Scotland, Windham County, Connecticut History

The township of Scotland, lying in the southwestern part of the county, is about six miles long from north to south, and about three miles wide. It lies on the southern border of the county, being bounded on the north by Hampton and a small part of Chaplin, on the east by Canterbury, on the south by Lisbon and Franklin, in the county of New London, and on the west by Windham. It comprehends about eighteen square miles of territory, much of which is hilly and in a wild condition. This is particularly true of the northern part of the town. In the central and southern parts there is a great deal of good farming land, and the improved farms and residences give a very attractive and home like appearance to the country. The surface is sufficiently rolling to make the rural landscape fascinatingly picturesque. Merrick's brook runs down through the middle of the town, joining the Shetucket in the southwest corner of the town. The Providence Division of the New York & New England railroad also runs with the Shetucket river across the southwest corner of the town.. Here is Waldo's station, a locality surrounded by swamps and woods, an ancient saw mill having once been in operation near by on the stream already mentioned. Scotland presents to the passer-by one of those ripened communities in which the people are quietly and peacefully enjoying the fruits of labor performed in former years, rather than living on the sweat of present activities. The surrounding forest growth affords considerable timber, which is utilized in railroad ties. Scotland in 1870 had a population of 648; in 1880 the population was reduced to 590. As the history of the town is but little more than the history of the ecclesiastical society out of which it grew, we shall address ourselves at once to the consideration of that subject.

The territory of this town was originally a part of the extensive domain of ancient Windham, being the southeast section of that town. Settlement began here about the year 1700. The first settler was Isaac Magoon, a Scotchman, who gave to his adopted home the name of his native country. He was admitted an inhabitant of Windham in 1698, and chose to establish himself east of Merrick's brook, in a remote and uninhabited part of the town. The brook of which we have spoken is supposed to have been named in honor of an early Norwich land owner. In 1700 Magoon purchased of Mr. Whiting several hundred acres, in the southern extremity of Clark & Buckingham's tract. The first rude hut built by him in this locality is said to have been destroyed by fire, whereupon his Windham neighbors helped him to rebuild it. He afterward bought sixty acres on both sides of Merrick's brook, and . crossed by the road from Windham to Plainfield, of Joshua Ripley, and this is supposed to have been his homestead. This road becoming a great thoroughfare between more important points, and the good quality of the soil here, as well as the natural beauty of location, soon attracted other settlers to the spot. In 1701 Magoon sold farms to Samuel Palmer, John Ormsbee, and Daniel and Nathaniel Fuller, all of whom came hither from Rehoboth. In 1702 Josiah Kingsley, John Waldo, Nathaniel Rudd, Josiah Palmer and Ralph Wheelock purchased land of Crane and Whiting and removed to this new settlement. Waldo's land, in the south of this settlement, is still held by his descendants. Many Mohegans frequented this part of the town, clinging to it by virtue of Owaneco's claim to it as Mamosqueage. A hut on the high hills near Waldo's was long the residence of the Mooch family, kindred of Uncas and the royal line of the Mohegans. The settlement made quite rapid progress. Among others who soon followed were Josiah Luce, Thomas Laselle, Robert Hebard and John Burnap. Luce and Laselle were of old Huguenot stock. Burnap came from Reading, Mass., purchasing a tract of land of Solomon Abbe, by Merrick's brook, April 13th, 1708.

The demand thus incited here caused valuations of real estate to rise considerably. A saw mill was already in operation on the brook, and in 1706 a highway was ordered to be laid out for the farmers of Scotland, above the mill-dam, for the convenience of getting on and off the bridge which was then about to be constructed, and thence it was to run to John Ormsbee's land. With the destruction of the forests and the accompanying decadence of the streams this mill site has long since been powerless for the purposes to which it was once appropriated. And the same may be said in regard to Wolf Pit brook, the privilege of which was granted to Josiah Palmer in 1706, " to set up a grist mill-he building the same within three years and ditching and damming there as he thinks needful on the commons, not to damnify particular men's rights.

In 1707 the town of Windham regarded its southeastern quarter as' of sufficient importance to be allowed a burying ground, and at that time Samuel Palmer, George Lilly and William Backus were appointed to view the ground here and consult the people with regard to laying out a burying place in this locality.

The Scotland settlers still maintained their connection with the church at Windham Green, though their number was constantly increasing. George Lilly, in 1710, purchased land on both sides of Little river, which runs down along the eastern border but just outside the present limits of the town, and in 1714, John Robinson, a descendant of Elder John Robinson, of Leyden, removed to Scotland. The old Puritan stock was well represented in this locality. Descendants of Robinson, Brewster and Bradford, with French Huguenots and Scotch Presbyterians, were among its inhabitants. A pound had been erected and a school house was built, at what date we have not learned, and about these public institutions a straggling village grew up. Many sons of the first settlers of Windham established themselves here. Joseph and John Cary settled on Merrick's brook, on land given them by their father, Deacon Cary. Deacon Bingham's son Samuel settled on Merrick's brook, and Nathaniel on Beaver brook. Nathaniel, son of Joseph Huntington, occupied a farm on Merrick's brook, near the center of the settlement and became one of its most prominent citizens. The population was gathered mainly on the road to Canterbury and on Merrick's brook. Many of the Scotland settlers were members of the Windham church and some were active and prominent men in the affairs of the town.

But the Scotland settlers soon began to feel a desire for church privileges nearer their homes than away over the hills several miles to Windham Green. At what time this feeling began to develop into open agitation we do not know, but it had gone so far in that direction that in February, 1726, the town took action so far as to consent by vote that when the public list of that section should reach in amount 12,000 the town would build a meeting house in that section, and when they should desire to settle a minister the town would join with them in supporting two ministers and keeping the two meeting houses in order. In December, 1727, the Scotland people were allowed to employ a suitable person to preach to them during the winter, and this permission was kept up for several winters. But the Scotland people could not see the advantage to them of paying their proportionate part of supporting the ministry at Windham Green and then hiring a minister additional during a part of the year, at so much extra expense. Hence the question of society privileges was agitated, and after a spirited contest before the general assembly the petition was granted and a charter for a distinct society was given by the legislature in May, 1732. The bounds of the society were substantially the bounds of the present town. They began at the junction of Merrick's brook with the Shetucket, thence northerly to the southwest corner of the land of John Kingsley ; thence to Beaver brook at John Fitch's dam ; thence a straight line to Merrick's brook, at the crossing of the road from Windham Green to the Burnt Cedar swamp ; thence north on the brook to the southwest corner of Canada Society ; thence easterly by the south bound of that society, and southerly along the Canterbury line to the dividing line between Windham and Norwich, and westerly along the Norwich line to the mouth of Merrick's brook. This bound probably included less than one-third of the territory of Windham. The petitioners, in answer to whom the charter was granted, were Nathaniel Bingham, Jacob Burnap, Eleazer and Samuel Palmer, Joshua Luce, Daniel Meacham, Isaac Bingham, Samuel Hebard, Seth Palmer, Timothy Allen, Charles Mudie, Benjamin Case, John Waldo, David Ripley, Caleb Woodward, John Cary, Jonathan Silsby, Elisha Lilly, Jacob Lilly, Joshua Lasell, Nathaniel Huntington, Nathaniel Brewster, Nathaniel Rudd, Wilkinson Cook, Carpenter Cook and Samuel Cook. The number of families in the society was about eighty, and the number of persons probably about four hundred. The list of estates reported amounted to 3,945.

The new society met to organize June 22d, 1732, at the house of Nathaniel Huntington. Edward Waldo was chosen moderator ; John Manning, clerk ; Peter Robinson, John Waldo and Edward Waldo, society committee_ In September the society voted to employ a minister, and began eagerly to discuss the location of their prospective meeting house. It was then decided that the preaching services should be held at the house of Nathaniel Huntington. The importance of having the business well attended to-and the magnitude of the undertaking as it appeared to those people is shown by the vote at that time that "Ensign Nathaniel Rudd, Mr. Samuel Manning, Lieutenant Peter Robinson, Sergeants Nathaniel Bingham and Edward Waldo, Mr. John Bass and Mr. John Cary, be a committee to provide us a minister to preach to us, and also to provide a place for him to diet in, and also to agree with him for what he shall have a day." The minister then employed by this ponderous committee was a Mr. Flagg.

After settling some disputes as to the law in regard to electing officers, the society unanimously set to work to locate and build a meeting house. The site decided upon was " a knoll, east side of Merrick's brook, south side of the road from Windham to Canterbury." Nathaniel Huntington, who owned the land, promptly made over a quarter of an acre for that purpose. June 25th, 1733, it was voted to build a house 43 by 33 feet and twenty feet high, the roof and sides to be, covered with chestnut sawed shingles and clapboards. The work went bravely forward and by November 20th a society meeting was held in the house. Then the windows were glazed, and rough board seats provided, as well as a " conveniency for a minister to stand by to preach." Thus equipped the house was ready for service and the energies of the society were then devoted to employing a regular minister.

After several attempts, which from one cause or another proved abortive, the society succeeded in obtaining the services of a minister to be permanently located among them. This they found in the person of Ebenezer Devotion, son of Reverend Ebenezer Devotion of Suffield, a young man of good abilities, pleasing address and unimpeachable orthodoxy, who had just completed his ministerial studies, having graduated from Yale College in 1732, and was just twenty-one years of age when called to this parish. On the 22d of October, 1735, a church was organized and Mr. Devotion ordained as its pastor, on a settlement of 300 and a salary of 140 a year, which was afterward increased by an additional thirty pounds_ Eighty-nine members were dismissed from the First church of Windham to form the Scotland church. Edward Waldo and Nathaniel Bingham were chosen deacons.

These trying ordeals having been safely passed, the society now enjoyed a period of peaceful and harmonious prosperity reaching through many years. The interior of the meeting house, was subject to many changes in its arrangements and seating, as was usual in those days, privileges being allowed individuals, singly or in groups, to erect pews for their own use and at their own expense. In this line one item is worthy of notice. In 1739 twelve young men had liberty to build a pew the length of the front gallery, dividing the same by a partition of wood, taking one half as their own seat and gallantly allowing the other half to as many young women.

We come now to the period when this church and society were greatly agitated, in common with others about them, by the great revival and the Separate movement, which occurred between the years 1740 and 1750. A very respectable part of the Scotland church became dissatisfied with the existing discipline and adopted decided Separate principles. Mr. Devotion, who was strongly attached to church order and the Saybrook Platform, wholly refused to grant them any concessions or liberty, whereupon they withdrew from the . stated religious worship, and held separate meetings in private houses. Among the number were Joseph and Hannah Wood, Benjamin and Anne Cleveland, Zebulon and Hannah Hebard, Mrs. Samuel Manning, John Walden, Daniel Ross, Amos Kingsley, Peleg Brewster, Thomas and Henry Bass, and John, Sarah, Mary and Margaret Wilkinson. January 26th, 1146, these persons were cited to appear before the church court to "give their reasons for separating for a long time from the worship or ordinances which God had set up among them." Their answer in general was that the ministrations of Mr. Devotion were not satisfying to their souls like those of other preachers, like Lawyer Paine, Deacon Marsh and Solomon Paine, whom Mr. Devotion refused to recognize. Nothing conciliatory resulting from the hearing and subsequent action, these people joined themselves into a Separate church. This was organized during the summer of 1746, and soon gained a very respectable position, receiving into its membership some of the leading families in the parish.

The Windham County Association of ministers held an investigation in February, 1747, and after hearing much testimony in regard to the Separatists, declared their action to be unscriptural, uncharitable and unchristian, and that the churches ought not to recognize them in a church capacity, but to labor with them as individuals to convert them from the error of their ways. The Scotland Separate church was, however, notwithstanding this meeting had been held in this town, unaffected by its judgments or proclamations, but continued to increase in numbers and influence. One of the deacons of the standing church lapsed to the Separatists among the rest. For a time they enjoyed the ministrations of their favorite ministers, the Paines and Elder Marsh. John Palmer, a descendant of one of the early Scotland settlers, exercised his gift of exhortation so freely that he was summarily arrested by the civil authority and lodged in jail at Hartford, where he was kept four months. This only increased his zeal, and after his release the church gave him further trial and eventually united in a call to its ministry. He was accordingly ordained May 17th, 1749, as pastor of the Separate church of Scotland.

Though deficient in education and somewhat rough in speech and manner, Mr. Palmer was a man of estimable character and sound piety, and under his guidance the Brunswick church, as this body was now called, maintained for many years a good standing in the community, comparatively free from those excesses and fanaticisms which marred so many of its contemporaries. No difficulty was found in supporting its worship by voluntary - contributions. A church edifice was built . about a mile southeast of Scotland village, and this was long known as the Brunswick meeting house. Mr. Devotion was never reconciled to this intrusion within his parochial limits, but true to his own name as he was to his cause, it is said that he was accustomed every Sunday morning to send his negro servant with a rescript to the Brunswick meeting house, forbidding Mr. Palmer or any unauthorized person to preach therein that day ; a prohibition which doubtless only served to increase the number of attendants there.

For many years after this Separate church was established its members were obliged to pay their proportion of taxes for the support of the ministry in the regular church of Scotland society. When they refused to comply with such demands their cattle or goods were taken by distraint or themselves were imprisoned in Windham jail. But on the prospect of having to pay rates toward the building of the new meeting house in 1773 they petitioned the assembly for relief, and that body gave a favorable response, granting them release from the burden of taxation to build the house in which they did not expect, to worship. The names of those at that time identified with the Separatist church were Zacheus Waldo, Zebulon Hebard, Lemuel Bingham, Ebenezer Webb, John Palmer, Benjamin Cleveland, Joseph Allen, John Walden, Stephen Webb, Israel Hale, William Perkins, Joseph Allen, Jr., Jonathan Brewster, Ebenezer Bass, John Silsbury, Timothy Allen, Samuel Baker, Jr., Jedidiah Bingham, Henry Bass and Moses Cleveland.

Through the dark days of the revolution the Separate church held on to its existence, though probably weakening in numbers and activity by the labors of zealous Baptist itinerants in the neighborhood. Unlike many of this sect Elder Palmer had a respect for education and sent his son David to Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1797. The Brunswick church did not long survive the loss of Elder Palmer and his fellow helper, Deacon Walden. Some members drifted away to the Baptists and Methodists. A final attempt was made in 1.812 to maintain worship, but in 1813 the church was disbanded, at the final meeting May 24th, voting to join with the First church of Canterbury on conditions of being allowed certain privileges. June 11th they met at the Canterbury meeting house and part of their number joined the Canterbury church and part did not.

In reviewing the action of the society of the recognized Scotland church some things appear of interest worthy of mention, as illustrative of -the customs of the time more than for the intrinsic historic importance of the events themselves. In 1747 it was decided to repair the meeting house. The vote decided, " to clabord the outside of our meeting house with oke clabbords, and polish the walls within with clay, sand and ashes, and plaster overhead with lime mortar." Among other liberties granted to individuals for building pews, in 1752 seven young ladies were allowed to build a pew " in the sete behind the front seat in the woman's gallery, provided they build within a year and raise the pue no higher than the seat is on the men's side." But the young ladies disregarded the -condition and so brought down upon themselves the following decree " Never y e Less ye abovesaid have built said pue much higher than the order, and if they do not lower the same within one month from-this time the society committee shall take said pue away."

Schools had already received some attention from the people of the society. The school house, however, was a matter of annoyance, and its location was unsteady. In 1755 it was voted that, " Whereas, the school house in the society standeth so near Samuel Silsby's dwelling house it much discommodes him-that we are willing that said Silsby should move the school house to any convenient place on the road it now stands on, provided he move it at his own charge and leave it in as good repair as it now is, and set it somewhere on the highway between where it now stands and Merrick's brook, or anywhere else where those inhabitants shall agree that send their children to school, and .have the advice of Nathaniel Huntington where to set it." In 1774 the school house--was again a source of trouble, this time from its proximity to the meeting house. Fearing it might give rise to conflagrations that might endanger the meeting house, it was moved to a suitable distance. In 1758 a committee was appointed to divide the society into proper school districts.

James Brewster was chosen clerk of the society in 1750, in place of John Manning, who had held the office for many years. Josiah Kingsley was chosen deacon of the church in 1752, and John Cary to the same office in 1754. Deacon Nathaniel Bingham, son of Deacon Thomas Bingham, of Windham, died in 1754, and his brother Samuel in 1760.

Reverend Ebenezer Devotion was held in high reputation as " a great divine, a pious man, an able politician, eminent for every kind of merit." After the passage of the stamp act, he was chosen to represent the town of Windham in the general assembly as the man most competent to advise in that great crisis. He died while yet in the prime of life, in Jury, 1771, being fifty-seven years of age, leaving a large family of sons and daughters.

The successor of Mr. Devotion in the pastoral office was Reverend James Cogswell, then recently from Canterbury, who was here offered 60 for settlement, 80 salary, and " the liberty of getting his firewood on the 1st the society bad of James Manning." He was installed February 19th, 1772. November 9th of that year it was voted- to build a new meeting house, the vote calling out 98 "yeas " and 20 "nays." It was agreed to give Mr. Elisha Lillie c750 for building the house. It was several years in course of construction. It was completed enough to be seated in December, 1778, and in the following May the work was formally accepted from the hands of Mr. Lillie, the contractor. The old building then being offered for sale at auction, brought seventeen pounds.

After the revolution the returned veterans engaged in the arts of peace. Besides many who engaged in farming and commercial business, Major John Keyes, of Ashford, who was appointed adjutant general of Connecticut militia in 1786, afterward removed his residence to Scotland village and established a tavern, which soon became a famous place of resort for the many old soldiers residing in this part of the town. The parish bore its part in the civil administration and was allowed the privilege of holding one-third of the allotted town meetings in its convenient meeting house. The parish aspired to the luxury of a bell in its church steeple, and the purchase and poising of this appendage excited the attention of the people as an event of unusual interest. On its way hither it met with mishaps which were repeated twice or more, by which it became cracked, and had to be returned several times for repairs. For several years the care of the bell seems to have occasioned much annoyance. In the meantime the subject .of church music received much earnest attention, and a singing school was maintained under which so much progress was made that it was said the singing in. this quiet country church was better than that in the city churches of Hartford. This church shared in the general religious declension which prevailed during the closing years of the last century: There were few accessions and many losses. Deacon John Cary died in 1788; Deacon John Baker in 1791. Some members were lost by emigration and some by removal to other churches. In the meantime earnest Baptists were holding meetings on Pudding hill, and making converts who joined some of the neighboring Baptist churches. Schools were maintained and catechized as the law required. The Central school flourished for two seasons under the charge of a teacher who afterward became famous- William Eaton, the conqueror of Tripoli.

The latter years of the life of Reverend Mr. Cogswell were attended by an unhappy controversy between him and his people. Being too aged and infirm to perform -the duties of his office acceptably, he removed to Hartford to live with his son, but still claimed a support from his parish, who were legally bound by the terms of his settlement as pastor to give him a support to the end of life, which claim he was obliged to press in the courts of law.

The third pastor of this church was Cornelius Adams, of Canterbury, who was ordained December 5th, 1805. The parish, taking care to avoid another case like that in which they were involved with Mr. Cogswell, secured the condition in the settlement that the pastoral contract could be terminated on six months' notice at anytime when it should become unsatisfactory to either party. The bell now began again to make trouble. In 1804 the steeple was repaired and made stronger. The bell was re-cast. When it was being replaced in position a plank fell from the belfry deck, and struck Mr. Jeduthan Spencer on the head with such force that he died from the effects in a short time, and also broke the arm of Mr. Eleazer Huntington_ The ministry of Mr. Adams was brought to an end by his death within a year after his installation. He was succeeded by Reverend Elijah G. Welles, of whose pastorate we have learned but little. The church was then in a feeble state, and it is probable that his maintenance was difficult. His successor was Reverend Jesse Fisher, a graduate of Harvard, who was ordained May 22d, 1811. Mr. Fisher had the satisfaction of seeing his church built -up and strengthened, and the evil effects of long dissension gradually disappear. He remained here until his death in 1836. His successor was Reverend O. T. Whiton, who was dismissed after a four years' pastorate. A new meeting house, the. present building, was erected in 1842. Thomas Tallman, of Middle Haddam, was ordained and installed pastor March 20th, 1844. After a successful pastorate of about seventeen years he resigned in 1861. Reverend Luther H. Barber was installed October 22d, 1862, and remained until May 9th, 1869. Following that date the church had no settled pastor for about four years. During one year of that time Rufus S. Underwood was a stated supply, and during the time of his ministry a revival occurred which gave to the church twenty-nine new members. Reverend Alva A. Hurd became acting pastor November 1st, 1873, and remained until the spring of 1881. He was the first to occupy the new parsonage, which was provided by the society in 1873. Reverend L. D. Place became acting pastor one year, beginning May 1st, 1884. Then followed a period of vacancy and temporary supplies until November 1st, 1886, when Reverend G. A. Bryan entered upon his labors as acting pastor. He still remains in that position. A neat and convenient chapel was purchased and fitted up adjoining the church in 1867. The present membership of the church is about one hundred and ten.

During the decade from 1840 to 1850 a flash of Universalist sentiment appears to have run through the churches in this part of Connecticut. A church of that order was organized in this neighborhood, and in 1843 a meeting house was built. This flourished fairly well for a few years under the ministrations of Reverend H. Slade, but its active life was short, and it has long since become a thing of the past.

Returning now to notice the growth of this town in the early part of this century we find a considerable degree of life and activity manifest here. Its farms and workshops were prospering. Stephen Webb carried on an extensive shoe manufactory in the north part of the parish. Thomas Coit, of Norwich, succeeded to the mercantile traffic carried on by Messrs. Ebenezer and Jonathan Devotion, offering the usual variety of well-chosen goods," and receiving most kinds of country produce in payment. Doctor Dwight, in his observations about the towns of this locality, declared that everything about. Scotland wore- the aspect of festivity, thrift, industry, sobriety and good order." A little later the mercantile establishment of the village fell into the hands of Philetus Perkins. Saw mills, a grist mill and fulling mill were maintained upon Merrick's brook. These were carried on by members of old families, the Devotions and the Waldos and- others. A quarter century later showed but little if any advance. Scotland Parish was greatly burdened by excessive imposts and inconveniences brought upon it by Windham's growth and aspirations, and devoted much of its energies to efforts for separation. No special business enterprises were now being developed within its limits. The old saw and grist mills were kept up, and brick making was carried on near the line between this and Windham parishes.

After repeated efforts for release from the inconveniences of being associated with Windham, Scotland at last received a town charter in 1857. Its first town meeting was held in the vestry of the Congregational church, on the morning of July 4th. Jephtha Green was chosen moderator. The occasion was celebrated by a pleasant social gathering in the afternoon, when patriotic and congratulatory addresses were made by Governor Cleveland, Reverend Mr. Tallman and others. The first officers of the town, which were elected on that day, were as follows : Benjamin Hovey , clerk, registrar and treasurer ; John P. Gager, Jr., Zephaniah Palmer and Henry H. Cary, selectmen ; Henry Webb, constable and collector ; Simon Fuller and R. W. Waldo, grand jurors ; William F. Palmer and Jonathan W. Maine, assessors ; Simon Fuller, P. B. Fuller and Dwight Cary, board of relief ; Zephaniah Palmer and P. B. Fuller, land surveyors; P. B. Fuller, C. N. Palmer, C. B. Brumley, H. H. Cary, Thomas Tallman and-Zephaniah Palmer, board of education ; C. B. Brumley, school treasurer ; Z. Palmer, school visitor ; and John P. Gager, Jr., acting selectman. The number of children then of school age-between the ages of four and six_ teen-was 191; and the number of voters who cast their votes for governor that year was 135, of which 85 were in favor of Buckingham and 50 for Pratt. The justices of the peace appointed for that year were William Davison, Pearley B. Fuller and Zephaniah Palmer. The first representative to the state legislature was James Burnett, merchant.

Change of status made but little practical difference in local administration. A slight change was made in the west bound, by which a little more territory was included in the town than had been in the society. By this change the brick works and the old Robinson house were brought into this town. Since that time the town has pursued the even tenor of its way, with little to disturb the still waters of its social, religious or political life. Its growth in business activity and in population have hardly been sufficient to balance its losses. The number of children between the ages of four and sixteen thirty years after town organization, is 98, less than one-half what it was then. Property valuations, however, do not show disparagingly. The grand list now reaches $267,423. Most of the mills on the streams have been abandoned, but grist and saw mills are still maintained by F. W. Cunningham, John D. Moffitt and Eugene Kimball, while William F. Palmer carries on the only store in the village and also officiates as postmaster and notary public.

Youngest and smallest of Windham county towns, with no special business facilities, Scotland can hardly be expected to take a conspicuous position. Successive generations of young men have emigrated hence to expend their energies and enterprise in other fields.

Scotland is honored in the memory of illustrious sons. Hon. Samuel Huntington, one of the distinguished men of his day in the state, is mentioned elsewhere in this work ; it would be repetition to speak of him in detail here. Daniel Waldo, the famous chaplain of Congress, was born here September 10th, 1762; drafted into the continental army in 1778; afterward became pastor of West Suffield, Cambridgeport and several other churches; served as chaplain of the United States House of Representatives in 1856 to 1858; died in Syracuse, N. Y., July 30th, 1864, aged 101 years, 10 months, 20 days. Samuel Waldo, a distinguished artist, was born in Scotland in 1783. He was incited to the study and practice of art by the example and instructions of Reverend Joseph Steward. Success in Litchfield enabled him to visit England, where he studied portrait - painting in the studio of Benjamin West. He returned in 1809, and for fifty-three years pursued his art successfully in New York and Hartford, becoming one of the best art critics as well as artists of his day, and was very highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.

The principal attention of the people is directed toward agriculture, and some improvement may be seen in that direction in recent years. Among such improvements may be noticed the organization of a Grange. Shetucket Grange, as it is named, was organized with twenty-four charter members, June 10th, 1887. The ceremonies of organization and installation of officers, which took place on the same evening, were conducted by D. M. Master Tucker of Lebanon, assisted by D. K. Bowen of Woodstock and members of Little River Grange of Hampton. The first set of officers thus installed were as follows : A. E. Welden, worthy master ; Mrs. E. P. Brown, lecturer ; Caleb Anthony, secretary ; A. M. Clark, Steward ; A. H. Gallup, assistant steward ; C. M. Smith, chaplain ; J. Anthony, treasurer ; R. T. Haskins, gate-keeper ; Mrs. D. P. Walden, Pomona ; Flora Gager, Ceres ; Lillie Baldwin, Flora. With the introduction of various improvements and attractions in the arts of agriculture the tide which has now for many years been setting away from the rural sections of New England to the centers of population may turn and bring again to the beauties of these hills and valleys a people who shall enjoy their health giving and soul elevating atmosphere and influences. Like many other towns of its class, Scotland seems to be living mainly in pleasant dreams of retrospect. The main center of the town has by the roadside the old time tavern, but its hollow and vacant rooms, with their well worn floors and soil marks of previous generations of active . guests, only tell of the life that was once manifest here which stands in bold contrast with the quietness of the present. Surrounding its village green, which presents a pleasing landscape, stand the old tavern and -a row of superannuated tradesmen's shops, a school, church, chapel, store and post office. Back of the church is a small burying ground in which rest the remains of some of the foremost families of the parish. Two granite monuments bear the family name of Fuller. One of these is erected to the memory of Josephine, wife of George Fuller, who died July 11th, 1870, at the age of a little more than thirty-four years. The other is a granite spire containing the names of David, L. Fuller, born September 10th, 1787, died August 6th, 1872; Frank A. Fuller, born December 21st,' 1839, died March 22d, 1867; Elizabeth K. Fuller, born April 4th, 1829, died July 27th, 1869; and three others. The spire is about fifteen feet high. The first mentioned monument is surmounted by a life-sized angel in marble.

Source: History of Windham County, Connecticut, Bayles, Richard M.; New York: W.W. Preston, 1889

 

Back to: Windham County, Connecticut Genealogy


Windham Townships
Genealogy Resources