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LUDL017:

A Century and a Centennial,



COMI'KISING A



SKETCH OF THE HISTORY



TOWN OF LUDLOW,



HAMPDEN COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS,



TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUXT OF THE CELEBRATION BY THE TOWN



CE]^TE]:^]^IAL Al^^I^IYEESARY,



June 17th, 1874.



COMPILED BT



ALFRED NOON. A. M.,

A I'ASTOR IN TOE TOWX.



PRINTED BY VOTE OF THE TOWN.




SPRINGFIELD, MASS. :

CLARK W. BUY AN AND COMPANY, PRINTERS.

1875.



/



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COMMITTEE O:^ THE CEIsrTE]^]^IAL.



AMBROSE CLOUGH,

JOHN PADELFORD HUBBARD,
GEORGE ROOT CLARK,

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BURR,

CHESTER LEMUEL CUSHMAN,
ALFRED NOON,

FRANCIS FISK McLEAN.



SUB-COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ATI OJN".



AMBROSE CLOUGH, BENJAMIN F. BURR,

GEORGE R. CLARK, ALFRED NOON.



PREFACE.



The day of appreciation of a work like this is never at the time
when it is issned. The labor of research and compilation must be in a
measure a labor of love.

The apparent unimportance of our contribution to the public may,
after all, exist only in appearance. Few prominent public men claim
Ludlow as their birthplace, nor does the town seek, like seven cities
of old, to rest her fame on the reputation of some ungrateful son.
This is but a quiet little neighborhood, occupying a humble position
in the grand old Commonwealth.

But while the town has been unsung by bard, or unwritten by an-
nalist, or unknown to the greater events of busy humanity, she may,
from these very reasons, argue an individuality which is worthy of
note. Her life is not merely memoir or public histor}^, but is unique
in possessing few of those features which so largely enter into the pic-
ture of towns farther famed.

If New England has done aught for humanity, her accomplishments
have had tlieir inception in her homes, among her own sons and
daughters. Her power found its origin at her firesides. The world
must know that New England has had a life by itself. The student
of that life, in all its characteristics, discovers an indiviihiality and
seeks to trace its causes. In such towns as Ludlow, tliey may be dis-
covered easily. Tlie glare of popular feats and popular men removed,
we are permitted to look upon a specimen of pure, unadulterated New
England life.

As the reader examines our folk-lore, then, we take pleasure in in-
troducing him to the true New England home. These hardy j-eomen,
these toiling matrons, who liave quarried and polished the heartli-stoues



VI niEFACE.

of a century, liave l)Oon good fatlicrs ami iiiotliers, and liave been per-
niitte<l to .see successive generations of noble sons and daughters grow
up around them, to call them and their institutions blessed. The fore-
fathers sleep their last long slumber, but if you would see their handi-
work, look not only at the broad acres and spacious barns, but also peer
into tlie faces of their descendants, and read of the excellencies and wis-
dom of their sires.

We lift the veil of a century. If tlie fresco behind show in places
the marks of age, need we wonder? If here and there a tint is so
faded as to be indistinct, a stripe once distinct and beautiful may seem
to have lost the uniformity at first given to its breadth, or the beauty
of its curvature, charge the defacement to the account of Old Time
itself. A magnificent work by one of the old masters has been lost by
an attempt to renovate it; we give you our little picture as nature
hands it to us.

The materials composing this volume have been, in the main, res-
cued from memories which soon must fade away. In the absence of
fulsome annals, the incidents have been obtained by conversation with
octogenarians, and even nonagenarians at their firesides, and those of
their neighbors. Grandsires hastening to the grave have been ar-
rested in their faltering steps, and grand-dames disturbed in their
meditations, that tliey might tune afresh the harps of earl}'- days
for the eager ears of generations come and coming. Yellowed old
deeds, lichen-painted tombstones, silent cellar holes and well-nigh for-
gotten boundary lines have been tributary to the work.

To all who have so kindly aided in giving desired information, we
would extend hearty thanks. To the assiduous and pains-taking
chairman of the Committee of Publication, and his co-laborers in
gathering the materials so profusely furnished the Compiler, the town
is under particular obligation. The beauty of these pages, and tasty
appearance of the volume themselves, speak for the i)ublishers. The
thanks of the town is more than due to them who have so cheer-
fully furnished those portraits of themselves or their friends, with
which the volume is enilx'llished. The Centennial Exercises will
be read again with delight, and re-read by successive audiences,
who shall by their interest give the meed of praise to those who



TREFACE. Vll

remlored that eventful celebration a feast of reason as well as a glad
reunion.

More than a word is due to the historian of that day. Other towns
may glory over the prowess of t^eir corporate ancestors, but it will be
discovered that our historian regaled his apjireciative auditors with
choicest tidbits from the town's own life. The pens of other ready
writers may have improved such occasions in tracing excellent homilies
on grand themes ; the gentlemen, to whom reference is made here,
found in the word " Ludlow " an inspiration all-sufficient for his task.

The compiler of the history, as sensible of his own incapacity, per-
haps, as the sharpest critic, asks the indulgence of those most inter-
ested, wishing to them and their successors on the domain of Ludlow,
the fondest blessings which can come from enterprise and thrift, and
good homes, and good hearts.

Ludlow Center, 1875.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTORY,

Joel Chapin,
Aaron J. Miller,
John Jennings,
Theodore Sikes.
Chester W. Chapin,
Gordon M. Fisk,
S. B. Stebbins,
Edwin Booth,
Dexter Damon,
Simeon Miller,
PLAN OF HISTORY,



I. AKTE-LUDLOW,

Who constitute a town — The red man — Indian names — Uelics
of a departed race — An ancient armory — Legend of camp-
lires — Of the Leap — Of the alleged Facing Hills murder —
The tenure of soil — Springfield of old — Governor Andros —
A Yankee trick — The Commons — Sections of commons —
Line of commons — Allotments — The river — Early settler —
The tar business — Joseph Miller — Others — A wooing —
Glimpse at the region — Church service — Proposition for dis-
trict — Will they get an organiisation ? ....

II. LUDLOW IK THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

Governor Hutchinson — Trouble — Districts and their functions
— Answer to petition — The charter — First district meeting
— The settlers gathering — Original office-holders — Origin of
the name — Geographical theory— The other Ludlovvs — Ed-
mund Ludlow — Roger Ludlow — Remoteness of all these
sources — Exchange of names with Wilbraham — West line —
A church needed — Former ecclesiastical relations — Rev.



PAGE.

xiii

xiii

xiii

xiii

xiv

xiv

xviii

xviii

xviii

xviii

xviii

xix



CONTENTS.



PAGE.



IVletiah Cliapin — Finding the center — The revolution —
Tlie record — Incidents and notes — Rev. Messrs. Davenport,
Hutcliinson, Haskell, Fuller, Pratt, Stone, Snell, and Wood-
ward — Success at last — Stephen Burroughs — Call to Mr.
Steward — Acceptance — Sketch of Rev. Antipas Steward — A
slice from one of his sermons — Erection of church — Im-
provements on the edifice — Former chapels — Congregation-
alists — Mr, Steward receives a hint — Baptists — Methodism —
Drowning of Paine and Olds — Shays — The Paine child — Sor-
row in the Miller family — Cemeteries — Schools — Districts —
School-houses — Representatives — Pounds — Warning out —
Highways — Bridges — Progress of the period, ... 12

III. ECCLESIASTICAL ERA— THE ESTABLISHMENT
OF THE CHURCHES.

Source of civil institutions — Religion in the town in 1800 —
The controversy — A summary' proceeding — Suggestive epistle
— Exit Mr. Steward — Thurber— Phelps — Union efforts —
Hedding — His ministry — His sacrifice — A new comer —
Fast-day services — Alexander McLean — Difficulty — Moody
— Johns — E. B. Wright — Sketch — Acceptance of call — Min-
istry — Methodism in 1802 — Itinerants — A class — How it
djed — Later efforts — Dr. Fisk — Isaac Jennison — Church
huilt — Repairs on old church — The store — Cemeteries — The
first hearse — Improvements — A dastardly proposition — War
of 1812 — Muster at Hadley — The Horse Compan}^ — The
men of 1812 — Desertions — Almost an execution — A
souvenir — Schools — Districts — Musical — Log-cabins — Polit-
ical — Post-office — Wages — Potato crops — A scare — Another
scare — Frost's corn — David Paine's death — The Annibal ex-
citement — Theories concerning it — A sequel — *' Nick and
Tarzy " — Town bounds — Public lands — Roads — Bridges —
Succession of bridges at Wallamanumps — Put's bridge —
Cooley bri<lge — The camels — The present Put's bridge —
Calkins' manufactures — Other enterprises — A still — Glass
works — Wallamanumps privilege — Putnam's scythes — The
Jenckes's — The Springfield Manufacturing Co. — Develop-
ment of the village, ......,, 40

IV. THE ZENITH OF THE CENTURY.
Changes incident to manufacturing — Source of Ludlow's great-
er prosperity — New life — A market — Another mill — Jeuks-



CO^s^TENTS. XI

PAGE.

ville in 1837 — Upper privilege — Inventions — Tlie people at
tlie factories — Their morals — Sabbath desecration — The
only remedy — Itinerants and labors — The revival — Its effects
—Place of worship— The M. E. Church— Trouble— Aid— A
great revival — Incidents — Other revivals — Millerism — The
Congregationalists — Mr. Wright — A colleague — Rev. Mr.
Austin — Dismission of Mr. Wright — The first parish — The
fund — A lawsuit — Mr. Wright called again — Rev. Mr.
Sanderson — The church of 1841 — Disposition of the old edi-
fice — Rev. Mr. Tuck — The new cemetery — Highways and
bridges — Red bridge — Necrology — "Dr. Foggus " — "Fri-
day" — Incidents — Mexican war — A weather note — Mills
— Indian Orchard — Jenksville church edifices — Congrega-
tional Church there — The Company — Confidence of the peo-
ple — The crash — Immediate effects, . .... 66

Y. THE LUDLOW OF TO-DAY.

Toward the end — Congregational Church — Mr. Tuck — The fire
— Rebuilding — Dedication — Rev. Mr. Mayo — Rev. Chester
Bridgman— Rev. C. L. Cushman— Rev. S. Y. McDuffee—
Methodist Church — Re-modeling — Rev. F. Fisk — Revival
scenes — War record of society — Rev. D. K. Banister — Wes-
leyan Praying Band — Relations of societies — Jenksville —
Manufacturing interests — Present Company — A good chance
— Methodism — Sale of a church — Rev. W. H. Daniels —
Union Church — Roads and bridges — Railroads — A fine op-
portunity lost — Items — The Miller "boys" — Incidents —
The Rebellion — Enlistments — The Monument — Mr. Banis-
ter's Address — War scenes — Names of Soldiers — Spring-
field Aqueduct — Prominent men — Incentives to effort —
Conclusion, ......... 80

THE CENTENNIAL.
Prospective, 95

Actual, 107

Address of Welcome, ....... 108

Responsive Address, ....... 112

Historical Address, 124

Toasts, 145

Letters, ......... 152

Afteiip.\^t, 155



xu



CONTENTS.



APPENDIX

A, Indians,

Bi Commons proprietors,
C. Ludlow, England,
I), Paine and Wright,

E. Church Letter,

F. Old Letter,

G. Gad Lyon's " Keflections,'
H. Tax-bill.

I. The Militia, .

J. Oakley Ballad,

K. Congregationalist Ministers,

Lf Methodist ]Ministers,

M. Jenksville Ministers,

N. Deacons,

0. Parish Clerks,

P. ]\Ioderators,

Q. Town Clerks, .

R. Selectmen,

S. Assessors,

T. Representatives,

U. School Committees,

V. Graduates,
W. Physicians,

X. Postmasters,

Y. Present Town Officers,

Z. Peats of Strength,
A A. Epitaphs,
BB. Genealogies,
CC. Captain Hubbard,
DD. Andersonville,



PAGE.

159
161
163
164
166
166
167
168
169
169
171
171
173
172
172
173
173
174
175
176
176
177
177
177
178
178
179
184
193
194



INTRODUCTORY.



As we stand at the vestibule of the little edifice whose pro-
portions and embellishments we propose to exhibit to the inter-
ested reader, it may be well to point out a portrait or two of
the more renowned sons of the town, whose names and memo-
ries, impressed upon our minds, will render the apartments of
our little cottage still more interesting to the looker-on. As said
of another, known to fame, —

" Fairer seems the ancient township,

And the sunliglit seems more fair,
That they once have trod its pathways,

That they once have breathed its air."

Rev. Joel Chapin was born in Ludlow very early in the
history of the settlement, served in the Revolutionary war, and
afterward went through a collegiate course at Dartmouth College.

Dr. Aaron John Miller was well known in all the earlier
history of the town as the family physician. He is said to have
been one of the original Boston tea-party, and went as surgeon
to the Revolution. So extended a sketch of his life occurs in
the genealogies that it is unnecessary to speak further of him
here than to call attention to the portrait facing page 176, which
two of his grandsons have kindly furnished for the history of
his town.

John Jennings, Esq., was widely known in his day as the
lawyer of the town. He is said to have lived at one time near
the present home of Ezekiel Fuller, where he had a sort of
office. It became his duty to make out many a deed of the
lands of tliis region, and sign many an important document.
His usefulness extended along many years, and found fields for
display in larger circles than those of home.



XIV INTRODUCTORY.

To Theodore Sikes, yet lingering on the verge of time,
belongs the distinction of representing the town oftenest in the
political assemblies of the State. A hearty and honorable citi-
zen, he retains in his old age the respect and love of hi:i fellow-
townsmen,

Hon. Chester "W. Chapix, an elegant portrait of whom
appropriately oj)ens our volume of sketches, is perhaps the best
and widest known to the world at large of an}' of the sons of
this good old town. Mr. Cliapin was born in the " Torrey
house," in the west part of Ludlow, December 16th, 1798. He
is a direct lineal descendant, in the sixth generation, from Dea.
Samuel Chapin, the founder of the family in this country. His
grandfather, Ejihraim Chapin, was one of the largest land own-
ers of his day in this section, his estate covering lands in Chic-
opee, Ludlow and Springfield. His father (also Ephraim by
name) occupied a portion of the old Chapin estates, Avhich at
the time of his death had not been divided. Though rich in
lands these early settlers were otherwise possessed of small
means, and cultivated habits of the strictest economy. Yet
these were days of families inversely proportionate to the ready
means of the householder, Chester being the youngest of a
family of seven children. In such circumstances are often
formed the beginnings of the amplest fortunes and that strength
of character which gives the widest influence.

Alread}', then, had there been instilled into the mind of the
boy those lessons which have served him so well, when at a ten-
der age his fatlier died and left the family, then at Chicopee
street, to manage for themselves. His older brother, Ephrtiim,
having been sent to college, the duty of remaining at home to
care for tlie interests of his mother and her farm devolved
upon Chester. Wliile so doing he attended the district school
at Chicopee which ranked high as a school of its kind in those
days, and was afterward sent to the Academy at Westfield,
from 'which he entered upon the active pursuits of life. As
was often the case at such schools, the culture acquired, how-
ever valuable, was of no more use in after life than the ac-
quaintances formed in the circles with which he became intimate.
At twenty-one he went to Springfield, and first found employ-
ment at tlie bar of the old "Williams House, kept then by his



HON. CHESTER W. CHAPIN. XV

brother Erastus. Not relishing" the business he was next found
keeping a store of his own at Chicopee street. Just across the
way was another store kept by the late Stephen C. Bemis, and
the two soon formed a copartnership which continued several
months. At this time Mr. Chapin was married to a daughter of
Col. Abel Chapin of Chicopee. lie was next found at work
upon the construction at Chicopee of the first mill ever built
in this county where paper was made by machinery. He took
the contract for the foundation and masonry of this factory for
the Ames's, and did the work in so satisfactory a manner that
when a few years later tlie mill was burned, they urged him to
undertake a renewal of the job ; but other engagements then
intervened to prevent him from complying. A change in busi-
ness then occurred which turned the attention of the 5'oung
man in the direction of his real life's work. At the solicita-
tion of Jacob W. Brewster of Hartford, he was induced to
take an interest in the extensive stage lines in the Connecti-
cut Valle}". Here he first made the acquaintance of his life-
long friend, the late Major Morgan of Palmer, who was engaged
in the stage line running east and west from Springfield. Occa-
sionally holding the reins on the Hartford and Brattleboro
line, j\[r. Chapin was soon found to be more needed in devel-
oping the general interests of the route, which so prospered
under his management as to yield him large returns on his
investment.

Soon after the demonstration had been satisfactorily made by
Thomas Blanchard that steamboats could journey from Hartford
to Springfield, Mr. Chapin grasped the idea and utilized it. He
bought out Blanchard soon after 1830, and for a dozen years
controlled the passenger traffic between the two places. Ever
since he has maintained his business relations with boating lines,
until he now controls largely the New York and New Haven
lines of steamboats. Two of his vessels were in government
employ during tlie war of the rebellion.

Meanwhile, having, largely b}^ his personal efforts secured a
connection between Springfield and Hartford bj- rail, he became
a director in the corporations, and took active interest in its
management. Extensive postal contracts having been taken by
him on the route from Terre Haute to St. Louis, he sent the



XVI INTRODUCTORY.

stac^es there, and used tlie rail as the means of transporting
mails under his charge from Hartford to Stanstead.

In 1«.50 Mr. Chapin became a director of the Western Rail-
road, but resigned the position to accept the presidency of the
Connecticut River Railroad in the same year. In 1854. having
attracted attention by successful management of that road he
■was elected president of the Western road, and accepted. In
two years fifty miles of rails had been renewed, the bridge over
the Connecticut River rebuilt, twelve lirst-class locomotives,
one hundred and forty-five freight cars and six passenger
coaches had l)een added to the rolling stock of the road. The
interests of the Company called him to England in 1855, where
he was successful in negotiating a loan of half a million of dol-
lars, for further improvements. Very soon the road began to
pay handsome dividends, a practice so long continued that it
has become a habit. The Albany bridges, the new iron bridge
at Springfield, the continuous double track, and more particu-
hirly the grand consolidation of the Western and Boston and
Worcester roads into the Boston & Albany, with magnificent
tide-water facilities and the huge elevator at Boston and the
grand depot luider way at Worcester, have been enterprises
owing a large share of tlicir success to the shrewd management
of Chester W. Chapin.

At various times during his presidency of the Western road,
he has been solicited to take the management of other large
railroad interests, but has ahvaj's refused. In business relations
elsewhere, we find Mr. Chapin mentioned as a stockholder and
director in the Hudson River and New York Central Railroads,
as a prominent manager and owner of the Collins' Paper Com-
])any's property and business at Wilbraham, and of the Aga-
Avam Canal Company at West Springfield, and as president of
the Chapin Banking and Trust Company of Springfield, (having
been formerly founder and president of the Agawam Bank of
the same ])lace.) He lias at the recent election been honored
M ith a seat in tlie national House of Representatives, a fitting
teslimonial from an a})preciative public — a testimonial, more-
over, in which his little native town claims the privilege of
giving a modest share.

Tlie honor thus conferred, coming in the way it seems to have



HON. GORDON M. FISK. XVU

done, precludes the necessity of extended eulogistic remarks
concerning Mr. Chapin's personal excellencies. Kind and oblig-
ing, of unblemished reputation, cool and decided but consider-
ate, one whose "promise is as good as his bond,'' his native
town rejoices to hold him up as an exemplar for her young peo-
ple. Mr. Chapin's presence at the Centennial was highly
appreciated.

" While Mr. Chapin is naturally and by instinct a prudent and
somewhat conservative man, a careful observer of his career
will find that he has always been among the foremost to em-
brace every improvement in the onward march of civilization.
At first a stage owner, he was quick to see and utilize the appli-
cation of steam, first upon the waters of the Connecticut and
then upon its banks. Instead of resisting the march of events
as bringing into the field an element of rivalry and perhaps
destruction to his interests in old methods, he was the foremost
to contribute his capital and practical experience to the devel-
opment of each new and improved project in the direction of
cheap and rapid transportation."

The other son of Ludlow who has, perhaps, acquired promi-
nence next to that of Mr. Chapin, is Hon. Gordon M. Fisk,
the veteran editor of the Pahner Journal. He was born at
Ludlow, May 9th, 1825, being also one of seven sons. His
father, William H. Fisk, lived at the " City," the northwest
district of the town. He was named after a son of Dr. Aaron
John Miller, who accompanied the name with a gift of th'ee
sheep. The family was large, the mother an invalid, the income
small, and so here again was an opportunity for building up a
first-class man. The district school and family fireside afforded
the only means for educating the children. A studious boy,
Gordon early mastered all the books within reach, even to Dr.
Johnson's dictionary and the Westminster catechism.

At the age of twenty-one he found an opportunity to gratify
the longings of years, and purchased a printing press of one
John Howe, of Enfield, who had used it in the publication of
anti-orthodox pamphlets. It was a rude establishment, with
ancient Ramage press, and ink balls instead of composition
rollers. Having mastered the business by assiduous labor by
nights, he established the " Village Gazette," in Ware, in June-



XVlll INTRODUCTORY.

1847. He sold out in December, 1848, and moved to Palmer,
where ou the first of January he opened a printing office. In
the fall he undertook, with another, to establish the " Holyoke
Times," but abandoned the project, and issued the first number
of the '• Palmer Journal" April 6, 1850, whose publication he
has continued ever since, also sending out the " Ware Standard"
for nineteen years.

His official record covers a period of over twenty years. In


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Online LibraryAlfred NoonLudlow: a century and a centennial → online text (page 1 of 18)