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Officials in America
THIS town was taken from Marlborough, and lying the whole length of that town on the west side at the time of
its incorporation, in Nov. 1717, it was called Westborough. This part of Marlbo rough being a frontier, having
no town between it and Brookfield on the west, about 40 miles distant, the settlement did not progress very rapidly.
Several families, however, before 1700 were settled near where the Congregational meeting house stands, of which
were Messrs. Thomas and Edmund Rice’s. The church was gathered here in 1724, and Rev. Ebenezer Parkman was ordained
their pastor; his successor, Rev. John Robinson, was ordained in 1789. The next minister. Rev. Elisha Rockwood,
was ordained in 1808. Rev. Hosea Hildreth was installed pastor of the parish church in 1834; his successors were
Rev. Barnabas Phinney, installed in 1836, and Rev. Charles B. Kittredge, in 1837. There is a pleasant and well
built village in the central part of the town, consisting of about 50 dwelling houses, a Congregational and Baptist
church. The Boston and Worcester railroad passes through the center. The lands rise about a mile distant on the
east, south, and west. The soil is good, and the township is well watered by Concord and Sudbury rivers, Population,
1,612. Distance 12 miles from Worcester, and 32 from Boston. In 1837, there were manufactured 20,092 pairs of boots
and 120,656 pairs of shoes; value, $148.774.40; males employed, 360; females, 214.
The above is a south eastern view of the house in which Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, was born,
Dec. 8, 1765; it is now occupied by his brother, Mr. Benjamin Whitney, and is about two miles westward of the central
village, on a cross road. His mechanical genius discovered itself at an early age. The small building seen standing
by the house was his work-shop, where he manufactured various articles. His name is still to be seen cut on the
door with his penknife. He graduated at Yale college, and soon after went into the state of Georgia; while here
he invented the cotton gin, which is worth millions of dollars annually to the southern states.
Before this invention, one person could clean from the seeds but one pound of cotton daily; with the aid of this
machine a single person can in one day clean a thousand pounds with ease. Judge Johnson, of South Carolina, declared
that by means of this invention "their lands were trebled in value." For this invention Mr. Whitney obtained
a patent, but, like many other benefactors of the public, was plundered of the benefits of his invention. Mr. Whitney,
by turning his attention to the manufacture of firearms for the United States, was enabled to realize a comfortable
independence. The village which he built up two miles from New Haven, Con., for his workmen, is called Whitneyville.
Mr. Whitney died in New Haven, Jan. 8, 1825.
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.