OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASS.
Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child, 1885
Transcribed by Dawn Marie Quinn, 2002
..........Lanesboro lies in the western-central part of the county,
in lat. 42(o) and 32', and long. 3(0) 46', bounded north by New
Ashford and Cheshire, east by Cheshire and Dalton, south by Pittsfield,
and west by Hancock. The erection of this territory into a township
was brought about mainly as follows: In January, 1741, the general
court was petitioned by Samuel Jackson and seventy-five others,
residents of Framingham, Middlesex county, for a grant of
wilderness land situated on the Housatonic river, near to an Indian
town. The petition was favorably considered by the committee
to whom it was referred, the grants made and the grantees authorized
to survey and locate a township, of the contents of six
miles square, adjoining south on Indian Town, so-called, on the
Housatonic river, or as near that place as the land would allow,
under the usual restrictions and reservations of such grants.
Under the act thus passed the township was located and surveyed,
much as it lies to-day, except the portion taken from its northeastern
part, March 14, 1793, towards forming the township of Cheshire.
At a meeting of the proprietors, held October 19, 1742, it was
voted that the new grant should be called Richfield, until a name
should be given it by the legislature. When this change occurred
the name New Framingham was given it, which was retained until
the incorporation of the township, June 21, 1765, when Lanesborough
was substituted, since shortened by common usage to terminal of
boro in common with most towns ending with ough.
This name taken, it is said, from James Lane, Viscount Lanesborough,
in the peerage of Ireland.
surface of Lanesboro is broken and uneven, presenting some exquisite
scenery, and affording some of the finest views in the county.
It has an altitude of from 1,200 to 2,000 feet above sea level,
thus giving a bracing, healthful atmosphere, though its winters
are severe. A spur of the Hoosac mountains divides the town from
Cheshire on the east, while Potter's mountain of the Taconic range,
divides it from Hancock on the west. These two ranges, in a succession
of hills, unite on the northern line of the town, while the south
opens out into an extended and beautiful view down the valley
towards Pittsfield, and to the mountains beyond. A branch of the
Housatonic river rises a few rods north of the northern line of
the town flowing southerly through beautiful and luxuriant meadows,
through the charming Pontoosuc lake, which is well stocked with
finny tribe, and which conveys the stream into Pittsfield, the
lake lying partly in that town in the eastern section rises the
Hoosac, flowing northwardly, ---- one stream blending with the
waters of the Hudson, near Troy, N.Y., and the other dropping
into Long Island Sound. To one who delights in the wild and picturesque,
Lanesboro hills afford views of which he will never tire. Prominent
among these may be mentioned that from Savage mountain, Farnum
hill, and Constitution hill. The latter eminence, lying near the
geographical center of the town, affords a prospect wherein is
spread before the beholder, as on a map, a large section of the
Housatonic valley and the chains of mountains which enclose it.
Of this prospect, the mellow, golden pen of Godfrey Greylock (J.E.A.
Smith), remarks as follows, in his Taghconic:----
Nestled closet in the bosom of our hills lies the little
village of Lanesboro-the very fondling of nature. Thither turns
never the good mother her wrinkled front; near pressing as the
mountains clasp the narrow valley, you must not look among them
for frowning precipices, or earthquake-rifted chasms. High into
the air their summits press, but not in jagged peaks---only with
the full, round swelling of lovely breasts, upon which you may
repose, if you will, in the gentlest of summer reveries. There
is one eminence nearin patriotic gratitude they call it
Constitution Hillwith such a winsome, neighborly look to
it, that in our streets, miles away, it seems near as your own
garden. If you have in you any yearnings at all after beauty,
I am sure you cannot look upon, and not be irresistibly drawn
to it, to be lifted up gently and humanly, above the baser things
of earth. Lying under its druidical oaks, or seated, farther up,
upon a pearl-white quartz rock, in the shade of a whispering birch,
you will see below you, groves and farms, and broad, fresh meadows,
with laughing lake and winding rivulets, like silver embroidery
on the green banner of Erin.
in scenic beauty as it is, Lanesboro has also riches in nature's
bounteous garner-the earth. The basis of its geological structure
are rocks of the talcose-slate, limestone and quartz formation.
The limestone, aside from its enrichments to the soil by rapid
disintegration, affords also some excellent quarries of marble,
and material for the manufacture of lime; the slate portion contains
deposites of iron that have yielded thousands of dollars worth
of ore; and the quartz affords a valuable sand, some of which,
possibly, forms a part of the window pane through which pass the
rays of light that enable me to write these words, and possibly,
also, through which pass the rays that enable you to read them.
Among the curiosities of nature are the Rolling rock,
in the southwestern part, and a large cave, in the western part,
both of which awaken various speculations in the minds of the
curious. The Rolling rock, a huge boulder, some thirty feet long,
fifteen feet wide and about the same in height, is so pivoted
on another rock, about three feet from the ground, that it can
be easily moved, and still not be overturned, seeming to have
been placed thus in the sport of some Titan, in the primeval ages.
The cave, dark as Erebus, is about fifteen rods in extent. The
soil of the town is generally of a good quality, consisting principally
of a clay loam, though little grain is grown, grazing taking the
principal attention of the farmers.
1880 Lanesboro had a population of 1,286. In 1883 the town employed
two male and ten female teachers in its public schools, to whom
was paid an average monthly salary of $32.00 to males and $24.75
to females. There were 267 school children in the town, while
the whole amount raised for school purposes was 1,600.
is a post village located in the southern part of the town, in
the luxuriant valley of the Housatonic.
is a post village located in the southeastern part of the town,
on the Hoosac river, and is also a station on the Pittsfield and
Adams railroad, which crosses this corner of the town. Here are
located the works of the Berkshire Class Co., mentioned on page
Institute, a family school for boys, located at Lanesboro, was
established here by its present principal, Rev. Alfred A. Gilbert,
M. A., of whom further mention is made on another page, in 1849.
This school, owing to its excellent corps of teachers, and its
healthful location, has been very successful. The present corps
of teachers is as follows: Rev. Alfred A. Gilbert, M.A., principal,
higher mathematics and languages; Rev. Benjamin W. Atwell, professor
of elocution; Alfred B. Gilbert, M.S., commercial department,
English; Prof. Zelotes R. Wood, vocal music, and Miss Ella Pratt,
Lanesboro Iron Works, located at Lanesboro village, were established
by the Pingrees, of Salem, in 1847. In 1864 they came into possession
of J.L. Colby, of Pittsfield, the present owner. When running
at their full capacity, these works give employment to 175 to
200 men, manufacturing from twelve to fifteen tons of car-wheel
iron per day.
Berkshire Glass Co., whose works are located a Berkshire Village,
gives employment to 150 men in the manufacture of all kinds of
window glass. The factory was originally established in 1853,
and came into the present company's possession in 1858.
T. Culver's grist-mill, located on road 3, has two runs of stones,
is operated by water-power, and does custom work.
B. Dewey's grist-mill and carriage shop, located on road 4, was
built by himself in 1868. The grist-mill has one run of stones
and does custom grinding, while in the carriage shop Mr. Dewey
builds wagons and sleighs and does a general repair business.
Lanesboro Cheese Factory, located at road 3, was built by Joshua
Newton, in 1867. It turns out about 25, 000 pounds of cheese per
first actual settlers of the town were Moses Brewer, Capt. Samuel
Martin and a Mr. Steales, who came in during the year 1754 or
1755. Mr. Brewer was given a bounty of L8 sterling as the first
settler, and Captain Martin L7 as the second settler. A fort to
protect the inhabitants against the raids of savages was soon
built, but notwithstanding this, during the troubles attending
the French and Indian war, these settlers were driven out by a
party of Indians, and only Captain Martin returned. Near the fort
two Indian chiefs were killed, and both their bodies buried. This
old log fort was located about fifty rods south of the south burial
ground, near the present Sidney Hubbell house. The story of the
two Indians killed is related to us substantially as follows:
A large party of Indians were on their way to Pittsfield, from
some point northwest, intending to massacre the inhabitants of
that settlement, and while passing through Williamstown were discovered
by two young men, who cautiously followed them. As the band passed
along the valley in Lanesboro, they halted a short distance from
Berkshire village, in order to reach Pittsfield at the proper
time for carrying out their bloody intentions. While there, the
two young men, having learned something of these intentions, cautiously
advanced, and having selected two Indian chiefs as a mark, decided
each to shoot his man,-but separated from each other before firing,
in order to deceive the enemy as to their numerical strength.
The plan was carried out, and one chief was instantly killed,
and the other fatally injured. The young men immediately fled
in different directions, reaching Williamstown in safety. This
loss of their two chiefs, the story relates, caused the Indians
to change their plans and abandon the contemplated massacre.
early as 1759 there were the following heads of families in the
town: Nathaniel Williams, Samuel Tyrrell, John Ephraim, Elijah
and Miles Powell, brothers, Lieut. Andrew Squier, James Loomis,
Ambrose Hall, Isaac Hill, and Charles Goodrich. Between that time
and 1762, the settlement was increased by the arrival William
Bradley, James Goodrich, Thaddeus Curtis, Eben Squier, Benjamin
and Joseph Farnum, Peter Curtis, Samuel Darwin, Nehemiah Bull,
Samuel Warren, Moses Hale, Joseph Keeler and Beriah Dudley.
first public meeting of the settlers was held at the old fort,
May 2, 1759, notyfication having been given out by Dea.
Moses pike, in the organization, as likewise were various others
from time to time, for the reason, the records state, that
so few were present. Some of the records of these meetings
we quote, simply as curiosities:-
29, 1781: At a proprietors' meeting legally warned, mad coyce
of Elijah Powel moderator. Voted Mr. Levi post should be our gospil
minister. Voted to give him 91 pounds settlement, and 80 pounds
salary yearly and his fier wood.
The school hows should be 28 ft. long, 24 ft. wid and 9 ft. stod.
Thare should be 80 pounds disposed of out of the treasury for
gospil purpusses. A trew Entry from the Menits, S. Martin, Clark.
12, 1761, question poot whether Mr. Daniel Collins should be our
gospil minister, post affirmative.
130 pounds settlement, 80 pounds yeareley. Voted to get Mr. Collins
30 cords of wood yeareley, he finding the wood.
31, 1762, I, Mad Choyce Mr. Peter Cortis to be thare moderator.
2, Voted that 6 shillings be drone out of the tresurey upon Each
Ratable Lott, to make and mend the Hi ways. 3, Voted Samuel Martin
draw six pence on Each Lott, for the yeuse of his hows for public
20, Voted that Misters Peter Cortis, William Bradley and W. Buell,
Be a Commety to provide preaching for the futer.
extracts, as we said before, are simply curiosities of literature,
and as illustrating the manner in which the public business was
transacted in those early days. In 1791 the population had increased
to 2142 souls; but at the taking of the next census, in 1800,
this number decreased 1,443, owing largely, probably, to the annexation
to Cheshire, in 1793.
the prominent men of Lanesboro of the last century, may be mentioned
Nehemiah Bull, Peter Curtis, Gideon Wheeler, Wolcott Hubbell,
William Bradley, Samuel W. Wheeler and Ebenezer Buck. Among those
of the town, or those who resided here for a time, may be mentioned
Hon. Henry Shaw, his son, Henry W. Shaw, (Josh Billings,)
who was born here in 1818, Hon. George N. Briggs, and A.L. Hubbell,
brothers, John, Miles and --- Powell, settled in Lanesboro about
1760. John lived nearest the village till his death. His son,
Col. John Powell, was eight years old when he was brought here,
was colonel in the Revolutionary war, was in the battles of Bennington
and Ticonderoga. He was the father of twelve children, eleven
living to maturity. He died January 7, 1827, aged seventy-five.
Asahel A., his son, was born in 1794, lived in the town till his
death, 1869, aged seventy-five. He had seven children, five now
living, two in this town, Mrs. W. R. Weed and Miss Ada L. Powell.
Farnam removed from Connecticut to Lanesboro at an early date,
when there were but four families in the town, and settled on
the farm where Henry J. now lives. His wife, Anna, melted the
weights of her clock for bullets to fight the British. Joseph
Farnum, Jr. born in Lanesboro in 1777, died in 1869, aged ninety-two.
John 2d, son of Joseph, Jr., was born in Lanesboro in 1807, died
in 1880, aged seventy-five. John, 2d, left two sons, Henry J.
and Clifford T., both of whom now reside in Lanesboro. Henry Farnum
left no children.
Bradley removed from New Haven, Conn., in 1762, locating on the
farm now occupied by his great grandson, William Bradley, where
he died in 1809 age seventy-nine. He had six children. His son
Uri, born in Connecticut, came here at six years of age, and died
in 1843, leaving three children. William Bradley, son of Uri,
was born on the farm where his son William, born in 1813 yet lives.
The present William married Clarissa Miller, of Adams. Their son,
William D., was graduated from Williams college in 1865, then
from the Albany law school. He died in 1870. One son, Carlton
A., now resides in North Adams, and his son Charles is the sixth
generation who remain at the original family home.
Bradley, son of William, was also an early settler. Eli, his son,
born in 1787, lived on the farm on road 7, (now occupied by his
son Asahel T.) till his death in 1866. He had three children,
two dying in infancy.
Ephraim Bradley, brother of William, was born in Connecticut in
1752, came here at an early date, and died in 1824. He left a
fund of $1,000 to the Episcopal church in Lanesboro, and the same
amount to the North Center school of this town.
Curtis was a very early settler, coming from Connecticut, locating
in the north part of the town, and died there on a farm now leased
by W.H. Rice. He was graduated from Harvard. His son, Peter B.,
was born in Lanesboro. and kept a hotel there till his death.
His son, David, was born in this town about 1768, and served in
the war of 1812. He lived for a time in Lewis county, N.Y., but
returned here and died in 1841. His wife, Rachel, still survives
him, aged ninety-five, the oldest resident of the town. His son,
David, born in 1817, is also a resident of the town.
Weed came to Lanesboro at an early date, locating in the western
part, where he lived till his death. He had nine children, only
one of whom is now living.
Barnes came to this town from Connecticut, and first settled in
the eastern part of the town. He afterwards purchased the farm
now occupied by his granddaughter, Mrs. Annie B. Pratt, and lived
here till his death in 1819. His son Naaman was born here, and
lived here till his death, in 1838. He left four children, all
of whom are now living, two in this town, one son, Pitkin H.,
in Lee, and one daughter, Mrs. Ellen Day, in Ohio.
Bradley, brother of Eli, was born here in 1792, and lived here
till the latter part of his life, when he moved to Pittsfield,
and died there in 1860.
Williams came from western Connecticut previous to the Revolution,
settling on a portion of the farm on road 7 now occupied by George
S. Williams, where he died. He left three sons, Stoddard, Solomon
and William. Nathaniel, 2d, son of Stoddard, was born in Lanesboro
in 1779 and died there in 1875, leaving five children, George
A. and two others residing in this town.
Sherman came to Lanesboro from Newtown, Ct., about 1762, settling
near the center of the town, and had eleven children. His son
Asahel was born in town in 1792, living here till his death in
1879, of his three children only one son, Ezra H., now town clerk,
B. Sherman, born in 1807, has lived fifty-three years on the farm
on road 29 now occupied by his son, George B.
Platt moved from Connecticut about 1762, settling in the northern
part of the town, on the farm now owned by Josua Pine, where he
reared a numerous family and died there. His daughter, Hannah,
married Wm. Harrison and was the mother of the present Wm. Harrison
of this town.
Whitney was born April 26, 1764, came to Lanesboro at an early
date, and lived here till his death in 1841. He had six children
and was postmaster and registar of deeds for many years. His son
Richard, born in 1800, died in 1879, was also postmaster for some
time, and was registrar of deeds after the death of his father.
Timothy Whitney, until the removal of the office to North Adams.
Richard married Clarissa Tower, had four children, only one, Mrs.
A.H. Harrison, of Pittsfield, is now living. One of his sons,
Charles, was born in 1827, living in town till his death in 1872.
In 1847 he entered as clerk in the store of the Briggs Iron Co.
(now Lanesboro Iron Co.) and in two years had charge of the store
and the books of the company until he died. He was twice married,
and had one son by each wife, George A. and Frank P. His first
wife, Laura L. Sherman, was a descendant of Job Sherman, one of
the earliest settlers of the town.
Farnam, born in Lanesboro in 1767, lived there till his death
in 1856 aged eighty-nine. His son Oran J. was born in 1797 and
lived here till his death in 1866. He had four children, three
now living in this town-Oran F., George W., and Almena M., who
is the wife of V. Burlingham. Oran F. married Hannah Hungerford
and has three children.
Potter came to this town at an early date, cleared a farm in the
west part, and reared thirteen children, he died in 1823. His
son Jesse was born in 1822, living in town most of his life, and
died here in 1882, he left two sons and one daughter. The daughter
is the wife of Rev. P.L. Dow, of Ketchum's Corners, N.Y. One son,
Warren L., is assistant cashier of the Hoosac Valley savings bank,
at North Adams, and one son Clarence E, lives in Lanesboro.
Newton came from New Milford, Ct., about 1774, settled in the
western part of Lanesboro, cleared a farm and reared a family
of children. His son Philo was a small child when brought here,
and in 1814 he moved to Chautauqua county, N.Y., where he died
about 1860. His son, Jason, was born in Lanesboro about 1789,
and lived here till his death. Jason took an active part in town
and church affairs, was warden in the Episcopal church for thirty-two
years, held offices as selectman, assessor and collector of taxes
for many years. He had eight children who lived to maturity, four
of them still living. His son J.W. has been deputy sheriff for
thirty-two years, also chairman of the board of selectman and
of the assessors for many years. Of the other children, Elias
A., Jason and Henry H., live in Pittsfield. Stephen, son of Philo,
was born here in 1793, died in 1873. He had three children, two
now living, Mrs. Sarah B. Griswold in Stamford, Ct. and Sidney
A. born here in 1815, and has lived here most of his life. Sidney
A. has five children, four now living in this town.
Wood came from Newtown or Salisbury, Ct., to this town about 1774,
and settled in the western part, had fifteen children, twelve
living to maturity. He died January 25, 1839. His son Titus was
born in 1791, married Elizabeth Weed in 1813, reared ten children,
and died in 1872. Eight children are still (except one) living
in this town-Mrs. Mary Gardner, Mrs. Hannah Burlingham, Mrs. Louisa
Shepardson, Miss Helen Wood, in Lanesboro, and Mrs. Sarah Tower,
in Pittsfield, while George M., who served in the war of the Rebellion,
Erastus and Leman, a present selectman, also reside in Lanesboro,
as well as a number of the eleven children of George M.
Mead came from Dutchess Co., N.Y., in 1775, his native place being
Stamford, Ct. He settled on the same farm which has remained in
the Mead family to the present date. He died in 1794 aged fifty-one.
His son Stephen, who was two years of age when brought here, died
in 1865, about ninety-five years old. His son Henry was born in
Lanesboro, in 1793, and lived there till his death, August 9,
1860. Five of Henry's children are still living only one, William
H., in this county, who resides at the old homstead on road 11,
settled by his great-grandfather.
Pratt moved here from Taunton, Mass., about 1780, located in the
north part of the town, and died there in 1831. He had six children,
one dying young. His son Micah was born in Taunton in 1778, but
came here with his father and lived till his death in 1862. He
had five children who lived to maturity, three now living, two,
Jesse C., on the original farm, George D., on road 7, and one
son Albert M., in Bryan, Ohio.
Pratt, son of Micah, was born here in 1820, was graduated from
Pittsfield medical college, practiced medicine for some years
in Becket, and went from there to Ohio. About 1858 he returned
here, and followed his profession till his death in 1877. His
only son, Edward L., is now a student of the N.Y. University medical
college. His widow, Anna B., resides on road 13.
Fuller moved here from Plainfield, Mass, about 1783. He had a
family of eight children. Noah was the youngest son. He died here
about 1865. One of his sons, Charles H., now lives on road 12.
Fuller came here when quite young, living in town till his death
in 1855. He had eight children, only one, William A., now living.
Talcott came here from Connecticut about 1813, locating in the
northern part of the town, where he followed the business of a
clothier and wool carder for about fifty years, and died there
about 1848. He had six children, only two, Mrs. Emeline Tower
and Wm. A. Talcott, now living, both in this town.
Shepardson was born in Adams, in 1816, came here with his parents
about 1820, and lived here till his death in 1862. Four of his
children are still living. One son, George M., resides off road
21; another son Jason N., is in Pittsfield, and two daughters,
Mrs. E.P. Wood and Mrs. Frank Sturges, resides in this town.
Nourse was born in Groton, N.H., in 1795, and came here about
1822, locating first on a farm in the north part of the town.
About 1832 he settled on the farm where his son Frank now lives,
and remained there till his death, in 1868. He married Experience
Parker, of Whitley, Mass., and had nine children, four of whom
Belcher was born in Stephentown, N.Y., 1818, came here about 1843,
and now resides on road 13. Two of his sons served in the late
war, one of whom, Frederick, died from wounds received at the
battle of Port Hudson.
Alfred A. Gilbert, A.M., was born in Cummington, Hampshire county,
Mass., in 1816, was graduated from Union college, Schenectady,
N.Y., and from the Theological Institute in Conn. He preached
for some years, and in 1849 established Elmwood Institute,
of Lanesboro, which until the present time has been solely under
his supervision. This school has been patronized by scholars from
nearly all parts of the United States, from Canada, and from South
America, some of whom are the most prominent men of this country.
B. Dickie was born in Scotland in 1839, came to Berkshire county,
in 1852. He enlisted in the 2d Regt. N.Y.V., and served two years
in the war of the Rebellion, and was wounded four times. He was
a staff officer for Generals Berry and Carr, at different periods.
Bowerman moved from Falmouth to Adams about 1800, living there
till 1860, when he came to Lanesboro, where he died in 1873. He
left three children, two, Joshua L. and Angeline E., living here,
and Samuel w., a lawyer in Pittsfield.
Smith came to Hancock from Rhode Island previous to 1784 locating
in the eastern part of the town, and lived there till his death.
He had eight children. His son, William, Jr., was born here in
1784, married in 1806. In 1807 he moved to Canada, where he lived
till 1836, when he returned to Lanesboro, living in this vicinity
till his death in 1864. He has eight children, five now living.
William B. now resides at Lanesboro, and his two sisters, Mrs.
Amy Boice and Mrs. Roxy Edwards, in Pittsfield.
Chase came from Nantucket, being one of the first settlers of
North Adams. He settled in that section known as the Notch,
and there cleared a farm and had a family of children. His son
William was born there, but after his marriage he moved to Cheshire
and died there about 1863. He had five children, all now living.
One son, Harvey, lives on road 16, in Lanesboro, and has held
most of the town offices.
Adonijah Royce, a brother of Josiah and Nehemiah Royce, the latter
of whom settled in Vermont, was born in Woodbury, Conn., January
10, 1744. He married his first wife, Amy Brush, at New Fairfield,
Conn., about 1771, and soon after settled in Lanesboro, where
he became possessed of quite a large tract of land, and reared
a family of nine children, all of whom married. A second wife,
Deborah Barker, whom he married in Newport, R.I., January 1, 1796,
was a daughter of Peckham Barker, a hatter of Newport. Three children
were born to them in Lanesboro. The eldest, Dorcas, married Henry
Mead. The youngest, Amos, married, July 16, 1823, Laura Rockwell,
a daughter of Josiah Rockwell, a native of Danbury, Conn., who
came early to Lanesboro and married Mary Hungerford. They reared
a family of fourteen children, thirteen of whom were married.
Amos the youngest child of Adonijah Royce, (who died June 23,
1807,) inherited a portion of his father's home farm, and purchased
the remainder, in all about 100 acres. He and his wife, Laura
Rockwell, both died in 1881. Of their eight children only two
are now living, Josiah A., their second son, and William S., their
youngest son. Josiah married, Oct. 23, 1852, Emily E. Heath, of
Sandisfield, Mass., eldest daughter of Daniel Heath; William married
Mary J. Heath, and they reared three children, two sons and a
daughter. Of Josiah Royce's five children only one son, Rubert
S., is now living. In 1851 Josiah Royce formed a copartnership
with Charles French, and they established a job printing office
in Lee, Mass., and remained together nearly eleven years. In January,
1857, they commenced the publication of a weekly paper called
The Valley Gleaner, which Mr. Royce edited seventeen years. In
1866 he purchased of his father the old family homestead of 100
acres, and having sold out his printing business at Lee, he moved
with his family, in 1876, to his native place in Lanesboro. He
greatly improved the place, which is called Brookside Farm,
remodeled and enlarged the old farmhouse, so that he accommodates
during the summer months twenty or twenty-five city boarders,
many of whom are attached to this beautiful town, nestled among
the Berkshire Hills.
the struggles of the Revolution, says J.G. Holland, the
town took a decided stand in favor of Independence, and cheerfully
sustained its proportion of the burdens. Peter Curtis was chosen
a delegate to the Provincial Congress, held at Cambridge, February
1, 1775. April 26, 1776, it was voted to purchase 150 pounds of
powder, 600 pounds of lead, fifty guns, and 1,000 flints. The
position of the minister, Mr. Collins, in relation to the Revolution,
was not satisfactory to the people, and a committee was appointed
to confer with him. The committee listened to his explanations,
and they were reported to the town, but the town voted that they
were not satisfactory. The matter was finally satisfactorily adjusted.
June 7, 1776, it was voted to abide by the Continental Congress,
in case it should declare the colonies independent of Great Britain.
Four days afterwards, money was granted to defray charges for
taking care of unfriendly persons. December 12, 1777, it was voted
'to allow a sum of money to Thomas Barnum for his horse that was
killed by the goard of a bull when out in an alarm.' April 23,
1778, the new constitution was unanimously rejected, and a committee
of seven appointed to amend it. June 1, 1778, it was voted that
John Welch was an enemy to the country, and that he be sent to
Bennington, and delivered to the proper authority. It was voted
the same time that Capt. Ebenezer Newell procure the evidence
against Sol. Bunhill, then in Northampton jail, and attend the
court at his trial. Bunhill had shot tow of his neighbors through
the head at the Bennington fight.
Congregational church of Lanesboro.-Previous to the organization
of a church society, the people received occasional ministrations
from Rev. Samuel Hart, Rev. Woodbridge Little and others. But
March 28, 1764, Rev. Samuel Hopkins, of Great Barrington, and
Rev. Stephen West, of Stockbridge, organized the present Congregational
society, consisting of eight members-five males and three females.
On the 17th of the following month the first pastor, Daniel Collins,
was installed, and in 1765, the first house of worship was erected.
This building did service until 1828, when the present brick edifice
was erected, which is now valued at about $5,000.00. The society
now has twenty-seven members, with Rev. William F. Avery, pastor.
Luke's Episcopal church, located at Lanesboro, was organized by
Rev. Samuel Andrews of Wallingford, Conn., in October, 1767. The
first rector was Rev. Gideon Bostwick, who had charge of the church,
in connection with St. James church in Great Barrington, from
1770 until his death, in June, 1793. Their first church building
was a wood structure, erected in 1785. In 1836 it was superseded
by the present gothic building of stone, which will comfortably
seat 400 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $5,000.00.
The society now has fifty-eight members, with Rev. Charles J.
Baptist church of Lanesboro, located at Lanesboro village, was
organized by Rev. Augustus Beach, the first pastor, and neighboring
ministers, February 13, 1818. For some years before a church building
was erected, which was not until 1828, meetings were held in the
town hall and a private houses; but in 1828 the town hall was
destroyed by fire, and within a few days thereafter a meeting
was called to consider the question of building a church edifice.
The result of this meeting was that Asahel Jordan donated the
land, Bushrod Buck the brick, and Abial Platt and Henry Mead the
marble for erecting the present church. The house was finished
in 1828, and the society took possession of their new building
free of debt. The original, or charter members of the society,
twelve in number, were as follows: Deacon, Joel Redway, Laura
Redway, Joel Redway, Jr., Dr. Wm. H. Tyler, Ceclia Tyler, Augustus
Beach, Linus B. Miner, Polly Reynolds, Deborah Green, Sibyl Hill,
Eunice Smith and Maria Sunderland. Gov. George N. Briggs, then
a young lawyer here, was an earnest supporter of the church. Henry
Shaw (Josh Billings) married a daughter of Levi Bradford, a deacon
of the society. An earnest work of grace, soon after the church
building was erected, resulted in many additions to the society,
and seventy-five families were soon represented among its earnest
supporters. Death and migration, however, has greatly reduced
the interest, so that the society now numbers only seventy members,
the pulpit being supplied by neighboring pastors.
OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASS. 1725-1885; Compiled and Published by
HAMILTON CHILD; Permanent Office; Syracuse, N.Y., January, 1885;
kept punctuation and grammar the same, even if it does not follow
our rules today. This is how it is recorded in the book.