Biography of Hinsdale Smith

Among the many families that can boast of long and honorable connection with the history of the New England States, especially Massachusetts, none is more worthy of mention than the Smith family. The name has appeared conspicuously in association with public and private affairs through more than three centuries.

(I) Richard Smith, immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1617. He testified in September, 1684, that he was sixty-seven years old, that he came from Martha’s Vineyard with his vessels, and did some work for his brother-in-law, Matthias Treat. He was admitted a freeman in Wethersfield in 1669. He received the gift of a home lot from Richard Treat in October, 1649; owned land in New London in 1652; was collector in 1667; had a grant of land in Nayaug in 1672; was a contributor to the fund for the building of the meeting house; and was a soldier in King Philip’s War. He married Rebecca Treat, and they were the parents of eight children, as follows: Richard; Esther, became the wife of John Strickland; Beriah, became the wife of Richard Fox; Bethia, became the wife of Joshua Stoddard; Jonathan; Samuel; Joseph, of whom further; and Benjamin.

(II) Joseph Smith, fourth son of Richard and Rebecca (Treat) Smith, resided for two or three years in Middletown, Connecticut, prior to 1654-55. He had a homestead recorded to him in Wethersfield in 1665, and later removed to Rocky Hill, where he was one of the first settlers. He received lands by the river side from the town. He married, about 1653, Lydia Huit, daughter of Thomas Huit. They were the parents of four children, as follows: Lydia, born 1654, became the wife of Cole; Joseph, of whom further; Jonathan, born in August, 1663; Samuel, born in August, 1667. Joseph Smith died in 1673, and the inventory of his estate was taken November 25, 1673, amounting to four hundred and forty-one pounds, seven shillings, six pence. His wife was granted administration of the estate. Prior to the year 1687, Lydia (Huit) Smith became the wife of — Harris.

(III) Sergeant Joseph (2) Smith, eldest son of Joseph (i) and Lydia (Wright) Smith, was born in March, 1657-58, and died October 1, 1733, aged seventysix years. He removed to Hadley, Massachusetts, about 1680, and was admitted a freeman in 1690. He had charge of the grist mill at Mill River, and he and his sons tended the mill most of the time during the Indian wars. It was a lonely spot, three miles north of the village, and it does not appear that he or his family spent the nights there until after the permanent peace with the Indians in 1726. After that he and his son, Benjamin Smith, each built a small house there. He was a cooper by trade. In 1696 he was appointed sealer of weights and measures, which position he filled until his death; in the same year he was appointed meat packer and gauger of casks; in 1681 he was among those taxed for the building of the Fort River bridge; he kept an inn in Hadley in 1696; served as selectman in 1696-1707-10, and a member of the school committee in 1720. Sergeant Smith married, February II, 1681, Rebecca Dickinson, daughter of John Dickinson. She died February 16, 1731, aged seventy-three years. Eight children were born of this marriage: 1. Joseph, of whom further. 2. John, born October 24, 1684, died August 27, 1686. 3. John, born January 5, 1687. 4. Rebecca, born June 11, 1689; married, in February, 1712, Joseph Smith. 5. Jonathan, born October 28, 1691. 6. Lydia, born September 15, 1683; married, December 26, 1720, Joseph Chamberlain. 7. Benjamin, born January 22, 1696; married Elizabeth Crafts, died July 1, 1780. & Elizabeth, born December 22, 1701, died February 15, 1728.

(IV) Joseph (3) Smith, eldest son of Sergeant Joseph and Rebecca (Dickinson) Smith, was born in Hadley, Massachusetts, November 8, 1681, and died October 21, 1767. He lived on the homestead, and gave his attention to the conduct of the grist mill. He succeeded his father as sealer of weights and measures, meat packer, and gauger of casks. He was also a cooper by trade. He participated in the fight with the Indians in Deerfield meadows, February 29, 1704. He served as selectman of Hadley in 1735-37. He married, in 1715, Sarah Alexander, who died January 31, 1768. Their children were as follows: 1. Alexander, of whom further. 2. Edward, born March 26, 1719. 3. Reuben, born April 2, 1721. 4. Sarah, born November 9, 1722; married, December 3, 1747, Windsor Smith; died September 1, 1772. 5. Thomas, born December 6, 1725.

(V) Alexander Smith, eldest son of Joseph (3) and Sarah (Alexander) Smith, was born in Hadley, Massachusetts, October 11, 1717, in the section of the town which later became Amherst. He was the proprietor of a tavern on West Street, south of the meeting house, from 1758 to 1783. His estate was among the largest in Amherst. He was elected surveyor at the first town meeting, and served in that capacity for many years. He was an active participant in the Indian War in 1754. Mr. Smith married, in 1743, Rebecca Warner, of Westfield, who died November 26, 1801, aged eightyseven years. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Smith: 1. Nathaniel Alexander, born February 22, 1744. 2. Hannah, born January i2. 1746, became the wife of Oliver Lovell. 3. Joseph, born January 4, 1748, died January 22, 1748. 4. Joseph, of whom further. 5. Rebecca, born March 4, 1751, died March 10, 1752. 6. Rebecca, born December 3, 1753. died August 29, 1809; married (first) Lemuel Childs, (second) Martin Cooley. 7. Elias, born February 11, 1756. 8. Samuel, born September 4, 1758. Alexander Smith, died September 21, 1787.

(VI) Joseph (4) Smith, third son of Alexander and Rebecca (Warner) Smith was born April II, 1750. He married Eunice Goodman, daughter of Nathan Goodman, of Hatfield, Massachusetts. Their children were as follows: 1. Nathan, born December 4, 1776. 2. Sereno, of whom further. 3. Docia, born September 16, 2783. 4. Parks, born September 2, 1788. 5. Chester, born October 12, 1791. 6. Joseph, born February 12, 1796.

(VII) Sereno Smith, second son of Joseph (4) and Eunice (Goodman) Smith, was born March 27, 1779, and died January 22, 1852. He served in the capacity of selectman of Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1841. He married, January 29, 1807, Betsey Stockbridge, daughter of David Stockbridge. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith: 1. Edmund, born December 19, 1808. 2. Theodocia, born May 26, 1810; married George Allen. 3. Chester, born March 22, 1811. 4. Maria, born February 19, 1813; married Francis Forward. 5. Elizabeth, born in May, 1816, died June 16, 1819. 6. Hinsdale, of whom further. 7. Rufus, died aged four months.

(VIII) Hinsdale Smith, third son of Sereno and Betsey (Stockbridge) Smith, was born in Hadley, Massachusetts, March 2, 1819, and died September 29, 1893. He received his education in Hopkins Academy, and when eighteen years of age went into the store of Harvey Root, Of. Feeding Hills, as clerk, and three years later was admitted into partnership. Shortly after this he began the business of packing leaf tobacco. A corporation was formed under the name of Smith, Palmer & Company, with offices in New York. In 1868 he took up his residence in Springfield, where he had a packing house on Hampden Street, and during this part of his business career, up to the year 1874, had as a partner James A. Bidwell, whose career is reviewed elsewhere in this work. He also owned a large farm in Feeding Hills. At the time of his death he was senior member of the firm of Hinsdale Smith & Company, of Hampden Street, Springfield, and No. 125 Maiden Lane, New York City. At one time Mr. Smith was quite active in political affairs; he was elected State Senator in 1866. and in 1880 was a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Hampden District. He was a member of the North Church.

Mr. Smith married, July 27, 1843, Lucy C. Root, of Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. She died September 13, 1865. Mr. Smith married (second) Pamela C. Eastman, born October 1, 1831, died 1875, daughter of Charles Eastman. Children of first wife: 1. Julia R., born August 8, 1844, died in June, 1901. 2. Albert Palmer, born October 22, 1846, died December 3, 1846. 3. Lucy M., born October 26, 1848; became the wife of Francis H. Stoddard, professor in the New York University. 4. Edmond Harvey, born September 16, 1851. 5. Frank Stockbridge, born September 10, 1853, died December 24, 1899. 6. Claribel Hinsdale, born December 11, 1863; attorney and librarian of Law Library, at Springfield, Massachusetts. Children of second wife: 1. Arthur Parks, born May 24, 1868. He now resides at Granby; Massachusetts. 2. Hinsdale, Jr., born September 10, 1869, resides at South Hadley, Massachusetts. 3. Bessie, died aged seven years. 4. Harry, died in infancy.



Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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