Templeton Massachusetts, 1890
Templeton is a pleasant agricultural and manufacturing town of 2,627 inhabitants in the northerly part of Worcester County, 69 miles northwest of Boston, and bounded on the north by Royalston and Winchendon, on the northeast by the latter and Gardner, on the southeast by Hubbardston, and on the southwest and west by Phillipston. The assessed area is 18,026 acres. The Fitchburg Railroad has stations at Otter River in the northeast and Baldwinsville in the north, and the Ware River Branch of the Boston and Albany at Templeton (centre) and Baldwinsville. These and East Templeton are the post-offices, and other villages are Brooks', Partridgeville and South Templeton.
The surface of the town is broken and picturesque. Rounded hills, fertile valleys, romantic glens and verdant meadows, all conspire to beautify the town. Crow Hill, in the northwesterly section, is a conspicuous elevation; and Mine Hill, in the southeasterly part, is noted for an old excavation, disclosed in 1824. The shaft enters horizontally a solid rock to the distance of 57 feet, and is about 5 feet square. It is said to have been cut in 1753 in search of supposed ore. Otter River, having small ponds in the southeast, east, northeast, and west of the centre, flows north to Miller's River, forming a part of the eastern line of the town, and furnishes valuable power. Beaver Brook, in the northwest, also flows into Miller's River; while Burntshirt River, having ponds in the southwest, forms the line thence on that side southward to Hubbardston, being a branch of Ware River. The principal rock is ferruginous, gneiss, with which is much quartz. The soil is loamy and fertile, and there is a thrifty forest of about 5,000 acres.
The 143 farms in 1885 yielded an aggregate product valued at $103,728. The largest manufactories are the chair and box factories and two small woollen mills, employing altogether about 400 persons. Other manufactures are stoves, buckets, toys, bricks, boots and shoes, leather, paper goods, clothing, carriages and food preparations. The value of goods made in 1885 was $629,409. The savings bank at the close of last year carried $200,622 in deposits. The number of legal voters was 691; and the dwelling-houses 598. The valuation in 1888 was $1,104,559, with a tax-rate of $16 on $1,000. There are 10 public school-houses, valued at $21,000.
The Boynton Free Library contains about 3,000 volumes. The new public library and the savings bank are handsome buildings. The Ladies' Social Circle Library, also, has about the same number of volumes. The town weekly newspaper is the "Recorder." The churches are two Congregationalist, a Unitarian, a Baptist, a Roman Catholic and a Universalist. The older and larger villages are very attractive, having along the streets many large maple, elm and ash trees. The Baldwinsville Children's Hospital, consisting of several cottages beautifully located about half a mile from the village, is a State institution, but also largely supported and watched over by benevolent associations and individuals. At present it has accommodations for 150 children,— insufficient for the applications.
The territory of Templeton was originally "Narragansett Number Six," granted to certain persons (or their heirs) who served the country in King Philip's War. It was incorporated as a town March 6, 1762; and named, it is supposed, in honor of John Temple, who then represented the American branch of the family of Richard Grenville, Earl Temple. The Rev. Daniel Pond, ordained over the church in 1755, was the first minister. George C. Shattuck, M.D. (1783-1854), an eminent physician and author, who devised $60,000 to charitable objects; and William Goodell, D.D. (1792-1867), a devoted missionary, and the translator of the Bible into the Armeno-Turkish language, were natives of this town.
Pp. 636-637 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890