Early Development of Williamstown

But we must now notice briefly some of the material improvements of the county. In 1822 there were twenty-five acres of land condemned by Mr. Arnold for the town of Williamstown, which was surveyed and laid off in one fourth acre lots, and Wm. Arnold, William Littell, Wesley Williams, James Collins, Samuel Williams, Thomas Watson, and Absalom Skirvin were appointed the firs Trustees of the town.

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In 1827 the jail was removed to the place where it now stands, and put up in a manner similar to the first one, only the walls were double, and the space of six or eight inches between the logs was filled with broken stone. Several small wooden houses had now been erected in different parts of the town. The merchant had come, and a new era was to dawn upon the people of old-fashioned ideas and pioneer notions.

This great man-the merchant-had a very limited supply at first, only dry goods, coarse cotton and calico, arranged on puncheon shelves, supported by wooden pins driven in auger holes that were bored in the wall, and a jug or two of that same Old Bourbon could be hid away under the puncheon floor, or just outside the door in the bushes, until a customer would indicate that he wanted a pint or so for family use.

Better taste was now displayed by the people in their dress. The hunting-shirt was gradually laid aside; coarse shoes took the place of moccasins, and tow-linen breeches and the dresses of the ladies, made of home manufactured material, were displaced by fabrics of a more costly character. People began to settle here who had been trained by different manners and accustomed to different scenes, and they infused into the pioneers a spirit of improvement.

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