WESTON, SIDNEY H., was born in Chesterfield, Essex county, N. Y., on the 16th day of December, 1824. The origin
of the Weston family in America dates back to the time of the coming of the Mayflower, which brought over three
Weston brothers from England. James Weston, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, bore a conspicuous and
honorable part in the Revolutionary War, and was a commissioned officer. He was an early settler in the town of
Peru, Clinton county, N. Y., where he died on the 18th day of May, 1840. His wife, Sally Witherell, from Braintree,
died the day following and was buried in the same grave with her husband. They were the parents of eleven children,
six boys and five girls, of whom Harvey, the next to theyoungest, and the father of Sidney H. Weston, was born
on the loth day of June, 1798, in Peru. He adopted the vocation of a farmer and lumberman, and went to Chesterfield,
N. Y., to live. He died on the 20th of February, 1857. His first wife was a daughter of George Mace, of Peru. By
her he had four children, one of whom died in infancy, and the other three, Fidelia, wife of L. D. Gay, of Chesterfield,
N. Y., Sidney H. and Blanchard, in Chesterfield, N. Y., are living.
Mr. Weston received a good common school education in Chesterfield and afterward attended for some time the academy
at Underhill, during the principalship of Professor J. S. Cilley. Just previous to this, however, he earned the
means of attendance upon the academy by making charcoal for the iron company at Vergennes, Vt. That period of his
minority which intervened between April and December, before his twenty first birthday, he bought of his father
and paid for the time out of the proceeds of his labor. After his term of schooling at Underhill had expired he
purchased 100 acres of timber land in Peru, N. Y., from a portion of which he manufactured charcoal, disposing
of a part of his products to the Peru Iron Company and part to an iron manufacturer named Cook, of Ferona, N. Y.
The rest of the timber he had made into lumber, which was sold at Clintonville and Keeseville, N. Y. After working
there two years he sold the farm and in April, 1848, removed to Butler's Corners, in Essex, Vt., where he purchased
a small farm. Here he remained, devoting his energy and time to agriculture, until 1856, by which time he had added
135 acres to his original purchase in Essex, when he removed to Winooski. This flourishing village was at that
time not more than half its present size, but promised to become what it has, by reason of the passage through
the place of the new railroad. Mr. Weston opened a hotel on the site of the present postoffice, and conducted also
a good business in a livery stable and meat market. After an experience of three years in the hotel he sold out
and removed to his present farm, which he had previously purchased and the buildings on which he had just completed.
He continued his interest in the meat market, however, to the present time without interruption except about a
year following 1858, when he sold out and remained out that length of time. The home farm which Mr. Weston occupies
contains about 160 acres of good farming land, but it is only a small part of his vast possessions. He is the owner
of not less than 7,000 acres of land in all, 3,000 of which are in Vermont and the remaining 4,000 in the State
of New York. That in New York is mostly timbered land lying in the towns of Peru, Keene and Wilmington. The timber
he cuts for sale and for his own use in the manufacture of lime, in which he is extensively engaged at the High
Bridge over Winooski River. He has been interested in this business since 1864, and now owns two kilns, one in
South Burlington and one on the Colchester side of the river. He first bought a one half interest in the Burlington
Lime Company, of which John McGregor and Mr. Jackson were principal owners. Soon afterward Mr. Weston purchased
a one half interest in the Winooski Lime Works, originated by Penniman & Catlin and afterward carried on by
Penniman & Noyes, and within a few years became sole owner of both properties.
In connection with his farming Mr. Weston engages largely in the raising of fine cattle, sheep and horses - Holstein,
Guernsey and short horn cattle and Spanish Merino sheep being with him a specialty. He usually winters about one
hundred and thirty five head of cattle, one hundred sheep and twenty five horses and colts. Other property in Winooski
to which he has title is the northwest corner of Main and Allen streets and the entire block below his store, which
he rents for tenant houses, stores, etc.
It requires more than ordinary energy and sagacity, industry and economy, to acquire possessions as large and valuable
as those just related; but Mr. Weston has added one industry to another, and with a spirit like that of Alexander
of old, seeking for new worlds to conquer, has never rested from his labors. About 1868 he purchased $15,000 worth
of stock in the Winooski Lumber Company. Since then he has added $3,000 more in stock, and is now the president
of the company. The company owns about 1,800 acres in timbered land. Mr. Weston also owns a sixth interest in the
enterprising clapboard company of W. R. Elliott & Co., of North Duxbury, Vt., which turns out about 1,000,000
feet of clapboards and a large quantity of dimension lumber every year, taking its timber from a tract of 2,000
acres. In company with his son, Warren F. Weston, he has extensive iron works, a forge and coal kilns, and a store
in Wilmington, N. Y., and at Keene, N. Y., owns another store, ore mines, a separator, a six fired forge and eighteen
coal kilns. They also own a large hotel at Keene village, and another summer hotel at Cascade Lake, about six miles
from Keene on the way to Saranac Lake, the house being situated between two lakes, one of which, by a freak of
nature known as a mountain slide, has been elevated nine feet higher than the other. In this slide, moreover, is
an extensive iron mine, said to be about the first ever worked in the State of New York, which is included in the
possessions of Sidney H. Weston and son.
Besides his home farm in Winooski Mr. Weston owns a tract of about a thousand acres just across the river, and
extending about three miles east to the Lamoille bridge, which is really a consolidation of five farms, partly
timbered and partly prepared for cultivation. He is a large stockholder in the Vermont and Rio Grande Cattle Company,
which owns a ranch controlling 100,000 acres about twenty miles from San Marcial, New Mexico, and covering six
miles of river front on the Rio Grand. This company is under the management of G. G. F. Tobey, superintendent of
the cattle ranch and manager. Thus it will be seen without further statement that the range of Mr. Weston's abilities
cannot be confined to one enterprise, or to undertakings of a similar character. It is impossible for him to rest
idle upon one farm or in one business; but with all the various industries with which he is connected he is thoroughly
conversant, and with a prudence and sagacity seldom equaled keeps a familiar understanding with all departments.
He is now, and for about six years has been, president of the Winooski Savings Bank.
Mr. Weston's political principles are Republican. Although he represented Colchester in the Legislature in 1865
and z866, he has usually kept aloof from office seeking, his time and interests being absorbed in the management
of his private affairs. He always keeps abreast of the times, however, in his knowledge of current events.
He is a life long member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is now one of the stewards and trustees of the church
at Winooski, and is the superintendent of the Sabbath school. In these days of blatant infidelity, when men of
property are too apt to drift from the pious teachings of childhood, and when opposition to Christianity is necessarily
an encouragement to anarchism and all iconoclastic organizations, it is refreshing to feel that the church is still
powerful in her possession of men of brain and energy, who are not made stiff necked and rebellious by success.
On the 14th day of December, 1847, Sidney H. Weston married Philinda, daughter of Warren Ford, of Essex, Vt. Mrs.
Weston was born on the 5th of September, 1824, in Essex. The union has been blessed by the birth of six children,
one of whom died young. Their names in the order of birth are as follows:
Warren F., the eldest living, born February 14, 1849, at Essex, who is living in Keene, N. Y., and who has represented
his district two successive years in the New York Assembly; Matilda M., born April 15, 1851, wife of G. G. F. Tobey,
of Winooski; Herevy S., born March 12, z857, at Winooski, where he now resides; a daughter, born July 31, 1859,
who died in infancy; Ina M., born November 5, 1860, wife of George B. Catlin, of Winooski; Clarence G., born October
26, 1863, and now living with his parents.
History of Chittenden County, Vermont
Edited by: W. S. Rann
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, New York. 1886
Chittenden County, VT
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