FRANKLIN COUNTY was originally the north part of Hampshire county: it was incorporated as a distinct county in 1811. Connecticut river passes centrally through the county from north to south, and Deerfield river passes from west to east centrally through the western, and Miller's river from east to west through the eastern part of the county. Few tracts of country exceed this for the extent and value of its water powers. The great body of the people are engaged in agricultural pursuits. The fine grazing lands found upon the verdant hills and fertile valleys, enable the farmers in this section to raise large droves of fat cattle for market. The manufacturing interests have received considerable attention of late years, and are increasing in value and importance. The following is a list of the towns, which are 26 in number.
In 1820, the population of this county was 29,268; in 1830, it was 29,344; in 1837, it was 28,655.
THE territory comprising this town was granted to Capt. Ephraim Hunt, of Weymouth, as a compensation for services rendered in the Canada expedition of 1690. It was actually conveyed to his heirs forty-six year afterwards, and was settled by a few families in 1742. It was incorporated as a town in 1764; previous to that time it went by the name of Huntstown, from the name of it's original proprietor. Richard Ellis, a native of Ireland, was the first permanent settler; Thomas Phillips, with his family, from Easton, was the next; Chileab Smith, from South Hadley, was the third settler. These persons all settled in the north-eastern part of the town. Mr. Chileab Smith settled on the farm now owned and cocupied by his son Chileab, who is 96 years of age, and in good health at this time, (1837).
The first regular church formed in this town was of the Baptist denomination. It was constituted in July, 1761, and consisted of nine members. In the following August the Rev. Ebenezer Smith, the eldest son of Chileab Smith, was ordained its pastor. He was succeeded in 1798 by elder Enos Smith, who deceased about two years since. The Congregational church in this town was formed by an ecclesiastical council, Feb. 22d, 1763, and Rev. Jacob Sher-