JOHN WEBSTER and John Russell may be considered as the founders of Hadley. Mr. Webster was a magistrate of Connecticut in 1639, and was elected governor in 1656, and sustained that office a number of years; Mr. Russell was a minister at Wethersfield, in Connecticut. About the year 1660, there was quite an excitement and controversy in the colony of Connecticut, respecting the qualifications of baptism, church-membership, &c. As the minds of the people could not be united on these subjects, many, in order to enjoy peace and harmony, thought is best to remove, and commence settlements in other places. "The original agreement, or association, for removal, is on record, dated at Hartford, April 18, 1659. John Webster is the first signer, and about 30 names follow. R. Russell and his people signed another instrument, and his name, at the head of the list, is followed by about 30 of his congration. Mr. Russell was installed the first minister of Hadley. He removed to this place in 1659, and Mr. Webster, with three others of his name, it is believed, the same year." It is stated that these emigrants purchased the whole territory now included in the towns of Hadley, Hatfield, Granby, and Amherst. The Rev. Isaac Chauncy succeeded Mr. Russell, in 1695. The next minister was Rev. Chester Williams, who was ordained colleague pastor in 1740-1; he died 1753, and was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Hopkins, in 1775. Dr. Hopkins was succeeded by Rev. John Woodbridge, who was ordained colleague in 1810. Rev. John Brown, D. D., the next minister, was installed in 1831. Rev. Ebenezer Brown was installed pastor of the second church in 1835.
Hadley is a fine agricultural town, and the meadows on the banks of the Connecticut river are some of the best in New England. Large quantities of broom-corn are annually raised, and the manufacture of brooms is an important branch of business in this town. The value of brooms manufactured in 1837 was $89,248. There were also 42,300 palm-leaf hats manufactured, valued at $6,768. Connecticut river, between this town and Northampton, winds about in entirely opposite directions, and above Northampton village forms a kind of peninsula. On the ishmus, or neck, of this peninsula, the village of Hadley is situated. It lies mostly on one street, a mile in length, running directly north and south; is sixteen rods in breadth; is nearly a perfect level; is covered, during the summer, with a rich verdure; abuts at both ends on the river; and yields every where a delightful prospect.
The following shows the appearance of the gorge between Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom, as seen from the south end of the east street in Hadley, looking down the river. Mount Holyoke is seen in the distance, on the left; the mountain house is just discerniable on its summit, with the path leading up to it. Mount Tom is seen still farther to the south, on the right of the engraving. "In the beginning of April, (1676,) a number of inhabitants of Had-