John Penfield, the son of Peter Penfield and Mary Allen, was born on November 11, 1747 in Fairfield, CT. He married Eunice Ogden on November 1, 1770 in Fairfield, CT. He died on November 11, 1829 in Pittsford, VT.
The children of John and Eunice were:
John Penfield served as a sergeant in Captain Hubbell’s Company, 16th Regiment of the Continental army. He moved with his wife to New Fairfield in about 1778 and then to Pittsford, Vermont where, September 7, 1795, he bought a gristmill and a sawmill on the East Branch, now called Furnace Creek, from Ebenezer and Martin Hopkins; the two mills were originally built by Nehemiah Hopkins, Sr. in about 1785. These mills did more business than any others in the area. In April of 1796, John Penfield bought 2 shares in the Librarian Society of Pittsford, a society organized for the purpose of establishing a library in the town. In December of that year he opened a public house, or Inn, the sixth in Pittsford, which he operated until 1809. The Inn was finally taken over in 1811 by his son, Abel, who ran it till 1817. In 1812, when the Pittsford Manufacturing Company was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly, the corporate members included John Penfield, Sturges Penfield, Allen Penfield, (his sons) and Thomas Hammond, among others. Thomas Hammond was chosen as President with John Penfield, Clerk and Treasurer.
John Penfield served Pittsford as Proprietor’s Clerk for the period 1802 to 1817. He was also a selectman in 1799, 1800 and again in 1802
John PENFIELD, of Fairfield, Conn., after serving three years in the Revolutionary War, came to Pittsford in 1795 and bought of Ebenezer HOPKINS the grist-mill built by Nehemiah HOPKINS, which has been alluded to, and some land in the vicinity. In the following February he brought in his family and they lived in the house now owned by William B. SHAW. In the next December he opened a public house there, which he kept until 1811. He died in 1829. The PENFIELD family has been prominently associated with the history of the town. John, jr., son of John, came here in 1797, having previously learned the saddler’s trade. He opened a shop in what is now Meacham’s store; he left the town in 1803 and died in Whitehall in 1848. Sturges PENFIELD, another son of John, sr., came in with the family, having learned the hatter’s trade in Rutland. He married Laura GIDDINGS and died in 1866. His daughter, Eleanor B., is now the widow of the late H. F. LOTHROP. (See biographic sketch herein.) Mr. PENFIELD was a leading man in the community, a man of the strictest integrity and great energy. Allen PENFIELD, also a son of John, married a daughter of Thomas HAMMOND and took his father’s place in the tavern, and in the following year occupied the house built by his father and now owned by Asher BURDITT, where he lived until his death. He managed the hotel until 1828, when he sold it and removed to Crown Point, where he became conspicuous in the iron business. Abel PENFIELD, another son of John, came with the rest of the family in 1796; he learned the clothier’s trade with Eleazer Harwood and first located in Hartford, Vt., in company with Mr. Harwood, where they continued from 1812 to 1820; he then returned to Pittsford and occupied his father’s house (now the residence of Asher BURDITT) until 1828, when he h built the house in which he afterward resided. About the same time he purchased a third interest in the woolen factory, the grist-mill and ten acres of land, the other two-thirds being owned by his brothers, Allen and Sturges. In 1824 he sold his interest in all of this property except the grist-mill, which he rebuilt, and the same is now owned by Mr. BURDITT. He died in March, 1871. Charles L. PENFIELD, a respected citizen of the town, was a son of Abel. The place is now owned by the Rev. Mr. FOSTER.
History of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations and
Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers; Edited by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y. Chapter XXXV.
History Of The Town Of Pittsford
(pages 726-766) D. Mason & Co., Publishers 1886
American Revolutionary War information:
John Penfield served as a sergeant in Captain William G. Hubbell’s Company,16th Regiment of the Continental Army in Connecticut under Col. Nehemiah Beardsley
Service Source: BATES, ROLLS & LISTS OF CT MEN IN THE REV, VOL 8, P 199