Elias Nason, A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts; with Numerous Illustrations on Wood and Steel (Boston, Mass.: B. B. Russell, 1876), 246-247.
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Hanson is a very pleasant and industrious farming and manufacturing town, situated in the northerly part of Plymouth County, about 25 miles south-east of Boston by the Old Colony Railroad, which runs diagonally through it, and has stations at two postal villages, – Hanson Centre and South Hanson. The Hanover-branch Railroad has a station within a few rods of the northeastern angle of the town.
The boundaries of Hanson are Abington and Hanover on the north, Pembroke on the east, Halifax on the south, and East Bridgewater on the west. The town has 94 farms, 287 dwelling-houses, 1,219 inhabitants, a valuation of $503,928, and a tax rate of $1.50 per $100. The surface of the town is level, and embraces several extensive ponds and cedar-swamps. Indian-Head Pond, a beautiful sheet of water covering 156 acres, sends a tributary, called “Indian-head River”, which has several mill-sites, into the North River. Poor Meadow Brook, a very crooked stream, drains into the westerly section of the town, and enters Satucket River in East Bridgewater. Beds of iron ore are found in these ponds; and there is also a valuable stone quarry in the town.
The principal business of the place is farming, booth and shoe making, box-making, and the manufacture of tacks and shoe-nails. There are six mills for sawing lumber, box-boards and shingles; two mills for making tacks and shoe-nails; there is one grist-mill. As many as 31,740 yards of straw-braid have been recently plaited in a year by females and children in this place. The town has a good town-hall, built and furnished at a cost of about $8,000, two grammar and five primary schools, and two churches. The Rev. S. L. Rockwood, installed 1871, is pastor of the Congregational, and the Rev. J. B. Read of the Baptist Church.
This town furnished the sum of $19,502 and 131 men for the late war, 21 of whom lost their lives either in or after leaving the service. There is a Post of the G.A.R. in the place.
Hanson, formerly the West Parish of Pembroke, was incorporated as a town Feb. 22, 1820. Its name was chosen, without any regard of significance, out of many that were suggested; and it seems to be a very good one, brief, good-looking and euphonious. Nearly all the territory was embraced in a purchase made by Major Josiah Winslow of the Indian sachem Josiah Wampatuck on the 9th of July, 1692. Many Indian relics have been discovered in the neighborhood of the ponds, and it is hoped that they are carefully preserved. Among the early settlers were Josiah Browne, who lived in the southern, and Edward Thomas, in the northern part of the town.
A church was organized here Aug. 31, 1748; and the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D., was then ordained pastor. He remained in the ministry here until his death, Aug. 8, 1803. He was succeeded by the Rev. George Barstow, who died in 1821. The Baptist church was organized in 1812, and the Rev. Joseph Torrey was the first pastor. Josephus Bryant is the present town-clerk.