and petitioned the general court that they might be incorporated into a distinct parish. This petition was granted the next year, and they were incorporated as the fifth parish in Springfield, and Rev. John '?Kinstry was set apart as their minister and a meeting-house erected the same year. Afterwards the part on the west side became the third parish in West Springfield, being thus incorporated in 1786. This place has been usually called Ireland, from the circumstance, it is said, that several Irish families were among the earliest settlers in this part of the town. The Congregational church in this parish was formed in 1799, and consisted originally of 9 members. The Baptist church here was formed, and Rev. Thomas Rand constituted its pastor, in 1803.
In 1757 the southern part of the town was erected into a distinct parish, contained about 75 families. It was then the sixth parish in Springfield; in 1773 it became the second parish in West Springfield. In Nov., 1762, a church was formed here, and Rev. Sylvanus Griswold was constituted its pastor. In 1727, there were five persons baptized by immersion in the town, by Rev. Elisha Callender, pastor of a church in Boston. In 1740, they, with several others who had joined them, were formed into a church, and Rev. Edward Upham became their pastor. The principal field of Mr. Upham's labors was in the second parish. In 1800 this parish was divided by an act of the legislature, forming what are usually called the parishes of Agawam and Feeding Hills. The meeting-house, which had been built by the second parish, was removed in 1799 from its original site to where it now stands, in Feeding Hills. A meeting-house in Agawam, which the Baptists and Congregationalists occupied alternately, was erected in 1803.
West Springfield extends along the west bank of Connecticut river the whole breadth of Hampden county. It is intersected by Westfield river, and the soil is generally very fertile, particularly on the banks of the rivers. There are high hills or mountains in the north part of the town, and sandy plains at the south. Great quantities of rye are annually raised. In 1837, there was in this town 1 cotton mill, 2,700 cotton spindles; 261,000 yards of cotton goods were manufactured; valued at $33,270. There were two woollen mills; woollen machinery 2 sets; 26,000 yards of cloth were manufactured, valued at $16,6000. There were 80 Saxony, 1,881 merino, 1,413 other kinds of sheep; average weight of fleece, 3 pounds; value of wool produced, $5,107. There are 7 churches, 4 Congregational, 2 Baptist, and 1 Methodist. Population, 3,227. Distance, 10 miles N. of Suffield, and 93 westward from Boston. The following is believed to be a correct representation of the first meeting-house in this town, which was erected in 1702. The dimensions of this meeting-house, as near as can be ascertained, were 42 feet square on the ground, and 92 feet in height. The architect was John Allys, of Hatfield. Until 1743, the people assembled for public worship at the beating of the drum. This continued to be occupied as a place of worship till June 20, 1802,