Easthampton, Mass.

Rev. Payson Williston
Rev. Payson Williston
Town, was sold as late as 1774 , for $1.94 per acre.
      The first known white settler within the limits of Easthampton was undoubtedly one John Webb, for Northampton's records show this item: "December 13, 1664, town granted John Webb a piece of land at Pascommuck to build a house upon." John Webb was one of the original petitioners to settle Nonotuck, and his name appears often upon the town records of Northampton, but when this pioneer case about for a favorable spot to make a home, "to build a house upon." Where he should clear away the forest, till the land, and so gradually become an independent settler, in this fair valley, he looked Easthamptonward, and somewhere in that fine stretch of meadow near the Connecticut and Mt. Tom, now called East Street, he chose a spot for him house. But John Webb, as he looked about him from that humble doorway, could not foresee what the years should bring to pass.
      After Pascommuck, the next spot built upon, was n the north side of Manhan River; the first building was a sawmill, for in 1674 permission as given to "set up a sawmill on the brooke on the right hand of the cartway going over Manhan River," and this was the first mill in Easthampton. It was at this mill that Easthampton came nearest to having a case of witchcraft, for the Judd Manuscript contains a tradition concerning Mr. John Stebbins, a prominent Northampton citizen, who later became an owner, that when working at the mill "the logs would roll over him, by which he was at different times severely bruised, the logs being set in motion by witches."
      Mr. Stebbins died suddenly in March 1678, and a very general belief prevailed that he was a victim of witchcraft. An inquest was held by a jury of twelve men, who returned a verdict which, it was said "while it did not directly charge witchcraft, showed that they more than half believed it had something to do with his death." It was stated also, that Mr. John Hawley, a leading magistrate of Northampton, called a large number of women, the purpose being to discover the witch, but not enough evidence was gained to warrant a charge, so "nothing was done about it" — and Easthampton's records were saved the reproach which a witchcraft experience might have put upon its pages.
      Twelve years later, in 1688, Northampton gave Samuel Bartlett "liberty to set up a corn mill on the falls below the cartway on the Manhan River." This mill and the land were given by Samuel Bartlett, in 1705, to his son Joseph Bartlett, who set up thereon a public house — the first in

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