ADAMS, lies in the northern part of
the country, in 42º 37' north latitude, and in longitude east from Washington,* 3º 53', bounded north
by North Adams, east by Savoy and a small part of Florida, south by Cheshire and a small part of Savoy, and west
by small parts of Cheshire, New Ashford and Williamstown. The town was named in honor of the patriot Samuel Adams,
and was originally in the form of a parallelogram, seven miles long and five miles broad, remaining thus until
it was divided a few years since, the northern part being formed into the town of North Adams. As this division
occurred so recently, however, we shall for the present consider the towns as one, the old town of Adams, as their
early history is coincident.
These combined townships then, were originally known as East Hoosac, the tract being explored and surveyed by a
committee appointed by the general court, in 7149, they being instructed to lay out a township six miles square.
This order, for some reason, they did not obey, but made the tract seven miles by five, or having an area of 22,400
acres. From this a small part was taken towards forming the town of Cheshire, March 14, 1793, other than which
no changes were made until the division of the town. In the year following that in which the survey was made, in
1750, Ephraim Williams secured a grant of 200 acres, under condition that he should "reserve ten acres for
a fort, and build a grist and saw-mill, and keep them in repair for twenty years." The reservation of ten
acres was located in the north-western part of the town. On June 2, 1762, the general court sold at auction nine
townships in the northwestern part of the county, among which East Hoosac was No. 1. It was purchased by Nathan
Jones, he paying therefore £3,200. Soon after his purchase he admitted as joint proprietors Col. Elisha Jones
and John Murray.
The proprietors, in October of the same year, employed a surveyor to lay out forty-eight settling lots of 100 acres
each. A line was drawn through the length of the town, dividing the best of the land into two equal parts, and
on each side of this line a range of lots was laid out. Each lot was 160 rods long from east to west, abating from
the breadth of each lot enough to bring the range of twenty-four lots within the north and south limits of the
town. These forty-eight settling lots, occupying the bottom of the valley through its whole length, comprised the
heart of the township. Four years after, or in 1764, Israel Jones, then a resident of the town, was authorized
to survey a further number of lots, not exceeding twenty, of 100 acres each, and as agent of the proprietors to
admit sixty settlers, this number being fixed upon in order to fulfil the conditions voted by the general court,
that "when the number of settlers shall have amount to sixty, they shall build a meeting-house and settle
a learned protestant minister." The proprietors would naturally be anxious to obtain this number, as the building
of a church and settlement of a minister would prove a great impetus in drawing other settlers, thus enhancing
the value of the land. The rest of the township was divided into 200 acre lots, in 1768, and distributed among
the proprietors according to their shares in the property of the town. Ten years later, October 15, 1778, East
Hoosac was incorporated as the township of Adams, named, as we have said, in honor of Samuel Adams, who subsequently
became Governor of the State. April 15, 1878, the town was divided, the line passing midway between the northern
and southern boundaries, north of which the territory was incorporated into the township of North Adams, and the
southern part retaining the old name of Adams, and is thus the Adams of which we write.
The surface of Adams is broken and mountainous, being noted for its picturesque scenery, having within its limits
the highest point of land in Massachusetts, old Greylock, towering to an altitude of 3,505 feet. Hoosac river enters
the town from the South, flowing a northerly course through the entire length of the township, twisting its serpentine
course through a rich valley of great beauty, to the east and west of which rises hill upon hill and mountain upon
mountain, here turned in graceful curves, and there broken into sharp angles by crag and precipice. Within this
beautiful valley are located nearly all of the inhabitants, within it is conducted the manufactures of the town,
and crossing and recrossing the Hoosac, like threads of silver, extend the rails of the Pittsfield & North
Adams railroad, over which is conducted the towns' harvest surplus and the result of her toil in the factory and
shop. The mountains of which Greylock peak forms a part, are not known as the Greylock group, though they were
formerly, and are still to a certain extent, called as a whole, Saddle Mountain. This very unromantic title, however,
is fast giving way to the poetic and smooth-sounding Greylock, given from the poetic fancy that the peak, when
whitened by the snows or frosts of autumn and spring, the body being clothed in dark forests, presents the appearance
of the grey and straggling locks of an old man. The sides of the mountain are covered with a thick growth of maple,
beach, birch and cherry, while its summit affords to the observer a most magnificent and enchanting prospect, of
which Mr. W. Gladden speaks as follows : -
"Down at its feet lies the valley of the Hoosac, nearly three thousand feet below. Pittsfield, with its beautiful
lakes, and many smaller villages, are seen in the valleys and on the adjacent slopes. Southwestward the eye sweeps
over the top of the Taconics away to the Catskills, beyond the Hudson, northwestward the peaks of the Adirondacks,
in the Northern New York, are plainly visible ; in the north the sturdy ridges of the Green Mountains file away
in grand outline ; on the east Monadnock and Wachusett renew their stately greeting, and Tom and Holyoke look up
from their beautiful valley ; southward Mount Everett stands sentinel at the portal of Berkshire, through which
the Housatonic flows. And all this grand circuit is filled with mountains ; range beyond range, peak above peak,
they stretch away on every side, a boundless expanse of mountain-summits. Standing here and taking in with your
eye all that is contained within the vague boundaries of the horizon, you receive the grandest if not the very
first impression you ever had of distance, of immensity, and of illimitable force."
Between Greylock and the other mountain summits, just over the line in Williamstown, lies "the Hopper,"
a chasm more than a thousand feet in depth whose four wooded sides, seen from above, appear to converge at a point
"The Bellow's Pipe" is a narrow gorge between Greylock and the peaks on the east, through which the northwest
gales sometimes sweep with fearful violence. The soil of the valley is rich and deep, and her are located some
excellent farms, while the hillsides afford some fine grazing land. The rocks entering into the geological structure
of the territory are talcose and mica-slate and limestone.
In 1880, when the last census was taken, Adams had a population of 5,591, though she now has, owing to increase
in manufacturing interests, about 3,000 more, while the report of the State Board of Education for 1883 shows the
town to have employed twenty-eight teachers during the year, five of whom were males, and to have sustained one
high school, having forty-four pupils, while the aggregate attendance upon all the schools was 1,581. The annual
report of the school committee for 1884 shows the town to have 1,602 children of school age, the average membership
in school, being 1,136, and the average attendance 1,056.
Adams is a handsome post village nestled at the foot of old Greylock, on the Pittsfield & North Adams, R. R.,
and extending on both sides of the Hoosac river. Here are collected factories, mechanic shops, rows of business
blocks, dwellings and churches, forming a neat, prosperous and vigorous New England village. North and south of
it, strung along the Hoosac like beads on a thread, are other prosperous, manufacturing villages, so that the valley
is almost a continuous village through the whole length of the town, for it must be remembered that nearly the
whole population of the township is gathered in this narrow valley.
Arnoldsville is the southermost village, extending nearly to the Cheshire line.
Maple Grove is a bright manufacturing community, lying between Arnoldsville and Adams village.
Renfrew is another enterprising little village, where are located the Renfrew mills.
Howlands comes next, a village yet in its infancy, though possessing a wonderfully sturdy growth, where are located
the extensive works of the American Zylonite Company
The First National Bank of Adams. - This bank was incorporated in 1863, and extended in 1883. The officers are
H. J. Bliss, president; H. H. Wellington, cashier; and H. J. Bliss, L. J. Colby, L. L. Brown, S. W. Bowerman, D.
J. Dean, James Renfrew, Jr., and H. H. Wellington, directors. The following is a statement of the bank's affairs
October 1, 1884: -
Capital stock paid in............................................... $150,000.00
Loan and discounts.................................................. 328,000.00
Undivided profits................................................... 75,000.00
Premium account..................................................... 10,000.00
South Adams Savings Bank. -This institution was incorporated and organized in 1869, with H. J. Bliss, president;
L. L. Brown, L. J. Cole, and Charles H. Ingalls, vice-presidents; H. H. Wellington, treasurer and secretary; and
D J. Dean, B. F. Phillips, James Renfrew, Jr., Daniel Jenks, Charles F. Sayles, A. J. Bucklen, D. D. Wheeler, George
W. Adams, and J. B. Farnham, trustees. Its present officers are H. J. Bliss, president; L. L. Brown, D. J. Dean,
and L. J. Cole, vice-presidents; H. H. Wellington, treasurer; James C. Chalmers, secretary; and D J. Dean, A. J.
Bucklin, James Renfrew, Jr., Daniel Burt, F. E. Mole, B. F. Phillips, C. F. Sayles, W. B. Green, and J. B. Farnham,
trustees. The bank is doing a prosperous business, its statement October 1, 1884, when it had 1,700 depositors,
was as follows:-
Due Depositors................................................. $ 599,672.59
Guaranty Fund.................................................. 15,800.00
Interest account............................................... 1,287.50
Profit and loss................................................ 20,000.00
Total............................................... $ 636,760.09
The American Zylonite Co. - Paper, camphor and alcohol, combined and treated chemically, make zylonite, and from
zylonite in turn are made almost numberless kinds of goods, which have heretofore been produced from shell, bone,
ivory, hard rubber, celluloid and metal, celluloid being so similar a combination and closely allied to zylonite
in both material and manufacture, that cross suits at law are either pending or have recently been decided in the
matter of infringement, injunctions, etc., between the zylonite and celluloid companies. These works are located
midway between the villages of North Adams and Adams, at the pretty and prosperous village of Howlands, which no
longer than three years ago had neither name or habitation. Ground was broken for the erection of manufacturing
buildings and for the residences of employees, the result already attained being a handsomely located hamlet with
plenty of room for growth to a comely village
Like all new enterprises, in this instance introducing not only an entire new line of manufactured goods, but a
new process of manufacture, the first steps of progress were slow; but the outcome gives evidence that they were
surely taken, and that the work of building factories and residences, making streets and sidewalks, securing help.
Constructing machinery, etc. has been successfully carried out.
In the summer of 1883 the first manufactured goods of the company were put upon the market, the early installments
offered to the trade creating such a demand that the entire force of the establishment is kept busy in filling
orders for goods, and the larger part of the works is kept running both night and day.
As we said at the outset, paper, camphor, and alcohol are the materials from which zylonite is made, paper being
the basis and principal feature of the stock used in this system of manufacture. This must needs be made from pure
rag stock, and be as nearly without spot or blemish as the greatest care in the selection of stock and details
of the manufacture of paper can make it. This paper is manufactured at the Greylock mills of the L. L. Brown Paper
Co., at Adams, being made expressly to order and delivered in rolls. The first process of manufacture into zylonite
is the cutting of the paper into strips, about an inch wide and two feet long, the paper being embossed while passing
through the machine. The embossing is found necessary to prevent the paper from matting together, as it would be
liable to do in sheets in the following process of manufacture:
The paper strips are placed in iron vessels, when strong acids are applied, and by means of chemical action the
paper is again resolved into pulp. Then by means of processes peculiar to the company and which cover all the secrets,
if secrets there are, in the manufacturing details, the important features of which are the introduction and combination
of camphor and alcohol to the pulp, making the preparation entirely insoluble. At this stage of procedure, the
mass partakes of the nature of cellulose, when coloring matter is introduced, and the combined preparation is passed
continuously between heavy and highly polished rollers, not unlike the paper-mill calender rolls in appearance,
or perhaps more like the machinery generally used for grinding rubber. It is then molded into slabs of four or
five feet in length, two feet in width and three or four inches in thickness, after a certain length of time, and
when in proper condition, the slabs are placed on the bed of a machine in which they are shaved to any desire thickness.
At this stage, the shaved sheets are as clear as crystal and transparent as glass, presenting nothing to the eye
when looking through them, but the shade or color, which may have been added at the proper time.
Celluloid, having first been made from gun cotton, was necessarily an explosive compound, and the idea has quite
generally attained that both zylonite and celluloid are dangerously explosive substances. Zylonite is not explosive
in the least degree; but it is inflamable, and will burn readily and freely, as will paper in its crude or any
of its more finished conditions, Zylonite being just as liable to destruction by fire as paper is found to be,
and more so. The particulars we give, as to what zylonite is, viz.: paper, camphor and alcohol, cover all the published
information that is to be had on the subject, as both Webster and Worcester are silent on the subject, and will
continue so until revised editions are printed.
The American Zylonite Co. was incorporated in 1881, with a capital of $750,000.00, the officers of the company
being Emil Kipper, of Adams, president; S. W. Ingalls, of North Adams, treasurer. The New York office of the company
is at 361 and 363 Broadway. The company employs 150 hands. Later on, in 1883, was incorporated the
Zylonite Comb and Brush Co., with a capital of $100,000.00, which now employs 175 hands in the manufacture of zylonite
combs, brushes, and mirrors of all kinds. The officers are W. L. Brown, of North Adams, president ; B. E. Kingman,
of New York, treasurer ; and C. A. Denny, of New York, secretary. Still later, or early in 1884, was incorporated
Zylonite Novelty Co., with a capital of $100,000.00, for the manufacture of zylonite shoe-horns, glove-stretchers,
pen-holders, checks, handles of all kinds, toilet boxes, martingale rings, etc., etc., giving employment to about
fifty hands. The officers are W L. Brown, of North Adams, president, and B. E. Kingman, of New York, treasurer.
The business of these companies is constantly increasing, necessitating the erection of new buildings, etc., promising
within five years to become the largest manufacturing establishments in Berkshire county.
The Renfrew Manufacturing Co., whose works are located at Renfrew, was incorporated in 1867, its present officers
being L. L. Brown, president ; James C. Chalmers, secretary ; and James Renfrew, Jr., agent ; a capital of $1,400,000.00
being employed. The company manufactures ginghams, yarns, turkey-red damask table cloths, and fancy dress goods,
employing about 2,500 operatives. The mills are operated by both steam and water-power.
The Adams Steam Grist-Mills, located on Hoosac street, Adams, were built by Messrs. Butler & Fairchild, in
1869. In 1871, the property came into the hands of H. A. Butler & Co., and in 1874, Mr. M. C. Richmond, of
this firm, became the sole owner, and still conducts the business. The mills have two runs of stones, with the
capacity for grinding 600 bushels of grain per day.
Henry J. Arnold & Son's steam saw and planning-mills, located on Spring st., was established in 1878. Mr. Arnold
gives employment to fifty hands in the manufacture of lumber, boxes and barrels, turning out about 3,000,000 feet
of lumber per annum.
Allen Iron Works located on Mill street, operated by both steam and water-power, were built by James A. Allen,
in 1871. Mr. Allen manufactures patent grate bars, filters for paper-mills, sugar refineries, bleacheries and dye
works, beamers, skein spoolers, bobbin winders, chain warpers, dye machines, and chain-splitting machines, all
of which are his own inventions and his specialties in manufacture. He has also invented a new steam-heating apparatus,
which is considered of great value for heating factories, churches and dwellings. He gives employment to about
The Greylock Woolen Mills, located at Maple Grove, on the Hoosack river, were erected in 1864, by Messrs. Peter
Blackinton and B. F. Phillips. The present firm is B. F. Phillips & Son, who manufacture cassimeres, ladies'
dress goods and shawls. The mills are operated by both steam and water-power, are furnished with seven sets of
machinery, and give employment to 160 operatives.
James B. Dean's grist-mill and cotton-batting factory are located on road 14 cor 26 and 27, on Peck's brook. The
grist-mill grinds meal and feed, and cotton-batting is made from waste material gotten at cotton factories. Mr.
Dean employs six hands.
The Maple Grove Warp Mills, located at Maple Grove, Adams & Co., proprietors, have 4,100 spindles and employ
125 hands in the manufacture of cotton warp. The mills were built by Adams & Seeley, in 1848.
The Plunkett Manufacturing Co.-The mills occupied by this heavy company were built by Stephen L. Arnold & Co.,
in 1846, going into operation July 4th of that year, manufacturing cotton cloth. Upon the death of Stephen L. Arnold,
the concern was left entirely to his partner, Daniel Arnold, and then came an unsuccessful period of several years.
It then became the property of O. Arnold & Co., and then, several years later, came another change of proprietors,
and finally, in 1881, it was taken by the present company. The officers of the concern are J. R. Anthony, president
; W. B. Plunkett, treasurer ; and Charles T. Plunkett, manager. They have 5,200 spindles and 120 fancy looms, producing
bleached dress goods.
W. C. Plunkett & Sons.-This firm, composed of William B. and Charles T. Plunkett, carry on an extensive business
in the manufacture of white and colored cotton warps and yarns, operating 14,200 spindles.
The Pump Log Factory.-This old factory was located on Tophet brook, about three-quarters of a mile east of the
village. It was built by Daniel and John Anthony, in 1822, 40 by 30 feet, three and one-half stories in height
for the manufacture of cotton yarn. The water was thrown upon a wheel twenty-six feet in diameter, on a level with
the third story. The weaving was all done in the families of the surrounding neighborhood. About seven years later
Cyrus and Jacob Peck leased the factory, changing it to a machine shop for the manufacture of cotton and woolen
machinery. About 1831 it was again changed, to a factory for manufacturing satinets, operated by Isaac U. Hoxie,
who continued until 1834 or '35, when the factory was closed.
Turner's Factory.-This building was erected in 1814 by Gersham, Caleb, George and Sewell Turner, standing where
the machine shop now stands, near the Stone Mill of the Renfrew Manuf. Co.
Although the two towns were then one, the sketch of old Fort Massachusetts and the Indian history pervading its
story properly belong with the history of North Adams, to the sketch of which town the reader is referred. But
in the following remarks relative to the early settlement of the territory, it must be remembered that we speak
of the two towns as a whole, or as though no division has ever been made.
Among the early settlers of the town, not including a few soldiers who lingered near the fort, were Abial Smith
and his sons Gideon and Jacob, John Kilborn and John McNeal, of Litchfield, Conn.; Reuben Hinman and Jonathan Smith,
of Woodbury; and Messrs. Parker, Cook and Leavenworth of Wallingford. These settlers, however, with others who
located with them, did not remain long, most of them selling their lands to purchasers from Rhode Island, many
of whom were Quakers. Others, not of that order, soon followed from the same State, until nearly the whole town
was occupied by Rhode Islanders. October, 15, 1778, the town was incorporated, the first town meeting being held
March 8, 1779, when Capt. Philip Mason, Capt. Israel Jones, and Capt. Reuben Hinman were elected selectmen. The
principal points of settlement were at what are now the villages of North Adams and Adams, forming the nucleuses
about which these villages were built. The grist and saw-mill required by the grant to Ephraim Williams, were built
at what is now North Adams village, and a grist-mill was built about the same time at Adams village, or as it is
generally known, South Adams. The following biographical sketches, however, are of only such as settled in what
is now the township of Adams.-
Benjamin Farmer came to Adams, from Dartmouth, R. I., about 1787, settling as a pioneer farmer, where he resided
until his death. His son William, born in Dartmouth in 1775, was twelve years old when he came to Adams with his
father, and resided on the old homestead during the remainder of his life. He married Martha Chase, of his native
town, who bore him eleven children, who lived to attain a mature age, and all married, except one daughter who
remained at home and ministered to the wants of her parents until they died. Only one of this large family, Mrs.
Ann Eliza Fessenden, now resides in the town.
Job Anthony, born at Taunton, Mass., in 1797, came to Adams in 1816, commencing an apprenticeship with Joseph Shove,
tanner, with whom he remained three years. He then entered into a contract to support Hattel Kelly, a bachelor,
and his maiden sister, for the use of a small tan-yard and a farm of fifty acres. This he continued to do until
the death of Mr. Kelly, when he purchased the property to which he as added from time to time. Here he has continued
to live, up to the present time. Mr. Anthony is of Quaker extraction, and early identified himself with that society
here, being now the only surviving member thereof. At the dismission of the society, in 1828, caused by the doctrines
of Elias Hicks, Mr. Anthony took strong grounds against these sentiments, and is now decidedly orthodox. In his
thirty-first year he married Hannah Harkness, who died in 1861. This union was blessed with the birth of two sons
and a daughter, viz.: Susan (Mrs. Andrews Hall), living on Myrtle street; Job Kelly Anthony, merchant of the firm
of Anthony & Burlingame, at Maple Grove; and Edmund, a farmer, residing on the homestead. During his whole
course as a business man, involving transactions of considerable amount, Mr. Anthony has never broken a contract
nor failed to meet an obligation.
John Fisk, from Cheshire, came to Adams at an early date, locating on the farm his grandson, John H. Fisk, now
occupies, where he remained till his death. He built the house thereon, which is still in a good state of preservation,
in 1797. He married Hannah Smith, who bore him four children, none of whom are living. His son Daniel succeeded
him on the homestead. Daniel was twice married and reared six children, four of whom are now living, viz.: Daniel
W., in Wisconsin; Ann Eliza (Mrs. Henry Bliss), in Adams village ; John H., as before mentioned ; and Charles E.,
an invalid, occupying, with his mother, a part of the homestead.
Hiram H., son of Jerred Clark, was born in Williamstown, in November, 1820. He spent his youth much as other farmer's
sons, in work on the farm and in attending the common school of his neighborhood, until fourteen years of age.
He then was engaged to work in the cotton mills of Dr. Brayton, where the woolen mills of Deweyville are now located.
In 1836 he engaged with James E. Marshall, a cotton manufacturer, of North Adams. In 1846 he engaged with Messrs.
Pollock & Hathaway, where he remained two years, then bought out Mr. Hathaway's interest, the firm being known
as William Pollock & Co., and was continued until 1863, when Mr. Clark with drew and formed a partnership with
George W. and John S. Adams, manufacturing cotton warp, under the firm name of Adams & Clark. This firm continued
four years, when Mr. Clark purchased an interest in the Renfrew Manufacturing Co., holding the position of superintendent.
Here he remained till 1871, when he sold out his interest and moved to Alabama, to superintend a manufactory of
cotton checks and plaids, remaining there until the autumn of 1883, when he returned to Adams, and is now superintendent
of the mills of the Plunkett Manufacturing Co. at Maple Grove.
David Anthony, from Rhode Island, came to Adams, as near as can be ascertained, about the time of the breaking
out of the Revolution, locating in the southern part of the town, on the West road, near the Cheshire line. At
the time of the battle of Bennington, while the men turned out with such arms as they could procure-guns, pitchforks,
etc.,--and hastened forward to the scene of war, Mrs. Anthony collected her pewter ware and other valuables, placed
them in her large brass kettle, and buried the whole in the cellar of their log house. Mr. Anthony remained where
he first located until the division of the Friend's society, about 1827, when he went to live with his orthodox
brother, in Greenfield, N.Y., where he died. His four sons were Elihu, John, Humphrey and David. Elihu and John,
early in life, went to Greenfield, N. Y. Elihu was a farmer, blacksmith and Quaker preacher, John a farmer. Humphrey
was a farmer and blacksmith, but owned fifteen shares of stock in the South Adams Cotton and Woolen Company, and
was the Company's agent one year. He married Hannah, youngest daughter of Joshua Lapham, and attained the great
age of ninety-six years, his wife dying at the age of sixty-six. Their children were Daniel, Susan, Hannah, John,
Joshua, Abram, Ira, Ann Eliza and Humphrey. Daniel, a man of high talents and fine education, was a manufacturer,
and built, with his brother John, the Pump Log Factory, and was the prime mover in organizing the first academy
in town. He left Adams about 1827, and died in Rochester, about 1857. He married Susan Reed, a daughter of one
of the early settlers, and reared six children, two of whom attained a national reputation, viz. : Miss Susan B.
Anthony, and Col. Daniel R. Anthony, of Leavenworth fame. John was at one time a manufacturer here, but finally
went West, and became an extensive land owner. Joshua was a farmer near the old homestead, and was killed by lightening
about 1835. Abram has been a manufacturer, first at Maple Grove, with his brother John, next with his brother-in-law,
Israel U. Hoxie; he then gave his attention to farming, owned 600 acres, continuing a farmer several years, when
he built a saw-mill and grist-mill, at Renfrew, and finally sold out to William Pollock, in 186_. He still owns
valuable land in the vicinity of Renfrew Mills, along the Hoosac. Ira died in boyhood. Ann Eliza married Mr. Dickinson,
and is now a widow, residing in Chicago. Humphrey resides in town, a wealthy farmer.
Joshua Lapham came to Adams sometime previous to 1781, and was one of the organizers of Friends society, and one
of its first members. He was a farmer, and located about half a mile north of Bowen's corners. His sons nearly
all went west, were enterprising and energetic men. None of the name, however, are now in town.
Stoel E. Dean was born in New Ashford, April 18, 1809, and came to Adams with his father, a tanner, when twenty
years of age. He was a partner with his father a few years, and in 1841, he left Adams and engaged with his brother
in the tanning business at Pittsfield, where he remained nine years. In 1850, he returned to Adams and formed a
partnership with B. F. Phillips, under the firm name of Dean & Phillips, for the manufacture of woolen goods.
This firm continued about three years, when he rented the factory to Messrs. B. F. Phillips and Peter Blackinton,
but soon obtained an interest in the firm. This continued until about 1857, when Abram LaMonte entered the firm,
and later Messrs. Phillips and Blackinton retired. Mr. Dean and Mr. LaMonte continuing the business alone until
the factory was destroyed by fire. The building was soon after replaced and occupied by the Richmond & Upton
Paper Co., in which Mr. Dean had an interest. The factory was finally sold to William C. Plunkett, and is now used
by his sons in the manufacture of cotton warp. Since then Mr. Dean has retired from active business. He was in
early life a Democrat, but in 1844, believing the principle of Free Soil correct, he left the party, and at the
organization of the Republican party he identified himself with it, and was elected to the State legislature in
the autumn of 1860.
Horace M. Holmes, M.D., was born in Waterville, Vt., November 2, 1830. He received his education at Bakersfield
Academy, and then went to Warsaw, Ill., in May, 1848, where he successfully engaged in teaching about a year and
a half. He then, after teaching a short time in Alexandria, MO., returned East, commencing the study of medicine
with the late Profs. H. H. and T. Childs, of Pittsfield, also attending lectures at the old Berkshire Medical college,
from which he graduated in 1852. He immediately commenced practice in Cambridge, VT., remaining only a short time,
however, when he located in Adams in 1853, forming a partnership with the late Dr. George C. Lawrence, which lasted
one year, since which time he has practiced alone. During his first year here he was elected school committee,
serving two years. In politics, Dr. Holmes is a firm Republican, and in the autumn of 1878 was elected to represent
the Second Berkshire District, serving on the committee on public health, and was re-elected the following year,
serving on the same committee. He has since, however, given his whole attention to his large practice.
Liscom Phillips, M.D., was born in Ashfield, Mass., in 1777, studied medicine with Dr. Bryant, of Cummington, father
of William Cullen Bryant, and commenced practice in Savoy soon after graduating. He remained there until 1812,
when he removed to Adams, where he remained in practice until his death, in 1821. He married Nancy Paddleford,
of Taunton, who bore him seven children, all of whom, except three, removed from the town at an early age. Henry
P. Phillips took his father's profession, attended Williams college, and graduated from the old Berkshire Medical
College, and commenced practice in Adams, remained till 1840, then removed to North Adams, where he remained in
successful practice until his death, in November, 1881. Julia A. Phillips became the wife of Stoel E. Dean, in
1834. Benjamin F. Phillips, now occupying the homestead, on Park street, was born therein in 1817. He commenced
work in the wool-carding mills of William Jenks, at the age of fourteen, remaining in this manufacture until 1850,
when he became a partner with Stoel E. Dean. In 1853, Mr. Phillips and Peter Blackinton rented the mills of Mr.
Dean, and in 1857, Messrs. Dean and LaMont were admitted, the firm name being Blackinton, Phillips & Co., which
was continued till 1860, when Blackinton and Phillips withdrew and commenced the manufacture of woolen goods at
Maple Grove. In 1864 they built the present Greylock woolen mill, and in 1866 they divided their property, Mr.
Phillips obtaining Greylock mills, which he now operates in company with his son Albert L., manufacturing cassimeres,
ladies' dress-goods and shawls.
Zebedee Dean, born in Rehoboth, Mass., in 1782, moved to Cheshire about 1800, and learned the blacksmith trade
of his step-father, Ephraim Farmington. After learning his trade, he bought out his father and carried on the blacksmithing
business and farming until about 1860, when he gave up blacksmithing and sold his farm, but lived in the house
until his death in 1867, aged eighty-five years and six months. Three children are living, D. J., James B., and
D. J. Dean, born in Cheshire, in 1816, worked on the farm till fifteen years old, then went into the store of Russell
Brown, continued there until the dissolution of Brown & Plunkett, in 1841, then came to Adams, entering the
employ of Mr. Brown, as business manager of his mill and store. He continued with Mr. Brown till the latter's death,
in 1851, when, after settling the deceased's estate, he bought an interest in the mercantile business, with David
Richmond, continuing with him three years, then bought his interest and continued the business until 1883. He then,
on account of age and failing health, sold out to E. J. Noble. He was a member of the House of Representatives
in 1848 and 1876; member of the Senate in 1879; town assessor for twenty-five years, selectman one or two years;
director of the First National Bank seventeen or eighteen years; and vice-president and trustee of the South Adams
Savings Bank from its commencement, in 1869, to the present time.
Russell Brown, born in Cheshire, in 1782, worked at farming until about 1803-04., then commenced mercantile business,
at Cheshire, which he continued successfully until 1845-46. He was a member of both branches of the legislature
several times. About 1820-25 he bought an interest in the Adams South Village Cotton and Woolen Mfg. Co., at Adams,
and by buying in the shares was principal owner in 1825-26. In 1831-32, he sold an interest in the mill to William
C. Plunkett, who, in 1832-33, built the "Stone Mill," for the manufacture of print cloths, under the
firm name of Brown & Plunkett, who continued together till 1841, when they dissolved, Mr. Brown taking the
lower or Stone Mill, and Mr. Plunkett the upper or Brick Mill. Mr. Brown continued manufacturing until his death,
in 1851, aged sixty-nine years, ending a long, successful and honorable business life. He died without issue.
Gen. William C. Plunkett, who died in Adams, Saturday, January 19, 1884, ending a well spent and useful life of
eighty-four years, was the last of three brothers -William C., Charles H., of Hinsdale, and Thomas F., of Pittsfield-who
left their mark in the business, social and political life of Berkshire. Mr. Plunkett was born in a log cabin at
Lenox, but managed by economy to obtain a practical academic training, which fitted him for a school teacher, and
enabled him to obtain a situation in Lanesboro, to which place his family had removed from Lenox. About the year
1830 he moved to Adams, and although his capital then consisted of only $270.00, it was the foundation for large
manufacturing interests with which he was identified up to the time of his death. He made cotton and woolen goods,
and the Plunkett Manufacturing Company and the Greylock Mills attest his enterprise and industry. His two sons,
William B. and Charles T., were associated with him for a number of years, owning a controlling interest in four
or five mills. Mr. Plunkett acquired his military title in old military days, and although having held the high
offices of lieut.-governor, executive councilor, senator and representative to the general court, there was no
honor he more highly prized than that of moderator over the deliberations of his fellow citizens in town meetings.
He was a progressive man in every respect, and good schools and school-houses were always advocated by him. Gen.
Plunkett held many offices of trust in the State. He was lieutenant-governor with Gov. Emory Washburn, of Worcester,
in 1854, a member of the senate in 1840, and several times represented his district in the lower branch of the
legislature, the last time in 1872-73. He served in the executive council with both Governors Rice and Long, and
was a member of the constitutional convention in 1853. He is particularly missed by the Congregational church and
Sunday School, having been one of the most prominent members of the church since its formation in 1840, its most
liberal supporter and a deacon almost constantly. He had also been superintendent of the Sunday school for forty-two
Edmund Jenks, from Smithfield, R. I., located, in 1778, about a mile and a quarter east of Adams. He reared a large
family of six sons and three daughters, the sons being named Charles, Samuel, William, Thomas, George and Edmund,
Jr. They all upheld well the good reputation of the family as farmers, mechanics, manufacturers, doctors and in
all political life. They located in different parts of the county and have left many descendants.
Zacheus Hathaway, born at Freetown, Mass., in 1751 married Eleanor Upton, of Berkley, and came to Adams in 1791,
locating on road 12, there they reared a family of eight children. Edward, the fifth child, remained on the old
homestead, married Abigail Power, of Hudson, N. Y., and reared four children. Of these, Rufus B. and Lydia P. are
living, occupying the old home farm.
During the Revolutionary period the inhabitants of Adams maintained prompt co-operation with the government. Numerous
votes stand on record, authorizing assessments to defray the expenses of the part they were taking in the contest.
They raised large sums at a time. At one meeting it was "voted to give nine month's men ten dollars a month
in grain,--wheat at 6s., per bushel, rye at 4s., corn at 3s., and one hundred continental dollars before they marched."
The Baptist church of Adams, located on Commercial street, was organized by James Mason, Daniel Smith and others,
in 1826, Rev. Mr. Sweet being the first pastor. Their church building, which is still in use, was erected in 1835;
it is a frame structure capable of seating 300 persons, and, including grounds, etc., is valued at $2,250.00. The
society now has 216 members, with C. W. Anable, D. D., pastor.
The First Congregational Church of South Adams was organized by Rev. Stillman Pratt, with two members, January
1, 1840, Mr. Pratt being also the first settled minister, installed in 1845. In 1843, the society erected a house
of worship which did service until 1868, when the present handsome wood structure was erected, which will comfortably
seat 600 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $30,000.00, its original cost being $25,000.00. The society
has about 300 members with Rev. Edward Hungerford, pastor. We quote from a copy of the New York Observer, of 1883,
the following paragraph relative to this church, from the pen of S. E. Bridgeman: --
"We were much interested in the reminiscences of the town of Adams as given by Gen. C. W. Plunkett, a county
octogenarian. When he went to that town half a century ago, the Sabbath was openly profaned, stores were kept open,
farmers plowed their fields, boys played ball in the streets, factories were 'raised,' and even the pastor of the
single church carried his grist to mill on Sunday! When an earnest Baptist minister came into the village and preached
against the desecration of the Sabbath, by the people digging ditches and grinding corn, the public sentiment was
so strong as to compel him to leave. Dr. Alden, of Williamstown, and Prof. Hopkins, his associate, seeing the ungodliness
of their neighbors, sent out the cry: 'Who will go to Adams?' Rev. Stillman replied, 'I'll go,' organized, with
two members. In two months the original church had diminished one half, but that half being a woman it could not
die, and to-day it has a membership of nearly 300, and a Sabbath School of over 250.
St. Paul's Universalist Parish was organized by E. F. Jenks and thirty-two others, March 28, 1844, Almond W. Mason
being the first pastor. The society soon after built a small brick church, which did service until 1871, when the
present commodious structure was erected, which will comfortably accommodate 350 persons and is valued, including
grounds, at $25,000.00. The present pastor of the society is Rev. W. S. Woodbridge.
St. Mark's church of Adams, Protestant Episcopal, was originally organized in 1867, and re-organized in 1872, their
church building being erected in 1881. This a neat stone structure, capable of seating, including chapel, 400 persons,
valued at $32,000.00, about its original cost. The parish now has sixty-three members, with Rev. Herbert Smythe,
The Seven Dolors of the B. V. M., Roman Catholic church, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. C. Crevier, with
400 members, in 1871, and in 1875 their church building was erected, which is valued at $6,000.00. The society
now has 1,700 members, with Rev. J. B. Charbonneau, pastor.
St. Charles Borromeo, Roman Catholic church, located on Park street, has 2,000 members, with Rev. Dennis C. Moran,
assisted by Rev. James F. Maher, pastor.
GAZETTEER OF BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASS. 1725-1885; Compiled and Published by HAMILTON CHILD; Permanent Office; Syracuse,
N.Y., January, 1885; pages 88-101