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The Soldiers' Home, Bennington


Soldiers' Home booklet


Redfield ProctorProctor, Vt.
Frederick BillingsWoodstock, Vt.
C. C. KinsmanRutland, Vt.
A. B. FranklinNewfane, Vt.
Hugh HenryChester, Vt.
P. P. PitkinMontpelier, Vt.
J. C. StearnsBradford, Vt.
Franklin FairbanksSt. Johnsbury, Vt.
Josiah GroutDerby, Vt.
Geo. T. ChildsSt. Albans, Vt.
H. K. IdeSt. Johnsbury, Vt.
William WellsBurlington, Vt
Julius J. EsteyBrattleboro, Vt.
A. B. ValentineBennington, Vt.
Warren GibbsSt. Albans, Vt.
Z. M. MansurIsland Pond, Vt.
Frank KenfieldMorristown, Vt.
A. S. TracyMiddlebury, Vt.


Redfield ProctorProctor
Hugh HenryChester
J. C. StearnsBradford
Josiah GroutDerby
Geo. T. ChildsSt. Albans
Z. M. MansurIsland Pond
Frank KenfieldMorristown
A. S. TracyMiddlebury
J. G. McCulloughNorth Bennington
U. A. WoodburyBurlington
L. D. HazenSt. Johnsbury
Cassius PeckBrookfield
N. P. BowmanSt. Johnsbury
J. Gray EsteyBrattleboro
Fred E. SmithMontpelier
H. E. TaylorBrattleboro
H. W. SpaffordRutland
E. J. OrmsbeeBrandon


President, Hugh HenryChester
Treasurer, J. C. StearnsBradford
Asst. Treas., T. HannonBennington
Secretary, H. W. SpaffordRutland
*Finance Committee
Hugh HenryL. D. Hazen
N. P. BowmanCassius Peck
Auditing Committee
H. W. SpaffordFrank Kenfield
H. E. Taylor
*Committee on Admission
Hugh HenryZ. M. Mansur

*Ozro Meacham, who died since last annual meeting, was a member of this Committee.

Articles of Incorporation

No. 180.--An Act to Incorporate the Trustees of the Soldiers' Home in Vermont

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Section 1. Redfield Proctor, Frederick Billings, C. C. Kinsman, A. B. Franklin, Hugh Henry, P. P. Pitkin, J. C. Stearns, Franklin Fairbanks, Josiah Grout, George T. Childs, H. K. Ide, William Wells, Julius J. Estey, A. B. Valentine, Warren Gibbs, Z. M. Mansur, Frank Kenfield, A. S. Tracy, their associates and successors, chosen as hereinafter provided, are hereby made a corporation by the name of "The Trustees of the Soldiers' Home in Vermont," and said Trustees shall, from time to time, as they may by their by-laws prescribe, elect such officers as they may judge necessary, and prescribe the terms and duties of such officers, and they shall fill by election all vacancies in said Board of Trustees, as they may occur; but the whole number of said Trustees shall never exceed eighteen, fifteen of whom shall be members of the voluntary association known as the Department of Vermont, Grand ARmy of the Republic, and, whenever any vacancy shall occur among said fifteen, the remaining Trustees shall select from the Department of Vermont, Grand Army of the Republic, a Trustee to fill such vacancy.

Section 2. Said Trustees may receive, hold, manage and convey such real and personal estate, not exceeding in all two hundred thousand dollars in value, as they may acquire by gift, grant, purchase or otherwise, for the purpose of maintaining in this State a Home for deserving soldiers and sailors, and such members of their families as said Trustees may deem proper, and under such conditions and regulations as said Trustees may from time to time prescribe. Said Trustees shall be subject to the duties and liabilities, and shall have the powers and privileges set forth in all general laws which now are or hereafter may be in force applicable to such Corporations, so far as they are not inconsistent with this act.

No. 228.--An Act Making Appropriation for the Trustees of the Soldiers' Home

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Section 1. The sum of ten thousand dollars is hereby appropriated for the use of the Trustees of the Soldiers' Home.

Section 2. The Auditor of Accounts is hereby directed to draw orders on the Treasurer of the state, payable to the order of such person as the Trustees of the Soldiers' Home shall appoint as Treasurer, not to exceed in the aggregate the sum of ten thousand dollars, whenever the President and Secretary of the Trustees of the Soldiers' Home shall certify in writing, to the Auditor of Accounts, that two-thirds of the Trustees of said Home have voted to ask for such part of the sum appropriated by section one of this act.

This act shall take effect from its passage.
Approved November 25, 1884.


1 -- Name

This institution shall be known as "The Soldiers' Home in Vermont."

2 -- Officers

The Board of Trustees shall elect from its own members, at its annual meeting, by ballot, a President and Secretary, who shall hold officer for one year, or until their successors are elected.

They shall also in the same manner elect a Treasurer, who shall hold office until a successor is elected.

They may also in the same manner at any regular or special meeting elect an Assistant Treasurer who shall hold office until a successor is elected, to receive, have charge of and hold all pension money for the members.

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board. In his absence, a President pro tem shall be chosen by vote. The Secretary shall keep a full and accurate record of the transactions at each and every meeting of the Board. In his absence a Secretary pro tem shall be chosen. The Treasurer shall have charge of all papers representing the property of the Home, and of all money received into the treasury, until otherwise directed by the Trustees. He shall give bonds in a sum to be named by the Trustees.

3 -- Standing Committees

There shall be a Committee on Admissions, to consist of three members, a Committee on Finance, to consist of five members, of whom the President of the Board shall be one, and an Auditing Committee, to consist of three members. These committees shall be chosen by ballot at the annual meeting, and shall server one year, or until their successors are chosen. Any vacancy or vacancies on any committee shall be filled by the Board by ballot.

The committee on admissions shall examine all applicants and report to the Board of Trustees at each stated meeting thereof the name and residence of each person admitted to the Home since the last stated meeting, by whom recommended, and any other particulars that may be desired, and all persons not approved of by said committee shall be discharged; the action of said committee shall be at all times subject to the approval of the Trustees.

To the Finance Committee shall belong the duty of providing the ways and means of carrying on the Home and they shall from time to time advise the Board of Trustees in regard to the number of beneficiaries to be support in the Home; and all contracts for construction repairs or supplies shall first be approved by the Finance Committee or by a member of the Finance Committee designated by the committee for that purpose. It shall be the duty of the FInance Committee to advise with and direct the Treasurer with regard to investment of funds.

The Auditing Committee shall consist of three members, and no member of the Finance Committee shall serve on this committed. One or more of said committee shall between the first and the fifteenth of each month, visit the Home and audit the bills incurred in the preceding month and endorse his or their approval on each bill presented, and when a bill is so approved it shall be forwarded to the Treasure to be by him paid by check; and no bills not so approved shall be paid by the Treasurer, except ordered by the vote of the Trustees. The Superintendent shall certify to the correctness of all bills for supplies and shall also keep on file at the Home copies of all bills forwarded to the Treasurer for payment. The Auditing committed shall also, in the month of July in each year, audit the accounts of the Treasurer and Finance Committees for the year ending on the 30th day of June next preceding. They shall also audit all accounts of the Trustees for incidental expenses.

No part of the invested funds of the Home shall be disposed of by the Treasurer without the written authorization of a majority of the Finance Committee, certified to by the Secretary under the seal of the corporation.

4 -- Terms of Admission

Until the Home is filled to the number to be therein supported, and thereafter whenever a vacancy exists, any soldier or sailor of the war of the Rebellion, who is sock or disabled by wounds or old age, and who is destitute of other means of support, and who has been honorably discharged from the military or naval service of the United States (preference being given to those soldiers and sailors who helped to fill the quota of Vermont, or who can claim birth or citizenship in Vermont), may be admitted to the Home upon the recommendation in writing of any member of the Board of Trustees, addressed to the Superintendent. all admissions to the Home (except those temporarily made by the Superintendent) shall be probationary.

5 -- Meetings of the Board

The annual meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be on the fourth Wednesday in July, said meeting to be held at the Home, unless otherwise determined by the President and Secretary. Special meetings may be held at such place as may be convenient, at the call of the President, or of any three members of the Board, a written or printed notice being served on every member at least three full days before the time at which the meeting is called, and no business shall be transacted at such meeting, except that specified in the call.

Members shall not vote by proxy, but seven members present shall constitute a quorum, provided that at any stated or special meeting, if at the expiration of one hour from the time named in the call seven members are not present, five members shall constitute a quorum.

6 -- Pay, Etc.

No member of the Board shall receive pay for services in connection with his duties as a member of the Board, excepting the Secretary, Treasurer and Finance Committee.

7 -- Superintendent and Matron

The Home shall be under the immediate charge of a Superintendent, assisted by a Matron. The Superintendent shall not be a member of the Board of Trustees. He shall be elected by a majority vote of the whole Board, by ballot, and continue in office until removed by a majority vote of the whole Board. The Superintendent shall be responsible for the proper management of the affairs of the Home. He shall have the immediate charge of the buildings and movable property of the Home, and of the members. He shall purchase all supplies under the general direction of the Finance Committee, and shall be responsible for the safety and good order of the property and its members.

The Superintendent shall prepare rules and regulations for the government of the Home, subject to the approval of a majority of the Board of Trustees.

8 -- Salaries and Wages

The Superintendent shall receive as salary __________ and living. The Matron shall receive __________ as salary, payable monthly, and living.

9 -- Duties

The Superintendent shall keep a descriptive list of all persons admitted to the Home, with date of admission and discharge. The cause of discharge shall be stated.

He shall keep such other records and make such reports as shall be demanded, and give detailed information at all times, when required, to the standing committees and to the Board of Trustees.

This list and record shall be open at all times for the inspection of any member of the Board of Trustees.

The Matron shall be appointed by the Superintendent, subject to the approval of the Trustees. She shall look after the culinary and household affairs, see that all table linen, bed furnishings and clothing are well cared for and the rooms kept in order, with careful observation of the directions of the surgeon in charge.

10 -- The Surgeon in Charge and Chaplain

Suitable provisions shall be made for medical attendance and service to the members, and also for religious instruction and public worship.

11 -- Records, Etc.

All record books, expense accounts and papers belonging to the general management of the Home, and all the business affairs of the Board (excepting only the books and papers entrusted to the Secretary and Treasurer) shall be kept at the Home; and all books, accounts and papers, without exception, shall be subject to the inspection of any member of the Board at the Home or at the office of the Secretary or Treasurer, at any time.

These by-laws shall not be altered, amended or repealed, except at a meeting of the Board, previous notice having been given in writing of such intention.


Resolved, 1. That the Assistant Treasurer of the Vermont Soldiers' Home may pay to each member that receives a pension the sum of two dollars per month out of his pension for his own use, so long as he makes proper use thereof, but whenever he shall make improper use thereof in the judgment of the President, Secretary, or Superintendent, they shall order such payment to cease. Also, the Assistant Treasurer may pay to the pensioner such part of his pension as, in his judgment, he requires when on furlough.

2. Any member who is receiving a pension from the Government, and who has a child, wife, or parent living, shall be entitled, by filing with the ASst. Treas., or other designated officer of the Home in whose custody pension money of its members may be placed, written direction to that effect, to have his pension, or any part of it, paid to such child, wife, or parent.

3. THe pensions of all who now are or shall hereafter become members of the Home shall be turned over by the pensioners to the Asst. Treas., or officer designated to act in such capacity, under such rules as may be adopted by the Home. This pension money shall not become a part of the funds of the Home, but shall be held in trust for the pensioners entitled thereto, except such as shall be assigned as aforesaid. The pension money so held in trust for any pensioner and not sooner paid to him shall be paid to him upon his discharge from the Home.

4. Under rules to be established by the Home, there shall be paid over to any member from time to time such part of his pension money as may be deemed best for his interest and consistent with the discipline and good order of the Home, but such pensioner shall not be entitled to demand or have the same so long as he remains a member of the Home.

5. In case of the death of a pensioner, any pension money due him, and remaining in the custody of the Home, shall be paid to his legal heirs, if demand is made within three years; otherwise, the same shall escheat to the Home.

6. No portion of the pension money held in trust for a pensioner shall be taken for the use of the Home, in payment of any charge against the pensioner, or on account of any fine or penalty, or for any purpose whatever.

The sale of intoxicating liquors in any form within the precincts of a State Home will be considered as precluding the apportionment thereto of any part of the aid appropriated under the proviso of the act above cited.


1. Application for admission shall be made on forms provided by the Home.

2. Must be a Vermont soldier or have gained a residence in the State, and hold an honorable discharge.

3. A soldier drawing a pension of more than $12.00 a month cannot be admitted unless his condition is such as to require medical treatment and be admitted to the hospital. Applicants under this rule will be examined by the Surgeon of the Home, and his finding in the case shall be final and conclusive as to whether he is or is not a proper subject for treatment at the hospital.

4. A soldier with any degree of insanity cannot be admitted. The Surgeon of the home, on request of the Superintendent, shall examine applicants, and his findings shall be final and conclusive as to the question of applicant's sanity or insanity.

5. A soldier having been a member of another Home cannot be admitted to this Home until the expiration of six months, without the approval of the President of the Board of Trustees.

6. A soldier who has property or means of support will not be admitted without the vote of the Board of Admission.

7. Soldiers who have been dishonorably discharged from any Home cannot be admitted except by vote of the Board of Admission. RULES AND REGULATIONS

1. The Superintendent shall have absolute authority in the matter of discipline, even to the discharging of any disorderly member.

2. Any soldier a member of the Home who shall become intoxicated or bring intoxicating liquors upon the premises for his own or others' use shall forfeit his rights and privileges to the Home.

3. The Trustees order that there be no smoking in our about the buildings of the Home, except in a room or place provided by the Superintendent for that purpose.

4. Proper respect must be shown the Superintendent and Matron by the attaches and members of the Home. All improper or obscene language or profanity is absolutely prohibited.


1. All members of the Home will at all times conduct themselves in a gentlemanly, soldierly and orderly manner, observing strict courtesy toward the officers and toward each other. Intoxication or disobedience of orders will bring upon any member summary discharge.

2. The use of intoxicating liquors on the grounds, or in the buildings, is strictly prohibited. Any member coming upon the grounds, or into the buildings, intoxicated, or bringing intoxicating liquors upon the grounds, or into the buildings, may be at once furloughed or discharged by the Superintendent, and from such furlough or discharge there shall be no appeal.

3. Cleanliness in person and dress, and in care of rooms, is required.

4. Profanity and vulgarity are strictly forbidden.

5. Water, sweepings, or refuse of any sort must not be thrown from the windows or doors, but must be put in places designed by the Superintendent.

6. Marking on the walls of the buildings, or defacing buildings, trees, fences, or grounds, will subject the offender to punishment.

7. No member, unless assigned to such duty, shall at any time interfere or meddle with the furnace, ranges, lights, sewers or water works of the Home.

8. Members shall at all times wear the uniform or dress established by the Home, when the same shall have been provided.

9. Members of the Home will not be allowed to work outside the grounds, excepting when on furlough or under the direction of the Superintendent of the Home.

10. Any member discharged for violation of these rules shall not be eligible for re-admission until six months from the date of his discharge have expired, without the approval of the President of the Board of Trustees.

By Order Board of Trustees,

Hugh Henry, President
H. W. Spafford, Secretary