Southborough Massachusetts, 1890

Southborough is a pleasant and thriving town forming the eastern extremity of Worcester County, 28 miles west of Boston. Its boundaries are Marlborough on the north, Framingham and Ashland on the east, Hopkinton on the south, and Westborough on the west ; all except the last town being in Middlesex County. The assessed area is 9,407 acres. There are some 2,000 acres of forest.

The surface of the town is beautifully varied with hill and valley, and is somewhat rocky, the principal stone being calcareous gneiss. Wolf-pen Hill in the north, Walnut Hill in the northwest, Pine Hill in the northeast and Oak Hill in the southeast, are beautiful elevations. Between the last two is a pleasant range of rounded eminences, whose smoothly sloping sides afford excellent pasturage. Stony Brook winds through the central part of the town, affording some motive power. An affluent, Angle Brook, flows from a large swamp in the northeast angle of the town. Sudbury River forming the south line, and near it, across the town, runs the Boston and Albany Railroad, having stations at Cordaville and Southville. The Marlborough and Fitchburg division of the Old Colony Railroad, from Framingham, has stations at Fayville and Southborough (centre). All these villages are post-offices.

The soil, especially in the northerly part of the town, is strong, moist and fertile, and forests and fruit trees are numerous and thrifty. Apples, pears and peaches are a considerable crop. The value of the aggregate product of the 911 farms in 1885 was $220,904. The principal manufactories consist of two small woollen mills, and a boot and shoe factory employing in June, 1885, 269 persons. Other manufactures were lumber, leather, machinery and other metallic articles, carriages, straw braid, and food preparations . The value of the aggregate product was $618,588. The population was 2,100, of whom 477 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $1,429,443, with a tax-rate of $11.90 on $ 1,000. There were 422 taxed dwelling-houses.

There is an excellent town-house. The schools are one high, and grammar and mixed. There are also three private schools, one of which St. Mark's School, incorporated in 1865 has buildings valued at $14,000, and a library of nearly 1,500 volumes. Connected with this school is a pretty chapel of stone. The Fay Library has upwards of 5,000 volumes, and is for town use. One weekly newspaper is published here, called the "Press." The churches are two Congregationalist, one Baptist and one Episcopalian.

Southborough was taken from Marlborough, and incorporated, July 6, 1727, receiving an addition from Framingham in 1786. The first church was organized, and the Rev. Nathan Stone ordained over it, October 24, 1730. This town evinced a noble patriotism in the Revolutionary war, sending a large company of minute-men to the opening conflict. The military warrant, dated November 7, 1774, will still have interest to citizens and natives :

"To Ezekiel Collings One of the Corporals of the Military foot Company in the Town of Southborough in the County of Worcester under the Commend of Josiah Fay Captain and in the Rigimant whereof Artemas Ward Esq. of Shrewsbury is Colonol GREETING.

You are hereby Directted forthwith to Warn all the afternamed Non Commission Officers and Soldiers of Said Company Viz,

Sart Jonathan Champny Drums Luke Newton Drums William Williams
Dito Elijah Brigham Sirus Newton Abnor Parker
Dito Hezekiah Fay Gideon Newton John Johnson
Co1. Jams Williams Mark Collins Isaac Ball
Dito Ezekiel Collins John Richards Nathan Fay
Dito Ebenezer Richards Josiah Fay Junr Jedediah Parker
Drums Isaac Newton Junr Andrew Phillips John Leonard
Joshua Smith John Phillips Isaac Newton
Benja Smith Ebenr Newton Solomon Leonard
Nathan Tapplin Josiah Ward Timothy Angler
Elisha Tapplin Ebenezer Collins Jonah Johnson
Eneas Ward Johna Clifford Jonas Woods
Elisha Fay Zacheus Witherbee Edwd Chamberlin
John Fay Junr Daniel Johnson Nathan Champny
Elisha Johnson Kirby Moore Job Biglo
Ephraim Amsden Edmand Moore Thomas Stone
Moses Newton Mark Collings Junr Peter Ston
Erasmas Ward Willm Winchister Asahel Newton
David Newton Junr Jabez Newton  

[southboro station - northern div O.C.R.R.- winter scene]

[the soldiers' monument, southborough]

The town responded promptly to the calls for soldiers in the late war, and raised in all 206 men, of whom 17 died in the service. A beautiful granite monument bearing their names has been erected on the green in front of the Congregationalist church at the central village. Waldo Irving Burnett (1828-1854), an eminent naturalist and microscopist, was a native of this town. Hon. Francis B. Fay was also a native.

pp. 602-606 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890