”THE INTRODUCTION TO SPRINGFIELD.
Up to this time there was, as far as is known, but one Odd Fellow in Springfield, and he was the late Dr. James Swan, a long-time practicing physician on Walnut street. But toward the close of 1843 there was a movement for the establishment of a Lodge here. The time was ripe for such an organization; Freemasonry had to all outward seeming been dead for years in the town, and there was no reason to suppose that it would soon be revived, though the storm of opposition was spending its force. Hampden Lodge was established February 7, 1844; it was the 27th in the order of institution in the state, but it is noticeable that it was not only the first in western Massachusetts, but was the first Lodge started away from the immediate neighborhood of Boston. The charter contains these six names: Addison Ware, James M. Thompson, Albert C. Cole, James Henry, Josiah Hunt and Thomas Hassard, Jr. Mr. Ware, then chief clerk in the Western Railroad office, was the first Noble Grand, and Col. .Thompson was the next highest officer. …”
Odd Fellow's Talisman and Literary Journal, Vol. 17, by Independent Order of Oddfellows, Grand Lodge of Indiana, 1884, page 222