Montgomery — Early Settlement
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
A portion of the tract now occupied by Montgomery was originally included in that part of the town of Westfield known as "The New Addition." The exact date of the earliest settlements in this quarter cannot be ascertained, but it is known that settlers located there as early as 1767, for in that year Ephraim Avery removed thither with his family and built the first frame house seen in that section. It still stands, on the road between Montgomery and Westfield, and, although unoccupied, is in a state of fair preservation.
There were other settlers contemporaneous with Avery; but of course they were few in number. The names of the pioneers, as well as reference to their descendants, will be found in the following history:
Ephraim Avery, as already noted, settled in 1767. His sons were William, Abel, Samuel, Rainsford, and Ephraim, Jr., besides two daughters. These sons died some years ago, but three of old Ephraim's grandsons are still living,—Elisha and George in Montgomery, on the old farm, and Henry in Westfield.
Capt. Sylvester Squier had several sons, who are now dead. William and James, two of his grandsons, now live in Montgomery. Four of his granddaughters are still alive,—Mrs. Ives, of Williamsburg; Mrs. Macomber, of Conway, Mrs. Hannum, of Westfield; and Mrs. Lewis T. Allyn, of Montgomery.
Oliver Clark is said to have settled here in 1766 or 1767. He had a family of sons and daughters. His sons were Oliver, James, Hawley, Simon, Pharez, Elijah, and Elisha. His daughters were Ruth and Olive. Oliver, Jr., had five sons—Nelson, Hawley, Elisha, Flavius, and Almon—and three daughters. Of these latter, Mrs. Williams died in Montgomery, while two—Mrs. Lathrop, of Westfield, and Mrs. Robert Emmons, of Hartland, Conn.—survive. Of the sons of Oliver, Jr., but two—Flavius and Elisha—are living. Flavius lives in Norwalk, Conn. Elisha resides in Montgomery, at the age of seventy, and is one of the wealthiest farmers in the town.
David Allyn raised a large family of seven sons and six daughters. The seven sons were Jabez, David, Joseph, T. Ansel, James, Albert, and Albro, all of whom are dead. Of the daughters, Phoebe and Lydia died early. Mrs. Miner, of Springfield, another daughter, died some years ago. The other three are now living,—Mrs. Ransom Clark and Mrs. Elisha Clark, in Montgomery, and Mrs. Tiffin, in Greenwich, Mass.
Daniel Barrett, like David Allyn, was the parent of thirteen children, likewise seven sons and six daughters. None of his descendants are living in Montgomery. Three of his sons, Moses, Samuel, and Benjamin, died some years ago. The four living ones are Daniel, Marcus, and Lysander, somewhere in Pennsylvania, and Elisha, aged eighty-nine, in Illinois, where he is a minister of the gospel. Two daughters married two brothers named Root, removed to New York State, and died there. Amarillus married a Mr. Young, and lives in Virginia. Rubanna married a brother of the Young above named, and went to Virginia, where she died. Rebecca died in Westfield, as Mrs. Nathaniel Barnes. Joanna married David Allyn, and died in Holyoke.
Aaron Parks was noted as the man who had three wives. He had two sons, Moses and Orrin. Orrin died in Westfield; Moses in Williamsburg, Mass. Orrin had two sons, Elisha and Orrin, Jr., both of whom are dead. His two daughters still live,—Mrs. Dr. Bartholemew, of West Springfield, and Mrs. Anderson Allyn, of Holyoke. Moses boasted nine children,—seven sons and two daughters. Three—Aaron, Moses, Jr., and Lafayette—are dead. Lewis and William live in Ohio, Dexter in Ohio, and Oscar in Williamsburg, Mass. Caroline, one of the daughters, died early. The other is Mrs. Nathan Hutchinson, of Twinsburg, Ohio. Old Aaron had also four daughters, but they are all dead. Mrs. Guy Moore and Mrs. Nathan Chapman died in Montgomery, Mrs. Elias Carter in New York, and Mrs. Caleb Nichols in Twinsburg, Ohio.
John Kagwin left two sons and four daughters. Amos, the elder son, had two sons and four daughters. His sons were Berijah and John, both dead, and buried in Montgomery. John had no children. Berijah, Jr., now living in Holyoke, is a son of the Berijah above named. Of Amos' four daughters all are living,—Mrs. Clark Pomeroy, in Huntington; Mrs. Chester Pomeroy, in New York; Mrs. Elijah Ensign, in Westfield; and Mrs. George Beach, in Huntington. Of old John's four daughters, Sally married a Mr. Hotchkiss, and died in Montgomery; Polly married Rainsford Avery, and died in Montgomery; Susanna married Ebenezer Tillotson, and died at Windsor Locks, Conn.; Mercy married Hiram Cummings, and died in New York, near Utica. Elisha, old John Kagwin's second son, had a son, Elijah, who died in New York, and a daughter, Sarah, who died in Westfield. Neither ever married.
Allen Pettis, a son of Abial Pettis, a pioneer, still resides in Montgomery, at the age of eighty. Of Allen's sons, Elisha and John live in Springfield; Edward lives in Montgomery; Henry is dead; and Austin lives in Easthampton. His living daughters are Mrs. Atwater Moore, Mrs. Horatio Axtel, and Mrs. Horace Moore, of Montgomery, and Mrs. Watson Root and Mrs. Joseph Arthur, of Westfield. Allen had two brothers. Abial, Jr., died in Montgomery without issue. Philander died in the West. Allen's sister, Anna, married Richard Avery, and died in Southampton. His sister Polly married Joshua Brandt, and is still living in New York.
Joel Moore had for sons, Joel, Jr., Guy, and Dorus, all now dead. Joel, Jr.'s sons were Frederick, Milton, Trumbull, Zadeck, and Omer. His daughters were Eunice and Charlotte. Guy's sons were Aaron, now living in Covington, Mass.; Warren, Wareham, Hiram, and Horace, all dead; Apollos, living in Montgomery, and Julius, living in West Stockbridge. Of Guy's daughters, Hannah and Ziporah died early in life. The third one, Amanda, is Mrs. William Squier, of Montgomery. Dorus, the third son of Joel, Sr., died a bachelor. The elder Joel's only daughter, Phoebe, married Oliver Clark, father of Elisha Clark, of Montgomery. Marcus, a son of Warren and grandson of Guy Moore, lives in Springfield. Marcus' brother, William, lives in Granville, Mass.