Brimfield Town

Hampden County, Massachusetts

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Brimfield Town Hall is located at 23 Main Street, Brimfield, MA 01010.
Phone: 413‑245‑4100.

Beginnings [1]

The first steps toward settlement of what became the Town of Brimfield were taken in the year 1701, when on the 20th of June the general court, in compliance with the petition of 21 citizens of Springfield, appointed a "prudential committee" of 5 Springfield men — Major John Pynchon, Captain Thomas Colton, James Warriner, David Morgan, and Joseph Stebbins — to lay out a new township, to the east of Springfield, to allot lands, and to have the general management of the affairs of the settlement. The township was to be 8 miles square, and grants of land were to be made to 60 families, or to 70, if so many could be accommodated; but no more than 120 acres were to be assigned to any one person.

There was existing between England and France, the hostile disposition of the Indians, and the distance of Brimfield from the stronger settlements, exposed its settlers to many dangers, and the development of the township proceeded but slowly. In 1717 the general court, on petition, extended the town limits so as to embrace some desirable land lying to the east. The township tract thus included the territory covered by Brimfield and the later towns of Monson, Wales and Holland as well as parts of Warren and Palmer.

Owing to the slow development of the new township, so much dissatisfaction arose that the general court was petitioned to appoint a new committee and this was done in June of 1723. Members were: Honorable John Chandler, Henry Dwight Esquire, and Joseph Jennings. Six years later the committee made a report recommending the annulment of the grants of land made by the former committee. The matter was not settled by the courts until 1731, when many of the original 120 acre grants were upheld.

The first town meeting, on a warrant issued by John Sherman, under authority from the general court, was held March 16, 1731, while the matter of land grants still remained unsettled. Elected officers were: Town clerk, Robert Moulton; selectmen, Robert Moulton, John Stebbins, Ezra King, David Morgan, and David Shaw; treasurer, John Stebbins; assessors, Joseph Blodgett, Joseph Haynes, and David Hitchcock; constables, George Charles and John Erwin; surveyors or highways, James Thompson, Joseph Frost, Samuel Allen, and Nathan Collins; tithingmen, Ebenezer Scott and Henry Burt; fence-viewers, Thomas Stebbins, John Nelson, and John Keep; hog-reeves, Samuel Bliss and Benjamin Cooley. A sealer of leather was chosen in 1736, a sealer of weights and measures in 1738, a packer of beef and pork in 1771, a culler of shingles and staves in 1793, while field drivers were not elected until 1823.

  1. Alfred Minot Copeland, editor, Our County and Its People: A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, Volume Two, The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.

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