Heath — Town Records
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The town records contain much interesting matter, from which excerpts have been made as follows:
Asaph White, for services performed before the town was incorporated, £20 13S, 4d.
Dec. 18, 1786.—Asaph White, Asahel Thayer, Jonathan Taylor, Benjamin Maxwell, and Wm. Buck were chosen a committee to select a site for the meeting- House.
1787.—"Voted to give Lieut. B. Maxwell $50 for one acre of land, to set the meeting-house on." "Voted to raise the sum of £10 to pay for moving the meeting-house."
In 1788, Lieut. Benj. Maxwell and Seth Temple were appointed a committee to act in behalf of the town in a suit, brought against it by Rev. Jonathan Leavitt.
October 28th, Mr. Leavitt made this proposition:
"Gentlemen,—If you will cease rating me agreeable to the vote of April 14, 1785, and give me an order for what I am rated in two assessments, not collected, contrary to the above-mentioned vote, I will settle the execution I now have against you in the following manner, viz.: in good beef cattle (bulls and stags excepted) delivered at my mansion house in this town, at fifteen shillings per hundred weight to be paid down, and the remainder, with interest, on the 20th day of 0ct. next, at seventeen shillings per hundred weight, the whole estimated on the foot by indifferent men."
Capt. Asaph White, Benjamin Maxwell, and Thomas Harrington were appointed to settle on the above terms.
May 17, 1790, the town settled the Rev. Joseph Strong as its minister, at a salary of £120, in cash or in produce, at the following prices: pork at 6s. per score, beef at 15s. per hundred weight, wheat at 4s. per bushel, rye at 3s., and Indian corn at 2s. 6d.
In 1792 thirty-six families were warned to depart from the town because they did not have proper license to remain and become citizens.
In 1800 a company muster was held in town, at which Ens. Isaac Chapin furnished two barrels of cider at the expense of Heath. "Likewise, voted to pay Capt. Benjamin White for carrying the same and the baggage of the company."
In 1808 the town sold its paupers to the lowest bidders, at about us. 4d. per week.
July 7, 1812, a public meeting was held to consider the state of the country, and give expression to the sense of the town regarding the same. Col. Roger Leavitt was appointed moderator, and Luther Gale, Ephraim Hastings, and Medad Dickinson a committee to prepare a memorial to lay before the meeting. The report was accepted by a vote of 114 yeas and 3 nays. The first resolution recites, "That it is the sense of this meeting that the declaration of war by the Congress of the United States against Great Britain was unnecessary, impolitic, and ruinous, and that it was not demanded either by the honor or the interests of the nation." A further resolution advised Congress "to wheel to the right," and not favor France, to the disadvantage of other powers.
In 1835 the sum of $300 was voted, and the proceeds arising from the sale of the old church appropriated to erect a town-hall, under the direction of' Aaron Brown, Asa Kendrick, Elijah Allen, Winslow Buck, and Luther Thompson, as a building committee. This house was repaired in 1868, and is yet used for its intended purpose. It is located at Heath hamlet.
Aid to volunteers and drafted men was voted from time to time, and at the March meeting in 1863, $600 was appropriated for the benefit of the families of the soldiers of the Union serving from the town. In 1878 the affairs of the town were reported in a healthy condition, there being no public debt, and the town owned a good hall and a well-ordered poor-farm. The latter is situated in the southwestern part of Heath, contains about 150 acres, and was secured in 1852, at a cost of $2475. The cost of maintaining the town's poor in 1878 was $642.