The following is a transcription of the section on Attleborough, by the Rev. Elias Nason. 576 pages with linen fold out map of the state at the back.
Attleborough occupies the North-Western extremity of Bristol County, and contains five or six villages, 1,300 dwelling –houses, and 6,769 inhabitants. There is a post-office at East Attleborough, Attleborough Falls, and also Hebronville, on the border of Seekonk. It lies on the Boston and Providence Railroad, 31 miles south-west of Boston; it has Wrentham on the north-west, Mansfield and Norton on the north-east, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Pawtucket R.I. on the south, and Cumberland R.I. on the west. A branch railroad connects Attleborough with North Attleboro and also Taunton on the east. The formative rock is carboniferous. The land is level or undulating, rising into no very prominent elevations. In the south-east corner there are several swamps, and some pleasant ponds in the centre and at the north. Bungay Reservoir, on the Mansfield line, covers about 118 acres, the reservoir at Falls Village about 140, and the pond at Dodgeville about 55 acres. The streams – of which the principal are Bungay River, Ten-mile River, Seven-mile River, Four-mile Brook, Thatcher Brook, and Abbott’s Run – flow in southerly courses, and afford valuable water=power. Ten-mile River, rising in Wrentham, runs centrally through the town into Seekonk Cove, and is by far the most valuable stream.
This town has long been celebrated for the manufacture of jewelry; and there are now forty-eight establishments, turning out a vast amount of gilt and gold jewelry, finger and ear rings, bracelets, lockets, chains, charms breast-pins, and ornaments for the hair. Most of the goods are plated or gilded, and sold by agents traveling through the country. In addition to its extensive manufactories of jewelry, this town has three cotton mills, with an aggregate of 40,000 spindles; one woolen-braid , one woolen-yarn, one cotton-braid and one planing mill; two saw mills; two dye houses; one silver-ware and one clock manufactory; two button , two lapidary, two coffin trimmings, two straw hat, three machine, and three carriage manufactories. It also has one tannery. The public hotel is called “The Wamsutta House”. There are four insurance-companies, one national and one savings banks, five circulating libraries, two high and sixteen district schools, two posts of the G.A.R., two Masonic Lodges, and also a Lodge of Odd Fellows. The name of the public journal is “The Attleboro Chronicle.” The farmers’ association has built a large hall for its expositions, at an expense of about $25,000. The pastors of the churches are the Revs. John Whitehill, C.T.; Samuel Bell, C.T.; Edwin Hall, Methodist; H. Canfield, Free Evangelical; J.D. Peirce, Universalist; L. Chase, Baptist; J.S. Beers, Episcopalian; Phillip Gillick, Catholic. This town sent 469 men to the late war, out of whom 37 were lost. It is a very active and industrious place. Everyone finds employment, and obtains good wages; so that want and poverty are hardly known. The valuation is $3,235,303; rate of taxation, $1.12 per $100. It appropriated $14,500 in 1873 for the support of its schools.
Mr. John Woodcock and his sons commenced the settlement of this place in 1669, and built a public-house on the Bay Road. His house was occupied as a garrison, and licensed, in 1670. He was a bitter enemy towards the Indians. After his death, in 1701, seven bullet holes were discovered in his body. The garrison was one in the line of fortifications from Boston to Newport. The old garrison, whose timbers bore the mark of many bullets, was destroyed in 1806. John Daggett was the first who laid out lands at the falls. The first mill built at the falls was for grinding corn, and owned and occupied by Joseph Daggett from Rehoboth. This town, formerly included Cumberland R.I. It was called “North Purchase” and incorporated October 19, 1694. It was named, perhaps, from a market town in Norfolk County Eng.
Naphtali Daggett,D.D. (1727-1780), a scholar and divine, professor of divinity in Yale College, and acting president of the same from 1766 to 1777.
David Cobb (1748-1830), a Revolutionary officer and legislator.
David Daggett, LL.D. (1764-1851), jurist and United states Senator from 1813 to 1819.
Jonathan Maxcy, D.D. (1768-1820), an eloquent divine, and President of Brown University from 1792-1802)
Ezekiel Gilman Robinson, D.D. (1815), an able editor, author, and divine; now president of Brown University
A History of Attleborough, by John Daggett, was published in Dedham, 1834, pp. 136.