Town Politicians


There are a variety of photographs of local “celebrities” down in the West Boylston Room. Below are two local residents who also served as politicians. Horatio Houghton (1821-1896) served as Town Clerk from 1870-1895, a span of twenty-five years. He was elected as state representative in 1884. Andrew Scarlett (1849-1935) owned a large farm in…

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Beet Sugar

davidleechild portrait

David Lee Child (1794-1874) was born in West Boylston. He and his wife Lydia Maria Child were prominent abolitionists who co-edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard. A portrait of David hangs in our Reading Room, seen below. David graduated from Harvard in 1817 and headed for Europe where he served as secretary of legation for the…

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Mary A. Cook

marycook, newspaper

Mary A. Cook moved to West Boylston in 1893 from New York following the death of her husband and one of her sons. Her other son, Carleton, moved with her. They both worked for the Telegram & Gazette. Starting in 1897, Mary A. Cook wrote daily columns on news in West Boylston, Boylston, and the…

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Sgt. John Emerson Anderson Biography


Sgt. John E. Anderson was a resident of Oakdale in West Boylston born in 1838. He served in the army as a sergeant and, in his spare time, worked at local boot shop. In 1860, John kept a diary of his thoughts and day-to-day activities which was donated to the library by his family. His…

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David Lee Child’s Books (1800’s)

Childsbooks, photograph

David Lee Child was a journalist, lawyer, and expert on beet culture who became nationally renowned for his civil rights activism. He was born in West Boylston but moved around the state during his lifetime. Child died in Wayland in 1874. To honor his hometown, Child’s widow—noted abolitionist and editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard,…

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Residents Give Back (1800’s-1900’s)

Residentsgiveback, second portrait

West Boylston has had some nationally-recognized “celebrities” in its day, like Robert Bailey Thomas or David Lee & Lydia Maria Child, but it’s important to recognize the residents who gave back to the town. Three businessmen who became notable figures in the late 1800s-early 1900s were Hon. Edward Aaron Cowee, Eli Holbrook, and Henry Sawyer.…

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RMS Titanic (1912)

Titanic, news article (1)

The luxury liner the RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, and in the past century the stories of the ship, passengers, and crew have been retold in musicals, novels, and films, including one of the highest-grossing and popular movies of all time. From West Boylston come two personal connections to the disaster. First comes…

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George Calvin Rice (1800’s-1900’s)

George Calvin Rice portrait

In short, there would be no Beaman Memorial Library without George Calvin Rice. He was a Worcester resident but had direct links to West Boylston’s history–he was the great-grandson of Major Ezra Beaman! Known as the “Town Father,” Ezra Beaman was the most outspoken supporters of West Boylston’s secession from Boylston and became an instrumental…

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Ezra Beaman Jr. (1770-1863)

Ezra Beaman Jr portrait

Another portrait from the Reading Room: Ezra Beaman, Jr., the son of “Town Father” Ezra Beaman. Ezra Beaman, Jr. was born in December 1770, the youngest son of Ezra Beaman and Persis Keyes Beaman. He lived to be 92 years old, managing the Beaman Tavern until he died in 1863. Ezra Jr. was an eccentric…

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David Lee Child (1794-1874)

David Lee Child by W.L.G. Haskins episode II 1

Another portrait from our library we’d like to share is, thankfully, labeled, and depicts a figure with national fame. Here’s the plaque given for David Lee Child: “David Lee Child war born in West Boylston, 8 July 1794, in the Jacob Hinds House now (1910) occupied by Elwin J. Chase. Graduated from Harvard College in…

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