THIS town was originally a section of what was termed the Equivalent Lands, granted by Massachusetts to Connecticut. The tract comprising the town was sold to Col. Stoddard of Northampton and was denominated Stoddard's Town. The township was afterwards sold by Col. Stoddard to a number of settlers from Worcester, and was incorporated into a town by the name of Pelham in 1742. The ancestors of the first settlers of this town were Presbyterian emigrants from the north of Ireland. The first minister of the place was Rev. Robert Abercrombie, from Edinburgh, Scotland ; he was ordained here in 1744. His successors were Richard C. Graham, Nathaniel Merrill, Thomas F. Oliver, Elijah Brainerd, Winthrop Baily. Mr. Baily died in 1835, in Greenfield. In the second church Matthias Cazier and Sebastian C. Cabot have been ministers.
The soil of this township is good, but the situation is elevated and the surface is uneven. Swift river, a principal branch of the Chicopee, waters the eastern border, and Fort river, which falls into the Connecticut, waters the western part of this town. In 1837 there were 18,000 palm-leaf hats manufactured in this town, valued at $3,000. Population, 957. Distance, 13 miles from Northampton, 7 from Amherst, and 80 from Boston.
THIS town was formerly included in Cummington, and with that town was sold by Col. John Cummings, of Concord, in 1762. The first meeting of the proprietors was held at Concord, in December of that year. Many of the first settlers came from Bridgewater and Abington. Plainfield was incorporated a district of Cummington in 1785, and in 1807 was incorporated a distinct town.
A church of 14 members was organized here in 1780 ; but they had no settled minister till 1792, when Rev. Moses Hallock, a native of Long Island, was settled with them. He continued in the pastoral office till 1831, in which year he was succeeded by Rev. David Kimball. Few men have been more useful than Mr. Hallock ; none more humble, holy, consistent, and devoted to the proper work of man. He had no brilliancy, but was strongly characterized in his whole deportment by kindness, sincerity, meekness, and a deep and heartfelt interest in the welfare of all. He died in 1837. The meeting-house of this society was built in 1792. A Baptist society was formed in the eastern part of the town in 1833. The church was organized in June, by an ecclesiastical council, Elder David Wright, of Cummington, acting as moderator.
This township lies on the eastern side of the Green mountain range, and, as
might be expected, the surface is undulating, and in many parts rough and broken,
less so, however, than that of the