Significant Individuals in Foxborough History
Francis DanielsFrancois Guideau (1723 - 1813) was a French officer serving in the French and Indian War when his ship was captured by a colonial privateer. Brought to the Boston area in chains, Francois befriended George Hewes, came to town at his suggestion, and never returned to his native France after the war. Instead, he began farming in southwestern Foxboro and his name was Americanized (probably by Hewes) as Francis Daniels. In June of 1759, after working off his indenture, he purchased 53 acres of land and called it Normandy Farms in honor of his beloved French homeland. The Daniels family remains connected to the property to this day operating the Normandy Farms campground.
Ezra CarpenterEzra Carpenter (1753 - 1841) was cutting a ditch on the afternoon of April 21, 1775 when the news of the Battle at Lexington reached Foxborough. Ezra left his spade in the ditch, returned home, packed a knapsack with the help of his Mother-in-law, and set out on foot for Dedham where his regiment was gathering. Months later Ezra stood on guard duty in Boston during the Battle of Bunker Hill and expressed regret the remainder of his life that he was not able to fight in the famous battle. But Ezra’s chance at history came on Christmas night, 1776, when Ezra was one of the soldiers to cross the Delaware River with George Washington.
Seth R. BoydenSeth R. Boyden (1788 - 1870) was born on Oak Street with an inquisitive mind, became a noted inventor, and later moved to Newark, New Jersey. Perhaps the highest praise for his skills came from Thomas Edison who noted that Seth was "one of America’s greatest inventors." During his lifetime he invented a machine for making wrought iron nails, perfected the process for making patent leather, created malleable iron, and built several locomotive engines. A statue honoring Seth stands in Washington Park in Newark.
Uriah BoydenUriah Boyden (1804 - 1879) was a younger brother to Seth R. Boyden and joined him in Newark, New Jersey for a time before returning to Massachusetts. Locally Uriah helped survey the Boston and Providence railroad, aided in the construction of the stone dry dock in Charleston Navy Yard, and invented a significantly improved turbine water wheel which became known as the Boyden turbine. Uriah donated funds to purchase the first books for Foxboro’s public library which is still named the Boyden Library. Uriah also left almost $250,000 to Harvard to build an observatory. The result started in Peru in 1889 as ’Boyden Station’ but was moved to South Africa in 1927 and named the Boyden Observatory.
Otis CaryOtis Cary (1804 - 1888) became the co-owner of the Foxborough Foundry on Mill Street in 1834 and became the sole owner in 1839. During his lifetime the foundry cast such notable items as the Town Common fence, the gates for Rock Hill cemetery, and casings for the Rotary Shuttle Sewing Machine Company. Otis later bought the factory on Water Street and served on the committees responsible for the construction of the Town House and Memorial Hall. In 1855 Otis Cary was named the first president of the Foxborough Savings Bank. He served as a State Representative from 1860-1861 and State Senator from 1863-1864.
E.P. CarpenterErastus Payson Carpenter (1822-1902) was called E.P. by most who knew him and was perhaps the most influential individual in the history of Foxborough. During his 20’s E.P. partnered with cousin Oliver and brother Warren in the manufacture and selling of straw goods. To meet demand, they built The Great Bonnet Shop, Hamlet House, and then the Union Straw Works which became the world’s largest straw manufacturing facility and employed thousands of people. E.P. was involved in the creation of the town’s first fire department and founded the Sylvanian Association, a private group with the public purpose of laying out and beautifying the town common. E.P. was deeply involved in the building of the Town House, Memorial Hall, and later became president of the Mansfield and Framingham Railroad. He served as State Senator from 1872-1874 and was a member of the House of Representatives in 1891. In January of 1902 E.P. walked across the town common he had helped lay out over 40 years prior and collapsed near the center’s flagpole. A simple marker notes the spot where E.P. fell.
Helen FullerHelen Fuller (1900-1982) was active for over 50 years in various organizations serving the state of Massachusetts. During World War II she served as a captain in the Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps and later served on the Massachusetts Homemakers Council, Women’s Educational Industrial Union, Wellesley College Club, and Norwood Hospital Women’s Aid Auxiliary. In 1964 she received the Massachusetts Cooperative Extension Service Director’s Award for Distinguished Service for Volunteer Service to the state of Massachusetts. Helen served fifty years on the Boyden Library Board of Trustees and a room at Boyden library is named the Fuller Room in her honor.
Homer WhiteHomer White (1904-1995) grew up in South Foxborough. Save a couple of absences for attending art school and serving in the United States Marines, Homer lived out virtually his entire life within walking distance of his birthplace. A greeting card illustrator for many years, he eventually turned away from commercial art and settled into the role of artist in residence first in a small studio on Mill Street, later in his own Studio on Quaker Hill, and finally in the South Foxborough Community Club. Primarily a painter, Homer captured not only the post World War II growth of the town but also produced commission pieces for area residents.
N. Carl AnnonN. Carl Annon served the community as it grew rapidly following the end of World War II and he sought to address the needs of some of its most vulnerable citizens. Serving on the Board of Selectmen from 1951 through 1962 and again from 1965 to 1969 he helped position the community for the building of a new high school on Mechanic Street in 1963 (now the Ahern Intermediate School), an addition to Lewis School in 1964, the building of Taylor School in 1966, Burrell School in 1968, and another high school in 1972. Mr. Annon’s greatest contribution to the community came through his membership on the Foxborough Housing Authority (FHA.) When Centennial Court and its 40 units of subsidized housing opened in the early 1960s, the FHA became one of the first in the state to erect state-assisted elderly housing. Carl then helped lay the groundwork for additional units at Baker and Chestnut Streets, creating 64 units that would open in 1974 and would carry his name – N. Carl Annon Court – in recognition of his years of effort on behalf of the elderly.
Vincent IgoVincent M. Igo (1922-2006) lived a life of community service to the town of Foxborough. Vin wrote for decades as a reporter and columnist for the Foxboro Reporter and also served as the official photographer for the newspaper, the police, and fire departments. He was a longtime member of the Recreation Committee, a founding member of the Foxborough Little League, and served an astounding 47 years of continuous service as a member of the School Committee. The Vincent M. Igo Elementary School is named in his honor.
This page was last updated 08/02/2016
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