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THIS was the north part of the town of Westhorough, the main part whereof was set off from Marlborough in 1717.
It was made the second precinct, or parish, of Westborough in 1744, and incorporated a town in 1766. There were
settlers in this part of Meriborough before there were any in what is now Westborough. As early as 1700, or rather
before, a few families had fixed down here. The following is a list of persons who were heads of families in this
place before it became a separate parish.
Sam. Goodenow. Jr.,
Simeon Howard, Sen.,
Gershom Fay, Sen.,
Dea. Isaac Tomblin,
The Congregational church was gathered in this place on the 21st of May, 1746, and on the same day the Rev. John
Martin, a native of Boston and graduate of Harvard College in 1724, was ordained their first pastor. He died April
30, 1767, aged 61, and was succeeded by the Rev. Peter Whitney, a native of Petersham and graduate of Harvard,
in 1762, (where he also pursued his theological studies,) who was ordained Nov. 4, 1767. He was the author of the
History of Worcester County, a work highly valuable for the facts it records, many of which would probably have
been lost, had they not with great pains and fidelity been collected in this work. He died in 1816, aged 72. Rev.
Joseph Allen, his successor, was ordained the same year. Rev. Samuel Austin Fay was ordained pastor of the 2d church
in 1832; he was succeeded by Rev. Daniel H. Emerson, in 1836.
During the first years of the settlement of the town, a garrison was kept at a house on the lower side of the township,
toward Marlborough, near the brook now known by the name of Stirrup brook. On the 18th of August, 1707, as Mary
Goodenow and Mrs. Mary Pay, wife of Gershom Fay, were gathering herbs in the adjoining meadow, a party of Indians,
24 in number, all stout warriors, were seen issuing from the woods and making towards them. Mrs. Pay succeeded
in making her escape. She was closely pursued by a party of the enemy, but, before they came up, had time to enter
the garrison and fasten the gate of the enclosure. There fortunately happened to be one man then within, the rest
of the men belonging to the fort being in the fields at work. Their savage invaders attempted in vain to break
through the enclosure. These heroic defenders by great exertions maintained the unequal conflict, till a party
of friends, alarmed by the report of the muskets, came to their relief, when the enemy betook themselves to flight.
Mrs. Pay discovered great presence of mind during the assault, being constantly employed in loading and reloading
the muskets belonging w the garrison, and handing them to her companion, who by this means was able to keep up
a constant fire on the invaders. The unfortunate young woman, Miss Good€ now, being retarded in her flight by lameness,
was seized by her merciless pursuers and dragged over the brook into the edge of Marlborough, and there, a little
south of the road and nigh to Sandy hill, she was killed and scalped. On the following day the enemy were pursued
by a company of about 30 men from Marlborough and Lancaster, and overtaken in what is now Sterling, where a hard
conflict ensued, in which 9 of their number and 2 of our men were slain. In one of their packs was found the scalp
of the unfortunate Miss Goodenow, which was the first intimation that was obtained of her melancholy fate. Upon
the return of the English they sought for and found her body, and there buried it; and her grave is yet visible.
The town of Northhorough lies in a kind of valley between the highlands of Marlborough on the east, and those of
Shrewsbury and Boylston on the west. There are 3 churches, 2 Congregational and 1 Baptist. Population, 1,224. Distance.
10 miles from Worcester, and 32 from Boston. In 1837, there were 2 cotton mills; 1,820 spindles; 220,000 yards
of cotton goods were manufactured; value $30,400. There were 7,255 pairs of boots and 20,800 pairs of shoes manufactured;
value, $30,720; males employed, 50; females, 25. The following notice of Mr. Monis, who died in Northborough, is
taken from Whitney's History of Worcester County.
"Mr. Monis, as I suppose, the first Hebrew instructor in our university at Cambridge, was born in Italy. When
he came into America I am not able to say. He married, a Miss Marrett, of Cambridge, who died in the year 1761
; whereupon he resigned his othce, and retired to Northborough, and spent the residue of his days in the family
of the late Rev. John Martyn. Mrs. Monis and Mrs. Martyn were sisters. He left something very honorable and generous
to the church in Northborough. He bequeathed forty six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence, to be equally
divided among seven of the ministers then living in the vicinity. Also, he left about an hun dred and twenty six
pounds as a fund, the interest whereof was to be distributed among widows of ministers who were in indigent circumstances;
and the remainder of his estate, which was considerable, he gave to the Martyn family. The following is the inscription
on his grave stone:
"Here lie buried the remains of Rabbi Judah Monis, M. A., Late Hebrew Instructor At Harvard College in Cambridge;
In which office he continued 40 years. He was by birth and religion a Jew, But embraced the Christian faith, And
was publickly baptized At Cambridge, A. D. 1722, And departed this life April 25th 1764, Aged eighty one years,
two months and twenty one days.
"A native branch of Jacob see,
Which once from off its olive broke;
Regrafted from the living tree, Rom. 11. 17, 24.
Of the reviving sap partook.
From teeming Zion's fertile womb, Isal. 66. 8.
As dewy drops in early morn, Psalm 110. 3.
Or rising bodies from the tomb, John 5. 28, 29.
At once be Israel's nation born." Isal 66. a
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.