Upton Massachusetts, 1890

Upton, so called from its situation, is a long and narrow town in the southeast part of Worcester County, of broken and hilly aspect, with a good strong soil adapted to cereals, pasturage and arboriculture. It is 36 miles southwest of Boston with which it is connected by the Grafton and Upton and Boston and Albany railroads. Upton (centre) and West Upton are the villages, also post-offices and railroad stations. Westborough lies on its north; Hopkinton on the northeast; the latter and Milford on the east; Mendon and Northbridge on the south; and the latter and Grafton on the west.

The assessed area is 13,040 acres, of which 4,162 acres are woodland. The principal rock is gneissic. In the eastern part of the town is a mineral spring. In the northwest is a long ridge of land called "George's Hill." George's (or Miscoe) Brook flows about its western base, entering the town near the western village, where it furnishes valuable power. Peppercorn Hill, in the east, commands a fine view of North Pond, from which flows Mill River, separating Upton from Milford. Pratt's Hill and pond, and a smaller pond, beautify the scenery on the north of the central village. Warren Brook, uniting with Miscoe Brook at West Upton, forms West River, which flows thence southward through the town, and enters the Blackstone River in Uxbridge.

Much attention is paid by the farmers to orcharding and cranberry culture. The wood product also is large. The value of the aggregate product of the 140 farms in 1885 was $128,648. There are two factories making hats and other straw goods, employing nearly 800 persons. Boxmaking engaged 17 men, and there was one saw mill; the product of the two in 1885 being valued at $18,063. Other manufactured products were stone, metallic articles and food preparations. The population was 2,265; of whom 513 were legal voters. The taxed dwelling-houses numbered 384. The valuation in 1888 was $883,209, with a tax of $17 on $1,000. The town has a high school, and others of the primary and grammar grades; provided for in ten school buildings valued at some $6,000. There is a fine town-hall, built in 1884 at a cost of $25,000. The town library contains upwards of 1,000 volumes, and Knowlton & Sons' straw factory also has a library for its employees. The four churches are Congregationalist, Methodist, Unitarian and Roman Catholic.

Upton was formed of parts of Mendon, Sutton and Hopkinton, and incorporated, June 14, 1785. A church was organized here in 1735, and the Rev. Thomas Weld ordained pastor. The town lost 31 soldiers of the 192 it furnished for the Union cause in the late war. Hon. Henry Chapin, LL.D. (B.U. 1835), an able jurist and excellent man, was a native of this town.

pp. 648-649 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890