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Uxbridge, MA


Downtown Uxbridge, looking South on Route 122, Fall scene
Official seal of Uxbridge
Nickname(s): "Home of America's First Woman Voter" "Crossroads Village"
Motto: "Weaving a Tapestry of Early America"

Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts

Coordinates: 42°04′38″N 71°37′48″W / 42.07722°N 71.63000°W / 42.07722; -71.63000Coordinates: 42°04′38″N 71°37′48″W / 42.07722°N 71.63000°W / 42.07722; -71.63000

Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1662
Incorporated 1727
 • Type Open Town Meeting
 • Chair, Board of Selectmen Jay Cahill
 • Vice Chair, Board of Selectmen Bruce Desilets
 • Clerk, Board of Selectmen Thomas Rice
 • Selectmen Peter Baghdasarian, open
 • Town Manager Sean Hendricks
 • Total 30.4 sq mi (78.7 km2)
 • Land 29.5 sq mi (76.5 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
Elevation 270 ft (82 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,457
 • Density 442.66/sq mi (170.77/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01569, 01538, 01525
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-71620
GNIS feature ID 0618387

Uxbridge, is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first settled in 1662, incorporated in 1727, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town, (population 13,457), is located 40 mi (64 km) southwest of Boston and 16 mi (26 km) south-southeast of Worcester. This town has numerous historic sites, and is the midpoint of Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

A Nipmuc village, 'Wacentug" (river bend), saw 17th century settlers arrive. Lt. Col. Seth Reed fought at Bunker Hill, and was "instrumental" in adding E Pluribus Unum, ('From Many, One'), to U.S. Coins.[1] Rivers drove textile mills, and the Blackstone Canal moved freight, positioning Uxbridge for: woolen power looms which made military uniforms. The third US woolen mill began here in 1809. Uxbridge Worsted Co made "Uxbridge Blue", the first US Air Force Dress Uniform.[2]

Uxbridge granted town meeting rights to America's first woman voter, Lydia Chapin Taft [3] and approved Massachusetts's first women jurors in 1922.[4][5] Effingham Capron,[6] and fellow Quakers, led anti-slavery work providing a junction on the underground railroad. A local Quaker, Abby Kelley Foster, led Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone into the abolition movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America"[7] in industry and social reform.


Colonial era, Revolution, Quakers, and Abolition

John Eliot started Nipmuc Praying Indian villages.[8][9][10] "Wacentug" natives sold land to settlers in 1662,[11] "for 24 pound Ster".[11][11][12] Mendon began in 1667, and burned in King Phillips War. Western Mendon became Uxbridge in 1727, and Farnum House held the first town meeting.[13] Nathan Webb's church, was the Colony's first new Congregational church in the Great Awakening.[14] Lydia Chapin Taft, voted in the 1756 Town meeting, a first for women.[3] Records show that before 1783, slavery existed in the Massachusetts Colony and in Uxbridge.

Seth and Joseph Read. and Simeon Wheelock joined Committees of Correspondence.[15] Baxter Hall, was a Minuteman drummer.[16] Seth Read fought at Bunker Hill. Washington stopped at Reed's tavern, en route to command the Continental Army.[17][18] Samuel Spring, was a Revolution chaplain.[19] Deborah Sampson, enlisted as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge".[20] Shays' Rebellion's also began here and Governor John Hancock quelled Uxbridge riots.[21][22] Simeon Wheelock, died protecting the Springfield Armory.[23] Seth Reed added E pluribus unum to U.S. coins.[1][15][24] Washington slept here on his Inaugural tour.[25][26]

RI Quakers, including Richard Mowry, built mills, railroads, houses, tools and Conestoga wagon wheels.[23][27][28] Southwick's store housed the "Social and Instructive Library". Friends Meetinghouse, next to Mosses Farnum's farm, had prominent abolitionists Abby Kelley Foster, and Effingham Capron as members.[29][30][31][32] Capron led the 450 member local anti-slavery society. Brister Pierce, purportedly formerly a slave in Uxbridge, was one of 132 men to sign an 1835 antislavery petition presented to the US House of Representatives demanding the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia.[33]

Transportation, education and public health

The Tafts built the Middle Post Road's Blackstone River bridge in 1709.[34] "Teamsters" drove horse "team" freight wagons, on the Worcester-Providence stage route. The Blackstone Canal brought horsedrawn barges to Providence through Uxbridge for overnight stops.[11][35][36] The "crossroads village" was a junction on the underground railroad.[6] The P&W Railroad ended canal traffic in 1848.

A 1732 vote "set up a school for ye town of Uxbridge".[11] A grammar school was followed by 13 one room district school houses, built for $2000 in 1797. Uxbridge Academy (1818), became a prestigious New England Prep School.

Uxbridge voted against smallpox vaccine .[3] Samuel Willard (physician) treated smallpox victims in South Uxbridge.[37] Vital records recorded many infant deaths,[17] the smallpox death of Selectman Joseph Richardson, "Quincy", "dysentary", and tuberculosis deaths.[17][23] Leonard White recorded Malaria in 1896 that led to [38] firsts in control of malaria as a mosquito-borne infection.[38]

Industrial era: 19th century to mid-20th century

Bog iron and three iron forges marked the colonial era, with the inception of large-scale industries beginning around 1775[39]—examples of this development can be seen in the work of Richard Mowry, who built and marketed equipment to manufacture woolen, linen, or cotton cloth,.[7][40] and gristmills, sawmills, distilleries, and large industries.[8] Uxbridge reached a peak of twenty different industrial mills.[8][23] Daniel Day built the first woolen mill in 1809.[3][11] By 1855, 560 local workers made 2,500,000 yards (2,300,000 m) of cloth (14,204 miles (22,859 km)).[8][23][39] A small silver vein in SW Uxbridge, led to unsuccessful commercial mining in the 1830s.[41]

Innovations included power looms, vertical integration of wool to clothing, cashmere wool-synthetic blends, "wash and wear", yarn spinning techniques, and latch hook kits. Villages included mills, shops, worker housing, and farms. Wm. Arnold's Ironstone cotton mill, later made "Kentucky Blue Jeans",[23] and Seth Read's gristmill, later housed Bay State Arms. Hecla and Wheelockville housed American Woolen, Waucantuck Mill, Hilena Lowell's shoe factory, and Draper Corporation. Daniel Day, Jerry Wheelock, and Luke Taft used water powered mills. Moses Taft's (Central Woolen) operated continuously making Civil War cloth,[23][42]

North Uxbridge housed Clapp's 1810 Cotton Mill, Chandler Taft's snd Richard Sayles Rivulet Mill, the granite quarry, and Rogerson's village. Crown and Eagle Mill was "a masterpiece of early industrial architecture".[43] Blanchard's granite quarry provided curb stones to New York City and regional public works projects.[8][23][44] Peter Rawson Taft's grandson, William Howard Taft, visited Samuel Taft House.[45]

John Sr., Effingham and John W. Capron's mill pioneered US satinets and woolen power looms[8][11][39][46] Charles A. Root and Edward Bachman expanded Bachman-Uxbridge., and leadership in women's fashion.[47] The company manufactured US Army uniforms for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the nurse corps, and the first Air Force "dress uniforms", dubbed "Uxbridge Blue".[23][48] It proposed a buyout to be the top US woolen company.[49]

Mid-20th century to present

State and national parks developed around mills and rivers were restored.National historic sites.


Notable people

Robert Taft I, was patriarch to the Taft family political dynasty. Robert Taft, 2nd was a Selectman, and Benjamin Taft built a second iron forge. Josiah Taft's widow, Lydia (Chapin) Taft, was "America's first woman voter" [3] Bezaleel Taft, Sr., served as an American Revolution Captain, state representative and state senator, as did, Bezaleel Taft, Jr.. Samuel Taft hosted George Washington on his post inaugural tour.[3] Ezra ("T".) Taft Benson was an LDS Church Apostle, Hawaii missionary, and Utah legislator. Chandler Taft built the 1814 Rivulet Mill. Daniel Day, a Taft, started the third US woolen mill. Luke Taft built 2 water powered textile mills, and Moses Taft built Stanley Woolen Mill. Hon. Peter Rawson Taft I was the grandfather of William Howard Taft.

Willard Preston, a University of Vermont President, published famous sermons.[57] Arthur MacArthur, Sr. was a Lt. Governor, Chief Justice and Douglas MacArthur's grandfather. Seth Read[58] founded Erie, PA and Geneva, NY.[1][15][24] Paul C. Whitin, founded the Whitin Machine Works. Phineas Bruce and Benjamin Adams were Congressmen. Joshua Macomber and William Augustus Mowry were educators. Effingham Capron was a key abolitionist and industrialist.[6] Edward Sullivan, won a Congressional Medal in the Spanish-American War. Willard Bartlett was a NY Chief Justice and Franklin Bartlett, a Congressman. Edward P. Bullard started Bullard Machine tools whose designs enabled auto manufacturing and industry.

Charles Aurthur Root, Edward Bachman, and Harold Walter built Uxbridge Worsted into a manufacturing giant which led women's fashions. Alice Bridges won an Olympic bronze in Berlin.[59] Tim Fortugno played for the California Angels and Chicago White Sox. Richard Moore, Senate President Pro Tem (MA), was a FEMA executive, a Past President of the Conference of State Legislatures, and a principal architect of Massachusetts's landmark health care law .[60][61] Brian Skerry is a National Geographic photojournalist, protecting global sea life.[62] Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr. is curator of Baroque Art at the National Gallery.[63] Jacqueline Liebergott,was president of Emerson College. Jeannine Oppewall, has four Academy Award nominations for best art direction. (see notable residents)


County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate: Stephen Abraham (D)
County Sheriff: Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Ryan Fattman (R)
Kevin J. Kuros (R)
State Senator(s): Richard T. Moore (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Jen Caissie (R)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-2nd Dist.)
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)

Uxbridge has a Board of Selectmen and town meeting form of government, with officials listed in the top infobox:[64] Local government 1) granted the first woman in America the right to vote,[3] 2) voted against mallpox vaccine in 1775,[3] and 3) defied the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, by approving women jurors.[65] The 2009 Board of Health made Uxbridge the 3rd community in the US to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies. State agencies control county elected offices (see info box). Worcester's Judicial District includes Uxbridge District Court.


The town is 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), or 2.73%, is water. It is situated 39.77 miles (64.00 km) southwest of Boston, 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Worcester, and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Providence. Elevations range from 200 feet (61 m) to 577 feet (176 m) above sea level. It borders Douglas, Mendon, Millville, Northbridge, and Sutton, Massachusetts, plus the Rhode Island towns of Burrillville and North Smithfield.


A USDA hardiness zone 5 continental climate prevails with snowfall extremes from October (rare), to May. The highest recorded temperature was 104 F, in July 1975, and the lowest, -25 F in January 1957.[66]

Climate data for Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 37
Average low °F (°C) 13
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.6


The 2010 United States Census[67] was 13,457, a growth rate of 20.6%, with 5,056 households, a density rate of 166.31 units per square mile. 95.7% were White, 1.7% Asian, 0.90% Hispanic, 0.3% African American, and 1.4% other. Population density was 442.66 people/ mile2 (170.77/km²). Per capita income was $24,540, and 4.7% fell below the poverty line. The number of registered voters was 9,959 for 2010


High tech, services, distribution, life sciences, hospitality, local government, education and tourism offer local jobs. A 618,000 square feet (57,400 m2) distribution center serves Fortune 500 BJ's Wholesale Club's, northern division. The November 2011 unemployment was 6.3% [68]


Local schools include: Taft pre k-2, Whitin Elementary, McCluskey Middle, Uxbridge High (built 2012) and Our Lady of the Valley Regional. Valley Tech (Upton) houses Quinsigamond State College. The New York Times called Uxbridge education reforms, a "little revolution" to meet family needs.[69]


Tri-River Family Health Center, (UMass Medical) offers primary care. Milford Regional, Landmark M/C, hospices and long term care are nearby, or local.



The nearest MBTA Commuter Rail stops are Forge Park/495 on the Franklin Line and Worcester on the Framingham/Worcester Line, 15 miles away. The Northeast Corridor Providence (Amtrak station), has trains with top speeds of 150 MPH. The Providence and Worcester Railroad freight line passes two former local stations.




TF Green State Airport Warwick-Providence, RI, Worcester airport, and Boston Logan International Airport, have commercial flights. Hopedale airport, 7.2 miles (11.6 km), and Worcester airport, have general aviation. Sky Glen Airport on Quaker highway is still listed, though it is a dense Industrial Park, and at its peak of operations saw very low traffic.[71]

Points of interest


See also


External links

  • The New Uxbridge Times, Local Newspaper
  • Uxbridge tourism, FIrst Night Celebration
  • Town of Uxbridge website
  • cable tv channel
  • in 1662
  • [2] PBS Special:"After the Mayflower, Nipmuc Language, We Shall Remain", with Native Speaker, David Tall Pine White
  • Community
  • [4] [Berroco Inc. Continuation of a 200 year family textile/yarn enterprise]
  • Uxbridge on "New England Byways", 1998 WBZ TV plus Christmas eve video of Uxbridge on
  • Seth & Hannah Reed
  • Abby Kelley Foster, Worcester women's history project
  • Current weather conditions, Weather station, next to Uxbridge, MA
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