Ashfield — Civil Organization

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

      The records of the town prior to 1776 are in a very incomplete state, and only scraps of them can be found.
      The first recorded meeting was held at the house of Jonathan Sprague, March 8, 1762. Ebenezer Belding was chosen Moderator; Samuel Belding, Town Clerk; Ebenezer Belding, Chileab Smith, Philip Phillips, Assessors; John Sadler, Collector; John Sadler, Nathan Chapin. Josiah Rockwood, and Moses Smith, Hog-Reeves. At the same meeting it, was "voted that hoggs shall run from the first of April;" also, "to give ten pound for a bull and three pound for a boar."
      The town was incorporated, in compliance with the petition of Ebenezer Hunt and others, on June 21, 1765, by the name of Ashfield, a name derived from the existence of large quantities of ash timber in the town at the time of the incorporation. Prior to that time it had been known as Huntstown.
      The bounds described in the act of incorporation were east by Deerfield, south partly by Narragansett township, Number Four, and partly by Province Land, west partly by Province Land, partly by Bernard's and Mayhew's and Hatfield Land, and north by Province Land."
      The first regular town-meeting after the incorporation of the town was held Jan. 6, 1766, at time house of Joseph Mitchell, innholder, pursuant to a warrant directed to Samuel Belding, of Ashfield, by Thomas Williams, a justice of the peace, dated Dec. 21, 1765. No record has been preserved of business transacted under the warrant.
      The first regular March meeting for choice of officers, etc., was held March 31, 1766, at the house of Joseph Mitchell. Benj. Phillips was chosen Town Clerk Chileab Smith, Moses Fuller, Thomas Phillips, Selectmen; Richard Phillips, Aaron Lyon, Nathan Chapin, Assessors; Moses Smith, Constable; Jonathan Edson, Nathan Chapin, Wardens; Moses Smith, Jr., Jonathan Yeomons, Tithingmen; Richard Phillips, Clerk of the Market; Jonathan Yeomons, Leather-Sealer; John Briggs, Chileab Smith, Fence-Viewers; Samuel Snow, Israel Standish, John Ellis, and Jeremiah Wait, Hog-Reeves; Miles Standish, David Alden, Deer-Reeves. At the same meeting £4 were voted for a school, and £1 to build a pound.

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