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THIS town was incorporated January 4th, 1737-38; previous to this time it was the western precinct of Watertown.
It appears that there was considerable difficulty between the eastern and western parts of Watertown for a long
period. As early as 1692 the town endeavored to select a place for a new meeting house, which should be “most convenient
for the bulk of the inhabitants.” The same year, at the request of the selectmen, the governor and council appointed
a committee to consider and report upon the subject. This committee advised the town to settle the Rev. Henry Gibbs,
who had preached to them for several years, and build a meeting-house between the house of widow Stearns and Whitney’s
Hill, in which the whole town should worship. This house was built here, and completed in February, 1696. It was
not satisfactory to some parts of the town, and Mr. Gibbs refused to preach in it. In August, the same year, the
church chose Rev. Samuel Angier to be their pastor, and a majority of the town concurred in the choice. In 1697,
Mr. Angier accepted of the call of the church and town, expressing his readiness to assume the duties of his office.
At the same time, the church chose Rev. Mr. Easterbrook, of Concord, “to give the pastoral charge, and to be the
mouth and moderator of the church in the public management of the whole affair of perfecting the settlement of
Mr. Angier." It appears that excepting Mr. Easterbrook no minister in the vicinity could be obtained to assist
on this occasion. The church, agreeably to their vote, proceeded to induct their pastor into office. After a discourse
had been preached by Mr. Angier, it was declared that the church had chosen Mr. Easterbrook to manage the whole
affair, and give the pastoral charge. He accordingly read Mr. Angier's dismission and recommendation from the church
at Rehoboth, desired the church to accept the same, and to receive Mr. A. into their fellowship; asked them to
renew their invitation to Mr. A. to be their minister, and him to repeat the acceptance of their call; "and
then, with much gravity and seriousness, gave a most solemn and scriptural charge to Mr. Angier, to attend to the
whole pastoral duty in and towards the church." In the MSS. of Judge Sewall it is recorded: "Oct. 6,
1697, a church was gathered at Watertown, east end, and Mr. Henry Gibbs was ordained. The ceremony was abroad,
because the western party got possession of the meeting house." Though Mr. Angier and Mr. Gibbs were. both
ministers of 'Watertown, yet they can hardly be said to have been associates, as one preached in the old and the
other in the new meeting-house, and the adherents appear to have been somewhat at variance. They were both, however,
maintained from the town treasury. This state of things continued till 1720, when the town was divided into two
precincts. Mr. Angier died in 1719. In 1723, Rev. Warham Williams was ordained their next pastor; he was the son
of Mr. Williams of Deerfield, and was carried off with his father by the indians into Canada. Mr. Williams died
in 1751, aged 52. He was succeeded by Rev. Jacob Cushing, who was ordained in 1752. Dr. Cushing died in 1809, aged
79 years. He was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Ripley the same year.
The above is an eastern view of the Massasoit Hotel, situated at the eastern extremity of the principal street
in Waltham. The village consists of about 150 dwelling houses, mostly situated on one street, running east and
west, about 1 mile in extent, across the level plain on which the town is built. There are a number of elegant
residences in the immediate vicinity, surrounded by grounds tastefully ornamented by evergreen and other trees.
Waltham is one of the pleasantest towns in the vicinity of Boston. The land in the south part of the town which
runs parallel with Charles river, the distance of two miles, and half a mile in breadth, is very level, and is
mostly of a light sandy soil, not very deep. Adjoining the river it is fertile. In the interior the land is in
general uneven, and in some parts rocky. There are two ponds in the town Beaver Pond, which is about one mile in
circumference, and near the village, and Mead's Pond, which is much larger, being a mile in length and more than
half a mile in breadth: it is situated in the N. W. part of the town. The principal branch of Beaver brook takes
its rise from this pond. Gov. Winthrop and his companions, who traversed this part of the country in 1632, gave
the name to Beaver brook "because the beavers had shorn down divers great trees, and made divers dams across
the brook." Charles river, which washes the southern extremity of this town, affords considerable water power,
which has been well improved. The "Waltham Cotton and Woollen Manufacturing Company," an extensive establishment,
was incorporated in 1812. The Boston Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1813. "By extraordinary skill
and good management, these establishments, though the first in the country on an extensive scale, and through all
the various commercial changes, have proved lucrative to the proprietors, and highly beneficial to the public."
"The private gardens of the Honorable Theodore Lyman, in this town, are unsurpassed for costliness and beauty
by any other in the LTnited States." There are 6 churches, 3 Congregational, 1 Methodist, 1 Universalist,
and 1 Catholic. Population, 2,287. Distance, 9 miles S. E. of Concord, 34 N. E. of Worcester, 10 northerly of Dedham,
and 10 westerly from Boston.
In 1837, there were 3 cotton mills, 11,488 spindles; cotton consumed, 895,446 lbs.; 2,433,630 yards of cotton goods
were manufactured, valued at $275,000; males employed, 76; females, 400; capital invested, $450,000. Value of boots
and shoes manufactured was $17,787; value of hats manufactured, $24,000; value of paper manufactured, $12,480.
There is a machine shop and a bleachery, each of which employs about 30 hands.
Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.