Whitman Massachusetts, 1890
Whitman is a lively manufacturing town of small area in the northwestern section of Plymouth County, 21 miles south of Boston on the Abington and Plymouth Branch of the Old Colony Railroad. The post-offices are Whitman (village) and South Abington Station. Auburnville is the other village. The town is bounded on the north by Abington, on the east by Rockland and Hanson, on the south by East Bridgewater, on the southwest by the same, and on the west by Brockton. The assessed area is 4,303 acres.
There is an elevation at the northwest and two considerable hills in the northeast. There is a marsh at the north and another at the south on the stream that flows from Abington through the midst of the town. Hobart Pond, near the centre, is a fine sheet of water one half mile in length by one fourth in width. The town is well clothed in forests of pine, oak and birch, of which there are 2,807 acres. Elm, maple and chestnut trees, some very large, adorn the village streets, and shade many an old mansion. Streets and buildings generally appear in the best condition. The underlying rock is sienite and carboniferous. Some bog iron, blue slate and peat are found.
The soil is good, and the 72 farms in 1885 yielded products to the value of $58,412. The manufactories consist of several boot and shoe factories, employing in 1885, 582 persons; two tack factories, employing about 150 person; two box factories, employing 39 men; one casket factory, employing 14 men; and a large grain mill. One of the tack factories has a building 183 feet in length by 48 feet in width, to which is attached an ell 334 feet long by 67 feet wide. Other manufactures are carpetings, clothing, carriages, leather goods, and wrought stone. The value of the boots and shoes made in 1885, was $1,316,700; of metallic goods, $680,550; and of wooden goods, $162,000. The entire manufactured product amounted to $2,371,342. Whitman Savings Bank at the close of last year held $65,666 in deposits. The population in 1885 was 3,595; of whom 1,049 were legal voters. The six public school-houses are valued at $22,500. There is a graded system, including a high and grammar and primary schools. The public library contains some 5,000 volumes. The churches are a Congregationalist, Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian and Roman Catholic.
This town was formed from parts of Abington and East Bridgewater, and incorporated March 4, 1875, under the name of South Abington. The name was changed to Whitman, May 4, 1886. A portion of the new town was annexed to Brockton, April 24, 1875. For further history, consult the articles on the parent towns.
pp. 698-699 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890