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Our County and Its People 


**©ur Cotintp ant) 3ts people 


A History of 



Alfred Minot Copeland 

Volume W^ut 

The Century Memorial Publishing Company 

1! z^'? 

256 i<^^ 

Copyrighted 1!K)2 


Alfred Minot Copeland 



This volume is respectfuU\ 

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THE CITY OF HOLYOKB— Early History, Settlement and Devel- 
opment — Town Organization and Civil List — Municipal History 
— City Civil List — The Fire Department — City Water Works — 
The Public Parks— Educational Institutions — The Public 
Library — The City Hospital — Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion — Holyoke Street Railway Company — Banking and Finan- 
cial Institutions— Industrial Holyoke — The Business Men's 
Association — Cemeteries — Ecclesiastical History — The French 
People of Holyoke 1 




























The Old Blackbird Tree .... 

Old Holyoke House 

The Old Holyoke Dam .... 

City' Hall, Holyoke 

William B. C. Pearsons, Poktkait 

"The Stretch," Springdale Driving Park 

High School, Holyoke .... 

South Chestnut .Street School, Holyoke 

City Hospital, Holyoke 

The Almshouse, Holyoke . 

High Street, Holy'oke 

Old Crafts' Tavern 

Third Level Canal 

Joseph C. Parsons, Portrait 

Old First Congregational Church, Holyoke 

Convent of Notre Dame, Holyoke . 

Sacred Heart Convent and Parochial School, Holyoke 

Washington Elm, Palmer . 

Historic Pine Tree, Palmer 

Site of First Ordination, Palmer 

Deacon Brainerd House, Palmer 

Frink Tavern, Palmer 

The Village Common, Three Rivers 

Three Rivers — Baptist Church 

BoNDSViLLE School Building 

Palmer Business Blocks 

View of Main Street, Palmer Village 

J(.>shua Shaw House, Palmer 

Baptist Church, from the Depot, Palmer Village 

Washington Tavern, North Wilbraham 































Old House Built hy Lieut. Mirick, Wilbuah 

An Old-Fash lONED House Front 

Old Academy, Fisk and Binney Halus. Wilhu 

Rich Hall and Principal's Residence, "Wilhu 

The Wakriner Homestead, Wiluraiiam 

The Old Tavern, North Wilbraham 

Nine-Mile Pond, North Wilbraham 

On Southwick Street . . 

Congregational Church, Southwick 

The Old Street, West Sprinofield . 

The Old Tavern Stand, West SpiuNciFiELD 

A Valley View, Mittineague . 

Main Street School 

School Building 

Old Church on Orthodox Hill 

Town Hall and Park Congregational Churc 

School Building, Mittineague . 

Granville Corners— Baptist Church 

The Church on Granville Hill 

Universalist Church, Granville Corners 

House Built by David Hy'de, Monson 

Residence of Thomas Sty"LES, Monson 

A View in South Monson 

Congregational Church, Monson 

Memorial Town Hall, Monson . 

Ly'on Memorial Library, Monson 

Old Monson Academy* . 

Monson Academy" .... 

Holmes Gy'mnasium, SIonson 

MojJSON Academy (General View) 

The Library, Monson (Side View) 

Hospital for Epileptics, Monson 

Fly'nt Fountain, Monson 

CusHMAN Fountain, Monson 

Soldiers' Monument, Monson 

The Road to Wales, South Monson 

Ludlow Reservoir 

Soldiers' JIonument, Ludlow 

Old-Fasihoned Ludlow Mansion 



Hubbard Memorial Library, Ludlow 327 

Ludlow Hotel an'd Street View 32'J 

Old Richard Fallev Homestead, Montgomery .... 340 

Montgomery 34.5 

Old Bridge, Chester 351 

Congregational Church, Chester Centre 3G5 

Duty Underwood, Portrait 373 

A Birds-eye View, Chester 379 

Early Winter View in Chester 381 

Holland Pond 396 

Holland Church 40G 


Old Colton Place, Longmeadow 433 

First Congregational Church, Longmeadow .... 427 

A Stone Quarry, East Longmeadow 430 

The Center— East Longmeadow 434 

Old Mill on Blandford Road, Russell 443 

High Bridge, Fairfield 44S 

Methodist Church, Russell 450 

Tolland Center 4fil 

The Village Fountain, Wales 473 

Wales— A Street View 474 

The Street near the Methodist Church, Wales . . 480 

Old Chapin Homestead, Chicopee Street 483 

Historic House in Johnny Cake Hollow, Chicopee Falls . 488 

The Dam — Chicopee Falls 499 

A View of Chicopee in 1856 .503 

Old High School— Chicopee Falls 508 

A Chicopee Falls School Building 509 

New High School, Chicopee 510 

City Hali^Chicopee 513 

Chicopee Street 514 

Old Universalist Church, Chicopee 519 

Old House, South Agawam 530 

School Building, Feeding Hills 533 

Feeding Hills Street 537 

The Stream in the Valley, Hampden 543 

Congregational Church, Hampden 554 

Baptist Church, Hampden 555 



For a period of almost a century after the Pynchou colony 
was planted at Springfield, there was little attempt at founding 
other permanent settlements within the boundaries of the mother 
town. Two principal causes retarded settlement in these out- 
ward common lands ; first, the original policy of the founders for 
many years opposed promiscuous granting of lands to all comers 
and none were admitted to the benefits of the proprietary unless 
"approbated" by the committe charged with the duty of invest- 
gating the "worthiness" of applicants for membership in the 
colony. Thus many pioneers who came into the valley region, 
rather than submit to the exactions of the proprietors, sought 
homes and lands among the less restricted settlements at West- 
field. Badley and Northampton ; and thus it was that these other 
localities enjoyed more rapid growth than Springfield during the 
first three-quarters of a century following the establishment of 
the colony on the bank of the Connecticut in 1636. 

The second and more serious obstacle to settlement and de- 
velopment of the outward commons west of the river was the hos- 
tility of natives, who, smarting under the treatment and methods 
of Captain Mason of the Connecticut colony (a policy 
directly opposite to that pursued by the more conciliatory 
Pynchon) were never afterward friendly with the whites; and 
while for many years there were no acts of violence on the part 
of the Indians, they were not trusted and every settlement had its 
fort for protection against their attacks. It is safe to assert that 
previous to King Philip's war there was no permanent white set- 
tlement within the limits of what now is Holyoke, and probablj- 

1-3 ( 1 ) 


none previous to about 1725: and even then, according to well 
established local tradition, the settlers betooJc themselves at night 
to the protection of a fortified house, the exact location of which 
no chronicler of Holyoke history has made known to us. 

It may be stated, also, that from the time of the Pequot war 
(1637) to the close of the American I'evolution (1783) the settlers 
in the Connecticut valley knew little of the blessings of peace, 
and that during that long period of nearly a century and a half 
the settlements and habitations of the whites were all too fre- 
quently the objects of Indian attack. This long series of wars 
is the subject of special mention in an earlier volume of this work, 
hence need not be treated here. In the same connection, also, 
the reader will leai'n something of the character, habits and cus- 
toms of the race which preceded the pioneer white man in the 
valley regions, yet there is little that is rich or interesting in the 
Indian history of this locality. 

Evidences of the aboriginal occupation have been discovered 
in various localities of the city, and within comparatively recent 
years Indian burial places have been found within its corporate 
limits. It is thought, however, that this locality was not 
more than a favorite tishing and hunting resort for the Nono- 
tucks, whose principal village was on the site of Northampton, 
or of the "Woronocos of AVestfield, or of the Agawams who cent- 
uries ago dwelt on the banks of the river further south. These, 
however, were allied branches of a single parent tribe, and while 
for years they professed friendship for the whites. King Philip's 
influence made them their most relentless and merciless foes. 

During the latter part of the seventeenth century, notwith- 
standing all the annoyances caused by Indian depredations, 
there arose a clamor for a survey and distribution of the lands 
held by the proprietors of the town of Springfield, and so well 
known was the attitude of the proprietors that at last it was in- 
timated that unless an allotment of the outward common lands 
was made, the general court would pass an act of forfeiture to 
the crowni. This was intended to refer particularly to 
the land of the Connecticut, where settlements might be 
made with safety, but west of the river there was no attempt at 

( 2 ) 


permanent occupancy until several years later. The first divi- 
sion of lands on the west side was made in 1707, when the avail- 
able tracts were subdivided into plots of ten acres each and were 
apportioned by lot to the male inliabitants of the age of twenty- 
one or more years, the whole number of whom at that time was 
seventy-three persons. In 1696, according to authenticated rec- 
ords, there were only thirty-two families living in Springfield 
west of the Connecticut, a territory which extended from the 
south line of Northampton to the north line of the province of 
Connecticut, and included the present site of Holyoke and the 
towns of West Springfield and Agawam. 

No authority extant informs us when the lands comprising 
our city were first granted, or enlightens us on the important 
questions of pioneei-ship and early settlement. On account of the 
troublesome conditions which existed throughout the first hun- 
dred years of Spi-ingfield's history it is safe to assume that there 
were no permanent white settlers within our present limits earlier 
than 1725. West Springfield was set off as a town in 1774, and 
the Third parish (otherwise known as the North parish, and also 
as "Ireland" parish) was an ecclesiastical division of tlie new 
town, so established in 1786. 

Tradition also says that the region most frequently called 
"Ireland parish"— now Holyoke— Vi'as first settled soon after 
1730, and that in 1745 only six families were living on its terri- 
tory. One of these was Benjamin Ball, a descendant of Francis 
Ball, the latter a settler in Springfield in 1643. Another settler 
of about the same time was one Riley, a son of Ireland, who loc- 
ated in the south part of the parish, on the stream named for him 
"Riley brook," which name is preserved to the present day, 
while the stream itself near its mouth marks the boundaiy be- 
tween Ilolyoke and West SpringKeld. Whence Riley came or 
when he departed no authority states, yei his settlement here 
stimulated similar action on the part of others of his nationality 
Tantil in point of numbers the worthy sons of Erin outstripped 
all others and won for the locality the generally accepted name of 
Ireland parish. Capt. John Miller, a patriot of the early wars, 
is recalled as among the first settlers on what now is Northamp- 
ton street. 

( 3 ) 

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T, O 




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lu la'ter years settlements increased with tlie development 
of the resources of the region, and about the period of the revolu- 
tion we find such names as Capt. Joseph Morgan, Lieut. Charles 
Ball, Amos Allen, Capt. Joseph Day, Joel Day, Deacon Josiah 
Rogers, Titus Tuttle, Lucus Morgan and Jonathan Birchard 
among the more conspicuous figures in local history. To this 
number we may add the names of Joseph Rogers, Timothy 
Clough. Jonathan Clongh, John Miller, Glover Street, Nathan 
Stephens, Peresh Hitchcock, Asahel Chapin, Jedediah Day, Caleb 
Humestou, Benjamin Basset, Joseph Ely, Austin Goodyear, all 
of whom were settled in the parish and engaged in agricultural 
and kindred pursuits previous to the beginning of the last 

During the next twenty-five years the acquisition of new 
settlers and the succession of sons to the estates of their sires 
changed again the personnel of the parish inhabitants, and the 
year 1830 gives such additional names as John, Jason and Henry 
Ludington, Israel and IVilliam Perkins, Ephraim Barker, War- 
ren and Edmund Banks, Elisha Winchell, Thomas Howard, 
Ichabod Howe, Hezekiah Griswold, Jesse Cushman , Nathan 
Morse, Luke Parsons, Elisha Ashley, David Bassett, Samuel 
Hadley, William Jarvis, William Atkins, Isaac Allen , James 
Meacham, John Felt, Justus Clapp, Caleb Humeston, Aaron 
Moore, Miles Diekerman, Harvey Wright. Lyman Goodyear, Noah 
Wolcott, Job Bryant, Joseph Morgan, Abraham Ives, Plin Jones, 
Eleazer Day, Sylvester Munger, Ebenezer Alvord, Joseph Ely, 
John Chapin, Warren Chapin. John D. Ely, Joshua Allen, 
Nathan Parks, Joel Newell, Amasa Ainsworth, John Prink, 
Henry Robertson, Ebenezer and Titus Ingraham, Herman and 
Michael Fuller (colored men and tradesmen), Moses and Pelatiah 
Ely, Alexander Day, Hiram and Ebenezer Jonas, Roger Williams, 
Frederick Day, Horace Wilcox, Luke and Elijah Hitchcock, John 
Dunham, Seth Bliss.Amos Allen, Day Powers, Charles Ball. 
Joshua, John, Frederick and George Street, Cyrus Frink, Henry 
Tuttle, Horace Atkins, Roswell Morgan, Jeremiah Sperry, Her- 
vey Chapin, Hiram Morgan, Caleb Street, Caleb Hill, Orrin 
Street, Justus Eaton, Eli Robinson, Francis Ball, Bishop Allen, 
Rev. Lucy A. Milton, has recently resigned. 

( 5 ) 


Stephen Hayes, Russel, Job and Willard Ely, Clark Pomeroy, 
Enoch Ely, Eliakim Daiiks, David Wood, William Boyd, Henry 
Arcliibald aii<l otliers wliose names are lost with the lapse of 
years. These were the factors in the history of Ireland parish 
during the quarter of a century immediately preceding the incor- 
poration of the town of Holyoke, and some of their descendants 
are now numbered among the constantly changing and ever in- 
creasing population of our modern industrial city. 

Throughout all years preceding the period of which we write 
these worthy settlei-s and their ancestors were engaged in the 
peaceful arts of agriculture, and some of them, more venturesome 
than their fellows, had attempted some manufactures. In 1825 
the parish could boast a saw mill, a grist mill, a tannery, a cement 
works, a cloth mill, a tavern (Chester Crafts, proprietor), and a 
distillery. At the same time two ferries were maintained across 
the Connecticut, one in the south part and the other farther up 
the river, just below the lower falls. Having ready access to the 
east side the entire people of the viewed wdth considerable 
interest the diversion of the w-aters of Chieopee river for manu- 
facturing purposes and also took due cognizance of the industries 
then recently established on the east bank of the Connecticut near 
the ferry landing; but in the course of another score of years 
they were both surprised and gratified to witness the construction 
of a dam across the river and the divereion of the waters for 
manufacturing purposes on their own side, although the wise- 
acres declared that the feat w^as impossible of accomplishment, 
just as the Springfield prophets derided the early attempts to 
build a bridge across the "Great Stream," In each case the 
doubters were doomed to ultimate disappointment, and when the 
dam and canals at last were completed the parish took upon itself 
new life and energy, and soon thereafter acquired a new and ■ 
more substantial municipal character. 

With the beginning of the work of the construction of the 
dam and canals, a new. or rather a rapid growth of an old, ele- 
ment of population developed in the North parish. Day work- 
men were in demand and to supply the want large numbers of 
laborers, chiefiy Irishmen, came to the locality and settleil tlieni- 

( 6 ) 


selves in the vicinity of the works. This gave rise to distin- 
iriiishing: names for certain neighborhoods, lience we have the 
"Irish village," near the dam and canal sites, while the "Baptist 
village" was a name applied to the vicinity of the Baptist church, 
a locality now known as ' ' Elmwood. ' ' In later years, a ' ' French 
village" sprung into existence, but this was after the first mills 
were put in operation and the skilled operatives from the Can- 
adas appeared in the young town. 


In the incorporation of the town of Holyoke the usual order 
in such proceedings appears to have been reversed. Generally 
when it was proposed to create a new town the subject was dis- 
cussed in town meetings in the mother jurisdiction and the senti- 
ment of the inhabitants was ascertained by vote; but in this in- 
stance the subject of a division of the territory of West Springfield 
is not mentioned in the town records, and if there was indeed any 
opposition to the proposed new town the clerk's books give us no 
information concerning it. The first mention of a new town in 
the West Springfield records is that of an April meeting in 1850, 
when the selectmen were authorized to sell the "Town pauper 
farm and the hospital at Holyoke at auction, if agreeable to the 
town of Holyoke." Later on a committee of West Springfield 
men was chosen to meet a similar body from the new jurisdiction 
and settle the affairs in which both towns were interested. 

The incorporation of the Hadley Falls company, and the 
great work of constructing the dam across the river and the sys- 
tem of water power canals in the old North parish, led to the in- 
corporation of the town of Holyoke, and accomplished that end 
in less than two years after the charter was granted to the com- 
pany. Under the law the consent of the mother town was not 
pre-requisite to the new creation, and the necessity of a new civil 
division of the county, including the territory of the previously 
known Ireland parish, was too apparent to admit of opposition, 
hence the independent and progressive people had direct re- 
course to the legislature, with the result of the passage of "An 
act to establish the town of Holyoke," which was approved and 
became a law March 14, 1850. 

( 7 ) 


Tlie fiaiiiers of the act, with commendable public spirited- 
ness. named their new town Ilolyoke, and thus paid another 
tribute of respect to the memory of one of the most worthy pio- 
neers of the Connecticut valley. Long before this the name had 
been given to one of the towering mountain peaks away to the 
northward of the new town, and in allusio'i to the mountain the 

Tlu- 111. I 11. .UM. 

name was afterward used to designate the now famous institution 
of learning. 

The pioneer who first l)rought this honorable name to the val- 
ley country was Elizur Holyoke, a native of Tamworth, War- 
wickshire. England, who came to New England during the early 
years of the colony. He reached Springfield in 1640 and died 
there in 1676. He was chosen deputy to the general court six 
times; was ten terms selectman in Springfield; was town clerk 

( 8 ) 


first ill 1656 and lield tliat office continuously from 1661 to his 
death in 1676. He was deeplj- interested in the welfare of the 
plantation and subsequent town, was one of the pillars of the 
First church of Christ in Springfield, a man whose walk in daily 
life had an influence for good among his townsmen. The story 
of the naming of Mount Holyoke in allusion to him is an oft- 
told tale of early times, while the mountain itself gives name to 
Mount Holyoke college, situated on its foot-hills. Deacon Hol- 
yoke married Mary, the daughter of AVilliam Pynchoii, and to 
them were born eight children. 

Population.— In 1840 West Springfield containea 3,626 in- 
liabitants, and in 1850 the number was 2,979. Thus, assuming 
a uniform growth for the entire tov.-nsliip. the mother town sur- 
rendered less than 647 of its stable population to the new juris- 
diction. However, in 1850 Holyoke 's population was 3,245. and 
since that time the increase in number of inhabitants has been 
constant, as may be seen by reference to the census i-eports, viz. : 
1855, 4,639; 1860, 4,997: 1865, 5,648 : 1870, 10,733: 1875, 16,260; 
1880, 21,915; 1885, 27,895; 1890, 35,637; 1895, 40,322; 1900, 

Glancing over the census reports relating to towns and 
cities in New England, and comparing their growth with that 
of our industrial city, the latter is found in the very front rank : 
and this remarkable prosperity, growth and development is 
chiefly due to one first great cause— the construction and opera- 
tion of the water power system inaugurated by the Hadley Falls 
company and enlarged and made more perfect by the successor 
corporation, the Holyoke Water Power company. In a public ad- 
dress delivered by Edward Everett about the time of the com- 
pletion of the fii-st dam, that distinguished statesman and orator 
declared that Holyoke would some time have a population of 
50,000 inhabitants; but it is doubtful if the orator himself then 
believed that population would be attained in the fii-st decade of 
the twentieth centuiy. 

In accordance with the provisions of the act of incorporation 
Hervey Chapin. .iustice of the peacp. issued his warrant, directed 
to Chester Crafts, "a principal inhabitant of the town," reqiiir- 

( 9 ) 


ing him to notify the (lualified voters to assemble in to\m meet- 
ing in the school liouse on Chestnut street, on IMarch 22, 1850, 
and proceed with the election of town officers. This was done, 
and on the day mentioned, under the moderatorship of C. B. 
Kisiug, the first town officers of Holyoke were duly elected. 

The succession of principal town officers, selectmen, assessors, 
town clerks and treasurers, from 1850 to 1873 is as follows: 

Selectmen : 1850, Payette Smith, Alexander Day, Hervey 

1851— Alexander Daj', Joseph jNI. Morrison, Amos Allen. 

1852— Hei'\'ey Chapin, Daniel Bowdoin, Albert Graves. 

1853— Austin Ely, Chester Crafts, Edwin H. Ball. 

1854— Edwin H. Ball, Hervey Chapin, Asa 0. Colby. 

1855— Edwin H. Ball, Nathaniel "\Y. Quinn, George C. Lyon. 

1856— Russell Gilmore, Edmund Whi taker, Alfred White. 

1857— Edmund Whitaker, Chester Crafts, Henry Wheeler. 

1858— Edmund Whitaker, Edwin H. Ball, Asa 0. Colby. 

1859— Edwin II. Ball, Joel Russell, Daniel E. Kingsley. 

1860-Joel Russell, Austin Ely, Sheldon H. Walker. 

1861 -Joel Russell, Sheldon H. Walker, A. C. Slater. 

1862-63— William B. C. Pearsons, Rufus ]\Iosher, Chester 

1864-Edmund Whitaker, Edwin H. Ball, Robert S. 

1865— Porter Underwood, Edwin H. Ball. John C. Newton. 

1866— Edwin Chase, Chester Crafts. Joel Russell (de- 

1867— Chester Crafts, Edwin Chase, Timothy Merrick. 

1868— George C. Ewing, Chester Crafts. Allen Higginbot- 

1869— Allen Higginbottom. William A. Judd. Charles A. 

1870— William A. Judd. Charles A. Corser, Allen Higgin- 

1871— Allen Higginbottom. William A. Judd, Rufus 

1872— AVilliam A. Judd, John Delaney. Rufus Mosher. 

( 10 ) 


1873— William A. Judd, John O'Donnell, Ezra H. Flagg. 

.lssesso?-s. — 1850— Nathaniel Thorp, George C. Ewing, Ab- 
ner Miller. 

1851_jared P. Searles, Willard Ely, Lewis P. Bosworth. 

1852— Ballard Pettingill, Solomon B. Davis, Henry Chapin. 

1853— Sydenham Street, Cryiis Frink, Samuel Flyun. 

1854_Sydenham Street, Timothy 0. Jones, William Mel- 

1855— Isaac Osgood, Russell Gilmore, J. E. Morrill. 

1856-7— William B. C. Pearsons, Joseph Murray, Ezra H. 

1858— William B. C. Pearson.s, Samuel B. Allyn, Joseph 

1859— William B. C. Pearsons, Samuel B. Allyn, Pelatiah 

1860-1— Ezra H. Flagg, William B. C. Pearsons, Hervey 

1862— Joseph Mtirray, Daniel E. Kingsbury, C. B. Wolcott. 

1863— Joseph Murray, C. B. Woleott, Ezra H. Flagg. 

1864— Ezra H. Flagg, Henry J. Chapin, Henry A. Pratt. 

1865— Joseph Murray, C. B. Woleott, J. E. Morrill. 

1866— Joseph Murray, J. E. Morrill, Edwin Perkins. 

1867— Joseph Murray, J. T. Prescott, Hervey Chapin. 

1868— Joseph Murray, D. E. Kingsbury, Hervey Chapin. 

1869— D. E. King,sbury, Geo. Thayer, Hervey Chapin. 

1870— S. A. Hooker, Amos Andrews, Joseph Murray. 

1871— Amos Andrews, D. E. Kingsbury. H. A. Pratt. 

1872— Amos Andrews, P. B. Flanders, James Doyle. 

1873— Amos Andrews, Joseph Murray, James Doyle. 

Toicn Cifer^ls.i-Lucien Morton, 1850; John M.Cavis, 1851-2; 
Gustavus Snow, 1852-65: Ezra H. Flagg, 1866-67; William S. 
Loomis, 1868-73. 

Treasurers.— John M. Chapin, 1850: Henry S. Babbitt, 
1851-52 : oifice consolidated with town clerk from 1853 to 1868 ; 
Robert B. Johnson, 1868-71 : Charles W. Ranlet, 1872-73. 

'From 18.")0 to 18.">;^ the offices of town clerk and treasurer were separate; 
then were consolidated from 1853 to 1868. when again an Incumbent was elected 
to each. 

( 11 ) 



In 1847, three years previous to tlie ineorporatiou of the 
town, the locality in which the Hadley Falls company was just 
beginning operations contained a grist mill, a cotton or cloth 
mill, one small shop and fourteen dwelling houses. The inhab- 
itants here, like those owning the more elevated lands to the 
westward of the river, were chiefly engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits, although on the higher areas, especially along the old 
"county road," a little countiy village had gradually come 
into existence: and the locality about that time could boast a 
tavern of modest appearance, but of wide fame, two stores, a 
sash, blind and planing mill, two phy.sieians, a shoemaker, tailor, 
v/heelwright, painter, blacksmith, a school house and two 
churches— Congregational and Baptist. 

A few yeai-s later, after the failure of the first dam and the 
construction of its more substantial successor, business inter- 
ests began to gravitate toward the lands of the water power com- 
pany, and the new village soon gained precedence over and 
superseded the old. Prom that time Holyoke dates its most 
progressive history. The constant increase in population and 
commerce led to the establishment of new institutions, and 
called for a form of government not attainable under the town- 
ship character. Therefore, in 1873. when the town's pojuilation 
was increased to nearly 14,000 inhabitants, recourse again was 
had to the legislature with result in the passage of "An act to 
establish the city of Holyoke." The act was approved by the 
governor April 7, 187-3, and was accepted by the citizens May 29, 
1873, by a vote of 377 yeas to 17 nays. 

Tinder the charter the administration of the fiscal, pruden- 
tial and municipal aftairs of the city became vested in a mayor, 
a council of seven members, called the board of aldermen, and a 
council of twenty-one members, called the common council, all 
to be elected by the people. The charter also made provision 
for the election of a city clerk and city treasurer, and for the 
election by the qualified voters, or th(> aiipoiiitment by the mayor 
or city^ouncil, of such other officers as the luoper administration 
of municipal afi'airs from time to time sliould require. 

( 12 ) 







The original city cluu'tcr was sufficient for its time, but with 
the rapid inci'ease in population and commercial interests of 
later years, special, amendatory and supplemental acts became 
necessary. In 1896 the charter was radically revised, and by 
the act of May 27 of that year the administrative ati'airs, except 
those of the public schools, were vested in an executive depart- 
ment consisting of a mayor and a board of aldermen, the latter 
composed of fourteen members elected at large, and one member 
from each ward in the city. Untler the provisions of this act 
and the ordinances adopted b.y the municipal legislative body, 
the affairs of the city are now administered. 

Within the corporate limits established in 1873, and since 
continued, the city of Holyoke has an area of 16.85 square miles 
of land ; river front, 7.06 miles ; greatest north and south meas- 
ui'ement, 4.75 miles ; greatest east and west measurement, 5.12 
miles; county roads, 35.25 miles; accepted streets, 41.57 miles; 
unaccepted streets, 16.01 miles ; paved streets, 6.50 miles : sewers, 
32.37 miles; streets watered, 42.21 miles; fire alarm wires, 72 
miles ; street lights, 289 ; park areas, 23.71 acres ; dwelling houses, 
4,571 : number of voters, 6,864 : number of polls, 11,653 ; popu- 
lation. June 1. 1900 (United States census), 45,712; popula- 
tion. May 1, 1900 (school census), 47.612; public schools en- 
rollment (day), 6,287: public schools enrollment (night), 905; 
parochial schools enrollment, 3.655 : school houses, 29 ; churches, 
20; engine houses, 7: fire alarm boxes, 112; valuation. May 1, 
1901, ,$39,951,930 (real estate, $29,658,610: personal, $10,293,- 
320). The erection of a town hall was suggested in 1870. four 
years before the city government was organized, but the struc- 
ture in fact was built by the city: hence the name city hall. 
The building is a splendid specimen of modern architecture, rep- 
resenting several years of work and an expenditure of nearly 
$300,000. It was finally completed under the supervision of a 
specially constituted building committee, chosen in 1874, and 
composed of William Grover, Timothy Merrick. John C. Newton, 
James Doyle and Charles W. Ranlet. 

The special acts relating to the town and city may be enum- 
erated as follows : 

( 14 ) 

City Hall, Holyoke 


Act of 1869, approved June 12— "An act to incorporate the 
Holyoke and "Westfield railroad company," authorizing the town 
and certain manufacturing corporations to purchase and hold 
stock in such railroad company. 

Act of 1870, approved April 22 — "An act in relation to a 
public jihraiy in llolyokt-"; iiicorixn-ating the Holyoke public 

Act of 1871. approved April 8— "An act to establish the 
police court of Holyoke." 

Act of 1872, approved March 7— "An act to supi)ly the 
town of Holyoke with pure water." 

Act of 1874. approved May 7— "An act to authorize the 
city of Holyoke to issue bonds for the purpose of funding its 
debtvS;" authorizing an issue of bonds for $300,000, the creation 
of a sinking fund and the ajipointnient of three commissioners 
of the sinking fund. 

Act of 1881, approved March 30— "An act to establish the 
oiiSee of clerk of the police court of Holyoke. ' ' 

Act of 1882, approved April 12— "An act to authorize the 
city of Holyoke to construct a common sewer and provide for 
the payment of the cost of the same." 

Act of 1886, approved April 29— "An act to exempt the city 
of Holyoke from the provisions of Sec. 1, Chap. 312 of the Acts 
of 1885, relative to the limit of municipal debt and the rate of 
taxation in cities." 

Act of 1887, approved May 25— "An act authorizing the 
city of Holyoke to make a new division of the wards of said city." 

Act of 1888, approved May 10— "An act to provide for re- 
building the bridge across the Connecticut river between Hol- 
yoke and South Hadley:" additional act April 5. 1889. 

Act of 1888, approved :\Iay 22-" An ad to fix the tenure of 
office of the members of the police force of the city of Holyoke." 

Act of 1889, approved May 21— "An act to authorize the 
county commissioners of the county of Hampden to lay out a 
highway and construct a bridge across the Connecticut river be- 
tween Holyoke and Chicopee." 

Act of 1890, approved March 28— "An act to authorize the 
city of Holyoke to issue notes, bonds or scrip for the purpose of 

( K, ) 


refunding certain bonds, and to sell certain railroad stock now 
owned by it, the proceeds of which are to pay said notes, bonds 
or scrip." 

Act of 1890, approved May 23— "An act authorizing the 
city council to establish a fire department." 

Act of 1891, approved April 17— "An act to authorize the 
city of Holyoke to incur indebtedness beyond the limit fixed by 
law;" additional act passed April 20 and June 30, 1894, April 6, 
1895, and Feb. 18, 1897. 

Act of 1896, approved May 19— "An act to authorize the 
city of Holyoke to increase its water supply." 

The charter act of 1873 was passed by the house March 28, 
by the senate April 4, and on April 7 received the executive 
approval. The officers elected at the town meeting in that year 
were continued in their respective offices until the organization 
of the city government in January, 1874. The fii-st charter 
election was held in December, 1873. 


.Vai/o)s.-William B. C. Pearsons, 1874-76; Roswell P. 
Crafts. 1877 ; William Whiting, 1878-79 ; William Ruddy, 1880 ; 
F. P. Goodall, 1881; Roswell P. Crafts, 1882-83; James E. 
Delaney. 1884-85; James J. O'Connor, 1886-87: James E. De- 
laney, 1888; Jeremiah F. Sullivan, 1889-90; Michael J. Griffin, 
1891 : Jeremiah F. Sullivan, 1892 : Dennie L. Farr, 1893 ; Mar- 
ciene H. Whitcomb. 1894: Henry A. Chase, 1895: James J. Cur- 
ran. 1896; George H. Smith, 1897; Michael Connors, 1898; 
Arthur B. Chapin, 1899-1902. 

City CierAs.— E. A. Ramsay, 1874-76; James E. Delaney, 
1877-82; Michael J. Griffin, 1883-90; Thomas D. O'Brien, 1891- 
94 ; Edward A. Kane, 1895-April 24, 1901 : John F. Sheehan, 
April 30, 1901-1902 (now in office). 

Cihj Treasurers. — Charles W. Ranlet. 1874; AVilliam Whit- 
ing, 1875-76 ; Charles W. Ranlet, 1877-78 : James R. Howes, 1879 ; 
Charles W. Ranlet, 1880-84 : E. L. Munn, 1885 ; Oscar Ely, 1886 ; 
Edwin L. Munn, 1887-89: Dennie L. Farr, 1890-92; Pierre Bon- 
vouloir, 1893-1902 (now in office). 

3-3 ( 17 ) 

Willi;im B. L'. Pearsons 


Aldermen}— 19>1^, William Grover, Henry A. Chase, Aug. 
Stursburg, John H. Wright, John O'Donnell, G. W. Prentiss, J. 

F. Allyn. 

1875— William Grover, Henry A. Chase, Matthew Walsh, 
John H. Wright, Edward 'Connor, G. W. Prentiss, J. P. Allyn. 

1876-William Ruddy, C. B. Harris, H. Springborn, S. J. 
Donoghue, Maurice Lynch, C. H. Heywood, J. F. Allyn. 

1877-M. J. Tehan, G. H. Smith, A. Stiirsberg, S. J. Dono- 
ghue, D. H. Donoghue, C. H. Heywood, G. P. Ellison. 

1878-Tliomas S. Grover, C. B. Harris (died March 11 and 

G. H. Smith chosen), A. Stursberg (resigned and James Staf- 
ford chosen), Chas. D. Colson, D. E. Sullivan, G. P. Ellison. 

1879— William Ruddy, Fordyce R. Norton, Henry Winkler, 
Charles D. Colson, D. E. Sullivan, William Skinner, William S. 

1880— John D. Walsh. Fordyce R. Norton, Henry Winkler, 
James Casey, John O'Donnell, Charles A. Corser, William S. 

1881 — Casper Ranger. Fred Morrison. P. J. Sheridan, 
Thomas Dillon. D. J. Landers, E. A. Whiting. R. Winchester. 

1882— Casper Raugei-. Isaac Tirrell, C. R. Heubler, Thomas 
Dillon, John O'Donnell, William A. Chase, W. T. Dean. 

1883— Casper Ranger. Isaac Tirrell. John T. Lynch, Thomas 
Dillon, John O'Donnell, Charles A. Corser, W. T. Dean. 

1884— James Greeley, Isaac Tirrell, John T. Lynch, John 
Dillon, E. O'Connor, Elias P. Ford, C. C. Hastings. 

1885-William Reardon. Thomas H. Scare, J. K. McCar- 
thy, John J. Prew. R. P. Donoghue, Eli J. Brocket. John E. 

1886— J. J. Sheridan. Francis J. Curley, James J. Curran, 
John J. Prew, R. P. Donoghue, William E. Syms, John E. Clark. 

1887— William H. Hess. James W. Toole, Henry Winkler, 
John Dillon, James F. Cleary, William E. Syms, John Hildreth. 

1888-L. F. Hayward. jr.. J. W. Toole. Henry Winkler (re- 
signed June 27 and :M. Manning chosen), John Dillon, H. E. 
McElwain. C. L. Newcomb, John Hildreth. 

'Aldermeu aie mentioned in the order of waid numbei-s. 

( 10 ) 


1889— John C. yuUivan, AVilliiuii B. Buckley, George Spa- 
mer, Thomas J. Carmody, Richard Shea, Dennie L. Parr, E. L. 

1890 — M. P. Conway, J. Beaucbemin, George Spamer, N. J. 
Baker, A. Higginbottom, C. D. Colson, E. L. Squier. 

1891— M. P. Conway, T. J. Kennedy, Michael Connors, R. 
P. Donoghue, J. J. Callanan, J. P. Prescott, F. C. Steele. 

1892— William Haney, Antoine Marcotte, Michael Connors, 
T. J. Dillon. J. J. Callanan, M. J. Laporte, R. B. Holmes. 

1894— T. J. Lynch, Fred St. Alartin, M. Connor, P. W. 
Shea, R. S. Burns, James A. Allyn, R. B. Holmes. 

1895— Timothy J. Lynch, Fred St. Martin, R. H. Dietz, 
Thomas J. Lynch, Richard S. Burns, John "Wall, George H. 

1896— Timothy J. Lynch, Fred Gervais. Adam Leining. Pat- 
rick W. Shea, Jeremiah J. Linehan, Elbert Goss. Frank Feather. 

1897— At large for two years, Henry A. Collings, Patrick 
F. Donoghue, Arthur M. French, Adam Leining, Hugh Mc- 
Lean, Daniel Proulx, Homer J. Stratton ; for one year. Saline J. 
Benoit, Archibald Ferguson, sr., Morris Hicks. William J. Ryan, 
George A. Savoy, James H. Staples, Peter J. Westphal; by 
wards, Timothy J. Lynch, Fred Gervais, Frank Feather, Pat- 
rick J. O'Connor, Jeremiah J. Linehan. Elbert Goss. Charles P. 

1898— At large for two years. Joseph Beaudry. jr., William 
D. Bunnell. Edward L. Cassidy. J. Joseph Doran. Archibald 
Ferguson, sr., William J. Ryan. Peter J. Westphal ; for one year, 
Henry A. Collings. Patrick F. Donoghue, Arthur M. French, 
Adam Leining. Hugh McLean, Daniel Proulx. Homer J. Strat- 
ton ; by wards, Timothy J. Lynch, Samuel I\Iigneaidt, Frank 
Feather. James S. Lacey, Michael J. Doyle. Elbert J. Goss, 
James H. Wylie, jr. 

1899— At large for two years. P. F. Donoghue. Arthur M. 
French. Adam Leining. Joseph A. Morin. AVilliam IMcCorkin- 
dale. Hugh McLean, Edwin L. Squier: for one year. Joseph A. 
Beaudry, jr.. William D. Bunnell. Edward L. Cassidy. J. Joseph 
Doran. Archibald Ferguson, sr.. William J. Ryan. Peter J. Wes^ 

( 20 ) 


phal ; by wards, T. J. Lyuch, Samuel Migneault, Moritz E. 
Rutlier, Joseph A. O'Donnell, Michael J. Doyle, William G. 
Beaudro, Frank B. Towne. 

1900— At large for two years, J. Joseph Doran, Jeremiah 
J. Farrell, John K. Judd, Adelard M. Potvin, John Stalker. 
Frank C. Webber, Marciene H. Whitcomb ; for one year, Patrick 
F. Donoghue, Arthur M. French, Adam Leining, Joseph A. 
Marin, William McCorkindale, Hugh McLean, Edwin L. Squier ; 
by wards, John P. McTigue, Arthur R. Vincent, Herbert C. 
Clark, Florence Donoghue, Michael J. Doyle, William G. Beau- 
dro, Frank B. Towne. 

1901— At large for two years, William G. Beaudro, Edward 
F. Dowd, William 0. Ducharme, John J. Finn, Charles S. Hem- 
ingway, James M. Kennedy, William McCorkindale; for one 
year, J. Joseph Doran, Jeremiah J. Farrell, John K. Judd, Ade- 
lard M. Potvin, John Stalker, Frank C. Webber. Marciene H. 
Whitcomb ; by wards, Dennis 'Leary, Eugene Laramay, John 
R. Allen, Florence Donoghue, Michael J. Doyle, John C. Carlin, 
Frank B. Towne. 

1902— At large for two years. George Barnett. Jeremiah J. 
Farrell, George P. Noonan, Adelard M. Potvin. John D. Ryan, 
John Stalker, Frank C. Webber: for one year. William G. Beau- 
dro, Edward F. Dowd, William 0. Ducharme, John J. Finn, 
Charles S. Hemingway, James M. Kennedy, William McCork- 
indale; by wards, Dennis 'Leary, Eugene Laramay, Leon W. 
Bliss, Alexander O'Brien, Eugene F. Kane, John G. Reardon, 
Thomas W. Holley. 

Common Cotincilmcn.—1874:, ward 1, Curtis Moore, James 
Ruddy, William Ruddy ; ward 2, G. W. Burditt, C. B. Harris, 

5. F. Stebbins; ward 3, Martin Lawler, F. Kreimendahl, Mat- 
thew Walsh; ward 4, W. D. Higgins, H. G. Pierce. A. C. Pratt: 
ward 5, Maurice Lynch, John 'Connell, J. A. SuUivan : ward 

6, John Delaney, C. H. Heywood, Timothy Merrick ; ward 7, R. 
M. Fairfield. H. A. Pratt. Reuben Winchester. 

1875— Ward 1, John Moore, James Ruddy, William Ruddy; 
ward 2, C. B. Harris, Fred Morrison, G. H. Smith ; ward 3, Rich- 
ard Gilday, F. Kreimendahl, Henry Winkler ; ward 4, S. J. Don- 

( 31 ) 


oghue, Peter McKeon, E. A. Newton: ward 5, B. P. Bigelow, D. 
H. Donoghue, J. K. Donoghue : ward 6, John Delaney, C. H. 
Heywood, Timothy Merrick : ward 7, Horace Brown, Chester 
Strong, Reuben Winchester. 

1876— AVard 1, James Barnes, John Moore. A. B. Tower; 
ward 2, Chalmers Chapin, (i. H. Smith. E. Whitaker; ward 3, 
Joseph Mellor, J. N. Thayer, J. S. Webber: ward 4, C. D. Col- 
sou, Daniel Ford, V. J. "Connell : ward 5, B. F. Bigelow, Mi- 
chael Downing, D. M. Manning; ward 6, A. D. Barker, J. E. De- 
laney, J. H. Newton : ward 7, H. C. Ewing. S. T. LjTuan, Reu- 
ben Winchester. 

1877— Ward 1, John Ford. Richard Patte. C. 0. Warner; 
ward 2, Chalmers Chapin, F. P. Goodall, Isaac Tirrell ; ward 3, 
A. G. Rideout, James StafiCord, J. N. Thayer ; ward 4, C. D. Col- 
son, Michael Lynch, M. M. Mitivier: ward 5, Michael Cleary, 
Stephen Maloney. D. E. Sullivan : ward 6, E. W. Chapin, E. A. 
Ramsey, Porter Underwood ; ward 7. John Merrick, Edwin Per- 
kins. John Street. 

1878-Ward 1, T. L. Keough. J. W. Moore, W. E. Syms; 
ward 2, F. P. Goodall, P. Morrison, Isaac Tirrell : ward 3, A. G. 
Rideout, James Staiford. E. F. Sullivan; ward 4, James P. 
Casey, T. J. Ryan, Didace Saint-Marie ; ward 5, Stephen Maloney, 
E. O'Connor. Thomas Pendergast : ward fi, Henry C. Cady, J. S. 
McElwain. Levi Perkins ; ward 7, John ]\Ierriek. Edwin Perkins, 
John Street. 

1879— Ward 1, G. C. Ainslie. James Greeley. John D. 
Walsh; ward 2, John E. Bronson. John B. Hart. Franklin P. 
Goodall; ward 3, John L. Martin, P. J. Sheridan, M. J. Ryan; 
ward 4. Victor Guyott. Peter INIcKeon, T. J. Ryan : ward 5, 
Thomas Dillon. Michael Downing. John 'Donnell : ward 6, H. 
C. Cady, J. S. McElwain. Levi Perkins; ward 7, Berijah H. Kag- 
win. Origen H. Merrick. ]\Iarden W. Prentiss. 

1880— Ward 1, John Ford. James Greeley, Casper Ranger; 
ward 2, John E. Bronson, John B. Hart. George W. Maher; ward 
3. John L. IMartin, Patrick J. Sheridan. John IMcDonald : ward 4, 
Pierre Bonvouloir, Cornelius D. Geran. Timothy J. Ryan ; ward 
5, Michael Cleary, Michael Downing. Timothy Haley: ward 6, 

( 2? ) 


Charles B. Davis, Hervey K. Hawes, Edwin A. Whiting; ward 
7, Berijah H. Kagwin, Origen H. Merrick, John B. Miinn. 

1881— Ward 1, IMichael Collins. James Greeley, Samuel S. 
Chapman : ward 2, Royal C. Dickinson, Sumner T. Miller, 
Dwight O. Judd : ward 3, Herbert Hicks, Lyman F. Thorpe, 
Charles R. Heubler; ward 4. George Hart, Coi'uelius D. Geran, 
Dennis E. Herbert; ward 5, James S. Lee, John F. Shea, Thomas 
Pendergast : ward 6. Amos Andrews, Hervey K. Hawes, Henry 
H. Smith ; ward 7, Charles C. Hastings, Lyman B. Moore, John 
B. Munn. 

1882— Ward 1, AVilliam Brennan, James Spillane. William 
H. Jess; ward 2, E. R. Pierce, Joseph Beauchemin, (Jeorge W. 
Richards: ward 3, S. K, ^McCarthy, D. Driscoll, W. E. Keefe; 
ward 4, Dennis E. Herbert, P. J. O'Connor, J. J. Prew ; ward 5, 
Maurice Lynch, Thomas Pendergast, jNIichael 'Keefe; ward 6, 
Amos Andrews. H. H. Smith, Joseph A. Snell : ward 7, C. C. 
Hastings. L. L. Hooker, A. N. Rieker. 

1883 -Ward 1, William H. Jess, John M. Sheridan, M. C. 
Browne ; ward 2, Pierre Benoit, George W. Richards, C. 0. War- 
ner; ward 3, J. K. McCarthy, D. W. Driscoll, Peter J. Westphal; 
ward 4, D. E. Herbert. Frank S. Lynch. J. J. Prew : ward 5, P. 
J. Landers, John O'Connell. William Sullivan; ward 6, Joseph 
A. Snell. C. P. Lyman. E. P. Ford : ward 7, C. C. Hastings. D. H. 
Ives. A. X. Rieker. 

1884- Ward 1, John :\Ioore. M. F. Sullivan, W. A. Casey; 
ward 2. George W. Richards. Didace Sainte-Marie, Thomas H. 
Sears; ward 3, John Lowcock, John Jack. Blaise Borlen; ward 
4, William Sullivan (died and succeeded by Matthew Doherty), 
Thoma.s O'Donnell. Amede F. Gingras: ward 5, R. P. Donoghue, 
Thomas J. Carmody, Michael Manning ; ward 6, Charles P. Ly- 
man. Eli L. Brockett, John J. Reardon ; ward 7, Frank L. Buck, 
Robert T. Prentiss. Samuel IM. Gilmore. 

1885-Ward 1, John J. Sheridan, WiUiam J. Casey, J. G. 
McCarthy ; ward 2, John C. Smith, George W. Richards, M. F. 
Doyle; ward 3. Blaise Borlen. Charles Brueck, James F. Cana- 
van; ward 4. Thomas O'Donnell, P. F. Carmody, Matthew Do- 
herty; ward 5, T. J. Carmody, James S. Lee, T. J. Fitzgerald; 

( 23 ) 


ward 6, Andrew Buchanan, C. H. Whiting, John L. Burlingame ; 
ward 7, John K. Judd, S. B. Allyn, S. M. Gilmore (resigned), 
George W. Doane. 

1886-Ward 1, J. C. Keough, William A. Casey, J. G. Mc- 
Carthy ; wai'd 2, James H. Fitzsimmons, Edward Donahue, J. 
W. Toole ; ward 3, Bruno Ezold, J. T. Cunningham, Peter J. 
Westphal ; ward 4, J. H. Sidlivan ; M. F. Manning, Matthew Do- 
herty; ward 5, J. F. Cleary, J. J. Casey, T. P. Greaney; ward 6, 
Andrew Buchanan, Charles H. Whiting, Charles L. Newcomb ; 
ward 7, John K. Judd, George W. Doane, Ai'uthur M. Cain. 

1887-Ward 1, J. C. Keough, D. J. Sidlivan, B. J. Lynch; 
wai"d 2, Edward Donahue, T. J. Gibson, Nazaire Beliveau; ward 
3, J. F. Canavan, John P. Hanley, Charles W. Bleumer ; ward 4, 
Maurice Sullivan, Thomas Connor, Louis S. Paquette ; ward 5, 
J. J. Casey, M. J. Lavelle, John Dillon ; ward 6, Charles L. New- 
comb, Henry E. McElwain, J. Sanford Webber; ward 7, A. M. 
Cain, G. L. Thorpe, Richard C. Kilduff. 

1888— Ward 1, D. J. Sullivan, J. J. Keough, John Blasius; 
ward 2, T. J. Gibson, W. P. Buckley, Nazaire Beliveau ; ward 3, 
J. F. Canavan, J. P. Hanley, Clyde C. Kelly; ward 4, John B. 
Laroche, M. J. Lavelle, Dennis Herbert ; ward 5, Thomas Con- 
nor, Dennie L. Farr, Justin D. Perkins: ward 6, Charles L. 
Allyn, Lucius Ely, Frank A. Rivers ; ward 7, George L. Thorpe, 
John Longway, jr., George V. Osgood. 

1889— Ward 1, J. J. Keough, J. A. Peltier, T. H. Breen; 
ward 2, J. A. Murray, F. St. IMartin, Thomas J. Kennedy; ward 

3, J. F. Canavan, Onesime Viens. John J. Taylor ; ward 4, P. A. 
Brennan, Napoleon Aubertin, Eugene Shea ; ward 5, Thomas 
Connor, J. J. Callanan, J. W. Doran; ward 6, Lucius Ely, C. L. 
Allj-n, James L. Da'sns: ward 7. Frederick C. Steele, Roland T. 
Oakes, George V. Osgood. 

1890— Ward 1, William Brockway. Joseph A. Peltier, M. J. 
Sullivan: ward 2, T. J. Kennedy, J. A. Murray, C. O'Leary; 
ward 3, Herman Heinritz, John J. Taylor, Onesime Viens ; M'ard 

4, Patrick Brennan, John J. Prentiss, Eugene Shea ; ward 5, Jo- 
seph Bardwell, Thomas Connor, Charles MeCollister: ward 6, 
Lucius Ely, Stephen E. Gifford, Medric J. Laporte; ward 7, Ro- 
land T. Oakes, George T. Osgood, Frederick C. Steele. 

24 ) 


1891 -Ward 1, William Broekway, John H. Kyau, M. J. 
Sullivan; ward 2, John Black, A. B. C. De Launay, C. O'Leary; 
ward 3, Max C. Burkhardt, Ulrick Perrault, Albert C. Renner; 
ward 4, Napoleon Aubertin, T. J. Dillon, Eugene Shea ; ward 5, 
John E. Burke, Richard A. Doran, D. J. 'Connell ; ward 6, M. 
J. Laporte, Stephen E. Gifford, John B. Miller; ward 7, Law- 
rence J. Portier, Charles McCollister, Henry D. Williams. 

1892-Ward 1, Joseph Herbert, H. L. Mohan, John H. 
Ryan ; ward 2, John Black, Joseph Blair, Fred Daze ; ward 3, 
Max G. Burkhardt, Ulrick Perrault, Paul Schubach ; ward 4, 
Frank 0. Blanchette, Eugene Shea, Daniel P. Sullivan ; ward 5, 
William L. Bishop, P. H. Brennan, William B. Miles; ward 6, 
Fred H. Gilpatrick, George E. Pickup, Frank C. Webber; ward 
7, Lawrence H. Fortier, Charles H. McCollister, Henry D. Wil- 

1893 -Ward 1, Patrick Gear. Joseph Herbert, David H. 
Toole; ward 2, Joseph C. Blair, T. J. Kennedy, Cyril T. La- 
brecque ; ward 3, Max Bretschneider, Victor S. Laplante, Ernest 
R. Tauscher; ward 4, Thomas Fitzgerald, P. J. O'Connor, D. P. 
Sullivan ; ward 5, S. J. Benoit, J. L. Connor, J. J. Linehan ; ward 
fi, F. H. Gilpatrick, John Naylor, Frank C. Webber; ward 7, 
Azro A. Coburn, Edwin B. Evans, Charles M. Hartzell. 

1894— Ward 1, Octave Perrault, David H. Toole (resigned), 
John Daly, James Wall ; ward 2, Fred Gervais, Fred A. Monat, 
P. H. Prendiville; ward 3, Max Bretschneider, Victor S. La- 
plante, Ernest R. Tauscher; ward 4, Frank Fitzgerald, Thomas 
Fitzgerald, Anthyme S. Menard ; ward 5, S. J. Benoit, J. L. Con- 
nor, J. J. Linehan; ward 6, Elbert Goss, Frederick N. Kicker, 
Edward N. White; ward 7, Azro A. Coburn, Edwin B. Evans, 
Charies M. Hartzell. 

1895— Ward 1, Edward D. Bunyan, P. F. Flynn, Dennis 
O'Leary; ward 2, Fred Gervais, Fred A. Monat, P. H. Prendi- 
ville; ward 3, J. H. Donoghue, Victor S. Laplante, W. J. Ma- 
honey ; ward 4. John J. Mclntee, John P. Sullivan, John F. Sulli- 
van ; ward 5, Edmund H. Alger, John L. Connor, J. J. Linehan ; 
ward 6, Edwin M. Chase, Elbert Goss, Caleb J. Humeston ; ward 
7, Conrad V. Hein, Charles P. Randall, William 0. White. 

{ 25 ) 


1896— Ward 1, E. D. Biinyan, P. F. Flynn. Dennis 
O'Learj-; ward 2, Joseph Beaudry, jr., Henry P. Cunuingluuii, 
P. H. Prendiville; ward 3, J. II. Connor, William J. Mahoney, 
P. AV. O'Hourke; ward 4, AVilliam J. Dillon, John J. Melntee, 
John J. Kiley; ward 5, E. 11. Alger, Edward J. Keuney. Wil- 
liam O'Connell; ward 6, AVilliam D. Bunnell, Thomas H. Kear- 
ne}', Henry Heed: ward 7, James Collingwood, Charles Randall, 
Homer J. Stratton. 

Presidents of Board of .Uc/crme/i.— Michael Connors, 1893; 
Kufus B. Holmes, 1894; Henry A. Chase, 1895: Timothy J. 
Lynch, 1896; Arthur M. French, 1897; Hugh McLean, 1898; 
Arthur M. French, 1899-1900 ; Michael J. Doyle, 1901 : James 
M. Kennedy, 1902. 

Presidents of Common Council. — C. H. Heywood, 1874-75; 
G. H. Smith, 1876 ; C. D. Colson, 1877 ; F. P. Goodall, 1878 ; John 
O'Donnell. 1879; James Greeley. 1880; Hervey K. Hawes, 1881; 
Amos Andrews, 1882 ; C. 0. Warner. 1883 : Roger P. Donoghue, 
1884 ; Thomas J. Carmody, 1885 ; John K. Judd, 1886 ; James C. 
Keough, 1887; Michael J. Lavelle, 1888; J. J. Callahan, 1889; 
Thomas Connor, 1890 ; Thomas J. Dillon, 1891 ; Henry D. AVil- 
liams, 1892; John L. Connor, 1893-95; Patrick H. Prendiville, 

City Auditors. — Kd^\in A. Kamsey, 1874-76; James E. De- 
laney, 1877-82; M. J. Griffin, 1883-90; Thomas D. O'Brien, 
1891-95; Daniel W. Kenney, 1896-1902. 

City Messengers.— J. H. Clifford, 1874-76: J. R. Howes, 
1877-79 ; Charles M. Hackett, 1880-83 : William T. Walsh, 1884- 

City Engineers.— Thomas W. Mann, 1874; E. T. Davis, 
1875; Thomas W. Mann, 1876-80; A. B. Tower, 1881-83: Emory 
A. Ellsworth, 1884-85; T. W, Mann, 1886; Emory A, Ellsworth, 
1887-89 ; Edward Walther, 1890-95 : John J. Kirkpatrick, 1896- 
1898; James L. Tighe, 1899-1902, 

City Solicitors.— FAvcard W, Chapin, 1874-75; H. K. 
Hawes, 1876-78; H. L. Sherman, 1879; S. W. Dougherty, 1880 
AYilliam H. Brooks, 1881-83: Terrence B. O'Donnell. 1884-90 
Christopher T. Callahan, 1891; William Hamilton, 1892-94 

( 26 ) 


Christopher T. Callahau, 1895: Arthur B. Chapin, 1896; Wil- 
liam Hamiltou, 1897; Christopher T. Callahan, 1898; Addison 
L. Greene, 1899 ; Nathan P. Aveiy, 1900-02. 

City Physicians.— Dr. Charles 0. Carpenter, 1874-76; Dr. 
G. W. Davis, 1877; Dr. A. F. Reed, 1878; Dr. J. J. O'Connor, 
1879-84; Dr. D. P. Donoghue, 1885-91; Dr. Stephen A. Ma- 
honey, 1892-94 ; Dr. John P. Buckley. 1895-97 ; Dr. John J. Me- 
Cabe, 1898-99; Dr. George C. Robert, 1900-01; Dr. Joseph A. 
Marin, 1902. 

Assessors of Taxes.— Amos Andrews, James E. Delaney, 
John E. Chase, 1874 ; Amos Andrews, James E. Delaney, Joseph 
Murray, 1875; Amos Andrews, J. P. Sullivan, Joseph Murray, 
1876-79 ; Joseph Murray, J. P. Sullivan, J. H. Eraser, 1880-82 ; 
Joseph Murray, J. P. Sullivan, S. E. Gates, 1883-85; V. 
J. O'Donnell, J. P. Sullivan, S. E. Gates, 1886; Jeremiah P. 
Sullivan, Seymour E. Gates, Didace Sainte-Marie, 1887-88; 
James J. Dowd, S. E. Gates, Didace Sainte-Marie, 1889-91 ; Sey- 
mour E. Gates, James J. Dowd, John B. Laroche, 1892 ; S. E. 
Gates, James J. Dowd, Joseph St. Martin, 1893-94; James J. 
Dowd, Joseph St. Martin, Joseph J. Kelley, 1895-99 ; Dwight 0. 
Judd, Joseph St. Martin, Joseph J. Kelley, 1900-02. 

City Marshals.— {CaUed chief of police prior to 1894), Wil- 
liam G. Ham, 1874 ; Almado Davis, 1875 ; William G. Ham, 1876 ; 
D. E. Kingsbury, 1877 ; William G. Ham, 1878-81 ; Sumner T. 
Miller, 1882-83 ; James Dougherty, 1884-85 ; Marciene H. Whit- 
comb, 1886-90 ; Sumner T. Miller, 1891 ; Valentine J. 'Donnell, 
1892; S. T. Miller, 1893; George H. Twaddle, 1894-95; S. T. 
Miller, 1896 ; M. H. Whitcomb, 1897 ; Edward J. Gorman, 1898 ; 
J. Sidney Wright, 1899-1902. 

Board of Public Wor/«.— Michael F. Walsh, chairman, Oren 
D. Allen, Gilbert Potvin, .jr., 1897-1902. 


Previous to the incorporation of the Hadley Palls company 
the inhabitants of Ireland parish had no approved appliance for 
extinguishing fires in the town; and, indeed, there appears to 
have been little need for a fire organization of any kind in this 

( 27 ) 


quiet agricultural region. However, with the beginning of op- 
erations by the Iladlcy Falls company the managers purchased 
a haJKl engine of the Button tj'pe, which soon acquired the local 
designation of "piano machine," and which also was a famous 
fire fighting apparatus in the "New City," as Holyoke originally 
was called. 

In December, 1850, the town first took action in relation to 
the establishment of a fire department witliin the limits of 
school district No. 1, and at a regular meeting the old "First 
Fire district" was organized; and it was continued until 1872. 
In 1855 the town voted to pay the expenses of the fire depart- 
ment and appropriated the sum of $336 for maintenance. Small 
as this amount was, it was suflficient for the time and provided 
all that was then required to keep the three companies— Hol- 
yoke Engine Co. No. 1, Mechanics Engine Co. No. 2, and Mt. Tom 
Hose Co.— then comprising the department. In the latter part 
of 1857 and the early part of 1858 the board of engineers, in 
whom was vested the management of the department, approved 
the following named persons as firemen: Wallace Warner, Ru- 
fus Mosher, E. D. Shelley, Homer M. Crafts. Dominick Crosson, 
G. Mai-sh, S. C. Crouch, John R. Clifford, John R. Baker, J. C. 
Morrison, V. M. Dowd, Ben,iamin Roberts, E. W. Loomis, 0. A. 
Henry, Isaac Cook, John Prouty, Mowry Prouty, H. K. Bean, 
John Doyle, A. O. Kenney, Robert Mitchell, B. P. McKinster, 
Lester Newell, E. Whitaker, C. H. Roby, T. C. Page, John C. 
Smitli, Thomas II. Kelt. J. A. Cleveland. 

In 1861 the first hook and ladder company was organized, 
and during the next ten j'ears the department was materially 
increased, both in membership and in improved apparatus. In 
1870 the annual report of Chief Crafts showed three engine 
houses and six companies, the latter being as follows: Reliance 
(No. 1) Steam Fire Engine Co.. 25 membei-s; Relief (No. 2) 
Steam Fire Engine Co., 25 members; Emerald Engine Co., 60 
members ; Mt. Tom Hose Co., 30 members ; Mt. Holyoke Hose Co., 
25 members : Hook and Ladder Co., 30 members. The company 
last mentioned soon afterward was given the name of Rescue 
TT. & L. Co. No. 1. 

( 28 ) 


Under section thirty of the original city charter the citx 
council was autliorized to establish a fire department and to 
make such regulations concerning its pay, conduct and govern- 
ment as from time to time should be deemed expedient; also, 
to establish fire limits in the city. At the same time the inhab- 
itants of any previously existing fire district were authorized to 
dissolve the district and dispose of any or all of its apparatus. 
With the adoption of this act the history of the present fire de- 
partment had its beginning. In 1874 there were six companies 
in the department, tw-o steam engines, three hose companies and 
one hook and ladder truck. 

The act of May 23, 1890, authorized the city council to es- 
tablish, regulate and govern the department through the agency 
of a board of fire commissioners, to comprise three membei's ap- 
pointed by the maj^or. Thus was established the board by which 
the affairs of the fire department in a great measure was freed 
from the political influences which in the earlier years had seri- 
ously interfered with its efficiency. Under the recommendations 
of the commissioners the city has made liberal appropriations for 
the maintenance and extension of the department, and to-day 
the latter is regarded as one of the most thoroughly equipped 
and efficient bodies of its kind in the state. 

The permanent force of the department consists of seventy- 
one men and eleven fully equipped companies. There are in use 
six steam fire engines, two cliemieal engines, six two-horse hose 
•wagons, one combination chemical and hose wagon and three 
hook and ladder trucks. The annual expense of the department 
is about .$70,000. The estimated value of the six engine houses 
in the city is more than $100,000. 

The succession of chief engineers of the Holyoke fire de- 
partment is as follows: 

Chief Engineers.— "R. G. Marsh, 1851 ; Daniel Bowdoin, 
1852-53; Thomas H. Kelt, 1854; William B. C. Pearsons, 1855- 
1858 ; Jones S. Davis, 1859- 60 : William B. C. Pearsons, 1861-62 ; 
William H. Dickinson, 1863-64 ; L. P. Bosworth, 1865-67 ; Ros- 
well P. Crafts, 1868-69; 0. S. Tuttle, 1870; Roswell P. Crafts, 
1871; Richard Pattee, 1872-73; Benjamin F. Mullin, 1874-75: 

( 29 ) 


John D. Ilaidy. 1876-78; Benjamin F. Mullin, 1879 ; E. P. Ford, 
1880; B. F. Bigelow. 1881-84; John T. Lynch, 1885-1902. 

Fire Commissioners} — 'R\c\\?ivA Shea, Jeremiah J. Callanan, 
John Hildreth, Charles L. Neweomb, Val. Moquin, Roger P. Don- 
oghue, John J. Sheridan. 1891-92; John J. Sullivan, vice Sheri- 
dan, 1893: Charles L. Neweomb, James J. Curran, Val. Moquin, 
appointed 1894: Charles L. Neweomb, Val. Moquin, Dennis J. 
Landers, 1895-96 : Charles L. Neweomb, Dennis J. Landers, 1897 ; 
Charles L. Neweomb. M. J. Laporte, 1898-99 ; Charles L. New- 
eomb. Daniel Proulx, Frank L. Buck, 1900 ; Charles L. Neweomb, 
Daniel Tn.ulx. Dennis J. Landere, 1901-1902. 


As a part of its gigantic scheme of development and public 
improvement during the three years immediately preceding the 
year 1850. the Hadley Falls company constructed a reservoir on 
the elevated land about seventy-five rods from the river and from 
that point laid main and di.stributing pipes through the business 
and residence portions of the "New City," which the company, 
through its enterprise, had brought into active existence. Water 
was pumped from the river into the reservoir and was carried 
thence throughout the little village by gravity pressure. 

This was the only system of water supply for Holyoke from 
October 18. 1849. when the reservoir was first filled, until 1872, 
when the growth of tlie town necessitated the establishment of a 
larger and better plant. On Mai-ch 7, 1872, the legislature 
passed "An act to supply the town of Holyoke with pure water," 
which act was accepted by the inhabitants ]\Iarch 21, 1872. The 
act authorized the town to establish its own M'ater works and to 
regulate its use for fire, .steam, domestic and other purposes, with 
authority to take and hold the entire waters of Ashley's and 
Wright's ponds. For the purpose of constructing the w^orks the 
town was authorized to issue bonds to the amount of $250,000. 

The act also created the board of water commissioners, to 
comprise the tow-n treasurer, ex-officio, and six persons to be 

'At first seven cummlssloners were appointed, but as tlie board was found to 
be unwieldy the number was reduced to three. 

( 30 ) 


elected by the inhabitants. This act, however, was amended by 
the city charter, and it was then provided that the board should 
comprise three persons to be elected by the city council. In con- 
formity with the provisions of this act the board of water com- 
missioners has been continued to the present time. 

In 1884 a supplemental act authorized the commissioners to 
increase the water supply by taking the waters of Whiting 
Street brook : and in 1896 the legislature authorized the board to 
utilize for the same purpose the waters of Ti;cker and Manhan 
brooks in the town of Southampton. 

The work of construction on the original plant was begun 
in 1872 and was finished in 1873, but the woi'k of extension of 
the system has been carried forward year after year to the pres- 
ent time. One of the annual reports of the board of commis- 
sioners, in referring to the supply .system, says: "Source of 
supply— two contiguous natural lakes, thi-ee and one-half miles 
from the city, two mountain streams and storage reservoir, and 
the southwest branch of Manhan river: intake reservoir at 

The net cost of the water supply system to date aggregates 
nearly $1,250,000. The city's bonded indebtedness on account 
of the works is $300,000. The works produce an annual income 
of about $85,000, and the surplus over the expense of mainte- 
nance is chiefly used for extension purposes. The total length 
of distribution pipes is over eighty-one miles : number of public 
hydrants in, 524; estimated average daily consumption of 
water, 4,750,000 gallons. 

The personnel of the board of water commissioners from 
1872 is as follows : 

Wnfcr Cnmmissioncrs. —'WUWam B. C. Pearsons, March 21, 
1872-February 2, 1874 : John Delaney, March 21, 1872-Pebruary 
2, 1874 : John E. Chase, March 21, 1872-resigned March, 1873 : 
Dennis Higgins, March 21, 1872-February 2, 1874 ; Joel Russell, 
March 21, 1872-February 2, 1874: Joseph P. Buckhmd, March 
21, 1872-February 2, 1874: L. P. Bosworth, March 18, 1873-Feb- 
ruary 2, 1874: C. W. Ranlet, cx-ofpcw. town treasurer. (The 
foregoing were elected by tlie town). Joseph P. Buckland, Den- 

( 31 ) 


nis Higgins, February 2, 1874-Januaiy 2, 1876; James G. Smith, 
February 2, 1874-died July 10, 1878; J. A. Sullivan, February 
25, 1876-January G, 1891; James F. Allyn, February 5, 1877- 
January 4, 1886; C. II. Heywood, July 16, 1878-Ja.nuary 11, 
1880 : Timothy ^lerriek. Januaiy 11, 18Sl-January 4, 1887 : Mau- 
rice Lynch, January 4, 1886-January 5, 1802; James E. De- 
laney, January 4. 1887-January 7, 1887; Moses Newton, January 
18, 1887-January 2. 1893; James J. Curran. January 6. 1891- 
February 4, 1896 : Martin P. Conway, January 5, 1892-January 
3, 1898: Charles D. Colson, January 2, 1893-Februarj' 1, 1900; 
John J. Sullivan. January 27. 1896-now in office; Thomas F. 
Greaney, January 3. 1898-1901 ; Jospi)h A. Skinner, February 1, 
1900-now in oflSce; Maurice Lynch. 1901; Arthur M. French, 
January. 1901-iiow in office. "Water connnissioners. 1902. John 
J. Sullivan, chairman: Joseph A. Skinner, treasurer; Arthur M. 
French, secretary. 

Supcrinteiidoits.— Moses Stevens, 1874-1881; John D. 
Hardy, 1881-now in office. 

Registrars.— F,. M. Bolton, 1874-76: E. P. Clark, 1876-93 j 
J. C. Sullivan. 1893-1900 ; Albert E. Pickup. 1900-now in office. 


The founders of Ilolyoke. nearly all of whom were of New 
England birth, proved true to the early custom of their region 
when they laid out and established a comfortable park tract near 
the central part of their town more than half a century ago. 

That which now is known as Hampden park is the 
result of this early thoughtfulness on the part of our 
immediate ancestors, although many of those who were instru- 
mental in building up the town were chiefly interested in the 
advantages hoped to be derived from the operations of the 
water power company. At a later date the Holyoke Water 
Power company generously donated a tract of land for use as a 
public park, and at inten-als in subsequent years still other park 
tracts have been acquired by the city by purchase and also 
through the gift of public spirited citizens. In this manner 
Holyoke has become possessed of six park tracts, none of them 

( 32 ) 


of large area, but in the aggregate amounting to 23.71 acres of 
land. To these lands there should be added the famous Moun- 
tain park, 900 acres in extent, the property of the Mt. Tom 
railroad company, which is for the free use and benefit of the 
public. It is maintained at the expense of the company, and 
while not within the .jurisdiction of the city it nevertheless is 
one of the most beautful and popular resorts in all New England. 
The public parks of the city are known, respectively, as 
Hampden, Elmwood, Cononchet (given by the Holyoke Water 

••The stretch" 
Springdak- Driving Park. South Holyoke, a popular race track in Hampden County 

Power company^), Germania, Hamilton and Prospect parks, 
and are under the immediate control of the board of park com- 
missioners. The annual appropriation for maintenance is about 
$5,500. In 1882 the legislature passed an act authorizing towns 
and cities to lay out public parks within their limits, yet Holyoke 
appears not to have availed itself of the provisions of the act 

'As a matter of fact the city is indebted to tlie company for Hampden. Ger- 
mania, Elmwood and Prospect parks, as well as for Cononchet. 


( 33 ) 


until about two years aftenvard. Previous to that time the con- 
trol of the parks was vested iu the city council and one of the 
conijiiittces of that botly, and durinjr that period the public 
pleasure ttrounds received little more than indifferent attention ; 
but under the board of i)ark commissioners proper attention has 
been given to this element of nnmicipal life, although the appro- 
priations generally have been small in amount. 

The appended list shows the personnel of the first board of 
park commissioners, with tiie names of subsetinent appointees as 
vacancies occurred: 

Park Commissioners.— \s\\\\am Grover. John O'Donnell, 
James Ramage. Kobert B. Johnson. Maurice Lynch, 1884; John 
J. Prew, 1885; John J. Nugent. 1886; George Spamer, Wilberl 
T. Dean, 1888; George H. Smith. Charles R. Ileubler. William 
S. Loomis, 1889: Thomas F. (ireaney, 1890; Thomas J. Gibson, 
James Barnes, 1892 ; Timothy Merrick, 1893 ; Mederic J. La- 
porte. 1894: Daniel H. Newton. 1895: Antoine Marcotte. Charles 
G. 1900 ; James F. Burns, 1901 ; Antoine Marcotte. 
James F. Biirns, John McNairn, Charles E. Mackintosh. Max 
Otto Driekorn (full board), 1902. 


From such meagre records as have been preserved it is diffi- 
cult to determine .just when the mother town of Springfield first 
made provision for the support of a school in that part of its do- 
main which afterward acquired the name of Ireland parish, but 
which now comprises the city of Ilolyoke. It is known, however, 
that for more than a quarter of a century previous to the incor- 
poration of West Springfield a school was maintained in the lo- 
cality indicated, and that the settlers themselves secured the loca- 
tion and caused the erection of the first school house. 

WHien Wi>st Springfield was set off as a separate town 
( 1774) the authorities gave more earnest attention to the edu- 
cational welfare of the youth and soon divided the territory into 
districts, jiroviding one school in the so-called Ireland parish, 
the latter then comprising district No. 15. The earliest school 
record dates from 1802, and for several years furnishes only 

( 34 ) 


meagre information regarding the number and location of the 
schools of that period or of the i>ersons who were identified with 
their management. This, however, is unimportant in our pres- 
ent chapter, for the history of education in Holyoke really be- 
gins with the creation of the town, in 1850. Indeed, for several 
years previous to incorporation there had been independent ac- 
tion on the part of the inhabitants for the benefit of the schools 
in the parish, and as early as 1808 an excellent school, the Rand 
seminary, was established for the purpose of aft'ording the youth 
of the parish better educational advantages than the common 
schools could provide. 

The seminary was established through the efforts of Rev. 
Thomas Rand, one of the founders and the first pastor of the 
Baptist society in the parish; and while Elder Rand's co- work- 
ers in the seminary enterprise were chiefly of his own religious 
followers, the institution itself was not intended to be a denomi- 
national school, but rather for the welfare of all the to^vnsfolk 
who could avail themselves of its benefits. Deacon Perez Hitch- 
cock, Caleb Humeston, Austin Goodyear, Noah Wolcott and 
Da\nd Bassett are remembered as Elder Rand's principal sup- 
porters in establishing the seminary, yet others of the townsmen 
gave substantial aid to the institution during its early history. 
The founder was its head and its guiding spirit for twenty-four 
years, and upon his removal from the locality, the building was 
taken down and re-erected at a more central point in the par- 
ish, and no longer was a distinctive institution of the Baptist 
colony. In its new location the building was occupied in part 
as a district school and in part as a seminaiy. 

Following Elder Rand, William Gamwell taught in the 
seminary, and in allu-sion to him it took the name of " Gamwell 's 
school." In later years the teachere were frequently changed, 
for with the increasing efficiency of the public school system the 
old tuition institution lost its prestige in the town ; and with 
the estab]i.';hmont of the first high school in Holyoke. in 1852, 
the career of the seminary was ended. However, during the pe- 
riod of its history under Elder Rand, and his successor. Mr. 
Gamwell. the seminary was a flourishing institution of learning 

( 36 ) 


in the region, and many of the fo:-emost men of the town of half 
a centniy ago acquired their earlj' business training within its 
comfortable walls. 

In 1850 the town of West Springfield comprised twenty- 
four school districts, and when in that year Holyoke was set 
oflf eight of these districts were within the new jurisdiction, and 
also two-fifths of the total school population. In that year the 
school census showed Holyoke to contain 537 children between 
the ages of five and fifteen years, and for the instruction of such 
of them as then attended school the town voted an appropria- 
tion of $1,800. The first annual report of the school committee 
showed a division of the town into nine districts and the mainte- 
nance of thirteen schools, viz. : Dist. 1, five schools, 339 chil- 
dren of school age ; No. 2, one school, 66 children ; No. 3, two 
schools, 43 children ; No. 4, one school, 16 children ; No. 5, one 
school, 25 children ; No. 6, one school, 16 children ; No. 7, one 
school, 20 children ; No. 8, having no school, 12 children ; No. 9, 
one school, and children enumerated with district No. 2. 

The first twenty years after the incorporation of the town 
constituted the formative period of the present admirable school 
system of the city ; and indeed the work of formation was con- 
tinued under the charter until after the completion of the new 
high school building. In the summer of 1852 a high school was 
established in district No. 1, and Stephen Holman was appointed 
its first principal. In 1855 this district contained eight schools, 
three primary and three introductoiy (which now would be 
termed intermediate schools), one grammar school and one high 
school. A new high school building was erected in 1862 and 
cost $8,500. In 1863 the first graduating exercises were held, 
and on that occasion six young ladies were awarded diplomas. 
This pioneer class comprised Alice Emereon, Sara C. Grover, H. 
Emogene Heywood, Agnes M. Kelt, Emma J. Loomis and Alice 
A. Wild. 

In 1864 the schools were first given names suited to the 
localities in which they wei'C respectively situated. Thus, in 
that year we note the names of the Sargent street school, the 
Ewingville scliool, the North school (Ireland), the IMiddle school 

( 37 ) 


(Baptist vilhifie). the South sehduli near AK-xaiuler Day's), the 
West street school, and the Rock \'alley school. A few of these 
iianu's liave been retained, but witii the rapid increase of the 
eity's population and the eonse<iuent growth and out-spreading 
nl" all interests new names have been eliosen for school designa- 

From ISfiO to 1863 the work of su|)ervisin<r the .schools de- 
volved upon the .school conunittee, comprised of three promi- 
nent citizens who were williii>>: to devote their time and energies 
to the work of building up the educational system of the town; 
and frequently for several years a majority of the hoard was 

South Chestnut Street School 

comprised of eler>rymen. who were supi)oseil to understand the 
needs of the schools far better than the average citizen. In 
18(j3 the first superintendent of sehools wa.s chosen in compliance 
with a state law. and from that time to the date of the city 
charter, a period of eleven years, there were eight incumbents 
of the superintendency. The succession is as follows: 

SKpcriiifrudoits. — Joseph P. Buckland. 1863-64: Rev. 
Simeon Miller. 186.5: Oscar Ely, 1866: Dr. L. F. Humeston (for 
a few months). 1867: (ieorge C. Kwing. 1867-68: S. H. Walker, 
186P-7n: Rev. L. A: Fish, 1871: (Ieorge R. Chase. 1872; Louis 
II Marvel. 1873. 

( 38 ) 


The succession of principals of the high school from 1852 
to 1874 is as follows : Stephen Holman. siicceeded by Mr. 
Brown. 1852; J. T. Ira Adams, 1853-56; Rev. Emory Wright, 
succeeded by Joseph P. Buekland, 1857 ; Nathan R. Morse, suc- 
ceeded by Joseph P. Bucldand, 1858; Joseph P. Buekland, 1859- 
62; Thomas B. Stockwell, 1863; P. D. Douglass. 1863-64; Wil- 
liam R. Baldwin, 1865-67 ; Edward P. Jackson, 1868-69 ; George 
W. Edwards. 1870-73. 

The town school conniiittee from 1850 to 1874 was com- 
prised as follows: Dr. E. ]\I. Snow. Rev. Asahel Chapin, Rev. 
Simeon Miller. 1850: Rev. Asahel Chapin, Dr. A. B. Clark. 1851 : 
Rev. Asahel Chapin, Rev. ]\Iark Carpenter, Rev. Simeon Miller, 
1852 : Rev. Simeon Miller, Rev. ilark Carpenter. William B. C. 
Pearsons. 1853 ; Mark Carpenter. James W. Ford, Gustavus 
Snow, 1854 ; Rev. James French, Rev. Simeon Miller, James K. 
Mills, 1855: Simeon Miller, Rev. J. B. R. Walker, Stephen Hol- 
man. 1856; Simeon Miller. (J. W. Gorhara, Stephen Holman, 
1857: William B. C. Pearsons (3 years), Simeon Miller (2 
years), Charles H. Spring (1 year), 1858^ ; Lester Newell, 1859 ; 
Simeon Miller. 1860: J. Lasell. 1861: Dr. E. G. Pierce. 1862; 
Simeon jMiller. Stephen Holman (for 3 years), Joseph P. Buck- 
land, John E. (for 2 years), Edwin H. Ball (for 1 year), 
1863: Rev. A. M. Averill, Oscar Ely, 1864; Henry A. Chase, 
Frank D. Douglass, 1865 : John E. Chase, Rev. L. R. Eastman, 
Simeon Miller. 1866; L. P. S. Humeston, James H. Newton, 
1867 ; William Whiting. George C. Ewing, Robert B. Johnson, 
1868: Simeon Miller, J. S. AVebber, 1869; George H. Thayer, 
Charles H. Lyman (3 years). J. L. A. Fish (2 years), T. B. 
Flanders (1 year), 1870; Edward W. Chapin. R. S. Howard, 
1871; Ezra Plagg, Charles W. Ranlet. 1872; Di'. N. B. Chase, 
Adam Leining. 1873. 

Under the charter the educational interests of the city re- 
ceived greater care than was possible under the town system of 
government with its numerous embarrassments, and from that 
time the work of permanent building up and pi'ogress dates its 

'At this meeting the members were Hrst ehosen for terms longer than one 
yeiir. For later ye.trs the succession shows who wns elected at each town 

( 39 ) 


history. The good accomplished bj' the school committee of 
earlier .years served as the foundation of still further improve- 
ment by the new board of education, while the superintendents 
were enabled to devote themselves entirely to the work of the 
schools. The constant growth of the city, at times increasing 
iu population almost one hundred per cent, in a single decade, 
necessitated frequent enlargement of existing buildings and the 
erection of others to meet the requirements of the people, and 
all of the consequent expenditure of moneys was generously 
sanctioned by the taxpaj'crs upon the presentations of the school 
committee. A detailed statement of the construction of new 
school houses from time to time is not essential to our narrative, 
yet at no time in the history of the city has there been shown a 
tendency to subordinate educational interests to other depart- 
ments of nuinicipal life. Ti'ue, there have been times in which 
certain desired improvements have been delayed, but the work 
of education has progressed steadily, keeping even step with 
the march of advancement in other directions. In the accom- 
plishment of this great work the school committees have labored 
earnestlj- and unselfishly, and the people have patiently borne 
the burden of expense; and as tlie result of this combined effort 
Holyoke at the beginning of the twentieth century can boast as 
many and as good .schools as any similar city in New England. 
While the taxpayers and the school committee have been 
perhaps the chief factoi*s in accomplishing the results noted 
above, one of the principal auxiliaries in their work has been 
found in the excellput superintendency and the admirable work 
of the corps of teachers. Glancing over the list of superintend- 
ents under the charter, the entire number lias been but four 
persons, while tlie ijrincijialship of the high school has had only 
four incumbents during the same period of almost thirty years. 
Mr. Marvel was superintendent from 1874 to 1878, and during 
his term in otTice accomplished much good work in school or- 
ganization. He was succeeded by Mr. Kirtland, during whose 
long period of service in the superintendency the greatest strides 
in the history of etlucafion in the city were made. While he 
was in office the general population of the city increased more 

( 40 ) 


than twofold, and in the same time nearly all the old school 
buildings were enlarged or replaced with new ones, and still 
othei-s entirely new were added to the number. The beginning 
of the new high school building was one of the grandest results 
accomplished during his time, and for several yeai-s previous 
to its consti'uction he had labored earnestly to secure that insti- 
tution for the city. The structure was finished in 1898, and is 
regarded as one of the most complete and modern buildings of 
its kind in New England. The more recent acquisitions to the 
school properties of the city are the Highland grammar and the 
Springdale and Elmwood buildings, all modern and model 

According to the latest published report of the superin- 
tendent of schools, the city has a total school population (five to 
fifteen years) of 9,479 children, with an average membership in 
all schools of nearly 5,500 pupils. The total revenue of the 
school department for purposes of maintenance is about $180,- 
000. The estimated value of public school property in the city 
is about $1,000,000. The number of public schools is nineteen; 
of parochial and private schools, seven. The latter are made the 
sub.ject of special mention in another chapter. 

Under the provisions of the city charter adopted in 1873, 
the school committee comprised the mayor, ex-offlcio, and nine 
members, citizens, chosen two at large and one from each of the 
seven wards. The mayor was the presiding officer of the board. 
Under the revised charter of 1896, which became operative in 
1897, the board was continued as under the old charter, except 
that the mayor, while allowed to be present and to participate 
in the discussions of the committee in its meetings, was denied 
the privilege of a vote. He retained, however, in his official ca- 
pacity, the power of approval or veto of orders and resolutions 
which involved the expenditure of money, except those fixing 
salaries. The school committee was made (and still is) original 
judge of "the expediency or necessity of having additional or 
improved accommodations for any public school within the 
limits of the city." 

The succession of principals of the high school, superintend- 
ents and school committees since 1874 is as follows: 

( 41 ) 


Priitciijah. — L'harh's, S. Hemingway. 1874-85: William E. 
Judd. 188(i-t)7: Chillies U. Keyes. 1898-9'J : W. C. Akers. 1900-02 
(now serving). 

SiipcriiiiciHlciit.s—\jOu\n II. .Miirvel, 1874-77: Edwin L. 
Kirtlnnd. 1878-9(i: Pn-ston W. Search. 1897-99: Louis P., 
19(10-02 (now in ollHce;. 

School Commill(( — \S14. A. T..eining and Edward W. 
Chapin. at large; John W. Dower, ward 1 : Fred Morrison, ward 
2: 11. Springborn, ward 8: Peter McKeon, ward 4: D. E. Sulli- 
van, ward 5 : J. G. Mackintosh, ward 6 : S. H. AValker, ward 7. 

187n— A. Leininsr and M. M. .Mitivier. at large: John 
Dower.' Fred Morrison. E. Springborn, Dr. L. M. Tuttle, Joha 
Doyle, J. a. Mackintosh, S. H. AValker. 

lS7(i — Dr. L. M. Tuttle and Dr. M. M. :Mitivier. at large; 
John A. Dower, Fred Morrison, H. Springborn. William Kelly, 
John Doyle, J. (J. Maehintosh, S. H. Walker. 

1877 — M. M. Mitivier and George C. Ewing, at large: Wil- 
liam Kuddy. Fred Morrison, A. Stursberg, William Kelly, John 
Doyle. J. C. Mackintosh, S. H. AValker. 

1878— (ieorge C. Phving and John Doyle, at large: William 
Kuddy, Fred Morri.son, A. Stursberg. William Kelly, D. F. Don- 
oghne. J. (i. Mackintosh. Embury P. Clark. 

1879 — (ieorge C. Ewing and John Doyle, at large; William 
Ruddy, Frod Morrison, Patrick Herbert. AVilliani Kelly. Daniel 
M. Manning, Edward W. Chapin, E. P. Clark. 

1880— L. :\1. Tuttle and John Doyle, at large: James 
Bai'ne.s, Fred ^lorrison, James Buffiugton. AVilliani Kelly. D. M. 
.Manning, E. W. Chapin, E. P. Clark. 

1881— L. M. Tuttle and Ceorge H. Smith, at large: James 
Barnes, Fred Morrison, James Buffington. William Kelly, D. M. 
Manning, E. W. Chapin. E. P. Clark. 

1882 — Ceorge IT. Smith and Tj. M. Tuttle. at large: James 
Barnes. T. L. Curran, James Bnffincrton. M. M. ]\Iitivier. D. M. 
Manning. E. W. Chapin, E. P. Clark. 

1883— fJeorge H. Smith and d'eoi-ge C. Ewing. at large; 

'.MpnilHTs :ir«» m<>ntlont><l in the (irdor of ward numbers. 

( 42 ) 


William Grover, T. L. Cm-ran. James Buffington. ]\I. M. Miti- 
vier D. F, Donoglme, E. W. Chapin, E. P. Clark. 

1884— George H. Smith and (leorge C. Ewing. at large; 
William Grover, T. L. Cnrran. Henry Winkler. M. :\I. Mitivier. 
D. F. Donoglme, E. W. Chapin, E. P. Clark. 

1883 — George H. Smith and George C. Ewing. at large; 
William Grover, Chalmers Chapin, Henry Winkler, James Tier- 
ney, D. P. Donoghue, John J. Reardon. E. P. Clark. 

188(i — George H. Smith and Simeon Brooks, at large; John 
W. Mulliu, Chalmers Chapin. Henry Winkler. James Tierney, 

D. F. Donoghne, John J. Reardon. E. P. Clark. 

1887— Joseph W. Moore and Pierre Bonvonloir. jr., at 
large; J. W. Mnllin. Chalmers Chapin. Henry Winkler, James 
Tierney, D. F. Donoghue, John J. Reardon, E. P. Clark. 

1888-89— Joseph W. Moore and Pierre Bonvonloir, jr., at 
large; William J. Dower, Lawrence O'Neill, Lebreeht G. Hein- 
ritz, Thomas J. Carmody. Augustine AV. Esleeck, G. H. Smith. 

E. P. Clark. 

1890— Pierre Bonvonloir. .jr.. and Rebnen C. Winchester, at 
large: William J. Dower. Lawrence O'Neill, L. G. Heinritz, T. 
J. Carmody. Lyman M. Tuttle. G. H. Smith, E. P. Clark. 

1891— Pierre Bonvonloir, jr., and R. C. Winchester, at 
large; W. J. Dower. Terrence Curran. L. G. Heinritz. William 
Kelly. L. ]\I. Tuttle. George H, Smith, E. P. Clark. 

1892— R. C. Winchester and Thomas Conner, at large; Wil- 
liam A. Moore, T. L. Curran, Louis Friederich, WiUiam Kelly, 
Dr. L. M. Tnttle, George H. Smith. Aug. W. Esleeck. 

1893— William Reardon and Thomas Conner, at large; W. 
A. IMoore. T. L. Curran, Louis Friederich, William Kelly. Dr. 
L. M. Tuttle. George H. Smith. Aug. W. Esleeck. 

1894— William Reardon and Thomas Conner, at large; W. 
A. Moore, Odilon Z. E. Charest, Louis Friederich. Thomas J. 
Dillon. Dr. L. M. Tuttle, George PI. Smith. A. W. Esleeck. 

1895— William Reardon and Thomas Conner, at large; W. 
A. Moore. O. Z. E. Charest, Herman Heinritz, T. J. Dillon, L, 
M. Tuttle. A. W^ Esleeck. 



■1S96— Milton P. Druce and Thomas Conner, at large; W. 
A. .Moore. O. Z. E. Charest. ITernian Heinritz, T. J. Dillon, Dan- 
iel F. Douoghue, G. H. Smith, A. W. Esleeck. 

1897— Milton F. Druce and Thomas Conner, at large ; W. 
A. Moore. O. Z. K. Charest. TTernian Tleinritz. Thomas J. Lynch, 
D. F. Donoghue, Edward .\. White, A. W. Esleeck. 

1898— Thomas J. Carmody and William Reardon, at large; 
Josepli B. Walsh. 0. Z. E. Charest, George P. EUison, T. J. 
Lynch. D. F. Donoghue. E. N. White, A. W. Esleeck. 

1899— T. J. Carmody and William Reardon, at large; J. B. 
AValsh. 0. Z. E. Charest, George P. Ellison. T. J. Lynch, Thomas 
J. Lynch, E. N. W'hite, A. W. Esleeck. 

1900— T. J. Carmody and William Reardon, at large : J. B. 
AValsh. 0. Z. E. Charest. T. J. Lynch, Thomas J. Lynch, George 
H. Smith, A. W. Esleeck. 

1901 — T. J. Carmody and William Reardon. at large: Ed- 
ward F. Cary. O. Z. E. Charest, G. P. Ellison, T. J. Lynch, G. 
IL Smith, A. W. Esleeck. 

1902— William Reardon and Robert T. Prentiss, at large; 
Edward F. Cary, Odilon Z. E. Charest, George P. Ellison, 
Thomas J. Lynch, Dennis F. Cleary, George H. Smith. Marciene 
H. Whitcomb. 


During the summer and fall of 1869 a number of leading cit- 
izens of Holj-oke discussed the subject of organizing an associa- 
tion for the establishment and maintenance of a public library in 
the city, and as the natural outgrowth of the sentiment expressed 
on every hand a public meeting was held January 12, 1870, in 
the hall of No. 1 engine house. Judge Buckland was elected 
chairman and Henry A. Chase secretary of the meeting, and 
after an earnest presentation of the needs of the city in regard 
to the library project, it was voted to "establish a public library 
in Ilolyoke." and also it was voted to appoint a committee of 
eleven persons to prepare and report a constitution and by-laws 
for the government of the association. The committee charged 
with this work comprised Rev. J. L. R. Trask. Moses Newton, 

( 44 ) 


Henry A. Chase, George W. Prentiss, William Whiting, J. S. 
Webber, Chas. H. Lyman, Osear Ely, E. P. Jackson, Joseph P. 
Buekland and William B. C. Pearsons. At the same time a 
committee of ten persons was appointed to solicit funds with 
which to carry into effect the objects of the association. This 
committee comprised Rev. J. L. R. Trask, J. S. Webber, Moses 
Newton, Timothy Merrick, Judge Buekland, Oscar Ely, George 
H. Clark, Charles B. Prescott, William S. Loomis and Chalmers 

At a meeting held January IS, it was voted to adopt the 
name of "Holyoke Public Library," and also to petition the 
general court for an act of incorporation. On January 24 a 
proposition was received from the Parsons Paper company in 
which the company offered to furnish land and erect a library 
building, of the value of $20,000, provided a like sum be raised 
by subscription for the purchase of books and fixtures. Upon 
the receipt of this offer a special committee (William Whiting, 
Judge Buekland and Henry A. Chase) was appointed to canvass 
the town for subscriptions to the fund, but at the end of a 
month the committee reported that pledges to the total amount 
of $11,000 had been secured, and that it was doubtful if more 
than $2,000 additional could be raised. Then a conference with 
the Parsons Paper company was held, but without material re- 
sults, upon which the former finance committee was instructed 
to resume its canvass on the original basis. 

On April 22, 1S70, an act of the legislature incorporated 
the Holyoke Public Library, for the "formation and mainte- 
nance of a public library and museum," and ai;thorized the as- 
sociation to hold real and personal estate to the amount of $100,- 
000. The act also provided that the management and control 
of the propertj' be vested in a board of directors, not less than 
five in number, to be elected by the corporation; and that "so 
long as said corporation shall allow the inhabitants of the town 
of Holyoke free access to its library at all reasonable hours, said 
town may appropriate and pay annually for the expense of 
maintenance a sum not exceding one dollar for each of its rat- 
able polls." (This provision subsequently was modified.) 

( 45 ) 


The first meeting after the act was approved was held May 
!(), 1870, at which time these officers were elected: President, 
William Wliitiiiy;; vice-presidents, John E. Chase. Edwin Chase, 
George C. Ewing; treasurer and clerk of the corporation, Henry 
A. Chase: directors, AVilliam B. C. Pearsons. J. S. Webber, J. S. 
McElwain. William (J rover and AVilliam S. Loomis. 

The organization of the association having been completed, 
and the finance conmiittee, previou.sly mentioned, having secured 
a considerable sum of money in addition to the .$1,000 appro- 
priated by tlie town, the library began its career with every as- 
surance of future prosperity, occui)yingupper rooms in the school 
building on Appleton sti'eet for several years. In the interior 
arrangement of the city hall certain apartments were designed 
for library occupancy, and at the annual meeting in 187.5 it was 
voted to remove the books and fixtures to the new location, al- 
though some time passed before the removal was actually ac- 

During the tii-st few yeai's of its history the library was 
maintained by the annual contributions of the membei-s, the 
receipts from hoiKu-aiy and life memberships, and the some- 
what meagre appropriations by the town. At first the appro- 
priations were .$1,000 annually, but after a time the amount 
dropjied to $000. In 188:^ the amount was increased to $1,000. 
and about that time it was suggested that the library be made ab- 
solutely free. This was done in 1886. and for the next year the 
city voted $2,000 for maintenance. Later on the amount was 
gradually increased, first to $2,500. then to $2,750, and event- 
ually (1893) to $3,000, which sum has since been appropriated 
annually. For the current year of 1902 the appropriation is 
$6,000. In 1888 the mayor and the president of the common 
council were made cx-officio members of the board of directors, 
and thus the lihi-ary became a ijnatsi nuinicipal institution. 

Soon after 1895 the friends of the library began to discuss 
the project of an independent building, and on frequent oc- 
casions the direetoi-s did efl'eetive work in that directioi.. The 
subject, however, was one of discussion only until the spring of 
1899, when the Holyoke "Water Power company gave to the as- 

( 46 ) 


sociation the entire square bounded by Maple, Chestnut, Cabot 
and Essex streets for the purpose of having erected thereon a 
library building— a structure suited to the requirements of the 
constantly growing city. In the same year the association voted 
to apply to the general court for permission to hold real estate 
to the amount of $500,000, instead of ^{ilOO.OOO, as prescribed in 
the original act of incorporation. This was accomplished, and 
in the same year the number of director's was increased to tliir- 
teen members. By diligent effort the directors secured pledges 
to tiie amount of $75,000 for a building fund, and this was 
afterward increased by further contributions. The building 
committee under whose immediate and constant supervision the 
work of construction was done compi-ised William Whiting, 
James H. Newton, Joseph A. Skinner. Charles AV. Rider, X. H. 
Whitten, J. S. Webber, Joseph Metcalf, E. P. Bagg and J. S. 
McElwain; architect, James A. Clough ; contractor, F. H. Dib- 

The library building is one of the ni'^st complete and or- 
namental structures in the city, and all persons who were iden- 
tified with its construction, in whatever capacit.y, are entitled to 
the lasting gratitude of the people. A large share of the credit 
for the splendid work accomplished is due to the board of direc- 
tors, who from first to last labored earnestly in its behalf. In- 
deed, from the time the institution was founded, more than 
thirty years ago, the directors in office have been its most faith- 
ful friends and earnest advocates. The.y have been chosen from 
among the best business and professional men of the city, and 
have given unselfishly both of their time and means for the 
public good. 

The library building is of light pressed brick with Indiana 
sandstone trimmings. Its entire cost was neai'ly $100,000. In 
its construction the future growth of the city has been contem- 
plated, yet at this time the catalogue shows more than 20,000 
volumes of books on the shelves. The Iniilding was finislied and 
ready for occupancy Febrijary 1, 1902. 

The officers and directors of the association since 1870 have 
been as follows: 

( 47 ) 


Presidents— V^'ilham ^Vhiting, 1870-1902. 

Vice-Presidents— ,Tohn E. Chase. Edwin Chase, George C. 
Ewing, 1870-71 ; Edwin Chase, James H. Newton. William B. 
C. Pearsons, 1872; Edwin Chase, William B. C. Pearsons, An- 
derson Allyn. 1873-77; William B. C. Pearsons, Rev. J. L. R. 
Trask. Edwin Chase, 1878-82 ; William B. C. Pearsons, Edward 
W. Chapin, William S. Loomis, 188:3-92; Edward W. Chapin, 
William S. Loomis. J. S. McElwain. 1893-1902. 

Treasurers— Kenry A. Chase. 1870-1900; H. M. Chase, 

-Secretaries— Henry A. Chase. 1870-1900: Frank G. Will- 
cox, 1901-2. 

Directors— William B. C. Pearsons. J. S. Webber, J. S. 
McElwain. William Grovcr. William S. Loomis, 1870-71: Wil- 
liam G rover, Joseph P. Buckland, J. S. McElwain. J. S. Webber, 
William S. Loomis, 1872; AVilliam Gi'over, Joseph P. Buckland, 
James H. Newton, J. S. JIcElwain. William S. Loomis. 1873-79; 
William S. Loomis. J. S. IMcElwain, James H. Newton, William 
Grover, Edward W. Chapin, 1880-82 ; J. S. McElwain, William 
Grover, James H. Newton, A. L. Shumway, H. L. Sherman, 
1883-84: J. S. McElwain, James H. Newton. II. L. Sherman. 
E. C. Taft. James E. Delaney, 1885 : J. S. McElwain, James H. 
Newton, E. C. Taft. H. L. Sherman. Oscar Ely. 1886-92: H. L. 
Sherman, E. C. Taft. J. H. Newton. Oscar Ely, William H. 
Heywood, 1893-97; H. L. Sherman. James H. Newton, Oscar 
Ely, William H. Heywood. Thomas W. Mann. 1898 ; James H. 
Newton. Oscar Ely, William H. Heywood. J. S. Webber, E. P. 
Bagg, N. H. 'Whitten, C. A. Corser. H. B. Lawrence, J. A. Sul- 
livan. Joseph Metcalf. William Skinner, C. W. Rider. James 
Ramage, 1899 : James H. Newton. William H. Hey%vood. E. P. 
Bagg. C. A. Corser, J. A. Sullivan. William Skinner, J. S. Web- 
ber, N. H. Whitten. H. B. Lawrence. Joseph Metcalf. C. W. 
Rider, James Ramage. A. W. Esleeck, 1900 ; E. P. Bagg. William 
H. Heywood, C. A. Corser, J. A. Sullivan, William Skinner, J. 
S. Webber. N. H. AMiitten. H. B. Lawrence. Joseph Metcalf. C. 
W. Rider, James Ramage. A. W. Esleeck. George W. Prentiss, 

( 48 ) 


LihrariansSarah C. Ely, 1870- Aug. 6, 1900; Frant G. 
Willcox, Aug. 6, 1900— now in office. 


Previous to tlie incorporation of the association our city 
was without a liospital of any kind, except that patients were 
admitted for hospital treatment to one of the departments of 
the city almshouse, where they were cared for at the public ex- 

In April, 1891, at a gathering at the residence of William 
Whiting, the need of a modern hospital in Holyoke was dis- 
cussed, and at a subsequent meeting a subscription was started 
and a plan of work was laid out; and it was thought advisable 
to request two representative women to assist in the work of 
securing subscriptions. Mrs. William Whiting and Mrs. E. C. 
Taft were chosen and "their work was nobly done," says the 
fii-st annual report of the hospital association. 

On May 23, 1891, the Holyoke City hospital was incor- 
porated in conformity with the statutes. The incorporators 
were William Skinner, Joseph A. Skinner, J. G. Mackintosh, 
James H. Newton, George W. Prentiss, Edward P. Bagg, Wil- 
liam Whiting, William P. Wliiting, E. C. Taft, Timothy Mer- 
rick, Lemuel Sears, James Ramage, L. M. Tuttle, N. H. Whit- 
ten, Joseph Metcalf and Edward W. Chapin. About the same 
time the organization of the Hospital Aid association, composed 
entirely of women, gave added interest to the work in hand. 
The object of the association is to furnish the hospital, to as- 
sist in its maintenance in such manner as is deemed most suit- 
able, and generally to perform any charitable work in connec- 
tion with the hospital. In this connection it may be said that 
the aid association has fully accomplished all its aims and pur- 
poses. With funds secured through members the hospital 
building has been well and comfortably furnished, and in ad- 
dition thereto a reserve fund is kept on hand for the benefit of 
persons who require hospital treatment, yet who have not the 
means to avail themselves of its privileges. 

In due season the subscription committee completed their 
work, and mth the proceeds, amounting to the splendid sum of 

I '1 

4-3 ( 49 ) 


more than $50,000, land was purchased (20 acres) and hospital 
buildings were erected at a total cost of $52,600. The work of 
construction was coinpleted and the hospital was formally ded- 
icated on Saturday. June 10, 180:^. It is one of the few public 
institutions which is maintained \\ithout expense to the city, 
and it is entirely nonsectarian in character. Patients are ex- 
pected to pay for board and treatment, yet if they are not able 
to do so the aid association gives its help in the discretion of its 
managing officers. 

Since its incorporation the officers of the hospital associa- 
tion have been as follows : 

l*residcnts—\\\\h;\m Skinner, 1893-99; William Whiting. 

Vice-Presidents — WWW-Mw Whiting, 1893-99; James Ram- 
age, 1900-02. 

Treasurers— i. A. Skinner, 1893-99; William F. Whiting. 

Clerk-B. F. Towue, 1893-1902. 

Superinienrlents—lj. M. Tuttle, M. D., 1893-9G; Charles 0. 
Carpenter, M. D., 1897-1901. 

.S7fir(7r(/,s— "William H. Jewett. 1893-98, and 1901-2 (now 
in office). 

Matrons (after 189-1 this office became known a,s superin- 
tendent of nurses)— Helen M. Hall, 1893-9-4; Miss C. E. Tower, 
1895-98; Miss M. L. Daniels, 1899; Lillian 0. West, 1900-02 

The hospital aid association numbei-s 300 members. The 
present officers are as follows : President, Mrs. William Whit- 
ing; vice-presidents, Mrs. William Skinner, Mrs. C. H. Hey- 
wood ; secretary, Mrs. F. D. Heywood ; treasurer. Mi's. JosejJi 
Metcalf; directors, Mrs. J. L. Burlingame. Mrs. J. E. Clark, 
Mrs. James Cowan, Mrs. J. M. Dunham, Mrs. Oscar Ely, Mrs. 
A. W. Esleeck, Mi-s. H. M. Farr, Mrs. C. L. Frink, Mrs. F. D. 
Heywood, Mrs. C. W. Johnson, Mrs. J. (4. Mackintosh, Mrs. Jd- 
seph Metcalf, Mrs. F. B. Miner, Mrs. D. H. Newton, Mrs. C. P. 
Preseott, Mrs. C. W. Ranlet, Mrs. E. A. Reed, ]\Irs. 1'. .\. 
Streeter. ]\Irs. E. S. Waters, Mrs. S. R. Whiting. 

In treating of the hospital institutions of our city some 
brief mention of the almshoiise and the hos])il;i] in L'omiection 

( 51 ) 


therewith is necessary. This is one of tlie oldest of our public 
charities, and in its history antetlates the town itself, for it was 
foundetl while the territory fonned a part of the mother town of 
West Sprinyriield. In April, 1850, the latter town voted to 
direct the selectmen to sell the "pauper farm and the hospital 
at Holyoke, at auction," if agreeable to the inhabitants of the 
new jurisdiction. It was then that Holyoke established its own 
infirmary and town hospital, and since that time has given con- 
siderate attention to the care and comfort of indigent and af- 
flicted persons. The annual expense of the "City Farm hos- 
pital" approximates $2,500, and the institution is under the care 
of the ovorsccTs nf the poor. 

The Almshouse 

In the same connection, also, mention may be made of the 
House of Providence hospital, another worthy charity of the 
city, and one of the dependencies of the Catholic church, main- 
tained in connection with the Father Harkins home for infirm 
and aged pei-sons. The hospital was opened in 1894, and is 
chiefly stipported by the society known as the "Ladies of 


This splendid institution originally was known as the "Hol- 
yoke Y. M. C. A.," and was so designated in the agreement for 
permanent organization at the time of incorporation, April 28, 
1886. The rorporators were Alfred T. Guyott, James P. Cowan, 
George P. Kice, Frank B. Towno. John H. Skinner, A. Judson 

{ 52 ) 


Rand, Martin L. (iriffin, James H. Wylie, jr., H. M. Kendall, 
Dwight 0. Jiidd, George L. Thorpe, C. R. Adams, Dwight God- 
dard, Thomas R. Humeston and William A. Aiken. 

The association was formally organized, constitution and 
by-laws were adopted, and the first officers and direetore were 
elected, June 15. 1886. For a few years the association occu- 
pied rented rooms on High street, and on June 19, 1889, a com- 
mittee was chosen to purchase property at the corner of High 
and Appleton streets. In the following fall, a sufficient fund 
having been acquired, a building committee was chosen, under 
the direction of which plans for the present Y. M. C. A. build- 
ing were prepared and adopted. The work of construction was 
begun in 1891, and the comer-stone was laid April 23, 1892. 
The structure was completed and occupied in 1893. The land 
cost $40,000 and the building cost about $88,000. 

The association now numbers 675 members, and is regarded 
as one of the most worthy and usefi;l institutions of our city. 
Since its organization the officei's of the association have been 
as follows: James H. AVylie, jr., president; Charles R. Adams, 
vice-president ; H. M. Kendall, treasurer ; Dwight 0. Judd, re- 
cording secretary, June-October, 1886. James H. Wylie, jr., 
president; Charles R. Adams, vice-president; Howard M. Ken- 
dall, treasurer; Dwight 0. Judd, recording secretary, 1886-87. 
James H. Wylie, jr., president; Chas. R. Adams, vice-president; 
Joseph A. Skinner, treasurer; Lewis E. Bellows, recording sec- 
retary, 1887-88. James H. Wylie, jr., president; Charles R. 
Adams, vice-president ; Joseph A. Skinner, treasurer ; J. 
A. Skinner, recording secretary, 1888-93. A. W. Esleeck, 
president; John Hildreth, vice-president; T. H. Fowler, 
treasurer; L. E. Bellows, rec. sec, 1893-94; A. W. Esleeck, pres- 
ident; John Hildreth, vice-president; T. H. Fowler, treasurer; 
F. B. Towne. rec. sec, 1894-97. Joseph A. Skinner, president; 
John Hildreth, vice-president; T. H. Fowler, treasurer; F. B. 
Towne, rec. sec, 1897-1900. C. W. Rider, president; John Hil- 
dreth, vice-president; F. B. Towne, treasurer; J. H. Wylie, jr., 
rec. sec. ; R. P. Kaighn, general secretary, 1900-01. C. W. 
Hider, president : John Hildreth, vice-president ; F. B. Towne, 

( 53 ) 


treasurer: J. II. Wylie. jr.. rec. sec.: E. G. Randall, gen. sec, 
l!)01-02. Directors. 1902— John Stalker, George L. Thorpe, C. 
8. Hemingway, E. P. Bagg, A. W. Esleeck. Joseph A. Skinner, 
S. H. Whitten, A. J. Rand, Edward W. Ghapin. Henry A. 
Chase, ^VilliaIn Morrison. T. II. Fowler. 


The charter of the Ilolyoke Street Railway company bears 
date June 11, 188-4. The incorporators were William A. Chase, 
Charles B. Prescott, Jeremiah A. Sullivan, Franklin P. Goodall, 
George H. Smith, William S. Loomis, George E. Dudley, Wat- 
son Ely, Simeon G. Gaylord, Henry E. Gaylord, William H. 
Gaylord, John Gaylord, Patrick J. Harkins, George P. Ellison, 
William H. Brooks, Willard Ely. AV. D. Nichols, Helen D. Pen- 
dleton, Anthony White, Julia D. Patten. Hiram Smith, James 
M. Barton, Thomas C. Page, George G. Hitchcock, Mrs. George 
G. Hitchcock, Orrin Garvin, William (ii-over, Elwin D. New- 
comb. William E. Syms. John K. Judd, Mary Ann Alvoi'd. 
"and others," as is expressed in the charter. 

Although the persons mentioned were the guiding spirits 
of the enterprise and were convinced that a line of street rail- 
way, operated with horse power, between South Hadley Falls 
and South Ilolyoke would benefit all conniiercial interests in the 
city, and also would prove a profitable investment for stock- 
holders, it is doubtful if any of them who were actively identi- 
fied with the enterprise in its inception ever believed that their 
first line of street railway would develope into the splendid sys- 
tem of the present day. This result has indeed been accom- 
plished, although under a new management the company has 
achieved its greatest success. 

The first board of directors comprised William A. Chase, 
Charles B. Prescott, Dr. George H. Smith. Franklin P. Goodall, 
George E. Dudley. Jeremiah A. Sidlivan. William S. Loomis, 
Simeon G. Gaylord and Hiram Smith. The officers were Wil- 
liam A. Chase, president: C. Fayette Smith, treasurer; H. M. 
Smith, superintendent: and William H. Brooks, clerk of the 

( 54 ) 


The line of road authorized to be built and operated under 
the provisions of the charter, began at the corner of Main and 
South streets in South Holyoke. and extended thence to North 
Main street in South Hadley Falls, a distance of 10,872 feet. 
At this time it was the purpose of the company to build a loop 
around the Boston & ^fain R. R. station in Holyoke, a distance 
of 900 feet, but this part of the proposed line was abandoned. 
The line from South Hadley Falls to the corner of JNIain and 
Dwight streets was opened September 24, 1884, and the entii-e 
road to South Holyoke was opened for traffic October 15 of the 
same year. 

The first extension of the original line was made in 1886, 
when a road was built from the .junction of Main and Dwig'ht 
.streets through Dwight, High and Appleton streets to Beech 
street. This extension was opened June 24, 1886. Later on in 
the same year the line was extended from Beech street to the 
corner of Pleasant and Lincoln streets, on the highlands, and 
was opened November 20. Still latei' the line was extended to 
the corner of Northampton and Lincoln streets, and fi"om the 
latter point was extended through Northampton street to Moun- 
tain park, and opened for traffic to that now famous resort July 
7, 189-5. The further extension to Mt. Tom Junction on the 
Northampton road (about 3 miles) was opened October 20, 1900. 
At the Junction the local road met the lines built by the North- 
ampton Street Railway company, and thereby Holyoke was 
given direct "trolley" connection with the county seat of Hamp- 
shire county, and also with Kasthaiiipton by convenient change 
of cars at the junction. 

The Elmwood line, extending from High and Appleton 
streets through High, t'abot. JMaple and South streets. Brown 
avenue. Laurel and Northampton .streets to a point near the 
Baptist church in Elmwood. was opened August 9, 1891. 

The Oakdale line, the first original electric line in the city 
system, extending from the corner of Maple and Sargeant to 
Northampton street, was opened June 19, 1892. 

The original line of road through Main sti'eet was extended 
from the old South Holyoke terminus to Springdale, August 7, 

( 55 ) 



1892, and from the latter point south to Riley brook (where it 
met the line from Springfield) July 22, 1895; and thus Holyoke 
and Springfield were united by an excellent electric railway on 
which regular ten-minute service is maintained during eleven 
hours, with fifteen-minute service five and a half hours, and with 
limited service throughout the night. 

The Chicopee Falls line, extending from the corner of Main 
and Cabot streets (although the cars start from the city hall) to 
Chicopee Palls, a distance of about four miles, was opened 
August 13, 1895 ; and at the Falls the line connects with the Chic- 
opee Palls lines of the Springfield street railway system. 

The South Hadley Palls line, that part of the original road 
which had its eastern terminus at the corner of Bi-idge and Main 
streets, was extended from the point mentioned to the center of 
the town of South Hadley (about 3 miles) and was opened for 
traffic May 31, 1896. 

The extension from the city hall through High, Hampden, 
Washington and Lincoln streets to the corner of Pleasant and 
Lincoln streets, was opened October 1, 1897. 

The extension from the junction of Meadow and Chicopee 
streets, in Willimansett, to the end of the covered bridge over 
Chicopee river (a distance of about 3 miles) was opened Decem- 
ber 1, 1897. 

The now known Hospital line, an extension of the Oakdale 
line to the corner of Northampton and Cheri-y streets, was 
opened in 1900. 

Thus has the Holyoke Street Railway company, through its 
managing officers, developed its road from a single line extend- 
ing from South Holyoke to South Hadley Falls, to one of the 
most complete systems of street railway of which any city in 
New England can boast. Previous to 1891 the lines were 
operated with horse power, but on August 9 of that year all ears 
were running with electric motor power; and all subsequently 
constnicted lines or extensions were put into operation with 

The company under its original organization operated its 
lines without material change, with not better than indifferent 

( 57 ) 


financial results, until lf^>!S. when the management passed into 
other hands. Mr. Chase then was superseded in the presidency 
by Levi Perkins, and at the same time Mr. Smith was succeeded 
as treasurer liy William 8. Loomis. who also was elected to the 
e(|ually important office of manager. In 1896 Mr. Loomis was 
elected president oi the eom])any and has held the office, as w'ell 
as that of general manager, to the present time: and a sense of 
duty impells the writer to remark that in a great measure the 
success and popularity of the llolyoke system of electric street 
railways has t>een due to the etforts of the president and general 
manager, and the hearty co-operation accorded him hy his as- 
sociate directors and officers. 

On .\ugust 9. 1891, the system was equipped and operated 
with clecti'ic motor cars. The power-house was built in the 
same year and now, with recent enlargements, is capable of fur- 
nishing 4,000 horse power. The original capital of the com- 
pany was $25,000, l)ut the constant extension of its lines of road 
has necessitated frecjuent incn>ases in the issue of stock, until 
the jiresent capital is .$700,000. added to which is $335,000 in 
bonds, constituting an aggregate capital of $1,335,000. The 
comjiany operates aliout forty miles of road, with a minimum 
number of abmit twenty-five ears constantly in motion (during 
the summer season as many as seventy cars are in service), and 
is one of tlie large employers of labor in a city famous for its 
wage-earning population. 

The Holyoke Street l^ailway company is the lessee of the 
line of road owned by the Mt. Tom Railroad company, the latter 
a corporation with a capital of $100,000, and comprising in its 
board of directors several officers and directors of the Holyoke 
company. The Mt. Tom Railroad company began operations 
June 17, 1897, and the lease, which runs for twenty-five years, 
beai-s date June 1. 1897. The splendid work aceom])lished by 
the Mt. Tom company in beautifying ^Mountain park and erect- 
ing a eonunodious summer house on the highest peak of Mt. Tom 
range, is certainly tleserving of at least passing nu-ntion in this 
chapter, althougli both park and mountain are beyond the limits 
of Hampden county. 

( 58 ) 


The present officers of the Holyoke Street Railway company 
are: William S. Loomis. president and general manager; Wil- 
liam R. Hill, secretary and treasurer (chosen secretary to suc- 
ceed Mr. Brooks in 1892, and chosen treasurer to succeed Mr. 
Loomis in 1896) ; William S. Loomis, William R. Hill. Jeremiah 
F. Sullivan, John G. Mackintosh, John Olmsted, Frederick H. 
Harris and Xewrie D. Winter, directoi's. 


Previous to 1851 each manufacturer and merchant in the 
Ireland parish was his own banker, and not infrequently in the 
early history of the town it was the custom of some one of the 
larger business men to act as banker for his neighbors. This 
custom, however, did not prevail for any considerable time, and 
as soon as the Hadley Falls company was put into active oper- 
ation interested proprietors took steps toward the organization 
of a regular banking house under the laws of the state. The 
result was the incorporation of the Hadley Falls bank, with an 
original capital stock of ."{ilOO.OOO, and it was named in allusion 
to the water power company (then operating the canal system), 
through whose influence the banking corporation was brought 
into existence. The bank was organized May 24, 1851, and in 
1853 it became desirable to increase the capital stock to .$200,000. 

The first board of directors comprised John Ross, N. D. 
Perry, Cyrus Frink, J. Miller, R. G. Marsh, Whiting Street, A. 
D. Chapin and William Melcher, some of whom at the time were 
not residents in the town of Holyoke. Mr. Street declined a 
place on the board of directors, and Chester Crafts was elected 
in his stead. The first officers were C. B. Rising, president, and 
J. R. Warriner, cashier. This pioneer banking institution en- 
.joyed a prosperous existence for nearly fourteen yeare, and sur- 
vived the water power company in allusion to which it was 
named; and even the collapse and ultimate failure of the im- 
provement company had no serious effect upon the solidity of 
the financial institution. 

The Hadley Palls Xafiimal Bank. — In 1865 the stockholders 
and directors of the Hadley Falls bank determined to reorgan- 

( 59 ) 


ize their institution in conformity with the provisions of the na- 
tional bank act. At the time it was suggested that the name be 
changed to the First National bank of Holyoke, but it was soon 
determined to retain the name of the old pioner institution, 
which had weathered the fiiiaiieial storm of 1857 and the conse- 
quent failure of the Hadlcy Falls company. Tlierefore, the re- 
organized concern took the name of Hadley Falls National bank, 
being No. 1246 in the numerical order of banks established under 
the act of congress of 1863. The first officers of the new bank 
were C. W. Ranlet, president, and Hubbell P. Terry, cashier. 

From the time of the reorganization (April 3, 1865) to the 
present day, the Hadley Falls National bank has held aji en- 
\nable position among the successful financial institutions of this 
state; never has passed a dividend: never has met with serious 
losses, and on a capital of $200,000 has paid dividends aggrega- 
ting $726,000. Its total net earnings since the reorganization 
amount to the sum of $867,.112. In business circles the policy 
of the Hadley Falls National bank has sometimes been regarded 
as conservative, yet results have shown a policy liberal enough 
to gain the entire confidence of the comiinuiity of manufacturers 
and have given it a standing for safety and solidity which cer- 
tainly are enviable and a source of gratification to stockholders 
and directors. 

Mr. Ranlet was the first i)rosident of the reorganized bank, 
and was the active spirit in its management until January 15, 
1900. when he was succeeded by I^Ir. Preseott. i\Ir. Teri-y be- 
came cashier of the old Hadley Falls bank in 1864; was chosen 
to the same office upon reorganization, and still serves in that 
capacity; and in a good measure the success which has followed 
the bank through all later years of its history has been due to 
his ever consistent business methods and excellent judgment. 
Still another factor for good in the historj- of the bank, as well 
as in the history of many other institutions of the city, was the 
late William Skinner. He served as director for twenty-seven 
years, and as vice-president for twelve years. He died Feb. 28, 

According to the latest published statement of its condition 
the Hadley Palls National bank has resources amounting to 

( 60 ) 


$636,029.98 ; a surplus fuud of $100,000 ; an undivided profit ac- 
count of $47,790.08 ; and a deposit account of over $235,000. 

Since the original incorporation in 1851 the succession of 
presidents is as follows : C. B. Rising, Eufus D. Woods, A. D. 
Chapin, Charles W. Ranlet and Charles B. Prescott. During 
the same period the cashiei-s have been J. R. Warriner, Charles 
W. Ranlett and Hubbell P. Terry. The present directors are 
Charles W. Ranlet, "William Skinner (deceased, vacancy not 
filled), Charles B. Prescott, Philander Moore, Ernest Lovering, 
Robert Ranlet, John H. Preston and Hubbell P. Terry. 

The Holyoke National Bank, No. 1939, was organized in 
1872, its doors being opened for business Feb. 8 of that year, 
with William Whiting, president; Robert B. Johnson, vice- 
president, and F. S. Bacon, cashier. The first directors were 
William Whiting, Robert B. Johnson, George C. Ewing, J. G. 
Mackintosh. Joel Russell, Levi Perldns and George W. Prentiss. 
The bank began business with an original capital of $150,000, 
but in the course of a year the amount was increased to $200,000. 

At the time the Holyoke National began business there 
was only one other regular commercial bank in the town, al- 
though the population was about 12,000 inhabitants, and the 
mercantile district had extended up Dwight street to High 
street. The incorporators and directors were among the leading 
manufacturers of the region, hence any institution founded un- 
der their influence and support could hardly fail of success; 
and success certainly has marked the financial career of this 
bank throughout the entire period of its history, and particu- 
larly during the last twenty years. 

In proof of this statement let us turn to the report of the 
condition of the bank in 1881 and compare certain of its figures 
wth those shown in the report of Feb. 25, 1902. In the year 
first mentioned the aggregate resources of the bank amounted to 
a little more than $776,000, including $200,000 capital. The 
surplus fund then was $28,500, with an undi\dded profit account 
of $15,534.63. The aggregate of individual deposits subject to 
check was $307,692.45, and of certificate deposits subject to de- 
mand, $24,058.64. As sho\ra by the report of Feb. 25, 1902, 

( 61 ) 


the total resources of the bauk ainouiit to $l,:i2-i,973.38, with a 
surplus of $100,000 aud an tmdivided profit accouut of $49.- 
274.4ii. Tile deposit aceouut. subject to check, exceeds $746.- 
000, aud the demand certificate account is more than $51,400. 
Assuredly these fiirures indicate that this has been a successful 
institution and that its progress has been steady and permanent: 
arul justice impels us to state that in banking and other business 
circles in the Connecticut valley the Holyoke National is re- 
garded as one of the safest and most progressive financial con- 
cerns in the i-egion. The bank never has pa.ssed a dividend, 
never has had its surplus nor capital impaired by any disaster, 
and has paid an average annual dividend ol 9 per cent, for 
seventeen yeare. 

Mr. Whiting was pivsident of the bank from its organiza- 
tion until 18S7. when he was succeeded by George W. Prentiss. 
The latter was followed in 1892 by Charles 11. Ileywood. who 
continued in office until his death in April. 189fi. Robert B. 
Johnson succeeded Mr. Ileywood and was jiresident until his 
death, Nov. 1, 1899, when George W. Prentiss was elected. The 
pi-esent president. George C. Gill, was elected in Januaiy. 1901. 
In the cashiership the changes have been less frequent. Mr. 
Bacon was followed by Charles B. Fish, and the latter by W. G. 
Simons. The present cashier. AVilliam G'. Twing. began his ser- 
vice in December. 1879. and for more than twenty-two years has 
been the active iiiiancial manager of the affairs of the bank. 

The present officers and directors of the bank are as fol- 
lows: George C. Gill, president: Robert l{ussell. viee-iiresideiit : 
William G. Twing. ca.sliier: George C. Gill, A. A. Coburn. D. H. 
Ives. Robert Russell. Charles E. Ball. James N. Thayer and Wil- 
liam (i. Twing, directors. 

The City Xafionnl Bauk (No. 2430) of Holyoke was incor- 
porated August 22. 1879. with an original capital of $200,000. 
The fii-st board of directoi-s comjirised a luunber of the ])romi- 
nent business men of our own cify. and others from adjoining 
towns. They were Joseph C. Parsons. John S. McElwain. Jo- 
seph Carew. Joel S. Weliber. Timothy Merrick. James 11. Newton. 
Charles B. Prescott. Edward C. Taft. Frederick 11. Harris, Nehe- 

( e-i ) 


niiah A. Leouard, Emory JMeekins. Fred Harris, Aaron Bagg, 
Henry A. Gould and Hiram Smith. The first officers were Joseph 
C. Parsons, president, and Edwin L. jMiinn, eashier. 

The City National bank liegan its business eareer at a single 
desk in rooms on Dwight street, then (and still) occupied by the 
Mechanics' Savings bank, but within the next ten years new and 
especially fitted qnai'ters became necessary by reason of the busi- 
ness the bank was then doing. Indeed, in ISSS the bank was 
virtually reorganized and the capital was increased to $500,000. 
and when the new quarters at No. 26 Dwight street were occu- 
pied the City National became known as the best and most con- 
veniently located banking house in Holyoke and as one of the 
best equipped financial institutions in "Western Massachusetts. 
In its business policy since reorganization the bank has gained 
a reputation equal to that of any financial concern in Hampden 
county, and has become widely known on account of safe busi- 
ness methods and liberality in dealing with customei-s and de- 
positors. The result is that this bank carries the largest deposit 
account of any commercial banking house in Holyoke. The lat- 
est statement shows total deposits subject to check of over $779.- 
000, and cei-tifieate accounts amounting to more than $20,000. 
The surplus is $100.000 ; undivided profits. $23,607.61. 

Mr. Parsons was president of the bank until his death, in 
1886. and was succeeded by Charles B. Prescott, who continued 
in office until 1889. In Januaiy of that year Timothy Merrick 
was elected and served until his death, in 1894, when William 
Skinner, jr., was chosen his successor. In January, 1897, C. Pay- 
ette Smith was elected president and since that time has been 
the active manager of the bank's business affairs. His prede- 
cessors in the presidency generally were men whose other im- 
portant business enterprises demanded much of their attention, 
and while nominally and in fact presidents of the bank, the 
duties of the management devolved upon the cashier. Mr. Smith 
acquired his practical business training in the Hadley Palls Na- 
tional bank and was made cashier of the City National in 1884. 
hence under his management the reorganization above referred 
to was effected. As cashier Mr. Munn was succeeded by Mr. 

( 63 ) 

ovn COUNTY .\yi) it>< people 

Smith in 1884, and upon the uleetion of the latter to the presi- 
dency, January, 1897, Alvin F. Hitchcock was chosen cashier. 

The present directors of the bank are John S. McElwain, 
Joel S. Webber. Tvemucl Sears, Edward P. Bagrg, Claudius AY. 
Rider, Timothy II. Fowler. Arthur M. Chapin. ('. Fayette Smith 
and Henry E. Gaylord. 

'The Home National Bank (No. 3128) of Holyoke was or- 
ganized February 5, 1884, with $250,000 capital, and in the com- 
paratively brief period of its business career has attained a posi- 
tion among the first banking houses in AVestern Massachusetts. 
It was the first bank in Holyoke tfl place safety deposit boxes in 
its vaults, and also set the example in the city in elegant office 
equipment and absolute safety against possible att^acks of safe- 

The first board of directoi-s comprised James H. Newton, 
Edwin L. Mnnn, Anderson Allen, Daniel H. Newton, John De- 
laney, !Moses Newton, John C. Newton, James Ramage, George 
A. Clark. Joel S. Webber. Herman Stursbnrg. .jr., Edward C. 
Rogers, Josephus Crafts, Frederick Taylor and George W. Mil- 
lar. The first officers were James IT. Newton, president, and 
Edwin [j. Munn. cashier. 

Few changes have been made in the personnel of the offi- 
ciary of the Home National hank during the eighteen years of 
its S)iecessful business career. I\Ir. Newton, the first president, 
is still in that jiosition. Mr. Munn was cashier from the date of 
organization until January. 1892. when he was succeeded by 
Fred F. Partridge, tlie present cashier and active manager of the 
bank, and who. in the capacity of teller. tool< the first deposit 
ofTered when the hank opened its doors for business in 1884. 
For three years previous to that time he was an employee in the 
City National liank. 

The latest publislied report of the condition of the Home 
National hank shows a capital of $250,000, a surplus of $50,000, 
nndivided profits. $42,815.69. and deposits, subject to check, 
amounting to $589,794.45: demand certificates. $21.1(50.57; ag- 
gregate resources. $1, 008.598. (i8. In itself this statement is am- 
ple evidence of the solidity of the bank, and also is evidence of 
confidence in its management on the part of our business men. 

( 64 ) 


The present directors of the Home National are James H. 
Newton, John Tilley, James Kamage, William Jolly, James S. 
Newton, George A. Clark, J. A. Sullivan, Oren D. AUyn, Sey- 
mour E. Gates, Lewis M. Gaylord and Fred F. Partridge. 

The Park National Bank (No. 4703) of Holyoke was oi-gan- 
ized February 20, 1802, with ^100,000 capital, by Edwin L. 
Munn, its first and present president, who was the principal or- 
ganizer of the City National bank in 1879, and also of the Home 
National bank in 1884, he having been the first casliier of each 
of these institutions. The first directors of the Park National 
were Josephus Crafts, Edwin L. Munn, William F. AVhiting, M. 
M. Belding, James T. Abbe, William H. Brooks and H. D. Brad- 
burn. The first cashier, George W. Parker, formerly teller in 
the Home National bank, still serves as cashier of the Park Na- 

This bank, the youngest of our city's financial institutions, 
shows a healthfiil condition throughout the period of its his- 
tory. It has a surplus of $50,000 aiu1 an undivided profit account 
of more than .$3, .500. Its deposit account aggregates more than 
$266,000, including time certificate deposits. The present di- 
rector are Edwin L. Munn, William H. Brooks, George A. Munn, 
Stephen A. ^lahoney and George W. Parker. 

The Holyoke Savings Bank, the oldest institution of its kind 
in the city, was incorporated February 21, 1855, by Jones S. 
Davis, Jonas Kendall, C. W. Blanehard, Albert Graves, Cyrus 
Prink. Thomas H. Kelt, Charles W. Ranlet, H. Hutehins, James 
K. Mills, R. G. Marsh, Warren Chapin, Gustavus Snow, Asa O. 
Colby and John C. Parsons and their associates. The first meet- 
ing of incorporators was held March 29, 1855, when Cyrus Frink 
was elected president: Otis Holmes, C. W. Blanehard and Jones 
S. Davis, vice-presidents; James K. Mills, secretary. Mr. Snow 
was appointed treasurer in April, 1856. 

From the time of organization to the present the Holyoke 
Savings bank has been an important factor for good in the his- 
tory of our city, and its managing officers always have been men 
of high character and unquestioned integrity. In the office of 
president Mr. Frink was succeeded in 1860 by Joel Russell, and 

5-3 ( 65 ) 

on; corMV am) itr people 

tlie latter, in turn, in 1884. by (ieorge AV. Prentiss, the present 
incunibt'iit. For several months in 1 859-60 D. D. C'ronihie served 
as president. Mr. Snow served only one year as treasurer, 
1855-6, and then was suceeeded by Robert B. Johnson, d\iring 
whose incumbeiiey of the office the bank enjoyed a continuous 
and healthful growth. When he was appointed in 1866 the 
total desposit account aggregated .$77,000. while the total assets 
aino.mted to $81,000, and the semi-annual dividends amounted 
to $1,300. The last dividend paid during his treasurership was 
$70,000, nearly the amount of deposit account in 1866. Now 
the depositors in the bank number about 11.000 pei-sons, and the 
total assets amount to more than $4,552,000, the Interest bearing 
deposit account being more than $4,280,000. ]\Ir. Johnson died 
November 1. 1899. and was succeeded by his son, Charles W. 
Johnson, the present treasurer of the bank. 

The present officers and trustees of the bank are as follows: 
(ieorge W., president: "William AVhiting. Robert Rus- 
.sell, TV. A. Prentiss, vice-presidents: Charles W. Johnson, treas- 
urer: A. 0. Magna, secretary: M. H. Whiteorab. L. A. Taber, 
James A. Clough. Thomas A. Dillon. J. F. Sullivan. M. W. Pren- 
tiss. G. C. Gill. F. E. F. A. AVhiting. H. O. Hastings, 
William S. Loomis. C. II. Prentiss. James E. Delaney. D. H. Ives 
and W. S. Perkins, trustees. 

Tlic Mccliaiucs' Sovinrjs Hank was incorporated March 12, 
1872. by Roswell P. Crafts. Timothy Merrick. James H. Newton. 
Henry A. Chase. Augustus Stursberg. John Delaney, Stephen 
Ilolman and their associates. The first officers and trustees were 
James H. Newton, president : Timothy Alerrick, John Delaney, 
Roswell P. Crafts, vice-presidents; C. B. Prescott. treasurer: Ed- 
ward TV. Chapin. secretary. 

The bank began business May 20. 1872. and from that time 
it has been recognized as one of the safe and substantial financial 
institutions of our cit.v. Its afl'airs of management always have 
been in prudent hands and it is looked upon as one of the per- 
manent savings lianks of the county. The present depositors 
number a])()ut five thousand persons, and the deposits aggregate 
more than $1,567,000. During its history about fifteen thousand 

( 66 ) 


accounts have been opened. At the present time the total assets 
exceed $1,677,945. 

The presidents of the bank have been James H. Newton, 
Timothy Merrick and Lemuel Sears, the latter having been 
elected in May. 1894. Mr. Prescott has been treasurer through- 
out the entire period of the bank's history. 

The present officers and trustees are as follows: Lemuel 
Sears, president ; Roswell P. Crafts, J. S. Webber, George H. 
Smith, vice-presidents; Charles B. Prescott, treasurer; Edward 
W. Chapin, secretary ; Lemuel Sears, Roswell P. Crafts, J. S. 
Webber, George H. Smith, E. W. Chapin, J. S. McElwain, 
James Connor, C. W. Eider, E. P. Bagg, Hubbell P. Terry, A. 
W. Esleeck, Cornelius O'Leary, William H. Heywood, George 
F. Fowler, H. E. Gaylord, Arthur B. Chapin, trustees. 

The Peoples' Savings Bank was incorporated March 19, 
1885, by Audereon Allen, Moses Newton, James E. Delaney, 
Frederick Taylor, James Ramage, John E. Clark, John Tilley 
and their associates, for the purpose of carrying on a savings 
bank business in Holyoke in conformity with the laws of the 
state. The first officers were William Skinner, president ; An- 
derson Allen. John E. Clark, James Ramage, vice-presidents; 
John J. Reardon, secretary; Frank H. Chamberlin, treasurer; 
J. C. Hubbard, George A. Clark, J. J. O'Connor, James H. New- 
ton, Moses Newton, H. J. Prink, George H. Hills, John K. Judd, 
R. H. Seymour, John Tilley, D. H. Newton and H. K. Bird, jr., 

Mr. Skinner was president of the bank until August 1. 1901, 
when he resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Tilley. Frank H. 
Chamberlain was appointed treasurer when the bank began 
business and has served in that capacity to the present time. 

The Peoples' Savings bank has total assets of more than 
$1,166,000; deposit accounts aggregating over .$1,220,000. and 
about 3,500 depositors. Its affairs are prudently managed and 
the institution has an enviable standing in the business com- 

The present officers are John Tilley, president; James Ram- 
age and John E. Clark, vice-presidents; A. L. Green, secretary; 

( 67 ) 


Prank H. Chambcrlin, ir.asurcr: John Tilloy. James Ramage, 
John E. Clark. J. C. Hubbard. J. A. Sullivan. A. L. Green, H. J. 
Friiik, O. D. Allyn. 1). H. Newton. J. 1). Hardy, George A. 
Clark, Moses Newton, J. K. Judd, J. N. Hubbard, L. M. Gaylord 
and Seymour E. Gates, trustees. 

Co-operative Hanks. — In addition to the rf^nUar e.onnnereial 
and savings banks mentioned on ureceding pages, some brief 
allusion may properly be made to the two co-operative banks of 
the city, neither of which are banks of deposit, yet enjoy certain 
powers given to institutions of that cliaiaeter and are under the 
supervision of the banking department of the commonwealth. 
Both are corporations of vahie in the business history of the city 
and are worthy of the jniblic patronage. 

The Hobjokc Co-opovtive Hank was chartered July 24, 
1880, and began business August 125 following, with an author- 
ized capital of $1,000,000. The officers of this bank in 1901 are 
as follows : Charles L. Neweomb. i)resident : Thomas W. Doyle, 
vice-president; Dwight O. Judd. secretary and treasurer; 
Thomas W. Doyle, James S. Lassiter, W. H. Btdlard, S. B. Win- 
chester. Thomas J. Tierney. J. H. Montgomei-y. John Tlildreth, 
James Parfitt, jr., Thomas D. O'Brien and Fi-ank J. Phelps, di- 

The Cifri Co-operative Rank was organized July 1. 1889, 
chartered July 16, and began business Jidy 23, 1889: authorized 
capital, $1,000,000. This bank was chartered by and always has 
been conducted in the esjiecial interest of the French people of 
Holyoke. It is a safe, substantial concern, capably officered, and 
is worthy of the patronage of all who would avail themselves of 
its benefits. The officers for 1901 are Daniel Proulx. president; 
Joseph L. Laporte. vice-president : Pierre Bonvouloir, secretary 
and treasurer: A. F. Gingras, John St. John, Leon Laporte. Val. 
Moquin, O. E. Genest. S. J. Bonvoidoir. A. J. N. Desmarais. L. T. 
^*"aulieu and Joseph Ma.sse, directors. 


The eity ol Holyoke owes its wonderful progress and pros- 
perity during the last half century to the numerous manufaetur- 

( 68 ) 


iiig' estalilisluiR-nts wliicli have been built up aloiii;- tlie line of 
the system of artificial water courses constructed by the Hadley 
Falls company and its successor corporation, the Holyoke Water 
Power company; and we may further say with equal truth that 
both Ilolyoke and the manufacturing: concerns owe their exist- 
ence to the construction and operation of the company's system. 
Previous to the preliminaiy purchases of land by George C. 
Ewins in 1S46 and 1847 tlie locality now included within the 

Cratts Tavern 

manufacturing- district was hardly more than an agricultural 
region, with a few scattered factories of not more than ordinary 
importance along the river bank, while on the eleven hundred 
acre tract which comprised the company's ultimate purchase 
there were probably not more than a dozen or fifteen dwelling 
houses, occupied chiefly by farmers and the few employees of 
the mills. At that time the village settlement was situated on 

( 69 ) 


the Northampton road (now tlie street of that name), where also 
was located the Ireland parish postoffine, one or two stores, as 
many small shops and the hole), the latter under Landlord 
Crafts being perhajjs the chief center of attraction in the town; 
and not even the commendable enterprise of the original Hadley 
Palls company had the eft'ect to draw away the denizens of the 
settlement and locate them in the vicinity of the primitive wing 
dam and its little canal, which marked the first advance in 
Holyoke's industrial history. 

The firet Hadley Falls company was incorporated March 
10. 1827, by John Chapin. Stephen Chapin, Warren Chapin and 
Alfred Smith, who were authorized by an act of the legislature 
to construct a wing dam on the river for the purpose of divert- 
ing the watei-s for manufacture of cotton and woolen goods, 
grain, wood, iron and other metals, in the town of West Spring- 
field ; and, further, the company was authorized to hold real and 
personal estate not exceeding the total value of $36,000. (In 
1832 the amount was increased to $80,000). This wa.s the real 
beginning of Holyoke's industrial history and development. The 
company, in accordance with its plans, caused the M'ing dam to 
be constructed not far from the site of the present old wooden 
dam, and extended it diagonallj^ out into and up the river a suffi- 
cient distance to turn the waters into the little canal or raceway 
which the proprietoi-s had built. Then the mills were erected, the 
grist mill, the sawmill, the cotton and woolen mill, and also the 
furnace for various manufactures of iron. One of these old stnic- 
tures is still standing and forms a part of the extensive works so 
long known as the Parsons Paper company's mill. In the course 
of time many of the rights of the pioneer company were trans- 
ferred to the concern which inuiiediately precetled the second 
Hadley Palls conipany. then were conveyed to that corporation 
and ultimately became part of the and property of the 
Holyoke Water Power company. 

Soon after 1845, when manufacturing capitalists were cast- 
ing about for favorable locations for mill sites, the lower falls 
and rapids between South Hadley and West Springfield at- 
tracted considerable attention on acco>int of the unusual natural 

( 70 ) 


advantages offered by a fall in the river of sixty feet in a dis- 
tance of less than a mile and one-half ; but at this point on tlie 
east side several mills were in operation with others of less note 
on the west side, the former being fairly successful and the latter 
in an uncertain condition of prosperity. It was then, in 184fi, 
that George C. Ewing came to the locality as member and repre- 
sentative of the firm of Fairbanks & Co., of New York, and cer- 
tain New England capitalists, and began acquiring mill and 
propert3' rights, having in contemplation the construction of a 
dam across the river and a system of water power canals on the 
level lands on the west side. In March, 1847. the enterprising 
agent secured deeds conveying to his principals thirty-seven 
acres of land, and also secured the rights and franchises of the 
old Hadley Falls company. 

About this time, it is said, a change was made in the char- 
acter of the purchasing company and an incorporation act was 
secured for the proprietors, the capital being $4,000,000. Offi- 
cers were chosen and Mr. Ewing still retained his former position 
as land agent. Early in January, 1848, the Fairbanks interest 
was withdrawn from the concern, Mr. Ewing resigned and was 
succeeded by A. C. Rising, and in April following tlie company 
was succeeded by the Hadley Falls company. 

The Hadley Falls company was incorporated by an act of 
the legislature, approved April 28, 1848, naming as corporators 
Thomas H. Perkins, George W. Lyman, Edmund Dwight and 
their associates, who were authorized to construct and maintain 
a dam across Connecticut river and one or more locte and canals 
in connection with said dam; to create water power for manu- 
facturing purposes, and to hold real estate of the value of not 
more than $500,000, exclusive of improvements. The authorized 
capital of the company was $4,000,000. 

Following the incorporation and organization, the company 
became legally possessed of the property rights and franchises of 
its predecessor, and then, through its managing officers and land 
agents, purchased additional lands to the aggregate of 1,100 
acres for the purpose of carrying into effect the grand system of 
water power development outlined by its engineers and pro- 

( n ) 


nioters. The work of coiistinu'tiiiji- the dain was be^nm at once, 
and was can-ip<l forward with sncli vigor that on November 19, 
1848, the structure was finished and the gates were closed that 
the basin might l^e filled with water. In every part the work 
apparently had been well done, yet the engineers evidently had 
iiiiscalenlated tin- iimiunsity of pressure upon the dam, and 
about the middle of the afternoon of the same day it gave way 
and was swejit dowii the river, a huge wreck on a mighty, rush- 
ing tide. 

The dam had cost the company $75,000, but its loss had not 
the effect to dishearten the investors in the enterprise, while the 
wise heads who from the outset had declared that the undertak- 
ing was imjjossible of successful accomplishment found tem- 
porary relief and gratification in their oft-repeated "I told you 
so." However, without unnecessary delay the company again 
set to work and built a new and stronger d«m, at an expense of 
$150,000, and on October 22, 184!). the basin again was tilled with 
water; this time with entirely satisfactory results, for the old 
structure still stniids. It was materially strengthened in 1869-70 
by the consti-uetion of a jiowerfui supporting "apron," and with 
subse(|uent incidental i'ei)aii's answered every requirement of 
the cnmiKiny initii lltOO. wlicii tln' jiresent nias.sive stone dam was 

Hut in addition to building two dams and constructing an 
efficient system of water jiowci- canals for manufacturing pur- 
poses, the TIadlev Falls comp;iny performed other good works, 
notably that in (>stablishing a watei- supply for the "New City" 
and iayini;- main ami service pipi's tbroiighout the settled portion 
of the village. This was done in 1848 and the two years next 
following, and from that time until 1882 the Holyoke water sup- 
]ily for fin' and (lomestie ]inrj)0ses was received from the com- 
pany's reservoir on the elevated lands about seventy-five rods 
from the end of the dam. However, notwithstanding the ulti- 
mate suece,s,s of the company's efforts in accomplishing all that 
was undertaken during the early years of its history, it was 
doomed to an unfortunate and jiremature end; not thi-ough mis- 
management or miscalculation as to ])ower rights to be leased, 

( '2 ) 


but. rather to the fiuancial depression which swept over the coun- 
try in 1857 and left in its wake the ruins of thousands of busi- 
ness enterprises. Yielding, therefore, to the inevitable, the com- 
pany became insolvent and its affairs were placed in the hands 
of receivers. Then was organized a new company— the Holyoke 
Water Power company — the corporation which has been a chief 
controlling factor in establishing Holyoke's reputation as one of 
the leading industrial cities of the whole country. 

The Holyoke Water Power company was incorporated by a 
special act of the legislature, approved January 31, 1859, with 
$60,000 capital (increased to $1,200,000 by act of March 1, 1889), 
by William Appleton, George W. Lyman, Francis Bacon, Augus- 
tus H. Fiske and their associates, "for the pui'pose of upholding 
and maintaining the dam across tlie Connecticut river con- 
structed by the Hadley Falls company, and one or more locks and 
canals in connection M'ith said dam." 

Upon the organization of the company it superseded in all 
respects the Hadley Falls company and was subrogated to all 
the rights, powers and privileges of the latter under its charter. 
Like the predecessor company the new organization was and still 
is to all intents and piirposes a foreign corporation, its stock be- 
ing owned largely by non-re.sident investors, but in the course of 
time about one-twelfth of the stock has come into the ownership 
of citizens of Holyoke, while a greater number of shares are 
owned in Springfield : but despite the fact that the corporation 
cannot be regarded as local, its managing officers and directors 
always have shown a considerate regard for local interests and 
almost every worthy cause has found in it a liberal benefactor. 
At least one church .society of each of six or more denominations 
has been given land for a house of worship and at least six park 
sites have likewise been donated to the public use through the 
generosity of the directors, while the land on which stands our 
splendid library building was a voluntary gift from the same 
source. Every canal bridge in the city, with possibly two ex- 
ceptions, was originally built by this company or its predecessor. 

At the same time the company has been ever mindful of its 
own interests and of its lessee mill proprietors and their inter- 

( 73 ) 


ests. The oripriiial system of canals was aiiii)le for the time of the 
Hadley Falls company, but under the new manafjrement the water 
ways have been extended and on occasion widened and deepened 
to meet the ever increasiufir demand for power rights and privi- 
lesres. It is not considere<l within the proper scope of our chap- 
ter to detail at length the numerous changes made in the canal 
system during the ownei-ship of the company, and it will suffice 
to state that the power furnished always has been ample for the 
demands of the time, and none of the lessees have had cause for 
comj)laint at the hands of the lessor. 

About 1868 the dam was found to leak in places as a result 
of age and the constajit action of the water, and to remedy the 
defects and give added strength to the structure a considerable 
outlay of money was made in building an "apron." Again, in 
1895, the company having been highly prosperoUvS in preceding 
years, it was deemed to construct a new dam of sufficient 
height and strength to meet the reciuirements of the mill owners 
for years to come. Accordingly, in that year the present solid 
masonry dam was begun and the work was completed January 
3, 1900: and as a result the Holyoke "Water Power company now 
ha.s one of the largest and most substantial stnictures of its kind 
in the world. The dam itself, with immediate appurtenances, 
contains 50.000 yards of solid masonry, is thirty feet in height, 
97.95 feet above tide water at Saybrook, and was built at an ex- 
pense to the company of $530,000. It is located about one hun- 
dred feet below the old dam of 1849. and between them the bed 
of the river is gradually, yet surely, filling with earth deposits; 
and when this shall have been accomplished by the action of the 
water alone the new ma.ssive stone dam will stand for ages in- 
vulnerable against the pressure from above. 

During the period of its histoi'y. few residents of Holyoke 
have been directly connected with the management of the com- 
pany's biisiness. James M. Siekman has been in the company's 
einpliiyment foi- nearly thirty years, in the capacity of civil en- 
gineer and also as land agent. As engineer he succeeded TVilliam 
A. ('base, who became treasurer of the company. Edward !^. 
Waters, the present treasnrei-. has been in the oiifice in this city 
about fifteen yeai-s. 

( 74 ) 


By an act of the legislature, passed and approved March 3, 
1873, the Holyoke Water Power company was authorized to man- 
ufacture gas and sell the same to the city for illuminating pur- 
poses ; and at a later date the company installed machinery and 
established an electric lighting plant both for illuminating and 
power purposes. 

The complete system of canals established by the company 
in carrying forward its great enterprise during the last foi'ty- 
tive years is almost too well understood by every Hampden 
county citizen to require a detailed description in this chapter. 
On the South Hadley side of the river (where the company ac- 
quired ownership by purchase of the stock of the "Proprietors 
of Locks and Canals on Connecticut River," this action having 
been confirmed by the legislature, February 18, 1884), the water 
is fed into a short canal to supply power to several large fac- 
tories, and the balance of the river's flow is admitted into a more 
elaborate canal system on the Holyoke side through thirteen gate- 
ways, which are operated by a water wheel set in the tower at the 
end of the dam. 

A contemporary writer, in describing the canal sj"stem on 
the Holyoke side of the river, says : "At the inshore end of the 
bulkhead is a stone lock for the passage of boats. The receiving 
canal is 1,013 feet long, 140 feet wide at the bottom and four feet 
wider at the surface, is stoned on either side, as is nearly the en- 
tire system, forming a right angle with the dam and running 
from it nearly southeast. From its eastern end the waters are 
turned, in a southwesterly direction, into the upper le^'cl canal 
which, fifteen feet deep, continues a mile and a quarter in a 
straight line, at first as wide as the supply canal, but narrowing 
at the rate of one foot in width for every 100 feet in length, and 
ending with a width of 80 feet. Parallel with this canal, and of 
like dimensions, distant 400 feet easterly, and 24 feet lower, runs 
the second level canal,^ into which fall the waters of the former, 
after flowing through the mills and moving their machinery." 

"From the north end of this waste-water canal its waters 

'The second level canal is also fed directly from the supply canal in case the 
draft of water from the upper level is not suflBclent to operate the mills on the 
second level. 

( 75 ) 


are carried into another canal which runs easterly and at length 
southerly, following the contour of the river, and ultimately 
flowing into the third level canal projected from the south end 
of the second level canal fii"st named, thus forming a canal border 
about two miles long, whose waste waters, after service in the 
riparian mills, fall into the Connecticut. Fortunately, in the 
topographical features of the adjacent lands, this magnificent 
water system was M'isely suj)plemented by a system of streets 
running parallel with and at right angles to the adjacent canals, 
with only such modifications of the plan as the changes in direc- 
tion of the riparian canal rendered necessary. The iipper and 
second level canals traversing the busiest portion of the city are 
crossed by streets at intervals of 1.000 feet, while half-way be- 
tween each two of these streets are others without bridges. The 
large territory embraced w ithin the boundaries of the water sys- 
tem is practically a level plain, but from the upper level canal 
westward the ground rises ra])idly. attaining nearly its greatest 
average height about 8'AO feet from the center of the first level 

During the period of their history the water power com- 
panies have disposed of much of the land comprising their ex- 
tensive purchases ^to which reference has been made) and espe- 
<?ially such portions thereof as were not adjacent to the canal 
system. In such cases the fee in the land was conveyed, but 
along the canals, on tracts which can be utilized for manufactur- 
ing purposes, the conveyances are in the nature of perpetixal 
leases, with reversion to the company on non-fulfillment by the 
lessee of the conditions of the The lessor furnishes land 
and guaranteed water power for which an annual rental is paid. 
Mill powers are uranted for moderate consideration, and are far 
less expensive to proprietors than steam power for operating 
machinery. The responsibility for failure in water power rests 
upon the company, and thus relieved of hazard in this respect 
and being provided with ample power for all manufacturing pur- 
jioses, Holyoke industrial enterprises have been able to compete 
with those of tlie larger commercial centers and still hold an 
advantage in their own favor. 

( '7 ) 

orn rorxTY and its people 

Ilavinj^ rei'erreil at length to the history of the water power 
companies and also to the great works accomplished by them dur- 
ing the last half centuiy, it is proper that something be said con- 
cerning the grand results achieved in the establishment of indus- 
trial enterprises along these now famous artificial canals, all of 
which have been combined to make Tlolyoke one of the greatest 
manufacturing cities of the land. In this connection, however, 
it may be stated that not all the manufacturing concerns which 
are located within the company's purchase take mill power from 
the canals, the exceptions being noted about as follows : The 
Dean Steam Pump Co., the United States Envelope Co. (formerly 
the Ilolyoke Envelope Co.), the National Blank Book Co., the 
Smith & White Mfg. Co., the American Pad and Paper Co., the 
Hampden Glazed Paper and Card Co.. the Holyoke Thread Co., 
the IMerrick Lumber Co., the Casper Ranger Lumber Yard and 
Planing Mill, the Conn. Valley Lumber Co.. and possibly others. 

According to accepted authority the first manufactory on the 
line of the canals was that founded in 1853 by J. C. Parsons and 
others, and which in allusion to him became known as the Par- 
sons Paper comi)any. Li the years inunediately following 1853 
other ])roprietors began to come to the locality, and having be- 
come satisfied that the water power canal system had passed the 
experimental stage and become an assured success, they opened 
negotiations and almost invariably secured leases. In 1854 the 
Lyman mills were founded, and eventually became one of the 
largest cotton manufiscturing concerns in all New England. 
However, having recoui-se to a record of Ilolyoke industries com- 
piled from the water jiower company's books, the writer is en- 
abled to furnish a reasonably correct list of the manufacturing 
companies' started on the canals, noting them in chronological 
order, with some brief data relating to the date of incorporation, 
capital stock and occasional allusion to the personnel of the man- 
agement : 

The Parsons Paper Co.. inc. 1853: capital, $360,000: E. P. 

'The iimnufnoturiTS of Holyoke by a fair majority of numbers have expressed 
a de.sirc that their iiulu.stries be not "written up" in this chapter, hence the writer 
has deferred to the wishes of the proprietors in making only a brief and necessary 
allusion to each establishment. 

{ 78 ) 

Joseph C. Parsons 


Bagjr, agent ami tivasurer: Charles P. Haiulall. secretary. The 
L.vnnaii Mills, est. January 1, 1854 ; capital, $1,470,000 ; Theophi- 
lus Parsons, treas. : Ernest Loveriug, agent; Chas. Merriam. su- 
perintendent. The llolyoke Paper Co., est. 1857: nominal capi- 
tal. .$500,000. I'rentiss Wire Mill, est. 1857 (now George W. 
Prentiss & Co.). llolyoke Machine Co.. org. 1862; capital. .$300,- 
000: .\. II. Whitten, pres. : Chas. K. Holman, treas.: H. J. Frink, 
gen. iiiirr. lladley Thread Co., est. 186:5; capital, .$600,000 (now 
known as lladley Co.). Beebe, Webber & Co., est. 1863: mfrs. 
of woolen goods, ^lerriek Thread Co., 1865: capital, $750,- 
000. Whiting Paper Co., org. 1865: nominal capital, $300,000; 
Will. Whiting, pies.: Win. F. Whiting, treas. and agent; S. R. 
Whiting, sec'y. Cermauia Woolen Mill (known as Germania 
Mills"), org. 1865: capital, .$1.50.000: Herman Stnrsberg. pres.; 
Wm. Stnrsberg. treas.: Wm. Mauer. see. and nigr. Riverside 
Paper Co., org. 1866; capital. .$500,000. Franklin Paper Co., 
org. 1866: nominal capital, $60,000: James Ramage. pres.: John 
Raniage. vice-pres. : Chas. W. Ramage. treas. Valley Paper Co., 
org. 1866; capital. .$200,000: Geo. F. Fowler, pres.; Chas. B. 
Prescott. treas.; T. Henry Spencer, asst. treas.; Alfred H. Mor- 
ton, siipt. Henry Seymour Cutlery Co., org. 1869: capital, $25,- 
(H)0. llolyoke Warp Co.. org. 1869; capital. $60,000: J. L. Bur- 
lingame, treas. Springfield Blanket Co., org. 1870: capital, 
$150,000. Crocker Paper Co. (Crocker JMfg. Co.), org. 1871 ; cap- 
ital $300,000. :Massasoit Paper Co., org. 1872 : capital. $300,000. 
Beebe & Holbrook Co., org. 1872: mfrs. of paper. Excelsior Pa- 
per Co., org. 1873: A. W. Hoffman, (jeorge H. Smith. James L. 
Hodge, proprietors. Newton Paper Co.. org. 1873 : capital, -$72,- 
000: Moses Newton, pres.: James Ramage. vice-pres. : Geo. H. 
Clark, treas. Farr Alpaca Co., org. 1873 ; Ciipital. $400,000 ; 
Edward W. Chapin. pres.; Joseph Metcalf, treas. Massachu- 
setts Screw Co., org. 1873; capital. .$50,000; D. H. Newton, pres.; 
James S. Newton, treas. Connor Bros." Woolen ]\Iill, est. 1874; 
nifi"s. of coat, cloak and dress goods. William Skinner Silk Mill 
(now AVm. Skinner Mfg. Co.). est. 1874; inc. 1889 : capital. $100,- 
000. National Blank Book Co.. org. 1875: capital, $150,000; 
Wm. Whiting, pres. ; F. B. Towme, treas. Albion Paper Co., org. 

( 80 ) 


1878: capital. $60,000. Wauregan Paper Co., org. 1879. Dean 
Steam Pump Co., org. 1879 ; capital, $300,000. Chemical Paper 
Co., org. 1880; capital, $250,000; James H. Ne^vton, pres. ; 
James W. Kirkham, vice-pres. ; Moses Newton, treas. ; E. B. 
Fiske, sec'y. Nonotuck Paper Co., org. 1880; capital, $155,000. 
Holyoke Envelope Co. (now United States Envelope Co.), org. 
1880. Whitmore Mfg. Co., org. 1881; capital, $75,000; Wm. 
Whiting, pres.; F. D. Heywood, treas. Coburn Trolley Track 
Co., inc. 1888; capital, $100,000: Lemuel Coburn, pres.; A. A. 
Coburn. treas. American Pad and Paper Co., inc. 1888; capi- 
tal, $75,000: Geo. M. Holbrook, pres.; Thos. W. Holley, treas.; 
G. W. Brainerd, sec'y- D. Mackintosh & Sons Co., inc. 1888 ; cap- 
ital, $100,000; Donald Mackintosh, pres.: John G. Mackintosh, 
treas. ; Chas. E. ^Mackintosh, agt. Connecticut River Paper Co., 
org. 1888; capital, $200,000. McCallum Constable Hosiery Co., 
org. 1888. Parsons Paper Co. No. 2, org. 1888 ; capital, .$300,000. 
Powers Paper Co., org. 1889. Holyoke Hydrant and Iron Works, 
org. 1890 ; capital, $60,000. Chadwiek Plush Co.. org. 1891. Nor- 
man Paper Co., org. 1891; capital, $300,000. George C. Gill 
Paper Co., inc. 1891 (successor to Winona Paper Co.) ; capital, 
$100,000. Hampden Glazed Paper and Card Co., inc. 1891 ; capi- 
tal, $56,000: George R. Dickinson Paper Co., org. 1892; capital, 
$150,000. Ford Bit Co., inc. 1892 ; capital, $21.900 : N. H. Whit- 
ten, pres. : R. C. Winchester, treas. ; 0. D. Allyn, mgr. Goetz 
Silk Mfg. Co., inc. 1893: capital, $35,000; David Goetz, pres.; 
Samuel McQuaid, treas.: S. A. Mahoney. sec'y- 

In connection with that which is stated in preceding para- 
graphs it is proper to mention the fact that the Parsons Paper 
Mill No. 1, the Crocker Mig. Co., the Albion Paper Co., the 
Nonotuck Paper Co., the George C. Gill Paper Co.. the Norman 
Paper Co., the Riverside Paper Co., the Conn. River Paper Co., 
the Holyoke Paper Co.. the Linden Paper Co., the George R. 
Dickinson Paper Co., the Beebe & Holbrook Co., the Massasoit 
Paper Mfg. Co. and the Wauregan Paper Co. are now absorbed 
by the vast corporation known as the American AYriting Paper 
Co. : and also that the Merrick Thread Co. and the Hadley Co. 
are in like manner absorbed by the American Thread Co. It is 

6-3 ( 81 ) 


iidt tliL' purpose of these greater corporations— commonly called 
■"tiiists"— to close any of the factories, but rather to systematize 
and regulate tlu'ii' operation, and thus reduce the cost of placing 
their product on the market. 

Ill aiiditidii to the c(iri)iuatiiins engaged in industrial pur- 
suits wliicli are ali-eady mentioned, we may Anth propriety note 
the names of still other companies and proprietors likewise en- 
gaged, all (if whom have been contrilmting factors, past or pres- 
ent, in the pi-ospeiity of oui' city. Among the stock companies 
there may be noted the Baker-^'awter Co.. incorporated 1895 ; 
capital, $200,000: manufacturers of loose leaf books: the Barlow 
Mfg. Co., inc. 189") (J. S. Webber, prest.. and Lewis E. Bellows, 
treas. and mgr.). mfrs. of nickel and brass display fixtures; the 
Hiichaiian i^ Holt Wire Co.. incorporated 1897 (capital $50,000) ; 
the Conn. \'alley Lumber Co.. incorporated 1898 (capital .$500.- 
000) : the Kly Lumbn- Co.. incorporated 1898 (capital .$40,000) : 
the Papei- Co.. inc. 1895: the Eureka Ruling and Binding 
Co., inc. 1890: the (ioddard Machine Co.. inc. 1899: the Holyoke 
Automobile Co.. inc. 1900; the Holyoke Bar Co.. inc. 1889; the 
Holyoke Belting Co.. inc. 1891 (capital $40,000); the Holyoke 
Plush Co., inc. 1899, and succeeding the Chadwick Plush Co.; 
the Holyoke Thread Co., inc. 1900: Lynch Bros."s Brick Co., inc. 
1896; the Merrick Lumber Co.. inc. 1884 (capital .$75,000) ; the 
Smith & Wiite Mfg. Co., inc. 1891 (capital $50,000) ; the Xylite 
liubricating Co., inc. 1897. 

.\nd still further we may mention other ])roprietors, among 
them the Coglan Steam Boiler Works: the City foundry; J. & W. 
Jolly Machine shops: B. F. I'erkins & Son. machinists; Charles 
Koegel & Son. machinists: the Westphal ^Machine Co.: the Nov- 
elty Machine Co.: the Harmon & Derichs Architectural Iron 
Works: Walsli's Holyoke Steam Boiler Works: Higgins & Co., 
brass fouiulers : the Holyoke Broom Co. and the H. E. Smith Co.. 
broom mfrs.: the Holyoke l^ead Pipe Co.; the White Paper Box 
Co.; John T. F. MacDoTinell. the Sinclair Mfg. Co.; the Smith 
Tablet Co.. and the Whiting Street Euling and Stationery Co., 
mfrs. of paper pads and tablets; the Taylor-Atkins Paper Co.; 
the Chase & Cooledge Co.: the Holyoke Truidv ^Mfg. Co.. and 

( 82 ) 


others perhaps equally worthy of mention, but whose names can- 
not now be recalled. These manufacturers, with those who pre- 
ceded them in earlier years, have been all-important factors in 
the industrial history of our city. 

It has been estimated that quite one-third of Holyoke's pop- 
ulation is employed in the mills and factories of the city ; that the 
aggregate nominal capital of the producing corporations exceeds 
$12,000,000, and that the monthly pay rolls aggregate more 
than $G0O,()OO in all branches of manufacture. The carry- 
ing trade is chiefly done by the Boston and Maine and the Hol- 
yoke and Westfield railroads, and in facilitating the loading of 
goods for shipment these companies have laid branch tracks to 
the works of nearly all the large manufacturing companies. 


Section two of the by-laws of tlie association reads as fol- 
lows: "The objects of this association are for the purpose of 
promoting the interests of the mercantile and manufacturing 
business of Holyoke, to advance and elevate the conuuercial in- 
terest and business connections of our merchants, and to broaden 
and strengthen business relations among them, and by all legiti- 
mate means work unitedly for the material prosperity of our 

The association referred to in the preceding paragraph cer- 
tainly has been loyal to the above declaration of purpose, and 
for the five years of its history has proven itself one of the best 
and most useful institutions of our city, and one whose aims al- 
ways have been for the pulilic welfare, free from any favor or 
prejudice. An associaiion of the same character previously had 
existed for several years, but for some unexplained cause its af- 
fairs were not prosperous, hence, in 1897, it was succeeded by the 
organization of which we write. The present body has a total 
membership of about 200 business men. 

The Holyoke Business Men's association was formed Janu- 
ary 22, 1897, at a meeting of citizens held in the 6. A. R. hall, 
and from that time it has been a controlling factor for good in 
local history. Its affairs and management are vested in a board 

( 83 ) 


of directors, at first comprising six members and the ofScers, but 
later increased to twelve members. The first board of directors 
comprised Albert Steiger, W. J. Mills. John Tilley, Thomas J. 
Carniody, Otho R. Brown, Marciene IT. Whiteomb and the officers 
for 1897-8. 

The succession of officers of the association is as follows: 

1897-8— M. P. Conway, president; Alexander McAuslan 
■vnce-prcsident ; A. E. Diclsinson. treasurer : E. P. Ford, secretary. 

1898-9— James J. Curran, president: Alexander McAuslan, 
vice-president; Otho R. Brown, treasurer: Thomas P. McCabe, 

1899-1900— James J. Curran. president: William J. Mills, 
vice-jiresidcnt : Otho R. Brown, treasurer: Thomas Stansfield, 

1900-1901 — Marciene II. AVliitcomb, president: William J. 
Mills, vice-president: G. E. Russell, treasurer: Thomas Stans- 
field, secretary. 

1901-02— M. II. Whiteomb. president: John Tilley. vice- 
president ; G. E. Russell, treasurer: Thomas Stansfield. secretary. 

Officers for 1902.—M. H. AYliitcomb. president: John Tilley, 
vice-president; G. E. Russell, treasurer: Thomas Stansfield, sec- 
retary : M. J. Laporte, Casper Ranger. M. P. Conway. Albert 
Steiger. H. A. Collings, Thomas J. Carmody. Alexander McAus- 
lan. J. J. Curran. J. J. Sullivan. Hu<rb McLean. A. Davis. M. J. 
Bowler, directors, 


In tlir rally history of Ireland parisli many of the settlers 
whose households were invaded by the hand of death carried the 
bodies for burial to the old churchyard ground in the mother 
parish in AVest Springfield. After the Third parish had become 
well peopled the settlers set apart "God's acre" in their own 
community, and thus about the year 1743 the old Third parish 
burial ground was laid out and was dedicated to the public use. 
At a later period it appears to have passed into the control of the 
First Baptist society, and so remained until about 1855. when the 
land was conveyed to the town. In 1882 it.s custody was a.s- 
sumed by the Third Parish Burial (irouiul association, bnt in the 

( S4 ) 


meantime other cemeteries had been opened, hence interments in 
the old grounds became less frequent in after years. 

Forestdale Cemetery.— At a town meeting held in October, 
1860, the inhabitants of Holyoke voted an appropriation of 
$1,500 for the purchase of a tract of land to be used for burial 
purposes. On November 1 of the same year a number of promi- 
nent citizens incorporated and organized Forestdale Ceme- 
tery association, the officers and trustees of which were as fol- 
lows: Jones S. Davis, president; Porter Underwood, secretary 
and treasurer ; Jones S. Davis, Porter Underwood, J. M. Whitten, 
Henry Wheeler, Edwin H. Ball, S. Stewart Chase, S. J. "Weston, 
Austin Ely, Asa 0. Colby, S. H. Walker, trustees: Robert B. 
Johnson and Chester Crafts, auditore. 

This association, with frequent changes in the personnel of 
its board of officei's and trustees, has continued to the present 
time. The grounds purchased comprised a little less than 
twenty-five acres. The work of laying out the tract was begun in 
the early part of 1862, and on June 22 the cemetery was dedi- 
cated with formal ceremony, the leading participants in the 
services being Prof. Voss of Amhei'st college, George C. Ewing, 
on behalf of the trustees, and Rev. Roswell Foster. 

The present officers of the association are Henry A. Chase, 
president ; Charles W. Johnson, secretary and treasurer ; Heni-y 
A. Chase. William S. Loomis. L. F. Heyward, W. H. Abbott, 
Dwight 0. Judd, C. E. Ball, H. B. Lawrence, A. L. Shumway, 
William H. Heywood and Henry 0. Hastings, trustees; L. F. 
HeyAvard and W. G. Twing, auditors; W. S. Loomis, superin- 
tendent; F. G. Bartlett, sexton. 

^t. Jerome's Cemetery (Roman Catholic) was purchased and 
laid out for burial purposes in 1864. It comprises twelve acres 
of land on St. Jerome avenue and ad.joins Forestdale cemetery. 

The French Roman Catholic Cemetery, four aci-es in extent, 
situated on what is known as Granby plains, was opened in 1S75. 
This tract is outside the city limits, yet the cemetery, to all in- 
tents and purposes, is a local institution. 

Cavalry Cemetery, on Northampton street (south) adjoin- 
ing the old Baptist burial ground, is another institution of the 

( 85 ) 

orii corsTv a.xd its peoi'LE 

Catholic clnucli, ami was consecrated March 20, 1882, by TJt. 
Rev. Bishop 0"Jxeilly. The grounds, fourteen acres in extent, 
were laid out under the super\'ision of A. ]i. Tower, civil engi- 


All that is most precious in our modern civilization is pre- 
served to a community by its churches, or at least by the re- 
ligious life that is fostered by its churches, if William M. Evarts 
spoke truth when he said "One mig-ht as well exi)ect our land 
to keep its climate, its fertility, its salubrity, and its beauty, were 
the globe loosened from the hand which holds it in its orbit, as 
to count upon the preservation of the delights for a people cast 
loose from religion." 

Although Holyoke is so like a western eitj" iu its rapid 
growth and in the free, democratic character of its people, it still 
possesses all the distinctive characteristics of a New England 
community. One of these is the fact, so frequently recognized 
in Ihis part of the country, that the society of the place is divided 
pretty closely on church lines. To be sure, there are many clubs 
and associations and other organizations for social and benevo- 
lent purposes, in which no church lines are drawn or thought of, 
but outside of these there is a strong tendency to let the ac- 
quaintanceships formed at church and church gatherings s^iffice 
for all purposes. 

This condition of things is helped by the fact that nearly 
all the people are busy workers in one field or another, and the 
further fact tliat there is no exclusive, aristocratic set in society. 
The richest people are unostentatious and democratic in the best 

The only church in ITolyoke that has passed its hundredth 
birthday is the First < 'ongiegational. or the Church on the Hill, 
as it is called. This society celebrated its centennial in 1899, 
while the First Rajitist comes but four years later. 

The jieculiar manner in which the town was settled causes 
the unusual jihenomenon of finding both the First Congrega- 
tional and the First Baptist churches situated r|nite outside of 
the center of the city. Both of these cliurches were organized 

( sfi ) 


when the territory was only a fanning country and part of the 
towni of West Springfield. Afterwards, when the water power 
of the Connecticut began to be developed, the center of popula- 
tion changed to the river banks, and as the town grew it de- 
manded a Second Congregational and a Second Baptist church. 


The first religious society to be organized w ithin the boi'dei's 
of the present city of Holyoke was first called the ■"Tinrd Church 

The old First Congregational Cliurcli 

of West SjiriiiiifieUl.'" or p(ii)ularly tlii' church in "Ireland 
Parish," until it finally- becanie the First ('(uigrcuational clnii-cli 
of Holyoke. 

It was on tlie fourth day of Dcccniber, 1799, that the fol- 
lowing eleven persons banded themselves together to form this 
church of Jesus Christ : Joseph Rogers, Jonathan Clough, Amos 
Allen, John Miller, Titus JMoifiau, Ohiver Street, Timothy 
Clough, Experience Morgan, Lucas Morgan, Betsy Morgan. 
Nathan Stephens. 

( 87 ) 


The lirst ili'iu-oiis were Jusepli Koszers and Amos Allen, and 
the first year five new niembei-s were received. On account of a 
division of sentiment in the parish the church had uo pastor of 
their own for twenty-nine yeais. The first church building 
erected was sitiiated about one-half mile south of the present site 
of the First Baptist church. Tliis was built about 1792 and 
was used by the Coutrregationalists and Baptists .iointly. It was 
moved north in 1796 to what is now the Alexander Day place, 
and was extensively rejiaired in 1S12, never having been prop- 
erly finished before. 

Rev. Thomas Kand, a Baptist, filled the pastor's place for both 
denominations for nearly twenty-five years, until, in 1826, the 
two societies felt strong enough to separate, the Congregation- 
alists numbering about eighty membei"s. The Baptists withdrew 
and left their brethren in possession of the church building. In 
1828 Rev. Stephen Hayes came to labor in the parish and re- 
mained five years, and though he Avas not installed, he filled the 
])lacc as first Congregational minister in Holyoke. On the tenth 
of December. 18:14. a new meeting house, costing .$1.700,- was 
dedicated, and on the same day Rev. Hervey Smith was installed 
as the first settled pastor. It is an interesting fact that the min- 
ister himself was the largest contributor toward the cost of the 
church. He continued in the pastorate for eight years and re- 
signed in 1841 on aeeoiint of ill health, never taking another 
church, although he lived till 1877. 

The ne.xt pastor was Rev. (iideon Dana of South Amherst. 
i\Ir. Dana was installed Februaiy 24. 1841, and after a stomiy 
and unfortunate ]iastorate of only three years he resigned in 
March, 1844. Mr. D;ina died in 1872. He was followed in the 
ofifiee of ])nslor by Simeon ^Miller, a man who is still recalled and 
loved l)y all the older members of the church. ]\lr. Miller came 
direct from tlie Andover seminary, and after preaching one year 
he was ordained and installed May 7. 1846. and continued in the 
office until Febnuuy 9, 1870. In 1844 the church was enabled 
to terminate its connection with the Home Missionary socii^ty, on 
account of the growth of the ]io])ulafion at tlie settlement near 
the river, but when, in 1849, the Second Congregational church 

( 88 ) 


was organized in the more thickly settled part of the town, the 
first chnrch suffered some loss, so that at the close of Mr. Miller's 
pastorate the membership was twenty per cent, smaller than at 
its beginnino-. On ^Nfr. ^Miller's retirement Rev. Charles E. 
Cooledge served the chnrch until October, 1872, but was not in- 
stalled. Rev. Theodore L. Day was ordained and installed De- 
cember 18. 1872, but served as pastor only a year and a half. 
Then Rev. Charles L. Walker acted as pastor for about two years, 
and now followed a period of severe trial, during which time the 
pulpit was supjilied for brief periods l)y a number of men. 
Anions' these were Professor J. H. Sawyer, Rev. S. W. Clark, 
and Rev. S. J. IMundy. In 1882 a call was given to Rev. E. N. 
Munroe. and he was installed May 31, of that year, his pastorate 
extending only two years. The council which dismissed Mr. 
Munroe took advantage of the situation, known to exist, and 
gave the church the following advice: "The ministers and del- 
egates from the sister churches respectfully urge the First 
church of Holyoke to consider the probable advantage to the 
cause of religion that would follow, of abandoning any bequests 
that might hinder them in such action -were they entirely to re- 
organize this church and parish, and transplant themselves 
nearer their city's growth. We do fully believe that by such a 
step great gain would come, both to the life of this church and 
to the spiritual interest of the residents in this locality." 

This advice caused the question to be agitated, but it wa.s 
three years before anything definite was done in regard to mov- 
ing nearer to the center of population. On February 15, 1887, a 
committee was appointed to procure plans for a new meeting 
house, and soon after a lot was purchased on the corner of 
Pleasant and Hampden streets. A chapel was built and dedi- 
cated December 16, 1887, and occupied for more than six years. 

Rev. Henry Hyde was called to the pastorate in 1885. be- 
ginning his duties the first of June and serving the church three 
years. This covered the time of the removal and was thus an 
eventual period. Mr. Hyde's successor was Rev. George W. 
Winch, the present efficient pastor, who was installed September 
1, 1888. 

( 89 ) 

on; coryry .\\n its veovle 

In 1892 llie cliiiicli luid bt-coiiie so huge that the cliajx'l was 
inui'li too siiiiill. and tlie work of erecting the main structure was 
entered on and imshoil so rajiidly that the house was dedicated 
April 11. 1894. It is now one ot the principal yiublic l)nilding.s 
in that section ot the city. ;md the society is in a most flourishing 


'I'liis I'huich was oriianized May l!4, 1849. by tlie following 
eighteen ])ersons: AVilliam S. Bosworth, Laura Ann Johnson, 
Lucius Morton, Harvey King. Nancy (". Morton, Sarali B. King, 
Elbridge (i. Pierce. Isaac Osgood, Charles N. Ingalls. Hannah 
Thorndikc. Hannah A. Ingalls, Ambrose Snow, Julia A. Gid- 
dings. Mary Snow. Dianna M. Quint. Glark O. Pease. William 
J. Johnson. Margarette AVatson. 

'Die first pastor was Kev. Asa C. Pierce, who was installed 
September 20. 1849. Mi-. Pierce is described by one of his con- 
gregation as the best man lie ever saw, but on account of im- 
paired health he was obliged to resign his position in 1851. 
During the first months the society worshiped in the school house 
near the first level canal, but soon moved to the large brick school 
house on Chestnut street. In XovcMiibor. 1850. another move 
was made to Perkins hall, on High street, afterward known as 
Exchange hall. After the resignation of ^Ir. Pierce the church 
i-eniained nearly two years without a settled jiastor. but during 
this time the people were brave enough to set to work to build 
a house of worship. The site chosen was the northeast corner 
of High and Dwight streets, the most central location that could 
be selected, and the church then built remained a prominent 
landmark of the city many years. The corner-stone was laid 
September 1. 1852. and the house was dedicated July 27. 1853. 
During the time of its building the society called a new jtastor. 
and Rev. Richard Knight was installed .\pril 20. 1853. The new 
house of worship cost twelve thousand dollars: its dimensions 
were 63 by 102 feet: the height of tlie spire. ITfi feet: it would 
accomiiKHlate 800 in the main room and 300 in the chapel. The 
local jiapcr claims that it was one of the finest churches in 
Western Ma.ssaehuselts. This building continued to be the 

( 90 ) 


church home of this society until 1885, and many people now 
livine remember it with i)iterest and pride. Mr. Knight re- 
signed the pastorate March 29, 1855, and on November 8, of the 
same year, Rev. James B. R. Walker was installed in his place. 

In 1857 the church had increased to only sixty-nine mem- 
bers, but in 1858, a year memorable for religious activity 
throughout the land, eighty-seven additions were made. In 
the report of the annual meeting of the church, in January, 
1863, it is announced that "nine of the members of the church 
have gone to the war." 

Mr. "Walker resigned February 7, 1864, and was succeeded 
by Rev. Lucius R. Eastman, jr., who was installed August 30, 
1865. Mr. Eastman and all the subsequent pastors are still liv- 
ing. In 1866 a new organ was purchased at a cost of $3,000, and 
the pastor was especially active in raising the money for it. 

After only two years' service Mr. Eastman resigned to the 
regret of all, to accept a call to Sonierville, and on December 4, 
1867, Rev. John L. R. Trask was ordained and installed pastor, 
having just graduated from the Andover Theological seminary. 
During this pastorate, which lasted fifteen years, the church had 
a steady growth, the number added in 1870 being ninety-tw-o, and 
in 1879 seventy-seven were admitted. The membership in- 
creased during Dr. Trask 's service from 163 to 405. In the fall 
of 1881 it was voted to secure plans for a new church, and the 
work of raising funds was begun with great zeal. Dr. Trask was 
very active in this and other labors connected wath the church, 
but was obliged by ill health to give up work and take a year's 
rest. Not having fully recovered by the following fall, he re- 
signed November 23, 1882, to the great sorrow of the church and 
society. Dr. Trask is now the well-known pastor of Memorial 
church, Springfield. 

On March 19, 1883, a call was extended to Rev. M. W. 
Stryker, of Ithaca, N. Y., who is now Dr. Stryker, president of 
Hamilton college. Dr. Stryker was installed May 17, 1883, and 
filled the office of pastor for two years, when he accepted a call 
to the Fourth Presbyterian church ot Chicago. 

An important move was made when the society bought a 
lot on the corner of High and Appleton streets for a new house 

( 91 ) 


of worsliip. 'I'lii' old site was too small lor a new church and 
was. niorcovei'. too near the center of business, hut the society 
should have frone away from High street, since the new location, 
where stands the present chinch, is. to-day. surrounded with the 
noise and hustle incident to the hu.siest street in the eity. The 
new clun'ch was dedicated Janiuiry 29, I880, the cost of land, 
buildins;. orcrau aiul fui-niture being .$104,000. 

After the resignation of Dr. Stryker the church secured the 
services of Rev. "William II. Iluliljard, of Concord, N. H., but 
after serving a year without being settled. Dr. Hubbard decided 
to accept a call to the Fii-st Presbyterian ehui'ch of Auburn, 
N. Y., where he is still laboring. The present efficient and well 
beloved pastoi'. Dr. Edward A. Keed, was called November 5, 
18S6, and was installed December 28 of the same year. Dr. 
Keed was formerly pastor of the First church in Springfield, 
aiul also of tlie Collegiate Dutch Reformed church of New York. 
An important department of the activities of the Second 
Congregational church is the work in South ITolj'oke, long known 
as Grace chapel. This was started as a Sunday school as early 
as 1879. by the young men of Mr. J. S. McElwain's class. A 
building was erected on Main street and good missionary work 
was done in it for ten years, mainly for the children. But in 
1891 preaehii'g services on Sunday were begun, and next year 
Rev. A. AV. ii'i'inington was engaged as pastor. The work grev 
under Mr. Remington and he was mainly instnimontal in secur- 
ing funds for the erection of a small church building on the 
corner of Cabot and Race streets. Here the work is still pros- 
pering. ]Mr. Remington resigned in 1898 and was succeeded by 
Franklin P. Reinhold. who has also recently resigned to take a 
church in "Windsor Locks. Conn. For many years IMr. Joseph 
A. Skinner was superintendent of Grace Sunday school and 
was very instrumental in furthering the movement. 


On the fifth of October, 1803, a council met at the house of 
Caleb Humeston, in what was then a part of West Springfield, 
and advised the organization of the First Baptist church with 

( 92 ) 


the following among the membership: Thomas Rand. Caleb 
Humeston, Peresh Hiteheoek, Benjamin Bassett, Asahel Chapin, 
Jedediah Day, Joseph Ely, Sarah Hiimeston, Anna Hitchcock 
and Bede Gill. Thomas Kand, one of the membei-s, became the 
first pastor and proved a faithful one. The meetings were held 
in the little house on lower Northampton street, which the Bap- 
tists and Congregationalists had for some time occupied jointly. 

Mr. Rand's pastorate lasted twenty-five years, a period of 
much interest to the infant church. In connection with his 
preaching he carried on a farm, and when the academy was 
built he taught every day during the school season. Several of 
his pupils became very useful men, among them being Rev. 
Justin Perkins, D. D., missionary in Persia : Rev. Hazen Howard, 
missionary in Burmah; Rev. Asahel Chapin, and Rev. Dwight 
Ives, for thirty years pastor in Sufiield, Conn. 

The membership of the church at first increased slowiy, 
at the end of twelve years the number being sixty-three. Then 
in 1816 there was a great revival which brought in seventy-three 
new members, and another revival in 1826 added sixty-three 

Soon after the latter year of increase the two denominations, 
which had been worshiping all this time in the same house, 
separated, and each built a new church. The Baptists erected 
theirs on the site of their present church. 

After the close of Mr. Rand's quarter century of service 
there followed a number of short pastorates, some longer than 
others, but as a rule uneventfid except that the church was 
gradually gaining in strength. These are the names of the pas- 
tors and their terms of service : Rev. Elder Taggart and Rev. 
David Pease labored as supplies for a short time; Rev. Henry 
Archibald, 1830-1832: Rev. Ira Hall (after he and several others 
had supplied), 1835-1838; Rev. Horace D. Doolittle, 1838-1842; 
Rev. William L. Brown. 1842-1846 : Rev. Joel Kenny. 1846-1847 ; 
Rev. Asahel Chapin, 1847-1850; Rev.Mark Carpenter, 1850-1858; 
Rev. George W. Gorham, 1859-1862 ; Rev. J. H. Kent. 1864-1866 ; 
Rev. J. L. A. Fish, 1868-1871 : Rev. W. H. Evans. 1871-1879. 

In June. 1850, the pastor. Rev. Asahel Chapin, and fifteen 
other members were dismissed to assist in forming the Second 

{ 93 ) 


flimrh in the irrowing settlement of Ireland Depot, so-called, 
near llio river. 

The present ehureh edifiee was ])nilt in 1880, and on the first 
Sunday of the followiii'r year l)Ogan the successful j)astorate of 
Rev. ]•:. .M, IJarik'tt. 'Die church grew with the growth of the 
city and Mr. Jiartlett left it in a flourishing condition when he 
resigned in June. 1892. The beginning of the following year 
bnuighl the jiic'^cnt pastoi-. ]\r\. M. A. Willeox. U. D., who Ls a 
rijie scholar and one of tlie most universally [)opular ministers 
Holyoke ever had. 


We have seen in the history just preceding that, in the year 
1849, a number of persons were dismissed from the First Baptist 
chTirch for the purpose of forming a new society in the growing 
settlement of Ireland Depot., with others, to the number 
of forty-two in all, organized the Second Baptist church, June 
24. of that year, which has since far surpassed the mother society, 
on account ot the rapid growth of popidation about the new 
center. The first place of M-orship was Gallaudet & Terry's 
hall, corner of High and Lyman streets, and the first pastor was 
Rev. Asahel Chapin, who wa.s one of those coming out of the 
First church. Prominent in the new organization was Deacon 
Edwin Chase, for many years an honored citizen and father of 
the present postmaster of Holyoke. 

On account of bu.siness depression the gain in membership 
was at fii*st so slow that at the end of two years the church 
numbered only three more than when it was organized. This 
was occasioned by removals, because in the meantime there had 
been twenty-five additions. 

In 18.')2 ]\ev. Mr. Chapin resigne^l and. nine months later. 
Rev. James French became the pastor. ITnJer his charge the 
society prospered so that they began to think of biiilding a 
church, and on November 23, 18oo, the lecture room of the new 
structure was ready for occupancy. The next month Mr. French 
closed his term of service and was succeeded by Rev. Grcorge 
W. Gorham, who remained with the church for nearly three 
years. The last year of this period there was a revival which 

( 9-t ) 


added thirty-nine persons to the membership. Mr. Gorham re- 
signed in 1859 to go to the First Baptist, and Rev. A. J. Bing- 
ham followed him. remaining but one year. The next to take 
charge of the church was Kev. C. H. Kowe, who remained less 
than a year. 

On July 2, 1862. Rev. A. M. Averill was installed pastor, 
and in the next year the church ediiice was burned to the ground, 
less than five j'eare after its completion. The second day after 
the fire a new building conunittee was appointed, and their work 
so promptly done that in a year and a half a larger and more 
convenient church was ready for use. 

Mv. Averill resigned in December. ISfiT. and after an in- 
terregnum of a little more than a year, a call was accepted by 
Eev. Edwin Burnham, whose preaching and work were so ef- 
fective that during the nine months of his stay sixty-one 
members were added to the church by baptism. 

Rev. Dr. R. J. Adams came next and his pastorate proved 
to be a long and eventful one. In the year 1870 there was a 
notable revival, lasting into the next year. In thirteen months 
108 pereons w'ere baptized, and during the firsit four and a half 
years of Dr. Adams's pa.storate 262 were added to the church. 
In 1871 the society built a parsonage on the comer of Appleton 
and Chestnut streets, but a more important event was the change 
in location for the church itself, from the noisy, crowded site 
near the railroad to the qtiiet locality of the residence district on 
the hill. In 1882 a lot was bought at the corner of Appleton and 
Chestnut streets and the present beautiful and commodious edi- 
fice was dedicated October 20, 1885, Rev. Dr. A. J. Gordon of 
Boston preaching the sermon. The ruling spirit in this building 
enterprise was the pastor himself, but very soon after the church 
was opened for use Dr. Adams presented his resignation and in- 
sisted on leaving against the urgently expressed wishes of his 
people that he should remain with them. 

In September of the same year Rev. C. H. Kimball began 
his pastorate and continued in service three years. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. J. W. T. Boothe, D. D., of Wilmington, Del., who 
was installed on New Year's day. 1800. Di-. Bootlie proved to be 

( 95 ) 


a strong iiiiin and was inihu'iitial I'ar beydiid tlie bounds of his 

Dr. Bootlie resigned January 1, 1899, aud was followed by 
Rev. Charles B. Turner, who came in February, 1899, and held 
office until his melancholy death, August 5, 1900. 

The present pastor, Kev. John S. Lyon, began his duties 
January 1, 1901, and from iill that appears the church has every 
reason to expect a long and eminently successful pastorate. 

During the pastorate of Mr. Kimball this church was instru- 
mental in building a chapel .just across the river in the village 
of Willimansett, atid during the same period the Ward One 
mission was established. 

The latter was first started in 1888, in the vestry of the old 
Baptist church on Main street, beginning as a Sunday school with 
97 members. Soon a Wednesday evening prayer meeting was 
begun, antl in 1899 a new chapel was built for the work on the 
corner of Mosher and West streets. The money came largely 
trom the young people's effort.s and the building is therefore 
now well known by the name of Christian Endeavor chapel. 

The pastors engaged directly in this work have been Rev. 
G. E. Nichols. Rev. P. F. Thayer. Rev. James Xobbs, Rev. H. H. 
Hallowell and Rev. Louis J. Bamberg, tlie uajned being now 
in charge. 


The Methodists were late in starting in Ilolyoke. but they have 
now two large congregations. 

In 18.53. Rev. Thomas Marcy. who was superintendent of 
schools in Northampton at the time, began holding services in 
Lyceum hall on High street, and in May of that year a society 
was formed with twenty members. In the fall the church was 
moved into Galladet & Terry's hall and remained there till 1857, 
moving then into Chapin hall, where they continued until the 
vestiy of their chur(;h was ready in 1869. Mr. Marcy preached a 
year and was followed by Rev. Rodney Gage, who also remained 
one year. Rev. Philander Wallingford succeeded for another 
year and Rev. M. p]. Wright for two yeai-s. During the latter 's 
pastorate so many removed from the city that the condition of 

( 96 ) 


tliis society was brought very low. Indeed, it came to the point 
where Mr. "Wright advised that the church should be disbanded 
and the members unite with other churches. A few accepted the 
latter part of the advice, but the majority clung to their organ- 
ization and pi'oved in the end that there was plenty of room for 
a ^Methodist church in Holyoke. 

Help came to them in their need, for Rev. Martin Chapin of 
Florence offered to preach for them without charge, and did so 
for two years, very acceptably, too. Courage returned and with 
it financial strength enough to pay a regular salary. From this 
time the growth was steady and sure. 

The further list of pastors with their terms of service is as 
follows : 

Rev. Nathaniel Fellows. 1860. 1861: Rev. AVilliam J. Ham- 
bleton, 1862; Rev. AVilliani D. Bridge, 186:> : Rev. John Peter- 
son, 1864, 1865, 1866 : Rev. Samuel Roy, 1867 : Rev. I. B. Bige- 
low, 1868-1870 : Rev. I. J. Abbott, 1871-1872 : Rev. W. N. Rich- 
ardson, 1873-1875:; Rev. C. A. :\Ierrill. 1876. 1877; Rev. Will- 
iam C4ordon. 1878, 1879 ; Rev. E. A. Titus. 1880-1882 ; Rev. E. 
P. King, 1883-1885: Rev. G. C. Osgood, 1886. 

The church on the comer of Main and Appleton streets was 
begun during Mr. Peterson's pastorate, in 1865, but the work lan- 
guished until the officers of the church sent a request to the con- 
ference for a "]\Ian who could build a church whether he could 
preach or not." In response to this petition Rev. I. B. Bigelow 
was sent and he proved to be not only the man for that work, 
but a good pastor besides. The walls of the church were soon 
seen to be rising and the building was dedicated in March, 1870. 
Sixteen years after this, when Mr. Osgood had become pastor, 
only a year after the Second Baptists had dedicated their new 
church on Appleton street, the Methodists found the people all 
moving up the hill district, and the same question the Baptists 
had grappled with began to trouble them. Once begun the agi- 
tation would not be kept down, and the end of the matter was 
that a lot was bought and a church edifice begun on the corner 
of Appleton and Elm streets, only one short square from the new 
church of the Baptists. This was an unfortunate choice of a 

7-3 ( 97 ) 


site, because two squares east is the Second Congregational and 
one square north of that the Episcopal church, while only a little 
farther to the south is the Presbyterian church. Nevertheless 
the Methodists were well plea^^ed to be so near the center of popu- 
lation and they soon completed a handsome and convenient 
church edifice in the summer of 1890. The land, building and 
furnishings cost $42,000. 

Mr. Osgood was appointed to another church in April, 1891, 
and the pastors since that date are Rev. W. E. Knox, 1891 to 
1896. Rev. W. B. Fisk, 1896 to 1898. and Rev. H. L. AVriston, who 
came in April. 1898, and is still in service. 


Rev. E. p. King, pastor of the First Methodist church, 
started a mission on the Highlands in 1885. A lot was bought 
and a chaj)el built so expeditiously that the house was dedicated 
in March, 1886. A Sunday school of 80 members was organized 
and preaching services w-ere held by Mr. King and after him Mr. 
Osgood. In i\Iarch, 1889, a separate society was formed and Rev. 
Wilson S. Fritch became the first pastor. The new church is in 
a section of the city which lias had a rapid growth and its pros- 
perity has been continuous. Rev. O. R. ]\Iiller. the present pas- 
tor, has made his influence felt in the community by aggressive 
temperance work. 


The first steps toward organizing a Presbyterian church in 
Holyoke were taken May 7, 1886, when the Presbyterian board 
of home missions sent their New England fio^ld secretfiry. Rev. 
Dr. J. W. Sanderson, to look over the ground. He met a few 
persons who gave him to underetand that there were a good many 
Presbyterians in the other churches. Scotch to great extent, who 
would delight to have a church of their own where they would 
be more at home. 

The outlook was encouraging enough to induce the board to 
send a licentiate from the Hartford Theological seminary, named 
William Gardner, to spend tlie summer in Holyoke and gather a 
congregation if possible. The first sendee was held May 16 in 

( 98 ) 


the Y. M. C. A. reading room on Suffolk street, the audience 
numbering 49 in the the morning and 63 in the evening. Soon 
the Y. M. C. A. moved to the Women's Union Temperance build- 
ing on High street and tliere the Presbyterians held their meet- 
ings for seven weeks, but removed to the Foresters new hall on 
July 25. 

In response to a request by 148 petitioners the Boston pres- 
bytery granted permission for the organization of the Pii-st 
Presbyterian church of Holyoke, and the formal business was 
transacted Thursday evening, August 26, 1886. Barak Wilson 
and George P. Bill, M. D,. were installed as ruling elders and 
William Scott and Alexander Paul as deacons. 

The first pastor wa.s Rev. J. M. Craig, who entered upon his 
duties the Sunday in October of the same year. Mr. Craig 
soon saw the desirability of having a permanent place of worship 
and began agitating the question of building a church. A com- 
mittee of fifteen was appointed, with the pastor as chairman, and 
the work was .soon in progress. 

Mr. Craig was very active and efficient in raising the neces- 
sarj' money and in superintending the construction of the build- 
ing, doing much more in the latter direction than a minister of 
a parish usually undertakes. In all his labor he was conspicu- 
ously assisted from beginning to end by his faithful senior elder, 
Mr. Wilson. The house was dedicated March 5. 1889. 

Mr. Craig remained two years after the new church was 
opened and then Rev. Mr. Augier supplied the pulpit until May 
18, 1892, which was the day wdien Rev. G. A. Wilson began his 
duties as pastor. Mr. Wilson was a young man who put a good 
deal of enthusiasm into his work and the church grew under his 
care. He resigned in September, 1899, and the present pastor. 
Rev. Alvin R. Pennell, entered on his duties December 1, 1899. 


An Episcopal parish under the name of Trinity church was 
established in Holyoke as early as 1849, of which Rev. Heni-y W. 
Adams was rector. But the population was small and the finan- 
cial support so meagre that the effort was abandoned, not to be 

( 99 ) 


renewed ajiain uutil 1863. In that year, acting on the advice of 
Bishop Eastburn, steps were once more taken to form a parish. 
This time the name of St. Paul's church was selected and the 
organization was effected October 12, 1868. The next December 
the first rector. Rev. James Kidder, -was called. Jones S. Davis, 
one of the vestrymen, gave the society the use of a chapel and 
parsonage on Maple street, and this chapel was occupied for two 

'Sir. Kidder resigned in 1864 to go to another parish and Kev. 
0. II. Dutton succeeded him. Mr. Dutton was a popular rector. 
That he w'as a good orator is shown by the fact that he was 
selected from the clergymen of the town to preach the memorial 
sermon on the death of President Lincoln. 

At the annual parish meeting in 1865 a committee wa.s ap- 
pointed "to procure plans and obtain subscriptions for a 
church." They selected a lot on the corner of Suffolk and JNIaple 
streets, where the church now stands, but nothing further seems 
to have been done until the next spring, when building opera- 
tions begun and the corner-stone was laid July 5, 1866. 

In the meantime the society had removed from the chapel 
to a pleasant room in the Lyman mills, and Mr. Dutton had re- 
signed to be succeeded by Rev. Mr. Ilolbrook. The latter i-e- 
mained sixteen months and was followed by Rev. Dr. Peet, who 
came from New Yoi'k city and held the office four yeare and 
eight months. Duiing Dr. Poet's tenn of service in 1868 the 
church edifice was completed, the first sermon in it being 
preached by Bisho]) Lee of Iowa. Dr. Peet "s work did not eud 
here, however, for he undertook the task of raising money to 
clear the incumbrance on the church. He was entirely successful 
in this and proved himself, also, in many otlier directions one of 
the best and most useful clergymen the city ever had. During 
his stay the number of communicants w-as nearly doubled. In 
March, 1872, Rev. John Leech was engaged for six months, at 
the end ot which jieriod Rev. Chai'les IT. Lester became rector 
and remained three years. This was a successful pastorate, the 
number of conmnmicants increasing from 80 to 160. 

Rev. "William P. Tucker became rector in May, 1876, and 

( 100 ) 


was succeeded, the next year, by Rev. Amos Skeele, who held of- 
fice until April, 1881. 

Three mouths later Rev. H. L. Foote began his ministry and 
for eight years sei^ved the parish very acceptably and was a use- 
ful and highly respected man in the community. At the very 
beginning of his term he raised money to pay off the indebted- 
ness on the church and then enough more to biiild a handsome 
rectory on a lot just south of the church on Maple street. 

In 1887 a gallery wa.s put into the church to increase the 
seating capacity and at the Easter meeting in 1888 a building 
fund was started for the erection of a new church, the necessity 
for which was clearly foreseen. When Mr. Foote resigned, in 
iNIay. 1889, the chiirch membership numbered 300. 

In September of that year Rev. J. C. Welhvood accepted a 
call to the parish and filled the office of rector seven years. He 
was followed by Rev. George S. Sinclair, who remained from 
April, 1897, to November, 1899. After that Rev. C. W. MeCully 
served as rector in charge for a few months, and on the fii-st of 
October, 1900, the present rector, Rev. H. IMorrill, entered on his 


An effort was made to foi-m a Unitarian society in Holyoke 
in 1857, but failed after a trial of a few months. The present 
church was incorporated June 27, 1874, when the constitution 
was signed by 55 persons. Rev. W. S. Heyw'ood became the first 
l)astor, the caU being given September 21, 1874. Services were 
first held in Parsons hall and afterwards in St. Jerome hall, on 
^laple street. In 1875 the water power company, following their 
custom with so many of the other denominations, gave the Uni- 
tarians a lot of land on Maple street, and the society took imme- 
diate steps toward building a house of worship, the chapel being 
completed in the spi-ing of 1876. 

Mr. Heywood resigned February 2, 1883, and in June Rev. 
Granville Pierce was called and remained as pastor for three 
years. His successor was Rev. James W. Carney, who was or- 
dained and installed January 11, 1887. In the summer of 1889 
a large addition was built to the church, which more than doub- 
led its capacity. 

( 101 ) 


Mr. Carney was a yoiin<r man who was liked by his church 
and made many friends, also, outside of it, but after a dozen 
years of preaching he decided to try something else. Accord- 
ingly, he resigned the ofTice of pastor and took up the study of 
law, remaining in the city until he was admitted to the bar. 

He was succeeded in the Unitarian pulpit by Kev. T. E. 
Chappell, a bright and active man, who remained with the society 
two years. Kev. A. O. Singsen, the present pastor, began his 
duties September 1, 1901. 


This society was organized July 2, 1886, the mission from 
which it sprung ha\'ing been started two years earlier by Rev. 
Mr. Cote, general missionary for Massachusetts of the French 
Congregational work. The first pastor was Rev. J. L. Morin, but 
before the first year had passed he had a call to a larger parish 
in Lowell and resigned the Ilolyoke charge. In September, 1887, 
Rov. Samuel Vernier was called to the pastorate and remained 
about a year. After that the pulpit was filled for short periods 
by Rev. J. A. Vernon and Rev. Mr. Ameron, president of the 
French college at Springfield. On June 30, 1899, Rev. I. P. Bru- 
neault was called and installed December 3. 

The services of this societj' were at first hekl in Grace 
chapel, then in Parsons hall, and. since 1885. in the chapel of 
the Second Congregational church. 

The pastore have been as follows : 

Rev. T. G. A. Cote, December, 1884, to June, 1885; Rev. J. 
Morin, June, 1885, to October, 1886; Rev. P. S. Vernier, Rev. M. 
Vernon and Rev. Mr. Provost sen-ed the people until Rev. I. P. 
Bruneault came, in October, 1889. Mr. Bruneault resigned in 
April, 1893. Rev. C. H. Vessot came next, November 1, 1893, 
and remained till April, 1901, when the present pastor, Rev. Mr. 
Lobs began his duties with the church. 


As early as 1866 Geniian services wei-e started in a school 
house in South Holyoke and the next year a house of woi-sliip was 

{ 102 ) 


erected at a cost of $5,000. This was mainly due to tJie efforts of 
the first pastor. Rev. Mr. Frankel. 

The second pastor was Rev. Mr. Schwartz, who remained 
five years. The next was Rev. Mr. Buchler, a Lutheran, the oth- 
ers having been Presbyterians. Mr. Buchler built a parsonage at 
the rear of the chiirch and held oiBce four years, being followed 
by Rev. Mr. ]Muelde, and, six months later, by another Rev. Mr. 
Schwartz, a brother of the former pastor of that name. This 
pastorate lasted three years, and the next one, that of Rev. Mr. 
Hanle, fourteen years. 

All this time there had been no legally organized church, 
but toward the close of Mr. Hanle 's ministiy a society was 
formed, the exact date being September 3, 1888. Soon after this 
Mr. Hanle resigned and in December of the same year the so- 
ciety called Rev. August Bi-unn, who is still holding the office 
of pastor. 


This society was organized October 16, 1892, and in 1894 
built and dedicated a substantial and beautifid church on a 
sightly location at the corner of Sargeant and Elm streets. The 
first pastor was Rev. Albert Buchles, who served for four years. 
After his resignation Rev. H. Van Haagen served as pastor for 
a year, and in 1897 the present pastor, Rev. Dr. Jacob Weber, 
was settled. 


St. Jerome's Parish 

The Catholic church is strong in Holyoke. stronger than in 
most New England cities of the size. When the water power of 
the Connecticut began to be developed by the building of the 
dam, large numbers of Irishmen came to do the work, and they 
have kept coming ever since in generous proportions, when com- 
pared with other nationalities. There are a great many French 
Catholics, also, in the city. 

Ireland Depot was the first name of the city's center, and 
here the first mass, it is reported, was said under a tree by a 
Father Bartholomew Connor from Ireland, some time before 

( 103 ) 


1847. For several years the people were attended once in five 
weeks by priests from Chieopee, but in 1856 Rev. Jeremiah 
O'Callaghan was settled as the first resident pastor. His people 
gathered in Exchange hall, on High street, but he soon began to 
plan St. Jerome's church and pushed the enterprise so energeti- 
cally that the beautiful edifice was finished in 1860 and dedicated 
by Bishop Fitzpatrick. 

Father O'Callaghan died the next year and his body was 
laid to rest under the eastern wall of the church. 

Father James F. Sullivan was pa.stor for five years and 
then, in 1866, came Rev. P. J. Harkins. who still holds the office 
at the age of seventy years. 

Father Harkins has been a man of ability and power in the 
conununity and has built up his parish wonderfully. He has 
seen the number of Catholics in Holyoke increase from 900 to 
more than 25,000 and has witnessed the erection of four more 
Catholic churches, besides numerous other large buildings for 
the various needs of the people. He has made St. Jerome's the 
most complete parish in the Springfield diocese and he himself is 
the mast eminent priest west of the Connecticut. 

The building operations in connection with the churcli, in 
which Father Harkins has been engaged, make a remarkable ex- 
hibit. They are as follows: The convent for the Sisters of Notre 
Dame, cost $18,000 ; church in South Hadley Falls, .$15,000 : the 
Catholic institute for parish work and a school for boys, .$40,000 : 
Sacred Heart church; the school for girls facing the park; re- 
building St. Jerome's church at a cost of $50,000; the convent 
home of the Sisters of Providence, cost $20,000 ; a chapel on the 
west side of the church, cost $20,000. He also gave as a per- 
sonal gift the "Harkins Home" for aged women. It cost him 
$20,000. He has had more than any other person to do with the 
oi-phanage for girls at Ingleside and the new Providence hos- 
pital on Dwight street. 

The following have served a.s curates in this parish, their 
terms varying from one to six years : Rev. James Tracy, Rev. T. 
Hannigan. Rev. F. J. Lynch, Rev. Charles McManiis, Rev. 
Francis Brennan, Rev. Thomas Smyth, Rev. P. B. I'hclan, Rev. 

( 105 ) 


C. J. Ci-onin. Rev. John E. (iarrity, Rev. David Moyes, Rev. J. I. 
O'Reilly, Rev. R. F. AValsh, Rev. L. Denvin, Rev. L. E. Steb- 
bins, Rev. James McKeon, Rev. W. T. Jennings, Rev. John R. 
Mui-phy, Rev. ^Y. J. Harty. Rev. W. J. Powers, Rev. John Crowe,. 
Rev. George Fitzgerald. Rev. W. Hart. Rev. Gan'in, Rev. Pat- 
rick Hofey, Rev. A. A. Dwj-er, Rev. J. J. Donnelly, Hew Richard 
Healey, Rev. Daniel Sheehan. Rev. C. M. Magee, Rev. A. D. 
O'Malley. Rev. John C. Ivers. 


It is estimated that there are in Holyoke more than 15.000 
people of Canadian birth or descent and the parish of the Pre- 
cious Blood was the first one to be organized in the diocese among- 
the French-Canadians. It was formed in 1869 by Father A. B. 
Dufresne. who built a frame church on Park street that year. 

Among the first French families in the town were the Prews, 
the Benoits and the Terriens. Previous to 1860 John Proulx 
(Prew) brought down forty-five French people from Canada for 
the Lyman mills. They came in two large wagon.s, and in the 
company was one who became a noted missionary to the Indians, 
Father John St. Onge. 

In connection Avith this pai-ish occurred the saddest tragedy 
in tJie history of Holyoke. On a May evening, in 1874. while 
the church was filled with people, some lace was blown against a 
lighted candle and almost immediately the whole interior was in 
flames. A panic ensued and seventy-two lives were lost, many 
others being saved by the bravery of some Irish boys who were 
playing ball in the vicinity. Prominent among these was John J. 
Lynch, who is now chief of the fire department of the city, and 
who was, at the time, hailed as a hero all over the country. 

The afflicted parish had the courage to begin the erection of 
another and better house of worship, and it was dedicated in 
1878. It will seat 1,100 persons and cost $78,000. 

In 1887 Father Dufresne died and was buried in the church- 
yard, where the congregation have built a fine monument to 
him. He was succeeded by Father H. O. Landry, who died after 
three years of service. 

( 106 ) 


The present pastor. Rev. Charles Crevier, came in 1890, and 
four yeai-s afterward he opened a large school for boys, which 
he had built at a cost of $28,000. He also built a parochial 
residence at an outlay of $30,000. There are 6,000 persons in the 
Precious Blood church. The assistants are Rev. H. Desrochei-s 
and Rev. W. A. Hickey. 


This parish was set ofif from St. Jerome's in 1878, Father 
Harkins having bought a large lot on South Maple street and 

Sacred Heart (J(>n\-j:! ,:■ I I '..i •■■:'■ ... i ^':\^<«•\ 

begun a church in 1876. Father James F. Sheehan came from 
Pittsfield to be the tirst pastor, but after completing the presby- 
tery his already feeble health failed entirely and he died in 1880. 
His successor was the present pastor. Father P. B. Phelan, who 
came from West Springfield. 

Father Phelan was obliged to take care of a debt on the 
parish of $40,000, but he managed so well that he was soon able 
to begin work again on the church and had it finished and fur- 
nished to double its original capacity two years later. 

( 107 ) 


In 1897 he raised a spire on the church iind put in a chime 
of ten hells, the first in tiie city. The day the liells were blessed 
Bishop Beaven made Father Phelan a permanent rector, mak- 
ing Holyoke the first city in the diocese to have two permanent 
rectors. Father Ilai-kins and Father Phelan. 

The curates of this parish have been Rev. .M. K. Purcell, Rev. 
P. H. Gallen, Rev. W. J. Dower, Rev. John F. Li^onard. Rev. P. J. 
Griffin and Rev. J. P. McCaughan. 

Hdl.V K().-^.\KY PARISH 

The English-sjieaking Catholics increased so fast that in 
1886 the bishop .set off another parish from St. Jerome's in the 
eastern part of the city and placed it in charge of Father M. J. 
Howard. The name of Holy Hosary was given to the new parish, 
and for about two years services were held in the large brick 
church of the Second Baptist society, which had moved to the 

It is astonishing with what rapidity all these Catholic 
parishes provided themselves with commodious and handsome 
houses of worship. Probably Holyoke shows as many examples 
of this miracle of thrift as any place in the countrj'. 

In two anil a half yeai-s after the parish of the Holy Rosary 
was formed a new church was erected and the l)asenient. ready 
for ser\nce, was dedicated. 

Holyoke has another distinction in furnishing for the dio- 
cese its new bishop on the death of Bishop O'Reilly. 

Father Howard died in 1888 and Rev. Dr. Thomas D. 
Beaven of Spencer was called to be pastor of Holy Rosary, and 
in October. l.Mtl^. the jinin' niiidc liiin bishop of Springfield. As 
pastor he was succeeded by Dr. F. Mc(irMth. who is still in ser- 

The curates have been Rev. J. J. Howard, Rev. John J. Con- 
lin. Rev. AVilliain Ryan. Rev. J. F. (iritifin and Rev. M. T. Burke. 


The increase of the French Canadian population was so 
great that still another ])arish bccaine necessary. This was set 

( 108 ) 


off in 1890 in the north section of the city and named as above. 
Rev. C. E. Briinanlt, who still remains, was made the first pastor 
and services were begun in Temperance hall, on Maple street. 
In 1891, the very next year, a fine large building was completed, 
on the corner of jMaple and Prospect streets, which serves as 
church, school and convent. The structure occupies the most con- 
spicuous site in the thickly settled portion of the city, overlook- 
ing the dam and the broad sweep of the river for nearly twenty 
miles of its length. 

Besides this building the parish owns a eonnnodious presby- 
tery and other buildings. Father Brunault was formerly assist- 
ant to Father Dufresne in South Holyoke and was afterwards 
pastor in Gardner for three years. He is especially gifted as a 
musician and directs the litei'ary and musical organizations of 
his parish. 

Father Brunault "s curates have been Rev. W. L. Alexander, 
Rev. X. St. Cyr and Rev. L. Geoffrey. 


Rev. Anthony M. Sikorski was made, by Bishop Beaven. the 
first resident pastor of the Polish people in 1896, Father Cha- 
lupka of Chieopee having cared for them previously. Sei"vices 
are held in the basement of the Church of the Holy Rosary, but 
Father Sikorski hopes they will have a church of their own soon. 
The people are poor, nearly all of them working in the Lyman 
cotton mills, but if we may judge from the history of the other 
Catholic parishes it will not be many years before Holyoke has a 
Polish church edifice. 

Father Sikorski was lioi-n in Russian Poland, studied at 
"Warsaw and was ordained in 1875. 


It is said with evident truth that fully one-third of our city's 
population is comprised of French-Canadians and pei-sons of 
French descent, and further, that among the number are many 
men of means and influence and of moi'al worth and integrity ; 
men who have been and still are controlling factors for good in 

{ 109 ) 


the business, political, professional and social history of our in- 
dustrial city. 

In the early history of Holyoke we discover that the town it- 
self was incorporated soon after the Hadley Falls company had 
completed the second dam across the Connecticut and had suc- 
cessfully diverted the waters of that magrnificent river for manu- 
facturing i)urposes. There were those who doubted the ultimate 
success of the water power company, and when the canal system 
in fact was established and extensive mills had been built, there 
was found a shortage in mill hands and operatives. The news of 
this somewhat unusual condition of things soon spread abroad, 
especially in the regions of the Connecticut valley in this state 
and ^'ernlont, and soon was extended into the pro\'inees of Can- 
ada on the north. 

About this time five French families came to Holyoke and 
constituted the pioneer element of French population in the 
town. The heads of these families were Nareisse Franeoeur, 
Nicholas Proulx, Casal Viens, Furmence Hamel and Charles 
Provost, of whom only the last two are now living. From among 
this number the Lyman mills company selected ]\Ir. Proulx to 
return to Canada and arrange for the importation of a consider- 
able number of j)eople of his own nationality, chiefly laborers and 
mill hands, skilled workmen when possible, but strong, indus- 
trious men were always desirable. For five years Mr. Proulx 
was engaged in transporting workmen and their families from 
the province to Holyoke and during that time he is said to have 
brought here at least five hundred persons: and to him perhaps 
more than to any other one man belongs the honor of having peo- 
pled our town in its early history with a thrifty and industi-ious 
class of inhabitants. 

At the time of their immigration these families were poor in 
purse, but fortunately were possessed of strong physical consti- 
tutions and commendable ambitions. They knew little of Eng- 
lish and still less of American customs, hence frequently were 
made the victims of designing persons and overbearing masters. 
They readily adapted themselves, however, to the new conditions 
.and soon became recognized among the more intelligent classes 

( 110 ) 


of our region. Originally it was their purpose to remain in the 
town only long enough to earn and save money sufficient to estab- 
lish themselves in business in Canada or to relieve unfortunate 
relatives left behind them, yet of the great number of persons 
who came here during the first twenty-five yeare of our town's 
history few, indeed, returned permanently to their native homes. 
The coming and success of one family had its influence upon 
others and after Mr. Proulx had completed his service with the 
company no further personal application was necessary to induce 
settlements by the French from the Canadas. All who came 
easily found employment, although for a time their pay was ex- 
ceedinglj' small, but as they became skilled in their respective 
lines of work wages were increased and to-day many substantial 
fortunes are the result of early struggles and hardships. 

When the French settlement in Holyoke had become suffi- 
cietly strong a church was established, then a school, and with 
the constant increase of later years other societies and institu- 
tions were founded for the especial benefit of French residents. 
At first this people attended services in St. Jerome's church, later 
occupied a rented hall on High street, and, finally, in 1869, built 
a mission chapel on the site whei-e now stands Father Crevier's 
residence, at the comer of Park and Cabot streets. About two 
years later this chapel was burned during service and sixty-three 
persons perished in the flames, while fourteen others subse- 
quently died from injuries received on that awful occasion. The 
disaster occurred on Corpus Christi day, during vesper services, 
when a lighted candle set fire to the altar decorations, and in 
spite of every efiort to subdue the little blaze the flames spread 
with such terrible rapidity that every life in that body of devout 
worshippers was placed in jeopardy ; and then, when the congre- 
gation was endeavoring to escape from the doomed structure the 
single stairway at the entrance gave way and many lives were 
lost in the fall. We hesitate to dwell further upon the dreadful 
recital, for the events of that awful day ai'e all too fresh in the 
memory of all our people. It was the most serious disa.ster in 
Holyoke histoi-y and never can be forgotten. 

After the fire the French people worshipped in convenient 
halls until the completion of the Church of the Precious Blood, 

( 111 ) 

ol l; corXTY A.\n ITS PEOPLE 

iu 187(5. Ktv. Father Dufronse was its first i)astor. He died in 
1886, and was followed in the pastorate by Rev. Father Landry, 
who died in 1890. His snecessor was Rev. Father Charles Cre- 
vier, the present pastor of the church. During Father Landry's 
time tlip Pi-eeinus Blood parish was divided and the new parish 
then orsianized was placed in charpre of Rev. Father Bnmeault. 
The first services were held in the St. Jerome temperance hall, 
but soon afterward the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help 
was erected on Prospect street. Both of these parishes now have 
splendidly ecpiipped schools. 

The aim of the French parochial .schools of Holyoke is to 
furnish not merely "book learnin<r. " but to prive special attention 
to the foniiini;- of character in the interest of good citizenship. 
In these scliools the discipline is a little more severe than in the 
public schools, ])ut results appear to justify the course pursued. 
The parochial school i)upil, in addition to the subjects taught in 
the pulilic scliools. must acquire a thorough understanding of 
French and also of his religion. He is taught etiquette and de- 
portment, aud the traditional French politeness is plainly visible 
in his actions, so that a graduate of our French jiarocliial schools, 
in addition to having acquired learning necessary for entrance 
to our high school, ha.s as thorough knowledge of French as of 
English, and has the further advantage of personal acquaintance 
and association with persons who have abandoned worldly pleas- 
ures to devote all their enei'gies to tlie one purpose of giving their 
pupils the broadest kind of education. 

The first French society in Holyoke was that known as St. 
Jean Baptiste, organized in 1872, still existing and fidl of iiseful- 
ness. Two years ago it became allied to the Union St. Jean Bap- 
tiste d'Amerique. which consists of all the French societies of 
New England. Edward Cadieu.x of this city is the organizer of 
this federation and its supreme president. The other French so- 
cieties in the city, mentioned in the order of ortranization, are: 
L'Union Canadienne (founded by Joseph Beauchemin), La 
Ligue du Sacre Coeur, Conr ^iunt Royal des Porestiers. Les Ar- 
tisans. Heptasophs, Le Cercle Hochambeau. Le Club de Naturali- 
zation, the Club Guilmant. besides nuisical organizations, literary 
clubs and other societies of less note. 

( 11-^ ) 


111 1889 several influential French citizens of Holyoke, under 
the leadership of Pierre Bonvouloir (now city treasurer), organ- 
ized the City Co-operative bank, an institution in the nature of 
a co-operative loan association and one which has been of the 
greatest good to all persons who have availed themselves of its 
membership and which also has acquired a high standing in or- 
ganizations of its special class in Massachusetts. 

The first French newspaper in Holyoke was "Le Defen- 
seur, " which was published weekly. "L'Annexioniste, " a daily 
paper, next followed, and was continued for a time wdth indiffer- 
ent financial results to its founders. At the present time the only 
French paper published in the city is "La Presse," a semi- 
weekly, under capable editorial management. 

Keliable census statistics indicate that one-third of our city's 
population is composed of French persons and their direct de- 
scendants, and among the number is included some of the best 
and most public spirited of our entire citizenship. Glancing over 
the pages of our municipal, mercantile and industrial history, it 
will be seen that French names abound, which indicates that the 
little colony of that people who came to the locality nearly half 
a century ago found a ready welcome among our native towns- 
people and soon became factors of commanding importance in 
the later industrial city: and through all succeeding years the 
more recent comers and as well the American-born sons and 
daughtei-s of French parents have been earnest and zealous in 
doing whatever might tend to personal advancement and the pub- 
lic welfare. In the churches, the schools, the various professions, 
the business and industrial departments of municipal life, in 
politics and in social and home circles French influence has cast 
its light always for good. 

Having thus traced in a brief and general way something 
of the beginning and subsequent history of French life in Hol- 
yoke, it is proper in the same connection that allusion be made to 
some of the characters in acconqilished results during the period 
of which we write. 

Nicholas Proulx, who may be regarded as one of the founders 
of the French colony in Holyoke. came from St. Ours. Canada, 

H-3 ( 11:5 ) 


in 1856. Soon altcrwaid he entered the service of the Lyman 
mills company and for the next five years devoted much of his 
time to transporting workmen and their families from Canada 
to this town, thus furnishing hundreds of employees to the mills 
of this locality. After he left the company's .service he gave his 
attention to mercantile pursuits, dealing in coal and wood for 
several years, and still later engaging in other business enter- 
prises, always with a fair measure of success. He accumulated 
a comfortable fortune and likewise gained the respect of our peo- 
ple in general. He died in June, 1888, in his seventj'-third year. 
He had five daughters and three sons, the latter now living in 
the city and being among its progressive business men. They 
are George J., John J. and Joseph N. Prew. The older genera- 
tions of this family always adhered to their correct surname 
Proulx, but later generations have Angelicized the name into 
Pi-ew. The name Prew, spoken in English, is identical with 
Proulx, spoken in French. 

Furmenee Hamel came to Holyoke from St. Paul, Canada, 
in 18C0, with a family of eight sons and two daughters. Al- 
though he had been a school teacher in Canada he began life here 
as an employee in the Lyman mills, and later on worked for John 
Newton, a prominent mill proprietor. Still later he was for 
twenty-three years in the service of the Connecticut Kiver rail- 
road company, and now retired from active business pui'suits. 
at the age of eighty-foiir yoai-s. he is an authority on all events 
of local history during the last forty years, his fund of anecdote 
being interesting and almost inexhaustable. 

Charles Provost, now living in that delightful portion of our 
city known as the Highlands, fii-st came to Holyoke in 1868, hav- 
ing, to use his own words, "more children than dollars": but 
Mr. Provost's subse(|uont business life is only another splendid 
exam])le of what industry and perseverance will even 
in the face of adversity, for notwithstanding the vicissitudes of 
earlier yeai's in the city, he now is possessed of a competency, the 
result of his own personal effort. At first j\lr. Provost was em- 
ployed as laborer by the water power company, and subsequently 
learned the carpenter trade, lieconiing a practical builder in all 

( lU ) 


joiner work. In 1874, in company with (iilbert Potvin, he built 
a large block in ward one, and during his long residence here he 
also has carried on large real estate operations. 

Thus miglit these reminiscences of early life among the 
French colonists in Holyoke be continued almost indefinitely, but 
the foregoing narrative must suffice for present purposes. How- 
ever, before closing our chapter, it is proper that brief mention 
be made of some of the representative French citizens of Holyoke 
of the present day ; men who are factore in city history and who 
by their efforts have contributed toward the conditions of pro- 
gressiveness which now prevail in our constantly growing mu- 

Henn- E. Chaput, M. D.. was born December 29, 1869. in St. 
Hyacinthe, P. Q., a son of Narcisse Joseph and Eloise (Guitte) 
Chaput. He acquired his elementary education in St. Hya- 
cinthe, and pursT^ed his medical studies in Laval college, Mont- 
real, taking his degree there in the spring of 1894. In Decem- 
ber, 1898, he came to Holyoke, where he since has engaged in 
successful practice of his profession. He is secretary of the 
French medical association, physician to Jeanne d'Arc Cii-cle, 
and has been president of the association of students of the uni- 
versity from which he was graduated. In October, 1895. he mai'- 
ried Jane, daughter of A. D. Girard, of St. John, P. Q. They 
have three children — Girard, Sylvia and Jane. 

Odilon Z. E. Charest was born June 1, 1857, in Three Rivers, 
Canada, a son of Elzear and Arlena (Suite) Charest. He came 
to this cit.v in 1878 and found employment with the Holyoke Fur- 
niture company, where he remained ten years and then went into 
mercantile business with M. Sainte-Marie, establishing what now 
is one of the leading houses of our city. Mr. Charest is now serv- 
ing his third term as member of the school committee, and in 
many other ways has been earnestly identified wit the best inter- 
ests of the city. In 1886 he married Mary Jane Robert, by whom 
he has five cliildren— Leonise, Antoinette, Arthur, George and 

Felix J. Cloutier, M. D., was liorn March 15, 1864, in Na- 
pierville, Canada, son of Siffroid and Oylmpia (Gautier) Clou- 

( 115 ) 


tier. Mis father was born in St. Anne. P. Q.. and died in Decem- 
ber. 190(1. His mother was a native of L'Aeadie, Canada. Dr. 
Cloiitier was educated in the schools of Napierville, in the classi- 
cal department of the College of St. Therese L 'Assumption and 
St. Sulpice seminary in Montreal. He pursued his medical 
studies in and was 'graduated fi-om the Queen's university at 
Kingston, Canada. He came to Holyoke in 1889, where he has 
since resided and engaged in successful practice. In 1895 Dr. 
Cloutier married Emily R. Robert. 

Jacques L. Demers was born April 2'i. 1833. in Montreal, 
Canada, son of Louis and Mary (Burrill) Demers. His father 
was a native of Montreal and his mother of Three Rivers, Can- 
ada. Both are deceased. Jacques was educated in the schools 
of Montreal and after completing his early etUication he studied 
portrait painting. In 1883 he came to Holyoke and established 
his present portrait and photographic business. In 1858 Mr. 
Demers married Louise Reel of Montreal. They have five chil- 
dren—Louis. TTonnisdas. Wilfred, ^larie r>ouise and Angelina 

Valere Ducharme was born in St. Guillaume, Canada, Sep- 
tember 29, 1864. son of Hj'acinthe and Sophie Ducharme. His 
father came to Holyoke in 1879. His mother died in this city in 
1896. Valere was educated in Canada, and there also learned 
the grocery and meat business. He came to Holyoke with his 
father, and in 1886 opened his present grocery store and meat 
market in iiaiinership with E. D. Durocher. In 1889 he pur- 
chased his partner's interest and since has conducted the busi- 
ness alone. In 1892 he married Corinne I^ecault of Verchere, 
Canada. They have four children — Clement, Camille. Oliver 
and Romuld Ducliarme. 

Alfred D. Durocher was born January 30, 1864. at Farnham. 
Canada, son of Pierre (a native of Longueil. Canada, and a 
butcher by trade), and Esther ( Berard") of Marieville. Canada. 
Both of his parents are dead. Alfred was educated at Faniham 
college, and after completing his course he learned the meat and 
grocery business. He came to Holyoke in 1880 and established 
his present biisiness in 1882, on Cabot street, where he still is lo- 

( 116 ) 


eated in one of the finest stores in the eity. He also deals in real 
estate. He is a member of the auditing committee of the West- 
fiekl railroad and of St. Jean Baptiste society. In 1885 Mr. Du- 
rocher married Georgene Dame of St. Cesaire, Canada. They 
have five children— Alfred. Ernest. Aurore, Emil and Ei-mand 

John E. Fessant was born in Canada, Ontario, in 1867 and 
was educated in the schools tliere. He learned the profession of 
pharmacist in Guelph, Canada, and came to Holyoke in 1893, 
where he commenced his present business. Mr. Fessant is a mem- 
ber of the Odd Fellows. 

Orphir E. Genest, attorney and counsellor at law, was born 
July 31, 1860, in Three Rivers, Canada, son of C. B. Genest, also 
an attorney. Orphir was educated at the seminary in Three Riv- 
ers and was admitted to the bar March 15. 1882. Immediately 
after his admission he began practice. He was a member of the 
board of registrars five years and was appointed probation offi- 
cer in 1896, which latter office he since has held. He has been 
interested in politics to considerable extent. He is attorney for 
the City Co-operative bank, having been one of its organizers. 

Leon J. Laporte was born February 15, 1847, in Lavaltrie, 
P. Q., son of Leon Jeremie and Flavi (Martineau) Laporte. Leon, 
the father, came to Hol.voke in June, 1868, with his wife and 
seven children, named as follows: Cordelia, Georgiana (de- 
ceased), Danilda (deceased), Celina, Leon J., Leon and Medric J. 
Cordelia is now the wife of Maxime Parenteau of Springfield; 
Leon J. is druggist; Leon is engaged in carpet cleaning and fur- 
niture moving, and Celina is organist in the Precioas Blood 
church, which position she has filled for twenty-five years. Leon 
Jeremie (the father) was engaged in the trucking business. He 
died in 1874. His wife is still living in Holyoke. 

Joseph Masse was born April 2. 1866, in St. Bruno, Canada, 
son of Solomon and Philomene (Peltier) Masse. Joseph was 
educated in district school and came to Holyoke in 1885, where 
he was employed in a grocery store. In 1890 he opened a store 
on his own account and five years later added meats to his gro- 
cery stock. He has been a member of the republican city com- 

( 117 ) 


iiiitlee for five years; is a member of the Improved Order of Bed 
Men, the Foresters of America, the C. M. B. A., the Union Fra- 
ternal league, St. Jean Baptists society and L 'Union Nat. Fran- 
caise. In 1889 he married Mary S. Bibeau of St. Julie, Somerset, 
Canada. They have two children— Joseph L. Armand and Lodo- 
hiska Loretta— and also an adopted child, Edgar Brunelle. 

Antliyme S. Menard, M. D., was born December 31, 1863, in 
St. Cesaire, P. Q., son of Charles and Zoe (Monty) Menard. 
Charles Menard came to Holyoke in 1865, and was actively prom- 
inent in securing a French priest in the city. He is still living 
in the city ; his wife died in 1897. Dr. Menard obtained his early 
education in St. Cesaire and his medical degree from the Univei'- 
sity of Vermont in 1888. He is a post-graduate of the Post- 
Graduate IMedieal college. New York, and has studied his spe- 
cialt.v on diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat under Profs. 
Abadie and DeWecker of Paris, France. In 1894 he represented 
the fourth ward of Holyoke in the city council. He engaged in 
his present drug business in 1891. In 1888 he married Osia M., 
daughter of Dr. C. W. Gelineau. Dr. and Mrs. IMenard have 
three children— Clandio, Cozette and Alice. Dr. Menard has 
traveled through both American and European continents and is 
a musician of ability. 

Val. Moquin was born August 3, 1855, in Saint Urbain, Can- 
ada, son of Joseph and Priscilla (La F(mntain') ]Moquin. His 
father came to Holyoke in 1866 and carried on a grocery and 
provision store. He died in 1890. His mother was a native of 
St. John Baptist. Canada, and died in 1864. Val. Moquin has re- 
sided in Holyoke since 1868, and during this period of more than 
thirty years he has been actively engaged in business, in v.'hieh 
he has been very successful. He has identified liimself with the 
progress of the city in many ways. He early saw the future 
greatness of Hol.voke, and by judicious investments has become 
one of our largest real estate owncj-s. In French social circles he 
is prominent and influential, and is the best known man of our 
French-speaking population. He has given substantial aid to 
some of our best public institutions and is a director in the 
French Co-operative bank and also in the Peoples' and Holyoke 

( 118 ) 


Savings banks. He has been a member of the St. Jean Baptiste 
society since he eametoHolyoke and has held many offices in that 
organization. He received an appointment from Mayor Griffin 
as member of the okl fire commission and was asked by Mayor 
Farr, as a special favor, to serve on the new commission. To 
this he assented only npon condition that he be assigned a short 

Francis X. Patoel, M. D., was bom September 3, 1845, in 
Joliette. Canada, a .son of Theodore and Sophrenie (Pannlton) 
Patoel, both of whom are now dead. Francis obtained his early 
education in the schools of Joliette and pursued medical studies 
at the University of Victoria, jMontreal, P. Q., from which he 
was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1869. He came to 
Holyoke in 1873, where he since has practiced his profesvsion. 
He has served on the board of health two years. In 1871 he 
married Marie Louise Ducondu. They have two children — 
Alexander, a druggist, and C4eorge, a jeweler. 

Adelard M. Potvin was born October 27, 1869, in St. Ours, 
Canada, son of Louis and Sophia (Proulx) Potvin. His parents 
came to Holyoke in 1871, and are both dead. Adelard acquired 
his early education in the schools of Holyoke and began his busi- 
ness career in a men's furnishing store. He started his present 
furnishing and hat store in 1890 and has since conducted it with 
gratifying success. He is a republican and has served on the 
board of aldermen and also as alderman at large for the yeai-s 
1899, 1900, 1901 and 1902, and made an excellent run for 
representative in 1901, being defeated by less than 200 votes in a 
democratic stronghold, the 7th Hampden representative district. 
In 1889 he married Elodie Valin of Pittsfield, Mass. They have 
two children— Lillian A. and Lena E. Potvin. 

George J. Prew, son of the late Nicholas and Sophia (God- 
dard) Prew, and was born in AVest Springfield, ]\Iarch 15, 1855. 
Nicholas Prew (originally spelled Proulx) was a native of St. 
Ours, Canada (which township was settled by his great-grand- 
father, Francis, who came from France) and came with his wife 
and five children, to live permanently in Holyoke, on February 
3, 1858. The events of his business life are more fully narrated 

( 119 ) 


on a preceding page. He died June 29, 1888, and his wife died 
May 27, 1870. They loft eight children, as follow.s : Sophia, Mrs. 
A. C. Lawrence, Mrs. Danias Chabot, Mrs. J. G. McCarthy, John 
J. (contractor and brick nianufactui-er), George J. (clothier), 
Lina (who was burned to death August 19, 1859), aud Joseph 
N. Prevv. George J. I'rew married Cordelia Perry, daughter of 
Isaac Perry. Their children are Hattie M. and George J. 

Jolm J. Prew, a well-known and successful contractor and 
manufacturer of brick in this city, is a .son of the late Nicholas 
and Sophia (Goddard) Prew, of whom mention is made in a pre- 
ceding paragraj)h. John J. Prew has spent his entire business 
life in Holyoke and has taken an active interest in all that has 
pertained to the general welfare of the city, as well as his own 
personal affairs. He has been successful and has de.sei'\'ed suc- 
cess, and to-day he is regarded as one of our leading citizens. His 
wife, whom he married June 13, 1875, was Maiy M. Laperre of 
Beloud, Canada. Thej' have one daughter, Lina M., now the 
wnfe of George A. Savoy of Holyoke. 

Joseph N. Prew, formerly a m€;rchant, but now a dealer in 
real estate, and withal one of Holyoke 's enterprising business 
men, was born in Canada, April 15, 1844, and came to this city 
with his parents previous to 1860, his father, Nicholas Prew (or 
Proulx), having been one of the pioneei-s of the first French col- 
ony in this locality, as is fully narrated in an earlier paragraph. 
Jaseph N. Prew has passed the best portion of his life in our 
city and he himself has taken an active part in promoting its wel- 
fare and growth. For about eighteen years he was engaged in 
the picture trade, l)ut in 1877 turned his attention to real estate 
business. On I\Iay 20, 1872, Mr. Prew married Matilda Marse- 
seault, who died in 1895. In June. 1897. he married Carrie Lyon 
Vincent of Springfield. 

Henry Proulx was born in Holyoke January 17, 1874, son 
of Daniel and Caroline (Laporte'l Proulx. Daniel Proulx is a 
native of Canada and came to Holyoke in 18(55. where he opened 
a harness shop, which he conducted for twenty-five yeai-s. He 
was alderman at large for two yeai-s and is now fire commissioner. 
Henry Proulx was educated in the schools of Holyoke. After 

( 120 ) 


leaving school he learned the shoe business, and in 1898 engaged 
therein as a partner with Antoine Marcotte. In 1900 he pur- 
chased his partner's interest and is now conducting the business 
alone. In 1898 he married Eva Lareviere of Sorel, Canada. 

Frank A. Rivers was born in St. Albans. Vt., February 13. 
1854. sort of Alexander and jNIatilda Rivers, both of whom now 
are dead. Alexander also was a native of St. Albans and for 
many years was roadmaster of the St. Albans division of the 
Central Vermont railroad. Frank was educated in the schools 
of Vermont. After leaving school he learned the millwright 
trade and came to Holyoke in 1862. where he worked as journey- 
man until 1882. and then started his present contracting busi- 
ness. For the past two years he has been a member of the firm 
of Rivers & Young, contractors. He served one year in the Hol- 
yoke common council and is now alderman for the ward of Chico- 
pee. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the For- 
esters of America. He married, first. Julia Tart, who died in 
1880, leaving two children, Edward and Julia, the latter the wife 
of David H. Young. In 1883 he married Julia Lague, who has 
borne him one child, Reah B. Rivers. 

Clovis Robert was born February 22. 1838, in St. Cesaire, 
P. Q. He came to Fair Haven. Conn., when he was sixteen years 
old, where he learned brickmaking: at eighteen he began learn- 
ing the blacksmith's trade and at the age of twenty-one he went 
to San Praneiseo, Cal., where he carried on blacksmithing seven 
years. Returning to his native town he married, at the age of 
thirty-one, Malvina Archambault. a native of Abbotsford. Can- 
ada. In 1872 he came to Holyoke and for a few years worked 
at his trade and later engaged in real estate business. He has 
been agent for the Holyoke and Westfield road two terms. Mr. 
and Mrs. Robert have tln-ee children — George C, who received 
the degree of M. D. at McGill university. P. Q.. and is now city 
physician; Albert X.. also a physician, a graduate of Bellevue 
medical college, New York, and now practicing at Volcano, Cal., 
and Emily, wife of Dr. F. J. Cloutier of Holyoke. 

Charles V. Roy was born February 8. 1866, at St. Alexander. 
P. Q., a son of George T. Roy. He came to Holyoke in 1884, and 

( 1-21 ) 


engaged in the shoe business, which he since has followed, being 
until recently a member of the firm of Eoy & Laramay, which 
way formed in 1893. but now is dissolved. Mr. Roy has served 
two terms as a member of the board of registrars, and is a mem- 
ber of the Improved Order of Red Men. In 1892 he married 
Lnella Coon of Saugerties. N. Y. They have five children- 
Charles, Vivian, Irene, Ruth and AVinifred Roy. 

John St. John was bom January 14, 1847, in Beloeil, Can- 
ada, a son of G. B. and Lucie St. John, both natives of Beloeil, 
now deceased. John was educated in the schools of Canada, and 
after finishing his schooling learned the brickmaking trade and 
later the carpenter's trade. He has been a contractor and builder 
in ITolyoke since 1882. and is one of the largest operators in this 
business in the city. In 1874 he was married to Malvina Per- 
rault, a native of Canada. They have had four children, of 
whom but one survives. 

Arthur R. Vincent was born January 9. 1863. in St. Guill- 
aume, P. Q., son of Isaac and ^larie (Desrosiei-s) Vincent. Isaac 
Vincent came to Springfield in 1877 and died in that city in 
1892. His wife was from Berthier. P. Q., and is now living in 
Ilolyoke. Arthur R. Vincent was educated in the schools of 
Sorel, after which he learned the drug business. He opened his 
present store in this city in 1891 and has since conducted it with 
gratifying success. He was elected alderman in 1900 and served 
one year. He is a member of the Foresters of America. St. 
Jeane Baptiste society and the Sorel conclave, C. M. B. A. On 
Octobei- 7. 189(i. Mr. Vincent married Bernadette Chapdelaine, 
by whom he has one son. Paul Vincent. 

( 122 ) 



Topograpliy.—Faimev is located in the extreme northeast 
corner of Hampden county. As viewed on the map it presents 
very irregular outlines, and contains about 20,000 acres. It is 
bounded on the north by Belchertown and Ware; on the east 
by Warren and Brimiield ; on the south by Monson ; on the west 
by Wilbraham and Belchertown. Its surface is much broken by 
hills dominated by Mount Pottaquattuck, which attains an alti- 
tude of about 1,000 feet in the northern part of the town, from 
which an extensive view is gained of the Berkshire terraces in 
the west and of Monadnock in the north. Some of the lesser 
elevations are known as Baptist hill, south of Three Rivers; 
Thompson's Mountain in the west part of the town, and King's 
^Mountain west of the Old Center. The Quabaug river is the 
dividing line between the town and Warren, Brimfield and 
Monson; Swift river courses on the extreme western border, 
while Ware river passes nearly through the center; these three 
streams ignite at the village of Three Rivers and form the Chi- 
copee river, which, after a rapid transit of about a mile, enters 
Wilbraham. Each of these streams furnishes abundant power, 
much of which has been made available. Tlie following brooks 
luive their source within the town limits and flow into the Qua- 
baug, viz.: Pottaquattuck, Salisbury, Kings and Dumplin; 
Cedar Swamp brook flows into Ware river. All these streams are 
attractive resorts for sportsmen because of the trout which lurk 
in their pools. The natural ponds are Glassford's, on the plain 
near the junction of Ware and Swift rivers, which has no visible 

( 123 ) 


outlet; Crawford's, near Bondville. and tlie two Pottaquattiiek 
ponds, the larger of which is now known as Forest Lake, which 
has been converted into a noted svimmer resort. 

The several rivers lind their way through narrow valleys 
which afford but spare margin for meadows, the only extensive 
plain lands being found between Three Rivers and Bondville. 

At the time of the advent of the first settlers the country 
was covered witli dense forests of pine, which have largely given 
place to oak and chestnut. The silva and flora of Palmer are 






. (r; / ,?W''- 3 

^psiw "* 

:y ■ fl 









^H^^gfggrn gs 


Historic Pine Tree — Palmer 

extensive and interesting, made possible by the varying condi- 
tion of soil from the rich meadows, to the hidden swamps, and 
the dry hillsides. The writer has collected and identified 140 
specimens of trees and shrubs native in Palmer, which embrace 
nearly all the varieties found in the state, with the exception of 
those found only in maratime localities. He has also identified 
more than three hundred specimens of the flora of the town, 
which is far from exhaustive. The town takes reasonable pride 
in the preservation of two trees which connect colonial times 

( 125 ) 


with the present. One is known far and wide as the Washington 
Elm, standing beside the highway on the original Maj. Aaron 
Graves farm, beneath whose grateful shade Gen. Washington 
sought a few moments for rest and refreshment on that torrid 
30th day of June, 1775. while on his way to take command at 
Cambridge. The other tree is the notable pine standing in the 
yard of Ridge's Food faetoiy, which has a girth of seventeen 
feet and is over a hundred feet in height. It must have been 
a vigorous sapling when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, and 
still preserves its vitality. It won its title to fame one hiindred 
and fifty years ago, when one Sunday as Thomas King, a son of 
the first settler, was on his way to church, he espied a large bear 
in its branches, which he brought down by his trusty gun. He 
gave as an excuse for this seeming desecration of the Sabbath 
that the hnar was a menace both to the flocks and the families of 
the neighborhood, and ought to be killed even on the Lord's Day 
as a matter of protection, which excuse was favorably accepted 
by the elders of the church. 

Indian h'cnuiins. — It is said but one Indian family remained 
at the coming of the first white settler, whose wigwam stood not 
far from the present Burleigh bridge. The finding of arrow 
heads, pestles, mortars, ceremonial stones and other relics give 
abundant evidence of the former presence of the red man in 
nearly every part of the town. One Indian trail passed from 
Warren through the present village of Palmer, another through 
the north part of the town, and still another came past the Pot- 
tacjuattuck ponds, thence across the plain lately known as the 
George Brown farm, past the present village of Three Rivers 
and on to Ludlow. The falls at Three Rivei-s wa.s a favorite re- 
sort for the Indians when the salmon came up the stream, and 
afforded them a time of general festivity: Pottaquattuck pond 
was also another locality much frequented by them for fishing 
purposes. Although Indians often passed through our confines 
after its settlement by white men, no harm was ever experienced 
on their account, notwithstanding that rumors were often rife of 
their dire intentions during the last French and Indian war 
Avliich ratred in other quarters. 

( 126 ) 


Tradition has it that in order to meet this rumored invasion 
a rude stockade A\as erected on a commanding knoll located on 
the George Brown farm, near the Indian trail, but the enemy 
did not materialize, so the people were left in peace, and the 
sight and rumor of Indians gradually faded away. 

The First Settler.— John King was the first white settler of 
Palmer. He was born in England in 1681, and came to Boston 
in his young manhood, where he married Sarah Allen ; John, his 
eldest son, was born in Boston in 1715. In the spring of 1716 he 
came with his wife and child into the houseless wilderness to 
enter upon the strenuous life of a pioneer. Attracted no doubt 
by the open lands on the plain where the present village of Pal- 
mer stands, he erected a riide log cabin a few rods south of the 
present residence of Mrs. Maria Lawrence, and cultivated the 
first land on the present Church street. He remained but a short 
time at his first stopping place, but removed half a mile east to 
the present Tenneyville, where he built a more substantial log 
house just west of the present Cooley house, where he spent the 
remainder of his days and where eleven of his twelve children 
were born. 

John King and his sons became useful and honoi-ed members 
of the new township. John, Sr., died April — , 1744; Sarah, his 
wife, died Jan. 1, 1762. No descendant bearing the name of the 
first settler now remains in town, although there are many in the 
female line still living here. Several years elapsed before King 
was joined by other settlers, but before 1732 many accessions 
had been made, largely of Scotch-Irish descent, with numbers 
f I'om the river towns and other localities. !Many of these settlers 
had been induced to take grants of land from the Joshua Lamb 
Co., which claimed jurisdiction over the territory now known as 
Palmer; but it was found on examination that their Indian deed 
covered no part of said territory, which fact caused no little 
trouble to the settlers; so in 1732 fifty-six of the settlers inter- 
ested in the matter sent an humble petition to the General Court 
praying to be relieved of the perplexing difficulty in which they 
were placed. The prayer of the petitioners was finally brought to 
a favorable conclusion by the able efforts of Steward Southgate. 

( 137 ) 


one of the leading and best informed men of the plantation. This 
turn (if atTairs \vas rcaclied tliroutrh the mutual understanding 
of the settlers ami tlie General Court that the claims of Lamb & 
Company be disallowed. Nov. 24, 1732, the Court appointed Col. 
John Alden and 'Mr. Samuel Bradford, with such as the Honor- 
able Board might appoint as a committee to view the lands of 
the petitioners and report at the next session of the court. 
On November 28, 1732, Ebenezer Burrell. Esq., was joined in 
the affair. 

The committee a])pointed by the General Court visited the 
plantation in due time and faithfully discharged the duty in- 

Report of the Committee.— Aiiti- giving a detailed account 
of the boundaries of the plantation the report continues: "We 
find the greater part of ye sd Land t« be Pine Land, High Hills 
and 7jOW Valleys: the hills very poor and mean, the valleys 
pretty good. AVe also find that the said Tract of Land lies in a 
Broken form, and is miieh Discommoded by Farms claimed by 
Particular Grants from this Court, which have taken up the 
best of ye land. AVe also find that the Circumstances of ye Peti- 
tioners & Settlers and their Settlements are Different and much 
Intricate and Perplexed: some of them having entered and 
Setlcd without IJegiilation, and Interfered and lucroached upon 
olhei- men's Pitches & Improvements. And in many instances 
too several Sellers claim one and ye same spot under different 
pleas and pretences of Right: some having Ijots laid out; Some 
partly laid: and others only Pitched, interfering one with an- 
other as aforesaid. 

""We would f)ir1ber inform this Honorable Court that we 
have taken great pains and care to Inspect & Inquire into every 
Particular circumstance I'elating to ye said Tract of Land, and 
find it needftd to prevent further Charge & Difficulty, to Report 
Particularly, as Follows, viz. That we find there are entered & 
setled and about setling on the said Tract of Land the Number 
of Eighty Persons, the most whereof are families who have built 
Houses and made considerable Improvements: and are now and 
have constantly for moi-o than three yeai-s past Been Supplied 

( 128 ) 


witli ;i ^Minister to preach the Word of God uuto them ; who has 
been Supported by a free Coutributiou. We also find that about 
forty eight of the above number were Introduced or Led on or 
Incouraged to Setle and make Improvements by Joshua Lamb, 
Esq., & Company, and their committee who Claimed the Said 
Tract of Land by virtue of an Indian Purchase, And the most of 
the Number had actually contracted with them for certain Par- 
cels thereof, and received Deed of Conveyance and Order from 
them for leying out their Lotts and have had ye most of them 
laid out accordingly. We are therefore humbly of the opinion. 
That the severall Persons & Families hereafter named, that were 
So admitted and setled under and by the said Claimers; Have 
their severall & respective Lots hereafter mentioned Ratified & 
Confirmed to them, their Heirs and Assigns, in such proportion 
and under such Restrictions. Limitations & Conditions as follow 
and are hereafter mentioned."' The connuittee then give in de- 
tail the description of the lots of land which they recommend to 
be divided among the forly-eight settlers. Then they go on to 
say: "Furthermore we find. That the following named Persons 
to the Number of thirty-one, Having presumed to enter on the 
Province Land in Said Tract without any leave or order from 
this Court, oi' under any Pretence of Mistake or Admission from 
the Claimers; yet they having most of them made considerable 
Improvements and expended the chief of their Small Fortunes; 
and having paid their proper proportion for the support of the 
Ministry among them; That to remove them oft' would reduce 
them to extreme Poverty. We are therefore humbly of ye opin- 
ion, that it may not be Inconsistent with ye Honor of the Prov- 
ence, and yet a sufficient Discountenence to such Presumptuous 
Settlements: If there be granted to each of them a single lot, 
Including their Improvements, upon such conditions as are here- 
after mentioned." Here follows a detailed account of divisions 
recommended to each of the following settlers: Jethro Ames, 
James Breckenridge, Widow Andrew Bailey, John Brooks, Jo- 
seph Brooks, Peter Backus, Widow Nathaniel Blanchard, John 
Beamon, Mathew Brown, George Booth, John Combs, Joseph 
Chadwick, Abel Curtice, Obadiah Cooley, Obadiah Cooley, Jr., 

9-3 ( 129 ) 


Jonathan Cha])iii, Tlionias Chai)i)i, William Crawford, Lieut, 
yamuel Doolittle, James Dorchester, James Dorchester, Jr., Na- 
thaniel Dewey, Robert Dunlap, Daniel Fuller. Samuel Frost, 
Robert Farrell. Thomas Farrand, Andrew Farrand, Joseph 
Fleming, Humphrey Gardner. Elisha Hall, John Henderson, 
Kev. John Harvey, Thoma.s Hill, Thomas Jennings, John King, 
John King. Jr., John Kilbiirn, Benjamin Kilbui'n, Samuel Kil- 
burn, Daniel Ivilburn, James Lambertou, Thomas Little, James 
Lamont, James JMcEhvain. Timothy MeElwain. Bernard Mac- 
nett, James ;Me(Tellan, James Maequiston. Ebenezer Mirick, 
John Moor, James iloor, Andrew Mackee, Isaac Magoon, Isaac 
Magoon, Jr.. Thomas McClanathan. Samuel Nevens, Robert 
Nevens, David Nevins, Benjamin Parsons. John Pater.son, Wil- 
liam Paterson. Duncan Quinton, Andrew Rutherford. William 
Scott. John Seoll. Samuel Shaw. William Shaw. William Sloan, 
Stuard Southgate. James Shearer, Patrick Smith. James Ste- 
phens. Robert Stanford. John Thomson, Robert Thomson, Alex- 
ander Tackels. Jeremiah Dlmstead, Elijah Vose. Joseph Wright, 
Joseph "Wright, Jr. 

The committee also reconnnended that "the aforesaid Setlers 
& Grantees Do erect & build a suitable House for Public Wor- 
.ship, and setle a IMinister within two years."' The report of the 
committee was presented to the General Court June 21, 1733, and 
promptly accepted the same day and approved on the following 
day by the (iovernor, J. Belcher. The status of the settlers hav- 
ing been satisfactorily arranged, they immediately set about the 
establishment of a district government. The first legal meeting 
was held August 7, 1733, with AVilliam Pynchon of Springiield 
for moderator and Steward Southgate as clerk. The most im- 
portant connuittee chosen consisted of Lieut. Sanuiel Doolittle, 
Samuel Shaw. Joseph Wright. Jr., John King, and Timothy 
MeElwain. who were authorized to lay out necessary roads, lo- 
cate a lot of one hundred acres for the first settled minister, also 
one for the use of the ministry and one for a school. Nearly all 
the ancient roads of the town were laid out at this time, being 
simple bridle paths at first, which changed into better highways 
as chantred conditions demanded. 

( 130 ) 


Se(ilin(j the First .l/!»is/er. — Having- laid out the highways, 
located the public lots and surveyed the lands of the first pro- 
prietors, the next important matter to he attended to was the 
settling of a minister, for the pioneers of Palmer were a deeply 
religious people. As Rev. John Harvey had preached acceptably 
for them during three years, it was arranged to give him a set- 
tlement at a salary of £80 per year. The ordination services 
were held June 5th, 173-1, under the spreading branches of a 
great oak tree on Mr. Harvey's lot. now known as the farm of 
Charles Forsmau. about one mile east of the Old Center. Mr. 
Harvey was ordained according to Presbyterian usages. The 
Rev. Mr. Thompson of Londonderry, N. H., preached the sermon 
and Rev. John Jloorhead of Boston gave the charge. One other 
Presbyterian minister was present as well as Rev. Isaac Chauncey 
of Hadley, a Congregational clergyman. Thus under the leafy 
' branches of this oak was the first minister of the new settlement 
set apart for their spiritual welfare. For these simple people the 
service was doubtless as impressive and a.s lasting in its effects 
as though it had been performed in the dim light of cathedral 
aisles, aided by the solemn tones of the deep-voiced organ. This 
leafy temple, the great white oak, stood for nearly a century as 
the reminder of the eventful day. and doubtless might be flour- 
ishing now if the owner had had any respect or sentiment for 
the historic past. 

27(6 First Meeting JToxse.— Thelocatiouof themeeting house 
proved a knotty problem for the widely scattered parishioners. 
Among the several favored sites was the scene of the ordination ; 
the final decision was left to the drawing by lot. the Rev. ]\Ir. 
Harvey officiating after solemn prayer, by which means the lo- 
cation was fixed at what has since been known as the Old Center, 
which proved a wise choice. The first meeting house was a plain 
structure indeed, measuring 30x36 feet, and one story high. It 
was without ceiling or plastering and furnished no means for 
warmth in the cold season. The only external ornament was the 
singular emblematical design placed in the gable over the front 
entrance, peculiar, it is said, to the Scotch Presbyterians. This 
house was first occupied in November. 1735, and for more than 

( 132 ) 


three score years continued to be the Shiloh of Palmer, around 
which revolved tlie religious and political life of the town, and 
where the momentous matters of church and state were discussed 
and decided. 

The French and Indian War, 1744-1749. — Palmer was settled 
so late that she escaped the terrors which desolated Brookfield 
aiul the Connecticut valley. But during the years 1744-1749, 
though outside the disturbed circle, she furnished her shai-e of 
men to aid the menaced towns. Capt. Jabez Olmstead served 
in the expedition against Louisbourg in 1745. Timothy Brown 
was made a captive by the Indians ilay 5, 1746, and taken to 
Canada, while bearing important dispatches, and held there 
about fifteen months. Samuel Allen was mustered into service 
May 1, 1748, and posted at Fort Pelham. These Palmer men 
were posted at Fort Dummer in August, 1748, viz. : Obadiah 
Cooley, Andrew Cowee, John Blair, Peter Blackmer and James 

The Plantation Organized as a Town. — Closely following 
the recognition of theii- rights as a Plantation the inhabitants of 
the Elbows began to clamor for a town organization, but owing 
to the non-payment of a tax due the colonial government, they 
failed in their efforts. Finally in 1752, after seven petitions had 
been sent in and the tax had been paid, the Plantation was or- 
ganized into a district having all the privileges of a town, save 
that of .sending a representative to the General Court. This act 
was signed January 30, 1752, by Lieutenant-Governor, also 
acting Governor, Spencer Phips. The petitioners had signified 
a desire to have the town called Kingstown, in honor of the first 
settler, but because a town had already been organized by the 
name of Kingstown, Lieutenant-Governor Phips inserted the 
name Palmei- in hojioi- of his friend, Thomas Palmer, Esq., who 
had recently died in Scotland, so the name of the town was 
purely an accidental one. For many years the official name of 
the Plantation had been "The Elbows," so named, no doubt, on 
account of the numerous bends in the Quabaug river, which en- 
circles a consideralile portion of the town. The plantation had 
also been called Kingsfield, Kingstown and New ^Marlborough. 

( 133 ) 


By a carpfiil I'slinuite, })nst'(l on tlu' tiisf coiisiis taken in 1765, 
Palmer had at the liiiR' of its organization about 360 inhabitants, 
inchuliiia- one ne^ro, and he a shive owned by "William Scott; 
about 7.") families. 60 houses, mostly constructed of log.s; the en- 
tire vahialioii of the town was aliout $3. 000. It contained one 
small church, (^uintin's and Thomson's taverns at the Old 
Center. King's tavern, wheie Cross's block now stands in Palmei' 
village, and Shaw's t;iverii on the i)resent L. E. Mooi-e place near 
the old Ray Path. Tiu're was n saw and grist mill where Thorn- 
diJce is located, a saw and grist mill at PottMqrattiick Pond, and 
a grist mill at the pr-esent location of Bondsville : and there were 
two blacksmith shops. These mills and shops constituted the 
entire i)ul>lic industries of the town. There were no stores, no 
post-office, and no schools. There were no carriages; the roads 
were jxuirly constructed cartways, and locomotion was either on 
horseback or in caits di'jiwn by oxen, pjverything was con- 
ducted in the most ]>riniitive and economical manner. The 
people wei'c thi'ifty and industi'ious and made the most of their 
limited means; the women had brought the spinning wheel from 
the old country and were adepts in the manufacture of linen, 
which found a ready sale in the rivi'r towns after supplying 
household needs. 

The Last Frciicli mnl Imlidii Wur. 17 '> 1-17 (i 3. — ^oon after 
its organization as a town. Palmer was called upon to furnish its 
proportion of men to meet the exigencies of another war be- 
tween the mothr>r country and France. The citizens responded 
w ith .ilacrity. and out of its sparse population furnished no less 
than 76 mi ii during the continuance of the war. as shown by 
the following list: Sanmel Allen. Daniel Allen. Isaac Aplin. 
David Bratten. Ste|)hen P>hicknier. .lohn Bhu-kmer. Simeon 
Brooks, Francis Breckenridge. David Brewer. Beers. Wil- 
liam Carlyle. Abner Cha])in. Stej)hen Crawfoot, ]\Ioses Cooley, 
Luke Chapiii. Joel Camp. Jonathan Chapin, John Davis, Thomas 
Dunham. David English. Samuel Frost. Timothy Farrell. Josiah 
Farrell. Isaac Farrell. William Fleming. Thomas Ferrand. Jr.. 
William Geary. John Hill. Thomas Ilill. Thomas Henderson, 
Stephen Hatch. Benjamin Hutchinson. Nathaniel Hews. John 

( 134 ) 


King. Jonathan King, Benjamin King, William King, David 
King, John Lamberton, Samuel Lemon, John Lemon, Robert 
MeMaster, Joshna McIMaster, James McMighill, James McNitt, 
Thomas McClanathan, James Moor, John Moor, Jr., William 
ilan, James [Man, William Mitchell, John Millard, Isaac Magoon, 
Aaron Nelson, James Nelson, William Nelson, Samuel Paterson, 
Moses Paterson, Joseph Paterson, John Reeky, Samuel Smith, 
Hugh Smith, John Sloan, David Shaw, William Shaw, Matthew 
Spencer, ]\Ioses Scott, Elnathan Samson, Hugh Tackels, Capt. 
John Thomson, James Taylor, Benjamin Thomson, Heni-y Web- 
ber, Sylvanus Walker, Jesse Warner. 

Spirit of Sen lily-six. Like other New England communi- 
ties the yeomanry of Palmer simply had a breathing period be- 
tween the close of the last French and Indian war and the open- 
ing of the Revolution. In view of the coming conflict it was 
fortunate that they had become somewhat disciplined in the 
ways of war that they might be fitted for the sterner conflict. 
The blood of the Covenanter and the Puritan flowed not amiss 
in the veins of Palmer's sons: it stirred them to action and made 
Ihem alert at the sound of the very first note of warning. They 
were keenly cognizant of the oppressive measures adopted by 
the mother country to retard progress and keep her colonies in 
abjecl submis.sion. As early as ilareli 1, 17G8, the town voted in 
full meeting : 

"Wliereas. the excessive use of foreigTi superfluities is one 
great cause of the ])resent distressed state of this country, in 
general ; and the happiness of the conmiunities depends upon in- 
tlustry, economy and good morals : and this District taking into 
serious eonsideiation the great decay of trade and scarcity of 
money, the heavy debt contracted in the last war, which still re- 
mains on the people; and the great difliculties to which by these 
measures they are reduced: — Therefore, voted unanimously, that 
this District will use their utmost endeavors and enforce their 
endeavors by example in suppressing extravagance. Idleness and 
Vice, and i)romoting Industry, economy and good manners, and 
in order tci i)revent the unnecessary exportation of money of 
which the continent has of late been so much drained, it is 

( 135 ) 


therefore voted. Iliiit this District will by all prudent means en- 
deavor to discouiitriiaiici' tlie use of foreign superfluities, and 
eneoura^e llie iiiiuiufactures of tlie whole eontinent in general, 
and of this I'i'ovinec iu I'articular. "' 

Six years later at an adjourni'd town meeting held Septem- 
ber 26, 1774. it was voted that David Spear go to the general 
congress of delegates fi'om tlie whole Province, to meet at Con- 
cord the second Tuesday in ( )etober next. "Voted that William 
Scott pay or deliver st'venty four pounds of powder, one hun- 
dred and twent.v six ])ouuds of lead into the town stock, in full 
discharge of the amount of said stock in his hands.". "Voted, 
that there be provided four half-barrels of i)owder. four hundred 
of lead, and one hundred dozen of tliuts, for a town stock, and 
the money to pay for the same be taken from the money on in- 
terest; and that AYilliam Scott, Joshua Shaw and Phineas Mixer 
be a committee to i) and pay for the same." 

In accordance with the reconmiendation of the Provincial 
Congress which met at Cambridge in October. 1774, Palmer en- 
rolled and drilled a company of minute men. The news of the 
engagement at Lexington reached Palmer on the evening of the 
same day, and on the following morning a company of 44 men 
were equipped and started for the scene of danger, with Capt. 
David Spear at their head. Prom this time on till the close of 
the war Palmer iit'v<'r proved tardy or lacking in zeal for the 
cause of freedom. 

Palmer Assuiiks Full Totoi li'i(ili Is. — The ]\Iassachusetts 
House of Hepresciitatives on ^lay lU. 177(i, resolved that each 
town in the Colony ought in full meeting warned for that pur- 
pose, to instruet its iei)resentative relative to the attitude of the 
inhabitants, should Congress declare them independent of Great 
Britain. In comi)liauce with the recommendation of the Genei-al 
Court. Palmer elected its first reiiresentative as a town. May 
2i, 177(>. ill the person of ('apt. David Spear. The instructions 
given him liist dwelt upon tlie oii]iressive measures of the 
mother count r\-. and closed with the following i)atriotic senti- 
ments : 

"We do Direct the Heiu-eseiitative of filis Town to la.v these 
absolutely Necessary for the safety of the United Colonies, to 

( 136 ) 


be Independent from Great Britain & Declare themselves In- 
tirelj' a Separate State, as we can see no alternative but Inevita- 
ble ruin, or Independence. But as there is a General Congress of 
the United Colonies, composed of Honorable, wise and good men, 
who sit at the Head of affairs, consulting measures which will 
be most for tlie Safetv and Prosperity of the whole ; & have the 
means of Intelligence and Infoi'niation in their hands, we .submit 
the whole affair to their wise Consideration & Determination.— 
And if they shall unite in a Separation from Great Britain, lae 
do unanimously determine d: declare we will support them with 
our Lives and Fortunes! 

""We do Direct the Eepresentative of this Town to lay these 
vote before the Honorable General Assembly of this Colony, to 
Enable them to communicate our Sentiments to the Honorable 
Continental Congress. ' ' 

These instructions show of what stuff' the men of Palmer 
were made, and they fully exemplified during the course of the 
v/ar the sentiments therein expressed. From this time on Pal- 
mer was recognized as having full town rights. It is a notable 
fact that this Declaration of Independence by Palmer antedates 
by two weeks the immortal document of the Continental Con- 
gress, and breathes the same lofty spirit of patriotism and purity 
of devotion. 

The Passing of Burgoyne's il/e».— Palmer was so far re- 
moved from the scene of active war that its highways never 
echoed to the tread of marshaled foemen but once, and then they 
passed as prisoners, not invaders. Burgoyne's hirelings, the Hes- 
sians, to the number of 2,431 men. besides camp followers, in- 
cluding Gen. Reidesel and his cultured wife to whom we are 
largely indebted for a graphic account of \he .journey from Al- 
bany to Boston. This motley array of prisoners in the care of a 
Yankee guard encamped for the niglit November 1, 1777, on the 
farm lately owned by Dea. Brainerd, while the General and wife 
no doubt found comfortable quarters at the then Walker tavern, 
wliich still remains. Gen. Bnrgoyne and his English prisonei's, 
under the escort of Col. Elisha Portei', pa.ssed about the same 
time tliroH'jh the north iiart of tlie town, and are said to have 

( 137 ) 


ciieaniped for a night on the present farm of Chark^s R. Shaw. 
One of the Hessian soldiers died at the Brainerd farm and was 
buried in the Palmer cemetery, where his grave is still pointed 

Census of Falnur, J776-1777 . — There were 727 inhabitants 
in town in 1776. The following- item we glean from the town 
records: "A retui-n of the Nnmhei- of ^Males from sixteen years 
old and upwards which breathed on the First Day of January 
in the Town of Palmer in the year 1777. No. of men belonging 
to the Training List 94, No. of men belonging to the Alarm List 
35, No. of Deerepid Persons who are rendered incapable of 
service thereby 46, No. of men incapable of service by reason of 
old age and other infirmities i), No. of Negroes 3. Total 187." 
Notwithstanding her limited means and sparse population, the 
town nobly responded to the call for men and means, and fur- 
nished 165 men during the war. 

Revolutionary Soldiers. — The following list made up from 
all available sources is as perfect as can be given from present 
information. It is possible that a few names have been lost be- 
cause of the imperfect way in which some of the records were 
kept. "While a limited number of the men enlisted for the war, 
a larger number enlisted several times each for shorter .service 
as the special demand required : Joseph Abbott, Sergt. Zebadiah 
.\bbott, John Adams. James Averill, Jun.. Ephraim Avery, 
Joseph Bacon, Simeon Bacon, iloses Barker, Simeon Barrange, 
Aaron Bartlett, Thomas Bartlett, John Bartlett, Woodbridge 
Belcher, Eleazur Bishop, Seth Bishop. Sergt. Stephen Blackmer, 
Thomas Blackmer, Jonathan Blunt, Henry Bliss, David Brattan, 
Fi'ancis Breckenridge, Benjamin Brooks. Sergt. Andrew Brown, 
John Brown, Lieut. Jonathan Brown, Obadiah Brown, Robert 
Brown, William Brown, Col. David Brewer, John Bruster, Sergt. 
Samuel Buel, Robert Burns, John Carley, James Carlisle, John 
Carlisle, William Carlisle, Robert Carpenter, Shadrach Chapin, 
Elisha Cleveland, Nathaniel Coburn, Capt. Isaac Coltou, Abner 
Cooley, Asher Cooley, Jonathan Cooley, Israel Conant, John 
Ci-awfoot, Joseph Crawfoot, Stephen Crawfoot, James Ciim- 
mings, Solomon Cummings, John Cutler, John Denney, Daniel 

( 139 ) 


Dodge, John Douiilas. Jesse Khwll, Corp. John English. Bai'- 
nabas Evens, Isaac Ferrell, Lamuel Fisher, David Fleming, John 
Gardner, John Gibson, William Gibson, Pelatiah Goldsmith, 
Capt. Aaron Graves, (iideon (iraves, Moses Gi-aves, Simeon 
Graves, Amos Grey, Jolm Hackett, Thomas Hamilton, Samuel 
Hancock, Sergt. Joliii Harris, Sergt. Luke Hitchcock, Benjamin 
Hooker, Daniel lloi)kiris, William Hopkins, Samuel Hubbard, 
Lieut. Robert Hiuitci'. Pi'imar Jackall, Adonijah Jones, Ebenezer 
Jones, Lieut. David King, John King, Gideon King, James Lam- 
berton, John Lambertun, I\l()ses Lammon, Francis Lemon, 
Nori-is Tjiiidsey, Luther Loomis, Sergt. Israel Loomis, Peter 
Lovejoy, David McClintocli, Joseph ^IcClintoch, William 
IMcClanathan, Sergt. Sanuiel ilcClanathan, Thomas McCla- 
nathan, Corp. John McElwain, John A. McElwain, Roger 
McEhvaiii, Hugh ^IcIMaster, Isaac JIcMa.ster, Capt, John ]McMas- 
ter, Joslma ^leilaster, Lieut. Robert jMcMaster, John ]\rc]\Iichel, 
Capt. Jo.seph ;McNall, William McNall, Isaac Merritt, Capt. 
Phineas Mixer, Pelatiah Morgan, Gibson jMorgan, John Moore, 
John I\Ioore, Jonathan iloore, Judah Moore. James Murray, 
Aaron Nelson, Lieut. Daniel Parsons, Joshua Parsons, Lebbeus 
Paine, Thomas Riddle, William Roach, Elias Rogers, Jonas 
Rogers, Nathaniel Rogers, Daniel Royce, David Shaw, Corp. 
Erwin Shaw. James Shaw, John Shaw, Corp. Joseph Shaw, 
Lieut. Jo.shua Shaw, William Shaw, John Shearer, Joseph 
Shearer, Reuben Shearer, William Shearer, Thoma.s Shearer, 
Corp. James Sherman, William Sloan, Abner Smith, James 
Smith, John Smith, John Allen Smith, Joseph Smith, Capt. 
David Spear, Tvieut. David Spear. Adam Stephen.son. Alexander 
Tackels. Henry Thomson, Kufus Thomson, Josiah Tinney, ]\Ioses 
Tinney, Jonathan Tyler, Eli,iah Walton, James Walker, Capt. 
Sylvanus Walker, Oliadiah Ward, Fri.jah Ward, Peleg Watson, 
Joel Willey, Ezekiel Woodworth. 

Post Bellum Days. — Ai the close of the struggle for liberty 
tlie .surviving patriots who had gone forth from Palmer to serve 
their country came back to their former homes to engage in the 
peaceful avocations of farming, for as yet little else had found 
encouragement in town. In ITS" Mhen several ad.ioining com- 

( 140 ) 


ruunities became disaffected and rose in rebellion under the 
leadedship of Capt. Shays, little sympathy was shown the cause 
in Palmer, yet Shays made this town the rendezvous for his 
insurgents on the 22d of January, and on the 23d came to take 
the command to lead them to Springfield 1,000 strong. But his 
plans were discovered by the alertness of !Maj. Aaron Graves of 
Palmer, who informed the State officials, and Shays marched to 
his defeat before Springfield by a force ready to receive him, 
and the rebellion subsided. 

The New Meeting House. — In the olden days the erection of 
a new place of worship was a matter of the utmost importance 
to a country town like Palmer, which supported but one church. 
The first meeting house erected in 1735 had become unfitted for 
use, so after much planning and discussion a new structure was 
built near the site of the first house at a cost of about $3,000 and 
dedicated October 21, 1798: when the tower was added to the 
structure in 1807 a bell was presented to the town as a gift by 
Aaron Merrick. A circumstance connected with this bell is little 
known to the present generation. In 1809, when the meeting 
house was repainted, it chanced by some mishap that a por- 
tion of the bell was disfigured by paint, and in order to have it 
present a uniform appearance, it was entirely covered with a 
coat of paint, when it was found the bell would not give forth 
any desirable sound. The bell was taken down and the paint 
burned off ; some critical person jsresent thinking the bell seemed 
to lack in weight, had the matter tested and found his suspicions 
correct. The matter being made piiblic it was soon found that 
nearly all the bells in the surrounding towns also lacked in 
weight, which had been cast by a bell founder in Brookfield. The 
guilty party being apprised of the state of affairs, fled the State 
not to return, his frauds having been extensive. 

Turnpikes.— The first turnpike in Massachusetts running 
through the towns of Warren and Palmer was the harbinger of 
modern progress in Palmer. This was the great stage route from 
Boston to Springfield and New York, and continued till the open- 
ing of the Western railroad in 1839. Another turnpike was 
opened in 1804. running from Stafford to Petersham; both these 

( 141 ) 


roads i-aii llirouiiii tlic Old Centei', and were the cause of many 
air castles being built by real estate owners living in that little 
hamlet, which, alas, wore never to materialize. The stages came 
and went each day, the farmers filled their acres and the town 
plodded on without furtlier jiro^ress. In 1820 the population 
was 1,197. tlie valuatidu was but .i^9,Oil2.77 : real progress was 
delayed till the advent of the mills, to which coming the villages 
of Three Rivers, Thoi-ndikc and Bondsville owe their existence 
and tlie town a large share of its prosperity. 

I)idustri(s. — The early industi'ies existed for the needs of 
the town anil were limited in tlicir ])roducts. The first sawmill 
was erected at l'()tta((uattuck I'ond in 1730, and a gristmill was 
put up by Steward Southgate near the other mill in 1737-8. 
The first gristmill was built at the lower part of the present 
Thorudike in 173fi by Robert Fan-ell and Thomas Harmon. In 
1757 a sawmill was added to the same dam. James Shearer built 
a sawmill on Cellar Swamp brook as early as 1740,' which was 
in operation till 1790: this was on the Josiah Gates farm. It 
is probable that Hugh Moor built a grist and sawmill on the 
Chicopee river, a mile below Three Rivers, about 1775; these 
mills were purchased in 1788 by Gideon Graves and operated 
by him till 1825, and soon went to decay after that date. There 
was a sawmill on Dumplin brook as early as 1800. A wool card- 
ing and cloth mill was conducted by B. S. Cummings in the 
Shoreley district as early as 1790. There was a fulling mill at 
Pottaquattuck Pond in 1795. C'apt. Patrick "Watson had a tan- 
nery on the Ware river near Whipple's Station as early as 1766. 
William Mason began the same business in 1790 just beyond 
Blanchardville and conducted it there for many years. As a 
matter of course blacksniithing was an early and necessary in- 
dustry, beginning with John AjJin in 1733. In 1772 Capt. 
Timothy Brainci-d added the inaking of axes and scythes to the 
trade of blacksmitliing. 

The ViUofirs and Tltrir Indiistrifs. — The Old Center was 
the only village in Palmer for a hundred years. The first settlei-s 
were Duncan (^uinton. Jolui Moores, James Tjanibcrton and 
AVilliam Crawford. Their fii'st dwellings wei-e rude log cabins 

( 142 ) 


(.•rectcd mIkuiI 17i'.'), Ilcrc in ll'.i'.i (^uintoii opened tlie first ordi- 
nary in town, and two yeai's later tlie first liunihie chnreli was 
built. In 17;!7 John Thompson came here and put u]i a second 
ordinary wliicli soon became a popular resort. 

Aplin Smith had come in 17:^3 ; additional houses came 
slowly : the school liouse was not located there till 17fi4. William 
Tupper i)robably had the first store tliei'e about 1790. succeeded 
by Hamilton & Upham and a little later by Col. Hamilton, who 
had the only store till 1824, when T. K. Knifrht added another. 

The inauguration of the first turnpike in jMassachusetts from 
\\ arren through the Old Center to Wilbraham in 1796, and an- 
other from Stafiford to Athol in 1804 revived hopes for this little 
hamlet which were never to be realized but for a brief period. 
In 1796 the famous Prink tavern, which stiU remains, was built 
on the site of the old Quinton house and became one of the most 
noted hostelries between Boston and Springfield. In 1800 Asa 
Ward built anotlier tavern opposite the Prink house. In 1805 
the first post-office was established at the Center with Col. Hamil- 
ton as postmaster. Anson I\loody was the first physician to estab- 
lish a practice at the Center, followed by Dr. Aaron King from 
1824 to ISCil. 'I'lii- only lawyer of the Center was James Steb- 
bins. a giaduate of Williams in 1807: he came in 1813 and 
remained till 183o. The opening of the AYestern railroad in 1839 
proved tlie turning point for the ])rospects of the Center. In a 
few years it lost its stores, its hotels were closed, its church re- 
moved, and even many of its houses. It is now a quiet hamlet. 

The villages of Three Kivers. Thorndike and Bondville have 
been erected and chiefly maintained by the mills established in 
their several localities. 

Three Hirers is located at the .iunetion of the Quabaug, Ware 
and Swift rivers. Prior to 182") the territory now occupied by 
the villaije was farm land, inucli of it covered by pine timber. 
The dam was built in 1825 and a mill erected soon after by the 
Three Rivers ^Manufacturing Company. Hall J. Kelley was a 
leading factor in carrying out the plans of the enterprise, but 
this company failed and was succeeded by the Palmer Co.. Octo- 
ber 17, 1831. which brought the work to completion through the 

( 144 ) 


efforts of J. S. Wright and Joseph Brown. This mill was burut 
in 1863 and rebuilt in 1878. This mill is one of the important 
industries of the town. The village contains about 2,000 iuliabit- 
ants with the usual eomi)lement of churclies, schools and stores. 
27ion)(ZiA;e.— This village is located in a valley at the falls 
on the Ware river. Its territory was originally settled by the 
Parrells, ]\IeElwains and Quintons; as early as 17;3(i a grist mill, 
the first in town, was put in at the lower falls, and later a saw 

Tlie X'iliagB CoiumDii, Tliree Rivers 

mill was added near the same locality, which was (■(intiiiued till 
about 1795. About 1797 Goodman put up a grist and saw mill 
just below the present upper mill ; two years later the property 
passed to Capt. Charles Cargill, who added a clothier's mill. 
Soon after 1825 Aaron Blanchard bought the property and en- 
larged the mill where different industries were conducted. 
Samuel Henry made windmills Uw some years ami here Josiah 
Leland made the first ax handles bv machinerv. Prior to 1837 


( 145 


there were l)ut few dwelling houses here : the site of the present 
lower mill was devoted to the growth of brush. The prosperity 
of the place dates from the formation of the Thorndike Company, 
March 14, 1836. The lower mill was built in 1837 and the upper 
mill in 1845, displacing the Blanehard factory which was taken 
down. J. B. Merrick was the successful agent of the mills for 
many yeai's. The village derived its name from Israel Thorn- 
dike, one of the original founders of the company. The village 

Bondsville School Building 

has churches, schools and a variety of stores: its population is 
about 1,700. 

2>0'»f/6T(7/(.--This village is located on Swift river. James 
and Samuel Lamont were the first who attempted to utilize the 
power here by jnitting in a gristmill in 1749. In 1795 Darling 
and Boyden built a sawmill, and succeeding them several minor 
industries were carried on. The present Boston Duck Company 
was formed February 15, 1845, and the mill completed in 1849. 
The village was named in honor of Emelius Bond, an early 

( 147 ) 


dent and leading business man of tlie eonmninitx'. The village 
has a popidation of about 1,(J00; has several cluuehes, schools 
and stores. 

/'(//mc)'. — This villajie resulted fnnii the building of the 
Western Railroad in 1839; prior to that date the territory now 
occupied by the village was divided among the farms of Col. 
Cyrus Knox, Elisha Converse, John Watson and Capt. A. N. 
Dewev, with about half a do/en fai'm iiouses scattered along the 

I a I irici- tmsi II 

highway. AVhen the station was located here the ])ossibilities of 
the place were soon reeognizetl and a number of business men 
located here, among whom were ;\Ir. ^McGilvery. John Ward, 
Franklin ilorgan. (Tiester Strong and othci's. The ]\IcGilvery 
Co. very quickly inaugurated a thriving mercantile biisiness; 
three liotels, the Nassawano. Converse and Western Railroad, 
later the Antique, were speedily built, and the village began 
its progress along the lines of healthy growth. To-day it con- 
tains a population of 2,000, has four churches, gi-aded and a high 

{ 14S ) 


schools, numerous stores, a National and a Savings bank, is the 
seat of the Eastern Hampden district court with a resident judge, 
is the home of the Eastern Hampden Agricultural society and 
has an enterprising newspaper, the Palmer Journal, established 
half a century ago. The Flynt Construction company is located 
here, fi-om which point all their extensive business is conducted. 
Tlie industries of this portion of the town are the Palmer Carpet 

Looking up JIaiu Street — Palmer Village 

company, the Ilohlen Woolen uiill, the Wright & Gallon Wire 
works and the iron foundry. 

Bla u char dville. — This important water power on the Qua- 
baug river was first utilized by Solomon Slatei-, who came from 
Rhode Island about 1790, built a mill on the Palmer side of the 
.stream, and fitted it with machinery of his own invention for the 
manufacture of cloth. He remained but a few years and his mill 
was changed to a grist mill. In 1805 Capt. David Hyde had 
both crist and sawmills here. In 1818 tliev were owned by 

( 14'.) 


Elisha Converse and in 1830 bj- Rufus Bugbee. In 1824 Maj. 
John B. Blanc'liard located here and began the manufacture of 
scythes, wliich he coiitiinH'd till 1840, when the business passed 
to his sons, Alouzo V., William J., John 1). and Franklin, who 
were veiy suecessl'ul and had a wide sale for their product. They 
also engaged extensively in the making of plow and shovel 
handles, ox bows and wheel rims, continuing the business for 
many yeai's. This power is now owned and used by the Central 
IMassachusetts Electric Company. 

Colonial Houses. ~A few houses remain as object lessons of 
the times when Palmer lived under the rule of George III. A 
portion of the present Charles R. Shaw house was built by Wil- 
liam Patterson about 1745. The Seva Brown house, east of Mt. 
Pottafiuattuek. was built in 1750, i. e., the ell part, by Dr. Wm. 
McClanathan, and the two-story part in 1770 by his son Samuel. 
The Rev. Moses Baldwin house in Palmer village was built by 
him about 1767. The Joshua Shaw house was built by Shaw 
about 1762, near the scene of the first ordination. The Dr. Jabez 
Lamb house was built about 1770. The Deacon Brainerd house 
was built by Samuel Frost about 1760, with a front of two stoi-ies, 
and in the rear of one. The front remains unchanged, but the 
rear has been raised a story to cori-espond. This house was a 
tavern in the revolution, and where Gen. Reidesel, his wife and 
officers were entertained while his soldier prisoners were en- 
camped about the house in 1777. The oldest portion of the 
Charles P. Smith house was built by the first owner, Robert 
Smith, about 1750, the front part by his son, Robert, Jr., in 1793. 
The farm has been in the Smith family for four generations and 
is now owned by Charles F. Smith. 

Early Tavcrn.s.—ln the days before the existence of the 
daily newspapers the tavern was the principal rendezvous for 
the exchange of news and ojiinions, so in Palmer from the first 
the landlord was one of the leading men of the town whose in- 
Huences were wielded in a marked degree. The most noted early 
taverns in town were Quinton's, Thompson's, and Frink's at the 
Old Center ;Maj. Aaron Graves's, the first and second Scott. 
and Sedgwick's, near Shearer's Corner, and the King Tavern 

( 150 ) 



By V^« 



t :■ ^^m ' 

G^D .« 

'■■'vSmm ^.juiiil^^H^H 




> ^^ 'M 


^""^St- ..■^B 








oi n corxTY .\.\i> its people 

oil site oC the present Cross l)liiek in I'iiliner village, and the 
Captain Walker tavern, later the Brainerd house. The later 
and present houses of note are the Nassawano, the Converse and 
the \Veeks. 

Churches.— Thi' iirst eliurch — Presbyterian, later Congrega- 
tional — was organized about IT'AO, and had its location at the 
Old Center till 1848, when it was removed to Thorndike. The 
Second Congregational Church was organized April 1, 1847, 
composed of members dismissed from the first church and others, 
and located in the then new village of Palmer. The First Bap- 
tist Church began to crystallize as early as 1818, but was not or- 
ganized till November 16, 1825. The permanent church edifice 
was erected in Three Rivers in 1832. The Second Baptist Church 
organized in the village of Palmer August 8, 1852. The nucleus 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Palmer was formed in 
1833 by a class of ten per.sons in Thi-ee Rivers, but it was not till 
June 16. 1857. that the church had a more permanent home, 
when its church edifice was dedicated at Fovir Corners. In 1885 
the society united with the church at Bondsville. which had been 
formed in 1866. A Union Evangelical church was organized at 
Three Rivers April 27, 1876, which still continues its successful 
work. The Advent Christian Cluireh was organized in the vil- 
lage of Palmer in 1874. 

Second Baptist C/uot/;. — This elmich was organized August 
8, 1852, and was incorporated by a special act of the Legislature 
May 2, 1887. It is located in Palmer village. It was formed 
with a list of twenty members foi-mei'ly of the Three Rivers 
ChuiX'li, Init residents of Palmer village. A house of worship was 
dedicated in March, 1854. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel A. 
Collins. Jr., who was recognized in September, 1852. 

.S"^. Paul's Uriiucrsalist Clturcli was organized Mny 28, 1876, 
by Rev. A. J. Patteison. D. D., with a memberehip of twenty- 
one. The liouse of worship, the finest in town, built of Monson 
granite, was dedicated May 12, 1880. Rev. Charles H. Eaton 
was the first pastor and resigned after a successful pastorate of 
four years to become the pastor of Dr. Chapin"s church in New 
"^'ork city. 

( 155 ) 


lionian Catholic Churches. — Vvxov to 1850 but few families 
of the Koman Catholic faith had settled in Palmer, so that the 
visits of priests for their instruction were infrequent, but in 
ISo-l their number had increased to the extent that it was deemed 
advisable to purchase the church at the Old Center, which was 
dedicated for their use the following year and continued to be 
their place of assembly till 1876. when it was vacated to occupy 
the new church at Thorndike, established through the eft'orts of 

Looking toward the Baptist Chuix-li from tlie ilejiot— Palmer Village 

Father Lynch. In 1S78 St. Thomas Church was established in 
Palmer village, and has been a flourishing society under the able 
leadership of its various priests. A French Catholic church was 
established at Three Rivers in 1880, for whom a fine church was 
erected in 1884. St. Bartholomew's Church was organized at 
Bondsville in 1879, and a house was erected for its worship. It 
has been under the charge of Father McKearny since its organ- 
ization. St. Anne's Mission for Fi'encli people was organized 
at Bondsville in 1889. 

( 15:i ) 


Schools.— Because of the poverty of the people during the 
pi-eliminary years of settlement no public schools were estab- 
lished in town prior to 1752; the limited instruction gathered by 
the young people during that period was obtained at home or 
in the families of the better informed, of which class there were 
notable examples. In 1752 the town was divided into four dis- 
tricts, and the sum of £10 14s. 4d. was raised for the support of 
the schools for the ensuing year. One teacher was employed to 
give instruction in rotation, or about two mouths in each section. 
As no school houses were built befoi-e 1767 the schools were held 
in private houses as convenience dictated. Soon after the above 
date, however, school houses were erected in the five divisions, 
the house at the Center being completed in 1782. The school 
liouses of those days were verj- plain structures devoid of orna- 
ment or comfort, with a huge fireplace at one end opposite the 
teacher's desk, with slabs for seats and rough boards for forms, 
and it is to be feared that the instruction was as crude as the 
environments. From this humble beginning the schools of 
Palmer have steadily progressed till they have attained a position 
second to few in the state, when the ability of the teachers and 
the up-to-date appointments of the buildings are considered. A 
high school has been maintained since 1851, but students were 
not graduated till 1877, since which time the graduates number 
219 : of this number 29 have become college graduates, 19 have 
taken partial courses of college study, 6 are graduates of nor- 
mal schools, 7 have taken partial courses in normal study, 5 are 
graduates of business colleges, 8 have taken post-graduate semi- 
nary studies, 16 are now in college and 4 in business colleges. 
The graduates who have chosen professions are divided as fol- 
lows : Teachers 62, clergymen 2, lawyers 4, physicians 4, anaylit- 
ical chemist 1, librarian 1, music teachers 2, dentists 2. A graded 
school is located in each of the four villages, each divided into 
nine grades. There are also five ungraded district schools. In 
1900-1901 there were 1,:'!00 children eni-olled, under the charge 
of 35 teachers. The amount expended for schools in same time 
was .$21,579.65. 

Young ^fcn's Library Association was organized December 
2, 1878. and incorporated under the general laws of the state. 

( 154 ) 


The corporate members were Rev. Charles H. Eaton, 0. P. Allen, 
Dr. W. H. Stowe, C. B. Fiske, S. H. Hellyat, S. S. Taft, W. A. 
Lincoln, S. W. French, W. C. Dewey, C. W. Johnson. The 
library was started by a subscription of sf^TlS for the purchase 
of books. Since the first year the library has been largely main- 
tained by an annual appropriation by the town. For several 
yours, however, after its organization, rooms for its iise were 
furnished free through the generosity of Mr. M. W. French. In 
1890 a few citizens, recognizing the pressing needs of the library, 
raised $3,000 by subscription and bought a site for a memorial 
building, which was erected by the town at a cost of $20,000, and 
dedicated to the use of the library and the post of the G. A. R., 
April 29, 1891, with an address by Rev. Charles H. Eaton of 
New York. The library now contains about 6,000 volumes. 

Societies.— Valmev is noted for its numerous societies, some 
of them of long standing. Of the Masonic branches, Thomas 
Lodge was constituted 1796 ; Hampden R. A. Chapter organized 
1864: Washington Council, R. and S. M., organized 1873, with 
the auxiliary Revere Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. Of 
the other societies may be mentioned the Palmer Historical So- 
ciety, organized May 6, 1899, with these officers : President, J. 
C. Wing : secretary and treasurer, H. C. Strong ; vice-president. 
Rev. F. B. Harrison ; curator, O. P. Allen. This society has done 
valuable work in preserving many historical papers and relics 
connected with the town. The I. 0. of 0. F., Good Cheer Re- 
bekah Lodge, the Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus, the 
Red Men, Eastern Hampden Agricultural Society, incorporated 
1856; St. Mary's Total Abstinence Society, Royal Arcanum, 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, A. 0. U. W., Foresters 
of America, Kings' Daughters, Women's Tuesday Club, Once a 
Week Club, L. L. Mirriek Post, G. A. R. ; Relief Corps, Cyrus 
W. Cross Camp, S. of V.; Palmer Biisiness and Social Club, 
Societe de Secours Mutuels. 

Cemeteries. — The oldest cemetery is located in the village of 
Palmer and was set apart by the first settlers, probably in 1729, 
on the occasion of the death of several children, one of them 
being Moses, the son of Jolm King, the first settler. The oldest 

( 155 ) 


headstone haviiiij; an inscription bears date of May 22, 1732. 
Additions liave been made to the grounds at dift'erent periods, 
which now contain about fifteen acres. The cemetery at the Old 
Center was hiid ont in 1735, and doubtless the tirst one buried 
there was Lieut. Samuel Doolittle, on July 18, 1736. A large 
number of the early settlers are buried hei'e, but it is used but 
little at present. A small cemetery was laid out at Three Rivers 
in 1837, and another at Four Corners in 1851. The Catholic 
Cemetei-y. near the Old Center, was laid out in 1863, and the 
Preneli Catholic Cemetery, near Three Kivers, in 1879. The 
Palmer Cemetery Association was organized June 18, 1888, for 
the purpose of caring for the cemetery grounds in the Palmer 
village, and has been the means of greatlj' improving the same. 
In 1898 tlie town elected three cemetery commissioners, who have 
the charge of the Protestant cemeteries of the town. 

War of the Behellion.— During the civil war the patriotic 
spirit of the revolutionary fathers was revived and Palmer 
promptly met the various calls and furnished 197 men for the 
service, to whose valiant deeds the Memorial hall has been 
erected to commemorate. The names of her soldiers have been 
engraved on marble tablets and placed in the building. 

So7ne Prominent Men of the — Among those most active 
in shaping the affairs of the town in its early days were the 
elder William Scott, Steward Southgate, Barnard McNitt, John 
King, Lieut. Samuel Doolittle. and Duncan Quintou. In the 
years following the Smiths, Ferrells, McElwaius, ilcClanathans, 
Shearers. In the revolutionary period w'e shall ever remember 
the service of Capt. David Spear, who led the immortal band of 
forty-four men the day following the Lexington alarm to the 
relief of their compatriots. Hobert Hunter, Lieut. William 
Scott. Jr., Ma.i. Aaron Graves, Col. Sylvanus Walker, Capt. 
David Shaw, Rev. Moses Baldwin, whose pastoral service of fifty 
years was a bright memory in the dai-kest period of the town's 
history. 1762 to 1812. The numerous descendants of John King, 
the first settler, honoi'ed their ancestor's name in town for more 
than one hundred and fifty years. One of them, Henry King, 
removed to Pennsylvania and became a member of congress. 

( 136 ) 


Later came Col. Amos Hamilton, Asa Ward, John Ward, Aaron 
Merrick, Ma.j. Frank Morgan, John B.. Blanchard and sons Wil- 
jiam, Alonzo, John and Franklin; the Converses, Col. Cyrus 
Knox, Capt. Jesse and Col. Isaac King, Dr. Aaron King, Joseph 
Brown, J. B. jMerrick, E. B. Gates, G. M. Fiske and Elijah Miir- 
dock. This list can be greatly extended by referring to the names 
found in the list of town officers further on. It would be in- 
vidious to select the names of those now living who are well 
worthy of a place here. They can well wait for a future his- 
torian to place them on record. 

Clerks of the Elbows Plantation, 1733-1752: Steward 
Southgate, 1733-1739 ; David Shaw, 1739 ; John Thompson, 1740, 
1741; John Aplin, 1742, 1746; William Scott, Jr., 1746-1750; 
Samuel Shaw, Jr., 1750-1752. 

Clerks of the District and Town of Palmer : David Shaw, 
1752-1753-1754; Barnard :\reNitt, 1755-1761; Thomas King, 
1762-1770; Robert Hunter, Jr.. 1771-1786; William Scott, Esq., 
1787: Robert Hunter. 1788; John Allen Smith, 1789-1804: Amos 
Hamilton, 1805-1813: James Stebbins. 1814; Theophilus Knight, 
1815-1817: John Frink, 1818-1828; Theophilus H. Knight, 1829- 
1835 : Amos Hamilton, 1836-1840 : Horatio G. Hale, 1841 ; Gamaliel 
Collins, 1842; John Ward. 1843-1847; William J. Blanchard, 
1848; Theophilus H. Knight, 1849-1852; Ebenezer Brown, 1853- 
1856; James K. Child, 1857; William N. Packard, 1858; Daniel 
Gi'anger, 1859-1863; Joseph H. Blair, 1864; Lyman Dimoek, 
1865-1867; James B. Shaw, 1868-1901. 

Sdccimcn: 1752, Seth Shaw. Robert Rogers. John Thompson, 
Thomas McClanathan, John Aplin ; 1753, Seth Shaw, Thomas Me- 
Clanathan, Robert Rogers, Dunkin Quinton, James Smith, John 
Thompson, John Aplin; 1754, Barnard McNitt, Hugh McMaster, 
James Breckinridge, William JMcClanathan, Robert Farrell, Jr.; 
1755, James Breckinridge. John Thompson, Barnard McNitt, 
Robert Hunter, James Smith, Seth Shaw ; 1756, James Breckin- 
ridge, Dunkin Quinton, Robert Rogers, Thomas King, Timothy 
McElwain, Samuel Shaw; 1757, Timothy McElwain, John Thom- 
son, Jonathan Chapin, Seth Shaw, James Smith; 1758, John 
Thomson, Seth Shaw, Timothy IMcElwain, Jonathan Chapin, 

{ 157 ) 


Sanmol fthaw. Ji-. : 1759. John Tlioiiison. Sctli 8h;nv, Timothy 
]\IcE]\vain, John Smith, John King; ITliO, John Tliomson, Wil- 
liam Scott, Timothy McElwain, Seth Shaw, John King; 1761, 
John Thomson, William Scott, Seth Sliaw, Timothy IMcElwain, 
John King; 17G2, John Thomson, Seth Shaw. John King, Tim- 
othy McElwain. William McClauathan; 1763, William Scott, 
James Breckinridge, Seth Shaw, John Smith. Robert Rogers; 
1764, James Breckinridge, Robert Rogers, Seth Shaw, William 
McClanathau, John Smith; 1765, William Scott, Seth Shaw, 
Robert Rogers ; 1766, William Scott, Robert Rogers, Seth Shaw ; 
1767, Seth Shaw, Robert Rogers, William Scott, William Mc- 
Clanathan, Samuel Shaw ; 1768, Seth Shaw. Robert Rogers, Wil- 
liam Scott, Samuel Shaw, W^illiam McClauathan; 1769, Lieut. 
William Scott, Deacon Seth Shaw. Robert Rogers, Sr., Samuel 
Shaw, William McClauathan; 1770, Lieut. William Scott, Dea- 
con Seth Shaw, Elder Robert Rogers, Elder William McClaua- 
than, David Spear; 1771, Lieut. William Scott, Phineas Mixter, 
John McMaster; 1772, Lieut. William Scott, Deacon Seth Shaw, 
Phineas Mixter, John McMaster. David Spear; 1773, David 
Spear, Lieut. William Scott, John McMaster, Robert Brown, 
Robert Ferrell ; 1774, Lieut. William Scott, David Spear, John 
McMaster, Robert Ferrell, Robert Brown ; 1775. Lieut. William 
Scott, Capt. David Spear, Robert Ferrell. Robert Brown, Lieut. 
Jo.shua Shaw; 1776. Capt. David Spear, Lieut. Joshua Shaw, 
James Sniitii. Thomas King, Capt. Aaron Graves; 1777, Phineas 
Mixtei-. Deacon John iNIcMaster, Deacon John Smith. Robert 
Ferrell, Lieut. Ebenezer Jones ; 1778, Capt. David Spear. Deacon 
Thomas King. Lieut. Joshua Shaw, Capt. David Spear, Aaron 
Graves, Sanuiel ]\IcClanathan -, 1779, Capt. David Spear. Lieut. 
Joshua Shaw. Capt. Aaron Graves, Robert Hunter, Lieut. Robert 
McMaster ; 1780. Robert Ferrell. Joshua Mc]\Iaster, Deacon John 
Smith, John Quinton, Samuel Shaw; 1781, John Mc^Ia-ster, John 
Quinton, Samuel Shaw, John Rogere, Samuel Cummings ; 1782, 
Capt. David Spear. Ma.j. Aaron Graves, Francis Breckenridge, 
John Thomson, Capt. Pati-ick Watson : 1783. Capt. David Spear, 
Maj Aaron Graves, Francis Breckenridge. John Thomson, Lieut. 
John Iving; 1784, Ma.i. Aaron Graves, Lieut. David King, 

( 158 ) 


Francis Breekenridge, John Thomson, Capt. Patrick "Watson; 
1785, Maj. Aaron Graves, Francis Breekenridge, James Thom- 
son, Lieut. David King, Capt. Patrick Watson; 1786, Maj. 
Aaron Graves, Lieut. David King, Francis Breekenridge, John 
Thomson, Capt. Patrick Watson; 1787, Capt. David Spear, 
Dwight Ward, Lieut. John Hamilton, Jesse King, Lieut. Thomas 
McClanathan ; 1788, Maj. Aaron Graves, Lieut. David King, 
Lieut. Thomas IMcClanathan, John Thomson, Capt. Patrick Wat- 
son; 1789, Maj. Aaron Graves, Lieut. David King, Lieut. Thomas 
McClanathan, John Thomson, Capt. David Shaw; 1790, Lieut. 
David King, ilaj. Aaron Graves, Capt. David Shaw, Lieut. 
Thomas McClanathan, Lieut. James Smith; 1791, Aaron Mer- 
rick. Lieut. John Hamilton, Capt. David Shaw; 1792, Aaron 
]\Ierrick, Lieut. John Hamilton, Capt. David Shaw; 1793, Aaron 
IMerrick, Lieut. John Hamilton, Col. David Shaw, Capt. Thomas 
McClanathan, Lieut. John King; 1794, Maj. Aaron Graves, Lieut. 
David King, Capt. David Speai-, Lieut. Joshua Shaw. Deacon 
Samuel McClanathan ; 1795, Lieut. David King, Maj. Aaron 
Graves, Capt. David Spear, Deacon Samuel McClanathan, Dea- 
■con Joshua Shaw, 179fi. Alpheus Converse, Gordon Sedgwick, 
Ebenezer Webber, Thomas Hill, Jesse lung ; 1797, Alpheus Con- 
verse, Gordon Sedgwick, Ebenezer Webber, Jesse King, Joseph 
Smith ; 1798, Aaron Merrick, Samuel McClanathan, Timothy 
Brainerd, Clark ]\IcMaster, Solomon Shaw; 1799, Aaron Merrick, 
Gordon Sedg\vick, Capt. Alpheus Converse, Lieut. James Smith, 
Dr. Jonathan Shearer; 1800, Dr. Jonathan Shearer, Lieut. John 
Hamilton, Theophihis Knight, Isaac Warren, Daniel Shearer; 
1801, Deacon Gordon Sedgwick, Lieut. James Smith, Timothy 
Brainerd, Capt. Alpheus Converse, Theophilus Knight; 1802, 
Aaron Merrick, Capt. Thomas McClanathan, Capt. Jesse King, 
Lieut. William Spear, Daniel Shearer; 1803, Aaron Merrick, 
Esq., Capt. Thomas McClanathan, Deacon Gordon Sedgwick, 
Capt. Jesse King, Daniel Shearer; 1804, Capt. Alpheus Con- 
verse, Capt. Jesse King, John A. Smith, Isaac Perrell, Solomon 
Shaw; 1805, Capt. Jesse King, Ens. Daniel Shearer, Solomon 
t^haw, Isaac Ferrell, Jacob Converse, Jr. ; 1807, Aaron Merrick, 
Esq., Gordon Sedgwick, Alpheus Converse, Isaac Ferrell, Solo- 

( 159 ) 

orii corsTY axd its people 

limn Slinw; ISOS. (':i])i. Jesse King, Theoiihilus Kniglit. Clark 
.Me.Mastor, Amos Ihiiiiilton. John King, :3d; 1800. Jesse King, 
Tlieophihis Kniglit. Clark ;\le.Alas1er, Amos Hamilton, John 
King. :M: L^K). <'ai)t. Jesse King, Theophilus Knight. Clark 
r>Ie.Master, Amos Hamilton. John King, M ; 1811, Capt. Jesse 
King, Theophilns Knight, Clark I\lc^laster, Amos Hamilton, 
John King, 3ci ; 1812, Capt. Jesse King. Theophilus Knight, Asa 
Ward. Enos Kider. Samnel Shaw: 1813, Jesse King. Theophilus 
Knight, Asa AVard, Enos Kider, Samuel Shaw : 181-1. Alpheus 
Converse, Asa AVard, Enos Kider. Samuel Shaw. Isaac Perrell; 
1815, Jesse King, Asa AVard. John AfeAIaster. Benjamin Cura- 
mings. I'hilii) Lamb : 1816, Col. Amos Hamilton, Solomon Shaw, 
AVilson Foster, John Smith. John Shaw; 1817, Col. Amos Hamil- 
ton, Solomon Shaw. AVilson Foster, John Smith. John Shaw; 
1818, James Stebbins, Esq., Asa AA'ard, Robert Smith, Joseph 
Lee, Elijah Hills; 1819, James Stebbins, Asa AA'ard. Robert 
Smith, Joseph Lee, Jr.. Elijah Hills; 1820, James Stebbins, AA^il- 
son Foster, Joseph Lee, Jr.; 1821, Col. Amos Hamilton. Asa 
AVard. Calvin AVhite ; 1822, Col. Amos Hamilton. Clark :\lcilas- 
ter. Daniel King; 1823, Col. Amos Hamilton, Capt. Daniel King, 
Capt. Jonathan Moore: 1824, Col. Amos Hamilton. Joseph Lee. 
Jr., Xoah Stimson ; 1825, James Stebbins, Esq.. Asa AA'ard, 
Zadoek Cooley, Reuben Shaw, Elias Turner ; 1826. John Frink, 
Lebbeus Chapin. Calvin A\'ard. Cyrus Knox. John Sedgwick, 
1827, John Frink, Calvin AVard. Cyrus Knox. John Sedgwick, 
John B. Blanehard : 1828, Col. Amos Hamilton, Sylvester Parks, 
Robert Hitchcock, Jonathan IMoore, Jr.. Isaac King: 1829. Capt. 
Sylvester Parks. Robert Hitchcock. Col. Isaac King. Emelius 
Bond. Truman Smith: 1830, John Frink. Joseph Lee. Jr.. Cyrus 
Knox; 1831, John Sedgwick. Capt. Timothy Ferrell. Truman 
Smith ; 1832, Col. Cyrus Knox. Capt. Truman Smith, Clark Alc- 
Jlaster; 1833, Elisha Converse, Jr., Leonard Da^^s, Alonzo A'". 
Blanehard; 1834. Col. Cyrus Knox, Joseph Brown. 2d. Leonard 
Davis; 1835, Col. Cyrus Knox. Clark IMcAIaster. John AVard; 
1836, John AVard, Abel Calkin. Marble K. Perrell. Ralph Green, 
William J. l^lanchard; 1837. John AVard. Abel Calkin. Marble 
K. Ferrell. Kalph Oreen, AVilliam J. Blanehard; 1838, John 

( 160 ) 


AVard, AVilliaiii J. Blanchard, David S. Paine, Pliny Cooley, 
Philetus AV. Burnett ; 1839, John AVard, Pliny Cooley, Eliphalet 
Hancock, Koyal Biiffington, A. V. Blanchard; 1840, Sylvester 
Parks, John Gaminell, Royal Buffington; 1841, John Gammell, 
A. W Blanchard, P. AA^ Burnett, Gilbert Barker, Merrick Cooley; 
1842. A. V. Blanchard, Asa Shunuvay. Moses Barnes; 1843, A. 
V. Blanchard, Asa Shunnvay, P. AV. Burnett, Abner Allen, Jr., 
Jedediah A. Paine; 1844, Abel Calkins, Abner Allen, Jr., James 
Gammell. Benjamin Davis, John D. Blanchard; 1845, James 
Gammell, IMarble K. Ferrell, J. D. Blanchard, Gilbert Barker, 
Absalom C. Peck; 1847, Keyes Foster, Isaac King, AV. J. Blan- 
chard. Kut'ns Brown, Sylvester Parks; 1848. Sylvester Parks, 
Isaac King. K. Foster, Joseph C. Burgess, Horace Hunn ; 1849, 
A. V. Blanchard, M. K. Ferrell. Perry Hastings, Enos Calkins, 
Cyrus Knox; 1850, A. A". Blanchard, Cyrus Knox, II. K. Ferrell, 
linos Calkins, Rozel Hastings; 1851, Cyrus Knox, A. V. Blanch- 
ard, M. K. Ferrell: 1852, A. V. Blanchard, Enos Calkins, George 
Moores; 1853, John A. Squires. Enos Calkins; 1854. Gilbert 
Barker, George Moores, J. A. Squires; 1855, Horace Hunn, 
Nathan Howard, David Knox; 1856, Horace Hunn, Nathan How- 
ard, David Knox; 1857, Horace Hunn, George Moores, Solomon 
R. Lawrence; 1858, Hunn, Moores and Lawrence; 1859, S. R. 
Lawrence, Geo. Moores, James S. Loomis; 1860, Geo. Moores, J. 
S. Loomis, Gilbert Barker; 1861, Geo. Moores, J. S. Loomis, Abel 
AVebber; 1862, J. S. Loomis, A. A¥ebber, Nathan Howard; 1863, 
A. AVebber, E. B. Gates, Parker AA^. AVebster; 1864, same board; 
1865, Enos Calkins. E. B. Gates, George Moores; 1866, E. 
Calkins, Geo. Moores, J. E. Crane; 1867, same board; 1868, AV. 
AV. Cross, J. E. Crane. P. AV. AVebster; 1869, J. S. Loomis, E. G. 
Murdock, P. AV. AVebster; 1870-1871-1872, same board; 1873, E. 
G. Murdock, P. AV. AVebster, T. D. Potter; 1874, Ebenezer 
Brown, O. B. Smith, J. O. Hamilton; 1875, J. 0. Hamilton, Enos 
Calkins. E. B. Gates; 1876, J. 0. Hamilton, E. Calkins, Geo. 
Moores: 1877. James O. Hamilton. P. AA^. AA'^ebster. Joseph Keri- 
gan ; 1878. 0. B. Smith, Henry P. Holden, Joseph Kerigan ; 1879, 
Albert IL Willis. F. A. Packard, Joseph Kerigan; 1880, F. A. 
Packard, Joseph Kerigan, Charles E. Dewey; 1881, E. G. Mur- 

11-3 ( 161 ) 


dock, IJeury (>. Looiiiis, Henry ileilaster; 1882, same board; 
1883, H. G. Looniis, Elbridge G. Hastings, J. Kerigan; 1884, H. 
G. Looniis, J. Kerigan, Davis B. Bishop ; 1885, Chas. D. liol- 
brook, Charles L. Holdeu, Joseph Kerigan ; 1886, J. Kerigan, 
Samuel H. Hellyat, Capt. H. E. W. Clark; 1887, H. E. W. 
Clark, Daniel P. Holden, Joseph Kerigan; 1888, D. L. Holden, 
William II. Brainerd. Joseph Kerigan; 1889, "\V. H. Brainerd, 
Michael J. Dillon, Joseph L. Holbrook; 189U, II. P. Marcy, 
M. J. Dillon, AV. H. Brainerd; 1891, W. H. Brainerd, 
Chas. E. Getchell. John F. Twiss: 1892. same board : 1893, H. P. 
Holden, C. E. Getchell, J. F. Twiss; 1894, same board; 1895, J. 
F. Twiss, Chas. T. Brainerd, Geo. i\I. Atldns; 1896, same board; 
1897, same board: 1898, M. J. Dillon, Chas. L. Holden, G. M. 
Atkins; 1899, M. J. Dillon, Chas. L. Holden, Chas. T. Brainerd; 
1900, Geo. M. Atkins, C. H. Hobbs, John P. Twiss; 1901, John F. 
Twiss, C. H. Hobbs. 

PJiysicians. — The records fail to disclose the name of a resi- 
dent physician prior to 1764, when Dr. Jabez Lamb settled in 
town and i)i'acticed his art. As Dr. John Sherman settled in 
Bi-imfield before 1730, he was probably called by Palmer people 
when in need of his services. Cahdn Scott, a college graduate, 
followed. 1778-180(1; Benjamin Trask, 1779; Jonathan Shearer, 
1794-1828 ; Nathan Cummings, 1799 ; Anson Moody, 1819 ; J. N. 
Hastings, 1820.; Aaron King, 1824-1861; Marcus M. Shearer, 
1826-1854; Amasa Davis, 1839-1869; Reuben Barron, 1843-1858; 
J. B. Thomas. 1845-1880; George W. Burke, 1845-1850; Andrew 
J. Wliite. 1846-1850; William Holbrook, 1848-1901; E. E. 
Wilder, 1853; William Blair. 1854; N. Barnes. 1854-1859; Por- 
ter Davis, 1820-1824; A. M. Higgins, 1856-1867; George N. Nich- 
ols .1857 ; G. F. Forbes, 1857 ; Samuel Shaw, 1857 ; P. W. Calkins, 
1860-1864; J. W. Comins, 1861-1865; B. R. Johnson, 1862; E. 
B. Lyon, 1863-1865; Isaac Manning, 1863-1865; Silas Ruggles, 
1866-1889; J. K, Warren, 1870-1882; AV. H, Stowe, 1876-1895; 
H. A. Smith, 1878 to present time; W, E. Holbrook, 1879-1882; 
John Rand, J. B. Hyland, G. H. Wilkins. 1882 to the present 
time; E. Sirois, 1884 and 1892; M. H. Davis, 1886-1890; J, J. 
Flyiiii, 1886-1891; John Wilbur, 1887-1895; A. 0. Squares, 1889- 

( 1<5'2 ) 


1891 ; W. H. Bliss, 1891-1899 ; J. A. Dorval, 1891-1893 ; H. M. 
Auger, 1891-1893; J. C. Boiilay, 1893-1900; J. H. Desmaris, 
1893-1894; L. H. Hendee, 1894-1901; J. P. Sclineider, 1895 to 
the present; G. Lafontaine, 1896-1899; S. 0. Miller, 1900; Geo. 
J. Hebert, 1900; Chas. H. Girous, 1900, T. C. Dorval, 1900; J. 
H. ililler. 1901. There were a few others whose stay was short. 
Lawyers. — AVilliam Scott, Jr., was the first resident lawyer 
of Palmer, grad. H. U. 1771. He studied with Lawyer Pynchou 
of Springfield some time, and wiis then appointed justice of the 
peace for Palmer in 1774. He had an extensive legal business 
till 1793, when he removed from town. Daniel Shearer, 1800- 
1820; James Stebbins, W. C, 1807; practiced in Palmer from 
1813 for many years : Calvin Torry, 1841-1858 ; S. T. Spaulding, 
A. C, 1839, a short time after 1844; B. B. Whittemore, H. U., 
1839. from 1844, a short time : Sauuiel Flennning, H. U., from 
1847 to 1850 ; M. Barlow, 1852, for a short time ; Fred T. Wal- 
lace, 1848-1854; James G. Allen, 1853-1878, and judge of the 
Eastern Hampden Court from 1872-1878 ; Daniel Granger, 1857- 
1861: Joseph H. Blair, 1862-1865; Chas. L. Gardner, 1867-1897; 
E. P. Barlow, 1870-1871; J. W. Cochran, 1870j Stephen S. Taft, 
H. U., 1870, from 1872 to 1895; A. R. Barker, 1879; H. C. 
Strong ,A. C, 1875, and H. U., from 1879 till his death, 1900 ; 
Thos. K. Kenefiek, H. U. 1877, from 1879 to present time, W. 
W. Leach, Tufts C, 1880, from 1883 to present time, now judge 
Eastern Hampden Court ; A. R. Fitch, Iowa State U., 1833, from 
1888 to present time, clerk of the Eastern Hampden Court since 
1896 ; Richard F. Twiss, A. C, 1896, from 1897 till his death, 
1899; David F. Dillon, Tufts C. 1896, Mich. U., 1899, from 

1899 to present time; Ernest E. Hobsou, Maine U., 1900, from 

1900 to present time. Of the foregoing Messrs, Scott, Shearer, 
Fleming, Strong, Twiss, Dillon and Hobson were natives of 

Eepreseniatives to the General Court. — Capt. David Spear, 
1776 ; Lieut. William Scott, 1777 ; voted not to send, 1778 ; Capt. 
David Spear, 1779 ; voted not to send, 1780, 1781 ; Capt. David 
Spear, 1782, 1783, 1784; William Scott, 1785; Capt. David 

( 163 ) 


Spear, 1786; Capt. David Shaw, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 
1792; Col. David Shaw, 1793; Capt. Thomas McClanathan, 
1794; Capt. David Spear, 1795; Lieut. David King, 1796; Lieut. 
James Smith, 1797; Isaac Warreu, 1798; Aaron Merrick, 1799; 
Lieut. James Smith, 1800, 1801, 1802; Aaron Merrick, 1803, 
1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808; Capt. Jesse King, 1809. 1810, 1811, 
1812; Capt. Alpheus Converse, 1813. 1814; Capt. Jesse King, 
1815; Col. Amos Hamilton, 1816, 1817; James Stebbins, 1818; 
voted not to send, 1819; James Stebbins, 1820; Clark jNIcMaster, 
1821, 1822; voted not to send, 1823; John Frink, 1824; voted 
not to .send, 1825; Asa Ward, 1826; voted not to send, 1827; 
Capt. Daniel King, 1828; John Sedgwick, 1829; Col. Cyrus 
Knox, 1830 ; Joseph Lee, 1831, 1832 ; Capt. Daniel King, 1833 ; 
Robert Hitchcock, 1834 ; Col. Cyrus Knox, 1835 ; Emelius Bond 
and Alonzo V. Blanehard, 1836 ; Sylvester Parks and John 
Ward. 1837: :\Iarble K. Ferrell and Abel Calkins, 1838; James 
Gammell and William J. Blanehard, 1839 ; Franklin Morgan 
and Asa Shumway, 1840; Olney Goff, 1841; John Ward, 1842; 
Abel Calkins, 1843; Gilbert Barker, 1844; Alonzo V. Blanehard, 
1845; Lambert Allen, 1846; Alonzo V. Blanehard. 1847; Calvin 
Torrey and Jacob B. Merrick, 1848; Jacob B. Merrick, 1849; 
John D. Blanehard. 1850; Joseph Brown, Jr., 1851; Amos C. 
Billings. 1852; Enos Calkins, 1853; Gilbert Barker, 1854; Elijah 
G. Murdock, 1855; Capt. Alonzo N. Dewey, 1856; Sylvanus G. 
Shaw. 1857: Solomon A. Fay, 1858: Henry Seism, 1859; John 
Clough, 1860; Solomon K. Lawrence, 1861; Stephen G. Newton. 
1862; James S. Loomis, 1863; Col. Jacob Stever, 1864; Da\-id 
Knox. 1865: Ephraim B. Gates. 1866: James G. Allen. 1867. Fol- 
lowing the last date above. Palmer, as a part of a Representative 
District, has furnished these representatives from her own town: 
Rev. Jo.sej)h Vaill, D. D.. 1869, who died in office, and Lyman 
Diniock was chosen to fill the vacancy; Ebenezer Brown, 1871; 
James B. Shaw, 1872 ; Charles L. Gardner, 1875, 1876 ; Timothy 
D. Potter, 1878: Joseph F. Holbrook. 1880; Dr. William Hol- 
brook, 1882; Oren B. Smith, 1884: Stephen S. Taft, 1886, 1887; 
William W. Leach, 1889 ; Horace Saunders, 1890 ; Capt. H. E. 
W. Clark. 1891. 1892: Henry G. Loomis, 1893: Thomas W. Kene- 
fick, 1895, 1896, 1897; Elbridge G. Ha.stings. 1901. 

( 164 ) 


Palmer of To-day . — Accovding to the census of 1900 Palmer 
contains 7,801 inhabitants; its valuation is $2,819,837. The vil- 
lage of Palmer is the center of a street car system which connects 
it with the other three villages of the town, with Monson and 
Ware, with AVilbraham, Ludlow and Springfield. Each of its 
four villages has railroad connections, post-offices and express 
offices, schools and churches. Its mills are prosperous and in full 
operation. It has a beautiful summer resort at Forest Lake — 
the Pottaquattuck of Indian times— which yearly grows in 
popular favor and attracts visitors from far and near. The 
town contains a great variety of scenery, contributed by its three 
rivers, its four villages, its green robed valleys and hills and 
rivers, its four villages, its green-i'obed valleys and hills and 
its quite retreats of sylvan shade where one wearied with 
turmoil of bnsj' streets can retire and find perfect rest and 
peace in communion with nature. The easy access which the 
town commands from all points attracts many visitors who wish 
to enjoy a day of rural life. 


On the eastern and western borders of the territory com- 
prising the original town of Springfield were strips of land 
which, for many years after the colony was planted at Agawam, 
were unoccupied, and while within the limits of the town there 
was no attempt at their improvement or allotment among the 
persons comprising the Pynchon proprietary. The lands border- 
ing on the Connecticut, on both sides, were known as the "plain 
lands", and lying next east and west were the strips known as 
the "inner commons". Outside of the latter, on the borders of 
the town lay the "outward commons", the strip on the east 
side under the latter designation including nearly all that now 
coniprisps AVilhraham. 

( 1G5 ) 


Owing to the strict requirements laid upon all settlers on 
tlie plantation at Spriugtield, together with the constantly in- 
creasing suspicion of unfriendliness on the part of the Indians 
of the region, there was little attempt at settlement oiitside the 
plain lands on the river, while the inner eonniion lands were 
developed only for sueli puri)oses as did not require a residence 
there on the part of the own(>r. The outward connnon on the 
east side of the town comprised nuich mountainous and barren 
land and was regarded as of little value for farming purposes, 
while vast areas were stripi)od of their natural forest growths, 
having been burned into that condition by former Indian oc- 

Inasmuch as these outward common lands on the east side 
of the mother town were of little real value, the proprietors had 
made no division of them, and because of this fact Governor 
Edmund Andros threatened to confiscate them and forfeit the 
charter of the Pynchon colony. Then the proprietors took action, 
and caused a survey and allotment to be made, dividing the lands 
among one hundred and twenty-three owners, according to the 
polls, and reserving a ministry and also a school lot. This action 
saved the lands to the town, but the division was of no other real 
value at the time. A regular survey was made in 1729, and a 
more systematic division was made in 1740. among about 400 
owners: and a third allotment was made in 1754, among 544 
persons. These surveys and diAasions, however, were not made 
to the satisfaction of the inhabitants, and through a little system 
of political manouvering the Pynchon interests secured the most 
desirable tracts. 

Setth mi lit. — The settlement of Wilbrahani did not result 
directly from the allotment of the lauds among the pro- 
prietors, and it M'as not until about forty-five years afterward 
that the pioneer white man came into the region. In the early 
summer of 17.'!0 Nathaniel llitehcock left the settlement at 
Springfield and came to the outward connnon on the east. He 
built a cabin, cleared a small tract of about two acres, sowed a 
field with wheat, and then, after having made his proposed new 
home as comfortable as possilile. returned to Springfield for the 

( lf!6 ) 


winter. In j\lay of the next year he brought hither his young 
wife and made the first permanent settlement in what now is 
"Wilbraham, nine miles distant from the seat of the mother 
colony. Here the family lived alone until the following year, 
when Noah Alvord came and settled near the pioneer's land. 
In 1733 Daniel Warner came, and in 1734 Nathaniel Warriner 
located and made the fourth settler. In the early history of 
Springfield these men had taken an active part in passing events, 
the surname Warriner having an especial prominence in the 

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■■-;:j!->'>t^v':!,'^'Vi': . ' 


The Washington Tavern, North Wilbraham 

The progress of settlement was indeed rapid during the first 
ten years after the coming of the pioneer, and among the many 
who came to this portion of the outward commons previous to 
1741 fthe year in which the inhabitants here were established 
as the fourth precinct of Springfield), there may be recalled the 
names of ]\Ioses Burt, Samuel Warner, Samuel Stebbins, David 
Merrick, John Jones, Abel Bliss, Daniel Lamb, Thomas Merrick, 
David Warriner, Isaac Brewer, David Chapin, Moses Bartlett, 
Nathaniel Bliss, Aaron and Daniel Parsons, Benjamin Warriner, 
Cornelius Webb, Henry Wright, Benjamin Wight, Joseph Sikes, 
Thomas Glover, all of whom are believed to have come out into 

( 167 ) 


this eastern re<rioii I'loin the iniiicipal settlement at Springfield, 
and nearly all of whom were descended from the earliest settlers 
in tlie ])lantation on the east bank of the Connectient. 

If tlio reader will turn to the early history of Springfield 
there will ho found mention of each of the surnames above given 
and it will also be seen that these first settlers in AVilbraham 
were descended from ancestors who came into the Connecticut 
valley almost a century before the outposts of civilization were 
planted amonsi the rugged hills of the old fourth precinct— that 
which we now call Wilbraham. And, if local tradition be true, 
these settlers were of the same hardy stock, of the same deter- 
mined character, and of the same devout religious sjiirit as were 
those who founded the plantation on the Connecticut a centuiy 
before. All these settlers were located in that part which now 
forms AVilbraham. and there seems not to have been any develop- 
ment in the region southward until several years later. However, 
among the others who came into the fourth precinct soon after 
it was established as such we may mention the names of Jonathan 
Ely, Caleb Stebbins, Daniel Cadwell. Philip Lyon. Benoni At- 
chinson and Ezra Barker. 

In our allusion to the pioneers and the early .settlement of 
the town we have added little to the mere mention of the names 
of the settlers: and this for the reason that Wilbraham is furnished 
with an extended and carefully prepared historical record, 
which treats both of events of early life and times and of 
genealogy to a considerable extent. In this respect the town is 
fortunately jirovided, and the writer, Dr. Stebbins, seems to 
have thoroughly covered the entire^t of local history. It 
is not that the {)resent writer regards these things as of minor 
importance that he does not mention them here in detail, but 
rather that llie earlier record is so complete and reliable that 
there is no present necessity to republish the family genealogies 
of the town. 

Notwithstanding the rugged character of the land surface 
in this ])art of the mother town, no less than twenty-six settlers 
established themselves here between the years 17:^1 and 1741. 
Their domestic wants were few and were easily supplied, but 

( 168 ) 


that which caused the greatest inconvenience to their families 
was the distance from the established church, hence the early 
formed desire to be set off as a separate parish or precinct. As 
farly as January, 1739, the inhabitants of Springfield in town 
meeting granted to "the people of the mountains" preaching 
services for ten Sabbaths at 20 shillings per Sabbath ; and in 
March, 1740, the lA)ngmeadow parish accorded like privileges 
to the people of the outward commons east of their own precinct, 
or to that part of Wilbraham which now is Hampden. 

This favor, liowever, did not satisfy the full desire of the 
inhabitants and on May 7, 1740, they addressed a petition to 
the general court and commissioned Thomas j\Ierrick, 2d, and 
Abel Bliss to represent them before that body in an application 
to be set otf as a separate precinct, that they might be enabled 
to settle a minister and build a meeting house, and thus "main- 
tain the gospel" among themselves. This formal petition was 
signed by 24 of the inhabitants, which, with the names of Thomas 
i\Ierrick, 2d, and Abel Bliss, represented all the settlers on the 
outward commons at that time. The signers were Joseph Sikes, 
Daniel Lamb, Daniel Parsons, Benjamin Wight, Henry Wright, 
Thomas Glover, Cornelius Webb, Daniel Warner, ^Moses Bartlett, 
Noah Alvord. Samuel Stebbins, jun., David Chapiu, jun., David 
JMerrick, David Warriner, David Jones, Isaac Brewer, Samuel 
Warner, 2d, Aaron Parsons, Nathaniel Hitchcock, Nathaniel 
Warriner, Nathaniel Bliss, 2d, Benjamin Warriner, Sanuiel 
Bartlett and Moses Bni't. 

Agreeable to the prayer of the petitioners, on January 6, 
1741, an act of the general court of the colony established the 
"Fourth Precinct of Springfield", including within its boun- 
daries substantially the territory of the present towns of Wil- 
traham and Hampden, and vesting the inhabitants thereof with 
all the powers, privileges and immunities, and subject to the 
obligations, of other precincts. The first meeting of inhabitants 
for the selection of precinct officers was held at the house of 
David "]\Iirick" (Merrick), March 12, 1741. at which time 
AVilliam Pynchon, magistrate, was chosen moderator to conduct 
the meeting. The following precinct officers were then cliosen : 

( 1G9 ) 


David Merrick, clerk ; TliODias ilerrick, 2d, Isaac Brewer, 
Nathaniel Warriner, committee of the precinct (the duties of 
the committee were similar to those of the selectmen of towns) ; 
Isaac Brewer, treasurer; David Merrick, Thomas Merrick, 2d, 
Samuel Stebbins, assessors; Nathaniel Warriner, collector. 

This condition of corporate existence was continued until 
June 15, 1763, when the precinct became a town with all the 
powers and privileges of such. Under tlie precinct or parish 
organization the corporate privileges were limited and that char- 
acter was assumed chiefly for the administration of the religious 
affairs of the community, which at that time were regarded of 
greater importance, even in town regulation, than the civil 
rights and duties of the inhabitants. However, within less than 
ten years after the incorporation of the precinct, having more 
than the necessary forty families within its borders, there arose 
a demand for full town privileges ; but this suggestion was op- 
posed by the axithorities of the mother town on the ground that 
the precinct still needed the protection and support of the older 
jurisdiction, while in fact the latter was only reluctant to become 
separated from the flourishing little colony which had been 
established on the out-ward commons. Tluis it was that our town 
of Wilbraham retained its precinct character for fully fifteen 
years after it was entitled to town privileges. The inhabitants 
here time and again appealed to the general court for full 
separation, but unsuccessfully, as Springfield had greater influ- 
ence with the legislative power. 

At length, however, after three several attempts to establish 
a district during the year 1762, the town of Springfield at a 
meeting held IMay 17, 1763, voted to grant the prayer of the 
petitioners of the fourth precinct ; and agreeably thereto, on 
June 15, the general court passed "An act for incorporating 
the Fourth parish of Springfield in the county of Hampshire, 
into a separate town by the name of Wilbraham". The terri- 
tory of the town, according to the act, comprised the region 
l)reviously known as the Fourth parish in Springfield, with the 
addition of half a mile west from the west line of the parish, 
and from the "Chicobee" (Cliicopee) river on the north to the 
line of the town of Somers (Conn.) on the south. 

( 171 ) 


The new creation w;is irranted all the |)i)\veis and in-ivileges 
of other towns in the province; except that ol' electing a separate 
rejiresentative to the genei'al conrt. In this selection the town 
joined with Springlield until ITSfi, when it was accorded full 
liiwn i)owei's. During tlie period of iiarish character, the com- 
mittee of the precinct for each year was as follows: 

Ciimmiitee of the l'rcrinct. — \14t\, Thomas ]\Ierrick, Isaac 
Brewer, Nathaniel Warriner: 1742, Daniel Warner, Nathaniel 
Hitchcock, ]\Ioses Burt; 1743, Stephen Stebbins, Nathaniel 
Warriner, Moses Burt; 1744, Thomas IMerrick, Nathaniel Bliss, 
David Jones; 1745, Nathaniel Warriner, John Jones, Stephen 
Stebbins; 174(i, Nathaniel AVarriner, Nathaniel Bliss, Moses 
Burt; 1747, John Jones, Daniel Warner, John Hitchcock; 1748, 
Thomas Slerrick, John Hitchcock, Nathaniel Bliss; 1749, Nath- 
aniel Warriner, Daniel AVarner, Simeon AVillai'd : 1750, Nath- 
aniel Bliss, Daniel Cadwell, Aaron Stebbins; 1751, Thomas 
]\Ierrick, James Warriner, Nathaniel Bliss ; 1752, John Hitch- 
cock, jun., Caleb Stebbins, Thomas ^Merrick; 1753, John Hitch- 
cock, jun., Daniel Warner, Ezra Barker; 1754, John Hitchcock, 
jun., James Warriner, jun., Daniel AVarner; 1755, ]\Ioses Burt. 
Isaac Brewer, James Warriner, jun. : 1756. Daniel Cadwell. 
James Warriner, Daniel AVarner; 1757, Moses Burt, Daniel 
Cadwell, Daniel AVarner; 1758, Lloses Burt, Daniel CadweU, 
James AA^arriner; 1759-61, Daniel Cadwell, James AVarriner, 
jun., Daniel AVarner; 1762, Ezra Barker, Daniel Cadwell, Daniel 
AA'arner: 1763. Ezra Barker, Phineas Newton, Daniel Warner. 

During the same period the clerks of the precinct were 
David ilerriek. 1741-55, and Isaac Brewer, 1756-63. 

Town Organization. — The incorporating act directed John 
Worthington to i.ssue his warrant for the first town meeting in 
Wilbraham, and to fix the date and place holding the same. In 
jiursuance thereof the inhaliitants met at the "town meeting 
house", chose Ijient. Thomas ]\lerrick moderator, Ezra Barkei-, 
town clerk, and then adjourned to allow the latter to proceed to 
Springfield and take the i-equired oath of office, for there was 
no magistrate in the Fourth ])arish at that time. On the follow- 
ing day the electors i-easseinbled and chose a full board of town 

( 1'2 ) 


officers. The succession of selectmen and town clerks from 1764 
to 1901 is as follows : 

Selectmen. — \l^-^-Ql , Thomas Merrick, Nathaniel Warriner, 
Stephen Stebbins; 1768, Nathaniel AVarriner, Thomas Merrick. 
John Bliss; 1769, Daniel Cadwell, James Warriner, Nathaniel 
Warriner. William King, John Bliss; 1770, Nathaniel Warriner, 
William King, John Bliss, Caleb Stebbins, James Warriner; 
1771-75, Nathaniel Warriner, James Warriner, John Bliss; 
1776-77, James Warriner, John Hitchcock, John Bliss; 1778, 
James Warriner, John Hitchcock, John Bliss, Daniel Cadwell. 
Eleazer Smith; 1779, John Hitchcock, John Bliss, Eleazer 
Smith; 1780, John Hitchcock. John, James Warriner; 1781, 
John Hitchcock. James AVarrincr. Abner Chapin ; 1782, David 
Burt, Zebulon Chainn. Abner Chapin : 1783-84:. James Warriner, 
Phineas Stebbins, John Stearns; 1785. John Stearns, Phineas 
Stebbins, Gideon Burt ; 1786, Gideon Burt, David Burt, Phineas 
Stebbins; 1787-88, Gideon Burt, Phineas Stebbins, Noah Steb- 
bins; 1789, Oliver Bliss, Robert Sessions, Phineas Stebbins; 
1790-91, James Shaw. Robert Sessions, Gideon Burt ; 1792. 
Gideon Burt. James Shaw, Noah Stebbins; 1793. Robert Ses- 
sions, James Shaw. Gideon Burt; 1794, John Hitchcock, James 
Shaw, Robert Sessions; 1795, James Shaw, Phineas Stebbins, 
Robert Sessions; 1796-97, James Shaw, Gideon Burt, Robeil 
Sessions; 1798, Phineas Stebbins, Joseph Lathrop, Robert Ses- 
sions; 1799, Gideon Burt, James Shaw, Stewai-d Beebe; 1800, 
Levi Bliss, Steward Beebe, William Brewer; 1801, Timothy 
Burt, Jjevi Bliss, Steward Beebe; 1802, Levi Bliss, Steward 
Beebe, Robert Sessions; 1803, William Brewer, Robert Sessions, 
Steward Beebe ; 1804, William Rindge, Robert Sessions, Steward 
Beebe; 1805, William Brewer, William Rindge, Joel Lyman; 
1806, William Rindge, Joel Lyman, Solomon Wright; 1807, Joel 
Lyman, Augustus Sisson, Solomon Wright ; 1808, Robert Ses- 
sions, AVilliam Rindge, Augustus Sisson ; 1809, Robert Sessions, 
William Rindge, AVilliam Clark; 1810, Augustus Sisson, Walter 
Stebbins, Nathan Alden ; 1811, Abel Bliss, Augustus Sisson, 
Nathan Alden; 1812, Joseph Lathrop, William Clark, Moses 
Burt; 1813-16, Joseph Lathrop, Moses Burt, Daniel Shaw: 

( 173 ) 


1817-18, Daniel Tshaiii. ^losvs Burt, Chester Sexton; 1819, Abel 
Bliss, jun., Enoch Crocker, William AVood; 182()-:22; Abel Bliss, 
jun., William Wood, Enoch Crocker; 1823, William Wood, 
P^noch Crocker, AVilliam Clark ; 1824, Abraham Avery, Dudley 
D. Post, Nathan Alden ; 1825, Abraham Avery, Dudley D. Post, 
Thomas Glover: 1826, David Stebbins, Noah Merrick, John 
MeCray, jun.; 1827-28, David Stebbins, Jonathan Ely, John 
McCray; 1829, Calvin Stebbins, Comfort Chaffee, Daniel Isham; 
1830, Calvin Stebbins, John Carpenter, Jacob B. Merrick ; 1831, 
John Carpenter, Joseph I\Iori-is, Abraham Avery; 1832, John 
Carpenter, Luther Bi-ewer, Beriah Smith ; 1833, Luther Brewer, 
Beriah Smith, Pliny Merrick; 1834, Stephen Stebbins, Nathaniel 
Pease, Seth Moulton: 1835-36, Stephen Stebbins. Walter Steb- 
gins, Pliny Merrick: 1837, Stephen Stebbins, John McCray, 
Jonathan Burt: 1838. Stephen Stebbins. William V. Sessions, 
Jesse AV. Rice; 1839, Stephen Stebbins, John Carpenter, 
Timothy Brewer; 1840, Abraham Avery, Jesse W. Rice, Aaron 
Warner; 1841, Abraham Aveiy, Samuel B. Stebbins, Jonathan 
Burt: 1842-43, Samuel Beebe, Luther B. Bliss. Roderick Mer- 
rick ; 1844, Philip P. Potter, Aaron Goodwell, John Smith ; 1845, 
AVilliam Y. Sessions. John Y. AForris. Jonathan Burt ; 1846. John 
McCray, Shubal Pease, Peter Knowlton ; 1847, John G. Perrin, 
Pliny Merrick, Shubal Pease: 1848-49, Samuel Beebe, Luther 
B. Bliss. Seth Knowlton : 1850, John G. Perrin, Pliny Alerrick, 
Hiram liendrick; 1851, Samuel Beebe, Joel AL Lyman, Robert 
A. Sessions; 1852, Samuel Beebe, Robert A. Sessions, John M. 
Alerrick; 1853. Philip P. Potter. Aaron Goodwell, James AT. 
Brewer; 1854, John AV. Langdon, Porter Cross, H. B. Brewer; 
1855, Joseph Jlix Gregory, Sullivan U. Staunton, Eleazer 
Scripter; 1856, Eleazer Scripter. Sullivan U. Staunton, Benja- 
min Butler ; 1857, John Baldwin, Samuel AVarner, Henry Burt ; 
1858, John Baldwin, Henry Burt, Samuel Beebe; 1859, Samuel 
Beebe, John Baldwin, AVilliam P. Chaffee; 1860. Samuel Beebe, 
Philip P. Potter. AVilliam P. Chaffee; 1861, Philip P. Potter, 
AVilliam Y. Sessions. Horace Clark; 1862, Horace Clark, Marcus 
Beebe, Hiram Hendriclcs; 1863, Horace Clark, Porter Cross, 
AValter Hitchcock; 1864, John Baldwin, Horace Clark, Sumner 

( 174 ) 


Smith : 1865-66, John Bahhvin, Sumner Smith, William R. Ses- 
sions: 1867, Francis J. Warner, Abner C. Burley, William H. 
Lyman : 1868, Francis J. Warner, William H. Lyman, John W. 
Langdon : 1869, Porter Cross, John W. Langdon, Lyman G. 
Kellogg: 1870, John Ormsby, William R. Sessions, Francis E. 
Clark; 1871-72, William R. Sessions, Ira G. Potter, Francis E. 
Clark; 1873, Francis E. Clark, William R. Sessions, Albert 
Bedurtha : 1874, Francis E. Clark, William H. Warren. Albert 
Bedurtha: 1875, M. F. Beebe, Sullivan U. Staunton, Erasmus 
B. Gates: 1876, Marcus F. Beebe, Francis E. Clark, Albert 
Bedurtha ; 1877, Francis E. Clark, William R. Sessions, F. W. 
Dickinson; 1878, William R. Sessions, Francis E. Clark, F. W. 
Dickinson ; 1879, Francis E. Clark, Ira G. Potter, Marcus F. 
Beebe: 1880, Francis E. Clark, Marcus F. Beebe, Philip Potter; 
1881, Marcus F. Beebe, Philip P. Potter, A. J. Blanchard; 1882, 
Marcus P. Beebe, A. J. Blanchard, Hiram Danks; 1884, M. F. 
Beebe, Hiram Danks, P. P. Potter; 1885, M. P. Beebe, Henry 
Clark, E. H. Cutler; 1886, M. F. Beebe, Henry Clark, P. P. 
Potter; 1887, Henry Cutler, Henry Clark, P. P. Potter; 1888-89, 
Henry Cutler, P. P. Potter, Anson C. Brewer: 1890, W. F. 
Morgan, Jason Butler, C. E. Stacy; 1891, W, P. Morgan, Jason 
Butler, J. L. Rice; 1892-95, W. F. Morgan, Henry Clark, Jesse 
L. Rice: 1896, Henry Clark, Jesse L. Rice, E. M. Scott; 1897, 
E. M. Scott, Alvin Chilson, F. W. Green; 1898-1901, Jason 
Butler, Henry Clark, F. W. Green. 

Town Clerks.— 'Ezra Barker, 1763-73; James Warriner, 
1773-78; Noah Warriner, 1779-80; James Warriner, 1781-85; 
Pliny Merrick, 1785-86; Samuel S. Merrick, 1786-90; John 
Bucldand, 1791-92; Daniel Dana, 1793; Robert Sessions, 1793- 
1805 ; Philip Morgan, 1805-10 ; Augustus Sisson, 1810-11 ; Abel 
Bliss, 1811-12; Philip Morgan, 1812-14; ]\Ioses Burt, 1814-20; 
Calvin Stebbins, 1820-24; Luther Brewer, 1824-25; William 
Wood, 1826; Luther Brewer, 1826-27; John McCray, 1828; Syl- 
vanus Stebbins, 1829-36; Luther Brewer, 1837-38; Luther B. 
Bliss, 1839; John M. Merrick, 1840-41; John McCray, 1842; 
Roderick S. Merrick, 1843-47; Solomon C. Spellman, 1848-49; 
Jesse W. Rice, 1850; Luther B. Bliss, 1851-52; Horace M. Ses- 

( 175 ) 


sions, 1853-54; Ixodriick Burt, 1855; Ralph Glover, 1856; 
AVilliam P. Spcllin;m. 1857-58; H. Bridgman Brewer, 1859-60; 
Howard Stauutoii, 1861 ; James Stauntou, 1862 -. John W. Mer- 
rick, 1863-64 : (lilbert Rockwood, 1865-66; Francis E. Clark, 
1867-68: Sullivan U. Staunton. 1869-70: Robert R. Wright, 
jun., 1871; Chauncey C. Peek, 1872; William P. Spellman, 
1873-74; Erasmus B. Gates, 1875-79; Charles E. Stacey, 1880-85; 
W. E. Stone. 1886-89: H&nry Cutler. 1890; Charles E. Staeey, 
1891-97; Frank A. Fuller, 1898-1901. 

In one of the earlier chapters of this work the reader will 
find the names of "Wilbraham's representatives in the general 
court, and also the names of those who have been elected to the 
senate since the creation of Hampden county in 1812. But 
previous to that time this town was represented in the lower 
house of the legislature by some of the strongest men in all the 
region, and in the present connection a mention of their names 
is appropriate. John Bliss represented the town in 1773, 1793-4, 
1796-1803 : Phineas Stebbins, 1786-88 and 1805 ; AVilliam Rindge 
and Solomon Wright, 1807 ; William Rindge and Augustus 
Sisson, 1809: Augustus Sisson and Walter Stebbins, 1810; 
AValter Stebbins and Abel Bliss, jun.. in 1811. 

From all that is stated, in preceding paragraphs, it must 
be seen that the settlement and development of the lands in 
Wilbraham was rapidlj' accomplished. This is true especially 
of that part of the town now known as Wilbraham. while in the 
southern portion, originally known as the south parish, later as 
South Wilbraham and now Hanipdeu. there were no white in- 
habitants previous to 1741. On the separate organization of the 
town, the inhabitants first gave attention to the establishment of 
schools, the laying out of highways and the opening of new lands 
to attract settlers. From 1741 to 1764 the number of settlers 
was greatly increased, and during that period and the score of 
years iunnediately following, nuiny new families were added to 
the town's population. Glancing over the records of the middle 
perioil of Wilbraham history, we discover such names as Stephen 
Stebbins. Aaron Stebbins, Lewis Langdon (builder of the first 
saw mill in 1750), Abner Chapin (from the old Chicopee family 

( 176 ) 


of (."hapius and a deseeiulant of Deacon Samuel Chapin. the 
Puritan, whose statue in bronze adorns the library park in 
Springfield), ("apt. Paul Langdou (who brought the first four- 
wheeled vehicle into the town), William King, AVilliam Stacey 
(whose descendants in later years have been prominent figiires 
in local history), ]\Ioses Stebbins. Comfort Chaifee, Henry 
Badger, Isaac ilorris, Benjamin Skinner, Jabez Hendrick, 
Daniel Carpenter, Ezekiel Russell, Rowland Crocker, Jonathan 

Williraham — An old fasliiuiied hoase front 

Ely, Caleb Stebbins, Rowland Crocker, Daniel Cadwell, Joseph 
Sikes, Philip Lyon, Benoni Atchinson, Ezra Barker and others 
whose names are now forgotten, but all of whom were once 
conspicuous figures in the events of early history in this inter- 
esting part of the county. The southern portion of the town 
was settled between ]741 and 1760, and in 1782 the locality was 
established as the south parish. In later years when parishes 
were no lonuer distinguishing features of history this locality 


177 ) 


took the ii;mie of South Wilbnihaiii antl was so kuowu until the 
division ol' tlie town and the incorporation of Hampden in 1878. 

Having thus referred at length to the early settlement of the 
town at large, and having at the same time traced something of 
its civil history, the following statistics from the census reports 
will furnish an idea of the actual growth of the locality of which 
we write. In 177(), at the time of the colonial census, Wilbraham 
was found to contain 1,057 inhabitants. Subsequent changes in 
pojjulation may be noted as follows: 1790, 1,555; 1800, 1,743; 
1810, 1,776; 1820, 1,979: 1830, 2,034; 1840, l,8fi4; 1850, 2,127; 
1855, 2,032; 1860, 2,081; 1865, 2,111; 1870, 2,330; 1875, 2,576; 
1880, 1,628; 1885, 1,724; 1890, 1,814; 1895, 1,740; 1900, 1,595. 

Military TZjs^orj/. — Settlement in the fourth parish of Spring- 
field was begun during the period of the long continued French 
and English wars, but at a time when the powers were not en- 
gaged in actual contest, but were strengthening their armies in 
America pending the final struggle. When the strife was at its 
height the people of this precinct were attempting to secure a 
separation from the mother town, and the non-success which 
attended their eiYorts was probably- in part due to the demands 
made upon Springfield for men and means necessary to defend 
the frontier of Hamp.shire county against the Indians who in- 
fested the region. In another chapter of this work the events 
of that i)eri()d are recorded in detail and the part taken by 
Hampsiiire county soldiery is fully narrated. Among the in- 
habitants of the parish who entered and took part in the wars 
there may be mentioned the names of Capt. Samuel Day, Lieut. 
Thomas ^lerriek. Ensign Abel Bliss, John Langdon, Timothy 
Wright, I'hilip Lyon, AVilliam King, Jr., Paul Langdon, Daniel 
Cadwell, Isaac Colton, Aaron Bliss, Benjamin Warriner, Aaron 
Alvord, Samuel Wai-ner, Ben.iamin Wright, Aaron Warriner, 
Stephen Bliss. Jesse Warner, Aaron Parsons, Benoni Atchinson, 
Thomas Duidiam. ]\Ioses Bai'tlett, Samuel Warner, Sr,, Paul 
Hitchcock. Sanniel Warner. Ji-.. and Closes AVarriner. 

However, it was during the revolutionary war that the town 
first established a military record, although the martial spirit of 
its peopli' Miiti'ilati'd that period by many years. Indeed, among 

( 178 ) 


the settlers here were niauj' persons whose ancestors had taken 
part in the early Indian troubles, and some of whom served in 
the memorable King Philip's war. In the years immediately 
preceding the ontbreak of the revolution this town had taken 
such action as was necessary for the common defence ; the able- 
bodied young men were enrolled among the militia, and the 
company of minutemen was ready to march when, the call was 
made. In July, 1774, settlers Daniel Cadwell, William King, 
Moses Stebbins, Eleazer Smith. John Stearns, John Bliss and 
Ezra Barker were appointed a eonnnittee to express by resolu- 
tion the sentiment of the town in regard to the oppressions of 
the mother country, and in October following Nathaniel War- 
riner, Sergt. Daniel Cadwell. Lieut. "William King. JIaj. John 
Bliss and Eleazer Smith were appointed a committee of corre- 
spondence and inspection. Maj. Bliss represented the town in 
the famoiis Northampton convention, and also was chosen a 
delegate to the provincial congress held at Concord. The non- 
consumption pledge, by which the inhabitants declared their 
aversion to all British importations, was signed by 124 persons 
in this town alone, thus indicating a thoroughly loyal American 
spirit throughout the region. There were a few, however, who 
were inclined to favor the mother country, but the spirit of was suppressed by the greater zeal of the patriotic 
Americans, and after Col. John "Worthington withdrew from the 
public gaze there was little manifestation of disloyalty in Wilbra- 
ham. Moses Bliss, too, was well known as a British sympathizer 
during the early part of the war, and with such influence to 
sway them it was only natural that toryism should at first find 
a following in the town. ( The iMoses Bliss referred to just above 
was a lawyer of considerable prominence in Springfield.) 

On the occasion of the "Lexington alarm," which really 
was the beginning of the revolution. Capt. James Warriner 
marched his company of minutemen to the vicinity of Boston 
and there served about ten days. This company was comprised 
as follows : Capt. James Warriner, Lieut. William King. Ser- 
geants Enos Stelibiiis, Thomas King. Aaron Alvord, and Privates 
Eleazer Smith. Sanuiel Day. Joshua Chaffee, Samuel Merrick, 

( 179 ) 


Asa Chaffee, Isaac Morris, ]\Ioses Colton, Chiliab Merrick, 
Jonathan Cooley, Isaac Dunham. Ezekiel l\ussell. Reuben 
Thayer, Benjamin Farnhani, Comfort Chaffee, Jesse Warner, 
Jesse Carpenter. Joshua Jones. Rowland Crocker, Darius 
Chaffee, Ebenezer Cadwell. Joshua Eddy. Enos Clark. Ezekiel 
Wri<j;ht, Calvin Stebbins. TIidiuhs Coleman, Gideon Burt. Abel 
King, Charles Brewer. Benjamin Colton. John Stearns. 

Capt. Paul Iians;(lon"s company was raised ehietiy in Wil- 
braham and partially in other towns in this part of the county. 
The company roll follows : Paul Lanj^don. captain : Daniel Cad- 
well. first lieutenant ; Noah AVarriner. John Langdon, Philip 
Lyon, sergeants; Aaron Stebbins, Othneil Hitchcock, corporals; 
Charles Ferry, drunnner; Abner Warriiier. fifer; and privates, 
Daniel Carpenter, Aaron Cadwell. Jonathan Sikes (served at 
Quebec), Seth Clark, Abner Chapiii. Nathan Sikes, Moses Sim- 
mons. Phanuel AVarner (served at Quebec). John Langdon. 2d. 
Ichabod Parker. Cyprian Wright, Ezekiel Beebe, Lathrop Fuller, 
Solomon Cooley. John Johnson, Jo.seph Jennings (the last six 
from Ludlow). Daniel Sweetland (from Somers, Conn., served 
at Quebec). Daniel Simmons. Charles Coole.v (Ludlow), Simon 
Stacey, John "\V. Chaffee. Ephraim Wright. Josiah Sweetland 
(from Somers. served at Qiiebec). John Davis, Reuben Shayler. 
Nathaniel Mighets. Ephraim Dunham. Joseph Dunham, W^illiam 
Clai-k- (Belchertown), Edward Cotton (Ludlow), Closes Ells- 
worth (East Windsor), Ephraim Wright, Benjamin Chubb 
(died), Moses Rood, Eli Beebe, Simeon Bates. 

The following is the pay roll of Capt. Daniel CadAvell's com- 
pany of Col. Danielson's regiment, for service at Ticonderoga 
from December 5, 1776, to April 2, 1777 (180 miles travel, 7 
pounds 7 shillings bounty, 99 days' service, wages 60 shillings 
per month): Daniel Cadwell, captain: Daniel Parsons, first 
lieutenant: Robert Jle^laster. second lieutenant: John Colton. 
.fohn AIcElwain and Stephen AVright. sergeants: Medad Steb- 
bins. .Miner Warner, Aaron Colton and Joseph Colton, corporals; 
Judah Alooi'e, drummer: William Colton. fifer: Joseph Abbott, 
Ijuther Bliss. Ebenezer Beebe. Stewai'd Beebe. Z;idock Beebe, 
Jesse Caipeider. Asa Chaffee, Amos Chaffee, John Hancock, 

( 180 ) 


Jabez Hancock, John Hitchcock, Isaac Morris, Moses Stebbins, 
James Shaw, Samuel Warner, Daniel Chapin, Judah Chapin, 
Jesse Laniphere, John Stebbins, Perez Hitchcock, privates. 

One of the most notable companies raised in the town was 
that eonnnanded by Capt. James Shaw, attached to Col. Charles 
Pynchon's regiment, and served in Vermont and New York, at 
Bennington and in the vicinity of Saratoga, from September 24 
to October 18, 1777. The personnel of the company was as fol- 
lows : James Shaw, captain ; Oliver King, Israel Chapin. Noah 
Stebbins and Ebenezer Colton. lieutenants; Joseph Sexton, 
Charles Ferry, (Jad Lamb, Gains Brewer, sergeants; Josiah 
Cooley, Aaron Chanwell, Abner Chapin, Medad Stebbins, cor- 
porals ; Calvin Stebbins, fifer ; Gordon Percival, Samuel F. Mer- 
rick, Edward Colton, Jonathan Leach, Jonathan Merrick, Luther 
Hitchcock. Benjamin Howard, Solomon Loomis, George Cooley, 
Nathaniel Warner, David Bliss, Asa Jones, Solomon Warriner, 
Phineas Hitchcock, Comfort Chafi'ee, Timothy Worthington, 
Daniel Sweetland, Solomon Lathrop, Jabez Cooley, David Wood, 
John Chaterton, Luther Cooley, Reuben Warriner, John Colton, 
Lemuel Whitney, Elijah Parsons, Judah Ely, John Langdon, 
Edward Morris, Jesse Lamphere, Aaron Stebbins, Judah Willey, 
Isaac Morris, David W^hite, Matthew Keep, Asa Simonds, Aaron 
Howard, Zadock Stebbins, privates. 

Among the other men of Wilbraham who rendered service 
in the field at some time during the period of the war there may 
be mentioned the names Levi Bannister (of W^ilborougham), a 
fifer in Capt. Henry's company, Col. Brewer's regiment, and 
who afterward entered the continental army for three years; 
Daniel Colton, private in Capt. Colton 's company ; Luther King, 
iifer; and Paul Newton and Solomon King, privates in the same 
company. The Wilbraham contingent of men drafted for nine 
months' service at Kingston comprised Lewis Langdon, John 
Calkins, Moses Albert, John Russell, John Huntley, Joseph Cutt 
(a negro) and Zadock Benton. Samuel Calkins and Jonathan 
Policy were later additions to the Kingston troops. 

The six months' men in the continental service in 1780 from 
Wilbraham were David Allen, Daniel Mason. John James Sikes, 

( 181 ) 


Reuben Abbott, Ethan Suiith. Selh Warner, Ebenezer Thomas, 
Gad Warriner, John White. Isaiah Chatt'ee, Titvis AmmidowD 
(Aniadon), Henry "Wright, Jolm Oreutt, Joseph Bumstead, 
Zenas Cone. Gains Stebbius, Stephen Simons, Kjttridge Davis, 
Emmons Lillie. Jonas Banton, Nathaniel Hitchcock, Samuel 
Lyon, John Raymond, Asa "Woodworth, Peleg Burdick, and 
Phineas IMason are credited to AVilbi-aham for the continental 

The following men served under command of Capt. John 
Carpenter : Nathan Ainsworth, Jotham Carpenter, Chester 
Morris, John Amidon, Isaiah Chaffee, Philip Lyon, Josiah Lang- 
don, Reuben Carpenter, James Richardson, Johnson Richardson. 
The following served in Capt. Abel King's company. Col. Ash- 
ley's regiment: Jesse Elwell. Eliphalet Hodges, Jabez Percival, 
Johnson Richardson, John ^Yhite. Francis West. In Capt. 
Woodbridge's company we find the names of Caesar Meri-ick 
(negro). Gains Stebbins and Oliver Sexton. In Capt. Joseph 
Browning's company were Asa Hill and John Thwing. In Capt. 
Reuben i\Iunn"s company were Daniel Bliss, .sergeant; Zadock 
Stebbins, corporal ; Joseph Bum.sted. drummer ; James Eddy, 
John Russell, Peleg Burdick, Aaron Hitchcock and Gamalial 
Dunham, privates. Israel Conant was a private in Capt. 
Cooper's company, Col. Bradford's regiment. 

The following men of Wilbraham laid down their lives 
either on the field of battle or died from causes originating from 
the severities of a soldier's life: Benjamin Chubb, 1775; Solo- 
mon King. 1775: Nathaniel utiles, Phanuel "Warner, George 
Merrick. Aaron Bliss, all of the army of Canada, 1776 : Joseph 
Morris, Benjamin Russell, Ticonderoga, 1776; Josiah "Wright, 
Joshua Leach, 1776; Jlalam Dunham, Roxbury 1776; Joseph 
Butler. 177G: Daniel "Warriner, Albany, 1777; Capt. Daniel 
Cadwell, Sergt. Joseph Abbott, northern army, 1777; Samuel 
Lyon, 1778 ; Moses Simmons, "Wliite Plains, 1780 ; John Chaffee, 
Luther Ainsworth, near Little Falls, 1780 ; Isaac Skinner, killed 
by Indians, 1Y80. In all twenty men of this town were lost 
during the war, four being killed in battle and sixteen dying 
from exposure or disease. 

( 182 ) 


Follow iiii;- closely upon the revolution with all its distressing 
events and hardships for the people of our town, there came 
what is known in history as Shays' rebellion, in which a few 
misguided Wilbraham men are said to have taken part with the 
insurgent forces. On the other side the town was better repre- 
sented, and in Gen. Shepard's army were many loyal sons of 
the town. It is said that there were nine members of the Chaffee 
family who answered at the roll call of men who stood in defense 
of the law, the courts and the public welfare among Gen. 
Shepard's troops. 

During the war of 1812-15 the excitement of the period was 
largely due to the division of sentiment among the inhabitants, 
and in this town the federal O)- peace party advocates were in 
the majority. This commonwealth generally did not furnish 
inany troops for the service, yet in old AVilbraham we have the 
names of a few men who fought against the British in that con- 
test. These men were Ralph Bennett, Stephen Cadwell, Joel M. 
Lyman, Eleazer Hitchcock, Robert Sessions, Phineas Burr and 
Solomon Jones. 

Notwithstanding the long era of peace and plenty which 
followed the second w'ar with Great Britain, the martial spirit 
of old AVilbraham had not entirely died away when Moultrie's 
guns proclaimed civil war in the United States. It was then 
that the loyal sons of the town revived the warlike spirit which 
long had laid dormant, and as its result it is found that Wilbra- 
ham sent into the service almost 200 men who served with the 
land forces, while more than 30 others are credited to the town 
in the naval service. In 1860 the town contained 2,081 in- 
habitants, from which we see that fully ten per cent of the entire 
population entered the army. All of them, however, did not 
return, and to-day some of them are still sleeping on southern 
battlefields; and the memory of their brave deeds is kept alive 
by the beautiful monument which adorns the little village of 
Wilbraham in the central part of the town. 

Educational. — The inhabitants of AVilbraham have long 
been known as a progressive people, and even from the days of 
early settlement have given especial attention to the educational 

( 183 ) 


welfare of tlieir yoiilh. Indeed, one of the principal reasons 
why the i)cople of the Kouith jjivcinct of Springfield sought a 
sepaiation fi-oni the mother town was that tlie spiritual and 
educational interests of the i>eop]e niiiiht have l)etter attention. 
In 17:i7 tlie voters of Sprinytield allowed the sum of 3 pounds 
for support of a school in this pai'ish, and in 1740 the amount 
was increased to G poiinds. Soon after 1750 a school house was 
built in what now is the village, and in 1775 the territory of the 
town comprised ten school districts. Ezra Barker, the old town 
clerk, is remembered as one of the early schoolmasters, while 
other instructors of the youth after methods of their day were 
Moses Enos. Uorham Stebbins, Anson L. Brewer, Ralph Glover, 
Elder Bennett, Mai-y Newell, Laura Bennett, and others. 

The growth of school interests has ever been in keeping with 
the advances in other directions, and at the present time Wil- 
braham is as well provided in this respect as any to\vn in the 
the county. According to the present disposition of school in- 
terests the town comprises eleven districts, has eleven public 
schools and eleven teachers are employed annually. There are in 
the town about 275 children of school age, and the town raises bj' 
tax annually for school purposes about $3,900, added to which 
is the local share of the state school money, amounting to about 
.$460. The total expense of the schools for each year is about 
$4,925. The present school committee comprises Jason Butler, 
chairman; H. G. Webber and Ethelbert Bliss; superintendents, 
Mary L. Poland. Jlary L. "Williams and Sidney Greenwood. 

Wesleyan Academy. — The institution which above all others 
has been a factor for good in the history of the town for the last 
three-quarters of a century is the AVesleyan academy, a school 
of high character and wide repute, and directly connected with 
the Xew England conference of the ^letiiixlist Episcopal church. 
The history of this famous institution frequently has been writ- 
ten and widely published, and only recently was made the sub- 
ject of a comprehensive volume of several hundred pages. In 
regard to the history of the academy the annual catalogtie for 
1900-1901 says : 

"The AVesleyan Academy was opened on Septeml)er 1, 1817, 
at Newmarket, N. H. An act of incorporation was obtained 

( 184 ) 


from the IMassachusetts legislature in 1824, and the academy 
removed to Wilbraham. At its opening here, November 8, 1825, 
there were eight students present the tirst da.v, thirty-five during 
the term, 

"While first founded by a group of Jlethodist preachers, and 
always noted for its strong i-eligious character, it has granted no 
sectarian privileges, but has always been open to all earnest 
young men and young women. On its removal to Wilbraham 
leading citizens of both local churches liberally subscribed for 
its endowment, and it numbers among its distinguished alumni 
and friends devout believers of varied forms of Christian faith." 

Old Academy, and Binney Halls 

"Over 17,000 different persons have been students within 
its walls. Some 900 have prepared for college, and as many 
more have gone directly to teaching, or to professional studies. 
At least one-third of its students have been young women. 

"By some very generous donations it has recovered from 
several severe losses, and acquired a property amounting to 
.$290,000. Among its many benefactors have been Amos Binney 
of Boston and William Rice of Springfield, early and enthusiastic 
advocates of learning in New England Methodism: Isaac Rich 
and Jacob Sleeper of Boston, afterward founders of Boston Uni- 

( 185 ) 


versity ; autl lioraec Siiiitli ui' Spriiiylield, inamiiacturer and 
philanthropist. Gifts amounting to more than $25,000 were 
received in the year that ended June, 1900." 

The act incorporating- the "trustees of Wesleyau Academy" 
was passed Februaiy 7, 1824, and Amos Binney, Abel Bliss, 
Abraham Avery, Calvin Brewer, f'noch Mudge, Wilbur Fisk, 
John Lindsey, Joshua Crowell and AVilliam Rice comprised the 
body corporate of the institution. On land donated by William 
Rice, with a fund collected by agents who travelled through the 

Rich Hall and Principal's Residence 

conference foi' that pur]iose, the old academy building was 
erected. A farm of 60 acres— one-half of the old AVarriner 
homestead — was jiurchased and the old farm house was re- 
modeled for a boai'ding house. The principal "s house was built 
in 1827 ; a separate boarding house for young women was built 
in 1838; Fisk Mali was built in 1851. and Binney Hall in 1854. 
The new principal's residence was erected in 1856. Rich Hall 
was built in 1860-61, and the Smith j\Iemorial gymnasium, the 
most recent acquisition to the buildinu' grouji. was erected in 
1896 at a cost of $45,000. 

( 186 

O 3 



The iicadeiiij' property and all its various structures are 
admirably situated and give to the pleasant little hamlet of 
Wilbraham the appearance of a typical New England college 
town. For three-quarters of a century the institution has been 
the chief factor in local history and has been productive of much 
good in general educational circles. 

During the period of its history the presidents of the 
academy corporation, in succession, have been as follows : Col. 
Amos Binney, Rev. John W. Hardy, Abel Bliss, George M. Hyde, 
William Rice, Rev. Phineas Crandell, Rev. Amos Binney, Rev. 
Edward Otheuian, A. ]\I., Anujs B. ilerrill, Rev. Erastus O. 
Haven, D. D., Rev. Edward Otheman, A. ]\I., Horace Smith, 
Rev. Edward Otheman. A. :\I., Amos B. :\Ierrill, Edward P. 
Porter, Rev. Edward Otheman, A. I\I., Edward F. Porter, 
Thomas P. Richardson. William Rice, D. D.. Rev. Charles F. 
Rice, D. D. 

The principals have been as follows: Rev. AVilbur Fisk, 
D. D., 1825-31; W. McK. Bang.s, A. M., 1831-32; John Foster, 
A. M., 1832-34: David Potter, D. D„ 1834-41; Charles Adams, 
D, D., 1841-45; Robert Allyn, D. D., 1845-48; JMiner Raj-mond, 
D. D., 1848-64; Edward Cook, D. D., 1864-74 ; Nathaniel Fellows, 
A. M., 1874-7!); George M Steele, D. D., 1879-92; William Rice 
Newhall, D. D., 1892-1901, the present principal. 

C/ii/rc^e.s. — The early history of the established church and 
Ihat of the town were so closely interwoven that each was a part 
of the other. Indeed, the old Fourth— the original name 
of AVilbraham — was set off that the inhabitants of this moun- 
tainous region might have the benefits of religious worship with- 
out the necessity of traveling ten long miles to the mother church 
at Springfield ; and as early as 1739 the settlers here were granted 
the privilege of preaching services a portion of each year. This 
was the real foundation of the Congregational church in this 
town. When the parish was established in 1741, Rev. Noah 
Merrick was employed as the leader of the spiritual body of this 
settlement, but the question of location of the meeting house 
ajipears to have given rise to nuich discussion, and not until 
1747 was the site haiinoniously settled. Tu the same year the 

( 1«8 ) 


structure was built in tlie locaJity kuowii as Wigwam hill, but 
in 1782, upon the creation of the South parish, substantially 
comprising what now is Hampden, the building was removed 
to a moi-e central point in the North parish, or what afterward 
became the village of Wilbrahani. It was occupied for many 
years, and at length, during the early years of the last century, 
was replaced with another larger and more suitable edifice. The 
latter was burned in June, 1877, vipon which the present comfort- 
able house of worship was built. 

Although the history of the mother church in Wilbraham, 
especially during the first fifty years of its existence, was accom- 
panied with many viscissitudes, it never lost its identity or or- 
ganization. It was supported at the general expense of the 
town for many years, and when persons of other denominations 
declined to pay the tax assessed to maintain the mother society, 
troubles followed, and for a time the very life of the old institu- 
tion was thi-eateued. The difficulties at length were adjusted 
and the society was reorganized on a more equitable basis. The 
pastors, in succession, of the old church have been Rev. Noah 
Merrick, called and settled in 1741, and died 1776; Joshua 
Willard, 1787-93; Ezra Witter, 1797-1814; Ebenezer Brown, 
1818-27; John Hyde, 1828-31; Isi'ael O., 1832-35: John 
Bowers, 1837-56; John P. Skeele, 1858-64 -. Alexander D. Stowell, 
3865-67; and Rev. Martin S. Howard, whose pastoral service in 
Wilbraham was begun October 29, 1868. 

ilethodism began to develop in the South parish of Wil- 
braliam as early as 1790, and very soon extended to and found 
root in the North parish through the missionary labors of 
Methodist preachers on the Hartford circuit who visited this 
region, Lemuel Smith being the first of this denomination to 
preach in the North precinct. Soon afterward a class was 
formed and included Abel and Silas Bliss, Charles Brewer and 
the wife of Solomon Warriner. In 1793 a meeting house was 
begun, but the work of construction was not finally completed 
until 1814. The corporation and society of the church was 
formally organized in August, 1832, and in 1835 a new and more 
eominodiiiUN liouse of worsliip was erected and dedicated. 

( 189 ) 

oi:r county and its people 

For tln\'('-i|uartei's of a ceiitiiry this cluirt'li in Wilbraham 
has enjoyed a cuntiniiims and lu-altliful growth, and in connec- 
tion with AVesleyan acaeleiiiy it is hioked upon as one of the 
influential denominational institutions of the town. In 1870 the 
society erected the new stone memorial edifice, at a cost of more 
than $30,000. In point of membership the church is one of the 
strongest in eastern Hampden county, and under the pastoial 
care of Rev. Dr. W. H. Thomas it ranks with the most influential 
ecclesiastical bodies of the I'egion. 

In the eastern part of the town, in llie locality generally 
known as East Wilbraham, or Glendale. a ^M. E. chapel was built 
soon after 1870. 

Gi-ace Union Church is an institution of North Wilbra- 
ham, and although the edifice was built with the contributions of 
members of various denominations, and is entitled to be occupied 
by each of them, the church is usually called Congregational. 
Rev. Vernon H. Deming has charge of the services here. 

A Roman Catholic mission was established in North Wil- 
braham in 1891. It is known as "St. Cecilia's" and is attended 
from Pahnei'. 

A Baptist society was formed in the north part of the town 
as early as 176.5, and for about three-quarters of a century after- 
ward was one of the recognized institutions of the locality. The 
society was followed by more formal church organization in 
1768, and in 1770 Rev. Seth Clark became pa.stor of the little 
flock. In 1779 a house of worship was built ; in 1800 the mem- 
bei'ship exceeded 200 persons, yet within the next twenty years 
the society itself passed out of existence. In 1833 the me«ting 
house was destroyed by fire. 

Villages mid Hamlets. — In this town several localities have 
distinguishing names, and each in a way ha.s its own institutions, 
yet there are but two recognized villages having commercial 
standing and post-office accommodations. These are Wilbraham 
and North Wilbiaham. about two miles apart and connected by 
one of the most delightful highways that any town in Hampden 
county can boast. 

Wilbraham. formerly known as the Centre, the locality 
where settled the pioneers of the town, dates back in its history 

( 190 ) 


more than a century and a half, and notwithstanding the fact 
that there is located one of the most famous educational institu- 
tions of the county, the permanent population of the village 
proper has not at any time exceeded 450 persons. As a trading 
center AVilbraham owes its continued prosperity to the presence 
of Wesleyan academy, otherwise North Wilbraham, on the rail- 
road line, must have outstripped the older village. For many 
years at least one good store has been kept at Wilbraham, and 

The Old Tavern— North Wilbraham 

among the old merchants there may be recalled the names of 
Roderick Burt, Robert R. Wright and George W. Ely. The 
present merchants are George W. Ely, Frank A. Gurney and 
Charles N. Mowry. A post-office was established here in 1821, 
and William Knight was the first postmaster. The present in- 
cumbent of the office is Frank A. Gurney. 

North Wilhraham is a post-office and way station on the line 
of the Boston & Albany railroad, yet its commercial importance 
must be shared with the station named Collins, on the line of 

( l!'l ) 

01 R vol' MY AM) ITS PEOPLE 

the Athol bnincli lojicl. Iiulw<l. the entire north settlement 
niisiht appropriately be ealh^l Cdllins. in allusion to and honor 
of Warren Collins and others of that family name who have been 
such pi'onnnent tiiiiires in tlie history of the town for the last half 
century. The Collins store, whieli burned in the fall of 1900, 
was one of the most extensive eonntry stores in the county. 

At one time this jnirt of the town was called "Sodom." but 
along about 1846 or "47, when a post-office was established here, 
North Wilbraham became the aeeejited desitrnation, and at the 
same time Warren Collins became ])ostinaster, ht)lding the office 
until 1878. The present incumbent of the office is John W. 
Baldwin. The merchants here are Fiank A. Fidler, general 
dealer, and James Egan, druggist. 

As a manufacturing town Wilbraham enjoyed little promi- 
nence ])revious to 1865. although a grist mill and a number of 
saw mills were in operation long before that time. There also 
were the old carding and fulling mills which produced cloth for 
domestic purposes chiefly, and also a tannery, the latter owned 
and run by Thomas and Henry Howard. Abraham Avery once 
had a small tanning establishment in the town. Among the 
other old industries of this north part of the town we may men- 
tion the Ellis ]\lills at Butlerville, a mile east of North AVilbra- 
ham. and on the site where Benjamin Butler many years ago 
operated a saw mill for Dr. Marcus Shearer; hence the name 
Butlerville. once well known in town annals. The Ellis ]\Iil]s 
were kept in operation about 1868, and Dwight W. and Stillman 
Ellis were the chief promoters of the enterprise, being extensive 
manufaetui'ers of cassimere.s. The name of Gates & Nelson, a 
substantial firm years ago, also is to l)e mentioned in the same 

'I'he Collins ^Manufacturing comiiany for many years has 
been a leading coneei'u in Xorlh Wilbraham history. It was 
incori>or;ite(l in 1872 a.s the Collins l'a]ier company, with 
$200,000 capital, a large share of which once was furnished from 
.\mherst college funds. In l!^76 the name v.'as changed to 
Collins .Manufacturing company, as since known, and the 
capital was increased to .i;:^00.0(i(l. The company, with fre(iuent 

( 192 ) 


changes in stock ownership and business control, has since been 
in active operation, and its works comprise the principal indus- 
trial enterprise of Eastern Hampden county. The plant now 
forms a part of the Whiting system of paper interests. 

The Cutler Mills, with a ten-carload daily capacity of 
ground feed and grain, comprise another valuable manufactur- 
ing enterprise of North Wilbrahm. The plant began operations 
in the early part of 1877, and has continued uninterruptedly to 
the present time. 

Nine-Mile Pond — Xortli Wilbraliam 

This brief retrospect will give the reader an idea of the past 
history of one of the best outlying towns of Hampden county, 
for Wilbraham long has been regarded as one of the most sub- 
stantial civil divisions of the county. It has produced and sent 
into public life some of the best sons of pioneer stock, and from 
its rugged hills there have come some of the strongest men who 
have been chosen to public office in Hampden history. A glance 

13 3 

( 193 ) 


at the earlier pages of this chapter will disclose the names of 
those who have represented the town in vai'ious official capacities, 
both at home and in the legislature, and in another chapter there 
may be found a list of those who have been sent to the repre- 
sentative halls of the state since the creation of Hampden county. 
But, regai-dless of political prominence, there are many names 
in Wilbraham history that are worthy of passing mention in 
these pages. We i-efer to such men as Abel Bliss, who once was 
a candidate for the lieutenant-govei'norship on the old-time 
abolition ticket; Deacon and Capt. Moses Burt, a worth}' man 
in town and church affairs, and whose military title came from 
his connection with the "floodwood" militia of years ago; John 
JL Merrick, a farmer, man of substance, justice of the peace, and 
an influential citizen-, Samuel IMerrick. representative of an old 
substantial family and himself a successful farmer; Roderick 
S. Merrick .prominent in the church and a strong representative 
in the legislature; Roderick Burt, son of iloses Burt, a farmer 
and for years in business with Robert R. Wright; Robert R. 
Wright, son of Robert, an earl.y settler, and for nearly fortj' 
years a merchant in the to^\Ti (Robert R. AVright, Jr., went West 
in 1872 and now is mayor of the city of Denver, Col.) ; Dr. 
Luther Brewer, physician, and a strong man in the legislature; 
Dr. Gideon Kibbe and Dr. Jesse W. Rice, both of whom were 
prominent figures in town history in their time; Deacon Horace 
Clark, a good, substantial farmer, and whose sons are among 
the best men of the town to-day; Joel M. Lyman, farmer; Wil- 
liam Brewer, who raised a large family, and brother of Dr. 
Brewer, previou.sly mentioned; Timothy Brewer, fai-mer; John 
Brewer ; John, once a prominent figure in town afifairs ; 
Solomon Wright, son of Solomon, who came to the town about 
the time of the revolution and who died in 1843 ; John Baldwin, 
a conspicuous personage in the north part of the to^^^^ for many 
years; Wan-en Collins, the first station agent at North Wilbra- 
ham; W. Levi Collins, the merchant and prominent business 
man, who died in February, 1901 : and still others whose names 
are equally worthy of mention could our list be extended ia- 

( 194 ) 


However, in closing: our chapter, let us note some of the 
chief figures in "Wilbrahani 's history of the present day. First, 
there are three excellent selectmen, upon whom devolves the 
additional duties of overseers of the poor and who also constitute 
the board of health. They are Jason Butler, Henry Clark and 
Fred W. Green. The other town otHcers are Frank A. Fuller, 
towTi clerk and treasurer; Frank A. Gurney, auditor; Walter 
M. Green, collector; Lee W. Rice. Clarence P. Bolles. George L. 
Rindge, assessors; Fred W. Green, superintendent of streets; 
H. W. Cutler, Frank A. Gurney, Minnie M. Morgan, trustees 
Wilbrahani Public library; Minnie M. Morgan, librarian; 
Francis E. Clark, Henry M. Bliss, Jason Butler, Henry I. Edson 
and Chauncey E. Peck, justices of the peace. 

The more prominent business men of the town are the mer- 
chants, George W. Ely, Frank A. Fuller, Frank A. Gurney and 
Charles N. Mowry, all general stores; James Egan, druggist; 
John W. Baldwin, Erastus B. Gates and Wm. H. McGuire, coal 
dealers; Drs. Arthur L. Damon, James M. Foster and Horace 
G. Webber, physicians and surgeons ; Fred W. Green, pi'oprietor 
of stage line; Anson Soule, saw miller. To the forgoing list 
there may be added the names of Jesse L. Rice, Henry H. Bur- 
bank, Henry Bliss, Ethelbert Bliss (the extensive peach grower), 
Ira G. Potter (large land owner and one of the town's most 
repre.sentative men), Charles C. Beebe, Rev. M. S. Howard (for 
more than 30 years pastor of the Congregational church). Rev. 
Dr. W. H. Thomas (pastor of the Memorial M. E. church), 
Chauncey E. Peck (the wheelwright and one of the best in- 
formed men of the town), Myron Brewer (son of the late Dr. 
Luther Brewer), W. E. Reddington (superintendent of the 
paper mill at North Wilbrahani). H. W. Cutler, J. M. Perry, 
John and Joseph Baldwin and many others whose names are 
not mentioned, but all of whom are the active factors in Wil- 
brahani history. 

( 195 ) 



On the soiitli border of Hampden county, in the second tier 
of towns west of the Connecticut, is situated one of the most 
irregularly outlined civil divisions of the i-egion, about one-sixth 
of its entire territory being bounded on three sides by Connecti- 
cut land. In the early history of these two New England com- 
monwealths, it appeal's that no satisfactory boundary line could 
be agreed upon in this locality, and as late as 1800 the ditference 
was still unsettled ; and when finally adjusted it seems somewhat 
strange that the line dividing the states could not have been 
made a right line. However, that which was Connecticut's loss 
was Hampshire county's gain, for about six square miles of 
Soutlnrick lands lay south of the general state line. Originally 
this dispTited area extended to the east line of Southwick, but 
when a compromise was effected each state took half of the tract, 
and this action was satisfactory to the inhabitants. 

Settlement .—OrigmaUy this region was part of the mother 
town of Westfield, and its early settlement was accomplished dur- 
ing the two-score years following 1730. Tradition says that Sam- 
uel Fowler was the pioneer, and that in 1734 he settled in the 
northern part of the town, in a locality commonly designated 
"Poverty," because the land there was suppo.sed to be barren 
and unfit for cidtivation. But that happened nearly two cen- 
turies ago, and subsequent events have shown the lands here 
generally are as fertile as elsewhere in the county outside the 
river valle.ys; and it is evident that Samuel Fowler prospered 
in the locality, for a long line of thrifty descendants have come 
from the old pioneer, and among them have been some of the 
best men of Soutliwiclc in later years. 

( 196 ) 


Old records and documents disclose the fact that settlement 
in this part of "VVestfield was accomplished rapidly after the 
lands were opened for sale, and in the next few years after the 
coming of the pioneer we find these settlers on the land: Silas 
and Abuer and David Fowler, Gideon Stiles, Noah Loomis, 
Ephraim Griffin, Matthew Laflin, Israel Perkins, William Moore, 
John Kent, George Granger, David Nelson, James Smith, Joseph 
Moore, John Campbell, John Berry, Moses Root, Phineas South- 
well, Eph. Chamberlain, Stephen Sexton, Phineas Perkins, 
Thomas Hough. Isaac Coit, David Ives, Brigham Brown, Shubal 
Stiles, Doras Stiles, Sampson French, Joseph and Abner For- 
ward, Holcomb Granger, John Rockwell, Enos Foot, Solomon 
Stevens and Job Langdon. Many of the grandchildren of these 
first settlers have aged and died, yet glancing over the lists of 
the townsmen we discover that many of the old surnames are 
still known here, and some of them are represented by men of 
influence and worth. To mention them all according to their 
merit and prominence would require a volume, hence we must 
be content with the reproduction of the names of pioneers and 
early settlers, and in later pages the names of their descendants 
will appear as they have been identified with the history of the 

In 1770 Soutliwick was granted a district organization and 
in 1775 was given full town powers. The early officers evidently 
believed in keeping a complete list of the male inhabitants (in 
which respect it was an exceptional town, for only in two others 
have .similar lists been discovered) and in 1781, according to 
records found in the clerk's office, the male inhabitants, subject 
to military duty and "poll rates" were as follows: David 
Hastings, Thomas Hanchet, David Nelson. Amos Noble. Gideon 
Stiles, Benj. Rising, .jun., Geoi'ge Sexton, Stephen Sexton, 
Solomon Munsell, William Campbell, Samuel and Amos John- 
son, Moses and Israel Hays (Hayes), James Campbell, Daniel 
Wait, John Woodbury, John Pierce, John Pierce, jun., Moses 
Noble, Matthew Laflin, Joseph Moore, Israel Perkins, Phineas 
Perkins, Benj. Loomis, jun., Enos Loomis, Elijah Hough. James 
Smith, William ^looi'o. Jolin Bishop, Moses IMitchell, Jonathan 

( 197 ) 


Wilcox, Eldad Graves. Samuel Johnson, jun.. Benj. Rising, Silas, 
Abner and David Fowler, Stephen Kussell. Titus Bigelow, 
Phineas Southwell. Henj. Looiuis, Nehemiah and Israel Loomis, 
Abraham Page, xVbraham Page, jun.. Hezekiah Jones, Joseph 
Barber, Koger and Gideon Root, Jonathan Tillotsou, Josiah, 
Ezra and John Kent, Gad Allen, f]lijah Blaekman, Martin 
ITolcomb. William blather, Zur. Root. William Miller, Joshua 
Bottom, Samuel Ilaynes. John Wilcox. Trustum Story. John 
Story, Jacob Cook, Isaac Fowler, Abner Rising, Joseph Hyde, 
jun., Pliny Sacket, Noah Loomis. Noah Loomis, jun., Shem 
Loomis, Moses Olds, Samuel Olds, ]\loses Allen, Moses Root, 
Samuel Kellogg, Jesse Sacket, Jared Bush, Josiah Kellogg, 
Amasa and David Ives. Thomas Hough, John Berry, Thomas 
and John Campbell, Amos Rising, Solomon Stephens, Nathaniel 
Gilbei-t, Silas Stephens, Freegrace Norton, Isaac Gilbert, Daniel 
Lee, Eldad Norton, George Granger. George Granger, jun., Levi 
and Eldred Palmer, Gad Dewey. Simon Wetherbee, Sampson 
French. Philip Hayes and Daniel Griffin. 

Many of these residents of Southwick in 1781 were not life- 
long citizens of the town, and while a large proportion of the 
surnames mentioned are not now known in local annals, a num- 
ber of the present generation of inhabitants can trace their 
ancestry to one or more of those whose names are recorded above. 

07-ga)iizniioii. — Having within the brief space of about 
thirty years accjuiied necessary number of families and inhabit- 
ants, including among them some of the strongest men of the 
mother town, it was only natural that this people should petition 
the general court for a separation from AVesttield, for they were 
indeed remotely located from the seat of town government and 
were entitled to the consideration asked. The act conferred dis- 
trict powers on the new jurisdiction and authorized the election 
of all local officers except a separate representative to the general 
court. The provisions of the act were carried out and a full 
board of district officers was elected annuallj' from 1770 (the 
act was passed November 7) to 1775. but. unfortunately, the 
records during the period of the district character are not to be 
found, and it is possible that they were so imperfectly kept as 

( 198 ) 


to be of little value, hence many facts of historic interest are 
thereby denied ns. 

On August 23, 1775, Southwiek was made a town by general 
act, and thei'eupon took its place among the civil divisions of 
Hampshiie county. From this time the records are faithfully 
kept and well preserved considering their age and service. From 
1775 to l!t01 the offices of selectman and town clerk have been 
filled as follows: 

Selectmen. — 1775, Gideon Stil&s, Noah Loomis, Silas Fow- 
ler; 1776, Gideon Stiles, Silas Fowler, Abner Fowler, Noah 
Loomis, ilatthew Laflin; 1777, Noah Loomis, Gideon Stiles, 
Abner Fowler. Ephraim Griffin, Israel Perkins; 1778, Noah 
Loomis. Gideon Stiles, Matthew Laflin, John Kent, Abner Fow- 
ler; 1779-8U, AVilliam iloore, David Nelson, George Granger; 
178], Abner Fowler, James Smith, John Campbell; 1782, Silas 
Fowler. John Kent, Matthew Latlin, Noah Loomis, Thomas Camp- 
bell; 1783, ]\Iatthew Latlin, Joseph Moore, John Kent; 1784, 
John Kent, John Barry, James Smith : 1785, Silas Fowler, Mat- 
thew Laflin, Moses Root, John Kent. Thomas Campbell; 1786, 
James Smith, Thomas Campbell, Phineas Southwell, Stephen 
Sexton, Ephraim Chamberlain ; 1787, Phineas Perkins, Noah 
Loomis, Thomas Hough, Brigham Brown, Joseph Moore; 1788, 
Phineas Southwell, George Granger, Silas Fowler, Isaac Coit, 
Phineas Perkins; 1789, Thomas Campbell, Isaac Coit, Phineas 
Southwell, Ephraim Chamberlain, David Ives; 1790, Ephraim 
Chamberlain. Thomas Campbell. Samuel Fowler; 1791, Thomas 
Campbell, Samuel Fowler, Shubael Stiles ; 1792, Sampson French, 
Samuel Fowler, Shubael Stiles, Phineas Southwell, Phineas 
Perkins; 1793, Samuel Fowler, Shiibael Stiles, Samuel French; 
]794, Doras Stiles. Samuel Fowler. David Fowler; 1795. Thomas 
Campbell, Samuel Fowler. David Fowler ; 1796, Samuel Fowler, 
Doras Stiles, Thomas Campbell. Holcomb Granger. Joseph For- 
ward ; 1797. Thomas Campbell. Joseph Forward, Samuel Fow- 
ler; 1798, Joseph Forward. Job Langdon, Solomon Stephens; 
1799-1800. Job Langdon, Samuel Fowler, Joseph Foi-ward; 1801, 
Shubael Stiles. Enos Root. Joseph Forward ; 1802, Samuel Fow- 
ler, Doras Stiles. Brigham Brown; 1803, David Fowler, Oliver 

( 199 ) 


Utley, Ham Looinis; 1804. JIattliew Latlin, Keuben ^Foore, Moses 
Hayes; 180;"), Shubael Stiles. Keuben Moore, Thoma.s Campbell; 
1806, Shubael Stiles, Kogei- iloore, Joseph Forward; 1807, 
Shubael Stiles, Joseiih Forward. Oliver Utley; 1808-9, Shubael 
Stiles, Jos. Forward, Samuel Fowler; 1810, Samuel Fowler, 
Richard Dickinson, Oliver [Moore; 1811, Shubael Stiles, Oliver 
Smith, Reuben Moore: 1812. Keuben ]\Ioore. Solomon Smith, 
Samuel Fowler; 1813, Doras Stiles, Samuel Fowler, Elijah Hol- 
ccmb; 1814, Joseph Forward, Eli.jah Holcomb. Ephraim Booth; 
1815, Richard Dickinson, Reuben Moore, Gideon Stiles; 1816, 
Richard Dickinson, Gideon Stiles, Amasa Holcomb ; 1817-18, 
Gideon Stiles, Amasa Holcomb, Heman Latlin; 1819, Amasa 
Holcomb. "William Hosmer. Job Langdon ; 1820. Gideon Stiles, 
Heman Lafiin, Almon Gillett ; 1821. Gideon Stiles. John Mills, 
Almon Gillett; 1822, Gideon Stiles, Almon Gillett, Joseph JI. 
Forward; 1823, John Mills, Joseph ;M. Forward. Eli L. Moore; 

1824, Jos. M. Foi'ward, Eli L. Moore. Abraham Rising', .iun. ; 

1825, Eli L. Moore, Abraham Rising, jun.. Warren Byiugton ; 

1826, Warren Byington. (Jideon Stiles. Thaddeus Foot; 1827, 
Abraham Rising, jun.. Zebina Mason. Almon GiUett; 1828, 
Abraham Rising, jun., Zebina !Mason. Jubal Byington; 1829, 
Uzal Rockwell. Gideon Root, Elisha Steer, jun.: 1830, Robert 
Forward, Warren Byington. Abraham Rising, jun.; 1831-32. 
John Mills. Robert Forward. Elisha Steer, jun. : 1833, Joseph 
il. Forward, Uzal Rockwell. Elisha Steer: 1834. Elisha Steer, 
Gideon Stiles. Robert Forward ; 1835. Robert Forward. Gideon 
Stiles, Sanniel S. Fowler; 1836. Gideon Stiles, Solomon Green, 
Elisha Steer: 1837, Joseph M. Forward, Sardis Gillett, Samuel 
S. Fowler; 1838, Sardis Gillett, Almon H. Baker, Samuel S. 
Fowler; 1839, Almon H. Baker. Abraham Rising, jun.. Elisha 
Booth ; 1840, Abraham Rising, jun.. Elisha Booth, Josiah S. 
Knowles: 1841, Elisha Booth, Josiah S. Knowles. Carmi Shurt- 
lelT; 1842-43, Gideon Stiles. Abraham Rising, Carmi Shurtleff; 
1844, Abraham Rising, Eli L. Moore, Chandler Holcomb; 1845, 
Chandler Holcomb. Samuel Webb, Tarsus N. Fowler; 1846, 
Samuel Webb. Heaton Granger. P, W. Stevens: 1847. P. W. 
Stevens, Daniel W. King, Moses \Tiute: 1848, Moses White. P. 

( 200 ) 


AV .Stevens , Calvin Cannon ; 1849, Oliver Root, Joseph M. For- 
ward, Calvin Cannon ; 1850, Oliver Root, P. W. Stevens, Samuel 
Kellogg; 1851, Theron Rockwell, Easton T. Rising, P. W. 
Stevens; 1852, Theron Rockwell. p]lisha Steer, Oliver Root; 1833, 
Oliver Root, B. B. Loomis, Theron Warner; 1854, Theron War- 
ner, B. B. Loomis, William R. Brown; 1855, Joseph W. Rock- 
well, A. J. Marvin, Uzal Rockwell; 1856, Thomas Cooley, Uzal 
Rockwell, A. J. Marvin; 1857, Theron Rockwell, Tarsus N. 
Fowler, H. H. Hosmer; 1858, Carmi Shurtleff, Alvin Rising, C. 
K. Lambson; 1859, Carmi Shurtleff, C. K. Lambson, Gideon A. 
Stiles; .1860, Gideon A. Stiles, M. M. Steer, William Strain; 1861, 
Carmi Shurtleff, Abraham Rising, Luther Fowler; 1862-63, A. 
J. Marvin, A. F. Webb, A. P. Easton; 1864, A. P. Easton, E. C. 
Vining, Moses White; 1865-66, A. P. Easton, N. S. Noble, A. J. 
Forward; 1867, M. A. Moore, N. S. Noble, A. J. Forward; 1868, 
M. A. Moore, Calvin Cannon, Raner Rising; 1869, M. A. Moore, 
Calvin Cannon. Ijucien Bacon ; 1870, M. A. Moore, 0. A. 
Granger, Marcus Phelps; 1871, 0. A. Granger, A. P. Easton, 
Andrew White; 1872-73, 0. A. Granger, E. A. Steer, W. D. 
Arnold; 1874, W. D. Arnold, J. L. Black; W. W. Easton; 1875- 
78, A. J. Forward, J. L. Black, Edwin Gilbert: 1879, A. J. 
Forward, Dwight H. HoUister, Charles J. Gillett; 1880, Dwight 
H. HoUister, John Mason, Calvin S. Miller; 1881, Dwight H. 
Hollister, Calvin S. Miller, Andrew White; 1882, Calvin S. 
Miller, Andrew White, John Mason; 1883, John Mason, Calvin 
S. Miller, Homer Noble: 1884, Homer Noble, Dwight H. Hol- 
lister, Llewellyn S. Wetherbee; 1885, Dwight H. Hollister, 
Llewellyn S. Wetherbee, William F. Fletcher; 1886, Wm. F. 
Fletcher, L. S. Wetherbee, Calvin S. Miller ; 1887. L. S. Wether- 
bee. D. H. Hollister. Chas. J. Root; 1888. L. S. Wetherbee. D. 
H. Hollister, Chas. W. Noble; 1889, D. H. Hollister, Chas. W. 
Noble, F. M. Arnold ; 1890, Chas. W. Noble. F. M. Arnold, L. S. 
Wetherbee; 1891. F. M. Arnold, L. S. Wetherbee, John Mason; 
1892, L. S. Wetherbee. John Mason, Homer Noble; 1893, D. H. 
Hollister, L. S. Wetherbee, Chas. W. Noble; 1894-95, John 
Mason, George Dohei'ty, Charles H. Saunders; 1896-98, Chas. 
AV. Noble, George Doherty, Emerson C. Dibble; 1899-1900, 

( 201 ) 


George Doherty. Charles W. 2soble, Birney G. Holcorub; 1901, 
Birney G. Holcomb. Charles Phelps, George Doherty. 

Town Clerks.— Ahuer Fowler, 1775-78; William Moore, 
1779-80; Isaac Coit, 1781-87; Thomas Hough, 1788; Samuel 
Fowler, 1789-18U1 ; Enos Foot, 1802; Samuel Fowler, 1803; 
Enos Foot, 1804-10 ; Job Langdon, 1811-12 ; Joseph M. Forward, 
1813-17; John Mills, 1818; Ephraim Booth, 1819-22; Levi W. 
Humphrey, 1823: Eobert Forward, 1824; Levi W. Humphrey, 
1825-28 ; Edwin Foot, 1829 ; Joseph M. Forward, 1830-31 ; Har- 
rison Foot, 1832-33; Phineas AV. Stevens, 1834-36; James 
Stevens, 1837-44; Carmi Shurtleff, 1845; Joseph M. Forward, 
1846-51: A. J. Forward. 1852-54; Joseph E. White, 1855; P. 
W. Stevens. 1856 : Joseph E. White, 1857 ; SejTuoiir L. Granger, 
1858-60; C. J. Root, 1861-65; Luther Fowler, 1866-67; B. G. 
Palmer. 1868: Orrin A. Granger, 1869-70; William W. Phelps, 
1871: H. E. Webb, 1872-74: Edwin Shurtleff, 1875-76; WiUiam 
Strain, 1877; William F. Fletcher, 1878-81: Charles A. Reed, 
1882-83: Edward Gillett. 1884; Frank A. Osborne, 1885-88; 
George Brace, 1889-97: J. Spencer White, 1898-1900; Dr. F. 
Knight Porter, 1901. 

Town Officers. 1901. — Birney G. Holcomb, Charles Phelps, 
George Doherty. selectmen, assessoi-s. overseers of the poor and 
board of health; Dr. F. Knight Porter, town clerk; Dwight H. 
Hollister. William W. Phelps, auditors; Llewellyn S. Wetherbee, 
treasurer and collector: Lalhrop Welcome, highway commis- 
sioner; William F. Fletcher. Amasa Holcomb. Calvin S. Miller, 
cemetery commissioners; William L. Babb, chief of police; 
Monroe G. Spring, Solomon C. Warren. James E. Ames, school 
committee; J. Ellis Ames. prineii)al of high school; John R. 
Boyle. Amasa Holcomb. George Phelps, tnistecs of free public 
library: 11. B. Harding, jibriuian : Dr. F. Kniglit Porter, justice 
of the j)en('('. 

Fi'om tii'st to last Southwick has furnished to the county 
an interesting and valuable historical record. It was settled 
during the })revalence of the French and Indian wars, was 
brought into incomplete existence just before the outbreak of 
the revolution and was made full in its organization in the year 

( 202 ) 

THE To^yy of sovTinvicK 

in which that struggle was beguu. One of the first acts after the 
election of town officers was a vote to raise a company of twenty- 
five minntemen, and Jonathan Hare was sent as delegate to the 
provincial congress. The committee of safety appointed in 
January. 1776. comprised Noah Loomis, Silas Fowler, William 
Moore. John Kent, Deacon IMorton. Solomon Stephens anil 
Ephraim Griffin. In this year the town declared in favor of 
independence, and offered a bounty of 30 shillings each for nine 
men to enlist in the expedition against Canada. Later on the 
bounty was increased to fifteen pounds and eventually to thirty 
pounds to keep the i|uota full when enlistments were hard to 

Glancing over the records of revolutionary services we find 
that Southwick answered the call to arms upon the first news of 
the Lexington alarm, with its company of minntemen, whose 
names, so far as can now be ascertained, were Silas Fowler. 
George Granger, John Kent. Jesse Dunham. Elijah Hough. 
Jonathan Hayes. John Campbell. Roger Root, Zenas Graves. 
Samuel ()lds, Israel Loomis. Stephen Russell, Moses Campbell, 
Thomas Campbell, Ezekiel Graves, Levi Bradley. John Steven- 
son (probably Stevens), Israel Hayes, Amos Loomis, Noah 
Loomis, Silas Stephens, Elijah Harmon, William Campbell. 
James Nelson, Amos Ives. These men served some eight and 
others sixteen days under the first call, and all were privates. 

Nearl3- all of these patriot forefathers were at once enrolled 
as members of a better organized company and on the 21st of 
April, 1775, set out for Roxbury, where they arrived Api-il 29. 
and were assigned to the regiment under Col. Danielson, witli 
Lieut. -Col. Shepard, of Westfield. second in command. The per- 
sonnel of this company was as follows: 

Captain, Silas Fowler ; lieutenant, George Granger ; ensign, 
John Kent: sergeants, Tjevi Dunham, Elijah Hough, Jonathan 
Hayes; corporals, John Campbell, Amos Ives, William Camp- 
bell ; fifer, Zenas Graves ; privates, Israel Loomis, John Stephen- 
son, Noah Loomis. Israel Hayes. Silas Stephens, Elijah Harmon. 
Ezekiel Graves, Closes Campbell. Amos Loomis, Roger Root, 
Thomas Campbell, Samuel Olds, Levi Bradley, James Nelson, 

( 203 ) 


Stephen Russell. Of these men 14 were in service 21 days, and 
11 were in service 11 days, under the first call. Later on many 
re-enlisted and served at various periods of the war and others 
entered the continental army and srave efficient services during 
the dark period of the war. It is unfortunate that the rolls of 
revolutionary soldiers are not complete, for it is known that the 
men of Southwiek acquitted themselves with honor on many 
battlefields, and the names of all of them are worthy of especial 
mention in the pages of history. 

In 1780 the town voted not to have Capt. Fowler make a 
draft of soldiers for the continental army, and at the same time 
a committee was chosen to enquire into the action of the general 
court, the belief being that the legislative body had not the au- 
thority to enforce the draft. Soon aftenvard, however, the town 
voted to pay a bounty of $1,000 (continental bills) to each of 
three men who should enter the army; and in 1781 Southwiek 
had nine soldiers in the regular army, having offered $1,000 
bounty for enlistments and 20 shillings per month pay. These 
extreme measures completely drained the treasury and also in- 
volved the town in a heavy debt, which the next generation was 
called upon to pay. With this legacy of indebtedness upon them 
it is not to be wondered at that Daniel Shays had a sympathetic 
following in Southwiek, although the records make no dis- 
closures as to what persons actually joined the insurgent host. 

In Southwiek during the war of 1812-15 there appears to 
have been a more loyal support of the American side of the ques- 
tion at issue than was .shown in many other towns in the county. 
In the Northampton convention and the frequent other assem- 
blages to voice a protest against the prosecution of the war this 
town did not send a delegate, and it is believed that the sentiment 
here was one of general loyalty to the cause against Great 
Britain ; but of course there was a small federal contingent in 
the town who oi)i)osed war and favored peace. 

During the war a regiment of infantry was i-aised in the 
south part of the county and was placed under command of Col. 
Knos Foot of Southwiek. These troops marched for Boston 
about the middle of October. 1814, and spent about forty days 

( 204 ) 


in camp at Dorchester, this being the extent of their service 
during what was locally called "Governor Strong's war." The 
strength of the town contingent of men in this event is not 
known, yet among the Sonthwiek soldiers who took part in the 
active struggle were Abraham Rising, Robert Forward, David 
Noble, Elisha Steer, Benj. Lounsberry and Leonard Smith. 

In the war of 1861-5 this town is credited with having sent 
into service a total of 110 men, whereas in fact the number was 
near 125 men in all branches of the service. These were scat- 
tered through the several regiments recruited in Hampden 
county, notably the 27th, 34th and 46th regiments of infantry, 
and the 2d regiment of cavalry. 

Southwiek always has been know-n as an agricultural town, 
and many foundations of substantial fortunes have been laid by 
persevering effort on the part of thrifty husbandmen in that 
direction and in the special growth of tobacco. If the reader 
will glance over the succession of selectmen it may be seen that 
more than one hundred names of well-to-do farmers are there 
mentioned, whose first and only source of income was the old 
home farm. During the first half of the last century the best 
results in this field of labor were achieved, but the last half 
century has not been without its successes. In this time thrifty 
farmers have not only acquired a competency, but have also been 
active factors in the civil history of the town. We refer to such 
men as James Black, a farmer and an influential citizen; Edwin 
Gilbert, who with other interests owned a saw and grist mill; 
John Boyle, farmer, contractor and miller; Amos Eason, long 
time a selectman; Thaddeus Foot and Gen. Joseph Forward, 
who were for years identified \vith local interests; Deacon 
Horace Noble, farmer; also Sardis, Creighton and Seth Gillett, 
Quartius Black, Charles Bingham, Matthew Field, Robert For- 
ward, "Uncle Sol." Smith, Tuttle Webb and Oliver Root. This 
list might be extended by the addition of other equally worthy 
names, but the above will .suffice to show something of the char- 
acter and quality of the factors in town history during the last 
half century. 

If it be permissible that we speak briefly of some of the 
prominent farmers, producers and men of business of the present 

( 205 ) 

THE T0^^^ of south wick 

time, naturally we should feel called upon to mention the names 
of such men as Calvin S. Miller, former representative and 
leading republican ; Edwin C. Hills, substantial farmer ; Bii-ney 
(t. Holeomb, Charles H. Phelps and George Doherty, farmers 
and present selectmen ; William P. Fletcher, miller, grain dealer 
and cemetery commissioner; Frank W. Noble and H. L. Miller, 
tobacco buyers: Charles A. Reed, merchant and postmaster; 
Henry R. Barnes, wagon maker; Frederick M. Arnold, a factor 
in democratic politics; John R. Boyle, retired farmer; Dwight 
H. Halsted, farmer; Dr. F. Knight Porter, phj'sician, town clerk 
and justice of the peace; L. S. Wetherbee, treasurer and col- 
lector: Amasa Holeomb, Joseph M. and A. J. Forward, William 
Boyle, and others. 

Southwick attained its maximum population in 1830, since 
which time there has been a gradual though not serious decrease 
in number of inhabitants. At the time of the colonial census 
in 1776 the town had 841 inhabitants, and at the time of the fii-st 
regular federal census in 1790, the number was exactly the same. 
The subseqiient changes, as shown by the census reports, may 
be noted as follows: 1790, 841; 1800, 867; 1810, 1,229; 1820, 
1,255; 1830, 1,355; 1840, 1,214; 1850, 1,120; 1855, 1,130; 1860, 
1,188; 1865, 1,1.55; 1870, 1,100; 1875, 1,114; 1880, 1,104; 1885, 
982; 1890, 944; 1895, 961; 1900, 1,040. 

Schools. — In 1775, when the town's population was more 
than 800, there was voted for school maintenance the sum of 
15 pounds. In 1777 the amount was increased to 25 pounds. At 
the beginning of the twentieth century the town annually ap- 
propriates about .$1,300, receives more than $450 from the gen- 
eral school fund, and expends for schools more than .$1,900 each 
year. In 1781 the town was divided into five school districts. 
Now there are nine districts, with ten schools, district No. 1, 
which inehides the pretty little hamlet of Southwick, having a 
public school of ordinary grade and the Dickinson high or gram- 
mar school, the latter' having been so named in honor of Richard 
Dickinson, who bequeathed to the town about $16,000. One-half 
of the income of this fund was provided to be devoted to the 
support of the grannuar school and its free enjoyment by pupils 
living in the town. Subsequent changes in the school laws have 

( 207 ) 


necessitated corresponding changes in the system of operation 
of this school, yet the benefits are derived from the fund to the 
advantage of the townspeople. The Southvvick schools employ 
ten teachers. Tlie school census shows about 200 children be- 
tween the ages of five and fifteen years. 

Southwick Village. — This pretty little hamlet, the only trad- 
ing center of any importance in the town, is located near the 
geographical center, and on the line of the Northampton branch 
of the N. Y., N. H. & H. railroad. Where is now the village site 
was once the lands of the Fowlers, and one of that family as 
early as 1780 opened a tavern here, and in the same building kept 
a small stock of goods. This established the center of trade in 
the town, and in later years the village was built up in the 
vicinity. The old meeting house originally was located about a 
mile south, and in 1781 a new edifice was erected at the 
"Centre", as the place was then known. 

For many years the institutions of the village have com- 
prised the Congregational and Baptist churches, the public 
school and the high school. There has been maintained, too, a 
comfortable public house and two good stores. The population 
of the village proper is hardly more than 200 persons. The 
present interests comprise the general stores of Charles A. Reed 
and F. W. Healy ; the grist mill of Wra. F. Fletcher, located at 
the station: the wagon shop of II. R. Barnes, and the hotel of 
which William Sliernian is proprietor. 

This locality for many years has been noted for its staple 
tobacco product, and the annual visits of the buyers and .specu- 
latoi's eonstitiite an event in local history. Still, the town has 
its own dealers as well as growers, H. Z. Miller and Frank W. 
Noble; and also has cigar making establishments of R. B. Camp- 
bell and C. J. Gillett. 

The Congregational church of Southwick, dates its history 
to the year 1773, and appears to have been less dependent upon 
the town than many of the churches whose organization ante- 
dated the revolution. Still, in Southwick, tlie town did give 
material support to the mother church. The first pastor was 
Rev. Abel Forward. 1778 to 178(), and the second was Rev. Isaac 

( 208 ) 


Clinton. 1788 to 1807. Tlie first house of worship was built 
about a mile south of tlie Centre, and it is believed that the old 
structure was not completed before the erection of the new meet- 
ing house at the village. The latter was built in 1783, and from 
that time the Congregational church has been the leading eccles- 
ia.stical body of the town. In 1824, during the pastorate of 
Rev. Calvin Foote, the church edifice was burned, and in its 
stead the present liouse of worship was erected in 1825. It is 
in a good state of preservation and is, perhaps, the most preten- 

Southwick — Congregational Church 

tious building in the town. In membership the church is not 
strong, yet in attendance at services the congregations are large. 
This church is under the pastoral care of Rev. L. S. Crawfoi'd. 

Previous to the revolution a number of Baptist families 
had settled in Southwick, and soon afterward endeavored to 
establish meetings of their denomination; and they sought to be 
excu.sed from paying "rates" for the support of the recognized 
church, but without success for several years. Finally they 
were granted "sittings"' in the meeting house and were obliged 


309 ) 


to accept this coucession, yet they attended services at the church 
of their own faith in Suffield. In 1805, they organized a society 
and church and called Elder Niles to be their pastor. A house 
of worship was built in 1822, at Southwick village, and from 
that year the church has enjoyed a healthful existence. The 
present pastor is Rev. Thomas Terry. 

Among the settlers who came into tlie town after 1800, were 
several whose families were members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, and while they held informal class meetings and occa- 
sional services, they did not have sufficient strength to organize 
a society and church until 1816, when Rev. David ililler was ap- 
pointed to minister to their spiritual wants. In 1825 the society 
became possessed of the meeting house at Gillett's Corners, 
which has since been the seat of the church. At this time the 
pulpit of this church is supplied by Rev. J. H. Stoney. 


A noticeable fact in connection with the history of West 
Springfield is that the town previous to 1810 contained a greater 
]iopulation and in many other respects was regarded as being 
superior of the mother town on the east side of the river. Some 
writers of local history have asserted that the town always has 
been the specially favored child of Springfield. This may have 
been true to the extent that the settlers on the east side of the 
Connecticut were well aware that the richest lands of the entire 
valley region lay opposite the plantation of Springfield, and as 
such they were sought to be kept a i)art of the mother town; but 
there is much in the early history of West Sin-ingfield which 
shows that as far back as 1695 the inhabitants on the east .side 
were not jileased witli the idea of having a separate parish on 
the west side, and for the next three-quaiiei's of a century, until 

( 210 ) 


West Springfield was made a separate town, there was decided 
opposition to every measure proposed for the especial benefit 
of the territory and people west of the river ; and it was due to a 
combination of circumstances that AVest Springfield was created 
in 1774. 

Still, AVest Springfield as the offspring of the mother town 
never was a wayward child, as has been intimated, but on the 
contrary was for years the mainstay and support of the 
parent body. The people here sought a division of the parish 
because the public interests demanded such action. Their 's was 
the larger and more populous territory, and when special inter- 
ests were at stake, town meetings were held across the river. 
However, the present writer would not have it understood that 
there ever was serious rivalry between the towns, for as a matter 
of fact since the territory was divided West Springfield has been 
looked vipon as a valuable auxiliary to the mother town, consti- 
tuting an important element of the "Greater Springfield"; and 
to-day West Springfield capital adds materially to the commercial 
I)rominence of the county seat. It combines the three valuable 
elments of being a residence town, an agricultural town and a 
manufacturing town. 

Within the limits of the original territory of West Spring- 
field, William Pynehon and his associates planted their colony 
in 1636. The proprietor himself had visited the locality and 
selected a site for the house to be occupied by his company. The 
structure was built by John Cable and John Woodcock, but upon 
being told by the Indians that the lands were sub.iect to ovei'flow 
from the river, the colonists removed to the east side and founded 
their settlement on the site of Springfield. In 1653 the proprie- 
tors made an allotment of lands on the west side of the river, 
and thereafter similar divisions of remaining lands were made 
until all these rich acres were disposed of. They were not oc- 
cupied at once, but for many years were cultivated as meadow 
and pasture lands and also for the pi'oduction of various crops. 
Occasionally one of the settlers would establish his domicile here, 
but the inhabitants were few and much scattered until after the 
end of King Philip's war. Soon after 1653 the proprietors 

( 211 ) 


granted lioiise-lots on the west side, chiefly below Westfield 
(soinetiiiies ciilled A^awiim) river, and several otheis in the north 
part, wliich \\:is llien known as tlie Chicopee plain. Among 
those to whom honse-lots were trranted abont the time referred 
to there may be recalled the names of Anthony Dorchester, 
Francis Pepper, Sanmel Terry, Hugh Dumbleton, Miles Morgan, 
John Stewart. Simon Sackett and Obadiah Miller, some of whom 
were prominent characters in the earl.y history of the town in 
later years. Thomas Cooper and Abel Leonard are known to 
have settled in the Agawam district as early as 1G60, and from 
that year to the time of the division of the lands into ten-acre 
lots in 1707, the settlers gradually crossed over from the east 
side and made homes for their families on the rich bottom lands 
of West Springfield. 

In 1695 there were tliirt3'-two families and moi'e than two 
hundred persons on the territory. They considered themselves 
sufficiently niimerous and able to support a minister independent 
of the old society in Springfield, and accordingly presented their 
petition to the general court, praying for the establishment of a 
second parish, for. as the petition recites, they were at great 
inconvenience in being compelled to cross the great river to at- 
tend public worship. Several years pre'V'ious to this a division of 
the j)arish had been asked for on the same grounds, but the re- 
quest was not granted, aiul in order to remove the inconvenience 
complained of a ferry across the river was established for public 
accommodation. However, in 1695, a division of the territory 
was again asked, and on May 29. 1696. an act of the general 
court established the second parish and authorized the employ- 
ment of a minister. 

From this time the parish increased rapidly in popidation 
while the lands were developed into fine farms. In 1707 it was 
tletermined to divide the unsold lands among the townsmen and 
it was provided that each male penson who had completed his 
twenty-first year should share in the apportionment. The several 
localities then were given distinguishing names, such as the 
Agawam district, including substantially the town now so called ; 
the Street district, now West Springfield : and the Chicopee 

( 212 ) 


plains, meaning the territory now the northern part of West 
Springfield and also the town and city of Holyoke. At that 
time, according to early parish records, the beneficiaries under 
this division numbered 73 persons, and among them were several 
of the pioneers of the parish. 

Those who shared in this division of the lands, and who may 
be regarded as the proprietors of the second parish at that time, 
were as follows: Jose (Joseph) Ely, sen., Jose Ely, jun., Wm. 
Macrany, James Bareker, Jose Barcker, Samuel Barcker, Oliver 
Barcker (evidently this surname correctly spelled is Barker), 
John Bag (Bagg. a surname always well represented in the 
town), Jonathan Bag, Benja. Leonard, Jno. Leonard, John Day, 
James Tailer, sen. (Taylor), James Tailer, jun., Jonathan Tailer, 
Samuel Tailer, Edward Poster, John Miller, Samuel Miller, 
sen.. Nathaniel jMorgan, Samuel Frost, Nathaniel Sykes, Pela 
Jones, John Peley, Samuel Warriner, Ebenezer Day, Christian 
Vanhorn, Charles Ferry, Samuel Day, Samuel Ely, Jonathan 
Fowler, Mr. Woodbridge, Ebenezer Miller, Joseph Bodortha, 
sen. (correctly spelled Bodurtha), Samuel Bodortha, sen., 
Samuel Bodortha, jun., Ebenezer Jones, sen., Ebenezer Jones, 
jun., Josiah Leonard, Lest (probably Lebbeus) Ball, Samuel 
Ball, Henry Rogers, John Rogers, Nathaniel Dumbleton, William 
Scott, James Merrick, John Killam, sen., John Killam, jun., 
Benj. Smith, Wm. Smith, Jose (probably Joseph) Leonard, sen., 
Samuel Leonard. Jose Leonard, jun., Samuel Cooper, Samuel 
Kent, Gershora Hail, sen. (probably Hall is more accurate), 
Deacon Barber, Thomas Barber, Nath. Bancroft, Jose Hodge, 
Isaac Frost, James Stevenson, sen., James Stevenson, jun., 
Jonathan Worthington, Samuel Miller, jun., Thomas Macrany, 
Josei)h Bodortha, jun., Francis Ball, John Ely, Samuel Ferry. 

Few indeed of these surnames are known in West Spring- 
field history at the jiresent time, yet hundreds of residents in 
the county may be able to trace their ancestry to one or more 
of them. It cannot be claimed that the foregoing list represents 
the pioneers of our town, for pioneership on the west side of the 
river was almost coextensive with planting the colony at Spring- 
field in 1()86. The house meadows and pasture lands had few 

( 214 ) 


residents earlier than King Philip "s war, and during that period 
and also that of other early Indian wars, the owners of these lands 
cultivated them but maintained their residences on the east side, 
within the protection of old Fort Pynchon and the stockades con- 
structed by the settlers for security against savage attacks. It 
will be i-emembered that beginning with the Pequot war there 
was more or less apprehension among the settlers regarding the 
professed friendship of the Indians in this locality. On the west 
side of the Connecticut were the tracts which the savages culti- 
vated and after they had parted with their title to the lands they 
continued their occupancy, often to the annoyance of the whites. 
Mr. Pynchon held them in subjection through pacific treatment, 
but after his departure from Springfield there was no strong 
restraining influence over them by any of his successors in au- 
thority. When Springfield was attacked and burned in 1675 
the inhabitants living on the west side betook themselves to the 
protection of the forts in the settlement, and when aid came for 
the besieged settlers the soldiers who appeared on the west bank 
of the river had no boats to carry them across to relieve the 
distressed people. 

From the time of creating the Second parish to the incor- 
poration of the town of AA^est Springfield, the territory west of 
the river comprised the three localities or districts known as 
Agawam, the Street and the Chicopee plains; and after the 
oi'ganization of the town the boundaries remained substantially 
unchanged until Holyoke was set off in 1850, followed by Aga- 
wam in 1855. During the years following the establishment of 
the Second parish, there was a steady increase in population on 
the west side of the river, notwithstanding the fact that the in- 
habitants there knew little of the blessings of peace. This period 
of strife, or rather defensive life against Indian depredations, 
began in earnest with King Philip's war and continued with 
more or less activity until the last echoes of Shays' rebellion 
had died away. During this hundred years the region was not 
subject to more frequent attack than other localities, yet the 
people here were without defenses of any kind, hence the women 
and children were constantly in a state of alarm, all of which 

{ 215 ) 


liad the effect to retard settlement. Still, the parish grew steadily, 
and as early as 175f), just when the last French and English 
war was beginning, tlie worthy parishioners were making an 
effort to incoi-porate their territory into a town. 

Organization and Civil History. — iioon after 17.50. at a time 
when the inhabitants of Springfield were about equally divided 
by the Connecticut river, public convenience and individual 
interests of those who lived on the west side demanded a di\-ision 
of the toiiitory and the creation of a new town in that region. 
To this proposition the people on the east side set up a deter- 
mined opposition. They then had a majoi'ity of the town officers, 
and being the shire village of Hampshire county naturally many 
influential persons were living there and in a great measure con- 
trolled public sentiment. It was not at any time assumed that 
the division would not benefit the people on the west side, but 
rather the chief ground of opposition came from the fact that 
the mother town was reluctant to part with so extensive and 
important a pai-t of her lands. 

At first, if local ti-adition be reliable, the people on the west 
side submitted to the will of east side influence and made no 
further efforts in the direction of a .separation until 1756, when 
the subject was renewed with more earnestness. The town meet- 
ings in earlier .years had been held on the east side and nearly 
all the officers were selected from the inhabitants there. The 
mone.ys raised for town improvements were expended largely 
in the village of Springfield and regions adjoining, yet the west 
siders were constantly taxed on account of these things and 
received sjuall part of the benefits. This condition of affairs was 
made the subject of special action at a meeting of the inhabitants 
of the Second parish held July 1."). 1756, and it was then deter- 
mined to apply to the general court for an act incorporating the 
parish with full town powers and privileges. At the same time 
a co7nmittee comprising Capt. T5enjamiu Day. Doctor John 
Vanhorne, Capt. Joseph Miller and Josiah Day was appointed 
to see that the desire of the inhabitants was carried into effect. 

With this meeting the real contest between the east and 
west sides was begun, and the records indicate that some feeling 

( 216 > 


actually entered into the controversy. So long as town meetings 
were held on the east side the voters of that locality outnumbered 
those who were compelled to cross the river, hence no substantial 
gain was made by the Second parish during the first few years 
of the struggle for a division. In the meantime some concessions 
were made ; a reasonable share of the public appropriations was 
expended on the west side and occasionally town meetings were 
assembled there, bxit the end most earnestly sought was not 
attained and nothing short of that would satisfy the people of 
the Second parish. As years passed public feeling again was 
revived and at the annual town meeting in 1773 the matter came 
before the voters in an attempt to settle existing differences. To 
this end an adjourned meeting was held March 25 in the meet- 
ing house of the Second parish. On that occasion it was ' ' voted 
to choose a committee to consider the present state of the town, 
the disputes and animosities that subsist between the several 
parts, the matters that lie before this meeting to be acted upon, 
and the unhappy embarrassments that attend the same, and to 
project some method to remove them, and to report at this time". 

The committee comprised Col. John Worthington, Moses 
Bliss, Deacon Daniel Harris, Deacon Nathaniel Ely (2d), Moses 
Field, John Hale. Col. Benjamin Day, Deacon Jonathan White. 
Lieut. John Morgan, Lieut. Benjamin Leonard, Asaph Leonard, 
Abi'aham Burbank, Joseph Ely, Deacon Edward Chapin and 
Ensign Phineas Chapin. Through its efforts this committee 
(which comprised a number of the most influential and respected 
men of Springfield) settled several of the minor questions in 
disp\;te, but its members were forced to the conclusion that 
satisfactory division of the territory could best be made by "an 
indifi'erent and judicious committee of disinterested persons in 
the neighboring towns." who should "rejiair to this to\\Ti to view 
the situation of its parts, to consider its circumstances, and to 
judge at lai'ge thereon what division and on what terms and 
conditions shall be made tliereof. " etc., "to the end that the 
town may be divided in such manner as may in all respects be 

The report of the committee was accepted by the town, and 
it was voted that William Williams. Erastus Wolcott and Joseph 

( 217 ) 


Root be a comniiltee to visit the town, "view the situation of 
its parts, to coiisicler its circuuistances, "' etc.. and to report the 
same. In due season the worthy commissioners did fully ex- 
amine the premises and render a report of their proceedings and 
determination, but upon submitting the question of its accept- 
ance by the town a negative vote pi'evailed and the proposition 
was rejected. 

About this time other localities than the Second parish were 
asking for acts of incorporation and as a consequence the mother 
town found itself besieged with petitions for a division of its 
territory, and it probably was the conflict of these several inter- 
ests that led to the rejection of the report of the disinterested 
commissioners. The desired end not being gained through this 
means the affected parishes applied themselves to the legislature 
witli petitions for a division of Springfield by the direct action 
of the general court. In December, 1773, the town voted to 
appoint agents to make answers to the general court regarding 
the several petitions in question, and selected Col. Benjamin 
Day, Lieut. Benjamin Leonard and Nathaniel Ely as its repre- 
sentatives before that body. At the same time also a committee 
was chosen to prepare instructions for the guidance of the 
agents. These commissioners were Dr. Charles Pynchon, Justin 
Ely, John. Hale, Jonathan "White, Benjamin Ely and Abraham 
Burbank. On June 20, 1774, the town voted to accept the report 
of the convention and ratified the action of the commissioners, 
and on February 23 the general court passed "an act for divid- 
ing the township of Springfield and erecting the western part 
thereof into a separate town by the name of "West Springfield," 
the effective portion of which act reads as follows : 

"Whereas, by reason of the great extent of the township of 
Springfield, the remote settlements, disputes, controversies and 
different interests of the inhabitants thereof, the difficulty and 
often the impracticability of the assembly in town meetings for 
elections and other necessary purposes by reason of the great 
river Conneclicut almost equally dissecting the township, it is 
necessary that there be a division thereof." 

"Be it enacted, by the governor, council and house of repre- 
sentatives : That that part of the township of Springfield lying 

( 218 ) 


on the west side of Conueeticut river, and the inhabitants thereof, 
be constituted and erected into a ditt'erent town by the name of 
West Springfield, and be invested with all the powers, privileges 
and imninnities which by the laws of this province towns have 
and enjoy." 

This act created a new town according to the desires of its 
inhabitants, but it contained a provision that exempted from 
taxation for parish purposes all the lands known as the "Great 
and General Field," comprising all the territory between the 
ferry over the Connecticut at the so-called upper wharf and 
the river called Agawam. This reservation included much of 
the most desirable lands in what now is West Springfield, Mit- 
tineague and Merrick, which were chiefly owned by inhabitants 
east of the river; men of influence and property who prevailed 
upon the legislature to exempt them from taxation for the sup- 
port of the ministry in the Second parish. The inhabitants of 
the new juiisdiction promptly represented their new grievance 
to the general court, but without satisfactory result, and the 
lands thus exempted were not chargeable for the support of the 
church in West Springfield, and thus the Springfield people 
retaliated upon the west siders for their attempt to remove the 
seat of government of the town from the east to the west side of 
the river. 

Within its original boundaries as established by the act of 
1774 the new town of West Springfield comprised an extensive 
territory on the west side of Connecticut river, stretching away 
from the foot of old Mt. Tom on the north to the Connecticut 
state line on the south, a distance of about twenty-five miles, 
and extending west from the river an average distance of more 
than six miles. It comprised the richest lands of the mother 
town, and its farming areas were eagerly sought by the early 
settlers just as they have been sought in all subsequent years. 

The town retained its original territory for more than three- 
quarters of a century, and during that period it ranked as one 
of the most important civil divisions of the county, and as an 
agricultural town it stood first in the region. In the latter re- 
spect its prestige never has been lost, and to-day the ownei-ship 

( 219 ) 


of a farm in llic i'ertilo bottom lands bordering on the Couuecti- 
cut river is the natural equivalent of a competency. Within 
the last quarter of a century the central portion of the town 
has become a desirable residence locality for Springfield business 
men, thrifty railroad employees and others in other avocations 
in life, whose acquisition has been for the general good. In 
■certain localities manufacturing establishments of importance 
have gained a permanent foothold, and by furnishing employ- 
ment to hundreds of wage earners all local interests are promoted 
and are maintained in a healthfvd condition. 

Altlioiit!h two parishes were the early and direct outgrowth 
of the Second i^arish. thei'e was no nearer territorial division of 
the town until ilnrcli 14. 1851), when the northern portion com- 
monly known as the "■ Ireland parish" was .set off and constituted 
a town by the name of Ilojyoke, which now is a splendid indus- 
trial city, the name and fame of which is known throughout the 
whole land. In the same manner, on May 17, 1855, the southern 
part of AVest Springfield, long before referred to in local history 
as the parish of Agawam, within the bounds of which the 
Pynchon colony intended to found their plantation, was separ- 
ated from the mother town and was called by the old Indian 
name of Agawam. Thus the year 1855 found the town to con- 
tain only about one-thii-d of its original territory and hardly 
more than one-half the mniibcr (if inhabitants it could boast 
fifteen years before. 

Having thus traced tlie civil liistory of the town, it is proper 
in the present connection to furnish the names of pei'sons who 
have been identified with that history in the capacities of select- 
men and town clerks, and also the representatives in the general 
court from the organization of the town to the creation of Hamp- 
den county in 1812; the representatives in subsequent years will 
T)e found in the county civil lists. 

Selectmen. — 1774, Col. Benjamin Day, Deacon Jonathan 
AMiite. Col. Ben.iamin Ely. Deacon John Leonard, Lieut. Benja- 
min Leonard ; 1775, Col. Benj. Ely, Deacon John Leonard, Lieut. 
Benj. Leonard. Di-. Chauneey Brewer, Justin Ely; 1776, Deacon 
Reuben Leonard. Capt. Joseph Morgan, Eliphalet Leonard; 

( 220 ) 

THE To^yy of ^\^EsT Springfield 

mi, Reuben Leonard, Eliphalet T^eonard, Charles Ball; 1778^ 
Reuben Leonard, Abraham Burbank, Col. Benj. Ely, 1779, Benj. 
Day, Jonathan White, Reuben Leonard, Abraham Burbank,. 
Benj. Ely; 1780, Benjamin Stebbins, Capt. Levi Ely, Lieut. 
Enoch Cooper, Capt. Joseph Ely, Abraham Burbank; 1781, 
Eliphalet Leonai'd, Benj. Day, Abraham Burbank, Benj. Steb- 
bins, Enoch Cooper, Joseph Ely. Aaron White; 1782. Jonathan 
White, Benj. Ely, Abraham Burbank. Benj. Stebbins, Enoch- 
Cooper; 1783, Eliphalet Leonard, Benj. Stebbins, Capt. John 
Williston, Russell Leonard, Lucius Morgan; 1784, Benj. Day, 
Benj. Ely, Eliphalet Leonard, Benj. Stebbins, John Williston;- 
1785, Eliphalet Leonard, Benj. Stebbins, John Williston ; 1786, 
Benj. Ely, Eliphalet Leonard, Abraham Burbank, Benj. Steb- 
bins, John Williston; 1787, Capt. Joseph Morgan, Eliphalet 
Leonard, Benj. Stebbins, John Williston, Russell Leonard; 1788, 
Benj. Ely, John Williston, Joseph White, Samuel Phelps. 
Reuben Leonard, Jr. ; 1789-91, John Williston, Reuben Leonard, 
Jr.; 1792, John Williston, Reuben Leonard, Jr., Joseph White; 
1793, John Williston, Reuben Leonard, Jr., Heman Day; 1794, 
Col. Benj. Ely, John Williston. Reuben Leonard, Jr., Heman 
Day; 1795, Capt. Joseph Morgan, John Williston, Reuben Leon- 
ard, Jr., Heman Day, 1796, Joseph Morgan, John Williston, 
Reuben Leonard, Jr., Samuel Phelps. Heman Day : 1797, Joseph 
Morgan, John Williston, Reuben Leonard, Jr., Heman Day, 
(lad Warriner; 1798, Joseph Morgan, Heman Day. Major Gad 
Warrinei'. Lieut. Ruggles Kent, Elias Leonard; 1799, Joseph 
Morgan. Gad Warriner, Ruggles Kent, Elias Leonard, Horace 
"Wliite, Justin Granger; 1800, Heman Day, Gad Warriner, Lieut. 
Benj. Ashley, Robert Ely, Dr. Timothy Horton, Justin Leonard; 
1801, Heman Day, Benj. Ashley, Robert Ely, Timothy Horton, 
Justin Leonard; 1802, Heman Day. Robert Ely. Col. Samuel 
Flower, Timothy Horton; 1803, Heman Day, Robert Ely,- 
Timothy Horton, Pliny "W^iite, Samuel Flower; 1804, Heman 
Day, Robert Ely, Timothy Horton. Pliny White, Maj. and Col. 
David Morley: 1805, Heman Day, Robert Ely, Timothy Horton^ 
Pliny White, David Morley ; 1806, Heman Day, Timothy Horton, 
Pliny White. Robeit Ely, David Jforley; 1807, Robert Ely, 

( 221 ) 


Timothy Horton, Pliiiy White, David Morley, Jonathan Smith, 
Jr. ; 1808, Timothy Ilorfon, David Morley, Jonathan Smith, Jr., 
Luke Parsons, Aaron Bat>g: 18U9, Elias Leonard, Timothy Hor- 
ton, Jonathan Smith, Jr., Luke Parsons, Aaron Bagg; 1810, 
Timothy Horton, Jona. Smith, Jr., Luke Parsons, Aai-on Bagg; 
1811-12, Elias Leonard, Timothy Horton, Jonathan Smith, Jr., 
Aaron Bagg, Luther Frink: 1813, Timothy Horton, Jonathan 
Smith, Jr., Aaron Bagg, Luther Frink, Horace Flower; 1814, 
Timothy Horton, Aaron Bagg, Horace Flower, James Kent, 
Peres Hitchcock; 1815, Elias Leonard, Timothy Horton, Aaron 
Bagg, James Kent, Peres Hitchcock; 1816-17, Elias Leonard, 
Timothy Horton. Luke Parsons, Aaron Bagg, James Kent ; 1818- 
21, Timothy Horton, Luke Parsons, Aaron Bagg, James Kent, 
Alfred Flower; 1822, Timothy Horton, Luke Parsons, Alfred 
Flower, Ruggles Kent, Jonathan Parsons: 1823, Timothy Hor- 
ton, Luke Parsons, Aaron Bagg, James Kent, Alfred Flower; 
1824, Timothy Horton, Luke Parsons, Aaron Bagg, James Kent, 
Alfred Flower; 1825, Luke Parsons. James Kent. Alfred Flower, 
David Hastings, Hosea Day; 1826, Luke Parsons, Alfred Flower, 
David Hastings, Hosea Day, Caleb Rice; 1827, Luke Parsons, 
Hosea Day, Caleb Rice, Spencer Flower, Lewis AVarriner; 1828, 
Hosea Day, Caleb Rice, Spencer Flower, Lewis Warriner, "War- 
ren Chapin ; 1829, Hosea Day, Caleb Rice, Spencer Flower, Lewis 
Warriner, "Warren Chapin ; 1830, Caleb Rice, Spencer Flower, 
Linus Bagg, Benj. Leonard, Henry Ely; 1831, James Kent, 
Linus Bagg, Benj. Leonard, Henry Ely, Josiah Johnson ; 1832, 
James Kent, Linus Bagg, Benj. Leonard. Henry Ely. Josiah 
Johnson ; 1833, Linus Bagg, Benjamin Leonard, Josiah Johnson, 
Charles Ball, Jr., Edward Parsons ; 1834, Spencer Flower, Linus 
Bagg, Charles Ball, Jr., Samuel Noble: 1835, Spencer Flower, 
Linus Bagg, Henry Ely, Edward Parsons, Samuel Noble; 1836, 
Linus Bagg, Henry Ely, Samuel Noble, Lester Williams, Silas 
Dewey; 1837, Col. Aaron Bagg. Josiah Johnson, Samuel Noble, 
Lester Williams, Silas Dewey, Willard Ely; 1838, Col, Aaron 
Bagg, Josiah Johnson, Lester Williams, AVillard Ely, Lyman 
Whitman; 1839, Aaron Bagg, Lester Williams, Silas Dewey, 
Willard Ely, Lyman Whitman. Calvin Wheeler: 1840. Aaron 

( 222 ) 


Bagg, Lester "Williams, Silas Dewey, Willard Ely, Lyman Whit- 
man, Ebenezer B. Pelton; 1841, Aaron Bagg, Lester Williams, 
Silas Dewey. Willard Ely, Lyman Whitman ; 1842, Aaron Bagg, 
Spencer Flower, Lester Williams, Silas Dewey, Lyman Whit- 
man, Cyrus Frink; 1843, Aaron Bagg, Spencer Flower, Lester 
Williams, Silas Dewey, Cyrus Frink, Newbury Norton ; 1844, 
Aaron Bagg, Josiah Johnson, Lester Williams, Asa Clark, Lucien 
M. Ufford: 1845, Edward Parsons, Newbury Norton, Isaac 
Roberts, Russell (jilmore. Homer P]ly ; 1846, Edward Parsons, 
Newbury Norton, Isaac Roberts, Russell Gilmore, Homer Ely; 
1847, Edward Parsons, Newbury Norton, Isaac Roberts, Russell 
Gilmore, Homer Ely: 1848, Aaron Bagg, Edward Parsons, Au- 
gustine Ludington, Cyrus Frink, Herrick Brooks, Wm. S. Bowe, 
Enoch Leonard, Nehemiah D. Perry, Samuel Flower, Harvey 
Bliss; 1849. Edward Parsons, Lester Hamlin, Ralph Adams, 
Jonathan 0. Mosely, Harvey Chapin, Daniel G. White; 1850, 
Edward Parsons, Jonathan O. ]\Iosely, Daniel G. White, 
Jonathan W. Freeland; 1851-53, Edward Parsons, Wm. S. Bowe, 
Jonathan 0. Mosely, Daniel G. White, Jonathan W. Freeland, 
Samuel Smith; 1854, Edward Parsons, Aaron Bagg, Wm. S. 
Bowe. Lester Hamlin, L. S. Brown. George B. Beebe; 1855, 
Edward Parsons, Samuel Smith, S. L. Griggs, Orson Swetland, 
James T. Smith, Orrin Root ; 1856, Aaron Bagg, Edward Par- 
sons, Jonathan 0. Mosely, James P. Ely ; 1857, Aaron Bagg, Ed- 
ward Parsons, Jonathan 0. Mosely, James P. Ely; 1858-59, S. 
B. Day, Riley Smith, Ashley Loomis; 1860, Edward Parsons, 
James P. Ely, Riley Smith, Ashley Loomis ; 1861-62, Nathan 
Loomis, Alvin Sibley. Frank F. Smith; 1863, Aaron Bagg, 
Charles C. Smith, Lucius Dwinnell; 1864-65, Albert D. Bagg, C. 
W. Hoisington, Aaron L. Haj'es; 1866, Albert D. Bagg, Aaron L. 
Hayes, William L. Smith ; ]867, Aaron L. Hayes, William Smith, 
Harvey D. Bagg: 1868-69, Harvey D. Bagg, Charles White, 
Henry A .Sibley; 1870-73, Harvey D. Bagg, Henry A. Sibley, 
Amos Russell : 1874, Alvin Sibley, Harvey D. Bagg, Amos Rus- 
sell : 1S75, Henry A. Sibley, John 0. Moseley, Russell H. Pepper; 

1876, Harvey D. Bagg, John O. Moseley, Ebenezer S. Flower; 

1877, Harvoy D. l^agg, Henry A. Sibley, William Chapman; 

( 323 ) 


1878, Wm. Chapman, Harvey D. Bagg, John 0. Moseley; 1879, 
"Wm. Chapman. Amos Kussell, Aaron Bagg; 1880, Wm. Chap- 
man, Aaron Bagg, Alexancler Grant; 1881-82, Harvey D. Bagg, 
Alexander Grant, IJul'iis Ames; 1883, Amos Russell, Henry A. 
Sibley, Harvey D. Bagg ; 1884-85, Harvey D. Bagg, Ebenezer S. 
Flower, Taleott A. Rogers ; 1886-88, Ebenezer S. Flower, Talcott 
A. Rogers, James F. Hayes; 1889, James F. Hayes, Daniel F. 
Melcher, L. V. B. Cook; 1890, Daniel F. Melcher, James F. 
Hayes. Amos Russell ; 1891-92, Harrison Loomis, Amos Russell, 
Taleott A. Rogers; 1893, Harrison Loomis. Amos Russell. James 
M. Justin: 1894. James JI. Justin. Harrison Loomis, Henry E. 
Schmuek; 1895, Harrison Loomis, Henry E. Schmuck, Talcott 
A. Rogers; 1896, Harrison Loomis, John O. Moseley, Talcott A. 
Rogers: 1897. Taleott A. Rogers, Henry E. Schmuck, Dexter E. 
TiUey: 1898, Charles D. Farnsworth, Henry E. Schmuck, Dexter 

E. Tilley : 1899-1901, Harrison Loomis, Charles D. Farnsworth, 
IMichael F. Bui-ke. 

Assessors.^ — Henry A. Sibley. L. V. B. Cook, Harrison 
Loomis, 1898; Harrison Loomis, 1899: Lycurgus V. B. Cook, 
1900: Henry A. Sibley, 1901. 

'Town Clerks.— Dr. John Yanhorne. 1774: Dr. Chauncey 
Brewer. 1775-80; Justin Ely, 1781: Aaron White, 1782-95; 
Samuel Lathrop, 1796-98; Seth Lathrop. 1799: Aaron White, 
1800-12: Reuben Champion, Jr., 1813-21; Caleb Rice 1822-34; 
Reuben Champion, Jr., 1835-42 ; Michael Marsh, 1843-47 ; Edwin 

F. Perkins, clerk pro tempore, 1847 ; Enoch N. Smith. 1848-53 ; 
Charles White. 1854: I^ewis Leonard, 1855: Charles AMiite. 1856- 
62: Edward Parsons, 1863; John M. Harmon. 1864-78; George 
N. Gilbert. 1879 ; John M. Harmon, 1880-89 ; Elisha P. Barthol- 
mew. 1890; Fred H. Sibley, 1891— now in office. 

Itepreseriiaiivcs to General Court. — Col. Benj. Day, 1774, 
'78: Ma.ior and Col. Benj. Ely. 1775, 1778-80. 1782. 1785, 1788- 
89; Deaeon Jonathan ^^^lite, 1776-77. 1779. 1787: Justin Ely, 
1777, 1780-85, 1790-97; Eliphalet Leonard. 1777; Abraham Bur- 
bank. 1780-81, 1783-84; Capt. John Williston. 1786-89; Jonathan 
Smith. Jr.. 1794-96, 1798-1811. 1814-19: Jere Stebbins. 1804, 

'I'ri'viDiis to 1898 the selectmen performed the duties of assessors. 

( 224 ) 


ISOS; Ileman Day, 1805; Maj. Gad Warriuer, 1805, 1809, 1814- 
15 ; Col. Samuel Flower, 1806, 1810 ; Lieut. Charles Ball, 1806, 
1S08, 1809, 1811-12, 1815-16, 1820, 1827; Dr. Timothy Horton, 
1807, 1810, 1811; Luke Parsons, 1807, 1810, 1813-14, 1822-23; 
Maj. Jesse Mclntire, 1808; Elias Leonard, 1809, 1811, 1813; 
Capt. John Porter, 1812-13; James Kent, 1812-13, 1827; Horace 
Flower, 1812. For later town representatives see county civil 

Town Officers, 1901. — Harrison Loomis, Charles D. Farns- 
worth, Michael F. Burke, selectmen; Fred H. Sibley, toini clerk 
and treasurer; Harrison Loomis, Lycurgus V. B. Cook, H. A. 
Sibley, assessors; Aaron Bagg, J. C. Worcester, auditors; Dr. 
P. J. Flagg, H. A. Downey, M. D.. S. A. Bragg (agt.), hoard of 
health; J. J. Lysaght (chm.), Frank P. Sargent, Arthur A. 
Sibley, H. E. Schmuck, J. P. Gaffney, A. F. Eoyce, school com- 
mittee; W. S. Bagg. Daniel G. White, Emma L. Bragg, trustees 
public library; Fred H. Sibley, Henry L. Norton, Henry C. 
Bliss, W. S. McCartney, Ethan Brooks, justices of the peace. 

As an important integral part of the mother town of 
Springfield the region called West Springfield was the scene of 
many events of historic interest, to which allusion is made in the 
general chapters of this work. During the days of the parish 
character, which covered a period of nearly a century, the inhab- 
itants laid the foundation for the town itself, and when the act 
iif incorporation went into effect, many of the institutions of the 
jurisdiction were already established. In accordance with a 
general New England custom an ample park was laid out and 
decorated with thrift}' trees, a chureli society was formed and at 
least one good town school was regularly supported at the pviblic 

Tn the year immediately preceding the organization of the 
town the authorities had formed and equipped two companies 
of minutemen who were regularly drilled in military tactics on 
the common, or green, as tlie park land was first known. There- 
fore, in April, 1775, when the news of the British attack on Lex- 
ington reached the west side of the river, this loyal people quickly 
prepared for duty and sent its companies on the march to 

15- :{ ( 225 ) 


Boston. The records of West Springfield soldiery throughout 
the period of tlie revolution are somewhat imperfect, yet the 
personnel of its companies of minutemen have been preserved. 
We know that these companies were prepared for service when 
their aid was needed, and we also know that on April 20, 1775, 
both troops started for the scene of action. 

Capt. Chapin's company was made up as follows: Captain, 
Enoch Chapin; first lieutenant, Samuel Flower; second lieut- 
enant, Luke Day; sergeants, Abiathar Robinson, Joseph White, 
Joel Leonard, William Kendall, Jacob Day; corporals, Samuel 
Dumbleton, Timothy Leonard, Daniel White, John Kellum, Pela- 
tiah Bliss; fifers, Jared Smith, Andrew Goss; privates, Joshua 
Guile, Thomas Francis, Oliver Dewey, Abel Chapin, Thomas 
Green, Jolm Inglesbee, Joshua Chapman, Thomas Trescott, 
Vinton Leonard, Mishock Remington, Edward Ely, Ebenezer 
Inglesbee, Enoch Ely, Gideon Jones, Chauncey Taylor, Roger 
Wilier, David Rogers, Joseph Young, Gideon ]\Iorgan, Oliver 
Bagg, John Rockwell, John Burger, Abel Cooley, Dan Taylor, 
Lewis Ely, Timothy Day, Samuel Cooper, Benjamin Stebbins, 
Judah Bagg, Derrick Van Home, David Merrick, Nathaniel 
King, Simeon Smith, Jesse ^Morgan, Joseph Copley, Joel Day, 
Benjamin Loomis, Jonathan Smith, 

Major Colton's company of West Springfield minutemen 
was comprised as follows : Major Andrew Colton, captain com- 
manding; first lieutenant, Gideon Burt; second lieutenant, Wal- 
ter Pynchon ; sergeants, Aaron Steele, William White ; corporals, 
Ambrose Collins, Luther Hitchcock; fifers, William Cotton, 
David Chapin ; drummer, Lewis Chapin ; sentinels, Jeduthan 
Sanderson, Israel Chapin, Samuel Gridley, Alexander Bliss, 
Aaron Parsons, jun., Aaron Ferry, Gad Horton, Samuel Bliss, 
James Nash, Abel Hancock, jun., George Wright, jun., Matthew 
Langdon, jun,, Peter Colton, John Stedman; privates, Abner 
Russell, Abel Cooley, John Warner, jun,, Justin Smith, Samuel 
Edson, Patrick Nugent, Benjamin Par.sons, John Ingersoll, Cal- 
vin Bliss, Henry Stiles, Luther Colton, Abner Cooley, Samuel 
Parsons, Noah Bliss, Joseph King, Caleb Cooley, jun., Zadock 
Bliss, Ebenezer Romerill, James Taylor, Spencer Merrick, Syl- 
vanus Hall, ]\loses Bliss, Joseph Parsons. 

( 220 ) 


It may be stated that the foregoing roster contains the 
names of a few who were members of the companies but who in 
fact did not then live within the boundaries of the town; and 
in like manner it also may be said that the roster bj' no means 
represents the contribution of West Springfield to the service 
during the revolution. The service of these companies at the 
time of the Lexington outbreak was comparatively short, and on 
their return home the men quite generally re-enlisted, and 
served for various periods in several localities during the war. 
Some of them found their way into the ranks of the continental 
army, and on one occasion Capt. Levi Ely's company of West 
Springtield men was a part of Col. Brown's Berkshire regiment 
in service in the ]\Iohawk valley in the province of New York, 
taking part in the disastroiis affair at Stone Arabia, where 
both Col. Brown and Capt. Ely were slain by the merciless savage 
horde set upon them by the British. We find, also, that West 
Springfield men participated in the other movements in New 
York in the expeditions against Ticonderoga and the Canadas. 
They gave excellent service to their country and some of them 
laid down their lives on the battlefield. The town's record 
throughout the war was commendable and the burden of debt 
created in providing for bounties, ammunition and supplies was 
cheerfully borne and paid by the survivors of the struggle and 
their descendants. 

Tradition says that during the revolution the common— now 
the park— in West SjM'ingfield was the temporary camping 
ground of two British armies; that Gen. Amherst and his strong 
force of 7,000 men were encamped there for two days and nights, 
resting while enroute to Canada (this statement must be taken 
with liberal grain of allowance) ; and that later, in the early fall 
of 1777, Gen. Burgoyne's captive army was temporarily en- 
camped here while enroute to Boston. It may have been true 
that a part of Bi^rgoyne's was halted in the town, and it 
also may have been true that a number of his soldiers were so 
favorably impressed with the locality that they renounced alleg- 
iance to the British arms and thereafter dwelt among the Amer- 
ican inhabitants of the vicinity. That the Hessian general, 

( 227 ) 


Riedesel, was the guest here of the venerable Kev. Dr. Lathrop 
we may not question, and that the acquisition to the town of such 
surnames as Miller, Isensee, Vanganeer, Ilartunk, "Worthy, Pol- 
lock, Salter, Stackman, Ewing, Hilliam, came from the captive 
Britons, we are not disposed to controvert. The extensive cou- 
mon lands bordering on the I'iver was the rendezvous of troops 
on various occasions, and in the course of a few years after the 
close of the war the park ti-act was the appointed training 
ground of another force of men who sought to overthrow the 
authority of the state government, to abolish the courts, and to 
administer the laws according to their own ill-conceived notions 
of justice and right. 

The insurrectionary movement known as Shaj's' rebellion 
was not confined to the demonstrations in West Springfield, al- 
though one oF the leadei-s of tlie insurgent foi-ces, Luke Day, 
and a nnmei-ous following came from among llie inhabitants of 
the town. And it cannot be claimed that followers of either 
Shays or Day were more numerous here thau in sevei'al other 
towns, but it happened that the malcontents rendezvoused and 
were drilled by Day on the common, near the old tavern, a repre- 
sentation of which appears in this work. Locally and generally 
the period was one of great excitement, and except for the timely 
and determined action of Gen. Shepard's militia, the combined 
forces of Shays and Day might have captured the arms and 
military stores of the government deposited in Springfield. For 
several days previous to the so-caUed battle. Day's followers had 
spread a feeling of panic among the quiet inhabitants of our 
town and by petty otfenses against good order many families had 
been driven from their homes. In all Capt. Day's force num- 
bered about 400 men and boys, aU fairly well armed and drilled. 
Shays had sent a messenger across to Day informing the latter 
that he should .join in an attack upon the armory on January 
25, 1787, but Day's reply to the effect that he could not be ready 
until the next day did not reach its destination ; therefore when 
the attack in fact was begun Day's men were not at hand but 
were held in check by the militia on guard at the crossing place. 
After Shays' ignominious defeat Gen. Shepard sent a strong 

( 2-28 ) 


detachment against Day's horde and quickly drove them from 
the town. Nearly all the people in anticipation of a determined 
conflict at arms had fled toward Tatham and Amostown, but 
Day's horde showed no disposition to give battle and fled up the 
river on the first approach of the militia. This M'as the end of 
Shays ' rebellion so far as it related to our town, and after the ex- 
citement of the occasion was passed nearly all the insurgents re- 
turned to their homes and submitted quietly to the laws of the 
commonwealth. This eventful struggle is made the subject of 
extended mention in an earlier chapter in this work, hence needs 
no greater detail in this place. 

After the end of this unfortunate affair, which (except for 
the few shots fired by Gen. Shepard's militia on the occasion 
referred to) was an almost bloodless war, then came an era of 
peace and progress previously unknown in local annals, and 
during the next two-score years the population of the town was 
nearly doubled. Indeed, in 1790, West Springfield contained 2,367 
inhabitants, while the shire town across the river had only 1,574 
inhabitants. At that time our own town, in point of population 
and value of lands, surpassed any other civil division in what 
became Hampden county; and this prestige and supremacy were 
maintained until after Springfield became the seat of justice of 
the new county of Hampden, in 1812. However, let us turn to 
the statistics of the census i-eports and note the actual fluctuations 
in population from the time of the colonial census in 1776 to 
the close of the nineteenth century: 1776, 1,744; 1790, 2,367 
1800, 2,835; 1810, 3,109; 1820, 3,246; 1830, 3,270; 1840, 3,626 
1850, 2,979: 1855, 2,090; 1860, 2,105; 1865, 2,100; 1870, 2,606 
1875, 3,739: 1880, 4,149; 1885, 4,448; 1890, 5,077; 1895, 6,125 
1900, 7,105. 

Prom this it may be seen that the growth of the town from 
the year of its incorporation has been constant and healthful. 
The incorporation of Holyoke in 1850 took from the mother town 
about one-third of its territory and 3,245 inhabitants; and the 
creation of Agawam in 1855 took another third of West Spring- 
field's original territory and 1543 more of its population. 

During the period of the war of 1812-15, which in this 
locality was a political struggle rather than a contest at arms, 

( 229 ) 


the town made little history, yet the occasion was one of much 
warm discussion between the advocates of peace at any cost and 
those who favored another conflict with Great Britain. The town 
records for this period furnish little of more than ordinary inter- 
est, but it is understood that in "West Springfield there was more 
genuine loyalty to the American side of the contention than was 
exliibited in many other towns in the county. And it does not 
appear that this town openly declared in favor of the peace 
party, but that the delegates to the famous Northampton conven- 
tion— Pelatiah Bliss and Timothy Burbank— were only the 
representatives of a faction in the division of public sentiment. 
It is known that several AYest Springfield men were members of 
Major Jacob Bliss" brigade that set out for Boston in October, 
1814. and were participants in what was known as Gov. Stone's 
war, yet we have not to record any losses of serious consequence 
during that struggle of a few weeks. 

It was perhaps during that memorable period of American 
history known as the war of 1861-65 that this town achieved its 
greatest military record, for, as the story of the struggle is told 
in another chapter, West Springfield contributed liberally both 
of men and money for the maintenance of the federal union 
and the honor of the national flag. During the war the town 
is credited with having furnished for the several arms of the 
service an aggregate of two hundred men. who were divided 
among the regiments recruited in the county and vicinity. This 
was fully ten per centum of the town's population in 1860, but 
of all who entered the service the entire number did not return 
home at the end of the war : and to-day many loyal sons of the 
tO'HTi are buried in southern graves. Others who returned died 
at home and are resting in the town cemeteries, and their mem- 
ory is preserved with the recurrence of each Memorial day and 
the splendid monument erected in the graveyard near the old 
church on the hill. The history of the several regiments in which 
M'ere West Springfield men will be found in an earlier chapter 
of this work, hence further allusion to their service in this place 
is unnecessary. 

As constituted within its present boundaries. West Spring- 
field contains an area of about 11,000 acres of land and an aggre- 

( 230 ) 


gate population of 7,105 persons. Altogether, the town is 
fortunately situated and has perhaps less barren lauds than 
many other towns bordering on the Connecticut ; and at the same 
time there is found here an unusual proportion of rich farming 
land, the equal of which no other town in this county can boast. 

The town's lands are sub-divided into districts, not by pro- 
cess of established authority but by the custom of the people for 
convenient designation. During the early years of the century passed a bridge was built across the river connecting this 
town with the mother town on the east side. In the course of a 
few years a little hamlet was established on the "West Springfield 
side and when the place had gained sufficient business impor- 
tance to warrant the location of a post-office there, the latter 
was given the name of Merrick, in allusion to one of the promi- 
nent factors in its history. Although without definite bounda- 
ries Merrick is a busy locality and contains the extensive works 
of the Springfield Glazed Paper company, incorporated in 1873 
and capitalized at .$100,000. This locality also has other impor- 
tant business interests and several institutions, the latter of 
which will be mentioned in their proper place. 

In the southern central part of the town, on what properly 
is the Agawam part of AVestfield river, but which is usually 
called Agawam river, about one and one-half miles from the 
Connecticut, is a busy locality, known as Mittineague, which 
originally was spelled Mittineaque. In the early history of the 
region this was a favorite resorting place for the Indian in- 
habitants, who found an abundant supply of fish in the stream 
while the neighboring forests furnished them with flesh and fur- 
bearing animals. From time out of mind this locality was 
valued by the whites on account of its natural water power 
advantages, but when the town began to assume a position of 
importance as a manufacturing district a substantial dam was 
constructed across the sti'eam at jNIittineague falls. This was 
done in 1840, and at the same time several factories were built. 
In 1848 the Agawam Canal company built an extensive cotton 
mill and since that time the hamlet has been noted for its manu- 
facturing entei-prises. To follow the ownership of each sueces- 

( 231 ) 

'The Old Tavern Stand" 

A West Sprinfffii*l(I memory; one of tlie few hostelries for wliich it is not claimed that 
Oen. Wasliinsrton ever wiis entertained within its walls. It was. however, a rendez- 
vous for the self-styled Patriots who took part in Shays' Rebellion, and on tlie 
eomnion in front of the tavern Lnko Day, one of Shays' followers, assembled and 
drilled his troops. The mag-niticent elm tree, shown on the rigrht of the tavern, 
now shadows a dwelling house 


sive factory is not deemed important in this chapter, but those 
of greatest importance at this time may be noted as the Agawam 
Paper Co. (built 1859), the Mittineague Paper Co., the South- 
worth Co., and the Worthy Paper Co., each an industry of prom- 
inence and an extensive employer of labor, thus working for the 
good of the whole town and its people. The population of Mit- 
tineague is about one-third of that of the town, and all of its 
interests and institutions are progressive and permanent. 

The region commonly known as Tatham occupies the ele- 
vated lands bordering on AYestfield. It is a farming locality 

A Valley View — Mittineague 

several miles distant from Springfield, yet brought directly in 
comnuniication therewith through an admirable electric railway 
system. Tatham is well peopled with thrifty farmers and is in 
all respects a desirable portion of the town. Amostown is a 
locality near the geographical center of the town, an agricultural 
district, and Ashleyville is a similar region in the northern part, 
bordering on the Connecticut. Its name is derived from one of 
ils early prominent families. In this vicinity in years passed 
various l)usiness enterprises have been established and operated 
with modei'ate success, and while some minor interests are still 

( 333 ) 


there the region is chiefly peopled with farmers and market 

Among the several thickly settled and specially designated 
localities of the town, that generally kno\vn as West Springfield 
enjoys the greatest historic interest and in many respects is the 
most desirable as a place of residence. Here, on the bank of 
the river and extending therefrom westward a considerable dis- 
tance, our worthy forefathers in the town thoughtfully laid 
out the spacious park and established the seat of town business, 
the first church and the school house on that and adjoining 
lands ; and in making provision for ample roadways they also 
laid out Park and Elm streets in unusual width and planted 
them on both sides with thrifty trees. For many years the care 
and preservation of these highways entailed considerable labor 
and expense, but now eveiy resident of the town commends the 
action of the early settlers and points with pride to the many 
evidences of ancestral thrift. 

As a business center West Springfield never has claimed 
especial prominence, yet from the days of the parish to the 
present time at least one good store has been kept there. As 
early as 1802 a post-office was established, with Jere Stebbins 
as postmaster in charge. He was followed by Benjamin Steb- 
bins, Jliner Stebbins, Elias Wiuchell, Henry Cooley, Edward 
Southworth, M. M. Tallmadge, Michael Walsh, Lester Williams 
and Dr. P. LeB. Stickney, in the order named, all serving prior 
to 1850. The first tow^n hall was biiilt in 1820, and the second, 
the present building occupied for that purpose, and also in part 
for the high school and fire department uses, was erected in 1873, 
at a cost of more than $.38,000. Occasional additions to the 
building have been made necessary by the constant increase of 
the town's population. 

Schools.— The school system of West Springfield antedates 
the histoiy of the town itself by more than a century, and had 
its beginning previous to the incorporation of the parish. On 
this branch of local history tlie records give us only uncertain 
light, for tradition says that a school was opened on the west 
side of the river several years before the Second parish was 

( 23-t ) 


established. As early as 1654 school lands on Chicopee plains 
were set oft' and for many years the avails thereof were applied 
to school suppoi-t. As settlement increased school houses were 
opened in several localities, but it was not until after the adop- 
tion of state laws relating to education that a regular system 
was put in operation in the town. 

Previous to 1774 the schools were supported by the mother 
town of Springfield and while the authorities thereof made some 
provision for the maintenance of schools west of the river, it was 

Main Street Scliool 

not the generous support given them by the new town of later 
years. Beginning with 17U4 the records of Springfield make 
frequent reference to the school west of "the great river," and 
in 1706, in answer to a petition from the inhabitants of the 
Second parish, it was voted to have a school house built under 
the supervision of Deacon Parsons, Samuel Day and Samuel 
Ely. In 1708 it was voled that the selectmen provide the "west 
side inhabitants" with a "meet person to teach children to read 

( 235 ) 


and write." lu 1711 the selectmen engaged Benjamin Colton to 
"keepe the school," and agreed to pay him 20 pounds for one- 
half years' teaching. In 1713 Nathaniel Downing was employed 
as teacher for the "terme of halfe a yeare" at the price of 15 
pounds, the worthy teacher being allowed a "fortnight time in 
said halfe yeare for his harvest and getting in his ha^'. " In 
1721 John Hooker was employed as teacher, followed by John 
Woodbridge in 172G, Samuel Ely and John Ashley in 1731, John 
Elj' in 1734, and Nathaniel Atchison in 1735. 

Authorities do not agree as to the time of building the first 
town school house, and it is said that none in fact was built for 

Scliocil Imildini; 

actual school purposes earlier than 1737. However this may 
have been is unimportant, but it is known that the recognized 
school of the parish was a substantial wooden building, two 
stories high and stood on the conunon. The records indicate that 
it was erected in 1752, and "West Springfield tradition has it 
that it was occupied for school purposes many years— even to 
the time when high schools became established by genei'al law, 
and that this luiilding was occupied as such an institution. 

When AYest Springfield became a separate town the authori- 
ties established a new system of schools, and in later years, as 

( 2.30 ) 


the population continued to increase, the territory was divided 
into convenient districts. In the center district a new school 
house was built in 1818 on the site where now stands the town 
hall. It was a brick structure, containing three rooms for pupils 
on the first floor, while the floor above was occupied for town 
purposes. The old building was removed in 1873 and gave way 
to the present town hall and high school. At the time it was 
believed that the new structure would answer the required pur- 
pose for at least half a century, but instead thereof the rapid 
growth of the town has necessitated various enlargements; and 
notwithstanding the considerable addition made in 1901 there is 
no surplus room. 

The present admirable school system of the town dates its 
history from the early years of the century just ended, and 
especially to the year 1827, when the election of "school com- 
mittees" superseded the older method of managing the public 
schools. Originally the question first to be considered was the 
cost of maintenance, but under the new arrangement the chief 
object has been the elevation of the standard of the schools, 
while the expense of maintenance was a secondary consideration. 
This change came in the nature of radical reform and met with 
some criticism, but the benefits of the new system were so easily 
discernable that determined opposition soon subsided. Then, 
in the selection of school committees the townspeople have ex- 
ercised wise diso'imination and men of known business capacity 
have been chosen to fill that otfice. The result has been in estab- 
lishing an educational system which is not excelled by any 
similai'ly situated town in the entire region and one that places 
the local schools on the same elevated plane with those of Spring- 
field, Westfield and Holyoke. The work of a competent corps 
of teachers, under careful superintendence, has been a factor 
in accomplished results, while the cordial support given by the 
taxpayers to the endeavors of committees and teachers and su- 
perintendents has worked advantageously in making for our 
schools the wide reputation they now enjoy. And in commenting 
on the splendid results accomplished in our high school during 
the last ten or fifteen years, some allusion must be made to the 

( 2.37 ) 


services of John C. Worcester, iimler whose prineipalship and 
largely tlirough whose personal endeavors the present standard 
of excellence has been attained. 

A century ago the town annually voted a few hundred 
dollars for the support of its schools; in the last current year 
there was paid for salaries of teachers and superintendent the 
gross sum of .$23,011.16, and for all school expenses the sum of 
$31,327.43. Still, in 1900 the population of the town was a little 
more than double the number in ISOO. The schools of the town 
in addition to the high school are located and known as Mit- 
tineague (two buildings), Park street, Main street. Meadow 
street, Bridge street, Riverdale, Ashleyville, Prospect hill, Amos- 
town and Tatham. 

Glancing over the town records and school reports it is 
found that these persons have served in the capacity of members 
of the school committee : Rev. Reuben S. Hazen, 1827-32. 34-35, 
37-38; Dr. G. T\Tiite, 1827-30, 35-3G, 38; Samuel Lathrop, 1827- 
29; Henry Ely. 1828-30; Horace Palmer, 1827-28; Thomas Bar- 
rett, 1827-29 ; Rev. Wni. B. Sprague. 1827 ; Rev. Thomas Rand, 
1827; Justin Ely, 1829; Hezekiah Griswold, 1830-33; Dr. 
Reuben Champion, 1830-31; Norman T. Leonard, 1829-30; 
Solomon Lathrop. 1830, 1832-35; Rev. Thos. E. Vermilye, 1831- 
34 ; Rev. Hervey Smith, 1831-39 ; Rev. Henry Archibald, 1831-32 ; 
Rev. Jno. W. iMcDonald, 1833 ; Rev. Horatio J. Lombard, 1834- 
35; Rev. John H. Hunter, 1836; Rev. Jonathan L. Pomeroy, 
1836; Rev. P. Brockett, 1836; Elisha Eldridge, 1837; Aaron 
Day, 1837-38; Rev. Calvin Foote, 1837-38; Rev. A. A. Wood, 
1839, 41-45; Dr. Reuben Champion, 1839, 1846-48; William 
Taylor, 1839; Palmer Gallup, 1839-43; Aaron Bagg, 1840; 
Horace D. Doolittle, 1840-41; William Gamwell, 1842; Rev. 
William L. Brown, 1843-45; Rev. Gideon Dana, 1844; Rev. 
Dillon Williams, 1844-45; Rev. Lester Lewis, 1846; Rev. Thos. 
Rand, 1846-47; Josiah Johnson, 1847-48; Rev. Ralph Perry, 
1848-55; Rev. Simeon Miller, 1848; Daniel G. Wliite, 1848-56; 
Rev. Asahel Chapiu, 1848-49; Dr. P. LeB. Stickney, 1849-51; 
Rev. Henry M. Field, 1852; Dr. Cyrus Bell, 1851-53; Dr. Nath- 
aniel Downes, 1853, 1856-57; Rev. Henry Cooley, 1854; Rev. 

( 238 ) 


S. D. Ward, 1854-55; Rev. Theron H. Hawkes, 1855-59; Rev. 
E. Seott, 1855; S. D. Warriner, 1855; Lewis H. Taylor, 1855; 
E. Clark, 1855; Amzi Alleu, 1857, 1860-(32 ; John B. Taylor, 
1858; Riley Suiitli, 1858; James Newton Bagg, 1860-61, 69-70, 
72-73 ; Nathan Looinis, 1861-63 ; Eden B. Foster, D. D., 1862-64 ; 
Rev. Henry M. Powers, 1862-65; Daniel F. IMelcher, 1864-65, 
1869; Ethan Brooks, 1864-67, 1871, 1892-93; Rev. Moody Har- 
rington, 1864; Rev. J. S. Batchelder, 1865-66; Rev. Perkins K. 
Clark, 1866-68; Daniel F. Morrill, 1866-69; Norman T. Smith, 
1868-70, 1872-74; Dr. Herbert C. Beldeu, 1870; Emerson Geer, 
1871-74, 77; Gideon Wells, 1871; Sarah Isabel Cooley, 1872-74; 
Angeline Brooks, 1872; Charles E. Merrick, 1872-76; James P. 
Hayes, 1878-92; L. P. Mellen, 1879; Henry F. Miller, 1880, 1883; 
Addison H. Smith, 1881, 1886-88; Lester Williams, 1882-85; 
Thomas O'Keefe, 1884; Urbane H. Flagg, 1886-88; Edwin 
Smith, 1889, 1892-94; F. M. Robbins, 1890 ; Henry C. Bliss, 1891 ; 
Charles McKernon, 1892-94; Arthur A. Sibley, 1892-96; Edward 
P. Ely, 1892; George H. Lucas, 1894-97; Prank P. Sargent, 
1894-97, 1900; Clarence E. Smith, 1894; Addison H. Smith, 
1895-98; E .P. Bragg, 1895-98; John J. Lysaght, 1899; A. P. 
Royce, 1900; Henry E. Schmuck, 1901; J. P. Gaftney, 1901. 
School Committee, 1901.— John J. Lysaght, chm., Frank P. Sar- 
gent, Arthur A. Sibley, Henry E. Schmuck, J. P. Gaffney, A. 
P. Royce. 

The Library.— The first public library in West Springfield 
was established through the efforts of the parish minister. Rev. 
Dr. Lathrop, in 1775, with about 40 subscribers to the fund. 
The books are said to have been carried around from house to 
house in a large basket and patrons were permitted to select from 
the total number of less than 60 volumes which comprised the 
collection. This library was kept in existence until about 1807, 
when the books were divided among the owners. About 1810 a 
second library association was formed and was continued until 
about 1840. During the later yeai's of its operation the books 
were kept in the town hall, and from this our present public 
library has evolved. 

In itself the present library is the outgrowth of individual 
enterprise in 1855, but after a brief period the books were 

( 239 ) 


turned over to the town for free distribution, subject to the sole 
condition that there be annually appropriated the sum of $50 
for new books. This condition always has been more than com- 
plied with, and in recent years the institution has received 
genei'ous support from our taxpayers. The library is under the 
immediate charge of a board of trustees, chosen by the people. 
On the shelves are now about 6,000 volumes of well selected 
books. The board of trustees at this time comprises W. S. Bagg, 
Daniel G. White and Emma L. Bragg ; librarian, D. G. White. 

The Fire Department. — More than half a century ago a fire 
company for protection purposes was formed in the town, yet 
the regularly organized fire department is an institution of quite 
recent origin. In fact the West Springfield fire department is 
a comparatively strong and very creditable organization and 
has no resemblance whatever to the department that existed here 
more than fifteen years ago. West Springfield, as a town, is 
known generally throughout New England as a fertile agricul- 
tural district, a desirable residence locality, as a well ordered 
township in all respects, with some claims to importance as a 
manufacturing region ; and in such towns casual observers are 
not preinired to discover all the appointments and elements of 
municipalities which in fact are found here. 

West Springfield's fire department apparatus comprises 
two hook and ladder trucks, one horse hose wagon, one four- 
wheeled hose cart, two two-wheeled hose reels, one reverse reel, 
and one double-tank chemical combination wagon. The depart- 
ment also has all other apparatus necessary to a well regulated 
municipality, a good supply of serviceable hose, and an excellent 
system of fire alarm boxes and signals distributed over its terri- 
tory. For the operation of the apparatus and department equip- 
ment the town has four hose and two hook and ladder companies, 
known and located, respectively, as follows: Hose 1. ]Merrick; 
Hose 2, Riverdale volunteer company; Hose 3, Center; Hose 4, 
Mittineague : Hook and Tjadder 1, Merrick: Hook and Ladder 2, 
Mittineague. The department officei-s are (1901) Walter L. 
Smith, chief and superintendent of fire alarm system; Oscar T. 
Koloff, ]\Tanucl M. Custer and A. C. Lewis, assistant engineers; 

( 240 ) 


Clifford C. Haynes, clerk of board; Edward T. Fitch, Watson 
Phillips, Lewis A. Hubbard, E. C. Orcutt, Talcott A. Rogers, 
J. H. Lombra and B. Schladenhauffen, fire wardens. 

The M^ater Swppii/.— Previous to 1893 the water supply of 
West Springfield, other than that obtained from private wells, 
was furnished by the West Springfield Aqueduct company, a 
private corporation originally organized in 1855, whose facili- 
ties for a general distribution of water for domestic and fire 
protection purposes was limited and not wholly satisfactory to 
the public. In June, 1892, the town voted to take possession of 
the works, and in July, 1893, the water board presented its first 
annual report. From that time the members of the board have 
labored earnestly and with excellent results in solving the 
problem of furnishing an adequate water supply to all parts of 
the town. In accomplishing this many obstinate points were 
required to be overcome, but to-day the town rejoices in an 
abundant supply of good wholesome water. Pumping, gravity 
and stand-pipe systems are employed and are operated at con- 
siderable expense, yet the desired end has been secured. The 
work of completion and extension is carried forward each year 
under careful supervision, but under existing conditions a state- 
ment showing the actual cost and value of the system is not 
necessary in this place. The town paid the aqueduct company 
about .$65,000 for its plant and franchises. The board of com- 
missioners is comprised of T. J. Sullivan, George N. Norris and 
C. M. Woodward. 


llie First Congregational Church.— In November, 1696, 
the inhabitants on the west side of Connecticut river, numbering 
thirty-two families received from tlie general court permission 
to "procure and settle a learned orthodox minister to dispense 
the Word of God unto those that dwell there," and for that 
purpose the region now included within the towns of Agawam, 
Holyoke and West Springfield were constituted the Second 
parish in Springfield. In June, 1698, "The First Church in 
West Spi'ingfield" was organized, and Rev. John Woodbridge 
was installed pastor. 


( 241 


Thus Wiis established tlie mother church iu our town, from 
wliich there have been organized in later years at least two 
early parishes and several churches. The first meeting house 
was built in 1702, and stood near the center of the park about 
1(ui rods south of the town hall. It is described as "an unique 
structure, 42 feet square on the ground and 92 feet high." There 
were three roofs, each succeeding story being smaller than the 
one preceding it. Until 1743 the people assembled for worship 
at the call of the drum. Init in that year a bell was procured, 

The old Cliurch on Orthodox Hill 

whicli liaving been l)rokeii two or three times and recast, was 
transferi'ed to the present house of worship on the hill. 

The second— the present— house of worship was erected in 
1801-2, and was dedicated June 20 of the latter year. The old 
odifiee has frequently been repaired and extensively remodeled, 
yet it preserves much of its original appearance ; and notwith- 
standing its age of a full hundred years, it is a substantial and 
iit1r;ii'ti\(' sti-uc'ture to-da\-. Tt stands on eli'vated grounds and 

( 242 ) 


its tall spire and clean white outline may be seen from points 
distant several miles in nearly every direction. Yet our fore- 
fathers in the town found themselves in a little dispute regard- 
ing the site on which the meeting house was to be built, and it 
was only when John Ashley came forward with a donation of 
1,100 pounds for "the support of the ministry" on condition 
that he should be permitted to designate the building site that 
matter was amicably settled. An organ was first placed in the 
church in 1855 ; in 1S60 the walls were frescoed, and in 1882 
the entire interior was radically remodeled. At the present time 
the membership numbers 126 persons, but we must remember 
that within the vast territory where this once was the only 
church there are now a dozen of various denominations, while 
within two miles from the old edifice are two Congregational 
churches, both directly formed from this as the mother society. 

Since 1877 the First church has not had an installed pastor, 
yet the pulpit has at all times been acceptably supplied. The 
pastors from 1698 to 1877 were as follows: John Woodbridge, 
June. 1698, died June, 1718; Samuel Hopkins, June 1, 1720, 
died October 5, 1755 ; Joseph Lathrop, D. D., August 25, 1756, 
died December 31, 1820; AVm. B. Sprague, D. D., August 25, 
1819-July, 1829 ; Thos. E. Vermilye, LL. D., May 6, 18.30-April 
29, 1835; John H. Hunter, August 24, 1835-February 16, 1837; 
A. A. Wood, D. D., December 19, 1838- August 28, 1849; H. M. 
Field, D. D., January 29, 1851-November 14, 18.54; T. H. Hawks, 
D. D., March 7, lS55-March 31, 1861 ; E. B. Poster, D. D., Octo- 
ber, 1861-April, 1866 ; H. M. Grout, D. D., July, 1867-January, 
1871; John M. Chapin, June, 1872, died October, 1872; E. N. 
Pomeroy, November, 1873-March, 1877. Ministers acting as 
pastors but not installed: H. B. Blake, October, 1877-June, 1879; 
Charles H. Abbott, June, 1879-April, 1883; Wm. A. Thomas, 
August, 1883, three years; Prof. C. Beardsley, about two years; 
George R. Hewitt, two years; Sidney K. B. Perkins, six years; 
George "W. Love, February, 1900, now serving as pastor. 

The Mittineague Congregational church was organized in 
1850, at a time when the mother church was without a pastoral 
head. During the eleven years in which Rev. Mr. Wood was 

( 243 ) 


pastor there were more than 200 additions to the old church 
membership, and a considerable part of this number were resi- 
dents in the vicinity of Mittineague. This little village then 
was bes^'inning to attract some attention and the establishment 
of a new church there was deemed advisable. In 1852 the meet- 
ing house of the Methodists was removed from its original site 
to jNIittineague and became the chui'ch home of the new Congre- 
gational society. The building was destroyed by fire February 
22, 1879, and was very soon afterward replaced with the present 


Town Hall and Park Congi-egational Clnireh 

edifice. During this period of its history the pastors of the 
church were Revs. Henry Powers. Perkins K. Clark, H. il. 
Ilolden and John E. Hurlbut. From the time of its organization 
in 1850 the church has steadily increased in strength and in- 
fluence, and now has the largest membership of any Congrega- 
tional chui'ch in the town, tlie present number being 227. The 
pastor is Kev. Alfred M. Spangler; clerk of church, Eugene H. 
Shepherd: superintendent of Sunday school, F. 0. Scott; Sun- 
day school membership, 185. 

( 244 ) 


The Park Street Congregational church was organized in 
1871, when, at the close of the pastorate of Rev. Henry M. Grout 
in the mother church, seventy-two members withdrew and estab- 
lished the third Congregational society in the town. The with- 
drawing members were largely persons of influence and means, 
and by acquisition of other members the whole body caused to 
be erected the large church edifice on Park street, one of the 
most substantial and imposing public buildings in the town. It 
was built in 1872, and cost nearly $-40,000. This church has a 
total membership of 171 persons, and is under the pastoral care 
of Eev. William H. Webb; clerk of church, Ethan Brooks; su- 
perintendent of Sunday school. Harry L. Brown ; Sunday school 
membership, 160. 

The Church of the Immaculate Conception in West Spring- 
field was the outgrowth of the missionary labors of Father 
Gallagher, who began saying mass in the town as early as 1861, 
and the Sunday school work inaugurated and carried on by 
John O'Brien, then an employee of one of the paper mills but 
now Rev. Father O'Brien. Mr. Melcher, then superintendent 
in the mill, encouraged the work, and on a lot donated for that 
purpose the Immaculate Conception church was built during 
the summer of 1878. It was dedicated November 3 of the same 
year. West Springfield was made a parish in 1877, and Father 
Phelan was appointed resident pastor. He was succeeded by 
Father O'Keefe arid the latter by Father Moyer. 

St. Thomas' church at Mittineague was built in 1869 by 
Father Healy, pastor of St. Michael's in Springfield, and for 
many years was under the care of Father O'Keefe and his 
assistants. The property here has been materially increased in 
value and the influence and work of the church also has been 
greatly extended. St. Thomas' is now under the charge of Rev. 
Father Griffin. 

The First Methodist Episcopal church of West Springfield, 
located in Merrick, was organized May 14, 1876, but Methodism 
in the town dates back more than three-quarters of a century, 
and regular services of the church have been held here for more 
than sixty years. A house of worship was built on Elm street in 
184.'?, and was removed to Mittineague in 1852 and became the 

( 245 ) 


home of the Second Congregational society. In 1872 Trinity 
M. E. chnrch of Springfield planted a new mission on the west 
side of the river and held services in the school house and also 
in Centennial hall until the erection of the new house of worship 
on Slain street in 1878. Rev. "\V. E. Knox was the first pastor 
in charge. This church now numbers 105 members, and is under 
the pastoral care of Rev. F. I\I. Estes. 

The jMittineague JM. E. church is of more recent organiza- 
tion and the result of the rapid outspreading of Methodist in- 
fluence in the town. The church has a membership of 100 per- 
sons, and is under the care of Kev. H. G. Buckingham, pastor. 


I lit- sriiool tiuilding — MittiiK-aguu 

The West Springfield Baptist church, an offshoot from the 
State Street Bai)tist church in Springfield, was organized as a 
mission Bible school in 1870, and as a church October 10, 1876. 
The chapel, now the church edifice, was erected in 1872. The 
first pastor was Rev. O. D. Thomas. The only Baptist church 
in the town, naturally its membership is quite strong while the 
attendance at services is in all respects gratifying. During the 
period of its hi.story seven pastors have served this church. Rev. 
Hugh J. Jennei'. the last pastor, was called in May, 1895, and 
severed his connection with tlie societv in October, 1901. 

( --^-IB ) 


Cemeteries. — The original bui-ying ground west of the river 
antedates the organization of the town, and also the parish which 
preceded it, by many years, and to-day onr best informed citi- 
zens have no more than traditional knowledge of its laying out 
for burial purposes. It was in use during the early years of the 
eighteenth century, but after the opening of the next century 
no interments were made there. It is located on what now is 
Church street, but evidences of its existence are fast passing 

The old Town Hall cemetery is said to have been laid out 
about 1780, and that Solomon Lathrop was the first person buried 
there (1787). This burial tract is located between the town hall 
and the Park street church. 

The Meeting House Hill cemetery, a part of the property 
of the First church parish, once comprised a part of the Benja- 
min Stebbins farm, and was laid out for biirial purposes previous 
to the erection of the meeting house in 1800. This is the recog- 
nized cemetery of the town at the present time, and within its 
limits is located the handsome monument erected in memory of 
soldiers of the 10th I\Iass. regiment of infantry. 


In the southwest part of Hampden county, bordering on the 
state of Connecticut and about twelve miles west of the river of 
the same name, is located the town of Granville, one of the most 
independent and interesting civil divisions of Hampden county, 
and one which has furnished to professional, public and business 
life in this and other states as great a proportion of its honored 
sons as any jurisdiction in the great Connecticut valley. Tradi- 
tion and record inform us that the entire region hereabouts was 
once owned and in possession of an Indian chieftain, named 
Toto, who was on terms of friendship witli the whites and was 

( 247 ) 


willing to part with his lands lor the mere compensation of a 
gun and sixteen gaudy brass buttons. 

So far as the chroniclers of Indian history give us any light 
on the subject, the original Toto was a friendly red man who 
dwelt in the vicinity of Windsor, in Connecticut, where during 
the period of King Philip's war he was a servant in the family 
of one of the white settlers; that just before the burning of 
Springfield in 1675, Toto imformed his master that King Phil- 
ip's warriors were concealed within the Indian fort, which stood 
on Pecowsic brook, and that they were aw-aiting a favorable op- 
portunity to attack, plunder and burn the town, which they did 
on the next day. The subsecjuent history of Toto is unknown 
to us, and it may be that he possessed himself of this remote 
region of country, became its recognized owner, and that he 
parted with his title for the consideration mentioned. The 
present writer has no theory on this subject, yet it seems doubtful 
whether the friendly Toto of 1675 could have occupied the terri- 
tory of Granville half a century later and then sold his hill 
domain to the adventurous white man. Still, Granville has for 
more than a century been noted for the remarkable longevity of 
its inhabitants, and one authority states that between 1760 and 
1810 one person in every thirty attained the age of ninety years. 

The person to whom Toto sold his possessions was James 
Cornish, who soon disposed of a certain share of his estate to 
William Fuller, and both in turn, sold in 1713 to Atherton 
Mather, the latter the grantor party to the Bedford company 
of proprietors, the founders of the plantation of Bedford, the 
actual developers of the land. This purchase was made in 1715, 
and was confirmed by the general court in 1739. However, feel- 
ing secure under theii- title, the proprietary offered their lands 
for sale, and in 1736 settlement was begun by Samuel Bancroft, 
who in that year moved from Springfield with his family and 
was the pioneer of the town. Bancroft himself had only one 
son, Jonathan, but before the close of an hundred years of the 
town's history the descendants of Samuel in the town numbered 
nearly one hundred persons. Jonathan's sons were Lemuel, 
Ethan and Samuel, from whom have come nearly all the later 
Bancrofts in Granville history. 

( 248 ) 


The proprietors evideutlj' acted promptly iu disposing of 
their lauds, and sold to settlers and speculators in tracts varying 
iu size, according to their means. And they appeared to have 
interested a considerable number of inhabitants of Connecticut, 
for very soon after pioneer Bancroft located here there came a 
goodly colony from Durham and settled on the plantation lands. 
In a letter written by liev. Timothy Cooley, of honored memory, 
to Rev. W. C. Fowler we find a list of the members of the Durham 
colony, viz.: Ezra, Ebenezer and Amos Baldwin; Jolm, John, 
jun., Jacob, Nathaniel and David Bates ; Noah, Dan, Phineas 
and Timothy Robinson; David, Aaron and Ebenezer Curtis; 
Samuel, Aaron and Enoch Coe; John Seward (doubtful), 
Stephen Hitchcock, Isaac Bartlett, David Parsons, Roswell 
Graves and Benjamin Barnes. 

Among the descendants of these settlers were several men 
who in later years achieved prominence in professional and 
public life. The list is an honorable one and is well worthy of 
reproduction in this place. Elijah Bates, who for many years 
ranked with the foremost men of the coimty, was the son of 
Nathaniel Bates. William Gelston Bates, the noted la\vyer and 
the historian of the Hampden bar, was the son of Elijah and 
the grandson of Nathaniel Bates. Isaac Chapman Bates, Hamp- 
den county's only representative who ever attained to a seat in 
the senate of the United States, was a son of Col. Jacob Bates. 
Charles F. Bates, an attorney at law, was a son of Nathaniel 
Bates. Edward B. Gillett, for several years district attorney 
for the western district, and one of the ablest lawyers of Massa- 
chusetts in his time, was a grandson of Col. Jacob Bates; and 
Frederick Gillett, representative in congress at this time, is the 
son of the late Edwai'd B. Gillett. David B. Curtis died in the 
service during the war of 1812-15. Rev. John Seward was a son 
of settler John Seward. Rev. Harry Coe was a grandson of 
Samuel Coe. Rev. David L. Coe also was a grandson of Samuel 
Coe. Gurdon S. Stebbins was a grandson of John Bates. Rev. 
Truman Baldwin was a son, and Rev. Benson Baldwin was a 
grand.son of Amos Baldwin. Rev. Chas. P. Robinson died at 
St. Charles, at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi 

( 349 ) 


rivers. Anson Y. Parsons, former judge of the courts in Penn- 
sylvania, was a grandson of David Parsons. 

Gathering information from various reliable sources, it is 
learned that among the first settlers in Granville, in addition to 
those of the Durham colony, there may also be mentioned Daniel 
Cooley, William Cooley (father of Rev. Timothy M. Cooley), 
Jonathan Rose, Samuel Gillett, Thomas Spelman, John Root, 
Ephraim Manson, Phineas Pratt and Thomas Brown. A little 
later there came Jabez Dunham, Peter Gibbons, Jonathan Church 
and Asa Seymour, each of whom was closely identified with the 
early history of the town, and many of whose descendants are 
still here. Jonathan Rose attained the remarkable age of 103 
years, and then perished in the flames of his burning buildings. 
His three sons were Sharon, Daniel and Timothy, the latter an 
old revolutionary patriot, and subsequently the founder of the 
colony of Granville, in Ohio, an offshoot from the mother town 
Granville in Massachusetts. Still other early settlers whose 
names should be mentioned in these annals were Levi Parsons, 
David Clark, Ezra Marvin, Josiah Hatch, Luke Hitchcock, Oliver 
Phelps, Josiah Harvey, Lieut. Samuel Bancroft (of revolution- 
ary fame). Xathnn Barlow, John Hamilton. Isaac Chapman, 
Enos Seaward, John Bartlett and others. 

Col. Jacob Bates was a lieutenant in the army during the 
revolution and later acquired the title of colonel. He served 
under Gen. Washington and was of the bi-ave party that crossed 
the Delaware in the attack on Princeton. Col. Timotliy Robinson 
was a justice of the peace, representative in the general court, 
deacon in the church, and for many years a "father of the 
town." In the time of Shays' rebellion he and a company of 
the "court party" while on their way to Springfield were met 
by a party of the mob, and, after a skirmish near the "great 
rock" in Granville, were made prisonei-s. The next day was 
Sunday and in prison the good deacon talked and prayed with 
his captors with such earnestness that they were converted, and 
on the following Jfonday all marched together to Springfield. 
Oliver Phelps, an early settler here, was a man of strong char- 
acter and excellent business qualities. He was the principal 

( 250 ) 


promoter of the historic Phelps aud Gorham proprietary that 
purchased from Massachusetts the pre-emption right of all that 
region of New York state which lay west of Seneca lake, this 
vast tract having fallen to this commonwealth as a result of the 
historic Hartford convention of 1786. 

According to the historical sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. 
Cooley on the occasion of the Granville jubilee in 1845, the first 
house in the middle parish (long known as Middle Granville) 
was built by Da\ad Rose, who appears to have been the pioneer 
of that locality. The other early settlers there were John Bates, 
David Clark, and the Robinson, the Parsons, the Curtis, the Coe 
and the Baldwin families. In the west parish (now Tolland) 
the first settlers were James Barlow, Samuel Hubbard, Moses 
Goff, Titus Fowler, David Fowler, Robert Hamilton, Thomas 
Hamilton and James Hamilton. 

The proprietors of the Bedford plantation lived chiefly in 
Boston and that vicinity, and of their entire number Samuel 
Gillett alone became an actual settler on the lauds. The planta- 
tion originally was called Bedford, but as a town of that name 
then existed in the state a change was made as soon as the new 
territory was recognized by the general court. Nearly all the 
settlers were of English parentage, some of them direct descend- 
ants of the noted Plymouth colony, but of whatever nationality 
or creed, they were a hardy people, well prepared to face and 
overcome the hardships of pioneer life in a new region. Having 
provided a shelter for their families aud prepared the land for 
crojis, their first care was for the establishment of a church and 
then of a school for the education of their youth. Indeed, this 
same thoughtful consideration seems to have characterized all 
later generations of inhabitants in Granville, as the town long 
has been noted for the attainments and high character of the 
men it has sent into professional and public life. Other to\vns 
having greater population, more ample educational and commer- 
cial facilities, perhaps may furnish a longer list, but among them 
all, in proportion to population and natural advantages, Gran- 
ville holds a conspicuous position for the moral and mental worth 
of its native sons. 

( 251 ) 


A coiik'iiiponny writer has said: "Mother Granville, sterile 
and barren as she is, is not without merits. The good old lady- 
has sent a name abroad, and she has a fair claim to a seat, 
although a low and humble one, in the temple of fame. She has 
produced a prolific progeny, and I may say, an honorable and a 
patriotic one ; none more so. They may justly be said to possess 
the spirit of enterprise as well as the blood of their fathers. 
The sons of Granville are scattered abroad, and are found in 
every station and every situation in life. Many of them are in 
the learned professions, adorning the pulpit, the bar, and the 

I . 1 :iii \ 1 1 !•■ I Miners — Baptist Cliurcli 

bench of justice. No matter how exalted the station, they are 
adequate to its dignity. They are neither idle nor dull. Their 
views are not bounded by plain nor distance. They are on the 
shores of the Atlantic and the Pacific." 

Civil History. In 1754 the plantation of Bedford had ac- 
quired a considerable population, and its great extent of terri- 
tory then was comparatively well settled. Previous to this time 
there was no township organization and such authority as was 
necessary in the region was exerci-sed by the proprietors' agents 

( 252 ) 


and the civil oflicers of Hampshire county. Soon after 1750 the 
inhabitants began discussing measures for a separate organiza- 
tion, and on January 25, 1754, tlie general court entertained an 
application and granted the district a limited incorporation — 
limited only in that the district was not given a representative 
in the legislature. Even this restriction was set aside August 23, 
1775, and thereafter Granville became a town with full corporate 
powers. The territory then included all that is now Granville 
and Tolland, the latter having been set off in 1810. 

When Granville was established as a district a full board 
of town ofificers, except representative, was chosen and from that 
time its civil record has been continuous. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the town records from 1830 to 1859 have not been carefully 
preserved, hence much that is of interest in the civil history of 
the town during that period is lost. From such records as are 
in existence the following list of selectmen and town clerks has 
been taken : 

Selectmen : 1754, Phineas Pratt, Samuel Bancroft, David 
Rose; 1755, Phineas Pratt, Samuel Bancroft, John Spelman; 
1756, Samuel Church, Samuel Bancroft, John Spelman ; 1757, 
Phineas Pratt, Samuel Bancroft, John Spelman; 1758, Luke 
Hitchcock, Samuel Bancroft, John Spelman; 1759-60, Luke 
Hitchcock, Phineas Pratt, John Hitclicock; 1761, Timothy Robin- 
son, Luke Hitchcock, Eliakim Stow ; 1762-64, Timothy Robinson, 
Luke Hitchcock, John Rose : 1765, Timothy Robinson, Luke 
Hitchcock, Phineas Pratt; 1766, Timothy Robinson, Joseph 
Miller, Phineas Pratt; 1767, Timothy Robinson, Luke Hitchcock, 
Phineas Pratt; 1768, Justis Rose, Luke Hitchcock, Phineas 
Pratt: 1769, Benjamin Old, Stephen Hitchcock, Phineas Pratt 
1770-72, Timothy Robinson, Luke Hitchcock, Nathan Barlow 
1773-76, Timothy Robinson, Luke Hitchcock, Sanuiel Bancroft 
1777, William Cooley, Timotliy Robinson, Titus Fowler, Nathan 
Barlow, Samuel Coe; 1778, Timothy Robinson, William Cooley, 
Titus Fowler. Joel Bancroft, Samuel Thrall; 1779, Timothy 
Robinson, Oliver Phelps, Titus Fowler, William Cooley, Dan 
Robinson ; 1780, Timothy Robinson. Oliver Phelps, Titus Fowler, 
Wm. Cooley, Josiah Harvey; 1781, Timotliy Robinson, Oliver 

( 253 ) 


Phelps, Titus Fowler, Richard Dickinson, Josiah Harvey; 1782, 
Timothy Robinson, Oliver Phelps, Titus Fowler, Richard Dick- 
inson, David Parsons; 1783, Timothy Robinson, Oliver Phelps, 
Titus Fowler, William Cooley, Jacob Bates; 178-4, Timothy 
Robinson, Oliver Phelps, Titus Fowler, Ezra Marvin, Jacob 
Bates; 1785, Timothy Robinson, Oliver Phelps, Titus Fowler, 
Clark Cooley, Jacob Bates; 1786-87, Timothy Robinson, Oliver 
Phelps, Thomas Hamilton, Clark Cooley. Jacob Bates: 1788-90, 
Dr. Josiah Harvey. James Hamilton. Lenniel Bancroft, Clark 
Cooley, Amos Baldwin; 1791-03, Dr. Josiah Harvey, Timothy 
Robin.son, Titus Fowler, Clark Cooley, Ezra ilarvin : 1794, no 
record; 1795, Dr. Josiah Harvey, Timoth.v Robinson, Abraham 
Granger, Clark Cooley, Ezra Marvin; 1796, Dr. Josiah Harvey, 
Enoch Bancroft, Abraham Granger, David Curtis, Stephen Spel- 
man: 1797, Dr. Josiah Harve.v. Jacob Bates. Abraham Granger, 
Titus Fowler. Ezra Marvin ; 1798, Ezra ilarvin, David Robinson, 
Titu.s Fowler. Jacob Bates, William Cooley. 1799, Ezra Marvin, 
Jacob Bates. Titus Fowler, William Cooley, Da%-id Curtis ; 1800, 
Israel Parsons, David Robinson, Thomas Hamilton, Asa Seymour, 
Seth Parsons; 1801, Israel Parsons, Da\-id Robinson, Thomas 
Hamilton, Seth Parsons, Perez ^Marshall, jr. ; 1802, Asa Sey- 
mour, David Curtis, Abraham Granger, Timothy Rose, John 
Phelps : 1803, Asa Seymour, Jacob Bates, Titus Fowler, Timothy 
Rose, Abraham Granger; 1804, Israel Parsons, Da\'id Curtis, 
Titus Fowler, John Phelps, James Coe; 1805, Israel Parsons, 
John Phelps. Abraham Granger; 1806, Ezra Marvin, Jacob 
Bates, Abraham Granger; 1807, Israel Parsons, Joel Robinson, 
Abraham Granger; 1808, Amos Root. Joel Robinson, Abraham 
Granger; 1809, Israel Parsons, John Phelps, Wm. Twining, 2d.; 
1810, Asa Se\nnour, David Curtis, Wm. Twining, James Coe, 
Joel Parsons; 1811, Asa Se.vmour, Joel Parsons, James Barlow; 
1812, Asa Seymour, Hezekiah Robinson, Lyman Baldwin; 1813, 
Israel Parsons, Hezekiah Robinson, Elihu Stow; 1814, James 
Barlow, Hezekiah Robinson, Peny Babcock; 1815, James Bar- 
low, Perry Babcock, Joel Root. Lyman Baldwin, Stephen Spel- 
man; 1816, Lyman Baldwin, Joel Root, Isaac Miller, James 
Cooley, John Robinson: 1817, Israel Parsons. Joel Root, John 

( 254 ) 


Selden, Lyman Baldwin, Dudley Humphrey; 1818, Patrick 
Boies, Joel Root, Hezekiah Robinson, E. Barlow, Jr., Nathan 
Parsons; 1819, John Selden, Hezekiah Robinson, James Barlow 

1820, Francis Stebbins, James Barlow, Hezekiah Robinson 

1821, Francis Stebbins, James Barlow, Jonathan B. Bancroft 

1822, Francis Stebbins, Bela Bancroft, Denison Pai'sons; 1823, 
James Barlow, Denison Parsons, William IMarvin ; 1824, Denison 
Parsons, William I\Iarviii, Benjamin Barnes, Jr. ; 1825, Denison 
Parsons, Joel Root, Stephen Spelman ; 1826, Hezekiah Robinson, 
Joel Root, Nathan Parsons; 1827, Stephen Spelman, Hezekiah 
Robinson, James Barlow ; 1828, Hezekiali Robinson, James Bar- 
low, Nathan Parsons ; 1829, James Cooley, Noah Cooley, Jonathan 
B. Bancroft ; 1830, Noah Cooley, Elijah Seymour, Vincent Hol- 
comb; 1831-1858, records missing; 1859, (). Z. Hugens, Jas. H. 
Andrews, James P. Cooley ; I860, D. M. Wheeler, 0. Z. Hugens, 
Jas. H. Andrews; 1861, Edmund Barlow, D. M. AVheeler, Edward 
Holcomb; 1862, John D. Bifley, Wm. Wells, James W. Spelman; 
1863, Jas. W. Spelman, R. H. Barlow, Daniel H. Drake; 1864, 
D. M. Wheeler, Franklin Robinson, D. H. Drake; 1865, R. H. 
Barlow, Silas Noble, James W. Spelman; 1866, W. W. Baron, 

D. H. Drake, L. B. Marks ; 1867, James W. Spelman, Edwin Sey- 
mour, James H. Andrews ; 1868, James W. Johnson, Edwin Sey- 
mour, Nelson Goddard; 1869, E. H. Seymour, James 0. Rose, 
James W. Johnson; 1870, E. H. Seymour, S. O.-Brocker, Francis 
Clark; 1871, Rufus Smith, James H. Seymour, William Clark; 
1872, Rufus Smith, Wm. C. Clark, E. L. Brown; 1873, Wm. C. 
Clark, E. H. Seymour, James W. Johnson ; 1874, Wm. C. Clark, 
Orville Carpenter, G. W. Territt ; 1875, Orville Carpenter, M. J. 
Rose, Rufus Smith ; 1876, Orville Carpenter, M. J. Rose, L. B. 
Marks; 1877-78, Miles J. Rose, E. L. Brown, William E. Barnes; 
1879-80, J. C. Carpenter, E. L. Brown, William E. Barnes; 1881, 
J. C. Carpenter, Milo Miller, Wm. E. Barnes; 1882, J. C. Car- 
penter, James H. Seymour, M. C. Pender ; 1883, J. C. Carpenter, 
jM. C. Pender, D. A. Clark; 1884-85, J. C. Carpenter, M. C. 
Pender, M. V. Stow; 1886-88, J. C. Carpenter, M. C. Pender, 

E. F. Roberts; 1889-90, Samuel B. Root, Wm. E. Barnes, E. F. 
Roberts; 1891, E. H. Seymour, W. E. Barnes, W. H. Spelman; 

( 255 ) 


1892, E. H. Seymour, J. C. Carpenter, Chas. D. Treat; 1893-94, 
E. H. Seymour, W. E. Barnes, M. J. Rose; 1895, E. H. Seymour, 
W. E. Barnes, C. AV. Ives; 1896, E. II. Seymour, E. P. Sullivan, 
C. AV. Ives; 1897-98, E. H. Seymour, E. P. Sullivan, Joseph 
Welch : 1899, E. H. Seymour, C. L. Stow, Joseph Welch ; 190U, 
E. P. Sullivan, C. L. Stow, Joseph Welch; 1901, L. F. Henry, 
W. S. Pomeroy, Joseph Welch. 

Town Clerks: Jonathan Church, 1754; Joseph Clark, 
1755-56; Timothy Robinson, 1757-76; Joel Bancroft, 1777; 
Oliver Phelps, 1778-86; David Robinson, 1787-96; John Phelps, 
1797-99; Israel Parsons, 1800-01; John Phelps, 1802-3; Israel 
Parsons, 1803; John Phelps, 1804-7; Thaddeus Squier, 1808-9; 
John Phelps, 1810-11; James Cooley, 1811; John Phelps, 
1812-13 ; Joel Parsons, 1814 ; James Cooley, 1815 ; Patrick Boies, 
1816 ; James Cooley, 1817 ; Patrick Boies, 1818 ; James Cooley, 
1819; Patrick Boies, 1820; James Cooley, 1821; Patrick Boies, 
1822 ; James Cooley, 1823 ; Vincent Holcomb, 1824 ; James 
Cooley, 1825: Vincent Holcomb, 1826; James Cooley. 1827; 
Patrick Boies. 1828; Elijah Seymour, 1829; Patrick Boies, 1830; 
no record from 1830 to 1859; Chapin F. Brown, 1859; W. L. 
Boies, I860: Ralph S. Brown, 1861; Lyman W. Shepard, 1862; 
Ralph S. Brown, 1863; Lyman W. Shepard, 1864; Ralph S. 
Brown, 1865 ; Lyman W. Shepard, 1866 ; J. M. Gibbons, 1867-71 ; 
Ralph S. Brown. 1872-74: J. M. Gibbons, 1875: Ralph S. Brown. 
1876-77; J. M. Gibbons, 1878-89; J. Sweet, 1890; E. E. Smith, 
1891-1900; P. N. Gibbons, 1901. 

Toini Officers, 1901: Joseph Welch (chm.), Lawrence F, 
Henry, William S. Pomeroy, selectmen, assessors, overseers of 
the poor, and board of health ; Fred N. Gibbons, town clerk and 
treasurer; Charles A. Clark, Ralph G. Hires, auditors: Charles 
H. Treat, collector; Roswell O. Rowley, Chas. A. Sheets, consta- 
bles; Clinton L. Stow, superintendent of streets; Miles J. Rose, 
J. W. Phelon, E. H. Seymour, Joseph Welch, justices of the 
peace; Silas B. Root (chm.). Ralph B. Cooley, Wm. S. Pomeroy, 
trustees of Granville public library: B. F. Hurlburt. librarian. 

At the time of the colonial census in 1776, hardly more than 
two score years after the first settlements were made in this part 

( 256 ) 


of old Hampshire county, it was found that the whole numbei" 
of inhabitants on the plantation was 1,126, the district then 
standing fifth in population among the towns comprising the 
county. During the next fifteen years the population increased 
rapidly, and in 1790 Granville contained four hundred more 
inhabitants than Springfield, although its territory was less in 
extent. The maximum population in this town was reached in 
1800, the number of inhabitants then being a little more than 
2.800. After Tolland was taken ot? the mother town retained its 
comparative numerical strength until about 1830, since which 
time the tide of settlement has gradually turned toward the 
commercial centers, and to-day Granville has 500 less population 
than in 1810, although during that time there has not been any 
reduction in its area. However, without an attempt to explain 
the reasons for this decrease, let us have recourse to the census 
reports and discover the fluctuations in population of the town 
since the colonial census of 1776, viz.: In 1776 the number of 
inhabitants was 1,126; 1790, 1,979; 1800, 2,309; 1810, 1,504; 
1820, 1,643; 1830, 1,649; 1840, 1,414; 1850, 1,305; 1860, 1,385; 
1865, 1,.367; 1870, 1,293; 1875, 1,240; 1880, 1,205; 1885, 1,193; 
1890, 1,061; 1895, 1,005; 1900, 1,050. 

From the period of its earliest settlement Granville has had 
an interesting history. As an early settled region its inhabitants 
were almost wholly from the eastern localities of the province of 
^Massachusetts Bay and the large colonies of Connecticut, hence 
they were accustomed to tlie hardships incident to pioneer life 
and also pi'epared to withstand the depredations of the un- 
friendly Indians who frequently infested the region. Fortu- 
nately, however, we have not to record any savage attacks upon 
the settlers in this peaceful locality, although during the closing 
years of the French wars the fi-ontier was constantly harrassed 
by marauding bands of wai-riors who plundered and burned 
wherever chance presented an opportunity. Biit within a very 
few years after the echoes of the French and English war 
had died away the town was thro'wn into a state of excitement 
on account of the alarming difficulties between the mother 
country and her American colonies. 

17-3 ( 257 ) 


III the stri|i!irle for independence Granville played an active 
part ill the advocacy of American freedom and in sending the 
strongest elemeiil of its poiiulatiou to bear arms in that great 
cause. The mounted courier who rode into Springtield with the 
news of the attack on Lexington, also warned the minutemen of 
Granville, and on the 29th of April. 1775, Capt. Lebbeus Ball's 
company marched from the town for Boston. This was a notable 
band of strong young men who had previously organized them- 
selves into a militia company for just such an emergency. The 
whole town, too, was truly loyal, and by way of encouragement 
voted a small bounty to each man who would enlist for service 
against the British. The call to arms met with ready response, 
and throughout the long period of the war Granville's record for 
patriotism was as honorable as that of any town in the entire re- 
gion. Having recourse to an old record, a roster of Capt. Ball's 
company of minutemen has been found, and may be regarded 
as reasonably accurate. A few of the men returned to their 
homes after a few days' service, but the majority were regularly 
enlisted and served as occasion required, some in the provincial 
regiments and others in the continental army. 

Capt. Ball's company comprised these men: Lebbeus Ball, 
captain: Lemuel Bancroft, first lieutenant; Jesse ^Munson, second 
lieutenant; John Stiles, Benj. Stow, Elijah Stiles, Joel Bancroft, 
sergeants; Ebenezer Smith, Jacob Bates, John CornweU, 
Jonathan Forbes, corporals; Jlerrick Hitchcock, fifer; John 
Wright, Asher Granger, Ebenezer Curtis, Linus Bates, Lemuel 
Haynes, David Rose, Reuben Hickox, Ebenezer Gould, Elijah 
Rose, Ebenezer Barlow, Gad Rose, Peter Gibbons, Jesse Miller, 
Amos Clark, Albert Black, Russell Rose, Fenner Foster, Daniel 
Rose, Seth Granger, Israel Coe, Daniel Cooley, John Bancroft, 
George Hubbard, Abner Barlow. Eber Spelman, Richard Brown, 
Ephraim Munson, Jonathan Rose, Stephen Wright. Jeremiah 
Griswold, Abner Rose, privates. 

Mr. Holland's history of "Western IVIassaehusetts says that 
Capt. Ball's company comprised 60 men, nearly all of whom 
were residents of the town. In 1776 a delegate was sent to the 
Northampton conveiition. and in the same year a second company 

( 258 ) 


from the town, of 73 men, formed a part of the 5th regiment of 
state troops commanded by Col. Moseley of Westtield. The 
ofticers of this company were Wm. Cooley, captain; Edmund 
Barlow, first lieutenant ; Samuel Bancroft, Jr., second lieutenant ; 
Richard Dickinson, Joel Strong, Samuel Williams, sergeants; 
Joel Bancroft, clerk; Samuel Stiles, drummer; Timothy Spel- 
man, fifer; John Cooley, Thomas Ciillett, James Coe, corporals. 
One record says that fourteen Granville men laid down their lives 
in the service during the war. and mentions Isaac Chapman, who 
fell at Ticonderoga ; Deacon Luke Hitchcock, who died en route 
home and was buried in Springfield; Euos Howe and John 
Bartlett. In the old cemetery in West Granville there are buried 
these old revolutionary patriots : Linus Bates, Jonathan Corn- 
well, Enoch Coe, Seth Coe, Jacob Baldwin, Titus Hubbard, Ezra 
Baldwin, Israel Canfield, David Bates, Col. Timothy Robinson, 
Col. Seth Parsons, Capt. Dan Robinson, Capt. Benj. Barnes, 
Lieut. John Tibballs, Capt. Aaron Coe, Alexander Stewart, Jesse 
Hall. Lemuel Haynes, Amos Baldwin, Samuel Baldwin. 

ilany present residents in Granville and hundreds of others 
who have gone therefrom to other localities can trace their an- 
cestry to some of these old heroes of the revolution. Following 
the period of the war the townspeople returned to the peaceful 
arts of agriculture and trade, and while the disturbed conditions 
which arose through the rebellious action of Shays' insurgent 
horde had its effect upon the town, we are not aware that any 
Granville citizens took sides with the riotous element, but they 
did lend assistance to suppress it. In the troublous period just 
preceding the war of 1812-15 the town showed decided leanings 
toward federalism, and sent a delegate (David Curtis) to the 
"peace" convention at Northampton. From that time to the war 
of 18fil-5 no untoward event marred the progress of local affairs 
and peace and prosperity prevailed on every hand. During the 
war last mentioned this town furnished about 125 men for the 
service, nearly all of whom were attached to the infantry and 
artillery regiments to which the county contributed. 

One of the most notable events in the history of the town 
was the semi-centennial festival— the Granville jubilee— which 

( 259 ) 


was celebrated August 27, 1845, in conimemoration of the fiftieth 
year of the pastorate of Rev. Timothy M. Cooley of the First 
Church of Christ in Granville. The exercises of the occasion 
were continued two days, and comjjrised addresses, reading of 
especially written poems, and a powerful historical sei'mon by 
the venerable Dr. Cooley himself. Strictly, the celebration was 
an affair of the church, yet it resolved itself into a general jubilee 
gathering in which all the townspeople took an earnest part, 
while hundreds came from other localities. When the services 
were ended the assemblage adjourned to meet again half a cen- 
tury later, and accordingly, on August 28, 1895, the church and 

The cluircli on Granville Hill 

people enjoyed another jubilee festival, although few indeed 
of the participants in the first event were then present. 

The foregoing brief allusion to the jubilee ceremonies 
naturally suggests a like reference to the history of the chiirch 
in Granville, w'hieh in fact antedates the creation of the town 
and reaches back to the days of the Bedford plantation. "The 
First Church of Christ'' in Granville was formed in 17'44, as a 
result of the preaching of Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, 
which was the means of a revival known as the "Great Awaken- 
ing." The first pastor, Kev. Moses Tuttle, was ordained and 
settled in 1747, and the erection of the first church edifice was 
largely due to his efforts, the structure standing on the next hill 

( 260 ) 


west of the present site. The edifice uow in use by the society 
was built iu 1802, and was thoroughly repaired in 1890. Mr. 
Tuttle was succeeded in the pastorate in 1756 by Rev. Jedediah 
Smith, who retired in 1776. Dr. Cooley became pastor in 179o 
and ministered to the spiritual wants of the inhabitants until 
18.54, a period of fifty-nine years. For more than 150 years the 
church has been an institution for good in the liistoiy of the 
town, and during all that time its record has been continuous. 
On its membership rolls is found the names of hundreds of 
persons who were well known in local annals, but at the present 
day the number of members does not exceed 75. The pastor at 
this time is Rev. Gilbert A. Curtis. 

A second Congregational society in Granville was formed m 
the middle parish in 1781, and took the name of West Granville 
church upon the separation of Tolland from the mother town. 
Indeed the church societies in what now is AVest Granville also 
in Tolland were oftshoots from the parent society to which refer- 
ence has been made. In 1786 the West parish settled its first 
pastor. Rev. Aaron Booge. and in 1788 a meeting house was 
erected. The society has since maintained a healthful existence, 
although it has not been self-supporting at all times. 

The Baptist church in Gran^nlle, the seat of the society 
being at Granville Corners, was organized by dissentients from 
the mother Congregational society, and dates its history from 
1791. Previous to that year the constituent members were 
known as "Separatists." A house of worship was erected in 
1800 and the society has always enjoyed a continuous existence 
and comparatively healthful condition in respect to numerical 
strength. The church is now under the pastoral care of Rev. 
Benj. F. Hurlburt. 

A Universalist society was formed at Granville Corners m 
1863, and a church edifice was built the same year. Numerically 
the society never has been strong and during the last quarter of 
a century only occasional meetings have been held. 

In matters pertaining to the educational welfare of its youth, 
this town has long held an enviable reputation among the civil 
divisions of the country; but owing to the absence of early 

( 261 ) 


records, little is known concerning' the eai'liest schools, and only 
tradition, with the positive knowledge that the town has reared, 
educated and sent out into professional and public life many 
strong men, is the basis of the inference that the old-time schools 
of Granville nuist have been of high character to produce such 
results. The old academic school at West Granville was a known 
factor in this work for many years, but long ago that once 
famous institution gave way to the improved free school system 
inaugurated iinder the state legislative enactments. 

According to the present disposition of school interests the 
town is divided into eight districts, and a good school is main- 
tained in each. There are now in the town about 220 children 
between the ages of five and fifteen yeai-s, for whose instruction 
eight teachers are annually employed. The town raises by an- 
mial tax approximately |2,800, and shares in the public school 
fund about $550. The amount annually expended for school 
purposes is about .$3,550. The school committee at this time 
comprises Alice I\I. Carpenter (chm.), Joseph Welch and Benj. 
F. Hurlburt. 

During the period of its history there have been established 
within the limits of the town sevei'al small villages and hamlets, 
for the purposes of trade, manufacture and public assemblages. 
They are known as Granville Corners, East Granville and West 
Granville. Originally Tolland was called West Granville, while 
the present hamlet, so-called, was designated the IMiddle parish. 

West Granville in local history is a place of little impor- 
tance, having no considerable industries and only one store. It 
is, however, a convenient trading center, and Joseph Welch, 
general merchant, siipplies the entire locality with all which the 
townsmen must needs ])ureliase. He also is the postmaster, one 
of the selectmen, and withal one of the prominent men of the 
w-est part of the town. Here. too. is the West Granville Congre- 
gational church, the remnant of the Dickinson library (kept in 
the meeting house gallery), the old academy building (now used 
by the women's sewing circle and for other public purposes), 
and about twenty dwellings. The district school stands on a 
hill just outside the hamlet proper. 

( 2G2 ) 


Granville, the oldest of the three villages of the town, and 
sometimes called East Granville, the seat of town business, is a 
hamlet of perhaps 200 inhabitants. Its institutions comprise 
the town hall, the church, the district school and the postofiiee. 
It has mercantile interests and a few shops of minor consequence, 
and its inhabitants are thrifty and progressive. 

Granville Corners is the business hamlet of the town and for 
iiian.y years has enjoyed a certain prominence in the industry 
founded away back in 1854 by Silas Noble and James P. Cooley, 

Granville Corners — Universalist Cliurcli 

manufacturers of drums, novelties and specialties; and the old 
firm name still stands and is exceedingly well known in com- 
mercial circles. 

InasnuK'h as the villages of Granville are without defined 
boundaries, in speaking of present business interests it is hardly 
necessary to give the precise location of each of them; but sum- 
marizing this element of the town's history these interests may 
be noted about as follows : George L. Oysler, E. M. Poraeroy and 
Joseph AVclch are the towu's auctioneers; Geo. L. Oysler and 

( 263 ) 


C. A. Barnes are the blaeksinitlis: Charles Koberts, of the Center, 
the boot and shoemaker; J. M. (iibbous and Wm. S. Pomeroy, 
merchants at the Center, and Joseph Welch in the West village; 
H. B. Dickinson, proprietor of grist mill, one of the few remain- 
ing in the county; Columbus Wilcox, proprietor Grauville house: 
E. B. Holcomb, machinist; Herbert G. Rockwell, physician and 
surgeon: B. P. Gibbons, postmaster at Granville; C. A. Clark & 
Co., printers; Charles B. Thompson, provision dealer; N. M. 
Prisbie and C. W. Ives, proprietors of saw mills, both in West 
Granville; Holcomb Bros., manufacturers of se\nng machine 
supplies ; M. V. Stow, proprietor of shingle mill ; Noble & Cooley, 
toy and novelty manufacturers; J. M. Gibbons, undertaker; M. 
V. Stowe. proprietor of shingle mill. 

Before closing this chapter it is proper to furnish the names 
of Granville's representatives to the general court previous to 
the creation of Hampden county ; the representatives after 1812 
will be found in an earlier chapter. The succession follows: 
1775, Timothy Robinson. Nathan Barlow : 1776, none ; 1777, 
Timothy Robinson, Nathan Barlow; 1778, none: 1779, Oliver 
Phelps, Timothy Robinson: 1780, Oliver Phelps, Josiah Harvey; 
1781, Timothy Robinson: 1782, none; 1783, Timothy Robinson; 
1784, none: 1785, Timothy Robinson; 1786, AVilliam Cooley: 
1787, Timothy Robinson, Titus Powler: 1788. Sanuiel Thrall. 
John Hamilton: 1789, Clark Cooley; 1790, Timothy Robinson. 
James Hamilton: 1791, Thomas Burbank, James Hamilton; 
1792-3, Timothy Robinson: 1794. David Robinson, Titus 
Fowler; 1795, P^noch Bancroft, David Robinson: 1796, none; 
1797, David Robinson, Ezra Marvin; 1798, Ezra Marvin, Jacob 
Bates: 1799. John Phelps, James Hamilton; 1800, Israel Parsons. 
DaNad Robinson; 1801, Israel Parsons, Thomas Hamilton; 1802, 
Israel Parsons, John Phelps ; 1803, Israel Parsons, Titus Fowler ; 
1804-05. Israel Parsons. Jnlm Phelps: 1806, Abraham Granger: 
1807, Enoch Bancroft, Abraham (irauger: 1808-09, Israel Par- 
sons, John Phelps; 1810, Israel Parsons, William Twining; 1811, 
none: 1812, Asa Seymour. John Phelps. 

A i)erusal of the pages of this chapter will disclose the fact 
that Granville not only has made an interesting history, but has 

{ 264 ) 


furnished some of the best men of the county who have been 
called into public station during the last hundred years. 
Glancing back over the last half century of our town's history 
the names of a few men suggest themselves and are worthy of 
passing mention ; such men as the late Rev. Timothy M. Cooley, 
Eeuben Noble, Captain Joseph Parsons, Marshall V. Stow, 
George "W. Terrill, Carlos Gibbous, Emeiy Barnes, William 
Bacon, Timothy Clark, Dr. Johusou. Arden Seymour, Oliver 
Kose, Frank Peebles, Ralph S. Brown, James P. Cooley, Silas 
Noble, J. IMurray Gibbons, Edgar Holcomb, "Squire" James 
Cooley and llartin K. Bates, none of whom are now living, but 
each of whom in his day was a contributing factor for good in 
local annals. 

In the same manner it is proper to mention the names of a 
few of Granville's prominent men of the present day, and in 
this connection present the names of B. J. Roberts, Edgar B. and 
E. G. Holcomb (the manufacturers and machinists), Dr. H. G. 
Rockwell, Joseph Welch, Benjamin F. Gibbons, Charles B. 
Thompson, Franklin A. Robinson (an extensive farmer in West 
Granville), John 0. Roberts, Ralph B. Cooley, Orville R. Noble 
(the drum and toy manufacturer), Austin T. Phelon (a pros- 
perous farmer), William S. Pomeroy, Cyrus W. Ives (the saw 
mill proprietor), James 0. Rose (successful farmer), Milo E. 
Seymour, Charles H. Tyron, Edwin N. Henry, Lorenzo H. Noble 
■ retired farmer), M. T. Gibbons (retired farmer), William M. 
Beckwith (substantial farmer and man of iufiueuce in the town). 

( 265 



IMonson, au intejrral part of Briiufield till 1760, is situated 
85 miles southwest of Boston and 15 miles east of Springfield, 
and is bounded on the north by Palmer, east by Brimfield, south 
by Stafford and west by "Wilbraham. It is in its largest dimen- 
sions about 6 miles from east to west, 9 miles from north to south, 
contains about 54 square miles of land and has a population of 
3.-102, according to the census of 1900.^ 

The village of Monson, looking from the south, is a swallow- 
tailed triangle, the apex to the south and the swallow-tails to 
the north, the one extending to the northwest to and beyond the 
W. N. Flynt granite quarries, and the other to the northeast 
through the north factory village. The village is walled about 
by the east and west hills and on the north by the rock-house 
ledges. Monson has the reputation given it by those who have 
travelled extensivelj' of being the town par excellence, with its 
beautiful soldiers' monument, its granite library and granite 
memorial town hall, its churches, its residences and its well 
trimmed lawns and its hill sides rich in tlie green verdure of 
summer and richest sun-hued tints of autumn. 

Monson was named in honor of the president of the British 
board of trade by his friend Thomas Pownall, who was governor 
of Jlassachusetts when the town was incorporated a district in 
1760. The first erected within its limits was built by 
Richard Fellows in 1657 or 8, on the north side of the Bay path, 

'This census was takc?i wiii'ii ovir iiulustrit's wore lart^t-Iy paral.vzfd ami t<>-<ia.v 
we bave an iiicrfasf td' at least 500 persons. 

( 266 ) 


the east side of Chieopee brook and on the south line of the farm 
now occupied by William E. Pay. 

This was the first house built between Springfield and 
Brookfield and was used as a tavern. Its position was well 
chosen as it was on hard land at the only spot between the North 
factory and the Quaboag (then called Chieopee river), at which 
the banks of Chieopee brook could be approached from both east 
and west on hard land. 

This grant was made on petition of Richard Fellows by the 
general court at Boston, October 23, 1657. The petitioner 
"humbly desiring the honored court to grant him 200 acres of 
upland and meadow to be laid out to him at Chieopee river by 
George Col ton and Benjamin Cooley. That the said land and 
stake be rent free, promising and engaging in consideration 
thereof to build a house there for the entertainment of travellers, 
both for house room for horse and man and some lodgings and 
provisions for both, with beere, wine and strong liquors". The 
general court deemed it meete and wise to grant his request, 
pi'oviding the petitioner build an house within one year, and 
maintain the same for seven years; both to entertain and accom- 
modate strangers. Fellows probalily built his tavern during this 
or the following year. His stay was short, for from fear of the 
Indians he within a year or two abandoned it, burying its tools, 
which were plowed up 80 years lated by Capt. James Merrick. 
Fellows Came from and returned to Springfield and died in 
Hadley in 1663. Fellows, although he did not fulfil the condi- 
tions, retained possession of his grant and was allowed to dispose 
of it to Gov. Hutchinson. The title then lay dormant for 75 
years, when it was confirmed by the general court held at Salem, 
June 22, 1733, to Edward Hutchinson and Mary Wolcott. They 
sold, March 30, 1738, for £800. to Daniel and John Wood of New- 
bury. John Wood took the easterly and Daniel the westerly half ; 
but January 11, 1768, John purchased the westerly half of his 
brother. John Wood died in 1796 and his daughter, ]\Irs. Eliza- 
beth Taylor, inherited the whole Fellows tract. Mrs. Taylor 
sold, in 1815, the eastern half to Joel Norcross, who in 1818 
disjiosed of it to Rufus Fay, Sr., and it is now in the possession 
of his grandson, Wm. E. Fay. 

( 267 ) 


Till' first ix'iiiiaiient settler of Monson was Robert Olds, who 
located aljout ITl.j south of and adjoining the Fellows grant. 
He was hoi-n in Suffield. Conn., and earae to ]\Ionson from Spring- 
field. Under date of April 17, 1722, he gave a mortgage on his 
KlO acre farm to AVm. Pynchon of Springfield. Capt. James 
Merrick purchased a part of this farm in 1734 and the remainder 
in 1736. Capt. Merrick and his sons, James, Aaron and Gideon, 
are said to have served in the French and Indian wars. Capt. 
James was a grandson of Thomas ^Merrick, one of the first settlers 
of Springfield. He was born January 1, 1698, and died in 1790, 
at the venerable age of 92 years. Capt. Merrick was one of the 
first selectmen of ilonson and continued in ofSee five years. He 
was an important factor in our early history as several of his 
descendants have been in later years. It is probable that the 
house in which C. M. Foley now resides was biiilt by Capt. James 
Merrick nearly a century and a half ago. Another old house 
in IMonson is that now occupied by John L. Borgeson, originally 
built by Capt David Hitchcock as early as 1734; also the house 
now occupied by Nelson Skinner, built by Freeborn ]\Ioulton and 
in the "ell" part of which it is said 31oulton kept the first store 
in IMonson ; also the Bates house, so-called, now owned by Henry 
Rindge and built by David Hyde; also the Norcross house, so- 
called, built in the old colonial style by William Norcross and 
now used as tenement and boarding house. 

Tlie general court, June 20, 1701, appointed Col. John 
Pynchon, Capt. Thomas Colton, James Warriner, David Morgan 
and Joseph Stebbiiis to lay out a new township 8 miles square 
on the east boundary of Springfield. In the fall of that year 
they thrice visited the locality before they could decide where to 
lay the town plot. East hill, then called Chicopee hill, and later 
Grout hill, was chosen within the limits of the present town of 
Monson and a road 4 rods wide laid from the Connecticut line to 
the Grout school house. Thirteen grants were made on this road 
prior to December 31, 1701. There is now an old cellar hole on 
this road which is said to have been intended for the meeting 
house. grants all lapsed, the conditions not having been 
fulfilled probably owing to the uncertainty caused by the French 

( 26S ) 














and Tmliaii wars. Biimliekl was granted June 16, 1772, an ex- 
tension of :i miles to the east and the tt)wn plot was changed to 
'J'ower hill in that town. Briniiield became a town by act of tlie 
general court Decejnber 24, 1731, and of the 84 proprietors to 
whom allotments were made, 10 were located within the limits of 
the present town of Monson. The names of the original settlers 
and the location of their grants, as far as know'n, were as follows : 
Robert Olds, the present C. M. Foley farm; David Killam, the 
site of the Massachusetts Epileptic hospital; Benjamin Munn, 

House built by William Norcross about 1775 
X()w owned liy S. F. C'ushnmn Sons »fc Co., Monson 

the farm of Edson 'SI. Walker; Obediah Coole.y, the farm of 
Joseph Carpenter; Ezra King, the farm of AVm. Holdridge; 
Samuel King, the farm of J. M. Craw, whose wife is a lineal de- 
scendant of Sanuiel King; John Keep, the farm of Daniel Car- 
penter; John Atcherson, the farm of Omar E. Bradway; 
Marke Perry, an abandoned farm north of Wm. Beebe's; and 
Samuel Kilburn, whose location we have been unable to establish. 
At the time of Monson 's incorporation as a district, April 
25, 1760, there were forty-nine families located within its limits. 

( 270 ) 


The names of many of the original corporators have been familiar 
to the present generation. Snch names are Blodgett, Bliss, 
C'olton. Ferry, Homer, Hitehcoek, King, Keep, Merrick, Munu, 
Moulton, Stebbius, Shaw, Warner and Woods. 

The first district meeting was called by a warrant issued by 
Capt. John Sherman, who was the physician, school teacher, town 
clerk and justice of the peace of Brimfield.'^ This meeting was 
wai'ned b^' constable Samuel King and was held at his house, 
which was situated near the present residence of James M. Craw. 
The original warrant with the indorsement of service is safely 
preserved in the archives of Monson. There is no record of this 
or any meeting held prior to March 16, 1762. As a district the 
inhabitants had all the rights of a town save only they must 
unite with the mother town in the choice of representative. 

The first town meeting of which records are preserved was 
that of 1762, and was held at a tavern kept by Richard Bishop, 
located a little west of the present residence of S. Fred Cushman. 
At a subsequent meeting in the same year a committee was ap- 
pointed to procure land on which to set the meeting house and 
have charge of raising it. The same year Rev. Abishai Sabin 
was settled as pastor. It thus appears that Monson 's earliest 
citizens deemed it their first duty to erect a church and settle a 
minister. They builded their little commonwealth on the sure 
foundations which have given the religion of Puritan New Eng- 
land such an influence in the formation of the states of the great 

Eevolutionary Incidents. On June 23, 1774, the town voted 
v/ith certain reservations to sign the non-importation covenant 
with Boston, and on September 5 voted £14 to provide a stock of 

October 3, 1774, Dea. Abel Goodell was chosen delegate to 
the Provincial congress to be held at Concord. December 29, 
1774, the town approved of the choice of Freeborn Moulton as 
captain, Nathaniel Sikes as lieutenant and David Hitchcock as 
ensign. These officers were authorized to make up a quota of 

•We have seen his leilgcr in wliicli lie made his meilical charges. The writinsr 
is like copper plate as plain as print. 

( 2ri ) 


miiuilenioii. Tims it will l>e seen that Monsoii was ready to do 
its pai-t ill case tliere should he war with the mother country, and 
when llu- war of revolution came the town spread on its records 
a copy of the declaration of independence. 

]Monson became a town with full powers in 177(), and Dea. 
Abijah Newell was elected the first representative. June 24, 
1776, the town voted unanimously in favor of independence. 
May 23, 1777, the town voted 20 pounds bounty to men enlisting 
in the continental army. November 17, 1777, Capt. Joshiia Shaw, 
Capt. Reuben Munn, Lieut. Reuben Hoar, Lieut. Simon Keep, 
Lieut. James Stebbins, Lieut. Jonathan Chapin and Lieut. 
Jonathan Coye were appointed a committee to settle with the 
continental soldiers. This indicates that commissioned officers 
were numerous in town. A search of the old records indicates 
that nearly if not quite all the able-bodied men of Monson, in- 
eluding the minister and the doctor, were at one time or another 
in the field for independence. 

A letter addressed by Benjamin Munn, Abel Goodell and 
Noah Sabin to Samuel Adams and Joseph "Warren, under date 
April 5. 1775, says, among other things: "AVe send a testimonial 
of our firm adherence to the great cause, in which everything 
dear to us is embarked. AYe profess a ready cheerfulness to 
shed our blood to oppose tyranny and oppression. AYe have 80 
fellows in this district, a great part of which are discii)lined and 
ready marksmen. I dare be bold to say that, at about 30 rods 
distant, they would pick off tories as fast as so many hawks 
would i)ick frogs from a frog pond." 

Bounties were voted several times subsequently. June 26, 
1778, the town voted £420 to pay the nine months' soldiers, and 
in the same year, September 1, the town voted £19 to pay for 
blankets for continental soldiers and also to pay for clothing car- 
ried to Philadelphia by Benjamin Jlunu. Several similar votes 
are recorded paying various bounties and caring for the families 
of soldiers while away on duty. 

The men who laid the foundations of Monson in the last half 
of the 18th century belonged to a sturdy, heroic race. They 
wrought with all their might w'hether in church, war, town or 

{ 272 ) 


n " 


a? 01 

■5 i 









oil the farm. Tlicre was an untold amount of work to be done 
in estaljlishing a new town. There was a church, school houses 
and homes to be built, forests to be subdued, saw and grist mills 
to be erected and numberless roads to be laid out and built. The 
records show that 73 roads were laid out, accepted and built 
during the first 40 years of the town's history; and when we add 
to this the cost in blood. ti-easui-e and time expended in the con- 
stantly recurring wais of the period we are lost in w'onder and 
admiration of the men w'ho, ever invincible, conquered all their 
foes and gave to us the priceless treasure of civil and religious 
liberty. Large families were characteristic of the period. Fami- 
lies of 10 or 12 or more children were not uncommon. 

During the revolution small pox became very prevalent and 
inoculation with it was resorted to. Under proper care and pre- 
cautions only a small percentage of deaths occurred. May 18, 
1778, Monson voted to set up "Enockeulation'" for the small pox 
under pi-oper resti'ictions by the selectmen. 

The i)urchasing power of continental currency grew less and 
less as the war progressed, and on ilarch 21, 1780, the town 
voted £9 per day for work on the higliways to September 1. and 
£6 per day the rest of the year. The names of Munn, King, 
Wood, Hoar. ]\lerrick, Shaw, Keep. Blodgett, Newton, Colton, 
Stebl)ins, Stacy, Norcross and Flynt appear frequently in the 
old records and they have representatives still with us, worthy 
scions of their worthy sires. 

B.v the records of JMonson it appears that money was first 
expressed in dollai's and cents in 1795. Prior to that date it 
was pounds, shillings and pence. Committee after conunittee 
was appointed to seat and do various things to the old meeting 
house till 1797, wh(>n a conunittee was appointed to draw plans 
and devise means to l)uilil a new one. This old church was 
rectangular, about 20 feet high, witliout chimney or steeple, 
liahted by a single row of small windows. The second church 
was dedicated November l(i, lS():i. 

Town meetings were called in "His Majesties" name until 
i\lareh 1(1. 177fi. On May 21. 177*!. the call was "in observance 
of colony writ "". and on June 17. 177ii. "by resolve of the general 

( 274 ) 


court", and on February 18, 1777, by "power vested in the gen- 
eral coui't", and from September 1, 1777, "in the name of the 
government by the people" till December 11, 1780. Since that 
time they have been called in the name of the "Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts". 

In 1798 Freeborn Moulton and sixty others were set off as 
the first Baptist church of ]\Ionson. A meeting house was built 
in the west part of the town on the Hampden road, and flourished 
for many years, but it fell into a decline and the house was 
burned in 1856. The 19th century was ushered in by prepara- 
tions to build a new meeting hoiise. All denominations were to 
worship in it, each furnishing a supply in proportion to the 
amount realized from its members in the sale of the pews. Each 
was to have the right to attend without "extortion of money" 
to support another denomination. The pews were sold at auc- 
tion and brought from 11 to 161 dollars each, and the total was 
$4,264. In the new church the young women were to sit on the 
east and the young men on the w^est side of the gallery, 

At a town meeting held July 9, 1812, the town voted unani- 
mously in the negative after a discussion of the war known 
as that of 1812, and appointed a committee to prepare resolves. 
These were prepared and accepted, deprecating the war with 
Great Britain, and the town also voted against an alliance with 
France. It was also voted to choose an agent to represent the 
town in convention to be held in Northampton, and Deodatus 
Button, Esq.. was chosen as such agent. 

The first half of the nineteenth century was for Monson, as 
for the country in general, an era of recuperation. The forests 
were largely subdued and the lands brought under sub.jection to 
the plow. The descendants of the first settlers, strong and hardy, 
active in mind and body, sought for other employment than 
that of tilling the soil. Utilizing the streams for power to card 
and spin and weave and for the various manufactures of steel, 
iron and wood, they found means close at hand for their active 
minds. Chicopee river and Twelve Mile brook in Monson became 
thickly studded with saw, grist, clover, carding, cotton and 
woolen mills. The iron. axe. lead pipe, spectacle and silk worm 

( 275 ) 


industries were tried but only for a time. David Hannum made 
axes at the North factory. Lead pipe was made by Timothy 
Packard, Sr.. at a point a little east of Conant's grist mill. He 
sold out to i\Iason Moultoii who continued the manufacture to 
1824. Lead pipe was made by running the lead in sheets, cutting 
to proper widfli and moulding on an iron rod six feet long; the 
long joint was then soldered. Noah Sabin and Reuben Hoar 
made linseed oil as late as 1808 on the site of D. W. Ellis & Sons' 
mill. On the site of the New mill, so called, on the east side of 
the stream, Asa White had a grist mill till 1845, and on the west 
side was a small building for the manufacture of bar iron from 
scrap iron and bog iron mined near Cato's pool in Silver street. 
Joseph and Jeremiah Bumpstead operated the iron industry. 
There were clover mills on both C'hicopee and Twelve ilile brook. 
Koswell and Gideon Merrick had a saw and grist mill at the north 
factory, which was taken down in 1816 and replaced in 1820 by 
the frame mill still standing. This mill was owned and operated 
by Witherell & Co. for the manufacture of cottons. Later on 
llie east side of the stream a stone mill was built and operated 
successively by Dea. Andrew Porter, Albert Norcross, Jared 
Beebe and Heery Bros, till burned in 1894. As early as 1800 Asa 
Gates had a carding and finishing mill on the site of the present 
S. F. Cushman & Sons' woolen mill. Gates did carding and 
finished the home-spun cloth for the farmers. Gates sold in 1816 
to the IMonson Woolen IManufacturing Co. The plant next 
passed to the Hampden Cotton Manufacturing Co. In 1824 
Horatio Lyon and othei-s acquired the property under the name 
of the Monson Woolen IManufactui-ing Co. In 1870 Mv. Lyon 
became the sole owner and upon retiring from business in 1877 
he sold out to S. F. Cushman. 

Roswell IVIerrick as early as 1808 had a tannery- and was 
succeeded by Stephen Tobey and his son Clinton. This industry, 
which had been very successful, was closed in 1870. 

The Hami)den Cotton company in 181-3 erected the mill 
now owned and operated by Heritage & Hurst. This company 
in 1829 built a mill on the site where now stands the mill D. W. 
Ellis & Son. Two mills have been burned on this site, one in 

( 276 ) 


1839 and one in 1869. Joseph L. Reynolds built the branch mill 
in 1837. He took into partnership Cyrus W. Holmes, Sr., and 
they disposed of it to the Hampden Cotton Co., and when that 
company dissolved, it was purchased by C. AV. Holmes & Sons. 
The mill next passed to Holmes & Ellis, then to C. W. Holmes, 
Jr., then to S. F. Cushman & Sons, and in December, 1901, was 
bj- them sold to Leonard R. Rosenberg. 

On the site of the South Straw shop, Joseph L. Reynolds in 
1857 erected a mill which a few months later was burned. He 


A view io South Monsou 

then rebuilt but never put in machinery, but the building became 
the nucleus of the straw goods manufacturing operated by Gage 
& Reynolds, and later by R. M. Reynolds. In the settlement of 
his estate it was recently acquired by Fred E. Langevvald, who 
equipped it for the manufacture of worsted goods. 

The woolen mill at present owned and operated by Ellis, 
Ricketts & Co. was originally built by Joseph L. Reynolds in 
1860 and '61. It was burned in 1867, rebuilt in 1870 and sub- 
stantially enlarged by its present owners in 1901. The plant is 



now up to date in every respect for the manufacture of the 
finest woolens. 

The Monsou granite quarries owned and operated by the W. 
N. Plynt Granite Co. were first opened by the U. S. government 
about 1809 to obtain stone for use in building the U. S. armory 
at Springfield. The government having obtained its supply the 
quarries remained unworked till 1825, when they came into the 
possession of Kufus Flynt, who began operations with a gang of 
five men. Under the management of Wm. N. Flynt and W. K. 
Flynt and more recently of the W. N. Flynt Granite Co., the 
industry has grown rapidly and is now one of the most important 
of its kind of Monson, giving employment to nearly 500 men and 
sending its granite hewn and unhewn far and wide. Perhaps 
the industry which has done as much if not more to built up and 
malvc iMonson prosperous is the straw and felt goods factory now 
owned and operated byHeiman & Lichten of New York. This was 
begitn by Charles H. Jlerrick and Rufus Fay in 1838. Under 
their management it grew rapidly, furnishing not only employ- 
ment for a large number of men and women in the factory, but 
also sending out its work into the families of Monson and the 
surrounding towns. This latter feature has been largely dropped 
and most of the work is now done in the factory. This industry 
gives work nearly the year round, on straw in the colder and 
felt in the warmer season. 

IVfl/- of 1861-5. The first gun fired at Fort Sumter, April 
12. 1861. aroused the patriotism and indignation of the people 
of IMonson as well as that of the whole loyal North. Patriotic 
meetings were held and enlistments began at once. A town 
meeting was called April 27, and on ^lay 3 it was voted "That 
all the residents of Monson who enlist into the U. S. service, 
shall have their support and that of their families while drilling 
and preparing for active service from the funds of the town, and 
when called into active service, shall have a good outfit and ten 
dollars per month and their families sufficient support during 
such service". The sum of !f;5.000 was voted to carry the vote 
into effect under a committee consisting of Hiram Ne'wton, 
Rufus F. Fay, Rice S. ]\runti. Sliernian Converse, E. AV. Sholes, 

( 278 ) 


E. C. Robinson and J. B. Williams. At a later meeting it was 
voted to replace this committee by the board of selectmen, of 
whom Daniel (1. Potter was chairman. At a special tow-n meet- 
ing held May 3 Joseph L. Reynolds otfered a resolution which 
was unanimously adopted, "That the people of this town are 
unanimous for upholding, supporting and defending the United 
States government and to that end are ready to respond to the 
legally constituted authorities of Massachusetts and the United 
States in the performance of every loyal and patriotic duty". 
August 18, 18<32, a bounty of one hundred dollars was offered 
by the town to soldiers enlisting on its quota, and November 4 
it was increased to one hundred and fifty dollars. From the list 
of 229 subject to military duty we learn that there were already 
in the service from ^lonson 84 men, or a little more than one- 
third of the able-bodied men of the town. From time to time 
additional bounties were offered, and these uot proving sufficient 
to induce men to enlist to fill the quotas, a draft was resorted to 
by the government. The draft proved very unpopular and the 
selectmen were authorized (June 30, 1864,) to procure an agent 
to enlist or buy men to fill this and subsequent quotas. 

As near as can be ascertained, Monson furnished 280 men 
for the service and at its close had to its credit 18 men over ani. 
above its quotas as called for by the state and national govern- 

Thi'ee "f the above, viz.; ('aj)t. S. (J. Warriuer, 36th Mass. 
Vols., Capt. (ieorge H. Howe. 57th Mass. Vols., killed at the 
explosion of Burnside's mine July 30, 1864, and Lieut. George 
L. Dixon, second lieutenant 46th ilass. Vols., were officers. 

Monson raised, appropriated and expended for her soldiers 
and their families the sum of $30,408.36 during the war, exclu- 
sive of state aid, which was refunded. 

In 1864 there was a deficiency in the treasury, owing to the 
extraordinary demands upon it to meet the war expenses and 
seven of Monson 's heavy tax-payers advanced the necessary 
funds. November 9, 1865, the town voted to reimburse these 

During the war Monson was generous to its soldiers and 
their families, and since has appropriated all the money the 

{ 279 ) 


veterans have asked for aud wheu the memorial town hall was 
built, provided excellent quarters for jMareus Keep post of the 
G. A. R. 

There was no occasion for the town to take action during 
the Spanish-American war of 1898, as there were patriotic young 
men more than sufticient ready aud willing to enlist. Monson 
has been well represented by her sons both in the Cuban and 
Philippine campaigns. 

During the latter part of the civil war and the j'cars im- 
mediately succeeding Monson enjoyed an era of unexampled 
prosperity. The laboi-er, the farmer, the merchant and the man- 
ufacturer all reaped a bountiful harvest. It is true that gold 
sold as high as 2.65 or even higher; flour 18 or 20 dollars a 
barrel; meal 2.65 pe'r hundred weight; sugar 3 lbs. for a dollar; 
cottons 60 cents a yard ; labor $2.25 per day, and other things 
in proportion; yet prudent persons with tlie limited demands of 
the time were able to have a goodly margin for profit. 

Incidents. October 4. 1869, Monson was visited by the most 
I'emai'kable flood in its history. It had rained quite steadily for 
two days, and on the third daj' in the afternoon it seemed as if 
the flood gates of the heavens had given away. Every bridge 
and every dam on the stream was washed away; the roads were 
badly gullied and many of them impa.ssable. One miU was one- 
third undermined and another partially so. The factories and 
houses on the banks of the stream had their basements and cellars 
flooded. The meadows were flooded and wreckage of wood, 
timber, boards and pig-stys were floating on the surface. This 
flood damaged the town between sixty and seventy thousand 
dollars, making no reckoning of individual losses. 

As the dark day of IMay 13, 1780, was long remembered, so 
will that of September 6, 1881. On this date the sun rose as a 
great ball of fire and by 7 :30 a. ni. was entirely obscured. The 
sky had a ghastly appearance, vegetation had the appearance of 
thick coat of green paint. The peculiar light caused in many 
people a strained feeling through the temples, attended with 
more or less pain. Some comjilained of faintness and a few 
actually swooned. Lights were needed by 10 :30 a. m. and before 

( 280 ) 


noon the factories, stores and i^rivate houses were lighted up as 
at night. The flames of a kerosene lamp had a peculiar bluish, 
brimstone look. The white dress of a little girl appeared to have 
a sulphurous hue. Bells sounded unusually loud. The baro- 
meter at noon was 29.80, the thermometer 76° and the hygrometer 
indicated 92 per cent, of moisture. Fowls walked around in a 
dazed way and then went to roost. Dew fell at midday, red 
flowers seemed of a salmon color. About 1 :30 p. m. it began to 

Congregational Church and Soldier.s' Monument 

grow lighter and continued to do so till at evening the smoke 
had all cleared away. 

The fall of 1883 was remarkable for its brilliant sun glows 
as the sun was setting, and on August 10, at about 2 o'clock 
p. m., two distinct shocks of an earthquake were felt; the vibra- 
tion was from west to east and sufficient to open doors. 

Jiily 4, 1884, will be remembered as the red letter day of 
Monson. The occasion was the dedication of the beautiful 

( 281 


soldiers' monument, erected by Cyrus \V. lldliues. Sr., to com- 
memorate tlie patriotism and valor of the soldiers of Monson. 
who on huKJ and sea upheld the cause of luitional unity, 1861- 
1865. The monument stands 46 feet high and is surmoiuited by 
a ii'ranitf suhiiiM- at parade rest. Its cost was .$6,500. On either 
side arc jiati'lotic inscriptions and the monument is intended 
not only 1o licinor the brave volunteers of the civil war, but also 
to be an object lesson in patriotic love of country to the coming 

Governor Joshua \j. Chamberlain, of Maine, delivered the 
address. Gov. George D. Robinson ami staff, department com- 

Monson — The Memorial Town Hall 

mander John D. Billings and staiT, Battery B of AYorcester and 
two companies 2d IMass. infantry, also the Grand Army posts of 
Western,, were present, as well as the people of Monson 
and large delegations fi'om all the surrounding towns. A 
monstrous tent was imi)orted from Boston ami more than :?,000 
persons sat down to a repast within it. The cost of the day was 
about $2,500, and was paid from a subscription fund raised b.v 
the citizens of IVIonson. Dr. G. E. Puller was president of the 
day and A. A. Gage was grand marshal. 

( 282 ) 

THE 10^y}i OF 3I0NS0N 

The Memorial Town Hall. The annual town meeting of 1884 
was unusually important as a proposition was made at that time 
by R.'M. Eejaiolds to donate to the town a very desirable site for a 
memorial town hall, and also with his brother Theodore to donate 
to the town $5,000 each to the building fund. His father, Joseph 
L. Reynolds, also ottered a like sum for the same object; the only 
conditions being that the town erect the building of granite or 
other indestructable material and appropriate not less than 
i|)20,000 for its construction. The proposition was accepted and 
R. M. Reynolds, Cyrus W. Holmes, Jr., S. F. Cushman, Dr. G. 
E. Fuller, A. D. Ellis, J. C. Aldrich and A. A. Gage were ap- 
pointed a connnittee to secure plans and erect the building. It 
was stipulated that the building should be of granite and one 
which would be a credit to the town and an honor to the patriot 
soldiers in whose memory it was designed to built. On November 
4, 1884, the town voted an additional $5,000 to complete and 
furnish the structure. The first town meeting was held in the 
finished building August 15, 1885, when the report of the build- 
ing committee was accepted and a vote of thanks extended to 
them and to the contractors, the Flynt building and construction 

Water Supply. The town (February 10, 1894,) appointed 
a committee to examine into the matter of water supply for fire 
and domestic purposes. On May 17 of the same year the town 
accepted the report of the committee and also the special act of 
the legislature, entitled an act to supply the town of Monson 
with water. 

On May 31, A. D. Norcross, E. F. IMorris and R. M. Rey- 
nolds were elected water commissioners and the town voted to 
issue bonds in the sum of $65,000 to meet the necessary cost of 
constructing the system. Work was begun at once and was com- 
pleted early in the following year. The gravity system was 
adopted, and in quantity and quality every requirement has been 

An electric street railway was opened to Monson and the 
first car was run over the road January 16, 1900. The connec- 
tion between Palmer and Indian Orchard was completed in the 

( 283 ) 

oil! cor STY AM) ITS PEOPLE 

early fall of I'.lOl. The sleaiii railroad from Palmer south 
through Jlonson was constructed and opened for traffic in 1850. 
The first half of the liHli century produced the men and the 
business enterprises which in later years made Monson the 
leading town of Hampden county, in proportion to its popula- 
tion, in the number of its men of large means. The ample 
fortunes accumulated and estates left by Horatio Lyon, Joseph 
L. Reynolds, the Holmes (Cyrus W. Sr., and Jr.), Solomon F. 
Cushman and Dwight W. Ellis sufficiently attest the truth of 
this statement. The financial reverses of 1837, '57, '77 and '93 
gave ample opportunity to test the material of which Monson 's 
manufacturers were made. The generosity and public-spirited- 
ness of such men as these has added materially to the prosperity 
and welfare of the town and has made possible the Lyon Memo- 
rial library building with its 8,000 volumes and $-10,000 endow- 
ment fund, the soldiers' monument erected by Cyrus W. Holmes, 
Sr. ; the memorial town hall, so largely aided in construction by 
the Reynolds; the Congregational and Universalist churches, 
aided, respectively, by Horatio Lyon and D. W. Ellis ; the park 
and memorial fountain, by Wm. N. Flyut, and a second memo- 
rial fountain by Solomon F. Cushman. 


1861, school appropriation, $1,800; 1901, school appropria- 
tion $12,307. 

1861, number of polls, 636 ; 1901, number of polls, 1,082. 

1861, value personal estate. $329,000; 1901, value personal 
estate, $501,711. 

1861, value real estate, $690,000; 1901, value real estate, 

1861, tax rate per $1,000 was $6.09 : 1901, tax rate per $1,000 
was $14.20. 

1861, number of houses, 413; 1901, number of houses, 699. 

1861, number of horses, 307; 1901, number of horses, 488. 

1861, number of cows, 725 ; 1901, number of cows, 893. 

1861, number of sheep. 590;1901, number of sheep. 27. 

In 1861 the following persons and firms paid more than $50 
taxes: David N. Coburn, $62.25; Wm. N. Flynt, $57.34; Warren 

( 284 ) 

Lyon Memorial Library 


Fuller. $90; Cyrus W. Holmes, Sr., $65.49: Monson Woolen 
JMfg. Co., $121.50; Dea. A. W. Porter, .$60.33; Monson & Brim- 
field j\Ifg. Co., .$91.39; Hampden Cotton Mfg. Co., $209.71; 
Joseph L. Reynolds, $175.20. 

In 1901 the following jjer.sons and firms i)aid more than 
$150 in taxes : Cushman 's Home mill, $849 ; Branch miU, $231 ; 
S. Fred Cushman, .$156; Hattie Cushman, $175; A. D. Ellis, 
$349: Dr. F. W. Ellis. .$301; 1). W. Ellis & Sons, .$961; Mrs. 
Wm. N. Flynt, $177; W. N. Flynt Granite Co., $760, Dr. G. E. 
FuUer, .$185; Esther Holmes, $1,116; Heritage & Hirst, $482; 
Heiman & Lichten, $378: ilonson Savings Bank, $248; :\Iorris 
& Hyde, trustees, $177 ; H. D. iMoulton, $215 ; Mark Noble, $191 ; 
estate Theo. Reynolds, $1,235 ; Joseph Reynolds, $153. 

fJducdfional. The first record of an appropriation for 
school purposes in Monson, appears in the records of a "Des- 
trief meeting held March 19, 1765, as follows: "Voted to raise 
Ten Pounds for Schooling." At the same meeting it was voted 
that Lieut. Thomas Stebbins and others be a committee "to 
di\'ide the Desirict for Schooling." 

At a meeting held October 29 of the same j'ear it was 
"Voted that every Destrict Pro%nde there own Schooling." 

At a meeting held August 24, 1767, an appropriation of 
£15 was made for the support of schools. In 1768 this was in- 
creased to £20. The records of the meeting held in 1768 state 
that "a motion to new regulate the districts." and another "to 
choose a committee seasonably to provide schoolmasters for the 
several divisions or districts in 'Ye' Monson" were "voted in 
the negative." 

In 1770, £25 were voted for the support of schools. 
In 1771. the effort "to new settle the school districts" was 
successful, and a committee consisting of Joseph Colton and 
others divided the town into nine districts. For several years 
the appropi-iations wei'e only from £25 to £35. At times the 
portion of money belonging to a district was given to a certain 
person to be "scliii(ilc<l out." A number of such votes appear in 
the records. 

During the rcvcilutionary war the api)ropriation went up 
to £100. but in 171(1 it dropped to £60. This fluctuation was 

( 286 ) 

THE T0^^'^^ of monson 

due to the low value of paper money duriny the war. About 
the beginning of the nineteenth eentury the town regularly ap- 
propriated about $500 for schools, and also made an effort to go 
beyond the reciuirements of the state in regard to education. 
This effort resulted in the establishing of Monson academy. 

For many years the name of the Rev. Alfred Ely is closely 
identified with school work. He examined the teachers, visited 
the schools and introduced the reading of the bible and the 
study of the catechism into the schools. For all this work he 
received no compensation whatever. Later on Rev. Charles 
Hammond, TjL. D., did nuieh for the schools. His work is seen 
chietly in the abolishing of the old district system. Rev. James 
Tufts took up the work where ilr. Hananoud laid it down, and 
for over forty years he labored untiringly for the improvement 
of the school system. His last efforts were towards forming a 
superintendency district. This work was accomplished in a 
district formed by the union of Monson with Brimfield. 

3Io)ison Acndemy, one of the timedionored institutions of 
this part of the state and one in which the town justly takes 
great pride, was founded June 21, 1804. The act of incorpora- 
tion, secured by eager and whole-souled men from Monson and 
eight neighboring towns, was passed by the general court on 
that date, and on the 23d of October, 1806, an academy build- 
ing, erected by the generous citizens of the town, was formally 
dedicated. In the following November the academy began its 
active career with 21 pupils. 

Massachusetts was the first state to aid schools in the woi-k 
of fitting candidates for college. From the sale of public lands 
in the district of IMaine she granted endowments to academies 
already planted in every county of the state and gave to some 
liberal grants of land in Maine. It seemed fitting to establish 
another institution of learning in the territory that lay between 
AVestfield academy and Leicester academy, the latter being in 
AVorcester county. The town of Brimfield, with a population 
of 1,200, and Monson, with 1,300, entered into a spirited contest 
for the honor. The choice fell on Monson, together with a gift 
from the state legislature of a half-township of land in IMaine. 

( 287 ) 


Of individuals named in the act and considered as founders, 
there were fifteen, tlie list being headed by Rev. John AVillard 
of Stafi'ord, Conn. One name, that of Abner Brown, a repre- 
sentative to the general court, should be remembered for his 
zeal and efficient agency in securing the act from the legislature. 
Against tremendous opposition in that body he guided the bill 
with great slirewduess and wisdom. 


The Old Academy 

The general inirpose of tlie founders was to establish a 
school where students sliouki secure "as good au education as 
the best schools in the largest towns would be likely to provide." 
Tlie specific aim was to tit young men for college. The citizens 
of the town, enthusiastic in the purpose of reserving the aid 
granted by the state absolutely for the running expenses of the 
school, subscribed .$4,000 for the building and the preparation 
of the ground. The people had good reason to be proud of their 

( 288 ) 


seniiuary for at that day it was surpassed in spauidusuess and 
finish by no other edifice erected for learning in Western ]\Iassa- 

Tlie first president of the corporation was Rev. Dr. John 
Willard of Stafford, Conn., a graduate of Harvard in 1751, and 
a brother of the president of that college. Dr. Simeon Colton, 
a graduate of Yale, 1806, was the fii'st principal. He served for 
one year, but afterwards returned and was principal for nine 
successive years. 

Monson Academy 

A charity fund, to aid candidates for the ministry, was 
established in 1825, chiefly through the exertions of Dr. Alfred 
Ely, pastor of the Congregational church in Monson. Among 
other staunch benefactors of the institution in many ways stand 
pre-eminent the names of Joel Norcross, Rufus Flynt, Timothy 
Packard. Amos Norcross, Deacon Royal Merrick and Deacon 


( 289 ) 

OUR cor. MY .\.\l> ITS l-EOl'LE 

The instil lit ion lins had a long line of able teachers, many of 
them havin<r heconu' (listiiijiuished here and in other schools. 
Amontr others of j)roiiiinc'iice tliere may be specially mentioned 
Richard S. Storrs, Jr., iiov. .I.-nncs Tufts and Kev. Charles 
Hanunond. Of pupils who have attended the academy much 
might be said for they number more than 7,000. More than 
600 entered collefre and of these more than 200 became clergy- 
men. Many missionaries have gone from the institution to all 
parts of the world. In 1829 there came to Jlonson two students 
from Greece, one of whom became the famed Professor Sophocles. 

China and Japan have often been represented at ^lonson. 
lu 1847 three Chinese boys entered the academy. Yung Wing, 
trained in Monson, died possessed of international reputation 
as an educator. The late Henry Barnard, one of America's 
greatest authorities on educational matters, also was a student 
at the academy. 

The buildings are new and stand in a prominent location 
in the town. The present academy building was erected through 
the liberality of many of the alumni and other friends. A 
total of more than .$20,000 was raised by popular subscription 
under the efforts of William X, Flynt, an indefatigable \vorker 
for the institution. 

In 1887 the Trustees secured a large building, formerly 
owned by Dr. Hammond, for a dormitoiy and boarding hall. 
This building, now named Hammond hall, had pre\'iously been 
refitted for a boys' private school. In 1899, through the gen- 
erosity of Esther R. Holmes, there was built for the academy 
a spacious and very serviceal)le gymnasium. It is called the 
Holmes gymnasium in memory of the donor's father, Cyrus W. 
Holmes, Jr. 

At present, besides the principal, there are seven instructors 
in the academy. The board of trustees consists of fifteen mem- 
bers as follows : 

Edward F. Morris, Monson : Marcus P. Knowlton, LL. D., 
Springfield ; Rev, Payson W, Lyman, Fall River ; Prof, William 
L. Cowles, Amherst; Frederick AV. Ellis, jM. D., Monson; Henry 
A. King, Springfield; Rev. Franklin S. Hatch, Monson; Wilson 

( 290 ) 


]\r. Tucker, iMonson ; William H. Hall, A. M., West Hartford, 
Conn. ; Perlin W. Soule, Monson ; Rev. Charles A. Diusmore, 
South Boston; Lyman C. Flynt. ilonson; Arthur D. Norcross, 
Monson: Thaddeus L. Cushmau, ]\Ionson; James H. Tufts, 
Ph. D., Chicaao, 111. 

Three of the above mentioned trustees, Edward F. ilorris, 
Frederick W. Ellis, M. D., and Wilson N. Tucker, constitute the 
prudential committee, a committee entrusted with the immediate 
direction of affairs in the academy. The office of treasurer is 
held bv Thaddeus L. Cushman. 

Holmes' Gvmiiasiuni, Monson 

The subscriptions for the first academy building, erected in 
1806, were given wholly by residents of Monson, amounting to 
$3,330. The funds from the sale of the half-township in Maine 
amounted to about $10,000. The educational or charity fund 
for ministerial candidates aggregated $6,238. At the present 
time it amounts to more than $11,000. The library fund, orig- 
inally of $500, the joint donation of Eufus Flynt, and Timothy 

( 291 ) 


Packard, given at first for prizes, but later appropriated by the 
donors for a librarj^ now amounts to $1,100. The Persian 
scholarship of $2,000 was the bequest of Rev. James Merrick, 
missionary to Pei'sia, and now amounts to more than $4,300. 
The income may be given to one or divided between two members 
of the senior class. There are three prizes open to the competi- 
tion of students. One arises from the income of the Dewey 
fund of $500 established by ilrs. Hadassah Dewey and provides 
$20 each year for excellence in declamation, the amount to be 

Jlonson Academy 

divided t^pially between two students, a boy and a girl. Another 
prize is created from the income from a fund of $500 established 
by the class of 1882, to be presented to the senior student who 
shall write the best English essay. A prize of $15 for the 
greatest progress made in algebra, was founded in 1901 by Dr. 
Hassett, of Lee. 

Postoflice. The Monson postoiSce was established June 24, 
1814, and became a third class presidential oflfiee in December, 
1874, a money order office in 1871 and a?i international money 

( 292 ) 


order office in July, 1881. For nearly 65 years the office was 
located at various places along North Main street, but in 1879 it 
was moved into Central block on Main street. This building 
was burne'd November 12, 1893, and all of the office property, 
with the exception of a few records, was destroyed. The office 
was then placed in the Bank block, on the corner of Main and 
Washington streets, its present location. 

Since the office was organized the postmasters have been as 
follows : 

Artemus Wiswell, June 24, 1814: Eufus Plynt, July 29, 
1816 : Edwin Norcross, January 28, 1836 : Wm, N. Packard, May 
25, 1841; Austin Fuller, August 22, 1845; Lucius E. Truesdell, 
April 10, 1847 ; Foster Pepper, February 17, 1849 ; Timothy F. 
Packard, January 3, 1850 ; Foster Pepper, July 7, 1853 ; Joshua 
Tracy, June 26, 1858; Elmer B. Miles, June 21, 1861; Daniel 
G. Potter, September 28, 1866 ; IMyron D. Porter, April 8, 1869 ; 
Edwin E. Towne, June 22, 1869; Rice S. Munn, December 22, 
1873; Arthur D. Norcross, November 13, 1880; G. W. Farring- 
ton. May 25, 1886 ; John P. Herlihy, Jr., August 12, 1895 ; Geo. 
H. Seymour, January 3, 1900. 

The Fire Department was organized May 2, 1887, and since 
that time on frecpient occasions has demonstrated its efficiency 
and usefulness as an element of municipal life. At first the 
apparatus comprised two chemical engines and one hose wagon ; 
the equipment in 1901 comprises two chemical engines, one hook 
and ladder truck, three hose carriages, and one "hand tub", an 
hundred years old, yet still serviceable. In connection with the 
water supply system and its twenty-one fire hydrants and a 
pressure of 140 pounds to the square inch the local department 
appears well prepared for any emergency. The officers are 
David B. Needham, chief engineer; Lyman C. Plynt, 1st assist- 
ant, and E. P. Donovan, 2d assistant and clerk. 

The ^Yater ^yorks. By an act of the legislature, passed 
April 21, 1894, the town of IMonson was authorized to supply 
itself with water for domestic purposes and fire protection and 
to issue bonds to pay for the same. On ]\Iay 17 of the same year 
the town accepted the act and pi'oceeded to choose three water 

( 293 ) 


coniiiiissioners and appropriated sixty-five thousand dollars to 
build the works. A. D. Norcross, E. F. ^lorris and K. ]\r. Rey- 
nolds were the first eonimissioners. 

The water supply is obtained from a ground well 80 feet in 
diameter and 25 feet deep, sihiated about two miles east of the 
villa^'e and at an elevation of 1522 feet above ;\Iain street. High 
pressure and ample snpjily of very pure water were obtained. 
Miich care was exercised in the construction of the system and 
the best of materials and fixtures were used. Bonds to the 
amount of .'j^alt.OOO weie issued to cover the cost of construction. 
The total length of mains at tlie present time is about 12 miles; 
service taps. 2()(t: fire hydrants. 91. 

Lihnn-ks. The first library formed in Monson, of which 
records have been preserved, was that called the Social Library 
company, organized January 1. 1796. This library was kept in 
the house of Jonathan Tori'ey. who was the librarian and one 
of the prime movers in the enterprise. Stpiire Torrey lived in 
the southwest part of the town in a house since burned, but 
which was located on the road between the residences of Zina 
Harris and Henry Bradway. The library was owned by thirty- 
one persons. The names of Torrey, GoodM'in, Ellis, FuUer, 
Cady, Bennett,, Osborn. Shaw, Butler. Firmin, Bedortha 
and Orcutt appear as right owners in the librarj% and if we 
judge by the titles of the 235 volumes in their catalogue they were 
sound in theology and possessed of cultivated literary tastes. 
Here are a few titles: Josephus, 4 vols.; Burgh's Dignity of 
Human Nature: Blair's Sermons, 2 vols.: Cases of Conscience; 
Edward's History of the Reformation; Harvey's Meditations; 
Afflicted Jfan's Companion: Zion's Pilgrim; Henry on Prayer; 
American Biography. ' This libi'ary after 5fi years of service 
was divided among the rightful owners in 1852. The constitu- 
tion, by-laws and catalogues of ihc nld library were presented 
to the IMonsou fi'oe library aiul R. 1\. association by "\Ym. G. 
Button, the grandson of Squire Torrey. 

The second library fninuMl in ^lonson was named "The 
Augmenting .Social Library association" and was located in the 
center of the town. If was oriranized in August, 1800, and was 

{ 294 ) 


a joint stock assoeiatiou, at Hist with twelve but later eighteen 
proprietors. Riifiis Flyiit was the librarian and Dr. Ede 
Whitaker. Capt. (iad C'olton, Joel Noreross, Stephen Morton 
and Col. Abner Brown were shareholders. 

The next library in town was the academy library, known 
as the Flynt and Packard library in honor of the men who gave 
>};oOO each as a permanent fund, the income to be expended in 
the purchase of books. This library was organized about 1835 
and was and is for the benefit of Monson academy. There was 

Lyon Memorial Library 

also an agricultural library in town owned by the farmers who 
contributed five dollars each for the purchase of books. This 
consisted of 84 volumes. 

The first movement in town to establish a free library was 
made March 27, 1877, when Dr. G. E. Puller, A. A. Gage, Charles 
Fowler, R. S. Munn, S. F. Cushman, Charles H. Llerrick, C. W. 
Holmes, Jr., W. K. Flynt, Charles Hannnond, LL. D., E. F. 
IMorris, W. J. MeElwain, Geo. II. Newton, Rev. C. B. Sumner, 
Fiank E. IMorris, Rev. James Tufts and B. A. Dav, associated 

( 295 ) 


themselves together for the purpose of forming a free library 
for the town of ^Monson. There were numerous meetings and 
consultations as to the best course to adopt, and as a result it 
was decided to obtain a charter, which was done March 1, 1878. 
Officers were elected and a library was opened with 753 volumes. 
Of these two hundred and five were purchased with the town 
appropi-iatiou : Iwo liuudred and six were contributed by the 
Book club; eighty- four were contributed by the Farmers' agri- 
cultural lil>rary, and two hundred and fifty-eight were obtained 
as the r(>sult of a canvass of the village. The library was opened 
free to the public, June 17. 1878. 

The beautiful Memorial library building, the generous gift 
of Mrs. Carrie R. Dale in memory of her father, the late Horatio 
Lyon, was erected in 1881-2 at a cost of $35,000, and was dedi- 
cated March 28, 1882, with impi-essive ceremonies. When com- 
pleted the institution was endowed with a permanent fund of 
.$20,000, given for that purpose by ^Irs. Lyon : and this fund 
has been since increased by a bequest of $10,000 in the will of 
Sophia B. Holmes, and an equal sum from the estate of Nancy 
M. Lyon. The present permanent fund aggregates .$40,000, from 
which, with $300 annually appropriated by the town, the trustees 
of the library have ample means for the maintenance and in- 
crease of one of the noblest institutions of the town. On the 
shelves of the librarj^ are more than 7,600 volumes or books. 

The officers of the association are Dr. George E. Fuller, 
president; E. P. Morris, \'ice-president ; T. L. Cushman, treas- 
urer; F. E. Morris, secretary; Nellie A. Squier, librarian. The 
board of directors comprises B. A. Day, Dr. C. W. Jackson, Dr. 
P. W. Ellis, Lyman C. Flynt and Arthur D. Noreross. 

Hospital for Epileptics. The ]\Ia.ssachusetts Hospital for 
epileptics was established by an act of the legislature in 1895. 
The buildings were erected on the site of the state primary school 
at Monson. for the accommodation of about 100 men and the 
same number of women. In 1899 and 1900 further buildings 
were constructed so that the total number treated is about 400. 
These buildings are on the cottage plan, separated by a number 
of hundri'd feet from each other and yet not too far apart to be 
served by a central heating plant. 

( 296 ) 


The buildings for tlie accommodation of patients are all 
brick except two cottages which are old buildings remodeled. 
One of these cottages is on a distant hill about a mile from the 
main institution and is, of course, separated from the common 
supply of heat and water. It is, however, beautifully located 
and will serve as a nucleus for a farm or colony group, while 
the (luestion of water .supply and drainage can be conveniently 
liandled. In the main group the water supply is abundant and 
(if the very best (juality, giving a pressure of 100 pounds at the 

The State Hospital for Epileptics 

It is estimated that there are at least 1.200 institution cases 
available when accommodation can be provided for them. About 
one-half of all the cases will be classed as insane, while the larger 
portion of the other half are practically insane a large part of 
the year. It is the plan to provide congenial surroundings and 
hope-ins])iring treatment for such other cases of epileptics as 
may apply for admission. It is known that there are several 
hundred such eases as these, very many of them now without 
satisfactory homes. 

( 297 ) ■ 


A boot and shoe manufactory is worked to advantage with 
the patients' labor. A large portion of all the footwear is here 
made, and all cobbling is done in this shop. A large workroom 
covering an area of 6,000 square feet and serving the double 
purpose of industrial room and assembly room, is also provided. 
The patients are housed largely in dormitories caring for from 
3 to 25 persons in a room. 

A convenient infirmary has been built in which 20 men and 
20 women are provided for in four distinct wards. There is also 
a medical center comprising a dispensary, laboratory, and oper- 
ating room in the same biiilding. A diet kitchen and accom- 
modations for photography and electrical treatment are also 
furnished. Two large rooms in the basement are given iip to 
hydrotherapeutic treatment. 

Monson National Bank. The Monson bank was incorporated 
under the state law March 28, 1854, with a capital of $150,000, 
and was reorganized under the national banking act, August 25, 
1864, being the first national bank in the county east of Spring- 
field. Austin Fuller, Albert Norcross and William N. Flynt 
were the original incorporators. On April 10, 1854, "William N. 
Flynt was elected president, and on the 21st of the same month 
Jonathan R. Flynt, of Tolland, Conn., was elected cashier. The 
first board of directors was as follows : Horatio Lyon. Joseph 
L. Eeynolds, John W. Foster, Jacob B. Merrick, Cyrus W. 
Holmes, William N. Flynt and Warren Fuller. 

William N. Flynt served as president until October, 1859, 
at which time Jonathan R. Flynt was elected to fill that ofSee, 
and Edward C. Robinson was elected cashier. Jonathan R. 
Flynt died July 31, 1860, and on August 13 of the same year 
Jacob B. Merrick was elected president to fill the vacancy caused 
by his death. October 21, 1861, John Wyles, of Brimfield, was 
elected president, and served in that capacity until January, 
1871, when Cyrus W. Holmes succeeded him. Mr. Holmes ac- 
ceptably filled the position until his death April 20, 1891, having 
served as president for twenty years. On ]\Iay 4, 1891, Rice M. 
Reynolds was elected president, and held the office until his 
death April 3, 1898. On April 20. 1898, Solomon F. Cushmau 

( 298 ) 


was elected president, and served until his death, May 26, 1900. 
. On June 3, 1900, Dr. George E. Fuller was elected president, 
and now serves in that capaeitj'. 

On March 1, 1864, E. C. Kobinsou resigned as cashier, and 
on March 30 Edward P. Morris was elected to fill the vacancy, 
and is the present cashier of the bank. 

The present board of directors is as follows: Edward P. 
Morris, George E. Puller, Lyman C. Plynt, Prank E. Morris, 
x\rthur D. Noreross, Edward D. Cnshman and Charles W. King. 

This institution has always been managed in a conservative 
way, and has been very successful. The opportunities for large 
profits in a town the size of Monson are few, and while the de- 
posits in this institution have always been small, the stockholders 
have had no reason to be dissatisfied with their holdings. For a 
long term of years the bank paid a semi-annual dividend of 5%, 
and for a still further term 4% semi-annually, besides the stock- 
holders taxes, making the dividend net. Since 1897 the divi- 
dends have been at the rate of 3% net semi-annually. The bank 
now has a capital of $150,000 and a surplus of about $87,000. 

Monson Savings Bank. The date of incorporation of the 
Monson Savings bank was March 29, 1872. The bank opened 
its doors for business June 1, 1872. 

The incorporators wei'e William N. Plynt, Cyrus W. 
Holmes, Jr., Timothy P. Packard, Charles H. Merrick, Alfred 
Noreross, Rice M. Reynolds, Rice S. Mvinn, Edwin E. Towne, 
Rufus P. Pay and Daniel G. Potter. On May 8, 1872, the fol- 
lowing were added a.s members of the corporation : Dwight W. 
Ellis, Edward P. IMorris, Solomon P. Cushman, Jacob L. Brad- 
way, Charles Carpenter and Rodolphus Homer. Of the original 
incorporators there are but two survivors, Edwin E. Towne and 
Edward P. Morris. 

The first board of trustees comprised C. W. Holmes, Jr., 
Alfred Noreross, S. P. Cushman, R. M. Reynolds, D. W. Ellis, 
R. P. Pay and E. E. Towne. 

On May 4, 1872, Charles H. Merrick was elected president. 
Edward P. Morris was elected treasurer on May 20, 1872. 

Mr. Merrick served as president until May, 1885, when R. 
S. Munn was chosen his successor. Mr. Munn served until his 

( 299 ) 


death February 15, 1890. On May 7, 1890, C. W. Holmes, Jr., 
was elected president, and held the office until his death in May, 
1891. On May 6. 1891, S. F. Cushman was elected to fill the 
vacancy caused l)y the death of Mr. Holmes, and served until 
l\Iay 31, 1893, at wliich time Edward F. Morris was elected 
president. He is still in office. ,0n Jlay 31, 1893, Frank E. 
Morris was elected as treasurer, and now holds the office. 

The present board of trustees is as follows : Edward F. 
iMorris, Prank E. Morris, Arthur D. Norcross, Lyman C. Flynt, 
George H. Foskit, Perlin W. Soule, Fred AV. Ellis, Edward D. 
Cnshnian, Carlos ]\I. Gage, ^Vesley A. Squier, Rufus P. Cush- 
man, Kufus Fay and George C. Flynt. 

The liank lias grown constantly since its organization and 
has paid its depositors interest in regular semi-anniial dividends 
of fi'om seven to four per cent, per annum; has always been 
prosperous, never met with any serious reverses, and is an insti- 
tution of wliich [Monson has reason to be proud. 

The deposits are now $1,193,000, and the .surplus over 

In 1892-3 a new building was erected, and the same was 
occupied the first day of June, 1893, on the twenty-first anni- 
versary of the opening of the institution. 


Tlie W. X. Fhjnt Granite Company. The quarries owned by 
this company are situated on a hill one mile north of Monson 
village and cover an area of 300 acres. The working face is 
1,000 feet long and parts are 40 feet high. The stone is of two 
distinct shades, light and dark, and free from iron. The quarry 
was first opened by the U. S. government to obtain stone for the 
armory in Springfield. Kufus Flynt acquired it in 1824 and 
was succeeded by his son, Wm. N. Flynt, in 1836. There is a 
spur track 2 miles long connecting the quarry with the Central 
Vermont railroad. The shii)ments of stone in the present year 
have amounted to To.dOO tons, valued at $200,000. For eight 
months of the year the comi)any employs from 400 to 500 men 
and tlie pay roll for the same time was $110,000. The firm name 

( 300 ) 


since 1884 has been the W. N. Flynt Ciranite Co. The firm was 
then composed of Wm. N. Flynt, and his four sous, Wm. K., 
Rufus, Lyman C. and Geo. C. Flynt, of whom only the last two 
now survive. The present officers are Lyman C. Fljmt, presi- 
dent; George C. Flynt, superintendent and treasurer, and M. 
P. Moore, general manager. 

D. W. Ellis & Son. This business was established in 1873 
by D. AY. Ellis, who erected the present mill building. The 


i»'---^ ■.•.!«' •.■< 

jf m 

Flynt Fountain 

mill has been in continuous operation since that year, and has 
four sets of machinery and gives employment to about 75 men, 
with an annual pay roll of $25,000. 

Ladies' cloakings and dress goods have been the product 
for the past few years. About 120,000 yards of 6-4 goods were 
manufactured in 1900, in which about 350,000 pounds of grease 
wool was used. The firm is composed of A. D. Ellis and W. J. 
Ricketts' estate. 

( 301 ) 


Ellis, Kicketis A- Co. The property of this firm was pur- 
chased by D. W. Ellis & Son of the Reynolds estate in November, 
1900, and is employed in the manufacture of ladies' cloakings 
and dress goods. It is a 5 set mill and gives employment to about 
85 hands. The ilrm name is Ellis, Ricketts & Co.. and is com- 
posed of A. D. Ellis, W. J. Ricketts' estate and A. E. Shaw. 

Tlie S. F. Cushman it Sons ^Yoolen Mill. The site this mill 
now oceu{)ii's was used as early as 1800 by Asa Gates for a card- 
ing and finisliing mill and was one of the earliest wool carding 
industries started in Ibis country. On March 6, 1816, he deeded 
the property to the jMonson AVoolen Mfg. Co. and it was changed 
into a two-set woolen mill. The property was deeded a few 
years later to the Hampden Cotton Mfg. Co., and on September 
3, 1824, it was deeded to Horatio Lyon, Joel Noreross. John 
Wyles, and Charles Fay. They again incorporated the jMonson 
^Yoolen Mfg. Co. on November 29, 1825. On September 30, 1870, 
the property was sold to Horatio Lyon. On November 30. 1877, 
the business passed into the hands of S. F. Cushman. The 
property at the present time is owned by his sons, R. P., S. F., 
T. L. and R. H. Cushman, who conduct the business under the 
firm name of S. F. Cushman & Sons. The mill has been twice 
destroyed by fire. The present building is of brick and was 
erected in 1886. It contains 5 sets of modern machinery. The 
mill has made in years past broadcloth, satinets, cassimeres, and 
doeskins. At present the mill employs about 85 operatives 
(about evenly divided between men and women) with an annual 
pay roll of $40,000. The present manufactures are kerseys and 

Tleimann & Lichten, straw goods and felt hat manufactur- 
ers. This firm consists of Julius Heimann and ]M. C. Lichten, 
who purchased the plant in August, 1890. They are the succes- 
.sors of Merrick, Fay & Co., who established the straw goods 
industry here in 1841. The present owners have enlarged the 
factory to nearly double its former capacity. The straw goods 
are manufactured in the colder and the felt goods in the warmer 
part of the year. They employ from 250 to 350 men and women, 
about two-thirds of the emplo.vees being women. The gross 

( 302 ) 


value of the annual output is about $500,000. The cost of the 
I'aw material used each year is about .$260,000, and consists of 
straw braids imported from China. Japan, Italy aud Germany, 
and felt of domestic manufacture. The annual pay roll is more 
than $125,000. 

Heritage d- Hirst, woolen manufactiirers. The firm consists 
of Charles Heritage and Edwin Hirst, and they operate what is 
called the "Old Cotton." built in 1814 by the Hampden Cotton 
I\Ianufacturing company. This mill was enlarged by the addi- 
tion of a weave shed with 40 broad looms, by R. M. & Theodore 
Reynolds. It has been used as a woolen mill since 1846, and 
was acquired in 1901 by its present owners. The iirm employs 
110 operatives, two-thirds men and one-third women. The an- 
nual pay roll is .$45,000, and the production 260,000 yards. The 
mill has 5 sets of cards and 42 broad looms. 

Freel A. Langewalcl, manufacturer of worsteds. Mr. Lange- 
wald was a former superintendent of the woolen mills of R. M. 
& Theodore Reynolds, and when in the settlement of their estates 
the several mills were sold, he purchased the straw goods factory 
and has converted it into a worsted mill. He already has twelve 
broad looms in place. His machinery is all new and up to date, 
and with his thorough knowledge of the business and personal 
supervision his success is assured. He expects to employ about 
forty operatives divided nearly equally between the sexes. 

The Brancli Mill, Leonard R. Rosenberg, proprietor. This 
mill, erected by Joseph L. Reynolds in 1837, has recently been 
purchased by Mr. Rosenberg, of Wales, who will operate it for 
the manufacture of friezes, meltons and repellants. Employ- 
ment will be given to about 60 wage earners in the proportion 
of two-thirds men and one-third women. The estimated produc- 
tion is 200,000 yards per annum, and the annual pay roll $22,000. 


The Congregational church was organized June 23, 1762, 
with a membership of twenty-four; most of whom were received 
by letter from the church at Brimfield. Previous to the organiza- 
tion services were held at the homes of the people. Shortly after 

( 303 ) 

OT'T! rorxTV Axn its peoi'le 

the incorporation of the town, liy ortler of the geueral court, 
a tax of a {)eiiny an acre was hiid on all the land of the town 
for the purpose of erecting a meeting house. The site selected 
for the building was on an cicvation a little southwest of the 
present church edifice. 

The same council wliicli assisted in the organization and 
dedication of the church also ordained and installed as pastor 
]\Ir. Abishai Sabin, then a recent graduate of Yale college. 

On November 16, 1803, in the pastorate of Rev. Jesse Ives, 
the second meeting house was dedicated, the former house having 
become unsuitable for services. This house was built on the 
same site, at a cost of three thousand dollars, all of which was 
raised by voluntary subscriptions with the exception of three 
hundred dollars which was given by the town. 

This meeting house was used for services for sixty-eight 
years. It was then sold and removed, and the present com- 
modious and attractive building was erected, and dedicated 
June 18, 1873. The cost of the house and furnishings was about 
forty thousand dollars. A total of 1,593 persons have been re- 
ceived into church membership since its organization. The close 
affiliation of the church and the academy has naturally drawn 
within its fellowship students representing many foreign coun- 
tries. It has sent forth as christian workers and missionaries a 
notable company of men and women, among them Rev. James 
L. Merrick, eleven years a missionary in Persia; Rev. Gilbert 
Rockway. a missionary to the Indians; Rev. Samuel Robbins 
Brown, D. I)., a devoted missionary for many years in China 
and Japan. Many others might be mentioned who have conse- 
crated their lives to missionary work at home and abroad. A 
former pastor. Rev. F. S. Hatch is at present a field secretary 
under the auspices of the Young People's Society of Christian 
endeavor in India. In 1820 the Sabbath school was organized 
and seven years later the Ladies' j) raying circle was formed. 

Tlie following is a list of the ministers since the organiza- 
tion of the church, and the date of the installation of each: 
Rev. Abishai Sabin. June 23, 1769^ Rev. Jesse Ives, June 23, 
1772; Rev. Alfred Ely, D. D., December 17, 1806; Rev. Samuel 

( 304 ) 


C. Bartlett, D. D., August 2, 1S43 ; Rev. Charles B. Kittredge, 
October 21, 1846; Kev. Tlieron G. Colton, March 28, 1855; Rev. 
Charles B. Sumner, January 2, 1868; Rev. E. Hoyt Byington, 

D. D., June 23, 1880 ; Rev. F. S. Hatch, November 30, 1887 ; Rev. 
N. Miller Pratt, May 29, IftOl. 

The life of the church has always been active and vigorous, 
and during the pastorates of Dr. Ely and his immediate succes- 
sors the church occupied a commanding position among the 
churches of the denomination in Western Massachusetts. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. The introduction of Meth- 
odism into Monson was made in the summer of 1825. Horace 
Moulton and two other students at Monson academy, held meet- 
ings at the north and south villages, and in the fall at the center 
village. In November, 1825, Rev. Joel W. McKee, stationed on 
the Brookfield circuit, came to Monson and organized a class. 
This was the first organization of Methodism in town. Horace 
Moulton, a Jlethodist who afterwards joined New England con- 
ference, was made class leader, and he put all his strength and 
influence into the work. The rallying point was the Methodist 
chapel at South Monson, built in 1826. The chapel was 20x40 
feet in size and cost $500. It was primitive in fashion, being 
unfinished, and having only rough benches for seats. It was 
dedicated free of debt. 

In 1S47-8 a new era began, for the church under the pastor's 
leadership secured a more permanent hold on the community. 
The desire for a new meeting house was being agitated, and in 
1849, (Rev. :Mr. Olds, pastor,) the structure was built, where it 
now stands, and was dedicated in October, 1850. It was enlarged 
to its present size in 1860. 

For more than fifty years this edifice has served as the place 
of worship and church home for the Methodists of Monson. 
Many are the names of those who have gone out from the church 
to do noble work in life, among them being Rev. Horace IMoul- 
ton. Mosely Dwight, Sela Stocking, W. A. Broman, J. W. Dad- 
mun, M. Vinton, Francis Ward, K. D. Nettleton, Albert Squier, 
Henry Rogers and Henry Ward. 

The pastors have been as follows : Joel W. McKee, 1825-26 ; 
I. Jennison, 1827-28; Horace Moulton, 1830-31 ; Enoch Bradly, 

20-3 ( 305 ) 

on: col wry am> its people 

18:J2: Khetuwr F. .W'well, \S:V.i: Aiiiasa Taylor, 188-4; Horace 
.Aloulton ami <ieo. (Irccn, 18:io; Otis Wilder and J. O. Dean, 
18:56: Joseph W. Lewis. 18:57-38: Charles Virgin. 18:39: Win. 
Gordon. 1840: Thomas (iiles. 1841; David Sherman, 1842; H. 
S. Shedd, 184:5: K. 1'. HnffiiiL'ton, 1844: Speneer Tilerton. 184;'): 
Wm. A. Clai)]) and Klder Bennett. 184G: Elder Bennett, 1S47; 
James Billings, 1848: \V. B. Olds. 1849-50; John AV. Dadmun, 
1851-r)2: Chas. Nohle and John Panlson. 18."i:5: John Paulson. 
1854: David K. :Merrill. is.')5-5(i: Silas Hii)er. 1857: Thomas 
Treadwell, 1858-5!): .\. O. Hamilton, 186()-(il: Frederick Wood, 
1862-6:5: Hiram Satehwell, 1864-65; K. 11. Howard, 1866-68; 
Chas. K. True, 1869: W. J. Pomfret. ls7(i 72: Wm. Silverthorne, 
187:5-74: O. W. A<lams. 1875-76: Heniy Lininius, 1877-78; Chas. 
A. Jlerrill, 1S79-81: E. S. Best. 1882-8:5: A. Dight, 1884-86: John 
W. Emenson, 1887-88: T. C. Martin. 1889-91: Wm. II. Marble, 
1892-96; A. R. Nichols. 1897-99: A. W. L. Nelson. 1900. the 
present pastor. 

St. Palrirk's diurdi. Ii(i}nnn Catholic. The first mass in 
Mon.son was said Sei>tembei' 8. 1850. by Father Dougherty, and 
fi-<iiM that time occasional services were held until Father Healy 
becanu' jiastor at Ware, the i>arish of which included the ^lonson 
mission. Father Healy built St. Patrick's in 186:5. and Bishop 
AVilliams dedicated the cluin-h in April, 18()4. In 1878 Monson 
was made a separate parish with Rev. Jeremiah ^McCarthy as 
l)astor. He was succeeded in 1881 by Father James II. Kellev, 
and in 1885 the latter was followed by Father John F. Lee. 
l\cv. Thomas O'Kcofe. the (n'csent ]>astor. was apjiointed to the 
parish in November. 1894. 

Firat VniverKntiKl Parish. Thr first Fniversalist services 
were held in Central block in 1882, by Rev. W. A. Stai-t. then 
state sui)erin1cndent of ehtirches. and thereafter he came, or 
sent a minister, on alternate Sundays. A Ilniver.salist social 
circle was organized at the residejice of Harhiw Chapin on 
(October 5. 1882. Of this society men were made honorary mem- 
bers, and the |)resent ladies' circle is an outizrowth of the ori<rinal 
oru'anization. On November 24. 1882. a meeting was held to 
orL'ani'i' tl!.. Flr^-i rtnv.T^Mlist parisli. and Kev. Albert Hara- 

( 306 ) 


matt was the first pastor, begiuuing his ministry in the early- 
spring of 1883 and continuing to the summer of 1885. The 
Sunday school was organized informalh- May 20, 1883. Charles 
Cr. King. A. A. Babbitt and AV. L. Ricketts have been superin- 
tendents. On Sunday, ]\Iay 4, 1884, the pastor received into 
church fellowship forty-six persons and the first communion 
service was held in the evening of that same day, Rev. G. V. 
Maxham, of Staft:'ord, Conn., and Rev. E. A. Perry, of Palmer, 
IMass., assisting in this service. The church organization was 

Cushman Fountain 

perfected .Jani;ary 13, 1886. Rev. Donald Frazer was pastor 
from November, 1885, to April, 1887. He was succeeded by 
Rev. Ira A. Priest, who had charge from September, 1887, to 
April, 1889. During his ministry the church building was begun. 
It is a fine granite structure and stands at the corner of Main 
and Lincoln .streets. It cost ^26,000. D. W. Ellis offered to and 
did give a dollar for every dollar the parish might raise toward 
the building. The edifice was dedicated Tuesday, December 3, 

( 307 ) 


1880, a dodioatory hymn licintr written for the occasion by Rev. 
G. V. :Maxham. The sermon was delivered by Rev. G. L. Perin, 
of Boston. Rev. Lee II. Fisher was in pastoral charge from 
September, 1889, to April. 1891. Rev. Harry Blackford was 
called to the pastoi'ate in j\Iarch, 1892. and began his work in 
the parish in July following. A local Young People's Christian 
union was organized October 26, 1892. A junior union was 
formed just before Mr. Blackford closed his pastorate January 
31, 1899. Rev. Charles C. Conner was called in the same year. 

D. W. Ellis, who died February 6, 1899, made an $18,000 
bequest and also devised the parsonage property to the society. 
Theodore Reynolds, who died March 29, 1900, left $5,000 to the 

Cemeteries of Monson. The cemeteries of IMonson are 
under the care of a board of cemetery commissioners consisting 
of three members, one of which is elected annually to serve for 
three years. The revenue to pay the running expenses is de- 
rived from three sources: annual town appropriation, income 
from the permanent fund which now is $6,912 and the charge 
to lot owners for yearly care. 

The first cemetery was laid out and accepted by the town 
Jlay 13, 1762. It consisted of two acres of land which was to 
include the grave of Capt. Hitchcock "s daughter. It was located 
west of Joseph Hitchcock's land and east of the present Pearl 
street. The first man buried therein was Capt. David Hitch- 
cock and his interment was prior to August 16 of the same year. 
Cemeteries were early located in Butler. ]\Ioulton Hill, Grout, 
Gage and Colton Hollow districts, and all are still in use. There 
is a small cemetery on tlie east side of Main street opposite of 
the Lyon residence which is not open to the public. On the west 
side of !Main street, opposite Ralph CliiTord's residence, is a 
public cemetery laid out in 1780. 

The cemetery now in use in the center of the town was laid 
out in 1842 and with later additions now extends from Mill to 
Thompson street and from North Main nearly to Mechanic street. 
It contains about 9 acres of land. The first interment in this 
cemetery was that of a cliild of Dr. Alvin Smith and the 

( 308 ) 

Soldiers' Monument, Monson 


second that of Buiijamiu Fuller, tiiese both in 1842. This 
uenietery has been cnlarsred lour times, once to the west and 
thrice to the east. The last and most important addition was 
that to the east, known as the Tli()mi).s(m addition. This will 
now soon be in use. The grounds have been graded, the roads 
made and the ground plotted and laid out in lots and only waits 
for the landseajie artist to place the boundary pins of the several 
lots. It is approached from North .Main street through a beauti- 
ful granite arch which was erected and presented to the town 
as was also the retaining walls on the east and sovith by Mrs. 
Harlan Page of Germantown, Pa. 

On the side of Pearl street and opixisite the first ceme- 
tery of Monson the (Catholics have established their cemetery, 
and they have introduced water and the past season have done 
much to make it attractive. The cemetery commissioners are 
Dr. G. E. Fuller. Carlos L. P.-ek and Frank E. Morris. 


Selectmen. The ofiice of .selectman in ^lonson has been held 
by these persons: James jMerrick, Sanuiel King. Joshua Shaw, 
Francis Sikes, Joseph Colton, Joseph Craft, Jabez Keep, Aaron 
Merrick, Freeborn i\Ioulton, Nathaniel Sikes, Nicholas Graves, 
Noah Sabin, Simeon Keep. Abi.jah Newell. Benj. Munn, Abel 
Goodell, Jonathan Chapin. Reuben ^lunii. Thomas Andei-son, 
Richard Bishop. David Hyde, Joshua Fuller, Abner Brown, 
Caleb Keep. Gad Colton., Asa Gates, Israel Bennett, David L. 
Shields, Asa White. Richard Gardner, Jeremy Munn, Royal 
Merrick, Absalom Shaw, Benj. Fuller, Stephen Warriner, Ede. 
Whittaker, Stephen Newton. Abi.jah Newton, Jesse Ives, Job 
Puffer, Abraham Haskell. Luther Carter, Simeon Colton, Joel 
■Norcross, Henry G. Cady, Jonathan Torrey, John Hoar, Simeon 
Keep, Jr.. Rice ^lunn, Abner Bennett. Abel Calkins, Austin 
Fuller, Charles P. Fay, Welcome Converse, Abial Dean. Walter 
Smith, Watson Merrick, Charles Carpenter, Jr., David H. 
Childs. Obed :\I. Ward. John T'. Cady. Lucius F. Newton. Carlton 
Squier. Stephen Tobey. Eldridge Phillips. AVm. Puffer, Joseph 
L. Reynolds. Hiram Newton. Alden Blodgett, Arial Rogers, War- 

( 310 ) 


len Puller. Phillip Gage, Esbou White, Kice S. Mnmi, Cyrus 
Truesdell, Dwight King, Albert M. Phillips, Rufus Al. Pease, 
Daniel <i. Potter, Riifus F. Fay, Welcome Converse, Jr., Daniel 
(i. Green. Daniel Foskit, IMarcus F. Beebe, Wni. 11. Bradway, 
Albert Noreross. Gideon Fay, John Newton, Daniel Carpenter, 
Eleazer Walker, E. W. Sholes, Nelson F. Rogers, Joseph B. 
Foster, Calvin S. Pease. C. C. Tobey, Horace Sqnier. Joshna 
'J'raey, Austin King. Alansou N. Chaffee, Alfred Noreross, Rice 
M. Heynolds. Charles Fowler. Carlos L. Peek. Solomon F. Cush- 


Tlie road to Wales— Soutli Monson 
The old OrmsViy house 

man. Rufus Flynt, Alvin A. Gage, (ieorge L. Topliffe, Frank 
H. King, (ieorge H. Newton, Wm. J. Ricketts, John Leahy, 
Arthur D. Noreross, Capt. G. H. Foskit, Ralph Clifford, AVm. 
H. Bugbee. Orrin C. McCray, Herbert M. Smith and Horace 
D. Moulton. 

Town Clerks. Sanuiel King, Joseph Craft, Aaron Merrick, 
Reuben Munn. Jose iMerrick, Abel Goodell, Daniel Jaynes, David 
Hyde, Ephraim Allen, Asa Gates. Daniel L. Shields, Ede. Whit- 

( 311 ) 


taker, Deodatus Button, Oliver JIcBanstry, Hiram Newton, 
Henry Cady, Albert Xorcross, Wm. N. Packard, Daniel D. 
Moody, Austin Fuller, Nelson F. Rogers, George F. Morris, 
Edward F. IMorris, E. B. IMiles, George H. Newton, E. E. Towne, 
Alvin A. Gage, Carlos M. Gage and Carlos L. Peek. 

Representatives to the General Court. Abel Goodell, 1781 
to 1784; 1788, 1708 and 1809; Reuben Munn, 1785, 1787, 1792 
and 3; Joshua Shaw, 1787, 1789 and 1791; David Hyde, 1791 
and 3: Caleb Keep, 1796: Abner Brown, 1810 and 11; Absalom 
Shaw, 1810: Dr. Ede AVhittaker, 1811 and 12, and Stephen War- 
riner, 1812. For representatives in later years see county civil 


The town of Ludlow lies on the north line of Hampden 
county, and was originally a portion of the Springfield grant. 
It is bounded on the nortli by the towns of Granby and Belcher- 
town, in Hampshire county, east by Belehertown, south by Wil- 
braham and Si)riiigfield, from which it is separated by the Chico- 
pee river, and west by Chicopee. The southern line is very 
irregular, being formed by the Chicopee river, but the east and 
north lines are straight, as is the western with the exception of 
a single break or "jog" of about one-fourth mile in the division 
line between Ludlow and Chicopee. In area the town covers 
alwut twenty-eight squares miles, or 17,280 acres. 

The surface of the town is comparatively level or rolUng, 
with some hilly sections, though nowhere attaining to high alti- 
tudes. The most prominent elevations are those in the northern 
portion of the town, known as "Facing Hill". Some distance 
to the south is an isolated hill known as "Jefferson's Peak"j 
while "Minnechaug Mountain" rises in the southeastern quarter 
of the town. Several small ponds are scattered in different local- 
ities, and the town also contains the principal reservoir from 

( 312 ) 


which is (li-awii the wati-r supi>ly for the city of Springfield. This 
reservoir, located in wluU was formerly known as Cherry Valley, 
was constructed in 1873-4, and covers 445 acres, with a marginal 
area of 350 acres more. Three natural streams. Broad brook, 
Jabish brook and llifrher brook, have been diverted to feed this 
body of water, in addition to the large natural water shed. 

Anotliei- natwi'al feature of interest is a peninsula of several 
acres formed by an abrupt bend of the Chicopee river, below the 
falls of Wallamanunips. This peninsula is about eighty feet 
in height, and is largely composed of red sandstone, much of 
which has been cjuarried for commercial uses, though enough 
still remains to show the original ruggedness of the promontory. 
This is one of the numerous rocky heights in the country known 
as "Indian Leap." from some tradition connected with the local- 
ity . A party of Indians, driven by their enemies into this re- 
treat, and finding all means of escape ciit off, are said to have 
sprung from the high roeks into the raging river below, where 
they were dashed to death in a moment. It was certainly here 
that the King Philip's warriors bivouacked, some six hundred in 
number, on the night of their retreat after burning Springfield 
in 1675. as the remains of twenty-four campfires and some of the 
plunder taken from the looted settlement were found there next 
day by the pui-suers. 

Doubtless the Ludlow territory was familiar ground to the 
aboriginal tribes, as many evidences of their occupation have 
been discovered within the town limits from time to time, while 
the entire region along tlie Chicopee river was a favorite hunting 
ground of the red men, even after the white settlements had 
reaeheil importance in the neighboring regions. Their name 
for a large part of liudlow and neighboring regions. "Minne- 
chaug", or berry-land, indicates their familiarity with the 
natural products of the locality. Tradition also attaches a tragic 
incident to one of the precipices at Facing hills, where a white 
woman who had been captured at one of the settlements not far 
away was cruelly put to death to give the Indians better oppor- 
tunity to escai)e their pureuers. 

The first steps toward the settlement of any portion of what 
is now Ludlow were taken in 1685, when it was felt that there 

( 314 ) 


was danger of the undivided lands, or '-outward commons", as 
they were called, being restored to the English crown. Reserva- 
tions were made for the ministry and for schools, after which 
the Ludlow territory was divided among nineteen proprietors, 
none of whom made any settlement upon the lands thus received. 
In fact, it was not until about 1750, more than sixty years later, 
that any of the Springfield people ventured so far in that direc- 
tion into what was then little better than a wilderness. The 
families of Aaron Colton, James Sheldon, Shem Chapin, and 
Benjamin Sikes were the first to settle in the territory north of 
the Chicopee river east of what is now- Chicopee. They were 
from Springfield, and Captain Joseph Miller of West Springfield 
followed them in 1751. It is recorded that his friends mourned 
him as one dead, and that a funeral sermon was preached on 
account of the removal of his family to so remote and wild a 
place. Ebenezer Barber joined the colony in 1756, and Jona- 
than Lumbard the following year; but no other settlers seem to 
have ventured into the territory for ten years. 

After that time, however, the development was compara- 
tively rapid, so that in 1774 we find the settlement with a popula- 
tion of some 200 petitioning for an independent organization. 
This petition was received by the royal governor, Thomas 
Hutchinson, and referred to the general court, by whom the 
petition was granted. An act was passed in February of that 
year, and approved by the governor on the 28th of the month, 
setting apart that portion of the township of Springfield known 
as "Stony Hill", and creating it a separate district under the 
name of Ludlow, with all the powers and privileges pertaining 
to towns in the province with the exception of sending a repre- 
sentative to the general assembly. It was ten years later before 
the new town reached the dignity of a representative all its own. 
The boundaries of the district were thus officially defined : 
"Southerly on Chicabee river; east on the east line of said 
Springfield and the west line of Belchertown ; northerly on the 
north line of said Springfield, or partly on Belchertown and 
partly on Granby, and extending westward so far as to include 
all that part of the outward commons, so called, that lies in the 

( 315 ) 


northeast corner of the township of Springfield, and extending 
also in a line parallel with the west line of said outward com- 
mons one mile and three-quarters farther west, into the inward 
commons, so called, in said Springfield, north of Chieabee river ' '. 
Provision was also made for including the farms of Zachariah 
Warner, senior and junior, Oliver Chapin and Ezekiel Squires, 
at "the mill privilege." 

For the first meeting of the legal voters of the new district 
a warrant was issued by "the Honorable John Worthington," 
directed "to some principal inhabitant," instructing them to 
gather at the house of Abner Hitchcock. The meeting convened 
there JIarch 16, 1774, and Jloses Bliss of Springfield was chosen 
moderator, after which the following Ludlow men where elected 
as the first officers of the new town : Clerk, Benajah "Willey ; 
selectmen, Aaron Ferry, Abner Sikes and Joseph Miller; 
wardens, Joshua Fuller and Jacob Kendall; assessors, Joseph 
Jones, John Hubbard, Jr., and Joseph Hitchcock; constables, 
John Sikes and Jacob Cooley; treasurer, Joseph Miller; sur- 
veyors, Beriah Jennings, Joel Willey and Noah Bowker, tithing- 
men, James Chapin and Oliver Chapin; fence-viewers, Israel 
Warriner and Isaac Brewer; hog-reeves, Isaac Warriner and 
Ezra Parsons; deer-reeves, Ezekiel Squires, Aaron Colton and 
Jonathan Lombard. 

The full list of selectmen and town clerks from the organiza- 
tion of the town to the present time, and of the representatives 
to the "Great and General Court" to 1812, when the district 
sj'stem was adopted, is as follows : 

-S'o/ec^Hioi.— 1774-5, Aaron Ferry, Abner Sikes, Joseph 
Jliller; 1776, Joseph Miller, Joseph Hitchcock, Joshua Fuller; 

1777, Joseph Hitchcock, John Hubbard, Jr., Benajah Willey; 

1778, no record; 1779, John Hubbard, Jr., Jonathan Bartlett, 
John Sikes ; 1780, Moses Wilder, Timothy Keyes, Jeremiah But- 
ton: 1781, Joseph Miller, Joshua Fuller, Jonathan Bartlett, 
James Kendall, Isaac Brewer; 1782, Jonathan Bartlett, Joel 
Nash, Israel Warriner : 1783, Joel Nash, Israel Warriner, James 
Kendall; 1784. Joel Nash, Israel Warriner, Abner Sikes ; 1785, 
Abner Sikes, James Kendall. Samuel Arnold; 1786, Abner Sikes, 

( 316 ) 


Israel AVarriner, David Lyon ; 1787, Abner Sikes, Isaac Brewer, 
Jcseph ililler; 1788, Abner Sikes, Israel "Warriner, Joel Nash; 
1789, Abner Sikes, Israel Warriner, Joel Nash; 1790, Abner 
Sikes, Israel Warriner, Jonathan Burr; 1791, Abner Sikes, 
.linalhan Burr, David Lyon; 1792, Abner Sikes, Jonathan Burr, 
Jos.^ph Miller, Samuel Frost, Francis Pereival; 1793, Abner 
Sikes, Francis Pereival, John Sikes; 1794, Francis Pereival, 
Aaron Colton, Samuel Frost; 1795, Aaron Colton, Ephraim 
Chapin, Benjamin Sikes, Jr. ; 1796, Aaron Colton, Benjamin 
Sikes, Jr., Pliny Sikes; 1797, Benjamin Sikes, Jr., Francis Per- 
eival, Joseph Miller, Jr.; 1798, Timothy Keyes, Jonathan Burr, 
Samuel Frost, Eli Putnam, Ephraim Chapin; 1799, Jonathan 
Burr, Samuel Frost, Benjamin Sikes, Jr. ; 1800, Jonathan Burr, 
Benjamin Sikes, Jr., Samuel Frost ; 1801-2, Jonathan Burr, 
Benjamin Sikes, Jr., Joseph Munger ; 1803, Jonathan Burr, 
Benjamin Sikes. Jr., Sherwood Beebe; 1804, Sherwood Beebe, 
Job Pease, Timothy Nash; 1805-7, Sherwood Beebe, Timothy, Jonathan Sikes; 1808, Timothy Nash, Jonathan Sikes, 
Gad Lyon ; 1809, Timothy Nash, Ezekiel Fuller, Gates Willey ; 
1810, Timothy Nash, Gates Willey, Joseph Miller ; 1811, Timothy 
Nash, Gates Willey, Joshua Fuller ; 1812, Benjamin Sikes, Sher- 
wood Beebe, Gad Lyon; 1813, Timothy Nash, Joshua Fuller, 
Daniel Spragne; 1814, Timothy Nash, Joshua Fuller, Daniel 
Sprague; 1815, Timothy Nash, Joshua Fuller, Titus Hub- 
bard; 1816, Gates Willey, Nathaniel Lyon, James Sheldon; 
1817, Gates Willey, Ashbel Burr, Joshua Fuller; 1818, Gates 
Willey, Ashbel Burr. John Dorman ; 1819-22, A.shbel Burr, John 
Dorman, Timothy Nash ; 1823, Ashbel Burr, John Dorman, Elias 
Frost; 1824-5, Ashbel Burr. John Dorman, Asahel Rood; 1826, 
Elias Frost, Gordon B. Miller, Theodore Sikes ; 1827-9, Ashbel 
Burr, Theodore Sikes, Asahel Rood ; 1830, John Dorman, Gordon 
B. Miller, Elam Wright; 1831, John Dorman, Gordon B. Miller, 
Ashbel Burr; 1832, Gordon B. Miller, John Town, Jr., John 
Gates; 1833-4, Ashbel Burr, Chester Sikes, William Ray; 1835, 
Chester Sikes, William Ray, John Gates; 183G-S, Elias Frost, 
John Gates, Waterman Fuller; 1839, William Ray, Chester 
Sikes, Dan Hubbard; 1840, William Ray, Chester Sikes, Dan 

( 317 ) 

or/,' cofXTV AM) rrs phoj'LE 

Hubbard: 1841, Chester Sikes, Uau Hubbard, Daniel King; 
1842, William Ray, John Gates, Artemas II. Whitney; 1843, 
William Ray, Artemas H. Whitney, Edmund W. Puller; 1844, 
William Ray, Artemas H. AVhitney, Ednmnd W. Puller; 1845, 
William Ray, Artemas H. Whitney, John Miller; 1846, Elijah 
Plumley, John INIiller, David Lyon; 1847, John ]\Iiller, David 
Lyon, Chester Sikes; 1848, Alva Sikes, Elisha T. Parsons, Jerre 
Miller: 1849, Alva Sikes, Elisha T. Parsons, Jerre Miller; 1850- 
52, Jerre Miller, Artemas II. AVhitney, Henry Puller; 1853, 
William Ray. Willis Keyes, Eli.jah Plumley; 1854, Elijah Plum- 
ley, Homer Lyon. Aaron Davis; 1855, John Miller, Dan Hub- 
bard, Aaron Davis; 1856, Artemas H. Whitney, John Miller, 
Setii J. liennett; 1857, Artemas H. Whitney, John Miller, 
Simeon Jones; 1858, Artemas H. WTiitney, Simeon Jones, Elijah 
G. Puller: 1859, Artemas II. Whitney, Benjamin Sikes, Gilbert 
Puller; 1859, Artimas H. Whitney, Benjamin Sikes, Gilbert 
Fuller: 1860. Benjamin Sikes. William Ray, Roderick Collins; 
1861. Benjamin Sikes, ]{oderick Collins, Dan Hubbard; 1862-3, 
Benjamin Sikes. Roderick Collins, Gilbert E. Puller; 1864, 
Artema.s IT. Wliitney, Jacob S. Eaton. Prancis P. McLean; 1865, 
Jacob S. Eaton, Prancis P. ilcLean, Henry Charles; 1866, 
Prancis P. McLean, John P. Hubbard, Samuel White; 1867, 
John P. Hubbard. Samuel AVhite. Eli ]M. Smith; 1868-9, Samuel 
White, Eli ^1. Smith, Benjamin Sikes; 1870-72, Samuel White, 
Gilbert E. Fuller. Reuben Sikes; 1873, Samuel WTiite, John Ray, 
Chauncey L. Buell : 1874-5, Samuel Wliite, John Ray, David C. 
Jones; 1876-7. John Ray, David C. Jones, Ambrose Clough; 
1878, David C. Jones, Ambrose Clough, Edward E. Fuller: 
1879-80, Edward E. Fuller, George R. Clark, Jackson Cady: 
1881. George R. Clark, David Joy, Jacob S. Eaton; 1882-5, 
Benjamin P. Burr, Charles P. Grosvenor, Franklin Bramble: 
1886-8. Edward E. Puller. James M. WTiite, George D. Green : 
1889-91. Benjamin P. Burr, Austin P. Nash, Prank A. Towne; 
1892-8. Edward E. Puller, John W. Hubbard, Prank A. To^vne; 
1899-1901. Edward E. Puller. John W. Hubbard, Frederick L. 

Toirit Clerks. — lll-i-o. Benajah Willey; 1776-9. Jeremiah 
Dutton: 1780-82. Aaron J. Miller: 1783-5, Samuel Arnold; 1786, 

( 318 ) 


Elisha Fuller; 1787, Solomon L. Fuller; 17SS, Samuel Arnold; 
1789-92, John Jennings; 1793, Plynn Sikes; 1794-6, John Jen- 
nings; 1797. Plynn Sikes; 1798-9, John Jennings; 1800-08, In- 
crease Sikes; 1809-29, Ely Fuller; 1830, Theodore Sikes; 1831, 
Ely Fuller ; 1832, Washington B. Alden ; 1833-5, Theodore Sikes ; 
1836-8, Washington B. Alden ; 1839-41, Theodore Sikes; 1842, 
Samuel S. Bucklin ; 1843-5, Dennis Kuowlton ; 1846-54, John P. 
Hubbard: 1855, George Booth; 1856-61, John P. Hubbard; 
1862-3, Albert Fuller; 1864, John P. Hubbard; 1865, George E. 
Root; 1866-78, Benjamin F. Burr; 1879-88, Warren D. Fuller; 
1889-1901, Alfred H. Bartlett. 

Kepresentativcs. —n84:-o, Capt. Joseph Miller; 1787, John 
Jennings: 1800. Elisha Fuller: 1801-2, Aaron J. Miller; 1806, 
Gad Lyon: 1807, Increase Sikes: 1808, Gad Lj^on ; 1809, John 
Jennings: 1810, Gad Lyon: 1811, Sherwood Beebe; 1812, Ely 

The full list of town officers for the year 1901 is as follows : 
Town clerk, Alfred H. Bartlett; selectmen, overseers of the poor 
and board of health, Edward E. Fuller, Benjamin F. Burr, John 
W. Hubbard: auditors, Charles S. Browning, Charles W. Gowen; 
treasurer and collector, Alfred H. Bartlett ; assessors, George D. 
Green, Arthur D. King, Charles P. Jones: constables. Hall E. 
Storer, Albert Wilson, David Trombley: highway surveyor, 
Henry A. Munsing; cemetery connnissioners. Robert Kj'le, 
Edward E. Fuller. Benjamin F. Burr: school committee. Albert 
H. Halford. Charles B. Bennett, Irene T. Jones, Charles N. 
Wrightington : superintendent of schools, ]\Iary L. Poland of 
Springfield. Mass. 

The patriotic sentiment of the town has been strong and 
uncompromising in all important epochs of the counti-y's history 
since the birth of the nation in 1775. In fact, at the time Ludlow 
was organized as an independent district, the coming of the 
terrible revolutionary struggle was already casting its shadow 
before, and filling the minds of the people with apprehension. 
During the year of organization— 1774— Capt. Joseph ^Miller 
was selected to represent the infant community in the councils 
of the province, which were held in conventions at Concord, 

( 319 ) 


Salem, Cainbridge and AVatfrtown. Thei'e can be no question 
of the finiiuess and earnestness of his position in advocacy of 
those great principles which eventually gave to the world a new 
and powerful nation. In the long and exhausting warfare which 
followed, the town responded nobly to all demands, whether for 
the furnishing of soldiers or the contribution of material aid 
for the support and comfort of those in the field. When the 
war closed, it appeared that one in every seven of the inhabitants 
of Ludlow had served in the Continental armies, the imperish- 
able roll of honor comprising the following names : 

Ichabod Barker, Ezekiel Beebe, Caesar Begory, Noadiah 
Burr, Keuben Burt, Joel Chapin, Charles Chorley, Aaron Colton, 
Solomon Cooley, Edward Cotton, Oliver Button, Ezekiel Fuller, 
Lothrop Fuller. Jabez (ioodale. Joseph Hitchcock, Joseph Jen- 
nings, John Johnson, David Lombard, Jonathan Lombard, Dr. 
Aaron J. Miller, George Miller, Jr., Leonard Miller, David Paine, 
Tyrus Pratt, Sanniel Scranton. Thomas Temple, Moses Wilder, 
Cyprian Wright. 

In the Shays rebellion wliich occurred in the unsettled 
jjcriod between the close of the revolutionary war and the adop- 
tion of the federal constitution, the sentiment of Ludlow, in 
common with that in other towns in the vicinity, was divided, 
and recruits were furnished to both parties, in perhaps nearly 
equal numbers. The column of insurgents which demonstrated 
against Springfield, receiving the fire of the government soldiers, 
made its advance and retreat through Ludlow, and one man 
from that town — Isaiah Call— was killed in South Hadley by a 
stray shot from a which the soldiers were passing. 

In the war of 1812-15. Ludlow, unlike many of the New 
England towns, does not appeared to have entered any protest, 
but furnished its quota of soldiei-s with imque.stioning loyalty, 
thirteen men from the town having been enrolled, these being 
their names: 

Henry Acres, Gideon Cotton, Samuel Gates. Chester Ken- 
dall. Amos Root. Charles F. "Wood. Benjamin Ainsworth. Lemuel 
Gardiner. John Howard. Reuben Par-sons, Veranus Shattuck, 
Gordon B. Wood, Harvey Wood. 

( 320 ) 


The IMexican war, wiiicli drew but very lightly from New 
England, took one man— Joseph Rood— from Ludlow, and he 
was reported wounded in one of the engagements in which he 

The war of the rebellion, 1861-5, found strong and brave 
hearts in Ludlow, and there was no faltering during the four 
years of terrible war and sacrifice. Out of a population of 1,200, 
the town furnished 120 soldiers; probably quite as large a pro- 
portion of the adult males as entered the service in the revolu- 

"■ ■■•■ . ■■ *'■ 





&3iir^ak'^.:-: •■ , 1 


— ^ 

Suldiurs ituiiumcut — Ludluw 

tionary war, of twice as great duration. Of the 120 men from 
Ludlow in the union armies, sixteen gave their lives — a percent- 
age considerably above the average. In addition to furnishing 
more than its quota of soldiers, the town met all the financial 
requirements of the period with unfaltering devotion. As early 
as April, 1861, a vote was taken in town meeting appropriating 
$2,000 as a bounty fund for the promotion of enlistments, and 
in August, 1862, a bounty of $100 each was voted to the men 


( 321 ) 

orii rmxTY .wn its people 

wlio enlisted upon the town's <iuota at that time. This spirit 
of liherality continued during the war, and the people of the 
town did their full part in connection with all measures for the 
relief and care of needy soldiers and the families of those absent 
in their country's service. After the close of the war measures 
were taken for the erection of an appropriate monument in 
memory of the town's fallen lieroes and a chaste memorial of 
Jlonson granite, located near the Congregational church at 
Ludlow Center, was dedicated with appropriate exercises during 
the summer of 1867. The total cost of the monument was $1,025, 
and it still stands as a fitting embodiment of the patriotic spirit 
of those trying days. 

The early settlers of Ludlow were almost entirely farmers, 
and there are indications and traditions that the native Indians, 
or perhaps other and earlier residents, of whom we have not even 
the legacj' of tradition, gave some attention to cultivation of the 
soil. The remains of rude implements of stone, probably designed 
for agricultural or domestic use, have been frequently found 
within the town limits, and it is certain that both before and 
after the settlement of Springfield by white men the present town 
of Ludlow was a favorite resort for the red men. While its 
forests abounded with game, it is probable that the more fertile 
bits of land along the Chicopee river were rudely tilled by the 
aborigines. Probably attention was drawn to the location. 
through reports of the Indian operations along the river ; but the 
early settlei's did not find an exceptionally rich field; as is shown 
liy the familiar name of "Stony ITill." doubtless first applied 
to a distinct elevation, but later adopted to indicate the entire 
settlement, and in that sense used until the organization of a 
separate town. 

It is recorded of some of these settlers that, while they held 
title to extensive tracts of land, they were still regarded as poor 
men, and in fact were obliged to practice a rigid exercise of 
economy in order to secure an adequate lining from their acres. 
And this has largely been the fortune of their descendants and 
others who have since relied upon agricultui-e alone— the re- 
quirements have been plenty of hard work, careful management 

{ 322 ) 


and thrift, in order that satisfactorj- returns might be secured 
from the soil. Yet there is no doubt that the qualities thus en- 
gendered proved in mauj' instances a more valuable heritage to 
the sons of the town's founders than would have been any legacy 
of great wealth. Into the broad field of the world's strife these 
men went with an equipment of energy, industry and frugality 
which enabled them to meet and overcome obstacles, and win a 
victor's reward. At the present time there is much more en- 
couragement for the Ludlow farmer, owing to the nearness of 
village and city markets to which his produce can be profitably 

ulil lashioned Ludlow Jlaiisiou 

As in the case of most other towns of that period, the first 
manufacturing establishments were those devoted to wood work- 
ing—generally saw mills of rude construction and limited 
capacity. Several of these were established in different parts 
of the town, where a water privilege could be secured at a 
minimum of labor and expense. Soon after 1800, Rufus Calkins 
conducted a chair shop on Higher brook, and while the quantity 
of his product was not large, its quality is shown in the fact that 
chairs made by him are still treasured in the town in collections 

( 333 ) 

OJ-n COVyiY AXD its I'EOl'LE 

of antique furniture. He also did a limited amount of spinning 
of Hax and wool, both of whieli were produced on the farms of 
the town. Alden's and blind shop on Broad brook was for 
a time one of the noted manufacturing industries of the town. 
Later it turned out rakes and other agricultural implements. 
Tar and potash were produced at various places in the town at 
different times, and much more widely interesting were the 
Ludlow glass works, a mile north of the Center, Avhere green 
glass, in bottles and other forms, was made for some few years. 
Two or three small manufactories of woolen goods were in opera- 
tions in different parts of the town, and had considerable local 
reputation. Ludlow City also, at one time, boasted a distillery. 
At the falls of Wallamanumps, destined to eclipse aU other 
privileges in the town, business did not begin in earnest until 
the year 1800 or a little later. Previous to this time a dam had 
been constructed there, and probably something in the way of a 
saw mill had been run tlicre, but near the close of the eighteenth 
century only one man lived in aU that section. Attracted by 
the water power, Abner Putnam came from the eastern part of 
the state and erected a shop for the manufacture of scji:hes. 
The business proved successful, the goods made won a high repu- 
tation, and the industry was continued for some ten years or 
more. In 1812 the rights at Wallamanumps were sold by Syl- 
vester IMoody, Abner Putnam and Levi Pease to' Benjamin 
Jencks of Smithfield, R. I., who. with Washington Jeneks, Joseph 
Bucklin, George ^Yilkinson and Stephen H. Smith, organized the 
Si)ringfield ^lanufaeturing company in 1814. ilr. Smith soon 
disposed of his interest to Samuel Slater, who later became so 
widely known as a manufacturer of cotton goods. The company 
at one time owned no less than 1.200 acres of land, and the set- 
tlement which at once sprung up was known as Jencksville— a 
name retained by that portion of the town for much more than 
half a centurj'. 

The business was begun in a modest way in a wooden build- 
ing on the site of the later mills, but consisted only of the 
preparation of warps and yarns, M-hich were woven into cloth on 
hand looms by the families round about. The formal organiza- 

( 324 ) 


tion of the company did not take place until 1821, when work 
was begun on the stone buildings designed as a permanent plant. 
The fii-st, 103 by 36 feet, was completed in 1822, and looms were 
put in operation the next year. In 1826 another mill building, 
forty feet west of the first, was erected. This was somewhat 
larger, being 40 by 115 feet. Both of the mills were carefully 
built, and were considered model structures. It is interesting to 
know that the machinery was made in the mills, the lower stories 
being used as machine shops. The company manufactured cotton 
goods only, the product being principally sheetings. In 1833 
the factories were enlarged by an extension to the eastward, and 
eleven years later the space between the two building-s was 
closed in, making a continuous mill about 32.5 feet in length. 
Meantime, in 1840 a building had been erected at the "upper 
privilege," which was for six years devoted to the manufacture 
of gun barrels for the United States government. At the end of 
that time it was changed to a cotton mill. As showing the custom 
of the times, it may be mentioned that each of these buildings 
and additions, when completed, was dedicated with religious 

Thus far the company had apparently been prosperous, its 
business had grown to large proportions, and it enjoyed the con- 
fidence of the community in a marked degree. The townspeople 
were glad to loan their money to the corporation, and there was 
no hesitation in the acceptance of notes when the company pre- 
ferred to pay in that way rather than in cash. It was a sad 
disaster to the town, therefore, when in 1848 the Springfield 
Manufacturing company was declared insolvent and went oui 
of business. The property passed into the hands of Wood & Mer- 
ritt, a New York city firm, by whom it was managed until 1856. 
It was for a number of years leased to George H. Deane, by whom 
the stone mills were fitted up for the manufacture of jute goods, 
while the building at the upper privilege was used for the manii- 
facture of wadding. At the expiration of the lease Mr. Deane 
purchased the property and organized the Ludlow ]\Iills com- 
pany. The present Ludlow Manufacturing company was organ- 
ized in 1S68. and for thirty-three years has carried on the manu- 

( 32.5 ) 


facture of jute goods, twine, bagging, etc.. witli unvarying 

The business of the company, in a large measure, has been 
the life of the town during years. "With the development 
of the industry new mills have been built from time to time, whai 
is known as ]\lill No. 4, having been erected in 1878. It was ten 
years later that No. 5 mill was built, in 1888; but since that time 
great and frequent additions have been made to the company's 
plant. No. 6 mill was built in 1889, and two years later the 
original No. 2 mill was razed and a fine brick structure was 
erected in its ]ilaee. In the fall of 1894 work was begun on Mill 
No. 7, known as "the new shop," and in 1895 the remaining stone 
mill No. 1, was replaced with a modern brick building. No. 8 
mill was Imilt in 1901, giving the company a fine plant of eigni 
brick mill buildings, modern in construction, fitted with improved 
machinery, and forming altogether a very complete and expen- 
sive establi.sliment. These buildings are supplemented bv an 
office building, well appointed, constructed in 1900. In June 
of the same year work was begun on a fine dam across the Chico- 
pee river at Red Bridge, which was completed sixteen months 
later, giving the companj' a fine addition to its water power. 
This dam is 300 feet in length, and rises to a height of 47 feet 
above the bed of the river. 

But while the company has been thus prospering and enlarg- 
ing its capacity, it has not been indifferent to the higher welfare 
of the comnuinity nestling in the vicinity of its factories, as will 
be evidenced by a brief resume of the important measures with 
which it has been identified. One of the first movements to 
attract attention was that for the establishment of an orphan 
boys' school, in 1881. About the same time, or even earlier, two 
or three extra rooms in the company's buildings were fitted up 
and set apart for school purposes, until such time as a school 
house should be built: this result being attained in 1882, when 
"the Ludlow ^Manufacturing company" school house was erected. 
giving temporary accommodation to the children of "Jencks- 
Anlle." In 1885 a music teacher was provided for the village 
schools; in 1886 a sewing-school was established, and 1887 a 

( 326 ) 


cooking school. The latter movement is being supplemented at 
the present time by the preparation of beautiful and convenient 
rooms, provided with a competent instructor, where lectures on 
hygiene and a cooking-school will be maintained for the benefit 
of the women employed by the company, as well as of others 
interested in the subject matter. 

In 1888 a savings bank was incorporated in the interest of 
the employes of the company's mills primarily, though not 
exclusivelv for their benefit. This bank is open daily as well as 

Hubbard Memorial Library 

two evenings each week, and has at present approximately 
$125,000 in deposits. George D. Oreen is the president, and 
George A, Birnie, treasurer. 

A Masonic Hall was built in 1892. 

The Hubbard Memorial Libraiy building delightfully 
situated at the junction of North and East streets, opposite the 
company's office, is one of the town's most attractive structui'es. 
It was erected in 1889, and in the spring of the following 
year was presented to the town by the widow and children 

( 327 ) 


of Charles T. Mubbard. for many years the treasurer and guiding 
spirit of the Ludh)\v .Manufacturing company. The movement 
of which this fine building of brick and red sandstones is tho 
logical outcome was inaugurated by the coini)any in 1881, under 
the direction of jMr. Hubbard, when a small library, with reading 
room and social room in connection, was opened in "the old Tav- 
ern house," for the benefit of the omi)loyes. At its beginning the 
library consisted of about 400 volumes while the reading room 
boasted a half-dozen magazines. Now, in its elegant new home, 
the library consists of about 5,000 well-selected volumes, while 
the reading room is supplied with nil the leading and popular 
magazines of the day. 

The Ludlow Manufacturing company is capitalized at 
$730,000, and the officers (1901) are as follows: President, R. H. 
Weld ; treasurer, Charles W. Hubbard ; selling agent, Cranmore 
N. Wallace, all of Boston. John E. Stevens of Ludlow is the 
company's resident agent. 

The Ludlow Cordage company, a separate branch of the 
business, was incorporated in 1893 with a capital stock of 
$100,000, and is officered by Edward Brooks as president, and 
Cranmore N. Wallace as treasurer and selling agent, the offices 
being at Boston. Tho product of the company is manila and 
binders' twine. 

During the eighteenth century the organization of a new 
town or independent district meant the establishment of an 
orthodox church as the first indispensable feature of town life — 
if the church had not preceded the indepeudenee of the munic- 
ipality, as was often the case. The history of Ludlow forms no 
exception to the general rule, and we find that the first action 
taken in town (then district) meeting, after that of organization, 
was the appointment of a committee "to hire I\Ir. Pelatiah 
Chapin." IMr. Chapin was a preacher, and the committee were 
successful in engaging his services. Such meetings as were held 
nuist for some years have been conducted at the houses of the 
settlers. At the same time a committee was appointed to locate 
the center of the town, in order that the site might be set apart 
for the erection of a church. Here began the series of diseourag- 

{ 328 ) 


ing experiences which for soiin' decades were to make the religiou-s 
life of the town anything but a pleasant and successful experi- 
ence. The committee was unable to carry out its task and was 
discharged by vote of the town. A second committee, comprising 
some of the original members, was more successful : but the exact 
center of the town, when located, is said to have occupied a 
swamp, rendering it unvailable for the desired purpose. The 
location was accordingly varied sufficiently to give a desirable 
site. Thfi village which subsequently grew up about the chosen 
spot has very appropriately retained to the present, time the 
name of Ludlow Center. 

During the war of the revolution there was little opportunity 
to engage in even so laudable an undertaking as the building of 
a meeting-hoiise ; but after the close of the war in 178-3. we find 
the town voting on the 23d of October that "the building commit- 
tee procure a sufficient quantity of rum for raising the ineeting- 
liouse frame." In a little less than a year the structure was 
sufficiently advanced to shelter a town meeting, but it was a rude 
aflfair, with only rough boards on the sides, and without floors, 
doors or windows. It appears to have been as late as 1797 before 
these deficiencies were fully supplied. The house as finally com- 
pleted was used until 1840, when a second church was built, but 
was de.stroyed by fire in 1859. During the latter year the present 
church edifice was erected, supplemented a little later by the neat 
chapel standing nearly opposite. 

But if the matter of securing a suitable building languished 
in the early years of the town, the settling of satisfactory pastors 
was an even more difficult problem. Xo permanent settlement 
was made until 1793, though several clergjTnen "supplied" 
during the time, the records showing such service by Rev. Pelatiah 
Chapin, Rev. Mr. Davenport, Rev. if. Hutchings, Rev. David 
Haskell (called to become reguuir pastor but declined), Rev. 
Stephen Fuller, Rev. Allen Pratt. Rev. William Stone, and Rev. 
Aaron Woodward. On June 1. 1793, the town voted to call Rev. 
Antipas Steward, a graduate of Harvard, and in November fol- 
lowinghewas ordained as the first settled pastor of the town. His 
compensation was fixed at £60 and thirty cords of wood annually. 

( 3.30 ) 


The pastorate was contiuued for ten years, but it was not suc- 
cessful, serious dissensions marking its later portion. Mr. Stew- 
ard was dissmissed in 1803, and then followed sixteen years of 
unsettled condition. During much of this time clergymen from 
other denominations occupied the pidpit. Rev. Laban Thurber, 
a Baptist, supplied the church during 1805 and 1806, and Rev. 
Abner Phelps in 1808. Then came two Methodist clergymen- 
Rev. Elijah Hedding, a presiding elder, in 1811, and Rev. Alex- 
ander McLean from 1813 to 1816. Denominational interests 
then asserted themselves, and the subsequent pastors have been 
of the Congregational faith, their names and periods of service 
having been as follows: Rev. Ebenezer Burt Wright, 1819-35; 
Rev. David R. Austin, associate and full pastor, 1833-35 ; Rev. 
Alonzo Sanderson, 1839-43 ; Rev. Jeremy W. Tuck, 1843-59 ; Rev. 
Warren Mayo, 1860-62; Rev. Chester Bridgman, 1864-6; Rev. 
Chester L. Cushman, 1866-74; Rev. Samuel V. McDuffee. 1875- 
82; Rev. Myron P. Dickey, 1883-92; Rev. Edward P. Allen, 
1893-4 ; Rev. Everett D. Francis, 1895, the present pastor. 

From the fact that Methodist clergymen supplied the pulpit 
of the only church in the town for several yeai's during the early 
part of the ninteenth century, it will readily be inferred that 
some of the leading men of the town were identified with that 
faith. As early as 1793 the beginnings of IMethodism were 
planted among the settlers. Prior to that time George Pickering 
and George Roberts, itinerant Methodist preachers, had visited 
the town, and in the year named Samuel Frost, familiarly called 
"Master Frost," opened his house for the preaching of the then 
new religion. Nathaniel Chapin, Uriah Clough, and Joel Far- 
num were the first to respond, and in 1795 "riders" from W'!- 
braham gave stated supph^, which continued for some years. 
Among the treasui'ed names of this period are those of Menzies 
Rayner, Lemuel Smith, Zadoc Priest, Daniel Ostrander and 
Laban Clark. In 1802 Rev. Henry Eames established a "class" 
at Samuel Frost's, with Da\id Orcutt as class-leader. Rev. 
Augustin Jocelyn, the next circuit rider, made Sunday appoint- 
ments for Ludlow, and gave much of his time there. Thus the 
faith was spread, gradually, until 1828, when through the efforts 

( 331 ) 


of Rev. "Wilbur Fisk, D. D., then principal of Wesleyan academy 
at "Wilbraham, a church building 40 by 50 feet was erected and 
dedicated. The structure was remodeled in 1858. and with minor 
improvements in later years it still does service for the denomina- 
tion in whose interests it was erected. The building is located 
near the Congregational clmrch at the "Center," and it is 
pleasing to learn that the best of feeling has existed between the 
two bodies each extending courtesies to the other as occasion 
I'endered possible such expressions of Christian regard. The fiill 
list of regular pastors of the Methodist church is as follows : Rev. 
Wilbur Fisk. 1826; Rev. Isaac Jennison, 1827; Rev. Aaron "Wait, 
1829 ; Rev. Samuel Davis, 1830-31 ; Rev. Salmon Hull, 1832 ; Rev. 
Paul Townsend, 1833; Rev. Charles D. Rogers, 1834; Rev. Amasa 
Taylor, 1835; Rev. Philo Hawks, 1836-7; Rev. Charles Virgin, 
1838; Rev. James Nichols, 1839-40; Rev. William Campbell, 
1841; Rev. John W. Dadmun, 1841-2; Rev. William A. Clapp, 
1843; Rev. William Fleming, 1844; Rev. Asa Barnes, 1845; 
Rev. Ephraim Scott, 1846; Rev. Luther B. Clark, 1847; Rev. 
John Caldwell, 1848-9: Rev. JMoses Stoddard, 1850-51; Rev. 
James W. jMowry, 1852-3 ; Rev. Kinsman Atkinson, 1854-5 ; Rev. 
Nathan A. Soule, 1856 ; Rev. Franklin Fisk, 1857-8 : Rev. George 
Prentice, 1859-60 ; Rev. William G. Leonard, 1861 ; Rev. Daniel 
K. Banister. 1862-3; Rov. William J. Pomphret, 1864-6; Rev. 
Levin A. Bosworth, 1867-8; Rev. Jonas M. Clark, 1869; Rev. 
John W. Lee, 1870; Rev. John W. Merrill, D. D., 1871-2; Rev. 
Alfred Noon, 1873-4; Rev. N. H. Martin, 1875-7; Rev. Charles 
H. Vinton, 1878-9; Rev. Alfred C. Godfrey, 1879-80; Rev. W. 
H. Adams. 1881-3; Rev. Daniel Atkins, 1884-6; Rev. William 
Ferguson, 1887-8; Rev. W. H. Adams, 1889-90; Rev. G. W. 
Simonson, 1893-4; Rev. N. M. Caton, 1897-8; Rev. F. H. 
Wheeler. 1899-1900; Rev. E. B. Marshall, 1901. 

The Methodists appear to have been first in taking an in- 
terest in religious matters at Jencksville, and their itinerants 
visited the factory village as early as 1828. Rev. Mr. Foster, 
principal of the academy at Wilbraham. was probably the first 
preacher. In 1831 a considerable re\-ival occurred, and ser\ices 
were held in a room fitted up for the purpose in one of the fac- 

( 332 ) 


tory buildings. These were continued with more or less regu- 
larity for several years, until 1841. when Kev. B. P. Lombard 
became pastor of the little parish, continuing during the follow- 
ing year. In 1845 efforts were made to secure the erection of 
a church, and the following year the present building was 
completed and dedicated. It was designed for the joint use of 
Methodists and Congregationalists ; but a question of privileges 
arising soon after, the Methodists withdrew and a little later 
erected a building for themselves. The Congregationalists also 
organized a church and settled a pastor, and the two societies 
were just getting into working condition when the faihire of 
the manufacturing company in 1848 broke all plans for that 
communit3^ Both houses of worship were soon closed, and the 
little Methodist church, heavily mortgaged, was sold for a nomi- 
nal sum and removed to Warren, where it was remodeled and 
again went into service as "a Methodist meeting-house." In 
1857 Wilbraham academy again came to the rescue in the 
person of one of its students, W. H. Daniels, who conducted a 
successful revival, and Methodist pastors were assigned to the 
parish until 1863. Four years of inertia then followed, when a 
union church was organized, which has since that time been 
supplied with clergymen representing both denominations, the 
list of those who have served as pastors at the viUage from the 
first religious organization being as follows, the letter indicating 
the preacher's denomination: Kev. B. F. Lombard (M.), 1841-2; 
Rev. Daniel E. Chapin (M.), 1846; Rev. David Sherman (M.), 
1847; Rev. Z. A. Mudge (M.), 1848; Rev. William Hall (C), 
1848; Rev. W. H. Daniels (M.), 1857; Rev. David K. Merrill 
(M.), 1858; Rev. L. R. S. Brewster (M.), 1859; Rev. George E. 
Chapman (M.), 1860-61; Rev. John Noon (M.), 1862; Rev. J. A, 
Kibbe (M.), 1863; Rev. A. Gardner (C), 1868; Rev. H. E. 
Crocker (M.), 1872; Rev. J. A. DeForest (M.), 1873; Rev. 
Timothy Lyman (C), 1874; Rev. C. L. Cushman (C), 1878-9; 
Rev. John P. Coyle (C), 1882-5; Rev. Edward P. Day (C), 
1886-90; Rev. Abram J. Quick (C), 1891-6; Rev. William A. 
Thomas (C), 1897-9. For the last two years the pastorate has 
been vacant. 

( 333 ) 


In Ihe way of societies- fraterual, beneficial iind social — 
the town has enjoyed its full share. For most of the time during 
the past half-century an efficient temperance organization has 
existed in Ludlow, reflecting the earnest and continued senti- 
ment of the eonnnunity, which has ever been in the direction 
of sobriety and right living. The Sons of Temperance, Good 
Templars, and other orders have thus had representation. 
Among the present societies of the town the following, with 
the officers for 1901, may be mentioned: Ludlow Grange, No. 
179, Patrons of Husbandry, organized in 1889. Master, C. B 
Bennett; lecturer, Airs. Bertha Taylor; secretary, Mrs. Lizzie 
C. Chapman. Court Indian Leap, No. 58, Foresters of America, 
organized in 1891. Chief ranger, John Duffy; treasurer, Jame.s 
Patterson; recording secretary, Robert Stuart. Romona Circle 
No. 277, Companions of the Forest, organized in 1895. Chief, 
Miss Theresa Coyne; treasurer, Miss Sadie White. Brigham 
Lodge, A. P. and A. M., instituted in 1892. W. M., Albert H 
Halford; secretary, George Elphiustone; treasurer, Walter 
Bennet. Bui'ns Social Club.— President, George Eliphinstone ; 
secretary, James R. Sterling; treasurer, James D. Wilson. Lud- 
low Athletic and Reci-eation Association, incorporated in 1896. 
President, Robert Kyle; secretary, George Elphinstone; treas- 
urer, James Patterson. 

In an unpretentious but efficient way the town has from 
the first given attention to the education of its children. The 
first mention of a school appropriation is made in the midst of 
the revolutionary war period, when the sum of £400 was voted ; 
but in the inflated currency of that time it is doubtful if this 
nominally large sum accomplished as much as the £20 which 
was voted a few years later. In 1800 the amount appropriated 
was $133. Nine years previous a committee to locate and build 
school houses had been entrusted with £90 for that purpose, 
while the general direction of the schools remained in the hands 
of the selectmen until 1794, when a more satisfactory arrange- 
ment—that of a committee from each school district— was 
adopted. As early as 1822 the di\nsion of the town into nine 
school districts had been completed, and the lines thus estah- 

( 334 ) 


lislied largely exist to the present time, the town having voted, 
under the option allowed by the act of the legislature establish- 
ing the grade system of schools in Massachusetts, to continue 
the districts. That is still done in most parts of the town, but 
at Ludlow village (formerly Jencksville) a fine eight-room 
building has recently been erected, at a cost of $23,000, dedicated 
September 3, 1901, in which the high school and the union 
grammar school are quartered. The high school is under the 
direction of Frederic F. Smith as principal with Miss Flora B. 
Townsend as assistant. The grammar school is instructed by 
Miss Addie Cole as principal, with seven assistant teachers. The 
six district schools are each in charge of a single teacher. 

In area the present town of Ludlow comprises 28.2 square 
miles. Its population in 1850, as given by the United States 
census, numbered 1,186, and for two decades showed a slight 
loss, being 1,174 in 1860, and 1,136 in 1870. In 1880 it had 
increased to 1,526, in 1890 to 1,939, and in 1900 to 3,536-the 
large increase of the last decade being chiefly due to the pros- 
perity and extension of business of the town's chief industry, 
the Ludlow Manufacturing company. 


On the northern border of Hampden county, among the 
rocky, rugged foothills of the eastern range of the Berkshire 
hills, is one of the smallest yet in some respects one of the most 
interesting ci\'il divisions of the region. Soon after the close 
of the last French and English war, when it was safe for an 
adventurous pioneer to leave the well protected settlements of 
the larger towns, Ephraim Avery and his family removed from 
the thickly populated portion of the flourishing town of West- 
field and made his way up into the hill regions to the westward 

( 335 ) 


and there established a lioiiie not far from the towering heights 
of old Mt. Tekoa. In the course of a few more mouths and 
during the years 1767 and '68, other settlers came to the locality, 
where the lands were cheap and yet were fertile and productive, 
and there made comfortable farm homes for themselves, their 
children and their descendants. 

By the frequent arrival of other families in the vicinity a 
settlement was built iip in the space of a few years, and the 
locality soon became known as the ' ' New Addition ' ' to Westfield, 
the mother town, whence came nearlj- all these first settlers. 
After the total number of families here had increased to perhaps 
fifty or more, and after these had become united in the common 
bonds of friendship and mutual interest, they naturally sought 
to establish a new town in this part of old Hampshire county, 
for they were at considerable inconvenience in being compelled 
to travel eight miles to "Westfield to transact business, to vote 
at elections, and to attend to other necessary affairs which might 
be done nearer home. At that time, as now, eight and ten miles 
of ti-avel in itself was of little importance to the hardy settler, 
but between "Westfield and the central part of the New Addition 
settlement the traveled roads were rough and there had been 
little attempt at improvement in any of the intervening country; 
and besides, the site of the settlement was elevated several 
hundred feet above the "Westfield village level and the journey 
up into the mountainous country was attended with many in- 
conveniences and some danger during the frozen seasons of the 

In 1780, having these things in mind and having increased 
their new settlement so that ft numbered something like 400 in- 
habitants, the people here, with the sanction and assistance of 
those at Westfield, besought the general court, praying that they 
be set olT and incorporated as a new town of the county. The 
legislative records on this subject read as follows: "AYhereas 
the inhabitants of the northerly part of "Westfield, called the 
New Addition, on the east side of Westfield river, and the south- 
westerly part of Southampton, viz. : fifth mile square, sixth mile 
square, and the one-half square mile adjoining the said sixth 

( 336 ) 


mile square, and the southerly corner of Norwich, beginning 
at the IMoose Meadow corner 800 rods on the Southampton west 
line; thence a straight line to Rock House corner, so called, to 
the corner of the abovesaid New Addition, have represented to 
this court the great difficulties and inconvenience they labor 
under in their present situation, and have earnestly requested 
that they be incorporated into a town;" Be it enacted, etc. 
"That the northerly part of Westfield, called the New Addition, 
on the east side of Westfield river, and the southerly part of 
Southampton, and the southerly corner of Nonvich," etc. (here 
follows a particular description of the territory), "be, and the 
same is. hereby incorporated into a town by the name of Mont- 
gomery. ' ' 

Thus was the town established during the darkest yeai-s of 
the revolution, but the necessary work of organization and 
election was hardly finished before the freemen began devising 
means for the common defense. Already several of the sturdy 
young men of the town were in the army, and to encourage still 
further enlistments it w-as voted to pay a bounty of four pounds 
for all who would serve for one month, and three pounds, five 
shillings for each month thereafter. While some of the towns 
were not unanimous in their support of the cause for which the 
Americans were contending, the spirit of disloyalty never was 
shown in the little struggling settlement in the upper valley 
of Westfield river; and in 1812, when the spirit of federalism 
pervaded the entire region of Western Massachusetts the resolu- 
tions favoring the sentiments of the Northampton convention 
and its purpose were in accord with the action of nearly all the 
towns comprising the then new county of Hampden. 

Let us retui'u, however, to an earlier period of the town's 
history and briefly note the names and something of the lives 
of the settlers who laid the foundations of this loyal old town, 
whose organization antedated that of the county by more than 
two-score years. Some doubt exists as to the exact year in which 
pioneer Ephraini Avery first ventured up into the mountainous 
regions surrounding old Mt. Tekoa, but common belief places the 
date of his coming somewhere between 1765 and 1767. He was 

22-3 ( 337 ) 


tlie head of a large family of children, not one of whom now 
lives to tell the tale of early life in the town. His sons were 
William, Abel, Haniuel, Kainsford and Ephraim, and besides he 
had two daughters. In later years the family became scattered 
in other localities, but the surname is still represented here by 
thrifty descendants of the worthy pioneer. 

Captain Sylvester Squier. whose name is not unknown in 
connection with the early military history of the town, was 
another of the first settlers, and is believed to have come here 
previous to 17(17. He, too, had a goodly family, although we have 
no present record of the names of his children. Abial Squier 
was one of the first selectmen! of the town of 1780, and with 
Noble Squier of later yeais served in that capacity a long time. 
By marriage the daughters of Capt. Squier lost their surnames, 
yet the direct (lescendanls of the pioneer are still in this part of 
the county. 

Oliver Clark settled here in 1766 or '67 and was one of the 
first to follow the pioneer into the region. He lived to a good 
old age, and was a man much respected in the town although his 
life was devoted to per.sonal concerns rather than public affairs. 
The sons of Oliver Clark were Oliver, James, Hawley, Simon, 
Pharez, Elijah and Elisha, and the daughters were Ruth and 
Olive. By the marriage of these children the Clark surname 
became numerous in Montgomery and always stood for integrity 
and worth. 

Another pioneer head of a worthy family was David Allyn, 
who settled here probably in 1767, and some representative of 
whose family name in each succeeding generation has been 
prominently identified with ^Montgomery history, and also with 
its best interests in business pursuits. Pioneer Allyn raised to 
maturity a large family of seven sons and six daughters. The 
sons were Jabez, David, Joseph, Ansel, James, Albert and 
Albro Allyn. Daniel Barrett, another settler of about the same 
time, also was the head of a large family in IMontgomery, yet 
the surname is not now represented here. His sons were 
Moses. Sanniel. Benjamin. Daniel. ^Marcus, Lysander and Elisha, 
the first three of whom died in the town, while the others joined 
the tide of westward emigration years ago. 

( 338 ) 


The Parks surname has been known in Montgomery history 
ever since the days of first settlement ; and almost every genera- 
tion of the descendants of Aaron Parks, including the pioneer 
himself, has served the town in one or more public offices. 
Aaron Parks was married three times. His sons were Moses 
and Orrin. neither of wliom died in the town, but both of whom 
left families, and from them have descended many of the Parks 's, 
now so numerous in the western towns of the county. 

Another old and prominent family name in Montgomery 
history is that of Moore, the pioneer being Joel Moore, an indus- 
trious and fairly successful man, yet not a conspicuous figure 
in public affairs. Joel, Jr., Guy and Dorus Moore were sons 
of Joel, the pioneer, and the descendants of these are now nu- 
merous in Hampden county. Throughout all generations of the 
family from the pioneer to the present factors in county Ufe, 
the Moores have been noted for their industry and integrity. 

Abial Pettis was still another of the earliest settlers in the 
New Addition, and although the descendants of Abial are still 
numerous in this section of the county, recollections of the pio- 
neer himself are not easily obtainable. Allen Pettis, one of his 
sons, lived in Montgomery and attained a good old age. Abial 
jun., died in the town but left no children. Philander, son of 
the pioneer, died in the west. 

Among the other early settlers of Montgomery, some of whom 
have been of the first comers, but of whom no accurate data are 
obtainable, there may be recalled the names of John Kagwin, 
Elijah Pitcher (one of the first selectmen and a prominent 
person in town affairs). John French, Jacob Fellows, Zadock 
Bosworth, Nathaniel Wattles, Daniel Barret, Richard Falley 
(who was selectman in 1784, and who also was a prominent char- 
acter in early town history.^ His daughter was grandmother 
of former president Gi'over Cleveland. The Falley surname 
is not now represented in the town), Amos Maynard, Truman 

'Uichard Falley nwned and lived on the farm now owned by Mr. Le Valley, 
the artist, and carried on a gun shop in which he made muskets for the Amer- 
ican soldiers in the revolutionary war. and also in the war of 1812-15. The 
foundations of the old shop are still to be seen in a ravine near Mr. Le Valley's 
residence. — Ed. 

( 339 ) 


Mallory, Isaac Palmer, Isaac Chapman, Jacob Audrews, Martin 
Root, Oliver Rice, Echvard Taylor, Jonathan Herrick, Levi 
Adams, Isaac Wilbarn, and others perhaps equally worthy of 
mention, but whose names are forgotten with lapse of years. 

With settlement thus permanently established by sturdy 
New Englanders from the eastern colonies of the province, and 
with the subsequent acquisition to their number by others of 
the same stock, it is not surprising that the liberty-loving people 
should petition the general court for an act of incorporation ; 
and when that end was attained it was fitting that the new 
jurisdiction should be named in allusion to one of America's 
bravest revolutionary patriots, Gen. Richard Montgomery, who 
was killed in battle before the walls of Quebec in 1775. 

In a preceding paragraph the act ci'eating the town is re- 
ferred to at some length. On February 25, 1792, Montgomery 
surrendered a small portion of its territory to the town of Rus- 
sell, and on IMarch 6 of the same year parts of Norwich and 
Southampton were annexed to Montgomery. The organization 
was accomplished with little ceremony, and the first meeting for 
the election of officers was held at the house of Zadock Bosworth 
on December 14, 1780. At that time all the offices were filled 
and some provision w^as made for the support of public schools. 
The church society then was an institution of the town and was 
for three years afterward a controlling factor in its government. 

Selectineu.—nSO, Oliver Clark, Abial Squier, Elijah 
Pitcher; 1781, Abial Squier, Elijah Pitcher John Fi-ench; 1782, 
Abial Squier, Jacob Fellows, Nathaniel Wattles; 1783, Aaron 
Parks, Sylvester Squier, Daniel Barret; 1784, Richard Falley, 
Sylvester Squier, Aaron Parks; 1785, Isaac Wilbarn, Daniel 
Barret, Amos Maynard ; 1786, Jacob Andrus, Martin Root, Tru- 
man Mallory; 1787, Edward Taylor, Sylvester Squier, Amos 
Maynard; 1788, Aaron Parks, Noble Squier, David Crow; 1789, 
Isaac Palmer, Jr., Noble Squier, James Clark; 1790, Isaac 
Palmer, Jr., Amos Maynard, Samuel Wright, Jr.; 1791, Isaac 
Chapman, Abner Rice, Jr., Noble Squier; 1792, Daniel Barret, 
Edward Taylor, Aaron Parks; 1793, Jonathan Herrick, Noble 
Squier, Gardner Squier; 1794, Edward Taylor, Daniel Barret, 

( 341 ) 


Amos Jlaynard; 1795, Edward Taylor, Sylvester Squier, Levi 
Adams; 1796, Sylvester Squier, Isaac Chapman, ]\Iartin Root; 
1797, Edward Taylor, Aaron Parks, Levi Adams; 1798, Edward 
Taylor, Amos Maynard, Daniel Barret; 1799, Aaron Parks, 
Elisha Hutchinson, Sylvester Squier; 1800, Sylvester Squier, 
Zadock Bosworth, Daniel Barret; 1801, Aaron Parks, Amos 
Maynard, Daniel Barret ; 1802-3, Edward Taylor, Aaron Parks, 
Daniel Barret; 1804, Aaron Parks, Richard Falley, Sylvester 
Squier; 1805, Samuel Avery, Richard Falley, Sylvester Squier; 
1806-8, Aai-on Parks, Sylvester Squier, Samuel Avery; 1809, 
Aaron Parks, Sylvester Squier, David R. Cooley; 1810-11, 
Aaron Parks, Sylvester Squier, James Wright; 1812, Aaron 
Parks, Joseph Green, James L. Adair; 1813, Aaron Parks, Tru- 
man Jlallory, Abner Chapman; 1814, Edward Taylor, Moses 
Hatch, David Crowley; 1815-17, Edward Taylor, Aaron Parks, 
Moses Hatch; 1818, Moses Hatch, Aaron Parks, Gameliel King; 
1819, Edward Taylor, John Crow, Orrin Parks; 1820, Wm. Crow, 
Edward Taylor, Orrin Parks; 1821, Edward Taylor, Orrin 
Parlvs, Pliny Moore; 1822, Moses Parks, Flavius Moore, Wm. 
Crow; 1823. Edward Taylor. Pliny Moore, Orrin Parks; 1824, 
Edward Taylor, Orrin Parks, John Crow; 1825-26, Moses Parks, 
John Crow, Orrin Parks; 1827-28, Edward Taylor, Orrin Parks, 
Lucius Wrisjlit; 1829. Edward Taylor, Moses Parks, Orrin 
Parks; 1830-31, Orriu Parks, John Crow, Ransom Clark; 1832, 
Edward Taylor, Moses Parks, Orrin Parks; 1833, Edward 
Taylor, TSloses Parks, Wm. Squier; 1834, Orrin Parks, Wm. 
Squier, John Camp; 1835, Edward Taylor, Orrin Parks, John 
Camp; 1836, Orrin Parks, Noah Sheldon, Elisha Avery; 1837- 
38, Orrin Parks. Ransom Clark, Nathan Hutchinson; 1839, 
Moses Parks, Elisha Avery, AYm. Squier; 1840, Orrin Parks, 
Wm. Squier, Sheldon Brownson; 1841, Moses Parks, Noah 
Sheldon, Nathan Hutchinson; 1842, Orrin Parks, Isaac Brown- 
son. Wm. Squier: 1843. Ransom Clark. Wm. Squier, Elisha P. 
Parks; 1844, Ransom Clark. Elisha P. Parks. Norman Chapman; 
1845. Ransom Clark, Sheldon Brownson, Edward Taylor; 1846- 
47, Elisha Avery, Wm. Squier, Aaron P. Parks; 1848, Amos 
W. Wlieelcr, Ransom Clark. Norman Chapman ; 1849, Aaron P. 

( 342 ) 


Parks, Ransom Clark, Hiram Bartholmew ; 185t), \Vm. Squier, 
Elisha P. Parks, N. P. Bartholmew; 1851, Elislia P. Parks, 
Holley Clark, N. P. Bartholmew; 1852, Edward M. Taylor, 
Aaron P. Parks, S. Moore; 1853, Wm. Squier, Isaac Brownson, 
Zenas Clark; 1854, Wm. Squier, L. T. Allyu, Nelson Clark; 
1855, Wm. Squier, L. T. Allyu, A. A. Moore; 1856, A. A. Moore, 
Nelson Hutchinson, B. H. Kagwin; 1857, Wm. Sqiiier, Holley 
Clark, A. A. Moore ; 1858, Aaron P. Parks, L. T. Allyn, Henry 
S. Stiles; 1859, Wm. Squier, Chelsea Upson, Francis W. Clark; 
1860, A. A. Moore, John Hutchinson, Chelsea Upson; 1861, A. 
A. Moore, Horace P. Moore, Henry S. Stiles ; 1862, Wm. Squier, 
Aaron P. Parks, Gilbert Squier ; 1863, Wm. Squier, A. A. Moore, 
Orlando W. A.xtell ; 1864. Edwin S. Snow, Horace F. Moore, R. 
W. Clark ; 1865, Aaron P. Parks, R. W. Clark, Horace F. Moore ; 
1866-67, A. A. Moore, H. K. Axtell, 0. A. Moore; 1868, R. W. 
Clark, Wm. Squier, Lewis T. Allyn; 1869, R. W. Clark, Henry 
S. Stiles, Chelsea Upson; 1870, R. W. Clark, Henry S. Stiles, 
Ransom E. Clark; 1871, E. W. Pettis, R. W. Clark, Ransom E. 
Clark; 1872, R. E. Clark, Henry S. Stiles, Wm. H. Avery; 1873, 
E. E. Clark, Lewis T. Allyn, Ezra Wright; 1874-75, R. E. Clark, 
Henry S. Stiles, Chelsea Upson; 1876, Lewis T. Allyn, F. W. 
Clark, A. A. Mooi-e ; 1877, R. W. Clark, Henry S. Stiles, G. L. 
Moore : 1878, Lewis T. Allyu, F. W. Clark, H. F. Moore ; 1879- 
81, R. W. Clark, Henry S. Stiles, G. L. Moore; 1882, R. W. 
Clark, H. K. Axtell, H. C. Kelso ; 1883, R. W. Clark, H. S. Stiles, 
H. C. Kelso; 1884-86, G. L. Moore, Ezra Wright, L. 0. Moore; 
1887-89, R. W. Clark, L. 0. Moore, G. L. Moore; 1890, L. 0. 
Moore, Ezra Wright, A. G. Wright; 1891-94, L. 0. Moore, R. 
W. Clark, G. L. Moore ; 1895-99, L. 0. Moore, R. W. Clark, A. 
D. Avery; 1900. L. 0. Moore, A. D. Avery, A. J. Hall; 1901, 
L. 0. Moore, D. L. Allyn, 0. E. Moore. 

Town CJer&s.— Stephen Hurlbut, 1780-83; Daniel Barrett, 
1783-97; James Searle, 1798; Daniel Barrett, 1799-1805; James 
Wright, 1805-9; James L. Adair, 1809-16; Elisha Chapman, 
1816-19 ; Moses Hatch, 1819-20 ; Orrin Parks, 1821 ; Samuel Bar- 
rett, 1822-23 ; Orrin Parks, 1824-53 : N. S. Moore, 1853-58 ; Wm. 
Squier, 1858-60; Aaron P. Parks, 1860-62; L. T. Allyn, 1863; 

( 343 ) 


Horace Bartliolmew, 1864; Aarou P. Parks, 1865-68; L. T. 
AUyn, 1868-72 ; A. A. Moore, 1872-78 ; R. E. Clark, 1879 ; Horace 
Bartliolmew, 1880-81; A. A. Moore, 1882; H. S. Stiles. 1883-86; 
P. W. Clark, 1887-88; H. S. Stiles, 1889; A. A. Moore, 1890; 
L. T. Allyu, 1891-92; D. L. Allyn, 1893-98; A. D. Avery, 1899- 

Town Officers, WUl.—h. 0. Moore, 0. E. Moore, D. L. 
AUyn, selectmen; A. D. Avery, town clerk; A. J. Hall, auditor; 
D. L. Allyn. treasurer; C. H. Clapp, collector; C. H. Clapp and 
C. A. Williams, constables; M. E. Camp, D. L. Allyn, H. C. 
Kelso, cemetery commissioners; Lucien 0. Moore, justice of the 
peace; C. A. Williams, chief of police. The selectmen act as 
assessors, overseers of the poor and town board of health. 

Among the towns of Hampden county Montgomery always 
has enjoyed an excellent standing and has furnished to the 
higher offices of public life in the region some of the best men 
chosen to those positions. A glance at the above list of selectmen 
will show the quality of material from which the town officers 
have been selected, and a perusal of the general county civil list 
will disclose that this town has furnished some strong representa- 
tives to the general court of the commonwealth. Yet it is some- 
v.'hat surpi'ising that in 1900 Montgomery had less than half the 
luimber of inhabitants who dwelt in the town one hundred years 
ago. The causes of this remarkable decrease are too well known 
to need discussion in this chapter, and a comparison of census 
statistics with other towns will show that the loss in popvdation 
here has been no greater than in other similarly conditioned 
divisions of the county. 

From the earliest years of its history Montgomery has been 
an agricultural town' ; the quality of its land is good and fair 
production is assured under persevering effort on the part of 
the farmer. But the town happens to be located at a remote 
distance from the best markets and never has had the direct 
benefits of a railroad. Its lands are elevated several hundred 
feet above the valley in Westfield, and a fair proportion of its 

■About 1837 there were 1468 sheep In the town, producing ?2,2i;o.33 worth 
of wool. — Eto. 

( 344 ) 


entire area is covered with excellent timber of various kinds. 
Lumbering has always been carried on and occasionally wood- 
working establishments have been operated in the town. 

The population of the town at various periods is shown by 
the following extracts from the federal and state census reports: 
1790, 449; 1800, 560; 1810, 595; 1820, 604; 1830, 579; 1840, 
740; 1850, 393; 1855, 413; 1860, 371; 1865, 353; 1870, 318; 1875, 
304; 1880, 303; 1885, 278; 1890, 266; 1895, 275; 1900, 273. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Montgomery has been an 
incorporated town almost a century and a half, it never has 
had a village or trading center of any considerable note. The 
little haiiili't A\-hicli 1ms been made to serve that purpose is 


situated near the center of the town and comprises about a 
dozen dwellings and a few small shops, the Congregational 
church, the library and a public school. This locality, and 
indeed the entire town, is made the summer home of many per- 
sons who seek to escape the oppressive atmosphere of the cities 
and find rest and quiet in the moi'e pleasant and healthful hill 
regions of this substantial old town. 

It would be difficult, if not quite impossible, to fui'nish a 
reliable list of all the persons who have engaged in industrial 
pursuits, other than farming, in the town. Many of the best 
farmers raise general crops, yet dairy farming is perhaps the 

( 345 ) 


chief occupation of the iiiliabitants. In connection with this 
pursuit there has been maintained for years several creameries, 
located according to the convenience of the people of the several 
sections. At this time these creameries are conducted by A. 
D. Avery, John Camp, Sanniel W. Coe, E. A. Chapman and 
C. M. Hayden. The axe helve factory is under the present pro- 
prietorship of C. A. "Williams, who also acts as the peace ofiScer 
of the town. The cider makers are S. S. Avery and J. E. Camp; 
cattle dealers, D. L. AUyn and C. S. Allyn; carpenter, H. C. 
Kelso; wheelwright and general jobber, S. W. Williston; post- 
mistress, Mrs. A. E. Pittsinger; justice of the peace, Lucien 0. 
Moore; painter, Cliiford Williston; proprietor of stage line, W. 

B. Cushman; librarian, J\lrs. D. L. AlljTi; library committee, 
Mrs. A. D. Avery, D. S. I\Ioore, Mrs. H. C. Kelso. 

The town always has maintained a public school system 
according to the requirements of the law and of a standard 
equal to that of any other town of like situation with this. 
AVhen formally organized in 1780 ample provision was made for 
the support of a school, and as the several localities became 
settled the territory was divided into districts and a school was 
provided for each. The maximum number, both of schools and 
pupils, was reached between 1830 and 1840, since which time 
they have been reduced in number as the population has de- 
creased. At the present time five schools are maintained, but 
the attendance is small in each, the total number of children 
of school age in the town being only 47. Under the present 
arrangement pupils entitled to attend an academic school are 
sent to "Westfield. IMontgomery is one of four towns in Hamp- 
den county which have no superintendent of common schools.^ 
The present school coiuniittco comprises D. L. Allyn, chairman; 

C. H. Clapp and C. :\r. Tlayden.' 

In the early history of the town the affairs of the church 
and of town itself were conducted almost as a single body, and 
public maintenance of religious M'orship was a recognized cus- 
tom from the time the settlement was begun until about three 

'Since this was writtin the town lias joined with Russell, Blandford and Hnnt- 
injfton in enipUtyinjr a Snperintendeiit of Schools. 

( 346 ) 


years after the incorporating act of 17S8. Previous to 1780 the 
church in "VVestfield governed the ecclesiastical history of the 
New Addition. On the organization of the town the inhabitants 
discussed the question of providing for regular services, and 
in December following appropriated six pounds for the support 
of "preaching in the town." In 1783 Rev. John Ballentine was 
engaged to preach at the price of two dollars for each Sabbath's 
service for twenty weeks. The first services were held in the 
houses of the inhabitants, and in 1788 the subject of a meeting 
house was discussed. In 1797 the first church edifice was built, 
and was succeeded by the present structure erected in 1848. 
During the period of its history, the Congregational church in 
Montgomerj' has experienced a varied condition of existence, 
at times being in a healthful state and as often decreasing in 
numbers until it was not self-supporting. Now the pulpit is 
supplied from Huntington by Rev. AV. L. Hendrick. 

Methodism gained a foothold in the town along about 1825 
or '30 and increased so rapidly that in the course of the next 
twentj' years a house of worship was erected at the center. 
Thereafter regular services were held during the warm mouths 
of each year, but finally the town's population became so les- 
sened that the society could not maintain a separate existence. 
In the same manner and at about the same time the Second 
Adventists planted a society of their church in Montgomery, 
and occupied the Congregational house of worship at the Center. 
This society has since maintained an existence, although its 
members are few in number. At the present time its people are 
under the ministerial care of Rev. G. L. Teeple, of Huntington. 

For many years Montgomery has been noted for the in- 
tegrity and worth of its citizens, and in glancing over the rec- 
ords of the county we find that some of the best public officers 
have been chosen from this town; and in local affairs we also 
observe that the positions of trust have nearly always been filled 
by men of acknowledged worth and high character. Elisha 
Clark, who now is bordering on 90 years of life, began here a 
poor man and eventually became one of the largest land owners 
in the town. F. AV. Clark, also a prosperous farmer, lia.s been 

( 347 ) 


an active factor in public affairs; lias been town clerk, select- 
man, justice of the peace, and representative to the general 
court. 0. A. Moore is a successful farmer and likewise has 
gained celebrity as a veteran boarding-liouse keeper. W. W. 
Avery is more than 80 years old and for about 25 years drove 
the mail and passenger stage. 

Among the other prominent factors in the past and present 
history of the town we may mention the names of R. D. Avery, 
E. A. Chapman, S. "W. Coe, E. C. Clark, all substantial farmers; 
A. D. Avery, town clerk and farmer; S. B. Williston, carpenter 
and blacksmith ; C. H. Clapp, for several years constable and 
collector of taxes; J. J. LaValley, the artist of ^nde repute; 
George Avery, farmer and capitalist; H. C. Kelso, carpenter 
and joiner; E. S. Allyn, farmer and extensive cattle dealer; 
D. L. Allyn, farmer, dealer in live stock and conspicuous figure 
in town and church affairs; L. 0. Moore, farmer, justice of the 
peace, master of the grange, and who has held the office of 
selectman longer than any previous incumbent in that position. 




The town of Chester, formerly called ilurrayfield, is located 
in the extreme northwest corner of Hampden county. It is 
bounded south by Blandford— the only town in Hampden 
county that it touches; west by Becket; northwest by Middle- 
field: north by Worthington; east by Huntington. Chester 
and Huntington and nearly half of ilontgomery and the south- 
east corner of Middlefield were all originally in the town of 
Murrayfield. Murrayfield was one of several townships that 
had been laid out and known only by number— this one being 
known as "township No. 9." Three rivers flowed through this 

( 348 ) 


township, and their united waters flowing together near the 
northeast corner, and within the limits of Blandford, formed 
from that point the Westfield river. The three rivers were 
always known as Westfield river branches, and the vicinity of 
their convergence was sometimes known by the name "Westfield 
Kiver Branches," which name was sometimes used in conveying 
real estate located at this place. These rivers were known as 
west, middle and east branches. The west branch enters 
Chester from ]\Iiddlefield. flowing in a nearly southerly direction 
as far as the village of Chester- for many years known as 
Chester Factories— and thence it flows in a course south of east 
to and through the south part of Huntington to the point where 
it unites with the east branch, and Westfield river proper be- 
gins. The middle branch enters Chester near the boundary line 
between iliddlefield and Worthington and, flowing in a south- 
easterly direction through Chester, enters the town of Hunting- 
ton and finally empties into the East branch, which is the largest 
of the three branches, and flows through the entire length of 
Huntington from north to south. These rivers flow through V 
shaped gorges, the remains of what were at one time deep can- 
yons. The sides of these gorges are very steep; so that roads 
from the rivers to the highland are practicable only through 
the ravines where flow the numerous brooks from the highlands 
to the rivers. The highways of Chester, except those traversing 
the plateau, are in the bottom of the gorges and ravines; and 
these are the most important highways of the town. The west 
branch is spanned by five bridges between Middlefield and 
Huntington ; and the middle branch is spanned by four bridges. 
The highways along these two rivers afford delightful drives in 
summer and autumn. The scenery is wonderfully wild and 
picturesque at any season. Some of the most delightful walks 
and drives the writer has ever enjoyed have been along these 
river roads in the winter time. Numerous brooks, having their 
rise 1,000 feet or more higher than the beds of these rivers, flow 
with great rapidity through wild ravines and mingle then- 
waters with those of Westfield river branches. And it is through 
these ravines that the inhabitants of the high lands make their 

( 340 ) 


ways to the valleys both from Chester Centre and from Bland- 
ford, over roads for the most part of fairly good grades; jour- 
neys over which in summer and in autumn are wonderfully 

Chester Centre— or Chester Hill, as it is sometimes called— 
formerly an important ^^llage, is about twenty-five miles from 
Springfield. The only natural pond in Chester is located near 
the sunmiit of Round Top, the highest land in Hampden county, 
it being 1,797 feet above sea level. Of the more important 
brooks, the principal one is Walker's brook, which rises near 
the centre of Becket, flows in an easterly direction and enters 
the west branch at the village of Chester. This brook afiiords 
valuable water power for several industries, the most important 
of which is the Emery mill. 

Abbott brook rises in the northerly part of the town about 
1,600 feet above sea level, and enters the west branch about 1^ 
miles below Chester Factories. Shortly before the breaking out 
of the civil war the county commissioners laid out a I'oad of very 
easy grade from the river to Chester Centre on the line of this 
brook : but unfortunately, owing to the burdens of the town 
growing out of the civil war, the road was not built. 

Another somewhat important stream is Sanderson brook, 
rising in Blandford at an altitude of about 1,600 feet, and flow- 
ing north through a very picturesque ravine, enters the west 
branch about 3 miles below Chester Factories. It was formerly 
a famous fishing brook; as was Roaring brook, rising in Bland- 
ford and entering west branch about 2 miles below Sanderson 

Cook brook enters the west branch about IV2 miles westerly 
from Huntington village. It rises in the northerly part of 
Chester at an altitude of about 1,500 feet and flows south. The 
first saw mill built in the town was located on this brcwk a short 
distance south of the church at Chester Centre. This also was 
a famous trout brook, and in his boyhood the writer spent many 
delightful hours on its banks. 

Flowing into middle branch are AVinchell brook, Day's 
brook, rising in the northerly part of the town about 1,500 feet 

( 350 ) 





Ol'li cor MY AM) ITS PEOPLE 

about sea level and flnwiiitr southeasterly, entering middle 
branch at Dayville. Kinney brook, rising in Worthington, and 
flowing southeasterly and entering middle branch at Dayville. 

The road from Huntington village — formerly Chester vil- 
lage—to Chester Centre and on to Middlefield, on the line of 
Cook brook, was an important highway in the early history of 
the town when traveling was by stage coaches, and the tran- 
sportation of merchandise was by horses and wagons— a time 
when the mountain farmer could sell all his farm produced right 
at the village of Chester Centre. Another important highway, 
branching oif from the road to Beeket, leads to Blandford. The 
road to Beeket was part of an old turnpike known as the Beeket 
Turnpike, incorporated about the beginning of the nineteenth 

There are several villages in Chester that will be particu- 
larly described later on. At present they will be referred to 
simply as pertaining to the geographical features of the town. 
The most northerly one is North Chester, located on middle 
branch. Lower down this river are Dayville and Littleville. 
Huntington village was formerly included in Chester and known 
by the name Chester Village. Seven miles up the west branch 
is the village of Chester, formerly called Chester Factories. 
(Tiester Centre is the oldest of the villages. 

The topographical and geological features are exceedingly 
interesting. The sides of the ravines rise abruptly to heights 
above sea level varying from about 1.200 feet to 1.500 feet -with 
occasional points reaching to l,fiOO feet and higher, and these 
ra^^nes are as n\imerous as are the rivers and the important 
brooks. At the altitude of 1,200 to 1.300 feet is an open country 
forming a part of the great "Western I\lassachusetts plateau, 
which was planed down and carved into its present form, by 
glacial action in the Ice Age. The prevailing rock is mica slate, 
the strata of which are tilled to a nearly vertical position, the 
strike being north and south. There are some valuable minerals 
in Chester, the most important of which is emery. This sub- 
ject is so well treated in the chapter of the Geologj^ of Hampden 
county, that nothing further need be said here. 

( 352 ) 


Chester has ahva.ys been cousidered a good agricultural 
town. The land, although rocky and stony, is very strong and 
fertile, maturing all the ordinary crops iisually grown in New 
England. All the hardier fruits, particularly apples, grow 
abundantly, and especially is this true in the vicinity of Chester 
Centre and in other localities on the plateau. Peaches, plums, 
and grapes are successfully grown and with profit. The land 
in the valley, bordering the rivers and known as interval land, 
is easily tilled and responds generously to faithful cultivation, 
but it lacks the strength and staying qualities of tlie plateau 
land. Formerly cattle and sheep raising was very profitable. 
But since the days of the stage coach these enterprises have 
dwindled, especially since the rapid opening of the Great West. 
But of late attention is being given to the hill towns of Hamp- 
den and the other counties of Western Massachusetts, and it 
is hoped that their future will be brighter than their present. 
The soil of Chester is also fertile in the growth of forests, all 
the valuable woods and timber of New- England growing lux- 
uriantly. The soiuid of the saw in numerous mills on the rivers 
and brooks rang out cheerily in days gone by, and even now no 
year passes when lumbering is not carried on in some parts of 
the town. 

Seltleinerit and Early History of the To «'».— Originally 
Chester was part of township No. 9, which belonged to the gov- 
ernment, and was estimated to contain 32,200 acres of land, out 
of which were carved a i)art of Middlefield at the northwest 
corner, the town of Norwich, now Huntington, and part of 
Montgomerj', leaving Chester of nearly its present form and 
size. In 1736 a grant of 4,800 acres in the extreme south corner 
of No. 9 was made by the government to David Ingersole of 
VVestfield in exchange for lauds in Berkshire county wanted for 
the Stoekbridge Indians. For the same purpose a grant of 2,000 
acres in the east part of the township, and now included, in the 
town of Huntington, was made to Joseph Green and Isaac 
Walker of Boston in 1739, in exchange for land in Berkshire 
county. In 1737, on petition of Rev. Stephen Williams of 
Springfield, a grant of 700 acres was laid out to the heirs of 

28-3 ( 353 ) 


Rev. John Williams, formerly of Deerfield, and was known as 
the Williams j;rant. This tract was at the southeast of Green 
and Walker grant, and is included in the town of Huntington. 
In the south part of No. 9, and adjoining the Blaiidford line, 
a grant of 250 acres was made to John Bolton, who had already 
settled in Blandford. This was known as Bolton grant and it 
includes the larger part of the present village of Huntington, 
formerly known as Chester Village. Subject to these grants, 
on June 2, 1762, by order of the general court, ten townships 
in the western part of IMassachusetts, including No. 9, were sold 
at public auction. No. 9 was sold for £1,500 and came into the 
possession of John Chandler and Timothy Paine, both of Wor- 
cester, John Murray of Rutland, and Abijah Willard of Lan- 
caster. They did not at once receive an absolute title in fee of 
No. 9, but took it subject to conditions which they subsequently 
fulfilled. What the conditions were appears in the conditions 
imposed by them upon the settlers and will appear later. 

Prior to the sale of June 2, 17t)2. nineteen settlers with their 
families had taken possession of tracts of land within the limits 
of No. 9, and had settled upon them. The names of these persons 
were David Bolton, James Bolton, James Clark, Abraham Flem- 
ming, Zebulon Puller, David Gilmore, ]\Ioses Hale. William 
Mann, Ebenezer Meachaiii. William Miller, ]\Ioses Moss, Israel 
Rose, David Seott, Ebenezer Webber and Jonathan Hart Web- 
ber. They had settled in the southeasterly part, but west of 
Inger.sole's grant. Some of them were there as early as 1760, 
and probably in violation of law and wdthout right. In the 
autumn of 1762 the proprietors of No. 9 employed Eldad Taylor 
and Charles Baker, two surveyors residing in Westfield, who 
surve.ved and laid out the first division of lots consisting of 120 
lots of 108 acres each, in the central part of the township and 
comprising what is now known as Chester Centre. The first 
meeting of the proprietors was held at the inn of William Lyman 
in Northampton, January 5, 1763. and they proceeded to or- 
ganize and arrange for admitting settlers to the lots surveyed 
as above stated. The conditions of settlement were as follows: 
"That each one within the space of three years commencing 

( 354 ) 


from the first of June last build a dwelling house on their lot 
of the following dimensions, viz. : Twenty-four feet long, 
€ighteen feet wide, and seven feet stud, and have seven acres 
of land well cleared and fenced and brought to English grass 
or plowed, and actually settle with family on the same and con- 
tinue such family thereon for the space of six years, and shall 
also within three years from this time settle a Protestant min- 
ister of the Gospel there and pay one-sixth part of the charge 
thereof, and that each settler have 100 acres of land as an in- 
■couragement, and that they give bond to the treasurer of said 
proprietors in the sum of fifty pounds conditioned to perform 
the conditions, and upon their complying and performing said 
conditions the said lots be confirmed to them, their heirs and 
assigns forever". 

They admitted the following named persons as settlers : 
David Bolton, Robert Blair, Absolom Blair, John Boyes, John 
Brown, James Black, James Clark, Glass Cochran, John Crooks, 
John Ci-awford, William Campbell, jr., William English, An- 
drew English, Samuel Elder, James Fairman, Abraham Plera- 
ming, John Gilmore, David Gilmore, Alexander Gordon, John 
Hannum, Jesse Johnson. Thomas Kennedy, William Kennedy, 
Paul Kingston. John Lyman. John Laccore. Elias Lyman, Ben- 
jamin Matthews. John Mclntire, Nathan Mann, William Mann, 
Thomas I\Iorcton, Gideon Matthews, William Moore, Thomas 
McLitire, Asa Noble, Thomas Noble, .jr., Israel Rose, Nathan 
Rose, John Scott, jr.. David Scott, John Smith, Abner Smith, 
John Woods, Ebenezer Webber, Tjevi Woods and Jonathan Hart 

Only thirteen of the nineteen settlers found on the laud by 
the proprietors were pei-mitted to draw lots; and of these only 
seven were permitted to hold 100 acres where they had begun 
improvements. Six only were permitted to draw lots with the 
other settlers; the wishes of the others to remain on the lands 
where they had begun improvements, were disregarded by the 
proprietors. The remaining six, James Bolton, Zebulen Puller, 
Moses Hale. Ebenezer Meacham. AVilliam Miller and Moses Moss, 
were neither permitted to keep their lands nor to draw with 

( 355 ) 

ojn roj-yrv am) its; teopt.e 

others. FuIKt. Mt^achain and ^lillcr iriiiaincd and purchased 
farms. The other three went elsewhere. 

Of these settlers the Boltons, Jolm ("I'ooks, John Scott, jr., 
and Glass Cochran, came from Blandford; Andrew and William 
English and probably the Gilmores came from Pelham. The 
Lymans were Nortliampton men and never settled in No. 9. 
But Elias Ijj'man gave his lot to his two sons, Stephen and 
Timothy, who packing their worldly effects into a chest and 
carrying it between them, one hand grasping a handle of the 
chest and the other an axe, came on foot to the highlands of No. 
9. John Boyes, John Woods, and probably James Black and 
Levi AVoods came from Kutlaiitl. John Wood came from Lancas- 
ter, Jesse Johnson and John llannum came from Southampton, 
and Abner and John Smith came from Northampton. Tradition 
has it that John Smith wa.s a man of wonderful physical strength 
and endurance; and that he went from Northampton to No. 9 
on foot, can-ying on his back a tive-i)ail iron kettle. 

Gideon ]Ma1 thews came from Torrington, Conn., but his son, 
Benjamin Matthews, never settled in the new town. Israel and 
Nathan Kose came from (iranville. The Nobles were Westfield 
men; they never settled in No. 9, and so forfeited the lots set 
out to them. Ebenezer :Meacham came from Enfield, Conn. 
Of the other peojile who came to No. 9. Timothy Smith came 
from Wallingford, Conn., and purchased 500 acres of land, that 
took in the southerly part of Goss Hill, for which he paid £225. 
JLilcolm Henry came from Oakham. Nathaniel Welles and 
Ebenezer King came from Westfield and settled near the east 
branch and within the limits of Ingersole's grant. 

A minister lot containing 100 acres was laid out, and a plot 
of "eight acres for a meeting-house place, training field and 
burying place" was laid out on the .southerly side. The present 
meeting house at Chester Centre stands on this eight-acre lot. 
A meeting-house was erected here a few rods south of the pres- 
ent church. It was 45 feet long by 40 feet wide ; the posts were 
20 feet lugh. The frame was set up and boarded and shingled 
and the doors put in by the proprietors: such being one of condi- 
tion imposed upon them at the time of their purchase. Several 

( 356 ) 


j'ears passed before the inhabitants were able to fully complete 
the structure. The building was used not only as a place for 
religious meeting, but the town meetings were also held there. 
At first it was nsed only in the warmer season of the year. In 
winter religious meetings were held and preaching listened to 
in private houses or at the tavern, as was most convenient. The 
meeting-house was not fully completed until about 1773. 

The proprietors named the township Murrayfield, and it was 
incorporated under that name the 31st of October, 1765. The 
proprietors were dissatisfied with their purchase, and their dis- 
content found expression in a memorial to the general court 
in December, 1763, in which they complained that the township 
was uneven and mountainous, and described it as "divided into 
three parts by three very rapid, rocky rivers; the banks of 
which rivers are so steep and rocky that it is almost impossible 
to pass from one side of said river to the other." They com- 
plained that about 7,500 acres of the best land had been taken 
up in former grants and by a pond covering about 500 acres; 
also, that they found nineteen settlements begun upon the best 
of the land, and that they had not the power to turn them off, 
and that if they had the power it would be attended with great 
trouble and expense, and so they were obliged to give them 100 
acres of land each where they had begun to settle; that the only 
place they could find to lay out the town plot was upon a very 
high mountain, and that it would always be extremely difficult 
to get to it, and that they must necessarily expend great sums of 
money in making roads over mountains and in building expen- 
sive bridges over the three rapid rivers. Wherefore they prayed 
that a part of the sum paid by them for the township be re- 
funded, or else that they be recompensed by the grant of a piece 
of province land near to or adjoining the township, either in 
Hampshire or Berkshire eoiinties, "to enable them to make roads 
and bridges in said township." Their request was granted by 
giving them 1.200 acres of unappropriated land in Hampshire 
county in the vicinity of the present town of Cummington. As 
a matter of fact this was a fraud. The proprietors never built 
any pulilic roads williin tlie limits of ^Murrayfield, nor any bridge 

( 3o7 ) 


over either of the "three very rapid, rocky rivers" mentioned 
ill their petition. The representations of the proprietors were 
untrue, toucliing the difficulty in crossing the rivers; for there 
were many places on all the streams where fordways were safe 
and easy except in times of high water. The conduct of the 
proprietors is well set forth in a memorial to the general court 
in 1779, praying for the building of a bridge over the east 
branch. The memorial set forth the substance of the petition 
of the proprietors which resulted in the aforesaid grant of 1,200 
acres and of the fact that the projjrietors neither before nor after 
said grant Imilt any roads or bridges, and of the fact that they 
went over to the enemy when the revolutionary war broke out, 
and of their treatment of the town and its inhabitants in other 
respects and concluded as follows: "Therefore we pray your 
Honors that some method may be devised that a bridge may be 
built across said river and its branches either by said grant of 
land whicli the proprietors got granted to them for services they 
never did. or out of their estates, or any other way your honors 
in your wisdom shall see fit." Notice of the petition was given 
to Timothy Paine, the only proprietor who remained loyal to 
his country. 

The first town meeting was called by Eldad Taylor of 
Westfield as nominated in the act of incorporation, to be held 
at the house of I\raleom Henry, a tavern, and was held March 
11, 176(), and the officers chosen were as follows: Town clerk 
and treasurer. :jralcom Henry : selectmen and assessors, Timothy 
Smith. John Smith and :Malcom Henry; survej-ors of highways, 
Thomas Kennedy. Gideon IVIatthews. Nathan :\rann. William 
MiUer and David Bolton : tithingmen, Samuel Elder and James 
Clark; wardens. Israel Rose and William Mann: surveyors of 
timber and lumber, Abraham Flemming and Isaac Mixer ; fence 
viewers, Ebenezer :\leaehum and Ebenezer Webber; sealer of 
weights and measures, Jonathan Wait; hog-reeves, Ebenezer 
King and Stephen Lyman : deer-reeves, Alexander Gordon and 
Samuel Webi). 

No appropriation of money was voted at this time, and 
probably for the reason that the proprietors were under obliga- 

( 358 ) 


tion to lay out and build highways and bridges. But the town 
did vote "that swine shall run at large from the middle of Sep- 
tember to the middle of May following." The law required 
that swine running at large should be yoked or ringed in the 
nose. The yoke was required to be the full length of the swine's 
neck and half as nnich below the neck, and the sole or bottom of 
the yoke to be three times as long as the breadth or thickness 
of the swine's neck. 

The following year the selectmen got into a controversy 
touching the valuation list of which two different ones were pro- 
posed, and which resulted in holding two opposition town meet- 
ings and choosing two sets of town otificers; and the inhabitants 
finally had to appeal to the general court to help them out of the 
iiiess; which was not fully accomplished until the spring of 1768, 
when the following town officers were chosen : Town clerk, John 
Smith : selectmen and assessors, Caleb Forbes, Timothy Smith 
and William Miller: constables, Stephen Lyman and Ebenezer 
^^'ebber: tithingmen, Israel Rose and (Jideon Matthews; sur- 
veyors of highways, Isaac Mixer. Peter Williams, William Moore, 
James Pairman, James Clark. Jonathan Hart Webber and 
Samuel Ellis; fence viewers, Ebenezer Jleacham and John Lac- 
core; sealer of leather, Isaac ;Mixer: surveyor of timber and 
lumber, Bigatt Eggleston ; deer-reeves, Ebenezer King and 
Samuel Fairman; hog-reeves, Nathan Rose and Jonathan Hart 
Webber; wardens. John Smith and Reuben Woolworth. At a 
meeting of the town held in June, £20 was appropriated for 
preaching and £40 for ordinary town expenses. The valuation 
list at this time showed 68 taxpayers. There were 76 polls, 
32 horses, 50 oxen, 74 cows, 123 sheep, 40 swine. The amount 
of money assessed for taxation was £83 to six different persons, 
the largest sum being £58, and the least £2. 

The first action of the town touching school was in 176') by 
raising £12 for the support of schools; which amount was tlie 
sum voted the two following years. 

At this time no person was (pialified to vote in town affairs 
unless taxed for £20 or more. In 1770 there wcrr hut 4!l (|uali- 
fied voters, 

( 3.59 ) 


At the aiiiHial meeting in 1771, Dr. David Shepard, who 
came into tlie town in 17()9, was chosen town clerk, and con- 
tinned in lliis office I'or many successive years. His residence 
was in the vicinity of the meeting-house, and in very cold 
weatlier the tow-n meetings after the choice of a moderator some- 
times ail.joniMcil to his house and tliere finished the business of 
the meeting. It is to the of Dr. Shepard as town 
clerk that we ai-c indebted for the records of the earliest births, 
deaths and mari'iages in the town. 

.\l)out this time a controversy ai'ose between the people at 
the centre of tlie town and those of the east part concerning the 
places where religious meetings and preaching should be held. 
The people in tlie east i)art had about eight miles to travel to 
reach Chester Centre, which they felt to be a hardship. This 
difference was compromised temporarily by an agreement that 
preaching sliould be had at the meeting-house two-thirds of the 
time, and one-third of the time at Isaac ilixer's inn, located on 
the east branch of AVestfield river near the present Norwich 
bridge. This arrangement was for three years; and as the peo- 
ple at Chester Centre and vicinity refused to renew it, the inhab- 
itants in the eastern part of the town appealed to the general 
court and obtained a division of the town. In June, 1773, the 
east jiart was set oft" and incorporated as the district of Norwich. 
Fi-om this date we deal only with so much of Murrayfield as is 
now comprised in the town of Chester. The particulars of all 
these proceediims are fully related in the writer's histoiy of 

After the division of tlie town there were left in the remain- 
ing part of Jlurrayfield. 74 taxpayers, and the total valuation 
was £2.178. and lit .shillings. August 16. 1773, a town meeting 
was held .iiiii many articles acted upon: but we will concern our- 
selves only with that pi'oviding for the election of new officers 
to till the vacancies left by the division. "William Campbell was 
chosen assessor: Caleb Bascom, sealer of weights and measures; 
Higott Eggleston. sealer of timber and lumber. So it appears 
that the mon> inipoi'taiit offices of the town wei'e held by citizens 
of the middli ami western ])arts of ^lurrayfield, which was one 
cause of the disrontnil of the <'ast ])art. 

( 360 ) 


Representatives to the General Court, in what way they 
served the town, and how tliey were paid was probably simihir 
to the practice of other towns at that time. An account of how 
it was done in this town cannot but be of general interest. When 
the east part of Mnrrayfield was set ott' into a separate district, 
it was in\ested with all the privileges of other towns, with the 
exception that it was not permitted to enjoy a separate repre- 
sentation in the general court; but in that respect was to act 
with ]\Iurrayfield in the selection of a connnon representative. 
In July. 1775, the inhabitants of Mnrrayfield voted to send 
one representative to the general court. It was also 
voted ""that the representative be paid in work or grain 
for his own time and horses." Lieut. Enoch Shepard 
was the first representative chosen. The town also "chose 
for a connnittee to give instructions to the representa- 
tive, Deac. John Kirkland, Lieut. David Scott. Ensign 
Stephen Lyman, Deac. Samuel Matthews and Capt. Abner 
Smith". In May, 1779, the town voted "that the town will be 
obliged to pay Capt. Enoch Shepard his expenses for his travel 
and attendance on the General Court, he giving his time and 
allowing the town his fees." In 1780, Timothy L}^nan was 
chosen representative, and John Kelso, Enoch Shepard, James 
Hamilton and Alexander Gordon were chosen a committee "to 
instruct the representative and order him when to go to Boston." 
In 1782 Jesse Johnson was chosen representative, and the town 
passed the following vote : ' ' Voted to choose a committee of five 
to give Deac. Johnson instructions how to conduct at Boston 
with regard to the business of the town and when to go, and not 
to tarry upon other public business." 

ValKation Lists of the Town During the War.— The aggre- 
gate valuation amounted in 1775 to £1,605; in 1777, £38,819; in 
1780, £4,915; in 1781, £4,924. In 1776 Abner Smith was rated 
at 119 pounds and 15 shillings and was much the wealthiest man 
in town ; but in 1781 his rating was but :il pounds and 6 shill- 
ings. Yet he was relatively the wealthiest man in town. It 
appears that the collection of taxes was very dififieult during this 
period, not because of unwillingness to jiay. luit because of the 

( 261 ) 


(liflic'ulty in obtaiiiiii'r money eii()ii<.'li in view of the depreciated 
currency. Until the lime of Ihc passatre of the act, February 21, 
1783, changing the name fi-diii Murniyfield to Chester, little of 
historical interest transi)ire(l oilier than such as pertained to the 
war No town in the commonwealth did its duty more faithfully 
or more courageously than ]\Iurrayfield. In 1774. when events 
were rapidly tending to a struggle with the mother country, 
"Capt. David Shepard. Deacon Jesse Johnson, Lieut. Maleom 
Henry, Deacon Sanniel Matthews and Lieut. James Clark" were 
chosen to act on behalf of the town as a committee of corre- 
sjjondence, at a town meeting held July 25, 1774. It was voted 
unanimously not to "purchase, buy, or consume any goods or 
wares that shall be imported from Great Britain after the last 
of August next ensuing, until the meeting of the General Con- 
gress at Philadelphia. ■■ Also that "we wall comply with what 
measures the (ieneral Congress shall agree upon at their meeting 
in I'hila(h']phia. in next September." 

At a town meeting held June 17, 1776, "To see if the in- 
habitants will sign an agreement or oath that the General Court 
have sent out to see who are the friends to liberty and their 
country and who are not;" also "to see if the town as a body 
are willing to have the thirteen united colonies declared an in- 
dependent state from tireat Britain if the Continental and 
General Courts sliall .iudge best, and to pass any vote respecting 
the same as the town sliall judge best and prudent;" it was 
voted "to sign an agreement or oath sent out from the General 
Court;" also "that it is the mind of this town that the Con- 
tinental Congress declare independence from (ireat Britain, to 
a man, in a full meeting." 

In the matter of raising money for .soldiers and war charges, 
and in furnishing clothing for soldiers, and in helping the fami- 
lies of soldiers, the town of ]\Iurrayfield did its very utmost. In 
1780 the town raised £5,000 to purchase beef for the army. In 
July, 1781, the town voted to raise a sum of money sufficient to 
luiichase S.044 pounds of beef, to be assessed upon the inhabit- 
ants, non-residents, and absentees of ^Murraytield at the current 
prices". All the original proprietors of the town, except 

( 362 ) 


Timothy Paine, adhered to the cause of Great Britain, and their 
property rit;hts in the town were confiseated without mercy. 
Finally, at a town meeting held August 26, 1782, to see about 
raising more beef, the town laid down in the furrow— it had 
done its utmost. 

The demands upon Murraytield in the matter of furnishing 
men and things for the war was not unlike those made upon all 
other towns in the county; but the town was poor— that is to 
say— the people were poor, but extremely patriotic. The space 
here allotted will not warrant a more detailed account of all that 
the town did, such as the writer has given in his history of 
Murrayfield, published in 1892. 

Chester.— As early as 1775 the question of changing the 
name of the town, because of confusion growing out of the fact 
that there was another town in Hampshire county called Myri- 
field, became a prominent matter. Several names were sug- 
gested : ' ' Mount Asaph, ' " ' ' IVIountf air " and " Fairfield ' ' were 
proposed; but tinally the name Chester was agreed upon, and 
the change was authorized by the general court, as stated before, 
February 21, 1783. At the March meeting there were elected 
the last list of officers for the town of Murrayfield, and the first 
for the town of Chester: Town clerk. David Shepard ; selectmen 
and assessors. John Blair. William Campbell and Timothy 
Lyman; treasurer, Stephen Lyman; constables, Benjamin Con- 
verse for the south end of the town and Timothy Smith for the 
north end ; tithing men, Gideon iMatthews and Andrew Henry ; 
wardens, Keuben Woolworth, Samuel Moore, David Shepard, 
James Hamilton; surveyors of highways, Joseph Abbott, jr., 
Edward \Y right, jr., Thomas Smith, James Core, William Foot, 
Samuel Moore, Captain Alexander, John Clark and Robert 
Smith; fence viewers, James Moore and Robert Smith; hog- 
reeves, Jonathan Waite, jr., AVilliam Smith and Jonathan 
Draper; sealer of weights and measures. William Stone; sealer 
of lumber, Deacon Matthews; pound keeper, William Foot; 
sealer of leather, Isaac Bissell. Eighty pounds were raised for 
repairs of highways, and three shillings fixed as the price of a 
day's work. 

( 363 ) 

orn covNTY and its people 

Villages. — There sprang up in Chester five different vil- 
lairrs: and a history of them is substantially a history of the 
town. The oldest of these villages is Chester Centre, located 
near the centre of the town on the plateau and about 1,300 feet 
above sea level. It was in this village and ^^einity that the 
authorized settlement of ilurrayfield began, and its centre was 
tl.i- meeting-house. The laiiil in this vicinity was very pi'oduc- 
tive: although the u.sual difticulties of clearing such land and 
bringing it into fit condition for tilling confronted the early 
settlers, who came with but little money, but with strong bodies, 
willing hands and stout hearts; and they bravely met the hard- 
ships of pioneer life. Here they made their homes and reared 
tliiii' families. They were, nearly all of them, farmers. Although 
their hartlships were many and their advantages few, they never 
wavered in their devotion to their country, their zeal for the 
church, or in their determination to better their conditions 
materially and spiritually. They rai.sed on their farms pretty 
nnich everything they ate, and made at home, with the spinning 
wheel and loom and other appliances, neai'ly everything they 
wore as clothing. Saw mills were located in various parts of 
the town. A grist mill was located at what is now Littleville. 
In Chester Centre taverns and stores were established with 
success worthy of remark. During the early part of the nine- 
teenth century, until the fidl opening of railroad communication 
between Boston and Albany, about 1842, one of the stage routes 
between Boston and Albany was through Chester Centre ; it was 
also one of the routes for freight ti-ansportation, in which in- 
dustry a large number of horses and wagons were engaged; and 
along the route at distance of four or five miles apart were 
humble hostelries for the accommodation of teamsters and their 
teams. It would go without saying that large quantities of hay 
and grain and other products of the farms found a ready market 
at home. And in disposing of the products of the dairy, and 
the wool from their sheep the farmers on Chester hill had a fair 
chance with the rest of the country; and they were prosperous, 
and many ac(|uired wealth. At this period the town was pop- 
ulous, containing in 182ti a population of 1,526. But when the 

( 3G4 ) 




railroatl eaiue ami eliaiiyvd llic rnule oL' ti'avel and of transporta- 
tion of merchandise, Chester Centre was made to halt; and from 
that time on it jrradnally deoliiiod. Its downward course was 
accelerated by the civil war, until to-day it has no store, nor any 
other evidence of its foi-mer prosperity— only the meeting-house 
(that in the thirties often had a congregation of 300 to 400, but 
now a mere handful), the school house and the cemetery. 

The most interesting historical feature of Chester Centre 
is the meeting-house and what it stood for. As stated before, 
the burden of building it and of organizing the church, was with 
the propi'ietors. After erecting the frame and putting on a 
roof and covering the sides and flooring it, the proprietors left 
the settlers to struggle through the task of completing the edifice. 
No action of the town touching this subject appears to have been 
taken until 1768, after the reorganization of the town. At the 
first meeting called by the newly elected board of selectmen to 
be holden at the public meeting-house on June 28, the 3d article 
of the warrant was "For the town to vote, if they think proper, 
a suitable sum of money for them to pay for preaching, and also 
to choose a minister for supplying the pulpit." It was voted 
to raise £'20 for preaching that year; and "that the preaching 
this year should not be all at the meeting-house." A committee 
wa.s chosen "to apply to the Rev. IMr. Teed, J\lr. Hooker at South 
and Nortliampton. and the IJev. 'Sir. Ballentine of Westfield for 
advice." Preaching during the winter months was held at 
private houses, for the i-eason that the meeting-house was in so 
unfinished a condition as not to be a suitable place. The window 
places during cold weather were boarded up for want of glass 
windows. And it was only from time to time and little at a time 
for several years, that the work of completing the meeting-house 
went on to the finish. 

The first minister settled over this church was the Rev. 
Aaron Bascom. After the town had voted to call Mr. Bascom, 
there came the question of organizing the church. The Scotch 
element was large, and they preferred the Presbyterian form of 
church government, while the English element preferred the 
congregational form. Hut this difi'erence was settled by com- 

( 366 ) 


promise to the satisfaetioii of every one, and the church was 
duly ortjanized on the 20th of December, 1769, and on the same 
day Mv. Bascom was ordained. Mr. Bascom was a native of 
Warren, and a graduate of Harvard university. He died in 
1814 at the age of 68 years, and in the 45th year of his ministry. 
The liistory of Mr. Bascom 's ministry in Chester is full of inter- 
esting events, but we have not space to go into them. The next 
minister settled over this church appears to have been the Rev. 
Samuel Emmerson, ordained February 1, 1815. Mr. Emmerson 
did not enjoy good health, and was dismissed, December 10, 1817. 
He was a graduate of Williams college. His successor was Rev. 
Kufus Pomeroy, a native of Southampton, and a graduate of 
Williams college. He was installed over the church at Chester 
Centre November 20, 1819, and dismissed June 27, 1827. Rev. 
Saul Clark, a graduate of Williams college, was installed as Mr. 
Pomeroy 's successor November 11, 1829, and was dismissed in 
1833. The next minister was Rev. Alanson Alvord, settled 
November 18, 1834, and dismi.ssed February 7, 1838. Rev. S. 
W. Edson preached here for about three yeai-s after the dis- 
missal of ^[r. Alvord. Rev. Francis E. Warriner was settled in 
October. 1841, and dismissed June 22, 1847. Rev. David S. 
Breed was settled July 4, 1853, and dismissed November 23, 1855. 
Rev. Hugh Gibson was settled .\pril 28, 1856, and dismissed 
June 11, 1860. Francis E. Warriner w'as settled November 6, 
I860, and dismissed May 7, 1866. Rev. Henry A. Dickinson was 
settled March 17, 1867, and dismissed March 1, 1877. Rev. 
Loring B. Mai-sh was settled iMarch 5, 1877, and dismissed March 
20, 1883. Rev. Charles Morgan was settled August 5, 1883, and 
dismissed October 1, 1888. Rev. Hiram L. Howard was settled 
June 16. 1889, and dismissed January 13, 1890. Rev. W. C. 
Hawthoi-ne was settled August 23, 1891, and dismissed July 16, 
1892. Rev. Edward C. Haynes was settled July 1, 1893, and 
dismissed July 2, 1899. Rev. Thomas W. Davison was settled 
January 29, 1900, and dismissed April 3, 1901. Rev. William 
M. Weel« was settled May 26. 1901. 

Early in the 19th century this church was the victim of a 
severe personal controversy, which extended to the formation of 

( 367 ) 


opposiii!,' [lartiL-s. It arose from a jjersoDal difference between 
the pastor, Kev. i\lr. Bascoui, and Dr. Martin Phelps, one of the 
prominent meniburs of the church. Out of this fend is said to 
have trrown tlie Bajitist clnirch enterprise, organized in 1811. 
Dr. l'heli)s, cither voluntarily en- by compulsion, withdrew from 
the Confiieirational church, and with others joined in the forma- 
tion of a Baptist church, which was incorporated by an act of 
the legislature dated February 26, 1811. The incorporators were 
Samuel Bell. Dainel Bigelow. Joseph A. Rust, Sanuiel Russell, 
Harvey Hodurtha. Daniel Smith, John Stephens, James "Wilcox, 
James Nooney, AVilliam Nooney, Grove Winchell, Noah Ellis, 
Sanniel Ormsby, Daniel Sizer, Jonathan Webber, jun., Hiram 
Moore, Lewis Wright, P^lisha Wilcox, Elisha Wilcox, jun., Asa 
Wilcox. Sanniel Bell, jun., Aaron Eggleston, William Quigley, 
jun.. James Briggs, Nathaniel Goodwell, William Henry, Abner 
Masters, Cephus Stow, Samuel Wait, Andrew Henry, Weeden 
Stanton, Sanniel White, John Stevens, William Wyth, Boswell 
Moore, Jonathan Melvin, David Mann, Silas Griffin, Nathan 
Seward, Roger Gibson, Samuel Sampson, EdniTind Gilmore, 
Martin Culver. Hezckiah Elsworth, Eli Johnson, William Sizer, 
jun.. JaiiK's Elder, Azael French, Ezekiel Suire (Squire?), 
Zadock Ingorls. James Campbell. 2d, Jere Bodurtha. Horace 
Sizer, Asher Stanton, Salathiel Judd, George Nye, Asa Avers, 
Stephen Dewey, John Dewey, Salah Day, Joshua Stevens, Mar- 
tin Phelps, !Moses Warner, George Stewart, John Warner, Jod 
Seward. Abner Smith, Othniel Belden, Alven Campbell. Ira 
Day. Seth Phelps, Artemas Elder, David Wells, John C. Bell, 
James Bell. 2d. AVilliam Hamilton, Nathaniel Coomes, Samuel 
Otis. Seth Wait, Pharez Clark, John Hunter, James Ingalls, 
Elijah I\Iuck, Jacob Day, James Gilmore, Charles Culver, Aaron 
Hunter, Joab Smith, Jonathan Wait, Sylvester Belden, James 
Flemming, Jose[)h Shoats and I\Iatthew Campbell, ■" together 
with such others as have or maj^ hereafter associate with them 
and their successors, with their families, polls and estates, be, 
and they are hereby incorporated into a religious society by the 
name of The Baptist and Independent Society in Chester." 

The people above named were from all the different parts 
of Chester. Elder Grant became the first minister. Elder Ab- 

( 368 ) 


bott was his snecessof, and held the pastoral office for several 
years. The next regular pastor was Rev. Silas Kingsley, a native 
of Beeket, whose ministration continued for about 25 years. In 
1852 the church numbered 33 members. 

Physicians.— Dr. David Shepard was the tirst physician who 
settled in Chester. He came about 1770, while the town was 
called Murrayfield. He was a man of much influence in the 
town. He married Lucinda Mather, and several childrea were 
born to them. 

At a town meeting held in April, 1778, it was voted that 
"Capt. (Dr.) Shepard may have his family inoculated in his 
liouse if he will give good obligations for his good behavior," 
and that he "may let others of this town as long as the first day 
of May and no longer, if there is room for them." In May 
following the town voted "that any person may have liberty 
to have the small-pox by inoculation in the fall at proper places 
as the town shall judge best." 

Dr. Shepard was chosen town clerk in 1771, and at the 
March meeting, 1783, he was chosen town clei'k of Chester, at 
its first town meeting. It is indicative of his importance in town 
that after the meeting-house had been repaired, reseated and 
redignified in 1785, the pew he occupied was No. 1, in dignity 1st. 

Dr. William Holland began practice at Chester Centre 
during the lifetime of Dr. Shepard, but did not remain long. 
Dr. Martin Phelps came to Chester about 1785 and remained 
until his death at 82 years of age in 1838. He was a man of 
much influence in town. He and Rev. Mr. Bascom got into a 
controversy over politics, which resulted in Dr. Phelps' with- 
di'awal from the Congregational church. He lent his aid to the 
establishing of a Baptist church about 1812. He represented 
the town of Chester for several years in the legislature. Pro- 
fessionally he stood high in the community and with medical 

Dr. Phelps was succeeded by Dr. Anson Boies. He was the 
physician of Chester for a number of years. He died in 1820. 
He w-as married twice, both wives being daughters of Rev. Mr. 

24-3 ( 369 ) 


Dr. Hiniiions succeeded Dr. Boies, and, after residing sev- 
eral yeai-s in Chester, he went to Williamstown and became 
Prof. Ennuoiis. 

Dr. Asahel Pariiienter studied medicine with Dr. Boies and 
remained in Chester a short time. 

Di-. T. K. DeWoir established himself at Chester Centre in 
1882 and remained there until his death, November 2, 1890, at 
the afre of !)(). He was an able man and stood hi^h in his pro- 
fession not only willi the putilie liut with his professional 
brethren. He was mari-ied twice. By his tirst marriage he had 
two sons, one of whom was a lawyer of unusual ability, and the 
othei', l)i'. Oscai' C. DeAVolf. a well known physician, and at one 
time the liealth commissioner of Chicago. There was also by 
this mai-riage a daughter. Sarah, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke 
seminary, who after teaching a few years became the wife of 
Dr. Harlow Gamwell. late of AVesttield. He had two sons by his 
second marriage. 

Dr. Joseph C. Abbott was in Chester Centre for a lime while 
Dr. D(»Wolf was in practice there. 

The only hnv.yer who ever located at (Tiester Centre was 
Asahel Wright, a graduate of Williams college, in 1803. He 
mari-ied a daughter of Rev. Aaron Bascom. His professional 
business was small, but he was highly esteemed as a useful man 
in the affairs of the town and societ.y. His death, which occurred 
in 1830. at the age of 48 years, was felt as a loss to the people. 

Xortli Clicster. —Ahoui two and one-half miles directly 
north from Chester Centre is a small village on the middle 
branch of Westficld rivci-, known at th(> jiresent time as 
North Chester, whei'c in tlie early part of the nine- 
teenth century Thomas F. I'lunkett established himself in the 
busines.s of manufacturing cotton goods. He also kept a store 
at this place, and from him it was called Plunkettville. by which 
name it was known loi- m;ni.\ xcars. At some time John J. Cook 
became associated with him in business at North Chester, and 
after a time became .sole proi)rietor of the cotton mills, and was 
manufacturing brown sheetings as late as 1840. He carried 

( 370 ) 


on the in;iiuifaftiii-e of slat-oiirtains for windows, the principal 
market for whieh was Hartford, Conn. Mr. Cook employed at 
one time about 40 persons, and turned out annually about 
350,000 yards of cotton fabric valued at about $27,800. Shortly 
after 1840 this manufacturing interest began to feel the disad- 
vantage of being seven miles from a railroad. The cotton factory 
stood idle for many years, and its former glory is but tradition. 

A post-office is still maintained at this village. 

Dayvillc.—AhonX two miles down the river from North 
Chester is the hamlet called Dayville. There was a saw mill here, 
and the Days carried on a prosperous business of manufacturing 
shoe-pegs. But that has passed away, and the plant is now used 
for other purposes. At the present time a saw mill and a man- 
ufactory of wintergreen essence are doing thriving business. 

LittlcviUc — About a mile below Dayville on the middle 
bi'anch is a hamlet known as Littleville. At this place the first 
grist mill in the town was established by Jonathan Clapp prior 
to 17fi5, and on ( )etober 30, 1765, he conveyed the property to 
Jonathan Wait. A saw mill was also established. A tannery 
was established here by Prescott & Sherman and maintained 
several years until they sold it to Benjamin Little, who had 
worked for them a number of years. Little carried on the tan- 
nery successfully for several years, turning off 20 tons of sole 
leather annually. lie also carried on a saw mill producing 
500,000 feet of lumber annually. He also manufactured a great 
quantity of bedsteads. 

Littleville has a post-office and has usually maintained a 
country store. The meeting-house, now in possession of the 
Baptists, was liuilt by Congregationalists, and was subsequently 
maintained as a union church. It was built about 1845. The 
early preachers were Rev. D. N. Merritt, Rev. I. J. DeVoe, Rev. 
Daniel Foster, Rev. Mr. Conklin. 

Chester Vilhige.— The Falleys came to Chester before the 
close of the 18th century and settled within what was known 
as Bolton grant in the southeast corner of Chester where the 
towns of Chester, Norwich and Blandford met. They establislied 
a store and a hotel, and the place was known as Falley's X 

( 371 ) 


Roads. Richard Falh-y's name appears on the valuation list of 
Murrayfield in the year 1782. Before 1810 Daniel Falley and 
Jesse FarTihani carried on a country store under the style of 
Falley and Farnliam. The first tavern was kept in the small 
house under the hill on the noi-th side of the road leading to 
Blandford. The Falloys subse(iuently built the tavern more 
recently known as the Collins tavern, on the spot now occupied 
by the "Parks House". They also had a potash factory a short 
distance westeriy from the present Baptist meeting-house. 

Early in the 19th century there was a hat factory carried 
on by a man named Woohvortli. Daniel (Jranger, well known 
here for many years, learned the business of hat making of Mr. 
^Yoolworth, and at one time carried on the business himself. 

There was a carding mill about a mile west of the village 
on the north bank of the west branch of Westfield river. There 
was a saw mill owned by Pxlward Pitcher, and near it a tannery 
owned and carried on by Eliphalet Williams. These were 
located about half way between the present woolen mill and the 
dam. Jlr. \Vool worth owned and carried on a tannery nearly 
opposite Mr. "Williams' tannery on the north side of the river. 
Tanning business in this vicinity was profitable in the first half 
of the 19th century, and there were many tanneries in Chester 
and other towns in this part of the state, and they consumed 
great quantity of hemlock bark, until its scarcity put an end to 
the business. "William Lindsey became a partner in business 
with Mr. Woohvorth, and after a few years was sole proprietor, 
and he continued the business until about 18.30. Shortly after 
this time he built a hotel on the Blandford side of the line 
between that town and Chester. At this time the place was 
known by the name of Chester Village, although the post-office 
continued to be called Falley 's X Roads, and the mail bags were 
so marked as lale as the 40 "s and after the name Chester Village 
applied to both the village and the post-ofifice. 

Some lime about 1820 William Wade and Daniel Collins 
established a cotton mill at Chester Village which was in opera- 
tion as late as 183G: but it was given up about 1840, and the 
property .sold to ^Melvin Copeland in 1842. From that date the 
property was used for other purposes as will appear later on. 

( 372 ) 

Duty Underwood 
A familiar character in Chester history 


Mr. Wade established a store at the intersection of the road 
to Blaiidford with the main hi<rhwa.v from Chester to Westfield. 
As late as 1842 this store was carried on by T. S. Wade, who 
was also the first station a^'ent at Chester Villa^'e for the "West- 
ern railroad". lie was siieeeeded both as station agent and as 
storekeeper by Edward Jessup. who left Chester Village in 1843. 
Daniel Fry succeeded him as station agent. 

The village blacksmith was Eli.jah Rice, one of the many 
unique eharactei-s in Chester, the picture of one of whom. Duty 
Underwood, graces this page. 

About 11/, miles west of Chester village where the road turns 
off toward Chester Centre, was a small tavern built by Pearly 
Cook, and he was the landlord. In the upper story of this tavern 
was a JIasonie lodge i-oom. wliich was maintained until the anti- 
]\Iasouic excitement. 

Prior to 1835 the people of this village were obliged to travel 
several miles to attend church. September 1. 1835. Daniel Col- 
lins, Leonard Williams, Lewis Collins. Daniel Collins, jr., Horace 
Taylor, William Lindsey, William Leonard. Henry E. Bigelow, 
Pearly Cook, Hugh Kelso, Daniel Lewis, Daniel L. Champlin. 
Martin Phelps, jr., Abel Babcock, jr., Levi Ellsworth, David 
P. Tinker, Nathan Ellsworth, Duty Underwood, Jonathan Nye, 
Asa Wilco.x, Ira Lindsey. Daniel Granger. Nathan W. Robins, 
Reuben L. Bromley. Cyrus ("ulver, Heman Lindsey. John Sisk, 
Camden 11. Babcock. William Culver. Naham Stowell, Andrew 
Johnson, Gilbert S. Lewis, Gilbert Collins, and E. T. and T. S. 
Wade, people residing some in Chester village, some in Norwich, 
some in Blandford, and others in various localities in Chester, 
subscribed the aggregate sum of $1,050 for the purpose of biiild- 
ing a meeting-house: agreeing "That when a suflfieient amount 
of funds .shall be subscribed each subscriber shall designate to 
wliat -society his subscription shall belong: and whatever society 
shall subscribe the greatest amount, then said house shall be 
called by that name and be occupied by said society so subscrib- 
ing at any time they may choose: but it shall at all times when 
not so occupied be open and free to any Christian denomination 
for the performance of public worship." The meeting-house 

( 374 ) 

THE To^y^ of Chester 

was finished late in the antiimn of 1836. The conditions that 
were to determine to which denomination the control of the 
meeting-house should come, were fulfilled by the Methodists. It 
does not appear that any regular clergyman was employed, nor 
does it appear what clergymen preached there, until about 1842 
or 1843, when a young Methodist clergyman of the name of 
Braman officiated as the regular preacher. Rev. Mr. Merrill, 
also Kev. -J. Jlarcey, in the years 1847-8, preached there. About 
184(1 ]\Ii-. Cook preached Sundays and practiced dentistry during 
1he week. 

In 1843 a number of people l)el()nging to the Congregational 
denomination came to Chester village, and soon there came a 
demand for a Congregational clergyman. A compromise was 
etl'ected which gave the pulpit of the Congregationalists every 
alternate Sunday and to the Methodists the other alternate Sun- 
days. This did not last long. The Methodists insisted upon 
their absolute control. And in 1848 the Congregationalists or- 
ganized a society by themselves and built a church. Rev. 
Perkins K. Clark was the first minister settled over the new 
church. Mr. Clark left about 1850 and was succeeded by Rev. 
Mr. Eggleston, who in a year or two was succeeded by Rev. 
Townsend Walker. 

Physiciaii.s. -Dr. Leonard Williams was, probably, the first 
physician located at Chester village. 

Dr. IMartin Phelps, who died in 1838 at the age of 80, spent 
the last years of his life a short distance west of the village. 

Dr. James Holland practiced in Chester village for a short 
time before settling in Westfield. 

Dr. Charles Holland practiced in Chester village from about 
1840 to about 1850. 

Dr. Crossett was in practice in the village sevei'al years until 
his death. 

Dr. Noah S. Bartlett was in practice at the time the village 
was set oit' into the town of Norwich. 

Laicyers. — The first lawyer known to live in Chester village 
was Samuel Johnson, as remarkable an individual in many ways 
as old Dr. Johnson himself. He has been described as a "large, 

( 375 ) 

on; cor MY .\.\i> its people 

good-looking man of over six feet in height and more than two 
hundred pounds avoirdupois, erect in form and dignified in his 
carriage, stately and formal in his address, deep-toned and 
delihcrafe in his utterances, impressing a beholder Avith the 
belief that he possessed all the wisdom that he pretended to have, 
and pei'haps .soniething more. ■" He wa.s as unique in dress as 
in person. 

About '[SM Homer Clark was in practice for a few yeai-s. 
While Mr. C'JaiU was in the village, Daniel Granger opened an 
office and was the village lawj'er at the time the name was 
changed to Huntington. 

Mavufncturiny. — In 1842 JMelvin Copeland. who had car- 
ried on the business of plane making for sevei-al j^ears in Hart- 
ford, where he had become a man of influence not only in business 
and in polities, but also in church relations, being a deacon in 
Dr. Hawes' church, and at one time the editor of a newspaper 
called "The American Protector", came to Chester Village and 
purchased the old cotton factory, and transferred his business 
from Hartford to Chester. He was induced to this move not 
only b.v reason of the excellent water power and building well 
adapted to his business, but as well because an abundance of 
excellent beech timber grew in this vicinity, and he was also in- 
fluenced by his love for country life to which this wonderfully 
picturesque place strongly appealed. He brought with him ten 
or twelve of his old workmen, and for several years he did a 
prosperous business. 

In 1843, his brother, Alfred Copeland, came from Colum- 
bus, Ohio, and established the business of manufacturing bed- 
steads and also general wood-turning; and for several years 
he did a prosperous business, employing about a dozen workmen. 
This business occupied the fii-st floor of the old cotton factory. 

Soon after the Copelands had became well established in 
business, two brothers, AVarner Hannum and Harvey Hannum, 
who had been manufacturers of axes for a long time on Norwich 
Hill, so called, moved tlieir business to Chester Village and 
purchased of Melvin Copeland an interest in the mill privilege 
and erected an axe factory near ])y and did a thriving business. 

( 376 ) 


James G. Allen established a shop for the making and re- 
pairing of wagons about 1845, and a ]Mr. Hinkley came from 
Florence shortly after and started a blacksmith shop in company 
with Francis Axtell from the same place. After a short time 
Hinkley sold out to Axtell and went elsewhere. 

A year or two afterward, Benjamin F. Whipple came from 
Florence aiul started the manufacture of doors, window-sash 
and window-blinds in the second story of the ax factory. 

About this time a paper mill was established in Russell, 
about one and a half miles from Chester Village, by Burbank 
and Fales. which was a great help to the store-keepers in the 

Roland S. Bartlett, a practical basket-maker, in company 
with Daniel Copeland, a brother of Melvin and Alfred, started 
a basket factory on the east branch, and continued business until 
Mr. Copeland 's death; after which Mr. Bartlett established a 
factory in company with L. B. AVilliams, who subsequently re- 
moved the business to Northampton. 

Then were three common country stores : The old Wade 
store was carried on by Lyman Dimock and Harvey Hannum, 
under the style of Dimock and Hannum; the old Palley store 
came into the posse.ssion of Daniel Collins, .jun.. and Jabin B. 
Williams, under the style of Collins and Williams, about 1840, 
and later the business became J. B. Williams and son, and then 
Williams and Clark ; and about 1845, a store was built on the 
east side of the river at the end of the bridge, and the firm was 
Munson Clark, and later Charles Munson. 

About 1847, Samuel T. Lyman set up a stove store in con- 
nection M'ith a tin-shop. 

Chester A. Dewey, who came from Hartford, Conn., opened 
a boot and shoe store. 

The village tailors were N. Samuels, who did a paying 
business; and about 1845, William S. Tinker opened a tailor's 
shop and continued in the business until after the village was set 
off to Norwich. 

Chester Village was a business center for a large territory, 
reaching not only into Chester, but into Norwich and Worth- 

( :177 ) 


iiiL!t(in Mild ( lirsliTlifld :inil .Miiii1i;(iiiii'i-_\- niiil HUiiidfnrd anil 
Kiissell, ciiiclly Ix'cjiiisc of its (•iiiivcnii'iit railroad shipping 

Diiriii': \hv time tVoiii al)out liS4:i to the time of the civil 
wai'. tliiMc wiTc ill this village, consideriiii;- its population, an un- 
usual iiiiiiilici- ol' iMi'ii of more than ordinary ability, iioteutial fac- 
tors in the social, i-cjiirious. and iiitciicctiial life of the place, a.s 
well as in ils liiisiness pids])i'iity. It must be remembered that 
this village was on the liordei' of Hlandford and at the southeast 
corner of Chester and the southwest corner of Norwich; that the 
\-otini;' |io|)iilali()n was dist ribiiti'd lietweeii these three towns; 
that the .school house was in the centre of the village, and the 
money for the suiijxu't of schools came from three different towns. 
This proved moi-e oi' less embarrassing to the inhabitants, and 
about 1850 eti'ort was made to establish a new town by taking ter- 
ritory from these dill'erent towns. This was bitterly opposed by 
the towns of Chester and Norwich, .\ftei- two or three inefifeetual 
efi'orts before the legislature, they finally asked that the territory 
including tin' village be annexed to Norwich. By an act of the 
legislature. May 25, 1853, parts of Blandford and Chester were 
annexed to Norwich, and the name was changed from Norwich to 
Huntington. .March 1), 1855. From the time of this annexation 
Chester village became a part of the county of Hampshire, and 
the name Chester village a thing of the past. 

Clnslrr Factorics.—The village known as Chester Factories, 
now the village of Chester, is located in the southwesterly part 
of the town. This part of the town was not nnieh settled until 
aftei- the revolutionary war. The village received its name from 
a glass factory incorporated in 1814. The incorporators of the 
"Chester ftlass Company "" were Jesse Famam, Harvey Cham- 
pion, John Dewey, Charles Douglass, Thomas ^Mather. David 
King, Lester King, Benjamin Ha.stings and others. This enter- 
prise did not survive long after the of the war with Great 
Britain. The fii-st mills operated at Chester Factories were saw 
mills and grist mills. Tanning business was carried on success- 
fully for many years: the first one is said to have been put in 
operation in the early part of the 19th century by Spencer Clark, 

( 378 ) 


who after opci-atin;-' it a few years sold out to Col. Edwai'ds of 
Xorthaiiipton, and later it came iuto the hands of Edmund 
Hubbard, and it was in the Hubbard family for many years. 
Tlie Hubbards were succeeded by Loring and Leach. Loring 
and Leach were succeeded by Nelson and Rice. George D. Hap- 
good was associated in the business with Loring and Rice and at 
last became the owner, carrying on the business under the name 
of George D. Hapgood & Son until it was finally given up. The 
plant is now used by the Emery Co. as a part of its works. The 
tanning business was closed out several years ago 

In the early part of the 19th century before the ""Western 
Railroad," so called, was built,, Isaac Stevens established a 
tavern, which later became the property of Col. Henry, who 
enlarged the building, and about 1840 sold out to Joseph Lazell. 
who kept the hotel for many years. It is now owned by AVilliam 
H. Day. 

The first store established in Chester Factories was started 
by "William Shepard and Hiram Barber, who carried on business 
under the name of Shepard & Barber. About 1840 David 
Cannon bought out Barber's interest, and the firm became 
Shepard & Cannon, and subseqiienth' Da^id Cannon became sole 
owner for a short time, when he took in a partner and the firm 
became Cannon & Heath: but finally the store passed into the 
possession of Timothy Keefe. who carried on the business suc- 
cessfully for many years, and it is now carried on by his son, 
James Keefe. 

The main river, west branch of "Westfield river, and the 
many brooks that flow down the mountains and into it at and 
in the vicinity of Chester Factories, the most important of which. 
Walker brook, flows from a southwesterly direction and enters 
the main river in the village, afford abundant water power. 
Many saw mills were started in the early part of the 19th centuiy 
on these streams, even before the railroad was built, and several 
other kinds of business were started besides the tannery. Tim- 
othy Fay made pocket-combs of wood, which were in common 
use in those days: nearly every man and hoy carried a pair of 
pocket-combs. These combs were also made by Edwin "\^"ilcox, 

( 380 ) 

ovii rorxTY axd its people 

who also made bedsteads and had a saw mill as a part of his 
establishment, and also made cardboards. 

A man named AVillcutt had a turning shop and made bob- 
bins. Another named Willeutt manufactured padlocks. 

Erastus Fay owned and o[)erated a saw mill on Walker 
brook. Col. Samuel Hcni-y established a grist mill on Walker 
brook early in tin- Ktth century. He was succeeded in the busi- 
ness by Henry D. Wilcox, and later the mill was owned and 
opei-ated by Hiadford W. Palmer, and it is now carried on by 
William Gam well. 

The tannery was located on the same brook, as was also the 
saw mill and bedstead factory of William Fay. Another bed- 
stead factory was located on the main river and carried on by 
Timothy Keel'e. The hillsides and the mountains in the vicinity 
of Chester Factories are heavily wooded with maple, beech, birch 
and other timber suitable for the industries above named; and 
the buiidin>i of the lailroad gave new impulse to all kinds of 
business in this vicinity. 

The extension of the railroad that had been opened from 
Boston to Sprintrfield was called the Western railroad. The 
grading of this i-oad was i)ut under contract in 1838. The run- 
ning of ears from Springfield to Chester Factories was begun 
IMay 24. 1841, and thence to the sunmiit at Washington the fol- 
lowing September. The heavy part of the grade to the summit 
begins at Chester Factories, ami it necessitates keeping addi- 
tional locomotives to help trains u]) to the summit, and this neces- 
sitates an engine house and additional help tx) operate them. 
Chester Factories was the half-way station between Springfield 
and Pittsfield. All trains stopped here, and in many respects 
it is one of the important stations on the road. For many yeai-s 
there was but a single track. For many years a refreshment 
table was kept at the station, and all trains stopped long enough 
for pa.ssengers to lunch. 

About the time the railroad began operation T>. JI. and A. C. 
Root built a store near the railroad station and did a successful 
business. The store is now carried on by George Pease. 

.\t the present time there are about half a dozen stores in 
Chester Factories, besides a drug stiu-e. The village is a business 

( 382 ) 


centre foi' parts of Chester. ^liddlefield, Beeket, Blandford and 

In Dr. Edward Iliteheock's report of the geology of Jlassa- 
chusett.s. published in ISil. he states, on page 194, that "In the 
western part of Chester, near the bed of serpentine and soapstone 
already described, not far from the Western Railroad, are sev- 
eral beds of magnetic oxide of iron." Dr. Herman S. Lucas, 
who came to Chester Factories and began the practice of his 
pi'ofession in 1844, became interested in mineralogy. It is alto- 
gether probable that he was familiar with Dr. Hitchcock's report 
and w-ith the statement above quoted referring' to magnetic iron 
in Chester. Dr. Lucas discovered this vein about 1850, or per- 
haps earlier, and specimens of it were on exhibition at the rail- 
road station at Chester Factories. Specimens of it were sent to 
the iron furnaces at Stockbridge and Lenox, but it failed to w'ork 
as iron ore. About 1863 Dr. Lucas and his brother, John E. 
Lucas, in company with Henry D. "Wilcox, attempted to work 
it iu a blast furnace, but the experiment was unsuccessful. Soon 
after this the property passed into the hands of a Boston com- 
pany represented by John B. Taft, and in which Dr. Lucas was 
interested. It was while in the hands of this company that this 
vein of supposed magnetic iron was discovered to be emery. I 
(juote from Prof. Emerson's Gculogy of Old n<imps}iire Couiity 
the following: "The credit of the discovei-y and its first an- 
nouncement belongs to D. ('. T. Jackson. I remember how 
Prof. Shepard, when taking my college class tiirough the cabinets 
in 1865. stopped at the old state geological collection made by 
President Hitchcock during his survey of Massachusetts, and 
took down the specimen of magnetite collected from the Chester 
bed anil pointed out to us the emery which it contained, to show 
us how near Dr. Hitchcock had l)een to numljcring this among his 
many discoveries.'' This (piotation is deemed necessary to cor- 
rect a general impression prevailing in Chester and vicinity that 
Dr. Lucas made the discovery that this vein was emery. Dr. 
Jackson's discovery gave I'ise to the emery mining, and in 1868 
the Hampden Emery eomi)any was formed, in which Dr. Lucas, 
S. A. Bartholomew and Dr. Jackson were interested. A few 

( 383 ) 


j'ears later tliis uompany made a convej'ance to the Chester 
Iron . company, afterwards tlie Cliester Emery company, a 
stock company controlled by fhuiics T. Ames of Chicopee'. Out 
of this conveyance and the conduct of the old company touch- 
ing a vein further west, which it claimed and persisted in work- 
ing, arose a lawsuit, the result of which was that the vein came 
into the hands of the Chester company and was worked by it, 
extensive buildings being erected and expensive machinery pur- 
chased. In 1879 thirty-five men were employed and 210 tons 
of emery were produced, valued at $20,000. 

After the death of Mr. Ames the whole property, said to 
have cost .$80,000, was purchased by Dr. Lucas for $12,000. 
The doctor contmued the business in his own name, using 
Turkish emery, until Jlay 1, 1878, when Nathan Harwood was 
associated with him, and they continued in business for several 
years. Lucas and Ilarwood have both died recently. But the 
emery works are still a leading industry in Chester. 

The working of granite obtained in the town of Becket and 
transported to Chester Factories over a spur railroad recently 
put in, is another important industry. 

Another industry is the grinding of quartz for use in the 
manufacture of porcelain. 

Churdies in Chester Factories.— The Second Congregational 
church in Chester is located in Chester Factories, and was or- 
ganized in November in the year 1844, and the meeting-house 
was built under arrangement similar to that under which the 
meeting-house was built at Chester Village. The Congregational 
pastors have been Rev. Hubbard Beebe, from 1844 to 1846 ; Rev. 
Perkins K. Clark, from May. 184fi. to :May. 1849; Rev. D. Wil- 
liams, from Jlay, 1849, to ilay, 18.50; Rev. John C. Strong, from 
May, 1850, to August, 1853 ; Rev. D. D. Osgood, 1853 ; Rev. Hugh 
Gibson. 5 months in 1855; Rev. Z. Whitmore. from 1856 to April, 
1863; Rev. Selah [Merrill, from May. 1863, to ]\rarch, 1864; Rev. 
John Mills, from April, 1864, to June, 1864; Rev. Selah Jlerrill, 
from June. 1864, to September, 1864; Rev. John Mills, from 
October. 1864, to June, 1865; Rev. Edward A. Smith, from 
July. 1865. to ISlay, 1874; Rev. Cyrus B. Whitcomb, from August, 

( 384 ) 


1S7-1, to August. 1875 : Rev. Charles H. Hamlin, from February, 
1876. to 1879; Rev. Samuel W. Clark, from 1879 to April, 1880; 
Rev. Alvin E. Todd, from October, 1880, to December, 1885; 
Rev. Preston Barr, 1886 to 1887; Rev. Richard Scoles, from 
March, 1888, to July, 1893; Rev. Thomas D. Murphy, from 
November, 1893. to his death in 1901 : Rev. William S. Walker, 
July, 1901. 

"In 1800 and 1801, I\Iethodist classes were formed in 
Chester numbering nearly 100 members, under the labors of 
Ebenezer AYashburn and Billy Hibbard, who preached at the 
house of Capt. Alexander, about two miles south of Chester 
Factories. The region was then embraced in 'Old Granville 
Circuit', and in 1802, other preachers were on the circuit, but 
after this the classes gradually declined, and there was no preach- 
ing for several years. From 1819 to 1842 Rev. Messrs. Andrew 
McCune, Samuel Eighing, John Nixon, Jefferson Haskell, Eras- 
tus Otis, Leslie. Estin, Mayo. Shepard, Nichols, Hawks, Moulton, 
Lewis, Cnshman, Niles and Shedd were on the circuit. At the 
latter date the people of Chester Factoi-ies were generally Bap- 
tists. In 1843 Rev. A. A. Farr became the pastor at that village, 
and the church was transferred to the Troy conference. The 
same year a union church edifice was built, the same edifice now 
occupied by the Second Congregational church, and the town 
joined in the building for the purpose of using the basement for 
a school house, and it is still used for that purpose. And while 
the Methodist society was in occupation of this building, Rev. 
IMessrs. Kinsman, Atkinson. S. Mattison and A. C. Hand were 
the preachers. The accommodation becoming too small, the 
Methodists built a church by themselves, which was finished and 
dedicated in 1847. the church, in the meantime, having gone 
back into the New England conference. About the time of the 
building of the house, the Wesleyans and Baptists ceased to have 
preaching. The succession of pa.stors following Mr. Hadd is 
Rev. J. B. Bigelow. 1845; Rev. A. S. Flagg, 1846; Rev. I. Marey, 
1847 and 1848 : Rev. Farris Wilson, 1849 ; Rev, Mr. Woodbury, 
1850; Rev. G. E. Chapman, 1851-52: Rev. E. S. Best, 1853; Rev. 
C. Wait, 1854-55; Rev. C. W. Merryfield, 1856; Rev. John Cad- 

35-3 ( 385 ) 


well, 1857 ; Rev. John Noon, 1858 ; Rev. F. Fisk, 1859-60 ; Rev. 
E. D. ^Vinslow, 1861 ; Kev. L. N. Clark, 1862 ; Rev. George Hewes, 
1863; Rev. William D. Bridge, 1864; Rev. E. J. Moore, 1865-66; 
Rev. J. P. Bassett, 1867; Rev. J. AV. Fenn, 1868; Rev. William 
Gordon, 1869-70-71; Rev. L. A. Bosworth, 1872-73; Rev. E. Bur- 
liugluim, 1874-75; Rev. J. B. Bigelow, 1876-77; Rev. A. R. 
Nichols, 1878; Rev. P. M. Miller, 1879; Rev. John Galbraith, 
1880-81; Rev. P. George, 1882; Rev. AVilliam P. Blackmer, 
1883-84; Rev. C. H. Walters, 1885-86; Rev. S. A. Bragg, 1887-88; 
Rev. B. P. Kingsley, 1889-90-91 ; Rev. W. H. Doekham, 1892-93 ; 
Rev. Robert Smith. 1894-95; Rev. A. Beal, 1896; Rev. J. A. 
Botcher, 1897-98-99 ; Rev. T. J. Judge, 1900-1901. 

In February, 1854, at the time of an intense excitement on 
the subject of temperance with a crusade against liquor sellers, 
the ;Methodist meeting-house was blown up with powder in 
revenge for the part taken bj^ leading members of the Methodist 
church. The building was repaired so as to be reopened on the 
6th of the following August. At that time the church member- 
ship was about fifty. 

Burial Places.— The first was at Chester Centre within the 
8-aerc plat laid out "for a meeting-house place, training field 
and burial place." The first meeting-house was erected in 1767, 
and the burial ground was established when the first grave was 
made, and that was the grave of Abigail, wife of John Smith, 
who died August 12, 1767. This cemetery has been in constant 
use from that day to this. Within a few years past it has been 
greatly improved and is in excellent condition. There is one at 
North Chester, one at Littleville, one between Dayville and 
Littleville, one near the Bromley place on the road from Norwich 
Bridge to Chester Centre, one in the Ingalls neighborhood, the 
Bell family burial lot, the old cemetery at Chester Factories, 
still in use. and the Pine Hill cemetery recently established. 

Schools.— Tbeve are nine school houses in the town, one 
at the Centre, one at North Chester, one at Littleville, one in 
the Bromley neighborhood, one north of Chester Centre, one 
in the Ingalls neigliborhood. one at the :\rica :\Iills on the river 
road from Huntington to Chester Factories, one at Round Top, 
and two at Chester Factories. 

( 386 ) 


The public schools have always been well looked aftei- in 
•Chestei". Expenditures for schools during the past year amounted 
to about $6,600. 

There is a public library at Chester Factories containing 
2,634 volumes. The trustees are Timothy Keefe and Frank Fay. 

The village of Chester Factories is equipped with a good 
"water service, and with an electric light service. 

There are two hotels, the old hotel now kept by William H. 
Day. and the White hotel near the railroad station, kept by 
"William R. White. 

Lairi/ers.— Marshall Wilcox, when a young man and located 
in Otis, had an office in Chester and spent a portion of each 
week here. He was succeeded by Henry D. Filley, a son of Lester 
Filley of Otis, one of the well known lawyers of Berkshire 

Franklin D. Eichards was there several years in the fifties. 
He was succeeded by Edward H. Lathrop, who came to Chester 
^bout 1861. 

Clayton D. Smith, a native of Chester, has been located at 
Chester Factories several years. 

PJnjsicians. — Dr. Heman S. Lucas settled in Chester as a 
practicing phj-sician in 1844. Since that date the following 
named physicians have practiced in Chester Factories : Dr. Hill, 
Dr. Brewster, Dr. Fay, Dr. Fiske. Dr. Couch. Dr. Howe. 

The physicians now in practice are Dr. Howard E. Wilson, 
Dr. Oscar J. Shepardson and Dr. Markham. 

In Barber's "Historical Collection of iMassachusetts ", pub- 
lished in 1839, is the following touching Chester: "Population, 
1,290. In 1837 there were 2 cotton mills ; cotton spindles, 1,690 ; 
cotton goods manufactured, 225,000 yards ; value, $22,075 ; males 
employed, 13 : females, 22. There were 1,055 Saxony sheep, 
2,495 merino, and 170 of other kinds of sheep; average weight 
of fleece, 2 and three-fourth pounds; value of wool produced, 
$5,817.38; capital invested, $11,347. There were 3 tanneries; 
hides tanned, 33,500; value of leather tanned and curried, 
$10,900: the value of window blinds manufactured, $15,000; 
males employed. 14: females, twenty-six". 

( 387 ) 


Pojndalion. -In 1776, 405; 1790, 1,119; 1800, 1,542; 1810, 

1,534; 1820. 1,526; 1830, 1,407; 1840, 1,632; 1850, 1,521; 1860, 

1,314; 1870, 1,256; 1875, 1,396; 1880, 1,473; 1885, 1,318; 1890, 
1,295; 1895, 1,429; 1900, 1,450. 


Representatives to the General Court. — 1115, Enoch 
Shepard; 1780, Timothy Lyman: 1782, Jesse Johnson. 

February 21, 1783, the name of the town was changed from 
Murrayfield to Cliester, and the representatives elected after 
that until 1812 were: Keuben Ilatton, Elijah Blackman, John 
N. Parmenter. 

Selectmen Prior to tin Division of M^(r ray field. — 1766-67, 
Timothy Smith, Jolin Smith, Malcom Henry ; 1768, Caleb Fobes, 
Timothy Smith, William I\niler: 1769. Ebenezer Meacham, James 
Hamilton, Abnor Smith; 1770. -lolm Kirtland, Timothy Smith, 
David Scott; 1771. Timothy Smith. Samuel Matthews, Edward 
Wright; 1772, ,Mak'om Henry. David Shepard, John Kirtland; 
1773. ^lah-om Henry. John Kirtland, David Shepard, Abner 

Toirn (,7crAs. — 17iili. Malcom Henry; 1768. John Smith; 
1771-4. David Shepard. The act setting off the district of Nor- 
wich was pa.ssed June 29. 1773, and on the 16th of August fol- 
lowing a town meeting was liehl in ilurrayfield, at which 
vacancies in town offices caused by such division of the town were 
tilled, and tlie boaiii of selectmen lor the remainder of the year 
stood thus- :\Ialc'om Henry. David Shepard. Abner Smith, Win. 
Campbell: 1774-75, Jesse Johnson. James Hamilton, David 
Shepaid; 177(i, David Shepard, James Hamilton. Timothy Ly- 
man: 1777. Knocli Shepard, James Hamilton, Timothy Lyman; 
1778. Timothy Lyman. James Hamilton, John Blair; 1779, Jesse 
Johnson, Timotliy Lyman, John Blair; 1780, Timothy Smith, 
John Wniv. Jesse Jolinson : 1781, John Kelso, Samuel Jones, 
Samui^l Bell ; 1782, John Blair, William Campbell. Jabez Tracy. 

After the Name was Changed from Mvrrayfield to Chester. 
— 1783. John Blair, William Campbell, Timothy Lyman; 1784. 
Timothy Lyman, John N. Parmenter, William Stone; 1785, 

( 388 ) 


William Campbell, Timothy Lyman, Gersliom Rust; 1786, Elijah 
Blackmail, Timothy Lyman, Noadiah Seaward; 1787-88, James 
Hamilton, Nathan Wright, William Sizer ; 1789, Timothy Lyman, 
James Hamilton, John Elder; 1790-91, David Shepard, Timothy 
Lyman, John N. Parmenter; 1792, Timothy Lyman, Ephraim 
Miller, John N. Parmenter; 1793, John N. Parmenter, Timothy 
Lyman, Eleazer Wales; 1794, Timothy Lyman, Abraham Day, 
John N. Parmenter; 1795, David Shepard, Timothy LjTiian, 
Abraham Day ; 1796, John N. Parmenter, Timothy Lyman, 
Jason Wright : 1797, David Shepard, Ozias French, Ephraim 
]\Iiller; 1798. Jnda Willey, Elisha Wilcox, David Shepard, 
Zadock Ingall. William Toogood; 1799, Samuel Bell, Jason 
Wright, Juda Willey; 1800-4, Asa Slayton, William Elder, 
Simon C. Holland; 1805. William Elder, Sylvester Emmons; 
1806, Asa Slayton, Jacob Day. Samuel Bell ; 1807, Samuel Bell, 
Seth Phelps. Silas Freeman; 1808. Samuel Bell, Sylvester Em- 
mons. Silas Freeman, jr.. Silas Kingsley. Daniel Smith; 1809, 
S.vlvester Emmons, John N. Parmenter. William Wade; 1810, 
Sylvester Emmons. John N. Parmenter, William Taylor; 1811, 
Sylvester Emmons. William Taylor. Horace Smith; 1812. Syl- 
vester Emmons, William Taylor, Horace Smith ; 1813, William 
Taylor, Horace Smith, William Wade; 1814 William Taylor, 
Horace Smith. William Wade: 1815. Samuel Bell, John Ellis, 
Samuel White; 1816, Samuel Bell. John P'Uis, Ebenezer Whip- 
ple; 1817. Samuel White, James Nooney. jr.. Asa Wilcox: 1818, 
Samuel White. James Nooney. jr.. Asa Wilcox; 1819. Sylvester 
Emmons. Asa Wilcox, James Nooney, jr. ; 1820, Sylvester Em- 
mons, Asa AVilcox. Sylvester Belden; 1821, Asa Wilcox, Sylvester 
Belden, Isaac Whipple; 1822, Isaac Whipple, James Nooney, 
jr.. Charles Collins; 1823, Isaac Whipple, James Nooney, jr., 
Charles Collins; 1824, Isaac Whipple, James Nooney, jr., Charles 
Collins; 1825. Charles Collins. Samuel B. Stebbins. John Hamil- 
ton; 1826, Charles Collins, John Taylor, James Elder; 1827, 
James Elder, Timothy Lyman, Forbes Kyle ; 1828, Forbes Kyle, 
Moses Gamwell. AVilliam Henry; 1829. IMoses Gamwell, Samuel 
B. Stebbins. Norid p]lder; 1830. William Shepard, Lewis Collins, 
William Henry; 1831, William Henry, John Hamilton, Jonas 

( 389 ) 


PaniK'titer ; 1832, Jonas Parnienter, Hector Campbell, "William 
Shepard ; 1833, Jonas Parnienter, Hector Campbell, Otis Taylor^ 
1834, Jonas Parnienter, Hector Campbell, Otis Taylor; 1835, 
Jonas Parnienter, Hector Campbell. Otis Taylor; 1836, Samuel 
Bell, Hector Campbell, Thomas F. Plunkett; (Plunkett moved 
out of town and Jonas Parnienter succeeded.) 1837, William 
Shepard. Sanniel Bell, Isaac Stevens; 1838, Samuel Bell, Isaac 
Stevens. AVilliam Moore; 1839, Isaac Stevens, William ]\Ioore, 
Reuben L. Bromley; 1840, Forbes Kyle, Reuben L. Bromley, 
Samuel Henry: 1841. Jothani Clark. Samuel Henry, Adam Ham- 
ilton; 1842, Jonas Parnienter, Cheney Ingall, Camden H. Bab- 
cock; 1843, Cheney Ingall, Benjamin Little, Rufus Tinker; 1844, 
Samuel Bell. Jonas Parnienter. Eli Knox: 184.5. Jabin B. Wil- 
liams, Foi-lies Kyle, Joshua Bemis: 1846, David Smith, Camden 
H. Babcock, Leverett Knox; 1847, Cheney Ingall, Daniel Fry, 
Edwin AVileox; 1848, Daniel Fry. David Cannon. David Smith; 
1849-50, Daniel Fry, David Cannon, David Smith, Jonas Par- 
nienter, Ely ^Yilcox ; 1851-55, Abner Sampson, John Bemis, Ely 
Howe, Samuel Stebbins, David Smith. Alvan Rude, Henry 
Dewey, Adam Hamilton; 1856, Albert E. AYright, B. B. East- 
man, Silas P. Searl; 1857, David Smith, 0. W. Gibbs, Joshua 
Bemis; 1858. David Smith. Charles AY. Knox, Joshua Bemis; 
1859, David Smith. Charles AY. Knox. John Carrington; 1860, 
David Smith, Joshua Bemis, Samuel Stebbins; 1861-62, Charles 
W. Knox. Joseph C. Kelso. E. D. Ormsby; 1863, E. D. Ormsby, 
Charles AY. Knox, Alfred S. Foot; 1864, Charles AY. Knox, 
Alfred S. Foot. Joseph Kelso ; 1865, Charles AY. Knox, George 
C. A\'illiams. B. B. Eastman; 1866-7, Charles A\'. Knox, Charles 
AI. Bell, George Taylor; 1868, Charles AY. Knox. Charles AI. 
Bell, Amos S. Cone; 1869, Charles AI. Bell, Amos S. Cone. Ely 
AYilcox; 1870. Charles AY. Knox, David Smith, Joshua Bemis; 
1871, Henry D. AYilcox, David Smith. Amos S. Cone; 1872, 
Charles AY. Knox, Charles M. Bell. Amos S. Cone: 1873, James 
King. E. F. Pease, Amos S. Cone; 1874, Charles AY. Knox, 
Charles :\I. Bell, Amos S. Cone: 1875-6, Charles AY. Knox, 
Alpheus AYillcutt. Amos S. Cone; 1877-8. Charles AI. Bell,' 
Alpheus AYillcutt. J. IT. Fiske; 1879. Charles H. AYarner, George 

( 390 ) 


H. Hapgood, Jason H. Piske; 1880, Charles H._Knos, Charles 
M. Bell, Stephen W. Moore; 1881, James A. Jones, Alpheus 
Willcutt, Amos S. Cone ; 1882, Charles H. Knox, Alpheus "VVill- 
cntt, Amos S. Cone; 1883, Charles H. Knox, Alfred S. Foot, 
Joshua W. Bemis; 1884-5-6, Charles H. Kuox, Alfred S. Foot, 
Joshua W. Bemis; 1887, Charles H. Knox, Moses Clark, Joshua 
W. Bemis; 1888, Charles H. Knox, Moses Clark, Joshua W. 
Bemis; 1889, Major A. Snow, Moses Clark,. Clarence M. Woods; 
1890-1, Major A. Snow, Moses Clark, Joshua W. Bemis; 1892, 
Moses Clark, Major A. Suow, Clarence M. Woods; 1893, Llajor 
A. Snow, Clarence M. Woods, Edward L. Higgins; 1894, Clayton 
D. Smith, Clarence M. Woods, Edward L. Higgins; 1895-6, 
George H. Hapgood, Edward L. Higgins, Clarence M. Woods ; 

1897, George H. Hapgood, Clarence M. Woods, Charles Z. Ingall ; 

1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, George H. Hapgood, Clarence M. W^oods, 
Charles Z. Ingall. 

Town Clerks After Division of the TowiL — mi-T, Sanuiel 
Matthews: 1777-98, David Shepard; 1798-1806, Gideon Mat- 
thews, jr.; 1806, Sylvester Emmons; 1807-9, Martin Phelps; 
1809 to 1815, Anson Boise; 1816, Samuel Phelps; 1817, William 
Henry; 1818, Isaiah L. Baker; 1819 to 1825, William Henry; 
1826-27-28, Ashael Wright; 1829-30-31, Hector Campbell; 1832- 
33-34-35-36, Forbes Kyle; 1837-38-39-40, Otis Taylor; 1841, 
David B. Tinker; 1842, Otis Taylor; 1843, George Whitney; 
1844, Otis Taylor; 1845, George Whitney; 1846, Otis Taylor; 
1847-48, Aurelius C. Root ; 1849, Henry D. Filley, who died and 
was succeeded by Aurelius C. Root; 1850 to '52, Otis Taylor; 
1853, John B. Elder : 1854, Camden H. Babeock ; 1855, John B. , 
Elder; 1856, Charles W. Knox; 1857, Franklin D. Richards;! 
1858, Otis Taylor; 1859-60, Camden H. Babeock; 1861-2, Chris- 
topher C. Campbell; 1863 to 1871, Timothy Keefe; 1872 to 1902, 
George N. Cone. 

The list of Chester men who served in the civil war, so far 
as can be ascertained, is as follows: Samuel L. Atwood. 31st 
Mass.; Joseph S. Bemis, 34th Mass.: Edward D. Bemis. 62d 
N. Y. ; Edson D. Bemis, 31st Mass.; Watson Carr, 27th IMass. ; 
Eli Carter, 36th N. Y. ; Wilman W. Clark, 31st Mass.; Andrew 

( 391 ) 


Crow, 10th ]\Ias.s.; Frank J. Childs, 10th Mass.; Franklin AV. 
Dewey. 10th I\ : Oscar D. DeWolf, surg., 1st Mass. Cav. ; 
D. Albert Fairfield, :34th Mass.; George Garland, 10th Mass.; 
Peter E. Herbert, 10th Mass.; George W. Howe, 10th Mass.; 
Luke Ilavey. :31st IMass. : Martin Kennedy. 22d Mass.; William 
.Meaehani, 10th : Micliael McGratty, :34th Mass.; Dwight 
]\ralli.son, :37th Mass.; Elijah Meachani, 34th Mass.; Edwin 0. 
Messenger, 10th ]Mass. ; Lester H. Quigley, 27th ; Charles 
Pay, 46th ;\lass. : Edward E. Quigley, 31st ]\Iass. ; George F. 
Smith, 31st Mass.; Henry Talmage, 31st Mass.; George W. 
Truell, 27th :vrass. : Henry Town, 99th N. Y. ; Henry H. Weeks, 
27th Mass. ; E. D. Winslow, chaplain, 19th IMass. ; George Riley, 
unknown; Zachariah Longley, 10th Mass.; Samuel Ladd, 27th 
Mass. ; Henry Robinson, 27th IMass. ; Charles H. Smith, 27th 
Mass. ; Henry Raftis, 27th ilass. ; Harrison Moore, 41st Ohio ; 
Dennis Coffin, 46th Mass. ; Joshua W. Bemis, 46th ]\Iass. ; Oliver 
C. Burr, 46th JIass. ; Cyrus L. Belden, 46th Mass. ; Lanson P. 
Carter, 46th IMass. : Joseph Chartier, 46th IMass. : Henry E. 
Dimoek, 46th iMass. ; William C. Dunham, 46th IMass. ; Edward 
Dewey, 46th ; William K. Jackson. 46th Mass. ; James 
Keefe, 46th ; Francis Otis, 46th Mass. ; Albert H. Sander- 
son, 46th IMass.: Charles F. Smith, 46th IMass.; George W. 
Wright, 46th ilass. W. H. Waterman, D. B. Richmond, Edward 
Fitzgerald, Samuel Pease, Daniel Dowd, Joseph T\niipp]e, 
Tliomas Connors. James Seanlin, Horatio Holmes. John IMoore 
and William I\L Wright who died in Andersonville prison. 

Sohlicrs of (he R< vohilionary irar.— The town of Chester, 
then Murrayfield, was staunelily loyal to the cause of Independ- 
ence as has been shown in an early part of this history. The 
minut(>men who marched to Cambridge from I\Iurrayfield in Col. 
Seth Pomeroy's regiment in April, 1775, were David Shepard, 
James Clark, Gershom Rust, John ]\rclntire, Russell Dewey, 
George Williams. Nathan Wright. Benjamin Wright. John Blair, | 
Asa Gould, Benjamin Eggleston, James Geer, Archelus Ander- 
son. The men who enlisted and went in Col. David Brewster's 
regiment. 9th Continental. April 24, 1775, were Capt. Malcom 
Henry, Sergeant William French, William Spencer Smith, 

( 392 ) 


Joseph Henry, William Foot, John Elder and Ezekiel Snow, 
and they were discharged the following October. John Laccore, 
David Blair, George Black, William Moore, Thomas Elder and 
TTToinas Smith were in service a short time. In 1776 David 
Bolton. William Smith and Eli W^oolworth went into service in 
Col. Dike's regiment. October 21, 1776. the men named below 
.joined Col. John jMosley's regiment and marched to Mount In- 
dependence under command of Lieut. Col. Timothy Robertson: 
Enoch Shepard, captain; William Campbell, lieutenant; Ger- 
shom Rust, John Mclntire, Nathan W^ right, sergeants; John 
Elder, coi'poral; Edward W^ right, fifer, and the following 
privates: Alexander Partridge, James Bentley, Ebenezer Place- 
man, Allen Geer, Thomas Elder, William Elder, Ebenezer 
Stowe, John Smith, Lemuel Laccore, Abner Smith and Jonathan 
Wait. Their term of service was 28 days. 

March 1, 1777, Jehiel Eggleston and James Fobes enlisted 
for three years or during the war. Patrick King enlisted Decem- 
ber 19, 1778; Elijah Brewer enlisted in July, 1780; Joseph Win- 
ter, Francis Thomas and Ebenezer Smith enlisted July 19, 1779, 
for nine months. John Thompson was drafted and went into 
Col. Mosley's regiment. In 1780. John Carlile, William Carlile, 
Alexander McCullen. William Harris, Timothy Smith, Jesse 
Wright. Elijah Brewer, James Moore, Daniel Babcock, Abra- 
ham Converse, Isaac Converse, Jude Jones, Samuel Woolworth, 
Nathan Matthews, Nathaniel Babcock and Primus Hill served 
for six months. Another list of six months men are Joseph 
Gilbert, Patrick King, Leonard Pigue, Noah Wilson, Moses Barr, 
John Carlile, William Carlile, Alexander McCullen, Joseph Win- 
ter, Timothy Smith, Jesse Wright and William Harris. Justin 
Rust, Samuel Rust, Quartus Rust, Edward Taylor, Ai'chelus 
Andei-son, Elijah Stanton, Alexander Mecla, John Curtis, Elijah 
Brown, enlisted in 1781. 

( 393 ) 


lu 17.31 a considerable tract of land on the eastern border of 
Ilaiiip.shire county, on which settlement had been made during 
iIk- twenty-five years preceding that time, was made a provisional 
jurisdiction by the name of Brimfield. This territory was in- 
corporated as a town in 1731, and as settlement afterward in- 
creased the creation of other districts became necessary. In 1762 
the south half of Brimfield, as then constituted, was formed into 
a district by the name of South Brimfield, and in 1766 this south- 
ei-u region was itself divided into east and west parishes. On 
August 23, 1775. these parishes were incorporated into a town 
by the name of South Brimfield, and thereupon became a civil 
division of the county. 

lint it appears that the creation of the town soon gave rise 
to many inconveniences on account of the situation of the lands, 
and the welfare of the inhabitants demanded another division 
of the new territory. This Avas accomplished in 1783, when, on 
July 5. the general court passed -'An act to incorporate the east 
parish of South Brimfield into a district by the name of Hol- 
land." the effective portion of which act reads as follows: 
•■Whereas the inhabitants of the east parish in the said South 
Brimfield have represented to this court the many inconveniences 
they labor under, arising from their connection with said South 
Brimfield: for remedy thereof. 

"Be it enacted." etc.. "That all the lands and inhal)itants 
of South Brimfield aforesaid lying and being on the east side of 
the county road leading from Brimfield to Union, in the state of 
Connecticut, called and known as the South Meadow road there, 

( 394 ) 


be and is hereby incorporated into a separate district by the 
name of Holland, and invested with all the powers, privileges 
and immunities that districts in this commonwealth are entittled 
to according to law. or do or may enjoy." The act also directed 
Abner Morgan, justice of the peace, to issue his warrant to some 
principal person in the new district for the purpose of assem- 
bling the inhabitants in meeting for the election of officers. 
Under the law the district was to all intents and purposes a town, 
except that it was not entitled to a separate representative in the 
general court ; and this right was not gi-anted until May 1, 1836. 

Geographically. Holland occupies the extreme southeast cor- 
ner of the county ; being bounded on the east by AVorcester coun- 
ty and on the south by the Connecticut line. The central part of 
tiie town is 69 miles distant from Boston, 28 miles from Spring- 
field, and 12 miles from Palmer. Although its inhabitants are 
allied to the people of the adjoining towns in Hampden county, 
their associations are largely with those of Sturbridge on the east 
and Union on the south. These are the natural and most con- 
venient trading places; for Holland is remotely situated from 
Springfield and other county markets, and communication with 
them is attended with many inconveniences. This situation 
always has worked adversely to Holland interests, as a Hampden 
town, and while various remedies have been suggested to relieve 
existing conditions none has been carried into effect, and the 
townsmen, consulting their per.sonal interests, naturally turn to 
the localities east and south of them. 

Sctnement.-The early settlement of Holland was accom- 
plished while the territory formed a part of the mother town of 
Brimfield. and when the latter was divided that wliich now 
constitutes this town contained nearly 300 inhabitants. However, 
in treating of this interesting portion of the town's history, it is 
difficult to separate Holland from Brimfield, for much that might 
be said of the latter naturally applies to the former. But it 
may be said, without fear of contradiction, that for more than 
a century Holland has been regarded as one of the most inde- 
pendent "jurisdictions of the county, and from the period of its 
earliest occupancy its people have been noted for their truly 

( 396 ) 


democratic customs iu domestic life. This is to their honor, for 
here the people ever have struggled against difficulties and have 
not received the recognition nor advantages to which they were by 
right entitled. Still the town has pros[)ered and its inhabitants 
by personal elfort have established and maiiitained institutions 
worthy of larger towns. 

According to recognized authority. I lie pioneer of Holland 
was Joseph Blodgett, one of the original proprietors and for 


ilolUiiul I'uiul 

many years one of it.s foremost men. When the proprietors made 
a division of their lands. Mr. Blodgett drew lot No. 67. This 
drawing was contirnied by the general court in 1732, yet the 
jiioneer probably had established himself in the town as early 
as 172o. In later years he took an active interest in local affains. 
tilling several important offices, and he was equally earnest in his 
endeavors in behalf of the clnirch. He was a surveyor a.s well 
as farmer and the records make frequent reference to his work. 

( 396 ) 


His house was on the South Meadow road which led from Brim- 
field to Union, aud which divides the towns of Holland and 
Wales. Pioneer Blodgctt had several sous, one of whom, Jonas, 
was the last surveyor and clerk of the proprietors of Brimfield. 
He died in 1839 at the advanced age of 95 years. He was per- 
haps more conspicuous in town affairs than his father, and was 
one of the first board of selectmen, serving several years in that 
office. The family name Blodgett has always been represented 
in tlie town by men of character and integrity, and some of them 
have been chosen to places of trust and responsibility. 

When the pioneer led the advance of civilized white settle- 
ment into this then remote part of Hampshire county, his action 
was regarded as hazardous because of the dangers which were 
supposed to attend life in the wild and almost unknown regions 
of old Brimfield. But within a short time after Joseph Blodgett 
had built his cabin and prepared a little tract of land for culti- 
vation, other settlers began to come and occupy their lots, and in 
the course of two or three years a little settlement had sprung 
up. Among the comers of this period there may be mentioned 
the names of John Webber. Ebenezer Wallis, Enoch Hides, John 
Bishop, Jonathan and Robert Brown, nearly all of whom brought 
families and shared with the pioneer the vicissitudes of life in a 
new and unsettled region. These men were of sturdy New Eng- 
land stock, some of them descendants of Puritan ancestors, and 
the dangers and hardships of life in a wilderness region had few 
terrors for them. The surnames of many of these first settlers 
are still preserved in the town, and a glance at the records wll 
show that some of them have attained to positions of importance 
in local histoiy. 

Continuing our narrative still further, mention may be 
made of the names of Henry and Trenance Webber, who came 
to Holland from Rhode Island about 1730, and who were descend- 
ants of Henry Webber. They and their descendants in later 
generations have been active factors in the history of the town. 
Among others of that surname there may be recalled Frank 
Webber. Rinaldo Webber. Samuel Webber, Adolphus Webber, 
Loring Webber, William A. Webber, Ezra AVebber and Dwight 

( 397 ) 


E. ^Vebber, each of whom did his full share in building up the 
town and establishing a prosperous condition of affairs for his 
own family, thus contributing to the general welfare of all the 
town's people. 

Since the earliest settlement the "Wallis family has been 
favorably known in Holland history. Ebenezer seems to have 
been the jjionecr. and David came about 1755. He w-as from 
Woodstock, Connecticut, a blacksmith by trade and a farmer by 
subsequent occupation. Among his children were several sons, 
the names of Thomas, Jonathan, William and John being remem- 
bered as of the number. Jonathan adopted the trade of his 
father, and Thomas became a physician, one of the first in Hol- 
land and a man of influence in the community. "William and 
John Wallis were farmers. In the family of the pioneer Wallis 
was a grandson, David by name, a son of David, jun., the latter 
never having settled in this town. This younger David was a 
soldier in the revolution, and after the war he married Persis 
Kosebrook who bore him ten children. Like the "Webbers, the 
"Wallis family have been prolific in Holland and their work has 
been for good in all generations of their descendants. 

Of the other early settlers in Holland whose names have been 
mentioned little is known, and it is probable that some of them 
soon left for homes in some other locality. James Marcy located 
here about 1767, and was a farmer. Among his children were 
several sons and daughters, the names of James, Jr., Elisha, 
Da\-id, Job, Sarah and Betsey being recalled at this late day. 
]\rost of these children grew up and married in the town and 
were contributing factors in its best history. Benjamin Perrin 
was an early settler about a mile south of the Centre. His sons 
were John, Cyril and Hallowell Perrin. John married a daugh- 
ter of Ichabod Goodell, also an early settler, and had thirteen 
children. Later on he removed to Monson. Hallowell Perrin 
was a farmer and tavern keeper, and a man of prominence in 
early days. He, too, raised a large family, but the surname is 
no longer known in Holland. Ichabod Goodell (the year of his 
settlement here is not known) was a conspicuous figure in early 
Holland history. He married into the Webber family and had 

( 398 ) 


lour children, Huldali, Polly, Persis and Jabez. The son eventu- 
ally emigrated to New York state, where he taught school, and 
through his excellent business capacity he acquired a fortune. 
He never forgot his old home and in his will left $500 to the town. 

ICliphalet Janes, the first clerk of the new district formed in 
1783, was a farmer and o\\"Xier of a saw and grist mill, but when 
aud whence he came is not known. In the same connection thei-e 
maj' be recalled the names of William Belknap, an early farmer 
and upright townsman; Asa David, who filled several offices in 
the town and was especially prominent in matters pertaining to 
the church. He also taught school and engaged in farming until 
1793, when he removed from the town. Reuben Stevens was a 
farmer and also a cloth dresser, and a useful man among the 
early settlers. 

Capt. Xehemiah IMay, another early and prominent settler, 
was an officer in the revolutionary service and a man of much 
influence in local town and church matters. He settled in the 
south part of the town about 1764. Ebenezer Morris, the town 
blacksmith, and it is said he was an excellent workman in his 
time, married a daughter of Capt. May. Jonathan Cram is 
remembered as a man of influence and as a successful farmer. 
Joseph Bruce, who settled on the afterward known Howlett farm, 
v/as regarded as one of the most eccentric characters in early 
Holland history, yet he was a man of worth notwithstanding his 
pecularities. John Policy was another early settler whose name 
is frequently recalled as one of the town worthies more then a 
century ago, and whose farm home lay on the old South Meadow 
road between the east and west parishes. Gershom Rosebrook 
was a farmer and lived east of the reservoir. His family name 
was long preserved in the town. 

In addition to those already mentioned among the early 
settlers, we may still fui'ther recall James Frizzell, Humphi-ey 
Cram, Jacob, Benjamin, Edward and Samuel Webber, John 
Rosebrook, William and Asa Belknap, Jonathan Wallis, John 
and James Anderson, Alfred Lyon, Daniel Burnett, Asa Dana, 
John Brown. Jonathan Ballard and Eleazer Moore, all of whom 
were conspicuous figures in town affairs about the time of the 

( 399 ) 


division of Brimfield and the creation of the new districts out 
of its soiitiiern territory. 

Tliose whose names are mentioned in preceding paragraplis 
laid tiie foundation for the subseriuent growth of the town. They 
bore tlie luirdsliiiis of life attendant upon the pioneership and 
early settlement, hut notwithstanding all the disadvantages un- 
der which tiK'y struggled they huilded well, and permanent bene- 
fits thereby accrued to their descendants aiul all others who after- 
ward came to dwell in liie region. There was something in 
the character and quality of the lands to attract settlement, and 
a comparison of records discloses that Holland in the early years 
of its history grew as rapidly in population as any of the adjoin- 
ing towns. Indeed, in 1790 the town had more than double its 
present population, the number of inhabitants then being 428 
as against 169 in 1900. This loss has not been through any fault 
of the people and is attributable to the same causes which have 
worked a like decrease in popiilation in all towns situated as is 
this: and that, the tendency of later generations of young men 
and women to abandon the farms for the pleasures of life in the 
connnercial centers. 

The various fluctuations of population in Holland are seen 
in the following extracts from the census reports: In 1790 the 
inhabitants lumibered 428 ; 1800, 445 ; 1810. 420 ; 1820. 453 ; 1830. 
453; 1840. 423; 1850, 449; 1860, 419; 1865, 368; 1870, 344; 1875, 
334: 1880. 302: 1885. 229; 1890, 201; 1895, 199; 1900. 169. 

Civimistory.—The early civil history of Holland is narrated 
on preceding pages and it is stated how South Brimfield was 
created and the east and west parishes of the latter eventually 
were made separate and distinct towns. The creation of the dis- 
trict of Holliiud in 1783 was necessary for the convenience of its 
inhabitants and while not then accorded full toAxni powers the 
civil organization was made complete in that year. The act of the 
legislature directed Abner Morgan, justice, to issue his warrant 
to some principal person in the district pi'oposed to be incor- 
porated, and Joseph Bruce was selected for that purpose. The 
first town meeting in pursuance of the warrant was held July 24. 
1783, on which occasion Mr. Bruce acted as moderator. Capt. 

( 400 ) 


Nehemiah May, Joseph Blodgett and Alfred Lyon were chosen 
selectmen, and Eliphalet Janes, town clerk. -A full board of 
officers were chosen and then Holland began making civil history. 
The succession of selectmen is as follows : 

Selectmen.— nS3, Nehemiah May, Joseph Blodgett, Alfred 
Lyon : 1784, William Belknap, Daniel Burnet, Jonathan Cram ; 
1785, Jonas Blodgett, Daniel Burnet, Nehemiah May; 1786, 
Joseph Bruce, Daniel Burnet, William Belknap ; 1787, Jonas 
Blodgett, Asa Dana, Wm. Belknap; 1788, David AYallis, Asa 
Dana, Wm. Belknap ; 1789, David Wallis, Asa Dana, John 
Policy ; 1790, Wm. Belknap, Alfred Lyon, John Brown ; 1791-93, 
Wm. Belknap, Asa Dana, David Wallis; 1794, Alfred Lyon, 
Ichabod Goodell, David Wallis; 1795, Alfred Lyon, Wm. Belk- 
nap, David Wallis; 1796, Joseph Bruce, John Policy, Halowell 
Perrin; 1797-8, David Wallis, John Policy, Wm. Belknap; 1799, 
David AVallis, Gershom Rosebrook, Rinaldo Webber; 1800, Wm. 
Belknap, Ichabod Goodell, Rinaldo Webber ; 1801, David Wallis, 
Ichabod Goodell, Jonathan Ballard ; 1802, David Fay, Ichabod 
Goodell, Ebenezer Morris; 1803, Jacob Thompson, Ichabod 
Goodell, Ebenezer Morris; 1804, Jacob Thompson, Ichabod 
Goodell, Rinaldo Webber; 1805, Jacob Thompson, John Policy, 
David Wallis; 1806-07, Zerial May, John Policy, David Wallis; 
1808, Ebenezer Morris, Ezra Allen, Ezra Webber ; 1809, Ebene- 
zer Morris, Jacob Tliompson, Samuel Webber; 1810, David Wal- 
lis, John Weaver, Ezra Webber; 1811, Edward Blodgett, James 

A. Lynn, Wm. Putnam ; 1812, Edward Blodgett, James A. Lynn, 
Reuben Stevens ; 1813, Edward Blodgett, Ezra Webber, Leonard 
Morris; 1814, Cyril Perrin, James A. Lynn, Edward Blodgett; 
1815, John Weaver, David Wallis, Ezra Allen ; 1816, John Weaver, 
Ezra Webber, Edward Blodgett; 1817, Benj. Church, Preeland 
Wallis, John Wallis; 1818, Samuel Webber. Preeland Wallis, 
Reuben Stevens; 1819-20, Samuel Webber, Elbridge G. Puller, 
David B. Dean; 1821, Samuel Webber, Preeland Wallis, David 

B. Dean; 1822, Benj. Church, Preeland Wallis, David B. Dean; 
1823. Isaac Partridge, Preeland Wallis, John Wallis; 1824-25, 
David B. Dean, Preeland Wallis, Benj. Church; 1826, Adolphus 
Webber, Preeland Wallis, Loring Webber ; 1827, Reuben Stevens, 

26-3 ( 401 ) 


David H. Dean. Loriii^' Webber; 1828, Leonard M. Morris. Jolin 
Wallis, Baxter Wood; 1829-:{1, Freeland Wallis, David B. Dean, 
Willard Weld ; 1832, Adolphus Webber, Loring Webber, Willard 
Weld; 1833. Willard Weld, Adolphus Webber, Elbridge G. 
Fuller: 1834, Freeland Wallis, Adolphus AYebber, LjTuan Gould; 
1835, Freeland Wallis. Willard Webber, David B. Dean; 1836, 
Freeland Wallis. L.vnian Gould, Gilbert Rosebrook; 1837, Wil- 
lard Weld, Horace Wallis. Tsaae W. W^ood; 1838, Willard Weld, 
Horace Wallis. Freeland Wallis: 1839, AYillard AVeld, Levans 
JlcFarlin, Freeland Wallis; 18-40, Adolphus Webber, Horace 
WaUis, Grosvernor ]\Iay; 1841, Adolphus "Webber, David B. 
Dean, Warren A. Wallis; 1842, Freeland Wallis. David B. Dean, 
Harrison Allen; 1843, Adolphus Webber, Willard Weld, Uriah 
P. Jlarc.v ; 1844, David B. Dean, Adolphus Webber, Harrison 
Allen; 1845, Freeland Wallis, Nehemiah Underwood, Eleazer 
Moore; 1846, William A. Webber, Nehemiah Underwood, Harri- 
son Allen; 1847. John'Wallis, Stephen C. Weld, John B. Gould 
1848-4!). William A. Webber. Warren A. Wallis, William Frizell 

1850, Nehemiah Underwood, Uriah P. Marcy, John P. Gould 

1851, Benj. F. Wilson, Alvin Goodell, John Wallis; 1852, Elea- 
zer ]\roore, Warren A. AVallis. John Wallis: 1853. AVni. A. Web- 
ber, Nehemiah Underwood. KosweU A. Blodgett ; 1854, Nehemiah 
Underwood, William A. Webber, Uriah P. Marc.v; 1855, Alvin 
(loodell. Eleazer iloore, George L. Webber; 1856-57, Wm. A. 
AVebber, Warren A. Wallis, Clement B. Drake; 1858, Wm. A. 
Webber., Harrison Allen, Wm. H. Harris : 1859, Warren A. Wal- 
lis; Geo. L. Webber, Eleazer IMoore: 1860, Ferdinand L. Burley, 
Clement B. Drake, Wm. A. Harris: 1861, Ferdinand L. Burley, 
Wm. A. Webber, AVarren A. Wallis ; 1862, Ferd. L. Burley, Geo. 
L. Webber, AVarren A. AA^allis; 1863, AVm. A. AA'ebber, Horace 
AVallis. R. A. Blodgett: 1864. Ferd. L. Burley, Uriah P. Marcy, 
J. Ballard: 1865. AVm. A. AA'ebber. Clement B. Drake, J. A. 
AVebber: 1866-70, AVm. A. AVebber, Clement B. Drake, Uriah P. 
;Marcy: 1871-72, Freeman B. Blodgett, Harrison Allen, Uriah 
P. 'Slimy; 1873, Clement B. Drake, F. B. Blodgett. AA^m, S. 
AVallis: 1874, AVilliam A. AVebber, Freeman B. Blodgett, R. A. 
Blodgett: 1875. AVm. A. AVebber. F. B. Blodgett, Wm. S. AA'allis; 

( 402 ) 


1876, Uriah P. Marcy, F. B. Blodgett, Prank Wight; 1877-78, 
AVm. A. Webber, Freeman B. Blodgett, Henry Vinton; 1879, 
George L. Webber, Henry Vinton, Francis Wight ; 1880, George 
L. Webber, Francis Wight, A. L. Roper; 1881, George L. Webber, 
Freeman B. Blodgett. A. L. Roper ; 1882, Francis Wight, F. B. 
Blodgett, A. L. Roper; 18S3, Francis Wight, Wm. L. Webber, 
R. A. Blodgett- 1884, Francis Wight, R. A. Blodgett, A. L. 
Roper; 1885, Francis Wight, R. A. Blodgett, Henry Vinton; 
1886, R. A. Blodgett, A. L. Roper, George L. Webber; 1887, 
George L. AVebber, Wm. S. Wallis, Freeman B. Blodgett; 1888- 
89, George L. Webber, Wm. S. Wallis, F. B. Blodgett; 1890, 
Francis Wight, R. A. Blodgett, Wm. S. Wallis; 1891-2, Francis 
AVight, Wm. S. Wallis. Freeman B. Blodgett; 1893, George L. 
Webber, John S. Glazier, H. E. AVallis; 1894, Geo. L. Webber, 
H. E. Wallis, Francis Wight: 1895, F. B. Blodgett, Francis 
Wight, Wm. S. Wallis; 1896. F. B. Blodgett, Wm. A. Webber, 
B. C. Bennett; 1897, F. B. Blodgett, D. E. Butterworth, B. C. 
Bennett; 1898, F. B. Blodgett, A. F. Blodgett, D. E. Butter- 
worth; 1899. F. B. Blodgett, L. M. Howlett, H. E. Vinton; 1900, 
A. F. Blodgett. L. M. Hewlett, C. A. Webber; 1901, L. M. How- 
lett, C. A. Webber, Francis Wight. 

The succession of tlie town clerks is as follows : Eliphalet 
Janes, 1783-86; William Belknap. 1786-89; Da\'id Wallis, 1789; 
AVilliam Belknap. 1790-94; Asa Dana, 1794-98; Jonathan Bal- 
lard. 1798-1803 ; David AVallis 1803 ; Ezra Webber, 1804-9 ; James 
A. Lyon, 1809; Ezra Webber. 1810; James A. Lyon, 1811-13; 
Reuben Stevens, 1814 ; Freeland Wallis, 1815-19 ; David B. Dean, 
1819-23: Luther Brown, 1823; David B. Dean, 1824; Freeland 
Wallis, 1825-27; John Wallis 1828; Samuel Frizell, 1829-33; 
Freeland Wallis. 1833-36; Elbridge Fuller, 1836; John Dixon, 
1837; John Wallis. 1838-41; John Di.xon, 1841-42; William A. 
W^allis. 1842-46; AVarren A. AVallis, 1846; William A. Robbiu.s, 
1847-53; AVarren A. AVallis, 1854-55; Freeman B. Blodgett, 
1855-62; Francis AVight. 1862-65; Frank E. Kinney, 1865-73; 
Freeman B. Blodgett, 1873: Frank E. Kinney, 1874-89; AVm. 
L. AVebber, 1890-1900 ; Arthur F. Blodgett, 1901— now in office. 

The present town officers are as follows ; L. IM. Howlett, C. 
A. Webber, Francis AVight, selectmen; Arthur F. Blodg'.'tt, town 

( 403 ) 


ckrk; Lewis 1). Diiraiit, auditor: Artlnir F. Blodgett, treasurer; 
Carl F. Ilowlett, collector; F. B. Blodf,'ett (clim.), Henry E. 
Vinton, Charles A. Webber, assessors ; overseers of the poor, the 
selectmen; constables, Oliver L. Ilowlett, Arthur F. Blodgett; 
cemetery commissioner. Freeman B. Blodgett; board of health, 
the selectmen; chief of police, Oliver L. Howlett; justice of the 
peace, William L. Webber. 

Holland was so named in allusion to Charles James Fox, 
Lord Holland, a member of the British parliament during the 
revolution and one of the few earnest cliainpions of American 
rights in that body. 

From the earliest years of its history this has been an agri- 
cultural town. The land surface is rolling and in places is quite 
hilly, yet there are few areas which are unfit for cultivation. 
Under pro])er tillage the farms (and the town abounds in good 
ones) yield well and through intelligent effoi't many husband- 
men have acquired a competency. The hill lands produce abund- 
ant crops of grass and afford excellent pasturage. During the 
stage coach era the people prospered and farmers found a 
ready market for the product of their lands. The old South 
Meadow road then was a thoroughfare of great importance and 
travelers were passing daily through the town; but when the 
r-ailroads compelled the stages to cease operations that which for 
years had been of the greatest benefit to the people was taken 
away. In the dispensation of public improvement enterprises 
Holland never was favored with a railroad, and being remotely 
located from the county seat its inhabitants have turned to other 
commercial centers for conveniences of trades. 

But notwithstanding the disadvantage of situation, Hol- 
land previous to about a quarter of a century ago was quite a 
bus}- town, and in its little trading center considerable business 
was carried on. Let us brieflj- refer to some of these old-time 
interests. As early as 1785 a store was opened by a Mr. Brown 
(probably Robert or John). A little later Alfred Lyon kept 
a stock of goods and a tavern near the reservoir dam. Still later 
Isaac Partridge had a store about half a mile south of the Centre. 
Among other and subsequent merchants there may be recalled 

( 404 ) 


the names of Chase & Ward, Luthei- Brown, Dr. Josiah Converse, 
Sewell Glazier, Clement B. Drake, Elisha Kinney, Willard Weld, 
Orlando Anderson, Lynn & Co., Jonathan Sikes, John Carpen- 
ter and others. These stores, particularly those in existence 
between 1810 and 1850, did a thriving business, but when much 
of the trade was attracted to other localities they naturally de- 
clined until Holland people found themselves under the necessity 
of traveling outside for needed household supplies. 

In 1784 the town licensed David Bughee to keep tavern, 
and from that time a hotel generally has been maintained here. 
Alfred Lyon kept public house in connection with his store near 
the reservoir. About 1812 David Marcy built the Holland hotel 
and kept the same about two years. The later proprietors were 
John Webber, Mr. Bridgeman, Allen Tiffany, Mr. Harris, Luther 
Brown, E. G. Puller, Baxter Wood, Mr. Benson, Elisha Kinney 
and Frank E. Kinney, about in the order mentioned. The fii'st 
resident phj-sician was Dr. Thomas Wallis, who in later years 
was followed by Drs. Seth Smith, Ichabod Hyde, David B. Dean, 
Joshua Richardson, Chileab B. Merrick, Josiah Converse and 
Abial Bottom, the latter, however, having removed to Wilbra- 
ham and practiced from that town. The present physician of 
Holland is Dr. Josiah G. Willis. 

From what has been stated in preceding paragraphs it must 
be seen that at one time Holland had important business interests 
and as a producing town it held a place of prominence in the 
county. About 1803 Josiah Hobbs started a tannery in the south- 
west corner of the town and carried on business with fair success 
for many years. In 1828 Jedediah Healey succeeded to the 
property and continued its operation several more years. After- 
ward the building was converted into a dwelling house, and there 
George Haradon made boots and shoes. About the beginning of 
the last century two men named Paddock, father and son, the 
latter named Jolm, started a furnace about half a mile below 
the reservoir dam and began the manufacture of iron from ore 
mined in the vicinity. Another similar industiy for a time was 
conducted in the town and was located where afterward stood 
the Fuller cotton factory. Still another old interest wfis the 

( 405 ) 


factory I'or the mauufacture of cut uails, which was operated 
several years beginning about 1830. About the year last men- 
tioned Elbridge G. Fuller built a mill and carried on a cotton 
cloth works on the road leading from Holland to East Brimfield. 
In its day this was an important industry in the town, but about 
1855 the buildings were destroyed by fire and wei-e not replaced. 
About the same time (1830) John C. Butterworth began the 
manufacture of cotton batting in a building erected for that pur- 
pose. Leander Bradd afterward succeeded to the business and 
continued it several years. In the same building Mr. Fuller 
nutde caudle wicking, but about IS-l-t this old faetorv was burned. 

Holland Church 

IloUand viUayc, where is located the post-office,' also the 
other business places of the town, is a small hamlet of a dozen 
or more dwellings and a like number of small shops, but not 
at any time has the place contained more than one hundred in- 
habitants. Here, too, is the seat of town business, the clerk's 
office, the public school, the Holland library and the Congrega- 
tional church. Previous to 1860 it was a village of much local 
prominence, but with the constant decrease in population its 
interests have likewise declined. The present interests of the 

( 40G ) 


town may be noted substantially as follows : Freeman B. Blod- 
gett, boot and shoe maker and mason; A. J. Bagley and Anson 
AVilliams, carpenters; John D. Barney, cider mill; D. E. Bntter- 
worth, saw and grist mill ; the Holland hotel ; William L. Webber, 
justice of the peace and postmaster; D. E. Webber, painter; Dr. 
Josiah G. Willis, physician and snrgeon ; the Holland public 
library, ^Mrs. C. F. Hewlett, librarian, and Francis Wright, 
Oliver L. Howlett and Freeman B. Blodgett, trustees. 

The town has but one public school, with an average yearly 
attendance of about 15 pupils. According to the latest published 
i-eport, Holland has 88 children between the ages of 5 and 15 
years, for whose instruction one teacher is employed eight 
months in the year. In the last year the amount raised by town 
tax for the support of the school was $225; expense of super- 
■^Tsion was $25 : expense for books and supplies, $32.22. The 
town 's share of the school fund is about $455, and the local fund, 
the income from which can be used for school maintenance, is 
$222.22. The school committee for the present year comprises 
Arthur F. Blodgett (chm.), Charles A. Webber and Francis 

In 1783 the town comprised four school districts and for 
many years thereafter four schools were maintained. In 1800 
the districts were reduced to three, and were so continued iintil 
the decreasing population of the town generally necessitated a 
still further reduction in the districts. Under the present dis- 
position of school interests, with a scattered population of less 
than 200 persons a transportation system is employed in convey- 
ing children to and from school. Holland is one of the townis 
in Hampden county which is not under the supervision of a 
school superintendent. 

Long before Holland became a town and even while its 
territory formed a part of South Brimfield the inhabitants, ever 
mindful of their spiritual welfare, established a society for 
regilious worship and supported the same at the expense of the 
town. For several years services were held in the dwellings of 
devout members of the flock, and Rev. Mr. Conehelin acted as 
their spiritual guide. Then a meeting house was built, the first 

( 407 ) 


in the region, and stood on the South Meadow I'oad, not far from 
the foot of Rattlesnake mountain. This edifice served the needs 
of the worsliipers for many years, and was followed by a second 
house of worship which stood near the center of the town and 
was a more pretentious structure than its predecessor. This 
building, however, was removed to Connecticut and was replaced 
with the meeting house which was burned in 1858. The pi-esent 
churcli edifice was erected in 1859. 

The church itself was organized in 1765, with three consti- 
tuent members, and in later years it grew in strength and in- 
fluence until it became self-supporting and was regarded as one 
of the permanent institutions of the entire region. The first 
pastor was l\ev. Ezra Iveeves, whose ministry here continued 
from 1765 to 1818, when he died. He was followed by Rev. 
Enoch Bui-t and the latter, in turn, by Rev. James Sanford, who 
filled the i)astorate from 1827 to 1843. In later years the pas- 
torate frequently has been vacant and the pulpit has been sup- 
plied by various ministers of the church; but the soeiet^y never 
has lost its identity, although the decrease in population in the 
towii lia.s made serious inroads on the membership. At the 
present time, and for the last five years, Rev. Josiah G. Willis 
has been pastor. The congregations generally are far greater 
than tlu> number of communicants in the church. Among the 
earliest deacons there may be recalled the names of Moses Lyon, 
Humphrey Crowe, James Frizell, S. BaUard, David Wallis and 
Samuel Webber, nearly all of whom were chosen previous to 

In the early years of the last century several Baptist fami- 
lies made homes in the town, and naturally soon sought to estab- 
lish a church of their denomination. The society was formed 
June 6, 1817, and on the more formal church organization twenty 
persons became constituent members. Samuel Webber and 
Walter Lyon were the first deacons. The first pastor was Rev. 
Joseph Glazier, followed by Rev. Washington Munger. For a 
time the church was reasonably prosperous, but soon after 1840 
it began to decline and before 1850 had passed out of existence. 
The meeting house was built in 1819-20, and was afterward 
transferred to the town. 

( 408 ) 


lu treating of the early history of Holland considerabln 
attention has been given to recollections of the pioneers, with 
frequent allusion to their children and descendants who wero 
figures in town life a century ago. But thei'e have been other 
factors in local history who are deserving of at least a passing 
mention. We refer to men who were the real factors in Holland 
history during the last quarter of a century, many of whom 
served in official capacities, but all contributing factors in the 
most interesting history of the locality. In this connection we 
may recall the names of Elisha and Frank E. Kinney, hotel 
proprietors one after the other; Warren A. Wallis, Stephen 
Agard, William A. Webber, James A. Webber, Uriah P. Marcy, 
Orrin W. Brown, Edward Blodgett, Lewis C. Howlett, Henry 
Vinton, R. A. Blodgett and George L. Webber, all of whom were 
thrifty farmers, many of them descendants of pioneer stock, 
and all upright citizens whose example is worthy of emulation. 
In the same category we may also include T. D. Butterworth, 
the saw and grist miller, and Rev. John Carpenter, the former 
pastor of the church and the spiritual advisor of the town's 

Among the present day factors in Holland history we may 
mention the names of Freeman B. Blodgett, Edward R. Morse, 
Henry E. Vinton, William L. Webber, H. H. Bradeau, Henry 
J. Switzer, Edwin P. Damon, B. C. Bennett and Richmond 
Young, all farmers and successful men; D. E. Webber, the 
painter ; 0. W. Williams, the mechanic ; William Lilley, the mail 
carrier; Andrew J. Bagley, the carpenter; Oliver L. Howlett, 
the lumberman, and Rev. Josiah G. Willis, the clergjrman and 
pastor of the Congregational church. These are a few of the 
more prominent men of Holland of to-day, they who are the real 
figiires in its history. 

( 409 ) 


The history of the town of Longmeadow must in most of its 
essential featui-es include that which pertains to the present 
town of East Longmeadow, so recently set off from the parent 
municipality, no line of demarkation being practicable up to 
the time of the official separation of the two portions of the 
original town. 

As originally incorporated the town of Longmeadow con- 
sisted of a strip of territoi\y about seven miles in length from 
east to west and of about half that breadth, from north to south, 
set off fi-oiu the town of Springfield. It was bounded north by 
Springfield, west by the Connecticut river separating it from the 
town of Agawaui, south by the state line of Connecticut, and 
east by tliat portion of the town of AVilbraham which was in 1878 
incorporated as the town of Hampden. The area of Long- 
meadow was originally a little less than twenty-five square miles, 
or IG.OOO acres. 

The name of the town was derived from the long, fertile 
plain bordering the east margin of the Connecticut river, which 
in the early days of the settlement was spoken of as "the long 
meadow." This plain or meadow is nearly a mile in width, 
practically level, very rich in soil, but so slightly raised above 
the river level as to be in danger of overflow in time of high 
water. To the eastward rises a plateau some sixty or eighty feet 
higher than the meadow, along which, from north to south, runs 
the principal street of the town. Still to the eastward comes a 
stretch of more broken laud, of little agricultural value, which 
has been allowed to remain in forest or largely unimproved; 
wliilp the easlern portion, now embraced in the town of East 

( 410 


Lougmeadow, somewhat diversitied aud slightly hilly, presents 
a fair degree of fertility. Here, also, are located the extensive 
red sandstone quarries to which the eastern village has in large 
measure been indebted for its business interest and material 
prosperity. Within this limited area there is, therefore, a wide 
range of physical characteristics and qualities, from almost 
absolute sterility in the middle section to geological wealth and 
productive farming lands on the east, and to the extremely rich 
and fertile bottom lands on the west. 

It was natural that "the long meadow," situated but a few 
miles below the settlement at Springfield, early attracted the 
attention of the pioneers. Its soil was rich, and easily cultivated ; 
they had few utensils for working the land, and those few were 
crude and simple. The "teeming acres" invited, and the set- 
tlers responded. As early as 1644, within eight years after the 
first settlements at Springfield, three families — those of Benja- 
min Cooley, "Quartermaster" George Colton and John Keep- 
decided to locate on the long meadow. Others followed, and the 
little colony grew apace, although its interests and relations in 
matters of religion and civil government remained with the 
parent colony. 

Thirty years had passed in this manner, when the outbreak 
of King Philip's war in 1675 rendered the position of these 
isolated settlers one of great peril. A large part of Springfield 
was burned, and all the region northward was filled with desola- 
tion and with mourning for those slain by the treacherous 
savages. All through the winter which followed the inhabitants 
of the meadow remained in their homes, knowing that bauds of 
hostile Indians were lurking in the ueigliborhood. They dared 
not even make the journey necessary to attend church in Spring- 
field— a deprivation so keenly felt that on the 26th of March, 
1676, no hostilities having occurred for a considerable time, a 
party of eighteen men, women and children, accompanied by a 
small guard of armed men, set out to attend public worship. As 
they reached Pecowsic brook a band of hostile Indians b^irst 
njion tliem, killed John Keep, his wife and infant child, wounded 
some others, and took a few members of the party away captives. 

( 411 ) 


.Mr. Keep was one of the original settlers on the meadow, and 
was a leader in the community, being one of the selectmen of 
Springfield. Fortunately for the little settlement, it escaped 
further disaster of this uatiire, the war being carried on to the 
nortliward and in the eastern portions of the province. 

With all of the advantages, it soon became apparent that the 
meadow was not adapted to permanent habitation, owing to the 
danger and annoyance accompanying the annual rise of the 
river. In seasons of high water the lands were frequently in- 
undated, and in the year 1695 a flood of unusual height drove 
the families from their homes, most of them seeking shelter in 
Springfield jiroper. In 1703 they petitioned for permission to 
remove from the meadow to the higher ground lying to the east, 
and this petition was granted, the town voting to give for this 
purpose "the lajid from Pecowsie brook to Enfield bounds, and 
from the hill eastward of Long meadow half a mile further east- 
ward into tlie woods." Upon the territory thus ceded the present 
main street of Longmeadow was laid out. land was assigned to 
the settlers, and i)reparations were made for the removal. This 
did not take place, however, until 1709, when all of the families 
moved to the new allotment, nearly at the same time. 

Up to this time, and for a few j-ears longer, the dwellers in 
Longmeadow had regarded themselves as merely an outpost of 
the town and parish of Springfield, and for another seventy 
years no movement looking toward an independent incorpora- 
tion was attempted; but for the purposes of public worship, 
then esteemed so important a duty, the distance of the village 
from the parent settlement was regarded as too great, and in 
1713 a petition was presented to the general court at Boston for 
incorporation as a parish or precinct. This action was approved, 
and Longmeadow became the Third parish of Springfield, the 
preamble to the act of incorporation reading thus: "Pro^-ince 
of the Massachusetts Bay : At a session of the Great and Gen- 
eral Court or As.sembly, held at Boston, February 10, 1713, it 
being represented that the petitioners, inhabitants of that part 
of the town of Springfield commonly called Longmeadow 
(although not fully up to the number of forty families) is of 

( 412 ) 


good and sufficient ability to maintain a minister, and sometimes 
cannot, with any convenience, attend the public worship at the 
meeting-house that now is in said town, by reason of the great 
distance from it: Ordered that the prayer of the petition be 
granted; with the provision, however, that in due season the 
petitioners should provide themselves with 'a learned and ortho- 
<lox minister, and agree to raise and pay the sum of £50, at 
least, annually, for his support." 

The inhabitants of the new precinct were further required 
to "pay to the maintenance of the ministry in the other part of 
the town as formerly until they are provided with a learned 
orthodox minister", and the bounds of the Longmeadow parish 
were thus described : "To be bounded northerly by a line to 
be drawn from the mouth of Pecowsic brook, so called, where it 
falls into Connecticut river, to the province's land, parallel to the 
line of the southern bounds of the said town of Springfield, 
westerly by Connecticut river, southerly by the town of Entield, 
and easterly by the province's land.'' 

The erection of a suitable house of worship and the settle- 
ment of a minister became at once the important work of the 
new parish, and the existing records .show that steps were taken 
to at once carry out the conditions of the incorporation. On the 
26th of April, 1714, it was voted in a precinct meeting: "To 
proceed in building of a meeting-house, and to accomplish it so 
far as to raise, shingle and clapboard the same by the first day 
of Janviary next ensuing. " It was also voted "that the meeting- 
house should be built thirty-eight feet square if the timber that 
is already gotten will allow it: or, if this timber be too scant, to 
make it something" The committee appointed to "provide 
workmen and materials to carry on the work" consisted of 
Nathaniel Burt, Jr., Samuel Keep, Thomas Hale, Thomas Colton. 
Jr., and Samuel Stebbins. 

At a meeting held on the 11th of October of that year— 
"Honored Col. Pynchon being chosen moderator for said meet- 
ing, and for all such meetings when present among us"— it was 
voted that the committee "should proceed to provide for and 
to lay the floor, and do some part of the walling and to set up 

( 413 ) 


the dooi'.s and other necessaries of the meeting-house for our 
meeting in it." The buikliug was not completed until near the 
close of the year 171C, though earlier used as a place of worship. 
About this time an agreement was made "with Margaret Cooley 
to sweep the meeting-house for one year from this date, and to 
give her seventeen shillings if there be no work done in the 
meeting-house ; for eighteen shillings if there be any consider- 
able. '" During 1744, after some sixteen years of discussion, a 
bell was procured for the church. For several years, earlier in 
the historj' of the precinct it appears that the worshipers had 
been summoned at the proper time by the beating of a drum. 

The first pastorate of this church was in eveiy way a notable 
one. The church interests were considered of the first importance 
in the community: it was for their furtherance that the precinct 
had been created, and the pastor called to minister to the inhabit- 
ants must of necessity become a central figure among them. It 
was voted at a meeting held September 30, 1714, to call a minis- 
ter, and tlie committee entrusted with this delicate duty were 
cautioned "in the first place to take advice of the Elders in 
order to i)rocure one suitable for us." The call was extended 
to Rev. Stephen Williams, a son of Rev. John Williams of Deer- 
field, by vote of the parisli. ^March 7, 1715; but the fact that his 
ordination did not occur until October 17 of the following year 
shows that iniiiortant measures were then carried through with 
care and delil)eration. The ordination was not only an impor- 
tant event in tlie community, but it brought together a most 
notal)]e assembhige of reverend gentlemen from the region com- 
prising tlie line of .settlements in the Connecticut river valley 
of Massachusetts. The ordaining council consisted of Rev. Wil- 
liam Williams of Hatfield, who preached the ordaining sermon, 
Rev. John Williams, father of the minister ordained. Rev. Solo- 
mon Stoddard of Northampton, Rev. Edward Taylor of West- 
field, and Rev. Daniel Brewer and Rev. John Woodbridge of 
Springfield— the latter being the pastor of the parish on 
the west side of the river, in what is now West Springfield. 

Rev. Mr. Williams preached his first sermon at Longmeadow 
as a ciuiilirlnt.. \,.VH„il.,.r 4. 1714. when but a few months over 

( -114 ) 


twenty-one years of age, but he had already passed through 
varied and in some cases thrilling experiences. During "Queen 
Anne's war'', early in 1704, when eleven .years of age, he was 
captured, with his father's entire family, at the taking of Deer- 
field by the Indians, and was taken to Canada, where he was held 
a prisoner for more than two years. CTraduating from Harvard 
college in 1713, he taught school in Hadlej' for a year before 
entering the ministry. His pastorate was probably the longest 
on record, continuing unbroken until his death, June 10, 1782, 
in the ninetieth year of his age, and the sixty-sixth year of his 
ministry. During this time he was thrice appointed a chaplain 
in the colonial armies, serving with the same fidelity which 
marked his position among the members of his beloved parish. 
The degree of Doctor of Divinity was bestowed upon him, most 
worthily, by Dartmouth college in 1773. 

It is interesting to note, bearing in mind the limited mem- 
bership of the parish, the liberal provision made for their pastor. 
It was voted to allow him £200 as a settlement fund, £50 a year 
to be paid for four years, with an annual salary of £55 for five 
years, to be after that increased at the rate of £5 a year "for 
ten years if his necessity calls for it, and then to pay him half 
his rate in grain at current money price." In many instances' 
special sums were voted him on account of sickness in his family 
or other causes, such as the high price of provisions; while the 
pastor, on the other hand, appears to have given releases in cases 
where the parish found it difficult to meet the full measure of 
their obligations. 

A touching experience in his life occurred in the early sum- 
mer of 1761, when his sister Eunice, four years his junior, 
visited him. She had been taken captive at Deerfield with the 
rest of the family, but remained in Canada when the others 
returned to IMassachusetts. All efforts for her redemption failed 
and she became in habit and disposition an Indian, forgetting 
her native language, and marrying an Indian chief who adopted 
the name of AVilliams. AYhen on this visit the party, consisting 
of the sister, her husband, a daughter and others, reached Long- 
meadow, they encamped in Indian style in the orchard near the 

( 415 ) 


parsonage, but were unable to carry on any conversation until 
an interpreter could be secured from Sunderland. Then for a 
few days the brother and sister communed; but nothing could 
induce the woman to forsake her adopted people, or renounce 
till' lioman Catholic religion which she had embraced. 

The pastorate of Mr. Williams covered nearly all of the 
revolutionary war period, and the stress to which the people 
.vere subjected by the depi'eciation of the continental currency 
is shown by the fact that for tlie year 1780 it was voted to make 
his salary £4,500. As a part of tliis amount was paid in grain, 
the prices at which this was reckoned will throw much light upon 
the situation. Indian corn was rated at $38 a bushel, wheat was 
$84, pease the same, and barley $50. 

A movement for elevating the precinct to the dignity of an 
independent townsliip was agitated as early as 1741, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to consider and report on the desirability 
of the proi)osed change ; but their report, adverse to the proposi- 
tion, was accepted b}' the precinct, and the matter rested for 
thirty years. In 1772. however, the subject was again taken up, 
more earnestly, and petitions were presented to the town of 
Springfield and to the great and general court, looking to that 
end while the members of the parish several times expressed in 
their meetings the desire for a separate incorporation. On the 
17th of January, 1774, Springfield voted its consent to the pro- 
posed separation, under certain conditions, the precinct accepted 
the conditions, and a conuuittee was appointed to present the 
request of the parish to the legislature; but the long and terrible 
war for independence of the colonies was at hand, and during its 
stress all thought of a separate town government for Long- 
meadow seems to have been held in abeyance. On the 23d of 
August, 1781, another vote was taken to determine whether the 
parish still desired a separation, and was "passed in the atfirma- 
tive." A little more than two years later, on the 13th of October, 
1783, the great and general court pa.ssed the act of incorpora- 
tion, Longmeadow being thus tlie first town in the state, and 
perhaps in the country, incorporated after the formal acknowl- 
edgment of the independence of the colonies. The bounds of 

( 416 ) 


the town were identical with those of the parish, except that on 
the east the town of Wilbraham had been incorporated, and 
formed the boundary in that direction. The name of "Loug- 
ineadow, " which had been adopted for the settlement and for 
the precinct, was continued for the town, and has remained tm- 
changed to the present time, although the subject of a different 
name has occasionally been agitated, and a change of name has 
twice been voted in town meeting. In 1812 the name of 
"Lisbon" was thus adopted, but the movement in its favor came 
to naught through another town in the state already bearing that 
name; in 1825 "South Springfield" received the popular vote, 
but the action was reconsidered two weeks later. 

The first town meeting was held November 13, 1783, under 
a warrant issued by John Bliss of Wilbraham, justice of the 
peace. The moderator was Col. Gideon Burt, and the following 
principal officers were chosen ; Town clerk, Jonathan Hale, Jr., ; 
treasurer, Nathaniel Ely ; selectmen, David Burt, Moses Field 
and Jonathan Burt; assessors, Gideon Burt, Moses Field and 
Jonathan Burt, 2d. The principal officers of precinct and town, 
from 1714 to the present year, and representatives to the great 
and general court down to 1812, are as follows : 

Committee of the Precinct. — \1\A:, Col. John Pynchon, Capt. 
Thomas Col ton, Joseph Cooley, Nathaniel Burt, George Colt«n; 
1715, Col. John Pynchon, Capt. Thomas Colton, Nathaniel 
Burt, Jr., Samuel Keep, George Colton; 1716, Col. John Pyn- 
chon. Sergt. Joseph Cooley. Corp. Nathaniel Burt, Samuel Keep, 
Thomas Bliss, 2d; 1717, Col. John Pynchon, Thomas Colton, 
Nathaniel Bliss, Ephraim Colton, Jos. Cooley; 1718-19, Ephraim 
Colton, Joseph Cooley, Thomas Bliss, 2d; 1720, Joseph Cooley, 
Samuel Keep, Samuel Stebbins; 1721, Ephraim Colton, Thomas 
Hale, Samuel Stebbins; 1722, Ephraim Colton, Ensign Keep, 
Samuel Stebbins; 1723, Thomas Bliss, 2d, Samuel Stebbins, Sam- 
uel Cooley; 1724, Samuel Keep, Samuel Stebbins, Thomas Bliss, 
3d; 1725, Nathaniel Bliss, Jr., Eliakim Cooley, Jonathan Ely; 
1726, Eliakim Ely, Nathaniel Bliss, Jr., Thomas Hale; 1727-8, 
Eliakim Cooley, Jonathan Nash, George Colton; 1729, Thomas 
Colton. Eliakim Cooley, Jonathan Ely; 1730, Nathaniel Bliss, 

27-3 ( 417 ) 

on; ((HXTY AXD rrs; rEOPiE 

Jr., "William Stebbiiis, Samuel C'ooley; 1731, Thomas Bliss, 2d, 
Thomas Bliss, 3d, Ehenezer Colton ; 1732, Samuel C'ooley, Thomas 
Bliss, 3tl, Timothy Nasli; 1733, Thomas Bliss, 2d, Nathaniel Bliss, 
Jr., Thomas Colton; 1734, Samuel Colton, Samuel Cooley, Timo- 
thy Nash: 1735, Ebenezer Bliss, 1st, John Colton, John Cooley; 
1736, Ephraim Colton, Thomas Colton, Ensign Stebbius; 1737, 
Timothy Nash, Samuel Cooley, John Burt, 2d: 1738, Thomas 
Field, Thomas Colton. Simon Colton : 1739. John Cooley. Thomas, Uavid Burt, 2d ; 1740, Jonathan Stebbins. Ephraim Colton, 
John Colton; 1741, Isaac Colton, Nathaniel Bliss, John Cooley; 
1742, Henry Walcott, Nathan Burt. Jr., John Colton; 1743, 
Samuel Cooley, Joshua Field, Isaac Colton: 1744, "William Steb- 
bins, Ephraim Colton, Jr., Samuel Keep, Jr. ; 1745, Ephraim 
Colton. John Colton. Jonathan Stebbins: 1746. Nathaniel Burt, 
Jr., Simon Colton, David Burt, 2d: 1747-9, Simon Colton, Da\'id 
Burt, 2d, Nathaniel Burt, Jr. ; 1750, Simon Colton, David Burt, 
2d, Nathaniel Ely; 1751, Nathaniel Burt. Simon Colton, Nathan- 
iel Ely; 1752-3, Nathaniel Ely, 2d, Josiah Cooley, David Burt, 
2d; 1754, Josiah Cooley, Nathaniel Eh-, 2d, Aaron Colton; 1755, 
Moses Field, Nathaniel Ely, Aaron Colton ; 1756, George Colton, 
Simon Colton, David Burt ; 1757, Josiah Cooley, Jonathan Hale, 
David Burt; 1758, Jloses Field, Matthew Keep, Josiah Cooley; 
1759, Kiehard "Woohvorth, Eleazer Smith, Nathaniel Ely; 1760, 
Josiah Cooley, Jonathan Hale, Eleazer Smith: 1761, Nehemiah 
Stebbins, David Burt, Noah Hale; 1762, Ebenezer Bliss, 3d, 
Josiah Cooley, Abner Bliss: 1763, Aaron Colton, Jonathan Hale, 
]\Ioses Field; 1764, Nehemiah Stebbins, Simon Colton, Eleazer 
Smith; 1765, Moses Field, Ebenezer Bliss, 2d, David Burt, 3d: 

1766, Samuel ^MUiams, Eleazer Smith, Nehemiah Stebbins; 

1767, Simeon Colton, Nathaniel Ely, :Moses Field: 1768, Nehe- 
miah Stebbins, Aaron Colton, David Burt, 3d: 1769, Ebenezer 
Bliss, 3d, David Burt, 3d, Nehemiah Stebbins: 1770-71, Samuel 
"Williams, Ebenezer Bliss, 3d. Jonathan Hale. Jr.: 1172. Samuel 
Williams. Aaron Colton. Nathaniel Burt; 1773, Jonathan Hale, 
Jr., Samuel Williams, David Burt, 3d ; 1774. Richard "Woohvorth, 
Sanuiel Colton. Aaron Colton; 1775. Jonathan Hale, Jr., Ebene- 
zer Bliss, 3d, Aaron Bliss; 1776. Nathaniel Burt, Caleb Cooley, 

( 418 ) 


Elijah Burt, Silas Hale, Stephen Keep; 1777, Samuel Colton, 
Nathaniel Burt, Richard Woolworth, Ephraim Brown, Jonathan 
Burt, 2d; 1778, Nathaniel Burt, David Burt, Elijah Burt; 1779, 
Samuel Williams, Henry Colton, Silas Hale, Nathaniel Ely, 
Ebenezer Colton ; 1780, Samuel Keep, Nathaniel Burt, Nathaniel 
Ely, Jr., Jonathan Burt, 2d, Josiah Cooley; 1781, Nathaniel 
Burt, Elijah Burt, Israel Colton, Josiah Colton, Jonathan Hale, 
Jr. ; 1782, Jonathan Hale, Jr., Josiah Cooley, Silas Hale, Azariah 
Woolworth, Abner Colton; 1783, Festus Colton, Josiah Cooley, 
Samuel Keep, Elijah Burt, Abner Hale. 

Selectmen. — 1783-4:. David Burt, Moses Field, Jonathan 
Burt ; 1785-6, Moses Field, Jonathan Burt, Samuel Keep : 1787-8, 
Moses Field, William Stebbins, Jonathan Hale, Jr. ; 1789, Jona- 
than Burt, Jabez Colton, Jonathan Hale, Jr. ; 1790, Jabez Col- 
ton, Jonathan Burt, Nathaniel Ely, Jr. : 1791-3, Hezekiah Hale, 
Jonathan Burt, Nathaniel Ely, 2d; 1794-6, Jonathan Burt, 2d, 
Hezekiah Hale, Gideon Burt, vice Jonathan Burt, deceased ; 
1797-9, Hezekiah Hale, Elijah Burt, Nathaniel Ely, Jr. ; 1800-01, 
Hezekiah Hale, Joseph W. Cooley, Gideon Burt ; 1802-3, Heze- 
kiah Hale, Joseph W. Cooley, Nathaniel Ely: 1804-6, Joseph W. 
Cooley, Calvin Burt, Ethan Ely: 1807-12, Alexander Field, 
Ethan Ely, Joseph W. Cooley: 1813-14, Alexander Field, Ethan 
Ely, Stephen Taylor; 1S15, Ethan Ely, Alexander Field, Joseph 
W. Cooley: 1816, Ethan Ely, Alexander Field, Seth Taylor; 
1817, Ethan Ely, Alexander Field, Joseph W. Cooley; 1818, 
Joseph W. Cooley. Ethan Ely, David Booth; 1819, Joseph W. 
Cooley, Oliver Dwight, Ethan Ely: 1820, Ethan Ely, Oliver 
Dwight, Elijah Colton; 1821, Oliver Dwight, Oliver Bliss, Elijah 
Colton; 1822-3, Oliver Dwight, Oliver Bliss, Alexander Field; 
1824, Seth Taylor, Elijah Colton, Joseph W. Cooley ; 1825, Seth 
Taylor, Elijah Colton, William AVhite; 1826-9, Herman Newell, 
Burgess Salsbury, Joseph Ashley; 1830, Elijah Colton, Ethan 
Taylor, Stephen Ashley; 1831, Stephen Ashley, Burgess Sals- 
bury, Elijah Colton; 1832, Elijah Colton, Burgess Salsbury, 
AVilliam White; 1833-4, Burgess Salsbury, Gad 0. Bliss, Oliver 
Dwight: 1835-6, Burgess Salsbury, Gad 0. Bliss, Lorin Burt; 
1837, Burgess Salsbury, Gad O. Bliss, Elijah Colton: 1838, Gad 

( 419 ) 


0. Bliss, Elijah Colton, Etliaii Taylor; 1839, Oliver Dwight, 
Gad 0. Bliss, Willis Phelps ; 1840, Gad 0. Bliss, Simeon Newell, 
Stephen Ashley: 1841, Gad O. Bliss. Simeon Newell, Willis 
Phelps; 1842, Simeon Newell, Willis Phelps, Joseph JIcGregory; 
1843, Lorin Burt, Dimond Colton, Joseph McGregory; 1844, 
Lorin Burt, Joseph JleGregory. Simeon Newell; 1845-6, Simeon 
Newell, Lorin Burt, Daniel Burbank; 1847-8, Alford Cooley, 
Warren Billings, Simeon Newell ; 1849-50, Alford Cooley, War- 
ren Billings. Oliver Dwight; 1851, Alford Cooley, Elias Coomes, 
Kandolph Stebbins; 1852-3, Alford Cooley, Stephen T, Colton, 
Randolph Stebbins ; 1854, Kandolph Stebbins, Stephen T. Colton, 
William Iligley; 1855, Stephen T. Colton, Alfred Taylor, 
Sumner W. Gates; 1856-7, Stephen T. Colton, Alfred Taylor, 
Lucius C. Burt; 1858-9, Stephen T. Colton, William Burt, 
Lucius C. Burt; 1860-62, Stephen T. Colton, David Lathrop, 
Abel H. Calkins; 1863-5, Stephen T. Colton, Dav-id Lathrop, 
Horace Hills ; 1866, Stephen T. Colton, Charles S. Newell, Geo. 
W. Gould : 1867, Stephen T. Colton, Charles S. Newell, Randolph 
Stebbins; 1868, George AV. Gould, Charles S. Newell, Abel H. 
Calkins; 1869-70, Charles S. Newell, George W. Gould, Ralph 
P. Markham; 1871-3, Charles S. Newell, John C. Porter, Edwin 
Endicott; 1874, Charles S. Newell, Edwin Endicott, Abel H. 
Calkins : 1875, Chas. S. Newell, Edward P. Tabor. Abel H. Cal- 
kins; 1876, Charles S. Newell, Edward P. Tabor. Edwin Endi- 
cott; 1877, Charles S. Newell, Edward P. Tabor, Abel H. Calkins; 
1878-79, Charles S. Newell, Edward P, Tabor, David Lathrop; 
1880-82, Charles S. Newell, Edward P. Tabor, Abel H. Calkins; 
1883, John C. Porter. John A, :\IcKinstry. Henry Hall; 1884-9, 
John A. :McKinstry, Henry Hall. John C. Porter; 1890-91, 
Henry Hall. John C. Porter, Frank B. Allen; 1892, Henry Hall, 
John C, Porter, Edward P. Tabor; 1893. Frank B. Allen, John 
C. Porter, George B. Robinson; 1894, Frank B. Allen. William 
C. Pease, Charles S. Newell ; 1895, Frank B. Allen, Charles S. 
Newell, John A. :McKinstry; 1896. Charles S. Newell, John A. 
JIcKinstry. Charles S. Gates: 1897-8, Charles S. Gates, Frank 
B. Allen, Thomas D. Watters: 1899-1900, Charles S. Newell, 
Charles A, Birnie, Walter Bliss; 1901. Edward S. Brewer, 
Thomas D. Watters, Harry G. Webster. 

( 420 ) 


Precinct CierAs.— 171(3, Jouatliau Ely; 1717, Samuel Steb- 
bins; 1718-51, Jonathan El}-; 1751-75, Jonathan Stebbins; 
1775-83, Jonathan Hale, Jr. 

Town Clerks.— nS'3-91, Jonathan Hale, Jr.; 1791-3, Daniel 
Stebbins; 1793-1813, Jabez Colton; 1813-20, Chester Woolworth; 
1820-51, William "White; 1851-3, David Booth; 1853, Dimoud 
Chandler; 1854-6, Henry J. Crooks; 1856, James L. Pratt; 
1857-89, Oliver AVoleott; 1889-94, Fred W. Lathrop; 1894, 
William B. Medlicott ; 1895-1901, William F. Emerson. 

Eeprcsentatives.—llSi, Nathaniel Ely; 1785-6. Gideon 
Burt; 1787, Elihu Colton ; 1788-9, W^illiam Stebbins; 1791-2, 
Jabez Colton: 1794-5, Gideon Burt; 1800, Hezekiah Hale; 1801, 



Longmeadow Town Hall 

Gideon Burt ; 1802-3, Nathaniel Ely ; 1804, Hezekiah Hale ; 1805- 
12, Ethan Ely. 

State Souitors.—lSoG, Gad 0. Bliss; 1863, Thomas L. 

Members of State Constitutional Convention. — 1S'20, Calvin 
Burt; 1853, Gad 0. Bliss. 

The full list of town officers for the year 1901 is as follows: 
Town clerk, treasurer and agent of board of health, William F. 
Emerson; selectmen, assessors, overseers of poor and board of 
health, Edward S. Brewer, Thomas D. Watters, Harry G. Web- 
ster: auditor, William JI. AVillard; collector, Charles S. Allen; 

421 ) 


constables, William F. Sullivau, James Ward; highway sur- 
veyor, Charles P. Wai-d ; water eommissioners, Charles A. Birnie, 
Thomas D. Watters, Walter Bliss, William F. Emerson, clerk; 
cemetery commissioners, William F. Emerson, Charles S. Allen, 
Edward P. Tabor; i)ark commissioners, William C. Pease, 
William S. Bacon, Gottlieb A. Baer; sinking fund com- 
missioners, William C. Pease, Charles S. Allen, Thomas F. 
Cordis; chief of fire department, Thomas D. Watters; school 
committee, Levere C. Fay, JMrs. Lucy J. Smith, William B. 
]iIedlicott; superintendent of schools, Mary L. Poland of Spring- 
tield : jirineipal of grammar school, Lucia B. Carver; trustees of 
public library, Edward F. Hayes, ;\Irs. Charles S. Gates (libra- 
rian), Mrs. Lucy J. Smith. 

There is abundant evidence that in the days of warfare and 
peril which tried the American colonies so severely, during much 
of the first part of the eighteenth century, the inhabitants of 
Longmeadow bore their part in a brave and creditable manner. 
Unfortunately no separate records were kept for the parish, and 
the men from the southern precinct merely stood to the credit 
of Springfield. It is possible, however, to name a trio of officers 
who served with distinction. Rev. Stephen AYilliams, the first 
pastor of the church, was three times commissioned as chaplain 
in the colonial armies, and there can be no doubt of the quality 
of the service which he rendered. The tomb.stone of Capt. Isaac 
Colton, who died in 1757. in his fifty-seventh year, bears record 
that he "had a military genius, commanded a company at Louis- 
hnviz in 17-42: was respected and iiseful at home; was a man of 
prayer." Similar testimony is borne by the stone which marks 
the grave of Lieut. Nathaniel Burt, "who was slain at the mem- 
orable battle near Lake George, September 8, 1755, when his 
colonel and othei- brave officers fell, yet a signal victory was 
obtained over the enemy." The reeord adds that he was "a 
deacon of this church, an exeiii])lary chi'istian, a man of public 
spirit, and a good soldier, well beloved at home and in the army. 
A concern for pure religion caused his going into the military 
service. He died in his forty-fifth year." Other military titles 
borne by Longmeadow men during this period were doubtless 
won by faithful service in the field. 

( 422 ) 


The precinct still remained a portion of Springfield during 
the revolution, although aspiring to become a town, so that its 
military history is in general inseparable from that of the parent 
nuuiieiiiality. There is preserved, however, the muster roll of 
the "Longnieadow minute men" who marched away for service 
April 21, 1775, on receiving report of the battle of Lexington 
two days before. This promptness of action well illustrates the 
spirit of the times and of the community, though the company 
was but small, comprising only twenty-three officers and en- 
listed men, as follows: 

The Old Colton Place 

First Lieutenant (acting Captain) David Burt; Second 
Lieuteiumt Jonathan Hale ; Sergeants Ebenezer Colton and 
Samuel Keep ; Corporals Nathaniel Ely and Josiah Cooley ; Abner 
Colton, Oliver King, John Colton, Xehemiah Kumrill, Ebenezer 
Bliss. 2d, Thomas Stebbins, Aaron Bliss. Samuel ^Morgan, Samuel 
Smith, James Parker, David ^Vhite, (iad Lamb, John Ackley, 
Ebenezer Stebbins, Eli.jah Burt, Samuel Burt, Kidiard Wool- 

( 423 


Before the close of the long struggle most of the able-bodied 
men of the parish had drawn sword or shouldered musket 
in the cause of liberty, and the people had borne their share of 
tlu' burdens incident to the strife. Their joy at the final outcome 
was proportioned to the stress which they had borne during the 
years of trial. 

. There was a sliarp division of sentiment in the town regard- 
uiix Ihe Shays n'bcllinii. and the leader of that movement had a 
consideral>]e following, although it is probable that a majority 
were in favor of the government. Like most New Englanders, 
they had no sympathy with the war of 1812, and did not hesitate 
to put themselves on record by votes condemning many of the 
measures thought necessary by the federal government. Some 
men were drafted from the town, however, and the names of 
Levi E. Taylor and Sabin Burt are recorded as having been thus 
distinguished. When the war closed and peace had been declared, 
the inhabitants gave free expression to their joy, ringing the 
church bell with such vigor that it was cracked and ruined, neces- 
sitating the apjii-opriation of a considerable sum for the pur- 
chase of a new bell. 

In the war of the rebellion, 1861-5, however, the sentiment 
of tlie town was strongly loyal. Like every other town in the 
county, Longmeadow I'urnished more than its quota under the 
various calls for trooj)s dui'ing the four years' continuance of 
the war. besides making generous provision for the care of volun- 
teers' families and other incidental expenses of the war. 

As the motive which originally impelled its settlers was 
agricultural, pastoral pursuits have held the first place in the 
activities of the residents of the town, especially in that section 
now known as Ijongmeailow. In fact, the plan of the settlement 
was such as to ])reclude any other idea than that of an agricul- 
ttiral connnunity. with such simple allied industries as were 
necessary for the comfort and convenience of the people. The 
broad village street, twenty rods in width, converted from a 
sandy waste into a vi.sta of greenness and beauty, the generous 
allotment of the central lands, running far back from the street, 
the air of repose and (|uiet which has survived with so little im- 

( 424 ) 


pairment through nearly two centuries of development, with 
the wide meadows extending to the river on one side and to the 
forest on the other, combine to foi'm an embodiment of well- 
pi'eserved pioneer wisdom, embodied in a permanent community 
in a measure seldom met. even in the earlier New England set- 

"With the exception of the saw mills, grist mills and black- 
smith shops natui'ally pertaining to the early settlements, the 
manufacturing interests of Longineadow have never been ex- 
tensive, or very important. The first of any consequence appears 
to have lieen the manufacture of gold spectacles and gold and 
silver thimbles, which was begun by Dimond Chandler about 
1838, and carried on for some ten years, when he sold out to 
Colton & HoUister. Various other parties have since carried 
on the business in a moderate way, but it is now extinct. After 
disposing of this industry Mr. Chandler started in 1848 the 
maniifaeture of buttons, presently taking in as partners Nelson 
C. Newell and his brother, Sanuiel R. Newell. Within eight 
or ten years the industry had grown so that employment was 
given to some forty or fifty hands, when it was removed to 
Springfield, where it is still carried on. At the mouth of Pe- 
cowsic brook some manufacturing has been done, a small pistol 
factory being at one time operated there. Later a papier-mache 
plant turned out pails, basins, globes and various other articles, 
but the business did not long continue. 

While the central thought in the incorporation of Long- 
meadow parish was that of religious worship accessible to the 
dwellers in the settlement, the important matter of education 
was not overlooked or neglected. No sooner had a church been 
provided than the matter of a school house was taken ud, and 
a structure for that purpose was soon erected on the village 
green to the north of the church. This served the needs of the 
community until 1791, when a brick building of peculiar design 
was erected somewhat further south on the green, where it re- 
mained until destroyed by fire in 1851. The appropriations for 
school [turposes during the prcciiu't jieriod were made by the 
town (if Springfield in coiiniHin with thusr foi' the other schools 

( 425 ) 

orn rorxTY axd its people 

in the town limits; but there is no doubt that the children of 
Lon<,'nieadow received their share of the appropriations in the 
provisions made for that part of the town. In 1784, the year 
following the incorporation of Longmeadow as a separate nranic- 
ipality, the school appropriation was £40, and the amount in- 
creased yearly with the growth and development of the town. 
New districts were created and provided with school houses, as 
the need became apparent. From the early town records it 
api)ears that in several eases the bviildings were constructed by 
the inhabitants of the district, at their own expense, the cost 
being afterward reimbursed by the town. From that time to 
the present, the needs of the town schools have been generously 
met; and lhiiUL;h no educaticmal institutions of wide scope have 
been founded within the town limits, that the needs of the town 
children have lieen well considered is amply attested by the 
(luality of citizenship produced. 

The early history of the First Congregational church has 
already been told in the story of the precinct period, neither of 
which can lie dissociated from the other during the long period 
covered by the ministry of Rev. Dr. "Williams. His death oc- 
curred June 10, 1782, and before the settlement of his successor 
important events occurred in the history of the community and 
of the nation. The war of the revolution ended in 1783 by 
recognition of the independence of the colonies, and in the 
autumn of that year the precinct became a town. For more 
tliaii three years the church was without a settled pastor, though 
its pidpit was doubtless supplied during this interval. But on 
the 17th of December. 1785, Kev. Richard Salter Storrs, who 
had graduated from Yale college in 1783, was ordained as the 
successor of Rev. Dr. "Williams. His was an able and successful 
jiastorate, and continued until terminated by his sudden death, 
October 3, ISlf). It will be observt'd that the two pastorates of 
these ministers extended over one hundretl and three years in 
the history of the parish and town, and represented more than 
a hundred years of actual service. Pi-obably this is a record 
unequaled in the history of the country for two successive pas- 
torates. The succeeding pastors were Rev. Baxter Dickinson, 

( 426 ) 


i'roni 18:23 to 1829, Rev. Joiiatlian B. Condit, from 1831 to 1835, 
Kev. Hubbard Beebe, 1837 to 1843, and Rev. Samuel AYolcott, 
1843 to 1847. 

In 1850 bepan another pastorate of notable length, Rev. 
John Wheeler Harding being installed on the first of January, 
and ministering to the people of his church and parish with 
great ability, fidelity and acceptance until 1891. With the pos- 
sible exception of Rev. 'Mi-. Beebe, all of these pastors received 
the degree of D. D. Rev. Stephen G. Barnes, Lit. D., was the 
pastor from 1892 until 1901, and the present incumbent. Rev. 
Henry Lincoln Bailey, began his pastorate October 1, 1901. 

In the original plan of the settlement the church building 
formed the center of the village of Longmeadow, standing on 
the green which occupied the central portion of the wide street, 
an honor in which only the school house was permitted to share. 
A new building, .just north of the original structure, was erected 
in 1767-8. and was used until 1828, when it was extensively re- 
modeled and improved. Nearly a half-century later another 
change was made when the building was removed from the 
central .site which it had occupied thus far and placed upon that 
portioa of the burial ground grant abutting upon the street. This 
location was directly east of the original church site, a lot in 
the center of the village having been assigned for burial pur- 
poses. Placed upon the new site, the church was again thor- 
oughly remodeled, within and without, and thus, new in detail 
but bearing still the sacred associations of nearly a century and 
a half of worship, "the old church" stands in the heart of the 
village, "the westering sun" casting the shadow of its spire over 
the accumulated graves of nearly two centuries. 

St. ^Mary's Catholic church is the outgrowth of a mission 
which may be said to have been established in October, 1870, 
when mass was said for the first time in the history of the to^vn 
in what is still the church building, and had formerly been a 
spectacle factory. The officiating priest was Rev. Patrick Healy, 
then acting pastor of the Catholic church in Springfield. For 
thirteen years monthly service was held in this manner, until, 
in IfiSS. the Catholic churches in both of the Longmeadows 

( 428 ) 


were made missions of St. William's church in Mittineague. In 
1894 they were created a parish. Both have been continuously 
under the care of the same pastor, the list of incumbents being 
given under the heading of East Longmeadow. 

A moderate-sized public library of 2,250 well-selected books 
was established in 1895, and is under the charge of a board of 
trustees chosen by the town. 

The population of the town as reported by the national 
census of 1850 was 1,252; in 1860 it had increased to 1,376; but 
in 1870 showed a slight falling off, to 1,342. The figures for 
1880 were 1,401, and the next decade witnessed a remarkable 
growth, bringing the total up to 2,183 for 1890. The setting off 
of East Longmeadow in 1894 brought the population of the old 
town down to 620, as shown by the state census of 1895; but 
the national census of 1900 showed an increase to 811. The 
present area of the town is 11.2 square miles, a little more than 
one-half of the original territory having been set off as East 


The territory comprised within the limits of the present 
town of East Longmeadow is more diversified than that of the 
mother town, from which the separation has so lately taken place. 
In the eastern portion hills of moderate elevation are frequent, 
several of these containing valuable quarries of red sandstone, 
of great extent. In most other portions the soil is fairly fertile, 
and compensates well the intelligent labors of the husbandman. 
The meadows and orchards are attractive, and the grazing lands 
are desirable, the whole region being especially adapted to dairy- 
ing purposes, which have always held prominent place in the 
town's economy. 

After the early settlements began to take form, this region 
was known as "Inward Conunons," it being a portion of the 

( 429 ) 


large territory included in the Springfield grant, and was used 
iu common, if it can be said to have been used at all. In fact, 
in the early days it was eniiihatieally "a land unknown." being 
heavily covered by forest and abounding in game, deer, bears 
and wildcats. P\^athered game, including wild turkeys, was also 
abundant. Gradually, now and then a daring pioneer penetrated 
the wilderness, secured a grant of land, and cleared a home site. 
The records of such settlements are extremely meagre. The 
first settlers from Longmeadow Street ai>pear to have been 






wL -^ « 





:>■ .- 

Au l.iji 

l^Un.'<l.l...\ Iv 

Jonathan Burt and his brother Elijah, with Silas Hale; but they 
do not appear to have located on "the Commons"' until about 
1740. The distribution of these lands among the people of 
Springfield, some time i>revious. made easy the development of 
this ])ortion of the Longmeadow parish. This distribution was 
brouirht about by the acts of Edmund Andros, who in 
1686 had been appointed by the crown as "Governor of New 
England,"' in setiuestering undivided land or "Commons" cou- 

( 430 ) 


ueeted with some of the settk'iiients. Through fear that this 
course might be i^ursued in the ease of Springfield, and that 
through the revocation of the cok)ny"s charter, then threatened, 
the lands might revert to the crown, the commons were laid out 
in sections and were equitably allotted in regular form to the 
several families then resident in the township. These remote 
holdings, however, were generally held of little value, and the 
enterprising young man who desired to "lay out a farm"' could 
easily do so through the purchase of a few adjoining sections, or 
bj' exchange with other j^roprietors. 

It was in this way that the settlement of this portion of 
Lougmeadow was principally developed, and the connection 
between the two sections of the parish and town long remained 
close and friendly. Intermarriages were common, and the old 
chiirch on the village green remained for many years the JMecca 
to which the residents of the eastern portion turned their steps 
on the Sabbath, traversing, on foot and by all the means of con- 
veyance then known to their civilization, the miles of forest 
which separated, and in a measure still separates, the two com- 

Until about 1820 the town meetings were held at West 
Longmeadow, as the original village came to be familiarly called; 
but at that time the growing population and important interests 
of the East village led to an arrangement by which the annual 
meetings were held alternately in the two sections. In 1882 a 
commodious town hall was provided for the use of the East 
Longmeadow meetings, occupying the upper stoiy of a new 
school building, very properly constructed of stone from the 
village cpiarries. 

Meantime, with the lapse of years there had developed the 
want of harmony inevitable from the diversity of interests and 
the geographical separation of the two villages. The commer- 
cial relations of each section were with the city of Springfield, 
with which each had independent connection by railroad and 
other lines of travel, while the two portions of the town remained 
almost as efi^^ectually divided as Ihey had been from the days of 
original settlement. Tender tliese conditions separate town gov- 

( 431 ) 

on; cor.\ry a.\d its veovle 

crnnienls were \\w loj.'ical outcome, and after years of discussion 
and preliminary work the separation was made by tlie state leg- 
islature of 1894. the act to take effect on July 1 of that year. 
The act, which was approved May 19, 1894, thus describes the 
boundary line between the two towns: "Beginning at a stone 
monument on the boundary line between the town of Long- 
meadow and the city of Springfield, at a point where said 
boundary line intersects the westerly line of White street, and 
running tlience south five degrees east to a stone monument on 
the Connecticut state line, and at an angle in said state line, 
which monument is located about seventy-five rods west of the 
point where the west branch of Freshwater brook crosses said 
Connecticut state line/' 

At the election of officers which followed, these were chosen 
for the remainder of the then current year : Clerk and treasurer, 
0. Louis Wolcott; selectmen. George B. Robinson, John P. 
AMiitaker. Edward S. Ellis. At the election of 1895 Mr. Wolcott 
was again chosen town clerk, while AYilliam H. Hall, John L. 
Davis and Ethan Hancock were made selectmen, and at each suc- 
ceeding election up to the present year (1901) they have been 
re-elected. In 1901 Arthur G. Crane was elected town clerk, 
succeeding Mr. Wolcott. The full board of town officers for that 
year follows: Town clerk and treasurer, Arthur G. Chase: 
selectmen, assessors, overseers of the poor, board of health and 
fence viewers, William IT. Hall. John L. Davis, Ethan Hitch- 
cock: auditors. Frank H. Whitaker. Frank A. Crane: collector, 
Arthur Geldard: constables, Henry Hellin, Billings Cooley; 
special police. Frank A. Champlin. Herman Tower: cattle in- 
spector, John L. Davis; hiirhway surveyor. Asher Markham; 
school conunittee, Charles H. Bugbee, 0. Louis Wolcott. Ethan 
Hancock : superintendent of schools, Mary L. Poland of Spring- 
field: trustees of public library. 0. Louis Wolcott. Da\'id D. 
Durantaye. Mrs. 0. C. Hunn: librarian, Mrs. Lucy Coomes. 

While the old church on Longmeadow Street remained for 
sixty years the place of worship of all the people of the town, 
a diversity of religious belief began to manifest itself in East 
Longmeadow about the first of the «iineteenth century. In the 

( 432 ) 


sontheasteru corner of the town there resided at the time men- 
tioned several families with Baptist views, and that portion of 
the town was familiarly referred to as "Baptist Settlement." 
These people for a long time worshiped with their Connecticut 
neighbors in Enfield, but in 1807 they petitioned the Baptist 
church of that place and the Congregational church of Long- 
meadow for permission that "Elder George Atwell officiate with 
them as a preacher of divinity one-half of the time." This peti- 
tion was granted, and religious services were held there until 
181S. as a branch of the Enfield church, when on the 23d of 
June the First Baptist church of East Longmeadow was estab- 
lished with appropriate exercises. The First Baptist society 
had been organized January 13, 1816, and was incorporated 
February 8, 1819. It was discontinued as an incorporated body 
IMarch 31, 1873. The several pastors of the church, with the 
year of settlement or ordination, have been as follows: Rev. 
George B. Atwell. 1821-5; Rev. John M. Hunt, 1835-40; Rev. 
Moses J. Kelly. 1842; Rev. F. L. Bachelor, 1843; Rev. Mr. 
Farrar, 1846; Rev. N. W. Minor, 1848; Rev. Nicholas Branch, 
1853; Rev. A. S. Lovell, 1858; Rev. Levi H. Wakeman, 1862; 
Rev. T. O. Judd. 1867; Rev. H. G. Gage. 1873; Rev. William S. 
Phillips, 1875; Rev. O. R. Hunt, 1877; Rev. L. H. Copeland, 
1882; Rev. F. B. Joy. 1887: Rev. N. D. Parsons, 1888; Rev. R. 
S. Mitchell, 1891; Rev. AVard Fisher, 1897; Rev. W. L. Giles, 
1897; Rev. Robert H. Carey, 1899, the present pa.stor. The 
house of worship occupied by this church is located near the 
southeastern corner of the town, in what has long been familiarly 
known as "Baptist District." It was built about 1830, but has 
since been remodeled, and under the efforts of the present pastor 
has been again thoroughly renovated. The church is now in a 
"prosperous condition. 

After worshipping with the parent church at Longmeadow 
village for almost ninety years, the Congregationalists of P^ast 
Longmeadow began about 1825 to consider the matter of a church 
in their own village, and on the 16th of June, 1827, the society 
was incorporated under the name of "Proprietors of the Meeting 
House of the Third Religious Society in Louginradnw. " Tlic 

28-8 ( 433 ) 

(Hi: cor STY asd its people 

title was chantii'd to '"Tliinl lu'ligioiis Society in Loiignieaduw." 
in 18:30, aud in 1895 to "First Congregational Society of East 
Longinciulow." The chui'c-h was organized on the 22d of April, 
18:211, as the Second Congregational church in Longuieadow, the 
name being changed in 181)5 to "First Congregational Church 
of Hast Longuieadow." A house of worship was erected on the 
hill overlooking the village, at a cost of $:i,500, in 1828, and was 
dedicated in November of that year. In 185!) the structure was 
moved down the hill into the village and extensively remodeled, 
forming the present church building. The former site was 

The Center " — East Lougmeadow 

adopted for a parsonage. The first pastor installed was Kev. 
Calvin Foot, who was installed April 15, 1831, and dismissed 
July 8, 1835. His successors have been : Rev. Martyn Tapper, 
1835-49; Rev. "William E. Dixon, 18.52-4; Rev. Joshua R. Brown, 
installed December 13, 1854, died September 7, 1858; Rev. 
Alfred B. Feabody, 1860-67; Rev. Alfred I. Dutton, 1869-85; 
Rev. Robert C. Bell, 1885-92: Rev, Albert D. Smith. 1892-6: Rev, 
John A, Hughes, 1806-7: Rev. Harry C. ]*IeKnight. 1898-1901. 

A Methodist Episcopal church was organized in June, 1853, 
Rev. David K. Merrill being the preacher in charge. In the same 

( 434 ) 


year a church building was erected aud dedicated, aud is still 
iu use, having been thoroughly renovated in 1880. A parsonage 
was erected iu 18(i0, and it is worthy of mention that all the 
church property is free from debt. Apart from supplies by 
notable clergymen from Wesleyan academy at Wilbraham and 
residents of Springfield, the pastors have been as follows: Rev. 
David K. Merrill, 1853-4; Rev. Rodney Gage, 1855-6; Rev. Jonas 
M. Clark. 1856-7; Rev. Randall Mitchell, 1860-2; Rev. Thomas C. 
Pratt, 1862-4 ; Rev. William Rice, 1864-6 ; Rev. Henry T. Eddy, 
settled in April, 1866, died in September of that year; Rev. 
Guilford D. Brown, 1866-8 ; Rev. Joseph Candlin, 1868-71 ; Rev. 
J. W. Lee, 1871-2; Rev. William Wignall, 1872-4; Rev. N. P. 
Stevens, 1874-5 ; Rev. John Cadwell, settled in April, 1875, died 
in January, 1876; Rev. Joseph Scott, 1876-8; Rev. Jacob W. 
Price, 1878-9 ; Rev. Ichabod ]\Iarcy, 1879-82 ; Rev. I. H. Gaylord, 
1882-4; Rev. W. M. Hubbard, 1886-8; Rev. I. H. Gaylord, 1888- 
90 ; Rev. Isaac S. Yerkes, 1890-93 ; Rev. W. H. Adams. 1893-5 ; 
Rev. E. C. Bridgham, 1895-8; Rev. W. T. Hale, 1898-1900; Rev. 
Wallace T. ]\Iiller, 1900. 

The Roman Catholics of East Longmeadow began holding 
meetings in the town hall about 1883, and built a modest church 
in 1887. Avith a seating capacity of 300. In 1895 the house which 
had formerly been the Congregational parsonage, with two acres 
of land, was purchased for a parish house, aud was fitted up 
for occupation as such. Until 1894 the church, known as St. 
Michael 's, was, like that at West Longmeadow^, a mission of St. 
William's church at ilittineague ; but in the year named the two 
churches in Longmeadow were formed into an independent 
parish, and so continue at the present time. The pastors in 
charge have been as follows : Rev. Patrick Healy (monthly mass 
at West Longmeadow only), 1870-83; Rev. E. Pelletier, 1883-5; 
Rev. J. E. Campeau, 1885-8; Rev. J. H. A. Biron, 1888-90; Rev. 
Frederick Bonneville, 1890-93; Rev. Humphrey Wren, 1893; 
Rev. Anthony Dwyer (the first resident pastor), 1894-1900; 
Rev. John P. Hackett, 1900, now in charge. 

The East Longmeadow public library was established in 
the winter of 1896-7, and now contains about 1,200 volumes, 

( 435 ) 

0(7.' COrXTY AM) ITS L'EOi'LE 

with some 450 patrons. The expense of running the institution 
is met by an annual appropriation from the town, while some 
assistance in the way of furnishing books is received from the 
state library eonnnission, and by the contribution of friends. 
The direction of the library is in the hands of a board of three 
trustees and a librarian, whose names appear in the list of town 

Apart from its agricultural interests. East Longmeadow 
owes its development principally to its valuable quarries of red 
sandstone, which have given to the town a wide fame. This 
stone underlies a considerable portion of the town, and has been 
quarried from the time of the early settlements. At first the 
stone was considered common property, and up to the beginning 
of the nineteenth century the party who discovered "a ledge" 
was considered to hold first title to work the same, even though 
located upon the land of another. But for the past 100 years 
the several quarries have, under the law, been held and operated 
by the owners of the land, or iinder lease from them. The stone 
has been shipped to all parts of the country, and has been used 
in many public buildings and other works. Much of it has been 
used in the Uuited States armory buildings at Springfield, and 
from these quarries was taken the stone for the foundation of 
the formidable iron fence which incloses the armors- grounds. 
In eai-ly times it was used for gravestones, and is still employed 
to some extent in monumental work. "Wider use obtains, how- 
ever, as a material for public buildings and fine private resi- 
dences, many of which, in all sections of the country, have been 
constructed from the product of these quarries. Among such 
buildings may be mentioned the Pierce building. Estey Organ 
company's luulding. Youth's Companion building, new Trinity 
church, and residences of Oliver Ames and C. A. "Wliittier, at 
Boston: Harvard university gymuasi)nu. Law School building 
and Sever hall. Cambridge: Yanderbilt hall. Walch hall. Phelps 
memorial. Osborne memorial and Bi-Centennial building at Yale 
college. New Haven. Conn.: Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Teachers' 
college. Tnion League club house. St. James' Episcopal church, 
Holy Trinity church, St. Agnes' church, Berkeley lyceum and 

( 4.S6 ) 


New York Athletic club building, New York city; Brooklyn 
Eagle building, Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Grouse memorial building, 
Syracuse, N. Y. ; the library, dormitory and Commencement hall 
at Princeton university, N. J. ; the office buildings of the New 
England and New York Life Insurance companies at Kansas 
City, Mo.; New York Life Insurance company's building at 
Omaha, Neb. ; Howard Memorial library, New Orleans, La. ; and 
the Ames memorial monmnent in Wyoming, not to mention a 
multitude of other well known structures. 

The color of the stone varies in the different quarries, con- 
sisting of sandstone, the Kibbe red, so called, and light brown 
stone. Some of the quarries have been operated for a hundred 
years, in a systematic way, and even longer than that, in a hap- 
hazard manner prior to the definite establishment of property 
rights in the stone. The more widely known of the qviarries are 
the Taylor, Salisbury, McGregory, Billings, Kibbe, Pine Kibbe, 
Worcester and Maynard. The largest industry is carried on 
by the Norcross Brownstone company, organized early in 1901, 
succeeding to the business which had for twenty-seven years 
been condiicted by the firm of Norcross Brothers. They employ 
more than a hundred hands, and have a fine new plant beside 
the tracks of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad 
for sawing and dressing stone for tlie trade. A large business 
is also done by the firm of James & Marra, with offices at Spring- 
field, who employ an average of seventy-five men, and have a 
yearly output of about 12,000 tons of high-grade stone. Ap- 
parently the supply is inexhaustible, and the business gives 
promise of still increasing magnitude. 

The area of the town is 13.4 square miles, and its population 
at the time of division, as shown by tlie state census of 1895, was 
1,591; but in 1900 the national census showed a falling off to 

( 437 ) 


Ou February '26, 17!l2, in response to a petition from a 
number of inhabitants in that part of the towns of AVestfield and 
Montgomery which lay south of the main branch of Westfield 
river, the legislature passed an act creating a new town in 
Hampshire county, naming the jurisdiction Ilussell. Tradition 
says that the name was given in honor of a prominent citizen 
of Boston, who was closely associated with public events, and 
who, in consideration of the honor thus bestowed upon him, 
promised to donate to the first church society of the new town 
a bell for use in calling the settlers to worship. 

The incorporation of another town in this part of the county 
seems to have been a necessity, for the settlers here were at 
much inconvenience in transacting business of a public nature 
at the seats of Westfield and ^loiitgomery ; therefore the general 
court conferred on the inhabitants full town powers, including 
authority to elect a representative to the legislature. This was 
not a favor but a right to which the settlers were entitled, for 
their number on the territory set off aggregated about 400 per- 
sons. "Were the town records perfect an interesting narrative 
might be made setting forth the names of nearly all the heads 
of families who constituted the first settlers, but in Russell, as 
in many other of the old towns whose history dates back more 
than a century, the people had greater regard for the comfort 
and well-beinc of their families than for the formalities of strict 
attention to public records. This remark, however, must not 
be taken as a reflection u])on our forefathers in Russell, for in 
few towns are the records found complete. 

( 438 ) 

THE To^\'y OF nrssELL 

Tradition informs lis that Kussell was settled largely by 
people from AYestfield, and that originally they came to the 
country west of the Connecticut from the eastern portions of 
Massachusetts and also from the Connecticut colonies. A few 
of theiii traced their ancestry to the time of the Puritans, while 
the majority were descended from the sturdy New Englanders 
who came into the new world at a later date, and Unding the 
eastern plantations thickly settled, naturally turned to the more 
remote localities where lands were cheaper. At the time this 
upper valley of Westtield river had become known and some 
attempt at settlement had been made. After a few families had 
located here the region took the name of "New Addition", the 
same as was applied to ^Montgomery, and was so known iintil 
the incorporation of the town in 1792. 

It is claimed that the pioneers of Russell were two brothers 
named Barber, and a Jlr. Gray, who located and made the first 
improvement on what was known as Glasgow mountain, but 
whence they came, how long they remained, no past chronicler 
of Eussell history furnishes us any clear light. But following 
them closely there came to this vicinity a band of sturdy settlers 
who cleared the lands and opened the way for later arrivals. 
They came chiefly from Westfield and among them were men 
and families of birth and parentage, strong, deter- 
mined men and women who were resolved to make for themselves 
comfortable homes in the new locality. 

Having recourse to old records and various accounts relat- 
ing to early life in this vicinity, we are able to repi-oduce these 
names as representing substantially the earliest settlers in Rus- 
sell : Isaac Palmer, Elias Parks, Levi Bishop, John ilallory, 
Ozias Finney, Isaac Bronson, John Hawley, Abraham Bradley, 
Dr. Stebbins. Titus Doolittle, Daniel Mallory, Andi'ew IMallory, 
Samuel \Yilliams, Thonias Field, Jacob Loomis, Robert Hazard, 
Able Tuttle, Newman Bishop, Benjamin Todd, Stephen Hughes, 
Silas Noble, Benjamin At water, Joel Atwater, Richard Russell, 
Samuel Chapman, Seth Gridley and Jesse Newton. And there 
were others, probably as early in their settlement as any who 
are mentioned, but through the lapse of a century their names 
have been forgotten. 

( 439 ) 

ol i: col STY AM) ITS PEOPLE 

The suiiiaiiie Palmer has long been known in Kussell his- 
tory, both in town ad'airs and also in the substantial development 
of file land. Isaac Palmer left four sons. S(juire, Loren, Elijah 
and Keuben, whose descendants are yet in the town and county. 
A glance at the civil records will show how the representatives of 
this sui-name have been prominently identified with Russell his- 
tory. The surname ilallory had at least three representatives 
among the early settlers, and from them sprung a considerable 
number of descendants, although the pioneers are gone and the 
later-day generations have become scattered through other 

The Parks family through all generations from the time of 
Elias, the pioneer, who is believed to have settled here about 
the time of the revolutionary war, have been conspicuously 
identified with the civil and social history of the town. Elias 
Parks was selectman in 1810, and one of the family name now 
holds that office, and is, as well, engaged in industrial pursuits. 
Nelson D. Parks was county commissioner from 1858 to 1864. 
Levi Bishop had five sons— David, Aaron. James, Charles and 
Levi, .inn.. — from whom have come the later men of the Xovra 
bearing that name. Robert Hazard left no descendants. Isaac 
Broiison iiad several sons, among them being Allen. John and 
Harvey, l)ut the surname now is not numerously represented in 
Russell. Titus Doolittle, himself a quiet, earnest plodder. along 
life's path, was not specially active in public affairs, yet he pro- 
vided well for his family. One son attained a seat on the bench 
of the courts in Vermont, and another entered the legal profes- 
sion in tliis state, practioing in Hampshire county. 

The Bishops, descendants of Newman Bishop, at one time 
were numerous in the town, and Newman, junior, attained nearly 
his hundredth year. The pioneer Bishop left thi-ee sons, Jere- 
miah, Alva and Newman, jun., whose descendants are now 
scattered through western Hampden county. Samuel Williams 
had five sons, all of whom, save one, removed to other localities. 
Jacob Loomis had six sons, Jacob, Hubbard, Josiah, Caleb, 
Lyman and Solomon. Abel Tuttle had four sons, Abel, Ljonan, 
Almon and Daniel, thi-ou-^h whom the family name has been 

( 440 ) 


perpetuated in the county. Stephen Hughes had four sons, 
John, Stephen, Henry and John (2d), none of whom left chil- 
dren. Benjamin Atwater left children, among them being 
Harris, Titus and Noah. Benjamin Todd, one of the pioneers 
of the town, was an old revolutionary patriot and served with 
Gen. Israel Putnam. He had four sons and three daughters, 
but the family name now has few representatives in the county. 

Silas Noble was a worthy settler, a man of influence in early 
Russell history and one whose surname has always maintained 
a high standing in western Hampden county. Silas' sons were 
Silas, jun., Roland, Reuben, Albert and Seth; and he also had 
three daughters. Richard Russell was the worthy head'of a large 
family, there being five sons— Thomas, Simeon, Almon, Abel and 
Yale, the descendants of some of whom are yet in the county. 
Joel Atwater 's family was quite large but now has few repre- 
sentatives in this locality. 

Samuel Chapman, who is mentioned among the early settlers 
in Russell, was father of the late Chief Justice Reuben Atwater 
Chapman, of the Supreme ju-'^cial court. Judge Chapman was 
born in Russell and attained a higher position in public life 
than any other of our townsmen. A more extended reference 
to his life and career will be found in an earlier chapter of this 
work. Jesse Newton, of whom incidental mention has been 
made, was another of the prominent early settlers here. He 
had three sons — Elias, Ezra and Robert. This surname now 
has few representatives in this part of the county. 

Present citizens of Russell will recall many of these old 
family names and perhaps a majority of those of the present 
generation of factors in the town's history can trace their an- 
cestry to one or more of the settlers whose names are recorded 
on preceding pages. The claim is not made that the list is 
complete, or is as full as it should be, but in Russell the en- 
quirer after events of early history encounters a nunil)er of 
adverse conditions, and few indeed are the instances in wliich 
reliable information can be secured relative to the year in which 
settlement was begun by the pioneers. In the early history of 
Westfield frequent allusion to these settlers will be found, for 

( 441 ) 


wiiat now is Knssell origiiiiilly was lar;j;\'Iy within tlie limits of 
that town. 

It innst be seen, however, that settlement in this locality 
dill not beyrin nmeh earlier than the closing years of the last 
French wars, and when once undertaken the number of settlers 
increased so I'apidly that the creation of a new town became 
necessary. At the time of the first federal census the inhabitants 
here were enumerated as residents in Westfield and Montgomery, 
but in 1800 the number of persons living in Russell was 431. 
The subseciuent growth and ultimate decline in population in 
the town, as shown by the census reports, has been as follows: 
1810, 422 ; 1820, 491 ; 1830, 507 ; 1840, 555 ; 1850, 521 ; 1855, 677 ; 
1860, 605; 1865, 618; 1870, 635; 1875, 643; 1880, 823; 1885, 847; 
1890, 879; 1895, 846; 1900, 793. 

From this it is seen that the maximum population was at- 
tained in 1890, since which time the total decrease has been less 
than 200. a somewhat remarkable fact when the town is placed 
in conijiarisou with others in the county. This indicates a 
healthful condition of affairs at all periods of the town's history, 
and j)articu]ar]y during the last twenty-five years. In fact there 
are few abandoned or neglected farms in Russell, while within 
the boundaries of the town are at least three manufacturing 
interests of importance. Skirting the town on its northeast side 
is the Boston and Albany railroad, the operation of which has 
benefitted all local interests. Pi-evious to the construction of the 
road Russell was a station of some consequence on the route of 
the Eighth turnpike corporation, which extended from "West- 
field into the Xovm and thence to Falley's store in Blandford. 
One of the first highways laid out in this locality was that 
opened during the early years of the revolution and led west 
from Springfield through ^Yestfield, entei'ing the southeast 
corner of Russell in the neighborhood of Glasgow mountain, the 
latter more recently called Little Tekoa. 

In connection with the settlement, growth and civil history 
of Russell we find no events of great importance. For more 
tlian a century the 8,340 acres of land comprising the town have 
lieen devoted chiefly to agriculture. The town has many excel- 

( 442 ) 

Oil: vol STY .\M> ITS TKOI'LE 

lent farming areas aiul thu hill tops generally att'ord excellent 
pasturage for cattle. Lumbering, too, has been a leading pur- 
buit for many years, the numerous streams furnishing abundant 
water power for opei'ating saw mills, while the I'ailroad atl'ords 
ready access to profitable markets. 

Whatever there is of revolutionary history in the town is 
nai'raled in the general chapters, and tluriiig the war of 1812-15 
the sentiment existing among the iiilialiitants here was in accord 
with that in nearly all other towns in the county. John Car- 
rington and Lyman Holmes are credited with having entered 
the service from Kussell during that struggle, and in the war 
of 1861-.3 more than fifty men enlisted from the town. 

Civil II islonj. — For several years previous to the incorpora- 
tion of the town the inhabitants of this part of Westfield and 
IMontgomery sullercd many inconveniences by reason of their 
remote situation from the seat of town business, and for remedy 
thereof they petitioned the general court with result in the pas- 
sage of the act of Fel)ruary 25, 1792, creating the new town of 
Russell. Soon afterward a warrant was issued for the first 
meeting for the election of officers, and thereupon the various 
positions were properly filled. However, no record is found to 
show who were the officers for the first year. Beginning with 
119'.] the succession of selectmen and town clerks is as follows : 

Sclccimeii.—llD'S, Samuel "Williams, Nehemiah Carter, 
Lovewell Thomas; 1794, Isaac Palmer, Joseph IMitchell, Titus 
Doolittle; 1795, Isaac Palmer, Joseph Mitchell, Sdas Noble: 1796, 
Joseph Jlitehell, Reuben Parks, Samuel WiDiams ; 1797, Samuel 
Williams. Joseph ^litchell. Lovewell Thomas; 1798-1800, Samuel 
Williams. Reuben Parks, Silas Xoble; 1801-02, Samuel Williams, 
Jacob Loomis, William Stancleft; 180.3, Jacob Loomis, Levi 
Bishop. Isaac Palmer; 1804, Silas Doolittle, Levi Bishop, 
Stephen Hughes; 1805, Stephen Hughes, Isaac Palmer, Silas 
Noble; 1806, Thomas Day, Silas Noble, Stephen Hughes; 1807, 
Stephen Hiighes, Jacob Loomis, Elias Parks; 1808, Dudley Wil- 
liams. Abel Tuttle, John Gould; 1809, Daniel Sherman, Elias 
Parks. Henry Parks; 1810, Stephen Hughes, Elias Parks, Daniel 
Sherman; 1811, Stephen Hughes, Levi Bishop, Titus Doolittle; 

( 444 ) 


1812. Elias Parks, Enoch Stiles, James C. Carter; 1813, Elias 
Parks, Daniel Sherman. Moses Allen; 1814, Levi Bishop, John 
Gonld. jiui., Dudley Williams; 1815, John Gould, James C. Car- 
ter, Elias Parks; 1816, Elias Parks, Dudley Williams, Roland 
Parks; 1817, Stephen Hughes, John Gould, Jeremiah Bishop; 
1818, Jacob Loomis, Levi Bishop, Roland Parks; 1819, Roland 
Parks, Henry Parks, Jeremiah Bishop; 1820-25, Roland Parks, 
John Gould, Abel Tuttle, jnn. ; 1826, Roland Parks, Abel 
Tuttle. jun.. Reuben Bradley; 1827, John Gould, Abel Tuttle, 
jun., Roland Parks; 1828-29. Zachariah Dickinson, Reuben 
Bradley, George Williams; 1830, John Gonld, Abel Tuttle, jun., 
Roland Parks; 1831-32, John Gould, Abel Tuttle, jun., Linus 
Dickinson ; 1833, Chauncey W. Morse, James Bishop, Benjamin 
Bennett ; 1834, Chauncey W. Morse, Justin Loomis, Benjamin 
Bennett; 1835, John Gould, Abel Tuttle, jun., Benj. Bennett; 
1836, Benjamin Bennett, Jeremiah Bishop, Justin Loomis ; 1837, 
Chauncey W. Morse, Albert Noble, Jeremiah Bishop ; 1838, John 
Gould, Benjamin Bennett, James Bishop; 1839. Roland Parks, 
Justin Loomis. Noah Atwater; 1840, Roland Parks, Benj. Ben- 
nett, William D. Mallory; 1841, Charles Tinker, James Loomis, 
Jabez Clark; 1842. Roland Parks. Daniel Pry, Benjamin Ben- 
nett: 1843, Daniel Fry, John Dickinson, Benj. Bennett; 1844, 
Roland Parks, John Dickinson, Allen Bronson ; 1845, Benj. 
Bennett. Bradford W. Palmer, Jules Bedortha ; 1846; Benj. 
Bennett, Nelson D. Parks, Lyman Parks; 1847, Bradford W. 
Palmer, Newman Bishop, Nelson D. Parks ; 1848, Roland Parks, 
Newman Bishop. Nelson D. Parks; 1849. Roland Parks, Justin 
E. Loomis, AVilliam W. Cosby; 1850, Newman Bishop, jun., 
Marshall N. Fales. Lucius P. Bishop; 1851, Nelson D. Parks, 
Bradford W. Palmer, Henry K. Loomis; 1852, Bi'adford W. 
Palmer, David Parks, William L. Dickinson; 1853, AVilliam W. 
Cosby, Noah Atwater, Lucius P. Bishop ; 1854, Newman Bishop, 
jun.. Bradford W. Palmer, William L. Dickinson; 1855, Simeon 
ILallory, Sheldon Bronson, Stanton S. Clark; 1856, Simeon Mal- 
lory. Benj. Bennett, Joseph Osborn ; 1857, Newman Bishop. A. 
J. Bradley. Horace Parks; 1858, Newman, A. J. Bradley, 
Stanton S. Clark; 1859, Roland Parks, Benj. Bennett, Dexter 

( 445 ) 


Parks: 186U, Xelsnu I). Parks. William Holmes, F. H. Bishop; 
1S61, Nelson D. Parks, Henry A. (iould, Edwin A. Russell; 
1S()2, Nelson D. Parks. Allen J. Mallory, Horace Heath; 1863, 
Nelson D. Parks. Dexter Parks. Edwin A. Russell; 1864. Roland 
Parks. Dexter Parks. Dwight S. Bronson; 1865, Roland Parks, 
Edwin A. Russell. \Villiam Pomeroy; 1866-67. Nelson D. Parks, 
Simeon IMallory. Lyman Sliurtleft'; 1868. Nelson D. Parks. 
Simeon ]\lallory. A. H. Lewis; 186!t, Nelson D. Parks, Simeon 
]\Ialloi-y. \Viliiam Holmes; 1870, Simeon ]\Iallory, Horace Parks, 
William Holmes; 1871. Hoi-aee Parks. AVilliam Holmes, ilarviu 
Wi'i^.'ht ; l><7'_'-7:'). Horace Parks, William Holmes, Robert 
Pilrher: 1^7-^. Horace Parks, Roland Parks, "Wilbur 0. Merrill; 
ls75, Horace Parks. George T. Bryant. Leonard P. Palmer; 
1876. Horace Parks, F. E. Bushnell. AVilliam Holmes; 1877, 
Horace Parks. F. E. Bushnell. Roland Parks: 1878. F. E. Bush- 
nell, Dexter Parks. L. B. Palmer; 1879-80, Horace Parks, AVil- 
liam Holmes, Robert Pitcher; 1881, Horace Parks, I\Iarvin 
Wright, Leonard P. Palmer; 1882, Horace Parks, AVilliam 
Holmes. Albert L. Quanee: 1883, Arthur S. Parks, Albert L. 
Quance. :\larvin Wright: 1884. Arthur S. Parks. John H. Fen- 
ton. Bradford W. Palmer: 1885, Arthur S. Parks. Jar\-is W. 
(!ibl)s. William Holmes; 1886, Henry S. Eldridge. Albert L. 
Quance, George H. Allen: 1887, Eugene D. Parks. Frank Gur- 
ney. George H. Allen : 1888. Eugene D. Parks, Albert L. Quance. 
George H. Allen; 1889, Jar\-is W. Gibbs, Albert L. Quance, 
George H. Allen: 1890. Horace Parks, Albert L. Quance. AVil- 
liam Holmes; 1891. E. I. Webster. Albert L. Quance, George H. 
]\rortimore: 1892. Albert L. Quance. George H. IMortimore, Wil- 
liam Holmes: 1893-94, Albert L. Quance, George H. Mortimore, 
Rol)ert L. Parks: 1895, All)ert L. Quance, Robert L. Parks. 
William Holmes: 1896. Albert L. (,)uance, Theodore H. Clark. 
Wm. Holmes: 1897-98. Albert L. Quance, Homer B. Fletcher. 
George H. Allen: 1899. Albert L. Quance, John J. Brennan. 
Homer B. Fletcher; 1900. Albert L. Quance, John J. Brennan. 
Eugene D. Parks; 1901. Eii-rcne D. Parks, John J. Brennan, 
George H. Allen. 

Toio) r/o-A-.v. — Robert liazzard. 1793-96; Joseph :\ritchell, 
1797: Robert Haz/ard. 179.^; Levi Chapman. 1799-1805; Isaac 

( 440 ) 


Palmer, 1806-10 : Dudley Williams, 1811 ; Isaac Palmer, 1812-17 : 
Dudley "Williams. 1818-19 ; Isaac Palmer, 1820-25 ; Reuben Brad- 
ley, 1S26; Reuben Palmer, 1827-30; Linus Dickinson, 1831-32; 
Jeremiah Bishop, 1833; John Dickinson, 183-4-36; Zaehariah 
Dickinson, 1837-38; James Bishop, 1839-40; John Dickinson, 
1841-42; Wm. D. Mallory, 1843-44; Roland Parks, 1845-46; 
Lucius P. Bishop. 1847-48; Nelson D. Parks, 1849-50; Justin E. 
Loomis, 1851-52 ; H. L. Gridley, 1853 ; J. AY. Gibbs, 1854 ; Joseph 
Gridley, 1855-57; J. W. Gibbs, 1858; Horace Parks, 1859-60; 
Roland Parks. 1861-64; Joseph Hutchinson, 1865; Nelson D. 
Parks, 1866; Howell Parks, 1867-69; S. F. Root, 1870; R. AY. 
Parks, 1871; Henry L. Goodrich, 1872; J. B. Smith, 1873; E. E. 
Gibbs, 1874; George T. Bryant, 1875; Henry L. Goodrich, 1876- 
81 ; Arthur S. Parks, 1882 ; Henry L. Goodrich, 1883 ; Arthur S. 
Parks, 1884; Frank Gurney, 1885-88; J. Henry Spencer, 1889- 
92 : Sanuiel C. AYarner, 1893 ; Eugene D. Parks, 1894-95 ; Homer 
B. Fletcher, 1896 ; Eugene D. Parks, 1897-1901. 

Town Officers, 1901— 'E. D. Parks, George H. Allen, John J. 
Brennan, selectmen, overseers of the poor, assessors and board 
of health; E. D. Parks, town clerk; R. L. Parks, H. C. Parsons, 
auditors ; Horace E. Clapp, treasurer and collector ; S. S. Shurt- 
lett". highway surveyor; AY. S. Lincoln. AYm. Pomero.y, cemetery 
commissioners; Milton S. Thompson, John J. Galvin, Arthur 
Scott, school committee ; Mrs. A. AA''. Goodrich, librarian ; A. AY. 
Goodrich, John H. Bigger, J. B. Tucker, trustees of Russell free 
public library; A. E. Abbott, T. H. Clark, Eugene D. Parks, 
Robert L. Parks, justices of the peace. 

Villages and Hamle ts.—'Pvewioua to the construction of the 
Boston and Albany railroad the only trading place in the town 
was at Russell, which was more frequently called the Centre. 
Since the town was founded a store has been kept here, and since 
the railroad was opened a hotel has been in operation. AVhen 
the road was built the thoughtful residents along the street lead- 
ing from the station to the. center of the hamlet set out trees on 
both sides, for at that time there were indications that Russell 
would be a village of considerable importance. This hope was 
only partially realized, but in the course of time the main street 

( 447 ) 

on; col XTY AM) ITS I'EOl'LE 

becaiiK' ciiic of llic iiKist beautifully shaded thoroughfares in the 
county, and is so rc-iavded to-day. For uiauy years the plaee has 
beeu well provided with business interests, yet it is doubtful if 
these were ever more substantisd than at the present time, unless 
we except tlie period during which Russell was a station on the 
line of the old turnpike road leading: and west across the 
state. A few of the older residents, contemporaries of such men 
as Horace Parks and Joseph Cridley. will recall this old yet 
enjoyable period of our history, but the recollections of our pres- 

IliL;!. linaKf— Faiilielil 

I'Ut middle-aged men tlate generally from the opening of the 
railroad and the building of a depot at Russell. IMr. Parks was 
stiition agent here rorty-lwo years, and liis sou now holds that 

The j)riiicipal i)usiness interests dl' Russell at the present 
day comprise the stores kept by T. II. Clark and Henry B. 
Martin, both of wliich are well-stocked general establishments; 
the attractive and well-appointed hotel kept by John Chaplin; 
tlie usual number of small shojis found in all country villages, 

( -148 ) 


and the brick and tile works, the latter an industry of much 
importance in the locality. The Blandford brick and tile works 
has been a local interest for twelve or fifteen years, but originally 
was located in the town of Blandford, from whence comes the 
greater part of the raw material now used. The works are 
operated with Worcester capital, employ local wage earners, and 
under the capable management of W. S. Lincoln comprise one of 
the best business concerns of the town. 

Fairfield is the name of a small hamlet on Westtield river, 
about two and one-half miles below Russell Centre, in a locality 
formerly known a.s Salmon Falls. This place first gained promi- 
nence about twenty-five years ago, when the Jessup & Laflin 
Paper company built works and began the manufacture of paper 
on an extensive scale. The company has since been in successful 
operation, although changes have been made in its management, 
and it now is known as the Woronoco Paper company. The 
other business interests in this locality comprise the hotel (in a 
delightful situation and a most popular resort for hiinting, fish- 
ing and outing parties) kept by Alfred Cosby, and the large 
general store owned by J. T. Beede, who also is postmaster. 

The Chapin & Gould paper mills are located up the river 
toward Huntington, about two miles above Russell village, and 
have been one of the principal industries of the town since 1858. 
The plant here is owned and operated with Springfield capital 
and employs local woi'kmen chiefly. 

In addition to these interests there are several others of less 
note which may be mentioned without regard to special location. 
They are the charcoal works of the Richmond Iron company; the 
glove and shii't works, of which W. B. Shelley is manager; the 
grist and saw mills of Alfred Keeler; the lumbering interests of 
E. D. Parks & Co., and the saw mill of A. B. Pendleton. In the 
town John Flack is blacksmith; Frank Hathaway, provision and 
fish dealer; S. L. Bronson. hay and feed dealer, and Oeorge H. 
Mortimer, provision dealer. 

Churches.— The ecelcsiastieal history of Russell has been 
uneventful, and of the various societies which from time to time 
have found a lodgement in the town only two have miantained a 

29-3 ( 449 ) 

ori! rorxTY am> its peoi'LE 

permanent existfiict.'. Tlic Baptists, aa olVshoot from tlie church 
at Westfield, appear to have been first on the ground and phvuted 
their society here in 1786, under the name of the First Baptist 
cluirch of Russell. A house of worship was built in 1792, but 
about 1810 the society dissolved, only to be re-established in 
1816, with Elder Asa Todd as pastor. The old meeting house 
was burned in 1820 and was replaced with a new one in 1826. 
The present edifice was erected in 1853. The present pastor of 
this church is Rev. John II. Bigger. 

A Congregational society and church were organized in 
Russell ill Xoveiulier, 1800, by Rev. Joseph Badger, but after 

.M. I hodist Church— Russell 

about thirty years of struggle against adversity in various forms 
it pas.sed out of active existence and its members affiliated with 
the Baptist and Methodist societies. About 1820 the Congrega- 
tional and Methodist .societies built a union meeting house, but 
the structure was torn down in 1880. 

The Jlethodist Episcopal society came iiito life in the town 
about 1818 and maintained a varied existence thereafter for 
many years. \Vlieu the Congregational society dissolved it 
gained added strength, but had no regular house of worship 
between 1830 and 1869. when the church edifice at the Centre 
was erected. Since that time it has grown in strength and 

( -150 ) 


influence, and now ranks with the best of its denomination in 
any of the outlying towns. The present pastor is Rev. E. H. 

»S'c7(oo/a-. — Little can or need be said of the general .system 
of education employed in this town. It always has been in con- 
formity with the broad and liberal scheme prescribed by the 
state laws, and in excellence is in full keeping with that employed 
in other towns. The records give us little light on the subject 
of early schools, yet it is known that one of the first measures 
adopted by the new town was a vote to maintain schools in each 
of the established districts. The latter have been changed from 
time to time, as occasion reijuired, the number being increased 
or reduced according to the population of the town; but at no 
time has there been a tendency to lower the standard of effi- 

As now disposed, the town comprises eight school districts, 
and for school maintenance about $2,200 are annually raised by 
local tax. The town's share in the school funds is about $495 
each year. Eight schools are supported and eight teachers are 
employed. The sclwol census shows about 1-KI children between 
f) and 15 years of age. The annual school expenses aggregate 
about $2,500. 

During the more than a century of its history, Russell has 
produced many strong and influential men, and has sent to the 
legislature, and elsewhere in public station, some of the best 
material the county has ever furnished. The late Chief Justice 
Chapman was boi-u and spent his young life in Russell, and was 
perhaps the most distinguished of the town's contribution to 
high office. Among the other notable men of the town there may 
he recalled tlie names of "Siiuii'e" Newman Bishoj), son of 
Newman Bishop, Sr.. a revolutionary patriot : Benjamin Bennett, 
a .substantial farmer years ago on Russell mountain in the 
south part of the town; Abel and Thomas Riissell aiul Noah 
Atwater, all old-time prosperous fai'mers; Robert Parks, son of 
Elias Parks, the iiioneer, and father of Horace Parks, the latter 
now one of Russell's oldest citizens; Roland Parks, the old select- 
man; Nelson D. Parks, who died in Huntington, was for several 

( 451 ) 


years county coniniissiouer, at one time was revenue collector, 
and was for several years justice, many cases being tried before 
liim ; William Ponieroy, wlio died in 1901 ; Jarvis Gibbs, merchant 
at Russell more than twenty-five years ; Jphu Gould, one of the 
foremost men of the town in his time, and who died in the west; 
Reuben Palmer, Linus Dickinson, Simeon Mallory, John Dickin- 
son, all prominent local characters in their time ; William Crosby, 
who built the now known Horace Parks residence; Justia 
Loomis, a man of means and business capacity ; Lyman Bradley, 
father of former Sheriff A. M. Bradley ; James Bishop, .a sub- 
stantial farmer on Russell mountain, and others whose names are 
now lost. 

In like manner it is proper to refer briefly to some of the 
principal factors in Russell history at the present time, and in 
this connection we may mention the names of such men as Albert 
L. Quance, who had charge of the work of construction of the 
admirable state road between Fairfield and Russell ; Horace 
Parks, a veteran in piiblic affairs in the town and now one of its 
oldest citizens; Robert Tj. Parks, the station agent and usual 
moderator in town meetings; J. T. Beede, the merchant at 
Fairfield: Alfred Cosby, the landlord at Fairfield; W. S. Lin- 
coln, superintendent of the brick and tile works; Eugene D. 
Parks, town cleric and thorough business man: Sidney F. 
ShurtletV. former surveyor of higliways: T. H. Clark, the Russell 
niereliant and postmaster; G. II. Allen, farmer near Fairfield; 
S. F. Stepliens, substantial fai-iiier: "William ^lortimei", an en- 
terprising and successful farmer and cattle dealer; ]\L S. 
'I'liompson. chairman of the school committee ; Henry Griffin, 
the railroad "section boss"; Joseph Gridley, one of the oldest 
men in the town, and a native ; Henry G. ^Mortimer, farmer and 
cattle dealer. Still other names might be added to this list, but 
none that are here mentioned should be taken away. 

( 452 ) 


In 1754 the colonial government of Massachusetts Bay estab- 
lished the old plantation of Bedford' as the district of Granville, 
and in 1775 the general court conferred on the jurisdiction full 
town powers. Under these names and with an extensive terri- 
tory the early settlement of the region was accomplished, and so 
rapidly did the planters from the east possess themselves of the 
high and fertile lands of the locality that the territory was 
divided into parishes for the convenience of the inhabitants and 
took the names, respectively, of East, Middle (or Centre) and 
West parish. 

On June 14, ISIO, at a time when the West parish contained 
almost 800 inhabitants, the legislature passed an act to divide 
the town of Granville, which act reads in part as follows: Be 
it enacted, &c., "That the West parishvin (Jranville, in the county 
of Hampshire, as known by its present Ijounds, be and hereby is 
incorporated and established as a separate town by the name of 
Tolland, with all the powers and privileges, and subject to all 
the requisitions of other towns, according to the constitution and 
laws of this commonwealth." 

Tolland occupies a position in the extreme southwest corner 
of Hampden county, the Connecticut state line bounding the 
town on the south, while on the west lies Berkshire county. 
Throughout this entire region the land surface is broken by 
irregular ranges of hills, some of which have an altitude varying 
from 1,200 to 1,500 feet above tide water. Indeed, it is said that 
Tolland, with the possible exception of Chester, has some of the 
highest elevations in the county, but notwithstanding the rugged 
character of its sui'face the town has few areas of land unfit for 

( 453 ) 

oil! COl wry AM) ITS PEOPLE 

cultivation, and the liills i'miiisli an ahundanee of grazing lands 
and also produce- a superior (luality of hay and grain. More 
remotely distant from the county seat than any other town, and 
having no streams of sulificient size to raft logs or lumber to 
market, Tolland still has large tracts of forest lands, some of 
which have not been touched by the woodman's axe. 

Sr.(tl(t)i(iif. — '\\'h\]e this part of Ilami)shire county was 
known as the plantation of Bedford, its .settlement was begun 
by pioncei's from the east, while a few of the Durham colony who 
settled the ^liddlc parish of (Jranville gradually found their way 
over into the hill regions of the West parish. No reliable record 
is found to inform us who was the pioneer of the town, and the 
present generation of inhabitants have no traditions on this sub- 
ject. Still, it is known that some time about the year 1750 a 
number of families came to the locality, j-.ureha.sed lands and 
made settlements. Of this number there is handed down to us 
the name of Jabez Rogers, a worthy man and the progenitor of 
a large family of ten sons and two daughters. These children 
were Leonard, Jabez, Sanuiel, Nathaniel, Asa, Percy, Russell, 
JIartin, Dwyer, John, Lucy and Sarah, from whom, by their 
marriages in subsei|uent years, has sprung a considerable pro- 
portion of the town's population. 

Thomas Twining was another of the tirst settlers, and was 
the pioneer of that well known family of the town in all later 
years, who have been such prominent faetoi-s in local history. 
The .sons of Thomas were William and Stei^hen, and he also had 
three daughters. One of the latter married Joseph AVolcott, of 
Sandisfield; anothei- nuirried ("hauncey Fowler and lived and 
died in Tolland: and the third married a 'Mr. Gorham and settled 
in the west. Eli.iah Twining, brother of Thomas, also was an 
early settler, if not one of the tirst colony. TTis eight children 
were William, Eleazer, Fhith. Lewis, Ju(hih, Timothy, Susan and 
Lois, from whom have descended some of the best families of 
Tolland, although not all of them spent their lives here. 

Titus Fowler was one of the tirst settlers and also was one 
of the foremost men in the original colony. In his family were 
six children. John. Chauncey. Titus. Eliza, Catharine and TTan- 

( 454 ) 


nah, a portion of whom always lived in the town, but others, and 
some of the descendants of nearly all of them, settled in other 
parts of the country. Ebenezer Harding, also of the first colony 
and a most worthy man, was one of the few first colonists of 
whom little is now known. He left children and his surname 
always has been preserved in the town. Marvin ]\Ioore was still 
another settler of whom little is recalled in the way of personal 
remembrance. David Slocum's descendants are still active 
factors in Tolland history, and they have .just pride in their 
family ancestry, for if local tradition is reliable the pioneer 
Slocuni was a man of inHuenee in the atifaii's of the west parish. 
In the family of Pierce Marshall, another of the original sixteen 
settlers, were five sons, Pierce, George, Samuel, Dudley and 
Gaius, and the descendants of some of them are still living in the 

James Hamilton, whose family name has been known in all 
succeeding years, was another of the earliest settlers in the old 
west parish. His sons were John, Robert, Thomas, Henry, 
James and Samuel, nearly all of whom in turn raised families, 
although few indeed are now in Tolland to represent them. 
The Granger surname is better represented, and by some of the 
best stock in the town, for George W. Granger, grandson of the 
pioneer of the family, was for many years one of Tolland 's best 
men, and for years was chaii"raan of the selectmen. The pioneer 
was Abraham Granger, a good, worthy man, much respected by 
his fellow townsmen. In his family were two sons and three 
daughters, the former being Launcelot and George W. C! ranger. 
John i\Ianchester, who came here in 1750 with the first colony, is 
not directly represented in the present generation of the town's 
people, his children having settled in other localities, some in 
Connecticut and others in the far West. Pioneer Manchester's 
sons were AVilliam, John, Shadrach and Samuel. Of his daugh- 
ters, one married and spent her life in the town, but the others 
removed to new localities in the west many years ago. 

Among the other original colonists of the west parish there 
may be recalled the names of Samuel Hubbard, James Barlow, 
Moses Gough, David Fowler, and also John, Robert and Thomas 

( 455 ) 


llainiltoii, who were grown sons of James Hamilton and came 
with their fatlier at the time the colony was planted in or about 
1750. These, so far as present records and obtainable informa- 
tion tend to show, were the first settlers in the west parish of 
(iraiiville. a part of the old plantation of Bedford, and now 
known as the town of Tolland. It was full three-score years 
after their settlement was made that Tolland became a town, and 
many of the founders never lived to see the change in jurisdic- 
tion. They came about the middle of the eighteenth century to 
a rugged wilderness country, drawn by the ever restless spirit of 
emigration which infected all the eastern colonies about that 
time; but the principal inducement which attracted them was 
the cheapness of the lands offered by the proprietors of the 
Bedford plantation. Following them came others, some from 
the eastern towns of I\Iassachusetts and others from the shore 
country of Connecticut, and notwithstanding the disadvantages 
under which they labored and the multitude of hardships of life 
in the new locality, their work was well done, and they, the first 
settlers of Tolland, contributed a full share in establishing the 
mother town as one of the most populous and important civil 
divisions of old Hampshire county. This is no idle boast, for it 
is a fact that in 1790 the town of Granville contained 1.979 in- 
habitants, while Springfield, including what now is Chicopee, 
had 1.574 inhabitants. In 1800 Granville had 2.309 inhabitants, 
and the iiresont county seat of Hampden had 2.312 inhabitants. 

\M\en Tolland was set off from Granville in 1810 the new 
town took from the mother territory more than one-third of her 
lands and a like proportion of the population : from which we 
may ]M-operly infer that the old west parish was as well settled 
and developed as any portion of the original town. At that 
time the territory comiM'ising Tolland had attained its greatest 
population, and in all later years, with few exceptions, the 
innnber of inhabitants has steadily decreased. However, let us 
liave recourse to the statistics of the census and note the changes 
in the town's population : 1810. 798 ; 1820. 692 : 1830. 723 : 1840, 
627: 1850. .594: 1860. 596; 1865. 511: 1870. 509: 1875. 452: 1880, 
452; 1885. 422; 1890. 303; 1895. 309; 1900, 275. 

( 456 ) 


In accordance with the provisions of the incorporating act, 
one of the magistrates of Granville issued his warrant for the 
first town meeting in the new jurisdiction, and thereupon the 
organization was made complete. A full board of officers was 
elected, and from that time the records, except those of births, 
marriages and deaths, have been carefully preserved. Having 
recourse to the clerk's books, we are able to furnish a complete 
list of the selectmen and town clerks from the organization of 
the town to the present time. 

Selectmen.— ISIQ, James Hamilton, Perez Marshall, William 
Twining: ISll. James Hamilton, Jabez AYright, John W. Bab- 
cock; 181-2. John W. Babcock. Hull Slocum. Caleb Birt; 1813, 
James Hamilton, Perez Marshall, jun., Hull Slocum; 1814, Perez 
Marshall. Nathan Hall. William Twining. 1st; 1815, James 
Hamilton. ^Merrin jMoore, Eleazer Slocum; 1816. Capt. Allen 
Bidwell, Henry Hamilton, jun., Eleazer Slocum; 1817, Capt. 
Allen Bidwell, Warren Gates, Abraham Granger; 1818, Perez 
Marshall. Selah Butler, AVarren Gates: 1819, Abraham Granger, 
Charles Reming-ton, Samuel Hamilton; 1820, Samuel Hamilton, 
Abraham Granger, William Twining, 2d; 1821, John Hull, 
Walter Babcock, Josiah Remington : 1822-23. Josiah Remington, 
Joel Humphrey, John Rogers ; 182-4, Josiah Remington, Joel 
Humphrey. Archibald Wright ; 1825, Archibald Wright, Samuel 
Hamilton. Allen Bidwell: 1826. Samuel Hamilton. Ai-ehibald 
Wright. William Twining, 2d; 1827, Sauuiel Hamilton, Xoah 
Shepard, AYarren Gates; 1828, Josiah Remington, Israel Carrier, 
George AY. Granger; 1829, Josiah Remington. George AY. Gran- 
ger, Waltei- AY. Babcock; 1830, Samuel Hamilton, Eleazer Slo- 
cum, Alanson Hubbard; 1831, Leonard Cowles, Launcelot 
Granger. Sauuiel Hall; 1832, Launcelot Granger, Leonard 
Cowles, Arch. AYright; 1833, same as 1832; 1834, George AY. 
Granger. Lyman Twining, Loyal Humphrey; 1835, LvTnan 
Twining. Leonard Cowles, Chester Chapman: 1836, Chester 
Chapman, Oliver E. Slocum, Arial Frost: 1837, Leonard Cowles, 
Lyman Twining, George AY. Granger; 1838, Lyman Twining, 
AA'illiam E. Barnes, Lester ]\larshall ; 1839, AYilliam E. Barnes, 
Hull T. Slocum, Alonzo Marshall: 1840, George AY. Granger, 

( 457 ) 


James Hunt, Bennett Palmer; 1841, George \V. Granger, Leon- 
ard Cowles, ^Villiam C. Nye; 1842, Leonard Cowles, Wm. E. 
Barnes, layman Twining; 1843, Leonard Cowles, Lauucelot 
Granger, Slilcs Sloeiini; 1844, George \V. Granger, William Nye,' 
Franklin Harvey; 184"), (ieorge \V. (irangci'. Oliver E. Sloenni, 
Chester Chapman; ]84(i. Wm. E. Barnes, Lyman Twining, Peiez 
M. Fowler; 1847, Liicicn Ildti-hkiss, Shadrack Manchester, 
Aion/.o Miller; 1848, Lueien llotchkiss, (ieorge W. (Tranger, 
Oliver E. Slocum ; 1849, Lueien Hotehkiss. X. E. Slocum, Hiram 
C. Brown; 1850, William E. Barnes, Noah B. Nye, Nathan E. 
Slocum: 1851, Daniel Spring, Noah B. Nye. Edward L. Tinker; 

1852, George W. (J ranger, Oliver E. Slocum, Fowler T. Moore; 

1853, Fowler 'Y. Moore, Leonard Cowles, William Tinker; 1854, 
Fowler T. ^Moore, Oliver E. Sloeum, Amos L. Hull ; 1855. George 
W. (Ji'anger, Noah B. Nye, Lyman Twining; 1856,Lyman Twin- 
ing, Noah B. Nye, Edward L. Tinker; 1857, Rufus Smith, Lyman 
Twining. Philander F. Twining; 1858, Philander F. Twining, 
Hiram C. Brown. Samuel Hamilton, jun. ; 1859, Philander F. 
Twining, Samuel Hamillcm. jun., Daniel Spring; 1860, Philan- 
der F. Twining, Samuel Hamilton. George W. Granger; 1861, 
Philander F. Hamilton, Daniel Spring. Edward L. Tinker, .jun.; 
18()2. Hiram C. Brown, Lyman Twining, George W. Granger; 
1863-64. Philander F. Twining, Lyman Twining, George W. 
(iranger: 1865, (ieorge W. Granger, Philander F. Twining, 
Nathan E. Sloeum; 18(i6, George W. Gi'anger, Philander F. 
Twining, Samuel C. Marsliall; 1867, George W. Granger, Noah 

B. Nye, Nelson B. Twining; 1S68, George "\V. (xranger. X. B. 
Twining, Samuel C. Marshall ; 1869, N. B. Twining, Samuel C. 
:\Iarshall, Charles N. iMarshall ; 1870-71, LaFayette Granger, 
Julius P. Hall. George L. ^Marshall; 1872-73, Nelson B. Twining, 
George L. Marshall, F. S. Hale; 1874, Geo. W. (^ranger. Samuel 

C. ^Marshall, W. F. Hale; 1875, Fowler F. Moore, Samuel C. 
JIai-shall. E. D. Tjarkin: 1876-77. George AV. Clranger, Nelson 
B. Twining, Wellington Hale: 1878, George L. JIarshall, Julius 
P. Hall. Fowler F. Moore; 1879, George W. Granger, Wellington 
F. Hale. Oliver E. Sloeum. jun.; 1880. Oliver E. Slocnm. jun., 
Erastus D. Larkin. Franklin H. Pratt; 1881, Oliver E. Slocum, 

( 458 ) 


jiiii., Orrison E. Snow, Franklin H. Pratt; 1882, Wellington F. 
Hale, Erastus D. Larkin, Charles X. Marshall; 1883. Oliver E. 
Slocuni, jun., Orrison E. Snow, Chas. N. Marshall; 1884, Oliver 

E. Slocuni, jun., Wellington F. Hale, Franklin H. Pratt; 1885, 
Oliver E. Sloeuni. Wellinoton F. Hale, Erastus D. Larkin; 1886, 
Oliver E. Sloeuni, Wellington F. Hale, Watson I. Hale; 1887, 
Wellington F. Hale, Erastus D. Larkin, Frank R. Moore; 1888, 
Wellington F. Hale, Frank R. IMoore, Erastus D. Larkin ; 1889, 
same as 1888; 1890, Wellington F. Hale, Samuel C. Tififany, 
Marshall ^Miller; 1891, Wellington F. Hale, Frank R. Moore, 
Watson I. Hale: 1892, Wellington F. Hale, Samuel C. Tiit'any, 
Giles H. Farnham; 1893-95, Oliver E. Slocum, Samuel C. Tif- 
fany, Eugene M. Moore; 1896, Giles H. Farnham, Eugene M. 
Moore, Luke R. Moore ; 1897, Oliver E. Slocuni, Wellington F. 
Hale, Erastus D. Larkin; 1898, Charles N. Marshall. Eugene 
M. Moore, John M. Hayes; 1899, Oliver E. Slocum, Wellington 

F. Hale, Prank B. Deniing; 1900-1901, Oliver E. Sloeum. John 
R. Rogers, Frank B. Deming. 

Town Clerks.— Henry Hamilton, .jun., 1810-14; Samuel 
Hamilton, 1815-16; Henry Hamilton, 1817-18; Allen Bidwell, 
1819-20; Henry Hamilton, 1821-26; John Rogers, 1827; Henry 
Hamilton, 1828-29; Edward L. Tinker, 1830-32; Alanson Hub- 
bard, 1833-34; Joseph D. Slocuni, 1835; Leonard Cowles, 1836; 
Roger Harrison, 1837-41 ; Alfred Webber, 1842-44; Rufus Smith, 
1845-49; William W. Harrison, 1850-55; Samuel Hamilton, jun., 
1855-60; Rufus Smith, 1861; Samuel Hamilton, 1862; William 
H. Harrison. 1863-73; F. R. Moore, 1873-76; Homer P. Twining, 
1876-79; Wilbert Munn, 1880-1901. 

The town officers of Tolland for the year 1901 are as follows : 
Oliver E. Slocum, John R. Rogers, Frank B. Deming, selectmen, 
as.sessors, overseers of the poor and board of heallh; Wilbert 
Munn, town clerk, continuously since 1880; Pliilip L. C. Slocum, 
auditor; Wilbert ]\runn, treasurer; John R. Rogers, Irving G. 
Chapel, collectors; F. B. Deming, highway commissioner; Irving 

G. Chapel, constable ; Wilbert Munn, justice of the peace. 

For a century and a half Tolland has been an agricultural 
town, and in response to patient endeavor on the part of hus- 

( 459 ) 


bandnien its lands have been made to yield exceedingly well 
considering the generally hilly character of the region. Cattle 
and dairy prodncts are the chief stai)Ies, yet in hay and grain 
good annual crops are harvested. Many years ago an attempt 
v>as made to grow tobacco in the town, and while the effort was 
not a failure it did not meet with the success which was hoped 
for. In many other ways tlie people have been progressive and 
euteri)rising, and have been strenuous in their endeavors to main- 
tain the town's population despite the wide-spread inclination 
of the younger element to abandon the home farms (where at 
least a comfortable living was a.ssnred) for the greater pleasures 
and less arduous work of occupations in the cities and large 
villages. This great exodus of strong young manhood from the 
rural localities began about twenty-five years ago, and has been 
kept up to the present day; and as its result almost every out- 
hnng town in the counties of this state (and many other states 
as well) has thereby lost much of the best element of its popula- 
tion. The theory is a mistaken one, the principle is wrong, the 
results are disastrous, yet the desire for city life and its alluring 
pleasures seems too strong to resist, hence the old home farms 
where our forefathers dwelt and were comfortable must suffer 
neglect and consequent loss in value. 

Tolland never has been noted for its manufactures and 
while lumbering operations always have been carried on with 
more or less j)erseverance the distance to profitable markets has 
precluded the possibility of extensive efforts in that direction. 
Previous to about twenty years ago a small tannery was oper- 
ated on Farmingtcm river by Albert Hull, and a fi;rniture 
factory was for a time carried on in the north part of the town 
by Charles N. jVIai-shall, who now is engaged in business as a 
lumberman. Something more than thirty years ago the people 
here became thoroughly interested in a railroad enterprise, which 
was promised by an incorporated company, but through some 
cause the project was abandoned, greatly to the discouragement 
of all the townsfolk. The chief industries of the town at the 
present time are the saw and shingle mills owned by H. B. Dem- 
ing, C. "W. Ives, Abner Johnson. AV. X. Rowley, C. B. Soule and 

( 460 ) 


H. W. Soule ; the eider mills of A. H. Case and C. H. Moody, and 
the Inmbering operations of Mr. Marshall. 

The pleasant little hamlet called Tolland, originally known 
as West Granville, occupies a central position in the town, and 
is sixteen miles distant southwest from Westfield by stage route. 
It has no mercantile interests of consequence, the inhabitants 
trading almost wholly in adjoining towns. The few interests 
centered here, or having an existence in Tolland, are the black- 
smith shop of Wilbert Munn, who also is the town clerk and a 
justice of the peace-, the post-ofSce (Alice A. Harrison, post- 

ToUand Center 

mistress), and the shoe shops of N. 0. Cliaii'ee, J. C. Hodges 
and F. H. Pratt. The institutions are the free town library 
(Wilbert Munn, librarian, and Oliver E. Sloeum, E. M. Moore 
and L. R. Moore, trustees) ; the public school (Oliver E. Sloeum, 
chairman; I\Irs. T. G. Chapel and John R. Rogers, school com- 
mittee) ; and the Congregational churcli. 

The Congregational church of Tolland dates its history from 
1795, when a few of the scattered inhabitants gathered together 
and organized a society in the third or west parish of Granville. 

( 461 ) 

on; coryrv asd its i'Ijoi'LE 

III llie course of a year or two the little flock succeeded in build- 
ing a meetinir house and all the inhabitants of the parish "ratli- 
ered within the edifice evei-y Sabbath day for public worship. 
Rev. Roger Harrison was the first pastor here, installed as such 
in 1798 and continuing his connection with the society until 
1822. The church never was strong in numbers and has not been 
able to support a resident pastor at all times, hence West Gran- 
ville and Tolland were united under one pastorate. The present 
church edifice was erected in 1842. The present pastor is Rev. 
(Jilbcrt A. Curtiss. The niembershi]) numbers 32 persons. A 
Baptist society was formed in the "south ((uarter" (a distin- 
iruishing name") of the town about 1830, but it never gained suffi- 
cient strength to erect a house of worship or to maintain a 
[)ermanent existence. 

The public school arrangement of Tolland was made while 
the town constituted the west parish of Granville, therefore 
when this town was set off the work of redistricting was the 
most important duty that devolved upon the school committee. 
The records for this j)eriod of the town's history are imperfect, 
and we have no ilefinite knowledge of what was done in regard 
to tiie schools prior to 1849. Under the present disposition of 
school interests in the town tlie territory comprises five districts, 
each with a school house, while according to the last published 
rei>ort of the conunittee the number of children of school age in 
the town is but (i8. Five teachers are employed annually. The 
town has no superintendent of schools, the duties of that office 
being pei-foriiied l)y the seliool committee whose names are given 
in a preceding paragraph. 

Notwithstanding the disadvantages of remote location and 
the absence of large commercial enterprises, Tolland has pro- 
duced many men of strength and integrity of character. This 
element of progressive population has not been confined to the 
early generations of the town's people, but during the last half 
century there have been many earnest factors in domestic and 
jtublie life in the town. In this connection there may be recalled 
the names of such men as the late G. W. Granger, Alonzo ]\riller, 
Daniel Spring. Alonzo ISfarshall. George L. ^Marshall. Oliver E. 

( 462 ) 


yiocuni, E. D. yiocuni, E. D. Moore, P. F. Twining, N. B. Twin- 
ing, H. C. Bvown, Samuel Hamilton, N. E. Slocum, Henry 
Hamilton, Edward L. Tinker and Fowler F. Moore, nearly all 
of whom were born in Tolland, some of them descendants of 
pioneer stock, and all men of excellent character and moral 
worth, an honor to any town. And among the men of the present 
day there are many whose names are worthy of mention in these 
pages; such men as 0. E. Slocum, farmer; Wilbert Munn, 
mechanic, town clerk and justice of the peace; H. W. Soule, 
lumberman ; J. R. Rogers, farmer and selectman ; Giles Farnham, 
mechanic: J. D. Hall, farmer; F. B. Twining, farmer and lum- 
berman; F. H. Pratt, farmer; M. S. and H. H. Marshall, farmei-s; 
O. E. Slocum, farmer; E. M. Brown, farmer; C. B. Soule, lum- 
berman, and P. S. Hale, farmer. 


A little more than a century and three-(iuarters ago, there 
was a large territory lying east of the town of Springfield which 
was described as "common land," a part of the public ilmiiain 
under the crown and subject to the immediate authority of the 
Kiyal governor of the ilassachusetts Bay. Sometime during the 
early part of the eighteeuth century a number of adventurous 
whites had established themselves in various portions of this 
tract, and the locality being found desirable for colonization, it 
soon passed under the proprietary ownership, resulting in the 
formation of a plantation adjoining Springfield and auxiliary 

The plantation was established in 1722, and in less tiian ten 
years afterward the territory was incorporated into a town liy 
the name of Brimfield. During the ne.xt thirty years a large 
])art of the available lands were well settled by people who came 

( 463 ) 


from the eastern settleiiifiils. while tlie old towu of Springfield 
furnished a fair eontiniiciit of the rajjidly increasing population. 
In 1742 a part of the i)lan1ation on the east was set otf to fonn 
"Western, ;iiid in 17(j(i another iiorlion on the west side was in- 
corpoi-ated as a district anil called ^Jonson. In 1762 the remain- 
ing territoi-y was divided and the south ludf was called the 
district of South Brimfield. On February 21, 1766, the latter 
district was divitied into East and West pai-ishes, the old South 
Jleadow road leading from Brimfield south into Connecticut 
being the boundary line between them. August 23, 1775, the 
district of South Brimfield was made a town by a general act, 
and, July 5, 1783, the former East parish was made a district 
by the name of Holland. After this separation all the remaining 
part of South Brimfield was continued under that designation 
until February 20, 1828, Avhen its name was changed to Wales. 

Settlement in old Brimfield is believed to have begun soon 
after 1700, and probably a quarter of a century passed before 
an adventurous pioneer made a permanent location in the South 
Brimfield region. Over in Holland there was no attempt at 
occupation and improvement until after 1730, but in Avhat is 
now Wales Anthony Xeedham and John Bullen chose their lots, 
built their cabins, and l)rought their families in 1726 or '27. If 
local tradition is reliable pioneer Needham was a man of much 
determination and the worthy leader of the vanguard of civiliza- 
tion in the town. He is said to have had eleven children, and 
one of his sons, Captain Anthony Xeedham, rendered excellent 
service during the revolution. He was the first representative 
of South Brimfield in the general court. The pioneer himself 
died in 1763. Pioneer Bullen spent his life in the town, but in 
later years his descendants became widely scattered. In the 
drawing of lots under the proprietory Xeedham secured "Lott 
29", and Bullen "Lott 28", the former just west of what is 
sometimes called Wales pond, and the latter adjoining it. 

If other settlers came into the town about the time that 
pioneers Needham and Bullen located here there is no present 
record of the fact. The belief is that the pioneers -wex'e on their 
lands something more than a year before other settlers began 

( -164 ) 


to arrive, although the proprietors were constantly sending pros- 
pectors into the region with a view to settlement. Some of 
these remained here and bought land, but others came and soon 
departed. At this late date, nearly two centuries after the events 
took place, it is ditticult to determine accurately who were the 
earliest settlers in the south half of the old mother town of Brim- 
field. However, having access to town records, old papers and 
other documents, we are able to recall the names of many of the 
early settlers in what now is Wales. In these researches we find 
the names of ]Munger, whose earliest representatives in this 
locality were Nathaniel, Elnathan, Samuel and Joseph Munger, 
names afterward well known and highly respected in the civil 
and social history of the town. This family in Wales annals 
dates from about 1728. Then there was Rev. Ebenezer Moulton 
and his brothers Samuel and John, who came here in 1728. 
Elder IVIoulton founded a Baptist society here in 1736, and served 
as captain in the French and English war in 1755. These fami- 
lies came to Brimfield from Salem and prol)ably were accom- 
panied by other settlers whose names cannot be recalled. 

In glancing over old records we find the surnames of Hovey, 
Jordon. Johnson. ^Morgan, Collins, Shaw (Seth and Joshua), 
Gardner (Humphrey Gardner removed from Palmer to South 
Brimfield as early as 1736), Captain Trustrum Davis (a settler 
here in 1732 and an officer in the French wars), Thomas Green 
(1737), Robert Green (1748), Wm. Carpenter (1740), Ichabod 
and Joel Rogers (representatives of a family of nmch prominence 
in the later history of Wales. Joel Rogers represented the town 
in the general court in 1797, and was in many respects one of the 
foremost men in the town in his time"!, William Felton (an Irish- 
man and probably the pioneer of his nationality in Wales), 
Shubael Dimmick (settled here about 1750 and erected one of 
the first saw mills in the locality), Capt. Daniel Winchester 
(came from Roxbury previous to 1760, and was an influential 
personage in town affairs, a delegate to the provincial congress 
in Salem in 1774, representative in the general court, and in 
business life a store-keeper in South Brimfield), ('apt. Asa Fisk 
(who came from Hampton, Conn., in 17(i2, and conducted a 

30 3 ( 465 ) 


tavern as well as a large farm), Oliver Wales (who came into 
the town in 1766 from Union, in Connecticut), Elijah Wales 
(brother of Oliver), Rev. James Mellen (the second pastor of 
the Baptist church, and whose settlement here dated 1765 ) , Rev. 
Elijah Coddington (who followed Elder Mellen in the pastorate), 
Asa Houghton (settled here 1779, represented the town in 1784 
and died 18-2!)). 

Ill addition to those mentioned in preceding paragraphs, 
and who perhaps wei'e the most prominent men of the town in 
their time, we may recall still other early settlers whose names 
are equally worthy of notice, although their work consisted in 
developing the resources of the region rather than in public 
service. AVe now make especial reference to such charactei-s in 
local annals as James C. Royce (whose surname is still known 
in Wales). Darius Jlunger. John ^Munger, Nehemiah ]\ray (a 
conspicuous character in Holland history), Dr. James Lawrence 
(the pioneer physician), Hvniiphrey Crane. Thoma.s Bond, 
Jonathan Crane. Abel Allen, Joseph Gardner. David Needham, 
Samuel Shaw. J(>siah Gardner. Benjamin "Winchester, and others 
whose names have lieen lost with the lapse of years, all of whom 
were factors in history i)revious to the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century and many of whom were the ancestors of residents 
in the town at the opening of the twentieth century. Indeed, 
for more than one hundred years this town, whether known as 
South Brimfield or Wales, has been noted for the substantial 
character of its inhabitants, and glancing backward through the 
last century we discover that it has furnished its full quota of 
strong men who have been contributing factors in the civil and 
political history of Hampden county. 

In many respects the early settlers in South Brimfield were 
an independent and courageous people, and the action of the 
pi-oprietors of the lands, and also that of the government of the 
mother town, was not wholly agreeable to them. Therefore they 
paused the division of the territory and the ereation of their 
o\ni town, then comprising the East and West parishes. And 
even later there was something in the administration of affairs 
in the new jui-isdiction which was not suited to their condition 

( 466 ) 


aud situation in life, hence, on September 5, 1774, it was voted 
to "choose twelve men as a court of justice and'fionor to deter- 
mine all controversies" that might afterward arise in the dis- 
trict. This domestic judicial body comprised Capt. Nehemiah 
May, Jacob Howe, Nathaniel Hunger, Asa Fisk, Anthony Need- 
ham, Daniel AVinchester, Thomas Parker, Jonathan Wallis, 
Benjamin Blodgett, Edward Webber, Abel Allen and Joel 
Rogers, six numbers being selected from the inhabitants of each 
parish. The "court", however, was of brief duration, for in 
1783 the East parish became a separate district and elected its 
own officers, except the representative. One of the objects of 
this court of twelve members was the equable administration of 
town affairs and the fair division of offices between the parishes. 
In 1774 the East jjarish sought a division of the territory on 
account of many inconveniences to which they were put, and 
again in 1779 the measure was advocated. In 1783 their en- 
deavors were rewarded, the separation was granted, but there- 
after for many years the towns of Holland and Wales united 
in electing a single representative to the legislature. 

Previous to the organization of Hampden countj' (1812) 
the following representatives of the joint district were elected 
from Wales: Anthony Needham, 1775; David Bullen, 1780; 
Asa Houghton, 1784: Daniel AVinehester, 1785 and '87; Darius 
Hunger, 1786 and '90, 1794-95 ; Asa Fisk, 1788-89 ; Joel Rogers, 
1797; Oliver Wales, 1800-01; Josiah Gardner, 1804; John 
Hunger, 1805 ; Royal Wales, 1810-11. In the Hampden civil list 
in another part of this work may be found the subsequent repre- 
sentatives from Wales. 

In speaking of the prominent characters in South Brimfield 
and Wales histoiy it may be noted that in the provincial con- 
gress convened at Salem in 1774, this town was rei)resented by 
Capt. Daniel Winchester. In the Cambridge convention in 1779 
to adopt a constitution for the commonwealth, the town was 
represented by William Carpenter. In the Hatfield convention 
in April, 1781, and the Hadley convention in February, 1782, 
to devise means for the common defense and maintenance of 
troops then in the field, the town was represented by delegate 

( 467 ) 


Joel Rogers. In tlu' emiiily c-onventioii held at Hatfield, August 
22, and at Hadley, Noveiiiber 7, 1786, and also at the state con- 
vention at Boston in January, 1788, to devise means to relieve 
the extremities of the i)eople caused by the war, this town was 
represented by Asa Fisk. In the peace party convention held 
in Northampton, July 14, 1812, this town, a majoi-ity of whose 
people were decidedly of federalistic tendencies, sent Darius 
Plunger as its delegate. 

Civil History. — The organization of the town in pur.suanee 
I of the act of the legislatui'e, the detail of whieh is set forth in 
an earlier paragraph, was accomplished witli little difficulty. 
Tlie act authorized .justice of the peace Josiah Dwight to issue 
his warrant to some i)rincipal inhabitant (Jonathan Burk) of 
the new district, and to assemble the townsmen at the house of 
settler John Bishop for the purpose of electing officers. The 
meeting was held October 5, and Humphrey Crane acted as 
moderator. The succession of selectmen and town clerks follows : 

Selectmen. — llG'I-f^^. Humphrey Needham, H\unphrey 
Crane, Anthony Needham. Nehemiah ]\Iay, John iloultou; 1766, 
Joseph Blodgett, Anthony Needham. John IMoulton, James Law- 
rence, Samuel Miniger; 1767, Joseph Blodgett, James Lawrence, 
Humphrey Needham; 1768, Humphrey Crane, Humphre.v Need- 
ham, Dr. James Lawrence: 1769, Humphrey Crane, Joseph 
Blodgett, .iun., Edward Webber; 1770, Humphre.v Crane, Joseph 
Blodgett, .iun., Anthony Needham; 1771, Asa Fisk, Joseph Blod- 
gett, jun.. Nehemiah ^May; 1772. Anthony Needham, Daniel 
"Winchester. Nehemiah 'May. 1773, Anthony Needham, Asa Fisk, 
Nehemiah ^lay; 1774, Anthony Needham, Daniel Winchester, 
Humphrey Crane; 1775, Anthony Needham. Asa Fisk. Hiun- 
phrey Crane; 1776, Humphre.v Crane, Daniel Winchester, 
Anthon.v Needham, .Joseph ^huiger, Edward Webber; 1777, 
Daniel AVinchester, Nehemiah Alay, Jonathan Wallis; 1778, 
Nehemiah ^lay, Sherebiah Ballard, Ben.]. Blodgett; 1779, 
Tliomas Bond. Darius JMunger, William Belknap, Abner Need- 
ham, Joseph Needham : 1780, Jonas Blodgett, Wm. Belknap, 
Darius ilunger, Jonathan Crane, Joseph Needham ; 1781, Jonas 
Blodgett. Wm. Belknap. Darius Plunger. Alfred Lynn, Joseph 

( 468 ) 


Needham; 1782, Joel Eogers, Wm. Belkuap, Abner Needliam, 
Abel Allen, Joseph Plunger; 1783, Joel Rogers, Wm. Belknap, 
Joseph Needham, Abel Allen, Darius Mimger; 1784, Darius 
Munger, Joel Rogers, Joseph Needham; 1785, Samuel Winches- 
ter, Darius Muuger, Asa Houghton; 1786, Joel Rogers, Darius 
Hunger, David Needham; 1787, Joel Rogers, Darius Jlunger, 
Daniel Munger; 1788, Joel Rogers, Asa Fisk, Daniel "Winchester; 
1789, Joel Rogers, Asa Fisk, Darius Munger; 1790-92, Darius 
Munger, Joel Rogers, Asa Fisk; 1793, David Needham, Joel 
Rogers, Daniel Munger; 1794, John ifunger, Joel Rogers, Daniel 
Munger; 1795, John Munger, Joel Rogers, Darius Munger; 1796, 
Darius IMunger, Joseph Gardner, John ilunger, David Needham, 
Sanuiel Shaw ; 1797-98, Darius ]\Iunger, Josiah Gardner, John 
Munger; 1799, Nathan Wight, Oliver Wales; 1800, John Munger, 
Nathan Wight, Benj. Winchester; 1801, David Needham, 
Stephen Needham, Asa Fisk, jun., Asa Houghton, John Shaw; 
1802, John Munger, Nathan Wight, John Shaw; 1803, Darius 
Munger, Joel Rogers, Asa Fisk; 1804, Darius ]\Iunger, John 
j\Iuuger, Oliver Wales; 1805, Darius Munger, Cyrus Munger, 
Stephen Needham ; 1806-10, John ]\lunger, Cyrus Munger, 
Stephen Needham; 1811, Asa Fisk, jun., James L. Wales, John 
Shaw; 1812, Jesse Moulton, Chai'les Gardner, Cyrus ]Munger; 
1813, Jesse Moidton, Amasa Plunger, Stephen Needham; 1814, 
Jesse Moulton, Timothy Fenton, James W. Needham; 1815, Jesse 
Moulton, Timothy Fenton, James L. Wales; 1816, Charles Gard- 
ner, Timothy Fenton, Alvin Needham; 1817, Alvin Needham, 
Timothy Fenton. Alfred Needham; 1818-20, Alvin Needham, 
John Smith, Alfred Needham; 1821, James L. Wales, Francis 
Miller, Alfred Needham; 1822, James L. Wales. Alvin Needham, 
John Smith ; 1823, James L. Wales, John Smith, Alfred Need- 
liam; 1824, James L. Wales, Alfred Needham, Orrin Wales; 
1825, Alvin Needham, Jolm Smith, William Thompson; 1826, 
James L. Wales, John Smith, Wm. Thompson; 1827, Alfred 
Needham, John Smith, James Babeock; 1828, James L. Wales, 
John Smith, Alfred Needham; 1829-30, James L. Wales, John 
Smith, Francis Miller; 1831. John Smith, Charles Gardner, 
James Babeock; 1832, John Smith, Whitman IMunger, James 

( 460 ) 


Babcoek; 1833, John Smith, AVhitmaii Munger, Alfred Need- 
ham; 1834, James L. Wales, Charles Gardner, Alfred Needham ; 
1835, John Smith, Aaron Shaw, Alfred Needham; 1836, Charles 
Gardner, Aaron Slunv, Oliver Wales; 1837, James L. Wales, 
Absalom Gardner, Elijah C. Babcoek; 1838, James C. Royee, 
Absalom (Jardner, AVhitman Muntier; 1839, James C. Royee, 
Absalom (iardiier, John White; 1840, Absalom Gardner, James 
C. Royee, Ames Walbridjj:e, Jolin White; 1841, Absalom Gard- 
ner, Ferdinand L. Burley, Nathan Palmer ; 1842, Luther Parker, 
Horace Gardner, Nathan Palmer; 1843, Absalom Gardner, Fer- 
dinand L. Burley, Ames Walbridge; 1844, Horace Gardner, "Wm. 
Thompson, Ames Walbridge; 1845, Absalom Gardner, L. B. 
Wight, Alvan Andrews; 1846, Leonard P. "Wight, James C. 
Royee, Eseck Luther; 1847, Leonard P. AYight, James C. 
Royee, A. A. Needham; 1848, Absalom Gardner, Horace Gard- 
ner, C. D. Brown; 1849, Absalom Gardner, N. H. StoweD, C. D. 
Brown; 1850, Absalom Gardner, N. H. Stowell, James 

C. Royee; 1851, Absalom Gardner, Warren Shaw, Silas Perry; 
1852, Alfred Needham, Alvin Andrews, Arbey Squier; 1853, 
Absalom Gardner, David B. Needham, Eli Gardner; 1854, Ab- 
salom Gardner, David B. Needham, Ferd. L. Burley; 1855, 
Absalom Gardner, Adams Stewart, Samuel B. Perry; 1856, Ab- 
salom Gardner, Nathan Palmer, Warren Shaw ; 1857-58, Absalom 
Gardner, Nathan Palmer, Samuel L. ^loulton; 1859, Warren 
Shaw, Wm. L. Needham, S. V. R. Smith ; 1860, W'arren Shaw, 
Friend C. Smith, Warren Needham; 1861, Warren Shaw, S. V. 
R. Smith, William L. Needham : 1862, Absalom Gardner, Eden 

D. Shaw, S. V. R. Smith; 1863-64, Absalom Gardner, C. D. 
Brown, Warren Shaw; 1865, Julius M. Lyon, J. C. Burley, F. 
C. Smith; 1866, Ferd. C. Burley, C. D. Brown, S. B. Perry; 
1867, Ferd. L. Burley, C. D. Brown, J. M. Lyon; 1868-69; Ferd. 
L. Burley, Warren Needham, David F. Parker; 1870, Ferd. L. 
Burley, Warren Needham, A. B. Johnson : 1871, J. M. Lyon, 
Wm. L. Needham, F. L. Coburn : 1872, Absalom Gardner, War- 
ren Needham, F. L. Coburn; 1873-74. Ferd. L. Burley, William 
Tj. Needham. F. L. Coburn; 1875. Ferd. L. Burley. Wm. L. 
Needham, George O. Henry: 1876. F. C. Smith. Geo. 0. Henry, 

i 470 ) 


A. B. Johnson; 1877, Frank A. Royce, G. H. Needham, A. B. 
Johnson; 1878, George H. Needham, J. M. Lyon, A. B. Johnson; 
1879, J. M. Lyon, A. B. Johnson, F. S. Gardner; 1880, Warren 
Shaw, David Shaw, W. L. Needham; 1881, F. L. Burley, F. M. 
Royce, W. L. Needham; 1882, R. L. Boynton, AV. L. Needham, 
P. W. Moore; 1883, A. B. Johnson, J. iL Lyon, F. A. Royce; 
1884, F. A. Royce, A. B. Johnson, Nathan Green; 1885, F. A. 
Royce, C. C. Smith, J. C. Burley; 1886, F. A. Royce, C. C. 
Smith, W. Royce; 1887, W. Royce, R. L. Boynton, David Shaw; 
1888, J. M. Lyon, F. A. Royce, David Shaw; 1889, J. M. Lyon, 
LeRoy Sqiiier, H. A. McFarland; 1890, 0. P. Royce, LeRoy 
Sqiiier, H. A. McFarland; 1891-92, 0. P. Royce, W. E. Need- 
ham, Nathan Green; 1893-95, 0. P. Royce, W. E. Needham, W. 
A. Lyon; 1896, O. P. Royce, J. H. Loudon, J. C. Burley; 1897-99, 
0. P. Royce, G. :M. Stewart, J. H. Loudon ; 1900, J. H. Loudon, 
F. M. Royce, A. A. Hubbard; 1901, 0. P. Royce, J. H. Loudon, 

A. A. Hubbard. 

Town Clerks. — C apt. Joseph Blodgett. 1762-63; Humphrey 
Crane, 1764 ; Jeremiah Needham, 1765 ; Joseph Blodgett, 1766- 
67; Humphrey Crane, 1768; Joseph Blodgett, 1769-74; Joseph 
Needham, 1775-76; Abner Needham, 1777-80; David Bullen, 
1781-84 ; Abner Needham, 1785-86 ; Darius Munger, 1787 ; Abner 
Needham, 1788-90; Oliver Wales, 1791-1803; Elijah Coddington, 
1804-05; James Smith, 1806-7; Jesse Moulton, 1808-14; Wm. W. 
Thompson, 1815; Alfred Needham, 1816-33; Elijah C. Babcock, 
1834; Aaron Shaw, 1835-36; James C. Royce, 1837-39; Leonard 

B. Wight, 1840-42 ; Nathan D. Wight, 1843 ; Absalom Gardner, 
1844; Austin L. Rogers, 1845-47; Naham H. Stowell, 1848-50; 
Ferdinand L. Burley, 1851-54; George H. Needham, 1855; Joel 
H. Rogers, 1856-59; George S. Rogers, 1860-73; Herbert H. 
Haradon, 1874-75: George S. Rogers, 1876; Frank L. Smith, 
1877; Herbert H. Haradon, 1878; Ozro P. Royce, 1879-88; A. 
A. Hubbard. 1889 ; Ozro P. Royce, 1890-1901. 

Town Officers, 1901. — Ozvo P. Royce, A. A. Hubbard, 
Joseph A. Loudon, selectmen, overseers of the poor and board 
of health: Ozro P. Royce, town clerk; B. S. Baker, C. G. Need- 
ham, auditors: Willis Chamberlain, treasurer; T. J. Hynes, col- 

( 4~1 ) 


k'ctor; W. E. Needhaiii, Win. Peek, W. \V. Eager, assessors; 
LeHoy Squier, C. (i. Thompson, constables; Ozro P. Royce, 
Georyre M. Stewart, Herbert A. MeFarlaud, justices of the peace; 
Dr. E. F. Ross, Anna Thompson, Mrs. "Wm. INIeKinnoii, trustees 
Wales public library; Willis ('hamberlain, librarian. 

Wales for many years has been noted for the substantial 
ehaiMcter of its inhal)itants and also for the stability of its 
inslilutions and population, (ienerally speaking, it is an agri- 
eultural town, with just enough of industrial enterprise to 

The Village Fountain 

employ tiie surplus labor element of the locality. Lumbering 
for many years has been an established occupation for several 
of the townsmen. In 1776, when the colonial census was taken, 
South Brimfield (including what now is Holland) contained 850 
inhabitants. The later changes in population, as shown by 
census statistics, have been as follows: 1790, 606; 1800. 774; 
1810, 64;-); 1820, 683; 1880, 66;3: 1840, 686; 1850, 711: 1855, 713; 
1860, 677; 1865, 696; 1870, 831; 1875, 1,020; 1880, 1,030; 1885, 
853; 1890, 700: 1895, 783; 1900, 773. 

( in ) 


From this it is seen that Wales, unlike many of the outlying 
towns of the county, attained its greatest population in 1880, a 
time when other civil divisions in the region were rapidly de- 
creasing in number of inhabitants with a corresponding decline 
in local interests; biit fortunately for AVales, the lands which 
comprise its 10,000 acres area are of a superior quality and 
yield well in response to the persevering efforts of the husband- 
man. ^Moreover, the people always have been loyal to their 
town, taking especial interest in maintaining the fertility of the 
soil and guarding carefully the welfare of their youth. This is 
known as one of the progressive towns, with fixed and permanent 
institutions, and notwithstanding the decrease in population of 
the last twenty years, few of the established interests have been 

This spirit of loyalty to the town is not of recent origin, 
but dates back to the days of early settlement, and in subsequent 
years its manifestations have been frequent. Between 1754 and 
1763 a number of the townsmen enlisted under the American 
flag and took part in the closing wars with France. During the 
revolution a patriotic spirit was displayed in old South Brim- 
field, and on the call to arms no town made a more generous re- 
sponse with troops, arms and supplies, also with provision for 
the payment of bounties to encourage enlistments to the full 
e.xtent of the town's quota. 

Through the assistance of Leon H. Thompson, the writer is 
able to furnish a reasonably complete list of the men of South 
Brimfield (Wales) who served during the revolution, viz.: 
Daniel Giles, Joseph Gardner, Charles Gardner, Amos Green, 
Aaron Green, Ames Walbridge, Anthony Needham, Stephen 
Needham. David Needham, Paul Stewart, William Carpenter, 
]\Ialachi Nichols, Capt. Daniel Winchester, Ilezekiah Fisk, Asa 
Fisk, David Davis, Samuel Davis, Kobei-t Andrews, Ludim 
Andrews, Ezekiel Willis, Cyrus ilunger and Ebenezer Moulton. 
Othniel Brown, who entered the naval service, was a native of 
Rhode Island, but lived and died in this town. Isaiah Blood, 
who enlisted from Charlton, IMass., also is buried here. Nehemiah 
Needham, a soldier of the French and Indian war, was a private 

( 473 ) 

orn roT'XTY axd /rs' rEoriE 

under Capt. Ebeuezer iloultoa in the expedition to Crown Point 
in 1755. 

During Shays' rehellion tliure wn.s niucli local interest in 
occurring events, and tradition says that the prevailing discon- 
tent was felt in the locality. During the war of 1812-15 public 
sentiment favored the federal oi' peace party, and whatever 
there was of feeling in the town at the time, it was quietly settled 
in tavern discussions, where the worthies were accustomed to 
congretrate and debate serious (|uestions. In the war of 1S61-5 

Wales, oil the street 

the town furnished more than sixty meu for the several com- 
panies recruited in part in this locality, while a number of ^Yales 
enlistments were in Connecticut regiments. 

Wales ViUagc — Jn accordance with an old custom of our 
earliest New England ancestors, the tirst settlers in South I5riin- 
field established their trading center along the principal tlior- 
ouL'hfare leading through the town. From the days of pioneer- 
ship to the present, the village called "Wales has comprised the 
almost continuous I'ow of dwellings, stores and other sti'uctures 

( i^i ) 


incident to such municipalities, scattered along the main road 
leading from Brimtield to Stafford, Connecticut, being more than 
a mile in length, although the population here has not any time 
exceeded 400 persons. "The Street" is an interesting locality 
in the history of the town, although as a business center it did 
not attract attention until after 1825. In this vicinity the 
pioneers settled, and here also the first store, tavern and meeting 
house were established, some of them considerably more than a 
century ago. 

"Wales is believed to have been a post station about 1800, and 
it is said that Oliver Wales was the first postmaster. He was 
followed by Daniel Green, James C. Royce, Leonard B. Wight, 
Joel H. Rogers, Absalom Gardner, Philip Snow and Warren 
Shaw, about in the order mentioned. The first physician was 
Dr. James Lawrence, who practiced from 1746 to 1778. Then 
followed Dr. Dudley Wade, 1779-83; Dr. Abel Sherman, 1883-86; 
Dr. Jeremiah Round. 1881-89 ; Dr. David Young, 1790, and later 
a storekeeper; Dr. Ferdinand Lethbridge, 1805-11; Dr. Thad- 
deus Fairbanks, 1811-15; Dr. Daniel Tiffany, 1812-22; Dr. Aaron 
Shaw, 1813-45 ; Dr. John Smith, 1815-67. However, this element 
of the town "s history is treated in another chapter. 

Neither record nor tradition gives us any definite informa- 
tion as to the early business interests in Wales, yet it is under- 
stood thai the people were provided with the necessaries of life 
within their own town, for the south half of old Brimfield was 
settled by an independent and self-supporting class of men. It 
is known that a store and tavern were established here previous 
to 1795, and while a public house has not been maintained cou- 
timiously, there has not been a time within Ihe last humlred 
years when Wales was without at least one good store. 'I'wciity- 
five years ago the town had four large general stores, but tliat 
was when six woolen factories were in full operation, as well as 
a box shop and a silk mill. At that time, too, Wales had more 
than 1,000 inhabitants and enjoyed especial jirominence as a 
manufacturing center. 

In the early years of the century just passed there was some 
small attempt at uunnifaeturing, wagons and occasionally car- 

( 475 ) 

on; corxTY axd its i'eople 

riages, iai-iii tuols and vaiious articles of wearing apparel, chiefly 
hats. bt'iii'T the main products. Between 18:W and 1842 the 
manufacture of boots and shoes was an established industry, the 
product for the business year of 1886-7 being valued at more 
than i}<27.onO. For the year ending March .31, 1854, a total of 
40,00U pairs of boots and shoes was made in the town, and in 
the next year the product amounted to more than 33,000 pairs, 
valued at $27,735. The men engaged in this special manu- 
facture were Jonathan G. Royce, George H. Xeedham, Dwight 
W. Ellis, Erasmus D. Shaw and Chauncey D. Brewer. A glance 
at the early settlement history in another part of this chapter 
will disclose that several of these once prominent manufacturers 
were descendants from pioneer stock, and therefore it may be 
inferred that the boot and shoe industry of former years was 
originated in the town and was not an importation, although it 
was the means of a considerable addition to the town's popula- 

Al)out 1847, at a time when boot and shoemaking was com- 
paratively ([uiet, Harlan G. Dunham began the manufacture of 
cotton batting on ]Mill brook in a building which for several 
years previously had been occupied for various purposes. In 
1855 ^Villiam P. Osborn started a wicking factory, but not meet- 
ing with hoped-for results, Osborn & Needham in 1857 turned 
the woi'ks into a plow handle and farm implement shop. A 
shingle mill was added in 1858 and a saw mill in 1860. Mr. 
Osborn having sold his interest in the works, AVm. H. Lane suc- 
ceeded ^Ir. Needham in 1863. and in 1865 the plant and power 
passed into the hands of Elijah Shaw, who perhaps more than 
any other single person was identified with the industrial liis- 
tory of the town. Sha^\■^■ille was so named in allusion to him. 

For many years the town enjoyed especial prominence in 
the manufacture of cloths of various grades, satinets, doeskins 
and cassimeres being the leading pi-odiicts. Several of the fac- 
tories were located in the upper end of the village, Shawville, as 
best known in local designation. Among these interests were 
the works of the Shaw Mfg. Co., first started in 1847 and en- 
larged twice in the course of the next ten years. The once well 

( 470 ) 

THE Toyyy of wales 

known "Dell Mill"', the largest building in the town, was erected 
in 18H0-fil by Elijah and Aaron Shaw, and was used for the 
manufacture of woolen cloths. The building was biirned in 
1870, and in 1873 a large flouring mill was built on the site. The 
"Eden Shaw" mill was built at the upper village, near the Dell 
mill, in 1864-5 by Eden D. and Aaron Shaw, and produced doe- 
skins from 1866 to 1869, and later made cloths of various kinds. 
In the same locality also the "Heagan" mill was built and put 
into operation in 1865-6 by Elijah Shaw, and turned out a 
superior grade of cassimeres. The "Valley mill", also in this 
vicinity, originally was a saw mill and box factory, and in 1872 
was converted into a cloth mill \inder the proprietorship of 
Elijah Shaw. Later on the building was leased to Samuel 

When the business of cloth manufacture was at its height 
in the town, about 350 workmen were regularly employed, but 
when there came the general tendency of manufacturing interests 
to center in the large cities, the greater industi'ies of "Wales 
gradually declined, and those who had been connected with their 
operation found employment elsewhere. At the present time 
"Wales has two cloth mills in oi>eration. owned respectively by 
J. H. Loudon and H. E. Shaw. 

Almost a century and one-half ago. in 1752, settler Phineas 
Durkee started a small tannery and established an industry 
which was maintained in the town until cpiite recently. Later 
proprietors in the same business were Robert Durkee, Robert 
Andrews, Aaron AVinchester, John Sabin and Zeuo Farrington, 
the latter having conducted the tannery longer than any of his 
predecessors. Zeno Farrington. Jr., started an extensive tan- 
nery in 1853, and at times finished as many as 3,000 sides of 
leather and calf skins each year. Among the other proprietors 
whose names are to be mentioned in connection with the old-time 
industries of the town were Bela Tiffany. Oliver Wales and 
Hiram Watkins, who in 1828 and 1829 erected buildings for 
the manufacture of woolen cloths ; and among those who in later 
years were directl.y concerned in the enterprise were R. P. Wales 
and John W. Bliss. The plant last mentioned was burned in 

( 477 ) 


1837, but was rrlniilt two years later l).v John W. Bliss, Royal 
and James L. Wales. In 1840 this concern was resolved into 
the ""Wales Manufacturing Company", and satinets were added 
to the products of the works. In 1865 the mill was sold to tlie 
Rogers Bros. (Joel II., LaFayette and Clinton Rogers), who, in 
turn, sold out to the Shaw Mfg. Co. (the latter having been 
incorporated in 1848), large producers of cassimeres and doe- 
skin cloths of superior grade. The first mill (built in 18-47) 
operated by the Shaw Mfg. Co. was located near the center of 
the village. 

In the course of time these industries began to lose some- 
thing of their prestige, and as the tendency toward the large 
manufacturing centers gradually increased, the local concerns 
suffered a loss of business. Still, in Wales cassimeres are yet 
produced by the proprietors whose names have been noted. In 
addition to these interests the village has a soap and candle 
factory, of which Boynton & AVilliams are proprietors, and a 
saw mill owned by E. L. Needham. The other business interests 
here may be noted as follows: Frank Town, carriage maker 
and blacksmith: Herbert A. IMcFarland. auctioneer; IMerrick 
Converse, boots and shoes; E. & E. Lanphear. notions; Willis 
Chamberlain & Co., Frederick M. Koyce and Ozi-o P. Royce, 
general merchants; Peter Gaudette, proprietor Wales hotel; J. 
C. Burley. insurance agent: E. L. Needham. lumber manufac- 
turer and dealer: E. E. Lanphear, postmaster; Dr. Ellsworth F. 
Ross, physician and surgeon : John Royce, pro\nsion dealer : A. 
F. Fisher, stoves and tinware; C. G. Thompson, undertaker; 
George Dimmick, proprietor of stage line: E. Belding. Peter 
Gaudette, W. G. Parker, stable keepers. 

C/n<rc/(es.— The ecclesiastical history of Wales during the 
last century has been interesting, and the town has been the 
abiding place of as many denominations as any other similar 
civil di\-ision of the county can boast; yet among the several 
societies organized from time to time only two can show an un- 
broken record of continued, healthful existence. 

In the early history of the town the settlere appear to have 
comprised both Congregationalists and Baptists, the latter per- 

( 4rs ) 


haps prevailing in point of numbers. The mother church natur- 
ally was Congregational and was established in Brimfield, and 
when the town was di\-ided the district set oft' organized its own 
church. In ITti;^ the town voted to build a meeting house, and 
also voted to hire Ezra Reave to preach to the settlers. But it 
appears that soon after this time certain disturbances entered 
into the councils of the society aud resulted in the formation of 
the East and "West i^arishes. The meeting house itself was par- 
tially completed, but later on after the parish division it was 
torn down and removed from the towu. This was virtually the 
end of the Congregational church in Wales, and those of the 
settlers who preferred that denomination joined with the society 
in the East parish. In 1819 an effort was made to re-establish 
the church, b^it the attempt was only partially successful. 

The devout Baptist worshippers of this part of old Brimfield 
organized themselves into a society aud built a meeting house 
about 1760. Originally these settlers were Congregationalists, 
but separated from the mother church and styled themselves 
Anabaptists as earlj- as 1734. They gained strength and in 1736 
formed their society, with Ebenezer Moulton as spiritual guide 
and minister. Settlers Joseph Hovey and Benjamin Johnson 
were the first deacons. Soon after this dissentions worked ad- 
versely and caused a division in the church, but in 1771 a reor- 
ganization was effected and the society became established on a 
permanent basis. In 1760 a meeting house was erected and was 
occupied until 1802, when it was removed and gave way to a 
larger union edifice, the latter provided for occupancy by the 
Baptists, Universalists and Congregationalists. In 1773 Elder 
Elijah Coddington— "Father" Coddington— was installed as 
pastor and continued in that relation fifty-three years. Follow- 
ing him the early pastors in succession were Revs. Joshua 
Eveleth, 1826-29; John M. Hunt, 1829-30; Tubal Wakefield, 
1834-36; George Mixter, 1836-42: Warren Cooper, 1842-43; 
Volney Church, 1843-48; and in later years Samuel R. Allard, 
Henry II. Hazelton, Sylvester Barrows, Asa A. Robinson. Wil- 
liam S. Phillips, Moses Curtis, Justin Aldrich, Lyman Partridge, 
Edwin J. Stevens, Charles A. Cook. John Shcpardsnn and others 

( 479 ) 


of still iiKirc i\'cent date. Thf present pastor is Rev. Walter 
I'ersey, under whose eare the ehureh is in a healthful eonditioii, 
with a present membership of nearly 150 jiersons. 

rniversalism in Wales dates almost from the years of early 
settlement, althouijh it was not until about 1780 that the first 
society was formed in the town. This church never has been 
strong in the locality, and the frequent attempts to establish a 
permanent organization have not met with marked success. 
Soon after 1820 an earnest attempt was made to foixud a Chris- 
tian society and ehureh in Wales, but without permanent results. 
A societv of Advent ists was informally organized .soon after 

Tlie street near tlie Methodist Church 

1840. but as a religious body it attracted little attention among 
the townspeople. 

^Methodism in Wall's dates its history from the year 1830, 
when the first society of that church was formed liere, and was 
placed under the jiastoral care of Rev. Horace Jloulton. From 
that time the church has been progressive and has extended its 
infiuenee and work throughout the region. The house of wor- 
ship was built in 18.J2 and has been occasionally repaired and 
remodeled. The present pastor is Rev. George L. Camp. 

The fii-st burial ground in what now is Wales was laid out 
in pursuance of a vote of the town of Brimfield. September 5, 

( 480 ) 


1732, and included one and one-half acres of land on the south- 
east side of the South pond. The second burial ground, located 
north of the i)ond, was donated to the town April 2, 1792, by- 
Anthony Needhani. In 1813 more land was added to the plot 
by the town, and for more than half a century this was the 
recognized cemetery of the region. The "New Burying Ground" 
was laid out in 1841. In addition to these cemetery tracts 
mention may be made of that located on Shaw hill, in the npper 
part of the village, which was donated to the public by Julius 
j\I. Lyon, and of the Walker burial plot in the southwest part of 
the town. 

Schools.— As early as 1766 the town made provision for the 
maintenance of a school and the establishment of a district in 
charge of a prudential committee, and in 1772 a grammar school 
was started in compliance with the colonial laws. In 1799 the 
town was divided into four districts, which number has been 
maintained for more than a century. Including the grammar 
school, "Wales now has six schools, and for their support raises 
annually by tax more than $1,500. The town receives from the 
public school fund about $560 yearly, while the total expense of 
maintenance is about $1,700. The school census shows a total 
of 155 children of school age in the town, for whose instruction 
six teachers ai-e employed. 

The town school committee compi'ises H. A. jMcFarland, 
chairman; J. H. Loudon and H. E. Shaw; superin+p'ident. Albert 
Robinson ; principal of the grammar school, William T. Jack. 

During the period of its history Wales has produced many 
strong, substantial and influential men, the benefits of whose life 
work have been felt beyond the borders of the town itself. In 
this honorable list let us place the names of those who are no 
longer living but whose records are still proudly referred to in 
local annals. We refer to such men as the late Absalom Gard- 
ner. Royal P. Wales, Dr. John Smith, Luther Pai-ker, J. H. 
Rogers, J. G. Royce, J. C. Royce, Joel Rogers, Elijah Shaw. J. 
M. Lyon, Warren Shaw, F. L. Burley, Jonathan Needham and 
Adam StcM'art. This list might be enlarged, but the above will 
suffice. And if asked who are the leading men of the town to- 

31-3 ( 481 ) 

on; (or.xTY am> its peoi'le 

(lay. till' iuiswer would In- H. E. Shaw, Joseph H. Loudon, A. 
A. Iluhhard, (i. IS. Ko^ers, Willis Chamberlain. F. M. Royee, 
K. L. Xeedhani, J. C Burley, H. A. McFarlaud, W. E. Needham, 
Dr. E. L. Ross. T. J. Hynes, G. IM. Stewart, W. W. Eager, 0. P. 
Royee, ami pei'hai)s a few iiaines iiiiirht lie added to this list. 


The geographical position of the city of Chicopee is near 
tlie center of the northern line of Hampden county. Its terri- 
tory is bounded on the north by the towns of South Hadley and 
Grauby in the county of Ilamj^shii-e, east by the town of Ludlow, 
Hampden county, south by the city of Springfield, and west by 
tlie town of West Springfield and the city of Holyoke, from 
which it is separated by the Connecticut river. The territorial 
area amounts to 25.7 square miles, or about 16.000 acres, and 
the surface is either nearl.v level or slightly rolling. In some 
sections the blutYs overlooking the streams rise to the dignity of 
low ranges of hills. The Chicopee river, which enters near the 
southeastern angle, divides the territory into two unequal por- 
tions, running diagonally to the Connecticut river, into which it 
empties. In its passage thi-ough the cit.v limits this river has a 
fall of seventy feet, furnishing valuable power, which has been 
utilized at Chicopee Falls and Chicopee Center for the impor- 
tant manufacturing industries wliieh have been the principal 
factoi-s in the city's development. 

Originally the territory now comjirising the city of Chicopee 
formed a part of the town of Sprinirfield, and so continued under 
the names of Cabot or Cabotville. Chicopee Falls or Factory 
Village, and Chicopee Street, until created a separate town by 
act of the ]\Iass.nchusetts legislature in 1848. Settlements began 
on the Chicopee river, however, within a very few years after the 

( 482 ) 


settlement of Spriugtiekl proper, probably not later than the 
year 1640. The first of the settlers were probably Henry Chapin 
and his brother Japhet, sons of Deacon Samuel Chapin, who 
came to Springfield in 1642, and whose statue by St. Gaudens 
stands in one of the parks in that city. The first contract for a 
deed of land in this territory was executed Jlarch 9, 1659, by 
John Pynehou of Springfield, who covenanted to convey "to 
Henry Chapin 200 acres of land on ye Chickkuppy river, to run 
fi-o ye hills on ye east side to the (jreat river (Connecticut) on 
ye west, and on the south it is to be bounded by and join to the 
Chickkuppy river,— oidy one twenty-five acres, or thirty, being 

llip I Mil ( liaiiin JiiPini'stead, Cliicopee Srn-et 

by Chickkuppy river, about the place which shall be judged best 
for a warehouse, 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 
mowable meadow at the lower end of the mixmeadow." For 
this sizable tract of land the grantee was to make payment in 
wheat, in four annual installments, at the current prices, the 
amount of the purchase price being twenty pounds sterling. The 
land thus conveyed seems to have comin-ised a considerable poi-- 
tion of what has been and still is known as Chicopee Street, but 

( 483 ) 


Mr. Chapin built his house on the south side of the river— per- 
haps for the sake of more convenience in reaching the strong 
houses at Springfield in case of Indian troubles. 

In fact, the natives had by this time become troiiblesome, 
and more or less open hostilities existed for many years. About 
the same time a settlement was made at Skipmuek, some distance 
above Chicopee Falls, where a few families located, but were 
often obliged to take refuge in the old fort at Springfield. Dur- 
ing this period of general peril a part of Springfield was burned, 
and there were massacres and battles further up the Connecticut 
river ; but the settlers along the Chicopee did not suffer seriously, 
though the men were constantly under arms, even in making 
their way through the wilderness to attend public worship, while 
the women were also trained in the use of weapons. The com- 
parative immunity of these isolated families is the more notable 
from the fact that the region bordering the Chicopee river had 
been a favorite resort for the red men, as is attested by the dis- 
covery of Indian relics there within comparatively recent years. 

Japlict Chapin settled further to the north, near the Wil- 
limansett end of Chicopee Street, where a large tract of land had 
been secured by his father, his coming to the locality being a 
little later than that of his brother. The two brothers became 
the fathers of eight sons, who lived to an average of eighty years, 
and these eight in turn were the fathers of eighty-seven children, 
most of whom were sons, so that the Chapin family became very 
numerous and influential in the al¥airs of this portion of Spring- 
field. Many of their descendants are still residents of Chicopee, 
while others have carried the name with high honor to various 
portions of the country. 

Cultivation of the laud on the south side of Chicopee river, 
jiear the junction of that stream with the Connecticut, is said to 
have begun as early as 1645, fourteen years previous to the sale 
of land to Henry Chapin. but no highway connecting the section 
with Springfield appears to have been established until 1665. In 
•Ianuar>' of that year Nathaniel Ely and Rowland Thomas, who 
had secured a grant of land on the soiith side of the Chicopee 
livfr the previous summer, were appointed to lay out a suitable 

( 484 ) 


highway leading from a practicable ford of the Chicopee river 
to Springfield, and thus giving couuectiou with the settlers on 
the north side of the river. Their report, which was accepted 
by the Springfield selectmen February 5, 1665, thus described 
the route of their choice: "'AVe do conceive that the common 
way over Chiccupee river should go above the Islands about 20 
rod, where the Indians common wading place was formerly, or 
a little higher, and so from thence to run up the river on this side 
ye river about 20 rod or more, and then to turn off in the vacant 
ground betwixt Rowland Thomas and Nathal Ely's land into 
the Pine Plain, and so to the town. This highway to be in 
breadth from Chicupee river to the brow of the hill, which is 
7 or 8 rod, and where it turns off from the river, there to be 20 
rod broad." "The Indians' common wading place" here men- 
tioned was near the site of the present mills of the Dwight 
Manufacturing company, and the route of the "highway" thus 
laid out has remained practically unchanged to the present day. 

At the mouth of the Chicopee river and in that vicinity fish 
were abundant, especially shad and salmon in their season, and 
tradition preserves some remarkable "fish stories,'' with a 
stronger presumption of foundation on fact than usually 
attaches to similar narratives. It is certain that the rivers fur- 
nished the early settlers of the entire Connecticut valley with a 
generous and important portion of their food supply. Prom the 
early records it appears, however, that the fishing privileges were 
regarded as town rights, and were granted in the form of per- 
mits or licenses to the residents. But it is not probable that 
heavj' penalties were attached to those who indulged without the 
formality of a license. In the early part of the eighteenth 
century fish were still so abundant and clieap that at the river 
salmon were sold for si.x pence each, and shad for one-half a 

The original deeds and grants of land were sometimes de- 
cidedly indefinite a.s to "metes and l)ounds," hut tliey were 
ratified by the town, either in town meeting, by action of the 
selectmen, or of a eonnuittee especially appointed for the pur- 
pose, so that very few disputes required settk^inent by the courts. 

( 485 ) 


Originally tlu' hiiul had bci'ii ixiuiilit IKmi tlu' Indians in a man- 
ner and a1 a iirice entirely satisfactory t" them, so that peace 
existed nntil the outbreak of King Philip's war. Even then the 
only serious trouble occurred at Skii)mnek, where two soldiers, 
Aaidii l';iisoiis and Heii.jah Hubbard, were killed, as was also 
one child. A few others were wounded and one or two persons 
were made piisoners. 

'l"he settlement of what i< now the villaiie of Willimansett 
did not be^iii until 1720. when a house was built there by Land- 
loi-d Abel Chapin of (_'hicopee Street. ^lany years passed before 
any fui-tiier settlements were made there, but by the time of 
the i-evolu1ion houses had been built by Collins Brown. Eleazer 
AV right, (iillis Fiiuk and Rev. John Pendleton, a Baptist min- 
ister. .\fter the independence of the colonies had been secured 
other houses were built from time to time, and i;radually the 
village grew up. 

The military record of Cliieopee previous to the war of the 
rebellion is embodied in that of the town of Springfield, but there 
is abundant evidence tliat in all the trials through which the 
colonies passed in the early wars, and until the independence of 
the cokmies hail been secured, the sons of Chicopee bore well and 
honorably their part. Unfortunately, the full list of those who 
served in the various wars is not available. In the French and 
Indian war the several villages of the present city furnished 
(piite a number of officers and enlisted men. including Captain 
(afterward Colonel) Abel Chapin, Ensign Closes Chapin. who 
was taken prisoner at the battle of Lake George in 1757 : Edward 
Chapin, clerk of Captain Hitchcock's comi)any, and Caleb 
Chapin, who was killed at Lake Oe(u-ge. All of these were from 
Chicopee Street. The same locality may also claim credit for 
the brave Captain Elisha Chapin. who shortly before this time 
7'enioved from Chicoi)ee Street to the northwestern portion of 
the state. In 1754 he was connnanding officer of Fort ^lassachu- 
setts. on the Hoosac river, and July 17. 1756. while working in 
the fields, was captured by the Indians, taken near to the fort, 
and tortured to death in the sight' of his family, who had sought 
the protection of the fort, which the savages had vainly attacked. 

( 486 ) 


"When the struggle of the colonies with the mother country- 
broke out at Lexington, messengers were sent to the settlements 
on the Connecticut for soldiers, and sixty-two men from Spring- 
field responded on the moment, of whom Chieopee furnished 
Jacob Chapin, Israel Chapin. Phinehas Chapin, Eleswar Chapin, 
Jr., Solomon Chapin, Joseph Chapin, Jr., Gad Horton, John 
Stedman, and Phinehas Stedman. In a company which marched 
to Ticonderoga later in the war under Captain Abel Chapin 
were Moses Bliss, Benoni Chapin, Ezekiel Chapin, Zerah Chapin, 
Ebenezer Burbank, Eleazar Wright, Thomas Prink, and Collins 
Brown. In a regiment commanded by Colonel Woodbridge, 
Captain Ephraim Chapin led a company, in which were Paul 
Chapin, Japhet Chapin, Seth Chapin, David Chapin, George 
Chapin, Jacob Chapin, John Frink and Ebenezer Jones. 

The terrible depression following the close of the revolu- 
tionary war brought on the Shays rebellion, which for a time 
threatened serious trouble for the government of Massachusetts, 
though happily but little blood was shed and no serious results 
followed, the insurgents realizing the rashness and hopelessness 
of their position, and scattering to their homes after the first 
passage of arms at Springfield. During the brief life of the 
insurrection, Chieopee was headquarters for one company of the 
rebellious force, who, in lieu of barracks, took possession of the 
covered bridge which had been built across the Chieopee river 
some nine years before. Learning of the defeat of their com- 
rades on Armory hill in Spi'ingfield, they dispersed in all direc- 
tions without the formality of a "muster out." 

For many years Chieopee Street remained the most import- 
ant of the villages. Its lands were the most desirable for farming 
purposes, its residents were prosperous, and its general charac- 
teristics were attractive. There were located the village tavern, 
stores and post-office, with such shops and small manufactories 
as naturally developed to meet the needs of the people. But 
this pi'estige gradually gave way as the fine water powers on 
the Chieopee river were utilized, and the villages of Cabotville 
(Chieopee) and Chieopee Factory (Chieopee Falls) increased- 
in population and in social and commercial importance. With 

( 487 ) 


this growth there very naturally caiiie the desire for independent 
yovoiniiieiit, which slreiigtlieiied as the years went by and the 
material interests of the C'hic()i)ee end of the town became larger 
and more prosperous, and in a measure less directly connected 
with tiiose of S[)i'ingfield proper. 

By lb45 the total population of Springtield had grown to 
some 18,000, nearly 8,000 of whom belonged to the Chicopee 
section. The Chieopeeans were anxious for a separate town gov- 
ernment—the southern portion of the town desired a city 
charter with the territorial limits unbroken. Neither faction 

Historic in "Johiinv Cake Hollow," Chicopee Falls 

was able to secure its wishes through the medium of the town 
meeting, and nuich bitterness of feeling was the result. The 
<luestion of division was one of the important articles in the 
town meeting of 1848, and was decided in the negative by a vote 
of about three to two— reju'esenting closely the voting strength 
of the two sections. But the matter was taken up by the legisla- 
tui-e, and an act incorporating the town was passed on the 25th 
of April of that year. The boundary line between the two towns 
was thus described in the act of incorporation : 

( 488 ) 


Beginning at a stone moumneut by two oalv trees standing 
together on the bank of Connecticut river near to and northerly 
of the house of Edwin Spooner, and running thence westerly 
by a line at right angles with the river to the easterly line of 
West Springfield, thence returning to said stone monument and 
running thence northeasterly a straight line to a stone monument 
standing on the southerly bank of Chicopee river at or near the 
westerly extremity of "Birchem Bend" of said river so called, 
thence the same course to the thread of said Chicopee river, and 
thence easterly by the thread of said river to a point opposite 
the southeast corner of the town of Ludlow, and thence to the 
said corner of Ludlow. 

The new town government was organized at a meeting held 
at Cabot hall in Chicopee May 17, 1848. and this list of officers 
was chosen : 

Selectmen, Sylvanus Adams. Harmon Rowley, Ezeldel 
Blake, Amos W. Stockwell, Adolphus G. Pai-ker; assessors, Syl- 
vester Allen, Amaziah Bullens, Harmon Rowley; school com- 
mittee. Rev. Jonah G. Warren, Rev. Eli B. Clark, Rev. Robert 
Kellen ; overseers of the poor, Clark Albro, Andrew Hubbard, 
Phineas Stedman ; surveyors of highways, Jacob P. Brown, 
Sidney Chapin, Joseph B. McCune; pound keeper, Almon Nel- 
son ; constables, Sylvester Churchill, William Wheeler, Benjamin 

F. Willard, William L. Bemis, John C. Bartlett, Simeon B. 
Fairbank, George Mosraau, Amory Doolittle, Alfred Warriner, 
Luther Pierce, Andrew Hubbard, William R. Kentfield; meas- 
urers of wood and bark, ]\Iadison E. Willey, Benjamin E. Bal- 
lard. Sylvester Allen, Closseu Pendleton, Phineas Stedman, 
Emilus E. Albro, George S. Taylor, John E. Carpenter, Andrew 
Hubbard. Varnum N. Taylor, Otis Chapman, Elijah P. Kimball, 
Nathaniel Cutler, Amaziah Bullens: sealers of leather, Adolphus 

G. Parker. Joseph W. Hitchcock, Andrew Hubbard; board of 
health. Clark Albro, Andrew Hubbard, Phineas Stedman, Dr. 
John R. Wilbur. Dr. Daniel K. Pearson; fence viewers, Lysander 
Chapin. Caleb S. Chapin. Edward S. Robinson, Orrin Fuller, 
Lyman Van Horn. Norman Day: surveyoi-s of lumber. Veranus 
Chapin, Benjamin Parsons. Sylvester Allen. Joseph Clough, 

( 489 ) 

Oili' vol STY ASl> ITS PEOPLE 

Kiehard Johnson, Francis Moore, Noruiau Chapin ; sealer of 
weitrhts and uieasures. William G. Bliss; field drivers, Oliver P. 
I'inney, Varnnni X. Taylor, Sanuiel P. Clough, Frederick A. 
Barber, Ebenezer Bartlett, Levi Cliapin, Titus Chapin, Beuning 
Leavitt, James Wells, Ezra H. Corning, Benjamin B. Belcher, 
Royal Wyatt, Abel Chapin, Luke W. Kimball, Jonathan C. 
Bowker, Henry Moore, Aloristan Wait, Robinson Brock ; tithing- 
men, Charles P. Collins, Horatio Colton, Levi C. Skeele, Alex- 
ander H. Childs. Sylvanus Adams, James Kervin. Patrick 
Gorman, Luther Streeter, Davis Dunham, David IL Butterfield, 
Cyrus Spaulding, Benjamin H. Ellis, Lemuel H. Brigham, Cyril 
A. Southworth, James L. Sikes, Lucius E. Ladd. William !\Ie- 
Dermott, Ralph White, Josiah Osgood, Lester Dickinson, William 
Blake, Harvey Robinson : committee on school district bounda- 
ries, John Wells, Edward Renney, Phineas Stedman. 

The act of incorporation provided for the distribution of 
the surjdus revenue between Chicopee and Springfield in the 
proportion of 37 per cent to the former and 63 per cent to the 
mother town, which would indicate the compai-ative taxable 
valuation of the two sections. The population, how-ever, was 
more evenly divided, the national census of 1850 showing 8.291 
inhabitants in Chicopee, against 11,766 in Springfield. In 1860 
—doubtless owing to the hard times of 1857, which seriously 
affected manufacturing interests— the census figures for Chi- 
copee fell to 7,261 : but in 1870— notwithstanding the stres.s of 
the civil war— they had increased to 9,607, and the sub-sequent 
repoits have been as follows: 1880, 11,286; 1890, 14,050; 1900, 
19,167. The assessed valuation of the city at the latter date was 
approximately i};10.000,000. Prior to 1890 the census reports had 
shown a popidation entitling to a city charter, and during that 
year the necessary steps were taken for changing the form of 
government. Elections were held in December, and on January 
1, 1891. the city was duly inaiigurated, with George S. Ta.vlor 
as the first mayor. T'ntil 1897 the form of government elosel.v 
resembled that of Springfield, consisting of a board of aldermen 
comprising one member from each of the seven wards of the 
eit.v. and a eonnnon council of two mciiilicrs from each ward. In 

( 490 ) 


1897 a new charter was adopted, which, in connection with some 
minor changes, vested the legislative power in a single body of 
seventeen aldermen— one from each ward and ten "at large," 
live of whom are elected annually for two years. The incum- 
bents of the principal ofifiees, from the creation of the town to 
the present time, under both forms of government, have been 
as follows : 


ScJectmcn. — lS-iS, Sylvanus Adams, Harmon Rowley, 
Ezeldel Blake, Amos \V. Stockwell, Adolphus G. Parker; 1849, 
Sylvanus Adams, Orange Chapin, Bildad B. Belcher, Ezekiel 
Blake, John Wells; 1850, John Wells, Nathaniel Cutler, Giles 
S. Chapin, Bildad B. Belcher, Lucius E. Ladd; 1851, Charles 
R. Ladd, Giles S. Chapin, George S. Taylor; 1852, Charles R. 
Ladd, George S. Taylor, Abner B. Abbey, John Herrick, Mar- 
shall Pease ; 1853, George S. Taylor, Benning Leavitt, Abner 
B. Abbey. John Herrick, Marshall Pease; 1854, Nathaniel Cutler, 
Benning Leavitt, Timothy W. Carter, Austin Chapin, John H. 
Smith; 1855, Titus Chapin, John E. IMarsh, Caleb S. Chapin, 
William E. West; 1856, Otis Chapman, Andrew Hubbard, David 

F. Randall, John A. Denison; 1857, Otis Chapman, Benning 
Leavitt, Sidney Chapin, Andrew Hubbard, William H. H. Con- 
ner; 1858. Otis Chapman, Giles S. Chapin, John E. Marsh, 
Thomas A. Denison, J. Henry Churchill; 1859, Otis Chapman, 
John E. ]\rarsh, Thomas A. Denison, J. Henry Churchill; 1860, 
Otis Chapman, J. Henry Churchill, Theodore Williams, Lucas 
B. Chapin, Thomas A. Denison; 1861, Otis Chapman, Lucas B. 
Chapin. Daniel Knapp, William Thayer, Silas Mosman ; 1862, 
Otis Chapman. Lucas B. Chapin, Daniel Knapp, William 
Thayer, Silas ]\Iosman; 1863, Otis Chapman, Lucas B. Chapin, 
Daniel Knapp, Edgar T. Paige. Silas Mosman; 1864. Sylvester 
Adams. Phineas Cadwell, William R. Kenttield, Henry S. Her- 
rick, George H. Knapp; 1865, George H. Knapp, Henry S. 
Herrick. Russell S. Furney. Simon G. Southworth, Charles S. 
Stiles; 1866, AVilliam R, Kentfield, Russell S. Furney. Simon 

G. Southworth, Milo A. Taylor. Benjamin H. Stedman; 1867, 
William R. Kentfield, Milo A. Taylor. Simon G. Southworth, 

( 491 ) 

orii' corxTY axd its people 

Benjamin II. Stedman, Bailey West ; 1868, William R. Kentfield, 
I\Iilo A. Taylor. Simon G. Southworth, Benjamin H. Stedman, 
Bailey West; lS6i), William R. Kentfield, Simon G. Southworth, 
Josiah B. Fuller, William Blake, Marshall Pease; 1870, Thomas 
A. Denison. Josiah B. Fuller, IMarshall Pease, Edgar T. Paige, 
James E. Taylor; 1871, Josiah B. Fuller, Jlarshall Pease, Edgar 
T. Paige, Erasmus Stebbins, John R. Wilbur; 1872, Josiah B. 
Fuller, I\lar.shall Pease, Edgar T. Paige, John R. Wilbur, Henry 
II. Harris: 187.3. C. M. Kendall. Marshall Pease, S. D. Stoddard, 
John R. Wilbur, Henry II. Harris; 1874, C. M. Kendall, Mar- 
shall, S. D. Stoddard. John R. Wilbur, Patrick Rourke; 
1875, C. jM. Kendall. John R. Wilbur, Giles S. Chapin, George 
jr. ISIorton. Patrick Kourke: 1876, John R. Wilbur, Giles S. 
Chajiin, George il. Jlorton, Patrick Rourke, Warren S. Bragg; 
1877, John R. Wilbur. Edgar T. Paige, Patrick Rourke, Warren 
S. Bragg. William White; 1878, William R. Kentfield, Silas 
IVIosman, Edgar T. Paige. Terrence Hogau, William White: 1879, 
Silas Jlosnian. (ieorge M. Morton, Terrence Hogan. William 
White. Xorris K. Wood; 1880, Silas jMosman. IMichael Dunn, 
Terrence Hogan, William White, Norris R. Wood: 1881, Silas 
Mosman, Jonathan R. AYhittemore, Terrence Hogan, Amos W. 
Page, Charles E. Crehore; 1882, Terrence Hogan, Simeon A. 
Jacobs, Norris R. Wood, Amos W. Page, Charles E. Crehore; 
1883. Amos W. Page, Simeon A. Jacobs, Norris R. Wood, Patrick 
Kourke, Charles E. Crehore; 1884, Amos W. Page, James J. 
Regan, George AV. Gibson, Frank H. Morton, Charles E. Cre- 
hot-c: 1885. Emer.son Gaylord, George W, Gibson, Amos W. 
Page, Dennis Murphy, IMorris R. Wood ; 1886, Emerson Gaylord, 
George W. Gibson, Nelson AMiittier, Locero J. Gibbs, Norris R. 
Wood; 1887, Emerson Gaylord, George W. Gibson, Charles A. 
Bryant, Locero J. Gibbs, Daniel Dunn; 1888, Emerson Gaylord, 
George W. Gibson, Charles A. Bryant, George A. Edgerton, 
Norris R. Wood; 1889, Emer.son Gaylord, Norris R. Wood, 
George W. Gibson, William White, Ansel F. Wildes-, 1890, 
Emerson Gaylord, Norris R. Wood, George W. Gibson, George 
D. Eldredge. Ansel F. Wilde-s. 

Toini Clerk an<} Treasurer.— WWWnm L. Bemis, 1848-54; 

( 492 ) 


Jonathan R. Chikls, 1854-6; Moses W. Chapin, 1856-7; Lester 
Dickinson, 1857-82 ; John D. White, 1882-^*0. 


3Iaijors. — George S. Taylor, 1891; AVilliani AV. McClench, 
1892; Henry H. Harris, 1893; William M. E. Mellen, 1894; 
Andrew Gale, 1895; Alexander Grant, 1896; George D. Eldridge, 
1897-8; Dennis Murphy, 1899-1900; James H. Loomis, 1901. 

City Clerk and Treasurer.— John D. White, 1891-1901. 

.4?f/f™(e)). — 1891— Ward 1, William M. E. Melleu; 2, Fred- 
erick B. Doten; 3, Irving H. Elmer (president); 4, Frank H. 
Morton ; 5, William 0. Kentfield ; 6, Henry P. Moriarty ; 7, Mar- 
shall J. Bannister. 1892— Ward 1, William M. E. Mellen 
(president); 2, Frederick B. Doten; 3, Irving H. Elmer; 4, 
George E. Carter; 5, Andrew Gale; 6, Henry P. Moriarty; 7, 
Marshall J. Bannister. 1893-W^ard 1, Michael C. Collins; 2, 
Alexander Grant; 3, Irving H. Elmer; 4, Justin P. Woodworth; 
5, Andrew Gale (president) ; 6, Peter C. Garrity; 7, E. Ashwell 
Bardwell. 1894-Ward 1, Edward A. Rourke; 2, Charles A. 
Wilson; 3, Charles M. Bixby; 4, Lorenzo D. Sanborn (presi- 
dent) ; 5, George W. D. Lyon; 6, Thomas J. Bowen; 7, Robert 
E. Alben. 1895— Ward 1, John J. Hogan; 2, Fred M. Gilbert; 
3, Charles M. Bixby; 4, Lorenzo D. Sanborn (president); 5, 
George W. D. Lyon; 6, Thomas J. Dillon; 7, Edward S. Day. 
1896— Ward 1, John J. Hogan; 2, Pred M. Gilbert (president) ; 
3, Frank P. Ludwig; 4, Francis M. Bennitt; 5, Charles A. 
Bogardus ; 6, Thomas J. Dillon ; 7, Edward S. Day. 1897— Ward 
1, John J. Hogan (president) : 2, Zachary T. Damon; 3, Alfred 
L. Chapin; 4, Luther White; 5, Charles A. Bogardus; 6, Thomas 
J. Dillon; 7, Edward S. Day. 1898-Ward 1, Edward O'Con- 
nell; 2, Clarence J. Wetsel; 3, Edward A. White; 4, Woodman 
S. Page; 5, Eugene P. Russell ; 6, James A. O 'Rourke; 7, Jasper 
S. Harris; at large, Frank X. Deroin, Omer Guimond, Amos 0. 
Kinney, William P. O'Neil, James 0. Stone, Patrick J. Griffin, 
Richard P. Riley. Wilfred St. xVmour. Albert E. Taylor, Luther 
AVhite (president). 1899-Ward 1, Edward 'Council ; 2, 
Clarence J. Wetsel; 3, Edward A. White; 4, Oliver E. Smith; 

( 493 ) 

or/,' ror.MY axd its people 

5, Wiiifield S. Davis; (i, James A. O'Kourke; 7. Edward Breek; 
at lariie, Frank X. Deroiu, Omer Giiimond, Amos 0. Kiimey, 
William F. O'Neil, James 0. Stone, Patrick J. Griffin, Charles 
F. .McDevitt, Loccro J. <;iiilis. Albert E. Taylor, Luther White 
(president). 19(H)— Ward 1, ^Michael F. Walsh; 2, Amos 0. 
Kinney: H, Frank L. Simi)son: 4. Dnffield .Miles; 5, Frank E. 
Smith; 6, Michael J. Dillnn: 7. Fi-ank A. Rivers; at large, Frank 
X. Deroin, Omer (iuimoiul, Fred I\l. Gilbert, James F. O'Brien, 
Charles I. Sciijiture, Patrick J. Griffin, Charles F. McDevitt, 
Locero J. Gibbs, Albert E. Taylor. Luther White (president). 
19m_Ward L :\Iiehael F. Walsh; 2. Charles R. Price; 3, Frank 
L. Simpson: 4. Chai'les J. Seaver; 5, Frank E. Smith; 6, Michael 
J. Dillon: 7. Frank A. Rivers; at large, Frank X. Deroin, Omer 
Guimond, Fred ]M. (iilbert. James F. O'Brien, Charles I. Scrip- 
ture, Frank O. Cook, John J. Reddy, Locero J. Gibbs (presi- 
dent), Peter C. (iarrity, Adolph Xantais. 

Common Council.— 189] -Wavd 1, Michael C. Collins, 
Patrick F. Cronin; 2, Charles B. Wells, Chester H. Ballard 
(president) : 3, James C. Buckley, Henry S. Herriek; 4. George 
R. Carter, Henry 11. Harris; 5. George W. D. Lyon. IL Smith 
Xewell; (i. John Jl. John J. Whaleu ; 7, Jasper S. Harris, 
Herbert B. Burnham. 1892-Ward 1. Michael C. Collins, 
Patrick F. Cronin; 2. William D. ilanchester. Chester H. Bal- 
lard (president); 3, James C. Buckley, William F. Hall; 4, 
Lorenzo D. Sanborn, Henry IT. Harris; 5. Fred L. Hinkley. H. 
Smith Xewell; 6. John JI. Ash, John J. Whalen; 7, Hiram J. 
Young, Herbert B. Buridiam. 1893— Ward 1, Edward O'Con- 
nell, Dennis E. Sullivan: 2. William P. Hadley, Charles Wilson; 
3, Abi.iah Hastings, Henry Lilley; 4, Lorenzo D. Sanboru (presi- 
dent), Luther White; 5, Fred L. Hinkley, AVilliam H. Hamilton; 
(i ,Wi]liam H. Trumbull. I'atriek Welch: 7, Edward Breck. James 
O. Stone. 1894- Ward 1. E-lward O'Connell, Dennis E. Sulli- 
van : 2. William P. Hadley, Fred I\I, Gilbert ; 3, Abijah Hastings, 
Alfred L, Chapin ; 4, Merrick L. Fuller. Luther White (presi- 
dent); 5, J. Xapoleon L'Amoureux. Eugene F. Russell; 6, 
Eugene H. :\IcCarthy, John T. Moriarty ; 7, Xathan W. Loveland, 
David :\IcKay. 1895— Ward 1, Michael J, Foley, Dennis E. 

( 4i>4 ) 


Sullivan; 2, Zachary T. Damou, Johu H. Gregg; 3, Frank P. 
Ludwig, Abijah Hastings; 4, Albert E. Taylor, Luther White 
(president); 5, J. Napoleon L'Amoureux, Zebina E. Leonard; 
6, Daniel J. DriscoU, Eugene H. McCarthy; 7, Samuel Beaulieu, 
Eugene Legare. 1896— Ward 1, Michael J. McLane, Eugene A. 
Sullivan; 2, Zachary T. Damon, John H. Gregg; 3, George J. 
Morse, Abijah Hastings; 4, Woodman S. Page, Luther White 
(president) ; 5, H. Gordon Forbes, Leon Petit, Jr.; 6, Daniel J. 
DriscoU, James A. 'Rourke ; 7, William R. Weaver, Nathan W. 
Loveland. 1897— Ward 1, Cornelius J. O'Brien, Edward 0. 
Wood; 2, Herbert S. Martin, Clarence J. Wetsel; 3, Abijah 
Hastings, George J. Morse ; 4, Fiederick W. Heathcote, Worden 
S. Page (president); 5, Leon Petit, Jr., Albert E. Taylor; 6, 
Thomas F. Mahoney, James A. O "Rourke; 7, Alexander Finlay- 
son, William R. Weaver. 

Asses.iors.— 1891-6, Dwight L. Shaw, James Flint, Patrick 
Rourke; 1897-9. James Flint, Patrick Rourke, Paschal J. Newell; 
1900, James Flint, Patrick Rourke, Louis Beauregard; 1901, 
Patrick J. Enright, Patrick Rourke, Louis Beauregard. 

Oversi'ers of Poor. — 1891-2, Norris R. Wood, Dennis Mur- 
phy, William F. Smith; 1893, E. Ashley Bardwell, Dennis 
Murphy, Wilbur F. Smith; 1894-5, Norris R. Wood, Dennis 
I\Iurphy, Wilbur F. Smith; 1896, James Flint. Dennis .Alui-phy. 
Wilbur F. Smith; 1897-8. Wilbur F. Smith. Dennis JMurphy. 
Lorenzo D. Sanborn; 1899, Dwight M. Cook. Willnii' F. Stiiitli. 
Jeremiah Kirby; 1900-1901. Wilbur F. Siiiilh. Dwight M. Cook, 
Charles J. O'Brien. 

City Plnjskiar,.— 1891, Francis F. Parker; 1892-3, Charles 
H. Pi'indle; 1894. Michael H. Lynch; 1895, Frank X. Deroin; 
1896, Samuel E. Fletcher: 1897, H. Gordon Forbes. 

City Engincc i:-lS91-1901, Frank P. Cobb. ■ 

Cifn f^oJicitor. — 1892, George :M. Stearns; 1893-1901, Lora- 
nus E. Hitchcock. 

Chief of /'o/iVc — 1891-3. Johu E. Conner; 1894, George 
McQueen; 1895, William Blake; 1896-7, John E. Conner; 1898 
ftitle changed to Maishal of Police). Johu E. Conner; 1899, 
John J. Hogan; 1900, Richard F. Kiley; 1901. Charles F. 

( 49.T ) 


Siiixrinhitdnil of iStncls.-lSn-2, Edward W. O'Brien; 
1893-6, Charles E. Crehore; 1897-8, Maurice Kennedy; 1899- 
1900, Edward W. OHrien: 19U1, :Maurice Kennedy. 

License Commissioners.— lSm-7, Fred L. Hinkley, Dennis 
G. Canty, Henry II. IIarri.s; 1898-9, James E. Higgins, Dennis 
Canty, Henry II. Harris: 1900, Frederick J. Chapin, Frederick 
M. Nichols. Euueiie M. Sullivan; 1901, Frederick J. Chapin, 
Patrick P. :Murphy, Joseph T. Lod<ie. 

The four years of civil war from 1861 to 1865 severely 
tested the resources and patriotism of the town, but neither was 
found wanting. The p()i)ulation of Chicopee at that time was 
something under 8.000, and the military quota was small in 
jiroportion, owing to the large number of women employed in 
the cotton mills and similar manufacturing industries. But the 
town heroically responded to every call, and when recruiting 
stopped in 1865 had furnished forty-eight more men than were 
due as its quota under all the calls which had been made. The 
((uality of its soldiers was excellent, showing that the martial 
spirit of the fathers, which had helped in former days to make 
the enviable record of Springfield, dwelt strong in the hearts 
of the sons. In material ways the devotion of the people was 
even more strikingly shown. Generous contributions were made 
for the assistance of sick, wounded and needy soldiers, and at 
the close of the war a fund of some $10,000 was still on hand 
for this most noble charity. By wise forethought this surplus 
was formed into a fund, the income of which might be applied 
to the relief of needy veterans and their dependent ones, and 
for that object it is still available, carrying gladness and cheer 
to many a home which otherwise unist find relief through a less 
gracious charity. 

Agrictdtural jnu-suits have never been of great importance 
to Chicopee in a conuuercial sense, though the fertile lands in 
the Chicopee Sti-eet section have given good returns for the 
hu.sbandman, and to this fact was due the early development of 
that region. Elsewhere within the present city limits the soil is 
mostly of little value for tillage purposes. 

The manufacturing!: interests of Chicopee naturally had 
their beginning on Chicopee Street and were of the simple sort 

( 496 ) 


common to most of the early settlements. A saw mill was built 
near the south end of the Street in 1791, and a blacksmith shop 
was established a little later. Boot and shoe making was car- 
ried on to some extent for oiitside trade in the early part of the 
nineteenth century, Otis Skeele being the first manufacturer. 
He established a shop at Willimansett after having carried on 
the business on Chicopee Street, and some time later he was 
succeeded by A. G. Parker. Both of these establishments mar- 
keted boots and shoes in Hartford and New York. In 1853 Mr. 
Parker took his son, Josiah A. Parker, into partnership, and the 
business was removed to Chicopee Center a little later, where 
it was carried on until about 1885. Brick making was also a 
profitable industry, Giles S. Chapin being the pioneer and fur- 
nishing brick for many of the factories and other buildings at 
Chicopee Center, as the village there developed. The making 
of friction matches was started in 1835 by Chapin & Phillips, 
their establishment being the first of the kind in the country 
and perhaps in the world. The business grew to eonsidei'able 
proportions, and at least twenty people were employed at one 
time. The industry passed into other hands after a few years 
and was finally removed from the town. Broom making was 
also for a considerable time one of the active interests of the 
place. The "Willimansett jManufacturing company was organ- 
ized in 1831 for the making of machine cards and small hard- 
ware, pi-incipally carpenters' tools. Previous to this time all 
such articles had been imported, and were very costly. This 
company developed a business which at one time employed a 
hundred men and did much to make a name for American hard- 
ware. Bemis & Sheffield were the agents, and after a time 
removed the industry to Springfield, where it is still continued 
under the name of the Bemis & Call Hardware and Tool com- 

The excellent water power, easily available, a1 thr falls of 
the Chicopee river, early attracted the attention oT manufac- 
turers, and gave to the locality the name of Chicoi)ee Factory 
Village, by which it was long known. ]\Ietals, wood and metal 
in combination, and cotton goods have formed the principal 

32-3 ( 497 ) 


lilies of product, and in tlicsc a large variety of articles have 
been turned out. Iron manulactuie was the first industry to 
demand attention, ami as early as 178B land and water power 
were leased in jjcrpetuity to James Hyers and William Smith 
of Springfield, on the condition that they should within two 
years erect iron works for the manufacture of hollow ware. The 
ore was taken from a lean vein a short distance above the dam 
on the same side of the river. The property was sold to Benja- 
min Belcher, Abijah Witherell and William Witherell. in lSi)l, 
and four years later ;\Ir. Belcher bought the interests of his 
partners and continued the business of iron founding until his 
death in 1833. His three sons, Benjamin B., John "\V., and Bildad 
B.. carried on the business until 1846, when John W. Belcher be- 
came sole proprietor, and began the manufacture of agricultural 
implements. During the next thirty years the firm name under- 
went several changes, Jonathan R. and John R. Whittemore 
being members of the firm from 1851 to 1875, and George L. 
Squier from 1852 to 1857. In 1875 the firm name was changed 
to B. & J. "\Y. Belcher and so continued until June 1. 1889. when 
the business of the firm was discontinued. 

The Belcher & Taylor Agricultural Tool company is the 
outgrowth of an enterprise established by Mr. Bildad B. Belcher 
after his withdrawal from the business inherited from his 
father. AVith two others he erected works on the south side of 
the river, in 1852. became sole owner in 1854. and was burned 
out in 1860. The works were re-established on the north side of 
the river, and in 1863 Jlr. George S. Taylor became a partner 
uniler the firm name of Belcher & Taylor. During November, 
1864, the business was incorporated under the present title, with 
Mr. Belcher as president and Jlr. Tayloi- as treasurer. The latter 
has continued in office to the present time, but there have been 
several changes in the presidency. John Wells, Elijah Blake and 
E. O. Carter having been among the incumbents. The capital 
stock is $50,000. and the present board of oflficers consists of 
William P. McFarlaud, president : George S. Taylor, agent and 
treasurer; Frederick N. Witherell, secretary. Andrew Gale, 

( 498 ) 


The Chieopee Manufactui-iiig company was incorporated in 
1S22, as the Boston and Springfield Mamifacturing company, 
with a capital stock of $500,000. The local parties in interest 
were the brothers Jonatlian and Edmund Dwight, who pur- 
chased of Benjamin Belcher the entire water power and land 
at the Falls, the title to the water power still remaining vested 
in the corporation which they organized, in connection with 
Boston capitalists. The dam, canal and mills were begun the 
following year, and by 1826 three mill buildings and a bleachery 
had been completed. In 1828 the corporate name was changed 



A View of tlie Dam— Cliicopee Falls 

to the present designation, and us the business develoiied the 
capitalization was gradually increased until it is now $1,000,000. 
The product of the mills has been principally cotton Haunels aud 
sheetings, and an average of more than 1,000 hands are em- 
ployed. The present otBcers of the corporation are : President, 
E. B. Beebe: treasurer, G. A. Silsbee, both of Boston; ageut, 

Henry A. Bailey. 

The Massachusetts Arms company was organized in ISoO 
with a capital stock of $70,000 for the manufacture of firearms 

( 490 ) 


ami iiiaeliinery, and muler the agency of Mr. T. AV. Carter 
began the making of revolvers. After a time this was decided 
to be an infringi-ment of the Colt patents, and the company 
took up the manufacture of other weapons, being engaged dur- 
ing the war period from 1861 to 1865 in turning out Maynard 
bi-eech-loaders for the use of the United States cavalry. After 
the close of the war the business was purchased by Mr. Carter, 
and was carried on })y him until sold to the Lamb Knitting- 
Jlachine Manufacturing company in 1876. 

The J. Stevens Arms and Tool company was incorporated 
in 1886 with a capital stock of $40,000, to continue the business 
established in 1864 by J. Stevens & Co., in the manufacture of 
the Stevens breech-loading arms and various small tools and 
appliances. The present board of officers consists of Irving 
Page, president and treasurer, and G. E. Page, secretary. 

The Lamb Knitting Machine company was incorporated in 
1867 with a capital stock of $100,000; was reincorporated in 
1893 as the Lamb Manufacturing company, with a capital of 
$500,000; and again reincorporated in 1900 with a capital of 
$40,000. During the first period Mr. Timothy W. Carter was 
the president ; during the second organization, when the manu- 
facture of bicycle and other goods was carried on, Mr. A. G. 
Spalding was president. The present board of officers consists 
of Robert Russell, president; Frank D. Howard, treasurer and 
manager. A principal part of the business of the corporation 
has been the manufacturing of knitting machines under the 
patents of L AV. Lamb. 

The Overman AVheel company, with a capitalization of 
$250,000, was organized in 1882 by A. H. Overman, at Chicopee, 
and a few years later built extensive shops at Chicopee Palls, 
where the man\ifacture of the Victor bicycle was carried on for 
a dozen years, on a very larire scale. The company went out of 
business about 1897. 

AVith niuiierous minor enterprises, these have been the cen- 
tral industries of the village of Chicopee Falls during the 
century of its existence. Jlost of them have been of a character 
to ref|uiro the service of intelligent and capable workmen, and 

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the standard of the population has been well maintained, socially, 
morally and intellectually. 

Manufacturing at Chicopee Center, then Cabotville, began 
about 1810, when AVilliam, Levi and Joseph Chapin erected a 
small mill into which were put two carding machines and two 
spinning frames. These proprietors purchased cotton at eleven or 
twelve cents a pound which they carded and spun. It was woven 
into cloth on the hand looms which were then to be found in 
many houses, and the cloth thus produced sold at thirty-iive to 
forty cents a yard. Even the simplest of cotton fabrics were at 
that time decided luxuries. Another mill of similar character 
seems to have been operated for a short time by a Mr. Pinney, 
but the introduction of machinery into cotton manufacturing- 
soon drove establishments of this kind out of business. 

The Dwight iManufacturing company is the direct successor 
of the first manufactory established at Cabotville. In 1830 the 
water power there, then known as the "lower privilege," 
was owned by the Chicopee IMauufacturing company, who had 
recently begun operations at the Falls; but in 1831 the Spring- 
field Canal company, largely composed of stockholders in the 
Chicopee, organized with a capital of .$90,000 and bought the 
interests of the parent company at Cabotville. John Chase was 
chosen as agent for the new corporation, and entered upon his 
duties with great energy and ability. During 1832 a dam was 
built across the Chicopee river and the canal for carrying water 
to the proposed mills was constructed, as well as a small nmchine 
shop for building machinery to be used in cotton manufacture. 
Sites and power privileges were sold to various corporations and 
firms as required. The Cabot jManufacturing company was the 
first on the ground, being organized in 1832 with a capital stock 
of $400,000, for making cotton goods. Their first mill was put 
in operation in the summer of 1834, and another mill in the year 
following. In 1836 and again in 1839 the capital stock was 
increased .$50,000, making a capitalization of a half-million. 
The Perkins mills was incorporated in 183G with a cajiital stock 
of ,$400,000. built their first mill that year and another the year 
following, their capital stock being likewise twice increased by 

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■'' 1 


$50,000. In 1852, by an act of the legislature, these companies 
were consolidated under the name of the Perkins mills. Mean- 
time the Dwight ilanufacturing company had been incorporated 
in 1841 with a capital stock of $500,000, which in 18-43 was in- 
creased to $700,000. Their first mill had already been built by the 
canal company, but another was added soon after the incor- 
poration, and a third in lS-44. In 1856 the Perkins mills and 
the Dwight company were consolidated, retaining the name of 
the latter, and the seven large mills passed under one management. 
The company is now capitalized at $1,200,000, and the officers 
ai-e: President, T. Jefferson Coolidge; treasurer, J. Howard 
Nichols, both of Boston ; agent, Louis Aumann. 

The Ames ^Manufacturing company was incorporated in 
1S34 with a capital stock of $30,000. It was named for X. P. 
Ames, an edge-tool manufacturer who came from Chelmsford, 
]Mass., to Chicopee Falls in 1829, with his sons, N. P. Ames, Jr., 
and James T. Ames. In 1831 thej' began the manufacture of 
swords for the United States government, in which industry 
they at once took a high rank. In 1834 the works were removed 
to Cabotville and the corporation formed, and two years later 
they began the manufacture of bronze cannon, for wliich they 
became equally famous. In 1841 the property of the Chicopee 
Falls company was bought and the works were removed to that 
village, the capital stock being increased to $75,000; but four 
years later the property of the Spring:field Canal company was 
liought and the business returned to Cabotville, with an increase 
in the capital to $200,000. Prior to the war period the company 
had in successful operation an iron foundry, turning heavy east- 
ings, machinery, and the like, as well as a plated ware depart- 
ment, in addition to the manufacture of swords and cannon. 
During the war of the rebellion its government work occupied 
the energies of the company, and in the succeeding years much 
attention was given to the protiuction of high grade bronze 
work for monuments, memorial tablets, and the like. In 1881 
the Ames Sword company was organized with a capital of 
$150,000 for carrying on the business of sword manufacture and 
sale; the present officers of the company being: President, John 

( 503 ) 

in i: col XTY AM) ITS I'HOPLE 

D. Bryant; treasurer, Gaiiialii'l Hraill'ord. both of Boston; 
.supeiiutendent, Chai-les A. Buckley. The business of brass 
l'ouii(liii)^ is now owned and conducted bj' James C. Buckley, 
untler the name of the Ames Foundries. 

The Gaylord Manufacturing company was formed in 1863, 
at the heiiilit of tlie civil war, with Emerson Gaylord as president, 
for the pui'pose of manufacturing military equipments of leather. 
The niaiuifacture of cabinet locks was added, and at the close 
of the war, when the demand foi- military goods fell off, the 
buisness of the Chicopee Malleable Iron company was bought 
and incoi'poraled. About 1875 the manufacture of swords was 
taken u]), and carried on for several years with great success, 
special attention being given to fine goods for society use and 
presentation jiurposes. Later on the business w-as discontinued 
and the company dissolved. 

Of the later incorporated industries, now in business, the 
following may be regarded as the more important: Overman 
Automobile comi)any, manufactures of automobiles; incor- 
porated, 1900; capital stock, $250,000. President A. H. Over- 
man; treasurer, William R. Warren; secretary, D. E. Rianhard. 
Olmsted & Tuttle company, dealers in cotton waste and manu- 
facturers of mattresses, comfortables, etc. ; business established 
in 1840, incorporated 1888 ; capital $100,000. Frank E. Tuttle, 
president, treasurer and secretary. Fisk Rubber company, 
manufacturers of nibber tires for bicycles, carriages and 
automobiles; incorporated in 1898; capital $33,000. Hariy G. 
Fisk, secretary and treasurer. Metric Granule and Tablet com- 
pany, chemists; incorporated 1896; capital $20,000. President, 
C. W. Jordan ; treasurer and manager, Dr. Edward D. Chapman. 
The Taylor, Bramley company, manufacturers of knit goods; 
incorporated 1898; capital $20,000. President, H. Lee Mallory, 
Brooklyn. N. Y., ; secretary and treasurer, Albert E. Taylor. 
Chicopee Falls Wheel company, manufacturers of bicycles; 
incorporated 1888; capital stock $12,000. President, H. S. 
Boyd, vice-president, Francis I\I. Bennitt; treasurer and man- 
ager, C. C. Abbey. Burtworth Cai-pet company, manufacturers 
of carpets; incorporated 1893; capital stock $10,000. President, 

( 504 ) 


George "VV. KimbiiH, Springfield; treasurer, F. B. Strickland. 
The 8. Blaisdell. jr., company, dealers in cotton and waste; 
incorporated 1893; capital stock $5,000. President and treas- 
urer, C. M. Blaisdell; vice-president and secretary, G. A. Blais- 

The Coburn Trolley Track Manufacturing company, incor- 
porated in 1888 with a capital stock of $150,000, formerly doing 
business in Holyoke, removed to the Willimansett district of 
Chicopee in 1900, having purchased convenient grounds adjoin- 
ing the railroad tracks and erected a fine suite of buildings for 
the carrying on its business. 

The matter of lighting the manufacturing establishments 
early became an important one, and in 1849 a gas company was 
organized at the Center, the four leading companies uniting to 
furnish the capital. After the absorption of the other cotton 
manufacturing companies by the Dwight, the ownei^ship of the 
gas works rested with that company, and provision was made 
for supplying factories, stores, offices and dwellings with gaslight. 
But in 1897 a movement was made which resulted in the forma- 
tion and incorporation of a new company, known as the Chicopee 
Gas Light company, with a capital stock of $92,500. The officers 
are: President, Richard S. Storrs of New York; treasurer, Frank 
S. Butterworth ; vice-president and clerk, Luther White ; superin- 
tendent, Charles H. Nutting. 

The electric lighting plant is owned by the city, and is under 
the charge of a manager appointed by the mayor, George E. 
Stebbins being the present incumbent. 

The first general water supply was brought to the then 
village of Cabotville in 1845 through pipes laid from the higher 
ground to the south of the village by Charles W. McClallan and 
R. E. Bi'inis. Springs and wells furnished the source of supply, 
and this simple system was found adequate for thirty years, it 
having near the end of that period become the property of 
Mr. McClallan, following the death of Mr. Bemis. In 
1876 arrangements were made to increase the supply by taking 
the flow of certain pure-waler brooks just east of the Chicopee 
line, within the limits of Springlield. In the following year a 

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company with a capital stock of $50,000 was organized as the 
Chicopee "Water company, with Mr. ilcClallan as president, and 
a system of pipes was laid for supplying manufacturers, resi- 
dents, and the fire service. The supply thus secured, which was 
furnished by gravitation, proved adequate until 1886, when a 
pumping station was erected at the junction of South and