Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 316
The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)
Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.
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tions were the log cabins of the pioneers. Game was plentiful, and the savage beasts of the forest were not scarce. Encounters with bears and wolves were fre- quent. I will mention two in which Mr. WHITNEY had a part while in his teens. He and an older brother had a two-year-old colt that they wished to turn out in the spring to pasture. As their grass land was all needed for hay for winter use, they thought they would fence in a beaver meadow that lay about a mile from their clear- ing back in the woods. Early one morning the first of June, they took their axes and went to the meadow to fell a "slash fence" around it. The day was warm, and the work of felling trees was quite hard, and becoming thirsty, he went to the brook for a drink. He quenched his thirst, walked down the brook a short distance, and there, lying in the brook, was a large gray wolf. As soon as the beast saw the boy he snarled at him, trotted off a short distance, and howled. His call was answered from a half dozen different directions. The boys know what that meant, and picked up their axes and ran for home with all the speed they were capable of. The wolves followed them to the edge of the clearing, but were too cowardly to approach any nearer the house in daylight. It was owing to the above fact that the boys escaped, for they had only a few rods the lead when they came out of the woods. The fence was never finished, and the colt had a corner of the clearing near the house to graze in. At another time he was sent to the nearest store for tea and a bottle of alcohol. The "store" was at the "head of the bay," an arm of Memphremagog lake, four miles from his father's, and thick woods all the way. He was in no hurry to start for home, and did not leave the store till dark. The first two miles were quickly trav- eled, but not so quickly as the last two. For just at the half-way point is a long hill, and at the foot of the hill he was stopped by a low growl in the path just in front of him. Stooping so as to bring the animal between him and the sky overhead, he saw a large bear, standing on his hind feet, ready to "hug" him. He had nothing to defend himself with but a pocket-knife and his quart bottle of alcohol. Taking the knife open in his left hand and the bottle by the neck in his right, he hurled the bottle with all of his strength in the direction of the bear, at the same time shouting at the top of his voice. The bottle hit the bear squarely in the chest, and the surprise was so sudden and complete that he left the path and ran a half dozen rods off into the woods and then stopped. When the bear stopped he started, and he said that he did not believe a man ever ran two miles in the dark through woods so quickly as he made that two miles. The settlers followed the bear all the next day, but he made good his escape. In April, 1835, he and his brother William left Bolton and went to Middlesex, Vt., and hired out as farm-hands to William LEWIS. In Nov., 1836, he married the daughter of his employer, Hannah Maria LEWIS. His wife died Apr. 8, 1841, leaving him one child, a daughter, Elmina M. From 1838 to 1842 he drove stage from Mont- pelier to St. Albans, by way of Morrisville and Hyde Park, making the trip of fifty miles twice a week. In the latter year he went to North Troy, Vt., and went into business there, opening a general store and buying and fitting horses for the Boston market. He used to drive all the way from Troy to Boston, a distance of nearly 300 miles, his drove of 20 or 30 houses following his team after the first day, without a driver. It used to take from 30 to 40 days to make the trip and dispose of the horses, which can be made by rail now in as many hours. On August 20, 1843, he married for his second wife Miss Betsey W., daughter of James HALL, Jr., one of the pioneers of that section of the Missisquoi valley. He followed the business of buying horses for a number of years, but in the spring of 1850 moved on to a farm in that township of Bolton, P. Q. In June, 1853, he went to California, but the climate did not agree with him, and he returned in November of the same year. He followed the life of a farmer till 1871, when he disposed of his farm and moved to West Derby, Vt. There he followed the profession of farrier and veterinary surgeon until about two years before his death, which occurred Apr. 21, 1887. At present he is survived by eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Of his father's five sons he was the shortest, and he was six feet in his stockings and weighed 215 pounds. He was an athlete and quite a noted wrestler in his younger days. He d. April 21, 1887; res. North Troy and West Derby, Vt. 4695. i. MARCUS CARYL, b. Sept. 14, 1844; unm.; is a contractor and builder; res. 327 Pearl St., Manchester, N.H. SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF MARCUS C. WHITNEY. - Marcus C. Whitney was born Sept. 14, 1844, his parents being Mar- cus T. C. WHITNEY and Betsey W. (HALL) WHITNEY. His birthplace was the little village of North Troy, Vt., situ- ated on the Missisquoi river, about one mile south of
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