for the lumber, not paid till some ten to twelve years after.

On the 26th day of October, 1772, at a parish meeting, they voted to have "our meetings for the future in the Meeting house." Here was the Meeting house so far completed that they could hold meetings in it.  What a day of gladness to all who loved the "Hill of Zion" must that leave been when they first assembled in that house!

 This Meeting house stood on the north side of the "Green," or "Square," facing the Green, and also facing the south.  The principal door was in the front, and there was a door also in each end, east and west.  It is said that the house stood on the line that divided the towns from which the parish was formed,- half in Waterbury and Half in Farmington. The house at first was not finished inside.  The floor ",as laid, the frame-work of the gallery was put in its place, and the stairs were built, The gallery may have been used some on special occasions, and for the singers, in which case a temporary flooring must leave been laid, but ordinarily the singers sat below.  The house was furnished in the simplest manner for some ten years, there being neither pews, stationary seats, nor per­manent pulpit.

There were probably but little if any dedicatory ser­vices, as they had no pastor, though they were trying to arrange with a Mr. Jackson to become their pastor ; but in this they did not succeed.

Rev. Mr. Keys said, in an obituary notice, that Deacon Aaron Harrison made the first public prayer that was made in this house.  This is all we can learn of dedica­tory services.

At this time there were neither church organization nor church officers.  The Society was organized, and had a Meeting house, and the parish had charge of many duties [[025]] which were attended to by town officers in other parts.  In Westbury and Waterbury the town managed ecclesi­astical matters for years, but in Farmingbury the Eccle­siastical Society conducted many interests belonging to the towns.

As illustrative of the many interests they attended to, we give a list of the officers chosen at some of the Society meetings for a few years after the organization:


Moderator, Capt.  Aaron Harrison; Clerk for the year, Daniel Byington, Sen.; Society Committee for the Year, Lieut.  Josiah Rogers, Mr. John Alcox, Mr. Stephen Barnes, Mr. John Bronson, Mr. Amos Seward; Collectors to collect the Society Rate, Curtiss Hall and Daniel Alcox; Treasurer, Lieut.  Josiah Rogers; School Committee for the year, David Norton, Seth Bartholomew, Daniel Alcox, Amos Beecher, Joseph Beecher, Justus Peck, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, Stephen Barnes, and Samuel Upson; Special Commit­tee to Divide the Society into Districts, David Warner, Wait Hotchkiss, Simeon Hopkins, Nathaniel Lewis, Capt.  Aaron Har­rison, Joseph Beecher; To read the Psalms for the year, Capt.  Aaron Harrison and Mr. Amos Seward; Grave-Digger, John Barrett.

Voted that the schooling should be by the poll, and that each School Committee shall collect their poll rate in his district.

In December of the same year, 1770, at the adjourned meeting, they again elected officers:

To take the marks of Stray Sheep, Daniel Johnson and Daniel Byington; Chainmen, to measure the Society, Sergt.  Samuel Smith, James Warner, and David Bronson; County Surveyor, Lieut.  Ashbel Potter.  To collect the Rate to pay for Surveying the Parish, Abel Curtiss and Curtiss Hall.


At the annual meeting held in November, 1771, they

elected the following officers :

Moderator, Isaac Hopkins; Clerk for the year, Daniel Byington; [[026]] Treasurer, Lieut.  Josiah Rogers; Society Committee for the year, Mr. David Norton, Mr. Amos Seward, Sergt.  Stephen Barnes, Mr. Daniel Alcox, and Mr. Joseph Beecher.  Collectors, Heman Hall and Joseph Atkins, Jr.; To Collect the Churchmen's Rate, Ensign Oliver Welton; School Committee, Joseph Sutliff, Jr., Jo­seph Atkins, Jr., Ensign John Alcox, Amos Seward, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, Jedediah Minor, Nathaniel Lewis, Samuel Plumb, and Daniel Finch.

Voted that each School Committee shall collect the poll rate.


At a meeting in March, 1772, a committee was appointed to "Fix a place or places for burying grounds, consisting of Ensign Welton, Capt.  Harrison, Sergt.  Barnes, Mr. Joseph Beecher, Mr. Israel Clark."

In November, 1772: Moderator, Capt.  Isaac Hopkins; Clerk for the year, Daniel Byington; Society Committee, Mr. David Norton, Mr. Amos Seward, Lieut.  John Alcox, Mr. Joseph Beecher, Mr. John Bronson, Mr. Stephen Barnes, and Daniel Alcox; Treasurer, Lieut.  Josiah Rogers; School Committee, Mr. Simeon Hopkins, Jacob Carter, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Joseph Beecher, Justus Peck, Daniel Bying­ton, John Bronson, Samuel Upson.

Voted that the school shall be by poll, and that each School Committee shall collect the poll rate.

Special Collectors, Ensign Oliver Welton and Eliakim Welton, Jar,; Collectors for the year, Levi Gaylord and Justus Peck; Special Committee to try to secure Mr. Jackson as Pastor, Capt.  Harrison, Mr. Hotchkiss, Lieut. Rogers, Sergt.  Barnes, and Mr. Amos Seward.


Officers chosen in Society meeting, November, 1773:

Moderator, Capt.  Hopkins; Clerk, Daniel Eyington; Treas­urer, Simeon Hopkins; Society Committee, Mr. Amos Seward, Mr. Joseph Beecher, and Sergt. Stephen Barnes; Collector, Justus Peck; School Committee, Stephen Barnes, Capt.  Harrison, Joseph Beecher, John Bronson, Daniel Evington, Nathaniel Sutliff, Amos Seward, and Daniel Alcox; Grave digger, John Barrett; To take [[027]] the marks of Stray Sheep, Daniel Johnson and Daniel Byington ; Extra School Committee, Lieut.  Rogers, Capt.  Harrison, Na­thaniel Lewis, Samuel Upson, and Capt.  Hopkins were chosen a Committee to II view the School Districts and alter them as they see fit."

The list of offices filled for the next year includes some in addition to those already given, and nearly completes the list of those appointed by the Society.

NOVEMBLR 28, 1774-

Moderator, Deacon Aaron Harrison; Clerk, Daniel Byington; Treasurer, Simeon Hopkins; Society Committee, Mr. Amos Sew­ard, Sergt. Stephen Barnes, Mr. Samuel Upson; Collectors, Mark Harrison and James Thomas; Grave Digger, John Barrett; Key Keeper, Daniel Alcoa; School Committee, Justus Peck, Jessie Alcox, Deacon Harrison, Sergt.  Stephen Barnes, Daniel Johnson, Amos Seward, Simeon Hopkins, Daniel Alcox, Eliakim Wel­ton, Jr.

At the same meeting, "Voted, that we would try the affair respecting the land belonging in Southington." Here was a resolution to enter into a suit at law with Southington.

At an adjourned meeting held the week after the above action, it was " Voted to reconsider the vote by which Samuel Upson was nominated Constable, and also that by which Eliakim Welton was nominated Surveyor."

By these votes it seems that the Parish sometimes nominated such officers; or that having done so once, it seemed wise to withdraw the nomination.

The energy and correctness with which these men en­tered upon this work indicates more than air ordinary business talent and spirit in the community, for I venture that few ecclesiastical societies and towns in this or any other State have kept as full records and attended to all items of public interest with greater care than has been the case here.



At the first Society meeting, Nov. 13, 1770, the follow­ing record was made: "Capt.  Aaron Harrison was cho­sen to read the psalms for the year ensuing.  At the same meeting Amos Seward was chosen for the same purpose." At the same meeting five choristers were appointed, and it was voted to  give Mr. Joseph Atkins £15 for the use of his house to meet in on the Sabbath, for the year ensuing until the first of May next."

In the adjourned meeting held in December, about a month later, it was "Voted to lay a rate of one penny half penny on the pound to procure preaching."

At the meeting, the next April 22d, 1771, they "Voted to have preaching this summer," and, to sustain this, they voted to lay a "half penny rate in addition to the penny half penny "voted in December previous.  As the tax list of the Parish amounted to about three thousand five hun­dred pounds, this tax brought them only one hundred and fifty dollars, and at five dollars a Sabbath, this would give them preaching thirty Sabbaths, or a little over two Sabbaths in the month during the year.  Hence, because of this small sum with which to maintain public worship, they at this same meeting, April, 1771 "Voted to have all the land in this Society taxed," and appointed Captain Aaron Harrison and Mr. Stephen Barnes agents to procure a grant from the Assembly to this effect ; but it was so late in the session that the application was not made till the next meeting of the Assembly in the Autumn.  Hence at an adjourned meeting held on the last Monday of the following September they "voted to have the said [[029]] memorial for said land tax to be carried into the next Assembly ; giving the agents leave to alter in respect to the Churchmen as they think best." Mr. Samuel Upson, Daniel Alcox, and Joseph Atkins were appointed agents to carry the Memorial to the Assembly.  It was carried and the result appears in the following


At a General Assembly of the Governor and company of the Colony of Connecticut, holden at New Haven, on the 2nd Thursday of October, Anno Domini, 1771:

Upon a memorial of the Society of Farmingbury presented by Joseph Atkins, Samuel Upson, and Daniel Alcox, agents for said Society, representing to this Assembly that the list of said Society is small, and they unable to set up and maintain the Worship of God among them without some further help, praying for a tax on all the lands within said Society, &c., as per memorial on file:

<>Resolved by this Assembly, that a tax of three pence on the acre for the term of four years, to be annually collected, be laid on all the lands within said Society which belong to the Inhabitants living within the limits of said Society, not being professors of the Church of England, and also on that part of the lands of the non­resident Proprietors, which land is not put into the General list of such non-resident proprietors, and not holden to pay taxes in other Societies or towns: and Stephen Barnes, of Farmington, and Daniel Alcox, of Waterbury, are Thereby appointed and fully empowered to collect the said tax of the Proprietors of such lands as aforesaid, and the same to pay to the Committee of said Society to be improved to set up and maintain a Gospel ministry in said Society; and that the Secretary of the Colony shall issue and sign warrants for the collecting of said tax in form of law.

A true copy of record,



<>By this tax the Society raised, probably, four hundred and fifty dollars.  If it had received a tax on all the lands within its bounds, at three pence per acre, it would have received about six hundred dollars, but the Episcopalians and some others were exempt.  <>[[030]] <>

Several persons were paying taxes for church support in Bristol and Waterbury and perhaps Southington.  The Society, also, released every year quite a number of persons from paying their rate.

It was very soon after this grant of tax from the As­sembly that this Society voted to "go about building a Meeting house forthwith," and it is possible that some of this tax money was used in building the Meeting house, which would be "setting up and maintaining the worship of God."            

At the annual meeting, November, 1771, they "Voted to give John Atkins, Jr., ten shillings for the use of his house the summer past," and also to " Give Mr. Atkins and his son five shillings per month" for the future.  And at the same meeting they "Voted to lay a rate of two pence on the pound, to be laid out for preaching the ensuing year."

Thus had they passed through the first year of ecclesi­astical society work.  That they had had preaching nitich of the time is quite evident from the fact of the use of the money raised for that special purpose; and, also, from the fact of laying another tax for the same purpose, besides that which was to come by the Assembly tax.  To read the psalms the ensuing year, they had appointed Mr. Isaac Hopkins, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, and Mr. Amos Seward.  They meant "progress," and be-an to look more cheerfully for a minister who should become their pastor.  In January, 1772, they met and made further arrangements for a Meeting house In March they met again, and decided as to the laying of the foundation of the Meeting house, In April they held another meeting, and arranged further concerning the foundation.


<>On the first day of June, 1772, in a Society meeting they " Voted to give Mr. Jackson a call on probation." He had probably been preaching to them a few Sabbaths before then, meeting "was held, and he accepted this call on probation. On the second Monday of the next August they voted "to meet on the Sabbath at Mr. Upson's new house," Hitherto they lead met at Mr. Atkins' house, but now they go to the new house, probably because it was larger and more commodious.  Where this house was we cannot learn definitely, but the Upson families resided near the center on the north road, and it was doubtless on that road.*

The Society met again on the last Monday in the fol­lowing September and voted to have Mr. Jackson on probation one month longer, and also that the Society's Committee should " go and treat with Mr. Jackson whether he will stay one month longer on probation, and likewise to ask him whether he will settle wilt us if we can agree on terms." At the end of the month, 26th of October, they came together and' voted to settle Mr. Jackson if they could agree, and adjourned the meeting one hour.  When they met, at the end of the hour, they agreed to give Mr. Jackson as a settlement 175 pounds and to be "four years paying said settlement," and to 11 give 50 pounds salary, to be paid yearly, four years," and then to raise it to 75 pounds to be continued dur­ing his continuing with us."

And it was at this meeting that it was voted to hold their meetings for the future in the Meeting house.  Mr. Jackson did not accept this call., but appears to have con­tinued to preach to the Society several weeks, for on the last day of November, 1772, a month later, they ap­pointed a special committee to prevail with him to settle with them ; and this committee did not succeed.  In the next meeting, in January, 1773, they voted to " apply to some man to preach with us on probation a few Sabbaths."


* Since writing the above, we have learned that this house was that of Mr. Thomas Upson, and was the house where Charles Upson, Esquire, afterwards resided, and where Mr. Joseph H. Somers now resides.


Thus were they all " at sea " again concerning a Minister

and Pastor.


On the second day of August, 1773, the record says:

Voted to continue Mr. Gillet with us as a preacher longer." " Voted to improve Mr. Gillet ten Sabbaths more, and on probation." On the second Monday of October next, before the ten weeks were ended, they gave Mr. Gillet a call, agreeing to give him as a settle­ment 175 pounds, and to be four years paying the settle­ment, and to pay him 50 pounds salary yearly for four years, and then raise it to 75 pounds yearly, which was $250 a year for four years, and after that $375 a year.

Mr. Gillet accepted this invitation, as appears from the fact that the Society held another meeting about six weeks after the invitation was given (NOV. 29th), and voted to have the "ordination on the 29th day of De­cember next," and voted also that " All that is due to Mr. Gillet shall be paid the first of March next ; and all that shall become due between this time and the first of said March, together with one-quarter of the settlement proposed by the Society."

The minister thus found by the Society could not be installed over a church until a church should be organ­ized, and to this word, Mr. Gillet gave his attention.  Here were scattered sheep in the wilderness, and duty was laid on him to look till be should find them, and gather them into one fold.  Some were members in Waterbury, some in Southington, and other places.  Of this there is no specific record, only that they were " members of several churches."

The only ceremony at the organization was the signing of "The Covenant of Confederation," in a meeting held for that purpose on the 18th of November, 1773, The original paper which they signed is not preserved ; that which we have is the record which Mr. Gillet wrote in


the Church Book five years after he was installed.  This book, the first Used for church records, is a paper-covered, foolscap-size, unruled book of twenty-four slicets.  It is literally "crammed" with writing, except parts of a few pages.  The last record made was in 1830, by Deacon Isaac Bronson.  On the first page of this book Mr. Gillet wrote the following statement, in an elegant handwriting: "A Book of Church Records from the year 1774, or De­cember 29th, 1773, for Farmingbury Church.  Alexander Gillet, Pastor."

The third page of this book contains the record of the formation of the church, and we give it just as Mr. Gillet wrote it, excepting the ornamental part :


Their Convent of confederation, assented to at Farmingbury, November 18th, 1773.

We, who are members Of several churches, desiring to be built up a spiritual house on the foundation of the Apostles and Proph­ets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone, in order to offer spiritual gifts and sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ, and being united in the bonds of Christian love, and in the faith of the gospel of Christ, do this day renewedly dedicate ourselves to God, acknowledging our great obligation to walk in all the com­mandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless,-and in the presence of God, angels, and men, do enter into covenant obligation with each other, as members in particular of one distinct and entire church, for all the purposes of Christian edification; promising, by the grace of God, to treat each other with all the tenderness, faithfulness, and watchfulness, which become members of the same body of Christ, humbly depending on, and begging grace from God, that we may find so much favor in His sight as to be found faithful to these our solemn obligations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, In confirmation of which we here subscribe our names.  November, &C.

Aaron Harrison, Deacon, and Jerusha his wife.

Josiah Rogers, Deacon, and Sarah his wife.

Isaac Hopkins, and Mary his wife.



Joseph Atkins and Abigail his wife.

Thomas Upson

Joseph Sutliff

Amos Seward and Ruth his wife.

David Norton.

John Alcox and Mary his wife.

Samuel Upson.

Wait Hotchkiss and Lydia his wife.

Nathaniel Butler and Rebecca his wife.

Elizabeth Porter

Daniel Alcox and Elizabeth his wife.

Joseph Hotchkiss and Hannah his wife.

Judah Frisbie.

Israel Clark and Mahetable his wife.

Daniel Lane and Jemima his wife.

Stephen Miles

Stephen Barnes and Sarah his wife.

Zadoc Bronson and Eunice his wife

Lucy Peck, the wife of Justus Peck

Rebecca, wife of Nathaniel Hitchcock.

Esther Barrett.

Joseph Benham, and Elizabeth his wife.

Josiah Barnes

Admitted by letter, &c., December 22d, 1773,- William Smith, Anne, wife if James Baily; John Bronson, David Frost.

January 2d., 1774, Samuel Bradley.

By letter, Ephraim Pratt and his wife.

Elizabeth, wife of Ebenezer Wakelee.

Admitted January 16th, 1774, Sarah, wife of Isaac Clark, Martha, wife of Aaron Howe.

January 30th, Daniel Byington.

These names, with the above "covenant," fill the third page of the book.  They are given entire, as an illus­tration of Mr. Gillet's method of church work.

Of these persons, there were forty-one who unite in organizing the church; four united with the church one month later, in December, and seven united during Jan­uary following.

The church being organized, their next step was the ordination of a pastor.  There is no record of any action of the Church separate from that of the Society, yet it is evident that the Church united cordially with the So­ciety in calling an ordaining Council.


The record of the ordination is as follows :

At an Ecclesiastical Council at Farmingbury, on Wednesday, the 29th of December, 1773, invitedly the church in said Farming­bury for the purpose of the solemn separation of Mr. Alexander Gillet to the pastoral charge of said Church, and to the work of the gospel ministry in said Society,- convened according to let­ters missive : Present, Elders,- John Trumbull, Mark Leaven­worth, Samuel Newell, Timothy Pitkin, Joseph Strong, Andrew Stores, Rufus Hawley.  Messengers, Thomas Matthews, Esq., Deacon Andrew Bronson, Deacon Stephen Hotchkiss, Deacon Seth Lee, Judah Holcomb, Esq., Dencon John Warner, Joseph Hart, Esq.

Rev.  John Trumbull was chosen Moderator, and Timothy Pit­kin chosen Scribe.  This Council, having been certified by attested copies from records, both of this Church and Society, of their respective united invitations of Mr. Alexander Gillet to be their pastor, and his acceptance of their invitation, proceeded to ex­amine Mr. Gillet as to his regular church membership, and his views and ends in entering into the sacred work of the gospel ministry, and qualifications therefore, are of opinion that the way is clear for this Council to proceed to the solemn separation of Mr. Alexander Gillet to the work of the gospel ministry and pas­toral office in this place.

The Rev.  Mr. Stores to make the prayer before the sermon, Rev.  Mr. Strong to preach the sermon, Rev.  Mr. Leavenworth to make the prayer before the change, and Rev.  Mr. Trumbull to give the charge; the Rev.  Mr. Newell to make the prayer after the charge, and Rev.  Mr. Hawley to give the right hand of fellowship.

Passed in Council,


On the same day that the Council was convened the Church held a meeting, and adopted some statements

<>*Two or three samples only of the spelling and literal methods of writ­ing in olden times are given in this book; all else is put into modern style as nearly as possible.

At a church meeting held in Farmingbury December 29th, 1773, after mature consideration, the church agreed and voted in ye [[036]] following plan of chh discipline; That this chh, takes ye word of God to be the only sure and unerring rule of chh Discipline; neither do we think that any platform of human composure, with­out just exceptions.  Howeveri we agree that ye platform drawn up by ye Elders & Messengers of ye chhs of Connecticut, con­vened at Saybrook, A. D., 1808, in ye main is agreeable to ye Word of God & a good Directory.  But,

1st.  We are not well satisfied that ye 7th article in ye heads of agreement, drawn up by ye Elders & Messengers aforesaid, and ye first article in ye administration of chh discipline are without just exceptions; but we are of opinion yt ye administration of chh discipline is communicated jointly to Pastor & church.  How­ever, as Pastors or Elders me worthy of double honor, so we be­lieve they ought to have and be allowed a double vote in all acts and votes of ye chh.

2ly. We are not satisfied with ye 7th article, that a chh in ye calling of a council, ought to be confined to ye consociated chhs of ye circuit to which they belong; but we believe that ye chhs when they so agree, have a right to call in a promiscuous Council.

3rd.  With respect to ye 8th article we are not satisfied. ]But we think an offending brother has no liberty of appealing to a Council, either before or after excommunication from ye chh, un­less ye Pastor & church judge that ye nature of ye case require it, and will join in calling a Council.

4thly.  With respect likewise to ye 4th article, we are not very well satisfied, for we believe that whenever a Council is called, nothing ought to be deemed an act of it which hath not ye major part of ye Elders separate, and likewise of ye Messengers present.

5thly.  Lastly, we are not satisfied with ye I4th article, for tho' we allow it to be expedient, yet destitute and bereaved chhs, in ordinary cases, consult ye association, and take their advice con­cerning those persons who are fit to be called and settled in the gospel ministry among them @ yet notwithstanding, as we believe ye ebbs have a right of choosing their @ own officers, so we do not look upon it they are absolutely bound to adhere to such advice at all times; but there may be cases in which they have a right to judge for themselves, and act without it.

           <>Concerning ye rest of ye articles in Saybrook Platform, we are [[037]] so far satisfied with them as to agree in taking them as a good help to understand ye mind of God in ye administration of chh discipline, and we agree to It in onformity to them till God please to give us further light.

At a chh meeting, Farmingbury, April 15th, 1779, the chh voted to adopt ye above plan of chh discipline.


Thus was the first gospel minister settled in Farming­bury, afterwards Wolcott, to feed the flock of God and publish glad tidings to lost sinners.  The scattered sheep had waited long for a fold, for they began to peti­tion the General Assembly for such privileges, in 176o, and had continued their toils and oft-repeated petitions until the desired object was obtained and they had a Zion in the midst of them.  One thing remained yet to be done to make complete the outward working of a church,- the election of deacons, and the consequent orderly adminis­tration of the sacraments.

The sacrament of baptism was administered the first time, in January, 1774, to a child: Eunice, the daughter of Stephen and Zilpha Pratt.

On the 29th of January, 1774, the church met for the purpose of electing deacons, and elected Captain Aaron Harrison for their first deacon, and Lieutenant Josiah Rog­ers for their second.  They also " voted that the Sacra­ment of the Lord's Supper be observed once in two months ; the first to be on the first Saturday of February ensuing." It was probably observed on the 6th of that month, when Levi Gaylord and Lois his wife united with the church.




The ministry of Mr. Gillet, as a settled pastor, began on the first Sabbath of January, 1774, with a church mem­bership of forty-five persons, and a parish numbering scarcely seventy-five families, the greater part of whom had come into the territory within the twenty years preceding the organization of the church; so that the whole parish was only a new settlement.

<>The settlement was begun in Waterbury part, in 1731, by Mr. John Alcock. Mr. Thomas Upson removed into the south-east corner of the parish territory in 1732 or 1733, but most of the other families living in the eastern part of the parish in 1773 had removed thither after 1755, as nearly as can be ascertained.  The comforts of these families, when Mr. Gillet's work began, were of the most restricted kind.  Many of them resided in log houses, with no out­houses of any kind; a haystack with a fence around it was the only barn some of them possessed.  Many years after, Mr. John Bronson, father of the Bronson families in this parish, quoted the text: "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?" and said he was not guilty of living in a ceiled house while the Meeting house was unceiled.  In 1795, the Meeting house was ceiled; but Mr. Bronson's dwelling was not, until some time afterward, the west­ern, or Waterbury part of the parish, was more advanced in settlement, but was mostly a wilderness of heavy timber.  Mr. Judah Frisbie, one of the first settlers in Woodtick, if not the very first, purchased land there in the fall of 1773; the deed of the same being still preserved. [[039]]

Mr. John Alcock had been in the parish territory thirty two years when the church was organized; and some of his sons and daughters were settled on their farms before 1773.  Mr. Isaac Hopkins and Benjamin Harrison (father of Deacon Aaron Harrison), and a few other families, had been in the parish about thirty years.

This was Mr. Gillet's parish.  The, remark is attributed to the oldest inhabitants, that when the Meeting house was raised, all the inhabitants in the parish could sit on its "sills." If those sills were of the length fixed upon by the Society in its first vote on the subject, they were 42 by 58 feet, and would not have seated over 140 persons,-men, women, and children.

Mr. Gillet graduated at Yale College, September, 1770. In 1771 he united with the church in Granby.  After graduating, he taught school in Farmington a year or more, and may have studied theology during that time, under the direction of Rev. Timothy Pitkin, then pastor of the Farmington church.  He was licensed to preach by the Hartford Association, on the 2d day of June, 1773, and on the 2d day of next August, the Society in Farming­bury " voted to continue Mr. Gillet ten Sabbaths more, and on probation." He had probably preached two Sab­baths, and these with the ten made three months, at the end of which he was installed.  When he settled here lie was unmarried, was twenty-four years of age, naturally of a quiet spirit, but devotedly, and what is often called deeply religious, The good order with which all church matters were arranged, indicates a qualification, both in maturity of thought and in devotedness to the work, equal to the position he had accepted.  Many churches, directed by older men, have not been as well directed; and it is seldom that church records are as fully kept and as carefully preserved as these; and to this preservation of these first records is due, in a large degree, this book of history.

      Mr. Gillet's father, Capt.  Zaccheus Gillet, removed into [[040]] the parish soon after the installation of his son, and therefore it became home, indeed, to the young pastor.

Under Mr. Gillet's labors, the church, from the first, experienced a gradual growth, receiving members on profession of their faith from month to month, and some of the time from Sabbath to Sabbath.  In June follow­ing the organization, there were sixty-two members.  Ten years later, one hundred and three persons had united with the church.  During his whole ministry, which lasted eighteen years, one hundred and forty persons were re­corded as members of the church,-ninety-nine besides those who organized the church and most of them by profession.

Through Mr. Gillet's efforts a library was formed for the parish.  The only account of it which I have been able to procure is contained in an inscription in one of the books which has come into my hands: "This book be­longs to the library in Farmingbury.  Founded Novem­ber 5, 1779.  No. 50." This library was, after some years, scattered among the original contributors, and between 1820 and  1830, another was formed, which suffered a like fate.

<>In 1784, a larger number united with the church than in any other year during his stay in the parish.  This was the result of some special efforts made in the previous year.  From some writings left by Deacon Isaac Bronson, we learn that in 1783, "Mr.  Gillet was unable to preach, and Rev.  Edmond Mills preached here, and there was quite an awakening among the people, so that they had preaching three times on the Sabbath, and conferences three or four times a week; and "Mr. Gillet visited from house to house, and brought many good preachers here," so that the "awakening soon became general," and this continued, somewhat, during the sum­mer, and on "August the 9th, on Saturday, while alone at work," Isaac Bronson became greatly awakened in his own behalf.  This interest in the church "greatly [[041]] animated Mr. Gillet," and his health began to improve, and after a few months he resumed his preaching.

By a vote of the Society, in June, 1783, Mr. Mills was hired to preach.  No length of time is specified, but the probability is that he preached three or four months.  At the next annual meeting of the Society Mr. Gillet's salary was made "the same as other years ;" and while they paid two ministers, the Society received more than double benefit, for more members were added than during the five years preceding, and the church was greatly quickened, and the minister much encouraged in his work. Previous to this revival there had been some things to discourage the minister and the church, and the commu­nity felt these influences more, even, than the church and minister.  Deacon Isaac Bronson, speaking of the effort which Mr. Gillet made, in connection with the preaching of Mr. Mills, says: " A serious attention began to take place, which Mr. Gillet perceiving, was greatly animated himself, and brought many good preachers here, and went round to every house to visit his people, and alarm them from that stupidity which for a long time had grossly overspread the Society."

During the ten years since the organization of the church, there had been several cases of church discipline which caused much trouble, and as is usual, much dead­ness in church interests.  The first case arose in June, 1774, peculiar in   itself, because it related somewhat to the civil courts.     It caused considerable difference of opinion, and some      personal feeling, and in regard to it the church voted twice to call a council; but they finally settled it among themselves by making " null and void all the votes that had been passed in regard to it," and likewise voted " to banish all differences which had been entertained, one towards another, and conduct themselves as forgiving Christian brethren."

<>            In I779, another difficulty arose, and continued till the autumn of I781, when a council rendered its decision, and [[042]] the church "voted to consent to the doings and advice of the Ecclesiastical Council," and "that all matters of past altercation, complaint, and uneasiness shall be laid aside ; and that the pastor and the church shall not re­ceive any manner of complaint whatsoever from any per­son for anything that has been matter of complaint before the Council." But a further difficulty grew out of this same case, about one year after the above settlement, and caused some further feeling and dissatisfaction to­wards the minister and among the members of the church.

          These troubles, doubtless, affected the sensitive mind of the pastor, and may have had much weight in dis­couraging him, and bringing him to that state of health in which he was not able to preach.  Hence, when the signs of revival appeared among the people in 1783, it was the morning of a new life to pastor and people, and was, in effect, like the passing away of a very cold win­ter, and the coming of April showers; all things began to spring into life and activity.  The church had been overcome and trodden down by the spirit of the world.  The revival was like the return of the captives from Babylon after seventy years.  Jerusalem was a11 astir, and the walls of the city and of the temple began to rise from the dust and ruins with marvelous rapidity, and promise of final completion.


Several things resulted from this revival worthy of no­tice.  They proceeded to "improve the Meeting house." Hitherto the Meeting house had no stationary seats or pews.  Their place was supplied with seats from various sources, among others, some provided chairs for themselves.  There is now in the possession of Mrs. Henry Carter a chair that was used by some of her ancestors for this purpose.

      <>The gallery had no floor or seats in it, and there bad been no plastering or ceiling done in the house.  In December, [[043]] 1783, the Society appointed " Lieut.  Joseph Beecher, Deacon Josiah Rogers, Capt.  Daniel Alcox, Capt.  Samuel Upson, Esquire Stephen Barnes, Mr. Amos Seward, and Daniel Byington, a committee to settle the Meeting house accounts." These accounts had never been fully settled since the building of the Meeting house.  There does not appear to have been debts of any great amount, but there was some trouble in adjusting these accounts among the different parties interested.  This committee did not succeed in this matter, and in the spring (May 4, 1784), they appointed another committee, "with power to settle them according to their best judgment." This committee was the same as the former, except Mr. Simeon Hopkins in place of Deacon Rogers.  At this meeting in May they "voted that we should do something to the Meeting house." "Voted that the joiner work to the low­er part of the house should be done, and the front seats in the gallery, if there should be stuff enough. "At the same meeting, Mr. David Norton, Capt.  Nathaniel Lewis, and Lieut.  Charles Upson were chosen a Meeting house com­mittee.  "Voted that the lower part of said Meeting house be ceiled up to the windows, and be made into pews, and the work to be done decent and plain.  Voted to lay a rate of four pence (which was afterwards made to five pence) on the pound, to be laid on tile list Of 1783, .to be paid by the first of October next, in wheat, rye, or Indian corn." At the same meeting Heman Hall and Nathan Stevens were chosen to collect said rate.  This tax, with a one-penny addition laid on the list of 1784, to be paid the first of October, 178S, was, doubtless, for these expenses on the Meeting house.

<>            Since writing the above a paper has been presented me by Mr. Silas B. Terry, of Waterbury, which was the order of the court for the collection of the tax for repairing the Meeting house.  The list of assessments is not to be found, but reference to a town tax list in the history of the town, elsewhere in this volume, will give some idea of the [[044]]<> tax to repair the Meeting house, only the Meeting house tax is double that of the town tax referred to.


To Isaac Barnes, Collector of Society rate for the purpose of doing something to the Meeting house of the Parish of Farmingbury, in Waterbury, in New Haven County, greeting:

By virtue of the authority of the State of Connecticut, you are hereby commanded forthwith to levy and collect of the persons named in the annexed list herewith committed unto you, each one his several proportion as therein set down of the sum total of such list, being a tax or assessment granted by the inhabitants of the said Society of Farmingbury, regularly assembled on the 24th day of September, 1784, to defray the charge that shall arise in prose­cuting the above said purpose, and pay or deliver such sum or sums which you shall so levy and collect unto the Society's treas­urer for the time being of the said Society of Farmingbury, at or before the first day of October next ensuing the date hereof.

And if any person or persons shall neglect or refuse to make payment of tire sum or sums whereof he or they are assessed and set in said list, to distrain the goods or chattels of such person or persons, and the same dispose of as the law directs, returning the surplus, if any be, unto the owner or owners @ and for want of such goods and chattels whereon to make distress, you are t take the body or bodies of such person or persons refusing, and him or them commit unto the keeper of the gaol of said county, within the said prison, who is hereby commanded to receive and safely keep him or them until he or they pay and satisfy the said sum assessed upon him or them as aforesaid, together with your fees ; unless the said assessment, or any part thereof, upon application made to the county court shall be abated, or otherwise as the law directs.

Dated at Waterbury, this 24th day of September, A. D., 1784.

JONATHAN BALDWIN, Justice of the Peace.

      <>When the Meeting house was thus improved by pews, it became quite a serious matter how and where the peo­ple should sit.  On September 24th, 1784, "voted to have the front seats done in the gallery." "Voted that Capt. [[045]] Samuel Upson, Capt.  Nathaniel Lewis, Judah Frisbie, Simeon Hopkins, and Daniel Peck, be a committee to Dignify the Meeting house." "Voted to seat the Meet­ing house by age." "Voted to have men and women sit together." At the same meeting Daniel Norton, Mark Harrison, Daniel Byington, Jacob Carter, Capt.  Daniel Alcox were chosen a committee to seat the Meeting house.  One month after this meeting they met again and made further efforts to seat the Meeting house.  "Voted to give the pew by the pulpit stairs to Mr. Gil­let during the pleasure of the Society." " Voted to recon­sider the vote that was taken to seat the Meeting house by age ; and voted to seat the Meeting house by age and by list, allowing eight pounds to a year," "Voted that each man have one head, and only one, to be seated on." "Voted to have the aged widows seated in the first pew east of the pulpit." "Voted that Capt.  Daniel Alcox, Daniel Byington, Jacob Carter, David Norton, and Ensign Streat Richards, and Simeon Hopkins, and Mr. Joseph Parker be a committee to seat the Meeting house -as above." Two weeks after they met again, and voted that the seating of the Meeting house in regard to the money lot, should be on the list of 1772.  That is, if on that list a man paid taxes on forty pounds, be should have double honor in the church, compared with a man forty years old without any list.  Also, at this adjourned meeting, they "voted to have a pew built over the stairs for the niggers." The seats made at this time in the gallery, were a row of "front seats," and some years after this, there were box pews made in the rear of these seats.  The pews below were old-fashioned box or square pews.  The pulpit stood on the north side of the church, opposite the front door, with a double window in the rear above it; and there was a door in each end of the church, east and west.  The pulpit was very high, as was the cus­tom in those days, and beneath it, and perhaps extending a little in front, were the seats for the deacons, and those  [[046]] important officers who noted the absentees from church, and especially those absent from the preparatory lecture and the Lord's Supper.  The house thus arranged and well filled, as it probably was at this time, was well calcu­lated to animate the speaker and secure the sympathy and attention of the audience.  The pulpit was high but so were the galleries on the three sides.  The pulpit stood on the side of the house,-a great advantage over its being at the end, according to a more recent style.

This was as far as the Society could go at this time, and though the house was far from being furnished, it was a great improvement on the first ten years of its exist­ence and use.  The Society had -some difficulty in paying for these improvements and settling the old accounts, for in November, 1785, they appointed another commit­tee "to settle the old accounts in building the Meeting house."

Another interest arose from the improvements in the Meeting house. It was respecting the singing, and the singers.  Soon after the house improvements were made. -that is, in November, 1784, at the annual meeting, they appointed three choristers, as they had been accustomed for several years, and voted that " the singers should have the front seats, if they chose to sit there."/ That is, probably, the front seats in the gallery.

The next April, at a Society meeting, they voted, that "it is our mind to have more help respecting setting the psalm," for by vote the church had decided to use Watts' Psalms in public worship.  They also voted that the "singers should have liberty to choose their own leaders;" and then, frightened at this innovation, immedi­ately reconsidered the vote and adjourned the meeting two weeks.

      <>When they came together at the appointed time, they were over their fright, and more venturesome than before, and voted that " we will leave it with the singers to carry on singing as they think best, during the pleasure of the [[047]] Society." The Society had from the first taken special interest in singing, from the fact that they had, for a new farming community, a marvelous number of singers.  Almost everybody could sing; and this heavenly talent is well continued unto the present day.  The following list of choristers, chosen previous to I785, will show somewhat the musical talent of the community; and several of them were not only singers, but musicians and poets:


Jacob Carter, Levi Bronson, Jared Harrison, Stephen Barnes, and David Alcox.


Samuel Upson, Levi Bronson, Jared Harrison, Jacob Carter, Samuel Harrison, Cyrus Norton.


Samuel Harrison, Jacob Carter, Cyrus Norton.  And for bass singers, Mark Harrison, Samuel Atkins, Daniel Finch, and Jared Harrison.


Stephen ]3arnes, Samuel Harrison, Cyrus Norton, Mark Harri­son, David Harrison, Ziba Norton.


Zaccheus Gillet.


Samuel Harrison, Cyrus Norton, Nathan Gillet.


Cyrus Norton, Isaac Carter, Nathan Gillet.


Samuel Harrison, Cyrus Norton, Isaac Carter, Mark Harrison, Dr. Potter, Jacob Carter, David Harrison, Ozais Norton, Joseph M. Parker, Joseph Miner, Jonathan Carter, Noah Norton, Elijah Horton.  Thirteen.

      <>This last array of choristers would frighten modern choirs, though many churches would be very glad to see the fright.  Some persons now living in Wolcott remem­ber having seen the front seats in the gallery of the old [[048]] church on three sides nearly filled with singers, and with them the congregation joined in the singing.  This was during Mr. Keys' ministry.

In I787, the Society appointed "a committee to draw up a subscription for the encouraging of singing," consist­ing of Streat Richards, Mark Harrison, Cyrus Norton, Charles Upson, and Isaac Carter; and some years after they "laid a tax" for the same purpose.  Such were some of the substantial and joyous results of one revival.

There came into the church at this time men who for many years were its leading members : among the more prominent of whom were Justus Peck, afterwards deacon, whose wife was one of the first members of the church ; Charles Upson, afterwards justice of the peace in the town, and for quite a number of years an active man in the church and Society, Jacob Carter, Samuel Byington, Samuel Atkins, and Mark Harrison, afterwards justice of the peace, all active and reliable men for years, and some of them, many years.  Isaac Bronson, though converted at the same time, did not unite with the church till 1788, and was afterwards made deacon and served the church and Society many years, in many offices.  He also served the town in various offices, being- elected Town Clerk and Treasurer, when the town was organized, and afterwards was Representative in the Assembly for many years.

There were also gathered into the church at this time a number of noble women who strengthened the church and did their part in the Redeemer's kingdom.  Judah Frisbie was one of the formers and first members of the church; his wife was now also led into the fold, and the household was one in the church.  Wealthy, wife of Charles Upson ; Phoebe, wife of Samuel Harrison; Mary Carter, wife of Jacob; Jerusha Norton, wife of Cyrus ; Es­ther Atkins, wife of Samuel ; and a number of others equally noted for their honorable lives, as Christian women.

      <>It should be borne in mind that this revival occurred in [[049]] the year, and soon after the Declaration of Peace, and the acknowledgment of the Independence of the United Colonies in America.  Mr. Gillet had not been settled three years when the war "broke out." He and his little band had held on their way courageously, considering the "trouble" of those years of sore conflict, privations, and fears.  A number of his fellow citizens and parishioners 11 went to the war;" some had returned, some never would return to the homes they had left.  When the war began, Southington Mountain, lying just within the eastern boundary of Farmingbury, was the most flourishing dis­trict in the parish.  The line of the mountain runs north and south; and a road was constructed on the ridge or highest part of it, nearly the whole length, some two miles or more.  Along this road were settled some of the most thrifty farmers in the parish, on some of the most beautifully located land, and most easy of cultivation, in the township.

It is said that the war made such desolation in these families, that those who were left began to move into other parts; and the emigration continued until a few years since, when the last inhabitant had fled.  This whole district is now grown up into woods and bushes, except a few fields near the only remaining skeleton of a house, where stands, as a 'lonely sentinel, the "sweep" over the well; the "old oaken bucket" having gone to the depths of the well many years ago.

      <>The Revolution began this work of desolation with a strong hand, and now the end is fully come.  Legends of the Revolution are still told, but they are thrown far into the shade by the sorrows of war in our own day.  There is a family now in the parish whose grandfather was captain tinder Washington in Boston and on Long Island, and was in the battle which secured the surrender of General Burgoyne and his army, in 1777; but the re­membrance of their only son and brother, who died in  [[050]<> Sherman’s army, near Atlanta, Georgia, obscures all the victories of the Revolution.

Though the times of the Revolution tried every man's' courage, and every woman's heart, yet through these years this little Society and its ministerial captan, passed securely and prosperously, and came out into a " large place, beside still waters."

When a people are in the way of improvements, it is easy to continue the same.  The added comforts of the Meeting house may have suggested the idea of building "Sabha Day" houses, for we find a vote passed in 1788 appointing a committee to direct where such houses should be built on the land near the church, owned by the Society.  Some few were built, but soon went out of use, for I have some suspicion that the hotel or tavern was  the "Sabha Day" house many preferred to any other, between sermons.  And I find, also, that many of the business meetings of the Society were held at Mr. Samuel Byington's house, which was the " tavern ;" and Samuel Byington was a member of the church, as were also many who came in to warm at his "fire."


      <>Mr. Gillet recorded his own marriage in the Church book as occurring "Dec. 3, 1778." This fact is mentioned specialty because in Sprague's Annals it is given as hav­ing taken place " December, I779," which latter date would not look well along with the fact that his son, Timothy Phelps, was baptized in this church July 23, I780.  He married Adah Rogers, daughter of one of the deacons of his church, and a man very prominent in all the doings of the church and Society for many years.  The marriage services were conducted by Rev. Samuel Newell, proba­bly in the church.  Mr. Newell preached a sermon from the following text, John ii: 1, 2. " And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother of Je­sus was there.  And both Jesus was called and his disciples [[051]] to the marriage." Mr. Gillet's marriage was on the third day of the month and this made the text more literal the occasion, and it is said that a minister once likened Wolcott to the land of Canaan; possibly the audience at his time thought they were in that land, and if the audience did not, perhaps the bride and bridegroom did. r. Gillet and wife resided first about half a mile east of he church, in a house now entirely gone, part of the walls f the cellar only are remaining.  He afterwards built house on a farm, a quarter of a mile north of the church n the east side of the road.  This house is still standing and is quite inhabitable, though no one resides in it; and must have been a good home in those days when that street was inhabited by a number of the first families of lie parish.  It is not known at present what peculiar in­cident, if any, gave to this part of the community the elo­quent name of " Puddin' street," but it certainly has had this honor from beyond the memory of any persons liv­e. In this house Mr. Gillet probably resided but a few cars, for the recollections of some of his children are connected much more with the old house now gone than this one North of the Meeting house.  Mr. Gillet had four children baptized while pastor here.  Timothy Phelps, July 23, 1780, afterwards pastor in Branford, Conn., over fifty years; Asaph, Nov. 24, 1782; Esther, July 17, 1785; Adah, Jan. 27, 1788.


            When Mr. Gillet settled here his salary was to be fifty pounds a year, for four years, and seventy-five pounds early after that.  The Society was faithful to this agreement.  The nominal amount varied during a very few years, but varied because of the diminished or increased price of wheat, for wheat seems to have been the standard of value.  His salary for the first four years (£5O per year) as paid regularly, with one-quarter of the £175 settle­ment, on the 1st of March.  In 1778 they promptly voted [[052]] him £75 for the ensuing year, according to agreement.  In 1779 they voted him £75, "to be paid in wheat, at six shillings a bushel." In 1780 it was £50, "to be paid in wheat at four shillings a bushel." In 1781 it was the same, £5O, "to be paid in wheat, at four shillings a bushel." After 1781 it was £75, with one exception, till he closed his labors here.  In 1787 they paid him £75 and twenty­ five cords of wood, and in 1788 it was £70 and twenty­ five cords of wood.

This salary, though apparently small, was larger than Rev.  Mr. Leavenworth, Congregational minister in Water­bury, was receiving at the same time*.  "In 1755, Mr. Leavenworth's salary was £65 "proclamation money," or its equivalent in old tenor; in 1759, £54; in 1761, £65; in 1762, £82; in 1781, £55; but on account of the burdens of the Society and the public taxes, Mr. L. agreed to accept £45.  In 1782, the salary was £65, and £10 in wood; in 1791, £70; but Mr. L. gave the Society £5 of it."

*Bronson's History of Waterbury, p. 285.

These figures show that Mr. Gillet's salary, on an average, was about ten pounds a year more than Mr. Leavenworth's, and therefore was very honorable for a new society, compared with one more than ninety years old.  From the fact -that the Society voted twenty-five cords of wood in 1787, we infer that Mr. Gillet was then residing in his new house, on his own farm, and that that farm included no woodland ; and hence, also, that the farm was a small one, which we learn to have been about ten acres.  It was in this house, probably, that the New Haven West Association held its first meeting. May 31st, 1787† "There were present, Messrs. Leavenworth, Williston, Foot, Edwards, Wales, Gillet, Da­vid Fuller, Fowler, Perry, and Martin Fuller.  Mr. Lea­venworth was moderator, and Dr. Jonathan Edwards was scribe."

† Kingsley's Eccl. Hist. Conn., p. 327.

The fact that this meeting was held at Mr. Gillet's house, indicates his interest in the neighboring ministers and churches ; for this being the first meeting, there must have been some preliminaries, and in these he must have taken considerable part, and hence the propriety of going to his house for this meeting.  This was in accord­ance with his character, for though naturally reserved in his manner, he heartily gave all attention and effort to build up the churches and spread gospel light, and his home was a home of welcome to all who toiled as minis­ters in the Master's kingdom.


<>At the annual Society meeting, the 29th day of No­vember, 1790, it was "voted to send a committee to the Rev.  Mr. Gillet, to discourse with him concerning the uneasiness there is in the Society with him as a teacher." The committee consisted of Mr. Jacob Carter, Captain Nathaniel Lewis, Deacon Peck, Capt.  Samuel Upson, Mr. Amos Seward, Mr. Mark Harrison, Capt.  Charles Upson, Mr. Calvin Cowles, and Mr. Jonathan Carter.  No reasons are given as to the cause of this "uneasi­ness, except in the words "with him as a teacher," and afterwards it is said "with him as a pastor and teacher." This committee, doubtless, performed the work assigned it, and reported to the Society the information obtained, for from this time they held several adjourned meetings from week to week.  On the 23d day of December, 1790, in a Society meeting, they "voted to have Mr. Gillet invited into the house." He probably came, and they had a conference together like brethren.  About two weeks after this conference, the Society " voted that Mr. Leavenworth, Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Smalley, and Mr. Waterman, with their delegates, be an advisory Council respecting the uneasiness there is with Mr. Gillet as a public teacher," and that the Council meet on the "first Tuesday of February next, at nine o'clock in the morning, [[054]] at the house of Samuel Byington," and that Capt. Samuel Upson, Jacob Carter, Lieut.  Richards, Deacon Atkins, Capt. Charles Upson, Jonathan Carter, Mark Harrison, Capt. Daniel Alcox, Calvin Cowles, Simeon Plumb, and Dr. Potter, be a committee to attend on the Council."

This Council met, but of its doings I find no record, yet from several items afterwards recorded, conclude that it advised against a dismissal.  On the first day of next September, the Society "voted that all those that are easy with the Rev.  Mr. Gillet as a pastor and teacher signify the same.  Yeas, 40; nays, 19." "Voted that all those that are willing the Rev. Mr. Gillet be dis­missed, agreeable to his request, signify the same by lift­ing the hand.  Yeas, 20; nays, 29." One week from this meeting they " voted to call the same Council that were here in February last, to meet at the house of Samuel Byington in said Farmingbury, on the fourth Tuesday of October next, at nine o'clock in the morning, then and there to hear, advise, and determine, on matters of difficulty between the Rev. Mr. Gillet and his peo­ple." Deacon Aaron Harrison, Deacon Peck, Deacon Atkins, Messrs.  Amos Seward, Streat Richards, Jacob Carter, Jonathan Carter, Capt.  Samuel Upson, Capt. Daniel Alcox, were chosen a committee to make pro­visions for the Council, and to represent the Society be­fore them."


The original copy of the proceedings of the Council is preserved, in Mr. Trumbull's hand-writing, and a splen­did hand-writing it is:

<>At an Ecclesiastical Council convened by letters missive, in Farmingbury, at the house of the Rev. Alexander Gillet, October 25, 1791, the Rev.  John Smalley was chosen Moderator, and Mr. Trumbull, Scribe.  The Council, considering the importance and difficulty of the matters to be laid before them and their own thinness, not half the members being present, judge it altogether [[055]] inexpedient to proceed to business ; and therefore voted that this Council be adjourned till Wednesday, the 9th of November, to meet at Mr. Samuel Byington's at 9 o'clock in the morning.

Farmingbury, November 9th, the Council met according to adjournment, and adjourned to the Meeting house.  In the recess of this Council the Society of Farmingbury, at the desire of Mr. Gillet and a number of the disaffected members, voted their will­ingness, that the Rev.  Noah Benedict and Dr. Jonathan Edwards, with delegates from their respective churches, should be called to sit with the former Council, to advise with them relative to the matters of difficulty subsisting among them; in consequence of which vote, and letters missive to said gentlemen, predicated upon it, the Rev.  Mr. Benedict and Dr. Edwards, Deacon Daniel Sherman from the First Church in Woodbury, and Mr. Jeyemiah Atwater from the Church in White Haven, joined the Council.

The Council thus formed consisted of the gentleman above mentioned (Benedict, Edwards, Sherman and Atwater), the Rev.  Messrs. Mark Leavenworth, John Smalley, Simon Waterman, and Benjamin Trumbull, and of delegates Joseph Hopkins, Esq., from the church in Waterbury, Colonel Isaac Lee from the church in New Britain, Mr. Elijah Warner from the church in Northbury, and Joseph Darling, Esq., from the church in North Haven.

The Council was opened with prayer by the Rev.  Mr. Leavenworth.

The Rev. Mr. Gillet, a committee of the Society in Farmingbury, and a committee of the members of said Society who were dissatisfied with Mr. Gillet, appeared before the Council, and after considerable conversation a question arose between the parties, whether the Society had property submitted the matters of diffi­culty to the decision of the Council.  Some time was taken up in the discussion of that point, and the parties disagreeing on the subject, the Council adjourned till two o'clock, p.m.

<>Met according to adjournment, and found the Society in regular meeting, and that the question stated above had been largely debated in said meeting, but without any determination.  However, towards evening, said Society "voted that the Council of ministers and delegates from the several neighboring churches, present, be a mutual Council, to hear and determine respecting [[056]] any matters of difficulty between the Rev.  Mr. Gillet, the said Society, or any disaffected persons."

The Council adjourned to Dr. Potter's.  Met according to ad­journment, and the parties appeared before the Council and began to make a statement of their difficulties.  Adjourned to the Meet­ing house, to meet at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Farmingbury, November 10th, the Council met according to ad­journment.

The Rev. Mr. Gillet delivered to the council a paper, in which he submitted all matters of difficulty, and declared, that if this Council shall judge that there is not a prospect for his future use­fulness and comfort in this Church and Society as their pastor, it is his honest wish to be liberated from their pastoral charge; and they continued the hearing.

<>Voted that this Council be adjourned to Deacon Harrison's.  Met according to adjournment; continued and finished the hear­ing; in which it appeared to this Council, that though the Rev.  Mr. Gillet has done nothing inconsistent with the Christian or min­isterial character, and has through a long scene of controversy acted with great prudence, patience, and gentleness, yet there is about a third of the church and Society dissatisfied with his min­istrations; that this dissatisfaction appears to be of long continu­ance and deeply rooted; that, therefore, on the most thorough consideration of the whole matter in all its circumstances, there is not a prospect of his continuing in his present pastoral relation, with either usefulness to the cause of religion or comfort to him­self; that he and some individuals have settled his temporal af­fairs to his satisfaction; and that if he should be advised to con­tinue in his present situation, his continuance would, probably, be but temporary, and for which lie would be removed with greater loss of property, with greater disadvantage as to his settlement in the ministry, and equal if not greater disadvantage to this Society.  For these reasons this Council think it necessary for the interests of religion in general, and especially in this church and Society, and for the usefulness and comfort of Mr. Gillet and his family, that he be dismissed from his pastoral relation to this church and Society, and accordingly he is hereby dismissed, though we feel very tenderly for Mr. Gillet, for his family, and for those of this [[057]] Society who wish him to be continued as their minister; yet we are satisfied that they are called, in Providence, to the patient ex­ercise of self denial in this instance; and we wish them to rest assured, that we advise to this dismission of Mr. Gillet in a full persuasion that it is necessary for their respective interests and spiritual prosperity as well as for the interests of true religion in general.

We take the liberty here to refer it to the consideration of this whole Society, whether this whole calamity has not, in a great measure, come upon them in consequence of the want of due care to supply Mr. Gillet and his family with the conveniences of life; and whether if he had been duly supplied in this respect, be would not have been free from those cues, embarrassments and labors which have been inconsistent with that habitual study and improvement which would have rendered him more respected both to his own and neighboring Societies.

With respect to Mr. Gillet, from all that has appeared concern­ing him in the course of the hearing, and from our acquaintance with him, we believe him to be a man of strict morality and sin­cere piety; and of such ministerial accomplishments, natural and acquired, as may, if Divine Providence open the way, render him useful in the ministry; and as such we recommend him to all churches and to all Christians wherever God may cast his future lot.  Passed unanimously in Council.


Thus closed on the 10th day of November, 1791, the ministerial labors of the Rev. Alexander Gillet as an am­bassador of the court of heaven over this his first parish ­as pastorate which continued nearly eighteen years.

<>The "finding" of this council is very plain and very suggestive.  They say that "the Rev.  Mr. Gillet has through a long scene of controversy acted with great prudence, patience, and gentleness; "and as a reason for this they say, "that this dissatisfaction appears to be of long continuance and deeply rooted," and the explana­tion to this is, a difficulty in the church in the first year of Mr. Gillet's labors here, and another in 1781, in regard [[058]] to which the church called a Council.  The first was a case in which the parties, a husband and wife of influen­tial family connections, had been prosecuted in Court for "scandal" and were acquitted, and soon after applied to be received as members of the church.  This difficulty continued over six months, and then the whole matter was dropped and the persons admitted.  The other case was concerning parties also of influence who had been before "Esquire Baldwin " and then came into the church, which was settled once by a council and came up again a year after, in another form, and caused considerable trouble in the church and community, and as a result the minister was thought to be prejudiced against these parties.  Be­cause the minister valued the honor of the church he was censured and a prejudice was entertained against him to strengthen in the years to come in proportion to his faith­fulness to God and the church.

<>From several things mentioned in the records I am persuaded that these were the beginning of difficulties that finally secured the dismissal of Mr. Gillet.  But there were other things which would not be worthy of mention but for the lessons we are to learn from them; the prin­cipal of which is stated thus by the Council: "We take the liberty here to refer it to the consideration of this whole Society, whether this whole calamity has not, in a great measure, come upon them, in consequence of the want of due care to supply Mr. Gillet and his family with the conveniences of life;" and the supplying of which would have saved him from embarrassment and made him "more respected, both to his own and neighboring Societies." The secret is this: Mr. Gillet received his salary at the end of the year, only, according to agree­ment, and that on the first of March, and seldom re­ceived it promptly at that time.  In 1787 he sent word to the parish meeting that if he could have his money at the first of May, he would give five pounds for twenty five cords of wood, and accept sixty pounds in place of [[059]] the seventy due him.  In one case, at the annual meeting, he had not received his money, due nearly a year.

          These are the things that made trouble in the home of the minister, and because of which we are told Mr. Gil­let was not respected as he would have been, although he was not in fault.  These things are suggestive and we leave them.

          The last entries made by Mr. Gillet, in the church book were, "A marriage, Thanksgiving day, November 24, 1791; a baptism of a child, November 27, 1791, and the death of James Bailey, December 8, 1791.

          His house and farm he sold to some individuals, who transferred it afterwards to the Society, it being valued at £250, and the Society gave two hundred pounds of it to Mr. Woodward, as we shall see, as his "settlement" in the parish.

   Mr. Gillet was settled in Torrington, Conn., May, 1792, where he labored as pastor thirty-four years, till his death.




Mr. Woodward began to preach for this Society as a candidate about the first of February, 1792 -- that is, two months and a half after Mr. Gillet left.  On the 13th of February the Society voted: "That we would wish to continue Mr. Woodward with, us as a preacher till the first of May next," which would, probably, make three months' service. This was the only business done at this meeting, and it then adjourned until the first Monday in April.  Hence it is probable that the meeting was called for this one purpose, and that it was held soon after his first service among them.

<>When they met, according to adjournment, they voted, "That we are agreed in Mr. Woodward as a preacher; that we are desirous to continue Mr. Woodward with us as our minister;" also, "That we will give Mr. Wood­ward £8o salary and twenty-five cords of wood, yearly.  Yeas 48, nays 7." Having passed these votes, the meet­ing adjourned for three or four days, then met and voted "that Capt. Walter Beecher, Dr. John Potter, Lieut. Joseph Beecher, Daniel Byington, Capt.  Charles Upson, Capt. Isaac Hopkins, Mr. Simeon Plumb, and Jeremiah Scarritt be a committee to circulate the subscription pa­per in each school district for the purpose of raising a sum for Mr. Woodward's settlement." This meeting was adjourned from Friday to the next Tuesday, when they voted "to give Mr. Israel B. Woodward two hundred pounds as a settlement, as subscribed, to be paid accord­ing to the subscription," and appointed as a committe [[061]] Deacon Atkins, Capt. Samuel Upson, Capt. Charles Up­son, Mr. Jacob Carter, and Capt. Daniel Alcox, to wait on Mr. Woodward and inform him what the meeting had done.  The meeting adjourned to the "last Monday of inst.  April," and then appointed a committee to receive Mr. Woodward's answer, after which it adjourned to the "second Monday of May next, at three o'clock in the afternoon."

When they met, according to adjournment, they voted to give Mr. I. B. Woodward two hundred pounds, we heretofore voted as a settlement, out of the late farm of the Rev.  Mr. Gillet, estimated at two hundred and fifty pounds." They then appointed a committee "to wait on Mr. Woodward to the meeting." At this meeting the whole matter of settlement was arranged, and they ap­pointed a committee to complete the work, as follows: "Voted that Capt.  Samuel Upson, Capt.  Charles Upson, Mr. Amos Seward, Mr. David Norton, Lieut.  Joseph Beecher, Mr. Jonathan Carter, Mark Harrison, Esquire, Dr. John Potter, Deacon Joseph Atkins, be a commit­tee to agree with Mr. Woodward on the time of the ordination, and on the ordaining council, and to attend said business till the ordination is over."

Mr. Woodward's letter of acceptance is still preserved in his own hand-writing, and is as follows:

MAY 14, 1792.

To the Church of Christ, and to the inhabitants of the Society of Farmingbury:

<>Having some time since received from you a unanimous invi­tation to be your minister in the gospel of Christ, I have, as I hope, most seriously considered the subject, and asked of my God, in a matter of so great importance, that wisdom which is profitable to direct; and after soberly viewing the circumstances which the subject involves, I have thought it my duty, should the unanimity heretofore expressed in the Society be continued, to accept of your proposals, and submit myself to the doings of an [[062]] ordaining council, hoping that it may issue in the salvation of those that are lost; in building up the Redeemer's kingdom on earth, and in displaying the nature and glorious perfections of God; and wishing that grace, mercy, and peace may be multi­plied among you through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I subscribe myself your brother in the Christian faith. .


<>Near the end of May, 1792, the Society met and voted that "Mr. Woodward's salary should become due on the 1st day of March annually," also that Mr. Richard F. Welton, Wm.  Stevens, Dr. John Potter, Aaron Harrison, Capt.  Daniel Alcox, Selah Steadman, Nathan Gillet, Simeon Hopkins, and Joseph Miner be desired to make preparation to entertain the people on ordination day.  No records of the installation have been preserved; but we infer from these votes that some time in June, 1792, Mr. Woodward was ordained as pastor of this church and Society.  On the fourth Tuesday of June the So­ciety made further provision for Mr. Woodward.  Cer­tain persons had purchased Mr. Gillet's farm, apparently as a favor to Mr. Gillet.  The Society at this meeting assumed the obligations of these persons, relieving them from further responsibility to Mr. Gillet, and ordered the treasurer to pay to Mr. Gillet the several sums collected on Mr. Woodward's settlement.  The amount of the settle­ment was two hundred pounds; the farm was estimated at two hundred and fifty pounds.  Hence they "voted that the above said committee be empowered to put the Rev.  Mr. Woodward into possession of said farm, taking surety of him for the fifty pounds overplus of said two hundred pounds settlement agreeably to an agreement now in the hands of Judge Hopkins." It is reported that the So­ciety lost the whole value of this farm, which must be a mistake.  They may never have received the fifty pounds 11 overplus "but anything more they could not have lost.  Mr. Woodward resided on this farm until 1799, when he [[063]] sold it to Charles Upson, Esq., and purchased the house east of the Meeting house where he resided until his death.  This house is now owned by Mr. Ephraim Hall and his grandson, Charles Hall, and is the finest looking residence at Wolcott Center.

Mr. Woodward was not married when he settled here.  He afterward married the daughter of Rev. Dr. Smalley, of New Britain, now Berlin, but died childless.  After his death his widow received from her father a house in East Haven, where she resided many years.  She is spoken of as "a very fine woman," of a cheerful temperament, and fond of society.  It is said that she was often present with her husband at public balls, given at the Hotel, and that she sometimes took part in the dance.  Her husband never danced, but engaged in the social chat with much animation.

 When Mr. Woodward settled here, Farmingbury was a flourishing parish, a "wide awake" community with con­siderable enterprise and business energy.  In those days the present park in the city of Waterbury was a swamp, and Wolcott was a business centre with several stores and other enterprises which attracted visitors and drew trade from the vicinity for many miles around.  The Church was really a strong one; it had in its member­ship men of talent and men of means.  Several of these subscribed toward Mr. Woodward's settlement twenty-­five dollars or more, and paid their yearly tax towards his salary, besides.  This "settlement" was raised by subscription; the salary was paid by tax.  There seems to have been considerable opposition to this method of raising the salary; so that, when Mr. Gillet closed his labors, the Society voted "that we are willing that those who find themselves willing, may have preaching by sub­scription for three months." But they were compelledt o return to the tax rate in order to fulfill their engage­ment with Mr. Woodward.

      <>The two hundred pound settlement was paid in three [[064]] installments, or in three yearly parts.  This subscription was copied into the Treasurer's Book by Mark Harrison, Esq., who was Treasurer in 1794:

The several subscriptions for Mr. Woodward's settlement are as follows:

Nov. 5, 1794-

Joseph M. Parker


Moses Todd


Zephana Parker


Jesse Alcox


Isaac Upson


Aaron Harris


Joseph Minor,


Elijah Lane


Nathaniel Lewis


Ezekiel Upson


Samuel Upson


Richard Welton


Obed Upson


Nathaniel Lane


Jacob Carter


Calvin Cowles


Wait Hotchkiss


Amos Seward


Solomon Alcox


David Norton


Heman Hall


Thomas Upson


Asahel Lane


John Kenea


David Alcox


Isaac Hopkins


Mark Barnes


Joseph Smith


Nathan Barnes


Abel Curtiss


David Norton, Jr.


David Harrison


Jesse Selkrigg


Benoni Gillet


Charles Frisbie


Samuel Byington


Daniel Byington


James Bailey


Joseph Beecher


Joseph Beecher, Jr.


Judah Frisbie


Brainard Lindsley


Elnathan Thrasher


Ezra Stevens


Farrington Barnes


John Alcox


Stephen Carter


Amos Beecher


Daniel Alcoa


James Thomas


Ephraim Smith, Jr.


Aaron Harrison, Jr.


Street Richards


Benjamin Alcox


Moses Pond


Jonah Barnes


John Bronson


Joseph Freeman


Mark Harrison


Jeremiah Scarritt


Charles Upson


Ezra Mallery


Simeon Plumb


Timothy Bradley


Samuel Plumb


Asahel Bradley


Salomon Plumb


Amass Bradley


Justus Peck


William Stevens


Ashbel Upson,


Caleb Miner


John Beecher,


Heman Byington



Joseph Sutliff, Jr.


Eli Roberts


Noah Neal


Abram Norton


John B. Alcox


Joseph Atkins


Joseph Twitchel


Ozias Norton


James Alcox


Jesse Alcox, Jr.


Selah Steadman


Hezekiah Beecher


Jonathan Carter


Noah W. Norton


Daniel Johnson, Jr.


Nathan Scarritt


Nathan Gillet


Elisha Horton


John Norton


John Wiard


Walter Beecher


Ebenezer Bailey


Barnabas Powers


Jerry MouIthrop


Levi Johnson


Enos Dutton


John Talmage


James Scaritt


John Frisbie


Luther Atkins


Daniel Deacon


Nathan Stevens


John Potter


Ebenezer Johnson


<>By this list it may be seen that most of these men, if not all, subscribed liberally.  They paid Mr. Woodward 400 dollars salary and twenty-five cords of wood, and gave him in addition this 1000 dollars settlement.  To make up this settlement several persons gave twenty dollars, others thirty, and one -- Mr. Charles Upson -- six­ty-five; while some of those who gave smaller sums, doubtless gave more in proportion to their ability than the more wealthy.  This subscription list is highly cred­itable to the community in which it originated; it shows the effort they made to sustain the institutions of the Gospel.  But those were the days of strength in Wol­cott; for from 1790 to 1820 the town was at the height of its prosperity, as regards wealth and population.  At the time of Mr. Woodward's settlement the number of inhabitants was about 900.  In 1800 it was 948; in 1810, 952; in I820, 943; in i83o, 844; in 1840, 633; in 1850, 603.  The church membership, when Mr. Woodward began his ministry, numbered about too, and the congregation from 300 to 500, which must have filled the Meeting house.  That the congregation was large may be inferred from the apparent difficulty the [[066]] committee had in "seating the Meeting house." Be­sides, Mr. Woodward's preaching was calculated to attract the attention of the multitude more than Mr. Gil­let's because of the apt and animating illustrations which he habitually introduced.  The increasing esteem in which he was held is indicated by the three annual subscriptions which were raised for paying the settle­ment.  The first amounted to sixty-three pounds, the second to sixty-seven, the third to nearly one hundred pounds, or almost thirty pounds more than the two hun­dred pounds first agreed upon. <>Under Mr. Woodward's labors the membership of the church increased somewhat; how much, we are unable to say, because there is no record to be found of those who united with the church from 1798 to 1811.  In a list of members prepared by Mr. Keys in 1815, there are over forty names of persons of whose uniting with the church we have no record, but who must have be­come members during these twelve years.*

<>*A like difficulty is experienced in regard to baptisms. Deacon Isaac Bronson was appointed in 1811, to keep the church records, and he says: "There seems to be a long chasm (from 1792 to 1811) as to the record of baptisms, but no further papers have as yet come to hand.  I therefore be­gan at the time I received the papers." If Isaac Bronson could find "no further papers" sixty years ago, I may properly cease the search now.  Yet it seems a little singular that Mr. Woodward should keep the record of ad­ditions to the church, and of marriages, from 1792 to I796, and then con­tinue the record of deaths as he did, to 1809 (a short time before his death) and omit the two former.

Mr. Woodward was more than ordinarily successful as a preacher, and was highly esteemed as a neighbor and citizen.  He was easy and friendly in his manners, ever ready with some pleasant remark, and was therefore liked by all classes.  Probably no minister in the parish was ever loved and confided in as a minister more than lie, for to this day the remark of the people, as to all they ever heard of him, is in the highest tone of Chris­tian love. [[067]]

He had a school for several years that was very popular with young men. He usually had from four to six scholars boarding with him, and others came to recite.  Benoni Upson, son of Thomas and brother of Charles Upson, fitted for college at this school.  He resided about half a mile from Mr. Woodward's.  Mr. Woodward bad students from New Haven, from Waterbury and other neighboring places, and also from the Southern States.

The efforts of the parish to promote education were quite commendable for those times. In November after Mr. Woodward's settlement the Society voted that "we will keep eleven months school," and this length of term does not appear to have been an unusual thing.  It is probable that Mr. Woodward was induced to commence his school, because of the large number of young men in the community needing opportunities of more advanced culture than the common schools afforded.

Immediately after the success of the subscription to pay Mr. Woodward's settlement, the people proceeded to complete the inside of the Meetinghouse.

<>At a meeting held on the first day of December, 1794, they voted first, "that we will do something to the Meeting house." Then they "voted that the Meeting house be finished in the following order, viz. : First, that the roof be shingled with pine, and the siding with white­wood. 2ndly, that the body of the house be painted white and the roof red. 3rdly, that the inside of the said house above and below be decently and properly finished, lathed, and plastered, and timbers capped ; a Few of pews built in the back part of each of the galleries, raised to a proper pitch to overlook the seats in front of said pews.  Voted that the above described work be done and com­pleted by the first day of November next, and that a com­mittee be appointed to cause the house to be repaired as is above written or described, at their own discretion; and further, the said committee are to sell or dispose of any boards, shingles, or nails that may be taken off or out of [[068]] the said house, for the benefit of the Society, or appro­priate them for any use for which they may be proper in repairing said house as above ; and further that the said committee exhibit a true and just account of all the ex­penses that shall arise in so doing, before the annual So­ciety meeting in November next.  Voted that Capt.  Na­thaniel Lewis, Jacob Carter and Capt. Charles Upson be a committee for the above purpose.  Voted to lay a rate three pence on the pound on the list of 1794 to be paid the first of June next.  Voted a tax on said list of three pence on the pound to be paid in cattle and sheep* the first of November next.  Voted that John Beecher and Judah Frisbie be collectors to collect the above rates." In a meeting held in the last part of January next they added one penny to each of these taxes making them each four pence on the pound.  At a meeting held on the 5th of next February they voted " that we are willing that there should be a steeple erected adjoining this house, at the expense of individuals ; and that the overplus, if there be any, of the rates laid to do the Meeting house be laid out on the steeple." The steeple was not built at this time, but the rest of the work proposed was com­pleted before July of 1795 and then for the first time Far­mingbury had a finished Meeting house.  There is one item we mention and leave the reader to interpret, for he will probably know as much about it as any one, In the Treasurer's book for 1797 we find the following record: "Capt. Walter Beecher debtor to an order on the Treas­urer for one-dollar.  Contra, credit by making three pair of butterflies for the Meeting house." It is thought these were ornaments about the sounding board over the pulpit.

* There was a ready market it these cattle and sheep at the Center.  The hides were made into leather in Wolcott, and the beef was packed in barrels for foreign markets.

      <>There were, probably, some services dedicatory of this house in the summer of 1795, but I have seen no record [[069]] of them in the books.  There is a hymn printed and preserved, said to have been composed by Mr. David Har­rison especially for this dedication*.

*A copy of this poem is now in the possession of Mrs. Mark Tuttle.



With joyful heart and tuneful song,

Let us approach the mighty Lord,

Proclaim his honor with air tongue,

And sound his wondrous truth abroad.

His glorious name on golden lyres,

Strike all the tuneful choirs above,

And boundless nature's realms conspire

To celebrate his Matchless love.

The heaven of heavens is his bright throne,

And cherubs wait his high behest,

Yet for the .merits of his Son,

He visits men in humble dust.

In temples sacred to his name

His saints assemble round his board,

Raise their hosannas to the Lamb,

And taste the supper of the Lord.

O God our King, this joyful day,

We dedicate this house to thee;

Here would we meet to sing and pray

And learn how sweet thy dwellings be.

O King of saints, O triune God,

Bow the high heavens and lend thine ear;

O make this house thy fixed abode,

And let the heavenly dove rest here.

Within these walls may Jesus' charms

Allure ten thousand souls to love,

And all supported by his arms,

Shine forth in realms of bliss above.

There saints of every tribe and tong,

Shall join the armies of the Lamb;

Hymn hallelujahs to the Son,

The Spirit, and the great I AM. [[070]]

Their Songs seraphic shall they raise,

And Gabriel’s lyre the notes resound;

Heaven’s full toned organ join the praise,

And world to world repeat the sound.

To Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,

Be ceaseless praise and glory given,

By all the high angelic host,

By all on earth and all in heaven.

                           Hallelujah! Ahmen.”

This hymn, sung by the large number of trained sing­ers then in the community, must have given a sense of gratitude and joy worthy of the occasion.  That they were trained singers is abundantly evident from the sing­ing talent here, and the money they had spent in years past, and were spending for the "improvement of sing­ing." In the last of November, 1793, the Society ap­pointed "Joseph Minor, Lieut.  James Bailey, Moses Pond, Isaac Upson, Enos Dutton, Joseph Beecher, Jr., Asahel Lane, Joseph M. Parker, a committee to circulate a sub­scription for singing, and procure a teacher according to the subscriptions they shall get."

In November, 1794, they appointed another committee: “Voted that we will do something to encourage singing.  Voted that Dr. John Potter, Ensign Joseph Beecher, Capt. Charles Upson, Isaac Upson, Ensign Jonathan Carter, James Scarritt, Isaac Hopkins, Jr., Lieut. James Bailey, Nathan Barnes, Asahel Lane, and John Hitchcock, be a committee to get subscriptions to hire a singing master."

      <>These committees were composed of substantial men, and the singing school was not to be a young people's pleasure meeting, but a school of thorough training in singing.  And this old practice of "doing something to encourage singing" was continued for many years after the dedication of the church.  In I797, they "voted that we lay a rate of three mills on the dollar on the last August list, payable the first of March next, to be laid out to hire and pay some man to teach and instruct in [[071]]<> singing; that Dr. John Potter, Moses Todd, Mark Harri­son, Esq., Capt, Streat Richards, Joseph Minor, Joseph M. Parker, and Preserve Carter, be a committee to pro­cure a teacher in singing, and to see to the laying out the above rate."

With this spirit of industry and improvement in the minds of the people, success and prosperity came to their hands and homes from every direction.  They had peti­tioned for some years for "Town privileges," and in the spring of 1796, the parish was incorporated as a town, and the effect was to relieve the Society of various cares and responsibilities, and encourage them in all good things.*

<>*At this place in the Society's history I must take leave of an acquaintance who at first sight and introduction, gave me considerable trouble and misunderstanding, but whom after 6 months' acquaintance, I am quite reluctant to say "good-bye" for he has been of great service to me. Be­sides, when we are well acquainted with tried friends, we may well listen [@] to change them for strangers, though the strangers may be clothed in exquisite style and beauty. For twenty-nine years the records of the Society were written by Daniel Byington -- the first year by Daniel Byington, Sen., the other twenty eight by Daniel, Jr.  In 1799 Isaac Bronson was elected Society Clerk, and to his most elegant writing I now come, and in so doing must leave the less elegant "hand" of Daniel.  Apart from a little formality in the introduction of transactions Mr. Byington was nearly a model in the use of concise and appropriate terms, and of fidelity and better in the office he held.  It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I record my high appreciation of Daniel Byington, Jr., as clerk of the Society of Farmingbury, whose writings I have consulted daily for [@@] of the time for three months past, until I had become familiar with every turn of his pen, and every form of expression; and until it seemed to me as a communion of spirits in which friend Daniel as helping me on in giving to the world a picture of twenty-nine years of Society life in Farmingbury. Good-bye, Daniel, till I am introduced to you "on the other side of the veil."

     In November, 1800, Mr. Woodward sent a communi­cation to the annual meeting which caused the following vote, and which is explained only in a vote taken a year after : " Voted that a committee be appointed to treat with Mr. Woodward on the subject of the communication [[072]] by him made to this meeting, and that said committee report to this meeting at their adjournment." No report of the committee is recorded, and the matter went over till December 7th, 1801, when it was voted "that Charles Upson, Esq., Deacon Joseph Atkins, Mark Harrison, Esq., Major Streat Richards, and Isaac Bronson, be a committee to wait upon the Rev.  Mr. Woodward and inform him that the Society, for various reasons, wish not to act upon the proposition by him made as to a dismission, par­ticularly, as they are well pleased with his performance as their minister, and are by no means willing for a dis­solution of the pastoral connection between him and them."        This action is all that is recorded concerning this  matter, unless it be a resolution passed soon after by      the Society in regard to the payment of Mr. Woodward's salary when it should become due.  The unusual rigor of this action may give us a suggestion of the reason why he desired a dismission,-namely, because the Society was so slow in paying his salary, even after waiting a year for it to become due.  The first action reads thus: "Voted that if the Rev.  Mr. Woodward's salary be not paid by the first day of March, annually, or any part of the same, such salary, or such part of it as is not paid, shall be upon interest until paid.", But this, after three years' trial, did not remedy the diffi­culty as desired, and hence the second vote : " That exe­cution be taken out against the Society collector at the end of ninety days next coming after the first day of March, yearly, and put into the officer's hands by the So­ciety's Committee, unless said collector shall have paid the Rev. Mr. Woodward's salary in full by that time." After this it may be supposed that either the collectors or parishioners recognized the fact that a minister had a right to his salary after having earned it.  It is proper to state here that the Treasurer's book shows that Mr. Woodward received part of his salary from time to time during the year.  He received money (a very little), orders, [[073]] notes, wheat, and other items, as individuals felt disposed to let him have, or to sell to him, but much of it went over from month to month after the end of the year, until be­ing weary with delay he proposed to find another parish, or other work.

It may be thought that it must have been difficult to obtain a collector after a vote to "take out execution" against him but it was not.  The first man elected after the above rule was passed was Selah Upson, and it is a singular incident that the assessment which he was to collect, with the order from the justice of the peace to collect it, have come into my hands just in time for insertion here:

To Selah Upson, Collector of the Society Rate in the Society of Farmingbury, in Wolcott, in New Haven County, Greeting:

<>By authority of the State of Connecticut, you are hereby com­manded forthwith to levy and collect of the persons named in the annexed list herewith committed to you, each one in several pro­portion as therein set down of the sum total of such list, being a tax or assessment granted or agreed upon by the inhabitants of said Society. of Farmingbury, regularly assembled on the 2 7th day of October, x8oS, for defraying the ministerial and other charges arising within the same, and to deliver and pay the sum and sums which you shall so lay and collect, unto the Treasurer of the said Society, at or before! the first day of March, x8o6, and if any person or persons shall neglect or refuse to make payment of the sum or sums whereat he or they are respectively assessed and set in the above list, to distrain the goods or chattels of such person or persons, and the same dispose of as the law directs, returning the overplus (if any be) unto the owner or owners; and for want of goods and chattels whereon to make distraint, you are to take the body or bodies of the person or persons so refusing, and him or them commit unto the keeper of the gaol of the said county within the said prison, who is hereby commanded to receive and safely keep him or them until he or they pay and satisfy the said sum or sums assessed upon him or them as aforesaid, together [[074]] with your fees; unless the said assessment, or any part thereof, upon application made to the County Court, shall be abated.

Dated it Wolcott, this 28th day of February, 1806.


John Alcox


Benham & Tuttle


Jesse Alcox


Samuel Benham


James Alcox, Jr.


Estate of Joesph Beach


Mark Alcox


Hannah Beach


David Alcox


Asa Barnes


Solomon Alcox


Besaleel Bowen


Obed Alcox


Solomon Barnes


Jesse Alcox, Jr.


Stepan Barnes


John B. Alcox


Levi Brown


Joel Alcox


Estate of Lois Blakeslee


David Alcox, Jr.


Jarred Burr


Eldad Alcox


Abel Curtiss


Elisha Alcox


John Cooper


Joeseph Alcox


Jacob Carter


Edmund Bradely


Stephan Carter


Zebulon Byington


Preserve Carter


Daniel Byington


Elihu Carter


Joseph Beecher


Stephan Carter, Jr.


John Beecher


John & Dan Carter


Hezekiah Beecher


Ashbel Cowles


Hezekiah Beecher, Woodbridge


James Cowles


Sylvester Beecher


Hope Cobb


James Bailey


Allen Clark


David Bailey


Phineas Castle


Glover Ball


Phineas Deming


Timothy Bradely


Isaac Downs


Amasa Bradely


Prince Duplax


Moses Byington


Jesse Dutton


Daniel Byington, Jr.


Ezra Doolittle


Farrington Barnes


Judah Frisbie


Mark Barnes


John Frisbie


John Bronson


Lydia Frisbie


John Bronson, Jr.


Ransom Frisbie


Hannah Bronson


David Frisbie


Isaac Bronson


Reuben Frisbie


Osee Bartholomew


Daniel Frisbie


James Bartholomew


Sarah Granniss


Heirs of Sam’l Bartholomew


Heirs of Irujah Granniss


Marvin Beckworth


Stephan Granniss



Joseph Holt


Lewis Loveland


Hotchkiss& Upson


Elijah Lane


Asaph Hotchkiss


Laura Lane


Timothy Hotchkiss


Joseph Miner


Titus Hotchkiss


Archibald Miner


Abner Hotchkiss


Ichabod  Miner


Mary Hotchkiss


Caleb Merrills


Luterh Hotchkiss


Amasa Mix


Miles Hotchkiss


Samuel Munson


Mark Harrison


Elihu Moulthrop


David Harrison


Susanna Norton


Rollin Harrison


Ozias Norton


Leonard Harrison


John Norton


Isaac Hopkins


Ziba Norton


Estate of Isaac Hopkins


Rhoda Norton


Harvey Hopkins


David Pardee


Milly Hopkins


Samuel Porter


Elisha Horton


John Potter


Samuel Horton


Joseph M. Parker


Heman Hall


Zephana Parker


Levi Hall


Amos Parsons


Lyman Hotchkiss and Nathan Andrews


Justus Peck


Uriel Holmes, Jr., and Ephraim Root


Simeon Plumb


William Robinson and Isaac Upson


Gamaliel Plumb


Estate of Enes Hotchkiss


Samuel Plumb


Abigail Hall


Joseph Plumb


John Hitchcock


Amariah Plumb


David Hitchcock


Marcus Potter


Abel Ives


Asahel Peck


Ebenezer Johnson


Streat Richards


Levi Johnson


Elijah Royce


John J. Kenea


Elijah Rowe


Nathan Lewis


Lydia Rogers


Job Lewis


William Robinson


Timothy Lewis


Jeremiah Scarritt


Lemuel Lewis


James Scarritt


Jesse Lewis


David Scarritt


Nathaniel Lewis


Joseph Smith’s Estate


Reuben Lewis


Joseph Sutliff


Royce Lewis


Titus Sutliff


Nathaniel Lane


John Sutliff


Josiah Lane


Jesse Selkriggs


Lud Lindsley


Ephraim Smith


Timothy Scott


Truman Sanford


Jared Smith




James Smith


Manley Upson


James Stone


Charles Upson


Lucias Tuttle


Washington Upson


Ichabod Talmage


Lee Upson


Jacob Talmage


Gates Upson


Josiah Talmage


Benoni Upson


John Thomas


Ashbel Upson


Seth Thomas


Selah Upson


Joseph Twitchel


Jesse Upson


Samuel Upson


Freeman Upson


Isaac Upson


Amos Upson


Harvey Upson


Ephraim Winstone


I. Upson and H. Townsend


David Wakelee


Obed Upson


Silas Weed


Samuel Upson, Jr.


Aside from this one item, there seems to have been no uneasiness" but great satisfaction with Mr. Woodward in the parish and in his own mind as to the parish; and with his school in a good degree of prosperity, he might well feel assured of filling an important position in his Lord's vineyard.  For the last ten years of his ministry the Meeting house was so filled with hearers that there were extra committees appointed from year to year to seat the people and to provide seats for those who should become regular attendants.

     It is painful to record the sudden close of such a ministe­rial service.  In the Autumn of 1810, there prevailed somewhat, a peculiar and very fatal fever called typhoid.  It was also called "the great fever." With this Mr. Woodward died after a sickness of but a few days.* In  [[077]] the grave yard at Wolcott Center, stands a stone, on which is written not without ornament,


Memory of



Nov. 17, 1810, AE. 43.

<>It is a singular fact that this grave is made directly and wholly across the walk or space between the two rows of graves adjoining; as though, when dead, this remarkably good man's body must lie in the path where men walk, to arrest their attention and preach to them still.

<>*In the summer of 1810, the typhoid fever appeared in the family of Mark Harrison, Esq. Rev.  Mr. Woodward attended this family and others in their sickness, s pastor and neighbors and tendered great comfort in this time of fear and dread, for it is said to have been very difficult to get help to take care of the sick.  Mr. Harrison’s son Rollin died July 22d; his wife, Rebecca Miles Harrison, died August 20th ; his son Michael died in New Haven, two days after his mother, he having been home and taken with fever.  Reuben Beebe, son-in-law of Mr. Harrison, died in Waterbury, Sept. been with the same fever, having taken it in rendering help to the sick in Wolcott.  Several others died in Wolcott besides Mr. Woodward and mem­bers of Mr. Harrison’s family

He had served this people for eighteen years, preaching more than a thousand sermons; he had welcomed to church membership about one hundred persons, many of whom were noble men in the church long after their lead­er left the toils of earth, and most of whom we doubt not have joined him again beyond the flood, where snows of winter, heat of summer, and the sorrows of earth will never come.  It seems sad that one just reaching man­hood's strength of intellect, and of whom we might properly expect thirty years more of efficient labor, should fall so soon; but so doeth He, who " doeth all things well."

<>His wife remained in the place during the winter and supplied the pulpit by inviting neighboring ministers to preach from Sabbath to Sabbath.  This illustrates the ability and faithfulness of this noble woman.  On the 15th of April, 1811, the Society voted, "that the Socie­ty's committee pay over to Mrs. Woodward, the widow of our late pastor, the same sum for each Sabbath which she had supplied the pulpit by the neighboring ministers that the Rev.  Mr. Woodward's salary would have amounted [[078]]<> to for the same term of time including next Sabbath." Mr. Woodward's salary was 80 pounds a year and 25 cords of wood until 1796, when the Society voted him 90 pounds without wood, and this continued, probably, until his death.


Chapter VI



At the meeting on the 15th of April, 1811, when the Society voted the settlement with Mrs. Woodward, they also voted, "that the Society's committee be directed to procure a candidate to preach to or in said Society after the next Sabbath," and on the 27th of May next they voted "to request the Society's committee to employ Rev. Mr. Parmele to supply the pulpit for a time that they shall judge proper."

In August next they had another candidate; for on the 26th they voted, "that the Society's committee be requested and directed to agree with Mr. Lucas Hart to preach wit-b us six Sabbaths after the next, on probation as it is termed, that is to say, if his performances and the prospect of his health are such as to be satisfactory to the Society and the Society to him, that he continue with us as our minister." At the annual meeting, Oct. 7, 1811, they voted "to give the Rev.  Mr. Hart a call for a settlement with us as our minister.  Voted, to give Mr. Hart four hundred and fifty dollars annually as a compensation for his services, if he see cause to accept the invitation to be our minister.  That the Society's committee be directed to wait upon Mr Hart and inform him what the meeting had done." This meeting ad­journed and met on the 4th of Nov., 1811, and voted, "that Lewis H. Wakelee, Gates Upson, Ira Hough, Lu­cius Tuttle, and John Bronson, Jr., be a committee, in con-


junction with the church committee, to provide for the Council at the time of ordination, and to take all neces­sary measures for the well ordering and conducting the same in all respects on the part of the Society." An account of the ordination is preserved.


"At an Ecclesiastical Council convened at Wolcott, by letters missive from the church and Society in said town, at the house of Mr. Lucius Tuttle, on the 3d day of December, 1811, for the purpose of ordaining Mr. Lucas Hart to the pastoral care and charge of said church and Society,-present: The Rev. Simon Waterman, from Plymouth; the Rev. Benoni Upson and Deacon Asaph Smith, Kensington; the Rev.  Jonathan Miller and Dea­con Seth Peck, from the church at Burlington; the Rev. Luke Wood and Mr. Stephen Hotchkiss, from the church at Water­bury; the Rev. Luther Hart and Deacon Jacob Heininway, from the church at Plymouth; the Rev. Jonathan Cone and Deacon Bryan Hooker, from the church at Bristol; and Deacon Benja­min Dutton, from the church at Southington.

The Council proceeded to appoint the Rev. Simon Waterman Moderator, Rev. Jonathan Cone, Scribe.  Business was then opened by prayer by the Moderator.  The Council then attended to the communications from the church and Society, and from Mr. Hart, relative to his call and its acceptance.  Being satisfied with these communications, the Council voted that the way was prepared to proceed to the examination of the candidate.  After a thorough examination into his doctrinal and experimental ac­quaintance with the Christian religion, and his views with regard to entering the ministry, the Council unanimously voted to pro­ceed to the ordination of the candidate at eleven o'clock to-mor­row, A. M. The exercises of the ordination were then appro­priated at follows: Voted that the Rev. Luther Hart make the introductory prayer; Rev.  Jonathan Miller preach the sermon; Rev.  Simon Waterman make the consecrating prayer; during which the Rev. Messrs.  Waterman, Upson, Miller, and Wood, are to impose hands; Rev. Benoni Upson give the charge; Rev.  Luke Wood give the right hand of fellowship; Rev.  Jonathan



Cone to make the concluding prayer.  Voted to adjourn till half past 8 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Wednesday, December 4th, the Council met according to adjourment.  Voted that they approve the minutes of the Council.

                                                                        Test. SIMON WATERMAN, Moderator.

The exercise of the ordination were performed at the time and in the manner specified above.


On the evening of the clay of the ordination of Mr. Hart, an ordination "Ball" was Held at the house of Mr. Pitman Stowe, which was then a hotel, and was the house Mr. Keys afterward occupied as his residence.  This ball is certified by    most reliable witnesses and confirming circumstances.  It is also stated that the young pastor gave a sermon soon after, that was a high reprimand for this ball festivity It is not asserted that the same com­mittee of the church and Society that provided for the ordination services was the committee of the ball, but that nearly the whole congregation attended the ball.

Mr. Hart's term of ministerial service was short. He was ordained Dec 4, 1811, and died in East Haven, Oct. 16, 1813.  When he was preaching here on trial his health was such that there was doubt whether he would be able to do the work of the parish.  From all we can learn he was a very good and acceptable minister, with more ambition than health to perform the work of a pastor.

He received to the fellowship of the church fourteen persons; attended to a sad case of church discipline; kept the records of the church very carefully in all res­pects, and apparently was fully ready for the summons that called him to rest in the mansions of peace.

I find the following receipt preserved with other papers by the clerk of the Society:

                                         WOLCOTT December 9th, 1813

Received of Mr. William Bartholomow three hundred and thir­ty dollars, in full of all demands, which I have against the Eccle-



siastical Society in the town of Wolcott, in favor of Rev.  Lucas

Hart, late of said Wolcott, deceased.

                                                                                    SIMEON HART, Administration

Since writing the above I leave seen the record of deaths in East Haven, wherein I find the following: " From Wolcott, Oct. 11, 1813, Edward, son of Rev L. Hart; disease, dysentery; one year old ; buried in East Haven.  Oct. 16, 1813, Rev.  Lucas Hart, of dysentery, buried in East Haven, aged 29 years." Hence I infer that Mr. Hart was married, probably shortly after his settlement in Wolcott; that he was visiting his kindred in East Haven; his little son departed this life, and five days later, the father followed.-"


In February, 1814, a Mr. Stebbins was preaching here as a candidate, and the Society voted that " The meet­ing give Mr. Stebbins notice that it is their wish to have him continue with the Society if it is consistent with him and them," but no arrangement was made with him for a settlement.

On the 18th day of April next (1814) they had another candidate and voted: "That we are satisfied with the Rev. Mr. Keys as a preacher, and wish to settle or continue him as our minister.  Voted that we will give Mr. Keys the sum of five hundred dollars each year that he shall serve us as our minister, as a compensation for his services."

On the 23d of day next they voted: "To renew the former call made to the Rev. Mr. Keys to settle with us as our minister, and, to give him in addition to the sum already offered, the quantity of 15 cords of wood yearly, so long as he continues to serve as our minister." -These fifteen cords of wood had weight in this matter, evidently, for Mr. Key.s came again, and on consulta-


*See Biography.



tion the Society took the following action : " Voted that Lucius Tuttle, James Bailey, Pitman Stowe, William Bartholomew, Gates Upson, Clark Bronson, Mark Upson, and Harvey Upson be a committee to consult with the Rev.  Mr. Keys respecting the time of installation, the council, etc., and make the necessary provisions and ar­rangements for their entertainment and convenience, and the ceremonies of the day."

It was nearly three months after this when the invita­tions for the Council were sent out, anti a month inter­vened before the Council met.


To the Church of Christ in Plymouth, etc., The Church of Christ in Wolcott sendeth Greeting:

Whereas, the Congregational Church of Christ and Society of the town of Wolcott, have unanimously and in due form, given a call to the Rev. John Keys of the Presbytery of Albany, State of New York, to become their pastor and minister -and whereas, the said Mr. Keys has accepted their call, and with them is desir­ous of having the pastoral relation constituted-and whereas, they have agreed upon and appointed Wednesday, the twenty­ first of September ensuing, for the installation to take place : This is therefore to invite and request you to attend, by your Rev.  Pas­tor and delegate, at the house of Mr. Lucius Tuttle in Wolcott, on the day preceding, at eleven o'clock, A. M., then and there to assist in Council, and if the way shall be prepared for the installa­tion of Mr. Keys, to take such parts as the Council convened shall assign.

                               Signed, JOHN KEYS, Pastor Elect.

ISAAC BRONSON and others of the committee, in behalf of the Church and Society.

August 37 [27], 1814.


"The Council convened according to appointment.  Several, however, who were invited, did not attend, their reasons, afterward assigned, were deemed satisfactory.  At an Ecclesiastical Council convened by letters missive from the church of Wolcott,


On the 20th Of Sept., 1814, at the house of Mr. Keys, pastor elect, in said place, for the purpose of installing the Rev.  John Keys in the work of the Gospel ministry in said Wolcott-there were pres­ent, Rev.  Messrs.  Lyman Beecher, Litchfield; Luke Wood, War­erbury; Luther Hart, Plymouth ; Jonathan Cone, Bristol; with Deacons Pomeroy Newell, Southington; Thomas Trowbridge, from the church in Litchfield; Jacob Heminway, from the church in Plymouth ; Lemuel Porter, from the church in Waterbury; Charles G. Ives, from the church in ]3ristol.

The Council proceeded to choose the Rev.  Luke Wood, Mod­erator, and Rev. Jonathan Cone, Scribe.  Prayer was offered by the Moderator.  The Council having attended to the call of the church and Society to the Rev. Mr. Keys, to settle with them in the work of the ministry, and likewise to his answer accepting the call, and also to his credentials relative to his ministerial standing, concluded to proceed to his examination.  Having obtained full satisfaction as to his doctrinal and experimental knowledge of the gospel,- voted unanimously, that we approve of Mr. Keys, as a minister of the gospel, and that we proceed to install him in the ministry over this people.

The exercises of the installation were then appointed as fol­lows, viz:

The Rev. Jonathan Cone to read the doings of the Council and make the introductory prayer; Rev. Lyman Beecher to preach the sermon and make the installing prayer; Rev. father Hart to give the charge to the pastor elect, and an exhortation to the church and people; and the Rev. Luke Wood to give the right hand of fellowship, and make the concluding prayer.

Voted to proceed to the exercises tomorrow at eleven o'clock, A.M. Prayer being offered, voted to adjourn till to-morrow at nine o'clock, A.M.

Wednesday, September 21, 18l4, the Council met and the meeting was opened with prayer.  Voted to accept the minutes of the Council.

LUKE WOOD, Moderator.


At eleven o'clock, according to the foregoing resolution, the exercises of the installation were performed as above appointed.

Test.  JONATHAN CONE, Scribe.



This installation is memorable because of Dr. Beech­er's sermon on the occasion; for the effects of that ser­mon have not ceased in Wolcott not- in Connecticut to this day.  The subject of the sermon was,*


Text:            Isaiah, lxi, 4. And they shall build the old wastes; they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

In the introduction it is stated that: "The waste places of Connecticut, and the duty of building them, will be the subject of consideration in this discourse.  The building of these wastes will include the propaga­tion of the truth, the communication of strength to the feeble, and the restoration of fallen Societies to the order of the gospel.  In the illustration of the subject it is pro­posed to consider,

"I. The cause of these desolations.

"II.  The means of restoring them.

"III.  The motives to immediate exertion for that pur­pose.

“I. The immediate causes are, evidently, the difference of religious sentiment and worship which prevail, con­nected with a criminal indifference to the institutions of the Gospel.  There is not, in this State, a town or parish Unable to support the Gospel constantly, and with case, provided all the facilities in the limits of each were of one heart and of one way to serve the Lord. 13ut the prop­erty, in many Societies, is divided between three or four different denominations, besides a part, which the love of money and indifference to the Gospel wholly withdraw from the support of divine institutions.

A remote cause of our present wastes is to be found in a very great declension of vital piety in the churches, which took place many years ago............. One


*Only the outline of this sermon is given, from an volume of Dr. Beecher’s sermons.


effect of this decline was the introduction into the minis­try of men, who probably had never experienced the power of divine grace on their own hearts, and who, of course, would be prepared by native feeling to oppose the doctrines of the gospel." These innovations, the Dr. says, became at length almost universal throughout New England.

"As another cause of debility and desolation, may be noted the defection occasioned by the restoration of evangelical doctrine and discipline.  The revivals of 1740 were the commencement of a reformation in this state, which has brought the churches back to the doc­trines and discipline of our fathers.

"Another cause of desolation, more limited in its op­eration, but not less disastrous in its effects where it has operated, has been, the timid policy of forbearing to preach plainly those doctrines which offend, and of shrinking from a vigilant, efficient discipline in the church, lest these things interrupt the peace, and en­danger the stability of the congregation.

"A later cause of decline and desolation has been the insidious influence of infidel philosophy."

Another cause, Dr. Beecher mentions, is "political violence and alienation." Another: "The direct enter­prise of religious denominations to augment their num­bers." Another: "The change made in the law for the support of the gospel, in order to accommodate it to the changes in religious opinions which had gradually taken place in the State." The last cause he mentions is: “The common policy, to settle a minister upon an in­competent salary, with the expectation that he will sup­port himself in part by his own exertions."

"II.  The means by which the wastes, in this State, may be built.

"1. The great utility of the occasional itineration of the stated pastors within the limits of each association."

"2. Another means may be found in the appointment of



evangelists; and to these must be added, in some cases, a permanent stated supply, until the work of restoration be consummated." To these he adds: "Special enterprise of ministers in the performance of pastoral duties," and especially " pastoral visits."

"3. To parochial visits, it will be proper to add an effi­cient system for the instruction of children and young people in the doctrines and duties of religion,"

And last: "Earnest prayer among the churches, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon these desolations, and the revival of religion."

               III.      The motives to immediate exertion.

“1.      Duty of the churches to help sister churches to rise.

               “2.      Unless these desolations are built, they will become more desolate.

“3. If these waste places are not built, they will exert a powerful influence to create other wastes, and extend the scene of desolation.

“4. If these wastes are not built, they will undermine, ultimately, the civil and religious order of the state.

“5. The time past is more than sufficient to have neglected our duty and slept over our dangers."

It was on that part of this sermon concerning the sup­port of evangelists, who might be sent out, that Dr. Beecher made remarks which were suggestive to the ministers of the State, and which resulted in the change of the Missionary Society of the State to the Connecti­cut Home Missionary Society.

The "Missionary Society of Connecticut" was organ­ized in 1798, the objects of which were: "To Christianize the heathen in North America and to support and pro­mote Christian knowledge in the new settlements of the United States." This did not include home evangeliza­tion.  Doctor Beecher in this sermon recommended the formation of a "general society for this special purpose."

In 1815, about six months after the delivery of this sermon, the General Association of Connecticut took up


the subject and appointed a committee who reported at the next annual meeting.  "On their report it was re­solved unanimously to form a Domestic Missionary So­ciety, for Connecticut and its vicinity." This Society is now the "Connecticut Home Missionary Society" and is auxiliary to the American Home Missionary Society.  So much for the State of Connecticut.

In this sermon, also, Dr. Beecher refers to the educa­tion of children, iii the following words: "To parochial visits, it will be proper to add an efficient system for the instruction o' children and young people in the doctrines and duties of religion." "It is almost unspeakably im­portant, that a system of religious instructions adapted to the age and altered feelings of young people be provided, to succeed the shorter catechism." Here we perceive the largeness of the Doctor's plan.  "A system of religious instruction, for children and young people." The pres­ent Sabbath-school system of instruction is intended to meet the "unspeakably important" demand.

This part of the sermon resulted iii the commencement of Sunday-schools in the parish under Mr. Keys' adminis­tration.

So much for this sermon.  It is frequently remarked that Dr. Beecher's thoughts were "Fifty years ahead of his day." It is now fifty-nine years since he delivered this sermon and we are only beginning to realize the systems of church work he planned out for us.  Truly some men's works do follow them; and works of which they, and the world, need not be ashamed.  What if there had been a thousand Dr. Beechers, and each with a family as numerous and noted for good as Dr. Lyman Beecher's!  This may be thought no part of Wolcott history, but I assure such that without the Beecher fam­ily a large and very important part of Wolcott history would be wanting.*


* It is said that Capt. Joseph Beecher and his sister who married Capt. Herman Hall, and Capt Amos Beecher (all of Wolcott) were cousins to Dr. Lyman Beecher.



It should be remembered that this sermon was preached in Wolcott when Wolcott was not a "waste place" but in its glory and strength.  From 1790 to 1820, it was one of the strong Societies of the county.  In 1806 it had over two hundred tax payers on the list of the So­ciety, and this continued about the same for twenty years afterward; and the town had a reputation for agricultural products equal to any in the county.  'Then wheat grow on these hills more abundantly than in the valleys adjoining, and it would have been a disgrace to have im­ported corn into " Puddin' street:"

Dr. Beecher did not preach this sermon, alone for Wol­cott, but for all Connecticut, and that, too, for a century of time after he should cease preaching on earth.

Mr. Keys had moved into the parish before he was installed and was ready to move forward in his work when the exercises of installation closed, and be did it right well.  The first thin.- that meets us in his work, is the fullness of the records lie made of the doings of the church, a matter which bad been almost wholly omitted by the pastors before Mr. Hart.  Hence we have the names of all who made application to join the church; the report's of the examining committees, a3icl the decision of the church on each report during Mr. Keys' pastorate.  We discover, also, from these records that Mr. Keys was a man of church discipline, not afraid to try to preserve the honor of the church by attending to those, delinquent cases that sometimes occur in regard to individuals of the highest standing in the community.

Mr. Keys was a good preacher, above medium, but not equal to Mr. Woodward; a good and faithful pastor and public school visitor, and was ' esteemed, and kindly cared for, by the parish during his stay among them.  During his pastorate, forty-one united with the church, ­thirty-five of them by profession; and every interest of the church seems to have been cared for faithfully to the close of his labors, and even after he was dismissed.


The following entry in the church book illustrates these statements:

"At a church meeting, July 2d, 1819, opened with prayer.

. . .       After some conversation on the duty of calling the brethren to account, for neglecting gospel institutions, and on the subject of setting up a Sabbath School, adjourned till our next preparatory lecture - conclude with prayer.

                                                            Attest.  JOHN KEYS, Pastor.

In the church meeting of March 2d, 1821, we find the following entry: "After some free conversation and earnest exhortation by several of the members, on the present low state of our church, and on the importance of awaking to activity to some extraordinary exertions to revive our drooping graces and promote the cause of the Redeemer among us-- adjourned."

Mr. Keys had more than an ordinary amount of church discipline to attend to, all of which was prosecuted by church vote in regular form, and it was the fact of these difficulties that led the brethren on this occasion to earnest exhortations to the importance of awaking to extraordinary exertions to revive drooping graces and promote the cause of the Redeemer."

Also, from the first, Mr. Keys had been a faithful pastor in catechisms the children at home and in the public schools; but now he was on the move towards the Sab­bath-school, which he succeeded in holding two sum­mers.  Here he calls this enterprise a " Sabbath-school," and as far as I can learn, it was a " Sabbath-school full grown for those days, and to this Deacon Irad Bronson, now living, adds his testimony.  The catechism was re­cited, verses of the Bible were committed to memory, for which the children received credit of so many mills for every ten verses, and at the end of the school a book, in value according to the credit standing to their sev­eral names.  Addresses were made by pastor, deacons, and others, which, doubtless, were quite as appropriate



and valuable as many are in these later days.  Mrs. Mark Tuttle has now in her possession a little book given her by Rev. Mr. Keys on account of attendance at Sabbath-school.  It is a paper covered book, 10 mo., print­ed in New York in 1810.  The subject matter is: "The principles of the Christian Religion, in verse, for the use of children, by P. Doddridge, D. D., arranged for this object by Dr. Doddridge at Northampton, England, Oct. 31, 1743.  One of the teachers in this school, Mrs. Hannah Plumb, is now living, and four women, who were then girls in her class, -Mrs. Mark Tuttle, Mrs. Johnson Alcott, Mrs. James Alcott, and Mrs. Isaac Hough,-are still living.


During Mr. Keys' pastorate the church and Society were diligent and energetic.  There was appointed, eve­ry year, a committee like the following, and for the same purposes: 1816, "Voted that Lucius Tuttle, John Pot­ter, and John Frisbie, be a committee to provide seats for persons moving in [into the parish] and others as shall be necessary the coming year." Year after year this was attended to regularly, because then people removed into the community but now they remove out.  The tax to provide for the support of the gospel, including "ministerial and other necessary charges," was four to six cents on a dollar, on the tax list; now the Connecticut Home Missionary Society requires "one per cent" to be paid before they render help to a church; but the assessment was much lower, on property then than now.  In 1815 the tax was 5 cents; in 1816, 4 cents; in 1817, 6 cents; in 1818, 6 cents; in 1819, they " voted that a tax of 12 cents on the dollar be laid on the assess­ment list of said Society for 1819, payable to the Treas­urer of said Society, immediately, to pay Mr. Keys' sala­ry for 1820, and other necessary expenses."

This twelve percent tax, "raised a dust" in Wolcott, that ended in the dismissal of Mr. Keys, and in a vacant


pastorate for many years.  At the next annual meeting in October they voted to try to raise, by subscription, a sum sufficient to defray the necessary expenses of the Society for the year ensuing." During these years Mr. Keys' salary was five hundred dollars a year; and other Society expenses very little.  The Society went through this year on the subscription plan, and at the end of the year voted: " That a tax, payable on demand, be laid on the list of said Society for j8ig, sufficient to raise the sum of three hundred dollars, to be applied wholly to the payment of the debts of the Society at that time due, or that were incurred that year." Yet they proceeded to try the subscription plan another year, an ' d appointed " Ira Hough, Jesse Upson, David Frisbie, James Bailey, Ziba Norton, Samuel Plumb, and Josiah Thomas, a committee to solicit subscriptions." These were mostly new men in the business of the Society and doubtless were op­posed to taxation and in favor of a free gospel.

What was the result?  At the next annual meeting,

Oct 14, 1822, they "voted that David Frisbie, James Bailey, and Thomas Upson be a committee to consult with        Mr. Keys, and obtain from him the lowest terms upon which he is willing to preach for us the year ensu­ing, and whether, if the Society cannot find it possible to raise the stipulated sum, it would be agreeable to his feelings to be amicably dismissed." The committee wait­ed upon Mr. Keys and returned with a written answer, whereupon the meeting adjourned.

'This twelve percent tax was called for probably, from the fact that the Society had fallen in debt from year to year till something must be done to pay up.


“To the Ecclesiastical Society in Wolcott:

 GENTLEMEN:            Your committee have waited on me to know what proposition I have to make to the Society, to which I reply: 1st.  I will accept for the current year of what sum you shall be able to raise, together with the usual quantity of wood, for which



I will supply the desk so many Sabbaths as that compensates for, at the rate of $500 the year.  Or, 2d. If a dissolution of our relation shall be judged necessary- deeply as I deplore it, yet considering the situation of the Society, I shall consent on condition that they pay me two hundred dollars in money or in things nec­essary for the support of my family at cash prices, old arrearages being paid up.  I propose this not as a compensation but as wil­ling to bear a part of the burden which in Providence is fallen upon us; Of, 3d.  I am willing to abide the decision of any disinterested Council.  That you may be directed in the path of duty and come to such a result as may be for the glory of God and the best interests of Christ's kingdom, is the prayer of your sin­cere friend and servant in Christ.


Wolcott, Oct. 14, 1822

It is often the case that when troubles come in a Soci­ety, the minister is thought worthy of a full share of the responsibility.  In 1806 there were over two hundred tax payers in the Society and the largest sum paid by any one man was less than nine dollars a year, and only seven that paid over five dollars a year.  The Society was not reduced by emigration as in after years, for the diminished of numbers in the town began after Mr. Keys left.  Quite a number withdrew from the Congregational and joined the Episcopal Society, but apparently near­ly an equal number graduated, by age, into member­ship or removed into the parish.  Besides, there was ener­gy and ability in the church for other interests.

In 1815, they voted, " that a stove or stoves may be erected in the meeting house; if one only, at the west door; if two, then one at the east door, in the aisles, with pipes to convey the smoke out of the house in a conven­ient and proper manner." This resolution was executed, and one of those stoves is now used in Mr. Dennis Pritchard's saw mill.

The singing was improved at considerable expense.  During Mr. Woodward's ministry a tax was laid several



times for the " encouraging of singing." "18l5 they laid a tax of "six mills on the dollar to procure a teacher of singing;" and at a special meeting six months later they added 4 mills, making one per cent "to pay the singing master." In 1816 they voted to accept the offer of Mr. Stephen Harrison, and directed the committee to pay him the sum of ten dollars upon his spending one half day in each week so long as it shall be necessary to initiate young beginners who shall attend, in the first ru­diments of singing, and two evenings in each week for three months in teaching and perfecting the singing." In 1817, ,voted that the Society's committee be author­ized and requested to take such measures and expend such sums from the Society treasury as they shall judge proper for the encouragement of singing, the year ensu­ing." In 1817, voted " That the committee be requested to take such measures as they shall judge proper to en­courage and keep up singing."

Notwithstanding this apparent prosperity, the Society had lost so much strength that it could not meet the en­gagements made with Mr. Keys.

In Oct. 28th, they voted that "under existing circum­stances we are willing to dismiss the Rev. Mr. Keys from his service as our pastor and minister."

On November 5th, they appointed a committee to con­fer with the church and Mr. Keys, and if desirable to make arrangements for the Council.

Upon this Mr. Keys wrote the following letter to the church:


The painful hour seems now arrived, in the sovereign dispensa­tions of Providence, when we must part.  The course of your deliberations this day, unpleasant and trying as they are, is plainly marked out.  I have judged it best not to be present; the task would be painful; but I think also, that prudence dic­tates, you should be by yourselves.



If you shall concur with the propositions of the Society, relative to a dissolution of the pastoral relation between me and this church and congregation, which propositions have already been communicated to me, by their committee, I hereby give consent, and am ready to finite with you in calling a Council to carry them into effect.  You will not need my assistance in selecting a Coun­cil.  Any of the neighboring churches may be sent to-I should suppose five would be sufficient; but I cheerfully submit the mat­ter to your discretion.

The condition of each of us -of the church and Society, and myself,-must necessarily be very unpleasant and trying.  A church without the stated ordinances, and the minister without the means of support.  We can, therefore, and I trust do, mutually sympathize with each other.  Let us remember, brethren, and let us receive tire consolation of it: The Lord reigns.

While I have been with you, though one of the least of all saints, if a saint, and unworthy to be called to the pastoral office, yet I have endeavored to be faithful.  I have many and strong ties of affection towards this church.  I never can forget you, or cease, in my feeble, unworthy manner, to pray for you; and brethren, I hope and trust you never will forget to pray for me.

Our journey in this life is a thorny maze; every bush we pass inflicts a wound.  Truly we may not look for our portion here below. But, blessed be God, our hopes reach beyond the grave.  There may we meet, when the stores of life are o’er-free from sin, free from sorrow and pain and perplexity and disquietude, to dwell in the smiles of our God and Sovereign, forever.

That you, brethren, may be kept from falling; enabled to maintain the good fight of faith, walking in obedience to all God's commands, and be preserved through grace to the final coming of Jesus Christ in his kingdom, is the sincere prayer of your yet affectionate pastor and unworthy brother in Christ.

                                                                                                                                    JOHN KEYS.

Wolcott, Nov. 11th 1822.

No vote of the church in regard to this is preserved.

On the 18th of the same month, the Society voted, “That the only cause or reason which we have for our committee to lay before the Council as a ground of dis-


missing the Rev.  Mr. Keys from his pastoral relation to us, is our being, from the smallness of our numbers, and already embarrassing circumstances, utterly unable to afford him a sufficient support."

There are no records of the session or decision of a Council, yet it is very probable that the Council was called and rendered its decision, and that Mr. Keys was regularly dismissed in the first part of Dec., 1822, having -served the parish eight years and three months.

He had several children and a family that he could scarcely keep comfortable on five hundred dollars a year, and to be dismissed in December, the beginning of winter, was a sore trial, besides the fact that Mr. Keys was greatly attached to his church and people.

He made an entry in the church book in December, 1822, and signed it as "Late Pastor."

On Dec. 31, 1822, the Society, voted "That we lay a tax on the list of 1821, to the amount of three hundred and twenty-five dollars for the purpose of discharging the claims of Mr. Keys against the Society."




It runs in the memory of some persons now living, is well as in the records of the Society, that before and after the dismissal of Mr. Keys, the Meeting house was crowded with hearers to such an extent that it was one of the great difficulties of the Society, to provide seats to accommodate and satisfy the people.  One dollar per person, per year, from the regular attendants, would probably have paid the salary of Mr. Keys [$500], and yet they dismissed him, as they say, “for no other rea­son” than that the salary could not be raised, and had not been for a number of years, on which account the Society was in debt.  At this time there was money enough in Wolcott, and if not, there were wheat, corn, and butter in abundance; for those were the days of prosperity in it.  We are compelled to conclude that there must have been some radical cause for the unwillingness to support Mr. Keys.  I am at a loss to know what it was, and have heard but one suggestion, -­namely, that while Mr. Keys was an eminent scholar, and a man of diligence and energy, faithful in all his work, visiting families and public schools, catechising the chil­dren, attending social meetings, and preaching, yet the theology he preached was so imbued with the darker doctrines of Calvinism, that the people did not feel like paying heavily, nor even moderately, for it.  Another fact deserving of consideration is that his dismissal occurred during the conflict of public sentiment in this town, be­tween the two systems of supporting the gospel,-the


one by levying a tax, and the other by subscription.  There was much opposition to the taxing system; there had been for thirty years.  But if this had been the cause of the failure to raise the money, I do not understand how it occurred that when the Society voted to raise Mr. Keys' salary by subscription one year, as they did two or three years before his dismissal, they should have incurred a debt of nearly three hundred dollars.  I have not learned that Mr. Keys was an objectionable minister on account of “discussing politics in the pulpit.” Mr. Woodward was a high toned Federalist, and Thomas Jefferson was criticized with spirit and energy, more especially because Mr. Jefferson was supposed to be an infidel, which was the Highest wickedness to the good minds of the Puritans.  But Mr. Woodward's commanding dignity and learning, and his genial good nature, disarmed opposition even on the part of political opponents.  Yet a considerable num­ber left the Society during his ministry; some for this cause and some for other reasons.  But these questions do not appear to have effected the minds of the people during Mr. Keys' ministry, and hence some other cause must have brought the support of the gospel into disre­pute.

Another singular fact is, that although when Dr. Beech­er made it emphatic at the installation of Mr. Keys, that a Society could much better afford to pay for the preach­ing of the gospel than to go without it, this Society should dismiss Mr. Keys with the expectation of remaining without a minister for a length of time, though probably not as long as proved to be the case.  For three years after the dismissal of Mr. Keys there is no mention of any vote of the Society referring to the matter of hiring a minister-, or obtaining one in any way.* They attended regularly


* During the history of the Society far seventy years, or more, the com­mittee never hired, minister or procured a candidate without a vote of the Society to that effect.  It was left for committees of later day to hire ministers, continue them ad libitum, and dismiss them, without allowing the Society any voice in the matter; a clear violation of Congregational rules.



to all other interests of the Society.  Soon after his dis­missal (Dec. 31, 1822) they voted to lay “a tax on the list of 1821, to the amount of three hundred and twenty-five dollars, for the purpose of discharging the claims of Mr. Keys.” In May next they voted that a tax be laid suffi­cient to raise the sum of two hundred and seventy dol­lars.  They appointed Thomas Upson as agent to collect the several “notes and debts due the Society on old ar­rearages, and if possible to settle the debts of the Socie­ty due S. J. Hitchcock.” They appointed yearly the seating committee to seat the people in the Meeting house, and appointed in 1823 a special committee to “dig­nity or number the pews anew."

In annual meeting, 1824, they voted, “That John S. Atkins, Joseph N. Sperry, Jerry Upson, John Beecher, Jr. and Thomas Upson be a committee, to solicit subscrip­tions for the encouragement of singing; lay out and ap­propriate the moneys obtained as they shall judge-proper and best, and superintend the whole business.” In 1825 they appointed another committee for the same purpose, consisting of Gates Upson, Thomas Horton, George Griswold, Jerry Upson, John S. Atkins, and Ira Frisbie.  Here is evidence of energy and of ability to do almost anything they chose to do as a Society.

These facts bring to view the character and standing of Deacon Isaac Bronson.  After Mr. Keys was dismissed Mr. Bronson became the minister, in fact, although not in form; first, to fill the vacancy, during the embarrassed condition of the Society, and after that, by the informal choice of the people.  He had been a member of the church over thirty years  had been a deacon seventeen years, being sixty-one years of age.  He had not the advantages of high school or collegiate education,- Mr. Woodward's school having begun several years after Mr. Bronson was married.  Yet Isaac Bronson attained to a very creditable education for those times.

We have now in the Ministers' Library of this parish


a book of “Mathematics” containing “Arithmetic, Al­gebra, Geometry, Conic Sections, and Arithmetic of Infinites,” which was owned by Rev. Alexander Gillet, (dated as “his book,” 1767) and which Mr. Bronson bought of Mr. Gillet for six shillings.* Mr. Bronson was a Latin scholar, as may be seen in his writings as clerk of the church and the town.  Some sketches of sermons of His have fallen into my hands which show unusual histor­ical knowledge and very great familiarity with Bible history.

He is said to have been a man of remarkable eloquence in prayer, and in addressing a religious assembly, and with this all his writings now left correspond.  Could he have had the opportunities of an early education, it is doubt­ful if the county or State could have boasted of a greater man than he.  To this opinion all persons with whom I have conversed, in and out of Wolcott, agree.  He was a mail, of great diffidence, but when called out by circumstances or peculiar occasions, he surpassed the ex­pectations of all.

When, therefore, the Society in Wolcott was brought to extremities, Isaac Bronson became its leader and min­ister without ordination.  Thus he continued for nearly three years, but for what “consideration” from the Society we have no means of knowing except by a vote passed at the end of three years, as follows :”That the Soci­ety's committee”(and others named,)”be a committee to circulate subscriptions to raise money to hire preach­ing.” This indicates that no money was raised for this purpose during the three years, for in those times money was not raised except by vote of Society.  It is further evident from the fact, that upon the passage of this vote Mr. Bronson refused to serve the Society, as before ; as is


*The possession of books relating to the advanced studies, and the fact frequently mentioned among the people, that often, when tired at night, he lay on the floor of his shop, with his head toward the fire, studying by fire­light, indicate the methods by which he obtained knowledge.



evident from a vote of the Society two months later, as follows: “That Gates Upson, Led Lindsley, Ashbel Up­son, Ira Hough, and David Frisbie, be a committee to confer with Deacon Isaac Bronson in regard to the diffi­culties subsisting between him and the Society, and the cause of his unwillingness to serve the Society as hereto­fore.” After conferring with him the Society in a meet­ing held one Week later, voted to rescind the former vote to hire preaching, and that money be raised to hire preaching “for one third part of the year, beginning the first of April next.”  That is, they should hire preaching four months, and the remainder of the year Isaac Bron­son should preach for nothing.  How the men of the So­ciety could be at ease in their consciences, and let one man, and he a poor man, carry the largest part of the burden of the church for three years without compensa­tion is beyond explanation, except on the supposition that they bad been educated to think that if a man were ordained, he should be paid for preaching, other­wise not, no matter how eloquent or successful the preaching, or bow great the service rendered.  Probably but few ministers were ever more highly appreciated, in their parish generally, than was Isaac Bronson during these years, and but for the prejudices of a few leading men, lie would have been ordained and settled as pas­tor ; and in that case would have served their Society with as great success as any man they had had.

There were peculiar reasons why they should have paid him something appropriate for his work in filling the place of a pastor.  He had several children and a noble, patient wife, for whom he could scarcely provide the com­forts of life which his neighbors possessed.  He had been clerk of the Society for twenty-six years, and bad served the church as clerk and treasurer for fifteen years; and as deacon for twenty years, His health had been so poor, from hemorrhage of the lungs, that his family often expected his speedy departure to the better land.  He


had taught school many years with small pay; and Was constant in every good work, for religion, education, and the town and State in which he lived.  The Society had prospered and the public feeling had improved, so that they began to feel like raising a minister's salary, and did proceed with a tax in Sept., 1826, of ninety dollars, to repair the Meeting house.  In all righteousness among brethren why should they not have paid Deacon Isaac Bronson for his labors in preaching and attending to the other duties of a pastor?

Thus did the Society continue enjoying a gratuitous ministry for the space of five years.  What was the result?

They had all grown “lean” except Isaac Bronson.  Dr. Beecher had told them they could better afford to pay a minister than go without one.  They had now tried the latter, and to what effect? All were asleep, in religion, except when the voice of Isaac Bronson aroused them in church or “broke” their hearts at the funerals.  The year before Mr. Keys left, twelve united with the church, and during his ministry of eight years, forty-one united, but during these five years of a vacant pulpit, not one united, as far as the books show.  But in merey God sent them a minister to awake them, for in the midst of their sleep, a voice was heard as of one “in the wilderness” calling- them to repentance.  How he came we know not, but certainly not by the call of the Society or church.* At a meeting held Oct. 28th, 1827, they voted that the “committee be directed to employ Mr. Scran­ton to preach for us until the end of May next."

On the 10th of next March they voted, “That seven persons, one in each school district, be forthwith ap­pointed to solicit subscriptions for the support of the Rev. Mr. Scranton as a preacher of the gospel for the year next ensuing, after the first of June next.” He

*We learn from his journal, left in the hands of Mr. Jarvis R. Bronson, that he came here in Saturday, June 16, 1827, to preach for a number of Sabbaths.



preached here two years and then departed ; the only reason we find is that the Society failed to raise three hundred dollars for his support for the year, as he desired.  The first winter he was here he taught school three months, and in the spring and summer following there was a general awakening, and many were added to the church.  This carried them through the second year. but when an effort was, made for the third year it did not succeed well, and the Society voted on July 7, 1829, “That the committee appointed on the 3oth of May to solicit subscriptions to hire preaching, offer their papers on the terms that in case there is not enough obtained to raise the sum of three hundred dollars, then whatsoever is subscribed to be null and void.” Soon after this, Mr. Scranton left.  Mr. Scranton's labors were many and re­sulted in great good to the church and community.  As proof of this and as evidence of the Lord's faithfulness to those who labor faithfully, we give some extracts from Mr. Scranton's journal, which was sent after his death to Mr. Jarvis R. Bronson.  These labors were put forth amidst great difficulties and hindrances.  The church was much divided, and great indifference to relig­ion prevailed throughout the community.  Indeed, when there began to be a stir about religion, some of the peo­ple spoke against it and ridiculed it.


June 16, Saturday; came here to preach several Sabbaths.

17 Preached, being unwell.  I have not recovered from my dangerous illness in May.  I found the Society feeble and dis­united, but desirous to have steady preaching.

July 1st.  Administered the Lord's Supper.  It had not been celebrated here before, for a long time.  It was a precious sea­son to Christian people. Great coldness among professors of religion- much immorality among the people.

Sept.  Miss Orpha Thomas, who is about 16, has been


awakened and hopefully converted to Christ in the course of the summer.   The preaching of the word is better attended than it was during         the two months past.  Administered the sacrament of the Lord's    Supper.                   

Oct. 26.            Maria, wife of S. Wheeler Upson, and Laura, wife of Linus Munson, admitted to the church.  For several years there has not been an addition to the church.  Mr. Upson, on seeing his wife come out and join the church was led to reflect.  It was the means of his conversion, 'tis to be hoped.

Oct. 3o, Thursday.  Returned from attending the conference of the churches at Waterbury called on Wheeler Upson, and found him an awakened sinner.  Attended meeting at Woodtick School House; preached from Jer 17, 9.

In the course of the season past, Colonel Moses Pond has been awakened and hopefully converted.  He did not let it be known, till his sickness.  He has been in great distress at times, and found relief, I suppose, on Sabbath, NOV. 4, on his way home from meeting.

November, 1827. 1 have had repeated conversation with Mr. Upson, &c.  He obtained hope about three weeks after his first awakening.

Nov. 4, Sabbath.  Spoke to several voting ladies that came in to Mr. Whiting's.

Nov. 14 Conferences begin to be full and solemn.  We seem on the eve of an awakening here.  There has not been anything like a general revival here at any time.* B. L. revive thy work.

December, 1827.  Meetings still full and solemn.  Some Chris­tians awake and pleading for a revival.

January 15, 1828, Thursday.  Miss Rebecca Hall came here with Miss Vesta Frisbie, to see me, being awakened three weeks ago at her Uncle Frost's.    She talked as one under conviction; proposed to come to school.+

Jan. 18.  Took tea at Mr. Mark Tuttle's-found his wife

*There was a general awakening in 1783 under the preaching of Rev. Messrs. Mills and Miller and the labors of Mr. Gillet, and this was therefore forty-four years before Mr. Scranton came here.  But a forty-four years’ sleep was probably long enough!

+Mr. Scranton taught school- I suppose a select school, like Mr. Woodward’s and Mr. Key’s.



awakened.  She told me that my conversation at their house, when I and Capt.  Gates Upson came there, two or three weeks before, first awakened her.  She had never disclosed her anxious feelings to any one before, Preached in the East School House this evening --full and solemn meeting.  It is now manifest that an awakening is begun in this place.

19, Saturday evening.  I went to make a religious visit to Mr. Alpert Boardman.  He was absent, but I found her (his wife) awakened as I suppose.  I then called to see Mr. J. N. Sperry, and found him more anxious than he ever was before, as he told me -his wife listened.

20, Sabbath.  This evening called to see Mr. Clark Bronson and wife.  I found her indulging a hope.  I called at Eldad Parker's and found his wife thoughtful.  She told me that 13 years ago, at Shenango, she was awakened, but grieved away the Holy Spirit.  Has feeling, but no reason to hope.

Jan. 21.  Monday evening.  Mr. Boardman came to see me, in deep concern of soul.  He tells me that he was first awakened last June.

Jan. 22, Tuesday.  Conversed with Miss Rebecca Hall, at noon, who says her mind is relieved.  In the evening I went to preach at Mr. Levi Atkin's.  Heard that Mr. Newton Norton talks seriously.

25th.  The center school house was full (though it rained hard), and the meeting solemn.

27th, Sabbath.  Exchanged with Mr. Hart and Preached at Plymouth.

20.        In conversation I find Mr. Doolittle anxious.  He has felt that religion is important since his sickness two years ago.  He lacks decision.

Feb. 1, 1828, Friday.  Martha Tuttle is still anxious.  No hope.

3, Sab.  Today Col. Pond and Mr. Upson told me they had a wish to join the church.

7. Conference of the churches at Prospect.

8th, Friday.  Held first inquiry meeting; present to persons ­Col.  Pond, Mr. Upson, Clark Bronson and wife, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Moulthrop, Mary Upson, Charlotte Harrison, Gen.  G. Doo­little, and Rebecca Hall.

11. Monday.  Preached at Woodtick; meeting full and solemn.


13 Preached at South School House.

15.        Preached in Center School House, and meeting solemn, and 70 present.

18,        Monday.  Anxious meeting here to-night and a very rainy

evening -6 only present, one of whom is Miss Clarissa Upson, rejoicing in hope.

March 2, Sab.  Col. Poad and S. W. Upson joined church.

3. Monthly Concert.  Full meeting and interesting.

12th.  Preached at Woodtick, having closed my school today. 

13th.  Visited at Mr. Bement's, &c. Cyrus Fenn somewhat anx­ious.

17th, Monday.  Anxious meeting.

18th.  Esther Hotchkiss anxious some, and came to the anx­ious meeting,

23. Began a Bit)le class.

24 Went to N. Milford and found there had been 4 to 6 con­versions.

30, Sab.  Preached at Cheshire and came to Wolcott and preached in the evening at Center School House, where I heard that Lowman Upson has a hope.  Church voted to invite the Conference.

April 1st, Tuesday.  Went to N. Milford.

20. Conference of churches at N. M. 78 delegates.

4th. Annual Fast.  Snowed all days.  Rode from Prospect (where I preached last night) to Wolcott.

6th. Report from the Conference was listened to by all the congregation.  Many were affected to tears.

7th. Monthly concert.  Asaph Hotchkiss came to see me, P. NI., in distress - and sent for me to come to his house, &c.  His wife and Esther and Wealthy interested.

8th, Preached at Spindle Hill.

9th.  Preached at South District.

11th.  Preached at Woodtick. 

May 1st. Preached at South District.

UP to this time Mr. Scranton had urged forward this work without any formal action on the part of the church.  On April, 25th the church met, and voted, “That Dea­cons James Bailey, Isaac Bronson, and Irad Bronson,



with Brethren Thomas Upson, Harvey Upson, Ashbel Upson, Lucius Tuttle, Daniel Holt, Abner Hotchkiss, and Samuel W. Upson be a committee to visit the seve­ral members of the church, male and female, and inquire the situation of their minds in a religious point of view, and whether any, and if any, what matter of offense ties upon their minds and against any brother or sister, and if any such exist, to use their influence that the same may be mutually and satisfactorily healed and settled in a Christian manner."

On May 1st, Mr. Scranton wrote: “The church com­mittee began their visits to prepare for the Conference to be held among them, and it was ascertained there was a happy state of feeling among the brethren; a readiness to confess their sins and to renew covenant.  Several meetings of the church were pleasant and humbling sea­sons.  Some few are opposed to the Conference -call it a Methodist meeting speak against a revival as a perni­cious thing.  W. A. J. 11,; J. A."

May 4th, Wednesday.  The Conference met late in the day, owing to the great rain yesterday.  The church and people were prepared to receive them with open hearts.

5th. The meetings last evening and this morning, in the sev­eral districts were full, solemn, and interesting. 30 churches represented and 40 delegates.

May 6, Friday.  Went down to Mr. John Frisbie's and found him an awakened, distressed church member.  Mrs. Frisbie was all in tears.  Soon after, Sarah, their son’s wife, came in and on my speaking to her she was much affected.  I prayed, and it was a scene of deep interest.

Met Mr. Fitch Higgins I 2 or 15 rods from his door, and he clasped my hand, and on being asked how lie did, he exclaimed, “I am a poor sinner.” His wife was under deep conviction.  He said he had tried to work but could not.

At Mr. David Frisbie's was another deeply interesting scene, and a meeting was appointed at the school house in the evening, which was 'a full and solemn concourse.'


On arriving home I learned that Mr. Smith Atkins had been to see me, and was deeply distressed in mind and could not work.

May 7th, Saturday.  Went to see James Alcott and Smith At­kins and wife.  Met the two first on their way to see me.  At Mr. Alcott's house several came in and I exhorted and prayed.

Two days later he was sent for to go to the north-cast part of the parish, where several were in great distress of mind.  The whole parish was moved on this subject,­ and why not? Too long had the people been indifferent or greatly negligent as to these things.

Among the names lie mentions, of those greatly inter­ested at this time, are the Brockets, Lindsleys, Nortons, Ephraim Hall and wife, Orin Hall and wife, Anna Lewis, Lucius Tuttle, Jr., Maria Thomas, Mr. Bartholomew, and a number of others.

On May 11th, they held their “first public prayer meet­ing in the Meeting house, and a considerable number present, and a most solemn and impressive meeting­- many in tears -the prayers appropriate, and Deacon Isaac Bronson's address was most weighty, powerful, and awakening."

Thus the church, after six years wandering in the wil­derness, returned to her allegiance to the mission for which she was sent,- to save men.  Had the church been faithful, there had been no occasion for such excitement, as it was there was no other way to salvation.

Mr. Scranton says, in his journal, March 23, 1828, “Be­gan a Bible class.” This, I think, was on a week day eve­ning, and was additional to the Sunday-school which was held on the Sabbath, between services, Dr. William A. Alcott being superintendent.  The school was organ­ized for the first time under a superintendent and other officers and teachers, during the summer of 1897.

Deacon Irad Bronson, now living in Bristol, thinks this was not an organized school; only two or three classes were organized with teachers, Dr. Wm.  A. Alcott assist-



ing, particularly in collecting books for the pupils of the classes to read.  Others think Dr. Alcott was regularly appointed superintendent; for one of the class papers written by him is still preserved.  These are the names: Ira H. Hough, Isaac Upson, Samuel Upson, Daniel II.  Holt, Asaph Upson, Mahlon Hotchkiss, Leverette Al­cott, Ambrose B. Alcott, John E. Alcott.  These were then boys from eight to twelve years old; so says Mr. Ira H. Hough.  This was class @0- 3, taught by Lucius Tuttle, Jr., and afterward by L. C. Hotchkiss, Who still holds the original class paper.

By vote of the Society, Rev. Mr. Wheelock was en­gaged to preach “for the term of one year” from Sept. 11, 1829; but in March next, 1830, they voted to “obtain from him the terms on which he is willing to settle with the Society for his past services and relinquish the con­tract for the future.” To this he made a written reply, but the records do not show whether he continued long­er or not.  The reason for this movement on the part of the Society, I apprehend to have been the difficulty of raising the salary of Mr. Wheelock, and that an arrange­ment was made by which he relinquished so much of that as to continue the time for which he engaged.  The So­ciety and church were probably without a stated minis­ter from Sept., 1830, till August, 1831.  On January 31, 183i, a subscription was started to raise money for a cupo­la and bell, to be attached to the Me6ting house.  This subscription, in the elegant “hand-writing” of Mr. Archi­bald Minor is preserved, and the spirit of it, in one re­spect, is worthy of perpetuation, and in another respect so peculiar that I copy it:

“Whereas, the inhabitants of the town of Wolcott, feeling desir­ous to have a bell in said town, do propose to build a cupola on the Congregational Meeting house in said Wolcott for the purpose of hanging said bell, provided a sufficient sum can be raised to de­fray the expenses of the same; and wishing that if there be one provided it may be used for all denominations whatever, and that


the same shall be freely used whenever it may be necessary for the convenience of any and every individual of said town; and hoping and trusting that a thing of this kind would be the means of uniting the people of this town rather than of dividing them; it is therefore to be hoped and trusted that the inhabitants of this town generally will take so deep an interest in an object of this kind that they will cheerfully and liberally contribute to effect said object.  The bell to be always considered the property of the Town of Wolcott, and the ringing of the same to be directed by the inhabitants of said town in their annual town meetings.  The weight of the bell to be determined by the subscribers or by a committee by them appointed.”

WOLCOTT, January 31, 1831.

Therefore, we whose names are underwritten do agree to pay the several sums annexed to our names, respectively for the attainment of the object as above specified, to be paid to him or them, whom the subscribers shall appoint for that purpose.




Amount:  $650.50

In fifteen days this subscription was raised and the sub-


scribers in assembly voted “to apply the balance of the subscriptions already obtained over and above the ex­pense of erecting cupola and procuring bell, towards covering and painting the house.  Upon this the Society voted, “That we accept and approve of the proposals of the subscribers for the cupola to the Congregational Meet­ing house and placing a bell in the same, agreeable to the terms and upon the same principles as stated in the caption to the subscription paper now before the meeting. That the Society approve of the proposal of individual and grant permission to have the outside of the house covered and painted, if the subscriptions shall furnish means sufficient.  That the committee appointed by the subscribers to superintend the erection of the cupola, be authorized to superintend the covering, painting, etc.” This committee consisted of Archibald Minor, Thomas Upson, Daniel Holt, Luther Hotchkiss, Adna Whiting.  It is worthy of note that this project was carried on by the citizens as such, and not as members of the Society or church, and yet a very large part of the money came from members of the church.  Why it was they would not do as well through the Society as through the Town I am unable to say; but the fact is very evident, and to complete the whole, the Society gave its own work into the hands of the special committee.*

On the 28th of June, 1831, the contractor gave a re­ceipt in full for the pay for the work done on the house and cupola, $440.  The bell, weighing 931 pounds, and the hangings cost at the foundry, Medway, Mass., $313.6i. At the following Town meeting the cup6la and bell were offered by the subscribers to the Town as Town property, but the Town refused to accept the same ; af­ter which the subscribers organized into a stock company,

*In 1826 the Society voted a tax to the amount of ninety dollars, for repairing and painting the house, but in 1827 they rescinded the vote and gave up the work, having failed to raise the money.



appointed officers and held the property several years.  It was finally given to the Society.  The first bell became fractured soon after it was put up.  It was returned to the foundry, and another sent in its place, according to the .stipulations made by Mr. Holbrook, the maker.  It is be­lieved, to this day, that the first bell was not properly used.

In August, Rev. Nathan Shaw was hired for four months, beginning 4th of July, previous; and a vote was passed by the Society to apply to the Home Missionary Society for aid in paying the minister.  Eighty dollars were obtained and Mr. Shaw preached until July 4, 1832.  He is said to have been a “very smart” Preacher.

In October, 1832, the pews were offered for the first time, for rent for one year ;”to be sold to the highest bid­der, provided the sum bid amount to three hundred and twenty-five dollars, reserving the pew east of the pul­pit. “One year from this time they were rented again.

On the 12th of November, 1832, the committee was directed to “engage the Rev. David Smith for three Sab­baths.” During the year 1833 there is no account of a minister being hired by the Society.  Mr. Shaw may have preached part of the year and others the remainder; the Home Missionary Society appropriated 80 dollars for 1833.  On April 10th, 1834, they voted that “this Soci­ety will settle a minister provided the means can be ob­tained.” On the 21st of the same month they voted “That the prudential committee be directed to wait on Rev.  Seth Sackett and invite him to become our minister and that we on our part will pay him four hundred dollars yearly, and that at any time, either party giving six months' notice, the connection between them maybe dissolved, without damage on either side.” This proposition was not accepted, and Mr. Sackett preached two months and probably no longer.

In 1835 Rev. Wm. F. Vail was hired for one year, his term of service extending into the summer of 1836.


Several persons, not members of the committee, per­sonally bound themselves for the payment of his sal­ary.  They circulated a subscription and obtained what they could, and at the end of the year made up the Whole amount that was wanting, by paying, each, an equal pro­portion of the deficiency.  These are the names of the persons so uniting: Fitch Higgins, Jonathan Bement, Ephraim Hall, Orrin I-Tall, Reuben Carter, Luther Bailey, Joel Alcott, Lud Lindsley, Selah Upson, Noah H. Bying­ton, Lucius Tuttle.

The committee were directed on the 4th of August, 1937, to “hire Mr. Chapman six weeks after next Sab­bath, as a candidate for settlement,” and in September they voted to invite Rev. James D. Chapman to settle with them “as a gospel minister,” and this invitation being accepted, Mr. Chapman was” ordained Pastor of the church and Society of "Wolcott, on the 25th day of Octo­ber, 1837,” with a salary of “three hundred dollars and all that is realized from the Home Missionary Society, annually, so long as he shall continue our minister-."

The following is a list of those who subscribed for the support of the gospel in 1837, who were seated in the Meeting house according to their age:

John Bronson 102

July 16th

Rhoda Norton 63

Nov 6th

John Frisbie 75

April 8th

James Alcott 63

Dec 5th

Nathaniel Lane 73

May 4th

Levi Atkins 62

Jan 14th

Sarah Parker 72

January 12th

Royce Lewis 62

Feb 1st

Theda Bailey 72

May 7th

Ruth Johnson 62

Feb 1st

Samuel Plumb 71

July 13th

Luther Andrews 62

April 16th

Amy Tuttle 70

March 14th

Josiah Thomas 62

Sept 10th

Mehitable Upson 69

January 24th

John Bronson, Jr. 61

Jan 31st

Samuel Gaylord 69

June 12th

Joshua Minor 61

May 9th

Lois Alcott 68

April 6th

Selah Upson 61

May 26th

Harvey Upson 68

Nov 11th

Lydia Hall 61

Aug 14th

Lud Lindsley 67

Sept 24th

Moses Bradley 60

Sept 25th

Abner Hotchkiss 66

May 24th

Luther Hotchkiss 59

Dec 17th

Hannah Bronson 66

Aug 24th

Elizabeth Alcott 58

July 14th

Mark Alcott 64

May 11th

Titus Bracket 58

Nov 25th

John Thomas 64

Dec 9th

Elihu Moulthrop 57

March 12th



Gates Upson 57

July 18th

Ansel H. Plumb 34

Jan 6th

David Scarritt 56

Dec 22nd

Wm. B. Bradley 34

August 13th

Ziba Norton 55

October 2nd

Salmon Upson 34

Sept 8th

Ira Hough 54

March 7th

Mark Tuttle 34

October 21st

Wm. Bartholomew 54

Nov 13th

George Griswold 34

Archibald Miner 53

May 23rd

Sylvia Thomas 33

February 15th

Jonathan Bement 52

August 28th

Ira Frisbie 33

March 28th

Thomas Upson 52

Sept 23rd

Alfred Churchill 33

May 28th

Nathaniel G. Lewis 51

April 2nd

Johnson Alcott 33

Dec 10th

Clark Bronson 51

Dec 6th

Lydia Hotchkiss 32

March 15th

Moses Pond 50


Carlos R. Byington 32

April 24th

Eldad Parker 50

July 24th

Lucius Tuttle, Jr. 32

Sept 17th

Isaac Hotchkiss 50


Luther Bailey 31

July 10th

Olive Wiard 48

January 10th

Encas Blakeslee, Jr. 31

Aug 10th

Almon Alcott 47

February 29th

Wm. Blakeslee 31

Oct 22nd

Lucy S. Carter 47

Dec 2nd

Charles Welton 30

April 30th

Freelove Upson 46

Feb 2nd

L.M. Sutliff 30

Sept 15th

Daniel Holt 46


David Scarrit 30

Dec 28th

Stephen Harrison 45

Sept 20th

Anson H. Smith 29

March 20th

Amanda Perkins 44

March 13th

Jarvis R. Bronson 29

April 5th

Reuben Carter 44

March 18th

Henry Beecher 28

Jan 24th

Jedeiah G. Alcott 44

June 26th

Lenas Tolls 28


Hannah Plumb 43

February 12th

Charles Upson 28

June 4th

Lamburton Tolls 43


Benjamin Z. Lindsley 28

July 31st

John Beecher 42

May 5th

Noah H. Byington 28

Sept 18th

Milo G. Hotchkiss 42

June 13th

John Humiston 28

Sept 23rd

Marvin Miner 42

August 19th

Henry D. Upson 28

Oct 5th

Stephen Meriman 42

Sept 20th

Henry Harrison 27


Flavius Norton 42

Nov 27th

James W. Norton 27

March 24th

Anson G. Lane 41

March 19th

Joel Alcott 27

August 16th

William Plumb 41

July 29th

Henry Minor 27

December 17th

Orrin Hall 40

October 11th

Levi Moulthrop 26

Jan 5th

L.L. Kenea 39

June 21st

Roxannah Perkins 25

Feb 13th

Leonard Beecher 39

Nov 27th

Augustus Rose 25

May 25th

Ephraim Hall 38

Sept 15th

Isaac Hough 25

Nov 23rd

Nelson Tuttle 38

Nov 21st

Cyrus Wiard 24

Jan 13th

Florilla Hickox 37

March 7th

Wm. Johnson 24

April 25th

Chester Andrews 37

Sept 1st

George H. Plumb 24

Oct 15th

Joseph N. Sperry 37

Sept 5th

Levi Atkins, Jr. 24

Nov 5th

Prosper Hull 36

April 10th

Henry A. Pond 23

January 13th

Timothy Bradley 36

May 22nd

David B. Frisbie 23

June 17th

Alben Alcott 36

October 5th

J.B.W. 23

June 23rd

David S. Bailey 35

July 21st

Ezra S. Hough 23

August 9th

Mary Hotchkiss 35

August 11th

Joel A. Hotchkiss 23

October 26th

Abram Norton 35

Sept 15th

Lucia Upson 22

Feb 13th


Lucius Upson 22

Feb 13th

John C. Alcott 17

March 24th

Elihu Moulthrop, Jr. 21

March 16th

Wm. Wiard 16

Dec 10th

Hendrick Norton 21

Dec 11th

Rachel Lindsley

Stiles L. Hotchkiss 20

March 6th

Isaac Bronson

Mary Ann Wiard 19

Nov 10th

Mr. Higgins

Rufus Norton 18

Feb 18th




AARON C. BFACH: FROM 1837 TO 1857.


Mr. Chapman's ministry was passed during troublesome times.  The anti-slavery spirit was rising in the country and making itself felt in political issues.  Wolcott was a strongly democratic town and Mr. Chapman was a strong antislavery man, and it was not long after his settlement that the conflicting elements gave forth their legitimate prophecies.  In April, 1839, when Mr. Chapman bad preached here but eighteen months, the Society “voted that a committee be appointed to confer with Rev. J. D. Chapman, with regard to the expediency of dissolving the pastoral relations existing between him and the Society.” So strong was the sympathy of some with the “peculiar institution” of the South that they adopted the barbar­ous expedient of despoiling their neighbors' property in order to intimidate them to silence.  As a consequence, Mr. Chapman's horse was sheared, mane and tail, and also the horses of several other members of the church, and one member who had no horse had his cow sheared.

The church was satisfied with Mr. Chapman, but separate members of the Society, not members of the church, were very greatly opposed to him.  The contest went on till the 11th day of December, 1839, when the Meeting house was burned to the ground.  It is said in charity that the burning of the house was in part accidental.  A notice had been given for an anti-slavery meeting to be held in the Meeting house.  The evening before this


meeting was to take place, a quantity of powder was placed in the stove with a slow match attached, and a lit­tle after nine o'clock in the evening a heavy explosion was felt and heard by the people residing near the Meet­ing house; but the cause they could not discover.  About 12 o'clock in the night they were aroused by the cry of fire, and found the house all in flames, and it was soon a heap of ashes.  The next day the anti-slavery meeting was held, and the people gathered around the smouldering ashes to keep warm while they were ad­dressed on the great subject of freedom.  It is possible that the intention was not to burn the Meeting house, but to destroy the stove, and thus prevent the meeting; for it is said that there was great opposition to having any stove in the house, and for this reason some wanted it destroyed. The first stove was put into the Meeting house about 18l5 and was used till near 1829, when it was set aside.  The stove destroyed by the fire was a new one, and had been in the house about one month.  This event made great excitement in the town and through the county.  Some persons were arrested and held to trial, but when the trial came the principal wit­ness was wanting.  This witness was well known, and declared that certain parties had told him that if he testified in the court against them they would certainly kill him.  Believing this, he left the town just before the trial, and has never been seen in Wolcott since.  These things are still asserted by several of the most trust­worthy persons of the town.  This was the tribute that Wolcott paid in those early stages of the great conflict between slavery and freedom, a tribute which, though it seemed great at the time, was but a tithe of what it paid years after, in the conflict that closed, in 1865,in the realization of freedom to all the subjects of this nation without distinction of race or color.  And it is to the highest honor of many in this town that, although they held strictly to the Democratic party, when the flag




of the nation was dishonored by her own sons, they then buckled on the soldier's pack, marched to the war, and acquitted themselves like men.  At the annual meeting, held on the 26tb of April, 184o, seventeen men withdrew from the First Society.  They were the anti-slavery men, who ha(i been true and faithful to the church and to church principles as maintained in the Congregational churches in New England.  They were nearly, if not all, communicants, and among them was Deacon Isaac 13ron­son, the great and good man of this church.

When these persons had withdrawn, being strong friends of Rev. Mr. Chapman, and on the same side of the great question at issue, the Society @it once “voted that the Society hereby notify the Rev.  James D. Chap­man that they wish that the pastoral relation may be dissolved between him and this Society agreeably to the contract entered into between him and this church and Society, at the time of his settlement."*

An effort was made at this meeting, 26th of April, to raise a subscription to build a Meeting house, but did not succeed.  On the 16th of May next they met again, and put forth the following, statement as the heading of a subscription paper

Whereas, the Congregational Society in the town of Wolcott have suffered a severe loss in the destruction of their house of public worship, inasmuch as they leave been deprived of a suit­able and convenient place to assemble for the public worship of God; and whereas certain individuals who have formerly belonged to said Society have withdrawn from the same, thereby rendering said Society, whose strength has always been small, still more en­feebled ; and whereas it is believed that the erection of a house of public worship by said Society will greatly tend to unite the feelings and promote that p-ace and harmony throughout the parish which ought ht ever to exist amongst all ecclesiastical bodies; and whereas said Society are contemplating the erection of such

*The Contract was that the relation between the parties should be dissolved on condition that either party give six months notice


a house, and feeling in their present circumstances the necessity of soliciting the aid of all those who feet desirous of promoting so laudable an object; therefore we, the undersigned, for the purpose of assisting said Society to build said house, hereby promise to pay, on demand, to the treasurer of said Society, or his successors in said office, the several sums set opposite our respective names, to be used by said Society for the purpose aforesaid.

Fifteen men were appointed to circulate this subscrip­tion paper, and on the 2oth of June they had succeeded so far that the Society held a meeting and appointed the following persons a building committee: Joseph N. Sperry, Marvin Miner, Ira Hough, Ira Frisbie, and Levi Moulthrop. “The house, including portico, to be 52 feet long      main body of the house 46 feet long by 36 feet wide      length of posts, 20 feet."

This      effort to build a Meeting house did not bring back those persons who had withdrawn, and on the 10th of July, 1840, a Second Congregational Society of Wolcott Was organized.  Under these Circumstances a Council was called, consisting of the “whole Consociation.” The church united in calling the Council because the Society demanded the demission of the pastor.  On the 9th of November, 1840,- probably the day on Which Mr. Chap­man was dismissed,- the church, at a church meeting, took the following action :”Voted unanimously that we are well satisfied with the, Rev.  James D. Chapman as a gospel minister, both as to his preaching and personal department, and are desirous that the pastoral relation might be continued but as the persons who now consti­tute the Society over which he was installed are anxious for his demission, we reluctantly consent to it; provided the Rev.  Consociation shall judge it meet and proper."

The Council met apparently on the 9th of November, 184o, and passed the following remarkable but just and high-toned declaration:

“Whereas, there have existed various difficulties in the church and Ecclesiastical Society in Wolcott, which have led to the form-



ation of distinct congregations for public worship; and whereas, the Consociation has been requested to act on the case, in which request both parties have acquiesced ; and whereas, the interests of religion must be seriously injured in the place by their contin­ued separate existence ; and whereas, the Consociation anticipate no good result from investigation into difficulties complicated and of so long standing, which it would be impossible now wholly to settle; therefore

Resolved, Th4 as in the opinion of Consociation, a union of these two bodies may take place without any sacrifice of principle by either of them, a union ought therefore to take place on the basis of the following great principles and stipula­tions, to be solemnly assented to and forever faithfully observed by the parties herein before mentioned: -

The church, in Congregational usage, is a body distinct and independent of the Ecclesiastical Society, and as such, should in the settlement of a pastor, give a separate vote to be concurred in by the Society, if the Society see fit; and moreover, may for suf­ficient reasons separate from the Society; but the separation never should take place except in peculiar emergencies and after seeking counsel of Consociation or the neighboring churches.

It is a cardinal principle that every pastor has a right to discuss in his pulpit those subjects, moral and religious, the discussion of which will in his judgment promote the cause of the Redeemer, and that it is an unreasonable and dangerous infringement on his right, for his church or Society to dictate to him, white their pas­tor, what moral and religious subjects he shall or shall not discuss; while we fully admit not only that the exercise of this right should be governed by discretion and wise regard to the interests of religion in the community, but also that a church or Society if they deem themselves aggrieved by indiscreet and improper dis­cussion in the pulpit may seek redress, but only by the regular ecclesiastical and civil processes.

The above principles of Congregationalism are fully established 'and admitted, which no Congregational church or Society can violate without injustice to others and unfaithfulness to their denominational obligations.

We, therefore, the Congregational church and Society in Wolcott, do hereby solemnly admit these principles and express our


fixed intention to abide by them.  We also acknowledge it to be the sacred right of all individuals to enjoy, undisturbed, their own views in respect to Moral Reform, Anti-slavery, Temperance, and kindred subjects, and that we will not disturb, and will use our influence to prevent others from disturbing, any public meet­ing held for the discussion of these subjects.

Resolved, That on the above principles and stipulations we will finite in good faith as one Society in finishing the House of Worship which has been commenced on the site of the former house, and endeavor hereafter to support the gospel therein in peace and harmony, it being mutually understood that said house shall be opened for the discussion of the above mentioned sub­jects whenever it shall be requested by a majority of the Church.”

Upon this arrangement between the Society and the church, the pastor was dismissed with the full confidence of the church and Council, and the church and Society entered upon their engagement to complete the Meeting house.

During Mr. Chapman's first year of labor twenty-one persons united with the church, most of them by profes­sion, so that the condition of the church and the congre­gation was prosperous and hopeful; and had the Society, or rather certain members of it, conducted themselves according to the Congregational principles which they finally bound themselves to obey, there would have been little if any of this difficulty.

This conflict of opinion was not peculiar to Wolcott, but occurred in many communities in the nation.  It resulted from the persistent effort of a political party striving to please slaveholders, by intimidation and by formal attacks upon the faith and freedom of the gospel, as maintained by a very large portion of the Christian people of the nation.


During the interval between Mr. Chapman's demission

and the employment of Mr. Beach, the Rev.  Zephaniah



1 23

Swift supplied the pulpit from nine months to one year, and seems to have given good satisfaction as a minister.  Mr. Aaron C. Beach preached his first sermon in Wolcott on December 19, 1841, in the Center School House.  On the 6th of September, previous, the Society voted to hold their meetings in the Meeting house, but it is probable, that as the Meeting house was not finished inside, and as there was no way to warm it sufficiently in December, they held their meetings in the school house.  Mr. Beach was engaged to preach six months, at the end of which time he received a unanimous call to become the pastor.

He was ordained by New Haven West Consociation, on the 22d day of June, 1842.  The members of Consociation present were: Rev.  Zephaniah Swift, Rev.  John E. Ray, Rev.  Jason Atwater, Rev.  Anson Smith.  The delegates were: Brothers Eben Hotchkiss, of Prospect; Eli Dick­erman, of Fast Plains ; Nathaniel Richardson, of Middle­bury; Amos R. Hough, of Mt.  Carmel; George W. Shelton, of Derby; Andrew W. De Forest, of Hum­phreysville; Deacon Lucian F. Lewis, of Naugatuck.

Rev. Z. Swift was chosen moderator and Rev.  A. Smith, scribe.  Rev. S. W. S. Dutton, of New Haven, and E. Lyman, of Plymouth, being present, were invited to sit as corresponding members, and after the examina­tion the ordination services were arranged as follows: Mr. Lyman to offer the introductory prayer, Mr. Dutton to preach the sermon, Mr. Bray to offer the ordaining prayer, Mr. Swift to offer the right hand of fellowship, and Mr. Atwater to address the people and offer the con­cluding prayer.  The services were held in the Meeting house, under the “naked rafters,” at it o'clock on Wednesday, June 22d, 1842.  Mr. Beach graduated at Yale College, in 1835, was licensed to preach in 1838, and remained connected with Yale Theological Seminary till near the time when he began to preach in Wolcott.  He bad a wife and one child when he came here, and resided three or four years in the house which Mr. Keys had for-


merly occupied.  After his settlement, the first great work was to finish the Meeting house, which had already been in process of building nearly two years.  It was com­pleted January j8th, 1843, and dedicated the next day, and has been a very comfortable and commodious house to the present time.  During the year 1843 fifteen per­sons united with the church, and affairs presented a more promising and hopeful appearance than for some years before.  Mr. Beach says of his labors here: “No exten­sive revival of religion occurred while I was in Wolcott, but more than once we enjoyed a pleasant season of quickened religious interest, which resulted in additions to the church at different times.” Forty-four names were added to the list of members while he labored here; the church and Society worked together in great harmony, and the way was prepared for better days.

A very important work was accomplished by Mr. Beach in building the house now owned as a parsonage.  He built it for himself, but when he closed his labors here the Society purchased it of him.  The ground around it, about four acres, was given to him for the purpose of a home, and a hard piece of land it @vas.  There were more than four acres of stones to be disposed of before much soil could be found.  Money and work were contributed by the parish,-some say, over a thousand dollars in money, besides the work; but often such matters are overestimated.  Mr. Beach put in money of his own, to the amount of twelve hundred dollars, and when he left there was a debt of five hundred dollars, which the Society accepted, and on this condition Mr. Beach sold them the house.  It is a good house, commodious, and pleasantly located, and there would be pleasure in the thought of the accomplishment of so good an object, but for the little item that somebody “paid too dear for his whistle.” When they began to build this house, the house that Mr. Woodward had owned, with ten acres of land, and very commodious out buildings, was for sale at the low price



of seven hundred dollars, The choice to-day between that and the parsonage would be in favor of the former.  If that had been purchased, Mr. 13cach might have saved his $1,2oo, and the Society its $5oo, and then put that in repair with the extra money over $7oo and the labor expended on the parsonage grounds.


At a church meeting held May 10th, 1857, the “church having appointed Deacon A. H. Plumb chairman, re­ceived a communication from their pastor, requesting the church to unite with him in calling the Consociation for the purpose of dissolving his relation to them as their pastor.” This communication was as follows:-

May 10, 1857

To the Congregational Church of Wolcott:

Beloved: It is not without pain and sadness that I separate myself from such tried and faithful friends as you have been to me and mine, in health and sickness, in joy and sorrow, these fif­teen years.  But the serious and growing inadequacy of my salary constrains me to ask, and I do hereby ask, you to unite with me in calling the Consociation to dissolve my relations to you as your pastor.  Affectionately, your fellow disciple,


Upon the reception of this letter the church voted to "grant said request, and accordingly appointed Deacon Orrin Hall a delegate to the said Consociation whenever it shall be convenient for that purpose."


At a special meeting, Of the Consociation of New Haven West, held at Wolcott, May 27th, 1857, there were present the following pastors and delegates:

Wolcott, A. C. Beach, pastor, Deacon Orrin Hall, delegate; Waterbury, P. W. Carter, delegate; Naugatuck, C. Sherman, pas­tor, Bro.  David Hopkins, delegate; Oxford, S. Topliff, pastor; Woodbridge, J. Guernsey, pastor, Bro. Nelson Newton, delegate;


Hamden E. Plains, Deacon Eli Dickerman, delegate; Hamden, Mt. Carmel, Bro.  Lucius Wes, delegate; Seymour, Bro. W. H. Tuttle, delegate.

Mr. Topliff was appointed moderator, and C. S. Sherman, scribe.

After full inquiry and discussion, Consociation voted unani­mously that the pastoral relation between Rev. A. C. Beach and the Congregational Church and Society in Wolcott be dissolved, the dissolution to take place on the 22d proximo.  In coming to this result Consociation express their conviction of the self-de­nying work of Bro. Beach, in laboring fifteen years, under the embarrassments of an inadequate temporal support, to preach the gospel to this people, raising up men and women for useful­ness in other places to which they have been constantly emigra­ting, and preparing saints here for heaven.  We sympathize with him in the necessity of leaving a still warmly attached church and people.  We sincerely commend him to the-ministry and (hutches as an able and faithful minister.  With this church and Society, in their destitute circumstances, we also heartily sympathize, bear­ing witness to their self-denying efforts to sustain the gospel among themselves.  We pray the Great Head of the Church that the way may be opened, the means of support supplied, and a faithful servant of Christ be sent to them, and this place not be left waste, or the people be scattered @ sheep having no shepherd.

Attest: C. S. SHERMAN, Scribe.

The above statements were very true as to the sacri­fice and efforts on the part both of pastor and people to sustain the preaching of the gospel in this place.  Those were the years of emigration from Wolcott.  The build­ing of the church was a heavy work for the people, and after the best that could be done in raising money to pay for it, there was a debt of $350, which they tried to liqui­date in the autumn Of 1843, but whether they succeeded or not we are not told.  In 1846 they took up the subject of procuring a bell, in which they seem to have been successful, partly by the sale of the bell metal of the old bell which melted when the church was burned, and by a special subscription.



In 1847 they took up the work of procuring a parson­age, and voted that subscription papers be circulated for this purpose, but they did not succeed.  In 1848 they voted to “issue subscription papers to raise $750, for the purpose of buying,” for a parsonage, “the place now owned by Mrs. Finch, provided the amount be raised.” But they did not succeed in getting the parsonage.  Then, in 1849, we find another special subscription for the purpose of paying $ too, “arrearages."

The efforts to secure a parsonage having failed, Mr. Beach engaged in building a house for himself, which he finished in good style; but alas, when he proposed to sell it, the Society could not refund the money he had put into it; for, to assume the five hundred dollars debt was all they could do, and that cost them many years of hard labor and sacrifice to pay.

Thus closed the labors of Rev. Aaron C. Beach, as pastor in Wolcott.





In the Spring of 1858, Rev.  Z. 13.  Burr, of Weston, Conn., received a “call” from this church and Society, but a settlement was not secured with him.  In January, 1859, a call was extended to Rev.  Stephen Rogers, and in February next the Society concurred in the call, and he was installed, the Society Records say, on the 7th of March, 1859, but the Church Records, a copy of the scribe's paper of the proceedings of Consociation, says the 25th day of March, 1859.  Probably the latter is cor­rect.

Members of the Consociation and other churches invi­ted, who took part in the exercises of installation, were as follows: (The list of ministers and delegates present is not preserved.)

Rev. Austin Putnam, moderator; Rev. E. W. Robinson, scribe.

Invocation, by Rev. Geo. Bushnell; Sermon by Rev. Jas. Averil; Installation Prayer, by Austin Putnam ; Charge to the Pastor, by Rev. Charles S. Sherman; Right Hand of Fellowship, by Rev. Alexander D. Stowel; Address to the People, by Rev.  E. W. Robinson; Concluding Prayer, by Rev. E. C. Jones; Benedic­tion, by the pastor.

Mr. Rogers came from Northfield, and was a man ad­vanced in life, of precarious health, but of noble spirit and of devoted mind.  He found a quiet, peaceful parish,



a good parsonage to live in, and a warm-hearted, working church.  It must be noticed here that during the year­ 1858 the church was greatly revived under the preaching of Rev. Joseph Smith, who was engaged some months as a supply.  I find no mention of him in the records of either church or Society, but he was a Methodist local preacher, not engaged regularly in the Conference of that denomination, and resided in or near Birmingham.* During the year 1858, thirty-nine persons united with the church by profession, quite a number of whom re­main to this day devoted and trustworthy members.  Most of these persons united in May, 1858, but it is prob­able that Mr. Smith began to preach in the summer or autumn of 1857, and continued during the following win­ter, it being a time of general religious interest in the parish.  Mr. Rogers came here less than a year after these thirty-nine persons (at one time) united with the church, and had the comforting advantage of a church wide awake in religious things.  He did well, considering ­his state of health, and is remembered with great kind­ness by the people of the parish.  The following commu­nication received by the church explains the difficulty of parish work to him, and the cause of the dissolution of the pastoral relation.


To the Congressional Church and Society of Wolcott:

   Beloved Brethren and Friends:-God in His allwise provi­dence has for a long time visited me with sickness, rendering me incapable of performing all the duties that are expected of one having the pastoral relation; and, as there is no reasonable prospect of seasonable returning health, I feel constrained for your good and my own, to ask that the relation existing between myself and the church and Society be dissolved, to take effect the 18th of

*Rev. Mr. Smith is now (1874) a member of the Methodist Episcopal Conference, and is a successful minister in his denomination.  He is preaching in Derby, Conn. 


April next., Grateful for the friendly relations that have existed between us from the first to this day, and for the sympathy and kindness manifested to me through all the months of trial through which I have been called to pass; greatly desiring the prosperity of the church and Society, and the re-establishment of the pas­toral relation, and that you may enjoy and abound in all the bles­sings of the Spirit, is the prayer, of your unworthy servant.

            STEPHEN ROGERS.

WOLCOTT, Conn., SEPT 6, 1862.


WOLCOTT, Sept. 6, 1862.

Church voted unanimously to accept the above request.

Voted, that we as a church deeply sympathize with our pastor, Rev. Stephen Rogers, in his protracted illness and inability to preach the gospel.  And further that we have fall confidence in His Christian character and integrity as a minister of the gospel and that we cheerfully recommend him to any church wherever in the providence of God he may be called.

The Society concurred in a vote to accede to Mr. Rogers' request for a dismissal by Consociation, and it is probable that he was regularly dismissed, though I and no record to that effect.*

Mr. Rogers removed to Woodbury, Conn., where he de­parted this life a few weeks after reaching that place,


Rev. Lent S. Hough came to Wolcott in the Spring of

*Mr.  Rogers donated to the church library of thirty volumes, consisting chiefly of standard theological works.  The idea of writing a history of Wolcott was first suggested to the author while examining a book in this library, entitled Hayward’s New England Gazetteer.  This book contains an account of Wolcott, but makes no allusion to the Church,- as though it were a heathen community, or one in which the preaching of the gospel had been discontinued.  The author was thus led to make special inquiry respecting the religious history of the town, and the present volume is largely occupied with the result of his investigations.  If it were not for the strange omission in the Gazetteer, the history of Wol­cott might never have been written.



1863 Mr. Rogers closed his labors on the 18th of April, and on the 27th of the same month the Society voted to raise three hundred and twenty-five dollars for the purpose of hiring “Rev. L. S. Hough to preach for one year, and that the salary should be paid semi-annually.” On the 4th of May, following, the Society voted “to in­vite Rev. L. S. Hough to serve as acting pastor of this Society, and that we invite the church to unite with us in the request.” There is no record of any action by the church.  In the Society vote there is no mention of the time for which lie was engaged, nor of the terms upon which he was to continue with them.  Mr. Hough came from Westfield Society, in the town of Middletown, where he bad been a settled pastor for seventeen years.  The letter he brought with him from that Society shows the appreciation of him by that people.  It is as follows:

The Fourth Church of Middletown, to the Congregational Church at Wolcott, Conn.:

Beloved Brethren:-This is to certify that the Rev.  Lent S. Hough and Hannah S. his wife, are esteemed members of the Fourth Congregational Church in Middletown, in good and regular standing; and having signified their wish to remove their particular relations from us to yourselves, they are hereby recommended to your special care and fellowship, and when they shall be received into membership with you their particular connection with us will be considered as dissolved.  Hoping that our beloved late pastor will find among you warm hearts and kind friends, and a liberal support, both in temporal and spiritual things, we recommend him, dear brethren, to your special love.  And may his labors be as faithful and as successful with you m they have been with us, and may your prayers ever follow him, as ours certainly will, through all the troubles and trials he may still be called to pass before he shall finally reach his heavenly rest.

                                                                                    In behalf of the church,

                                                                                                HENRY CORNWELL, Clerk.

MIDDLETOWN, May 4, 1863.

Thus introduced, Mr. Hough went forward with the success of former pastors in this church, for three years,


during which time nineteen persons united with the church, and other interests were proportionately prosper­ous.  I am informed, however, that during the summer of 1866 lie manifested great discouragement in regard to the religious condition of the church, and seemed ready to seek some other field of labor.  It was during this summer that Deacon Samuel Holmes, of New York, with his family, made his home in this parish for a few months; a fact that will be remembered with gladness for many years to come.  The larger part of the time had passed before Mr. Hough became really acquainted with Mr. Holmes, for as he said afterward, he supposed Mr. Holmes was one of the city people, and would scarcely take notice of a country pastor or his flock.  Early in the autumn, while the church was still in a tor­pid state, and after Mr. Hough had passed through sev­eral attacks of illness, accompanied with most acute pain, lie gave expression publicly to his feeling of despondency, and added that if any one present had any word of encouragement or exhortation he would be glad to have     him speak.  Upon this, Deacon Holmes arose, took his        position by the table in front of the pulpit, and, referring to the pastor's feeling of discouragement, ex­pressed the conviction that if efforts were put forth in cheerful hope. better days would dawn in Wolcott.  To test the matter, be proposed that as the evenings were becoming longer, and the people had passed through the hurry of farm work, they should come together in a prayer meeting at a private house during the week.  This proposal was eagerly adopted by Deacon Ansel H. Plumb, who invited them to his house. Between that day and the evening of the meeting, Deacon Holmes conversed with three young men on the subject of per­sonal religion.  He found one of them cherishing a hope, and the other two anxious in regard to their spiritual state.  He persuaded them to come to the Thursday evening prayer meeting and state there what they bad



told him.  When the evening, came and the meeting was opened, Mr. Holmes made a few remarks, and called upon the young men to take up their cross.  After they had spoken, there was no lack of interest in the meeting, nor in subsequent meetings of the church, for several months.  For some few weeks, while Dea­con Holmes remained in the place, regular prayer meet­ings were held, and sometimes special meetings, which resulted in the conversion of a number of persons. When Mr. Holmes left, lie had engaged J. D. Potter, the “evangelist,” to hold meetings there for one week, which engagement was fulfilled at the time with good suc­cess.  The result was that at the first communion in 1807, on January 6th, twenty-seven persons united with the church, and at the next communion four more.  This success in the church revived the courage of Mr. Hough for a time, but be still felt inclined to find another parish, and offered his resignation to that effect, but it was not accepted.  Again, in the beginning of 1869, lie offered His resignation, and it was at once accepted by the officers of the church, without calling a meeting either of the church or of the Society.  This method of doing business by the officers, “gave dissatisfaction to many; but it is said by the officers that the agreement with Mr. Hough was that if upon his giving a certain timely notice, he was to be allowed to go.” It will be readily seen that if any per­sons were to vote, those who called him, or the Society, should have done it; so that the method adopted was clearly contrary to Congregational rules and usages.


In the year 1864, the church was the recipient of a valuable present, which will be cherished by it, proba­bly for the next century at least, and the following en­try in the Records explains itself:

At a meeting of the Congregational Church in Wolcott, duly held on this 18th day of April, 1864, it being the 70th birthday


anniversary of our much esteemed friend, widow Wealthy H. Wes, of Waterbury, formerly of this town; there was presented from her to this church as a birthday free will offering, an exceedingly rich and valuable communion service.  Whereupon, it was voted That we gratefully receive the highly prized offering, and tender to the kind donor our heartfelt thanks for it, hoping that in min­istering to others she may be ministered to from on high, abun­dantly, and that finally she may meet all the recipients of her bounty in the general assembly of the church in heaven.

Mrs. Wes was born in Wolcott, and was the daugh­ter of Charles Upson, Esquire, for many years one of the most influential men of the town.*

In 1867, Feb. 28th, the church voted unanimously “to donate our old communion service, not now used, to the Congregational church in Allegan County, Michigan."


On the 1st of February, 1865, a committee was ap­pointed to revise the Articles of Faith and Covenant, consisting of Rev.  L. S. Hough, Deacon A. H.  Plumb, B. A. Lindsley, S. L. Hotchkiss, and Deacon L. B. Bron­son.  They made their report at the next communion, and the revised Articles and Covenant were adopted, and were afterward printed, together with a list of the ministers and deacons, and the surviving members of the church.  The old articles were twelve in number, and were Calvinistic in Their doctrinal statements; the new or revised articles are eight in number, and have not the slightest tincture of Calvinism in them.  The wording of these articles, however, is so obscure that it is difficult to discern what doctrines are intended to be taught.  The rules of the church, as published in this “Manual,” are peculiar in this respect, that members are received without vote, on the negative condition that no one publicly objects.


*See Biography of Dr. Ives.  Mrs. Ives died November 21st, 1808, in the twenty-fifth year of her age.



Mr. Hough closed His labors in the Spring of 1869, and went to Salem, Conn., where he preached sixteen months.  I-le then settled in Lyme, where after three years he is still successfully at work, notwithstanding the severe and peculiar afflictions experienced by himself and family.

During Mr. Hough's labors in Wolcott, important re­pairs Were made on the Meeting house, inside and out­side, and a cabinet organ was purchased to aid in the singing.  The money for these improvements was secured, mostly, by the Ladies' Sewing Society of the congregation, and, as is often the case, the number of ladies engaged in the work of the Sewing Society was not large.


The officers of the Society, having dismissed Mr. Hough without a vote of tile Society or the church, proceeded in like manner to hire another minister.  They secured Rev. Warren C. Fiske, of Barkhamstead, a good pastor and preacher.  It is possible that the committee proceeded in this manner without intending any violation of Con­gregational order, but it is difficult to see how they could proceed in this manner, when it was well known that there was much dissatisfaction in the parish in con­sequence of their dismissal of Mr. Hough.  Mr. Fiske came to Wolcott in May, 1869, and continued to serve the church very acceptably for three years, and then, at his own pleasure, closed his labors, with the intention not to take charge of a parish again,-for a time, at least.

The year 1870 was the one hundredth year of the organi­zation of the parish Society, and in that year should have been held the centenary meeting ; but as far as I have learned, no one thought of it or proposed such a meeting.*

*If some persons were so capable of conducting such meeting as they represented themselves to be in 1873, why did they not show specimen of their skill in 1870?


No special revival occurred during Mr. Fiske's la­bors, yet the church kept up its meetings regularly, and attended to all the usual interests with earnestness and fidelity.  The people speak in high terms of Mr. Fiske, his excellent wife, and agreeable family.  He preached 'IS he was able, in the school houses, but being subject to sudden attacks of a bronchial ailment, could not do as he otherwise would, in the work of preaching.  He removed from Wolcott to Charlton, Mass., where he now resides, preaching only occasionally, being without regular pas­toral work.


commenced his services in this parish as stated supply, July 1st, 1872, and as to his labors, this book, including the account of the Centenary meeting, must bear its testimony.  He preached three Sabbaths as supply, with­out any purpose of continuing here.  But on learning from the records that 1873 was the one hundredth year of the existence of the church organization, the idea of holding a Centenary meeting arose in his mind and became a special attraction, because of the great pleasure lie takes in historic study.  In regard to that meeting, lie has but one regret, namely, that in consequence of the restricted notions of a few brethren in the church, he was obliged to omit several items which would have given greater interest to that very successful and long to be remembered gathering.

During his second year, the Meeting house was re­paired, outside and inside, at a cost of over two hun­dred dollars, and chairs, tables, and a sofa were placed in the Meeting house and in the parsonage, to the value of one hundred and twenty-five dollars, besides a beauti­ful and durable clock, donated by Deacon Charles Benedict,-of Waterbury, through the agency of George Bridgeman, Esq., of Wolcott, lately deceased.  A large proportion of the funds to purchase this furniture was so­licited by the kind favor of Miss Mary E. Cook, of the



First Church in Waterbury, and was presented to the ­church through Mrs. Henry Minor and Mrs. Elihu Moulthrop, of Wolcott.  Mr. Ephraim Hall contributed twenty-five dollars toward this fund; the remainder was raised by subscription in sums of five dollars and under.

Preaching services have been held in each of the six School Districts in the parish; and the whole number of sermons preached in the eighteen months, preceding January 1st, 1874, was two hundred and sixty, being an average of three and one-third a week for that time; and while thus preaching, the duties of Acting School Visitor have been faithfully attended to.  Much time and labor were bestowed, meanwhile, upon preparations for the Centenary meeting, and also upon tire pleasing task of collecting materials for this history, and preparing it for the press.

The church has received aid from the Connecticut Home Missionary Society during the last forty-six years as follows:

































































The whole amount thus received being three thousand four hundred and eighty dollars, a sum for which all the people feel grateful, and which reflects great honor on the Missionary Society.

The Society has a small fund left to it by legacy, the interest of which is used for the support of the gospel in the parish.  The following resolution was passed by the Society in regard to a part of this fund, in April, 1860, but whether that was the date of the reception of the same does not appear:


Resolved, That the legacy of one hundred dollars left by Major Preserve W. Carter for the Congregational Society of Wolcott, constitute a permanent fund to be kept for the benefit of said So­ciety, in the Waterbury Savings Bank, until further action of said Society; the income to be appropriated for the support of the gospel.

The sum of two hundred and fifty dollars was given by Judge Bennet Bronson, of Waterbury, the income of which is used for the support of the gospel.

In addition to these items of aid, it is a fact that in order to maintain the gospel in the parish, the members of the church are paying yearly a sum equal to one and one-eighth per cent on their assessment in the grand list, a sum much larger in proportion than is generally paid by the more wealthy churches.






Rev. Alexander Gillet, ordained Dec. 29, 1773, dismissed Nov. 10, 1791.  Died in Torrington, Connn., Jan. 10, 1826.

Rev. Israel B. Woodward, ordained June, 1792. Died Nov. 17, 1810.

Rev. Lucas Hart, ordained Dec. 4, 1811.  Died October 16, 1813.

Rev. John Keys, installed Sept. 21, 1814, dismissed December, 1822.  Died in Dover, Ohio, 1868.  Aged 86.

Dea. Isaac Bronson, read sermons most of the time five consecu­tive years, from 1822 to 1827.

Rev. Erastus Scranton, stated supply from June 1, 1827, to August, 1829.

Rev. Mr. Wheelock, stated supply from Sept. 7, 1829, to Sept. 7, 1830.

Rev. Nathan Shaw, stated supply from July 4, 1831, nine months.

Rev.  Seth Sackett, stated supply, a short time.

Rev. Wm. F. Vail, stated supply one year.

Rev. James D. Chapman, ordained Oct. 25, 1837, dismissed Nov., 1840.

Rev. Zephaniah Swift, stated supply, probably one year.

Rev. Aaron C. Beach, ordained June 22, 1842, dismissed June 22, 1857.

Rev. Z. B. Burr, stated supply a short time.

Rev. Joseph Smith, stated supply, one year.

Rev. Stephen Rogers, installed March 25, 1859, dismissed April 18, 1863, and died the same year in Woodbury, Conn.


Rev. Lent S. Hough, stated supply from May, 1863, to May, 1869.

Rev. Warren C. Fiske, stated supply, from May, 1969, to June, 1872.

Rev. Samuel Orcutt, stated supply, from July 1, 1872, to May 17, 1874.


Aaron 14arrison, elected Jan. 26, 1774.  Died Sept. 5, 1819.

Josiah Rogers, elected Jan. 26, 1774.  Died Oct. 1, 1803.

Justus Peck, elected 1784, resigned Feb. 27, 1822.  Died Nov. 23, 18l3.

Joseph Atkins, Jr., elected April 19, 1786, resigned and moved to Chenango Co., N. Y., in 1805.

Isaac Bronson, elected May 16, 1805.  Died April 28, 1845. 

James Bailey, elected Feb. 27, 1812.  Died March 29, 1834.

Isaac Bronson, elected June 3, 1825, resigned March 20, 1834. Removed to

Cheshire, thence to Bristol, where he now resides. 

Harvey Upson, elected May 12, 1832.  Died Sept. 11, 1857. 

Orrin Hall, elected May 18, 1835.

Ansel H.  Plumb, elected Nov. 9, 1838.  Died Aug. 20, 1870.

Lyman B. Bronson, elected June 3, 1864.  Died May 27, 1866. 

Miles S. Upson, elected March 1, 1867.

George W. Carter, elected Sept. 2, 1870.


Rev. Alexander Gillet, from 1773 to 1791.

Rev. Israel B. Woodward, from 1792 to 181O.

Rev.   Lucas Hart, from 1811 to 1813.

Rev.   John Keys, from 1814 to 1822.

Dea.   Isaac Bronson, from 1823 to 1836.

Rev.   James D. Chapman, from 1837 to 1840.

William Bartholomew, from Nov., 1840, to May, 1842.

Rev. Aaron C. Beach, from June, 1842, to May, 1857.

Stiles L. Hotchkiss, from March, 18S8, to 1874


Dea. Aaron Harrison, 1770, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1782, 1783, 1788, 1789, 1794, 1795.

Capt. Isaac Hopkins, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1785, 1786.

Capt. Samuel Upson, 1780, 1787, 1790.

Capt. Zaccheus Gillet, 1781.



Capt. Nathaniel Lewis, 1784, 1793.

Dea. Joseph Atkins, 179I, 1792, 1797.

Esq. Charles Upson, 1796, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1803, 1804, 1807, 1809.

Esq. Mark Harrison., 1801, 1802, 1805, 18o6, 1809, 1811, 18I4, 1815, 1816, 1820.

Jacob Carter, 1810.

Asaph Hotchkiss, 1812.

Lud Lindsley, 1813

Doct. John Potter, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1822, 1823, 1827.

Capt Harvey Upson, 1821, 1828, 1829, 1834, 1837.

Thomas Upson, 1824, 1825.

Lucius Tuttle, 1826, 1830, r831, 1842, 1852, 1854

Luther Hotchkiss, 1832, 1833, 1835, 1838, 1841, 1844, 1846.

Clark Bronson, 1836, 1849, 1855

Dea. Orrin Hall, 1839.

Ira Hough, 1840, 1843, 1845, 1847.

Dea. George W. Carter, 1848.

Dea. Ansel H.  Plumb, 1850, 18S6, 1863.

Jarvis R. Bronson, 1851, 1858, 1860, 1872.

Benjamin A. Lindsley, 1853, 1862, 1864

Eldad Parker, 1861.

Mark Tuttle, 1865.

Stiles L. Hotchkiss, 1857, 1859, 1866, 1870, 1871, 1873.


Daniel Byington, Sen., was clerk one year, or, from 1770 to 1771.

Daniel Byington, Jr., from 1771 to 1798, 26 years.

Dea. Isaac Bronson, from 1799 to 1831, 32 years.

Thomas Upson, from 1832, one year.

William Bartholomew, from 1833 to 1835, two Years.

Mark Tuttle, from 1836 to 1838, two years.

Ezra S. Hough, from 1839 to 1842, 3 years.

Joseph N. Sperry, from 1843 to April, 1847, 3½ years.

Stiles L. Hotchkiss, from April, 1847, to April, 185O, 3 years.

Dea. George W. Carter, from April, 1850, to May, 1874, 24 years.


Dea. Josiah Rogers, from 1770 to 1773, 3 years.


Capt. Simeon Hopkins. from 1773 to 1789, 16 years.

Capt. Charles Upson, from 1789 to 1790, one year.

Jacob Carter, from 1790 to 1793, 3 years.

Esq.  Mark Harrison, from 1793 to 1797, 4 years.

Dea. Isaac Bronson, from 1797 to 1830, 33 years.

Ira Hough, from 1831 to 1832, one year.

Lucius Tuttle, from 1833, one year.

Clark Bronson, from x834, one year.

Mark Tuttle, from 1835 to 1838, 3 years.

Ezra S. Hough, from 1838 to 1843, 5 years.

Stiles L. Hotchkiss, from 1843 to 1850, 7 years,

Dea. George W. Carter, from 1850 to 1874, 24 years.


1770-Josiall Rogers, John Alcox, Stephen Barnes, John Bronson, Amos Seward.

1771-David Norton, Amos Seward, Stephen Barnes, Daniel Alcox, Joseph Beecher.

1772-David Norton, Amos Seward, John Alcox, Joseph Beecher, John Bronson.

1773-Amos Seward, Joseph Beecher, Stephen Barnes.

1774-Amos Seward, Stephen Barnes, Samuel Upson.

1775-Samuel Upson, Stephen Barnes, Joseph Beecher.

1776-Joseph Beecher, Samuel Upson, Amos Seward.

1777-Amos Seward, Jared Harrison, Thomas Upson.

1778-Daniel Byington, Jr., Thomas Upson, Daniel Alcox­, Jared Harrison.

1779-Daniel Byington, Jared Harrison, Lieut. Alcox.

1780-Daniel Byington, Deacon Rogers, Jared Harrison.

1781-Daniel Byington, Charles Upson, Joseph Beecher.

1782-Lieut. Beecher, Daniel Byington, Lieut.  Peck, Simeon Hopkins, Charles Upson.

1793-Lieut. Beach, Mark Harrison, David Norton.

1784-David Norton, Justus Peck, Mark Harrison, Simeon Hopkins, Lieut. Beecher.

1785-Justus Peck, David Norton, Mark Harrison, Joseph Beecher, Simeon Hopkins. 

1786-Abraham Norton, Jonathan Carter, Justus Peck, Sim­eon Hopkins.



1787-Simeon Hopkins, Nathaniel Lewis, Amos Beecher, Joseph Atkins, Jonathan Carter.

1788-Jonathan Carter, Amos Beecher, Simeon Hopkins. 1789-Amos Beecher, Jonathan Carter, Samuel Byington, Charles Upson.

1760-Mark Harrison, Streat Richards, Jonathan Carter. 1791 - Jonathan Carter, Abraham Norton, Jacob Carter, Sam­uel Byington, Walter Beecber.

1792-Walter Beecher, Streat Richards, Mark Harrison, Esq., Simeon Hopkins.

1793-Streat Richards, Mark Harrison, Walter Beecher, Charles Frisbie.

1794-Mark Harrison, Streat Richards, Isaac Bronson, Charles Upson, Samuel Byington, Joseph Minor.

1795-Judah Frisbie, Joseph Minor, David Norton, Isaac Up­son, Isaac Bronson.

1796-james Bailey, Samuel Clinton, Joseph Atkins, Isaac Bronson, Daniel Johnson.

1797-Deacon Atkins, James Bailey, Stephen Carter, Daniel Johnson, Samuel Clinton.

1798-Moses Todd, David Harrison, Stephen Carter, Samuel Clinton, James Bailey.

1799-Stephen Carter, Charles Upson, Joseph M. Parker, Samuel Clinton, Preserve Carter.

1800-Chdes Upson, Preserve Carter, Joseph M. Parker, James Bailey, Isaac Upson.

1801-Joseph M. Parker, Preserve Carter, James Bailey, Charles Upson, John Frisbie, Nathan Johnson.

1802-Nathaniel Lewis, Joseph M. Parker, David Harrison, Elijah Rowe, John Frisbie.

1803-Joseph M. Parker, John Potter, Jesse Upson, Samuel Horton, David Harrison, John Frisbie, Royce Lewis.

1804-David Harrison, John Potter, Jesse Upson, Washing­ton Upson, Royce Lewis, Farrington Barnes, Samuel Horton.

1805-John Potter, John Frisbie, Israel Upson, Washington Upson, James Bailey, Mark Barnes, Farrington Barnes.

1806-John Potter, Asaph Hotchkiss, Washington Upson, Elijah Rowe, Hezekiah Beecher, John Frisbie, Stephen Carter, Jr., John Hitchcock, Farrington Barnes.


1807-John Potter, Asaph Hotchkiss, Joseph M. Parker, Far­rington Barnes, Harvey Upson, Stephen Carter, Jr., John Frisbie, John Hitchcock, Hezekiah Beecher, Washington Upson.

1808-Asaph Hotchkiss, Heman Hall, John B. Alcox.

1809-Asaph Hotchkiss, Harvey Upson, Lud Lindsley, Ab­ner Hotchkiss, Heman Hall.

1810-Harvey Upson, Gates Upson, Lud Lindsley, David Frisbie, Lucius Tuttle.

1811-Asaph Hotchkiss, Harvey Upson, David Frisbie.

18l2-Harvey Upson, Lucius Tuttle, Thomas Upson.

1813-Lucius Tuttle, William Bartholomew, Pitman Stowe.

1814-Lucius Tuttle, William Bartholomew, Pitman Stowe. x8j5-Williain Bartholomew, Luther Hotchkiss, Clark Bron­son.

1816-Gates Upson, Ira Hough, Daniel Holt.

18l7-Ira Hough, Daniel Holt, John B. Alcox.

1818-Irad Bronson, Orrin Plumb, David Frisbie.

1819-Thomas Upson, David R. Upson, Moses Pond, Lucius Tuttle.

1820-Luchis Tuttle, Thomas Upson, William Bartholomew, Daniel Holt.

1821-Lucius Tuttle, Irad Bronson, Daniel Holt, William Bartholomew.

1822-Lucius Tuttle, William Bartholomew, Irad Bronson, Harvey Upson, Daniel Holt.

1823-Ira Hough, Lucius Tuttle, Irad Bronson, William Bartholomew.

1824-William Bartholomew, Gates Upson, Clark Bronson, Thomas Upson, Luther Hotchkiss.

1825-Luther Hotchkiss, David Frisbie, Jonathan Bement.

1826-Harvey Upson, Jonathan Bement, Ira Hough.

1827-Ira Hough, William Bartholomew, Daniel Holt.

1828-Thomas Upson, Luther Hotchkiss, David Frisbie, Clark Bronson.

1829-Thomas Upson, Lud Lindsley, Clark Bronson.

1830-Reuben Carter, Mark Tuttle, Ira Frisbie.

1831-Asa Boardman, George Griswold, Mark Tuttle.

1832-Gates Upson, Ira Hough, Lucius Tuttle, Jr.



1833-Ira Hough, Luther Hotchkiss, Mark Tuttle.

1834-Hitch Higgins, Clark Bronson, Orrin Hall.

1835-Leonard Beecher, Ephraim Hall, Albert Boardman, Ira Frisbie, Mark Tuttle, Orrin Hall.

1836-Ephraim Hall, Ira Frisbie, Joel Alcox, Luther Hotchkiss.

1837-Moses Pond, Gates Upson, Joseph N. Sperry.

1838-Milow G. Hotchkiss, Charles H. Upson, Reuben Carter.

1839-Gates Upson, Daniel Holt, Ira Frisbie.

1940-Gates Upson, Ira Enable, Ira Hough.

1841-Ira Hough, Joseph N. Sperry, Ira Frisbie.

1842-Tra Frisbie, Ansel H. Plumb, Luther Hotchkiss.

1843-Ansel R. Plumb, Orrin Hall, Stiles L. Hotchkiss.

1844-Orrin Hall, Stiles I,.  Hotchkiss, George )V.  Carter.

1845-Stiles L. Hotchkiss, George W.  Carter, Isaac Hough.

1846-Isaac Hough, Mark Tuttle, Carolus R. Byington.

1847-Ansel E. Plumb, Mark Tuttle, George W. Carter.

1848-Ansel H. Plumb, George W. Carter, Benjamin A. Lindsley.

1849-Jarvin R. Bronson, Ansel H. Plumb, Miles S. Upson, Mark Tuttle.

1850-Ansel H. Plumb, Jarvis R. Bronson, Stiles L. Hotch­kiss, Miles S. Upson.

1851-Miles S. Upson, Ansel H. Plumb, Benjamin A. Lindsley. 

1852-Ansel H. Plumb, Stiles L.  Hotchkiss, Henry Beecher.

1853-Ansel H. Plumb, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Jarvis R. Bronson.

1854-Ansel H. Plumb, Benjamin A. Lindsley, Ira H. Hough.

1855-Ansel H. Plumb, Stiles L.  Hotchkiss, Benjamin A. Lindsley.

1856-Ansel H. Plumb, Benjamin A. Lindsley, Miles S. Upson.

1857-Miles S. Upson, Ira H. Hough, Stiles L. Hotchkiss

1858-Miles S. Upson, Ira H. Hough, Benjamin A. Lindsley

1859-Miles S. Upson, Benjamin A. Lindsley, Ira H. Hough

1860-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Ira H. Hough

1861-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Ira H. Hough

1862-Miles S. Upson, Ira H. Hough, Joel W. Upson


1863-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Benjamin A. Lindsley.

1864-Miles S. Upson, Benjamin A. Lindsley, Stiles L. Hotchkiss.

1865-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Ira H. Hough.

1866-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Albert N. Lane.

1867-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Albert N. Lane.

1868-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Albert N. Lane.

1869-Miles S. Upson, Albert N. Lane, Stiles L. Hotchkiss.

1870-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Albert N. Lane.

1871-Miles S. Upson, Albert N. Lane, Benjamin L. Bronson.

1872-Miles S. Upson, Albert N. Lane, Stiles L.  Hotchkiss.

1873-Miles S. Upson, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Albert N. Lane.


1770-David Norton, Seth Bartholomew, Daniel Alcox, Amos Beecher, Joseph Beecher, Justus Peck, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, Stephen Barnes, Samuel Upson.

1771-Joseph Sutliff, Jr., Joseph Atkins, Jr., Ens. John Alcox, Amos Seward, Capt.  Aaron Harrison, Jedediah Minor, Nathaniel Lewis, Simeon Plumb, Daniel Finch.

1772-Simeon Hopkins, Tacob Carter, Aaron Harrison, Elia­kim Welton, Jr., Joseph Beecher, Justus Peck, Daniel Byington, John Bronson, Samuel Upson.

1773-Stephen Barnes, Aaron Harrison, Joseph Beecher, John Bronson, Daniel Byington, Nathaniel Sutliff, Amos Seward, Daniel Alcox.

1774-Just'Is Peck, Jesse Alcox, Aaron Harrison, Stephen Barnes, Daniel Johnson, Amos Seward, Simeon Hopkins, Daniel Alcox, Eliakim Welton.

1775-Daniel Johnson, Justus Peck, Jesse Alcox, Joseph Smith, Jacob Carter, Amos Seward, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Joseph Hotchkiss, Daniel Alcox.

1776-Lieutenant Cleveland, John Barrett, Wait Hotchkiss, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Justus Peck, Jesse Alcox, Samuel Upson, Stephen Barnes, Stephen Pratt.

1777-Reuben Frisbie, Deacon Rogers, Captain Alcox, Amos



Seward, Nathaniel Hitchcock, Nathaniel Lewis, Joseph Beecher, Abel Beecher, Jared Harrison.             

1778-Josiah Rogers, Jared Harrison, Stephen Pratt, John Alcox, Nathaniel Lewis, Isaac Hopkins, Noah Neal, Samuel Upson, Zadoc Bronson.

1779-Captain Gillet, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Samuel Upson, Mark Harrison, Simeon Plumb, Simeon Hopkins, Timothy Bradley.

1780-John Bronson, Heman Hall, James Alcox, Samuel Upson, Abel Beacher, Simeon Hopkins, Amasa Gaylord, Reuben Frisbie.


1781-Reuben Frisbie, Levi Gaylord, Heman Hall, Stephen Carter, Elisha Horton, Jonathan Robins, Amos Seward.

1782-David Warner, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Ozius Norton, Na­thaniel Lewis, Captain Upson, Jacob Carter, Elisha Horton, Jo­seph Atkins, Abel Beecher, Samuel Byington, Lieutenant Beach.

1783-Jacob Carter, John Silkregg, Mark Harrison, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Samuel Byington, Charles Upson, Simeon Plumb, Justus Peck.

1784-Jacob Carter, Jonathan Carter, Charles Upson, Wait Hotchkiss, Nathaniel Lewis, John Alcox, Amos Seward, Simeon Plumb.

1785-Siineon Plumb, Nathaniel Lewis, Joseph Atkins, Za­doc Bronson, Jonathan Carter, Charles Upson, Simeon Hopkins, David Warner, Amos Seward.

1786-David Harrison, Simeon Plumb, Charles Frisbie, Calvin Cowles, Joseph Atkins, James Bailey, James Thomas, Josiah Warner.

1787-Charles Upson, Stephen Carter, Jonathan Carter, David Warner, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Daniel Dean, Deacon Peck, Zadoc Bronson, Samuel Upson.

1788-Chutes Upson, Jonathan Carter, Mark Harrison, Jesse Alcox, Charles Frisbie, Amos Beecher, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Samuel Upson, Ephraim Smith, Jr.

1789-Dr. John Potter, Samuel Byington, Charles Upson, Heman Hall, Ozius Norton, Joseph Minor, Simeon Plumb, Na­thaniel Lewis, Nathan Scarritt, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Samuel Upson.



1790-Abraham Norton, John Potter, Charles Frisbie, Atkins, Deacon Peck, Mark Harrison, Captain Lewis, Nathan Scarritt, James Bailey, Zaccheus Gillet, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Amos Seward, Joseph Minor, Samuel Byington.

1791-Simeon Plumb, John Potter, Nathan Scarritt, Moses Pond, David Alcox, Judah Frisbie, Deacon Atkins, Daniel John­son, Jr., Samuel Upson, Nathaniel Lewis, Joseph Minor, Ezekiel Upson.

1792-David Harrison, Nathaniel Lewis, Streat Richards, William Stevens, Nathaniel Sutliff, Jesse Alcox, Samuel Bying­ton, Zenas Bracket, Joseph Minor, Nathan Seward, John Alcox, Samuel Upson, Ephraim Smith, Jr.

1793-Joseph Twitchel, Daniel Tuttle, Mark Barnes, Joseph Minor, John Frisbie, Jonathan Carter, Stephen Carter, James Scarritt, Zuer Bracket, Moses Pond, John B. Alcox, Samuel Upson.

1794-Simeon Plumb, Heman Hall, Joseph 13ceclier, Joseph Nt. Parker, David Wakelee, Selah Steadman, James Alcoa, Joseph Minor, John Talmage, Samuel Clinton, Samuel Upson, Giddeon Finch, Nathan Scarritt, Walter Beecher.

1795-Heman Hall, Joseph Beecher, Simeon Plumb, Joseph M. Parker, Selah Steadman, David Wakelee, James Alcox, Jo­seph Minor, John Talmage, Samuel Upson, Samuel Clinton, Gid­deon Finch, Nathan Scarritt, Walter Beecher.

1796-Town organized.


1773-Aaron Harrison and Jerusha his wife, Josiah Rogers, and Sarah his wife, Isaac Hopkins and Mercy his wife, Joseph Atkins and Abigail his wife, Thomas Upson, Joseph Sutliff, Amos Seward and Ruth his wife, David Norton, John Alco, and Mary his wife, Samuel Upson, Wait Hotchkiss and Lydia his wife, Na­thaniel Butler and Rebecca his wife, Elizabeth Porter, Daniel Alcox and Elizabeth his wife, Joseph Hotchkiss and Hannah his wife, Judah Frisbie, Israel Clark and Mahetabel his wife, Daniel Lane and Jemima his wife, Stephen Miles, Stephen Barnes and Sarah his wife, Zadoc Bronson and Eunice his wife; Lucy, wife of Justus Peck; Rebecca, wife of Nathaniel Hitchcock; Esther Bar-



rett, Joseph Benham and Elizabeth his wife; Josiah Barnes, Wil­liam Smith; Anne, wife of James Bailey; John Bronson, David Frost.

1774-Samuel Bradley, Ephraim Pratt and his wife, Eliza­beth, wife of Ebenezer Wakelee; Sarah, wife of Isaac Cleveland; Martha, wife of Aaron Hope; Daniel Byington, Jr., Cyrus Nor­ton, Levi Gaylord and Lois his wife, Nathaniel Sutliff, Joseph 33cecher and Esther his wife, Jesse Alcox and Patience his wife, Daniel Byington and Sarah his wife, Sarah Seward, Simeon Plumb; Zeruiah, wife of Joseph Sutliff, Jr.

1775-Stephen Pratt and Zilpha his wife, Abel Curtiss and Anne his wife, Joseph Atkins, Jr., and Phebe his wife Sarah R., wife of Thaddeus Barnes; Eunice, wife of Samuel Bradley; Sarah, wife of Ingham Clark.

1776-Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Byington, Jr.; Mary, wife of Ttzekiel Upson; Eunice, wife of Luther Atkins; Rebecca, wife of Heman Hall.

1777-Rebecca, wife of Abraham Wooster; James Alcox and Hannah his wife; Mary, wife of Jeremiah Scarritt ; Wait Hotchkiss; Elizabeth, wife of Zaccheus Gillet, Jr., Jared Harrison and Hannah his wife, Zenas Brackett, Calvin Cole and Miriam his wife; Hannah, wife of Reuben Frisbie.

1778-Susanna, wife of Noah Neal; Sarah Jones, widow; Mrs. Josiah Hart.

1779-Josiah Hart.

1781-Isaac Barnes and Lucy his wife; Rebecca, wife of Amos Beecher; Sarah, wife of Capt. Zaccheus Gillet; Joseph Mallery and Eunice his wife.

1783-Justus Peck, Charles Upson and Wealthy His wife; Elizabeth, wife of Joel Lane.

1784-Ruth, wife of Reuben Frisbie; Joseph Smith, Jacob Carter and Mary his wife, Samuel Byington and Olive His wife, Jonathan Carter and Abigail his wife; Phebe, wife of Samuel Harrison; Sabra, wife of Asa Alcox; Sibyll, wife of Archibald Richard; Jerusha, wife of Cyrus Norton; Samuel Waters and Sarah his wife, Samuel Atkins and Esther his wife of Esther, wife f Joseph Smith; Hannah, wife of Judah Frisbie; Hannah, wife of Ebenezer Johnson.


1785-Mrs. Nathan Stevens; Mary, wife of Charles Upson; Mark Harrison and Rebecca his wife.

1786-Triphene Carter, Abraham Norton; Betty, wife of Jer­emiah Smith.

1787-Sarah, wife of Nathaniel Lewis; Catharine, wife of John Sutliff.

1788-Miriam, wife of Ozias Norton ; Esther, wife of Joseph Beecher, Jr.; Isaac Bronson, Ephraim Smith and his wife; Rachel, wife of Curtiss Hall

1789-Mrs. Selah Steadman.

1791-Adah, wife of Rev.  Alexander Gillet; Sarah, wife of Jo­siah Barnes.

1792-Eunice, wife of Streat Richards; Hannah Talmage, widow.

1793-Sally, wife of Rev. J. B. Woodward; Lois Hopkins, widow; Heman Hall; David Harrison.

1794-James Bailey; Pamela, wife of Solomon Alcox; Lydia, wife of David Harrison.

1794-Isaac Bronson, Mrs. Loise Clark, -Clinton, Mrs. Joel Granniss; Hester, wife of Jerry Moulthrop; Cretia, wife of John Talmage; Ruth, wife of Elisha Horton.

1796-Charles Frisbie and wife.

1798-John Frisbie.

Of persons who united with the church from 1798 to 1811, I find no record.  In a list written on the inside of the cover of the old book, probably by Rev. Mr. Keys, several names occur that I find in no other place.  They are the following:

Preserve Carter, Prince Duplax, Lud Lindsley, Mrs. Lud Lindsley, Mrs. Preserve Carter, Stephen Carter, Mrs. Stephen Carter; Lowly Carter, widow; Jesse Upson, Mrs. Jesse Upson, Mrs. Moses Byington, Jeremiah Scarritt, Washington Upson, Mrs. Washington Upson, Abigail Pardee, Asaph Hotchkiss, Mrs. Asaph Hotchkiss, John Potter, Mrs. John Potter, Joseph Parker, Mrs. Joseph Parker, Joseph M. Parker and Hannah, his wife ; Henry Upson, Mrs. Henry Upson, Mrs. Selah Upson, Mrs. Man­ly Upson, Gates Upson, Mrs. Gates Upson, Isaac Upson, Mrs.



Isaac Upson; Lydia Frisbie, Zeruiah Sutliff, Mrs. Ozias Norton, Mrs. John Thomas, Mrs. John Hotchkiss, Mrs. Bildad Hotchkiss: Martha Thomas, widow; Mrs. Joshua Minor, Daniel Rose, Mrs. Erastus L. Hart, Widow Sandford, Nathaniel Lane, Mrs. Laura Upson.

1811-Eldad Parker; Ruth, wife of Lewis Wakelee; Jonathan Case.

1812-Earlier Harrison, widow; Lydia Alcox, Maria Wakelee, Lewis H, Wakelee, Pitman Stowe and his wife, Mrs. Elisha Horton, Jr.

18l3-Abner Hotchkiss and his wife, Mrs. Ira Hough, Lydia Rogers, Julia Upson, Delight Carter.

1814-Abiather Sutliff and Clarissa his wife, Manly Upson, Harvey Norton, Hannah Beach.

1815-Fanny Knight, widow; Beds Goodyear; Mary, wife of Reuben Carter; Mary, wife of Bela Row; Abigail Royce, Sarah Churchill, Luther Roper, Mrs. Luther Hotchkiss, Mrs. Ziba Norton, Mrs. David Frisbie.

1816-Daniel Holt and Abby his wife, Reuben Carter, Bildad Hotchkiss; Hannah, wife of Orrin Jackson; Sarah, wife of Jerry Moulthrop; Hannah, wife of William Bartholomew; Phebe, wife of Irad Bronson ; Sarah Bronson; Lucette, wife of Obed Doo­little; Zechariah Hitchcock, Lois L. Doolittle, Mrs. Orrin Plumb.

18l7-Luna, wife of Amos Pierson; Irad Bronson; Amy Tuttle, widow; Lucy Upson.

1821-Mrs. Higgins, Jonathan Bement and Hannah his wife, Anne M. Bailey, Lucius Tuttle, Rebecca Tuttle; Hannah, wife of John Bronson, Jr.; Sarah, wife of Titus Brackett; Lucy, wife of Uri Carter; Betsey, wife of Almond Alcox; Thomas Upson and Jerusha his wife.

1827-Sally M. Upson, Laura Munson.

1828-Moses Pond, Samuel W. Upson, Clark Bronson and Ex­perience his wife, Sophia R. Alcox, Orlinda Thomas, Selah Upson, Martha Tuttle, Wealthy Moulthrop, I-Talinah Norton, Fitch A. Higgins, Amanda Higgins, William Bartholomew, Lowman Up­son, John S., Atkins, Esther Atkins, Ira Frisbie, Sarah Frisbie, Marilla Lindsley, Hannah M. Lindsley, Rachel Lindsley, Henrietta M. Bailey, Sylvia Thomas, Chloe Alcox, Bennet W. Parker, Mae-


cus Upson, Mary Harrison, Clarissa Upson, Theda M. Carter, Laura A. Bement.

1829-Elizabeth Alcox, Sarah Plumb, Lois Alcoa, Benjamin A. Lindsley, Lucas H. Carter, Eunice Hotchkiss, Salina D. Car­ter, Asa Boardman, Louisa Boardman.  Timothy H. Hotchkiss, Mary A. Hotchkiss, Mabel Downs, Sarah Scarritt.

1830 - Desire Bunnel, Charles Welton.

1833 - Polly Upson, Harriet Norton, Mary H. Upson, Char­lotte R. Lindsley, Parlia A. Perkins, Sarah Upson.

1834-Ruth Johnson; Lydia, wife of Moses Pond; Nancy, wife of Zenas Tolles; Parlia, wife of Leonard Beecher; Mary, wife of Josiah Thomas; Amanda Perkins; Lucy, wife of Lowman Upson ; Luther Hotchkiss, Ansel H. Plumb, Luther Bailey, John B. Alcox, Russel Rowe, Cyrus Upson, Orrin Hall and Nancy his wife, Albert A. Boardman and Mary his wife of Ephraim Hall. and Mary, his wife, Matthew S. Norton and Betsy M. his wife, David S. Bailey and Sarah ],. his wife, Miles S. Hotchkiss and Abigail his wife, Jenette Upson, Mary A. E. Holt, Phebe L. Bronson, Thankful B. Bartholomew, Sarah Hotchkiss, Almira Norton, Ro­sauna ],.  Perkins, Lois A. Johnson, Lucy A. Bement, Sarah Jane Bartholomew, Rachel Pond, William R. Higgins, Lorin C. Holt, Stiles L. Hotchkiss, Hendric Norton, Polly Alcott, Esther R. At­kins, Harriet Alcott, Russel Upson, Adeline Upson, Rosanna Hall, Flotilla Hickox, Isaac Upson.

1838-Timothy U. Carter; Lois M., wife of Lucas Sutliff; Hannah V., wife of Carolus Byington; Bertha Bartholomew, Joel Alcott, Samuel Lindsley, Daniel H. Holt, Mrs. Luther Bailey, George A. Duran, Lucius Tuttle, Jr.; Sylvia, wife of Eldad Par­ker; Polly, wife of Willard Plumb; Vina, wife of John Beecher; Henry D. Upson, Jarvis R. Bronson, Mary P. Smith, Lucius Upson, Anson Sutliff, Ezra Stiles Hough and Lucy his wife, Dei­(lamia Minor.

1842-Marietta Bradley, Mary A. Hough; Harriet, wife of Henry Beecher.

1843-Lucy Ann, wife of Aaron C. Beech; Adah Finch, Still­man Bronson, Henry Beecher, Rollin W. Plumb; Lois A., wife of Ansel R. Plumb; Esther P., wife of Jarvis R. Bronson; Eliza A. Norton, George W. Carter, Rufus Norton, Mrs. Harriet



E. Norton, Narcissa Sperry, Esther Alcott, Royce Lewis and Fanny his wife.

1844-Mrs. Rachel Upson, Hannah Tuttle, Esther Atkins, Charles Kirk, Benjamin A. Lindsley and Lucina his wife.

1846-Sarah Ann, wife of George W. Carter; Matthew S. Nor­ton and Betsey his wife.

1848-Merey Gaylord Alcott.

1849-Emoret A. Bartholomew, Sarah Plumb.

1850-Lois S., wife of David M. Sanford; Amos Roberts and Rebecca his wife, Miles M. Upson, Burritt W. Beecher, Newell B. Churchill, Lyman B. Bronson.

1853-Dudley H. Abbott; Jenette, wife of Seth Wiard.

1854-Martha Tuttle, John Wickliffe Beach, Mary R. Hotch­kiss, David F. Beach, Jane Beach.

1858-Augusta E. Markland, James Alcott, Salina Alcott, Harriet Ann Alcott, Emily Alcott, Ardelia M. Tuttle, Mary A. Hough, Ann A. Hough, Ira 11.  Hough, Ezra S. Hough, Harriet E. Hough, Emma J. Odell, Sarah E. Bartholomew, Augustus E. Brackett, Joel W.  Upson and Eleanor his wife, Lucian Upson, Leroy Upson, Saphrona Upson, William A. Munson, Julia A. Munson, Mary E. Hitchcock, Henry 13.  Carter, John H. Beecher, Joseph A. Beecher, S. Dwight Beecher, James 13.  Bailey, Elmer Hotchkiss, Mary E. Atkins, Lucy S. Bronson, John Frisbie, Fran­cis G. Churchill, Earlier E. Hough, Harriet I,.  Bronson, Emogene E. Minor, Laura Ann Hough, Amelia F. Rose, Rufus A. Sandford.

1859-Mrs. Sarah Whitlock, Albert N. Lane and Esther Melissa his wife, Mary Harrison, Emma A. Upson, Edward H. Allen, Rev. Stephen Rogers and Jerusha his wife, Hannah Bement, Esther A. Beecher.

1860-Andrew R. Rowe, David A. Sandford.

1861-Mrs. Betsey Sperry.

1862-Helen M. Rogers, Abigail Brooks.

1863-Rev. Lent S. Hough, Hannah S. Hough, Leonard Blakeslee, Emma C. Hitchcock, Maria S. W. Hough, Mary L. Hough, Martha R. Hough.

1864-Saraii M. Moulthrop, Annis E. Hotchkiss, Emily M. Upson, Luther W. Plumb, Eliza A. Plumb, Emeline Thomas,


Sarah U. Hall, Helen R. Thomas, Harriet S. Norton, Omer C, Norton.

1865-Mary E. Upson.

1866-Helen R. Hall.

1867-Mahlon Hotchkiss, Heman W. Hall, George W. At­wood, Huldah Atwood, Leverette A. Sandford, Harriet J. Hall, Amelia C. Hitchcock, Sarah J. Johnson, Augustus Rose, Mary Rose, Ella J. Rose, Arthur Terrill, James P. Alcott, Benjamin L. Bronson, Henry Fields, John T. Harrison, Evelin M. Upson, Frank C. Munson, Inez E. Munson, Mary Alcott, Mary W. Har­rison, Anna C. Downs, Emilyette Upson, Isaac Hough, George Atkins, Cora A. Atkins, Elliot Bronson, Lydia J. Norton, Lydia S. Downs, Alice S. Lewis, Charles E. E. Somers, Sarah Terrill, Lucilla M. Upson.

1868-Martha A. Brooks, Mary A. Richardson.

1809-Rufus J. Lyman, Rev.  W. C. Fiske and H. M. his wife, James P. Fiske, Sarah L. Friske, William W. Fiske, Orrin Yemmans, Rebecca Yemmans.

1871-Mary P. Carter, Sarah G. Thomas.

1872-Persis H. Atwood, Frank G. Mansfield.







This church, though never large, ha, performed an important work in this part of the great vineyard,- a work of which it need not be ashamed in any respect. It has suffered more by removal of its members than the other church, and as a consequence, it is reduced to a handful compared to its former numbers, and has not held regular service for several years.

Among the earliest settlers in Wolcott were Episco­palians, and when the First Society was organized and a “tax laid” for the support of the gospel, the Episcopa­lians were taxed the same as others, but their tax was appropriation, according to law, for the support of their church in Waterbury.  The First Society being the legal one, assessed the ecclesiastical taxes on all persons with­in its bounds, and appointed special collectors to gath­er the tax of Episcopalians, and hence we find as early as 1772, Ensign Oliver Welton and Eliakim Welton, it “chosen to collect Rev. Mr. Scovill's rate,” and this ar­rangement continued many years afterward, and therefore the Episcopalians paid, by tax, for the support of the gospel as regularly as the Congregationalists.

In 1779 the Episcopalians were so numerous as to peti­tion the General Assembly to be made a distinct Society, as appears from the following record in the proceedings of the First Society: “Voted, to remonstrate against the memorial whereby we are cited to give reason, if any, at


the General Assembly, why Josiah Cowles and others should not be made a distinct Ecclesiastical Society, and that Thomas Upson, Daniel Alcox, Daniel Byington and Jared Harrison be agents for the same purpose,” and in consequence of this remonstrance, probably, this petition was not granted.

Soon after Mr. Woodward's settlement, persons began to withdraw from the First Society, in favor of other churches, and from 1791 to 1822, twenty-six families withdrew and joined the Baptist Societies in Bristol, Southington, and Waterbury; twenty withdrew in favor of no Society, and the following in favor of the Episco­pal church:

1793 - Barna Powers.

1806 - Timothy Hotchkiss.

1808 - Daniel Byington, Streat Richards, Joseph Minor, Lewis Loveland, David Wakelee, Reuben Lewis, Jesse Alcox, Jr., Na­thaniel G. Lewis, David Alcox, Jr., Joseph C. Alcox, Phineas Deming, Levi 13rown, James Scarritt, David M. Beach, Isaac Downs, Elkanah Smith.*

1809 - John Norton, Caleb Merrills, Marvin Beckwith, Jr.

1811 - Jairus Alcox, Titus Hotchkiss, John J. Kenea.

18l2 - Levi Hall, Zephana Parker, Amon Bradley.

18l3 - Joseph Twitchell, Richmond Hall, Samuel Upson, Jr., Lyman Higgins, Jerry Todd, Levi Parker, Ambrose Wes, Archibald Minor.

1816 - Marcus Minor, Jeremiah Sperry, Harpin Hotchkiss.

1820 - Salmon Johnson.

1821 - Orrin Plumb.

1822 - William Parker.+

About the year 1805, the Episcopal people began to hold service at the house of Daniel Byington at the Mill

* And two others, whose names were afterwards erased, making eighteen at one time.

+ We have the certificates of over ninety families that withdrew from the First Society, between tile years 1791 and 1822.



Place, where they continued to hold it, most of the time, for a number of years.

The Episcopal Society was organized January 26th, 1811, at the house of Mr. Titus Hotchkiss, who then resided on the Twitchell place.


We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of Wolcott, being of the order of Christians denominated Episcopalians, and being desirous to form ourselves into a Society for the purpose of exercising all the privileges which by law are granted to the several Societies, being of the aforesaid order of Christians, do hereby agree to meet on the 26ih day of instant November, at the dwell­ing house of Mr. Titus Hotchkiss, in said Wolcott, at one o'clock in the afternoon of said day, for the purpose of choosing a moder­ator and clerk of said meeting, which cleric, when chosen, shall be sworn as the law directs ; and also to choose all other officers which shall then be thought necessary and proper for the good of said Society, and also to tax ourselves for the purpose of procuring such proportion of preaching as shall by the Society be thought best, being at all times governed and directed by a majority of said meeting, in the doing and performing of all which, as above written, will ever, hereafter consider ourselves a Society; and to be guided by the as laws and in the same manner as other Societies of the same denomination, belonging to this State, are.

WOLCOTT, November 21, 1811.

            John Welton, Moses Welton, Levi Hall, William Parker, William Hotchkiss, Ambrose Wes, Eliakim Welton, Timothy Hotchkiss, Streat Todd, Phineas Deming, Joseph Minor, John Norton, Zephana Parker, Bildad Hotchkiss, John J. Kenea, Asaph Finch, Levi Brown, Erastus Welton, Joseph Welton, Eliakim Wel­ton, 2d, Titus Hotchkiss, Thomas Welton, Daniel Langdon, Hez­ekiah Bradley, Daniel Byington, David Wakelee, Joseph C. Alcox, Eleazer Finch.


WOLCOTT, NOV. 26, 1811.

At a legal meeting this day holden at the dwelling house of


Mr. Titus Hotchkiss, by the members of the Episcopal Society, the following votes were passed by the members of said meeting: That Daniel Langdon be moderator of said meeting, and that Erastus Welton be clerk for the year ensuing; that Moses Welton be treasurer; that Moses Welton, Bildad Hotchkiss, and Irad Wakelee be Society's Committee for the year; Daniel Langdon and Thomas Welton, Wardens.  Voted that a tax of one cent on a dollar be laid on the list 1811, and made payable to the Treasurer the first day of March, 1812, and that Irad Wakelee be Collector of said Tax.  Voted that the annual society meeting be hereafter holden the last Monday in November, annu­ally.  That the society committee receive the money at the hands of the Treasurer, and at their discretion apply it for preach­ing the ensuing year."

For two years after the formation of the Society, the Rev.  Mr. Prindle, then of Naugatuck, supplied the Society cry with preaching once a month during the summer sea­son, six or seven months, at $6 per Sabbath, as the Treasurer's book shows.  In 1815 Rev. Tillotson Bron­son preached for them.  After this, names of ministers arc not mentioned for some years, yet the amount spent for preaching seems to have been most of the time near­ly fifty dollars a year.

Services were conducted by laymen regularly in the absence of a minister, and the following committees were appointed from year to year to “read the prayers of the church,” and also to read sermons.

1812 - Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Elias Welton.

l813 - Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Elias Welton, Erastus Welton.  To read sermons -Elias Welton, Ambrose Wes, Levi Parker, Erastus Welton, Jarius Alcox, Joseph Welton,

l814 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Eliakim Welton, Erastus Welton, Elias Welton.  To read ser­mons - Ambrose Wes, John Kenea, Levi Parker.

1915 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Erastus Welton, Elias Welton, Eliakim Welton, Eben Welton,



To read sermons- John J. Kenea, Levi Parker, Ambrose Wes, Elias Welton.

1816 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Eliakim Welton, Jr., Erastus Welton.  To read sermons-Ambrose Wes, Levi Parker, William Alcox, Amos B. Alcox, Elias Welton, Erastus Welton

1917 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Eben Welton, Erastus Welton, Eliakim Welton.  To read sermons-­Ambrose Wes, William Alcox, Levi Parker, Erastus Welton, Ziba Welton, Amos B. Alcox.

1918 - To read prayers-Eben Welton, Moses Welton, Eras­tus Welton, Thomas Welton.  To read sermons-Ambrose Wes, Erastus Welton, William Alcox, Levi Parker, Elias Welton.

1819 - To read prayers-Eben Welton, Thomas Welton, Erastus Welton, Moses Welton, Archibald Minor.  To read ser­mons-Erastus Welton, Archibald Minor, William Alcox, Levi Parker.

1820 - To read prayers-Eben Welton, Moses Welton, Thomas Welton, Erastus Welton.  To read sermons-Ambrose Wes, Archibald Minor, Erastus Welton, Elias Welton, William Alcox.

1821 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Moses Welton, Eben Welton, Erastus Welton, Archibald Minor, William Alcox, To read sermons- Archibald Minor, Erastus Welton, William Alcox, Levi Parker, Elias Welton, Willard Plumb.

1822 - To read prayers-Thomas Welton, Eben Welton, Moses Welton, Erastus Welton, Archibald Minor, William A. Alcox.  To read sermons -Archibald Minor, Orrin Plumb, Elias Welton, Willard Plumb, William A. Alcox, Levi Parker, Erastus Welton, Levi Hall, Ambrose Wes.

This list of names for ten years exhibits the working force of the church without a minister.  In contrast with the other church in Wolcott, it shows that as the Epis­copal Society and church grew strong, the Congregational grew weak, and hence, in 1822 and 1823, when the Episcopal Society began to make arrangements to build a house of worship, the Congregational Society dismissed Mr. Keys for want of ability to support him, and en­12


tered upon the plan of lay preaching, by Isaac Bronson, which continued a number of years after.  There seems to be no occasion for censure, but if the whole people could have consented to worship as one body, the result would have been, apparently, more happy and advantageous to the community and to the world.


III 1817 the Society voted that “we meet at the house of Mr. Daniel Byington the winter coming,” and at this house they probably had met during the winters, most of the time, from the commencement of holding services separate from Waterbury, and during the summer meet­ing in the school houses.

On April 10th, 1820, the Society, at an adjourned meet­ing, took into consideration the subject of building a house of worship, and “voted that we appoint an agent to consult the minds of gentlemen on the expediency of petitioning the Legislature for a grant of a lottery for the purpose of building a house of public worship.” At an adjourned meeting held in the same month, April 24th, they “voted that we will build a house of public worship, provided that we can agree upon a spot for that purpose.” Also “voted that we will build a house in the Centre, provided we can be accommodated with a place to set it, and that Levi Hall, Ambrose Wes, and Erastus Welton, be a committee to look out a spot to build a house."

At an adjourned meeting, held December 31st, 1821, they “voted that we will build a church in case we can get money enough subscribed, and that we will build it in the centre of the town, near the Meeting house, and that Archibald Minor, Levi Hall, Moses Welton, Eben Welton, Willard Plumb, and Ambrose Wes, be a com­mittee to circulate subscription papers for the purpose of building a house."

On January 21st, three weeks later, they “voted to



ascertain the probable expense of a house from 40 by 30 to 46 by 36 feet, and also to get a plan of the frame.” One week later they “voted to build a church 3o by 4o feet, that it be two stories high,-with 20 feet posts and a cupola suitable for hanging a bell.” At the same meet­ing they directed the Society Committee to “agree with Moses Pond for a room in his chamber to meet in for one year, if in their opinion they can get it reasonable.” Moses Pond's house was at this time the public house at the Centre.  In the Autumn of the same year they circulated subscriptions to raise money to defray ex­penses for hiring a house in which to hold public worship the year ensuing, and it is probable it was this chamber in Mr. Pond's hotel.

In December, 1823, they accepted the report of their committee on a place to build a house, and fixed a site and appointed a committee to forward the enterprise.  Between the years 1822 and 1830, the Society met fre­quently, discussed the whole subject of building and appointed committees to forward the same, but the house did not appear in its place as desired.  The Society was not able to build a church that would accommodate even its small congregation, and during the same time the Congregational Society was unable to “hire preach­ing.” The “revival” in the Spring of 1828 in the Congregational Society under the Rev.  Mr. Scranton had re­vived the religious energies of the whole community, and the Episcopal Society shared in its benefits.  In Feb­ruary of 1830, they changed the size of the house to 24 by 36 feet, and proceeded to gather materials for the building.


WOLCOTT, April 5th, 1830.

Then met according to adjournment, and at said meeting, upon the petition of a number of the members of the Episcopal So­ciety in said town in the form following:

Whereas, the Episcopal Society in the town of Wolcott are


about to erect a house of public worship in said Wolcott, and being desirous to set tie e same somewhere near the Congre­gational Meeting house in said Wolcott, or as near as a suitable spot of ground can be obtained for that purpose, we, therefore, whose names are underwritten, petition the inhabitants of said Wolcott, in legal town meeting this day assembled, for leave to erect said house on the most eligible spot of ground belonging to said town of Wolcott on the south part of the public green.

Signed by JOHN J. KENEA and others.

Wolcott, April 5, 1830.

Voted to grant the prayer of the petition.

During the summer of 1830 the frame Was raised, and in December the outside of the church was covered.  The only record of expense of the Society is a paper covered book, found in possession of Mr. Orrin Hall, hav­ing been left by Mr. Levi Hall at his death, containing Mr. Erastus Welton's account with the Society as treas­urer from 1811 to 1823, and containing Mr. Levi Hall's account With the same from 1835 to 1839.  These items give us no account of the cost of the church, nor when it Was completed.  It is probable that the church was not finished till some time during the year 1832, from the fact that a meeting of the Society was held on the first Monday of April, 1833, and they “voted to discharge Levi Hall, Archibald Minor, Thomas H. Welton, and Orrin Plumb, building committee for the church, from any further services as committee aforesaid, and from all liabilities in said capacity,” which indicates the work of building completed at that time.

In 1836 a stove was put into the church, as appears from a subscription paper for that purpose, still pre­served.




The early records of the church were destroyed, purposely, as we are informed, by Rev. Collis I. Potter, who was minister to this parish in 1850; but from a minute made in the transactions of the Society, we learn quite clearly that file church was organized on or about Easter, 1834, for the meetings are called “Meetings of the Episcopal Society” till October, 1833, when they ad­journed to the first Monday after the next Easter, and on that date the record made is of “All Saints' Parish in Wolcott.” I have no doubt, therefore, of the date of the organization.

The records destroyed contained the list of the mem­bers and families of the church, and their destruction left the Book of Records in an unseemly condition, such as we should think no one would tolerate,-especially for the reason given, that some few things objectionable had been written therein.  Hence, as to the rec­ords of the church, we arc carried forward to the year 185o, when the Rev.  Mr. Potter, then minister of “All Saints' Church,” makes the following minute: “The old register is exceedingly imperfect, partly from the negli­gence of former ministers, and partly from the fact that t has been judged expedient to destroy several pages containing matter which was inappropriate for a register of the church, and which gave offence to some.” After thus giving reasons for the destruction of the records, he enters on an earnest exhortation to future ministers


and wardens to keep the register fully and faithfully, and in a “proper manner ;” but lie himself makes no record whatever of past historical items, except this one of the destruction of the register.  Instead of giving reasons why a register should be kept, it would have been better to copy such parts of the old register as were “proper” for a church record.  Five years after Mr. Potter's reign of destruction in records, we come to some account of the members and families of the church, which was made by Rev.  Ximenus Alanson Welton, who “took charge of the parish under the supervision of the Bishop,” in 1855.

During the years 1836 and 1837, the church was sup­plied with preaching by Rev.  Peter G. Clark, residing in Cheshire.  Several receipts for moneys paid are pre­served, but they are not explicit as to the amount of yearly salary; only from one receipt it might be conclu­ded that he received $2Do a year.  In I 838 and 1839, Rev.  Mr. Covill is mentioned as preaching to this church “half of the time."

In 184o and 184I, and possibly longer, the church was supplied with preaching, by Rev.  Servilius Stocking, who resided in Wolcott, and may have been the first resident minister of this church.  The salary seems to have been $3oo a year, which was equal to the amount raised by the other Society at the same time.

From Easter, 1843, for one year, the Rev. Mr. Gregor supplied the pulpit, and the Rev. Wm. G. French the year following; and following him, in 1845 to 1846, the Rev. David Sandford was engaged, and after him Rev. John D. Smith, for three years.  The Rev. Collis Ira Potter was employed as minister from the Spring of 1850 to that of 1855.  He entered in a new register a list of communicants and families then belonging to the church, and continued a faithful registry of baptisms, confirma­tions, and deaths, during his stay in the parish.  The Rev. Ximenus Alanson Welton followed Mr. Potter in



1855 and 1856, and showed equal faithfulness in regard to the records.



Rev. Mr. Prindle, of Naugatuck, two years once in six weeks, from 1811 to 18l3.

Rev. Tillotson Bronson, of Cheshire, preached a short time.

From 1817 money was raised nearly or quite every year till 1835, to procure preaching, but the ministers' names are not mentioned in the records.

1836 and 1837- Rev. Peter G. Clark of Cheshire.

1838 and 1339- Rev. Alr. Covell, of Bristol.

1840 and 1841, and perhaps longer- Rev. Servilius Stocking, resident minister.

1843- Rev. Mr. Gregor.

1844- Rev. Wm. G. French.

1845 and 1846- Rev. David Sandford.

1847- Rev. John D. Smith, of Seymour, three years.

1850 to 1855- Rev. Collis Ira Potter, four years.

1855 and 1856- Rev. Ximentis Alanson Welton.

1858- Rev. Samuel A. Appleton, assistant to Rev. Dr. Clark, of Waterbury.

1859- Rev. James Morton, of Harwinton preached most of the year as supply on Sabbath.

1860- Rev. J. M. Willey, assistant of Rev. Dr. Clark, of Wat­erbury.  He is said to have been a “smart man,” and enjoyed preaching at Wolcott very much.

Since Mr. Willey, Rev. Prof. Russell, of Waterbury, has preached a few times.


1811 to 1823- Erastus Welton.

1924 to 1835- Orrin Plumb.

1836 to 1839- Seth Horton.

1840 to 1841- Orrin Plumb.

1842 to 1864- Ezra L. Todd.

1865 to 1873- Dennis Pritchard.



1811 to 1823- Erastus Welton.

1824 to 1834- 0rin Plumb.

1835 to 1841- Levi Hall.

1842 to 1844- Heman Hall.

1845 to 1847- Levi Hall.

1848 to 1859- Geo. G. Alcott.

1860 to 1873- Dennis Pritchard.


1811- Moses Welton, Bildad Hotchkiss, Irad Wakelee.

1812- Moses Welton, Irad Wakelee, Elias Wakelee.

1813- Moses Welton, Ambrose Wes, Levi Parker.

1814- Ambrose Ives, Levi Hall, Moses Welton.

1815- Levi Hall, Ambrose Wes, Eliakim Welton.

1816- Ambrose Wes, Levi Hall, Eliakim Welton.

1817- Joseph Minor, Jeremiah Todd, Jared Welton.

1918- Eben Welton, Joseph C. Alcox, Streat Todd.

1919- Eben Welton, Streat Todd, Marcus Minor.

1820- Streat Todd, Levi Hall, EI(lad Alcox.

1821- Levi Hall, William Plumb, Eldad Alcox.

1822- Eldad Alcox, William Plumb, Archibald Minor.

1823- Archibald Minor, Hezekiah Bradley, Erastus Welton.

1824- Hezekiah Bradley, Archibald Minor, Levi Hall.

No record of election from 1825 until 1829.

1829- Lyman Higgins, Orrin Plumb, Eldad Alcox.

1830- Lyman Higgins, Levi Hall, Orrin Plumb.

1831- Levi Hall, Eldad Alcox, Lyman Higgins.

1832- John J. Kenea, Lyman Higgins, Marcus A. Minor. 

1833- Martin Upson, Marcus Minor, Seth Horton.

1834- NO record.

1835- Marcus Minor, Chester Hotchkiss, Seth Horton.

1836-Seth Horton, Jesse Nichols, Martin Upson.

1837- Martin Upson, Heman Hall, Thomas H. Welton.

1838- No record.

1839- Marcus Minor, Moses Pond, Sammy Finch.

1840- Moses Pond, Heman Hall, Willis Merrill.

1841- Martin Upson, Levi Hall, James Alcott.




1842- Martin Upson, Lyman Higgins, Levi Hall.

1843- Martin Upson, Harvey G. Plumb, Upson Higgins.

1844- Upson Higgins, Hezekiah Todd, Thoma5 H. Welton.

1811- Daniel Langton, Thomas Welton.

1812- Eliakim Welton, Thomas Welton. 

1813- Eliakim Welton, Thomas Welton.

1814- Eliakim Welton, Thomas Welton.

1815- Eliakim Welton, Thomas Welton.

1816- Thomas Welton, Eliakim Welton, Jr.

1817- Eben Welton, Erastus Welton.

1818- Eben Welton, Erastus Welton.

1819- Thomas Welton, Moses Welton.

1820- Thomas Welton, Moses Welton.

1821- Erastus Welton, Moses Welton

1822- Erastus Welton, Eben Welton.

1823- Moses Welton, Thomas Welton.

1824- Hezekiah Bradley, Moses Welton

­No record of any elections from 1824 to 1829.

1829- Levi Hall, Lyman Higgins.

1830- Sammy Nichols, Hezekiah Bradley.

1931- Sammy Nichols, Hezekiah Bradley.

1832- Hezekiah Bradley, Sammy Nichols.

1833- Lyman Higgins, Levi Hall.

1834- No record.

1835- Sammy Nichols, Heman Hall.

1836- Lyman Higgins, Heman Hall

­1837- Heman Hall, Lyman Higgins

1838- No record.

1839- Lyman Higgins, Heman Hall.

1840- Heman Hall, Lyman Higgins.

1841- Heman Hall, Lyman Higgins.

1842- Lyman Higgins, Moses Pond, Martin Upson.

1843- Lyman Higgins, Moses Pond.

1844- Lyman Higgins, Moses Pond.

No record until 1849.

1849 -Levi Hall, Martin Upson.


1849- Lyman Higgins, Levi Hall.

1850- Martin Upson, George G. Alcott.

1851- Martin Upson, George G. Alcott.

1852- Martin Upson, George G. Alcott.

1853- Martin Upson, George G. Alcott.

1854- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1855- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1856- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1857- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1858- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1859- Martin Upson, George G.               Alcott.

1860- Martin Upson, Willis Merrill.

1861- Martin Upson, Willis Merrill.

1862- Martin Upson, Willis Merrill.

1863- Martin Upson, Willis Merrill.

1864- Martin Upson, Willis Merrill.


1845- Moses Pond, Martin Upson, Heman Hall, Marcus Minor, Levi Hall, Lyman Higgins, Hezekiah Todd.

1846- Moses Pond, Chester Hotchkiss, Levi Hall, Lyman Higgins, George G. Alcott, Hezekiah Todd, Marcus Minor.

1847- Lyman Higgins, Martin Upson, Hezekiah Todd, Mo­ses Pond, Levi Hall, Willis Merrill, Geo.  G. Alcott, Marcus Mi­nor, Eldad Alcott.

1848- Moses Pond, Chester Hotchkiss, Orrin Hotchkiss, Lu­ther M. Pond, Geo.  G. Alcott, Hezekiah Todd, Ezra L.  Todd, David S. Bailey, Marcus Minor, Willis Merrill.

1849- Moses Pond, Willis Merrill, Hezekiah Todd, Marcus Minor, Gorge G. Alcott.

1950- Ezra L. Todd, Marcus Minor, David S. Bailey, Willis Merrill, Bennet Upson, Luther M. Pond, Wells Plumb.

1851- Marcus Minor, Dennis Pritchard, Hezekiah Todd, Ezra L. Todd, Luther M. Pond.

1852- Dennis Pritchard, Marcus Minor, Willis Merrill, Hezekiah Todd, Moses Pond.

1853- Dennis Pritchard, Moses Pond, Marcus Minor.

1854- Willis Merrill, Hezekiah Todd, Dennis Pritchard.

1855- Marcus Minor, Willis Merrill, Dennis Pritchard,



1856-Dennis Pritchard, Willis Merrill, Marcus Minor.

1857- Dennis Pritchard, Marcus Miner, Willis Merrill.

1858- Marcus Miner, Dennis Pritchard, Willis Merrill.

1859- Dennis Pritchard, Willis Merrill, Marcus Minor.

1860- George G. Alcott, Marcus Minor, Dennis Pritchard.

1861- Dennis Pritchard, Ezra L. Todd, Mucus Minor.

1862- Dennis Pritchard, Ezra L. Todd, Marcus Minor.

1863- Dennis Pritchard, Ezra L. Todd, Marcus Minor.

1864- Marcus Minor, Ezra L. Todd.





The Ecclesiastical Society of Farmingbury, at a Society meeting held December 7th, 1787, passed the following votes respecting the privileges of a town: "Voted that we are willing and desirous to be incorporated into a town. The negative was called, and not a hand up. Voted that it is our mind when made a town to be connected to New Haven County. Voted that Deacon Joseph Atkins, Capt. Nathaniel Lewis, Capt. Charles Upson, Deacon Justus Peck, Streat Richards, Mark Harrison, be a committee, or agents, to treat or confer with the towns of Southington and Waterbury respecting our becoming incorporated into a town, and likewise to carry a memorial to the General Assembly in May next. Voted that we prepare a petition to the Hon. General Assembly for privileges of a town, at their session in May next."

At an adjourned meeting on the second Monday of January, 1788, the Society "Voted that we will choose a committee to treat with the Waterbury committee respecting our having town privileges, and that Captain Charles Upson, Daniel Byington, Streat Richards, Simeon Hopkins, Abraham Norton, Amos Seward, and Capt. Samuel Upson be the committee; and said committee are desired to make their report to this meeting as soon as an agreement may be made; and it is understood that the agreement of said committee is not binding on said Society until agreed to by said Society." [[176]]

From Bronson's History of Waterbury we learn the opinion of that town respecting this movement:

In December, 1787, the inhabitants of Farmingbury presented a memorial, in town meeting, giving reasons why they should be incorporated into a distinct town, and asking the consent of the meeting. A committee was appointed to take the matter into consideration, and hear the proposals that might be made "concerning public moneys, bridges, and town's poor," &c., and report make. Josiah Bronson, Stephen Ives, Aaron Benedict, Ezra Bronson, John Welton, and Samuel Lewis were the committee. "It is rather a doubt in our minds," they reported, "of the expediency of granting them their request, on any consideration whatever, but more especially upon the offers and proposals in several articles by them made." (page 282)

On the 14th day of next April the Society "voted to reconsider the vote that was taken to send agents to the General Assembly in May next, to try to obtain priviliges of a town."

In a Society meeting, held on the 13th day of February, 1792, this subject was again taken up. It was at the same meeting that voted the settlement of Mr. Israel B. Woodward. "Voted that we prepare a petition to the Hon. General Assembly, at their session in May next, for town privileges; and Dr. John Potter, Lieut. Streat Richards, Mark Harrison, Esq., Capt. Charles Upson, Jonathan Carter, Lieut. James Bailey, Daniel Byington, Calvin Cowles, Capt. Nathaniel Lewis, Mr. Amos Seward, were chosen a committee, or agents, to treat with the towns of Southington and Waterbury respecting the above petition to the Assembly." We learn from the Waterbury History that this petition was not presented in the Spring, but in the Autumn session of the Assembly.

On the 8th of October, 1792, Farmingbury applied to the Legislature for the desired act of incorporation. The town of Waterbury "voted that if the memorialists would [[177]] within eight days give up all right to the ministerial and school moneys, pay twenty pounds in consideration of being released from supporting the great bridge on the Woodbury road, bind themselves to take care of their portion, according to the grand list, of the town poor, and to pay their share of the town debts; then, in that case, the town would not oppose the object of the memorial" (page 282). We find no report of the Farmingbury committee.

In the fore part of December, 1793, the Society again voted to present a petition to the General Assembly, and appointed the following committee to attend to this business: Capt. Charles Upson, Mark Harrison, Esq., Lieut. Streat Richards, Dr. John Potter, Capt. Samuel Upson, Lieut. Charles Frisbie, Capt. Walter Beecher, Ensign Jonathan Carter, Simeon Plumb, Joseph Beecher, Jr., Daniel Byington, and Samuel Byington. Of this committee we hear nothing, except that in a Society meeting, on the 5th day of February, 1795, tlle Society voted that "the committee heretofore appointed to prepare a petition to the General Assembly for town privileges, prepare the same." Hence it is probable they had done nothing about it.

On the 25th day of April, 1796, another committee was appointed, and this application was successful. The committee consisted of Mark Harrison, Esq., Captain Charles Upson, Capt. Streat Richards, Mr. Jacob Carter, Mr. Eliakim Welton, and Mr. Elijah Frisbie.


At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, holden at Hartford, on the second Thursday of May, 1796:

Upon the petition of the inhabitants of the Society of Farmingbury, in the towns of Waterbury and Southington,\n/ in the counties [[178]] of Hartford and New Haven, showing to this Assembly that some years since said Society was formed by the extreme parts of said towns of Waterbury and Southington, with the dividing line of said towns and counties running from north to south through the centre of said Society, upon which line their Meeting house was erected and stands; that their local situation is such, being obstructed in their travel eastwardly by a mountain, and other natural impediments, that great inconveniencies arise in their attending upon public meetings, and other public services and duties, and various other disadvantages are attached to them under their present circumstances; praying to be incorporated into a distinct town, with usual town privileges, and to be added to the said county of New Haven, as per petition dated May 9th, 1796, on file; and the said towns of Waterbury and Southington having withdrawn all objections against the prayer of said petition,

\n/When Southington was incorporated a town, from Farmington, in October, 1779, the eastern part of Farmingbury was included within the boundaries of Southington, and belonged to that town until the above act took effect.

Resolved, That all the land lying and being in said Society of Farmingbury, and according to the established lines and limits of said Society, be and the same hereby is incorporated into a town by the name of Wolcott,\n/ and that it shall leave and retain, and enjoy all the privileges incident and belonging to any other town in the State; except, only, that said town shall hereafter send but one representative to the General Assembly of this State, and that the said town of Wolcott shall hereafter support their proportion of the present town poor, according to their list in said towns of Waterbury and Southington, on the said 9th day of May; provided that all debts and taxes due on said 9th of May from the inhabitants of said Wolcott shall be paid and discharged, as the same then or now remains due and owing; and that all debts and credits of said petitioners with said towns of Waterbury and Southington (except those appropriated for schooling in said Southington) shall be according to their respective lists of the year 1795. And it is further ordered that the inhabitants of said town of Wolcott shall hold a town meeting on the 13th day of June next, for the purpose of appointing town officers, and the meeting [[179]] shall be warned by a warrant signed by Mark Harrison, Esq., and posted on the public sign-post in said town at least five days before holding said meeting; and Mr. Aaron Harrison shall be moderator of said meeting, and said town shall then and there proceed to appoint a town clerk, and other town officers for said town, who shall continue in office until the second Monday of December next, or until others are chosen in their places and stead.

\*/ The name of the town would have been Farmingbury, but for the fact that Lieutenant Governor Oliver Wolcott, presiding in the Assembly when the bill was voted on, and there being a tie vote, he gave the "casting vote," which made it a town, and in honor of this fact it was called Wolcott.

And it is further Resolved that said town of Wolcott be and the same is hereby annexed to the county of New Haven, and shall be and remain within and part thereof.

A true copy of record.
Examined by SAMUEL WYLLIS, Secretary.

A true entry