Solomon Clark.

Antiquities, historicals and graduates of Northampton online

. (page 10 of 26)
Online LibrarySolomon ClarkAntiquities, historicals and graduates of Northampton → online text (page 10 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

also to Joseph, are given the grist and the saw-mill.
Aaron, afterwards Dea. Aaron, married, in 1754, Penelope
Strong, daughter of Nathaniel, recorded among half a dozen
others, as *'one of the friends of Edwards," highly es-
teemed, for a meek, gentle, inoffensiye, benevolent deport-
ment. Appointed deacon in 1774. Aaron Cook also acted
as a tythingman in the latter part of the century. One,
still alive, in Northampton, remembers receiving (by mis-
take, however), more than a gentle reminder from Dea.
Cook's tything-rod, who kept a sharp lookout for the boys
who sat on the pulpit stairs, while sitting himself in the
deacon's seat underneath or near the pulpit.

The third on the homestead, Enos Cook, born in 1774,
a farmer and miller, one of the salt of the earth, lived
on the old place eighty-two years, until 1856. His oldest
son, Horace, born in 1806, was the last occupant of this
ancient landmark in that neighborhood, by whom it was
sold, having been in the family, dating from Noah, Sr.,
over one hundred and eighty years.

Homestead number twenty-four. Capt. Eoger Clapp, on
South street. Has continued in the family (at least a part
of it), ever since 1713. That year Capt. Roger built the
house, lived in it nearly fifty years. There he died in
1762, in his seventy-ninth year. His father, Elder Pre-
served, united with the settlement a little previous to the
organization of the church, in 1661. When he removed
from Dorchester, says the historian of the Clapp race,
Springfield and Northampton, far off settlements, comprised
the whole inhabited portion of Western Massachusetts.
Here, considered a leading man in civil and ecclesiastical
affairs. Elder Preserved lived over sixty years, until 1720.


An old writer calls him a good instrument and a great
blessing to the town of Northampton. Fourteen years after
the settlement commenced, in 1668, he married Sarah,
daughter of Benjamin Newbury, of Windsor, Conn. He
was captain of a military company, re2)resentative to the
General Court, ruling elder in the church, and several
times a selectman. Koger, his son, born in 1684, married
in 1707, had eight sons and one daughter. All attained
maturity, all married and reared families. Following in
the steps of his father and grandfather, the renowned
Koger, commander of Castle William, in Boston harbor, he
attained the rank of captain, and went as representative to
the General Court. Next in order comes his eighth and
and youngest son, Simeon, born on the homestead, in South
street, in 1728, where he lived eighty-four years. At
twenty went into the service, in 1748, as a soldier, after-
ward became captain, being the fourth in direct descent,
honored with the same title. He practiced as a physician,
married Sarah Clark, both deceased in their eighty-fifth
year. His two sons, Simeon and Warham, shared the home-
stead. That part bequeathed to Warham, passed out of
the family in 1858, the old house being now owned by
James Ellsworth. In this house lived so long the memor-
able Sally Maminash, the last of the Indian race in North-
ampton, long and tenderly cared for, under the infirmities
of age by that excellent woman, Mrs. Sophia, wife of War-
ham Clapp, and after her death, by her son, Edward Clapp
and his wife. Sally, the last Indian in Northampton, a
woman of piety and excellence, died in 1853, aged eighty-
eight. Her father's gravestone stands alone (so it did
some years ago), in a field near the pine grove, a little
south of the hospital.


The part of the homestead bequeathed to Simeon con-
tinues in the family line. Born in 1759, married in 1783,
the second Simeon deceased in 1851, in his ninety-third
year. Five years before his decease, in 1846, he gave a
part of the homestead to his grandson Merrick, the pres-
ent owner and occupant.

Zenas, the oldest and only married child of Simeon, suc-
ceeded on the place, whose wife, Belinda Dickinson, origi-
nated in Hadley. Their son William D., born in 1820,
in business in Northampton, also for many years a stated
supply of several pulpits in the vicinity, still owns the
place. Capt. Roger Clapp's homestead, therefore, now held
by children of the fifth generation, has descended in the
family line one hundred and sixty-eight years.

Homestead number twenty-five. Lieut. Jonathan Hunt,
ancestor of the late Madam Henshaw. Born in 1666, fol-
lowed his father, the first Dea. Jonathan, on the homestead
(now Miss Burnham's), living there in all, fifty-eight years,
until the marriage, in 1724, of his son, Capt. Jonathan.
Leaving him on the old place, he established himself
farther up the street on what, towards the end of the cen-
tury, became the Judge Henshaw homestead. He was a
man much engaged in business, and consequently of some
means and considerable public spirit. Lived on the new
place fourteen years, until 1738. That year he gave by
will, as follows: "To son Jonathan the house and lot
where he lives, viz. : the old place. To Joseph, the lot
called the Taylor lot, with the house, etc.," viz.: the
George Bridgman place, where afterward Hon. C. P. Hunt-
ington built. *^ To John, the house where I now live,
etc." Also " To the town, twenty pounds for the support
of schools." His son, John Hunt, therefore became the


next proprietor of the homestead, then a young man of
twenty-six, like his father and the others of that name,
of active business habits. Between that date, 1738, and
the commencement of the next century, there lived at in-
tervals, within one-third of a mile of each other, the fol-
lowing Hunt families, viz. : Two Jonathans, Joseph, John,
Elijah, Joel, Abner. Having become established on the
place when about forty, John built the new house, that
of S. E. Bridgman's, made improvements, set out the
elms, now so stately, on account of which the street has
taken its name. Here his children were born and reared.
Two of them went to college; another, Martha, married
Judge Henshaw. He deceased 1788. During a part of
his days he kept a public house. From 1788, onward,
for the next sixty years, it was associated with the Hen-
shaw family. Here, as intimated. Madam Henshaw was
born and married. Here the Judge deceased in 1809.
Here, rearing a numerous family, she passed the greater
part of her life, and, almost eighty-seven, here she died
in 1842. This homestead, conveyed to Lewis Hopkins, M.
D., Sept. 1st, 1848, by Samuel Henshaw of Boston, son
of Judge Samuel, continued in the family from the second
Jonathan Hunt, one hundred and twenty-four years, through
four generations into the fifth.

Homestead number twenty-six. Dea. Ebenezer Hunt.
Originally a part of the highway or common, until 1676,
when the town gave it to William Smead, who not long
after joined the Deerfield settlement, where his descendants
became numerous. It was next owned by Thomas Alvord,
and others, until 1730, when, with a house, barn and hat-
ter's shop, it came into the possession of Dea. Ebenezer
Hunt. The price paid, one hundred and thirty pounds.


in the depreciated currency of that day, amounted to one
hundred and fifty or sixty dollars. Dea. Hunt, who was
a hatter, and to some extent a trader, continued in pos-
session fifty-eight years, until his decease, in 1788. The
late mansion, gambrel roof, was built by his son, Eben-
ezer, the physician, in 1770. It stood one hundred years,
and in 1870, was burnt, at the time the Edwards church
lost their house of worship. Dr. Ebenezer, known in the
Commonwealth and beyond its limits, a large importer of
drugs and medicines, having an extensive practice, next
owned the homestead until his death, in 1820, when it was
willed to his son, the late Dr. David, who held the same
until 1837. It then passed into the hands of his widow
and an unmarried daughter, until September, 1838. Dr.
Daniel Thompson, whose first wife was a daughter of Dr.
David Hunt, then came into posseesion. Her decease,
Jan. 18th, 1875, terminated the occupation of the place
by any of the Hunt line. Four generations lived on the
premises during a period, 1730-1875, of one hundred and
forty-five years.

Homestead number twenty-seven. Lieut. John Parsons,
ancestor of the late Major William Parsons, farmer and
hatter, on South street. One of the few places, occupied
previous to the year 1700, which have continued in un-
broken succession to the present day. Lieut. John was the
second of Esq. Joseph's twelve children. Joseph, the first
child, one of the three earliest graduates of the town, be-
came the first minister at Lebanon, Ct., and the ancestor
of several ministers of the same name m successive genera-
tions. Lieut. John, the next child, born 1673, married,
1696, Sarah, daughter of Kev. Hoj^e Atherton, of Hatfield.
For his second wife he married, 1720, Mrs. Abraham Mil-


ler, daughter of the distinguished elder, Preserved Clapp.
In his will, Esq. Joseph gives to son John, the house-lot
on which he, viz. : the son, built, which joined on the
south what, a few years later, became the Noah Parsons'
homestead, already described. Originally, Esq. Joseph
owned extensively beyond the bridge, on the left, embra-
cing not only the two homesteads of his sons, John and
Noah, but nearly all the upland now owned by E. H. R.
Lyman, including the site of his residence. If Lieut. John
built on this lot about the time of his marriage, in 1696,
as is probable, then he seems to have been among the first
to settle permanently across the river, on South street —
the first now known. The Olarks, Edwards, Phelps, Clapps,
Noah Parsons, the Kingsley and the Strong families, all
probably settled there afterwards. Lieut. John lived on
the place fifty years, till 1746, into his seventy-fourth year,
and saw great changes and improvements through the en-
tire street; served as selectman, but not to the extent his
father did, nor his next younger brother, Capt. Ebenezer.
After Lieut. John, we have next in the line of descent
the youngest of his ten children, Joseph Parsons, born 1722,
and always lived on the homestead, into his eighty-fifth year.
With the exception of two short years, an unmarried
brother, Benjamin, lived the whole of this long period
with him, being at his death, 1805, eighty-eight, the old-
est of the family. Of Joseph's four children, Oliver re-
mained with his father, but died four years before him, 1803,
at the age of forty-three. On the year of his decease, 1807,
Joseph gave the homestead to his grandson, Oliver, then a
young man of twenty-two, who lived after that date fifty
years, and deceased 1857, leaving on the place his brother
William and his sister Rhoda. The two, never married, con-


tinned to occupy the homestead. The sister lived till 1873,
being in her seventy-fifth year. Major William, learned
the hatter's trade with Josiah Dickinson, on Pleasant street,
and worked at the business until about fifty. Deceased, uni-
versally respected in the community, April 23d, 1879, at the
advanced age of eighty-seven. A neice, Mrs. Marshall Hubbard,
housekeeper through his last years, still occupies the place.
From Lieut. John, four generations into the fifth, have lived
on this homestead, stretching over the long period of one
hundred and eighty-four years, covering almost six-sevenths
of the entire history of the town.

Homestead number twenty-eight. That of the late Capt.
Samuel Parsons, on West Street, being nearly the same
granted Major Aaron Cook by the town in 1661. Here,
Major Aaron built and lived twenty or more years, during
which, and subsequently, this neighborhood became the head-
quarters of the Cooks. See homestead number twenty-three.

The Samuel Parsons place dates back to 1709, and came
into the family through Samuel Lankton, an ancestor, who
bought it that year of Nathaniel Kust, and lived there until
1759. The Lanktons joined the settlement at least thirty
years before. Samuel's daughter, Sarah Lankton, married
Samuel Baker, to whom, by will, the proj^erty descended,
who occupied it till his decease, 1793. The same year, he
conveyed the estate to Phinehas Parsons, who married his
daughter, Mary Baker. Neither Mr. Lankton nor Mr. Baker
left sons, but each had two or more daughters. Phinehas
Parsons descended from Esq. Joseph, the intervening links
in the family chain being Josiah and Isaac. The fourth son
of Isaac, he became the father of three sons and the same
number of daughters. Hannah married Joseph S. Bailey,
who kept the hotel in Chesterfield for a number of years.


till his death. Sarah married Col. Thomas Pomeroy, being
his second wife. Elijah settled in Skaneateles, where he
Jived until his decease, in 1870. Phinehas, the second son,
was married and had one son, but both were short lived.
Says the inscription on the father's monument: '^An affec-
tionate husband, a tender father, a dutiful son, and a pleas-
ant brother."

To Capt. Samuel, the youngest son, born 1793, descended
all the real estate connected with the old homestead on which
he was born and where he lived till his decease, 1876. Hence
the expression, indicating good fortune, which the writer re-
members hearing in early life, viz. : that Capt. Samuel Par-
sons was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. One of the
enterprising farmers of the town, he served several times as
selectman. His son, Samuel L., formerly one of the select-
men, and a member of the legislature, occupies the home-
stead. Col. Joseph B., another son, lives in the neighbor-
hood. Reckoning from its purchase by Samuel Lankton in
1709, the homestead has descended in a direct line until the
present time making in all one hundred and seventy-two
years into the sixth generation.

Homestead number twenty-nine. John Parsons, Jr. The
second of Lieut. John's ten children, born in the year 1700,
married, 1736, Hannah Clark, daughter of the first Nathaniel.
John, Jr., established himself at Pascomac, on a part of the
tract which his ancestor. Cornet Joseph, purchased in 1661.
At least a part of this property appears to be owned by Lieut.
John. Thus *' He gives to son John one-half of the great
house at Pascomac, one-half of the barn, and one-half of the
house-lot, from the highway to the great river." To the
heirs of Moses, another son, he gives the other half of the
house, barn, and lot.


John, Jr., here lived, in prosperous circumstances, nearly
fifty years, 1736-1785. His wife survived him twelve years,
1797. Of his six children, four were sons. In his will,
dated 1785, the property, consisting of two homesteads, is
thus divided: The one with a new house and barn he gives
one-half to Asahel, the other half to John; the old house
in which he, viz. : the father, dwells, and the old barn at
the top of the hill, he gives to David and Jonathan. These
two, David and Jonathan, were twins, and it may be added
were ever exceedingly attached to each other. Apj)licable to
the two, that ancient and forcible passage of scripture: 1st
Samuel, eighteenth chapter, the first verse — '*The soul of
Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan
loved David as his own soul." Jonathan remained on the
homestead, born there in 1747, there he lived until 1831.
He was baptized by Mr. Edwards, married and admitted to
the church by Mr. Hooker. At the time of his decease, in
1831, he was the oldest member of the First church; lived
sixty years with his wife, who survived him. His brother
David was among the first settlers in Westhampton, one of
the original members of that church, and continued to live
in that town till his death, about 1823.

The second Jonathan Parsons, of the third generation from
John, Jr., succeeded to the homestead. Born 1784, he lived
upon the place fifty-seven years, until 1841. The last of
the family identified with it was a daughter of the foregoing,
Mrs. H. A. Collins, who lived there until 1854, now residing
at Smiths Ferry. In the summer of that year, the home-
stead was sold, having been held by four generations for one
hundred and eighteen years.

Homestead number thirty. Daniel Clark, Elm street.

Built on the place near the time of his marriage, 1739, to


Experience, daughter of Dea. Samuel Allen. Married his
second wife, Mary Field, of Sunderland, in 1754 — a married
pair for fifty years. When erected, this seems to have been
the westernmost house in town. It stood for some years the
farthest limit of civilization in that direction. One hundred
years later, 1839, it was known as the Allen Clark place.
Daniel was the second child of Increase, already particular-
ized. Between the two, father and son, several points of
resemblance appear. Both married at the same age, viz.:
twenty-six. Both lived on thei:|; respective homesteads sixty-
five years. Both attained the same age, viz. : ninety-one.
The second child of each had the same name, Daniel. After
the foregoing, who deceased 1804, his son owned the place,
Solomon, in his later years styled Dea. Solomon, though he
never served officially. Born 1744, one who remembered him
distinctly, speaks of Dea. Solomon Clark as all courtesy, a
bright, sunshiny, emotional christian. In the revival of 1816,
says the account, meetings were held in the school house
on Elm street, which stood near the residence of Mr. Hart-
well. While the young converts were relating their expe-
rience, Dea. Solomon seemed in an ecstasy of delight; his
eyes sparkled and glistened, his face shone; one would think
he had been, like Moses, in the Mount. The writer adds:
Two or three years preivous to his death, 1818-21, he was
constantly on Pisgah's top, viewing with delight the Promised
Land. Such was this estimable man. He lived on the
homestead seventy-seven years. His son, Allen, named from
his grandmother. Experience Allen, next inherited and managed
the homestead. Here he lived, before and after his marriage,
sixty years, 1789-1849, an industrious, enterprising, thrifty
farmer. His son, Jonathan Allen, followed him on the home-
stead, built a new house, where he deceased, 1869, and his


widow 1870. Two years later, the widow of Allen Clark
deceased, in 1872. The homestead still remains in the fam-
ily, having been bought by another son of Allen, Daniel W.
Clark, who, with his son Daniel, in a house adjoining, still
occupies the place. It may be added, that Edwin C. Clark,
whose war record was so creditable to himself, the family,
and the town, was for twenty-five years a member, and a
part of the time an engineer, of the fire department; super-
intendent and treasurer of the Northampton Street Kailway
Company, is a son of Allen and grandson of Dea. Solomon
Clark. Continuing into the fifth generation, the Daniel Clark
homestead has been in the family one hundred and forty-two

Homestead number thirty-one. Sergt. Jonathan Strong,
South Street. The present owner, George S., of the fourth
generation. Six Jonathan Strongs, of six generations, of the
same stock, have lived in Northampton, five of them on
South street. Sergt. Jonathan stands first of the five. His
father, also Jonathan, following the example of his gi'and-
father, elder John, and imitating the practice of rearing a
large family, had no less than seventeen children. This first
Jonathan, who lived near the center, was selectman 1731,
'33, '37, '41, '46. The following respecting him may interest
some: "There was a mutual attachment between Jonathan
Strong and Mary Sheldon, with the expectation, though not
the pledge, of marriage. On Feb. 29th, 1704-5, she was
carried into Canada as a prisoner by the French and Indians.
When, after an absence of two or three years, by the persis-
tent exertions of her father, John Sheldon, she was restored
to her home in Deerfield, her first inquiry was whether Jon-
athan Strong was married. As her return was deemed very
uncertain, meanwhile he had married another. She also soon


married. In 1761, they both lost their partners, and in 1762
were married, he being seventy-nine, she seventy-five."

Sergt. Jonathan, the third of the seventeen children, first
saw the light 1708. At twenty-two, 1730, the year of his
settlement on the homestead, he married Elizabeth, daughter
of Capt. Eoger Clapp, living in the same neighborhood on
South street. Several items now follow showing that he was
making his mark in the community. In 1738, the town
chose him constable. In 1751 and '53, they chose him select-
man. In Dec, 1761, town voted to have tythingmen and
wardens sit by turns in some public place in the galleries in
church, to discover disorders and the like. Henceforth, for
many years, the tythingman, with his long . rod, the symbol
of authority, constituted an important official. So far as is
known, the first five who thus officiated, all of them Strongs,
stood as follows: 1761, Sergt. Jonathan; 1762, Lt. Caleb,
father of the governor; 1763, Ensign Noah; 1767, Ensign
Jonathan; 1773, Ithamar, farmer and a boatman on the
Connecticut river, father of Capt. David, who followed the
same employment, and whose boat, coming up the river from
Hartford, sometimes produced quite a sensation.

In 1774, at the age of sixty-six, Sergt. Jonathan Strong gave
his homestead to his sons, Ebenezer and Ensign Jonathan.
The southern portion to Ebenezer, now owned by the heirs of
Sylvanus Phelps. The northern portion, still in the family,
to Jonathan. Twenty-three years after, in 1797, he deceased,
in his ninetieth year; survived his wife nearly forty years.
Ensign Jonathan, born 1737, married 1772, at South Farms,
Rachel Lyman, daughter of Elias, the innkeeper, had five
children; lived on the place sixty-six years, till 1803. His
oldest child, Jonathan, born 1773, lived at the homestead
until his marriage, 1799, to Eunice Clark, when he built on


the estate, where he lived till June, 1855. Two unmarried
brothers, Asahel and Samuel, occupied the house of their
ancestors; here they lived, one until 1860, the other till
1861. George, son of Jonathan, married in 1842, lived on
the estate where his six children were born, and still associa-
ted with his name. Five generations have lived in the old
house, which still stands. The homestead has continued in
the family, 1730-1881, one hundred and fifty-one years.

Homestead number thirty-two. Samuel Kingsley, Jr., on
South street, ancestor of Dea. Daniel Kingsley. Enos, of
the first generation, came from Dorchester, married in North-
ampton, 1662. His son, the first Samuel, born 1674, mar-
ried Mary Hutchinson, 1704. Their son, Samuel, Jr., born
1710, married, 1739, Jemima, the second child of Noah Par-
sons, Sr. The house he built stood nearly opposite the old
Noah Parsons dwelling, and is the same now standing, owned
for many years, till his recent decease, by Dea. Daniel
Kingsley. When originally purchased and first occupied, the
homestead contained generous proportions, like some others in
early times that might be instanced. Mill river bounded it
on the north. Westerly it included the grist-mill. It fronted
on South street as far as the top of the hill, embracing the
Bohan Clark place. Gradually, to meet the public demand,
its limits have been diminished. For a long time, but little
has remained of the old estate except the house and a small
patch of ground.

Samuel Kingsley, Jr., had three sons, which he loca-
ted as follows: one, viz.: Enos, in Northampton; Joseph
in Westhamj)ton; DanieL who had no children, in South-
ampton. Strong Kingsley, who died a few years since, was
Joseph's son. By special request, the reason cannot be given,
Samuel, Jr., who deceased 1781, at the age of seventy-one.


was buried on his home-lot, under a specified apple tree.
Almost fifty years later, this grave was disturbed by work-
men on the Hampshire and Hampden canal. What became
of the monuments, the descendants do not know. Enos lo-
cated in Northampton, born 1740, married previous to 1770,
succeeded to the homestead, and lived there in all eighty-two
years, 1740-1822. He had ten children. What is noticeable,
nine of the ten children were daughters. When questioned
respecting his family, the number of his children, the father,
who had a vein of humor, used to say he had nine daughters
and every one of them had a brother. One of the nine was

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Online LibrarySolomon ClarkAntiquities, historicals and graduates of Northampton → online text (page 10 of 26)