The Stoddard boys

Lyle C. Stoddard lived in the stone village one house north of Chris Curran. Here he bred registered Jerseys and peddled milk from his dairy. Flamstead Mountain in those days was mostly open pasture.

Cover of auction catalog Aug. 2, 1941. Photo provided
Cover of auction catalog Aug. 2, 1941. Photo provided

The photo with this article is the auction catalog for the dispersal of Stoddard’s herd. The auction was held Aug. 2, 1941. There were 22 registered Jerseys sold this day. The catalog names each animal. Of the 22 sold there was one bull. His name was Pride of Flamstead Owl. He sold for $60.

Each animal’s registration details are included in the catalog. The original owner of this catalog wrote in pencil what some of the animals sold for. The most expensive was $240, but most were $60 to $80.

Then, as today, an auction of any kind must be started by a licensed Vermont auctioneer. E.M. Granger of Thompsonville, Conn., was the auctioneer but he wasn’t licensed in Vermont. Ted Spaulding’s father, Ed, was a licensed auctioneer in Vermont so he opened the auction. After Ed opened the sale, Granger took over.

The Spaulding family was living on North Street at the time. Ted was 7 and remembers walking up to the auction. Ted’s father, Ed, had the auction of household goods for Lyle at a later date.

Ted went to school in the stone schoolhouse in 1943. One day, during their noon hour, Ted and some other kids hiked up Flamstead. From this elevation Ted could see both North Street and South Street. Ted says the streets are almost parallel. Today, South Street has been renamed Main Street


The Jersey breed originated on the Island of Jersey, a small British island in the English Channel off the coast of France. The Jersey is one of the oldest dairy breeds, having been reported by authorities as being purebred for nearly six centuries.

The breed was known in England as early as 1771 and was regarded very favorably because of its milk and butterfat production. At that early date, the cattle of Jersey Island were commonly referred to as Alderney cattle although the cattle of this island were later referred to only as Jerseys. Jersey cattle were brought to the United States in the 1850s.

Lyle C. Stoddard had three brothers. Peter Farrar provided this genealogy. Lyle Clinton was born Grand Isle, Vt. in 1889. He died in Maryland in 1952.

Romaine Jr. was born Jericho, Vt. He married Mildred Wheelock of Grafton. Ted Spaulding tells me Romaine lived on North Street across from about where Frank Bidwell lives today.

Harold was born 1894 in Grand Isle, Vt. Harold ran a garage at the former location of the Chester Family Center near Yosemite Engine Hall. He lived in the house where Dave Walker lives today.

Price Ambrose was born 1884 in Great Bend, N.Y. He died in Chester in 1956. He was married twice. His first wife was Florence Lucia Thompson. His second wife was Ina Latva. A bit is known about Price from newspaper clippings Peter has. Price lived at the corner of Potash Brook Road and Andover Road. I like this guy!

The cow lane up Flamstead. Photo provided by Chester Historical Society
The cow lane up Flamstead. Photo provided by Chester Historical Society

Springfield Reporter July 25, 1929, Link Deputy With Illicit Still

“Price Stoddard Charged with Possession of apparatus; Edward Day with Manufacture

  “Price Stoddard, a Windsor county deputy sheriff, who lives in Chester near the Andover line, was placed under arrest late Saturday by Sheriff Ernest Schoenfield, charged with possessing a still for the manufacture of intoxicating liquor.

  “Discovery of the still was made as the result of disclosure which brought Sheriff Schoenfield, Deputy Fred Leland and U.S. Marshall A.W. Harvey of Chester and State’s Attorney Lawrence F. Edgerton to the scene…”

  Springfield Reporter August 15, 1929, Stoddard And Day Plead Not Guilty

  “Deputy Sheriff and alleged accomplice released under $1000 bail…”

  Instead of an old saying, I want to tell a Jack Bittner story. Jack was an auctioneer in Putney before moving to Chester. Jack possessed a dry wit he used to his advantage. I was at his Putney auction, about 35 years ago, when Jack told this story.

  When Jack sensed the crowd wasn’t paying attention, he would stop selling and say something to get the crowd’s attention. This day, Jack stopped to tell this story. Rachel was his wife.

  Jack in his nasally accent, “I told Rachel last night I was worried about the auction not doing well today. To which Rachel replied, ‘Don’t worry about it, Jack. You worried about losing your hair and that came out alright.’”

  You had to pay attention or you’d miss his humor.

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