Article Archives: Articles - Franklin County (MA) News Archive
Revised list of topics
Revised list of topics
Revised Jan. 10, 2009
Welcome to the list of topics. You can call them subject headings or tags - they offer you another method of searching the Franklin County Publication Archive site. Interested in accident victims in Athol? Click on the tag below for Accident Victims and find a list of articles dating from Jan. 1, 1870 to August , 1875. Once on the page of articles, then use your Find command to pull up all articles mentioning Athol.
The search engine is being revamped by the wonderful and highly overworked Mik Muller. Once it is completed, you will be able to search for multiple subjects or terms by simply dividing terms with a comma in the search box. Example: Jones, Deerfield, Births That should give you a nice listing of all Joneses born in Deerfield during the time period mentioned above. Another way to search it will be to choose the terms Deerfield and Births from the drop down box and add Jones to the search box. Voila!
ACCIDENT VICTIMS Here reside the fatalities, not the regular every day deaths. Industrial accidents, drownings, death by fire, train, loose circus animals, accidental shootings, and freak accidents.
ACCIDENTS Much more run of the mill stuff here, and not even fatal, at least in most cases. Many of these articles concern runaway horses, falls and narrow escapes. ADVERTISING One of my favorite sections. Classified ads are also included here. AFRICAN AMERICANS / BLACKS Everything is covered here. Articles deal with slavery, racism, lynchings, and the like, but it is noteworthy to see that many articles are not racist in content.
AMUSEMENTSis kind of a catch-all, but primarily concerns fun stuff done for amusement - picnics, parades, croquet games, tableaux, taffy pulling, sleigh rides, masquerade parties, sociables, shadow pantomimes - you get the idea.
ANIMALS / REPTILES From the barnyard to the circus, to the hunted, to cats and dogs. Horses have their own category. I regret now that I did not create a subject heading for cruelty to animals, but those articles are also included here.
ARABS Exotic stuff here. Turkey, Palestine, harems, whirling dervishes, reflecting the fascination for the Middle East and all its customs and traditions in the 1870s. ARCHAEOLOGY is a mixed bag of accidental findings - like the dinosaur footprints in the Connecticut River bed in Turners Falls, to old burial sites of Native Americans [which were treated with appalling lack of respect]. "Humbugs" like the Cardiff giant are also included here, as well as accidental finding of treasure.
ASTRONOMY Rare astronomical events, aurora borealis, miracles, meteors, solar eclipses - and the more mundane, references to the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.
ATHOL, MA BARBER / HAIR includes not only the establishment itself, but also all references to hair, wigs, bald heads, medicine to grow hair, hair dyes, etc. BARS (DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS) Pretty much portrayed as den of iniquities. The Gazette & Courier is very much pro temperance.
BIRDS All kinds of birds, many articles related to hunting. Hen stories abound as well, with some hens laying eggs that are 8 inches wide! [I pity the poor bird]. BIRTH CONTROL A really sad section, since birth control in this time period only relates to mothers killing their newborns, to botched illegal abortions, etc. BIRTHS Are prolific. Many names, usually only of the proud father, are repeated each year. Of course the matching obituaries contain many of these infants as well. All cases of multiple births worldwide are listed.
CHILDREN - They’re everywhere of course - families are huge, 15 children being a normal size. But the youth culture has not taken hold - one mostly hears about children having accidents or dying, or around Christmas time, or in school.
CONNECTICUT RIVER - The important one. All others are in one section entitled RIVERS.
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES - Hasn’t dawned on them too much, even though they are familiar with Thoreau’s work. CONTESTS Base ball games (we call ’em baseball) becoming popular. Bets and wagers always a part of our society. We’ve got walking contests, horse races, tobacco stripping contests, girls splitting hard wood slabs, which hen can lay the biggest egg, who can grow the tallest corn stalk, etc.
COURTS One of the largest sections. Look here for all criminal activity. COURTSHIP - The path of true love did not run smoothly, even in the old days. Poems and stories abound, even personal ads (very high-toned ones, of course). Murders and scandals are not uncommon, as well. CRIME - Ah crime! There’s some of everything here, some of it salacious, much of it fines for drunkenness. CRIMINALS - Not everyone who commits a crime is a criminal. I reserved this area for people like serial poisoners, bank robbers, desperados, outlaws [like Red-Handed Dick and Henry Berry Lowery].
CULTS - Oh yes, they existed back then, and were just as troublesome. Read about Adventists, proponents of Free Loveism, Millerism, the Shakers, the Christian Israelites, the Nazarites, and the Howling Dervishes [Hmm, great name for a rock band]. CURIOSITIES AND WONDERS is a great catchall section, and one of my favorites [of course]. Here you will read about human and animal abnormalities - a youth with three legs and four feet, a lizard living in a man’s stomach, a three horned and three eyed ox, a living skeleton, a four legged chicken - well, you get the idea ;-). CUTLERY AND CUTLERY TRADE - Very important to Greenfield and Turners Falls history.
DANCE - Many kinds of dancing available for the young and the old. From Balls to Belly Dancers.
DEERFIELD, MA DISASTERS- We always have them. However, they don’t have the immediacy that they do nowadays in today’s news. Read about the great Chicago fire of 1871, the great Boston fire of 1872, shipwrecks, earthquakes, floods and explosions.
DISEASES - We’ve got a million of ’em. DIVORCE - the Court makes you jump through hoops, wait years, etc., but divorces do happen.
DREAMS AND SLEEP - Sleep and sleep disorders also included here. DRUG ABUSE - From sulphuric ether, to tobacco, chloral, opium and laudanum.
EXPLORERS - A great time period for exploration. We have Dr. Livingston, Arctic explorers, and more.
EYE - Blindness, accidents, eyeglasses, sore eyes, etc.
FAIRS - held bout once a week - the favorite moneymaker of the women’s church groups. Then there’s the County Fairs, which are covered as thoroughly as possible.
FAMILY - Family reunions, loving families, insane families, incest, and more. Very useful for genealogists.
FARMERS AND FARMING - A hot topic in the 19th century. Also covers tobacco and fertilizers. FASHION - A fun section. Sunbonnets, French kid gloves, waterproof dress goods, garters, corsets, wigs, demi-trains, false insteps, shawls, plaid poplins, striped stockings, chignons, Chinese grass cloth, kilting, etc.
FIRES - There are so many, and so few ways to put them out, that it’s a wonder that any buildings survived the 19th century at all. I had to be very exclusive, and only cover those fires of local and international interest.
FISHES AND FISHING - You can get a barrel of oysters delivered right to your door, andthey are "the" Sunday breakfast.
FOOD - For the gourmet and the every day eater. This section is large and all inclusive. Includes some recipes and all restaurant ads.
FREEMASONRY - A group deserving of their own section. FRENCH - Many influences here, from the Mansard or "French" roofs, stationary, corsets, pottery, jewelry, the Franco-Prussian War, etc. FURNITURE - Wooden items, [and what wood! Black walnut, solid ash, walnut, chestnut] beds and sofas [occasionally covered with haircloth], and some interesting articles about Gardner, Mass., the "chair capital of the world".
GAMBLING - One of the oldest vices. Chinese gambling houses, dog-pits, bets, every day chance taking.
GANGS - Not the Bloods and the Crips, but the homegrown Tough End boys, roughs and rowdies, brigands and juvenile delinquents.
GARBAGE - Remember that this is pre-plastic (in most respects) and that the necessity for community trash dumps is not an issue yet. Most, or all farmers, keep an iron and glass scrap heap somewhere in the back forty - a practice which still occurs today. Some articles do concern garbage - rubbish littering the streets, a city without sewers, ash barrels, etc.
GAYS - ah, this is a tough but rewarding section, where I’ve had to "read between the lines" quite a bit. Included here are men who dressed as women, and women who dressed as men [with the understanding that, especially in women’s cases, this could have been done for economic and other reasons]. Famous figures like Oscar Wilde, Susan B. Anthony and Anna Dickinson are the meat and potatoes of this section. GEOGRAPHY - one of the more recent additions, includes topographical surveys, maps, tourist type articles, etc.
GERMANS - Nice to see this ethnic group portrayed in such a positive light. Local Germans are hard working, athletic, happy, beer drinkers who do not get drunk, like to compete in gymnastic contests, love to dance, etc.
GLASS - a particular favorite of mine, since I dig for, and collect old glass embossed bottles. Bottles, window glass, demi-johns, looking glasses, etc. As time allows, I will scan in some of my "dug" antique bottles for your viewing pleasure. GOVERNMENT - usually Presidents, Congress, and taxes, new states and territories. Many other government related articles will be found under POLITICS.
GYPSIES - always a few passing through, telling fortunes, trading horses, stealing chickens, and kidnapping local children.
HAMPSHIRE & HAMPDEN COUNTIES (MA) A catch all section for all those towns not privileged to be in Franklin County, and yet covered fairly thoroughly here. So look for articles on Amherst, Northampton, and the Massachusetts Agricultural College (the earlier name of the University of Massachusetts).
HANDICAPPED - the blind, the deaf, the lame, the insane - all find a home here. Cork legs, poor houses and alms-houses, deformed infants, hunchbacks, etc. HAWLEY (MA)
HERITAGE ACTIVITIES - will come into their own a little later. For now, centennial celebrations are included here.
HISPANICS - another catchall heading. Latin American activities, as well as Spanish Peninsular items. This subject heading will probably be combined with LATIN AMERICA eventually.
HISTORY - well, it’s all history to us, right? But included here are items which were of historic interest to the inhabitants of the 1870’s - the early days of Greenfield, Deerfield, and Montague; the founding of historical organizations, like the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and genealogical family histories.
HOLIDAYS - not much different from today’s celebrations. Of course the 4th of July was a maelstrom of fireworks and severed limbs, and Christmas advertising did not occur untilthe two issues before Dec. 25th. Sabbath Schools all had their holiday celebrations, complete with Christmas trees and a song fest, and Valentine’s Day had already started its decline into ignorant and joke cards. Washington’s birthday, All Fool’s Day, May Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and Memorial Day are all represented. No sign of Halloween yet. HOOSAC TUNNEL (MA) is rapidly nearing completion. Read about the 19th century version of the "Big Dig". HORSES - I find this section absolutely fascinating. The vital importance of horses for all transportation needs is clearly shown, especially during the "Horse Disease"(Epizootic) of 1872. You either rassled up an oxen or goat, or you walked - in those places not accessible by train, of course.
HOTELS - There’s not that many of them, but they know how to do it up in style, and are a vital part of the town’s culture. This is the era when enormous resort hotels are springing up, and the concept of vacations are taking hold in the middle and upper classes. HOUSEHOLDS is a broad subject; I mainly went by the rule of thumb of what occurred inside a dwelling. Houses were the domain of women, and so items made specifically for women, like sewing machines, find a home here. Hints on cookery and thrift, as well as kitchen appliances also find a home here ;-). Ah yes, the world of washing, ironing, canning, and child rearing.
HUNGARIANS - Why the Hungarians, you say? Well, this is one of those personal interest type headings, since I am half Hungarian.
ICE - a big business, back in the days of pre-refrigeration. Ice was "harvested" from local lakes, and kept cool in warehouses, to be sold in blocks throughout the warm months. Also included here are frozen over rivers and ponds, ice skating, and ice used for drinks and preserving food.
To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
(Buckland) Forest Cranson and his wife earnestly and sincerely render warm thanks to their neighbors and friends for procuring them another cow in place of the one that died, also for other kindnesses shown them in her sickness. We are glad to see aged people remembered.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
(Buckland) We were in the shop of Arnold Smith a few days ago, and saw a notice printed in big letters, saying that he should not give or ask credit of any live man after Sept. 1, 1875. We were glad to see it, and hope others will imitate his example. Mr. Smith is a general jobber, builds and repairs wagons, carts, sleighs, sleds, wheelbarrows, and anything wanted; he has a blacksmith shop, cider mill and still; he must necessarily have to pay out a good deal of money, and therefore must have some paid to him. We hope he will have good success in his new start, in everything but the still.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Levi Stetson at the mill yard, has bought him a farm in Plainfield, paying $1000 for it. Joseph Packard has sold his farm to a Mrs. Haskell of Conway, price about $1000. Milton W. Thayer has advertised his farm for sale. It is situated on Deerfield River, nearly opposite Col. Leavitt's in Charlemont. It has a good deal of timber on it, and is a bargain for someone.
I have now in my possession a small churn which was made by my father at Abington, Plymouth County, in 1774. It was made of the best of cedar, in a workmanlike manner, and will hold some 7 or 8 quarts. As yet it shows no signs of decay, and with proper care will last for centuries yet to come. It is not valuable to me only as a memento of departed relatives. Who in Franklin County has an older churn. T.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
Probate Court record
Greenfield, Aug. 3, 187 - Administration granted - on estate of Anna P. Alexander, late of Northfield, H. Alexander, Jr. of Springfield, Adm’r; Charles S. Brown, Greenfield, John J. Graves, Adm’r. de bonis non; Rufus S. Phillips, Greenfield, Sally Phillips and John P. Griswold of Greenfield, Adm’r.; Asa S. Ruddock, Buckland, Lee Baron D. Ruddock of Buckland, Adm’r.; Willard Ward, Orange; Asa A. Ward of Orange, Adm’r.
Wills proved - Martha S. Johnson, Coleraine, Morris Pierce of Coleraine, Ex’r.; Lyman Dickinson, Whately, Lyman M. Dickinson and Dennis Dickinson, Adm’rs. with will annexed; Baxter Harding, Conway, Mattie J. Harding of Conway, Ex’r.
Guardians appointed - Dennis Wilson, Coleraine, over Jennie V. Newell of Coleraine.
Accounts rendered - On estates of Philinda Bowman of Leverett, Chester Hinsdale of Monroe, Edward Jones of Leverett, Barnard Fisher of Warwick.
License granted - To sell real estate of Moses M. Huse of Leverett, Charles Pelton of Shelburne. Widow’s allowance - made in estate of Benjamin Tilton of Deerfield, $200.
Inventories filed - In estate of Hubert Morton, Shelburne, $872.78; Lyman Rice, Charlemont, $3129; Samuel R. Smith, Coleraine, $2658; Dexter Drake, Buckland, $18,051; Esther Dickinson, Deerfield, $72,271; Henry M. Fisk, Shelburne, $9858; Eli T. Green, Shelburne, $17,407.
Affidavits filed - In estate of Rebecca L. Burrows of Bernardston, George Childs of Leyden. Commissioners appointed - On insolvent estates of Charles S. Brown, Greenfield, R.A. Packard, R.W. Cook, Jonathan H. Cary, New Salem, R.D. Chase, Hiram Orcutt; Robert Richardson, Greenfield, Charles L. Lowell, F.G. Fessenden. Next Probate Court at Greenfield on the 1st Tues. of Sept.
On Fri. July 9, a person traveling up Hawley road, in the vicinity of Mr. Mansfield, might have seen parties of 2, 3, and 5, stealing along behind bushes and fences in a very suspicious manner, each one bearing baskets or pails carefully covered. When all these groups of wayfarers had gathered under the trees above the brook they started for the house to take Mrs. Mansfield by storm. Mrs. Mansfield was born in Middleborough, Mass. July 9, 1788, so this was her 87th birthday, and her friends and neighbors had gathered to celebrate the event.
The dear old lady was taken completely by surprise. After the usual congratulations had been made and the people were comfortably seated in the parlor, Mrs. Mansfield began to relate some of her youthful experiences. She told of daring feats of horsemanship and hairbreadth escapes in dealing with fiery steeds. Mrs. Mansfield's guests then presented their birthday gifts. There were aprons, ties and bows, a dress and collar, oranges, lemons and figs, a bottle of blackberry wine, a bountiful supply of snuff, a book mark, and most noticeable of all, a large pincushion with a set of pins in the center and stars in the corners. I know not whether the maker intended the stars to have any particular significance or not, but they reminded me of the promise: "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever".
Mrs. Mansfield has been a communicant of the church for half a century, and has led a most lovely and consistent Christian life. Towards the end of the afternoon tables were set under the trees, but a shower coming up they were removed to the spacious dining room. The tables were loaded with an abundance of choice viands that kind friends had provided. The aged couple sat at the center of the long table, under a floral arch made by their grand-daughter, Miss Essie Sears.
Just before tea was announced, Dr. Trow of Buckland and a friend of his drove up, and by their presence added to the pleasure of the occasion. Over 40 persons partook in the feast. Dr. Trow made an eloquent speech, which, I regret to say, I am unable to repeat. He called to mind the many changes that the venerable couple had witnessed in the long life that God had allotted to them, and speaking of all the friends and companions of their youth having passed away, compared their present state to that of the few solitary trees scattered over the mountain side beyond the Charlemont fair grounds, where formerly a forest had stood [and stands again]. http://www.charlemon...SCHFairgrounds.shtml W.E. Mansfield then gracefully thanked the company in his parent's behalf. One of the no. present read the following: "Lines to a dear friend on her 87th birthday"...Quizzie.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
Speaking of antiquarian relics, we have in our possession an old arm chair, belonging formerly to our great grandmother, which must be nearly or quite 150 years old, also a pewter platter about 100 years old.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
Probate Court Record
Greenfield, July 6, 1875. Administration granted - on estate of Dexter Drake, late of Buckland, Almon Howes of Ashfield, Adm’r.; Anna Fisk, Shelburne, Daniel Fisk of Shelburne Adm’r.; Laura E. gleason,Charlemont, Elza R. Gleason, Adm’r.; Eli T. Greene, Shelburne, Mary E. Greene and Rawson S. Streeter of Shelburne, Adm’rs.; Walter Guilford, Conway, D.T. Vining, Adm’r. with will annexed; Mary Glazier, Leverett, Loana Huse of Leverett, Adm’r.; Sarah H. Putnam, Greenfield, W.C. Bryant, Adm’r.; Mary P. Rugg, Montague, Joseph Humphrey of Keene, N.H., Adm’r.; Samuel R. Smith, Coleraine, Joseph B. Clark of Coleraine, Adm’r.; Maria Scott of Whately, Adm’r.; Charles Smith, Deerfield, Dwight Smith, Adm’r.
Wills proved - of Esther Dickinson, late of Deerfield, Virgil M. Howard of Athol, Ex’r.; Angeline S. Farnsworth, Charlemont, Jonas K. Patch of Shelburne, Ex’r.; Charles J. Sherwood, Leverett, Adaline L. Sherwood and Charles B. Sherwood of Leverett, Ex’r.
Guardians appointed - Lydia E. Damon of Ashfield over her own minor children of Ashfield; O.F. Hale of Gill over Achsah Hayden of Gill; Frederick G. Howes of Ashfield over his own minor children.
Accounts rendered - on estates of Alice L. Aldrich of Conway; Perry Bryant’s heirs of New Salem; Ebenezer Morton of Deerfield; Elizabeth Meyers of Shelburne; Andrew Wissman of Shelburne; John N. Sweet of Shelburne; E.E. Robinson of Sunderland, Ex’rs. private account.
License granted to sell real estate - of Jason Phinney of Orange. Widows’ allowance - Made in estates of Moses M. Huse, Leverett, $108; Baron Stow, Conway, $400.
Inventories filed - In estates of Harriet M. Brown, Greenfield, $1983; Dr. David Bradford, Montague, $3231; Laurana B. Bradford, Montague, $11,219; Lucius H. Graves, Charlemont, $213; Polly C. Howes, Ashfield, $3436; Charles Pelton, Shelburne, $2702; Calvin T. Swan, Northfield, $2003; Charles J. Sherwood, Leverett, $3427; Amasa Taylor, New Salem, $4060; Caroline Williams, Deerfield, $5864.
Affidavits filed - in estates of Dr. David Bradford, Montague; Laurania [i.e. Laurana B. Bradford], Montague; Mary E. Griffin, Orange; Lyman Rice, Charlemont; Calvin T. Swan, Northfield; Amasa Taylor, New Salem.
Estate of E.E. Robinson, late of Sunderland, rendered insolvent - L. Merriam, G.D. Williams, L.W. Fairchild, commissioners.
Levi N. Chamberlin of Orange adopted Mary Moore - name changed to Bertha Augusta Chamberlin. Noah Rankin of Erving was removed as Administrator of the estate of Susan Gould, late of Erving. Commissioner’s report in estate of Stephen Shepardson filed June 11th. Next Probate Court at Greenfield on the first Tues. of August.