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Taunton

city, river, schools, history, pole, iron, public, banks, capital and products

TAUNTON. Mass., city, county-seat of Bristol County, at the head of naviga tion on the Taunton River, and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Rail road, about 36 miles southeast of Boston and 16 miles north of Fall River. Over 100 passenger trains and about 100 freight trains enter the city daily. The Fall River line of steamers, which have daily connection with New York and other places, are so easily reached that practically Taunton has daily communication by water with many of the Atlantic ports, The city gets its coal, iron and lumber at tide water, and freight rates to and from Taunton are les.; than for inland cities. Electric lines connect the nearby villages and towns with the city, more than 700 cars leav ing centre of the city daily.

The city is noted for the extent and variety of its manufacturing industries. The govern ment census of 1910 gives the leading manufac turing establishments of the city as follows: seven cotton mills, with $4,410,390 invested, and employing 3,151 persons, to whom were paid annually $1,125,679. The cost of the material used annually was $2,651,502, and the value of the yearly products was $4,592,466. There were 14 foundries and machine shops, with. capital invested, $2,679,203; the value of their yearly products, $2,636,390. The total number of manu factories (1909) was 146; the total capital in vested, $16,504,000; the annual average number of employees, 7,835; the annual amount of wages, $4,535,000; the cost of rnaterial used, $7,775,000; and the value of the products, $15,380,000. The principal martufacon-es, be sides cotton products, are cutlery, machinists' tools, eyelets, tacks, nails, jewelry, machinery for cotton manufactories, silver and britannia ware, brick, oil-cloth, copper and yellow metal goods. printing presses, stoves, stove linings and kitchen utensils. The city is the distributing centre for a large part of Bristol and adjoin ing counties; coal is shipped from here to the markets of the interior, and grain, vegetables, poultry and manufactures to outside markets.

The principal public buildings are the State Insane Hospital, a massive group of buildings, situated in a tract of 140 acres, which accommo date over 1,000 patients; the county courthouse (cost over $300,000); Registry building (cost $125,000) ; the government building 4100,000); city hall; Taunton jail; theatre; Odd Fellows' Hall; Historical Hall; Morton Hospital, the gift of Susan Tillinghast Morton Kimball; Old Ladies' Home, opened January 1871 • club build ings, banks, business blocks, sChools and churches. There are six each of Congregational and Roman Catholic churches, four Methodist, one each of Unitarian, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian Scientist, Adventist, Protestant Epis copal and Universalist. The educational insti tutions are Bristol Academy, opened 18 July 1793; Saint Mary's Academy (Raman Catholic); headquarters of the Old Colony Historical So ciety, incorporated 4 May 1853; a high school, public and parish schools, graded elementary schools and a public library containing about 55,000 volumes. The city is well supplied with bank institutions; the two national banks had, 1 Sept. 1910, a combined capital of $700,000; the combined surplus of two savings banks was $8,335,000; and five co-operative banks had a combined capital of over $3,000,000. The gov ernment of the city is vested in a mayor and nine councilmen chosen by popular vote. Pop.

about 36,161.

History.— The first white settlement was made by Elizabeth Pole, an Englishwoman, in 1637. She found here an Indian village called Tecticutt ((treat river") on the Tecticutt River. Miss Pole bought land from the Indians for a plantation on the east side of the river, within the present limits of Ward Four. The place was first called Cobannet, but when it was incorporated in 1639 it was called by its present name, after Taunton, England. In June 1639 Taunton sent deputies to the General Court assembled at Plymouth. The names which ap pear on the Taunton records —of men con nected with the surveys and the granting of titles—are names of men who were among the history malcers of the nation. The early set tlers of Taunton recognized the rights of the Indians, and the records show that Miss Pole and. others purchased lands from Massasoit and other Indians. William Hooke, the first minister, returned to England as domestic chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. The first men tion of a schoolmaster is that of Master Bishop, who was one of the early settlers. Other schoolmasters were William Pole Mr. Adams, James Green, and in 1683, Samuel Danforth, a minister was selected to keep a °Gramer scole here in 'Taunton." In 1647 an act was passed which made the public _schools free and the support of the schools compulsory. In 1682 Taunton received from the court #3 from the funds of the fishing excise of the Cape, for keeping a free colonial, classical and elementary school. In 1701-02 100 acres of land, on both sides of the river, were set apart for school purposes. The history of ednca tion in Taunton is an almost complete history of the city. A grist mill was erected in 1639 40; in 1653 the first successful iron works in America were established. Some of the prod ucts of the iron works were used as money, as may be seen frorn the following order: To the clerk of the iron Works, B Thonuia Leonard please pay to Bar' Tippingnine and three pence in iron money.

Prom yr fnend, Richard Williams.

Taunton 16th 1st —VAL In 1659-60 a saw-mill was built, and before 1700 brick making, shipbuilding and many other industries had been begun. The ruins and sites of many of the old manufactories are pointed out as of historic interest;. for they mark the beginnings of the mighty industries of the Taunton of the present. On 6 Nov. 1746 the place was made a "shire town," and on 2 Jan. 1865 was incorporated as a city. The first crucibles in America were made here; the cop per blank discs for copper cents were supplied to the government, in large amounts, by the Taunton Manufacturing Company. Taunton has always furnished promptly more than its quota of soldiers when the country called for defenders. In 1774 the people unfurled from the liberty pole on "Taunton Green" a flag, on which was inscribed "Liberty and Union"; and among the "minnit men° at Lexington, 19 April 1775, was a brave band from Taunton. They were among the first to go and thc last to re turn. Robert Treat Paine, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, resided here, for whom a statue has heen erected in front of the city hall. Consult Waterman,