Samuel Bancroft (1711-1788)

Bancroft Samuel 1711 1788.jpg


Samuel Bancroft (1711-1788)


According to legend Samuel Bancroft was Granville's first settler in 1735, receiving a grant of 100 acres. Prior to this land in Granville (known as Bedford at the time) was owned by people who lived elsewhere and had not settled the land (speculators).

In 1845 Rev. Timothy Mather Cooley remembered Samuel Bancroft as follows:

"The first inhabitants of this town were descendants of the pilgrims, and some of them can trace their origin to the 'one hundred and one' who landed on Plymouth rock. More than a century has rolled away since the first adventurer fixed his humble dwelling here, (1735). By a little aid of the imagination, , we seem to see the lonely pilgrim, with no associate but the wife of his youth, bidding farewell to home and kindred, and wending his way to these untrodden wilds. lt was then as great an enterprise to emigrate from Springfield to Bedford, (the early name of this town,) as it is now to travel to the Rocky Mountains.

Samuel Bancroft, of Springfield, was the first settler; he built the first rude cabin here, and may be regarded as the patriarch of Granville. He was a facetious, kind hearted, industrious man, a little below mediocrity in stature. Some of us remember him well, when he appeared abroad, especially on the Sabbath, in his antique dress, with his triangular cocked hat, and the still more imposing appendage of a great bush wig, inspiring the reverence of beholders. He was one of the first board of Selectmen in Granville, and in 1775 was chosen Representative to the General Court in Watertown."

According to Wilson's "History of Granville" in 1846 Wilbur S. Jones identified the location of the Samuel Bancroft house as being "on the west side of the original road from Westfield to Granville where the road formerly went through the hollow," an area now covered by the waters of the Granville Reservoir (Wilbur Jones' land would also be taken for the reservoir many years later). The location is further described as "near the place where Henry Hollister used to live, and about a half mile from the four corners where Wildcat Road branches to the west from the present location of the Old Road to Westfield and the now private road of the City of Westfield branches to the east."


“Samuel Bancroft (1711-1788),” Granville History Digital Collection, accessed September 23, 2023,


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