Ashfield — Stores

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      No attempt will be made to mention all of the stores that have existed in the town. Among the first to trade in the town was Gad Wait, who failed, and gave up business. Abraham and David White kept store as early as 1808 where H. S. Ranney now resides. John Williams succeeded them in 1816. Selah Norton had a store in 1793 where the Widow Frank Bassett now lives. John and Charles Baldwin, Charles Williams, and Samuel Hall kept there afterward. At South Ashfield a man named Cooley established a store about 1826. He failed, and was followed by Maj. Dana, Charles Reed, and Gardner & Guilford. About 1853 there was a co-operative store established there, which was conducted by Foster R. King. Chandler A. Ward then followed in trade, and still remains there. About 1830, Alvan Hall was in trade in the building now occupied by Church & Wait, at the "Plains." Jasper Bement followed in 1835, and died in 1851. He was succeeded by Joseph Bement, his son. Josephus Crafts had the store at the "Plains," now occupied by Albert W. Crafts, as early as 1835. Alvan Perry had one later where his widow now resides. Albert W. Crafts succeeded Josephus, and traded for the last twenty-five years. From 1842 to 1847, Cook & Ranney occupied the building where Mrs. Perry now resides, for trading purposes. In 1851, and later, Hall & Ranney traded in the same place. Almon E. Bronson went into trade about 1860, and continued until 1878, when he was succeeded by his brother, Chester A. Bronson.

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