Ware, Massachusetts

“This town was incorporated in 1761. “Ware remained unsettled for many years after the adjoining towns were settled, the soil being so hard and rough that it was considered unfit for cultivation. At an early period nearly the whole territory now comprised in the town was granted by the general court to a military company from Narragansett, as a reward for expelling the Indians from that vicinity. So little value was placed upon it by the company, that they shortly after sold it to John Reed, Esq., of Boston, for two coppers per acre; yet it is now one of the most flourishing towns in this part of the state.” The first church in this town was formed in 1757. Rev. Grindall Rawson, the first clergyman, was settled in 1751, and resigned in 1754; Rev. Ezra Thayer, his successor, was settled in 1759, and died in 1775. Rev. Benjamin Judd, the next minister, was settled in 1785; he resigned in 1787, and was succeeded by Rev. Reuben Moss, who was settled in 1792, and died in 1809. Rev. Samuel Ware, the next minister, was settled in 1810; resigned in 1826, and was succeeded by Rev. Augustus B. Reed, the same year. The second or village church was organized in 1826. Rev. Parsons Cooke was settled in the same year. His successor, Rev. Cyrus Yale, was installed pastor in 1835, and resigned in 1837.

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The above is a south-western view of Ware village, as seen from near the Northampton road. This village is situated in the eastern part of the town, on Ware river, a large and powerful stream, rising in the western part of Worcester county. A great change has taken place at the falls of the river in this town within a short period; a flourishing village has arisen, containing, it is supposed, at this time, upwards of 1,500 inhabitants, where a few years since was but a wilderness. The Ware Manufacturing Company was incorporated February, 1822, with a capital of $525,000. There is a bank in the village, the ‘ Hampshire Manufacturers Bank,’ with a capital of $150,000. In 1837, there were 2 cotton mills, 6,544 spindles ; cotton consumed, 516,000 lbs.; cotton goods manufactured, 1,450,000 yards, valued at $160,000; males employed, 62 ; females, 200; capital invested, $200,000. There were 2 woollen mills, 11 sets of woollen machinery; 270,000 lbs. of wool were consumed; 230,000 yards of cloth were manufactured, valued at $280,000; males employed, 77; females, 80; capital invested, $200,000. There were manufactured 867 pairs of boots, and 61,623 pairs of shoes, valued at $53,164. Straw bonnets manufactured, 85,000, valued at $114,832; palm-leaf hats manufactured, 79,200, valued at $10,870; value of augers manufactured, $4,500. Population, 2,403. Distance, 25 miles from Northampton, 23 from Springfield, 27 to Worcester, 44 to Hartford, Con., and 67 to Boston.”

Source:  Historical Collections: Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, by John Warner Barber, 1848, pages 342-4

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