Foxborough inHistorical Collections (1848)

Foxborough in "Historical Collections"

text of pages

468 Foxborough.


This town was originally a part of Stoughton; it was incorpo- rated in 1778. The Rev. Thomas Kendall, the first minister, was ordained here in 1786. The church was embodied in 1779. Mr. Kendall continued its pastor till 1800. The Rev. Daniel Loring, his successor, was settled here in 1804, and resigned in 1806. Rev. Thomas Skelton, the third minister, continued here about four years; his successor, Rev. Thomas Williams, was installed in 1816. Rev. Willard Pierce, the next minister, was ordained in 1824.

In the center of town there are two churches, 1 Congrega- tional and 1 Baptist, and a village of about 25 well-built dwelling- houses. Distance, 15 miles from Dedham, 15 to Taunton, 5 to Wrentham, 37 to Worcester, 20 to Providence, and 24 to Boston. Population, 1,416. The manufacture of straw bonnets is a very important branch of business in this place. In 1837, there were 133,654 straw bonnets manufactures, valued at $121,571. There were 2 cotton mills; 17 hands were employed, and $12,350 worth of goods manufactured; two woolen mills, cloth manufactured, 46,000 yards, valued at $48,000; one air and cupola furnace; iron castings made, 300 tons, value, $30,000; hands employed, 20. The value of shovels, spades, forks or hoes manufactured, was $15,000.

John Shepherd, who died in Attleborough in 1809, at the age of one hundred and nine years, was a native of this town. "He re- tained all his faculties of mind and body, except his eye-sight, to the last, and was just able to walk, with a little assisstance, till a few days before his death.* He lived over a hundred years on his native spot. He was a man of pious character; cheerful in disposition, jocose, witty, and of a quick understanding. He was deprived of his eye-sight on a sudden, during the night, and was not himself aware of it until the next morning, when he sought in vain for the light of day. He could didtinctly recollect events which had occurred a century before. He had one son and seve- ral daughters. Two of his daughters lived upwards of 80 years; and another, Mrs. Mary Mann, of Wrentham, who died in 1828, lived to the age of 97 years. She retained all her faculties and usual cheerfulness and vivacity till the last fifteen years of her life. She abstained almost wholly from animal food, and never was in the habit of drinking tea or coffee, and wondered how peo- ple could love either. Her most common food was milk. She adhered to the same fashion in dress for 80 years."

_______________________________________________________________________ *It is of him that the well-known anecdote is told, that he lived in two counties and four different towns, and yet never moved [during that time] from the spot where he was born.

Page 469, Foxborough, Continued

Franklin. 469

The annexed engraving is a representa- tion of a very singular monument standing in the grave-yard in the center of this town. In order to read the inscription, it is necessary to raise the lid or cover, which turns up like the lid of a tea-pot, and lays on the rest by the side. The cover is of iron, and is kept to its place by hooks; the date, 1810, is cut upon it. The following is the inscription :

This monument was erected by Doct. N. Miller, to the memory of his friend, Mr. Zadock Howe, who died 1819, AE t. 77, and who fought under the great Wash- ington.

To those who view, before you're gone,
Be pleas'd to put this cover on.


On the inside of the cover, on a piece of sheet-iron, the following is in gilt letters :

The grave is waiting for your body,
And Christ is waiting for your soul,
O, may this be your cheerful study,
To be prepared when death doth call.

The lower part of this monument is of granite. This, with the apparatus at the top, was made by Mr. Howe, who kept it in his house some years before his death.



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*source of book: Ray's Place

Foxborough's History And Historical Sites