HISTORY OF WINDSOR
Windsor is situated twenty-seven miles west from Comcord and has an area of five thousand three hundred and thirty-five
acres. It is bounded on the northeast and east by Hillsborough, on the south by Antrim, on the west and northwest
by Stoddard, Cheshire County, and Washington, Sullivan County.
The shape of the town is like that of a flat-iron. This was caused by the old state survey and laying out of the
towns. They began at the east side, on the Maine line, and ran west to the west side of Hillsborough, stopped there,
and began again on the west side of the Connecticut River, running east to the east side of Stoddard and Washington,
thus leaving this heater-piece, as described, the same being granted to one Mr. Campbell, and for many years prior
to incorporation it went by the name of "Campbell's Gore". December 27, 1798, it was incorporated a town
under its present name, Windsor.
Its present population (1885) is about sixty-five. The soil is naturally very fertile, and there is but little
of what would be termed waste land; yet at present, there is but a small portion of it properly cared for and under
a respectable state of cultivation, quite a portion being owned by a few whose attention is turned to grazing.
There are three natural ponds. Black Pond is the principal body of water. White and Bagley Ponds are smaller. Fish
abound in each.
The writer is unable to get much of the early history of the town, as in the year 1850 Mr. Samuel Chapman was town
clerk, and in June his house was burned, and all the town minutes and records, except one book, were destroyed.
This nook dates back to July 1809, except by chance the incorporation of the town in 1798 had been recorded in
A Mr. Joshua Lovejoy, who once made potash here, was authorized to call the first town-meeting.
John T. Gibson was Governor, and the first meeting we have record of was March 14, 1809, at which there were thirty-five
votes cast. The present number of polls is twenty-four.
An alphabetical list of all the representatives on record is as follows:
Horace Atwood, 1 year; Charles A. Blanchard, 2 years; Joseph Chapman, 4 years; David Curtis, 4 years; Samuel Chapman,2
years; Mark Chapman, 2 years; Silas Chapman, 2 years; Joseph C. Chapman, 2 years; Francis C. Dresser. 1 year; J.
B. Emerson, 2 years; John G. Flink, 2 years; Nehemiah Jones, 2 years; Gideon Knowlton, 2 years; James Perkins,
2 years; Hy. B. Sweatt, 3 years; John Sweatt, 2 years; Marl Symonds, 2 years; Maximillian J. Webber, 2 years; Jason
Q. Wheeler, 2 years.
Nehemiah Jones was the first representative, in 1817, and Francis G. Dresser was the last, in 1878.
Samuel Chapman, 26 years; David Curtis, 3 years; John M. Curtis, 3 years; John G. Flint, 5 years; Nehemiah Jones,
7 years; Archibald McClintock, 14 years; J. Warren Perkins, 2 years; George M. Russell, 8 years; Hy. B. Sweatt,
Archibald McClintock was the first town clerk on record, in 1809, and George M. Russell the last and present one.
S. Wells Atwood, 2 years; Horace Atwood, 3 years; Simeon Buck, 1 year; Charles A. Blanchard, 2 years; Joseph Chapman,
22 years; David Curtis, 6 years; John Curtis, 1 year; Philnrick Curtis, 1 year; Samuel Chapman, 31 years; Silas
Chapman, 6 years; Mark Chapman, 1 year; John M. Curtis, 3 years; John G. Dodge, 1 year; Francis G. Dresser, 3 years;
J. B. Emerson, 2 years; John G. Flint, 5 years; Ira L. Folsom, 3 years; Francis Grimes, 2 years; Nehemiah Jones,
7 years; Gideon Knowlton, 6 years; Archibald McClintock, 16 years; James McClintock, 2 years; Theron McClintock,
1 year; Hiel McClintock, 1 year; James Perkins, 12 years; Samuel Preston, 1 year; J. Warren Perkins, 6 years; Reuben
Preston, 4 years; Sylvester Preston, 1 year; Suel Preston, 5 years; Freeman Pelsey, 1 year; John L. Pitman, 1 year;
Harrison E. Russell, 1 year; George M. Russell, 6 years; John Sweatt, 3 years; Henry B. Sweatt, 16 years; Langlon
Sweatt, 5 years; Daniel Sweatt, 1 year; Oliver Sweatt, 3 years; Mark Symonds, 6 years; Jason D. Wheeler, 18 years.
The present board are George M. Russell, Francis G. Dresser and Mark Symonds.
The whole amount of money paid soldiers during the war of the Rebellion was $1613, as follows: John C. Knowlton,
$100; Joseph C. Chapme, $100; George W. Carr (a nine months man), $100; Charles A. Blanchard, $300; Charles A.
Woods, $300; Hiel McClintock, $300; Joseph Wright, $413. The last four sent substitutes.
The town paid up its whole war debt in two years.
The first mill in town was built at the foot of BlackPond, owned by Alexander McClintock, about 1790; was owned
and operated by him fir several years and then passed into the hands of Mr. Silas Gibson, who afterwards built
a new one and also a flour-mill a few feet above. The part he built now stands, with an addition at each end. Mr.
Gideon Knowlton bought the mill from Mr. Gibson, and for several years large quantities of flour were made there
up to about 1850.
Mr. Knowlton operated the mill until he died, in 1863. It was then bought by Mr. Daniel Dodge, who put in a Leffell
water-wheel, which, under the full head of water, gives seventy-two horse-power. He also put in a board circular-mill,
planing machine, etc., and did quite an extensice business until he died, in 1872. It then passed into the hands
of the present owner, John G. Dodge, who, in 1876, leased it to Newman & Co., of Hillsborough. They put in
a boiler and engines, in addition to machines and fittings for the manufacture of clothes-pins, and run it for
about two years; but, being heavily in debt when they began, and failing to secure funds, they were obligated to
assign their property for the benefit of their creditors. At the assignee's auction, John G. Dodge purchased the
entire outfit, and, in 1880, began operations in the lumber business, after first having put in a cemented stone
dam that water will never move nor time decay. He now employs a dozen hands on the lumber and clothes-pins, and
to utilize the whole power would require twenty-five men.
In 1883, Mr. Dodge refitted the grist-mill with one run of stones for coarse meal. About the year 1819, Mr. Ezra
Smith built a mill about one hundred rods below, on the same stream, for the purpose of dressing woolen cloth.
A part of the old dam remains, but the mill has long since decayed. Mr. Samuel Chapman is the only man now living
in town who was at the raising.
There are three other unoccupied water privileges between the present mill and where the woolen-mill stood, from
which twenty to forty feet of fall might be had, with water sufficient to do quite a business, the year round,
in the manufacture of wooden-ware, and there is an immense quantity of good lumber centering here, with no feasible
outlet for it in the log.
In 1853 there was a stream-mill built at White Pond by Mr. Joseph Lund, and until it was burned, in June of 1858,
he did quite an extensive lumber business. Mr. Otis Chamberlain was chief manager.
The mill was located on the southeast corner of the pond, and there were several homes built near by, giving it
the appearance of quite a thrifty business place. Nothing remains now to mark the spot, except part of the mill
Mr. Judkins built another steam-mill in the north part of the town, on the turnpike, about 1856. Mr. J. B. Emerson
furnished logs for him, and he did quite a business ofr four or five years. The mill was burned and the watchman,
Mr. Benjamin Case, was burned to death in it.
Mr. J. B. Emerson afterwards built a little shop beside the road, and for several years made bobbins by steam-power.
The building was then converted into a dwelling house, where Mr. Silas Blanchard, the present owner and occupant,
resided with his wife, a daughter of Mr. Nehemiah Jones, who has in her possession some of her father's old account-books.
They are not dated, but were used when there were no J's used. Jones was spelled Gones, and Jacob, Gacob. She has
his goose-quill pen and the inkstand he used to carry in his pocket, together with other ancient relics.
There was a brick church built by subscription in 1849, at an expense of one thousand dollars, under charter of
the Union Religious Society, and dedicated April 24, 1850. Rev. Robinson, of Stoddard, Rev. Powers, of Washington,
and Dudley, of Hillsborough, presided. The first board of trustees were Hy. B. Sweatt< Daniel Sweatt and Suel
Preston. By virtue of his office, the chairman of the board of trustees was always made treasurer. The building
was situated across the road, opposite the cemetery, near Black Pond, and was used for a church until purchased
by Newman & Co., in 1877, who remodeled and fitted it up for a boarding-house, to accomodate the employer in
their clothes-pin manufactory.
There have been two stores and two hotels kept in town. Joseph Chapman kept a hotel and store about 1800, for several
years, near the Chapman corner. A colored lady, Miss Hannah Hackett, carried on a store a little above the corner,
on the Washington road. Mr. John Averill conducted a hotel on the turnpike, (which was built in 1801), for several
years, about 1827.
There have been two blacksmith-shops in town, where quite a business was once done. One of them, near the Hackett
store, was conducted by Iram Woods, and the other near Black Pond, owned and carried on by Mr. Mark Symonds for
fifteen years, from December 4, 1837, during which time Mr. Symonds saved fifteen hundred dollars.
Among the most noted justices we have had may be mentioned Solomon Andrews, from about 1800 to 1810; Joseph Chapman,
from 1810 to 1820; Nehemiah Jones, from 1820 to 1830 (Mr. Jones was custom-house officer at Hillsborough before
he moved here); John G. Flint, from 1830 to 1835; and Mr. David Curtis from 1835 for about ten years. Mr. Curtis
was also road commissioner at one time. Several others have held commissions as justices, but have never done much
We now have only two school districts in town, with about one hundred dollars of school money.District No. 1 has
about seventy dollars and District No. 2 about thirty dollars. District No. 2 has no comfortable school-house.
Districe No. 1 built a house in 1884 which is very credible to those who favored the enterprise.
Among the most noted men and farmers who have lived here and are here now, beginning at the southwest part of the
town, were David Curtis, a good farmer, active in business and highly respected; Lemuel Curtis' house stood in
Windsor and his barn across the road in Antrim.
Mr. Simeon Buck was a good farmer, and on his and the Lemuel Curtis place were founded the first settlements in
The settlers selected this place on account of the high land, from which they could overlook the valleys and see
the Indians' camp-fires at night and watch their movements. They took their grain upon their shoulders and went,
by marked trees, to Litchfield and Bedford, a distance of some forty miles, to have it ground.
On the Mountain road, from Windsor to Antrim, were the places of JohN Sweatt and his son Oliver, also that of Samuel
Curtis (who went to Contoocook), who, with his son, Grosvenor, is now doing an extensive mercantile business. They
used to keep good stock, and were good farmers. On the road leading east to Hillsborough was the place of James
Perkins, a goof farmer and owner of a rich farm. Down at the foot of the hill was the farm of Reuben Preston, extending
to Black Pond. Of all the farms mentioned in this part of town, and several others not mentioned, there is but
one farm at present occupied, which is that of David Curtis, now in the possession of his daughter.
Mr. Asa Goodell now owns what was formerly eight good farms and two large pastures adjoining, lying south of Black
Pond, making one solid body of land, where, thirty years ago, one hundred head of cattle were sheltered from the
cold blasts of winter; not a single creature received shelter last winter. This is not all, for, on the road that
formerly led from Windsor to Stoddard, he owns what was four farms in Windsor and hundreds of acres on the edge
of Stoddard, adjoining. His son-in-law, Melvin Temple, also on this road, occupies the farm of Daniel Sweatt, which
he has greatly improved.
John G. Dodge has a farm connected with his mill, to which he yearly makes improvments. Mark Symonds has a good
farm, which received his carful attention for several years after he abandoned black-smithing; but for some years
past, as infirities came upon him, he converted considerable of it into pasture.
Harrison E. Russell has owned his place but a few years, and has greatly improved the farm and buildings. The farm
produces nearly three times as much hay, and of a better quality.
On the road leading to Washington, Joseph C. Chapman has a good farm, and cares well for it. At the Chapman corner
is the farm owned by Samuel and Mark Chapman; the soil is naturally good, but they have nevermade any great improvements
on the land. Mr Samuel Chapman has done more town business than any other man that ever lived in town. He is now
oldest man living in the town, and can remember when fifty-two families lived in a place where not a soul is living
now, and over one hundred and fifty families that have lived in town that are not living here now. One-fourth of
a mile to the north off the road leading to Hillsborough, is the birth-place of the write, whose father, Daniel
G. Dodge, came from Goffstown in 1845. The farm was stony, but of excellent soil, and he far surpassed any other
man that has lived in town in the way of improving his farm and buildings. He was a model farmer. In 1868, four
years before he died, he built one of the best barns in the county, upon a stone foundation, which he often said
(and very truly) would show his footprints for many years to come. He would never accept a town office, but attended
strictly to his own business. This place has an extensive landscape view. The youngest son, Perley H. Dodge, now
owns the farm and takes excellent care of it.
Next (and last ) to the Hillsborough line is Nelson St. Severn. He has a good farm and cares for it well.
In the northern part of the town, on the turnpike, the soil is quite good, but a little more frosty. Here may be
found Mr. Charles C. Jones, Albert J. Grey, Jason D. Wheeler, Francis G. Dresser and Mr. Silas Blanchard, all of
whom have good farms and are thrifty farmers.
We now have no church, no minister, no lawyer, no trouble, no doctor, no hotel, no drunkards, no post-office (only
in connection with Hillsborough, Upper village), no store, no voice in legislation, no paupers, and no prospect
of having any. Taxes are very light, being this year a little above the average, but still bring only $6.30 on
one thousand dollars. The roads are kept in good repair, and the bridges are few and inexpensive.
There has never been a settled minister, a post-office or town library in town.