Shutesbury — Burial-Places
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The only public burial-ground in the town is at Shutesbury Centre. The burying-ground originally laid out by the early settlers, in the rear of where the school-house at the centre now stands, was abandoned many years ago, when many of the remains lying therein were removed to the present burial-place, a short distance west, although in the old ground still stand a few ancient gravestones. Among the oldest inscriptions to be seen in the cemetery now used are the following:
Abel Cole, 1781; Jacob Coney, 1777; Samuel Cady, 1799; Joseph Wilder, 1793; Ephraim Wheeler, 1798; Joshua Jones, 1796; Lucy Pierce, 1799; Ruth Dillingham, 1796; Lydia Hamilton, 1796; Seth Fish, 1797 Joseph Allen, 1804; Robert Cole, 1806; Sarah Smallidge,1800; Elizabeth Richardson, 1804; Dr. John Carter, 1808; Seth Leonard, 1803 Obadiah Bates, 1803; Abiah Reed, 1809; Benjamin Reed, 1807; Ephraim Pratt, 1804, aged one hundred and sixteen.
Upon the gravestone of Ephraim Pratt it is recorded that
"He was born in Sudbury in 1667; swung a scythe for one hundred and one consecutive years, and at the age of one hundred and ten mounted a horse with ease."
It is said, moreover, that he was cheerful and temperate, and lived to know himself the progenitor of 1500 descendants. The stones which marked the earliest graves have disappeared, and thus the list of early inscriptions deals with those of but comparatively recent date.