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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Special Collections & Rare Books
TRANSCRIPT PUBLISHING COMPANY,
J. STEVENS ARMS AND TOOL COMPANY, CHICOPtE FALLS.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Ames, James T., ....
Ames, Nathan P., .
Ames Manufacturinc Co., 1828,
Eaii.ey, Henry A. (Residence of).
Belcher & Taylor Co.'s Works, .
Blaisdell, Mrs. Samuel (Residence of),
Carter, Judge, Place,
Carter, T. W., Place,
Casino Auditorium, .
Chapin Homestead, .
Chapin, "Uncle" Aitstin,
Chase, John (Residence of), .
Chicopee (Along The), .
Chicopee Cemetery, maple Grove,
Chicopee Centre, Front Street, .
Chicopee City Hali
66 Chicopee City H.\ll M.\ix Entrance,
64 Chicopee Falls, Main vStreet,
65 Chicopee, Front Street,
113 Chicopee Meadows,
57 Chicopee River and Bridge, .
128 Chicopee River, Looking South,
109 Chicopee Street and Farm House,
59 Chi'rch, Baptist, Centre,
112 Church, B.\pti.st, Chicopee F.^lls,
41 Church, Beul.ah, Willim.\nsett,
45 Church, Episcopal, .
51 Church, First Congreg.\tional,
50 Church, French Catholic, .
60 Church, Holy N.amp: of Jesus,
18 Church, M. f;., Centre;, .
19 Church, M. E., Chicopee Falls,
67 Church, Old Presbyterian, .
90 Church, Old Unit.ari.^n,
115 Church, Third Congregational,
25 Club, Boys, ....
84 Cumnock Residence,
Fire Department (Members of),
Front Street (Group on),
Front Street, Looking to Blaisdell's
Havens, J. C
Hoi.i.ow, Johnnv-Cake, Old Hovse,
Hoi.i.ow, Johnnv-Cake, Sinrise, .
Home (A "Skip" ) . . . .
House, The Judge Wells,
Inshaw, Richard B.,
Inshaw, Richard B. ( Residence of),
"Knuckle Down," ....
Lamb Mfg. Co.'s Works,
LooKiNc; Up Hill at Depot, .
Munger, Hiram. ....
Neallv, Mrs. JLargaret ( Residence
Overm.vn, a. H
OvERM.\N Wheel Co. (Works of),
P.\GE, T. C. (Residence of), .
PvNCHON, William, ....
Robinson, ex-Gov. George D.,
Robinson, ex-Gov. George D. ( Reside
Rollins, Secret.arv, ...
P.\G E .
School, ("tRape Street, ...
School House, First, Willimansett,
School, Old High
Smith, Ou-ARTus JUDD, ...
Sp.aulding & Pepper Co.'s Works,
Springfield and Fairview Avenue,
Ste.\rns, George; M
Ste-\rns, Georgic M. ( Residence of),
Stebbins, Kra.stus, Place,
Stevens, J., -\kms and Tool Co., .
STR.\ri'ON, J. B.,
Stratton. J. B. (Residence of), .
Snow, Dexter, Place,
Tavlor, George: S., .
Taylor, George S. (Residence of),
TOWNE, O. C
Triumph of Immortality Over Death
TuTTLE, F. E. (Residence of),
Village, North of River,
Willimansett JLain Stref;t, .
Willimansett Station, .
WooDWiirth, a. C .
The publisher feels indebted to Chicopee residents who have assisted in furnishing data for this sketch of
the city. The historical papers are especially appreciated. Mr. John White, city clerk, has been most courteous in
giving information, and the support of the manufacturers of Chicopee Falls has made the production of this fully
illustrated book possible. Though millions of dollars are represented in the manufacturing interests of Chicopee
Centre, none of the officials had any interest in assisting in the publication of a book showing the influence of the
city in the past and present development of industrial or artistic labor. The absence of any "Centre" manufacturers,
therefore, is not that they were overlooked. The fine photos furnished are by W. J. Wood, of Exchange street,
Chicopee Centre. The engraving is by the Boston Engraving and Mclndoe Printing Company, and Springfield
L. L. JOHNSON.
fHICKKUPPY" RIVER, known and loved by the Indians, found favor with the first white settlers, also, and on
the banks of this stream was started the permanent settlement in what was then a part of Springfield.
William Pynchon may be called the father of the town as a whole, for in 1636 he removed from Roxbury, and from
that time left his impress on the growth and life of the young settlement,
(leographically, the present city of Chicopee occupies the north-
western portion of Hampden County lying west of the Connecticut
river, and is separated from West Springfield by the same" Long river."
Hadley and Granby are on the north, Ludlow on the east, Springfield
on the south. The Chicopee river enters at the southeast angle, flows
westerly through the city and enters the Connecticut river at the south-
east angle. The fall of this river is 70 feet, furnishing at Chicopee Falls
and at the Centre vast water power, used for manufacturing purposes.
The mills at Chicopee appropriate 36 feet of the entire fall, and at the
Falls 27 feet. The remainder of the 70 feet is above the village. The
soil is chiefly a sandy loam, suitable for fruit growing. There is to day
a background of New England customs and ideas which force the re-
tention of a part of the city as a strictly Yankee possession, where the
thoughts of the fathers have taken such firm hold that the influ.x of for-
eign elements has been powerless to dislodge them. A walk through
the lower streets of the old town forces the idea upon a casual visitor
that it is modern in all its details and entirely given up to manufacturing
enterprise. Go up some of the hills, or take the "Springfield road," and
every trace of crudeness is effaced. These houses were built to stay,
and they have carried out the intention of their builders. Honest they are from roof to cellar. Good reliable tim-
ber forms the frame work of some which have stood the storms of a century at least, and others bear the marks of
much longer service. The oldest of the old is the house in "Johnny Cake Hollow," which has been in the Snow
family for many years. Sturdy wooden hinges are used for the doors. Nothing frivolous or unstable was put into
this antiquely respectable construction. The wavy lines of the roof mean not weakness, but forced submission, a
graceful yielding to the inevitable march of years, not to say centuries. Deeds which have been in the possession of
the occupants show dates of two hundred years ago, and these do not reach back to its very early history ; it had a
youthful day before that. It seems fitting that such an historical dwelling should lead a quiet, retired existence, and
so it does. It is located in one of the easily missed, but beautiful places of picturesque Chicopee, or, more exactly
speaking, in the tenth or eleventh ward of that city. ISecause you have been lucky and have found " Johnny Cake
Hollow" once, it is no sign that vou will ever be able to repeat the agreeable experience. It is like an oasis dropped
down in the midst of that barren tract known locally as " the plains," the distinctive features of which are common to
all parts of this unsettled territory, one place resembling another to the perfection of duplication. If Mr. Snow is not
on .some of his out-lying acres he will show you over the house, where all is as sedate and proper as it should be in a
building so historically beyond reproach. Mr. Snow lives alone and apparently enjoys it. After showing the house,
with an air of humble apology he takes you to the shed. This, he feels, has no right to be there, for it is not more
than a hundred years old and was built as a concession to modern demands, rather than an improvement to the
original house. Within this shelter stands a large barrel of corn meal, and this suggests the wish to know why this
charming place should have been given so prosaic a name. The host laughs and tells you it was because " Johnny
Cake " was a staple article of diet, and also because corn in its various forms was the food best suited to the purses of
the first inhabitants. Even now popping corn, the best, is part of the crop from which Mr. Snow realizes a neat sum
yearly. The " Hollow " is a delightful surprise. It comes when one is tired of the monotony of level ground, and in
comparison is like a piece of paradise with its clear flowing stream and pleasant fields. " .Sweet fields beyond the
swelling flood stand dressed in living green," quotes the poet as he ascends the next hill.
This old house might have been standing when Deacon Samuel Chapin bought and gave to two of his boys,
Joseph and Henry, a large tract of land in what is now Chicopee, in the year 1646, and let the youngsters go to
work clearing up what was then an unbroken wilderness. In the good Deacon's family were four sons and three
daughters, and this was increased when the sons married and brought home wives. Henry, the eldest, married
Bethia Cooley, daughter of ISenjamin and Sarah Cooley, of f.ongmeadow, and their marriage festivities were cele-
brated Dec. 5, 1664.
Previous to his marriage Henry Chapin had entered into this contract with John Pynchon, of Springfield :
" March 9, 1659, sold to Henry Chapin 200 acres of land on ye Chickkuppy river, to run fro ye hills on ye
east side to the Great river on ye west, and on the south it is to be bounded by and to join the Chickkuppy river : only
one twenty-five acres, or thirty, being by Chickkuppy river, about the place which shall be judged best for a ware-
house, is to be taken out and excepted out of the parcel ; yet so as to be 200 acres is to be made up there together.
Also, Henry is to have half of ye upper Island, which is to be as equally divided as can be ; and, also, he is to have
five acres of its mowable meadow at the lower end of the Mux meadow.
" For all which he is to pay and allow me the sum of 20 pounds, in wheat at current prices, at four several
payments, viz. : five pounds by the first of March, 1661, and another five pounds in 1662, and the last five pounds ye
first of March, 1663 — all payments to be in wheat, at prices current at the several times of payment. This is the
joint agreement betwixt us this 9th day of March, 1659, as witness our hands. Henrv (jh.apix,
" Atemorandiivi — I ])romised Henry that if I did part with the 25 acres, or 30 acres, or with the Islands, he
should have the offer of them."
This same Henry was present at the great battle with the Indians at Turner's Falls in May, 1676, and this
memorandum of the event was in an old account book :
" I went out Voluntere against ingens the 17 of May, 1676, and we ingaged battle the 19th of May, in the
morning before sunrise, and made great spoil upon the enemy, and came off the same day with the Los of 37 men and
the Captain Turner, and came home the 20th of May."
Thomas Chapin, son of Japhet, was one of the original grantees of the large tract of land allotted in 1736 to
the officers and soldiers concerned in this battle and to their descendants. This tract is now the town of Bernardston.
Though Henry Chapin purchased land on the north side of the Chicopee river, he built his house on the south
side, on the north side of what is now Ferry street, at its junction with West street, in the village of Chicopee, near
the large elm. This house was burned in 1762. The house formerly owned and occupied by William Chapin, one
of Henry's descendants, was on nearly the same ground. He was a prominent man connected with town alfairs, and
representative to the General Court in 1689.
An old story has it that he was impressed into the liritish service on board a man-of-war, and there remained
seven years, during this time engaging with the 1 Jutch in naval combat.
He afterward commanded a merchantman, and made several voyages between Boston and London, and finally
settled in the former city. From there he went to Springfield in 1659, or near that time, and then purchased land in
Following these two main lines of the Chapin family we find that Henry died .Uigust 15, 1718, Bethia his
wife on December 11, 1711. Their children were Henry, born June i, 1666, died April 29, 1667; Sarah, born
March 3, 1670, died November 6, 173:;, never married: Bethia, born February 19, 1672, died ; Henry,
born March 9, 1679, died September 15, 1754 ; and Benjamin, born February 2, i6S2,died March 27, 1756. Japhet
was born in 1642, the same year his parents removed to Springfield. July 22, 1664, he married Abilenah, daughter
of Samuel Conley, of Milford. She died November 17, 1710, and was buried in the old burying ground at Spring-
field, where a stone marks her grave. He afterwards married Dorothy Root of Enfield, Conn., who survived him.
He died February 20, 1712, and was buried beside his first wife. March 9, 1666, Deacon Samuel Chapin purchased
of lohn Pynchon a tract of land which included most of the river flats lying between the '' Chickuppee " river and
" Willimansick " brooks ; and April 16, 1693, his father conveyed to Henry a large part of the land so purchased. He
probably removed from Milford as early as 1666, and joined his brother in the wilderness. He built a house at what
is the end of Chicopee street, a little north and west of the house owned by Joel Baker, where is had a charming \iew
of the great river and hills beyond.
Japhet had nine children, the eight sons of Japhet and Henry each had large families aggregating eighty-
seven grandchildren, and the eight men died at an average of eighty years. The times in which the Chapins settled
in the wilderness tried men's souls and only the sturdy material of which the pioneers were made, animated by brave
hearts, could have withstood the trying days and nights of fear. At the time Japhet and Henry settled here, the
Indians had become hostile and were a constant source of alarm. The white men continually carried arms, even
when they attended divine service in the "meeting house." To reach this building there was no royal road, but a
track through the wilderness where streams which had to be forded were frequent incidents, for the nearest church
was si.x miles distant. The massacre at Deerfield in 1704 was the culminating point, the natural outcome of the
hostile feeling indulged by the Indians, until, no longer capable of the semblance of control, it burst into fearful
atrocities at Deerfield. It is related of Hannah, second daughter of Japhet Chapin, and who married John Sheldon
in December, 1703, that on the night of that memorable attack at Deeriield, she jumped from a window for safety,
but having sprained an ankle was captured and with eleven other captives, among them John Williams and family,
she was taken to Canada and after two years redeemed.
An illustration of the fervent religious spirit of this time is found in a letter written by Josiah to Japhet Chapin
at the time of Hannah's capture :
" Mendon, April 8, 1 704.
" Deare Brother : — I cannot with my pen express the concernedness of sperit that is in me for you and my
dere cusen that is led captive by the barbarous heathen. God is by such dispensation trying the faith and patience
of His children ; it is therefore my dayly request that God will support her in body and sperit, and her bodely
captivity may prove to her speretual enlargement, and that God will please give you comfort in hope, knowing that
God is able to find out a way for escape, tho no way appears to us." The letter closes with assurances of love and
sympathy, but not a word of complaint at the dealings of Providence.
The first cultivation of the land was begun in 1645, o" '^^ south side of the river, and in 1750, the first parish of
Springfield being about to build a new meeting house, the peo]jle in the north side of the town on both sides of the
Connecticut river were incorporated into a separate parish, called Fifth Parish or Chicopee. The general boundary
on the east side of the Connecticut river was the Chicopee river.
The settlement of " Skipmuck," about a mile east of Chicopee Falls, began first in 1660 and for the most part
was on the south side of Chicopee river. The most prominent settlers in this part of the town wtre Stephen Horton,
Gad Horton, Phineas Steadman, Ariel Cooley, Dudley Wade and a few others, whose names are not recorded. They
were often annoyed by the Indians and were frequently driven to the old fort at Springfield for refuge. Several
inhabitants were at one time captured but no trace of them could be found. It was a favorite pastime of the red
men to ambush on " Sand Hill " and pick off the white settlers as they appeared on the opposite bank. Ariel Cooley,
a man of considerable worth and notable characteristics, settled first on the north side of the river. He was a con-
tractor on the Fairmount water works, Philadelphia, and the original proprietor of the lock and canals at South
Hadley Falls. Caleb Wright is said to have built a house upon the upper terrace at Skipmuck in or near the year
1704. A story told of the time says that the Indians surrounded the place one night, took Mrs. Wright prisoner and
scalped or partly scalped a child lying in the cradle. Moreover, that this child, Hannah, recovered and lived to a
good old age. Mr. Wright then moved to Chicopee street, where the Chapins had settled, and put up a cabin first
south of the old cemeter)-. In Dr. Holland's version of the Wright difficulties of 1708 he says that Indians attacked
the house of Lieutenant Wright at Skipmuck, killed "old Mr. Wright," took Henry Wright's wife captive and
probablv killeil her In 1665 Rowland Thomas and Nathaniel l-',lv laid out a highway at what is now the centre of
_ _ ^ Chicopee, they having owned land on the
south side of the river as early as 1664, as
shown by documents in the possession of
the \'an Horn family. The ford was at that
part of the river where the I) wight mills and
grist mill of Edward Wood afterward stood,
liorn Van Horn setttled in Springfield
as early as 1713, probably some time before.
Because of a highway dividing his land, the
same having been opened since his acquire-
ment of the property, the " Proprietors of
ye Inward Commons," granted him, " March
22, 1713-14" another such piece in e.\-
change as " would for conveniency bring his
land together." They subse(|uently granted
him, " [anuary 22, .\no l)om., 171S-19, one
or two acres of land lying between Thomas
Tery's Home Lot and the Hill for a home
lot." On the back of this instrument is
written this curious prescription : " dive a
portian of the Reeti Root every morning
for 3 mornings going ; every night going to
bed give him 2 or 3 spoonfuls of black water according as he can bear ; on or about 11 or 12 o'clock, in the day,
give him a portian of Tumeric, about as much as will ly one a Shilling at a Time, and wash it down with a Decoction
of agrimony, Elder-blooming, or Hysop." How many li\es were preserved by using this formula is not recorded.
RIDGE ACROSS CHICOPEE RIVER.
The family of Born Van Horn probably settled at what is now designated as Chicopee Falls as early as i 739-40.
Summer \'an Horn has carefully preserved an original document, 4x8 inches, which reads thus :
"Springfield, March 17th, 1742-3.
"Of the Proprietors Pursuent to a Grant of the common land in Springfield, IVIarch iSth, 1739-40, laid out to
Born Van Horn, of Springfield, 27 acres & 1-2 of Land in the East Precinct in said town, equil in value to 8 acres of
the land at (loose Pond, as mentioned in said Grant,
Lying in two Pieces; one contains 2 1-2 acres, & is
bounded, as follows :"
'Phe document then gives the boundary lines,
and is signed by the committee— Eben Hitchcock,
Josiah Day and John Munn.
Azariah Van Horn was a surveyor of highways
in the town of Springfield in 1770. His district em-
braced the territory south of Chicopee river, including
the present sites of Chicopee and Chicopee Falls.
Ariel Cooley, Sr., settled near Chicopee Falls
before 1786. In this year he conveyed lands to
Byers and Smith. He owned large tracts within the
town, and had numerous descendants. " Cooley
Brook" derives its name from this family, but few
descendants bearing the name of Cooley live in this
vicinity. 'Phe first dwelling of which any account
remains was that erected by Henry Chapin, and the tavern left no positive evidence of its origin. The inn described
as standing at the north end of Chicopee street and that occupied by Japhet Chapin on Springfield street were both
of uncertain origin. It is safe to divide honors between them.
Many and very pleasant are the reminiscences of the Chapin Inn, for many remember "Uncle Austin" and
his kindly hospitality, and who finally took in his sign when the typhus fever raged in the village. There were several
OLD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
THE CHAPIN INN, "TODDY ROAD'
members of the Chapin family ill when Captain Moore came up the street with his men fresh from rafting and
as pirates, and fairly longing for the hospitable welcome which
was a part of " Uncle Austin's " mission as innkeeper. From
the open door came a voice, for the first time, discouraging
the wanderers. They were not to enjoy the old inn's comforts
that night. " If you knew how sick my family were, you
would not ask it. Captain Moore," said Mr. Chapin. " We
cannot entertain you to-day, nor to-morrow, unless there is
a change for the better." In vain the men urged that they
would be satisfied with bread and milk. They finally left,
and returned next morning to find the house closed, the sign
taken down, and " Uncle Austin's " days of tavern keeping
were over. After the death of one of the daughters Mr.
Chapin had no heart in his work, and during the last years
of his life was unable to keep open house. The picture
presented was taken when he was in failing health, but is
considered a very faithful portrait. The hotel was burned
in 1S72, when unoccuijied, the fire i)robably originating in
one of the sheds.
All through the history of Chicopee are found friendly
allusions to the old hotel and the good times enjoyed there.
It is recollected that great feasts were served on July 4th, and
so fervent was the celebration one year that the glass was
broken and shaken from the window frames by the force of
the cannon salutes fired in honor of the day.
Japhet Chapin, born in 1750, married Lorena Wright,
and their family was made up often children, Olive Whitfield, "uncle" Austin chapin.
Japhet, Atlas, Pliny, Francis, Austin, Veranus, Sidney and Milton. Olive, the only daughter, died at the
age of 2iS years. Whitfield was the father of eight children, among them the late Charles (). Chapin, a man much
respected in Springfield, where he lived, and Elizabeth, beloved wife of the late J. (1. Holland. Japhet died early in
life. Atlas Chapin had three children; one only survived, Mrs. Chandler, of Springfield, Mass. Pliny had six
children, one only li\ing. Francis Chapin had several children, none living. Austin Chapin 2d was born in 1798,
and died in 1S63. He was instrumental in building up that ])ortion of the town known as Cabotville. He held
many important offices, viz. : School Commissioner, Selectman, Highway Surveyor, 'I'ax Collector, and at 37 years of
age, when the village was part of Springfield, he was
^ent as Representati\e to Boston. This was the year
when Edward P^verett was (iovernor of Massachusetts.
.Many cases were tried by the late Judge John Wells
liefore Austin Chapin as Justice of the Peace, at the
house where the latter made his home for nearly sixty
years. He was the father of six children, three living :
Margaret M. Nealley, residing on a part of the home-
stead. Spruce street ; Henry M., li\ ing in ISoston, Mass.,
and Elizabeth M. Denison, of Springfield.
Veranus Chapin lived on land opposite Austin,
where now is a prosjierous settlement built up by Tukle
and Humphrey. Dea. Sidney Chapin was the father
of four children, one only li\ing at the old home in
Chicopee street. Milton had three children. A son in
Brooklyn, N. V., and Mrs. Ellen Flagg, in \\'ashington,
FIRST CONGREGAT 0:;AL C'-_..:,!. |). C.,SUrvive.
In connection with the schools of the town the following paper has been kindly furnished by Miss .\deline Iv
Howard. It is fair to say that it was not written for this sketch of Chii.opee, but was read in the Third Congrega-
tional chapel May 30, 1892, with others by the ladies of the church, some of which have been kindly furnished to the
publisher of this book.
OUR SCHOOLS, PAST AND PRESENT.
We find early mention of schools in connection with Springfield. In 1654 " a tract of land on the west side
of the Great river was appropriated by the town, either for the helping to maintain a school, or to bear any other
town charges." This land was let out and the income expended for schooling. In 1677 William Madison was hired
as a schoolmaster and was to receive three pence per week of those whom he taught to read and four pence of those
whom he taught both to read and write, the parents and persons being to allow not more, but for his encouragement
for that year he was to be allowed the rent of the town lands at Chicopee.
The first schoolhouse ir. Springfield was built in 1679, and was 22 by 17 feet. In 1682 the selectmen agreed
with (loodwife Merrick to teach children to read, she receiving three pence per week for each child.
The defect in common school education for the first forty or fifty years was very apparent in the number of
persons who could not write their names and the very large number of bad writers and sDellers,''Miles Morgan, whose
statue adorns Court Square, not being able to write, but making his mark, which was an anchor. From the beginning
of the present century the interest increased rapidly.
The first school started in Chicopee was in a log house which stood where Mrs. Ames now lives, kept by a
man named Shevoy, who was a minister and preached to the settlers on this side of the river. It was said that he was
a good mathematician and gave out all the problems from memory, as there was no arithmetic in the school at that time.
The first schoolhouse in town was built on South street, a little west of the brook. It had but one room with a
large fireplace in one end that would hold wood enough to last a stove a week. The scholars cut all the wood and
made the fires. About 1812 a new schoolhouse was built on South street at its junction with Springfield street, stand-
ing nearly where the pumping station now stands, but facing south. The chimney was a monstrous affair, and many
were the logs carried in by the boys. This house was used for many years. The teachers were paid from ^8 to Si 7
per month. Coijies in writing were set and goose quill pens made by the teacher until the scholars had learned the
art. Miss Elizabeth Southworth taught here with skill and ability soon after the mills were started, when the scattered
settlers were formed into the village of Cabotville. Here the boys and girls sought knowledge. Here studied the
Mosman brothers and Stewart Chase, Mary Chase and Margaret Chapin. The boys and girls, with one exception,
went their several ways with only memories of their former teacher, but one, Mr. George Mosman, remained beside
her to still enjoy her companionship. He has but recently left us to join that great company whom no man can num-
her. The old buikiing has never lost its interest for me, as there I received my first and only public chastisement at
the hands of a primary school teacher, which punishment, as has been the case with all children from time immemo-
rial, I i/idn't deserve. This building was removed in 1861 or '62, and, having been renovated and reconstructed, is
now occupied by Mr. Terrence Hogan on Centre street.
A schoolhouse was erected at Skipmuck as early as 1S12. It was 20 x 30 feet, inclosed by rough clapboards,
had two small windows and a huge fireplace. The seniors had wide boards for desks, placed against the sides of the
room at a proper angle, and in front of these were
three long seats with legs like a milking stool. Their
horizon was more limited than that of the younger
ones who occupied similar benches in the centre
of the room. 'V\\e schoolhouse at Chicopee street
was the largest in town, and stood a little south
of the church near where Mrs. Palmer's house
now stands. This building had two rooms. In
1S25 a brick schoolhouse was erected where the
present building now stands on Church street at
the Falls. In 1845 it was replaced by the present
one. There Clossen Pendleton and I )r. .Mvord taught.
Mr. llildad P.. Belcher taught on the north side of the
The best building in town for a long time was
the one on Springfield street at the Falls, which
was erected in 1875 and 1876. The building is now
to be used for other than educational purposes, as the manufacture of bicycles in its immediate neighborhood so
interferes with the progress of education and the harmony of ideas, that the teachers wish either that they had
never been born, or that the bicycle had never been invented. In 1834, the brick schoolhouse on School street
was built at a cost of $-2,000. It served as a place for both secular and religious instruction, being used on Sunday
as a place of worship. Many of us had a familiar acquaintance with the old building, having trod those halls of
OLD HIGH SCHOOL.
learning in childhood's days. It served its day and generation well, and like the schoolhouse of our Quaker poet's
childhood, displayed within :
** The warping floor : the battered seats :
The jack-knife's carved initial;
With many frescos on the walls;
Its door's worn sill betraying,
The feet that creeping slow to school
Went storming out to playing."
This building was torn down in '75, and the present one erected. The old high school building on Grape
street was built in 1S42. Mr. N. P. Ames gave the bell (tradition says "a fine-toned bell "), and Mr. John Chase
gave a thousand dollars toward the cost of the building. 'Hie basement was fitted up as a primary school and in
that subterranean spot Miss Mary Ann Fitz was said to teach the " Model School." 'J'he upper floors have been
somewhat modified in recent years, and all the rooms are now large and pleasant. Other schoolhouses than those
mentioned were erected as necessity demanded, the last being the new high school building, of which the city is
justly proud. Years ago a school was kept in Mechanics' Hall, which was the upper story of an old building which
stood where H. S. Martin's furniture rooms now stand. There the sister of one of our ladies was sent at the tender
age of three years because she plagued the baby at home. A very select school was kept in the vestry of the old
Congregational church, by Mr. Granger, who walked with a crutch. This crutch was heard from if the children were
unruly, and now the thought of the old teacher always brings with it the thought of the old crutch.
While seeking to gain a practical knowledge of the three R's in the day schools, music was not neglected by
those who had an opportunity to cultivate their voices, Mr. Reed, a music teacher, being quite an institution in town.
He held singing schools in the Congregational vestry, which was filled with eager learners of the divine art As Mr
Reed led the choir, and filled it from the ranks of his school, if one did well he had some hope of being advanced to
a position in the choir.
The modes of punishment in the early days were unique, a remedy applied for the prevention of whispering
being a short wedge inserted between the upper and lower teeth, thus keeping the mouth open. For restlessness a
book was placed on the head. The child was expected to remain motionless, so that the book might not fall. In
my mother's school days a child was sometimes obliged to stoop over and hold his finger on a crack in the floor for a
specified time. A more severe form of the same punishment was to require the pupil to stand on o?ie foot only and
hold down a nail in the floor, and if the teacher felt so disposed he would step to the rear of the child and lay on the
ruler with no gentle hand. Sometimes the pupil must hold several heavy books on the palm of his hand, extended at
arm's length. Gradually the arm would relax and droop lower, when the teacher would give a whack on the elbow
with her ruler. A favorite and effective punishment for bad boys and girls was to blindfold them, tie their hands
behind them, and stand them in the
corner. The nose was sometimes
clasped in a cleft stick.
The first school committee's re-
port was in '49. The next year the
committee says that "the houses are
all in good repair, except one small
primarv schoolhouse which is wooden
and bare enough. I'^ggs might be
cooked on the sunny side of it in the
summer, and some attention is needed
before another summer else the child-
ren may be cooked." They say some
of our schools " are truly ragged
schools and as dirty as ragged," and
add the remark that " those who
come to our shores are heartily wel-
come to a share of our privileges,
but we do wish they would take with
the rest a share of our soap and
water." The old district system was
abolished in 1S69. In 1879 our
town voted to jjlace our schools under the supervision of a school superintendent, which has been of great advantage
Formerly children entered the grammar school at a very early age, one lady who is with us tonight having
iFRONT STREET, CHICOPEE CENTRE.
entered at the tender age of six years and two months. The pupils remained in the grammar school for a longer or
shorter time, and were e\entually asked how many of them would like to go to the high scliool. The desire for
promotion seemed general, and a solid vote was usually obtained in favor of advancement. The late Dr. P. Le 1!.
Stickney, of Springfield, did a most excellent work in connection with our high and grammar schools in grading
and classifying. In these schools many of us passed hapjiy years, and tender memories of the old high school
building will dwell with us as long as life shall last.
' : ' .Many are there of the excellent and honorable whose
names may be found here enrolled either as teacher
or puiiils. The name that comes first to our lips
is that of tlie man whose state has been honored
by his acceptance of the gubernatorial chair, whose
])ublic and private life is without reproach, who, al-
ways and everywhere, has the love and respect of
those who had the good fortune to be his pupils in
the Chicopee High School— Ex-('iO\-. George 1).
Some of the pupils went their way out into the
world to make for themsehes a career, while others
have remained among us to live their lives, and do
their ser\ ice near the home of their youth. One of
our long-ago pupils, Zenas Moody, has been the Gov-
ernor of Oregon. Another, William Walker, was for
years on the staff of a Chicago newspaper. A third,
Hon. Thomas B. Stockwell, has for years been prominent in educational circles in Rhode Island. Others, lawyers,
doctors, ministers, and artists, have done faithful work in administering justice, in saving bodies and souls, in culti-
vating the beautiful, and thus placing before us high ideals of art and character, while many have joined
" The choir invisible
Of those inimortal dead w ho live again
In minds made better by their presence."
NEW HIGH SCHOOL.
GROUP ON FRONT STREET.
On the same day and at the same place was read this very pleasantly written paper on the early churches by
Mrs. Mary F. Smith, who has allowed it to be used in this connection :
In May, 1636, we find the following agreement, which was signed by eight of the twelve settlers who first came :
" \\ e intend, by God's grace, as soon as we can, with all convenient speed, to procure some Godly and faithful
minister, with whom we purpose to join in Church covenant to walk in all the ways of Christ," and in 1645 the first
meeting house was built. In 1749 Chicopee had nearly 40 voters, and entered a petition for a separate minister in
January. The petition was dismissed. In the autumn the Chicopee people asked again. The answer was that the
people were more than compensated for the extra fatigue of the Sabbath by being so far from the center. The ride
on horseback for a half day was equal to some more than a half day's labor. But on the whole they lived with less
fatigue than those in the center, who were obliged to build and maintain three large vessels to transport the jiroduce
of their lands to the store, besides managing their business through the week. lUit Chicopee ])ersisted, and a church
was organized at the north end. The Rev. John W. McKinstry was the first pastor, who began his first term of
service in September, 1752. The meeting house was completed in November, 1753, and when the committee was
appointed for the delicate task " of seating the meeting house," they were granted permission to seat men and women
together. The seating was regulated according to the tax list. One of our oldest townsmen says the first tax he ever
paid was a church tax of 16 cents. After this church was built nearly all the residents in what is now Chicopee
attended the service there, instead of in Springfield, as they had done before. The Methodist Church at the Fails
was organized about 1825, and the Baptist Church at that place in 1828. The Second Congregational Church at the
Falls was formed in 1830. The Third Congregational Church was the first church constituted in Cabotville. The
society was organized in March, 1835, with 18 members. They held services in the schoolhouse on South street,
and afterward in Chapin's Hall. Their first church edifice was dedicated in 1837. The first pastor was Sumner
TheUniversalist Society was constituted in l'"ebruary, 1S35, and the church organized with 39 members. They
held services in the schoolhouse on School street. It is said that the Universalists used it three Sundays in the month
and the other societies the rest. Their church edifice was dedicated in 1836 and was the first one in Cabotville. The
first pastor was Charles Spear. The society was weakened by the withdrawal of the Unitarians in 1S41. Many of its
THIRD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
strongest supporters moved away and death took many more. It ceased to exist several years ago. The building is
now used by the Presbyterian Society. The Central Baptist Church was organized in July, 1835, with 21 members,
very soon after the Universalist. They were publicly recognized as a Baptist church by a council in August, 1835.
Their first services were held in the house on Front street occupied by Mr. Wheeler, afterward on Spring street, and
after this in Chapin's Hall. Their first church was
dedicated in 1S39. Their first pastor was 1 )r. War-
ren. The Methodist Church was organized in 1838
with 18 members. They also held services in Chap-
in's Hall. Their first church building was erected
in 1839 on Perkins street. Their first pastor was Ed-
mund S. Potter. It is now owned by the St. Joseph
Temjjerance Society, and their church edifice is on
Center street. The Unitarian Society was formed
and legally organized in March, 1841. The church
was constituted with 16 members. Their first ser-
vices were held in Chapin's Hall. The church edi-
fice was built in 1842. The first regular pastor was
lohn A. Buckingham. The Episcopal Church was
organized in April, 1S46, with 18 members. Their
first services were hekl in Chapin's Hall and after-
ward in Ferry's Hall. The church building was
completed in 1848 and partially burned in 1872. It has been repaired recently and services resumed. The
Second Adventists have for a long time existed in the city. Some of their first gatherings were held in a public house
in Cabotville and in a private hou-e at Chicopee Falls. A society was formed in 1870 in Chicopee Falls and a
chapel built in that village.
The Catholics commenced holding services in a house between the canal and river, which has since been
washed away. Afterward their service was held in a room in the Ames Company shop. The church was gathered
and an altar erected in a house on Pleasant street, in 1838, and their first church was erected in 1840 on the same
THE OLD UNITARIAN CHURCH.
street. 'I'heir present church edifice was dedicated in 1S57. The first ^pastor was John lirady. We see that in
thirteen years, between 1S35 and 1848, there were seven churches buih in the village of Cabotville. Every
denomination at some period in its early existence had held services in Cha])in's Hall, but never together. The first
Episcopalians that came here were called very good people, but Episcopalians The I'niversalists and Lhiitarians
took the lead in many a good work and ranked high in their trades and as citizens, but they were Universalists and
Unitarians. It is said that one minister |)rayed that the Universalist Church might be carried by a high wind, shingle
by shingle, into yonder ri\er. The Methodists were \ery strict about
their dress. One ])rominent man brought his bride here without a bow
or jewelry of any kind because his religion forbade it. The Baptists
thought the river the only ]iroper jilace to administer baptism. The
(Jongregationalists were called blue, orthodox, and the hill on which
their church was built was called ISrinistone Hill. Vet each church
was organized on the same basis and with the same intention as the
church way back in 16,36, "To procure some godly and faithful minis-
ter and to walk in all the ways of Christ."
The date of the beginning of a pronounced interest in manufac-
turing was May i 7, i 786, when John Hitchcock, Stephen Hitchcock,
Ebenezer Morgan, Israel Chapin, Lemuel Stebbins, Dudley Wade, Cad
Horton, Stephen Horton, Phineas Steadman and .\riel Cooley leased,
in ].)erpetuity, "two acres of land and the water privilege on the south
side of t.'hicopee river at Skenungonuck Falls," to James livers and William Smith, of Springfield. The conditions
of the lease required that within two years the lessees should erect " iron work " for the manufacture of hollow ware
of that metal. The ore to supply the furnace was taken from the south bank of the river, about So rods above the
present dam, at the F"alls, and at other places. The ore was very lean, but a ton of iron lasted then a long time. The
property was ])urchased in 1801 by Benjamin Belcher, Abijah Witherell and William Witherell, and then commenced
the real activity of the concern. In 1805, May 22, Mr. lielcher bought the interest of his partners and continued in
business alone until August, 1S22, when he sold the entire property to Jonathan and Ivlmund Iiwight. 'I'he property
consisted of nearly or quite all the land where now stanils the village of Chicopee Falls, and a blast furnace. A
considerable portion of this land had been purchased by Mr. ISelcher from Stephen Wright and I.evi Hitchcock, who
had settled at that place before the erection of the iron works. These gentlemen removed from the Falls after making
this sale. The early activities of the Dwight Brothers, both socially and in a business way, have left very pronounced
results in Chicopee. Not the least of their many thoughtful acts was the planting of many of the magnificent elm
trees which add so much to the beauty of the present city. The streets where corporation buildings were erected
and those where the mills were built were treated like the up-town streets, and are alike to-day as regards shade trees.
Oliver C'hapin was probably the first settler on the north side of the Chicopee river at the Falls, and in 1806
he sold the privilege on that side of the river to William iiowman and Benjamin and Samuel Cox, who erected there
a paper mill and carried on the manufacture of paper for fifteen years. When David Ames became owner of this in-
dustry he introduced ]iai>er making machinery which greatly facilitated the production. In 1809 a small mill was
erected near the upper dam, above the grist mill on the Chicopee river, by William, Levi and Joseph Chapin, who
bought cotton and made yarn from which cloth was made by handlooms among different families in the town. The
increased competition caused by the importation of imported goods so reduced the business that the firm abandoned
it in 1815. The water power privilege was sold during David Ames' lifetime to the Chicopee Manufacturing Co.
The land and water power at Chicopee Falls was purchased in the year 1S22 by Jonathan Dwight of Springfield for
himself and brother Edmund of Boston, who subsequently, with other gentlemen of Boston and Springfield, entered
business with them. Their attention having been drawn to the erection of a cotton mill at this place by Mr. Joseph
Hall and Mr. Joseph Brown, a company was incorporated in January, 1823, under the name of Boston and Springfield
Manufacturing Co., with ^500,000 capital. J. Dwight was the first president and Joseph Hall first agent.
The publisher is indebted to Miss A. T. Howard for a very entertaining paper, which, after stating that " in
1825 the Springfield and Boston Manufacturing Co. bought the water power and land adjacent to where now stands
the city of Chicopee," says :
In 1 83 1 a new company was organized and called the "Springfield Canal Company." This company pur-
chased the CabotAille property, and secured John Chase as agent. At this time (1832) he was 44 years of age, and
from this date his career as a mechanic and builder is traced in the manufactories of Chicopee. When he assumed
the agency of the "Springfield Canal Company," the ground now occupied by this city, with its immense
factories and numerous dwellings, was covered with bushes and much of it was of a swampy character. There
were but three or four dwellings in the neighborhood, and a lady of this city who came as a young girl to Cabot
RESIDENCE OF EX-MAYOR GEORGE S. TAYLOR.
with the Chase family, tells me she used to gather cranberries in the neighborhood of the common near West street.
In 1832 John Chase drove from Chicopee Falls, where he had been superintending the erection of mill No. 4,
with George Praver, to survey the Cabotville property, and when Mr. Prayer drove the stake at the place where the
upper end of the canal was to be, John Chase told him : — " He could tell the people he was the man who drove the
first stake for a new Lowell."
^\'e instinctively try to picture Cabot\ille as it was when John Chase first came here. The old farm-houses
here and there ; the Armourers troubling the Puritan mind of Col. Lee because they traveled the "Toddy Road " to
Japhet Chapin's tavern so often; the children roaming the fields hither and yon for the treasures of wood and
field, and when the shadows of night began to fall, hastening to the shelter of their homes, as with their imaginations
they saw the Indian still wandering among his native haunts — his implements still to be found in the vicinity.
Then Capital and Energy utilizing the great water-power, and one by one, rapidly as the years came, the
great factories and busy workshops rising like Aladdin's palace almost by magic, calling men and women from e\ ery
land, of every nationality, to become the makers of Chicopee and to take part in the drama of joys and sorrows,
successes and failures, that is enacted in the history of every village and town.
The Canal Company, by Mr. Chase, began the construction of the canal on the banks of the Chicopee, which
leads the water to the mills, and this canal, one-third of a mile in length, was completed in the autumn of 1832.
Mr. West tells me that the first foreigner who came to Cabot was an Irishman, Tom Brainard by name, and
that he was a very nice man. The second foreigner was a Scotchman who came to Chicopee Falls ; he has not left
his name, but he left some poetry which would seem to indicate that he was not quite satisfied with his lot in life.
These are the pessimistic lines : —
If money ihe gift of life could buy.
The rich would live and the pom- would die.
It seems that the building of the canal brought more Irish to Cabot, and I am told they were paid 75 cents
per day and three jiggers, the "jiggers " being something very nice to drink. This same year, 1832. a dam was completed
across the Chicopee river at the head of the canal. A second dam, which receives the overflow from the upper one,
was completed in 1834. Mr. Charles W. McClellan contracted with John Chase as agent of the Canal Company to
build these dams. Mr. Chase was busy surveying and laying out the lands of the Canal Company, and it is said that
when J. K. Mills, the treasurer of the company, came to Cabot to see what had been done, he said to Mr. Chase : —
THE JUDGE WELLS HOUSE, FORMERLY THE DWIGHT PLAGE
"Mr. Chase, one thing is clear in the laying out of this town." "And what is that ?" said Mr. Chase. " That you
were ilrunk," said Mr. Mills, " when you laid it out." Mr. Chase laughed and said he laid it out with a view to securing
the greatest number of corner lots. When Mr. Chase first came to Cabot, he boarded for a time at Austin Chapin's
tavern, but later the company built for him a brick house situated where the town hall now stands, and known to my
younger days as the Elliot house, and his
office was close by where the new depot
This company disposed of portions of
its property and water-power to corpora-
tions which from time to time were succes-
sively formed and whose mills were all built
by the Canal Company. The Cabot Afanu-
facturing Company was the first one formed
and was incorporated in 1S32. Their first
mill was completed in 1834 and their second
in 183V Ihe completion of these mills was
celebrated by balls to which came every-
one from far and near. Mr. Chase and his
wife were fine dancers and general!}' opened
the ball. Mr. Henry West attended the first
ball, coming from and returning to Chicopee
Falls (his home), in Mr. Chester W. Chap-
in's stage, which was quite an institution in
those days. In 1832 machine shops w^ere
built to construct proper machinery for mak-
ing cotton goods, and the Canal Company supplied the new company largely with the needed machinery. These
shops were small and stood where the western portion of the buildings of the Ames Manufacturing Company now
stands. Isaac Bullens came to Chicopee about this time and worked as a machinist for this company.
BAPTIST CHURCH. CHICOPEE FALLS.
The opening of these mills and shops called many of Mr. Chase's friends from New Hampshire, his native
state, to join him in his work of building a new Lowell at Cabot, and if we may believe tradition, they were not the
"dull boys who take all work and no play." I do not know the names of all who came to help him in his work, but
among them are William Clark, Charles French, Simeon and Calvin Chase, J. D. 'A'hite, Mr. Cronk, Mr. Dow,
Moulton Taylor, Mr. Samuel Eastman and brother Charles East-
man, Mr. Woodman, James Smith, Capt. D. M. Moore anil
Orrin Dudley. Early in the thirties, Thomas ( ?) Humphrey came
here to work for Capt. McClellan, superintending the work on
the canal. I have pleasant memories connected with this name, as a
daughter of this man was a favorite teacher of mine. They retain their
interest in their old home and have a memorial window in their new
Baptist church. Josiah Smith, Lewis Bosworth and the Denison fam-
ily came to Cabot about 1830. Mr. John Denison, for most of his
life a resident of this town, and his friend Mr. Childs (afterwards Dea.
Childs of Holyoke) were among the early workers here. Mr. Denison
teamed for the company, brought and carried goods from Boston and
other cities, and once he nearly met with a fatal mishap in crossing
the Connecticut river on the ice with his loaded team. The ice gave
way and he lost his goods, but was fortunate enough to escape with his
life and team.
For the Perkins Company, incorporated in 1836, the Canal Com-
pany put up two mills -3 and 4 -one in 1836 and the other in 1837.
For the D wight Company they built three mills, completed in 1840,
1842 and 1845. (All united in 1S56.) BAPTibj church, chicopee cENTpe.
Mr. Chase's faith in the Canal Company was great. His bookkeeper, Mr. Huntington, gave up his situation
because he thought he had a call to enter the ministry. " Enter the ministry," said Mr. Chase. " How much salary
do you get?" The sum he named being much less than he was receiving from the Canal Company, Mr. Chase said :
"And how do you expect to live on that?" Mr. Huntington said : " I shall trust Providence for the rest." " Hum !
trust Providence," said Mr. t'hase ; "I should a dumb sight rather trust the Springfield Company." He
is said by those who worked for him to have been exceedingly faithful to the interests of his employers— to
have kept a very close watch upon all the works entrusted to his care.
Mr. Kacon, a friend of his, and for most of his life a resi-
dent of this town, told me he went through the shops every
day looking after the work. He had one finger which had
been maimed in some way, and the workmen said " if there
was any imperfection in their work. Uncle John's stub finger
was sure to light upon it."
v..,_.n,^.. ._.r . ,,:; HOLY NAME OF JESUS.
There is much said nowadays about haxing the courage
of your convictions. John Chase always had the courage of
his convictions, telling the minister at one time " to be as brief
as possible, as some of them were getting pretty tired." french catholic church.
The house so long occupied by him at the lower end of Grape street was built for him by the company. They
gave him the choice of lots — the front lot, where James T. Ames afterwards built, or the lower lot, and he chose the
lower one — a source of regret to his wife, who was a daughter of Gen. John Stark, of Revolutionary fame.
He was a member of the Mechanics' Association, who built the Universalist church in 1836 and presented it
to the society. In this year (1836) the Catholic cemetery is said to have been given to the Catholics by the Canal
It seems at one time there must have been some jealous feeHng between Springfield and her outlying districts,
for about 1836 some of the out-of-town folks were bound to put down the Springfield high school. Both villages of
what is now Chicopee turned out in full force to help vote it down. Uncle John Chase said " his shop could not start
j :^.w> \
THE OLD JUDGE CARTER PLACE
till that school was put down," so the old Town Hall of Springfield was filled with voters. But Judge Oliver Morris
carried the day for the schools. He said : " Here, sir, the poor have the same rights as the rich. Ves, gentlemen,
I glory in this, for I am a Republican, and know my rights, the greatest of which is freedom, after which, our public
schools, at the head of which is our high school." He carried his audience with him. Mr. Chase's objection could
not have been to high schools in general, as in 1842 he gave $1,000 toward the completion of a high school building
on (irape street.
The First National liank of fhicopee began its existence in 1S45, with a capital of §150,000, ami Jolin Chase
was chosen its first president March 8, 1S45, and continued its president until he resigned, Ocl. 6, 1849. While he
was president there was a run made upon the bank, instigated by some one who had a spite against it. This man
collected all the claims against the bank possible and presented them for gold payment, and incited or frightened
others into doing the same. Uncle John was worried, but no one knew that he was. Finally he dressed himself in
the oldest and most weather-beaten clothes that his garret afforded, to avoid recognition, and was driven to Springfield
in the evening, and there took the cars for New York. No one knew that he had gone except (lilbert Walker, the
cashier. He came back the next night, walked up from Springfield with a bag of gold on each arm, and reached
home about 9 o'clock in the evening. So they weathered the storm successfully.
.At this time Cabot was apparently at the very zenith of her prosperity. Rnterprise anti industry seemed
indeed in a fair way to make Cabot "a new Lowell." Already some of her manufactures had acquired an almost
world-wide fame. But in looking back into these years of prosperity, the building up of this city is not all that we
see, nor the din of machinery all that we hear. We see men fighting vigorously for their opinions. We see one man
intensely opposed to the division from Springfield and the next one as intensely favoring it, and all so faithfully
backing up their convictions that in 1843 the town failed to secure a board of selectmen. We also see, by the
j-eports that come to us from those distant days, that tlien, as always, " orthodoxy is my doxy, and heterodoxy is your
doxy," and they were even more willing to prove it by " apostolic blows and knocks " than we are. Look more
closely, and you will see fermenting those bitter differences of convictions that finally culminated in the great Civil
War. And the outcome of all this clashing of thought and word and deed is individuality, which gives such zest and
interest to life.
Intimately associated with John Chase in the work of building the town, was Charles W. McClellan, who took
contracts and built most of the masonry and stone work of Chicopee's mills, dams and public buildings. He is noted
in many states for his faithful and enduring work, and was beloved and respected by all who knew him. His public
spirit led in 1845 to the construction of the first works for supplying the town with water through pipes. .Associated
MAIN STREET, CHICOPEE FALLS.
with him in this work was Robert E. Bemis. Water was first siipphed from tiie springs anil wells at a higher elevation
just south of the village After the death of .Mr. Bemis it became wholly the property of Mr. McClellan. In 1S76 a
dam was erected beyond the east line of Chicopee in Springfield for a more satisfactory supply of water, and in 1877
the Chicopee Water Company was formed with Mr. McClellan as a stockholder. In 1850 the four large corporations,
Ames, Cabot, Perkins and Dwight, erected gas works with a capacity sufficient to supply the mills and meet the
ordinary wants of the villages. At some date, of which I can find no record, the Canal Company became merged in
the Ames Company.
Mr. Chase's labors were not confined to Chicopee and vicinity. He was sent for to suj,erintend the building
of dams, canals and mills in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina and other states. He was a man whose
word was considered as good as his bond. For the last ten years of his life (so I read in the account given of him in
the Springfield Rtpnhlican at the time of his death), he made it a rule not to increase the amount of his property, but
to give his income, over and above that needed for his own use, where it would do the most good. Exact, exacting
and methodical in business, but genial and affectionate at home. He died May 11, 1S66.
Mrs. Luther White kindly contributes a carefully prepared and interesting paper on the Dwight Manufacturing
Company, which is another of the group of historical papers read on that memorable day in the chapel of the Third
THE DWIGHT MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
The subject assigned to me has none of the interest for people in general which attaches to the old houses and
prominent families. A corporation is impersonal, and the chief points of interest are found in the growth of the cot-
ton manufacturing interests in our town and in lirief mention of some of the more prominent of the families who were
early connected with its develo|3ment.
The mills which are now owned and operated by the Dwight Manufacturing Coinpany were originally built for
three separate corporations. Those which are known as No. i and No. 2 were originally the property of the Cabot
Company, and on this account the name of Cabotville was given to the village, a name which it retained until the
incorporation of the town. The mills known as No. 3 and No. 4 were owned and operated by the Perkins Company.
The remaining mills were, from the time of their first erection, run by the Dwight Company. But neither of the cor-
porations developed the water power which the river afforded, nor did they erect the buildings. This was done by
the Springfield Canal Company. The latter company was formed mainly through the agency of George Bliss of
THE T. W CARTER PLACE.
Springfield, who bought all the land which he thought desirable for a town site and which he could get in accordance
with his ideas of value. 'I he preliiiiinary work necessary to the formation of a factory village was begun in 1S2S and
'29, and the first cotton mill began operations in 1S32.
In the olden time, for most of us are supposed to be young enough to call the beginning of our village the
olden time— no mill was considered ready for the machinery until it had been dedicated by a grand ball. If tradition
can be trusted the posters were right in giving such
imposing name to the social occasion. Uncle lohn
Chase, agent of the Springfield Canal Company, and
consequently chief man of the village, led the grand
march, and, of course, all the beauty and chivalry of
Cabotville were gathered there by the light of the
lanterns and the sperm oil lamps to celebrate the oc-
casion. When the Cabot Company was ready for
manufacturing, R. 1'^. Bemis was appointed agent,
lie built the house which is now occupied by Mr.
Carter on Front street and located it so that he could
conveniently overlook the mills, as at that time there
were no intervening buildings Mr. U'hitter, father
of the recent paymaster of the 1 )wight Company, was
agent of the Perkins Mills most of the time during
which they had a separate corporate existence.
REbioENCE OF THE LATE GEORGE M. STEARNS. 'Hie I )wight Compauy wasorganlzcd in 1841,
and very shortly after that time Sylvanus Adams came from Lowell to take charge of its mills. He continued to be
agent for twenty-seven years, and during all of that time actively looked after the interests of the corporation which
he represented, and was also interested in other business enterprises in the town and vicinity. He was a public-
spirited man and took a great interest in the Cabot Institute, the public schools, in the religious organization with
which he was connected, and in many ways made his influence felt and respected in the community. He had a
large family of beautiful and bright children and his home was a center of social influence and power.
In 1856 the Dwight Company bought the property of the Cabot Company and the Perkins mills. The whole
of the cotton manufacturing interests were then, and ever since have been, carried on by the Dwight Manufacturing
The consolidation was at that time the occasion of much talk about the growing power of great corporations,
and the opposition was very similar to that which we hear now on the same subject. But the work of manufacturing
has gone on with increasing prosperity and with no
detriment to the public. After a long term of service
Mr. Adams was succeeded by Mr. Budlong, whose
death soon after his removal to the town was greatly
lamented. Gen. Nye then took charge, and his con-
nection with the company and his residence here
with his family are remembered with much pleasure.
The manufacture of cotton cloth was begun in
this locality under such circumstances as would now
be fatal to such an enterprise. The raw material and
the finished product had to be transported by teams,
or by the equally slow water navigation of the Con-
necticut river. The only means of artificial light
was by sperm-oil lamps. Since then improved ma-
chinery has increased \ery greatly the product of the
mills, and at the same time reduced the hours of
labor and the number of laborers, while the wages __^^_„_
have been nearly doubled. residence of t. c. page, east street.
In those good old times the operatives had to work 14 hours a day. Then the best overseers did not get
over $2.25 per day, while now they receive more than twice that sum. Now a mule spinner does the work which two
did then and gets three times the pay, and I am informed that the wages of the other operatives are also very much
higher than they were 50 years ago. The product of the mills has also been more than doubled. In the year just
preceding the consolidation of the companies the united product of all the mills did not exceed 14,000,000 yards
a year, while at the present time there are over 30,000,000 yards turned out every year, or an average of more than
100,000 yards for each working day.
The greatest apparent change, so far as it affects the social life of the town, is not, however, in the mills,
methods of manufacture or wages, but in
the personnel of the employes. During the
first years of cotton manufacturing the help
came almost exclusively from the surround-
ing towns, excepting a few skilled workmen
from Lowell. It was a homogeneous mass
of people, which cultivated New England
traditions. The first foreign laborers who
were introduced here came to dig the canal.
They did no skilled work and tended no
machinery, but were the forerunners of a
vast multitude of various races and nation-
alities, so that now in order to understand
the language of the street one must speak
nearly all the tongues of Continental EuVope.
The change which the advent of for-
eigners has made in the New England
town is too api^arent to require comment,
and we are too intimately affected by it to
pass unbiased judgment thereon.
RESIDENCE OF MRS. MARGARET M. NEALLEY. MRS LU'i HER \\ HITE.
One of the best known of the early settlers was Deacon Silas Mosman, of whom Mrs. ^Nlelzer Alosman, thus
pleasantly writes ;
I suppose the intention was to commence our narrations some time pre\ious to the landing of the Pilgrims on
Plymouth Rock, liut as the .Mosmans at present settled in Chicopee trace their family descent back to the time of
" Bloody Mary," and as a Mosman was her clock maker, I must commence there. This link also connects the Mos-
man family to a valuable property consisting of castles and treasure in the Bank of England, and is so conclusive that
a lawyer has been employed to reinstate us in our lawful rights. When we are once in the ancient strongholds we
shall be happy to receive at the castle and talk over old times with the friends present to-day.
The first track made by a Mosman on
Chicopee soil was in 1829, when Deacon
Silas Mosman walked from Warwick to
Skipmuck and secured employment for him-
self and sons in the cotton mills and else-
where. On his way to and from he lodged
at a farm house in Hadley and was charged
a ninepence (12 1-2 cents) for his entertain-
ment. Later he moved his family there,
consisting of a wife and seven sons, Silas,
Abner, David, George, I )e.\ter, Nathan and
Martin, and one daughter, Mary.
In a short time Deacon Mosman and
the older sons were employed in the Ames
shops in the manufacturing of cutlery, Mr.
Mosman as grinder and two of the sons as
polishers and the others in various ways.
They removed with the Ames works to
Lower Chicopee in 1S34, where they were
engaged for many years. .At this time, when
Chicopee was a mere hamlet, Deacon Mos- the whittemore place
man and his two eldest sons, then married, bought the land south of the high school and built two houses, those now
owned by Mrs. De.xter Mosman and Mrs. Pepper, which were occupied by Deacon Silas Mosman and Silas Mosman,
Jr., for years. They with their wives were four of the eighteen members of the little church which was organized the
year they came here, 18,54, '"kI "''is known as the Sixth Congregational Church of Springfield. This church was dear
to the whole Mosman family, and time, labor and money were cheerfully given for its welfare. The l.irothers were
prominent in aiding in the church music, which consisted of mixed \oices and an orchestra that is worthy of men-
tion here, as it was famous in all the region. It had various make-ups, but for a long time was as follows : Flutes,
Dexter Mosman and Klijah Harwood ; double Ixass, Silas Mosman, Jr., ophicleide, (leorge Mosman. Mr. Henry
West has a record in the early church as flutist
and janitor. He swept the meeting house,
built the fires and shoveled the snow for $25 a
The ladies' meetings, such as sewing socie-
ties and mothers' meetings, were always encour-
aged and supported by the presence and talents
of Mrs. Deacon Mosman, and the status of so-
( iety was a \ital (|uestion with her, who was a
Puritan by birtli and breeding, and who, with
her large family and a house full of boarders,
had a heart larger than all her cares and duties.
The first break in the family was the death of
I >avid, twenty-four years of age, and just one
vear from the day of his marriage with Margaret
I'ease of Chicopee street. He died of Cabot
fever, a fearful scourge that took its name frorn the town where it raged exclusively in 1839, and on the day of
his burial nine dead lay unburied in this small village.
Deacon Mosman was an important factor in the new and growing community and was once elected and served
as representative. He died in 1854, and five years afterwards his wife. Silas Mosman was elected to represent the town,
or district (as it was a part of Springfield), in 1848, and it was owing to his tact and unusual ability that the bill was
passed allowing Chicopee to be set off from S|iringfield and to aspire to the dignity of a town by itself. He has a
well-known and well-earned reputation tor work done under his superintendence for the Ames Company. The fine
presentation swords of General (Irant, General Butler, Gov. Oglesby and others, costing ^2,000 each, which were made
here, and also the bronze statuary department, were under his management and direction. Among the notable bronze
works are the bronze doors made for the Capitol at Washington, costing $57,000. The finish of the work is declared
by experts to be distinctively American — neither an imitation of the French fififle or of the German finish, but equal to
either in beauty of treatment or execution. During the war three of the Mosman Brothers, Silas, George and Martin,
were in the Ames shops at work upon war implements. The other three brothers, Dexter, Abner, and Martin, were
government inspectors, and three of the third generation, William,
Mulzar and Emory, responded to Uncle Sam's call and went to
the front. Two of the last survived the honor of having been
soldiers, but Emory, a boy of 17, volunteered to undertake a
hazardous mission inside the enemy's lines at Port Hudson and
was personally commi?sioned by Gen. Banks. He was never
seen or heard from afterward. Of the seven brothers who came
to Chicopee Falls in 1829, all lived to mature age and married.
And with the exception of David, who died at 24 years of age,
all became closely identified with the best interests of the town
and were useful citizens and prosperous men.
Mary, the sister, is renowned for her purity .nnd her faith.
She is the apostle of the faith cure and brings about wonderful
things ; she has a faith home at ( )cean (iro\e. George, Nathan
and Mary are still alive, and seventeen of the. third generation —
with nineteen of the fourth generation. Had she lived in Medi-
aeval times she would doubtless ha\e been canonized as a saint.
The name of Folder Hiram Munger has been associated with Chicopee too many years not to be a familiar
combination to most people throughout the Connecticut Valley. Mr. Munger is now in his 90th year, and retains his
interest in the busy life of to-day. You may find him sitting at his sunny window reading or writing, or, perhaps,
preparing to attend some convention in some distant city, where he is going to preach or give an address. Life is
still worth living, and has many attractions for him. Mr. Munger is best known, and will always be remembered, as he
appears on the street in an ordinary business suit and soft felt liat. His response to a request for something
original from him is found in the following short sketch ;
Chicopee Falls, Oct. 2d, 1S95.
A short and condensed account of the growth and enterprise of
Chicopee by ladder Hiram Munger, in his 90th year, and over 75 years
in Chicopee, called by King Philip " Skammganuk," which means "fish
river," — As I have been requested a number of times to give an account
of Chicopee on different points, I give this in a general condensed way,
as follows :
When I came to Chicopee in i.Sjo there were no factories, but one
meeting house, one doctor, four schools, and no lawyers. About 1000
inhabitants in 1822. The first cotton factory was built in 1822 at the
Falls, and one at the lower village in 18,^2, and both have increased
ten fold. Now we ha\e 17,000 iiihabitants, over a score of meeting
houses, schools, doctors and lawyers, and the enterprise in manufacturing
increasing. I know of no place of the same size that has invented so
many ini|iortant [latents as the mechanics of Chicopee. The world is
indebted to Chicopee for two of the greatest inventions of the age, viz., the
friction match by Fhilijis and the great rotary ]:iaper machine by John
.\nies, and many others. The in\'entors were my most intimate friends.
V. S — King I'hilip's army of Indians was camjied on Chicopee
river when they burnt Springfiehl, then massacred many at liloody Brook,
The Springfield Reptiblicaii writes thus jjleasantly of Inkier Munger :
" Elder Hiram Munger, now in his ninety-first year, is one of the original and forcible Yankee types that are
said to be disappearing as time goes on, but which, nevertheless, are likely to be repeated for a long while yet, if not
ELDER HIRAM MUNGER
THE ERASTUS STEBBINS PLACE, SPRINGFIELD STREET.
with just the \igoroiis flavor of the generation of Mr. Mimger, yet with enough of the true \'ankee character to warrant
their kinsliip. Mr. Munger has been all his life a hard-working man ; he began to earn his living in a factory while
he was a child, and grew up, turning his hand to whatever offered itself; he ran a grist mill, invented a water wheel,
became a millwright, built dams as
well as wheel-jMts ; but principally,
after he was twenty- five years old, he
worked in the field of religion, in his
own peculiar way, preaching and pray-
ing, taking charge of camp meetings,
first of Methodists, then of Second
Adventists ; dealing with " the Cain
family," and often making Christians
of them ; awakening consciences, fill-
ing "the anxious seats," converting
hard old fellows and confirmed shrews
to temperance of appetite or tongue,
and everywhere using a shrewd per-
ception of individual human nature
and a masterly way of dealing with it
to accomplish results that few men
could bring about. Hiram Munger
has lived almost all his life within a
few miles of this city, and has seen it
grow from a village. No man can
LOOKING UP HILL AT Dt.oT. pj^^^^g jj^ changes better than he ; he
has his opinion on every public subject, and it is apt to be a strong and sensible opinion. As the years go, he
ripens, and his age is as much wiser than his youth as age ought to be. He is the same blunt, plain-spoken, unpolished
man he used to be in the 40s, but he has vastly broadened and strengthened in thought, and while he does not think
JUNCTION OF SPRINGFIELD AND WEST STREETS.
now any more than then that education will sa\e a man's soul, he appreciates its value more. Few men ha\'e done
more solid good than MIder Munger, and liis equal for vigorous originality of character may lie sought far and near in
The merchants of the town was the subject of Mrs. A. H. Stebbins' paper, and she thus interestingly describes
In looking up the names of the merchants who were engaged in business in CabotviUe, or Lower Chicopee, as
the i^lace was called in its early days, I had access to several numbers of the CabotviUe Chronicle printed in 1842,
'44 and '45, edited by Thomas D. Blossom, also the CabotviUe Mirror of '49 edited by Henry Russell, the Chicopee
Telegraph of '51, edited by J. C. Stoever and printed in a room under the Cabot hall, and the Chicopee Journal,
edited by J. C Haven and ti. V. W'heelock. It was the same weekly paper with a different name.
Before 1840 there were only a few stores, but they increased as the times demanded. The first merchants
were Moses Christy and Samuel Harthen, who were partners in dry goods and groceries and occupied the store which
they had built, near where the post office is now. The first postmaster was Moses Christy and he kept the office in
the same store. The room over the post oi¥ice was occupied by Amos W. Stockwell as a land office. loafer. Squire
Stockwell, as he was called, was postmaster. On Merchants' row were Jerome Wells & Co, Daniel W. Millard being
the company, Shumway, De.Kter Wells, the news room of E. F. Brown, Nathaniel Cutler, W'ells I'v: Goodwin, later Bagg
& Goodwin, H. Hutchins, Volney Mitchell. J. T. Dow, C. P. Kimball, with John B. Wood for a clerk, M. Cavanaugh,
and T. H. Ringgold, a colored barber. This Ringgold was a run-away slave and found his way to this place. Some
of the citizens here by subscription raised the sum of S500, his owner's price, and bought his freedom. I ha\ e heard
that his son George was in line to shake hands with Gov. Robinson when he took the ofifice of governor of the state,
and in passing with the hand shake said : " Here's for Chicopee." The GoAernor was surprised, but immediately
recognized him. I'nder the I'niversalist church were the stores of Orrin Lawrence, M. Lingman & Son, and Sterling
Exchange street was called Ferry street and extended down to the ferry, which here crossed the Connecticut
river. A two story frame house, owned and occupied by ISenning Lea\itt while he lived, was on the corner of Center
and Ferry streets. That building later was made into stores and is still standing tiiere. Mr. Benning l.eavitt was
V \ \ I
^ ^^ W ^ j ^gS£ <^
RESIDENCE OF HENRY A. BAILEY, CHICOPEE FALLS.
engaged in the manufacture of bobbins for a number of years He was a man highly respected by all who knew him.
His son, Daniel l.eavitt, was another prominent citizen. Wentworth's block next had a number of stores, occupied
by William E. Wentworth, afterward Wentworth & Taylor, Milo & H. F. Brown, and !•;. T. & T. H. Taylor. Other
merchants were William G. Bliss, S. F. Williams, Smith and Amory Doolittle, J. S. Robbins, ticket agent at the depot,
with David Folsom at his right hand, C. F. Kent, E. B. Haskell, William H. Clark, John I'arshley, Asel Sherman, Mrs.
Wait, millinery, Asa Remington, J. 1!. Underwood, Lewis Cutler, ['^lisha BuUens & Co., J. Marshall, Shaw & Wood-
worth, gold and silversmiths, Wright & Culver, and Isaac Bullens & Co., three brothers being the company.
This family came from Newton in 1836-S by stage and, being machinists, worked for a while at the Ames
shops. In a short time Isaac and Ira M. ojiened a meat market in Ferry's block, and Amaziah was employed there.
Later they bought the land between Cabot and Miller streets, and built a brick building on the corner of Cabot and
opened a dry goods, groceries and boot and shoe store, also crockery — for the merchants at that time kept a general
assortment of everything needed in a family. Later they built a frame addition on Cabot street, and had a market ;
but Robert & Burgess soon succeeded them in that business. I'^lisha had a store for drugs and medicines. He
built his house on a part of this land, and li\ed in it until he was ready to erect the large brick block which is now
owned and occupied by C. .\. Bullens and others. Ira M. withdrew from the store of Isaac & Co. and opened a
boot and shoe store, with books and stationery. He was one of the assessors for several years ; also was one of the
first to petition for the act dividing Springfield, so that Cabotville might be incorporated a town of itself.
Mention may be made here of some of the clerks employed by Isaac Bullens & Co., as many of the names are
quite familiar. F. F. Steadman, James L. Burgess, the late Flbridge Brigham, of the firm of Tinkham & Brigham,
Springfield ; the late Mahlon I^. Spaulding, of Boston ; also John A. and Justin Spaulding, J. \. Carter, John Babcock,
•Aaron Goodell, the late .Andrew Hunter, afterwards postmaster, and Oliver Pond.
Isaac, Ira and Amaziah bought land adjoining the old cemetery and laid it out in lots for burial, selling them
as they were needed. They gave it the name of Maple Grove cemetery.
George F. Pease, in the building known as the .Arcade, west of the Eagle hotel, sold stoves and tinware, and
later Philander Streeter occupied the same store. Further down were Mrs. Collins, inillinery, Mr. Tucker's variety
store, Benjamin E. Ballord and Wheeler & Claggett.
On the north side of Ferry street, and ne.xt to the Cabot hall building, J. P. Searle kept a harness and trunk
manufactory. The livery stables of Alonzo Wait, with William Wheeler and Winkley & Ingraham, then Albert Wait,
RESIDENCE OF MRS. SAMUEL BLAISDELL.
were next. In a little one-story building, painted green, Richard Collins had a small store. Below Cabot street W.
L & J. W. Hitchcock made and repaired boots and shoes, and George P. Baldwin sold dry goods in the same building.
On Cabot street in the building of the Dennison market, were C. V. & L. Lane and Branch & Skeele. Later, in
the little brown building next, the book and stationery store of C. V. Lane. Clark Albro, with his son Emilius, sold
groceries in their little store under the Baptist church. Mrs. Hutchins had millinery in her parlor opposite the
Center street had its share of business. The furniture wareroom of Moses G. Whitney was first door south
of the Universalist church in a two story brick building known
as Mechanics' block. Afterwards the firm name in this busi-
ness was Chapin, Whitney & Gowdy. Mr. Whitney was the
undertaker and Mason I). Whitaker owned and always went
with the hearse. The first hall was in this block and was
called Mechanic's hall. Near by was the meat market of W.
W. Johnson and later of J. W. McClench, the blacksmith
shop of S. Crouch and the paint shop of S. & H. Churchill.
On the opposite side of the street were Frost & Robinson,
carriage and harness manufacturers, and Moore &: Miller,
livery stable. D. M. Moore, familiarly called Capt. Moore,
was also an auctioneer. G. M. liigelow soap works and Ladd
Brothers bakery. This business, since the I.adds left it, has
been successfully carried on by W. C. U'edge, and his inven-
tion of the rotary oven is praiseworthy.
On Springfield street, Cieorge H. Chapman with Fred Atkins made monev in their brush factory. Jonathan
Pease represented dry goods, using part of his house for a store. Miss Hancock, later Mrs. Dr. Dennison, had a dress-
maker's establishment, and a busy place it was. Half way up the hill was James Lyon's apothecary store ; a picture
of the Good Samaritan on his sign gave the proprietor the same name. R. B. Inshaw, engraver and gunsmith, was
located in this vicinity. The Cabot House was represented by the Chapins, lately of the Massasoit, then by Madison
Kendall, who also owned the stage line between Chicopee Falls and Springfield. The brick block west of the Cabot
CHICOPEE STREET— THE OLD CHAPIN HOMESTEAL
House, called Chapin's block, was occupied by T. S. Morgan, J, H. Dickinson and Liberty Jenks, father of A.J.
Jenks. The upper room or hall was used for meetings, entertainments and balls. I have recendy seen an invitation,
for a gentleman and his partner, to a blowing out ball to be held in Chapin's hall, March the 20th, commencing at
4 o'clock in the afternoon, and the names of the managers were Erastus Stebbins, Orrin Dudley, Henry Goff, Wm. P.
Winkley and others. The lighting up and blowing out balls were the events of the season. The mills from Septem-
ber 20th until March 20th were lighted, and run until 7.30 o'clock, and a ball at the beginning and ending was in order.
Dr. Bemis was the first physician. Dr. Amos Skeele lived in Chicopee street. His charges for visiting a patient
were moderate, 12 1-2 cents for the visit and 10 cents a mile for the distance he had to go. Dr. Perry also lived in
Chicopee street, but came over to this side of the river and built the house now owned by Mrs. Charles Smith on the
ground where ex-Governor Robinson's house now stands. A story is told of Dr. Perry which is amusing and, perhaps,
encouraging, A patient was talking with him of the unhealthy season of spring. The doctor straightened up and
said : " My friend, 1 have always observed that if I lived through the month of March, I did not die that year." Drs.
Ellis, Bridgman, Dennison, Jacobs and Pearsons soon located here. I^r. J. H. Williams and Dr. Tyler were dentists.
Dr. Lovejoy and Dr. Morgan coming later. Dr. Porter has been in business some thirty-eight years here, a longer
time than any one still doing business, with the exception of John McKeon, near the lunction.
The first daguerreotype taken in the United States was taken here by A. S. Southworth, who is now an expert
in handwriting in Boston. The first case of daguerreotypes ever hung out in Boston was taken here. They were
hung there on the day that Harrison was inaugurated President in 1S41. L. G. Blaisdell gave lessons in music for a
long time in a room in Cabot hall block.
Many merchants of later years might be mentioned who have died, removed from town, or retired : Josiah
Whitney, M. L. Vounglove, L. Temple, Avery and John A. Dennison, Joseph Stackpole and C. H. Merrick. Moved
from town : D. F. Hale, Springfield ; R. T. Oakes, Holyoke ; Isaac and (ieorge Allen, Boston ; G, Marsh, Ware, and
H. Rice, Belchertown. Mr. Oakes was very active in church work, making a great specialty of the Sunday school, of
which he was for a long time superintendent. During this time he published a church paper called Our Motithlv,
and which contained interesting historical sketches by old residents, Silas Mosman, Hiram Munger, W. L. Bemis and
others. Samuel Parshley and J. M. Lane have retired from business.
The Inshaw place on Springfield street is one of the most picturesque, as well as an old landmark, and the
pictures of the house and former occupant are excellent.
RICHARD B. INSHAW.
About the year 1836 Richard B. Inshaw and family came
to Cabotville from New York city to take charge of the fine
engraving of the then flourishing N. P. Ames works. He
was one of the best silver engravers in the country, a man of
rare ability and taste in his artistic line. Among the many
fine pieces of work was the splendid presentation sword given
General Winfield Scott at the close of the Mexican war. He
was a very generous, social man, fond of hunting and sports,
quite authority in such matters. The story goes that at one
time he kept forty fine sporting dogs — and what with rare
birds and choice animals made his home a great attraction
to the villager, and possibly a nuisance to his immediate
neighbors. Both he and his wife, Mary Pool, were English,
and the little picturesque cottage was a typical English home,
built in then a rich farming community, with a c^uaint, old-
fashioned cider mill on the ground beside it. The dwellers
of the sleepy hamlet felt indeed fine when the first oil lamp
(lashed upon the " down street " favored folks. Then slowly
came camphine, fluid, kerosene, gas, and now the brilliant
electric light and cars seem more of a necessity than a lu.vury.
There-were no bridges and the C'hicopee was forded and the
creeping horse boat was run to West Springfield down at
-Vshley Ferry where now is the Connecticut bridge. The house
remains much as when built, the door plate just the same —
but grand houses and much wealth quite overshadow " the
little yellow cottage." The youngest son, Richard B., with
his family, and the oldest daughter, .\nn Inshaw Wing, are
now livinu there and often tell of the then and now. The
RESIDENCE OF THE LATE RICHARD B. INSHAW.
NATHAN P. AMES,
family were strong F'l]Mscopalians and the forming of Grace
Episcopal Church under Rev. Charles Fisher was in a
great measure due to their efforts, which denomination was
hardly the proper thing at that time, as the Puritan feel-
ing was still very strong in New England, and to be a
" I^iscopal " was a thing to be spoken of in tones of de-
rision, but times and ideas have changed since then, and
under the care of Rev. Newton ?!lack the little church is
again in a prosperous condition.
THE AMES FAMILY AND COMPANY.
More than loo years ago (in 1791) Nathan Peabody
Ames, a hard-working blacksmith who put thought into his
work, was plying his trade at Chelmsford, on the Merri-
mac, where since has grown the busy city of Lowell. He
is said to have been the first to use the water power at that
place, making edged tools and cutlery. In 18 10 the shop
was burned, and he started a nail factory in Dedhani. Here
his son, James Tyler Ames, was born. We quote from a
letter of Mr. Simon Southworth : "In 1S29 the cutlery
business was again begun in Chelmsford, being transferred
to Nathan P. Ames, Jr., who made a tour of the country
as far as ^Vashington, returning by way of the Hudson and
stage to Boston. There was a midnight supper and change
of horses at the Springfield tavern, and but two passen-
gers that night to leave Springfield— Mr. Ames and Edmund
Dwight, of Boston — the former a young man of 2S, the latter
already a capitalist engaged in manufacture at Chicopee
Falls, his country home. The Dwight mills and streets in Chicopee and Holyoke were named in his honor. Mr.
Ames had an e.xpression of intense honesty, which always inspired confidence at sight, and before morning a contract
was made by which the Ames brothers were to come to Chicopee Falls and start their old business of tools and
cutlery, Mr. Dwight furnishing a shop, machinery and water power where the ]>amb Manufacturing Company is now
situated. No rent was ever accepted. This lasted about four years, when the ' Lower Privilege,' afterward Cabot-
ville and now Chicopee, began to be improved. In 1S34 the Ames Company was organized, with lames K. Mills
and Edmund Dwight and a capital of §30,000, and buildings erected on the present site. The following year N. P.
Ames subscribed $5,000 towards the first building of the
Third Congregational church, it being at that time one-
half of his personal estate.
"Small tools of steel — hatchets, knives and chisels
— were made first, and the workmanship earned such a
reputation that counterfeits of cast iron were made in
England and sent here to be sold. Coming with the
Ames brothers from Lowell were Madison Kendall and
James K. Fletcher. The first tempering of sword blades
was done by them, and continued for many years.
" .^mong the early comers was Ethan Chapin, who
afterwards kept the Cabot House, and later made the ' '
Massasoit House famous. original works, ames manufacturing company, 1328.
" The first regulation army and navy swords were made by the company, many of them being on exhibition
at Homer Foot's store. p:xquisite presentation swords were made for ofPcers of the Mexican and Civil wars, and
many historic names have been engraved on jeweled hilts sent from the shop by the river, and now are among the
cherished relics of the heroes who gave all of life to their country.'''
" Gun machinery was made for England and Crermany, and late in the 30's they began casting bells for public
buildings. The City Hall bell, New York, weighing over 8,000 pounds and 6 feet high, was hung with a great
Among them being Generals Scott, Grant, Butler, Worth, Taylor, Banks, Caleb Gushing and Zachaiy Taylor
celebration, and another was the Episcopal church bell in Hartford, at that time being the 'largest and best bell in
New England,' and those of the Third Congregational church and old high school, the latter being presented by N.
P. Ames. In 1X36 the founding of bronze cannon was begun, and the manufacture of leather belting, military accou-
trements and artillery harness and turbine water wheels came later
In 1840 N. P. Ames went to Europe with a commission from the
Tnited States Ordnance Department to visit the arsenals and gun
factories, with a view to introducing the best to be had into the
I'nited States armories. While witnessing the funeral of" Napoleon
Mr. .Ames contracted a cold, which, aggravated by poisoning from
amalgam paste, cost years of suffering, and death came in 1847. He
was succeeded by his brother, James I'yler .Ames.
" In 1853 it became the turn of the British government to send
I'ut a commission to learn the latest improvements in gimmaking
machinery, .\fter a careful examination of the best devices in use
in the United States, a large contract was made with the .Ames Com-
pany to furnish improved machinery for the English armories. 'I'he
same year a venture was made which not a few of the most sanguine
friends of the company predicted would result in disaster and ruin
its almost unrivaled reputation. This was nothing less than the
attempt to introduce into the United States the founding of bronze
art work, and workmen were brought from luirope. 'I'he signal
success which followed proved the farsightedness of Mr. Ames and
his advisers. The bronzes were immediately recognized as possess-
ing unmistakable artistic merit and, placed in competition with the
best Euro]jean products, all criticism was silenced, and the demand
"The first bronze statue cast by the Ames Company was that of ISenjamin franklin, placed in front of the
Pioston Citv Hall. The workmen went to the unveiling ceremonies in a special train by the Boston lS; Worcester
JAMES T- AMES.
and Western railroads, and it was an occasion always remembered by them. Other well-known works were the
equestrian statues of Washington in Boston Public (hardens and Union Square, New York City, the Lincoln monument,
Springfield, 111., statue of the "Minute Man," at Concord bridge, and the bronze doors at the Senate wing of the
Capitol, Washington. It was at the .'\mes Company that the process of electroplating was introduced into the United
States, and Mr. Charles B. Woodworth was the pioneer plater of this country. The silver services for the Tremont
House and many other hotels were made here.
"In 1858 Mr. .Ames visited Europe as agent of the United States to examine machinery for rolling gun
barrels. The mission proved a remarkably successful one, and
he made purchases for Harpers Ferry and Springfield armories.
During the war a force of over 700 men worked day and night
making cannon, swords and sabres. Some days as many as
1,000 swords were turned out. Without the improvements
thus introduced only a small portion of the guns required by
the war could have been furnished. The bronze tablets at
the entrance of the City Hall were made here During the
FrancoT^russian war the company received orders from the
French government for about 100,000 sabres, and from the
Turkish government for 236,000 sabres to equip their army for
the Russian war. Until 1880 the business was conducted
as a department of the .Ames Company, but the magnitude of
the sword business made it desirable to form a separate interest
of it. .\ new corporation was formed by the stockholders, and
they purchased adjoining property, into which the sword business was moved and established as the Ames Sword
Company, and was for many years under the management of Mr. Justin P. Woodworth. Mr. James T. Ames retired
from the management of the business in 1874, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Hon. Albert C. Woodworth, for
more than ten years, and during this time the Victor bicycle and Eldridge sewing machine were manufactured by the
company. Mr. .Ames died Feb. 16, 1883.
"The Ames brothers were men of great genius, untiring energy and high Christian character. The highest
RESIDENCE OF THE LATE JOHN CHASE.
interest of the church was aUvavs dear to their hearts. They were earnest teachers in the Sunday School. Devoted
lovers of art and natural science, they collected many \aluable minerals, and presented specimens to the Ikitish
Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Harvard, Vale and other colleges and schools. In the old (]iiarry were found rare
specimens of fossil tracks, which President Hitchcock, of Amherst, came to gather up. The ])laster casts of the
Capitol doors are also in that collection. The degree of Master of Arts was conferred by that institution in 1868."
The influence of the .Ames family on the early life of Chicopee cannot be too highly estimated. The young
town was largely shaped by them in company with other leading spirits of the time. That their interests and best
efforts were identical with those of the town they so ably represented was fortunate for all concerned. If any move
helped Chicopee, that was sufficient for the .Ameses ; they were ready to aid and abet it to the best of their ability, of
which they had a large share. In business, social life, religion, in public interests, it was always their willing hands
which gave the new idea its first impetus.
The old home at the corner of Front and Crape streets, beautified by the hand of the original owner, who
collected rare plants which have received the kindest care from his descendants, is one of the most attractive places
in Chicopee. The same hospitable spirit characterizes the place, the same wish to aid Chicopee in all her ambitions.
The present occupants are Mrs. James T. .Ames, a venerable lady, Mrs. A. C. Woodworth, her daughter, and Mrs. G.
H. Hale and her little daui^hter, making four generations living in the old home.
'Jl 'X erally defined, " is a
small hamlet at the northerly
end of Chicopee street on the
east side of the Connecticut river,
and opposite Holyoke ; its interests
are principally agricultural." This but
N'aguely describes the ambitious " ham-
let," where, while it is true that agricul-
tural interests have and do hold sway,
Willimansett people have manifested an enter-
prising spirit and proved themselves a worthy
iart of the municipality of Chicopee. 'I'he main
interest of this division of the city follows the old
road extending from the new bridge and the South
Hadley line to Chicopee street, and from which other
roads reach out, affording excellent communication with
adjacent places. The electric road, opened in the spring
of 1895, follows the main road through ^Villimansett and
extends over the hill, connecting with the lines to Springfield
at Chicopee Falls. A number of houses standing by this road-
side testify to the antiquity of the place and the eminent respectability of
its inhabitants. Here, near the station, and occupied by the family of J. B.
Stratton, whose wife is a daughter of. the house, stands the pleasant, large house used by Joseph Griswold for a tavern
in the days when its hospitality was known up and down the road for many miles. An old sign, still treasured,
KtSIDENCE OF J. B. STRATTON.
shows the name and object of the building. The house is at least 105 years old, and was kept as a tavern until
Captain Griswold's death in 1822. The Griswold family has an honorable historic record, and can trace their descent
directly to the first governor of Connecticut,
The next man to entertain the public was Clossen Pendleton. His tavern was on the opposite side of the
street, farther down the road, and in the north front room is
unmistakable proof of its antiquity, the useful "corner" cup-
board. Later, the Pendleton family moved into the present
family homestead just above the old inn. In the Pendleton
house live the two daughters, Miss Helen Pendleton and Mrs.
Ci. Tourtelotte, who worthily maintain the prestige of the place.
Tall trees guard it in front, a
fringe of forest trees extends
along the river bank, across the
sheen of water sparkle the lights
of a modern city, before it hum
the electric cars, and the old
places accept the changes with
dignified indifference. The in-
novations and methods of the
present time are nothing to them. They know and have seen important things in their
lifetime. If they could speak what tales they could tell. Sometime they will move back
from the old street and will become an insignificant part of some new building, or,
]>erhaps, will merge their individuality into some thoughtless modern structure. Still,
they have served their day and generation, and by a kindly dispensation of the fates
their usefulness has extended far beyond the period allotted to their original owners.
What more can they or anyone desire ?
Upon the hill called Prospect, and with good reason, once stood the first schoolhouse erected in Willimansett
district, which was the joy or aversion of the youth of that time as their individual tastes dictated. Of this building
THE FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE.
"deestrict SCHOOLMARM '
very little has come down through the village history. No picture of it was extant, and the cut presented is taken
from a wooden model which was sketched, then photographed, then engraved, and the result gives the regulation
school building of 1700.
Still standing are the old residence of Deacon Newton Day, whose last occii|>ant and member of the family
was the late Mrs. Laura Day, the
Amos Skeele place, the Orange
Chapin place, the old Chapin home
on Main street below the village,
and which was the property of
Lawyer Cha])in up to the time of its
sale, and the old Abbey home, now
occupied by Joseph Stone.
I^ater, the schoolhouse of
brick stood at the foot of the hill,
and when the Connecticut River
Railroad Company desired to run
its glittering new rails before its
very door in 1842, the management
bought it for a station, gi\ing the
town another brick building in the
south, which, after two additions,
became the present creditable struc-
ture used for educational purposes,
and which stands just opposite the
Stratton house. The trees in the yard were planted under the superintendence of Deacon Orange Chapin, one of the
most faithful citizens, who served his generation well in many capacities, especially as justice of the peace.
The first white settlers of the village were Abel Chapin and his wife, Hannah Hitchcock. He was the great
grandson of Samuel Chapin and grandson of Japhet, who settled in Chicopee. He lived in a house which stood on Mrs.
OLD PENDLETON HOME.
Bannister's land nearly between her two houses. I'he first item regarding industries which seems to be authentic is that
relating to the establishment of a saw mill, and very probably a grist mill, which stood below the hill and was run by power
gathered by damming the brook very near the place where James Emerson built his dam in 1875 for the water works con-
nected with Mr. Bardwell's house. The traces of a dam were easily recognizable, and inquiry disclosed the fact that these
works belonged to a generation living at the time of the war of 1S12. The site of the powder mill, which was quite a
prosperous business 63 years ago, is still kept in mind by Powder Mill Brook Station, where are now two brick yards.
The greatest prosperity was enjoyed during 1830-40. At that time Mr. S. C. Bemis, resident of Springfield, and her
war mayor, was quite largely engaged in the manufacture of hardware, using three forges, and employing 100 men.
This was of the best kind, specimens of which can be seen in some W'illimansett homes to-day. Later, Willis Phelps
run a woolen mill here. The most prosperous business was during the war, when Jared Beebe gave the " Valley Mill,"
as he called it, the credit of laying the foundation of his fortune. This manufacturing plant was twice burned down.
Otis Skeele had a shoe shop in what is now the double tenement house, this being joined at its eastern corner to the
western corner with the other part of the house, which was then used as a hotel.
The river, besides its fishing interests, was utilized for freighting by the Valley Company and another corpora-
tion organized among the farmers of the western side of the river. At one time Mr. John Mulligan of the C. R. R. R.
and Mr. Horace Wright worked on the same boat.
The post ofifice was removed from Chicopee street in the thirties. As Chicopee Centre had become a manufac-
turing place it was established there. Mr. Sylvester .Allen was the first postmaster, followed by Clossen Pendleton,
Paschal J. Newell, O. C. Towne, and the present incumbent, Michael Fitzgerald, has served for a number of years.
The first boat landing was built in 1751. This was for the accommodation of freight boats, and was
succeeded by another built in 1S12. The South Ferry was established in 1812 or 1813, and then commenced the
effort of carrying the bridging of the river to the lower location, the first attempt to get a bridge across to the
Holyoke side being made in 1857.
When the first anti-slavery vote was cast at the annual election, out of 16, possibly 17, votes cast, Mr. Sylvester
Allen was one and Mr. Newton Day another, who in 1848 moved here from Holyoke, who cast abolition votes. Dur-
ing the exciting days that attended the Fugitive Slave bill, Mr. Otis Skeele's house was a station on the underground
railroad to freedom and Canada. Large delegations were sent to settle Kansas in the Free State issue, and a good
complement went to the civil war. The Ladies' Aid also did good service.
Ever since the days of Horatius, bridges, their location and possession, have called forth heroic efforts and
gallant defense. The proportion in favor of the Willimansett bridge in its present site, and those opposed to it,
occupied very much the same relation to each other as did Horatius, his immortal three and the opposing force. The
fight was long and earnest, and the right won, as proved by the great usefulness of the bridge where it stands, a thing
of beauty and utility. The greatest success possible is the increasing benefit of the project or idea as shown in the
light of the future, and the \Villimansett bridge, though young, has existed long enough to attain the distinction of
having others see it from its projectors' standpoint.
Early in the contest a bridge association was formed with Deacon J. B. Stratton as president, and this office
proved to be no ornamental one, for the president w^as always one of the most active workers, and to him is the
building of the bridge largely due.
January 14, 1886, the first subscription of S400, "for the purpose of furthering the object of a bridge from
Willimansett to Holyoke," was got under way and from this time subscription lists were handed around as the needs
of the cause called for. Since the establishment of the railroad bridge by the Connecticut R. R. R., a passenger walk
at the side of this had been the only accommodation, and for this privilege a toll of two cents was e.xacted except on
Sunday, when the inhabitants might attend divine service free of cost in Holyoke.
The first agitation of moment in the Legislature was begun by Geo. D. Eldridge, then representative, and he
proved a most devoted champion, and through his efforts the opposition, based at that time on a difference of opinion
as to the site, was thoroughly aired. Representative John Hildreth, from Holyoke, arrayed himself on the other side
and fought Willimansett with the energy born of personal interest. He said Holyoke could not afford it, and his
arguments ably advanced kept the County Commissioners back when they were disposed to build. This delay was
extended over one year. The next objection was the crossing of the spur track on the Holyoke side at Cabot street.
Ex-Governor George D. Robinson, council for the opposition, placed an injunction on the building until it could be
proven that it was allowable to cross the track at that point. The Railroad Commissioners then decided that they
could not nullify an act of the Legislature and ]')re-\ent its crossing. The next representative was Eugene O'Neil, of
Chicopee, who espoused the bridge cause with such effective earnestness and worked so efficiently, that his name is
mentioned with gratitude and his services never forgotten by Willimansett people. He made it his particular business
to see that the bridge was built.
When all Holyoke and its allied powers joined in one grand effort to move the location farther south, the
conclusion of the whole matter was that the Legislature passed an act mandatory requiring the bridge to be built, and
this gave any citizen the right to take the cause to the Supreme Court in case of further delay. I^awyer W. H.
Brooks, of Holyoke, added to his already established reputation by his gallant protection of Willimansett's interests.
Opposed to him and in the interests of Chicopee, were e.\-(.rovernor (George 1). Robinson, the late George iM. Stearns,
and ex-Mayor McClench. The blows dealt out by Lawyer Brooks came straight from his powerful shoulder and told
every time. There was no wavering, every argument at command was used and made the most of, the array of legal
talent massed against him was beaten back and defeated. T. J. Flannagan used time, influence and money very
generously both in Holyoke and Boston, and his interest is gratefully recognized. All through the fight, the House
at Boston was largely in favor of VVillimansett and the Senate was the real battle ground.
When the act ordering the building of the bridge was passed, in the year Eldridge was representative,
Willimansett let itself go in one grand burst of enthusiasm, and Messrs. Stratton and Eldridge were placed in a
carriage and drawn about the hamlet by the hands of willing enthusiasts. The completion of the bridge in 1893
was grandly celebrated, a part of the grand time being a lawn party at the hospitable home of H. M. Senior. Among
the many interesting events of that evening was this speech given by J. B. Stratton :
Felloiv Citizens^ Ladies am/ Genllenien :
The bridge between the cities of Holyoke and Chicopee at our beautiful village is now substantially completed.
The announcement may seem superfluous to most of us who have been crossing and re-crossing at "our own sweet
will" for two weeks or more, or to a larger number who have witnessed the progress of the work from the beginning
to its completion at the present time.
The bridge has found a quiet resting place ; no more, like Noah's do\e, it " flits between rough seas and
stormy skies," but safely anchored, it takes an honorable place among the family of bridges up and down the beautiful
Connecticut river, well able to bear all the proper burdens and responsibilities of the new relation.
We recall the fact, somewhat reluctantly, that there did e.xist some difference of opinion on the question of a
bridge at this place —not really about the need of another bridge near this point — and also some little difference about
the time when it should be built. LTnlooked for delays settled the time (juestion for all, and the bridge, materialized,
proves it not an untimely birth, nor in the wrong place.
If time allowed we would speak more fully of matters of interest pertaining to the history of this famous " Willi-
mansett bridge question," but we forbear. This is not like a camp fire, where the soldier lives over again in vision the
times that " tried men's souls," and meets again, as it were, in deadly encounter (metaphorically) on the field of strife.
Now is the time for the exercise of charity toward all and malice toward none. Yet the curious can refresh their
memories by looking backward over the musty files of the local dailies for the past four years, and be assured that
there was a wordy war much beyond anything occasioned by any question of like character in the past of the state,
e.Kcept, perhaps, by that "great bore," Hoosac Tunnel.
But peace has her victories as well as war. To-day, in the joy over the happy realization of our high hopes
and ardent desires, we may fail to honor all to whom honor is due, but we would not omit any. Willimansett has
borne an honorable part and her citizens are not insensible to the kindly recognition of her services. We were
" solid " on the bridge question, but we do not lay the flattering unction to our hearts that " we got the bridge."
Willimansett could not have succeeded alone ; but like our revolutionary fathers in their struggle for independence,
being sure we were right we went ahead, and we, like them, were favored with allies. .\11 o\er the state we found
strong friends and supporters who rendered very efficient and timely service.
To such, one and all, we would say : Look at the fine structure spanning the Connecticut between Holyoke
and Willimansett and see a beautiful monument in commemoration of your service.
It is " the people's bridge, built for the people by the people."
Allow me to adopt, as a fitting expression of our feelings to-night, the language of one of our own New
I'^ngland poets :
And as farther on we look, we say :
Parcel and pari of all,
We keep this festival,
Fore-reach the good lo be.
And share the victory.
Ring, bells, in un-reared steeples, We feel the earth move siin-ward.
The joy of unborn peoples. We join the great march onward,
Sound, trumpets, far off blown. And take by faith while living.
Our triumph is your own. (">ur free-hnld of thanksgiving.
Chicopee street is famous as being the place where the friction match was invented by Philips, and here the
manufacture was carried on for some years. The farms are truly New England in type and occupied by the genuine
New Englander. Some buildings are quite old and bear the dignified marks of age.
Beulah Chapel, an offspring from the Second Baptist Church, Holyoke, was dedicated Jan. 24, 188S, and
organized as a church in 1893 with a membership of 57. Though the first Baptist church in Willimansett, Beulah is
the second of that denomination in Chicopee. The first was organized in Chicopee Falls, and being most convenient
for all the Baptists of South Hadley Falls and Willimansett, they first met in the schoolhouse then standing in Prospect
street and then completed the beginning of the new church. Deacon J. B. Stratton, who has discharged the duties of
deacon in his church at (Irafton, and later in the ^
Second Baptist and in Beulah, in company with
others, conveyed the land for the chapel, and with
his son, Homer, has ever been most active in its
Rev. Edward Smith Ufford, pastor of Beulah
Church, is widely known throughout this and other
countries by his famous song, " Throw Out the Life
Line," and when he came to Willimansett his fame
rested on the remarkable success of that composition.
Since then, his bicycle sermons have attracted much
attention and have been criticised and commended.
To those privileged to know Mr. Ufford intimately,
he is a valued friend and faithful pastor. His work
as a preacher has a peculiar value, as he so readily
adapts his line of argument to the acknowledged
standard that " sounds which address the ear are lost
and die in one short hour, while that which meets the
eye lives long upon the mind," and illustrates his topics freely. His course of Sunday evening sermons for this year,
1895-96, takes up the history of Joseph with original illustrations.
Rev. Mr. Ufford's connecdon with Beulah Baptist Church began October i, 1893, and his stay in the little
village of Willimansett promises to be one of the most successful of any of his pastorates. He went to Willimansett
from Hingham, a preacher with nothing to characterize him except as the composer of " Throw Out the Life Line," a
song extensively used by both Moody and Sankey. He was a minister whom the committee of the church thought
they would like for his evangelical spirit and his experience in this line of religious work. While in Hingham, Mr.
Ufford's friends sent him to London to attend the World's Sunday School Convention in 1889. There he was
received by the lord mayor at the Mansion House, and later attended a party given by the Earl and Countess of
Aberdeen and also a farewell breakfast at Crystal Palace. He was requested to address a Swedish Sunday school in
Liverpool and was obliged to converse with the school through an interpreter. While in London he visited many
places of interest and spent much time in the " slums " of the city, from which he later wrote his lecture, " Darkest
London." He has given a number of lectures on " Darkest London" and "The Clay I'".aters, the Poor Whites and
the Crackers of North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee," and these lectures have been illustrated with calcium lights
In his lecture courses he has come in contact with ex-tlovernor Long of this state and Rev Dr. F. E. Clark, the
founder of the Christian Endeavor society.
Mr. Ufford married Miss Julie J. Ames, daughter of Mark Ames, of .Kjiijleton, Me. They have three children,
one son and two daughters. Rev. Mr. Ufford has had newspaper experience and has worked on the Bridgeport
Standard and New Haven papers as a compositor and has contributed to the Maine papers. His sister, Frances E.
L'fford, is connected with a school in North Carolina. To his wife's help he attributes much of his success in his
Orange Chapin Towne, an active citizen of Willimansett, is a native of Belchertown, and was born March 20,
1823. He is the son of Jonathan and Delia (Rumrill) Towne. His first ancestor in America was William Towne,
who was born in England in i6oc, emigrated to this country in 1664, came to Salem and later moved to Topsfield.
(.)ne of his sons, Jacob, of Topsfield, was born in England in 1633, married Catherin Symonds in 1704. 'Lheir son
John was born in 1658, married and reared a family of ten children. He died in Oxford, Mass., in 1740 at the
advanced age of 82 years. Llis son Israel was born in 1684, settled in Oxford, Mass , in 1712 and died in 1771, aged
87 years, and had ten children. His son Israel, the great-grandfather of O. C. Towne, was born in 1728. .At the
age of 22, he purchased a farm in Belchertown upon which he settled, being one of the first to make his home in that
section. He died in 1805, 78 years old, having had a family of ten children. ( ). Chapin Towne was adopted into
the family of Orange Chapin at 23 years. He married Miss Eugenia Sophia Tenney, of Gill, and has two children.
Miss Florence E. and Frederick M., the latter representing the firm of F. l!redt & Co., of N. Y. Mr. Towne became
station agent soon after his marriage, and in his time the method of taking freight from the cotton mills on the Holyoke
side of the river was to board a freight train, load up the car and trust to the grade to bring it back again to the
Willimansett side. Mr. Tovvne remembers the various stages of the growth of Holyoke, having seen the remarkable
progress since its beginning. His home on the Main street of Willimansett is a truly hospitable place, delightful to
visit, for the ladies of the family vie with each other in making the chance visitor welcome. Frederick Towne married
Miss Amy Howard of Chicopee and has one daughter, and by reason of his descent from early settlers is eligible for
membership in distinguished societies made up of descendants of famous Revolutionary heroes. The Towne family
is one of the best known and influential in Willimansett.
Quartus ludd Smith, a civil engineer and general farmer of Chicopee, was born at South Hadley Falls .^iiril i,
1828. His father, Luther Smith, was born in the same town, of which his grandfather was, so far as is known, a
lifelong resident, following agriculture as a vocation. Luther Smith resided with his parents and assisted in the farm
duties until after his marriage, when he purchased a farm located in the northern part of Chicopee, which he con-
ducted during the remainder of his life. He died at tlie age of 65 years. Lhe maiden name of his wife, the mother
of Quartus J. Smith, was Susan Rumrill. She was a native of South Hadley, and daughter of A.sa and Rhoda Rumrill.
Mrs. Susan R. Smith died at the age of 77 years, having reared four children, viz., Quartus J., Luther, Delia and
George. Quartus [udd Smith made the best of his opportunities in boyhood while acquiring an education, and at
the age of 20 years commenced the study of civil engineering in a practical manner with Deacon Orange Chapin,
under whose instructions he obtained a thorough knowledge of the art of surveying, and whom he shortly succeeded
as the recognized civil engineer of these parts. At the death of his father he became the owner of the homestead,
and later purchased the Wright farm adjoining it, a portion of which he divided into house lots and sold to good ad-
vantage. His home farm consists of 40 acres, and he also owns 5 i acres on the plains near by and 20 acres at Fair-
view, where he is building a house. In 1S69 he was united in marriage to Miss Irene L. Atkins, who was born at
Holyoke Aug. 1 1, 1840. She was the daughter of Reuben Atkins. 'Lheir union has been blessed with three children,
as follows : Anna V., wile of Frederick Kidder, Homer F. and Ceorge E. .^ fourth, Frank, died in infancy. Mrs.
Smith is one of the constituent members of Beulah I'japtist Church. Mr. Smith is known as a thorough, reliable and
expert surveyor, having been for years quite extensively engaged in that line. Being a constant reader, he is well
posted on general subjects, as well as the various important issues of the day. A ]wrtrait of this intelligent and pro-
gressive citizen accompanies these meager notes of a life of useful, manly toil and untiring activity of hand and
J ■ -
q-Jr PLACE of so much enterprise and thrift could not long remain an iuMgn^cant part of another town It must
A have a separate existence, and "CabotvUle" and " b'actory Village" were merged into the town of Chicopee^
Of ourse this ch'ange could not be made without some strong arguments for and against. On the -^e opposed ^o 1 1
dismemberment of the old town as a whole were very decided sentiments expressed. A meeting was called m Cabot
Han on the 17th day of May, 1S48, at 1 o'clock p. m. Rev. Crawford Nightingale offered prayer, limothy U.
Carter was chosen moderator, and William I.. Bemis clerk.
Mr Carter made the decisive ad.lress which soothed in a measure the feelings of the opponents to the estab-
lishment of a new town. His topic was the duties of the residents under the new regime, the act incorporating the
town havin- been passed April 25, 1848. In fact he said : " We are now invested with powers and duties which as
ood t ns : a bonnd'to exe'rcise for the good of the whole. Shall we not enter upon these duties regardless o
Sst differences of opinion, with a determination that the new town of Chicopee shall sustain as high a character fo
otd overnment, order, and respectability as the distinguished town of which she has '-etofore formed a par P
tve commence a career among our sister towns not a feeble organization first struggling into being, b"t at once en
dowed with all the elements of vigor and maturity, with a population and valuation second to but one within the limi s
of the four western counties of this Commonwealth. In the exercise of strict economy m all our ^"M-- ^^^^ ^^
fullv reaardin. the rights of those who are to contribute to the government and the various interests of the town, v^e
S b^ ei bl^ed to p ovide amply for the public convenience and all needful improvements, and bestow upon the poor
ha as iSnce to which by their misfortunes they are entitled at our hands; and, above all, liberally to endow th
h d : r outh with such means of education and moral improvement as shall accord with the advancing spir
of the age. From this time forward our destiny, under God, is in our own hands, and praise or disgrace will b oui.
a we shlll discharge or neglect the duties we owe to the present and the future. Let us then step forth upon this new
heltreof action with high purposes of good toward ourselves and of benefit and ^le-ings toward those who shal
succeed us, that, when 1.13 centuries of our history shall be written .ve may have proved a worthv descendant of our
distinguished ancestor." u^u^^t „;, • ^p1p^t-
At this meeting five selectmen, three assessors, and three school committeemen were chosen by ballot, viz . belect
MAIN ENTRANCE TO CITY HALL
men, Sylvanus Adams, Harmon Rowley, Ezekiel Blake, Amos W. Stockwell, Adolphus G. Parker ; assessors, Sylvester
Allen, Amaziah Bullens, Harmon Rowley ; school committee. Rev. Jonah G. Warren, Rev. Eli B. Clark, Rev. Robert
Kellen. By the town regulations adopted in 1S49 the selectmen, school committee, overseers of the poor, surveyors
of highways and treasurer are required to make reports which are annually published.
The schools early earned and ever afterward creditably sustained an enviable reputation for thoroughness and
liberality in the administration of their affairs.
The first indebtedness of the town was created
in 1849, when a farm was purchased and an
almshouse erected, amounting to §5,061. 72.
This farm was sold in 1S60. In 1877 §15,000
were appropriated by the town for the juir-
chase of land and the erection of buildings
thereon suitable for an almshouse. J. R Wil-
bur, Madison Kendall, William H. West, John
Dixon and William R. Kentfield were made a
committee to effect the objects of the appro-
priation. Their report shows that 18 acres
and 9 square rods of land a half-mile south-
west from Chicopee Falls, were the same year
purchased of the heirs of R. E. Bemis,
deceased, for §2,708.67, and that a brick
house was erected thereon, 60x38 feet with
two L's 21x18 at a cost of §7,860, besides
other structures costing §1,504. The remain-
der was expended in obtaining water supply, furniture, farm stock, etc.
the duties of former overseers of the poor. The house was opened Oct
persons were admitted.
The important work of erecting a town hall was started in 187 i
THE VILLAGE, NORTH OF THE RIVER.
Since 1876 the selectmen have performed
I, 1877, and in the five months following 41
This building, standing on the east side of
FRONT STREET, LOOKING TOWARDS BLAISDELL'S CORNER.
Market square, is an imposing structure of brick with stone trimmings having a recessed entrance, at each end of
which is a memorial tablet of bronze, set in relief work of Ciothic form, and bearing the Rebellion's necrology of
Chicopee's gallant soldiery. The picturesque feature of the building is the tower, which forms a land mark up and
down the river. In this
tower hangs a great bell, ~i»». 1
used on public occasions
and for fire alarm.
Custom still prevails
of ringing a nine-o'clock
bell, which is undoubtedly a
survival of the curfew. The
steps leading to the main
entrance are imposing and
form a fitting approach to
the main door. The build-
ing is used for city offices
and the police department
is located in the basement.
The hall, handsomely fres-
coed and having stained
glass windows, has a seat-
ing capacity of 900 persons.
The building committee was
made up of the following
gentlemen : James T. .\mes,
E. O. Carter, Erastus Steb- """ "°"^"' ''""'°''^<' street.
bins, Ezekiel Blake, Emerson Gaylord. The total cost, including land and furniture, was Sioi,
depends for picturesque effect on the tower, which is a noticeable feature for miles around.
;6o.38. The building
ALONG THE ICHICOPEE.
The Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society was instrumental in erecting the tablets to the memory of the soldiers, as this
document will show ;
At a meeting of the Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society of Chicopee, held Oct. 15, 1865, it was voted to give thirteen
hundred dollars toward the erection of a suitable monument to the memory of those soldiers belonging to the town
who have fallen in defence of our national liberties. Mrs. James T. Ames, Mrs. Simon G. Southworth and Mrs. George
M. Stearns were appointed a committee to see that the money was appropriated for that purpose. At a meeting of
this committee the following gentlemen, Mr. James T. Ames, Mr. Cory McFarland and Mr. Emerson Gaylord, were
invited to take charge of the money and adopt such measures as they may deem expedient to carry out the plan,
hoping it may be dedicated the fourth of |uly, 1S66. Ellen H. Ames, \
Sarah L. Southworth, > Committee.
Emily C. Stearns, j
The money was used for the memorial tablets, and the dedication took place Dec. 21, 187 r, under the charge
of the G. A. R.
Though Chicopee boasts of no newspaper at present, there have been energetic laborers in the field in former
years. The first newspaper published within the limits of Chicopee was issued in January, 1840, by Thomas D. Blos-
som, who came from Hingham, Mass. He was assisted by Rev. A. .\. Folsom. The paper was called the Cahotvil/e
Chronicle and Chicopee Falls Advertiser. Messrs. John L. Hall and ( ). IJutterfield took the office under a lease from
Mr. Blossom and continued in business but a few months, but long enough to change the name of the paper to Me-
chanics' Offering. Mr. Blossom then gathered up the reins of government again and sustained it under the new name
until the spring of 1846, when it went into a rapid decline owing to a withdrawal of patronage consequent upon the
publication of certain offensive articles, among which was tiie " Mysteries of Cabotville." The Mechanics' Off^ering
then appeared with Harvey E. Bowles as publisher and James M. Cavanaugh as editor. In August of the same year
Harvey Russell, Amos W. Stockwell, and Mr. Cavanaugh purchased the paper, and in the second week of the Septem-
ber following issued the initial sheet of the Cabotville Mirror. Stockwell and Cavanaugh, the editors, made it a
Democratic organ. Bad luck came to the ])aper Jan. 8, 1848, when the establishment was destroyed by fire. With
some assistance, publication was resumed the first of the March following. In November, 1849, the subscription list
was transferred to the Springfield Sentinel, which issued it under the head of Chicopee yI/;/w/- until Feb. 2, 1850.
The Chicopee Telegraph, a weekly paper, was first issued on Wednesday, Feb. ii, 1846, by J. C. Stover & Co.
in Cabotville. It was devoted to agriculture. It ceased May 25, 1853. A newspaper, 18x24 inches, was issued
Saturday, June 4, 1853, called the Chicopee Weekly Jourttal. This had a medallion of the village in the head. J. R.
Childs, who had assumed the management of the Telegraph on the first day of May preceding its discontinuance, was
editor and publisher of the new paper. It contained local, but not general news and selected matter, and was Whig
in its sentiments. The second volume was narrowed one column per page and
appeared as the Weekly Jaurnal, dropping Chicopee from its title. July 15, 1S54,
David B. Potts became proprietor and James C. Pratt editor. William G. Brown
followed Mr. Pratt as editor .-Xi^ril rg, 1S56, and then Mr. J. C. Havens, who became
a well-known figure in the life of the place, bought the paper and admitted Mr Pratt
as partner. They continued the publication for two years, when George V. ^Vheelock
was admitted. March 12, 1859, Mr. Brown sold his interest to J. C. Havens.
Havens iS; Wheelock sustained the paper until Dec. 27, 1862, when it was discon-
tinued with No. 30, Vol. XVHI , which contained, among other valedictory words,
" We are not dead yet, it is true, or quite reduced to the starving point, and
hut fur the jjapermakers' exorbitant demands we should continue to dispense
' blessings ' to this community every week and, mark it \ but for the scarcity of
advertisements we should never have allowed a ' break ' in the chain of publication."
Mr. Wheelock has since continued in the job jsrinting business, and has been
for years chief librarian of the Chicopee Library. Mr. Havens, distinguished as
being the last of the line of Chicopee editors up to the present date, had a
J. c. H4VENS. remarkable facility in expressing himself, as these sentences, which are taken from
one of his editorials, will sufficiently show :
"The harvest of flowers, what shall we say of that? It seems as though it had culminated in the mass of fra-
grant gems, each one a rival of the other, which, formed with cunning hands into a magnificent pyramid, comes
blushing with a thousand charms from the hands of Mrs. Dexter Snow to our table. Every petal is redolent with
perfume, and the whole mass would be a fitting ornament for a center table in Heaven."
Mr. Havens' great liking for flowers made him specially favored in the distribution of these favors. Among
other positions of responsibility, Mr. Havens acted as postmaster, and finally moved to a milder climate, hoping to
benefit his failing health. The change only delayed the inevitable result, and he died while yet in his prime.
The old Philharmonic Society was one of the musical powers of the dav in war times, and had enjoyed a suc-
cessful career long before that time. " We
don't hear such music now," say some of the
older inhabitants The members sang with
spirit and enthusiasm, particularly when their
united energies took up the old war and cam-
paign songs. .At first, ladies formed part of
the membership, but later the club was com-
posed of men, and these are their names, as
the wife of one of the members remembers
them : l'".zra Heath, leader, George D. Robin-
son, Dexter Snow, Harrison Seaman, Melzer
Mossman, John \Vhite, William and Charles
Blackmer, \\'illiam Heathcote, James Pease,
The Chicopee schools ha^■e always
maintained the high standard which their
early days promised. There are now in the
complete list of schools, the high school,
Center grammar, .School street. Spruce street.
Grape street, Church street, .Mvord school,
Sheridan street, Willimansett, Chicopee street, Plainville, Llough district. The teachers are : William C. Whiting,
Emma L. Mitchell, Mary B. Raynor, Fannie .A. Ober, .\deline E. Howard, Mary 1). Chapin, Lucia A. Coleman, Jennie
E. Livermore, Rosa \]. Burns, Fannie E. Burgess, Geneva M. Tracy, Ida J. Rich, Mary G. Walsh, Nellie S. Harrison,
Mary E. Buttrick Harriet C. Uuttrick, Susie B. Bartlett, Emma P.. Houston, Alice K. Thomas, Lucy A. James, Georgie
F. Drake, Florence M. Crowther, Carrie L. Warner, Rosa A. Trumbull, Emma E. Gorton, Mamie T. Leary, Jessie
M. Rycroft, Florence E. Noyes, Florence M. Clark, Effie H. Southwick, Sarah F. Connor, Anna E. Barry, Mary E.
Sullivan, Ellen E. Dooley, Mildred M. Kelley, Margaret A. O'Brien, Edna S. Herrick, Bridget E. Hannifen, Emma
B. Gilligan, Annie L. Mc()ueen. Special teachers, Michael J. Sullivan, music ; Anna P. Brown, writing and drawing.
In the death of R. Hamilton Perkins, the schools lost a devoted friend and valuable promoter. Mr. Perkins'
attainments are too familiar to need recapitulation, he was brilliant, systematic and a thorough-going worker. In his
last report he says : "In connection with the opening of the Alvord school it is fitting to speak of the presentation of
a handsome flag hy Mrs. .Alvord, wife of the late Dr. .Alvord, for whom the school was named.
"The presentation took place on the 21st day of June and the event was celebrated with most appropriate e.x-
ercises. The superintendent of schools iiresided, James H. Loomis, Esq., made the presentation address on behalf
of Mrs. .Ahord and Mayor Mellin in an appropriate address accepted the flag for the school and city. Interesting re-
marks were made by ex-Mayor Taylor and L. M. Pierce, a former principal of the Falls high school. In conclusion,
gentlemen, let me thank you, collectively and individually, for the courtesies e.xtended me during the year. In sea-
sons of sunshine or of shadow and seasons of certainty or of doubt you ha\e always treated me, in your deliberations,
with that courtesy which is ever due from man to man, and for which I thank vou.
"And in this connection I cannot forbear to add a word of tribute to James H. Loomis, Esq., who retires from
this board to-night after a service of nearly twelve years, during the most of which time he has served as chairman ;
— ever interested, faithful and energetic, he has devoted much time to the interest of the schools ; the citizens of
Chicopee may well be grateful to him for many of the im])ortant details in the construction of the high and .Alvord
schools for which he planned and insisted."
It is interesting to note that Mr. Loomis was chosen to fill Sujierintendent Perkins' place while the city was
without a superintendent of schools.
The total number in attendance in the day schools last year was 2,159 ■ of these 1,0.89 "'ce males and 1,070
females During the year the population decreased to a small e.xtent, but the daily attendance was increased liy 31
pupils. In the evening schools there were in both divisions, the Center and the Falls, 348 pupils.
The total expenditures of the schools inclusive of repairs on buildings, has been §30,582.42 ; the total en-
rollment of pupils in day, evening and draughting schools has been 2,588, making an expense oi $1 1.40 for each
pupil enrolled, or ninety cents greater than for last year. The average daily attendance in all the schools has been
i.ySo pupils, and on this basis the expense for each pupil has been S16.65, or an increase of eighty-eight cents over
last year for each pupil.
There were graduated from the high school last June fourteen pupils. The class poem by Miss (Jertrude De
Witt was so creditable that it is reproduced here :
Our harbor we're leaving: each sail we unfurl: Our ways may all differ o'er seas still untried:
Bright hopes for tile future within us abide, In the sunlight these sails on the billows will sport :
That escaping the reefs where the white billows curl, In mists o! the ocean the others will ride;
Our bark o'er life's ocean in safety may glide. The voyage howe'er varied at last leads to port.
In the sunlight, the mists and the storms of the main,
May we sail all securely, outriding each gale:
Completing our voyage, on our records no stain,
\\'e shall re.^ch that fair Haven where peace will prevail.
The first city government was inaugurated January i, 1S90, the town having long passed the limits required by
law when it is entitled to the rights of a full fledged city. The popularity and acknowledged worth of George S. Taylor
were shown in the general expression of a desire to make him mayor, and the election was an enthusiastic one.
The city at present is divided into seven wards, though the e.\tent of surrounding country opens up all sorts of
possibilities. Chicopee has room enough to grow in and will doubtless improve her chances.
George S. Taylor, Chicopee's first mayor, well deserved the distinction, for his Hfe has been spent in one
incessant effort to benefit his town. Whatever was for the good of Chicopee, that cause Mr. Taylor has always given
himself up to, and when the ambitious town became a city, his was the first hand which guided its affairs. During
his administration of public affairs great unity between both boards and the executive prevailed, and affairs moved
along with great smoothness.
George Sylvester Taylor, son of Sylvester and Sarah Eaton Taylor, was born in South Hadley, March 2, 1822.
With his parents he came to Chicopee Falls when only six years of age. He attended the Chicopee and Springfield
schools and laid the foundation for his successful business career. He entered upon business life with Mr. Shockford
under the firm name of Shockford & Taylor, continuing in this business nineteen years and then formed a co-
partnership with Bildad B. Belcher in the manufacture of agricultural implements at the " Falls." In 1864, the firm
was changed into a corporation, with Mr. Taylor treasurer, and Mr. Belcher agent. In 1868 the latter resigned and, at
that time, Mr. Taylor took an additional office as agent and treasurer. The corporation has always been noted for its
honorable dealings and the high character of the men connected with it. At present Mr. Taylor is president of the
Chicopee Falls Savings Bank, also of the Chicopee Falls Building Company, whose praiseworthy purpose is " to aid a
good class of citizens to procure homes by small payments and fair interest." This company is under the auspices of
.\ndrew Gale, James E. Taylor, Austin C). Grant and Joshua Stevens, who are its directors, with George S. Taylor as
president and F. N. Withrell clerk, all men of known ability and wide influence, and accustomed to succeed in their
undertakings. .At the time of the Civil War, Mr. Taylor was in the Legislature, a member of the Senate, and in his
busy life has served his town as selectman, assessor, special justice of police court, representative, mayor, and has
given time and influence to the establishment of a board of trade, is president of it and the V. M. C. A. at the " Falls,"
has acted as superintendent of the First Congregational Sunday School for twenty-five years, and has been very active
in church as well as secular matters. He is also a member of Belcher Lodge, A. F. and A. M., LInity Chapter, of
Chicopee, and Springfield Commandery, in short, is in everything which helps Chicopee. Mr. 'I'aylor married Miss
.Asenath B. Cobb, of Princeton, November 25, 1845, and in November, 1S95, celebrated his golden wedding under
the most delightful conditions. The pleasant home was thronged with people who came to offer their heartiest
Nearly 400 people dropped in during the day and by word and token helped to make the day one of joy.
Men were there who had known Mr. Taylor when a boy, and women who had attended his wedding. Young men,
whose earliest recollections gave Mr. Taylor a prominent place as their example, and whom he had seen grow and
mature into manhood, were present and joined heartily with their elders in the congratulations. People attended who
had a shorter acquaintance with the couple, but had learned to respect and love them.
It was shortly after i o'clock when some si.xty-three employes in the Belcher, Taylor concern, marched up to
the Taylor residence and were admitted. In the hand of one was a gold-headed cane, their token of love. Louis
Osborne headed the party, and in presenting it said : " As old friends and shopmates, we have come to celebrate your
golden wedding. We congratulate you on your long, happy, prosperous and fruitful married life, and as members with
you of one common fatherhood and one common brotherhood, as citizens of this new-born city of Chicopee, as old
friends and old neighbors and old shopmates, we have come to present you a token of our love and respect, and with
this token of our love we ask you to accept our very best wishes, and we pray that the same kind hand that has led
you in the past and is so abundantly blessing you in the present, may continue to lead you." Many other valuable
EX-GOVERNOR GEORGE D, ROBINSON
,2:ifts were received and numerous telegrams and letters from
different parts of the country came replete with congratulatory
Ex-(;overnor George Dexter Robinson, whose influence
has been a power outside the city where he makes his home, is
a member of one of the oldest families in the state, the records
showing his ancestors prominent in the history of Lexington,
and his relatives jiarticipated in the Lexington Common fight,
A]:>ril 19, 1775- His mother, ^trs. Mary Davis-Robinson, is of
the L)avis and Hosmer families of Concord and Acton, many
of whose members fought for liberty at Concord, (leorge D.
Robinson is a native of Lexington, was born there January 20,
1834. The Robinson home was on a farm somewhat remote
from neighbors and the two brothers, George D. and Charles,
Ir., attended the district school. .'\t the age of sixteen George
entered the Lexington Academy, and after one year's study he
commenced a course at the Hopkins Classical School at Cam-
bridge, the design of his father being to give him a thorough
education without special reference to a collegiate course.
I'he rapid progress of the young man induced the principal to
advise his father to send him to Harvard College, and in July,
1S5J, he passed a highly creditable examination, entering
without conditions, the only member of a large class who
passed so well. Mr. Robinson also took high rank in college,
standing first in a class of ninety-two members. During the
winters of his junior and senior years he taught school in
Lexington, and September 20, 1856, assumed the principalship
of the Chicopee High School, a circumstance which has always
RESIDENCE OF EX-GOVERNOR ROBINSON.
been regarded as particularly happy by his pupils. The school averaged 125 members, and Mr. Robinson resigned
his duties after a most successful service in 1865, to commence the study of law in the Charlestown office of his brother,
and after eleven months' study was admittetl to the bar at Cambridge, April i, 1S66. He returned to Chicopee and
entered upon a career in the courts which has made his name widely known and his legal abilities respected.
The Republican side in politics has always had Mr. Robinson for a stanch supporter. He was in the
Massachusetts Legislature in 1874 as a member of the House of Representatives, serving on the judiciary committee.
In 1S76 he was a member of the State Senate, serving as chairman of the committee of the judiciary, probate and
chancery and constitutional amendments. In 1876 he was elected representative to the Forty-fifth Congress of the
U. S. from the Kleventh District to succeed Hon. Chester W. Chapin, and in that body was assigned to the committee
on the improvement of the Mississippi river and the committee of expenditures in the department of justice. In the
fall of 1878, Mr. Robinson was re-elected to Congress and in 1883 was elected governor of Massachusetts.
Mr. Robinson has e\er been most active in advancing the interests of his town and city and receives the
greatest honor, love and respect in the place where he is best known. He is a Unitarian and has ever been active
and thorough in promoting the interests of his church.
George M. Stearns, Chicopee has been proud to call her own, and so share in a large measure in the pride
Western Massachusetts has felt in her justly celebrated lawyer, strong at all points, who has been a notable figure in
all the court rooms of the four western counties for many years. His death on the last day of 1894 cast a gloom
wherever his presence had been felt and a deep sadness among his intimate associates. The Stearns family had
removed to Brookline, hoping to find conditions more conducive to good health and rest. Mr. Stearns succumbed to
a severe attack of congestion of the lungs and the end came unexpectedly to his Chicopee friends, who were waiting
for good news from him.
Mr, Stearns was born at Rowe on the i8th of .\pril, 1831. His father was the minister of the Unitarian parish
of that town, and Cieorge was the typical minister's son. He had a bright mind and made his way quickly through
the schools at Rowe, and finished his education at the Shelburne Falls .Academy. He taught school for a while and
then came to Chicopee about 1849 'o enter the office of John Wells, afterward judge of the Supreme Court of
Massachusetts, to study law. He was admitted to the bar in .April, 1852, and immediately began practice as a partner
of Judge Wells. This partnership continued for several years, until the judge removed his office to Springfield. Some
years later Mr. Stearns himself opened an office in Springfield with the late E. D. Beach, who was his partner for
some time, as have also been since Judge Marcus P. Knowlton
and Charles I,. Long. In 1878 Mr. Stearns removed to Chic-
opee again, where he had his office until his recent removal
Of his home life in Chicopee it is only necessary to
say now that since his marriage in 1855 to Emily C. Good-
now it has been almost an ideal one. Two children were
born to ^Ir. and Mrs. Stearns, Mary C, who married Frank
E. Tuttle and died some years ago, and Emily S , who died at
the age of twelve.
Mr. Stearns had always been a public man, but had
held but few public offices, refusing over and over again
nominations to Congress, which were almost equivalent to an
election, and several times declining to be his party's candi-
date for governor. He was always a Democrat, and was
elected by that party to the House of Representatives in
1859, and was a member of the committee which revised the
Public Statutes in i860. In 1871 he was in the Senate. In
1872 he was elected district attorney for the Western District,
but resigned at the end of two years. The same year he was
a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Cincin-
nati and favored the nomination of Horace Greeley, and has
been repeatedly a delegate to National Conventions since. In
1886 he was appointed United States attorney at Boston, but
resigned the position in less than two years. He was a can-
didate for lieutenant-governor on the Democratic ticket with
John Quincy Adams, and later, when the 1 )emocrats nominated
Charles Sumner, was nominated lieutenant-governor with him
GEORGE M. STEARNS.
also, but on Sumner's refusal Mr. Stearns followed his example. Mr. Stearns' counsel in political matters has been
frequently sought by party leaders and men of position and influence, and always most highly valued. It is well
known that few men in the country were more cordially welcomed at the White House than he. He was a shrewd
observer, a careful student and an accurate judge of men and events. He had few axes to grind, and his advice on
public matters, when given, was given with the public good as its object, and so was valuable and influential.
His standing as a lawyer is well established and acknowledged in this community. He was easily at the head
of our local bar, and almost equal to the oldest members in length of practice. His practice was most extensive,
covering all branches of the law and taking him into the highest courts of the country.
The wit of George M. Stearns was well known and clistincti\e, like his methods, it was all his own. With all
his shrewdness he was great enough to have a tender, sympathetic side, and this was as pronounced to those who knew
him well as his other qualities. He was truly one of Chicopee's great men, and his former home on Springfield
street will always be associated with pleasantest memories of his life and service.
Ethan Samuel Chapin was born in Somers, Conn., in 1814, a direct descendant of Deacon Samuel Chapin,
one of the earliest settlers of Springfield. His school days practically ended at 9 years of age. Pearly in his teens he
came to Cabotville to begin the battle of life for himself, and learned the habits of patience, industry, economy and
self-reliance, which made him a strong man.
While working for the Ames Manufacturing Company he developed a wonderful genius for machinery, and
made many inventions. His services as designer and executor of ornamentations for swords and scabbards and gun
and pistol handles were highly prized. Two books on philosophy and chemistry fell into his hands at this time and
became the foundation of all his future studies. He kept them near him while at his work. .At less than 19 years of
age he was made overseer, and when he left was considered the most skillful workman in the establishment. .A
brother, Marion Chapin, purchased the Cabot, now the Kendall House, and for seven years E^than was his assistant.
In 1S43 they moved to S|iringfield ami started the well-known Massasoit House, famous throughout the country.
During the war the Chapin brothers were loyal citizens, and always served refreshments and a royal welcome to
regiments passing through the city. Mr. Chapin was connected with the " underground railway," and concealed and
cared for parties of slaves on their way to Canada before the war broke out. He contributed liberally to the City
Library, French Protestant Church, School for Christian Work and Springfield Hospital, besides founding a home in
India for girls and widows as a memorial to his daughter Alice. With J. G. Holland and G. M. Atwater he was a
founder of Memorial Church, and for 20 years a pillar of it.
He was an earnest Christian and a great lover of science, pub-
lishing several valuable works, perhaps the most prominent
being "Gravitation the Determining Force." He was a true
nobleman, and his death in 1889 was a public sorrow.
Hon. .\lbert Charles Woodworth was born in Chicopee
street, and when two years old went with his parents to Ohio,
then the Far West, by way of the Erie canal. They were pio-
neers in the state, and his father, Charles B. Woodworth, was a
" '49er." Fifteen years later they returned to Chicopee, to
take charge of the electroplating at the .\mes Manufacturing
Company. In 1S65 he went to New ^'ork, and was connected
with the Gorham Silver Company. In 1S68 he made a business
trip to California by steamer, as the railroad was not then com-
pleted. He went to F^urope in 1874, and on his return suc-
ceeded his father-in-law, James T. Ames, as head of the .-\mes
Company. Mr. Woodworth was for some time in politics, and
received the nominations for lieutenant-governor and Con-
gress, being elected to the Senate in 1S82. In 1S90 he went
to Denver, Col, and there constructed the first cotton mill
west of the Mississippi river.
Emerson Gaylord, son of Josiah Gaylord and I.ucinda
.Smith Gaylord, was born in South Hadley, Sept. 2, 1817. His
father died when Emerson Gaylord was quite young — seven
years of age— and the boy was early left to depend upon his
own exertions. .\t the age of seventeen years he was appren-
ticed to Seth Nyms, of Amherst, to learn the harnessmaking
business. Finding there were many other duties required of
A. C. WOODWORTH.
him beside his legitimate work, young Gaylord went back to
South Hadley and began the shoemaker's trade with (leorge
Kilbourn. He afterward purchased " his time " of Kilbourn
for §50. The determination to succeed was characteristic of
him from the beginning, and at the age of twenty-one he had
saved S40, having as part of his education paid Mr. Ely $1
per week for teaching him the art of making a first-class
gaiter boot. In the year 1S41 Mr. Gaylord came to Chicopee
and entered the employ of the N. P. Ames Company. His
first work was making harness for the Texan trade, and he
rose so rapidly that in 1S43, when the health of the foreman
failed, Mr. Ames wished him to take charge of the shop, but
instead of longer continuing as an employe, he contracted
with the Ames Company for furnishing the leather goods.
He continued in this business until January, 1856, when he
purchased that part of the business, and added to it the
manufacture of leather hose and machine belting. In 1S56
he received orders from the War Department for infantry
accoutrements, and continued filling orders for the same until
i86r. Prior to the breaking out of the Rebellion he furnished
first-class military accoutrements to these Southern States —
Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi — never
thinking of the purpose for which they would be used. (.)n
the day when Fort Sumter fell Mr. Gaylord had a lot of goods
for the South on hand, and on the afternoon of the same day
received a dispatch from Colonel Thornton, commanding at
Governor's Island, N. Y., to ship to the government all goods
on hand and all in process of construction. Soon after, a
DEACON J B. STRATTON, WILLIMANSETT.
(This cut arrived too late for insertion in the proper place. _)
messenger arrived with the same request from Governor Andrews of Massachusetts. Mr. Gaylord decided to divide
them equally between government and state, and did so. Before night of the same day a noted speculator arrived
and offered Mr. Gaylord $5,000 more than he would otherwise have. The shrewdness of the manufacturer took it in
at a glance. In the hands of this man they would go south,
and Mr. Gaylord, with true patriotism, refused to sell goods
for the benefit of the Southern States. The demand for this
line of goods from the government now became large, and to
fill it large buildings were immediately erected, and the work-
ing force increased to four hundred and fifty men. In 1S61
Mr. Gaylord contracted to furnish the government with leather
mail bags for a term of four years. In April, 1863, Mr. Gay-
lord organized his establishment into a stock company. In
1866 Mr. Gaylord was a member of the Legislature, and in
1S81 was in the Senate from Hampden county. He is a
staunch Republican and has served his party faithfully. His
wife was Miss Jane Burnett, of South Hadley, whom he mar-
ried in 1844. They have one son, A. F. Gaylord.
Dexter Snow, one of the best known and deservedly
popular men of Chicopee, has, ever since 1855, carried on a
successful florist's business on Grape street, where he was ably
assisted by his wife. He was everybody's friend, respected
and loved by all, devoted to his home, honest and kind hearted.
One of his greatest pleasures was the distributing of flowers from
his summer garden wherever he thought they might do good.
His sudden death last June (1895) was a widely felt grief.
His first success in the horticultural business was with verbenas, and really his wife was the first to grow the
verbena well. Mr. Snow continued to grow and improve the verbena until his stock was sought by the leading florists
of that day. The price then was one dollar a dozen for plants in two and a half inch pots, and it was with regret
that he saw it drop as the cultivation became more general No florist in New England had a more complete
collection of ferns than Mr. Snow ; he sought not only our most rare natives, but exotics from all climes. At one
time he did quite a business in mailing pressed fronds to all parts of the world.
Mr. Snow was a great lover of music and sang in his church choir upwards of twenty-five years. He was also
a Mason, and one of the oldest members of
the Hampden County Horticultural Society
of Springfield, having been identified with
it over thirty years, and was a director at the
time of his death. Mr. Snow was a native
of North Brookfield, and he married Miss
Alvira R. Mansfield, a native of New
Hampshire, who, with two daughters, lives
The late Jerome Wells, of the First
National Bank, was one of the leading spirits
of his time, and had a powerful influence on
the life of Chicopee. He bore the financial
storms and came out successful, and has
always been regarded as a sound and care-
ful financier. When the Savings Bank was
organized in 1854 he was made its president,
and remained such until 1874. He was also
a director and president of the old Cabot '^
Bank, and president of the National Bank
on its organization in 1865 ; he was also
interested in mercantile pursuits. Politically he was a Republican. In 186S he was elected to the House of Repre-
sentati\es, and was chairman of the committee on banks and banking. Mrs. Georgiana L., wife of Captain Fred B.
Doten, is his only daughter.
THE DEXTER SNOW PLACE.
CHICOPEE RIVEl;, LOOKING FROM FALLS TO CENTRE.
While one of the younger Hghts of a city which has sent out its full quota of celebrated men, and has been a
center of intellectual and mechanical activity, there is no name in Chicopee so widely known as that of Edward
Bellamy, whose " Looking Backward " touched a more responsive chord than even its author knew when he first
sketched the plot and worked in the coloring with artistic skill. The success of the book has been the truest tribute
to its value. It was the fertile seed in ground well prepared for its speedv germination. Mr. Bellamy is now working
up a novel about which he does not say a great deal, but
the public is anxiously waiting its appearance. At home
Mr. Bellamy is surrounded by a charming family, and
his house, just off the electric car route in Chicopee
F"alls, is a modest, two-story modern structure, shaded
by handsome maple trees. Mr. Bellamy's first literary
work was in the form of short stories, a number of
which were published before he was out of his teens.
Some of these are to be found in the files of Scribner''s
Monthly, back in the seventies, when it was edited by
Dr. Holland. He spent two winters in New York doing
outside work for the Evening Post, but at the age of
twenty-one accepted a position on the Springfield Union.
l^receding "Looking Backward" by two or three years,
he published a successful novel, entitled " Miss Luding-
ton's Sister," which won the attention and high praise
of such a critic as W. I). Howells. His publishers had
for some time been asking him for a new book, when the
■ Looking Backward
' manuscript was finished, and it was
at once put on the market. Its sales in this country have run up to over 400,000, and abroad about half a million
copies have been sold in Germany alone.
The discovery of Veranus and its opening for residence purposes are to be accredited to F. E. Tuttle and J.
L. Humphrey, two wide-awake and enterprising citizens, who purchased a fifty-acre farm originally owned by Veranus
Chapin, one of the pioneer Chicopee farmers, lying between Springfield and Hampden streets. For the past few
RESIDENCE OF F E. TUTTLE.
MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
years they have been assiduously improving it by grading, filling and building a\enues and dwellings thereon, until it
has now come into prominence as one of the most delightful and desirable localities for suburban residence in
Hampden county. Here, among other natural attractions, is afforded one of the finest views in the state ; while in
the laying out of avenues and building plots, though certain restrictions are adhered to, the rigidity of straight lines is
avoided, so far as they may conflict with the prospect and the desires of those purchasing homes. Thus, in the con-
struction of Stearns terrace, which enters the grounds near their northern extremity, on Springfield street, and on
which several homes are already built and occupied, a serpentine route is pursued
towards the southwest, affording a number of fine residence sites that cannot fail
to please the most fastidious home seeker. Ihe avenue finally finds its way to the
wildest and most romantic portions of the plateau. Everywhere the prospect is
varied by the happy mingling of numerous elevations, groves, ravines and running
In 18.49 the matter of lighting the town came under careful consideration.
The result was the organization of a gas company at Chicopee Centre, in which
the tnur large manufacturing companies united. ^I'his included the Ames, Cabot,
I'erkins and Dwight. (ias works were erected in 1850, with a capacity sufficient
to supply the mills and meet the ordinary wants of the village, and included a
retort house for 15 retorts, a purifying house, and a gas-holder 60 feet in diameter
and 20 feet in height. The " main " was laid 4,000 feet, and gas was introduced
into the mills early in May of the following year. Since that time the company
has interested itself in the progress of electric lighting, and is now well equipped
in this regard. David lioynton held the office of superintendent for nearly twenty
years, proving himself a most conscientious and efficient man. Last year, 1894,
Mr. Boynton resigned, and is now living in his own home in Florida. C. H. Nutting, the present superintendent, is
carrying out the plans of the company. New buildings are being put u]) and every arrangement made for the perfec-
tion of the city lighting.
In 1845 Charles \V. McClallan and R. E. Bemis constructed the first works for supplying water through pipes
to the village of Chicopee, then Cabotx'ille. For this purpose water was taken from springs and wells at the higher
THE OLD AMES RESIDENCE, FRONT STREET.
elevation just south of the village. The works answered a temporary purpose, and in 1847, after the death of Mr.
Bemis, became by purchase wholly the property of Mr. McClallan. In 1876 arrangements were made for a more
satisfactory suiiply from spring-fed brooks beyond the east of Chicopee, in Springfield, and there a dam was erected.
The following year a company was incorporated, with a capital limited to §75,000. Mr. McClallan's interests were
purchased by this company, and he remained a stockholder. The incorporators were Charles McClallan, Emerson
Gaylord, George .\. Denison, C. H. Hyde, Krastus Stebbins and William C. McClallan. It was organized as the
"Chicopee Water Conijiany," .\pril 18, 1877, with $50,000 capital. Since that time the mains have been extended,
making the general service very satisfactory. "Cooley's brook" forms the main supply. "Bemis brook" supplies
the vicinity known locally as the "Junction."
Maple Grove Cemetery, or " Cabotville Burial CJround," as it used to be known, was a small tract of land
lying between Elm street and the brow of the hill, containing about one and one-half acres, and was deeded by the
Springfield Canal Company in 1839 to James K. Fletcher, Benning Leavitt and Austin Chapin 2d, in trust, for the
sum of ?45o. .\n additional half acre was deeded to them and their successors for S225. The lot ran between the
land of .\athan Parks and Joseph Chapin, and a narrow strip back of the old high school was later included. The
upper part was purchased later from .\ma/.iah Bullens. The oldest deeds were signed by Jas. K. Mills and approved
by P'.dmund Dwight.
In 1878 an act was passed to incorporate the "Proprietors of Maple Grove Cemetery" as follows: Silas
Mosman, John B. Wood, R. E. Robertson, L. H. Brigham, James T. Ames, Geo. M. Stearns, Emerson Gaylord,
Amaziah Bullens, J. B. Fuller, and I.. A. Jacobs, and the trustees, Silas Mosman, John B.Wood and R. E. Robertson,
conveyed to said corporation all the real estate and rights of property which they held as successors to Messrs.
Fletcher, Leavitt and Chapin.
Section three of this act states that the corporation may receive and hold any gifts, grants, donations or be(|uests
for the benefit of the cemeterv, and the years since ha\e brought so many changes by deaths and removal that at
present such benefactions are sadlv needed to preserve this lovely spot.
The oldest cemetery is in Chicopee street, south of the old church, and here are some unique devices on the
memorial tablets. The Springfield Canal Company gave twenty acres to the Catholics, which is located in the southern
part of the city. This was opened in 1836. The new cemetery, Fairview, is situated in the southern part of the city,
near the Springfield line. It was purchased in four parcels from R. E. Bemis, estate of Ruel \'an Horn, (ieorge W.
.. ^... »-,».,> .i<,l-y..-j^>»^t<.-„ ■
MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY.
Paine and Michael Conway. The first interment was in the spring of 1S70, being the burial of !\[rs. Lydia A. Hyde,
wife of Chauncey A. Hyde.
At Chicopee Kails there is a burial ground extending from East street to Springfield road. It is less than three
acres. It originated in a lease of one acre made by Benjamin Belcher to the Chicopee Manufacturing Company for
999 years, to be used by School District 16 for burial purposes. The contract required that a fence be built and
maintained. .\n addition made later carried the ground out to East street.
The First National Bank of Chicopee began its life as the " Cabot Bank," which was chartered Jan. 24, 1845,
with a capital of §150,000. John Chase was the first president, and F. B. Doten is now the cashier.
The Chicopee Savings Bank was organized in 1854. Jerome ^Vells was the first president, and was succeeded
by Ceorge D. Robinson.
The Chicopee Falls Savings liank was chartered March 20, 1S75, with forty-one incorporators. H. J. Boyd is
The first bridge across the Chicopee river at Chicopee was built in 1778, and crossed near the present one.
The e.xpense of this in part was defrayed by a lottery sanctioned by law. The old toll bridge at Chicopee Junction
was erected in 1848-49 by the Chicopee and West Springfield Bridge Co., but long ago was made a free bridge.
The length between the abutments is 1,237 feet. The piers of sandstone are six in number. The present handsome
bridge at Chicopee Falls was built in 1895. It is of iron, strongly built, on the site of the old covered bridge.
The veterans of the rebellion, and Chicopee sent out a goodly company of soldiers, have formed themselves
into the Otis Chapman Post No. 103, \V. P. Warner, Commander.
The railroad connections consist of the Boston & Maine line, which enters the city at the Junction, with a
branch road up to the Falls, which follows the course of the picturescpie Chicopee river. The then C. R. R. R.
opened the main line in 1845 ^^'-^ '^^ branch roail in 1846. The former passes just west of Chicopee Centre, cross-
ing the Chicopee river near the mouth, and crossing the Connecticut river at Willimansett.
The Public Library is an outgrowth of the old Cabot Institute, a literary society formed and organized in 1846.
During the first seven years of its existence it acc|uired 900 volumes. The first books, 651 in number, were purchased
in 1847, with funds subscribed by corporations and individuals. .\t a meeting held in Cabot Hall, April 4, 1853, it
was voted to accept the proposition made by the society to donate to the citizens of the town these books, provided
the latter would appropriate Si 00 each year for ten years. The supervision of the library was vested in a committee
AGENT CUMNOCK'S RESIDENCE AND OTHER VIEWS IN CHICOPEE CENTRE.
annuall}' chosen by the selectmen. On the completion of the Town Hall in 1871 the books were transferred to the
room in that building set apart for library purposes, and the brick house near the City Hall is now used, pending the
building of a new library proper, (ieorge V. Wheelock is librarian.
The Father Mathew 'I'otal Abstinence and Mutual Benevolent Society has an honorable history, the organiza-
tion dating from Sept. 29, 1869. The meetings are now held every Sunday
afternoon in Father Mathew Hall, the use of which is given by the Chicopee
Manufacturing Company. In connection therewith are flourishing dramatic and
literary societies and a lyceum. The one hundred members are earnest and
devoted. The charter members were : Daniel Dunn, Edward O'Keefe, William
O'Neil, Jerry Mahanna, Thomas Carmody, Patrick M. Shea. Of these, Ilaniel
Dunn is the only one still retaining his connection with the society. The others
have fallen out through removal and change of location. Mr. Dunn is putting
the same heartiness into this which characterizes his attention to other interests,
having proved himself one of Chicopee's most devoted citizens. E.x-Alderman
Henry F. Moriarty was the first agitator and enthusiastic promoter of the Father
Mathew idea in Chicopee.
The Chicopefe Falls Young Men's Christian Association was organized as
a branch of the Chicopee Centre Association in October, 1S90, and continued as
such until June 8, 1892, when by vote of the lioard of Directors it became an
independent organization. Rooms were opened March 21, 1891. Mr. M. I,.
Dinsmore was its first general secretary, but remained only until June 15, 1891.
September i, 1891, E. .A. King accepted the call as general secretary and remaineil
until June i, 1892. The association was without a general secretary until the
foUowmg November, when J. S. Raymond, of Yarmouth, N. S, came to fill the
position, but he remained only three and a half months. .-Xpril i, 1893, the pres-
ent general secretary, W. C. Rollins, accepted the call of the Board of Directors,
not attempted were taken up, and, while it has been hindered by not having a well appointed building of its own, it
has been enabled to do much good work. The membership has steadily increased until at present it has a hundred
SECRETARY ROLLINS, r M C. A
Lines of work which before it had
MEMBERS OF THE BOYS' CLUB.
BOYS' CLUB IN CAMP.
and thirty-one seniors and twenty-three juniors. I'he Ladies' Auxiliary has done very elificient work in assisting the
association. The present membership of the Auxiliary is fifty. 'I'he following are the officers and directors of the
association ; Geo. .S. Taylor, president : R. R. I'leeder, vice-president ; M. L. Dinsmore, recording secretary; l'"rank
O. Cook, treasurer ; C. J. Seaver, auditor ; Dr. L. i\I. f]erry, f.. N. f.yon, Arthur H. Fay, I). S. Warner, D. P. liallard ;
W. C. Rollins, general secretary.
The Parish House of Clrace Church was ojiened in the early part of 1S93. The purpose of such a house is to
provide a jilace where the \arious acti\ities of the parish may be properly carried on, and especially to provide a
place where the men and boys could pass the day and evening free from the often harmful influences of the streets.
This last phase of the work has been very successful, and more than one hundred men and boys are members of the
clubs connected with the house. Pool tables are provided for the older boys and men, and the latter are allowed the
further i)rivilege of a smoking-room in connection with their club. Various other games and abundant reading
material is furnished for all members, young and old, also baths and a well equipped gymnasium, which is constantly
being used, especially by the boys. Outside sports in their season, .such as canoeing, swimming, skating, toboganning,
football, baseball, etc., receive their full share of attention from the boys. An athletic field has been in use for two
years, and a fleet of four canoes (which is expected to be enlarged next summer) has given pleasure to those who
could be trusted on the water. Last summer a camp was inaugurated for boys over twelve years of age, and nine
boys, under the care of the rector, paddled in the canoes from Chicopee to Shepherd's Island, opposite Northampton,
a distance of fifteen miles, and spent two weeks under canvas, enjoying the pleasures of swimming, fishing, bull-frogging,
'ogging and canoeing, free from the restraints of city life. At the end of the stay the party returned as they had gone.
Other boys went to camp for short stays, the largest number ])resent at one time being fifteen. The boys were mostly
good swimmers and had become quite expert in the handling of the paddle, so that they could be well trusted, and
all returned without an accident of any kind. The Parish House is opened every day and night, with the exception
of during the time of services on Sunday.
In December, 1895, the Republicans were successful in electing their candidate, Mr. Orant, for the mayoralty
of Chicopee. The tax rate of the city is not hea\y, being ;^i3.So, the population is 16,500, and altogether Chicopee
looks forward to a period of unexampled prosperity.
■' .1 3 *i ■
|- B' m <ii .J-' ..-. I-!, f, Mr. .,: m _
WORKS OF THE OVERMAN WHEEL CO.
MANUFACTURES AND ARTS.
OVERMAN WHEEL COMPANY.
The Overman manufactory is one of the most imposing in Cliicopee, and fully illustrates the energy and push whicli
have characterized its development. Albert H. Overman, president of the companv, has brought to bear on its interests
a clear intelligence, and has studied the making of bicycles so thoroughly that the manufacture, under his careful man-
agement, is fast becoming a science. Very properly their wheel is named the •' Victor.-' the wheel itself proving that
there is .something in a name. For fourteen years the Overman Wlieel Company has been manufacturing bicycles,
starting in a small way. in a little shop, wliich has been growing and extending, until to-dav their works are said to be
the largest and mo.st complete in the world. They have not been content with making wheels; for fourteen years they
have been striving to make the best, and to produce from day to day one better in every respect than those previously
made. For this purpose the establishment has invented and devised nearly all of the machinery used by them. The great
aim of the bicycle manufacturer has of late been to secure light draft machines. Light draft and light wei^'-ht are not
quite synonymous terms when applied to bicycles. Different men should have different machines, and 32.5 pounds avoir-
dupois should not attempt to ride the wlieel of the man weighing U.J pounds. The means should be a con.lition to the
end. In speaking of the 1896 model the other day, Mr. Overman said : '■ We build the Victor this year with three different
heights of frames, and in that variety a man is sure to find one suited to his requirements. So our 1896 models are practi-
cally all special, and, in reality, a man selecting a Victor has his wheel made to order. We claim that it costs more to
build a Victor bicycle than any other bicycle on earth, nnd this has never been disputed by any one who could be consid-
ered an authority in the matter.
"Instead of hiring men to ride our bicycles, we put that money into the construction of the wheels themselves and
make them good enough for the people to pay our price to ride them. Once convinced that the manufacturers of the
Victor bicycle put into the material and construction of the wheel money which other manufacturers spend in cheap
advertising by hiring racing men to ride their wheels, the discriminating purchaser wishing a first-class wheel will buy
the Victor, just as the discriminating buyer of a carriage asks for a Brewster. Other vehicles have four wheels a top
and look very much like a Brewster, but compare them a year after each has been subjected to the same usage and you
will have no difficulty in picking out the superior carriage. The faith which people have in an article with a reputation
tor being first-class is shown by the comparatively high prices brought by second-hand articles of standard make.
'■ Our factory is the only bicycle plant in tlie world where a complete bicycle is made from handle bars to tire. The
man does not live who can come to us and say that he made apiece of the Victor bicycle. We do not incorporate into
■ Ijicycles tires or saddles or otiier j.arts made by other manufacturers and say to a man who buys a Victor, ' We believe
A. H. OVERMAN.
tliese K'ootls to be first-class," but we manufacture everything
cm our own premises, and can guarantee a Victor thrinigliout ,
because we know what is in it.
'• We liave recently invented an instrument, which we call
the ' dynamometei',' which enables us to determine with mathe-
matical accuracy tlie ])ower required to drive a bicycle. In this
way the question as to whether a seven-tooth sjirocket wheel
requires less power to drive the machine than an eight-tooth
sprocket wheel ceases to be a question of logic and becomes one
of pure niatlieniatics, and on all these mooted points we have
records carefully figured out and are able to say, • We know.'
•• We keej) men in our emjiloy who ever}' day, e.\cei)t Sun-
day, do nothing but ride our wheels, for testing different devices
and new parts. For instance, if the wheel of our experimenters
runs out of oil, the man reports here in minutest detail how
m;iny feet from the factor}' the cycle gave out, how long since
it liad been oiled, etc. So we are pushing fui'ther and further
into the unexplored regions, and gradually Ijringing the debated
([uestions of cycle construction to a scientific solution." So the
development of this interest goes on until the newest model will
enable its rider to speed along with the wings of the wind.
THE JIOSMAX FOUNDRY.
One of the particularlj' interesting places in Chicopee is the
Mosman foundry. Here Mr. Melzar H. Mosman, a genius in his
own right and the inheritor of artistic understanding and ability,
creates and sends out modelings of historic and classical subjects
with such success that, though a young man, he has gained a
reputation seldom achieved by a man on the sunny side of fifty
years. The work done by Mr. Mosman has been largely in pro-
. ducing figures of heroic size. One of the later has been the
reproduction in bronze of the plaster model by E. S. Woods, of
Hartford, showing the Re\ iiIution:iiy hern. Colonel Thomas
Knowltuii. Tliough busy, Mr. Mosinau courteously put aside liis work for a time ami talkeil with the visiting leimrter.
•• For the past few years," said Mr. Mosman, " I have made a specialty of bronze reproduction in preference to my .sculp-
ture work. You know there are a great many sculptors in this countrj' to-day, but very few good founders. I have been
able to select the best work because I am well known among the sculptors and I have been fortunate in pleasing them.
Here is my last piece of work, which only reached the shop ten days ago from the studio of W. O. Patridge, the sculptor,
who modeled it in Milton. This statue is to be erected by the Union League Club, of Bi-ookh n, and, as you see, it is an
equestrian figure of Genei-al Grant. It is to be dedicated on Grant's birthday, April 27, 189(3, and we shall need all the
intervening time to get the bronze work fini.shed. The statue is to be twice life size, the height of the whole figure being
16 feet and the length of the horse's body 10 feet 4 inches.'"
Mr. Mosman's studio will show some of the work of the past twenty-live years. Here are the designs showing him a
sculptor of high ability. Everyone in the vicinity, and wider than that, has heard of Silas Mosman, the sculptor, who
made the Ames Company famous throughout the world, and his son is a worthy representative of the present generation.
He was born and educated in Chicopee, and as there were not a dozen persons in New England at that time working in
sculpture and no teachers, all his instruction was received from his father. Mr. Mosman went abroad in 1807 to study,
and again in 1874. when he remained in Rome for a year for the purpose of modeling tlie statues for the .soldiers' and
sailors' monument in Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Connecticut. This was wrought in 1870, while Mr. Mosman was with the
Ames Company, and cost 830,000. There are three bronze figures modeled by Mr, Mosman and cast at the Ames Works,
while in the arch of the statue is a figure of the Goddess of Liberty, which was modeled and cut in marljle in Piome by
Mr. Mosman and exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial ?2xposition.
Among monuments made by Mr. Mosman are the soldiers' monuments at Bridgeporl, Conn., Middletown and
Skaneateles, N. Y. He made the handsome firemen's monument at New Haven, Conn., the Tenth Massachusetts Regi-
ment monument at Gettysburg, Pa., and soldiers' monuments at Westfield. Gloucester, Kingston, Danielsonville, Conn.,
Delaware, O., and the one on Court Square, in Springfield.
At the right of the door on an easel is a mold of the bronze has relief of Rev. Burton W. Lockhart. which has been
placed in the church at Chicopee where he was settled from 1888 to 1893. Opposite the minister on another easel is a cast
of J. B. Lippincotfs head, the bronze of which lielongs to his daughter, Mrs. Goodwin of Hartford ; near by is a bust of
Graham, the inventor of shorthand. Above a cabinet of odds and ends stands a statuette of the Minute JIan, done by
Daniel French ; it is similar to his famous Concord Minute Man, but is much better done, Mr. Mosman said. This
statuette was cast in bronze at Chicopee and presented by the town of Concord to the United States gunboat Concord in
1893. Another statuette is of Garfield, done by Rebisso, the famous Italian sculptor, who is now teaching in the Art
School and Museum of Cincinnati.
Mr. Mosman regards the celebrated Grant monument which is now i>n the Lake Shore drive in Chicago as one of his
best pieces of work ; this was also molded by Rebisso and cast at Chicopee. No small jjart of Mr. Mosman's business is
Harrison ..-om.nittee disa-^reed and M.- A osln , ^ ' "°""'^^"t to the World's Fair at Chicago, but the
contract. The artistic Xeo iiSrH27JT.T^V° ''' '' "^ '" Cincinnati according to the original
.studio as Its birthplace :::!:'^ ue^^^:nL:'i^^::^t''' °"'' ^^^*'- " ""-^ '■^'^■■^^^"*^^' -=^-^- '•'^'- *'- ^^-™-
THE BELCHER & TAYLOR AGRICULTURAL TOOL COMPANY
3, 1863. At that time Mr. Belcher h^d n his emnW ..f ^ t^ T"^' '"'° *'^' ''"'"''''' "''"^'^ ^'•'^•'^ ''''■^^^ March
Company in Concord N H wh ch n fdl H t /.S'^" '«'"'', ''"" ^'"' '^^'"P^"^ ^" 1^68 bought out the Robinson
Conical Plow ToCm at New H u^ I sS ^T' w' t'"^ ' I'" "" ''^""^'"- ^'°" ^"'"P^^y ^^ Greenfield, then the
the inventer, E. W B ullard It b ■ u"ht o f H f 4;' """"' ''^''''^^" ^"^^"'^^'^- '"' °^°'** "^ "le United States, of
their patents. In 1886 thev bouo-ht of Mr T aH^w n ■ i ! ^"-"""aui, as «ell as Mi. Aye, to manufacture rakes under
proved and is now niadelder tt nan e o 'thp V , p'f ° "^^""f^^^t^''*^ ^he Ladow Disc Harrow, which was im-
soid large numbers f::^^!^^::'^^':::^:;^^^:^ ''- f'^^^^^ -'' '-'
ness of B. & J. W Belcher and snnn nff.- fi i ■ . r , ot JNevv \oik. In l.s.sg this company bought out the busi-
of the Baldwin Cutter whic had mevious^^^^^^ ^^ i^' '^'""'"-^' -^^' '" IS"* ^^ bo^g'-t out the business
factures, or has patterns ft h n a ifacrr J 0"^^ r^"' ""' ""T'' '^ ''"•■'""* * ^"^ ^'"^ ^'^^P^^ —
styles Of feed cutters, and probably .::=deld-i:-rf c^linrl^fSh:^ ^^ac^ ■ fthK: ^S: 0:^
THE BELCHER & TAYLOR AGRICULTURAL TOOL CO.'S WORKS
perhaiis, in tlie u-orM. Tliey manufacture all kimls of tools save mowers and reapers, and the reputation of the tools
manufactured by the Belcher & Taylor Agricultural Tool Company stands high, not only in tlie United States, but tlirough-
out the civilized world where good tools are sold ami used.
TAYLOR, BRAMLEV & CO.
One of till' most interesting places among the manufactories of Chicopee Falls is the establishment of Taylor,
Bramley & Co., just off Grove street. Here the finest underwear is turned out, and new ideas and designs in this line are
constantly being evolved. The partners are enterprising, and they intend to lead, and carry out their intentions. The
business to-day is an illustration of the survival of the fittest, for it has been built up by the exercise of courage and push.
The proprietors are young men. but their own energies have l)rought their manufacturing up to its pre.sent high standard.
The firm at first was Taylor & Bramley, and was organized in 1888. Men's underwear was then made by the per-
sonal labor of Albert E. Taylor and Walter Bramley. They started in a small way, and were located in a room in the
Lamb Manufacturing Co.'s building on Main street. Mr. Taylor did the travelling, and it was not uncommon for him to
secure special orders and come back, when Messrs. Bramley & Taylor would make the garments ordered, for they were
accomplished in several directions. Only a few suits were manufactured each week. The business increased so that
larger (juarters were taken in 1889, and here they remained until 1891, when H. Lee Mallory, of New York, was taken into
partnership, and the three story brick building now in use was built. In 1892 the New York office was opened, and the
manufacture of ladies" and misses" underwear, also bloomers and gaiters, was taken up, making the finest grades of worsted
and silk goods. This shows a gratifying increase each day, and the newest novelty turned out is the recherche lady's
sweater, a garment ornamental enough to be worn by any stylish woman on the promenade, and warm enough to keep
the circulation up to the right point. The distributing office is at 80 Franklin street. New York.
Albert E. Taylor, son of ex-Mayor Taj'lor, promises to carry out the good intentions and public-spirited policy of
his father. He is a pronounced Republican, representing Ward Four as councilman in the city government of 1895.
He is master of Belcher Lodge A. F. & A. M., an officer in Unity Chapter, member of the Springfield Council and Spring-
field Commandery, also member of Pyramid Temple, Mystic Shrine, Bridgeport, Ct., and is active .socially. He has a
pleasant home iri "Sunny Side," built in 1895.
Walter Bramley, one of the leading busine.ss men of Chicopee Falls, is a native of Loughborough, England. He
received his education in England, came to America with his father and mother, and worked in Newton Lower Falls.
He returned to England in 1870 and entered a factory, remaining until 18T8. He went back to Newton Lower Falls and
was employed two years, then went toSpringlield, where he took charge of the knitting department of W. fi. Medlicott Co.
Eight years after he removed to Chicopee Falls and there became associated with Mr. Taylor in their enterprise. He is a
Republican, a member of Belcher Lodge A. F. & A. M., and of Unity Chapter, R. A. M. He also has a pleasant home at
"Sunny Side." H. Lee Mallory resides in Brooklyn, N. Y.
LAMB MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
Among Chicopee's iiuportiint industries is the Lamb Manufacturing Company at Chicopee Falls. About 800 hands
are emi>loyed, and over 45,000 knitting macliines have been made and sold, in addition to the other business, in tlie last
twenty-five years. The company are also the manufacturers of the Tuttle knitting machines, which are specially adapted
for ribbed and plain work, and under the name of the Massachusetts Arms Co. they manufacture the celebrated Maynard
patent breech-loading rifles and sliotguns, which are unexcelled in all the qualities demanded in fire-arms.
The works, which are in the engraving on next page, cover an area of two acres, and are finely e(iuipped for the
work required of them. Tlie company was incorporated in 18()7, with a capital of .'^300,000, and the present officers are:
A. G. Spalding, president; Emerson Gaylord, vice-president; T. C. Page, treasurer.
The widely known and superb Lamb knitting machine, which has revolutionized the art of knitting, is constructed
upon the novel and simple principle of employing two straight jiarallel rows of needles sufficiently near to each other to
connect the two rows of knitting at either end, but far enough apart to allow the fabric to pass down between them as it
is knitted. The needle is automatic or self-knitting, its principle being such that, when fed with yarn and moved forward
or backward, it forms the stitch by its own action. It is the only plan yet devised by which any size of work, both tubular
and flat, and either single, double or ribbed, can be produced, and narrowed and widened. It is the only machine that
knits a regular, right-angled heel, such as is knit by hand, that narrows off the toe, that knits a sock or stocking complete,
that knits mittens and gloves of any size without a seam, that forms genuine ribbed or seamed work, that knits the
double, flat or fancy webs, that knits an elastic seamed stitch sus]iender with buttonholes, that knits the afghan stitch,
cardigan jacket stitch, fancj' ribbed stitch, the raised jilaid stitcli, the nubia stitch, shell stitch, unique stitch, tidy stitch,
etc. Though it combines greater cai)acity and speed than any other knitting machine, yet it is the simplest, most reliable
and easiest to learn. It knits Iiosiery, gloves and mittens of all sizes, shaping and completing them in a sui)erior manner.
It makes the following garments: Shawls, breakfast capes, hoods and muffs, nubias, sacks, undersleeves, scarfs, girls' and
boys' suits, undershirts, cardigan jackets, drawers, cradle blankets, carriage afghans, sashes, wristlets, leggins, .smoking
and skating caps, snovvshoes, suspenders, pur.ses, jjetticoats, infants' shirts, counterpanes, tidies, watch and curtain cords,
mats, etc. It also produces tlie most elegant trimmings for all its own articles, such as jilain ruffie, doul)le rufHe, collai's,
Ijorders, fringes, etc. In brief, it is the only standard machine for manufacturing, and the only family knitter which has
practically demonstrated its utility. The notable lack of complication, which destroys the efficiency of any mechanism,
makes the Lamb knitter not only the best machine of its kind, but the easiest to operate. Wlien we take into consider-
ation the amount of inferior knit goods with which tlie market is Hooded, and the work involved in hand knitting, the
popularity of the Lamb knitter is easily accounted for, as by its adoption the production of knit garments of twenty
different kinds is facilitated and perfected to such a degree that a valuable saving of time, labor and money is inevitably
effected ; this statement a|)plies pquallj^ well to either families or manufacturers.
THE LAMB MANUFACTURING GO'S WORKS.
The trade in knit goods is rapidly increasing. Hand Icnitting is liecoming more obsolete each 3'ear. aM<l gooil. well-
made knit goods, that will take the jilace of those made by hand, .are not produced in sufficient quantities to supply the
demand ; as a consequence we ttnd many woolen manufacturers who are now utilizing knitting macliines to convert the
scraps and ends of yarn that accumulate in their factories into hosiery and mittens. Wherever tlie Lamb knitting
machine hosiery has been introduced it has superseded or taken the preference over every other hosiery in the market,
because it is precisely the same as hand knitting.
In 1893 A. (x. Spalding & Bros., of Chicago, New York and Philadelpliia. became interested in this company, and in
addition to the old line of goods the company has, since the connection with the Spaldings, added bicycles, gymnasium
goods, skates, golf, and, in fact, all the iron and many of the wood goods required for their immense business, and the
company, during the year ISO."), will turn cmt from 18,000 to 20,000 high grade bicycles, and an immense quantity of all the
other goods enumerated.
THE J. STEVENS ARMS AND TOOL COMPANY.
The J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co.. one of the features of Chicopee Falls, and tlie reputation of whose manufactures
is world-wide, is located where the busy Chicopee river makes a detour from its erratic cour.se and gathers force for the
ne.xt jump over the dam below. On this site Hiram Munger and a Mr. Cady owned and operated both saw and grist
mills. J. Stevens, Asher Bai'tlett and William B. Fay bought this property in 18IU. and for a time operated the grist mill
and sometimes rented it. Finally the old machinery was thrown out and the present buildings erected.
Joshua Stevens, the founder of tliis business, is an ingenious, practical mechanic, and in 18.58-.j9 was in the employ
of Samuel Colt, of Hartford. What is known as the We.sson revolver is his invention, and he came to the " Falls" in 184'.)
to engage in the e.xtensive manufacture of that article. For this purpose the ■' Massachusetts Arms Co." was formed, with
a capital of .STO.OOO.- This company purchased of the Ames Manufacturing Co. the property afterward occupied liy the
Lamb Manufacturing Co., and there conducted the manufacture of pistols for a few years: then Mr. Stevens, having
invented a small, single-shot pocket pistol, commenced its manufacture at its present location. The mechanical part under
such able management, and the office and other detail work under Mr. Ta3'lor's careful administration, soon cau.sed the busi-
ness to expand, and Mr. Stevens continued inventing useful and important additions to modern arms, also the tools for their
manufacture. The patents cover double-barrel breech-loading shotguns, single .shotguns, sporting rifles. " Hunter's Pet'
rifles, pocket shotguns and pocket pistols; also small inai/liiiiist tools, spring caliper's and dividers, and doulile-lip counter-
The history of firearms is full of interest to those who, putting aside sentimentality, note the influence of invention
upon the progress of the human race. The victories gained for civilization over barbarism during the past five centuries
would have been impossible without gunpowder, for the vanguard of enlightenment has ever been few in numbers, and
only by force of superior arms and discipline has it been enabled to gain a footliold among savages and plant upon the .soil
of new continents the banners of progress, culture, intellectual and moral freedom, and even of religion. But the clumsy
flint-lock blunderbuss, musket and rifle of even so recent a date as the beginning of the present century are already anti-
quated, and specimens are sought and treasured as curiosities. The era of vital improvement in firearms may be said to
have begun about fifty years ago, and has steadily advanced until the latest styles of rifles and shot-guns of our time may
be safely pronounced practically perfect as regards range, precision, jienetration, ease and rapidity of manipulation,
strength, durability, lightness, and beauty of workmansliip. while |>rices ai'e remarkably low, excellence considered, as is
exemplified in the Stevens arms.
The Stevens target and sporting rifles, pistols, and shot-guns are too well and favorably known to require detailed
description. They have been before the public for a long term of years and have never failed to render satisfaction. Im-
provements have been made in the method and style of construction from time to time, until these arms may be fairly
pronounced the marksman's and sportsman's we phts (tttra, used everywhere in this and foreign countries, and tlie most
perfect weapons for practice and sporting purposes ever devised.
In January, 189(1, Mr. I. H. Page bought the stock held by Messrs. Stevens and Taylor, the latter gentlemen retir-
ing, and Mr. Page assumed entire control, acting as president and treasurer. Associated with him is Charles P. Fay, son
of William B. Fay, one of the founders of the business and inventer of the Fay Caliper and Divider, who acts in the im.
pnrtant capacity of master mechanic. Mr. Page has been connected with the business for seventeen years, eight of which
as secretary, and his recognized busine.ss ability insures the continued success and prosperity of tlie firm which has so
long and honoi'able a record. [See frontispiece for illustration of buildings.]
THE SPAULDING & PEPPER COMPANY.
The youngest manufacturing <-ompany in Chicopee is the Spaulding & Pepper Co., manufacturers of general rubl)er
goods, with a specialty of pneumatic tires for bicj-cles, and other rubber |)arts used in the cycling trade. This company
was formed early in the spring of 1895, and in June commenced the erection of their factory, which is located at the foot
of Oak street, in Chicojjee Falls The plant consists of a brick building three stories in height, 100x50 feet in dimensions,
together with a one-story building, 100 x 40 feet. The mechanical equii)ment consists of a 200-horse power Slater engine,
two Hennessy boilers of 150-horse power each. They also have a washer, three mixing mills. 40 x 16 fe»t, one mixer, fiO x 20
feet, one three-roll calender, four hydraulic pre-sses, one vulcanizer, and their own machine shop. The rubber machinery
was furnished by the Farrel Foundry & Machine Co. The mill is thus thoroughly equipped with all appliances for making
at least 1,300 tires every working day. The work in the mill was started about the middle of September, and has been in
active operation on orders since.
The president of the company, Mr. Thos. H. Spaulding, of New York, is well and favorably known in the trade,
being connected, as he is, with the large steel house of Spaulding, Jennings & Co., of Jersey City, and also proprietor of
the Spaulding Machine Screw Co., of Buffalo. He is an able, energetic man, of large business experience. The treasurer
THE SPAULDING & PEPPER CO.'S WORKS.
of the companj-, wlio is also manager, Mr. C. L. Pepper, is a Chicopt-e boy, having been born on Grajie street, in Chicopee
Centre. He commenced his business career as office boy in the Ames Mfg. Co., and served in that capacity for some
years ; was afterwards paymaster, and then acting agent of that company. He was employed by them for something
like eighteen years, and left them to accept the position as superintendent of the Overman Wheel Co. when they started
their factory at Chicopee Falls. When he assumed his position with the Overman Wheel Co. they employed four men.
He served them in the capacity of general superintendent for eight years, and when he left them the company employed
something over twelve hundred i>eoiile. Tlie superintendent is Mr. H. A. Middleton. wlio is well and favorabh' known in
The factory is running on a line of single tube tires of s-ix or eight different styles. They are making a specialty of
the puncture jiroof tire, the combined invention of Messrs. Pepper and Middleton, which they consider will prove to be
very taking with the trade. They have also arranged with the L. C. Smith Tire Co., of Syracuse, for the control of the
production and selling of the celebrated L. C. Smith detachable tire, and have taken a license from the Gormully &
Jeffery Co. to make the G. & J. detachable tire.