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Allis Family

Allis Family Collection, 1956-1958
1 vol. (0.15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 269 bd

The Allis family began farming in Whately, Mass., in 1716, when John Allis came into possession of a property that would be the home to nine generations of his descendants. A typically diverse operation, the farm centered on cattle and dairying and crops such as hay and potatoes, supplemented throughout the year by sugaring, the manufacture of lye soap, bee culture, and opportunistic work ranging from slating to the construction of water systems for farms. It was sold out of the family in 1957.

This small collection contains two closely-related memoirs about the Allis family and their farm in Whately, Mass., focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Written by Lucius Howes Allis, the last Allis to own the farm, when he was 72 years old, “The Allis farm and its families” contains a lengthy genealogy, transcriptions of a handful of family deeds and documents, and brief stories about Lucius’ father Irving during his trip to Kansas and on the farm. “Up on the hill” is a lively memoir written by William R. Phinney, an alumnus of Massachusetts Agricultural College and apparently a friend of the Allis family. Phinney’s account contains excellent accounts of the lives of Elliot, Irving, and Lucius Allis, about farm life in the late nineteenth century, dairying, beekeeping, and other topics.

Background on Allis family

The Allis family began farming in Whately, Mass., in 1716, when John Allis came into possession of a property that would be the home to nine generations of his descendants. A typically diverse operation, the farm centered on cattle and dairying and crops such as hay and potatoes, supplemented throughout the year by sugaring, the manufacture of lye soap, bee culture, and opportunistic work ranging from slating to the construction of water systems for farms.

In about 1848, the farm came under the care of Elliot C. Allis (1816-1874) who was born in Conway, but made the farm his home for nearly thirty years. Although Elliot’s son Irving (1849-1929) had intended to strike out on his own, moving to Kansas and the Indian Territory after the Civil War, he was lured back in 1874 when Elliot bequeathed the farm to Irving’s children, making it impossible for him to sell the farm and remain in the west. After Irving’s death in 1929, the farm passed to his third child Lucius Howes Allis, who oversaw it until 1957, when it was sold out of the family to the Cathedral Farm, Inc.

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Contents of Collection

This small collection contains two closely-related memoirs about the Allis family and their farm in Whately, Mass., focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Written by Lucius Howes Allis, the last Allis to own the farm, when he was 72 years old, “The Allis farm and its families” contains a lengthy genealogy, transcriptions of a handful of family deeds and documents, and brief stories about Lucius’ father Irving during his trip to Kansas and on the farm. “Up on the hill” is a lively memoir written by William R. Phinney, an alumnus of Massachusetts Agricultural College and apparently a friend of the Allis family. Phinney’s account contains excellent accounts of the lives of Elliot, Irving, and Lucius Allis, about farm life in the late nineteenth century, dairying, beekeeping, and rural family life.

Collection inventory
Allis, Lucius Howes: The Allis farm and its families (Greenfield, Mass.)
1958 Oct.
38 p.

Allis genealogy from settlement in the Massachusetts Bay in the 1630s to the present, and lives of those associated with the farm. “Ye Olden Times” in Hatfield and Whately; “Something about Irving Allis’ life”; “Farms operators and possessors.”

Phinney, William R.: Up on the hill
1956-1957
137 p.

Excellent account of three generations of the Allis family and their farm in Whately, Mass. Includes accounts of the lives of Elliot Clark Allis (1816-1874), his son Irving Allis (1849-1929), and grandson Lucius Howes Allis (1886-1963), with notes on other family members. Vignettes includes farm life in the 19th century; cattle and dairying; Irving’s trip to Kansas and the Indian Territory after the Civil War; house fire; sugaring; water systems; Christmas and Thanksgiving; laborers (Irish and otherwise) on the farm; bees.

Residue

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of John Smith, Apr. 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2017.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Allis Family Collection (MS 269 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects
  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Allis family--Massachusetts
  • Bees--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Cattle--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Dairy farmers--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Farms--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Fires--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Hatfield (Mass.)--History
  • Indian Territory--Description and travel
  • Kansas--Description and travel
  • Maple sugar industry--Massachusetts--Whately
  • Whately (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Allis, Lucius Howes, 1886-1963
  • Phinney, William R.
Types of material
  • Genealogies (Histories)
  • Memoirs

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