vermont historical society link HISTORY PROJECT LINK INFORMATION LINK

orleans PROJECt
William Jarvis and Merino Sheep
Timothy Hinman
the Valley House and the railroad
A Day in a Life of a Student at Brownington Academy
Alexander Twilight

TimotHy Hinman & the Hinman Settler Road

For our Community History project we chose to study Timothy Hinman. Timothy Hinman was the man who built the Hinman Settler Road in the late 1700's. His road played a big part in the colonization of much of northern Vermont. It was also used in the Civil War by traders bringing supplies to men fighting in the war. Other than building the road, Hinman was a teacher, farmer, and a shop keeper. He had a wife and eleven children. He really was a great man.

To find information on Hinman we had to go everywhere. We visited web sites and found little information. There was one site, however, that we did find quite a lot of information on. That was the History Channel web site. We got most of our information from books and articles. But the rest of the project went quite smoothly.

We decided to take the information that we had collected and place it on a poster board for our presentation. We have maps on one end of the board and information about the road on the other side. Then, in the middle, we have lots of things. On one side is a large picture of Timothy Hinman. Underneath a map of the older Hinman Road is a big poster with Hinman's family tree. Around the tree are pictures of Hinman's wife, Phebe Stoddard, and a desk that he used to work at. Underneath that is a time line depicting all of the major events in his lifetime. On the desk next to the poster board is an ibook computer where we will show a reenactment of his funeral and more pictures. We also have some newspaper articles about Hinman.

This project is related to rights and responsibilities because by building the road, Hinman gave many people the right to move to Vermont. Also, building the road itself was a huge responsibility. To us, studying Timothy Hinman was a big deal because if Hinman hadn't built the road, none of us would be living here today.

Project done by: David N., Megan P., Mika G., Melissa P., and Jessica G.


  • Timothy Hinman was the first permanent settler in Derby.
  • Timothy was born in Woodbury, Connecticut. Woodbury is currently named Southbury.
  • His parents were so religious they baptized him the day he was born.
  • Timothy's ancestor, Edward Hinman, guarded King Charles 1 of England.
  • Timothy married his wife Phebe Stoddard on December 10, 1786.
  • Timothy's wife Phebe died in 1858, eight years after her husband did.

Hinman The Road Builder

Timothy Hinman was born in on July 21, 1762 in Woodbury, Connecticut. He was born on the 21st of July. He had six brothers and sisters, and he was the fourth child of Adam Hinman and Sarah Porter. He didn't have a lot of education.

Timothy Hinman joined the army in 1776 when he was 14 years old. In 1778, he participated in the Battle of Monmouth. Before that, in 1777, he spent his winter with Washington's troops at Valley Forge. After that, he had a year or so more in the army.

Then, on December 10, 1786, Hinman married Phebe Stoddard, whose father was a Revolutionary War soldier. In 1786, he became a teacher in Woodbury, Connecticut. He didn't stop teaching until 1789, when he became a surveyor. He was a surveyor for three years and then started making the Hinman Settler Road in 1791. The road only took 2-3 years to build, when the road was finished it was 146 miles long.

The road extends throughout Vermont and reaches towns from Brownington to Greensboro. The road helped the US army to trade with Canada and helped Canada's troops during the war.

Timothy Hinman had a very exciting life. After Hinman built the road, he had eleven children. Two of the eleven were the first settlers in Derby, besides the Indians. The two children's names were Laura and Albert; they were also Hinman's oldest children. After he finished the road and moved to Derby, he became the state legislator. He only did this for two years.

Eventually, he became Chief Judge of the Orleans County Court as the shop keeper. This was his longest job, but it was not as hard as building the Hinman Settler Road, especially because it was the main road in all of Vermont. In 1810, he left the state legislature. After ten years, he found a job as a farmer. He did this for thirty years, and farming took care of his family.

In 1850, he died at the age of 88. No one knows how he really died. We all think he died of old age. He died 8 days after his birthday in July.

Hinman had a full life, eleven children, and a loving wife. In conclusion, this is an amazing man, and he was the most important man in Vermont because he built the road so the US would be able to trade and help their troops. He lead a great life and was the pioneer of Vermont.

Hinman Makes Peace With The Indians

Timothy Hinman built the road and his home in Derby. His children Albert and Laura were with him in Derby. He knew he couldn't bring his children home to Greensboro because it was winter and he needed room to bring their possessions to Derby and get his wife. Hinman's native friends took care of his children while he went to Greensboro. The Indians took care of his children a few months in the winter for a few shillings and the promise of rum in the spring. Hinman made the deal with Indians, but he did not tell his wife. His children became THE FIRST WHITE SETTLERS IN DERBY, VERMONT.

When he went back to get his children, he found his children happy and healthy. During the cold winter his children learned how to make baskets and were taken fine care of by the Indians. This time, on Hinman's way back to his other home in Greensboro, he was accompanied by his two children, the first settlers in Derby.

During their stay at the house in Greensboro, a new child was born; her name was Olive. Eventually, she would move to the house in Derby with her family.

After Olive was born in May, the whole Hinman family moved to Derby in July. In the end, Hinman and his children made peace with Indians, and his children became the first settlers in Derby.


1762 Birth
1786 Teacher At Woodbury , CT
1789 Surveyor
1789 Stops Teaching
1791 Started Hinman Road
1793 Hinman Road Finished- 146 miles
1798 Elected to State Legislature
1800 Chief Judge of the Orleans County Court
1800 Shopkeeper
1810 Leaves State Legislature
1820 Became a Farmer
1850 His Death


"Derby Center." Timothy Hinman. Comp. Cecile B. Hay, and Mildred B. Hay. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag.

This resource had lots of information on Timothy Hinman's family and life during the building of the road and what his life was like after the road.

"Hinman Road 1791 Brownington." Map. N.p.: Orleans County Historical Society, n.d.

This map was used to make an exact picture of what the Hinman Settler Road would have looked like when it was first made.

"History of Derby Center." N.p.: Vt Electric Coop, 1969.

This resource helped us to see where the Hinman Road went and how long it was. This helped us with our map, newspapers, and interesting facts.

Sangree, Gail, comp. untitled. Watertown, CT: n.p., 1997.

This gave us biographical information on Timothy Hinman.

The Hinman Genealogy With some of the Kindred Families. Comp. Robert G. Hinman. N.p.: n.p., 1995. 1-2.

This was a very important resource. We got almost all of our information to do the family tree with this genealogy.

"Timothy Hinman's Road." Timothy Hinman's Road. Comp. Mrs. Daniel K. Herrick. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag.

This chapter gave us a lot of information on how they built the road and what it must have been like.

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