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THIS town, with others, was granted by the general court to the soldiers who did service in the Narragansett
or King Philip’s war, or to their heirs. It was styled Narragansett No 2. until its incorporation in 1769, when
it was named Westminster. The proprietors of this town were chiefly inhabitants of Cambridge, Charlestown, Watertown,
Weston, Sudbury, Newton, Medford, Malden, and Reading.
The first person who settled on the grant was Capt. Fairbanks Moor, who moved there with his family in March, 1737.
In June following, Den. Joseph Holden moved his family into the place. These two families contained 15 persons.
It being an exposed plantation, settlers moved in hut slowly. The proprietors erected a meeting. house in 1739.
The Congregational church was formed, and Rev. Elisha Marsh ordained pastor, in 1742. He was dismissed in 1757,
and the town had no minister from that time till 1765, when the Rev. Asaph Rice was settled. Previously Mr. Rice
had been a missionary among the Indians. The next pastor, Rev. Cyrus Mann, was settled in 1815. This town being
exposed to Indian assaults, the general court, in 1743, granted £400 to fortify the place, with which ten
forts were erected, and soldiers stationed there for the defence of the plantation. In 1746, some of the people
of the place were put under pay as a town scout. But although the people suffered many trials and hardships, it
is believed that no person belonging to the town was ever cut off by the enemy.
This town is situated on the range of highlands which separate the waters of the Connecticut and Merrimac. The
soil of the township is fertile, containing good grazing lands. There are three churches, 1 Congregational, 1 Universalist,
and one Baptist. Population. 1,460. Distance, 26 miles from Worcester, and 50 from Boston. In 1837, there were
14 manufactories of chairs and cabinet ware; value of articles manufactured, $26,350; hands employed, 38. There
were 8,400 straw bonnets manufactured; value, $15,675.
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.