Sporting a pair of fashionable sideburns, Vermont merchant, soldier and state legislator Londus Fullington Terrill is one of many oddly named men to have been elected to a term in the Vermont legislature during the 19th century, and he joins an already lengthy list of unusually named Vermont politicians to have been profiled here over the past year or so.
Born in the village of Underhill, Vermont, Londus F. Terrill was one of five children born to Asaph Lee (born 1803) and Ruth Fullington Terrill (1808-1897), both natives of Chittenden County. Terrill's early life in Underhill was spent on the family farm, and he attended schools local to his hometown, later studying at the Barre Academy in Barre, Vermont. During his youth, Terrill is recorded as having "taught school four winters" but did not make a profession out of teaching. He married in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1860 to Susan A. Fernald (1838-1901), and to this union was born four sons, George Edrick (1861-1899), Frederick E. (1864-1946), Willis Ethel (1866-1936) and Arthur Leon (born 1871).
In September 1862 Terrill joined in the ongoing war effort, enlisting in Company F of the 13th Regiment Vermont Volunteer Infantry. He was appointed as a corporal in this unit and is acknowledged by the 1910 Pictorial History Thirteenth Regiment Vermont Volunteers as having "participated in all of its actions and in the Battle of Gettysburg". Terrill was mustered out of service in July 1863 and returned to Underhill, where in 1868 he was appointed as town postmaster, serving in this post until 1879.
From the 1910 Pictorial History of the Thirteenth Regiment Vermont Volunteers.
Throughout the 1870s and early 1880s, Terrill served as Underhill constable and collector, and was recorded by the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chittenden County, Vermont (1882-1883) as being a "dealer in dry goods and general merchandise". This same work also lists him as an "agent for Studebaker farm wagons and Franklin Co. churns and butter workers". Terrill also served as a director of the Burlington and Lamoille Railroad for a number of years.
Aside from his service in offices local to the town of Underhill, Terrill had never served in elected office prior to 1885. In November of that year, he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives and served during the legislative session of 1886-1888. Following his term in the House, Terrill won election to the Vermont State Senate in November 1887, taking his seat in January of the new year. His term lasted from 1888-1890 and during his service held a seat on the committees on Railroads and State Prisons. In his later years, Terrill continued in general merchandise business and also took an active role in local veterans organizations, serving as a Vermont delegate to the National Encampments of 1882, 1883 and 1884.
In 1901 Terrill's wife of forty years died. Following Susan Fernald Terrill's death, Londus remarried in Boston, Massachusetts in October 1904 to widow Ruth Congdon Moseley, and the couple resided in Wakefield, Massachusetts until his death at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on December 10, 1907. His remains were later returned to Vermont and interred at the Underhill Flats Cemetery, the same resting place as that of his parents and first wife.
It should also be noted that two of Terrill's surviving sons went on to distinguished careers in their own right, with George Edrick Terrill following his father into successful merchandising and legislative service (serving in the session of 1892), and Willis Ethel becoming a prominent pharmacist and druggist, serving as President of the Vermont State Pharmaceutical Association from 1897-1899. One can note that both George and Willis bear a remarkable resemblance to their father, as evidenced by the portraits below!