Conway — Organization

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

      Early in 1767 the inhabitants of Southwest, having grown to be quite numerous, petitioned to Deerfield to be set off, and Deerfield, agreeing to the petition, suggested the boundaries as follows: "East upon the seven-mile line, so called, until it comes to Deerfield River; west upon Ashfield bounds, or the west line of Deerfield; south upon Hatfield bounds; north partly upon Deerfield line until it comes to the Northwest division, so called" (to the Shelburne line), "and thence by the said Northwest division until it comes to the west line of the town."
      The Northwest division was subsequently incorporated as the town of Shelburne, and its south line was a straight one crossing Deerfield giver at the place now known as Bardwell's. In February, 1781, the territory in Shelburne south of the river was annexed to Conway. The northwest corner of that annexation was afterward set off to Buckland.
      June 17, 1767, Conway was, in accordance with the petition, incorporated as a district, and was named in honor of Gen. Henry Conway, a member of the British ministry, who was popular in the colonies for the prominent part he assumed as the government leader in the House of Commons at the repeal of the Stamp Act.
      Under the act of 1786, Conway became a town. The warrant calling for the first meeting of the district was issued Aug. 8, 1767, by Elijah Williams, a justice of the peace, and, on August 24th, the meeting was held at the house of Thomas French, "innholder." The officers chosen at that meeting were Consider Arms, Moderator and Town Clerk; Cyrus Rice, Constable; Thomas French, Consider Arms, and Samuel Wells, Selectmen and Assessors; Consider Arms, Treasurer; Israel Gates, Thomas French, and Joel Baker, Surveyors of Highways; David Parker, Tithingman; Elisha Amsden, Warden; Thomas French and Simeon Graves, Fence-Viewers; Silas Rawson, Sealer of Leather; Ebenezer Allis, Sealer of Weights and Measures; Joseph Catlin and Joel Baker, Hog-Reeves; Cyrus Rice, Deer-Reeve; James Gilmore and Josiah Boyden, Haywards; David Parker and Ebenezer Allis, Surveyors of Lumber.

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