Place:Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States

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NameHatfield
TypeTown
Coordinates42.367°N 72.583°W
Located inHampshire, Massachusetts, United States     (1670 - )
Contained Places
Cemetery
Hill Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hatfield is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,279 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The census-designated place of Hatfield consists of the town center and surrounding areas.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hatfield was founded in 1660 on land granted to General Daniel Dennison and Governor William Bradford. It was formally incorporated as a town in 1670 and has a board of selectmen and an annual town meeting.

One of the theories of Hatfield's incorporation in 1670 was that during that time it was a colony of Hadley and Hadley's church was located across the Connecticut River on what's now West Street in present day Hadley. The citizens living in what is now Hatfield asked the officials if they could build the church on this side of the river, so that they can go to church and not have to cross the river, which was hard to cross every week, especially during the winter season when the river would freeze. When the citizens asked main Hadley, Hadley said "No." Enraged, they held a vote on whether Hatfield would still remain territory of Hadley, or secede into its own town. The vote for seceding won. Many believed this was a good decision as during that time, travel wasn't easy, and it was very unusual for the already large Hadley which had already claimed many of its surrounding towns to have a spot on the other side of the river.

As a center for agriculture the region produced cattle, sheep, corn, and tobacco. At first their relations with the local Native Americans were very welcoming on both sides. On October 16, 1675, a substantial part of the town was destroyed in King Philip's War, and surviving settlers sought refuge in Springfield. On September 19, 1677, another raid occurred, killing thirteen.

During the American Revolution, Hatfield was an important source of supplies and men for the rebels. In 1786 the town was used as an assembly area for the discontented who became involved in Shays' Rebellion.

One family supplied many of Hatfield's physicians for generations. The Hastings family, descendants of English Puritan immigrant Thomas Hastings, was originally settled at Watertown, but within a generation members of the family had relocated to Hatfield, where they produced a succession of Hatfield physicians, including Dr. Thomas Hastings (1652–1712); Dr. Thomas Hastings (1679–1728); Dr. Waitstill Hastings (1714–1748); and Dr. John Hastings (1765–1845). The first Thomas Hastings, aside from serving as physician to Hatfield and surrounding communities, was also the town's first schoolteacher. He authored a contemporary account of the devastating Indian attack on nearby Deerfield in 1704.

Hatfield was the birthplace and hometown of Sophia Smith (1796-1870), the founder of both Smith Academy (the Hatfield public high school), and Smith College, the famous women's college in Northampton. Another notable resident was Rebecca Dickinson (1738-1812), a never-married gownmaker whose surviving diary, preserved in the collections of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield, has served as the basis for scholarship in early American women's history.

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