Berkshire County, Massachusetts GenWeb Project

TOWN OF LANESBOROUGH, BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS

GAZETTEER OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASS.

1725-1885

Town of Lanesboro
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.

..........The 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 near—in patriotic gratitude they call it Constitution Hill—with 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.”

..........Rich 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.

..........In 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.

..........LANESBORO is a post village located in the southern part of the town, in the luxuriant valley of the Housatonic.

..........BERKSHIRE 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 30.

..........Elmwood 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, instrumental music.

..........The 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.

..........The 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.

..........David T. Culver's grist-mill, located on road 3, has two runs of stones, is operated by water-power, and does custom work.

..........William 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.

..........The Lanesboro Cheese Factory, located at road 3, was built by Joshua Newton, in 1867. It turns out about 25, 000 pounds of cheese per annum.

..........The 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.

..........As 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.

..........The 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:-

..........“Oct. 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.

..........“Voted, The school hows should be 28 ft. long, 24 ft. wid and 9 ft. stod.

..........“Voted, Thare should be 80 pounds disposed of out of the treasury for gospil purpusses. A trew Entry from the Menits, S. Martin, Clark.

..........“Dec. 12, 1761, question poot whether Mr. Daniel Collins should be our gospil minister, post affirmative.

..........“Voted, 130 pounds settlement, 80 pounds yeareley. Voted to get Mr. Collins 30 cords of wood yeareley, he finding the wood.

..........“March 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 worship.

..........“April 20, Voted that Misters Peter Cortis, William Bradley and W. Buell, Be a Commety to provide preaching for the futer.”

..........These 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.

..........Among 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, Esq.

..........Three 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.

..........Joseph 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.

..........William 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.

..........Asahel 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.

..........Capt. 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.

..........Peter 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.

..........Benjamin 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.

..........Joseph 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.

..........Dan 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.

..........Nathaniel 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.

..........Job 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, is living.

..........Joel B. Sherman, born in 1807, has lived fifty-three years on the farm on road 29 now occupied by his son, George B.

..........Abial 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.

..........Timothy 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.

..........John 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.

..........Peleg 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.

..........Jason 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.

..........Titus 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.

..........Stephen 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.

..........John 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.

..........Henry 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.

..........Zadoc 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.

..........Jabez Fuller came here when quite young, living in town till his death in 1855. He had eight children, only one, William A., now living.

..........Nehemiah 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.

..........Marshall 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.

..........Enoch 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 now living.

..........Joseph 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.

..........Rev. 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.

..........Robert 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.

..........Prince 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.

..........William 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.

..........Benjamin 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.

..........Captain 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.

..........“In 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.”

..........The 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.

..........St. 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. Palmer, rector.

..........The 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.

GAZETTEER OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASS. 1725-1885; Compiled and Published by HAMILTON CHILD; Permanent Office; Syracuse, N.Y., January, 1885; pages 180-190

I kept punctuation and grammar the same, even if it does not follow our rules today. This is how it is recorded in the book.

 
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