Southampton Massachusetts, 1890

Southampton, in the southerly part of Hampshire County, 115 miles west of Boston, and nine miles southwest of Northampton, has Westhampton and Easthampton on the north, the latter and Holyoke on the east, Westfield on the south, and Montgomery and Huntington on the west. The number of inhabitants is 1,025; of dwelling-houses, 220; of farms, 177; and of voters, 246. The valuation is $493,417; and the rate of taxation $15 on $1,000.

The underlying rock is lower sandstone and granite, in which occur beds of coal and iron ore. There are also various other minerals, such as galena, white-lead, anglesite, molybdate of lead, fluor, heavy spar, copper and iron pyrites, blende, corneous lead, and pyromorphite. In one locality in the northern section of the town the rock has been excavated horizontally to the distance of 900 feet for the purpose of obtaining lead. Pomeroy's Hill in the northern, Little Mountain in the central, and Flat Hill and Wolf Hill in the southwestern section, are the most conspicuous eminences. The principal water-course is the Manhan River, which enters the town at the northwestern corner, flows entirely through the western section into the confines of Westfield, and then, suddenly turning northward, runs through the central section, and leaves the town at its northeastern angle. It receives as tributaries Moose Brook, Red Brook, and Manhan Brook, and furnishes valuable mill sites. This town has extensive forests, and four saw mills which prepare boxes and various house lumber for the market. Tobacco is a considerable crop. The total farm products in 1885 were valued at $208,683, and the goods made at $36,409.

The town has seven school-houses, worth some $5,000; and the Sheldon English and Classical School is provided with a building valued at $4,000. The Social Library contains about 2,000 volumes. The two churches are Congregationalist and Methodist. The New Haven and Northampton Railroad passes through Southborough (centre), which is the post-office; the other village, situated in the southwest corner of the town, being Russellville; and both are on the Manhan River.

Judah Hutchinson and Thomas Porter became, in 1732, the first permanent settlers of this place, then a wilderness. Others soon followed them. It was incorporated as the Second Precinct of Northampton July 23,1741, and as the town of Southampton, January 5,1753. The Rev. Jonathan Judd, the first minister, was ordained June 8, 1743. His house was palisaded, and provided, with a. watch-tower for security against the Indians. In August, 1747, Elisha Clark was killed by Indians while threshing grain in his barn. Eliakim Wright, and Ebenezer Kingsley, jun., were killed near Lake George at the time Col. Ephraim Williams, their commander, fell.

Bela Bates Edwards, D.D., was born here July 4, 1802; and died in Georgia, April 20, 1852. He was a scholar, editor, divine, and author of "The Eclectic Reader," "Biography of Self-taught Men," and other works.

pp. 601-602
in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890