History of the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts, Early Known as the Elbow Tract

History of the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts, Early Known as the Elbow Tract

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Excerpt from History of the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts, Early Known as the Elbow Tract: Including Records of the Plantation, District and Town, 1716-1889

Some years since a few citizens of Palmer commenced to agitate the subject of having a history of the town written before the older portion of the community, who were the conservators of many facts, should pass away.

Through their influence the matter was brought before the town in 1883, and a Committee on Town History was appointed, consisting of O. P. Allen, C. B. Fiske, John Clough, E. B. Gates, Dr. William Holbrook, David Knox and G. A. Murdock. Dr. W. H. Stowe was added to this Committee in 1884. Mr. Clough died in 1884, and subsequently Mr. Murdock removed from town and ceased to act with the Committee.

Soon after its appointment the Committee entered upon the work of collecting material. Mr. Gates accepted the onerous task of preparing the genealogy of the older families and of tracing out, by means of the records, the sites of the farms and residences of the first settlers, as well as preparing a new map of the town. In 1887, the Committee asked for an appropriation for the purpose of procuring a competent person to write the history of the town. The sum of $500 was voted for that purpose. On investigation that amount was found to be inadequate, so the matter was deferred until 1888, when an additional appropriation of $1,000 was voted. The Committee then made choice of Rev. J. H. Temple of Framingham as a competent man to do the work, as he had had extensive experience in this line of literature. In the judgment of the Committee, the result has justified the choice made. Mr. Temple has been able to gather more valuable material from archives outside of the town records than would probably have been done by others less conversant with such work.

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