wide and high, with a fine drop curtain. There are
numerous dressing-rooms, orchestra room, and in fact every convenience
for actors and audience. None but good plays are allowed upon the stage,
and the people of the town and vicinity are thus given an excellent
* Besides the jewelry
business there are various branches of manufacture in Attleboro,
including the mills of Messrs. B. B. & R. Knight. The Knights’
cotton mills are large establishments, one at Hebronville and one at
Dodgeville, respectively four and two miles from the centre. In each of
these places mill villages have sprung up. In the two mills, which are
nearly equal in capacity, there are about forty-one thousand spindles,
and nearly one thousand looms. There is a small mill at Adamsdale, in
North Attleboro; but as at Attleboro the principal business is the
manufacture of jewelry.
The population of the two towns to-day is: Attleboro,
about eight thousand; North Attleboro, about seven thousand two hundred.
The valuation is : Attleboro, $4,600,000; North Attleboro, $3,800,000.
Attleboro, including both towns, has
had three periods of growth: the first that during which church and
state were connected; the second, the short period between that and the
outbreak of the civil war; then, since the war, the period of rapid
growth largely due to the great development of the jewelry business.
The first church, now situated in Seekonk, was that
founded by Rev. Mr. Newman. The feeling of the early settlers toward the
church and the clergy has already been dwelt upon. The first parish in
Attleboro was at West Attleboro. At a town meeting on February 10, 17
10, it was voted to build a meeting-house
thirty feet square. This was not completed until 1714. The first pastor was Rev.
Mr. White, who, however, was not ordained, — the first who was ordained being Rev. Matthew
Short, who received as his stipend £50, one third in money and the balance in
provisions. The third pastor was Rev. Habijah Weld, a man of considerable
note. He was ordained October 1, 1727. He was a short, corpulent man, vigorous in
speech, fervent in piety, strict in his creed, methodical in his habits,
rigid in his demand upon others, yet kind-hearted and
helpful, devoted to his profession,. and earnest in all he did. He had
the use of a parsonage and the sum of £220. On this salary, with the aid of his farm,. he
lived well, and brought up and educated fifteen children. He filled the
pastorate for fifty-five years.
A second house was built in 1728, very near the site
of the first; and this was replaced by the present church edifice in
1828. There was a succession of pastors until the present, Rev. John Whitehill,
who has served since March,
(continued on page 238)