Russell — Early Settlement

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      The history of Russell dates from a comparatively recent period. It was originally a portion of Westfield, and constituted a part of that tract called the "New Addition." In 1782, Russell was set off from Westfield, and incorporated February 29th of that year. Among the earliest settlers were two brothers named Barber and a Mr. Gray, who lived on what was called Glasgow Mountain. These three men are supposed to have been the first settlers. After them came Isaac Palmer, John Mallory, Levi Bishop, Elias Parks, Isaac Bronson, Ozias Finney, John Hawley, Abraham Bradley, Titus Doolittle, Doctor Stebbins, Thos. Field, Daniel and Andrew Mallory, Samuel Williams, Jacob Loomis, Robert Hazard, Newman Bishop, Abel Tuttle, Benjamin Todd, Stephen Hughes, Benjamin Atwater, Silas Noble, Richard Russell, Joel Atwater, Samuel Chapman, Jesse Newton, and Seth Gridley.
      Of John Mallory's sons, William D. lives in Russell; John, in Westfield; and Roland, removing to New York City, died there many years ago. Mrs. Linus Dickinson, now residing in Springfield, is a granddaughter of John Mallory, the elder.
      Isaac Palmer left four sons,—Squire, Loren, Elijah, and Reuben,—all of whom are dead. Squire left two sons,—David, now residing in Russell, and Bradford W., living in Chester. Amasa and Isaac, two of Reuben's sons, are citizens of Springfield, Mass.
      Robert Hazard, one of the early settlers, died many years ago, leaving no descendants. The house erected by him near the centre of the town, in about 1800, is still standing, but uninhabitable.
      Levi Bishop had five sons. David and Aaron still live in Russell; James and Charles are dead; Levi, Jr., is a prominent attorney and writer in Detroit, Mich.
      Of Elias Parks' two sons, Robert died some years ago, and Lyman still lives in Russell. Robert left a son, Horace, who is depot master at Russell station.
      Isaac Bronson had five sons. Two are dead; Allen and John reside in Russell, and Harvey in Granville, Mass.
      Esther, a daughter of Abraham Bradley, married Allen Bronson, and lives in Russell. Lyman, his son, is dead, but left descendants in Addison, Vt. (sheriff of Hampden County in 1877); Judson, now residing in Westfield, Mass., and Dickinson, living in Rhode Island. Another son, George, died some years age.
      Of Titus Doolittle's family, Joel removed to Vermont, became a judge, and died there. Mark was a lawyer in Belchertown, Mass., and is buried there. Amasa is dead, and Titus, Jr., who emigrated to the far West early in life. Old Titus had one daughter, who married Abraham Bradley, a pioneer.
      Newman Bishop, now living near Russell Pond, at the age of seventy-seven, is a son of Newman Bishop, who was one of the earliest settlers, and died in 1856, aged ninety-seven. Newman, the elder, left three sons,—Jere., Alva, and Newman, Jr. Of these, only Newman survives. Jere. had four sons and two daughters. Alva lives in Blandford; Major lives in Fitchburg; Jere., Jr., and Alfred are dead. Of the daughters, one, Mrs. Russell Harris, lives in Westfield, and the other, Mrs. Dwight Wilcox, in Chester. Newman, Jr., has one son, Franklin H., now living in Russell.
      Of the five sons of Samuel Williams, George died in Russell, leaving two sons,—George W. living in Russell, and Henry A. in Westfield. The other four sons of Samuel removed West at an early period. Samuel, Jr., went to Salt Lake and joined the Mormons.
      Jacob Loomis had six sons,—Jacob, Hubbard, Josiah, Caleb, Lyman, and Solomon,—all of whom are dead. Of Caleb's sons, Edward lives in Russell and Ralph in Westfield. Jacob, a son of Solomon, lives in Springfield. Hubbard, another of Solomon's sons, left his native hills some years ago. Hubbard left a son and daughter. Harmon William, the son, is a lawyer in Chicago. The daughter is Mrs. Chauncey Latimer, of Westfield. A daughter of Lyman is now Mrs. David Bishop, of Russell.
      Abel Tuttle's four sons—Abel, Jr., Byman, Almon, and Daniel—are all dead. The living descendants of Abel, Jr., are Mrs. Apollos Moore, of Montgomery, Mass., Mrs. Joseph King, Mrs. Lucina Goff, and Mrs. Cynthia Tuttle, all of Westfield, Mass. Byman and Almon, sons of Abel, the elder, died in the West. Milo, a son of Daniel, died a bachelor. Of Daniel's two daughters, Mrs. Wm. Chamberlain resides in Westfield. Another, Mrs. Samuel D. Williams, died in Russell a short time ago.
      Benjamin Todd, a pioneer, fought through the Revolution, and was with Gen. Israel Putnam when the latter made his famous leap at Horse-Neck, Conn. He had four sons and three daughters. Two of his sons, Harvey and Plymud, died bachelors. Benjamin, Jr., removed to New York early in life. Orrin, a son of Gershom, the fourth son of old Benjamin, is yet living in Suffield, Conn.
      Stephen Hughes had four sons,—John, Stephen, Henry, and John G.,—but they all died; it is said without issue. Mrs. Benjamin Pendleton, a daughter of Stephen, lives in Russell.
      Of Benjamin Atwater's three sons,—Harris, Titus, and Noah,—all are dead. Franklin B., a son of Titus, lives in Russell; James, a son of Harris, lives in Canton, Conn. Noah had two sons. John lives in Westfield; Wells died a few years ago.
      Silas Noble had five sons and three daughters. The sons were Silas, Jr., Roland, Reuben, Albert, and Seth. Seth removed to Illinois, the others are buried in Russell. Mrs. James Blakslee, living in Russell, is a daughter of Albert. Silas, a son of Reuben, lives in Granville, Mass.
      Richard Russell raised five sons,—Thomas, Simeon, Almon, Abel, and Yale,—all of whom are dead. Almon, a son of Abel, lives in Russell; and Edwin, another of Abel's sons, is in Suffield, Conn.
      Joel Atwater had four sons and several daughters. The daughters married early and removed to the West. Of the sons, Jere. died some years ago; Leonard lives in Westfield; Joel, Jr., in Suffield, Conn.; and Joseph somewhere in the West.
      Samuel Chapman was the father of Reuben A. Chapman, who, leaving Russell at the age of twenty-one, afterward became chief-justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, He died in 1875, while traveling in Europe. Reuben's sister, Clarissa, married Richard Armstrong, Minister of Public Instruction at Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, and is now residing there, engaged in missionary work. Mrs. Reuben Bradley, one of Samuel Chapman's daughters, died in Russell some time ago. Reuben Chapman left two daughters. One is now Mrs. T. M. Brown, the wife of a lawyer in Springfield; the other, Miss Mary, is abroad.
      Jesse Newton's three sons—Elias, Ezra, and Robert—removed from Russell many years ago, Robert married Dolly, the daughter of Seth Gridley, a Russell pioneer. Oliver, a son of Seth Gridley, died some years ago, leaving sons, who removed to the West, and one daughter, who is now Mrs. Julius Bedortha, of Russell.

These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 2005, all rights reserved
and cannot be reproduced in any format without permission
This page was last updated on
29 Jul 2005