SOUTH Paris is the most prominent section of the town of Paris, the county seat
of Oxford County. It it reached by the Grand Trunk R. R., and is the commercial and social center of this part
of the State. The whole town comprises about seventy-two square miles. The surface of the country is uneven, with
large hills and fertile valleys intermingled. Streaked Mountain is the highest emin ence in this vicinity; there
are, also, numerous other high hills in the town, among which are Spruce, Jump-off, South Singlepole, Cable and
Number Four. The Little Androscoggin river runs through the town, and in the southern part, well-known as South
Paris, Stony Brook, a stream with considerable power, flows into the former. The scenery throughout this region
is very beautiful and diversified. The town itself is a model of a quiet country town, with its broad, elm-arched
streets with many spacious and elegant residences along them, and opening out into delightful regions on every
side. Every enjoyment and advantage of country can be obtained here, and it is becoming very Popular with discerning
South Paris is more essentially the business portion and is rapidly developing into the activity and proportions
of a city. It is reached by the Norway branch of the Grand Trunk. It has a large supply of ‘water-power and offers
many advantages to manufactures which have been more recognized in recent years. As a result, its business interests
have been, and are continually expanding. They chiefly consist now of flouring and lumber mills, barrel-machinery
making, iron foundries, machine shops, and retail lines of staple goods. The enterprise of South Parisians has
been the great element in the development of the material interests of the town and has proved a most efficient
kind of capital.
South Paris has bad a long and interesting history. The township was granted to Capt. Joshua Fuller of Watertown,
and sixty-four privates of his company, in 1771, for gallant services during the French and Indian Wars. The first
settlement was made in 1779, on Paris Hilt, by John Daniels, John Willis, Joseph Willis, Benjamin
Hammond, Lieut. Jackson and Uriah Ripley, all from Middleborough, Mass. Daniels payed the Indians in the vicinity
an iron kettle for about all the land now contained in the town. In 1795 the First Church, the Calvinist Baptist,
was organized here and its first meeting-house was erected in 1808. The first pastor was Elder James Hooper of
Berwick. In 1798 the place was incorporated as a township, under the present name, and when Oxford was organized
in 1850, it was made ashire town. The town was intensely interested and honorably represented in the War of 1812,
the Mexican War and the great Civil War. It was the birth-place and early residence of Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, Governor
of Maine, United States Senator and VicePresident under Lincoln. The Hon. Sidney Perham, prominent in State and
National politics, also resides here. Among the town’s other prominent citizens have been Hons. Leon Hubbard, A.
K. Paris, Enoch Lincoln, Thus. J. Carter, Rufus K. Goodenow and Charles Andrews. Few other places in the State
have had the honor of having so many governors of Maine, it having bad four. The local officers for the past year
were the following: South Paris Village Corporation; A. C. T. King, Clerk; N. D. Bolster, E. F. Stone, F. A. Thayer,
Assessors; H. W. Bolster, Treasurer; E. Shurtleff, Chief Engineer. The town has made most progress since the War.
The population in 1870 was 2,065; in 1880, 2,930; the valuation in 1870 was $977,935; in 1880, $985,274. At the
present time the population is a little over three thousand, and the valuation over a million.
South Paris has always been greatly interested in educational matters. One of the earliest and best institutions
of its kind in the State was the Oxford Normal Institute, which is still flourishing and enjoys a high reputation.
The other schools are also admirably conducted and liberally supported. In religious interests also the town is
well represented, having one church each of the Baptist, Congregationalist and Methodist denominations. In all
benevolent and charitable work the greatest care and generosity are shown. The townspeople have a great reputation
for hospi.. tailty, and the town is well known through the State as a social center. Both in the summer and winter
seasons there is much social activity, and the town is a most delightful place to visit.