Rutland Historical Society Editors Note: The following story appears courtesy the Rutland Historical Society. To learn more about Rutlands past, visit
. By supporting the Rutland Historical Society you can helps preserve Rutland history today and for future generations. The Township of Rutland, Vt., (todays City of Rutland) was chartered in 1761 by Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. The first name in the list of proprietors was that of John Murray of Rutland, Mass., who most probably gave Rutland it's name. During the Anerican Revolution, Murray was a Loyalist. During a raid on Murray's home, a Patriot soldier put his sword through the head in the portrait. The dark hole in the upper left of the head is the result. None of Rutlands first proprietors ever settled here. Rather they sold their rights to others such as James Mead who came to Rutland in 1769, built a house and returned with his family in 1770 to become the first permanent settler From 1770 to 1775 the Rutland settlers who had received their land grants from Wentworth were in almost constant conflict with New Yorkers who laid claim to the same territory. In 1775 the American Revolution brought this conflict to an uneasy truce as both faced the challenges of an outside enemy. In 1778 the Americans built Fort Ranger near Center Rutland Falls on property of James Mead. This became the Vermont Military Headquarters for the rest of the Revolution. From 1777 to 1791 Vermont was an independent Republic. From 1784 Rutland was the county seat of Rutland County. In 1792, shortly after statehood, Rutland built a new Courthouse which became the county court and the U.S. Federal District Court of Vermont. For the decade of the 1790s, Rutland alternated with Windsor to host the meetings of the state legislature. Rutland was religiously divided into an east and a west parish. The Reverend Samuel Williams was minister to the east and the brilliant and talented Reverend Lemuel Haynes, a mulatto, was minister to the west. Rutland became home to the Herald of Vermont, a short-lived newspaper published by Anthony Haswell. In 1793 James Lyon published the Farmers Library in Rutland. In December 1794 Judge Samuel Williams of Rutland bought the paper and established the Rutland Herald with the aforementioned Reverend Samuel Williams (no relation) as editor. The center of town in the 1790s was on the high plateau at the intersection of Main and West Streets where residents had the benefit of a water system which delivered running water from the hills of Mendon through hollowed wooden logs that served as water pipes.ecided to name an annual award after the Charlotte resident.