Archive:History of Northfield, Massachusetts

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Temple, Josiah Howard, and George Sheldon, A History of the Town of Northfield, Massachusetts, for 150 Years: With Family Genealogies (Albany, NY: J. Munsell, 1875).


[p. 6]

John Clary Jr. built a grist-mill on the privilege next the street, in 1685. The dam was just above the one now standing. In 17 16, this privilege was purchased by Stephen Belding, who rebuilt the grist-mill, which was held by himself and sons till 1779, when it was sold to Aaron Whitney, and subsequently came into possession of John Barrett, Esq.

. . .

A grist-mill was put in below the saw-mill, about 1782, by Aaron Whitney. . . . .

. . .

As early as 1775, Stephen Belding set up a clothier's shop, with carding and fulling machinery, between the grist and saw-mills, which was sold with the other privileges to Aaron Whitney, and eventually became the property of Simeon Boyden.


[p. 172]

No. 18. The Thomas Webster lot: 7-1/2 a. 20 r. wide. In April 1714, this lot was owned by Peter Evens, who built and resided here till 1741, when he removed for a time to his lands in Hinsdale, from which he was driven by the Indians in '44 or '45, and probably re- [173] turned to his old home in Northfield. After his death, this estate was held by his heirs, and was sold, probably in 1759, to Ebenezer Harvey the carpenter, who lived here till 1773, when he sold to Aaron Whitney of Petersham. Whitney was a merchant; and when the Revolutionary war broke out, the town's stock of ammunition was kept at his store. He was suspected of toryism; and the town called a meeting July 10, 1776, on one day's notice, and voted, " To remove the town's stock of ammunition from Mr. Whitney's store to some other place." He however regained the confidence of his fellow citizens, and was often honored by election to important offices. He sold, Sept. 11, 1789 to Benjamin Green of Boston, who sold May 14, 1792 to David Barber a son-in-law of Dea. Dutton. The old store was continued in operation for many years by Mr. Barber. The property was sold by the Barber heirs to J. C. Brigham.


[p. 173]

No. 19. The John Woodward lot: 7-1/2 a. 20 r. wide. Previous to April 1714, Peter Evens bought all of John Woodward's rights in Northfield. Aug. 7, 171 7, Evens sells this lot and 22 a. of meadow, to Thomas Hoiton of Northampton, who immediately took possession. Hoiton was killed by the Indians Aug. 13, 1723. Let- ters of administration were granted Dec. 6, to widow Mindwell Hoiton and her brother Dea. Samuel Allen of Northampton. The inventory of the real estate was not returned till Mar. 18, 1736; and the heirs probably lived here some time longer. About 1760, the lot was purchased by Aaron Burt, who conveyed it by deed of mortgage, July 26, 1766, to Charles Ward Apthorp of New York. In 1772, the lot was owned by Crean Brush, Jonathan Burt, and Samuel Wier, who sold April 27, 1773 to Aaron Whitney of Petersham. Sept. 11, 1789, Whitney sells to Benjamin Green of Boston.

No. 20. The John Clary lot. This historic spot has been spoken of in preceding chapters as the probable site of an Indian village, and the site of the second fort erected by the white settlers.

In April 1714, this double lot was set in the tax list to Joseph [174] Clary, son of John. June 30, 1717, Samuel Kingsley of North- ampton and Joseph Clary of Swampfield sell the lot, with the mill privileges adjacent, to Stephen Belding of Swampfield. Jan. 26, 1779, this property was sold by Stephen Belding (Junior) to Aaron Whitney, who made large improvements, and carried on an extensive business in lumber and merchandise for several years. Sept. 11, 1789, Whitney sells to Benj. Green of Boston, who sold to John Barrett Esq.


[p. 263]

Capt, Hobbs's Expedition. — The disaster which happened to Capt. Melvin's company, did not appear to dampen the spirits of the scouts. He was able to promptly recruit a new company of 26 men. The service, with all its hazards, was tempting; and men readily become inured to danger; and through a community of interest, are ambitious to avenge the past. Capt. Humphrey Hobbs, with a com- pany of Rangers had headquarters at No. 4. The roll of his com- pany (given for purposes of reference) is as follows :

Capt. Humphrey Hobbs, Corp. Samuel Nutting, Oba. More,
Lieut. Ifaac Parker, " James Marvel, Thomas Wulkup,
" Wm. Peabody, " Enos Town, Uriah Morfe,
Ens. AIexr. Stuart, Thomas Robinfon, Nathan Walker,
Sergt. Eleazar Collar, Eli Scott, Henry Pudney,
" Mofes Willard, Samuel Graves, Jr. Nath1 Sheple,
" Mofes Wheeler, Rich. Cree, Aaron Hofmer,
[264]
Richard Watts, John Martyn, Nathan Melvin,
Benj. Taylor, Jonas Fletcher, Hugh Linds,
Jacob Nutting, Jethro Ames, Ifaac Peabody,
William Durant, Amos Wood, Ralph Rice,
Ifaac Davis, William Bearns, Ebenr Mitchell,
Jona. Parker, Charles McLain, Robert Bancroft,
Abel Farrar, Mark Perkins, Daniel Simmons,
Noah Curtis, Reuben Brown, Martin Ashley,
Samuel Flint, Jofeph Farwell, Simon Holden,
Samuel Tutos, Daniel Farmer, John Whitney Jr.
Samu.l Gunn, James Farnsworth, William Burt,
Dan1 McKeeney, Jacob Ames, Nathaniel Sartell,
Benj. Mclntire, Jacob Melvin, Saml Butterfield.

[p. 313]

The Old Meeting-house.

The seating of 1780.

[314] . . . No. 12, Mr. Whitney and family.


[p. 315]

1783. The town voted, that William Field be directed to ring the bell in future on the Lord's day precisely at 9 o'clock in the fore- noon. Voted, that the intermissions between the public worship on the Lord's day shall be one hour from Oct. 1, to April 1; and for the months of April, May and September, the intermission shall be one and a half hours; and for June, July and August, two hours. Chose Seth Field Esq., Capt. Ebenezer Stratton and Mr. Aaron [316] Whitney a committee to wait on Mr. Hubbard and acquaint him of the foregoing votes of the town.


[p. 319]

Polls and Estates, North field 1771. . . . . Aaron Whitney . . . .

Number of rateable polls, 106; not rateable, 10. Number of dwelling houses, 65. Alexander Norton had a tan house; Simeon Alexander a blacksmith's shop; Elias Bascom a clothier's shop and saw-mill; Aaron Whitney a store; Stephen Belding and Ebenezer Janes grist mills, and Jona. Belding a saw-mill.


[p. 321]

Industries. — . . . . Aaron Whitney commenced business as a trader here in '70.


[p. 323]

1775. At a town meeting Jan. 13, Mr. Ebenezer Janes was chosen a delegate to the Provincial Congress to be held at Cambridge February first next.

At the same meeting [13 Jan 1775], Dea. Samuel Smith, Ens. Phinehas Wright, Dea. Samuel Root, Ens. Thomas Alexander and Seth Field Esq. were appointed a committee of inspection. And Lieut. Ebenezer Janes and Mr. Aaron Whitney were chosen a committee to receive the donation for the poor at Boston, and transmit the same to the committee at Boston.


[p. 323]

Muster-Roll of Capt. Eldad Wright's Co. of Minute Men that marched from Northfield and Warwick to Cambridge April ye 20th, 1775, in Col. Samuel Williams's regiment.

Warwick men. . . . , [324] . . . , Daniel Whitney, . . . .


[p. 329]

Mr. Aaron Whitney was the leading merchant in town, and the town's stock of ammunition was kept at his store. Early in July some suspicion arose (which proved to be without foundation) that he was tinctured with toryism; and on the 9th, a warrant was issued for a town meeting the next day; at which it was voted "to remove the town's stock of ammunition from Mr. Whitney's store to some other place."


[p. 330]

Muster-roll of Capt. Peter Proctor's Company, Lieut. Col. Williams's Regiment, that marched to reinforce the Northern Army, July 10 — Aug. 12, 1777.

. . . , John Whitney,


[p. 333]

In 1782 Aaron Whitney was elected repre- sentative to the General Court; . . . .


[p. 344]

[In opposition to the Revolutionary war] Mr. Hubbard had the countenance and support of Esq. Field, Dr. Mattoon, Ebenezer Stratton, Alexander Norton, Aaron Whitney, Shammah Pomeroy, and the majority of the church.

[p. 346]

Mr. Hubbard and the committee, including Aaron Whitney, reached an accommodation.

[p. 352]

In addition to the families whose names have been familiar in these annals from the earliest times, others, such as Dutton, Barber, Hough- ton, Moody, Ezekiel Webster, Caleb Lyman, Obadiah Dickinson, Barnabas Billings, and Benjamin Callender had become inhabitants [by 1800], and added to the moral power as well as the wealth of the place. Some stirring men had died or removed from town, such as Aaron Whitney the miller and trader, Elias Bascom who had a fulling-mill and saw-mill, Nathan Fisk the tailor, and ----- Miner who had a pottery for the manufacture of brown earthen ware on the river bank at the upper end of Pauchaug.


[p. 364]

Representatives to the General Court.

. . . ,
Aaron Whitney, 1782, '83, '84,
. . . .

[p. 366]

List of Selectmen:

Aaron Whitney, 1773, [17]80, [17]86.

[p. 392]

[ALEXANDER]. 32. ASA, s. of Asa (18), . . . . He m. . . . , Abigail, dau. John Alexander; . . . .

Ch.: . . . . John Locke, Dec. 21, 1806, Dr.; res. in Bos-

ton; m. Mrs. Rebecca (Perry) Whitney. . . . .


[p. 411]

[BRIDGE]. 3. MATHEW, s. of Mathew (2), . . . , m. Abigail, dau. of Joseph Russell . . .

Ch.: . . . . Abigail, April 1, 1696, m. ----- Whitney. . . . .

[p. 423]

1. CLARY, John; rem. from Watertown to Had.; d. Feb. 10, 1690.
He m. Feb. 5, 1644, Sarah Caddet, [Judd]; Cady, [Savage]; Mary Cassell,
[Bond].

In his will, presented to court Sept. 30, 1690, Clary makes a bequest to
Mary Whitney, his wife's daughter, and to each of her children. Mrs. Clary
d. Dec. 23, 1681.

Ch.: John (2). Gershom, Sept. 7, 1650, d. before 1690.
Sarah, Oct. 4, 1649, m. Dec. 13, 1667,
John Perry, of Watertown.

[p. 460]

[HOLDEN] 2. Squire, s. of John (1); rem. to Athol.
He m. Emeline Doolittle.

Ch.: Squire C, April 28, 1833, d. July 2, Emma M., Jan. 29, 1838.
1834. Amos Taylor, April 16, 1839.
Frances G., April 22, 1836. Lewis Whitney, Jan. 30, 1841.

[p. 493]

[MATTOON] 12. Elihu, s. of Samuel (6), b. 1785, d. Dec. 7, 1859.
He m. June 9, 1811, Rebecca, dau. Jabcz Whitney. She d. Aug. 8, 1870,
a. 87.

Ch.: Maria, Dec. 13, 1811, m. Prof. ----- George, Nov. 3, 1816, d. unm. in California.
Kellogg. Elihu, Sept. 26, 1822; res. in California.
Martha, Dec. 31, 1813, m. abt. 1835, Dr.
James Henry.

[p. 564]

1. WHITNEY, Aaron, s. of Moses, of Littleton; b. 1714; H. C,
1737; ordained minister to the "Plantation at Nichcwang," now Petersham,
Dec, 1738. Mr. Whitney was a strong tory, while the town of Petersham
was ardently whig, and at the opening of the revolution, voted that they would
"not bargain with him, nor employ, the Rev. Mr. Whitney, to preach for
them any longer." Mr. Whitney, however, persisted in preaching, and when
kept from entering the pulpit, by an armed guard, he preached at his own house
to such as would come, until his death in 1779.
He m. July 12, 1739, Alice Baker, of Phillipston. She d. Aug. 26, 1767.
(2), Ruth, wid. of Rev. Daniel Stearns, of Lunenburg. She was of Nfd.,
1780, but d. at Keene, N. H., Nov. 1, 1788.

Ch.: Abel, 1740, d. at H. C, March 15, Alice, m. Ensign Man; H. C, 1746; a
1756. teacher, in Petersham.
Peter, Sept. 6, 1744; H. C, 1762; ordained Lucy, m. Dr. Samuel Kendall, of New Sa-
minister of Northborough, Nov. 4, 1767; lem. She d. at Western, 1784.
author History of IVorccutr County; d. Paul; H. C, 1772; doctor; sett, in Wfd.;
1816. d. 179$.
Charles; sett, in Phillipston. Abel, March 15, 1756, the same day his br.
Aaron (2). Abel died in Cambridge; merchant; sett.
in Wfd.; d. 1807.

[p. 565]

2. Aaron, s. of Aaron (1); Esq.; merchant; Nfd., 1768; rep. 3 years;
d. April 29, 1790.
He m. Sept. 23, 1772, Hannah Willard, of Winch., who d. Feb. 1, 1784,
ae. 35. (2), l785, Hannah, prob. Belding, dau. Stephen, of Winch.
She m. (2), before June 8, 1794, Asahel Pomroy, of Nhn.

Ch.: Aaron S., Aug. 27, 1773. David S., Dec. 24, 1783, d. Nov. 20, 1785.
Sally B., Feb. 28, 1775. Susanna W., Sept. 17, 1785, d. Jan. 17,
Hannah, March 24, 1777. 1786.
William H., Jan. 22, 1779. Susanna W., bapt. Dec. 17, 1786.
Nahum H., Aug. 15, 1781. David S., Aug. 22, 1788.

[p. 591]

Old Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions.

Freeman G. Whitney | Died Sept 22 1861 | a. 14 yrs

Our little brother sleeps.

Clara M | Dau of | W and S A Whitney | Died | May

12 1864 | aged 6 yrs

Emm M | Dau of | Wm and Sarah A | Whitney Died |

Jan 31 1848 | ae 2 ys and 7 ms and 19 Ds
Sweet little flower that we did love
She doth now dwell with Christ above
Weep not for me dear parent now
Nor never shall I be forgot

Copyright © 2017, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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