OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
FALL RIVER NEWS
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
HON. ALANSON BORDEN
OF NEW BEDFORD
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
Retyped for the web by Stephanie Anderson
Norton. - This was the seventh town formed in Bristol county and was set off from Taunton on
March 17, 1710. On June 12, 1711, a bill to perfect the grant was passed. Easton was set off from Norton in December,
1725. On the 26th of April, 1770, a part of Easton was constituted the District of Mansfield. Easton is part of
the Twelfth Congressional District, and with Mansfield and Raynham, forms the Second Representative District, with
2,459 legal voters, entitling the district to one representative. The State census of 1895 gives the population
of the town as 1,614, and the number of registered voters in 1897 was 348. There are five post-offices in Norton,
namely, Barrowsville, Chartley, East Norton, Norton, and Norton Furnace.
The principal village in the town is Norton, which is centrally situated and within a short distance of the Taunton
division of the railroad, on which there is the station call East Norton; the population is about 450. This is
and long has been a considerable industrial point, the principal present manufactures being the woolen mills of
G. H. Talbert, near by which a plant is now in process of erection for the extraction of grease from wool; this
will be operated by the J. T. Moss Wool Treating Company. One mile west of the village is the box-board factory
and planing mill of A. H. Sweet, who manufactures all kinds of wooden and pasteboard boxes. There are in the village
two blacksmith shops, one wheelwright, and a mile south at Crane's Station is another. Wheaton Seminary, which
is elsewhere described in this work, is situated here. About seventy students is the average attendance. A good
public library is mantained which, with the books, was a gift to the town by Mrs. E. B. Wheaton. It was erected
in 1887. the town hall is in the village and was a gift from Miss Harriet A. Newcomb, in 1881, in behalf and in
memory of her father, Nathaniel Newcomb. The building is an ornament to the town. The mercantile business is confined
to one store. There are three churches, Trinitarian, Unitarian and St. Mary's Roman Catholic. The Norton Bulletin
is a weekly newspaper, published by Samuel E. Fiske, and printed in Fall River.
Chartley is a small village in the west part of the town. It contains a post office, a general store, two school
house, a wheelwright and blacksmith shops, a Methodist church, and two jewelry manufactories. The W. A. Sturdy
Manufacturing Company make a general line of jewelry, employing about ninety men. They succeeded W. A. Sturdy,
who established a jewelry business before the Civil war, but later discontinued it and again began in 1893. The
other jewelry factory is operated by Freeman, daughaday & Company and employs eighty-five men. This firm succeeded
Engley, Freeman & Co. this establishment is situated on the site of the Chartely Iron Works, elsewhere described,
built in 1696 by Thomas and James Leonard. On the corner stone of the building is a tablet ordered by the town
authorities stating this fact. Between Charley and Norton is the Sweet paper-box factory on the site of the old
Messinger match factory. On the same road is the power station and car barn of the new electric road, extending
from Norton to Attleborough, opened in 1898. Other roads are contemplated which will connect the village of Norton
with other points. A line is now in operation extending from Easton to Taunton and passing through this town.
At Norton Furnace, in the extreme south part of the town is a post-office, two large ice houses and a small settlement.
In former years the Norton Copper Works and the Norton Furnace Company were important industries, but the former
removed to Worcester, and the latter to near Boston.
Barrowsville in the southwest part of the town, is a small settlement where there was formerly a considerable industrial
and business interest. A destructive fire in 1890 left the place in a paralyzed condition. There is here a post-office,
ice houses, and a station on the Attleborough branch of the railroad.
East Norton is a post-office and station on the Taunton division of the railroad, where there are two grain stores,
three school houses, two saw mills, and a few shops.
The principal farming interests are general crops, while many are engaged in poultry raising for the Boston market,
and dairying. Among leading farmers may be mentioned C. G. Clapp, W. E. Payson, L. B. Dean, J. S. Wood, George
E. Smith, Arthur E. Sweet, Jacob A. Leonard, O. H. Lane and C. D. Lane.