Sutton Massachusetts, 1890
Sutton is an agricultural and manufacturing town of 3,101 inhabitants, situated in the southeastern section of Worcester County, about 40 miles southwest of Boston. The Providence and Worcester Railroad has a station at Wilkinsonville, in the northeast corner of the town. This village and Sutton (centre), Manchaug in the south, and West Sutton, are post-offices; the other villages being South Sutton and Woodbury's Village. Sutton is bounded on the north by Millbury, on the northeast by Grafton, on the east by Northbridge, on the south by Douglas, and on the west by Oxford. The assessed area is 20,035 acres; more than one third of the town being covered with forests of oak and chestnut. The geological formation is calcareous gneiss, with much granite and quartz. In the southeast section is a chasm in the rock nearly one fourth of a mile in length, with jagged sides, often perpendicular, 40 feet apart, and said to be at some points 70 feet or more in depth. Notable eminences are Leland Hill in the east, Potter Hill in the northwest, and Putnam Hill in the southwest. Singletary Pond, mainly in this town, has an area of about 500 acres; Ramshorn Pond, also on the northern line, is the head of Blackstone River, which furnishes power at Wilkinsonville; and Manchaug, in the southwest, containing over 300 acres, is the source of Mumford's River, - which furnishes power at Manchaug village and enters the former stream in Uxbridge. Pleasantdale Pond, containing about 75 acres, sends Cold Spring Brook to the Blackstone, as it crosses the northeast corner of the town.
The soil is clayey loam in the north and west, sandy and gravelly in other parts. The dairy, apples, peaches, pears, cranberries, and vegetables are leading items in the products of the 13 farms; whose aggregate value in 1885 was $173,543. The manufactories are two cotton factories, constructed of granite and employing about 720 persons; a boot and shoe factory employing about 20 persons; a lumber mill, 3 carriage factories, and others of less magnitude. A considerable number of the inhabitants are axe-makers and machinists, employed in factories in adjoining towns. The textiles made here in 1885 were valued at $671,824; and all the goods made at $699,961. There were 588 legal voters and 490 dwelling-houses. The valuation in 1888 was $1,303,731, with a tax-rate of $12.50 on $1,000. There are a good town-hall, erected in 1884, a free library of about 3,000 volumes, and 13 public school-houses; the latter valued at up wards of $15,000. The Baptists have three churches in the town; the Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics, one each.
Sutton was originally bought of John Wampus, an Indian sachem, and granted by the General Court to the purchasers in 1704. It was incorporated June 21, 1715. In 1813 its "North Parish" was established as the town of Millbury. The first church was organized in the autumn of 1720; the first minister being the Rev. John McKinstry. The town sent 15 men to serve the Union cause in the late war, and lost more than half of them.
Gen. Rufus Putnam (1738-1824), an able engineer and officer in the Revolutionary War; Solomon Sibley (1769-1846), a distinguished lawyer and judge; Alden Marsh, M.D., LL.D. (1795-1869), an eminent surgeon; and Gen. George Boardman Boomer (1832-1863), a brave officer, killed in a charge on the fortifications of Vicksburg, were all natives of this town.
pp. 628-629 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890