Philip Proctor b 3 June 1785

Phillip Proctor was born 3 June 1785 in Groton, MA, son of Philip Proctor and Hannah Locke.  The family moved to Sullivan NH.  On 23 September 1809, Philip married Dorcas Dimmick, daughter of Timothy Dimmick and Sarah Beals.  Philip and Dorcas has eight children.  The first six were born in Sullivan, the last two in Rutland, VT. Albert was born in 1809, and his family moved west.  Daphne was born in 1811, she married and stayed in Rutland.  Edson was born in 1813, and died in 1829.  Sarah was born in 1814, went to Lowell MA to work in the mills, and killed herself by jumping from a window, in 1842.  She and Edson are buried in West Rutland.  Eunice was born in 1817 but only lived one day.  The next daughter was named Eunice, and she married and had a family.  Lorette was the first child born in Rutland, in 1824.  She married and moved west to Illinois.  Williard was born in 1827 and also went west.

In 1810, Philip Proctor was the hog reeve for Sullivan, meaning he dealt with hogs running at large. 

In 1831, Philip Proctor sold a farm for $2000 to the town of Rutland.  This became the poor farm, at the end of Durgy Hill Road in West Rutland.  It is on a hilltop overlooking the valley towards Rutland, and also into New York to the west.  None of the buildings remain, although people who live on the property now say that outlines of the old buildings are visible when the grass is short.

Apparently to replace that property, in 1831, Philip Proctor bought a farm from Ethiel Cushman, in Rutland.  Philip was counted in the 1840 federal census in Rutland. In 1845 Philip sold property to his wife.  I’m not sure of the purpose of this transaction.  Perhaps he was preparing to go west, and wanted his wife to have a clear title to their land.  The papers say that he “personally appeared” so if that document is correct, Philip was still alive in 1845.  This is the last formal record of Philip. 

During these years, groups of Vermonters moved to Illinois, and it is possible that Philip was part of the group that went west ahead of others, and/or returned to recruit pioneers to move west.  The influence of the Vermonters can be seen on the maps of Illinois, as they named the new towns after their home towns in Vermont, such as Bennington and Rutland.

I have not yet located Philip in the 1850 census.  His wife was living with her son Willard in Rutland.  That census does not indicate marital status, so I do not know if Dorcas was a widow at that time. 

A genealogy/history book called Book of Lockes, published 1853, says Proctor went to Illinois, “where he lives.”  Possibly he was still alive in 1853.  Another book said he moved from Sullivan to Rutland to Illinois, where he died (I don’t have that publish date).  I have not yet located a death record for him.

Dorcas lived with Willard in 1860 in New Rutland, IL.  She died in 1865 in Rutland, IL.  I “discovered” her date and place of death when her headstone was posted on Find-A-Grave.  The stone says “wife of Philip Proctor” but there is not a marker for Philip.  Hers appears to have been broken and repaired.  Possibly his did not survive at all.

In a book called Illinois Historical Survey – Record of Ford County, Illinois, containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens published in 1892, I found a biography for Philip’s son Willard:  CAPT. WILLARD PROCTOR, an honored veteran of the late war, now residing in the village of Proctor, is a native of the Green Mountain State. The family is of English descent and the ancestry can be traced back to 1461. He was born in Rutland County on the 5th of March, 1827, and is a son of Philip and Dorcas (Dimmick) Proctor. The former was born in the vicinity of Boston, Mass., and the latter in Connecticut. They were married in Sullivan, N. H., in September, 1809, and reared a family of eight children, of whom Willard is the youngest. By occupation, Mr. Proctor was a farmer, and followed that business throughout his entire life. He and his wife were members of the Baptist Church, and were highly respected people. Their remains were laid to rest in the cemetery near their old home.

Since the opening sentence says Willard “is now residing”, he’s apparently alive at the time the book was written (he died in 1902) so the “remains laid to rest” would be Philip and Dorcas.   To this point, this book is the best clue to the location of Philip Proctor’s death.


1 Comment

  1. Sue said,

    June 4, 2011 at 10:56

    Susan: GREAT write-up! Covered every single base.

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