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INTRODUCTION It may very properly be said that this volume came into being as a result of the celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Northborough, Mass., which was held August 16 and 17, 1916.
The celebration, which presented many interesting and beautiful features - historical and otherwise — was a success in every particular, and called forth much favorable comment from the strangers within our gates. Soon it began to dawn upon the citizens of Northborough that they had staged something worth while, and that the event should be suitably recorded in book form so as not to pass out of the mind of man.
This sentiment had become so general that many prominent citizens of the town requested the Business Men's Committee to bring the matter before the General Committee for consideration. Accordingly, at the final meeting of the Business Men's Committee, held October 9, 1916, a committee consisting of George A. Brigham, Herbert L. Kimball, and Clarence E. Buckley, was elected to draw up a set of resolutions recommending that the General Committee prepare a suitable record of the celebration for preservation and for distribution to the inhabitants of the town. These resolutions were presented to the General Committee at a meeting held October 25, 1916, and after a general discussion were acted upon as follows: viz.
"Moved and voted that a committee of three be elected to prepare and have printed, in suitable form, a history of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebration, said committee to have full power to proceed in accordance with their best judgment to carry same to completion.
“The following committee was elected:
Dr. John L. COFFIN' At first thought it seemed a simple matter to collect the data and arrange them in proper form for publication. But when it was discovered that the history of the anniversary was really a history of the town — made so by the character and scope of Rev. J. C. Kent's address the committee began to realize the magnitude of the task which they had been called upon to perform. Mr. Kent was the orator of the occasion, and his oration was a résumé of Northborough's history, from the time of her earliest settler to the time of her anniversary. It was out of the question to reproduce suitably such a speech for publication without writing the whole history of the town. This was a task which none had considered, and which was inescapable if the wish of our citizens were to be carried out. Consequently, this committee authorized Mr. Kent to prepare whatever manuscript, in his best judgment, seemed necessary to meet the requirements of the General Committee. That the end justified the means is proven by the character of the author's production.
This volume is not only a complete, interesting and accurate record of historical facts, but it is also a literary masterpiece. The author has spared neither time nor money to verify every statement. The records of the state, county, and neighboring towns have frequently been examined for this purpose. Tradition has been treated as such, and has not been recorded as authentic history.
Most local histories dispose of an event by a plain statement of fact; but in this the author has frequently allowed — by the introduction of suitable quotations — the people of the different periods to speak for themselves so that the reader may understand the ideals which actuated them in the settlement of important questions.
For twenty-five years Mr. Kent has been a student of our local history, and he is probably better fitted to have been the historian of the town than any other person.
The committee desires gratefully to acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Frank Eames, and Mr Gurdon Fisher in obtaining the illustrations used in this book.
JOSIAH M. STANLEY, Chairman of Committee on Publication.
FOREWORD In presenting this book to the public I make no claim for completeness. I have named it "Northborough History" rather than “The History of Northborough.' The latter expression is a more comprehensive one, for it implies a complete account of the earliest years of the history of the town, including a statement of the town's topography, land grants, and genealogy. Instead of devoting much space to these matters (which have an interest for comparatively few readers) I have endeavored to answer the many questions of a more general interest which people interested in the town are constantly asking. And in following this plan I have gone into greater detail than local histories generally go into. In many instances, I have used the exact language of the records, frequently quoting reports in full. My purpose in doing this was to enshroud my readers in the atmosphere of the times in which the events occurred, that they might have a more sympathetic understanding of the spirit of the people who made the town's history.
My own experience in reading town histories has been to exclaim, "I wish that the author had said just a little more." It is just that "little more" information that I have endeavored to give in these pages. I trust that I have not erred too much in that direction.
Josiah COLEMAN KENT. NORTHBOROUGH, MASS.
May 14, 1921.
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