The town was organized on the 2d of March, 1784, by the election of the following officers: Moderator, Jeremiah Bingham; town clerk, Joel Linsley; selectmen, Samuel Benton, Jeremiah Bingham, Eldad Andrus; treasurer, Hiland Hall; constable, Barzillai Stickney; listers, Nathan Foot, Roswell Post; highway surveyors, Eldad Andrus, Stephen Tambling, William Jones, Isaac Kellogg.
The early settlers of Cornwall were, almost without exception, men who were inclined by nature to pursuits purely agricultural. The fact of their settling in a town so fertile of soil and poor in water power and shipping facilities sufficiently attests that they hoped to gain a livelihood and more from the tilling of the ground.
The early settlers of Cornwall were, almost without exception, men who were inclined by nature to pursuits purely agricultural.
The scanty water power afforded by the sluggish Lemon Fair and the other “thunder shower” streams in town deterred manufacturers from attempting to build mills of much magnitude. A dam once constructed on land now owned by C. R. Witherell was soon abandoned. A saw-mill was also built at an early day on land formerly owned by Garrison W. Foot. About fifty rods below this mill David Pratt built and operated a grist-mill; Levi Sperry also ran it for a time. The only other mill ever built in town was on the brook near the residence of Asa Bond in 1860. Luther Tilden here built a saw-mill and operated also a carding-machine for a short time after 1816 or 1817. It frequently changed owners and was never a pronounced success.
History of the town of Cornwall, Vermont by Lyman Matthews. Published 1862
Cornwall Elementary School Community History Project: Seeing Cornwall’s Past Through It’s People
Access Geneology: Town of Cornwall (excerpts from the Matthews history)
Books available in the Middlebury College Library
Notable people (from Wikipedia):
- Solomon Foot, lawyer, US congressman and senator
- Abram W. Foote, 51st lieutenant governor of Vermont
- Joel H. Linsley, Congregational minister and first president of Marietta College
- Enoch Cobb Wines, Congregational minister and penologist