Israel Curtis

Israel was baptized in August, 1734 at Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut. He was a blacksmith by trade. On March 10, 1756, he married Elizabeth Andrews at Simsbury, Connecticut. Elizabeth, probably the daughter of John & Hannah (Merriman) Andrews, was born August 30, 1736 at Wallingford.

Israel and Elizabeth lived in Cornish, New Hampshire in 1768, Hanover, New Hampshire and Norwich, Vermont. Finally they settled in Windsor, Vermont where Israel was one of the first five male settlers of the town.

Israel became a resident of Windsor between 1765 and 1766. During 1765 and 1766 and before the meeting of 1767, more settlers had arrived in town: Zedekiah, Nathan, David and Samuel Stone, Joab Hoisington, Enos Stevens, Thomas Cooper and the above mentioned Israel Curtis. The minutes from the meeting August 24, 1763 read: "Voted and Granted Israel Curtis fifty acres of land adjoining to the mill brook so called in the Township of Windsor...," and that he "...Shall give bond (to the Committee appointed to see that Mills are built) of one hundred pounds Sterling Money of Great Britain to build a Saw mill in Said Town of Windsor by the first day of August one Thousand Seven hundred and Sixty four, and to build a Grist Mill as soon as there Shall be twenty inhabitants that Shall raise one acre of grain apiece in Said Town, and that the Said Curtis Shall have the privilege of the Said Mill Stream so called."

A man who knew how to build and operate a mill was essential for a growing town and the arrival of Israel Curtis was a tremendous boon to the struggling settlers of Windsor. The pioneers needed lumber for their building and flour for their bread. Israel Curtis was the man to supply these needs. His huge wooden mill wheel would harness power to turn the forest giants into sound frame houses. These solid homes would attract more venturesome frontiersmen, their wives and families, to the Windsor hills.

The first recorded meeting of the proprietors held in Windsor was warned for November 3, 1767, at the home of Thomas Cooper. Israel Curtis was chosen Moderator at this meeting. The minister's lots were established and Israel Curtis was granted more land along the river and Mill brook. A new parchment plan of the first division of house lots and meadow lots had been mapped and there was a redrawing in the names of the original proprietors. "Ensign Benjamin Wait, Israel Curtis Esq. and Col. Nathan Stone" were chosen to "Lay out Roads for the benefit of the Town." War and local problems continued.

Israel Curtis, builder of Windsor's first mills and now residing in Hanover, organized a company of soldiers to fight with Montgomery in Quebec. Commissioned a major by the Continental Congress, he died in Quebec on May 19, 1776, of battle wounds received in that ill-fated expedition.

Elizabeth married secondly Steel Smith. Steel was born September 20, 1729 and died in 1812 at Windsor. Prior to his marriage to Elizabeth, he had first been married to Lois (____). Steel Smith and Israel Curtis were friends. Steel bought his land from Israel Curtis. The deed was signed by Israel at Farmington, January 23rd, 1765, and recorded in the Windsor Land Records, Vol. 3, pages 68-69 on November 4, 1789. The purchase price was 100 pounds, the pound being worth $50. Israel had bought up numerous rights issued to proprietors who had defaulted or wished to sell out. The land sold to Smith was a part of fourteen rights sold to Curtis for 200 pounds. In spite of some disagreement over the names of the first permanent settlers of Windsor, Steel Smith is generally regarded as entitled to that honor. His farm was located one-half mile north of the village. He became the owner of many acres of land, kept a Public House, was Treasurer of the Town and an Army contractor in the American Revolution.

Elizabeth died in Windsor on April 19, 1825. Steel Smith's death date is unknown.

I'd be happy to exchange family information.
Please send e-mail to Sam Behling.

See lineage of Curtis Family

Read the Biography of Israel's GGG grandfather, John Curtis

Read the Biography of Israel's great, great grandfather, John Curtis

Read the Biography of Israel's great grandfather, Thomas Curtis

Read the Biography of Israel's grandfather, Joseph Curtis

Read the Biography of Israel's father Peter Curtis

Read the Biography of Israel's son Zabad Curtis

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