Levi B. Chase

Extracted from

"The History of Worcester County, Massachusetts"

by Hurd, 1889 Vol. 2

SOUTHBRIDGE is situated in the southwestern part of the county of Worcester. It has Charlton on the north, and Dudley on the east; southward it is bounded by the State of Connecticut, and west by Sturbridge. The centre of the town is in latitude 42 degrees 5', and the distance from the court-house in Worcester is seventeen and one-half miles. Formerly the great route of travel from Worcester to the southwest was through Charlton and Sturbridge. The connection with the shire-town is now by the New England Railroad to Webster, and thence by the Norwich and Worcester line. There is direct railway connection with Boston through Webster, Blackstone etc., by the New England Railway. The number of square miles in the town is about nineteen and the number of acres is twelve thousand and seventy-four.

The surface of the town is much broken by hills and valleys. The hills rise northward and southward from the valley of QUINEBAUG RIVER, some of them gradually, and some with abrupt and rugged sides. Hatchet Hill, in the south part, near Connecticut line, is sixteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, and the summit furnishes an extensive prospect.

The main river is the QUINEBAUG, which comes in from Sturbridge on the west, and runs across the township north of the middle in an easterly and southeasterly course. The river is fed by Globe, Cady and McKinstry Brooks on the north, and Hatchet, Cohasse and Lebanon Brooks on the south, all of which empty within the limits of the town. The valleys of these streams greatly diversify the scenery.

From west to east the QUINEBAUG River has its course, furnishing the power for various and important industries. This river has been the principal factor in the building up of this wealthy and enterprising town. Hence it is fitting, in proceeding to a partial description of some of the prominent features that strike the eye of a casual observer, to begin with the entrance of the Quinebaug.

The QUINEBAUG flows quietly through the valley of Sturbridge, then turns eastward through a gorge between rocky hills. Before it quite passes the narrow valley, one-half of the width of it, by lines established, becomes included in the territory of Southbridge. Then it flows unhindered through the ruins of the old dam at Westville, past the old mill foundation, the bridge and the little village that has seen better days. Immediately afterwards, being confronted by a large hill, it turns squarely to the north, imparting power, as it passes, to the LITCHFIELD SHUTTLE SHOP, and beyond glimmers brightly along a secluded valley, beautiful in its varied scenery of wooded grove and dell, level intervale, sloping field and hill-side pasture, ending abruptly, northward, at a high rocky precipice. In ordinary times the river flows shallow in this valley. When all between the towns of Brookfield and Woodstock was a solitary wilderness, a path or road from one place to the other had its crossing here. It is inferred from facts known that this was the fording-place of the great trail of the Indians, from Narragansett and Wabbaquassett to the Quabaug towns and the Connecticut River at Hadley and above. Pursued by Captain Henchman and Oneco, son of Uncas, it was here that KING PHILIP and his feeble following hurried across, the 3rd or 4th day of August, 1675. As will be see further along, the first settlers had a fordway here.

The northern course of this valley, of about a mile in length, is ended by a rocky bluff, causing an angle in the river, near which the line between this town and Sturbridge runs north, leaving the eastward flow wholly in the former town. Down a rocky gorge, a precipitous cliff on the left and a more rounded hill sloping up to the southward on the right, rushes the Quinebaug of the Indians. Now this entire space is occupied by a pond; the water being held by what is commonly called the "Big Dam", a magnificent structure across just where the river leaves the companionship of these hills.

The QUINEBAUG is held, bitted and harnessed and made to work the will of man, not only here, but all along its winding way below, for miles; it encounters structures of similar intent and purpose. Here, years ago, small industries were started with cheaper structures. A population was collected to control, direct and make a useful servant of the never-ceasing power, brought into subjection by capital and skill. Money was earned, resulting in increased facilities for manufacturing or the starting up of new industries. Exchange of commodities necessitated the trade class and middle men. The exercise of the various occupations was created by the demands or needs of the community. Thus a symmetrical growth was established; and a steady and unvarying prosperity has been the rule in this place.

Below the big dam, the course of the QUINEBAUG, in a winding way, tends eastward across the opening of the valley of McKinstry Brook, which tributary it receives from the north, and then strikes another hill or cliff, which rises abruptly upon the north side of the river. Cliff Street passes over along the height, and here one obtains a view of remarkable variety and interest. The Cliff is distant about a third or half a mile eastward from the big dam, and that portion of the river is occupied by the factories of the HAMILTON WOOLEN COMPANY. Four large mills and more smaller factories and buildings used in their business are in view. The lower mill is opposite the Cliff, and from this height one looks down upon the very bell-tower, the massive building and the pigmy (stet.) people below.

The course of the QUINEBAUG from this point is in a southeastward direction. The site and ruins of the DRESSER MANUFACTURING COMPANY's factory is beneath the Cliff, and beyond, a fourth of a mile, is the large establishment of the CENTRAL MILLS COMPANY. Next, is the large and many-lighted building of the AMERICAN OPTICAL COMPANY, about three-fourths of a mile farther down the river; close by which is PLIMPTON's laundry, J & L.D. CLEMENCE's lumber-working establishment and I.P. HYDE & Co.'s cutlery works. Beyond, is the large brick building recently erected by the AMERICAN OPTICAL COMPANY, in which they are commencing the extensive manufacture of lenses. This plant is on the site of the old COLUMBIAN MILL, and the locality is now called LENSDALE.

SAUNDERSDALE, about a mile farther down the river, is hidden from view. It is there that the plant occupied by the SOUTHBRIDGE PRINTING COMPANY is located.

The Cliff, or the Clemence Hill, back of it affords the visitor a fine panoramic view of a large portion of the villages of Southbridge Centre and Globe Village. Immediately in front of the view takes in a broad and not high swell of land, not long ago devoted wholly to forest and agricultural purposes, and appeared to form a separation between Globe Village and the Centre. This is now cut up into streets, and largely occupied by the homes of the industrious and the finer residences of the wealthy. The railroad depot, freight-house and the odd-shaped building containing the "stalls" for the "iron horses" are just over the river from the Cliff.

To the right is the denser population of Globe Village, extending up the far slope to the southward, and northward crowding up the McKinstry Valley.

To the left of the ridge that has been mentioned as being in the centre of our view, and looking as the needle points nearly south, the tops of the large business blocks and the public buildings are seen, around which we also have a perspective view of a portion of the main village.

All about among the distant hills and valleys are farm-houses, fields and woodlands - it is the combination that produces the effect, and the visitor on a pleasant day can but exclaim with delight.

The central portion of the main village is fast taking the appearance of a city. The industrious town has expended for new roads and streets since 1870, a period of eighteen years - exclusive of general appropriations for repairing highways and bridges, which is generally from $3000 to $5000 annually - $53,682.

Aggregate expenditures on sidewalks in the same length of time has been $54,700. For the erection of new school-houses $20,700 has been expended within the last eighteen years.

The total expenses of the free public library have been $31,397. The town is now erecting a town hall, high school and memorial hall building, for which an appropriation has been voted of $65,000. The town's valuation for 1866 was $2,200,500; for 1887, $3,158,210. The population is now about 7000. But above all, Southbridge is justly proud of its large number of homes which its working people and business men have made for themselves. Also in having the largest YOUNG MEN's CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION in the world in proportion to the number of its inhabitants.

Individual ownership began here one hundred and fifty-eight years ago. In going back to note the early settlements, we are necessarily confined wholly to the public records of the town of Sturbridge. The records of Dudley and Charlton, were they consulted, would shed little light in matters of much importance. The first effort will be to locate some of the old lines, as laid by the first proprietors, upon the portion of their lands that may be seen from Clemence Hill.

A section of the old Oxford line is found in the west line of Mr J T McKinstry's house-lot upon running south about four degrees east, it crossed the river just below HAMILTON WOOLEN COMPANY's lower mill, passing near the centre of CHAPIN's block, corner of Hamilton and Crane Streets, along near the centre of WHITFORD's block, corner of Hamilton and Main, and to near the centre of the new town hall building.

Lot 20 east, of the proprietor's first division, is south of Mr. W F McKinstry's farm. It was bounded east on Oxford line, and carrying the same length of Mr. McKinstry's lot westward, extended south to the river. It is that part of the valley of McKinstry Brook next to the river, and is westward of the Cliff and Clemence Hill. It was drawn to the original right of Abraham Harding.

Over the river there was a tier of four lots between the valley beyond the bend of the river above the Big Pond and the line between the homesteads of the late Deacon Henry Fiske and land formerly owned by Mr J J Oakes. The lines ran from the river, south 40 degrees west, and the long lots abutted on a line running east 40 degrees south, which is believed to be the north bounds of the farm of the late Mr Palmer Harding. The position of the first line is now marked by a sunken wall in the HAMILTON WOOLEN COMPANY's pasture, the line extending to the river again below the shuttle shop 192 rods, and this lot number 61, bounded everywhere else by the river, was drawn to the original right of Samuel Ellis. Lot Number 60, bounded northwest by 61, extended on that line 160 rods then east 40 degrees south 68 rods, north 40 degrees east 153 rods, striking the river not far from the "Big Dam". Joseph Clark was the original proprietor. Lot Number 62, drawn by James Denison, original proprietor, was parallel, 60 rods wide, extended on the river to a little below Mr. Gleason's store. It was 217 rods on its long or southeast side. Lot Number 63 drawn by Ezra Bourne, original proprietor, "Begins at the river" (point of termination of Lot 62), runs E. 40 degrees S. 64 rds, S. 40 degrees W. 217 rds, West 40 degrees N. 64 rds, N. 40 degrees E. 217 rds to the beginning. Traces of the southeast line of this lot can be seen, as stated above, also between the house-lot of Mr. H M Fiske and Mr Rowley. Lot Number 65 "begins where Oxford line crosses the river, south along the line 116 rds, W. 40 degrees N. 124 rds, N. 40 degrees E. 23 rds, W. 40 degrees N. 64 rds, N. 40 degrees E. 23 rds. W. 40 N. 64 rds to the river, along the river to the beginning." Drawn to original right of Ezra Clark. Lot Number 65, drawn to original right of Thomas Learned, of Oxford, was bounded northwest on 63, northeast on 64, east on Oxford line, southwest on undivided land; begins in the line of 63, runs east 40 degrees south 124 rods to Oxford line (corner of 64), south on Oxford line 104 rods, west 48 degrees north 158 rods, south 40 degrees west 45 rods, west 48 degrees north 33 rods, east 40 degrees south to first corner. This Lot, Number 65, was purchased by Capt. Moses Marcy; also all that part of Lot Number 64 northward of it, lying eastward of a continuation of the northwest line of 65 to the river. Mr. Marcy, finding an eligible site upon these lots, there established his homestead, building a large house in 1740, which still remains. The noble old house has had good care, and shows no outward signs of decay. It may as well be said here that Mr. Marcy owned four hundred acres ajoining upon the Oxford side of the line. The long Lot Number 63, next to Mr Marcy's, was purchased and probably settled by Moses Clark.

James Denison had at first two shares - two-fiftieths of the proprietors' land. Hensdale Clark purchased one of Mr Denison's shares and in that way came in possession of Lot 62, and built his house where Mr Harvey Newell lives and his barn on the opposite side of the road, farther west on the westward slope of the hill. He subsequently owned all the land to the bend of the river, Lots 60 and 61, and when the large estate was divided among his children, other old Clark homesteads were built. Besides Mr Marcy and Hensdale Clark, the settlers known to have been located within the limits of Southbridge before Sturbridge was incorporated, were: Jonathan Perry, site of the old homestead of the late Mr R N Harding; James Denison, near the residence of the late Mr Lewis Morse; Jonathan Mason, now James H Mason; Joseph Morse, now Andrew H Morse, and Daniel Thurston, somewhere southerly of Mr Marcy.

First Road

In March, 1739 (our dating), the first road was laid within the limits of this town. It began at the meeting-house in Sturbridge, past the dwellings of Deacon Isaac Newell, Mr Rice, Deacon Daniel Fiske, Henry Fiske, Mr "Martains", Henry Hooker, "thence southerly by the house where Ebenezar Stearns dwells, so on the south end of a hill; then leaving the old path, turning down the river to a white pine, then through the river, then turning up the river to the old path, thence running southerly in the old path till it comes to where the trees are newly marked for a road, still keeping a southerly course to where the southeast corner of Lot number 66 is marked, thence running southward by a line of marked trees, east of a small frame house, thence keeping much the same course to the west of Jonathan Mason's house, thence to the west of Joseph Morse's house. So near the same course to the common land."

It will be understood that the "old path" mentioned here was an old Brookfield and Woodstock road. This first town-way intersected it near the residence of Mrs. F W Emmons, at which point there is mention of the "path or road leading from Brookfield to Woodstock," entered upon the proprietor's records in 1730, before any settlements were made here. The dwelling of Ebenezer Stearns was upon the place now owned by Mrs Malcom Ammidown, in Sturbridge, and the above road passed down the slope, by the brick-yard to the river. On Southbridge side of the river, traces of this road (and consequently the ancient path) may be seen in the pasture-land upon the side hill above the residence of Mr C D Chace.

The second road laid out by the town of Sturbridge within the territory now in Southbridge is dated most four years later, viz., December, 1742. It began at a white "oke" tree beside the old path down the river below the shuttle-shop, and in winding up the side hill it passed a "grate Rock In the old fence," to the "south side of the stock of a chimney," then "south of a swamp hole," and from this point, near Mr Manning Plimpton's, the description appears to be identical with the present location of the road and South Street.

There was a line of marked trees to a "white oke" marked "ye north point of a hill," "thence to Hensdale Clark's barn - the road runs the north side of the four last bounds - thence south of s d Clark's now dwelling house, thence the north side of a heap of stones, on a little ledge, and a white oke tree marked, then to a heap of stones at the line of S D Marcy's land; S D heap of stones on the south side of the highway by said Marcy's fence." It appears that Mr Marcy was not at that time ready to have his land cut up with on Moses Marcy's roads. The location of the fence that the town ran against and stopped - carefully avoiding the heap of stones - was in front of the residence of Mr H M Fiske.

March 23, 1744 (our dating), a road was laid out and is described as "Beginning at the south side of the river, land, by a large rock: thence over the river north; thence turns westerly as near the river as in convenient till it comes to the old road now trod, to a pitch pine tree; thence to a black oak; then running a northerly course to a pitch pine near the line between Jabez Harding and Jonathan Perry." The road was described in its continuance by various marks until it "comes into the road that leads from Aaron Martin's to Denison Bridge." Aaron Martin's was where Mr Horatio Carpenter now lives, on Fiske Hill.

We find here that in 1744 Lot number 20 was owned by Jabez Harding, who was a son of Abraham Harding, original proprietor of that lot. The crossing of the river from the "large rock", in Mr Marcy's land was not far from the east end of the HAMILTON WOOLEN COMPANY's lower mill, and near Oxford line. From that point to Cliff Street the road can now be traced along the steep side-hill. The road went north of the pond called Pleasant, by where Dr L W Curtis now resides.

One year later, March 4, 1745, among the town's creditors we find: "Then Mr Hensdale Clark brought in his account, which was three pounds, twelve shillings, old tenor, for the sawing plank for the bridge". The location of Mr Clark's saw-mill will be referred to in another place.

In March, 1745, the above mentioned road was continued: "Beginning at a large rock the south side of the river in Mr Marcy's land, then runs southeasterly to a small pitch pine tree, then over a small run of water to the end of a rocky knoll; then turning more south to a great rock with stones upon it the west side of the road; thence near the same course by a fence the east side of the said road till it comes to the corner of said fence; then turns easterly by said Marcy's house and barn, which are the north side of this road; then a little more southerly to Oxford west line. Then this road begins again in Sturbridge, the west side of Mr Samuel Freeman's land. Then was laid out the Woodstock road over Lebanon Hill. The record gives the names of three settlers on the line of that road to Woodstock, - Nehemiah Underwood on the location long known as the Clark place, John Ryan just beyond, and where now is Southbridge Pauper Asylum was Joseph Hatch.

The road down under the cliff was never a popular way, and why it was located there is hard to understand, unless it might have been expected at the time that the town of Oxford would extend it to Mr Marcy's mills. The people preferred the fordway near Denison's Bridge, and in March, 1750, the town accepted a road "as now trod more easterly through Hensdale Clark's land, instead of the one from the ford up stream to Denison's Bridge". This road can be traced in the Hamilton Woolen Company's pasture land along the hill-side above the pond.

In March, 1753, an alteration was made. "From the meeting-house to Moses Marcy's. Beginning in Reuben Ellis's land the north side of the river, the north end of a knoll, then southerly to and over the river", etc. This road may be described more briefly; it began opposite the residence of Dr L W Curtis, passed the location of the company's "Big Mill", across the river in Hensdale Clark's land, turned a little east towards the Union Church, then southward into Moses Clark's land; thence over a small run, and up over the hill where it may now be seen in the pine grove on Main Street, This road united with that of 1745, from the Cliff Bridge, which entered South Street near the low house owned by Mr J J Oakes. The old road around by the bridge under the Cliff was then discontinued. Reuben Ellis built his house on that section of the road between Dr Curtis' residence and the river. That house and property was afterwards owned and occupied by Samuel Fiske, Sr., and when the Hamilton Woolen Company made their improvements at the "Brick Village" so called, it was moved to a back street, and there occupied until within a few years.

These roads that have been mentioned comprise all that were laid out in the part of Sturbridge now included in this town, previous to 1753.

It was about this time that two young men came in , whose descendants have been prominent in various departments of the town's progress and history.

Gershom Plimpton came on foot with his pack, gun, ammunition, etc. He married Martha, daughter of Moses Marcy, and they lived several years in a part of the clothing shop. He bought of his father for "9 pounds lawful money", ten acres of land in Sturbridge, bounded south on the Quinebaug, west by land of Jonathan Perry, northerly by the highway, and easterly by the land of Reuben Ellis. Deed dated April 21, 1759. Near the east end of this lot, the north side of the river, on a beautiful site, he built his house. The location is now occupied by Alden's magnificent block. A bridge at this place - now Main Street Iron Bridge - is mentioned in the town records along in the seventies of last century, and called "Gershom Plimpton's bridge". A more direct road, crossing Pleasant Pond, south of Gershom Plimpton's house, and over the river by the clothier's mill, superseded the one below, which crossed by Reuben Ellis' saw mill.

William McKinstry, of Scotch-Irish descent, landed from Ireland in 1741, without capital, except his own innate love of industry and frugality. He settled Lot number 19, next north of 20, where his great-grandson, Mr William F McKinstry, now resides. Mr William McKinstry married Mary, daughter of Joseph Morse, who , as well as Martha Marcy, had grown up in this new place.

To illustrate the times, the following is copied from Mr Moses Plimpton's "Historical Lectures" delivered before the Southbridge Lyceum, March, 1836:

From a person who, some years since, had an interview with the late Capt. Abel Mason, Sen., for the purpose of making inquiries, I have the following facts: "When Mr Jonathan Mason first came to this place, bears, wolves and deer were numerous, and made depredations upon the flocks of cattle and sheep and fields of grain.

"The people were in the habit of attending meeting at all times when it was possible to go. Mr Mason and those in his neighborhood had to travel 5 to 6 miles through the woods, and ford the Quinebaug in the summer, and they sometimes felled tress across to pass upon, which would remain until carried off by freshets. In winter the men of one neighborhood assembled early, and , by the aid of snow-shoes, or rackets beat a track, all going single file. The women and children would follow, and mothers often carried young children in their arms." Another incident of the lecturer's grandfather, Gershom Plimpton, is as follows: "Some years after he began, probably about 1756, there was nothing but a foot-path from this place to the old Col. Cheney house, so-called, which was near the place of Larkin Ammidown's factory. Coming from Col. Cheney's in the evening, and when near the place of the Columbian factory, he heard the howling of wolves not far from him, and he supposed they had seen or smelled him, and were collecting to pursue him. It may be imagined that his speed was soon increased to a maximum, and, being very active and swift of foot, he in a few minutes reached Mr. Freeman's in this village, and the wolves had to make other provision for their supper."


It was under such circumstances that, for more than twenty years, the little children were gathered from the scattered homes to receive the small amount of education which the times allotted to them. The first teacher in that part of Sturbridge now included in this town was Margaret Manning and she gathered her pupils at the house of James Denison, on the site of the homestead of the late Lewis Morse. The first school-house was built about twenty rods west of Mr Denison's house, in 1754. The first school district was all of Sturbridge, south of the river, that is included in this town. The school district in the Pratt neighborhood was established in 1770, and the centre district in 1775, the location of the Denison school-house being moved father south.


The first saw-mill in this town was built by Moses Marcy before November, 1733, to which he added a grist-mill before the last of September, 1736. The second saw-mill in this town and the first improvement of water-power in Globe Village was Hensdale Clark's, built before 1744 and situated on or near the site of a little mill, which (whatever is done in it now) was a grist-mill some twenty-five years ago. It was down the river, not far below Mr Gleason's store. This early saw-mill was subsequently owned by Reuben Ellis.

It will now be appropriate with the design and brevity of this article to pass lightly over a period of about half a century, a period of gradual growth in population and a corresponding change in the appearance of the country. New farms were wrought by the second and third generations from the first settlers. The whole surface of the town was brought to about the same general appearance - style of buildings excepted - as may now be seen in all the rural districts. Along the Quinebaug, the Marcy saw and grist-mill; and on the location of Globe Village, Gershom Plimpton's clothing-mill, and later his son's grist-mill, accommodated the agricultural community. Yet, in the midst of this half-century of quiet progress occurred that which formed a great epoch in the world's history - the American Revolution. Strong men went out from these homes to the conflict and helped to achieve the right of the people to govern themselves. Their names, so far as has been ascertained, are found on the rolls of the Revolutionary soldiers of the towns of Sturbridge and probably Charlton and Dudley. Some of those who survived the war were no less strong in the affairs of civil government, and their names are identified with the early movements that preceded and finally resulted in the establishment of the town of Southbridge.

The thought of a new town existed in the minds of far-seeing men when there were not above five hundred inhabitants in all the territory; and being put in an enduring form by the pen of Joshua Harding, and handed down by Moses Plimpton, is here inserted as an important link in the chain of movements between the early conditions and present developments.

At a meeting of parties interested, in 1796, a committee was appointed, consisting of Oliver Plimpton, Daniel Morse, Joshua Harding Jr., Asa Walker, Luther Ammidown, Eleazer Putney Jr., and James Dyer, to whom was referred the subject of forming a new town and who were to report thereon. They reported as follows:

Meeting House

The committee to whom was referred the subject of forming a number of the inhabitants of the southeast part of Sturbridge, southwest part of Charlton and west part of Dudley into a town, have attended that service, and beg leave to report as follows, viz.: The first article of instructions to your committee was to report the most convenient spot for a meeting house. In the public opinion, three spots have been referred to, at a moderate distance from each other. Your committee, having paid particular attention to each of them, are unanimous in their opinion that the central, which is a rising ground on Capt. Marcy's land, north of Col. Freeman's barn, concentrates convenience, elegance and beauty.

The second article of instruction to your committee was to report the principles on which said house is to be built. As it is natural to expect that in a class of citizens so numerous as is comprised in the proposed new town, there will be different sentiments in regard to modes of religious worship, this part, therefore, of your committee's instructions forms the most arduous and difficult task. But, as a liberal and conciliatory plan appears to be the general wish, your committee propose the following: That a subscription be opened to raise a sum sufficient to erect a frame and belfry for a meeting-house and complete the outside, and that the pews be sold at public vendue to complete the inside; that every denomination be equally privileged in said house, according to their interest therein; this clause, however, not to confirm the free use of said house to the minority, when the majority are not improving same.

Your committee foresee with concern that the liberality of this plan will be objected to by many respected characters as having a tendency to deprive the town of a stated, settled, Orthodox ministry, to which objection your committee beg leave to make the following observations:

1st The difference in sentiment betwixt the Congregationalists and Baptists is principally confined to the administration of the ordinance of Baptism, a very immaterial difference indeed. Were both parties seriously to reflect that religion consists in parity of heart, and give to no more weight and consideration to modes and forms of worship than they really deserve; and if a minister should be settled disposed to administer that ordinance in the manner most agreeable to the subjects of it, we might look forward to that wished-for period, when both parties might be happily united in one society.

2nd That every denomination being equally privileged in said house, according to their interests, will have a material tendency to unite and cement themselves together in one society.

3rd That there are comprised in the proposed town as large a number, and reputable both as to character and interest as new towns are generally composed of, (and) it would be ungenerous to say they were not as well disposed towards supporting the Gospel.

The third article of instructions to your committee was to ascertain the bounds of said town.

Your committee propose the following: Beginning at the Southeast corner, on the State line, to include James Haskell, Benjamin Stone, Thomas Cheney, Lieut. Eleazer Putney, Eliakim Chamberlain, Jesse Merritt, Paul Rich, Asa Dresser, Alexander Brown, John Chub, Joseph and William McKinstry, Jonathan Perry, to the river; thence include John Plimpton, Capt. Elias Plimpton, Fletcher Foster, Capt. Samuel Ellis, Jedediah Ellis, Simeon Mason and Chester May, to the State line. But as an actual survey will be necessary, before an act of incorporation can be applied for, your committee are of opinion to refer minute circumstances respecting boundaries to that period.

The fourth article of instruction to your committee was to report a plan of the meeting-house, which will accompany this report.

The fifth article of instruction to your committee was to see what number of persons will come forward to build said house. Although your committee as yet are not well enough informed to detail the particular disposition of every person, yet from what information your committee have already obtained, the disposition of the people appears to be very general in favor of the plan. Your committee propose to bring forward subscription papers at the present meeting, which will give that point the fairest decision; and all moneys, either by subscription or sales of pews, to be considered as binding, whenever an act of incorporation takes place, otherwise to be void and of no effect.

Your committee, in closing this report, are disposed to present to your view the geographical situation of the proposed town. The great parent of nature seems to have been profuse in his favors to this place. The Quinebaug River, which falls so nearly central through, with its excellent seats for mills and other water-works, and circumstances highly favorable tot he introduction of useful mechanics, and rendering it a place of activity and business. The goodness of the soil, with the excellent forests, abounding with all kinds of timber for building, are estimated of great consequence to the general plan.

Abstractly considered from the value it will add to the real estate, if we take into view the benefits that would naturally result from a religious society, where there are so large a number of youths, in forming their minds for accomplishments, usefulness and virtue, when they are at present, by reason of local situation, notoriously neglected are, in the opinion of your committee, considerations of so much weight that (they) ought to bear down obstacles that present themselves in the way of the accomplishment of an object so noble, so great and so good. From every view of the subject your committee recommend, with steadiness, energy and vigor, to take the most effectual measures to carry into complete effect an object of so much consequence as soon as time and other circumstances will permit (Report made February 29, 1796)

This report was signed by the whole committee, and undoubtedly expressed their views and feelings; but it is due to one of them (says Moses Plimpton) "to state that it was from the pen of Joshua Harding, who was usually required to draft instruments of this kind; and it will, perhaps, be sufficient commendation of the report and of its author to say that it discovers sound judgment and ability, and, in particular, that the candid and liberal views and high moral tone which pervade it throughout were literally but specimens of his pure and benevolent mind."

Twenty years afterwards the purpose in the minds of the people, so well expressed in the foregoing report of the committee, resulted in the formation of a new town. Their object was retarded by the opposition of all three of the old towns and more especially of Sturbridge, that town being unwilling to lose so much of her territory.


The meeting-house, however, was built and a poll parish formed. The meeting-house frame was raised under the direction of William Love, July 4th, 1797, and this first public building within the limits of this town was dedicated July 4th, 1800, which was, of course, just eighty-eight years before the laying of the corner-stone of Southbridge's magnificent Town Hall.

The act erecting a poll parish here was approved February 28, 1801. The preamble of the act containing the reasons for the same is as follows: "Whereas, for the convenience and satisfaction of a number of the inhabitants of the towns of Sturbridge, Charlton and Dudley, in the county of Worcester, with respect to their attending public worship, it is found necessary to set them off, and erect them into a poll parish." The names of ninety legal voters were affixed to the act. The number of acres of land included in the estates taken from each of the three towns was: Dudley: 2229; Sturbridge: 9445; Charlton: 2429. The parish was known by the name of "Honest town."

The agitation for a new town was commenced again in 1811, and continued from year to year until an act of incorporation was obtained.


In March, 1814, Oliver Plimpton was chosen an agent "to attend the next session of the general court, and use his endeavors to obtain an order of notice, or at least an examining committee, for business, relative to being set off as a town." In May following, Major Calvin Ammidown was chosen[]]]

an additional agent to attend the General Court. At another special meeting, December 6, 1814, Jason Morse was chosed as an additional agent, and Joshua Harding, Gershom Plimpton and Fordyce Foster a committee to draft an act of incorporation. On the subject of a name for the new town, all were invited to bring forward their favorite, and a committee of five was chosen to select from the list. This committee was: Abel Mason, Sr., Joshua Harding, Gershom Plimpton, Fordyce Foster and Jacob Endicott. The venerable Captain Abel Mason, Sr., brought in the name of Southbridge. The committee selected from the list the names of Southbridge and Quinebaug for the consideration of the parish, and Southbridge obtained the vote. New agents were chosen in March, 1815, viz: Calvin Ammidown, Frederick W. Bottom and James Wolcott.


The "act to incorporate the town of Southbridge" was approved by the Governor and thus became a law February 15, 1816.


The warrant for the first town-meeting was issued by Oliver Plimpton, Esq. To Dexter Clark, dated "February 21, 1816," directing the calling of the legal voters "to assemble at the meeting-house, where the parish meetings have heretofore been held," March 6, 1816.

At this meeting the following were elected, to wit: Moderator, Gershom Plimpton; Town Clerk, Timothy Paige; Town Treasurer, Luther Ammidown, Sr.; Selectmen, Gershom Plimpton, Samuel Fiske, Joshua Mason, William Morris and Fordyce Foster; Assessors, John McKinstry, Edward Baylis and Joseph Marcy; Constable, Dexter Clark.

At that time was founded a new town, eighty-three or four years after the entrance of the first settler, and seventy-six years after the Marcy house was built.

The limits of this article will not admit of anything like a history in detail of the seventy-two years intervening between that and the present. The aim will be to illustrate to some extent the remarkable growth in the various departments, forming the conditions which make this as high as the seventh town in population, and other characteristics, in the county. It being allowable only to bring out the prominent features which make up the main issue, it is seen that in the elimination of a portion of the large amount of date in hand, much of interest, and many persons and factors of importance, must necessarily be excluded.

The population of this town was in 1820: 1066; 1830: 1444; 1850: 2824; 1875: 5740; 1885: 6500. The increase since 1850 has been mainly from immigrants and their descendants. They are German, Scotch, English, Irish and Canadians; the latter being the most numerous. The English and Scotch are few - mostly skillful workmen in some of the departments of manufactures. The honest labor of the frugal people has formed the base of every enterprise in the progress here for the last forty years. We see the marks of their toil in every structure and excavation, and in every product of the mill and the workshop. These immigrants came here poor, and as a rule have become well to do - some are wealthy; and the rising generation are having the benefit of the educational, moral and social advantages bestowed by the capital which their fathers have helped to create in this place. Constituting two-thirds of the population, it is hopeful for the future welfare of the town that a goodly number are advancing with vigor in the various enterprises, and in the formations that serve to promote temperance and the best interest of the community.

Appropriations for all purposes the first year of the town were: $1,600; 1830: $,1600; 1839: $5,493; 1848: $3,200; 1869: $35,864; 1880: $41,899; 1888: $45,000, exclusive of the special appropriation of $65,000 for the town hall. Valuation: Total in 1869: $2,124,796; 1879: $2,906,461; 1887: $3,158,210 - an increase of $1,033,414 in eighteen years.

Early Manufacturers and Extinct Corporations and Companies:

The business of manufacturing at the "Globe Village" began in 1814. The spinning was commenced in the old mill - linseed oil mill of Captain Gershom Plimpton - which stood near the road on the south side. The first owners were Thomas Upham, David Fiske, Samuel Newell, James Wolcott, Jr.; Perez B. Wolcott, Josiah I. Fiske, Francis Wheelock, Ephraim Angell, Moses Plimpton and Samuel L. Newell, a part of whom were incorporated by the name of the "Globe Manufacturing Company," in October, 1814. The same year this company erected the "Globe Mill", which still remains near the bridge. The factory building below the road was erected in 1815. It was at first, and until 1817, a cotton factory. In that year there was a division of the property among the owners, the south side being taken by James Wolcott, Perez B. Wolcott, Samuel A. Groves and Ephraim Angell, and the other side by the remaining proprietors. Additions were soon made to the south side, and the woolen business established, and in 1829, the owners of the other side, who still composed the "Globe Manufacturing Company," sold out the whole of their property to Mr. Wolcott and his company.

After the purchase from the "Globe Manufacturing Company," in February, 1820, James Wolcott, Jr., Perez B. Wolcott, and Samuel A. Groves were incorporated by the name of the "Wolcott Woolen Manufacturing Company," and the company was increased by new proprietors in Boston, who made investments to considerable amount. After the great misfortune occasioned by the falling of the dam, and the destruction of property it occasioned, the Boston owners determined to abandon the concern and get rid of their interest. In 1829 it passed into the hands of Messrs. Willard Sayles and Samuel A. Hitchcock, of Boston, and in 1832 they obtained a new act of incorporation by the name of the "Hamilton Woolen Company" (see Existing Corporations).

The factory afterwards owned by the "Dresser Manufacturing Company" was put in operation in 1814. It was then in Charlton, and the first water-power that side of the line. The owners were John Green, of Rhode Island, and William Sumner, the latter having the care of the business and living in this town. This privilege was owned in part by Major George Sumner, who erected clothing works below the cotton factory, and that business and wool-carding was continued until the whole became the property of S. H. Babcock, of Boston, by whom it was sold to Harvey Dresser. This cotton-mill, with all the real estate and machinery, was incorporated as the "Dresser Manufacturing Company," February 14, 1834; the corporators; were Harvey Dresser, Jerry Merritt, of Charlton, Samuel Stafford, of Providence, and Benjamin W. Kimball and their associates, with a corporate capital of seventy-five thousand dollars real estate, and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars personal estate. Subsequently reorganized under the same act, it continued in the name of the "Dresser Manufacturing Company" until the mill was destroyed by fire. The water-power is now un-employed

The Marcy privilege, located next below the preceding, with the saw-mill and grist-mill, became the property of Jedediah Marcy, Jr., grandson of the first proprietor, in 1789. The following year John Gray introduced at this place the clothier and wool-carding business; and, after conducting it about eight years, sold his interest to Zebina Abbott. Mr Abbott sold the clothier business to his brother-in-law, George Sumner, of Spencer, who came here about 1802. After Mr Sumner moved to the next privilege above (Dresser Manufacturing Company's), about 1814, a company was formed, and, after conducting business about two years as the "Charlton Manufacturing Company," were incorporated February, 1816, as the "Southbridge Factory Company, for the purpose of manufacturing wool in Southbridge." Two years afterwards the company failed, and the property passed back tot he heirs of the Marcy estate. This property had been in the name of the Marcy family ninety-five years, when, in 1827, it passed by deed from Hon. Jedediah Marcy to Deacon Elisha Cole. Mr. Cole deeded to Mr Royal Smith in 1832, who conveyed his whole interest, including the mills and water-power here and twelve acres of land, to Mr Ebenezer D. Ammidown, January 20, 1836; consideration, nine thousand dollars. The same day Mr Ammidown deeded this property to the Dresser Manufacturing Company, and that company conveyed the same, with additional power, to the Central Manufacturing Company, which was at that time organized by Mr. Ammidown. This company erected a mill in 1837, putting in 4480 spindles and other preparations, with 120 looms, for making fine shirting and sheeting.

On the 27th December, 1845, the company was re-organized, with the capital increased to $80,000 - $1,000 each share, subscribed for as follows, viz.: Ebenezer D. Ammidown, 40 shares; Linus Child, 10; Manning Leonard, 15; Chester A. Dresser, 15; the last two not being among the first corporators.

At the organization of this company E. D. Ammidown was elected agent, C.A. Dresser, superintendent, and M. Leonard, clerk.

In 1852, the manufacturing property was leased to Chester A. Dresser and Manning Leonard, who operated for the company on contract for a period of five years.

March 30, 1859, the whole estate was conveyed by Samuel M. Lane, as assignee of the Central Manufacturing Company, to Chester A. Dresser and Manning Leonard for forty thousand dollars, who operated as co-partners. The Mr. Dresser bought Mr Leonard's one-half interest for twenty-five thousand dollars, and organized the "Central Mills Company" to whom the whole estate was conveyed by deed dated February 16, 1863, for fifty thousand dollars. (See Central Mills Company).

Columbian Cotton Mill, located about a mile below the Marcy privilege. The first mill was erected in 1821. The business was conducted under a general partnership up to the year 1825. The owners were Ebenezer D. Ammidown, Lament Bacon, Samuel Hartwell, Moses Plimpton and Samuel L. Newell. Mr Newell lost his life by being caught in a belt. The other partners obtained an act of incorporation June, 1825.

The mill was destroyed by fire in December, 1844, and the water-power remained unused until 1856, when Hon. E. E. Ammidown erected a brick mill on the premises, and commenced the manufacture of cotton jeans and flannels. This business was afterwards conducted by his sons Malcolm and Henry C., to whom the property had been conveyed by deed. Lieutenant Malcolm Ammidown lost his life in the war. The property was then sold for the purpose of effecting a division of interests, and was purchased by the brother, who sold, in 1866, to Henry T. Grant, of Providence, R. I., consideration, thirty-seven thousand dollars. Mr Grant erected a large addition to the mill, and put in forty-seven hundred and thirty-six spindles and one hundred and eight looms, with other preparations for making print cloths. In 1879 a foreclosure brought about a public sale, and the property changed hands. Afterwards the mills were destroyed by fire, and the water-power was unused until purchased by the American Optical Company. (See American Optical Co.,)

ASHLAND was the former name of the location of the mills, the lowest down the river in this town. The first improvement of the water-power here was a saw-mill at the mouth of Lebanon Hill Brook, built by Adolphus Ammidown in 1831. His brother, Larkin Ammidown, built the first mill on the Quinebaug, at this point, in 1835, and began spinning cotton in 1836, and the same year sold the estate to Silas H. Kimball.

In 1843 it came into the hands of a mortgagee, who sold the estate in 1847, one-half to Stephen P. Irwin, one-fourth to Moses E. Irwin and the other fourth to W. A. J. Wilkinson. These grantees operated the mill about two years, until June 5, 1849, when the cotton-mill and machinery were destroyed by fire. The water-power, except for a saw-mill operated part of the time, was unused until sold to Mr James Saunders, of Providence, R.I., in 1864. Afterwards, the village that had been called Ashland became Sandersville (see later in the article).


In the War of the Rebellion, Southbridge bore an honorable part, with the expenditure of much money and the loss of many valuable lives. The selectmen during these eventful years were: Verney Fiske, Adolphus Merriam, Malcolm Ammidown, William C. Steadman, Manning Leonard and John O. McKinstry. The town clerk was Daniel F. Bacon. Samuel M. Lane was treasurer in the years 1861-64, and Daniel F. Bacon in 1865.

A special town-meeting was called May 6, 1861, to contrive measures for the aid of the government against the Rebellion, when the sum of eight thousand dollars was appropriated for raising and equipping a military company and for the support of the families of those who might enter the service. William Beecher, John O. McKinstry, John Edwards and Chester A. Dresser were united with the selectmen to form a committee to take charge of the appropriation and expend it "according to their best discretion." This committee were authorized to pay for each volunteer, who resided in the town, a dollar and a half each week to the wife and half a dollar to each child under twelve years of age, during the term of the volunteer's active service. The committee were also to pay to each enlisted man eight dollars a month while in active service and fifty cents for each half-day spent in preliminary drilling. On the 7th of October the selectmen were authorized to pay State aid to the families of soldiers, as provided by a law passed at the extra session of the Legislature.

July 1, 1862, the town voted to give a bounty to each soldier, not to exceed thirty-eight, the sum of one hundred dollars, to be paid when the soldier was mustered in to the military service for three years and credited tot he quota of the town.

In August, the same bounty, one hundred dollars, was voted to each volunteer, to the number of sixty, who should enlist in a nine months' regiment and be credited to the quota of the town.

In September, 1863, it was voted to pay State aid to families of drafted men as well as the families of volunteers; and in November to pay State aid to the families of men who had died or become disabled in the military service.

On June 20, 1964, the bounty to volunteers for three years' service was fixed at one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

On March 6, 1866, the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars was raised to refund to persons who had paid money upon subscriptions used for recruiting purposes.

The number of men furnished by the town for the war was four hundred, which was nineteen above all demands. Among them were four commissioned officers. The town expended on account of the war, exclusive of State aid, $17,313.65. For State aid, half of which was refunded by the State, $18,367.98. Individuals voluntarily contributed $5757 more than was refunded by the town. The ladies worked with increased interest until there was no further call for supplies. The Soldiers' Aid Society sent money and other other contributions to the amount of nearly $1200.

The auditing committee for the year 1866 reported in the words following, referring to the list of soldiers on the records of the town:

Below we give a list of those who have served in the Federal army as soldiers during the late war, and, so far as is known, their record. It is, indeed, a Roll of Honor, to which we shall be proud to refer as our attestation of the loyalty and devotion of our people to the Union of the States, and the cause of republican liberty. There are among them few of rank, but all are of honor, save in one or two instances, and served their country well in all the vicissitudes of the war; and we desire to perpetuate the memory of the fallen and the title of the living braves, by inscribing their names upon our public Records as part of our debt of gratitude to them.

Second Infantry- C.O.McKinstry (sergeant), re-enlisted in the same; promoted second lieutenant.

Fourth Infantry- James Ryan

Fifth Infantry - William P. Plimpton, second enlistment

Ninth Infantry - Edward Byrne, Augustus Benway, John Gleason, killed at Gaines' Mill, Virginia, June 27, 1862,; Patrick Maher, killed at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862; John Innis.

Tenth Infantry - George W. Hersey, David F. Smith

Twelfth Infantry - John C. Freeman, died a prisoner at Florence, South California, February, 1865

Thirteenth Infantry - Charles C. Bigelow, L. A. Chapman, Albert E. Morse.

Fourteenth Infantry - Porter Plimpton

Fifteenth Infantry - Conrad Anthon, Alexander Bryson, James C. Barlow, Sanford Bottom, Peter Cain, was previously in Fort Sumter when bombarded, April 14, 1861; Watson Cheney, Henry M. Carpenter, George W. Faulkner, promoted to commissary sergeant; Charles M. Hersey, William F. Miller, corporal; Eliot F. McKinstry, re-enlisted; Lucian G. Lamb, W. H. Nichols, William H. Smith.

Eighteenth Infantry - David Brown.

Twenty-first Infantry - Timothy Cranny, James Bryson, died of fever at Annapolis, Maryland, November 27, 1861, the first martyr from this town; Lucian Convers, Timothy Collins, killed in battle at Newbern, North Carolina, March 14, 1862; Charles H. Greenleaf, Joseph Harman, killed in battle Roanoke Island, Feburary 8, 1862; Charles L. Horton, Dennis Mahan, Charles W. Melleney, Samuel H. Marble, re-enlisted; Samuel G. Irish, James S. O'Brien, Oliver Stone, Albert Saunder, Waldo Vinton, Edward Wald, Lucian W. Spencer.

Twenty-second Infantry - Nathan B. Angell, Benjamin S. Aldrich, Harrison A. Bond, corporal, died August 22, 1863, from a gun-shot wound received at Gettysburg; John L. Bartlett, Andrew J. Clark, Henri Elkins, died August 4, 1862, from wounds received at Gaines' ill; David R. Horton, Anson Morse, J. Marra, John F. Pratt, Daniel Walker, sergeant.

Twenty-fourth Infantry - Marvin G. Marcy re-enlisted; Louis Rivers by transfer; Andrew H. Morse by transfer.

Twenty-fifty Infantry - John E. Bassett, Samuel S. Dresser, James A. McKinstry, Elias M. McKinstry, A. J. McKinstry, John G. Leach, George Link, Dwight Moore, John Ryan, John Stone, Alonzo Vinton, first enlistment

Thirty-fourth Infantry - Malcolm Ammidown, second lieutenant, taken prisoner at Newmarket, Virginia, May 15, 1864, and died at Charleston, South Carolina, October 1, 1864; his name is given to Post 168, Department of Massachussetts, G.A.R.; Eber C. Pratt, first enlistment; Francis Armes, first enlistment; Linus C. Albee, Nathan B. Angell, second enlistment; John Bryson, was in Andersonville prison-pen; Albert O. Blanchard, killed by accident, May 26, 1864; Stephen Blackmar, sergeant died at Harper's Ferry, March 4, 1864; Charles E. Blackmar, Edwin Bennett, Sanford Broadbent, Edwin S. Beecher, Michael Bowler, W. H. H. Cheney, member of the band; George W. Corey, sergeant; Joseph B. Corey, Walter B. Cutting killed in battle at Stickney's Farm, October 13, 1864; Arnold Capron, killed in battle June 5, 1864, at Piedmont, Virginia; George Congdon, George H. Dean, sergeant; George F. Fiske, died May 2nd, 1864; David Fairfield, Arthur I. Fox, killed in battle at Piedmont, Va; Henry C Green, George E. Hubbard, Frederick Holmes, David Marcy, William B. Morse, John Mack, Patrick Moriarity, David T. T. Litchfield member of band; J. H. Lumbard, Ebenezer Leach, Andrew . Morse, Transferred to Twenty-fourth; Munroe Reynolds, William A. Sears, died of wounds June 18, 1864; Paul Sarboro, S Judson Tiffany, died at Andersonville slaughter-pen, Ga.; Kayson Tiernay, Alexander Wald.

Thirty-eight Infantry - Dr. S. C. Hartwell, volunteer surgeon to the Army of the Potomac from April 9 to May 17, 1862; afterwards surgeon of Thirty-eight Massachusetts, and also Medical director of General Emory's division; resigned March 2, 1864; Andrew J. Plimpton, surgeon's assistant.

Thirty-ninth Infantry - William P. Plimpton, third enlistment.

Fortieth Infantry - Richmond Barrett, sergeant; George Eccleston, William E. Horton, Alden Potter.

Forty-second Infantry - James A. Knight, died in the service.

Forty-fourth Infantry - Samuel S. Perry

Forty-fifth Infantry - Frank H. Dean, Charles H. Leonard, Barnard A. Leonard, Charles A. Howard, James H. Mason, Edwin T. Morse, Danforth K. Olney, member of the band; William P. Plimpton, first enlistment; Charles B. Sumner, Edwin E. Tiffany, first enlistment.

Fifty-first Infantry - Edward Armes, Charles G. Blanchard, Thomas Burns, Henry M. Clemence, Philip Cain, Flavius J. Cheney, Joseph Corey, William B. card, James J. Callahan, Ewin Dexter, first enlistment; Marcus Dillabar, James Flynn, first sergeant; Luther S. Fox, Charles Green, George S. Lafflin, drummer; Albert Holmes, George A. Hanson, Fitz Henry Hall, Adelbert O. Horne, first enlistment; Philip W. Harris, Charles N. Hager, Frederick Kind, James J. Leary, first enlistment; W. O. Mason, first enlsitment; John Murray, Joseph Moore, first enlistment; Norval Newell, William H. Parsons, William Ryan, first enlistment; Thomas Ratigan, Francis F. Spencer, Thomas A. Stone, sergeant; Terence Smith, Alvin S. Streeter, William Sabin, first enlistment; Leonard G. Webster, John K. Walker.

Fifty-fourth Infantry- John Tanner, killed July 13, 1864.

Fifty-seventh Infantry- John Tully, Thirty-fourth, enlisted in Co. A, Fifty-seventh, and died at Alexandria, Va., May 16, 1865.

Sixty-first Infantry- William O'Brien, killed at Petersburg, Va.

Sixty-second Infantry- John W. Clark

Other Massachusetts Organizations:

Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Regulars- John R Amidon

First cavalry-William H. Belknap, died at Hartford, Conn., December 17, 1864; Ambrose Fogle, David Stone.

Fourth Cavalry- Robert S. Bryson, Edward Egan, James Flynn, second enlistment; Edward C. Hughes, bugler; Francis Heffenan, James J. Leary, second enlistment; Joseph Link, Peter Porter, farrier; John Powers, William Ryan, second enlistment, corporal; Jason G. Smith, first sergeant, second enlistment; William Shumaker, died at Andersonville slaughter-pen, Ga.; John Spencer, died November 19, 1864; Everett A. Town.

Fifty Cavalry- George W. Coffin (colored), died May 17, 1864; William G. Coffin (colored).

Second Battery, Light Artillery- Henry B. Blodgett, John D. Fiske, sergeant, Nim's Battery, re-enlisted in the same.

Third (B) Battery- Henry G. Ammidown, George blacker, died at Hall's Hill, 1862.

Fifth Battery- Frank A. Prescott, clerk of battery.

Second Heavy Artillery- Watson Cheney, Edwin Dexter, second enlistment; John A. Frost, died at Newbern, N.C. October 19, 1864; John W. Lucia, Isaac F. Irish, John Kelly, died May 17, 1865; James S. O'Brien, second enlistment, died at Andersonville, prison-pen, Ga., August 29, 1864; Thomas O'Harry, George Remington, Albert Saunders, second enlistment; Charles Seymour, died a prisoner at Charleston, S.C.; Alonzo Vinton, second enlistment; Albertus A. Wilbur.

Holden Riflemen- Henry G. Ammidown.

Fifteenth Battery (bought)- Joseph Coburn, James Conologue, John Devins, John Gilmore, James Gayton, Theodore C. Lewis, Edward Murry, George T. Brown, William Dewitt, Samuel Newhall, William Ripley, Aaron Bell, Thomas Brown, John Miller, Thomas McIntire, James McDonald, Jones Riley, Goerge Rickert, Patrick Quinn, William D. Wadell, George H. Cutter, Edward Farrell, Thomas Higgins, Charles Hersey, James A. Johnson, John Kinney, John E. Mathews, John Williamson, Michael Walker, George Hazlett, Peter McPhail, John Scott, Daniel Boyce, Albert Burton, George Reese, raymond Russell, John Smidt, Charles Sherman, Frank Turner, Henry Vince.

Sixth United States Colored Troops- Eber C. Pratt, second enlistment, second lieutenant, acting on the staff of Colonel Duncan, and died December 15, 1864, of wounds received at Chapin's Bluff, Va., September 29, 1864.

Corcoran Legion- Timothy Cranney, second enlistment, and was promoted to first lieutenant.

Second District Columbia- Samuel F. Plimpton, promoted commissary sergeant, died March 6, 1864; Francis D. Plimpton, died June, 1865.

United States Cavalry, Regulars- Andrew L. Bigelow.

Organization Unknown- Austin Stevens, E.N. Robbins, Henry E. Gilbert.

Organizations of other States:

Third Battery, Rhode Island- William Calvert, re-enlisted.

Fifteenth Battery, Rhode Island- H. W. Brown.

Third Cavalry, Rhode Island- Philip Cain, second enlistment, died at New Orleans.

Seventh Infantry, Connecticut- David Bryson, died at Folly Island, S.C., July 10 1863. Joseph Goodale, Oliver H. Mason Sergeant.

Eleventh Infantry, Connecticut- Francis Armes, second enlistment.

Eighteenth Infantry Connecticut- E. P. Bowen.

First Cavalry, New Hampshire- Calvin Clafflin, quartermaster-sergeant.

Seventh Infantry, New Hampshire- Sanford Bottom, killed before Petersburg, Va., September 10, 1864.

Fourth Infantry, Vermont- Rev. Salem M. Plimpton, Chaplain.

Seventh Infantry, Vermont- Philip Lucia, was in Andersonville prison-pen ten months.

Thirty-sixth Infantry, New York- Bernard Flynn.

Thirty-seventh Infantry, New York- Stanley F. Newell, second lieutenant.

Thirteenth Battery, New York- Stanley F. Newell, second enlistment, second lieutenant.

Tenth Cavalry, New York- Warren F. Sikes.

Sixteenth Cavalry, Iowa- Edwin T. Plimpton, died June 15, 1862.

Navy- William Blute, John Burns, frigate "Santee"; Cornelius Cummins, West Gulf Squadron, ship "Lackawana", Michael Eagan, gunboat "Tasca"; F. A. Hurd, Gunboat "Kennebec"; Dennis Kahay, Alexander Longmore, frigate "Santee"; Charles L. Newhall, frigate "Minnesota" and San Jacinto"; Joseph Olney, frigate "Cumberland".

Mention of: Captain Salem Marsh, fell at Chancellorsville, May 1, 1863, in command of the Second United States Regulars, twenty-eight years of age, a graduate of West Point in 1860, a native of this town.

The foregoing list is rearranged from a list having the names in alphabetical order, found in a historical sketch of Southbridge by Holmes Ammidown, Esq.

Grand Army of the Republic:

Malcolm Ammidown Post, No. 168, department of Massachusetts, G.A.R., has a fine organization, and the town will furnish them with a Memorial Hall and convenient quarters in the new Town-Hall building. The present commander is Edwin T. Morse.

Auxiliary to this is the Malcolm Ammidown Relief Corps, No. 71, conducted with much interest and efficiency by the ladies.

Southbridge Light Infantry:

The grant for a new military company in Southbridge, to be attached to the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, was signed by Oliver Ames, Governor and commander-in-chief, March 26, 1888. The company was organized as Company K, and attached tot he Sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. Officers elected were,- Captain, John M. Cochran; First Lieutenant W. F. Heron; Second Lieutenant, F. E. Newbury. Permanent quarters were prepared for the company in M. J. Suprenaut's new block on Central Street. A dedication and reception of visitors occurred there December 20, 1888.

Religious Societies, Churches and Ministers


The Congregational Church originated from a withdrawal of twenty-one members of the Congregational Church in Sturbridge. They were residents in the poll parish that was established here by an act of the Legislature, February 28, 1801. These members were dismissed from the church in Sturbridge, and organized this church on the 16th day of September following. This small colony united in their public religious worship with the Universalists, Baptists and Methodists in the parish meeting house. With the addition of five more members, this was the condition of the church when the parish was, by an act of the Legislature, made a town by the name of Southbridge, February 15, 1816. The church members now number two hundred and fifty-six, and two hundred and seventy-five attend the Sunday-school. Sunday-school superintendent, H. R. Beecher.

The "Congregational Religious Society in Southbridge" was incorporated December 13, 1816. There were sixty-two original corporators, "with their families and estates, together with such others as my hereafter associate with them, and their successors." August 28, 1818, for the consideration of eighteen hundred dollars, the society obtained of Major Calvin Ammidown the deed of one and one-fourth acres of land, with a house designed for a parsonage. Their meeting-house was erected in 1821, and dedicated January 1, 1822. The house was remodeled in 1839, and dedicated anew September 5th, and again repaired and some changes made in 1869.; re-dedicated September 24th. This house was removed, and a large and elegant edifice of brick erected on the same site, which was dedicated in October, 1885; located on Elm Street.

Pastors: Rev. Messrs. Jason Park, 1816-32; Henry J. Lamb, 1833-35; Eber Carpenter, 1835-64; Edwin B. Palmer, 1864-69; E. L. Jaggar, 1869-72; J. E. Fullerton, 1873-76; Joseph Danielson, 1877-88; Charles H. Pettibone, 1888.

Deacons: Asa Walker, 1801-14; Daniel Morse, 1801-32; Henry Haynes, 1831-39; Josiah Hayward, 1839-42; Elbridge G. Harding, 1837-51; Jonathan Cutting, 1842-75; Samuel M. Lane, 1851-86; William P. Plimpton, 1875; E. S. Swift 1886.


The First Baptist Church of Southbridge was established January 28, 1817. It was composed of a colony of twenty-six, of both sexes, who withdrew from the Baptist Church of Sturbridge.

The Central Baptist Church originated in some differences in the management of the prudential affairs of the First Baptist Church and Society, when, for the sake of harmony and peace, a majority of the members of that church withdrew their membership in 1842, and on Sunday, the 18th of September following organized themselves into a new church by the name of "The Central Baptist Church of Southbridge."

Before the division the First Baptist Church had about one hundred and seventy-five members; afterwards, in the course of a few years, the old church became extinct. The Central Baptist Church had, in 1885, one hundred and eighty-two members. The church and society are both in prosperous circumstances. Three only of the twenty-four churches that form the Worcester Baptist Association have contributed more for outside charitable and religious purposes. Their Sunday-school has a membership of one hundred and seventy-eight, consisting of thirteen classes and teachers. Their Sunday-school library is large, and is mainly supported by the annual income from a fund left for the purpose by one of the town's business men, the late John Edwards, Esq.

A society was incorporated by the name of the "First Baptist Society of Southbridge", January 29, 1822. Other denominations held meetings in the old parish meeting-house occasionally until 1835. At that time the house was sold at auction, bought, repaired and sold again in the form of slips, the deeds of which limited the kind of preaching to that of the Baptist belief.

In the year 1841, an association was formed and incorporated, styled the "Southbridge Baptist Meeting house Association". Measures were taken for erection of a new house, which was completed and dedicated on Wednesday, October 25, 1848. This building was burned on the evening of the 14th, of November, 1863, and entirely destroyed.

The society erected and finished, in the year 1866, at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars, the substantial and fine-looking brick edifice they now occupy. The organ, the cost of which was two thousand dollars, was given by Chester A. Dresser, Esq., and the late John Edwards, Esq., the whole being the sole property of the society. They have recently purchased a handsome parsonage, and are entirely free from debt.

Pastors: Rev. Messrs. George Angell, 1816, died 1827; Addison Parker, 1827-32; David C. Bowles, 1833-35; Joseph G. Binney, 1835-37; Sewell S. Cutting, 1837-45; C. P. Grosvenor, last pastor of the First Church, 1842-44; Timothy G. Freeman, 1845-47; Oakman S. Stearns, D.D., 1847-54; Shubal S. Parker, 1855-67; B. F. Bronson, 1867-73; H. H. Rhees; A. G. Upham, 1877-83; Goram Easterbrooks 1884.

Deacons :First Church:

Cyrus Ammidown, 1817-21; Joshua Vinton, 1817-21; Elisha Cole, 1821-44; Samuel Fiske, 1821-35; Marvin Cheney, 1835-44.

Deacons Central Baptist Church:

Marvin Cheney, Henry Fiske, Adoniram Coombs, Charles E. Steward, Alpha M. Cheney, 1878; Joseph F. Esten, 1883-85; Lucius E. Ammidown, 1885.


During the existence of the poll parish the several families of Methodists here joined in support of religious worship with the other denominations, and occasionally had a preacher of their own belief. In the year 1832, they for the first time maintained separate worship in Southbridge. Their meetings were held in the district school-house in the Globe Village for a period of nearly six years. The Rev. Hezekiah Davis of Dudley, conducted services there the first year or two.

When their church was formed, in 1834, the Methodist Conference provided for this new church. Rev. F. P. Tracy was placed here, a young man about nineteen years of age. He was an able scholar and possessed remarkable powers of eloquence. The church and society increased rapidly under his ministry. It soon became necessary to obtain larger quarters to accommodate the crowds of eager listeners,

In the year 1840 this society moved into the second story of the old Globe Factory, and held their meetings there about three years. At the close of this period it was decided to take measures for erecting a meeting-house. An eligible location was obtained through the liberality of Jedediah Marcy, Esq., and during the year 1843 the Methodist Church was built. Since 1870 it has been remodeled and beautiful inside and out. It is located on Main Street, opposite the Marcy house.

The present number of church members (1888) is one hundred and seventy-eight. The Sabbath-school, George T. McVey, superintendent, has two hundred members. The ministers furnished them by the Methodist Conference, since they entered their own house, are as follows: Rev. Messrs. Stephen P. Cushing, 1844; L. R. Thayer, 1845-46; Chester Field, 1847; Mark Staples, 1848-49; Charles McKedding, 1850; William R. Raynall, 1851-52; David Sherman, 185354; Joseph Denison, 1855; John Calwell, 1856; J. B. Bigelow, 1857-58; Ichabod Marcy, 1859-60; I. W. Morey, 1861-62; N. D. George, 1863; T. J. Abbott, 1864; J. W. Lewis, 1865-67; W. A. Braman, 1868-69; William Silverthorn, 1870-72; W. A. Nottage, 1873-75; John C. Smith 1876-78; E. S. Best, 1879; J. M. Avann, 1880-82; G. Beekman, 1883-84; W. J. Pomfret, 1885-87; N. Fellows; 1888.


Universalism was strong, even in the days of the parish, and they continued their right and occasional occupancy in the parish meeting-house until it became exclusively the property of the Baptist Society in 1835.

In 1838, the form of constitution as contained in the Revised Statutes of Massachusetts, in Chapter XX., Sections 26,27 and 28, was circulated, and eighty signatures were obtained as male members. Preliminary steps having been taken, the first meeting of the society was held at the New England Hotel (located on the present site of the Edwards house), April 14, 1838, and was called to order by Benjamin D. Hyde Esq., when the proper officers were elected for the organization of the society. It was voted that the society be called by the name of The First Universalist Society of Southbridge.

Their meetings were held, first in Dr. Hartwell's Hall, afterwards in the then new Town Hall. Their present church building, corner of Hamilton and Main Streets, was erected and the bell purchased in 1842.

Pastors: Rev Messrs. John Boyden, 1838-40; Franklin Whitaker, 1841-43; J. M. Usher, 1844,; R. O. Williams, 1845-46; Day K. Lee, 1847-49; B. F. Bowles, 1850-51; Mr Cambridge and Mr. Eliot, 1852; J. W. Lawton, 1853-55; John Nichols and B. F. Bowles, 1856; W. W. Wilson, 1857-63; A. B. Hervey, 1864- F. C. Flint, B. V. Stevenson, Frank McGuire, 1882-88; Ephraim A. Reed 1888. Sunday-school Superintendent, George C. Winter.

Evangelical Free Church, Globe Village:

This church had its origin in a movement of some of the members of the other evangelical churches of this town. A conference was held in this village in December, 1853, when it was unanimously decided: "That the necessities of this village require established preaching and the ordinances of the gospel; and that it is the duty of Christians in this vicinity to unite in the support of this object." At a meeting held January 21, 1854, the Rev. G. Trask, of Fitchburg, Rev. Oakman S. Stearns and D. Sherman, of Southbridge, were present and united their efforts in sustaining the measures for laying the foundation of this church. Statements of the necessities and motives for prompt action in its favor were made by L. W. Curtis, M.D., George Hanson, Robert Elliot and Oliver Plimpton. The Evangelical Free Church was then organized, with twenty-nine members, - eleven males and eighteen females, - who were originally connected with the Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Protestant Episcopal Churches.

Public worship was held in Gothic Hall until 1869, when the Hamilton Woolen Company placed at the disposal of the society a beautiful and capacious brick church.

The success of this movement has proved that Christian unity, ignoring sectarian divisions, does not decrease the interest felt for religious services, but tends to greater sympathy and purer motives, producing harmony and prosperity. Number of members in the church, one hundred and sixty-one. The Sunday-school numbers one hundred and forty, B.U. Bugbee, superintendent.


Rev. Messrs. J. Cunningham, 1855; W. C. Whitcomb, 1856-57; Henry Loomis, 1859; Thomas Morony, 1860-63; Martin L. Richardson, 1863-66; Austin Dodge, 1867; Frank A. Warfield, George A. Jackson, 1878; G. H. Willson, 1878-80; Rev. Sylvanus Hayward, installed December 28, 1880, is present pastor.


In the year 1840, month of September, the Rev. G. Fitton, afterwards pastor of South Boston, called the Catholic people together at the house of Lawrence Seavy in Globe Village. There were present at this first meeting twelve persons. For the next six years they were visited about twice a year by the following priests, viz.: Rev. G. Fitton, 1840-43; Father Williams, 1844; Father Gibson, 1845, and Father Logan, 1846, the last named being the first to visit them on Sunday. Afterwards the Rev. John Boyce, of Worcester, found it necessary to engage the town hall every two months to give service to this people. Having decided, in 1852, to erect a church, Mr. Wm. Edwards generously gave them the land for a location, upon which they commenced July 12, 1852. On Sunday, May 1, 1853, their church was dedicated under the invocation of Saint Peter by the Re. Rev. J. B. Fitzpatrick, Bishop of Boston. In August, 1858, the Rev. James Quan was appointed pastor here and at Webster, as one parish.

In September, 1865, the Catholic Church of Southbridge was set aside as a parish by itself, and a pastor, Rev. A. M. Barrett, D.D., appointed for it. The parish, as then organized, included Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton, and numbered about two thousand souls.

The Rev. Dr. Barrett was dismissed from this service in the autumn of 1869, when followed the division of this first society.

The Rev. J. McDermott was in charge of the Irish portion about a year; then the Rev. John Kremmens was assigned by Bishop O'Reilly, of Springfield, to the pastorate.

Father Kremmens was "a man of great strength of will, and power and capacity to build, guide and care for his charge, and to lead it on to a surprising unity, strength and prosperity - constant and successful." The parsonage was burned soon after he came here, but the present one was soon built. The old church was removed to the west side of the lands, the surface of the lot was graded and set out with trees, the new and commodious edifice for worship was erected and all these were paid for during his services here, besides the neat little chapel at Fiskdale.

"Those grounds, embowered with shading trees and carpeted in nature's living green, wherein he lived his cheerful, helpful life and serenely died - wherein his remains now lie, at his request, entombed beneath the shadow of the beautiful church edifice he designed and built as a monument of his taste, and of his faith in his work in behalf of his people - will long be looked upon, as time shall pass away, as the evidence of his genius and ability to surmount obstacles and inspire others with something of his own sense and enterprise and energy." He died July 18, 1886, and was buried near his beautiful tree-embowered church. Over his grave has been placed a fine monument, in which is canopied a portrait bust chiseled in enduring marble.

The Rev. James Donohoe is the present pastor of St. Mary's.

The French Catholics withdrew from the Irish the latter part of the year 1869, under the charge of Rev. M. F. Le Breton as priest. The Notre Dame Church, the largest house for public religious worship in this town, was erected by them on Pine Street upon lands adjoining those of the old society. The Rev. M. F. Le Breton was succeeded by Rev. G. E. Brochu, who at present officiates as priest of Notre Dame.

SCHOOLS - School districts, seven in number, were established when the town was organized in 1816; and so remained, with little alteration as to territory, while the district system was in operation.

In 1868, March 2d, by vote of the town, the several school districts were abolished; and the town entered upon and took possession of the property of the districts, in accordance with the provision of the general statutes, chapter xxxix., section 3.

The management of the public schools by the town has been in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes, from time to time enacted; adopting such changes as the needs of the town and the spirit of the times have demanded.

A committee of six, serving three years, two of the number being elected annually and two retiring, constitutes the School Committee of the town. A superintendent of schools is employed by the year to devote his whole time to the school interests. The report of that officer, Mr. J. T. Clarke, for the year ending February 29, 1888, being the third of the series of the annual reports of the superintendent of schools, furnished statistics from which is obtained the following:

The town supports a High School, eighteen graded, and three ungraded schools; also evening schools to answer the requirements of the "Illiterate Minor Bill" of June, 1887, are established.

"The May enrollment of the children of school age gave 1515, an increase of 96 over the previous enrollment. The public schools have enrolled 999, which is 111 more than last year. The parochial school reports 625 as the number enrolled, with an average attendance of 490. Allowing for those over 15, and for the duplicate enrollment of the few who have attended both the parochial and the public schools a part of the year, the result indicates that there are very few children of school age in town who have not attended school a part of the year."

The total expenditures of the town, less the permanent repairs, for the year was $14,608.15.

A High School was established in 1841, and maintained by private contribution until appropriations were made by the town beginning in 1854. A room in the upper story of the old town-house was occupied by the High School until that building was taken down in 1887. Very fine accommodations in the lower story of the new Town Hall-High School building combined will be furnished at an early day.

The Southbridge Public Library was established by vote of the town March, 1870, at which time one thousand dollars and the dog fund, $176.17, was appropriated. At first the books were kept in Whitford's Block, but on the 1st of January, 1872, the collection was removed to the commodious rooms in Ammidown Block, designed expressly for the purpose.

By the report of March 1, 1888, the library at that time contained 12,141 books and 1557 pamphlets and periodicals unbound. During the year the total number of books consulted at the library was 3199; total number of volumes taken for home use, 14,949. A reading-room is connected with the library, which is also supplied with current periodicals. A museum, containing natural curiosities and antiquities, is in the same building. Miss A. J. Comins is the librarian, and Miss J. S. Smith, assistant.

SOCIETIES - There are two Masonic Lodges, viz., the Quinebaug Lodge, F. and A. M., and Doric Chapter, R. A. M., meet at Masonic Hall, Main, corner of Hamilton Streets; Phoenix Council, No. 333, Royal Arcanum, meets in their hall in Ammidown Block, Main Street; Southbridge Lodge, No. 47, I. O. O. F., meets at Odd Fellows' Hall, Savings Bank Building; Ancient Order of Hibernians, organized in 1873; St. Jean Baptiste Society, meets at Memorial Block, Main Street; St. Mary's Total Abstinence Society, meets at their room in Chapins' Block, Hamilton, corner of Crane Street; and many more of a social, literary, musical or benevolent character. The Good Samaritan and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union Societies have done good work; also the Young Women's Christian Temperance Union, which still exists.

A Young Men's Christian Association was organized in 1882, and started off very auspiciously. A Star Course of Lectures has been instituted, and kept up each winter season. Their rooms, in Edwards' Block, are open every week-day evening until ten o'clock. The association has purchased an eligible site, corner of Main and Elm Streets, now occupied by the "Columbian" building, where they contemplate erecting, at some future time, a suitable edifice for the prosecution of their work. President, George W. Wells; Vice-Presidents, F. W. Eaton and B. U. Bugbee; Executive Secretary, C. D. Munroe; Clerk, F. C. Hill; Treasurer, E. A. Wells.

BANKS - The Southbridge Bank was incorporated in 1836; capital, one hundred thousand dollars. This bank was authorized to increase its capital stock fifty thousands dollars in 1854, which sum was subscribed and paid in the same year. It was converted into a National Banking Association under the act of Congress of June, 1864, and commenced business as such April 1, 1865, with a capital of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The presidents of the Southbridge Bank and Southbridge National Bank have been as follows: Samuel A. Hitchcock, 1836-52; Jacob Edwards, Jr., 1852-62; Samuel M. Lane, 1862; Jacob Edwards. The cashiers have been: Samuel M. Lane, 1836-62; Henry D. Lane, 1862-67; Francis L. Chapin, 1867 to the present time. Southbridge Savings Bank, incorporated by an act of the Legislature, approved April 28, 1848, and commenced business in June following. Ebenezer D. Ammidown, Esq., was elected the first president, in 1848, and continued till 1849; he having resigned, Dr. Samuel Hartwell was elected hi successor in 1850. Manning Leonard, Esq., was chosen the first secretary, and Samuel M. Lane, Esq., treasurer. The present officers are: President, Robert H. Cole; Treasurer, C. D. Munroe; Vice-Presidents, S. Dresser, Ca. A. Paige and C. A. Dresser; Secretary, C. D. Munroe.

NEWSPAPERS - Beginning in 1828, when there were but two papers in this county, Pierpont Edwards Bates Botham started the Reformer and Moralist, a four-page paper, nineteen by thirteen inches, advocating firmly the cause of temperance, upon the total abstinence principal. The name of the paper, after the first year, was changed to The Moralist and General Intelligencer. It was located in the old brick house opposite the residence of the late Dr. Hartwell. Mr. Botham failed, and the property passed into the hands of Moses Plimpton, who sold it to Josiah Snow, of Providence. Under the direction of L. H. Goland, the Southbridge Register appeared in February, 1829. In 1832 Mr. Snow sold the property to Joslin & Tiffany, who, on the 7th of February 1832, issued the first number of The Village Courier. Edwin D. Tiffany wishing to conduct a political paper in the interest of the Whig party, bought out Milton Joslin, and hung out the Henry Clay flag in August following; while an opposition paper, called the True Republican, supporting Andrew Jackson, was started by H. G. O. Parks, and continued until the close of the campaign. The last issue of the Courier was No. 52, on the 31st of January, 1833. In 1830 the Ladies' Mirror was started was started. Each number contained eight pages, nine by eleven inches. One volume and a few numbers of the second were issued, George W. H. Fiske, Josiah Snow and W. W. Sherman successively publishing it. We have no account of any printing in this town from that time until 1853, in October, when W. F. Brown, of Brookfield, and W. L. Greene started the Southbridge Press in a house on the site of the C. A. Dresser house. Nine numbers only of this paper were issued by the above firm. They sold the paper to Sidney Clarke, who, in January, 1854, recommenced the publication of the Press . Later he associated Clarke Jillson with him, and the paper was issued by them until 1856, when Mr. Clarke was again alone, continuing until 1857, when E. A. Denny bought and published it until 1858. Then Mr. Charles L. Newhall started the Saturday Morning News, which, in turn, in 1860, gave way to Quinebaug Item, of O. D. Haven.

The Southbridge Journal superseded the above paper in 1861, and was issued by Henry C. Gray until August 17, 1868. William B. Morse became proprietor and editor and conducted the business till December, 1871, when George M. Whitaker became his associate. Mr. Whitaker became sole proprietor and editor, 1874, in January. Under the able management of Mr. Whitaker, the journal has been brought to rank among the best, and its influence in favor of education, temperance and good morals is outspoken and decided. In 1887 Mr. Maitland P. Foster became sole proprietor and editor of the journal.

The Enterprise was started in 1874, by Charles L. Newhall and P. L. Schriftgiesser. The Journal office was burned out in December of '74, and the outfit of the Enterprise was sold to Mr. Whitaker, of the former paper.

In 1878 Mr. William W. Corbin started the Transcript, which did not live a year.

The Southbridge Herald, started by Mr. W. W. Corbin in 1881, was a success, and gained a firm foothold in the community before the death of Mr. Corbin in 1884. The present editor and proprietor, Mr. William T. Robinson, took the management in 1886, and by his enterprise and ability has brought the Herald to be one of the best of country locals.

A paper in the French language, called the L'Etoile de l'Est, was started in 1872 by C. Desmarais; but the portion of the community even then, who could not read the English papers was too small to give it adequate support, and it was discontinued.

MUTUAL GAS-LIGHT COMPANY - President, Hiram C. Wells; Treasurer, C. A. Dresser; Directors, C. A. Dresser, Hiram C. Wells, Andrew Hall, I. P. Hyde, J. M. Cochran.

SOUTHBRIDGE ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY - Incorporated in 1887 with a capital of fifteen thousand dollars. President, Chester A. Dresser; Treasurer, Hiram C. Wells; Directors, C. A. Dresser, Andrew Hall, E. I. Garfield, H. A. Pattison, Thos. T. Robinson; Clerk, J. M. Cochran.

AQUEDUCTS - The first aqueduct company in Southbridge was organized in the year 1825. The principal object was the introduction of water to the new hotel, built that year on the site where the Edwards house now stands. The proprietors were Luther, Larkin, Oliver and Holmes Ammidown, owners of the hotel, and Elisha Cole.

The Southbridge Aqueduct Company was organized June 22, 1831. It was originated by Holmes Ammidown for the purpose of introducing water to his dwelling-house, erected in the year 1830, and with that view the water was conducted to a reservoir near the house. From that point, now the residence of Mr. C. A. Paige, the water was distributed to the shareholders, about fourteen in number, comprising nearly all the dwelling-houses at that time in the village.

The Southbridge Water Supply Company was organized in 1881. President, F. L. Chapin; treasurer, F. W. Eaton. This company entered upon the work of furnishing the more copious supply of water, which was the pressing need of the village. A reservoir was made on elevated land southwest of the village, and the laying of pipes has progressed from year to year. In 1888 a new reservoir was constructed, on the same stream, of larger dimensions, and in the most thorough and scientific manner. This reservoir is of an average depth of sixteen feet, and has a surface of four acres.

FIRE DEPARTMENT - The manual force consists of a chief and four assistants, two steamer companies of fifteen men each, and two hook-and-ladder companies of ten men each; also eleven horses subject to the call of the department. Chief, Calvin Claflin; first assistant, A. H. Cozzens; second assistant, B. C. Stone; third assistant, J. W. Robinson; fourth assistant and clerk, Michael Egan.

RAILROAD - A road from Southbridge to Blackstone, about thirty-four miles, was chartered May 1, 1849. The completion of this road, so anxiously looked for by the people of this town, was not accomplished until 1866. Other sections making a through connection with Boston, having been previously completed, the entire line to the depot in Southbridge was finished by putting down the last rail at 5 1/2 o'clock p.m., November 9, 1866, when the first train of cars, the same evening, having run from Boston over the whole line, entered the depot grounds.

This point is now the terminus of the "Southbridge Branch" of the New York and New England Railroad.

The road furnishes the convenience of outside communication and of freight transportation, which has made possible the recent remarkable growth of the town.

DISTRICT COURT - The First District Court of Southern Worcester was established by an act of the Legislature, approved May 26, 1871, to take effect the first day of August following. The jurisdiction of this court embraces a district composed of the towns of Sturbridge, Southbridge, Charlton, Dudley, Oxford and Webster. This court consists of one standing justice and of two special justices, Hon. Clark Jillson, the first appointed standing justice now (1888) holds that office. Frederick W. Botham, Esq., of Southbridge, one of the two first appointed special justices is deceased, and Elisha M. Phillips, Esq., of Southbridge, has that position. these courts are held for criminal offenses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Southbridge, and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Webster, in each week, except legal holidays; and for civil business in Southbridge on Monday, and at Webster on Tuesday of each week, and at such other times as may be fixed according to law.

AGRICULTURE - The soil of this town is usually good; some tracts may be called excellent.

Several good farms have remained in the families of the early settlers; more proportionally, perhaps, than is usual. In the southeast part of the town Mr. Daniel Pratt lives, where his ancestor, Henry Pratt, settled on lot No. 42, second division, surveyed in 1733, and drawn to the original right of Ephraim Partridge. Next north of Mr. Pratt is Mr. W. Morse, who lives where his ancestor, Daniel Morse, settled on lot No. 41. In the southerly central part of the town Mr. A. H. Morse lives where his great-great-grandfather settled before 1738, on two lots: No. 17, originally the minister's right, Rev. Caleb Rice; No. 18, drawn to the original right of John Shearman, who sold his shares, in 1735, to Ezekiel Upham.

The next farm north of the last-named is that of James H. Mason, on lot No. 16, drawn to the original right of Ichabod Harding; has been in the family since 1738, when Jonathan Mason bought of David Morse.

The Clark place, on the road to Lebanon Hill, has been in the family since 1744. It was lot No. 33, originally drawn to the right of Joshua Morse.

In the north part of the town Provostus and W. F. McKinstry occupy lands upon which their ancestor, William McKinstry, settled, as mentioned in another place.

The farms above mentioned, to which may be added, in the southeast part, those of Hiram and Manson Morse, A. Haskell, Lucien and the late L. A. Lyon; in the southwest, the farms of the late Lewis Morse, A. J. Plimpton and A. Marcy; north of the river, the late T. N. Harding, Nathan McKinstry and others in various parts of the town, little, if any, less worthy of mention, afford examples of thorough and successful farming in the conservative style, new methods being adopted to some extent. The well-known farms of Dr. L. W. Curtis, George L. Clemence and W. H. H. Cheney furnish fine examples of progressive agriculture.

As reported in the census of Massachusetts of 1885, there are 2108 acres under cultivation, including grassland and orcharding, and 3965 acres in permanent pasture in the town. This amount of land is divided into 77 farms of sizes ranging from less than 2 to over 500 acres; about half of the number containing between 100 and 300 acres.

The number of farm laborers was 129, owners and others making up the total of 217 employed in agriculture. The total value of agricultural products was $102,206.

The first town-house was built in 1837-38, at a total expense, including land, of $3809.78. The town's portion of the United States surplus revenue of 1837 (a part of which was distributed to the States that year) was appropriated to this use. The walls were of brick, two stories in height, and a small cupola on the top of the building. The lower story was fitted up for a town-hall, and the upper for the High School.

When the town decided, in 1887, to erect a new building on the same spot, the old town-house was taken down.

The Town Hall-High School building, now being built, is seventy-five feet in width and one hundred and nineteen feet in length, and will contain the following rooms, viz.:

In the basement, two play-rooms, laboratory, boiler-room, water-closets, etc.

In the first story, a school-room for the High School, two recitation-rooms, one for a library, one for the superintendent of schools, a small hall, a memorial hall, town clerk's office, etc.

In the second story, a town-hall, with capacity to seat twelve hundred and fifty persons, and four large rooms to be used in connection with it.

The structure has a granite basement, and above that the materials are bricks, brown-stone and terracotta. There will be a tower one hundred and thirty-seven feet in height.

The whole building will be a very substantial structure, and for adaptability to the purposes intended and for architectural appearance, it will rank in the first class in the State.

The corner-stone was "laid by all the rights of the Masonic Order" by the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. It was just eighty-eight years from the dedication of the first meeting-house in old Honest-town to the laying of the corner-stone of the grandest structure ever erected in Southbridge. These events occurred - as did also the raising of the frame of the old meeting house in 1797 - on the 4th of July, and represent epochs in the history of the town.

MANUFACTURES, - EXISTING CORPORATIONS ON THE QUINEBAUG - Litchfield Shuttle Company, incorporated in 1878, with a capital of twenty-one thousand dollars. The President is P. T. Litchfield; Treasurer, John M. Cheney; Clerk, Frank C. Litchfield. Their plant is located on the Quinebaug, between Westville and Globe Village, where they have one of the largest and finest factories for the manufacture of shuttles in this country. They produce shuttles and shuttle-irons and are also sole manufacturers of the Thompson patent adjustable tension eye-shuttle. None but the most thoroughly seasoned stock is used, and their customers number many of the fine, large mills both in New England and the South. Their reputation as manufacturers of a high grade of shuttles is second to none.

The Hamilton Woolen Company, with a corporate capital of two hundred thousand dollars, organized June 29, 1831, as follows: Samuel A. Hitchcock, president; Willard Sayles, clerk; Samuel A. Hitchcock, Willard Sayles and Lorin Norcross, directors. The productive power at this time was five sets of machinery, with the dyeing and finishing apparatus suitable for the manufacture of broad-cloth. There were twenty-eight broad looms, and they were manufactured in the first year of their operations forty thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight and one-half yards of broad-cloths.

The factory buildings were the old "Globe" mill, which gave name to the village, and is now the carpenter's shop standing near the bridge, and the "Wolcott brick mill," which has given place to the larger structures of the "Print works."

To illustrate in a small measure the growth of business at Globe Village, the larger constructions and improvements, with the increase of capital stock, may be briefly mentioned.

The "Big Dam" was raised in height about three feet above its former condition, and greatly strengthened; the great six-story brick mill was erected and filled with machinery 1836-38. This more than doubled the productive capacity for making broad-cloths. Monthly payment to employees was inaugurated, the manufacture of delaines introduced, and the woolen mill near the dam erected in which to make the cotton warp in 1844. An increase of capital stock was granted in 1845 to five hundred thousand dollars. An act for the further increase of the capital of this company to one million dollars was granted by the Legislature and approved February 14, 1846, and in September, 1849, the company voted to issue new stock to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars, which increased the paid-in capital to six hundred thousand dollars. The same year the brick mill near the big dam was erected. December 9, 1850, the large six-story brick mill was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in the year 1851, with the addition of the two-story wing.

The lower mill, near the depot and opposite the Cliff, was erected in 1860, and was put in operation in 1864. In 1861 the big dam was greatly strengthened and made a substantial and durable structure; also, this year, the print-works were greatly enlarged and improved.

In 1865 the company made a large addition to their reservoir supply of water by the construction of extensive works in the town of Holland, which insures a constant supply. The great dam was raised again to the amount of four feet above its former height, about 1872. The whole plant, flowage and all, occupies the river fully a mile, of which the company owns the land on both sides, with numerous tenement houses, business blocks, other building and farm-lands.

Since 1873 the Hamilton Woolen Company have used their reserve funds in the purchase and fitting up of the old Salisbury Mills at Amesbury, Massachusetts; consequently no further enlargement or improvement has been made at Globe Village. They are now running at this place 25,632 spindles and 942 looms, giving employment to 1097 hands. The yearly production of worsted dress goods and cashmeres is 12,000,000 yards.

Samuel A. Hitchcock had charge of the works here from the organization of the company until 1836. Samuel L. Fiske was agent from 1836 to 1846. Joshua Ballard, Jr., succeeded Mr. Fiske as agent, which position he held until elected treasurer of the company in 1865, when his brother, Gayton Ballard, succeeded him as agent.

The present officers in charge of the works at Globe Village are: Mr. C. A. Coleman, treasurer; and Mr. John Tatterson, agent. Mr. Tatterson commenced his agency here in the beginning of the year 1878.

The Central Mills Company - The corporators of this company were: Chester A. Dresser, of Southbridge, Samuel and William Foster and T. A. Randall, of Providence, R. I.

The manufacturing interests of the company have been successfully managed by Mr. Chester A. Dresser, the resident proprietor, to the present time. Mr. Dresser is now president and treasurer of the company, and his son, Mr. Henry B. Dresser, is the superintendent.

At a regular semi-annual meeting of the company in July, 1888, it was decided to build an addition to the wing on the east side of the mill - the new part to be one hundred and twenty-five feet in length by sixty-five feet in width, and three stories high. This (January, 1889) has been accomplished. The additional room increases the machinery from 6000 spindles to about 10,000, and the looms from 150 to above 260; this, with the improvement in machinery and methods, will more than double the productive capacity of ten years ago.

Southbridge Steam Laundry , owned by Mr. William P. Plimpton, is the next on the river.

American Optical Company , Manufacturers of Spectacles and Eye-glasses, in Gold, Silver and Steel - An examination of the industries of Southbridge reveals the fact that there are several extensive enterprises carried on here which demand special attention at our hands, and which will arouse the interest of the reader, not only by their magnitude, but by the preeminence which they have achieved. Foremost among such is the enterprise of the American Optical Company, known throughout the world as manufacturers of lenses, spectacles and eye-glasses, in gold, silver and steel. The character of the business and the impetus which its prosecution has given to the general thrift of this community make it a fit theme for comment, and entitle it to a prominent place in the pages of this volume. The business was first inaugurated in 1833, by Mr. William Beecher, who is still an honored resident of Southbridge. About 1842 he disposed of the business to Messrs. Ammidown & Putney, which firm was soon after succeeded by Messrs. Ammidown & Son. In 1856 Mr. Beecher returned to his first love, and, in company with Mr. R. H. Cole, now the president of the company, formed the firm of Beecher & Cole, who conducted it till 1862, when the firm of R. H. Cole & Co. was organized, remaining as proprietors until 1869, when the present company was incorporated. The officers of the company are Mr. R. H. Cole as president; G. W. Wells, treasurer; and H. C. Cady, superintendent. The main factory, used for the manufacture of spectacle and eye-glass frames, is a three-story frame building, with finished brick basement, which was erected in 1872, to which additions were made in 1879, 1882 and 1886, comprising some sixty thousand feet of floor space. The lens factory was built in 1887 and is two stories in height, two hundred and thirty-two feet long, sixty-three feet wide and is specially constructed and adapted to the business of manufacturing lenses, and contains forty thousand feet floor space. This firm employs over six hundred workmen, all proficient in their work and experienced in the art of manufacturing. The machinery, much of which is extremely ingenious, and a large portion of which was designed by active members of the firm, for the special uses to which it is applied, is operated by water-power, aggregating three hundred horse-power, with steam auxiliary of seventy-five horse-power. The company have invested in the business about six hundred thousand dollars, and their output aggregates over four hundred dozen spectacles and eye-glasses per day (fifty dozen of which are gold), or one million five hundred thousand pairs per year, and much more than the above of lenses. The demand for their goods comes from all parts of the country, and also from many foreign countries. The management has brought the business to a wonderful degree of elaboration and system, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that their goods are not excelled by any in the markets of the new or the old world, and that they have the largest and most complete manufactory of the kind in the world. The company melted in the year 1888 two hundred and eighty-eight thousand five hundred dollars of gold and silver, and their pay-roll amounts to over five thousand dollars per week.

The Lumber Yard and Manufactory of John & L. D. Clemence is on Mechanic Street, and employs with water-power next below the American Optical Company's factory. This firm does a large business in builders' furnishings.

Hyde Manufacturing Company , incorporated in 1881, located on Main Street, between the above-mentioned lumber-yard and Lensdale, manufacture shoe-knives, shaves and other shoe-tools. President, Treasurer and Clerk, I. P. Hyde.

SANDERSDALE - This pretty little hamlet, pleasantly situation on the banks of the Quinebaug River, one and three-quarters miles from Southbridge, deserves more than a passing notice, as it has gained celebrity not only through earnest and successful endeavor on the part of the late James Sanders, from whom it derives its name, but by persistent and untiring efforts of Thomas and James H. (sons of the deceased founder), who, having been thoroughly instructed in the art of calico printing, and endowed with excellent business qualifications, have brought the works to its present high standard.

James Sanders, now deceased, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1811, and at thirteen years of age was apprenticed to a block printer. After a seven years' apprenticeship he continued at his trade until 1842, when he came to this country and settled in Fall River, Mass., entering the employ of the American Print Works. He married in 1844, and moved to Rhode Island in 1848, and in 1850, in company with his brother-in-law, the late James Abbott, leased the Crompton Print Works. After a business connection of ten years, H. N. Slater purchased Mr. Abbott's share, and the new firm continued for nearly three years, when James Sanders took entire control.

In 1864, he purchased what is now known as Sandersdale, but at that time as Ashland, the area comprising several hundred acres of land and three or four houses, together with excellent water-power and water privileges suitable for the purposes of a print works. Having amassed a handsome fortune, he commenced the erection of the present works in 1868, and the chart hanging in the office shows the following dimensions, the buildings, being designated as No. 1, 2, 3, etc.:

No. 1. Printing building, 265 feet by 57 feet.

No. 2. Dyeing, bleaching, finishing and boiler building, 250 by 107.

No. 3. Engraving and packing room building, 115 by 48.

No. 4. Boiler house and engine-room, 65 by 50.

No. 5. Liquor shop, 70 by 40.

No. 6. Kier-room and wheel-house, 73 by 25.

No. 7. Office, 40 by 33.

No. 8. Mechanic shop, 76 by 40.

The several buildings, with the exception of the mechanic shop, which is part brick and part stone, are wholly constructed of brick, compactly built, presenting a neat and substantial appearance.

In 1870, when all was in readiness, the machinery used in the Crompton Print Works was transferred to the new quarters, the amount necessary occupying over thirty freight cars, and in the same year Mr. Sanders and family moved to Southbridge, the works commencing operations under the firm-name of T. & J. H. Sanders (sons of the founder), in the spring of 1874, and continued under their management until the spring of 1884. During that time the product consisted principally of prints, mostly shirtings and cheviots, the capacity averaging ninety thousand yards per day.

On December 31, 1884, The Southbridge Printing Co. was incorporated, and the property and plant purchased, and as the demand for specialties outside of the straight line of prints was so great, extensive alterations, especially in the dye house, were necessary, which with the addition of new and more modern machinery throughout the works, placed the new corporation in a position to successfully compete with others who have been more favored in the past, thus enabling a production of silesias, cambrics and all kinds of cotton goods subject to a dyeing process, in connection with the straight prints.

A glance at the present production is worthy of perusal. In prints may be found shirtings of coarse and fine grades, in both narrow and wide goods; flannels and sheetings; wide and narrow cheviots; sleeve linings, from a light cheap quality to the finest forty-four inch sateen, in both loose and fast colors, especially for the clothing trade. In dyed goods the variety is equally as great, if not larger than in prints, consisting of brocades, cashmeres, Hollands, pocketings, cambrics (from an ordinary quality to a thirty-six-inch French cambric), silesias, flannels, Italians, serges, etc., etc., etc.

Water is the principal motive-power, an excellent fall being obtained, graduated to three hundred horse-power, and in case of necessity steam can be substituted, as two ponderous engines are ever ready to be set in motion, should an accident to the turbine wheel or connections thereto occur.

Considering the many varieties of work, the daily production averages from fifty thousand to seventy-five thousand yards, which is an excellent showing, reflecting credit upon the management entire.

The officers of The Southbridge Printing Co. remain the same as when incorporated, viz.: - President, Jacob Booth; Treasurer, Thomas Sanders; Superintendent, James H. Sanders.

Southbridge Optical Company was incorporated in 1883. The President is Mr. A. H. Wheeler; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. B. U. Bugbee. The company manufacture spectacles and eye-glasses. They erected, in 1888, a new building upon Marcy Street, with machinery fitted up for their manufactures. The factory is of wood, two stories in height, with a brick basement, and is one hundred feet long by forty wide.

Stephen Richard, manufacturer of shoe-knives and razors, has a high reputation for quality of goods produced.

Other establishments of business or employment, not included in the foregoing list of particular mention, can only be enumerated, and are, so far as ascertained, as follows, viz.: apothecaries, 5; artists, 1; auctioneer, 1; bakers, 4; banks, 2; barbers, 4; blacksmiths, 6; books and stationery, 5; boot and shoe dealers, 9; boot and shoemakers, 6; brick manufacturers, 2; calico printer, 1; carpenters and builders, 4; carriage-makers, 4; clothiers, 7; coal dealer, 1; dentists, 2; dressmakers, 19; dry goods dealers, 8; expresses, 3; fish and oysters, 1; florist, 1; flour and grain, 5; furniture, 3; gents' furnishing goods, 5; grist-mill, 1; groceries, 17; hardware and cutlery, 4; harness-makers, 2; hotels, 3; insurance agents, 2; laundries, 2; lawyers, 4; livery stables, 5; lumber dealers, 2; marble-works, 1; meat-markets, 7; milliners, 7; music-stores, 2; music-teachers, 5; newspapers, 2; news-rooms, 3; painters, house and sign, 7; paints and oils, 4; photographers, 3; physicians, 13; pool-room, 2; printers, 2; restaurants, 5; rifle-range, 1; saloons, 2; sewing-machines, 3; shoe-knife manufactories, 3; spectacle manufactories, 3; stoves, ranges and tine, 4; tailors, 4; tea, coffee, 2; telegraph office, 1; telephone office, 1; trunks and bags, 1; undertakers, 2; upholsterer, 1; watches and jewelry, 6; wood-dealer, 1.

In the month of December, 1858, the tavern on the corner of Main and Elm Streets, built of wood in 1825, was destroyed by fire, together with other building in the immediate vicinity. This event preceded the appearance of the first of the many fine business blocks which now enrich and adorn the town. That vacancy, and along that side of the street, was soon afterwards occupied by the ornamental and massive brick buildings erected by Messrs. William C. Barnes, Sylvester Dresser, and William and John Edwards (last two now deceased) - names identified with the last thirty years of the town's history and progress. Besides the long line of first-class accommodations for trades people and employments, there are the Memorial Block Hall, Edwards Hall and Dresser Opera-House.

Daniel Whitford and Elbridge Ellis built on the opposite side of the street, corner of Main and Hamilton, the large and fine structure bearing their names.

Hartwells' block, built by the late George H. Hartwell, is on the corner of Main and Central Streets. In 1863 a fire swept away the Baptist Church, the old parish meeting-house - then used for business purposes - and other buildings. The brick church of the Baptists was erected in '66, and what was once the "rising ground on Capt. Marcy's land, opposite Col. Freeman's barn," was leveled down, and Mr. Holmes Ammidown built his public library building in 1870 or '71. Then, on the corner of Main and Central Streets, Mr. Chester A. Dresser built the C. A. Dresser house, costing - furnishing and all - about eighty thousand dollars.

Alden's Block, built by William E. Alden, Sr., in 1878-79, is a fine structure of brick with granite trimmings and metallic cornices, standing on the site of the old Plimpton house, in Globe Village.

Recently the new bank building on Main Street and Suprenaut's Block, on Central Street, have added to the architectural appearance of Centre Village.

These buildings, with the mercantile or other establishments which they enclose, will compare favorably with those of the same class in any town in the county.

Southbridge also contains even within the limits of her villages much of quiet rural beauty. Whole neighborhoods of fine cottages, surrounded by ample grounds and smoothly-shaven lawns, - entire absence of fences and unsightly objects, - this is the enviable home, the place where the tired business man retires to the quiet enjoyments of family and friends.

In the midst of all that has been described in this article on Southbridge is the old Marcy house, erected there when all around was literally a howling wilderness. The same sturdy arms that spotted the trees for the first paths, "slashed" the trees in the first clearings, and wrought out the first homes about here, also hoisted in place the massive timbers which form the frame-work of this old house. Its simple grandeur, made beautiful by antiquity and associations, is unabashed in the presence of the finest of modern residences, though set in "pillars of gold."





Manning Leonard was born in Sturbridge, June 1, 1814; died in Southbridge, July 31, 1885. Among those interested in the history of Worcester County Manning Leonard was one well deserving special mention in these memoirs, both because of his connection with those who had no little part in shaping the history of the towns of Sturbridge and Southbridge, and because of his own honorable record as a citizen.

His mother, Sally Fiske, daughter of Henry, was a grandchild of both Henry and Daniel Fiske, the first white settlers in the town, who located on what is now known as "Fiske Hill" in 1731, and from one of whose descendants Fiskedale in Sturbridge was named.

His father, Rev. Zenas Lockwood Leonard, fifth in descent from Solomon, who landed at Duxbury in 1636, was born at Bridgewater 1773; graduated at Brown University in 1794 and came to Sturbridge as a Baptist minister in 1796. During his long pastorate of thirty-six years he had a more than ordinary interest and influence in the affairs of the community.

Though on a small salary, never exceeding two hundred dollars, he maintained a hospitable home, gave his children a good education (sending his eldest son through Brown University), kept free from debt and gave his family an honorable position in the community. In all household affairs he was ably aided by his wife, who was a model of quiet efficiency.

Of their seven children, Manning was the fifth, having a brother and two sisters older and a brother and sister younger than himself. Reared in a home of order, thrift and industry, he naturally developed such a degree of self-reliance, diligence and self-respect as gave early promise of sure and honorable success in life. Generously determining to forego the advantages of a college education, he defrayed his own expenses during a course in English and the mathematics at Amherst Academy, under the tuition of Rev. Simeon Colton, D. D., taught school a term at South Amherst and then, to school himself for business life, became a clerk in the dry-goods house of Tiffany, Anderson & Co., of New York City. After three years spent in an earnest endeavor to master every detail of the business, he went West in 1835, the year of his majority, and in 1838, joining with George M. Phelps, a young man also from Worcester County, established himself in business in Madison, Indiana. He prospered. In 1840 he married Mary F., daughter of Hon. Ebenezer Davis Ammidown of Southbridge, Mass., than whom no one had greater part in making Southbridge the beautiful town it is, or contributed more to its material advancement.

In 1844 he returned to Southbridge, and first, with his father-in-law, and later with Chester A. Dresser, was for twenty years engaged in the cotton manufacturing business at what is known as the Central Mills. On account of failing health he retired from active business in 1863. Nevertheless, he did not subside into listlessness and idleness, but maintained an active interest in public affairs; was on the Board of Selectmen during the early years of the war; was a representative in the State Legislature, and for many years a member of the Southbridge Public Library Committee; a prime mover in the establishment of the Southbridge Savings Bank in 1848, he was secretary of that corporation until his death, and also was a director in the National Bank.

He was an active and consistent member of the Congregational Church for more than fifty years, and generous in his support of the great work of home and foreign missions as well as various undenominational charities.

For many years, more or less of an invalid, he traveled much for health as well as for business - twice visiting Europe, once California and many times going to the great prairie States. Yielding to a complication of diseases, he died at Southbridge July 31, 1885, having completed his seventy-first year two months before.

In early life ever striving to fit himself for the task of the morrow, while faithfully fulfilling the duties of the day, he won promotion by merit rather than sought it by favor.

In middle life a man of reserve power, whose sagacity and foresight gave him success where others failed, and being eminently a just man, he was made the recipient of many public as well as many private trusts.

In maturer years more conservative and cautious, yet never a captious obstructionist, his counsels were the more valuable because his course had been always consistent - ever securing not the applause of the many, but the approval of the best; he had been not a partisan, but a patriot.



This subject of this sketch was born in Southbridge, Mass., June 7, 1820; son of Timothy Paige, Jr., Esq., and Cynthia (Ammidown) Paige. His parent died when he was but eight years of age, and after their decease he made his home in the family of his guardian, Dr. Samuel Hartwell. At thirteen he entered the employ of Messrs. Plimpton & Lane, as a clerk in their store in Southbridge. At fifteen he went to Northfield, Vt., where for about two years he was employed in the store of Charles Paine, afterwards Governor of Vermont, and president of the Vermont Central Railroad Co. Returning home to Southbridge, he was employed until 1843 in the store of John Seabury & Co., then kept in the old Columbian Building, now standing on Main Street, known as the "Factory Store." This store was in those days an important factor in the business enterprises and trade of the town, involving large transactions and no inconsiderable number of small details, by a system of orders by which the Dresser, the Columbian and the Central Manufacturing Companies paid their operatives.

In 1844 he became clerk and bookkeeper in the employ of the Dresser Manufacturing Company. This mill was one of the first cotton-mills erected in this locality by William Sumner and others soon after 1814, when the privilege was purchased. The premises included the water-power, mill, land and tenant-houses, situated on what is known as "Dresser Hill," and in 1831 the same was purchased by Harvey Dresser, then an active, enterprising business man of Charlton, who organized the Dresser Manufacturing Company in 1834, to operate the mill. Mr. Dresser died in 1835. After his death this company was reorganized under the agency of E. D. Ammidown. Until 1845 Colonel Alexander De Witt, of Oxford, succeeded to the agency until 1850, when Calvin A. Paige was appointed agent, and operated the mill until it was destroyed by fire in 1870. May 9, 1843, Mr. Paige married Mercey Dresser, daughter of Harvey Dresser, by whom he had two children - Mary E. Paige, born April 7, 1846, who died September 2, 1848, and Calvin D. Paige, born May 20, 1848, who is now residing in Southbridge. From 1844 until he became the agent, Mr. Paige acted not only as clerk and bookkeeper, but was also practically the managing and business agent of the company during the whole period, conducting its affairs safely and prudently, and with profit to its owners. He became himself an owner of the stock of the company, and after the mill was burned sold the mill-site and water-power to the Central Mills Company, retaining the land and tenements on "Dresser Hill," which he now owns, and since then has not been engaged in any regular active business.

Mr. Paige married for his second wife Ellen Jane Scholfield, of Dudley, February 20, 1856, by whom he has one son, Frank S., born May 18, 1857, now living in Southbridge. After 1870 the leisure time at his command, his thorough business training, habits and experience, have set him apart as a citizen well qualified and acceptable to discharge numerous public duties, in which he has been long conspicuous and of great advantage and service to the town and community for a period of more than twenty-five years. He was a leading member of the town committee to oppose the division of the town before the Legislature of 1854, and one of its most zealous and effective workers in defeating that project. In 1850 he was commissioned a notary public by Governor Briggs, and still holds that office. During the Rebellion he was appointed United States enrolling officer for the town, and in 1883, by Governor Long, commissioner to qualify civil officers; and was elected a member of the House in the Legislature of 1863. For thirty years he has been a director in the Southbridge National Bank, and a trustee of the Southbridge Savings Bank. He has been elected many times to the offices of selectman, assessor, overseer of the poor and other town offices and positions, and in all these positions he has discharged his duties with singular ability and unvarying success. His great caution, accuracy of knowledge, thorough business training, promptness and experience in public affairs have been long recognized and repeatedly called to service in town matters, and probably few unprofessional citizens are better posted in matters relating to town government and its proper administration - especially in relation to the pauper laws - or more serviceable to the public in these respects than he is. Whatever falls to his management is promptly and correctly done, and with due consideration to the public interest. His books and records are always kept correctly and with business-like completeness and care. His worth in these respects is so generally conceded by his fellow-townsmen that party politics rarely defeat him as a candidate for public office, although he is a strong party man. He has discharged numerous trusts as administrator, guardian, assignee and trustee in bankruptcy and in insolvency, and in these relations found capable, honest and efficient. He is ready to accept responsibility and to do his duty, but is guided by a conservative good sense and caution to first learn what his duty is.

Mr. Paige has long been an earnest and influential citizen in promoting town enterprise and improvements, and uniformly advocated whatever tended to these results. He sustained the plan adopted to establish the public library, and usually advocated the laying-out and grading of new streets, the building of sidewalks, the lighting of streets and the introduction of electric street lights, and was recently one of the most influential workers in obtaining the Town Hall building. He is active and persistent, ambitious of carrying his points and usually successful. He has a wide personal acquaintance, and enjoys the confidence and respect of those who know him. He is naturally kind-hearted, cordial and generous in his association and dealings with men, and almost impulsive in his vigor and show of enthusiasm. He is a stalwart in his convictions when once formed, but cautious and conservative in forming them. He is an active and zealous partisan in politics, and always an ardent and uncompromising Republican, willing to work for the Republican cause, and a great admirer of Hon. James G. Blaine. His energy and push partake largely of his great natural spirit of enthusiasm.

The history of the town would be incomplete without special mention of the life and active career of Mr. Paige, in view of all he has accomplished for himself and for the general welfare - having so long been a prominent figure among the people in this community.

The ancestors of Mr. Paige were natives of Hardwick, Mass., where they were prominent citizens, as the town history shows. His great-grandfather, the first Timothy Paige, was a farmer, who served in the Revolutionary period as a captain of a militia company, led his company to Bennington at the alarm in August, 1777, and to West Point in 1780, and served in many town offices. His grandfather, the second Timothy, was a member of the company of "minute-men" who marched to Cambridge upon the Lexington alarm, and served for short period several times during the Revolution.

He was a conspicuous man in public matters, holding justice courts and many town offices, and at his death, October 21, 1821, the New England Palladium described him as one of the oldest members of the House of Representatives; a man who united very many excellent and useful qualities, and who was universally esteemed among his acquaintances for his intelligence and unbending integrity.

The Columbian Centinel referred to him as "one of the oldest members of the House of Representative of this State, an undeviating patriot and an intelligent man." He was Representative to the General Court seventeen year successively, from 1805 to 1821, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1820.

His father, Timothy Paige, Jr., was a lawyer of good standing in his profession, and of much literary taste. He was the first town clerk of Southbridge and won an enviable repute as a poet. His poems were published as written in the public journals and bore the signature of "Jacques." The last poem he wrote was published in the Massachusetts Spy shortly after his death, November 17, 1822, entitled "Farewell to Summer."

Rev. Lucius R. Paige, LL. D., of Cambridge, Mass., the historian of Hardwick and Cambridge, and a man of literary attainments, is a brother, and uncle to the subject of this sketch.



Chester A. Dresser, of Southbridge, Mass., was born in that town on the 2d of September, 1818, and, with the exception of a few years, has always resided in that place.

His early life was similar to many another New England boys', who has plodded his way along rugged paths, surmounting all obstacles with a fixed purpose to guide him and a determination to become a useful and intelligent man. His mother, with her three children, of which the subject of our sketch was the second, resided in what was then and is to the present day known as the Columbian Block, situated on the corner of Main and Elm Streets, at that time the property of his grandfather and now owned by the Young Men's Christian Association. When ten years of age, upon the death of his mother, he was left in charge of his uncle, Ebenezer D. Ammidown, who was appointed his guardian. His education was acquired at the district school of the village, which he attended irregularly for several years, and he was a student at Nichols Academy, Dudley, Mass., and at Monson Academy - two terms at each institution. During the winters of 1830-31 he lived in the family of Hon. Linus Childs, who was an old friend of his mother, performing the duties of "chore boy" as remuneration for his board and attending school.

At the age of fourteen he chose Dr. Samuel Hartwell as his guardian and made his home at his house when not employed elsewhere. For a short time he was employed in the store kept by Milton Joslin, but he had now arrived at the age when, in those days, it was thought that a boy should have some aim in life, and the subject of a "trade" was taken into consideration by his friends, and their advice freely given.

Learning of an opening in the village harness-shop for a boy, his guardian advised him to enter as an apprentice, but this employment not being entirely agreeable to his tastes, he sought the advice of his uncle, Harvey Dresser, and of Moses Plimpton, Esq., who was then the agent of the Columbian Manufacturing Company, engaged in the manufacture of cotton sheetings. Mr. Plimpton recommended his becoming a manufacturer, whereupon an engagement was entered into, the remuneration to be forty dollars per year and board. The price for board was one dollar and twenty-five cents per week and all lost time at the mill was deducted at the rate of forty dollars per annum, while there was no deduction for board. His initiatory apprenticeship was in the repair-shop of the company, in charge of an English mechanic, whose motto was "learn to do work well, after which do all you can."

After serving one year in the machine-shop, he was employed, in turn, in every department of the mill, learning to card, spin and weave. During these years of service, to strengthen his finances, he worked at night by moon and lamp-light, carrying in and packing wood, at eight center per cord, and folding and packing cloth. Oftentimes the midnight hour would find him hard at work.

Feeling that he was yet deficient in the mathematical education necessary for a thorough knowledge of the business which he had chosen, he attended school for three months during two winters, and devoted all his leisure time during his apprenticeship to the study of those problems which he had to solve and in the improvement of his handwriting. When the "financial crisis" of 1837 came, the mill was stopped during a part of that year, and he worked at farming through the summer, and took a position late in the fall as overseer of the warp-spinning, when the mill resumed operation. Being anxious to gain a more thorough knowledge of the weaving of cotton fabrics than the facilities of the small weaving-room at this mill afforded, the following spring he obtained a situation in the weaving department in charge of nelson Drake, at the Fiskdale Mills.

"What wages do you expect?" asked Mr. Drake.

"Give me whatever you think I am worth; I am not seeking wages, but a knowledge of the business in all its details," was the reply. So acceptably did he perform his duties that his wages were constantly increased while he remained in this department. In the spring of 1840 he entered the company's counting-room to obtain a knowledge of mercantile, manufacturing and double entry bookkeeping, under the instruction of Avery P. Taylor. His career as manager began in September, 1840, when he was engaged to take charge of a mill of four thousand spindles at Swift Creek, near Petersburg, Va., where he remained for two years. He then returned to his native town, in feeble health, and was serious ill and incapacitated for business for some time.

In November, 1841, he assumed the management of the cotton-mill located at Westville (a village in the westerly part of the town), and at the same time kept the "factory store."

He was married to Mary C. Bartlett, of Petersburg, Va., in 1843, and in the spring of 1845 removed from Westville to take charge of the Dresser Mill, in the Centre village, succeeding Benjamin F. Kimball as superintendent. It was then that he established a marked reputation, in this vicinity, as a manufacturer. Up to this time Mr. Kimball had been the acknowledged authority on cotton manufacturing in this locality. The work at the Dresser Mill was running badly; to use the language of a manufacturer, it was "completely bunged up." The manager and directors had made many fruitless efforts to ascertain the cause of the trouble, and finally came to the conclusion that the fault was in the raw material. A change in the quality of the cotton was consequently made, but no improvement in the running of the work resulted. The product was diminishing, the quality of work was inferior, the operatives were dissatisfied, many of them had given notices to leave, and the owners were disheartened.

The directors assembled one afternoon and sent for the young superintendent at Westville, requesting him to go over to the mill and, if possible, tell them what was the matter. He complied with their request, so far as to visit the mill; but when asked if he knew what the trouble was, replied that he would go there, take off his coat and go to work, and if, at the end of two days, he could not correct the difficulty he would not remain. The new superintendent discovered the cause of all the trouble very soon after he entered the mill, at once applied the needed remedy and very soon the equilibrium was restored.

In December, 1845, he became the superintendent of the Central Manufacturing Company, where he remained until 1857, having, in the mean time, became one of the stockholders. In response to a very urgent request from the agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, of Manchester, N. H., he accepted the position as manager of the upper level, embracing three mills and dye-house. While in the employ of this corporation he brought about great improvements in the dyeing department and in all the mills under his supervision. The Central Manufacturing Company having become financially embarrassed, self-protection rendered it necessary that he should again return to Southbridge, in 1859, and attempt a settlement of their affairs. In this he was successful, and Manning Leonard and himself became joint owners of the property and thus carried on the business until the breaking out of the Civil War, when the machinery was stopped and remained idle until November, 1863. At this time Mr. Leonard withdrew from the concern, called the Central Mills Company, which, having been thoroughly remodeled and supplied with improved machinery, has been successfully operated for the last twenty-five years, with C. A. Dresser as treasurer and manager.



Mr. John Edwards was born in Southbridge, Mass., June 12, 1822; and died there July 2, 1872.

He came from good, native New England stock on both sides, the son of Jacob Edwards and Hannah Marcy Edwards, who was a sister of ex-Governor William L. Marcy, of New York.

He married Mary E. Irwin, eldest daughter of Stephen P. Irwin, by whom he had three children, - one son, John M., who died in infancy, and two daughters, now living, Lizzie I. Edwards and Ida F., wife of Calvin D. Paige.

His early education was limited to the instruction afforded by the public schools of the town and a course of study at Wilbraham Academy, after which he was for a time employed in the store of William and Jacob Edwards, Jr., his brothers, who carried on the leading dry goods and grocery business of the town.

In 1844 he became a partner in the firm, which continued until 1852, when Jacob Edwards, Jr., sold out his interest to his brothers, William and John, who divided their interest, William taking the grocery department and John the dry goods department, doing business under the firm-name of "John Edwards & Co." until January, 1871, when, in consequence of failing health, he retired from active business.

In 1859, when his store was greatly injured by fire in an adjoining building, he was brought face to face with the question of rebuilding or of removing to a larger field, but upon mature consideration he determined to stay and enlarge his business. He erected the large brick block on Main Street, using the two lower floors for his business and the third floor as the "Edwards Opera House," - at this time this being the largest retail dry goods store in the county, and now considered one of the best appointed stores in this section.

The erection of this block was the commencement of the construction of the fine business brick blocks which give Southbridge its prominence and distinction, and had not a little to do with attracting attention to the business capacity and interests of the town, that led to the completion of the railroad.

His stock of goods was large, varied and expensive, and attracted the people from all the surrounding towns, his business being conducted with a system and attention to details unexcelled even at the present day in metropolitan centres of trade.

His success as a merchant established his reputation as a man of unusual business capacity.

For twenty years he was a director in the Southbridge National Bank and a trustee of the Southbridge Savings Bank.

Although of a retiring disposition, he held several public offices and represented the town in the Massachusetts Legislature of 1855.

He was an influential member of the Baptist Society, and when the church was destroyed by fire in 1863, it was largely through his labors that the present edifice was built, he contributing both time and money liberally towards its construction.

He took a deep interest in the welfare of the society, and at his decease left to the society, in trust for the benefit of the society and several Baptist institutions, a legacy known as the "Edwards legacy."

He first introduced gas into the town, putting in the gas works, first for his own use, and afterwards running them several years successfully for the public generally, until disposed of to the Mutual Gas-Light Company.

He purchased land on Main Street and improved it by opening and building Everett Street. In 1867 he built his new residence on the corner of Main and Everett Streets, which, with the fine grounds surrounding it, continues to be one of the most spacious and beautiful places in the village.

In public matters he was liberal, public-spirited and enterprising in all things that tended to the growth and welfare of the town, and he was always found an active and influential adviser and worker in that direction.

This brief sketch of Mr. Edwards sufficiently indicates his rank in the social, business and political life of the town, and the confidence and respect he enjoyed as a citizen among those who knew him best, but is, after all, deficient in conveying to any but those who knew the detail of his life-work his real worth to the community in which he lived, and the distinguished part he acted in contributing to the public thrift and progress here.

He was always looking ahead, and desired to keep matters moving, and was eager to put his own shoulder to the wheel of progress, whenever occasion required it.

In all the councils upon such affairs Mr. Edwards was a leader.

He was reserved and modest in manner, courteous and obliging, sagacious and prudent, helpful in worthy instances, and kind-hearted and sympathetic.

He had traveled in this country extensively, was always an intelligent observer, and therefore interesting as a companion. In these respects, for many years he filled a large and important place in his native town, and left behind him a memory that will endure, as one of its successful and worthy citizens.

There was nothing fortuitous in his career. He was the substantial architect of his own fortunes - most truly a self-made man - and will long be remembered as such.

Measuring his worth by what he was able to accomplish in life, few citizens of Southbridge have merited so prominent a place on the scroll of fame.



Hon. Linus Child, third child and third son of Renssealaer and Priscilla Corbin Child, born in Woodstock, Ct., February 27, 1803, and married, October 27, 1827, Berenthia Mason.

Hon. Mr. Child passed his early years on his father's farm, with the usual attendance upon the public school. He began his preparation for college under the tuition of Rev. Samuel Backus, of East Woodstock, and completed his preparatory studies at Bacon Academy, in Colchester, Conn., in the autumn of 1820. The following winter he entered Yale College, New Haven, whence he graduated in 1824. Mr. Child did not reach the highest rank in college as a scholar, but for honest, actual mastery of the prescribed course few were before him. After he graduated he became a member of the law school in New Haven, and studied in the office of S. P. Staples. He was also under Judge Daggett's instruction. Six months later he became a student in the office of Hon. Ebenezer Stoddard in the West Parish of his native town, and after eighteen months' study there was admitted to the bar of Connecticut. He spent a year in the office of Hon. George A. Tufts, of Dudley, Mass., when he was admitted to practice in the courts of Worcester County, Mass. He resided in Southbridge some eighteen years. During this period he was six times elected Senator from Worcester County to the State Legislature. In 1845 he removed to Lowell, and held the agency of one or two of the largest manufacturing corporations of that city. He possessed the unusual stature and frame of his father and grandfather, was cordial and genial in look and manner earnest in the promotion of all efforts for the public, and prominent in church and missionary interests, a member of the American Board of Foreign Missions.

In 1862 Mr. Child removed to Boston and resumed his profession, associating with his son, Linus M. Child.

Hon. Mr. Child died in Hingham, Mass., after a short illness, August 26, 1870.



This is, doubtless, a typical New England family, and, as such, the record is interesting as illustrating the origin and growth of that portion of the people of New England which has given to this part of the United States its peculiar character. It is also interesting from the fact that the peculiarities of New England character have been broadly impressed upon the whole nation, and, more than any other, have contributed to make the people of this country a distinct and original race, endowed with high purposes and strong qualities, fitting them for leadership in human progress.

The earliest mention of the family in this country appears in the records of the town of Salem in the year 1637. It is of French origin, and belonged to that numerous class of early settlers in this country known as Huguenots, who fled from persecution in their native land to find freedom for their religious convictions.

It is believed that the name was originally Amadon; but, by changes common in our early history, it may be found at this day in various forms, among which the more common are Ammidown, Amadon, Amidon and Ammidon.

The first settler at Salem was Roger Ammidown. He removed to Weymouth before 1640. On the records of that town in 1640 appears the birth of a child, Sarah, daughter of Roger and Sarah Ammidown. We next find him in Boston, where another child, Lydia, was born on the 22d of February, 1643. This is the first birth recorded in the Boston records under the letter "A." From Boston he joined a company from Weymouth, and founded the ancient town of Rehoboth, then in Plymouth Colony. Among his associates was Rev. Samuel Newman. The deed of conveyance of the land is from Governor William Bradford, dated 1641. The first meeting of these founders was held at Weymouth, October, 1643, and it was agreed that they should move to their new home before April, 1644. The settlement was incorporated in 1645, and Roger Ammidown is named as one of the original proprietors. His lot was located on the border of the Palmer River, about six miles west of the present centre of the town. He passed the remainder of his days at this place, and was buried there on the 13th of November, 1673. This founder of the family had a son Roger, who married, in 1666, Joanna Harwood, at Rehoboth. The family continued at this place for many years; but, about the beginning of the next century, Philip, a son of Roger - the third generation - and born in 1669, moved to Mendon. He had married, for his second wife, Ethemore Warfield, and the records of Mendon show that he had there a large family, born between 1704 and 1717. At a later period he removed to Oxford and became a proprietor in the English settlement of that town. He was also, with his wife, a member of the First Church of Oxford, when it was formed in March, 1721, under the charge of Rev. John Campbell, a remarkable man, whose descendants have held a conspicuous place in the annals of this country. Philip Ammidown died in Oxford March 15, 1747, aged seventy-eight. He had brought all his children with him to Oxford, where we find on the town records the dates of their marriages and of the births of their children. They have now grown too numerous to follow, and have become connected by marriage with many families, whose names are known in all parts of New England: the Cheneys, Davises, Chamberlains, Bullards, Curtises, Hastings, Aldrichs, Sumners, Holdens, Tafts, Sabins and many others.

Among the children of Philip, who died at Oxford in 1747, was Philip - the fourth generation - born in 1708 at Mendon. He married, at Oxford, Submit Bullard, and lived in the west part of that town, on the fertile hills at a later period (in 1754) set off and incorporated in the town of Charlton, and still later (in 1816) included in the corporate limits of the town of Southbridge. He had three children, from whom have descended those members of the family whose names have been most widely known since the beginning of the present century. These children - the fifth generation - were Caleb, born August, 1736; Joseph, born August, 1741, and Reuben, born September, 1747. From the middle of the last century down to the present time the public records of Worcester County bear frequent evidence of the part these men and their descendants have taken in public and private affairs.

Caleb Ammidown was a remarkable man, and, as one of the contributors for founding Leicester Academy, the later Governor Washburn refers to him as follows: "He was a class of men which were once scattered through the country, whose independence of thought and opinion gave character and consistency to public sentiment of the community at large."

The children of Caleb remained in the town where they were born. They were among its most influential citizens. Their work may be found in the roads, bridges and important public edifices of their native town. Their tomb-stones, with the record of their birth and death, may be found in the town cemetery. But, although in the early part of this century the name was among the most conspicuous in this town, and now is among the most frequent in its cemetery, this family has been gradually dispersed, and at the present day is represented by comparatively few persons. These few, however, bear many of the traits which distinguished their progenitors. They are generally useful citizens, ready to perform the duties of citizenship, and in both public and private life acting well their part.

The children of Joseph (brother of Caleb) nearly all moved away from the place of their birth, and located in the State of New York.

The children of Reuben (brother of Caleb) also, many of them, moved to other parts of the country.

Among the children of Caleb were three men, who made their mark locally. They were: John, born in 1759; Luther, born in 1761, and Calvin, born in 1768. These men were of the sixth generation. Luther was the most widely known, and, like his father, was a member of the State Legislature. He died in 1835.

Among the children of the seventh generation was the late Holmes Ammidown, born in Southbridge June 12, 1801. He died in St. Augustine, Florida, April 3, 1883. Holmes Ammidown was a member of the State Legislature in 1836. He afterwards became prominent as a merchant in Boston, and, by his public and private character, illustrated the traits which have marked the family career from its earliest known period. An account of his life, with a portrait, may be found in the Proceedings of the Worcester Society of Antiquity, for the year 1883.

Among the children of Calvin Ammidown was Eben D. Ammidown, of the seventh generation, prominent as a manufacturer and as a member of the State Senate. His mind, remarkably strong and fertile, was constantly engaged in projects for public improvements.

The Ammidown family is now scattered throughout the United States. Although never a numerous family, it has made its mark in every generation, never reaching the highest distinctions, but always conspicuous for the qualities which make good citizens.

In former times they were generally farmers; in later years they have engaged successfully in various pursuits - farming, manufacturing, mercantile and professional.

Several of the family have already been specially named as holding prominent positions in life. Among others of note may be mentioned Philip, of Mendon, of the sixth generation, and his son Otis, who became distinguished as a merchant, both in Europe and America, and died in Philadelphia in 1858, aged eighty-seven. A daughter of Philip, of Mendon (Sylvia), was the wife of Jonathan Russel, who was one of the Commissioners signing the Treaty with Great Britain in 1814. A grandson of Philip, of Mendon (the seventh generation), was graduated at Harvard College in 1830. Another, of the Southbridge branch of the family, Edward Holmes (of the eighth generation), was graduated at Harvard College in 1853. Another, Albert (of the ninth generation), also of the Southbridge branch, was graduated at Harvard College in 1868.

the death of another member of this family, Mr. Hollis Amidon, has this week (January 22, 1889) been announced in the papers at Washington, D. C. It is not known to the writer to what branch of the family he belonged, but the language of the obituary notice of him indicates that the family traits found marked expression in his career. It says: "He died at the advanced age of eighty-two. He represented the Department of Agriculture in the Centennial Exhibition. He was a man of rare intellect, and contributed many articles to the press. He was much liked by all who knew him."

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