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George A. Ramsdell's The History of Milford from 1901 

The Historical Society is excited to present the original Milford history publication in a searchable PDF format.  As long as you have Adobe Acrobat reader on your computer, clicking each chapter will open it up in a new window.  Once the PDF is open, press CTRL-F to search the documents.  Huge thanks go out to Paul Dargie of Milford who took the time to transcribe the majority of these pages.


Chapter 1 - Origin of the town – grants of farms on the Souhegan – charter of old Dunstable – settlement of the state line – tracts of land out of which Milford was formed – Amherst – Hollis – Mile Slip and Duxbury school farm – charter of the town, amendments to charter.

Chapter 2 - Origin of the name – area of the town – population – valuation – location and boundaries – the Souhegan – granite quarries – hills and intervales – scenery – forest trees – products of the soil

Chapter 3 - Monson, 1746 to 1770 – first settlement within the present limits of Milford – Thomas Nevins the first settler – French and Indian war – petition for scouts – garrison houses – meeting-house location – schools – first tax list – town officers – military orders issued in town – dismemberment of the town – tax payers in 1770.

Chapter 4 - Permanent settlers – Peabody, shepherd, Hopkins, burns, Nathan Hutchinson, Abner Hutchinson, Towne, Jones, Bradford, Crosby, Wallace – additions from time to time – characteristics of the early settlers – dwellings – manner of life - employment.

Chapter 5 - French and Indian war - rev. Daniel Wilkins – Humphrey Hobbs – Stephen Peabody - Hillsborough county – lawyers in the county before the revolution – condition of the law in 1771 - benefit of clergy – poor debtors - sheriff whiting

Chapter 6 - the war for independence – Boston tea party – Thompson Maxwell a member – Maxwell at concord bridge – committee of safety – Milford men at bunker hill – New Hampshire men at bunker hill -- patriotic roll – declaration of independence – soldiers in service – Milford men at Bennington – roll of revolutionary soldiers.

Chapter 7 - The southwest parish – names of some of the prominent residents in the mile slip and upon Duxbury farm – building of the old meeting-house – William Crosby’s gifts to the parish – description of the old house – appearance of the village in 1794.

Chapter 8 - incorporation of Milford – action of the southwest parish, of the town of Amherst, of the legislature of the state – organization of the town – list of taxpayers in town in 1794 – Milford classed with Brookline for purposes of representation in the legislature – the county bridge – shepherd’s bridge – the pound – horse-sheds – mail route – lines of public travel, etc

Chapter 9 - formation of the congregational church – efforts to obtain a pastor – the church and town unite in a call to rev. Humphrey Moore – ordination of the candidate an important occasion – bell given to the town by Mr. Perkins Nichols of Boston – Sunday-school organized in 1827 – other denominations claim rights in the town meeting-house – rights fully conceded in 1833. 

Chapter 10 - Church history continued – Congregational church subsequent to 1834 – Baptist church – Unitarian church – Methodist church – Catholic church – Episcopal services in town. 

Chapter 11 - The anti-slavery movement in Milford – an interesting historical document – the “come-outers.”

Chapter 12 - CWar of 1812 -- Mexican war – war of the rebellion – the citizen aroused in April, 1861 – a full company of soldiers leave Milford may 7 – action of the town as to volunteers – various calls of the president for soldiers – volunteers – drafts – woman’s soldiers’ aid society – names of wounded and deceased soldiers – list of soldiers furnished by the town – names of soldiers now living in town who served in the war

Chapter 13 - Grand army of the republic - woman’s relief corps – sons of veterans

Chapter 14 - The state militia - officers of the Milford companies – training days – old fashioned musters

Chapter 15 - date of decease of several of the founders of the town - record of important events during the first century of the town’s existence.

Chapter 17 - Mills, factories, and other manufactories where water and other power has been or is used – Souhegan cotton mill -- Hillsborough mills – berry’s mill – Kendall and Wilkins mill – hartshorn’s mill – c. h. v. smith’s manufactory – furniture factory of French and Heald – Bartlett’s hosiery mill – McLane’s post-office furniture manufactory – the foster tannery – the boot & shoe business – the Milford plow company – the iron foundry business formerly carried on – Milford granite quarries.

Chapter 18 - Masonry in Milford - odd fellowship – daughters of the American revolution – reminiscences of the town, by Jesse Hutchinson, sr. – the Milford lyceum.

Chapter 19 - Newspapers in Milford - the free library – dedication of new town house - the Fitchburg railroad – public water-works - Milford historical and genealogical society - dedication of a memorial stone at the northwest corner of old Dunstable

Chapter 20 - Lawyers practicing in Milford - attorneys, natives of Milford but practicing elsewhere – attorneys whose early life was spent in Milford, although not natives of the town

Chapter 21 - Physicians in Milford from the incorporation of the town – dentists now in practice in town.

Chapter 22 - The common – the cemeteries – Endicott park – Centennial high school building – Holiday house and Restcroft – the tornado of 1899 – Souhegan bank – college graduates

Chapter 23 - Biographical Sketches

Chapter 24 - Centennial celebration