Last updated 11 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.
Born: 14 Apr 1751 in Mendon, Worcester County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America
Died: 1837 in Danby, Rutland County, Vermont, United States
Father: Caleb Smith (1720 – 1797)
Mother: Deborah Chickering (1722 – 1818)
Christening: 30 Apr 1758 at Medway, Suffolk County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America
Research Notes (Conflicts/Spelling/Followup)
Asa may have been born in 1773 -- there is a US Mortality Index entry for Asa Smith, age 77. This Asa was born in Massachusetts, where Caleb was known to have lived in his early life.
Legend says that Asa Smith, suffering from cancer (though some sources reduce that to "an extreme case of rheumatism"), discovered Clarendon Springs (a mineral springs) in Vermont. Some stories describe him as a "peculiar" individual who lived alone in a cabin in the northeastern part of the town of Clarendon. Sometime around 1776 he had a vision of a "wonderous healing spring" and subsequently set out to find this spring. After days of limping and dragging himself through the wilderness for several days, he finally found the springs. There he bathed in the waters and made mud packs from the silt around the spring, and returned to his cabin completely cured. As a result of his announcement of this miracle, George Rounds bought the land around the springs and built the first of the "Clarendon Houses" in 1781. [The time line appears approximately okay for this individual, but so little is known about when Asa was actually born or where he lived, that a connection is far from proved and the Asa in the story could be completely unrelated. I'm only aware of one Asa Smith around this time in Rutland County, but that's not very reliable.] The story is related in numerous online sources and at least three published sources: (1) History of Rutland County, Vermont: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers by H. P. Smith (p. 38), (2) Gazetteer and business directory of Rutland County, Vt., for 1881-82 (p. 116), and (3) "When Springs Brought Hope" in the newspaper Bennington Banner; Bennington Vermont; 9 Aug 1969 (Southern Vermont Supplement p.13 [The pages are not numbered as expected; on newspapers.com, it is page 26 but extra page images are also present but not indexed.]
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