History of Oxford, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Oxford is the south-eastern town of the eastern expanse of Oxford County. Paris joins it on the north, Hebron on the north-east, Norway on the north-west, Poland, in Androscoggin County, on the south-east, and Otisfield, in Cumberland County, on the south-west. The town is quite hilly, but the eminences are not of great height. Horse Hill, in the north-western part, is the only one that bears a name on the town map. Pigeon Hill, in the south-eastern part, refers to a locality rather than an eminence. The Little Androscoggin River runs through the town from the north-west to south-east. On the way it receives the waters of Thompson, Whitney and Hogan ponds, all lying in the southern part of the town. The first is 8 miles in length by 1½ in width, and the others are each near 2 miles in length and ½ in width. Matthews Pond, with its outlet and its principal feeder form the dividing line between this town and Hebron. The Grand Trunk Railway passes through the midst of the town, in the same general line with the river, and has a station (Oxford Depot) a short distance south of the centre. The chief centres of business are Welchville and Oxford Village, both of which have post-offices. At the latter, situated at the outlet of Thompson Pond, are a stave-mill, a flour-mill and the woolenmills of the Robinson Manufacturing Co., (having three buildings and nine sets of machinery, and employing 150 operatives) and a shovelhandle factory, employing 10 men. At Welchville, on the Little Androscoggin, are the woolen-mill of the Harper Manufacturing Co., having four sets of machinery, and employing 50 persons; and the mill of the Monsam Manufacturing Co., making leather board, and employing 15 men. Granite shows itself frequently about the elevated ground. The soil varies from light to heavy in the proportion of about one to two, and is generally productive, though thore is considerable plains land which has not been found of much value. Birch, maple, beech and oak constitute the forests. Hay is the largest crop, and a due number of cattle are raised. Both the villages and rural districts have the indications of thriftiness, and afford many pleasant scenes to the eye of the traveller.

Oxford originally formed a part of Hebron from which it was incorporated in 1829. The first settlements were made during the closing years of the Revolution, by Captain Isaac Bolster, from Worces ter; John Cald well, from Ipswich; Job and Joseph Cushman and Petei Thayer, from Plymouth; Daniel Whitney, Daniel Bullen, Zadoc and Abraham Dean, Elliot Richmond, Daniel and Asa Bartlett, Nathaniel Fuller, Holmes Thomas, Zebulon Chadbourne, James Scale and James Perry, all from Massachusetts. A valued citizen of the early period was William C. Whitney, who settled here in 1796 and remained until 1840, doing faithful service in several important town affairs. Hon. J. S. Keith, a later citizen, served acceptably in the State Senate, and Hon. John J. Perry, member of Congress for two terms, was long a resident of Oxford. Mr. Perry has recently removed to Portland. This town sent 65 men to aid in the preservation of the Union, of whom 12 were lost. There are 59 persons in town over seventy years of age.

In the Freeland Holmes library of 1,200 volumes, the town has an intellectual treasure of which the people do not fail to avail themselves. Oxford has eleven public schoolhouses, one of which is among the best in the county. The value of the school property is $6,000. The Congregationalists have an excellent church, and the Methodists have two. There are also two Advent societies in the town. The population in 1870 was 1,631. In 1880 it was 1,655. The valuation in 1870 was $514,049. In 1880 it was $483,246. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 4 8-10 cents on the dollar.

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