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HISTORY OF ORANGE • SESQUICENTENNIAL 1822-1972
Tuesday, May 28, 1822, was a day of great rejoicing for the townspeople in the newly incorporated Town of Orange. Originalyl composed of the parish of North Milford in Milford and the parish of West Haven in New Haven, the new town was named Orange to commemorate the benefits Connecticut received from William, Prince of Orange, particularly in restoring the colony's charter privileges following the tyranny of Sir Edmund Andrus.
A handwritten notation in Edward R. Lambert's "History of the Colony of New Haven," published in 1838 and owned by Doris Russell Tirrell, sets fort this statement: "Eunice Hemingway Lambert, wife of Benj. Lott Lambert (1st) named the Town of Orange, 'Because William of Orange was so kind to us during the persecution of Sir Edmund Andrus.'
Indirectly she named the Orange in New Jersey, according to Prof. Paddock, who said that one Prudden rose and suggested "the name given by Eunice H. Lambert." From this account, women in 1822 were making themselves heard and helping to write the history of the country.
Thirteen days after the memorable event of Orange's incorporation, the first Town Meeting took place. It was Monday, June 10, when the townspeople gathered in the North Milford Meeting House to select the new Town Fathers.
Charles H. Pond, Esq., high sheriff for the County of New Haven, presided as moderator at the first meeting. Those selected to guide the first steps of the fledgling town were Benjamin L. Lambert, town clerk, and four selectmen: John Bryan, Jr., Ichabod A. Woodruff, Aaron Thomas, Jr. and Lyman Law. Nathan Clark was selected as treasurer.
Tythingmen were Garry Treat, Aaron Clark, Jr., Simeon Smith, Bradford Smith, Lyman Prindle and Samuel L. Pardee.
Constables were Nathan Merwin, Lyman Prindle, Garry Treat and James Reynolds.
Grand jurors were Nathan Clark, Jonathan Judd, John Hubbard and Nehemiah Kimberly.
Jesse Hodge and Flemon Smith served as sealers of weights and measures while pound keepers were Nathan Platt, Nathan Clark and James Reynolds.
Fence viewers selected were Benjamin Clark, Jesse Allen, Jonas F. Merwin, Robert Treat, Jr., Eliakim Kimberly and Aaron Thomas, Jr.
As fences were an important part of the early town, it was necessary for the fence viewers to make sure that their fellow townspeople kept their fences in good condition. Upon receipt of any complaint, the fence viewers notified the owner to repair his fence and if he failed to take care of the matter, the fence viewers had the repairs made and sent the bill to the owner.
Selectmen also had a special job in those days. By State law they were required to walk the town boundary to be sure the town markers were in place. This law is still in existence but not observed today.
From this listing it is obvious that many of the Town Fathers wore several hats so that the business of the town could be handled adequately. It was not until the second Town Meeting on October 7, 1822, however, that the Board of Assessors was chosen. At that time, Thomas Painter, Esq., of West Haven was chosen Moderator.