Curtis Family of Norwich Vermont

Simeon Curtis came to Norwich from Lebanon, Connecticut, as early as the year 1773, in which year he was elected one of the town assessors, and located near the south line of the town, on the farm where Henry S. Goddard now lives. Mr. Curtis died in 1779 at the age of fifty-eight years, and his grave is found in the old cemetery at Norwich village among the graves of other early settlers and near that of his gifted son, Abel Curtis, who survived his father only four years.

But little is now known of the Curtis family, as its last representatives seem to have disappeared from town more than half a century ago. The maiden name of Mrs. Simeon Curtis was Sarah Hutchinson, and the home of the family was at ”Lebanon Crank” as it was called, or that part of Lebanon which is now Columbia, Conn., and which was the immediate locality of Moor’s Indian Charity School founded by Doctor Eleazer Wheelock, out of which grew Dartmouth College.

Captain Solomon Cushman, who came to Norwich the same year with Simeon Curtis, had married in 1768, at Lebanon Crank, Sarah Curtis, probably a daughter of Simeon Curtis. He removed to Tunbridge, Vt., in 1784, where he was preceded several years by Elias Curtis, another son of Simeon, who had previously lived in Norwich, and where two or more of his children were born (Elias, b. July 4, 1776, Abijah, b. March 11, 1781), but had removed and was living near the first branch of White River in Tunbridge at the time of the burning of Royalton in 1780, and who was carried into captivity to Canada at that time, where he remained till the close of the war. Elias Curtis died in Tunbridge, October 16, 1830, just fifty years to a day from the time, of the attack on Royalton, having been a prominent and much esteemed citizen of that town, which he represented in the legislature and in the convention which in 1791 adopted the constitution of the United States, preliminary to the admission of Vermont into the Union. The wife of Elias Curtis was also Sarah Hutchinson and sister of Abijah, John, and Hezekiah Hutchinson, all from Lebanon, Conn., and pioneer settlers in Tunbridge and Royalton.

A brother of Elias Curtis, Simeon Curtis, Jr., married Abigail Rood of Royalton and settled in Tunbridge at an early day, and reared a family of five children. Two of his sons, Abel Curtis and Asahel Curtis, removed in 1810 to the new town of Lowell, Vt., where they were distinguished for their enterprise and intelligence in building up the town. Abel Curtis was the first town clerk of Lowell, an office which he held twenty-seven consecutive years, with two years ‘ exception; was the first justice of the peace, which position he held twenty years; the first postmaster; built the first frame house; the first grist mill; was member of constitutional convention, etc. He died in 1879 at a very advanced age.

Asahel Curtis represented Lowell in the legislature in 1812, ’14, and 18.

Don Brigham Curtis, son of Abel Curtis, has been town clerk of Lowell since 1866, has represented that town in the legislature two years, as has also, repeatedly, Don Eugene Curtis, a son of Don B. Both of these have for many years been leading men in business and public affairs in Lowell, and the Curtis family are altogether still showing a strong vitality and strength of character.

Of the Curtis family in Norwich, two daughters of Abel Curtis, Esq., survived him. Lucy, the eldest, (born February 22, 1780), married Hon. Thomas Emerson. Of the younger, Sally, (born December 6, 1782), we have no information.

Samuel Curtis, probably a son of Simeon Curtis, married Amy Chandler, May 8, 1788. He is believed to have lived on the Simeon Curtis farm (now H. S. Goddard‘s). Several children were born to him from this union prior to 1794, of whom Abel Curtis (born October 26, 1790) was one. Still later Solomon Curtis seems to have owned and occupied the same premises. He sold the farm to Doctor Joseph Lewis in 1800, and from that date the Curtis family, so far as we are informed, disappears from Norwich.


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