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Board of Editors 

Rev. John H. Lockwood, D. D. 

Ernest Newton Bagg 

Walter S. Carson 

Herbert E. Riley 

Edward Boltwood 

Will L. Clark, Staff Historian 










Wiliiamstown the northwestern town of the county was form- 
erly known as the West Township. The history of this Town be- 
gins so far as white men are concerned, about 1749, for on the 18th 
of April of that year the General Court passed an order directing 
the laying out of two townships near Hancock "of the contents 
of six square miles." Wiliiamstown is the "West Township" re- 
ferred to in the records and as laid out out by the committee it 
was eight and one-eighth miles long from north to south and al- 
most five and one-fourth in width from east to west. It has an 
uneven boundary line between Massachusetts and New York 
states. When first surveyed in 1749 and on until 1838 it was 
bounded on the north by Pownal in Vermont, east by Clarks- 
burg and Adams, south by New Ashford and Hancock, and on the 
west it was separated from New York State by a gore of land 
446 rods in width at the south end terminating in a point one and 
a half miles from the north end of the town, which distance was 
bounded by Petersburgh in New York. This gore was annexed to 
the town in April, 1838 by an act of the legislature. 

In the beginning sixty-three lots were laid out between 1749 
and 1753. The names of forty-six persons are given in the records 
as proprietors. Lot No. 1 was reserved for the Minister and one 
for a school. The first to actually settle there were : Dr. Seth 
Hudson, Lieut. Samuel Brown, Jr., Lieut. Isaac Wyman, Ezekiel 
Foster, John Chamberlin, Benjamin Simonds, Thomas Train, 
Micah Harrington, Captain Elisha Chapin, Samuel Taylor, John 
Crofoot or Crofford. Daniel Donillson, and Ebenezer Graves. 

The warrant for calling a meeting was granted to Isaac Wyman, 
a lieutenant stationed at Fort Massachusetts, one of the original 
proprietors. The first meeting was held December 5, 1753, at the 
house of Seth Hudson. One page of the minutes of this town meet- 
ing "No. 1," reads as follows (note the spelling, etc.) : "At Pro- 
prietors meeting Lawfully warned in the west township at hoosuck 
so called December the fifth, 1753. 

"Voted by the major part of the proprietors at Sd meet in the 
foure going articles vizt. : 

"First Voted and chose Isaac Wyman Proprietors Clerk. 

W. Mass. — 34 


"Second Voted and chose Allen Curtise Moderator for Sd 

At this meeting ten shillings were voted to purchase a record 
book for the Town. 

This town is well watered by both swift running streams and 
springs never failing, to the extent that but few if indeed any 
farms within the town lack plenty of fine water. 

The settlement of this town was retarded materially by the hos- 
tilities of the Indians. The valley of the Hoosac was one of the 
natural routes by which the French and Indians were enabled to 
reach the English Colonists of Massachusetts Bay. The route 
was down Lake Champlain and the Hudson until the valley of the 
Hoosac was reached — twenty miles above Albany — then eastward 
along this valley and that of the Deerfield, and southward toward 
the Connecticut settlements. Fort Massacusetts was built to check 
and prevent the invasions of foes. It did not at all times prevent 
them coming into the territory of "West Township." In 1754, 
the settlement at "Dutch Hoossuck (Hoosick Falls) was broken 
up by the Indians and some of the settlers were killed. The 
place was abandoned for the time being entirely. Early in 1756 
William Chidister petitioned the General Court to provide a Block- 
house tor the "Westerly Township." This protection was erected 
on lot No. 6 belonging to Mr. Chidister. The Court ordered on 
March 9, 1756 as follows: "Ordered that there be forty men at 
Hoosuck and no more. Thirty whereof to be posted at Fort Mas- 
sachusetts and ten at the West Township, the said ten at ye West 
Township to be inhabitants of sed Township if there shall be so 
many inhabitants effective for the service, always including the 
men that shall have been concerned in building the Blockhouse 
agreeable to the vote of the Court of the 28th of January last." 

The command of this fort was at first given to Sergeant Samuel 
Taylor, and he was followed in April by Mr. Chidister. July, 1756, 
the Blockhouse was attacked by a large party of the enemy, and 
Chidister and one of his sons were killed. Seth Hudson succeeded 
to the command of the fort, which received considerable acces- 
sions of men during the next two years, and ammunition came 
from Fort Massachusetts. Peace was declared between France 
and England in 1763, and this town was incorporated in 1765. 

Richard Stratton, one of the pioneers of this section, came from 
what is now known as Warren. His name appears many places 
in the records as clerk (signed Clark). He was an active man 


and helped materially to open up the country. He was here as 
early as 1761, and built the first two story house in the town, 
later owned by James M. Waterman. Others whose names are 
interwoven in the history of early years in this town were : Thomas 
Train, Jonathan and James Meacham, cousins from New Salem; 
they were here in 1753-54. Thomas Dunton, from Western, lived 
at what is now Depot Bridge, was also early. A Quaker named 
Paris, lived on the south side of the street, near Green river, but 
moved to East street. William and Josiah Horsford came very 
early from Canaan, Connecticut. The last named served as clerk 
for many years. 

Captain Nehemiah Smedley, from Litchfield, in 1754 built a 
house on lot one, long occupied by Mrs. Benjamin, but later the 
college buildings were erected over the ground. 

Derrick Smith, another pioneer-settler from Connecticut lived 
in the house on the Vermont-Massachusetts line. It was later 
used as a tavern, by Timothy Ware, a Vermont magistrate, quali- 
fied to perform the marriage ceremony. The north part of the 
house stood in Vermont, and frequently the Massachusetts law 
was evaded by parties who passed just over the line into the north 
room and were there married. 

Other early settlers were Elisha Baker, Daniel Burbank, 1764; 
Thomas Roe, Aaron Deming, Bartholomew Woodcock, 1765 ; Icha- 
bod Southwick, 1763; Elijah Rich, David Johnson, William and 
John Torrey, 1767; Capt. Samuel Clark, 1765, from Connecticut; 
Moses and Andrew Young, before 1770; Titus Deming. The town 
received a large immigration from Colchester, Connecticut, between 
1770 and 1800. 

Williamstown showed her loyalty in the days of the Civil War. 
It furnished 260 soldiers, eighteen over its quota. It appropriated 
June, 1861, five thousand dollars for the support of soldiers' fami- 
lies, saying in the records "in the present war against Southern 
Rebels." They paid bounties to the soldiers under different calls 
for troops. The same spirit has ever been noticed during the try- 
ing times in later wars, even the last Great World War, in which 
men and money were not lacking. 

From 1761 to 1764 the records show that the people were seek- 
ing a "Minister of the Gospel." Finally in 1765 Mr. Whitman 
Welch was called as minister. He received eighty pounds ster- 
ling for settlement; salary, forty pounds first year to increase 
until it reached seventy pounds a year. He was ordained 1765; 


in 1776 he became a chaplain in the War for Independence. He 
spent the winter in Canada where he died in March of the same 
year. Other ministers included : Revs. Swift, King, Gridley, Jos- 
eph Alden, D.D., Albert Smith, Amos Savage, Peters, Addison 
Ballard, 1857 to 1864. Up to 1885 there had been connected with 
this church from the first to that date 1,716 persons. 

The Baptist church was formed in 1813 with twenty-two mem- 

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1821 by Rev. 
Stead and Billy Hibbard. In 1846 they built the first church in 
Williamstown village. Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches 
were there in the seventies. 

The first meeting-house in South Williamstown was erected in 
1808-9 by subscription. It was built jointly by the Congregation- 
alists and Baptists. 

Until 1860 the town was divided into school districts, but at 
that date the district system was abolished. An Academy was 
established in 1827 and incorporated in 1828, continuing until 1860. 
In 1832 Douglas W. Sloan had a private school for boys in the 
house owned by Williams College later. Henry G. Buckley 
started a boys school in about 1840 on "Stone Hill." Another pri- 
vate school for boys was conducted by Richard W. Swan in 1855 ; 
another in 1872 by Prof. Griffin. "Floras Glen," or Glen Seminary, 
was run by the Misses Snyder. In 1842 Mills Brothers opened a 
private school for boarding and day pupils in the village of South 
Williamstown. This was the founding of Greylock Institute. 
Students came from Albany, New York, in an omnibus for each 
term, until the railway afforded better accommodations. In 1845 
Mr. Mills built a new building making room for thirty scholars. 
This school prospered until its building was destroyed by fire in 
1872; it rebuilt but in 1882 after serving forty years Benj. F. Mills 
retired and was succeeded by his son, George F. Mills, who con- 
tinued a number of years longer. 

In 1827 a printing office was established in Williamstown and 
conducted the "American Advocate," which was in existence a 
number of years. 

The Williamstown National Bank was established in 1883 with 
thirteen directors. The most important industry of the town and 
surrounding country has always been farming. Especially dairy- 
ing, and many years they marketed 300,000 pounds of cheese in 
New York City. Potatoes are here produced, but grains have 


never been extensively grown. At one time many sheep were 
raised but not of recent times. Some attempt was made at manu- 
facturing, but not recently. In 1826 a cotton factory was erected 
on Green river, employing forty hands. It was enlarged several 
times but was destroyed by fire in 1883. A starch factory flour- 
ished at one time and farmers furnished the potatoes from which 
fine starch was produced. In 1883 the "Williamstown Watch 
Company" was organized with a capital of $300,000. The Black- 
inton woolen factory was at one day profitable. This was started 
in 1828 and burned in 1842 but rebuilt and continued. 

The present population of this place is 3,707, according to the 
1920 United States census. In 1900 it had a population of 5,013. 

The present interests of the town in 1925 are its paper mill, 
woolen and cotton mills, carriage shops, and hardware production. 
Its chief attraction is the ancient educational institution — Williams 
College — now undenominational, but whose thousands of graduates 
have gone forth to every part of the globe to do good work among 

The local newspaper is the "News-Advertiser," published Fri- 
days (independent), established in 1919. 

The two banks of Williamstown are the Williamstown National, 
incorporated in 1888 with a $50,000 capital ; the Williamstown 
Savings Bank, incorporated in 1892 and had assets amounting 
to $1,200,000. 

The Town has an area of forty-nine square miles. Within it 
are situated five villages. This Township was incorporated in 
1765. It is situated in a very romantic section of the State and 
on Green river. The recent directory gives its manufacturing 
plants as the one operated by John S. Boyd & Company and Grey- 
lock Mill "B," producers of fine combed cotton clothes and warp 
yarns. The 1924-25 Town officers are : George W. Crundy, Clerk ; 
John B. Locke, A. G. Bratton and L. P. Jenks, Selectmen; W. B. 
Clark, treasurer; C. P. Stocking, collector of taxes; Allen E. Evans, 
auditor; Thomas W. Nichols, overseer of the poor; William F. 
Bradley, tree-warden. 

The churches of the village now are First Congregationalist 
and another of this denomination at South Williamstown ; Meth- 
odist Episcopal; St. John's Episcopal; Central Baptist; another of 
this sect in South Williamstown; Church of Christ; St. Patrick's 
Roman Catholic ; St. Raphael French Catholic churches. 

The Town of Williamstown had in the fall of 1924 a report 


published showing receipts and disbursements for the year end- 
ing December 31, 1924 of $457,551.77. 

Williams College — This college owes its origin to an educational 
bequest of Colonel Ephraim Williams for the purpose of establish- 
ing a "Free School" in Williamstown. The charter of this school, 
which was granted March 8, 1785, reads in part as follows: 

"An Act for directing the use and appropriation of a charitable 
donation, made in a certain clause in the last will and testament of 
Ephraim Williams, Esq., for the support and maintenance of a 
Free School in Williamstown, in the county of Berkshire; and for 
the incorporating certain persons as trustees, in order more effec- 
tually to execute the intention of the testator, expressed in the 
same." Then followed nine sections of the will of Colonel Williams, 
concerning this school to be "Free" and it will be remembered that 
this was a half century before the present public school system 
was thought of, for all schools were private and subscription until 
about 1835 when the people were in some states taxed for schools. 
At the first meeting of the trustees of the school above named, 
April 24, 1785, the trustees passed a resolution to the effect that, 
"it is the sense of the corporation that the Free School in Wil- 
liamstown be opened free for the use and benefit of the inhabi- 
tants of that town and of the free citizens of the American States 
indiscriminately." They also decided that "it will best coincide 
with the liberal views of the donor and the intention of the legis- 
lature to admit no pupil to the Free School not having been 
taught to read English well. 

As they found it difficult to collect enough funds for erecting 
a building, the trustees sent a petition to the Legislature, August 
19, 1788, "for the grant of a lottery to raise the sum of twelve 
thousand pounds Sterling." Such an act was passed February 
11,1789, thus the "scheme" for raising money by lottery was started 
in this manner by the laws of the Commonwealth. The Legisla- 
ture also granted a petition calling for the right to transfer the 
Free School property over to a College. The date of this was 
June 22, 1793. An Act of February 4, 1796 authorized the grant- 
ing of two townships of land to the College. These two townships 
were to contain six miles square each. The location of such land 
was in what was then styled the District of Maine. These lands 
were sold for about $10,000, and the proceeds devoted to build- 
ing East College. In 1809 the legislature granted "another town- 



ship of land in Maine" for the support of Williams College. This 
land brought $9,500. As time passed on many resources came to 
this college and today the large group of magnificent stone and 
brick buildings on the campus of "Old Williams" equals almost 
those of any on the American Continent. There are twenty-seven 
buildings, each worthy of more space than is allowed in this 

The latest year-book of this institution — that of 192^1 — shows 
that during that year seven hundred and fifty students attended 
this college. These students came from thirty-five states and 
countries. New York took the lead with 283; Massachusetts with 
132; New Jersey with 71. 

What is proudly pointed to by the alumni of this college as 
"Williams' Roll Call" reads as follows : "A President of the United 
States (James A. Garfield), a vice-president; a treasurer of the 
United States, two secretaries of the United States ; two secretar- 
ies of the interior; five United States ambassadors and ministers; 
twelve governors and lieutenant-governors; consuls and legation 
attaches, 27; Congressmen, 67; members of state legislatures, 315; 
mayors, 39; justices of state and Federal supreme courts, 30; 
judges, 194; lawyers, 1,290; college presidents, 71; presidents of 
seminaries, 193; professors, 241; teachers, 1,089; missionaries, 179; 
ministers, 1,025; authors, 132: editors, 190; scientists, 76; physi- 
cians, 514; railway presidents, 9; engineers and architects, 152; 
bankers, 205 ; business men, 1,000. 
The first president of this college was Rev. Ebenezer Fitch, D.D., 
1793-1815 while the present president is Harry Augustus Garfield, 
L.H.D., LL.D., beginning in 1908. He is the son of President 
James A. Garfield, who was an instructor in this college in 1857. 

It was Williams College that started the foreign missionary in- 
terests in the world, at what is now known as the "Hay-stack 
Prayer Meeting." The spot is marked by an appropriate monu- 
ment, for at this spot in 1810, five students held a prayer meeting 
during a thunder storm and four of the five present devoted 
their lives to the missionary cause. Over five thousand men have 
gone forth from this institution, fitted for life. 

Town of Clarksburg — Once seen, the sublimity of mountain 
scenes in the vicinity of old Bald, or Hoosac mountains, is ever 
before one's mind as they travel through New England. 

Where run bright rills, and stand high rocks, 
Where health and beauty comes, 


And peace and happiness abides, 
Rest Berkshire Hills and Homes. 

From any of the numerous hills may be seen old Greylock, king 
of the mountains. Also appear Mount Adams, a spur of the 
Green Mountain range and the beautiful curves of the Taconics. 

This town has the form of a parallelogram, seven miles long 
and two and a half miles in width. It is 120 miles distant from 
Boston and twenty-five from Pittsfield, the seat of justice for Berk- 
shire county. It contains eighteen square miles of territory, nearly 
one hundred good farms; one hundred and forty good dwellings. 
As long ago as 1885 there were two good stores at Briggsville, 
several factories, a town library there ; 720 population. While 
the land is quite rough it is fairly productive. The great moun- 
tain in the western part of the town was an important station in 
the coast survey. Its latitude is forty-two degrees, forty-four 
minutes north, and longitude seventy-three degrees, nine minutes 

The settlement was commenced in Clarksburg m 1769 by Captain 
Matthew Ketchum, Nicholas Clark and others. It is related when 
Colonel William Bullock measured out the grant which bears his 
name he was compelled, in order to complete his complement of 
23,000, to extend it around Bernardston's grant. He intended to 
reach to the Vermont line, but not knowing exactly where it was, 
and careful not to lose any part of his grant by going into that state, 
he stopped a mile short of the line, and proceeded westward four 
or five miles along the north line of Bernardston's grant and 
Adams. The part of Bullock's grant which lies north of this grant 
and town and west of Monroe, together with the gore which sep- 
arates it from Williamstown and Vermont, originally constituted 
Clarksburg. A part of it was annexed to Florida May 2, 1848. 

The town was named from one of its leading families. Nicholas 
Clark, and his brothers Aaron, Stephen, and Silas, came in at the 
same period, from Cumberland, R. I. A man named Hudson is 
believed to have been the first white man to invade this territory 
for the purpose of making a permanent settlement. He felled a tree 
in the town, hence the name Hudson's Brook which passes under 
the natural bridge soon after its entrance into Adams. It was 
designed to name the Town after Hudson, but for some unknown 
reason it was changed. Originally, the Town contained 10,400 
acres. As early as 1829 there were four mills running all the year 
round. Briggsville where the earliest postofifice in the town 


was established, had A. A. Lee for its postmaster. When H. B. 
Briggs built his brick woolen mills the office, in 1866, was taken 
there. Later this concern was styled "The Linwood Woolen Com- 
pany," of which H. P. Briggs was treasurer. There was located 
the great Clarksburg reservoir, which furnishes Hoosac water 
to several mills below. A goodly number of houses were built 
near the mill site where about one hundred and fifty hands were 
employed about forty years ago. 

The straight line of the Pittsfield & North Adams Railroad cuts 
the southern Valley just below Clarksburg in twain ; the Troy & 
Boston line bisects the western valley, while the two branches of 
the Hoosac-^the north branch of which flows the entire length 
of Clarksburg — unite at North Adams and flow on westward 
through the other valley that divides Greylock from Mount Adams. 
It has been well said that these three deep valleys with the village 
at the point of their junction and the magnificent mountain walls 
that shut them in, give the beholder a picture the beauty of which 
cannot be eclipsed by any scene that New England can furnish. 
One writer said : "It is good to be here ; let us make tabernacles 
and abide; for surely there shall never rest upon our souls a purer 

Churches and schools appear here and there over the territory 
of this town. Farming and milling have produced an intelligent, 
contented class of thrifty citizens. Numerous religious revivals 
occurred in this part of Berkshire county, resulting in the estab- 
lishment of several churches of different denominations, some of 
which exist today. No better or more faithful communicants are 
found on the church books of Adams and Stamford than those 
whose names are there written as belonging to the little moun- 
tain town of Clarksburg. In an account written of this town 
forty years ago by George B. Griffith, occur these words: "In 
addition to the industries mentioned as conducted on the princi- 
pal streams is the planing mill of George Hall. The manufacture 
of bricks was once a lucrative business, and a wool-carding mill 
used to flourish here. During and prior to the Civil War and up 
to 1869, there were three powder mills located here. Powder to 
the value of $36,000 was there made annually and lumber cut to 
the value of over $4,000 a year. Though the soil of Clarksburg 
is hard and stony, there are many thrifty farmers and agriculture 
is necessarily the chief business of the people. Lumber is carried 
on to a considerable extent, stock-raising also, and there are not 


a few fine horses and choice flocks of sheep. Lumber consists 
mostly of oak, chestnut, spruce, and hemlock, and that upon the 
East Mountain, is regarded (1885) as most valuable. Between 
the soil and the milling interests the people have been able to be- 
come quite independent financially, with the passing decades." 

The town books show that the first town treasurer and col- 
lector was Nicholas Clark and that the office has remained in 
the Clark family until the death of the last member in the eighties. 

The population of the town of Clarksburg in 1920 was placed 
at 1,136. 

The present (1925) town officers are as follows: Town clerk, 
John Miller; selectmen, chairman. Dexter S. Bishop; selectmen, 
Charles S. McBride, Edward H. Gleason ; treasurer, John Hen- 
derson; collector, John Henderson; assessors, chairman, Ralph M. 
Tanner, E. H. Brown, Louis N. Coty ; board of health, chairman, 
George W. Hall, George Carson, David Witte ; school committee : 
chairman, William Carson, Grace Bishop, Hector M. Eraser; 
auditor, Edward W. Gleason ; chief of police, George W. Hall ; 
fire warden, A. G. Caswell ; moth inspector, A. G. Caswell ; cattle 
inspector, E. H. Brown; meat inspector, Fred Canedy; tree warden, 
Benjamin F. Eddy. 

Town of Florida — This town lies in the extreme northeastern 
corner of Berkshire county, occupies three miles and 265 rods in 
length, and is quite irregular in its width. The northern portion 
of this town was granted to the town of Bernardston, in consid- 
eration of the loss sustained by that town in running the line be- 
tween Massachusetts and the New Hampshire grants, now the 
state of Vermont. For many years the tract was styled "Bernard- 
ston's Grant." Bullock's Grant and King's Grant, so called, each 
contributed territory to Florida, and it is situated on the height 
of the Green Mountain range. The town is 125 miles, west-by- 
north from Boston, and twenty-two miles from Pittslield. It is 
intersected by the Greenfield railroad and the Hossac Tunnel. Flor- 
ida was incorporated as a town June 15, 1805, and contains 7,350 
acres. Its first settler was Dr. Daniel Nelson, who came from 
Stafrord, Connecticut, in 1783. Before 1795 came in Paul Knowl- 
ton, Sylvanus Clark, Nathan Drury, Jesse King, and Stephen 

The well presesrved town records tell us today that the first 
town meeting was held at the residence of Captain Luke Rice, "on 
the hill," August 22, 1805 and was designated as a gathering of 


the free-holders. Mr. Rice was chosen moderator and was many 
years prominent in the affairs of the town. The first birth in the 
township was Diantha Whitcomb, February 27, 1805 before forma- 
tion of the town, and the next of Loizia Heminway, October 23, 
1810. Among the first marriages in Florida was that of Benja- 
min Negur with Abigail Ladler, both of Zoar, married by Jesse 
King, justice of the peace. Among the town's most influential 
pioneers was Nathan Drury, a successful farmer and efficient town 
clerk. He amassed a fortune and founded Drury Academy of 
North Adams. In 1829 there were eighty families and seventy- 
five dwelling houses in Florida. In 1885 the town had a popu- 
lation of about 472, possibly one hundred more than at present. 
Among the town's postoffices is the one at Hoosac Tunnel founded 
in 1858 with W. T. Jenks as postmaster. 

A Baptist church was organized in 1810; in 1824 they built a 
house of worship and in 1861 a new building was provided. 

A Congregational church was established in May, 1814, with 
eleven members and continued a number of years, then was 
closed. A Christian and a Universalist church were formed be- 
tween 1830 and 1835. 

A large wood pulp factory was among the industries in the 
forties and fifties. In the eighties this plant was still running 
and making 17,100 pounds in twelve hours. The water wheels 
driving the grinders had 625 horse-power and twenty-five men 
were constantly employed. 

This town boasted forty years ago of having a fine, large building 
known as the Hoosac Tunnel Hall which was erected in 1865. 
It was burned in 1875 but a new one replaced it in 1884. Jencks 
& Rice's hotel was one of the early summer resorts ; another was 
known as Hoosac Tunnel House. The first named hotel was built 
in 1837. 

During the Civil War this town sent to the front for the Union 
cause forty-five men, of whom eleven were lost. 

Of course the outstanding feature of Florida town is Hoosac 
Tunnel and the Mountains. The great tunnel is on the west bank 
of the Deerfield river, in the eastern center of the town. The top 
of the tunnel is a semicircle, with a radius of thirteen feet, and the 
sides are arcs of a circle, with a radius of twenty-six feet. This 
paragraph was in a former history of Berkshire county, concerning 
this town : "The denizens of the mountain districts of Florida 
are quite largely (1885) engaged in stock-raising, wool-growing, 


and the industry of lumbering as well as farming. Some four hun- 
dred sheep are pastured annually, and as many as 17,000 pounds of 
delicious maple sugar were made for the past few years." 

The present (1925) town officers in Florida are as follows: 
Selectmen, G. N. Thatcher, A. F. W. Newman and W. O. Ford; 
treasurer, G. W. Searle ; town clerk, George Martin; assessors, 
G. N. Thatcher, J. Newman; tax-collector, G. N. Thatcher; audi- 
tor, H. L. Raycroft; overseer of the poor, A. F. W. Newman; 
superintendent of school, Charles C. Richardson. 

The reports of the town treasurer for 1924 gives figures as 
follows: Receipts for year ending December 31, 1924, $64,146; dis- 
bursements for the same period, $52,945. 

Hancock Town — This is the longest and narrowest sub-division 
of Berkshire county and is an agricultural section of the same. 
Its population in 1920 was 464. It has one-third of the State's 
boundary on New York, and in its early days was slower in set- 
tlement on account of the uncertainty of the state line which until 
adjusted was likely to cause much litigation as to land titles. Until 
1787 the town w^as three-fourths of a mile wider than at present 
and in that portion the first settlements were effected. In the 
summer of 1767 Asa Douglass, Esq., made the first actual settle- 
ment. The first town meeting was held August 21, 1776 at the 
house of Asa Douglass, Esq. He was chosen to represent the 
town in the General Court of Massachusetts. "Voted that he 
should procure the incorporation of this town. That he should 
have a certificate of good character and standing," and 13thly 
voted, "That the title of 'Honorable' pertaining to this gentleman 
be annexed to their names who have wrote to the General Court 
of Massachusetts, a recommendation of Esq. Douglass." The 
names thus embalmed in public record as "Honorable" were : Cap- 
tain Daniel Goodrich, Benjamin Baker, Eleazer Deming, Benijah 
McCaul, and Ensign Martin Townsend. 

The Revolutionary War came on and the records show that 
in May, 1778, it was voted that the selectmen proceed to procure 
clothing for the soldiers according to the act of the General Court. 
Also that "$300 be assessed and collected for hiring soldiers ; that 
$200 be used for the upper and $100 for the lower company." The 
last named was at New Lebanon, then a part of Hancock town, 
the upper where now stands the village of Hancock. It was then 
voted that "there shall be no horse racing in this town." Squire 
Douglass had charge of the powder magazine which was an 


underground stone structure and was in what was later the ceme- 
tery a half mile north from the village. In August, 1778, one 
pound in silver would purchase as much as four and one-half 
pounds currency. Rum was 17 shillings per quart, and tea $12 
per pound. During the Revolution the population of this town 
were somewhat divided as to their devotion to the Mother country. 
The records show the following: "Voted that if any person or 
inhabitant of this town shall at any time from and after this date 
harbor or keep any tory or person unfriendly to the inhabitants 
of the United States of America, knowing them to be such, he 
shall be taken into custody and held in confinement until tried." 
Hancock people read every section of the proposed Constitution, 
and were not afraid to give their opinion through their represen- 
tative, Samuel Hand. They insisted that two amendments should 
be made to the Constitution as first made : One was that the town 
should be privileged to appoint or elect its own justices of the 
peace, and a second amendment that the Governor of the Common- 
wealth should be a professor of the Protestant Church religion. 
In 1780 thirty-two votes were cast for John Hancock for gover- 
nor, and two for James Bowdoin. January, 1781, it was voted 
"To deliver 7,336 pounds of beef and to procure the three years 
men and to give as a bounty to each man enlisting 150 Spanish 
milled silver dollars, or its value." 

Among the foremost pioneer settlers of this town are recalled 
by historians, the names of Samuel Hand, above mentioned, Frank- 
lin Hand, Gideon King, Asa Douglass, Ensign Martin Townsend, 
Captain Caleb B. Gardner, Thomas Eldridge, from Rhode Island; 
and the several Gardners. Two slaves are noted of record as being 
Peter and Edward who appear to have been quite witty. 

One incident connected with the Revolution and this town 
should ever be kept in mind and perpetuated in the annals of 
Berkshire county, as follows : 

Among the prisoners taken by the Americans at the battle of Hoosic 
was an inhabitant of Hancock, a plain farmer, Richard Jackson. He con- 
scientiously took the ro3'al side, and felt bound to take the earliest oppor- 
tunity to serve his sovereign. Learning that Col. Baum was advancing 
toward Bennington, and taking an early start, he hastened on horseback to 
Hoosic, intending to join Col. Baum's corps. He was captured under 
such circumstances as proved his purpose and he was too honest to deny 
it. He was taken to Great Barrington and put in charge of General Fel- 
lows, high sheriff, who confined him in the county jail, then so out of 
repair that a prisoner unguarded could easily escape. Richard had no 
thought of making such an attempt. After a few days he said he was losing 


time and asked the sheriff's permission to go out and earn something, 
promising to return at night. His character by this time being known, 
his wish was granted. Regularly, through the remaining autumn, winter 
and spring, till early in May, with scarcely an exception, he performed 
his day's work, returning to the jail at the promised hour. In May he 
was to be tried for high treason. The sheriff prepared to take him to 
Springfield. Richard said it was not needful, as he could go alone and 
save the expense. He was allowed to go alone, the only instance of like 
journey for the same object. In the woods of Tyringham he was over- 
taken by the Hon. J. Edwards, who tells the story: "Whither are you 
going?" said Mr. Edwards. "To Springfield, sir, to be tried for my life," 
answered Richard. He went directly to Springfield, surrendered himself, 
was tried, found guilty and condemned to death. 

Afterward an application was made to the Council of Massachusetts, 
then the superior executive of the State, for a pardon. The facts were 
stated, the evidence by which they were supported, and the sentence grounded 
on them. The President put the question, "Shall a pardon be granted to 
Richard Jackson?" The gentleman who first spoke said the case was 
clear, the act was high treason, and the proofs complete. If a pardon was 
granted in his case it should be in every other. So said the others in turn, 
till the question reached Mr. Edwards. He told the whole story with a 
simplicity and truthfulness which give to light and shade a living reality, 
touch the heart, and enforce conviction. The Council began to hesitate. 
One of the members finally said, "Certainly such a man as this ought not 
to be sent to the gallows." To this opinion the assent was unanimous. 
A pardon was immediately made out and sent to Springfield, and Richard 
returned to his family in the town of Hancock. Never was a stronger 
argument that honesty is wisdom. 

Among the first settlers was Jonathan Hazard, Esq., and his 
son Henry from Rhode Island. Rodman, son of Henry was born 
in 1775. He married and engaged in the tanning and leather 
business and later started the first clothiery in Hancock and com- 
menced making satinet cloth, the first ever woven in America. He 
represented Hancock in the General Court in 1806 and remained 
in office till 1823. During the War of 1812 he furnished a com- 
pany of soldiers. In 1820 he aided General Lafayette in laying 
the corner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument. He died in 1845. 

The Baptist church was formed in Hancock in June, 1772, with 
fifteen members. 

For a few years there was a Friends Meeting-House in the 

The Hancock Shaker Village lies partly in Pittsfield and partly 
in Hancock town. A society was there established in 1792. At 
first there were only three families of this sect in this vicinity. 
Farming and small factory plants were the base for the thrift 


of this community. In the eighties it was said that the farms 
had increased by additions until they owned two thousand acres. 
When first established here the Shakers were despised and ma- 
ligned ; but the ill feeling toward them has long since died 
out and for long years they have been accounted worthy citizens. 
The largest population of this peculiar sect was in 1820-30 when 
there was known to be three hundred families of that faith. 

The present (1925) town officers are as follows: Town clerk, 
Augustus McSorley; selectmen, M. Dee, Harry Sharp, Henry 
Blair; assessors, Delos Whitman, Wells Conklin, Walter Hadselle; 
surveyor, L. J. Dee; treasurer and collector, Louis J. Dee; 
auditor, Allen Phelps. The total receipts of the town in 1924 
were $33,296 and the total expenses were $29,412, leaving a bal- 
ance of $3,884. The assessors report shows : Assessed value 
of all property, $478,150. Tax-rate per thousand dollars, $20.30; 
nuniber of polls assessed, 110; number residents 83; non-resi- 
dents assessed ; total number assessed, 228. Number horses 
assessed, 133; number cows assessed, 408; number sheep, 111; 
number neat cattle, 153; number swine assessed, 25; number 
dwellings assessed, 116; number acres assessed, 20,648; number 
fowls assessed, 1,410. The school census in April, 1924 showed 
number boys, 48; number girls, 49 — total 97. Name of superin- 
tendent, Everett G. Loring. 

New Ashford — This town is in the northern part of Berkshire 
county, bounded by Williamstown on the north, by Adams and 
Cheshire on the east, by Cheshire and Lanesborough on the south 
and by Hancock on the west. It is about four and three-eighths 
miles from east to west and three and one-eighth miles from north 
to south. Its area is about thirteen and one-half square miles. 
It was at first known as New Ashford plantation, and its settle- 
ment began as early as 1762 by immigrants from the east part of 
the state, from Rhode Island and Connecticut. Among the early 
settlers who invaded this territory for the purpose of effecting a 
permanent settlement, were Nathaniel Abel, and Gideon Kent, 
Uriah, Peter, and Eli Mallery, William Green, Jacob Lion, Sam- 
uel Gridley, Jonathan, Hezekiah, and Caleb Beach, Samuel P., 
Jared, and Benjamin Tyler, Abraham Kirby, William Campbell, 
Amariah Babbit, Evans Roys, Captain Samuel Martin, Solomon 
Gregory, John Wells, Comfort and David Barns, Ebenezer Mudge, 
John and Dudley Hamilton, Jonathan Mason, and Andrew Cor- 
nish. The Inghams, Deweys, Sherwoods, Baxters, Goodells and 


Pratts came at a little latter date. Peregrine Turner came in 1822 
and built the house which for more than fifty years served as a 
country tavern. The earliest tavern in the town was by Leland 
White ; it was kept many years by William Starkweather, who 
represented the district in the General Court. When first settled 
what was styled Beach Hill was named for the large Beach family 
of pioneers. The Tylers located in the north part of town and 
built the house which is the first on the road from Williamstown , 
It was built in 1805 and was a tavern more than twenty-five years. 
Samuel P. Tyler was an officer and fought at Boston and Ben- 

This is a rough mountain-covered town with many rugged hills. 
There are numerous valuable quarries of white and blue marble 
which have been opened and worked since 1822 for many years. 
In 1822 a survey for a proposed railroad from Pittsfield was made 
northward, passing through New Ashford and near these marble 

The first town meeting was held June 7, 1775, with Capt. Gideon 
Kent as moderator. It was voted to abide by the doings of the 
Continental and Provisional Congress. The place was incorpo- 
rated as a district, February 7, 1781, with all privileges of a town, 
except that of choosing a representative to the General Court. 
The first meeting was held at the house of, Nathaniel Kent Sep- 
tember 24, 1781. 

From 1805 to 1813 the district united with Lanesborough in 
selecting a representative. For this purpose the voters of New 
Ashford met with the voters of Lanesborough at the town house 
in the last named place. 

The district was fully incorporated May 1, 1836, and it was 
represented in the legislature of 1840-41 by Noble F. Roys. After 
1857 for the purpose of district representation in the legislature, 
the town became, with Williamstown, Lanesborough and 
Hancock, the First Representative District of Berkshire county. 
In Civil War times this town paid its volunteer men as high as 
$150 each to enlist in the Union cause. The town furnished twenty- 
three soldiers, a surplus of one over all demands. In the autumn 
of 1782 it was voted "To build a house of public worship." In 
the forties the inhabitants of the town were mostly of the Method- 
ist Episcopal denomination. A union church building was in use 
for many years. Perhaps the most prosperous time in the history 
of this part of the county was from 1814 to 1825, when there were 


',300 population, including sixty families and there were fifty dwell- 
ings. The 1885 census returns gave the town a population of 
only 163 and thirty-six dwellings. For various reasons the popu- 
lation has decreased until the 1920 census gave it as having only 
one hundred and sixteen. 

The present (1925) town officers are as follows: Town clerk, 
Warren Baxter; selectmen, Elmer P. Beach, Bernard Mackey, 
Harry Phelps; treasurer, F'orrest C. White; assessors, Warren H. 
Baxter, Alfred S. Beach, Elihu A. White; town auditor, Frank 
Thompson. The indebtedness of the town, $600; resources of 
town December, 1924, $973. The assessors' report shows for 1924: 
Total valuation of town, $97,060; tax-rate, $23.50 per thousand 
dollars; residents assessed, 24; non-residents assessed, 17; horses, 
38; cows, 78; sheep, 115; cattle, 30; swine, 6; number houses, 33; 
number fowls, 920; acres of land, 6,857. 

Town of Savoy — Among the townships sold in Boston June 2, 
1762, was the present town of Savoy, then known as No. 6, because 
it was the sixth in the order of sale. It was bought by Abel Law- 
rence for 1,350 pounds Sterling. Eight years later the same town- 
ship was given by the General Court to Col. William Bullock, 
agent for some heirs. This was in consideration of "services and 
sufiferings rendered and endured in an expedition into Canada 
during King William's war, about 1690." 

In the original sale the following boundaries were given : 

No. 6, A township to begin at New Framingham, northeast corner, 
thence northerly to East Hoosuck south line nine hundred and fifty rods, 
west of East Hoosuck southeast corner, thence easterly to the southeast 
corner of said East Hoosuck thence northerly on the east line of said East 
Hoosuck three miles one hundred and seventy rods, thence to extend twenty 
degrees south so far as to make the contents of six miles square, to Abel 
Lawrence for 1,350 pounds Sterling and have received of him twenty 
pounds and taken his bond, together with Charles Prescott, Esq., for 1,330 

Its present boundary is Florida on the north, Hawley with cor- 
ners of Charlemont and Plainfield on the east, Windsor on the 
south, and Cheshire and Adams on the west. 

The first settler in this town was one named Robinett and he 
came in for settlement in 1777, locating near the coal kilns. His 
after history is unknown to the present generation. The south 
part of the town, in the same year was settled by Captain Lemuel 
Hathaway, from Taunton. Of the thirty-four families who fol- 

W. Mass. — 35 


lowed him during the next ten years eight were from Taunton, 
six from Attleboro, two from Norton, three from Sharon, and one 
each from Rehoboth, Easton, Brimfield, Shutesbury, and Warren 
R. I. By 1800 the population numbered 430, and by 1810 it had 
increased to 711; ten years later, to 852; and in 1850 the census 
showed 1003; in 1885 it was 861 and the latest United States census 
gives (1920) only 436. Forty years ago it was shown that the 
farmers shipped out $20,000 worth of cheese annually. The high- 
lands of this township are the watershed between the tributaries 
of the Deerfield and Westfield rivers on the eastern slope, and the 
Hoosac on the western. The eastern streams, though small, give 
ample water-power for the needs of the town. This is one of the 
seven towns forming the Fourth Berkshire District. By the 
terms of the sale and settlement, the town was obliged to main- 
tain schools. The first town meeting, in 1797, appropriated $80 
for schools. It was increased until in 1815 it amounted to $250. 
Down through the years this town has had schools equal to any 
other rural town in Berkshire county. Space forbids the enumera- 
tion and description of many settlers in various parts of this 
town, suffice to say they were, for the most part, noteworthy 
families whose offspring have become sturdy, reliable citizens. 

The Baptist church was organized in Savoy, June 24, 1786, less 
than nine years after the town's settlement. Nathan Haskins 
called a meeting at the house of William Williams, who with his 
wife and Lucinda Wilbore, were from Adams ; Nathan and Salmon 
Fay, and Benjamin Bullen, Alice Read and Zachariah Paddleford, 
were examined as to their Christian faith and "each one agreed 
to join the church covenant and fellowship." Thus began the first 
religious society of the town of Savoy. That was eleven years 
before the town's incorporation. The first settled minister was 
Nathan Haskins in January, 1789, who for such position received 
380 acres of land. He died in the ministry in 1802 and three years 
prior to his passing, the name was changed to the "First Baptist 
Church, Savoy." Down through those eventful, history-making 
years this church stood for all that was good, true and loyal, both in 
days O- peace and in time of wars. In May, 1832, on account of in- 
creased and scattered membership, another church was organized 
five miles northward, with Rev. McCullock as the first pastor. 

In 1815 the Shakers came in and picked up the threads of a so- 
called church formed by one Joseph Smith, who later was known 
to have two wives. The Shakers built a mill and a church house 


and a shop. For a season this sect prospered, but not many years. 

The First Congregational Church society was formed in 1811 
by persons from various points of the compass in this county. 
The church was organized legally in the autumn of 1811 with 
twenty members. Most of these charter members came from 
Windsor and they built a church soon afterwards. Only one pas- 
tor ever served here and in 1816 the church was disbanded for 
lack of ministerial support. Missions were kept up there until 
1840 when all went down to rise no more. 

In the forties the Adventists got a foothold in this town and for 
years ran well, but finally other "isms" virtually absorbed the 
Advent theory and other sects took its place. 

The Methodist Episcopal church here seems to have originated 
in a revival meeting in 1834-35. A class was formed, a society was 
organized and it was a part of Buckland Circuit. In 1835 a build- 
ing was erected in Savoy Hollow. 

The only village within this town is Savoy Hollow, a mere ham- 

The present (1924) town officers of Savoy are as follows: E. A. 
Barber, auditor; Amos E. Maynard, treasurer; C. E. Tilton, reg- 
istrar; George E. Estes, collector. 

The amount of real estate in 1924, $198,725 ; personal estate, 
$74,765 ; amount of taxes, $9,564.66 ; rate per thousand dollars, 
$34.00; number of residents on property, 124; on poll tax only, 
30; horses assessed, 160; cows assessed, 323; cattle other than cows, 
110; swine, 13; fowls, 1,130; dwelling houses, 120; acres of land, 

The assets in 1924 of this town were: $6,369; liabilities, $6,100; 
receipts, for year ending December 31, 1924, $44,035.41; expendi- 
tures, for year ending December 31, 1924, $42,856.30; balance on 
hand, tor year ending December 31, 1924, $1,179.11. 

The school reports show for 1924: Receipts, $9,000; Expendi- 
tures, $8,792.41. 

Town of Cheshire — The real true map of the county of Berk- 
shire shows a sub-division of it as being curiously shaped with 
twenty-five angles in its boundary — perhaps more angles than 
found in any other town in America. In the central portion of 
the town is a hill known as Stafiford's Hill. There in 1766, was 
begun a settlement by pioneers from Providence, Rhode Island, 
at first called Providence Hill. The early accounts of this terri- 
tory show that Nicholas Cook, of Providence, and Joseph Bennett, 


of Coventry, Rhode Island, bought June 26, 1666, of John Worth- 
ington and Josiah Dwight, of Springfield, and others for 935 pounds 
Sterling, 3,740 acres and fourteen perches, north of Lanesboro 
partly and partly north of Windsor, being a part of a grant of 
land to Aaron Willard. These 3,740 acres surrounded on three 
sides a rectangular parcel of ground containing 1,176 acres, once 
a part of No. 6 (Savoy). In 1762 the General Court awarded to 
Hatfield, as compensation for land included in Nos. 5 and 7, an 
eqiiivalent on the west end of No. 6. Hatfield placed this in market, 
and there is found a conversance of it in 1765, by Israel and Wil- 
liam Williams, of Hatfield, and Israel Stoddard, of Pittsfield. On 
these 4,917 acres constituting the New Providence purchase, is 
found the first settlement of Cheshire town of today. Having pur- 
chased this tract as a speculation, they set about inducing men 
to buy and remove hither. Cook never came here to reside but 
Joseph Bennett did having first employed Captain Joab Stafford 
to survey and plat out their purchases into lots, thirty-three in 
number which was effected before October, 1766. The first pur- 
chase was made by Captain Stafford November 5, 1766; three lots 
of 396 acres. Numbers 5, 17, and 22. The next day Cook and Ben- 
nett made an equal division of the remaining land to themselves 
by a line running easterly through the center of the purchase. 
On the same day John Bucklin, of Coventry, Rhode Island, bought 
No. 1; Nathaniel Jacobs, of Providence, bought Nos. 7, 10, 11 and 
25; Samuel Low, of Providence, three-fourths of No. 4; Simon 
Smith, of Providence, Nos. 2, 12, and 20. 

Captain Joab Stafford attended the General Assembly at New- 
port, in May, 1762, as deputy from Coventry. In 1766 he was sur- 
veyor on Providence Hill. In 1778 he was colonel, empowered to 
warn some one to call the first town meeting in Adams. In 1801 
he sold all his land in the New Providence purchase under such 
circumstances as to suggest that he had not made a fortune. 

Of Nicholas Cook, leading purchaser, it is learned that he was 
one of the Court of Assistants in the Rhode Island colony from 
1752 to 1761, and Deputy Governor in 1768-69. In 1761 he was 
chairman of a committee to raise by lottery six thousand pounds 
Sterling for paving the streets of Providence. Joseph Bennett 
was one of the six on this committee. 

The foundation and maintenance of a church had much to do 
in forming the character and moulding of the life of subsequent 
Cheshire. Unlike other towns in Berkshire county, Cheshire had 


no government land set off for the support of a church. What 
was done here was by the people for the love of a cause. For the 
most part these settlers were Baptists. A church was formed 
under Elder Peter Werden, Joab Stafford, Samuel Low, Joseph 
Bennett, John Day, John Lee, John Bucklin, Mercy Werden, Almy 
Low, Eunice Bennett, Betsy Read, Deliverance Nichols and Martha 
Lee. By 1772 tiiis church had a membershhip of five hundred 
communicants. Rev. Werden was their pastor for forty years, 
dying in 1808. He was supported by a donation and the use of fifty 
acres, the gift of Nicholas Cook and Joseph Bennett. 

Nothing is found concerning the Revolution in the Cheshire 
town records for the incorporation had not been effected until 
later. It is known, however, that forty-three men were furnished 
by the town in the War for Independence. 

Being far from town centers on August 7, 1792, thirty men 
subscribed for a fund to pay the charges of a committee to the 
General Court touching the matter of incorporating. The peti- 
tioners from Adams, Lanesboro, New Ashford, and Windsor met 
in the brick schoolhouse in Lanesboro in September and a commit- 
tee was sent to the General Court representatives. In October 
the same year, it was voted to have the town incorporated by the 
name of "Vernum" (possibly Vernon), and that Colonel Reming- 
ton be authorized to call the town together. In April, 1793, he 
issued his warrant to Peleg Green. 

A Universalist church was formed here in 1849; a Methodist 
Episcopal in 1844 by Rev. John Cadwell ; a meeting-house was 
erected by this denomination in 1848-49. 

Concerning mail facilities let it be said that after 1793, letters 
from the northern towns were directed aright, but sent to Pitts- 
field, and thence by private carriers and friendly neighbors to 
their destination. Cheshire postofifice was established January 22, 
1810; John Leland, Jr., first postmaster. 

From the first, Cheshire has been an agricultural town ; exten- 
sive dairies have been conducted there. Here it was that the mam- 
moth cheese sent to President Jefferson was made in 1802. The 
President shared his immense cheese with several of the gover- 
nors of surrounding states. 

Early in the history of the town fine glass-sand beds were dis- 
covered within the limits of the town and this led to the estab- 
lishing of glass works known as the Cheshire Crown Glass Works 
which opened up in 1813. While the works were situated exactlj' 


over as fine a glass-sand as could be asked for, the sand used in 
the works was drawn three miles, as the fact of sand beneath the 
works was unknown to anyone at that date. These glass works 
proved a failure to the proprietors and after a few years they 
closed down. Glass was made from sand from this town, how- 
ever, in Sand Lake, New York and Keene, New Hampshire. It 
is a 99 per cent pure sand. No further glass making took place in 
Berkshire until after 1847, when works were established at Berk- 
shire. Large works were built in 1853. Several companies have 
operated in glass and several failures have overtaken the works. 
The Cheshire Glass Company was organized in 1849 and produced 
much window glass. 

Iron ore was discovered among the mountains of this town 
and in 1848 the Cheshire Iron Works were incorporated by James 
N. Richmond, George M. Well, Russell C. Brown and others. 

The immense quantities of sand shipped to all parts of the 
country, created a demand for barrels so in 1855 there was erected 
a large saw and stave mill near the depot. The saw mill industry 
has been very great in this town. Millions of feet of lumber used 
to be sent to far away California, but of course that has long since 
ceased and now some of the shingles and other lumber used in 
New England, come by rail from California and Washington. 
Other industries in this town were the small cotton factory, the 
shoe factories, etc, which employed enough persons to occupy 
four hundred houses in Cheshire. 

The present population of Cheshire is about 1,580. Its town 
ofificers are as follows : Town clerk, William E. Reagan ; select- 
men, H. N. Archibald, M.D., Martin Bickfors, Daniel L. Wood; 
treasurer, William E. Reagan ; assessors, Henry N. Jenks, Russell 
W. Peticler, William E. Reagan; tree- warden, Byron Tracy; audi- 
tors, Thomas Delaney, Gustave Iverson ; tax collector, William E. 
Reagan ; superintendent of schools, Everett G. Lcring. The asses- 
sors' report for 1924 shows : Valuation of all property assessed in 
town, $35,654; tax rate, $30 per thousand dollars. 

The Big Cheese — The Rev. A. B. Whipple in a former history 
of Berkshire county, gave the following account of a very large 
cheese which has already been referred to above, and really the 
incident is of sufficient importance to be reproduced and kept in- 
tact in the annals of the county and town of Cheshire : 

After the election of Thomas Jefferson to the Presidency, Elder John 
Leland, who was an acquaintance, a friend and a warm supporter of the 


newly elected chief magistrate, conceived the project of sending to him a 
unique testimonial of the esteem in which he was held in Cheshire. 

He accordingly proposed, from his pulpit, on the Sabbath, that on a 
certain day such as were so disposed should bring their milk, or the curd 
which it would make, to the cider mill of Captain John Brown to be made 
into a mammoth cheese, to be sent as a present to the President. A suit- 
able hoop was prepared and placed on the cider press in the mill, and 
into this the curd was placed as it was brought by the contributors and 
after the proper preparation it was pressed by turning the screws, precisely 
as the people pressed their cider from pumice into which the apples had 
been converted. So liberally had the people responded to the invitation of 
Elder Leland that the cheese was found, when properly cured and dried, 
to weight sixteen hundred pounds. It was the largest cheese which had 
ever been made and nearly every family and cow in Cheshire had con- 
tributed toward it. It was not practical to take it to Washington on wheels, 
but about the middle of the following winter it was placed on a sleigh and 
driven to Washington by Elder Leland, who presented his people's gift to 
the President with an appropriate speech, to which Mr. Jefferson replied. 
In the course of his speech the President said: "I will cause this auspicious 
event to be placed on the records of our nation, and it will ever shine 
among its glorious archives. I shall ever esteem it among the most happy 
incidents of my life. And, now, my much respected reverend friend, I will, 
by the consent, and in the presence of my most honored council, have this 
cheese cut, and you will take back with you a portion of it, with my hearty 
thanks, and present it to your people, that you may all have a taste." 

The great cheese and its reception had already been noised abroad and 
Elder Leland made a kind of triumphal march back to Cheshire. 

Town of Lanesborough — One hundred and fifty-seven miles to 
the northwest of Boston is found the town of Lanesborough and 
five miles from Pittsfield by wagon road. It is bounded on the 
north by New Ashford, on the south by Pittsfield, while the west 
line separates it from Hancock along the ridge of the Taconics, 
and on the east an irregular line divides it from Cheshire and 
Dalton. It is six miles long by from three to six miles in width, 
a large portion of its original area having been ceded to Cheshire 
when that town was incorporated, in 1793. Strictly speaking the 
town is located in the upper part of the Housatonic Valley, com- 
prising within its limits wooded heights, fruitful hillsides, and rich 
valleys which makes it one of the most charming towns within 
beautiful Berkshire county. That handsome water sheet known 
as Pontoosuc Lake, lies partly within this town. 

Constitution and Farnum Hills, and Potter and Savage Moun- 
tains afford views when once seen are never to be forgotten. Bal- 
anced Rock, in the western part of the town, is a huge, three-corn- 
ered mass of Berkshire marble, grown gray by exposure, thirty 


feet long by fifteen wide, so poised upon another rock, three feet 
from the ground, that while it can be made to vibrate it cannot 
be dislodged. 

The soil of this town is a mixture of clay and loam. Forty 
years ago there were 97 well tilled farms in the town and 1,370 
acres of woodland. 

It now has a population of 1,054, or did have in 1920, when the 
last Federal census was taken. It had a postoffice established in 
1801. Two miles to the east is the hamlet of Berkshire. 

Its minerals are inclusive of marble and iron ore. When there 
were but few settlers within Berkshire, seventy-six citizens peti- 
tioned the General Court in Boston in the winter of 1741-42, for 
the grant of a township of wilderness land. They described the 
land they desired as "lying upon Osatunock alias Houseatanuck 
river near to an Indian town, northwardly from said town." 
Among the signers for a new town were : Samuel Jackson, Jonathan 
Barnett, Moses Learned, Benjamin Nourse, Jr., Francis Moquet, 
Col. Joseph Buckminster, Deacon Moses Pike, David Pratt, John 
Nourse, Jr., Daniel How, Alexander Drury, H. Rice, Jeremiah Bel- 
knap, Josiah Drury, Joseph Nichols, Rev. John Smith, John White, 
Caleb Bridges, John Bruner. 

The petition prayed for was granted cheerfully on January 
8, 1742, "allowed by a surveyor and chain man on oath to survey 
and lay out a township of the contents of six miles squair, ad- 
joining on the north on the Indian town, so called lying on Housa- 
tanuc, or as near that place as the land will allow, not interfering 
with any former grant, and that they return the plat thereof to 
this Court within twelve months for conformation, and for the 
more efifectual bringing forward the statement of the said town, 
etc., etc." October, 1742, a platting of the "Home Lots" had been 
made. The main road as shown on this plat does not materially 
dififer from the highway of today. The site of the meeting-house 
and lot for the minister, are near the present Congregational church. 
Simply to carry out a custom, the name of "Richfield" was in- 
serted in the grant until the Council should give it a legal name 
later on. The first town meeting was held in April, 1744 and 
the second in September the same year. King George's war last- 
ing four years, greatly hindered the development of settlement in 
the township. 

Nathaniel Willcocks came in from "Down Country" (Connecti- 
cut) about 1753, to Lanesborough, moving his family and goods 


with an ox team. Then Pittsfield site was but a forest and swamp, 
and he was compelled to fell trees to get through, taking a number 
of days. Different generations of this family gave their name a 
different spelling as "Willcocks," "Willcox" and "Wilcox." During 
those trying days the little settlement held its own, roads were 
made, houses built, a fort erected opposite where Sidney Hub- 
bell, Esq., later lived, and the busy inhabitants were making the 
wilderness to blossom like the rose and were ready to serve in 
the garrison at Pontoosuc when necessary, or to defend their 
families with the musket at home. In 1759 the conquest of Canada 
had made peace for the colonies certain, no more Indian attacks 
were to be expected, and New Framingham, (for the name Rich- 
field does not appear in any legal document), began to attract 
settlers. The first meeting of the proprietors in the township is 
thus recorded : "Being met in said new Township at the Fort on 
the 2d day of May, 1759, adjourned to 23d. Isaac Hill was chosen 
moderator, and Samuel Martin proprietor's clerk, and Isaac Hill, 

It was in 1760 that church and schools were agitated and very 
much desired by the settlers. As near as shown by previous works, 
the following had made their settlements prior to 1761 : William 
Bradley, James Goodrich, Thaddeus Curtis, Eben Squier, Nehemi- 
ah Bull, Samuel Warren, Moses Hale, Joseph Keeler, Beriah Dud- 
ley. These settlers are still well represented in the town and own 
much of the original lands taken by the pioneer families. 

An act incorporating the town was dated January 20, 1765, the 
blank left for the name being filled with the word "Lanesborough". 
The first town officers were : The Rev. Samuel Todd, Dr. Francis 
Guiteau, and Moses Hale, selectmen and assessors ; Samuel Warren, 
town treasurer ; Miles Powell, constable ; Thaddeus Curtis and 
Joseph Farnum, tithing men ; Moses Hall and James Goodrich, 
wardens; Daniel Perry, sealer of leather; Nehemiah Bull, deer 
reeve ; Justus Wheeler, James Loomis, and Miles Powell, hog 
reeves. It is not practical to attempt to give other town officers 
names except those of the present year (1925), the list of which is: 
Clerk, George B. Sturgis ; treasurer, Richard S. Pritchard; select- 
men, W. A. Akeroyd, Frank Armstrong, G. C. Bailey; assessors, 
W. E. Foster, H. C. Beers, Frank Armstrong; tax-collector, James 
G. Barnes; school committee, A. K. Sloper, Charles Chadwick, 
Henry Albert; constables, E. F. Bailey, James G. Barnes; library 
trustees, W. E. Foster, Mrs. Anna Sturgis, E. M. Whiting; tree 


warden, Charles Newton; fence-viewers, Frank J. Rounds, F. 
Tatro; auditors, C. J. Palmer, James G. Barnes, R. S. Fellows. 

January 1, 1925 the town had six schools in operation. The 
superintendent was Everett G. Loring. 

The financial sheet for the town on January 1, 1925 showed 
assets amounting- to $9,129. Liabilities, same amount. In reality 
the town was indebted to the amount of $987, on December 
31, 1924. 

The first representative of this town in the General Court, was 
Peter B. Curtis, chosen in May, 1772. 

Like many towns in Berkshire county in the Revolution, a large 
majority of the people resident here were loyal to the American 
cause. However, there were some who clung to the English 
crown and these had to be watched and properly cared for— some- 
times placed in jail. 

There have been some changes with the flight of time, but in 
the main, the condition of affairs in this town differs but little 
from that observed forty years ago when a historian wrote as 
follows : "During the past few years the history of the town is 
that of a quiet, intelligent farming community. Business has gone 
largely to other fields and to cities. The center of population 
has drifted southward. There is one main village, with a hotel, 
postofiice, one store and the church buildings of the Congre- 
gational, Baptist, and Methodist societies, the town hall, built 
in 1827, and many dwellings extending along the main highway." 

Squire Shaw built a home and reared his family here. His son 
Henry W., born in 1818, in this town, became the well-known hum- 
orous writer, known as "Josh Billings," who commenced his liter- 
ary and "funny writings" in 1863 and soon was in great demand as 
both writer and lecturer. It was this man who wrote "Id ruther 
hav a ten dollar bill than all the sympathy on the bottom side of the 

October, 1761 the first steps were taken toward forming the 
Congregational church, as per conditions laid in the land title 
when the town was incorporated. The church was always sup- 
ported by taxation in those days and not by voluntary subscrip- 
tions as now. 

The first Episcopal church was organized about 1767 and a 
chapel soon provided. The Baptist church here was organized 
February, 1818, Governor Briggs being one of the members. The 
Methodist Episcopal church had occasional services here, but 


no regular preaching or class establishment until the winter of 
1863 when a great revival was had in the vicinity and later they 
organized a church and built a good edifice. 

The village of Berkshire is situated in the eastern part of this 
town. Its postoffice was established in 1853. There the glass 
works were early started. This place is a station on the Boston 
& Albany railroad. Marble from the quarries round about has 
long been a source of wealth. Much of the marble in the capitol 
at Albany came from this village. Material for the old capitol in 
1808 as well as for the present building, came from these quarries. 
The marble and brick industries here have been long and favor- 
ably known. 

To be a resident of this town is to be within a highly cultured, 
practical community of Americans who have always performed 
their share in developing Berkshire county. 

The Town of Windsor — Here among the Windsor Hills, long 
before Governor Carter was the first magistrate, the Indians were 
wont to come to their summer hunting grounds. As the whites 
increased in the valley of the Housatonic, the red men came 
less frequently. In various parts of this town the smoke of the 
log cabins had acquired the poetic curve long before the mountain 
range from Vermont to Connecticut, "in the April showers of 
1761, had been christened Berkshire." 

In June, 1762 a committee in the General Court at Boston, re- 
ported selling nine townships and 10,000 acres lying in Hamp- 
shire, on certain conditions. One record says "Sold the 2d day 
of June, 1762, at the Royal Exchange Tavern on King street — 
No. 4 to Noah Nash for 1,430 pounds and have received of him 
20 pounds taken as with his bond together with Oliver Partridge, 
Thomas Morey, William Williams, and Josiah Chauncy for 1,410 
pounds." June 10, 1762 H. Gray signs as treasurer for the pay- 
ment of the above amount. Another account, however, says that 
Noah Nash deeded to David Parsons of certain right of land in 
the new township known as Williamsburgh, formerly called 
Dewey's town, or Bigott's town, alias No. 4. These names were 
given the place by earlier settlers, with their respective names. 
No. 4 indicated the order of land sale. 

The first log cabin within the town was near where later the 
saw mill was located and operated by J. L. White, two miles west 
of Windsor Hill. After 1777 this log house was used as a pest 
house. The records of this town are complete and show that Elihu 


Williams was authorized to call a town meeting in a town by 
the name of Gageborough. A meeting- was held at the house of 
John Hall, innholder, August 27. Leicester Grosvenor was chosen 
clerk and John Hall moderator. It is believed that the town was 
called Gageborough when incorporated, July 2, 1771, in honor 
of Governor Thomas Gage. For political reasons, later on the town 
discarded the name Gageborough and called it Windsor in 1778, 
fron- Windsor, Connecticut. In the great struggle for national inde- 
pendence, this town was fully up with the most patriotic. The 
resolution of the Committee of Safety, November 25, 1776, declared 
"The vote relative to the forming of a system of government for 
this State is agreeable to the inhabitants of this town and that the 
town committee manifest their approbation of said votes in the 
convention of Committees of the county of Berkshire to be held in 
Stockbridge the 19th instant." 

Hardly three weeks had passed before people with one accord 
"vote that Captain Leicester Grosvenor, William Hatfield, and 
Captain William Clark to be a committee to apportion upon the 
inhabitants the duty which each man ought to do in support of the 
American arms against the common enemy of our country, in 
which they are to have regard to services already done." A bounty 
of ten dollars was paid the volunteers who went into the army 
from this township. The families of soldiers in the "Continental 
Army" (as they loved to be called) were cared for by the com- 
munity generally. 

In May, 1778, a new constitution having been drafted and sent 
to Gageborough, after careful reading in town meetings, it was 
rejected by a majority of eighty-seven. In September, 1778, 
"Voted to receive Ashuelot Equivalent to be incorporated with 
the town of Gageborough also to give the town a new name and 
adopted Windsor." 

Leaving the question of Revolutionary war, let us go to the 
civic and religious history of the town. The history of the Con- 
gregational church was interwoven largely with the civil history 
of the town. By requirement, a learned Protestant minister should 
have been settled as early as June, 1767, but at that time only 
four purchases of land are recorded ; in 1773, sixteen purchases, 
some of whom settled here. In September, 1772, "voted to build 
a meeting-house and to set it on Bradford's Hill." During that year 
the church was organized with ten members. The first pastor 
was Rev. David Avery, a graduate of Yale College. After serv- 


ing four years he asked release to become chaplain, and served as 
such four years, then settled as a minister in Bennington. Rev. 
Gordon Dorrance was ordained and remained pastor thirty-nine 
years, beginning in 1795. Among other articles of church regu- 
lation one in 1813 read as follows: "Also voted that the pastor 
is esteemed no more than that of any private brother; and that 
it is his duty to faithfully record the votes of the church, how- 
ever contrary they may be to his private opinion." Having thus 
founded this church and seen that it was properly sustained, its 
history has been fraught with its ups and downs, as in all soci- 
eties even to the present day. 

The Baptist church was legally organized May 5, 1805, with 
forty-one members. It was to be known as "Baptist Society in 
Windsor." A meeting-house was erected in 1819 and the mem- 
bership was then 264 — all men except one zvidozv. This church 
formed a majority of the voters in the town. The society dwin- 
dled to fourteen members and in 1851 went down. 

Since then various denominations have kept alive the Church 
spirit and the effects of both good churches and excellent country 
schools have been the general rule within Windsor town. 

Farming — The closing paragraph of an historical account of this 
town in 1885 reads as follows : "As a farming town, with but few 
mechanics shops or mills, the changes must be few. Saw mills and 
grist mills disappear, but farms remain. As they grow less pro- 
ductive two or more farms are united, or some of them are allowed 
to revert to the forests ; and as a consequence, the population de- 
creases year by year. The changes which such causes produce may 
be inferred by a thoughtful perusal of these closing statistics: 
Population in 1790, 916; 1800, 961; 1810, 1,108; 1820, 1185; 1830, 
1,042; 1840, 872; 1850, 897; 1860, 839; 1870, 686; 1880, 614." 

The 1920 United States census reports gives this town a popu- 
lation of 403. This shows the theory of the writer of the above 
paragraph to be not without good foundation. 

The present (1924) town officers of Windsor are as follows: 
Hattie Galusha, auditor; W. J. Gray, constable; J. F. Leslie, as- 
sessor; A. L. Turner, assessor; A. S. Ferry, treasurer; A. L. Turner, 
collector; C. S. Galusha, town clerk; W. C. Estes, Board of Health 
and Overseer of the Poor; selectmen, W. C. Estes, C. H. Ball 
D. A. Cady. 

The treasurer's reports show that in 1924 the receipts and 
payments of the town amounted to $34,521.99. The amount of 



cash on hand December 31, 1924 was $2,559.16. The assessed 
valuation was $433,673.00. The statistics show for 1924 horses, 
153; cows, 396; sheep, 64; other cattle, 173; swine, 9; houses, 147; 
fowl, 1,310. 

The amount spent for teachers of public schools in the town 
in 1924, was $3,332.50 The amount spent for local transportation of 
the sixty pupils attending school was $3,228.62. This means $100 
per pupil annually which is a singular state of public affairs, and 
is so mentioned by the author — the town clerk — in his last annual 


Some of the readers of this work may be interested in having 
the historian trace the various steps v^hich finally brought about 
the incorporation of present "Town of Dalton." State histories 
tell us that before the year 1739, the territory of which the town of 
Dalton is composed, as well as all the lands embraced in the present 
southern tiers of towns in New Hampshire and Vermont was 
claimed by Massachusetts with a very strong showing of being 
correct in her claims. But during that year the British Privy 
Council rendered its decision against Massachusetts thus award- 
ing New Hampshire the disputed territory. 

Many large forest tracts were held for speculation. An honest 
course was taken toward actual settlers. Among those who were 
in this disputed strip were Oliver Partridge and others, of Hat- 
field, in Hampshire county, who had obtained a grant of a town- 
ship in the southwest corner of what is now the state of New 
Hampshire, which took the name of Lower Ashuelot, there being 
also an Upper Ashuelot township on the same stream. When 
nearly two centuries ago, the Hatfield company selected here their 
equivalent for their lost lands on the Ashuelot river, in New 
Hampshire, it of course lay in the forest. Whether the selection 
was made with the great watei -power in view or not is not known, 
but likely this was not fully appreciated. But Col. Partridge and 
his associates took a good look into future business, and it is to 
be observed that their original choice on the Ashuelot is rich in 
water-power, and that in laying out the township, which took 
the name of The Ashuelot Equivalent, they gave the unusual pro- 
portions of 4.10 miles in length by three in breadth, including what 
has since been incorporated in the town of Hinsdale; and that 
within it is some of the best water in Berkshire county. 

The dimensions of this grant made in 1743, as an equivalent for 
the loss of the Lower Ashuelot township, are given in the patent 
as 1,571 rods long by 760 wide, with the exceptions of 300 acres 
in the northeast corner which had previously been granted to 
Andrew Stone containing 9,423 acres. 

Settlement commenced here in 1754-55, but on account of In- 
dian difficulties but little was accomplished until the spring of 


1760. The first settlers included the Chamberlains, Merrimans, 
Lawrences, Boardmans, Greens, Gallups, Atwoods, and Parks. 

The "New plantation of Ashuelot Equivalent" was incorporated 
as the Town of Dalton by an act of the Legislature March 20, 
1784. It was named in honor of the then speaker of the House 
of Representatives Hon. Tristram Dalton. Later he was a United 
States Senator from Massachusetts. The act of incorporation re- 
quired Charles Goodrich, of Pittsfield to issue his warrant to 
some prominent inhabitant of the Equivalent directing him to call 
the first meeting. The warrant was directed to Deacon Williams, 
and the first meeting was held at the inn of Dr. Perez Marsh, 
April 19th, when the moderator was Joseph Chamberlain and 
clerk, William Williams. By the act of incorporation it was 
bounded on the north by Windsor, on the west by Lanesboro and 
Pittsfield, on the east by Partridgefield and Jones grant to the 
north line of Washington and thence on the same line of Pitts- 
field. The territory thus named was about five miles long by three 
wide, comprising what is now the busy manufacturing part of the 
town. In the portion of Windsor next adjoining it there was 
some excellent woodland. 

During Shays' Rebellion Dalton town sufi^ered more than many 
others in Berkshire county. 

No portion of these lands were reserved for the support of the 
churches and schools as was the usual custom. From the incor- 
poration of the town nearly $150 was voted each year "to hire 

The Methodist Episcopal denomination introduced itself in this 
town in 1788 and soon gained a strong foothold, especially in the 
south portion. 

A Congregational church was established in Dalton, February 
16, 1785, but owing to a required rule in the incorporation no 
minister was provided until several years later. The first meeting- 
house was erected in 1795-6. Rev. James Thompson was the first 
pastor. The story of "church troubles" here, is all too lengthy to 
now narrate. It may be added that "The Methodist Religious 
Society of Pittsfield, Hancock, Dalton and Washington," was in- 
corporated in May, 1804. In 1840 Dalton was only a society in 
a large circuit, but were then able to build a church edifice costing 
$1,400. The first Sunday School here was formed in 1826. Since 
1840 Dalton was made a station and has been supplied with a 
pastor ever since. Prior to 1861 the Catholics were transported 


alternately to and from Pittsfield to church services by the mill 
owners of Dalton. St. Agnes Church was completed in 1882-83, 
costing $17,000. From then on the Catholic people have had a 
church of their own in Dalton. 

The first attempt at having a public library in Dalton was in 
1852 when a dozen gentlemen of the town formed a voluntary 
library association and bought three hundred books which were 
placed in the town hall. Ever since then the town has aided the 
library and now has a most highly appreciated library. The num- 
ber of its books is now 15,031, or was so given December 31, 1924. 
Number fiction books read last year, 20,678. Present librarian, 
Miss Gladys C. Greene. Walter C. Reed, president. 

The water works system was established by the aid of Lieuten- 
ant-Governor Weston, after spending several years in looking up 
the source of springs and creeks. Finally the finest quality of 
water was discovered two miles north of the village in Egypt 
Brook. In February, 1884, a fire district was established and ob- 
tained a charter in April, 1884, during which year the water works 
were commenced. That fall water was gushing from the pipes 
leading from a reservoir holding 3,250,000 gallons. It is 255 feet 
higher than the bridge in the center of the village, thus giving 
sufficient pressure without engines. These works only cost 
$46,678 to complete them. 

Good local government has been the rule in Dalton. The 
spirit of progress and modern-day improvements has seized the 
people and the passer-by cannot but see the result of wise local 
officers, very well backed by the tax-payers. The 1924 town 
officers were : Town clerk, John O. Keig, whose term expires in 
1927; treasurer, George W. Smith, term expires in 1925; selectmen, 
Thomas H. Mooney, H. A. Meacham, and W. R. Pratt; school 
committee, Albert L. Allen, Andrew Canavan, Fred G. Crane, Jr. ; 
superintendent of schools, H. L. Allen; assessors, J. J. Kelley, 
James E. Bardin, Dwight Burr; tax-collector, Harry A. Tower; 
auditor, John H. Bellows. 

The United States census report for 1920 gave Dalton a popu- 
lation of 3,752. Its churches include the Roman Catholic, Congre- 
gationalist, Methodist and the Episcopal denominations. All have 
good edifices. The banking interests are well supplied by the 
Dalton Branch of the City Savings Bank of Pittsfield. The Com- 
munity Hall was finished in 1923 at a cost of nothing to the village, 
as it was donated by United States Senator W. M. Crane, of the 

W. Mass.— 36 


paper-mill family of Cranes. This fine red pressed brick structure 
was dedicated November, 1923 with one thousand present. Ex- 
Governor Brumbaugh, of Pennsylvania, delivered the address. 
This bequest was a result of Mr. Crane's father, who calculated to 
erect a hall for men to call home when not at work in his mills, 
but this serves a still greater use, as it has gymnasium, bowling 
alley, pool tables, dancing hall, ladies parlors and many excellent 
features. It is near the village or town hall. 

The Young Men's Christian Association formed many years 
ago in 1909 dedicated its magnificent brick building near the 
town hall. Since the Community Building has been used for the 
older meml)ers of the "Y," the Y. M. C. A. building, proper, is 
used exclusively for youths under eighteen years of age. The 
town hall and public library both occupy the same building. 

The Great Paper Industry — Whoever has had an occasion to 
buy, sell or use paper, especially fine grades of letter paper and 
printer's bond stock, must have heard of the Dalton Paper Mills — 
the Crane's mills, the Weston's mills, etc. The space allotted for 
this sketch is far too small to give other than a brief statement 
concerning these wonderful mills that are turning out their mul- 
tiplied thousands of tons annually, for which figures see later. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century was ushered in a 
new era for many portions of the country. Here in Dalton the 
gfreat advent was in the introduction of paper-making which has 
long since become famous throughout the country. The pioneer 
of this work was Zenas Crane, founder of the family, members of 
which have been important factors in this country. Zenas Crane 
was born May 9, 1777, son of Stephen Crane. Zenas Crane when 
old enough to go for himself, entered his brother's paper mill at 
Newton, where he learned the rudiments of paper-making, then 
went to Worcester, where he finished his business education in 
the mill of General Burbank, an exacting, though very competent 

For many years after 1800, each little mill gathered its rags 
from a small circuit immediately around itself, and depended 
largely upon the same region as a market for its products. So far 
as it had the skill it made all the then known grades of writing, 
printing, and wrapping paper. The proprietors were forced to 
turn their hands to anything which would bring present pay, how- 
ever much frequent changes hindered their general progress. 

As has been well said by an earlier historian : 


It was with a fair knowledge of this and other difficulties which lay in 
the way that young Zenas Crane mounted his horse at Worcester in the 
summer of 1799, and rode westward in search of a site upon which to build 
his mill and if possible his fortunes. At Springfield he found the papermill 
founded by Eleazer Wright, probably before 1787, and afterward made 
famous by David Ames & Sons. Beyond that there was no mill of this 
class until the Hudson river was reached; none southward above southern 
Connecticut, nor on the north except in central Vermont. Nearly in the 
center of this large region, unoccupied by any of his craft, Mr. Crane 
found a site in which were combined all the requisites which could be 
desired for this purpose. It was not far from the center of the town 
of Dalton and of Berkshire county. Here, in narrow romantic gorge or 
glen, was a waterfall upon the east branch of the Housatonic river, which 
has since been made a power of far greater capacity than Zenas Crane 
ever expected to demand of it. This, however, was at that time of com- 
paratively small consideration. Water falls were abundant in those days, 
and not very costly. 

There was another point, and the most essential one, in which this loca- 
tion and all others in Dalton are unrivalled. The whole Western slope of 
the Dalton Valley, as well as most of its bottom and much of its other 
surroundings, is geologically a purely silicious formation out of which 
gushed many springs, as free from any injurious mineral combination as 
natural water ever is. The most eminent chemists after analysis as strict 
as possible for them to make, pronounced the water, even in its mountain 
lakelets and in the streamlets which dash down its mountain sides, as 
near an approach to chemically distilled water as nature ever gives us. The 
adjoining town of Pittsfield now prides itself upon receiving its water 
supply from these crystal hills instead of drinking from its own iron and 
lime impregnated wells. 

In 1799 the peculiarity of different waters had attracted little general 
attention; but it is certain that Zenas Crane did not forget so important an 
element in his calculations, for he needed to go but five miles further west 
to find, in Pittsfield, equally good water-power, in a location more con- 
venient to his markets, and in a community then just awakening to the 
home value of manufacturing enterprise, and eager to aid any feasible pro- 
ject in that direction; but the water there was loaded with deleterious sub- 
stances, fatal to paper-making. 

But even in other respects the locality was favorable to his venture. 
Dalton then had a population of 950, more than half living within its 
present (1885) limits; the county of Berkshire had 34,000, while a prosper- 
ous section of Hampshire lay nearer to Dalton than to Springfield. Outside 
the State the nearest rival mills were at Hartford, Troy, and Bennington. 
It might well have been expected that a region indicated by these limits, 
especially as it had two newspapers, would furnish material for and absorb 
the product of a one-vat paper mill, leaving but little to seek in a wider 
market by way of Albany. 

The cost of living in Dalton was small, and workmen had few tempta- 
tions to extraordinary expenditures, except in the many taverns, the seduc- 
tions of which indeed were sufficiently potent. 

Such was the location which, in the summer of 1799, Zenas Crane 


selected for the first paper mill in Massachusetts, west of the Connec- 
ticut river; a section in which some of the best paper in the world is 
now made, and more in one hour than one of the early mills could supply 
in a year. The mill, however, v/as not actually built until the spring of 
1801, as appears from the following curious advertisement in the "Pittsfield 
Sun" of February 8 in that year: 

Encourage your own manufacturers and they will improve — 
Ladies, Save Your Rags. 

The thing had been accomplished — a paper mill was running. 
The building erected was a one-vat mill, its main part being two 
stories high, the upper being used as a drying loft. It had a daily- 
capacity of twenty "posts." Each post was one hundred and 
twenty-five sheets of paper ; the size in this case being folio for 
printing paper and foolscap for writing. By weight the daily 
product was from 100 to 125 pounds. The skilled workmen were 
an engineer at $3.00 per week ; a vat man at $3.50 per week ; one 
additional man and two girls at seventy-five cents per week, and 
a lay boy at six cents, all being boarded. After a few months 
Mr. Crane, who had a partner, was given $9.00 per week as a gen- 
eral superintendent. 

The second paper mill in this county was at Lee, in 1806, by 
Samuel Church. The third in Berkshire, and second in Dalton 
was built by Joseph Chamberlain in 1809. Without entering into 
detail, it may be said that the following all took an active part 
in building up the paper industry in this county : Messrs. David 
Carson, Chamberlain and Wiswell and the several Cranes, with 
Byron Weston. 

It was in 1879 that the Crane mills were awarded the contract 
for supplying the United States government with all the paper 
which it requires for its national bank bills, bonds, certificates, 
and treasury notes. They purchased the old Colt paper mill 
plant, in the town of Pittsfield in order to properly fill the gov- 
ernment orders. Hence it has since been styled "The Govern- 
ment Mill." It was Zenas Marshall Crane who in 1846 con- 
ceived the idea of introducing into the fiber of bank bills silken 
threads in numbers representing their respective denominations 
that the fraudulent raising of their values from a lower to a higher 
grade might be prevented. This system still obtains in making 
our paper money and the Crane Company still holds exclusive 

While the Crane family have always been foremost in the paper 


industry there have been others who have been almost their 
equal. The Weston Paper Company of which former Governor 
Byron Weston was the head, are known for the superior products 
in fine papers. So much so that their papers took the prizes at 
the great world's expositions at Philadelphia, Paris, in Australia 
and this part of the globe generally where exhibited. 

The first woolen mill in Dalton was built by Rev. Isaiah Weston, 
in 1814. Times have changed since then. An early writer says — ■ 
"When John Curtis was a boy of ten years, he drove the oxen 
which drew the lumber for this mill ; his father received one dollar 
per thousand feet for cutting and drawing it. The canal was dug 
by British prisoners of war from the Pittsfield Cantonment, these 
men being permitted to earn money while prisoners and worked 
on their good behavior. Mr. Weston carried on this mill until 
his death in 1821. Here large amounts of broad cloth were made. 

At the present time (1925) the only figures accessible as to 
the output of paper in Dalton are what have been given out by 
the Crane Company which are as follows : Crane Company es- 
tablished in 1801 ; output approximately three thousand tons an- 
nually ; employees about five hundred ; three paper mill plants — 
one at Dalton, one at Pittsfield and one at Westfield. These mills 
are specialized mills, each making its own grade of fine paper. 

Town of Peru — This is one of the towns of the Green Moun- 
tain range. Actual settlers were slow about entering this town, 
as it was deemed a cold, bleak, barren, mountainlike section. Oliver 
Partridge, of Hatfield, and Elisha Jones of Weston, purchased, 
June 2, 1762, sixty-three settling lots of township No. 2. Others 
came in and in 1771 the first town meeting was called by Justice of 
the Peace W. M. Williams, Deacon Nathan Fiske being the mod- 
erator. At this meeting it was "voted to hear Mr. Tracy preach 
a longer time," and chose a committee to confer with him about 
preaching. Thus it appears that the pioneers here were of a spirit- 
ual and religious nature. The man Tracy above named was fin- 
ally called and served as pastor. The first schools seem to have 
been organized in 1772. October, 1774 it was voted "that money 
necessarily expended out of this town in trying to suppress the 
late acts of the British Parliament shall be paid by this town." 
Among the earliest settlers to respond to the call for Minute Men 
was Nathan Watkins, whose muster roll of April 22, 1775, had 
forty names, of whom fifteen were from Partridgefield. Through- 
out the strife this town was active in support of the American 


cause. In 1803 the town consented to a division by incorporation 
the new part to be known as West Parish which was only two- 
fifths of Partridgefield town. In 1805 there was a move to name 
the town Troy; and in April, 1806, the selectmen were made a 
committee to choose three names for the town and present them 
at their next meeting. May 5, they petitioned to be called Peru. 
Rev. John Leland had long complained of the name "Partridge- 
field." This time he suggested Peru, as it was a mountain region 
of South America. Thus the name Peru became permanent for 
soon the Legislature changed it from its former too-long name. 

The present (1924) town officers of Peru are as follows: Town 
clerk and treasurer, F. G. Creamer; selectmen, overseers of the 
poor, F. G. Creamer, Ralph Blake ; assessors, John Dixon and W. 
P. Smith ; also Robert Cornwall ; tree warden, Ed Kelly ; auditor, 
Francis Cornwall ; tax-collector, F. G. Creamer. 

The assets and liabilities of the town in 1924 were $2,402 in 
assets and $1,000 in liabilities, with balance in favor of the town, 
$1,402. Total valuation of town, $315,000; real estate, $269,000 
personal property, $46,233; tax-rate per thousand dollars, $13.00 
number of polls assessed, 46; number dwellings, 63; horses, 60 
cows, 83; neat cattle, 33; swine, 5; fowls, 240; number acres, 15,826. 

Town of Hinsdale — By the request of the people of what is 
now Hinsdale and Peru towns (or old No. 2) the West Parish of 
Partridge was formed June 23, 1795. Its early history will be 
found with that of Peru. The first parish meeting was held Sep- 
tember 21st. For twenty-two years settlers had been locating in 
various parts of this town; the first perhaps were three Miller 
brothers, Francis, Daniel, and Thomas, from Connecticut. Fran- 
cis was a surveyor for the government of the road from Boston 
to Albany and so adherent to his oath of loyalty that at the com- 
mencement of the Revolution he returned to England. Five sons 
of Joseph Watson came. Also the Torrey brothers, Nathan and 
Wilson. In April, 1772, Nathan Fish purchased of Oliver Part- 
ridge 221 acres for eighty pounds Sterling, and built there a corn 
mill, and the next year a saw mill, about one mile south of the 
Ashmere Reservoir. Samuel Watkins later owned this milling 
interest. At about the same date a mill was built at Wahconah 
Falls, just over the line in Hinsdale town, to which there was a 
bridle path. In 1781 came Richard Starr, whose monument, erec- 
ted by the parish, attests his services both in church and civil 


Rev. Stephen Tracy and Rev. John Leland were first to preach 
in this part of the county. In about 1783 a society was incorpor- 
ated and a small church erected in which to worship. When the 
pews were sold at public auction a resolution was passed to "pro- 
vide plenty of liquor for the vendue (auction)," which was believed 
to stimulate the bidders ! 

In 1805 a second petition was presented for an act of incorpora- 
tion to the Legislature, asking for a town name also. Hinsdale 
was suggested in honor of Rev. Theodore Hinsdale, who had do- 
nated a $300 church bell. Hinsdale was recognized as a legal 
town of Berkshire county on July 30, 1804. About two-fifths of 
Partridgefield was included in the limits of the newly created 
town. July, 1817, William A. Hawley was ordained pastor of 
the Congregational church and served until 1841. In less than 
two years after the organization of the Congregational church 
the Baptist denomination took action and soon organized, the 
date being April, 1797, and the charter members consisted of eight 
women and nine men. 

With the passing of decades this town has grown with others in 
the county and its citizens have performed their share in advan- 
cing the interests of the commonwealth. 

The United States census for 1920 gave the town a population 
of 1,065. 

The 1924-25 town officers are as follows : Selectmen, T. J. O'- 
Leary, Louis T. Sherman, Edward Blake; town clerk, Mrs. Cora 
Lovell ; tax-collector, William Collins ; treasurer, William Doherty ; 
assessors, George F. O'Leary, Harry Parker, William E. Morgan; 
auditor, Clifford E. Robinson ; tree warden, James McGill ; super- 
intendent of schools, George Spaulding; forest warden, Alfred N. 
Warren ; meat inspector, Alfred N. Warren ; pound keeper, Ralph 

Hinsdale public and private schools have sent forth to the world 
many educated, useful men and women. The Hinsdale Academy 
was incorporated April, 1848, by a stock company with a capital of 
$20,000. This continued many years. The buildings finally were 
utilized for public school purposes. 

The public library called Library Hall has been of great value 
for the students of the town. This was made possible by the 
donation made by members of the Plunkett family. In 1885 this 
library contained 4,000 books and a splendid building and lands. 
With the passing years the town has kept this property intact. 


Town of Richmond — Richmond has its natural attraction in a 
pleasant fertile valley, enclosed by hills on the east and west ; and 
on the northwest is Perry's Peak, from the summit of which, 
2,077 feet above the Hudson river, the valley may be seen in all 
its sublime beauty. Through its lovely valleys flow on toward the 
sea numerous small streams. 

This territory was originally styled "No. 8," it being the eighth 
township of land sold in this land district. It was sold at auction 
June 2, 1762, and the bill of sale described it as "No. 8 a township 
to begin at the southwest corner of Pittsfield, thence to run south 
as far as the north line of Stcckbridge, from thence on a straight 
line to Stockbridge northeast corner, thence to extend westerly 
on Stockbridge line so far as to make the contents of six 
miles square, exclusive of the grants already laid out to Josiah 
Dean, for two thousand five hundred pounds, and have received 
of him twenty pounds and taken bond from him for 2,530 pounds." 
Lenox and Richmond were included in this tract. Richmond is 
supposed to have been named for Duke of Richmond, a great- 
grandson of Charles H. Another account questions the town's 
being named as above stated. 

In 1767 the town was divided, and the eastern valley was named 
Lenox, the family name of the Duke of Richmond. The present 
territory embraced within Richmond is only four and one-half 
square miles. It is largely an agricultural town, but has two beds 
of iron ore where in the eighties fifty men had employment at 
taking out the mineral which was then being worked by the Rich- 
mond Iron Company. This was organized in 1829 and incorpor- 
ated in 1842. At first this company operated only one furnace, 
that in Richmond ; but in 1842 one in Van Deusenville was added, 
and in 1863 another at Cheshire. In all their works forty years 
ago, there were 700 men employed and an annual product of 
12,000 tons of iron produced. This town has no village other than 
Richmond postoffice and its station on the Boston & Albany 
railroad. The postofifice was established in 1806. Richmond Furn- 
ace also had a postoffice in the southwestern part of the town; 
also some stores and shops. 

The United States census for 1920 gives the population of this 
town as being 561. 

The church was among the first things to be thought of in 
early days and the date of settlement was never far from the 
erecting of some kind of house of worship. The first authorized 


meeting of the town had much to do also with the affairs of a pro- 
posed church society. A meeting-house was soon built in each 
part of the town, each 35 by 40 feet in size. They stood where later 
stood the churches in Lenox and Richmond. Early in December, 
1882, the old church, built in 1795, was burned with all its modern 
and costly improvements. (What is now known as the Congre- 
gational church, was organized in 1824). After the fire a new 
church edifice was soon provided. 

Methodism began operation here in 1817 and built in 1825 three- 
fourths of a mile from the center. This building was still in 
use in the late eighties. 

The present town officers of Richmond are as follows: Clerk 
and treasurer, R. C. Williams; selectmen, Charles D. Benton, 
Robert P. Coleman, J. H. Fairfield ; assessors, Lewis A. Reynolds, 
Robert P. Coleman, M. H. Chapman; registrars, Charles D. Ben- 
ton, Robert P. Coleman, J. H. Fairfield; tax-collector, William 
H. Terrell; librarian. Miss Ida H. Barnes; tree warden, John H. 
Fairfield; forest warden, Timothy B. Salmon; auditors, L. P. Rus- 
sell, Horace Mann. 

The town now owns the following road machinery — Crusher, 
oiler, roller, four-horse road machine, two-horse road machine, 
plows and other small tools. The assets of the town in 1925 are 
$4,342.80. The liabilities amount to $8,235. The figures are from 
the report made by selectmen. The same report shows the ex- 
penses for the public schools for 1924 were $11,182.45. This in- 
cludes a balance on hand of about $400.00. 

Town of Lenox — The first white man to locate in this part of 
Beikshire county was Jonathan Hinsdale, born in Hartford, Con- 
necticut, 1724, and died January, 1811. When he erected his small 
house near the foot of the Court House Hill there were scarcely 
a dozen white families north of Stockbridge, in what is now Berk- 
shire county. He loved the wilderness and was charmed by the 
"green glad solitude" found in new countries. After a lonely 
winter of hard toil he was joined in the spring by a Mr. Cooper 
and a little later by Messrs. Stephens and Dickinson. It must 
have been a gloomy spot in which to live as noted by the follow- 
ing words from a former writer of Berkshire history who says: 
"They were connected with the outer world only by the rough 
road that wound from Sheffield up through Barrington and Stock- 
bridge. An unknown forest stood around them, into whose gloomy 


depths stole narrow Indian trails. Often from this dense forest 
came the howling wolves following frightened deer. Sometimes 
when pressed by hunger, these wild animals came forth from 
their coverts in the woods and attacked sheep in the fold, and 
made the mothers anxious to keep their little children close by 
home. As late as 1782 Lenox was so disturbed by wolves that 
a bounty of forty shillings, was voted for each one killed. The 
town records shows that in 1774 Lenox annual'y elected officers 
called "deer-reeves" whose duty it was to force the law against 
killing any moose or deer, between December 21 and August 11. 

"The land in all this region, as far west as the Westfield river, 
was at that .ime claimed by the Stockbridge Indians, but was not 
settled by them much north of Stockbridge." 

The Indians were treated well and sought the teachings of 
good white missionaries. The Indians claimed title to these lands, 
yet it was questioned by some of the pioneer white men. The 
provincial government advertised to sell at auction ten townships 
of Indian land, June 2, 1762. The Indians objected to this and 
petitioned for a stay until they might bring in their evidence, 
but the whites would not listen to this but ordered the sale to 
proceed. In order to "make the red man feel better" they were 
paid out of the public treasury one thousand pounds Sterling for 
their use, provided such Indians would release all claim to any 
lands of the province to which they pretended a title. 

At that public sale Township No. 8, including the present town- 
ships of Richmond and Lenox, was bought by Josiah Dean for 
2,550 pounds Sterling. At a later date in order to satisfy the 
Indians more money was paid them. Originally the part of the 
township called Richmond was known as Mt. Ephraim and the 
part now known as Lenox was called Yokuntown, after the two 
Indian chiefs with whom the whites had to deal. 

In January, 1764, an act was passed incorporating the purchasers 
of the plantation of Yokuntown and Mt. Ephraim into "one dis- 
tinct Property" to enable them to have a local government — really 
a kind of inferior "town." The first meeting of the early propri- 
etors was held at the house of John Chamberlain in Mt. Ephraim, 
April 17, 1764, when twenty-five pounds were voted "to hire preach- 
ing." In May that year two churches were started and then a 
bitter contention arose. The plantation was long divided by a 
mountain range. All of the settlers could not well worship in 
one house. 






Soon after the incorporation or formation of the town, the mat- 
ter of schools and churches was before the people. Rev. Samuel 
Munson was the first called to preach. Much strife ensued be- 
fore the location of a building site could be settled. Among the 
later pastors here was the long since popular Doctor of Divinity, 
C. H. Parkhurst, of New York City, who resigned in this town in 
1880 for a wider field of usefulness. 

The Baptists and Methodists were early in this field, but not 
in sufficient numbers to allow them to receive public tax aid as 
did the "regular church" — the Congregationalist. 

St. Ann's Roman Catholic church was established in Lenox, as 
a mission from Pittsfield in 1852. 

Nor was Lenox slow in her performance of military duty dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War. Not all, however, upheld the idea of 
an independent country, and this minority had to be kept down 
and watched all the long eight eventful years of the strife for 
freedom. Again in the stormy days of the Civil War, the town 
was alive to Union of States and the ladies here worked with 
the Soldier's Aid Society from 1861 on the full four years of the 
war period and sent many boxes of clothing, bandages and pre- 
served fruits to the sick in battle-field hospitals. 

Agriculture has always been the main occupation of the people 
of this town. Caleb Hyde was one of the petitioners in 1811, for 
the incorporation of the "Berkshire County Agricultural Society." 
The first farmers' club in the county was organized by Lenox and 
Stockbridge men, in 1846. 

A postoffice was established here in 1800 and that season the 
first marble quarry was begun. The first mill for sawing marble 
was built by Nathan Barrett. At Lenox Furnace, a village in the 
south part of Lenox, are the remains of the old Lenox Iron Com- 
pany's works. Glass and iron works were scattered here and there 
over this and adjoining towns at an early date, but in recent times 
have been allowed to be abandoned. The same is true of lumber- 
ing and milling industries. When the forests abounded as much 
as 400,000 feet of native lumber was cut by the mills of this town 

The schools here have kept apace the times and many a youth 
has had his educational start from the humble schoolrooms of 
Lenox. John Collins, one of the first four to graduate from 
Williams College, was from this town. Lenox Academy was in- 


corporated in 1803 and many years stood high among the schools 
of the commonwealth. For many years an excellent school for 
young ladies was conducted in Lenox, by Mrs. Sedgwick, and 
among her pupils was Charlotte Cushman. 

Other chapters have mentioned much concerning the early 
county seat matters here, the holding of courts, etc. 

As early as 1840 this town had become noted as quite a summer 
resort place and many families came out from Boston and New 
York to spend the heated term. Not less than forty families were 
here in 1840. The population in 1820 was 1.315; today it is 2,691. 
The Lenox Library was being promoted with zeal in 1828. The 
Berkshire Medical Society met at Lenox in 1828 and voted that 
"As a medicme ardent spirits are more frequently used as a con- 
venience than a necessity," and that "we shall not hereafter con- 
sider it a mark of civility or hospitality to be invited to partake of 
this insidious and baneful poison." Signed by President Alfred 
Perry and Secretary Robert Worthington. Great anti-slavery 
meetings were held at Lenox and noted speakers and lecturers 
frequently were employed here. The 1876 Centennial was ob- 
served in an interesting manner in Lenox. Judge Rockwell de- 
livered the address. Fully one thousand persons were seated at 

January 9, 1874, the Sedgwick Library and Reading Room, 
which was given to the town by Mrs. Schermerhorn, was dedi- 
cated with appropriate ceremony. The removal of the courts to 
Pittsfield and abandonment of the old courthouse suggested to 
this lady a plan of securing it for the benefit of the place. She 
bought it in 1871 and put it into good repair before donating it 
to the town. The literary life has always been great in this town 
and many writers have feasted on the beauty of nature in these 
parts, including Mr. Beecher and Dr. Channing. 

Lenox was made the county seat of this county in 1787 ; the 
first courthouse was finished in 1792; the first good courthouse 
was built in 1816 and served till the seat of justice was changed 
to Pittsfield. So it will be observed that Lenox had the county 
seat for ninety years. 

Having dwelt much on the "glories of a former time" the 
writer will draw this sketch to a close by stating that the (1924) 
town officers of Lenox were as follows: Clerk and treasurer, Wil- 
liam P. Powers ; selectmen, George F. Bourne, Thomas F. Leary, 
C. D. Duclos; tax-collectors, G. E. C. Root, William P. Powers; 


assessors, Richard A. Stanley, D. C. Belden, James H. Pelton; 
overseers of the poor, same as the selectmen ; tree-warden, Wheeler 
A. Shepardson ; auditors, Tremaine Parsons, Egbert Parsons ; 
superintendent of schools, Ralph W. Barnes. 

The treasurer reported in 1924: Cash on hand. $8,004; cash re- 
ceived in 1924, 1301,553. Cash paid out, $290,382. Balance on 
hand December 31, 1924, $19,175. 

Lenox of today is a place of beautiful homes of wealthy and 
for the most part independent and happy people whose ancestors 
saw their own share of hardships, during- whose eventful lives 
they proved to be men and women of sterling, rugged characters, 
doing their part to better the condition of the country and raise 
the standards of true living. 

Town of Washington — In about 1758 several men from Con- 
necticut bought the town site of Washington from a Robert Wat- 
son, of Sheffield. Watson had purchased it from the Indians and 
he assured the Connecticut purchasers that his title was good. 
In 1760 it was discovered that Watson v/as insolvent and his 
title not perfect, hence they had to purchase the township and 
made a new contract with the Indians. Previously this township 
was called Watsontown, but was then changed to Greenock. 
Among the earliest settlers here were George Sloan, Andrew Mum- 
ford, William Milliken, Elijah Crane, Amos Beard, William Beard, 
Joseph Knox, Nathan Ingraham, Joseph Chaplin and Matthew De 
Wolf. From 1762 to 1777 the township was called Hartwood. The 
town was incorporated April 12, 1777, as Washington. After 
some years delay in settlement affairs, the people commenced to 
renew their vigor and things moved on rapidly towards making 
a thrifty community. Roads were laid out, forests fell before the 
sturdy pioneer's axe. 

One sixty-^hird of the township was reserved for the settled min- 
istry, while IS much more was to be devoted to the support of 
schools. Rev. William G. Balentine was the first minister and 
cominenced about 1772. A meeting-house was built in 1773 and 
twenty years later was struck by lightning. Early in 1859, the town 
which for sometime had been without preaching, the two societies, 
Methodist and Congregationalists, both being small in member- 
ship, made a union effort and elected Rev. M. M. Longley as 
pastor for one year. "The Washington Union Society" was organ- 
ized in 1859. As the years went by each denomination organized 
for themselves. 


Among the first roads established here was the Westfield and 
Pittsfield Turnpike, through the center of the town. At one date 
the town had eleven saw mills, two of which were run by steam 
power. Hill and dale tell the surface story of the town and a 
large bed of glass sand adds to its mineral wealth. As to honor- 
able mention of men of note one thinks of ex-governor and later 
U. S. Senator Edwin D. Morgan, who was reared here, the son 
of a farmer true and intelligent. 

The population of this town in 1920 was 240. The town's ex- 
penditures in 1924 were as follows : Painting town hall, $200 ; town 
officers, $766.10; sundries, $355.62; officers' bonds, $45.00; tree- 
warden, $21.00; forest fires, $168.72; cemeteries, $13.50; old ac- 
counts, $60.72; winter roads, $362.27; bridges, $349.22. Total $2,- 
342.15. Public roads, $3,265.75; material, $851.07; truck, $491.00. 
Grand total for 1924 was $4,607.82. 

The receipts and expenditures for the town in 1924 were $22,916.- 
53. From this should be deducted $3,055.79 in treasury at close 
of year. The 1924 town officers were as follows : Clerk, John B. 
Watson; town treasurer, John B. Watson; selectmen, C. Reming- 
ton Johnson, Arthur J. Tatro and George W. Ende ; assessor, Harry 
D. Olds ; superintendent of schools, George L. Spaulding. 

Town of Stockbridge — The natural scenery of this part of Berk- 
shire county is unsurpassed. Stockbridge is situated between the 
two divisional ranges of the Green Mountains — the Taconic and 
Hoosac as they trend from the north toward Long Island Sound. 
The altitude !s 840 feet above tide-water from the street's center 
in the village. Of its population it may be said that in 1770 it 
had about 1,400 inhabitants; in 1880 it was 2,257 and the last United 
States census (1920) gives it as only 1,764. Its three villages are 
known as Curtisville, at the north, Glendale at the west, and "the 
Plain" at the southeast. These have all long since had postoffice 
centers. The Housatonic river flows through the town, entering 
from the east. The surface of this town is diversified by three noted 
lakes — the largest, Mahkeenac, at the north, covering five hun- 
dred acres, Lake Averick, a half mile southwest of it and lastly, 
Mohawk, one mile northwest of Glendale. The outlets of all these 
lakes afford fine water-power which has long since been greatly 
utilized by many factory sites. 

In 1722 Joseph Parsons and 176 other residents of Hampshire 
county, petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts, for two 
townships on the Housatonic river. The petition was granted that 


year and a committee appointed to effect the purchase from the 
nati^^es, divide the tract, and open the way for settlement. The 
result of this action was the laying out of the "Upper and Lower 
Housatonic grants" — the embryos of several future towns. The 
townships were to be each seven miles square ; but the territory 
actually laid out under the legislative act was greatly in excess 
of the grant, embracing what are now Sheffield, Great Barring- 
ton, Mt. Washington, Egremont, the most of Alford with much 
of Stockbridge, West Stockbridge and Lee. To ratify this bargain 
Konkapot and twenty other Indians of his tribe met the com- 
missioners at Westfield, April 24, 1724. The consideration paid 
was "640 pounds in money, three barrels of cider and thirty quarts 
of rum." 

The Indians of the valley at this period, comprising about twenty 
families, lived mostly in Sheffield, Great Barrington, and Stock- 
bridge. In the above named sale they reserved for themselves a 
certain district on the boundary line of the two grants, where 
they might pursue the little agriculture their simple wants required, 
depending mainly for their support upon the forest and stream 
for remaining supply. But the attention of sundry Christian phil- 
anthropists in the Connecticut river valley was just now enlisted 
in their favor with results of important bearing on their future 

Rev. Samuel Hopkins, of West Springfield — the real founder of 
the Housatonic Mission — becoming greatly interested in the neg- 
lected natives, called on Col. John Stoddard of Northampton, one 
of the Indian Commissioners of the province, in March, 1734, and 
conferred with him concerning a plan for their instruction and 
betterment. Rev. Stephen Williams, of Long Meadow, was taken 
into their councils, and through these men application was made 
to the board of commissioners for Indian Affairs at Boston. The 
latter body held funds contributed in Britain to the "Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," which they de- 
sired to render available for the proposed enterprise. 

By these officials Messrs. Hopkins and Williams were requested 
to visit and confer with the Indians on the subject. At a prelim- 
inary consultation with Konkapot through an interpreter, that 
sachem expressed his willingness to receive instruction, but de- 
ferred to the opinions of his people as they should be expressed 
around a proposed Council fire. The occasion took place at the 
"Great Wigwam" in the present village of Great Barrington, July 


8, 1734. Hither the reverend emissaries had arrived, after a tw^o- 
days' toil through "the great and howling wilderness," and one 
night's lodging in the forest. For four days the pros and cons of 
the projected mission were discussed between its designers and 
the sages of the tribe. At length, all queries and obstacles being 
satisfactorily answered and removed, it was resolved that permis- 
sion be given and preparations made to accomplish the plan. 

The preliminaries having resulted well, the next step was to 
secure a suitable man to inaugurate the wo-k. Rev. Messrs. Wil- 
liams and Bull, of Westfield, were empowered by the commis- 
sioners to provide for this, and he was shortly found in Mr. John 
Sergeant of Newark, N. J., a graduate of Yale, and then officia- 
ting there as tutor. He avowed his willingness to devote his life 
and labors to the red men and made his first visit to the locality 
in October, 1734. He addressed the Indians through an interpre- 
ter and made a favorable impression. With willing hands they 
brought material and soon had a rude buildmg completed to serve 
the two-fold purpose of a school and a church. To facilitate 
operations the Indians from the lower (Sheffield) and from the 
upper (Stockbridge) lodges were gathered into the vicinity of the 
new center (Great Barrington) and Sergeant opened his school 
with twenty-five pupils, preaching on Sundays, and remained until 
December. Then, having engaged Timothy Woodbridge, of West 
Springfield, he returned to finish out his official engagement of four 
years at Yale, taking with him two native boys — sons of Konkapot 
and Umpachenee — for private instruction. 

In July, 1735, Sergeant returned and took up his life's work 
with the Indians. 

The fame of this mission went abroad and many Indian families 
from over the Connecticut and New York lines, came to enjoy 
the benefits. After many years, times changed and this mission 
was moved, or rather its people migrated to Ohio and Michigan in 

As originally laid out Stockbridge was exactly six miles square. 
In 1774 this territory was divided and a new township, six by two 
and one-half railes, called West Stockbridge incorporated. Stock- 
bridge was incorporated in 1739, and it took its name from Stock- 
bridge, Hampshire or Hants county, England. 

The four white families, beside the missionary and teacher, to 
whom lands had been allotted by the commissioners, arrived and 
took possession of the lands in 1737-38, viz: Joseph Woodbridge, 
Col. Ephraim Williams, Josiah Jones and Ephraim Brown. 


The first town meeting was held July 11, 1739, when Captain 
John Konkapot and Aaron Umpachenee, selectmen (Indians), and 
Ephraim Williams, moderators, were officers. At the town meeting 
in March, 1744, the Indian proprietors were directed to lay off 1,200 
acres for themselves, the English to have the remaining part. 

The first vote to construct a highway here was in 1744 when 
a committee was appointed to erect a bridge over the Housatonic 
river, south of the village. 

In 1751 the town invited Rev. Jonathan Edwards who had been 
dismissed from the church at Northampton, to succeed the mission- 
ary. Sergeant. Edwards was to receive six pounds, four shillings 
a year lawful money and the Indians were to draw him eighty 
"slay loads of fire wood annually," and the English people of the 
church were to haul him twenty sleigh loads. 

A majority of the Stockbridge people were Congregational and 
of the orthodox type. Until 1824 there was only the one church 
there, then there was another church set off in another part of 
the township. An Episcopal church was established in 1834. A 
Methodist church was formed in the town in 1837. In 1860 the 
Roman Catholics built. The churches in Stockbridge in 1925 
are the Congregational, the Roman Catholic, and Episcopal 

Other sections of this work will show what this part of the 
county did for freedom in the days of the Revolutionary War, 
hence mention need not be made here. The first vote in a war 
measure here is shown to have been 42 to 1 for independence of the 
Mother country. The crisis of 1812 found the people here, as else- 
where in New England, divided in sentiment upon the war question. 
The democrats supported and the federalists opposing it. Lines 
were closely drawn and sides were taken even within the church 
and in the schools. In the fall of 1814, the ministerial association 
of this county enjoined a day of fasting and prayer on account of 
the war ; its public observance was not deemed prudent in Stock- 
bridge from threats of interruption. During 1814 this town furn- 
ished one full company which was ordered to Boston. That, how- 
ever, was a bloodless campaign. Captain John Hunt had command 
of this militia company. Prices went sky high during the War of 
1812-14. Flour was sold readily at $15 per barrel; coarse teas at 
$10 and fine teas at $15, per pound. In Civil War days 135 men 
went forth from Stockbridge — many never leturned. 

The first school for white children here was opened in 1760. In 

W. Mass. — 37 


1764 there were two school buildings erected in the town. Presi- 
dent Kirkland, of Harvard College, had been a teacher in this 
town. The public school had a higher department here which in 
1828 was incorporated into the Stockbridge Academy. From this 
school went many to Harvard and Williams Colleges. There were 
numerous private schools and "Select schools." What was known 
as "Laurel Hill Association" was incorporated in 1853 which was 
really for old settlers' re-union purposes, where annual gatherings 
were the prominent feature. 

In the villaj^e of Stockbridge a century and more ago, hats and 
wrought iron nails were made quite extensively. A woolen factory 
was established in 1813 and ran for several years. Later a cotton 
mill was built farther up stream. At the outlets of the lakes 
at one time, grist mills, woolen mills, chair and paper-pulp plants 
were operated. In recent years this territory has kept pace with 
other portions of Massachusetts in manufacturing enterprises. 

The first postofifice in Berkshire county was established in this 
town in 1792 — the first newspaper, too, the Western Star — com- 
menced here. 

The Stockbridge & Pittsfield railroad was opened in 1849. 

Among the things for which Stockbridge is noted are these : Its 
Memorial Chime Tower, marking the spoi where stood the first 
Indian School ; Rev. Jonathan Edward's house in which he wrote 
"The Freedom of the Will," Indian Burial places; Old Sedgwick 
home ; birthplace of Cyrus W. Field, promoter of the Atlantic 
Cable, also his grave; the birth place of Mark Hopkins and Miss 

The town oflficers in 1924 were as follows : Selectmen, William 
M. Healey, Steve C. Burghardt, Paul S. Palmer; town clerk, Adam 
Schilling; assessors, Paul S. Palmer, George I. Bradley, S. C. 
Burghardt ; school committee, Henry B. Parsons, Eugene A. Benj- 
amin, John P. Pamer ; overseers of the poor, Paul S. Palmer, Leroy 
B, Smith, George I. Bradley; auditor, Edmond C. Wilcox; tax- 
collector, Michael Flynn ; tree warden, George A. Breed. The as- 
sets and liabilities of the town in 1924 were $69,361. The librarian 
was at date last named, Olga M. Wilcox. 

West Stockbridge — The present population of this town is about 
eleven hundred. The town was formed from "The Indian Town" 
on the Housatonic river from a plantation in the ancient county of 
Hampshire, the date being June 22, 1739. As early as 1768 the 
question of taking a part from original Stockbridge was agitated. 


So it was that on February 23, 1775, the western part of the town 
was incorporated as West Stockbridge. But an error in naming 
the boundary lines caused the work to be delayed until such error 
was adjusted. The territory had been commonly styled Queens- 
borough. Here as in Stockbridge, the first to settle and make 
homes were the red race. When white men got a title, then actual 
settlement was rapid for those days. John George Easland, the 
first settler, originally came from France, landing in New York in 
1738. In 1753 he migrated north and settled in the west part of 
the township of Stockbridge, now known as West Stockbridge 
Center, and on a section later known as the Morgan Arnold Place. 
Colonel Williams opened a store in 1773. The first minister was 
Rev. Thayer. The earliest physician was Dr. Samuel Baldwin. 
The Congregational church was formed June 4, 1789. Baptists and 
Episcopalians were early in the field. The Methodist church was 
formed here in 1834; a church was erected in 1838. The Roman 
Catholic church was organized here in 1869 when a large church 
was built. Old time postoffice locations were inclusive of West 
Stockbridge, West Stockbridge Center, Stale Line, Rock Dale, etc. 
Nearly all have long since been discontinued and the rural carrier 
system obtains generally now. 

For service in the Civil War this town gave her 151 brave men 
— ten more men volunteered than the quota called for. Six com- 
missioned officers were in the number. 

Public and private schools have always been up to the New 
England standard. A census report in 1885 shows West Stock- 
bridge to have had 1,625 population; thirty-five years later it had 

Windom Lodge, Masonic order, was formed with twenty-one 
members in June, 1803. When the Morgan excitement came on in 
1826, the charter was surrendered and no meetings were held until 
June, 1856. 

The minerals found here are iron, marble and mica-slate. These 
have all yielded their treasure to the people of the town from an 
early date. 

The present valuation of real estate in West Stockbridge Town 
is $796,760. Valuation of personal property, $308,107. Total valua- 
tion, $1,104,867. Tax-rate in 1924 was $28 per thousand dollars. 
The town was entirely free of debts on January 1, 1924 and had 
a balance of $6,596.64 in its treasury. The 1924-25 town officers 
are as follows: Town clerk and treasurer, George F. Callahan; 
selectmen, Richard Bossidy, secretary, Clarence V. Spencer, and 


George E. Janes ; assessors, George F. Callahan, C. V. Spencer and 
Albert H. Blake ; auditor, Francis A. Fallon ; overseer of the poor, 
George Root, chairman ; tax-collector, John T. Powell ; tree warden, 
Frank Johnson; moderator, John J. Corbett. 

Town of Lee — This is one of the smallest towns within the 
commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is also among the youngest 
in point of incorporation of any in Berkshire county. The terri- 
tory on all sides of it had settled up twenty odd years before 
this subdivision of the county had commenced to feel the throb of 
immigration. The first to settle here were those who came in 
in 1760, and its incorporation was not until 1777. This town is 
situated in the valley of the Housatonic and on the slopes of the 
bordering hills The area is a little less than five miles square. 
The river so famous for water power, has no less than ten dams 
within its limits. There are three consolidated villages, the 
Center, East Lee, two miles, and South Lee, three miles distant. 
The total population in 1880 was 3,939. Its population in 1920 was 
placed at 4,085. At the Center, the elevation above sea-level is 
900 feet. While the Stockbridge Indians once owned and lived 
here there is no written history of the relations with Indian tribes 
in this town. 

The first settler in the present domain of Lee was Isaac Davis 
of Tyringham, who located in 1760, in the extreme southern part of 
the town, on the banks of Hop Brook. Asahel Dodge located on 
the hill nearly two miles east from the Center. Around him sprung 
up a settlement known as "Dodgetown." The old homesteads 
thereabouts are all out of existence today. Other settlers were 
Jonathan Foote, William Ingersoll, Richard Howk, Elisha Freeman 
and John Winegar. The church was not established until 1780 
after which "Dodgetown" had a lusty rival in the newer settle- 
ments. Five distince tracts of land included in whole or in part 
in the town of Lee at its incorporation : Hoplands, Watson, Wil- 
liams, Larrabee's, Glassworks. These tracts were finally incor- 
porated October 21, 1777. The first town meeting was held in the 
log house of Peter Wilcox, December 22, 1777. The town meeting 
records have been well preserved down the long chain of passing 
years. The many records concerning the Revolutionary struggle, 
take up a large number of pages. As late as 1841 there were still 
living here seven old Revolutionary veterans. In the War of 1812- 
14 this town sent out fifteen drafted men, but their services were 
limited to six weeks. 


When Lee was incorporated, its charter contained no provision 
for the Church, as was customary in New England hitherto. How- 
ever, the spirit was with them and they chose a barn in which 
preaching was had and the choir was in the hay-mow. Abraham 
Fowler was the first preacher, he came in 1779. The first church 
was erected in 1781 and stood where the Park is located now. 

For more than fifty years the Congregational church was the 
only one in town. The Methodists began by a missionary work 
in 1831 and a church was organized in 1839; a house of worship 
was dedicated in 1840. The Baptist church was organized with 
twenty members in 1850, and a building erected in 1852. St. 
George's Episcopal church was formed in 1856 and the next year 
a building was erected at a cost of $7,500. Christmas Eve in 1861 
it was burned to the ground. Another was erected and that was 
burned in 1879, only the walls left standing. In 1880 another fine 
edifice went up to provide the Episcopalians with a permanent 
church home again. The construction of the railroad and tunnel 
brought many Roman Catholics to the town and a society was or- 
ganized and a building dedicated in 1856. In South Lee, St. Francis 
Catholic church was formed in the eighties. Since 1844 separate re- 
ligious services under various churches have been held by the 
colored people. The present churches of Lee are as follows: 
Congregational, Roman Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, African 
Methodist Episcopal and Episcopal. 

The first public schools in Lee town were established in 1784. 
In 1794 two districts and buildings were provided. In 1885 the 
town had eighteen separate schools and about $7,000 per year 
was being spent for schools. Today the schools of the town are 
well equipped and have a large attendance in various departments. 
A private school was opened in 1835 by Alexander Hyde. A 
boarding school for girls was conducted a number of years. The 
Lee Academy was established in 1837 and continued until 1851 
when it merged with the public high school. Many from the Lee 
schools later entered and graduated from colleges including the 
Williams College at Williamstown. 

Nature provided a splendid water-power for Lee and man has 
utilized it to the very best of advantage. Of course the pioneer 
commenced in his crude way, by erecting his saw and grist mills. 
Then after the War of 1812-14 came on the making of woolen 
goods was started in small factories, one being at the outlet of 
Laurel Lake and another at South Lee. Cotton ducking was 


also made at about the same date. In 1817 gunpowder manufacture 
was begun here by Laflin Loomis & Co., near the Center and later 
at South Lee. Chair factories, carriage works and iron works were 
all among the industries here represented back a century ago. In 
1828 carding machines were extensively made here. But paper 
soon took the forefront in manufacturing. The first was in 1806, 
by Samuel Church, at South Lee. The work was all done by hand 
then. In 1885 there were ten firms engaged in paper making as will 
be seen by the following paragraphs : The ten firms or companies 
had eighteen mills in operation and were then producing daily, 
89,000 pounds of paper and finding employment for seven hundred 
and ten persons. The grades of paper produced included Collar, 
Bristol Board, Writing paper, Book paper, Bond paper, Manilla 
paper, Ledger writing stock and Chromo-plate paper. The most 
important natural product of Lee is marble, the quantity of which is 
nearly endless. It is a fine building stone and stands under a pres- 
sure of 26,000 pounds per square inch. Marble from here went into 
the National Capitol extension at Washington, D. C, as well as into 
the City Hall in Philadelphia — 700,000 cubic feet having been used. 

The paper industry crowns the valley with employment and pros- 
perity. The water-power and quality of water found in this lo- 
cality makes it an ideal place in which to produce paper and the 
everlasting hills are solid with valuable marble strata. 

The Lee Bank was established in 1835 with a capital of $50,000 
and in 1885 it had $300,000 capital. Since then the town has been 
well provided with financial institutions. 

A postoffice in Lee was established in 1803, in the tavern of 
Jedediah Crocker, in Cape street and he was the first postmaster. 
In 1816 the office was removed to the Center. In 1826 an office 
was established in South Lee and in 1848 at East Lee. 

The population of Lee town has been at various periods as fol- 
lows : In 1791, it had 1,170; 1800, 1,267; 1820, 1,384; 1830, 1,825; 
1840, 2,428; 1860, 4,220; 1870, 3,860; 1884, about 4,000; 1920, United 
States reports give it as 4,085. 

September 13, 1877, the town celebrated its hundredth anni- 
versary of settlement. Seven hundred guests sat at dinner and 
speech-making was the order of the afternoon. 

Coming down to the present time it may be said that the town 
officers in 1924 were as follows : Selectmen, Michael F. Kane, John 
T. Collins and John M. Goodrich; treasurer, John J. Waddock; 
moderator, A. B. Clark; clerk of board of registrars, E. J. Maloney; 


auditor, James B. Pollard; principal of schools, Charles L. Steph- 

Town of Becket — This town lies on the Green Mountain range, 
and was one of four townships organized by the General Court 
in 1735. At first this town was four miles and ten rods in width 
by eight miles in length. Since then changes made have left its 
territory of an irregular shape. In 1783 most of that part of the 
town which lay northeast of the west branch of the Westfield river, 
was united with certain other tracts, and formed into the present 
town of Middlefield, Hampshire county. The present area of the 
town is about 26,000 acres. Becket is bounded on the north by 
Washington, east by Middlefield and Cheshire, south by Otis, and 
west by Tyringham and Lee. The township was granted to Joseph 
Brigham and fifty-nine others, in 1735. In 1740 a few more settlers 
came in and built rude mills for sawing lumber and grinding grain. 
Through a fear of the Indians the settlers abandoned the country 
and returned to their former homes. The first permanent settle- 
ment was effected in 1775. The first to come were from Connecti- 
cut, and bore the names of Birchard, Gross, King, Kingsley, 
Messenger, Wait, Wadsworth and Walker. The town was incor- 
porated in June, 1765. 

On account of the rough, stony topography of this town it has 
not been counted among the agricultural sections of the state. 
Much of the land is too rough to cultivate. 

The population of the town in 1860 was about 1,400; in 1880, 
it was 1,123; and the last Federal census (1920) it was only 

A postofftce was established in West Becket in the early part of 
the nineteenth century. Asa Bird was the first postmaster. An- 
other office was established in 1812 and first known as Becket but 
later as Becket Center. 

The hillsides of this town are covered with springs of the purest 
water and the streams are both numerous and rapid. But most 
all have their sources in the town, and are too small for milling 
purposes, hence little manufacturing has been undertaken. How- 
ever, there were numerous saw and grist mills, also carding mills. 
Small tanneries and chair factories flourished a century and more 
ago in this town. In 1857 Bulkley, Dunton & Co., of New York, 
built a paper mill on the Becket side of the stream opposite Middle- 
field station. Wall and wrapping paper were their chief products. 
With time this mill went out of commission. 


The first Congregational society was organized December 28, 
1755, with five members. The first house of worship was erected 
in 1762. The next was built in 1800. North Becket Congrega- 
tional church was established in 1849. A Baptist church was 
formed in Becket in 1764. In 1844 a new meeting-house was built, 
the old one at the Center having become unfit for use. The people 
of the town today are well supplied with denominational church 

The public schools are the pride of the town and are well at- 
tended. The 1924 resources and expenditures for schools in the 
town was $14,519. The bill for transporting the pupils to and from 
the high school last year was $1,390. The present superintendent 
is William E. Hebard. 

Becket in National wars has ever been loyal and firm in de- 
manding its country's rights. The town's records show that in the 
Revolutionary days the town upheld the resistance made toward 
the tyranny of Britain. Coming down to Civil War days we find 
that almost to a man loyalty to the Union obtained here. One 
hundred and two men served from the town between 1861 and 
1865. Many fell victims. The town raised $16,000 for war pur- 
poses. In the Spanish-American and World Wars there were 
found but few, if any real "slackers." 

The present (1924-25) town ofificers are as follows: Clerk and 
treasurer, W. D. Ballou ; selectmen, R. W. Smith (chairman), John 
L. Mitchell, James H. Gray; assessors, H. A. Jennings, A. J. Cro- 
chiere, E. C. Turner ; board of health. Dr. Hugh Heaton, A. C. 
Andrews, George H. Seagers ; auditor, S. H. Cheeseman ; tax- 
collector, John L. Mitchell; tree-warden, Walter A. Stanley; mo- 
derator, P. H. Tobin. 

The last treasurer's report shows resources in 1924 of $49,054; 
the balance on hand after all expenses were paid was $2,408. The 
assessors' report shows valuation of lands, $224,785 ; of buildings, 
$398,000; personal property, $188,500. Tax-rate was in 1924, $23.10 
per $1,000. Total number of acres assessed, 26, 559; number dwell- 
ing houses, 297; horses, 136; cows, 210; sheep, 90; neat cattle, 
124; swine, 11; fowls, 815. 


Town of Great Barrington — About a half mile to the south of the 
Stockbridge line, in this town, stands the eminence known as 
Monument Mountain, rendered famous by the well known poem of 
William Cullen Bryant. This is so named for a huge pile of quartz 
stones laid up conically on the southern slope. About one hundred 
years ago the rude monument was thrown down and an excavation 
made beneath, by the foolish who thought that treasure might be 
hidden there. In 1884 some young men from the village rebuilt the 
monument in its original style under direction of Ralph Taylor, 
of Great Barrington, who saw the monument for the last time 
in 1824, in company with William Cullen Bryant. As long as the 
Indians remained in the country, on passing, they always cast a 
stone onto the pile of rock already gathered there. The reason is 
mere conjecture. 

The first connection the English colonists had with the Indians 
of this region was the conflict since known as Talcot's fight. It 
is supposed that this conflict was near the present bridge (the 
old fordway) in the village of Great Barrington. 

January 30, 1732, 176 men including their leader, Joseph Par- 
sons, of the county of Hampshire, which then included the entire 
Connecticut Valley lying in Massachusetts, petitioned the General 
Court at Boston for grants of two tracts of land on West Brook, 
in the southwestern corner of the state. The petition was granted 
the following June, allowing two townships, each seven miles 
square, the one to have its southern boundary identical with the 
divisional line between Massachusetts and Connecticut, the other 
to be located immediately north. April 3, 1726, the proprietors 
numbering fifty-nine, received from the committee the lands as- 
signed to them under the name of Upper and Lower Housatonic 
townships. The best historians agree that Mathew Noble, of 
Westfield, was the first English settler in Berkshire county. He 
spent the first winter among the Indians. Not long after the 
settlers had entered their lands trouble arose over the claim made 
by the Dutch to this very location. At the strife over oc- 
cupancy here was intense. In January, 1732, the Lower township 
was incorporated as a town called Sheffield. It extended from the 


Connecticut line to what is now the northern part of the village 
of Great Barrington, eight miles north and south on the river, 
embracing portions of present Egremont and New Marlboro. 

In January, 1742, an order passed by the legislature granted the 
inhabitants of the Upper township, together with those on tracts 
between said townships and the Indian lands, the right to be 
invested with parish privileges. The first meeting of such new 
town was held March 8, 1742, at the home of David Nash. One 
of their early acts was that of erecting a house in which to wor- 
ship. The location of this church was in the northern part of the 
village. It was a large barn-like building and it had a sounding- 
board and high galleries. The first minister to serve was Rev. 
Thomas Strong. A small unattractive school building stood near 
the present Congregational church. The hills around the village 
were covered with forests, broken here and there by clearings. 

For a century after the first churches were planted here there 
was but little harmony in the denominations represented — mostly 
the Congregational, Episcopal and Lutheran elements. 

In 1769 the inhabitants of the western part of Great Barring- 
ton, now Alford, asked to be set off as a separate town, but this 
was not granted them. But in 1773 Alford was incorporated and 
in 1778 enlarged. 

Other sections of this work treat on the part taken by this 
town and county in the struggle for National Independence. 

The paper-making business has from a very early time been the 
chief industry in Berkshire county and in the town now being 
treated. The first paper mill in the south part of the county was 
built in 1707 by Samuel Church, in the village of South Lee, on the 
site of the Hurlbut Paper company. Many men have from time 
to time been associated as part owners of the paper industry at 
this point. New mills were- later installed and today the paper 
business is one of great importance, and other paragraphs in this 
sketch of Great Barrington will show pointi of its present mag- 

The Colonial highway between Boston and Albany passed 
through this town. It was used by General Amherst and army in 
French and Indian war, 1758, when enroute to Ticonderoga; by 
Congressional train of sleighs bearing supplies captured at Ticon- 
deroga to Washington at Dorchester, 1776; and by Burgoyne and 
large part of his army captured enroute to Boston, 1777. 

It was in this town that once resided our own beloved poet, 






William Cullen Bryant ; here he married and was enough of a resi- 
dent to have been elected as town clerk. Several of his gems of 
poems were written here 'mid scenes of the Berkshire Hills and 

The church history of this town is all too long to be here spoken 
of in detail, suffice to say that these denominations have been well 
represented. At present the village of Great Barrington has the 
Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Roman Catholic, 
Christian Science and African Methodist Episcopal churches. All 
have creditable church edifices save one. The first Methodist 
Class was formed here in 1830. 

The first schoolhouse known to have been erected here was 
in 1848. 

With the passing years schoolhouses were scattered here and 
there throughout the town and education has always been upper- 
most in the minds of a majority of the citizens of the town and 
money expended for school work has not been begrudged to any 
great extent. Not until 1868 did the town have a high school. 
At that date $2,000 was appropriated for that purpose. The school 
was opened in the Center building and remained there until the 
erection of the High School Building, in 1869, at a cost of $15,000. 

The 1924 school reports show an enrollment in the eight schools 
of 1,406, distributed as follows: High school, 324; Bryant and 
Portable, 274; Justin Dewey, 338; Housatonic, 399; Bear Mountain, 
15; Monument Valley, 11; Seekonk, 24; Van Deusenville, 21. 

The Lodges located at the village of Great Barrington include 
the Masonic, instituted in December, 1795. It is known as Cin- 
cinnatus Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and its charter was 
signed by Paul Revere, then Grand Master. Lodge met in New 
Marlboro until 1797. Other secret orders of this town at present 
include the Independent Order of Old Fellows. The name of the 
other lodges, of the semi-fraternal type here is Legion. Beneficiary 
or life insurance orders have for many years been popular. 

Coming down to the present day it shoull be said that Greater 
Barrington has an assessed valuation of eight million dollars. Train 
connections with New York city are good, time being four hours. 
The tax rate is $21.30 per $1,000 valuation. Number of polls, 
1,909. Population in 1920 was 6,315. The Mason Public Library 
has upon its stacks over 21,000 volumes. Jennie K. Thompson is 
present librarian. 

The town debt in 1924 was $156,500. The subjoined is a list 


of the 1924-25 town officers : Clerk, treasurer and collector of 
taxes, Edward Kelly; selectmen, L. W. Bump, William A. Smith, 
and George H. Cobb; assessors, R. T. Dewey, Joseph Gerard and 
L. W. Bump; tree-warden, John T. Nalty ; auditors, Clarence R. 
Sabin, Coe W. Morgan and Jesse E. Burghardt. 

As has been noted before, this place was incorporated in 1761 ; 
has two steam railroads and one interuban line to all parts of 
county. Its leading industries are at present: The Monument Mills, 
manufacturers of bed-spreads and cotton warp; B. D. Rising Paper 
Company, fine bond paper-factory ; Stanle}'- Insulating Company, 
makers of vacuum bottles; Great Barrington Manufacturing Com- 
pany, makers of cotton quilts and towels (converters) ; The Berk- 
shire Coated Paper Company, makers of glazed papers ; George A. 
Stevens, box maker. 

There are two banks in Greater Barrington — Great Barrington 
Saving Bank and the National Mahaiwe Bank. The newspaper 
which is of great age and much prized is the "Berkshire Courier." 

The Chamber of Commerce was organized November, 1920 and 
its officers include the president, Frederick H. Turner; vice-presi- 
dent, Clarence I. Sweet; treasurer, Russell T. Dewey; secretary, 
Frank J. Pope. 

The Public Library known as Mason Library (of which men- 
tion was made above), was a bequest of Mrs. Mary A. Mason of 
$50,000 for the establishing of a free public library in memory of 
her husband. It is a beautiful red brick marble finished structure 
costing a total of $58,722. The corner-stone was laid April 13, 
1912 and it was turned over to the trustees July 24, 1913. 

Town of Alford — This is one of the small towns of the county. 
Its present population is about 250. Its territory is very irregular 
in form. Its greatest length is on the west, where it is a little more 
than five miles, while its width varies from less than three hun- 
dred rods to three miles. This town is rough and mountainous 
on all sides except the south, and is divided into an eastern and 
western section by a mountain range, running through its center. 
Tom Ball Mountain near the south part of West Stockbridge, ex- 
tends into the northeastern corner of the town. For several years 
after the pioneer settlers arrived, wild turkeys, raccoons, deer, 
wild-cats, and bears abounded on these mountains. Today all 
trace of most all these wild animals has gone. Devil's Den, and 
the Frying-pan Spring are curiosities within this town. Alford has 


always been counted among the farming sections of Berkshire 

But few if any white men were here before 1750 and not many 
up to 1756. The southern and central portion of the town are in 
the former Shauanun purchase, as conveyed October, 1756, by 
Joseph Quinequaunt and Shauanun, of the Stockbridge Indian 
tribe, to Timothy Woodbridge, Stephen Kelsey, Sr., also those 
of the family name of Hamlin, Watson, Warner, Hoskins, Fortin 
and others. Another tract to the north of this was called the 
Greenland Grant, of 1,500 acres, was conveyed by Joseph Dwight 
and others as a committee of the General Court, in consideration 
of one hundred pounds Sterling, July 17, 1756. From 1754 to 
1762 many settlers located here. Most of the first settlers were 
from Connecticut. The original part of this township belonged to 
Great Barrington. After much agitation what is now Alford was 
set off in February, 1773. It was named after a place in England. 
At the first town meeting in February, 1773, David Ingersoll was 
moderator, and John Hulbert, clerk. 

Through the Revolution the town sustained its proportion of 
the public burdens. At a meeting at the house of Simeon Hulbert, 
February 9, 1775, a committee was chosen to receive and forward 
donations to the poor of Boston. At a meeting in December of 
that year, they voted to purchase powder and lead for the use of 
the town. In 1776 Dr. John Hulbert, William Bronson, Daniel 
Kellogg, Job Milk and Sylvanus Wilcox were the committee of 
Correspondence and Safety. In 1777, it was voted to exempt 
men employed at the forge from service in the army. 

The most ancient inscription over a grave is in a small aban- 
doned cemetery, commemorating the death of John Jaquins, April , 
8, 1768. 

Concerning the churches of this town it may be recorded that 
the Congregational church does not possess a clear well defined 
history, but one well written record of a town meeting dated 
March, 1773, speaks of voting money for preaching. It is certain 
that Rev. Joseph Avery was a settled minister in 1781 at a salary 
of forty pounds annually. August, 1846, the church was reorgan- 
ized and Harlow Pease was elected deacon. 

June, 1867, a council met and a union was formed with the 
Methodists, which soon proved a failure and in 1874 the church 
was again reorganized. 

The Methodist Episcopal church of the town was formed in 1794 


and was one of the appointments on the Pittsfield circuit in 1830. 
Later it belonged to the Lee circuit and also to the Egremont 
circuit. In 1799 the celebrated circuit rider Lorenzo Dow traveled 
here and as a result a successful revival ensued and a number were 
added to the church. 

The Union Meeting-house was built in 1817 and its interior was 
completed in 1826. The church had no stove until 1832. The 
Congregational and Methodists each owned a part, while the Bap- 
tists also owned a quarter. 

A Town House was erected in 1855, and a new school house near 
by was built the same season. 

During Civil War days this town showed her loyalty to the 
Union of States and sacredness of the flag. Her share of men and 
money were cheerfully given to the cause of American freedom in 
that awful strife. 

The present (1924) town officers are as follows: Frank Kline, 
registrar; George N. Willson, moderator; L. D. Oles, assessor; C. 
F. Post, assessor ; Henry Shepard, tax-collector ; Frank Kline, town 
clerk and treasurer; A. S. Garrison, tree-warden; selectmen, John 
M. Dellea, Charles H. Smith, L. D. Oles; John L. Milligan, audi- 
tor. The annual report for 1924 shows the amount of receipts 
and expenditures to be $13,026, with a balance on hand amount- 
ing to $893. This town is noted for its excellent public district 

Town of Tyringham — This town is in the central part of the 
southern townships of the county. It is triangular in form and up 
to 1847 included within its limits the territory of Monterey, there- 
fore, includes the history of that town. It was in 1735 that Tyr- 
ingham, called "No. 1 of the Housatonic Townships" was laid 
out with New Marlboro, Sandisfield, and Becket, designated as 
Nos. 2, 3, and 4. The Tyringham Equivalent, in 1773, was in- 
corporated as a separate town with the name of Loudon, and later, 
together with Bethlehem, became the town of Otis. The pro- 
prietors of Tyringham town were largely from Newton, Weston 
and Watertown in Middlesex county. The number of original 
settlers or lot holders was sixty-seven. The actual settlement of 
the town commenced in 1739, the first settlers locating in the 
southern part, afterward known as South Tyringham now em- 
braced by Monterey. The northern part of the town was not 
invaded by settlers until about twenty years later. The first 
settlers were Lieutenant Isaac Garfield, Thomas Slaton, and John 


Chadwick, who came in April, 1739. Captain John Brewer who 
contracted to build a mill, came about as soon as any in April, 
1739, but did not move until August that year. He came in to 
these parts with a yoke of oxen and a cart bearing the necessities 
of a forest dweller. The first night he slept beneath his ox-cart 
a little south of Twelve Mile Pond; by the next night he had 
constructed there with logs and bark, a shelter, and soon had his 
saw mill in operation, on the site where later the J. H. Langdon 
& Co. mill, in the village of Monterey, stood. For a full century 
Twelve Mile Pond was called "Brewer Pond" after this first 
settler and mill-builder. 

Before 1750 the town meetings were held by the proprietors of 
the township in the vicinity of Boston where most of them lived. 
In that year and later, they were held in the township, the first 
four years at the house of Captain Brewer, then in the still un- 
finished meeting-house, or occasionally at the house of John 

March 6, 1762, the town was incorporated, with the name of 
Tyringham, likely a corruption of Turingsham, the home of the 
Turings. It was named for the English town of that name. Early 
attention was given to education by the early settlers, yet there 
was no school building until 1766 when one was built near the 
Old Center schoolhouse. Before that some one or more of the 
wives of the settlers taught in their own houses at $1.31 per week. 
Even before the first settlers came in the proprietors had planned 
for the building of a church or meeting-house as then called. How- 
ever, no church organization was had until September, 1750, and 
it only had eight constituent members. In 1789 Rev. Joseph 
Avery was settled as a minister and remained until 1808 when 
trouble arose and he was dismissed, after near twenty years faith- 
ful service. 

Forty years ago a Berkshire county writer had this to say of 
Tyringham : "As we look at the present time upon this beautiful 
valley, with its fine meadow land and flourishing farms, we can 
hardly imagine it the unwholesome marsh that all early descrip- 
tions represent it, and we may thank our ancestors for the courage 
and endurance necessary for taking the first steps in transforming 
a swampy tangle of hops, ivy, and hemlock into one of the most 
beautiful valleys of Berkshire. Among those who settled here 
early were Elisha Heath, and Francis Clark, in 1773." 

In 1825 the Congregationalists were aided by the Baptists, who 


had then moved into the town, in finishing the interior of the old 
church started many years before. The same year the Methodist 
Episcopal society was organized and a church building erected 
thirty-six by sixty feet. The next Methodist church was erected 
in 1844. The Baptist church was constituted in August, 1827, with 
twenty members — five men and fifteen women. 

While this town has always paid special attention to farming in 
all of its various branches, it has been noted for the manufacture 
of hand-rakes. In the eighties there were three separate factories 
engaged in this enterprise. One shop in 1884 turned out 48,000 
rakes. At one time there was a good sized paper mill in this 
town. The Turkey Paper Mill, so called, was built in 1832. It 
was at first started as a hand-mill, that is making one sheet at a 
time on a wire mould, but soon adopted the cylinder process. At 
the World's Fair in the New York Crystal Palace, in the fifties, 
this paper mill exhibited its paper and at that time there was no 
better writing paper made in the world. In the sixties this plant 
was burned and other mills have since been erected and operated 
for a time. 

A Society of Shakers was organized here as early as 1792, at 
first consisting only of nine members. They bought a large tract 
of land in Hopebrook valley, and there formed a large settlement, 
consisting of two villages, a half mile apart. In 1858 the society 
was weakened by twenty-three of the membership running away 
at one time. In 1874 the others sold out and united with Shaker 
communities at Hancock and New Lebanon. 

Coming down to the present time, it may be said that the affairs 
of the town have for many years been up-to-date and well gov- 
erned. The town ofBcers in 1924 were as follows : Selectmen, 
Thomas F. Curtin, H. J. Crittenden, Everett L. Hale; auditor, G. 
L. Bosworth ; town clerk, George R. Warren; assessors, Carl 
Curtin, James H. Clark, Frank W. Stannard ; treasurer and tax- 
collector, Frank W. Stannard ; overseers of the poor, Thomas F. 
Curtin, Henry J. Crittenden and Everett L. Hale. 

The present tax-rate on $1,000 worth of property is |22.50; 
number of poll tax payers, 82; value of assessed personal estate, 
$64,498; value of assessed real estate, $321,460; number horses 
assessed, 109; number cows assessed, 291; sheep assessed, 43; 
neat cattle other than cows, 101 ; swine, 23 ; number dwelling 
houses, 104. The inventory of town property shows a valuation 
of $14,000 including library, town building and furniture. 


The United States census for 1920 gave this town a popula- 
tion of two hundred and sixty-seven. 

The Town of Otis — Two towns — Loudon and Bethlehem — were 
united in 1809 and retained the name Loudon until later on. The 
name Loudon probably came from Lord Loudon, commander-in- 
chief of the American forces in the French and Indian war. Loudon 
was incorporated in 1773. Before the incorporation it was known 
as the "Tyringham Ecjuivalent," a tract of land given to Tyring- 
ham — Township No. 1, of the grant of 1735. That tract was seven 
miles long and on an average of three wide. Its area covered 
about 13,000 acres. The central point of business was what is 
now called East Otis. 

The last town meeting called under the name of Loudon was 
May 7, 1810. 

Bethlehem was incorporated as a district June 24, 1789, and 
was composed of the "North Eleven Thousand Acres." What is 
now Otis Center was included in Bethlehem, and it is only about 
one half mile from the northeastern corner of Sandisfield. 

In 1790 the district was divided into four school districts. A 
survey was made in 1791 to determine the central point of the 
district, which was found to be nearly east of Hay's Pond and 
about a mile distant. It was the business center of the district, 
but no church was ever erected there. It was voted in 1795 to 
build a "town hall," the same to be also used for religious meet- 
ings, regardless of the denomination. 

In 1809 a vote was taken to set off a section of the district of 
Becket, to which measure there was too much opposition and the 
project failed until March, 1810 when it prevailed. They held 
their regular meetings and transacted their business the same as 
towns in their corporate capacity, until the union with Loudon 
was effected. The first town meeting under the name of Otis was 
November, 1810, with Paul Larkcom as moderator. The name Otis 
is derived from that of Hon. Harrison G. Otis, of Boston, then 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. The town was in- 
creased in its territory in 1838 by the .iddition of 11,000 acres, 
since which no changes have been made. 

Farmington river courses the entire length of the town from 
north to south. The stream includes Roaring Brook and Fall 
River. Ponds and lakes abound here and there throughout the 
territory. The land is better adapted to grazing than to cultiva- 

W. Mass. — 38 


tion. For many years the most paying crop was that of the apple 

The first grist mill was built in Loudon, now called East Otis. 
Many mills were built later on throughout the town as lumber 
was demanded. Tanneries and oil mills were in operation soon 
after the settlement was effected. Otis in its real early days 
abounded in dish mills, where many wooden bowls and sundry 
dishes were fashioned. There was a chair factory and a distillery, 
as well as a wrapping-paper factory. In 1824 Miles Welles built 
a puddling furnace, or forge three miles from the Center. In 
1848 puddling works were constructed at Cold Spring, named for 
an immense spring of very cold water. 

Forty years ago the most paying industry here was the sawing 
of native lumber, mostly pine and hemlock. 

The first settlers were a hardy race and used to enduring ex- 
posure and great hardship. They lived within their means, pro- 
duced nearly all they needed to eat and drink, and made their 
own clothing. They were always in their pew on Sabbath day. 
Tithing men were appointed to see that the people went to church 
services and enforced the rule. 

The first postoffice in this town was established in 1817 ; an- 
other was established at East Otis in 1828, Elijah Owen, post- 
master. The mail for many years has been delivered by rural free 
carriers daily. 

Public schools were early in this field and the public school 
system has kept apace with modern ways and good buildings and 
efftcient instructors are the general rule. 

The town's population in 1860 was 998; in 1880 it had de- 
creased to 785. The United States census reports for 1920 gives 
the population at three hundred and sixty-one. 

In 1806 the first meeting-house in London was built but soon 
destroyed by fire, after which school houses served as meeting- 
houses. A union church was erected in 1815, aided by nearby 
towns. This was later controlled by the Methodists. The United 
Congregational Society was formed in 1806 by people from Loudon 
and Bethlehem and they dedicated a buildmg in the autumn of 
1813. The Otis church was first organized February, 1799. There 
were several powerful revivals here, one in 1827 of great impor- 
tance. An Episcopal church was formed in the center of the town, 
and there a house of worship was erected. The date of such 
organization was 1828. 


In common with other towns of Berkshire county, Otis has been 
liberal and progressive in all educational matters. The town 
government has been excellent and few bad men have ever held 
office. The present (1924-5) town officers are: Selectmen, Arthur 
W. Jones, W. H. Bryant and N. H. Webster; auditor, Henry R. 
Somes; town clerk, George P. Carter; assessor, F. L. Bryant; 
collector, George A. Barton. 

It may be of interest in future years for readers of this work 
to glance at the appropriations of today in such towns as Otis with 
only 361 inhabitants, hence these extracts from the town clerk's 
report for 1924: "Snow removal, $500; highway repairs, $1,500; 
schools, $9,500 ; State aid, $48 ; town reports, $67 ; bridges, repairs, 
$600; library, $178; cemeteries, $100; contingent fund, $750; town 
officers, $750; reserve fund, $350; support of the poor, $300; moth 
suppression, $169.50; library site, $300; town physicians, $500; 
snow fences, $200; moving school houses, $500." 

Town of Egremont — This town was incorporated February 13, 
1760, from lands west of the North Parish of Sheffield, and was 
named after Charles Windham, Earl of Egremont, who was sec- 
retary of state for England. Local and State history tells us that 
when John Konkapot and other Indians, in 1724, deeded the 
lands of the Housatonic township to the settling committee, they 
reserved a tract five-eighths of a mile wide extending along the 
north line of Sheffield to the supposed line of New York. This 
tract was called the "Indian Reservation." 

In 1736, at a conference with the Indians the latter exchanged 
this reservation for the township of Stockbridge, and at the same 
time requested that the Dutchmen, who resided on the reserva- 
tion east of Taghconic, might not be dispossessed of the land 
which they had improved. 

Among the pioneer settlers in these parts were the Karners, Van 
Guilders, Bushes, Winchell, and Captain John Spoor, who for thirty 
pounds Sterling and a suit of clothes, purchased of the Indians 
six hundred acres of land on Egremont plain. 

At the first town meeting March, 1761, Samuel Winchell was 
elected clerk. Robert and William Joyner, from Cornwall, Con- 
necticut, about 1740 were noted men of this town. William was an 
officer in the war of the provinces against the French and Indians. 
The hardships of the campaign brought on disease from which he 
died after his return home. 

It is told by those who wrote at that time, that during the Rev- 


olutionary war no Tory was suffered to remain in town, and that 
on one occasion a party from Livingston Manor encamped near 
the cemetery at North Egremont. A skirmish ensued, a Tory, 
named Fields was captured, and having a British lieutenant's com- 
mission on his person, he was sent a prisoner to West Point. 

The south part of the town, between the mountains, was set 
off from Mount Washington in 1817, and called Willard's Hollow, 
after a settler of 1760. 

Previous to 1845, Benjamin Cole had a carriage factory and 
made fine coaches. This was at South Egremont. 

As to the various church organizations it may be said that their 
number and detailed history are all too long for a work of this 
character. A brief statement will follow showing the main fea- 
tures of the churches. 

The Congregational church was organized in 1767; their first 
pastor was Rev. James Treadway. The church edifice built in 
1767 stood at Town Hill, and was used as a place of worship until 
the completion of the later edifice, at South Egremont, in 1832. 

The Methodist Episcopal church dates back to "Guilder's Hol- 
low," nearly a century and a half ago. It is known that in April, 
1789, at the annual conference of Methodist Episcopal churches at 
Trenton, N. J., Rev. Benjamin Abbott was appointed to travel 
Dutchess Circuit, which extended so far over into Berkshire coun- 
ty as to include Mount Washington and Egremont. In 1801 the 
celebrated Lorenzo Dow was appointed to the circuit. Also 
Bishop Asbury when on his long weary journeys, used to tarry 
over a day at "Brother Elijah King's house." This man was the 
first Methodist to settle in "The Hollow." Thus was started the 
church so active in this part of the county today. 

The Baptist church of Egremont was organized in 1787 by 
members from all the adjoining towns. Two years later a smaller 
parish was organized. "The Baptist Society in Egremont," was 
incorporated June, 1808. 

About 1830 a high school was opened at the village of Egre- 
mont. Two years later, the legislature incorporated it into the 
Egremont Academy. It was conducted a half century and was 
finally sold and the building was soon made into the Town House. 

The history of this part of the county for the last quarter of a 
century is an open book and need not here be referred to other 
than to remark that good men have usually been at the head of 
its local government. The report of the town clerk for 1924 gives 


facts which we are permitted to here insert. The present town 
officers are as follows : Town clerk, George Boice ; selectmen, E. 
M. Wheeler, F. J. Warren, F. L. Peck; treasurer, W. E. Boice; tree- 
warden, Charles Frayer; auditor, Russell Wilcox; superintend- 
ent of streets, E. M. Wheeler; forest warden, Frank Bradford. 
A recapitulation of the treasurer's report shows : Balance school 
funds, $1,421; balance library funds, $58; war bonus funds, $306; 
balance town funds, $1,197; total $2,984. Indebtedness, None. 
The population of this town in 1924 was 441. 

Town of Monterey — The early history of this town is included 
with that of Tyringham. It was part of Township No. 1 later 
known as South Tyringham. April 12, 1847, it was incorporated 
as a separate town, and was named from Monterey, Mexico, in 
honor of the victory won there the preceding year by General 
Taylor. For many years it had been the desire of the people liv- 
ing both in the north and south parts of this town to become sepa- 
rate sub-divisions of Berkshire county. It was the topography 
of the country that made this division desirable. The summit of 
the mountain range became the line of division. The northern 
part of the town of Marlboro was separated from the rest of the 
town by a range of hills known as "Dry Hills," which lie one 
mile south of where the southern line of this town then ran. In 
1851, in response to a petition of its inhabitants, this part was 
annexed to Monterey. In 1874 a part of Sandisfield was also 
taken into this town, bringing it to its present size. To the north 
is Great Barrington and Tyringham, east it is bounded by Ty- 
ringham, Otis, and Sandisfield, south by Sandisfield and New 
Marlboro, and west by Great Barrington. 

The little village of Monterey is located in the low lands near 
the center of the valley. There seems to be every evidence that 
this valley was at one distant time the abode of the Indians. In 
modern times many arrow-heads and other articles of Indian 
make have been discovered in great abundance. 

Lake Garfield was named July 4, 1881, the day after the shoot- 
ing of President James A. Garfield, who had distant relatives in 
this town. WHien he was at Williams College he frequently vis- 
ited this spot. The lake has been greatly enlarged and now affords 
water for numerous hills. 

The soil of Monterey, especially the higher grounds, is best 
adapted to grazing, and is largely used for such purposes. Forty 
years ago and more, it was written that "no other town in the 


county receives a greater number of premiums for agricultural 
products at the annual fair than this." 

Many years ago this town was the seat of a number of large 
factories including a paper mill, a cotton factory, a rake factory, 
and two extensive rat trap factories. Another factory was where 
ladies horn combs were made and this furnished employment for 
a goodly number of families. Some of these plants burned, others 
moved and still others failed and went out of commission. Char- 
coal and fire-wood for many years were sold in adjoining towns 
in large quantities. 

Many of the inhabitants of this town are directly descended 
from Captain John Brewer, the father of thirteen children. Col. 
Josiah Brewer, a son of the last named, also had thirteen chil- 
dren, while his neighbor, Col. Giles Jackson, was the father of 
two dozen sons and daughters. Other pioneers were Captain John 
Chadwick and Lieutenant Isaac Garfield both of whom left many 
descendants hereabouts. The Bidwells, the Taylors, the Stead- 
mans, Miners and Ortons were among the pioneer band who 
made the original settlement here. 

The church history is confined largely to the Congregational 
denomination, the only one in the town as late as 1890. Its history 
has been mentioned in other town histories. In 1848 this church 
had built its third meeting-house. It is related that Rev. Winthrop 
H. Phelps, who was made pastor in 1854, left among his effects 
sermon heads and short-hand notes from which after careful study 
Rev. Adonijah Bidwell made out a sermon that had been preached 
by his ancestor just a hundred years before. 

Public schools have for many years been established in as many 
as six districts, where excellent buildings and good teachers have 
been the general rule. 

The population of Monterey in 1920 was reported in the Fed- 
eral census as only two hundred and eighty-two. 

The afifairs of the local government have been wisely admin- 
istered. The last town clerk's annual report, dated 1924, gives the 
list of town officers as these: Town clerk and registrar of votes, 
Frank Harmon; assessor, William McManus ; treasurer, Charles 
Hanlon; overseer of the poor, Samuel Cronk; fire warden, Samuel 
Cronk; first assessor, H. P. Fargo; tax-collector, M. V. Thompson; 
auditor, N. B. Abercrombie ; moderator, H. B. Smith. The re- 
sources and liabilities of this town in 1924 was $22,672 with an 
over balance of $194. 


The Town of Sandisfield — The present population of this town 
is about five hundred. It is situated in the extreme southeastern 
corner of Berkshire county. The town was incorporated March 
6, 1762 and the first town meeting called after the incorporation 
was by virtue of a warrant issued by Joseph Dwight, of Great 
Barrington, justice of the peace. 

The proprietors, the most of whom lived in Worcester, held 
many meetings, voted money, laid plans for bringing forward 
settlements, etc. A committee was appointed in 1758 to receive 
conveyance of one acre for a burying ground, the place being a 
little northerly and short of a mile from the meeting-house. The 
first person to be buried here was Mrs. Sylvanus Adams. The 
same committee were to receive an acre and one-half for a "train- 
ing field." 

The surface of this as well as most of the towns in the county, 
is rough and hilly. The highest elevation of land some have 
claimed to be "Seymour's Mountain." It is in the southern part 
of the town. The most remarkable elevation is "Hanging Moun- 
tain." This lies in the southeasterly portion of the town. It rises 
450 feet above the waters of Farmington river and presents an 
almost perpendicular mass of bare, jagged, granitic rocks, in places 
projecting beyond the base line. This gives rise to the name Hang- 
ing Mountain. Other mounts are to be seen within the town but 
none so elevated and striking. Never failing springs of cold, 
pure, and healthful water gush forth from mountain base and 
hillside, soft, limpid and delicious. Beautiful streams, though 
not large, water and drain the territory, these include Farming- 
ton and Clam rivers. 

A soil better adapted to the growth of rich, juicy grass is sel- 
dom found. It was long since said that "Grass is King in this 
Town." In 1875 the reports show there was estimated 4,257 tons 
of hay; only five other towns in the county exceeding or equaling 
it. The first to settle here made stock raising a business, and 
later added sheep and profitable dairying along with general farm- 
ing operations. In 1855 there were 175,000 pounds of cheese pro- 
duced here. In 1885 it was learned that this town took the lead 
in amount of maple sugar produced, even being more than Worth- 
ington, in Hampshire county. In 1875 this product amounted 
to 84,876 pounds. The charcoal industry, however, materially 
cut down the maple supply, as vast amounts of maple were con- 
verted into charcoal used in the iron furnaces — as high as 200,- 
000 bushels annually. 


The pioneers here were a church-going people, and strictly 
observed the Sabbath day, which then commenced on Saturday 
evening. They had no fires in the churches then, and foot stoves 
were in good demand. Preaching was had by taxing the people 
for the expenses of the church. The people used plainer food 
than they do today, yet they were called good livers. Their diet 
consisted largely of beef and pork, potatoes, rye bread, johnny 
cake, flap-jacks, bear porridge, and mush and milk. They paid 
much attention to every Thanksgiving Day but little ado over 
Christmas. The well filled cider mug was commonly found on 
the table. Fourth of July and "training day" called out a large 
assemblage. Weddings were important occasions, at which times 
cake and cheese then predominated, and wine flowed freely. Husk- 
ing bees, quilting bees, drawing bees, and such like were times 
of great merriment and general good feeling. Shoemakers went 
from house to house with their kits of tools to make the family 
supply of boots and shoes, and seamstresses to make their wear- 
ing apparel. 

Town meetings were conducted with much dignity. They fre- 
quently took a vote to see whether men might wear their hats' 
in town meetings. They had frequent adjournments of from three 
to fifteen minutes, and occasionally to meet at the public inn and 
there finish the remaining business. "They were liable to be- 
come thirsty at such times." 

The first houses were log and were rude structures. The first 
frame dwellings were nearly square, with small windows, board 
ceilings, large stone chimneys, usually in the center, huge open 
fireplaces and brick or stone ovens. The first brick structure in 
this town was a school house. 

In all of the great wars of the country this town has never 
shirked her duty in sending volunteers and taxing themselves lib- 
erally for funds to sustain the cause for which they fought bravely. 
The young men who volunteered in the Civil War met many hard 
experiences and not a few fell victims of the rebel shots. The 
sacrifices made during the great World War, 1917-19, were indeed 
the climax of patriotism and loyalty. "The Church" was upper- 
most in the minds of most all the early citizens here. The date 
of organizing this church was 1756, and a year later the meeting- 
house was erected but not finished till 1761. The first pastor 
called was Rev. Cornelius Jones. He was ordained by a council 
of fifteen ministers, with Jonathan Edwards as moderator; the 


services were held in a barn. The Baptists and Methodists as 
well as the Congregational people, have kept alive the spiritual 
element of the town for all these years. 

The earliest school was twelve days at the Center by Giles Lee, 
his pay being twenty shillings. By 1766 there were four school 
districts in town and 35 pounds Sterling was raised for school pur- 
poses. As the population increased the school districts were more 
and more until they numbered sixteen. The families were large — 
from eight to fifteen children in each. In 1840 the whole number 
of pupils was 374 of whom 346 were of school age. Men teachers 
received $20.00 per month and women received $10.55 per month. 
About 1808 two libraries were established — one at Sandisfield 
Center, of 350 volumes, and one at New Boston, of about the 
same number. Since then the town has been well supplied for 
with local libraries. 

A postofifice was established in New Boston in 1824 with Lyman 
Brown as postmaster. In all the town has had six postoffices, 
but the introduction of the modern rural free delivery of mail 
has lessened the number of offices. 

Most of the first settlers here came from Connecticut. The 
first man to permanently locate was Thomas Brown, and his father 
soon followed him. They came from Enfield, Connecticut, in 
1750. Their native place was Boston, however, and they called 
their new town, at least the eastern part of it, New Boston. Among 
the early settlers in New Boston were the Browns, Demings, 
Grangers, Marvins, Denslows, Beldens, Hawleys, Oviatts, Mills, 
Pratts, Sears, Spelmans, Smiths and Roberts. 

Three-quarters of a century ago this town had a woolen mill, 
which many years later was destroyed by lire; it was rebuilt 
and later changed into a papier-mache mill. That was lost by 
fire. Burt's tannery was another industry of early times. But 
the change of times has swept these plants all away. The more 
recent industry is the making of immense quantities of hand- 

Sandisfield Center early became the great business center for 
this section of the county. Here the first church was built; the 
first school, the first postoffice and other factors of public interest 
were seated here. South Sandisfield is situated on Sandy Brook 
in the southwest part of the town. Early saw and grist mills 
were there located. 

The town's business afifairs have of recent times been well ad- 


ministered by faithful men. The last town clerk's annual report 
gives the following as town officers in 1924-25 : Town clerk, Edison 
P. Twining; treasurer, Frederick Whitney; auditor, Lillian E. 
Deming; selectmen, Frederick Whitney, Jason Sears, Charles 
Strickland. The receipts and disbursements in 1924 were $30,- 
443.75. The total assets of the town were at the date last named, 
$16,051 and the liabilities were $10,996. 

One who travels through this section of Berkshire county can- 
not fail to be impressed with the culture and refinement seen on 
every hand. The population though not large, seem contented, 
happy and feel that their lot has truly been cast in pleasant places. 

The Town of Sheffield — This is among the southern towns in 
the county and has always been classed among the exclusive 
agricultural sections. It is between Great Harrington and Egre- 
mont on the north, and the Connecticut line on the south ; and 
between New Marlboro on the east and Egremont and Mount 
Washington on the west. It is eight miles long north and south 
and seven miles in width. The Housatonic valley extends through 
the town in a northerly and southerly direction. The town is 
broken and hilly in the eastern part, its highest point being Pool 
Mountain, in the northeast part, some 1,700 feet above sea level 
or 1,100 feet above the Housatonic valley. In the western border 
of the town extends the Taconic range of mountains. The soil 
is best adapted to cereals which flourish in this latitude, but the 
hilly region in the east is best for grazing purposes. Among the 
mountains within this town are Barnards, Alum Hill and lesser 

The villages of the town lie on the old highway. Sheffield 
Plain is a mile north from Sheffield village and is a small hamlet. 
The largest of the villages is Sheffield, near the geographical cen- 
ter of the town. So quiet and beautiful are its scenes that many 
like to make it a retreat in summer months. At a very early day 
the waters from Ashley Falls propelled a number of factories and 
flouring mills, but these have long since gone. 

June 30, 1722, on petition of Joseph Parsons and 115 others, 
and of Thomas Nash and sixty others, inhabitants of Hampshire 
county, two tracts of land seven miles square were granted to be 
laid out on the Housatonic river, the first to adjoin southerly on 
the division line between Massachusetts and Connecticut. This 
tract included the major part of the present town of Sheffield. 
The Indians and whites met April, 1724 including Konkapot and 


twenty of his Indians. At that meeting the Indians bartered 
their lands "For 460 pounds Sterling, three barrels of Sider, and 
thirty quarts of rum," a tract of land including the present towns 
of Sheffield, Great Harrington, Mount Washington, Egremont, and 
parts of Alford, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, and Lee, with the 
exception of a reservation in the northwest corner of Sheffield, 
bounded by the Housatonic river. In 1736 this reservation was 
purchased by the General Court and the portion in Sheffield was 
granted to Isaac Fossberry. 

The proprietors held their first meeting May 12, 1733 and the 
Township was incorporated June 22, the same year. To this 
time no survey of the town had been made. The matter of a 
true survey dragged along until 1741, when August 4, that year 
the plan was approved by the Governor. January 30, 1733-34 
money was raised to build the first meeting-house which was 
completed the next year. It stood three-fourths of a mile north 
of the present building. Really, until 1825 the town and the Con- 
gregational church were one and the same thing! During that 
year the Society became a separate organization. The Baptists, 
the Methodists and Episcopal denominations each had organiza- 
tions of their own, the Baptists in 1821 ; the Methodists in 1842, 
the Episcopal in 1866. 

Library accommodations in this town have been enjoyed from 
away back in 1871. It still flourishes and adds from year to year 
to its selection of interesting, valuable books. 

The first town meeting was called June 30, 1777, in the name 
of the government and people of Massachusetts Bay. Dr. Lemuel 
Barnard was chosen moderator. All through the Revolutionary 
struggle this town's records show the citizens were foremost in 
their loyalty and belief in general independence from all other 
powers, including the Mother country. But little interest was 
taken here in the War of 1812. 

The first postoffice in Sheffield was established in 1794. Before 
the construction of the Berkshire railroad in 1841, a mail stage 
passed through the town from Hartford daily enroute to Albany, 
New York. 

Marble is abundant in this town, but for the last half century 
this material has come into disuse on account of other material 
known to be better in the matter of withstanding heat. This 
fault was discovered in the Boston and Chicago fires in the 


Coming down to the present day it should be stated that the 
best of local town government has obtained here many years. 
The last report of the town clerk in 1924 shows the following: 
The list of town officers includes — Henry C. Clark, clerk and treas- 
urer; Charles M. Conklin, George Bradway and William S. Con- 
way, selectmen; W. P. Roys, Edgar D. Shears and Ira E. Manvel, 
assessors; Clarence F. Warner, tax-collector; auditors, Samuel M. 
Fox, Arthur H. Tuttle. 

The valuation of personal estates was $266,292; real estate, $916,- 
690. Total valuation $1,182,982. Number of polls assessed, 451 ; 
horses, 397; cows, 1,539; neat cattle, 519; sheep, 28; swine, 15; 
fowls, 5,982; dwelling houses, 500; acres of land, 28,040. 

Town's liabilities and resources amount to $13,892.51, with a 
balance of $7,143.60 in the treasury. 

Town of New Marlborough — This is one of four towns between 
Westfield and Sheffield, opened for settlement in 1735. Here 
Major Benjamin Wheeler passed the winter of 1739-40, alone, 
no white man nearer than Sheffield. This Wheeler homestead 
remained in the family for near one hundred and fifty years, 
through five generations of direct descent. Four of the five gen- 
erations bore the name Benjamin Wheeler. In setting ofT this 
town the General Court evidently had in mind establishing a com- 
munication between the Connecticut and Housatonic valleys. This 
town seems to have been especially laid off for the purpose of 
making a highway between the two valleys named. It is said 
that the troops and stores of General Amherst's expedition against 
Ticonderoga, in 1759, passed over this road. Lord Howe is said 
to have marched over the same route with his unfortunate ex- 
pedition against the same stronghold. It was long known as "The 
Great Road." 

In less than two years the four townships were located and 
surveyed, being designated as Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, and afterward 
incorporated under the names, in order of the numbers, Tyring- 
ham. New Marlboro, Sandisfield, and Becket. The original grant- 
ees of No. 2 were citizens of Marlboro, Hampshire county, and 
thus the new township was called New Marlboro. The word is 
English and signifies marl. 

The winter of 1739-40 was one of unusual severity and the sup- 
plies used by the first settler Avere brought from Sheffield on a 
hand-sled with snow-shoes. The Indians though friendly would 
not allow any deer to be killed or driven ofif by any white men. 


hence pioneer Wheeler had no juicy venison to eat! As was cus- 
tomary elsewhere, a small log fort was constructed for safety 
should the Indians ever get troublesome. This was located on 
what later was known as Leffingwall Hill, between New Marl- 
boro and Mill river. There were born the first children of the 
town — twins born to Philip Brookins and wife. In the white oc- 
cupancy there were always a few lone Indians who lingered 
about their old hunting grounds and in this case it was old 
Anthony, who had his cabin and garden patch in the valley where 
the brook which bears his name joins the Konkapot. 

The second winter, Benjamin Wheeler had his family with him 
in this green glad solitude. It is not believed that any other set- 
tlers came in before 1741, when Noah Church, Jabez Ward, 
Thomas Tattilow, Elias Keyes, Joseph Blackmer, Jesse Taylor, 
John Taylor, William Pitt, Philip Brookins entered this part of 
Berkshire county as permanent settlers. 

This township, before known as No. 2, was on June 15, 1759 
incorporated as "New Marlborough" and at that date had sixty- 
three householders. As soon as possible after getting incorpo- 
rated in a legal way, the inevitable meeting-house had to be planned 
for and constructed. The church and town were almost one and 
the same thing for many years. The first minister was Rev. 
Thomas Strong who arrived in July, 1744 and he remained pastor 
of the growing flock for thirty-three years. Dr. Catlin who suc- 
ceeded the above was pastor for thirty-nine years. A new meet- 
ing-house had to be erected in 1793. A disagreement arose and 
the result was the organizing of a new church and they built 
at the point later known as Southfield. A Congregational society 
known as the Third Church was established at Mill river by fifty 
persons. The Baptist church was formed in 1847, with twenty 
members. The Roman Catholic church was organized at Mill 
river in 1865. 

The part taken by this town in the struggle for national inde- 
pendence was indeed great in many ways. There were few slack- 
ers in those times. New Marlboro has always been classed as an 
agricultural town. Grazing has been more suitable to the farmer 
than grain raising. Potatoes and buckwheat have always been 
paying crops, however. Since 1860 considerable tobacco has been 
grown in the rich valleys. Apples here produced on the hillsides 
have an extra fine flavor. In eary days butter and cheese were 
made in every house and shipments of cheese were very large for 


many years. But not alone has this town prospered by reason 
of its agricultural pursuits, but its natural water-power has been 
utilized to a good extent in days and decades away back. Great 
paper mills at Mill river flourished until driven out by transpor- 
tation rates with which they not long compete. A forge was in 
operation for the production of bar and rod iron at a very early 
day. Water-power with plenty of charcoal made this industry 
thrifty for a long time. Tanneries were numerous and fulling mills 
common at one time. With the coming of more modern ways 
the factories here, especially paper plants were installed and have 
ever since been operated successfully. 

The villages of the town have included Hartsville, New Marl- 
boro, Mill river, Southfield, Clayton. 

During the Civil War this town sent forth 202 soldiers and 
raised $26,000 for war purposes at home in caring for war widows 
and families. In more recent wars the town has not been numbered 
among the disloyal. 

From 1855 to 1870 there was conducted what was known as 
the South Berkshire Institute, an educational institution founded 
on the subscription plan and was highly successful so long as the 
high school system was not yet created hereabouts. 

The present popuulation of this town is about 1,100. 

Town of Mount Washington — This sub-division of Berkshire 
county is situated in the extreme southwestern corner, between 
two mountain ranges forming its boundary. Mount Everett, or 
Bald Mountain, rises 2,000 feet above Housatonic valley, and that 
means 2,624 feet above tide-water. Behind them, four miles to 
the west, is another range, along the State line of New York, of 
nearly equal height above the Harlem railroad which skirts their 
western base. The roughness and elevation preclude it from being 
either a good commercial or agricultural section, yet it has a very 
romantic and interesting history. It has for long years been 
noted as a fine summer resort. It is now but a short drive from- 
New York City and hundreds of summer and autumn tourists 
find unalloyed delight in spending some time in this part of the 
county every season. Its business is farming and entertaining 
tourists from distant as well as near by points. 

The date of first settlement is in doubt, but it is known that 
as early as 1730, if not much before, settlements were started in 
the adjoining town of Salisbury in 1720, and the Dutch from New 
York had settled there about that date. Those who have made it 



a study, claim that the first white men to locate within Berkshire 
county very likely made this location their home. 

After one unsuccessful attempt to have this territory made into 
a legal town, finally March 15, 1757 two Indian sachems, in con- 
sideration of 261 pounds New York money, in hand paid, con- 
veyed to seventy-nine persons, residents of Mount Washington 
and the adjoining towns, one certain tract of land already partly 
described. In 1757 the proprietors organized and chose Jonathan 
Darby as clerk who served ten years. The town was not incor- 
porated until June 21, 1779. Previous to 1806 the inhabitants 
held their religious meetings at private houses, school houses and 
in suitable barns. The Methodist preacher Rev. Benjamin Abbott, 
said that in 1789 he preached at Esquire King's to a fine congre- 
gation. Another noted preacher who preached there was Lorenzo 
Dow. In April, 1806, it was voted "to build a meeting-house 24 
by 30 feet." Its pulpit was not supplied until 1808. The fund for 
ministers was divided between the Presbyterians, Methodists, 
Universalists and Baptists. A Congregational church was organ- 
ized October, 1831, but by deaths and removals it became extinct. 
The Methodists were earliest in this field, but after many years 
finally went down. The Congregational church as well as the 
old Town House went to decay long ago. The first appropriation 
for schools was in 1800 when two districts existed. Nine years 
later there were three school districts. Prior to 1850 this town 
had its mills and forges and factories and in 1845 shovels, spades, 
forks, hoes, and castings were made there ; but all such industry 
had ceased by 1850. With cities taking the lead, such small place 
industries of necessity had to go out of commission. In 1880 the 
influx of summer boarders had built up a new type of business 
there. Its population then was 205 while the 1920 census returns 
gave it only seventy eight, probably the least in inhabitants of 
any "town" in the entire country that ever had an incorporated 



W. Mass. — 39 


Franklin county was erected by an act approved June 24, 1811, 
and took effect December 2, the same year. The reasons set forth 
for the division of Hampshire county were its great size, the dis- 
tances from the extremes of the old county to the seat of justice, 
and the consequent expenses ; the multiplicity of actions and delays 
of trials. The petition was presented to the General Court Janu- 
ary 28, 1811. Remonstrations, adopted in town meetings, against 
the division of Hampshire and the organization of Franklin county, 
were sent in by the towns of Northampton, Conway, Hawley, 
Whately, Leverett, Easthampton, Worthington, Chester, South- 
ampton, Westhampton, Goshen, Williamsburg, Plainfield, Cumm- 

The report of the legislative committee in favor of the division 
was made June 18, 1811, and on the 19th it was concurred in by 
the Senate and House. 

The act establishing the county made Greenfield the county seat, 
but this was only accomplished by a long, bitter contest. The 
most prominent contestants were the towns of Deerfield and Green- 
field. The chief movers in the matter were Richard E. Newcomb, 
Elijah Alvord, and George Grinnell on the part of Greenfield, and 
Epaphras Hoyt, Rufus Saxton, and Pliny Arms on behalf of Deer- 
field. The whole county was stirred up, and took an active part 
in the various movements from one and another of the principal 

In the month of November, 1811, a mass convention was held in 
Greenfield for the purpose of taking action to procure a change in 
the organic act and have the county seat moved to Cheapside, 
(Deerfield), before any of the county buildings were erected at 
Greenfield. Every town but two in the county had its represen- 
tatives present and there was great excitement. 

The records show that the first movement was to draw up and 
procure signatures to a petition for the annexation of the northern 
tier of towns in Hampshire County and Franklin County, but while 
this instrumxcnt was lying on the table awaiting signatures of dele- 
gates — a few signed it — it suddenly disappeared, and was never 
again afterward seen or heard of! But the record of this alleged 


fraudulent abstraction, together with all other reasons urged for 
removal to Cheapside, were presented to the Legislature. 

Among the many reasons given by the advocates of having the 
county seat at Cheapside these were included : That it was a geo- 
graphical and traveling center of the new county ; that the water 
at Cheapside was of an excellent quality, while that at Greenfield 
was unfit for use ; that it was at the head of navigation for this 
part of the country, and portions of Vermont ; that it was situated 
handsomely on the margin of Deerfield river, overlooking the ad- 
joining meadows ; that the cash in hand and subscriptions promised 
by the citizens of Cheapside exceeded what the people of Green- 
field could possibly afford to raise. 

On behalf of the claims of Greenfield were these points : First, 
it was claimed as the territorial center of trade ; that it had more 
inhabitants ; Greenfield had twenty well-built dwellings while 
Cheapside only had seven houses, five of them being small ; that 
Greenfield had spent large sums of money for public roads ; these 
and many more arguments were advanced by those desiring the 
seat of justice to be located at Greenfield. 

After all the excitement and great pressure brought to bear upon 
the Legislature, that body refused to remove the county seat from 

For years attempts were made to remove it to Deerfield or Cheap- 
side, but all to no purpose and today the seat of justice is where 
it was originally located. The location is one unexcelled for beauty 
in all the magnificent scenery in Western Massachusetts. 

Between the date of Greenfield's first courthouse and the organ- 
ization of the county, courts were held in the hall of the old Willard 
tavern, at the northwest corner of Federal and Main streets. The 
first session of the old Common Pleas Court was held March 9, 1812, 
with Jonathan Leavitt, associate justice, presiding. Edward Bangs 
was the chief justice. At the date of the organization of Franklin 
county all county business was transacted by what was styled the 
Court of Sessions. The first meeting of this court held in Green- 
field was on March 3, 1812, with Job Goodale, chief-justice, and 
Medad Alexander, Ebenezer Arms, Joshua Green, and Caleb Hub- 
bard, Esquires, associate justices. The record shows the first impor- 
tant business there transacted was that the court ordered that in 
consideration of five hundred dollars, the inhabitants of Greenfield 
should forever have the right of holding town meetings in the 
courthouse about to be built. The next business was to divide the 


county into jury districts — first, second, third and fourth. A com- 
mittee was appointed to secure suitable plans from which to build 
public buildings. At the April, 1812, meeting a committee was 
selected to superintend the construction of the proposed buildings. 
The first licenses to inn-keepers and dealers in liquors were 
granted, the number of applicants amounting to one hundred and 
twelve. The jail limits were also established at this term. 

Court Houses — The appropriations for county buildings were 
made as follows: In 1813, $2,000; 1814, $2,100; 1815, $1,900; 1816, 
$2,160; total $8,160. This amount doubtless covered the cost of 
building the courthouse and jail, which was started and probably 
completed in 1813. This structure cost about $6,500. 

A new courthouse was constructed in 1848-49 on the west side 
of the park, where the present courthouse stands and which was 
built in 1872-73 and of which it forms a part. The money raised 
for the erection of the second building was as follows : In 1848, 
$3,000; 1849, $3,000; 1850, $3,000; 1851, $1,150; 1852, $1,100; 1853, 
$1,500; 1854, $5,700; 1855, $5,700; total $24,150. The large sums 
raised in 1854-55 doubtless covered the construction of the jail, 
which was erected in 1856. The total county tax in 1848 was $9,000. 
The courthouse erected in 1849, cost the county less than $20,000. 
The contractor was Isaac Damon ; the county commissioners were 
Thomas Nims, Joseph Stevens, and Ebenezer Maynard. 

After about twenty-three years the old courthouse was enlarged 
and remodeled and substantially rebuilt. The grounds were en- 
larged and the space around the building was made more roomy. 
The county commissioners during the rebuilding activities of this 
courthouse were : Nelson Burrows, Richard N. Oakman, and 
George D. Crittenden. The total cost of the new (present) court- 
house was approximately $50,000. Its extreme dimensions are 
about 75 by 115 feet. The basement is stone and the superstruc- 
ture is a red brick. It is two stories high and covered with an 
excellent slate roof. 

For a number of years the county offices have been inadequate 
for the increasing business to be transacted therein. The construc- 
tion of a new courthouse has been agitated, and recently the 
county commissioners have obtained permission of the Legislature 
to expend $70,000 for a new courthouse site. As yet (May, 1925) 
no action has been taken. 

County Jails and House of Correction — The original jail for 



Franklin county was erected probably in 1813, when the courthouse 
was erected. Its cost was probably about $1,500. It served as a 
jail until 1831 when a new one was provided. The new structure 
was from the quarries in Northfield. The cost of this small jail 
was about $4,800. It was thirty-eight feet square and was divided 
into eleven rooms. This building served well the purpose for which 
it was built until the erection of the third jail in 1856. The last 
named structure — jail and house of correction — built in 1856, cost 
about $30,000. At the date of its building this was considered one 
of the best built jails within the commonwealth, outside the large 
cities. With the passing years many prisoners have been humanely 
Tioused and cared for until their terms have been served. 

The present County Jail and House of Correction was built in 
the eighties. It is a handsome brick structure, facing the east and 
t)nly a short distance from the street car line to the northwest of 
the town proper. Its site is commanding, presenting a view of the 
surrounding country of surpassing beauty, at any season of the 

Towns of Franklin County 















Date Incorporated 

June 21, 1765 

March 6, 1762 

April 17, 1779 

June 21, 1765 

June 16, 1767 

June 30, 1761 

May 24, 1682 

April 17, 1838 

September 28, 1793 

June 9, 1753 

February 14, 1785 

February, 1785 

May, 1774 

New Salem 

Date Incorporated 

February 22, 1809 

February 21, 1822 

December 22, 1753 

June 15, 1753 

February 22, 1713 

February 24, 1810 

February 9, 1785 

June 21, 1768 

June 30, 1761 

November 12, 1714 

February 17, 1763 

May 8, 1781 

April 24, 1771 

New Towns and Changes — The Town of Monroe was erected 
February 21, 1822, and the Town of Erving, from Erving's grant, 
April 17, 1838. April 2d, 1838, the unincorporated district of Zoar 
was divided, and a part of it set off to Charlemont and Rowe, irt 
Franklin county, and a part to Florida, in Berkshire county. 

It will be observed that the various towns of this county were 
all incorporated or organized prior to 1800, except Orange, in 1810, 


Monroe in 1822, Erving in 1838 and Leyden in 1809. The oldest 
town is Deerfield, incorporated in 1682, hence ranks among the 
early towns in New England. 

County Taxation — The county's taxes have increased with the 
growth of the country and increase of its population ever since 
its incorporation. The first account of the treasurer in 1812 showed 
receipts of $317.12. The first county tax levied in 1812 was for 
$2,500. At various periods the amount raised for taxes was as 
follows: In 1812, $2,500; 1833, $8,000; 1844, $6,000; 1850, $10,000; 
1855, $18,000; 1860, $20,000; 1870, $25,000; 1873, $35,000; 1878, 
$38,000. In about this rate of increase the taxes have been levied 
until the present date. The amount of taxes received in 1922 was 
$132,040.00. The last tax levy, that in 1924, was $149,115.00. 

County Officers for 1925 — Clerk of the courts — Hugh E. Adams, 
assistant clerk of the courts — Bulah G. Upham ; sheriff — James B. 
Bridges; county commissioners — Eugene B. Blake, Allen C. Burn- 
ham, William B. Avery; judge of probate court — Francis Nims 
Thompson; special judge of probate — Clifton L. Field; register of 
probate court — John C. Lee ; assistant register of probate court — 
Ellen K. O'Keefe; register of deeds — William Blake Allen; assistant 
register of deeds — Elizabeth M. O'Keefe ; county treasurer — Eugene 
A. Newcomb ; master of the House of Correction and keeper of 
jail — Fred W. Doane ; Mrs. Myrtle P. Doane, matron ; H. J. Cook, 
Frank S. Sweet and Edward A. Pratt, turnkeys ; Edward Masterson, 
night watchman, Herbert Button, fireman and farmer ; G. P. Park, 
assistant; jail physician — Dr. Enoch G. Best; janitor at the court- 
house — Charles F. Shattuck; public administrators — Frank H. 
Snow, Thomas L. Lawler, Arthur M. Haskins ; court stenographer 
— May Ide Swift; District Court of Franklin — Philip H. Ball, jus- 
tice; special justice — Samuel D. Conant ; special justice. Turners 
Falls, James J. Leary; clerk — William S. Allen. District court of 
Eastern Franklin — Elisha S. Hall, justice. Orange ; Hartley W. 
Walker, special justice. Orange; James R. Kimball, clerk. The 
district attorney is Thomas J. Hammond, of Northampton. 

Civil List of Franklin County — Since the organization of the 
county the following have served as county officials, for a longer or 
shorter term of years : 

Chief Justices Court of Sessions — Job Goodale, 1811-18; John 
Hooker, 1819-21 ; Elijah Paine, 1822-27. This office was abolished 
in 1828 and was followed by another court system. 


Judges of Probate — Solomon Smead, 1811; Jonathan Leavitt, 
1814; Richard E. Newcomb, 1821; George Grinnell, 1849; H. G. 
Parker, 1853; Franklin Ripley, 1854; Charles Mattoon, 1858; Ches- 
ter C. Conant, 1870-1900; Francis M. Thompson, 1900-14; Francis 
Nims Thompson, 1914 to present. 

Registers of Probate — Isaac B. Barber, 1811 ; Elijah Alvord, 1812; 
George Grinnell, 1841; Wendell T, Davis, 1849; S. O. Lamb, 1851; 
Charles Mattoon, 1853-56; Charles J. Ingersoll, 1858; C. C. Conant, 
1863; Francis M. Thompson, 1870-1899 and was succeeded by his 
son Francis Nims Thompson until 1914 when the present incument 
John C. Lee came into office. 

Sheriffs— John Nevers, 1811; Elihu Lyman, Jr., 1811; E. Hoyt, 
1814; John Nevers, 1831-46; Samuel H. Reed, 1847; James S. Whit- 
ney, 1851; Samuel H. Reed, 1853; Charles Pomeroy, 1855; Samuel 
H. Reed, 1856-68; Solomon C. Wells, 1868-77; George A. Kimball, 
1877-93; Isaac Chenery, 1893-1910; William M. Smead, 1910-11; 
Edson J. Pratt, 1911-17; James B. Bridges, 1917 to present date. 

Clerks of the Court — Rodolphus Dickinson, 1811 ; Elijah Alvord, 
1820; Henry Chapman, 1840; George Grinnell, 1852; Edward E.. 
Lyman, 1866-97; Clifton L. Field, 1897-21; Hugh E. Adams, 1921 
to present. 

County Finances in 1924-25 — The total receipts of the county in 
1924 were $253,725.70, and the expenditures amounted to $235,564.- 
84. This left a balance of $18,160.86 on hand January 1, 1925. 

The county paid the Commonwealth for State Highways for the 
years 1922-23-24, the sum of $67,827.86. 

The county commissioners' report for 1924 shows the total 
budget for 1925 calls for $186,284.11, less available cash on hand, 
$26,574.11, an increase over previous years of $10,690. This makes 
the total levy for 1925, $159,710.00. This increase was caused by 
the expense incurred in constructing new fire-proof vaults for the 
Probate Court, office of the Clerk of the Court and a wall around 
the jail, etc. 

Salaries of County Officers (Fixed by Law) — Clerk of the Courts, 
$2,400; assistant clerk of the courts, $1,560; register of deeds, 
$2,766.50; assistant register of deeds, $1,659.90; County commis- 
sioners, $2,250; Sheriff, $1,374.84; treasurer, $1,363.44; jailer, 
$1,500; turnkey, $1,500; assistant turnkey, $1,400; watchman, 
$1,400; fireman and farmer, $1,400. Total, $20,574.68. 

The salaries fixed by the county commissioners are : Three 
clerks for register of deeds, $1,040 each; one clerk for register of' 



deeds, $910; one clerk for clerk of courts, $1,040; janitor at court- 
house, $1,500; matron at jail, $500; physician at jail, $400; chaplain 
at jail, $150; organist at jail, $80. Total amount paid all county- 
officers in salaries, $28,744.48, as per lists above named. 

The salaries of other officers are fixed by the Legislature, such as 
the Judge of Probate and Register of Probate. 


After the settlement of any new country the legal and medical 
professions are soon represented as needed adjuncts to a successful 
advancement in civilized life. William Coleman, almost universal- 
ly styled "Lawyer Coleman," is credited by all former historians 
as being the pioneer lawyer in what is now known as Franklin 
county. He was born in Boston in 1776, studied law at Worcester 
with Judge Paine, and settled in Greenfield, just prior to 1800. In 
an early historical account of Greenfield this lawyer was mentioned 
as excelling in everything, even in athletic exercises ; in music, danc- 
ing, and especially in writing. He had a large, profitable law 
practice, made money and invested in some Virginia land schemes 
by which he was a heavy loser. Soon after 1800 he moved to New 
York and there became a noted Federal politician and the editor 
of the "New York Evening Post," the first number of which was 
issued November 19, 1801. It was this publication which boasted 
of such men as Alexander Hamilton being among their regular 
contributors. At one time he was a law partner of Aaron Burr. 
He continued as editor of this great journal twenty years, until his 
decease, when he was succeeded by William Cullen Bryant. He 
was clerk of the courts in New York City, at a salary of $3,000 a 
year. He was the author of several law volumes. While at Green- 
field he planted numerous elm trees that still thrive as almost 
giant trees, the same being living, swaying monuments to the mem- 
ory of the town's first lawyer. In 1829 he was thrown from a 
carriage and from such injuries as he there received, he died, July 
13, 1829. 

Jonathan Leavitt a graduate of Yale College in 1786, studied law 
in New Haven, and settled in Greenfield about 1700. He was Sen- 
ator, Judge of Probate from 1814 to 1821, as well as judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas. He was a polished scholar and close 
student in law throughout his career. He died aged thirty-six 
years in 1830. While yet practicing law in Greenfield he was ap- 
pointed to a seat on the bench. 

Without going far into the details of the personnel of the Bar 
of this county it may be wise to record the names of a number of 
the men who were successful lawyers in the nineteenth century. 


Richard English Newcomb, who studied law with William Cole- 
man and was admitted to the bar in 1796. He was representative 
to the General Court, County Attorney and Judge of Probate. He 
was an old-school attorney, possessed a vigorous constitution and 
a strong will. At the dedication of the second courthouse in Green- 
field in 1849, he although in feeble health, made an able, and elo- 
quent address, which was long remembered by those present. He 
passed from earth's shining circle in 1849, aged seventy-nine years. 

Horatio Gates Newcomb, brother of the attorney just mentioned, 
was born in 1785, studied law with John Barrett, of Northfield, 
and with his brother in Greenfield, and was admitted to practice 
in 1813. In 1827 he located in Greenfield, as a partner of his brother 
and continued until his death. Williams College conferred upon 
him the degree of Master of Arts. He was a member of the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature, Master of Chancery and Judge of the Insol- 
vency Court. A member of the bar in speaking of this lawyer said : 
"He was employed much in the settlement of estates and in probate 
business ; was a good lawyer and counselor, and always advised 
to that course which was for the interest of his client, not his own. 
He took a deep interest in public and local questions. He was 
kind and sympathizing, and if he was not one of the greatest, he 
was, what is of much more value, one of the best of men." He died 
at the age of seventy-two years in 1857, at his home in Greenfield. 

Samuel Clesson Allen was first a minister and settled in North- 
field, but believing he had missed his calling entered law after one 
year in the pulpit. He was a student under John Barrett and was 
admitted to the bar in 1800. In 1822 he came from New Salem, 
Massachusetts, to Greenfield. It has been said of him that he 
"pursued agriculture, practiced law, prosecuted his political and 
literary studies, and reared a family of children." Three of this 
man's sons became eminent lawyers, two of them members of 
Congress from Maine, and one, Elisha H. Allen, chancellor and 
chief-justice of the Sandwich Islands. The elder Allen was State 
Senator, county attorney, and a member of Congress from this 
district from 1816 to 1828. He was an accomplished scholar, and' 
a statesman of high national standing. 

The Alvord families were well represented among the legal 
profession hereabouts. These included Elijah, son of Caleb Al- 
vord, admitted to the courts in 1802; his son was James C. Alvord, 
admitted to practice in 1830. He was elected Congressman in 1838, 
but died before he was able to take his seat in that body. A fellow 


associate at the bar said of him: "Law was the idol of his love', 
the field of his greatest ambition. It was the shrine at which he 
worshiped. He loved it as a science, he loved it in practice, and 
to it he devoted his full days and partly into the night. Though\ 
but thirty years of age when called hence, he had few equals, and 
no superiors at this or any other bar." 

Another member of the Alvord family was D. W. Alvord, son 
of Elijah Alvord, born in 1817, studied law with Wells, Alvord & 
Davis, and was admitted to practice in 1841. He died in Virginia 
in 1871 aged fifty-four years. 

Hon. George Grinnell, born 1786, entered Dartmouth College 
from which he graduated at the age of twenty-two years. He then 
entered the law office of Hon. Richard English Newcomb, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1811. He commenced practice in the new 
county of Franklin, which was organized that year, and opened 
an office in Greenfield. Was county attorney from 1820 to 1828, 
and from 1824 to 1827 was a State Senator. In 1828 he was elected 
a Congressman, his service as such commencing the day Andrew 
Jackson was inaugurated President. He served in Congress 1830, 
1832, 1834, and 1836. He returned to Greenfield and entered law 
practice again. He was one of the promotors of the Troy & Green- 
field railroad company, and was its first president. In connection 
with Hon. Whiting Griswold and others, he aided in the construc- 
tion scheme of the great Hoosac Tunnel under Hoosac Mountains. 
Mr. Grinnell lived to the age of ninety-one years. His son James 
S. Grinnell, was admitted to the bar in 1846, but soon forsook law 
for clerkships in the Agricultural Department and in the U. S. 
Patent Office in Washington, D. C. Later he returned to Green- 
field where he lived many years. 

Other attorneys at this bar included Franklin Ripley, born 1789; 
Daniel Wells, State Senator, and chief-justice of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas. Hon. Whiting Griswold, a distinguished member of 
the bar ; Ex-Governor Emory Washburn practiced law in Franklin 
county for a season then moved to Leicester, the village of his 
birth. The list of able lawyers may well be extended to include 
such men as Pliny Arms, Jonathan Saxton, Elijah Paine, Sylvester 
Maxwell, Joseph P. Allen, John Drury, Isaac Barber, Jonathan 
Hartwell, Stephen Emery, William Billings, Horace W. Taft, 
Henry Barnard, Benjamin Brainard, nearly all of whom practiced 
law in this county between 1811 and the building of the second 
courthouse in 1848. 


As a matter of convenient reference, the following- list of the 
attorneys practicing in and belonging to the Franklin County Bar, 
from 1811 to 1880, will here be inserted, the date refers to their 
admission : 

Greenfield — William Coleman, Jonathan Leavitt, (about 1789) 
Richard E. Newcomb, 1796; Elijah Alvord, 1802; Elihu Lyman, 
1806; George Grinnell, about 1811 ; Hooker Leavitt, 1811 ; Franklin 
Ripley, about 1812; David Willard, 1812; David Brigham, 1812 
Daniel Wells, 1813; Horatio G. Newcomb, 1813; Samuel Wells 
1816; Henry Chapman, 1826; Almon Brainard, 1829; James C 
Alvord, 1830; George T. Davis, in 1832; David Aiken, 1833; Charles 
Mattoon, 1839; Daniel W. Alvord, 1841; Wendell T. Davis, 1841 
Charles Devens, Jr., in 1841; Whiting Griswold, 1842; Franklin 
Ripley, Jr., 1845; James S. Grinnell, 1846; Horatio G. Parker, 1847 
George D. Wells, 1849; Charles Allen, 1850; Samuel O. Lamb, 1851 
Edward F. Raymond, 1854; W. S. B. Hopkins, 1858; George W 
Bartlett, 1859; Chester Cook Conant, 1859; James C. Davis, 1861 
Edward E. Lyman, 1861; Austin De Wolf, 1863; G. D. Williams 
1868; William H. Gile, 1869; George L. Barton, 1871; John A 
Aiken, Franklin G. Fessenden ; Francis M. Thompson, 1876; Henry 
L. Nelson; Bowdoin S. Parker, Samuel D. Conant, 1878. 

Deerfield— Pliny Arms, 1805; Rodolphus Dickinson, 1808; Jon- 
athan A. Saxton, about 1817; Aaron Arms, 1817; Elijah Williams, 
about 1825. 

Northfield— Samuel C. Allen, 1808; John Nevers, 1808; John Bar- 
rett, 1808; Benjamin R. Curtis, 1832; William W. Woodard, about 
1833 ; Solomon Vose. 

Charlemont— Sylvester Maxwell, 1804; Joseph P. Allen, 1817; 
Emery Washburn, 1821 ; Edwin H. Parker, 1842. 
Ashfield— Elijah Paine, about 1793. 

Conway— William Billings, 1812; Charles Baker, 1825; Albert C. 
Clark, 1847; John Newton, 1853. 

Sunderland — Horace W. Taft, about 1810; Henry Barnard, date 

Montague— Jonathan Hartwell, 1812; Timothy M. Dewey, 1855; 
William S. Dana. 

Orange — Stephen Emery, about 1811; Rufus D. Chase, 1849; 
Edgar V. Wilson, 1876. 

Gill — Benjamin Brainard, 1815. 

Whately— Justin W. Clark, about 1825. 


Colerain— Isaac B. Barker, 1808; John Drury, Jr., 1811; William 
Lanfair, 1845. 

Shelburne — Arthur Maxwell, 1849; Samuel T. Field, 1852. 

Shutesbury — William Ward. 

It is not practicable to trace out all lawyers who have belonged 
to the bar of Franklin county for the last half century. The above 
has given the names of many and the present bar includes the 
following : 

Greenfield— H. E. Adams, William S. Allen, Philip H. Ball, Jo- 
seph T. Bartlett, H. H. Duncan, William S. Clark, Samuel D. 
Conant, William A. Davenport, Charles Fairhurst, Clifton L. Field, 
Henry J. Field, L. W. Griswold, Timothy M. Hayes, Roland H. P. 
Jacobus, Frank J. Lawler, John C. Lee, M. J. Levy, Abner S. Mc 
Laud, James A. Moynihan, George K. Pond, Charles N. Stoddard, 
Francis Nims Thompson, Harry E. Ward, Herbert P. Ware. 

Deerfield— Philip H. Ball. 

South Deerfield— Parker D. Martin. 

Charlemont — Homer Sherman. 

Shelburne Falls— John T. Manning, Herbert P. Ware. 

Turners Falls — James J. Leary. 

Officials of the County of Franklin— (By Hon. Francis Nims 
Thompson)— "Little Franklin" was born on the twenty-fourth day 
of June, 1811, the northern twenty-six towns of Old Hampshire 
County being that day incorporated as a new county. There had 
been a registry of deeds for Northern Hampshire at Deerfield since 
1787 and its records are the oldest in the Greenfield courthouse. 
Earlier records of deeds are at Springfield, and at Northampton are 
court records prior to 1812. 

In April, 1812, the first session of the new Probate Court was 
"holden at Greenfield," Judge Solomon Smead presiding. His 
grandfather, an early settler of Greenfield, was grandson of that 
William Smead who was one of the first settlers of Deerfield. 
Judge Smead was succeeded in 1814 by Hon. Jonathan Leavitt, 
whose mansion still dignifies the Main Street of Greenfield. The 
first register of the court, Isaac Barber, went to be a captain in 
the War of 1812, and Elijah Alvord, 2d, was register for the next! 
twenty-eight years. He married a sister of Hon. Daniel Wells, 
of Greenfield, and their daughter married the son of Hon. Richard 
E. Newcomb, who became judge of the Probate Court in 1821. 
Judge Newcomb's wife was the daughter of General Joseph War- 


ren, of Bunker Hill fame ; and his brother, Judge Horatio G. New- 
comb, was judge of the Court of Insolvency before the office of 
judge of probate and insolvency was created in 1858. George Gren- 
nell, Jr., in 1840 succeeded Mr. Alvord as register of probate. 

The county's first clerk of the courts was Rodolphus Dickinson, 
of Deerfield, who later became an Episcopal minister; then Elijah 
Alvord was clerk from 1820 to 1840, and then Henry Chapman. 
The first county attorney was Elihu Lyman, Jr., of Greenfield, and 
John Nevers, of Northfield, was the first sherifif. A month later 
these gentlemen exchanged offices, but in 1812 Samuel C. Allen, 
of New Salem, became county attorney. He was followed in 1821 
by George Grennell, Jr., and in 1829 by R. E. Newcomb, both 
afterward judges of probate. In 1837 the county attorney had given 
place to an attorney for the western district, and Daniel Wells, of 
Greenfield, was the first to hold the position. When he became 
the chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, in 1844, a Berk- 
shire County man was appointed district attorney. 

Epaphrus Hoyt, previously register of deeds, became in 1814 
the third sheriff of the new county. In 1831 the first sherifif, Mr. 
Nevers, again occupied that office. He died in 1847, and Samuel 
H. Reed, of Rowe, became "high sheriff." John Williams and Eli- 
jah Williams had been registers of deeds in northern Hampshire, 
and Epaphrus Hoyt, of Deerfield, was the first for the new county 
of Franklin. After Elijah Alvord, 2d, who was the original county 
treasurer, became register of the Probate Court in 1812, Mr. Hoyt 
was both register of deeds and county treasurer. He was succeeded 
in both these offices in 1815 by Hooker Leavitt, and in 1842 by 
Almon Brainard, both of Greenfield. 

"Our second court house was erected in 1848 by Thomas Nims, 
Joseph Stevens, and Ebenezer Maynard, then county commission- 
ers. These men were among the ablest and most conscientious of 
all the boards who have held that important office" said Hon. Whit- 
ing Griswold in an address delivered twenty-five years later. In 
1849 Thomas Nims and most of his children died from typhoid 
fever, and his brother Lucius Nims was elected to the vacancy on 
the county board. The court house of 1848, a severely simple 
building as portrayed on the county wall map issued in 1858, was 
placed on the opposite side of the common from the original court- 
house. To the new building were removed the offices of Judge 
Newcomb and Register Grennell of the Probate Court, Henry Chap- 
man, clerk of the courts, and Almond Brainard, the county treasurer 


and register of deeds ; and the second period of the county's history 
had begun. 

The next May Judge Newcomb died, after being on the probate 
bench for twenty-eight years. Register Grennell was appointed 
judge of the court. He lived to an advanced age, was State Senator 
and for ten years member of Congress. Hon. George Grennell and 
his son, James S. Grennell, resided at the head of Greenfield's beau- 
tiful Main Street, and through their farm George, James, Grennell 
and Orchard streets were laid. Under Judge Grennell served as 
registers for short terms Wendell T. Davis and Samuel O. Lamb, 
men of worth and lawyers of ability. Many recall "Squire Lamb," 
a gentleman of the old school — courteous, studious and determined. 
After the resignation of Judge Grennell in 1853, Horatio G. Parker, 
Esq., of Greenfield, was judge of probate for a few months, but 
removed to Boston where he practiced law during a long and useful 
life. He was followed in 1854 by Hon. Franklin Ripley, who became 
the next year president of the local bank (now the First National) 
after serving thirty-three years as its cashier. Charles Mattoon, 
of Northfield, was register of the Probate Court from 1853 until 
he was appointed judge of probate and insolvency in 1858. Charles 
J. J. Ingersoll was elected as register of those courts and at his 
death in 1863 was succeeded by Chester C. Conant, Esq. In 1870 
Judge Mattoon died, and Mr. Conant was appointed judge and 
Francis M. Thompson was elected register of probate and insol- 
vency. For over twenty-eight years they conducted in perfect 
harmony the business of the courts and during this period the 
register modernized the system of filing, docketing and indexing 
the cases. 

Sheriff Reed remained in office until 1868, with the exception of 
two periods, 1851-53 and 1855-56, during which James S. Whitney, 
of Conway, and Charles Pomeroy, of Northfield, wore the blue coat 
and buff vest with brass buttons which distinguished the occupants 
of that position. Solomon C. Wells, of Greenfield, was elected 
sheriff in 1871. 

Messrs. Chapman and Brainard did not remain many years in the 
new court house. George Grennell was clerk of the courts 1852 
to 1866, when he was succeeded by Edward E. Lyman, of Green- 
field; and in 1856 Humphrey Stevens became register of deeds, 
and Edward Benton assumed that office in 1872. The county treas- 
urers after 1856 were Lewis Merriam, of the "Merriam bookstore," 
Daniel H. Newton, 1862 to 1865, and then Bela Kellogg. 

W. Mass.— 40 


"And now we enter upon the third period of our judicial history" 
said Whiting Griswold in his address at the opening of court in 
1873 in a remodelled court house. The building lost its simple 
dignity in the process of alteration, and the additions were inferior 
to the original building, but the main court room is still the "large, 
well-proportioned, commodious court and audience room" which the 
orator proclaimed it more than fifty years ago. 

Clerk Lyman, confined to his home by serious illness, was al- 
loted the front south rooms of the remodelled building as his of- 
fices. The front north rooms became the registry of deeds. In 
1880 Edwin Stratton came from Shelburne Falls to be the register. 
His daughter acted as his assistant and continued in the office until 
1912. During Mr. Stratton's administration new indexes were 
prepared under the supervision of Samuel D. Conant, Esq. 

In the rear of the registry of deeds and opposite the registry of 
probate was a little room whose door bore the sign of the "County 
Treasurer" and within which stood the sheriff's desk. The treasurer 
transacted business at his store and the sheriff seldom used his 
official desk, but Rufus A. Lilly was there much of the time ; so 
the place was known as "Rufus' room" to those who frequented the 
court house. Mr. Lilly was entitled the "court messenger," though^ 
that office and the title of court crier had perished in 1859 with the 
old Court of Common Pleas, of which Hon. David Aiken (father of 
Chief Justice Aiken of the Superior Court) was a judge. "Mr. Crier,^ 
wind up this court and yourself" were the words in which the judge 
is said to have ordered final proclamation. Thirty and more years 
ago there was often the tapping of a cane upon the marble floor of 
the court house corridor until a spare and erect old figure stood 
framed in Rufus' doorway ; and sometimes there was a receding 
sound of the cane if it happened that an occupant of the room did 
not appeal to the discriminating taste of "the old judge." Within 
a stern exterior this man of ninety years was most companionable, 
but he had no desire to barter the gems of his richly stored legal" 
mind for the flippant talk of some garrulous loafer. Mr. Lilly was 
until 1902 the janitor of the court house, and the genial host of ai 
circle of amateur but able entertainers among whom SherifTs Chen- 
ery and Pratt were the best tellers of stories, though how Sheriff 
Kimball misinterpreted as "suffering" the scales run by the musical 
occupant of the building was excellent as rendered by Mr. Lilly, 
whose stock of merry tales brought others in return. 

His place was not to be filled and after his departure the room,* 


•went too, being added in 1905 to the record room of the registry of 
deeds. John D. Bouker, of Greenfield, elected register in 1897, was 
a helpful and faithful public servant. During his last illness the 
registry was excellently administered by the competent assistant 
register, Miss Elizabeth M. O'Keefe. After the death of Mr. Bouker 
in August, 1918, Wm. Blake Allen, for many years treasurer of 
the town and fire district of Greenfield, was appointed and then 
elected as register. Though the Legislature of 1917 authorized the 
taking of land and erection of a building, the registry still occupies 
rooms wholly inadequate for the business transacted. 

The District Court of Franklin is located in rented quarters in 
the rear of the Masonic Building. It was established in 1896, and 
Edward E. Lyman, Esq., then clerk of the courts, became its first 
justice. William S. Allen, Esq., has been clerk of that court since 
its creation. Hon. Philip H. Ball, of Deerfield, is now justice of 
the court with Samuel D. Conant, Esq., and James J. Leary, Esq., 
as associate justices. Henry J. Field, Esq., was appointed justice 
following the death of Judge Lyman in 1906, and resigned in 1924. 
Hon. Elisha S. Hall, of Orange, is the justice of the District Court! 
of Eastern Franklin, having jurisdiction over Orange and four ad- 
joining towns. 

Samuel O. Lamb, Esq., then the Nestor of the local bar, acted 
as clerk of the courts following Mr. Lyman's resignation until in 
January, 1897, Clifton L. Field, Esq., qualified as clerk. Mr. Field 
resigned to give his time to manufacturing, but accepted an ap- 
pointment as special judge of probate, succeeding Frederick L. 
Greene, who died in 1922. Hugh E. Adams, now clerk of the courts, 
was elected in 1920. 

In May, 1899, Judge Conant of the Probate Court resigned be- 
cause of failing health. Francis M. Thompson, Esq., the ninth 
register of that court, was made its ninth judge. Born in the hills 
of Colerain, he came in boyhood to Greenfield, but as a young man 
went west and was a member of the first territorial legislature of 
Montana and the designer of the great seal of that state. Return- 
ing to Greenfield, he married the daughter of Hon. Lucius Nims, 
held the most important town offices and wrote the "History of 
Greenfield" published in 1904. Holding modestly the confidence 
of all and exercising with kindness his authority, he was "guide, 
counsellor and friend" to the people of his county during the forty- 
three years between his first election as register and his resignation 
from the probate bench at the age of eighty. His son, Francis 


Nims Thompson, who came into the probate office in 1890 as clerk 
to the register, was appointed in 1893 assistant register, and in 
1899 register of probate upon the unanimous petition of the county 
bar. Elected without opposition in 1899, 1903, 1908, and 1913 as 
register, he was appointed judge of the Probate Court in 1914. 
John C. Lee, Esq., was appointed register to fill the vacancy and 
has since been elected to that office. He had previously practiced 
law in Greenfield. Miss Ellen K. O'Keefe, assistant register of the 
court, has served the people of the county with rare ability and| 
fidelity for more than twenty-five years. 

The sheriffs of the county have secured superior men as their 
deputies, and from among these deputies the new sheriffs have been 
selected by the people of the county. Sheriff Wells was succeeded 
by George A. Kimball, of Greenfield, who had been a deputy for ten 
years. He was a man of much dignity and sterling integrity and 
was sheriff from 1877 to 1892, when Isaac Chenery, of Montague, 
was elected sheriff. Mr. Chenery died in office in 1909, and Wil- 
liam M. Smead, of Greenfield, an able man who had been a deputy, 
for twenty-four years, was appointed and then elected to fill the 
vacancy. He declined renomination because of poor health, but 
survived by nearly a year his successor as sheriff. Edson J. Pratt, 
of Millers Falls, who became a deputy sheriff in 1893, was a man 
widely loved and respected. He was elected sheriff in 1910 and 
1915, but died in June, 1916, and was succeeded by the present 
sheriff, James B. Bridges, of South Deerfield. Among his deputies 
William Henry Ward, formerly of Montague and now of Green- 
field, is the dean, having been a deputy sheriff since 1890. 

Many other deputies deserve mention for their bravery or dis- 
cretion in the performnace of the difficult and often disagreable 
duties of their office. Emmett F. Haskins, of Charlemont, was in 
1910 shot and killed in the fearless pursuit of a criminal in Monroe. 

In recent years "little Franklin" has furnished to the Superior 
Court both Chief Justice John Adams Aiken, who was appointed to 
that bench in 1898 and served some twenty-five years, becoming 
chief justice in 1905, and Hon. Franklin Goodridge Fessenden, who 
was appointed in 1891, and at his retirement in 1922 was the senior 
justice. These men were appointed from Greenfield and, contrary 
to custom, retained their residence in their beautiful home town. 
Greenfield also furnished the state from 1906 to 1911 an excellent 
attorney-general in Hon. Dana Malone, whose tragic death in 1917 
cut short a career in which greater honors seemed probable. Both 


Judge Aiken and Mr. Malone had served as district attorneys. 

The present county treasurer, Eugene A. Newcomb, of Green- 
field, has been repeatedly elected to that position since he succeeded 
C. M. Moody who was treasurer from 1876 to 1894. 

When the present court house was dedicated in March, 1873, 
Nelson Burrows, George D. Crittenden, and R. N. Oakman, were' 
the county commissioners. Mr. Oakman had told the probate offi- 
cials that pine cases were good enough to hold the public records' 
and files and if they wanted anything better they might pay the 
bills. The judge and register of probate had black walnut cases 
installed, and paid for them. After the election of 1873 Mr. Oak- 
man was replaced by John M. Smith. Carlos Batchelder was 
elected in '74 and Lyman G. Barton in '75. 

Mr. Smith was reelected in 1876 and '79 ; and was succeeded by 
Edward F. Mayo, of Warwick, who was elected in 1882 and again 
in '85 ; and Franklin L. Waters, of Orange, was elected in 188S 
and served until after the election of 1900. Mr. Batchelder was 
succeeded in 1889 by Lyman A. Crafts, of Whately, who rendered 
excellent service for twelve years. Mr. Barton was followed in 
1884 by Frederick G. Smith, of Greenfield, and in 1893 by Charles 
Howes, of Ashfield, who was reelected in '96 and '99. 

Again the county board was renewed in a two-year period, and 
Osgood L. Leach, of Northfield, was elected in 1900, Eugene B. 
Blake, of Greenfield, in 1901, and James D. Avery in 1902. In 1908 
Allen C. Burnham, of Montague, was elected to succeed J. D. 
Avery, and in 1915 William B. Avery was chosen to follow Mr. 
Leach. Since 1919, county commissioners have been elected for 
four-year terms. 

Since the foregoing account was written the commissioners 
have taken, as part of the premises required for new county build- 
ings, the W. W. Davenport property on east Main Street; and 
within another decade may begin the fourth "period of our judicial 


This society was formed at Greenfield, January, 1851, and the 
following officers were elected : President, Stephen W. Williams, 
Deerfield ; secretary and treasurer, James Deane, Greenfield ; lib- 
rarian, Alpheus S. Stone, Greenfield ; counselors — Drs. Stone, Ham- 
ilton, Williams; censors, James Deane, D. W. Carpenter, C. M. 
Duncan. This society was legally sanctioned by the State Medical 
Society on the first of the following June. 

The physicians who were practicing in this county forty-five 
years ago — or in 1880 — were inclusive of these : Drs. Edward Bar- 
ton, Robert Andrews, J. H. Goddard, of Orange. Stephen W. 
Williams, R. N. Porter, John Q. Adams McAllister, Charles A. 
Packard, D. M. Elliott, George M. Reed, of Deerfield and South 
Deerfield, James Deane, Adams C. Deane, Daniel Hovey, L. D. 
Seymour, Charles H. Spring, Joseph Draper, Noah S. Wells, Jon- 
athan W. D. Osgood, W. S. Severance, A. C. Walker, C. L. Fisk, 
Jr., Thomas Womersley, of Greenfield. Chenery Pufifer, Milo Wil- 
son, Stephen J. W. Tabor, J. W. Bement, A. H. Taylor, Charles E. 
Severance, F. J. Canedy, C. M. Wilson, of Shelburne Falls. Charles 
L. Knowlton, Geo. R. Fessenden, James R. Fairbanks, of Ashfield. 
Charles M. Duncan, Shelburne. Stephen Bates, Charlemont. Jo- 
siah Trow, Buckland. Charles T. Lyons, Charles Warren Green, 
E. S. Weston, O. H. Lamb, Colerain. Humphrey Gould, David 
Bradford, E. A. Deane, Montague. Charles A. Wilson, E. C. Coy, 
Montague City. Fayette Clapp, David Rice, Leverett. Elijah 
Stratton, Marshal S. Mead, A. B. Rice, R. C. Ward, Northfield. 
Gardner C. Hill, Charles Barber, Warwick. Cyrus Temple, Heath. 
A. E. Kemp, Wm. H. Hills, New Salem. Noyes Barstow, William 
Dwight, Charles Bowker, O. A. Wheeler, Bernardston. E. D. 
Hamilton, Martin L. Mead, Conway. E. P. Burton, Gill. S. 
Walter Scott, C. E. Hall, E. R. Campbell, Turners Falls. D. J. 
Jacobs, Charles W. Stockman, Millers Falls. 

These physicians with a few more who were not members of the 
County or District Medical Society, constituted the physicians of 
Franklin county in the seventies and eighties. Other histories of 
this county contain biographies of several early-day doctors here, 
but the list is all too long to reproduce. However, a few paragraphs 


on the lives and characters of some of the pioneer physicians of 
the county should be here annexed : 

Dr. Alpheus Fletcher Stone was born in Rutland, Worcester 
county, Massachusetts, May 7 , 1778. In his younger days he taught 
school in Connecticut. In 1798 or 1799 he came to Greenfield where 
he entered the office of his older brother, Dr. John Stone, who later 
moved to Springfield, where he died. He continued his medical 
studies for two years, and became one of the most noted physi- 
cians of his times and continued in the active practice of medicine 
for fifty years, and commenced practice at Greenfield, Christmas 
Day, 1801. During the last twenty-five years of his practice he 
was consulted very widely throughout the Connecticut Valley. He 
became a fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Association in 1814, 
and was one of its chief Counselors for a quarter of a century. 

Another family many members of which followed the medical 
profession in this county was that of the Deanes. The ancestor 
of these physicians was Dr. Christopher Deane, born in Stonington, 
Connecticut, 1783. He attended the Deerfield Academy and taught 
school later for several winters. He studied medicine with Dr. 
Samuel Ross the first settled physician at Colerain and commenced 
his practice in 1807, continuing until July, 1854. He had a fine 
medical library and kept fully up to date with his profession. 
Others physicians in the Deane family were Drs. James Deane, 
son of Christopher Deane ; Dr. Adams C. Deane, born in Colerain, 
1823. But few families had as many well-read and successful med- 
ical men in New England as the Deane family. 

Other quite noted pioneer doctors of medicine were Drs. Wells, 
Walker, Barnard, Haynes, Samuel Prentiss, Allen, Amos Taylor, 
Charles Earl Severance, Barton, Brooks, Canedy, Field, Hamilton, 
and Cook. In their day and generation they studied and used the 
best of judgment, were honorable gentlemen and followed the best 
instructions to be had in their school of medicine, thus saving pain 
and life in many cases. The "family doctor" of a century ago was 
a man of high character as a general rule, and they remained in the 
community many years, generally through life and when over- 
taken by death were mourned by members of two and sometimes 
three generations of citizens of the county in which they practiced. 

Present (1925) practicing physicians are as follows: Deerfield 

W. K. Clark, P. W. Goldsbury. South Deerfield— K. H. Rice, 
W. G. Watt. East Northfield— R. H. Philbrook. Erving— F. e! 
Johnson. Greenfield— F. J. Barnard, E. G. Best, W. K. Clark, 


C. F. Canedy (died May, 1925), B. F. Croft, A. H. Ellis, E. B. 
Finch, died 1925, H. N. Howe, E. H. Hughes, A. E. Johnson, Jr., 
W. H. Pierce, H. M. Kemp, J. A., Mather, F. A. Millett, J. C. 
O'Brien, H. G. Stetson, G. P. Twitchell, Francis W. Donahue, 
Thos T. Fyfe, P. S. W. Geddis. Shelburne Falls — F. J. Canedy, 
H. B. Marble, J. S. Outhouse, W. A. Smith, C. L. Upton. Sunder- 
land — Charles Moline. Turners Falls — P. F. Leary, W. J. Pelletier, 
C. R. Vinal, and R. A. McGillicuddy. 

The present officers of the Franklin County Medical Society are 
as follows : F. A. Millett, Greenfield, president ; P. F. Leary, Turn- 
ers Falls, vice-president; Charles Moline, Sunderland, secretray 
and treasurer. 

Farren Memorial Hospital — This institution was established and 
incorporated in 1900 by Bernard N. Farren, one of the construc- 
tors of the great Hoosac Tunnel, in memory of his son Frank 
Farren, aged twenty-three at the date of his death. It is situated 
in Montague City, on the main street and electric car line. It is 
a three-story red brick structure, with a fifty-bed capacity. The 
corporation is governed by a large number of competent trustees, 
the Bishop of the Diocese of the Catholic church is president of 
the board, while many of the trustees are local men in and near 
Greenfield and Turners Falls. The hospital, proper, is upon a 
handsome large plat of well-kept lawn, with cottages and other 
houses in which the Sisters in charge reside, as well as nurses. One 
of these buildings is known as the White House, and another 
"The Nurses Home." At the present there are twenty-five trained 
nurses and sixteen Sisters connected with the institution. 

Hanging on the wall of the spacious office, may be seen a life- 
size oil-portrait of Frank Farren ; there stands on a pedestal in the 
reception room a true-to-life marble bust of young Farren. 

Franklin County Public Hospital — This hospital had its incep- 
tion in February, 1895, when thirty-six persons signed "An Agree- 
ment of Association," for the organization of what was to be styled 
"Franklin County Public Hospital." The late Rev. Dr. Francis 
L. Robbins' residence was leased one year and September 9, 1895, 
the hospital was opened for service, with Miss Nellie Daniels as 
superintendent and Miss Anna Moritz first pupil nurse in training 
school. It so happened that Dr. Robbins was the first patient the 
hospital had. 

October, 1897, the Converse house on Main Street was leased and 


a more permanent home was given the hospital, the same being 
opened January 1, 1898. Judge Charles Allen, of Boston, donated 
the institution $10,000 with which the corporation made payments 
for the purchase of their newly acquired home on Main Street. The 
first ofificers of the corporation were: Levi J. Gunn, president; 
Franklin R. Allen, vice-president; Frank J. Lawler, treasurer; Eliza 
B. Leonard, secretary ; Anna Sweeney, superintendent. 

The next change was March 10, 1910, when the present hospital 
was opened. It has sixty beds and twenty-six nurses are employed 
constantly. This hospital is located in High Street, near Beacon 
and with other streets surrounds a full block of land. This ground 
was bought by the hospital corporation in 1906 for $8,000. The 
buildings, with the furnishings cost $70,000. On the southwest 
corner of the grounds is located the Isolation Hospital, for con- 
tagious diseases. The physicians and surgeons in charge so far 
have been local men who usually serve three months at a period. 
Ten are employed on the medical stafif. 

On account of a demand for larger quarters and better facilities, 
the citizens of the county are, at this time (1925), making a cam- 
paign for the purpose of raising a $300,000 fund for building ad- 
ditional structures and an endowment fund for the institution. 



The causes which led up to the Civil War, between the North 
and South, are too well known to all today, to dwell on the topic. 
In brief it may be stated that as a result more than four million 
slaves were set free and the question of "States Rights" forever 
well settled concerning enslavmg any race of human beings on 
United States soil. This cost untold blood and treasure and 
Franklin county was not one whit behind her sister counties in furn- 
ishing her full quota of brave soldiers and raising its share of money 
to further on the cause. The following chapter will briefly note 
what each town within the county accomplished during those 
wonderful history-making years. 

Beginning with the county seat town it is recorded that Green- 
field sent to the service of the country about 500 men. Of these 
about 100 belonged in other counties, but 400 were citizens true 
and loyal and were quick to respond to the call of President Lin- 
coln for men at various stages of the conflict. The sound of drum 
and fife was daily heard upon the streets. Armed men paraded 
the streets and highways week in and week out. It was indeed 
an eventful day in June, 1861, when Company E of the Tenth 
Massachusetts Regiment, under command of Captain Day, started 
to join the army at the front. The following notice was written 
of Captain Edwin E. Day, who commanded Company E : "Captain 
Edwin E. Day was born September 3, 1825, in Gill. He married 
and lived at Factory Village in Greenfield and was captain of a 
militia company when the Civil War broke out. He was the 
first man to enlist in Greenfield and was mustered into service 
June 21, 1861, as captain of Company E, Tenth Regiment. In the 
campaign on the Peninsula, at the first battle in which his regiment 
was engaged, on the last day of May, 1862, he was killed at the 
head of his company. He received three bullet wounds. The 
second was fatal. He was a wise, brave officer, and every man 
in his command loved him. He died with his full armor on, amid 
the din and roar of battle." 

In all forty-three men lost their lives in that four-year war, who 
claimed Greenfield as their home. To the memory of these fallen 
heroes, not long after the war closed, the beautiful Scotch granite 


monument was erected on the Common, surmounted by a bronze 
eagle cast in Munich. For beauty and protection a very neat iron 
fence was placed around the monument ; the cost of both fence 
and monument was $10,000. 

Deerfield — The Civil War monument at this place has for a 
portion of its inscription the names of the two hundred and eight 
soldiers from that town who risked their lives that freedom might 
obtain in this Republic. 

Montague — This town furnished its cjuota of men and from the 
number twenty-four sacrified their young lives. 

Orange — Thirty-eight lives were lost from the one hundred and 
forty-four who volunteered from the town, under various calls. In 
1870, at Orange Center there was erected to their memory a hand- 
some monument of Maine granite, rising to a height of forty feet, 
with proper inscriptions on its four faces. 

Shelburne — In 1868 at a cost of $2,000 in the north part of Shel- 
burne Falls village a handsome granite monument was erected and 
dedicated to the memory of citizens of Shelburne who lost their 
lives in the Rebellion, twenty-seven in all, and the names of the 
one hundred and two who enlisted from the town between 1861 
and 1865. 

Northfield — This town sent into the ranks of the Union army 
during the Civil War one hundred and forty-one soldiers, many of 
whom never returned to home and loved ones. In her soul-trying 
years the good people of this town gave much money and produce, 
as well as work in many lines in the interest of supporting the 
Union cause and caring for the soldiers' families left without sup- 
port at home, while they fought on southern battle fields. 

New Salem — This town furnished one hundred and three men to 
supply the quota required for enlistments and later recruits. Eight 
of this number were lost in battle. 

Conway — This town furnished for the Civil War soldiers to the 
total of one hundred and five, twenty-one of whom never returned, 
but yielded up the supreme sacrifice for freedom's cause. 

Sunderland — This town met her quotas well during the Civil 
War, as the official reports show she furnished forty men and 
thousands of dollars for relief causes and bounties. The spirit of 


patriotism was high in this and adjoining towns of Franklin county. 

Bernardston — From this town during the Rebellion there were 
forty-four soldiers sent to the defense of their country, at the 
various calls of President Lincoln. Five of these men were lost 
in battle or died of exposure. 

Buckland — From this quarter there were sent forth to suppress 
the Rebellion in 1861-65 eighty-four men — the flower of the strong 
men of the place. Twelve of these soldiers lost their lives and 
most of them were buried in the far away Southland. 

Hawley — During the years of the Rebellion furnished fifty-two 
men as her required quota, some of whom never returned but 
sacrificed their lives on the altar of their country. 

Charlemont — Without murmer or discord this town sent forth 
her brave sons in defense of "Old Glory" to the number of seventy- 
seven. During those long never-to-be-forgotten years both men 
and women at home were busy at packing up and shipping fruits 
and other much needed supplies for the soldier-boys at the front — 
in tent and field, and in supplying the soldiers' families at home 
with such things as would sustain them until their husbands or 
fathers should return, 

Whately — This town gave every possible aid to every call for 
troops and supplies in suppressing that unholy warfare, wherein 
brother was arrayed against brother and father against son. From 
the best accounts now at hand, it is believed that the number of 
soldiers sent from Whately was eighty-seven. Eleven of these 
men sacrificed their lives and never returned to home and fireside. 
Bounties were paid here and the total amount raised for war ex- 
penses was $21,678. Quite a number of the men from here died in 
Andersonville Prison Pen, in Georgia. 

Leverett — This town provided soldiers for the Rebellion to the 
number of fifty-three, of whom six perished on Southern fields. In 
common with other Franklin communities this town raised many 
thousand dollars by taxation and subscription for the care of 
soldiers' families and for dainty supplies and bandages sent to the 
battle fronts and to hospitals of the far ofif South land. 

Ashfield — Like their forefathers in Revolutionary times, those 
living in this town during Civil War days, manifested a spirit of 


sublime patroitism. At the close of the war a handsome monument 
was erected to the memory of those who perished in the war for the 
Union. The town records show the following entry : "March 5, 
1866 — " Voted to raise $650 for the purpose of erecting a memorial 
to perpetuate the memory of those persons of this town whose lives 
have been sacrificed in the effort to sustain the government against 
the slave-holders' Rebellion." 

Colerain — From this town went forth to the Union Army ranks 
between 1861 and 1865, eight-seven of the flower of the town. 
Many never returned, and many were wounded and later died as 
a result. 

Leyden — This town sent her quota of soldiers into the Union 
cause freely and in large numbers considering its inhabitants. The 
official roster shows at least twenty-four names who served in dif- 
ferent commands. In material aid such as was afforded by other 
towns, Leyden also gave money and supplies toward keeping 
soldier's families while they were doing duty in the South. 

Shutesbury — The record in this town for service during the Civil 
War is one to be proud of. Twenty-four of the best citizens of the 
town went forth as volunteers to suppress the threats against the 
Union by hands who had vowed to destroy it. Those who re- 
mained at home gave of their time and means in support of those 
fighting in the field. The money paid for bounties was never be- 
grudged, but given with a cheerful spirit. 

Gill — The Adjutant General's reports show that during the War 
for the Union this town sent forty-eight men to increase the ranks 
of the "boys in blue" who fought on Southern battle fields. 

Erving — The number of soldiers from this town totaled fifty-five. 
Of this number eleven lost their lives in service. 

Rowe — As far back as Revolutionary times this town was noted 
for its military spirit and they supported a militia company. When 
the Rebellion came in 1861, the spirit was revived in Rowe. Thirty- 
three men enlisted and proved themselves soldiers true. 

Warwick — Full of the fire of patriotism and on the side of the 
Union cause, this town sent forth from her strong young and 
middle-aged men, soldiers to the number of eighty-four. Out of 
this number twenty-six died while connected with the service of 
their country. These names were inscribed on a handsome monu- 



ment erected in 1866 in the Fisk Cemetery at Warwick village. 
During the Rebellion Warwick raised for war purposes $17,827.37. 

Wendell — The official roster of Union soldiers from this town 
shows that there were thirty-five men enrolled, enlisted, and served, 
and either died or were discharged. 

Heath — This town furnished more than forty soldiers for the 
Union army. Of this number three sacrificed their lives on the 
altar of their country. 

Monroe — The following served in the Union cause from Monroe : 
Alonzo Axtell, Eben GifTord, Moses Nichols, Isaac B. Stafford, 
Henry D. Thayer, Warren Tower, Henry Hicks, Allen Phelps, 
Nathaniel Whitcomb, Myron Whitcomb. Two died in service — 
Henry Hicks and Allen Phelps. 


This short but very decisive conflict, important in its issue be- 
tween the United States and Spain in 1898 called for loyal, brave men 
from Franklin county which were furnished by the employment of 
State troops. On April 11, 1898 President William McKinley sent 
his message to Congress recommending armed intervention in Cuba. 
Then followed the call to arms. The Second Massachusetts In- 
fantry, of which Company "L" came from Greenfield, at once 
tendered its service to the government, and on May 3, amid the 
farewells of fifteen hundred citizens who had gathered early in the 
morning, the Greenfield boys entrained. Of the seventy-eight 
men who enlisted as United States soldiers, one was killed at El 
Caney, and sixteen died of disease contracted in the service. 

Roster of Company 
fantry : — 

Frederick E. Pierce, 
Charles H. Field, 
Fayette B. Mason, 
Charles C. Class, 
Alston G. Salisbury, 
Thomas D. Murphy, 
Charles E. Chapin, 
Archie C. Hale, 
Don A. Aldrich, 
Donald M. Lobdell, 
Edward M. Slocumb, 

L, Second Regiment Massachusetts In- 


First Lieut., 

Second Lieut., 

First Sergeant. 

Q. M. Sergeant, 









South Deerfield. 



Albert E. Denison, 
Albert W. Beckworth, 
Georg-e M. Brooks, 
Edward J. Class, 
Merton R. Dean, 
William H. Murphy, 
Henry E. Ariel, 
Henry M. Stewart, 
Andrew B. Anderson, 
Charles C. Arnold, 
Gilbert C. Bangs, 
Harry J. Barnes, 
Georg-e E. Blackmer, 
Frank J. Brassor, 
Frank M. Breslin, 
Albert E. Brown, 
Frederick W. Brown, 
Peter J. Campbell, 
Robert A. Cary, 
Frank W. Carpenter, 
Earl D. Coates, 
James D. Cook, 
Edward M. Cornell, 
Herbert H. Davis, 
Warren P. H. Davis, 
George H. De Revere, 
Henry H. De Verger, 
James M. Farll, 
Willis B. Fay, 
Fred F. Floury, 
Julius J. Forg-ette, 
Louis E. Freshour, 
Clark S. Frost, 
Peter C. Fuchs, 
Clayton D. Goland, 
Henry C. Graves, 
Peter A. Greenia, 
Harry C. Hall, 
William J. Kelliher, 
William J. Kingston, 
Edward J. Lague, 



Hartford, Connecticut. 


Turners Falls. 




Millers Falls. 

Turners Falls 




Millers Falls. 



Turners Falls. 




Scranton, Pennsylvania. 






Chicago, Illinois. 







Turners Falls. 



Turners Falls. 

Turners Falls. 





Joseph M. Lanois, 
William H. Miller, 
Timothy J. Murphy, 
Frank P. Norton, 
William O'Connell, 
George H. Patnode, 
Walter C. Raymond, 
Thomas Riley, 
Frederick C. Schiller, 
Charles A. Smead, 
Frank A. Smith, 
Ward W. Smith, 
Ralph J. Snow, 
Lovell S. Spaulding, 
Robert Stockbuger, 
Jeremiah J. Sullivan, 
John Thyne, Jr., 
August H. Ungrich, 
Richard A. Van Petersilge, 
Harry A. Watson, 
Frederick E. Williams, 
Charles P. Wilson, 
Harry A. Wise, 
Harry A. Woodard, 



Turners Falls, 


Turners Falls. 


East Deerfield. 









Turners Falls. 

Turners Falls. 

Turners Falls. 

South Deerfield. 



Shelburne Falls 

Turners Falls 


Turners Falls 

Otto Zeigler, 

This county should be credited with at least one more soldier 
from this county — John J. Kennedy, of Greenfield, Mass., who en- 
listed in Company "I," Second Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, 
and was mustered into service at South Framingham, May 3, 1898. 
His name appears in the roster of that company in Northampton. 

Second Lieutenant Daniel J. Moynihan, of Company 'T" Second 
Regiment infantry, Massachusetts, who won the title of "Hero of 
El Caney" in the War with Spain, was a native of Sunderland, 
Franklin County, Massachusetts, born November 19, 1867, and 
moved to Northampton when twelve years of age. He became a 
member of Company "I" in January, 1889. He was promoted from 
corporal, 1890, to first sergeant, then to second lieutenant. After the 
Spanish-American War he returned, having been seriously wound- 
ed at the battle of El Caney. Later he served twenty years in the 
army, retiring with the rank of major. After a few years in Green- 
field he located in Miami, Florida, where he now resides. 

W. Mass. 



Through railway construction, including the longest mountain 
tunnel in America — the Hoosac — and other causes, the improve- 
ment in Franklin County in the last fifty years has indeed been vast 
and very substantial. What was known as the Connecticut River 
Railroad had for its first link that portion between Springfield and 
Northampton. A company styled the "Northampton and Spring- 
field Railroad Corporation" was chartered March 1, 1842. The 
capital stock was limited to $500,000 by legislative act of 1844. 
In February, 1845, Henry W. Clapp, Ralph Williams, Henry W. 
Cushman, and others incorporated the "Greenfield and Northamp- 
ton Railroad Company", with authority to construct a road between 
the above mentioned towns. The stock was limited to $500,000. 
These two corporations were consolidated on equal terms in July, 
1845, and took the name of "The Connecticut River Railroad Com- 
pany." The Northampton and Springfield Company changed 
its route to the one where the road now runs. The Connecticut 
River Company was authorized in April, 1846, to extend its road 
northward from Greenfield to the Vermont State line, and to in- 
crease its stock by an amount not to exceed $500,000. 

The road was opened from Springfield to Cabotsville in February, 
1845, and to Northampton December 13, of the same year. On 
August 17,1846, it was opened to South Deerfield, and on the 23d of 
November following to Greenfield. The branch from Chicopee 
to Chicopee Falls was completed September 8, the same year. 

The earnings of the road from its opening to January, 1846, were 
$13,521 ; expenditures for same time, $5,519. The total receipts for 
1846 were $58,246; expenses, $21,752. Receipts for 1848, $165,242, 
and the number of passengers carried was in round figures three 
hundred thousand ; tons of freight such as general merchandise, 

The road was completed to the south of Vermont January 1, 
1849, a distance of fifty-two miles from Springfield. The total cost 
of the railroad was $1,798,825. 

The Hoosac Tunnel Line — By all means this is the most impor- 
tant line of railway passing through the northern portion of Mas- 
sachusetts. The divisions or links making up this route from Bos- 


ton to the Hudson river, at Troy, are the Fitchburg division from 
Boston to Greenfield, a distance of 106 miles ; the Troy and Green- 
field road, from Greenfield to North Adams, 37 miles including the 
great Hoosac Tunnel, and the Troy and Boston road, from North 
Adams to the Hudson river, 48 miles ; making a total distance of 
191 miles from tide-water to tide-water again. At the center of the 
tunnel under the mountain the altitude is over 800 feet above tide- 
water in Boston. The lines of this system traversing Franklin 
county, follow very nearly that of the valleys of Millers and the 
Deerfield rivers, from the eastern to the western extremities of this 
county; passing through the towns of Orange, Wendell, Erving, 
Montague, Deerfield, Greenfield, Shelburne, Conway, Buckland, 
Charlemont, and Rowe ; thus giving fifty miles of trackage within 
the county. 

As originally surveyed and built this road crossed Green river in 
what was a part of the town of Deerfield, three-fourths of a mile 
from Main Street business center of Greenfield which place was 
accommodated until 1876, by backing up the trains. Later very 
material changes were made and the road was laid as at present 
in the rear of north Main Street. This changed the grade from 
seventy to twenty-six feet per mile. 

The Troy & Greenfield line was chartered in 1848, organized in 
1849; ground was first broken on its construction January 8, 1851, 
under an appropriation of $25,000 made "for experiments on the 
tunnel." In 1854 the State appropriated aid to the amount of $2,- 
000,000. Work actually commenced on this tunnel in the summer 
of 1856 and continued until funds ran out in 1861. Nothing more 
was done until September, 1862, when the tunnel was transferred 
to the State of Massachusetts, this being when the tunnel had 
reached half way through the mountain. Work was pushed forward 
until 1868 when the State lost faith in the enterprise, but in De- 
cember of that year Shanley & Co., of Montreal, contracted for its 
completion for the sum of $4,594,368, and whatever interest might 
accrue under the contract. This company completed the tunnel 
early in 1874. All told the work had continued through a period 
of eighteen years, at a total cost of $17,000,000. It should here be 
noted that the estimate for constructing this tunnel in the fifties 
was when it was planned to convey a canal instead of a railroad 
through the tunnel under the mountains. The total length of the 
tunnel is about four and three-fourths miles. It carries double 
tracks and is twenty-six feet high and the same distance in width. 


In its building nearly two hundred men lost their lives by sundry 
accidents. The road was opened from Greenfield to the tunnel, 
August 17, 1868; the first construction train passed through the 
tunnel February 9, 1875, and the first passenger train April 9, of 
the same year. The famous tunnel lies wholly within Florida 
town, Berkshire county, but its eastern portal opens on the west 
bank of the Deerfield river, which divides the counties of Berkshire 
and Franklin. 

It should here be stated that while the above is practically the 
outline history of the several railroad lines within this county, 
covering numerous original companies projected and built at 
various times, that all have finally been merged into the one system 
now known as the Boston and Maine Railroad Company. Its 
eastern terminal is Boston and its western Rotterdam Junction, 
New York. 

Development of Franklin County — The total number of voters 
in Franklin county in 1875 was 8,516. The number of families was 
7,856; dwellings, 6,877; unoccupied dwellings, 268; number of 
dwellings in Deerfield was 669, in Greenfield, 696. 

The number of farms in the county in 1875 was 3,956, with a 
total acreage of 350,443 ; average number of acres to each farm was 
eighty-eight; total value of all farms, $11,352,503. The number of 
acres in market-gardens was 214>4, of the value of $12,448. Acres 
of cultivated lands, 80,000; uncultivated lands, 175,218 acres; of 
unimprovable lands, 20,517; of woodlands, 74,837. Total domestic 
and agricultural products of county — domestic, $810,792; agri- 
cultural. 82,594,000. Franklin county produced in 1875, 1,285,048 
pounds of butter; of cheese, 64,000; maple sugar. 149,000 pounds, 
valued at $16,114; bushels of apples, 192,879; milk, in value, $170,- 
000. Tons of hay produced, 61,000; bushels of corn produced in 
1875, 155,000, valued at 8146,000. Potatoes grown in the county, 
256,000 bushels, one of three of the largest potato producing coun- 
ties in Massachusetts. Amount of tobacco acreage. 1,217; number 
of pounds in 1875, 2,000,000. The number of bushels of wheat was 
7,456. The total number of hired persons employed in agriculture 

was 3,806. 

The total valuation of personal and real estate in the county fifty 
years ago was $16,000,987; total products, $8,720,000. Number of 
manufacturing establishments in 1875 was 282; capital invested, 
$4,128,000; value of goods produced. 84.987,000. 


The census for 1875 gave this county as having ten public libraries 
with 16,000 books on the shelves. 

The 1924 town directory of Greenfield gives the number of manu- 
facturing establishments in the town as thirty ; products annually, 
twelve million dollars. The chief industries are tap and dies, tools, 
leather goods, silver ware, rakes and printing and binding books. 

The United States census reports for 1920 give the total number 
of manufacturing plants within the county as fifty-three; value 
of products per year $10,000,000; average number male wage- 
earners employed, 2,239; female wage-earners, 480. The county 
has now several immense hydro-electric power plants producing 
wonderful horse-power supplying many places within a radius 
of fifty or more miles. 

The Franklin County Agricultural Society — The earliest "Farm- 
ers' Club" in the Connecticut Valley was at Sunderland, Franklin 
county in 1833 with twenty-three members. In 1859 the "Franklin 
Harvest Club" was organized at the Mansion House in Greenfield. 
The first officers were Thomas J. Field, of Northfield, president; 
Edward W. Stebbins, of Deerfield, vice-president; Hon. James S, 
Grinnell, secretary. Among the numerous articles of their con- 
stitution were these : "The active membership of this club shall 
never exceed twenty-two, and candidates shall only be admitted by 
a unanimous ballot after being proposed by a committee." Another 
provision was : "refreshments served at the meetings of the club 
shall be plain and unostentatious; and the use of ardent spirits, 
other than those of domestic manufacture, shall be prohibited at the 
meetings of the club." 

For years this club had or has for its membership many of the 
most intelligent and prominent agriculturists of the valley, dis- 
tributed through the three counties of Franklin, Hampshire and 
Hampden in Massachusetts, and the counties of Merrimack, in 
New Hampshire, and Hartford, Connecticut. Forty years ago it 
was written of this club that "no agricultural society in the State 
possesses more dignity, intelligence, and enterprise than the Frank- 
lin Harvest Club." 

The total membership at one time considerably exceeded one 
hundred, representing stock raisers, breeders of special lines of neat 
cattle, — Durhams, Devons, Jerseys and Ayrshires, market gardeners 
and fruit-growers. 

In 1845 there were more acres of corn grown in the three counties 


of this valley than now, but the yield per acre has materially in- 
creased in Franklin county from thirty-two to thirty-seven and one 
half bushels. 

Coming to the organization of the county agricultural society 
it may be stated that growing out of a meeting held in Greenfield 
in October, 1849, what was known as the Franklin County Agri- 
cultural Society was formed. It was incorporated by the legis- 
lature in the winter of 1849-50. The first formal meeting of the 
society was held for the election of officers, at Greenfield June 13, 
1850, when these were elected: President, Henry W. Clapp, of 
Greenfield ; secretary, W. T. Davis, of Greenfield ; treasurer, A. G. 
Hammond. The first annual cattle show and fair was held on 
September 25, 1850, and was highly successful. The annual meet- 
ing was held January 7, 1851, when Henry W. Cushman was elected 
president. The total receipts for 1850, as reported by the officers, 
amounted to $1,809.54. With the coming of the brisk autumnal 
days these fairs have been held to the present. Annually, the State 
of Massachusetts aided this society by an appropriation of $600. 

The first purchase for grounds for permanent occupation was 
made in 1860, when five acres of land were bought of Honorable 
Almon Brainard, for $2,000. Five acres were later added costing* 
$3,000. These grounds were situated on a Green river meadow, 
near the middle turnpike bridge, and through small answered fairly 
for a number of years. A trotting track was provided a third of a 
mile in length, open seats and cattle-pens were built and a few cheap 
buildings were erected ; but it was later found that more extensive 
grounds and improvements were necessary to the success of the 
society. In 1876 the property was sold at auction for $7,200 and 
later it was purchased by the railroad company and others. Im- 
mediately the society purchased thirty-three acres of finely situated 
land in what is known as "Petty's Plain," a half mile southwest 
of the railway station, on the southwest side of Green River. This 
land cost $2,571. The land had upon it a charming natural grove of 
about five acres. The plot was provided with water from the Green- 
field water works, and also one of the best half-mile race-tracks 
in the State was made. Up to 1880 there had been expended about 
$10,000. In 1851 the total membership of the society was 220 and 
in 1880 it exceeded 2,500 showing the interest manifested in the 
work of agriculture and stock-raising in this section of the State. 
The books of the society in 1879 show that the indebtedness was 
then $1,782. 


The 1924 premium list shows a fine array of exhibits and premi- 
ums awarded for fine stock, poultry, fruits, field crops, domestic 
productions for the household, etc. The attendance was large and 
all seemed interested throughout the fair. The heads of the depart- 
ments were as follows : Superintendent of cattle and sheep, A. C. 
Warner; of horses, C. O. Loomis ; of swine, J. H. Putnam; of poul- 
try, Solon H. Stone; of hall. Whitman Wells; of grounds, L. D. 
Potter; of juvenile department; Paul Alger; of midway, J. B. 
Kennedy; of races, Roger Rourke. 

The present (1925) ofBcers of the Agricultural Society are: 
John W. Haigis, president; John H. Murphy, secretary; William C. 
Conant, treasurer. 

The agricultural organizations in Franklin county today are the 
County Agricultural Society above mentioned at length ; the Frank- 
lin Improvement League organized August 14, 1914 and changed 
to the Franklin County Farm Bureau the same year. It was re- 
organized in 1918, but in March, 1921, the name was changed to the 
"Franklin County Extension Service in Agriculture and Home 
Making". It is supported by public funds from county, state and 
federal government and town appropriations. 

Secondly, comes the Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society 
which holds its notable exhibitions and fairs at Charlemont. 

Third comes the Heath Agricultural Society which holds its 
annual reunion and home day with speakers and a parade with a 
friendly competition in the exhibits of cattle, crops and home prod- 
uce. Without any mid-way or fakirs of any kind, this event in 
1924 drew about nine hundred friends together. 

There are also two flourishing farm clubs within this county — 
the Buckland and the East Charlemont Farmers' Club. There are 
also five cooperative exchanges in the county, the Ashfield, Green- 
field, Heath, Northfield and the Colerain Fruit Growers' Associa- 
tion and the Orange Farmers' Association, practically cover the 
entire county, and enable the farmers to do buying co-operatively. 
These six exchanges did a combined business of $200,000 in 1922. 

Other associations are the New England Poultry Association, 
the Franklin County Farm Loan Association, the Connecticut 
Valley Tobacco-Growers' Association, controlling 22,000 acres of 
tobacco, or eighty per cent of the entire crop of the famous valley. 
This was formed in 1922. 

The county affords trade co-operative creameries — at Ashfield, 
Shelburne and Northfield. 


Agriculture in Franklin county is in no wise deteriorating. It 
was never more wide awake to its possibilities. 

In the matter of special crops the reader's attention is called 
to the 2,000 acres ot tobacco, with about an annual value of §1,000, 
000. This is the cigar type of tobacco, with which one is familiar 
if a user of "the weed." Most all tobacco growers sign up a five- 
year co-operative contract. Another big crop is the onion so 
naturally grown in this county. Many of these onions are grown 
from the seed, and are grown on shares with the Polish people. 
Onion "sets" commonly give a crop valued at $1,000 per acre. 

Farming pursuits and manufacturing industries always go hand 
in hand. The soil originally gives mankind its subsistence. In 
early years the Xew Englander was an agriculturist, and later 
turned to factories and let agriculture, to some extent, go down. 
Then the great West produced cheap foodstuiTs and supplied the 
Eastern sea-board, after which the factory and shops begun to move 
West to be nearer the supply of raw material and food. Cleveland, 
Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis sll took a large number of industries 
away from Xew England. This point has been well referred to by 
Dr. A. W. Gilbert, Commissioner of Agriculture of Massachusetts 
not long since, on the "Vital Importance of Xew England Agri- 
culture." From this article we are permitted to take extracts for 
this chapter. 

The new free or low priced lands of the West with a then com- 
paratively low freight rate landed food in Xew England at prices 
that could not be met by the Xew England producer. Wheat grow- 
ing stopped. The production of the other cereals waned. Beef 
production ceased. The sheep industry began to lag and finally 
approached the vanishing point. Dairying changed to the pro- 
duction of liquid milk and cream, for it could not compete with 
Western-produced butter and cheese. 

This is the situation today : Of the great staple food products 
the amount produced in ^Massachusetts would feed her consumers 
about as follows : — Hogs, one week ; sheep, one day ; poultry and 
poultry products, six to ten weeks ; butter — not enough produced 
to be quoted ; beef enough for one or two meals ; vegetables, eight 
to twelve weeks ; potatoes, three to six weeks. 

New England maintained its manufacturing supremacy for a 
century almost without rivals. It perhaps still is the leading manu- 
facturing section in cloth and shoes. \\'hen the great automobile 
and similar industries began to develop they looked for a location 


nearer the food production areas. And the New England manu- 
facturer who was formerly concerned with only the problems of 
organization and transportation is now finding that agricultural 
production is of great importance to him. The so-called industries 
now view with great concern those changes and stoppages in 
agriculture, This concern is not one of sentiment. They want to 
see agriculture return to its own, not for the prime object of making 
life easier and pleasanter on the farm and in the farm home, but 
they want cheaper food in the manufacturing cities. They are 
seeing that cheap food is the one thing that will hold the present in- 
dustries, perhaps bring back some of the lost ones, and make 
possible the establishment of new lines of manufacture. For the 
first time in New England's history, the farmer and the banker 
meet on common ground. The industrial cities of the West and 
South which are competing with us have gained in population much 
faster than we have. One of the reasons for this is not far to see. 
Thirty-eight per cent of the cost of living is spent for food. 
Food is much cheaper there than here. It is necessary for our 
manufacturers to pay a higher wage to offset the higher cost of 
living. Therefore, the problem of raising food becomes not only 
a farmers' problem but even more an industrial problem. 

One-quarter of the people of the United States live within 250! 
miles of Boston. It goes without saying that Massachusetts or 
New England will never become self-supporting. The evolution 
just mentioned has gone on until we now import into New England 
each year a half billion dollars worth of food. That is an enormous 
sum — $500,000,000 going out of New England each year for food. 

Our great opportunity lies in the raising of specialties which 
we are best adopted to raise, — Milk, poultry products, apples, 
onions, market garden products, cranberries, etc. We may even 
raise a surplus of such products for export to other states. 

The original industry of this country was, of course, agriculture 
which continued to flourish for more than a century. Out of a 
total area of 446,680 acres, about 61 per cent is in farms, 91 per cent 
of which are operated by the owners. In 1920 the value of crops 
was given as $5,981,294, or eleven per cent of the total of the entire 
State of Massachusetts. Since the organization of the Franklin 
County Extension Service greater attention has been paid to im- 
proved livestock, and many other things. 

By reference to old census statistics it is discovered that the 
Colonial census of 1776 gave this county a population of 10,294; the 



United States census in 1790, 21,743; 1800, 26,301; 1810, 27,421; 
1820, 29,418; 1830, 29,630; 1840, 28,812; 1850, 30,870; 1860, 31,434; 
1870, 32,635. 

Further statistics show the county had personal property valued 
at $3,849,795 in 1875; also real estate valued at $12,729,000; total 
value, $16,579,435. 

County Boundaries — Franklin county is bounded on the north 
by the States of Vermont and New Hampshire, on the east by the 
county of Worcester, on the south by the county of Hampshire, 
and on the west by the county of Berkshire. When first erected 
Franklin county contained but twenty-two civil towns. Four have 
been added since, as elsewhere stated. The last change was the 
addition of the town of Erving April 17, 1838. The county contains 
an area of 697 square miles. 

Franklin County Postoffices — The United States Postal Guide 
for 1922 gave the following as the list of postoffices within Green- 
field county at that date : 









East Deerfield 

East Northfield 

East Whately 








Lake Pleasant 
Locks Village 
Millers Falls 
Monroe Bridge 
Montague City 
Moore's Corner 
Mount Hermon 
New Salem 
Northfield Farms 
North Leverett 
North Orange 


Shelburne Falls 
South Ashfield 
South Deerfield 
South Vernon 

Turners Falls 
Wendell Depot 
West Hawley 

Population of the County — The United States census returns 
for 1920 gave the following statistics concerning the population of 
Franklin county : Total of county was 49,361 ; total number of 
males, 24,998; females, 24,363; Negro population, 116. By towns 


the population was in the periods of 1900, 1910 and 1920 as 

1900 1910 1920 

































































New Salem, 












































Number native whites, in 1920, 41,093; number of foreign born, 
white, 8,131; Negroes, 116; per cent of native white eighty-three 
and two tenths ; per cent of foreign born, sixteen and five-tenths ; 
Negro per cent, 0.2. Total number homes owned in county, 12,023; 
homes rented, 5,274. 



The shire town of Franklin county is Greenfield situated west 
of the Connecticut river. It is bounded on the north by Bernardston 
and Leyden, on the west by Shelburne, on the south by Deerfleld 
and on the east by the Connecticut river and the town of Gill. Its 
population, when the 1920 census was taken, 49,361. 

Before entering into the history as man has had to do with its 
development, a brief mention should be made in this connection 
as to its natural features, its streams and general topography : 

The Deerfield river flows from the west part of Franklin county 
and empties into the Connecticut river in Greenfield. A little 
stream called Fall river flows through the northeast part of the 
town into the Connecticut river, opposite Turners Falls. These 
streams receive several brooks that flow into them, so that the 
town is well watered. Generally speaking, the surface is quite even 
and level, except for a trap-rock ridge extending parallel to the 
Connecticut river which rises abruptly at some points to an eleva- 
tion of nearly two hundred feet above the plain on the west side. 
This ridge is known as "Rocky Mountain." The highest point near 
the center, is known as "Poet's Seat." This commands a charming 
view in all directions. The sprightly, clean, enterprising town of 
Greenfield is at the West, half-hidden by the trees, and the rich 
valley of Green river beyond the Shelburne Hills; Leyden and 
Bernardston Hills, at the north; to the south one sees the ever 
interesting and famous broad Deerfield meadows, while Deerfield 
river threads itself in and out among the hills and trees. Next turn- 
ing to the east, one sees near at hand, though two hundred feet 
below him, the broad stream of the majestic Connecticut, dashing 
over rock cascades. The village of Montague City and Turners 
Falls make up a part of a wonderful landscape scene. Mount Toby, 
and Mount Grace as well as the hoary head of Monadnock that 
rears its crest sublime. Thousands of tourists and also thousands 
of home-folk visit this elevation— Poet's Seat— annually. The town 
contains about 350 acres of unimproved land which may never be 
cultivated, while over 5,000 acres of the domain might be utilized 
to good advantage. Forty years ago there was woodland amount- 
ing to nearly 2,000 acres, while over 3,500 acres were under crops. 


The 1875 Federal census noted its production of butter at 50,000 
pounds ; yearly there was milk produced, 63,000 gallons ; tobacco 
grown, 98,000 pounds, valued at $19,000. 

Early History — Up to 1753 Greenfield and Deerfield were iden- 
tified as one. In 1673 a new grant of land was made to Deerfield 
by the General Court, so that the original 8,000 acres should make a 
township seven miles square. In 1665, Major Pynchon, of Spring- 
field, had been engaged to survey the land and fix the boundaries. 
One of the conditions of this new grant was that "provided that 
an able orthodox minister be settled among them within three years, 
and that a farm of 250 acres be laid out for the country's use." 
This grant includes the towns of Greenfield, Gill, and a portion of 

The record shows that the first of any land granted to any person 
within the present limits of Greenfield was in 1686 — as a "tract of 
twenty acres to Mr. Nathaniel Brooks, at Green River." Beyond 
much doubt he was the original settler, and tradition supports 
the belief that his dwelling was located on the west side of the 
road to Cheapside. The well existing not many years ago, was 
probably the first sunk in the town. John and Edward Allyn and 
Joseph Robert Goddard each were granted twenty acres, on con- 
dition of their paying the taxes thereon. It is not in evidence that 
these tracts were ever actually taken. 

From the writings of that reliable historian. Rev. Dr. J. F. 
Moors, the following was about the chain of settlement: 

In 1687 the land on west Main street was taken up. Beginning on the 
south side, the first lot was taken by Ebenezer Wells. The house known 
later as the "Coombs house" was the oldest in the village and later styled 
the "Wells house." The lot remained for several generations in the family 
of the original proprietor. The second lot east was taken by David Hoyt 
of Deerfield who did not become a resident; the third and fourth lots by 
William Brooks, of whom I can learn nothing; the fifth by Edward Allyn. 
His lot came up to "Arms' corner." His house probably stood where Mr. 
Hollister later lived. He died December, 1756, aged sixty-nine and was 
buried in the old cemetery near the Osterhout house. The stone that marks 
his grave is the oldest I find in this burying place in the town." This old 
cemetery occupied lands on Miles street to the north of the present railroad 
station, the topography in that section having been materially changed so 
that the passerby would never think of a burying ground having once been 
located there. 

On the north side of Main Street — that on which Major Keith now lives — 
was taken by Samuel Smead. The next is called on the old records "The 
Mill Lot," why so called is unknown. Then came Josiah and Robert God- 


dard's lots. They did not become residents. Then John Severance, whose 
descendants have held the place till recently (1885). Then the lots of 
Jeremiah Hall and John Allen. The eastern boundary of these lots I do not 

know. „ 

In May, 1723, at a meeting of the proprietors in Deerfield, it was voted to 
lay out to the proprietors a tract of land lying upon 'Green River' bounded 
north upon the "Country Farms" west by the ridge of hills west of Green 
River, the first lot to begin at the north end of said plat. 

The proprietors drew lots for the land, and Judah Wright, of Deerfield, 
drew the first lot. 

April 18, 1753, the people living in "Green River district" having ten years 
before decided to be set off into a town, now held their first meeting to 
determine where the church should be located and other important matters 
adjusted. This was only a temporary meeting and the regular legal meeting 
was held July 3, 1753, Benjamin Hastings being selected moderator. One 
writer, in looking back over the years of civil and local conflict, says: "Happy 
town meetingl Not one word about taxes, nor roads, nor schools, which 
so vex the spirit of the modern citizen; and offices enough to go round, giving 
each citizen at least one. It is not easy to see the need of a treasurer; but 
if there was no treasury, there were no debts. This meeting as well sub- 
sequent meetings were held at the house of James Corse, which stood where 
later stood the Leavitt House, to the east of the Mansion House." 

Our forefathers lived and had their being among scenes of war 
and bloodshed. They endured all the hardships of frontier life, 
knowing that a savage foe, inspired by a rival nation, hostile in 
race, language and religion, was lurking in the surrounding forests. 

Indian Warfare— This town did not have a great amount of 
trouble. In 1676 during King Philip's war, the soldiers under Cap- 
tain Turner, who assaulted the Indians at what is known as Turners 
Falls, came up on the west side of the Green river and crossed over 
near what was later styled Nash's Mill, then turned east through 
the timber, following an Indian trail upon the northern edge of 
a swamp till they reached the level ground northwest of the Factory 
village. There they dismounted and left the horses under a small 
guard while the men carefully wended their way into a hollow and 
finally forded the river. One writer on this afifair says: "The 
white soldiers were completely successful in destroying the Indian 
camp. They returned to the place where they had left their horses 
to commence a triumphant march homeward. Just then an un- 
accountable panic seized upon the men, and the victory of the 
morning became a stampede for personal safety. The tradition 
is that a party of soldiers were lost in the woods and swamps, 
were taken prisoners, and were burned to death." To show the 
intense spirit of religious bigotry which prompted the acts of many 


of the pioneers in this section, as well as every place in New Eng- 
land at that date, the following story concerning the above named 
captain, William Turner, is told as well authenticated by record: 

Captain Turner, who commanded the English forces, was a 
Boston man, a tailor by trade, but one who left behind him an 
honorable record. An early historian. Rev. Dr. J. F. Moors, gives 
the narrative as follows . "He had been prominent in the contro- 
versy respecting Baptism which had agitated the Massachusetts 
colony a few years before. He came from Dartmouth, England, 
having been a regular in the Baptist order before he came to this 
country. The magistrates, with the mistaken idea that they could 
annihilate obnoxious opinions by severe measures against the 
holders of those opinions, proceeded in October, 1665, to disfran- 
chise five persons who held the obnoxious doctrine of baptism by 
immersion ; of these, William Turner was one. Shortly after this, 
we find him in prison for his heretical opinions. How long he 
remained in prison we cannot say; but he seems to have been 
active in maintaining worship after the Baptist form from the 
spring of 1668. A public dispute was held in the meeting-house 
of the First Church, in Boston, between six of the ministers of 
that region and a company of Baptists. The dispute lasted two 
days, and strange to say, came to nothing. The Baptists would 
not be converted to the doctrines of their opponents, who being 
the stronger party, proceeded to sentence them to banishment from 
the colony, and declared them liable to imprisonment if they re- 
turned. The sentence of banishment is a curiosity. I here give 
only the substance : "Whereas, the council did appoint a meeting 
of divers elders, and whereas, Thomas Gould, William Turner (and 
others), obstinate and turbulent Ana-Baptists, did assert their 
former practice before these elders, to the great grief and ofifense 
of the godly Orthodox — to the disturbance and destruction of the 
churches — this council do judge it necessary that they be removed 
to some other part of the country, and do accordingly order said 
Gould, Turner, etc., to remove themselves out of this jurisdiction." 
Among those on whom sentence was passed was William Turner. 
But so strong was the remonstrance against such oppressive pro- 
ceedings that the sentence was never carried into execution. This 
was the end of the controversy with the Baptists." 

This same man Captain Turner, the tailor, appears in 1676, as 
leading eighty-nine foot-soldiers from Marlboro to Northampton, 
and was soon in command of the troops at Hadley. He was denied 




a commission on account of his being so radical a Baptist. He 
fought bravely, however, and was shot in the thigh while engaged 
against the enemy and thus lost his life. He was killed near Nash's 
Mills, Turner Square, near Green River. 

In 1754, the year following- the incorporation of the town, at a 
town meeting, it was voted to picket three houses in this district 
forthwith. The houses selected were those belonging to Joshua 
Wells, James Corse and Shubael Atherton. The Corse house 
stood where the Leavitt house later stood, next east of the Mansion 
House on Main Street. These picket houses were surrounded by 
a strong fence of timber, set in the ground quite close together, 
each one sharpened at the top, eight or nine feet above the ground. 
No Indian could get through, nor over, these fences without aid. 
To those houses the people could fly in seasons of danger, and take 
refuge when they feared an attack from a merciless foe. Around 
these three houses the inhabitants gathered. Their existence tells 
a pathetic tale of danger and anxiety on the part of the people. 
The end of such dangers came when peace was declared in 1763. 
Main Street was laid out in its present shape in 1749. 

The records of but few interesting accounts connected with the 
Revolution are today found among the archives of Greenfield. 
The payrolls at Boston show that the militia here were active and 
that the people furnished many supplies from time to time. The 
expedients of drafts and bounties were resorted to as a matter of 
necessity. The matter of furnishing beef for the army proved to 
be a serious affair. Not less than ten town meetings were held 
in this town in 1781. The records here and at Boston show the 
officers who commanded companies in the Revolutionary War from 
the town of Greenfield to have been Agrippa Wells, Timothy 
Childs and Isaac Newton. All of these men have biographical 
sketches in the early county histories, all too long to here repro- 
duce. Prominent men from this town in those long ago years, 
Avere inclusive of the three jusi named above, and also Benjamin 
Hastings, the first and only deacon of the church for many years ; 
Aaron Denio, a French-Canadian who conducted a tavern in the 
village many years and was a famous story teller; David Smead 
was the first to be appointed as justice of the peace. The Smeads 
held many important offices in both county and commonwealth ; 
the Bascoms, the first of whom we have any specific knowledge was 
Deacon Moses Bascom, who was the father of nineteen children. 

W. Mass.- -42 


Another pioneer of note was James Corse. He was an early trapper 
and great hunter ; he lived to be more than eighty years of age, 
dying in 1783. The Stone, Ripley and Marsh families each deserve 
mention for the important part they took in the development of 
Greenfield and surrounding territory. • Men of more than passing 
note include such characters as Governor William Burritt Wash- 
burn, for many 3xars connected with the Bank of Greenfield, now 
the First National; he was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 
1870, after having served as Congressman several terms ; was re- 
elected Governor and later became U. S. Senator, succeeding the 
Hon. Charles Sumner, deceased. He was prominent in Congrega- 
tional church work in Greenfield, gave the Greenfield Library As- 
sociation a tine brick building on East Main Street, besides making 
many contributions of talent and means to his own county. 

Henry W. Clapp, born in Springfield in 1798, came to Greenfield 
to reside in 1835 and filled many important positions ; was pres- 
ident of the Greenfield Bank, of the Franklin Savings Institution, 
the Connecticut Railroad Co., the Franklin County Agricultural 
Society, Greenfield Gas Co., the Green River Cemetery Association 
and the Library Association. He died in 1869 after a well spent 

Educational Interests; Public and Private Schools — Exceptional 
high standards and great interest was taken in school matters in 
the early policies of the Massachusetts Colony. They desired all 
children, regardless of their standing, parentage or wealth, to 
become well educated at least in all the lower branches then taught,, 
and they wanted the public taxed for such schooling. As early 
as 1744, Deerfield made an appropriation for a school at Green 
River, and in 1749 the sum of thirty shillings a week was granted 
to the "school-dame" (teacher) at Green River for her compensa- 
tion. This was in paper scrip and only actually worth one-tenth 
of the amount named on its face, the depreciation arising from the 
disastrous expedition directed against Quebec. In 1756 the town 
voted to expend means enough to hire a teacher from January to 
March. This was to be a man teacher, while the teacher from 
April to August was to be a woman. In 1758 the selectmen were 
to provide for a schoolhouse and also a school dame to teach. In 
1763 it was ordered that there be a school the year round and inj 
1767 it was ordered that there be seven school districts — one on 
the Street, three in the meadows, one by Noah Allen's, one in the 
northeast corner, and one at Ens. Childs, at the falls. The one 


master was to move to each district, according to the proportion ; 
and there was to be a school dame the other six months, and she 
to keep school in the several districts according to the proportion. 
Again in 1774 it was voted to divide the district into Squadrons for 
the best advantage to the pupils. It was in 1790 that School Treas- 
urer Solomon Smead of the board of selectmen made a report of 
the several schools as follows : South school (Street), 60; Meeting- 
House (Four Corners), 45 ; Mill Brook (Nash's), 43; Ariel Hinsdale 
(North Meadow), 40; Country Farms, 23; Long Plain, 69; Fall 
Brook (Factory), 12; Northeast (Gill), 173; total, 405— the money 
for each scholar, 4s, 4d., making one hundred pounds Sterling. 

In a history of this county compiled forty years and more ago, 
■ we find the following concerning the schools here in the eighteenth 
and a portion of the nineteenth century : "I am told by one whose 
memory goes back to the last century that in those schools there 
was no arrangement of pupils into classes. One by one, the older 
scholars would rise in their seats and say, "Please sir may I read?" 
And if the teacher could attend to him, he read such a piece as 
he had selected out of any book he chose. Another would say, 
"Please sir show me how to do this sum;" another, "Please sir 
set me a copy." When the teacher could find time he would call 
the little ones to him one by one, and initiate them into the pro- 
found mysteries of A, B, C. No blackboard, no apparatus was 
provide and very few text-books, but no lack of ferrule and rod! 

The schoolhouse of those days was a rude, unpainted building, 
very often of logs and containing a single room, at one end a huge 
fire-place on which the great stick of green wood dug out of the 
snow, burned slowly and fiercely when once fairly kindled, which 
was often not accomplished till the school-day was well nigh over. 
In the meantime the urchins and big boys and girls sat shivering 
on benches made of slabs with sticks in for legs. 

From the first Greenfield has taken a great interest in her public 
schools, and had been liberal in her appropriations for their support. 
Under the old district system great difficulty was experienced in 
dividing the school money among the various districts. Different 
plans prevailed from year to year. 

High Schools — In 1853 a high school was established, and was 
kept one-half year in the village and the other half in the north 
parish. The first teacher was Luther B. Lincoln, A. M. (Harvard 
University). The first high school house was built on Chapman 
Street in 1857 and in 1872, a new building was provided on Pleasant 


Street. Now the pride of the place is the recently occupied new 
High School Building on Federal Street which was built at a 
cost of 1700,000, including the grounds and furnishings. 

In 1876 the State of Massachusetts attempted to show at the 
Centennial Exposition what it was doing for public education and 
the results attained, not only in cities, but in a country town which 
was too remote from any city to be influenced by it, and Green- 
field was selected to make an exhibit, and did so by sending sixteen 
volumes of work done by pupils of all grades in all her schools, 
with photographs of all her school houses. For this exhibit a 
bronze medal was awarded to the town. 

Private Schools — Greenfield has had her share of private schools 
in the long ago years. These included The Fallenberg Academy 
incorporated in 1832 as a manual-labor school. A private school 
for young ladies was established in 1828 in the old Coleman house ; 
this closed its doors in 1845. On Federal Street there was another 
school for young ladies kept by the Misses Stone. In 1868 
"Prospect Hill School For Young Ladies" was established and 
incorporated, with Miss Lois R. Wright as principal. With the 
progress made in the high schools of Massachusetts many private 
institutions soon went down for lack of support. 

With the passing of decades all things have changed for the 
better and more practical methods have obtained. The annual 
report of the schools of Greenfield, issued in 1924, is numbered 
"One Hundred and Seventy-second Year." This reports gives facts 
as follows : Total number of graded schools, 22 ; the names of the 
schools are desigated as follows : High, Pleasant Street, Portable- 
Group, Davis Street, School Street, Portable-Federal, Federal 
Street, Chapman Street, Pierce Street, Main Street, Green River, 
Conway Street, Four Corners, Newton, Abercrombie, North Parish, 
Districts Nos. 3-4-7-8-9 and Special Class. 

During 1924 the enrollment in these schools was 1,621 boys; 
1,610 girls, making a total of 3,231 pupils. The average member- 
ship was 3,042; average attendance, 2,875. The following had 
charge of the school interests last year: Superintendent — Win- 
throp P. Abbott, Dartmouth College ; Clerk to superintendent — 
Eleanor Clough ; Attendance officer — Colin F. McLellan; Medical 
Inspector — Dr. J. A. Mather; School Nurse — Frances M. Brady; 
Dental Clinic — Dr. Harold M. Lamb, Elizabeth Hawks, assistant. 

It is not the object of the writer to mention in detail the large 
number of schools of the town of Greenfield, but the splendid High 


School must needs have some mention, for great interest has come 
to center around this institution of learning. This building was 
occupied for school purposes September 8, 1924, although it had 
been used for graduation exercises the June before. The cafeteria 
or lunch room is an innovation in the schools of Greenfield but 
has long been needed and is proving to be just what was desired. 
The prices are reasonable and grumblers are few. Every day a hot 
soup is served at five cents; sandwiches, five cents; rolls, three 
cents ; ice cream two or three times each week, ten cents ; fruit 
five cents; puddings, five cents; milk or cocoa, five cents daily. 
Ample time is allowed for eating and a handy self-serving plan 

The salary paid teachers (the total number of whom is one hun- 
dred and twenty-four) was in 1924, from $950. to the salary of the 
Superintendent which is $4,100 per year. 

Early and Present-day Churches — One account of the earliest 
church says : 

Rev. Mr. Ashley, of Deerfield, and Rev. Abercrombie, of Pelham, were 
invited to assist in the work of the day, and to give their advice for some 
meet person to settle in the work of the ministry. The following month a 
call was extended to Rev. Edward Billings. A church was organized in 
March, 1754, and Mr. Billings was ordained at Belchertown. Twelve men 
became the first members of the "First Church of Chirst," their names being 
as follows: John Allen, Edward Allen, Joshua Wells, Daniel Graves, Ben- 
jamin Hastings, Jonathan Smead, Aaron Denio, Samuel Munn, John Coch- 
rane, Thomas Nims, Daniel Nash and William Mitchell. 

That was a time of great theological strife in the American church 
life. There was much bitterness engendered. The power of that giant 
theologian, Jonathan Edwards, was felt to a wonderful extent in this locality. 
The members of the first church who assembled in James Corse's best room, 
were deeply versed in the mysteries of free-will and foreordination — it was 
Calvinism and Armenian doctrine as one would say today. 

Should we not like to get a glimpse at those sober, sedate, earnest men 
and women gathering together Sunday morning for religious worship, the 
men carrying their trusty rifles or muskets to defend themselves against the 
savages, who might assail them at any moment? There were no fair-weather 
Christians in that little assembly. Nothing can be learned of the old house 
(probably logs) in which they met to worship God, but mention should here 
be made of a wonderful old, large apple tree that stood in the northeast corner 
of the garden. It was about 1859 that the venerable tree yielded to the 
infirmities of age. It is believed that at the time of its death it was 
about one hundred j-ears old. It started about the time the town was in- 
corporated. At a foot above the ground it measured eighteen feet in cir- 
cumference and six feet above the surface, the stem divided into three branch- 


es, one of which was nine feet in circumference and sixty feet high. One 
year this tree bore one hundred and forty bushels of apples. This story was 
told on the authority of Deacon C. J. C. Ingersoll, who lived in the Leavitt 

In 1760 it was voted "to build a meeting-house this year, forty- 
five feet long and thirty-five feet wide." The size was changed, 
however, to forty by fifty feet. The work dragged heavily for it 
was not until 1769 that it was far enough finished to be occupied. 
The affairs of the parish were regulated in town meetings. At 
one town meeting it was voted that the intermission should be 
half an hour. Rev. Roger Newton was the settled pastor of thisi 
church from 1761 to 1816. 

The Second Congregational church was formed in 1817, as on ac- 
count of the worn and ugly condition of the first church structure 
it had been needed for a number of years ; also the distance was too 
far from where most of the members resided. 

St. James Episcopal Church was organized in 1812 and their 
first edifice was constructed four years later. Their second edifice 
was built in 1848-49. Rev. Titus Strong, D. D., became rector 
in 1815. 

The Third church established was of the Unitarian faith and 
was organized in 1825. The first pastor was Rev. Winthrop Bailey. 
This organization went down and was re-organized in 1860, with 
Rev. J. F. Moors as pastor. 

The Baptist church was formed in February, 1852, and a church 
building erected in 1856. The first pastor was Rev. J. H. Seaver. 

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1835 with 
seventy-five members. A small edifice was erected at the eastern 
part of Main Street. 

The Roman Catholic church was later in occupying this field. 
It was built in 1868 on Main Street. Forty years ago the above 
comprised the regular church organizations in Greenfield, but 
today the number is much greater. 

The present churches of Greenfield (1925) are as follows: All- 
Souls' Unitarian Church; Church of Holy Trinity (Roman Cath- 
olic); First Baptist Church; First Church of Christ — Scientist; 
First Congregational Church ; First Methodist Episcopal Church ; 
German Lutheran Church; Sacred Heart, (Polish Roman Catholic) ; 
Second Congregational Church; St. James Episcopal Church; St. 
Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church and Westside Com- 
munity Church (Congregational). 


Secret Societies, Lodges, Etc.— There are numerous secret and 
semi-secret, as well as benevolent societies in Greenfield, the his- 
tory of which would require a volume of itself. For the purpose 
at hand it will suffice to say that the oldest secret orders, strictly 
speaking include the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, 
while among the many benevolent societies are the Elks (B. P. O. 
E.), the Order of Moose, Red Men, and others. The Knights of 
Columbus (Catholic Order) have a strong Lodge. 

Republican Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, was organized 
January 28, 1795. The lodge languished in 1821 and the order 
moved its seat to the town of Gill, where later its charter was 
surrendered. In December, 1851, after the anti-Masonic excite- 
ment had passed, the Lodge was revived and the old charter was 
renewed. Franklin Arch Chapter was organized January 11, 1818. 
Titus Strong Council was organized December 9, 1856. Connecticut 
Valley Commandery was organized October 30, 1867. The Masonic 
Order has grown with the town and country in general, and is to- 
day in a most flourishing condition. Property has been purchased 
on the corner of Church and Franklin streets for a Home to take 
the place of the present quarters and it may be that a new building 
entirely for lodge purposes will be erected on Franklin Street. 
Blue Lodge, Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal and Select Ma- 
sons, Knights Templar Commandery and others, as well as Eastern 
Star Lodge are here represented. 

Odd Fellowship — This is the next oldest order among the fra- 
ternal societies in America and a local body thereof was first 
organized in this town May 6, 1845. In 1855 its charter was sur- 
rendered, but the Lodge was re-instituted November 28, 1870. 
The name of this Lodge is Pocomtuck, No. 97. Today this most 
excellent order is represented in Greenfield by subordinate Lodge, 
Encampment, Cantonment, etc., and the Rebekah Degree, or ladies' 
auxiliary to Odd Fellowship. It has the finest fraternal and com- 
mercial building in Greenfield. 

The Knights of Pythias order was formed in Washington, D. C, 
at the close of the Civil War and has now spread throughout the 
country generally. It is here represented by a well conducted 

In common with other sections in Massachusetts Greenfield has 
its order of Knights of Columbus, before mentioned, as well as 
the Order of Moose. 


The Elks, or Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, was or- 
ganized January 7, 1913, with forty-four members and in 1925 
has a membership of four hundred and seventy-five. The Elks 
Home at the corner of Church and Federal streets, was purchased 
in 1913, from Mrs. Starkey who had formerly occupied it as a 
residence. After much alteration it was first occupied and official- 
ly opened on the evening of October 14, 1913. The author is 
indebted to Secretary Charles T. Ward for the above information. 

Banks and Banking — The first bank organized in Greenfield was 
the Franklin Bank, incorporated in 1822, with a capital of $100,000, 
and commenced business in the fore part of the year following 
with fifty per cent paid in capital while the next December all was 
paid in. In March, 1831, the name was changed to the Greenfield 
Bank. In March, 1833, the capital was increased to $150,000, and 
in April, 1849, again increased $50,000, making it $200,000. In 
June, 1864, the bank was re-organized under the national banking 
act as "The First National Bank of Greenfield." In March, 1865, 
the capital was increased to $300,000, at which amount it remained 
until March, 1879, when it was reduced to $200,000. With passing 
years this institution has grown to be one of the largest links in 
the chain of banks in the place which now boasts of being the 
financial center with five strong banking concerns with a combined 
resource amounting to $21,000,000. The official statement at the. 
close of business December 31, 1924, gave their resources and 
liabilities as $4,388,748.79. Capital stock was then $300,000 ; surplus 
and net profits, $545,320.61; deposits, $3,228,428.18. The present 
officers include Joseph W. Stevens, Chairman of the board of direc- 
tors ; John W. Smead, president ; John E. Donovan, and Clayton 
R. Bond, vice-presidents and D. Rollin Alvord, cashier. 

What is now the Franklin County Trust Company, was organized 
as a State bank, with $100,000 capital, April 24, 1849. The original 
directors were Henry W. Cushman, John B. Ward, Ebenezer May- 
nard, Henry Chapman, Almon Brainard, Quintus Allen, Ira Aber- 
crombie, Joel Fay, Wendell T. Davis, Asa Howland, William B. 
Washburn, William Keith. The president was H. W. Cushman 
and cashier, Andrew G. Hammond. William B. Washburn resigned 
from the board in 1858 in the month of April. 

The bank then known as the Franklin County Bank, on May 
1, 1865, conveyed its property to the "Franklin County National 
Bank of Greenfield," the institution having organized under the 


national banking act. When first organized as a National bank its 
directors were : Ira Abercrombie, Quintus Allen, William Keith, 
Whiting Griswold, John Sanderson, Dennis Dickinson, Joel Fay, 
J. T. Wescott and George A. Whipple. 

In 1912 this institution was changed from a National bank to 
The Franklin County Trust Company. Its officers are : John H. 
Sanderson, president; Charles H. Keith, vice-president; William 
B. Keith, vice-president and treasurer; Herbert V. Erickson, trust 
officer. At the close of business, December 31, 1924, the assets 
and liabilities were |3,648,039.32. Its capital stock is $200,000; 
surplus and profits, $278,580.65; deposits, $3,149,331.42. 

The Franklin Savings Institution was incorporated April 2, 1834, 
and forty years ago it had deposits amounting to $2,800,000. Its 
last statement, issued January 2, 1925, shows its deposits to be 
$10,920,706. Since incorporation this concern has paid to deposi- 
tors in dividends, $11,099,607.73. The deposits have been by 
decades as follows: In 1858, $353,000; 1868, $1,119,589; 1878, 
$2,889,724; 1888, $3,225,929; 1898, $4,272,456; 1908, $6,220,869; 1918, 

Its present officers are : President — Charles Allen ; vice-president 
— Frederick E. Wells; treasurer — Charles W. Nims; clerk — Charles 
N. Stoddard. 

The present (1925) banking interests are taken care of through 
these institutions: The First National Bank; Franklin County 
Trust Co. ; Franklin Savings Institution ; Greenfield Co-operative 
Bank; and the Greenfield Savings Bank. These financial institu- 
tions are all strong, well equipped and finely conducted modern 
institutions in whom the community have the utmost confidence. 

Greenfield Chamber of Commerce — November 22, 1919, this in- 
stitution was organized by incorporation. No more significant 
reflection of Greenfield's progressive spirit can be found than in 
the perusal of the annual reports of this Chamber of Commerce, 
which was organized by Joseph W. Stevens, president, and others, 
to supersede the old Board of Trade. It now has a membership 
of about eight hundred. It has materially aided in the building 
of the recently finished new High School building and was in- 
fluential in the passage of a bill for the purchase by the State of 
the timbered land along the Mohawk Trail, which had been threat- 
ened with destruction. The Chamber of Commerce has also been 
the direct means of having placed a permanent exhibit of Green- 
field's productions, the same being housed at the Weldon Hotel, 


where thousands of tourists stop monthly in the touring season. 
The Chamber has for its present officers : President, H. D. Sea- 
vey; vice-presidents, H. E. Hamilton, Irving N. Esleeck ; John E. 
Kiley, clerk; Earl N. W. Kellogg, treasurer; M. J. Duryea, manager. 
The Board of Directors are : Joseph T. Bartlett, C. R. Bond, H. G. 
Carson, Ralph E. Durkee, Irving N. Esleeck, H. E. Hamilton, 
Clifford W. Root, H. D. Seavey, J. T. Seller, George A. Sheldon, 
S. U. Streeter, George W. Wilcox. This Chamber is a member, 
of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America. 

Newspapers — The pioneer local newspaper of Greenfield was 
"The Impartial Intelligencer," established in 1792 by Thomas Dick- 
man. Its name was soon changed to the "Greenfield Gazette," and 
again in 1795 took the name of "Greenfield Gazette — A Register of 
Genuine Federalism." In 1802 this publication passed into the 
hands of John Denio, who dropped the party sliflix, and it was 
again the "Greenfield Gazette." Denio sold to Ansel Phelps in 
1811, who changed the name to the "Traveller." On the estab- 
lishment of Franklin county, June 24, 1811, the paper appeared as 
the "Franklin Herald." In 1823, Jonathan A. Saxton was associated 
with Mr. Phelps for a time, also Gen. Alanson Clark. 

In 1823 another paper was started under the name of "Greenfield 
Gazette," which soon united with the "Franklin Herald" and was 
so merged in 1827. 

The "Franklin Mercury" was established in 1833, by George T. 
Davis. In 1837 it was united with the "Gazette and Herald," 
Charles J. J. Ingersoll becoming a partner with Mr. Phelps. 

A new rival came in 1838 called the "Greenfield Courier," estab- 
lished by J. C. Kneeland, who soon sold to S. S. Eastman. In 1841 
this paper merged with its older rival under the name of "Gazette- 
and Courier." Phelps and Ingersoll were joint owners and editors 
until the nomination of Gen. Taylor to the presidency, whom Mr. 
Phelps sustained and Mr. Ingersoll opposed. Ingersoll left the 
firm and established a free soil journal called the "American Re- 
public," which he ably sustained several years. In 1849, Mr. 
Phelps entered partnership with Mr. Eastman in the publishing of 
the "Gazette and Courier" continuing until the death of Mr. Phelps, 
in 1868. In 1869 Mr. Eastman formed a partnership with E. A. 
Hall, which lasted until the death of Mr. Eastman in 1876. 

The "Franklin Democrat" was established in 1840, and was 
edited for a short period by Whiting Griswold, R. R. Taylor, S. O. 
Lamb, J. H. Sprague, Charles A. Merrick, and others. It was 


discontinued in 1863. The newspapers having- a very short life 
here may be grouped under the one name "Legion." 

Greenfield's present newspapers are these : The "Greenfield 
Recorder," now in its twenty-sixth volume, is published by a com- 
pany with J. W. Haigis as managing- editor; the "Weekly Gazette 
and Courier," established in 1792 and now published by the E. A. 
Hall Publishing Company ; the "Franklin County News," published 
Fridays, was established in 1915; its editor is Robert Oliver. The 
bldest paper in the town is the "Gazette and Courier" and its 
present circulation is 4,950 each week. 

The "Recorder" celebrated its silver anniversary December 31, 
1924, and in the issue of that date they gave a brief history of their 
newspaper. From this editorial the following facts are gleaned : 
The weekly "Recorder" was established and its first issue was 
printed January 3, 1900. In that issue it stated that "The Recorder 
will be independent in politics ; it will be the servant of no party, 
the instrument of no person." The "Recorder" has for its manag- 
ing editor John W. Haigis ; for its associate editor, William P. 
Gorey. Its well equipped office is located at No. 397 Main Street. 
The "Recorder" is now a prosperous daily paper. 

Public Libraries — The first public library organized in Green- 
field was at the North Parish about 1820. It was called the "Social 
Library, Greenfield." It was supported by annual payments by 
its members. The library was kept at the house of Franklin Nash 
at Nash's Mills. It was disbanded in 1855 and the books turned 
over to the village of Greenville. In 1852, an association was 
formed in Greenfield village, mainly through the efforts of J. E. 
Thompson, J. K. Moore, L. M. Rice, C. C. Carpenter and others. 
It was a sort of mutual book exchange and in this way about 300 
books were collected together. The Greenfield Library Associa- 
tion was established in February, 1855. The articles were signed 
by Henry W. Clapp, John Russell, Matthew Chapman and sixty 
others. Its first officers were Henry W. Clapp, president ; Charles 
Allen, secretary ; George Ripley, treasurer, and Edward F. Raymond 
was librarian. The books were removed to the Mansion House and 
there the library remained until 1867 when it was moved to the 
south side of Armory Hall where a ten years lease was secured. 
In 1878 ex-governor William B. Washburn donated the present 
fine brick library structure at the corner of Franklin and Main 
streets; the gift will ever stand as a monument to Mr. Washburn. 
In 1888, Judge Charles Allen, of Boston, presented the library with 


a fine portrait of Mr. Washburn as a befitting memorial. This 
library cost (superstructure) $5,530. Mr. Washburn also endowed 
the library with $10,000 besides. The present (1925) librarian is 
Mrs. Elizabeth Morgan Noyes. 

The Free Public Library was the result of a meeting in March, 
1880, when it was voted "That the town established a free public 
library for the free use of its inhabitants. In 1881 the town selected 
five directors of the Free Public Library. Some of the books of 
the old Library Association were secured and the dog tax was 
turned in toward the library fund. At first the library was kept 
in Franklin Hall, but in 1889 the books were moved to the 
west store room in said building. At that date the number of books 
was only three hundred, but the latest report of the librarian of 
the Free Public Library shows the present number of books to 
be 33,604. 93,700 books were circulated during the last year. 

It should be said that the present library building, as viewed 
from Main Street entrance, is a remodeled old-time homestead res- 
idence once owned by the greatly admired and liberal-hearted Judge 
Jonathan Leavitt, who was a leading and powerful factor in com- 
munity life in and around Greenfield. In this old residence was 
born, married and died numerous members of the Leavitt family. 
This place was long known as "Social Villa." The old homestead 
later was occupied nearly a half century by others, including the 
Hovey family, from w^hose estate the library purchased the prop- 
erty it now^ occupies, and moved into it in January, 1909. The- 
good brick addition at the north, used as a "stack" building for 
the safe preservation of books, etc., was built in 1907-09 and is of 
much importance. The present librarian is May Ashley, who is 
thoroughly acquainted with every detail of overseeing a public 
library in a most satisfactory manner. 

Water Works and Fire Company — The first attempt at providing 
any kind of a water system for Greenfield village was by the 
Greenfield Aqueduct Company in 1846, when they purchased a large 
spring and started to conduct water to the town througn three-inch 
pine log pipes. At about that time a new fire engine was bought 
at a cost of $1,000. In 1866 the Greenfield Water Works was 
incorporated. The present system as shown in the last Town 
Reports, consists of the Water Department's plant owned by the 
town, installed in 1872. The source of supply is reservoirs on 
Leyden Glen Brook near Green River, water supplied by gravity 
and emergency pumping. One reservoir holds 45,000,000 gallons 


and the other has a capacity of 26,000,000 gallons, while an addi- 
tional reservoir holds 2,500,000 gallons. The Green River pump 
throws a stream of 2,100 gallons per minute and the pump at 
the boosting station has a capacity of 1,805 gallons per minute. 
Present number of miles of water pipes is 59.2. Total hydrants 
in use, 445. Total number of gallons of water consumed in 1924 
was 550,662,000. 

The first fire department was organized in 1850 and soon there 
were two fire engines on hand and two well drilled companies. The 
present organization is composed of the chief, deputy, and clerk, 
two district chiefs, two hose companies, one hook-and-ladder com- 
pany and five permanent men. There are five pieces of motor- 
driven apparatus ; two combination hose and chemical wagons, one 
hook-and-ladder truck and seven thousand feet of fire hose. During 
the last year fire destroyed only $30,795 out of a total value of 
property in fire risks of $247,325. Total expense of department 
in the last year was $17,000. 

Present Town Officers — The present town officers of Greenfield 
are : Town clerk — Edward P. Harrison ; treasurer — William Blake 
Allen ; selectmen — F. Deane Avery, Harry E. Ward, James B. 
Kennedy; assessors — John D. Kiely, George D. Haskins, and Wil- 
liam A. Bell ; overseers of the poor — Edward K. Ballou, Hervey C. 
Porter, H. M. S. Couillard ; collector of taxes — George H. Kelleher; 
park commissioners — Thomas L. Comstock, Jeremiah Keefe, Alice 
N. Judd; auditors— Albert B. Allen, Merle W. Scott, Clifford W. 
Root; moderator — Charles Fairhurst ; clerk of selectmen — Charles 
S. Barrett ; superintendent of the streets — Emil M. Schneck ; town 
engineer — Emil M. Schneck; town solicitor — M. J. Levy. 

Industrial Interests — Greenfield with a population of 16,000 has 
increased forty-eight per cent in the last decade ; has thirty manu- 
facturing plants, little and big, with an annual output of twelve 
million dollars worth of goods. It is a manufacturing center; has 
fifty daily passenger trains ; through passenger and freight service 
to all points in the United States; has the largest freight and 
transfer yards in New England located in East Deerfield. Here 
are handled 1,600 freight cars daily. It is the center terminal of a 
division of the Boston & Maine railroad system which has more 
tonnage of freight than any other two-track road in the United 

It has handsome parks — Rocky Mountain, Highland and Shattuck 


parks. It is the terminal of the celebrated "Mohawk Trail." A 
recent slogan in describing the place is "All Roads Lead to Green- 
field." The place has fine commercial and tourists hotels. In 
contrast to the lively scenes of today in this section the reader 
may be interested in this paragraph, written August 22, 1822, 
which reads as follows : 

In Greenfield village there are dwelling houses 80, barns and corn cribs 12, 
woodhouses 57, stores for merchandise 14, meeting-houses one Congregational, 
Episcopal one; the courthouse, jail, one bank — total buildings 253. Families 
85, lawyers 10, traders 9, mechanics 39, tavern keepers 2, physicians 2, total 
men 90, boys and young men under twenty-one, 130; total males 220; total 
females: widows 14, married women 68, single ladies and girls, 182; total 
females 264. Total inhabitants 484. 

The erection of a dam at Turners Falls in 1866, under direction 
of George W. Potter, of Greenfield, Alvah Crocker, Esq., being the 
chief promoter of the enterprise, opened up a new era of prosperity 
for Greenfield. In 1887 came the "Electrical era" for that year 
saw the introduction of the Electric Light and Power Company for 
Greenfield, the real forerunner of the later hydro-electric power 
developments for which this section is now noted. 

The Green River Works for making cutlery were established in 
1834 by John Russell, the first to make cutlery in America. The 
buildings were burned in 1836 and rebuilt at once. The Green- 
field Manufacturing Company with a capital of $80,000 was estab- 
lished in 1832 and made doeskins exclusively. These works made 
140,000 yards of these goods annually, from 150,000 to 175,000 
I)ounds of wool were used in these mills every year. One hundred 
and twenty persons found employment. 

In 1872 was started the great "Tap and Die" industry. Here 
on the Green River, where in 1714 enterprising men of old Deerfield 
established a mill and where the first cutlery in America was 
founded in 1834, Wiley & Russell began to make taps and dies; 
Wells Brothers later successfully put out screw-plates and in 1912 
these competitors were united in the Greenfield Tap and Die Cor- 
poration, whose goods go to all parts of the globe. Goodell-Pratt 
Company, another factory plant of Greenfield, is one of the largest 
concerns of the place; they are engaged in the manufacture of 
fine tools of a great variety of kinds. In these works hundreds of 
mechanics find steady employment. The Rugg Manufacturing 
Company makes snow shovels in the summer, rakes in the winter, 
thus finding work for a considerable force the year round. The 



celebrated sterling silver ware of Rogers, Lunt & Bowlen is made 
in Greenfield. E. Weissbrod & Sons, Inc., manufacture pocket 
books and sundry leather goods specialties. Hundreds of men 
are employed the year round in these and other industrial plants. 

Population — The population of Greenfield in 1830 was 368; in 
1840, 1,550; in 1850 it was 1,758; in 1855 had increased to 2,580; 
then coming down to modern days it is found that in 1900 it had 
reached 7,927 ; in 1910 it was 10,427, and by the last Federal census 
enumeration it was placed at 15,446. By the report recently made 
(1925) it is about 16,000. 



By Hon. Francis Nims Thompson 

Historic Points Along a Prehistoric Highway — When the Amer- 
ican Continent appeared above the waters, and the Connecticut 
and similar valleys were still arms of the great ocean, marine 
monsters were leaving bird-like tracks in mud which became Con- 
necticut River sandstone, and if these creatures wandered from 
the place of their origin they swam or trod the course of this in- 
undated valley. 

Ages later the red man paddled his birch or log canoe upon his 
"great river," our Connecticut, or followed its shores, until he 
was driven back by the tide of civilization which pressed irresis- 
tably up that fertile valley. The white man came, and still the 
highway ran where it did when order developed from chaos, 
through the beautiful and fruitful valley of the Connecticut River. 

Our County of Franklin is the most northern of the three into 
which old Hampshire was divided more than a century ago. Bi- 
sected by the broader stream, its eastern half is again severed by 
the Miller's River, and its western by the Deerfield. In the middle 
of the county lies its shire town of Greenfield, bounded easterly 
by Fall River and the Connecticut, and southerly by the Deerfield ; 
and in the centre of Greenfield is its little green common at the 
heart of which is a monument to the soldiers of the Civil War — 
a splendid shaft of Aberdeen granite surmounted by a bronze 
eagle cast in France. It commemorates the five hundred men 
whom Greenfield sent to save the Union, and especially the fifty 
who gave their lives for the cause. At its dedication in 1870, Gen- 
eral Charles Devens, a Greenfield man, delivered the address. 

Standing by this monument Ave are at the hub of the county, and 
a hundred miles from Boston Harbor, Long Island Sound and 
the W^hite Mountains. East and west, Main Street runs, where it 
has these two hundred years, taking a slight bend where a 
"crotched apple tree" once marked the angle. Some of its elms 
must have sheltered the first settlers who came from Deerfield to 
occupy these "Green River lands." 

At Green River, crossed near the west end of Main Street by 
a steel bridge, begins the State highAvay known as the Mohawk 

W. Mass. — 43 


Trail, which winds through and over the western hills toward 
Hoosac Mountain, North Adams, and Albany. Its course along the 
Deerfield River follows the ancient stage road from Deerfield to 
Albany and is in places identical with the trail of the Mohawk 
Indians to the region of the Pocumtuck tribe. It was up Green 
River that Deerfield settlers were led toward Canada by their 
French and Indian captors after the raid in 1704, and by its bank 
in the northerly part of Greenfield is a stone erected to mark the 
place where "the cruel and blood-thirsty savage with his hatchet 
at one stroke" slew the wife of Reverend John Williams. And 
by this stream, which the red men called the Picomegan, Captain 
William Turner, of Boston, was killed in 1676 by King Philip's 
Indians who pursued him after his attack upon them at the salmon 
fishing falls, now Turner's Falls. The story is told upon a boulder 
near the "North Parish Church," the second meeting house of the 
First Congregational Society. 

Federal Street, running northerly from Greenfield Common 
toward Bernardston and the upper Connecticut valley, was laid 
out in 1788. At its intersection with Silver Street stood the town's 
first meeting house from 1768 to 1831. Gill, east of Fall River, 
was until 1793 part of Greenfield. Town and parish were identical 
until the organization in 1812 of the local Episcopal Church. The 
second orthodox meeting house was a square brick building of the 
galleried type, built in 1819 by the Second Congregational Society 
on Court Square, where its present stone church was erected in 

Court Square forms the western boundary of the common. Bank 
Row the eastern. Across its green the county's first court house, 
probably completed in 1813, faces its less dignified successor, and 
the brick store on Allen's corner opposes that on Arms'. "S. Allen, 
1812" is writ large on the old brick block in which his grandson 
still keeps the hardware store. Next it has been a drug store some 
four-score years. Then comes the First National Bank, a hundred 
years old, where the savings institution once kept it company ; and 
the early court house is now the home of the "Gazette & Courier," 
first issued in 1792 as the "Imperial Intelligencer," and now one of 
the oldest newspapers in the country. Opposite it, and next the 
church, still stands the colonial home of the paper's first editor 
and the county's first lawyer, William Coleman. He went to New 
York, founded the "Evening Post" and became the law partner 
of Aaron Burr and the intimate friend of Alexander Hamilton. 


This house was built about 1800 from plans by Asher Benjamin. 
Where the present court house was erected in 1848, had stood 
since 1793 the "mansion house" of Rev. Roger Newton, who was 
in 1816 "gathered to his fathers in the 80th year of his age and 
the 56th of his ministry." That he owned a slave, known as Old 
Tenor, makes us realize the changes time brings. Dr. Newton's 
house, removed to the rear of the court house, still stands there 
on Newton Place. 

Before the common there was placed in 1903 a graceful granite 
watering trough "to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth 
anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Greenfield." Stand 
by it as a full moon rises over the wooded hill at the head of the 
elm-arched Main Street, and enjoy the scene's memorable beauty. 
The residence at the center of the picture was the Grinnell home- 
stead. On its left is the "Bird" house of yellow brick, where Judge 
Fessenden lives, and on the hill is the home of Chief Justice Aiken. 
Both men were formerly on the Superior bench. White houses 
(once occupied by brothers of the late Justice Charles Allen of 
the Supreme Court of this state) gleam on the right, and opposite 
are the white columns of the stately residence of Mrs. A. D. Potter. 
East Main Street, with its great elms green in summer, dropping 
golden leaves upon velvety grass plots in autumn, or with bare 
black branches outlined with winter's white, presents by moon- 
light or in sunshine a picture which many have carried with them 
to distant homes. Some of these elms, and those on Franklin 
Street, were planted about 1845 by Henry W. Clapp, a public- 
spirited citizen of the town. His home, built in 1822 by E. A. 
Gould, is that now owned by Mrs. Potter. It is said that it was 
built with the proceeds of a lottery prize, and the Newell Snow 
house, now home of the Greenfield Club, with gold from a mine 
in Nova Scotia. On the south side of the street are the former 
residences of Governor William B. Washburn and Attorney General 
Dana Malone. A brick house, formerly a gun factory, was after- 
ward a doctor's home and office, then a lawyer's, and is now oc-' 
cupied by the Girls' Club, and Grand Army of the Republic— girls of 
six to sixty, and men of '61 to '66. Nearly opposite is a fine century 
old mansion with curious wings on either side. This was long ago 
the home of Judge Leavitt of the Probate Court, and now houses 
the excellent public library of Greenfield. On the corners of Main 
and Federal streets, opposite the common, stand a grey granite 
bank and a red brick hotel. Mansion House corner has seen many 


generations of travellers come and go, and the Franklin Savings 
Institution, a ten million dollar bank, has guarded the savings of 
the people since 1834. 

Main Street was laid out a hundred feet wide, and the road enter- 
ing Greenfield from the south was made fourteen rods wide, the 
common being part of the highway. South of this common the 
road was known as Clay Hill, and there once stood the little mu- 
seum of Dexter Marsh. This uneducated man, curious to learn 
from the book of nature, turned the leaves of red sandstone that 
had for thousands of years awaited him, and there saw hieroglyph- 
ics which told him that living creatures had in by-gone ages 
inhabited the valley. "Bird-tracks" he called them, and exhibited 
them with other curios in his cabinet; he also corresponded with 
the world's great naturalists and furnished specimens to colleges 
and foreign museums ; Louis Agassiz came here, and their mean- 
ing was deciphered. 

In 1846 the railroad first came to Greenfield, being extended from 
Northampton. The present underpass at the foot of Clay Hill was 
not made until 1892; and two years later, after a great deal of con- 
troversy, the electric railway was allowed to enter the village 
through that narrow portal. Passing through it we are "below the 
station" and at the junction of Deerfield and Mill streets. These 
names savor of history and we are in the old part of the town, by 
Green River and on the way to Deerfield River and Deerfield town. 
Here is the "Union House," once the official residence of the first 
jailor. The jail stood just to the south and the "jail limits" — within 
which privileged prisoners were "confined" — included most of the 
little village of that day. Some of the rough granite blocks which 
composed its walls were taken about 1856 to the second jail (now 
on Hope Street and used as a pocketbook manufactory) and there 
still border the sidewalk as a retaining wall. 

It was on Deerfield Street that the first well was dug in the Green 
River settlement, and nearby is a dam furnishing power for the 
Wiley & Russell division of the Greenfield Tap & Die Corporation. 
Here was originally the Green River Cutlery, now located at Tur- 
ner's Falls. It was the first cutlery in America and employed the 
German-born ancestors of many good citizens of Greenfield. Later 
the pioneer makers of screw-cutting tools were here, and now 
Greenfield is the tap and die town of the world. 

At about this point there have been at least five dams, and in 
the old days the wheels of satinette, fulling, and bark mills were 


turned by this power. This waterfall jars the foundations of High- 
land Avenue, half a mile eastward, but often in spring freshets 
the waters of the Connecticut set back into the Deerfield and flood 
the meadows ; and then this temporary lake may quietly rise until 
here in Green River there is but a ripple, and sometimes a row- 
boat may safely pass up or down over the dam. It was farther 
up this stream that the first corn mill on Green River was estab- 
lished about 1700. 

The "Proprietors of the Common Field in Deerfield" had power 
as early as 1734 to compel each land owner to keep up his pro- 
portion of the common fence. The enclosure included land north 
of the Deerfield River, and the old gate there was just above the 
stone piers which for a generation marked the failure of a railroad 
venture. In 1863 these were erected to support a light iron bridge 
across highway and river, and tracks were laid across Petty's plain, 
for Greenfield not then extended far to the north. A train of 
cars, not coupled together, was backed into the bridge by the 
engineer, George A. Kimball, of Greenfield, to test its strength. The 
result was disastrous, for one of the spans gave way, precipitating 
cars into the river. A wooden structure was then built and carried 
trains for a few years, until the railroad was brought up around 
the head of the valley in the great curve it still takes. Westbound 
trains run southerly three miles to Stillwater, from which place the 
railroad follows up the winding gorge of the Deerfield River north- 
Avesterly to Hoosac tunnel. 

The region north of the Deerfield was known as Cheapside, and 
sometimes as Toughend. The meadow west of Green River, 
sequestered for the use of the ministry of Deerfield, and long the 
subject of bitter controversy, was in 1768 the scene of a pitched 
battle, ownership of the hay being a matter of dispute between 
Deerfield and Greenfield and pitchforks being actively and belli- 
gerently used. Cheapside, a part of Greenfield since 1896, was for 
nearly one hundred and fifty years previous a bone of contention 
between Mother Deerfield and growing Greenfield. About a cen- 
tury ago its partizans were moving the Legislature and everything 
short of heaven and earth to make it the county seat of the new 
county of Franklin ; some political tricks amusing in retrospect were 
performed, and after the county buildings had been located the old 
fight to make the region a part of Greenfield was resumed. Finally, 
when at one "March meeting" the Cheapside voters, driving down 
with Greenfield horses to vote in Deerfield, were prevented by a 


spring freshet from driving- home again, the act of annexation was 
passed by the Legislature, but the governor delayed his signature 
until May 2d so as to give the old town, as solace for her loss, the 
taxes assessed as of May 1st. 

From Cheapside we look across the river and its valley to the 
village of Deerfield — across lovely North Meadow, above whose 
waving crops Pine Hill rises green like a wooded island. Near 
this plateau's northern end was the ferry of early days, and by its 
sheltering side swept the savages on swift snowshoes that snowy 
night in 1704, when they sacked Old Deerfield and led or drove 
captive ; over that trail up Green River and on through knee-deep 
snow, men who plotted desperate escape, lads who had perhaps 
dreamed of the free and natural life of the Indian, children who 
clung to hands dyed by their parents' blood, women who fell by the 
way, and those who were "carried captive to Canada, whence they 
came not back." 

We cross the Deerfield, peacefully and safely, on a covered 
wooden bridge that carries us also more than half way back to the 
time of the massacre, for it was erected in 1806 and the marks of 
its antiquity are those of the adze on old timbers. It was a toll 
bridge and the corporation which built it was to take toll for 
seventy years and then leave it a good substantial bridge for the 
free use of the public; but it is said that the company neglected 
to keep the bridge in perfect repair and had to be reminded to cease 
taking toll. A bit further down the stream may still be seen the 
stonework of a pier where rum, molasses, and other "West India 
goods" were landed when Cheapside was the head of navigation, 
and Abercrombie's tavern, still standing, was the center of trade 
for this region. 

Across the river lies Deerfield, Mecca for antiquaries, students 
of history and hunters of ancestors, and possessing charm for those 
who find beauty in picturesque homes under ancient elms and in 
the home industries of our foremothers. A mile or so of state high- 
way curving around fertile North Meadow and then a sharp turn 
into a straight stretch of broad street under old trees whose great 
columns were set by nature to uphold a leafy heaven. Under this 
canopy still remain houses which were not destroyed when the 
town was ravished in 1704, and homes in which are those whose 
ancestral blood was tested in troublous times. The frontier was 
exposed and the Indian crafty, but the settler was determined, and 
fought for his mate and their young. "God sifted a nation to find 


seed to send into this wilderness" and later He found, in such New 
England towns as this, plenty of good seed with which to sow the 

fertile West. 

On the right of this old Town Street a stone marks the bheldon 
Homestead— Bought by John Sheldon in 1708" and for these two 
centuries handed down from sire to son. Here George Sheldon, the 
historian of Deerfleld, was born in 1818. Further down the street 
is a fine gambrel-roofed home built about 1772 and right worthy 
to be termed "mansion house." Here Mr. Sheldon died at the 
age of ninety-eight, and here Mrs. Sheldon now lives and carries 
on the work her husband did so well and so long. This place was 
the home of their ancestor Captain Joseph Stebbins of Bunker 

Hill fame. 

"The pink house" opposite was built by Colonel David Field, 
who owned the place from 1754 to 1785 and who was a delegate 
to the Provincial Congress and the constitutional convention. Here 
the liberty pole was planted by the patriots when the fruit of such 
planting was extremely uncertain. The house of John Stebbins, 
standing here in 1704, was then burned and the entire family cap- 
tured. ^This Stebbins was the only man known to have escaped 
uninjured from the Bloody Brook massacre. 

On a suitable elevation stands the brick meeting house erected 
in 1824. It is a fine building of the Sir Christopher Wren type, and 
perched upon its spire is the cock bought by the town in 1731. 
Like many another old New England meeting house it is now the 
property of a Unitarian society. The interior, with its high maho- 
gany pulpit, square pews, and gallery around three sides, is per- 
fectly preserved. The communion silver is very interesting and the 
church service includes a Paul Revere tankard of pewter. 

Beyond the church is the common. This was within the palisade, 
and the curb of its well may be seen near the soldier's monument. 
Facing the common was the Benoni Stebbins house, which on that 
fatal 29th of February, 1704, was held for three hours against two 
hundred soldiers and one hundred and forty Indians by "7 men 
besides women and children." Impressive figures these. The 
door of the next house, Ensign Sheldon's, studded with nails and 
hacked by the Indians, formed the nucleus of the Sheldon collec- 
tion of frontier and Indian relics. Here are the buildings of Deer- 
field Academy, an ancient school, teaching the ancient truths by 
most modern and efficient methods. Its brick school house, facing 
the common, replaced about 1876 the house which the town had 


built in 1707 for its first settled minister, Rev. John Williams, "the 
redeemed captive returned to Zion". That house now stands in the 
rear, upon the Albany road, and serves as a dormitory. One of its 
many interesting features is a "secret staircase" — though an en- 
closed stairway an open secret. Across the Albany road are other old 
houses, thoroughly and intelligently restored, also occupied by the 
school. One of these is that in which was born in 1793, President 
Edward Hitchcock, of Amherst College. He was, during different 
periods. State geologist of Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont ; 
and from his pen came the first scientific account of the "bird"- 
tracks of the valley. 

The Albany road follows the Indian's trail between the Pocum- 
tuck and Mohawk valleys. It passes the old burying ground, fords 
the river and proceeds westward through Wisdom and over the 
hills toward Albany. The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association 
has recently published the inscriptions on the stones in the ancient 
burial place. There rest the pioneers who in this valley blazed a 
trail for civilization. In one grave lie the bodies of forty-eight 
persons — "the dead of 1704". One hundred and eleven were 
captives in Canada, and only twenty-five men, as many 
women and seventy-five children, forty-three of whom were 
under ten years of age, were left." One of the objects of the 
raid of 1704 was the capture of the Deerfield minister, and in "the 
beginning of the onset" the Indians went to his home, built by 
the town in 1686, and burned it. Two of his children and a negro 
servant were murdered on its doorstep. All the rest of the family, 
except a son absent at school, were captured. The body of Mrs. 
Williams, slain during the second day's march, was brought back to 
Deerfield for burial. Of their children carried to Canada four 
came back, but Eunice married an Indian and could not be induced 
to return to civilized life. Rev. John Williams, after his own re- 
turn late in 1706, made repeated trips to Canada in his efforts to 
redeem other captives. 

On the east side of Old Deerfield Street stands "Frary House" — 
the oldest in the county and a fine specimen of its period. At the 
time of the sack of Deerfield it had already stood about twenty 
years. The south part of the building, known as " Barnard House", 
dates from about 1763 and was a tavern. There Benedict Arnold, 
newly commissioned as colonel, paused in 1775 on his way to 
Ticonderoga. Miss C. Alice Baker purchased this property in 1890 
and restored it. She devised it, subject to life estates, to the P. V. 


M. A. as trustee for posterity. Her fascinating "True Stories of 
New England Captives" are exceedingly valuable as history and 
ably demonstrate her ability as a writer. She was descended from 
Samson Frary and also from Godfrey Nims, whose homestead is 
next south. These were two of the earliest settlers. 

The Nims homestead remained in that family for over two hun- 
dred years. The first house on its site was burned in 1694, when 
a stepson, Jeremiah Hull, perished. "Godfrey Nims's son, a boy 
about ten years of age, went into the chamber with a light and by 
accident fired some flax or tow, which fired the house." The 
second house was burned during the attack on Deerfield, and the 
bodies of three little daughters, found in the cellar, were laid with 
"the dead of 1704". A married daughter, her husband and their 
child, were killed. One son was slain and another captured. Mrs. 
Nims, her mother and sisters, and her brother's wife and children 
were killed. Mrs. Nims' daughters, Elizabeth Hull and Abigail 
Nims, were carried to Canada. Godfrey Nims' eldest son and a 
stepson had been captured in 1703. He was the father of eleven 
children, but "when the flame-lit night of February 29th, 1704, gave 
place to the cold dawn of March first, and Godfrey Nims looked 
upon what had been his own hard-won home, there was left to com- 
fort him but one member of his family." Her name was Thankful. 
Fitz John Winthrop was then governor of Connecticut, and a 
document found among his papers places the names of "The Rev'nd 
Mr. John Williams" and Godfrey Nims at the head of the list of 
Deerfield families in its "table of losses". John Nims escaped from 
Canada in 1705, and soon after married and built on the old site the 
present house. Ebenezer Nims was redeemed in 1714. Each left 
four sons to perpetuate the family name. Descendants of Thank- 
ful still live in Deerfield. Abigail "came not back" and for two 
centuries her history was unknown in Deerfield. Then Miss 
Baker's "Hunt for the Captives" revealed the record of her life 
and her descendants in Canada. Both Abigail and Ebenezer Nims 
were married in Canada to fellow captives, and Miss Baker has 
told with charm and power their thrilling stories, and that of Eunice 

On the Nims lot stand "the white church", town hall and the 
"Memorial Hall" to which so many pilgrims come from this land 
and others. This building on Academy Lane was built from bricks 
made from clay of the lot, and was in 1799 dedicated to use as an 
academy. It was enlarged about 1810. After the academy moved 


to its present location, this old building was bought, in 1878, by the 
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. The new fireproof wing 
was added through the generosity of Mrs. George Sheldon. The 
"Sheldon Collection" of colonial frontier and Indian relics is unique 
and immense. It is a most fitting memorial to its distinguished 
founder, to whom all posterity will be increasingly indebted for the 
preservation of facts and objects which depict the history of the 
English settlers and the Pocumtuck Indians. 

T(fward the southerly end of the old street of Deerfield is the 
J, Wells Champney house, whose front door was brought from the 
home of Alexander Hamilton in New York. The stone before the 
next place on the right was erected by the children of Deerfield 
in memory of the boy hero of the Falls Fight (Turners Falls, 1676), 
Jonathan Wells, whose palisaded house stood here in 1704. The 
next place beyond was the boyhood home of Rear Admiral Higgin- 
son; and on the left, the Dr. Davis place was the home of Miss 
Sarah Barnard, whom Mr. Sheldon "and some of the boys" in 
1864 elected a member of the school committee — the first woman 
in Massachusetts to occupy that position. The last house on the 
east side of the street was in 1698 the homestead of the founder of 
the Arms family in America. 

At the south end of the old "town street," as at the north, we look 
out over green meadows. The roads to both right and left lead 
to South Deerfield, and it was here that an old woman washing 
clothes on the south porch was interrupted by a traveller who 
shouted "Which of these roads shall I take for South Deerfield?" 
She shortly replied, Yankee fashion, with a question : — "What do 
you suppose I care which you take?" — and went on washing. The 
main road now turns toward the east and south, and follows be- 
low Pocumtuck and East Mountain, through Wapping and up 
Long Hill. To the left lies Turnip Yard ; and westward are Indian 
Bridge, The Bars and Meadow Mills, Hoosac and Stillwater, and 
Wisdom, where the descendants of Selah B. Wise once abounded. 
It was at Indian Bridge in 1695 that red men ambushed four horse- 
men, mortally wounding the town clerk, though Nims and Mattoon 
bore him home ; and it was at The Bars, so called because here was 
one of the meadow "gates", that Samuel Allen died in 1746 defend- 
ing his children — the last killing of our people by the savage 
natives. The old stone at his grave bears a message which is still 
timely: "Listen to me ye mortal men Bewar That you engage no 
more in direful War. By meanse of War my Soul from Earth is 


fled, my Body Lodged in Mansions of the dead." The Samuel Allen 
house at The Bars was used by the artist George Fuller as a studio ; 
the Fuller homestead being across the street from the Allen place. 

South, the highway takes the traveller to Bloody Brook, where 
sleep the "Flower of Essex" since that September day in 1675 when, 
while they guarded a train of wagons of wheat, they were sur- 
prised by ambushed Indians. The seventeen teamsters, who had 
brought the garnered grain from the old "town street" over the his- 
torical highway, all fell, with Captain Lothrop and many others — a 
"choice company of young men, the very flower of the County of 
Essex". Sixty-four bodies were laid in one grave, says Mr. Sheldon, 
who was in 1835 present at the dedication of the Lothrop Monu- 
ment and there received from the stirring oration by the renowned 
Edward Everett inspiration to promote the commemoration of other 
historic events. Of unknown age is the earlier tablet to the soldiers 
of Essex, laid upon their grave. 

Bloody Brook has long centuries run clear; the air will not 
again reverberate with war-whoops of Indian savages ; and the 
growth of these villages, towns and cities of our Connecticut 
Valley may, in time, merge its communities into one community. 
Men may come and men may go, but, until all men have gone, men 
will come and go along the path that nature made down this 
beautiful valley, long, long before man first came. 


By Elizabeth L. Adams 

What is now known as the Mansion House Corner has been a 
site well known in the community ever since the old frontier days. 
The vigorous early settlers pushed their way up the Connecticut 
Valley from Springfield until they reached historic Deerfield in 1667. 
They reached the confines of Greenfield in 1686, but it was not 
until 1743 that Greenfield won its independence as a district and 
ten years later as a town. 

Before Franklin County sprang into existence, before the incor- 
poration of the town of Greenfield, even before the laying out of 
streets, this spot was destined to become truly historic for here it 
was that the old Corse Fort stood, one of the earliest buildings of 
which we have any record in this vicinity. 

It was the east end of the present lot which was within the con- 
fines of the fort those palisades occupying what is now a part of 
the library grounds. 

We must search the Hampshire Abstracts for the earliest records 
of this Lot No. 11 (the Mansion House Lot) which seems to have 
been granted to Benoni Moore who sold it to Ebenezer Severance 
April 17, 1720. Ebenezer Severance, by a deed dated April 18, 1720, 
transferred to James Corse, the old hunter, that lot on which now 
stands the Mansion House, (together with other lands) described 
as follows : "all that allotment on Green River which I bought of 
Benoni Moore, 30 acre allotment and an eight acre home lot No. 11 
bounded east by home lot of Thomas French 2nd, west by home 
lot of Nathaniel Brooks, north by undivided lands and south by 
the street." 

That street later received municipal sanction to be called Main 

The lot was 80 rods in length and 16 rods in width. 

James Corse, the celebrated hunter and scout, was probably the 
landlord of the first tavern kept in Greenfield. 

The exact date of his building his house is not known, but it 

* This paper was read by Elizabeth L. Adams before the Greenfield 
Historical Society, November 8, 1912. 


was undoubtedly soon after he obtained his title to this land in 
1720, as he was married August 21, 1721. Nothing can be learned 
about the house, but a conjectural guess would be that it was of 

His house became the general meeting place for the people. 
Probably the first preaching services which occurred in Greenfield 
were held on Sundays when the town was almost a wilderness. 
Meetings of the ancient proprietors of grants were held here and 
other assemblies and the house was thrown open as an inn. 

James Corse was the historic hunter and trapper and his bear and 
wolf traps were scattered far and near, for his hunting ground 
covered a large territory about here. Doubtless many an epicure 
could testify to the sumptuous meals of bear meat and venison that 
were probably served at this country inn nearly two centuries ago. 

During the French and Indian wars this Corse house was gar- 
risoned by government soldiers and it was the place of refuge in 
times of sudden danger. 

In 1754 it was voted that : "James Corse house should be one of 
three which should be picqueted in the district." The other houses 
were those of Joshua Wells and Shubel Atherton. 

Among the records of town affairs in this frontier settlement, we 
find December, 1755, voted: ""hat they would give James Corse 
thirteen pounds old tenour for the use of his house to meet in on 
Sabbaths and other necessary meetings this year." The amount 
of recompense which he received from the town for the use of his 
house for meetings for public affairs varied from year to year. 

In 1757 they voted to give him "two pounds for his house to meet 
in on Sabbath and other necessary meetings. He giving the signal 
to meet." These signals were given by the beating of a drum 
and sometimes on a conch shell. This was when ecclesiastical 
affairs were a regular matter of business in which the town as a 
whole concerned itself. 

In open town meetings votes were passed with relation to the 
meeting house and the settlement and dismissal of ministers. Sep- 
tember, 1753, it was voted to "invite Rev. Mr. Edward Billing to 
settle in the work of the ministry among us" and for several years 
these meetings were held in the old Corse Fort. In the old town 
records I find James Corse's name as committee on church affairs 
and he held other offices.. 

In 1759 we find the first action of the town in relation to the 
building of a meeting house and a few years later that structure was 


erected on Trap Plain so-called, the site of which is now marked by 
the stone watering- trough at Long's Corner. 

Aaron Denio's tavern was across Main Street near where the 
Masonic Block now stands, but it has long since passed away. 

May 26, 1774, when James Corse was eighty years old, he con- 
veyed the lot (the old tavern stand) to his son, Dan Corse, who, 
after a brief ownership of only about a year, sold it to Lemuel 
^Bascom who owned much land in this vicinity. After ten years' 
ownership he sold to Caleb Alvord this property and about 4>4 
rods of land, being that location at the corner of Main and Fed- 
eral streets. Three years later Mr. Alvord purchased about six 
rods more where the central portion of the Mansion House now 
stands and that again became a portion of the original acreage. 

Federal Street did not exist at that time, the only road to the 
north from Main Street being by way of High Street so that our 
Mansion House Corner had not yet been carved out. 

A more direct road was needed to reach the meeting house and a 
road was laid out from Greenfield Street to the meeting house— our 
Federal Street of today— which passed through Mr. Alvord's land, 
the tavern standing east of the road on the spot occupied by the 
present old part of the Mansion House. This road was accepted 
April 25, 1789, according to the old records. 

May 5, 1792, Caleb Alvord sold to Calvin Munn this property, con- 
taining lyi acres, more or less, for 360 pounds. The original large 
Corse lot had become reduced m size by the sale of several tracts 
of land from its north and east tides, but that part at the corner of 
Main and Federal streets always remained the old tavern stand. 

Mr. Munn sold to Hart Leavitt 45 feet cut from the east end of 
his lot and on this the Leavitt store was built. Thompson's 
History of Greenfield tells us that this Hart Leavitt building, 
where the middle portion of the Mansion House now stands, was 
the home of the first newspaper published in Greenfield, the first 
post-office, and a book store. William Coleman was the father of 
the first new^spaper, the "Impartial Intelligencer" which was pub- 
lished by Thomas Dickman, February, 1792. In the first numbers 
there is nothing to indicate the spot where the printing ofifice was 
located, but November 5, 1795, the following notice was published : 
"The public are respectfully informed that the Printing Ofifice, 
Post Office and Book Store will in future be kept in the new build- 
ing east of Mr. Munn's tavern (now the Mansion House). The 
Gazette will be delivered and all business appertaining to the above 


mentioned occupation transacted on the lower floor east part of said 
building. By their humble servant, Thomas Dickman." 

The paper changed names and homes several times and is our 
"Gazette and Courier" of today. Some of the Gazette "ads." of 
over a century ago are amusing. 

"Cash will be paid for beef bladders suitable to pack snuff in 
at the printing office." Gazette. 

Evidently printing business did not require the entire time of 
the publishers and they ran a side line — either for profit or for 

Thomas Dickman was appointed postmaster in 1789 and a 
post office for the first time was established in Greenfield. He 
received his commission from George Washington. There were at 
this time few post offices in the state and people within a radius 
of twenty miles came here for their mail. It is interesting to know 
that prior to this time the only post office in western Massachusetts 
was at Springfield. A post olifice was established in Northampton 
in 1792. 

Now when we have daily papers from distant cities delivered at 
our very doors almost before the ink is dry and special delivery 
letters and other mail matter speeding as fast as steam and electric 
power can carry them, do we stop to realize what the establishment 
of this post office meant in our town only about 120 years ago, 
when the swiftest modes for conveyance of Uncle Sam's mail bags 
were the steam boat, stage coach or post riders? Early in the 19th 
century the mail from Boston was brought once a week on horse- 
back. Surely times have changed in that line. 

The post office was located here until 1802 when Mr. Ames was 
appointed postmaster. About the middle of the century, when 
D. N. Carpenter was postmaster, the post office was again located 
near the original site, this site having been covered by the exten- 
sion of the building and is now the American Express Company's 

In more recent years when Mr. Peleg Adams owned the Mansion 
House he fitted up an office for post office where the Greenfield 
News Company now is, and for the third time in its history the 
post office was here. 

This was almost the identical site of the first post office in 
Franklin County, then Hampshire County. The post office has 
hovered around the Mansion House, apparently keeping the orig- 
inal location the center having been located always within a stone's 


throw of the Mansion House, north, west and south of the original 
site, and now expects a home of its own, a government building 
to be erected a few rods east of the Mansion House, where is noAv 
located the residence of Mrs. W. E. Wood on Main Street. 

The newspaper, "Franklin Democrat" was later published in 
this Hart Leavitt building, by the Miricks. 

The late S. O. Lamb was editor for several years.. Besides the 
sale of this Leavitt tract, Mr. Munn, owner of the Mansion House, 
also sold to Dr. John Stone a lot six rods wide adjoining Leavitt, 
which passed through the hands of William Coleman, Benjamin 
Swan, Jonathan Leavitt and Hart Leavitt to David Ripley, on 
which he built his house. Daniel Clay's cabinet shop was on the 

The original Corse house which had served as fort, meeting 
house, tavern, and had been the center of so much of the activity of 
Greenfield, was burned and a long wooden building, a little farther 
west, had succeeded it as tavern, this building facing Main Street 
as does the present brick structure. 

This country tavern of simpler days was smaller than the present 
hotel, but finally with the advance of years and the increasing hotel 
business in the growing town of Greenfield, both these Leavitt 
and Stone or Ripley lots were bought back to add to the acreage 
and make possible a structure suitable to the demands of the times. 

Mr. Munn was a Revolutionary soldier from Whitingham, Vt. 
and proved to be a good hotel man, since Munn's tavern became 
famous for miles around, and for a long series of years he was the 
host of the traveler and wayfaring man, laying the foundation of a 
good hotel business. 

This venerable and veteran soldier of the Revolution was not 
without his troubles however, in conducting the tavern business, 
for in looking over some old files of paper which have been pre- 
sented to this society, I find the following notice in the Green- 
field Gazette or Massachusetts and Vermont Telegraph, September 
29, 1796: 

"$20 Reward. 

"Stolen from off the subscribers horse standing at the door of 
Mr. Calvin Munn's in Greenfield on the 22d inst. in the evening, 
one half of a pair of saddle bags containing one-hundred and eighty 
dollars in cash and two pieces of India Cotton of about I43/2 yards 
each. Among the cash was a piece of gold of 22 P 4 value. Who- 
ever will secure the thief so that he may be brought to justice and 

W. Mass. — 44 


the property recovered shall receive twenty dollars reward, or for 
the property alone fifteen dollars, and all charges paid by Daniel 
Baker, Gill, Sept. 26, 1796." 

This polite notice also appears in the same paper: 

"Somebody has taken a pair of new saddle bags from Mr. Munn's 
Tavern, they are desired to return them immediately. Samuel 
Clark, Greenfield, Sept. 26, 1796." 

Evidently saddle bags were in great demand in those days and 
it would have been interesting had the succeeding papers chronicled 
the facts as to whether the thieves were captured and brought to 
justice, and what punishment was meted out to them ; but, un- 
fortunately the papers of those days did not furnish the news in 
serial form any more than they do today. 

The papers of those aays devoted much to foreign intelligence, 
news from the West Indies, foreign battles, extracts from London 
papers and occasionally some mention of the high price of flour 
and other commodities, which shows that the high cost of living 
is not entirely a modern subject. News was received by the arrival 
of certain vessels from abroad. 

They seemed particularly anxious to give credit to the proper 
authority for the source of their information as appears from the 
following notice : 

"Boston, Sept. 12, 1796. 

"On Saturday arrived here Capt. Swain 56 days from Bremen. 
He brought no papers. However, by the politeness of the Captain 
we are enabled to state the following interesting particulars." 

Then followed report of a severe engagement between French 
and Austrian armies. 

There is a dearth of local news in the ancient files of papers. 
Evidently they thought everybody knew his neighbor's affairs — 
local news and possibly gossip being swapped at the tavern ofhce 
and country stores. 

That Mr. Munn treated the horses well which put up at his 
barn we judge from the fact that he advertises for one hundred 
bushels of good oats. This old patriot, Calvin Munn, also kept a 
store in connection with the tavern as appears from the advertising 
columns of the local papers of that time. 

"Greenfield Gazette, July 7, 1796. 

"Calvin Munn 

"Has just received a very general assortment of European, East 
and West India Goods. Price current Brandy 12s. W. I. Rum lis. 


Bohea Tea 2s. 8 and perhaps lower and all other articles upon the 
same scale. Cash and most kinds of produce will be received in 
payment and the smallest favor treated with due attention." 

Think he must have been a sharp competitor with the merchant 
Beriah Willard for, in one of the advertising columns May 30, 1796, 
he "Respectfully informs his customers and the public at large 
that he has just bought a wdiole Wagon Load of goods" to sell. 

But we must remember that this was the Greenfield of over a 
hundred years ago, when the combined population of Greenfield 
and Gill was not far from 1,500 and it bore but little resemblance 
to the town as it is today, with its nearly 12,000 inhabitants. It 
was the Greenfield, when, with all seriousness, votes were passed 
in open town meeting that horses, sheep and swine should run at 
large on the common lands. 

No shrill whistle of nearby locomotive or screech of passing 
automobiles rushing over the brick pavement disturbed the peaceful 
slumbers of the guest in this quiet country tavern. Indeed, such 
sights and sounds would have been more amazing to the people of 
those days than the whirr of flying machines would be today. 

"Other times, other customs." 

When the tax bills on this tavern property were presented, they 
were based on an assessed valuation of the modest sum of about 

During Mr. Munn's ownership he was the landlord of the tavern 
most of the time. From 1797 to 1798 Elijah Lamb kept the house. 
Mr. Munn's competitor in the tavern business was the Willard 
tavern, called Well's Tavern, on the opposite corner across Federal 

Calvin Munn's name appears on the muster rolls of the Con- 
tinental Army. He was a pensioner. What a fund of interesting 
reminiscences of Revolutionary days must have been his, and with 
what thrilling tales of battles and exciting incidents of war times 
he must have entertained his guests. 

Mr. Munn owned other real estate in town, one of his holdings 
being the "mineral lot" so-called, from the supposed mineral 
deposits of copper, etc. In the old deeds it is referred to as the 
"mineral lot." This mineral lot is situated in the eastern part of 
Greenfield, bordering on the Connecticut River and is the east end 
of Rocky Mountain, so-called, opposite Turners Falls. Joel Meriam 
succeeded Munn in ownership and then it came into possession 
of Peleg Adams, who deeded it to his son and his son's wife, John 


and Charlotte Adams, and it is now owned by their children, Ruth 
and Elizabeth Adams. I may say that none of the owners have be- 
come wealthy from the stores of minerals supposed to be deposited 
beneath its rocky surface. Some of Capt. Kidd's money is said 
to be buried on the steep banks sloping towards the river or on 
the island opposite. My grandfather told me that he knew of one 
man who avowed that he had seen these treasures. 

It was on a moonlight night and the glittering gold lay all about 
in great quantities — more than he could carry. He hastened with 
all possible speed to his home to yoke up his ox team and load up 
his cart with these treasures of glittering gold. But, lo ! when he 
returned to the scene with oxen and cart the gold had all dis- 
appeared ! 

To return to the Mansion House corner, the hotel property has 
increased in value, for May 13, 1815, Mr. Munn sold the Tavern 
Stand to Asa Goodenough for $6,000. It had gained a prestige 
too, for the deed refers to "That certain mansion situated in Green- 
field, lately occupied by me as a tavern with the out buildings 
under and about the same." This is the first mention I find of the 
word "Mansion" in connection with the property. In former days 
it was not known as the "Mansion House." The hotel took its 
name from the owners — as "Munn's Tavern," "Goodenough's Tav- 
ern," and later "Newton's Hotel," "Smead's Hotel," etc. 

Asa Goodenough was an energetic man and soon purchased the 
old Willard tavern located just west of him. Federal Street having 
been cut through between them, no doubt considering this the 
best way to put an end to competition from that course. 

Besides the land on the west of Federal Street the deed also in- 
cluded a few feet of land lying easterly of these premises, between 
Federal Street and what was then the corner of the Willard 
tavern stand, this triangular piece having been cut off by the laying 
out of Federal Street. This street was three rods wide as 
originally laid out. 

When he sold, he reserved the right of way which is now between 
the Franklin Savings Institution and the Fire Station. 

Another restriction in this deed reads : 

"Provided, however that if the said Munn, his heirs or assigns 
shall ever hereafter keep a tavern, or house of public entertain- 
ment upon the above granted premises, without the full license and 
consent of the said Asa Goodenough or his heirs or assigns first had 


and obtained therefor, this deed to be void, otherwise to remain in 
full force." 

These restrictions have been observed — no hotel having been 
kept on these premises and it seems hardly probably that Mr. 
Goodenough's deed of nearly 100 years ago will of necessity become 
void. These restrictions cover a part of the tract between Main, 
School, Ames and Federal streets. 

Mr. Goodenough also purchased thirty-seven acres of land on 
Federal Street. His speculations brought him to grief and it was 
by sheriff's sale that Jeriel Preston came into possession of the hotel 
property in 1820 and he deeded it to Asaph and Homer Preston in 
1823. They kept the house for two years and in April, 1825, sold 
it to Isaac Newton, Jr., son of Capt. Isaac Newton, for $500 more 
than Asa Goodenough had paid for it and it now becomes the 
Greenfield Hotel. He uses the columns of the local paper, 'Frank- 
lin Post and Christian Freeman" to make the following announce- 
ment : 


Isaac Newton, Jr. — Informs his friends and the public that he has purchased 
the Tavern Stand in the center of the pleasant village of Greenfield, lately 
occupied by Messrs. Preston, has procured faithful and obliging attendants 
for Kitchen, Bar and Barn and every exertion will be made to render this 
house a quiet resting place to those who travel for business or pleasure. He 
will be constantly provided with choice Liquors and all the variety of pro- 
visions which the country and the season will allow. May 23, 1825. 

A great change now takes place in the old hotel stand. Green- 
field has grown. The population of the town is nearly 1,500. 
Greenfield needs a new hotel. Farmers from the hills drive into 
town from every direction and it is the market for the farmers of 
all Franklin. Greenfield has become more of a trading center and 
it is the chief town of the region. It is the head of river navigation, 
the port of entry being Cheapside w^here the cargoes of merchan- 
dise are unloaded from the flat bottomed boats which are poled 
up the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. Stage routes from north 
and south and from east and west areas cross each other here and 
make Greenfield their stopping- place. The old Mansion House 
stand of nearly a century ago was the stage house or center for 
the stages and drivers, thirty or forty of whom often stopped there 
over night. 

There was a stage route from Boston to Albany and the mail 
stage from Hartford, Conn, to Hanover, N. H. In their '*ad." 


for this entertainment in 1796 when the mail stage went only three 
times a week they said: "The proprietors pledge themselves to 
those who wish to travel with ease, speed and convenience that 
they will furnish elegant carriages and horses with careful and 
faithful drivers and that nothing on their part shall be wanting to 
render a seat in their carriages agreeable." 

Greenfield instead of Deerfield has become the shire town and 
this has brought new dignity. 

Men of high character practiced at the bar, men whose names 
have gained a state or national repute. Greenfield has become 
an important business center. The old stage tavern is inadequate to 
care for all its patrons. Surely Greenfield must have a new and 
up-to-date hotel. Mr. Newton lealizes this and determines to keep 
pace with the times and retain the high hotel standard for which 
Greenfield was noted by building a new up-to-date brick hotel. 

Busy scenes follow. The main part of the old building was 
moved down Main Street and converted into the dwelling house of 
George W. Mark, later occupied by Seaman's Silver Plating Works 
and recently torn down by Mr. Goodell. The new structure was of 
brick — one of the earliest in Greenfield constructed of such material. 
It was three stories high, 64 x 49 feet, cellar underneath with a 
two-story wooden ell, 68 feet long. Contained a hall 46 x 52. Eight 
parlors and fifty rooms. The main building extended as far east 
as what is now the American Express office. The entire lower 
floor of the house was used for hotel purposes, there being no 
stores there as now. There were three rooms on the front where 
Forbes' store, Hotel ofBce and Greenfield Savings Bank now are, 
which served as hotel ofifice and parlors. In the rear were the 
dining rooms, kitchen and other rooms, there being entrances from 
both Main and Federal streets. It had a wide piazza, the full 
length of the front; on the east side was a stable yard with room 
to turn a coach and four, backed by roomy stables, the driveway to 
which was from Main Street. Sept. 30, 1828, Isaac Newton formal- 
ly opened this new brick hotel. 

Eighty-four years ago ! 

It was a grand hotel and good cheer prevailed in an abundant 
degree. The hall was on the third floor, occupying the entire west 
or Federal Street end of the hotel and it has been the scene of many 
social functions, assemblies of all sorts, and dances to the fiddles of 
Philo, Temple, Charles Lyons, John Putnam and others. There 


were cotillion parties and levees — long vanished scenes of former 

Newton's hotel was built when construction work of this sort 
was done on honor, as the heavy stone bases, walls and supporting 
columns, which can be seen in the basement, testify today. Strong 
huge walls with mortar almost as hard as stone, which look as 
though they might stand for centuries to come, altho' the hands 
which built them have long since been laid to rest. Surely the 
house has a firm foundation, one of the first essentials in building 

The popularity of the house continued and in the palmy days of 
the old fashioned stage coach the business flourished. There were 
two lines of stages passing through Greenfield between Boston and 
Albany, going through in two days now instead of three. Fare 
$3.00 to either point. Another line was from Hartford, Connecticut, 
to Hanover, New Hampshire. 

Thompson's History says : "One of the stage lines running north 
and south was the celebrated "Telegraph Line" which had the mail 
contract and was required to average seven miles per hour, in- 
cluding stops, running night and day. 

The very best horses were used on this line and special coaches 
were built for it in Albany, weighing 1800 pounds. They were not 
allowed to take over six passengers and must make time or forfeit 

The regular coaches ran as usual, making ordinary time and 
passengers on the "Telegraph" paid about 20 per cent higher than 
the "regular coach." 

The distance was about 100 miles and by relays of horses at 
regular intervals this rapid traveling was made possible, and in 
those days seemed very appropriately named the "Telegraph Line." 

Some of the older people remember seeing these elegant stages 
roll up to the piazza in grand style, their coming preceded by the 
blowing of the driver's horn. There were other stage lines — over 
the Hoosac Mountains and to other points and business was brisk 
for all. 

Then there were the great four and six horse freight wagons 
which made regular trips to Boston carrying down country produce 
and bringing back all sorts of merchandise. The round trip from 
Greenfield took about ten days. 

Elijah S. Alvord kept the house in 1830. 

July, 1833, Mr. Newton sold the Mansion House for $14,000 to 


Charles, son of Colonel Asaph Smead including in the deed "the 
aqueduct which I own and by which the conveyed premises are 
watered." In 1836 Smead's "Stage Tavern" employed ten people 
Mr. Smead continued as landlord until 1842 when he disposed ot 
it to Asher Spencer and Barnard Newell. 

James Taggart became the landlord for a short time and was 
succeeded by Mr. Brewster from Northampton. 

Greenfield was a far different town from what it now is. There 
were no railroads, no telegraphs, and telephones were unknown. 
In 1843 Paul Chase of Brattleboro, Vermont, purchased this noted 
hostelry and after four years sold it to George Field and Elijah 
Coleman, the aqueduct continuing to be mentioned in the deed. It 
is believed that this spring was located near what is now the resi- 
dence of Samuel D. Conant on Grinnell Street. 

Elijah Coleman was the son of Capt. Thaddeus Coleman of the 

After four years of hotel business he sold his interest to Wendell 
T. Davis and became interested in the Adams Express Company. 
He spent his life in their service and was a valued officer, being 
superintendent of the company at Philadelphia for many years. 
His death occurred in 1890. 

His interest in his native town has shown itself in substantial 
manner, one memorial of his generosity being the well-cared for 
grounds of the North Meadows Cemetery, he having left a fun<l 
for its perpetual care. 

Meantime the population of Greenfield had increased to over 
2,500. There were over 100 well-built dwelling houses and four 
churches in Greenfield, besides mercantile establishments. 

Field and Davis made many improvements and about 1849 ex- 
tended the main brick building from the present Greenfield Savings 
Bank to Browning's Clothing Store, being the central portion of the 
present main structure. Where the express office now is, was an 
arched driveway to the stables and store entrances in the rear. 

The rooms were large and some of those on the second floor 
used for offices. 

Mr. Davis had his law office in one of these rooms and during the 
renovation of his room not long ago a card bearing his name was 
found in a crack back of the mantle. 

The advent of the iron horse soon brought about the departure 
of the old stage coach and the passing of the river boats. With the 
coming of the railroads about 1846 passed the business of many an 


old country tavern which is left deserted and crumbling to ruin. 

Not so the famous old Mansion House. Greenfield became a 
railroad center, their lines crossing each other here as did the stage 
coach lines in former days and the town prospered. 

She soon adjusted herself to the new order of things and a 
familiar sight on our streets for many years has been the Mansion 
House bus going to and fro to meet the trains and carry hotel guests. 
Mr. William Munn, the present porter, has held that position for 
the past thirty-two years, a long period of faithful service. He is 
familiarly called "Billy" Munn by his hosts of friends among the 
travelling public. 

The railroad facilities in Greenfield are an important factor in 
the town's prosperity today. 

Greenfield is becoming a center for automobiles, their routes 
crossing each other here as did the old stage coach routes a century 

Some of the bricks used in the construction of this addition to 
the Mansion House were Meriam bricks, made in the brick-yard on 
the Meriam place near the top of the hill on the road leading from 
Factory Village to Greenfield, now one of the farms belonging to 
the Peleg Adams estate. 

During the construction of these additions the masons on the 
staging above could be heard calling, "Meriam brick," "Meriam 
brick." A passerby on the street inquired the meaning of this and 
was told that the Meriam bricks, being harder and superior to 
other bricks, but the supply being limited, were used about the 
windows and where good strong bricks were most needed. The 
unusual superior quality of the sand — sharp with quartz — from 
the nearby sand bank was one reason why the bricks manufactured 
by the Meriams were so superior.. 

I am told that these Meriam bricks were used in some parts of 
Allen block and some other structures in town. 

With the coming of the railroads brick making was discontinued 
by Joel Meriam and his sons for they could not compete with other 
brick yards on the lines of railroads. 

I. S. Tilton was hotel clerk for Mr. Field for a time. Mr. Field 
kept the house until June, 1855, and sold his interest to Henry W. 
Clapp who purchased Mr. Davis' interest the same year, subject to 
the leases of D. N. Carpenter, Robert Wiley and Joseph Beals. 
Mr. Carpenter was postmaster from 1845 to 1861. Robert Wiley 
had a tin store and Joseph Beals was dentist. 


For two years the house was closed and in 1857 it was leased 
to J. M. Decker of Lawrence. Other tenants in the Mansion House 
block that same year (1857) were: 

T. S. Wade, Apothecary, now the Savings Bank. 

J. Day, Music, now Forbes' store. 

D. H. Kellogg, Boots and shoes. 

A. S. Fiske, Boots and shoes. 

In 1858 M. W. White of Hartford leased the store which had 
been occupied by N. P. Eaton and continued in the dry goods 
business where is now the Savings Bank. 

I find the name of Oren Wiley. He bought out Robert Wiley's tin 
store. Mr. Day sold out to Charles E. Graves who kept jewelry 
and music. 

These were some of the leading citizens of a former generation 
who were carrying the responsibilities of life here half a century 

In 1858 the hotel was leased to H. B. Stevens and under the 
management of the family which continued several years, the house 
gained a very high reputation among the traveling community. 

Mr. Henry Clapp made additions and improvements to the hotel 
and it always continued to be the leading hotel in this vicinity. 

When the addition was put on by Field and Davis, they left an 
arch way to the stable, taking the place where the express ofifice 
now is. This Mr. Clapp converted into an office and D. N. Carpen- 
ter kept the post office there. The driveway to the stable was made 
from Federal Street. He built the balcony with colonial pillars 
on the Federal Street side of the building. Formerly there was a 
bay window on the second floor, and an arched entrance from 
the sidewalk on Federal Street to the basement. There was also a 
balcony across the front of the building on Main Street. 

Mr. Clapp purchased the Ripley House adjacent to the property 
and previously mentioned. 

The Partenheimers and Schulers had occupied the buildings east 
of the Mansion House and Judge Leavitt's residence stood east 
of this — the Hovey place — now our Public Library. 

In 1857 Mr. Clapp erected the stone monument at the corner of 
the sidewalk at the Mansion House. It is 16 feet long, 2 feet 
square at the base and 18 inches at the top, and is one of the land 
marks of the town. I have been told that an attempt was made to 
drill a hole lengthwise of this pillar for the purpose of inserting a 


gas pipe, but the drill broke off inside the stone so the project 

was abandoned. 

Mr Clapp was for a time president of the Gas Company. 

He fitted up a room in the Mansion House for a library and Miss 
Harriet B. Stone was librarian. The library remained in that room 
for twelve years until 1867 when by vote of the town it was re- 
moved to the south side of Armory Hall in the town building. 
Away back in Calvin Munn's time I find references to meetings of 
proprietors of the library at Munn's Hotel. Now our public library 
adjoins the Mansion House grounds on the east in a building of its 


The room over D.H.Kellogg's shoe store in Mansion House block 

was very neatly and comfortably fitted up for the Young Men's 
Christian Association and opened in 1858. James S. Grinnell's law 
office and Dr. Joseph Beals dental office were also on the second 
floor. Other tenants in 1860 were Frank Park, billiard saloon, 
and Charles Keith, restaurant. 

Much might be said of Mr. Clapp and his public spiritedness. 
He was a particular benefactor of this town by his planting of so 
many shade trees on Franklin and other streets. 

Mr. William Coleman also has the credit and thanks of the 
community for many beautiful elms which he planted long ago and 
which bear witness of his taste and public spirit. 

July 17, 1856, Henry W. Clapp, for himself and his heirs and 
assigns, bought the right from Fanny H. Moody to build a brick 
drain through her garden to the land of Mary Leavitt, and July 
26, 1866 a deed was recorded giving Henry W. Clapp, his heirs and 
assigns, the right to use and maintain the tile drain through the 
property of H. E. Kenran on Federal Street. 

After Mr. Clapp's death the Mansion House and the Ripley 
House properties were sold to Mr. George Doolittle in 1869. 

We must now think of Greenfield as a town of nearly 3,500 in- 
habitants. It was a beautiful town with its well shaded streets. 
It had been fortunate in its citizens and families and was almost 
an ideal town. The hotel business had prospered and was increas- 
ing and there seemed a demand for more stores and a further in- 
crease of the hotel business. 

Mr. Doolittle added to the extension easterly where the old 
Ripley house had formerly stood, that four-story extension, includ- 
ing the stores now occupied by F. R. Browning, Victor Cote and 
the Cutler Grocery, the present east portion of the block. This 


part had a Mansard roof. The fourth floor contained rooms for the 
Republican Lodge of Masons. The first meeting of Republican 
Lodge of Masons was held in the hall of the old Munn Tavern 
January 28, 1795. The charter was signed by Paul Revere, then 
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. In those days the meetings 
were opened at 6 o'clock and closed at 9 o'clock, the by-laws not 
permitting the brethren to tarry longer. The place of meeting was 
moved to a building on Federal Street. In 1858 Mr. Clapp finished 
off a hall for the lodge in the Mansion House which was occupied 
by them until the reconstruction of the house in 1873 by Mr. 
Doolittle when the new hall, with better accommodations, was 
provided, as I have mentioned. This old hall was converted into 
guest rooms for the hotel and recently when the old paper was 
being torn ofT in preparation for repapering the room, some of the 
old fresco work on the walls was brought to light. Some of the 
Masonic emblems were in evidence. The new hall was well lighted 
and beautifully decorated. There was also a banquet room, regalia 
room, kitchen and various lockers. These rooms were occupied 
by the Lodge until they outgrew them and about 1897 erected a 
building of their own — the Masonic building across Main Street. 

Unfortunately Mr. Doolittle invested far beyond his means and 
the property was closed out under foreclosure by the Franklin 
Savings Institution January, 1877, and bid in by Mr. Peleg Adams. 

Mr. Peleg Adams was born m Northbridge, Worcester County, 
Massachusetts, December 29, 1799. He was a son of Andrew and 
Betsy (Chapin) Adams, both of whom descended from old Colonial 
stock and the father of each having Revolutionary War records. 

Peleg Adam's maternal grandmother was Deborah (Holbrook) 
Torrey Chapin; she was also the great, great grandmother of 
President William H. Taft. Both Peleg Adams and his illustrious 
relative, the President of the United States, were also direct 
descendants of the Puritan, Deacon Samuel Chapin, whose statue 
adorns the library grounds at Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Andrew Adams and family removed to Greenfield in 1803, and 
purchased a farm in the eastern part of the town which farm has 
been in possession of the family ever since. Andrew Adams, the 
father of Peleg, was identified in many ways with the early 
history of Greenfield. He enjoyed the distinction of being the 
foreman of the first traverse jury in the first session of the Court 
held in Franklin County after its incorporation in 1811. This was 
the court of old Common Pleas. 


Peleg Adams was a man of sterling character and kindly im- 
pulses He was conservative and yet had the wisest judgment 
and sound practical knowledge of business affairs. He was honest 
and fair in all his dealings and also of great influence m town afifairs. 
He served as selectman and assessor several terms and also held 
other town offices. He was one of the most prominent farmers 
and drovers in this section. 

Mr. Adams expended much money in additions and improve- 
ments to the hotel, making it one of the finest in New England- 
something far beyond the usual country hotel— an estabhsment 
that overshadowed many metropolitan hotels of far greater pre- 
tentions and wide repute. 

I have spoken of the gable roof of the three-story old part of 
the hotel, built by Mr. Newton and the Mansard roof of the east 
portion built by Mr. Doolittle. Mr. Adams raised the old portion 
increasing the height of the rooms on the second and third floors 
and added a fourth story with Mansard roof to correspond to the 
new part, greatly improving both the exterior and interior attrac- 
tiveness of the structure. By this arrangement the windows on 
each story were uniform in height. Prior to this those in the old 
part had been lower, for the old rooms were not as high studded 
as those in the new part. 

The thick brick walls which had served as the exterior walls on 
the east end of the building before the extensions were made by 
Mr. Davis and Mr. Doolittle, now serve as fire walls inside the 
building, dividing the main building into three parts. Heavy 
metal covered doors in these walls can be closed in the corridors 
thus entirely separating each of these portions of the buildmg 
from the others in case of fire, making it practically fire proof. 

Mr. Adams built the three-story brick ell on Federal Street, 
82 X 38 feet with two-story ell in the rear 60 x 28 feet. The second 
story of this ell contains a dining room 70 x 38 feet. There are no 
obstructing pillars to support the 14 foot ceiling, a feature giving 
the spacious room unusual beauty and advantages. The third 
floor of the ell contains guest chambers. 
There are about 100 rooms in the house. 

"Uncle Peleg" as he was known to his hosts of friends, also 
installed in the house one of the first passenger elevators in this 
vicinity. It was an Otis hydraulic elevator. Electric bells 
substituted the old fashioned pull bells. He built a vault for each 
of the banks, Greenfield Savings Bank and Packard National Bank. 


He took especial pride in making the building first class and 
adding every convenience and improvement that could be wisely 
suggested. The equipment which was of the best, displayed rare 
fore-sight and good judgment. 

He built the substantial brick barn about 100 feet long. 

The old ell which had been superseded by the new structure was- 
utilized for other purposes. One section was moved to the rear 
of the hotel yard and is now the "Cottage" occupied by some of 
the hotel employees. Two other sections were moved to Federal 
and Maple streets and converted into dwelling houses. 

Electric lights superseded gas for lighting the rooms. Prior to 
the introduction of illuminating gas in 1860 the old fashioned 
methods of lighting were used and I fancy it was the dim light of a 
tallow dip by which some hasty toilets were made in days gone by 
when travelers were aroused from their slumbers to make ready for 
the stage leaving the old village at 3 A. M. for Boston or Albany, 
or to go via the Phoenix line Vvhich left at 2 A. M. 

The improved method of heating was by steam, the wood and 
coal stoves being discarded. Some of the old fashioned fire places 
have been bricked up and a few have been converted into modern 
grates, giving a cherry homelike appearance to the rooms. 

Many of the rooms are unusually large, a feature not found in 
many modern hotels. 

In 1877 Mr. Adams leased the hotel to Mr. G. T. C. Holden of 
Hudson, Massachusetts, a man who had had wide experience in the 
hotel business. He conducted the hotel very successfully and again 
the house was fortunate in having such a man for hotel proprietor. 
Mrs. Holden was a woman of pleasing personality and made many 
friends during their eight years' stay in Greenfield. 

In 1885 Mr. Barry succeeded Mr. Holden and conducted the 
hotel for a few months and then it was leased to Thompson and 
Schoff. Mr. Thompson soon sold his interest to Alfred Schoflf. 
The house sustained the good reputation gained for it many years 
since and the citizens of the town were proud to hear it well spoken 
of by the traveling public. 

To reminisce a little : Peleg Adams was 77 years old when in 1877 
he purchased the Mansion House. He drew up a deed of the 
property (to be recorded after his death) giving it in equal shares to 
his son, John A. Adams, and his son's wife, Charlotte E. Adams. 
This deed was never recorded, for December 3, 1880, John Adams 
was stricken with paralysis and died a few hours later. 


The death of his only son was a great shock to the father, Peleg 
Adams, but he bore the affliction with the same fortitude which had 
characterized the lifetime of the man. Death had been a frequent 
visitor to his household, claiming two wives and four daughters, 
two of the daughters just entering womanhood and the other two 

^""Another deed was drawn up in three names, his son's widow and 
their two daughters, his only grandchildren. 

I have stated the consideration mentionel in some of the early 
deeds The consideration in this was of "love and affection which 
I bear my daughter-in-law, Charlotte E. Adams, and my grand- 
children Ruth C. Adams and Elizabeth L. Adams, the widow and 
children' of my late son, John A. Adams." It was somethmg more 
than an inheritance. 

Grandpa Adams died September, 1887. 

Memories cluster around the dear old Mansion House and the 
owners have endeavored to make the improvements which have 
been necessary to keep up the high standard of the house. Mrs. 
Adams was always interested in the welfare of the house. Mrs. 
Adams and her daughters continued to own the property until the 
death of the mother, April 21, 1909, when the two daughters became 
the sole owners. 

The hotel has been in the Adams family 35 years, a longer period 
than that of any other name, unless it may be in the olden days 
of Corse ownership when it was not strictly a hotel. 

Alfred Schoff continued to run the house until it was leased to 
William E. Wood in 1896. Mr. Wood was one of the best known 
hotel keepers in the East and was a natural landlord. The Man- 
sion House, famous in memory, has always been fortunate in its 
proprietors and under the management of W. E. Wood new laurels 
and new popularity were gained for both the house and for Mr. 
Wood. He was a man of many friends. 

The opening of the hotel, or housewarming, June, 1896, was a 
brilliant social event in Greenfield. The afifair was under the 
patronage of leading citizens of the town. Upwards of 1,000 in- 
vitations were sent out and the entire house was thrown open to 
the public that evening. The merry dancers took possession of 
the spacious dining room, which has been the scene of so many 
banquets and social events during its history. 

Mr. Wood was also a popular caterer. He conducted the hotel 
for a longer period than any other lessee has ever done. 


Mr. Arthur Moore was a faithful hotel clerk for the long period 
of twenty-eight years until two years ago when he left to make 
his home in California, much to the regret of his many friends, 
among the traveling public with whom he was very popular, as 
well as his friends here in Greenfield. 

Mr. W. E. Wood died September, 1910. His widow, Mrs. 
Alice G. Wood, by her intimate knowledge of her husband's 
methods of conducting the hotel business, seemed well fitted 
to continue the business and she now holds a lease of the 
house ; and with an able force of assistants she conducts the 
hotel. Mrs. Wood is especially fortunate in having the services 
of Mr. Herman L. Wood as manager. He has been an efficient 
employee at the hotel for many years and by his close association 
with the business has an intimate knoweldge of every detail 
of hotel business. 

The famous old Mansion House has always been considered the 
center for measuring distances to outlying points. Distances to 
Greenfield as stated from other towns and on country guide boards 
are measured to the Mansion House Corner. The following is 
taken from a clipping 75 years old : 

A very ornamental Guide Post has just been erected around the thrifty 
young elm at the corner of Smead's Hotel. 

A poetic friend on passing it the other day took out his pencil and scrib- 
bled the following lines addressed to the gentleman by whose agency the 
work has been done. 

To the Gazette and Mercury, 
To H. W. Clapp, Esq. 

Extempore, on passing the ornamental guide post recently erected by him 
near Smead's Hotel. 

A stranger, sir, has thought to write 

His unprovoked opinion; 
For in this land of law and light, 

The mind is no one's minion. 

While wondrous things are going on. 

Improvements far and near; 
A certain public minded one 

Is doing something here. 

That something is of such a kind 

As all good people need; 
So plain that all except the blind 

E'en as they run may read. 


And while, at once, we mark with pride 

Your village eye attractor 
The traveler shall own his guide 

A public benefactor. 

May 12, 1838. 

Names of some of the tenants in stores and offices in Mansion 
House block prior to the time it came into possession ol Mrs. Adams 
and daughters in 1889 and which I have not mentioned, are as 

follows : 

A. T. Thayer w^ho sold to W. H. Sanborn and Company. 

Simon Sellers. 

Thomas V. Hall, Cash Grocery, succeeded by 

C. T. Walcott about 1877 who, after about two years sold to 

L. L. Luey. 

Snyder had a barber shop where the Greenfield News Company 
is, and later C. M. Moody occupied the same room for a book 


S. P. Breck & Son, Dry Goods, called N. Y. Cash Store. 

Upham and Fletcher had the Restaurant sold to Mr. Barber who 
was succeeded by H. Potter. 

J. L. Lyons, Furniture warehouse. 

Silsby had Dry Goods Store. 

C. O. Haley, barber, was succeeded by Philip Partenheimer. 

Robbins sold clothing in the extreme east store. 

William Wunsch, millinery. 

Mr. Pratt, Internal Revenue office. 

Miss Phila Wrisley had millinery parlors in one of the front 
rooms on second floor and Miss Mary Hicks had dressmaking 
parlors. She was succeeded by Miss A. Gerrett. 

One of the oldest signs over the doors has been that of J. Beals, 
dentist, where it hung about sixty years. Dr. Joseph Beals came 
into the block in 1852. One of the first sets of teeth which he made 
in Greenfield was for Mrs. John Forbes, mother of our townsman, 
C. P. Forbes. The plate was of solid gold and the price $100. 
Later Dr. Beals' sons, Drs. Frank and Herbert Beals, were as- 
sociated with him and they were the best known dentists in the 
Connecticut Valley and had a reputation for the best workmanship. 
After Dr. Joseph Beals' death his son, Dr. Frank Beals, continued 
dentistry until his decease in 1897. Dr. J. E. Cornell who had been 
associated with the latter continued at the old stand until 1911. 

W. Mass. — 45 


The occupants of the corner store were Josiah Day who was in 
business in 1858. 

Charles Graves, then Noah Moody. 

The next sign over the door was Forbes and Foster, Jewelers. 

Mr. Forbes bought out his partner and the Forbes name has had 
the honor to remain there since December, 1865. 

The livery stable has always been kept by the proprietor of the 
hotel until it was rented to Mr. John Shaw when Mr. Schoff was 
conducting the hotel. He sold out to Samuel B. Payne and Son 
who conducted the business for ten years until 1906 when Mr. 
Frank H. Cheever leased the livery stable. After two years he 
sold to Mr. Roger Rourke who is one of the best known horse men 
in the vicinity. 

For thirty-six years Mr. Philip Partenheimer has been the barber 
at the hotel. Such a long term is proof that he has served the public 

Now taking the stores in order from 1889 C. P. Forbes has oc- 
cupied the first store. Greenfield Savings Bank has occupied their 
rooms continuously. 

The Packard National Bank occupied the next room until its 
failure in 1904. Since then the American Express Company have 
been quartered there. 

After the post ofifice \acated the next store in 1896 Miss M. A. 
O'Brien occupied it for millinery store until the Greenfield News 
Company came in 1911. Mr. E. A. Cowan, one of the owners, 
conducts the very prosperous business. 

Mr. L. A. Luey succeeded his father in the grocery business in 
the next store east and remained there until 1898 when he went into 
the wholesale grocery business. He sold out to H. G. Goodell & 
Co., who, the next year, sold to W. A. Brown & Co., who conducted 
the business a few months and sold to A. J. Pullen, December, 
1899. The next year F. W. Strong owned the grocery store and 
October, 1901, Clark & Barlow bought him out, and they carried 
on the grocery business until July, 1902. 

Soon the Greenfield Fruit Company opened a Fruit Store, which, 
under the management of Arrighi Brothers does a flourishing bus- 

Now we come to the name Browning over the door of the next 
store and it has been there since 1872. This is another example of 
a long and prosperous business made possible by the honest and 
upright business dealings of the founder of this clothing store, 


Anson Browning. He bought out Mr. Robbins, who had a clothing 
store in the extreme east store in the block. A few years before 
his death Mr. Browning took into partnership his son, F. R. Brown- 
ing. Ernest R. Alexander was associated with him a few years, 
but now the son, Fred R. Browning, conducts the business. 

The next store east was occupied by the Interstate Mortgage & 
Trust Company for a few years and then leased to W. E. Wood for 
a general office in connection with his hotel business and he sublet 
desk room to several people during his tenancy. When he removed 
his office to another part of the building Victor Cote took the store 
for a tailoring establishment. 

The extreme east store in the block was occupied by Lyons Bros., 
succeeded by Charles E. Lyons. 

Montague and Son had a clothing store there from 1894 to 1895. 
Will M. Burt had a meat and provision store for three years, 
then it became the Cash Grocery and Market Co., managed by Wil- 
liam F. Marsh and later by George W. Smith for several years. 

In 1904 Mr. Nahum Cutler took the store and opened it as the 
Cutler Grocery. 

The list of tenants during all these years is a long one, but it 
contains the names of many of the leading and most successful 
business men of the times and representative men of our fine old 
town of Greenfield. 

This hotel was once shadowed by stately trees which are not. 
The majestic trees that adorn these beautiful streets are the gifts of 
a generation that has passed away and we should recognize our 
large responsibility to other communities and to mankind at large 
to preserve and increase so far as possible, that heritage of beauty 
of which we are the present possessors. Oh ! the pity of it that 
any trees should have been felled. 

My grandfather mourned the loss of some of these beautiful 
elms in front of the Mansion House during the period of his ten 
years' ownership of the property from 1877. They were said to 
be killed by escaping gas. Three other young elms substituted 
these on Main Street but it will require years before they will 
attain the size of those which were sacrificed about thirty years ago. 
Four trees stood on Federal Street opposite the Mansion House, 
two elms and two horse-chestnuts, but within a few weeks these 
four trees and several others on Federal Street were felled by the 
tree warden of the town in spite of the strong protest of many of 
our leading citizens. 


In looking" over a scrap book which has recently been presented 
to this Historical Society by Rev. C. C. Carpenter of Andover, 
Massachusetts, I noticed a clipping from "Gazette and Courier," 
July, 1826, referring to a tree near this hotel, entitled: 

The Beautiful Elm near Newton's Hotel. 

This graceful elm a while shall stay, 

And proudly yield a fragrant shade 
To those, who from the sun's bright rays, 

Shall often court its genial aid. 

Awhile its sunny top shall wave 

To the bright morning's gentle breeze; 

And bear, unhurt, the evening gale 

That fierce its spreading branches seize. 

A while the traveller shall admire 

Its beauties, and its happy power, 
And 'neath its grateful shade desire 

To spend in social chat an hour. 

Though now it seems to scorn the rage 
Of furious storms; Time, in its course. 

Shall make its branches stiff with age, 

Sport for the rude wind's wintry force. 

Its form will slowlj"^ fade away, 

As shadows of the morn grow less, 
While Boreas sings its funeral lay, 

In notes of seeming plaintiveness. 

Thus man can bear misfortune's darts, 

In the bright morning of his days; 
In age, sorrow will break his heart, 

And bear him slowly to the grave. 


This shows us the reverence which the people who were on the 
stage nearly a century ago had for trees and for this we call them 

I am told there was also a beautiful elm west of the sidewalk 
on Federal Street. There was space enough for a team to drive 
between the curbing of the sidewalk and the tree. This was within 
the memory of some of our older inhabitants of the town, and 
the tree was removed not many years ago. 

Hotel keepers of today may be interested to know the hotel rates 
in old Revolutionary days. These prices were fixed by a committee 
in 1776: 


Dinners at taverns of boiled meat or equivalent, 8d ; 

Suppers or breakfasts of tea, cofifee or chocolate, 8d ; 

Lodgings (soldiers sleeping on the floor not to be considered 

such), 4d. 

Flip or toddy made with N. E. Rum, 9d a mug. 

Willard's History of Greenfield is authority for these prices. 

This history has been of great assistance to me in preparing this 

paper. , . 

A special help and resource has been Thompson s History ot 

Greenfield— that very valuable work. 

Bound volumes of newspapers "Franklin Democrat" which were 
presented to the Greenfield Public Library by Miss Jame Lamb 
contained interesting data as have also the old "Gazette and Cou- 
riers" and "Greenfield Recorders." Also old deeds at the Registry 

of Deeds. 

I have availed myself of the privilege of looking over old books 
and papers which have been presented to this Historical Society 
and have found the scrap books from Rev. C. C. Carpenter especi- 
ally helpful and I wish to thank all who have been of assistance. 

In one of these scrap books I found an interesting article by 
Daniel Foster describing a series of six cotillion parties which were 
held at Smead's Tavern in 1836. Expenses per night for use of hall 
and side rooms $3. This was the hall which extended across the 
entire Federal Street end of the hotel. Music $2, prompting $1 
and other prices accordingly. "Uncle" Tom Rockward, so-called, 
"worked" the violin and Liberty Lamb was prompter. 

This famous Mansion House has sheltered many noted guests, 
but this paper is already so long that I will mention only one of 
the most noted foreign personages. 

Wu Ting Fang, minister of the Chinese Empire, one of the most 
interesting diplomatic representatives of the Oriental nations, was 
here in 1890. He wrote his autograph for Mr. Arthur Moore, the 
hotel clerk who has a collection ranging from Gladstone to later 
day celebrities. 

If the old walls of the house could speak what interesting stories 
they might tell of bygone days. Amid the cheerful warmth of the 
hotel office how much of long forgotten politics has been discussed. 
Every presidential election has been speculated upon. George 
Washington was chosen President and John Adams, Vice-President, 
during Caleb Alvord's time and so on down the line. Political 
banners have floated across Main Street to Allen's block and when 



on gala days and the National holiday we see the stars and stripes 
floating from the building, do we stop to realize that the very men 
themselves who ran this hotel risked their lives in battles and 
helped to win our independence? 

From this corner the Minute Men could be seen marching off 
towards Lexington. We all know the story. 
Days of peace followed. 

The Mansion House corner has looked out upon all sorts of 
scenes — processions festive and gay and those mournful and sad. 
And all sorts of gatherings and parades. The old fashioned musters 
and cavalry drills were interesting and exciting. 

Then came more stirring times — the days of 1860, followed by real 
war. One of the most impressive scenes ever witnessed from this 
corner was when the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment was lined up 
Main Street ready to march off to the Civil War and a multitude of 
citizens had gathered to bid their soldier friends good-bye. The 
venerable Rev. Amariah Chandler, with head uncovered and his 
white locks waving in the breeze, stood up in an express wagon 
on Federal Street, facing Main, and offered prayer. 

Greenfield did her share during the Civil War. The ladies of the 
village met frequently at the Mansion House to sew for the soldiers. 
Some of the boys came back and were banqueted at the Mansion 

From this corner we look across the street to the soldiers' monu- 
ment on the common. That tells a part of the story. 

Truly the Mansion House may be proud to look back to the 
"honor and glory of a noble ancestry." 



Deerfield is the mother town, and by far the oldest town within 
the county, and about as old as any portion of Massachusetts. Two 
and one-half centuries it lay upon the west bank of ''ye Great River 
Quinneticot," its shore line being about twenty miles long. Its 
south line was the northern boundary of the Quonquot purchase 
by Hatfield, running seven miles westward. The north and west 
bounds were each thirteen miles long. At first this territory 
comprised about one hundred and thirty square miles, but it has 
been reduced from time to time, by the cutting off of various towns 
including Greenfield, Gill, Conway, Shelburne and a part of Whately 
until it now only contains thirty-six square miles. Its present 
bounds are Greenfield on the north ; Whately and Conway on the 
south ; Montague and Sunderland on the east ; Shelburne and Con- 
way on the west. Of its natural features it may be said that along 
the bank of the Connecticut lies a fertile meadow, one hundred 
rods in width nearly the entire length of the town ; from this to the 
west, rises a range of hills from one to two miles in width, running 
from' Sugar- Loaf on the south to the Greenfield line, rising about 
half way to a height of several hundred feet. From the foot of 
this range a plain or valley spreads westward, from one to two 
miles in width. Here the "Dedham Grant," was laid out, and here 
are located the famous "Deerfield Meadows," and the "Old Street." 
These meadows are composed of a rich alluvial deposit of a rather 
modern geological formation. Among the numerous smaller 
streams should be named Bloody Brook, Bijah's, Roaring, Parsons, 
Taylors, Carter's Land, Sheldon's, Field's, Hoyt's Mill, and Turkey- 
Bin. The ponds include Broughton's, Beaman's, Pine Hill, Round, 
and Old River Pond. 

Pioneer Settlement — The Dedham Grant figures in this settle- 
ment. The converting of the Indians in this section by that fear- 
less and noble apostle Eliot, who was engaged to teach the Bible, 
but soon found little could be accomplished without the aid of true 
civilization. Hence it was that he asked certain grants of land 
on which he might collect the savages and form a community and 
keep them together. So it was that in 1651 the General Court 


authorized him to lay out a tract of two thousand acres at Natick 
and there he founded a settlement of Indians. It is thought this 
tract fell within the bounds of Dedham, and a long controversy 
followed in regard to the compensation for that town. At length 
in June, 1663, the General Court ordered that "for a final issue of 
the case between Dedham and Natick, the Court judgeth meete 
to grant Dedham eight thousand acres of land in any convenient 
place or places, not exceeding two, where it can be found free from 
grants, provided Dedham accept this offer." The terms being 
satisfactory to Dedham, the General Court, in October, 1663, ap- 
pointed Ens. John Everard and Jonathan Danforth a committee 
to lay out the grant. In November, 1664, a suitable place had 
been obtained by the committee, the same being "about twelve or 
fourteen miles above Hadly." In March, 1664, it was finally agreed 
that Lieutenant Joshua Fisher, Edward Richards, Anthony Fisher, 
Jr., and Timothy Dwite should lay out the grant, and should depart 
on that mission "the day after election." This committee came 
to Pocumtuck, located and surveyed the lands, returning a detailed 
plan, giving courses, and distances, to the Court in May, 1665. 

Having now the grant, it devolved upon the whites to purchase 
the lands from the Indians, so June 4, 1666, two men were ap- 
pointed to employ "the Worshipful Pynchon to buy the Indians' 
title in 8,000 acres." 

The 8,000 acre grant was made to the "Proprietors of Dedham," 
and their individual rights in the grant was the same as that by 
which they held shares in the common land in Dedham. This 
latter was held in 523 shares, called "Cow-commons," and the same 
rule applied to the newly acquired territory. May 23, 1670, the 
proprietors met and drew lots for the location of their respective 
rights. As it finally stood the owners were reduced to but thirty- 
one holding from three to sixty cow-commons each. Then soon 
followed the laying out of highways and the selection of land for 
a church or meeting-house, then ever uppermost in the minds of 
those early-time settlers. 

Descriptive of the first settlers a former writer has well said: 

"This hardy yeomanry, some of them born in England and well 
on in years, all seeking a permanent home for wife and children in 
the New World, appear to have lived here in quiet contentment. 
Peace and plenty smiled upon them. The rich alluvial meadow 
was easy of cultivation. The virgin soil yielded abundant harvests 
of wheat, peas, rye, Indian corn, beans and flax. The men became 


skilled in woodcraft, and the forests afforded an abundance of 
game, while the waters teemed with fish. Highways were built, 
the common field enclosed with a substantial fence to protect their 
crops from their flocks and herds, which roamed in the surrounding 
woods. A minister of their own choice was going out and in 
before them, and the young colony seemed firmly established on 
an enduring foundation of prosperity. The dark cloud looming in 
the distance was unobserved or unnoticed. The settlers had lived 
on the most friendly terms with the few Indians with whom they 
came in contact, and had no doubt of their fidelity. The news of 
the outbreak in far-ofif Plymouth brought no fears to them. None 
dreamed of the devastation and war which was so soon to be sent 
upon their homes. 

Among the families of note in those early days there were the 
Carters, Aliens, Barnards, Barsham, Bartholomew, Daniels, Fields, 
Sampson, Gillett, Harrenton, Roberts, Hinsdale, Plympton, Sutliefif, 
Smead, Weld, W^eller, and Rev. Samuel Mather. A biographical 
record of these families alone would fill a large, interesting volume. 
The above were all here prior to King Philip's War. 

Later and permanent settlers were inclusive of these : William 
Arms, John and Edward Allen, John Catlin, Thomas and John 
French, Daniel Belding, Joseph Barnard, Hannah Beanian, John 
Hawks, David Hoyt, Godfrey Nims, John Severance, John Sheldon, 
the Stebbins families, Jonathan Wells, and others whose descen- 
dants are still numerous in New England. 

King Philip's War — The Indians hereabouts were friendly and 
known as the Pocumtucks and were the tribe which Missionary 
Eliot had much faith in. For this reason, the news of the outbreak 
at Swansea caused no alarm here. This home, friendly tribe was 
scattered over the valley as far as the Connecticut line, on 
the best of terms with the whites. Their intercourse was intim-te 
and kindly, although they never mingled as equals or had sym- 
pathies in common. The inferior race was fully aware of this fact, 
but realized that contact with the whites had been a great advantage 
to them. The iron age had taken the place of the stone age with 
these Indians. The whites had supplied them with guns and 
powder by which game might the easier be obtained. Also these 
"friendly" Indians looked to the English to protect them from the 
bloodthirsty Mohawk Indians of the West. On the other hand, 
the dishonest Indian traders among white men had sold the In- 


dians whisky, and cheated them while under the influence of it. 
The white man's stock had trampled the Indian's crop and they had 
been all too slow in paying for damages. These things, of course, 
rankled in their breasts, and came uppermost when artful emis- 
saries of Philip appeared with presents of goods pillaged from the 
English, exciting their natural love of revenge and their cupidity. 
It is not surprising that these children of the forest wilderness 
joined that wily chieftain to gratify these feelings. 

Hon. George Sheldon's historical account of Deerfield has the 
following on Philip's War : On the appearance of Philip in the 
Nipmuck country, the burning of Brookfield, August 2, 1675, the 
alarm became general in the Connecticut Valley but no suspicion 
was felt of the fidelity of the river Indians, and they were even 
employed as soldiers against the hostile Nipmucks. Here, how- 
ever, their treachery was exposed by the Mohicans in the same 
service, and became so apparent that an attempt was made to 
disarm a motley collection gathered in a fort at Nonotuck. These, 
taking the alarm, fled northward, pursued by Captains Beers and 
Lothrop, with one hundred soldiers. Still intending a parley with 
the fugitives, the troops marched with little or no precaution, 
and when they had reached a point about eighty rods south of 
Wequamps were suddenly fired upon by the savages from an 
ambush in the swamp on their right. The English covering them- 
selves with trees, Indian fashion, fought for three hours, when 
the enemy retreated. Seven whites were killed — one shot in the 
back by his fellows — and two mortally wounded. The Indians 
reported a lose of twenty-six. This was August, 1675, and was 
the first conflict between the English and Indians in the Connec- 
ticut Valley. (For the other engagements of this conflict, see 
chapter on King Philip's War, page 35 et seq.) 

Town Organization — December 17, 1686, a town organization 
was effected by the choice of William Smead, Joshua Pumry, John 
Sheldon, Benoni Stebbins, Benjamin Hastings, and Thomas French. 
These served as first Selectmen. In June of the last named year 
John Williams was invited to become their minister. After twenty- 
eight months trial as a preacher Rev. Williams was ordained and 
settled as permanent pastor. The church was really organized 
October 17, 1688. For a time the community was free from Indian 
raids, although Schenectady was burned by the enemy in February, 
1690. This aroused the people here and within ten days a fortifica- 


tion was made around the meeting-house hill by a stockade. To 
do this over two hundred rods of three to four feet trench had to 
be dug in the frozen ground. Also four to five thousand sticks 
or stockade timbers had to be cut and set. 

Queen Anne's War — The most memorable event in the history 
of this town was the attack by French and Indians in February, 
17C3-04. The Abenakis of .Maine had complained to the French 
Governor of English aggression and asked speedy redress. At 
once De Vaudreuil organized an expedition of two hundred men to 
the valley. When the place was taken it was given over to the 
Indians for fire and slaughter. The palisades at this time inclosed 
fifteen acres on Meeting-House Hill, the north line being the brick 
meeting-house. The population was about 250, with fifteen gar- 
risoned soldiers quartered among the families. The snow lay fully 
three feet deep, was drifted against the stockade and was badly 
crusted. Hertel de Rouville, commander of the French forces, 
arrived at Petty's Plain at night of February 28, where his men 
deposited their packs and made ready for the attack. An hour 
before day the next morning the entire army stole silently across 
the meadows, and on the drifted snow over the stockades, and 
scattered among the houses. When they were discovered by 
the watch he discharged his musket and cried "Arm, Arm !" This 
was the signal for the assault. Doors and windows were broken 
down, men, women and children dragged from their beds, murdered 
in cold blood, or bound as captives. The main body of the French 
stood to their arms, firing upon the houses and killing all whd 
resisted, shooting the cattle and sheep, while detached parties 
were securing provisions, drink and clothing. After over-running 
the fort, the picketed house of Captain Wells, who lived on the 
Fogg lot, was fiercely assaulted, but successfully defended. The 
house of Ens. John Sheldon, more strongly built than others, resis- 
ted the first attack. With their hatchets the enemy soon cut holes 
through the walls and the front door. Firing at random through 
this, Mrs. Sheldon was killed. Entrance was finally made at the 
back door, left open by a lad in his fright. In this house the cap- 
tives were collected. It was here that the wife of John Catlin' 
performed an act of Christian charity which secured her release. 
A French officer, severely wounded, was brought in and laid upon 
the floor in their midst; in great distress, he called for water. 
Mrs. Catlin tenderly supplied his wants. When remonstrated with 


by her friends, she repeated: "If thine enemy hunger feed him; if 
he thirst give him water to drink." This house which stood until 
1848, was known far and near as the "Old Indian House." 

With the last named fight and that which soon followed, there 
were three Frenchman and thirty savages killed ; de Rouville 
retreated the first night, by the Indian path, to the upper part of 
Greenfield Meadows. The next morning Mrs. Williams was mur- 
dered near the foot of Leyden Glen. Fifty-two of the dead were 
buried in one common grave, March 2d, while Mrs. Williams was 
buried elsewhere. The captives numbered 112; two escaped the 
same day; eight were murdeied before leaving the valley and 
twelve more perished before Canada was reached. 

Other French and Indian wars followed, but other historical 
works have fully covered the horrors of such conflicts. 

Division of the Town — In 1743 the inhabitants of Green River 
began to move for a division of the town, "that they may be set 
off into a separate municipality, by the name of Cheapside," and 
in November asked by petition to the town that the dividing line 
be Deerfield River, from its mouth to Sheldon's Brook ; thence up 
that brook west to the seven mile line. The town refused. After 
the peace of 1748 the question again came up. The old town was 
willing to divide, the boundary to be the north line of the old 
Dedham 8,000-acre grant. Greenfield insisted on the river and 
brook as before. This matter was finally, in 1753, left to a com- 
mittee of three from towns below, who reported April 10, that 
the south boundary should be the 8,000-acre line, the west to include 
one tier of lots beyond the seven mile line. More trouble grew out 
of the disposition of the sequestered lands in Cheapside, with 
contests at home, in the legislature, and civil courts, which were 
not settled until 1772. Greenfield, still coveting Cheapside, has 
made severe legislative struggles for its annexation, but the mother 
town has always successfully defended the integrity of the ancient 
boundary, until recent years when the present boundaries were 
established. Cheapfield, formerly a part of Deerfield, was annexed 
to Greenfield according to the records thus : "On the 2d of May, 
1896, that portion of Deerfield that was known as Cheapside, became 
a part of Greenfield and the contentions made by our fathers one 
hundred and fifty years before, that no other disposition of this 
territory could be rightly made, was fully justified. Deerfield had 
made a strenuous fight, sometimes on lines which might be con- 


sidered a little dubious in fairness but the old precept had one more 
illustration that 'nothing is fully settled until justly settled'." 

In 1759 a controversy arose with Hatfield about the boundary 
between the towns, which was unsettled and caused much trouble 
until 1766, when it was fixed to start from the place where the 
Focumtuck path crossed the Weekioannuck brook and run west- 
ward parallel to the south line of Hatfield. 

It was not until the conquest of Canada that men began to locate 
in "Deerfield Southwest," but the district filled up very rapidly 
then and in 1767 Conway was set off as a town. "Deerfield North- 
west" was inhabited before the last French war, but no permanent 
settlement was made until 1762. A thriving colony soon grew 
up on her foothills, and Shelburne became independent of the 
mother town in 1769. Gill, set off from Greenfield in 1793 was 
the youngest daughter of old Focumtuck. 

Early Churches And Those of Today — The first preaching at 
Focumtuck was by Rev. Samuel Mather, in 1673. He graduated at 
Harvard in 1671. Next to him came, as a permanent minister, 
Rev. John Williams in 1686. His salary was first sixty pounds 
but later made eighty pounds. He was one of nature's true noble- 
men. He passed from earth June 12, 1729. 

In October, 1838, the First Congregational Society organized a 
new body under the title of the "Orthodox Society." A church 
of the seceders had been formed in June, 1835. In 1838 a meeting- 
house was built on Memorial Lane. 

Previous to Fhilip's War the people worshiped in the garrisoned 
houses, and made no attempt, so far as we know, to build a meeting- 
house. The first erected was in 1684; doubtless a log building, 
daubed with clay and the roof thatched. In 1694 the town voted 
to build a new meeting-house on Meeting-House Hill. The arch- 
itectural style of the old-time churches was indeed a curiosity, as 
viewed by modern ideas. 

The Second Orthodox Congregational Church was organized 
at Bloody Brook in June, 1818. At one time President Timothy 
Dwight preached here, who at a later date was well known as con- 
nected with Yale College. 

What was styled the Monument Church was organized as an 
offshoot of the old Second Church ; it was built in 1849-50. 

The Methodist Episcopal church was formed in 1843. The Bap- 
tist church of Shelburne and Deerfield was organized in 1787. The 


Roman Catholic Church at South Deerfield was organized in 1871. 

Schools and Academy — The first school noticed in the history 
of this town was the one being kept by Mrs. Hannah Beaman on 
her own homelot in 1694. In her will dated 1723, Mrs. Beaman left 
her lands to the town for a school fund. In 1698 a school house 
was erected seven feet high, by ground size of 21 by 18 feet. Each 
head of a family was to pay for the support of schools, whether 
their children attended or not. In 1700, the first school com- 
mittee was John Catlin, John Hawks, and John Stebbins. In 1717 
the school house was sold to Joseph Alexander for five pounds 
Sterling. In 1722 a master was engaged to teach reading, writing, 
and ciphering. In 1737 a school house was built and in 1732 a 
school-dame was employed for Green River, and a schoolmaster in 
1740. In 1748 Betty Childs was employed as a teacher. In 1749 
an evening school was being taught and in 1750 school was taught 
the year round. In 1760, a schoolhouse was built south of Meeting- 
House Hill — Seth Phelps teacher. Another schoolhouse was built 
at Bloody Brook. Before the close of the Revolution the principal 
teachers were David Dickinson, Daniel Cooley, Samuel Barnard, 
Daniel Fish, Elihu Ashley. Gradually houses for school districts 
were supplied all over the town. In 1787 fifteen citizens of the 
town, feeling the need of instruction of a higher grade, organized 
a company, and built a school-house on the spot where later Philo 
Munn's shop stood. Each share represented two scholarships, 
the school could not exceed thirty scholars. Freegrace Reynolds, 
a graduate of Yale, was employed as teacher. 

Deerfield Academy — An act establishing this institution was 
approved by Governor Adams, March 21, 1797. The same year 
$2,700 was raised by suscription, in sums from $20 to $100 for the 
building fund. The building was erected 28 by 60 feet, of brick, 
two stories— in 1798, and dedicated January 1, 1799. This academy 
at once took rank among the best in the land. The attendance the 
first year was 292, from forty-one different towns. In 1859 this 
academy was merged into the high school. In 1878 its funds were 
transferred to the trustees of Deerfield Academy and Dickinson 
High School, to be used in connection with the bequest of Mrs. 
Esther Dickinson. In 1924 an adjustment of these funds was made 
between Deerfield as a town and the academy. A high school was 
established at South Deerfield in 1860. 

At no time within more than a century and a half has there been 


a period when the youth of this town could not obtain a good educa- 
tion here Good schools and excellent instructors have always 
been the rule, and the expense has been cheerfully paid by the tax- 
payers The public libraries have been of great help and have 
included these: Before 1800 there was what was termed an agri- 
cultural library and another devoted to military science Soon 
after came a Union Library, which appears to have absorbed all 
others After a time this was dissolved and one was founded 
known as a "Social Library," containing 4,000 volumes in 1830. 
After 1840 the Deerfield Reading Association with 2,000 books was 
formed In the eighties was established the Town Library, 
through the bequests of Mrs. Dickinson and still continues to be 
used and added to annually. Fifty-five years ago the old Acad- 
emy building was purchased by the Pocumtuck Memorial Associa- 
tion and it was turned into a museum for old-time relics. 

What is known as the Deerfield Pocumtuck Valley Memorial 
Association was chartered by the Legislature in May, 1870, for the 
purpose as herein stated: "Collect and preserve such memorials, 
books, records, papers, curiosities, as may tend to illustrate and 
perpetuate the history of the early settlers of this region and of 
the race which vanished before them, and the erection of a memorial 
hall in which such collections can be securely deposited." 

The first officers of this association were : George Sheldon, pres- 
ident; Josiah D. Canning of Gill, James M. Crafts of Whately, 
vice-presidents; Nathaniel Hitchcock, recording secretary; Rev. 
Robert Crawford, of Deerfield, corresponding secretary ; Nathaniel 
Hitchcock, treasurer. In 1878 the old Deerfield Academy, a three- 
story brick building, erected about 1798 came into the hands of the 
association. In 1880 the association commenced to make collec- 
tions of memorials which increased year by year until it has in 
this country no rival in its chosen field. The first catalog was 
printed in 1886. The collection includes rare and original deeds, 
manuscript titles, and interesting, valuable historical documents, 
etc. The Indian graves in the surrounding section have been 
drawn upon for many Indian relics such as tools, utensils, ensigns, 
ornaments, arrow-points, axes, spears, knives, tomahawk heads, 
hammers, drills, gouges, bark peelers, rubbing stones, fleshers, 
skin dressers, hoes, corn mills, pestles, spinning bobs, ear orna- 
ments, totems, pipes, bits of clay pottery and the "Old Indian 
House" door which is a great attraction to visitors. The Indian 
Room in this museum has thousands of articles connected with 


Indian history. Perhaps the strongest magnet in this room is the 
"Indian House Door." It is thought that at no point in New Eng- 
land is there a single relic that compares with this old battered door. 
There is nothing that so connects us with the real horrors of In- 
dian warfare. The cuts made in this door by the savage Indians 
when the attack was made on the night of February 29, 1704, when 
this town was assaulted by 350 French and Indians under Hertel 
de Rouville, of French nobility, are still impressive. 

The kitchen is another interesting department in this building, 
for here one sees all manner of pioneer utensils for domestic use; 
the many-shaped frying-pans, back-log, forestick ; spider, skillet, 
spice-mill, pewter spoons, steel forks, lanterns, dash churns, tinder 
boxes, foot-stove. 

Memorial Room is full of interesting tablets and portraits ; also 
the more modern portraits of Vice-president Levi P. Morton, and 
Marshall Field. 

Domestic Production Room is another place well worth a visit. 
Here one finds a large case of rare and ancient canes all with 
their history noted by cards attached thereto. Hats, knee breech- 
es, wedding gowns, queer old bandboxes and unique floor rugs. 

In another place on the second floor will be seen the old Acad- 
emy Bell which so many years called together the pupils of *'01d 
Deerfield Academy." The Needlework Room is a wonderland to 
the lady visitors to this Memorial Hall. The styles worn for the 
last two and a half centuries are here represented in attractive, 
impressive form. Other rooms are the Bed Room all fitted out as 
they had such rooms in the Colonial days. The Peabody Room, 
furnished by a descendant of John Peabody. There one sees a 
tall clock, a looking glass ; high-back chair, rugs and handsome 
bed spreads. In the "Military Room" is to be seen the old flint- 
lock muskets, canteens, cartridge boxes, knapsacks, and scores of 
priceless relics of past wars of this and other lands. 

The fireproof wing of this hall is a brick structure to the rear 
of the main building, was built a few years ago by bequests. Here 
is a Revolutionary Room filled Avith many rare objects and ample 
room remains for many more articles. The library is in the wing 
and is on the second floor. In contains 20,000 books and these 
have largely come down from libraries already named in this chap- 
ter. Another room is exclusively devoted to pictures and man- 
uscripts. There are actually thousands of pieces of manuscript 
on exhibition here. 


Industrial Interests of the Town— A former county history gives 
the following on early industries of Deerfield : 

Agriculture has alwavs been the leading industry of our population. The 
first settlers cultivated successfully wheat, Indian corn, barley, rye and oats. 
Flax was a crop essential to a livelihood, contributing largely to clothing 
and household stuff. Sheep-huslmndry was equally necessary for the same 
ends. Both continued indispensable so long as cloth-making was a home 
industry. For more than a century barley malt was an article of traffic, and 
home-brewed beer a daily beverage. Tobacco was raised as early as 1694 
and as a field crop about 1790, and it still continues to be successfully grown 
as a staple crop in Franklin county. 

Previous to the reign of tobacco and onions, beef was king for several 
generations in the valley of the Connecticut. A man of standing was largely 
estimated by the number of his fat oxen. Under this dynasty Deerfield held 
many "Lords of the Valley" and a few princes of the realm. These were well 
known to the epicures of New York and Boston. 

In the early days every man's house was a factory, and the family all oper- 
atives; the men made the plows, yokes, carts, drags, shovels, scythe snaths, 
rakes, forkes, flails, bowls, plates, household furniture, flax-brakes, corn-fans, 
and sometimes spinning wheels; the women carded, spun, wove, and made up 
their garments of linen, tow, linsey-woolsey, flannels and fulled cloth. "Arbs 
furnished tea, and the maple their sugar. The people lived off the land; the 
blacksmith made the plow share, cart-irons, chains, axes, hoes, and scythes; 
the tanner furnished the leather; and the shoemaker made shoes, slippers, 
moccasins, and horse tackling. A few articles of prime necessity, like rum, 
iron, steel, brass and pewter utensils were imported. A division of labor ob- 
tained after a while, and a century ago wc had handicraft-men in abundance 
which increased with our growth. 

Lumber at first was sawed in saw-pits, corn pounded in mortars, or taken 
on horse-back to Hatfield to mill. In 1690 mills were established here. 

Considerable business was done from 1745 to 1794 by Joseph Stebbins and 
Zadock Hawks, who owned tanneries on adjoining lots. Much of their stock 
was worked up by them into shoes and soldiers' accoutrements. The Hawks 
establishment was carried on by Zenas Hawks a generation longer. The 
Bloody Brook shop was carried on by Samuel D. Billings where he tanned 
leather until 1873. Pocket-books of every variety, almost, have been manu- 
factured for many years at South Deerfield. In 1869 Charles Arms employed 
twenty-four hands with a product of $22,000; L. I. Eaton turned out $4,000; 
North & Mishow, $1,000 and other firms in proportion. 

Before the advent of railroads, Cheapside l)eing at the head of 
"fall-boat" navigation on the Pocumtuck, was a place of consider- 
able trade. Goods were hauled by teams from here to Greenfield 
and the towns to the north and Avest. A cooper shop and an estab- 
lishment for barrelling beef and a cabinet-shop were located here 
as well as other lesser industries. 

Present Town Officers— Town clerk— Parker D. Martin; town 

W. Mass. — 46 


treasurer — John T. Manix ; selectmen — Henry A. Wells, Robert W. 
Gorey and R. J. Decker; assessors — George L. Brown, Cyrus 
Brown, Elmer E. Hubbard; tax-collector — George N. Morse; town 
accountant — Herbert L. Childs ; tree wardens — same as selectmen ; 
pound-keeper — Paul Hawks ; superintendent of schools — Andrew 
S. Thompson; school physician — W. G. Watt, M. D. 

The records show the receipts of the town for 1924 to have been 
1389,048.84. The disbursements amounted to $347,549.91. Amount 
cash on hand December 31, 1924, $40,804.52. 

The Village of South Deerfield, in 1920, had a population of 
1,271. It has five churches — Congregational, Methodist and three 
Catholic. Its industries are limited to a flouring mill, a small 
machine shop, established in 1924, and the Arms Manufacturing 
Company where leather goods including pocket-books are made. 
Usually about seventy-five persons are employed. The village 
Park has a beautiful rustic granite monument with two handsome 
bronze tablets attached, commemorative of the soldiers who 
lost their lives in the World War. 

The only fraternal lodge is the Improved Order of Red Men. 
There are three good public school buildings. 

The banking of the village and community is by the Produce Na- 
tional Bank, established March, 1906, and its present officers are : 
President — Charles F.. Clark; vice-president — James B. Bridges; 
Cashier — W. F. Gorey ; assistant cashier — L. J. Taplin. The state- 
ment issued December 4, 1924, gave the institution as having resour- 
ces and liabilities amounting to $754,592.34. The capital stock is 
$50,000; surplus fund, $50,000. At present it has deposits amount- 
ing to $560,275.47. 

The village has a warehouse and offices for the South Deerfield 
Tobacco and Onion Produce Company. 

The public library of South Deerfield is known as the Tilton 
Library. The present building is the fifth home of libraries within 
this village. This last library was secured by the funds left by C. 
B. Tilton, an old-time resident of the place. It stands on Main 
Street on the site of an old residence occupied by Mr. Tilton and 
which was burned after his death. Its cost was $15,000 aside from 
the land on which it stands. It is a handsome red brick structure 
— all modern including steam heat and electric lights. The present 
number of books in this library is about 4,800. Mrs. Ellen S. Bill- 



ings has been librarian for over twenty years. The president of 
the board of trustees is Edward A. Rice. 

Another community center in the town of Deerfield is "East 
Deerfield" where the Boston & Maine railroad company has ex- 
tensive repair shops, furnishing employment for many men who 
reside in Greenfield. One of the principal improvements here is 
the large Young Men's Christian Association building for the rail- 
way employees. 


The Town of Shelburne— This town has a taxable area of 13,832 
acres, lies on the Deerfield River and has for its boundaries Colerain 
on the north, Conway on the south, Greenfield and Deerfield on 
the east, and Conway and Buckland on the west. Its railway 
station is across the line in Buckland. As is the case with many 
of the towns within Franklin county, this is rugged and covered 
largely with mountains and rough land, with intervening valleys 
through which course many beautiful streams, among the smaller 
of which are Dragon, Shingle, and Sluice brooks, flowing into the 
Deerfield River, and Allen's and Hinsdale brooks flowing into Green 
River. On account of the fine scenery and climate this locality 
has long been noted as a summer resort. 

This town is favored with a fine farming section and the number 
of beautiful and productive farms greet the eye on every hand. 
Fine stock including Durham cattle, and the dairy business have 
long been noted in these parts of the county. 

Settlement — This territory was included in a tract granted to 
Deerfield in 1712, which extended "nine miles west to the western 
woods." What is now Shelburne was called Deerfield Northwest 
or Deerfield Pasture, for the tract was not considered worth much 
at that time. The feet of the white men were slow at invading 
this section of the county for many years. Sometimes between 
1752-56, Jonathan Catlin and James Ryder, of Deerfield, made the 
first actual settlement at Shelburne Falls. These two men and 
their families faced the dangers and privations of civilization, and 
were driven away by the Indian foe, and returned in 1856 to Deer- 
field. The land first taken by these two pioneers was, after the 
Indian troubles had ceased, taken up by Martin Severance and 
Daniel Ryder. Soon followed five families in 1760; fourteen fam- 
ilies in 1761. Of Martin Severance just mentioned above, it may 
be said that he settled in 1760, and conveyed to his new home, on a 
horse's back, himself, his family, and all his household goods. 
Severance fought through the French and Indian wars, was taken 
prisoner at Lake George, and escaped after two years' captivity. 
He died in 1810, aged ninety-two years. An interesting story is 
on record of Archibald Lawson, who served in the Indian war 


campaigns, bought fifty acres of land in "Northwest," giving fifty 
yards of domestic linen cloth, for which his wife hatcheled the flax 
and spun the yarn, and which Lawson wove, being a weaver by 
trade. When he bartered for his land with the land-agent at Deer- 
field, the latter said he would not go out to the Northwest for all 
the land there, and told Lawson to take his fifty acres where he 
found a place to suit him. Later Lawson bought enough land at 
the price of a yard of cloth for an acre of land, to make two hundred 
acres. This in later years was known as the Hardy farm. 

Revolutionary times brought many changes here. There was a 
difference of opinion regarding breaking away from the English 
government. The last district meeting under His Majesty's name 
was held February, 1776. In 1779 the district resolved to take the 
oath of allegiance to the United States of America, and declared 
that all persons refusing to take it should be prosecuted according 
to law. 

Until 1822 the people of Shelburne were obliged to go to Green- 
field for their mail, but during that year they secured a postal station 
of their own. A newspaper known as the Shelburne Falls 'Stand- 
ard" was established in 1877, by Major Fleming. June 21, 1868, 
one hundred years after the incorporation of Shelburne, the town 
celebrated its centennial anniversary. 

Organization — Early in 1768 the inhabitants of "Deerfield North- 
west" petitioned Deerfield to be set off as a separate district but 
this was rejected. But again the same season it was tried and 
succeeded and June 21, the district of Shelburne was incorporated 
and in 1786 the district became a town. The name was chosen in 
honor of William Fitzmaurice, of England, second earl of Shel- 
burne, who in return sent a bell for a church of the town, but for 
some reason the bell never reached Shelburne. The tract incor- 
porated included a section of land on the south side of the Deerfield 
River, but in 1780 this piece was set off to Conway. 

The early churches consisted of the first which was built in 1769, 
with John Taylor as first minister. A second Congregational 
church was organized at Shelburne Falls in 1850, with forty-four 
members. A Baptist church was organized in 1792, they uniting 
with the church at Greenfield. The second Baptist church was 
organized with nineteen members in 1833. The first church built 
at the Falls, was in 1836, and the second in 1852. A Unitarian 
society was formed in 1828 and existed until 1860, but never had a 
church edifice of their own. The Methodist church of Shelburne 




was organized October, 1842, with a class of twelve members. The 
place of worship was in Buckland town, across the river from the 
Falls. The Universalist church at Shelburne Falls was formed m 
1853 and in 1864 a church building was erected. Its cost was 
$12,000, inclusive of organ and furniture. In 1782 a society of 
Shakers located in Shelburne, at the Falls, and built a house of 
worship. In 1785 they moved to New Lebanon, New York. 

The churches of this town today include the Congregational, 
Baptist and Episcopal churches, while on the Buckland side of 
the Deerfield River are the William Butler Memorial Methodist 
Episcopal and the Roman Catholic denominations. 

Schools— The earliest attempt to provide schools seems to have 
been made in 1770, when it was voted to divide the place into 
four parts, and to have school in each part one month a year. Wat- 
son Freeman taught the first school in the town, beginning at about 
the date last named. In 1777 there were five school districts and 
an annual appropriation of thirty pounds Sterling. It is related 
that a tavern-keeper named Stephen Taylor, also taught school and 
was so fond of smoking that he used daily to draw whiffs from his 
strong pipe while hearing recitations. In 1793 it was proposed by 
the town that it should have an academy, and it was agreed to raise 
a fund of 200 pounds Sterling for that purpose. But the Legisla- 
ture would not aid them as it was thought they might, so the 
project was ended for the time being, but in 1833 the academy 
was incorporated as the "Franklin Academy," and it was re- 
chartered in 1847, as the "Shelburne Falls Academy." It started 
on a fund of $5,000 raised by subscription. The Arms Academy, for 
whose endowment Major Ira Arms bequeathed, upon his death, 
in 1859, a fund of $18,000, was erected in 1879. By that date the 
fund had reached $40,000, and it was proposed to build an Academy 
building with $10,000 and this was done with some changes. Mr. 
Arms was a native of Greenfield, but lived most all his life in Shel- 
burne Falls, where he donated to many worthy objects, including 
the Congregational church, the Arms Academy, the Cemetery fund 
amounting in that one object to $5,000, besides his endowment of 
$18,000 above named. 

In the school report for 1924, it is seen that the public school 
resources and expenditures that year were $42,111. The amount 
expended for teachers was $8,132; for transportation, $1,283; re- 
pairs, $993. For books and supplies used $1,984. The Arms 
Academy is now a part of the public school system of the town. 


The public library, a fine modern structure in Shelburne Falls is 
known as the "Pratt Public Library." This succeeded the old 
Arms library established in 1859. The present number of books in 
the public library is 7,897. 

The 1924 assessors' report for this town shows number of polls, 
473; horses assessed, 217; cows, 815; sheep, 290; neat cattle, other 
than cows, 505; swine, 20; value realty, $1,896,925; personal prop- 
erty, $588,829. Tax-rate, $22 per thousand dollars valuation. 

The town officers in 1924 were : Treasurer — Charles E. Ward ; 
town clerk, same as treasurer ; selectmen — David T. Barnard, An- 
drew H. March, Robert L. Hillman; assessors — D. W. Long, H. P. 
Ware, A. H. March; collector — Earl M. Gould; auditor — James 
S. Bush. 

The societies of the village of Shelburne Falls are the Free 
Mason bodies, who own their own building. Many residing here, 
however, belong to Odd Fellows and other lodges over the line 
in Buckland. Mountain Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, was 
organized in Rowe in 1806, transferred to Colerain in 1818, where in 
1840 it disappeared but was revived in 1856 at Shelburne Falls. 

Banking — There are two banks at Shelburne Falls — the National 
Bank, established in 1855 as a State bank and in 1865 changed to a 
National. The other bank is the Shelburne Falls Savings Bank, 
originally called "Five Cent Savings Bank." 

Manufacturing Plants — -The manufacturing interests in Shel- 
burne are chiefly the following: The Mayhew Steel Product Com- 
pany, makers of a full line of small tools. This company has been 
in business since 1866, and among other articles they have made 
thousands upon thousands of braces and bits, which have been sold 
all over the world. Jack knives and silk twist factories once flour- 
ished here, also a musical instrument factory and a tannery. 

The municipality of Shelburne Falls is lighted by the Greenfield 
Electric Light Company, while its water-works is a part of the 
home Fire Department organization. 

The Village Hall is known as "Memorial Hall" and was erected 
about 1897 by bond issue, which has all been paid off. The Grand 
Army of the Republic have suitable quarters in this building, which 
is a two-story brick structure. 

It is now estimated that the town of Shelburne has about 1,500 
population, while that of Buckland, across the river, has a few 
more, possibly, at this time. Shelburne Center is the only other 
village in the town. 


Town of Buckland — Originally this town embraced a part of 
Charlemont. It occupies an interior position west of the center 
of the county, and lies south and west of Deerfield River, which 
separates it from Charlemont and Shelburne. On the southeast is 
the town of Conway, south is Ashfield, and west are the towns of 
Hawley and a part of Charlemont lying south of the Deerfield 

Buckland was incorporated April 14, 1779. The area is com- 
paratively small and the surface is broken by many hills and val- 
leys. West of the center is a range of hills of great elevation ex- 
tending nearly across the town. Clesson's Brook, the principal 
stream, passes from Hawley eastward and finally empties into 
Deerfield River, through a small, fertile valley. The main settle- 
ments are along the Deerfield. The people are about equally 
divided between agriculture and manufacturing pursuits. 

Apple Valley in this town, has long been noted for its large 
production of fine apples grown and marketed annually. 

Settlement— The first settlement was effected in 1769, by Captain 
Nahum Ward, a relative of Artemas Ward, who had served in the 
French and Indian wars when yet a mere youth. About the same 
date another settlement was made by Gershom Ward on the west- 
ern part of the Ward grant ; he died in 1806. John and Daniel 
Ward were among the pioneer band, but a little later. At the 
''Centre" Samuel Taylor was among the first and was a foremost 
citizen there many years. At Pine Mills, Benjamin Ellis was a 
member of the first settlement. Beyond the hill, not far from the 
Ashfield line, settled Nathan and Aaron Lyon, about 1780. The 
last named was the father of that worthy Christian woman, Mary 
Lyon, who founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. 

Loss of Town Records — Unfortunately the early records of this 
town were burned in 1876. It is known that Samuel Taylor was 
town clerk from 1779 to 1820. The basement of the Congrega- 
tional church at the Centre, was used for town hall purposes many 
years. The old Troy and Greenfield (now Boston and Maine) rail- 
way traverses the valley of the Deerfield River and at Shelburne 
Falls has a station. 

The following are the present town ofiicers : Town clerk — Albert 
C. Bray; treasurer — Albert C. Bray; selectmen — Walter S. Stan- 
ford, Frank H. Chandler, and Gilbert E. Griswold ; tax-collector— 
Asher J. Brooks ; auditor — Roy S. Turton ; assessors — William S. 
Williams, Henry P. Wells, A. C. Bray; tree warden— Robert A. 


March. The assessors' report shows for 1924: Males assessed, 
447; assessed value of realty, |490,086; personal estates, $1,947,985; 
tax-rate per thousand dollars, $22; number cows, 488; sheep, 134. 
The school report shows resources amounting to $28,500 with 
expenditures amounting to all but $4.19 of the amount just named, 
as resources. Salaries of teachers and supervisors, $10,694. Trans- 
portation has cost the district of the township $3,047. Fuel cost 
for last school year, $1,596. 

Early Manufacturing Interests — Clesson's River in Buckland af- 
fords much water power and at an early day it was utilized for 
operating factories including these : Near the Hawley line at what 
was called "Upper City," Silas Dodge had saw mill and handle 
factories. A trip-hammer and forge were also operated. Farther 
down stream was the grist mill of Josiah Davis built in 1800. In 
1835 the same power ran a cloth dressing and fulling mill for Abel 
Parker. Saw mills, broom-handle factories, etc., were located all 
along the rapid running stream. Files and a patent brace-and-bit 
were made successfully on this stream. The native forests afforded 
abundant timber for manufacturing purposes. 

Hamlets and Villages — Formerly, in the north part of this town 
was what was known as "Mill- Yard" and there were located stores, 
mills and shops, but with time passing, industries went to other 
parts of the town. Buckland is on both sides of Clesson River, near 
the center of the town, four miles from Shelburne Falls. The 
Buckland postoffice was established at the old "Mill Yard" and 
later moved to the present village, Buckland Center. At present 
the principal interests in way of factories are the plants of the 
Goodell-Pratt Company, manufacturies of many kinds of small 
tools from steel, including braces, bits, etc. ; also the great plant 
of the Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing Company, makers of 
fine table cutlery. This business was established in 1837 and is 
a large concern. Here is made the Anchor Brand of cutlery, 
including table knives, butcher knives, carving sets, etc. The 
modern "Stain-proof" cutlery is exclusively produced at these 
works which now employ 175 men. 

The churches of the village of Shelburne Falls on both sides of 
the river, are the Roman Catholic and the William Butler Memo- 
rial church of the Methodist church, the latter erected in 1906. 
The Lodges include the Odd Fellows and Sons of St. George, etc. 

Town of Ashfield — This town is situated in the southwestern 


part of Franklin county and is bounded on the north by Hawley, 
Buckland and Conway, in the same county ; and the south by the 
towns of Goshen and Cummington, in Hampshire county, and 
Conway in Franklin county ; on the east by the town of Conway, 
Franklin county ; and on the west by the town of Plainfield, Hamp- 
shire county, and Hawley, Franklin county. Its nearest railway 
station is Shelburne Falls, nine miles distant, with South Deerfield 
twelve miles. There are numerous small streams, but none of 
great water-power. The principal stream is Bear River a branch of 
Deerfield River. Nearly all of the larger streams have afforded 
sufficient water-power to run small factories in the long ago years. 
The highest elevation in this town is Peter's Hill with an elevation 
of 1,740 feet above tide-water. Hills and valleys constitute the 
general topography of this town. As a farming section here one 
finds stock raising, poultry, and dairying, the chief sources of 
wealth to the land owner. 

Early Settlement — About 1743 the first settlement was effected 
in this part of the county. During that year a grist-mill was put 
in operation. It is believed that the first permanent settler was 
Richard Ellis, a native of Ireland; he came in between 1742 and 
1744. Tradition has it that this man in youth was sent to this 
country to a planter in Virginia, but that the sea-captain proved 
faithless and sold him in Boston, for his passage over the ocean. 

The first tree felled in the town was by this first settler, who 
had a log cabin partly under ground ; it stood on the banks of 
White Brook. 

Thomas Phillips of Easton was the next to locate here. His 
sister married young Ellis above mentioned. The third family to 
claim the township as their abiding place was Chileab Smith, of 
South Hadley. He died in Ashfield in 1800, aged ninety-two years, 
leaving eight children and fifty-six grandchildren. By 1754 the 
settlement had grown to fifteen families and about one hundred 
persons. In 1754 the French and English war broke out afresh 
and these settlers were forced to abandon their homes and remained 
away three years. The Smith mentioned above, at his own ex- 
pense erected a stockade or improvised fort in Huntstown ; it is 
said to have enclosed eighty-one square rods, and was bullet proof. 
It was made of logs and they were well put together and had but 
one gateway. After a year of private watching and working, 
when they dare go outside, they solicited and obtained from the 
authorities of the colony a squad of nine soldiers, under Sergeant 


Allen, who was under general command of Gen. Israel Williams. 
They continued with them protecting them by day and watching 
over them by night, for almost two years. Before the close of 
hostilities another fort was built, six rods square about two hun- 
dred rods south of the first one. No Indians were discovered 
about there, however, to do any mischief. 

The first highway ever laid through this town was the continu- 
ation of an early thoroughfare that passed Hatfield into Deerfield, 
and thence to Ashfield. 

A postoffice was established at South Ashfield in 1866, with 
Charles A. Ward as postmaster. From him and others it was 
learned that in 1815 a postoffice was established at Ashfield Plains, 
the mail coming from Northampton, via Whately, Conway, Ash- 
field and Buckland, to Hawley once a week. 

Among prominent men of this town may be recalled a large 
number of evangelical ministers — more possibly than from any 
town in the county. Prof. Alvan Clark, the widely-known astron- 
omer and telescope maker, was a native of this town. President 
Clark, of Amherst Agricultural College, was from this town 

The first record of town meeting available is that of March 
8, 1762, when Ebenezer Belding was chosen moderator. The town 
was incorporated June 21, 1765, by the name of Ashfield, a name 
derived from the existence of a large quantity of ash timber in the 
town at the date of incorporation. Prior to that time it had been 
known as Huntstown. The bounds given in the original descrip- 
tion was as follows : "east of Deerfield, south partly by Narragan- 
sett township, Number Four, and partly by Province Land, partly 
by Bernard's and Mayhew's and Hatfield Land, and north by Pro- 
vince Land." At the first regular meeting in March, 1766, officers 
were selected and the town commenced its own civil government. 

Villages and Hamlets — The villages were described in 1880 as 
follows : "Ashfield Plains, the principal village in the town, is 
situated a little east of the geographical center. It comprises three 
churches — Congregationalist, Baptist, and Protestant Episcopal — 
a town hall, three stores, a postoffice, a hotel. The main street is 
shaded with rows of beautiful maple trees, and a handsome sol- 
diers' monument adorns the village." 

"South Ashfield, is a small village one mile and a half south of 
the center. There are a store, postoffice and a number of resi- 
dences." "Howesville and Spruce Corners are small hamlets — 


the former in the north part of the town, and the latter in the 
southwest section." 

Educational Interests— The first appropriation for a school fund 
was made March 31, 1766. In 1772 the town was divided mto 
three school districts "and to build three school houses" reads the 
record-book. In 1880 the town had an average attendance at their 
schools of 238, each scholar costing the tax-payers $8.42. In June, 
1924 the school reports show the town to have ten schools, ten 
teachers; an average of 200 scholars. The receipts and expen- 
ditures of the town for schools in 1924 were $19,911. The 1925 
School Committee is: Frank L. Gray, Hattie Y. Guilford and Rich- 
ard E. Field. 

The Sanderson Academy was established by Rev. Alvan Sander- 
son in 1816. After the founder died others took the work up and 
by 1832 more than a thousand pupils had attended the institution. 
The celebrated educator, Mary Lyon, attended and later became 
an instructor in this school. In 1887-88 Field Memorial Hall was 
donated by Mrs. Field, in memory of her husband, John W. Field, 
of Philadelphia. In all, the Fields gave the institution over $10,000. 
This institution, which is still in existence, at one time needed 
financial aid and in the sixties and seventies was much aided by 
such men of world-wide note as Messrs. George William Curtis, 
whose summer home was here, and Charles Eliot Norton, who gave 
books and lectured every year for a quite a period. Other noted 
speakers delivered lectures and the proceeds of such lectures went 
to the Academy and Library Association. Among these men were 
James Russell Lowell, Edward J. Phelps and Joseph H. Choate. 

The various libraries of the town of Ashfield have included these : 
The Social Library, formed in 1815, the Ashfield Library Associ- 
ation, in the seventies, and when Field Memorial Hall was built 
the library was moved into that structure. 

Churches— The Congregational church was formed February 22, 
1763. The Baptist church of "Baptist Corner" was organized in 
1761 by Ebenezer Smith, the first pastor. The Episcopal church 
was formed in 1820. The Baptist church of Ashfield Plains was 

formed in 1867. 

The Population— In 1761 this town had nineteen families; in 
1775 the population was 600; in 1790 it was 1,459; 1800, 1,741 ; 1880, 
it was 1,062. The United States census for 1920 gave it as having 

only 689. 

Industrial— Agriculture has been the main source of revenue in 


this town. At an early day there were numerous saw mills and 
factories where wooden- ware was produced to quite an extent; 
also the several local distilleries in which essences and oils were 
distilled and where herbs and plants found ready sale. 

Present Town Officers, Etc. — The town officers in 1925 are these : 
Town Clerk and treasurer — Allison G. Howes; selectmen, asses- 
sors and overseers of the poor — Claude Church, Abbott L. Howes, 
Clayton H. Eldridge; auditor — Walter A. Whitney; tax-collector 
— Austin G. Packard; tree warden — Hugh B. Wing; constables — 
M. Lawrence Fuller, Fred E. Johnson and Harry G. Shippe. 

Town Aggregates — Total valuation of town, $1,215,986; total 
tax, 133,405 ; rate of taxation, $27 ; number polls assessed, 287 ; 
horses assessed, 293; cows assessed, 933; other cattle assessed, 425; 
sheep assessed, 186; swine assessed, 66. 

Town of Colerain — Colerain, one of the largest towns in Franklin 
county, territorially, was originally spelled "Coleraine," as it was 
named after Baron Coleraine, of Ireland, who promised in advance, 
to send over the gift of a bell for the first church building. The 
bell never reached this county, but the name was given to its 
donor. This town lies on the northern line of the county, is 
bounded north by Vermont State line, south by the towns of 
Charlemont, Shelburne, and Greenfield, east by the town of Ley- 
den, and west by the towns of Charlemont and Heath. While this 
town has had many manufacturing interests largely in by-gone 
days, its population has decreased since 1840. The population 
given by the Federal census returns of 1920 gave it 976. 

In nearly every portion of its extensive territory one encounters 
many hills and vales. The most important stream is North River 
which flows almost directly south through the middle of the town, 
from the Vermont line to the Shelburne line. It affords abundant 
water-power which has been utilized by many saw-mills and fac- 
tories in the years of its history. Green River which rises in Ver- 
mont, flows along the eastern border of the town, separating it 
from Leyden. Catamount and Christian Hill, notable eminences, 
are here. 

Early Settlement — To Andrew and John Smith is credited the 
first permanent settlement of this town. They came from Deer- 
field about 1732. After two years they were driven away by fear 
of the Indian invasions. They returned in 1736. June, 1735, the 
General Court granted to the town of Boston three townships, by 
reason of their paying about one-fifth of the Colony tax. The 


larger portion of present Colerain was set apart as the second of 
these townships, and was therefore known as "Boston, No. 2, Charle- 
mont, No. 1, and Pittsfield, No. 3. Next to the Smith brothers 
already named, the settlers were largely Scotch-Irish, who settled 
near the Shelburne line, south of Meeting-House Hill. 

On account of Indian troubles, the settlers here built three forts. 
The first was in 1740, in the center of the settlement. Fort Lucas, 
the second fort, was just east of the meeting-house, and the third 
fort — called Fort Morrison — was near North River, a mile north 
of what later was called Colerain Centre. These forts, though 
rudely constructed, gave some protection to the settlers, who had 
for several years all they could do to subsist. The part taken in 
the various wars is found in other histories of such conflicts, hence 
not detailed in this connection. 

Organization — Originally called Boston Township, No. 2, the 
name of the settlement was changed in 1742 to Coleraine. June 30, 
1761, the town was incorporated with the name it now bears. The 
list of town officers is all too lengthy to here append, suffice to give 
the list of officers for 1924-25 which is as follows : Selectmen — 
Herbert B. Donelson, Edgar M. Dwight, Everett M. Johnson; 
assessors — T. A. Brown, R. E. Nichols, R. M. Combs; overseers 
of the poor — the same as selectmen ; tax-collector — H. H. Denni- 
son ; clerk of selectmen — E. M. Johnson; town clerk and treasurer 
— Hugh B. Miller; Fire warden — Frank Walden. 

The amount appropriated for the town's use in 1924 was |60,267 
and the amount expended was $57,833. The assessors' report gives 
these items: Polls assessed, 485; residents assessed, 396; non- 
residents assessed, 67; horses assessed, 346; cows assessed, 942 
houses assessed, 350; sheep assessed, 393; swine assessed, 74 
neat cattle, 552; fowls assessed, 6,665. Support of the poor, $730.61 
bill for removal of snow, $259.87. 

Villages — There are in this town seven villages, three of which 
are postoffice points, and the other sections are served through 
the rural free delivery system. The oldest place in the town is 
Colerain Centre, a community largely made up of farmers, retired 
and active. The place has churches and a few stores and shops. 
Foundry Village, a rural settlement, but in earlier days was the 
location of a good iron foundry, operated in 1834 by George Hast- 
ings. Later it was washed away by a flood in 1869. Near there 
is what is known as the Willis Place, where a cotton mill now 
stands and where many hundred operatives find employment. 


Lyonsville a half mile south of Willis Place, is but a c> election of 
houses, and south a mile further is Griswoldville with l.^ cotton- 
mill industry. Shattuckville, is another point where since 1837 
C. W. Shattuck operated an extensive cotton-mill, employing hun- 
dreds of men and women. 

The villages above mentioned are located on the North River 
from which several factory plants derive their water-power. 
Adamsville and Elm Grove, other hamlets, are in the northeast 
part of the town. 

Churches and Schools — In 1742 a committee was appointed to 
provide preaching. The same year a meeting-house was built on 
what has since been known as Meeting-House Hill, one mile east 
of Colerain Centre. It was many years before this building was 
fully completed — not until about 1769. The first pastor was doubt- 
less Rev. Morrison. The First Baptist church was organized in 
1780 when it had a membership of nineteen. The Second Baptist 
church was organized in 1786 and later a house of worship was 
erected just north of Christian Hill. A Methodist class was 
formed in 1832, a church organized in 1836 and a building at Cole- 
rain Centre. Some of these societies have gone down while others 
still remain in an active state. 

The first known of schools in Colerain town was in 1753, when it 
was agreed by the selectmen to have a school, but there arose much 
bitter feeling against paying for schools out of the common funds, 
and one faction wanted the expense all to come out of those who 
sent to or attended such schools. The first school house was 
erected in 1761 ; men working on this building received only two 
shillings per day for their wages. In 1797 the school interests had 
so increased that eleven school classes were formed into districts. 
Since then public schools have kept pace here with the other towns 
of the county. The school report for 1924 for Colerain, gives the 
town school resources and liabilities as $30,000. The expense for 
transportation of scholars for the year was $4,554. The school 
committee was then O. R. Fairbanks, R. W. Purrington, S. H. 

Industries — Fifty years ago the closely estimated value in factory- 
products in this town was $390,622, while the value in agricultural 
products was only $183,900. The most important industry is the 
Griswoldville Manufacturing Company's plant. This was estab- 
lished in 1828 by Joseph Griswold, who commenced to make sash, 
doors and blinds, then he added a cotton mill with sixteen U>oms, 


and kept branching out, meeting with losses by several fires but 
keeping on rebuilding. 

Town of Conway — Among one of the largest towns in Franklin 
county territorially, is Conway, with an area of 23,000 acres. It 
lies on the southern border of the county. Is bounded on the 
north by the town of Shelburne ; on the south by Hampshire county 
and the town of Whately in Franklin county; on the east by the 
town of Deerfield and on the west by the towns of Ashfield and 
Buckland. The Troy and Greenfield railroad touches its north- 
eastern border along which flows the Deerfield river. In 1790 
Conway was the third largest in point of population, in the county 
of Hampshire — now embraced within the counties of Franklin, 
Hampshire, and Hampden. The Deerfield river forms the north- 
eastern boundary, and flowing through the town is a valuable mill- 
stream called South River, which rising in Ashfield, passes east to 
Conway Centre, thence north and east, and empties into the Deer- 
field river. Bear River and Roaring Brook are the other streams 
in the town. Among minerals found from time to time, within 
this part of the county are alum, fluor-spar, galena, mica and slate. 

Settlement — The territory now known as Conway was originally 
settled by Cyrus Rice, of Barre, who built the first house in 1762. 
This territory was included in a grant made to Deerfield in 1712 
when its domain was enlarged so as to extend "nine miles west- 
ward into the western woods." The eastern half of the tract was 
first settled, and in 1767, when Conway was incorporated, embraced 
nearly all of the people then inhabiting the district. The first 
tavernkeeper was Thomas French, at whose house the first district 
meeting was held, and afterwards where the Baptist church was 

This tOAvn bore her part faithfully and well during the various 
wars in which this country has been plunged by no fault of her own. 
The military chapters of this work will treat such duties. 

Organization — June 17, 1767, Conway was incorporated as a 
district and was named in honor of General Henry Conway, a 
member of the British ministry, who became popular with the 
people. Under the act of 1786, Conway became a town; the mod- 
erator at the first meeting, held at the inn of Thomas French, was 
Consider Arms. 

With the passing decades the local government of this town has 
been fully up to the standard of the other towns in Franklin coun- 

W. Mass, — 47 


ty. The present town officers are as follows: Town clerk — C. 
Lyman Parsons; treasurer— Walter W. Bradbury; selectmen— 
Alvin C. Boice, John H. Parker, Edward B. Graves; assessors— C. 
Lyman Parsons, Alvan C. Boice, Charles L. Boyden ; tax-collector 
—John G. Miller; tree-warden— Herman V. Hale; street superin- 
tendent, Edward J. Laidley. The treasurer's report for 1924 says 
the receipts and liabilities of the town for that year amounted to 
$66,424.50. The report of the assessors give for last year the total 
valuation of personal estate at |282,179; of real estate, $666,889; 
value of land, $336,049; tax-rate per thousand, $26; Number of non- 
residents assessed on property, $108; number assessed a poll tax 
only, 62; total number polls assessed, 273; number horses as- 
sessed, 247; cows, 247; sheep, 150; other neat cattle, 414; swine, 
31; fowls, 2,958; dwelling houses assessed, 283; acres of land 
assessed, 22,725. 

Villages — The two villages of this town mentioned in former 
histories of Western Massachusetts, were Conway Centre and 
Burkville — adjoining one another and usually regarded as one. 
Forty-five years ago this place had two stores, a bank, hotel, public 
library, high school, three churches, and a fire company of eighty 
members. Edmund Burk in 1837 built a mill and this created a 
small village. It was naturally known as Burkville. A cloth 
mill was also located there. The industries of many years ago 
are mostly gone from the town, while a few lesser ones in im- 
portance have taken their place. A third of a century ago the 
"Centennial Gazette" of the county, by the "Gazette & Courier" 
of Greenfield, gave the following on the industries in the town 
of Conway : 

"Among the defunct or lost industries of the town may be mentioned 
Clapp's tannery, destroyed by the freshet of 1869; the tool company, estab- 
lished at Burkville about 1845, and destroyed by fire in 1851, after which 
the company removed to Greenfield, and the South River Cutlery Company, 
which removed to Winsted, Connecticut, a few years after commencing 
business. In 1854 Edmund Burk and others incorporated the first bank 
at Conway, which in 1865 was changed to a National Bank. The Conway 
Savings Bank was incorporated in 1887. A co-operative creamery was 
established in 1886 and was successful. 

Churches, etc. — Less than one year after the incorporation of 
the town or in 1767, the first church was established — the Congre- 
gational. Twenty years later the Baptist church was organized. 
The Methodist and Roinan Catholic churches are of more recent 


Educational — About 1850 the Conway Academy was established. 
Later this institution was turned over to the common school sys- 
tem of the town. In order to aid and keep alive the academy just 
mentioned, Marshall Field of Chicago and ex-Secretary Whitney 
of the U. S. Navy Department, both native sons of Conway, each 
gave liberally, but finally it had to be made into a high school. 
The following is from the last report of the school officers of the 
town of Conway : The town has seven schools with a total of 221 
pupils; average membership, 189; number of teacher, seven; sal- 
aries from $775 to $1,700 per school year. 

Town of Hawley — This town was formerly designated No. 7 ; 
is situated in the western part of Franklin county, and is bounded 
on the north by Charlemont, on the east by Buckland and Ashfield, 
on the south by Ashfield and Hampshire county, on the west by 
Savoy town in Berkshire county. The town was incorporated 
February 7, 1792. Its name was taken in honor of Joseph Hawley, 
of Northampton. While it is one of the hill towns it has some 
fertile tracts of good land, as well as beautiful pastures on which 
the flocks and herds feed in contentment. Parker's Hill, near its 
center, is 2,060 feet above sea-level, and with the exception of 
Graylock in Berkshire county, it is the highest elevation of the 
State. The main divisions of this town are East and West Hawley, 
in which there are lesser divisions called Bozrah, Pudding Hollow, 
Fullerville, King Corner, Hallocksville and South Hawley. 

Settlement — The names of the first settlers were : Deacon Joseph 
Bangs, Daniel Burt, Samuel and Arthur Hitchcock, Timothy Baker, 
Reuben Cooley, Joseph Easton, Elisha Hunt, Abel Parker, Nathan 
West, Phineas Scott, Thomas King and a few others. The pioneer 
at King Corner, in the southwest part of the town, was Thomas 
King, who came from Brimfield and purchased one thousand acres 
for a dollar an acre. His descendants of the fourth and fifth gen- 
eration still reside here. The cultivation of the soil has always 
been the chief occupation of the people here. On the small streams, 
from time to time there have been numerous saw mills and shops 
where broom handles, whip butts, rakes, etc., were manufactured. 
These pioneer men and women had a religious spirit within them 
and soon worshiped at private houses. In 1793, a year after incor- 
poration, they built a church — a large, two-story building, galleries 
and elevated pulpit. It stood on the "common" in East Hawley. 
In 1848 this building was razed and another erected one mile and a 
half farther to the south. The first pastor was Rev. Jonathan 
Grout, who preached until released by death in 1835. 


Industries — Before 1790, Moses Rogers had in operation a grist- 
mill near the center of the town, on Chickley's river. While mak- 
ing repairs on his dam Mr. Rogers was drowned. Clothing works 
at this point in the long ago years were carried on by Harvey 
Barker, Ebenezer Dickinson and others, but not within several 

Near West Hawley church was a furnace and forge at the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century, where iron was made from the 
near-by ore. One of the operators was Elias Goodspeed. The 
buildings were burned in 1825. 

In 1835 Austin Pease built a tannery afterward operated by 
Howes & Sears until it was abandoned in 1855. At the next water- 
power above, Clark Fuller, A. Sears and others had saw mills and 
turning shops. Saw mills were very numerous in the early years 
of settlement and provided work for many as well as producing 
excellent building lumber when the settlers wanted to quit the 
cabin home and move into a frame residence. 

Stores and Postofifices — From Evert's History of Franklin County 
in 1879, the following appears concerning the town of Hawley at 
that date — forty-six years ago : "Stores and postoffices are kept 
in the eastern and western part, in the neighborhood of the 
churches. There was an attempt soon after 1800 to found a village 
in the vicinity of the old church, and here was opened the first 
store by Joseph Hubbard. This stand was later occupied by the 
Longleys. At East Hawley, merchandising started about 1833, 
by Whitney Hitchcock and Jonas Jones. They were succeeded by 
Lucius L. Clark and others. Calvin S. Longley became proprietor, 
closed his business at the old stand and moved here with the Haw- 
ley postoffice. A tri-weekly mail then came from Shelburne Falls. 
In West Hawley a postofifice was established in 1861, at the house 
of Willet Vincent. About 1830 South Hawley postoffice was estab- 
lished at the house of Col. Noah Joy an inn-keeper. This office 
was suspended in 1862." 

Schools and Churches — In 1792 the first money was voted for 
schools in this town. The town was soon divided into districts 
and schoolhouses provided as necessity demanded. The present 
schools of the town are in keeping with the times ; children are 
transported to and from school, where they live too far to easily 
walk. The expense for this in 1924 was $2,600. There are now six 
districts. The report shows the 1924 school resources were $11,- 
374, while the expenditures were $13,089, a deficit of only $1,714. 


The churches in this town have always been a potent factor. 
The denominations here represented from time to time have been : 
The First Congregational Church organized 1778, and meetings 
were first held at private houses. The West Hawley church was 
formed in 1825. The first meetinghouse was built in 1825 and 
lasted until 1847 when a new one was erected. 

Present Town Government — The reports of the various town 
officers show these items for 1924: Town officers are as follows, 
Clerk and treasurer — F. D. Carter; selectmen — C. W. Gould, M. 
H. White, H. L. Raymond ; assessors — C. W. Gould, L. P. Hawkes, 
M. H. White; school committee — Mrs. Mattie L. White, E. R. 
Sears, W. A. Wells ; overseers of the poor — the selectmen ; super- 
intendent of roads — A. H. Maynard. The treasurer of the town 
in his report shows the receipts for 1924 to have been $32,787, 
a balance on hand in the bank December 31, 1924 of $2,145. 

The Pratt Farm — The largest single farm in Franklin County 
is that of William M. Pratt in the towns of Ashford, Hawley and 
Plainfield. A boundary line-stone on this farm marks not only a 
corner of three towns, but also the two counties of Franklin and 
Hampshire. About 1921 Mr. Pratt, a manufacturer of Greenfield, 
was induced to go to the hills of Hawley. At first, however, the 
start was made on a hundred acre tract known as the Lucius Hall 
place, in the northwest corner of Ashfield. Later, Mr. Pratt pur- 
chased two other farms — the Enoch Harmon and the Church farm. 
Here on a 500 acre tract of land Mr. Pratt undertook farming. 
The location is where the Green Mountains and Berkshires meet. 
The soil is rich and the elevation commanding, the highest part 
being 1,800 feet above sea-level. Everything in way of equip- 
ment is strictly modern. Here one finds a saw mill and a "sugar- 
bush" where 600 gallons of syrup are made annually. 

At first Mr. Pratt's attention was turned toward raising turkeys, 
but later his farm became famous as a stock-breeding place, where 
none but the finest animals are admitted for breeding purposes. 

Town of Charlemont — This town is in the second tier of towns 
in Franklin County from its northern line. It borders on Berk- 
shire County on the west and is bounded on the north by the 
towns of Rowe, Heath and Colerain ; on the east by Colerain and 
Shelburne and on the south by Hawley and Buckland. The Deer- 
field River flows along the southern part of the town, and the 
Boston and Maine railroad follows the valley throughout the town- 


The territory now embraced within Charlemont town was one 
of three townships granted to Boston by the General Court, June 
27, 1735. It was sold to John Reed and by him to Chickley and 
Keyes and at first went by the name of "Boston Township No. 1." 
Later it Avas called Chickley's Town, Charley Mount, Charley's 
Mont, etc, but since 1740 by its present name. Some lands were 
sold earlier, but no attempts at making a settlement were had 
until the spring of 1743 when Captain Moses Rice and family came 
from Rutland, Worcester County. He built his house on the ex- 
treme frontier and had to go to Deerfield for all of his supplies. 
After he had made many improvements Mr. Rice was fortunately 
warned of the invasion of this county by the Indians, and with 
his family fled to the forts at Deerfield, their property all being 
destroyed. He returned to his former home in Rutland where 
he remained three years, then came back to Charlemont to begin 
the restoration of his homestead. Others to come in were Othniel 
and Joshua Taylor, who built houses directly opposite the later 
site of the Buckland depot. Eleazer Hawks and sons settled on 
either side of the Deerfield River, above the Rice tract. By 1752 
the settlement had increased to more than a dozen families. Pros- 
perity had been smiling on the little settlement, but was soon cut 
short when Captain Moses Rice and his son, Artemas, his grand- 
son, Asa Rice, nine years of age, with Titus King, Phileas Arms 
and others, who were in the field in June, hoeing corn, and were set 
upon by a party of Indians. Phileas Arms fell dead in the field; 
Captain Rice received a severe wound in the thigh, and was taken 
prisoner, with the lad Asa and Titus King, while Artemas Rice 
escaped. The Indians made no further attack, but withdrew with 
their captives to a high plain, where Mr. Rice was tomahawked 
and scalped. He was found alive later in the day and taken to 
his son's house where he died that evening. The others were 
taken to Crown Point, and thence into Canada. Asa was ran- 
somed after a captivity of six years. King was taken to France 
and later to England, whence he returned to Northampton, his 
native place. Many years ago a suitable monument was erected 
to the memory of Mr. Rice, by Hon. Orlando B. Potter, a descen- 
dant. It was dedicated with appropriate exercises by the Pocum- 
tuck Valley Memorial Association, held in Charlemont August 2, 

Incorporation — Charlemont was incorporated June 21, 1765, and 
included at that time, two-thirds of the present town of Heath 


and a part of Buckland. Thirty families were then living in the 
town. The date of the first church is not known, but it did not 
last long. It is known that the first pastor was Rev. Jonathan 
Leavitt. Other societies formed here were the First Congrega- 
tional church, in Charlemont ; the Congregational Church of Christ, 
in East Charlemont; the Baptist, the Methodist Episcopal, the 
Unitarian, or Independent Congregational. 

The Academy — In 1845, Charlemont Academy was built and 
in it was taught a select school for a number of years, but finally 
the building was burned. Early in 1879 a library was opened with 
one hundred books as a start. It is now a well sustained library 
of the town. 

Charlemont and Zoar are the only two villages within the town. 
At an early day considerable manufacturing was carried on here, 
in the making of chair stock, wool carding, scythe snaths, axes, 
hats, clothes, pottery, stoves, grist and saw mills being at various 
points. A number of wood-working shops are still running. 

The Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society was organized here 
in 1870 and became a successful society, continuing until now. 

Coming down to the present time, it may be said that the local 
government of Charlemont Town is in the hands of the following 
town officers : Treasurer — Homer Sherman ; town clerk — same as 
treasurer; auditor — Fred D. Legate; selectmen — Walter H. Smith, 
Horace E. Warfield, Stephen W. Hawkes and others, both elec- 
tive and appointive. 

The school committee reported in 1924 receipts for resources, 
$19,096 and disbursements to balance with cash on hand $168. 
Paid for teachers' salaries, $10,047 ; transportation of scholars, 

Town of Rowe — Rowe, one of the northwestern towns in Frank- 
lin County is bounded on the north by the State of Vermont, on 
the east by Heath, on the south by Charlemont and Berkshire 
County, on the west by Berkshire County and Monroe towns. 
The most conspicuous range of mountains is the Adams Moun- 
tains in the southeastern part, and the hills near the Deerfield 
River. Pulpit Rock is one of the natural curiosities found here as 
it much resembles the old style church pulpit of New England. 
Here one sees charming landscapes. The principal stream of 
the town is Pelham Brook, which receives numerous lesser streams 
and runs a general southwestern direction and empties into Deer- 


field River. Several excellent water-powers are found along its 
meandering course through the town. While some mills have 
been operated here the general rule has been the pursuit of agri- 
culture, dairying and grazing which have been profitable to land 
owners, where they have operated their own farms. 

Old Fortifications — In 1744 the province of Massachusetts erec- 
ted a fort in this town in its chain of defenses against the French 
and Indians. It was in the way of a well built stockade, and was 
called Fort Pelham. It never saw much military service and was 
withdrawn in 1754 as a garrison. Its location was near the brook 
on the farm later owned by Edward Wright. 

Original Title and Bounds — In June, 1762, the greater portion 
of the present town of Rowe was sold at auction, by order of the 
General Court, and was purchased by Rev. Cornelius Jones for 
380 pounds Sterling. This tract was known as Township No. 10, 
and was about four miles square, bounded on the south by the 
Town of Charlemont, on the west by the mountains of Monroe. 
Mr. Jones called the grant Myrifield, and the name of the town 
was retained until its incorporation February 9, 1785, when it be- 
came known as Rowe. It was then made to embrace 200 rods 
more on the east, and a like width on the south, taken from Charle- 
mont. These bounds were modified in 1822, when all that part 
of Rowe lying west of the Deerfield River was taken oflf to form 
Monroe, and by the annexation on the southwest, in 1838, of 
a tract of unincorporated land called Zoar. Mr. Jones offered his 
land for sale on reasonable terms and in February, 1779, he sold 
the remainder of the grant — 4,000 acres — to William Parkhurst 
& Co., of Brookfield, for "nine thousand pounds, current money 
of the State ;" and as much of the land to the settlers had been 
paid with Continental money, which proved worthless, Mr. Jones 
was left in his old age in straitened circumstances. 

Early Settlement- — The first settler was also the proprietor, Rev. 
Jones, and he came with his family from Sandisfield about 1770. 
He built a house of split timbers, a half mile east of the center 
of the town. There he lived several years in pioneer simplicity. 
In 1773 he erected the first frame barn in the town and had all 
the men in the settlement — six and a carpenter — to assist in rais- 
ing the building. When the Revolution came on Mr. Jones being 
a patriot, he and his sons, Daniel and Reuben, hastened to Sara- 
toga to aid in repulsing Burgoyne. Daniel lost his life, at the 
battle of Stillwater. The father, Rev. Jones, was a graduate of 


Harvard and served as pastor in this town until 1780, then moved 
to New York. 

The northeastern part of Rowe was settled by Mathew Barr, 
with several sons, one of whom was Aaron who was at the Battle 
of Bunker Hill where he was mortally wounded, and was the 
first man carried away to Cambridge. He was hit by a cannon- 
ball and died the same day. Artemas Ward settled about the 
same time, near the present village. Here he built a saw mill 
on the creek still bearing his name. The large family of the 
Lambs next added to the settlement. 

Civil Government — The warrant for the first town meeting was 
issued March 25, 1785, by Samuel Taylor, of Buckland, and was 
directed to Ambrose Potter, "one of the principal inhabitants of 
a Plantation called Myrifield." It stated that it was situated "in 
Hampshire county, lately incorporated into a town by the name of 
Rowe by an act of the General Court of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts." Nathan Taylor was made the first town clerk. 
Without further details of the organization and local affairs of 
the town it may be added that the following are the present town 
officers: Town clerk and treasurer — M. S. WoiTenden ; selectmen 
and overseers of the poor — G. R. Hartshorn, John Davenport, 
M. A. Newton ; auditor — Mrs. M. A. Peck ; assessors — H. D, 
Wright, G. R. Hartshorn, M. A. Newton. 

The treasurer's report for 1924 shows assets and liabilities for 
the town $9,248. 

The assessors' report shows items inclusive of these : Value of 
all real estate in town, $127,198; personal estates, $168,962; amount 
of taxes, $7,277; rate per thousand, $24; polls, 85; persons as- 
sessed, 188; residents assessed, 86; horses assessed, 98; cows as- 
sessed, 215 ; sheep, 84; neat cattle, 92; swine, 22; dwellings assessed, 
115; acres of land assessed, 15,638. 

The school report shows items as follows : Cost of transporting 
scholars to and from school, $822; amount paid for school appro- 
priation for the year, $7,500. 

Manufacturing Interests — The water-power of Pelham Brook 
has been utilized and made to propel saw mills from the date of 
the earliest settlement. Prior to 1780 a small grist-mill was also 
started. The Chapin and Thomas families were owners of these 
mills. A tannery was established before 1800 by Asa Foster which 
operated many years. In 1808 a fulling mill was put in operation 
at the village, by Ebenezer Nims. After 1812 the Gleasons started 


the manufacture of satinets with a sixty spindle mill. Wooden- 
ware was made in considerable quantities and sent as far away 
as California. There it found a use in washing gold from the 
sands in the placer mines of those early times. Cut nails were 
also made here by Erastus Gleason and other small shops were 
in operation between 1825 and 1850. Most of these factories have 
long since disappeared. The only factory in the town of im- 
portance is the Deerfield Paper Company's mill controlled by the 
New England Power Company and they produce at average 
capacity, forty tons of craft paper daily and employ one hundred 
men. This mill is located at Monroe Bridge. 

Villages and Hamlets — The geographical center of the town 
is north of the present village. There the first stores and shops 
centered until other more suitable locations within the town drew 
them thither. At what was styled Middle Rowe, before 1790, was 
opened the first store in the town, by a man named Ransom. The 
first tavern was by Ambrose Potter. Rowe Village is a mile to 
the south of the center, on Pelham Brook, and there were erecterl 
a church of the Baptist denomination, a good school house, a store, 
factory, tannery, and mills. In 1880 the population was about 
125. The postoffice was established at the Center and remained 
there until 1874, since which it has been kept at the village. The 
Hoosac Tunnel postoffice was established in this town in the 

Rowe as a town is now in no large sense a manufacturing place, 
but its people are mostly engaged in farming pursuits and its 
kindred branches. In 1892 there were three saw mills, two wheel- 
wrights shops, postofifice, and two railroad stations, the "Fitchburg" 
at Hoosac Tunnel and the "Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington," at 
Monroe Bridge. 

The Davis Iron Mine — As long ago as 1840 it was known that 
iron pyrites might be found along the county road on the old 
Brown farm. Its commercial value was unknown until in 1880, 
when it was known that sulphuric acid could be produced from 
this mineral. In the nineties two hundred men found work at 
mining this material within the town. The owners of forests 
here furnished, at a fair price, 200,000 feet annually of props for 
mine supports used by the company. More than a million dollars 
worth of iron was taken out here, but the industry is now a thing 
of the past. 

Education, etc. — The first school taught here was before the 


Revolutionary War in a log cabin, and the teacher was a Miss 
Jones. Many scholars walked several miles through the forests 
to attend this school where the Bible was used, also the Psalters 
with Dilworth's spelling book. Later on came the private schools 
kept at dwellings. Still later the public schoolhouses were erected 
in various school districts. Rowe's Social Library was established 
in 1797, and in 1806 it had 130 volumes, mostly works on history. 
In 1869 this library was turned over to the town which incorpora- 
tion agreed to pay in $25 per year for new books. 

In August, 1885 the town celebrated its centennial anniversary 
of settlement. About fifteen hundred persons were in attendance. 
The first minister to be ordained here was Rev. Preserved Smith 
in 1787 and he remained until 1804. He was pastor of the First Con- 
gregational Church. The Second Congregational Church was or- 
ganized in 1833. In 1856 this society removed to the village of 
Rowe, when it took the name of Union Hall, and finally disbanded. 
A Baptist church was organized in 1810. In 1876 it erected a 
neat edifice in the lower part of the village. 

Town of Whately — Whately lies on the west bank of the Con- 
necticut River, on the southern boundary of the county. It is 
bounded on the north by Conway and Deerfield; on the east by 
Sunderland, separated by the Connecticut River; on the south 
and west are Hatfield and Williamsburg, in Hampshire County. 
About one-third of the area of Whately is meadow lands, one-third 
uplands and the remainder hills. The highest elevation is 1,000 
feet at Mount Esther in the northern part. The drainage of the 
town is aflforded chiefly by Mill River and its branches. Many 
small streams and an abundance of fine springs are found here 
and there throughout this town. The South Deerfield fire dis- 
trict gets its water from here. 

Settlement — Until 1771 a greater portion of the present Town 
of Whately formed the northern part of Hatfield, whose history 
is intermingled with this. At the date above named Whately 
was incorporated and named by Governor Hutchinson in compli- 
ment to his friend Thomas Whately, of London. In 1810 a small 
part of Deerfield was annexed to the original Town of Whately. 
The settlement was projected about 1736. Ebenezer Bardwell and 
Josiah Scott built log houses, on the Deerfield Road. Other very 
early pioneers were David Graves, Elisha Smith, John Waite, and 
Joseph Belding. They built close together for self-protection. 
These are all supposed to have left after the breaking out of the 


French-and-Indian War, in 1744 and were gone at least until 1750. 
In 1771 the settlers in Whately numbered fifty-five. The number 
of dwellings was forty. In 1790 the town had 130 families and 
the total population was 735. The census reports in 1920 give the 
population as 1,239. 

Organization — The act approving the incorporation of Whately 
Town was passed April 24, 1771. After the Shays' Rebellion 
a number of families residing in this town were warned to move 
from the town which they did. Forty years ago Whately had a 
poor-farm valued at $5,000. With the passing years this town has 
been well cared for by its selectmen and others in public office. 
The present town officers are as follows (1925) : Town clerk — 
Herbert E. Roote ; selectmen — William G. Strippe, Morris Powers, 
William E. Sanderson ; assessors — Fred W. Bardwell, James 
Waite, and Arthur A. Waite ; treasurer — Howard R. Waite ; audi- 
tor — Lyman A. Crafts. The receipts and payments for the town 
in 1924 were $74,319. This left a credit for the town of $4,779 
counted in the above statement. The town property invoiced last 
year gave the following: Town hall, $5,000; machinery and tools, 
$800; safes, furniture in hall and library, $400; store house, $100; 
schoolhouses, $45,000; chemical engines, $300. 

Schools, etc. — No record appears throwing light on schools earl- 
ier than 1772 during which year a schoolhouse was erected. There 
were some private schools in the town long before this school 
just named. Coming down to 1871 the town hall at the hamlet 
was planned so as to afford school room facilities. Later other 
fine buildings were erected. The latest school reports for Whately 
Tow^n show the number of public schools to be nine, with the 
same number of teachers. Total enrollment, 276; cost of teachers 
for the year, $8,750. 

Churches — The first church was established in 1771 under the 
shade of two large oak trees. This was known as the Church of 
Christ. It was of the Congregational denomination ; a Second 
Congregational society was organized in 1842. The Baptists formed 
a church here in May, 1789. The Methodists organized in the 
spring of 1818. The First Universalist church was formed 1839, 
but no building was provided only as they rented of the Baptist 
church. A Unitarian church was formed here in 1866 and they 
built a neat frame church edifice in 1867. With the coming and 
going of years many changes have been made in church affairs 


in this town, but they have never been without churches and 
church edifices since the early days. 

Industries — This has always been known as one of the agri- 
cultural sections of Franklin County. Stock raising and grazing 
have been very profitable at times in this town ; also the culti- 
vation of broom-corn and tobacco. In 1865 when tobacco was 
only twenty cents a pound, the Whately crop had a market value 
of $105,344. About three hundred acres were then cultivated 

The first water-power improvement in the town was near Indian 
Hill, on Roaring Brook, in 1763 when a grist-mill was erected. 
West Brook affords one of the State's best water-powers, for its 
volume of water. In the course of four or five miles it furnishes 
a dozen good mill sites. Each privilege has seventeen feet fall and 
all have from time to time been utilized. 

Centennial Celebration — When the town of Whately was one 
hundred years old, in 1871, it celebrated its centennial anniver- 
sary in a pleasing manner. $600 were raised by subscription and 
the neighboring towns joined with their sister in celebrating the 

Town of Monroe — In the extreme northwestern part of Franklin 
County is the Town of Monroe which is bounded on the north 
by Vermont, on the east by Rowe, on the south and west by 
Berkshire County. Monroe became an incorporated town Febru- 
ary 21, 1822, to embrace all that part of Rowe lying west of the 
Deerfield River, and an unincorporated tract of land called the 
"Gore," and it was named for President Monroe. The town's 
area is twelve square miles of which but a small portion is suitable 
for profitable cultivation. Along the river are some fertile lands, 
having a loamy soil and near the center of the territory is a tract 
of farm land, though less rich, yet is successfully farmed. The 
principal stream is Deerfield River; Mill Brook crosses the town 
in a diagonial course from the northwest to the southeast, and 
affords a number of mill-sites which have been utilized and which 
have furnished employment to many people in the years of the 
town's history. 

Settlement — Not until 1800 was there any attempt at making 
a permanent settlement in this part of Franklin County. About 
that period came Daniel Caneday, of Colerain, with his family, 
and was soon followed by Ebenezer Howard, Samuel Gore, and 
Daniel Gore. Then settlement was effected by the Ballou, Hicks, 


Phelps, Stafford, Dunbar, and Bullock families. In 1840 the town 
had grown to have a population of 282 inhabitants. Its popu- 
lation as shown by the United States census reports for 1920 
was 473. 

Civil Organization — The first meeting of the town was ordered 
to be held at the house of Martin Ballou April 4, 1822, and Mr. 
Ballou was chosen moderator and at the same meeting was elected 
the first town clerk. Down through the years scores of men have 
held this office to the satisfaction of the free-holders and com- 
munity in general. The 1925 town officers are as follows : Select- 
men — C. W. Kingsley, A. W. Pike, H. B. Phelps; constables — 
W. J. Ellis, A. S. Clark, C. E. Davis; tax-collector— C. E. Davis; 
treasurer — R. L. Ballou; town clerk — Mrs. B. Stuart; assessors — 
C. E. Davis, R. L. Ballou, E. A. Bowen; auditor — G. C. Bartlett. 

The treasurer's report for 1924 show the receipts to be $31,260. 
This report also shows a balance in bank at close of year to be 

The report of the assessors gives these items : Real estate, per- 
sonal and poll taxes amounting to $11,411. The total valuation 
of personal and real estate in the town was $607,000. Number of 
horses assessed, 34; cows, 42, sheep, 11, neat cattle, 9, swine, 8, 
fowls, 185, dwelling houses, 48, acres of land, 5,714. 

Referring back to old records it is shown that April, 1823 this 
town was divided into two school districts. The following year 
a third school district was added and a new schoolhouse erected 
at "four corners" by the building committee consisting of Hosea 
Ballou, John Hicks, and David Caneday. 

The school report shows total number of pupils in 1924 to have 
been 36 — 21 boys and 15 girls — attending the two schools of the 
town. Cost of transporting scholars to and from school $500, 
for elementary, and for high school scholars $96. 

In 1848, it was decided to erect a new town-house as near the 
center of the town as possible, and to use for this purpose the 
surplus money received from the United States treasury. This 
building was erected and served both as a town-house and hall in 
which religious services were held. No church edifice has been 
erected in the town, however the Universalists under Rev. David 
Ballou formed a society which was kept up forty years or more. 
The Baptists had a society forty years ago and held regular ser- 
vices in rented buildings at last accounts. 

Monroe Bridge — This is a postoffice village or settlement that 


has grown up since 1886, as a result of the James Ramage Paper 
Company, makers of pulp and manila paper, used largely in box- 
making. Soon the place began to grow and in 1892 it had a post- 
ofifice, town-house, two stores, and other business places. The 
paper company was located near the narrow gauge railroad built 
through the valley by an organization capitalized at $500,000, with 
James Ramage as its president. The pulp mill mentioned had a 
capacity of five tons per day, while the paper mill made six tons 
daily and the two plants employed sixty-five workmen. The last 
census gave this village a population of 301. 

Town of Heath — This town is third from the west, bordering 
on the Vermont line, and has Colerain for its eastern boundary, 
while south and west are Charlemont and Rowe. Originally, the 
greater part of Heath belonged to Charlemont, but after the Revo- 
lution, Col. Hugh Maxwell was sent to the General Court at Bos- 
ton and procured the formation of a new town which was incor- 
porated February 14, 1785. Its name was bestowed as a compli- 
ment to General William Heath, of Roxbury. The town was not 
fully organized until the following spring. On account of its 
soil and surface, this town has usually depended largely on 
farming and stock raising for its livelihood. Its principal streams 
are West Branch Brook and its tributaries. These are all small 
streams afifording water enough to supply the town, but not suffi- 
cient to give other than a small water-power. 

This town contained one of the stockades (sometimes called 
forts) erected in 1744, in the northern part of Berkshire and Frank- 
lin counties, by the province in defense against the Indians. This 
"fort" in Heath was named Fort Shirley, in honor of the gover- 
nor of the province. 

Land Titles and Settlers — The part then embraced in Charle- 
mont, was settled by men already named in the town history of 
Charlemont. These settlements were made as early as 1754, but 
the more permanent settlements came in 1760-65. Jonathan Tay- 
lor, who had lived in the fort was the original settler in these 
parts. Among the family names tracing back to the pioneer set- 
tlement times, are recalled the Whites, Maxwells, Leonard Tay- 
lor, William Buck, the Temples, and the Goulds. 

Civil Government — The first called meeting in the Town of 
Heath was held at a schoolhouse near Solomon Hayward's, March 
21, 1785. The first town officers include these: Town clerk — 


James White ; selectmen — James White, William Buck, and Joseph 
Butler. Passing over the years to the present day, it may be said 
that the interests of this town are now looked after by the fol- 
lowing: Selectmen and assessors — Henry Stetson, Jesse Thompson, 
and Frank Burrington ; clerk and treasurer — Horatio Dickinson; 
constable — Hugh Thompson; auditor — Oscar Thompson; tree- 
warden — S. G. Benson ; school committee — Herbert Stetson, Her- 
bert Dixon, and Ernest Kinsman. 

The treasurer's report for 1924 shows items as follows : Balance 
on hand and received for 1924, |16,242. Paid out, $13,208; balance 
on hand January 1, 1925 $3,034. Of the school accounts it is said 
that in 1924 there were receipts amounting to $8,583 and disburse- 
ments amounting to the same, showing no balance on hand. 

The total valuation of all personal and real estate in the town in 
1924 was $362,007. Number assessed for poll tax only, 24; number 
non-residents assessed, 67; residents assessed, 113; polls assessed, 
106; horse, 143; cows, 399; neat cattle, 295; swine, 41; sheep, 85; 
fowls, 1,011. The total number of acres of land assessed, 14,843. 

In the school report it is shown that there were in 1924 four 
schools in the town — North, Branch, Center, and West School. 
Total enrollment, 53; average attendance, 44. Amount paid for 
transporting pupils to and from schoolhouses, $2,012.80. 

The list of present day industries within this town is not long. 
In the first years of the last century, about 1800, on Avery Brook, 
Ephraim Hastings built a small grist-mill, operated by Thomas 
White. Col. David Snow had a saw mill near the above mill. At 
the hamlet, Enos Adams built a tannery in 1820. Saw mills, grist- 
mills, and tanneries were about the extent of industries in this 
town. Besides a cluster of houses around the mills at Holland Dell, 
the only hamlet in the town is Heath. Locally, this place has 
long been known as Middle Heath. The population of the place 
in 1840 was 1,200. The village in 1920 had 350 population. The 
town then had 503. 

Of churches let it be said that a Baptist church was formed in 
1801 and the Unitarian organized in 1825. 

Among the celebrated men who have gone forth from the Town 
of Heath was Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland, who came to the town 
when three years old and was educated in its public schools, later 
graduating from the Berkshire County Medical College and in 
1849, became associated with Samuel Bowles and others on the 
"Springfield Republican ;" wrote books of poems and died in 1881, 



after having edited Scribner's Magazine and Century Magazine 
for a number of years. 

Town of Leyden — Leyden, one of Franklin County's smallest 
sub-divisions had a population in 1920 of 350. It is bounded on 
the north by the Vermont State line, south by Greenfield, east by 
Bernardston, and west by Colerain. The only stream of much 
size within this town is Green River which flows along the Avest- 
ern border. The nearest railway stations are Bernardston and 
Greenfield. The town is made up of a series of hills and vales. 
The lover of landscape scenes can here have a perpetual feast on 
the beautiful scenes of nature. In the western portion one can 
view the domain of the States of Massachusetts, Vermont, New 
Hampshire, and Connecticut. 

A Natural Curiosity — Leyden Glen, on the south near the Green- 
field line, is a charming place to visit at any season of the year. 
Here the brook has worn a passage through the rocks. The gorge 
which is forty or more rods long, is a wild romantic spot, while 
the beautiful glen adds to the attractiveness. At the end of the 
glen the waters of the brook are confined within the limits of 
two reservoirs from which the population of Greenfield obtains 
their water supply. Another curiosity of the town is "Hanging 
Rock," on the Jonathan Budington farm. This rock weighs more 
than twenty ton and is so balanced that the slightest pressure 
will sway it. 

Settlement — This town was set ofif from Bernardston Town, 
in 1784, hence its early history is the same as given in that town. 
An old record gives the names of the following persons as having 
settled in Leyden district in the years 1784, 1785, 1787, and 1788. 
In 1784, John B. Demontal and family; David and Alexander 
Moore and family; Sylvester Crandall and family; John Wells 
and Desire, his wife and children; in 1785 came Joshua Noyes, 
and family ; 1787 John Saunders, Peter Brown, Jabez Knapp, and 
Joseph Engley. Others came in soon after the above dates. 

Among men of mark who once lived in this town were these : 
Henry Kirke Brown, a noted sculptor, and John L. Riddell, in- 
ventor of the binocular microscope and magnifying glass. 

Organization — March 12, 1784, Leyden was set apart from the 
Town of Bernardston into a district by itself. The new town or 
district was named after Leyden in Holland, where the Puritan 
ancestors of many of the settlers of Massachusetts lived before 
coming to this country. The first town meeting was held April 


26, 1784. Without giving the long list of selectmen and town 
officers who have served during all these years, the officers for 
1924 are here noted : Selectmen — W. A. Campbell, W. J. Black, 
E. P. Tabor ; clerk and town treasurer — E. P. Howes ; assessors — 
H. W. Severance, A. A. Phillips, John Glabach; auditor — Eliza- 
beth Black ; tax-collector — C. F. Severance ; constable — J. H. New- 

The treasurer's report shows the town's resources in 1924 to 
have been |26,192 and its expenditure was $26,192, less the $853 
cash on hand. 

The school report shows number pupils enrolled, 65 ; high school 
pupils, 19; average attendance, 51; the number of schools was 
five as follows : Center, East, Beaver, Meadow, West, and South 
School. Total salaries paid, $4,250; total grade enrollment, 51. 

Villages — Leyden Center is the only village within this town 
dignified by the establishment of a postoffice. The only church 
building in the town is the one at this village. A store and cheese 
factory were in operation there forty years ago. Beaver Meadow 
Settlement, in the northeast part of the town is a small village 
surrounded by a fine, well developed farming section. 

Churches — The first church organized in this town was the 
Baptist who erected a church building in 1797. This denomina- 
tion was strong in pioneer days in this section, but later others 
took the field. Congregational, Universalist and Methodist each 
had their followers but no regular churches were established. 
These denominations worshiped in union services with the Baptists 
many years. About 1850 the Baptist society was dissolved and 
the building was torn down. In 1810 the Methodist church was 
formed. In 1867, the Universalists organized with twenty-four 
members. Leyden up to 1880, had sent out nine of her sons as 
Methodist ministers and four as Universalists besides sending 
forth eleven physicians. At present union services are held within 
the town. 


Town of Montague — Beyond the rocky range of mountains to 

the east of Greenfield lies Montague, containing within her borders 
the important villages of Turners Falls and Millers Falls, and Lake 
Pleasant besides lesser localities such as Montague City and the 
Center. With the Connecticut at the west and Millers River in 
the northeast, Montague is well supplied with water privileges. 
The railroad facilities are equally good — the Boston and Maine, 
as well as the New London Northern running through the town, 
with stations at various points. 

The earliest grant of land in what is now Montague was under 
date of March 23, 1716, when the privilege of the stream in 
Sunderland at first called Swampfield, was granted to Benjamin 
Munn, Edward Ailing, Jr., Daniel Beamon, Edward Ailing and 
Nathaniel Frary. They were to build on Saw Mill Creek a mill 
for getting out lumber and were to have what timber was needed 
for the construction of their mill and they were also bound not to 
impede the erection of a corn mill on the stream just named. 
To further aid them they were allowed thirty acres of land in the 
town. This tract is now known as Montague Center. The first 
permanent settler was a Mr. Marsh, who probably arrived in 
1726, and at about the same date came one Taylor. Other pioneer 
settlers were Ellis, Root, Harvey, Montague, King, Tuttle, Bart- 
lett, Benjamin, Burnham, Wright, Rowe, Taft, Green, and Clapp 
many of which families have descendants here at the present 

Montague was incorporated December 22, 1753, and given the 
name of Montague in honor of Captain William Montague, com- 
mander of the "Mermaid," at the taking of Cape Breton. While 
the town was legally incorporated in 1753, there appears no record 
of its government until 1756 when a town meeting is recorded. 

In 1770 Joseph Root was an inn-keeper; Martin Root, his son, 
succeeded his father. The building was located in the village 
of Montague Center and was used many years as a hotel, but was 
finally utilized as a dwelling house. Other early business men 
were Moses Root, blacksmith; Mr. Esterbrooks, store-keeper; 
William Wells, physician; Jonathan Hartwell, lawyer; Martin 


Gunn, postmaster. The first child born in the settlement was 
Elisha Root. Montague has had the usual number of churches 
including the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Unitarian, 
Methodist and Roman Catholic. 

The first ordained minister of the town was Rev. Judah Nash 
who settled in 1752 and a meeting house was erected the follow- 
ing year. For fifty-three years this minister faithfully cared for 
his flock, his death taking place in 1805. 

The first mention of schools was in December, 1775 when it 
was voted to pay Asahel Gunn a certain amount for his wife to 
teach school. For many years this town has been up to modern 
standards in the matter of its public schools. 

In 1873 a suspension bridge was placed across the Connecticut 
River, connecting Turners Falls with Greenfield, at a cost of 
136,000. Another was built above the falls, connecting Turners 
Falls with Riverside in Gill. This structure cost $42,000 and was 
finished in December, 1878. 

Montague City was settled by the Dutch, who here formed 
a colony in 1794. For nearly a quarter of a century Rector L. and 

D. W. Goss carried on a large lumber milling interest and made 
piano cases; at one time seventy-five men found employment in 
this place. Another large interest is the Montague City Rod 
Company, by Hazelton & Bartlett, makers of fishing tackle and 
implements, said to be one of the largest in the country. Another 
industry for years was brick-making. 

Millers Falls is a thriving village on both sides of Millers 
River, in the towns of Montague and Erving. In 1892 it had 800 
population. There are several churches and schools here. The 
place owes its growth largely to the activities of the Millers Falls 
Company which commenced its operations in 1868, and whose 
products included bit braces, wringers, etc. The promoters of 
this plant were Levi J. Gunn, Charles H. Aniidon and Henry L. 
Pratt. Two hundred men found employment in this factory in 
the nineties. Later additions were made and machinists and 
household hardware articles were manufactured. The list of 
articles made in these works is indeed very long and their superior 
goods have found word-wide sale. Henry L. Pratt, and George 

E. Rogers were prominent factors in the company. 

Another large business is that of the Millers Falls Paper Com- 
pany the product of which goes all over the country. 

Turners Falls — The history of improvement here commenced 


in 1798 when the old canal was made which allowed navigation 
to pass up and down the Connecticut River, notwithstanding the 
great cataract at that point in the river. But its real industrial 
interests began at the close of the Civil War in 1865. The canal 
had gone out of use by 1856, having given way to the railway 
lines — a more rapid means of transportation. The old canal com- 
pany, under a new name, began a greater undertaking. The 
Turners Falls Company was organized and the immense water 
power was developed to a wonderful extent. This transformation 
was started in earnest in 1866 when Colonel Alvah Crocker made 
plans for the building of a dam across the Connecticut River at 
the head of "Great Falls," as a water power. Today the stock- 
holders of the Turners Falls Power and Electric Company are 
building a monument to the memory of Colonel Crocker and his 
associates in the further development of that great power, dis- 
tributed for the use of the public within this commonwealth. The 
interesting history of the construction of the old dam made from 
'66 to '70 is all too lengthy for this chapter. Suffice to say that 
after no little effort on the part of Colonel Crocker and others, 
the John Russell Manufacturing Company, the Montague Paper 
Company and the Turners Falls Pulp Company purchased mill 
sites and leased permanent water privileges upon the power canal. 
Railroads were next induced to build to Turners Falls ; the Keith 
Paper Company and the Griswold Cotton Mills located their 
plants there, and the total horse-power sold and being used by 
the five large corporations along the canal was 5,200, the same 
being utilized under a "head" of from 25 to 39 feet. Another 
paper mill was added by the Turners Falls Paper Company ; the 
Clark and Chapman Machine Company also leased power rights 
and made improvements. In 1892 the Marshall Paper Company, 
now the Esleeck Manufacturing Company, purchased a location 
on the power canal and leased the first surplus water rights. 

At this time (1925), the Turners Falls Power and Electric Com- 
pany have assets amounting to $15,000,000, as against the property 
of the old "Upper Locks and Canals Company" of ninety years 
ago, valued at $150,000. The old company had annual gross 
receipts of $12,000 and the present corporation shows its receipts 
to be $2,200,000. 

The present business interests of Turners Falls include these: 
Two banking houses — the Crocker National and the Crocker 
Institution For Savings; Electric Steel Product Company; two 


brass foundries ; brick works ; cotton factory ; three cutlery fac- 
tories ; directory publishers ; drop f orgings ; hotels ; the Esleeck 
Manufacturing Company; Griswold Manufacturing Company; 
Keith Paper Company ; Martin Machine Company ; McLane Silk 
Company ; Montague Machine Company ; Turners Falls Power 
and Electric Company ; paper mill machine factory ; the John 
Russell Cutlery Company; pulp and paper mill machinery; Inter- 
national Paper Company. 

Turners Falls has a Chamber of Commerce; a public library 
of 11,000 books; a Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows Lodge, Knights 
of Columbus. Its churches include the Baptist, First Congrega- 
tional, Lutheran, Episcopal, Roman Catholic (three). 

Its newspaper facilities at present consist of the "Advertiser" 
which is circulated weekly without charge. It is a Republican 
paper established in 1922. For many years the "Reporter" was 
published by the late Cecil T. Bagnal, and it was a paper widely 
quoted everywhere. 

Concerning the Town government of Montague it may be said 
that the official report for 1924 says number of polls taxed within 
the town was — Turners Falls, 1,345; Montague City, 166; Millers 
Falls, 300; Montague Center, 289; Lake Pleasant, 20. Total valu- 
ation of the personal and real estate of the town was in 1924, 
$9,928,198. Tax rate $26, on a thousand dollar valuation. 

The grand total value of all school buildings and their fixtures 
is $427,300. There are ten schoolhouses in the town. 

The town treasurer's report shows receipts for 1924 to have 
been $569,273.43. The amount on hand as a balance January 1, 
1925 was $13,245.88. 

The town officers for 1924-25 were as follows: Moderator — 
Anthony J. Crean ; town clerk — Henry D. Bardwell ; treasurer — 
John J. McLaughlin ; Tax-collector — John J. McLaughlin ; select- 
men — Henry E. Beaumier, Edward W. Bitzer, William J. Par- 
sons ; assessors — James F. Ryan, Daniel C. Donahue, John Bitzer ; 
auditors — Homer L. Cole, T. Harold Reynolds and Charles J. 
Stotz ; tree warden — Sigmund Klaiber ; superintendent of schools 
— Joseph S. Keating; street superintendent — John E. Sullivan; 
clerk to town officers — Miss Margaret Callahan . 

Lake Pleasant — This village is located in Montague town about 
seven miles southeast of Greenfield; is a station point on the 
Fitchburg division of the Boston & Maine railroad. For many 


years this place has been the camp-meeting site for the New 
England Spiritualists Association. It was in 1870 that George W. 
Potter of Greenfield, bought a small piece of land at this place 
and cleared it off nicely, put in a few benches, and invited fifty 
of his friends there for a picnic. He also invited the editor of the 
"Franklin County Times" to attend and write the same up in 
his paper. Thus was Lake Pleasant opened to the public as a 
place of comfort and resort. Mr. Potter sold his interest to the 
railroad company and they made sundry improvements to attract 
passengers thither. In 1874-75 the Spiritualists of the state started 
a camp-meeting there and it has continued until the present time. 
In April, 1907 a fire here consumed $100,000 worth of property, 
burning a hundred frame houses. 

Town of Northfield — This is one of the large and more populous 
towns of eastern Franklin. Its taxable area is 19,860 acres and it 
borders upon the States of Vermont and New Hampshire and has 
for its northern boundary parts of the southern lines of those 
states. On the south is the town of Erving, on the east the town 
of Warwick, and on the west the towns of Gill and Bernardston. 
The Connecticut River divides the northern portion of Northfield 
as far south as the southeast corner of Bernardston, from thence 
forms Northfield's western boundary. 

The surface of the town is quite hilly, but on the west along 
the river, three stretches of fertile land are found with a deep 
alluvial soil. Besides the Connecticut River there are many lesser 
streams mostly of the mountain brook type. The hilly range 
extends through the town and there are many prominent eminenc- 
es, including South Mountain, Crag Mountain and Beers' Mountain 
(the latter having been named for Richard Beers killed by the 
Indians in 1675 and buried near) on the south, and, passing farther 
north. Brush Round, Hemlock, Notch, Stratton, Pine and lesser 

Clark's Island, in the Connecticut River, to the north of North- 
field Farms, was granted to the town by William Clarke in 1686. 
Sometimes this island is called Field's Island and Stratton's 

Early Settlement — Early in the seventeenth century the terri- 
tory now comprising Northfield town was occupied by the Squak- 
heag Indians, and they were in possession of it as late as 1669, 
when in consequence of the failure of their expedition against 
the Mohawks, they abandoned the tract, and in 1669 a committee 


appointed by the General Court to lay out a plantation at what 
is now Worcester reported that among- other places they had 
discovered a place called "Suckquakege", on the Connecticut River, 
and they suggested to the court that the places discovered should 
be reserved to make towns, the better to strengthen "those inland 
parts." The Court approved the report, and ordered the lands 
mentioned to be reserved, and, in 1671, Joseph Parsons, Sr., 
William Janes, George Alexander, Caleb Pomeroy, Micha Mudge, 
and a few others, of Northampton, purchased this place called 
Suckquakege from the native claimants for "a valuable consider- 
ation." The tract contained in this land bought from the Indians 
there were 10,560 acres to which were added, in 1673, 3,000 acres 

In May, 1672, the General Court authorized the laying out of a 
township upon the tract first purchased, conditioned that not less 
than twenty families should settle there within eighteen months. 
The petition took good care to provide for the preaching of the 
Word and the observances of the ordinances; and that a farm of 
300 acres be reserved for "the use of the country." The grant was 
issued October, 1672 and was for at least six miles square. The 
committee attended to all these matters and made their report in 
the fall of 1672. 

From a publication of Rev. John Hubbard, it appears that upon 
the tract, now known as Northfield, "settlers located in the spring 
of 1673, and built huts surrounded by a stockade and fort. In the 
center of their collection of huts they built one for public worship, 
and employed Elder William Janes as the preacher." The town 
plot was laid out at the southerly end of what is now known as 
Northfield Street, and the settlers who located there in 1673, and 
soon thereafter were Ralph Hutchinson, Elder William Janes, 
Robert Lyman, Cornelius Merry, John Hilyard, James Bennett, 
Joseph Dickinson, Micah Mudge, John Alexander, George Alex- 
ander, Samuel Wright, William Miller, Thomas Bascom, William 
Smeade, William Hurlbut, Jr., and Thomas Webster. 

The settlers pursued their lives in peaceful security until early 
in 1675, when the Indians began to grow troublesome, and the 
news of the destruction of Brookfield, in August of this year, to- 
gether with other depredations alarmed the Northfield people to 
such a degree that they abandoned their settlement and fled to 
Hadley in the latter part of the year. Nothing more was done 
by the white settlers in the vicinity of Northfield for seven years. 


or until 1682, when the settlers commenced to come back and 
during 1683 there were forty families. Of the first settlers who 
had been at Northfield the first time, in 1673, Samuel Wright, 
Joseph Dickinson and James Bennett were killed by the Indians 
while others had abandoned their rights. But the most of those 
who left came back to make their second settlement. In about 
1685 a substantial fort was built and John Clary, Jr., was given 
twenty acres of land as an encouragement to erect a grist mill 
on Mill Brook. The little settlement prospered for a brief period 
but was doomed to disappointment and partial destruction. King 
William's war broke out in 1689 and Northfield was one more 
deserted. Then Queen Anne's war came on in 1702 and continued 
more than ten years during which desolation prevailed at North- 
field. Late in 1713 the Court granted that the town be named 
Northfield and that the prayer of the petitioners was heard and 
only had the proviso that within three years forty families should 
be settled there. But again trouble was becoming alarming and it 
was not long before the French and Indian wars came on and were 
not silenced until 1763, during which period the settlers at North- 
field passed through much hardship, but withstood their ground 
and when that conflict ended better times were at hand. 

In 1799 the fifth turnpike in Massachusetts, was largely built 
by Northfield men who organized and built a road from Northfield 
through Warwick, Orange, Athol and other towns. 

Northfield bore a noble part in the war for Independence, as is 
seen on many a page of the town's record-books. When the 
revenue act was passed, imposing heavy duties upon the necessi- 
ties and luxuries, the people at Northfield promptly resolved to 
forego the use of many of the articles upon which taxes were laid 
by the Mother country. 

Northfield took no active part in the War of 1812-14, but Rufus 
Stratton went as an irregular delegate to the anti-war convention 
at Northampton, in July, 1812. 

Organization— Northfield was incorporated June 15, 1723 after 
which time it conducted its own local government, electing its 
own officers. The town chose its clerk from the beginning of the 
third settlement, in 1714, and began to choose selectmen in 1718. 
The men chosen as selectmen in 1718 were Benoni Moore, Ben- 
jamin Wright, Peter Evans and Isaac Warner. The first' town 
clerk was elected in 1714 in the person of Ebenezer Wright. All 
down through the years to today, as a rule, the best of men have 


served as officers of this town and the improvements have been 
made with enterprise but nothing has been wasted in useless 
experiments. The present (1925) town officers are as follows: 
Clerk — Charles C Stearns ; Treasurer — Frank W. Williams ; select- 
men — Fred A. Holton, Charles A. Parker, Frank H. Montague ; 
school committee — Lester A. Polhemus, Mrs. Maud M. Montague, 
Dr. Roscoe H. Philbrick; assessors — Charles E. Leach, Alfred H. 
Mattoon, Joseph R. Colton; tax-collector — Leon R. Alexander; 
tree warden — Arnold H. Holton ; town accountant — Charles S. 
Warner ; chief of fire department — James W. Alger ; forest fire 
warden — Thomas H. Parker; road superintendent — Edward M. 
Morgan ; pound-keeper — Lucky O. Clapp. 

The report of the town school committee, shows the town has 
a total of 344 pupils in the public schools. The present super- 
intendent is E. J. Best. 

The public library contains about 8,550 books. The present 
librarian is Mrs. C. A. Randall. 

The assessor's report shows the total valuation of real estate 
in the town to be $1,543,181; of personal property, $313,747. Tax 
rate per thousand dollars $30.40. Number assessed polls in town, 
480. Amount appropriated for schools last year, $28,500. Amount 
appropriated for the poor $2,300. 

The villages within this town are Northfield, East Northfield, 
West Northfield and Northfield Farms. The village of Northfield 
is at the southern end of a mile-long street with residences on 
either side, and there is a Congregational church, the public library 
and several business houses, and also a postoffice. 

East Northfield is the seat of the Girl's Preparatory School, one 
of Evangelist Moody's educational institutions which has country- 
wide fame. The Connecticut River flows along the village front 
and majestic hills, rearing their heads in the near back-ground 
and in the distance as far as the eye can reach, complete a picture 
such as only nature can produce. 

The first church in the village was the one on the line between 
Northfield and East Northfield, and tradition says that in 1688 
Rev. William Mather was sent from Northampton "to be the min- 
ister half the year at Northfield." The first meetings were held 
as the records say, "in the Meetinghouse Oak," which stood at 
the lower end of the village and was accidentally burned in 1869. 
The first church building was erected in 1716 when Rev. James 
Whitmore became pastor. During the history of the place 


Northfield has had societies of the following denominations : The 
Congregational, 1763 ; the Second Congregational in 1825 ; the Meth- 
odist Episcopal, organized 1810, continuing until 1844; the Baptist 
at Northfield Farms, 1829 to 1846; the Unitarian and Roman 

The schools have been well sustained here for generations. 
The first of which there appears any record was in 1721 when the 
wife of Ebenezer Field, the blacksmith, taught a select school at 
her house, and charged "fourpence each week per scholar." The 
first school building was erected in 1736 and another in 1748. 
The town used but one schoolhouse at a time until 1781. What was 
styled the Northfield Academy of Useful Knowledge was incor- 
porated in 1829 and was opened in Hunt's Hall in the old village. 
This institution under various managements existed until 1843. 
In 1878 the town had thirteen district schools. See official re- 
port of town for 1924-25 for present schools. 

Industries — This is a rich agricultural town and aside from its 
educational institutions which spend a large sum annually, the 
people subsist largely from the cultivation of the soil. For many 
years the tobacco crop was a large and profitable one in this town. 
In 1875 the reports gave the products of the soil for that year 
as $267, 876, while its manufactories had but $59,876. The number 
of farms at that date was 269. There have from time to time been 
several saw mills and a factory making cultivators and other tools, 
but little manufacturing is now going on. 

Northfield has come to be a well known summer resort and is 
visited annually by thousands who come to take advantage of 
the various religious gatherings connected with church, school 
and missionary work. The Hotel Northfield is a spacious, well 
managed hotel with hundreds of rooms. Here gather many noted 
men and women from all parts of the world. For many years it 
has been under the management and direction of members of the 
Dwight L. Moody family. 

The Moody Institutions — On the beautiful crest of what is 
known as "Round Top" in East Northfield, may be seen two small, 
modest tomb-stones — one bearing the name of Dwight Lyman 
Moody and the other the name of his wife. This is a private 
burial plot and the graves are surrounded by a plain iron fence and 
nothing around the simple enclosure would indicate that here 
rest the ashes of one of the greatest evangelists the earth has 


ever seen. Really, the monument to his memory is to be seen 
but a few rods distant in the large group of Seminary buildings, 
of the great Young Ladies' Seminary Mr. Moody founded there 
almost within stone's throw of his birthplace, which building is 
still standing and used as a museum, also occupied by members 
of the faculty ; in it lived and died Mr. Moody's sainted mother. 

Of the Seminary it should be briefly noted that in 1879 Mr. 
Moody associated himself with others and pvirchased several 
tracts of land, suited in location and topography for the ideal school 
Mr. Moody wanted to found. The present total acreage of the 
campus is two hundred and seventy-nine. The seminary buildings 
now include the following: Kenarden Hall, the Administration 
building dedicated 1913; Stone Hall, completed in 1885; Home 
Science Hall, dedicated 1907; Talcott Library, opened 1888; Skin- 
ner Gymnasium, 1895 ; Russell Sage Chapel, erected 1909, gift of 
Mrs. Sage in memory of her husband; Margaret Olivia Music 
Hall, 1909, also gift from Mrs. Sage ; Betsey Moody Cottage, 
named for Mr. Moody's mother, opened in 1890; Auditorium 
in which great conferences and meetings are annually held ; it 
was built in 1894 and holds 2,500 people ; The Birthplace, which 
house was bought and restored, and presented to the Seminary 
in 1921 by Fleming H. Revell of the board of trustees, is used 
as a Teachers' Club House. Here Mr. Moody was born and spent 
his boyhood days. 

The halls of residence include these: East Hall, 1880; Frederick 
Marquand Memorial Hall, 1885; Weston Hall, 1887; Moore 
Cottage, 1899; gift of Helen Gould, largest on the grounds; Revell, 
Holton, Hillside and Connecticut are four smaller buildings. A 
power plant furnishes both light and heat for the entire place, 
including steam laundry. 

The land belonging to the Seminary consists of six hundred 
acres of woodland, tillable acreage, and orchards. The farm is 
stocked with horses and cattle. Holstein cows provide an abun- 
dant supply of milk. The recent reports show an attendance of 
575 girls during 1924. The number of graduates last year was 

The total assets of the Northfield Schools — Mount Hermon for 
boys and Northfield for girls, amount to $4,971,828. The history 
of the school for boys at Mount Hermon, in the town of Gill is 
given in its proper place among the towns of the country. 

Mr. Moody passed from the scenes of life at his home in East 


Northfield, on Friday, the last week in December, 1899, and was 
buried on the 26th of that month, at a spot he had designated, 
on "Round Top", very close to his birthplace and the home he 
last occupied. The summer schools and "Summer Conferences" 
at Northfield, draw their thousands each season— from ten to 
fifteen thousand of late years come from many parts of the world 
to be present at these great religious gatherings. 

Town of Orange— Orange is the third in population of the 
twenty-six towns in Franklin County. It lies on the eastern 
border and is bounded on the north by the town of Warwick 
and the county of Worcester, on the south by the town of New 
Salem on the east by Worcester County and on the west by 
Warwick, Wendell, and Erving. The Fitchburg division of the 
Boston & Maine railroad follows the course of the Millers River, 
entering the town on the east, and crosses it in a northern direc- 
tion. Beside Millers River the streams are Tully River, Cheney 
Brook in the east, Orcott and Moss brooks in the west, and Gulf, 
Shingle Swamp, and Red brooks in the south, all of which furnish 
an excellent water power. In the east there is a large pond at 
Furnace Village, and Packards Pond at Fryville, both of which 
connect with Tully River. North Pond, in the south, has an area 
of nearly seventy acres, and is the head-spring of Swift River. The 
highest point of elevation in the town is Big Tully Mountam m 

the northeast. 

Early Settlers— Settlement in the tract including what is now 
the town of Orange, Athol, Warwick, etc. were very small and 
limited to a small scope of territory prior to 1750, and not to 
any considerable extent until 1762. In the last named year Jacob 
Hutchins located on the eastern part of a grant of land including 
325 acres. This grant was issued by the General Court to Rev. 
Benjamin Ruggles, of Middleborough, in 1752 and becoming in 
March 1762, a portion of Athol, and, was in 1783 included in the 
district of Orange. As early as 1747 Ezekiel Wallingford effected 
his settlement and was long afterward killed by the Indians. 
Ichabod Dexter, of Rochester, Massachusetts, bought the right to 
Wallingford's land, and lived upon it many years after which 
he located in Warwick. Near him located Samuel Ruggles in 1780 
and Lemuel Ruggles in 1786. Seth Ellis settled in 1784, on the west 
side of Tully's Meadows. The "Goodell place", in the southeast 
part of town, was occupied by Zini Goodell in 1787 and later 


years was occupied by his great-grand-children. Other pioneers 
included the Cheneys, Leggs, Fosketts, Goddards, Lords, and 
Briggs families. 

The first dam across the waters of Millers River, at Orange, 
was doubtless the one constructed by James Holmes, in 1790. 
During that year he built a saw and grist-mill. In 1804 a carding 
mill was set in operation at this place. In common with all West- 
ern Massachusetts, the people here did not enthuse over the War 
of 1812 and offered a bounty of $12 per man to go as substitute. 

In 1837 a large tract of land south of Millers River, and em- 
bracing the northern portion of New Salem, as well as the eastern 
portion of Erving's grant, was annexed to Orange. This was done 
for the pupose of bringing South Orange nearer the center of 
the town ; for it was in that year that, owing to the important 
growth of South Orange, the seat of town government was removed 
to that village from Orange (now North Orange) and a town 
hall was built there. Before annexation referred to. Millers River 
was the southern boundary of the town. In 1845 the name of 
Orange Village, the place of early settlement, was changed to 
North Orange, and that of South Orange to Orange Centre. 

By the side of the highway, south of North Orange, and near 
the old burying grounds a stone was erected to mark the spot 
where Mrs. Wheelock, an aged resident of Orange, was killed 
in 1820 by being throw^n from her carriage. 

Organization — October 15, 1783, the southeastern part of the 
town of Warwick, and a tract known as Ervingshire, lying on the 
north side of Millers River, in the county of Hampshire, and other 
territory, were joined by act of the Legislature, and erected into 
a separate district by the name of Orange. The district was 
named in honor of William, prince of Orange, and its first public 
meeting was held November 24, 1783. February 21, 1810, the 
district was incorporated as a town, and the first town meeting 
held April 2, 1810. The only villages of importance within this 
town are Orange Centre and North Orange. 

Churches — Among the church denominations of early and later 
years should be named the Congregational, Universalist, and Meth- 
odist churches. Union services were frequently held in pioneer 
times. The First Congregational church was established in 1781 
by Nathan Goddard and thirty-three others. In 1822 the Unitarian 
element predominating. Rev. Joshua Chandler, a Unitarian min- 
ister, was installed and served until 1827. The Second Universalist 


church in Orange was re-organized in 1858. The Third Congrega- 
tional church was established in 1843. A Methodist Episcopal 
church or rather "a class" was organized in 1795, and consisted of 
twelve members. In 1853 a second Methodist class was formed 
in what is now West Orange, but both of these churches passed 
out of existence many years since. A Baptist church was organ- 
ized with twenty-nine members in 1834, but ony existed until 
1860, but in 1870 was re-organized and erected a $10,000 edifice. 
In 1833 a union meeting-house was built in Orange Centre. The 
First Universalist church was organized in 1858. The Central 
Evangelical church of Orange Centre was formed in 1846 with 
fifteen members. Until 1851 it was known as the "Village Church." 

The present-day religious organizations in the town include 
these : First Baptist, Wheeler Baptist, Central Congregational, 
Congregational, the Swedish Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist 
Episcopal, Universalist and Roman Catholic. 

Schools — The records in educational affairs in this town run 
back as far as 1784. In 1791 the town was divided into five school 
districts, or wards, and in 1800 the total amount raised for school 
purposes was $1,000. By 1878 there were in the town a high 
school, grammar school, an intermediate school, first and second 
primary and eleven district schools. The present year (1924) 
reports show the enrollment of pupils to be: High school, 256; 
Central school, 405; South school, 159; Cheney school, 108; Whit- 
ney school, 52; North Orange school, 13; Tully school, 14. The 
total number of pupils was 1,007. Number of boys, 469; number 
of girls, 538. The superintendent is Josiah S. McCann. 

Public Library — Ever since 1859 Orange has had a creditable 
library. The present "Wheeler Memorial Library" is a credit to any 
community who might possess it. It is indeed a worthy monument 
to two persons, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Wheeler who were always 
interested in the welfare of Orange. The cost of building and fur- 
nishings was $52,000 and was really the gift of Almira Wheeler 
Thompson, in memory of her husband John W. Wheeler. The 
number of books now on shelves is 15,443. Since the library has 
been known as the Wheeler Memorial Library there has only been 
but one librarian — N. Gertrude Hendrickson. This institution 
was dedicated April 17, 1914. 

The headquarters for the Orange Historical and Antiquarian 
Society are kept in the library building. 

Banking Interests — The banking of Orange is well looked after 


at this time by the Orange National Bank, the Orange Savings 
Bank and the Orange Co-operative Bank. The last named was 
established in 1889; the Orange Savings Bank was organized in 
1871, and now has resources and liabilities amounting to $3,621,- 
153. The present executive officers are: Augustus J. Fisher, presi- 
dent ; vice-presidents, Harry C. Gates ; Edward M. Buell ; clerk 
of corporation, Harry C. Gates, and Geo. W. Andrews, treasurer. 
The Orange National Bank, organized in 1873, now has a capital 
of $100,000 and surplus for the same amount. April, 1925 it had 
resources and liabilities amounting to $1,826,225. Present officers 
are Frank A. Howe, president; E. E. Gridley, vice-president; 
Franklin H. Gath, cashier. 

Newspapers — "The Journal of Industry" was established at 
Orange by B. F. Stevens in 1871, and was still flourishing in 1880, 
but later merged with the present newspaper, the "Enterprise and 
Journal," established in 1872; is issued each Friday; is independent 
in politics and has about 1,800 circulation. 

The Masonic and Independent Order of Odd Fellows each 
have strong lodges at Orange, the former organizing in 1860 and 
the latter in 1878. The Edward Gerrish Post, No. 17, Grand Army 
of the Republic, was organized in 1865, among the first of the 
order. Also the Knights of Pythias, Red Men of America and 
Knights of Columbus. 

In military matters Orange has ever been in the forefront with 
her men and money in the various wars in which the country has 
been plunged. In the Civil War it sent forth one hundred and 
fifty men and of the number, thirty-eight sacrificed their lives. 
In honor to their memory the citizens of the town erected a hand- 
some soldiers' monument in the cemetery at Orange Centre, which 
was dedicated in 1870. It is a massive shaft of Maine granite 
rising to the elevation of forty feet. The names of the soldiers 
who lost their lives in battle and prison-pens, are inscribed on the 
base of this monument. Other parts of this work will mention the 
part the town took in later conflicts. 

Industries — The life and vigor of Orange have been its numerous 
manufacturing institutions. Forty years ago and more, it had the 
Gold Medal Sewing Machine factory (now the New Home Sew- 
ing Machine Company's works) of which later account is given ; the 
Rodney Hunt Machine Company, makers of heavy machinery, in- 
cluding turbine water-wheels ; the Orange Iron Foundry Company ; 


the chair and ladder factory; the Chase Turbme Wheel Company 
and lesser plants. 

Today (1925) the industries are inclusive of these plants: The 
apron factory, box-factory, the Sprague clothing factory, Adell 
Manufacturing Company makers of hardware specialties, Athol 
Gas and Electric Company, the Co-operative Furniture Company, 
Textile Roll and Supply Company, Union Tool Company, New 
Home Sewing Machine Works, Minute Tapioca Company, Leavitt 
Machine Company, Chase Turbine Water-Wheel Company, Hunt 
Rodney Machine Company, the Bogert & Hopper Company. 

The New Home Sewing Machine Company— The business of 
this concern was commenced in 1860 under the name of Clark & 
Barker, who employed two other men as workmen. They made 
the New England "single-thread hand sewing machine." In 1865 
the works were enlarged and what was known as the Gold Medal 
Sewing Machine was manufactured, and in 1870 the Home machine 
was placed on sale and 1882 the name of the company was changed 
to "The New Home Sewing Company." The present (1925) floor 
space is about fourteen acres. Present capacity of plant is 185,000 
machines yearly. The products are sold in this country, Canada, 
Mexico, South America, Japan, Australia, France, and Great 
Britain, with offices in nearly every country on the globe. Five 
hundred men are steadily employed in these works. During the 
World War this company had a million and a quarter dollars 
worth of contracts to provide shells and other supplies for the 
army, and ran two shifts of men, totalling six hundred. 

This plant is run by the 500-horse power derived from Millers 
River. The company commenced business in 1860 on a capital of 
$15,000 and now is being operated under a capital of $3,000,000. 
The wood work of these machines is made at the branch at 
Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Approximately 10,000 salesmen and 
agents throughout the world look after the sales and collections 
of this great company. 

Finances and Officers — The 1924 balance sheet of the town 
treasurer show^s cash in bank, January 1, 1925, $23,641; accounts 
receivable, $61,017; department bills, $5,727; bills receivable, $3,- 
200— total $93,586. 

The personal property assessed was $1,204,715; real estate $191,- 
000; rate of taxation $30 per thousand dollars; number of polls 
assessed in 1924, 1,788; horses assessed, 310; cows assessed, 552; 
neat cattle assessed, 182; sheep, 13; goats, 10; swine, 42; fowls, 

W. Mass. — 49 


3,695; dwelling houses assessed, 1,261; number acres of land as- 
sessed, 20,469. The town has liabilities and resources amounting 
to $238,215. 

The 1924-25 town officers are inclusive of these : Selectmen — 
George M. Underwood, Edward J. Cadwell, Thomas F. Haley; 
town clerk and treasurer — Robert H. Anderson ; assessors — R. B. 
Leavitt, Carl N. Stowell, Edward J. Cadwell ; tax-collector — Fred 
A. Lamb ; tree warden — Charles S. Hanson ; chief of police — 
Henry J. Rogers ; park commissioners — John A. McKenna, RoUin 
O. White, Herbert L. Gates ; street superintendent — Thomas F. 
Haley ; night officer — Henry J. Rogers. 

Town of Bernardston — This is one of the northern towns of 
Franklin County, bordering upon the State of Vermont, and has 
upon its south the towns of Greenfield and Gill, upon the east the 
town of Northfield and upon the west the town of Leyden An 
important stream. Fall River enters the town in the north, at 
North Bernardston, and, flowing almost due south, empties into 
the Connecticut River at Turners Falls. The Boston and Maine 
railway enters the town in the southwest, and passes out on the 
south line of Northfield. This town has an area of about five 
miles square, covering about 16,000 acres. 

The Fall River affords beautiful scenery. West Mountain over- 
looks the village of Bernardston on the west. It has an elevation of 
780 feet. Bald Mountain, in the northwest, is still higher ; and Wild 
Cat Mountain, north of West Mountain is somewhat lower in its 

Early Settlement — In November 1734 a petition signed by a large 
number of would-be settlers was presented the General Court and 
it was approved in June, 1735 and confirmed in 1736, replying to 
the request which read as follows : "A petition of Samuel Hunt, 
of Billerica, for himself and other survivors of the officers and 
soldiers that belonged to the company of Captain Turner, and 
the representatives of them that are dead, showing that the said 
company in 1676 engaged the Indian enemy at a place above de- 
scribed, and destroyed above three hundred of them, and, therefore, 
praying that this court would grant them a tract of land above 
Deerfield, suitable to make a township." The Court authorized 
the proprietors to hold their first meeting at the house of Benjamin 
Stebbins, in Northampton, and chose Ebenezer Pomeroy moder- 
ator and clerk. The place was first called Falls Fight township, 
and it was so known until October, 1741 when the name Falltown 


was substituted. It was so called until its incorporation in 1762 
when it took on the name of Bernardston. In May, 1737 the pro- 
prietors numbered ninety-seven. At a meeting held in Deerfield 
in the fall of 1737 it was decided to build a saw mill and they 
selected Joseph Mitchell to do such work and for the same he 
was given the exclusive milling privileges of that part of Fall 
River. The only condition other was that should the said Mitchell 
also erect a grist-mill that he was to have exclusive rights. It 
appears, however, that nothing was done about building the grist- 
mill as late as 1740, when a new committee was elected to push 
forward the mill. The record shows that in 1742 the mill had not 
been built and a new committee met and instructed that the mill 
be set up by "some meet person" within eighteen months. 

Between 1745 and 1750 many settlers left on account of the 
Indian invasion. 

In 1771 certain persons living in Bernardston petitioned the 
Court to be set off to Colerain, but a majority opposed the measure, 
although later in 1779, 2,576 acres of land belonging to the town 
of Bernardston, and lying west of Green River, were set off to 
Colerain. The first tavern in Bernardston was by Elijah (or 
Elisha) Sheldon in about 1760, near Huckle Hill. Dr. Polycarpus 
Cushman was the earliest doctor there ; he came in 1777. 

The first census taken in Bernardston was in 1765 when the 
population was 230. In 1862 the centennial celebration of the 
settlement anniversary of this town occurred and the people of 
adjourning towns swelled the number in attendance. 

The citizens of this part of Franklin County were alive to their 
best interests during the Revolutionary War and sent her quota 
of men. 

Organization — The town of Bernardston was incorporated March 
6, 1762, taking its name from Francis Bernard, governor of the 
province. The original tract included what is now Bernardston 
and Leyden, a part of Colerain, then known as Falltown Gore, 
and a strip on the north, half a mile wide, later found to be in 
Vermont. To make good this land shortage, the General Court 
gave them 7,500 acres in what is now Florida town. The town of 
Leyden was set off in 1784, leaving Bernardston only twenty-four 
square miles. 

Villages — A former historical account of this town speaks of its 
two villages in 1879 as follows: 

"Of the two villages in the town, Bernardston on Fall River, and a 


mile and a half from the Greenfield line, is the most important. It is a 
station on the Connecticut River Railroad, is the seat of town government, 
and peopled by a thrifty and prosperous class of farmers, whose neat and 
homelike residences materially beautify the village, which covers a broad 
sweep of river valley overlooked on both the east and west by towering 
hills. Here, too, are a fine town-house, built in 1877, at a cost of $3,000, 
Powers' Institute, Cushman Hall, Cushman Park, five churches, three stores, 
one hotel, and a large shoe-factory. The other village is North Bernardston, 
near the Vermont line, where there are a score of houses." 

Churches and Schools — The first church building was finished 
in 1740, when twenty pounds Sterling were appropriated to pay 
a minister. The first pastor selected was Rev. John Norton, of 
Berlin, Connecticut. He was allowed the same as other town 
proprietors — one seventieth — of the land in the township for his 
"settlement." The Indian troubles came on and this pioneer 
minister was made a chaplain and abandoned his duties as pastor 
and just what became of his title to land in the town is not now 
certain. The religious element has always been one of a high 
order and church organizations have been very successful there 
to the present. The denominations here represented have been 
the Unitarian, Baptist, established in 1782; Methodists in 1799; 
the Universalists, Second Congregational, and others which sur- 
vived a short time. 

The earliest schools were kept about 1770. In the year 1784 the 
town was divided into districts, four in number, and each was 
to build its own school house. Through the bequest of a native 
son, Bernardston has been greatly blessed in having a perpetual 
income in way of a school fund made from the interest on $5,000 
left by Edward E. Powers, and the Powers Institute, free to the 
inhabitants of Bernardston which was endowed by Mr. Powers 
for $5,000. Job Goodale, also a resident of the town, in 1836 gave 
the town $200 to be kept on interest until it amounted to $20,000 
when its interest was to be used as a school fund and for library 
purposes and the care of the unfortunate poor of the town. Powers 
Institute was erected in 1856 at a cost of $6,700. Cushman Hall, 
a large boarding house was donated by Hon. Henry W. Cushman. 
Job Goodale established the Goodale Academy in 1833 which was 
merged with the Powers Institute in 1856. Mr. Cushman also 
established a public library. The last report of the public schools 
of this town, made in 1924 shows the total enrollment of pupils 
to be 232. Powers Institute had 68; total in grades, 144. The 
present superintendent is Everett J. Best. 


The library has 10,000 volumes, as shown by the report of 
librarian M. Jennie Mackay. 

The town treasurer's report shows for 1924 receipts $47,676; 
expenses, $47,676 less cash on hand January 1, 1925, $297. 

The town officers for 1924-25, include these : Town clerk — 
Henry L. Crowell ; Assessors — John W. Chapin, L. Dwight Slate, 
Melvin A. Denison ; tax-collector — H. J. Foley ; town treasurer — 
H. L. Crowell ; selectmen — Melvin A. Denison, John W. Chapin 
and L. Dwight Slate. 

Town of Gill — Near the geographical center of Franklin County 
is the town of Gill, situated in the great bend of the Connecticut 
River, by which, together with Fall River it is surrounded on 
three sides. It has an area of 8,396 acres. Bernardston and 
Northfield are on the north, Connecticut River separates it from 
Montague and Erving and on the east is the Connecticut River 
separating it from Northfield, and on the west Greenfield from 
which it is separated by Fall River. 

The town of Gill is a beautiful landscape throughout its entire 
domain. Its mountain-like hills, its streams and charming valley 
scenes are ever a feast to the eye. Fall River, which flows along 
the entire western border of the town, unites its waters with the 
Connecticut at Turners Falls, where the noble old river rushes 
over jagged rocks, hurling its waters with resistless strength into 
the abyss below. 

The Turners Falls Fight — About one year after the opening of 
King Philip's War, 1675. information was conveyed to Hadley 
that the Indians had located in force near Deerfield. where they 
had for some days been engaged in planting and on both sides 
of the Connecticut River many were fishing at the falls (now 
Turners Falls). Although King Philip was in Eastern Massachu- 
setts, the Indians at the falls feared no attack from the whites, 
since they were aware that the English forces on the Connecticut 
had been materially weakened, and that they were scarcely pre- 
pared to make any aggressive movements. Nevertheless Captain 
William Turner (a citizen of Boston, who, earlier was captain of 
a company of Massachusetts troops, was at this time in command 
of the English troops at Hadley) determined to move on the 
savages in the absence of Philip and, having a force of 180 men at 
Hatfield, with Captain Samuel Holyoke, of Springfield, as his 
second in command, set out, on the evening of May 17, 1676 for the 
falls. Journeying all that night, Captain Turner and his command, 


reached the banks of Fall River, at daybreak, and, dismounted, 
moved on rapidly to the falls. Their arrival was signalized by 
concentrated attack upon the unsuspecting and sleeping Indians, 
who, aroused from their slumbers by the roar of the English 
musketry, fled in confusion to the river and plunged in, some taking 
to their canoes, others swimming, while many sought safety under 
the overhanging rocks of the river's bank. Very few, however, 
managed to escape. Of those who were not slain at the first 
assault upon the encampment, it is supposed that 140 were either 
killed by trying to cross the river or carried over the falls to des- 
truction. When the brief struggle was over, a hundred Indians 
lay dead upon the ground, and, according to historical authority, 
fully three hundred savages were destroyed on that occasion by 
the rolling flood and the English guns. The loss of the whites 
was but one man, so complete and thorough was the surprise, 
and so powerless were the Indians to attempt anything like a 

Unhappily, the glorious victory was destined to be followed by 
a disastrous defeat. (For a full account thereof see chapter on 
King Philip's War, page 35, et seq.) 

Early Settlement — At one time a greater portion of this town 
was included in Deerfield, and later a part of Greenfield, from 
which it was set ofif in 1793. It is believed that the farms east of 
the river were occupied by settlers prior to the Turners Falls 
Fight in 1776. The families first to locate there were the Rowlands 
and Stacys. The next to settle there were those who came in after 
the Indian wars had ended. Early pioneers included the Severance 
and Brooks families. Among the permanent settlers — those who 
came in after quiet had been obtained, at least after 1776, when 
the Indians no longer harrassed the whites, the list of such includes 
David Wrisley and four men-grown sons. It was one of this 
family who laid the corner stone of Bunker Hill Monument. In 
1776 the settlement had the following and possibly many others: 
the Childs, Combs, Field, Munn, Roberts, Richards, Allen, Stough- 
ton, Smalley, and Shattuck. The first postmaster in the town was 
Benjamin Brainard ; the first physician. Dr. Joel Lyons. Gill 
favored the cause of Shays' rebellion, and furnished men and means. 
In the War of 1812-14, in obedience to the Governor in his call 
for troops to defend Boston, this town contributed volunteers, 
and was the only town in Franklin County, besides Charlemont, 
that did send volunteers. 


Organization— In May, 1793, the town of Greenfield voted to 
set off as the northeast district, that part of the town lying east 
of Fall River. In September that year it was incorporated with 
the name of Gill, in honor of Lieutenant-Governor Gill, who in 
return for such naming, presented the town, for its first meeting- 
house, nails, glass, a Bible, and a communion set. The only 
villages in the town are Mount Hermon, Riverside and Gill Centre, 
the oldest place of the town. More than forty years ago the 
village had two churches, a good town hall, completed in 1868, 
a store, public library, and a postoffice. Riverside, on the opposite 
side of' Turners Falls, occupies the site of the historical fight in 
1676 already mentioned at length. Large lumber mills and two 
stores were located there many years ago. A Methodist church 
was organized in 1803, and a building erected in 1826 at Gill Centre. 
The first school was probably built in the center of the town in 
1793; the town was not divided into school districts until 1823. 
The town has had district schools and a good small town library 

for many years. 

This town is purely an agricultural section, its manufacturing 
being confined largely to the mills at Riverside, which began 
operations in 1867. Forty thousand feet of lumber was the daily 
cut in 1880, and forty workmen were employed, but these indus- 
tries have passed away. 

The present town officers are as follows (1924): Town clerk 
and treasurer— Henry B. Barton; assessors— Frank W. Brown, 
C. C. Frissell, and Charles O. Bruce; tree warden— Warren R. 
Purple; tax collector— Richard L. Watson; auditors— William F. 
Nichols and S. Allen Norton; finance committee — Henry B. Bar- 
ton, Peleg W. Eddy, Walter J. Marble. 

The assessors report for 1924, shows tax on personal property 
13,466.34; on real estate |15,024.34; tax levy— $19,008 ; tax rate 
$22 per thousand dollars; number of horses assessed, 165; cows, 
405; sheep, 17; neat cattle, 142; swine, 65; dwellings, 186; number 
fowls assessed, 3,443. 

Mount Hermon Boys' School — In an educational and religious 
line the town has nothing to compare to the Boys' School founded 
by the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody. Here one finds five 
hundred youths assembled annually at what is termed Mount 
Hermon School For Boys. It was established in 1879 in the 
mind of its founder who had already established the Girls Seminary 
across the Connecticut River in East Northfield. In 1880 through 


the aid of Hiram Camp of New Haven and others, Mr. Moody 
purchased 285 acres of land and two large farm houses, with ample 
barns, the total cost of which was $13,385. Later other lands 
were secured until now the tract contains four hundred acres. The 
first boy made application to become a student May 4, 1881. Several 
cottages were opened in 1883 after which sundry buildings were 
added to the group. The first class was graduated June 28, 1887 
and it had but five members. The first large building, proper, was 
the Recitation Hall, a three story brick structure. Of the present 
of this excellent institution it may be said that : 

Recitation Hall, one of the original buildings on the campus ; 
Holbrook Hall, the "administration building", first used in 1908; 
Sillman Laboratory; James Memorial Gymnasium, dedicated 1910; 
Overtoun Hall, holds 116 students; Crossley Hall, erected 1911, 
accommodates 320 pupils ; Camp Hall, government postofitice is 
located there for the Seminary; West Hall, first used 1909; Cot- 
tages — No. 1, originally for London, England, boys; No. 2, Monad- 
nock House; No. 3, Music House; No. 4, Hubbard House; No. 5, 
Manchester House; Schauftler Memorial Library, dedicated Febru- 
ary 5, 1913; Ford Cottage, overlooks the campus, first used 1912; 
Chapel, erected 1898, presented to Mr. Moody on his sixtieth 
birthday, 1898 by friends in Europe ; Dwight's Home, a home for 
the sick, named for Mr. Moody's grandson, who died November 
30, 1898; the power-house, barns and other buildings complete 
the buildings of the Boys' School at Mount Hermon. The school 
opened May, 1881; total enrollment 1923-24, 644; present enroll- 
ment 500. Thirty nationalities are here represented and thirty-five 
states and United States possessions. The landed estate around 
this school amounts to 1,223 acres and the buildings number 76. 

Town of Sunderland — Sunderland is one of the extreme south- 
ern towns of Franklin County, is pleasantly situated on the Con- 
necticut River, which forms its entire western boundary. The 
town of Montague is at its north, Hampshire County on the south, 
Leverett on the east, and Whately and Deerfield on the west. It 
is six miles long and two and a half miles wide, containg an area 
of fifteen square miles, or 9,600 acres. This part of the county is 
rich in natural scenery. The New London Northern Railroad 
crosses the town at its northeastern extremity, but the town has 
no station point within its domain. The smaller streams of the 
town include the Long Plain, Mohawk, Dry, Great Drain, and 
Cranberry brooks. 


Early Settlement — The first step toward effecting a permanent 
settlement here was an act of the General Court in Boston, May 7, 
1673, when the prayer of would-be proprietors was answered and 
the following men were appointed as a committee to organize and 
appoint suitable officers : Major John Pynchon, of Springfield, 
William Clarke, and William Holton. The securing of the extin- 
guishment of the Indian title was entrusted to Major Pynchon 
who obtained the two important deeds April 10, 1674. The exact 
date of first settlement cannot be learned, but likely previous to 
the beginning of King Philip's war, in 1675. 

By reason of numerous swamps, the place was known as 
"Swampfield," and such was it called until it was incorporated. 
The list, or even faint reference to whom the first settlers were in 
this town is not obtainable. Probably the little settlement where 
the village of Sunderland now stands, was broken up by the Indian 
war beginning in 1675, when settlers from this county fled to 
Hadley. The true settlement did not take place until 1715 and in 
1716, the number of proprietors was thirty-nine. A long time 
intervened between the first settlers and the re-settlement in 1715. 
It is related that when the second lot of settlers came in they 
found ruined houses. In the fire-place of one was a bass wood 
tree growing which was a full foot in diameter, and an apple tree 
set out by one of the original pioneers in 1673, was found large 
and thrifty at the second settlement, and lived until 1850. 

This town furnished men and means for the carrying on of the 
Revolutionary War, but did not enthuse much over the War of 
1812-14. The part taken in other wars will appear elsewhere with 
other sections of this work. 

A mail was established through this town in 1815, with William 
Delano as postmaster. 

Organization — In May, 1718 the inhabitants of Swampfield pre- 
sented a petition, claiming to have fulfilled the conditions of their 
grant, asked for more land, that a reservation of 250 acres be given 
them to promote a school, that they might be exempted from tax 
for five years, and that they might be an incorporated town. The 
name given is supposed to have been in honor of Charles Spencer 
of Sunderland, he who was an earl. In 1774 a tract of land on the 
east of the town was set off and incorporated into the town of 
Leverett. Sometime before 1753, Montague was set off as a new 

The only village within this town is Sunderland, generally 


known as Sunderland Street, where the first settlement was effect- 
ed. The first bridge over the Connecticut River at this part of 
the county was built in 1812, the piers of which cost over $20,000. 
The nearest railway station is South Deerfield. A church was 
established in 1715 and the next year a church building was erected. 
Much trouble arose over the manner in which the church should 
be seated. Until 1737 the sexes were always apart during church 
service — men on one side of the house and women on the other. 
In 1734 the people were called together by means of a flag hung 
outside the meeting-house just prior to the hour for services to 
begin. That year "Widow Root received one pound Sterling to 
tend the flagg." Later a conch-shell was blown by a man, and in 
1751 a church bell was procured. 

A Baptist church in the northern part of the town was organized 
in 1822 near the Montague line. It was styled "Sutherland and 
Montague Baptist Church." Neither of these exists today. 

The earliest school house was erected in 1731. This was burned 
in 1762. Up to 1749 it was used as an exclusive winter school. 
In 1791 the town was divided into three districts. Today the 
schools have a total membership of 328; average attendance 298; 
salaries range from $900 to $1,250. The 1924 superintendent of 
schools was Andrew S. Thompson. The grades are from one to 
eight inclusive. 

Industries — This being almost entirely an agricultural section 
there are but few if any factories. At one time in North Sunder- 
land, there were a few saw mills and a wicking factory, but these 
have long since ceased to operate. There are about 150 farms 
within the town, and as early as 1866, a large club of farmers met 
monthly for mutual benefit. 

Town Ofificers, etc. — The official report shows the 1925 town 
officers to be: Selectmen — H. C. Pomeroy, F. W. Daily, P. F. 
Whitmore; town clerk — B. N. Fish; treasurer — A. W. Hubbard; 
assessors — G. A. Childs, Roger Warner, M. H. Williams; collector 
— R. B. Brown; auditor — Daisy B. Montague. 

The assessors' report shows that in 1924 there were total valu- 
ations in the town amounting to $213,000, personal; $972,542, real 
estate; value of lands, $409,187; total valuation, $1,185,581; tax 
rate $26.50 per thousand dollars assessed valuation ; number of 
residents, 280; number horses, 188; cows, 314; sheep, 2; neat cattle, 
62; swine, 59; dwelling houses assessed, 243; number acres of land 
assessed, 7,677; number of fowls assessed, 1,400. 


Town of Erving — One of the eastern towns in Franklin County 
is Erving, it is one of the smallest in territory of any within the 
county. It is bounded on the north by Northfield, south by 
Wendell and Montague, east by Warwick and a part of Orange and 
west by Montague and Gill, being separated from them by Millers 
River and the Connecticut. The town is crossed by the New 
London Northern railroad, and on the south by the Fitchburg 
line on which Erving is situated. Millers River is a rapid, power- 
ful mill-stream which makes an abrupt descent of twelve feet, 
providing an excellent water-power for the manufacturing interests 
of the village of Erving and other points. 

Settlement — The tract upon which this town is laid, two by 
twelve miles in dimension, was purchased by a company of pro- 
prietors from the Province in 1751, who shortly sold it to John 
Erving, of Boston, whose grant was confirmed by the court Jan- 
uary, 1752. The earliest settlement made in that portion now 
known as Erving was probably made in 1801, when Colonel Asaph 
White, of Heath, located there, a solitary settler in a howling 
wilderness. In 1803 Mr. White threw a dam across Millers River, 
built a saw mill, and later opened a tavern. Before his removal 
in 1797 he was one of the incorporators of the second Massachu- 
setts Turnpike Corporation and later one of the incorporators of 
the Fifth Turnpike Corporation. The settlements in that region 
of this county were quite scattering up to 1815. This territory was 
all called Erving's Grant until 1838 when it was incorporated as 
Erving, in honor of John Erving who bought the land from the 
first purchasers. It is the youngest town in the county, and 
Monroe came next ; the date of incorporating the latter was 1822. 
The three villages in the town are Farley, Erving and Millers 
Falls, opposite Millers Falls village in Montague town. It was 
said of these villages in 1879, "Both Erving Center and Millers 
Falls village rest for their substantial support upon the interests 
of manufacture, which have prospered since 1868, and which 
promise to maintain and improve in time to come, the healthful 
growth and substance of both vilages." These predictions, and 
more too, have come true to these sections. 

Congregational, Baptist and Universalist churches have all had 
a foot-hold in this town with the passing years. 

The first interest taken in public schools was in 1815 when the 
grant was divided into three school districts and thirty dollars 


allowed for teachers that year. Today the schools are fully up to 
the standard. 

This town has its full share of fraternal societies, churches and 

Its industries have been numerous, including lumber mills, saw- 
ing of railway ties, telegraph poles, etc. Among the men who have 
taken a keen interest in the manufacturing business of the town 
have been William B. Washburn & Company, lumber sash and 
doors ; J. E. Stone & Sons, makers of piano cases, piano legs, 
billiard-table legs, both being pioneers in their line in this town. 
Others who have left their impress among the captains of industry 
here are Messrs. J. B. Farley, D. E. Farley, G. H. Monroe and 

At Farley the only industry of considerable importance is the 
plant of the Lindale Paper Mill, which makes box-board its 

At Millers Falls the present-day industry is the extensive manu- 
facturing plant of the "Millers Falls Company." This concern 
are makers of a very large line of small tools sold through the 
hardware trade of this and foreign countries. The tools include 
braces, bits, drills, mitre-boxes, hack-saws, etc. This concern 
was started in the early sixties, by Levi J. Gunn and Charles 
Amidon, fellow-workmen in the employ of the Greenfield Tool 
Company, at Greenfield, who decided to venture out for themselves. 
At first they made wringers, but soon added other articles. Several 
fires crippled the company but they kept pressing onward until 
they were crowned by success. The start at what was then Grout's 
Corner was made in 1868, when they incorporated as Millers 
Falls Manufacturing Company. Its modern buildings are of the 
finest type. They occupy a floor space of six acres. 

The various men who have been leaders and experts in their 
lines include the two former presidents, Henry L. Pratt, deceased, 
and Levi J. Gunn, deceased, the present president, Edward P. 
Stoughton, George E. Rogers, vice-president and general manager, 
Philip Rogers, assistant manager, George W. Nims, secretary and 
treasurer, William G. Stebbins, superintendent and Frederick H. 
Atwood, domestic sales manager. 

The latest report given out as to their pay-roll shows that five 
hundred and twenty-eight men are now employed there. 

Town of Wendell — One of the most uneven and hilly sub-divi- 
sions of Franklin County is the town of Wendell, bounded on the 


north by Erving, south by Shutesbury and Leverett, east by 
Orange and New Salem, and west by Montague. In 1790 it had 
a population of 519 and in 1875 it only had 503. By 1810 it had 
increased to 983 population. In 1860 it declined to 704, in 1870 
to 539, and in 1875 to 503. In 1920 its population was given by 
the United States census as 346. 

Millers River forms the entire northern boundary line of the 
town, separating it from Erving, and about half the distance across 
the northern border the town is traversed by the Fitchburg divi- 
sion of the Boston & Maine railroad. The town measures about 
six and one-half miles by five and one-half miles. Being rough 
and mountainous, the natural scenery is very charming to a lover 
of the wild and romantic landscape. Bear Mountain, 1,281 feet 
above the sea level, is one of the most elevated of the fifteen hills 
of the town. Mountain brooks abound throughout the entire ter- 
ritory. These include Swift River, Whetstone, Wickett, Osgood 

Early Settlement — As early as 1754 Thomas Osgood, Richard 
Moore and William Earned, of New Salem, settled in the north 
part of the town. A little later a settlement was effected near 
Wickett Pond, by James Ross, Silas Wilder, Lemuel Beaman, 
Benjamin Glazier, John Wetherbee and likely a few others. One 
of the foremost settlers was Judge Joshua Green, of Boston, a 
graduate of Harvard in 1784. He came here in 1790, was a useful 
and public-spirited man and bore well his part as a good citizen 
until his death in 1847. But few if any of the descendants of the 
first settlers of this town remain today. Prior to 1784 one account 
states that there were an average of three marriages a year and 
the average number of births was fifteen. The town ordered its 
first stocks built in 1786 and a dog-pound was provided (thirty 
feet square) in 1787. In 1788 it was decided that no one could 
vote unless they owned a certain landed interest in the town. The 
Congregational church was organized in 1784. During the Revolu- 
tion this town bore well her part in sending men as volunteers and 
substitutes who were paid a bounty. Its farmers furnished much 
beef and grain for the army. Wendell sent fifteen men to the 
defence of Boston in time of the War of 1812, although her enthu- 
siasm was not strong concerning that war, as was true in many 
other places. 

Organization — This town was incorporated May 8, 1781, and it^ 
territory provided for the erection of the northerly part of the 


town of Shutesbury, and that part of a tract of land called Erving- 
shire lying on the south side of Millers River, "into a town by the 
name of Wendell." In accordance with an order from the Court, 
Moses Gunn was authorized to notify free-holders to meet for the 
election of town officers on June 14, 1781, at Deacon Jonathan 
Osgood's house. The town was named in honor of Judge Wendell 
of Boston, before mentioned. In 1803 a tract of land called "Ben- 
jamin Hill Gore," and a tract a mile in width, taken from Montague, 
were added to the original tract incorporated as Wendell. 

The villages of this town have been Wendell Depot, a railway 
station having a postofifice and store accommodations, on the south 
bank of Millers River; Wendell Centre, the seat of the town gov- 
ernment, which is four miles from the village of Wendell Depot. 
Forty years ago Wendell Centre had two churches, a good town 
hall, a postofifice, a hotel and was favored with many summer tour- 
ists who desired a high elevation in which to spend the heated 
months. Lock's Village, platted on the northern line of Shutes- 
bury, is also a part of Wendell. 

The Village of Farley is a station on the railroad and has l)een 
a busy manufacturing place, and is situated between Erving and 
Millers Falls. The pulp and paper mills of the Farley Paper 
Company were long ago located here. Spruce and poplar woods 
were used in large quantities for making paper-pulp. In the base- 
ment of this extensive plant, there was located in 1892, large 
knitting mills in which E. N. Tolman had an interest, and where 
twenty Lamb knitting machines were operated by as many men 
and women. The finishing was done in private homes of those 
residing in the village. Mittens, woolens and worsteds were also 
produced here. The works, nearly four hundred feet long, stand 
on the banks of Millers River. A postoffice and store building 
were among the improvements in 1892. 

Present Town Government — The town reports for 1925 give the 
following concerning the aflFairs of the town at this time: The 
officers are: Selectmen— Charles M. Ballon, O. D. Baker, Charles 
H. Jennison; town clerk — Tremain W. Whelpley; treasurer — Fred 
C. White ; tax-collector — Elias Richardson ; auditor — Marion E. 
Whitney; assessors— Charles M. Ballon, O. D. Baker and Tre- 
main W. Whelpley; tree-warden— George E. Mills; constable — 
Lon O. Taylor. 

The school report shows the enrollment to be forty pupils; 


number of teachers, two ; number in high school, five ; number 
of school weeks, thirty-six; number days school, 172. 

The old records show that there was a schoolhouse in the town 
as early as 1872 and in 1873 the town was divided into four school 
districts, or squadrons as they were then known. In 1791 the 
will of Major William Erving- gave to the town a school lot of 120 
acres on Whetstone Hill, a mile west of Wendell Centre, and he 
set forth the reasons thus : "Thinking it of the highest conse- 
quence that learning should be preserved, for fear, from the great 
inattention thereto, that the people might relapse into a state of 
barbarism, I bequeath, etc." 

Industries — For fifty years after this town was incorporated 
farming was the only source of gaining the livelihood needed by 
the people there. Then seven saw mills were set in operation 
at various dates and these brought a few more small industries, 
but in no large sense is this a manufacturing town. 

At Wendell Depot, The Athol Gas and Electric Power Co. have 
a station, as well as one at Farley. 

Town of Leverett — This town is in the southeastern portion 
of Franklin County ; is bounded on the north by Montague, south 
by Amherst and Shutesbury, and west by Sunderland. The New 
London and Northern Railroad crosses its western border, and 
Saw Mill River its northeastern section. It has an area! of 16,000 
acres which domain is not more than one-half improved and forty 
years ago was said to be within a dense forest in many of its 
parts. Saw Mill River is the only stream of importance within 
its borders. Roaring Brook, in the southeast part, supplies ex- 
cellent water-power. The timber consists largely of pine, but 
nearly every kind of timber found in New England grows to 
some extent here. In the seventies and eighties some traces of 
lead were discovered in the southern part of the town ; a New 
York firm tried to make it a profitable enterprise but failed. 

Settlement — As early as 1727 settlements were made in what 
was then the town of Sunderland. From that date to 1774 grants 
were made to Samuel Montague, Daniel Warner, Isaac Hubbard, 
Samuel Smith, Benjamin Graves, Joseph Field, Jonathan Field, 
and scores of others whose descendants still inhabit these parts. 
Perhaps the first of all real permanent settlements was effected 
by Messrs. Nathan Adams, Graves, Elisha Clary, Joel Smith, Moses 
Smith, Barnard Wilde, Absalom Scott, and those who were com- 


panions in their settlement which was made in 1750. The first 
country road was laid out in 1774. The settlers were loyal to the 
cause of independence. It is shown that August 20, 1776, the 
town resolved to obtain a stock of powder and lead — half a pound 
for each eiifective able-bodied man. January 10, 1777, they passed 
a vote that "we risk our lives and fortunes in defense of our 
rights and liberties, wherewith God and nature hath made us 
free, and that we show our minds to the General Assembly of the 


Organization — In 1773 the residents of the tract now occupied 
by Leverett, presented their petition to the Town of Sunderland, 
praying for the right to be set ofif into a new town, etc. This 
prayer was granted and the new town was incorporated March 5, 
1774. It was named for John Leverett, president of Harvard 
University. As a general rule the best men have been elected to 
the various town offices. Those serving in 1924-25 are as follows: 
Clerk and treasurer — F. H. Taylor; selectmen — C. H. Beaman, 
W. F. Adams, R. N. Marvel ; assessors— F. A. Glazier, O. C. Mar- 
vel, F. L. Morrison; tax-collector — F. H. Taylor; auditor — C. L. 
Putney; tree-warden — W. F. Adams. 

The treasurer's report for 1924 shows receipts for all expenses,, 
$31,954.92; all liabilities the same amount including the cash on 
hand at the close of the year, $2,453.43. 

The amount paid for the support of the poor was $492.73; for 
highways and bridges, $5,850. Paid for high school transporta- 
tion, $1,331 ; for elementary school transportation of pupils for 
1924, $1,268. Total expenditures for school purposes, $12,249. 
Received from the State and all other sources for schools, $7,908; 
net cost of schools, $5,039. The total number of students en- 
rolled in 1924 was 160 in the seven schools. 

The one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town's incor- 
poration was observed in 1924, on August 14th and 15th. $200 
was appropriated by the selectmen for that purpose. Later $1,000 
more was appropriated and the affair was a great success. All 
public buildings and many others, were beautifully decorated. 
The services commenced at the Congregational church and wound 
up with a grand street parade. It was estimated that more than 
eight thousand people were present there on the last evening. 

Villages — This town has had in its history the villages of Lever- 
ett Centre, North Leverett, East Leverett and Moore's Corner. 
Leverett Centre is a station on the New London and Northern Rail- 


road. In 1879 the place had a goodly number of dwellings, a post- 
office, a church, the town hall ; also one store, and the New England 
Box Company's factory. North Leverett, on Saw Mill River, near 
the Montague line, has a church, postoffice, saw mills, etc. At East 
Leverett there is a saw mill in operation and a retail store. The 
1920 population was 695. 

The first church in the settlement was the one established in 
1774. In June, 1775, it was voted to provide for the raising of 
the church, and the call stated that "we provide meat and peas 
or beans, and some cake, if needed, for raising dinner or dinners; 
that we also have three barrels of cider, and that we make four- 
teen bushels of cake for raising said meeting-house, meaning any 
man whoever provides ye same, to settle with ye committee ap- 
pointed for ye meeting-house work, and have his credit and 
pay for ye same. (In the church record from which the 
above was taken there is no explanation as to why they counted 
the cake by the "bushel"). 

The origin of the First Baptist church of North Leverett dates 
back to 1767. The first church building was erected in North 
Leverett in 1795. 

The first school was voted for in 1774 and the following year 
a school building was erected. By 1875 the town had been di- 
vided into six independent school districts. Other facts about 
the later schools have already been given. 

Town of Shutesbury — On the southern line of Franklin County 
is the Town of Shutesbury, named for former Governor Shute. 
It is bounded on the north by Wendell, on the south by Hamp- 
shire County, on the east by New Salem and Hampshire County, 
and on the west by Leverett and Hampshire County. It has no 
railway in its territory. Its streams are confined to small moun- 
tain brooks. It is a natural fruit and grass region and farming 
has been the largest source of revenue gained by its people through- 
out its history. In the north part of the town is found Mount 
Mineral Spring, famous in days long since gone by, for a re- 
sort place where invalids came in goodly numbers to take advan- 
tage of the medicinal waters. The large fine hotel which served 
the public many years before 1876, was during that year burned. 

Settlement — This town was first settled in 1733 by a colony 
of nearly a hundred persons who had constructed a sort of a high- 
way to shorten the road from New Hampshire to Boston. For 
this improvement they asked the General Court to grant them 

W. Mass. — 50 


certain lands for settling upon and for forming a town under 
the customs of the Province. This was granted in December, 
1734, with the condition that sixty families should be living on 
such tract within four years. Also that the families should each 
have four acres of land under cultivation and a house of certain 
size ready to live in. October, 1735 it was voted to receive cer- 
tain other settlers. The tract was more than six miles square 
and included besides what is now Shutesbury, the northern por- 
tion of Wendell and some on the east of New Salem. It was 
about six by ten miles in size. The first actual settlers were 
Jonathan Burt and Bazaiel Wilder. While the town never suffered 
from Indian depredations, yet a small fort was built and fenced 
with high pickets in 1748, near where later lived Rev. Abraham 

Organization — The town was incorporated June 30, 1761. It 
has had its successes and failures, with the passing years, but gen- 
erally speaking the affairs of the town have been well admin- 
istered by good and industrious men. The villages found here 
after settlements developed have been Shutesbury Centre and 
Lock's Village, both having importance enough attached to their 
locality to have postoffices established there. The postoffice, how- 
ever at Lock's was in the edge of Wendell Town. It was named 
Lock's from Jonas Lock, proprietor of the first grist mill, in 1754, 
close to the Wendell line. At the Centre there have been two 
or more churches, forty dwellings in 1880; one store, a schjool and 
a hotel. These hamlets never grew to any great extent. 

The earliest church was established in 1735 by the town pro- 
prietors, but no building was finished until late in 1738. This build- 
ing stood in Shutesbury Centre. Much trouble arose over the 
"royal" conduct of Rev. Hill when the Revolutionary War came 
on and he had to be forced from his pulpit and from the town, 
finally. The trouble left the church without a pastor until 1806. 
In the meantime the Baptists, Congregationalists, Unitarians, and 
Universalists combined and built a new meeting-house. The Bap- 
tists organized in Shutesbury in 1787, before they were attached 
to the New Salem church. The Universalists first organized in 
1829 a regular church society. The Methodists formed their class 
in 1849 at Lock's Village and later they united with the Method- 
ists at Wendell and Leverett. 

Many attempts at maintaining a public school in this town 
were recorded before any regular school system was obtained. In 


1784 the town decided to have organized five school districts; in 
1791 the number was six and in 1878, fprty-seven years ago, the 
town had seven districts with an average daily attendance of 95 
scholars. As time went on the schools improved until today 
the schools in this part of the county are equal to those around 


This is purely an agricultural section and outside of the saw 
mills no other industries have long survived. 

Town of Warwick — Warwick with its many hills and interven- 
ing valleys, occupies the extreme northeastern corner of Franklin 
County, and has the State of New Hampshire on its northern 
boundary, Worcester County and the Town of Orange on the 
south, and Northfield and Erving on the west. Without a rail- 
way through its territory its nearest depot is six miles away at 
Wendell. The town has an area of 21,350 acres, embracing the 
entire territory once known as Gardner's Canada, except the sec- 
tion in the south part set off to Orange in 1781. 

No town within the bounds of Franklin County is more moun- 
tainous than this one. About one mile northwest of the town's 
center is the highest mountain and here the elevation is 1,628 
feet above the sea. Among the numerous streams that course 
their way through the town are Tully Brook, in the east. Valley 
Mountain and Kidder brooks, in the north. Hedge, Grace and 
Wilson brooks, in the central part. Originally, there were thir- 
teen good sized ponds. Lake Moon being the largest. Wild and 
enchanting scenery greets the eye of the traveler as he passes by 
the hills and dales of this portion of the county. A natural curi- 
osity is found in this town known as Bear's Den, near Stevens' 
mill-pond. The cavity which is of considerable size, is covered 
by a shelving rock, under which, it is said, five hundred men could 
find shelter. Swinging rock and immense bowlders here and there 
complete the wild, and strangely fashioned topography of the 

Early Settlers — The General Court voted in 1735 to set oflf 
the territory within this town at the request of petitioners Samuel 
Newall, Thomas Tileston, Samuel Gallop, and Abraham Tilton. 
Each man named was to have an even share in these tracts and 
settlement conditions were to be carried out within five years or 
the forfeit money of twenty pounds Sterling was to be lost to the 
proprietors. One of these grants was issued to Samuel Newall 


and associates, and was the tract now called Warwick. It is said 
that Samuel Newall was the only survivor of thirty-nine men 
who engaged under Captain Andrew Gardner in the Canada ex- 
pedition in 1690, the rest all having perished. Another account 
says the men who took these land grants were the sons of the 
men who perished, as the grants from the first were known as 
"Roxbury Canada" and "Gardner's Canada." The first meeting 
of the proprietors was held in Roxbury, September, 1736. There 
a committee was selected to lay out the "home lots," each lot to 
contain not less than fifty nor more than sixty acres, and each 
proprietor to bear his proportionate share of expenses. 

Although lots were laid out as early as 1737, they remained un- 
settled until shortly previous to 1744, but the precise date of the 
first settlement is not known. Among those who first settled 
were Joseph Goodell, Samuel Bennet, Deacon James Ball, Amos 
Marsh, Solomon Eager, Thomas Rich, Moses Leonard, Col. Sam- 
uel Williams, Deacon Silas Towne, Col. Joseph Mayo, Caleb Mayo, 
Captain John Goldsbury, Mark Moore and Jonathan Moore. In 
1761 there were thirty-seven families of the first division of lots. 

There are so many representatives of the Cooke or Cook family 
and collateral lines scattered through the Connecticut Valley 
counties, that inclusion here of the following carefully prepared 
and verified chapter of genealogical notes, by Miss Rhoda Ann 
Cook, of Warwick, will prove of widespread interest. 

Joseph and George Cooke were younger sons of Sir Thomas 
Cooke, of Pebmarsh and Great Yealdham, County Essex, England. 
These two came to America July 4, 1635 in the ship "Defence," 
registered as servants to Roger Harlakenden. They reached Bos- 
tpn October 3, and Newtown, (now Cambridge), two days later. 
They were disguised as servants because they were under a ban, 
being non-conformists, and anti-Stuart men, and stout Protestants 
of the fighting kind. They brought much money, and soon owned 
more than 800 acres of land, acquired by purchase and grants in 
and around Cambridge. They owned the ferry to Boston, and 
built the first water-mill in New England, existing today as the 
Arlington Whole Wheat mills. 

George Cook was captain of the first "Train band," and of the 
first artillery company in Cambridge. He commanded the ex- 
pedition sent to Rhode Island to apprehend Samuel Gorton and 
his colony. He was a member, — and in 1645, presiding officer, — 
of the General Court. As colonel in Oliver Cromwell's army, he 


was later slain in battle in Ireland. But Joseph, founder of his 
family in America, born 1608, remained and married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Governor John Haynes, of the Connecticut colony. 
Joseph was local magistrate ten years, the General Court's rep- 
resentative from his district six years, seven years selectman, 
five years the town clerk, and successor to the military posts of 
his brother George, on the latter's return to England. In 1665 
he was living in Stanaway, England, having conveyed a large part 
of his real estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to his son Joseph, 
born there December 27, 1643. 

This second Joseph, with his sisters, Grace, Ruth and Elizabeth, 
remained in America. He graduated at Harvard, 1661, married 
Martha Steadman in 1665 and was several years a member of 
the General Court. He was prominent in church, civil and mili- 
tary affairs. He commanded a company in King Philip's War. 
One of his five children, Alice, married Rev. John Whitney, of 
Lancaster, killed by the Indians September 11, 1697, and she later 
married Rev. Timothy Stevens, of Glastonbury, Connecticut. 
Joseph's youngest son, Haynes Cook, born at Cambridge, Feb- 
ruary 1, 1677-8, had four sons: Josiah, born April 13, 1709, Sam- 
uel, Timothy and Thomas ; and he lived in Cambridge, Woburn 
and Concord. Josiah, the first named, lived in his native Concord, 
in Lancaster and Warwick, Franklin County. By his wife, Beriah, 
he had four children ; Daniel, born in Concord, Massachusetts, 
May 29, 1740, Charity, Israel and Lizzie. Daniel, the eldest, with 
the aid of his father, Josiah, cleared and subdued a farm, original 
lot No. 28. on the south eastern slope of Mount Grace in Warwick, 
occupied by him and his descendants from 1762 to 1867. Daniel 
married Sarah, daughter of Obadiah Morse, of Southboro, in 1765, 
and had eight children, all born in Warwick: Sallie, born 1766; 
Rhoda, born 1769; Daniel, born 1772; Eunice, born 1774; Benaiah, 
born 1777; Ezekiel, born 1779; Charity, born 1781; and Seth, 
born 1785. Daniel was a private in Captain Ebenezer Strong's 
company. Colonel Sears regiment, enlisting August 10, 1781 ; 
marching through the wilderness to Albany and actively serving 
at Ticonderoga and Saratoga. He was mustered out at the latter 
point, November 20, 1781 ; and got home as best he could with 
his comrades ; suiTering severely on his way through the woods 
from hunger and bitter cold. Daniel died in Warwick February 
4, 1811. 

Ezekiel, the sixth child of the above-mentioned Daniel of Con- 


cord, married Polly Woodbury, of Royalston, October 27, 1803, 
and had eight children, all born in Warwick: Fannie, (1804), 
Sumner, (1806), Daniel, (1807), Asahel, (1809), Charity, (1812), 
Rhoda, (1814), Mary, (1816), Abigail, (1818). Ezekiel died in 
December, 1818, and his widow, Polly, then married Elias Knowl- 
ton in 1824, dying in 1863. 

Asahel Cook, the fourth child of Ezekiel, born October 11, 
1809, in Warwick, married Emeline M. Field, of Northfield in 1831. 
Their children were Mary L., (1833), George Ezekiel, Charles 
Daniel, Edward Asahel, Henry H., James O., Rhoda Ann, Wil- 
liam F., Frank F., and Sumner S., (1851). Asahel sold the old 
Daniel Cook homestead which he then occupied, in 1867, the home 
of the Warwick Cooks for more than a hundred years, and removed 
to Barre, Massachusetts, where he died in 1885. 

The Town of Warwick has always sent her share of men to 
the various wars, details of which are found elsewhere. 

In 1781 the town agreed to set off 4,060 acres of land, with the 
inhabitants upon the same, to be incorporated into the Town of 
Orange. This town was divided in 1786 upon the subject of Shays' 
rebellion, and furnished to that cause both men and money. When 
in May, 1788, preparations were made at Northampton for the 
execution of several of Shays' men, a party of Shays' men, under 
command of Colonel Smith, made a raid upon Warwick, and cap- 
turing Dr. Medad Pomeroy and Joseph Metcalf, carried them 
oflF, proposing to detain them as hostages for the lives of two 
rebels — Jason Parmenter and Henry McCulloch — then under sen- 
tence of death. These convicts being afterward reprieved, the 
two Warwick men were released. In 1786 the selectmen of the 
town were imprisoned for "acts in ofifice," presumably upon the 
question in support of the Shays' Rebellion against the general 

Dr. Ebenezer Hall in 1812, concluded that glass could be 
made in this town. He interested others and formed the Franklin 
Glass-Manufacturing Company of Warwick, and erected works 
and for a time glass was produced, but due to a lack of capital 
and expert workers, the enterprise soon failed. 

Organization — December 27, 1762, the proprietors of this tract 
joined with the inhabitants in petitioning the General Court to 
incorporate the plantation as a town, and February 17, 1763, the 
Town of Warwick was duly incorporated. It is believed that 
the town was named for either Warwick in England, or Guy, 


Earl of Warwick, but no such record was left us. The town has 
been governed as most towns in Franklin County— by men of 
judgment, and the money received by selectmen as taxes has been 
well spent. The town clerk's report for 1924 gives these facts 
concerning the present town officers and other affairs connected 
with the town : The town ofificers for 1924-25 are— town clerk and 
treasurer— Josiah Joslin ; selectmen, assessors and overseers of the 
poor— Carl G. Stange, George D. Shepardson and Frank W. Web- 
ster; tax-collector — Nils Ohlson ; auditor — Ludwig Nordtsted; tree 

warden Joel P. Morey ; superintendent of roads — Carl G. Stange. 

The treasurer's report shows a balance on hand January 1, 
1924 of $3,488; taxes collected, $20,009 and other items making a 
total of receipts $38,554. Balance on hand December 31, 1924, 


The school superintendent's report shows the number of pupils 
enrolled was 52; average daily attendance, 39. 

The assessors' report for last year shows the number of in- 
dividuals in the town to be 131 ; number of persons assessed on 
property was 332; polls, 29; value of assessed real estate, $361,000; 
personal estate, $131,000. The number of horses assessed, 76; 
cows, 84; sheep, 37; neat cattle, 63; swine, 17; dwelling houses, 
154; acres of land assessed, 23,745; fowls assessed, 1,696. 

The only village in this town is Warwick Centre, situated on 
an eminence with a beautiful landscape scene on every hand. In 
what was long styled the Upper and the Lower Villages, three 
churches, a schoolhouse, a hotel store, stores, postoffice, boot fac- 
tory, forty years ago had a collection of forty or fifty dwell- 
ings. From 1852 to 1857 Warwick had a militia company called 
the Warwick Light Infantry. 

The first record of church activities here dates from 1753 when 
a meeting-house was ordered built. The first minister was Rev. 
Lemuel Hedge, a Harvard graduate. He was not ordained until 
1760, when the Congregational church was organized with twenty- 
six members. Other denominations in the town have been the 
Unitarians, Baptists and Universalists. A Second Congregational 
church was formed in 1829 with thirty members. 

Schools — When the town was granted to the sixty-three pro- 
prietors in 1735, one of the sixty-three equal shares of land was 
ordered set apart for schools, but it appears no move toward start- 
ing schools was had until 1768. In 1773 the town was divided 


into school districts. The school reports for 1924 have already 
been mentioned in this article. 

Industries — The industries have always been about equally di- 
vided in this town between agriculture and manufacturing. In 
1875 the farm products amounted to $75,000 and the other in- 
dustries amounted to $82,000. Saw mills and heading and pail- 
stave mills were common forty and more years ago. A boot 
factory at Warwick Village, conducted by Nahum Jones, was 
established in 1854 in which forty persons found work and pro- 
duced yearly about 20,000 pairs of boots, valued at $50,000. With 
the passing years and change of times, methods of farm life have 
changed and factories have re-located in larger places, leaving but 
little in the way of busy factories in this section of the county. 
The United States census in 1920 gave the population of Warwick 
Town as 327. 

Town of New Salem — New Salem has an area of 15,000 acres, 
forming the extreme southeast corner of Franklin County. It 
has Orange on the north, Hampshire County on the south, Wor- 
cester County on the east, and the towns of Shutesbury and Wen- 
dell on the west. The present territory equals twenty-three square 

The town, in common with many of its sisters, has many beauti- 
ful landscape scenes. The highest elevation is Packard's Moun- 
tain in the southwest, said to be 1,273 feet higher than sea-level. 
The streams are a branch of Millers River, middle branch of 
Swift River, through the center ; Hop Brook, Moose-horn Brook 
and lesser streamlets. There are numerous ponds throughout 
the territory, one in the north covering 320 acres. 

Settlement — December 31, 1734, the General Court issued to 
sixty persons, resident in the town (now City of Salem, Massachu- 
setts), a grant for a township of six miles square, or its eiqual, 
and further issued an additional grant of 4,000 acres. In August, 
1735, the proprietors effected an organization and located the 
township upon the territory now occupied by the Town of New 
Salem. The tract was laid out in an oblong form and extended 
north and south about ten miles. The additional grant named, 
was annexed to the northern end of the new town, which thus 
became about thirteen miles in length. Subsequently the town was 
widened by the addition to the west side of a portion of Shutes- 
bury; in 1820 shortened at the south end by taking therefrom a 


tract of Prescott, and again in 1837, at the north end when a tract 
was taken off and added to Athol and Orange. In 1856 a fire 
destroyed all early records of this town, hence only a few impor- 
tant facts are here furnished the reader. It was founded in 1735 ; 
its first settler came in 1737. The Indian scares and actual war- 
like demonstrations kept back settlers a few years. The propri- 
etors after long waiting obtained the pledge of Jeremiah Meacham 
to make the first settlement, conditioned upon a present of ten 
pounds Sterling for so doing. The next to set stakes in that then 
"green glad solitude," were Amos Foster, Benjamin Stacy, Amos 
Putnam, James Cook, Jeremiah Ballard and others. On account 
of Indian troubles not far away, improvised forts and stockades 
were built here by the sturdy pioneer band. One attack was 
made by the Indians, when the men were absent, but through 
strategy and courage of the women inmates of the fort, no blood 
was shed. After the Indians had disappeared the settlers flocked 
in by considerable numbers. The struggles of New Salem pio- 
neers would fill large volumes. 

During the Revolution there were two militia companies at 
New Salem. When the Lexington Alarm sounded April 19, 1775, 
the people were called to meet on the village green and held 
a mass-meeting. Lieutenant Stacy, doffing his hat, drew his Brit- 
ish commission as a militiaman, and remarked while tearing it 
into strips, "Fellow soldiers, I don't know exactly how you feel, 
but as for me, I will no longer serve a king who murders my own 
countrymen." The effect on the men was only to thrill all with 
a new spirit of devotion to the new American cause, and soon 
the company under command of Stacy was off for the seat of war. 
He was chosen captain and served bravely, rising to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel, receiving a gold snuff-box from Washington 
as a mark of esteem. After the war closed he went west and was 
killed by the Indians at Marietta, Ohio. 

Organization — In 1753 the two grants issued to the original 
proprietors were incorporated as a district and called New Salem, 
for the reason that its proprietors belonged to old Salem. Under 
the act of 1786, the district became a town. Before 1753 the meet- 
ings of the proprietors were held in old Salem. Unfortunately, 
all the early records for New Salem were lost in the 1856 fire. 

Of the present condition of town affairs it may be said that 
the 1925 town officers are as follows: Town clerk — Ralph E. 
Stowell; selectmen — William H. Reddy, Dwight A. Stowell and 


William L. Newton ; assessors — Edwin Goodnow, H. Sawtell, 
Nelson A. Bliss ; overseers of the poor — William H. Reddy, Wil- 
liam L. Newton and Dwight A. Stowell ; tree warden — Fred Bal- 
lard ; forest warden — Merton Davis; auditor — A. Frances Ballard; 
pound-keeper — Dayle Hamilton. 

The school report shows number pupils enrolled, 146. 

The number of persons assessed in town, 264; non-residents, 
140; for poll tax only, 31; number persons assessed, 462; value 
of assessed personal property, $144,050; real estate, $510,195; total 
value of assessed estate, $654,095 ; taxation rate per thousand dol- 
lars, $22.50; horses assessed, 143; cows assessed, 153; sheep as- 
sessed, 26; neat cattle other than cows, 95; swine assessed, 7. 

Villages, etc. — In 1892 it was written of this town and its vil- 
lages that there were then four villages there and each had a post- 
office — New Salem Centre, North New Salem, Cooleyville, and 
Millington. Cooleyville was named for the sturdy blacksmith of 
of the village, Merrick B. Cooley. The adoption of the modern 
free rural delivery of mail has materially changed the postoffice 
points in this township as now Millington and New Salem are 
the only offices in existence. 

During all the conflicts in which our country has been defended, 
this town has sent her men and means to support their claims 
to justice. Other parts of this work will mention such details. 

New Salem has always been well supplied with churches. The 
first minister was Rev. Samuel Kendall, who died in 1792. In 1824 
a new church society was formed and they purchased the first 
building and removed it to North New Salem. The Third Con- 
gregational church was organized in New Salem Centre in 1845. 
As early as 1772, a Baptist church was formed in the south part 
of the town. The Methodist church has also had a class in this 
town many years. 

Educational Interests — Owing to the accidental burning of the 
town's early records but little can be said concerning the pioneer 
schools. In 1794 the subject of providing this town with proper 
schools was agitating the minds of the people. To this end a 
schoolhouse was erected at the Centre, and February 25, 1795, 
the New Salem Academy was incorporated "for the purpose of 
promoting piety, religion and morality, and for the instruction of 
the youth in such languages and in such of the liberal arts and 
sciences as the trustees shall direct." Among those active in 
establishing this academy were Rev. Joel Foster, Deacon Samuel 



Kendall, Ezekiel Kellogg, Jr., and Varney Pearce. The State 
granted a half township of land in Maine in 1797 for the benefit 
of this institution. By the running of a new boundary line be- 
tween the United States and the British dominions, this institu- 
tion lost one-half of the original grant in Maine. 

In 1837 the academy building was burned, but was speedily 
rebuilt by funds donated by the town. In 1870 the school re- 
ceived from the State, $10,000, from the citizens of New Salem, 
$5,000. The academy still exists and is an excellent institution of 

Besides the academy the town had in 1876, seven district schools, 
with an average attendance of 135 pupils. 

The early industries far outnumDered those of modern days. 
Once there were nine saw mills cutting lumber the year round; 
palm hats were made in great quantities ; there were tanneries 
and boot shops not a few. The times have materially changed 
and most of the factory industries have gone. 



In the absorbing-ly interesting history of the Connecticut V'alley 
the vast territory originally known as Springfield, made the latter 
literally the mother of the "County," as well as township-form of 
government for the whole region. Many new problems not possible 
to be foreseen by the settlers led to the appointment of the "planta- 
tion committee" for the consideration of "Settling the towns into the 
form of a County" in 1662 which resulted in the establishment of 
the "county called Hampshire," with Springfield as the shire town. 
With the increase of population and responsibilities, steps taken 
in 1721 for the erection of a court house in Springfield, "provided 
our neighboring towns of Westfield, Sufifield, Enfield and Brook- 
field be assisting in the doing of it," even with the offer of the shire 
town paying one-half, had no tangible result for a long time. Fin- 
ally, in 1724, a "court-house" of primitive character was erected 
a little east of the present Court Square on Sanford Street. It 
served for holding the court-sessions until 1794, when the county 
seat, — much to the complaint of people in the southern part of 
"Hampshire," was removed, public records and all, to Northamp- 
ton. It was this dissatisfaction with having the scene of the trial 
of causes so far removed from Springfield, that started the agita- 
tion in favor of still another county being formed. The same sort 
of agitation in the northern part of the state, — and for the same 
cause, resulted in the formation of Franklin County in 1811, and 
the setting up of Hampden County, 1812. Then the old tW|0-and- 
half-story Springfield court-house, came into active use again, as 
the house of justice tempered with mercy, continuing as such until 
1822, when a more commodious structure was provided. 

The sub-division of Hampshire County, by which Franklin was 
created June, 1811, and Hampden by legislative enactment in the 
following February, was done under great political excitement. 
The new governor, Hon. Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the famous 
Declaration, and who shortly after this won election as vice-presi- 
dent of the United States, actively and openly supported the in- 
corporation of two more districts, necessitating the designation of 
new judgeships and other offices. He was the shrewd politician 
and acknowledged leader of his party in the state and as such 


created violent and determined opposition when it came to the im- 
portant matter of appointments. The supporters of the governor 
saw new power put into their hands by the wording of the act 
cutting off for the fourth and last time a new slice of old Hamp- 
shire County. At the time of its organization, Hampden County 
contained but eighteen towns. The act erecting the new county, 
February 20, 1812, was in part worded thus: 

An Act for dividing the county of Hampshire, and erecting and forming 
the southerly part thereof into a separate county, by the name of Hampden. 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in general 
court assembled, and by authority of the same, That the county of Hampshire 
be and is hereby divided; and the following towns, in the southerly part thereof, 
be and hereby are erected and formed into a county by the name of Hampden, 
that is to say, Springfield, Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Monson, Holland, Brim- 
field, South Brimfield, Palmer, Ludlow, West Springfield, Westfield, Mont- 
gomery, Russell, Blandford, Granville, Southwick, Tolland, and Chester, of 
which Springfield shall be the shire town; and that all that part of said county 
of Hampshire included within the boundaries of the towns before mentioned 
shall be deemed and taken to compose the said county of Hampden. And the 
inhabitants of the said county of Hampden shall have, use, exercise, and enjoy 
all such powers, rights, privileges, and immunities as by the constitution and laws 
of this Commonwealth other counties have, use, exercise and enjoy." 

It seems that the act further provided for the administration of 
its affairs "from and after August 1, 1812." But Gov. Gerry made 
incautious haste with his appointing power, and in May of the 
same year, the Federalist Party awoke to the fact that Hon. 
Samuel Fowler had been appointed judge of probate in the new 
county of Hampden, and that Jonathan Smith, Jr., had received 
the office of sheriff. At once great commotion arose in Springfield. 
Lines between Democratic and Federalist forces were sharply 
drawn. Quo warranto proceedings were instituted, with George 
Ashmum as chief counsel for Gov. Gerry's appointees, and Hon. 
George Bliss representing the solicitor general. 

In February, 1813, the legislature passed an order requiring the 
attorney general to file information showing by what right Judge 
Fowler, Sheriff Smith and others held the county offices to which 
they had been appointed in Hampden County. Because the at- 
torney-general had not been asked to do this by both branches 
of the legislature, he refused to answer until the court could pass 
upon the validity of the action. Proceedings in this case were 
dismissed. Then action was taken up against Sheriff Smith in a 
plea of abatement, involving the service of a writ by one of Smith's 
new deputies in the case of Fowler vs. Beebe. The latter, Ludlow's 


representative in the House when the vote to create Hampden 
County was taken, pleaded in abatement that Sheriff Smith had 
received an appointment to his office from Gov. Gerry before any 
such county as Hampden in fact existed. This action was decided 
for the time being, in favor of Smith, who continued in the office 
of sheriff until 1814. 

But Judge Fowler was not so fortunate. After a hotly-contested 
hearing with able arguments at length by the opposing counsel, 
Messrs. Ashnnm and Bliss, the court decided in favor of the latter, 
Judge Fowler being enjoined from holding his office, into which 
he had been duly sworn by Lt.-Gov. William Gray, and was ordered 
to pay the cost of the action. 

The Growing "Shire" — At the time of the formation of Hampden 
County, it had at least 24,000 population, having increased by many 
hundreds since the removal of the seat of justice from Springfield 
to Northampton. As an illustration Springfield itself had grown in 
that time from barely 1,500 to 2, 767, which made it larger than 
Northampton. County affairs have been administered by "county 
commissioners" (usually three) since 1662. the birthday of the 
County. When Hampden County was formed these groups of 
commissioners were called "Courts of General Sessions" or "Gen- 
eral Sessions of The Peace," composed of justices of the peace 
appointed by the several towns of the county and ordered to meet 
at the county-seat at stated intervals. In 1814 and until 1819, the 
county commission went by the name of "Circuit Court of Com- 
mon Pleas," which explains the allusion in many of the public 
documents of the time to decisions by "the Court," when only the 
board of county commissioners is meant. This accounts for the 
allusion to the "Court" decision to build a new County Court House 
in 1818 and later. This "Court" at the time of definite decision to 
build county buildings, in March, 1820, according to the records, 
consisted of Heman Day of West Springfield, Chairman Amos 
Hamilton of Palmer, and Stephen Pynchon of Brimfield. These 
men appointed a special building-commission of seven men, headed 
by Amos Hamilton, and including John Phelps of Granville, (who 
cast his vote for the county in the legislature of 1812), Enos Foot, 
Samuel Lathrop, (Yale, 1792, and later member of Congress), 
Jonathan Dwight, Jr., Springfield Bank director, Joel Norcross and 
Daniel Collins. A controversy between those who favored a 
State Street location, and one of "Meeting House Square," resulted 
in victory for the latter. A number of prominent men agreed 

W. Mass. — 51 


among themselves to buy a central tract of land on the main street 
out of which could be donated to the county a sufficient area for 
county court house and other public buildings. The remaining part, 
not needed for a 'public Common" they proposed to sell for busi- 
ness purposes ; and subsequent events connected with the rapid 
growth of that locality proves the business sagacity of these 
shrewd early realtors. The names of the donors of the present 
"Court Square" and amounts (large for those times) subscribed, 
are deserving of mention here. The commission accepted the deed 
dated April, 1821. The subscribers to the purchasing fund were' 
David Ames, |6(X); Elijah Blake, $250; Alexander Bliss, $200; 
Daniel Bontecou, $800; Daniel C. Brewer, $150; Henry Brewer, 
$50; Japhet Chapin, $100; Pliny Chapin, $50; Quartus Chapin, 
$25; Joseph Carver, $100; Elisha Curtis, $100; Sylvester Clark, 
$50; Thomas Dickman, $100; Elisha Edwards, $50; Lewis Ferre, 
Jr., $25; Moses Howe, $100; John Hooker, Sr., $700; John Hooker, 
Jr., $50; John Ingersoll, $100; Samuel Ostrander, $100; Edward 
Pynchon, $800; F. A. Packard, $50; Joseph Pease, $50; Ebenezer 
Russell, $100; Simon Sanborn, $100; Charles Stearns, $100; Dr. J. 
Stone, $100; Thomas Sargent, $100; Israel E. Trask, $300; Solomon 
Warriner, $200; James Wells, $200; Justice Willard, $100; Eleazur 
Williams, $400. Without any expectation of returns from the 
sale of adjoining lots, liberal cash contributions were also made 
by Dr. Joshua Frost, Daniel and Roswell Lombard, Jonas Cool- 
idge, Oliver B. Morris, George Blake, Roger Adams, A. G. Tan- 
natt, Jacob Edward and Francis Bliss, James Chapin, Robert 
Bowhill and Ebenezer Tucker. 

The first Hampden County Court house was built in 1821, and 
cost $8,375. It stood just north of the old First Congregational 
Church in Court Square. It was a brick building, with four pillars 
in front, and its dimensions were state to be "62 by 48 feet on the 
ground, two stories in height and 31 feet to the eaves." It served 
its judicial purpose for more than fifty years. Then it became a 
business "Institute," and later the early home of Odd Fellowship 
in Springfield. Its successor, the present grey granite building, on 
Elm Street, flanked by the old church and the Hampden County 
Hall of Records, was authorized by act of the legislature in March, 
1871. The Elm Street ground cost $75,716. The building itself 
cost $214,068 and the interior furnishings cost $14,757. The build- 
ing is appropriately enough of Monson granite, and measures 90 
by 160 feet. 


Houses Of Detention And Correction — Accepting the authority 
of Dr. Alfred Booth, the county's first "gaol" was in the vicinity 
of Maple Street, and was burned by the Indians when the town was 
destroyed by fire during King Philip's war. The old tavern which 
stood on Bliss Street, was next to the old log-house type of jail 
used during the Revolutionary War. In the September term of 
the year 1813, Jonathan Smith, Jr., Jonathan Dwight, Jr. and 
Daniel Lombard were authorized to select a plan and make a 
contract for the building of a suitable jail, "subject to further 
orders of the Court." Several other committees appointed in rapid 
succession were apparently unable to agree on ways and means, 
near the close of the same year the county accepted the recom- 
mendation of a new committee that land containing the right site 
for the jail could be bought of Joseph Hopkins on State Street, 
where the Central High School now stands, for $500. The acre 
and a half thus secured was felt by several influential opponents 
of the aforesaid "Court Square" faction to be a strong reason why 
the State Street location should be chosen for the civic centre. 
The land cost $500; and the building, of stone, erected in 1814, 
cost $14,164. The first "Gaolers" were Col. Ebenezer Russell, 
Col. Harvey Chapin, Major William H. Foster, and Noah H. Clark. 
The old house of correction was abandoned as such when the more 
modern county jail was opened on York Street, February, 1887. 
It required the purchase of several parcels of land to accommodate 
the present commodious jail buildings. The commissioners, Clark 
of Springfield, Root of Westfield, and Chase of Holyoke, deserve 
special mention for this monument to their judgment and sagacity; 
for it is complete in all its arrangements and appointments. 

Hampden County towns and cities have furnished the State 
with many high officials : 

Governor, George Dexter Robinson, of Springfield, in 1884; 
Lieut. -governors, Eliphalet Trask in 1858 and William H. Haile, 
1893, both of Springfield ; Treasurers and Receivers-General, Henry 
M. Phillips, 1894, and Edward S. Bradford, 1900, both ex-mayors 
of Springfield; State Auditor, Charles R. Ladd, Springfield, 1879; 
Secretaries of State, William B. Calhoun, 1848, (promotion from 
president of the Senate in 1846), and Albert P. Langtry, 1915, both 
of Springfield ; other presidents of the Senate, Samuel Lathrop, 1829 
and George Bliss, 1835, both Springfield; Speakers of the House of 
Representi^tives, William B. Calhoun, George Ashmun, and George 
Bliss ; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, 1868 


to 1873, Reuben Atwater Chapman, of Springfield; Justices of the 
Supreme Court, R. A. Chapman, 1860, John Mills, 1866, Augustus 
Lord Soule, 1877 and Marcus Perrin Knowlton, 1887, all of Spring- 
field. It is interesting to note in passing that in 1847 the county 
commissioners of Hampden granted thirty-six liquor licenses for 
Springfield alone, and was the only county in the state at that time 
which had licensed bars ! This no doubt accounted in part for the 
fact that Hampden County was the storm centre in that year for 
all New Englanders' temperance forces ; and that features of that 
years' intensive campaign included a "National Festival" of tem- 
perance and several lectures in Springfield by the celebrated John 
B. Cough ! 

The county was almost immediately divided into four "jury dis- 
tricts," with Springfield, Longmeadow and Wilbraham as a central 
one. The second district took in the county's four northernmost 
towns on the west side of the river, and the fourth district com- 
prised the remaining west side towns. District number three was 
the largest in territory, taking in the towns of Monson, Brimfield, 
South Brimfield, Holland, Palmer and Ludlow. It will interest 
many to learn that in first adjustment of taxes. West Springfield, 
then largest in population led the list. The recommendation that 
the first assessment of taxes for county purposes should be $2000 
was adopted and the apportionment was as follows, — in marked 
contrast to the figures and adjustments of today: West Spring- 
field, $254.69; Springfield, $226.66; Westfield, $174.47; Wilbraham, 
$145.47; Monson, $137.12; Blandford, $132.13; Chester, $125.65; 
Granville, $123.20; Brimfield, $108.13; Southwick, $100.67; Palmer, 
$91.26; Longmeadow, $84.86; Tolland, $65.36; Ludlow, $59.80; 
South Brimfield, $52.83 ; Montgomery, $48.73 ; Russell, $34.57 ; Hol- 
land, $34.40. By way of contrast, take the figures for West Spring- 
field, the highest town in 1812, when in 1923 it had jumped to 
an assessed valuation of $23,830,155 and a tax rate of $30 a 
thousand ! 

Legislative Divisions — Every township in Massachusetts with 
150 ratable polls, about the same number of years ago, was per- 
mitted one representative at the General Court, with an additional 
solon for every extra 225. It was fixed by law that towns could not 
be organized with less than 150 polls, though some townships al- 
ready in existence in 1779 were allowed one representative. In an 
act passed by the legislature in May, 1855, the State was divided 


into representative "districting by counties," another act fixed 
the number of representatives entitled to credentials based upon 
the population. Preliminary to this the county commission- 
ers of every county, being in the best position to judge of the re- 
quirements of their various sections, were authorized to subdivide 
their repective counties into districts carefully proportioned to 
the number of legal voters. The matter of representative districts 
is now^ adjusted so as to provide Hampden County with fifteen 
representatives. Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer and Wales 
with 2,820 legal voters, comprise the "First" district, entitled to 
one representative. Agawam, Chester, the two Longmeadows, 
Montgomery, Granville, Hampden, Ludlow, Wilbraham, Tolland, 
Southwick, Russell, and West Springfield, comprise the "Second," 
with 6,715 legal voters entitling it to two representatives. The 
"Third" and "Fourth" districts are each also entitled to two rep- 
resentatives; the former taking in the 6153 voters of Springfield's 
wards 1 and 2, and the latter providing an outlet for the 7322 voters 
of the same city's wards 3, 6 and 7. Springfield's ward 4, with 
3215 voters, makes representative district number 5. District num- 
ber 6 is Springfield's ward 5, with 2595 voters. The 3579 voters 
of ward 8, Springfield, make district number 7. Chicopee's 41888 
population yields 4339 legal voters, and this makes district num- 
ber 8. The first, second, and fourth wards of the city of Holyoke, 
with 3610 voters makes district 9; and that city's 3897 voters of 
wards 3 and 6 make district 10, Holyoke's wards 5 and 7 with 3,467 
voters make district 11, and Westfield's 19,061 population with 3,516 
legal voters, makes the Twelfth Congressional District. 

According to the 1920 estimate, Hampden County's twenty-three 
cities and towns, (the same number as Hampshire), contained 
more than 300,305 population, and its 95.734 registered voters were 
divided into four Congressional districts. Chicopee, Springfield, 
West Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, 
Wilbraham, Hampden, and Ludlow, are grouped with twelve towns 
of Hampshire and twelve of Franklin counties to make the "Second 
Hampden Congressional District." This had in 1915 a population 
of 245,044. The towns of Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer, 
and Wales, grouped with two Franklin County towns, two Hamp- 
shire towns, two Middlesex County towns, and forty Worcester 
towns, make what is known as the "Third Hampden". The "First 
Hampden" includes the remaining nine towns of the county. 

The "Worcester-Hampden Senatorial District" with its 20,526 



legal voters, includes the Hampden County towns of Brimfield, 
Hampden, Monson, Ludlow, Palmer, Holland, Wales, and Wil- 
braham. The "First Senatorial" includes both Longmeadows, and 
all of Springfield's wards but one, with 21,102 legal voters. The 
"Second Hampden Senatorial District," includes Springfield's 
Ward 1, with Chicopee and Holyoke, calling for 17,891 legal voters. 
The district called "Berkshire, Hampshire, and Hampden Sena- 
torial," containing 21,111 legal voters, includes the remaining ten 
Hampden County towns. Similar divisions are arranged for the 
three "Councillor Districts," known respectively as the "Seventh," 
"Eighth," and "Hampden" districts. 

The county has now a recorded valuation of $666,865,626, and 
91,950 registered polls. 


From a history of the Bar of the Connecticut Valley compiled 
in 1825-6, and from writings of Hon. George Bliss, a considerable 
portion of this account of the early lawyers of this county has been 
gleaned. During the earliest period of settlement but little is 
known as to the members of the legal profession in what is now 
known as Hampden County. It may, however, be stated that a 
lawyer was not rated as high in the community in pioneer de- 
cades as he is today. His learning was very much abridged and 
his law books few and probably not too much used after once 
having been read. With the advance of time, the legal profession 
was more highly appreciated and the services of a good attorney 
were valued as they are today. 

The first administrator of justice, and the first person who 
had any knowledge of the law in the Agawam Colony, was its 
first magistrate and principal business factor, William Pynchon, 
one of the original patentees of the Massachusetts Colony, and 
also a magistrate; when the General Court granted him and his 
associates permission to emigrate to the Connecticut Valley, it 
also constituted him the magistrate of the new colony, and this 
was to include jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases, subject 
to an appeal to a jury of six men. 

In 1641 the General Court of Massachusetts authorized a larger 
scope of power in civil and criminal cases than he had before 
that date. Pynchon exercised this right until 1650, when he was 
suspended from office in consequence of the publication of a theo- 
logical pamphlet by him, which was adjudged as heterodox. His 
son-in-law, Henry Smith, was appointed in his place but both 
sailed for England. In 1658 authority was given to commission- 
ers of Springfield and Northampton to hold courts alternately 
at those places. This continued until the erection of Hampshire 

It appears there was very little respect paid to lawyers of those 
days, and the business of the profession was anything but a 
lucrative one. In fact, the law prohibited every person "who is 
a usual and common attorney in any inferior court" from being 
admitted to sit as a deputy in the General Court. 


The earliest record of attorneys in this county was 1686, when 
John King, of Northampton and Samuel Marshfield and Jona- 
than Burt, Sr., of Springfield, took the oath for the faithful per- 
formance of their duties. 

In 1701 the form of oath of an attorney was prescribed which 
is still in use, said Mr. Bliss in 1826. Between 1694 and 1720, 
the record of attorneys is not clear. It is known that John Hug- 
gins and Christopher Jacob Lawton, residents of Springfield, in 
1686 and later, had a large law practice for those times. Lawton 
was regularly admitted in 1726. Samuel Partridge, who had been 
clerk of the court, is mentioned as an attorney, and after 1720, 
as chief-justice of the Court of Common Pleas. 

Among the prominent men named in those times was Timothy 
Dwight, of Northampton, regularly admitted August, 1721 and 
continued many years. The names of William Pynchon and 
Josiah Dwight, of Springfield, are also given, the date admitted 
not now known. John Ashley, of Westfield, was admitted to the 
bar in 1732. Cornelius Jones, a tailor, was admitted to the prac- 
tice of law in 1732 as a pettifogger; in 1752 as a regular lawyer. 
These three men had much to do with the bar of this county pro- 
gressing into a creditable standard — Gen. Phinehas Lyman, a grad- 
uate of Yale, 1738; John Worthington, of Springfield and Joseph 
Hawley, of Northampton. Col. Worthington was a native of Spring- 
field, born 1719, educated at Yale, commenced practice at Spring- 
field in 1744 and there remained until his death, aged eighty-one 
years. Maj. Hawley was born at Northampton in 1724, and grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1742. He studied for the ministry and 
preached several years. Later he studied law with Gen. Lyman, 
and about 1749 he commenced the practice of his legal profession. 

Previous to 1826, the territory now embraced within Western 
Massachusetts had furnished one governor, two judges of the 
Supreme Court, two members of the old Congress, four United 
States Senators, one speaker of the House of Representatives, one 
member of the original United States Constitutional Convention, 
three delegates to the State Constitutional Convention, seven rep- 
resentatives in Congress, twenty-seven State Senators, six State 
councillors, one President of the Senate, two speakers of the House, 
eight judges of the Court of Common Pleas, five judges of probate, 
and four sheriffs. 

In 1828 Hon. George Bliss was the oldest member of Hampden 
County Bar. He was born 1765 and died in 1830. He graduated 


when nineteen years of ag"e in 1784 and on account of not being 
made judge of the Court of Common Pleas, he withdrew from the 
bar and never practiced law again. 

Other prominent lawyers were the following: John Ingersoll, 
born in Westfield, 1769, graduate of Yale, admitted to practice in 
1797; he was the first clerk of courts in Hampden County and 
died in Springfield in 1840. Hon. Samuel Lathrop, son of Rev. 
Joseph Lathrop, was born in Springfield, 1771, graduated at Yale 
in 1792; read law and was admitted to the bar at a very early 
date. He was an eminent legal light ; was elected to Congress, 
representing his district from 1818 to 1824; was for ten years mem- 
ber of the State Senate. He died in 1846 after having spent a 
number of years in agricultural pursuits, especially as a leader 
among improved stock breeders. 

Hon. Elijah H. Mills graduated at Williams College in 1797 
and was admitted to the bar at Northampton in 1803 and had a 
large law practice. He was elected a United States Senator which 
took him away from his law business. While in practice, he was 
frequently pitted against Hon. Lewis Strong and Hon. Isaac C. 
Bates. The contests between them always called together large 

The list of members of the profession in the county would include 
these: Hon. Oliver B. Morris, admitted to the bar in 1804; Hon. 
Alanson Knox, admitted in 1810; Asahel Wright, graduate of 
Williams College, was admitted to the practice and continued 
until his death when he was less than fifty years of age. Hon. 
John Mills, born in Sandsfield, 1790; admitted to the bar in 1815; 
he made a fortune, then unwisely invested it and all was swept 
from him. He had one of the finest residences in Springfield. 
Hon. Patrick Boise, of Westfield. was of the old pioneer Boise 
family, whose ancestor fled from his native land — Scotland, and 
came to free America. David Boise was from the first settlers 
in Blandford, this county. He rose to become a prominent lawyer. 
William Blair, a native of Blandford, was educated and admitted 
to the bar of this county in 1813, soon after settling in Westfield. 
Hon. Justice Willard was admitted to the practice in 1816. He 
served as register of Probate, was in the State Senate a number of 
terms. Hon. Caleb Rice, born 1792, was a graduate of Williams 
College, read law, was admitted to the bar 1819 and settled in 
West Springfield. He served in both House and Senate in Massa- 
chusetts Legislature, and passed from earth in 1873, aged eighty- 


one years. Charles F. Bates, born in Granville, graduated at Wil- 
liams College in 1812, read law and was admitted in 1815; settled 
at Southampton, where he was the only lawyer many years. Other 
lawyers who were at one time familiar figures before the courts 
in Hampden County were Asa Olmstead, of Brimfield, admitted 
in 1819; Eli B. Hamilton, of Blanford, admitted in 1815; Hon. 
James Cooley, born in East Granville, graduated at Williams Col- 
lege, admitted to practice in 1814; was a member of the State 
Senate and generally a very useful citizen. Hon. George Bliss, 
Jr., read law with his father, entered Yale College, graduated 
in 1812, was admitted to the bar in 1816 and settled in Monson, and 
later at Springfield, where he was a partner of his father-in-law, 
Jonathan Dwight, Jr. He served in both branches of the Legislat- 
ure; was connected with the Western Railroad and died in 1873. 
Norman T. Leonard was admitted to the practice in Berkshire 
County in 1824. For a number of years he practiced law in West 
Springfield, later in Agawam and Westfield. He represented 
the town of Westfield in the General Court. Another of about the 
same date as the last few attorneys named was Samuel John- 
son. It is recorded of him that he was "A standing Fourth-of- 
July and eighth of January orator." He was ever on hand to 
address his friends. Others recalled are William Knight, Alfred 
Stearns, John Hooker, Josiah Hooker, Erasmus Norcross, of Mon- 
son; John B. Cooley, settled in Brimfield; Richard D. Morris, 
born in Springfield, admitted to the bar in 1822. He became a 
well-known railway attorney in this State. William Bliss was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1822 and commenced in Springfield, where he 
formed a partnership with Justice Willard, but owing to ill health, 
abandoned the profession. Hon. William Calhoun, a student of 
Hon. George Bliss, Sr., was admitted to the bar in 1821. He soon 
drifted into politics, served in both branches of the Legislature ; 
was president of the Senate, 1846-47 and represented his district 
in Congress many years. James Stebbins, native of Springfield, 
practiced law in Palmer many years. He returned to his native 
town where he died. James W. Crooks, a native of Westfield, 
taught in the Westfield Academy ; also taught at Springfield. He 
was admitted to practice law in 1824, opened an office on the 
"Hill" in Springfield. He died after a successful career in 1867. 
Still others who bore well the duties of respectable lawyers in 
this county were Francis B. Stebbins, born in Granville; Matthew 
Ives, Jr., Francis Dwight, Joseph D. Huntington, George B. Mor- 


ris, Henry Vose, admitted in 1841 ; died in 1869. E. D. Beach, 
nephew of Hon. John Mills, admitted in 1833, locating in Spring- 
field ; had a large practice ; was an excellent gentleman. Lorenzo 
Norton, admitted in 1843, died in 1850. Hon. Edward Dickinson, 
born 1803, graduated at Yale, 1823, took a high rank among the 
learned lawyers of his day. He died while attending to his duties 
as member of the Massachusetts Legislature. Amos W. Stockwell, 
a graduate of Amherst College in 1833, read law at the Harvard 
Law School. He settled in Chicopee and became a prominent 
member of the Hampden County Bar. The list of lawyers also had 
such legal advocates as Hon. Reuben Atwater Chapman, whose 
history is found in any library where biographies are kept. He 
was admitted to the practice of law in 1825. He became chief- 
justice and ranked high. Another distinguished attorney was Hon. 
George Ashnum, graduate of Yale in 1823; admitted to the legal 
practice in 1830 before the Hampshire County Bar; first opened 
an office at Enfield, but soon moved to Springfield where he was 
a partner of Reuben A. Chapman. Politically, he succeeded in 
serving both the State and national law-making bodies ; he died 
in Springfield in 1870. Ansel Phelps, Jr., was born in Greenfield, 
Massachusetts in 1815; was admitted to the bar in 1840, first lo- 
cated at Ware, but in 1846 moved to Springfield to become a rail- 
way lawyer in which he succeeded well. He was mayor of his 
city from 1856 to 1859. He died in 1860 only forty-five years of 
age. William G. Bates, of Westfield, whose portrait hangs in the 
County Court House, was a prominent figure at the bar, as was 
Edward B. Gillett, of Westfield, father of Senator Frederick H. 
Gillett. As a young attorney Mr. Gillett secured the conviction 
of the Northampton bank robbers in that celebrated case. An- 
other whose career should be mentioned was T. Morton Dewey, 
born in New Hampshire; read law at Greenfield; was admitted 
to the bar in 1855 and commenced practice in Greenfield. In 1864 
he located in Springfield where he spent many useful years in 
the law. 

Present Members of the Bar — In the month of April, 1925, the 
following were practicing law in the city of Springfield : 

Adams, Scott Bacon & Wells Beckwith, Charles H. 

Allen, Yerrall & Bellows Ball & Lavigne Bell, Clinton E. 

Aronstrom & Kamberg Ballard & Weston Bidwell, Raymond A. 

Auchter & Poirier Ballou, Frederick A. Booth, Henry A. 



Bosworth, Charles W, 
Brooks, Kirby, Keedy & 

Brownson, Wendell G. 
Buzzell, Harry A. 
Canfield, John B. 
Carman, Ernest W. 
Carmody, Joseph F. 
Clarke, John D. 
Cohn, Frederick 
Collins, Thomas J. 
Connor, A. Paul 
Cooley, Robert C. 
Courtney, Patrick 
Cowett, Joseph B. 
Crowell, Ralph W. 
Davis, Milton L. 
Dearborn, Josiah 
Eaton, Robert B. 
Egan, Alfred T. 
Ehrlich, Harry M. 
Ely & Ely 

Fairbanks, Alfred C. 
Fein, Samuel L. 
Feriole, Charles J. 
Flannery, J. Watson 
Flower, Harold H. 
Folsom, Robert S. 
Gagnon, Joseph M. 
Gardner, Gardner & 

Gelin, Isidore 
Godfrey, Francis J. 
Goldin, Shepard J. 
Gordon, Gurdon W. 
Gordon, Louis J. 
Gottesman, John G. 
Granfield, Noonan & 

Graves, Merl D. 
Green, Addison B. 

Avery, Gaylord & Dav- 
Begley, John S. 
Callahan & Lacy 
Dearden, John B. 
Dillon & Ross 
Dowling, John P. 

Green & Bennett 
Griffin, Michael J. 
Harvey & Mulcare 
Hayes,' William P. 
Henin, Louis C. 
Higgins, John J., Jr. 
Hoar, J. F. 
Hooker, Earl D. 
Houlihan, M. B. 
Hughes, George H. 
Hutchings, Edward 
Jacobs, Charles M. 
Jennings & Jennings 
Jones, Ellis & Mitchell 
Kane, M. G. 
Kaps, John D. 
Kerigan, Joseph E. 
King, Raymond T. 
Kirkland, Thomas H. 
Kneeland, Robert S. 
Laskcr, Schoonermaker & 

Leary, Cummings & 

Lombard, Paul I. 
Macauley, Donald M. 
Madden, John H. 
Mahoney, James P. 
Malley & Malley 
Marble, Murray Glenn 
Martin, William H. 
Martinelli, Silvio 
Moran, Henry A. 
Moriarty, Cornelius J. 
Moriarty, John T, 
Moriarty, Thomas F. 
Morrissey & Gray 
Murray, John J. 
McBride, Edward J. 
McCarthy & Doherty 


Drapcau, Charles E. 
Evarts, Benjamin F. 
Garvey, Patrick J. 
Green & Bennett 
Kelly, George F. 
Lamontagne, Oscar O. 
Lewandowski, J. W. 

McClintock, Hoar & 

McKechnie, Wm. G. 

Newell, F. N. 

Novak, Benjamin D. 

Nowak, Joseph A. 

O'Shea, James . 

Palmer, George F. 

Powers, Roswell J. 

Reedy, Frank H. 

•Reilley, Fred A. 

Rice, Horace J. 

Ritter, Herman 

Robinson, Stuart M. 

Sannella, Anthony 

Shaw, Irving R. 

Shea, John B. 

Shea, Thomas P. 

Siegel, Chas. Van D. 

Silver, Harry C. 

Simpson, Clason & Calla- 

Slavin, Abraham H. 

Small, Harlan P. 

Snow, Abraham E. 

Spellman, Charles F. 

Spooner, Ralph S. 

Stapleton & Stapleton 

Stebbins, Frederick H. 

Steel, Jason W. 

Swift, Walter A. 

Swirsky, Joseph 

Taft, Stephen S. 

Talbot, Richard J. 

Travernier, Alfred H. 

Tilton, Rufus H. 

Tyler, Arthur A. 

Webster, Daniel E. 

Wiley, Ray M. 

Wooden & Small 

Young, Charles H. 

Lynch, Thomas J. 
O'Brien & O'Brien 
Judelson, David 
Lacey, Hugh J. 
Ogan & Ogan 
Stapleton, Richard P. 
Welcker, Merrill L. 



Burke, F. W. Neill, Arthur S. K. Putnam, Harry B. 

Ely & Ely Parker, Robert C. 

The subjoined are members of the bar, residing at various places 
within the county, not above listed : Aikey, George L. ; Albrecht, 
Abraham S. ; Alton, S. Ralph; Ashley, Henry W. ; Bis- 
son, Louis Alfred; Blair, Anne; Bodfish, Robert W. ; Bonchi, Jo- 
seph A. ; Bostwick, Arthur R. ; Bosworth, Henry A. ; Bowler, 
Katherine A. ; Bromage, Harold J. ; Brubacher, John ; Buckley, Wil- 
liam P.; Burdick, Harold J.; Burke, Florance W. ; Burke, Thomas 
F. ; Calhoun, Charles M.; Campion, Daniel C; Carson, Francis X.; 
Cohn, Paul L. ; Comerford, Michael J.; Coote, Thomas W. ; Crean, 
C. J.; Crook, Douglas; Davis, James E. ; Denison, John A.; Dil- 
lion, David F. ; Dowd, John A. ; Ducharme, Clement E. ; Dunning, 
Harold G. ; Eberhardt, Harry O. ; Egan, James F. ; Ehrlich, Rob- 
ert ; Ellis, Ralph W. ; Ely, Charles F. ; Fein, Irving; Finkelstein 
& Becker ; Fitch, Arthur E. ; Frankowski, J. A. ; Gaines, L. C. ; 
Genereux, J. C. ; Genest, Ophir E. ; Giles, William C. ; Gillett, 
Frederick H. ; Greeley, D. Joseph; Grife, Oscar; Gronkowski, 
Nicholas S. ; Hafey, James E. ; Haggarty, W. J. ; Hallbourg, Henry 
W. ; Hanford, Parmly; Hardy, Leonard F. ; Hartley, Raphael B.; 
Bartnett, Joseph F. ; Hartwell, Harold E. ; Haskell, Frank E. ; 
Hatch, Charles U. ; Hawkins, William H. ; Heady, Joseph W. ; 
Heady, Wallace R. ; Healy, James M. ; Henin, Cora ; Hemenway, 
Ralph W.; Hildreth, John; Hinckley, Frankley C. ; Hoar, Ignatius 
M.; Hobson, Ernest E. ; Hodskins, Frank G. ; Hoffman, Maurice 
H. ; Holmes, John McN. ; Howard, Harold E. ; Hurowitz, Isadore 
H. ; Kane, John S. ; Kellogg, Willis S. ; Kelly, Joseph F. ; Kennett, 
Frederick A. ; Kenney, John J. ; King, Clinton ; King. Henry A. ; 
King, Robert W. ; Leiser, Andrew A. ; Leonard, George ; Long, 
Charles L. ; Lyford, Edwin F. ; Lynch, Daniel A. ; Lynch, Eugene 
A.; Lynch, Frank A.; Lynch, John M. ; Lyons, John J.; McMillon, 
John S. ; Maher, Thomas C. ; Miller, Henry S. ; Mitchell & Mitchell; 
Moriarty, C. J.; Morin, George W. ; Morris, Robert ().; McCrohan, 
Clarence J. D. ; McDonnell & Galligher ; McDonough, Wm. A.; 
McGlynn, Thomas F. ; McKay, Frank J.; McClench, Wm. W. ; 
Neal, Chester T. ; Neal, Franklin G. ; O'Connor, Thomas J.; O'Con- 
nor, Thomas J. ; O'Connor, Wm. F. ; O'Donnell, James J. ; O'Don- 
nell, Terrence B. ; Orrell, Arthur E. ; Palmer, George F. ; Parker, 
Lewis C. ; Ouinlivan, Theodore F. ; Raleigh, Frank T. ; Rathbun, 


William S. ; Reno, Conrad ; Richard, Fernand E. ; Robertson, Fred- 
erick A. ; Robinson, Homans ; Ryan, Charles V., Jr. ; Ryan, Edward 
J. ; Sabin, Carl A. ; Searle, Emerson S. ; Sherb, Jacob ; Sinclair, 
A. Olin; Slotnick, M. N. ; Smith, Claribel H.; Smith, Clayton D.; 
Stapleton, Thomas H. ; Stevenson, J. McAllister; Stoddard, Ralph 
W. ; Stone, Milton A. ; Sullivan, Philip J., Jr. ; Tate, Dale S. ; Tay- 
lor, Edward C. ; Tierney, Paul E. ; Warren, Thomas B.; Whar- 
field, W. Meredith; Whitman, Henry G. ; Whitmore, George D.; 
Zimmerman, Benjamin. 

Hampden County Civil List — The offices of county treasurer 
and register of deeds have been elective in Massachusetts since 
1785. County commissioners were appointed by the Governor and 
Council until 1854, since which they have been elected by the 
people. The following list comprises the names and terms of serv- 
ice of the main county officials who have served since the organi- 
zation of Hampden County in 1812, with the exceptions of coro- 
ners and medical examiners : 

Judges of Probate — Samuel Fowler, 1812; John Hooker, 1813; 
Oliver B. Morris, 1829. 

Judges of Probate and Insolvency — John Wells, 1858; William 
S. Shurtleff, 1859 to 1897; Charles L. Long, 1897 to present time 

Register of Probate and Insolvency — William S. Shurtleff, 1859 
to 1863; Samuel B. Spooner, 1863 to 1910; Fred G. Hodskins, 1910 
to present date, 1925. 

Sheriff— Jonathan Smith, Jr., 1812; John Phelps, 1814; Caleb 
Rice, 1831; Justin Wilson, 1851; Frederick Boise, 1853; Nathaniel 
Cutler, 1855; Robert G. Marsh, 1857; Frederick Bush, 1860; A. 
M. Bradley, 1869; H. Q. Sanderson, 1878 to 1887; Simon Brooks, 
1887 to 1893; Embury P. Clark, 1893-to present, 1925. 

Clerk of the Courts — John Ingersoll, 1812; Richard Bliss, 1841; 
George B. Morris, 1852; Robert O. Morris, 1872 to present, 1925. 

County Treasurers — Edward Pynchon, 1812; David Paine, 1830; 
George Colton, 1835; William Rice, 1838; Norman Norton, 1856; 
Charles R. Ladd, 1859; M. Wells Bridge, 1867 to 1892; William 
C. Marsh, 1892 to 1895; M. Wells Bridge, 1895 to 1907; Fred A. 
Bearse, 1907 to present time, 1925. 

Register of Deeds — Edward Pynchon, 1812; David Paine, 1830; 
William Russell, 1831; James E. Russell, 1858 to 1893; James R. 
Wells, 1893 to present time, 1925. 


County Commissioners — Caleb Rice, 1828-31 ; Joel Norcross, 
1828-35; Reuben Boies, Jr., 1828-35; William Bliss, 1831-35; James 
W. Crooks, 1835-38; Gideon Stiles, 1835-38; Cyrus Knox, 1835- 
38; John Ward, 1838-44; Patrick Boies, 1841-44; Forbes Kyle, 
1841-44; Willis Phelps, 1844-47; Samuel Root, 1844-50; Austin 
Fuller, 1844-47; Penning Leavitt, 1847-50; John McCray, 1847-50; 
Norman T. Leonard, 1850-53; William V. Sessions, 1850-53; Mel- 
vin Copeland, 1850-53; William B. Calhoun, 1853-55; Alured 
Homer, 1853-57; George C. Gibbs, 1853-56; Francis Brewer, 1855- 
58; Henry Fuller, 1856-59; Henry F. Brown, 1857-60; Nelson D. 
Parks, 1858-64; Henry Charles, 1859-62; Henry Fuller, 1860-63; 
Benning Leavitt, 1862-65; Daniel G. Potter, 1863-69; Charles C. 
Wright, 1864-67 ; Ambrose N. Merrick, 1865-68; William M. Lewis, 
1867-76; Phineas Stedman, 1868-71; Randolph Stebbins, 1868-71; 
George R. Townsley, 1871-74; James S. Loomis, 1871-74; Lawson 
Sibley, 1873-76; John O'Donnell, 1874-77; L. F. Thayer, 1875-78; 
N. S. Hubbard, 1876. One commissioner is elected each year and 
since the last named date the commissioners have been as follows : 
1878— L. F. Thayer, N. S. Hubbard, Charles Edison ; 1881— Ira G. 
Potter, Samuel A. Bartholomew, N. S. Hubbard ; 1882 — Leonard 
Clark, H. A. Chase, L. F. Root; 1884— L. F. Root, H. A. Chase, 
Leonard Clark; 1885 — H. A. Chase, L. F. Root, Leonard Clark; 
1886— H. A. Chase, Leonard Clark, and L. F. Root; 1887— L. F. 
Root, Leonard Clark, and A. F. Wildes; 1888— L. F. Root, Leon- 
ard Clark. A. F. Wildes; 1889— L. F. Root, Leonard Clark, A. F. 
Wildes ; 1890— Harvey D. Bagg, L. F. Root, Leonard Clark ; 1891— 
Leonard Clark, H. D. Bagg, L. F. Root ; 1892— L. F. Root, H. D. 
Bagg, Leonard Clark; 1893— Leonard Clark, L. F. Root, H. D. 
Bagg; 1894 — James M. Sickman, Leonard Clark, William H. Brain- 
ard; 1895— James M. Sickman, W. H. Brainard, Timothy M. 
Brown ; 1896 — Timothy M. Brown, W. H. Brainard, James M. Sick- 
man; 1897 — James M. Sickman, W. H. Brainard, Timothy M. 
Brown; 1898— James M. Sickman, Joel H. Hendrick, W. H. Brain- 
ard; 1899— James M. Sickman, Joel H. Hendrick, W. H. Brain- 
ard; 1900— Joel H. Hendrick, James M. Sickman, W. H. Brain- 
ard; 1901— Joel H. Hendrick, James M. Sickman, W. H. Brain- 
ard; 1902— Joel H. Hendricks, W. H. Brainard, James M. Sick- 
man ; 1903 — James M. Sickman, W. D. Brainard, Joel H. Hend- 
rick; 1904 — Joel H. Hendrick, W. H. Brainard, James M. Sick- 
man; 1905 — Joel H. Hendrick, W. H. Brainard, James M. Sick- 
man; 1906 — Charles H. Nutting, Joel H. Hendrick, James M. Sick- 


man ; 1907 — James M. Sickman, Charles H. Nutting, Charles C. 
Spellman ; 1908 — Charles H. Nutting, Charles C. Spellman, James 
M. Sickman; 1909 — Charles C. Spellman, William H. Porter, James 
M. Sickman; 1910 — James M. Sickman, William H. Porter, Charles 
C. Spellman; 1911 — George W. Bray, Charles C. Spellman, William 
H. Porter; 1912 — George W. Bray, William H. Ensign, Charles 
C. Spellman; 1913 — George W. Bray. Charles C. Spellman, Wil- 
liam H. Ensign; 1914 — William H. Ensign, Charles C. Spellman, 
George W. Bray; 1915 — Charles C. Spellman, George W. Bray, 
William H. Ensign ; 1916 — George W. Bray, Charles C. Spell- 
man, William H. Ensign; 1917 — Charles C. Spellman, William 
H. Ensign, George W. Bray; 1918— George W. Bray, Charles C. 
Spellman, William H. Ensign; 1919 — William H. Ensign, Charles 
C. Spellman, George W. Bray ; 1920 — Charles C. Spellman, Wil- 
liam H. Ensign, George W. Bray; 1921 — Arthur A. Sibley, Wil- 
liam E. Ensign, George S. Cook; 1923-24 — W. H. Ensign, George 
S. Cook, Daniel O'Neil. 

County Legislature — From the earliest formation of counties 
down to 1814, Courts of Sessions, or of General Sessions of the 
Peace, managed county affairs. These courts were made up of a 
number of justices of the peace from the several towns of the 
county, who met at the county seat at stated periods. As early as 
1652, before the erection of Hampden County, three commissioners 
appointed to transact public business for the people of the Connecti- 
cut River settlements. These commissioners succeeded the early 
magistrates, and continued until the erection of Hampshire County, 
in 1662. 

From 1814 to 1819 the county legislative body was styled the 
Court of Common Pleas, which was changed to "Court of Ses- 
sions" in February, 1819, and remained about the same until 
February, 1828, when an act was passed by the General Court 
repealing the act of 1819, and establishing for the transaction and 
management of county business, a board of commissioners for each 
county, in the state, consisting in the case of Hampden County, 
of three persons, to be appointed by the governor and council, and 
to hold their offices for the period of three years. They were 
clothed with the same authority as the Courts of Sessions, which 
they had superceded. They were to meet at stated periods, and 
the clerks of the Court of Common Pleas were made clerks of ^the 
boards of commissioners. 


The county commissioners have control over the public build- 
ings and all other property belonging to the county ; also exercise 
jurisdiction over all highways, public bridges, etc. 

By an act of March 11, 1854, the county commissioners were 
made elective, and divided into three classes. At the first election 
held in that year they were all elected at the same time, for one, 
two and three years, respectively, since which one commissioner 
has been elected annually. The chairman of the board is elected 
by ballot from among its members. 

Population — The subjoined table shows the population of Hamp- 
den County at various enumeration periods, by the cities and 
towns ; also the date each town was incorporated : 

Town Date of Population Population 

Name Incorporation 1776 1860 1900 1925 

Agawam 1855 1,700 2,530 6,291 

Blandford 1741 772 1,256 836 437 

Brimfield 1731 1,064 1,363 941 840 

Chester 1765 405 1,314 1,450 1,513 

Chicopee 1848 7,261 19,167 41,885 

East Longmeadow 1894 3,134 

Granville 1754 1,126 1,385 1,050 609 

Holland 1785 419 1,609 141 

Holyoke 1850 4,997 45,712 60,982 

Hampden 1878 782 632 

Longmeadow 1783 1,376 811 3,333 

Ludlow 1774 413 1,174 3,536 8,802 

Monson 1760 813 3,164 3,492 5,094 

Montgomery 1780 371 273 191 

Palmer 1752 727 4,082 7,801 11,075 

Russell 1792 605 793 1,395 

South wick 1770 841 1,188 1,040 1,267 

Springfield 1636 1,974 15,199 62,059 142,224 

Tolland 1810 596 275 150 

Wales 1762 850 677 72>Z 434 

West Springfield 1774 1,774 2.105 7,105 15,326 

Wilbraham 1763 1,057 2,081 1,594 2,834 

Westfield 1699 1,488 5,055 12,310 19,061 

The figures given for 1925 are from the State census and all 
others are from the United States census reports. 

W. Mass. — 52 



The name of Dr. John Sherman is probably the earliest recorded 
of any regular physician in what is now known as Hampden Coun- 
ty. He was not only a doctor of registry, but a school-teacher also. 
One Dr. Leonard is mentioned in 1728 as having been paid by 
Springfield for certain medical attendance on an indigent patient. 
Between 1761 and 1783 the physicians practicing in Springfield 
were Charles Pynchon, Edward Chapin, John Vanhorn and Tim- 
othy Cooper. It was in November, 1781, that the Massachusetts 
Medical Society received its charter, with authority to grant licenses 
to practice medicine. 

During the fifty-nine years from 1781 to 1840, when the Hampden 
District Medical Society was incorporated, there were thirty-two 
physicians in the county who were members of the State Medical 
Society. They received and imparted knowledge through office 
instruction and clinical observations made by medical preceptors 
on private patients. It was in this time that many students are 
known to have studied and driven about with their teachers in 
medical practice. Medical colleges then were in their infancy. 
They were unable to furnish as good opportunities for personal 
observations on the sick, and they were lacking in facilities for 
laboratory work. 

Joseph Pynchon, son of Col. John Pynchon and a descendant in 
the fifth generation of the founder of Springfield, was born in 1705, 
in the "old fort" or Pynchon residence which stood near the present 
site of the Henry L. Bowles building. He was educated both for 
the ministry and the medical profession, and for a time devoted 
himself to clerical work, but later to the practice of medicine in 
Longmeadow. He was a man of high character and excellent 
ability, and at one time was a member of the General Court. 

Charles Pynchon, brother of Joseph, was born in Springfield in 
1819 in the Pynchon residence, and spent the greater part of his 
life in the town. All his biographers agree that Dr. Pynchon was 
a man of excellent understanding and a physician of good repute, 
having a large practice. Many medical students acquired their 
early professional training under his personal instruction. His 
office was on Main Street, the second house above Ferry Street, 


where Hotel Springfield now stands. In 1777 Dr. Pynchon was 
a surgeon in the American Army. He died August 19, 1783. 

Joshua Frost, one of the earliest physicians of Springfield, was 
born in Maine in 1767, of English parentage. He was educated for 
his profession in Dartmouth College and Harvard University, and 
in 1796 located in Longmeadow, where he remained a few years 
and then removed to Springfield. He enjoyed an excellent reputa- 
tion as a physician, and he was honored with a seat in the State 
Senate. He died in 1832. 

George Frost, son of Joshua, was born in Longmeadow in 1800, 
and acquired his early medical education under the instruction of 
Dr. Nathan Smith, whom he accompanied in lecturing tours. He 
studied medicine in Yale and also in Bowdoin, was graduated at 
the latter in 1822, and began practice in Springfield in 1823. He 
lived in the town until his death, in 1846. Dr. Frost's wife was a 
daughter of Col. Roswell Lee, who for some time was commander 
at Fort Griswold (New London, Conn.) during the War of 1812- 
15, the same who gave the name to the Roswell Lee Lodge of 

L. W. Belden pursued scientific and medical studies in Yale, 
graduated in 1826, and began his professionel career in Springfield 
in 1827. He became a member of the State Medical Society in 
1835, and died in 1839, aged 38 years. 

M. B. Baker was a graduate of Harvard in 1830, and located in 
Springfield the next year. He became a member of the State Medi- 
cal Society in 1836, and died in 1839, at the age of 33 years. 

David Bemis became a member of the State society in 1832. He 
practiced about twenty-five years in Chicopee, and died in 1852, 
at the age of fifty-four years. At one time Dr. Bemis was president 
of the Hampden District Medical Society, and is recalled as one 
of its most active members. 

Oliver Bliss was made a member of the State society in 1822. 
He practiced for several years in Longmeadow, and descended from 
one of the first settlers in that vicinity. He died in 1840, aged 
sixty-eight years. 

William Bridgman was born in 1784, and was one of the board 
of organization of the Hampden District Medical Society. He is 
remembered as one of the leading physicians of his day. He be- 
came a member of the State society in 1822, and died in 1864. 

Reuben Champion was one of the foremost physicians of his 
time, and was descended from old Revolutionary stock, his grand- 


father having served as surgfeon during the war, dying at Ticon- 
deroga in 1777. Dr. Champion acquired his early education in 
the old Westfield Academy, and his medical education at Dart- 
mouth and also in a school for medical instruction in New York 
City. He began practice in West Springfield in 1809, and joined 
the State society in 1812. His practice covered a period of half a 
century, and he died in 1865. In his practice he adopted the "tonic 
treatment" of fever cases, a theory then much opposed by the pro- 
fession ; but he was a physician of excellent reputation, and an 
upright and honored citizen. The civil list shows that Dr. Cham- 
pion served as State Senator. 

Alonzo Chapin, a member of the State society enjoyed a good 
reputation in active Springfield practice in the early thirties before 
removing to Vermont. He was a direct descendant of Deacon Sam- 
uel Chapin, one of the prominent men of Springfield in earliest 
days. Dr. W. L. Fitch who started practice in Chester and Hunt- 
ington, joined the State society in 1837 and moved to Springfield, 
where he died in 1872, aged 69 years. 

Dr. John Van Horn, just mentioned, as one of the "old Guard" 
physicians of the county, was born in 1726, graduated at Yale, 1749, 
and joined the State society in 1785. For nearly sixty years he 
practiced in West Springfield, and is said to have been a man of 
more than ordinary professional eminence. He died in 1805. 

Chauncey Brewer w'as another of the old-time physicians of 
Springfield, a native of the town, born in 1743. He received his 
professional education in Yale Medical College. He was a physi- 
cian of exceptional strength for his time ; but he is held in especial 
remembrance by the profession on account of his faithful services 
in the American Army during the revolution. He was a student 
with Dr. Charles Pynchon and began his professional career in 
West Springfield, being family physician and life-long friend of 
Dr. Lathrop, minister of the Old First Congregational Church 
there. When Dr. Charles Pynchon died, he succeeded to the prac- 
tice of his old preceptor, at Cypress Street, on the east side again, 
dying in his native Springfield in 1837. 

Daniel Chauncey Brewer, son of Chauncey, studied for the medi- 
cal profession, but soon afterward became partner with Dr. Joshua 
Frost and carried on a drug business. 

Gideon Kibbe was a highly respected physician of Wilbraham. 
where he practiced for thirty-seven years previous to his death, 
in 1859. He became a member of the State society in 1822. 


Aaron King, of Palmer, became a member of the society in 1816. 
and died in 1861. For many years he was one of the highly re- 
spected medical practitioners of the eastern part of the county, and 
he is also remembered as having been one of the organizers, and at 
one time president of the Hampden district society. In the latter 
part of his life Dr. King became interested in Homoeopathy. 

Samuel Kingsbury was born in Tolland, Connecticut, September, 
1782, and practiced medicine in Springfield from 1810 to 1826. He 
became a member of the State society in 1816. 

Seth Lathrop, son of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lathrop, was born in the 
second parish of Springfield (West Springfield), in 1762, and was 
one of the strongest as well as one of the most thoroughly educated 
of the old-time physicians of the county. His practice was ex- 
tensive and successful, and he also had the confidence and respect 
of the people on the east side of the river. He was made a fellow 
of the State society in 1817, and continued in membership until his 
death in 1831. 

Jonathan Shearer, of Palmer, was born in 1767, became a mem- 
ber of the society in 1811, and died in 1825. His home and office 
were on the Boston road, between what is now Collins and Palmer 
stations. He was followed in practice by his son, Marcus Shearer, 
who joined the district society in 1841, and died in 1854. 

George Hooker was born in 1794, and was admitted to fellowship 
in the State society in 1821. He practiced in Longmeadow and is 
remembered as a physician of good repute and a citizen of un- 
doubted integrity. Dr. Hooker died in 1884, at the ripe age of 90 

Joseph W. Brewster, of Blandford, was made a felloAv of the 
State society in 1804. He died in 1849. 

Leonard Williams, of Chester, united with the society in 1822. 

Edward Goodrich Ufford, of West Springfield and Agawam, was 
born in East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1801, became a fellow of 
the society in 1839, and died August 28, 1889. He studied medicine 
with Dr. Daniel Ufford of Wilbraham and with Dr. Peters of Bol- 
ton, Connecticut. He received his degree from Yale and then took 
a post-graduate course in Philadelphia. He practiced for a few 
years in West Springfield, thence removed to South Hadley, but 
returned to West Springfield, and Agawam. 

Lucius Wright, once well known in medical circles in at least 
three towns of Hampden County, and withal an excellent physi- 
cian of the old school, was born in 1793 and became a member of 


the society in 1821. He began his professional career in Williman- 
sett, later practiced in Salem and Montgomery, and finally located 
in Westfield, where he attained considerable prominence and was 
one of the towns' legislative representatives. 

John Stone was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, in 1763. He had 
the advantages of a good general as well as medical education. 
He read medicine with Dr. John Frink and began his career in 
Greenfield, removing thence to New York, where he remained 
about two years. Returning to Greenfield, he practiced in that 
town until 1819, and spent the next ten years in Providence. He 
then came to Springfield and practiced until his death in 1838. 

Dr. John Long was a noted practitioner in "Ireland" parish (now 
Holyoke). Dr. Henry Bronson, settled in West Springfield in 
1827, the same year he received his Yale degree in medicine. 
While he remained only a few years before removing to Albany, 
he was greatly respected throughout the community. He was pro- 
fessor of materia medica at Yale for many years, and was noted for 
his admirable and instructive lectures. Levi W. Humphries of 
Southwick was made a fellow of the State society in 1822; was 
one of the organizers of the district society later and died, highly 
honored, in 1850. Joseph Henshaw Flint was one of the original 
charter members of the district medical society. Born in Leicester, 
in 1786, he graduated at Harvard, and built up an extensive prac- 
tice in Northampton as well as in Springfield where he made his 
home for several years. He also had a large consulting practice 
throughout Western Massachusetts. Dr. Bela Jones, of wide repu- 
tation in the same region, was at one time Dr. Flint's partner. He 
died in 1846. Dr. Austin Flint of New York City, widely known, 
was a son by Dr. Joseph Flint's first wife. 

Dr. James Holland, born in 1762, acquired his medical education 
in practice with Dr. Brewster of Becket. He practiced successfully 
in what is now Huntington and in Worthington before coming to 
W^estfield in 1815, which was the scene of his greatest activity, 
ending with his death in 1840. Four of his sons became physicians 
almost as prominent as the father, in their respective communities. 
The brothers Holland, with the inspiration of a widely-honored 
parent all became eminent in medicine. Homer, born in Blandford 
and educated at Yale Medical School, was particularly successful. 
James Holland, Jr., was born in 1815, studied medicine with his 
father, and was a graduate of the medical department of the Uni- 
versity of New York. He began practice in Westfield in 1843. He 


was a shrewd reasoner and careful student, and of course he at- 
tained success, not only in professional life, but also in social and 
public affairs of the town. Dr. Charles Jenkins Holland, another 
son of James, senior, was educated for the profession and practiced 
in Chester Village, now Huntington ; but he died comparatively 
young, as did his gifted brother. Dr. Virgil Holland. Samuel 
Mather, one of the pioneers of the State society of which he bec.iTne 
a member in 1783, was another of the noted old-time doctors of 
excellent reputation. John Appleton was another of the old-school 
practitioners and his quality was recognized by the district society 
which gave him the office of the first secretary, 1840 to 1842. 

Jefferson Church, was a native of Middlefield, Hampshire Coun- 
ty, born in 1802, and in 1825 was graduated at Berkshire Medical 
College. He practiced one year in Peru, Berkshire County, and 
then removed to Springfield, where the best years of his life were 
spent, and where he attained a standing of prominence in the ranks 
of the profession, not alone as a practitioner, but as publisher in 
1850, in association with Dr. Edgar Seeger, of "Tully's Materia 
Medica," a work which for a long time was regarded as standard 
authority. He also took an earnest interest in public affairs and 
was known as an intense anti-slavery advocate. Dr. Church died in 
Springfield in 1885, aged 83 years. 

Edward Seeger, co-worker with Dr. Church in publishing Dr. 
Tully's medical manuscripts, was born in Northampton in 1811, 
and was of German ancestry. He graduated at Jefferson Medical 
College in 1832, and at once located for practice in Springfield. 
Thereafter he was a conspicuous figure in local professional and 
political circles for thirty-four years, until his death in 1866. Poli- 
tically Dr. Seeger affiliated with the abolitionists and free-soilers. 
and was one of their ablest exponents of party principles. He also 
was a logical writer on medical and political subjects, and as a 
practitioner he had few peers. Dr. Seeger's first wife was a sister 
of the late Homer Foot, a foremost citizen of old-time Springfield. 

W. L. Loring, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, was a 
practitioner in Springfield something like five years, beginning 
about 1825. While he was a man of excellent capacity, unfortun- 
ately did not enjoy a lucrative practice. Casting about for a 
method to make quick and easy money, he adopted what is called 
"body snatching," disposing of his "subjects" by sale to various 
medical institutions. For this flagrant violation of law and pro- 
priety the doctor was arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced 


to pay a fine of $500. Soon afterward he removed from Springfield. 

James Swan, a graduate of Harvard and JeflFerson Medical col- 
leges, located in Springfield in 1834 and continued in active prac- 
tice until 1836, when he died. He was a physician of excellent 
repute, a man of fine social qualities and a respected citizen. Out- 
side of professional work he was a firm advocate of temperance 
and also an ardent Odd Fellow. 

Henry Bronson, who practiced a few years in West Springfield, 
came to that town directly from his medical course in Yale, hav- 
ing graduated in 1827. Three years later he removed to Albany, 
where he gained celebrity as a writer on scientific and medical sub- 
jects and relinquished active practice in 1860. In 1872 he was 
called to a professorship in the medical department of Yale. 

Calvin Wheeler was an early practitioner in Feeding Hills 
parish when that region was a part of West Springfield. He 
served as surgeon in the American Army during the second war 
with Great Britain, and was a good physician for his time, al- 
though his methods were "old-fashioned." He died in 1861. 

Chauncey Belden, who practiced in West Springfield and its vi- 
cinity for ten years beginning in 1832, was a graduate of Yale Medi- 
cal School in 1829, and after leaving college he was for a time an as- 
sistant in the Hartford retreat for the insane. In connection with 
his professional work Dr. Belden gave special attention to scien- 
tific studies and was regarded as a man of wide understanding in 
all professional and social circles. He removed to South Hadley in 
1842, and died there three years afterward. Herbert C. Belden, 
who began practice in West Springfield in 1871, was a graduate of 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, and was a 
son of Chauncey Belden. 

Dr. William Tully began the study of medicine in 1807 under the 
instruction of Dr. Coggswell, of Hartford, and in the following 
year he attended lectures in the medical department of Dartmouth. 
Later on his attention was chiefly devoted to increasing his under- 
standing of elementary medicine, after which he was licensed to 
practice 1)\ the president and fellows of the Connecticut Medical 
Society. In 1819 he received the honorary Yale degree of Doctor 
of Medicine. In 1811 he began practice in Enfield, the next year 
removed to Milford, and thence in 1816 to Middletown. In 1820 
he published an article on the "Ergot of Rye," and in 1823, in as- 
sociation with Dr. Thomas Miner, he issued a volume entitled 
"Essays on Fevers and other Medical Subjects." Dr. Tully came 


to Springfield in 1851, and from that time to his death in 1859 he 
was a prominent figure, devoting himself to active practice and also 
to the authorship of various works on medical subjects. Drs. 
Church and Seeger published in two large volumes his work on 
"Materia Medica," and "Pharmacology and Therapeutics," and 
while his manuscripts were not fully completed, the work was re- 
garded as standard authority. 

A Dr. Caswell, of Ludlow, enjoyed an excellent reputation as a 
country doctor. Dr. Marcus Cady, of South Wilbraham, and his 
brother, Henry Cady, of Monson, both physicians of good repute ; 
Dr. McKinstry, of Monson; Dr. Johnson, of Granville; Ezra Os- 
borne, of Springfield, who practiced from 1815 to 1830; Dr. Spar- 
hawk, whose period of practice was about 1820; Ebenezer Jones, 
of West Springfield, who removed to the eastern part of the state ; 
Timothy Horton ; Dr. Dunham, of West Springfield ; Edward Mc- 
Crea, who settled in Agawam in 1832, and died in 1859; Sumner 
Ives, who was born in the "Ireland parish" and who practiced in 
that locality from 1826 to 1831, when he removed to Sufifield; and 
Solomon Chapman, who succeeded Dr. Ives in 1832, and who, in 
turn, was succeeded in 1850 by Dr. Lawson Long, are all names 
reflecting marked credit on the medical profession in Hampden 

Also may be mentioned the names of Edward Strong, graduate 
of Harvard Medical School in 1838, who retired from active pro- 
fessional work in 1845 and became associated with the department 
of vital statistics in Boston ; Hiram Bartholomew, dispenser of 
botanical curatives, and widely known as an "eclectic physician" ; 
Nathaniel Downs, who settled in West Springfield in 1857 and 
soon afterward removed to the eastern part of the state; George 
Filer, of Westfield, one of the early physicians of that town, who 
is said to have settled there about 1666, but who subsequently 
joined the Quaker colony on Long Island ; Israel Ashley, of West- 
field, descendant of one of the colonists of Springfield, a graduate 
of Yale in 1730, and one of the best physicians of his day; William 
Atwater, son of Rev. Noah Atwater, of Westfield, a graduate of 
Yale and a practitioner in the town previous to 1830; Joshua Sum- 
ner, of Westfield, who came about the time of the Revolution and 
was noted for his skill in surgery, were also famous and worthy 
"doctors" of the region. 

Westfield, like Springfield, was noted as the abiding-place of 
many old-time physicians. In addition to those previously men- 


tioned were Dr. M. L. Robinson, one of the few men of medicine 
Avho was born and educated in New York State and subsequently 
came to practice in the locality ; Simeon Shurtleff, a native of 
Blandford, a pupil of Dr. Cooley's famous school in Granville, and 
a graduate of Amherst ; William Orton Bell, a native of Chester 
and a graduate of the Berkshire Medical School ; and Ellery C. 
Clarke, a graduate of the University of Vermont, and a surgeon 
in the army during the war of 1861-5. 

In Southwick we find the names of Isaac Coit, said to have been 
its first physician, and a patriot of the Revolution; Drs. Jonathan 
Bill, J. W. Rockwell and a Dr. Norton ; both the latter active mem- 
bers of the district society and among its most earnest advocates. 
In Granville were Dr. Vincent Holcomb, the latter an army sur- 
geon and afterward in practice in Blandford ; Dr. Calvin King, who 
succeeded Dr. Holcomb ; Dr. BarloAv who removed to New York 
and became a convert to Homoeopathy ; Dr. Dwight ; Dr. Johnson, 
who succeeded Dr. Dwight ; Dr. Jesse Bigelow, the pioneer physi- 
cian in Granville. The names of Drs. C. W. Bartlett and Edward P. 
Mountain are also associated with Granville history. 

Up in the mountainous regions of the western part of the coun- 
ty, in Chester, there were such excellent professionals as Dr. David 
Shepard, who was here previous to the Revolution ; Drs. William 
Holland and Martin Phelps, the latter the successor of the former 
and a prominent figure in church and Democratic political circles ; 
Anson Boies, a native of Blandford ; Dr. Ballard, successor to Dr. 
Boies, and who was in turn succeeded by Dr. DeWolf; Ebenezer 
Emmons, physician and geologist and later professor of chemistry 
in Williams College ; Asahel Permenter, son of Deacon Parmenter 
and who afterward removed to Pennsylvania ; Joseph C. Abbott ; 
Dr. Crossett ; Dr. Noah S. Bartlett; H. S. Lucas, a physician of 
more than ordinary reputation, and who combined knowledge of 
geology with that of medicine ; and also Drs. Hall, Wright and 
Taylor, each of whom once was in practice in that town. In 
Blandford one of the first physicians was Dr. Ashley, as early 
as 1745, and after him came Joseph W. Brewster, Silas P. Wright 
and William B. Miller, the latter having removed to Springfield 
about 1870. Thaddeus K. B. Wolf (1801-1890), locating in Chester 
in 1832, became one of the best known physicians of that region. 
His son, Oscar, became a practicing physician in London, England. 

In Wilbraham the physicians in earlier times were Drs. John 
Stearns, Gordon Percival, Samuel F. Merrick (a Revolutionary 


patriot), Judah Bliss (about 1800), Abiah South worth, Converse 
Butler, Luther Brewer, Jacob Lyman, Elisha Ladd, Jesse W. Rice 
(a widely respected and influential citizen as well as an excellent 
physician), Edwin Thayer, Charles Bowker, Stebbins Foskit, Abiel 
Bottom, William B. Carpenter, John Goodale, Daniel UflFord. 

In Wales the succession is about as follows : James Lawrence, 
1746-78; Dudley Wade, 1779-83; Abel Sherman, 1783-86; Jeremiah 
Round, 1787-89; David Young, 1790-1802; Ferdinand Lethbridge, 
1805-11; Thaddeus Fairbanks, 1812-15; Daniel Tiffany, 1812-22; 
Aaron Shaw, 1813-45; John Smith, 1815-65. 

In Holland the profession was early represented by Thomas 
Wallis (1786), Seth Smith, Ichabod Hyde (1812), David B. Dean, 
Joshua Richardson, Chileab B. Merrick, Josiah Converse, y\biel 
Bottom and Josiah G. Wallis. 

The Longmeadow succession includes, among others. Rial Strick- 
land, George Hooker, Thomas L. Chapman, R. P. Markham, 
Eleazer S. Beebe, John A. McKinstry. 

In Monson the list includes the names of Joseph Grout and Dr. 
Anderson, about 1785; Ede Whittaker, 1790-1840, and Ephraim 
Allen as his cotemporary ; Oliver McKinstry, 1820-45 ; Reuben 
Gardner, about 1840; and also Drs. Ware, Cullen and Haywood, 
Isaac Carpenter, Alvin Smith, Homer A. Smith, David Calkins, 
George E. Fuller. 

The Chicopee list of old-time physicians includes the names of 
Amos Skeele (1804-43), J. R. Wilbur, Alvord Norfolk, George 
Washington Denison (1846-73), and William George Smith. 

In the Ludlow general list are the names of Aaron John Miller 
(born 1750, served during the Revolution, and died, 1838), Francis 
Percival, Benjamin Trask (1777), Dr. Wood, Simpson Ellis, David 
Lyon, Sylvester Nash, Philip Lyon, Drs. Tainton, Sutton, Munger 
and Hamilton, Estes Howe, Elijah Campbell, W. B. Alden, Dr. 
Bassett, R. G. English, William B. Miller; Henry M. T. Smith, 
Robert Wood, Dr. King, Benjamin K. Johnson, T. W. Lyman. 

In Palmer from the available records are taken the names of 
Marcus Shearer, Alanson Moody, Drs. W^hite, Barron and Cum- 
mings; J. K. Warren, A. C. Downing, Amasa Davis, Mason B. 
Thomas, F. W. Calkins, Dr. Blair, Dr. William Walradt and Dr. 
Silas Ruggles. 

It is quite true that members of the State society were largely 
outnumbered by those not members. Many of the leading doctors 
of early days, were so thoroughly engrossed in the medical needs 


of their own chosen districts that they had no time for affiliation 
for either practical or social reasons with the State organization, 
being well content with well-earned prominence in their own com- 
munities. This prominence sometimes, too, took the form of 
honors given them gladly by their fellow citizens ; and many were 
also enabled to shine in literary, civil and political ways. 

In the histories of the several towns further allusion is made to 
many early physicians as citizens. Had early legislation regarding 
the profession been mandatory instead of optional in respect to 
membership in the State and district societies, this record could be 
more complete. 

The Hampden District Medical Society was instituted May 
30, 1840, under a charter granted by the councilors of the 
Massachusetts Medical Society to Joseph H. Flint, William 
Bridgman, George Hooker, Aaron King, Bela B. Jones, Reuben 
Champion, John Appleton and L. W. Humphreys, each of whom 
is mentioned earlier in this chapter. They were the incorporators 
and original members of the society, and appear to have been its 
only members during the first year. Dr. Champion was the first 
president, Dr. Bridgman the first vice-president, and Dr. Appleton 
the first secretary and treasurer. 

James Morven Smith, for twelve years the acknowledged head 
of the medical profession in Hampden County and one of the most 
distinguished physicians of his time in New England, was born 
in Hanover, N. H., in 1806, the son of Dr. Nathan Smith, who was 
an eminent physician and a medical lecturer and author of wide 
repute. James M. Smith graduated at Yale, located in Westfield 
in 1830, practiced in that town until 1838, when he removed to 
Baltimore, Md. In 1841 he came to Springfield and engaged in 
professional work until the time of his death in a railway disaster 
at Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1853. He, in association with Reuben 
A. Chapman and William B. Calhoun, conceived the idea of estab- 
lishing a medical school in Springfield, which lived but a few years. 

Dr. Henry R. Vaille was a native of Vermont, born in Marlboro, 
in 1809. He was graduated at Williams College in 1835, and soon 
afterward became the first (and the last) principal of the town 
school in School Street in Springfield. He then turned his atten- 
tion to medicine and pursued a course of reading with Dr. Joshua 
Frost, later attended the Pittsfield Medical Institute, and finally 
finished his medical education in Paris. He began practice in 


Long-meadow, but upon the death of his old preceptor he succeeded 
to the practice of the latter in Springfield. His professional life was 
abundantly successful and in his prime his practice was far greater 
than that of any other physician in the city. At one time during 
the war of 1861-5 he was in the service of the Christian Commission, 
and in the fall of 1863 he spent some time in the hospitals at Mid- 
dletown, Md., after the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. 
Dr. Vaille died July 15, 1885. He was a popular and skillful physi- 
cian, thorough in every professional work, and having an especial 
regard for the interests and comfort of all with whom he was 
brought into association. 

Dr. Pierre LeBreton Stickney, whose professional life in this 
county was spent in the towns of West Springfield, Chicopee and 
Springfield, was born in Newburyport, May 19, 1814, the son of 
Capt. David and Elizabeth LeBreton Stickney. He prepared for 
college in Bradford and Phillips Andover academies and graduated 
at Dartmouth in 1839. His medical education was acquired in 
JeflFerson Medical College (Phila.), where he received his degree 
in 1842. He settled in West Springfield in 1845 and removed to 
Indiana in 1851. Three years later he returned east and located 
in Chicopee, where he practiced with unvarying success until 1870, 
when he came to Vernon Street, Springfield, his subsequent home. 
He died November 5, 1887, having spent nearly forty years of his 
active and very successful professional life in this vicinity. He was 
held in the highest regard by the profession, to whom his worth 
was fully known. 

Dr. John Hooker, during his active life a prominent figure in 
professional, political and social circles in Springfield, was a native 
of Charlton, Massachusetts, born January 30, 1817, and died at his 
State Street home in Springfield in 1892. His father was a car- 
penter and joiner by trade, and his mother, Polly Winslow, was 
a direct descendant of Kenelen Winslow, a Puritan who came to 
America in the Mayflower in 1620. At the age of sixteen years 
John began to learn the trade of his father, but having soon after- 
ward determined to fit himself for the practice of medicine, he 
became a student under Dr. Lamb, of Charlton. He took his 
degree from the Berkshire Medical School in Pittsfield. At the 
time of the "gold fever" in California he went from Worcester to 
New York with the intention to sail for the Pacific slope, and to 
that end procured a passage ticket. Then he suddenly changed 
his mind, disposed of his ticket at a good premium, and came to 


Springfield. He opened an office near where now stands the city 
hall. In 1870 he was a member of the board of aldermen and in 
1875 was a city physician. Previous to 1870 he was a Democrat, 
but afterward he was allied to the Republican Party. During the 
later years of his life he relinquished much of his practice to his 
son, Charles P. Hooker. 

William Oilman Breck, whose splendid, striking personality for 
so many years made him an attractive figure in Springfield social 
circles, also enjoyed the reputation of being one of the leading 
physicians and surgeons in the Connecticut Valley. He w^as born 
in Franklin County, Vermont, in November, 1818, and died in 
Chicopee while on a professional visit to Vicar-General Healy, on 
January 22, 1889. When quite young he removed with his parents 
to Ohio, and acquired his elementary education in the famous col- 
lege at Oberlin, and also in Harvard University, where he was 
graduated. He attended medical lectures in New York City, and 
in 1844 began his professional career in New Orleans. Two years 
later be came to Springfield, and for the next forty-three years 
was an active factor in medical and business circles. For a time 
he practiced as senior partner in the firm of Breck & Gray. Dur- 
ing the war of 1861-65 he was sent to the front by Governor An- 
drew as consulting surgeon, and was present at several memorable 
battles. His knowledge of medicine was thorough and as a sur- 
geon his skill was known far beyond the limits of his county. 
Succeeding Dr. C. C. Chaffee in that position for thirty years he 
w-as surgeon for the Boston & Albany and the New York, New 
Haven & Hartford railroad companies. But outside of his profes- 
sional life Dr. Breck was deeply interested in the growth and 
prosperity of Springfield and was thoroughly loyal to its institu- 
tions, taking an especial interest in the work of the city hospital. 
He also was one of the pioneers in the development of Round Hill, 
and built the first residence there in the rear of Memorial Church. 

Thomas Luce Chapman, who was virtually retired from active 
professional work when he removed from Longmeadow to Spring- 
field to live with his father-in-law, the late Marvin Chapin, was 
born in Pittsfield in 1817, and acquired his early medical education 
in the Berkshire Medical Institute. Through his early associ- 
ation with Dr. Brooks he became in every respect a competent and 
honorable physician, and one who enjoyed a large practice and 
wide social acquaintance. He settled in Longmeadow in 1842 and 
for the next thirty and more years (except a short time spent in 


California), devoted his untiring energies to professional work and 
to several other enterprises. He was secretary and treasurer of 
the district medical society in 1847-49, vice-president in 1871-72, 
and president in 1872-74. Dr. Chapman is remembered as a large- 
hearted and public-spirited citizen, especially to the poor, and in- 
terested in all worthy charities. The Springfield Home for Aged 
Women was founded chiefly through his endeavors. Politically 
he was a Republican and was in the State Senate in 1864. Dr. 
Chapman died August 20, 1889. 

Dr. Nathan Adams was for many years a familiar figure in 
medical circles in Springfield, although the complete success of 
his career as a physician was somewhat marred by the effects of an 
unfortunate accident which impaired his general health. He was 
born May 6, 1813, and was graduated from the medical department 
of Yale in 1836. In 1844, after six years of hospital practice in 
New York, he settled in Springfield, and soon attained a prominent 
standing in the ranks of the profession. In 1856 he was elected 
to the common council. In 1865 an accident compelled him to give 
up practice temporarily, after which he travelled extensively and 
lived elsewhere than in Springfield. Dr. Adams died October 2, 
1888, while temporarily residing with his daughter in Marble- 

Dr. Harlow Gamwell, late of Westfield, was born in Washing- 
ton, Massachusetts, in 1834, the son of Martin Gamwell, a patriot 
of the Revolution. Harlow acquired his early medical education in 
the Berkshire Medical College, where he graduated in 1858, and 
began his professional career in Huntington in 1859. In 1861 he 
was appointed assistant surgeon of the 2d Massachusetts Cavalry, 
serving in that capacity fourteen months, when he was made sur- 
geon of the 5th Cavalry. Just before the close of the war ill-health 
compelled him to resign his commission, upon which he returned to 
Huntington, and thence removed to Westfield in 1873. Here he 
afterward lived and died, his professional life having been a com- 
plete success, while socially he enjoyed the respect and esteem of 
the entire townspeople. His practice was varied and extensive, and 
in whatever capacity he was called he acquitted himself with honor. 
Dr. Gamwell died August 11, 1898. He was twice married, his sec- 
ond wife being a daughter of Dr. Thaddeus K. DeWolf of Chester. 
Dr. Varillas L. Owen, for many years a physician of excellent 
standing in Springfield, was born in 1825, and died in 1897. He was 
educated in old Chester Academy and the medical department of 



Harvard, graduating at the latter in 1852. He came into medical 
practice well equipped for hard work. On the occasion of his death 
the resolutions adopted by the members of the district medical 
society said of Dr. Owen : "That the society of which he was for 
many years a member, actively and usefully, hereby expresses its 
deep sense of the loss in him of a most agreeable companion and 
faithful co-worker." 

Dr. David P. Smith, son of Dr. James Morven Smith, was born in 
Westfield, October 1, 1830, graduated at Yale College in 1851, and 
at Jefiferson Medical College in 1853. With a splendid mental equip- 
ment and the fortunate prestige of being the son of one of the most 
distinguished physicians which the county ever had known, the 
young doctor came into practice in the same year in which his father 
was killed by the accident previously referred to and much of the 
practice to which he succeeded was retained by him until his depar- 
ture for Europe in 1860 to still further educate himself in the Uni- 
versity at Edinburgh, Scotland. However, at the end of a single 
year he returned to Springfield and entered the service as surgeon 
of the 18th Mass. Infantry, only to be advanced to the rank of bri- 
gade surgeon, and later to medical director of the division. Return- 
ing to Springfield, he engaged in active practice until 1872, when he 
made another extended European tour, and on his return in 1873 he 
was made professor of theory and practice in Yale medical depart- 
ment. In 1877 he was transferred to the chair of surgery, and in 
1878, in addition to his other duties, he was appointed lecturer on 
medical jurisprudence. During his active professional life Dr. 
Smith was vice-president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 
post surgeon of the U. S. Armory, at Springfield, president of the 
board of medical examiners for pensions, and medical director of 
the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. 

Dr. James H. Waterman, at the time of his death medical exam- 
iner and town physician of Westfield, and one of the leading men of 
his profession in western Hampden County, was born in Ware in 
1837 and came to practice in Westfield in 1860, fresh from his grad- 
uation from the medical department of the University of Buffalo. 
In November, 1862, he was appointed surgeon of the 46th Massa- 
chusetts Infantry, and served in that capacity about two years. He 
died November 23, 1887. 

Dr. George Washington Davis, of Holyoke. president of the dis- 
trict medical society in 1892-93 was born in Northfield, Vt., March 
26, 1847 and died September 4, 1894. He was one of the most schol- 

W. Mass. — 53 


arly physicians in that city, and one whose life was given to study 
as well as to practice. He first read medicine in his native town, 
and in 1866 attended lectures at the Pittsfield Medical School, later 
at the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and still later at 
Burlington, Vermont, where he was graduated in 1868. He prac- 
ticed first in Craftsbury, Vt., and came to Holyoke in 1871. In that 
city he achieved his greatest success. He took a post-graduate 
course in New York in 1876, and another in Philadelphia in 1882. 
In 1884 he studied in the great university of Cologne. 

Dr. Stephen Wallace Bowles was born in Machias, Me., in 1835, 
graduated at Williams College in 1856, and acquired his early 
medical education in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New 
York, graduating in 1859. During the war of 1861-65, he was for a 
time on the hospital staff in the field and afterward served in the 
general hospital at Brattleboro, his whole service covering a period 
of three and one-half years. He also practiced two years in Brattle- 
boro, a like time in Yonkers, N. Y., and came to Springfield in 1872. 
Dr. Bowles was a physician of excellent ability and an upright citi- 
zen. He died February 13, 1895. 

Dr. James John O'Connor, Holyoke, one of the brightest lights of 
the profession in that city previous to his death, was born in Spring- 
field, October 20, 1864, and died December 14, 1898. He was edu- 
cated in the city schools and prepared for college under private 
instruction. In 1884 he entered the medical department of Harvard, 
and graduated in 1888. He then located in Holyoke and rapidly 
gained popularity by his professional work. 

Dr. William J. Sawin was a respected physician of Chicopee Falls 
at the time of his death, December 3, 1877. 

Dr. Horatio Gates Stickney, president of the society in 1877-78, 
for many years a respected physician of this locality, died Decem- 
ber 5, 1878. 

Drs. Alvin Smith, of Monson, Sanford Lawton, of Springfield, 
and Cyrus Bell, of Feeding Hills, died in 1882. Each was a well 
known, highly respected and competent physician in the community 
in which he lived and practiced. 

Dr. Henry Charles Bowen died September 3, 1898, and the resolu- 
tion adopted at the next meeting expresses deep regret at the loss 
of a valuable fellow member, "who died of typhoid fever in Cuba 
while serving his country as surgeon of the 2nd Massachusetts Mili- 
tia in the Spanish War." 

Dr. Erskine Erasmus Hamilton, who died in January, 1901, was 


born in 1866, graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons 
in 1892, and was associated with medical practice in Springfield 
from that time until the latter part of 1900. 

Harry A. Merchant, of Monson, who also died in 1901, gave brilli- 
ant promise of a rapid rise in the ranks of the profession. He was a 
son-in-law of Dr. George E. Fuller of Monson. 

The Eastern Hampden Medical Association — During the latter 
part of 1879 three well-known physicians of the eastern towns of 
Hampden County — Dr. Fuller of Monson, Dr. George T. Ballard of 
Hampden, and Dr. W. H. Stowe of Palmer — were accustomed to 
meet about once a month at the house of one of them to discuss any 
events of more than usual importance in their professional work 
which had taken place during the preceding month ; and to give 
added enjoyment to these occasions, the wives of these physicians 
would accompany them. 

These little informal assemblages were found so agreeable and 
beneficial to the participants that on February 6, 1880, it was re- 
solved to form the "Doctors' Club of Eastern Hampden," to adopt 
a constitution and by-laws and elect officers for the ensuing year. 
These officers were as follows: Dr. Fuller, president; Dr. Ballard, 
vice-president ; Dr. Stowe, secretary and treasurer ; and these with 
Drs. A. O. Squier and J. W. Hannum, directors. 

Thus launched into existence with an original membership of five 
physicians, the Doctors' Club began its history with every promise 
of future usefulness, but without any intention on the part of its 
founders to extend to jurisdiction beyond the limits of a few of 
the eastern towns of the county. However, the good results which 
followed the early meetings soon spread their influence throughout 
the profession, and one addition after another gradually extended 
the membership west to the Connecticut and also into the counties 
adjoining Hampden. 

This somewhat remarkable outspreading from a little informal 
social trio of medical men to a formal organization with large and 
constantly increasing membership, necessitated a change in the 
regulations, therefore, at a meeting held February 10, 1881, "cen- 
sors" replaced "directors," and on March 10, of the same year the 
constitution was amended and the name changed. 

The long and shining roll of physicians of comparatively recent 
years includes many names of men active not only professionally, 
but in various other phases of public life. Dr. C. C. Chaffee, born in 


Saratoga, N. Y. and a graduate of the Vermont Medical College, 
settled in Springfield in 1847. Though a civilian professional he 
was the choice of Secretary Stanton for surgeon-general of the 
army, but his appointment was withdrawn in the face of strong 
army opposition. He was a member of the 34th and 35th Congres- 
ses. He was long a member of the examining board for pensions. 
His son, Clemens Chaffee, was chief of engineers on the staff of Gen. 
Sherman, and later ordnance officer at the Springfield Armory, dy- 
ing in 1867. Dr. Theodore Frelinghuysen Breck, son of the already- 
mentioned Dr. W. G. Breck, and graduate of Harvard in 1866, 
studied medicine in the best European universities, and became a 
famous surgeon in the Connecticut valley. Dr. Samuel D. Brooks, 
born in Pittsfield, and a graduate of the Berkshire Medical College, 
came to Springfield from active practice in New York and for years 
was prominent in social as well as professional life. He was long 
on the State board of inspection for the State Primary School and 
Almshouse at Monson, of which he was at one time the head. Dr. 
Marshall Calkins has had an exceptionally long and honorable 
career in Springfield. Born in Wilbraham, he received his medical 
training by association with Dr. Calvin Newton of Worcester, hos- 
pital experience in Philadelphia, and the full course at Dartmouth 
Medical College, from which he received his degree, as well as 
lengthy visits to hospitals in London, Edinburgh, Paris and Vienna, 
all of which gave him a very broad knowledge. This was augmented 
by some years of practice in England with Sir Joseph Lister. Be- 
sides membership in all the Massachusetts Medical societies, he 
was also a member of the Vermont Medical Society, and the Ameri- 
can Association for the Advancement of Science. He was long pro- 
fessor of Physiology and Microscopic Anatomy at the University 
of Vermont. His son. Dr. Cheney H. Calkins, has enjoyed an ex- 
tensive practice in Springfield. 

Dr. David Clark, president of the Hampden Medical Society in 
1876 and 77 , was graduated from Antioch College; studied medicine 
at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York ; and received 
his degree from the medical college of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania. He came to Springfield in 1869, where he now resides, uni- 
versally beloved and in a city which delights to do him honor. He 
was an officer in the Union Army for the period of the Civil War; 
surgeon of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, 1872-1895; Medical 
director 1st Brigade, M. V. M., 1895-97; and U. S. examiner for 
pensions from 1897 to the present. Dr. J. H. Carmichael (1851- 


1925), long surgeon-in-chief of the Wesson Memorial Hospital, 
graduated from the medical school of Union College, N. Y., in 1873, 
beginning his career as a successful practitioner in Worcester, and 
Warren, Mass. He took a post-graduate course at the New York 
Homeopathic Hospital, making abdominal surgery his specialty. 
Immediately after his arrival in Springfield in 1889, he aided in pro- 
moting the Hampden Homeopathic Hospital which later became the 
Wesson Memorial Hospital, founded by the millionaire manufac- 
turer of small-arms, Daniel B. Wesson. Dr. Carmichael will be 
long remembered as one of best judges of horses in the Eastern 
States, and as owner, and often driver, of some of the most valuable 
trotters and pacers. Dr. Robert Parker Ames (1856-1913) received 
his degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1880. He saw much 
active service with the United States Navy, and was a member of 
numerous medical societies. Dr. Charles P. Hooker (1845-1915) 
was the son of the famous Dr. John Hooker, and enjoyed a long 
practice in Springfield. Dr. Angelo O. Squier, born in Westfield in 
1854, prepared for his quarter century of practice in Springfield at 
Long Island College Hospital ; and was for some years on the active 
staff of the old Hampden Hospital. Dr. Wallace Howe Dean was 
born in Connecticut in 1852. He settled in Blandford, after receiv- 
ing his degree from Yale Medical College in 1877. In 1887 until the 
time of his death in 1920 he was an active member, and for a time 
the president of the Hampden District Medical Society. It has 
not been possible to include all the worthy members of the Western 
Massachusetts medical profession in our necessarily limited space. 
Otherwise, those of present recollection should include more than 
mere mention of such shining lights of the profession in Hampden 
County as Dr. Horace Jacobs, Dr. Sanford Lawton, Dr. George B. 
Foster, Dr. H. A. Collins, Dr. John Blackmer, Dr. George M. Swa- 
zey. Dr. E. B. Adams, Dr. O. W. Roberts, Dr. Herbert Clark Emer- 
son, Dr. William H. Pomeroy, Dr. Daniel J. Brown, Dr. George H. 
Finch, Dr. Alexander McClean, Dr. George B. Stebbins. Dr. Benja- 
min Fagnant, Dr. O. H. Pease, Dr. John M. Maloney, Dr. W. H. A. 
Young, Dr. E. K. Parker, Dr. John Dale, Dr. Charles P. Kennedy 
and Dr. James R. Brown. Nor should the splendid professional 
service to the community by women physicians like Dr. Catherine 
Kennedy, Dr. Phoebe Sprague and Dr. Clara J. Sweet be forgotten 
in this necessarily incomplete review. 

Springfield Hospital — At the time the "City Hospital," (later 


"Springfield Hospital") was incorporated, December, 1883, its back- 
ing represented the foremost citizens at that time. The list included 
Rev. Dr. J. C. Brooks, Rev. Dr. David Allen Reed, Henry M. Phil- 
lips, Henry S. Hyde, William Merrick, James A. Rumrill, Dorcas 
Chapin, Noyes W. Fisk, Henry A. Gould, Lizzie D. Nichols, Lu- 
cinda O. Howard, Iranna L. Pomeroy, Charles Marsh and C. H. 
Southworth. The "City" Hospital had been established in 1869. 
The wills of two incorporators, Dorcas Chapin and William Mer- 
rick, left large sums which added to a popular subscription of $28,- 
444, all in 1887, led to the purchase of the Hernando Fuller Farm 
in Chestnut street, where the present hospital was established and 
dedicated, 1889. In April, 1903, it was voted that all regular phy- 
sicians or surgeons licensed to practice in Massachusetts should be 
permitted to treat their own patients in the private rooms of the 
institution, with free use also of the operating rooms. The Nurses' 
Home was established in 1906 ; and the Dr. Frederick Wilcox 
Chapin Memorial hospital branch was established in 1921, the same 
year the Sherman D. Porter Memorial Home for Nurses was dedi- 
cated. Dr. Everett A. Bates is president and Dr. Dudley Carleton, 
vice-president of the present corporation, the consulting physicians 
being Dr. David Clark, Dr. George C. McClean, Dr. Walter H. 
Chapin, Dr. George D. Weston, Dr. Wallace W. Broga and Dr. 
Luke Corcoran. Visiting physicians are Dr. Theodore S. Bacon, 
Dr. Mortimer J. Stoddard, Dr. Laurence D. Chapin. Visiting sur- 
geons are Dr. Frederick B. Sweet. Dr. Ralph H. Seelye, Dr. John 
M. Birnie, Dr. Ralph B. Ober, Dr. Allen G. Rice. The medical and 
surgical assistants are Dr. Hervey L. Smith, Dr. J. E. Overlander, 
Dr. Henry Ritter, Dr. J. Perry Graham, Dr. Frederick S. Hopkins, 
Dr. Carl A. Schillander, Dr. Frank K. Dutton, Dr. Fred S. Dexter, 
Dr. J. M. Gilchrist and others. Consulting specialists are Dr. George 
F. Dalton, Dr. Frederick E. Hopkins, Dr. Philip Kilroy, Dr. William 
Goodell, Dr. Samuel Segal, Dr. Harold R. Wheat, Dr. H. W. Van 
Allen, Dr. J. Wesley Shaw, Dr. Alexander C. Eastman, Dr. Ernest 
L. Davis, Dr. Frederick D. Jones, Dr. W. Bradford Adams, Dr. Ira 
R. Kilburn, and others. The total admissions for 1924 was 4,207. 
The same William Merrick, who died while still a young man, leav- 
ing nearly $100,000 to this hospital, also bequeathed to the city one 
of its most conspicuous beauty-spots. This is the "Merrick Park," 
next west of the City Library, where stands the famous St. Gaudens 
bronze statue of "The Puritan," the imperishable portrait of one of 
the founders of Springfield, Deacon Samuel Chapin. 


The benefactions to this hospital in recent years of such noble 
Springfield women as Mrs. Harriet Smith and Mrs. Martha D. S. 
Ludington, have brought invaluable special departments for women 
and children to the institution, and have provided costly equipment 
of the very highest degree of efficiency. 

It should be mentioned in passing that this hospital will later be 
greatly enriched by the benefaction of the late State Senator Luke 
S. Stowe, the larger part of his fortune, a sum expected to amount to 
several hundred thousand dollars, will eventually be available for 
the establishment of the memorial fund which will bear his name. 

The Two Wesson Hospitals — Side by side on High Street stand 
two similar monuments to the public spirit enlisted in the cause of 
the relief of suffering humanity, both named for the donors, Daniel 
Baird Wesson, and his wife, Cynthia M. Wesson. The "Wesson 
Memorial Hospital" has for a nucleus the beautiful Wesson resi- 
dence, solicited by their friend the late Dr. J. H. Carmichael, and 
dedicated March, 1907, to the homeopathic profession of Western 
Massachusetts. Mr. Wesson gave considerably in excess of a mil- 
lion dollars to the Springfield hospitals, the major part to the two 
which bear his name. The Wessons left also the income of $450,000 
to be divided between the two. The Wesson Memorial was first 
occupied March 1, 1907. Its staff is headed by Dr. Plumb Brown, 
Dr. S. E. Fletcher. Dr. J. B. Comins, Dr. A. A. Starbuck, Dr. John 
P. Sutherland, and Dr. Frank A. Woods. Its surgeons are Dr. 
Robert F. Hovey, Dr. Erdix F. Smith, Dr. H. C. Cheney, Dr. Emil 
C. Dillenbeck, Dr. J. E. Briggs of Boston. Its oculist is Dr. M. W. 
Conrow ; laryngologist, Dr. Charles Chapman ; bacteriologist. Dr. 
R. F. Kline ; proctologist, Dr. Thomas J. Putnam ; roentgenologist. 
Dr. E. C. Gorman, and superintendant, Emma B. Josselyn. 

Next west is what is now known as the Wesson Maternity 
Hospital, at the corner of Myrtle Street, incorporated in 1908. This 
has no general staff, but each patient employs her own physician. 
Winnifred H. Brooks is the superintendant, and the trustees include 
the following widely-known physicians : Dr. David Clark, Dr. E. A. 
Bates, Dr. George C. McClean, Dr. Plumb Brown, Dr. Richard S. 
Benner, Dr. Samuel F. Fletcher, Dr. Robert F. Hovey, Dr. James 
B. Comins. 

Mercy Hospital is located on Carew Street. The president of the 
corporation is Bishop Thomas M. O'Leary, and its vice-president is 
the widely-known merchant and historical writer, Edward A. Hall. 



Its treasurer is Mother Mary of Providence, and its equipment is 
the latest known in the science of medicine. The new 95-room St. 
Joseph's Home for Nurses makes a substantial addition to the three 
handsome buildings which have been all too inadequate for the mag- 
nificent work this hospital is doing. Its usefulness is shown in the 
latest figures for the year 1924; total number of cases, 4,515; sur- 
gical cases, 2,047; obstetrical (with only one death), 1,058; medical 
cases purely, 426; eye or ear, 115; nose or throat, 869; 954 patients 
required x-ray work. Dr. D. E. Keefe is the physician-in-chief 
emeritus, and the seniors of the general stafif are Dr. S. J. Russell, 
Dr. Mark W. Harrington, Dr. J. M. Tracy, Dr. E. J. Sweeney, Dr. 
J. Gagne, Dr. J. Z. Naurison, Dr. W. S. Conway, Dr. M. I. Shea, Dr. 
J. H. Quinn, Dr. W. J. Dillon, Dr. P. M. Moriarty. Its senior sur- 
geons are Dr. P. M. Lynch, Dr. S. E. Ryan, Dr. George B. Corcoran, 
Dr. J. P. Byrnes, Dr. R. A. Rochford, Dr. H. F. Owens, and Dr. M. 
J. Dillon. Its obstetricians are Dr. J. F. Rearden, Dr. J. F. McGin- 
ity. Dr. E. V. Whelan. Dr. W. S. O'Brien, Dr. A. E. Camfill. The 
aurists and laryngologists are Dr. Byrnes, Dr. J. F. Beauchamp, 
Dr. J. H. Gallagher, Dr. W. C. Leary and Dr. J. F. McKechnie. 



From Indian Trail to Modern Street — Some space is given to the 
notes, covering a long period of Springfield's history, of Heman 
Smith, of West Springfield (1812) throughout his long life the lead- 
ing "land surveyor" (so civil engineers of old time were called) of 
Hampden and Hampshire counties. His writings throw an accurate 
and interesting light on the history of this region not possible to be 
elsewhere obtained. A liberal reference to his records make a strong 
connecting link between the Old Springfield and the New and tell 
of the development of highways from the earliest Indian trail of 
William Pynchon's time, down to "Hassekey Marsh" path, parallel 
to the river, still existing — the "Main Street" of today, in Spring- 

In 1770, Major Joseph Stebbins, who kept a tavern on what is 
now the south corner of Main and Sargeant Streets, assisted by his 
sons, Festus and Quartus, brought from the West-Springfield mead- 
ows a score or more of thrifty young trees, and planted them in a 
row in the middle of the "town street" against the Stebbins prem- 
ises, which then extended from the so-called "Morgan Road," (now 
practically Carew Street) to "Ferry Lane," now Cypress Street. In 
this tree-belt, with North Main Street as its lower end. Citizen-phil- 
anthropist Nathan D. Bill, as a memorial to his father, Gurdon Bill, 
the publisher, now maintains a much-admired ornamental parkway, 
which, though necessarily narrow, is a delight to the eyes of incom- 
ing tourists from the north as well as a blessing to the business con- 
cerns "above the Arch." 

To secure easy access to the river, three "lanes" were opened from 
the main (to this day "Main") town-street of earliest days. The 
northernmost one, long known as the "Upper landing," was at the 
"Ferry Lane," just mentioned. The ferry-boats at this point crossed 
to the west-bank point, early known as "Hay Place," at the foot of 
what is now East School Street. Here farmers deposited their hay, 
grain and farm-truck in transit from the cultivated west-side lands 
to the east-side barns. It was at this point that General George 
Washington, commander-in-chief, on Friday afternoon, June 30, 
1775, enroute to the American Army at Cambridge, crossed the river 
with his fellow horsemen, Major General Charles Lee, Major 


Thomas Mifflin, later president of the Continental Congress, and 
patriot Joseph Reed, later a Pennsylvania Congressman. This dis- 
tinguished group of visitors passed along in front of the present 
Springfield Republican building, and down Main Street, to spend 
the night in the old "Parsons tavern" on Court Square. Washing- 
ton Street, from Dickinson to Woodlawn in present-day Ward 7, 
Washington Boulevard, branching from it eastward to Long Hill, 
and Reed Street between State Street and Wilbraham Road in 
Ward 8, are at present the only highway reminders of this impor- 
tant historic event. 

This upper ferry was the one used by travelers going to "Woron- 
oake" and beyond. It was originally one rod wide. The lower land- 
ing, of the same width, — now called York Street, — was opened for a 
ferry to the meadows south of the mouth of Agawam River. The 
middle (Court Square) lane-landing, also one rod wide, was insti- 
tuted in part for farming purposes, but chiefly for receiving boat- 
freight which came up the river in canoes and bateaux. It aflforded 
a passage to the first burial-ground on the north side of the lane 
along the bank of the river, and also to the "training-ground" oppo- 
site, — two acres then owned by the town and afterwards used as a 
second burial-ground. It was called "Meeting-house Lane," because 
the meeting-house stood on the northerly side, two hundred feet 
from the "town street." The lane was later widened to forty feet ; 
and in the hedge on the old south line, sprang up an elm tree which 
grew and spread itself extensively, so that a century ago it was 
looked upon as a very large tree, and was so represented on a map 
of the town made at that time. Its circumference at the smallest 
diameter of its trunk was twenty feet, and its height over ninety- 
seven feet. Its age is not known, but long ago it caused the name of 
the old meeting-house lane to be changed to Elm Street. 

In course of time it became necessary to make a passage eastward 
across the "marsh." The first efforts to that end proved ineflfectual ; 
but the settlers hit upon the expedient of offering the privilege to 
capitalists, of constructing a "causeway," and of taking "four pence 
a load of any person crossing there with a team who had not joined 
in the enterprise." This causeway, between Main Street and State 
Street was two rods wide. The old foundation of 1648 was so well 
put in that it is there to-day. It consisted of large logs, trunks of 
large trees laid crosswise ; and successive layers furnished a founda- 
tion for the earth-filling, which is five or six feet below the present 
pavement. This crossing furnished an outlet to the high land east 



of the town street, and was the beginning of the Boston Road, 
which was at first the famous "Bay Path" of history, — from Massa- 
chusetts Bay to the "western plantations." It extended up the hill, 
near where the most southerly of the Armory buildings now stand ; 
and certain large trees beside them still indicate its location. The 
town having appropriated twenty rods for the width of the road 
after reaching the present Spring and School streets, and the old 
Bay Path as travelled being very steep, a new path was sought 
farther south. It turned to the right above Myrtle Street and, fol- 
lowing the edge of the dingle south of State Street, passed through 
the region of "Skunk's Misery," back of the present Olivet Com- 
munity House, and brought up on the plain a little west of Walnut 
Street. This route was discontinued long ago, and the hill graded 
to the present track of State Street. The Boston Road was from 
time to time extended to the east, and in 1822 the county made a 
complete survey and location into the town of Wilbraham. 

After the completion of the causeway, new enterprises sprang 
up. A path was made from the Boston Road, near the present 
Maple Street, and along the brow of the highlands. It passed 
through property then owned by Case, Merrick, Gunn and Rumrill 
families, now the residence-sites for the families of the Wessons, 
the Wallaces, George Dwight Pratt, William H. Shuart, George M. 
Holbrook, Dr. Luke Corcoran, Frederick H. Harris, William C. 
Simons, and following closely the edge of what now ends in Cres- 
cent Hill. In early days this winding path was called the "road to 
Charles Brewer's," whose home stood about where the South Cong- 
regational Church now is, and nearly opposite the present beautiful 
Colony Club building, formerly the Daniel B. Wesson mansion. 
This was continued to near the Springfield cemetery's lower gate, 
a region known as "Thompsons' Dingle." For many years this 
region has been the site of the best residences in town. A century 
ago the road was straightened, improved and gradually lengthened 
with increasing needs of the population, first up beyond the brow 
of fashionable "Crescent Hill," and then south-easterly towards the 
"Water-shops" section, at Central street. 

Charles Brewer brought out of the depths of Thompson's Dingle, 
several maple trees which he set in imposing rows by this way-side ; 
and these gave to the old "Brewer's Hill" (sometimes "Little 
Hill") path, the name "Maple Street." 

The road over Long Hill to PecoAvsic Brook was laid out in 1754; 
Wilbraham Road, starting from the Boston Road at Goose Pond, 


in 1769; and Plum-tree Road in the same year. Pine Street former- 
ly included Oak Street, and was laid out in 1764. It took its name 
from a huge, wide-spreading white-pine tree, standing about oppo- 
site the present Charter street. It was a land-mark for years, stand- 
ing in the dooryard of a man named Stevenson, who was in the 
habit, in hot weather, of resting himself on a couch he had con- 
structed high up among the branches of the tree. A road leading 
from the Parker Street school-house easterly, passing near the small 
ravine known as the "Dipping-Hole," was laid out about the same 
time ; and also a road, two rods wide, beginning at the corner of 
"Murphy's field," and running by marked pine-trees to a pine stand- 
ing a little "north of the house where Experience Hancock lately 
lived." No surveyor's compass was used in Springfield until 1670; 
hence the absence of clear field-notes in locating roads previous to 
this time. One road began at "Kibbee's fence," another at a "white- 
birch bush," another was bounded by a white-oak bush ; and other 
equally indefinite bounds were vaguely described. 

In 1769 a road was located, taking its starting-point from Long 
Hill, and extending easterly; it was known simply as the X road, 
because of its crossing another road. It is now called Summer 
Avenue, a most aristocratic centre, named for the famous senator 
who often visited here. Hickory Street received its name in honor 
of Andrew Jackson, whose highly characteristic appointment of a 
Methodist minister he knew, the now almost-forgotten Col. John 
Robb, as superintendent of the United States Armory here in 1833, 
proved immensely popular. 

St. James Avenue was opened in 1770; and the town many years 
after voted to call it Factory Street, because it led to the cotton- 
factories at Chicopee Falls, or Skipmuck. Carew Street, named in 
remembrance of the Carew family living at the north end of Main 
Street, was laid out in 1770, and called Morgan Road, because for a 
long time the principal house on it was the old Morgan homestead. 
Parker Street, running from Longmeadow line, through Sixteen 
Acres, to "Eli Putnam's bridge across Chicopee River" at Ludlow, 
was laid out in 1796, and named after Zenas Parker who assisted in 
the locating surveys. Mill street is the permanent reminder of one 
of the valley's earliest industries. It runs from the edge of Mill 
River, where was originally located the 17-acre saw-mill described 
in the 1654 deed of Anna Smith, William Pynchon's daughter, given 
in a page illustration in this volume. Walnut street dates back to 
about 1812, when Captain Ethan Allen Clary, a United States 


(With 4,000 Seat Auditorium in One Building, Offices of City Officials and Legislative Chambers in Another, 

and 300 Foot High Chime-Campanile in Centre) 


armorer, lived there. The street acquired its name from the very 
large walnut trees flourishing on the old Clary place, not far from 
its State street end. Warriner avenue, from Locust street eastward 
Ward 6, is named for the family of Col. Solomon Warriner, eighth 
postmaster of Springfield, a composer, a lieutenant-colonel in the 
army, and first conductor of the first musical society ever formed in 
Western Massachusetts. Ashmun street, leading southward from 
Central Street, is the very small twentieth-century reminder of the 
distinguished local orator and statesman, Hon. George Ashmun. 
He was born in Blandford in 1804, graduated at Yale in 1823, prac- 
ticed law in Springfield for many years, was the law partner of Chief 
Justice Chapman, was thrice a Massachusetts member of Congress, 
and was chairman of the Chicago convention in 1860 which nomin- 
ated Lincoln for the presidency. The old Blake house, long one of 
the city's most picturesque landmarks, was at the foot of "Blakes' 
hill"; and this family gave the name to Ward 7's "Blake street." 
This was the locality of mysterious happenings, which, years ago, 
furnished the basis of a readable story by Frederick A. Packard, a 
Springfield novelist. "Blakes' W^oods" and "Long Hill" together, 
were jointly known as "Fort Hill" after the great fire. The latter 
point is, strictly speaking, "Indian Fort," where the St. Vincent 
mission house on Long Hill Street is now located; the actual "fort" 
of history being erroneously located on certain maps. White street 
was named after a well-known physician who lived near its south- 
erly end. Allen street was named for Joel Allen whose ancient resi- 
dence was long the conspicuous dwelling in that locality; and Ben- 
ton street was called after the family through whose farm that street 
was laid out in 1789. State street was the name chosen by the 
selectmen for all of Boston Road, or "Old Bay Path" between Main 
and "Factory street" just beyond the Armory, (St. James avenue) 
because it was more dignified than the other, and it led toward the 
State House. Bliss street derived the name from the land being 
given for it by that family ; and Howard street from the family of 
Rev. Bezaleel Howard. Union street received its name from the 
fact that it was opened by Charles Stearns and others, unitedly, 
across their respective lands. Wilcox street was opened by Philip 
and Philo F. Wilcox through their own land, and named by them. 
Margaret street was opened, through the homstead allotted to 
Widow Margaret Bliss, who came from Hartford with so many chil- 
dren that the town, a hundred and fifty years ago, granted her a lot 
with extra width, reaching from the town street to the river. Her 


heirs, in 1850, opened a street throug-h the middle of it; and the 
surveyor gave to it her name . Loring street was opened through 
land once owned by Joshua Loring. Lombard street was opened 
across land purchased by the heirs of Justin Lombard. Stockbridge 
street was laid out in part through land of Elam Stockbridge, 
famous as one of the earliest tailors and as a woolen manufacturer. 
Cross street was opened by Abraham G. Tannatt through his home- 
stead ; and being narrow and uncared-for, earned its long used title, 
now vanished, of "Pig Alley." He finally got the selectmen to 
accept "Cross Street" as a substitute "Alley." "Atwater Road" and 
terrace were named for their crossing of the land owned by the first 
president of the city's street railroad, George M. Atwater. Rimmon 
avenue, running from Atwater Road, North Springfield, takes its 
name from that adopted by Mr. Atwater for his handsome home- 
stead on the hill, "Rockrimmon ;" the name of a huge sandstone 
ledge often seen in early times at low water in the bed of the Con- 
necticut river opposite his place. 

Emery street was laid out in 1844, by the heirs of Capt. Robert 
Emery, who had been the owner of the land. School street was 
opened by the town in 1827, from State to Union, for the purpose 
of access to the high-school house that the town had built on the 
corner of Union and the new street. Alexander street, north end, 
is a reminder of the successful administration as eighth mayor of 
Springfield of Henry Alexander, Jr., a man of large affairs ; and 
Phillips avenue, south end, is a slight monument to the worthy 
work, as mayor and otherwise, of Mayor Alexander's son-in-law, 
Henry M. Phillips. 

Spring street was laid out at the foot of the first slope from the 
high plain, in vicinity of the numerous springs which ooze out of 
the ground on that plateau. Byers street was laid out across the 
homestead of the Hon. James Byers, the fifth postmaster (1800- 
1806). Worthington street was opened by Charles Stearns across 
his own land, from Connecticut River to Spring street, and was 
named after its former owner. Col. John Worthington. Butler street 
was an old road without name, and in 1860 was re-surveyed and 
straightened, and named for James H. Butler, who contributed to 
the straightening. Stebbins street was named for Ithamar Stebbins, 
who lived near by. Armory street, laid out in 1822, leading to 
Chicopee from the United States Armory, was dubbed "Toddy 
Road," because the workmen in the Armory used to go over this 
road to Japhet Chapin's tavern in Chicopee. Andrew street was 



laid out in 1868, and named in honor of Hon. John A. Andrew, civil 
war governor of Massachusetts, who had many admirers in Spring- 
field. George Bancroft, famous historian, who once lived on Chest- 
nut street near the city library, has had one of the city's streets 
named after him by a political admirer. Calhoun street, laid out in 
1860, was named for one of the strongest of the early mayors ; and 
Philos B. Tyler, the city's second mayor, whose name was particu- 
larly well known in the south because of the cotton presses which 
his "American Machine-Works" turned out, is recalled by the long 
street bearing his name and running from Oak to Colton. 

Dickinson street was an old, nameless road, re-laid and straight- 
ened in 1860, and then named after Isaac P. Dickinson, thr^ough 
whose land the straightening was partly made. Dwight street has 
its name from having been laid across the homestead of James 
Dwight. Edwards street, from having been laid out across the 
homestead of Col. Elisha Edwards ; and Gardner street, from 
Gideon Gardner, one of the proprietors of the land through which 
it passes. Greenwood street was laid out by Samuel Green, who 
intended to call it by his own name, but was prevented from so 
doing because another street bore the name. Grosvenor street was 
laid out by Grosvenor B. Bowers, and thus named by the engineer 
who surveyed the property. Harrison avenue was named for Presi- 
dent William H. Harrison. Hillman street gets its name from Seth 
Hillman Barnes, one of the owners of the land through which it was 
laid ; and Magazine street, because it ran close past the old maga- 
zine of the colonial army. 

Among other streets so named are : Marion street, opened in 1883, 
for the late Marion D. Tapley ; Mattoon street, opened in 1872, for 
William Mattoon ; Morgan street, for Albert Morgan, the seventh 
postmaster ; Morris street, for Hon. Oliver P. Morris ; Pynchon 
street, opened in 1842, for the Pynchon family ; Sargeant street, for 
Horatio Sargeant. Osgood street was opened by Dunham & Sleeper, 
across land formerly owned by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Osgood ; Ring- 
gold street was opened by George S. Lewis, and named in memory 
of Major Ringgold, who was slain in the Mexican War. Sherman 
street was opened across land of the Tapley family, and named after 
Major-Gen. Sherman of the United States Army. Thompson 
street was formerly the northerly part of Hancock street ; and 
Haynes & McKnight, having purchased a large tract of land border- 
ing on the street, re-named it in honor of one of the city's most 
active and prominent business men. Col. James M. Thompson. 


Water street was originally laid out in sections, beginning with 
that between the railroad and State street. It was named from its 
nearness to the river; and after many years its name has been 
changed to "Columbus avenue" because of its nearness to the Italian 
quarter. Court street, associated from the year 1822 with the com- 
munity's legal side, was called so because it marked the north side 
of Court Square. Almost at its extreme western end the Springfield 
Police Court room upholds the long-standing tradition. Everett 
street, first north of Linden, was named for the famous orator, 
Edward Everett, whose name, during his speaking and lyceum 
tours, was many times on the register of the old Massasoit house. 
"North Church Alley." between Bridge and Worthington streets, 
back of the Bijou theatre, was named for the Old North church 
building, which stood where Carlisle Building now is, from 1849 to 
1871. Winchester Square is named for Hon. Charles A. Winchester, 
another greatly revered mayor of the city. The name of a famous 
Springfield contractor is easily suggested by the Ward 6's "Leyfred 

Garden Brook is a contribution of springs issuing from the several 
slopes of the sandy plain forming the highest table-land of the city 
east of Main street. It formerly ran down a deep ravine which 
extended far into the level plain ; and, reaching the marshy meadow, 
■the channel extended across the marsh to the western edge, dispos- 
ing of itself in a singular manner by an equal division of its waters, 
one-half going north, and in a circuitous, or serpentine manner, 
finding its way into the "Great River" above Round Hill. The other 
division, forming a channel, ran down the westerly edge of the 
swamp, and, constituting the easterly line of the "town street," 
found its outlet in the Connecticut, just above the mouth of Mill 
River, two and a half miles below the outlet of the northern branch. 
This division took place near the east line of Main street, at its 
junction with Worthington street, and still continues although the 
bed of each branch has been considerably lowered, of late years, for 
the purpose of drainage ; and the same, being known as the "Town 
Brook," performs duty as a common sewer. Sixty years ago this 
rivulet of clean water, running in the little channel by the side of 
Main street, was used for domestic purposes ; and the little belt of 
hard land between it and the marsh afforded room for an occasional 
store or other building; and by crossing the stream on a plank, and 
climbing up a flight of a half-dozen steps, or stairs, the flooring of 
the one-story buildings was on tall posts. 


SECOND C(nUT-Ht)U>K, !! I. 1 1- 1 \^'2]. 



Town Brook — The waters of Garden brook after entering the 
Wet Meadow pursued partly a southerly and partly a northerly 
course, entering the Connecticut in the vicinity of York street and 
by Three Corner Meadow brook. How well defined originally was 
either stream in its course through the meadow the evidence is not 
sufficient to show. An early record speaks of "the ditch" on the 
east side of the Main street. Perhaps it is not remarkable that in 
so level a tract as the Wet Meadow the flow should be both north 
and south. One of the old city engineers describes the brook in 
King's Handbook, P. 71. The following is from an unpublished 
letter of Annie Brown Adams, daughter of John Brown, the aboli- 
tionist, dated May 19, 1908: "When we moved to Springfield we 
boarded at first for a few days at the Massasoit House ; then went 
to live in a new house that was situated on the right hand side of 
Franklin street on the left bank of Town's Brook, a small stream 
that had a culvert bridge, the width of the street, across it. Father 
rented the house and it was a good one. I cannot remember any 
houses between there and the foot of Armory Hill which was in 
plain sight. A man named Green owned some vacant lots just 
across the stream on the opposite side of the street. I remember 
seeing him drive a poor man off them who had a load of wood on 
his back and was going across that way to his home in the evening 
after his work was done, as it was a shorter way to go. I was very 
indignant and told father. He said that "Mr. Green had a legal 
right to order the man not to cross his lot, but it was not kind to 
do so." 

Churches — While the early church and civil history of Springfield 
are interwoven and treated as a whole elsewhere in this volume, it 
may be briefly stated that the four Congregational churches were 
organized in the following manner : 

It is believed (no positive records) that the first church of Spring- 
field was organized in 1637 by Rev. George Moxon, who remained 
pastor for fifteen years, then accompanied Mr. Pynchon to England 
and never returned. For seven years the church was without a 
pastor and then came Rev. Peletiah Glover who continued pastor 
from 1659 to his death in 1692. The next pastor was Daniel Brewer 
who served thirty-seven years, after which came Rev. Robert Breck 
who was pastor forty-eight years. The next was Rev. Howard for 
twenty-four years ; Rev. Osgood, forty-five years ; Rev. H. M. Par- 
sons, sixteen years; Rev. Reed, seven years; Rev. Edward Terhune, 

W. Mass.— 54 


five 3^ears ; Rev. Michael Burnham, nine years ; Rev. Frank L. Good- 
speed, fourteen years and the present pastor Dr. Neil McPherson, 
since 1910. 

The Second Society of the First Congregational church parish of 
Springfield was set ofif by the Legislature in 1818. While the 
founders of this church did not formally declare themselves to be 
of the Unitarian faith, yet they leaned in that direction strongly. 
The second church was that in Chicopee street and the third was 
"Church of Unity." The Fourth church, after twenty years, was 
styled legally. Olivet Church. They erected a building in 1834 with 
two towers on it. 

The North church at Salem and Elliott streets, was formed in 
1846. Their first pastor was Rev. Raymond H. Seeley who came in 
1849. Out of this church organization came Memorial Church on 
North Main street in 1865. One of the great preachers who was 
pastor of this church — the North Congregational — was Washington 
Gladden, D. D., later of Columbus, Ohio. The first building of this 
society was built in 1849 and the present one in 1873. 

South Congregational church, an off-shoot of the old First Church 
was organized in 1842; built an edifice in 1843 costing $8,100. The 
present church was dedicated in 1874 and cost $145,000 — one of best 
in New England. It stands at the corner of Maple and High streets. 
Union Street and Long Hill churches were off-shoots from this 

Methodism — Sanford Street Methodist Episcopal Church was 
founded in 1849 with Rev. Leonard Collins as the first pastor. In 
1864 this church Avas reorganized as Congregational, with the pastor 
Rev. W. W. Mallory. This is rather an exceptional feature in Meth- 
odism, as this denomination usually does not yield the field to an- 
other sect but continues on, even if with small membership. But 
this was only an exceptional incident in the church history. Meth- 
odism, really had its start in Springfield as early as 1791 when 
Bishop Asbury visited the town, preaching the first sermon here 
July 15, that year. Between 1791 and 1797 the first class was formed. 
Preaching services were held in the houses of Mr. Sykes and Deacon 
John Ashley. The first class had a membership of fifteen. This 
society was weak, however, for many years. In 1815 it was reor- 
ganized by Rev. William Marsh. Springfield became a separate 
station in 1819. The services were at first held in the "water-shops" 
and in the Armory chapel on the "Hill." The old school house was 
also used until it was closed against the denomination by the school 


board. The pastor also taught school in the old block-house on 
the Armory grounds. In 1820 the church had a membership of 
seventy-seven. During 1820 a chapel was built at the "water-shops," 
later styled Asbury Chapel. This was the sixteenth Methodist 
church erected in all Massachusetts. In 1835 the church had in- 
creased so that a second church organization was demanded and 
was obtained. In the matter of temperance societies and abolition 
of slavery, this church — the Methodist Episcopal — were in the van 
guard and fought until Prohibition was an accomplished fact, in the 
adoption of the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment. 

In 1844 a new church was organized (now known as Trinity) 
and a good edifice erected on Pynchon street and the Asbury Chapel 
membership was transferred to the new organization. In 1856, 
however, preaching was resumed at Asbury Chapel. In 1866 a new 
edifice was built on Florence street, the same being dedicated by 
Bishop Simpson, and then the name Asbury Chapel was dropped 
and the organization called "Florence Street Methodist Episcopal 

What is now State Street Methodist Episcopal church, formerly 
Union street church, separated from Asbury Chapel church in 1835 
and in 1871 commenced to erect a new edifice on State street. It 
was finished in 1873. It seated 1,000 and cost $70,000. 

Trinity Methodist Episcopal church, organized as Pynchon Street 
Church in 1844, had for its charter members about forty persons. 
The earlier services were held in the Worthington street grove. 
The Pynchon street church was dedicated in March, 1845. In 1869 
the society built a new church on Bridge street. In 1880 the church 
had a membership of almost 500. The present fine edifice is located 
on Oakland street and the membership is very large. 

Grace Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1867, with 
twenty-nine members. They built on Main and Winthrop streets. 
The church cost $70,000. Its tower is 182 feet high. Bishop Bow- 
man dedicated the property in January, 1875. Originally, this was 
styled the Central Methodist Church, but upon building the last 
named edifice it was changed to Grace. 

The Union American Methodist Episcopal church (colored) was 
organized in 1865. The first pastor was Rev. George Bailey. 

Episcopal Churches — The first Episcopal services in Springfield 
were held in 1817 by Rev. Titus Strong, of Greenfield. Rooms were 
obtained in the U. S. Armory for chapel uses. There services were 
only occasionally held up to 1821. In February that year. Rev. 


Edward Rutledge became minister of the parish. The church was 
organized that year, with Colonel Roswell Lee and Dr. John Stone 
being elected wardens. In 1838 a reorganization of the society took 
place, and it was given the name of Christ Church. A new church 
was provided in 1840. Rev. Henry W. Lee was first pastor and 
later made bishop in Iowa. A new building was completed in 1876, 
costing $75,100. Its location is Chestnut near State street and is 
still one of the finest church properties in New England. 

The Baptist Churches — With nineteen persons this church was 
organized in 1819 and named the "First Baptist Church." Meetings 
were held in private houses until 1821, when a small edifice was 
erected on Central street, east of Pine. In 1832 the society increased 
to fifty members; a new edifice was erected on Maple and Mulberry 
streets. In 1846 another edifice was built on Main street and Harri- 
son avenue. 

State Street Baptist church was formed in 1864, services being 
held in Union Hall until the fine edifice was completed in July, 1866. 

Pilgrim Baptist church was formed in 1872 and the old South 
church, on Bliss street was occupied by them at first. 

St. Paul's Universalist Church— The Universalist church in this 
city dates back to 1827, when services were held in the old Armory 
Chapel, which was also at that date used by the Episcopal people. 
Later they worshipped in Military Hall until 1844, when their new 
building was erected in 1869. Their present church property on 
State and Spring streets, is one of the most valuable edifices in 

Catholic Churches — The first service of this denomination in 
Springfield was in Military Hall about 1846 and in 1847 the Baptist 
Church building, corner Maple and Mulberry streets, was bought 
and removed to East Main, where after being refitted, was dedicated 
in April of the same year. That church was called St. Benedict's 
and its first pastor was Rev. G. T. Riorden. But soon it was found 
a larger church home must be secured and a lot was purchased on 
the corner of State and Elliott streets. The edifice there erected 
was dedicated September 29, 1866, as St. Michael's Cathedral, and 
was then known as one of Massachusetts finest Roman Catholic 
church edifices. In 1879 this congregation numbered over six thou- 
sand souls. 

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1874, as an ofif- 
shoot from St. Michaels. It located on Everett street. 

St. Joseph's Church (French Catholic) on Howard street, near 


Water, had seven hundred communicants forty-five years ago. 

The Second Advent Society was formed in this city about 1860 
with J. G. Adams as pastor; it worshipped in Central Hall many 

The Swedenborgian (New Jerusalem Church) was founded here 
in 1853 and was supported by voluntary offerings. It never grew 
to be a large society. 

Spiritualists — What was styled the Free Religious Society of 
Spiritualists, organized in the seventies, had in 1880 one hundred 
members, but no building had been erected. 

Present-day churches of Springfield — From general and church 
directories published for 1925, the following are named as the pres- 
ent churches in the city of Springfield : 

First Congregational, Court square ; South Congregational, Maple 
and High streets; North Congregational, Salem street; Hope Cong- 
regational, State and Winchester ; St. John's Congregational (col- 
ored). Union and Hancock ; Park Congregational, St. James avenue ; 
Emanuel Congregational, White and Orange streets; Evangelical 
Congregational church, Berkshire and Myrtle streets ; Faith Church, 
Ft. Pleasant and Sumner avenue; Swedish Evangelical Mission 
church, John street. 

Baptist Churches — Auburndale Baptist, 710 White street; First 
Baptist, State and Stebbins streets ; Park Memorial Baptist church. 
Forest and Garfield; Swedish Baptist, 76 Oak street; Chase Memor- 
ial Baptist, Dresden street; Bethany Baptist (colored). Eastern 
avenue ; Third Baptist (colored) William street. 

Christian Science — First Church of Christ, Scientist, corner State 
and Orleans. 

Disciples — Church of Christ, Dickinson street ; Faith Tabernacle, 
343 Bray street. 

Episcopal Church — Church of Christ, Chestnut and State ; All 
Saints, Oakland street; St. Peter's, 45 Buckingham street. 

Greek Catholic — Holy Trinity Orthodox Greek, 147 Carew street; 
St. George, Orthodox Greek, 63 Patton street ; Russian Orthodox, 
118 Carew street. 

Jewish — Congregation Beth Israel, Gray's avenue ; Congregation 
B'nai Jacob, 100 Congress street; Congregation Beth El, Port 
Pleasant avenue ; Congregation Kodimah, Oakland and Sumner 
streets; Congregation of Israel, 1321 North street; Congregation 
Kesser, 329 Chestnut street; Congregation Tiferes Israel, North 
Main and Chestnut streets. 


Lutheran Churches — German EvangeHcal Lutheran Trinity 
church, King and Wahiut streets ; Swedish Evangelical Lutheran 
Bethesda church, King and Merrick streets. 

Methodist Churches — Free Methodist church, Colman street ; 
Asbury First Methodist, 140 Florence street ; Trinity Methodist 
Episcopal, 31 Oakland street; First Swedish Methodist Episcopal, 
57 Bay street ; St. James Methodist Episcopal, North Main and 
Dover streets; Wesley Methodist Episcopal, 741 State street; 
Liberty Methodist Episcopal, Liberty and Carew streets ; African 
Methodist Episcopal, Z7 Loring street; A. M. Zion church, 30 Vine 

Roman Catholic Churches — St. Michael's Cathedral, State and 
Elliott streets ; St. Matthew's Church, Pine street ; Church of the 
Holy Family, King street ; Church of the Holy Name, Alderman 
and Bernedo streets ; Church of Sacred Heart, Chestnut and Ever- 
ett ; Our Lady of Hope, Armory, corner Grove ; Our Lady of Mt. 
Carmel, 119 William street; Our Lady of the Rosary (Polish), 
Franklin and Underwood; St. Thomas Aquinas (French), Waverly 
street; St. Joseph's (French) Catholic, Howard street; St. Peter 
and St. Paul Roman Catholic (Syrian), Liberty street; St. Aloysius 
(French), 215 Main street. 

Second Advent— Advent Christian Church, 145 Bay street; 
Seventh Day Advent church. Central and Beech streets. 

Spiritualist — The only regular society of this faith is located at 
No. 31 Bliss street. 

Union Evangelical — Memorial church of this faith is at Round 
Hill and Main streets; Union Church at Pershing Terrace. 

Unitarian — Church of Unity, 209 State street. 

Universalist — St. Paul's First Universalist Church, State and 
Spring streets ; Second Universalist Society. 

Other churches include the Penticostal, the Community Church, 
Rushville Gospel Mission, St. Mark's Church (colored), Auburn. 

Educational Institutions — American International College — This 
highly successful and rather vmique educational institution was 
founded at Lowell, Massachusetts, by Rev. C. E. Amaron, in 1885, 
and was then styled the French-Protestant College of Lowell, 
Massachusetts. In 1888 it was moved to Springfield, and in 1894 
on June 28, it was given the name of the French-American College, 
but again July 13, 1905, it was changed to its present title — "The 
American International Collegre." 


. »*4 


Owen Street Hall was built in 1888; Amaron House was erected 
in 1890; the Gymnasium Hall in 1893; Lee Hall, 1916; Woman's 
Hall built in 1899. As early as 1920 this college had students from 
all portions of the civilized world, including representatives from 
thirty-one countries. In 1900 this school had students as follows: 
French-Canadian and Swiss, 40; Italian, 17; Armenians, 11 ; Greeks, 
5 ; Porto Rico, one ; Japan, one ; Germany, one ; English, one ; 
American, six; total Protestant, seventy-seven and Roman Catholic, 
seven. In 1890 Massachusetts had 300,000 French-Canadian citizens. 

This is the only college of its nature in the world. Its object is 
to take young men who cannot afiford to pay large sums required 
by some of the American colleges, especially those coming from 
the Church of Rome, and give them an education, not only in college 
branches, but also teach them the Protestant religion and fit them 
for evangelical work, among their own people — the French — who 
have flocked hither in great numbers in the last forty years. Religion 
and the Bible are thoroughly taught here, and both Young Men's 
and Young Women's Christian Associations are maintained in the 
College. The original campus covered nearly five acres of ground in 
the Highlands. The departments are the College, the Academic 
and the Introductory. 

This college has advertised Springfield as no other single factor 
could in many foreign nations and great good has been the result. 

In 1925 the following trustees terms expire : Ralph Cobleigh, 
Boston ; Raymond A. Jacobs, Longmeadow ; Henry R. Johnson, 
Springfield ; Rev. John H. McGann, Springfield ; Charles F. Warner, 
Springfield; and Henry L. Bowles, Springfield. The president is 
Chester Stowe McGowen. 

International Young Men's Christian Association College — This 
institution was founded by Rev. David Allen Reed in connection 
with the School of Christian Workers. In 1890 it became an inde- 
pendent school and in 1891 was established in its present home on 
the shores of Massasoit Lake, where thirty acres are at their service, 
as well as the right of boating, etc.. over two and-one-half miles 
of lake surface, where bathing and boating have come to be very 
popular. The first building was erected in 1894; numerous other 
structures have since been erected. In 1905 it was estimated the 
value of the premises was $150,000. Graduates in both departments 
— secretaryship and physical training — have gone forth from this 
school to all parts of the globe. A library of ten thousand books 
is of vast help to the young men. Laboratories are also provided 


for practical experimentation. As a factor that makes for vigorous 
manhood, the International College is winning general recognition 
and the generous support of men of means. Its location at Spring- 
field is an advantage to the school and a credit to the city. 

Public Schools — In a memorandum made here in 1641, the Court 
ordered "To see that all children be taught to read and learn the 
'cattechisme,' to place forth unruly children and servants, to take 
account of their sittings, to see schools erected and maintained." 

Another record shows that the town hired William Maddison as 
a schoolmaster in May, 1677, he to receive three pence per week for 
each one he might teach to read English. Another pioneer teacher 
was John Richards who taught from 1683 for many years. Early 
residents of Springfield believed thoroughly in compulsory educa- 
tion. Heavy fines were imposed for not sending children between 
five and ten years old. 

In 1716 the town was divided into six school districts. The money 
raised that year was eighty-two pounds Sterling. In 1812 an 
academy for both sexes was opened near the First church on Elm 
street. In continued until 1824. In 1829 a private school of high 
order, for young ladies, was opened on Maple street, between Union 
and High streets. It was conducted as the "English and Classical 
Institute" many years. Springfield was the first place in Massa- 
chusetts to employ a superintendent of schools, beginning in 1840 
with S. S. Green. The public school system now is second to none 
in the United States, and its schoolhouses are modern. The Cath- 
olic Parochial schools are also splendid examples of educational 

The present number of pupils in Springfield public schools is 
24,559; number of teachers employed, 910; current expense for edu- 
cation in 1924 was S2,286,540. 

The subjoined is a list of the public schools in 1924-25 : Central 
High, District, whole, city. High School of Commerce, Technical 
High, Vocational, Continuation, Acushnet avenue, Alden street, 
Armory street Elementary, Barrows Elementary, Boston Road 
Elementary, Brightwood, Buckingham Junior High, Carew street 
Elementary, Central street Junior. Charles street Elementary, 
Chestnut street Junior High, Dry Bridge Ungraded, Eastern avenue 
Elementary, East Forest Park Portable, East Springfield Elemen- 
tary, East Union Street Elementary, Five Mile Pond Elementary, 
Forest Park Junior High, Glenwood Elementary, Homer street 



Elementary, Hooker Elementary, Howard street Elementary, Indi- 
an Orchard Elementary, Jefferson avenue Elementary, Kensington 
avenue Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, 
Myrtle street Junior High, Rushville Portable, School street Ele- 
mentary, State street Junior High, Strickland Elementary, Sumner 
avenue Elementary, Tapley Elementary, Washington Elementary, 
White street Elementary, William street Elementary, Washington 
street Elementary. 

The 1925 School Board is as follows : Fordis C. Parker, mayor 
chairman ex-officio; At large, Luther Anderson; W^ard 1, Frederick 
A. Bassette ; Ward 2, Timothy J. Collins ; Ward 3, Chester T. Neal ; 
Ward 4, Mrs. Jeanne J. Starr; Ward 5, Charles H. Angell; Ward 6, 
Franklin A. Latimer ; Ward 7, Herbert R. Wolcott ; Ward 8, Chester 
S. McGown. 

The secretary is Edwina A. Miller; superintendent of schools, 
Zenas E. Scott ; chief clerk, Fred L. Ward. 

Philanthropic Organizations — The vast amount of relief given to 
the poverty stricken through the government of the city, is managed 
by a board of live overseers of the poor, including the mayor of the 
city. Offices are maintained in the city buildings, with an agent 
in charge who is responsible for the administration of the city farm 
and alms-house, with its well arranged and managed hospital on 
upper State street. 

The oldest and largest of the hospitals is the Springfield Hospital, 
opened at its present site — Chestnut and Springfield streets — in 
1888. From 1879 a hospital was run by the city in a wooden dwel- 
ling house on grounds of the present American International Col- 
lege. The endowment of the hospital consists chiefly of funds left 
by Mrs. Dorcas Chapin and William Merrick. 

Mercy Hospital is conducted by the Sisters of the Roman Cath- 
olic church diocese, where many patients are annually cared for. 

The Hampden Homeopathic Hospital was incorporated in 1900 to 
receive patients of all creeds. It was given a dwelling at 132 High 
street by Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Wesson on condition that $10,000 be 
raised toward its equipment. Mr. Wesson built one of the finest 
hospitals in the State ; it is known as the Cynthia Wesson Hospital. 

The oldest organized chartered association in Springfield is the 
corporation of the Home for Friendless Women and Children, 
which dates from 1865. It was organized to work for the reform 
of fallen women, the relief of the needy and the care of destitute 


children. At first it was located on Union street, but in 1871 a 
building for children was provided on Buckingham street. In 1897 
the Home for Women moved to No. 136 William street. The incor- 
poration and management of the institution is composed entirely 
of women. 

The Union Relief Association was formed in 1876 through the 
efforts of Rev. Washington Gladden, D. D., that great Congrega- 
tional minister, while he was yet pastor of North Congregational 
church, Springfield. He was associated in this noble work by the 
senior Bowles, of the "Springfield Republican." 

The Springfield Home for Aged Women opened in 1886, and holds 
a high place in the esteem of all good citizens of the community. 
For a number of years the Home was situated on Main street, near 
William street, but later was removed to the corner of Chestnut and 
Carew streets. 

The City Library Association — The first attempt at having a lib- 
rary in Springfield was one hundred and twenty-nine years ago, or 
in 1796, when the Springfield Library Company was established 
and had three hundred and twenty books only for the exclusive use 
of the "proprietors" or share holders. These volumes were classed 
as shown by a catalog which has been carefully preserved down the 
years : Divinity and Ethics, sixty volumes ; History and Biography 
with Travels, one hundred and fourteen ; Poetry, twenty-eight; 
Novels, thirty-one ; Miscellaneous, eighty-seven. Of these books 
only seventeen remained a few years ago, the others having been 
read until Avorn out, practically speaking. 

The second library here was the "Franklin Library," which was 
also of the association style, but composed largely of the working 
men of the U. S. Armory. It was organized in the early forties and 
in 1844 turned over to the Young Men's Institute. But before that, 
in 1824, the Mechanics Association known as the "Hampden" was 
formed and soon took the name of "Apprentices' Library" which 
existed until 1849, then was taken over by the Young Men's Insti- 
tute. The latter was founded in 1843. In 1854 the Young Men's 
Literary Association organized a library. These two societies had 
a total of fifteen hundred books accessible only to its members. 

In 1857 the City Library Association was organized, November 
27th. The two Young Men's associations donated their books to 
the new association and in 1859 the library contents was moved to 
the City Hall. During that year $8,000 was raised by subscription 


and held for the benefit of the association. In 1861 Rev. William 
Rice was elected librarian and held the office until his death in 
1897; he was also clerk at the same period. In 1864 a new organiza- 
tion was effected with John L. King as president; William Rice, 
clerk and librarian. Very soon George Bliss donated the association 
$10,000, as well as the land where the present beautiful library 
stands. The library canvass in 1865 resulted in securing $70,000 and 
in 1871 a building was completed at a cost of $100,000 — grounds 
and all were reported valued at $185,000. 

In 1885 the library was declared "free to all the people" and has 
been so ever since. The Art Building was finished in 1895 and in 
1902 Hillis C. Wellman was chosen librarian. 

The next great change in library history in Springfield was in 
1906-07, when the iron-master, Andrew Carnegie, generously con- 
tributed $150,000 (the grounds were the city's) for the erection of 
the present model library. The old library had to be removed and 
in 1912 it was taken away to make room for the new structure. Bids 
were advertised for the new library on Chestnut and State street, 
now the pride of the community. The date of sending out these 
bids was 1907 but there were some necessary delays so that the 
building was not completed until 1912-13. 

There are now branch libraries at Memorial Square, Forest Park, 
Indian Orchard and the Hospital. 

The Art Museum was given to the city by George Walter Vincent 
Smith and wife — its value is stated at more than one million dollars. 
This bequest was made in 1914. 

The present library has 306,592 volumes in its stacks. Total 
circulation of books in 1924 was 1,257,000; phonographic records 
circulated, 7,617. The total maintenance of the main library and 
branches cost the city last year ninety cents for each inhabitant, 
only half the price of an ordinary book one might purchase at the 
book store. 

Since the reorganization of the Library Association in 1865 these 
have been presidents: John L. King, 1864-72; Daniel L. Harris, 
1873-79; E. W. Bond, 1880-1918; James A. Rumrill, 1892-01; John 
Olmsted, 1901-04; Nathan D. Bill, 1904 to present date. 

The 1924-25 officers are: president — Nathan D. Bill; vice-presi- 
dent — Robert O. Morris ; treasurer — Henry H. Bowman ; assistant 
treasurer— Henry M. Morgan; clerk— Hiller C. Wellman, who is 
also the librarian. 


The Connecticut Valley Historical Society — This society was 
organized on April 21, 1876, and a charter was obtained from the 
Secretary of State May 9th, of the same year. The first officers of 
the society were as follows: Judge Henry Morris, president; Judge 
A. L. Soule, vice-president; Hon. William L. Smith, vice-president; 
Samuel Bowles, vice-president ; clerk and treasurer. Rev. William 
Rice, D. D. ; Executive committee — Rev. S. G. Buckingham, D. D., 
Rev. E. A. Reed, Homer Merriam, Joseph C. Pynchon, Henry S. 
Lee and Charles Marsh. 

The society commenced operations with only eleven members but 
within a few years grew to embrace a large number of prominent 
men of the great valley for which it was named. Annual meetings 
have been kept up from the commencement to now. Many histori- 
cal manuscripts and collections of rare old relics are in possession 
of the society, which, in the autumn of 1923, was merged with the 
City Library Association. The Historical Society reserves its 
corporate identity, with representatives of the Library directors 
on its governing board, and will continue in its activities ; while its 
valuable collection, which for lack of quarters had been widely 
scattered, is now deposited with the Library Association. This 
union strengthens both societies. It is hoped in time that a histori- 
cal museum will be added to the buildings of the Library Group. 

Springfield Newspapers — The first newspaper published in Hamp- 
den County was the "Massachusetts Gazette," or the "General Ad- 
vertiser," in Springfield, in May, 1782. The proprietors of this pion- 
eer paper were Babcock & Haswell. In 1784 the firm dissolved and 
both partners sought other fields. The office passed into the hands 
of Brooks & Russell, January 1, 1785, the name being changed to 
the "Hampshire Herald and Weekly Advertiser." Mr. Brooks with- 
drew from the firm and in August, 1786, the paper was controlled 
by a new company, Stebbins & Russell. This newspaper was 
permanently discontinued January, 1787. Two months later, the 
"Hampshire Chronicle" was commenced by John Russell. This 
paper was located on Ferry street. Like all papers in that early 
period, it was run from a crude hand-press outfit. The proprietor 
was a good scholar and also a mechanic, as well as an all-round 
man in the community in which he lived and was looked up to. A 
year later this paper passed to Weld & Thomas. The office stood 
where now stands the Chicopee Bank, at the southeast corner of 
Court Square. In December, 1790, it was learned that Mr. Weld 


was sole proprietor of the property and two years later he changed 
the name to the "Hampshire and Berkshire County Chronicle." In 
1793 the name of Edward Gray appeared as publisher. The same 
year the "Federal Spy" was established by James R. Hutchins and 
this new venture drove the "Chronicle" from the field in a short 

Soon John Worthington Hooker got control of the "Federal Spy" 
and had as a partner Francis Stebbins. They dissolved in May, 
1796, and Stebbins continued until 1799 and sold to Timothy Ashley. 
In 1801 Henry Brewer was admitted as a partner and two years later 
became sole proprietor and continued until 1806, when he sold to 
Thomas Dickman, who at once changed the name from the "Federal 
Spy" to the "Hampshire Federalist." In 1819 he sold to Frederick 
A. Packard, a lawyer from Boston and soon he had associated with 
him Abraham G. Tannatt, the name of the paper being the "Hamp- 
den Federalist." In 1818 the "Hampden Patriot" was established 
and appeared as a rival to the "Federalist," but in two years they 
sold to the last named. The "Federalist" was changed to the 
"Hampden Journal." Mr. Packard in 1835 became sole owner of 
the two papers. 

The "Springfield Republican" was established September 8, 1824, 
by Samuel Bowles, who came from Hartford and his paper proved a 
strong rival of the above named journal which finally sold out to 
Mr. Bowles who merged the two subscription lists, the title being 
then, "Republican and Journal." 

The "Springfield Gazette," established in 1831, with William 
Hyde as its editor, was a Whig organ which after many changes in 
management finally sold to the "Springfield Republican." 

The "Hampden Intelligencer," commenced in August, 1831 by 
J. B. Clapp, continued a year as an anti-Masonic organ, then died 
a natural death. Another paper was "The Washingtonian," a tem- 
perance paper started by Mr. Tannatt, above referred to, January 
1, 1847, the "Bay State Weekly Courier" was established by Dr. 
J. G. Holland. After six months the proprietor now so widely 
known as author, editor and poet, and whose mortal remains lie 
in the Springfield cemetery, joined the stafif of the "Springfield 

In 1847 the "Springfield Sentinel" was started as both weekly 
and semi-Aveekly. Later it was honorably discontinued. 

The "Daily Republican," the first daily paper, not only in the 
city of Springfield, but in the State, outside of Boston, was started 


in April, 1844. Its first year and a half it was issued as an evening 
paper, but then changed to a morning paper in 1845. 

In April, 1846, the "Evening Gazette" started as a rival of the 
"Republican," but two years later it was absorbed by the Repub- 
lican. In 1850 Samuel Bowles, Jr., became associated with his 
father in the ownership of the "Republican." In May, 1849, J. G. 
Holland became associated as one of the regular editors of the 
"Republican." Later, he was one of the firm of Samuel Bowles 
& Co. Bowles, the elder, died in September, 1851, when his inter- 
ests were largely taken over by Clark W. Bryan. In February, 
1855, the weekly edition was changed to a quarto form. The his- 
tory of the "Springfield Republican," since the above events, is 
well known to most of its readers today. No paper stands higher 
among the great dailies and is quoted from oftener, than the 
"Springfield Republican," which has always been a great and dig- 
nified newspaper. 

The "Springfield Union," the oldest evening paper in Western 
Massachusetts, was founded by Edmund Anthony, July, 1864. Its 
first office was situated in Pynchon Street. It appeared only as 
an evening paper until July, 1892, when the morning edition was 
established and two years later the Sunday edition appeared. In 
1890 this paper was sold to the Springfield Union Publishing Com- 
pany. Politically, it was always Republican. Four times it had 
to be given larger office quarters. It is a member of the American 
Associated Press and is a live, up-to-date newspaper of a high 
class of general, editorial and news items. 

The "Daily News" was the first penny paper published in Hamp- 
den County. At first it was a tri-weekly, but soon appeared as a 
daily. In May 13, 1880, the word "daily" was substituted for "pen- 
ny." The price, however, remained the same. Edward and Charles 
J. Bellamy were its publishers. It has ever been a wide-awake pro- 
gressive paper. Edward Bellamy, one of the founders, became the 
noted Socialist writer. 

Other newspapers of Springfield have included these : The 
"Homestead," a weekly, was an ofif-shoot of the old "New England 
Homestead," established in 1867 as a monthly, by Henry W. Burt. 
The Phelps Publishing Company, a corporation of note and power, 
established in 1880, has published the "Farm and Home," "Orange 
Judd Farmer" and "American Agriculturist." These publications 
go all over the United States and the mail business derived from 
their issue in Springfield is a great factor in the local postofifice. 


Another publication is "Good Housekeeping," a magazine of do- 
mestic science, formerly published by Clark W. Bryan Company 
and printed at the Phelps printing office. 

The "Daily Democrat" founded in 1883, was a one cent paper but 
in less than three years it was discontinued. 

The "Herald of Life," established in 1872, with Rev. W. N. 
Pile as editor was the organ of the Advent Church. 

There are numerous other publications, secular and religious 
in Springfield, such as the "French-American Citizen," "Domestic 
Journal" and "World and Work." 

The United States Armory — This is one of the interesting and 
historic institutions of Springfield. It is recorded that General 
George Washington passed through this place in 1789, viewed 
and approved of this great armory plant. It was the first ever 
established by the United States Government, the date being April, 
1794. The buildings were located on the "Hill" and on Mill River 
also, the latter department is still known as the "Watershop." 
The making of small arms was commenced here by the govern- 
ment in 1795. Forty men were then employed and they produced 
245 muskets the first year and for over one hundred years it has 
been carried on without interruption, save at the time of the 
armory fire in 1824. More than twenty-five different models of 
army muskets have been made here. The first American-made 
gun was the flint-lock which was used in 1822 and improved in 
1840. In 1842 the flint-lock system was virtually abandoned and 
the percussion lock was introduced. These new models were first 
employed by the soldiers in the War with Mexico in 1846-47. With 
the outbreak of the Civil War this country was almost gunless — 
north and south. Hence a great increase in the armory force was 
made necessary. In 1864 there were 3,400 men employed and they 
made one thousand guns daily. In 1861 it required a month to 
make a thousand guns. 

The United States kept pace with all improvements in fire-arms. 
In 1873, 1898 and in 1903 better models were made at this armory. 
In 1904 the daily output of guns was three hundred. Fourteen 
hundred men were thus employed in the gun-works. These men 
worked eight hours a day and the monthly pay-roll was from 
$75,00 to 1130,000. 

Prior to the Civil War the four arsenals were used solely for 
the storage of small arms. In 1860, under Captain George Dwight, 


the middle arsenal was converted into a workshop. The main 
arsenal was built in 1846, by Colonel Ripley. The storage capacity 
was 300,000 guns — 100,000 on each floor. Total storage room of 
all the arsenals packed to capacity is one million stand of arms. 

The grounds occupied by this armory embraces seventy-four 
acres and is situated on the hill overlooking the city. The men 
"who wore the loyal Blue" from 1861 to 1865, knew full well the 
value of the "Springfield Rifle." It was then the best gun made in 
the world. The breech-loading model was brought out in 1873. 
During the Civil War period there were manufactured here guns 
as follows: 1861—14,000; 1862—102,000; 1863—217,000; 1864— 
277,000; 1865 — 196,000. The present capacity for gun-making in 
this plant is 24,000 per week, besides doing much repair work. 
During the recent World War thousands of workmen were here 
employed in making guns by the hundreds of thousands, all being 
of up-to-date models. 

Only one attempt has ever been made to capture this arsenal 
and armory and that was during the "Shays Rebellion" in January, 
1787, when Shays and his one thousand insurgents, crossed the 
river from West Springfield and sought to capture the place from 
Commander General Shepard, who had 1,100 soldiers. Shays sent 
word that "I propose to capture the hill and tonight I shall sleep 
in the barracks." One discharge from Shepard's effective artillery 
caused Shays to change his mind about his sleeping quarters on 
the night he had named ! 

The Springfield Young Men's Christian Association was the 
third organization of its kind in the United States when founded 
in April, 1852. Its first quarters were in a few rooms over the 
store at 451 Main Street. This building, which is opposite Court 
Square, is still standing. The first president was Judge Henry 

The organization thus started so early in the history of the 
movement in this country was forced within a short time to dis- 
band because of the lack of outside support. In March, 1864, an- 
other effort was made to establish an association here. This 
second organization occupied rooms in the Old Corner Book Store 
building at the corner of Main and State streets, and it did some im- 
portant work in co-operation with the United States Commission. 
The association sent as its delegate in the Army of the Potomac, Dr. 
J. Searle Hurlburt who was then very prominent in its affairs. 



After the war the association strug-gled on for several years being 
located on the third floor of the Forbes & Wallace building at the 
corner of Main and Vernon streets, and later on the second floor of 
the building at the corner of Main and Bridge streets in which Dr. 
C. S. Hurlburt had his office. During the financial depression of 
the early seventies the association was burned out and had to be 
again given up, and no other effort along this line was made until 

The third and a successful attempt at organization was peculiar 
in that all of the three branch associations were established before 
the Central Association existed. In the fall of 1881, the Inter- 
national Committee started a Railroad Association with Theodore 
F. Judd as the first secretary. This was the first Railroad Young 
Men's Christian Association organized in the New England States. 
That same year the headquarters of the association were first se- 
cured in a small brick building in which was located the yard- 
masters' office near the Boston & Albany Round House in West 
Springfield. That year, the headquarters of the association were 
located in the heating plant of the Boston and Albany Railroad 
on Railroad Terrace and the West Springfield Association Avas 
continued as a department of the Springfield Association. When 
the Union Station was started the Railroad Association was moved 
to quarters on the third floor of the Athol Block at 227 Main 
Street, where it remained until 1904. In 1896 O. A. Eberhardt, 
the present secretary, came to this field and so increased the work 
of the association that the quarters became inadequate, and the 
present building was erected on Railroad Terrace at a cost of 
$21,000. In 1911 another story was added to this building, giving 
space for additional sleeping rooms. This association, through 
its lodging facilities, bath privileges, recreation facilities, etc., has 
rendered a far-reaching service to conductors, brakemen, engineers 
and firemen who run into and reside in Springfield. 

The career of the West Springfield Railroad Association has 
been an extraordinary one. Conducted at first as a department of 
the Springfield Railroad Association and located in the yard- 
master's office building, in 1900 it was made a separate branch, 
known as the West Side Railroad Branch of the Springfield Young 
Men's Christian Association. Later the organization was housed 
in a small office building with six passenger coaches connected to 
it. These were refurnished to meet the association's peculiar needs. 
The activities to such an extent that a suitable building was need- 

W. Mass. — 55 


ed, and on January 15, 1915, the present building was thrown open 
to the public. 

On November 21, 1882 a reading room was opened in the Hope 
Church Chapel on the hill, and this was the start of the Armory 
Hill Young Men's Christian Association. On September 3, 1883, 
sixteen men signed a formal constitution and Rev. E. H. Byington 
served for the first ten months as secretary. At the end of this 
time the membership had grown to 256 men. 

The association was incorporated in May, 1886, and room were 
rented in the School for Christian Workers' Building on State 
Street opposite Winchester Park. The secretaries from 1884 to 
1887 were W. H. Haygood, J. E. Mallin, and Frank W. Pratt. In 
June, 1887. J. W. Cook assumed the secretaryship, and was the 
first man to give his whole time to the position, but in June, 1889, 
he resigned to become the Assistant State Secretary of Massachu- 
setts and Rhode Island. F. W. Meyer then became secretary, and 
the same year Prof. R. J. Roberts was made director of the gym- 
nasium, giving the work a great impetus. The later secretaries 
were James Vinson and W. A. Fairbanks who was secretary at 
the time it was decided to give up the hill association. 

In 1884 a Central Association was successfully organized with 
J. Stuart Kirkham as the first president, serving for two years. 
R. M. Armstrong, later State Secretary, was the first secretary and 
it was his work which did a great deal to establish the Central 
Association permanently. The second and third floors of the Second 
National Bank Building, which stood at the corner of Main Street 
and Townsley Avenue were rented by the association. The top 
floor was used as a gymnasium and the lower one for meetings, 
reading rooms, etc. F. G. Lotze was the second secretary occupy- 
ing the office from 1887 to 1892. On his retirement F. W. Meyer, 
then secretary of the Hill Association, was elected to fill the posi- 
tion and he served until after the new building had been occupied. 
Some conception of the growth of the association's influence can be 
gained from the fact that in 1894, 12,917 men attended the religious 
meetings of the Central Branch which were held in Gilmore's 
Opera House on Sunday afternoons. 

In 1891, the Railroad, Armory Hill, and Central Associations 
were consolidated under the name of the Springfield Young Men's 
Christian Association, each holding branch relations. The great- 
est impetus which came to this organization was the erection of a 
Central Branch building at the corner of State and Dwight streets. 


This building with the lot on which it stood, cost $135,000 and at 
the time of its erection was considered a model of association con- 
struction. This new building was dedicated March 19, 1895, and 
in the six days of that opening week, 10,000 people inspected the 
association's new quarters. The Armory Association was given 
up and its work continued in the Central Branch. 

The Summer Camp at Norwich was started in 1896, the associa- 
tion renting a camp site there. 

F. W. Meyer resigned in 1896, having completed four years of 
splendid service as general secretary. He was succeeded by Wil- 
lard E. Waterbury who served for one year, and in March, 1898, 
William Knowles Cooper became the general secretary and for 
ten years labored unselfishly for the association, the church, and the 
city as a whole, making hundreds of staunch friends. Under his 
guidance the association entered upon a period of great growth 
and all-round development. Its membership grew from 539 to 
1047, and enrollment in educational classes was increased from 81 
to 254. The Boys' Department had 285 members in 1908 against 
80 boys in 1898. The camp at Lake Norwich was made a feature 
which appealed to large numbers of boys and young men. In 1898 
the association secured positions for eleven men. The Springfield 
Association was one of the pioneers in placing this practical work 
on a large and satisfactory basis, and in 1908 placed 959 men in 
positions and this department had won the esteem of the business 
men of the community. 

In the fall of 1900 Mr. Cooper started a movement which has 
had a marvelous career, namely, the Court Square Theatre Sunday 
afternoon meetings for men. These meetings are now attended by 
an average of 3,000 persons and conducted during the season of 
twenty weeks. The association brings to Springfield the best there 
is to be secured in music and public addresses. 

Mr. Cooper resigned in September, 1908, to become the general 
secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association of Washing- 
ton, D. C. Mr. Kenneth Robbie came to the Springfield Associa- 
tion as financial secretary in February, 1908, and upon Mr. Cooper's 
resignation, Mr. Robbie was chosen to become general secretary. 
It was during his administration in 1913 that a campaign was run 
in Springfield for the present Central Branch Building located at 
the corner of Chestnut and Hillman streets. This building with 
its equipment and site cost $325,000 and was dedicated in 1916. 
The building is seven stories high, contains 135 dormitory rooms 


and has a membership of 3,500. Mr. Robbie continued as the 
capable secretarial head of the Springfield Association until Novem- 
ber, 1919, when he resigned to enter business. 

On February 1, 1920, Blake A. Hoover, the present general 
Secretary, was called from the Bronx Branch of the New York 
City Association to become general secretary. In 1922 the Y. M. 
C. A. of Mittineague became a branch of the Springfield Associa- 
tion and is called the West Side Community Branch. A new build- 
ing is being constructed that when completed will be worth over 
$300,000. A site has been purchased for a new branch to be located 
at the corner of State Street and Oak Grove Avenue. Student 
branches are operating successfully in the International Y. M. 
C. A. College and in the American International College. There 
are in all of the branches more than 6,000 members. 

A large plot of ground on Chestnut Street adjacent to the present 
Central Branch was purchased in 1923 for the purpose of building 
a structure that when completed will more than double the present 
capacity of the Central Branch. 

The organization of the Springfield Young Men's Christian As- 
sociation consists of a Board of Directors for the corporation 
operating in Springfield and West Springfield with committees of 
management in the various branches. In 1925 the officers of the 
association are as follows : president. Colonel Benjamin A. Frank- 
lin ; vice-president, C. B. Potter; treasurer, R. R. Cleeland ; assist- 
ant treasurer, A. B. Sanderson ; recording secretary, H. C. Hast- 
ings ; general secretary, Blake A. Hoover. 

The officers of the branches are as follows : Central Branch — 
George E. Williamson, chairman ; Springfield R. R. Branch — E. 
T. Bray, chairman; O. A. Eberhardt, secretary; West Springfield 
R. R. Branch — F. A. Butler, chairman; L. E. Erickson, secretary; 
West Side Community Branch — E. G. Robson, chairman, Murray 
E. Cate, secretary. 

Young Women's Christian Association — This auxiliary of the 
Y. M. C. A. was organized, in a way, in 1866 and became strong 
enough by 1883 to become an incorporated body. Its first home 
was on Bliss Street, but in 1909 their present spacious quarters were 
provided by building a three-story brick structure on Howard 
Street at Nos. 22 to 30. Its cost was $136,000 including the lots 
but today its cost would be twice this amount. The present mem- 
bership of the association is 1900. They maintain a camp at 


Chester, a Travelers' Aid desk at the Union railway station, and 
follow up many other phases of community work. 

The present officers are: President — Mrs. Theodore F. Nye; 
first vice-president — Mrs. A. B. Morrill; second vice-president — 
Mrs. Harlan P. Small; corresponding secretary — Mrs. Howard P. 
Rainey; recording- secretary — Mrs. E. H. Becraft; assistant treas- 
urer — Mrs. Howard Bemis ; treasurer — Mrs. E. H. Norton; Miss 
Mary L. Cady, general secretary. 

In 1916 this association held the semi-centennial anniversary of 
its founding, which was an interesting affair, well attended. 

Early Manufacturing Enterprises — Without going into details 
of the first saw and grist-mills of Springfield, and of its smaller 
shops and factories common to other New England towns, this 
sketch of the industries of the place will commence in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. 

What grew to be an extensive plant was the enterprise of the 
Wason Manufacturing Company organized by Thomas W. and 
Charles Wason, natives of New Hampshire. This was expressly 
for the construction of railway cars. The first shop would scarcely 
hold one car at a time. For the Connecticut River Railroad they 
built the first year, six single and two double freight cars, receiving 
for the entire lot the sum of $4,700. Changes were made and in 
1863 the Wason Manufacturing Company was organized, with 
Thomas W. Wason as president. New shops were demanded and 
on a sixteen-acre plot of ground in the north part of the city, such 
were constructed in 1871. As early as 1878 this company made 
sixty passenger cars for Egypt; also one hundred freight cars. 
They also built a special car for the Khedive. Mr. Wason, founder, 
died in 1870 and was succeeded as president, by George C. Fisk, 
a former bookkeeper of the concern. The present officers are: 
Samuel M. Curwen, president; Charles F. Johnson, vice-president 
and manager ; R. T. Foster, superintendent ; E. P. Rawle, treasurer ; 
W. Abrahams, secretary and assistant treasurer. 

The chief business of this company now is the manufacture of 
passenger cars for steam and electric railways, and large shipments 
are being made to foreign countries, especially to South America. 
From 150 to 600 men are employed in these works, according to 
the number of orders on hand. 

Another important early industry was the Smith & Wesson 
revolver manufactory, established in 1857. The first year's busi- 
ness was over $150,000. In 1880 it had reached an annual business 


of $800,000. In the seventies five hundred men were g-iven em- 
ployment in this revolver factory. This concern is still doing a 
larg^ business. 

The Hampden Watch Factory was originally the New York 
Watch Company, organized in 1867. After ten years the works 
became reorganized as the "Hampden" with Homer Foote as presi- 
dent. For many years it was among the best watch factories in 
the country. They have not been in operation for many years. 

Springfield is the home of the noted "Webster's Dictionary" pub- 
lished by G. & C. Merriam, who came to Springfield in 1831, to 
open their book store and subsequently purchased the copyright 
of the estate of Noah Webster, author of the well-known dictionary. 
The general offices of this company are situated on Broadway 
and from this place multiplied thousands of dictionaries have 
gone forth to all parts of the globe, after first supplying America 
with its valuable work by its millions of copies, in diflferent styles, 
sizes and series. 

The Morgan Envelope Company, one of the pioneers in their 
line, was organized in 1866 and employed 200 workmen in the 
seventies. They made the first postal cards ever used by the Post- 
office Department in Washington and after 1874 the company for 
years made, under contract, one half of all "government envelopes" 
used in America. 

In 1878 the American Papeterie Company was formed in Spring- 
field. They made and put upon the market the first fancy station- 
ery in neat boxes. 

The National Needle Company was formed in 1873. It com- 
menced with six workmen, but soon employed 110. In 1879 this 
plant made 6,000,000 needles, including needles for all kinds of 
sewing machines. This industry grew to become the largest needle 
factory in the world and strange to relate no traveling salesmen 
were employed by the company. The stock was chiefly held by 
Springfield men. 

Prior to 1880 other industries in Springfield included the Haw- 
kins Iron Works, established in 1846 for the purpose of making 
the Howe Truss Bridges. Other branches were added, making an 
extensive plant. The Barney & Berry skate was made in Spring- 
field, beginning in 1864. The first year, aided by only eight men, 
this company produced 500 pairs of hand-made skates. Extensive 
works were built at the foot of Broad Street and in 1878, 80,000 
pairs of skates were made by- thirty-five men. 








Another large, profitable industry in Springfield, less than half 
a century ago, was that of making paper collars. This was started 
in 1863 by D. H. Brigham & Co. Numerous buildings had to be 
provided, for the expansion of the paper collar business was im- 
mense for almost a quarter of a century, when the use of paper 
collars was no longer very great and there are few made in the 
world today. But fortunes were made while the fad was in vogue. 
The Springfield Collar Company , and others were engaged in the 
business, along with the pioneers just named. Men still residing 
here traveled as salesmen, going as far west as Chicago and St. 
Louis, selling nothing but paper collars. 

Located at the foot of Howard Street was a large button fac- 
tory doing a thriving business in buttons. This plant was in opera- 
tion in the seventies and eighties, possibly later. 

What is sometimes called the Springfield Paper Mills are those 
situated in West Springfield, of which notice has been made in the 
history of that corporation. 

The great manufacturing enterprise carried on by the United 
States Government at the Armory (q. v.) of course is the earliest 
and one of the most extensive producing plants within Springfield. 
Here millions of guns have been made, as well as hundreds of mili- 
tary supplies used in the various wars. 

Industrial Interests of 1925 — No better general account of the 
various industrial interests in the bustling city of Springfield can 
be given than is furnished by the following list of manufacturing 
and productive establishments within its limits today, as reported 
by literature sent out by the Chamber of Commerce. For over 
a century craftsmen with old-fashioned pride in accuracy and pre- 
cision of workmanship have been attracted to Springfield and be- 
come a part of the industrial life of the community. Greater Spring- 
field will benefit by the proposed action of the National Govern- 
ment to develop the water-ways and hydro-electric power resources. 
Several hundred thousand horse-power in electrical energy in the 
Connecticut River will be available for industries in this city, the 
Queen of the Connecticut Valley. Springfield is already the second 
city in the State in wealth and third in population. Alphabetic- 
ally, the numerous industries already established and flourishing 
here are these : 

Abrasives, abdominal bands, Acetylene Cave Welding & Manu- 
facturing Co. Aluminum alloys, ammeters, ammonia, aprons, by 


two factories ; art material, by three concerns ; artificial stone fac- 
tories, three in number; athletic goods, including the Spalding 
Brothers and Wright & Ditson Victor Co. ; audio transformers, 
auto trailers, automatic wrapping machines, six automobile body 
manufactories, automatic casings and tubes, automobile lamps, 
seven factories making automobile parts, automobile polish, auto- 
mobile radiator guards, automobile tops, by five firms ; automobiles 
by the celebrated Rolls-Royce automobile manufacturers (English, 
and incorporated here in Springfield recently), also the automobile 
factory of Raush & Lang; four awning factories, four band-saw 
works, banners, barber supplies, barrels — steel and wooden, batter- 
ies, bed springs, bedding, beltings, beverages, nine plants producing 
soft drinks, two blank book factories, one blind factory, blue print 
factory, blueing, bobbins and spools, boiler grates, book-binders, 
five shops, bookcovers (patent), twelve box factories (wooden and 
paper), brass castings, five shops, brazing brick manufacturers, 
bronze founders, brooms, brushes, butter, two firms, button factory, 
cap factory, two, card-board works, three concerns, carriages, car- 
pets, cars, casket hardware, two shops, cellulose products, cement 
products, chains, chairs, chemical works, five in number, children's 
wear, clocks, electric, clothing (men's), clothing (women's), coated 
papers, four firms, coffee roasting machines, two, ten candy factor- 
ies, copper and brass goods, four, corsets, cotton goods — the Chico- 
pee Mfg. Corporation and Dwight Mfg. Corporation, cotton thread, 
cotton waste, three firms, cotton webbing, cotton yarn, cycle chains, 
cylinder grinders, dictionaries, Merriman G. & C. Co., dies, seven 
plants, dishwashing machines, drop forgings, three works, dumb- 
waiters, electric cars, electric vehicles, electro-plating, elevators, 
three firms, emery wheels, enameling, engravers, eight firms, enve- 
lopes, four factories, extracts, four firms, ferrules, fertilizers, fiber- 
loid sheets and toilet ware, fire arms, four plants, including the U. 
S. Armory, flags, fountain pens, furniture factories, three, furriers, 
six, gaskets, gear cutters, two, glazed papers, two factories, giold 
leaf, grates and grate bars, grinding machines, hack saws, three 
factories, hand soap, handcuff's, hardware makers, six separate fac- 
tories, heating systems, eleven plants, inks, iron fence, keys, knit 
underwear, four factories, knitting machines, labels, lamp shades, 
lawn mowers, leather belting, lithographers, machine brushes, ma- 
chine tools, five firms, machinery, twelve factories, magnetos, two, 
matches, mattresses, five plants, mirrors, two, motor truck bodies, 
five companies ; motors, by four factories, name plates, napkins, and 


specialties by Foley Paper Co., nurseries, four, packing boxes, two 
firms, paper producers, thirteen in number, paper ruling machines, 
patent medicines, two firms, planing and moulding mills, three, 
play-ground apparatus, pocket books, printers' tools, regalia makers, 
two companies, rubber tires, the celebrated Fisk Rubber company, 
sash and blinds, three factories, scales, screw machine products, 
two, show-cases, springs, structural iron work, swords, the Ames 
Sword Company, tape, telescopes, tickets, tile, toilet paper, tool 
manufactories, fifteen shops, truck bodies, two, underwear factories, 
three companies, uniforms, four firms, waxed paper, weatherstrips, 
weaving reeds, window shades, wire cloth, wire workers, two firms, 
wrenches, five shops, yarns, and scores of lesser industries. 

The paper industry is an immense one in Springfield and near by 
community. At this time the following are the corporations 
engaged in such line of factories : Agawam Paper Company, Ameri- 
can Writing Paper Company, Birnie Paper Company, Foley Paper 
Company, Holyoke Paper & Card Company, Morgan Stationery 
Company, New England Card & Paper Company, Package Paper 
& Supply Company, the Southworth Company, Springfield Glazed 
Paper Company, Strathmore Paper Company, United Manufactur- 
ing Company, Worthy Paper Company. 

Rolls-Royce of America, Inc., manufacturers of superior motor- 
cars, was organized in November, 1919, and located in Springfield, 
the first chassis was produced here in January, 1921. This is an 
English concern and during the late World War the demand for 
Rolls-Royce aircraft engines was so great that the attention of the 
English Government was directed to the United States, so that in 
1917, American builders were asked to contribute to Rolls-Royce 
production with their equipment and personnel, which they did suc- 
cessfully until the end of the war. It was owing to this that the 
company in England deemed it wise to incorporate in America. 
Bufifalo and Cleveland were looked over as possible sites for this 
plant, but Springfield had the greater advantages, hence secured the 
industry. The fact of the Arsenal being located in Springfield, the 
large number of available mechanics in the community, easy access 
to drop forgings between Philadelphia and Worcester, rendered the 
inspection of material easy and the time required for transportation 

Another point of advantage was that Springfield had better facil- 
ities for housing a large number of men, and rents were not out of 
reason, as was the case in many surrounding cities. 


In order to better carry out the plans and necessities of such a 
great plant, the English organization picked out a select corps of 
fifty-three supervisors, for their peculiar fitness in the several de- 
partments, and brought them to Springfield. More than forty of 
these were married men, with more or less of a family. Their 
household effects were brought and were placed in their new found 
homes where they are permanent settlers. 

From the English plant, blue-prints as well as actual samples of 
every part of the Rolls-Royce, in each stage of construction, were 

It was the original intention, following the plan of the English 
Company, to specialize on chassis exclusively. The demands made 
upon the corporation here, however, to equip the Rolls-Royce 
chassis with bodies led to the establishment of a coachworks divi- 
sion, a separate and distinct organization of specialists, for the 
designing, building and installation of fine automobile bodies. All 
of this work is produced within this new plant in Springfield. The 
coach work is in every way worthy of the name Rolls-Royce, "the 
best car in the world." 

In many of the leading cities in America this corporation main- 
tains branches for salesmen, warerooms and offices finely equipped 
for the correct handling of the sales end of the large business. 

The Fisk Rubber Company — The growth of the Fisk Rubber 
Company in the course of less than thirty years is really remarkable. 
In 1898, the Fisk Rubber Company started in operation on its pres- 
ent location, the plant comprising a single building of less than an 
acre of floor space. The plant was that of the original Spaulding 
and Pepper Company, manufacturers of bicycle tires and small 
rubber specialties. It was taken over by Noyes M. Fisk, who, with 
his son, Harry G. Fisk, organized the original Fisk Rubber Com- 
pany. Today, the big Fisk factory at Chicopee Falls stands as a 
modern industrial institution, extending over twenty-one acres of 
land area. In all, there are now more than thirty buildings and 
more than forty acres of floor space,— the largest building being 5 
stories high and more than 700 feet long by over 100 feet wide. 

The Fisk factory at Chicopee Falls is recognized as one of the 
largest and best designed tire manufacturing establishments in the 
world — well-lighted, well-ventilated and completely and adequate- 
ly equipped to manufacture quality tires and tubes in large volume. 
National distribution is attained through the medium of Fisk ware- 
houses and one hundred and fifty Fisk branch houses so located 


that, to dealers throughout the country, complete service is instantly 

The Fisk Office Building is located at Broadway, 57th Street and 
8th Avenue, New York City. It is a commanding structure of 
twenty-six stories, comprising approximately 470,000 square feet 
of floor space. The executive offices of the Fisk Rubber Company 
occupy the 25th and 26th floors of this building. 

The present executive personnel of the Fisk Rubber Company 
includes Mr. H. T. Dunn, president, who has been with the company 
since the years after its organization; Mr. E. H. Broadwell, vice- 
president and general manager, also connected with the company 
since its early organization; Mr. H. G. Fisk, vice-president and one 
of the original founders; Mr. R. B. McGaw, treasurer; Mr. E. M. 
Bogardus, comptroller, and Mr. J. D. Anderson, vice-president and 
factory manager in charge of all Fisk Rubber Company manufac- 
turing plants. 

The Fisk Rubber Company is the parent company of the Fisk 
Tire Company, Inc., and the Federal Rubber Company, with a large 
tire factory in Cudahy, Wisconsin. In addition to these two tire 
manufacturing plants, the Fisk Rubber Company is also the parent 
company of three cotton mills located at New Bedford, Mass., Paw- 
tucket, R. I., and Jewett City, Conn., and known as a group, as the 
Ninigret Division of the Fisk Rubber Company. 

The Bosch Magneto — Owing to conditions surrounding business 
activities, just previous to America's entrance into the World War, 
the good will of the Bosch Magneto Corporation was greatly effec- 
ted and many customers refused to deal with them due to the fact 
that the business at that time was conducted by Germans. When 
America entered the war, the property was taken over by the Alien 
Property Custodian and was operated almost exclusively in the 
Government's interests. 

In December, 1918, the property in Springfield was acquired, 
through public auction, by the present owners who started to 
restore the good will and again enter the automotive accessory field 
under the name of American Bosch Magneto Corporation. 

The plant was originally designed to produce a maximum of 
10,000 magnetos per month. Average shipments at that time were 
about 8,500 instruments per month. By judicious and careful plan- 
ning of the mechanical layout, the new management, without enlarg- 
ing their buildings, increased their manufacturing and selling 
organization so that during April, May, June and July of 1920, the 


output was in excess of 40,000 magnetos per month and over 340,- 
000 were produced and sold during the year, more than four times 
the number planned for by the old company. 

At the close of 1918, this new company had secured approximately 
12 per cent of the magneto business of the country — at the end of 
1920, it was shipping approximately 50 per cent of the entire coun- 
try's requirements. To produce these remarkable results the num- 
ber of employees was increased from 768 in July, 1917, to 2,886 in 
July, 1920. In addition to increasing its production this new or- 
ganization also found time to develop new magnetos that were great 
improvements over the old types. 

During 1921 they acquired the extensive Gray & Davis plants in 
Cambridge and Amesbury, Mass., which permitted them to enter 
the automotive field with new starting and lighting products which 
were perfected and ready for market. During 1923 and 1924, they 
perfected other accessories such as Ford Ignition Systems, Fordson 
Governors, Electric Windshield Wipers with tandem attachments, 
Shock Absorbers, Spark Plugs, and now in 1925 are developing a 
complete line of Modern Radio Apparatus and an Automobile horn 
of the vibrating type. With branches in New York, Chicago, 
Detroit and San Francisco, controlling over 850 official Bosch Serv- 
ice Stations and more than 1,500 official dealers, at all points of the 
world, the American Bosch Magneto Corporation is well equipped 
to properly service the four million instruments of its manufacture 
that are in use throughout this and foreign countries. 

The present officers are: Arthur T. Murray, president: >' orris 
Metcalf, vice-president and treasurer; G. J. Land, secretary. 

The Gilbert & Barker Manufacturing Company was incorporated 
in March, 1870, for the manufacture and sale of gas machines, steel 
barrels and storage tanks. The office and factory were located on 
Lyman street near Spring street in Springfield. The business was 
established in 1865 under another name with both Mr. Gilbert and 
Mr. Barker in executive positions. The Company prospered stead- 
ily and by its thorough methods of manufacture and unceasing care 
the Springfield Gas Machine won a reputation throughout the coun- 
try for excellence in operation, durability and safety. Mr. Gilbert 
retired from the Company at the end of 1884. About 1886 the busi- 
ness was further increased by the introduction of fuel gas ma- 
chinery and in 1890 of oil burning equipment, both for use in the 
industrial arts. The sales were thereby increased very largely and 
these low priced fuels became an important factor in the manufac- 



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ture of many of our best known American products, such as Ford 
and Packard automobiles, Timken axles, Remington and Under- 
wood typewriters, Edison and Victor phonographs, Knox hats, 
Roebling's wire rope, Springfield rifles. Smith and Wesson revol- 
vers. International silver, Starrett and Pratt & Whitney tools, Yale 
& Towne locks and International Harvesters. With the increasing 
use of automobiles a need arose for better methods of dispensing 
gasoline and oils for their use. The manufacture of pumps and 
storage tanks was begun and has so increased that today the com- 
pany is one of the great industries of New England and its product 
is known in every part of the world. In 1912 the business had so 
exceeded its factory capacity that a much larger plant was built in 
West Springfield. There were in all eleven buildings, having a 
total floor area of 85,752 square feet. Today there are twenty-two 
buildings, having a total floor space of 493,575 square feet. The 
number of employees increased from 187 in 1912 to 2300 in 1925. 
Mr. Barker retired at the end of 1912, after forty-seven years of 
service, and was succeeded as president by Mr. Robert H. McNall, 
the other officers being Mr, Charles C. Ramsdell, vice-president; 
Mr. William T. Rayner, treasurer; Mr. Walter H. Wood, assistant 
treasurer and clerk. The present officers (1925) are the same with 
the exception of Mr. Wood, who retired that year because of ill 
health and died soon after. Mr. Philip H. Bills succeeded him in 
both offices. The company has always enjoyed cordial relations 
with its employees and there have never been any labor troubles. 
A plan for annuity and benefits, adopted in 1918, provides gener- 
ously for sick and disabled employees and for those who, after 
years of service, are retired from active work. The company did 
its part in the World War. A bronze tablet in the office entrance 
commemorates the 139 employees who were in the military service, 
including two who died for their country. It, together with its em- 
ployees, subscribed freely to the several Liberty Loans and gave 
generously to the various relief funds which were raised at that 
time. It also was called upon to furnish much war material. Thou- 
sands of steel barrels, storage outfits for aviation fields, oil and gas 
burning equipment were necessary for the successful outcome of 
the War. 

Chemical Products — Absorbine, Jr., an antiseptic liniment is 
manufactured in Springfield. "Absorbine" was compounded by 
Wilbur F. Young in Meriden, Conn., in 1891. He later moved the 
business to Springfield, Mass., in 1896. This liniment is known all 


over North America among the horsemen and trainers. Mr. Young 
also put on the market Absorbine, Jr., the antiseptic liniment for 
mankind which is shipped all over the country. He had an excellent 
knowledge of chemistry and worked for many years on these prod- 
ucts before they were put on the market. A plant was established 
in Montreal, Canada, to take care of the Canadian trade. He was 
sole owner of the business until his death in April, 1918. At that 
time the business was incorporated by his heirs and has been car- 
ried on very successfully. Absorbine, Jr., is advertised in all the 
leading magazines throughout the country. Absorbine, Jr., is com- 
pounded from herbs and vegetable oils gathered in all parts of the 
world, the herbs being percolated at the laboratories of the com- 
pany. No expense has ever been spared to maintain the high quality 
of the product. 

The Wright & Ditson Victor Company was organized in 1918 
under the Massachusetts charter of the Victor Sporting Goods 
Company of Springfield and represents a consolidation of Wright & 
Ditson, Boston, organized by George Wright and Harry Ditson in 
1871, one of the oldest, if not the oldest strictly athletic concern in 
this country and the Victor Sporting Goods Company organized 
in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, in 1898 by Charles B. Whitney 
and Frank J. Faulkner. 

Both concerns maintained distributing branches throughout the 
United States and Canada, and both catered to the highest class 

Wright & Ditson specialized in lawn tennis supplies and athletic 
clothing and later in golf, and the Victor Sporting Goods Company 
in base ball, foot ball, basket ball and gymnastic supplies. Both 
lines have for years been recognized as standard and official by the 
governing boards of the organizations controlling standard sports, 
and both have as active members of their organization men of 
national reputation in the various lines of sport. As a result of the 
consolidation the sales departments of each were combined and 
New York made headquarters and the manuafcturing centered in 
the plant of the Victor Sporting Goods Company at Springfield 
which was enlarged for the purpose. 

The company maintains retail stores in Boston, Cambridge, Wor- 
cester and Providence, distributing branches in New York, Chicago, 
San Francisco and Toronto, Canada and exclusive agencies in every 
city of importance in the United States and Canada. It is the largest 
manufacturer and distributor of tennis balls and rackets in this 




country, and one of the largest makers of standard base ball, foot 
ball, basket ball and golf supplies. 

Its officers are George Wright, president ; Frank J. Faulkner and 
John F. Morrill, vice-presidents ; Charles B. Whitney, treasurer and 
factory manager ; W. E. Faulkner, clerk and assistant factory 
manager, and P. H. Floyd, sales manager, who also constitute the 
board of directors. 

The Victor line of athletic goods originated with the Overman 
Wheel Company (makers of Victor bicycles), of Chicopee Falls, 
Massachusetts, in 1893 and was continued by them up to 1898 when 
the department was purchased by Charles B. Whitney and Frank 
J. Faulkner, who organized the Victor Sporting Goods Company 
under Massachusetts laws and continued the manufacture of the 
complete line in the Overman plant until 1900, when it was moved 
to the Steam Power Company building on Lyman street, Spring- 
field. Its business grew steadily and larger quarters became neces- 
sary and in 1913 the present plant at 88 Birnie avenue, Brightwood, 
was purchased and immediate possession taken. Later additions 
to this plant doubled its capacity. Frank J. Faulkner, Albert E. 
Taylor and Charles B. Whitney occupied the positions of president, 
vice-president, treasurer and manager, respectively, of the Victor 
Sporting Goods Company from the time of its organization in 1898 
to its consolidation with Wright & Ditson in 1918. 

Banks and Financial Institutions — The earliest bank in Spring- 
field was the "Springfield Bank," organized in 1814, with Jonathan 
Dwight as president and Edward Pynchon as cashier. The original 
capital was $100,000. By 1849 it had increased its capital to $300,- 
000. In 1864 this bank was re-organized as the Second National 
Bank, with Mr. Alexander, president, and Mr. Warriner, cashier. 

The John Hancock National Bank was the successor to the old 
"John Hancock Bank," organized in 1850, with J. M. Thompson as 
president, and E. D. Chapin as cashier. It was organized as a 
national bank in 1865, and Col. Thompson was succeeded by R. S. 
Moore, as president. 

The Chicopee National Bank was the successor of the "Chicopee 
Bank," organized May, 1836. George Bliss was president and Henry 
Seymour, cashier. The capital as far back as 1879 was $400,000. 
Their June, 1925, statement shows resources and liabilities amount- 
ing to $13,509,168.76. Of deposits, they showed $10,809,675.51. The 
present capital is $500,000. Their surplus and undivided profits are 


The present officers are: George A. MacDonald, president; L. W. 
White, vice-president ; George J. Clark, cashier. There are fifteen 
members on the board of directors. 

The Pynchon National Bank was organized as a "State Bank" in 
June, 1853, with H. N. Case, president; H. Alexander, Jr., cashier. 
It became a national bank April 29, 1865, and by 1869 had increased 
its capital to $200,000. Its interests were later merged with other 

The Agawani National Bank, successor to the old "Agawam 
Bank," organized in 1846 on a $100,000 capital, with C. W. Chapin 
as president and F. S. Bailey, cashier. In 1865 it was reorganized as 
a national bank with a capital of $300,000, with Marvin Chapin as 
president. In 1880 it advertised a capital of $500,000. 

The Springfield Institution for Savings — This was incorporated 
June 16, 1827. Its first president was John Hooker, and John 
Howard the first treasurer. Samuel Reynolds was secretary. The 
total amount of deposits for the year 1827 was only $520.50. In 
1849 it was moved from the Springfield Bank to the Foster Block, 
Main and State streets. The deposits then amounted to $609,064. 
The present location of this great financial institution is on Elm 
street. Court Square, and the building used exclusively for the cor- 
poration is among the best in the commonwealth. July 1, 1925, 
this concern had deposits amounting to $39,433,812.44, and their 
depositors numbered 60,916. Individual accounts run from $1.00 
to $3,000. Their last published statement (July, 1925) shows lia- 
bilities and resources, $43,140,928.51. They hold for safe keeping 
for depositors, government bonds in the sum of $463,550.00. 

The affairs of this institution are in the hands of a board of 
trustees numbering seventeen, and the present officers are : Winford 
N. Caldwell, president; William H. McClench, vice-president; John 
W. B. Brand, treasurer; Harold W. Hawkes, assistant treasurer; 
Alfred H. Hastings, assistant treasurer; Alfred Leeds, clerk. 

The Hampden Savings Bank of Springfield was incorporated 
April 15, 1852, by a large number of citizens including the Chapins, 
Morgans, Bonds, Sanderson and others. The first officers were: 
Albert Morgan, president ; the secretary w^as Augustus L. Soule ; 
F. S. Bailey, treasurer. The first deposit was made by Edward 
Dahm for sixty dollars. In 1880 the deposits had increased to 
$1,500,000. The August, 1925, statement shows the condition of the 
banks to be: Number of depositors, 11,505; liabilities and re- 
sources, $9,058,098.47 ; U. S. bonds kept for safety of their owners, 



$170,950. This is a mutual bank and has no stockholders. 

The present (1925) officers include these: Frederick H. Stebbins, 
president; Howard R. Bemis, Charles H. Mulligan, vice-presidents; 
John B. Phelps, treasurer; Frank L. Whitlock, assistant treasurer; 
Ernest D. Bug-bee, clerk. There are fifteen trustees and proper 
auditing committee and a board of investment. 

Springfield Five Cent Savings Bank — This institution was organ- 
ized in 1854 by eleven prominent citizens of the place. The Chapin, 
Pynchon, Rice Rollins and Bond families were represented in the 
original organizers. The first year the deposits amounted to $1,250,- 
000. The first president was Mr. Willis and he was succeeded by 
Dr. Joseph C. Pynchon. The present location of this bank is 425 
Main street, near the Court Square. The present officers are Newrie 
D. Winter, president ; Ralph W. Ellis, treasurer ; Theodore B. 
Winter, assistant treasurer. Its board of fourteen trustees ably 
manage the policy of what has come to be a very large, safe banking 
business on the mutual plan for correct savings. Their July 14, 
1925, statement shows they had on that date 29,736 depositors 
whose deposits amounted to $18,009,417.13. There are thirty-eight 
members of this corporation. 

The Third National Bank was organized March 10, 1854, as a 
State bank, but in 1865, was converted into a national bank. It is 
a member of the Federal Reserve System and protects its depositors 
by capital and surplus to the amount of $2,000,000. Its present offi- 
cers are Frederick Harris, president; Frederic M. Jones, vice-presi- 
dent ; George C. Stebbins, assistant vice-president ; Harlan S. Kap- 
linger, cashier ; there are also five assistant cashiers. There are 
fifteen persons on the present board of directors. The affairs of 
this bank are divided into five departments — Commercial, Savings, 
Deposit Vaults and Investment departments. The published state- 
ment for June 30, 1925, shows their resources and liabilities to be 
$20,629,163.55. Of the liabilities there is the item of deposits 
amounting to $17,085,000. The capital and surplus is $2,000,000. 

The Chapin National Bank — This institution was established in 
May, 1872, as the Chapin Banking and Trust Company by the fol- 
lowing families : Chapin, Thompson, Trask, Fuller, Jr., Hyde, Baker, 
Bowles and Lee. It was not fully incorporated until 1873. C. W. 
Chapin was the first president and James D. SafTord was the first 
cashier. From their legal statement issued June 30, 1925, it is 
learned that the resources and liabilities are $9,276,934.86. It has 
deposits amounting to $7,425,000. The main office is at the corner 

W. Mass. — 56 


of Main and Lyman streets, while other offices are at Forest Park 
and Brightwood ; also a branch at Indian Orchard. The present 
officers are : Henry A. Woodward, president ; John C. Kemater, 
vice-president ; Harry Wells, vice-president and cashier ; Charles 
A. Frazer, vice-president ; G. W. Hutchinson, auditor. 

The Springfield Co-operative Bank w^as incorporated in 1882 and 
is now located at No. 10 East Court street. It is under supervision 
of the State Bank Commissioner. Loans are made on real estate 
to the amount of $8,000. A borrower must become a shareholder. 
The officers in the summer of 1925 are as follows : H. W. Morrill, 
president; W. D. Bigelow, vice-president; E. A. Hall, vice-presi- 
dent ; A. C. Wentworth, treasurer. There are twelve persons serv- 
ing on the board of directors. This bank pays interest at the rate 
of five per cent per annum. At the close of business, April 14, 
1925, the statement shows assets and liabilities to the amount of 

Springfield Safe Deposit and Trust Company was incorporated 
in 1886 and now has capital, undivided profits and surplus amount- 
ing to $2,000,000. The present officers are George H. Kemater, 
president ; Harry L. Bradley, vice-president and treasurer ; Edward 
Kronvall, vice-president and trust-officer; Harold White and Rob- 
ert Emerson, assistant treasurers ; E. Converse Lincoln and Chester 
J. Chambers, assistant trust-officers. There are nineteen members 
on the Board of Directors. At their accounting July 1, 1925, they 
had resources and liabilities to the amount of $12,447,234.12 in the 
Banking Department ; and in the Trust Department their resources 
and liabilities were $17,859,497.52. Total of banking and trust de- 
partments — $30,306,731.64. This institution is located on the cor- 
ner of Main and State streets. 

Hampden Co-operative Bank, at No. 145 State street, was incor- 
porated July 21, 1919. Its assets are now $327,861.85. The officers 
are Henry W. Lloyd, president; Harold Bellows, vice-president; 
Captain Harry R. King, treasurer; Frank Auchter, attorney. Their 
last statement, August, 1925, gives the amount of liabilities and 
assets at $327,861.55; earnings for the last year, $19,185. 

The Commercial Trust Company was established September 15, 
1915. Its president is A. J. Skinner; vice-president, F. P. Donahue; 
R. H. Flagg, treasurer. Its latest statement shows resources and 
liabilities to the amount of $4,134,094.04. 

The Springfield National Bank was organized in 1893, and at the 
close of business on June 30, 1925, it had liabilities and resources 


amounting to |1 5,023,443.50. Its location is corner Main and Bridge 
streets. Its present officers are: Henry H. Bowman, president; 
Wallace V. Camp, cashier; Robert W. Day, Ralph P. Alden, vice- 
presidents. There are nineteen on the board of directors. 

The Federal Land Bank of Springfield (a United States Institu- 
tion) was organized by charter under Congressional act approved 
July, 1916. It is one of twelve like banks in the United States and 
this branch cares for the needs of all New England, New York and 
New Jersey. This bank has loaned out to 12,000 farmers nearly 
$36,000,000 since it was opened in 1917. The purpose is to make 
first mortgage loans on improved farm property. It has many ex- 
cellent worth-while features. At the close of business August 30, 
1925, their report shows assets and liabilities amounting to $44,185,- 

The report on the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, closely al- 
lied with the last named bank, had assets and liabilities August 30, 
1925, amounting to $7,457,777.36. This institution was chartered 
in 1923. This was established by the act of Congress in 1923 to 
give better agricultural credits to the people of the United States. 
It is under one set of officers, as follows : Edward H. Thompson, 
president; B. G. Mclntire, vice-president; John J. Merriman, treas- 
urer; Erwin H. Forbush, secretary. The general management of 
affairs devolves on the board of seven directors. 

The Union Trust Company — This banking institution, one of 
the latest to form in the city of Springfield, was incorporated and 
their first meeting was held January 5, 1906, in the offices of the 
late Henry H. Skinner, a local banker, who must ever be regarded 
as the prime-mover whose business foresight conceived the demand 
in Springfield for just such a financial institution, and was instru- 
mental in inducing the following men to become original incorpora- 
tors in "The Union Trust Company of Springfield, Massachusetts" : 
John F. Alvord, P. S. Bailey, Henry J. Beebe, Gurdon Bill, 
Charles W. Bosworth, C. F. Brooker, Edwin A. Carter, Lewis F. 
Carr, C. L. Goodhue, James W. Kirkham, Alfred N. Mayo, Robert 
O. Morris, Robert P. Perkins, Lewis J. Powers, James D. Safford, 
Joseph Shattuck, Henry H. Skinner, L. S. Stowe, J. H. Wesson, W. 
H. Wesson. 

The Union Trust Company is a consolidation of four Springfield 
national banks and one Springfield trust company; the City Na- 
tional Bank being the first, followed by the First National Bank, 
Second National Bank and the John Hancock National Bank dur- 


ing the year 1906; in 1909 the Hampden Trust Company was ab- 
sorbed into this consolidation and Edward S. Bradford, president 
of that company, and Joseph C. Allen, treasurer, were elected vice- 
president and treasurer, respectively, of the Union Trust Company. 
Following the decease of Mr. Bradford, Mr. Allen was elected vice- 
president in his place. 

The first officers elected were as follows : Charles W. Bosworth, 
chairman of the Board of Directors and president ; James D. Saf- 
ford, vice-president; William E. Gilbert, vice-president and treas- 
urer; Charles W. Churchill was subsequently elected secretary. 
The original capital stock was $500,000, with a paid-up surplus of 

The banking department of this great financial concern grew 
from about $1,000,000 in 1906 to $14,000,000 in 1925. During the 
same period the trust company department has shown a gain of 
from no assets to over $11,000,000. The present capital is $500,000, 
with surplus and undivided profits of $1,750,000. These figures in- 
dicate a consistent growth of deposits in its banking department. 

It addition to its banking department, which includes foreign 
service and all lines of general banking, a trust department is suc- 
cessfully conducted under the watch-care of Harris A. Colwell, 
Trust Officer. In all departments the Union Trust Company em- 
ploys about seventy persons, all of whom are experts in their sev- 
eral positions. 

The casual observer, as well as the skilled architect and artist, 
must readily appreciate the beauty of the present magnificent bank 
structure now occupied by this institution. It was completed in 
1908 on the site of the old Second National Bank on Main street, 
one of the absorbed institutions of the present Trust Company. 
Its special features are originality of design and its construction 
for the exclusive use of its own rapidly increasing volume of busi- 

The present (1925) officers and directors of the Union Trust 
Company are as follows : Officers — Charles S. Bosworth, chair- 
man. Board of Directors ; William E. Gilbert, president ; William 
H. Haskins, treasurer; Harris A. Colwell, assistant treasurer and 
trust officer; Frederick W. Ferree, assistant trust officer; Roy C. 
Chapin, assistant treasurer; Frank H. Burt, secretary; B. L. Bragg, 
Jr., assistant secretary. Directors — Henry J. Beebe, Howard R. 
Bemis, Charles W. Bosworth, Henry L. Bowles, Phelps Brown, 
Ernest D. Bugbee, S. Richard Carlisle, Edwin A. Carter, William 


F. Collins, E. T. Davis, George H. Empsall, Harry G. Fisk, William 
E. Gilbert, Dwight Gilmore, George M. Hendee, George M. Hol- 
brook, H. Everton Hosley, James W. Kirkman, Dr. Edward J. Ma- 
honey, William P. Porter, Philip C. Powers, Charles C. Ramsdell, 
Frank C. Rice, Ray M. Sanford, Willard F. Smith, Lucius S. 
Storrs, William W. Tapley, William F. Whiting, Edward C. Whit- 
ing, Newrie D. Winter. 

Insurance Companies — But few if any business factors have 
given Springfield a name from ocean to ocean equal to that given 
it by reason of its great insurance companies, with their branch 
offices in many sections of the country. The Springfield Fire and 
Marine Insurance Company has been in the insurance field since 
1849 — three-quarters of a century. One of the earliest signs for 
the use of agents contained these points: "Capital Stock, $150,000, 
with ample surplus." Directors were Edmund Freeman, Jacob W. 
Merrick, George Walker, Chester W. Chapin, Daniel L. Harris, 
Willis Phelps, Andrew Huntington, Marvin Chapin, Samuel S. 
Day, Edward Southworth, Albert Morgan, Charles Merriam, Whit- 
sill Hastings. The first president was Edmund Freeman; first sec- 
retary, William Conner, Jr. The first policy was sold in Vermont 
July 24, 1851. The presidents who have faithfully served at various 
periods to the president are: Edmund Freeman, elected in 1851; 
Dwight R. Smith, elected in 1874; Jarvis N. Dunham, elected in 
1880; Andrew J. Wright, elected in 1891; A. Willard Damon, 
elected in 1895 ; George C. Buckley, elected in 1924, and still serv- 
ing. The magnificent spacious home office on State street, near the 
public library, was completed July 3, 1905. The head office employs 
one hundred and seventy-five men and women ; they have out 
twenty-seven field men, managing 2,300 agents, who during 1923 
wrote premiums to the amount of $5,479,195. Policies go to all 
parts of this country and Canada. A large general office is lo- 
cated in Chicago, and the Pacific Coast has a large agency doing 
a vast business. The assets in 1849 amounted to only $150,000, but 
in 1924 the amount was $22,473,096. The surplus to policy-holders 
in 1924 was $8,451,091. Brains and integrity have been the main- 
springs of the success of this corporation. This company has come 
through the great conflagrations unscathed, including the Chicago 
fire of 1871, as well as the Boston fire one year later. 

The Mutual Fire Assurance Company of Springfield — This com- 
pany was incorporated February, 1827, and was the fourth mutual 


insurance company formed in Massachusetts, the Worcester Mu- 
tual, the Hingham Mutual and the Middletown Mutual being in 
advance of it. The incorporators of the Springfield company were 
Zebina Stebbins, Joseph Carew, David xA.mes, Festus Stebbins, Wal- 
ter Stebbins, John Newbury, Sable Rogers, and Jacob Bliss. Its 
charter was extended twenty years in 1847 and made perpetual in 
1856. At first no agents were employed and only first-class farm 
risks were taken, and that not in excess of $4,000. January 1, 
1925, the statement shows amount of risks to be $7,198,500; cash 
surplus, $337,877.58. In this the ninety-eighth annual report it is 
seen that their liabilities and unearned premium reserve was $59,- 
639.63. Present officers include — Charles C. McElwain, president ; 
Herbert E. Huie, secretary and treasurer. There is a board of nine 
directors well calcuated to look after the afifairs of the company. 

The Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Spring- 
field, was incorporated August 1, 1851, beginning with a guarantee 
capital of $100,000. Caleb Rice was the first president of the com- 
pany, serving until his death in 1873, when he was succeeded by 
E. W. Bond. The assets at the close of the first year were $108,- 
397. As far back as 1875 the assets of this company were $6,102,- 
915. The 1924 statement of this company shows liabilities of $192,- 
577,084.87. The assets are $204,464,411. This shows an excess of 
assets over liabilities, $11,887,326.74, for a safety margin. Insur- 
ance in force now (December 31, 1924), $1,151,487,971; death 
claims paid, $7,792,787; dividends to policy-holders, $6,633,989; to- 
tal payments to policy-holders, $19,720,636; the total number of 
policies written by this company in force now, 355,313. insuring 
all in the sum of $1,151,487,971. The company has outgrown a 
second large office building in Springfield. Their preset.*; great 
structure on Main and State streets was completed in 1908, and the 
number of office employes was one hundred, but today there are 
five hundred at work in various departments. More room is needed 
and at this time there is being constructed a mammoth structure, 
on modern plans, the site being on upper State street, with a front- 
age of 390 feet on the main highway between Springfield and Bos- 
ton. Its depth is 300 feet, and the floor space is 75,000 square feet, 
on each of the four floors. The present officers of the company 
include the following: William W. McClench, president; William 
H. Sargeant, vice-president; Wheeler H. Hall, secretary; Charles 
H. Angell, actuary; Joseph C. Behan, superintendent of agencies; 
Morton Snow, medical doctor, medical director. 







Railroad Interests — Springfield is one of the finest railway cen- 
ters in the commonwealth. It fortunately has 155 passenger trains 
daily and direct connections with New York, 136 miles distant, 
and Boston, 99 miles away, while Albany, New York, is 103 miles, 
and Montreal, Canada, 314. It is now the converging point of the 
three principal New England trunk lines, and the crossing of promi- 
nent highways which contribute to the ease of importation of raw 
material and the exportation of finished products. East, West, 
North and South. 

In 1904 it was written of the city's railway facilities : "Five lines 
of railway carry and bring freight and passengers to and from 
Springfield and the volume of business grows steadily. The street 
railway carried 1,900,000 passengers over its ninety-four miles of 
track in 1904." 

Soon after the Hartford & Springfield Railroad went into opera- 
tion in 1844, the old-time river steamboating ceased. By act of the 
Legislature in April, 1839, the Hartford & Springfield Company 
was organized and March 13, 1841, the charter was extended two 
years, and it was three years more before it was constructed and 
not fully completed until some time in 1844. 

June 23, 1831, the Boston & Worcester Railroad Corporation 
began building and it was finished in July, 1836. 

March 15, 1833, the Western Railroad Corporation was organ- 
ized wnth its western terminus to connect with the Boston & 
Worcester near the state line in the direction of the Hudson river. 
The first train was run from Worcester to Springfield October, 1839. 
That part of the railroad extending west from Springfield was so 
far constructed that trains begun running from Springfield to 
Chester Factories May 24, 1841, and the line was fully in operation 
between Springfield and Albany in 1842. The running time from 
Albany to Boston was ten and three-fourths hours, or within the 
speed limit of twenty miles an hour. George Bliss was one of the 
prime movers in railroading in Western Massachusetts and the 
names of James B. Calhoun, George Ashmun, Charles Stearns, 
Justice Willard and J. B. Sheffield also figured in the early plans 
for the Western Railroad Company, which w^as matured in the 

The railroad betw^een Springfield and Chicopee was provided for 
in the act incorporating the Hartford & Springfield Company. 
March 1, 1842, a railroad corporation was established under the 
name of the Northampton & Springfield Railroad Corporation, to 


build a line from Northampton to meet the track of the Hartford 
& Springfield line at Cabotsville in Springfield. January 25, 1845. 
the Greenfield & Northampton Company was incorporated as an 
extension of the Northampton & Springfield Railroad. Such was 
the beginning of what was subsequently the Connecticut Valley 
Railroad Company. This road was opened as far as Greenfield in 
April, 1847. 

The Springfield & Longmeadow Railroad Company was incor- 
porated May 2, 1849, and in 1866 the act of incorporation was 
amended so as to permit a terminus at the State line at either Long- 
meadow or Wilbraham. Later this became a part of the Connecti- 
cut corporation under the name of the Springfield & New London 
Railroad Company. By an act of 1869, the city of Springfield 
was authorized to take stock in, or loan its credit to that road. 
A proposal for a subscription of stock to the amount of $150,000 
in the Longmeadow road was accepted by the city government and 
voted upon at a special election of the people July 21, 1874. Soon 
thereafter the road was completed. 

The Athol & Enfield Railroad was connected with Springfield 
by an act of incorporation in 1871, with authority for the two roads 
to become one corporation by uniting the Athol & Enfield line with 
the Athol & Springfield Railroad. 

As time went on many changes were effected in the smaller lines 
of steam railroads in this valley, until today the railroad facilities 
of Hampden County are almost exclusively under the ownership 
or control of the Boston & Maine, Boston & Albany and the New 
York, New Haven and Hartford companies. Just at present, there 
is being erected one of the finest union station buildings in the 
State, at Springfield. It will be absolutely fire-proof — made of 
steel, reinforced cement and brick. 

Street Railway System — In the spring of 1868 the project of pro- 
viding Springfield with a street railroad system was first under- 
taken. The pioneers in this enterprise were Chester W. Chapin 
and Henry Alexander, who then had in mind the establishment 
of a horse car-line. At that time there were three omnibus lines — 
one down Main street to Mill river; one through Maple street to 
Watershop and the third to Oak street on Armory Hill. Charters 
were granted May 5, 1868, and the law provided that at least 
fifty per cent of the capital should be paid in before the charter 
was effective. The money could not be raised — the people did 



not enthuse over such an innovation. Finally George M. Atwater, 
who had experience in such work in Cleveland, Ohio, came on to 
Springfield and by hard work succeeded in getting the names of 
sixty-four subscribers to stock. They organized and purchased the 
old 'bus lines which ceased running in 1870. A stable was erected 
on Hooker street in 1869 and two and one-half miles of track were 
laid, and completed March 10, 1870. The first equipment con- 
sisted of four bob-tailed cars about twelve feet in length. The 
fares were fixed at eight cents or sixteen rides for a dollar. When 
winter came on the cars paid no attention to the iron rails, but 
were shifted to snow runners, and thus the cars went sliding over 
the streets. This method obtained until 1876, since which date 
the cars have always run on wheels in winter as well as summer- 

In 1876 President Atwater resigned and John Olmsted succeeded 
him until his death in 1905. In 1879 a sheet of tickets was sold for 
five dollars, good for one hundred rides. Single fare cost seven 
cents. The line was double-tracked and in 1882 open cars were 
first introduced. These cars only had five benches for seats. In 
1884 several extensions were made, and in the autumn of 1888 a 
petition was presented the aldermen to use electricity as a motive 
power on the Mill River line. The telephone company objected 
strongly and the courts had to settle the matter. It was claimed 
by the telephone people that the rattle of the cars and the inter- 
ference with the electric current would destroy the working of the 
phones of the city. Permission was granted December 23, 1889, to 
use electricity on the car lines here. The first line was from State 
to Sumner streets opposite Forest Park. In the summer of 1890 
the first trial trip was made with two cars. In 1891 all lines had 
introduced the "juice," as the slang expression now has it. A 
straight five cent fare was then introduced in Springfield. In 1892 a 
line was extended to Indian Orchard; 1895 to connect with Hol- 
yoke lines ; 1894 the power-house was built on Margaret street. The 
Agawam line was completed in 1900. In 1905 the Electric Railway 
company had ninety-four miles of track— equal to any in the 
country. Forty-eight miles of this system was within the city, 
proper. The number of closed cars was then one hundred and 
seven ; of open cars one hundred and twenty. No other factor has 
so greatly enhanced the value of property in and surrounding the 
city of Springfield as has the street and inter-urban electric car 


Springfield Civic Societies — Throughout the civilized portion of 
the globe today there exist numerous secret fraternities which ex- 
ert a most satisfactory influence in the communities where they are 
situated. Without entering into detail concerning the workings of 
such orders, let it be said that the three most popular and important 
civic fraternities, or lodges, are known as the Free Masons, the 
most ancient of all other orders ; the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and, third, the Knights of Pythias. There are semi-secret 
and beneficiary orders throughout America in an almost endless 
number, many of which with the three straight civic orders, are well 
represented in Springfield, as will be seen presently. 

Masonic Lodges — The first Masonic lodge instituted in Spring- 
field was Hampden Lodge No. 79, the date of its charter being 
March 11, 1817, and the names inscribed on the charter are as fol- 
lows : Col. Roswell Lee ; Ezra Osborne, Jr. ; Joseph Hopkins ; Alba 
Fish; Joel Brown; Chester B. Chappell ; John Burt; George Col- 
ton; Warren Church; William H. Foster; Diah Allen; Stephen 
Cooley, Jr. ; John Hawkins and John Newbury. All but two or 
three of these charter members were associated with the U. S. Arm- 
ory of Springfield. At the date of organizing, thirteen more were 
admitted, making the original lodge start out Avith twenty-seven 

The original officers were inclusive of these : Roswell Lee, W. 
M.; Elisha Tobey, J. W. ; John Hawkins, Treasurer; Diah Allen, 
J. D. ; Justice William Willard, S. W. ; George Colton, S. ; Warren 
Church, S. D. ; John Hopkins, Tyler. When this lodge was insti- 
tuted the nearest lodge to it was Friendly Society of West Spring- 

Hampden Lodge was among the Masonic lodges to be invited 
to attend the corner-stone laying of Bunker Hill monument June 
25, 1825, at which Daniel Wester made one of his greatest ora- 

The lodge homes of this Masonic lodge have been as follows : 
The first meeting place was at the corner of Main and Court streets, 
from 1817 to 1819; in the Gunn Hall building, Walnut and State, 
1819-20; in the Carew Building, 1820-28; over the old town hall, 
1828-74, on State street; Masonic Hall, in part of the Massachu- 
setts Mutual Life Insurance Building, 1874-93; Second Masonic 
Hall, dedicated October 24, 1893; the present magnificent Temple 
on State street, finished in 1924-25. 

Roswell Lee Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Springfield, 

OLD MASONIC TK.MI'IJ-: lld.MI-: nl' AIT. ( i liTI H )l h i \ 


BUILT 1800, 


was granted dispensation February 29, 1864. The charter was 
received March 14, 1865, and its first officers were: E. W. Clark, 
W. M. ; S. B. Spooner, S. W. ; J. B. Hunt, J. W. ; A. E. Foth, treas- 
urer; W. T. Ingraham, secretary; George T. Weaver, S. D.; Rob- 
ert Morris, J. D. ; H. G. Shaw, S. S. ; Edwin Cady, J. S.; James 
M. Porter, Marshal; George D. Rollins, Tyler. 

Morning Star Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was chartered 
June 29, 1818, with Osgood Lee as High Priest. 

Springfield Council of Royal and Select Masters worked under a 
warrant dated May 28, 1818. 

Springfield Commandery of Knights Templar received its char- 
ter for an Encampment June 19, 1826. 

Evening Star Lodge of Perfection began work under a charter 
dated May 18, 1866. 

Massasoit Council, Princes of Jerusalem, received its charter 
May 19, 1866. 

The present (1925) Masonic bodies in Springfield are as follows: 
Hampden Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; Roswell Lee, A. F. & A. M. ; 
Indian Orchard, A. F. & A. M.; Springfield Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; 
Esoteric, A. F. & A. M.; Samuel Osgood, A. F. & A. M.; Samuel 
D. Sherwood, A. F. & A. M.; Morning Star Chapter, Royal Arch 
Masons; Springfield Council, Royal Scottish Masons; Springfield 
Commandery of Knights Templar ; Evening Star Lodge of Perfec- 
tion; Massasoit Council, Princes of Jerusalem; Springfield Chapter 
of Rose Croix (Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite) ; Melha Temple, 
Shriners; Adelphi Chapter, Order of Eastern Star; Dwight Clark 
Chapter No. 148, Order of Eastern Star ; Springfield Chapter, Order 
of Eastern Star; Laurel Court No. 1, Order of Amaranth; Past 
Masters Council No. 462; Springfield Masonic Hall Association; 
Acacia Club, State street; Masonic Club, Oak street. 

Colored Masonry — Sumner Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; T. T. Chapter 
and Van Horn Commandery No. 8. 

The New Masonic Temple — The finishing touches are just being 
made by trained artisans on what will be the pride of Massachusetts 
Free Masonry — the handsome, massive new Masonic Temple, sit- 
uated on State street opposite the U. S. Armory grounds. It stands 
in almost the exact geographical center of the city. It is fire- 
proof and has a frontage of 116 feet on State street and is 180 
feet deep. Architecturally the temple is a structure of "massive 
magnificence and stately beauty." While in nature and spirit of 
design it suggests the chasteness and simplicity of classic archi- 


tecture at its best, the detail is borrowed from the ancient Assyrian 
and Phoenician temples erected 500 years B. C. It is, therefore, 
representative of the earliest beginnings of Freemasonry and links 
the mythology and tradition of the past to the reality of the present. 
Great attention has been given to the main floor. First there is 
the impressive and dignified foyer of Doric type, with mosaic 
pavement, niches and eight columns extending beyond the first 
mezzanine. In the numerous lodge rooms and auditorium, pro- 
visions have been made for five pipe organs. 

As has been written by a brother Mason : "Type can hardly 
portray either the beauty, ruggedness or magnificence of the new 
Temple. It is sufficient to say that, completed, it will stand as an 
enduring monument to those whose faith, good will and love for 
the great fraternity in which they are enrolled in common purpose 
made it possible." 

Odd-Fellowship — Hampden Lodge No. 27, instituted February 
27, 1844, was the first order of this kind in Springfield. It was 
granted a dispensation issued by E. H. Chapin, Grand Master of 
Massachusetts. In 1845 enough members from this pioneer lodge 
withdrew from No. 27 to form a lodge at Pittsfield, or Berkshire 
No. 57. In the same year, the Grand Lodge granted a charter to 
Samuel Wells and others to form Nonotuck Lodge No. 61 at North- 
ampton. Also at that period St. John's Lodge No. 62, at Cabot- 
ville, now Chicopee (but then in Springfield), a charter was 
granted. At the May session of Grand Lodge in 1845, W. T. Davis 
and others received permission to organize an Odd Fellows lodge 
at Greenfield, as Pocomptuck Lodge No. 67. The present lodges 
of this order in Springfield are as follows : Hampden Lodge No. 
27; Phoenix Lodge No. 97; De Soto Lodge No. 155; Amity Lodge 
No. 172; Bay Path Lodge No. 234; Monitor Lodge No. 243; Aga- 
wam Encampment No. 25 ; Canton No. 23 ; Morning Star Rebekah 
Lodge No. 9; Lucy Webb Hayes Rebekah Lodge No. 126; Jay W. 
Nickels Rebekah Lodge No. 183; Loyal Golden Rule No. 7,096; 
Loyal Springfield Lodge M. U. ; Golgotha Household of Ruth, 
Golden Chain Lodge 1,549, G. U. O. of Odd Fellows. 

Royal Arcanum, Equity Council No. 86; Home Relief of Equity 
Council No. 96; Supreme Council of Ladies of the Royal Arcanum; 
Pynchon Council No. 1368; Springfield Council No. 1, Loyal La- 
dies of the Royal Arcanum. 

Knights of Pythias Lodge of Springfield, No. 63 ; Henry S. Lee 
Lodge No. 151, Endowment Rank No. 554. 



Ancient Order of United Workmen— Miles Morgan Lodge No. 
95; Springfield Lodge No. 36; Pynchon Lodge No. 221. 

Knights of Columbus — Home City Council No. 63; Indian Or- 
chard Council No. 160. 

Catholic Order of Foresters— This order has seven lodges or 
courts in Springfield. 

New England Order of Protection has four lodges — 196, 457 and 

Independent Order of Red Men — Ousamequis Tribe No. 14; 
Toto Tribe No. 96; Degree of Pocahontas Council No. 15; Degree 
of Pocahontas Council No. 63. 

Foresters of America — This order has nine courts in Springfield. 

Independent Order of Brith Abraham has three lodges — Nos. 239, 
317 and 195. 

Mayors of Springfield — Since Springfield became a city in 1852, 
its mayors have been as follows : 

Caleb Rice 1852-53 

Philos B. Tyler 1854 

Eliphalet Trask 1855 

Ansel Phelps, Jr 1856-58 

William B. Calhoun 1859 

Daniel L. Harris I860 

Stephen C. Bemis 1861-62 

Henry Alexander, Jr 1863-64 

Albert D. Briggs 1865-67 

Charles A. Winchester. 1868-69 

William L. Smith 1870-71 

S. B. Spooner 1872-73 

John M. Stebbins 1874 

Emerson Wight 1875-78 

Lewis J. Powers 1879-80 

William H. Haile 1881 

Edwin W. Ladd 1882 

Henry M. Phillips 1883-85 

Edwin D. Metcalf 1886 

Elisha B. Maynard 1887-88 

Edward S. Bradford 1889-91 

Lawson Sibley 1892 

E. P. Kendrick 1893-94 

Charles L. Long 1895 

Newire D. Winter 1896 

Henry S. Dickinson 1897-98 

Dwight O. Gilmore 1899 

William P. Hayes 1900-01 

Ralph W. Ellis 1902 

Everett E. Stone 1903-04 

Francke W. Dickinson. 1905-06 
William E. Sanderson .1907-09 

Edward H. Lathrop 1910-12 

John A. Denisin 1913-14 

Frank E. Stacy 1915-18 

Arthur A. Adams 1919-20 

Edwin F. Leonard 1921-24 

Fordis C. Parker 1925— 

Population by Decades— In 1791—1.574; 1800—2,250; 1810— 
2,767; 1820—3,914; 183(^-6,784; 1840—10.985: 1850—11,330; 1860— 
15,199; 187(^26,703; 1880—33,340; 1890-^4,179; 1900—62,059; 
1910—88,926; 1920—129,338; 1925—155,549. 


The Fire Department — The first record of a fire department in 
Springfield was dated January 17, 1794, when the company had 
members as follows : Jonathan Dwight, Thomas Dwight, George 
Bliss, William Smith, Joseph Williams, William and Charles Shel- 
don, Samuel Lyman, Zebina Stebbins, Chauncey Brewer, Luke 
Bliss, William Pynchon, John Hooker, Bezaleel Howard, Zenas Par- 
sons, and James Byers. One of the articles of their by-laws reads : 
"Each member of the company shall constantly keep two fire-bags 
and buckets, with his name thereon, hung up by the front door of 
his house, and when any buildings of any member is on fire, or 
his property in danger, shall with his bags and buckets instantly 
repair thereto, and the company shall take possession of such build- 
ing and exclude all persons except the family of the owner." 

Mr. Blake, a foreman of the old company, succeeded in organiz- 
ing the later Springfield Fire Department in 1830, and was chosen 
its first chief engineer. The names of sundry fire companies and 
hook-and-ladder companies may be summed up by the one word 
"Legion." In 1879 the record shows the then value of the Fire- 
Alarm Telegraph system in Springfield was $15,119, and it then 
had twenty-five miles of wire and twenty-six signal boxes all un- 
der charge of W. J. Denver. The old "Water-spout Engine" made 
for use at the U. S. Armory was in its day a great fire fighting 
machine. It was put into commission in 1865. With passing time 
all of the improved appliances known have been tested here and 
if practical have been introduced. With the rapid growth of the 
city it has been almost impossible for the fire department to keep 
pace with the growth, and today many improvements and build- 
ings are needed for the comfort and safety of the people and their 
property. The 1925 report of the Chief of the department shows 
there are 323 members of the Fire Department, of which 306 con- 
stitute the fire-fighting force; 11 the division of fire alarm and 
one department clerk. Thirty-six firemen have been recently as- 
signed to do police duty at certain hours when school children are 
passing by given points en route to and from school. In 1925 there 
were 1,327 alarms of fire sent in; false alarms, 125; still alarms, 157. 
The total amount appropriated for the department during the last 
year was $812,196. The total amount expended was $786,576. 

Deputy Chief Everett A. Kimball retired January 1, 1925, after 
serving more than thirty-eight years. The present Chief is W. H. 
Daggett. The Superintendent of Fire Alarms is Herbert H. Berry. 
The approximate loss by fires in the city the last year was $390,000. 


:: ^? if S 'ir 5 f g 

*f >i If SI ft 51 II $! 

u \t «> ♦» n H « »< 

* ^' 




'11, > w .\'ri:i;sHOPS, Springfield 


This was covered as much as average by insurance. The per cap- 
ita loss in Springfield was $2.52. 

The report of the department just issued shows a great need 
for more apparatus and more young men to be trained for firemen, 
in order to place the city, with its rapid growth and territorial ex- 
pansion, in a safe condition. 

The present Board of Fire Commissioners is as follows : William 
W. Tapley, Charles B. Hitchcock, Edward O. Davis, Thomas J. 
Sheridan, John D. Stuart. The Board of Fire Chiefs includes 
these: Chief of the Department — William H. Daggett; Deputy 
Chiefs — John R. Graves, H. C. Root, Burton Steere, Arthur H. 
Strong, Charles S. Taylor, Frederick C. Wright, James L. Coffey, 
Horace C. Feltham. 

Water Supply — Previous to 1843 Springfield was supplied with 
water from wells on private lands, but after the construction of the 
Western Railroad the rapidly increasing population demanded more 
water than could be afforded by wells. The water systems first in 
use after 1843 were private undertakings, the first of which was 
headed by Hon. Charles Stearns. In June, 1843, he commenced 
building a reservoir and strung a long line of log pipes therefrom 
to the depot, down Main street as far as Howard street. The 
size of the bore was four, six and seven inches. In 1848 Mr. Stearns 
and associates were granted articles of incorporation by the Legfis- 
lature, and in June, 1848, the "Springfield Aqueduct Company" was 
organized with a capital of |25,000, all of which was paid to Mr. 
Stearns for his water improvements. The water rents at that date 
amounted to $2,700 per year and 700 families were customers. In 
1860 it was seen that more and better systems must obtain and 
the city council looked for more water sources. In 1860 the City 
Aqueduct Company, composed of R. A. Chapman, P. B. Tyler, 
G. R. Townsley and D. L. Harris, was organized. The seven-inch 
pipe laid by this company from Lake Como afforded fifty gallons 
per minute. 

The next advance was made in 1875 when water was conveyed 
from Ludlow through pipes by gravitation. The works were then 
placed under a board of water commissioners. As time went on 
more water was needed and has been provided by the scientific 
spirit of the age. There are now 269 miles of water pipe laid in the 
city; number fire hydrants, 2,231; average water pressure on Main 
street, 140 pounds ; in the Hill section it is eighty pounds per square 


inch. Immense storage plants are located in Ludlow and Little 
River country. The aggregate storage capacity is now 4,030,518,000 
gallons. Since 1872 the water works have been the property of the 
city. The present average daily consumption per capita is eighty- 
nine gallons. Features of the water of Springfield are its "softness" 
and purity and freedom from mineral tastes. 

Police Department — The present Police Department is under the 
Police Commission, made up this year of James Milton Gill, James 
A. Mahoney and George Pirnie. The chief of police is William J. 
Quilty; deputy chief is Henry M. Perkins, and department clerk, 
Anna A. Kelliher. There are now two hundred and twenty-three 
policemen and thirty-five reserve officers. The department is fully 
equipped with eight automobiles, consisting of two vans, one large 
touring car, a small touring car, and four Fords ; also seven motor- 
cyles. The police reported in last year 1,342 accidents in the city, 
of which 1,139 were by automobiles and one horse runaway acci- 
dent. There are now employed two policewomen and three ma- 
trons. The city pays officers of this department as follows : Chief, 
|4,400; deputy, $3,300; captains of the watch, each $2,365 ; sergeants, 
each $2,255 ; lieutenants, $2,365 ; captains of detectives, $2,695 ; de- 
tective lieutenants, each $2,365; patrolmen, $5.15 to $5.80 per day; 
matrons, $1,100 per year; superintendent of police telephone, $600. 

Introduction of Gas-Light— The Springfield Gas-light Company 
was organized in 1848, and commenced the manufacture of gas 
from rosin, and so continued to operate until 1850, when coal was 
substituted. This was the first city in the State, outside of Boston, 
to produce gas-light. At first there were only seveny-five con- 
sumers and the first gasometer only had a capacity of 6,000 cubic 
feet. The first officers of the company were: Lyman Merrick, 
president; Theodore Stebbins, clerk, and George Dwight as treas- 
urer. In 1880 this company had thirty miles of pipe and a 300,000 
cubic foot gasometer. At that date they had 2,500 patrons. Since 
then the works have steadily forged to the front of modern enter- 
prises and is now handled by the "Springfield Gas-light Com- 
pany," whose stock-holders are largely interested in the electric 
light plant of the place, though they are separate corporations. 

Introduction of Electricity— The first electric light was installed 
in Springfield in 1887, and for propelling street cars in 1890, while 
the first electric telephone was installed in 1879, among the first 
in the country. 



The early history of Holyoke is one and the same as that of 
Springfield and West Springfield towns, for originally it belonged 
to that territory. It derived its name "Ireland" or Third Parish of 
West Springfield from an Irish family named Riley, who came in 
prior to 1745, and located in the southern portion of the town, 
near Riley Brook. One of the permanent settlers to locate was 
Benjamin Ball, great-grand-father of Col. E. H. Ball, who settled 
in 1745 on the old Col. Ball farm. There were but six families in 
this parish at first and the record shows they "forted together 
nights for fear of the Indians." By 1825 the town had become 
fairly well settled up. The first pioneer band included such sturdy 
men as Elisha Ashley, Adam Ives, Noah Wolcott, Austin Goodyear, 
Caleb Hummerston, Miles Dickerman, Michael Fuller. The two 
last named were colored men and they carried on quite an extensive 
produce trade in purchasing produce and bringing in goods from 
Springfield. The earliest move toward utilizing the now famous 
water-power at Holyoke was in 1831, when the Hadley Falls Com- 
pany was organized. 

The Town of Holyoke was set ofif by the General Court in 1850 
and March 14 that year it was organized as a Town, with its present 
boundaries. The first Selectmen were Fayette Smith and Harvey 
Chapin. Holyoke was established as a city by act of the Legis- 
lature March 28. 1873, and the bill was signed by Governor W. B. 
Washburn April 7 that year. The first mayor was W. B. C. Pear- 
son ; aldermen— William Grover, Henry A. Chase, Austin Sturberg, 
John H. Wright, John O'Donnell, G. W. Prentiss and James F. 

Churches of Holyoke — The First Congregational church was or- 
ganized December 4, 1799, by Rev. Dr. Lathrop of West Spring- 

The First Baptist church was organized October, 1803, as the 
Second Baptist church of West Springfield, but there had been nu- 
merous Baptists in the neighborhood since 1727. In 1792 records 
show this denomination built a meeting-house. It was later moved 
to another point and used jointly with the Congregational church ; 
it was completed about 1811. The next church built was in 1826. 

The Second Congregational society dates back to 1848 w^hen serv- 

W. Mass. 


ice was held in the school house. A church was formed May, 
1849, and Rev. Mr. C. Pierce became pastor and remained until 1851. 
An edifice was erected in 1852. 

The Second Baptist church was organized June 27, 1849, with 
Rev. Asahel Chapin as pastor. The society used Chapin Hall until 
1855, when it moved to its own building, which was not dedicated 
until 1859. In 1863 the church was burned, but in 1865 another 
building was dedicated. 

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1853 with 
twenty members ; the first pastor was Rev. Thomas March. 

St. Paul's Episcopal church was organized in 1863 and services 
were held in Exchange Hall, High street. The corner-stone for 
their church was laid in 1866. The church cost $30,000. 

The French Roman Catholic church had a church burn in 1875 
and seventy-one persons perished in the flames. 

The 1925 church directory of this city shows the following list 
of churches : First Baptist, Second Baptist, First Congregational 
and Second Congregational, Grace church, Episcopal church, Greek 
church, Jewish Congregation, Lutheran Evangelical, First Metho- 
dist, Highland Methodist, Presbyterian, German Reformed. The 
Roman Catholic have St. Jerome's, Blessed Sacrament, Sacred 
Heart, Church of Precious Blood, Church of Our Lady of Rosary, 
Church of Notre Dame, Immaculate Conception, Church of the 
Holy Cross, Polish Catholic church. The Unitarians also have a 
church organized in 1874. 

Parish of the Precious Blood — Twenty years ago it was esti- 
mated that there were 15,000 people in Holyoke of Canadian birth 
and the Parish of the Precious Blood was the first French-Cana- 
dian organization. It was formed by Father A. B. Dufresne in 1869 
and that year he built a frame edifice on Park street. In 1860 forty 
French people came from Canada to locate at the Lyman Mills. 
They came in two large wagons, led by Father John St. Ong^e, 
who became a noted missionary among the Indians. The first 
building was burned on a May evening, in 1874, while the church 
was filled with people. Some lace was blown against a lighted 
candle and immediately the entire interior was in flames. The 
panic which ensued caused the loss of seventy-two lives. After 
this awful calamity a larger and better building was erected and 
dedicated in 1878 at a cost of $78,000, easily seating 1,100 per- 
sons. In 1887 Father Dufresne died and was buried in the church- 
yard, where to his memory was erected a beautiful monument. 


Parish of the Sacred Heart— In 1876 Father Harkins bought land 
between Maple, Franklin, Chestnut and Sargeant streets, upon 
which he commenced a church building, the corner stone of which 
was laid July 4, 1876. Its first pastor was Father Sheehan, who 
built the rectory. He died in 1880. The parish numbered 2,000 
souls. The church was in debt $40,000 and wisely the Bishop sent 
Rev. P. B. Phelan to become pastor, who cleared the church front 
debts and dedicated the edifice June 3, 1883. In 1897 a spire was 
raised over the church edifice and the first chime of bells in the 
city was provided for the tower. 

Holy Rosary Parish — The English-speaking Catholics increased 
so rapidly that in 1886 there was set oflf another parish from orig- 
inal St. Jerome, in the eastern part of the city. It was placed un- 
der charge of Father M. J. Howard. Only two and a half years 
after the formation of the parish a fine church was erected and 
the basement ready to be dedicated and used. Father Howard died 
in 1888 and Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Beaven of Spencer was called to 
be pastor of this church, but in October, 1892, the Pope made him 
Bishop of Springfield. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish — The further immigration of 
the French-Canadians to Holyoke demanded another parish, which 
was set ofif in 1890 in the northern section of the city. The first 
pastor was Rev. C. E. Brunault. In 1891 a fine large building was 
erected at the corner of Maple and Prospect streets. A spacious 
presbytery and other buildings are a part of the property still 
owned by this congregation. In 1912 the parish school was under 
the care of eighteen Sisters of the Presentation. It was then being 
attended by 423 children. 

Mater Dolorosa — The Church of the Poles — This church was 
formed in 1896 with Rev. Anthony M. Sikorski as the first pastor, 
Father Chalupka of Chicopee having cared for the flock previous 
to this appointment. The corner-stone of the new church building 
was laid in 1902 on Maple street. A fine convent was built in 1912 
and the school enlarged. At first the Polish people were very poor 
in Holyoke, but by thrift have become well-to-do for the most part. 
In the first sixteen years of the history of the parish there were 
added four thousand souls to this branch of the Catholic Church. 

Holy Cross Parish is among the younger Catholic organizations 
in Holyoke. It was formed February 1, 1905, by districts set off 
from the parishes of St. Jerome's and Sacred Heart. Rev. John C. 
Ivers was the first pastor. Holy Cross Chapel was ready for occu- 


pancy October 1, 1905. The original membership of 1,500 people 
had grown by 1912 to be 2,300. The beautiful lawn surrounding 
this church has ever been a feast to the eye and has been utilized as 
a play-ground for children many years. On January 1, 1911, the 
church freed itself from debt. Then $24,000 worth of additional 
property was purchased from the Water Power Company, which 
was soon paid for, largely by the free-will offerings of children and 
young people of the congregation. 

St. Patrick's Church of South Hadley Falls is a monument to the 
worthy labors of Father Harkins, the first mass being said on 
Christmas Day in a little frame building in that place. There were 
then but eighteen Catholic families there at that date. The first 
pastor appointed here was Rev. David F. McGrath July, 1878. The 
congregation grew and the building was enlarged and beautified. 
In 1912 the congregation had a membership of 1,100 souls. 

St. Jean Baptiste was the first French society organized in Hol- 
yoke in 1872. Its founder was Edward Cadieux. There are now 
numerous French Societies in Holyoke, all prospering. 

The Parish of St. Jerome — Anciently the "Third" or "Ireland" 
parish of the town of West Springfield, Holyoke was early desig- 
nated thus because of the sixteen-acre grant of certain original 
land in that section, back in 1684, to John Riley. For many years 
there were few Catholics in the section above "Riley's Brook." 
They did not arrive in any considerable number until the beginning 
of the construction of the Holyoke dam, a fifth of a mile across Con- 
necticut River, in the late forties. The history of Catholic institu- 
tions of Holyoke really begins with the meeting of a group of faith- 
ful pioneers under a spreading tree on Elm street, with Father 
Bartholomew O'Conner, back in 1848; or, when the weather was in- 
clement, at the Nolin home on what is now Bigelow street, with oc- 
casional meetings at one of the construction buildings at the dam it- 
self. Catholics had begun coming to Holyoke in large numbers the 
year before that, until several hundred were ready for church organ- 
ization. Between these humble beginnings in the open and the early 
fifties, when the famous "Missionary of Vermont," Father Jeremiah 
O'Callaghan, arrived to become Holyoke's first resident parish 
priest, the increasingly numerous Catholics met sometimes in Go- 
det hall (High and Lyman streets), in the old Exchange hall or in 
the earliest Chestnut street school building. Masses were cele- 
brated by Fathers Strain, Brady, Blenkinsop and others, most of 
them from the nearest neighbor-parish of Chicopee. 


Father O'Callaghan founded the first church in town, and named 
it for one of the greatest of Catholic saints, the blessed Jerome. Its 
actual building was begun in 1856. Raising ten thousand dollars 
"from friends both Catholic and Protestant throughout the valley," 
and adding more than this sum as his own personal contribution to 
the parish of his adoption, the church was finished in 1860, the year 
before Father O'Callaghan's death. 

The church building, which has been greatly admired, was de- 
signed by Architect Keeley. It was built by Captain Mack of 
Chicopee, John Delaney, long one of the trustees of the parish, 
being responsible for the massive masonry. During the pastorate 
of the successor of Father O'Callaghan, Rev. Fr. James Sullivan, the 
cemetery of St. Jerome's in the Oakdale district was established. 
Up to that time the Catholic dead of Holyoke were buried in Chico- 

Then followed the splendid, laborious, fruitful, 44-year pastorate 
of a man of tireless energy and invincible courage, sent by Arch- 
bishop Williams of Boston, the eloquent Rev. Fr. Patrick J. Har- 
kins. He gave himself, unsparingly, to the interests of Holyoke's 
Catholic community. Father Harkins left an unparalleled record for 
good works, and many substantial monuments to the faith, wisely 
founded and successfully maintained. In 1868 he started the first 
parochial school for girls, opened under the care of the Sisters of 
Notre Dame, where hundreds of girls are cared for, and the first 
parochial schools for boys in the diocese, opened in 1872, and un- 
der the special care of the Sisters of Providence. 

He induced the latter, after they had become firmly established 
in Holyoke, to open charitable institutions in South Hadley, a hos- 
pital in Holyoke, and the celebrated Orphans' Home at Ingleside, 
called the "Brightside Home." This latter actually made the nu- 
cleus for the magnificent group of beneficent institutions in South 
Holyoke known as the Beaven-Kelley Home, like the famed "City, 
set upon a hill, that cannot be hid." 

Not many of the very early Catholics of Holyoke — from the very 
beginning resolving that some day their children's children, at least, 
should stand among the foremost in good works — lived to see the 
wonderful fruition of Father Harkins' labors in all these different di- 
rections. The whole community rejoiced when, as a slight reward for 
the diligent activities of this earnest Catholic congregation and for 
the personal toil and financial assistance given by this loyal and 
eloquent servant of God to St. Jerome's, Pope Pius 10, in 1904, 


made Father Harkins a Domestic Prelate with the title of Prothono- 
tary Apostolic. 

For six years after that Monsignor Harkins lived to witness the 
rapid growth of his great charities and the blossoming of St. Je- 
rome's into a truly wonderful monument to Western Massachusetts 
Catholicism. He was succeeded by Monsignor Madden, vicar gen- 
eral of the diocese, who proved a powerful factor in the develop- 
ment of St. Jerome's. The history of the parish would be incom- 
plete without mention of the great work of priests like the gifted 
Father Bernard J. Conaty ; and by such curates as Rev. John C. Iv- 
ers, LL.D., now rector of Holyoke's youngest Catholic parish, whose 
center is the Church of the Holy Cross, at Dwight and Appleton 
streets. Other assisting pastors of St. Jerome's whose untiring zeal 
cannot be forgotten were Rev. Fathers P. B. Phelan, Rev. Michael 
Curran, Rev. Austin O'Malley, Rev. Thomas B. Cunningham, Rev. 
George Fitzgerald, Rev. R. F. Walsh, Rev. Stephen Hallisey, Rev, 
J. J. Donnelly, Rev. Thomas Smythe, Rev. John R. Murphy, Rev. 
Walter Hogan. Of the pastorate of the present incumbent, the 
Rev. Father John F. Fagan, P.R., more extended mention is else- 
where made. 

Out from St. Jerome's have grown many powerful influences for 
good. Among the earliest and most noted of these may be men- 
tioned a small boy assistant in the service of the masses for Father 
O'Callaghan, in the middle of the past century ; an ardent son of 
the Church who grew to be one of the most revered prelates of the 
far west — Monsignor John Boulet of the State of Washington, fa- 
mous as the great Catholic missionary to the Tacoma Indians. 

Extraordinary in the scope and activity are the numerous and far 
reaching organizations growing out of the parish of St. Jerome's. 
These include the Rosary Society, the Sodality of the Blessed Vir- 
gin, the "F. A. M. B. & L. Society," the League of the Sacred 
Heart, and a wonderfully flourishing "Society of the Holy N mc" — 
a grouping of many hundred men of the parish, organized under 
the inspiring leadership of one of the most zealous of the many 
eloquent assistant pastors of St. Jerome, the Rev. Father John A. 
Broderick. The offspring of St. Jerome, the Catholic interests of 
Holyoke, now grown into more than fifty thousand, are conserved 
by ten other parishes, with eight other schools under their auspices, 
besides four convents. The spiritual needs of these communicants 
are administered by the present rector of St. Jerome's ; and there are 





6,000 scholars in the educational institutions under immediate care 
of this vigorous and model parish. 

A Catholic survey of the work in and near Holyoke compiled in 
1912 gives these facts : "There are at present 40,000 Catholics in 
Holyoke. They are distributed among eight parishes. In four of 
these parishes the English language is spoken, in three French, and 
in one Polish. Eight parochial schools are attended by over 5,000 
children. Catholic life in Holyoke has given birth to a great num- 
ber of fraternal and benevolent organizations." 

Lodges — Mount Tom Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, at Hol- 
yoke, was the first attempt to introduce this ancient and honorable 
fraternity in the place. The date of instituting this lodge of Free 
Masons was April 5, 1850. Its organization began with seven 
charter members. S. K. Hutchinson was the first Worshipful Mas- 
ter. In a fire on August 18, 1852, the lodge lost everything it owned 
save its charter. 

The Royal Arch Chapter was organized in Holyoke in 1865. 
With the passing years great growth has come to the Masonic order 
in this community. In 1924-25 directors show the Masonic order 
had Mount Tom Lodge. William Whiting Lodge, Mount Holyoke 
Chapter ; Holyoke Council and Robert Morris Chapter. 

Odd Fellows Lodges — Holyoke Lodge of this order. No. 134, I. 
O. O. F., was organized September 27, 1849, by Samuel Wells of 
Northampton. The order has grown with the city in general and 
today there are Independent Order of Odd Fellows interests there 
as follows: Holyoke Lodge No. 134 and Oak Lodge No. 163; also 
Glenwood Lodge of Rebekah No. 104 and Oak Leaf Rebekah No. 
191 ; also Encampment No. 30, all in a flourishing condition. 

The Knights of Pythias— This fraternity was established at Hol- 
yoke March 17, 1780. The first Chancellor Commander was John 
H. Cliflford. In 1880 this was accounted one of the strongest K. of 
P. Lodges in Massachusetts. There are now two well managed 
lodges of the order in Holyoke — Cabot Lodge No. 146 and Con- 
necticut Valley Lodge No. 28. 

One of the enterprising, modern-fashioned orders of the city is 
Lodge No. 902, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, founded 
in 1904. 

Other civic societies are the Foresters, Red Men, Ancient Order 
of Hibernians and Catholic Order of Foresters. 

Schools — For almost a century and one-half the common school 


has been an institution occupying the present territory of the city 
of Holyoke. Wherever a few farmers or fishermen had cast their 
lot, they soon bethought themselves to provide schools for the edu- 
cation of their children. One of these school buildings was near the 
northeast corner of the town, over the mountain ; one on West 
Street, near where later was built a better structure; another some- 
where south of Craft's tavern, on the opposite side of Northampton 
street; one was where now stands the Inglewood station platform; 
another at the south of Ashley's Pond, and still another south of 
Dwight street. In the last named, Chester W. Chapin taught 
school fifty-six years. These were neighborhood affairs, some hav- 
ing a small number of pupils and some larger. These schools were 
bravely supported by a few who had children and at the same time 
had a thirst for knowledge themselves. 

In 1808 what was styled the "Seminary" was built. It was a 
two-story frame structure 35 by 40 feet in size. The original 
proprietors were Rev. Thomas Rand, Deacon Hitchcock, and Caleb 
Humeston. Later it was called "Gramwell's School," under Wil- 
liam Gramwell. At the time the town of Holyoke was organized 
there were nine districts ; twenty teachers — six men and fourteen 
women ; 537 students of school age. The town then only appro- 
priated $1,800 a year. This had increased by 1874 to $25,000, when 
the town incorporated. 

With passing years the interest has increased and the schools 
have increased in numbers and usefulness. The present mayor of 
the city, in his last annual address, spoke as follows : "The school 
situation will be one of the most serious and important questions 
which should be studied by everyone. I trust that we will give 
such thought to these matters that when the time comes to act we 
will do so with a knowledge of the problem and an understanding 
of the desire of the people that will guide us in the right direction 
and bring about a benefit to the city." 

The present school board is as follows : Nathan P. Avery, John 
S. Begley — at-large — James J. Dowd, Alfred F. Cousineau, August 
H. Baush, George J. Fitzgerald, Daniel E. Riley, John J. Bresnahan, 
William J. Powers, M. D. The chairman is James J. Dowd; super- 
intendent — William R. Peck. The enrollment has increased won- 
derfully in the last five years. Total for public schools membership 
is 7,944; private schools enrollment 5,926. During 1924 there was 
expended for school purposes $707,582. 

The following is a complete list of the various schools of Holyoke 


at the present date: High, Continuation, Elm Street, Elmwood, 
Hamilton Street, Highland, Ingleside, Joseph Metcalf, Kirtland, 
Lawrence, Morgan, Nonotuck Street, Park Street, Sargent Street, 
South Chestnut Street, Springdale, West Street, West Holyoke, 
William Whiting, Day Vocational. 

Religious schools of the place in 1925 are : Evangelical Lutheran 
(German); Immaculate Conception; Mater Dolorosa Parochial; 
Notre Dame; Precious Blood; Rosary Parochial School; Sacred 
Heart Parochial ; School of Immaculate Conception of Notre Dame 
De Lourdes; St. Jerome's Institute, and St. Jerome's School for 


The most of the school buildings are beautiful temples of learn- 
ing. More room is needed and soon other buildings must needs be 
erected to keep pace with the growth of the city. 

Newspapers— Holyoke's first newspaper was a weekly known as 
the "Hampden Freeman," first issued September 1, 1849, and the 
present-day "Transcript" is its full-grown heir. The proprietor at 
its founding was the firm of William F. Morgan and James D. G. 
Henderson. Its first editorial writer was the then young attorney, 
W. B. C. Pearsons, who became the first mayor of the city when it 
was incorporated, and was also for many years police judge of 
Holyoke. It was then published in what, was styled Ireland Parish 
(now Holyoke). Following this paper c^me the "Weekly Mirror," 
by Myron C. Pratt, who closed up his office July 13, 1861, and en- 
tered the Union army as a member of that famous regiment, the 
Massachusetts Tenth. The office was again opened by the Albee 
Brothers, who sold in 1863 to Burt & Lyman of Springfield. Mr. 
Burt later conducted "Among the Clouds," published from the sum- 
mit of Mount Holyoke. About that date the "Mirror" changed to 
the "Transcript." Numerous changes then followed in the manage- 
ment of the "Transcript," and finally Loomis & Dwight owned it 
many years, after which Mr. Loomis withdrew in 1888 and W. G. 
Dwight continued on aided by his accomplished wife, and they are 
still at the helm in 1925. 

Many styles of printing presses have been in commission in this 
office until they purchased the Sextuple-Goss high-speed press, ca- 
pable of printing from four to forty-eight pages by a 75-horse 
power electric motor. In all that is modern and excellent the 
'Transcript" affords the best. The editorial columns have ever 
stood for definite, positive purposes in the community. 


Other newspaper of Holyoke now (1925) being published are: 
The "Staatszeitung," a w^eekly; the "Star," a Polish paper; the 
"Holyoke Saturday Democrat" ; the "Daily Telegram." There are 
also numerous trade journals. 

The "Holyoke News" was founded in 1878 by Hon. W. H. Phil- 
lips, as an independent political organ. The list of old papers here 
includes "Hampden Freeman," established in 1849, and later be- 
came the "Mirror," The "New City Weekly Times," started in 
1849, by J. F. Downing, The "Independent," by E. G. Plaisted & 
Company in 1854, of short duration. 

The City Library — Three years before Holyoke was incorporated, 
and in 1870, the public library was established when the place had 
10,000 population. J. C. Parsons, treasurer of the Parsons Paper 
Co., offered to furnish a lot and library building worth $20,000, pro- 
viding the citizens would raise sufficient amount to purchase the 
necessary books. The canvass was made, but failed to raise the 
needed money, but they w^ent ahead and laid plans, and April 20, 
1870, the library was incorporated by John E. Chase and Edwin 
Chase. The first officers were William Whiting, president ; Edwin 
Chase, John E. Chase, and George C. Ewing, vice-presidents; W. B. 
C. Pearsons and J. S. Webber, William Grover, J. S. McElwain and 
W. S. Loomis, directors. The total amount raised by the first 
subscription was $1,989. The town voted $1,500, to which was 
later added by the town $1,000 more, and the Parsons Paper Co. 
donated $500. The town was asked to provide a home for the new- 
born library. The first gift of books was when 1,200 volumes were 
donated by the Lyman Mills, the Hadley Company, the Hampden 
Mills and the Y. M. C. A., as well as $500 from the Parsons Power 

The first home of the library was at the Appleton street school 
building. In 1876 it was moved to the City Hall, where it remained 
twenty-five years. For the first fiften years one dollar a year was 
required from all who became patrons of the library ; since then 
it has been free to all the people. Miss Sarah Ely was librarian for 
thirty years, aided by Miss Lizzie Perry and Mrs. E. A. Whiting. 

Something was in store for this institution, for in 1897 the 
Holyoke Power Company offered the gift of a full city block, 
bounded by Maple street, Essex, Chestnut and Cabott, if the people 
would buy the needed books and erect a library building. The 
burden fell on Henry A. Chase and through his efforts $95,000 was 





raised— the first two subscriptions being for $10,000 each by Wil- 
liam Whiting and AVilliam Skinner. The building was erected as 
seen today. It was first occupied in February, 1902. It is a per- 
fectly modern library building and an ornament to the city. 

Their 1925 report shows the total number of books on hand to 
be 62,961. Number newspapers received daily, fourteen. The of- 
ficers are : W. F. Whiting, president ; J. A. Skinner, E. P. Bagg and 
T. D. O'Brien, vice-presidents; F. G. Wilcox, secretary and li- 
brarian ; N. P. Avery, treasurer. 

Banking of Holyoke— The pioneer banking house of Holyoke 
was the Hadley Falls Bank, organized May 24, 1851, twenty-three 
years prior to the organization of the city. Its first capital was 
$100,000, which two years later was increased to $200,000. The 
first officers included C. B. Rising, president, and J. R. Warriner, 
cashier. It was made a national bank April 3, 1865. It became 
the Hadley Falls Trust Company in 1917 and now has banking 
rooms at the corner of Main and Dwight streets and in the Y. M. 
C. A. building on High street. Its present total resources in all de- 
partments is $15,139,915.29. Its commercial department has re- 
sources and liabilities of $6,491,895 ; savmgs department, $4,077,201 ; 
trust department, $4,570,818. Its capital is now $500,000, with sur- 
plus of $350,000. Present officers are : Joseph A. Skinner, presi- 
dent; F. F. Partridge, Edward P. Bagg, H. J. Bardwell, vice-presi- 
dents ; Irving S. Pulcifer, treasurer and trust officer. The board of 
directors number twenty responsible persons. 

The Holyoke National Bank was organized in 1872, with a 
$200,000 capital; its first officers were: William Whiting, presi- 
dent; F. S. Bacon, cashier. Their June. 1925, statement published 
shows resources and liabilities amounting to $9,120,625.14. Total 
time deposits $5,883,924. The present cashier is Thomas A. Judge. 

The Holyoke Savings Bank was incorporated in February, 1855, 
with Gustavius Snow as first treasurer. The first deposit was made 
in this bank May 1, 1855, by Henry F. Quint. The statement issued 
June 30, 1925, shows assets and liabilities amounting to $13,150,038. 
The present officers are : C. C. Jenks, president ; vice-presidents— 
W. A. Prentiss, H. O. Hastings and C. B. Sampson; treasurer — 
Louis S. Ayen; secretary— P. M. Marrs. 

The Mechanics Savings Bank was incorporated in 1872. The 
first president was James H. Newton; C. B. Prescott, treasurer; 
E. W. Chapin, secretary. The present officers include : Henry E. 


Gaylord, president; I. E. Sawyer, treasurer; N. P. Avery, clerk. In 
June this year their statement gave as their resources and liabili- 
ties, $6,895,966. 

The Park National Bank was organized in 1892. Its present offi- 
cers are S. A. Mahoney, president; George A. Munn, vice-president; 
John M. Henderson, cashier. Directors are seven in number. The 
condition of this concern June 30, 1925, as shown by their state- 
ment, was resources and liabilities $2,110,323. The deposits on the 
date above mentioned were $1,767,526. 

City National Bank — This institution was organized in 1879 and 
at the close of business on June 30, 1925, the resources and liabilities 
were $5,725,516. The present officers are: C. Fayette Smith, pres- 
ident ; Leonard L. Titus, cashier ; Charles W. Embury, assistant 
cashier. The board of directors is composed as follows : John S. 
McElwain, C. Fayette Smith, Henry E. Gaylord, William A. Pren- 
tiss, George W. Lewis, Edward N. White, Leonard L. Titus, Rob- 
ert E. Barrett, George F. Fowler. 

City Co-operative Bank w^as organized in 1889, and in its thirty- 
sixth annual statement it states that the dividend on all shares is 
five per cent. The officers are : Daniel Proulx, president ; O. O. 
Lamontagne, vice-president ; Pierre Bonvouloir, treasurer and clerk. 
This concern has excellent banking rooms in the City National 
Bank Building, High and Appleton streets. On the date above 
named this concern had resources and liabilities amounting to $1,- 
203,411.49. A large board to oversee the affairs of the institution 
is made up from some of the best men in the city of Holyoke. 

People's Savings Bank — This was organized in 1885 and its pres- 
ent home is at 314 High street. Its present officers are as follows : 
H. J. Frink, president; J. N. Hubbard, C. H. Taber, P. M. Judd, 
vice-presidents; George S. Nesbitt, treasurer; John Hildreth, clerk. 
There is a board of eighteen members of representative men of Hol- 
yoke and community. On May 12, 1925, this bank had 11,703 depos- 
itors. Its liabilities and assets were $9,320,681. 

The Morris Plan Company, at Holyoke, was organized Novem- 
ber 24, 1915. It is located at 279 Maple street. Its capital is $60,000. 
Its resources and liabilities are $484,094.11. Its undivided profits 
are $38,756. Its loans now amount to $475,000. The present offi- 
cers are Addison L. Green, president; Frank B. Towne, vice-presi- 
dent; Frederick S. Webber, treasurer and clerk. Sixteen persons 
constitute the present board of directors. The best business fac- 
tors in the city aided in organizing this "Morris Plan" in Holyoke. 


It allows trustworthy men to borrow money at low interest rates, 
so that borrowing from "loan sharks" is unnecessary. No chattel 
mortgages or assignments of wages are required. 

The Paper Industry of Holyoke and Vicinity— The first com- 
pany formed for the manufacture of paper in Holyoke was the 
Parsons Paper Company, its treasurer and agent being J. C. Par- 
sons, who had been engaged in similar business at Northampton 
with the Ames Paper Company. A dam was built and a paper 
factory erected in 1853. In 1879 their books showed that 175 men 
were constantly employed; eight and one-half tons of paper were 
being produced daily. Aaron Bagg was president of the company, 
with J. C. Parsons as treasurer and agent, and J. S. McElwain sec- 
retary. The Massachusetts directory shows for 1924-25 that this 
concern had for its president Edward P. Bagg. The plant is pro- 
ducing bond and ledger papers. The men employed are 250 ; capital 
stock, $180,000 (common stock, $200,000). 

The greatest of all paper industries in Holyoke and vicinity is 
the American Writing Paper Company, with its branches as fol- 
lows : Albion Paper Company, Holyoke; Beebe Holbrook Com- 
pany; Mount Tom Paper Company; Holyoke Paper Company; 
Norman Paper Company; Riverside Paper Company; and other 
factories in the valley. These plants have been absorbed by the 
American Writing Paper Company from time to time. It has 
branches also at South Lee, Mittineague and Huntington. S. L. 
Wilson is president. The present products are various grades of 
paper. Capital invested $22,000,000.00; number of persons em- 
ployed, 4,000. A trade journal more than a decade ago wrote of 
this great paper plant as follows : 

"Holyoke makes and sends forth products which eventually are 
used in the four quarters of the globe. The message of the high 
quality goods made in Holyoke is voiced in all national advertising 
mediums that reach over two million business men monthly. And 
from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, South America and Mexico 
the products of the American Writing Paper Company bring back 
only the highest of praise — of this Holyoke is justly proud. The 
Japanese merchant in far off Tokio — the business man of Cape 
Town — the London banker— and the 'New Yorker' can identify 
the products by the one universal trade-mark. These products 
include writing papers, bonds, linens, ledgers, etc., that bear the 
water-mark of the 'Eagle and the A.' And the voice comes from 
Holyoke, Massachusetts— 'The Paper City'— where they make pa- 


pers that are the standard by which all others are judged. Wher- 
ever the article of paper is known for its quality, there the well- 
known trade-mark of the 'American Writing Company's' paper is 

The Crocker-McElwain Company, one of the more recent incor- 
porations, was started in 1904, on a capital of $600,000. A dozen 
years ago this plant employed three hundred skilled workmen. 
They make fine bonds, papers for ledgers, card indexes, etc. Clifton 
A. Crocker and Franklin McElwain, president and vice-president, 
respectively, were the founders of this great plant. The product is 
fine writing papers; capital, $1,750,000; men employed, 625. 

The Franklin Paper Company has for its president and treas- 
urer James M. Ramage. Here Bristol board is made in large quan- 
tities. The capital stock is now $50,000; number of hands em- 
ployed, 60. These mills were established in 1866. 

Hampden Glazed Paper Company produces paper and card stock. 
The president is George F. Fowler. Their product is mostly coated 
paper and cardboard. Capital stock, $56,000; number employed, 

The American Tissue Mills are located at South Hadley, Centre, 
Holyoke, North Amherst. The president is B. F. Perkins. The 
products of this factory are crepe, wax and tissue papers. Capital 
stock, $500,000; common stock is $600,000. Number of persons em- 
ployed as workmen, 600. 

The Chemical Paper Manufacturing Company has for its presi- 
dent Clifton A. Crocker. The capital stock is now $2,050,000. 
Number of men employed, 335. 

The Collins Manufacturing Company, w^ith its factory at North 
Wilbraham, has Samuel R. Whiting as its president. They make 
high grade paper. The present capital stock is $300,000 and the 
number of men employed is 350. 

The present Newton Paper Company, with Henry L. Russell as 
president, makes building paper on a capital of $72,000 and the 
number of men employed is one hundred. 

The Perfect Safety Paper Company has for its president and 
treasurer J. B. Weis. They produce safety paper for bank checks, 
etc. Capital is now $160,000; men employed, 25. 

The Valley Paper Company at Holyoke was organized and the 
plant erected in 1864. Originally, it was under the head of David 
M. Butterfield. They first made fine writing paper stock and en- 
velope paper. From two to three tons per day was their first out- 


put. In 1880 Broughton Alvord was president of the company 
and J. C. Parsons was agent, with J. S. McElhaney as secretary. 
At the present the president is H. E. Gaylord. This mill makes 
superior bond and ledger paper. The capital stock is $200,000. 

The Whitimore Paper Company (Manufacturing Company), 
with R. A. White as president, works on a $75,000 capital, with the 
employment of 75 men. 

The Crane Paper Company has a branch at Holyoke known as 

"No. 71." 

The Carew Manufacturing Company, at South Hadley Falls, 
has for its president, W. D. Judd. They make writing paper ex- 
clusively. The capital stock is $35,000, and 170 persons are em- 
ployed in the business at this time. 

The Hampshire Paper Company, of South Hadley, with S. B. 
Griffin as its president, makes bond paper and operates under a 
capital of $200,000, working 140 men. 

Nearly half a century ago, an account of the paper industry in 
this section of the State gave the following facts concerning other 
paper factories : The Whiting Paper Company was established in 
1865 on a capital of $100,000, but in 1879 it had reached $1,200,000. 
It was then the second largest paper mill in the world — one at Ab- 
erdeen, Scotland, being larger. William Whiting organized 
these mills at the close of the Civil War period. Addition after ad- 
dition had to be made to keep pace with the demand for the paper 
products here turned out. In 1880 there were 500 persons em- 
ployed in this mill. 

The Holyoke Paper Company was organized in 1857 with a daily 
capacity of only one ton of finished paper. D. M. Butterfield was 
agent. Finally the buildings covered an acre, and in 1878 there 
were being made ten tons of paper daily — mostly fine linen and 

Hadley Falls Paper Company was organized as an off-shoot of 
the Carew Manufacturing Company. Their product for years was 
manilla paper — 4,000 pounds daily. 

The Crocker Manufacturing Company was established and a mill 
built in 1870 by D. H. and J. C. Newton. At first it made only 
paper suitable for the making of men's paper collars and shirt 
fronts. The Crocker Company upon a capital of $60,000 organized 
the business and in 1878 the old Albion Mills were purchased. Capi- 
tal in 1880 was $90,000. They made colored and ornamental papers 
to the amount of four tons daily. 


Other old paper mill interests have been : Holyoke Manilla 
Mills, 1875; Excelsior Mills, 1872; Riverside Mills, 1866; Connecti- 
cut River Pulp Mills; Union Paper Manufacturing Company, 1870; 
Massasoit Paper Company, on a $300,000 capital, was doing a thriv- 
ing business in 1880. 

The Westfield River Paper Company, situated at Russell, with 
A. H. Chapin as president, with a capital of $650,000, employed 
eighty men and produced Glassine paper in immense quantities. 

The Chapin Gould Paper Company built the factory at Hunting- 

The Strathmore Paper Company at Mittineague with its factory 
plant at Russell has for its president H. A. Moses. Its product is 
plain paper. The number of employes is now about 700. 

The Springfield Glazed Paper Company, with its plant at West 
Springfield, was first located on Lyman street in the eighties, but 
was burned down and relocated where it now stands. The product 
is glazed and enameled paper. Capital is $200,000. Seventy men 
are usually employed. The capacity of this plant is that produced 
by ten machines used for surfacing and coating the paper. 

Thread and Allied Industries — But few persons who have occa- 
sion (and who has not?) to use a needle and thread, stop to think of 
the many movements given a tuft of cotton by hands and by intri- 
cate machinery before the fine twisted soft finished thread is un- 
wound from the pretty white spool found in almost every store in 
the land. Thread is among the leading industries, aside from 
paper, found in Holyoke. Its manufacture was first started by the 
Merrick Thread Company in July, 1865. It was the outgrowth 
of a partnership of Timothy Merrick, Austin Merrick, and Origen 
Hall as partners of the first-name of Merrick Bros. & Co., located 
at Mansfield, Connecticut. The business prospered there, but on 
account of better water-power facilities, etc., the factory was re- 
moved to Springfield in 1864. Here a new six-cord was produced 
in place of the three-cord formerly used. The use of the sewing 
machine really revolutionized the manufacture of thread from cot- 
ton, as well as silk. President Elisha Johnson, of Connecticut, with 
other men, organized a new company in 1865. It was first styled 
the Holyoke Thread Company, but soon changed to the Merrick 
Thread Company. Its capital was $200,000. Three large buildings 
were erected for the manufacture of spool cotton. Power was 
leased from the Holyoke Water-power Company. 






The Hadley Spool-Cotton Manufactory was organized in 1863 
with a capital of $600,000. It was established by a few men of 
capital in the eastern part of Massachusetts. This company owned 
fourteen acres of land and had many tenements upon the same in 
which lived their workers. In 1878 the company had six large 
blocks, containing fifty-three tenements. George W. Lyman was 
the first president of the company. The total number of spindles 
in this plant in 1880 was 29,664. 

With time, the thread business has materially changed, and 
is now largely in the hands of the American Thread Company, of 
which the thread mills at Holyoke are a part. This concern took 
over most of the former thread interests of the place years ago. 
Its machinery is the best known to man. It only uses the finest 
of cotton. Among the brands so well known today are: "Merrick," 
"Hardley," "Alex King," "Barstow," and "Warren." Holyoke 
division of the Corporation has three large plants in operation, and 
employs upon an average 2,000 men and Avomen — -about ninety per 
cent women. The product goes to all parts of the country, and 
to foreign lands. One must needs go through these spacious fac- 
tories, when they are at work, to gain any good idea of what 
thread-making consists. 

Holyoke Card & Paper Company was organized in Holyoke, 
Massachusetts, in 1879 as the Holyoke Glazed Paper Works, their 
product being glazed and plated papers. The company suffered a 
fire loss after a few years, and then located in Brightwood, a suburb 
of Springfield, and were incorporated in 1884 as the Holyoke Card 
& Paper Company. 

W. M. Morrill was the first president of the company, and served 
as such until April, 1888, when he was succeeded by Mr. E. F. 
Strickland, serving until his death in 1890. In 1887 Franklin Pierce 
and E. T. Pierce connected themselves with the company, coming 
from Nassau, New Hampshire, where they were active in the man- 
agement of the Nashua Card & Glazed Paper Company. Franklin 
Pierce was elected president in 1890, serving until 1903, and was 
succeeded by E. T. Pierce from 1903 until the time of his death 
in 1904. 

G. Frank Merriam, having been with the company since 1886 
and having served as its secretary since 1889, was unanimously 
chosen president in 1904, the position he now holds. 

Henry H. Bowman, president of the Springfield National Bank, 
has been its treasurer from the organization of the company. 

W. Mass. — 58 


The present officers of the company are : President, G. Frank 
Merriam ; treasurer, Henry H. Bowman ; assistant treasurer, John 
B. Van Horn ; secretary, Arthur L. Janes ; directors : G. Frank Mer- 
riam, Henry H. Bowman, Ralph W. Ellis, Frederick H. Stebbins, 
Arthur L. Janes, Ralph P. Alden, John B. Van Horn. 

The principal products manufactured are cardboard and surface 
coated papers, photograph mounts, fancy cover papers, fancy box 
papers, and coated specialties, also glazed and plated papers. The 
present capital is $300,000, and the plant consists of two main build- 
ings 55x225 feet in extent, three stories and basement. It is sit- 
uated on the main line of the Boston & Maine Railroad with spur 
tracks, enabling the company to receive and discharge all freight 
at its doors. 

The Farr Alpaca Company — -This is beyond question among the 
largest textile industries in Holyoke. A dozen years ago it em- 
ployed 3,000 men and women. It was established in 1874, with 
Jared Beebe as its president; H. M. Farr, its treasurer; directors — 
Jared Beebe, J. C. Parsons, H. M. Farr, Andrew Allyn, Joseph Met- 
calf, George Randall, and Timothy Merrick. At the Centennial 
in 1876, at Philadelphia, this company was awarded the first prizes 
on black alpaca, mohair, cashmeres and serges, all of superior man- 
ufacture, regular in quality, evenly spun and woven of permanent 
colors and beautiful finish. This was the first company in the 
United States to manufacture all-wool cashmere and henrietta 
cloths. They had to compete with Bradford, England, mills. 

In 1912 this great plant turned out fifty-one miles of cloth per 
day, equal to 16,000 miles per year. Over 6,000,000 pounds of 
wool are consumed annually by this factory. The works are di- 
vided into three departments — manufacturing, cotton division and 
finishing department. When running full capacity, these mills em- 
ploy 3,500 men and women. Forty per cent are women. Alpacas, 
mohairs and fine worsteds are produced here. Steam, water and 
electric power are all three utilized in running the several plants 
at Holyoke. The capital stock is now $14,000,000. 

The Germania Woolen Mills is another pioneer factory of Hol- 
yoke. It was established away back in 1865, and now produces 
immense amounts of worsteds annually. It employs from seven to 
eight hundred men and women. 

The William Skinner & Sons Silk Manufactury is the largest 
silk-lining factory in the world today. It was established here in 
1848 and "Skinner Satin" is seen on the margin of goods the world 


round. Its productions are staple and dependable. This plant 
must be seen within, in order to fully appreciate its vastness. 

Another silk works is the Goetz Company on Summer street, 
and there is also a silk hosiery factory's office on Sargeant street. 

The great cotton factory is the Lyman, whose office is on Front 
street. They make heavy domestics, etc. This company was or- 
ganized in 1854. Standard sheetings have ever been their aim. 
There are three separate plants of the industry in Holyoke. In early 
days they made a variety of white goods besides sheetings. Forty 
years ago they employed twelve hundred men and women. Eight 
hundred were male. 

Other industries of Holyoke include the great paper industry, 
elsewhere treated at length ; also the Springfield Blanket Company 
incorporated in 1919, on a $400,000 capital, with E. H. Wilkinson, 

Holyoke Water Power Company — The beginning of almost 
every town or city in the country owes its start to some one or more 
natural resource. In this instance, the first railroad constructed 
through the place came to be accepted as the leading means of 
transportation. It is also shown that the men interested in the 
early development of the immense water-power at this point were 
also interested in the development of the Boston & Albany railroad. 
Such men as James Goodwin of Hartford and Chester W. Chapin 
of Springfield, who had been interested in other means of transpor- 
tation, saw the coming of railroad domination in the field of trans- 
portation and hence turned their attention towards the railway in- 
terests. Before that time Holyoke was simply a farming community 
with this as its commercial center. The real start toward true 
development here dated from 1847, when the channel of the river 
was measured for the purpose of building a dam, and this in the be- 
lief that thirty thousand horse-power could be obtained. These 
early promoters of this water privilege had in mind chiefly the 
manufacture of cotton goods. Paper-making, as an industry, was 
still in its infancy. 

The first steps in negotiating for this property, where a large part 
of present Holyoke stands, began late in the autumn of 1846. 
George C. Ewing, of the firm of Fairbanks & Co., of New York, 
had charge of the interests. The transfer of the first property, 
comprising about thirty-seven acres, was effected in March, the 
following year. The first company incorporated included Fair- 


banks & Co., of which Mr. Ewing was a member, with a number 
of capitalists from Hartford and Boston. It started out with a 
capital fixed at four million dollars, with Mr. Ewing as agent, and 
J. K. Mills, of Boston, was elected treasurer, while the civil engi- 
neers were John Chase, of Chicopee, and Philander Anderson. The 
property soon passed into the hands of Messrs. Thomas H. Per- 
kins, George W. Lyman and Edmund Dwight, who were incorpo- 
rated into the Hadley Falls Company. A dam was built and 
provided w^ith canals and locks, one on the South Hadley side 
being opened for the passage of boats for many years. The new 
company also purchased 1,100 acres of land. The first dam was 
completed November 19, 1848, but it was not a success or a triumph 
in engineering skill. When filled to its capacity the mill-dam was 
not to be trifled with — it burst its bonds and the entire structure 
was swept away. A new dam was completed October 22, 1849, 
and having been built stronger was a success from the first. It was 
one-fifth of a mile long and contained 4,000,000 feet of sawed timber 
of large sizes. Concrete and gravel were used to protect the dam. 
In 1868, after the Hadley Falls Company had turned all of their 
rights over to the "Holyoke Water Power Company," further ex- 
tensive improvements were made to the original dam. This work 
was finished in 1870 at a cost of $263,000. 

The task of undertaking to describe the several canals connected 
with this city is indeed out of the question in this connection. The 
great water courses are in the heart of the city and will ever remain 
a part of the wealth of the place. To graphically describe such ob- 
jects in a printed volume would appear as unwise as to describe 
Niagara Falls in a history of the country in which they are located. 
The eye must needs see these objects in order to convey any ade- 
quate idea of their vastness. The tremendous water-power at Hol- 
yoke is the base of all the varied manufacturing industries already 
described in this work. 

In the early days of this water-power, the annual rental per 
mill-power was fixed at 260 ounces of silver fineness of the coinage 
of 1859, or about $300 a year. 

The Hadley Falls Company failed in 1857 and the entire prop- 
erty with the 1,100 acres of land and all improvements was sold to 
Alfred Smith, of Hartford, for $325,000. The Holyoke Water Power 
Company was incorporated January, 1859, with a capital of $350,000. 
Alfred Smith was elected president and Benjamin Day treasurer. 

One of the famous departments of this company is the "testing 


flume," the largest testing flume in the world. The testing of water 
wheels was before done to obtain data as to the amount of water 
used in different heads. These tests at length permitted the Hol- 
yoke Water Power Company to determine, from facts in its pos- 
session, the amount of water consumed of almost any water wheel, 
under any head, and at almost any gate. The first testing flume was 
located near the Whiting Paper Company. The tests were orig- 
inally under the direction of James Emerson of Willimansett. In 
the eighties Clemens Herschel assumed charge, when a new testing 
flume was erected about 1881-82. 

Since 1906 the Power Company has furnished the electric lights 
of Holyoke, the exact date of turning on such current was August 
28, 1906. All of the numerous factories in Holyoke and vicinity 
derive their power from this company. The company has been very 
liberal in its attitude toward the city and its people. Their munici- 
pal gifts began in 1861, when Hampden Park, embracing an area 
of 115,000 square feet, was donated. Later school grounds were 
donated by this corporation, and in 1877 Germania Park of 11,000 
square feet was given the city. Later came the gifts of Prospect 
Park and the Crescent and Park street triangle in 1890. But best 
of all was the gift of the ground on which stands the magnificent 
public library — 114,000 square feet. 

"Men may come and men may go," but so long as the waters of 
the Connecticut flow on toward the sea, the water-power canals of 
Holyoke will convey propelling force for the hundred and one in- 
dustries of the city, and thus give employment to thousands upon 
thousands of men and women throughout the years. 

The following have served as officers of the company, with others, 
whose names are now not recalled: Presidents — Alfred Smith, 
1859-60; George M. Bartholomew, 1860-1886; John B. Stebbins, 
1886-90; Gideon Wells, 1890-98; James J. Goodwin, March to De- 
cember, 1898; Charles E. Gross, 1898. The present officers include 
Robert E. Barrett, president; Albert F. Sickman, clerk. Their 
products are listed commercially, Water and Electric Power; capi- 
tal, $1,200,000; number men employed, 190. 

Mayors of Holyoke — Since the town of Holyoke became a city 
in 1874 the following have served as mayor: William B. C. Pear- 
sons, 1874-75-76; Roswell P. Crafts, 1877; William Whiting, 1878- 
79; William Ruddy, 1880; Franklin P. Goodall, 1881; Roswell P. 
Crafts, 1882-83; James E. Delaney, 1884-85; James J. O'Connor, 


1886-87; James E. Delaney, 1888; J. F. Sullivan, 1889-90; M. J. 
Griffin, 1891; J. F. Sullivan, 1892; Dennie L. Farr, 1893; M. H. 
Whitcomb, 1894; Henry A. Chase, 1895; J. J. Curan, 1896; George 
H. Smith, 1897; Michael Connors, 1898; Arthur B. Chapin, 1899 
to 1905; N. P. Avery, 1905 to 1910; John J. White, 1911-12-13 ; John 
H. Woods, 1914-15; John J. White, 1916-17; John D. Ryan, 1918- 
19; John F. Cronin, 1920 to 1925. 

Fire Department — The first meeting of the organization for the 
old "Fire District" w^as held at the schoolhouse on Chestnut street 
Christmas Day, 1850, and the warrant was signed by Smith, Day 
and Chapin, selectmen. Thus it will be observed that, contrary to 
the general rule, Holyoke did not have a local volunteer company, 
but from the first was under legally authorized organization and a 
part of the town government from the start. Insurance under- 
writers the country over look upon Holyoke as among the best 
risks of all the municipalities. It has ever been the motto of this 
place, "The Best Is None Too Good." The first fire company was 
known as "Mount Tom No. 1." One thousand three hundred 
dollars were appropriated for the purchase of hose, hooks and lad- 
ders. The first engine, "Holyoke No. 1," an old-fashioned hand- 
engine, was donated to the town. The first year's salary for the fire 
chief was $20. In 1852 the company had sixty-two members. 

The last report of the Fire Department shows that in 1924 the 
Fire Commissioners were : Arthur E. French, George H. Lane, 
Ernest J. Nobert. There were 191 less fire alarm calls in 1924 than 
in the previous year. Total in 1924 was 511. Fire loss was $113,350; 
insurance paid, $110,938; actual loss, $2,412. Three of the firemen 
died in 1924 — Captain John T. Rohan, Captain Daniel R. Hogan, 
Francis A. Markey. The salaries of chief engineer is $3,000; first 
deputy chief, $2,800; district chief, $2,530; secretary, $1,925. Every 
known modern appliance for fighting fires has been tested and 
where useful has been purchased by the city. The department now 
owns 2,200 feet of workable hose. The department is divided into 
eleven companies. The total number engaged as firemen is 138, 
including officers. The 1925 officers of the department are : Chief, 
Patrick J. Hurley; first deputy, Daniel A. McLean; second deputy, 
Daniel J. Gorman; James E. O'Leary, clerk; Patrick J. Rohan, su- 
pervisor of automobiles ; Frank A. Shelley, superintendent of en- 

Water Works — The water system in Holyoke town was com- 


pleted in 1873 and has always been owned by the corporation. Its 
source of supply is two natural lakes and storage reservoirs, three 
and a half miles from the city; two mountain streams and storage 
reservoirs and the southwest branch of the Manhan river, intake 
and storage tanks at Southampton and Westhampton. The gravity 
principle is in use here. The total receipts of the department in 
1924 was $273,614; expenditures, $246,709. Present miles of water 
mains, 103 and three-tenths. The total amount of water consumed 
in 1924 was two and one-half billion gallons; an average to each 
person of the city of 113 gallons daily. 

The Water Commissioners in 1924 were : T. J. Carmody, chair- 
man ; J. H. Dillon, vice-chairman; Hugh McLean, treasurer; Miss 
Helen A. Hanley, clerk. The superintendent was Patrick Gear 
and engineer, Patric J. Lucey. 

Police Department — The present police department of the city of 
Holyoke is well organized and consists of Marshal William D. 
Nolan ; assistant marshal, Timothy Haley ; captain, Frank R. Met- 
calf; lieutenant, William E. Blackmer; sergeants, Dennis Mack, 
John J. Morarity, Patrick F. Ryan, James T. Donoghue, Patrick J. 
Goughan ; W. J. Doyle, clerk; Ann U. Donoghue, police woman; 
matron, Mary T. Sullivan. The present police roster shows the 
names of three hundred policemen, including the three women serv- 
ing in the force. 

Holyoke Up-to-Date Statistics— In an official manual of the City 
of Holyoke is found the subjoined facts and figures : Place was 
founded in 1850; incorporated as a city 1873; population, 1920, ac- 
cording to the United States census report, was 60,203 ; population 
as determined by an election May 1, 1924, 62,954; number of polls, 
17,744; public school enrollment, 7,533; continuation school enroll- 
ment, 1,063; parochial and private school enrollment, 5,468. There 
are park areas amounting to 119 acres; area in school property, 
900,266 square feet ; area of city, almost 23 square miles ; miles in 
streets and roads, 107.27 miles ; miles of streets, 7Z ; sidewalks and 
crossings, 100.15 miles ; water mains, 103 miles ; gas mains, 72 miles ; 
sewers, 62 miles; river front, 11 miles; number of tenements, in- 
cluding residences, 14,790; school houses, 35; commercial schools^ 
2; churches, 22; fire hydrants, 817; tax rate 1924, $23 per thousand 
dollars; valuation in real estate, $89,057,730; personal, $24,447,060. 

City Officers — In 1925 the principal officers of the city included 



the following: Mayor — Hon. John F. Cronin; president of the 
board of aldermen — ^Joseph F. Griffin ; the board consists of twenty- 
one aldermen — regular and at-large. City clerk is John F. Shee- 
han; city treasurer — Pierre Bonvouloir; auditor — Daniel W. Ken- 
ney; superintendent of schools — William R. Peck; tax collector — 
James M. Kennedy; marshal — William D. Nolen ; school committee 
— James J. Dowd, chairman, William R. Peck, secretary. 


Chicopee is an Indian name with numerous spellings by different 
authors. It is the northwestern town in that portion of Hampden 
county lying to the east of the Connecticut river. The river sep- 
arates it from West Springfield. It contains twenty-five square 
miles. Its streams are mainly the Connecticut and Chicopee rivers. 
The soil is mostly sandy loam and well adapted to fruit-growing. 

The early settlement was effected by Japhet and Henry Chapin, 
sons of Deacon Samuel Chapin, (of whom, see elsewhere), who 
settled in Springfield in 1642, where a daughter was born in 1644. 
These young pioneers purchased a goodly tract of land from John 
Pynchon, of Springfield, the same all being on the north side of 
the river of Chicopee. For many years the Indians were very trou- 
blesome to the river settlements. The burning of Deerfield in 1704 
and of Springfield in 1675 were tragic incidents in the century-long 


At a very early day a settlement was made at what is styled 
"Skipmuck," a mile and one-half above Chicopee Falls. Among the 
more prominent men in that section were Stephen Horton, Gad 
Horton, Phineas Stedman, Ariel Cooley, Dudley Wade and others 
of record. Many of these from time to time had to take refuge in 
the fort at Springfield on account of the Indians. 

Organization of the Town— The act by which Chicopee was in- 
corporated as a town was dated April 25, 1848. At a meeting held 
in Cabott Hall, in the village of Chicopee, May 17, 1848, after prayer 
by Rev. Crawford Nightingale. Timothy W. Carter was chosen 
moderator and William L. Bemis clerk. The villages of this town 
are old Chicopee Center, once called Cabotville, Chicopee Falls, 
and Willimansett. 

Churches of Chicopee— The first Congregational church of this 
place was organized as the Second Church of Springfield, July 30, 
1751, and constituted in 1752 with twenty members. The first pas- 
tor was Rev. John W. McKinstry, who remained until death in 
1813. A meeting-house was completed in 1753. It is recorded that 
the council agreed to seat the men and women together. The dea- 
cons were sons of the pioneers — Benjamin and David Chapin — the 


former was a son of Henry and the latter a son of Japhet, and both 
were 72 years of age. 

The second Congregational church of Chicopee Falls was formed 
July 3, 1850, as the First Congregational Church in Chicopee Fac- 
tory Village, and at first had only thirty-three members. The first 
pastor was Rev. Dorus Clark, installed in March, 1835. A church 
building was erected in 1833 at the corner of Church and Court 
streets. It was rebuilt in 1859. 

The Third Congregational Church of Chicopee was constituted 
October 16, 1834, by ten male and eight female members. The first 
pastor was Sumner G. Clapp. The society built a house in which 
to worship in 1836-37. It was torn down in 1868, and another built 
in its place. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicopee Falls is without 
any reliable records. It is believed that the first class was formed 
there in about 1824, and in 1848 had a membership of seventy-five. 
They erected their first church building about 1827. Before that 
private houses and the schoolhouse were used. In 1842 they dedi- 
cated a second church. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicopee was organized 
August, 1838, with eighteen members. The first house of worship 
was built on the west side of Perkins Street, in 1839, and was en- 
larged in 1845. 

The Baptist Church and Society of Chicopee Falls was consti- 
tuted with seventeen members in 1828. Moses Curtis was the first 
pastor. A church building was erected in 1832 and in 1850 removed 
to Market street. In 1877 a new building was provided and at that 
date the membership was 250. 

The Central Baptist Church of Chicopee was organized in 1835 
under the name of Third Baptist Church of Springfield with twenty- 
one members. 

The Episcopal denomination formed a church known as Grace, 
in Chicopee, in April, 1846, with eighteen members. Rev. Henry 
W. Lee was its first rector. The church building was finished in 
March, 1848, and consecrated in May the same year. 

The Universalist Society, Chicopee, was organized in 1835 by 
thirty-nine members. The first pastor was Charles Spear. A build- 
ing was erected on the south side of Market Square in 1836. It 
was built by the Mechanics Association, and subsequently pur- 
chased by this society. 

The Unitarian Society of Chicopee was formed and legally or- 


ganized in March, 1841. The first pastor was Rev. F. A. Whitney. 
The society built a brick edifice in which to worship in 1842 on the 
corner of Cabott and Dwight streets. 

The Second Adventists had several devotees from a very early 
date in this community, but no organized church until 1870, when 
a church was formed at Chicopee Falls, where a building was 
erected on Maple street. 

The Roman Catholic people have a strong following hereabouts, 
as will be seen by the following: Church of the Holy Name organ- 
ized 1838, built a church in 1840 and enlarged it in 1848. About 
1868 a convent was finished. John Brady was the first pastor. 

St. Patrick's Church, Chicopee Falls, was formed in 1872. In 
1878 this parish had almost 1,500 individuals. 

The French Catholic Church was organized in 1871 ; they built 
between Chicopee and Chicopee Falls in 1877-78, at a cost of 

The churches in these places at this writing (1925) are as fol- 
lows, as per the church directory recently published : 

First Baptist; Beulah Baptist; Central Baptist; Congregational 
Church of Chicopee Falls; Third Congregational; Grace Episcopal; 
Greek; The Central Methodist Episcopal; United Presbyterian; 
Church of Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic) ; Church of Nativity 
(Catholic) ; St. Patrick's (Catholic) ; Assumption French Catholic; 
St. George's Roman Catholic ; St. Rose de Lima (French Catholic) ; 
St. Stanislaus (Polish Catholic) ; Holy Mothers of the Rosary (Po- 
lish National) ; Unitarian. 

Public School System — Little information is obtainable concern- 
ing the very earliest schools of this town. Districts Nos. 3 and 5 
were organized about 1812, the latter comprising the territory 
between Indian Orchard on the east and Hog-Pen Dibble Brook on 
the west, the Chicopee river north, and the Old Morgan House on 
the south. Skipmuck school building was erected in 1912. In 1825 
a brick school building was erected by the manufacturing com- 
panies at Chicopee Falls and presented to the district. About 1829 
school was housed in district No. 3 on the north side of the river. 
In 1846 a brick building took its place. In 1870 a better structure 
was built on Granby street. In 1879 this school had 210 pupils, all 
having foreign parents. This building cost $12,000. 

The finest school building in the town in 1880 was the one erected 
in 1875-76 on Springfield and Chestnut streets, costing $22,500. 


Between 1810-12 a school house was built in the village of Chico- 
pee, facing on South street. Another school building was provided 
in 1834, built of brick, costing $2,000. In 1842 a large addition was 

The record shows that in 1849 this town had eight school districts 
and twenty schools, of which ten were in Chicopee Village ; four in 
District No. 6 at Chicopee Falls. 

In 1880 there was a fine high school building in Chicopee Center, 
on Grape street. Also numerous other department rooms. At 
Chicopee Falls there was also a good high school building on 
Chestnut street. Willimansett also had a school then. A large 
number of Catholic children were withdrawn on account of the 
establishment of St. Joseph's school. 

The present (1925) number of public schools rooms was 151; 
number of pupils, 6,063 ; average number pupils to the room, forty. 
The present number of teachers is 160. Chicopee high school has 
24 teachers ; 508 pupils, and nine special teachers. Whole number 
of pupils enrolled in 1923-24 was 6,510. 

Then there are private and parochial schools and evening schools. 
In all that is good and progressive the town of Chicopee has always 
sought the best. The present school committee is as follows : John 
P. Sheehan, chairman ; Albert F. Crowther, vice-chairman ; John J. 
Desmond, secretary. The cost of transporting students to and from 
school in 1924 was $9,430— $3,746 by bus line and $5,684 by trolley 
cars. The cost per pupil for schooling in 1924 was: High school, 
$140; elementary schools and junior high school, $60.88; vocational 
schools, $177; evening industrial, $36.98; citizenship school, $7.05. 

Police Department — The police court of Chicopee was established 
in 1855, by virtue of an act approved May 21 of that year. M. D. 
Whittaker was the first justice to preside over this court. The 
present police force is as follows: Frank O'Callahan, chief; Alfred 
T. Caron, Edward Connor, captains ; Joseph H. Lamoureaux, lieu- 
tenant. There are thirty-seven patrolmen and two sergeants ; three 
patrol drivers. Wages paid the chief is $2,400; lieutenants, $2,300; 
sergeants, $2,200; patrolmen, $2,100; chauffeurs, $1,900. Four po- 
licemen were added last year, and still the number is far too small 
to do the territory justice, for it contains twenty-five square miles. 

The police department in 1924 collected fines in court $9,687; 
at House of Correction fines amounting to $305; sale of automo- 
bile, $200; sale of motorcycles, $105. 






Fire Department — The fire district of Chicopee was formed of 
that part of School District No. 4 lying- south of Chicopee river. 
The date of its organization was August 28, 1848. An engine had 
been purchased several years earlier, its cost being $500. The 
building in which it was housed cost $200. Soon three cisterns 
were constructed ; an engine house two stories high was erected, 
costing $1,500. The Cabot Manufacturing Company donated the 
land on which it was built. One account, which dates to 1879, says 
"we have eight reservoirs, twenty-eight hydrants and seventy-five 
lamp-posts and lanterns." These facts all refer to Chicopee while 
yet a "town." The first fire department at Chicopee Falls was 
established in 1845 and its bounds were coextensive with School 
District No. 16. Each manufacturing plant had its own tanks and 
water supply. The list of engineers and firemen is all too lengthy 
for this work. 

Since the town became a city regular municipal plans of mod- 
ern type have been observed and utilized for the safety of the com- 
munity. The present chief of the Fire Department is Arthur Mont- 
meny ; deputy chiefs, Frank J. Thetreault and James S. McNeish; 
mechanician, Frank J. Jerusik; captains, Timothy D. Flynn, Walter 
H. Harscheid, Michael H. Glancy, George Thompson, Jeremiah 
J. Falvey, F. X. O'Connor. The list of permanent firemen totals 
forty-six. The company is well equipped with up-to-date ap- 
pliances for fighting" fires. 

In 1924 the department responded to 467 alarms, one being a 
general alarm. The total value of property endangered was $1,- 
293,680. Insurance to cover same was $1,024,290. Total loss of 
property buildings and contents, $93,217. 

The Water Commissioner's report for 1924 shows that $29,000 
worth of new mains have been added to the system ; new gates and 
hydrants cost $3,943. These water works are now thirty years old, 
and were established in 1893 by floating bonds to the sum of $300,- 
000. The present valuation of the properties of the department is 
$1,250,000 and all liabilities amount to $106,111. The present num- 
ber of fire-hydrants is 492. Water-pipe mains amount to eighty- 
nine miles. 

Chicopee of Today — The 1925 official manual of the City of 
Chicopee gives facts and figures as follows: First settled 1638; in- 
corporated as a town 1848; population at that date 7,861; incor- 
porated as a city 1890; population in 1895 was 16,427; population in 


1900, 19,167; population, 1910, 25,401; in 1915, 30,138; 1920, 36,218; 
total municipal vote in 1924 was 8,404. The total valuation in 1924 
was $47,926,760; tax-rate in 1924 was |28.50 per thousand dollars 
valuation. The number of acres of land assessed is 12,800; number 
dwellings, 4,353; public school enrollment, 6,510; water pipe mains, 
eighty-nine miles; fire hydrants, 492; electric lights, 1,762; latitude 
of City Hall, 42 degrees and 8 minutes ; longitude. City Hall, 72 de- 
grees, 36 minutes. City Hall erected in 1870-71 ; dedicated, Decem- 
ber 21, 1871 ; height of spire, 147 feet; high school burned January 
17, 1916. 

In December, 1924, there were assessed polls and registered 
voters as follows : Men voters, 6,476 ; women voters, 4,023. 

The assessor's report for 1924 shows total valuation of personal 
property estate, $11,880,330; valuation of buildings, $28,783,290; 
value of land, $7,263,140; total, $47,926,760. Number persons as- 
sessed on property, 9,210; persons assessed on poll tax only, 6,660. 
The total amount raised by tax for current year for state, county 
and city purposes, $1,365,912. 

The school report shows 160 teachers in the 151 school rooms, 
with a total of 6,063 pupils. The Chicopee High School has 24 
teachers, 506 pupils, 8 superintendents and 9 special instructors. 

The 1925 city officers include these : City clerk — Charles P. La 
Riviere; city treasurer — Louis M. Default; city auditor — Walter 
P. Cannon; solicitor — James E. Hafey; city collector — William F. 
Bostwick ; city messenger — Frank Z. Robinson ; superintendent of 
schools — John J. Desmond; assessors — William H. Trumbull, M, 
J. Lynch, George Charpentier. There are numerous other less im- 
portant officers. The mayor is Joseph M. Grise ; president of the 
board of aldermen, Philip Beauregard ; aldermen by wards : Ward 
1— John J. Healey ; Ward 2— John J. Touhill ; Ward 3— Frank J 
Godeck; Ward 4 — Anthony J. Stonina; Ward 5 — Edmund F 
Dowd; Ward 6— Patrick M. Sullivan; Ward 7— Charles D. Gagne 

The list of mayors in Chicopee has been as follows : George S 
Taylor, 1891; W. W. McClench, 1892; Henry H. Harris, 1893: 
W. M. E. Mellen, 1894; Andrew Gale, 1895; Alexander Grant, 1896 
G. D. Eldredge, 1897-98; Dennis Murphy, 1899-1900; James H 
Loomis, 1901-03; C. A. Buckley, 1904; A. E. Taylor, 1905 to 1907; 
J. O. Beauchamp, 1908; William J. Fuller, 1909; Samuel E. Fletcher. 
1910-11 ; Frank A. Rivers, 1912-13-14; William J. Dunn, 1915; Dan- 
iel J. Coaklet, 1916 to 1920; James E. Higgins, 1920-21 ; Joseph M. 
Grise, 1922-25. 


Present Industries — Of the general industries of Chicopee in 
1924-25 the following is a fair list of the most important concerns : 
Heading the many manufacturing interests should first be named 
the banking interests, which have ever had their important part in 
carrying forward these industries. The banks include the Polish 
National Credit Union ; Aldenville Co-operative Bank ; Cabot Trust 
Co. ; Chicopee Co-operative Bank ; Chicopee Falls Savings Bank. 

The factories include the bobbin and spool factory; box-makers; 
braid and shoe-laces ; brass founders ; brick manufacturers ; broom 
works; carpet factory; the Ames Sword Company, incorporated in 
1881 ; Bay State Elevator Company ; Butterworth Carpet Company, 
established 1893; Chicopee Manufacturing Company, incorporated 
1882, capital $1,100,000; Coburn Trolley Track Manufacturing Com- 
pany ; Dwight Manufacturing Company, incorporated 1856, capital 
$2,400,000; Fisk Rubber Company, incorporated 1910; Lamb Knit- 
ting Machine Company, incorporated in Chicopee Falls, capital 
$120,000, Frank D. Howard, president; W. J. Marshall Company, 
incorporated 1922; National Scale Corporation; Page- Lewis Arms 
Company ; Page Needle Company ; Palmer Steel Company, paper- 
makers' chemicals; Sheldon Hardware Company; Ranch & Lang, 
incorporated in 1920, capital $5,000,000; A. G. Spalding & Brothers, 
cotton goods manufacturers, two large plants ; fence manufacturers ; 
Haarmann, G. & Co. ; Economy Furnace ; knit goods factory, Chico- 
pee Falls, three plants ; mirror makers, Holyoke Mirror Manufactur- 
ing Company; wrench manufacture, by Moore Drop-Forging Com- 

One of the great plants of industry in Chicopee is the A. G. 
Spalding & Brothers corporation, makers of athletic and sporting 
goods. It was established in 1876. At present, in the United 
States they have eight factories; in Canada, one factory and four 
stores ; in Great Britain, one factory, one tannery, and three stores ; 
in France, one factory and one store ; in Australia, one factory and 
two stores. Total capitalization, $10,766,000.00. The floor space in 
Chicopee is 308,000 square feet. In this plant are made golf balls, 
tennis balls, striking bag and football bladders, ice and roller skates, 
golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis, gymnasium and play-ground ap- 
paratus. J. W. Spalding is chairman of the board of directors and 
J. W. Curtiss is president. 

Concerning the banks already listed above, let it further be said 
that the first attempt at banking in Chicopee was when the "Cabot 
Bank" was chartered January 24, 1845, on a capital of $150,000. 



Its first president was John Chase and Gilbert Walker its cashier. 
Later it was organized as a national bank. It was styled the 
"First National Bank of Chicopee." It is now known as the Cabot 
Trust Company. Its resources and liabilities are $696,305. In 
June, 1925, its deposits were $518,601. 

The Chicopee Falls Savings Bank was chartered in 1875 by forty- 
one incorporators. The first president was Joshua W. Osgood; Ed- 
gar T. Paige was secretary. It is still conducting a most excellent 
bankinsjf business. 


This town lies on Westfield river, is eight miles distant from 
Springfield and is an important manufacturing town of Hampden 
county, bounded on the north by the town of Southampton, in 
Hampshire county ; south by Southwick ; on the east by Agawam, 
Holyoke and West Springfield ; on the west by Russell and Mont- 
gomery. It is traversed east and west by the Boston and Maine 
railway line and in the south is the New York and New Haven 

The surface is generally flat and undulating, except on the east 
and west, where hilly ranges border the town. The central portion 
of Westfield is an expansive valley, surrounded, save at the north- 
west extremity, by abrupt terraces from twenty to seventy feet 
high. A spur of the Green Mountain range fringes the western 
border and in the northwest rises Mount Tekoa, from which in a 
clear day, the naked eye can see within a radius of seventy-five 

Early Settlement — Who made the first settlement and just the 
date of settlement still remains and ever will remain unsettled. But 
the majority of local historical writers seem well agreed that the 
date was between 1658 and 1662. It is certain that land grants were 
issued in 1658 to Thomas Cooper; in 1660 to Deacon Chapman, and 
in 1661 to Captain Pynchon, Robert Ashley, and George Colton. In 
1666, George Phelps, Isaac Phelps, Captain Cook, W. Cornish, 
Thomas Dewey, J. Noble. David Ashley, John Holyoke. John In- 
gersoll received grants and settled here in that year. 

The first child born in the town was Benjamin Sexton, 1666. From 
records it is clear that George Phelps received the confirmation 
of his land title in 1662 for land at "Woronoco." 

The Name — The Indian name of Westfield was known as "Wo- 
ronoco," or "Warronoco." 

In March, 1667, the spot for efifecting a permanent settlement was 
fixed near the Little River, and near its junction with the Great 
River, or Agawam, and above the present iron bridge, a mile to the 
east of the village of Westfield. A strong palisade of two miles in 
circumference was built for protection against the savages. Within 

W. Mass. — 59 


this enclosure was situated the residences, and also a strong- log 
fort, in which was a deep cellar provided for women and children in 
case of attack. 

Incorporation — Westfield was up to May 28, 1669, a part of the 
town of Springfield, the history of which town will treat also on the 
early events of what is now Westfield. The first town clerk named 
for this town was John Ashley, in 1693. The most important vil- 
lage within this town is Westfield, the seat of town government. 
In 1878 this village had a population of 7,000; seven churches; a 
postoffice ; town hall; high school; Masonic Hall; normal school; 
School of Observation ; Davis School ; Music Hall ; the Athenaeum ; 
two banks ; two railway depots ; numerous factories, etc. 

Other settlements or hamlets within the town were from the 
early times known as West Parish, Middle Farms, Little River, 
Owens, East Farms and West Farms. 

The Great Flood of 1878 — Westfield has been visited by no less 
than four destructive floods since 1819, to-wit : 1819, 1839, 1869, and 
1878; the latter proved the worst of all. These floods were caused 
by the breaking away of dikes on Westfield river, above the vil- 
lage, brought on by a sudden rise of the river on the night of De- 
cember 10th, after a heavy snow of the week previous. Careful 
estimates placed the financial loss at $100,000. 

The Revolutionary records relating to this town show that "July 
2, 1781, it was voted to raise 130 pounds sterling, hard money, to 
purchase beef ordered by the General Court for the army." In the 
same month the General Court ordered the town "to raise fifteen 
three-months' men, and as inducement the town oflfered each sol- 
dier four pounds in hard money." 

Churches — The earliest religious service in this town was in 
1667, when John Holyoke, son of Major Holyoke, of Springfield, 
conducted a meeting, and in 1668, Moses Fisk began to preach 
there and received forty pounds a year for his services, and the 
same amount was paid for building a meeting-house. In 1678 the 
Governor of Massachusetts Colony granted permission for the 
organization of a church at "Warronnoco Colony," and in 1679 
the First Congregational Church was organized, and soon Rev. Ed- 
ward Taylor was installed pastor. In 1672 it was resolved to build 
a meeting-house. A second church was built in 1720. 

The Baptist Church of Westfield was organized in 1784 and 


prospered until 1795, when it was disorganized until 1806. The 
first church was erected in 1794, on South street. The second was 
built a mile east of the village of Westfield; and the third was on 
Main street, near the bridge ; the fourth was on the west side of 
Elm street ; the fifth was built in 1868, at a cost of $35,000, including 
the $6,000 pipe organ. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church or "Society of Westfield" 
was organized in 1794 and at the first quarterly meeting the collec- 
tion was only fifty cents. The first Methodist society in the village 
of Westfield was organized in 1812 with ten members, one of whom 
was a colored woman. The first church building was erected in 
1832-33, on Main street. In 1843 a larger building was provided 
where the postoffice later stood. In 1875 a new church was built 
costing $50,000 and the organ $7,000. 

The Roman Catholic church at Westfield was formed as a part 
of the mission in 1853 under Father Blenkinsop, of Chicopee. In 
1880 the town had about 1,500 Catholic people. 

The Universalist Society was formed in 1853 with a membership 
of only thirteen. Rev. D. H. Plumb was the first pastor. 

The Second Congregational Church was formed in 1856, being 
taken from the First church. In 1861 a church building was com- 
menced on Main street. Its cost was $25,000. Rev. Francis Homes 
was the first pastor. 

The Episcopal church was in charge of Rev. B. F. Cooley in the 
seventies and then had about seventy members. The church was 
organized in 1860 and worshiped in the Universalist chapel four 

The Second Adventist — This church was built in 1874 at a cost of 
$6,300. Elder James Hemingway was one of the first pastors. 
Other churches cheerfully allowed these people to occupy their 
buildings. In 1880 the membership was about one hundred. 

In 1925 the directory gives the following as the churches of West- 
field : Adventists, Baptists, Christian Science, First Congregational, 
Second Congregational, Episcopal, Jewish Congregation, Lutheran, 
First Methodist Episcopal, Mundale Methodist Episcopal, Wyben 
Union Chapel Association ; Roman Catholic — Holy Trinity, Our 
Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Casimir's Lithuanian, St. Mark's 
and St. Peter's. 

The Young Men's Christian Association is a very active, strong 
body in these parts. 


The Westfield Academy — While not in existence today, what was 
known as the Westfield Academy was dear to the hearts and mem- 
ory of many who resided in the county between 1797 and 1867. In 
brief, its history may be stated in these words : In June, 1793, the 
Massachusetts legislature established the Westfield Academy, "for 
the purpose of promoting piety, religion, and morality," according 
to the reading of the Act, in part. The first board of trustees was 
organized April 20, 1797, when it was voted "that the sum of 
$1000 and more is secured by ihe inhabitants of Westfield for the 
benefit of the academy in addition to the sum voted for the same 
purpose by the said town." In addition the legislature donated a 
half township of land in Maine, which was later sold for $5,000. A 
building was immediately erected where now stands the high school 
building. It was dedicated January 1, 1800. The old building was 
occupied until 1857, when it was replaced on the same site by a 
handsome brick structure, later used as a high school building. The 
corner-stone of the new building was laid July 31, 1857. The old 
academy fund had reached $5,000 when the new corner-stone was 
laid. The sum of $10,000 was subscribed by citizens, in addition to 
$5,000 which the town of Westfield had given. But with the ex- 
cellent work being done in the State Normal and the improved high 
school of Westfield, interest began to decrease in the Academy until 
in 1867 the trustees closed the school down and sold the property to 
the town for high school purposes for $35,000. It was converted 
into what was then badly needed in Westfield, a new high school 

The Public Schools — The first reference to schools in this town 
was in February, 1678. The record shows that on the date of Feb- 
ruary 4th, that year, it was agreed to "give Mr. Dentre 15 pounds 
sterling to act as a schoolmaster." 

In 1699 it was voted that such persons as are too poor to pay 
for schooling should provide a load of wood for each scholar, as it 
should be needed. 

In a school report of 1879, it is learned that the town then had 
nineteen school buildings. The total number of students was then 
1,450. The people of this city have ever been alert to the best pro- 
gressive interests in all that tends to make practical the common 
school system. The total cost of the several schools in 1924 was 
$212,865 net. More school room space is needed and will soon be 
a necessity and doubtless provided speedily. The last report shows 








the total membership in the schools to be 4,398 ; average attendance, 
3,614. The various schools of Westfield in 1924 included these: 
The High School, Abner Gibbs, Ashley Street, Fort Meadow, 
Franklin Street, Green District, Moseley, Prospect Hill, State Nor- 
mal Training, Court Street, Union Street, East Mountain, Fox Dis- 
trict School, Little River. Middle Farms, Mundale, Pochassic and 

The Public Library— What is known as the Athenaeum, or Public 
Library, of this city was the outgrowth of the public spirit and 
benevolence of Samuel Mather and Hiram Harrison, Esqs., both 
natives of Westfield. Shortly before 1864, Mr. Mather donated |10,- 
000 toward the endowment of a library and reading room in his na- 
tive town, and at his suggestion, the Athenaeum was incorporated 
March 11, 1864. The first meeting of the organization was held De- 
cember 15, 1866, and immediately Mr. Mather delivered over ten 
thousand dollars in U. S. Government bonds. Mr. Harrison erected 
a library building at a cost of $10,000, and presented it with the 
land it occupied to the Athenaeum. Other gifts soon followed. 
These latter donations were for providing books for the newly built 
library structure. The library opened January 1. 1868, and in 
1879 it had 9,200 volumes on its shelves. The building proved use- 
ful for many years till outgrown. It was then sold to the United 
States Whip Company and the library was moved to the corner of 
Elm and Court streets. 

During the present year (1925) a new brick library building is 
being constructed adjoining and including the building facing Park 
Square on the west. The old one will be used entirely for the chil- 
dren's department. The new structure will cost about $200,000 and 
is the gift of a few persons, including $80,000 from Milton B. Whit- 
ney and $50,000 from Mrs. Florence Rand Lang, of Montclair, New 
Jersey, in memory of her father and grandfather, Jasper R.Rand 
(Sr. and Jr.), the largest bequests made. Others were $15,000 from 
Senator F. H. Gillett and his sister. Miss Lucy Gillett. The library 
building now in use was the residence of Hon. James Fowler, Sen- 
ator Gillett's grandfather. Another $15,000 gift was made by Wil- 
liam T. Smith for an Historical Museum, in honor of his father, 
Edwin Smith. There are four departments, all combined under the 
one corporate head of "Westfield Athenaeum." The present number 
of books in this library is 38.100. Its officers are these : President, 
H. W. Kittridge ; vice-president, W. B. Reed; secretary, William F. 


Lyman ; treasurer, Frank Grant ; auditor, Chester H. Abbe. 

Newspapers — The earliest newspaper established in Westfield 
was the "Hampden Register," issued February 13, 1824, by Major 
Joseph Root. Politically it was a Federalist organ, at first, but 
later became a Whig paper, under Smith & Eldridge of Springfield. 
It was changed in name to "Westfield Register" and was again 
strongly Whig; it went down November 29, 1831. Two years later 
Joseph Bull established the "Westfield Journal" and sold to N. T. 
Leonard, who changed the name to the "Democrat-Herald." It also 
was discontinued for lack of support in about one year. H. B. 
Smith published the "Talisman," which survived only three months. 
Calvin Torrey issued the "Westfield Spectator" in April, 1839, and 
continued it until 1841. It was bought by Dr. W. O. Bell, who 
changed the name to the "Woronoco Palladium." which name 
seemed to be too heavy, and it was changed to "Spectator." It went 
the way of all the earth in 1844 ! 

Elijah Porter established the "Westfield News-Letter" in 1841 
and it continued until 1847, "Wide-Awake American," a Know- 
Nothing paper, started in 1854, and one year later moved to Spring- 
field. Other papers started only to sell out to the "News-Letter" 
under Clark & Story, who changed it to the "Times and News-Let- 
ter." The "Westfield Standard" (Democratic) was established in 
1845 by a stock company. 

The present newspaper of Westfield is the "Westfield Journal," 
an eight-column daily paper of eight pages. It was established in 
1923 and was the consolidation of the "Valley Echo," established in 
1885, the "Huntington Herald," established in 1886, and the "Ches- 
ter Chronicle," established in 1886. It is an exceptional daily for 
its limited local interests, and has a good patronage. It is published 
by the Westfield Press, Inc. 

State Normal School — The State located its second Normal 
School at Barre, in September, 1839, but in 1844 removed it to 
Westfield village. In September, 1846, a handsome structure was 
built and first occupied as a Normal School. Its cost was $6,500, 
of which the State furnished $2,500, the town $500, the central 
school district $1,500, and a private subscription the residue. In 
1861 and 1869, respectively, the building was materially improved 
and enlarged by the State, at an expense of $25,000. As far back 
as 1878, 111 pupils and a corps of seven teachers were in attendance. 
Connected with this institution there was a School of Observation, 


a valuable library, apparatus and a good chemical library. Near at 
hand, was the fine brick structure of a Normal School Boarding 
Hall, erected by Massachusetts in 1873-74, at a cost of $85,000, and 
which at first had seventy inmates. 

Dickinson Hall was provided as a more commodious dormitory, 
and first occupied September 8, 1903; it was erected at a cost of 

The present beautiful school building was erected so as to be ded- 
icated June 21, 1892, at a cost of |1 50,000. In 1899-1900 the original 
building was razed to the ground to provide a site for the Normal 
Training School, erected at a cost of $45,000. The first catalog was 
issued in 1847. It contained the names of 160 students. Pupils 
then boarded at private houses and pai^ $1.75 a week for board, 
room and washing. 

The following shows the list of persons serving as principals since 
the establishment of the institution : Samuel P. Newman, 1839- 
1842, (at Barre); Emerson Davis, 1844-46; David S. Rowe, 1846- 
54; William H. Wells, 1854-56; John W. Dickinson, 1856-1877; Jo- 
seph G. Scott, 1877-87; James G. Greenough, 1887-1896; Charles S. 
Chapin, 1896-1901 ; Clarence A. Brodeur, 1901 to the time of his re- 
cent death. The present principal is Charles Russell, Ph.D., who 
succeeded Mr. Brodeur. 

The efficient principal of the Training School is George W. Wins- 
low, who has magnified his office for many years. The secretary of 
the Normal faculty is Ida R. Abrams. 

The library contains 6,000 volumes. Dickinson Hall provides ac- 
commodations for seventy-five students. The last annual report 
shows that the State Normal had in 1924, Seniors in two-year 
course, 77; Juniors in two-year course, 106; special students, 4; 
total number students, 187. 

Westfield's Lodges — Mount Moriah Lodge, Free and Accepted 
Masons, at Westfield, was instituted in 1856. Eastern Star, Royal 
Arch Masons, dates back many years. Today the fraternity is well 
represented by the various degrees in Masonry, including the East- 
ern Star Chapter. The order owns a handsome, capacious "Masonic 
Temple" on Elm street. These lodges of this ancient and honorable 
order have a good membership from among the best men and wom- 
en in the community. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first represented in 
Westfield by Westfield Lodge No. 152. Wildey Encampment was 


forty-seventh in Massachusetts. Another early lodge of Odd Fel- 
lows was Woronoco, No. 74. Today Odd Fellowship is very pros- 
perous in Westfield. Subordinate, Encampment and Rebekah de- 
grees are all well represented in the city of Westfield. 

Besides the above civic societies, Westfield today has numerous 
benevolent and secret societies, including Ancient Order of Hiber- 
nians, American Legion, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Elks, 
Central Labor Union, Foresters of America, Eagles, Grand Army 
of the Republic, Independent Order of Red Men, Knights of Co- 
lumbus, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Malta. 

Banking of Westfield — Forty years ago this town had two na- 
tional banks, with a capital of $400,000. The First National Bank 
was organized in 1864, with a capital of $150,000 ,and in 1865 con- 
solidated with the Westfield Bank, which was organized in 1851, 
on a $100,000 capital. The Westfield Savings Bank was formed in 
1853 and the Woronoco Savings Bank was organized in 1871. 

The present banks are the following : The Hampden National 
Bank was organized in 1825 as a state bank, and in 1865 as a na-| 
tional bank, with deposits amounting to $115,000. June 30, 1925, it 
had resources and liabilities amounting to $3,131,176.23. Its offi- 
cers are : Charles J. Little, president ; James Noble, Jr., vice-presi- 
dent ; Lewis C. Parker, cashier ; Charles E. Avery, assistant cashier. 
There are eleven directors. The present deposits are $2,460,000. 
The present beautiful building was erected in 1924 on the north side 
of Park Square. 

The First National Bank is the oldest national bank in the State. 
It was organized in 1864, as above noted. The condensed statement 
made April 6, 1925, shows resources and liabilities of $2,448,739. 
Its deposits were then $1,475,324. Its present officers are: Joseph 
A. Kenyon, president ; Harry C. Lane, vice-president ; Loring P. 
Lane, cashier. There are nine men on the board of directors. 

Westfield Co-operative Bank — This bank was organized in 1913, 
and their June statement, 1925, shows resources and liabilities of 
$1,869,949. The present officers are: George E. Shepard, presi- 
dent; H. S. Eaton, vice-president; James H. Clark, treasurer and 

Westfield Savings Bank was incorporated in 1853. This is a 
mutual savings institution and has no stockholders. Deposits 
as low as one dollar are accepted. January 31, 1925, its statement 
showed liabilities and assets amounting to $7,696,675. The present 


officers are: Daniel F. Doherty, president; Louis M. Fuller and 
Thomas J. Dewey, vice-presidents; Harry B. Putnam, treasurer; 
George A. Upson, assistant treasurer ; the board of trustees is made 
up of fifteen men. 

Woronoco Savings Bank, incorporated in 1871, is a mutual sav- 
ings bank, conducted solely for the interest of the depositors. Its 
June, 1925, statement shows liabilities and assets amounting to |4,- 
870,303. The present officers are: O. B. Parks, president; T. J. 
Cooley, C. H. Abbe, vice-presidents; H. B. Moulton, treasurer; 
F. A. Ballon, clerk, and the trustees number fifteen. 

"The Whip City"— This has long been the name applied to West; 
field, on account of its leading industry having long been that of 
whip-making. The industry commenced with the invention of ma- 
chine-made whips, and now ninety-five per cent of all whips in the 
country are manufactured in this city. The output is now 7,500,000 
annually. The first machine was invented by Joseph Joker of West- 
field, and in 1855 there were thirty small whip-making shops in the 
place. The largest of these shops was that of H. Harrison & Co., 
Avho formed the foundation for the American Whip Co., and still 
later the United States Whip Co. Between 1855 and 1893 many 
new shops were opened up, all engaged in whip-making. Finally 
nearly all were sold or in some way merged with the United States 
Whip Co. in 1893. which company produces a greater percentage of 
all whips made and sold in the world today. Hence the name 
"Whip City of the World." The earliest shops in Westfield making 
whips were those of Titus Pease and Thomas Rose in 1801. Very 
crude indeed were the whips made at that date, but with time im- 
provements were made until the finished whips today are marvels 
of strength and beauty. In 1906 there were thirty-six whip factories 
in Westfield ; two of whip buttons ; three of whip machinery ; eight 
of whip lashes ; two of whip mountings ; three of platting ; five of 
whip stocks ; three of whip snaps ; one of whip thread. The city 
contains many large buildings, all the homes of whips, which once 
were owned by many firms, but now are mostly merged into the 
large one above mentioned. 

In 1855 Dow & Gillett had a factory employing 100 hands, and 
made an output of $55,000 worth annually ; J. & R. Nobel, estab- 
lished in 1834, worked 100 men and made whips valued at $50,000 
annually; William Robbins & Co. had 100 men and produced large 
annual output ; W. Harrison & Co., established about 1827, em- 


ployed 350 hands and made $150,000 worth of whips; J. R. Land 
& Co., established in 1835, worked seventy men and produced 
$60,000 worth annually ; other dealers were King & Avery, R. 
Loomis & Co., Munroe Brown & Co. and lesser concerns. 

In 1906 the capital of the United States Whip Co. was in excess 
of $1,400,000. While the introduction of the automobile has in a 
measure decreased the use of whips, yet the field is so large that 
as many whips are now demanded in the world-at-large as ever be- 
fore, hence the factories here are kept busy in supplying hundreds 
of varieties of whips. To realize the magnitude of this enterprise 
one should view the great whip-making plants as they hum today. 

Fire Department — This department was organized in 1848 and 
has long been known as one of the best in Massachusetts for the 
size and requirements of the place. The present engine house in 
the heart of the city proper was erected in 1870. The entire equip- 
ment was motorized in 1917 and all horses formerly used disposed 
of. The 1925 equipment includes four combination hose and chemi- 
cals, one city service hook and ladder truck, two engine houses — 
one on the north side of the river ; 4,000 feet of workable hose. 

The present force of firemen is composed of fourteen "Permanent 
Men," and thirty-four "Call Men," with officers as follows : Chief — 
Thomas H. Mahoney; First Deputy — Herbert H. Thorp; Second 
Deputy — William W. Clark; Superintendent of Fire Alarm — 
George C. Byers. Whenever and wherever tested, these firemen 
have proven themselves capable of every duty imposed upon them. 
The officers are men of nerve and good judgment. 

Police Department — The efficiency of the Police Department ap- 
pears to be of the highest order and meeting in every way the de- 
mands placed upon it. The roster of the department in 1925 is as 
follows: Chief — Thomas F. Daley; Inspector — William O'Brien; 
Captain— William J. O'Brien; Sergeant— Michael J. Condon; Ser- 
geant — Michael F. Murphy; Patrolmen— J. J. McDermott, P. H. 
CoflFey, M. J. Slattery, M. J. Daly, J. J. Ashe, G. T. Hickson, W. J. 
Rehor, Archie Williams, Allen H. Smith, Edward J. Sheehan, An- 
thony Michalek, M. J. Cummings and Joseph Cleary. The reserve 
patrolmen are F. J. McConnell, Horace Fuller, Jr., Earl Fuller, John 
F. Tuohey and David F. Sullivan. 

Water Department — The water-works of this sprightly city are 
now more than a half century old. To date of 1924, the cost of the 



system has been $658,219; the water debt at the same date was only 
$4,000. The policy of reforestation is going forward annually. The 
species of trees include the white pine, Scotch pine, red pine, Jack 
pine, catalpa and spruces. 


West Springfield — Because of age, and of its great importance 
in the development of the mother town, West Springfield, for fifty 
years known as the "Second Parish of Springfield," is especially de- 
serving of extended mention. Within its original limits was built 
(Agawam meadows) the first habitation erected by a white man 
in the middle Connecticut Valley. Its incorporation as a separate 
parish came Wednesday, May 27, 1696. The reasons given in the 
petition of the inhabitants for separation from the community east 
of the Great River and alluded to in the act of incorporation, were 
their "distance from place of meeting for publick worship of God 
in sd Town," the "difficulties and dangers attending their passing 
of the sd River," and a fear that their children were in "danger 
of becoming heathens for want of instruction !" So, the petition 
was granted by Governor William Stoughton and the Council, with 
solemn injunctions to "invite, procure and settle a learned and orth- 
odox minister to dispense the Word of God to those that dwell there 
and to arrange for the "building of a Meeting House," always one 
of the earliest concerns connected with the New England settle- 

In April, 1907, the lots on the river's west bank were divided into 
plots of ten acres each and allotted to male inhabitants of the 
town who had completed their twenty-first year. The earliest rec- 
ord of the "parish of West Springfield" showed that there were 
seventy-three of these lot-owners ; and the record further states 
that there were "about thirty-two Families and upwards of two 
hundred Souls." 

The people had grown into such a sizeable community in a half 
century more that they insisted upon their own town government. 
The first definite action was voted by the parish in July, 1756; and 
the question was agitated with considerable opposition to the pro- 
ject, until February, 1774, when the State passed the act of separate 
township incorporation. The main reasons cited in the wording of 
this act were "the Remote Settlements, Disputes, Controversies, and 
different Interests," also "the Difficulty & often Impracticability of 
Assembly in Town Meetings for Elections and other necessary pur- 
poses by Reason of the Great River Connecticut, almost equally dis- 


secting the Township" of Springfield. The inhabitants lost no 
time in exercising their new legal privileges. The seven selectmen 
of Springfield, Benjamin Day, Charles Pynchon, Nathaniel Ely, 2d, 
Aaron Colton, John Hale, Jonath. White, and Benjamin Ely, or- 
dered the first town-meeting to be held Wednesday, March 23, 1774, 
in the old meeting house on the Common. There were only six 
"articles" in the first warrant, the last being to cast "votes for a 
County Treasurer" and another being "to permit Swine to go at 
large" when "yoked and ringed." 

It should be recalled that this separation cut ofT from Springfield's 
original 25-miIe-square territory all of what is now Holyoke, Aga- 
wam. Feeding Hills, Suffield, and nearly all of Southwick, leaving 
Springfield possessions to include Ludlow, Longmeadow, Wilbra- 
ham, Enfield, and Somers, "the River to be the dividing line." 

The original settlement in West Springfield territory, after the 
one-season experiment in the lowlands of Agawam, seems not to 
have been until about 1655, on "Chickuppe Plains," in what is now 
West Springfield's northern end. This same section is early men- 
tioned as "the Field" in the Hampshire county records of July 29, 
1729, in connection with the laying out of a new highway from 
Sufifield to Northampton. The name occurs publicly again, in the 
county record, to "lay out a road from Northampton court-house to 
the West Springfield meeting house, said road to pass through 
Chikopee Field," November 20, 1799. In early times the name of 
"Cabot" or "Cabotville" was given to what is now the city of Chico- 
pee, across the river, and the name "Skipmuck" to what is now 
Chicopee Falls. 

The first meeting house was occupied in 1702, as the large nu- 
merals, surmounted by a four-foot, gilded rooster, boldly testified. 
The church had been organized in June, four years before, and the 
Rev. John Woodbridge became the first minister. Its architect was 
John Allys of Hatfield, who 25 years previously had designed and 
erected the second meeting house built in Springfield. It had three 
roofs going up to a small point, one above the other, the last about 
ninety feet from the ground. Each roof had four dormer-windows. 
This quaint specimen of architecture was 42 feet square on the 
ground, had three separate entrances, and the inhabitants pointed 
with some pride to some thirty-two windows (counting gable-ends) 
with leaden sash and small diamond shaped window-panes. 

In this building the settlers assembled at the beating of a drum 
for forty-one years. A bell was then procured, another occasion for 


the people's pride. In 1761 this bell was cracked by being rung too 
vigorously in the bitter cold of a winter Sunday morning. It was 
re cast four times, the last in February, 1825, when additional metal 
was used to enlarge it. In 1802 it was re-hung in the steeple of the 
"White Church on the Hill," now the Masonic Temple, and is only 
heard when the tower-clock strikes. 

The ancient pulpit built by Allys on the Common, was occupied 
by Rev. John Woodbridge for twenty years, by Rev. Samuel Hop- 
kins for thirty-five years, and Rev. Dr. Joseph Lathrop [^^^ty-five 
years Many of the latter's sermons were published and had a tar 
wider circulation for those times than the addresses of any other 
minister in New England. Dr. Lathrop's ministry lasted 64 years, 
its last period in the "White Church on the Hill." He died on the 
last day of the year 1820 in his ninetieth year. 

The Oldest Graves— From ample records left by the late Harriet 
E B Loomis, genealogist and historian, have been obtained inval- 
uable data never elsewhere published, about West Sprmgfield s 
vital records. These she was long and faithfully engaged in collect- 
ing for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for this 
section; a certain "Eddy Fund" has provided for the collection of 
this priceless material. From a study of the old cemeteries m town 
many interesting and verifying facts are obtained about the first 
families and earliest settlers. "Edward Foster, of Springfield, Hus- 
bandman," came into the possession of west side lands m the vicin- 
ity of Union and Church streets, where now is the oldest grave- 
yard in town, through marriage to Sarah Marshfield, the widow of 
Thomas Miller, killed by the Indians at the burning of Springfield in 
1675 According to records on file, the Fosters, on March 19, 1711, 
"for Divers Causes Moving Particularly to Accommodate the In- 
habitants . . . Living on the West Side of the Great River, with a 
Convenient piece of Land for a Burying place," gave land "m the 
great field near the place Called the Cold Spring, being in quantity 
about 94 rods; and is in length, 13 rods, and in breadth 7/2 rods; 
Bounded southerly by a highway from the Home Lots, gomg into 
the field towards Agawam, and easterly by a Highway that runneth 
at the rears of the said Home Lots, thence northerly and westerly 
bv my own lands." This constitutes the town's oldest cemetery— 
what is now known as the "Union Street," the "Cold Sprmg," or 
"Old Meadow" graveyard. Here are the oldest stones in town. The 
earliest is that of one "Nathaniel Dwit, Who Died At Springfield, 
November 7, 1711." Another tells of Deacon John Barber, who 


came from Windsor, Conn., married Bathsheba Coggin in 1663, who 
was made a deacon twelve years before he died, January 17, 1712, 
aged 70. His son, Thomas, dying at the age of 40, just two years 
later, is the subject of the next later stone. The fourth earliest 
date is found on the only monumental shaft in this yard, one erected 
years later for "Rev. John Woodbridge, First Minister of West 
Springfield. After Serving His Generation Faithfully, Fell Asleep 
June 10, 1718. The Righteous Shall Be Had In Everlasting Re- 
membrance. Erected By The Descendants Of His Parishioners, 
1852." Next earliest stone is that of Samuel Day, 1720, whose 
son Josiah Day built the famous oldest house now in town, the 
"Day House," maintained by the Ramapogue Historical Society on 
the West Springfield common; Benjamin Leonard, 1728; Samuel 
Ely and Tilly Mirick, 1873; Sarah Cook, Ebenezer Morgan and Sa- 
rah Barber, all 1733; Mrs. Lydia Morgan and Sarah Mirick, both 
1734; Funis Ely, 1738; Elizabeth Day, Sarah Jones and Rebeccah 
Evans, all 1739, and the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, second minister of 
the parish of West Springfield, who died in 1755 in his "62d year 
and 36th of his Ministry," are included in this oldest group of the 
town's burials. The Elys, Days and Merricks are largely repre- 
sented in the 121 names in this yard. 

About 1770 the "Paucatuck" cemetery, in the Tatham Hills dis- 
trict, was begun. The graves of Jonathan Smith, 1722; Mrs. Ta- 
bitha Miller and Mrs. Jerusha Day, in 1775, are the oldest legible 
stones in that yard. The families of Smith, Rogers and Cooley pre- 
dominate in its 214 names. 

The burial ground on Park street, started about 1787 when Solo- 
mon Lathrop was buried there, contains several stones with older 
dates, including those of Deacon Caleb Bliss, 1758; Samuel Lathrop, 
1767, and Mary Ely, 1769, their bodies having been moved from the 
other cemeteries. In the front row nearest the street are two white- 
marble stones with elaborate inscriptions in memory of Rev. Dr. 
Joseph Lathrop and his wife, Elizabeth Dwight Lathrop. One of 
the oldest is the headstone for Dr. Othniel Hosford, a physician of 
great promise, who died aged 2,7. Doctor Reuben Champion, who 
died in the army at Ticonderoga, aged 50, in 1777; Col. David Leon- 
ard, who died of the smallpox at Lake George, in 1777, at the age of 
Zl , and Capt. Levi Ely, who was killed in military service on the 
Mohawk river in 1780, are among the noteworthy monuments in 
this large yard, containing 478 names. The Elys, Days and Cooleys 
are most numerous here. 


The Ashleyville cemetery in the north end of the present town 
has 468 names, the Ashleys, Baggs and Elys in the majority. It 
was started about 1770, and the grave of little Urany Todd, 3-year- 
old daughter of Deacon Jesse Todd, was made there a year later. 
The most notable grave in this yard is that of the town's chief 
benefactors and Revolutionary soldier, John Ashley. His tomb- 
stone, erected in 1825, calls him "Distinguished for his Publick 
Spirit and Active Benevolence." In 1789, this progressive citizen 
headed the list of subscribers to the first library ever started in this 
part of the State. It had a nucleus of fifty-six volumes, and was 
carried around to the most responsible families of the parish in a 
two bushel basket. Years later, a controversy having arisen as 
to the right location for the new meeting-house then demanded, the 
great embarrassment of the minister thereat was relieved by John 
Ashley's generous ofter of thirteen hundred pounds as a fund for 
the support of the ministry, on condition that all parties should 
agree upon the site he should select (on the hill-top where it now 
stands, at the head of King's Highway) and that the "spacious and 
elegant meeting house" to be built there should be occupied for 
church purposes for a hundred years. On January 6, 1800, the peo- 
ple buried their differences, voting thankful acceptance of the gift, 
and the new church was immediately built. Mr. Ashley had pre- 
viously given funds for the carrying on of the work of the church, 
and a lot of land for the burial-place. He died in 1824 at the age 
of 84. His grand-niece, Eliza J. Nichols, eighty years later, gave 
the present tower-clock to the old "Church on the Hill." The 
Meeting House Hill cemetery, begun about 1807, contains the 
graves of Deacon Edward Southworth, a man of large affairs in 
his day ; the Rev. Dan Taylor Bagg, who died in 1848, almost at 
the beginning of his pastorate of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian 
Church in New York; the Rev. Pliny B. Day and the Rev. Moody 
Harrington. This also contains the town's handsome brownstone 
monument erected to the memory of 18 soldiers who died of wounds 
received in action and nine others who died of disease, all members 
of Company I, Tenth Massachusetts Regiment, in the Civil War. 

Last Annual Report — The 1924 annual report of the town of 
West Springfield gives the following items of interest : The as- 
sessor reported the real estate valuation to be $20,246,331 ; personal 
estate, |3,582,274; total valuation almost $24,000,000. Assessed on 
valuation, $719,904; assessed on polls, $9,126; number of acres of 
land assessed, 8,971. 

W. Mass. — 60 


The town accountant reported receipts and expenditures for 1924, 
$2,735,673. The statement of debts gave a total of $2,039,000, of 
which amount $103,500 is due in 1925. 

The school reports show for 1924 a total membership of 3,285. 
The high school enrollment was 590, as against 287 in 1915. The 
total number of schools in the town is thirteen, as follows : High 
School, Junior High, Main Street, Meadow Street, Bridge Street, 
Park Avenue, Mittineague, Tatham, Riverdale, John Ashley, Pros- 
pect Hill, Amostown, Town Hall. 

The 1925 town ofificers include these : Moderator — Frank O. 
Scott; selectmen — Herman C. Walker, chairman; James M. Carroll, 
Charles O. Palmer, secretary ; town clerk and treasurer — Henry E. 
Schmuck ; tax-collector — Raymond M. Sweeney; assessors — Myron 
L. Brown. Arthur F. Royce, Fred C. Steele ; school committee — 
Frank Auchter, chairman ; Mabel Prescott Bowles, Harrison Loom- 
is Hart, Jessie H. Gammie, Alexander Cormier, Jennie Alderman, 
Rising; library trustees — Carrie J. Eldred, Robert D. White, Win- 
throp S. Bagg; tree-warden — George W. Hayden ; finance commit- 
tee — Walter H. Pierce, Raymond H. Flagg, Wilson B. Chandler, 
James F. McCarthy, Everett G. Robson, chairman ; Arthur W. 
Mosher, John D. Riley ; park commissioners — Herbert O. Scott, 
Adam W. Jentoch and Willis J. Eldred. 

Industries — To inform the reader of what the industries in West 
Springfield were forty-five years ago, the following has been quoted 
from a volume published in 1879: The site of the present (1879) 
grist and saw mill has been greatly improved for more than one 
hundred years. A saw mill was there first erected by Baggs, Ash- 
ley and White. The mill later employed steam power. The tan- 
neries at Ashleyville were once quite important, but have long since 
passed away. At about the first part of the nineteenth century 
there was more business carried on in the way of manufacturing 
than there was in Springfield. These were mostly located on Park 
street, where there was a hat factory, carried on as late as 1840, 
by Lester Williams. Farther u