Solomon Clark.

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still living, two in this country, the rest with their husbands
are pursuing missionary work abroad. These last have spent
twenty-five years in the foreign field; one of them has been
there nearly one-third of a century.

The number of ministers raised up in these families, not
far from twenty-five. Number of physicians in them it
would be diflScult to state accurately, probably not over eight.
Number of lawyers, from seven to ten. Two of these were
at the head of law schools. One of the schools was located
formerly at Northampton, the other at Litchfield, Ct. One
of these two lawyers. Judge Eeeve of Litchfield, chief justice
of Connecticut, was not only a profound lawyer, but an em-
inent Christian. He spent much of his time in devotion,
praying for the conversion of individuals among his acquaint-
ance. His minister, the late Lyman Beecher, D.D., father
of Kev. Henry Ward Beecher, said of him: ^'I have never
known a man who loved so many persons with such ardor,
and was himself beloved by so many." Number of teachers,
editors, college professors raised up in these families, eight.
Number of daughters in them who married ministers, four-
teen. One of these, in 1880, married a foreign missionary,
and now lives in India.

Thus enumerated, the series suggests several points of re-
mark. Only two will claim attention. The first relates to
the intellectual culture or education that has characterized
Northampton ladies from the earliest times. There is, per-
haps, a tendency to think and speak slightingly of the school
advantages which the girls of the town received during the
first one hundred and fifty years of its existence, as though


the community was specially faulty in this particular. While
the boys were cared for, little attention, educationally, was
paid to the girls. The writer does not sympathize with this
view. It is not claimed that the standard in early times
was what it is now. Everything has greatly changed in re-
gard to schools, teachers, books, and the common branches
of study. For a hundred years after the aettlement com-
menced, such a thing as a spelling book was not known in
New England, and probably not in Old England. Heading,
arithmetic, writing to some extent, constituted, with the ex-
ception of the catechism, almost the sum total of school ed-
ucation. In the grammar schools, Latin was required to be
taught in the case of those who had college in view. In
passing, it may be observed, that for a long period there was,
on the part of the girls, very little call for what is now an
indispensable accomplishment, viz. : writing. Families were
not widely scattered, as is the case at the present day. Post-
oflfices and mails were not established. Letter writing was
not needed, except on a limited scale. The wants of hardly
one family in twenty, required anything of the kind, viz. :
letter writing.

Then again, the families of our ancestors were unusually
large, often numbering a round dozen. To clothe such a
household, to provide the single item of cloth, devolved a
great amount of labor on somebody. No factories then in
existence for its manufacture, no traders dealing in the arti-
cle. From the oldest to the youngest, everything worn in
the family must be produced by the family, shoes, boots, and
probably hats, excepted. The raw material went through the
various processes at home. Of necessity, therefore, the girls
felt obliged to take part in the work. Every house had such
a musical instrument as a spinnnig wheel. Every family was


a center and a liive of industry. Had tlie writer space, he
might expatiate on the quality of the articles, the superior
woolen and linen fabrics of our great-grandmothers. Not-
withstanding this call on their time, the girls possessed what
would then pass for a respectable education. They were
good readers. Not an instance, probably, occurred in the
community of a girl in her teens being unable to read. All
could read the Bible. Moreover, all committed to memory,
and that while young, the Catechism. Not the easy one
commencing: Who was the first man? who the first woman?
Not simply that, but the one beginning with the question:
What is the chief end of man? This, called the Shorter
Catechism, included also in the New England Primer, was
an important text book found in all the families, and recited
once a week in all the schools, and in many of the Sabbath
congregations of New England. The girls were as familiar
with it as the boys. Hard as it is now said to be, they
could repeat every word from beginning to end. Thus ac-
quainted with the Catechism, they were familiar with the his-
torical portions of the Bible. Of them it might be said as
of another, '^And that from a child thou hast known the
Holy Scriptures." They became, consequently, intelligent
readers of divine truth. Hence in this connection another
j)articular, the ministry of the town from the earliest years
onward; Mather, Stoddard, Edwards, Hooker, Williams, men
of thought, carefully studied their sermons, thus instructing,
educating the people. The impression went abroad that the
community, thus privileged, was an intelligent one. Quite
early, therefore, educated young men from Harvard, and
afterward from Yale, having the ministry in view, sought
companions in this town. Were these ladies above the aver-
age as to education? Not generally, for the following reason,


viz. : the influence of the early families which settled else-
where. The three towns, Southampton, Easthampton, West-
hampton, have always stood high educationally, and in other
respects. At the commencement they were model communi-
ties. But they were settled largely from the mother town.
The men and the women which laid the foundations in those
places, were, for the most part, some of the boys and girls
of Northampton, of the preceding generation. It is interest-
ing to count up the graduates, valuable men, ministers,
authors, editors, teachers, professors, sent out into the world,
from those localities, in all, about one hundred and twenty,
showing the intelligence of the fathers and mothers there.
Lebanon, Ct., settled previously, stands high on the roll of
educated communities. But that place received its first start
mainly from Northampton families of the second generation.
Durham, also Coventry, Woodbury, all of the same state.
It is proper to add that the intelligence of some Northamp-
ton families, which settled about 1750, and earlier, in Am-
herst, had something to do, as seen in the next generation,
in originating, preparing the way, and bringing into existence
that noble institution, exerting such a powerful influence for
good, viz. : Amherst College. All thanks, then, under Prov-
idence, to the intelligence of the Northampton girls gener-
ally of that early period, say of the second and third genera-
tion, the boys not excepted.

Pass to the second point of remark. See why, at least,
in part, the town in its earlier history, became widely
known in and beyond New England. Some have accounted
for this from the beauty of its scenery, diversified by hill
and valley, river and woodland, the Round Hill eminence
rising so gracefully near the center of the community, the
fertile, wide spreading meadows, and those striking land-


marks and outlines, intercepting tlie southern view, Hol-
yoke and Mt. Tom. Some have emphasized the ancient
cemetery, wit hits historic associations, where sleep the early
fathers, the founders of widely scattered families, where
repose the remains of the sainted Brainerd, and of her
who expected to be his companion, in missionary labor
among the Indians, on the banks of the Delaware. Some
have enlarged on the fact that this community, for twenty-
three years, was the home of the greatest metaphysical
divine, reasoner, and preacher modern times have produced,
Jonathan Edwards, the results of whose ministry, known
across the water, still live in the public mind and excite
remark. Some have expatiated on the civilians, lawyers,
statesmen, military men of the last century, public charac-
ters, who here lived. While all these and other particu-
lars had their influence, some of them considerable inllu-
ence in making the place prominent elsewhere, the series
now reviewed and concluded, viz. : Northampton ladies who
have married ministers, shows still another that has largely
contributed to the same result.




William Holton heads tlie list, one of the Springfield
petitioners in 1653, and one of the first comers. In 1663,
at a time of unusual seeking to God for guidance, after
choosing a ruling elder, the church chose William Holton
deacon. Being the first to officiate in this capacity, he
was also the first deacon of the church called away by
death twenty-eight years after his appointment, in 1691.
The last of the Holton name who deceased in N., was in
the year 1733.

The church chose Thomas Hanchett, the second deacon,
in 1668. The year he became deacon, his name appears
on the list of selectmen. After this date, no farther trace
of him exists as a resident. He moved to Westfield prob-
ably within a year or two after his appointment. He
stands as one of the selectmen of that town in 1672.

The third, chosen at the age of thirty-seven, Medad
Pomeroy, ultimately became one of the first men in North-
ampton. He served the church forty-one years, 1675-1716.
His grandson, Ebenezer, was the twelfth deacon.

Jonathan Hunt occupies the fourth place, ancestor of a
numerous race. The church chose him in 1680, in his
forty-fourth year. He held the office eleven years, and


deceased 1691, a few weeks after tlie venerable Dea. Hol-

Nathaniel Phelps appears as the fifth deacon, not the
first Nathaniel, an early comer, but a son. Soon after
Dea. Jonathan Hunt deceased, the church chose Nathaniel
Phelps, 2d, to the same office, then sixty-four. He re-
tained the position eleven years, the same as Dea. Hunt,
and died in 1702, aged seventy-five. At the same time
the church placed the same responsibility on a much younger
man, John Clark, son of Lieut. William, usually styled the
first Dea. John, a historic name in the different Hamp-
tons. Died 1704, in the fourteenth year of his deaconship.

The seventh, Thomas Sheldon, chosen at the age of
forty, in 1702, was one of the fifteen children of Isaac,
from England, ancestor of the Sheldons. Thomas, the
deacon, was born in 1662. He continued in office twenty-
three years, till his death in 1725, aged sixty- three.

Ebenezer Wright stands the eighth on the list, born in
1662. The church chose him to fill the vacancy occa-
sioned by the death of Dea. John Clark, in 1704. Forty-
two when appointed, he lived to be eighty-six, 1748, and
saw, during the term of his office, numerous accessions to
the church.

After the foregoing, came the second Samuel Allen,
chosen, 1725, in the room of Thomas Sheldon. Dea. Sam-
uel, born 1675, when the Indians broke through the pal-
isades, was fifty when appointed the ninth deacon, lived
near neighbor of Mr. Edwards, the minister, some twelve
years, and deceased 1739, soon after the erection of the
third meeting house, his age sixty-four. Held the office
fourteen years.

The tenth in order, Capt. John Clark, grandson of Lieut.


William, was the first of Dea. John's eleven children,
usually styled the second Dea. John. At his marriage in
1704, he built on South street. Fifty-one when constituted
deacon, he sustained the relation thirty-eight years, 1730-
68. Having served the town in various important capaci-
ties, he died at the age of eighty-nine. His son, the
third Dea. John, lived in Southampton, one of the earliest
who officiated in that church. Soon after its formation,
the second Dea. John gave the Southampton church a sil-
ver goblet, still used in the communion service, a reminder
of the intimate relation between the two towns and the
two churches, mother and daughter.

Noah Cook, Jr., the eleventh chosen, was born 1688,
grandson of Major Aaron Cook. When fifty-one he suc-
ceeded Dea. Samuel Allen m the office of deacon, 1730, be-
ing the first of the three appointed that year to the same office,
and served thirty-four years. At the date of his election,
the church was highly prosperous, outwardly and inwardly;
harmony, spirituality, large numbers, a new meeting house,
a pastor of great celebrity, all these items made that period
one of the brightest the First Church ever saw. Dea. Noah
lived to see the same go into a very dark cloud, and, in a
few. years, to come out of it into a state of sunshine and
prosperity, under Kev. John Hooker.

Pass to the twelfth, Ebenezer Pomeroy, born 1697, son of the
distinguished Major Ebenezer, the second of the three ap-
pointed at the time of the foregoing. Forty-two when chosen,
the church had his services thirty-five years, the last, viz. :
1774, being one of the Right Hand of the Most High.
These two, Dea. Cook and Dea. Pomeroy, associated together
thirty-four years, witnessed, during the entire period of their
church membership, ten harvest seasons.


In the place of the thirteenth deacon, stands the name of
Stephen Wright, son of the third Samuel. He was the third
chosen in 1739. The church, numbering between six and
seven hundred, needed at least three, as it has ever since.
Precisely how long Dea. Ste^^hen Wright held the office is
not stated. In 1744, he moved to a part of the town after-
wards included in Easthampton. Was ancestor of the Wrights
of that town. Died 1763, aged seventy.

The fourteenth on the list, Ebenezer Hunt, son of the
Ebenezer who lived on Bridge street, 1698-1723, who, in
1723, moved his numerous family to Lebanon, Ct., leaving
behind his son, Ebenezer, a young man of about twenty.
When about fifty, he was chosen deacon, in 1754, the year
Mr. Hooker was settled, being the first centennial in the
history of the town. He kept a record of passing events
which has served, and still does, a valuable purpose. He
died in 1788, served the church officially thirty-four years.

The next, the fifteenth. Supply Kingsley, son of John,
born in 1708, the same year his grandfather Enos, the set-
tler, deceased. When forty-six, the church chose him asso-
ciate deacon, the same year and probably at the same time,
with Dea. Ebenezer Hunt. Continued in the office fourteen
years, and deceased Aug. 27th, 1768, less than four weeks
after the departure of the second, the aged Dea. John Clark.

The sixteenth needs no introduction. * Major Joseph Haw-
ley, chosen six years before the death of Dea. Kingsley, in
1762. This date, in connection with another historical event,
should be emphasized. Reference is made to the remarkable
confession of the foregoing, detailing very copiously and in a
peculiarly close, searching, humble way his unjustifiable
course toward his former minister, Mr. Edwards. After a
few years. Major Hawley's conscience exceedingly wrought


upon, would not suffer liim longer to remain silent. He
wrote a confession, resembling David's in the fifty-first Psalm,
being a thorough portrayal of the truth, reviewing the whole
in a masterly way, the whole outline being honorable to Mr.
Edwards, and demonstrating the repentance of the writer.
Only two years later, in 1763, the church chose him deacon,
a year, it may be added, of spiritual ingathering; sixty-five
were received to its communion. He served in this capacity
twenty-six years.

Come to the seventeenth, viz. Jonathan Hunt, born in
1727, great-grandson of the first Dea. Jonathan. He built
on Prospect street. At the age of thirty-seven, he was ap-
pointed deacon, 1764. Filled the office thirty-two years from

The eighteenth, viz.: Aaron Oook, was born in 1729. He
was chosen at the age of forty-five, 1774, the year after his
father, Dea. Noah Oook, deceased. He served the church
thirty-one years, 1774-1805. Oounting both father and son,
the Northampton church had a deacon Oook sixty-six con-
tinuous years, lacking but a few months. The late Enos
Oook was a son of Dea. Aaron.

The nineteenth in order, was Josiah Olark, born in 1721,
son of Josiah, the nonagenarian, and consequently grandson
of the first Dea. John. He lived on South street. Dea.
Josiah, when chosen, in 1774, had reached his fifty-fourth
year, and held the office thirty-four years. His son, Isaac,
who lived in the same house, had a numerous family.

The twentieth, Dea. Elijah Olark, son of Increase, was
born, lived and died on Elm street, 1731-91, in the Justin
Smith house. Fifty-four when chosen deacon, in 1785, he
retained the office only six years. Was one of the commit-
tee of fifteen in the war of the revolution. Three of his
sons were deacons, two in Northampton, and one elsewhere.


The twenty- first, Moses Kingsley, a descendant of Enos,
the settler, and the third of the same name. Became dea-
con in 1785, the same year with Elijah Clark. Having served
nine years, he moved, 1794, to Chesterfield, where he lived
over twenty years. His granddaughter, Judith, married Moses

Enos Wright received the appointment of deacon, the
twenty-second, in 1791, of the fifth generation from the first
Samuel Wright. Thirty-six when chosen, he served the
church forty-three years, 1791-1834. His son, Ebenezer,
studied for the ministry with Rev. Dr. Lyman, of Hatfield.

The next, the twenty-third, was Solomon Allen, son of
Joseph, grandson of Dea. Samuel, born 1751. Of his mili-
tary record in the war of the revolution, much might be said.
His conversion, strongly marked, dates just beyond his for-
tieth year, 1791. Thenceforward his devotion under the
great Captain of Salvation, showed the same ardor and de-
cision manifested by him in the service of his country. Six
years later, 1797, appointed deacon, introductory, however, to
a more responsible calling. Ten years from the time of his
conversion, 1801, at the ripe age of fifty, unappalled by dif-
ficulties, enters the ministry, becomes a pioneer missionary,
near the Genesee, state of New York. Four churches owe
their origin to his earnest, self-denying labors. Among his
children were Phineas, the veteran Pittsfield editor, Solomon
of Philadelphia, Moses of New York, formerly and exten-
sively known as bankers, also the wives of Dea. Luther and
Dea. Enos Clark.

Israel Clark, always mentioned in his day, as Dea. Israel,

the eleventh child of Moses, who was the son of Increase,

who was the son of the first Dea. John, stands twenty-fourth

on the list. His father moved to Sunderland, 1751. Dea.



Israel settled on Bridge street, became deacon in 1804, at the
age of thirty-nine, and like Israel of old, had power with
God in prayer, and prevailed. He deceased in 1851, aged
eighty-six, one hundred years from the time his father moved
to Sunderland. Held the office forty-seven years.

The twenty-fifth, Luther Clark, better known as Dea.
Luther, was the fourth child of Dea. Elijah, born 1767, in
the Justin Smith house, chosen when thirty-eight, 1805, held
the office fifty years, longer than any other here enumerated.
He died Oct. 17th, 1855, aged eighty-eight. Four of his
sons still survive.

Ebenezer Strong Phelps, son of the fifth Nathaniel, on
South street, ranks the twenty-sixth. The church chose him
in 1816, when only twenty-eight, being the youngest, when
elected, of all his predecessors. Dea. Phelps was the father
of seven children. In 1831, he moved, with others, west,
and settled in Princeton, 111., where he spent most of his
days, and died much respected, about 1873, aged eighty-five.

Enos Clark, the youngest of the eight children of Dea.
Elijah, was chosen the twenty-seventh deacon in 1818, being
at the time thirty-nine. He retained the office in the First
Church till 1832. At the formation of the Edwards Church,
the same year, of which he was one of the original members,
he received the appointment of deacon and sustained the
relation till his decease, 1864, in all in both churches, some
forty-six years.

Hon. Eliphalet Williams accepted the office of deacon, be-
ing the twenty-eighth, in 1831. Fifty-one at the time, he
attained the great age of ninety-four, one of Northampton's
nonagenarians, the only one classed among the nineties of all
who have held the office in the First Church. Thirty-one
years he served as President of the Northampton Bank, and


forty-three, 1831-74, as deacon in the First Church, over
eighteen years the senior deacon.

Chosen the same year with Mr. Williams, 1831, the Hon.
Lewis Strong, son of Gov. Caleb, stands the twenty-ninth in
office. In the responsible position of deacon, he served the
church, associated with Mr. Williams, twenty-seven years,

The thirtieth, appointed the same year with the two pre-
ceding, making a trio of great worth, was David S. Whitney,
born in 1789. He came to Northampton when a boy, was
in the employment of the Shepherds on Pleasant street. In
1809 formed a partnership with Benjamin Tappan, on Shop
Eow, the firm being the well-known Tappan & Whitney. His
wife was Miss Hannah H. Partridge of Hatfield. He was
forty-two when chosen deacon, and died 1840, aged fifty-one,
at Gainesville, Ala. Eemembered as an earnest Christian
worker, whose daily motto seemed to be, "Wist ye not that
I must be about my Father's business ?" Very useful at
Northampton by his attendance at funerals. His son, David
S. W., aged eighteen, died at Pensacola, 1854.

The next, the thirty-first, who sustained the relation from
1838-72, thirty-four years, just one-half of his life, was John
Payson Williston, born in Easthampton, 1804, son of the first
pastor. Rev. Payson Williston. In his lifelong career, he
exemplified the rule of the sainted Nettleton, " Do all the
good you can in the world, and make as little noise about
it as possible." He was the father of nine children. His
son, A. L. Williston, known for his benevolence, is one of
the deacons of the Florence church.

The thirty-second, chosen in 1839, viz., Aaron Breck,
brother of Moses, held the office twenty-nine years, and died
1868, aged seventy-seven.


The following were subsequently chosen to the office of
deacon in the First Church, viz., Jared Clark in 1839, Daniel
Kingsley in 1864, Haynes K. Starkweather in 1873, Charles
B. Kingsley in 1873, George L. Wright in 1877, William P.
Strickland in 1877, William H. Nowell in 1877.

Whole number chosen, 1663-1877, thirty-nine. The eight
Clarks were all descendants from Lieut. William C. The
four Kingsleys descended from Enos the settler. Of the four
Wrights, three, and probably the whole four, descended from
the first Samuel. With the exception of six years, the First
Church has had a Deacon Clark since 1730. Two of the
name, and sometimes three, have been in office at the same



Collegiate and Professional




A. C. Amherst College

M. A. C. Massachusetts Agricultural College

B. C Bowdoin College

B. U Brown University

Cola. C, N. Y Columbia College, New York

Cola. C, S. C Columbia College, South Carolina

D. C Dartmouth College

H. C Harvard College

M. C Middlebury College

O. C Oberlin College

P. C Princeton College

T. C Trinity College, Hartford

U. C Union College

W. C Williams CoUsge

W. U Wesleyan University

Y. C Yale College

Professional Institutions are not abbreviated.


[Natives of Northampton indicated by the initials, N. N.]



N. N., born 1743, son of Joseph who lived on King street.
H. C. 1762. Studied theoloofv with Rev. John Hooker of
Northampton. Became the first minister of Pittsfield, 1764.
Almost an unbroken wilderness extended on the east to
Northampton, and on the west nearly to Albany. Forty-six
years after, he saw this wilderness dotted over with thriving
towns and villages. Sometimes called the *' fighting parson,"
on account of his valor at the battle of Bennington, and in
other engagements. " Once when asked, whether he actually
killed any man at Bennington, he replied that he did not

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