Shays's Rebellion

Monson, Massachusetts

Early Settlement, page 2

The rights of other proprietors were taken up by their children, and sold to different persons. Some whose rights laid in the east part of Brimfield sold or exchanged them, and removed to the west part of the town. Among these were Capt. David Hitchcock and Thomas Stebbins, the latter of whom settled in Monson about 1734. Capt. James Merrick purchased land in Monson about the same time, and made an actual settlement in 1735. Josiah Keep was another early settler. The names of Shaw, Hoar, Warner, Warriner, Chandler, Fullar. Haynes, Jennings, and Moulton likewise occur early in the settlement of Monson.

Later settlers were Abner Brown, who was a man of influence and station, as early as 1798. He represented the district for thirteen successive terms in the General Court, and did considerable business as a justice of the peace for a number of years. He formerly lived about two miles west of the centre of the town, but in later years moved into the village and resided just north of the meeting-house. During the greater part of his life he engaged in farming.

Abijah Newell was born in Roxbury, Mass., entered the matrimonial state at Dudley, and took up his residence at Monson about the year 1740. He lived southwest of the central village, where Eli Rogers now resides. He was a farmer by occupation, and had six sons and six daughters. All of these removed from town except Abijah, who remained with his father on the old farm until the latter's death, in 1807, and afterward occupied the place until the end of his life. He married Nancy Burt, of Longmeadow, who was born, however, in Monson in 1760. They had ten children, of whom only three were sons. Austin, still a resident of the town, was born Oct. 17, 1798.

Abel Goodell lived on East Hill, about two miles from the centre, where Charles Carpenter now resides, as early as 1781. He was a farmer, and is said to have been the first justice of the peace commissioned in Monson.

David Hyde lived in the north part of the town in 1796, and was a man of wealth and influence. He owned a saw-and grist-mill on the Palmer side of the Quaboag River, and was there drowned in 1806.

Stephen Newton came from Hardwicke in 1789. In 1790 he married Susannah Davidson, who came from Pomfret. He was a carpenter by trade, and located where Hiram Newton now lives. His children were Voltaire, Lemuel D., Lucius F., Freeman, Hiram, and Selim. The latter two were twins, and, what is somewhat remarkable, Selim lived to be over sixty, and Hiram is still living at the age of eighty Lucius F. is also living. Hiram has in his possession an old concordance that was printed in London in 1658, and that has been in the family for one hundred and fifty years; an old copy of John Johnson's arithmetic, printed in London in 1657, besides other interesting relics of the olden time.

Other early settlers were Simeon Keep, who lived about a mile east of the village as early as 1780, and was a farmer; Jonathan Chapin, who lived about two miles and a half south-west of the village, and engaged in a like occupation as early as 1778; Stephen Warriner, an influential farmer, in the northwest part, early in the present century; Joshua Shaw, who resided in the southwest part; John Shield, who lived on lie road to Palmer, about a mile from the village, probably as early as 1785, and who established and carried on a grist-mill on the site of the present North factory, in which occupation his son, David L., succeeded him; Aaron Merrick, who lived near Fellows' tavern; and Joseph, his brother, who resided on what is known as the Toby place, both at early dates.

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This page was last updated on 13 Feb 2006