Friday, July 15, 2011

Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Early Religious Efforts

The following information is from The History of Windsor County, Vermont 1891 Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich and Frank R. Holmes, D. Mason & Co. Publishers

Beginning as early as 1782 the usual distracting efforts to fix the center of the town as a site for a church were made, which continued until 1800-OI. Numerous lots were offered, but no satisfactory committee could be secured, and finally in 1801 it was agreed that Jabez Sargeant, of Chester, Squire Stoughton, of Weathersfield, and Squire Bigelow, of Reading, should constitute a committee to locate the center of the town. This was accomplished October 20, 1801.

In the latter part of 1792 the town hired Rev. Abel Wood to preach six months, he to receive twenty shillings a day. A general assessment was levied to pay the salary, and Isaac Parker was appointed collector. The following were exempted from the assessment, for the reason that they were not members of the religious sect to which Mr. Wood be- longed : Salmon Dutton, Thomas Baldwin, John Coffin, Isaac Baldwin, Jonathan Atherton, Eliphalet Kimball, Captain William Chaplin, Abner Preston, and Abel Baldwin.' The momentous question of the church site having been settled, it was voted to build a house 45 x 55 feet and to
complete it by June 20, 1802. The building committee were Abel Baldwin, Jonathan Atherton and Samuel White.

It was voted to purchase the chosen site of Jedediah Tuttle, the price to be thirty dollars an acre. It was also voted that each person or denomination shall have a right to occupy the house for religious worship in proportion as they stand on each grand list. A tax of four cents on the dollar was voted to build the church. The following, who were of different sentiments from those who voted for the tax, are recorded as dissenting from the action of the town : Salmon Dutton, Amos Pierce, Israel Dwinnell, Salmon Dutton, jr., Clark Aldridge, Samuel Wyman, Joshua Tilden, Asaph Fletcher, jr., James Hall, John Swift, Joseph Page, and William Swift.

A society of Congregationalists was organized in the town at an early day, and continued until about fifty years ago.

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