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Full text of "Account of the centennial celebration of the town of West Springfield, Mass. : Wednesday, March 25th, 1874 : with the historical address of Thomas E. Vermilye ... the poem of Mrs. Ellen P. Champion, and other facts and speeches"

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Centennial Celebration 



Wednesday, March 25th, 1874, 




The Poem of Mrs. Ellen P. Champion, 




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Citizens of West Springfield, 







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 
uncertain traveler. 

" 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 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 : 


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. 


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, 

Vice Presidents., 
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. 

Assistant Marshals, 
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, 


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, 
Reuben Brooks. 

Committee on Collation. — Edward Parsons, Julius Day, Andrew 
Bartholomew, G. B. Treadwell. 

The following was a programme of the day : 

Settled about 1636. Chartered a Parish 1696. Chartered a Town 1774. 


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 


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 


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. 



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 : 


" 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 


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 ! 


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 


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 
soil ? 

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 


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 


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 


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, 

John Pendleton. 

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. 


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. 


'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 ! 


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 

Weighed (*Wade) but never found wanting, on sister or brother. 

•Hon. Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio, is a native of West Springfield. 


" 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, 


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. 




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 


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 


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 
of years. 

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. 


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 


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 


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 


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. 



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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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- 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 
ears ! 

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 


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 


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 
most honorable. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
generation cometh." 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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- 


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 

BUILT IN 1820. 


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 


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), 


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. 


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 


" 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 


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 


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 
of courting. 

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 


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 


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. 


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- 
ing : 

" 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 


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 
advertisement : 

" Springfield Bridge Lottery. — Who will complain of Hard 
Times when ^1,500 may be had for ^3. The Drawing is near 
at hand." 

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. 


" 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- 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 
now resides. 


"■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, 


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 


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. 


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., 


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 


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." 



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. 


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 


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^^^^_ 


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 


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 


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. 


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 


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. 


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- 


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. 


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. 


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, 

Elisha Eldridge. 


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 


Wishing you, as I have no doubt you will have, a very mem- 
orable occasion, 

I am, yours truly, 

A. Chapin. 


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 

Respectfully yours, 

George E. Day. 


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. 


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. 


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 
Mr. Mclntire." 

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 
but one. 

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 


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 ?" 


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. 

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- 


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. 

I consent 

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 Springfield. 

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, 



Nath'l Morgan, 
Sani'l Miler, Snr., 
Sam'l Frost, 
Nath'l Sykes, 
Pela Jones, 
John Peley, 
Sam'l Wariner. 
Eben'r Day, 
Christian Vanhorn, 
Charls Fery, 
Sam'l Day, 
Sam'l Ely, 
J no. Fowler, 
Mr. Woodbridg, 
Eben'r Miller, 
Joseph Bodortha, Snr. 
Sam'l Bodortha, Snr., 
Sam'l Bodortha, Junr., 
Eben'r Jones, Snr., 
Eben'r Jones, Junr., 
Josiah Lenord, 
Lest Ball, 
Sam'l Ball, 
Henry Rogers. 
John Rogers, 
Nath'l Dumbleton. 
Wm. Scot, 

James Mireck, 
John Killam, Snr., 
John Killam, Junr., 
Benja Smith, 
Wm. Smith, 
Jose Lenord, Snr. 
Sam'l Lenord, 
Jose Lenord, Junr., 
Sam'l Cooper, 
Sam'l Kent, 
Gersham Hail, Snr., 
Jno. Hail, 

Gersham Hail, Junr.. 
Deacon Barber, 
Thos. Barber, 
Nat Bancraft, 
Jose Hodg, 
Isaack Frost, 
Jams Stevenson, Snr., 
Jams Stevenson, Junr., 
Jona Worthington, 
Sam'l Miller, Junr., 
Thomas Macrany, 
Joseph Bodortha, Junr. 
Francis Ball, 
John Ely, 
Sam'l Fery. 

[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.] 

IN 1756. 

" 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." 


" 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- 
vided, &c. 


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. 


Benjamin Day, Charles Pynchon, Nathan '1 Ely, 2d, Aaron Colton, 
John Hale, Jonath White, Benjamin Ely, Selectmen of Springfield. 



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. 


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. 

(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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


Dea. Jona. White, Doct. Chancey Brewer, Maj. Benj. Ely, 1775. 


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. 


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. 


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- 


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. 


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. 


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. 




Since the organization of the Department, unless some were entered previously in 
the Post-office books destroyed by fire. 


Jerre Stebbins, 
Benj. Stebbins, 
Miner Stebbins, 
Elias Winchell, 
Henry Cooley, 
Edward Southworth, 
M. M. Tallmadge, 
Michael Marsh, 
Lester Williams, 
P. LeB. Stickney, 
Lewis Leonard, 
W. E. Cooley, 
Henry A. Phelon, 


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. 


[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, 


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. 


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 
Pitt Button. 

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. 


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 

13. 1834)- 

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. 


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. 


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. 


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 
Undisposed of. 

A Copy from Springfi Records, exa*^ by Wm. Pynchon, Clerk. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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 


large families. His grandson, Obadiah, Jr., and great grandson, Roger, settled in 
West Springfield. 

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, 
in 1776. 

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. 


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., 


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 
Hartford, Conn. 

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. 


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- 


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. 


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 


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. 


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. 



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 


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 


" 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 
to Massachusetts. 

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 


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. 


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 
and Vashti. 

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. 


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 
died young. 

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. 


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. 


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 


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- 


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. 



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). 

Seymour Bagg. 

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. 

Reuben Brooks. 

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. 


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. 

Julius Day. 

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 
Luke Day. 

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 
their hats. 

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. 


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 


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. 


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 



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. 


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, 


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 
pitiless storm. 


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- 


BUILT IN 1702. 


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. 


The structure was clapboarded, but was never painted. All the win- 
dows were small, made of leaden sash and glazed with small diamond- 
shaped glass. 

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 
second story. 

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 


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 


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 
First Church." 

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." 


The following extract is from the Springfield Republican, of March 
23, 1872. 


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 


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 


Pedigree on page 112,) abridged from a sketch in the "New England 
Farmer," 1854. 

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. 



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 


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. 




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 


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. 

(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. 


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. 


Rev. D. T. Bagg, died Jan. 15, 1848, aged 33. The Pastor, Son 
and Brother. 

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 


To the memory of Mr. John Ashley, who died July 17, 1824, ^t 
84 years. He was distinguished by Publick Spirit and active benevo- 





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. 


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. 


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. 


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 Welcome, 

The Reply, 

The Poem, . . - - 

The Historical Address, 






Dinner Speeches : 

Gov. Washburn's Letter, 


- 55 

Samuel L. Parsons, Esq., 


Dr. Thomas E. Vermilye, - 

- 56 

Rev. E. N. Pomeroy, - 


Dr. Ashbel G. Vermilye, - 

- 60 

Hon. J. M. Stebbins, - 


Hon. Henry Morris, 

- 66 

Dr. Edwin Bliss, 


Rev. L. D. Calkins, 

- 69 

Mr. Samuel Flower, 


Dr. P. LeB. Stickney, 

- 72 

Rev. Aaron M. Colton, 


Hon. Chan Laisun, 

- 80 

William Lathrop, Esq., 


Henry A. Chase, - 

- 81 

D. B. Montague, 


Dea. Thomas Taylor, 

- 82 

:rs : 
Dr. A. A. Wood, 

■ 83 

Dr. H. M. Field, 

. . 


Dr. T. H. Hawks, 

- 84 

Dr. E. B. Foster, 



Rev. H. M. Grout, 

- 87 

Dea. Elisha Eldridge, 



Dr. Alonzo Chapin, 

- 89 

Prof. George E. Day, - 



N. T. Leonard, Esq., 


- 90 



Parish Charter, 

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, - - - - 

School Committee, 

Postmasters, - - - - 



Ashley, - 
Chapin, - 

Rogers, - 
White, - 


Reminiscences and Anecdotes ; 
Dr. Lathrop's Personal, 
Age of some of the Larger Trees, - 
Revolutionary Incidents, 
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, 
Monumental Inscriptions,