Friday, August 13, 2010

Joshua Parker Green/Loom Restoration

We are currently restoring a loom thought to be made by Joshua Parker Green in the Civil War era. Our goal is to have a "sheep to shawl" demonstration next summer using local sheep, a spinning wheel in the Museum and the loom. You can stop by during Museum hours-2-4 pm on Sunday, to watch our progress.

A great grandfather of board president Dan Churchill, we wanted to learn more about JP Green. To that end, CHS genealogist Linda Welch was kind enough to send us the following information about him.

Joshua Parker Green(6) {Isaac(5), Isaac(4), Isaac(3), Eleazer(2), William(1)}, was born at Plymouth, Vermont 30 Aug., 1822. He was known by all as "Parker" Green. He m. 1st at Ludlow, 26 Jan., 1856 Nancy (Johnson) Green (his brother James' widow). After giving him five children, three of whom died in infancy, Nancy died of 'brain disease', 27 April, 1878. Parker m. 2nd, Widow Phoebe (Gould) Russell (b. Shrewsbury, Vt., 30 Dec., 1826, dau. of Chester & Hannah Gould, and widow of Alonzo Russell of Shrewsbury, who died 18 Oct., 1870). Phoebe died of paralysis in Cavendish, 7 Nov., 1887 (age 59).

The newspaper reported of Phoebe: " Mrs. Green was one of a family of ten children- seven boys and three girls- six of whom are now living. her son, A. N. Russell of Hartland and her two daughters, Mrs. W. W. Philbrick of Plymouth Union, and Ella J. Russell of Hartland, were present with her towards the end. She was taken in apoplectic fit on Friday morning, becoming unconscious and remaining in that condition until Monday noon when she died." Her funeral was held at Plymouth Union, with Rev. G. Wright of Shrewsbury officiating. and her remains taken to Shrewsbury for burial. "She was a kind and affectionate wife and a loving mother."

Parker m. 3rd in Chester (at the residence of Mr. Hall Brewer, by Rev. H. B. Tilden), 5 Oct., 1890, Sarah Jane (Hall) Orcutt of Sherburne, Vt. (b. 1825, dau. of James & Rebecca Hall).

Parker had quite a large family himself. He and his first wife, Nancy moved from Plymouth to Twenty-Mile Stream in Cavendish, where they bought a large farm on 5 Dec., 1856. This farm was known as "Green Acres."

-Twenty-Mile Stream, 1 Feb., 1876: "J. P. Green has killed four pigs, the four past years that ranged from nine to nine and one half months old, weighed when dressed, 412, 440, 465, and 404 pounds, respectively. In the year 1873, he killed a heifer two years and 7 months old that weighed when dressed, 765 pounds. He also has a flock of sixty sheep that have averaged to shear nearly six and one-half pounds of good, well, washed wool each year, one half of the number raised lambs each year, and in raising 137 lambs, did not loose a lamb until after they were a year old."

-6 Nov., 1891: "Elwin J. Parker has sold his farm to Parker Green." -4 Aug., 1893: "We saw a horse pitch fork in operation Tues. on the farm of J. P. Green, and were favorably impressed with its work as a labor saving implement. Walton A. Green informed us it would do the work of three or four men in unloading and placing hay in the upper part of the barn." -30 Nov., 1894: "Miss Ellen McCullough, a woman about 65 years of age, and who seemed to be without home or friends, died very suddenly on 19 Oct., at the home of Parker Green." -Proctorsville, 15 March, 1895: "Parker Green, who has been sick for a long time, was able to come to the village last Thursday, the first time for two months. He came to meet his sister at the depot, Mrs. Cheney, from Massachusetts, who had come to visit him." -9 Nov., 1900: "J. P. Green and Mrs. Florence Haven of Proctorsville visited their relatives, Mrs. Randelia Pierce and Mrs. Ruth White at W. R. Simmons in Reading last Tuesday."

Sarah Jane died at Cavendish of a disease of the heart and liver, 1 April, 1899 (age 74).

After his third wife's death, Parker moved in with his son James. -Proctorsville 2 April, 1908: "J. P. Green, who is in his 86th year, who has not for the past years done any active work on his farm, has busied himself making many useful and ornamental articles of wooden ware, such as spoons of various sizes, several sizes of stands, clothes sticks, paper knives, knives and forks, wooden knitting needles, canes with the handles made from the root, showing many odd designs. His latest is cutting out little mustard spoons which are neat and pretty in shape." -3 Sept., 1908: "Mr. Wesley Archer of Rutland came down to visit with James Green for the day and took the old gent for an auto ride on his 86th birthday." - 10 March, 1910: "Parker Green was taken with a dizzy spell last Sunday morning and fell to the floor, bruising himself quite badly, and is now confined to the bed." - 24 March, 1910: "Parker Green has so far recovered from his fall as to have his clothes on Tuesday." -17 Nov., 1910: "Parker Green had a severe attack of heart failure Monday and at his writing is very low."

Parker died at his home on Twenty-Mile Stream, Tuesday afternoon, 10 Jan., 1911 (age 88).

From his obituary; "Mr. Green was a hard working man and after he became too feeble to work out doors he busied himself making wooden implements such as paper knives, knitting needles, spoons, butter ladies, clothes sticks, canes, milking stools, light stands, etc. he has made over thirty different kinds of utensils since he was 80 years old. He had requested that the following hymns be sung at his funeral: 'Shall We Gather At The River", and "Pilgrims' Farewell" which were sung by Miss Nellie Haven Johnson of Proctorsville. For nearly a quarter of a century, Mr. Green had driven the same faithful little mare which seemed to have almost human understanding in being so gentle and good to stand for him to get in and out of the carriage after he became old and feeble It was also his request that if 'Nellie' outlived him, she should draw his remains to their last resting place, which she did. There is not a person now living between Proctorsville and Bridgewater who lived there when he bought the farm in 1856 where he has since lived. Since the first of last May there have been five persons buried in Twenty-Mile Stream Cemetery, all old neighbors an former residents of this place. There were Mrs. Charles Witherell, Mrs. Wm. Smith, Mrs. Ozro Spaulding, Mrs. P. K. Spaulding, and now Joshua Parker Green. They were all over 80 years old. Mr. Green being the oldest."

A TRIBUTE TO J. P. GREEN (by J. Ashton Spaulding, Amsden, Vt., 23 Jan., 1911): "I have known Mr. Green all my life, having lived within plain sight of his home until I was 37 years old. He was of rugged Revolutionary stock, his grandfather, Issac Green served seven years in the Revolutionary army, losing a finger at Bunker Hill. On his maternal side he was descended from Capt. Joshua Parker of the Continental army. Mr. Green began life as a poor boy and succeeded in making himself a comfortable home. When he bought the farm upon which he died it was a rocky and comparatively rough farm and in many places banks had been plowed up until Mr. Green in plowing them down found old sod trees feet below the ten top of the ground Some of these places one could not drive a cart and oxen on, and now those same places can be mowed with a machine. He made a yoke some 8 feet long especially for plowing in these places, plowing them diagonally, turning the furrows off down the hill and then harrowing them across and down, until now these pieces have a gradual slope. He also at all convenient times dug out and blasted out the numerous stones, until about 1876 he bought a stone puller with which he pulled out stones, blocking them up so when a little snow came he hauled them to the bank of the stream where he placed them on brush and in the bank to keep it from breaking off. Some of these stones were so big it took two yoke of oxen to draw them down hill, while others of these stones taken out with the puller had to be blasted. After a while, he got to using dynamite for blasting many of these big stones, some of them 15 feet long, until now I don't think there are two acres of the mowings but what cane be cut over with a machine and without a stone, but what a machine will pass over. There were also numerous wet places and swailes which he ditched out until now there is but one swale and perhaps one and one-acres of wet untillable land on the mowings. He took down old walls and took the small stones to put into the bank of the stream, and replaced them in these walls by big stones, some of which were eight and ten feet long. All the surplus stones he had ample room for to protect the banks of the treacherous 20-Mile Stream, balding them from either side down hill. I have known him to haul them on an ox sled, taking one half cord a load. Finally he got the banks of the stream so thoroughly protected that it now has to take the straight and narrow path. All of the choice stones suitable for use in ditches or for stone posts of doorsteps he always saved out. In the 1870s, he replaced the old and poor set of buildings with an entirely new set of more convenient buildings. He built a thoroughly substantial set of buildings that in their every part showed his thoroughness in all his farm operations. In the buildings of his barn he had the cellar wall laid in the fall before he built the barn. He himself fitted the place for each bottom stone and he got the most perfect barn cellar wall ever laid in Cavendish. He had never failing water from a spring that is boxed with slabs of soapstone. In my opinion, Mr. Green, taking all things into consideration ,was the best farmer that ever lived in Cavendish, and if many more farms on the hills and in the valleys of dear old Vermont had been peopled by men like Joshua Parker Green, they would not have worn the God-forsaken aspect they do today. Mr. Green was also prominent in the building of the little white schoolhouse on Twenty-Mile Stream in 1861 and he was the last person living in the district that lived there at that time. Mr. Green's farm is one of the few that at the present time are being worked by the sons of the men that spent all their life and strength in improving it."


1. James Parker, b. 8 Nov., 1857.
2. Waldo Amos, b. 29 Jan., 1863 ....... died of the 'bloody pimples', 28 July, 1863
3. Norris, b. 10 May, 1866 ....... died of typhoid fever, 16 May, 1866
4. Nora, b. 10 May, 1866 [twin] ....... died of typhoid fever, 19 May, 1866
5. Walton Amasa, b. 21 Sept., 1868

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