Early New England

Monson, Massachusetts


The first lawyer who settled in Monson was Deodatus Dutton, who engaged in practice about 1812. His office was where Dr. Alvin Smith now resides. The town records contain petition from him asking permission to erect an office on a part of the common. The request appears to have been granted, but the office is not known to have been erected. Mr. Dutton subsequently removed to the State of New York.

George Bliss, Jr., practiced in Monson in 1816. He soon after removed to Springfield, where he became a leading member of the Bar. He was subsequently identified with the Western Railroad, and was at different times speaker of the. House of Representatives and president of the Senate.

Erasmus Norcross was a native of Monson, and engaged in practice in 1823, the year that he was admitted a member of the Bar. Richard Bliss, a nephew of George Bliss, Jr., is also said to have practiced in the town for a time.

Reuben Atwater Chapman commenced practice in Monson in 1827, and remained there until 1829, when he removed to the town of Ware. He subsequently engaged in practice in Springfield. In 1868 he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the chief-justiceship occasioned by the death of Chief-Justice Bigelow, and continued to fulfill the duties of the office until his death, June 28, 1873.

The only practicing lawyer at present in Monson is Charles R. Dudley, who located in August, 1878.

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