In 1774 Reuben Wellman built a home on 3 acres of land in the town’s northeast quarter that had been previously been cleared by Michael Woodcock. Mr. Woodcock had arrived from Stoughtonham, Massachusetts in about 1772 and then removed to Chesterfield two years later.
It was not long before Reuben and his wife, Mary Grovier, became active in the affairs of the town leading up to the American Revolution. In April of 1775 he signed the “Association Test”.*
“WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American COLONIES.”
Later, in September of 1776, he was chosen as a member of the “Committee of Safety, Inspection, and Correspondence”. In December he enlisted in Captain Francis Town’s Company of Colonel David Gilman’s Regiment to reinforce the Continental Army in New York. He served from December 3, 1776 to March 12, 1777.
He returned home to Packersfield (Nelson) and continued to improve upon his land. Almost a decade later he and Mary moved to Jamaica, Vermont and sold the land to his son John Wellman of Jamaica, Vermont in 1782. Reuben died in 1798 and is buried on the Old Wellman Farm in Jamaica, Windham County, Vermont.
* NOTE: The Committee of Safety in New Hampshire passed a resolution on 12 April, 1776, requiring the selectmen of each town to gather signatures from all males above 21 years of age, excepting “Lunaticks, Idiots and Negroes”, and to report to the Committee or the General Assembly all those who refused to sign. Those opposing this ASSOCIATION TEST were not necessarily pro-British, but included ministers and Quakers whose religious beliefs were anti-war.
John Wellman sold the land and property to Joseph Reed two years later. Joseph subsequently sold to Solomon Crosby in 1792. He was here as late as 1801 and is, probably, the last resident.