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the wife of Esq. Levi Lyman, a man, to quote another, *^of
infinite humor, great suavity of manners, and much given to
anecdote and facetious remarks;" held various offices under
the state and general governments. Two of the nine were
the first and second Mrs. Theodore Parsons, of Southampton,
one of them the mother of Mindwell, the wife of the late
Smith Parsons. Another of the nine was Mrs. Joseph H.
Breck, afterwards Mrs. Pease, mother of Kev. Joseph Hunt
Breck, who lived in the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio. But
not to particularize respecting all the nine, except to say
none of them are now among the living, their descendants,
numerous, widely scattered, fill various and important posi-

Pass to the third on this homestead, Enos Kingsley, Jr., born
1770, whose name was identified with it until 1845. A few
words respecting some of his children of the fourth generation.
Enos, a child of three or four, was scalded, and died Jan.
9th, 1808. Daniel, who owned the place, as already inti-
mated, was born 1809. His business career embraced a period
of about fifty years, 1830-1880. Elected to the legislature
in 1853 and 1855. For nearly twenty years an efficient


superintendent of the First Church Sabbath School. For
sixteen years one of the deacons of that church. Filled
other positions with marked ability. Known very exten-
sively, not only in his native county, but in different and
distant portions of the land, for the excellence of his char-
acter. In a letter dated March 19th, Spartanburg, S. C,
the writer says: "Daniel Kingsley, my old schoolmate and
playfellow, has gone. We were very intimate in childhood.
He was a good man, and has gone to his reward." Not to
omit the mention of another son, George Kingsley, whose
life has been devoted to musical culture, whose name stands
among the foremost as an organist and a musical composer,
who, at different periods, has occupied some of the best sit-
uations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. The place
has been associated with four generations, possibly with five,
during an interval of one hundred and forty-two years.

Homestead number thirty-three. Medad Edwards, on
South street, son of Samuel, Jr., whose homestead, number
thirteen, has already received attention. Medad's lay the
second north of his father's. The seventh of the eight chil-
dren of the family, and born 1726, he was next older than
the first Nathaniel, the schoolmaster. Must have married
and built on South street as early as 1754, probably a little
earlier, because a tradition remains of his house as a ** block
house " during the Indian troubles. Houses thus called were
much used in those times as a means of defence. Two
stories in height, usually constructed of logs, the lower story
penetrated several feet below the surface of the ground; the
upper projected on all sides beyond the lower. The North-
ampton settlement contained several of these fortified houses.
Thither, in time of alarm, the people retreated for protection
until succor arrived. Thrilling scenes sometimes occurred in


the experience of the settlers and their children. Mrs. Phebe
Lyman Strong, Gov. Caleb's mother, born 1717, used to say-
that one day, when a child, she was on her way to the block
house with a playmate, towards night-fall, and that as they
stepped aside to gather flowers, an Indian rushed suddenly
out of some bushes near by, and seizing her companion, bore
her off, and that she was never seen again by her friends.
President D wight's grandmother told him that in 1704,
she, a child of eleven, with many others, was in a fortified
house near the church. Outside, through the portholes,
they could distinctly see the French and Indians, five hun-
dred or more, assembled for the purpose of taking the house.

Even as late as 1746, an order was issued requiring forti-
fied houses to be erected in every small neighborhood through-
out the settlement. According to tradition, Medad Edwards'
house was of this description. Here he lived into his eighty-
first year, till 1806. His son, the second Medad, occupied
and retained the place, the father of three sons, Joseph, Asa,
and Asa Pomeroy. The second, Asa, was drowned in boy-
hood, in Mill river. Asa Pomeroy died in early manhood.
Joseph, the only surviving son, married Sarah King, of Pel-
ham. Jane, their only child, married, about 1852, Frederic
Tubbs. The homestead remains in the family, occupied by
Mrs. Sarah Edwards and Jane Edwards of the fourth gener-
ation, having continued in Medad's line at least one hundred
and twenty-seven years.

Homestead number thirty-four. Josiah Parsons, recently
the late Lyman Parsons, Bridge street. Has an ancient date,
1674. Came into the family through Cornet Joseph Parsons
from England. One of Springfield's first settlers in 1636,
where several of his children were born. His wife, Mary,
the daughter of Thomas Bliss, was of Windsor, the date of


their marriage, 1646. United with the little band at North-
ampton in 1655, assisted in founding and developing the in-
fant settlement, placed on the board of selectmen in 1656,
traded in furs; the first licensed by the town to keep a
house of entertainment, with the restriction of preserving
good order, the establishment probably on a small scale, but
sufficiently extensive for the times; bought a large tract of
land at South Farms, some of which continued in the fam-
ily nearly two hundred years; had other landed property.
The title, Cornet, points to the position he sustained in a
cavalry company, the one who bore the colors, the third offi-
cer in rank in the company. He purchased the Josiali Par-
sons homestead of John Bliss, in 1674; whether a brother
of his wife, or a remoter relative, is not known. At first,
its westerly boundary was Market street. But forty years
later, in 1713, it extended to the brook west of Market
street. He lived in Northampton nearly twenty-five years,
1655-1679, during which acted several times as selectman.
Several of his children also became of age; one or more of
them married. Joseph, the lawyer, the most prominent of
his sons, married in 1669. For what reason is not known,
but in 1679, Cornet Joseph returned to Si:)ringfield, where he
died about 1683. Samuel, his son, owned the homestead, af-
ter his father, 1684-1709, with the exception of a few months
in 1705, when he sold it to Samuel Porter of Hadley, but
bought it back the same year. In 1709, the first Josiah
Parsons comes into notice. The sixth child of Esq. Joseph's
large family; born in 1681, he married Sarah Sheldon, daugh-
ter of Isaac, in 1710, having, the previous year, bought the
homestead of his uncle, Samuel Parsons. The house then
standing the same as the present Elisha Graves house on

Market street, is over two hundred years old, one of the his-


toric structures, and one of the very oldest in the town. It
was originally one of those block houses already described,
fitted up as a fort, where the neighbors used to resort for
safety from the attacks of Indians. Who built it, whether
the first Joseph, or the preceding owner, John Bliss, proba-
bly no one can tell. The expense of the structure, at least
in part, devolved on the early settlers. Josiah Parsons lived
on this homestead, 1710-68, fifty-eight years, into his eighty-
seventh year. Whole number of his children, nine. Isaac,
his son and successor, born in 1715, married in 1744, then
twenty-nine, an event and a date marking the erection, on
the easterly end, of the present Lyman Parsons' dwelling,
and also subsequently the division of the homestead into two
parts, east and west. Isaac received from his father the
easterly half, and Josiah, Jr., married in 1751, the westerly.
The westerly portion will be noticed hereafter. Isaac had
eleven children, and lived into his eighty-fourth year, 1715-
98. One of the eleven, Elijah, graduated and entered the
ministry, and became a Connecticut pastor. Another, Josiah,
born in 1769, remained on the homestead. Married in 1791,
the father of twelve children. The oldest, Fanny, born in
1794, the wife of Justin Clark, at Rail Hill, near Leeds,
has deceased in her eighty-six year, since 1880 commenced.
Lyman, the fifth child, born in 1801, succeeded his father
on the place, where his four children were born. He has
recently deceased, and the homestead is still occupied by his
widow and her children. Dating from its purchase in 1674,
by Cornet Joseph, the ancestor of the Parsons' race, the
homestead has continued in the family two hundred and
seven years. Seven generations having been associated with
it, covering eight-ninths of the whole period of the town's


Homestead number thirty-five. Josiah Parsons, Jr., born
in 1713, married Prudence Kellogg in 1751. Keceived from
his father the westerly half of the original homestead.
Always lived on the place, 1713-96, the father of three chil-
dren, daughters. Naomi, the first, died unmarried, in 1794.
Prudence married in 1790, Dr. Samuel Porter of Williams-
town. Abigail, the youngest, married, in 1785, Elisha Graves.
Their daughter, Abigail, born in 1788, deceased in 1819.
Since the decease of Josiah Parsons, Jr., in 1796, it has been
known as the Graves homestead. The first Elisha Graves, se-
lectman, deceased in 1826, sixty-eight, the father of the late
Mrs. John Clarke. The second Elisha, born in 1796, lived on
the place eighty-two years, 1796-1878. The third Elisha, son
of the preceding, and brother of H. B. Graves, now owns the
homestead. Reckoning from the marriage of Josiah, Jr., in
1751, four generations into the fifth, have occupied it one
hundred and thirty years. Dating from the purchase of the
whole place in 1674, its existence in the family runs parallel
with the preceding, that of Josiah Parsons, Sr., viz.: two
hundred and seven years.

Homestead number thirty-six. Rev. John Hooker's, same
as the Hon. Eliphalet Williams', on King street. Born in
Kensington parish, part of Berlin, Ct., in 1729, passed his
early days in agricultural pursuits, graduated at Yale College
in 1751. Ordained in Northampton in 1753. Two years
later, married, in 1755, Sarah, daughter of the celebrated
Col. John Worthington, of Springfield; this date marks the
first occupancy of that homestead. Here he lived from 1755
-77, a little short of twenty- two years. Here his children,
nine or ten in all, were born, 1756-75. Mary, the oldest,
married in 1779, Rev. Solomon Williams, and always lived
in that house. Sarah married in 1777, Gov. Caleb Strong.


Lucy, the youngest of the family, married Hon. E. P.
Ashmun, lawyer, and senator in Congress. Of the five sons
who attained manhood, the following two may be mentioned:
Hon. John Hooker, of Springfield, chief justice of the court
of Common Pleas, a trustee of Amherst College. William
Hooker, who studied medicine with Dr. Ebenezer Hunt, set-
tled in Westhampton in 1788. Continued in practice forty-
six years; lived to be ninety-four, 1766-1861, a skillful physi-
cian, a devoted christian. Worth inserting, an item from
Breck & Hunt's ledger, respecting Rev. Mr. Hooker's trade with
them in 1772-73. " Had some coffee, chocolate and tea,
more than most others вАФ not much rum, and many dry goods."
A man of medium size, a benignant aspect, a lovely disposi-
tion, and engaging manners; moreover, a man of talent, of
finished elocution, earnest, attractive in the pulpit, his death,
in the midst of life and usefulness, from small pox, cast a
deep gloom over a united people. The second on this home-
stead. Rev. Solomon Williams, retained his personal connec-
tion with it fifty-five years, 1779-1834. No death occurred
in his family for the first thirty-six years; none probably after
the first, in 1815, in that dwelling, till his own, in 1834.
For the first forty-six years of his ministry, only one church
existed in the town. Three names of the next generation
are specially associated with this homestead. Hon. Eliphalet
Williams, the superior financier and bank President, deacon
of the First Church, who lived to be ninety-four; Samuel
Williams, a farmer, selectman, and captain of the North-
ampton artillery company; and the very excellent Mary Wil-
liams, who survived her honored, estimable father nineteen
years, 1853. This ministerial, historic homestead is occupied by
the family. Rev. John Ellery Tyler, son of Bennett Tyler, D.
D., married, in 1837, Mary, daughter of Eliphalet Williams.


Both have deceased, but their two daughters, the Misses
Tyler and Miss Williams, occupy it. It has continued in the
family through four generations into the fifth, for one hun-
dred and twenty-six years.

Before passing to the next homestead, it occurs to the
writer to say that for nearly eighty continuous years, the
Williams house was the parsonage or minister's house of
Northampton. Another fact in this connection. The wives
of the first five ministers of the town all survived their hus-
bands. Mrs. Esther Mather outlived Eev. Eleazar Mather,
the first pastor, sixty-seven years. She afterward married
Eev. Solomon Stoddard, the second minister. They lived
together, 1674-1729. She survived him seven years. Mr.
and Mrs. Edwards both died in 1758. He in March and she
in October. Mrs. Hooker survived her husband forty years,
1777-1817. Mrs. Williams survived him eight years, 1834-
1842. . Three of the four were long lived. The first, Mrs.
Mather and Mrs. Stoddard, attained the age of ninety-one.
Mrs. Hooker lived to be eighty-five, and her daughter, Mrs.
Williams, reached the same age.

Homestead number thirty-seven. Thomas Judd, South
Farms, grandson of Dea. Thomas, the ancestor of the New
England Judds. His father, the first Samuel, lived on the
Mason homestead, on Pleasant street, which, for some ninety
years, more or less, 1680-1770, was occupied by three Sam-
uel Judds, father, son, and grandson. Here Thomas, born 1691,
and his brothers and sisters, twelve in all, received their early
training. In 1718, he married Hannah Bascom, and after
living a few years in the village, removed to the east side of
Mt. Tom, to a tract since called South Farms, opposite
South Hadley, preceded there, 1687, by Lieut. John Ly-
man. See homestead number ten. Here he lived until


1749, in his fifty-ninth year. His widow survived him,
on the place nearly twenty years, 1768. Of his ten chil-
dren, Reuben and Simeon, twins, died young. Three of
his sons settled in South Hadley, the ancestors of the
South Hadley branch of the Judd race. Two of his
daughters married South Hadley men, the family being
well represented in that town. Another married Elijah Al-
vord, ancestor of the Greenfield Alvords.

The third son, Samuel Judd, twenty-eight when his father
deceased, continued on the homestead seventy-four years, 1721-
1795. His four children were daughters. The third and
fourth died young. Maria and Eunice received their father's
property, and with their husbands occupied the homestead.
Maria mamed John Alvord, 1779. Whole number of their
children, ten or eleven. She deceased, 1810, at fifty-five.
Eunice married Lewis Smith, 1785; lived in a new house on
the estate, but a few rods from the old one, where their
eleven children were born. She survived her sister nearly
forty years, until August, 1849, being in her eighty-third
year. The homestead remains in the family. Charles Smith,
one of the eleven children of Lewis and Eunice, owns the
place; has always lived on it until recently. Present resi-
dence at Holyoke. The ancient Judd house, erected as early
as 1730, after being occupied by the descendants over one
hundred years, was taken down about the year 1835. The
spot is now occupied by the vinegar house of Mr. Charles
Smith. Milo J. Smith, representative in 1842, selectman
between 1845 and 1869, some nine times, is a brother of
Charles, and a descendant of Thomas Judd. The homestead
has remained in the family from about 1730-1881, at least
one hundred and fifty-one years. Five generations have been
connected with it.


Homestead number thirty-eight. Lieut. Nathaniel Strong,
Hawley street, ancestor of William and Daniel's children, of
the sixth generation, born on this ancient spot. The third
child of Elder Ebenezer, born in 1673, when his grandfather,
the eminent Elder John, was in the zenith of his usefulness.
Between Lieut. Nathaniel Strong and his cousin, Lieut. John
Parsons, already considered, several resemblances appear. Both
were born in the same neighborhood, the same year; their
fathers were prominent in the community. Both married
within a few months of each other, one in 1696, the other
in 1697; sustained the same rank in a military company,
served as selectmen, had the same number of children, ten.
One had six sons and four daughters; the other had seven
sons and three daughters. Both were farmers, and lived, the
former, Lieut. Nathaniel, to be seventy-seven, and Lieut.
John to be seventy-three.

But dropping the point of resemblance, a few words re-
specting two of Lieut. Nathaniel's sons, Daniel and Job, the
first a farmer, the second a collegian, a missionary associated
at one time with David Brainard, also afterward a minister.
Daniel aided his brother in obtaining his education, which
he could not have done without his assistance, and gave him
a further sum in his will. Both died when young, Daniel
at twenty-six, and Job, a settled minister in Portsmouth, N.
H., at twenty-seven. Another Daniel Strong, who deceased
in 1805, grandson of Lieut. Nathaniel, a farmer and a black-
smith in Northampton, was drum major in the Revolutionary
war, and went commonly by the name of '^Dub Strong."

Pass to Nathaniel Strong, Jr., born in 1698, the oldest of
ten, who followed his father on the homestead, and married in
1721, Miriam Sheldon, daughter of Ebenezer. The whole
number of their children, twelve. The second child. Re-


becca, married Simeon Clark, in November, 1749; Rev. Jon-
athan Edwards performed the ceremony. The next year
removed to Amherst, chosen one of the first deacons of the
First Congregational Church there, the father of twelve chil-
dren. Their homestead, still in the Clark family, ranks
among the ancient ones of Amherst. The present Simeon
Clark, grandson of the foregoing, sustained the office of deacon
in the same church. Nathaniel Strong, Jr., died of a cancer,
in 1781, aged eighty-three, highly esteemed for a meek, gen-
tle, inoffensive, benevolent deportment; all through that
stormy period, the latter part of Mr. Edwards' ministry,
showed unwavering attachment to the great theologian.

After him came Simeon Strong, his seventh child, born in
1734, the third on the homestead, where he lived eighty-five
years, till 1820, fifty-one of which with his second wife. Both
attained the same age. His children numbered eleven. He
followed the double occupation of farmer and cooper. The
same may be said of his seventh child, Levi, a leading tenor
singer of the First Church; sometimes officiated as chorister.
Another son of Simeon, his ninth child, Nathaniel, born in
1783, followed blacksmithing in early life. When about
forty, he lamed his arm and became unable to follow his
trade. Without delay, turned his attention to books, went
to the grammar school, attained a respectable education, en-
tered on the study of medicine. When qualified to practice,
went west, established himself at Centerville, Ohio, lived in
that community to be upwards of eighty. Rose to distinc-
tion in his profession, became wealthy, respected and useful.
He was the fourth Nathaniel Strong in the family line, on
Hawley street, one of the four having deceased when young.

After Simeon Strong, the next on the homestead was his
eighth child, Joseph, born between Levi and Nathaniel, mar-


ried in 1808, Rachel Phelps, daughter of Ebenezer Phelps, al-
ready mentioned, who lived near Shady Lawn. Joseph Strong
always continued on the place, 1780-1860, where his eight chil-
dren were born, and where, on a part of the homestead, his sons,
William and Daniel, still reside. Fifteen years ago, most of
the place passed into the hands of Gen. Benjamin Cook, who
bought it for his son-in-law, George H. Burrows. William
and Daniel reserved one acre each for their homestead.
William's children number nine; Daniel's five. Counting
from the first Nathaniel, and including the two families just
mentioned, the whole number of children born on the prem-
ises, belonging to the Strong race, amounts to fifty-five.
Bringing the reckoning down to the present time, the home-
stead has continued in the line of Lieut. Nathaniel one hun-
dred and eighty-four years in connection with six generations.

The next three homesteads, represented by three brothers,
Ebenezer, Jr., Ezra, and William, sons of Lieut. Ebenezer
Clark, the almost centennarian, follow each other in the
order here chosen.

Homestead number thirty-nine. Ebenezer Clark, Jr., Elm
street, same as Dea. Jared Clark's. The oldest of eight
children, born in 1714, married Jerusha Russell of Sunder-
land, about 1740. This is supposed to be the time he built
and settled where he continued into his sixty-ninth year, in
1782. Number of their children not given. Several died
young. Four survived their parents, three continued on the
homestead. Two of the three remained unmarried, Medad and
Rhoda. Abner Clark, born in 1763, married in 1795, Olive
Strong, went early to Ohio, and there settled. Jared, who
succeeded his father, born in 1766, married Jan. 8th, 1800,
and deceased in 1831. Had five children. One of the five,

a daughter, deceased in 1805. The rest still live. The old-


est of the four and the third on the place, born early in
this century, Dea. Jared Clark, has always lived there.
Chosen to the office of deacon in the First Church in
1839, forty-one years ago. Daniel Russell, a brother of
Dea. Jared, lives near the homestead. Four generations
have been associated with it through a period 1740-1881,
of one hundred and forty-one years.

Homestead number forty. Ezra Clark, house near the
toll gate, on Bridge street. Next younger than the fore-
going, born in 1716, married in 1739. In 1742, Benjamin
Alvord conveyed to him a house and parcel of land near
the bridge. Here he spent the rest of his days till 1788,
being the father of ten children, five sons and five daugh-
ters. It is noticeable that none of the ten died under
maturity. In the Revolutionary war, Ezra Clark stood as
one of the committee of fifteen, and in 1776, one of the
selectmen. His seventh child, Jonas, born in 1751, and
married as soon as 1785, possibly sooner, survived his father
on that locality, forty-five years, reaching the age of eighty-
two. Placed several times on the board of Selectmen. The
next, of the third generation, Spencer Clark, born in 1786, mar-
ried as early as 1817, continued nearly seventy years, until 1855.
Remembered as keeper of the toll gate for many years, the
father of Jonas, who preached in connection with the Meth-
odist denomination, and whose suggestion that new monu-
ments be placed at the grave of Lieut. William Clark by his
numerous descendants, it is hoped will be carried into effect.
The homestead is now owned and occupied by Spencer Clark
of the fourth generation. It has continued in that family
into the fifth, for one hundred and thirty-nine years.

Homestead number forty-one. William Clark, on Elm
street, the last of the trio of brothers. Between 1746 and


1869, that place was not without a William Clark, four in
all. The first, the ancestor of that branch, born in 1721,
married and settled, as is supposed, about 1746. A farmer,
and for some years, 1753-57, drove fat cattle to Boston.
Continued on the place sixty years and over, till Dec. 29th,
1807, being in his eighty-seventh year. He and Daniel Clark,
his cousin, were neighbors fifty-eight years. The second
William, tall, large framed, born in 1764, next occupied the
homestead, 1764-1842. Remembered as a singer and chorister
for a long time, of the school house evening meetings, on
Elm street. A stirring, enterprising, forehanded farmer, the
father of six or more children. The third William, born

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Online LibrarySolomon ClarkAntiquities, historicals and graduates of Northampton → online text (page 11 of 26)