Seth Storrs

Filed in Founders & trustees

One of the founders of Middlebury College, Seth Storrs  (1756-1837) donated much of the land upon which the College still stands.  The son of Thomas and Eunice (Paddock) Storrs, Seth Storrs was born in Mansfield, Connecticut, on June 24, 1756. He was educated at Yale University, where he was a student of Yale President Timothy Dwight, a lifelong mentor and friend. Following his graduation from Yale in 1778, Storrs became Timothy Dwight’s assistant at a preparatory school in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he taught until 1783.

In 1784 Storrs relocated to Bennington, Vermont to study law with Hon. Noah Smith.  Storrs was admitted to the Vermont Bar in 1787 moved to Addison, where he established a practice, served as Addison town clerk, as Addison County's State's Attorney, from 1787-1797, and as State Auditor of Accounts, 1797-1801. In 1794, he moved to Middlebury, where he became active in Middlebury's Congregational church, serving until his death as deacon, clerk, and treasurer. Storrs served as Middlebury's town clerk for three decades, 1801 to 1831.

In 1797 Storrs was a member of the corporation that chartered the Addison County Grammar School in Middlebury. It was at Storrs's home that his mentor, Yale President Timothy Dwight,  discussed the prospects of establishing a College in Middlebury. In 1799, Storrs was one of the group that founded Middlebury College and, in 1800, was appointed a charter member of the Board of Trustees. Storrs was a frequent benefactor of the college, and donated the land for the original campus.

On November 26, 1789, Storrs married Electa Strong, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. Seth Storrs died in Vergennes on October 5, 1837. He is buried in Middlebury's West Cemetery.