Ichabod Jr., Ichabod III, Elijah and Henry B. Hemenway

Ichabod, Jr, son of Ichabod, married and had by wife (Elizabeth,daughter)Betty, who married and lived at Hopkinton; and probably other children. In 1735, his house is referred to as on the Southborough road; and he was probably living in Framingham in 1753. Tradition states that he moved "up country." (meaning that he went West towards the higher elevations of western Massachusetts). He lived on his fathers place and sold in 1758 to his brother Daniel.

- from A History of Framingham by Wm Barry

The Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts


O Williamsburg, our Williamsburg!
What priceless gifts are these
That God so freely gave to you
The water, hills, and trees.

The stranger, coming to our midst,
Let's try to understand,
Let's view with tolerance his creed
And take him by the hand;

For in this wondrous universe
Wherever one may go
We are-all of us-God's children,
Let's treat each other so.

And to your sons and daughters fair
Wherever they may roam
Your arms are always open wide
To give them welcome home.

Where father, mother wait, beside
Hearthstone's embers glowing-
With love for you and love for home
Their hearts are over-flowing.

And so, in answer to your call,
To this your old home day,
We've come like children out of school
Who've thrown their books away.

Those voices of the long ago
Still echo in the gale,
But the Algonquin warriors
Have gone the silent trail.

O Williamsburg, dear Williamsburg,
How truly they are blest
Who, mingling with your soil again,
Lie peacefully at rest.


In the course of the westward expansion of settlements from the original coastal colonies during the mid-1600's, a group of settlers purchased large tracts from the Indians on the west side of the Connecticut River just north of already established Northampton. These purchases were made between 1658 and 1674, with additions in 1695. The second purchase, made July 10, 1660, is of present interest because of the extent of nine miles westerly from the Connecticut River into the woods.

While the community of Hatfield was being established on the west bank of the river, the land further west was left to the animals and the Indians. Alone, that is, until about the year 1735 when a noted hunter and trapper, John Miller of Northampton, erected a log house on a hill in the eastern portion of the "Hatfield Woods." He purchased a tract of 900 acres, bounded on the south by the Northampton line and embracing what later became a thriving village.

For seventeen years Mr. Miller hunted and trapped in solitary splendor. Game was plentiful, with deer, bear, wolves, catamounts, wild turkey, and smaller animals to be had, and the streams were filled with trout. Indians there were , too, but obviously Mr. Miller was successful in evading their raids. Then Capt. Samuel Fairfield settled close by and ended Mr. Miller's solitary domination, but this probably was not too onerous since Captain Fairfield was his nephew. Between 1745 and 1750 a stage road was opened across the region between Northampton and Pittsfield and Captain Fairfield opened a tavern to accommodate travelers over the route.

Further settlement awaited the ending of the French and Indian Wars, when men felt reasonably safe in leaving the protected settlements. From 1760 to 1771 many homesteads were established on the numerous hills. Indian raids occurred occasionally, as various wandering bands sought to discourage white men from further expansion.

-from Williamsburg by Louise and Frederick Goodhue

Ichabod Hemenway (Jr.) came from Framingham early in the history of Williamsburg. He made a clearing , erected his log house...The log cabin was on the east side of the road just south of the barn of the present Elijah Hemenway farm. Within a few years he had bought land on the west side of the road and had moved into a substantial house owned by a certain Mr. Hillman. Mr. Hemenway gave each of his sons a house and a piece of land near the old homestead."

from A History of Williamsburg in Massachusetts by Phyllis Baker Deming

(Ichabod Hemenway) was one of the first to locate at Williamsburg, whither he went on foot from Framingham carrying an ax, Hampshire County then being in its primitive condition and covered with heavy timber. He improved a farm and resided there until his death about 1823.

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb County Illinois 1885

Ichabod (Jr.), the first Hemenway to come to Williamsburg, was born in 1706 in Framingham. In 1758 he sold his home there to his brother and moved with his wife to Williamsburg where he built a log cabin on what is now the south lot of the present Hemenway farm. There is in the attic of the Hemenway home on the farm a wooden box put together with wooden pins which was always known as Aunt Betty's tobacco box. Jason went west and was an ancestor of Senator Hemenway of Indiana. Nothing is known of Daniel. Ichabod (III) carried on his father's farm. He married Lucretia Southard from Connecticut and had four sons and five daughters. We know of only three daughters, Lucretia, Lovinna, and Elizabeth. His sons were Asa, Elijah, Aaron, and James. Asa and Elijah went west to Illinois where the former soon died. The latter had two sons, Henry and Charles. -from a History of Williamsburg

(Family legend has it that Lucretia Southard was a descendant of John Alden, a Mayflower passenger written about in Longfellow's "The Courtship of Miles Standish")

March 16, 1778 -- Ichabod Hemenway chosen Constable

- Williamsburg Town Records

March 22, 1778 -- Voted that ye Town give sixty [Shillings] for every wolf killed in Town by a Town Inhabitant.

- from the Williamsburg Town Records

During the period of early settlement in Williamsburg, the Searsville Four Corners was a very busy place. All travel to Goshen, Ashfield, and Chesterfield went that way. Several hostelries were located in the vicinity .... on land between the Loud and Hemenway farms, was a distillery, owned and operated by Ichabod Hemenway and later by his son James. Here was made not only cider brandy but also hemlock, tansy, wintergreen, and peppermint oils. This was discontinued in 1841. On the farm there was also a turning lathe where many domestic utensils were manufactured. At the foot of Hemenway Hill by the bridge was a sawmill...

James and Naomi Hemenway

"A granddaughter of the earliest pioneer, born in 1785, used to tell of remembering the howling of wolves" (in Williamsburg).

-from Historic Hampshire in the Connecticut Valley by Clifton Johnson

April 3, 1786 -- Voted to give any inhabitants of the town $4 for every wolf that shall be killed within the bounds by them. - Williamsburg Town Records

Hemenway Farm
Copyright 2002 Sarah Belchetz-Swenson