Solomon Clark.

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1820 and later, as the Upham house, standing about half
way between President Seelye's and Mr. Maltby's. At the
time of the division, 1683, by his second marriage he was
the father of six children. During the next fourteen years
the number rose to eleven — six sons and five daughters.
As to longevity and rapid increase the most remarbable
family probably ever reared in the town. The six sons, as
will appear by-and-by, contained the germs of an aston-
ishing number of Clarks. John, the father, chosen deacon
1691, variously styled deacon and sergeant, an estimable,
much respected, useful man, constantly in public service
as selectman or otherwise, went as representative to Boston
fourteen times. His devotion to public duties shortened
his days. Gov. Strong says: He died from fatigue and a


cold taken in a violent snow storm on returning from
Boston, viz.: in 1704, a trying year to such settlements
as Deerfield, Hatfield, Northampton. He died away from
home, at Windsor, Ct., in the month of September, the
blow being very heavy to his family, to the church, and
to the entire community; all his children at the time un-
married. Within the next two years, 1704-5, three settled
in families of their own; two more in the year 1710, two
in 1712, and so on, with one exception, to the last and
youngest, married in 1719, living with his widowed mother,
who survived her husband on the homestead thirty-four
years, 1704-38. Four brothers, Ebenezer, Increase, Noah,
Josiah, lived almost within speaking distance of each other.
Near at hand were two sisters and their families. On
South street the two remaining brothers, the second Dea.
John Clark and Nathaniel Clark. Worthy of special men-
tion is the fact that at the foregoing date, 1738, when
this venerable mother deceased, being in her eighty-fifth
year, her ten married children with their companions were
living, all within a mile and a half of the old home; not
only so, but the number of her grandchildren amounted to
eighty-three, far the larger part living in the same com-

Descending to the third from Lieut William Clark, the
youngest of Dea. John's eleven, viz.: Josiah Clark, usually
called Ensign Josiah, born 1697, a lad of seven when his
father deceased, too young fully to appreciate the loss. At
twenty- two, 1719, married Thankful Sheldon, daughter of
Isaac Sheldon, on King street. Another daughter, Mary
Sheldon, married Increase Clark, brother of Josiah; one
lived on one side of the street, the other nearly opposite,
the two families being neighbors sixty-six years. Passing


over some fifty years of this period, toward the latter part
of Josiah's history, and especially at the close, some items
in the way of figures occur that not only seem remarkable
but one of them especially appears incredible, nevertheless
strictly true. When completing his seventieth year, viz.:
in 1767, his five brothers, older than himself, with their
wives, were still among the living. Gov. Strong, acquainted
with each one of them, says: ^'They were all respectable
men in good circumstances." Probably all members of the
church. All lived to be upwards of eighty, three over
ninety, and one nearly ninety-nine. But still more remarka-
ble the remaining item. When at the age of ninety-two,
Ensign Josiah deceased in 1789, there were known to have
descended from the six brothers 1,158 children, grandchildren
and great-grandchildren, of whom over 925 were then living.
Good authority for the foregoing, viz.: Timothy Dwight, a
native of the town, president of Yale College, whose mother
in 1789 lived on King street.

Successor of Josiah Clark, the second of his children, of
the fourth generation, comes the name of Enoch Clark, born
1726, a lieutenant, an innkeeper, the date of his opening a
public house not known, only the fact. Survived his father
eleven years, deceased 1800, when seventy-four; followed by
his son, Erastus Clark, also an innkeeper, who, in 1807, sold
these ancient premises to Major Erastus Lyman and went
West, where he lived into the middle of this century. This
- terminated the possession in that direct line of the home-
stead that remained after Ebenezer's marriage. Reckoning
from the allotment to Lieut. William Clark, having been in
the family nearly one hundred and fifty years, 1659-1807.

As to the original twelve acres and the descendants of the
two brothers, John and Samuel, it may be interesting to


observe that while none of Samuel's line, so far as positively
known, continue there as owners, two homesteads on that
soil still remain held by those in the line of John Clark viz. :
the Isaac Edwards Clark place, occupied by Mr. Maltby,
bought in 1846 of Judge Dewey by Isaac Clark, the drug-
gist; the house removed to its present site in 1826, being
originally the west end or L part of the mansion of Erastus,
Enoch, Josiah, and the first Dea. John. The second home-
stead, viz.: the Dea. Luther Clark place formerly, of four
acres, bordering on Mill river, bought by him in 1812, now
owned by his grandsons, James Dickson Clark and Charles
H. Clark, of Brooklyn, N. Y., of the seventh generation
from Lieut. William. A single item more. The old house,
the original home of so many in the line of Dea. John, too
old to be removed, was taken down in 1826, having stood, it
may be, nearly one hundred and fifty years.

Homestead number fifty-six. Dea. Josiah Clark, South
street, succeeded by his son Lemuel; then by the Ferrys —
Hiram the father, Sydenham the son, and Henry N., grand-
son, five generations. The time and place of Dea. Josiah's
birth, viz. : 1721, on Elm street, in the house of his father.
Ensign Josiah. See homestead number fifty-five. At the
age of twenty-three, married Mary Baker, the tenth child of
Capt. John Baker, one of the most influential men in the
town, and followed his two uncles, John and Nathaniel, into
South street, 1744. Josiah Clark, Sr., purchased for his son
the Preserved Clapp place, not the first Preserved, an elder
of the church, who lived on Pleasant street, but the second,
who settled on South street. In a deed given 1747, Josiah
Clark, Sr., says, "In consideration of love and good will I
give to my eldest son, Josiah Clark, Jr.," then follows a de-
scription of the property agreeing with the writing given by


Capt. Preserved Clapp, in 1744. Seven years from the time
of his marriage the record says, "the wife and daughter of
Josiah Clark, Jr., died Aug. 21st, 1751." The church chose
him deacon to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death
of Dea. Ebenezer Pomeroy, the same year, 1774. Officiated
in this capacity thirty-four years. Made his will 1791.
Gave places to his two sons, Isaac and Lemuel. The former
was on Welsh End, or West street, opposite the well-known
Capt. Samuel Parsons' place. There Isaac Clark, Jr., the
druggist, was born, 1798. Lemuel Clark received his father's
estate; born 1764, married, 1794, Lucretia Graves. Several
of their children died in early childhood; Sydenham and
Col. Edwin deceased when young men. Lucretia, born 1805,
married, 1828, Hiram Ferry. She survived her father, 1837-
55, eighteen years, and lived on the place fifty years. Hi-
ram Ferry, the third on the homestead, deceased at the age
of sixty, viz. : in the year 1860. His son, Sydenham, owner
and occupant, has always resided there. Henry N. Ferry
and family also live on the place, being of the fifth and
sixth generations. A relic, preserved and valued by the
Ferrys, a kind of heirloom in the family, handed down from
generation to generation, first used in Elm street, next in
South street, deserves to be mentioned, viz. : a cradle in
which Dea. Josiah Clark was rocked when a babe, viz.: in
1721, in which others of that line have been rocked. The
age of the cradle, probably the oldest in the community,
about one hundred and sixty years. The homestead of Dea.
Josiah Clark has continued in that family, 1744-1881, one
hundred and thirty-seven years.

Before passing to the next, some may value a few
words respecting Isaac Clark, Sr., brother of Lemuel.

Born 1760, married, 1784, Nancy Edwards, daughter of


Ebenezer Edwards. After living till about the beginning
of this century at Welsh End, moved to Eoberts Meadow
and occupied the Knob farm, so called, till 1809, then
moved to South street. The house stood near Lemuel's,
where he died in 1831, succeeded by Hon. Chauncey.
Whole number of Isaac's children, ten. The oldest. Rev.
Josiah Clark, settled in the ministry at Rutland, father
of the late Prof. Josiah Clark, LL.D., of Northampton.
Two of the ten taught many years in Baltimore. Two were
merchants, Melzar Clark of Ohio, and Isaac Clark, Jr., of
Northampton, father of Isaac Edwards Clarke, connected
with the Bureau of Education, Washington. One of the
ten, Hon. Chauncey Clark, married Martha Starkweather,
remained on the place, for several years a member of the
State Legislature, twice a State Senator, appointed to office
in the custom house, Boston, by Hon. Geo. Bancroft. Con-
tinued there for many years during various administrations.
On his final return from Boston, removed the old house
about 1850, and built a new one. He left no children. He
and his wife deceased 1869. Present owner and occupant of
the place, James Ellsworth, who purchased it in the spring
of 1870. The last of the ten, Mrs. Eli Loveland, lately
deceased at Marion, Alabama, where the family lived over
forty years.

Homestead number fifty-seven. Preserved Bartlett, South
street. The original Bartlett family came with the first set-
tlers. Robert Bartlett, who located at the lower end of
Pleasant street, served as selectman in 1657 and 1663. One
of the same name, probably the settler himself, was killed,
1675, at the memorable assault by the Indians. His widow
deceased the next year. Samuel Bartlett, son of Robert,
first mentioned as selectman in 1685, received permission in


1686 to erect a grist-mill at the falls of the Manhan River.
More about this mill subsequently. This Samuel had several
sons, viz.: Samuel, Jr., Ebenezer, the ancestor of the cele-
brated Phebe Bartlett, converted at the age of four, a chris-
tian for eighty years, David, Joseph, and others. Samuel,
Sr., and Samuel, Jr., died near the same time, 1711 and
1712. Pleasant street continued for a long time the head-
quarters of the Bartletts. Hence its earliest name, Bartlett
street. The ancient Bartlett homestead there descended from
one to another of that race for about one hundred and
twenty-five years, the exact time of its discontinuance and
the last of the name associated with it, not ascertained.
Phebe Bartlett's parents, viz. : William B. and Abigail Ly-
man, mentioned in President Edwards' volume of Surprising
Conversions, probably lived on Pleasant street.

Pass to the grist-mill of Samuel. Six years prior to his
decease, in 1705, it went into the hands of his son, Joseph.
Not till a later date, 1720, did he leave the vicinity of the
old homestead and build as his future home in the neighbor-
hood of the mill. In precinct number two, afterwards East-
hampton, Joseph Bartlett's name became prominent. At his
death, 1755, leaving no children, the mill went to a nephew,
who had lived with him and helped carry it on. This
nephew, Jonathan Clapp, bom on South street, son of Capt.
Roger, not only carried on the mill and kept a public house
and rose to the rank of major, but reared a numerous fami-
ly and became ancestor of a large number of Aliens, Ly-
mans, and other races. As at Northampton and Easthamp-
ton, so afterwards at Westhampton the Bartletts were among
the first settlers. At the latter place William Bartlett
erected the standard of home in those wilds as early as 1768,
put up the first frame house, chosen one of the first three


selectmen, 1778, paid the largest tax, owning nearly one-
fourth of the entire valuation, and therefore styled the mil-
lionaire of the settlement. Several others of this name set-
tled at Westhampton, viz.: Elihu, Christoi^her, ^oah, Cor-
nelius, Phinehas. One early took the Western fever and
moved west. Another went north and located at Brandon,
Vt. Two found a home at West Farms, viz. : Elijah and
Moses, both members of the First Church; Elijah united in
1784, and Moses in 1792.

Having disappeared from Pleasant street, the next Bartlett
homestead connecting the ancient past with the present, arose
on South street. Preserved Bartlett, born 1772, probably one
of the last of the many Bartlett children who first saw the
light on Pleasant street, built in 1792, on South street, that
being his home fifty-three years, 1792-1845. Several of his
children did not survive the perils and the period of infancy.
One still lives in the vicinity of the old homestead. Pre-
served Bartlett retained his connection with the large choir
of the First Church beyond middle life, served as tythingman
and also, in 1816, as one of the selectmen. At his decease,
in 1845, aged seventy-five, the homestead passed into the
possession of his youngest son, Samuel L. Bartlett, who there
survived his father eleven years, 1856. Samuel's only son
then succeeded to the ownership, Alvah L. Bartlett, the pres-
occupant. Thus the Preserved Bartlett homestead, held by
three generations into the fourth, has remained in that fam-
ily eighty-nine years.

Homestead number fifty-eight. William Butler, Hawley
street. Born in Connecticut, 1763. By trade a printer,
which he acquired at Hartford, where he spent his earliest
years till manhood. The first of the three Butlers who set-
tled and subsequently lived in Northampton. Twenty-three,


viz.: 1786, when he came. Married, about the year 1790,
Huldah Brown, daughter of Col. John, a distinguished offi-
cer in the revohition, born at Sandisfield, Berkshire county,
and in his later life a citizen of Pittsfield. She has been
described as a lady of the old school, after the pattern, if
the expression may be used, of the celebrated Madam Dwight,
intelligent, of fine social qualities, genial, sympathizing,
kind, an earnest christian. Both ladies originated in Berk-
shire county, their fathers among the leading men of their
times; both came to Northampton previous to the present
century, where they lived over threescore years. Both had
large families and survived their husbands many years.
Mrs. Butler was the mother of nine children, perhaps more.
Three deceased in childhood. At least six of the nine were
daughters, most of whom survive. A son having his father's
name has long lived in Baltimore. One daughter has been
forty years a resident in Boston, the wife of Dea. Hoyt,
whose depository of Sabbath-school literature is well known.
Another, the mother of the present Christopher Clarke,
deceased many years ago.

The date of William Butler's settlement here, 1786,
marks a new era, an onward movement in the enterprise
of the town, and the vicinity around, viz. : the establish-
ment, under his supervision, of a town and county paper,
the venerable Hampshire Gazette, for five years a nonage-
narian. Only eight papers in the United States it is said,
precede it in age, and in the old Bay State only two,
the Gazette of Salem, and the Spy of Worcester. When
first issued, its diminutive, humble appearance showed a day
of small things, only fourteen by eighteen inches, strik-
ingly in contrast with its present generous proportions.
Editorial matter scarce, home and county news meagre and


limited, advertisements few, sometimes reduced to a single
one, marriage announcements in the earlier years wanting.
The idea and the make up of a newspaper then essentially
unlike the present style. Introduce a similar sheet now and
its appeal for public patronage would hardly be heard, short
its existence. But though unpretending as the county paper
was in its beginning, very valuable that weekly issue as the
precursor and quickener of enterprise in the region round.
Showing that the times and the community were undergoing
a change, the same building where the paper was published
contained, under the same owner, a job printing ofiBce, a
book bindery, and a book store. A little later, following di-
rectly in the wake of the new movement, being a very long
step in advance, came the post-office in 1792, with its week-
ly mail, north and south from Springfield to Brattleboro,
carried on horseback. The opening of the mail route east
and west from Boston to Albany, through Northampton, lay
in the not far distant future. After the post-office, the pa-
per mill, a mile or more west from the center, started in
1794, on its important career, William Butler, proprietor,
begun on a small scale, after the pattern or scale of the news-
paper. The year 1786, therefore, when the time honored
Hampshire G-azette first appeared, may properly be said to
mark a new era in the enterjDrise of the community. Hav-
ing conducted the paper not quite thirty years, 1786-1815,
owing to impaired health, he then sold the same to William
W. Clapp, who published the first daily paper in Boston, for
thirty years proprietor of the Saturday Evening Gazette of
the same city. Retaining the book store for some years after
1815, William Butler resided in Northampton; 1786-1831,
forty-five years. Perhaps the most eventful forty-five years
in respect to changes and improvements in business and other-


wise, since the first settlement of the place, down to the
latter date in 1831.

Two widowed daughters, Mrs. Huggerford, Mrs. Ben-
jamin, occupy the homestead on Hawley street. It has
continued in the family, in connection with three gener-
ations, ninety-one years. The building used by him where
the newsjDaper was published, in which his other business was
carried on, standing originally a few rods east of the court
house, is now used by Dewey & Loomis, grocers, on Pleasant
street. The paper mill early passed into the hands of a
younger brother, Daniel Butler, who run the same till his
decease in 1833. Kespecting his family of sons and daugh-
ters, much might be said. Simeon Butler, bookseller and
publisher, the father of J. H. Butler, who continued the
business, also bank president; the ancestor of others in the
book line and in other pursuits, bought his homestead on
Hawley street in the year 1800, which continues in the

Homestead number fifty-nine. Joseph Parsons, the law-
yer, also the third justice of the Court of Common Pleas,
sometimes styled the second Joseph, his father. Cornet Jo-
seph, being the first. When a boy of eight, the family
left the Springfield settlement and joined that at Northampton.
The son continued an influential member of the same sev-
enty-four years. Always a man of large business, public
and private. In 1669, the two families, the Strongs and
Parsons, became united by the marriage of Esq. Joseph,
then twenty-two, to Elizabeth Strong, the ninth child of
Elder John. The parties were spared to each other in
this relation sixty years, 1669-1729. She survived him in
widowhood seven years, being in her ninetieth year. They
reared twelve children. All of them married, had large


families, which in their turn became the representatives of
other families. Hence the Parsons race has numbered so
many in Northampton and the vicinity. Esq. Joseph had
from sixty-five to seventy and more grandchildren. His
first-born, the third Joseph Parsons, graduated at Harvard
College in 1797, at the early age of sixteen, in the same
class with Anthony Stoddard, another Northampton youth.
Both became ministers in Connecticut. He, the Kev. Jo-
seph Parsons, settled in Lebanon, in 1699, being the first
minister there, showing himself just the man to lay the
foundations in a new settlement for a prosj)erous future.
Another favorable circumstance. Several large Northamp-
ton families, among the likeliest and best, worthy of be-
ing transplanted, early located in Lebanon. As the result,
that place has had a remarkable history. Besides the fertili-
ty of the soil, rewarding the industry of the people, provid-
ing for their wants, much might be said on the point of
superior school advantages. The settlers, following the exam-
ple of their minister, made generous appropriations of land
for school purposes. The famous grammar school there started
in 1740, and its equally famous teacher. Master Tisdale, for
nearly forty years, have been extensively known. Nine out
of thirteen of the original States of the Union have pat-
ronized that school. No j^lace of its size has furnished so
many for college and the various professions. The Trumbulls
of Connecticut, father and son, both governors, Jeremiah
Mason, the great lawyer, described by Webster, Kev. Dr.
Lyman of Hatfield, and a host of others, were scholars of
Master Tisdale.

Of the four sons of Rev. Joseph Parsons of Lebanon,
three graduated and entered the ministry. The fourth died
in 1725, while a sophomore at Harvard. An only daughter


married a minister. One of his grandsons, also a minister,
the fourth Joseph Parsons, settled at Bradford, Mass., father
of the fifth Joseph, minister of Brookfield, 1757-71, father
also of Thomas Parsons, who had nineteen children, proprie-
tor of Parsonsfield, Maine.

But passing on to the ninth child of Esq. Joseph Parsons,
viz. : Daniel, who located at Springfield, as an innkeeper,
born in 1685, probably ranking in public estimation among
the foremost of that influential family. It may not be gen-
erally known that during the first half of the last century
and previously, only the choicest characters in the commu-
nity, "" gentlemen in the technical sense the word then had,"
deacons, officers in the church, only such received license to
be innholders, taverners, common victualers, and, it may be
added, to retail strong drink. As thus licensed, may be
cited such names as Dea. Medad Pomeroy, Henry Woodward,
Cornet Joseph Parsons, and of Hatfield, Capt. Henry Dwight,
and the distinguished Col. Samuel Partridge, all regarded as
first class men. Daniel Parsons, therefore, son of Esq. Jo-
seph Parsons, innkeeper at Springfield, stood probably second
as to high moral worth, to none of his six brothers.

But to speak of the homestead of Lawyer Joseph Parsons,
number fifty-nine. While those of his three sons, Lieut.
John and Noah, joining each other originally on South street,
and Josiah on Bridge street, running west to Market, have
received special attention, see number twenty-seven, sixteen,
thirty-four, uncertainty as to the precise location of their
father's, has delayed this notice. It seems to have included the
corner on which John Clarke, the banker and philanthropist,
built and lived. It dates at the time of his marriage, 1669,
bounded north and west by highways, easterly by Samuel
Wright, Jr., and included what over a hundred years later.


went by the name of tlie Tontine, having several owners and
a variety of occupants. On that homestead were born most
of his large family. Retained it twenty-five years, 1669-94,
then sold to Mark Warner, Sr. After an interval of nearly
twenty years, 1694-1713, the Parsons' family again held the
property, the occupant, until his decease in 1744, being Capt.
Ebenezer, third son of Esq. Joseph Parsons, uncommonly ac-
tive in town affairs, for several years one of the selectmen.
He and his uncle Ebenezer Strong, who lived on the same
side of Bridge street, but nearer the center, served on the
board together, in the year 1721. Capt. Ebenezer's wife,
Mary Stebbins of Springfield, survived him on the homestead
nine years, till 1753. They had nine children. Simeon, the
youngest, born in 1730 or 1731, on reaching maturity, re-
ceived the estate, being conveyed to him in 1752, by his two
brothers, Elihu and Benjamin. Lived on it in all about
seventy-eight years, and had three sons, Warham, Medad,
Simeon, Jr. Warham Parsons occupied a part of the homestead
for many years, the entrance to his house, which stood in the
rear, being on Bridge street. The two sons of Warham,
Thaddeus and Elihu, moved to Skaneateles about 1797. In
his later years he sold to Elisha Graves and followed them
to Western New York. Medad moved to Westhampton.

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Online LibrarySolomon ClarkAntiquities, historicals and graduates of Northampton → online text (page 14 of 26)