Bethel was the first town chartered by the independent Republic of Vermont.
Following is historical information about Bethel from:
Gazetteer of Towns
Gazetteer and Business Directory of
Windsor County, Vt., For 1883-84
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Syracuse, N. Y. Printed January, 1884.
BETHEL, lies in the northwestern part of the county, in lat. 43° 50′ and long 4° 21′, bounded northerly by Randolph, in Orange county, easterly by Royalton, southerly by Barnard, and westerly by Rochester, enclosing an area of 23,040 acres, or a tract six miles square. The charter of this town was the first granted by the State of Vermont, under the following circumstances: On December 29, 1777, an association was formed at Hanover, N. H., for the purpose of making a “settlement on White river and its branches,” and in March, 1778, they petitioned the legislature of Vermont for the grant of a township to be called Bethel. In this petition they say they “understand that said lands were granted by the late governor of New York counter to the royal proclamation, to certain persons, the greater part of whom have now put themselves under the protection of the enemies of the American States.” This petition met with success and a grant was made March 18, 1778, the township charter being issued to John PAYNE, John HOUSE, Dudley CHASE and forty-three others, December 23, 1779.