Paxton Massachusetts, 1890

Paxton is a small agricultural town lying nearly in the centre of Worcester County. Its nearest railroad station is Worcester, about seven miles distant. Paxton (centre) is the village and post-office. Rutland is the boundary on the north, Holden on the east, Leicester on the south, and Spencer and Oakham on the west. Worcester adjoins the southeast corner for a short distance. The assessed area is 8,848 acres, including 3,098 acres of forest.

The surface is varied, pleasing and somewhat peculiar. The hills seem but gentle swells of land, and are cultivated to their summits. Asnebumsket Hill, near the southeastern border, reaches an altitude of 1,407 feet. Other prominent landmarks are Fox Hill near the centre, Pine in the northeast corner, and Turkey Hill near the northern border. Near its base on the north is Turkey Hill Pond, which is probably the remotest source of the Chicopee River. On the eastern border is Asnebumsket Pond, which sends out a feeder to the Nashua River. The largest body of water in the town is Bottomly Pond, in the southeast part, the principal source of the Blackstone River. The town is rich in ponds, springs and rivulets. The geological formation is ferruginous gneiss. The soil is deep and strong, amply moistened, and yields well.

The value of the aggregate product of the 135 farms in 1885 was $81,229. There are two wooden-box factories and one carriage factory; and 31 men were engaged in making hoots and shoes. The value of goods made was $7,300. The population was 561, of whom 126 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $277,669, with a tax-rate of $16.40 on $1,000. There were 130 dwelling-houses taxed.

The town has primary and grammar schools, provided for in five school buildings valued at some $4,000. There is a free public library of about 1,200 volumes. The one church here is Congregationalist.

Paxton was formed from parts of the towns of Rutland and Leicester, and incorporated, February 12, 1765. It was probably named from Charles Paxton, one of the commissioners of customs in Boston. The town sent 72 men to do battle for the Union in the late war and has erected a granite monument to the seven who were lost.

Pp. 530-531 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890

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