From the story of Tryphena Wright and the sheep she kept at night in a hollowed tree, it is known that Whitehall early settlers raised sheep. One learned article on sheep declared that it was profitable to raise 100 animals on 100 acres. It would take twelve tons of hay to keep 100 or 3 percent of their weight per day. In 1845 -Washington County lead the state in the amount of wool produced. The number of sheep was 190,311 and the number per acre 64.
The Merino and Saxon strains of sheep were introduced into the county in the 1820’s and the production rose. In Whitehall in 1825 there were 6125, ninth in the county; in 1825, there were 9966, eleventh in the county; in 1845 there were 13,791, ninth in the county.
There were enemies of sheep. In 1786 a wolf tax was levied. For proof of their destruction the collector had to see the head of the wolf and then he cut off the ears so that a bounty could not be collected again. Foxes were the next in killing, especially, young lambs. The third was dogs. At this time the practice’ of killing any dog that was molesting sheep was begun. The last great wolf hunt occurred in the Kingsbury in 1801. Foxes were prevalent in Putnam.
Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – The Whitehall Times – March 17, 1988