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History of Rutland County, Vermont

This is a transcription of biographical information from “History of Rutland County, Vermont” by Henry Perry Smith, 1886

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SHELDON, CHARLES, son of Medad Sheldon, was born in Rutland July 24, 1813.  His father was born on the 16th of December, 1776, at Bernardston, Mass., and was the father of eleven children.  He was a blacksmith and farmer, and resided in Rutland from 1808 to 1825, where he was a respected citizen.  In 1825 he removed to St. Lawrence county, N.Y., and engaged in farming and manufacturing business, which he continued until his removal to Troy, N.Y.  His death occurred on the 27th of July, 1846, at the home of his son-in-law, George Reddington, of Waddington, N.Y., at which place he was buried.

The grandfather of Charles Sheldon was Amasa, the son of Captain Amasa, of the Revolutionary army, and Sarah (Bardwell) Sheldon, and married Sybil, daughter of John Holton, of Northfield, Mass., on the 25th of July, 1771; he died at Rockingham, Vt., in 1780.  John Hol-

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ton was a descendant in the third generation from Deacon William Holton, the English immigrant, who settled in Massachusetts in 1634, and who was afterward one of the first settlers in Hartford, Conn.

Charles Sheldon’s educational advantages were confined to study in the district school and only until he was twelve years of age.  The succeeding two years he spent on his father’s farm in Waddington, N.Y., after which he began work at the cabinet-making trade; but this he found uncongenial to his tastes and he gave it up and began a period of service in a country store.  At the age of sixteen he removed to Montreal and engaged in the steamboat business.  In two years he was master of a boat on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, a position which he held for six years, when he resigned at the age of twenty-four years.  In March, 1835, Mr. Sheldon went to Troy, N.Y., and there embarked in the lumber trade.  In 1841 he removed to New York city and followed the same business with a fair degree of success until April, 1850.  In that year he transferred his activities to another field.  Settling in Rutland, his birthplace, he engaged in the marble business of D. Morgan, jr., & Co., and was admitted to a partnership in the firm, whose title was accordingly change to Sheldon, Morgan & Co.  From the time of his advent to this business extensive improvements and additions were rapidly made, among which was the erection of a mill of eight gangs of saws.  The firm at that time employed only twenty-five men.  The business was temporarily suspended in 1851 and again in 1866 by the burning of the works; but in each instance the mills were promptly rebuilt and in greatly extended form.  On the occasion of the last first a mill of twenty-four gangs was erected and in operation within eight weeks after the conflagration.  In 1874 another twenty-four gang mill was erected.  Since that time new mils and shops have been repeatedly added, comprising all of the departments of marble sawing and finishing, until there are now six different buildings in use, all constructed of marble, and covering an area of more than 84,000 square feet.  The site of these works was a tamarack and cedar swamp when Mr. Sheldon entered the business; it is now a busy hive of industry.  One hundred and forty tenements have been erected for homes for the employees.  Three large quarries, all located at West Rutland, are owned by the firm, and the mills are operated by a double engine of 300 horse power, and one single of 125 horse power.  The quarrying machinery is mostly operated by a Rand air compressor.  The magnitude of this business has been yearly increased.

In the year 1857 Charles Sheldon purchased the interest of Mr. Morgan in the business and the firm was reorganized under the name of Sheldon & Slason.  In 1865 was purchased the share of Dr. Lorenzo Sheldon and then he associated his own sons, John A. and Charles H., with himself in partnership.  In 1881 Mr. Slason’s interest was purchased and William K. Sheldon, another son of Charles, entered the firm and the title was changed to Sheldon &. Sons, which it still bears.

In political affairs Mr. Sheldon was formerly an active participant.  While residing in Troy and New York he was an ardent and active Whig.  After coming to Rutland he declined further political participation and has persistently declined official political station of any kind.  His attention has been devoted to his large and growing business and for a long series of years he was seldom absent from his office.

Charles Sheldon was married on the 30th of June, 1838, to Janet, daughter of John and Janet (Somerville) Reid.  Mrs. Sheldon’s mother was born in Scotland; her patronymic is of high social and scientific distinction.  They have had seven children, six sons and one daughter.  All of the sons are living, four of them in business with their father, and two in business in New York city.  Mrs. Sheldon died in February, 1859.  Mr. Sheldon subsequently married Harriette, daughter of George Reddington, of St. Lawrence county, N.Y.

SHELDON, JOHN ALEXANDER, eldest son of Charles and Janet (Reid) Sheldon, was born in Troy, N.Y., August 14, 1839.  His education was received principally at the Sand Lake Academy, Sand Lake, N.Y., and at Williamstown, Mass.  Just before he reached fifteen years of age he left school and entered the store of Sheldons, Morgan & Slason.  He filled a minor station here for several years, and then accepted the position of book-keeper for the same firm.  He remained in this office until the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion.  The call of the government for volunteers, which drew from their homes so many of the sons of Vermont, stirred his sense of patriotism and he joined the First Regiment of Vermont Volunteers (three months men) as sergeant.  Returning home at the expiration of this term, he remained until the organization of the Tenth Regiment, in which he again went to the front as captain of Company C.  The record of this gallant regiment has been preserved in a historical volume and will be found in brief in this work.  Mr. Sheldon remained in the field through the remainder of the war, and on his return purchased an interest in the great marble business of his father, as described above.  As a member of this firm his excellent business qualifications, his untiring industry and his general popularity have enabled him to exert an influence for its

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prosperity second only to that of his father.  These qualifications have not gone unrecognized by his townsmen; he has filled the office of selectman three years; was trustee of Rutland village and one year president of the board.  In 1876 he was elected to represent the town in the Legislature of the State; in this year he also acted as senior aid-de-camp on Governor Fairbank’s staff.  He was for several years a trustee of the old Rutland Savings Bank and is now vice-president of the Merchants’ National Bank of Rutland.  Immediately succeeding the war he took up his residence in Rutland village, where he purchased his beautiful home in the spring of 1870.

Mr. Sheldon was married on the 20th of December, 1866, to Caroline A., daughter of Augustus M. Eastman, of Brooklyn, N.Y.  they have seven children, four sons and three daughters, as follows: Charles Alexander, born October 17, 1867; Augustus Eastman, born June 20, 1869; Mary Hatfield, born March 3, 1871; Francis Marion, born February 1, 1873; John Somerville, born February 4, 1875; Carolyn Pearl, born November 9, 1876; Archie McDaniels, born April 23, 1885.

By |2022-01-23T02:19:18-05:00January 23, 2022|Comments Off on History of Rutland County, Vermont

About the Author:

Dale has been studying genealogy heavily for over 30 years, since the age of 10. Although he does not seek professional clients, he has helped a family regain property lost during the Holocaust, and has assisted to obtain historical preservation status for a building in San Francisco. He is a co-admin of the ftDNA Sheldon DNA Project. He lives near Los Angeles and works in the travel industry.
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