Alfred Noon.

Ludlow: a century and a centennial online

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•^See page 32.

■"Now the Kellogg place, near Eaton"? mills.


A large delegation from the towns around, even as far as
East Hartford and Granville and Pomfret, came to the
place of rendezvous. The towns-people, of course, were
out in force to see the first real demonstration here of
what some have been pleased to term ''Christianity in
earnest." A sermon by the presiding elder, Daniel
Ostrander, perhaps his grandest effort, made the occasion
memorable to all. From this time to 1808 there were
maintained services, private and public,^ without much
omission. Among the preachers were Gove, Tucker,
Sampson, Norris and Lambord. There was rather de-
crease than otherwise in the latter part of the time
mentioned, until finally the class was discontinued by
Lambord. Uriah Clougli, however, gathered together the
remnants of the organization into another class after a
little dela}^

This class seems to have lasted durino; half a score of
years at least. Of course no demonstrations towards a
pulpit supply were made during the labors of Heddiug
and McLean. Yet during the ministry of the latter he
seems to have encouraged the visits of Methodist preach-
ers, who often, we are told, spoke in the old meeting-
house. Quarterl}^ meetings Avere held in the edifice, and
a local preachers' conference once occurred there. He
also reorganized the West Middle class on a more perma-
nent basis.

After 1810 there was little done by the Methodists for
a number of years. Occasional preaching services oc-
curred through the town, and the social meetings were
more or less faithfully attended. Yet there was little
accomplished save by the agitation of the Arminian
tenets and preparation for future successes.^ The class

^There was awliile i)reachiiig services in two places in town.

^At about \S'20 tlie opponents of tlie parisli tax law formed an orjianization under
tlie name of the " Methodist Legal Society," with McLean as nominal pastor.


was almost defunct in 1825, when aid came from an un-
expected quarter.

. The earher itinerants were not men of eminent scho-
lastic attainments, and hence found themselves at a disad-
vantage when before many of the New England people.
And yet their natural qualifications were not to be de-
spised, while the experience gained in their peculiar work
was better for them than a collegiate education. Still
advantage Avould frequently be taken of their lack of
specific education by pedantic clergymen of the standing
order. Not always did the itinerant come out second
best, even in these encounters. The anecdote of Jesse
Lee is illustrative of this. An Orthodox minister ad-
dressing him in Greek, he replied in Low Dutch, much to
the discomfiture of his antagonist, who supposed the
response was in Hebrew. When however a graduate of
Brown University went into the Methodist itinerancy the
new movement received dignity not before obtained this
side the sea.

Such were the facts with reference to Wilbur Fisk and
his relations to Methodism. As he took the school re-
cently established in the northern wilds of Newmarket
and transplanted it to the neigliboring town of Wilbra-
ham, scarcely less undeveloped, the people of the standing
order looked on Avith at least respect. And when this
same Wilbur Fisk, as pious as learned, as earnest in mis-
sion work as in founding schools, of rare eloquence and
rarer earnestness, left his classes behind and rode up
into Ludlow to preach the gospel to handfuls of people,
the populace began to understand that Methodism had
come to town to make its abode here.

Dr. Fisk Avas not long; in Avinnino; the confidence and
attention of those Avho Avere Avilling to convene at the
residence of Rev. Alexander McLean^° to listen to his

I'Tlic present home of Josliua Clark.


earnest proclamation of the gospel truth. Soon there
was a harvest of souls and a demand for organization into
a church. In a few months Mr. Fisk, through Mr.
McLean, caused letters missive to be sent through the
town, inviting the Methodists and all favorable to the en-
terprise, to meet at the house of Zera Fuller^^ on the
afternoon of February 5, 1827, to consult Avith reference
to "erecting a house for the Public Worship of God, to be
located as near the center of the M. E. Society in this
town as possible. "^^ Soon everything was under way.
Captain Joseph Miller furnished the timber. Rev. Isaac
Jennison, preacher, architect and boss-carpenter, went
with the old gentleman and his little grandson, (now Dr.
Wni. B. Miller of Springfield,) to select the tall straight
pines for the sills and j)osts and plates. They were gath-
ered from the forest near Wood's pond, where Sylvester
Miller, now lingering with us, cut down the first tree
marked. McLean wjis a valuable and persistent worker
in the enterprise, soliciting funds and labor and material
the whole town over. Few, if any, were slighted in
those invitations. The axe and adze were made to fly,
(by none more dexterously than by Parson Jennison,) the
patient oxen and sturdy drivers conducted the logs to the
mill and soon the hand of Jennison had framed the mas-
sive timbers. The crowd who came to that raising saw
every stick take its place in order, every mortise receiv-
ing its tenon to the very shoulder, every trunnion going
home tightly, and no rum to help either, thanks to the
advance in temperance principles in haK a centur}-.^^ At
last the work was done and the place ready for the dedi-
cation, which occurred, probably, July 5, 1828. The size
was 40 by 50 feet.

"Where A. J. Cliapiii now lives.

i2We take our extract from tlie letter to Elias Frost, son of Samuel, ever a warm
friend to the cause, wliose name to-day is "as ointment poured forth "
i^See Historical Address, account of raising tiie ciiurch.


Methodism was now fairl}^ established in the town.
Jennison and Noah Perrin supplied the charge that year,
while a new minister was appointed to preach after the

We will glance at other interests in the town before
closing the record of this ecclesiastical era.

There are few especial references to the other church
edifice. It seems to have been serving its day and gener-
ation, gradually succumbing to wind and weather, and
occasionally pressing a claim for repairs, with infrequent
success. Used as meeting-house in a municipal as well as
religious sense, it had every opportunity for a display of
its excellencies or its defects. In 1805 there is record of
a loud call for glass in the windows and for wooden steps
up which the worthies might climb on their entrance
to the sanctuary, nor was the cry disregarded. The
people could not have been over-nice in their archi-
tectural demands, for they abide in patience a brace of
decades. Then the pent-up longings of years burst forth
wildly as demands began to be made. The honest
sashes again demanded glass, the wooden stej)s, probably
never painted, had rotted away, while some who had
found necessity for an umbrella in church, averred to the
astonished managers that the roof needed patching;
Avhereat there were orders at solemn conclave that meas-
ures should be taken to stop the "leaks in the roof, if
there be any." Individuals were to be allowed to paint
the liouse and put step-stones in front. Deacon S. Jones
passed a paper around for the purpose, and obtained
$146.32, of which sum $25 was given by the " Spring-
field Manufacturing Company." One year later, these
improvements having been consummated, the town had
the daring to allow a committee of three, (who must be
immortalized — they were Benjamin Jenks, John Moody,
Eliphal Booth,) to put in a stove, at the expense of indi-


vitliiiils. TliL' horse-sheds date back to 1814, notwith-
standin^r the sunilarity of some to the present condition
of the tower of BaljcL Parties erecting them bid for
choice of lot, under direction of the selectmen.

From tlie house of God to the resting-place of the dead
is a frequented path. There are sufhcicnt references to
the places of burial to assure us that these busy scenes
were often interrupted by the service funereal. It be-
came necessary in 1805 to fence with post and rails and
half-wall the yard by the church. A dozen years later
the people meet to "spell" in repairing the fence. In
1823 the town appropriates thirty dollars for a hearse.
Before this time the dead were borne on biers to the
grave, a journe}' of miles on foot being often required.
Men are living who have aided in conveying a corpse in
this manner from the extreme Avest to the cemetery near
the center. In 1825 the fences of both yards need re-
pairs. Simeon Pease, the wit of the town, bid oft" the
repairs of the center yard at the siun of live cents, evi-
dently to postpone the work until the town would do it
with thoroughness. In a few weeks he became one of
a committee to build a thorough half-v\'all fence, with
sawed posts and rails above. Great excitement was
caused about this time by a proposition to move all the
bodies' interred in this yard, the proposition being scorn-
fully rejected — how wisely is not evident. A hearse-
house was erected in 1827.

It is singular that the war of 1812 should have passed
with no occasion for record on the town books. Let no
one, however, question the loyalty of Ludlow. Military
organizations had existed in town for a long time, proba-
bly for most of the period of organization. In 1808 a
goodly number went to a general muster at Old Hadley,
occurring September 28, but were unsuccessful in getting
their expenses paid by the town. The famous Horse Com-

WAR OF 1812. 55

panv Avns formed in 1802 from recruits of four towns,
Springfield, Longmeadow and AVilbraliam joining Ludlow.
The place of drill and muster was usualty the Five Mile
House, east of Springlield village. The captain was a Long-
meadow man, Colton or Flint, perhaps both, at differ-
ent times. The Ludlow names were as follows: Adin
Parsons (lieutenant). Gains Clough, Mordecai Clough, War-
ren Hubbard, Erastus Munger, Daniel Miller, Sylvester
Miller, Francis Nash, Jidius Nash, Asahel Eood and Mar-
tin Smith. The full number in the company was about
forty. When the war of 1812 broke out, this company
was in fine order. It is related of them that they Avere
at a drill during the jenr at their usual mustering
grounds one day, when the captain formed them into line
and requested all who would volunteer as minute men for
the national service to march forward so many paces.
Not a man started in obedience to the sudden request,
until the captain himself advanced to the assigned j^lace.
Then a large number of the company followed his exam-
ple, among whom were all the Ludlow men but two, and
of those one furnished a substitute. The names of those
from the town actually participating in the service during
the war were as follows :

Hexry Ackes, Bea'jamtx Aixsworth,

GiDKox CoTTox, Lemuel Gardiner,

Samuel Gates," John Howard,

Chester Kendall, Eeuben Parsons,

Amos Root, Veuanus Shattuck,

Charles F. Wood, Gordon B. Wood,
Harvey Wood.

< Facts are facts, and it must be recorded that two of
these men deserted from the ranks and concealed them-
selves at their home. One narrowly escaped capture by
concealment for days inside a large stone chimney then

"Substitiue for Selali Kendall, drafted.


stanclino; in tlie south-west part of the town, and bv a
kindly ^varning from a female friend who knew officers
were on his trail. The other was not as fortunate. Tak-
en prisoner, he was court-martialed and sentenced to be
shot. The coffin was produced and he bound and made
to kneel upon it. The soldiers drawn up to execute the
rigorous military law included his own brother-in-law.
But just as the fatal shot was about to send him to eter-
nity a reprieve was granted and a pardon eventually ob-
tained, through the instrumentality of a Lieutenant Clary
of Springfield.

Among the souvenirs of these days of war is a revenue
receipt for payment by Benjamin Sikes of a tax of one
dollar " for and upon a 4 wheel carriage called a waggon
and the harness used therefor owned by him."

In school matters there seems to have been progress.
The appropriation of $150 in 1801 was lessened only one
year, while it increased fifty dollars occasionally until in
1828 it had become $400. Generally there were only
prudential committees to manage the affairs, until 1827,
when an examining committee was added. This seems to
have been the ])eriod of the formation of school districts.
To be sure, at its very beginning (1802) the south and
south-east districts found it profitable to unite. It
seems that there was an early district arrangement in
that part of the town for all to attend at the house east
of the present No. 9 district building. Afterward the
Miller Corner people clamored for a change of location,
and secured a district organization. The coalition of 1802
was another victory for Miller Corner. The Alden dis-
trict was set off in 1808, the Center in 1809, AVallama-
numps in 1814, and the Lyon in 1822. The south-east
people made another effort in 1818 and secured again a
distinctive district existence. The first reference to West
^liddlc is dated 1822. Leave was given in 1805 to move


the Middle school-house near to the pound, a location
close b}^ J. P. Hubbard's.

Of the people of these times we need say but little,
because oiu' annals must become more and more mere
recitals of facts as we approach the present. A charac-
teristic sketch or two of life at the time, however, may not
be out of place. The muse of song was still courted. In
1804 the town magnanimously appropriated twenty-five
dollars " to the present singers, on condition they sing
well and still continue to sing to the Edification of the
Inhabitants of s'^ Town," and two years after a committee
was again empowered to hire a singing-master. Many a
family lived in a log cabin, the older inhabitants remem-
bering such establishments in various parts of the town.^°
The voters seem to have indulged in all the privileges of
American citizenship. At one time they solemnly and
with full assurance " voted that James Bowdoin, Esq., be
governor." In 1812 the County of Hampden was formed,
a great convenience to Ludlow people, whose distance to
the county seat was lessened one-half. Another conven-
ience was the post-office at Put's Bridge, established not
far from 1815. The mail route for a while was through
the town from north to south, a cavalier with drawn pis-
tol carrying the precious bag. As illustrations of wages
paid and the value of work we cite allowances for highw^ay
labor in 1841 as sixty-seven cents per day in the Spring and
fifty in the Fall. Ezekiel Fuller cut his logs, paid two dol-
lars a thousand for sawing at the mill, drew the stuff to
Willimansett, and sold it, nice yellow pine, for two dollars
and a half per thousand. As late as 1820 good potatoes
brought ten cents a bushel. A curious idea of the extent
of the earlier crops of this esculent may be gained from

i-^One stood near the Norman Lyon house, one on " Stallion Hill," near Miss
Mary Lyon's, anutlier opposite Loren Wood's, another in the extreme south-east
part of Ludlow.


the fact that one man who had half a hogshead and an-
other showing a crop of four barrels were the wonder of
the town. There was a genuine small-pox scare in 1810,
a committee being appointed to introduce the inoculation
of the cow-pox. Among the minor incidents related is
one of Elisha Fuller, who, journeying westward with his
3-oung son riarr}^, met a personage so peculiar that it
occurred to his mind the stranger was the incarnation of
his Satanic majesty, yet who proved to be the eccentric
Lorenzo Dow, who the night before had preached at
"Master" Frost's. This same Samuel Frost Avas a very
liberal man, who would give freely of his means to sup-
port the traveling itinerants. Parties remonstrating at
his prodigality, he retorted that he could raise "Methodist
ears of corn" as long as his arm. McLean is said to have
added a story to his height at one time, while preaching
"over east," by standing upon a half-bushel measure.

Among the casualties of the time was the death of the
veteran David Paine, who was found, Juh^ 2, 1807, dead,
at the foot of Burying-Ground Hill, in sight of his home,
having fallen beneath his cart on returning from mill, and
perished from the crushing by the wheel.

But the most thrilling incident is that concerning the
supposed Annibal rriurder. "In the year 1817, a man
named John xVnnibal went from Belchertown to Connec-
ticut to peddle wagons for Filer. On his return he was
seen to enter Ludlow about sundown. Afterward his
horse, with bridle cut, was seen in Granby, near Asa
Pease's house. His portmanteau and saddle were found
near Ezekiel Fuller's, and blood was discovered in the
road between these two points. Great excitement pre-
vailed, as every one thought he had been robbed and
murdered. An old Avoman who pretended to tell for-
times was consulted. She said he was murdered hy a
man with but one eye, living where three roads met, in


a gambrel-roofecl house. The house which answered the
description was searched in the absence of the family —
the door-steps were removed and a large excavation made
underneath them, but not the slightest trace of the miss-
ing man was found. The owner of the house was then
searched as he was returning to his home, but no money
discovered about him. Then a pond was drained near
the house of George Clark. In draining the pond it was
necessar}^ in one point to dig twenty-five feet deep.
While the work of digging was going forward, camp-fires
were kept around the pond and sentinels with loaded
muskets guarded the spot. When the ditch Avas com-
pleted, on Sabbath day, the water was drawn off and a
thousand people were supposed to be present ; while a
line of men reaching from one side of the pond to the
other, holding each other's hands, waded through the
soft mud. The pond covered nearly an acre of ground.
No trace was found of the object desired. Search was
then instituted in a smaller pond near by, the water being
carried over the hill in pails. This effort also proved
fruitless. Many then began to adopt another theory
than that of murder. His brother, who had been here
and joined in the search for two days, said his business
was such he could not jDOssibly remain, and returned to
his home. It was afterward learned that he had debts
which he did not wish to pay, also that his marital rela-
tions were not the happiest. Some suggested that he
might have sj)ied a chance to kill two birds with one
stone. "^'^ A possible sequel to this account was the find-
ing of a skull years later at one of the points where
suspicion had rested.

Nearly as melancholy was the story of "Nick and
Tarzy." They were very worthy people, were Nicholas
Daniels of Ludlow and Thirza Olds of Belchertown. Un-

I'^lTrom Dea. Geo. K. Clark's descriptLon of the atfkir.


like the doctor who died in our town, they never " expe-
rienced the sweets of connubial bhss." And yet they
thought of these things, did Nick and Tarzy, and very
hkely blended their thoughts in joyous outlook. For
well-nigh two-score years they fondly anticipated a day
which should make an epoch. The day never came. At
last Nick made his final visit to Tarzy. Whether hope
deferred or love or a cold made his heart or his body sick
" deponent saith not;" but he was cut down in the height
of anticipative bliss, and buried from her home. Need we
wonder that even the voluble McLean found his vocabulary
straitened when he undertook at the service to address
Thirza with words of consolation ? Into the conversation
current of a generation has passed the expression, " Court-
ing as long as Nick and Tarzy."

A few words on those matters intimately connected
with the town's business may be expected. The bounds
were changed in 1805 so as to include a large slice of
Springfield, from the mouth of Higher Brook northward
to the South Hadley line. In 1813 this had evidently
been returned to its former association. There are fre-
quent references to public lands, made a part of the town's
property in the ancient allotment. This land was sold in
1802, for a sum of money which became a ministerial
fund, a source of much trouble in later days, as we shall
soon discover. "The town seems to have been fortunate
in rarely finding occasion to go before the law, either as
complainant or defendant. The presence of a representa-
tive at the General Court was generally secured. Occa-
sionally projierty seems to have come into the hands of
the town for safe management.

There was some attention paid to roads during the pe-
riod. Nearly every highway east of the mountain was
either laid out or re-laid before 1811; a different course

i^See section IV.


was marked out and worked from J. P. Hubbard's to the
Center post-office, in 1803, involving the first construc-
tion of the terrible Cedar Swamp causeway, so long an
eye-sore to exasperated towns-people and bewildered se-
lectmen. In 1817 was established the highway from Joy's
store to Plumley's, to accommodate, it is said, travel from
the Jenksville to the Three Rivers factories. A year later
somebod}^ called down the wrath of the county commis-
sioners on the principal north and south roads through the
town, resulting in general repairs and re-location of the
Put's Bridge and Belchertown and Collins' and Granby
routes. In 1826 we find one of the earlier movements
toward a money system of repairing the highways.

This was the era of bridge-building at Wallamanumps.
Before the opening of the century only the most inex-
pensive modes of crossing the Chicopee were employed.
There were " riding places " or fords at Wallamanumps
and where now Collins' bridge spans the stream. As early
as '81 a committee from Ludlow was to meet another from
Springfield to see about the construction of a bridge at
Wallamanumps. In seven years fifty pounds were granted
for a like purpose in April, and in November a committee
on subscriptions was appointed, possibly to secure a better
bridire than the town felt able to construct unassisted.
In '92 the bridge, which must have made pretensions to
respectability, had very likely become a river craft, for
the town petitions the county authorities for another.

Plans more or less elaborate were consummated in '94
for a structure, which was inspected by a solemn com-
mittee in the later Autumn. The conditions of building
are worthy of preservation. " Voted that any Person or
Persons that will undertake and build with good materials
a good substantial Bridge over Chicopee Kiver, so called, at
Wallamanumps Falls, and shall keep the same in good re-
pair, shall receive sixty pounds from the town of Ludlow


— Proviiled that the Person or Persons being so entitled to
the said sum of sixty pounds for building the said Bridge
shidl procure sufficient bonds to the Town Treas'" in the
sum of one hundred and twenty pounds for the return of
the same money into the Treas"" of said Town if the same
bridge so built shall not stand the rapidity of the Floods
and the Breaking up of the winter, for four years — And
also that the same Person or Persons that shall build the
same shall be entitled to all the fare or toll allowed by
Law from all Persons not being Inhabitants of the Town
of Ludlow forever." Eli Putnam, moderator of the meet-
ing at which this action was taken, evidently considered
the vote as a challenge, and proceeded to the erection of
the first Putnam's or Put's bridge, also, probably, the first
toll bridge at that point. Whether it was worthy of the
capitals in the town record can not be determined at this
date. It seems, however, to have answered the require-
ment, for all is quiet until 1801, when the town again
finds itself bridgeless. After an unsuccessful attempt to
saddle the burden upon the county and an attempt equally
unsuccessful to build from town funds, a committee for
soliciting subscriptions was appointed, who, it may be pre-
sumed, built a bridge, for nothing was said for eleven
years. This brings us to the time of the construction of
the famous Cooley bridge, which started from a point near
the north abutment of the present structure, then ran to
a pier in the mid-stream, then at a different angle to an

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Online LibraryAlfred NoonLudlow: a century and a centennial → online text (page 6 of 18)