George Buell was born in Killingworth, Conn., third of the nine children of Jonathan Buell (1745-1823) and Hannah Bailey Buell (1756-1813). Jonathan brought his family to the Royal Grant in 1794, settling on the table land known as the Platform, west of Fairfield village, toward the area later called Middleville. The Buells purchased land for a home only to find the title worthless. When they found the real owner of the property, they purchased it again in 1806, a financial hardship for the young family.
George learned to be an expert carpenter and builder and was helped by his brother Luther after 1808. According to George Johnson, a son-in-law of George Buell, "There were no machine made nails at the time. The nails they did have were all forged by a blacksmith on the anvil under his hammer and cut off without heads, and could be bought in that form by the one hundred pounds...They could be headed and straightened and the points fixed up a little if necessary. They bought their nails in this way, without heads, and did their own heading in Winter time or any other odd spells."
During the War of 1812, Corporal George Buell was at Sacket's Harbor in Captain Asa Chatfield's company of infantry.
George Buell married Anna Skinner in 1811 and they had seven children. Anna died in 1832 and George married Belare Andrews (1797-1877) in 1833, one child resulting from this marriage. The George Buell family purchased a farm on the Platform.
George Buell was a noted church builder in the communities of the West Canada Valley vicinity. It is known that he built the Russia Union Church in 1820, the Middleville Union Church in 1827, the Norway Baptist Church in 1831, and the Fairfield Methodist Church in 1837.
The contract to build the Russia Union Church was made on December 21, 1818. Joseph Stevens, George Buell, and Benjamin Wait of Fairfield were the contractors. Work was begun in the spring of 1819 and the dedication was held in June 1820.
It is possible that Buell was involved with the building of the Fairfield Presbyterian in 1828, which was dedicated in 1829. The Presbyterian Church was similar in design to the Fairfield Methodist Church. Some of these churches are thought to have had pointed steeples when first built which later blew over and were not replaced.
After 40 or 50 years of carpentry and farming, George Buell purchased the Stevens place to the west of his farm and retired there. George Shedar Buell, his second son, managed the farm and later son Truman took his place. "Although quite active and in health for one of his age, Mr. Buell had become very nearly blind, about 1858, and sold his farm and retired to a home in Middleville, not far from the church, to which he could go with others, a privilege he enjoyed many years, a much esteemed and respected citizen to 1871, and at 90 years of age he passed over to the other side," to quote again from George Johnson.
The first child of George and Anna Buell was Truman Bailey Buell (1812-1889). Truman married Eliza Vienna Boss (1818-1891), daughter of John and Elizabeth Stanton Boss of Middleville. Their eldest child, Ellen Victoria (1838-1923) married Samuel C. Wilson and lived on the Barto Hill farm. Truman was a builder and dairy farmer. In 1868 he moved to what is now the Town Barn Road in Fairfield village and took an active part in community life, serving as justice of the peace, assessor, and town clerk at various times.
* Information from Ruth Buell (1904-1987), grandaughter of Truman Buell. Also from Bessie Williams Glover, wife of Ralph Wilson Glover (1906-1969), great-grandson of Truman Buell. Other sources were George L. Johnson's "Pioneer Times on the Royal Grant" and Russia Union Church - 110th Anmniversary 1820-1930.
By: Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian
Copyright © 1999
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