John Woodbury Cellos


Cello In Germany

---John Woodbury, aged about 65 years, formerly of this place, but for the last five years residing at Keene, N. H., was found dead on Monday morning, in the work-room of George Kingsbury's boot and shoe store at Keene, where he had slept for a few nights before.

His death was probably caused by exposure and want of food, he having eaten but two meals during the last two weeks. He had been in poor health for several months, and latterly in straightened circumstances, but his pride had prevented him from making his wants known to his friends.

Mr. Woodbury was, we believe, a native of Dummerston, whence he removed to Brattleboro many years ago. He was a very ingenious mechanic, and at one time had quite a reputation as a violin manufacturer. Having accumulated a little capital, he set up a music and jewelry store at the corner of Revere House block, but failed in a few years.

Afterwards, and since his removal to Keene, he followed the business of engraving. He leaves a son, who is a lieutenant in the regular army in California, and a sister in Michigan. His remains were brought to this place on Wednesday for interment.

Vermont Phoenix, November 10, 1871.


Photographs Courtesy Of Nancy Enders

John Woodbury


John Brown Woodbury was born in Dummerston, Vermont on April 1, 1811, the son of Stephen Woodbury and Elizabeth Dutton, a daughter of Samuel Dutton and Rebecca French. Stephen was a trader from an old Ipswich, Massachusetts family who bought a half interest in Charles Davenport's saw mill in Slab Hollow on March 20, 1786. Stephen lived in Dummerston Center, District No. 1 by 1793.

John Woodbury's first wife was Lestina Estabrook, born in late August or in September 1816. They had one child, John Abbott Woodbury. In a brief partnership with Joseph H. Kibling of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, Woodbury opened a music shop in "Steen's Corner" at Main Street and High Street.

Their advertisement dated May 21, 1839 and published for three weeks in the Vermont Phoenix describes the "New Music and Umbrella Store" selling bass viols, double bass, violins "from $2 to $25", bugles, trombones, clarionets, flutes, fifes, and sheet music, music paper, refined Rosin, and "Music Instructors".


Then Lestina Woodbury suddenly died on June 25, 1839, aged twenty-two years and nine months.

Catherine Taft Clark, born October 3, 1814 in Dummerston, was the second wife of John Woodbury. They married in 1843. Catherine was the daughter of Amasa Clark and Arathusa Whitcomb. Amasa owned a store at Dummerston Center following April 1815. This store was later owned by Asa Knight and is now at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

Beginning in 1841, the Brattleboro craftsman William A. Conant sold eighty-four cellos to John Woodbury for sale in Boston and New York. Stephen W. Marsh and E. H. Wade in Boston were John Woodbury's associates in the distribution of musical instruments. By the end of 1847, Woodbury's "Music & Fancy Goods" store was also selling watches and jewelry.


Three Rooms Rented On Upper Floor

Smith & Woodcock's Grist Mill In Centreville

For a year or so, John Woodbury joined with Riley Burditt in 1846 in work at the melodeon manufactory founded by Samuel H. Jones, working in the Smith & Woodcock grist mill in the Centreville village, in Brattleboro. This company was called the Jones, Woodbury, & Burditt Co., or more simply S. H. Jones & Co. The first ordered melodeons were finished during November, 1846.

Catherine Woodbury died on June 19, 1848 at age thirty-three and is buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery. She died eight days after the birth of her son, who also died two days later.

John Brown Woodbury died on either Sunday night or Monday morning, November the fifth or sixth, 1871 in Keene, New Hampshire. He was sixty years old.



Semi-Weekly Eagle, September 14, 1847 Advertisement


Vermont Phoenix, May 24, 1839.



Vermont Phoenix, September 25, 1862.


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