UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Born WSi. -Died.l820r
TOWN OF WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS.,
Wednesday, March 25th, 1874,
HISTORICAL ADDRESS OF
THOMAS E. VERMILYE, D. D, LL.D.,
The Poem of Mrs. Ellen P. Champion,
AND OTHER FACTS AND SPEECHES.
COMPILED BY J. N. BAGG.
PUBLISHED BY VOTE OF THE TOWN.
I I m. i-^.
MA SSACHUSEH S
Citizens of West Springfield,
AND ALL THE
CHILDREN AND RELATIVES, NEAR OR REMOTE,
A Centennial Anniversary is an event in human history
too important to pass unnoticed, for very few mortals are privi-
leged to bridge its mighty chasm from shore to shore. Lo-
calities depending upon individuals for characterization have, in
a lesser degree, the same necessities and the same laws. In
both, the scenes are frequently changing, the acts often inde-
pendent and fragmentary, and the curtain sometimes suddenly
falls in the midst of an important action. A century is a
great landmark in any local history, and has the same uses
to mankind that the guide-board and the mile-stone have to the
" Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have
set," is the graphic language of inspiration, and it fully accords
with the highest human wisdom. This is sufficient evidence
that landmarks are needed, and if needed surely they should be
What better use of a Centennial Anniversary can a town-
ship make, than to review its past ; to rub off the moss and
dusts of time, accumulating on its historic tablets ; and by
gathering up the scattered wastes of the way, plant new bound-
aries, and take fresh bearings for its further journey. The
present owes to the future its legacies of precious and pleasant
memories, its royal deeds, its noble examples of self-denial for
the public good, its characters of great men, who, in molding
communities have made their names illustrious and their lives
sublime, and as far as possible its garnered histories.
West Springfield lays no claim to any exclusiveness in these
particulars over her 342 sister town and cityships in the Com-
monwealth, but as she looks back upon the record of her chil-
dren, native and adopted, and including the clergy through the
vistas of a century, the spirit of the ancient Roman matron
infuses her, as pointing backward she proudly exclaims, " These
are my jewels." This, then, is our apology, if one is needed,
for the memorial following.
THE ANCIENT SCHOOL -HOUSE.
The first action of the town, in regard to the Centennial, is
embodied in the following article in its annual warrant for town
meeting, March, 1873 • "To see if the town will take any ac-
tion in regard to a Centennial Celebration."
At that meeting it was "Voted that J. N. Bagg, Gideon
Wells, and Edward Parsons be a Committee to investigate and
report what arrangements are necessary for celebrating the
Centennial Anniversary of the settlement of the town."
In accordance with their report, in April, 1873, the town voted
to raise the sum of ^500 to pay such expenses as may occur in
the Centennial Celebration, and that Edward Parsons, J. N.
Bagg, Julius Day, G. B. Treadwell, Lester Williams, Aaron
Bagg, B. W. Colton, Andrew Bartholomew, and Joseph Mer-
rick be a Committee to make arrangements for the celebration.
The Committee had their first meeting January 31, 1874, at the
residence of Col. Edward Parsons, who, by reason of ill health,
was unable to take an active part in the further preparations
and ceremonies. The time of holding the Centennial was there
fixed for March 25th, and the result of this and subsequent meet-
ings was the issue of the following Circular of Invitation :
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
Settled about 1636. Chartered a Parisli i6y6. Chartered a Town 1774.
The undersigned, a Committee chosen to make arrangements
for a Town Centennial Celebration, occurring Wednesday, March
25th, 1874, cordially invite their fellow-citizens, former resi-
dents, and all natives of the town, to participate in the public
exercises at the new Town Hall, at lo 1-2 o'clock, A. M.
The Historical Address will be by Thos. E. Vermilye, D. D.,
of New York.
8 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Facts, incidents and anecdotes pertaining to the early his-
tory of the town and its families, together with portraits of
prominent persons and pastors, solicited.
Aaron Bagg, ^
Joseph Merrick, > Committee.
J. N. Bagg, )
J. N. BAGG, Cor. Secretary.
The following Officers and Committees were also appointed :
President of the Day,
COL. AARON BAGG.
Edward Parsons, James P. Ely,
Charles Ely, Samuel Morgan,
Lester Williams, John D. Smith,
Julius Day, Richard Beebe,
Cotton Ely, Norman Day,
Horace S. Miller, Charles A. Ashley,
William Melcher, J. L. Worthy,
Andrew Bartholomew, George L. Bowe,
Edwin H. Ball, Daniel Prince,
J. C. Parsons, Dr. Cyrus Bell,
George B. Treadwell.
William C. Hatch.
Norman T. Smith, Ethan Brooks.
The Selectmen — Harvey D. Bagg, Henry A. Sibley and Amos Rus-
sell — not only acted as Committee on Finance, but performed various
other services where help seemed necessary.
Committee on Music. — Joseph Merrick, B. W. Colton, Aaron
Bagg, Jr., L. F. Mellen, Dr. H. M. Miller, G. C. Buell.
Committee on Decorations. — Theo. Belden, Edson Clark, Mrs.
Susan A. Bagg, Dea. Samuel Smith, Mrs. D. H. Baldwin, Richard
A Bagg, Charles A. Ashley, W. F. Mosely.
Committee of Reception. — Aaron Bagg, George B. Treadwell,
Julius Day, Andrew Bartholomew, Harvey D. Bagg, Jas. P. Ely,
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 9
Lester Williams, H. A. Sibley, Ethan Brooks, Talcott A. Rogers,
Samuel Morgan, Benj. D. Ashley, Justin Ashley, Alvin Sibley, D.
H. Baldwin, I. B. Lowell, James E. Champion, N. T. Smith,
Committee on Collation. — Edward Parsons, Julius Day, Andrew
Bartholomew, G. B. Treadwell.
The following was a programme of the day :
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
Settled about 1636. Chartered a Parish 1696. Chartered a Town 1774.
ORDER OF EXERCISES at the TOWN CENTENNIAL CELE-
BRATION, OCCURRING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25TH, 1874, on
THE COMPLETION OF the NEW TOWN HALL.
The Exercises began at io|- o'clock, A. M.
Music by the Haydenville Band.
1. Voluntary, By the Band.
2. Singing, " Home. Sweet Home," . . By the Choirs.
3. Invocation, Rev. E. N. Pomeroy, Pastor of First Church.
4. Scripture Reading, Rev. L. D. Calkins, Pastor of Park St. Church.
5. Singing, " Let children hear the mighty deeds," Marloiv.
6. Address of Welcome, . . , . . J- N Bagg.
7. Reply, . . .... Samuel L. Parsons.
8. Poem, Mrs. Ellen P. Champion.
9. Music, By the Band.
ID. Historical Address, Thos. E. Vermilye, D. D., LL.D, of New York.
11. Singing, " Shall old acquaintance be forgot ? " Au id Lang Syne.
12. Prayer, . Ashbel G. Vermilye, D. D., of Schenectady, N. Y.
13. Doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," 0/d
14. Benediction, Dr. T. E. Vermilye.
The following description of the day and assemblage, is from
one of the neighboring journals :
West Springfield's Centennial was as perfect as an event
ought to be which can occur but once in a hundred years ; as
excellent in its own way as the generous bloom of the aloe, shin-
ing in the midst of stormy March, amid its forbidding lance-
leaves, and induing the century gone and that begun with a
fragrant memory. The winds themselves were charmed to
10 WEST SPRINGFIELD
mildness, yesterday, and breathed from the south to mark the
welcome of the occasion. And heartily was that welcome re-
sponded to. The old Common was bordered with waiting horses
and vehicles, by the hour of opening, and the handsome hall of
the new town-house was filled with as fine looking an assem-
blage as any old town could gather ; many venerable men and
women were there, and the active citizens of to-day seemed not
unworthy to wear the honors of their predecessors, whose por-
traits, in quaint attire and with a queer family resemblance in
their very varied countenances, looked approvingly upon them.
The platform was occupied by a distinguished array of men of
hoary heads, with now and then an exception, chief among these
being our Asiatic townsman, Mr. Laisun.
The new Hall was tastefully festooned and decorated, and
from its walls were suspended the following portraits of its
former citizens : Rev. John Woodbridge the first minister of
1698, Rev. Joseph Lathrop D. D. the third minister of 1756,
Rev. John M. Chapin the twelfth minister of 1872, Justin i-^ly
1st, and his wife Ruth White of 1739, Justin Ely 2nd, and
his wife Lucy Barron of 1772, Heman Ely, Theodore Ely,
Theodore W. Ely, Miner Stebbins, Mrs. Sibyl Taylor Bagg.
Sewall White, Dr. Reuben Champion, Heman Day, Aaron
Ashley, Daniel Ashley, Hosea Bliss, Rev. D, T, Bagg, Hon
Samuel Lathrop, Capt. Henry Phelon, and Hosea Day.
The band prefaced the celebrative exercises with the impos-
ing strains of Keller's American hymn, and then came the sim-
ple melody of " Home, Sweet Home ! " sung by the united village
choirs. The Invocation by Rev. E. N. Pomeroy, is here given,
because it was the first public prayer offered in the new Town
Hall, and is in part dedicatory.
O thou most high and mighty One, who art from everlasting
to everlasting ; who dwellest in immensity ; who hast created
this wide universe from nothing ; who hast created us from the
dust of the earth, and hast breathed into our nostrils the breath
of thine own life that we have become living souls. O thou be-
fore whom angels bow and archangels veil their faces, we come
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I I
before thee now in reverence and humility, and begin these ex-
ercises with prayer to thee.
We thank thee for life, the great boon of existence which hav-
ing once given thou dost never recall ; we thank thee that we
live in this favored land ; we thank thee for all the social, edu-
cational, political and religious privileges that we enjoy ; we
thank thee that we are permitted to be here to-day ; we thank
thee for this spacious building in which we are assembled.
May we remember that much will be required of them to
whom much is given ; may we make a right use of the various
gifts of thy kindness ; may we make a proper use of this noble
edifice ; may we transmit unimpaired to coming generations the
civil and religious liberties, privileges and institutions, which by
thy gracious kindness and by the self-sacrificing efforts of our
fathers, have been intrusted and transmitted to us.
Be thou with us on this interesting and important occasion.
Assist all who shall take part in these exercises. Especially be
with thy servant, a former pastor of one of these churches, who
is to address us to-day ; and be with all who in time to come
shall occupy the positions that we now hold, when the places
that now know us shall know us no more forever. Ever may
thy word be preached here in its purity. Ever may truth and
righteousness prevail here. Ever may civil and religious liberty
be enjoyed here ; and may we ever show ourselves to be indeed
a people whose God is the Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.
The Rev. L. D. Calkins then read portions of the 90th and
105th Psalms, beginning with, " Lord, thou hast been our dwell-
ing place in all generations," and was the first Scripture publicly
read in the building, after which the old hymn," Let children
hear the mighty deeds," was sung with excellent spirit and
The addresses and poem follow in the order of delivery.
12 WEST SPRINGFIELD
THE WELCOME BY MR. J. N. BAGG.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: — A little more
than a year ago, some persons turning over the public records,
made the discovery that the town was nearing its centennial
birthday. It was thought that the event was of sufficient im-
portance to warrant a celebration. The objects contemplated
by such a ceremony, were the preservation of loose local his-
tories and the cultivation of a becoming reverence for the past
and high-toned principle among children and those who are now
in active life. Accordingly, on the recommendation of one of
our citizens, the town, in April last, appointed a committee of
nine to carry out the spirit of this service in which we are about
to engage. This, briefly, is the origin of the Centennial Cele-
bration. The time was fixed, March 25th, because that was
about t,he time of the first town meeting. The town was incor-
porated in February, 1774 ; the first town warrant was issued
March 14th ; the first town meeting was held March 23d. A
circular was issued about the ist of February, inviting the
former residents and others of the town to participate in this
exercise that brings us to the end of the century.
Col. Benjamin Day was the first moderator, the first select-
man and the first representative West Springfield ever had, and,
considering that he was only 32 years old, I think you will agree
with me that he must have been a large pattern of a man. He
died in 180S, at the age of 97. His descendants remain with
us still, and the portrait of his son Heman, who died in 1837,
at the age of 82, adorns yonder wall. That Heman was the
man who, in his 21st year, in 1776, shouldered the big elm in
Shad Lane, whose circumference to-day is 24^ feet, and planted
it there. That elm is one of the largest in the State, and for
the last 50 years its size and symmetry have been the admira-
tion of thousands. The characteristics of Heman Day and his
neighbors are shown in the following squib of his time :
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I3
" What time o'dee ?" says Walter Cooley ;
" Eleven o'clock," says Judah Bagg ;
" Time to repent," says Parson Lathrop ;
" Time enough yet," says Heman Day.
The Day blood, like that of the world-renowned Morgan horse,
both of which are partly indigenous to West Springfield, is
strong stuff, and has a good deal of iron in it yet. But I leave
history to an abler head and hand.
We stand, to-day, on the crest of a century. I am deeply im-
pressed with the rarity of the occasion and the solemnity of the
hour. We shall never participate in a second centennial service.
We are making history, and our own acts link us to the ages.
Faith, reverence, good will to man are the emotions becoming
us now. We are gathered within these new walls to dedicate
them by this service, to God and mankind. This new building
fitly represents our new century life. Long may it stand to com-
memorate this occasion, and may the uses of education and po-
litical liberty, which its founders had in mind in its erection, ever
find here a congenial home.
My friends, in the name and behalf of my fellow citizens, and
the committee of arrangements, I have been authorized to ex-
tend to you all the hand of greeting and the voice of welcome.
Let us bear in mind that this is West Springfield's natal day,
and that she desires to commemorate the event by this birthday
party. All centenarians, by virtue of their age, are entitled to
reverence and filial honor. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters !
we are made glad by your presence, to-day. Your return is an
evidence that you have not forgotten the old roof-tree, and that
the altar fires of home still burn in your hearts. We felt that
we should have been recreant to every fraternal sentiment if we
did not beckon you to the old homestead and make ready the
fatted calf because you are returned safe and sound. I bid you
welcome, thrice welcome, to our home and yours.
If I were to particularize, I should address the natives who,
after years of absence, find themselves strangers in the place of
14 WEST SPRINGFIELD
their birth. Some of you went out single-handed and, like Jacob,
come back two bands. We welcome also the natives by mar-
riage rite — those who would have been born here if they could,
and are not to blame for what they couldn't help! You are the
real husband — men and women of the earth. We rejoice that
you are guided by silken bonds. We are proud of you for your
tractability. We welcome, also, those who lay claim to us by
remote ancestry, the children who rejoice in the prefix of great.
We welcome those whom the attractions of pleasure and busi-
ness have brought among us. To the absent friends, remem-
bered and beloved, with us in spirit, we send hearty greetings.
And now, one and all, welcome, doubly welcome, " The heart
feels most when the lips move not." We welcome you to the
homes of your childhood, to the altars of your God, to the graves
of your kindred. As you meet and recognize each other, may
the sentiments of honor and principle dignify and ennoble you.
Grand old West Springfield, may you ever be the joy and pride
of your sons and daughters !
THE REPLY BY MR. SAMUEL L. PARSONS.
Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens : — In the
name and on behalf of the natives and former residents of
West Springfield, I tender you our most hearty thanks for your
kind invitation to return and unite with you in commemorating
the one hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the
town. The beautiful address of welcome just pronounced is
cheering evidence that you still consider that we have some
rights here that you feel bound to respect, and although we
may have formally transferred our titles to other hands, yet our
very souls still yearn after the flesh-pots of other days. While
we may have found delights in other fields, still the sweets of
the old pasture have as yet found no rivals.
P^rom twenty to forty years ago, we transferred to your care,
in trust, the interests of this, our beloved home, and there are
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I 5
numerous questions that naturally enough rise in the minds of
these returning pilgrims, in regard to the use that has been
made of these trusts ; a few of these questions I wish to pro-
pound to you :
First, we left in your keeping a noble, and for this land,
ancient town, stretching entirely across the county, kissing the
feet of old Tom, on the north, and gathering strength as she
marched fifteen miles to gj^ate the Nutmeg on the south, four
very considerable villages, viz. : West Springfield, Ireland, Aga-
wam and Feeding Hills were her boast. Tell me, do the screams
of that noble bird, that so appropriately crowns this beautiful
edifice, still call your sons from these extremes } Rumor an-
swers, " No." We are told that Ireland has been deprived of
her ancient glory by a sad alliance with a fellow who has dared
to degrade her by placing upon her neck, a yoke with a Hoi
prefixed to it, and who holds her in perpetual bondage.
Agawam and Feeding Hills have likewise acted the part of
prodigal sons, and are feeding upon the husks of their own
gathering, and so, sir, as we come to look over the ancient pas-
ture grounds, and search for the occupants of other days, we
feel a little sad to find the old town shorn of her upper and
nether glory, and so many strange flocks feeding in her pas-
tures. Is this, I ask, keeping faith with the once lords of the
We left in your keeping beautiful and wide-spread fields, in this
southern vicinity, that you have allowed to be covered over with
shops and dwellings, and other evidences of thrift and growth,
and have even allowed bands of iron to be stretched across this
ancient domain — binding it to the outside world who care
little for our comforts or individual rights. Is this, I ask, ac-
cording to the fathers } We left to your keeping the old Com-
mon where unobstructed and free as the air we breathed, we
roamed and played at our pleasure ; where the general training
and cattle-shows were the delights of our youth, and even of
l6 WEST SPRINGFIELD
our manhood. We return to find that you have aped city no-
tions, and have enclosed these memorable grounds, and have
christened it a beautiful Park. Are such things, I ask, in keep-
ing with the notions of former generations ?
I have a very joyous recollection of the many very large
families, having from eight to twelve children, who occupied
these old mansions. I wonder whether there are such families
here in these later days. Even down to 184$, the Massac/itiset^s
Gazetteer said, West Springfield contains 1,030 boys and girls
between the ages of four and sixteen years ; only thirty-two
towns in the State exceeded that number. She also had
twenty-five public schools, and 756 voters ; how do these figures
compare with the facts of to-day 1
If, for one moment, I turn your thoughts to a personal mat-
ter, I feel quite sure I shall receive your sympathy, for it will
come home to other hearts than mine ; other large and inter-
esting families have passed through a similar experience. When
I look across this beautiful Park for the old house, where the
prints of my youthful feet were imbedded in the very floors and
stepping stones, and find that old Time and the Vandals have
been at work, and my eyes may never again look upon the
rooms where in infancy I was rocked to sleep in loving arms ;
when I call the names of father, mother, and twelve brothers
and sisters, and then comes back to me the feeble answer of
but one who has maintained the integrity of the old homestead,
it seems to me as though the sweets of the time-honored vil-
lage were largely extracted, and that the power that bound the
soul to its early associations is rapidly loosening its grasp. But
neither these feet of mine, nor the feet of those who have re-
turned with me to-day have ever forgotten the oft-trodden path-
way. Neither from my memory nor from the memories of
those who have made the pilgrimage with me, have the experi-
ences of our youth faded away. True, as we enter yonder
gathering place of the dead, who were the honored sires and
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 1 7
matrons of our childhood, we find more familiar names than we
find within these dwellings, and so, in recognizing these facts,
we are constrained to admit that changes are taking place —
time flies, the enemy of life is busy at his work, the sickle
flashes even for us.
I have the faintest recollection of the old church and
school-house that stood in the middle of the Common opposite
this edifice, but I have a vivid memory of going with my tin
pail to gather whortleberries, just east of where the old church
I well remember, sir, how noted West Springfield was for her
fat cattle ; her farmers were as proud of them as they now are
of their bank stocks,
I would not, if I could, forget the happy evenings spent in
corn-huskings, apple-parings, and blind-man's-buff, with the
adjuncts of cake, cheese, apples and kisses ; nor the school-
hours, and sleigh-rides — precious memories ! Buried realities,
for which there is no resurrection !
Some years since there was published a letter from Rev.
John Pendleton of Springfield, to Mr. Amos Allen of West
Springfield of which the following is a copy :
Springfield, July 6, 1787.
Mr. Amos Allen :
Honored Sir : — My kind love to thee and thy wife and dear
family, hoping these lines will find you well.
Dear Sir, I know you love to do good, Pray Sir, I intend to
cut my grass next Wednesday, if fair ; if not, ne^t day, and as
we are to make our wants known, if you would be so kind as
to let any friends know of the same, and they would come and
cut my grass down for me, I hope I should be thankful and
obliged to them for the same. Four or five will do it, with
what I expect from this side of the river. And pray be so kind
the next day after they come and cut my grass, for you and
Miss Allen, Deakon Homeston and his wife, Deakon Rogers
and his wife, Mr. Lizer and his wife, to come over and see ray
I 8 WEST SPRINGFIELD
wife and I, and show me a little to stack my hay, for I am in
hopes you and my friends will come and see me oftener than
you have done, so then your horses may have some to eat.
Dear sir farewell. Yours in love,
But my friends, I have taken enough of your time in dwell-
ing upon the past. As much as we love it, we are prepared to
proclaim to the world, that to-day is the best day the world has
ever seen. The past century has opened new avenues to the
future. We may no longer dwell upon the buried past. New
life and activity is being infused into the world ; new ideas are
to be encouraged ; new victories are to be won. Let us buckle
on the armor, for the contest before us. At the opening of the
century we commemorate, some six million people inhabited
this land ; to-day forty millions boastfully flaunt the stars and
stripes. Then we paid tribute to another nation ; to-day, after
two sanguinary wars, that nation pays tribute to us. TJien one
or two months were necessary to cross the ocean under sails, to
the Fatherland. Now in 1873, seven hundred magnificent
steamers left the port of New York and crossed the ocean, in
an average of twelve days. The same steamers brought to
these shores 270,000 emigrants to people our lands. In fifteen
years, from 1855 to 1869, 2,300,000 emigrants landed in New
Then, we used the old tinder-box and flint to light our fires.
In 1873, according to the man you love to honor, Mr. Dawes,
the government received $2,500,000 revenue, as tax on the lu-
cifer matches made in this country. Then the manufactures of
our country were very limited. Now almost every industry of
the known world is found within our borders. The first rail-
way in this land was constructed in 1830; thirty miles in the
State of Maryland. In 1872, 67,104 miles of railway had been
laid, at a cost of 1^3,159,423,057, and whose earnings in 1872,
reached the enormous sum of $472,241,055.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I9
Of these railways, Massachusetts has 1,658 miles, whose
earnings in 1872, were $25,363,177.
The letters that pass through our post-offices are almost too
numerous to count. The city of New York alone, received in
1873, 16,500,000 foreign letters, and about 45,000,000 domestic
letters. Her postmaster is under bonds of $1,200,000 for the
faithful performance of his duties. 1,052 clerks and carriers are
under his control, and the post-office building now in process
of construction in New York will cost more than $7,000,000.
Let us then thank God to-day for this pleasant reunion, and
for the advance that has been made in our land during the past
century, in manufactures, agriculture, steam-power, labor-sav-
ing implements of various sorts, education and the arts, and es-
pecially in the developments of a mineral character, gold, silver,
iron, copper and lead, which are being discovered as rapidly as
there is necessity for them. Neither are the people regardless
of morality and religion. Evidences greet us on every hand,
that the religious element is very strong in our land, and the
foundation of that element is the recognition of one only living
and eternal God. But we have also great occasion to rejoice
to-day, that not only are there improvements throughout this
land and the world, in mechanics, arts and agriculture, but that
morality and religion are finding their way into the remotest
corners of the earth, and penetrating the islands of the seas.
But these matters can only be kept in progress by the hearty
and united action of the people. Let us inquire diligently our
duty in regard to them, and when the pathway shall be opened
to us, be ready to take our place in the foremost ranks and bat-
tle for the right, as God may give us strength.
ONLY A STORY.
'OEM Written isy Mrs. Ellen P. Champion of New Market, N. H.
THE West Springfield Centennial.
[read by MR. L. F. MELLEN.]
It is only a story I'm waiting to tell,
CM it vision of sleep, or a wild flight of fancy ;
If 'twere conjurer's trick, sooth, he managed it well.
And worked up like magic his shrewd necromancy.
There are spirits so ardent ; — no pun, you'll perceive, —
I mean those that go rapping and tipping the table ; —
They turn some weak brains, and oft strong minds deceive,
But, — well, here is the mystery, to solve if you're able.
I sat reading last night, — it was lonely and late,
I forget, — it was morning, — yes, midnight and after.
When I heard this strange sound, just outside by my gate,
" Ha, ha, ha," like a burst of the merriest laughter.
In amazement I sprang, half bewildered and dazed.
Then shrunk back, full suspecting some demon of evil ;
Were the lights turning blue ? No, they cheerily blazed,
" 'Tis my rolicking chum," I thought, "home from a revel."
My books suited the hour. One was grewsome; it told
Of fierce, warlike Vikings, a wild dismal story;
My nerves are well strung, but my flesh crept with cold
When the stern pirate heroes walked headless and gory.
Another grim volume, enchanting me quite.
Pictured pale shades in bride robes through dim arches straying,
Where waiting maids, tortured to fainting with fright.
Spent whole nights at their beads, weeping, trembling and praying.
Still my lamp, burning pure, gave me courage and calm,
I e'en smiled at the thought that gaunt ghosts should go stalking ;
That strange laugh I had heard, fie ! it boded no harm,
'Twas plainly a young moon-struck poet, out walking.
One, the city clocks chimed, pealing near and afar ;
Thrice my watchful dog growled ; warned, I waited intrusion,
Listening. Loud, louder still, that hobgoblin " ha, ha ! "'
Dismaying, appalling ! A mocking delusion !
' Tis a witch ! She shall die ! If she's ugly and old!
(That no witches exist 'twould be hard to convince us,
But those weird, which disturbed Cotton Mather, I'm told.
Disappeared long ago with their hot pins and pincers.)
The mad shout echoed long. The same voice as before.
Then a foot on the threshold seemed sturdily falling;
That firm step in the hall is no sprite to be sure.
But a bachelor friend, always late, comes a-calling.
The door opened. A stranger, gray, stalwart and tall,
Doffed a queer old cocked hat, bowing slowly and grandly,
" I've dropped in for an hour or two's chat, that is all,
I'm so happy," he said, smiling slyly and blandly.
" You've a sensible fire, friend, birch wood, fragrant, sweet.
Singing songs of the forests while burning and glowing ;
That's no back log of tinsel, with fagots to cheat
With their mock flames of gas jets, mere shamming and showing.
" I'm an old-fashioned man. How our lives fly away !
I'm a hundred ! You stare, — you wouldn't suspect it ?
I've made a great feast for my children to-day.
And, ha ha, not a daughter or son shall neglect it.
"'Tis my birthday, you know," looking quizzical still.
" I, a yeoman, was born by this beautiful river,
Though a babe, when the guns boomed at old Bunker Hill,
I shouted, 'tis said, ' Independence forever !'
"My name's Rural, what poets call Sylvan, in rhymes ;
My old home such a nook for a bit of day dreaming !
22 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Rut my sleep is disturbed by tlie rush of the times,
The whir of swift wheels, and the engine's shrill screaming.
" I'm a wizard, — don't laugh, — this cane is my wand ;
Mark through the green meadows those calm waters stealing;
That fair hamlet, broad street, bowered by forest trees grand,
The maple boughs parting, a quaint church revealing."
I thought of Aladdin. The wand waving still.
The scene changed ; busy haunts and proud dwellings appearing,
Halls of learning, tall spires, in the vale, on the hill.
And the hum of a city, hard by, I was hearing.
"Now I'll tell you," he said, "just the funniest joke,
Cunning pranks of my children I'm fond of disclosing,
Bold young Holyoke took off half my head, at a stroke,
And Agawam my feet, as I lay one day dozing.
" And, — but this is a secret between you and me ; —
Straws show how the wind blows, I have a suspicion
If I'm ever caught napping again, don't you see.
Shad Lane will be gone without asking permission.
" But though robbed of my head, and despoiled of my feet.
Friends declare I've improved,— I don't think they flatter,
For I'm quite sure myself, 'tis a happy conceit,
That each change I have known is a change for the better.
" I'm no dreamer, deploring the past, faded, gone.
Many Days still are left me, kind fate is propitious.
And for each Bliss that vanished a new Bliss is born,"
My guest whispered and winked, he was growing facetious.
" I'm no miser," he said, " though not lacking in pelf,
I've Baggs of choice treasure, no coin of it spurious,
But I'm given to prating too much of myself
And family history ; I forget you're not curious.
" One word more you will pardon. These doting old eyes
See my children all noble beyond any other ;
More faithful, more loyal, more worthy and wi.se.
Weighed (*Wade) but never found wanting, on sister or brother.
•Hon. Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio, is a native of West Springfield.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 23
" And they coming to-day, I long to behold them ;
I'm waiting to greet them with tender caressing ;
My fond, empty arms are outstretched to enfold them,
My heart warms to welcome with bounty and blessing."
The voice ceased and the Presence grew formless as air,
The dawn broke gray and chill, with the gusty March weather,
Twilight faded, the lamp dimmed with flicker and flare,
Then guest, warmth, and taper all vanished together.
Hark ! is it the south wind that rustles the vines,
Tossing crisp, withered leaves in the wood and the meadow ?
Or is it thy voice, O, " long river of pines,"
Whispering low with soft music through mist and through shadow ?
Or the bluebird, which seeks her home nest as of old ?
Taking Spring now on trust, now in doubt, yet she lingers.
For the elms don their holiday tassels of gold,
And the maples with coral gems deck their brown fingers.
'Tis the bustle and stir in old Ramapoag street,
Sounds of joy and rejoicing disturbing my slumbers, —
I've been dreaming, but this is no charm and no cheat,
This multitude growing with gathering numbers.
'Tis the Century Feast. Swift they come, none are late, —
Some from far northern climes, where too long they've^been staying.
Or from warm sunny slopes ; from the rich " Golden Gate,"
And from mosques of the East where the Moslems are praying.
All are here, all are here, on this grand natal day,
Their gifts— garnered lore and rare eloquence — bringing,
Tender memories, fraught with the grave and the gay.
Dainty chaplets, sweet minstrelsy, gladness and singing.
All are here ; are all here ? Side by side, dust to dust.
Kindred groups, turf embosomed, in calm silence sleeping.
Theirs the rest which God gives his beloved, through trust,
Till the morning shall come, and the grave yield its keeping.
All are here, all are here ! The loved patriot dead.
Names written in stone and remembered in story,
24 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Held safe, safe in our hearts, they who battled and bled
For their God, for their country, for right and for glory !
And the centuries will pass, — Springs and Autumns told o'er;
Still will flow to the ocean our strong, dauntless river ;
Some bluebird will sing in these elms as of yore,
But each voice of To-Day will be silent forever.
Music followed by the Band, — after which came the great
event of the day, The Historical Address, by Thomas E. Ver-
niilye, D. D., LL.D., who more than forty years ago was a Pastor
of the First Congregational Church.
FOURTH PASTOR OF FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
It seems to be a dictate of nature, to keep alive the remem-
brance of events of private or social or public interest, by days
and acts of formal commemoration. By such means worth is
honored, example continues to speak, sentiment exerts its
proper control over mere physical motions, and good influences
are perpetuated and made permanent. Nothing can be more
in accordance on such occasions with the character and spirit
of those who settled this country, than the custom handed down
from earliest times, to combine religious services with the secu-
lar observances. Thus did the Fathers, and thus do we ex-
press the conviction that true religion is all-pervading ; that
God is the guardian both of families and states ; that pros-
perity and safety must rest upon a moral and religious basis ;
that religion is not so holy a thing as to be placed far apart
from the ordinary courses of life, nor the State so weak as to be
endangered, or lose its proper position by such contact ; that
neither the purity of the one, nor the independence of the other,
is necessarily impaired or jeoparded by such a union of Church
and State. No country has, in reality, been kept more free from
entangling alhances of this kind, yet in none has religion, at
this day, a more distinctly recognized presence, nor more pub-
lic reverence. When the first bridge was to be opened between
Springfield and this town, it was deemed most appropriate that
so important an event should be inaugurated by religious exer-
cises, and a sermon from Dr. Lathrop. The annual election
sermon in this State ; prayer at the opening of the daily session
26 WEST SPRINGFIELD
of Congress, and of almost or quite all of the State Legislatures ;
these, and many similar instances, confirm the justness of the
observation. Never can I forget the remarkable scene at the
Sumpter meeting held on Union Square, in New York, at the
breaking out of our own sad civil war. The immense area, the
windows and even the roofs of the surrounding houses were
crowded with human beings of all classes ; and when, as one of
the chaplains, I advanced upon the platform to open the meeting
with prayer, every hat was raised, the stillness of a church suc-
ceeded, and as I closed, one deep, solemn, almost appalling
"Amen" rose from the vast throng and went up to Heaven.
Nor can I forget another meeting, hastily gathered on the an-
nouncement of President Lincoln's death, at the junction of
Wall and William streets, the very mart of trade ; the centre
and home, it might be called, of the moneyed operations of the
entire continent, and even of half the world ; the place where
Mammon holds his court. Men of all ranks filled the streets, as
far as the eye could reach. And when again I was invited to
open the meeting with prayer from the portico of the Custom
House, profound solemnity reigned, and as I closed by repeat-
ing the Lord's Prayer, the whole multitude responded, and their
" Amen " seemed to attest the faith as well as the feelings of the
country, flying in affliction from all human trust to " Our Fa-
ther in heaven." I thought that while such a spirit prevails,
our institutions are safe ; nor need the Church or State require
that Christianity shall be established by law, and formally en-
grafted into our political constitution ; nor doubt that our Fa-
thers' God will be the God of their children after them.
No commemoration would seem to be more strictly secular
than that of a town charter. But it would be a strange thing to
exclude the chapter on religion from the history of any New
England town, for thereby the record would often keep out of
sight the most interesting and important agency that has been
at work in the process. Care has been taken, therefore, that
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 2/
this element shall have its place in the present celebration,
and I appear, by your kind invitation, as a former pastor of the
old parish, to give the discourse on the occasion. It will not
be a formal sermon ; and yet, as we follow the current of time,
I think we shall meet many things calculated to awaken deep,
serious reflections. I cannot disguise from myself the thought,
that we are engaged in performing the funeral rites, and rais-
ing the monument, and inscribing the epitaph over a century
West Springfield, stretching along the west bank of the
river, occupies one of the most beautiful portions of the Con-
necticut valley. The river, the noblest in New England, from
its northern beginning, through its long course to the Sound,
presents a great variety of scenery ; but at no point, as it seems
to me, is it so attractive as here. We can easily imagine the
surprise and delight with which the first comers from the East
were filled as they reached the summit of Springfield Hill, and
the eye took in the river and rich meadow-lands below, and
swept the horizon, from the northern limit of vision, down along
the hills at the west, and for many miles away to the south,
roaming over a picture of surpassing loveliness. The morning
and noonday sun brings out its varying features with fine ef-
fect, and the beholder might almost fancy himself to be stand-
ing upon one of the Delectable mountains. Yet I think
several views from the west side of the river, if not so bold and
extensive, are even more simply beautiful. Often have I stood,
almost entranced, upon the Meeting House Hill, and surveyed
the fields and meadows around, clothed with a luxuriant vege-
tation ; Mount Tom at my left, that has reared his hoary front
to the suns and storms of a thousand years ; the peaceful river,
gliding away at my feet, and below, on my right, expanding
into a beautiful lake, where lately the rowers competed for the
prize ; before me Springfield, now showing its many spires, and
the Armory its acropolis ; and Longmeadow, though far away.
28 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Still visible on the distant horizon. And how still and Sabbath-
like the air ! How verdant and quiet this Goshen beneath, hid-
den away from the bustling world ! How rural their dwellings,
embowered in foliage, and overarched by those majestic elms !
" How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O
Israel ! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by
the river's side, as the trees of lingaloes which the Lord hath
planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters." Surely the peo-
ple of this happy valley have a favored heritage, and these are
the abodes of thrift and contentment and love. And so it
might be, but they are the children of Adam, who, even in Par-
adise, stretched out his hand to the unpossessed and forbidden
The town of Springfield, including at that time the whole
settlement, first had, and until 1640, i. e. five or six years after
its occupancy, it retained the Indian name of Agawam, The
name Springfield was given, as some say, out of compliment to
Mr. William Pynchon, the leader of the band who came from
Springfield, near Chelmsford, England. According to others, it
was so called, from the springs and streams which abounded in
the region. Names were given to their new possessions by the
early settlers from various reasons, and often capriciously.
Many Old Country names are repeated here ; many are derived
from something peculiar in their localities, as Brookfield, Long-
meadow, Greenfield ; and in many cases the Indian appella-
tives were retained, almost always with advantage for beauty of
sound, and descriptive meaning. Thus, in this neighborhood,
" Pawcatuck," the western brook and village of the town, means
" clear water." " Chicopee," " birch bark place." "Agawam,"
" crooked river," or " low meadow land." " Mittineaque,"
" swift water." " Ramapogue," is uncertain and unknown.
The place was reached thirteen or fourteen years after the
landing of the Pilgrims, and the settlement of Plymouth Colony,
in 1620. In the short interval they had spread abroad and
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 29
founded the colonies of Salem and Charlestown in 1628, and
Boston in 1630. In that year a large number of immigrants, in
ten or twelve ships, reached Boston, and complaints began to be
made of over population, and the cry was heard, " Give place
that we may dwell, for the place is too strait for us." " The
inhabitants of Massachusetts," says the historian, " were over-
pressed with multitudes of new families that daily resorted
thither, so as like a hive of bees overstocked, there was a ne-
cessity that some should swarm out." A Hvely idea is thus
afforded of the extent of the Puritan movement in England, as
well as in this country. But, certainly, there is something very
amusing in the idea of an inconvenient crowding of population
at that early date, and with such wide territories all around
them. To relieve the great pressure, however, as we must sup-
pose, application was made to the General Court, for leave to
advance to the Connecticut and form a new settlement there,
which was granted. About 1633, they reached the Great river,
(Quonnecticut,) so called by the Indians, not so much from its
size or length, probably, as from the number of smaller streams
which flow into it along its course, and swell its volume.
Windsor, the first settlement in Connecticut in 1633, Hartford
in 1635, and New Haven in 1638, were peopled by emigrants
from Dorchester ; Springfield about 1635, by those from Rox-
bury. Northampton was purchased from the Indians in 1653,
by Mr. John Pynchon, for one hundred fathoms of wampum and
ten coats and some trifles besides. Westfield was settled about
1660. From these movements we get an idea of a company of
surveyors rather than of permanent inhabitants. They were
the pioneers of the wilderness. Thus were they on the march
to fulfill the destiny which Divine Providence seems to have ap-
pointed for them, and for this country ; first to people New
England with sons begotten in their own likeness, and then to
pour forth, north and west and south, with ceaseless migration,
and interfuse themselves among all the other peoples on the
30 WEST SPRINGFIELD
continent, becoming, wherever they go, an element of intelli-
gence, enterprise and progress.
As the motive which induced them to seek the Connecticut
was the report of the rich lands in its neighborhood, the west
bank naturally first attracted them. The Indians esteemed
land on this side more valuable than on the other. Their first
building was in what, from that circumstance, is known as
" Home Meadow Lot" in the present Parish of Agawam. But
being warned by the friendly Indians, and probably finding from
experience that there they would be exposed to floods, they re-
turned to the east side and made that their homestead. They
formed fifteen articles of agreement: a constitution, you per-
ceive ; the American principle that from the beginning has
been introduced into all our municipal, State and general gov-
ernments ; and the spirit which predominated in their mind ap-
pears from the fact that the very first article of their compact
related to the settlement of a minister. They apportioned the
' land of which they had become possessed, with rigid impartial-
ity, giving to each settler a home-lot and meadow and wood-lot
extending eighty or one hundred rods up the hill, and also a
meadow-lot on the west side of the river, as nearly opposite to
the home-lot as possible. But the actual, permanent settle-
ment of West Springfield, after the failure at Agawam, was not
until 1654 or 5. It was on Chickopee Plains ; so that the real
original settlement of this town seems to have been above Meet-
ing-House Hill ; from there they spread below the hill, and into
what is now known as Agawam. The whole town of Spring-
field, on both sides of the river, was originally twenty-five
miles square, including what is now the whole of Holyoke,
West Springfield, Agawam, Westfield, Suffield, and nearly all
of Southwick on the west, and Springfield, Enfield, Somers,
Wilbraham, Ludlow and Longmeadow on the east ; a large
tract, now teeming with an industrious population. To the
honor of the first settlers, it should also be recorded that their
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 3 1
possessions were secured not only by legislative grants, but by
what was regarded by both parties as a fair purchase from the
Indians. What were the equivalents in all cases we do not
know ; and no doubt at the present time the most valuable
would appear ridiculous. Trinkets, strings of wampum for
miles of beautiful and fertile lands, seem like simply cheating
the natives. But the purchase recognized Indian rights, and
the parties appear to have been satisfied. An anecdote is given
by Dr. D wight in his travels, upon what he thought good au-
thority, to this effect : That in the early history of West
Springfield, one of the planters, a tailor, had purchased from
an Indian chief, for some small equivalent, a tract of about
three miles square of some of the best land in the region. An-
other planter, a carpenter, had constructed a clumsy wheel-
barrow, and after careful deliberation and bargaining the tailor
took the wheelbarrow in exchange for his land. If this was a
fair bargain between whites, it would have been gratuitous
knavery to have gone about to cheat the Indians. Troubles
and wars, we know, soon arose between the whites and the abo-
rigines all over New England. It was a result simply natural,
and perhaps absolutely necessary, or at least unavoidable. The
two races could not co-exist on the same soil. Jealousy of the
white man soon stimulated the Indian to secret plots and open
violence, which incensed the whites in turn to retaliation, and
wrong was revenged by wrong. In the French war, the Cana-
dian French subsidized and inflamed them against the English ;
the Pequot and King Philip's wars ; and in this vicinity the
burning of Springfield in 1675, so that only four or five houses
were left ; the massacres at Hadley and Deerfield, — these were
parts of the fearful tragedy. The flame which finally spread
all over the country was the funeral pyre of the red man's race,
and the means, dreadful, often, but certain, of the white man's
ascendancy. But whatever wrongs there may have been, the
unrequited seizure of their inheritance was not among them.
32 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Although Springfield was the homestead, yet West Spring-
field seems to have early become, and even until between 1810
and 1820 it continued to be, the leading town — the largest in
population in the old County of Hampshire, which included the
area now divided into the three river counties, Springfield,
Northampton and Hadley ; and, in fact, in 1662 the whole west-
ern part of the State. I have not the statistics previous to
1695. At that time West Springfield had two hundred inhab-
itants in thirty-two families. In 1756, in the March of which
year Dr. Lathrop commenced his pastorate of sixty-five years'
continuance, the population was between 500 and 600, i. e., it
had a little more than doubled in about sixty years. But the
following comparison may surprise you. In 1790, West Spring-
field had a population of 2,367 ; an increase of four-fold in
about thirty-four years. Westfield had 2,204; Conway, 2,290 ;
Northampton, 1,628, and Springfield 1,574, the smallest of all.
West Springfield was the largest, and exceeded Springfield by
about 800. This explains the prominence which West Spring-
field held, not only in this region but throughout the Common-
wealth. It was the leading town in Western Massachusetts,
and hence its historical influence. The census of 1810 showed
it to be still in advance by 400. But fifty or sixty years have
wrought a great change. In 1870 the tables are turned. West
Springfield had in that year 2,606 inhabitants ; Westfield, 6,679 5
and Springfield, 26,703. This was owing to obvious causes.
Springfield was, from the first, the trading centre, which nat-
urally concentrates population ; and West Springfield was a
farming district, which implies a sparse settlement. The
Armory, established in 1794, also brought operatives together;
and then the railroads since 1839 ^^ve made it the centre of an
immense business. Yet the preponderance of Springfield was
in some respects more apparent than real ; for if we bring into
the calculation, as we fairly should, the inhabitants of Holyoke
and Agawam, new towns formed out of the old, we shall find a
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 33
population covering the ancient territory of West Springfield,
not so very far behind that of Springfield in numbers.
The first parish of West Springfield was constituted the 27th
of May, 1696, and the first church was organized in June, 1698,
about sixty years after the settlement of the place. Two things
seem to be implied in this statement : First, that with Puritan
piety, their religious organization was first attended to, as it
preceded the incorporation of the town by nearly eighty years ;
and secondly, that before that time the}^ were accustomed to
cross the river to worship in Springfield, which was regarded
as the home. The application to the General Court at Boston,
to authorize them to form a separate parish, brings this latter
fact very strongly to light. It enlarges upon the inconvenience
and danger to which they were subjected by being obliged to
cross the river, and the General Court, with commendable cau-
tion, and in the quaint phraseology of the day, resolved to nom-
inate "indifferent men," who should adjudicate and settle the
The oldest burying-ground is said to have been given to the
parish by a Mr. Foster. The oldest grave-stones found there
are dated in 171 1 and 1712; but there must have been many
interments previous to that time in the ground in Springfield,
which must have the oldest burying-place, and the oldest mon-
uments, probably, in all Western Massachusetts.
The first meeting-house was occupied in 1702. It was lo-
cated on the Common, near where the new Park Street meeting-
house now stands, and almost in front of this new Town House.
It was forty-two feet square by ninety-two feet high, in humble
imitation, one might think, of the tower of Babel, and well
calculated to cause a shudder in all lovers of elegant, architec-
tural proportions. It had three roofs, going up to a point, and
doors on three sides. There the people met each Sabbath and
on public days, for just one hundred years ; for about forty
years by sound of drum. In 1743, a bell was procured, which
34 WEST SPRINGFIELD
was once recast, and on the opening of the n-ew meeting-house
was placed in its steeple. The first minister was Rev. Mr.
Woodbridge ; the second, Mr. Hopkins; both able and popular
men in their day, and both bearing names that in succeeding
generations have been conspicuous and honored in the theologi-
cal and educational annals of New England. From the un-
gainly pulpit of that ungainly house they preached the Word with
all fidelity ; Mr. Woodbridge for twenty, and Mr. Hopkins for
thirty-five years ; and from it, also, were delivered by Dr. Lathrop
many model sermons, among the most sensible and excellent
in matter, singularly clear and simple in arrangement, and clas-
sical in style, ever preached in New England, as his published
volumes attest. No man of his day, probably, wrote as many
and as good sermons as he. He was said to have written 5,000 ;
thus proving that that farming community was not so rude and
unlettered that their minister lacked stimulus for study and ex-
ertion ; it has ever been thus in West Springfield ; and show-
ing also that he was not so sluggish as to allow his position to
tempt him to indolence in his '"great work. Indeed, in mind, in
industry, in influence, and success, he was one of the foremost
men in the land. Not more diligently did the people cultivate
their fields than he his spiritual charge, which by such hus-
bandry became " a field which the Lord hath blessed." Be-
sides the volumes given to the press, he left large stores of man-
uscript sermons, which, for years after, were accustomed, in the
absence of their minister, to be read by his son at deacons'
meetings, and always to the satisfaction of the old people, who
seemed by the reader and the sermon to be carried back to the
days when the venerable man himself stood before them. I
always felt quite comfortable, when necessarily absent, in the
assurance that the people would not lose by a deacons' meet-
ing and a good sermon from Dr. Lathrop's pile; and I am not
certain the people did not sometimes have the same feeling.
The singular old structure, in time became so dilapidated
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 35
that the winds and the rain had free entrance and exit. It is
said, that at a public meeting the rain came down so abundantly
that a member proposed they should adjourn under the trees for
shelter. And if a pleasant satirical poem, by Dr. Lathrop, was
to be literally interpreted, the geese and the cattle found com-
fortable quarters during the week, where the Christians wor-
shiped on the Sabbath. A copy of this poem was given to
me by the late 'Squire Samuel Lathrop, and the good-humored
ridicule seemed to have had a happy effect. But diversity of
views and wishes as to its location, prevented the building of a
new meeting-house for a long time, and somewhat endangered
the peace of the Society. The controversy was at length com-
posed by the wise agency of Dr. Lathrop, and by the gift of Mr.
John Ashley, which now forms the Parish fund, and was be-
stowed on the conditions that all parties would agree to the loca-
tion he should select, and that the meeting-house should remain
there for a hundred years. It was opened in 1802, and has en-
dured for seventy-two of the prescribed term of years. Thus
came the church on the hill, which became thenceforth the Hill
of Zion and the hill of peace. The building contract was for
^1,400 and ten gallons of good rum ! The pews were occupied
by families according to the arrangement of what was called a
Seating Committee ; the aged persons having the preference,
and being advanced towards the pulpit. A mark of respect,
and perhaps, also, a gentle reminder that they were getting on
in years, and needed to pay particular attention to the words of
the preacher. A lot in Agawam meadows is still known as the
" Seatin lot," from the fact that the committee, while resting
from their work at noon, (beavering, I think they call it,) gath-
ered under the elms and seated the meeting-house. A very
primitive and even Old Testament mode of doing business !
The seats were free ; but every one was taxed for the support
of the standing order, unless he signed off; i. e., declared him-
self to be a member of some other society, to which he paid
36 WEST SPRINGFIELD
taxes. (This law was altered or annulled, I think, while I was
settled here.) The standing order was the Congregational : ex-
clusive of the Episcopalians, Baptists and Methodists. More-
over a fine was imposed upon such as absented themselves for a
certain time from the regular Sabbath services, and hence the
remark, that one went to meeting often enough to save his fine.
These and like practices, and the fact that the authorizing and
bounding of parishes, i. e., in reality the establishment of
churches was a prerogative of the General Court, show how
strong a hold the ideas and ways of England still kept over the
minds of the colonists. Nor need it create surprise. Men do
not, at a bound, reach the goal of final right on any subject, and
as little' do they emancipate themselves in a moment from old
ideas and customs. The truth is that the separate spheres of
church and state, and real "freedom to worship God" according
to the dictates of one's own conscience, were principles to which
no party of the Reformers or of that age had fully attained.
Not the estabhshed church of England, surely. Not the Puri-
tans, as portions of their history show ; nor the Presbyterians
of Scotland, for there is as much truth as sarcasm in Milton's
words, " New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large." Those
great thoughts grew into principles and usage much later, after
many struggles and only on this soil ; nor are they everywhere
nor yet in perfect practical operation, even among ourselves.
This connection prompts me to say a few words in regard to
the ministry of early New England, and their successors.
The ministers were, as a general thing, men of decided ability,
or they could not have stood foremost in the great enterprise in
hand ; men of learning, and many of them of superior culture.
They had received all the training the Universities could give ;
had taken the several degrees which attested their proficiency,
and had had regular ordination, and some of them held promi-
nent places in the church of England before they broke from its
fold and came to the New World. As far then, as they were
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 3/
leaders, and no other class was so much so, the Puritans were
not led, nor was New England settled, by a rabble of vulgar,
ignorant fanatics, while the great sentiment which guided their
course naturally ennobled them and their deeds. Rehgion was
the motive power, and not commercial gain, A marvelous in-
tensity of religious convictions, which in our day we can scarcely
understand, and regard perhaps as only a strange scrupulosity
about matters indifferent and trivial ; these religious convic-
tions, which could not be quelled, and would brook no compro-
mise, God infused into their souls, to impel them to break the
strong ties of kindred and country, to tempt the ocean in mis-
erable ships, and to plant themselves on the edge of a wilderness
behind which stretched out a vast continent, on whose very
borders, even at their entrance, they seemed to hear the com-
mand that they should go up upon the length and the breadth
of the land to possess it. One spirit animated pastors and peo-
ple. No colonists, of whom history gives us any record, were
ever impelled by such a spirit, and guided by such leaders.
With their piety the ministers brought their learning ; their
trained habits of thinking, and of careful preparation for their
duties. With their learning they brought their books ; in some
instances, libraries containing volumes of profound research and
rare value — the best erudition of the age. Education was a
necessity of State. An educated ministry was one of the stones
laid at the very foundation of the edifice they reared. To pro-
vide for this object, and for the education of their children, was
Harvard College founded as soon as possible, and ever since,
education has been a cardinal point, a glory of New England,
and an educated ministry indispensable.
But they were not a morose class, although the position and
work of the first generation might well make them very serious.
We smile, indeed, to read of the set, and very formal, solemn
manners which existed, for example, in President Edwards' fam-
ily. Such formality and precision, it is true, were quite com-
38 WEST SPRINGFIELD
mon ; the virtue of reverence was inculcated upon the young
with great care: but these manners did not eradicate human
nature; rather they raised and refined it ; while the humor, the
anecdotes we read of, the pleasantry, the wit which abounded
in the social intercourse of many of the old ministers, prove
that their real piety was not an enemy to domestic and social
enjoyment ; that a timely laugh, and even a joke, were not the
unpardonable sin. " A large, roundabout common sense " was
conspicuous in their ways. There was a large infusion of this
element, combined with great vivacity of spirit, that relieved
the strength and dignity of his character in Dr. Lathrop.
Many stories of his genial humor and keen, ready wit, circulate
in the parish to this day. His physical and moral proportions
seemed in happy accord.
They employed the press freely, and by that means supplied
very useful reading to the people in the scantiness or absolute
want of reading matter from other sources; for as yet reading
rooms were unknown, bookstores rare, and newspapers very
few. True they wrote and published chiefly upon theological
themes ; they were the absorbing topic, and imbued the com-
munity with principles and kept them thinking. And this ac-
counts perhaps, in a measure, for the noticeable cast of the New
England mind, even yet ; its tendency to discussion ; to moral,
political, metaphysical, religious and irreligious speculations.
The Mathers ; Shepherd, of whose writings I have in my library
two ancient volumes, one published in London in 1655, the other
in 1659; Stoddard; and of the generations following, Edwards,
Bellamy, Hopkins, Dwight, Lathrop, — these were a few of the
men whose work exerted a powerful influence in their own day,
and live and are likely to live in coming times. This particular
region was eminently favored with such ministers and writers,
as also with religious light and revivals promoted by their min-
istry. "The great awakening" began and prevailed along this
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 39
These men as a general thing were not indeed elegant orators.
Very few of them, probably, would have been chosen professors
of elocution in our colleges. Some specimens -of most godly
men, of this class, I have known, were about as far from elo-
quence, in the popular idea of the word, as could well be conceived.
And many manuscripts I have seen of Dr. Lathrop's sermons,
and of others, written on the smallest sized paper, in a very fine
character, and very close lines, (as if paper was very scarce,)
would defy all efforts at free reading, not to speak of anything
bordering on elocution. But the people were in sympathy with
their spirit and their thoughts, and wished no beautifully em-
broidered screen interposed between them and the truth ; they
were willing its light and its heat should come, without softening
its rays, directly to their consciences and hearts. Their minis-
ters, again, were always abreast of their age, and often in advance
of it in wise progress, and beyond denial they were a political
as well as a religious power. But rash experiments in govern-
ment ; abrupt and radical upturning in policy ; change for the
sake of change ; endless reforms with no time for the edifice to
settle on its foundation ; the shaking up of the commonwealth
that the dregs might come to the top, such things they neither
preached nor favored. Yet here, as all over the land, the revo-
lution met the cordial support of the clergy ; as more recently
the clergy of the country were almost unanimously on the side
of the government in our sad civil war, because they felt the
righteousness of the cause. If then your social and political
heritage is to be prized beyond that of other lands, let this town,
let New England, let the whole country never forget their obli-
gations to the Christian ministry in the seed-time of their State.
And if infidelity should sneer and communism scoff at priestly
politicians and claim to devise a system better than our own ;
to rear a temple of civil freedom without a religion and without
a God ; to establish a community with no law but the unchecked
impulse of raving passion, without personal purity, domestic
40 WEST SPRINGFIELD
order, social morality ; we may boldly reply that but for such
agency as the Christian religion and its ministers exerted in our
history, we might have had a French revolution but no United
States. Nor can our blessings be secured against these and all
enemies in time to come, excepting upon the same condition
and at the same price of eternal vigilance. The ambition for
place and power ; the dreadful relaxation of moral bonds ; pecu-
lations and frauds ; admonish us that even now we need a new
enforcement of the like agencies. Our morality wanes under
the power of a cold, calculating, selfish worldliness.
As Springfield was in the beginning the centre of the whole
settlement, the new parishes formed on this side, before West
Springfield was incorporated, were styled parishes of Springfield.
Thus Agawam (the only portion of the original domain that
retains the Indian name) was made a distinct parish in 1737, in-
cluding what in 1800 was constituted into the parish of Feeding
Hills, and was the sixth parish of Springfield ; afterwards the
second of West Springfield. Ireland parish, so named from the
unusual circumstance that a few Irish families were located there,
was first united with settlers on the east side in 1750, and formed
into the fifth parish of Springfield, afterwards the third of West
Springfield. Of ministers living I shall speak of no others than
my predecessor and friend. Dr. Sprague, who through his long
pastorates here and in Albany, has maintained a popularity
equalled by few and excelled by none ; whose literary labors
have been extensive and valuable, and who, in retired age, still
gathers around him the respect and affections of very many
friends — the reward of a consistent and useful life.
I told you at the outset that the religious and civil histories
were so intertwined as hardly to be separable. They are the
one history of the one people. The charter for a separate town
was granted by the General Court in 1773-4, 120 years from the
permanent settlement at Chicopee Plains, and yS after the or-
ganization of the first parish. I say the charter was granted
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 4 1
but in reality it was imposed. For it seems that the application
for a separate township came not from West Springfield, but
from Springfield, and was carried against the earnest remon-
strances of those who were to constitute the new town. The
cause of this singular procedure, why the people of Spring-
field should thus seek separation from their neighbors, is not
known. But the fact to which I have referred, that West
Springfield about that time was, or was becoming, the more
populous and controlling place, may afford a clue to the mys-
tery. If so, Springfield disliked to be ruled, and must have
been ambitious to have its own way ; and then it must follow
that West Springfield liked to rule, and was not ready to part
with authority. Simple human nature in both ! The limits of
the town thus incorporated were fourteen miles in length by
four in width. Now they are about six miles in length and four
in breadth. It became a town in troublous times. The con-
troversy between the mother country and the colonies, the main
point of which was the claim of the colonists that representa-
tion should go along with taxation, was reaching its crisis. In
1774 the clouds had already darkened the sky ; the thunder had
been heard to mutter in the distance ; the storm came, and in
1776 the Declaration of Independence ended forever the author-
ity of Great Britain over these States, and created a new star
in the constellation of nations, destined ere a century should
have rolled away to rise upward in the firmament and shed its
influence for good over all the rest, — over the civilized world.
We are beginning to realize the import of that act, and the
world begins to realize it also. It was not for ourselves alone.
It was one of those grand events, arranged by a superintending
Providence, both to indicate and to advance the world's prog-
ress. Through its working among the nations, thrones have
been cast down, and power has been given to the people against
civil and ecclesiastical oppression.
It was a thing to be expected, that some internal commotions
42 WEST SPRINGFIELD
should appear before the political sea could rock itself to rest.
Shay's insurrection in 1786 broke out in this region, and West
Springfield was, in part, the theatre of operations, a large force
of the insurgents being collected here under Luke Day, who
gave the most complete description of a demagogue I have ever
heard : " I will do as I please, and other people must do as I
say." The insurrection arose, it is said, because of the oppres-
sive debts contracted by individuals and the State during the
Revolution, and chiefly, as we may suppose, from the deprecia-
tion of values caused by the unredeemable paper currency, the
old Continental money. It was soon and easily suppressed ;
but the cause may teach a valuable lesson to legislators con-
cerning the demoralizing and dangerous effects of an irredeem-
able currency and financial derangements. To compare great
things with small, the French revolution and Shay's insurrec-
tion may be cited as cases in point.
One of the most important events to the town and the State,
after the giving of the charter, was the erection of the bridge
in 1805 by a corporate company. The sermon by Dr. Lathrop
to which I have alluded, a great literary curiosity, has this title-
page : "A Discourse delivered at Springfield, October 30, 1805,
on occasion of the completion and opening of the great Bridge
over Connecticut River, between the towns of Springfield and
West Springfield, By Joseph Lathrop, D, D., Pastor of the
first Church in West Springfield. Second Edition, H. Brewer,
Printer, Mass." The text was from Isaiah xlv. 18, — "God him-
self, that formed the earth and made it, he created it not in
vain : he formed it to be inhabited." How apt ! Conceive
some ancient prophet announcing that sublime text to the Pil-
grims on Plymouth Rock ! The Scripture the text, their his-
tory to be the sermon ! The discourse, which displays great
ingenuity, is a sort of passage-way for pertinent thoughts from
the most widely separated regions, as the bridge itself collects
and conveys commodities from the extreme parts of the land.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 43
The lessons inculcated are exceedingly appropriate. The inter-
course between the people on the opposite sides of the river for
150 years had been by boats. We may imagine what a won-
derful revolution the bridge must have made in the social and
business relations of the whole country, — as great, for that day,
as the opening of the railroad bridge more recently, — affording
a perfect justification of the religious mode of '^improving' the
great occasion, as the phrase is, which never made the bridge
less firm and safe, nor more sightly. It was for many. years a
toll bridge, but is now free and but one of several.
The building of the town-house on the Common, in 1820, was
another prominent public event. And one fact of interest in
connection with it is, that portions of the first meeting-house,
which had stood for 120 years, and was used for public meetings
after the meeting-house on the hill was opened, were placed in
this edifice. Beams and rafters that had grown up into stately
trees while the Indian was yet monarch and the white man had
not trodden the soil ; which then for one hundred years re-
sponded to hymns and sermons ; and then, for fifty years more,
have reverberated with parochial and town-meeting eloquence.
How interesting would it have been if they could have been
identified and placed in this new and commodious town-house
you dedicate to-day. What a connecting link between savage
and civilized life ! What tallies notched with the chief events
of the settlement! What tales of solemn import; of quaint
manners and earnest words and deeds ; of the flight of years
and the flow of human generations, would they tell into our
But other interesting antiquities there are. Mr. Aaron Day's
house on the Common is 120 years old, and near it is said to be
a subterranean passage constructed as an escape from the In-
dians. Mr. Richard Baggs' house in Shad Lane is of an un-
known age, but very ancient. The grand old trees are also a
striking feature in the appearance of the town. The elms in
44 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Ramapogue street, dug at Baber's swamp in Tatham, were set
out by Lewis and Ebenezer Day and John Ely over one hundred
years ago. Darius Ely set out the large button-woods in Joseph
Morgan's yard in 1782. And if Dr. Johnson's remark was just,
that the man who makes a tree to grow where there is none is
a public benefactor, their names deserve honorable mention.
But the monarch of all is the "big elm" in Shad Lane ; so called
because the men living there were all engaged in the shad fish-
ery, and hence it received the most business-like, but least
euphonious or pleasing, of all the names in the town. That
district, near the bridge, has now become a dense settlement of
operatives in Springfield ; and the aspect of the place is under-
going such changes that soon, I fear, the once rural Paradise
will cease to be "the loveliest village of the plain." The Big
Elm, as 'Squire Heman Day told me, was brought on his shoul-
ders from the Agawam meadows and planted there on his 21st
birthday. Three feet above the ground it is 24J feet in circum-
ference, and its branches shade about half an acre. Planted
there in 1776, it is about the same age as the town. It is just
as old as our national government, and a beautiful emblem of
that tree of liberty that has struck deep its roots into the earth,
whose trunk has stood firm and majestic amidst all the storms
it has endured, and whose spreading branches cast a healthful
shade over the entire continent. " The hills are covered with
the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof are like the goodly
cedars. She sends out her boughs unto the seas and her
branches unto the rivers,"
For nearly three quarters of a century, the town experienced
few changes. The people met on the Sabbath in devout wor-
ship, and at stated times to transact parochial and town busi-
ness, and elect delegates to the General Court and to Congress.
And thus, and in industrial pursuits, the years flowed on. The
grave-yards gathered the generations into their silent domains,
and sons took the places of their sires. It was so in part. But
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 45
from a desire to escape the quietude and plunge into more ex-
citing scenes ; from natural ambition to better their circum-
stances, and still more from that restless spirit which has
impelled the race onward and still onward, to cover the whole
continent and possess its wealth, the young men very com-
monly left the old homes, to people the receding West. Yet it
was not a " sleepy hollow," where life was sunk in lethargy.
They were intelligent as well as industrious, and kept informed
of what was going on in the world. There was an unusual
number of college-bred men here in my day, and I doubt
whether any community of the size, was more regardful of the
education of the young, or sent to the colleges more young men
than West Springfield ; the lists comprising many of different
professions, and the record of the town in this respect being
Within the last twenty-five or thirty years, however, the state
of things has greatly altered. Although the soil was adapted to
farming, there were, all over the surrounding region, and within
the town itself, vast capabilities for manufacturing purposes,
which have been utilized, and have wrought extensive changes,
not only in the occupations and habits of the people, but to a
large degree also in the appearance of the town and the sur-
rounding country. Springfield, nearly up to 1840, had the char-
acter of a pleasant inland country town of quite moderate size,
chiefly occupying a district of perhaps a quarter of a mile, or a
little more in circuit, from the first meeting-house as the centre.
" A few stores on the main street were frequented by the inhabi-
tants, and the people from the country. There were two
churches so far as my recollection goes, possibly three, some
very sightly dwellings on the hills, Ames' Paper Factory, the
Armory, probably one quarter of its present extent, and there
were less than 10,000 inhabitants. The principal hotel was at the
corner of Main and Court streets, whence stages started at set
times up and down the river, and east and west, delivering their
46 WEST SPRINGFIELD
passengers, wearied and worn, at Albany or Boston, in, it may
be, twenty hours. I have left West Springfield at midnight, to
take the morning boat at Hartford for New York, arriving
there in the evening, with great boasting at the wonderfully
rapid transit from Springfield to New York in a day. But how
has Springfield enlarged the place of her tent, and stretched
abroad the curtains of her habitations. It has now a popula-
tion, I suppose, of about 30,000, churches numerous and costly,
elegant residences and capacious stores of all kinds, a fine pub-
lic library, several able and influential newspapers, long ranges
of streets, alive with busy crowds ; is the radiating centre of
railroads, north and south, and east and west, over which are
annually carried millions of freight, and myriads of travelers,
showing in a very striking manner the material prosperity, and
the moving, bustling energy of American life.
Cabot was a small village, now the seat of large factories, and
the home of a large manufacturing community. And so of the
But on this western side the progress has not been less sur-
prising. Holyoke, formerly the Ireland Parish, at the north end
of the town, has, within a year, become a manufacturing city,
with 14,000 inhabitants, and its valuation has increased from
$2,^74,S66 in 1863, to ^8,578,192 in 1873. Mills and machine
shops are various and very extensive. Its water works from Ash-
ley's pond cost ^250,000; its free bridge nearly ^150,000, It
has nine churches, eleven school-houses, and land has risen
in some localities over 200 per cent, in five years. About
7,000,000 of pressed brick are made there annually.
At the north end of modern West Springfield, Mr. Clark has
a flourishing carriage factory, which reminds me to say, that the
first wagon known in the town, was without springs, and owned
in Amostown. Whoever has suffered by such a conveyance
over a rough road, and then has tried Mr. Clark's carriage, and
then a drawing-room car over a smooth rail, mjast be well
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 47
drilled in the degrees of comparison : positive, misery; compar-
ative, comfort ; superlative, enjoyment. Yet the primitive
method of going to meeting on horseback, the women on a pil-
lion, could hardly have equaled the springless wagon in comfort.
The water power of the Agawam has also been turned to
good account. Mittineaque, begun in 1844, contains 900 inhab-
itants, being one-third of the whole town, a Congregational and
a Catholic church, and four large schools, a cotton mill, employ-
ing about 300 hands, three paper mills, manufacturing in the
aggregate five tons daily ; all grown up on the spot, which, in
my time was as wild and unreclaimed as when the savage
hunted its forests, or shot his canoe across its waters. Mr,
Sewall White, who overflowed with curious and antique lore,
was accustomed to relate a tale, not all invented, probably, but
received by the early settlers from current tradition ; a legend
of Indian love which had its seat at Mittineaque. Names and
minute circumstances have perished in the lapse of years. But
diverse forms of life are really not so opposite, that we cannot
in one condition often picture to ourselves the realities of an-
other. We may conceive the Indian beauty, the pride of her
village, and the Indian brave, her favored suitor, and follow out
a story which needs no vivid imagination to fill up its details of
love and plighted faith ; of joys and fears ; of desertion and jeal-
ousy ; of frantic passion and wild despair; the "swift waters"
at Mittineaque closing at last over the broken-hearted pagan
maiden. We do not often recall to our thoughts the truth, that
this whole continent had been the theatre, upon which, ere yet
the white man came, great nations flourished, and the drama of
life was enacted in its twofold forms, both tragedy and comedy ;
that here were homes in which the affections and sympathies of
human hearts, warm and tender as our own, conjugal and pater-
nal and filial love and duty played their part ; and that here
also, human passions dwelt in savage breasts, and were excited to
deeds of grandeur or horror ; to heroism and self-sacrifice ; to
48 WEST SPRINGFIELD
treachery and blood. The ground on which we tread covers a
whole people, once numerous and mighty, of whom scarce a
vestige remains. Sometimes the names imprinted on the soil
remind us that they were here ; and tradition, fast fading into
mist, tells what they were, and obscurely what they thought, and
what they did. The air seems full of voices of the past ; of ro-
mance unstoried; histories untold : and poetry unsung. Stream-
lets and groves were often the seats of a mythology as beautiful
and imaginative as that of Greece, and the deep forests, of a su-
perstition as stern and cruel as that of the Druids. And many
a spot over which we heedlessly wander, has been the scene of
sweet home-bred joys, or Spartan fortitude, or more than Ro-
man courage. And many also, could the earth give up her se-
cret of fearful crimes, of desolated homes and crushed happiness.
But it was all human still. And there was a religion too. The
Great Spirit implied the idea of a God ; the Northern Dancers,
immortality ; the great hunting ground, a conscious, active being
beyond the grave ; all, no doubt, the shattered fragments of some
very ancient tradition brought away, probably, from the early
seats of the human family. Could the red man have held the
pen, what narratives could he have given of life enacted on this
very soil, to show how human nature is evermore the same in
its elements, and how truth is stranger than fiction. But the
Indian is dispossessed, and from the homes of his tribes, and the
graves of his fathers, he pursues his weary journey to the set-
.ting sun. Soon he will have disappeared forever from the con-
tinent that once was his ; and no historian or poet of his own
will ever write his story, or chant the funeral dirge of his race.
We give our version, not always perhaps the truth, and the
term savage is made to mean, whatever is faithless or ferocious
among men. But have you ever read a tale of savage barbar-
ity that could not instantly be matched by one of civilized and
self-styled Christian men, against their Christian brothers .'' often,
too, under the mask of religion. And oh ! how long and fearful
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 49
the catalogue of wrongs of civilized men against the poor In-
But while we thus expend our sympathies, we may be re-
minded that the Indian was but a modern compared with na-
tions, the monuments of whose civilization and power excite
our wonder and baffle our curiosity. All over the continent,
but especially through its central regions, their works remain
more skillful and imperishable than any the red men have left,
and bearing evidence of a higher degree of cultivation. But
when and whence they came, and who and what they were, and
how they perished, what oracle will proclaim ? How strange
that in this newly discovered and virgin world we are walking
amidst the tombs of many ages, and successive races of men,
who here grew great and built cities and have left evidences of
military art to prove their title to man's warlike passion, and
their Babel towers are ruins, and the builders have made them-
selves no name to be remembered. Truly " Man is like to
vanity." Over this vast tomb is written, " Generation goeth and
The glance we have taken at the changes which have oc-
curred in this town, during the few past years, is full of inter-
est. In place of the one church, we find eighteen or twenty,
meaning, as we hope, that religion has kept pace with the ad-
vancement in other respects. The population has increased, in
the last half of the century, six or seven fold. Three free
bridges and two railroad bridges span the river in place of one
then within the limits of the town ; and all around this rural
centre, the throngs of operatives, and the roar of machinery,
and the bales of merchandise, and these but a small portion of
what the whole State produces, seem to say that New England
will soon rival Old England in various fabrics, as Pennsylvania
threatens to do with iron. But education in this favored region
has advanced in like proportion. Round Hill at Northampton,
the Female Academy at South Hadley, the Academies at East
50 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Hampton, Wcstfield, Wilbraham, and Amherst College, all in
this vicinity, and all created within the present century, in ad-
dition to a full supply of district schools, show the value the
people set on education, and that of the higher order. This,
and their Puritan principles, have given them their pre-emi-
nence. We can with difficulty estimate the advancement in
books, apparatus, school accommodations and modes of instruc-
tion at the present day, over the very limited means of educa-
tion fifty, or even twenty-five years ago. And the discoveries
and improvements, particularly in Natural Science, are literally
immeasurable. Boys and girls at primary schools are now in-
ducted into learning that was unknown when their grandsires
were at college.
And if we raise our eyes from this immediate vicinity, to
survey the whole country, what wonders fill our minds. From
a narrow strip on the Atlantic coast, the population has spread
in fifty years to the base of the Rocky Mountains, filling all the
intermediate space with States, many of them larger than sev-
eral kingdoms of the Old World. They have over-leaped the
mountains and poured down the declivities on the west, plant-
ing Cities and States on the Pacific shore, and carrying there
the principles, the institutions, and the religious conscience,
also, which characterized the early colonists in America.
And if, with wider view, we take in the civilized world, we find
that the whole has been in motion. In inventions and discov-
eries affecting almost all departments of industry ; in conse-
quent improvement in the conditions of social life ; in political
changes that promote the true ends of government, and the
well-being of the masses of the people ; in the introduction of
high moral and religious principles into public acts ; in thus
urging on the race in the path of true progress, the last hun-
dred years have been, probably, the most efficient of all the
ages of recorded time. With Galileo we may exclaim," But it
does move ! " And let us not overlook the fact that in this
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 5 I
progress, the idea of right and of duty, in place of mere will
and brute force, has been gaining ground. It was consicence ;
the feeling of obligation to their own conscience and to God : it
was Luther's " Here I stand : God help me : I can do no other-
wise," that filled and exalted the souls of the Puritans in Eng-
and, the Huguenots in France, the Covenanters in Scotland,
to brave all consequences in the maintenance of what they felt
to be right. That conscientiousness planted these wastes with re-
ligious men, and they have carried it over the continent and have
spoken its lesson to other lands. The assertion of principle
wrought out our independence. It was to establish justice.
And let me add, duty to God and to humanity roused the spirit
and stiffened the sinewy arm of the nation in our late civil con-
flict, to uphold our free constitution, and wipe out forever and for-
ever the stain and the curse of African slavery, I think this idea
of conscientious duty runs through our whole history. Plymouth
Rock ; the monumental granite on Bunker's Hill ; the soldiers'
monuments in every town, and that beautiful memorial tablet
you have so fittingly placed at the entrance of this hall, to com-
memorate your sons given up at the call of duty, all proclaim
that the Puritan principle and spirit have not yet died out.
But strange contradictions appear in human societies. Israel,
God's chosen people, was selected from among the nations as
the repository of the doctrine of the Divine Unity. Yet their
prevailing sin, until the Babylonish captivity, was idolatry. The
United States were committed to the doctrine of universal
freedom and equal rights for all men. It was the boasted land
of liberty. But nowhere, certainly in modern times, was slav-
ery so widely spread and so deadly. I believe God appointed
this as the theatre, and brought the two principles face to face,
that here the battle might be fought out and the victory pro-
claimed for all future times and places. And I ever thought the
evil was so inveterate that it must end in convulsions and blood.
The issue came, and has been settled in our day. When the
52 WEST SPRINGFIELD
thunders and lightnings of war ceased, a voice came out from
the throne saying, " It is done." Slavery is ended. This op-
probrium is removed henceforth from this fair continent, and it
will disappear, in due time and speedily, from all civilized States,
in marked reversal of the practices of all former ages and
modes of social and political life.
And to America also the honor falls of having under very
irritating circumstances, reduced to practical use the Christian
idea of international arbitration ; reason and right in the settle-
ment of national disputes, in the place of senseless and passion-
ate war. It is a fitting prayer for our nation ; evermore let
principle and conscience assert their supremacy in all our affairs ;
let this idea be ingrafted into the fixed sentiments of the people,
that reason is better than violence, justice is always politic, that
truth is great and will prevail. And this prayer should be re-
duced to a settled purpose, universal in its application ; including
all classes of men and all kinds of evil. The broad and mas-
sive foundation of our whole national superstructure should
be righteousness ; then will become manifest to mankind the
reason of the being of this republic in the course of human
events. The training of the Fathers, under the hard rule of
despotism, civil and ecclesiastical ; their guidance to this land ;
their settlement ; the revolution ; our civil war, and by that
means the extinction of slavery ; will be seen to have been so
many steps by which our nation became prepared to take its
pecuhar place and speak with high authority of liberty and
of justice in the counsels of mankind. Thus events will " Vin-
dicate eternal providence, and justify the ways of God to man."
Here, then, we close our review of the settlement of West
Springfield and of the past hundred years of the town. It has
been a time of great commotion ; and the changes wrought
have not been superficial merely, but have reached the founda-
tion of the religious, social and political fabric. Our entire civil
polity has been changed ; and with the perfect freedom of action
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 53
now enjoyed, with the path of advancement in various directions
opened to the generous ambition of all classes, and with in-
creasing wealth and ease, the sentiments and habits of the peo-
ple are likely also to undergo great modifications. The character
of the generations that are to come after us, will feel these in-
fluences even more than we have done. It is to be developed
under other conditions than those which existed in the retired
life and simple occupations of the Fathers ; and the result must
be contemplated with solicitude by every Christian patriot and
every lover of his race. Will they escape the danger of a low,
material civilization .'' The Fathers served their generations by
the will of God, and are fallen asleep. But their life-work re-
mains. Their just thoughts, their religious spirit, their energy
and enterprise infused themselves into the young blood of the
nation, and their memorial appears in the noble institutions
under which we live. Thus far, these institutions have been
preserved against trials not a few nor small. They stand, at
this day, in a more hopeful condition, in some respects, than at
any preceding period ; more free from inward contrarieties and
outward dangers ; better poised on their foundations, and more
authoritative before the world. Shall it continue thus ? We
read the past. The record of a century of struggles and suc-
cesses, is open before us, and we thank God and take courage.
But the future is always uncertain. What eye can pierce the
obscurity .'' what prophetic mind can forecast the events . of a
century to come ? That they will be as momentous in their in-
fluence upon the progress of mankind as any that have ever
occurred, I fully believe. We have not yet reached the prom-
ised land. But we are acting in one of the grand revolu-
tions of time. We are hasting in providence, as I think,
to a new order of things, of which only divine prophecy gives
us a glimpse. Nor can we fail to ask with anxiety what shall
be the place and position of our beloved country in that coming
age ? And we may answer with confidence, that if the princi-
54 WEST SPRINGFIELD
pies which animated the first settlers, if the spirit that was in
them be maintained ; if the God they obeyed be revered ; if
our children love truth and justice, and practice moderation,
amidst the affluence of their advantages, all will be well. Our
Republic will then march in the van of the nations, going on to
a higher, purer, and altogether a better civilization than any the
world has yet known. The bright vision that dawns on our
fancy will have become reality ; our hopes will have passed into
fruition ; our children will be living amidst the splendor of the
golden age of promise, enjoying the blessings the Bible foretells.
The days of ignorance, and injustice, and vice, and misrule, and
convulsions, and wars will have gone, to be succeeded by pros-
perity and gladness
" Such as earth saw never,"
" Such as heaven stoops down to see."
" Shall old acquaintance be forgot ? " was then sung with ex-
cellent effect ; prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Ashbel Vermilye
of Schenectady, N. Y. ; the long meter doxology rang out
grandly in the solemn strains of " Old Hundred," and the bene-
diction, by the orator of the day, concluded the exercises in the
THE FIRST TOWN HALL.
BUILT IN 1820.
THE CENTENNIAL DINNER.
Following the hall exercises came the glad news of dinner in
the school-room below. The space being limited, only 190
found places at the table, but enough crowded in afterward to
make locomotion almost impossible. Col. Aaron Bagg appro-
priately presided here, as he did in the hall above. Rev, E. B.
Clark, of Chicopee, invoked the Divine blessing on the prepared
food. The feast ended, the Band played, and the President of
the day announced the first regular toast :
" The Governor of the Commonwealth." The response came
from the Secretary in the following letter :
Boston, March 21, 1874.
My Dear Sir : — Your favor with an invitation for me to be
present at the anniversary exercises of your town on the 25th
ultimo is at hand. Be assured it would give me pleasure to be
with you on so interesting an occasion ; but my official en-
gagements are such, that it will be impossible for me to accept
your kind request. You may well be proud of your history in
the past, and I trust the future will be no less eminent. While
I am not personally acquainted with many of your townsmen,
yet I know how ready you have been to further every good
and noble enterprise. May your children be worthy successors
of so noble an ancestry.
I am your obedient servant,
W. B. Washburn.
" The Commonwealth of MassacJmsetts^' was responded to by
Mr, Samuel L. Parsons, of New York :
About two hundred and fifty years ago there landed from the
old ship, Mayflower, on the rocky shores of Massachusetts, a
56 WEST SPRINGFIELD
company of one hundred and two persons, seeking the freedom
that the New World offered, to worship God, and to plant a new
nation that might be an honor to the world. The severe win-
ter, exposures, and disease, carried to the grave in four months
one-half of the Pilgrim party. But this terrible affliction only
served to draw the hearts of those who survived more closely
together, and to knit them more firmly in bonds of brotherhood,
for the purpose of accomplishing the work the Master had for
them to do. The compact formed on the Mayflower was carried
into the new State ; it is the corner-stone of the institutions
that have been handed down to us, and in which we so proudly
rejoice to-day. Massachusetts is the leading State in manufac-
tures ; she is not behind in the arts ; her commerce is of world-
wide repute ; her statesmen are among the leading minds of
the world ; her churches and schools are open to the people ;
her purse is open to the cry of distress from whatever land.
Wherever I have traveled, I have found the people not only re-
spect a man from Massachusetts, but they are ready to trust
him, believing that true men hail from the old Bay State ; in-
deed her sons are among the leading men in nearly all the
States of the Union, and have carried her institutions and
energy with them. It is hardly necessary for me to occupy
your time further ; your own immortal Webster was content to
say of Massachusetts, " There she is, behold her." And surely
it would be presumption in me, with the added glories of a
quarter of a century, not to leave her in that same exalted
" The Orator of the Day" called up Dr. Tiios. E. Vermilye,
of New York City :
Mr. President : — I thank you most sincerely for the com-
plimentary manner in which you are pleased to speak of my
services to-day ; and I thank this company and the good people
of the old town of West Springfield, for the kindness they have
shown me to-day, and me and mine in times past. I feel much
at home in this region and recall years of pleasant, and I hope
not unprofitable residence among you — as the pastor of the old
first parish. I have always felt, and often said that my minis-
terial life and usefulness (if I have been useful in my calling),
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 57
was greatly formed and made by my pastorate in West Spring-
field, and my advice to my young brethren would be to prefer
such a parish for their first settlement, if they could find it, to
any city charge, as the school for their professional training.
But, Mr. President, I ought not to indulge such a strain ; and
particularly I ought not to occupy the time of this respected
company after taxing them already for more than an hour at
the public meeting. Let me, however, pay a debt of justice
before I sit down. Of course I knew a good deal of West
Springfield ; its history, its localities, its men, and many, also,
of its peculiarly good things in the way of story and anecdote.
But I needed aid in the short time given me for preparation,
and for that aid, in the collection of materials, I wish it to be
understood that I was indebted very largely to Deacon Bagg,
who has taken such a lively interest in this Centennial Celebra-
tion ; and who is such an adept in West Springfield lore that
what he does not now know of West Springfield, can hardly be
greatly worth knowing.
Mr. President, we shall not meet again ; none of us will be
here when the next century shall have rolled round. But may
they who then shall occupy these places have no reason to
chide themselves for any defection from the principles and ex-
ample of the Pilgrim fathers.
" Oitr Brave Soldiers',' was responded to by Rev. E. N. Pome-
ROY, Pastor of the First Church :
Mr. President : — Of the soldiers of this town who took part
in the three great wars of our nation's history, I cannot now
speak particularly. I cannot tell you of their individual ex-
ploits, or of their individual sufterings. I cannot even point
out the great engagements in which they severally took part ;
indeed I can call very few of them by name. I can only speak
of them as constituent parts of a mighty force of freemen, who,
from farm, and mill, and shop, and bench, and study, and pulpit,
and every other place where men support their families, and
earn the rights of citizenship, assembled under asms with de-
termination to resist oppression, to suppress rebellion, and to
maintain their rights ; and who, after accomplishing their object,
returned to their homes and quietly resumed their occupations.
58 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Perhaps the world never witnessed a grander spectacle than
that of these earnest, intelligent, and many of them educated
men, assembling at their country's call to fight her battles, and
to die if need were in her defence ; except when it saw the vic-
torious survivors, after these battles were fought, and when the
cause was maintained, returning to their families and to the
duties of civil life.
But sir, I am not here to pronounce an oration on the virtue
and the valor of our soldiers ; the occasion does not call for it.
The living do not desire our encomiums ; the dead do not need
our eulogies. It is enough for the former that the integrity of
this Union is preserved ; that the foundation of this government
is established ; that the fetters of the slave are broken. It suf-
fices for the latter that their deeds have passed into history ;
that their names are written in substantial granite, and memo-
rial marble ; that their memories are cherished by those who
love them, and that, with every returning spring-time, their
graves are decorated, and their epitaphs re-written with flowers.
It is, however, especially fitting that our soldiers should be
remembered to-day ; and in every future centennial celebration ;
even when this imposing structure shall have given place to one
still loftier and grander, may our soldiers receive ever prouder
and more honored mention. Without their aid this people
could never have become a nation ; they had never resisted the
aggressions of British tyranny ; they might often have declared,
but could never have established their independence. It is
owing to their valor, in great part, that this nation remains a
first-class power; that the sun in the heavens does not look
down on "states dissevered, discordant, belligerent ;" that the
roll-call of slavery has never yet been heard under the shadow
of our Bunker Hill Monument, and that it is now quite certain
it never will be heard there.
It is commonly considered a great and glorious thing to have
fought for one's country ; to have stood upon " the perilous edge
of battle ; " to have flung one's self into "the imminent, deadly
breach;" and so it is. But sir, it is a noble and a glorious
thing to have done one's duty anywhere. The grandest victo-
ries are not those won in deadly strife ; the most valiant fight-
ing is not that done on the sanguinary field ; the proudest, the
supreme moment is not
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 59
" When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
And the long line comes gleaming on ; "
it follows not " the rush of adverse battalions, the sinking and
rising of pennons, the flight, the pursuit, and the victory;" it
comes rather to a man when through a long course of years,
having patiently, persistently, fearlessly done right, at last
though only at the close of his mortal career, he sees his life's
object accomplished. Not every hero has borne arms in battle ;
not every soldier has been under fire ; not every valiant man
has marched to the cannon's mouth ; not every conqueror has
been crowned with laurel.
" Peace hath her victories,
No less renowned than war."
They who incur odium in the discharge of duty ; they who re-
fuse to sacrifice principle for pelf or position ; they who dare
part with reputation if need be to preserve character ; they, the
vanguard in the army of the Lord, who take and hold positions
in advance of the age in which they live ; they who are deter-
mined and prepared to do their duty though the heavens fall;
these, sir, I maintain are the bravest of the brave.
Our soldiers in the Revolution, and in the war of 1812, did
their work well ; but after peace was finally established, and an-
other conflict with the mother country placed almost beyond a
peradventure, it was a harder thing to forgive the past, and to
recognize the virtues of the English people. The soldiers who
put down the Great Rebellion, covered themselves with glory ;
but it will be a grander victory than that achieved at Vicksburg,
at Gettysburg, or at Richmond, when, remembering that our
foes were our brothers, and that their valor was not inferior to
our own, we can erase from our standards the records of the
conflict and forgive and forget the past.
All honor, then, not to our soldiers only, but to all our heroes.
" Yea, let all good things await
Him who cares not to be great.
But as he saves or serves the State.
Not once or twice in our great nation's story,
The path of duty was the way to glory.
He that walks it, only thirsting
For the right ; and learns to deaden
Love of self, before his journey closes,
He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting
60 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Into glossy purples that outredden
All voluptuous garden roses.
Not once or twice in our fair country's story,
The path of duty was the way to glory.
He, that ever following her commands,
On with toil of heart and knees and hands.
Through the long gorge to the far light has won
His path upward and prevailed.
Shall find the toppling crags of duty scaled
Are dose upon the shining table-lands
To which our God Himself is moon and sun.
Such were they ; their work is done :
But while the races of mankind endure,
Let their great example stand
Colossal, seen of every land.
And keep the soldier firm, the statesman pure,
Till in all lands and through all human story
The path of duty be the way to glory.
And let the land whose hearths they saved from shame,
For many and many an age proclaim
At civic revel and pomp and game,
And when the long illumined cities flame,
Their ever-loyal, noble soldier's fame.
With honor, honor, honor to them.
Eternal honor to their name."
" The Old School-House" was responded to by Rev. Ashbel
G. Vermilye, D. D., of Schenectady, N. Y., son of the orator
of the day :
My own recollections, Mr. Chairman, run back about forty
years, when I was here as the " minister's son." In that old
"school-house" next door, which you have made the subject of
this toast, I, with other boys, received some old-fashioned
floggings. Peace to the ashes of Mr. Dutch — they were well
laid on. To-day, after forty years, I bear him witness, as one
who knew how to touch up the boys, and inculcate sound learn-
ing. But to-day, sir, the old school-house looks gloomy ; as if
it were saying to itself — nevermore ! I suppose it must now
come down — perhaps it would rather, since there will be none
in it any more to give or take a taste of the birch.
Even in so quiet a town, I find few, as forty years have left
their marks and changes. The elms and the river are, indeed,
about the same ; Nature only notches her centuries. And I
suppose the katydid still makes music in the trees for boys put
to bed in the dark, as the little creatures did for me. But I see
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 6l
you have since fenced in the old " Common " out here, where
on Sunday evenings after sundown the youngsters used to kick
foot-ball : usually selecting the part in front of the minister's
house, how much to his edification I do not know ; I can only
speak for his son, whose eyes saw from a distance what he was
not permitted to join in, and whose ears also (let me say) some-
times caught the sound of the wash-tub, just under the hill.
Also, they did their courting on Sunday evening ; though, for
that matter, probably it is the same now. That is a business
not subject to the mutations of time and tide. Empires may
rise and fall, rivers may lapse and run dry, but never the course
In those antique days, as they will seem to some, we made
our way to Springfield by a little steam-boat with the wheel be-
hind. I remember that the old " Oliver Ellsworth " had to
back off seven times, where the river joins the Sound ; and
then, unable to get through, had to put back to New Haven
short of wood ! From this you may realize the stride of time
and change. Why, sir, two years ago I met the man, a Mr.
Harrod, who probably introduced the tomato (then called " love
apple ") as an edible into the country. And here I may tell
you what I think is an unpublished anecdote of Dr. Lathrop
(or Lotrop, as the people called him), but which I heard when a
boy. Dr. Lathrop had obtained and planted, (the first here-
about) some seeds of that new luxury, the water-melon. But
to his sheer annoyance, just as they were ripe, some wicked
depredator carried them all off, and moreover cut his vines to
pieces. However, if he was in " meeting" the next Sabbath, as
he most likely would be, and had any conscience left — which, it
must be confessed, stealing from a minister would hardly indi-
cate — he doubtless got the worst of it ; for the Doctor gave an
excoriating sermon from the apt text : " When thou comest into
thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou mayest eat thy fill at thine
own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel."
You, Mr. Chairman, will easily recall some things that are
fixed in my boyish remembrances — the old foot-stoves, the open
Franklin stoves, and brass fenders, the warming-pans and such
like ; but one old custom sticks to my memory, because it
caused an awkward catastrophe to a relative of mine. It was
the habit they had in " meeting" of chewing dill, not because the
62 WEST SPRINGFIELD
minister was sleepy, but because they were ; and then of throw-
ing the stems into the carpetless aisle. Through that dill my
relative, to his great mortification as a city young man, came to
a fall ; nor did he relish any better the next accident (for it was
such) and the general titter which followed, when my father
gave out a hymn, two verses of which had in them something
about making his standing more secure than it was before he
In closing, sir, I would just recall, but with undiminished re-
spect, a name or two of that day — among the Elys that of Jus-
tin, so unfailingly kind, so good ; and then, 'Squire Samuel
Lathrop who in face and form and mien always reminded me
of Washington, and if I could go back farther, I should well
like to speak of Rev. Jonathan Parsons (Whitefield's friend)
who was born here. But this was an admirable jjarish in both
men and women. There were here women who shed a luster
upon their bygone names — Charity, Mercy, Patience, Prudence
and the like ; I think the town never produced but one Silence,
and she was under ground before my day. She was a Champion
while living, and I guess was buried with the " belt." My friend
Parsons spoke of the past this morning, in contrast with the
present, as the " mummy " state of the town. I think he was
mistaken. When the tomb of James Otis, the patriot orator,
was opened, they found the roots of the great Paddock elm en-
folding his skull. So are the roots of your present prosperity
to be found, inseparably entwined with the skulls, resting in the
homes and the homely virtues, of those who went before you,
and now lie entombed under the shadows of your spreading
elms. If other causes you would seek, turn with gratitude, as
for one I do, to the old church and the old school-house.
" Springfield, the Mother of ToivusT Hon. J. M. Stebbins,
Mayor of Springfield, responded :
I am happy to announce to you that the mother of West
Springfield is usually well, in fact, she is always pretty well.
After two and a quarter centuries of active life, she is just en-
tering upon the early stages of a noble womanhood. She has
some promising daughters of whom she is proud, and some
grand-daughters, Agawam and Holyoke, one of whom aspires to
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 6$
be larger than her mother. Still she is apparently young and
more vigorous than ever. She grows in graces as she grows in
years. We, who ought to be her friends, think we see in her
daily new virtues and attractions by which she draws us more
closely to her.
West Springfield is one of her oldest daughters, and was the
most perverse and refractory of all the members of the family.
She persisted in chosing her man to represent the old town in
the General Court, when the whole family voted together, and
more than once succeeded in doing it. The mother town
wished to be represented by John Bliss and John Worthing-
ton, and West Springfield wanted her man. The indignant
mother called to her aid her sons from the Springfield mount-
ains, who voted down the candidate of her disobedient daugh-
ter. At the next session of the General Court, at the mother's
request. West Springfield, against her protest, was turned out
of doors, and became a town against her own will — a thing un-
paralleled in town history. A punishment of a hundred years
has satisfied the forgiving mother, who has almost forgotten her
daughter's offences, and now, after a century, it is whispered,
the daughter is penitent, and is looking wistfully back into the
old household, and there are hints of a ninth ward. Let her
put herself in order, protect her dike from muskrats and the
south winds in flood-time, build her school-houses, water-works,
side-walks, pave her streets, and behave, and there can be no
doubt the kind mother will take her back.
West Springfield has been fortunate in many things. Her
old men remembered her fruit-bearing orchards, her fat cattle,
heavy fields of grass and rye, and her young men have seen
and felt the influence of her gold-bearing fields of corn and to-
bacco. But especially has she been fortunate in her preaching
and the character of her preachers. In Springfield we were
not quite so fortunate in our first preacher, but we have had a
vast deal of law. One of the earliest trials by jury was that in
which the Rev. Geo. Moxon, our first preacher recovered a ver-
dict of ^6 against John Woodcock, for slander. None of your
preachers ever needed to have their good names polished up
before a jury. But this was in 1640. Since then our ministers
have been shining lights in the churches and faithful guides
to the people.
64 WEST SPRINGFIELD
I was requested to speak of the bridge across the Connecticut
River, which was built in 1805, partly to reconcile the mother
and daughter. For a century and a half the inhabitants of
the old town were separated by the river, which in freshets
swept over the meadows and some of the settled parts of West
Springfield now protected by dikes. Crossing by the three fer-
ries was often dangerous — sometimes impossible. In the latter
part of the last century, some visionary young men were bold
enough to agitate the question of a bridge. It was talked of
and delayed for years. The old men had seen freshets and
great masses of ice in the river. One said if a bridge was
built it would not stand, others said it could never be done —
they might as well think of bridging the Atlantic Ocean. The
old men died and then the young men built the bridge.
The Federal Spy, published October 29, 1805, has the follow-
" The elegant bridge erected over Connecticut River in this
town, will be opened on Wednesday (to-morrow), one toll free.
We understand there will be a sermon preached by Dr. La-
throp, a procession formed, cannon fired, a ball in the evening,
and that, in fact, it will be a day of glee."
The sermon was preached, and the procession was formed,
and when it reached the bridge, a salute of seventeen guns was
fired, which was three times repeated from both ends of the
bridge. Three thousand people were present. It was a day of
jubilee. The newspaper the week after says :
"The bridge is so constructed with frames upon piers, con-
nected by long timbers with the arches that the traveler passes
over nearly the whole extent of it, on an elevated plane, afford-
ing a view of extensive landscapes, in which are blended well
cultivated fields, plains and villages, river and meadows, lofty
mountains, and indeed a variety in the beauties of nature
which is highly gratifying to the eye."
We hardly see in the bridge that now spans the river, an
"elevated plane" or "elegant structure." The old men were
half right. The young men could not or did not build a
bridge that would stand. The old red bridge " gave way and
fell to the water," July 19, 18 14. The fall is said to have been
caused by the passage of heavy army wagons, many of which
had crossed the year before. It was rebuilt and completed
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 6$
October i, i8ij5. It "was carried away in a flood in March
1818. Two piers at the west end were left standing, — five were
swept away. It was just after the war. The times were hard,
no money could be had to rebuild the bridge. The people
might have been discouraged if the evil one had not come to
their aid. What he was doing to help them appears from this
" Springfield Bridge Lottery. — Who will complain of Hard
Times when ^1,500 may be had for ^3. The Drawing is near
The two last bridges were built partly from the profits of
The fight to make it free was fought almost as long and val-
iantly as that to make the slave free. Worthy friends of free-
dom often defeated, as often renewed the battle, till at last they
conquered — but not till long after the slave had become free,
did the bridge become " toll free " as it was advertised to be on
the day of its opening. A petition to the City Council asks
that a covered way be extended along both sides of the bridge
on the outside. And so the bridge — the only thing but the
river between us — is still the subject of discussion as it has
been for the last century — and likely to be for the next. In the
next, we may hope there will be better men and women, better
laws and manners, new and higher wants, and greater means
of gratifying them. Men are not running down, — the fountains
of life are not drying up. Customs, manners, amusements,
habits change ; but men are no worse.
In the next century, I have no doubt, there will be better
men than there were in the last — than there are now. They
will be more intelligent, and have better food, clothing, houses,
and have more comforts than we. They will want nearly the
same things, as human nature and wants may not change.
They will use more and better water, and have better wine at
the Sacrament, and we and our children will preserve, I hope,
the old love that has existed so long between us, and the old
bridge, too, which has been a faithful servant to us both, till we
build a better one.
66 WEST SPRINGFIELD
" T/ie Founders of Springfield',' was responfled to by Hon.
Henry Morris, of Springfield, Mass. :
Mr. President : — It is perhaps proper, as my friend the
Mayor has spoken for the mothers of towns, that I should say
a few words for the fathers of towns. And in responding for
those who were the fathers and founders of Springfield, I feel
that I speak of men who were truly noble.
F'oremost among them, of course, was William Pynchon.
He came over from England with Governor Winthrop, and be-
fore he settled here on the Connecticut River, he founded the
town of Roxbury, once a historic name, but recently merged
and lost in the poorer one of Boston Highlands.
Mr. Pynchon held for several years the office of Assistant in
the Colonial government, and was for a time its Treasurer, both
offices of high honor and responsibility.
He removed from Roxbury to the Connecticut River, that he
might carry on to advantage the fur trade with the Indians, in
which he was largely engaged. Here he established the " Plan-
tation of Agaam," as Springfield was at first called. So long
as he remained here he was the only magistrate, and, with the
assistance of a jury of six men, tried the causes and decided
the controversies of the Plantation.
In all the public affairs of the settlement, municipal and
ecclesiastical, he exercised a controlling influence, wisely and
With Mr. Pynchon came his son-in-law, Henry Smith, a man
of education and ability, who, when Pynchon left, was appointed
a magistrate in his place, but soon after abandoned Springfield
and went to England.
Elizur Holyoke was another prominent settler, and took a
leading part in all the affairs of the town. He married a
daughter of Mr. Pynchon. It was upon her monument that the
lines were inscribed —
" She that lies here was, while she stood,
The very glory of womanhood."
He was the father of Capt. Samuel Holyoke, a young man,
who in the celebrated Falls fight, when our men were attacked
by an overwhelming force of Indians, and Capt. Turner, the
commander, was killed, took command of our men and success-
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 6/
fully conducted the retreat. He is said to have killed six of the
Indians with his own hand.
Then there was Deacon Samuel Chapin, the ancestor of all
the Chapins, including my friend of the Massasoit House, pres-
ent here to-day. He held many offices of trust and responsi-
bility in the town.
Samuel Wright, also a deacon, was a leading man in the
church. He removed to Northampton, and died there.
Jehu Burr, who came with Mr. Pynchon from Roxbury, was a
carpenter, and probably made the identical wheelbarrow for
which the tailor sold him three miles square of land in West
Springfield, as we were told by the Reverend orator to-day.
Another influential man was Rev. George Moxon, the first
minister of the place. He was an old friend of Mr. Pynchon,
with whom he returned to England in 1652. My friend, the
Mayor, has held him up to censure, because he sued John
Woodcock, one of his parishioners, for slander. I do not think
the minister quite deserved the censure. It was his misfortune
to be called as a witness in a trial in Connecticut, in which
Woodcock, who was a mischievous fellow, was a party, and
Woodcock charged him among his people with having been
guilty of perjury on that occasion. Mr. Moxon sought to vin-
dicate his character from this aspersion, and he did so by the
verdict of a jury, which rebuked the slanderer.
Near the latter part of Mr. Moxon's ministry, suspicions of
witchcraft began to be entertained in Springfield. A poor
woman, living at the lower end of our Main street, who had
killed her own child, and was probably insane, was accused of
bewitching Martha and Rebecca Moxon, the minister's daugh-
ters, and was taken to Boston for trial upon the double charge of
witchcraft and murder. She was acquitted of the witchcraft,
but convicted of the child murder. This trouble, and his friend-
ship for Mr. Pynchon, probably induced Mr. Moxon to accom-
pany him to England, and he never returned to America.
I must not omit to name as one of the most influential of the
founders of Springfield, John Pynchon, the son of William.
When the father went back to England the son remained here,
and soon succeeded to all, and more than all, his father's influ-
ence and honors. He was a man of very superior character,
and, during nearly the whole of his long life, performed the
68 WEST SPRINGFIELD
duties of a magistrate, military commander, and civil leader in
the town. To no man of those early days does this part of the
State owe more than to John Pynchon.
" Our Contrlbiitio7is to Missions,'' was responded to by Edwin
Bliss, D. D., of Constantinople, Turkey :
In claiming me here to-day, Mr. Chairman, as one of your
" Contributions to Missions," you help me to answer a question
which has sometimes puzzled me ; namely, where I belong.
Born in Vermont, bred in old Springfield, the other side of the
river, I had a home also for some years in your town. Here
I was ordained, and from here went to Turkey. My home in
that country was first in old Pontus, near the locality where
once it was supposed golden fleeces could be found ; so far as
my information goes, there are none there now. From Pontus
I went to Capadocia, and from there to Constantinople in An-
cient Thrace. Changing my home so often, when called upon to
register my name, for instance at a hotel, I sometimes doubt
how to fill out the blank for locality. Perhaps I may as well
hereafter write West Springfield. Were this the time and place,
I should be glad to give you some account of our mission work
in Turkey. We are trying to establish there, these same insti-
tutions : schools, churches, which so bless West Springfield,
and all New England, and the United States. And I should be
glad if some of you could come out and see what measure of
success we are having. It may be that some day, his majesty,
the Sultan Abdulaziz, will call upon the people of his capital,
Constantinople, to celebrate a centennial (I don't know whether
it would be the twenty-second or the twenty-third centennial,)
anniversary of the founding of the city ; and I hereby avail my-
self of my privilege as a citizen for some years of that city, to
invite any of you who will, to be present on that occasion when
it occurs. Should any of you come there at any time, please
follow the directions I will now give for finding there your West
Springfield friends. Friends, I say, for my brother, Rev. I. G.
Bliss, is also there, and he and his family are more of a West
Springfield contribution to missions than I am, for although it
did not occur to him any more than it did to me to be born
here, he did what I did not, took his wife from one of your fami-
lies, and they are both there still. When then you arrive in
our harbor, and have somewhat satisfied yourselves by looking
around upon the beautiful scenery, walk to the side of your
steamer and call out " kaikjee." Soon a little boat will come
along-side. Go down into it, but be careful to step into the
middle of the boat lest you tip it over, and get a cold water bath.
Say to the boatman, " Bagletcha kapouse." When he brings
you to a landing place, drop a shilling in the bottom of the boat
and step out. As you enter the street passing by, turn to the
right, go on till you come to Yene Jami mosque, pass through
its court, then through Musir tcharshees, and keep up the
street till you see written on a corner in Arabic letters, " Fin-
jonjilee Sokak," turn that corner, and you will at once get sight
of our Bible House, where you may be sure of a welcome from
my brother or myself, or any one whom you may find there, and
we shall be happy to show you our work and the city in which
we live. That Bible House is an ornament and a blessing to
Constantinople, and it is in a sort a West Springfield contribu-
tion to missions, for my brother has had a principal agency in
collecting funds for it, and in its erection.
" T/ie Park Street Church',' was responded to by the pastor,
Rev. L. D. Calkins :
Mr. President and Fellow Citizens of West Spring-
field : — Though barely naturalized amongst you, and therefore
inclined to remain a listener on such an occasion as this, I am,
nevertheless inspired, by the theme proposed, to respond as well
as may be to your call.
I have heard it said by naturalists that the descending axis of
a plant, with all its rootlets and fibers is equal to the ascending
axis with all its branches. In other words, that the entire root
of a tree is equal to the entire body and branch. This being
so it is true that in transplanting, except young and small
growths, while we remove to the new place the entire body and
branch, we always leave behind a considerable portion of the
One of the earliest writers among the ancients, and who re-
corded his own interpretation of certain facts of nature ; the
movements ot heavenly bodies, the flight of birds, the habits of
70 WEST SPRINGFIELD
wild beasts, said of plants ; " There is hope of a tree if it be cut
down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch
thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the
earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground, yet through the
scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant."
Well, sir, it happened in our town once, that there was a
famous tree growing, whose seed had been planted a hundred
and two years before, by the sainted John Woodbridge, on
whose face we looked this morning in another room. It stood
and it flourished in the midst of this Common, so near that its
morning shadow must have reached to where you now sit, sir ;
and it was called, because of its comforting shade and healing
leaves, the Balm of Gilead tree.
Three several gardeners, Woodbridge, Hopkins and Lathrop,
watered and tended that tree, and dispensed its healing virtues
to the honest people who rested beneath its shade, and together
were encouraged to endure life's trials.
But now the time had come when the tree must be trans-
planted. It must be literally taken up from the valley to be set
on the hill. It was a large tree, and an old tree, and required
much care for such a change. So they dug deep, and they dug
wide, and they enriched and watered well the new soil, and it
struck root, grew, and spread itself yet more nobly than ever
before, and it stands to-day a joy and a rejoicing to all who sit
under its shelter and are nourished by its fruitage. But, sir, when
that tree was moved the branches were wide and the roots both
numerous and long, and some of these must needs be cut off and
left to rot in the ground. But sir, they did not rot ! or if they
did it was only as the seed must first decay that the germ may
burst forth, and after seventy-one years a shoot sprang from the
ground, where the old rootlets hid themselves, as fair and fresh
as if it were the first twig sprung from John Woodbridge's
Mr. President, while we thank God for the old tree transr
planted to yonder hill, let us also thank God for the old tree
blooming again in the sprouting of its roots.
In conclusion let me humbly express my gratefulness to Him
who has counted me worthy to water and tend this new tree
sprung from that whose seed John Woodbridge sowed one hun-
dred and seventy-six years ago. And let me also express the
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. /I
earnest and devout hope that it may always distill the same
Balm of Gilead in which the forefathers took so much delight."
'' Agawam, the Second Daughter" was responded to by Mr.
Samuel Flower, of Feeding Hills :
Mr. President : — Had I supposed that I should be called
without a moment's preparation to respond for " the youngest
daughter" of this grand old town, I might wish that I could ask
the privilege of the genuine son of the " Emerald Isle," who
said thc(t if he knew the time when and the place where he was
to die, he should be a good way from it. And I am more embar-
rassed by the remark of my friend on my right, (Mr. S. L. Par-
sons,) that " Agawam was a prodigal, feeding upon husks."
While it is true that we cannot make so grand and imposing
a show, nor aspire to so lofty pretensions as our elder sister, yet
taking into account the fact, that we are almost entirely an ag-
ricultural population, we have advanced in material wealth,
and in all the elements of prosperity, and of a healthy growth, to
a degree of which we may be justly proud. In 1855, when
Agawam was incorporated, we had a population scarcely ex-
ceeding one thousand, and a valuation of about half a million.
Our valuation is now almost ^1,200,000, and our population is
between two and three thousand. And I hazard nothing in
saying that a more prosperous, intelligent and law-abiding com-
munity cannot be found in the county of Hampden, or in the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is probable that I. may
state one fact in relation to that part of the town (Feeding
Hills,) in which I reside, which cannot be said of any other lo-
cality containing an equal population, that there is not a place
at which ardent spirits are sold. And we may point with pride
to sons of Agawam, whose voices have been heard in both
houses of Congress, and who are, and have been, ornaments to,
and have risen to positions of enviable distinction in the legal
and medical professions, and others who occupy the sacred desk.
And we may point to the descendants of her sons, who emi-
grated to other parts of the country, who stand in the front
ranks of our teachers, and who have contributed in no small
degree to the prosperity of our educational institutions, which
are among the crowning glories of the age in which we live.
72 WEST SPRINGFIELD
And in conclusion, I may say that we rejoice in the prosperity
of our mother town, and hope that her future may be as pros-
perous and happy as the past has been good and great.
" The Medical Profession',' was responded to by Dr. P. LeB.
Stickney, of Springfield, who interspersed his speech with many
rich anecdotes :
When West Springfield was separated from Springfield, Dr.
John Van Horn, being located in that neighborhood as a medical
practitioner, became, in point of time, the first physician of the
new town. Dr. Van Horn was the son of Sumner Van Horn,
and was born in that part of Springfield in 1726. He had the
advantages of a collegiate education, graduating at Yale Col-
lege in 1749, at the age of twenty-three. After attending the
required course of medical lectures, he located in that part of
his native town, where he continued to practice his profession
for nearly sixty years, dying in 1805 at the age of seventy-nine.
He had the reputation of being a skillful physician, and was
undoubtedly as well educated as the advantages and opportuni-
ties of the times would admit. He was a scholarly man and
fond of literary pursuits. He was prominent in public affairs,
and was the first " Town Clerk " of the new town. In the later
years of his life he became hypochondriacal, and imagined him-
self incapable of making any effort whatever, and consequently
betook himself to his bed, where he remained for nearly four
years under the care of a constant attendant.
Dr. Seth Lathrop was the son of the Rev. Dr. Lathrop, and
was born in 1762 in that parish which was then a part of
Springfield, and over which his father was pastor. He studied
medicine with Dr. Van Horn, became his partner and after-
wards succeeded him in his practice. Dr. Bronson, who knew
him intimately, says of him, " He had a strong mind, sound
judgment and excellent common sense; was frank, social, and
fond of anecdote, and well read in the medical literature of the
last half of the last century ; an able and acceptable practi-
tioner. More than six feet high, with a large frame, and
straight, his figure was imposing, his very appearance inspiring
in him a reliable confidence." He was very successful in his
business, for his good, practical common sense supplied the
want of an extended liberal education, and gave him a success
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 73
which does not always accompany greater learning and accom-
plishments. He lived all his life in his native town, and was
for many years engaged in his professional business. He suf-
fered in the later part of his life from consumption which as-
sumed an asthmatic form. He died in 1831, aged sixty-nine
Dr. Reuben Champion was the first physician who was born
in the town of West Springfield. He was the second son of
Reuben Champion, and was born in 1784, ten years after the
town was separated from Springfield. His grandfather, Reuben
Champion, M. D., having removed to Springfield from Saybrook,
Ct., in the early part of the Revolutionary war, in order that his
family might be in a more retired place and away from the lia-
bilities of intrusion from the opposing military forces. He
there located his family and entered the army as a surgeon, in
which capacity he served with eminent success. He was with
the army at Ticonderoga, where he died in 1777, being fifty
years old. He left two sons, Reuben and Medes, both of these,
although quite young men, served as soldiers in the army.
Dr. Reuben Champion received his early education at the
academy in Westfield, and afterwards entered the office of Dr.
Sumner of that town, with whom he began the study of his
profession. He attended medical lectures at the medical school
connected with Dartmouth College, which was then under the
principal charge of the celebrated surgeon. Dr. Nathan Smith,
who was the original founder of the school. During this time
he was a private pupil of Dr. Smith, from whom he received
more careful instruction respecting what was then termed the
new method of treating and managing typhus fever ; a method,
which with few modifications, prevails at the present time.
Having finished his course at the Dartmouth school, Dr. Cham-
pion attended a course of lectures in New York City, when
returning to his native town, at the request of his fellow citi-
zens, he there commenced the practice of medicine in 1809.
With his new ideas of the treatment of typhoid fever, which he
carried out notwithstanding the great opposition from both laity
and the profession, he became quite successful in the treatment
of the disease and gained an enviable reputation. He was an
ardent Jeffersonian Democrat, and took an active part in local
and general politics. He served the town in many public
74 WEST SPRINGFIELD
offices, was Justice of the Peace, and represented his Senatorial
District in the General Legislature. He was a member of the
Massachusetts Medical Society, and continued in the practice
of medicine for nearly fifty years and died in 1865, aged eighty-
Dr. Henry Bronson settled in West Springfield in 1827.
Having passed through a thorough preparatory course of study
he entered the Medical Institute of Yale College, receiving his
medical degree in 1827. He remained in the town but a short
time, removing to Albany in 1830. Possessing fine talents
which had been carefully cultivated, with refined and gentle-
manly manners, accompanied with a genial social character, and
a mind well stored with general and professional knowledge, he
rapidly gained a large share of practice. He was greatly be-
loved by many and had the respect and confidence of all.
Fond of literary and scientific pursuits, he devoted a large
share of his spare time to these studies, in which he shortly
gained an enviable reputation. In J872 he was appointed Pro-
fessor of Materia Medica in the Medical Institute of Yale Col-
lege, a chair which he adorned and distinguished by his
extensive and varied learning, and admirable style of lecturing.
He resigned his professorship and the general practice of his
profession in i860, since which time he has been busily engaged
in those more general and scientific studies to which he has
been so long devoted.
Dr. Ebenezer Jones was born in West Springfield, and after
preparing himself for the practice of medicine, settled in his
native town. He remained there some twelve years, when he
removed to the eastern part of the State.
Dr. Timothy Horton, whose father was a physician before
him, was a practitioner of considerable ability, and had a good
reputation as a physician and as a public man. Having suffi-
cient means of hving, he was noted for the extremely small
charges for his medical services. His regular fee in his own
immediate neighborhood was twelve and a half cents per visit,
rarely ever charging over two shillings (33^ cents), no matter
how difficult the case or the distance traveled. He was fre-
quently known to go a distance of four or five miles, spend con-
siderable time in holding a consultation with some brother
doctor, and charging for his fee one shilling. He was a man of
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 75
good sound judgment, and was much respected and esteemed
by his fellow-citizens.
Dr. Dunham was a physician of good reputation, but of whom
but little is known, having died some fifty years ago. He
practiced in that part of the town known as Ireland Parish.
Dr. Calvin Wheeler settled in West Springfield, Feeding
Hills parish. He was a surgeon in the army during the war of
1812 and in 1816. Although a man of limited education — like
many others who at that time found it difficult to obtain the
thorough knowledge of their profession which characterizes the
progress of the present day — he gained by his strong mind and
good judgment the confidence and respect of his patrons. He
died in 1851.
Dr. Edwin McCrea practiced medicine for some twelve years
in the town, in Agawam parish, settling there in 1832. His
health was poor, which materially affected his ability to take
care of his business. He was a good practitioner, and a genial
and good-hearted man. He died in 1859.
Dr. Cyrus Bell settled in the parish of Feeding Hills in 1840.
He graduated at the Berkshire Medical School in 1839, ^^^
soon after commenced the practice of his profession, locating
himself in that part of the town in which he now resides, and
which is now a part of the town of Agawam.
Dr. Sumner Ives was born in West Springfield, Ireland
Parish. After obtaining a medical education, he located in this
part of the town in 1826, remained there about five years
and then moved to Sufifield, Conn., and was there engaged in
his profession as a successful practitioner until his death in
Dr. Solomon Chapman succeeded Dr. Ives in 1832 ; resided
and practiced in that parish about ten years, then removed to
Easthampton where he died.
Dr. Lawson Long succeeded Dr. Chapman in 1850. He still
resides and practices his profession in the same parish, but
which is now a part of the city of Holyoke.
Dr. Chauncy Belden was a graduate of the Yale Medical
College in 1829. He was a private pupil of Dr. Woodward of
Wethersfield, Conn. After graduating he served as an assist-
ant in the Hartford Insane Retreat. He came to West Spring-
field in 1832, but left in 1842 and removed to South Hadley.
^6 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Dr. Belden suffered from ill-health for many years, finally dying
of consumption in 1845. He was a well educated man and
fond of scientific pursuits. In his practice he exhibited good
judgment and skill, and was remarkably successful in the man-
agement of disease. He was greatly beloved by every one,
gaining and retaining their confidence ; he was kind and
sympathetic in his nature and devotedly attentive to his pa-
Dr. Edward Strong, a native of Northampton, settled in
West Springfield in 1839. ^^^ was a graduate of Williams
College in 1834, and studied medicine at the Harvard Medical
School in Boston, where he graduated in 1838. He continued
to practice his profession until 1845, when, on account of ill-
health, he relinquished it. Since then he has been engaged in
the State department of "Vital Statistics," in Boston.
Dr. P. LeB. Stickney settled in West Springfield in 1845,
graduated at Dartmouth College in 1839, ^^^d studied his pro-
fession at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where
he graduated in 1842, He commenced the practice of medi-
cine in that city, being connected with the Blockley Hospital as
out-door physician and surgeon. Returning to his native State,
he was induced to locate in this town where he remained six
years, and afterwards removed to the city of Springfield where
he now resides.
Dr. Nathaniel Downs, a graduate of the Harvard Medical
School, settled in West Springfield in 1857. He remained but
a few years and moved to Harvard in the eastern part of the
Dr. Edward G. Ufford settled in West Springfield in 1855.
He gained a good practice and remained in the town till 1872,
when, on account of ill-health, he removed to South Hadley and
gave up the active duties of his profession.
Dr. Herbert C. Belden, son of Dr. Chauncy Belden, studied
his profession in New York, graduating at the College of Phy-
sicians and Surgeons in 1867. ^^ served a year as Assistant
Surgeon in the Nursery Hospital, Randall's Island, N. Y,, then
went abroad, spending some time in study in Vienna, and re-
turning home settled in West Springfield in 1871, where he
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 'J'J
"■The Hill Meeting-Hojise and its Fowtder, yohn Ashley T was
responded to by Rev. Aaron M. Colton, of East Hampton :
He said there it stands, and there it has stood for seventy-
four years, in queenly beauty. Beautiful for situation — mount-
ain of the Lord's house — whither the tribes go up.
It began with the century, and we trust will bless the cen-
tury to its close. There eleven pastors, " elect, chosen of God,
and precious," have sounded out the word of the Lord. " Their
line is gone out through all the earth." And there two gener-
ations of the godly in Christ have worshipped, and waited for the
consolation. That goodly house has breasted the storms of
seventy-three winters. And strong as ever, foundation solid,
timbers sound, spire erect, and " walls of strength embrace thee
round." How many sermons in that house, how many prayers,
how many songs, how many conversions ! How many hearts
and tongues have there been trained and tuned for worship in
the temple not made with hands. Like its prototype in Jeru-
salem, it looks off on mountains round about. It has seen
"fairy valleys rise," and villages blossom into cities, and the beau-
tiful river, ever changing and still the same — a goodly scene —
" Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away,
From inland regions to the distant main."
" Heavens ! what a goodly prospect spreads around."
That grand old house is a munition of rocks, fortress, citadel,
watch-tower, sentinel, not frowning, but benignant, and saying,
" All's well ! " Standing on that elevation, and crowning it, and
looking off northward, eastward, southward, on a hundred thous-
and people, seen and seeing, and blessed by the vision, greeting
all and severally " with an holy kiss." Itself pulpit, preacher,
choir, song and benediction. " How amiable ! " How many
hearts have warmed, how many eyes been filled with tears at
beholding. How many souls from afar, have had longings to
look upon it yet once more. What memories, sacred and pre-
cious, cluster around that house ! " "A thousand blessings on
it rest ! " There the old meeting-house stands to-day, stately,
grand, goodly, silent, eloquent, preaching righteousness, plead-
ing for God and goodness, testifying the gospel of the grace of
God. I beg you, sirs, not to claim for yourselves, of West
Springfield, an exclusive proprietary interest in that house. No,
y8 WEST SPRINGFIELD
sir, please. Not yoiirs only, are the air and the sunshine, the
stars, the trees, the streams. These are for all, and upon all —
the common heritage. That house is for many, and me. If
you built the house, you didn't the hill-top. " A city that is set
on an hill cannot be hid."
But let me advert to an item of history. Having been a
preacher in this valley for nearly thirty-four years, I have had
scope for knowing something of the men who filled the pulpits
here in an earlier time. Among them were ^hre men, " in stat-
ure proudly eminent," — excuse the "proudly" — Dr. Joseph
Lyman, of Hatfield, Dr. Nathan Strong, of Hartford, and Dr.
Lathrop, of West Springfield. Dr. Lyman, rigidly orthodox,
cool, sagacious, born to command, learned, great in council.
Dr. Strong — like his name — sound in doctrine, an able sermon-
izer, in style of writing clear and logical, in manner "decent,
solemn, chaste," not a model of ministerial gravity in social in-
Dr. Lathrop equalling the other two in their best qualities,
and excelling them in easy natural grace, in suavity, in personal
magnetism, with wonderful facility of adaptation to special oc-
casions, not so strenuous upon extreme points of Calvinism, a
bishop blameless, model of a man rounded out, complete —
" Taken for all in all,
" We ne'er shall see his like again."
And now ofie more name to be had in honor. A new meet-
ing-house must be built. And where to be located t A vexed
question — vexing a thousand parishes. So here ; and thus a
strife among •brethren. Should the house be on the hill.'' The
south side were not willing to go up the hill, and the north side
were not willing to go over the hill. And the contention was
sharp, and for a time threatened a rupture. And how was the
difficulty adjusted.^ Happily the parish had a man of masterly
wisdom and prudence in their pastor, Dr. Lathrop. A thought
occurs to him. " The history of a thought is the history of a
life." So here. Dr. Lathrop has not the money, but he knows
who has — a prince of a parishioner, John Ashley, Esq. The
proposition is made, and is generously acceded to. Mr. Ashley
will give the eminent domain, will contribute largely to the ex-
pense of building, and, in addition will endow the parish with a
generous fund for the maintenance of the gospel. He comes
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 79
forward with the offer, which is accepted — " So making peace."
The meeting-house on the hill is thus a peace-maker ; and with
that sign it conquers. My apprehension is, that the hill-location
was a pretty fair compromise, when considered in reference to
the geography and population at that time. And then Mr.
Ashley's grand donation for the schools of his town. Thus he
idealized the great thought of the early Puritans and Pilgrims
of New England — religion and education together — the meet-
ing-house and the school-house side by side. Considering the
times, those givings by Mr. Ashley were very liberal — princely.
Those were not days of "shoddy" and stock-gambling. Men
did not then spring to sudden riches. What was gained, was
gotten by industry and prudence, by honest, patient, plodding
toil. " The hand of the diligent maketh rich." All the greater
and better the munificence in this case. The hundreds of thous-
ands given in our day are not so much. All honor to the name
and memory of John Ashley Esq. ! Many among you, I am
glad to know, still bear that name. May they all be worthy of
it, and ever prove themselves worthy sons of worthy sires, by
their liberal devisings for God's dear house and worship. The
next time you pass along up Ashley street, look upon that very
unpretending dwelling-house at your left on the hill. Not ^ an
house of cedar" that, certainly. There lived and died John
Ashley, "every inch a king," and of like zeal with Israel's king,
for a dwelling-place for the most high.
I am so much of a stranger in your beautiful town, as not to
know the spot where Mr. John Ashley was buried. From my
distance I am fancying that grave to be on some sightly and
sunny spot looking down on the Connecticut — your Thames.
And to that hallowed shrine let many a pilgrim come, doing
honor to the "dear parted shade" of one whose name is honor-
able, and should be had in everlasting remembrance. "Would
you see my monument ? look around !"
" Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore,
" When Thames in Summer wreaths is drest,
"And oft suspend the dashing oar,
" To bid his gentle spirit rest.
" And oft as ease and health retire
" To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
"The friend shall v\^\i yon wkifening spire,
" And mid the varied landscape weep.
EXTRACTS FROM SPEECHES AND LETTERS.
One of the gems of the occasion was a sparkhng httle speech
from Mr. Chan Laisun (of Springfield for the present, but really
of Shanghae, China), in return to the toast, " Our Chinese
Cousins'' He thanked the chairman for the honor, but he
knew very little about West Springfield, and feared that a for-
eigner would make a mull of our affairs. In 1653, when this
part of the State was peopled by those who came from England,
religious liberty was in great agitation ; the house of Stuart was
trying to subvert it, and, for that reason, these men fled from
their comfortable homes. They planted then in the wilderness
that old Bay tree, whose influence spreads east and west, and
even far beyond the ocean. Hampden county, West Spring-
field — for the county is larger than the town, and in ray land we
always place the largest first, — the county of Hampden, you all
know, was named after that great patriot, John Hampden : and
it has been the home of a spirit like his. I am happy to join
with you in celebrating a hundred years, although in my own
country I have often celebrated thousands. However, "despise
not the day of small things." All matters must begin. The
number one has to add the numbers two and three, and so on,
to make the thousands. I am happy to thank Massachusetts
in your persons. It was from a Massachusetts lady I first
learned the English language ; and little then could I think to
stand here to give Massachusetts thanks. One hundred years
ago, the ocean-separated countries of Asia were almost totally
unknown ; you knew not whether celestials or savages dwelt
there. But now the children of China, the celestials, have taken
umbrage under the shadow of kind Massachusetts. — There was
no speech more entirely enjoyed than this.
" The Memory of Dr. yoseph Latlirof was briefly replied to
by his great-grandson, William Lathrop, of Newton, Mass.,
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 8 1
who remarked that Rev. Dr. Vermilye had left him little to say
in eulogy of his revered ancestor.
'' Holyoke the yearling city, although she takes a large pro-
portion of water from the mirsing bottle, she appears to be mak-
ing a healthy growth," called up Alderman Henry A. Chase,
who said that notwithstanding the unanimous acceptance of the
centennial committee's invitation by his city government, no
other member was at the banquet, and, like Job's servants after
the calamity, he could say, "And I only am escaped alone to
tell thee." Before taking his seat, he gave a finely condensed
picture of Holyoke's present prosperous condition and habits,
and excused the absence of Mayor Pearsons and his associates,
who had pressing business engagements.
D. B. Montague, of Springfield, exhibited the identical square
and hammer used by his grandfather, Capt. Timothy Billings,
in building the First Church on the hill, and said, the contract
price for that building was one thousand four hundred dollars,
and ten gallons of St. Croix rum, valued at about sixty dollars.
No rum was used, but the money was finally divided among the
workmen. Six to ten hands were employed on the building,
and the contractor thought he made about four dollars a day.
The price of board was then from one dollar and twenty-five
cents, to one dollar and fifty cents per week. The Parish Com-
mittee on building were Dr. Seth Lathrop, Justin Ely, Jr., Rug-
gles Kent and Moses Ashley. There was sharp competition
for the job, and Capt. Billings, who was then only twenty-eight
years old, was thought by some not to have beard enough for
so large a work. He replied that " skill and courage were more
necessary than beard." This hammer was forged by a common
blacksmith, and this iron square, made in the same way, was
the first used in this part of the country. All carpenters used
for framing, prior to that period, was a scribe rule and a ten foot
pole. The job was commenced in the spring of 1800, and the
building dedicated June 24, 1802. The story is told, that when
the steeple was complete, and the vane which resembles a
sturgeon, adjusted, some waggish men assembled at the tavern
of Mr. Rufus Colton, in Ramapogue street, got a rich treat out
of the landlord. They told him they had made a bet for the
82 WEST SPRINGFIELD
drinks, etc., to be paid when the bet was decided. This was
perfectly satisfactory, and after all had partaken and repartaken
he was told that one party bet that when the church steeple
fell, the vane would go to the north, and the other party that it
would go to the south. Landlord Colton doubtless enjoyed the
joke as much as his company, for he was a jovial man. The bet
is still unpaid, and both landlord and abettors now sleep be-
neath the clods of the valley.
Dea. Thomas Taylor, a wealthy farmer of Pittsfield, was an-
other speaker. He said in substance : Mr. President, I left
West Springfield in April, 1810, and found employment in the
gun factory of Mr. Lemuel Pomeroy, of Pittsfield, at ten dollars
per. month and board. At the end of six months I took sixty
dollars and a few clothes tied up in a handkerchief, and started
on foot for my native town. I walked the entire distance, over
forty miles, in a day, and handed over the money to my parents,
reserving about twenty-five cents for my expenses back to Pitts-
field. That was the way to make money once. My father and
grandfather, natives of Tatham, both bore the name of Thomas
Taylor. My mother was Clarissa Bagg, a daughter of Dea. John
Bagg, and my love and recollections of her are now among the
chiefest pleasures of my life. I was baptized by Dr. Lathrop at
my father's house, the place now occupied by Mr. Elijah Sibley.
My mother used to take me to church and place me on the pul-
pit stairs during service ; whether because I was so good I am
unable to say. This was in the old church, where over Dr. La-
throp's head and mine, was suspended that awful looking trap
they called a sounding-board. Dr. Lathrop was very venerable
in appearance, and the children were wont to form in lines on
either side of the road as he passed, to do him reverence. With
his hat turned up on three sides, he would bow in recognition,
and after he had passed, those were the happiest who could say
" he bowed to me."
The speeches did not close till night, nor did the throng dis-
perse till the band were summoned to play the departing march,
after which it was reluctantly moved and voted that " this meet-
ing do now adjourn for one hundred years."
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 83
FROM A. A. WOOD, D. D.
Lyons, N. Y., Feb. 20, 1874.
My Dear Mr. Bagg : — It would give me very great pleasure
to be with you at the centennial celebration. But, as I have
already written to you, this seems to be out of the question, I
shall certainly be with you in thought and sympathy on that
day, and I trust that the occasion will be everything that the
most loyal child of West Springfield could desire. You will
greatly miss some of the fathers of the town, who would have
rejoiced had they lived to engage in such a commemorative
service. Notably among these would have been Hon. Samuel
Lathrop, and Sewell White, Esq. *****
Sewell White, " Uncle Sewell" as we loved to call him, was
a walking magazine of facts and incidents in regard to the early
history of the town. He had some fact to state, or some quaint
story to tell, in regard to almost all the old houses and families.
I think of these in this connection, but there are many others
whose names and faces rise before me — good men and true.
May the day be auspicious, and all the services everything
that could be desired. With fragrant memories, and good wishes,
I am, my dear sir, yours most truly,
A. A. Wood.
P. S. — My two West Springfield boys, are Edward A. Wood,
Geneva, N. Y., and Wm. L. Wood, Indianapolis, Indiana.
FROM HENRY M. FIELD, D. D., OF THE NEW YORK EVANGELIST.
New York, March 20, 1874.
Dear Mr. Bagg : — It is a great temptation that you set be-
fore me in the prospect of your centennial celebration, and my
heart's desire is to come to the feast ; but the very day ap-
pointed for your village festival I am engaged here, so that I
can only send you my best wishes for the blessed old town
where we passed so many happy days. A place is always dear
to us where we have been very happy ; and the four years that
I was your pastor form a bright and sunny chapter in my life.
Was there ever a cosier shelter for a new-married couple than
that modest parsonage under the trees, over which the great
elms bent in loving protection ? How often did we sit under
their shade, book in hand, or talking with dear friends ; or stroll
84 WEST SPRINGFIELD
along the banks of your beautiful river at twilight ; or ride over
the hills to hold meetings in the different districts of the town.
It was then we tasted of your abundant hospitality. There is
no fireside in the world more truly hospitable than that of a
New England farmer, and when "the minister" comes nothing
is too good for him. It seems to be Thanksgiving all the year
round. Your people were indeed very, very kind to us, and
their kindness will never be forgotten. Perhaps I fared better,
coming after so many distinguished ministers, so that I inher-
ited the traditional reverence. I have heard of troublesome
parishes, and of crabbed old deacons, who vexed the life out of
faithful ministers, but I know nothing of such from my own ex-
perience. The first man who received me at West Springfield
was good Deacon Merrick, and it made me sad, as I rode by his
house last summer, to think that he was gone, and that I should
see his face no more. There too was Deacon Smith, who always
came to meeting, rain or shine, and whose prayers were so sim-
ple and fervent they touched every heart ; and many others whose
faces rise before me as I write, whom you miss in your assemblies.
They are laid to rest in the yard by the Common, or by the
church on the hill, where " the forefathers of the hamlet sleep."
You meet to celebrate the completion of a hundred years !
Where will you be a hundred years to come t Your children's
children may live to see the day, but all who take part in this
celebration will have passed from the earth. May it be that
still, in that beautiful valley where it is your happiness to pass
your lives, pleasant memories shall long linger among the trees,
such as a good man could wish to leave behind. Few towns of
New England have been favored with such a line of eminent
preachers of the gospel. Remember their faithful teachings, and
imitate their saintly examples ; so, if you never see another such
day on earth, you may celebrate your next centennial in heaven.
Very affectionately your friend, and the friend of everybody
in West Springfield, ^^^^^^ ^^ P^^^^_
FROM T. H. HAWKS, D. D.
Marietta, O., March io, 1874.
Mr. J. N. Bagg, — Dear Sir: It was a matter of great regret
to me that I could not attend the centennial celebration of the
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 85
incorporation of West Springfield on the 25th ult. I remem-
bered with deUght the centennial anniversary of Dr. Lathrop's
settlement, observed the year after my installation, and would
gladly have participated in the recent festival, expecting a similar
occasion of pleasure.
But better motives influenced me. To have been with you
would have been to mingle with dear friends, and revive precious
memories of the days when our field of labor and our home were
in the goodly old town. There for six years we experienced the
greatest kindness, were associated with noble Christian workers
both in the church and in sister churches, and reveled in scenes
of natural beauty which have been a joy to us ever since we left
the place. A minister may go far, but rarely will he find so
many causes of happiness in his place of work as we had in
West Springfield. I should like to pay a tribute of reverence
and love, to some who were with us then, but who have entered
into rest. I do not forget however, that your festival was com-
memorative of the incorporation of the town, and that such a
tribute would rather befit a different occasion.
If is a peculiarity of New Englanders to love the places of
their nativity with something of the warmth and devotion that
characterize the Swiss and the Scotch. It is a work of filial
love to gather together the fragments of history and put them
in beautiful order, that as little as possible of the doings and
sayings of their worthy ancestors may be lost. Their children
will thank them for it, and so will some future historian.
West Springfield is fortunate in having one so able as Dr.
Vermilye to put in permanent form some of the facts she would
not have forgotten.
I feel much like a son writing of things that pertain to his
mother and his childhood home ; for if I was not " to the manor
born," I claim the privileges of an adopted son. Let me now
tell you in few words how it has fared with us since we left
West Springfield in the Spring of 1861.
Our home was in Cleveland, till May, 1868. There two child-
ren were born to us ; we had three when we went from you. By
the goodness of God all are living. In June, 1869, we came to
this place, where I am pastor of the First Congregational Church.
We have occasion to thank God for His leading. But in
every place, and as long as we may live, we shall praise Him
86 WEST SPRINGFIELD
for giving us the privilege of living and working in the good old
town whose natal day, a hundred years ago, has been so
worthily commemorated, and it shall be our prayer that on her
churches and on all her people the choicest blessings of heaven
may be bestowed. Yours truly,
T. H. Hawks.
LETTER FROM E. B. FOSTER, D. D.
Lowell, Mass., March 23, 1874.
My Dear Mr. Bagg : — Your programme of the celebration,
and your very kind invitation to be present at the Centennial,
came duly to hand. I wish, with great desire, that I could be
in West Springfield to-morrow, to join in memories, prophecies,
hopes, congratulations, thanksgivings. Hardly a field which
the Lord has planted will give so many outlooks into the past
and the future, which will be instructive, quickening and
It is impossible for me to be present. My people meet to-
night to consult with regard to some plan of rest, which they
propose to give me. I am well-nigh worn out, and have asked
for a vacation of six months, or for an associate pastor. A visit
to your family, and to the dear churches, and to the town, would
be a great joy to me ; but I am too much exhausted, and too
sensitive to exposures, to allow me to take any journey in these
bleak March airs.
You ask for some particulars of my own history. I was born
in Hanover, N. H., May 26, 18 13. My father's name was Rich-
ard, my mother's Irene Burroughs. My maternal grandfather,
Rev. Eden Burroughs, D. D., was for the first ten years of his
ministerial life pastor of a Congregational church in Killingly,
Conn., and for the last forty years of his life pastor of a Congre-
gational church in Hanover, N. H. He was a life-long friend
of President Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth College, and
for many years, as trustee and in the intimate fellowship of
counsel, was associated with President Wheelock in the gov-
ernment of the college. I graduated at Dartmouth College in
1837; studied two years at Andover Theological Seminary;
taught two years in academies in Pembroke, N. H., and Con-
cord, N. H. I was married to Catherine, daughter of Deacon
Orramel Pinneo, of Hanover, N. H., August it, 1840. I was
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 8/
ordained pastor of the Congregational church, Henniker, N. H.,
August 17, 1841. I have also been settled as minister in Pel-
ham, N. H., Lowell, Mass., and West Springfield, Mass, My
eldest son, Addison Pinneo, now 32 years of age, is pastor of
the Winnisimmet Congregational church in Chelsea, Mass.
My eldest daughter, Emily, died aged 22, in West Springfield,
Mass., Dec. 30, 1865, greatly beloved and greatly mourned. I
have buried in their early childhood, just as the bud was begin-
ning to break forth into mental and moral beauty, three sons —
Charles, Edward and Bela. My youngest daughter, Nellie, is
17 years of age. I have published, on different subjects, twenty
sermons and addresses. Through the gracious favor of a loving
and guardian God, my pastorates have all been very happy, and
I trust have not been without some fruits of blessing and of
usefulness, in churches quickened and in souls converted.
Be assured, my dear Deacon Bagg, of my abiding gratitude
to the dear old church of West Springfield, now working for
Christ in two bands, — a living fountain from which richest
streams of good have flowed. Be assured of the high honor and
esteem in which I hold the men and women of the town, whose
record has been one of integrity, enterprise, mental culture,
generosity, noble progress. Be assured that my prayers will
never cease for the large-minded and the large-hearted friends
I found there, and for whose love and counsel I bless the Lord
every day that I live.
With much love, and grateful remembrances to all,
Very affectionately yours,
Eden B. Foster.
FROM REV. HENRY M. GROUT.
Concord, March 18, 1874.
J. N. Bagg, Esq. — My Dear Sir : It is with unfeigned regret
that I find myself unable to accept your kind invitation to be
present at the approaching " Centennial " of your beautiful and
famous town, and take some part in its exercises. I comfort
myself, however, with the thought, that in so large and distin-
guished a company, my presence or absence could not much
affect the interest of the occasion. A considerable portion of
my last year at West Springfield was spent in looking up the
early history of the Ancient Church upon the hill ; so that, al-
88 WEST SPRINGFIELD
though the last and youngest of all the pastors who have gone
out from you, I came to feel myself on quite familiar terms with
the early settlers. It struck me curiously, in tracing and iden-
tifying some hundreds of names, that, with two or three excep-
tions if I rightly remember, double Christian names made their
appearance upon the records after the beginning of the present
century. It was somewhere about that time that plain, substan-
tial John and Sarah began to give place to the more fanciful
and sentimental John Henry and Sarah Jane. We are not sure
that this indicates any radical change in the character of the
people, but pass the fact over to those philosophically inclined,
as one worthy of their attention.
Among other discoveries we fancied we made, in connection
with our historical researches, was the apparent mistake of
those who imagine that there has been a decline in the church-
going habits of our old New England towns. Such certainly
has not been the case in West Springfield. Remembering that
there are not fewer than twenty churches within the bounds of
what was once the solitary First Parish — -of what a goodly fam-
ily is she the yet vigorous mother ; — it is evident that there at
least, the excellent example of the fathers has not been forgot-
ten. Then we observed, that, notwithstanding the frequent re-
duction of its families by the formation of new societies, each
succeeding half-century has witnessed yet more numerous ac-
cessions to the original and mother church. Beginning with
the year 1721, the first covered by existing records, three hun-
dred and thirteen were added to its membership the first half-
century, four hundred and forty-five the second, and six hundred
and six the third. If, in these, and other respects, the course of
improvement goes on in this way another half-century, so many
of your scattered sons and daughters will desire to return to the
delightful shade of your elms and maples, that there will be
hardly room to receive them. I am with loyal spirit, and grate-
ful memories, Very truly yours,
Henry M. Grout.
FROM DEA. ELISHA ELDRIDGE.
Ann Arbor, March 12, 1874.
Gentlemen : — As I cannot be present at the centennial cel-
ebration on the 25 th I will give you a few recollections.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 89
My father moved into West Springfield from Berlin, Ct., in
1790, during my infancy. Ministers and meeting-houses occu-
pied more attention formerly than at present, and hence these
are among my earliest recollections. The first meeting-house
was situated near the middle of the Town Common. It was a
square building, with doors on three sides. It had three roofs
or stories, each story being smaller than the one below it, and
the highest came to a point surmounted by an iron rod, which
supported a huge sheet-iron vane. The inside of the house was
built mostly of oak timber, including the pulpit. On the right
of the pulpit, in the gallery, the treble singers sat. Opposite
were the bass singers, while directly in front of the pulpit, the
tenor and counter were seated. There was one seat in the gal-
lery above all the rest occupied by the gentry or aristocracy.
Dea. Pelatiah Bliss led the singing for a number of years, and
afterwards Hon. Samuel Lathrop. Rev. Dr. Joseph Lathrop
was a large, portly, venerable looking man, who preached in the
same pulpit over sixty-four years, and until Dr. Sprague's set-
I recollect looking up into the old pulpit one Sabbath morn-
ing and seeing a man that looked more like a straggler than a
preacher. His hair looked as if it had not been combed for
many days. This was Rev. Mr. Ballantine, of Westfield, who
had made an exchange with Parson Lathrop. Timothy Billings,
of Deerfield, contracted to build the meeting-house on the hill
for one thousand four hundred dollars, and a suitable accompa-
niment of good rum. The raising took place while a vessel was
building on the Common, and the men there employed, assisted
in raising the steeple. * « * Yours truly,
FROM ALONZO CHAPIN, M. D.
Manchester, March, 24, 1874.
J. N. Bagg, Esq. — Dear Sir: I find myself, much to my re-
gret, unable at the last, to be present at your centennial. I
send my kind regards to all present, with the following senti-
ment : " Our Alma Mater. Other scenes and other cares may
divert us, but our early love we do not forget."
I will at some time try to tell you, as requested, of the Chapin
90 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Wishing you, as I have no doubt you will have, a very mem-
I am, yours truly,
FROM PROF. GEORGE E. DAY.
Yale College, March 24, 1874.
Gentlemen : Please accept my thanks for the invitation
extended to me to attend the centennial celebration at West
Springfield. It would give me great pleasure to be able to ac-
cept it, but other engagements prevent.
Although not a son, I can claim to be a grandson of West
Springfield. There my ancestors have lived for many genera-
tions, and I shall always cherish a filial interest in all that con-
cerns its prosperity.
It is not forgotten on this ground that one of your former pas-
tors, the distinguished Dr. Lathrop, was called in 1793 to become
Professor of Divinity in this College, and that the names of
many natives of West Springfield appear upon its Triennial
In this list of graduates, the town is represented by two sons
of the first minister, Rev. John Woodbridge, by his successor
Rev. Samuel Hopkins and his son Samuel, by Dr. Lathrop who
succeeded him and his son Hon. Samuel Lathrop, not to men-
tion others among the living and the dead. May a true regard
for education continue to characterize the town to the latest
George E. Day.
LETTER FROM N. T. LEONARD.
Westfield, April 18, 1874.
J, N. Bagg, Esq. — My Dear Sir: In accordance with your
request that I should state the substance of my reminiscences
in regard to the inhabitants of West Springfield, which the state
of my health prevented my giving orally at the celebration, I
would state : My father, Nathaniel Leonard, was a native of
Shefiield ; of which town his father, bearing the same name,
was one of the original proprietors. His mother was Sarah
flower, sister of Col. Samuel Flower and Mr. Timothy Plovver.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 9I
She died when my father was five years of age, and his father
when he was but twelve. On the happening of the latter event,
my father and one of his sisters were taken into the family of
Major Jesse Mclntire of Feeding Hills, — who was half brother
of his father, and his wife's own sister of his mother, — where he
remained from 1776 to about the time of the close of the Revo-
lutionary war. Some incidents occurring during this time in-
dicate the privations to which those living in that trying
period voluntarily submitted, as well as their primitive modes of
Major Mclntire had a good farm, and his house, which was
the only one of brick in that era and vicinity, was some twenty
feet square and a story-and-a-half in hight. This served the
purpose for accommodation of at least six children, embracing
the orphans and, it is my impression, Sarah [Ely], the grand-
mother of my father, her first husband being Nathaniel Leonard,
and after his death (the fashion of dissolution by divorce not
then being introduced) she intermarried with Mr. William Mc-
lntire. In this household the fare of the children was very
plain. Sometimes when the pot had been boiled and the meat
taken up, the liquor (thickened with flour or meal, the boiling
process continued) served as one dish. At another time the
liquor was made available by dipping bread into it and thus
making toast. Bean porridge was another savory dish. The
good aunt, of blessed memory, not only treated her orphaned
sister's children as well as her own, but better ; for while her
boys sometimes refused the plain pies ordinarily prepared, when
those of better flavor were served she was accustomed to give
my father the largest piece, as a reward for having eaten what
was set before him. He (Maj. Mclntire) and his wife were ac-
customed to sit beside each other, and to eat from the same
plate at the table.
The plains between Feeding Hills and Agawam furnished a
supply of fat-pine stumps and knots, which served for light in the
kitchen fire-place by which my father worked out his problems
in arithmetic, and — under the instructions of his grandmother —
acquired his mode of reading the Scriptures, which he followed
in after life, in which the sound given to some of the verbs was
as follows : — " shoold, shault, woold, coold," for the words —
should, shalt, would, could.
92 WEST SPRINGFIELD
As I understand, Major Mclntire was not only a man of sub-
stance, but of prominent position. An anecdote which has
recently come to my knowledge shows the estimation in which
he was held as a reliable man.
A garrulous man having given a narration to a company
when Rev. Dr. Lathrop happened to be present, and some in-
credulity being manifested at the recital, " It's true, every word
of it," said the narrator ; " I had it from Major Mclntire."
" Yes," replied Dr. L., " but we don't seem to have it direct from
During a residence in Feeding Hills from 1824 to 1830, I
made the acquaintance of a number of my kindred. Timothy
Flower, a great-uncle and an esteemed member of the Baptist
church, was a man of Zaccheus-like stature, though the fact of
his encasing his nether limbs in long stockings and breeches
buttoned at the knees, according to the fashion of his early days,
perhaps gave one a more distinct impression of his diminutive-
ness. But he had a large heart, and his conscientious and per-
sistent efforts to do justice to others would be well illustrated
by an anecdote which I would like to relate, but for the possi-
bility it might wound the feelings of some now living. His son
Spencer was the leading man in the Methodist church, and was
at times a member of the Board of Selectmen.
Another cousin of my father (his mother being a Flower was
Justin Granger. He had a great fondness for music, a pleasant
voice, and was to some extent a composer. A piece written by
him, called " Repentance," was sung by the choir in the church.
Mr. Frederick Hazen, now of Springfield, was the leader, and I
think might furnish a copy of the tune for publication.
At the period above mentioned the town was territorially di-
vided into four parishes — the Central or First, Agawam, Ireland
and Feeding Hills. Each of the latter had from two to three
religious societies or churches organized, while the first had
The executive department of the town was a pentarchy, unit-
ing the offices of Selectmen, Assessors, and Overseers of the
Poor. They were the representatives of the parishes, the first
having two members of the Board. Two of my father's cousins
were members of this organization. Timothy Horton (his
mother was a Flower), whose residence was in Agawam, was
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 93
called not only to attend to the duties of a medical practitioner
in that town, but in all the surrounding towns, having the repu-
tation of being skillful in the administration of remedies and
independent in his opinions.
Alfred, son of Colonel Samuel Flower, has within a few
months been "gathered to his fathers" at the ripe age of 93,
after having served his generation faithfully as a deacon in the
Congregational church in feeding Hills, a captain in the militia,
a magistrate, and a representative in the Legislature. There
was an incident in my intercourse with him that served to show
the importance of a temperance pledge and organization in its
influence upon others. In 1827, being called with him and an-
other gentleman to attend to some business occupying a day or
more, after our labors were completed, and being at a hotel, by
direction of the other gentleman "a mug of sling" was brought
into the room, of which Mr. F. declined partaking, stating that
he had discontinued its use for some months ; which was un-
known to us, though in habit of almost daily intercourse. On
the formation of a temperance organization, a few months after,
he was of course ready to sign the pledge.
James Kent and Captain Hosea Day, who with his company
marched to the defence of Boston in 181 2 with Aaron Bagg
and Luke Parsons, were associated with Messrs. Horton and
Flower in caring for the interests of the town. They were ac-
customed to meet for the transaction of public business at land-
lord Colton's hotel, — a man who, notwithstanding the trials in-
cident to his position, was recognized as a very devout person.
The Board audited all the bills, and were never suspected of
anything like Tweedism or Mobilierism ; and, avoiding even
the appearance of evil, at the annual town meeting they were
accustomed to make their bills for services at $1.00 per day,
without charging for horse hire, and present them for allowance
to the town, together with a bill of Mr. Colton's. On one oc-
casion, the Moderator stating the question in regard to the lat-
ter, "Will the Town allow Mr. Colton's bill of $ — for refresh-
ments furnished the Selectmen," a voter, not accustomed to join
in the discussions, occasioned a good deal of mirth by rising
and, in a feminine voice, throwing his head back and looking at
the presiding officer from under his glasses, saying — " Mr. Mod-
erator, won't you please to read the items ?"
94 WEST SPRINGFIELD
I recall pleasant recollections of my acquaintance with the
Elys, — Justin, Homer and Cotton of the first parish, Robert of
the second, and Henry of the third.
I recollect the former saying to me in my bachelor days, " Mr.
L., I think you would enjoy life much better if you were mar-
ried." I pass the statement along to the young men of the
present day, with the assurance that to me it has been doubly
verified. Whether any of these were of my remote kindred by
reason of my being descended from an Ely, or not, I cannot
say. As to my kindred bearing my own name, I knew Justin,
Phineas and Dwight, father and son ; Elias, grandfather of Col.
Parsons ; Rufus and Asaph, the latter having, even in old age,
an enthusiastic fondness for seine-fishing ; Reuben and his son
Robert, and their neighbors Apollos and William, all residents
of Feeding Hills, and Thaddeus of Agawam, who married a sis-
ter of my father. None of these gentlemen were descended
from any ancestor of mine nearer than Benjamin, who was the
son of John, the first of whose fourteen children was born in
Springfield in 1641.
An anecdote was related to mC in regard to one of our name
who was not then living, but with whose family I was intimately
acquainted : A neighbor applied to him for a horse to make a
journey. He made no direct reply. Three or four days after,
meeting the applicant, he said — " Horse ! Yes ; I don't care if
you take him." To which the reply was — " Mr. Leonard, I have
been to Hartford, and got back last night."
Perhaps it might be inferred from this that the operations of
our minds, as a family, were rather sluggish.
THE CHURCH ON MEETING-HOUSE HILL,
ERECTED A. D. 1800.
The following is a literal copy of the record by which West Spring-
field first became a parish :
At a Great and General Court or Assembly for his Majesties
Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, begun and held
at Boston upon Wednesday y^ 27th of May, 1696, In the Eighth year
of his Majesties Reign, and Continued by Several Adjournments unto
Wednesday the i8th of Novemb"" following.
Upon reading the petition of the Inhabitants of the Town of Spring-
field on the West Side of the great River running throug'' the s*^ Town,
Commonly called Connecticut River, therein setting forth their distance
from the place of meeting for the publick worship of God in s*^ Town,
and the difficulties and danger attending their passing of the s'' River,
besides many other inconveniences they lye under by reason thereof,
being about Thirty-two Families and in number upwards of Two Hun-
dred Souls, Praying that they may be Permitted to invite and settle a
minister on that side of the River, that themselves and Families may
enjoy the Ordinances of Christ and their Children not be in danger of
becoming heathens for want of Instruction. And a Committee ap-
pointed by this Court of indifferent and Judicious persons belonging to
the several neighboring Towns to inquire into that matter, having given
a Meeting to the Inhabitants of the s*^ Town and heard what was offered
on both sides, Reporting that they judge the desire of the Petitioners
to be reasonable, and that the granting of their Petition will not only
promote Religion^ but be much also for the worldly advantage of the
Ordered, That the s"^ Petitioners be. and hereby are, permitted, and
allowed, to invite, procure and settle, a learned and orthodox Minister
on the West side of the s*^ River, to dispense the word of God unto
those that dwell there, and that they be a distinct and separate Precinct
for that purpose, the River to be the dividing Line. And that the
Present Inhabitants on the west side of the s^ River, together with
such as shall from time to time settle among them, have liberty to con-
96 WEST SPRINGFIELD
vene together, to advise, agree upon, and take such methods, as may
be suitable and convenient, for the procuring, encouraging. settUng and
support of a minister qualified as afores*^, and for the building of a
Meeting House according as shall be determined by a Major Vote, and
also to nominate and appoint a Committee of three or more persons
among themselves to transact and manage that affair. And all the
Inhabitants and Estates under their Improvement lying on the west
side of the s*^ River shall stand Charged towards the settlement and
support of the ministry in s'^ place, in manner as the Law relating to the
maintenance and support of the ministers does direct, and Provide, and
be assessed thereto proportionably by two or more assessors as shall
from time to time be Elected and appointed by the Major part of the
s*^ inhabitants for that purpose, who may also nominate and appoint a
Collector, to gather and pay on the same as by Warrant or order under
the hands of such Assessors he shall be directed, and when and so
soon as the Inhabitants of s*^ Precinct shall have procured a learned
and orthodox Minister to preach the Word of God among them, they
shall be freed and Exempt** from paying towards the support of the
Ministry on the other side of the River, and for so long a time as they
shall Continue to have and enjoy such a Minister.
By order of the Lieutenant-Governour,
Council and Assembly.
Js'" Addington. Secr*y.
A true Copy, Extracted from the Original.
Test. Nath'' Atchinson, Cler. for the Second Parish or Precinct
In April, 1707, the land on the west bank of the river was divided
into plots of ten acres each, which were assigned by lot, to the male
inhabitants of the town who had completed their twenty-first year.
Their number was seventy-three, as shown by the following list, copied
literally from the earliest records of the parish.
Jose Ely, Snr , Benja Lenord,
Jose Ely, Junr , John Day,
Wm. Macrany, Jno. Lenord,
Jams Barcker, Jams Tailer, Snr.,
Jose Barcker, Jams Tailer, Junr.,
Sam'l Barcker, Jonath Tailer,
Oliver Barcker, Sam'l Tailer,
John Bag, Edward Foster,
Jonathan Bag, John Miller,
Sani'l Miler, Snr.,
J no. Fowler,
Joseph Bodortha, Snr.
Sam'l Bodortha, Snr.,
Sam'l Bodortha, Junr.,
Eben'r Jones, Snr.,
Eben'r Jones, Junr.,
John Killam, Snr.,
John Killam, Junr.,
Jose Lenord, Snr.
Jose Lenord, Junr.,
Gersham Hail, Snr.,
Gersham Hail, Junr..
Jams Stevenson, Snr.,
Jams Stevenson, Junr.,
Sam'l Miller, Junr.,
Joseph Bodortha, Junr.
[See Historical and Genealogical Register of Boston, October num-
ber, 1874, for a literal transcript of twenty pages of Parish Records,
descriptive of the manner in which the land was divided among the
settlers in West Springfield, in 1807-20.]
PETITION OF THE PARISH TO BE SET OFF AS A TOWN
" At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Second Parish in Spring-
field, July 15, 1756, Capt. Benj. Day, Moderator, voted ist. To Chuse
a Committe to prefer a Petition to the Great and General Court of
the Massachusetts Bay, That they would set off all the Inhabitants
and the Lands on the West Side the Great River in Springfield, To be
a Distinct Town with all Priviledges belonging Thereto.
Voted 2ly, That Capt. Benj. Day, Doct. John Vanhorne, Capt. Jo-
seph Miller and Mr. Josiah Day be a Committe for that purpose."
98 WEST SPRINGFIELD
ACT OF INCORPORATION, FEB., 1774.
" Amio jRegfii, Regis, Georgia, Tertia, Decifno, Quarto."
An Act for dividing the Township of Springfield and erecting the
Western Part thereof into a Seperate Town by the Name of West
Springfield passed Feb., Anno Domini 1774. Whereas, by Reason of
the great Extent of the Township of Springfield, the Remote Settle-
ments, Disputes, Controversies and different Interests of the Inhabi-
tants thereof, the Difficulty and often Impractibility of the Assembly
in Town Meetings for Elections and other necessary purposes by Rea-
son of the Great River Connecticut, almost equally dissecting the
Township, it is necessary that there be a Division thereof.
Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Representa-
tives. That that Part of the Township of Springfield lying on the
West Side of Connecticut River, and the Inhabitants thereof be con-
stituted and erected into a different Town by the Name of West Spring-
field, and be invested with all the Powers, Privileges and Immunities
which by the Laws of this Province, Towns have and enjoy. Pro-
FIRST WARRANT FOR TOWN MEETING.
Hampshire, SS. To the Constable or Constables of the Town of
Springfield, or either of them Greeting.
You are hereby required in his Majesties Name forthwith to warn
and give notice to the Freeholders and other Inhabitants on the West
Side of Connecticut River in West Springfield, that they meet and as-
semble together at the Old Meeting House in said Town on Wednes-
day the 23d Day of this Instant at Ten of the Clock in the forenoon
then and there to act on the following articles.
ist. To choose a Moderator in Said Meeting.
2d. To choose Town Officers in s'd Town for the year ensuing.
3d. To See if the Inhabitants will apply to the General Court for
any alteration in the incorporating act, as was made the last seting of
said Court that incorporated the Inhabitants on the West Side the
River, in s'd Town into a Seperate Town.
4th. To give Liberty for Swine to go at large being yoked and ringed.
5th. To choose a Commitee to hire Bulls for the Town's use.
6th. To bring in the votes for a County Treasurer. Hereof fail not,
but make due Return of this Warrant, with your Doings thereon unto
us the Subscribers, or to the Clerk of .s'd Town, at or before the Time
set for s'd Meeting, given under our Hands and Seals the 14th day of
March, in the 14th year of His Majesties Rein, Anno Domini 1774.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 99
Benjamin Day, Charles Pynchon, Nathan '1 Ely, 2d, Aaron Colton,
John Hale, Jonath White, Benjamin Ely, Selectmen of Springfield.
SOME OF THE TOWN'S OFFICERS WITH THEIR YEAR
Col. Benjamin Day, 1774-79, 81-85, 87-89.
Dn. Jona White, 1774-79, 81-84, 86, 87.
Abram Burbank, 1775, 76, 78, 80, 81, 86.
Justin Ely, 1775, 76, 84, 87, 90, 92-99, 1801.
Maj. and Col. Benjamin Ely, 1778-80, 81, 83, 86, 96.
Doct John Vanhorn, 1780, 85, 86, 88, 90.
Capt. Levi Ely, 1780.
Eliphalet Leonard, 1783, 87, 89, 91.
Capt. John Williston, 1783, 91, 1800.
Deac. Jacob Winchell, 1787.
Dea., Capt. and Col. Pelatiah Bliss, 1788, 90, 92, 93, 95-97, 99.
Doct Seth Lathrop, 1789, 93, 1800, i, 7.
Horace White, 1789.
Martin Ely, 1789.
Elias Leonard, 1792.
John Ashley, 1793.
Jonathan Smith, Jr., 1794, 98-1819.
Capt. Joseph Morgan, 1799.
Lucas Morgan, 1800.
Joseph White, 1801.
Heman Day, 1802, 5, 6, 22, 26, 32.
Pliny White, 1804, 5.
Maj. Roger Cooley, 1804.
Maj. Gad Warriner, 1806.
Aaron Bagg, 181 1.
Col. Aaron Bagg, 1841, 42, 52-67, 70, 72, 74.
Hon. Samuel Lathrop, 181 1, 22, 27, 30, 32, 34, 37, 38.
Doct. Timothy Horton, 181 1, 18.
Charles Ball, 18 14.
Luke Parsons, 1819-28.
James Kent, 1820, 21, 26, 29-31, ^;^.
Alfred Flower, 1828, 29, 41.
Norman T. Leonard, 1830.
Reuben Champion, 1832, 43, 44, 49.
Amos Worthington, 1833.
Linus Bagg, 1834-36.
lOO WEST SPRINGFIELD
Caleb Rice, 1838.
Lyman Whitman, 1839-41.
Lester Williams, 1844, 71,
Daniel G. White, 1845, 46, 48, 49-54, 56-58.
Josiah Johnson, 1845.
Edward Parsons, 1845, 59, 66, 73.
Cyrus Frink, 1845-47.
Newbury Norton, 1848.
Augustine Ludington, 1848.
Martin King, 1849.
J. W. Freeland, I853.
Orson Swetland, 1855.
Reuben Palmer, 1855.
Aaron Ashley, 1857, 58.
Samuel Smith, 1859.
Ocran Dickinson, i860.
Amzi Allen, 1861.
Andrew Bartholomew, 1864, 65, 68, 69, 72-74.
Ashbel Frost, 1864.
D. F. Melcher, 1865.
William Smith, 1866.
Isaac B. Lowell, 1867.
Norman T. Smith, 1869, 72.
Reuben Brooks, 1869.
Ethan Brooks, 1870, 71, 74.
Henry A. Sibley, 1870, 72, 73.
J. L. Worthy, 1871.
Harvey D. Bagg, 187 1.
C. W. Hoisington, 187 1.
Amos Russell, 1872.
CLERKS AND TREASURERS.
(Where two names occur in one year the last named is Treasurer.}
Doct. John Van Home, 1774.
Doct. Chauncey Brewer, 1775-S0.
Justin Ely, 1781.
Aaron White, 1782-95.
Joseph White, 1782-95.
Aaron White, 1793-95.
Horace White, 1793-95-
Samuel Lathrop, 1796-98,
Horace White, 1796-98.
Sclh Latin op, 1799.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. JOI
Horace White, 1779.
Aaron White, 1800-12.
Heman Day, 1800-12.
Reuben Champion, Jr., 1813-21.
James Kent, 1813-21.
Caleb Rice, 1822-34.
James Kent, 1822-34.
Charles Ely served as Treasurer part of 1834.
Reuben Champion, Jr., 1835-42.
Lester Williams, 1835-42.
Michael Marsh, 1843-47.
Lester Williams, 1843-47.
Edwin F. Perkins, Clerk, pro tempore.
Enoch N. Smith, 1848.
Harvey Bliss, 1848.
Enoch N. Smith, 1849.
Lester Williams, 1849.
Enoch N. Smith, 1850-53.
Charles White, 1854, 56-62.
Lewis Leonard, 1855.
Edward Parsons, 1863.
John M. Harmon, 1864-74.
(At first only persons with an income of forty shillings, or of forty pounds sterling,
were allowed to vote for Representative.)
Col. Benjamin Day, 1774, 78.
Maj. and Col. Benjamin Ely, 1775, 78-80, 82, 85, 88, 89.
Dea. Jonathan White, 1776, 77, 79, 87.
Mr. and Esq. Justin Ely, 1777, 80-85, 9°~97-
Mr. Eliphalet Leonard, 1777.
Abraham Burbank, Esq., 1780, 81, 83, 84.
Capt. John Williston, 1786-89.
Mr., Esq. and Hon. Jonathan Smith, Jr., 1794-96, 98-1811, 14-19.
Mr. Jere Stebbins, 1804, 8.
Mr. Heman Day, 1805.
Maj. Gad Warriner, 1805, 9, 14, 15.
Col. Samuel Flower, 1806, 10.
Lieut. Charles Ball, 1806, 08, 09, 11, 12, 15, 16, 20, 27.
Doct. Timothy Horton, 1807, 10, 11.
Mr, Luke Parsons, 1807, 10, 13, 14, 22, 23.
Maj. Jesse Mclntire, 1808.
Mr. Elias Leonard, 1809, 11, 13.
I02 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Capt. John Porter, 1812, 13.
Mr. James Kent, 1812, 13, 27.
Mr. Horace Flower, 18 12.
Col. David Morley, 18 14.
Capt. Alfred Flower, 1815, 16, 23, 26, 27.
David Hastings, 18 16.
Caleb Rice, 182 1, 24-26, 28.
Daniel Merrick, 1823.
Jona E. Ferre, 1823.
Luther Frink, 1824, 36.
John Street, 1827.
Norman Warriner, 1827.
Doct. Reuben Champion, Jr., 1829, 35.
Robert Ely, 1829.
Warren Chapin, 1829, 31.
Spencer Flower, 1829, 39.
Lewis Warriner, 1830, 31, 33, 36.
Henry Ely, 1830, 33.
Capt. and Maj. Linus Bagg, 1831, 32, 36.
Capt. Henry Phelon, 1831, 32.
Asa B. Whitman, 1832.
Capt. Hosea Day, 1833, 34.
Josiah Johnson, 1833, 36, 38.
Benjamin Leonard, 1834.
Seth Parsons, 1834.
Heber Miller, 1834.
Samuel Noble, 1835, 37*
Dwight Leonard, 1835.
Amasa Ainsworth, 1835.
Pelatiah Ely, 1837.
Edwin H. Ball, 1838.
Lester Williams, 1839, 40, 49, 69.
Lyman Whitman, 1839.
Rufus S. Payne, 1840.
Ebenezer B. Pelton, 1841.
Col. Aaron Bagg, 1842, 71.
Lucien M. UfFord, 1842.
Asa Clark, 1843.
Isaac Roberts, 1843.
Edward Parsons, 1846.
Harvey Chapin, 1846.
Daniel G. White, 1848, 50.
Lyman Allen, 1848.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. IO3
Wells Southworth, 1849.
Harvey Wolcott, 1851.
Edward Southworth, 1852, 53.
Samuel D. Warriner, 1854.
Jonathan W. Freeland, 1855.
Jonathan O. Moseley, 1856.
George L. Wright, 1858.
Nathan Loomis, i860, 63.
Justin L. Worthy, 1865.
Charles A. Fox, 1867.
William Melcher, 1868.
George C. S. Southworth, 1870.
Ansel H. Ward, 187 1.
DELEGATES TO PROVINCIAL CONGRESS AT WATERTOWN, MASS.
Dea. Jona. White, Doct. Chancey Brewer, Maj. Benj. Ely, 1775.
DELEGATES TO CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.
Abraham Burbank, Maj. Benj. Ely, 1780,
Col. Benj. Ely, Capt. John Williston, 1787.
James Kent, Timothy Horton, Lulher Frink, Alfred Flower, 1820.
Homer Ely, 1853.
DELEGATES TO CONVENTION AT HATFIELD, FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.
Col. Benj. Ely, Capt. John Williston, 1782.
Eledzer Day, Joseph Selden, 1783.
Col. Benj. Ely, 1786.
Col. Benj. Day, 1774, 79, 81, 84.
Dea. Jona. White, 1774, 79, 82.
Col. Benj. Ely, 1774, 75, 78, 79, 82, 84, 86,88, 94.
Dea. John Leonard, 1774, 75.
Lt. Benj. Leonard, 1774, 75.
Doct Chauncy Brewer, 1775.
Justin Ely, 1775.
Dea. Reuben Leonard, 1776-79,
Lt. and Capt. Joseph Morgan, 1776, 87, 95-99.
Eliphalet Leonard, 1776, 77, 81, 83-87.
Charles Ball, 1777.
Abraham Burbank, 1778-82, 85, 86.
Benj. Stebbins, 1780-87.
Capt. Levi Ely, 1780.
Lt. Enoch Cooper, 1780-82.
Capt. Joseph Ely, 1780, 81.
I04 WEST SPRINGFIF.r.r)
Aaron White, 1781.
Capt. John Williston, 1783-97.
Russel Leonard, 1783, 87.
Lucius Morgan, 1783.
Joseph White, 1788, 92.
Samuel Phelps, 1788, 96.
Reuben Leonard, Jr., 1788-97.
Heman Day, 1793-98, 1800-6.
Maj. Gad Warriner, 1797-99.
Lt. Ruggles Kent, 1798, 99.
Elias Leonard, 1798, 99, 1809, 11, 12. 15-17-
Horace White, 1799.
Justin Granger, 1799.
Lt. Benj. Ashley, 1800, i.
Robert Ely, 1800-7.
Doct. Timothy Horton, 1800-24.
Justin Leonard, 1800, r.
Pliny White, 1803-7.
Col. Sam'l Flower, 1802, 3.
Maj. and Col. David Morley, 1804-8.
Jonathan Smith, Jr., Esq., 1807-13.
Luke Parsons, 1808-10, 16-27.
Aaron Bagg, 1808-21. 23, 24.
Col. Aaron Bagg, 1837-44, 48, 54, 56. 57, 63,
Luther Frink, 18 11-13.
Horace Flower, 1813, 14.
James Kent, 1814-21, 23-25, 31, 32.
Peres Hitchcock, 18 14, 15.
Alfred Flower, 1818-26.
Ruggles Kent, 1822.
Jonathan Parsons 1822.
David Hastings, 1825, 26.
Hosea Day, 1825-29.
Caleb Rice, 1826-30.
Spencer Flower, 1827-30, 34, 35, 42, 43.
Lewis Warriner, 1827-29.
Warren Chapin, 1828, 29.
Linus Bagg, 1830-36.
Benj. Leonard, 1830-33.
Henry Ely, 1830-32, 35. 36.
Josiah Johnson, 1831-33, 37, 38, 44.
Charles Ball, Jr., 1833, 34.
Edward Parsons, 1833, 35, 45-57. ^>o-
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. IO5
Samuel Noble, 1834-37.
Lester Williams, 1836-44.
Silas Dewey, 1836-44.
Willard Ely, 1837-41.
Lyman Whitman. 1838, 39-42.
Calvin Wheeler, 1839.
Ebenezer B. Pelton, 1840.
Cyrus Frink, 1842, 43, 48.
Newbury Norton, 1843, 45-47-
Asa Clark, 1844.
Lucien M. Ufford, 1844.
Isaac Roberts, 1845-47.
Russell Gilmore, 1845-47.
Homer Ely, 1845-47.
Augustine Ludington, 1848.
Herrjck Brooks, 1848.
Wm. S. Bowe, 1848, 51-54-
Enoch Leonard, 1848.
Nehemiah D. Perry, 1848.
Sam'l Flower, 1848.
Harvey Bliss, 1848.
Lester Hamlin, 1849, 54.
Ralph Adams, 1849.
Jona. O. Mosely, 1849-53, 56, 57.
Harvey Chapin, 1849.
Daniel G. White, 1849-53.
Jona, W. Freeland, 1850-53.
Sam'l Smith, 1851-53, 55.
L. S. Brown, 1854.
George B. Bebee, 1854.
S. L. Griggs, 1855.
Orson S wetland, 1855.
James T. Smith, 1855.
Orrin Root, 1855.
James P. Ely, 1856, 57, 60.
S. B. Day, 1858-60.
Riley Smith, 1858-60.
Daniel Ashley, 1858-60.
Nathan Loomis, 1861, 62.
Alvin Sibley, 1S61, 62, 74.
Frank F. Smith, 1861, 62.
Charles C. Smith, 1863.
Lucius Dwinnell, 1863.
106 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Albert D. Bagg, 1864-66.
C. VV. Hoisington, 1864, 65.
Aaron L. Hayes, 1864-67.
William Smith, 18.66, 67.
Harvey D. Bagg, 1867-74.
Charles White, 1868, 69.
Henry A. Sibley, 1868-73.
Amos Russell, 1870-74.
Rev. Reuben S. Hazen, 1827-32, 34, 35, 37, 8
Dr. G. White, 1827-30, 35, 36, 38.
Sam'l Lathrop, 1827-29.
Henry Ely, 1828, 30.
Horace Palmer, 1827, 28.
Thos. Barrett, 1827, 29,
Rev. Wm. B. Sprague, 1827.
Rev. Thos. Rand, 1827.
Justin Ely, 1829.
Hezekiah Griswold, 1830, ^3-
Dr. Reuben Champion, 1830, 31.
Norman T. Leonard, 1829, 30.
Solomon Lathrop, 1830, 32-35.
Rev. Thos. E. Vermilye, 1831-34.
Rev. Hervey Smith, 1831-38.
Rev. Henry Archibald, 183 1, 32.
Rev. John W. McDonald, 1833.
Rev. Horatio J. Lombard, 1834, 35.
Rev. John H. Hunter, 1836.
Rev. Jona. L. Pomeroy, 1836.
Rev. P. Brockett, 1836.
Elisha Eldridge, 1837.
Aaron Day, 1837, 38.
Rev. Calvin Foote, 1837, 38.
Rev. A. A.Wood, 1839, 41-45-
Doct. Reuben Champion, 1839, 46-48.
Rev Hervey Smith, 1839.
William Taylor. 1839.
Palmer Gallup, 1839-43.
Aaron Bagg, 1840.
Horace D. Doolittle, 1840, 41.
William Gamwell, 1842.
Rev. William L. Brown, 1843, 45.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 10/
Rev. Gideon Dana, 1844.
Rev. Dillon Williams, 1844, 45.
Rev. Lester Lewis, 1846.
Rev. Thomas Rand, 1846, 47.
Josiah Johnson, 1847, 48.
Rev. Ralph Perry, 1848-55.
Rev. Simeon Miller, 1848.
Daniel G. White, 1848, 56.
Rev. Asahel Chapin, 1848, 49.
Doct. P. LeB. Stickney, 1849-51.
Rev. Henry M. Field, 1852.
Doct. Cyrus Bell, 1851-53.
Doct. Nathaniel Downes, 1853, 56, 57.
Rev. Henry Cooley, 1854.
Rev. S. D. Ward, 1854, 55.
Rev. Theron H. Hawks, 1855-59.
Rev. E. Scott, 1855.
S. D Warriner, 1855.
Lewis H. Taylor, 1855.
E. Clark, 1855.
Amzi Allen, 1857, 60-62.
John B. Taylor, 1858.
Riley Smith, 1858.
J. N. Bagg, i860, 61, 69, 70, 72, 73.
Nathan Loomis, 1861-63.
Rev. Eden B. Foster, D. D., 1862-64.
Rev. Henry M. Powers, 1862-65.
Daniel F. Melcher, 1864, 65, 69.
Ethan Brooks, 1864-67, 71.
Rev. Moody Harrington, 1864.
Rev. J. S. Batchelder, 1865, 66.
Rev. Perkins K. Clark, 1866-68.
Daniel F. Morrill, 1866-69.
Norman T. Smith, 1868-70, 72-74.
Dr. Herbert C. Belden, 1870.
Emerson Geer, 1871-74.
Gideon Wells, 187 1.
Sarah Isabel Cooley, 1872-74.
Angeline Brooks, 1872.
Charles E. Merrick, 1872-74.
POSTMASTERS IN WEST SPRINGFIELD CENTER.
Since the organization of the Department, unless some were entered previously in
the Post-office books destroyed by fire.
M. M. Tallmadge,
P. LeB. Stickney,
W. E. Cooley,
Henry A. Phelon,
DATE OF COMMENCEMENT.
i8th Dec, 1802.
19th Feb., 1817.
26th Oct., 1819.
27th Aug., 1824
i6th Nov., 1836.
30th Sept., 1841.
9th May, 1845.
29th Aior., 1846.
31st Aug., 1847.
5th June, 1849.
2d June, 1851.
24th July, 1S66.
13th Feb., 1867.
THE BAGG PEDIGREE.
[Condensed from a " Genealogy of the Bagg Family in America," now in process
of compilation by Lyman H. Bagg (1S7). Of the numbers to which the star (*) is
attached additional information is desired]
John Bagg, supposed to have emigrated from Plymouth, England, died at Spring-
field, Sept. 5, 1683. In 1660 he conveyed lands in the "second division," probably
on the west bank of the river, to Hugh Dudley, of Chicopee Plains ; in 1668, his
name was signed fourth to a petition against imposts ; in 1678, Jan. r, he was one
of the citizens to whom Major John Pynchon administered the oath of allegiance.
He married Oct. 24, 1657, Hannah Burt (b. April 28, 1641, d. Aug i, 1680), dau.
of Deacon Henry Burt and Ulalia his wife, who emigrated from England to Rose-
burg, and thence removed to Springfield in 1640.
Their children were: i, Hannah, b. 1658, d. 1740, m. 1681, Nathaniel Sikes. 2,
Mercy, b. 1660, d. 1738, m. 1679, Ebenezer Jones. 3, Daniel, b. Nov. d. Dec. 1663.
4, John, b. March 26, 1665, d. Nov. 1740, m. March 30, 1689, Mercy Thomas (b.
May 15, 1671), and had eltven children, from three ofiahovi all the Baggs now living in
West Springfield are descended. *5, Daniel, b. 1668, d. 1738, m. 1694, Hannah — ,
and had ten children, from two of whom descended the Baggs of Westfield, Lanes-
boro, Pittsfield, Utica, Detroit, Montreal, and Northern New York. 6, Jonathan,
b. 1670, d. 1746, m. 1696, Mary Weller (d. 1740), and had nine children. *7, Abi-
gail, b. April 23, 1673, fate unknown. 8, James, b. 1675, d. 1689. 9, Sarah, b. 1678,
m. 1701, Benoni Atchison (d. 1704) ; m. 1711, Samuel Barnard. *io, Abilene, b.
July 25, 1680, fate unknown.
Second Generation. Children of 4 John : *ii, Mercy, b. March 6, 1690, fate un-
known. 12, Hannah, b. 1692, d. 1764, m. 1715, Daniel White. 13, Sarah, b. 1694,
d. 1726 (.'), m. 1717, Samuel Taylor. 14, John, b. April 23, 1696, d. Jan. 28, 1776,
m. Jan. 7, 1730, Elizabeth Stockwell (d. June 11, 1792, a. 88), and had five or
more children. 15, Abigail, b. 1699, m. 1724, John Day. 16, James, b. 1702, d'.
1749, m. 1744, Bathsheba Dewey, and had three children. 17, Thankful, b. 1704,
d. 1747, m 1727, Joseph Leonard. 18, Rachel, b. and d. 1706. 19, Rachel, b. 1708,
m. 1 73 1, Pelatiah Morgan (d. 1741) ; m. 1750, Ebenezer Day, Jr. 20, Thomas, b.
Feb. 22, 1710, d. April 11, 1776, m. July 29, 1748, Margaret Root (b. Nov. 21,
1716, (^ Oct. 4, 1775), and had five children. 21, Ebenezer, b May 14, 1713, d.
March 18, 1803, m July 21, 1748, Lois Lamb (b. Nov. 13, 1720, d. June 2, 1793), and
had five children.
Children of 6 Jonathan: 22, Mary, b. 1697, d. 1740, mim. 23, Jonathan, b.
March 18, 1699, d Oct. 7, 1746, supposed to have been unmarried. 24, Hannah,
b. 1701, d. 1735, unm. (?) 25, Ebenezer, b. Feb. 14, 1703, m. July 18, 1754, Patience
Killum, and had oneson. 26, Elizabeth, b. 1704, m. 1748, Joseph Leonard. 27,
Abigail, b. 1706, d. 1756, m. 1729, Benoni Jones. 28, Experience, b. 1708, d. 1748,
m. 1747, John Ely. 29, David, b. Sept. 3, 1710, d. May 18, 1760, m. Oct. 21, 1736,
IIO WEST SPRINGFIELD
Hannah Stockwell (d. Jan. 29, 1789, a. 80), and had six children. *30, Mercy, b.
1712, d. 1746, unm. (.')
In the division of West Springfield land into ten-acre lots, among the 73 residents
who were 21 years old and upwards, April 7, 1707, John Bagg (4) drew lot No. 9,
and Jonathan (6) lot No. 13 in " Chickebey Field above Dorbeys Brook." Thirteen
years later, John 14 and Jonathan 23, who were of the 44 young men who had at-
tained their majority in the interval, drew lots near their fathers in the same field.
Third Generation. Children of 14 John : 31, John, b. Oct. S, 1730, d. June 13,
1809, m. June 19, 1755, Rebecca Phelps (b. Dec. 10, 1737, d. April 18, 1797), and
had nine children. 32, Elizabeth, b. 1732, d. 1823, unm. 33, Aaron, b. Oct. 8,
1736, killed in the batde at Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755. 34, Sarah, b. 1738, m.
1777, Israel Brooks. *35, Ebenezer, b. 1740, d. May 18, 1796, a. 56, m. 1772 (?)
Orpha Granger, and had eight children.
Children of 20 Thomas : 36, Thomas, b. Aug. 10, 1749, d. March 27, 1837, m.
Dec. 18, 1777, Joanna Cooley (d. Jan. 9, 1787, in her 34th year) ; m. May (?), 1788,
Eunice Sackett (d. Aug. 14, 1819, in her 65th year), and had nine children. 37,
Israel, b. April 16, 1752, d. July 10, 1838, m. Jan. 11, 1776, Sarah Green (d. Jan.
10, 1832, a. 78), and had eight children. [This family moved to Bernardston, where
most of their descendants have since resided, and the present record will not trace
them further. All the eight children attained to extreme age, and four were still
living in April of the present year, to celebrate the 97th birthday of the eldest,
Israel, who was born at W. S. April 14, 1777, and is the longest-lived person known
to this genealogy.] 38, Oliver, b. Jan. 27, 1754, d. Nov 17, 1833, m. Aug. (?) 1783,
Tryphena Day (d. Aug. 25, 1803, a. 51) ; m. Feb. 5, 1807, Jerusha Ely Taylor (d.
Feb, 2, 1836, a. 73), and had three daughters. 39, Ezekiel, b. 1756, d. 1758. 40,
Margaret, b. 1758, m. 1778, Jephtha Green. 41, Ezekiel, b. Jan. 24, 1761, d. Jan.
I, 1837, m. Jan. 4, 1787, Huldah Cooley (d. July 17, 1833), and had five children.
Children of 21 Ebenezer: 42, Thankful, b. 1749, d. 1818, m. 1778, Nd)adiah
Loomis. 43, Frederick, b. Nov. 18, 1750, d. Nov 15, 1823, m. May 28, 1772, Chloe
Taylor (d. Dec. 15, 1818, a. 66), and had eleven children. 44, Warham, b. Nov. i,
1752, d. Sept. 14, 1803, m. Sept. 30, 1773, Sarah Ashley (d. Sept. 27, 1805, a. 52),
and had five children. *45, Walter, b. Nov. 9, 1754, ni. June 17, 1779, Nancy
Granger, and had five children. 46, Judah, b. April 2, 1758, d. Aug. 18, 1S12, m.
Oct. 31, 1780, Anna Roberts, and had four children.
Child of 25 Ebenezer : 47, Ebenezer, b. July 27, 1756, d. April 24, 1759.
Children of 29 David: 48, David, b. 1737, d. 1756. 48^, Hannah, b. 1739, d.
1757, m. 1756, Ebenezer Miller, 3d. 49, Noah, b. 1740, d. 1746. 50, Abigail, d.
Dec. 15, 1759, a. 16. 5, Mercy, b. 1746, d. 176S, m. 1764, Stephen Ward. 52, Mary,
b. 1748, m. 1766, Stephen Morgan.
Fourth Genei-ation. Children of 31 John : 53, Clara, b. 1756, d. 1765. 54, Aaron,
b. Sept. 23, 1757, d. Aug. 16, 1839, m. Sept. 27, 1775, Sarah Miller (d. Sept. 7, 1829,
a. 69), and had five or more children. *55, Chloe, b. 1760, d. 1797. m. 17S5, llha-
mar Morgan. *56, Charlotte, b. 1763, m. 1785. Elijah Bliss. 57, Clarissa, b. 1766,
d. 1837, m. 1787, Thomas Taylor. *58, Sophia, b. 1769, m. 1787, Steph^i Day.
59, Orrel, b. 1774, d. 1826, unm. *6o, Helen, b. 1776, m. 1796, Reuel Vanhorn. *6i,
Mary Meekins, b. 1779, m. 1804, Theodore Cooley.
Children of 35 Ebenezer: 62, Ebenezer, b, Feb. 8, 1773, d. April 27, 1817, m.
Feb. 5, 1801, Lucy Cooley (d. July 17, 1843), ^"d had three children. 63, James,
b. 1774, d. 1795, unm. 64, Pliny, b. March 24, 1776, d. Sept. 9, 1S63, m. May 31,
1810, Sabra Nelson (b. April 7, 1787, d. May 14, 1849), and had six children. *65,
Heman, b. March 24, 1776, d. about 1840, unm. 66, Elizabeth, b. 1777, d. 1810, m.
1796, David Wilder; ni. iSio, James Bagg. *67, Orpha, m. iSoo-, Solomon Dewey.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. Ill
68, Abraham, b. Nov. 3, 1783, d. Sept. 5. 1867, m. 1810, Sophia Ashley (b. July 34,
1779, and had five children. *69, Mercy, d. i860, m. 1806, Chester Smith; m.
1819, Daniel Noble.
Children of 36 Thomas : 70, Thomas, b. Dec. 10, 1778, d. about 1840, m. Nov.
12, 1807, Lauretta Hosford, (b. May, 1782, d. April, 29, 1846), and had four chil-
dren. *7i, Joanna, b. 1781, m. 1799, John Gaylord. 72, Justin, b. 1782, d. 1786.
"JT,, Huldah, b. 1725, d. 1857, m. 1S06, Linus Fowler 74, Eunice, b. 1782, d. 1803.
75, Justin, b. March, d. Dec. 1792. 76, Justin, b. Dec. 13, 1793, d. Feb. 5, 1861,
m 1817, Frances Sackett (d. May, i, i860, a. 74), and had four children. 77,
Nancy, b. 1796, d. 1803. 78, Clarissa, b. 1798, m. i8i8, Jeffrey Seymour.
Children of 38 Oliver. 79, Tryphena, b 1789, d. 1867, m. 181 5, Elisha Eldridge.
80, Amanda, b. 1793, d. 1872, unm. 81, Grata, b. 1795, d. 1864, m. 1818, Horace
Children of 39 Ezekiel : 82, Ezekiel, b. Jan. 16, 178S, d. Oct. 17, 1825, unm. 83.
Richard, b. Nov. 22, 1789, d. Jan. 4, i860, m. Jan 3. 1809, Flavia Rogers (b. Jan.
15, 1789, d. Feb. 15, 1870), and had four children. 84, Huldah, b. 1791, d. iSoi.
85, Justus, b. July 5, 1795, d. March 15, 1871, m. 1826, Sarah Munn Day (d. Jan.
26, 1839, a. 38) ; m. 1839, Delia Loomis (b. Dec. 29, 181S), and had six children.
86, Persis, b. 1798, d. 1803. 87, Mary, b. 1802, d. i860, m. 1822, Hosea Bliss.,
Children of 43 Frederick : 88, Chloe.b. 1774, d. 1794, m. Cyrus Starkweather. 89,
Lydia, b 1775, d. 1815, unm. 90, Frederick, b. 1779, d. i8oc, unm. 91, Linus, b.
Jan. d. March, 1780. 92, Malah, b. and d. 1781. 93, Malah, b. 1783, d. 1810, m.
iSoi, Francis Miller. 94, Tirzah, b. 1785, d. 1849, m. 1823, Hosea Bliss. 95,
Linus, b. Sept. 8, 17S7, d. Dec. 25, 1836, m. Jan. 14, 1813, Fanny Clapp (b. Nov.
25, 1790, d. Nov. 7, 1870), and had six children. *96, Hiram, b. 1789 (.''), m. Aug.
(?) 1824, Eunice Smith, and had one daughter. *97, Miranda, b. 1791 (.'), m. Dec.
3, 1819, Amos Allen. 98, Henry, b. 1796, d. 1800.
Children of 44 Warham : 99, Lucinda, b. 1774, m. 1798, Joseph Button. 100,
Sally, b. 1776, d. 1780. loi, Electa, b. 1778, m. William Alley. 102, Sally, b. 1780,
m. 1803, Oliver Bemont. 103, Louisa, b. 1783, d. i860, m. 1806, Rodney Day.
104, Miriam t^orter, b. 1786, d. 1834, unm. 105, Celina, b. 1789, m. 1810. Simon
Children of 45 Walter: 106, Daniel Granger, b. April 23, 1780, fate unknown.
107, Henry, b. 1781, d. 1786. 108, Jeremiah, b. 1785, d. 1799. 109, Fanny, b. 17S7,
m. 1813, George Lee Bow. no, Walter, b. 1798, d. 1820, unm.
Children of 46 Judah: in, Altamira, b. 1781, d. 1812, m. 1807, Horatio Kent.
112, Laura, b. 1783, m. 1831, Henry Lassells. 113, Judah, d. Aug. i, 1812, a. 27,
unm. 114, Zebina, b. Jan. 5, 1788, d. Nov., 1869, m. March 1828, Elinor Colton
(b. April 5, 1802), and had five children. 115, Anne, b. 1800, m. 1826, Chandler
Fifth Generation. Children of 54 Aaron : 116, Nancy, b. 1776, d. 1829, m. 1796,
Clark Loomis, 117, Annah, b. 1778, d. 1807, m. 1802, Joshua Street. 118, John, b.
Sept, 29, 1780, d. Oct. 26, 1820, m. 1805, Sophronia Woodruff (d. Nov. 26, 1843, ^•
55), and had eight children. 119, Lucy, b. 1782, d. 1873, unm. *I20, Laura, b.
1785, m 1807, Joshua Street.
Children of 62 Ebenezer : *i2i, James, b. 1802, m. May (.') 1S26. Maria S. Coch-
ran (b. Oct. 28, 1804, d. June 24, 1835), and had two children. 122, Cooley, b.
1804, d. 1812. *I23, Betsey, d 1830, m. 1824, Elias C. Taylor. *I24, Orpha, b.
1807, m. 1824, Charles Williston. *I25, Nancy, b. 1809. 126, Lucy, b. 1812, d.
1817. *I27, Olive, m. Jacob Perkins.
Children of 64 Pliny : 128, Emily, b. 1812, m. 1834, Franklin Bliss. 129, Nelson
Pliny, b. Sept. 12, 1814, d. Feb. 28, 1851, m. May 5, 1849, Julia Sophia House (b.
112 WEST SPRINGFIELD
1831), had no children. 130, Ralph Merry, b. Oct. 3, 1817, m. Oct. 9, 1842, Lurania
Bates Tiffany (b. July 8, 1817), and had one daughter. 131, Jemima Bond, b. 1820. m.
1843, Dwight Abner Perkins. 132, Ebenezer, b. April 9, 1823, m. May 22, 1846,
Theda Miner Barnes (b. May 5, 1824), and had two children. 133, Orpha Lurania, b.
1825, m. 1845, William Henry Barnes.
Children of 68 Abraham : 134, Henry Granger, b. 181 1, d. 1829. 135, Mercy, b.
1813, m. 1840, Nathaniel W. Osborn. 136, Charles Francis, b. March 9, 1815, m.
1842, Catherine Bliss (b. Sept. 2. 1822), and had four children. 137, Susan Miller,
b. 1821, m. 1844, Hervey H. Phettiplace. *i38, Henry Granger, b. April 10, 1831,
three times married, but without children, his first wife was Frances Lincoln (d.
June, i860, a. 25).
Children of 70 Thomas : *I39, Sylvester, b. Oct. 31, 1808, d. about 1858, unm.
*i40, Lewis Hosford, b. Aug. 15, 1810, m. about 1832, Lucy Maynard (d. before
1840), and had two sons. 141, Nancy Cooley, b. 1812, m. 1835, James Loomis.
Children of 76 Justin: 142, Amarilla, b. 1816, m. 1842. George H. Chapman,
143. Justin Dwight, b. 1818, d. 1836. 144, Seymour, b. April 7, 1820, m. Jan. 25,
1855, Elizabeth Nancy Gassett (b. Sept. 12, 1833), and had one daughter. 145,
Franklin Sackett, b. Feb. 9, 1826, m. June 10, 1872, Ellen Louise Ashley (b. June
Children of 83 Richard: 146, Harriet Maria, b. 1810, d. 1872, m. 1831, Henry
Parsons. 147, Richard, b. March 20, 1812, d. Oct. 29, 1852, m. Jan. 3, 1838, Nancy
Bliss (b. June 12, 1814, d. Dec. 21, 1838) ; m. Jan. 3, 1841, Susan Atwater (b. July
14, 1817), and had three children. 14S, Mary, b. 1S17, m. 1837, Edward Joseph
Bull. 149, Flavia Jane, b. 1S22, m, 1S51, Henry A. Marsh.
Children of 85 Justus : 150 Justus, b. 1S29, d. 1S30. 151, Harvey Day, b. March 16,
1S31, m. March 2, 1856, Clymena Ashley (b. Oct. 15, 1827), and had one son. 152,
William Gilbert, b. Feb. 4, 1S33, m. Feb. 4, 1858, Persis Ely Brooks (b. Feb. 13, 1833),
and had six children. 153, Sarah Winnifred, b. March, d. June, 1S3S. 154, Huldah
Maria, b. 1840, m. 1866, Henry L. Ashley. 155, Joseph Loomis, b. Oct. 3, 1843, unni-
Children of 95 Linus: *I56, Frederick Henry, b. Dec. 6, 1813, d. March 14,
1867, m. April (.?) 1839, Eunice Avery, and had four children. 157, Peres Munn,
b. Nov. 23, 1815, m. Jan. 30, 1840, Sarepta Gamwell (b. Jan. 17, 1821), and had si.x
children. 158, Joseph Strong, b. Sept. 8, 1818, d. June 9, 1S59, m. Oct. 29, 1S53,
Aurelia Brown (b. July 29, 1S20), and had two sons. 159, Albert Dwight, b. June
30, 1S21, d. May 30, 1874, m. May 25, 1S43, Julia Bagg Button, (d. Jan. 24, 1846, a.
25), m. Feb., 1850, Harriet S. Otis (d. Oct. 3, 1850, a. 30), m. Jan. 22, 1852, Harriet
Atherton Sibley (b. Sept. 22, 1829), and had three sons. 160, Fanny Clapp, b.
1S23, d. 1824. 161, Fanny Clapp, b. 1826, d. 1871, m. 1851, Henry A. Pratt.
Child of 96 Hiram : *i62, Henrietta, m. 1850, J. Francis Downing.
Children of 114 Zebina : 163, Rufus, b. Feb. 22, 1830, lost at sea. 164, Anne, b.
Feb. 22, 1S30, unm. 165, Edward, b March 19, 1S36, m. Sept. 20, 1S6S, Eliza
No.xon (b 1843), and had two children
Sixth Generation. Children of 118 John: 166, Sophronia, b. i8c6, m. 1825,
Edward Parsons. *i67, Annah, b. 1807, d. 1846, m. 1828, Abraham Dwight Mil-
ler. 168, Aaron, b. 1808, d. 1809. 169, Aaron, b. Feb. 6, 1810, m. Nov 17, 1834, Han-
nah Mather (b Sept. 12, 1819, d Sept. 5, 1836), m. Oct. 16, 1837, Lucy Maria Mather
(b. June 5, iS2o),and had six children. 170, Sarah Miller, b. 1812, d. 1S44, unm.
171, John, b. March 13, 1814, d. March i, 1850, m. Elvira Brown and had two
daughters. 172, Sullivan, b. 1817, d. May 17, 1845, m. Sept. 15, 1S41, Cordelia M.
Williams (d. April 4, 1847, a. 25), and had one son. 173, Lucy Jane, b. 1820, d.
1844, m. i84r, Samuel Dale.
Children of 121 James : *i74, James. *i75, Annette.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. II3
Child of 130 Ralph Merry: 176, Jane Elizabeth, b. July 14, 1843.
Children of 132 Ebenezer : 177, Nelson Edward, b. Feb. 28, d. Sept. 18, i860.
177^, Carrie Etta, b. Dec 28, 1851.
Children of 136 Charles Francis : 178, Charles Henry, b. April 27, 1843, m. Nov.
14, 1866, Mary Louise Harmon (b. April 17, 1847), and had two children. 179,
Ella Catherine, b. 1845, m. 1865, Wallace Grow. 180, Adalaide Augusta, b. 1849,
m. 1S6S, Edward M. French. 181, Frank Bliss, b. July 28, 1858.
Children of 140 Lewis Hosford : 182, Edward, b. about 1834. 183, son, name
unknown, b. about 1836.
Child of 144 Seymour: 184, Frances Elizabeth, b. Jan. i, 1856.
Children of 147 Richard: 185, Nancy Elizabeth Bliss, b. 1838, m. 1861, Frank
H. Fuller. 186, Richard Atwater, b. Nov. 29, 1843, "i- Oct. 17, 1866, Martina
Sanchez Doringh (b. Sept. 12, 184S), and had three daughters. 1S7, Lyman Hotch-
kiss, b. Dec. 24, 1846.
Child of 151 Harvey Day : 188, William Harvey, b. April 27, 1857.
Children of 152 William Gilbert: 189, Frank Parmelee, b. April, 1863. 190,
Arthur, b. Feb. 26, 1S65. 191, Charles Philo, b. April 4, 1867. 192, Harry, b.
June 19, 1870. 193, Harriet, b. Jan. 13, 1872. 193^, daughter, b. May, 18, 1874.
Children of 156 Frederick Henry: *I94, Chloe, m. John Lovekin. *I95 Freder-
ick. *I96, Malah, m. Charles Cogswell. *I97, Emma, m. Clarence Bailey.
Children of 157 Peres Munn : 198, Linus Lester, b. May 19, 1841, m. Jan. 12,
1869, Julia A. Woodward (b. Jan. 4, 1840), and had two children. 199, Celia Fanny
b. Nov. 23, 1842. 200, Homer Dwight, b. Jan. 18, 1846, m. April 14, 1S69, Maria
Raymond (b. Nov. 14, 1S48, d. Aug. 3, 1872), and had one son. 201, Ella Sarepta,
b. 1849, m. 1S67, Thomas P. Mather. 202, Caroline Amanda, b. July 15, 1856.
203, Harriet Cora, b. Sept. 28, 1858.
Children of 158 Joseph Strong : 204, William Joseph Strong, b. July 6, 1854.
205, Joseph Linus, b. 1857, d. 1858.
Children of 159 Albert Dwight : 206, Frank Albert, b. Jan. 27, 1853. 207, Ath-
erton Sibley, b. Aug. 18, 1856. 208, Edgar Lavant, b. Aug. 4, 1859.
Children of 165 Edward : 209, Anne Gertrude, b. May 27, 1870. 210, George
Edward, b. Aug. 10 (?), 187 1.
Seventh Generation. Children of 169 Aaron: 211, Hannah Mather, b. 1836, m.
1856, Ethan Brooks, 212, Aaron, b. June 21, 1839, m. June 9, 1869, Mary Heath,
(b. March 5, 1845), ^"^ ^^^^ ^^^^ daughter. 213, Lucy Maria, b. June 26, 1842.
214, Rufus Mather, b. Dec. 20, 1844, m. Dec. 20, 1865, Mary E. Bartholomew, and
had four. children. 215, John Sullivan, b. Dec. 31, 1848, m. May 30, 1872, Louise E,
Shivelin (b. Feb. 22, 1853), and had one dau. 216, Edward Parsons, b. Aug. 28,
Children of 171 John: 217, Elvira, b. 1840, m. 1861, m. George Wright. 218,
Helen M., m. 1868, Joseph F. Griggs.
Child of 172 Sullivan : 219 Sullivan, d. Nov. 8, 1865, a. 22, unm.
Children of 178 Charles Henry: 220, Helen Fuller, b. March 21, 1868. 221,
Daisy Maud, b. Nov. 7, 1869.
Children of 1S6 Richard Atwater : 222, Susan Sanchez, b. July 17, 1867. 223,
Martina Doringh, b. Jan. 8, 1S69. 224, Louise Atwater, b. March 2, 1874.
Children of 19S Linus Lester: 225, Harrison Lester, b. Nov. 29, 1869. 226,
Frederick Arthur, b. Feb. 17, 187 1.
Child of 200 Homer Dwight : 227, Edward Dauso (.?), b. April 13, 1872.
Eighth Generation. Child of 212 Aaron : 228, Clara Edith, b. Oct. 16, 1871.
Children of 214 Rufus Mather: 229, Laura Street, b. March 15, 1867. 230,
Rufus Mather, b. April 19, 1869. 231, Edward Oren, b. May (.') 1871.
114 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Child of 215 John Sullivan : 232, Louise Elinora, b. May 25, 1873.
Of the following Baggs, supposed to belong to the pedigree, the proper places
therein have not yet been discovered. Any information in regard to them, or in re-
gard to the numbers marked with a star (*), will be thankfully received by the com-
Abigail, d. Dec. 5, 1759. Thankful, m. Jan. 1768, Nathaniel Gaylord, of South
Hadley. Martha, m. Dec. 17, 1787, William Alley (or Ashley). Lucinda, d. July
22, 1821, a. 57, m. April 13, 1791, Enoch Deane, and had a dau., Hadassah Bartlett,
d. Sept. 20, iSoo. Mercy, m. Aug. (?), 1791, Amos Green, of Sharon, Vt. Mercy,
m, Sept. 27, 1797, Lemuel Felt. Naomi, baptized July 3, 1768. Chester, b. April
14, 1772. Sarah, b. June 30, 1774.
GENEALOGY OF THE ASHLEY FAMILY.
Benjamin Ashley died may 1 1, 1772, 75 ; his wife died December 25, 1788, 87 ; their
children were Moses, drowned in the great pond, July 27, 1792, 61 ; Aaron died sud-
denly October 29, 1799, 71 ; Mary (Taylor) died June 9, 1809, 82 ; David died March
28, 1813, 78; John died July 17, 1824, 84 ; Benjamin died June 19, 1828, 91.
From Moses descended Elisha and Moses.
Aaron and John were childless.
From David descended David, Jr., Solomon, Noah, Justin, Enoch and Aaron, also
Lucretia, wife of Genubath Bliss, and Eunice, wife of Eli Ashley.
From Benjamin descended Benjamin, Jr., and Elijah.
Probably the first record of the Ashleys is in the following memorandum :
"March 13, 1660—61.
There is grant*^ to Rob* Ashley, six acres of Meadow on the back side of
Chicopee Plain, within 2 or 3 Mile of the Great River, where he Can find so much
A Copy from Springfi Records, exa*^ by Wm. Pynchon, Clerk.
GENEALOGY OF THE CHAMPION FAMILY.
Reuben Champion and Lydia Duncan, his wife, came to West Springfield, as a
place of refuge for his family, from Saybrook, Ct., in the beginning of the Revolu-
tionary war. He was in the army as surgeon, and died of fever at Ticonderoga,
N. Y., in 1777, aged 50. He left four daughters, and two sons, Reuben and Medes.
Reuben Champion, Jr., born 1760, died 1832 ; married Silence Ely, and had issue :
Harvey, Reuben, Lovicy, Elias, Moses and Aaron, twins, Henry, John, Silence,
Francis, Flavia, Maria.
Harvey settled in Westfield, was a farmer, and died in 1S60.
Reuben Champion, 3d, born 1784, died 1865 ; married Pama Stebbins ; was a
physician and farmer, and had issue : Elizabeth, married Paoli Lathrop, of South
Hadley; Franklin, died 1861.
Elias was a hatter by trade, and died in 1839.
Moses died, 1838.
Aaron is a merchant, and resides in .Savannah, Ga.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 1 15
Henry died, 1829.
John died, 1845.
Silence married Col. David Moseley of Westfield.
Flavia and Maria reside on the old Amostown homestead with their nephew James,
son of Elias.
GENEALOGY OF THE CHAPIN FAMILY.
Moses A. Chapin, familiarly known as " Saddler Chapin," from his occupation,
was also a well-to-do farmer, near the old toll-bridge. He was born in Somers, Ct.,
in 1762, settled in West Springfield in 1777, married Lucina Graves of Hatfield in
1787, had ten children, six of them sons, and died in 1841. His wife died in 1851,
aged 85. Their children follow :
Mary, the eldest, married Avery Herrick, a farmer of Worthington, and had nine
children. She died in Westfield in 1863, aged 75.
Moses, born 1791, graduated at Yale, studied law in Albany, settled in Rochester,
N. Y.. held the office of judge, was a prominent Presbyterian elder, had six children,
and died in 1865. His eldest daughter, Maria, married Rev. Eli Smith of the
Syrian Mission, and died in Beirut in 1842.
Augustus Lyman, born 1795, graduated at Yale, studied theology at Princeton, N.
J., married in 183 1, had four children, has preached in various places in the State of
New York, and now lives with his daughter in Galesburg, III. His son, Lyman, is
a missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. in Northern China.
Alpha, born in 1796, married in 1831, had three children, settled on a farm in
Ogden, N. Y., was a Presbyterian elder, and died in 1868, aged 71.
Seth, born in 1800, was a commission merchant in New York city, and died un-
married in 1833.
Elizabeth, born in 1S02, married H. M. Ward of Rochester, N. Y., had four child-
ren, and now lives with a daughter in De Soto, Mo. Her son, Henry A., has been
Professor of Natural History in Rochester University.
Alonzo, born 1S05, graduated at Amherst College in 1826, received the title of M.
D. from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia 1831, was commissioned mis-
sionary physician by the A. B. C. ¥. M., married Mary A. Tenney of Boston, and
sailed for the Sandwich Islands with eighteen others in the whale ship Averick same
year, returned after five years' absence on account of the ill health of his wife, and
now resides in Winchester, Mass., practicing his profession.
Lucina, born in 1806, remains single and resides in Rochester, N. Y.
Louis, born in 1809, resides in Rochester, N. Y., deals in flour and grain, is a
Presbyterian elder, and has held various offices in the city government, and is a cor-
porate member of the A. B. C. F. M.
GENEALOGY OF THE COOLEY FAMILY.
The Cooleys of West Springfield descended from Benjamin Cooley, who came to
Springfield in 1640, settled in " the precinct of the Long Meadow," and had a family
of ten children ; the first being born July 16, 1643. His immediate posterity had
Il6 WEST SPRINGFIELD
large families. His grandson, Obadiah, Jr., and great grandson, Roger, settled in
Obadiah, Jr., made a purchase of land in 1730, "on the west side of the Great
River," in Springfield, and in 173S, purchased of Benjamin Ball three acres of land
on the bank of the river, now known as the Isaac Humiston place, where he is sup-
posed to have died.
In 1748, his son, Abel, purchased of Moses Miller six acres of land on the cor-
ner, opposite his father's homestead, and which, with the exception of the house lot
of the late Justin Ely, sold off many years ago, still remains in the possession of
his descendants. He was known as Captain Cooley, and had two sons, John and
John settled in Tatham, on the farm opposite that of Talcott A. Rogers. He
had two sons, John, Jr., who died unmarried ; and Abel, who left nine children,
one of whom, Maria, the widow of James Wallace, resides in her native town, and
one, Rev. Henry Cooley, residing in Springfield, are his only survivors.
Walter remained on the ancestral estate, and, surviving his father, died, leaving
two sons, Abel and Walter ; the former dying without issue, and the latter leaving
two sons and one daughter, Sarah, who, with her mother and brother Richard, now
occupies the messuage.
Roger, the great grandson of the patriarch Benjamin, before mentioned, removed
from "the precinct of Longmeadow," to West Springfield, in 1759, and settled in
" Pauquetuck," having bought a part of the Benjamin Smith estate, and resided
thereon until his death, in 1802, at the age of 83. He served as Lieutenant in Col.
John Moseley's regiment, stationed at White Plains, in the war of the Revolution,
Roger, Jr., the sixth of his ten children, remained with his father on the estate,
while his brothers went off for themselves, and he became the possessor of the prop-
erty. He also served his country in the Revolutionary war, being then very young,
and was on duty at the execution of Major Andre. After the war, he became a
noted military man, serving several years as Colonel in the Massachusetts militia,
and was an honored and worthy officer. He was twice married; his second wife,
Electa Smith, surviving him seventeen years, he having died in 1843, at the age of
83 years. He had eight children; the youngest two, Ralph and Mary, being the
only representatives in West Springfield of that branch of the Cooley family.
GENEALOGY OF THE DAY FAMILY.
The Day family, in West Springfield, are descended from Robert Day, one of
the first settlers of Hartford, Conn., who died in that city, in 1648, aged 44. He
left two sons, Thomas and John. The descendants of the latter are found in Hart-
ford and Colchester, Conn., Northampton, South Hadley and Monson, Mass., Cats-
kill and various towns in New York and Vermont.
The widow of Robert Day married, for her third husband, Elizur Holyoke, of
Springfield, in 165S, and with this may have been connected the removal of her
elder son, Thomas, to the town, where he married, the next year, Sarah, daughter
of Lieutenant Thomas Cooper, and died December 27, 17 11, leaving five sons,
Thomas, Samuel, John, Ebenezer and Jonathan. Of these, Thomas, the oldest, re-
moved to Colchester, Conn., and was the ancestor of Rev. Jeremiah Day, D. D.,
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 11/
LL.D., late President of Yale College, Hon. Thomas Day, LL.D., for many
years Secretary of the State of Connecticut, and Rev. Henry N. Day, D. D., of
New Haven, Conn., late professor in Western Reserve College.
The next three sons of the first Thomas, viz., Samuel, John and Eleazer, removed
to West Springfield, and from them, all of the name in this town are descended, ex-
cept the family of Pliny Day, who was descended from John, and died in 1846.
Among the descendants of Samuel, the second son of Thomas, who died in 1729,
were his son Dea. Samuel Day, of this town, who died in 1773, Mr. Aaron Day, of
New Haven, who graduated from Yale College in 1738, and was steward of that
institution from 1739 to 1747, the late Mr. Aaron Day of this town, Rev. George E.
Day, D. D., professor in the Divinity School of Yale College, Mr. Horace Day, sec-
retary of the Board of Education, in New Haven, Conn., and Hon. Calvin Day, of
From John Day, the third son of Thomas, who died in 1742, the families of the
name in Ireland Parish are descended ; also the late Heman and Hosea Day, of
this town, Hon. Rowland Day, of Moravia, N. Y., who was a member of Congress
from the State of New York in 1S22 and again in 1S32, Mr. Benjamin Day, of
Springfield, lately deceased, and Hon. Charles D. Day, of Montreal, Canada, one
of the judges of the Court of the Queen's Bench.
From Ebenezer, the fourth son of Thomas, is descended Mr. Julius Day, of this
town, whoso sons Austin, Henry and Edmund are residents of Seymour, Ct.
Jonathan, the fifth son of Thomas, lived on the homestead in Springfield, in which
place many of his descendants have resided.
In the " Genealogical Register " of the descendants of Robert Day, published in
1848 by Prof. George E. Day, of Yale College, and containing the names of nearly
2500 of the descendants of the first settler, with dates of births, marriages and
deaths, it is estimated that the whole number in the direct line, up to that time, was
not less than three thousand, and that the same rate of increase for another hun-
dred years, would give from thirty to fifty thousand souls. Twenty-three of the
name had, at that time, received a college education, nineteen at Yale, one at Dart-
mouth, Williams, Amherst and Brown, respectively. Eleven had been, or were
then, ministers of the Gospel, generally in the Congregational denomination. The
oldest person of the name was Col. Benjamin Day, of this town, who died in the year
1808, in his ninety-eighth year. The average age of those who have become heads
of families has been sixty-eight years.
GENEALOGY OF THE ELY FAMILY.
The first of the name, who canje to this country, was Nathaniel Ely, who landed
at Plymouth, December 25, 1626. He came to Hartford in 1636, to Springfield in
1660, and died here December 25, 1675. ^^ ^^^ 0"^ son, Samuel.
Samuel Ely had six children, as follows : Samuel, Joseph, Jonathan, John, Mary
married Mr. Colman, of Hatfield ; Ruth, married Mr. Warner, of Hadley.
John Ely, the fourth son of Samuel, was born at Springfield in 1678, and died in
175S, aged 80 years. He married Mary Bliss, daughter of Samuel Bliss, and had
issue as follows : John, Reuben, Abner, Caleb, Noah, Mary, married Luke Bliss ;
Rachel, married Rev. Jonathan Hubbard.
John Ely, the second, was born 1707, died 1754 Married 1733, to Eunice Col-
Il8 WEST SPRINGFJELD
ton, and had issue : John, Justin, Eunice, married Roger Newbury ; Henian, Rho-
da, Amelia, married J. West.
Justin Ely, the second son of John, was born 1739, married Ruth White, 1762, died
June 26, 1S17, and had issue : Theodore, Anna, Justin, Heman. After the death of
Ruth White, 1809, Justin Ely married Mary A. Lane.
Theodore Ely, eldest son of Justin, was born 1764, died 1837. Married Hannah
Chandler 1S18, and had issue : Hannah, born 1819, married Wm. Kent, of Brook-
lyn, N. Y.
Justin Ely, second son of Justin, was born 1772, died 1850. Married Lucy Bar-
ron 1803, and had issue: Theodore William, died in 1826; Charles, Lucy. Lucy
Barron died 1808, and Justin Ely married Abigail Belden 1S09, and had issue: Jus-
tin, Elizabeth, died October 5, 1837.
Heman Ely, youngest son of Justin the first, was born 1775, married, 1818, Celia
Belden, and moved to Elyria, Ohio, where he died, and where his descendants still
Charles Ely, second son of Justin, 2d, was born 1805, married Harriet Kent, and
had issue: Louise, Leicester, Harriet. Alter the death of Harriet Kent, Charles
Ely married Eliza Upham, and had issue : Eliza, Charles.
Lucy Barron Ely, daughter of Justin, the 2d, married Dr. Chauncey Belden, and
had issue : Theodore, Elizabeth, married Dr. Stephen Bowles ; Herbert.
Justin Ely, youngest son of Justin the 2d, was born 1813, married Nancy H.
Lathrop 1854. She died in 1866, and he married Abby French in 1S70, and resides
in Chicago, 111.
Homer, Fredric and Cotton Ely, (sons of Cotton, the son of Nathaniel, 3d,) lo-
cated in Ashleyville, on or near the paternal homestead, married three sisters,
daughters of Lieut. Ruggles Kent, reared families, and were valued members of
society. Homer and Cotton have recently died, the latter since the Centennial cele-
James P. Ely, who married Mercy Smith, is the son of Nathan, born 1779 ; the son
of Nathan, born 1759; the son of Samuel, born about 1730; the son of Samuel,
born about 1680; the son of Samuel, the only son of Nathaniel the first settler.
Joel Ely, the son of Samuel, married Thankful Leonard, and lived on the com-
mon, the spot now occupied by Mrs. Sarah Foster. Their children were, Richard
who died in early manhood ; Sibyl wife of Dan. Taylor who removed to Turin, N.
Y., in 1802 ; Joel ; Abishai ; Thankful, wife of Silas Bannister ; Abigail, wife of John
Wood; Ruhaima, wife of Daniel Wood. These last three removed to Windsor,
Vt., about 1800.
GENEALOGY OF THE LATHROP FAMILY.
Dr. Joseph Lathrop, the eminent pastor of the AVest Springfield church, was the
only son of Solomon, the son of Joseph, the son of Samuel, the son of Rev. John
Lathrop, second pastor of an independent Congregational church in London, Eng-
land. The first Joseph came to this country and settled in Scituate, Mass., in 1634,
afterward in Barnstable, where he died in 1653,
Solomon, son of the second Joseph, born 1706, married Martha Perkins, (Todd,)
1729, died 1733. Their children were Martha, who died young, and Joseph.
Joseph, born 1731, married Elizabeth Dwight, of Hatfield, 1759, ordained in West
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. II9
Springfield August 25, 1756, died December 31, 1820, in the 90th year of his age,
and sixty-fifth of his ministry. His children were, Solomon, born 1760, died 1787 ;
Seth, born 1762, died 1831 ; Joseph, born 1765, died 1831 ; Samuel, born 1772, died
1846 ; Dwight, born 1780, died 1818.
Seth second son of Rev. Dr. Joseph, married Anne Abbott, of Windsor, Ct.,
17S7, and had issue: Betsey, born 1788, married Rev. Elisha Andrews; Solomon,
born 1790, died 1S62 ; Edward, born 1792, died 1863.
Joseph, third son of Rev. Dr. Joseph, married Rowena Wells, of Ellington, Ct.,
1790, settled in Wilbraham, and had issue: Joseph, born 1791, died 1833; Wells,
born 1795, died 1S71 ; Paoli, born 1797, died 1872; Seth, born 1799, died 1S34 ;
Rowena, born 1803, died 1853 ; Ralph, born 1807, died 1838.
Samuel, fourth son of Rev. Dr. Joseph, married Mary McCrackan, of New Ha-
ven, Ct., 1797, and had issue : Nancy H., born 1800, died 1866, married Justin Ely ;
Samuel, born 1801, died 1825 ; Mary, born 1802, died 1837, second wife of Rev. Dr.
Sprague ; William M., born 1806, resides in Newton Mass., John, born 1809 ;
Sarah M., born 181 1 ; Elizabeth D., born 1813, died 1874, married H. Romeyn Ver-
milye; Joseph, born 1815, resides in St. Louis, Mo. ; Henrietta B., born 1817, third
wife of Rev. Dr. Sprague; Martha P., born 1819, married Rev Dr. Wood.
Dwight, fifth son of Rev. Dr. Joseph, married Lora Stebbins in 1S06, and had
issue. Frances, born 1806 ; Dwight, born 1808 ; Henry, born 181 1 ; Jere, born i8i6.
GENEALOGY OF THE PARSONS FAMILY.
Joseph and Benjamin Parsons were early in the Springfield settlement. Joseph
removed to Northampton in 1655. The court records of that town show, that at a
court holden in March, 1662, he testified that he was a witness to a deed of the
latids at Springfield, and a bargain between the Indians and Mr. William Pynchon,
dated July 15th, 1636, " for 18 fathoms of wampom, 18 coates, 18 hatchets, 18 hoes
and 18 knives." This included all the land now known as Springfield, West Spring-
field, Agawam, Holyoke, Chicopee, Wilbraham and Longmeadow.
Benjamin Parsons remained at Springfield, was a deacon of the church, and chief
actor in its formation. He died August 24, 1689, leaving nine children.
Ebenezer Parsons, son of Benjamin, was a prominent man in West Springfield,
and for fifty-two years a deacon of the church. He died September 23, 1752, aged
84. He had nine children. His tombstone still stands in the " old burying ground."
Jonathan Parsons, grandson of Ebenezer, married Mary, daughter of Dea. Joseph
Merrick, of West Springfield. He died May 2, 1810, aged 75, and, owned the prop-
erty on the south side of the Park. The house was taken down in 1872.
Jonathan Parsons, son of Jonathan and Mary, purchased his father's estate, mar-
ried Graty, daughter of Elias Leonard, of Feeding Hills, was an active man in pub-
lic affairs, an extensive farmer and dealer in farm stock. He died December 6,
1827, and had twelve children.
Edward Parsons, son of Jonathan and Graty, still occupies the homestead that
has been in his family for about one hundred and fifty years. He has represented
the town and county in the State Senate and House of Representatives. The town
is indebted to him for suggesting, arranging and completing the Park, in front of
the Town Hall, that previous to 1866, had been an open common.
GENEALOGY OF THE ROGERS FAMILY.
Henry Rogers, born 1733, who was killed by the overturning of a load of wood in
1795, and is buried in the town-house cemetery, lived on the bank of Connecticut
river just south of the house now owned by William Fox. His children were
Caroline, who married Solomon Ashley and died in 1864; Mahla, who married
Hosea Bliss and died 1821 ; and Asa, who died 1838. Asa had nine children, one
of whom, Theodore B., lives in Wethersfield, Ct., and is a representative man ; a
wagon-maker by trade, and inventor by nature, and the builder of the first railroad
car in North Carolina.
Abner, the famous drummer and village blacksmith, who removed to Black River,
N. Y., was another branch of the Rogers family. Talcott A., the son of Ely, a
thrifty farmer, is still another branch, and the only known resident of that name in
GENEALOGY OF THE SMITH FAMILY.
Among the Smiths who came to New England, was a family of four brothers and
one sister, as early as 1630, ten years after the landing of the Pilgrims. Mary Smith,
the sister, married William Partridge of Hartford, but removed to Hadley, where
she remained through life. Christopher lived in Northampton and died childless.
Simon seems not to have left any trace of his whereabouts, and his place of abode is
not now known. Joseph settled in Hartford and had a family of fifteen children,
whose descendants cannot be missed at the present day in that vicinity. The fourth
brother, William, was married at Hartford in August, 1644, to Elizabeth Standley,
and after residing in Wethersfield and Middletown, settled in Farmington Ct., where
he died in January, 1670, leaving nine children.
His si.xth child, Benjamin, was born in Farmington in 1658, and after his marriage
with Ruth Loomis of Westfield, he removed to that " precinct " and established
himself as a resident there, having his homestead near that of Joseph Moseley. But
on the 7th of September 1688, when he was thirty years of age, he purchased of
John Pynchon of Springfield, several tracts of land in West Springfield, at a place
called by the Indians " Pauquetuck," where he commenced the cultivation of the
rich intervale land there bordering on the Westfield river, but fearing the conse-
quences of this interference with the aboriginals in the priority of occupation, he
wisely, continued his home in Westfield for a year or two, cultivating his land dur-
ing the summer season, and returning to W^estfield every night. But after a sufficient
trial of the good faith of the red-skins, he at length ventured to construct a rude kind
of house or fort on the plateau at the foot of the mountain slope, which he fortified and
guarded against their suspected treachery. Here he made his castle a house of en-
tertainment and protection for the wayward traveler who might be overtaken by
nightfall during his meanderings through this primeval forest, for the country had no
highways nor roads, except the zigzag cart-path between the trees that led to the
Massachusetts Bay, and known as the " Bay path."
Having outlived the feared hostility of the Indians, he was joined by other people,
and to facilitate their settlement there, he constructed a saw-mill on the falls of
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 121
" Pauquetuck" brooks the foundation timbers of his dam being still embedded in the
stream, and when the mill went to decay his mill-saw was preserved and is now in
the possession of his great-great-great-grandson in the city of Springfield, and is a
specimen of the rude implements in use seventy years after the landing of the Pil-
grims on Plymouth Rock, that period having elapsed at the time of building his mill.
He became a great land-holder, and after his death, which occurred in 1738 at the
age of 80 years, his estate was distributed, according to his will, by commissioners
appointed by the Judge of Probate at Northampton.
The names of Benjamin Smith's children were William ; Ruth, who married Sam-
uel Taylor; Samuel; Elizabeth, who married Ebenezer Miller, Jr.; Rachael, who
married Samuel Morgan ; Jonathan ; Job ; and Mary, who married Ebenezer Day.
Jonathan and Job were executors of their father's will, and remained on the estate,
the latter occupying his father's dwelling, while Benjamin lived in a house built for
him a little west of his father's house.
Jonathan had a large and stately house erected for his use just east of the brook,
on a commanding eminence at the junction of two roads, having married Margaret,
the only child of Samuel Ball of West Springfield Center. The names of his seven
children were Jonathan ; David; Solomon ; Caleb ; Daniel; Margaret, who married
Stephen Miller ; and Simeon.
Mr. Ball having died, his second wife surviving him, it was found by his will, that
he had devised his real estate, with the exception of his homestead, to the children
of his daughter, and the child of his second wife by a former marriage, so that the
"great swamp," as it was called, now known as Ball's swamp, with other large tracts
of land, fell into the possession of the Smith family, and Jonathan, Jr. and David, the
two older sons, took up their abode with their step-grandmother, and assisted in the
cultivation of the farm, where Jonathan remained during his life ; but David, after
the death of his father, sold out there, and removed to Pauquetuck, and occupied
jointly with his brother Solomon, the house and lands situated northerly of their
father's residence, subsequently purchasing his brother's interest in the same. Sol-
omon resided in the neighborhood until his death ; Caleb removed to Vermont ;
Daniel remained on his father's homestead ; and Simeon, removing to New Leb-
anon Springs, returned after the death of his wife, and remained on the old home-
stead with his brother, until death. Jonathan had seven children, David had six,
Solomon four, Caleb three, Daniel five, and Simeon one.
Of the descendants of Benjamin Smith, only seven households bearing the name
of Smith are remaining in West Springfield. There are residing in Springfield,
three, and one in Troy, N. Y. There are others whose residences in the West are
not now known to the writer. One Smith family removed to Chester, one to Men-
don, one to Warehouse Point, Conn., and several more to the States of New York
and Vermont. Of the large estate of the first settler, all has been transferred to
parties of other names, except a tract occupied by John D. Smith, in the south-west
corner of the town, which has not been allowed to pass out of the Smith family.
On this tract stands a stately and venerable white oak tree ; majestic in appearance,
and known to be more than a century old, yet showing no signs of decay. Part of
Gen. Burgoyne's army passed under it in their march from their defeat at Saratoga
The Smiths have never exhibited any propensity for contributing to the ministe-
rial ranks, but many of them have been teachers of the public schools, some physi-
cians, one a high sheriff, several artisans, and some statesmen, one having served
his constituency several years in the Legislature, dying at Boston while in service.
Solomon served in the war with the French. David served in the Revolutionary
war, his son David serving as musician in the same regiment with his father, in the
122 WEST SPRINGFIELD
company of Capt. Levi Ely, of West Springfield, who was killed in an encounter
with the tories and Indians lying in ambush.
Simeon Smith was a scientist in his day, and during the Revolutionary war manu-
factured saltpetre at Pauquetuck for government use. He also distilled New Eng-
land rum for the army, using for that purpose the expressed juice of our common
maize, after fermentation. His machinery is in existence to this day, at Pauquetuck.
David, Solomon and Daniel Smith, in the winter of 1766, contracted with the
building committee to furnish two hundred bushels of lime, for the construction of a
" brick meeting-house," in the " precinct of Longmeadow," and promptly manufac-
tured the commodity ready lor the builders. But one of the building committee
becoming " miffed " at the conduct of the others, broke down the project of build-
ing, so the lime was neither used nor paid for, resulting in a total loss to the manu-
Jonathan Smith, the seventh child of l^enjamin, was born in 1697, and seems to
have been the prince of Pauquetuck, being the business man of the neighborhood,
and friendly adviser for all. He was a very conscientious man, and strict as a Jew-
ish patriarch. No unnecessary work was allowed to be performed on his premises
after the going down of the sun on Saturday, until the close of the Sabbath ; and
on one occasion, his son David, when a grown-up man, returned home from a hunt-
ing excursion, for which he was said to be famous, after sundown on Saturday ; his
father obliged him, with unshaven face, to go four miles to the old church on the
common, the next day, so scrupulous was he in his observance of the Lord's day.
The ancient headstone at his grave, in " Paucatuck Cemetery," thus announces
his fame :
" In memory of Mr. Jona. Smith, (The virtuous Father of a nuinerous offspring,
to whom he gave an Example of Piety and Prudence,) who died February 9, A. D.
1772, in the 75th year of his age."
Simeon Smith came here from South Hadley, when a boy of 16 years, to learn
the trade of joiner and cabinet-maker of Nathaniel Gaylord, in Tatham. During
his apprenticeship, the Revolutionary war broke out, and he went into service in the
army. After his return, he continued here until his death, which occurred in 1843,
at the age of 90 years. His residence was in Shad Lane, where he reared a family
of ten children, only two of whom are still living. It is not known that he was
related to the descendants of Benjamin Smith, of Pauquetuck.
GENEALOGY OF THE STEBBINS FAMILY.
Benjamin Stebbins, who settled in West Springfield, was the son of Joseph, the
son of Thomas, the son of Rowland, who was born in Suffolk County, England,
1594, sailed from Ipswich in ship Francis 1634, first settled in Roxbury, removed to
Springfield 1639, and died at Northampton 1671.
Benjamin, the son of Joseph, born 1677, died 1748, married Martha Ball, and had
issue : Benjamin, Francis, Martha, Miriam, Mary, Mercy.
Benjamin, 2d, born 1702, died 17S3, married Mary Day, and had issue : Benjamin
Benjamin, 3d, born 1727, died 1S03, married Sabra Lyman, and had issue : Ben-
jamin, Francis, Jere, Sabra, Solomon, Edward, Lovicy, Clement, Festus ; these last
died in infancy.
Jere and Solomon settled in West Springfield.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 123
Jere Stebbins, born 1757, died 1817, married Elizabeth Brewster, and had issue:
Betsey, born 1779, died 1834, married Jabez D. De Witt, of Montreal, P. Q. ; Lora,
born 17S2, died i860, married Dvvight Lathrop ; Polly, died in infancy; Pama, born
1786, died 1866, married Reuben Champion; Benjamin, born 1788, died 1819, mar-
ried Maritta Parsons; Miner, born 1791, died 1828; Polly, Francis and Maiia, all
Solomon, son of Benjamin 3d, born 1763, died 1S13, married Mahala Day, and
had issue: Sally, born 1789, died 1853; Charles, born 1788, died 1864; Heman,
born 1791, died 183S, and was a lawyer in Brookfield ; Sabra, born 1793, died 1867,
married Harry Palmer.
GENEALOGY OF THE WADE FAMILY.
James Wade, a native of Medford, Mass., born July, 1750, died May, 1826, mar-
ried Mary, daughter of Rev. Edward Upham, January 15, 1780. Their children, all
born in Feeding Hills, Mass., were Martha, born 1782, died 1863, 81 years ; Nancy,
born 1786, died 1865, 79 ; Mary, born 1787, died 1866, 79 ; James, born 1789, died
1868, 79; Sidney, born 1793, died 1847, 54; Theodore, born 1797, died 1863, 70;
Charles, born 1798 ; Benjamin F., born 1800 ; Edward, born 1802, died 1866, 64.
James, the father, was a shoe-maker and common soldier, was at the battles of
Lexington and Bunker Hill, and was confined for'sa long time a prisoner at Halifax.
He removed to Andover, O , in 1821, traveling, as was the custom of those times,
with an ox team and covered wagon Benjamin F. and Edward claim to have walked
the entire distance. The sons were self-educated, and for a time all school-teachers.
James settled in Watervliet, N. Y., was a physician and had an extensive
Theodore, Charles and Sydney became farmers and settled in Andover, O.
Edward studied law and settled in Cleveland, O. He was a great temperance and
abolition advocate, a member of Congress, and committee on commerce from 1853
to i86i. He is said to have been one of the ablest lawyers of the Cleveland bar,
honept, high-minded, a genuine democrat.
Benjamin Franklin Wade, distinguished as a zealous opponent of slavery, resides
in Ashtabula county, Ohio He taught school and studied law in his youth ; was
admitted to the bar in 1828 ; was elected a member of the Ohio Senate in 1837
was chosen presiding judge of the third judicial district in that State, in 1847
was sent to the U. S. Senate in 1851 ; was re-elected Senator for six years, in 1857
was made President of the Senate in 1867 ; having been selected for that oftice on
account of his resolute character, and inflexible fidelity to the cause of liberty, and
has been honored with many trusts. In the early days of the Rebellion, he was
appointed chairman of the joint committee on the conduct of the war. In 1871 he
was one of the commission to visit San Domingo, and report on its annexation to
the United States, and is now attorney for the Northern Pacific Railroad.
GENEALOGY OF THE WHITE FAMILY.
Elder John, who came from England to Cambridge, Mass., in 1632, is the father
of most of this name in New England. Daniel, the son of Deacon Nathaniel, the
124 WEST SPRINGFIELD
son of Captain Nathaniel, the son of Elder John, came from Hadley and settled in
West Springfield about 171 5. His son Daniel, was a carpenter, and built a house of
hewn logs, on the north side of Meeting-house hill, which stood till about 1S50,
Here were born to him Horace, the father of Sewall, the father of Homer and Wil-
liam ; Pliny, the father of Daniel G. and Daniel G., Jr., and Edward, the father of
Edward, the father of Chauncey. The last named of each of these branches now
own, in part, the homesteads of their grandfathers.
Henry White, connected with the Heman Day family, is the son of Julius, the son
of Elijah, the son of Joel, the son of Captain Daniel, the son of Lieutenant Daniel,
the son of Elder John.
Francis and Joseph White, are sons of Jared, the son of Martin, the son of Pre-
served, the son of Preserved, the son of Daniel, who first settled in West Spring-
GENEALOGY OF THE BLISS FAMILY.
Thomas Bliss, an early settler of Hartford, Ct., died there in 1640. His widow,
Margaret, removed to Springfield in 1646, with four sons and four daughters ; leav-
ing Thomas, her eldest son, married at Saybrook, whence he removed to Norwich.
Of the four sons who came to Springfield, Mass., with their mother, the second
was Lawrence. He died 1676.
Lawrence married Lydia Wright, October 25, 1654. They had nine children.
Of these, the youngest, Pelatiah, was born August 19, 1674. He died January 2,
Pelatiah married Elizabeth Hitchcock, April 21, 1698. They had nine children.
Caleb, the eighth, married Editha Day, January 5, 1739-40. Deacon Caleb, (the
father,) died May 22, 1758.
Deacon Caleb and Editha had eigiit children. Pelatiah, (" Colonel Pelatiah,")
was the fifth. He married Ruth Woodworth in 1773 ; died October 29, 1828.
Col. Pelatiah had six children. Jeduthan, the eldest, was born April 10,
1774; married Susannah Tracey, 1805. They had eight children, of whom Luke,
the present post-master of Mittineaque, is one, and Susan, wife of John D, Smith,
of Tatham, another.
Miss Sophia, a daughter of Col. Pelatiah, born March 19, 1781, still resides with
her niece, Mrs. Ruth Beals, in Sunderland, Mass.
The youngest son of Widow Margaret Bliss, was John. He married Patience
Burt, 1667, and died September 20, 1702. John and Patience had seven children.
Ebenezer, the seventh, was born 1683 ; married Joanna Lamb ; had eight children,
and ched November 4, 1761. Rev. John was the seventh of these ; born June 6,
1736 ; ordained November 9, 1765 ; married White, of Bolton, Ct., and had
six children, as follows : John, Betsey, Achsah, Joel W., Hosea and Daniel. Achsah
married Ruggles Kent, who came from Suffield, Ct., and settled in West Springfield.
Hosea, "Uncle Hosea" as he was commonly called, married — Rogers, and was
the chief blacksmith of Ashleyville, for many years. William Bliss, one of the sons
of Hosea, still resides in Ashleyville.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, I25
REMINISCENCES OF WEST SPRINGFIELD.
In the early clays, one Cooper, a farm laborer, agreed with one Ash-
ley, a farmer, to work six months, at $7 per month ; but if for a longer
time, he would work at a less rate. Farmer Ashley finally bargained
for seven months at $6 per month, which was perfectly satisfactory.
The standard price of land in Chicopee field was, for some time,
twenty shillings per acre ; but one tract of seven acres, belonging to a
man by the name of Bagg, was actually sold for a " Barlow " knife (a
choice specimen of English pocket cutlery).
About the year 1800, Mr. Jonathan Brooks dug potatoes in Chico-
pee field, and took them on an ox cart to " Skipmug," now Chicopee
Falls, and sold them for a shilling a bushel. There was neither bridge
nor ferry at Chicopee then, and he drove by the way of Springfield
bridge, a distance of about ten miles both ways, fording the Chicopee
river, in order to reach the Ames paper mill employes.
Dr. Lathrop was a short, broad-shouldered man, and, in his latter
days, had a tremulous motion and a gruff voice. For nearly twenty
years, he visited his brother minister, the Rev. Bezaleel Howard, of the
First Church in Springfield, twice a week, usually riding horseback, as
he was fond of this exercise. Charles Howard.
Dr. Lathrop once was somewhat annoyed in trying to bore a hole
through a short stick for a beetle, when a half-witted fellow suggested
his putting it in a hog's trough, to keep it from turning ; which idea
was used and pleased the doctor greatly.
Dr. Lathrop composed with rapidity, and wrote with a quill, turning
it round and round, one quill lasting to write several sermons. He
usually made his pastoral visits on Monday and Tuesday. He lived
with great economy, and no carpet was in his house for many years.
He always dressed in black, and when his coat faded, a tailoress came
to the house and turned it. Madame Lathrop, also, dressed in plain
homespun, and, although she lived in the days of hoop skirts and cor-
sets, she never considered them a necessary appendage to the dress of
a minister's wife * She superintended well her household, and on
every day in the year, except Sunday, a boiled Indian pudding was
served at her dinner-table. Sewall White.
* There are, in the Springfield Mu.seum, specimens of the corsets and hoops
used in West Springfield, previous to the year 1800.
126 WEST SPRINGFIELD
At Dr. Sprague's ordination, in 1819, the event was so unusual
there was a great gathering, and when the church doors were opened,
the press was so great that coats were torn, and boys trampled on.
Stands, for the sale of gingerbread and watermelons, were erected on
the north side of the church. Aaron Bagg
The large trees that adorn Ramapogue street, were set by Lewis and
Ebenezer Day and John Ely, about the year 1774, and were dug at
Barber's swamp, back of the house of Hiram Carter, in Tatham.
Mr. Lewis Day, who lived to be eighty, and died in Deerfield, N. Y.,
inquired of Mr. Julius Day, who was visiting him in his last years, if
those trees were standing and appreciated. When assured they were,
he replied, "Then I get pay for setting them." Ebenezer Day lived
near the house now occupied by Samuel Smith. The house had dia-
mond-shaped window-panes, and was pulled down about 1830.
The large button-woods, near the house of Joseph Morgan, in Chic-
opee, were set by Darius Ely, when a hired man for Abner Morgan, in
1782. Samuel Morgan.
June 25, 1776, when a draft was made for the army, forty-four men
were assigned Springfield, and forty-eight West Springfield.
1775. West Springfield sent fifty-three men to the war. under com-
mand of Capt. Enoch Chapin and Lieutenants Samuel Flower and
News of the battle of Lexington reached Springfield at noon on the
second day after it occurred, and the next morning, Col. Patterson's
regiment started thence for Boston.
The Shay's Rebellion, squelched January 24, 1787, was aided by the
brave Capt. Luke Day, who, after seven years' honorable service in the
Revolutionary war, fell into its advocacy at the old Stebbins tavern,
now occupied as a private residence by Mr. Lucien Bliss. Adjutant
Elijah Day, Benjamin Ely and Daniel Luddington were his associates
and abettors. Capt. Day drilled his men on the common, armed them
with hickory clubs, and uniformed them with hemlock sprigs. Once
they seized the Springfield ferry and searched every man who passed.
The government party were distinguished by slips of white paper on
A newspaper, called the " American Intelligencer," was established
in West Springfield, August, 1795. Richard Davidson, an English-
man, was the proprietor. £dward Gray soon after bought it, and con-
tinued it, weekly, for three years, doing, also, job work, when he re-
moved to Sufiield, Conn., and still later, to Hartford. Mr. Gray's
ofiice was a few rods west of the old meeting-house.
CKNTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 12/
The Hampden Grays were a famous military company, organized in
West Springfield, in 1832, and noted tliroughout the State for accuracy,
promptitude, and the neatness of their uniforms and drill. Linus
Bagg. Edward Parsons, Henry Parsons and Enoch N. Smith, were
successively its captains, and every private seemed to take pride in its
exploits. By a change of law, it was disbanded about 1840.
Nathan Ely, born 1759, was an officer's waiter at the age of 17, in
the Revolutionary war. While at Albany, N. Y., the officer had a con-
sultation about sending a reliable man to Boston for supplies. From
an adjoining room, young Ely overheard the remark, '* Send Ely, he is
an honest devil, and never swears."
Dr. Lathrop's prestige in divinity did not destroy his sociability with
the common people He employed farm help, and was jovial with
them. At sheep-shearing time, it was his custom to go and visit the
shearers every forenoon, and enliven their monotonous employment by
the relation of circumstances and events of the past. His men always
knew when he was about to leave them, because he was in the habit of
reserving the most unreliable and unlikely story for the last, and when
that came on the docket and was under way, his departure was inevi-
Thompson Phillips lived at "Aries Little," opposite Mittineaque,
and was the leading joker of the town. On town meeting days he
stood the " head centre " of attraction for the assembled multitude.
Some of his jokes were very personal and pointed. At one time, he
gathered a quantity of sorrell seed, and peddled it around as grass
seed, under the representation of a new variety, called " Flare Top."
At another time, he procured some pamphlets, made entirely of plain
white paper, without any writing or printing on them, and offered them
for sale as the " dying man's speech,''' many persons taking them at his
word without examination ; but. when confronted by his victims, he got
off by exclaiming: " Oh ; he died without saying anything." His like
does not reside hereabouts now. His propensity for curt joking was
not diminished by the approach of death ; for, in one instance when
a neighbor was dangerously sick, he cautiously opened the back door
of the sick man's house, and inquired in respectful tone after the con-
dition of the sick man, and on being informed that no change was
apparent, he gravely inquired, " Are there any hopes of his death,
marm ? " And many like deeds did this man do.
Jerre Stebbins kept a small store of goods, and exchanged them
with the farmers for their productions. Among his commodities for
sale were some small grindstones, leaning against the outside of the
store One day, Phillips got a farmer to enter the store and inquire
128 WEST SPRINGFIELD
of Mr. Stebbins how much he paid for cheese ; the price was named,
and the farmer promised to bring one in. Phillips and his comrades,
in the meantime, had papered up a small grindstone, outside the store,
and the farmer delivered it upon the counter, while Phillips and his
comrades stood watching for the explosion of the merchant as he
opened the package.
A library with forty subscribers, headed by Rev. Dr. Lathrop, was
started December, 1775, and divided among the shareholders, October,
1807. It attained the magnitude of fifty-six volumes, was kept in a
two-bushel basket, and made the circuit of the parish, lodging with the
most responsible families.
Another library started in 18 10, which never exceeded the capacity
of an ordinary cupboard, had its headquarters at the Town House, and
was divided by sale about the year 1840. The present Town library,
founded by individual subscriptions about 1854, is increasing in patron-
age, and has already attained about 1,500 volumes.
THE OLD SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COMMON.
This structure, as near as can be ascertained, was erected in the year
1740, and stood upon the Common, east of the old Meeting-house,
among a group of scattered trees, which lent a shade of pleasantness to
the locality. The style of its architecture is nameless, but has been in
use for centuries, and was the base from which has been developed the
details of the French style of house building, by Mansard and others,
but was known here as the gambrel roof pattern. The frame is still
sound and firm, and must have been carefully put together, the size
being forty feet long, twenty feet wide and twelve feet high from sill to
eaves. It was finished with only one outside door, placed in the mid-
dle of the front or south side, two windows each side of the door, two in
each end, and four in the back side of the house. It was covered with
narrow clapboards, exposing between three and four inches in width to
the weather, which appear to have once been painted white. A chim-
ney was placed in each end of the house, each containing two fireplaces
big enough to contain " back-log and fore-stick," according to the usage
of the times.
The lower story was divided into an east and west room, by a hall
four feet wide, leading from the front door to the rear of the building,
and were used by the smaller scholars, and in which Ann Cooley taught
the children for twenty successive years.
The upper room, which occupied the entire length and width of the
building, was in the " French roof,'^ and was reached by a flight of stairs
starting at the back end of the hall, and turning to the west by one
THE BIG ELM.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I29
broad stair. It was lighted by two windows in each end, three dormer
windows in the front, and two in the rear, and warmed in winter by two
blazing fires in the fire-places at each end of the room. In this room
was kept the '■^ High School" of the town, inasmuch as it was the only
one kept in the second story, and served as a college for the large
boys and girls, in which, for the period of eighty years, the free dispen-
sation of knowledge and birch, has been made according to law, and it
is difficult for the human mind to comprehend the full complement of
the two commodities named, that have been wielded during the four-
score years of their application. How many an unlucky wight, whose
diurnal duties brought him to this place, has had his soul blighted and
crushed with the application of the embers-drawn stick, as each succes-
sive blow came basting across his back, or his calves made to tingle
with the repeated applications of government, from the strong hand of
the knight, whose duty it was to reign, teach and punish. How many
light and tender hearts have been made heavy and sad in the bosoms
of the wayward girls, by the withering look, shot like an arrow to the
soul, from him who presided over the realm of that long and busy room,
the reader can never know, but is left in his reflections to conjecture,
that not a few hearts in that sovereign apartment have found their sev-
eral affinities, and opportunities " to meet and mingle."
For several years before the building went into disuse for the pur-
poses of education, the school district, like all similar organizations, was
the scene of annual clamorings by " men of many minds," for a new
house, or some improvement of the old, and votes to rebuild or repair,
were annually made, and as often rescinded, until the year 1818, when
the district voted to raise $800 for a new school-house, which was
raised and expended in a brick structure, containing three school-rooms
on the first floor, and a hall in the second story for the use of the town,
which being completed in 1820, the old school-house on the Common
was sold and moved away, after having served the purposes of the edu-
cation of youth for eighty years. It now stands on the grounds of Wil-
liam White, in use as a storehouse, and is in a good state of preserva-
tion after a life of one hundred and thirty-four years.
THE BIG ELM.
One of the largest trees in the State, is the great Elm standing on
land of Mrs. Heman Smith, and Mrs. A. W. Allen, situated on the
west side of Main street, in West Springfield. The land it occupies
was formerly a part of the farm of the late Heman Day, Esq., and the
tree was set by him on his twenty-first birthday, January 27, 1776, he
having brought it out of the West Springfield meadows on his shoulder,
130 WEST SPRINGFIELD
it being then a thrifty tree of eight or ten years' growth. He set other
trees in the vicinity, but this was his favorite tree, and his dwelling
being on the opposite side of the street, he daily watched its luxuriant
growth for sixty-one years, at which period he was gathered to his
fathers, at the honored age of eighty-two years.
The tree flourished wonderfully, and drew the admiration of many
persons from afar. The cut herein presented, Avas engraved from a pho-
tograph of the tree, taken in 1874, and is a correct representation of its
features and dimensions ; the circumference of its trunk, at its smallest
diameter, measuring on the surface of the outer bark, traverses the
space of twenty-seven feet ; its branches extend a distance of one hun-
dred and twelve feet, thus sheltering an area of nine thousand, eight
hundred and fifty- two square feet, and overhanging a circumference of
three hundred and fifty-two lineal feet, afibrding shade for a regiment
of men. The trunk appears to be sound, and the foliages hows a full-
sized leaf, as fresh as a tree of twenty years' growth.
It is to be hoped that this last of the big trees of the original " Aga-
wam," will be spared by the woodman's axe, and the day far in the dis-
tant future when the revolving cycle of time shall lay low this splendid
specimen of vegetable growth, emblem of symmetry and of strength ;
having already braved the tempests of more than a century, with not a
friendly companion standing near to shield it from the blasts of the
THE OLD MEETING-HOUSE ON THE COMMON.
It is difficult to do justice to the memory of this unique and demol-
ished structure, because of the conflicting opinions in regard to its con-
struction ; but its history is not entirely obscure.
In May, 1695, the inhabitants of Springfield living on the west side
of the "Great River," consisting of thirty-two families, presented a pe-
tition to the " Great and General Courte," that they " might be permitted
to invite and settle a minister," and the town of Springfield appointed
a committee to follow the petitioners to the " Courte," and object to
that permission. But the " Courte " investigated the matter, and in
November, 1696, "ordered that said petitioners be permitted, and al-
lowed, to invite, procure, and settle, a learned and orthodox minister,
on the west side of Connecticut river, to dispense the word of God unto
those that dwell there, and that they be a distinct and separate pre-
cinct for that purpose."
In June, 1698, the church was formed, and the Rev. John Wood-
bridge was constituted its first pastor, but it does not appear that the
inhabitants had any particular place for worship during the first four
years of their organization as a church. The inhabitants of the "pre-
THE FIRST MEETING-HOUSE.
BUILT IN 1702.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I3I
cint," however, commenced the erection of a " meeting-house," and it
was completed June 24, 1702, much to their joy and satisfaction. One
writer has said that it remained for one hundred and eighteen years, " a
curious specimen of ancient architecture, and a monument of the piety
and zeal of our fathers ; " the architect being John Allys, of Hatfield,
who, twenty -five years previously had erected on the east side of the river,
the second meeting-house ever built in Springfield, to take the place of
the first small structure, the dimensions of which were twenty-five feet
wide, by forty feet long, erected in 1645, by John Burr, the first carpen-
ter who ever penetrated the " Bay Path " from the coast to Connecticut
The timber for the construction of the meeting-house, was prepared
from trees grown on the common, near the spot where the house was
placed, and the inhabitants were so few, that all the men and boys of
the precinct, could find room to be all seated at once upon the sills of
the house after the frame was raised. The house was forty-two feet
square, and ninety-two feet in height. The first story, constituting
audience room and galleries, was covered with four steep, uniform
high roofs, each side being of equal dimensions, and upon each of
the four roofs projected a triangular dormer gable, pierced with a win-
dow. This story was finished with three outside doors, one each in
the center of the south, east and west sides, and two windows each side
of the doors with corresponding windows above them to light the gal-
leries. The pulpit, placed on the north side, occupying the place of a
doorway, was lighted by one window on each side.
Above this story was placed another much smaller than the first,
having one window on each side of the story, and high roofs and gables
like the one below. Upon this was erected a third story, smaller than
the second, with corresponding roofs and gables, the body portion of
the story having on each side a large opening, to serve the purpose of
a bell room ; thus making a succession of houses, one surmounting the
other, each being correspondingly and symmetrically smaller than the
one directly beneath it.
The upper superstructure supported a strong iron rod, on which was
mounted a huge vane of sheet iron, through which were cut several de-
vices, and also the figures 1702, the date of the erection of the house.
Above this was perched an ambitious rooster, the ever-cherished weath-
er-cock of those days, whose reckonings of the weather would beat Sir
Robert B. Thomas' Almanac, and even Old Probabilities himself. This
animal, and also the one on the meeting-house on the east side of the
river, were imported from England ; composed of gilded copper, and
were each four feet in length. One is still in use on the First Church
in Springfield, but the whereabouts of our chanticleer rests in oblivion.
132 WEST SPRINGFIELD
The structure was clapboarded, but was never painted. All the win-
dows were small, made of leaden sash and glazed with small diamond-
The second story was supported by two pairs of massive beams set
transversely, and resting on the eaves-plates of the first story, depend-
ing on which were the four corner posts of the second story, which ran
down several feet below the cross timbers, terminating in the shape of
a heart, being interlocked to the cross beams, and ran up to the eaves
of the second story ; these four cross timbers operating as sills for the
The whole of the interior of the first story, up to the closing of the
roof at the commencement of the second story, was all open, exposing
to view beams, studding, rafters and outside boarding, with no inside
finish above the window stools, a floor being laid at the bottom of the
second story, which closed in the audience-room and galleries.
The flooring of the audience-room seems to have been placed inde-
pendent of the frame-work of the sills of the house, composed of sleep-
ers supported by independent piers, and so low that the floor was
down to the bottom of the sills, making it necessary to step over the
sill down to the floor — a very awkward method of entering any house ;
but Westfield had a meeting-house with entrance in like manner, which
was a stumbling-block to many. Two flights of stairs led up to the gal-
leries, in the south-easterly and south-westerly corners, commencing
each side of the front door, and rising to a broad stair in each, direct-
ing the course northerly on each side. Around the walls were fifteen
large, square pews, occupying all the space not occupied by the pul-
pit, door-ways, and stair-ways. In the central part of the house were two
rows of long slips, fronting the pulpit, with a partition between them,
one division being occupied by the men, and the other by the women.
This arrangement would of course make one aisle on the east, and one
on the west side of the house. The pulpit, the pews, and the railing
were of oak, and yellow pine timber ; the pews were finished with open
work at the top of the seat back, the top railing being supported by spin-
dle-shaped balusters, and the rails were large and clumsy. Of the size,
style and height of the pulpit, nothing definite is now known. It was
furnished with a sounding-board over the speaker, which, by reacting
the emanating flow of sound from his voice, saved the articulation of his
words from becoming lost in the reverberant regions of the cross tim-
bers and braces of the roof above.
In this house our forefathers assembled for worship at the beating of
a drum, for the space of forty-one years A bell was then procured,
which, tifter eighteen "years' faithful service in the call to prayers, and in
the knell of the fallen, its clear ringing tones became hushed by the
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I33
frost of a crisp cold Sabbath morning in the depth of winter. It was,
however, re-cast, and again put upon duty in the old church tower, and
at three subsequent periods has been submitted to the crucible for re-
construction from like causes. In 1802, it was transferred from its fa-
miliar locality under the vane and weather-cock, to the new church on
the hill, where it still continues to sound the call to prayers, and to peal
forth the solemn notes of warning to the people, that human life is
surely approaching its end. For one hundred and thirty years has
this faithful and true sentinel continued on every Lord's day to call the
inhabitants together for the worship of God, yet, how many heed not
the call. On the other hand, there have been some who have hailed
with joy the sound of that friendly call to the house of God; and eter-
nity alone shall reveal the amount of tender emotion and reverential re-
gard it has awakened in the bosoms of His followers as the " sound of
the church-going bell " invited them to join in His praise and worship.
Its last re-cast was in February, 1S25, when additional metal was used
to enlarge its size.
The inhabitants of the "precinct" had occupied their meeting-house,
oblivious of time, for forty-six years, at which period, Obadiah Frary, of
Northampton, constructed a " meeting-house clock," and it was placed
within the tower, but the construction of the house was such, that the
leaks, in times of driving storms, had so affected the wooden clock as to
render it unfit for duty, and it was finally taken away after a service of
twenty-five or thirty years.
As time advanced, the meeting-house was becoming more and more
dilapidated, and many unsuccessful attempts were made to agree on a
spot for a new meeting-house, and after it had been in use eighty-four
years, the parish gave liberty to individuals to repair it. and the house
was considerably remodeled ; the gables were taken away, a ceiling
was constructed over the galleries, extending across from one eaves-
plate to the other ; pews were put in place of the two rows of slips, and
wood sash and crown glass, in room of the leaden sash and diamond
glass ; new flooring was added, placing the floor on a level with the sills ;
the repairs incurring an expenditure of between five and six hundred
doilars. The house was used sixteen years after these repairs, when it
was abandoned for the new one on the hill.
The last Sabbath assemblage in this house, was June 20, 1802, when
the pastor, Rev. Joseph Lathrop, D. D., preached a valedictory sermon
from the ninth verse of the forty-eighth Psalm. In closing, he said :
"The antiquity of this house carries our minds back to the time of its
erection, one hundred years ago. This community was then small,
consisting of but thirty families ; savages dwelt among them, and a
wilderness surrounded them. There are no houses here except this
134 WEST SPRINGFIELD
ancient house of God, which were built a hundred years ago. The
founders of this ancient temple are gone, and their places on earth are
known no more. The same in a century will be said of us. We are
now about to leave this house ; this is the last time that we are here to
meet for God's worship ; there will soon be a last time of our meeting
in any place on earth. May we all meet in Heaven." Four days
after the delivery of this farewell address, Dr. Lathrop assembled his
flock in the new church on the hill, to assist in the dedication of that,
" which day completed One Hundred Years from the erection of the
Thus was this unique house of worship occupied for the long period
of one century, by a patient, devoted people, without any plaster- or
paint on the inside or outside, nor was there ever a fire kindled within
its walls ; the women being favored with the use of " foot stoves," con-
. . . ♦ ■
taining live coals, which by noon had become ashes, and in the inter-
mission were replenished with coals from landlord Stebbins' bar-room
fire-place ; while the men in winter were supposed to be invincible to
that principle, termed the "negative of heat ; " and our forefathers often
referred in after life to the fact, that they were often required to sit, of
a cold Sabbath morning in winter, and give ear to the delivery of a ser-
mon, whose divisions ran as high as sixteetithly and sevetiteenthly, when
the keenness of the air had absorbed a majority of the heat from their
The house remained from 1802 to 1820, for the accommodation of fu-
neral occasions, town meetings and other gatherings, when, by a vote
of the parish, it was taken down, the building having served its day and
generation, for the term of one hundred and eighteen years. Miss
Betsy Loveland taught a sewing-school there.
It is related of Mr. Jonathan Parsons, about the time of the Revolu-
tionary war, that while driving a five cattle team, (two yoke of oxen and
a horse,) attached to a cart load of stalks, when near the southern en-
trance of Shad Lane, two horsemen overtook him and ordered him to
turn out for the coach of Gen. Washington. Not knowing that Wash-
ington was expected, and doubting the couriers' word, he refused, /de-
claring he had as good a right to the road as the General. Soon after
a coach passed, having forded the Agawam river, near the house of
Mr. James Leonard, on its way to the Springfield ferry. Parsons
halted his team near Ferry street, and followed the coach. The boat
was on the east side of the river, and while waiting for it. the couriers
spoke of the teamster that refused to turn out. Parsons overheard
Washington say : " That man was right, he had as good a right to the
road as I have."
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I35
The following extract is from the Springfield Republican, of March
"AN OLD LANDMARK GONE."
Mr. J. N. Bagg's large brown house in West Springfield, close on the brink of the
road and the bank of the river, directly opposite the " double ditch " shad fishery,
was taken down on Saturday. It was an old structure, how old the oldest inhabi-
tant knoweth not, but its age is supposed to be at least 125 years. Native octoge-
narians say it was an old house when they first knew it. That it belonged to a past
age is evidenced by the fact that the original clapboards and lath were both of rived
oak, and all put on with wrought hand-made nails. The clapboards were about four
and one-half feet long, and evidently shaved on one side. It was a stately structure,
and the timbers were all hewn, and of such sterling stuff as white oak and yellow
pine. The frame was mortised, dove-tailed and pinned together so firmly that it
was a difficult work to throw it down, even after it was stripped for the sacrifice.
Some of the principal timbers were eight to twelve inches square, and the joists
three by five inches, and planed and beaded on the exposed sides. Eight white-oak
posts supported the building, and these are sixteen and one-half feet long, and range
from eight inches square at the base, to twelve inches at the shoulder. Some of
the floor boards are eighteen inches wide by twenty feet long, and good for another
generation. A chimney with five separate flues and three brick ovens occupied fif-
teen feet square in the center of the house, and the mantle-pieces were of oak, four-
teen inches square, and ran the whole length of the chimney. The bricks were of
the largest size, and laid in clay. No traces of the exact age of the house have been
found, but it is believed to have been built for a boatman's tavern by one of the
Stebbins family, an early settler there. Under its floor were found two or three
old coins, including a George II. penny, the date of 1749, in an excellent state of
REV. JUSTIN PERKINS, D. D.,
Was one of the remarkable men of the town. He was born in 1805, in
what is known ds Rock Valley, in Ireland Parish. He was brought up
on a farm, had a studious turn of mind, entered Amherst College at the
age of twenty, graduated in 1829, was College tutor one year, studied
theology two years at Andover, was ordained a missionary, June, 1833,
in the church on Meeting-House hill, and embarked with his wife
for Persia, in September of the same year. He spent in all, thirty-six
years in the Nestorian field"; founded the mission there had charge of
the mission press, and was the author of several books published in
that country and America. His great work was the translation of the
entire Bible, into the modern Syriac language. His last return to
America was in August. 1869, where he died December 31st of the same
year, and he is buried near the place of his birth. His only surviving
child. Rev. Henry M. Perkins, is the pastor of a Congregational
church, in Fremont, Me.
Obituary of Richard Bagg, Jr., (born 1812, died 1852, No. 147, in the
136 WEST SPRINGFIELD
Pedigree on page 112,) abridged from a sketch in the "New England
In boyhood, he was remarkable for an activity and intelligence beyond his years.
His promptitude and youthful manliness made him the pride of his parents and the
villagers. His was no mediocrity of attainment. He was first and foremost both in
the school-room and play-ground ; a leader rather than a follower ; bold, without
being impudent, punctilious, without being mean, and shrewd, without being treach-
erous. His love of books was extreme, and everything within his reach was read
with astonishing avidity. At Monson Academy, he showed great proficiency, and
was rapidly fitting himself for college, when ill-health forced him to abandon his
books and come home, as his friends thought, to die of consumption.
But he would not be idle, and activity, which had always characterized him, con-
tinued to be his ruling passion. The first hot- beds known to the town soon ap-
peared in his father's garden, and other unwonted improvements in farm life,
attracted general attention and remark. His health improved, under a rigid system
of diet and exercise, and he was entrusted with the sale of the farm produce. The
memory of the grand success of his first attempt as a market man, when he sold a
load of his father's pumpkins for the magnificent sum of ten dollars, never quite de-
serted iiim. As he approached to manhood, several of his winters were devoted to
school teaching, both in his native town and at Brimfield, at Monson, and finally, at
Jamaica, L. I., where his health again broke down and forced him to devote himself
henceforth exclusively to out door life.
In fifteen years from the beginning of his agricultural operations, he became the
largest gardener in the county, if not in the State, having about forty acres under
cultivation, some of which, produced two and three crops a year. He had several
acres each of asparagus and onions, and in the busiest season of the year had been
known to employ upwards of sixty persons. He was regular and precise in all his
movements, and required regularity and precision in all whom he controlled. Every
workman had a specially labelled hook for his hat and clothing, and every tool and
implement had its place and was thoroughly cleansed after using. Printed regula-
tions for the government of his workmen, were to be seen about his buildings.
Everything he undertook was vigorously carried to its completion. He consid-
ered a matter well before he enlisted in it, but once engaged he entered with all his
might. In this was the secret of the immensity of his labors. He was just as cour-
ageous the day after defeat as before, and no sooner was a difficulty vanquished,
than he sought out and grappled with another. His presence, even, inspired confi-
dence. He had the power of infusing ambition into those around him, and where-
ever he went there was life and energy. His spirits never seemed to flag like those
of other men. He looked a difficulty directly in the face, and walked up to it while
Some men accomplish more in a short life-time, than others in a long one, and so
this man, though dead at forty, lived longer and accomplished more than most men
do in twice his years. His defects consisted in an over promptness. He seemed so
anxious to reach the work that he sometimes went beyond it. Take him for all and
all, however, he was a good man, beloved by his family, respected in the community,
and an honor to the church of which he was a member. His life and his burial will
not soon be forgotten by those among whom he lived. His example shows clearly
to all young men that energy and intelligent industry are all that is needed to make
farming profitable. J. N. B.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 13.7
THE WILL OF JOHN ASHLEY.
Extracts from the Will of John Ashley, dated December 18, 1818,
and proved September, 1824. After specifying legacies to his per-
sonal friends, he appropriates the residue in the following language :
" The pious education of youth, and the diffusion of Christian knowl-
edge among the ignorant and uninformed, and among those whose lo-
cal circumstances forbid their enjoyment of the stated instructions of
the gospel ministry, are objects which now engage the attention of the
Christian world, and to the promotion of which, I wish to contribute
my mite, with my humble and fervent prayers that the great truths of
Christianity may spread and pervade the whole earth, and all may be
brought to the knowledge and belief of the truth as it is in Jesus."
For this purpose, he directed his Executors to pay over the residue
to a Board of Trustees appointed by him ; directing that they apply for
an act of incorporation under some appropriate name, and have the
power of filling any vacancies in their body.
The Trustees named, were : Heman Day, Ruggles Kent, Jonathan
Parsons, Samuel Lathrop and Justin Ely, who were ordered to divide
the sum entrusted to them, "into two distinct parts; two-thirds to be
appropriated exclusively towards the education of youth within the
town of West Springfield, and the remaining one-third to be appropri-
ated towards the propagation and diffusion of Christian knowledge."
He directs that the money be placed upon interest, and that portion
bequeathed for the spread of the gospel, be equally appropriated for
the use of Home Missions, and Foreign Missions. In regard to the
distribution of the income of the School Fund, he says : It is my will
that no district shall at any time be entitled to, or shall receive any
part of the annual dividend, unless their instructor passes the qualifica-
tions, and produces the evidence of good moral character by the laws
of the Commonwealth, and unless he shall daily make use of the Holy
Scriptures as a school book, and shall daily address the Throne of
Grace in prayer with his scholars.
If any district shall not be entitled to their dividend according to the
rules which I have jDrescribed, it is my will that the same shall be
added to the principal of the fund.
Dr. Sprague, in his Historical Discourse, says : " In the year 1799,
Mr. John Ashley, a respectable inhabitant of the parish, offered thirteen
hundred pounds, as a fund for the support of the ministry, on condi-
tion that the parish would erect a spacious and elegant meeting-house
138 WEST SPRINGFIELD
on a spot designated by him, about half a mile from the place where
the old meeting-house stood.
" On the sixth of January, 1800, they voted their thankful acceptance
of the donation, and thus witnessed the termination of a long and vio-
lent contest, which had threatened the dissolution of the society."
In 1792, Mr. Ashley also gave $178.34 to constitute a fund for the
support of the communion table of the church.
He gave to the parish a lot of land for a burial-place for the accom-
modation of the north district of the parish, in 1787, and in 1789, he
gave the parish a small library, and in 1819, he gave twenty-two dollars
to purchase a Bible for the use of the pulpit.
Mr. Ashley died July 7, 1824, at the age of eighty-five years.
Samuel Lathrop, son of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lathrop, was born in
1771, graduated at Yale in 1792, and died in 1846. He studied law ;
was for ten years a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and Presi-
dent of that body in 1829-30 ; was a member of Congress from
1818-24 ; and once ran very close for Governor. He devoted himself
considerably to farming in his later years, and contributed much to the
improvement of cattle and sheep, potatoes and farm implements in his
native town, by purchases and importations.
Jere Stebbins, who flourished in Ramapogue street, about 1780, was
a man of large business capacity. He kept a tavern and store, had a
large farm, manufactured earthen ware and saltpetre, and with Moses
Day, was extensively engaged in boating on Connecticut river.
Maple Sugar was introduced to the public, by Rev. Samuel Hopkins,
second pastor of West Springfield, in a pamphlet published in 1752,
giving an account of the Indian way of making it.
Brooms, made from broom corn, were first carried from West Spring-
field to Boston, by Solomon Todd, who with his own team carried
down produce, and brought back goods for Jere Stebbins and others.
Ship-building was once carried on in West Springfield, and the east
end of the Common was used as a ship yard.
The schooner " Trial," of sixty tons burthen ; the sloop " West
Springfield," of about the same calibre, and the sloop " Hampshire," of
ninety tons, the latter owned by Samuel Ely and Benjamin Ashley, all
were built there and sailed down the river about the year 1800.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. I39
MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS AND EPITAPHS.
FROM THE OLD FIRST CEMETERY, CORNER OF CHURCH AND UNION STREETS,
BEGUN ABOUT I70O.
Rev. John Woodbridge, first minister of West Springfield, after serv-
ing his generation faithfully, fell asleep, June 10, 17 18. The righteous
will be held in everlasting remembrance. Erected by the descendants
of his parishioners, 1852.
Among the first settlers and the earliest families of the town are
found the names of Ashley, Bagg, Barber, Bedurtha, Cooper, Day,
Dumbleton, Ely, Fowler, Jones, Leonard, Merrick, Miller, Petty, Rog-
ers, Parsons, Smith, Vanhorn and Foster, who gave this ancient burial-
ground to the First parish in West Springfield,
Here Rests y* Body of y* Rev*^ Mr. Sam" Hopkins, In whom, sound
Judgment, solid Learning, Candour, Piety, Sincerity, Constancy and
universal Benevolence combined to form an excellent Minister, a kind
Husband, Parent and Friend, who deceased October the 6th, A. D.
1755, in the 62d yr of his age, and ^6 year of his ministry.
Mrs. Esther Hopkins, Rehct of y* late Rev*^ Mr. Sam" Hopkins, In
whom a superior understanding, uncommon Improvements in Knowl-
edge, exemplary Piety and exalted Virtue combined to form a distin-
guished female character, deceas*^ June 17, 1766, in y® 72* year of her
FROM THE PAUCATUCK CEMETERY.
BEGUN IN 1770.
In Memory of Mr. Jon* Smith. The Virtuous Father of a numer-
ous offspring, to whom he gave an example of Piety and Prudence.
Who died Feb. 9th, A. D. 1772, In the 75th year of his age.
How blest are they
Who in Christ's bosom sleep.
Cease, then, dear friends,
To mourn, lament or weep.
FROM THE TOWN HOUSE CEMETERY, BEGUN IN 1 787.
(The First Burial.)
In memory of Mr. Solomon Lathrop, who, in hope of a blessed im-
mortality, calmly fell asleep April 27, 1787, in the 28th year of his
A coffin, sheet and grave is all my earthly store,
'Tis all I want, and kings will have no more.
140 WEST SPRINGFIELD CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION.
To the memory of the Rev. Joseph Lathrop, D. D., third pastor of
the first church in West Springfield, who died Dec. 31, 1820, aged
LXXXIX years and 2 months, and in the LXV year of his ministry.
In memory of Capt. Levi Ely, who was killed Oct. 19, 1786, in the
service of his country on the Mohawk river, in the 48th year of his age.
Who dies in youth and vigor dies the best,
Struck thro with wounds, all honest in the breast.
FROM MEETING-HOUSE HILL CEMETERY.
BEGUN IN 1S08.
Rev. D. T. Bagg, died Jan. 15, 1848, aged 33. The Pastor, Son
Rev. Pliny Butts Day, D. D. Born April 21, 1806, died July 6,
1869. Pastor of Congregational Church, Hollis, N. H.
Rev. Moody Harrington. Died July 22, 1865, aged 67 years. Fer-
vent in spirit, serving the Lord
FROM THE ASHLEYVILLE CEMETERY.
To the memory of Mr. John Ashley, who died July 17, 1824, ^t
84 years. He was distinguished by Publick Spirit and active benevo-
THE SOLDIERS' MONUMENT.
IN THE CEMETERY ON MEETING-HOUSE HILL, A BROWN STONE SHAFT,
ABOUT TWENTY FEET HIGH, BEARS THE FOLLOWING
This Monument is erected in memory of those members of Co. I, loth Mass.
Regiment, who fell in the service of their country, during the Great Rebellion, at Wil-
liamsburg, Fair Oaks, Glendale, Malvern, ist Fredericksburg, Mary's Hights, Salem,
2d Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, Wilderness,
Spottsylvania, Coal Harbor, Petersburg.
DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION.
Lieut. William Arthur Ashley, May 5, 1864. Priv. William H. Atkins, August 12, 1862.
Serg't Amos Pettis, Jr., May 3, 1S63. Priv. John Barry, May 3, 1863.
Serg't Osmyn B. Paull, May 18, 1864. Priv. Hubert J. Boyington, May 3, 1863.
Serg't John R. Walker, August 27, 1864. Priv. Anthony Cain, May 15, 1863.
Corp'l Hibbard K. Bean, May 31, 1862. Priv. Charles E. Hovey, May 3, 1863.
Corp'l James Baldwin, June 13, 1864. Priv. Simeon P. Smith, November 7, 1863.
Priv. William H. Estes, May 31, 1862. Priv. Joseph Nugurer, December to, 1864.
Priv. Daniel D. Shea, May 31, 1862. Priv. John E. Casey, May 5, 1864.
Priv. Robert J. Stewart, May 31, 1862. Priv. Daniel Cronan, September 19, 1864.
DIED OF DISEASE.
Corp'l Robert Best, Jr., September 2, 1S64. Priv. Cassander Frisbie, July 12, 1862.
Priv. Jerry Sullivan, September 2, 1861. - Priv. Charles S. Harris, Jr., September 17, 1862.
Priv. James W. Burr, September 10, 1861. Priv. Otis H. Littlejohn, February 5, '63.
Priv. John G. Squires, September 13, i86i. Priv. Abner D. Otis, September 16, 1863.
Priv. John Falvey, May i, 1862.
TO THE INTERESTED READER.
That many other facts and incidents are worthy of preserva-
tion herein, the compiler beUeves. Those most easy of access
within the time specified have been used. To glean, save and
deposit in the sacred archives of the town is the privilege and
duty of all.
History of the Centennial Enterprise,
The Poem, . . - -
The Historical Address,
Dinner Speeches :
Gov. Washburn's Letter,
Samuel L. Parsons, Esq.,
Dr. Thomas E. Vermilye, -
Rev. E. N. Pomeroy, -
Dr. Ashbel G. Vermilye, -
Hon. J. M. Stebbins, -
Hon. Henry Morris,
Dr. Edwin Bliss,
Rev. L. D. Calkins,
Mr. Samuel Flower,
Dr. P. LeB. Stickney,
Rev. Aaron M. Colton,
Hon. Chan Laisun,
William Lathrop, Esq.,
Henry A. Chase, -
D. B. Montague,
Dea. Thomas Taylor,
Dr. A. A. Wood,
Dr. H. M. Field,
Dr. T. H. Hawks,
Dr. E. B. Foster,
Rev. H. M. Grout,
Dea. Elisha Eldridge,
Dr. Alonzo Chapin,
Prof. George E. Day, -
N. T. Leonard, Esq.,
Names of the First Settlers,
Petition for Incorporation as a Town,
Act of Incorporation,
First Warrant for Town Meeting,
Moderators of the Town,
Clerks and Treasurers,
Delegates to various places.
Selectmen, - - - -
Postmasters, - - - -
Reminiscences and Anecdotes ;
Dr. Lathrop's Personal,
Age of some of the Larger Trees, -
The Newspaper Enterprise,
The Hampden Grays, -
The Public Libraries,
The Old School-House,
The Great Elm,
The First Meeting House,
General Washington in Town,
One of the Old Houses,
Obituary of Dr. Justin Perkins,
Obituary of Richard Bagg, Jr.,
The Will and Gifts of John Ashley,
Hon. Samuel Lathrop, -
The Ship Yard,