A history of Hampden County, Massachusetts

VOLUME I

A search of the catalogues and the shelves in the large public libraries of Boston discloses the fact that the eastern counties of Massachusetts are provided with good separate histories, while our own Hampden County, as important from a commercial point of view and far more historic than many of those east of us, cannot boast anything of a general historical character worthy of mention.

In preparing this work it has been the chief aim to present to the citizens of this county a reliable and carefully prepared historical record; a work that shall properly reflect the men and the times in all generations of the past; a work that shall be free from the objectionable features that too often bring honest history into disrepute; and a work of which our people may feel proud rather than one for which we are called upon to apologize.

Feeling the actual need of such a work, I undertook to stand as chief controlling editor of a comprehensive three-volume history of Hampden county, to be called "Our County and Its People," and to this end have directed my best energies until the task is Anally completed. The public will judge, and judge justly, if this work has been well done. It has been no easy task to find men in the different towns of the county properly qualified and willing to write the local town histories. To some extent we have found such men, and their work has been well done. It is extremely difficult to obtain every important fact touching the history of towns that within the last fifty years have not only lost many of their most important citizens and with them valuable historic facts of which no records have been left, but whose places are now occupied by people not of their kin, and in no way interested in the town's former inhabitants. In preparing the present work we have earnestly endeavored to obtain all the important local facts, and to make the histories of the different towns as complete as possible.

We made earnest effort, and with fairly good results, to obtain brief ancestral records of all families identified with the history and the development of Hampden county. There was, for the most part a generous response to our effort in this respect; and we present a reasonably full, but not so complete a record as was hoped.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
GEOLOGY OF HAMPDEN COUNTY 1

CHAPTER II
DISCOVERY AND OCCUPATION 14

CHAPTER III
THE INDIANS 20

CHAPTER IV
COLONIZATION AND SETTLEMENT 27

CHAPTER V
STRUGGLES WITH THE INDIANS 38

CHAPTER VI
COLONIAL WARS 57

CHAPTER VII
WAR OF THB REVOLUTION 69

CHAPTER VIII
THB INSURRECTION OF 1786-7 - THE SHAYS REBELLION 86

CHAPTER IX
THE WAR OF 1812-1815 100

CHAPTER X
COUNTY ORGANIZATION 108

CHAPTER XI
HAMPDEN COUNTY CIVIL LIST 124

CHAPTER XII
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS 152

CHAPTER XIII
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS RAILROADS 176

CHAPTER XIV
CONNECTICUT RIVER NAVIGATION 188

CHAPTER XV
HAMPDEN COUNTY IN THE WAR OF 1861-1866 198

CHAPTER XVI
EDUCATION IN HAMPDEN COUNTY 258

CHAPTER XVII
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, WESTFIHLD 264

CHAPTER XVIII
THE HAMPDEN BENCH AND BAR 298

CHAPTER XIX
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 888

CHAPTER XX
THE DENTAL PROFESSION 890

CHAPTER XXI
THE PRESS OF HAMPDEN COUNTY ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT 416

CHAPTER XXII
FREE MASONRY AND ODD FELLOWSHIP 464

CHAPTER XXIII
AGRICULTURE OF HAMPDEN COUNTY 499

 

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Any consideration of the geography of Hampden county must give a large place to the marked physiographic differences between the highland and lowland areas. In Hampden county the valley of the Connecticut has an average width of fifteen miles. The valley is bounded on east and west by steep escarpments, the boundaries of an upland plateau with an elevation of eight hundred to nine hundred feet above the valley floor and of twelve hundred feet above the sea.