Settlement of Longmeadow and Application
to Become its Own Precinct
In 1636, Puritan settlers left Roxbury,
Massachusetts to settle along the “Quinneckiot”
The peaceable Agawam tribe who lived in
the Springfield area understood the benefits
that they would reap by trading beaver with the
Europeans and a cooperative network was
established between the peoples.
William Pynchon, the leader of the English
settlement in Springfield, negotiated with the
Indians to purchase 3 parcels of land:
the west side of the Connecticut River,
the east side from Pecousic Brook north to
Chikuppe River and the long meddowe (Masacksic)
from Pecousic brook south to Raspberry Brook.
The purchase priced for the Longmeadow
portion was 4 fathoms of wampum, 4 coats, 4
hatchets, 4 hoes, and 4 knives.
In 1645, 25 allotments of land were made along
the river in the long meadow.
In 1647, a road was completed as far as
the original Longmeadow Brook.
Ensign Benjamin Cooley, Quartermaster
George Colton, and John Keep built the first
houses in the long meadow.
These men were active and respected
members of the Springfield community.
Information about life on the meadow is scant,
but it is known that in 1695 the Connecticut
River overflowed its banks and flooded the
meadow, forcing the settlers to flee their
Because of the flooding, problems
controlling their livestock, and the distance
from church and school, in January 1703 the
residents of the long meadow petitioned the town
of Springfield that they be allowed to move out
of the meadow onto higher ground to the east.
The petition was granted.
By midsummer of the same year, the Longmeadow
town plat had been laid out.
A “Country Road,” later Longmeadow
Street, was constructed 20 rods wide and 4
miles long and the lands bordering the street
were divided into building lots.
the snow came that winter, the first homes stood
in the little settlement.
By 1709, the move to the hill was
The settlement in Longmeadow was part of the
town of Springfield.
It did not have its own church and in
order to attend church services, residents
needed to travel to First Church in Springfield
and back on a Sabbath.
This distance was challenging for many
In the Spring of 1714, the townspeople of
Longmeadow, petitioned the General Court for the
establishment of a separate gospel ministry in
The petition was granted, and at the
Longmeadow precinct meeting in April, 1714 the
townspeople voted that before the first of the
ensuing year they would build a meeting house.
A five-man committee was chosen to select
the site and supervise the construction of the
By late summer, the meetinghouse was
At the same April meeting, it was also voted “to
call a Learned and Orthodox Minister to Dispense
the Word of God to us this Winter in Order to a
Settlement among us…as Speedy as may be…”
The town residents sought a candidate for
the position and Stephen Williams applied in
The residents approved of him and in
March 1715, the Longmeadow settlers “Voated that
the Revd. Stephen Williams should be our
Minister to Dispense the ordainances of Christ
Reverend Williams negotiated with the town for
Eventually, in May 1715 an agreement was
made to give him £ 200 for the construction of a
parsonage, an adequate supply of firewood and £
55 as an annual salary.
Stephen Williams was ordained in
Longmeadow on October 17, 1716 and he was to
remain as its pastor until his death in 1782.
Reflections of Longmeadow
by Linda Mr. Rodger and Mary S. Rogeness
Proceedings at the Centennial Celebration of
the Incorporation of the Town of Longmeadow
The Journals of the Rev. Stephen Williams
by Andrew Medlicott
Not to Fear the Face of Man: A Biography of
the Rev. Dr. Stephen Williams First Minister
to the Longmeadow Congregational Church 1716
by Margaret Stoler 1974
by Elizabeth Hoff