Franklin, Massachusetts

The Town of Franklin is a city[3] in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Franklin is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government but wish to retain "The town of" in their official names.[4] As of 2012, the city's population was 33,092. It is home to the country's first library, the Franklin Public Library with its first books donated by Benjamin Franklin in 1790. It also contains the largest Catholic parish in the Boston Archdiocese, St. Mary's Catholic church, with some 15,000 members.

Town of Franklin
Official seal of Town of Franklin

Industry Need Not Wish
Location of Town of Franklin
Town of Franklin is located in the United States
Town of Franklin
Town of Franklin
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°05′N 71°24′W / 42.083°N 71.400°WCoordinates: 42°05′N 71°24′W / 42.083°N 71.400°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • Town
Jeff Nutting
 • Total27.0 sq mi (70.0 km2)
 • Land26.7 sq mi (69.3 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
300 ft (91 m)
 • Total31,635
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,200/sq mi (450/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)508/774
FIPS code25-25100
GNIS feature ID0611686
View of Franklin, Mass. (2673646413)
In 1879


Franklin was first settled by Europeans in 1660 and officially incorporated during the American Revolution. The town was formed from the western part of the town of Wrentham, and it was officially incorporated on March 2, 1778; its designated name at incorporation was to be Exeter.[5] However, the town's citizens opted to call it Franklin, in honor of the statesman Benjamin Franklin, the first municipality in the U.S. to be so named.

It was hoped that Benjamin Franklin would donate a bell for a church steeple in the town, but he donated 116 books instead,[6] beginning a debate over who should be allowed access to these books. On November 20, 1790, it was decided that the volumes would be lent to the residents of Franklin for free via its library, which has been in operation since then as the Franklin Public Library. The Ray Memorial Library building was dedicated in 1904. In 1990, on the library's bicentennial, its staff published a booklet, "A History of America's First Public Library at Franklin Massachusetts, 1790 ~ 1990" to commemorate America's first public library and book collection.[7]

The town is also home to the birthplace of America's father of public education, Horace Mann. The town is also home to what may have been the nation's oldest continuously operational one-room school house (Croydon, New Hampshire's school dates to 1780, but there is debate as to whether it is truly "one room"). The Red Brick School was started in 1792, its building constructed in 1833,[8] and was operational until 2008. St. Mary's Catholic Church, located in central Franklin and built by Matthew Sullivan, is the largest Catholic parish in the Boston Archdiocese with some 15,000 members.


Franklin is located at 42°5′N 71°24′W / 42.083°N 71.400°W (42.0891, -71.4069).[9] According to the U.S. Census Bureau the town has a total area of 27.0 square miles (70 km2), of which 26.7 square miles (69 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (1 percent) is water.

Most of Franklin lies within the Charles River watershed. Principal streams include Mine, Shepard's, Miller, Uncas, Dix and Miscoe Brooks. Much of the marshland along Mine Brook has been permanently protected by the Natural Valley Storage Project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The extreme southwest corner of Franklin is part of the Blackstone River watershed. The town has an impounded series of lakes known as the Franklin Reservoir, which is not used as a public drinking water supply. The lakes are now protected open space donated to the town by the late Ernest DelCarte. Significant public forests and parks include the Franklin State and the Franklin Town Forests.


As of the 2010 census,[21][22] there were 31,852 people, 10,866 households, and 7,877 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,105.4 inhabitants per square mile (426.8/km2). There were 10,327 housing units at an average density of 386.2 per square mile (149.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.8 percent White, 3.83 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 2.0 percent Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.4 percent Black or African American, 0.15 percent Native American, 0.29 percent from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races.

There were 10,866 households out of which 44.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% contained married couples living together, 22.4% were non-families, and 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present. 18.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80, the average family size 3.29.

The population includes 28.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

The median household income in the town was $92,066, and the median income for a family was $81,826 (these figures had risen to $89,659 and $101,900, respectively, as of a 2008 estimate)[23]). Men had a median income of $58,888 versus $36,557 for women; the per capita income for the town was $27,849. About 2.2% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under 18 and 5.2% of those 65 or over.

The town is represented in the Massachusetts General Court by Representative Jeffrey Roy and Senators Richard Ross and Karen Spilka.[24]

65.5% of Franklin residents claim to be religious, of that 54.2% are Catholic, 3.0% are Jewish, 2.2% are Presbyterian, 1.7% are Episcopalian, while members of Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Buddhist, Pentecostal, Mormon, Hindu, Mennonite, and Muslim faiths make up less than 1.0% of the population each.[25]

Religious Institutions in Franklin:


The Franklin Public Schools have six elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Franklin is also home to Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School and one charter school (Grades K - 8).

Franklin High School constructed a new high school building and tore down the old one in 2014.[26]

The Red Brick School is a historic school in the town. It was used at various times for kindergarten through 4th grade students; sometimes for multiple grades simultaneously. It was one of the longest running one-room schools in America.

The Town of Franklin is also home to Dean College, founded in 1865, a private residential college with over 1,100 students. The college grants associate degrees in a number of subjects (98% of the students are accepted for transfer to four-year schools) and also offers bachelor's programs in Arts and Entertainment Management, Psychology, Sociology, History, English, Business, Marketing, Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Management, Sport Management, Sport Fitness, Recreation and Coaching, Dance, Liberal Arts & Studies, and Theater.

Points of interest

As noted, the Franklin Public Library is the first public library in America, the original books of which were donated by Benjamin Franklin. Across the street from the library is Dean College.

At one end of Franklin's Historic District is the little Red Brick School. Its classroom, believed to be one of the oldest public school in the United States, but is not still functioning, celebrated its 175th birthday in 2008.


Franklin has easy access to major cities like Boston and Providence with its two exits along I-495 at Route 140 and King St. Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with the Forge Park/495 and Dean College stops on its Franklin Line.

Franklin, and the surrounding towns also have a bus system, that is part of the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) bus authority. Its route includes stops to the Municipal Building, Senior Center, Franklin Public Library, and the Franklin Village Shopping center.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Franklin Massachusetts".
  2. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Although it is called the "Town of Franklin," it is a statutory city of Massachusetts. See Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Town Profile". Town of Franklin. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  7. ^ "History of the Franklin Public Library". Town of Franklin. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  8. ^ The Red Brick School Archived 2008-09-11 at the Wayback Machine, Franklin, Massachusetts site. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  11. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  15. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  16. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  17. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  19. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  22. ^ "Franklin, Massachusetts - QuickFacts - United States Census Bureau". Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  23. ^ "Franklin city, Massachusetts - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  24. ^ "The 187th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (official website.) Retrieved December 23, 2012. <>
  25. ^ "Franklin Town (zip 02038), Massachusetts Religion". Retrieved 2019-01-07. External link in |website= (help)
  26. ^ "The New FHS: Timeline". The New Franklin High School. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
  27. ^ Aldrich, Lewis Cass (1891). History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. p. 223.
  28. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1885,' Biographical Sketch of Edward Reed Blake, pg. 425
  29. ^ Blake, Mortimer, ed. (1879). A History of the Town of Franklin, Mass: From Its Settlement to the Completion of its First Century. Providence, RI: J.A & R.A Reid. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-178-85357-5.
  30. ^ Fisher, Milton Metcalf (1902). The Autobiography of Milton M. Fisher of Medway, Mass. Medway, Mass: Rumford Press.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Franklin's favorite son Peter Laviolette on wrong side of rink". The Milford Daily News. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  33. ^ Kelly, Joyce (December 18, 2008). "On the Obama trail". The Milford Daily News. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  • McCarthy Earls, Eamon. "Franklin: From Puritan Precinct to 21st Century Edge City." Franklin: Via Appia Press (, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9825485-4-7

External links

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur (September 18, 1888 – September 9, 1971) was a scholar of early English, German, and Old Norse literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on Beowulf and his translation of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda for The American-Scandinavian Foundation, but also as a writer of pulp fiction and for his left-wing politics.

Bobby Santos III

Robert "Bobby" Santos III (born October 3, 1985 in Massachusetts) is an American racecar driver from Franklin, Massachusetts. He graduated in 2004 from Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. Santos, nicknamed "Bobby New England", is the grandson of Bobby Santos, a former modified racer. His sister, Erica Santos, is also a racecar driver. He is the cousin of former University of New Hampshire quarterback Ricky Santos.

Dean College

Dean College is a private college in Franklin, Massachusetts. It grants associate degrees in 20 majors and bachelor's degrees in 13 majors.

Eddie Grant (baseball)

Edward Leslie Grant (May 21, 1883 – October 5, 1918), was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball who became one of the few major leaguers who were killed in World War I.

Franklin High School (Massachusetts)

Franklin High School is a public high school located in Franklin, Massachusetts, United States.

Their main sports rival is King Philip Regional High School in neighboring Wrentham, Massachusetts. Franklin High School started in the former town hall which has now been demolished. In 1924 they moved into a new high school which is right now Davis Thayer Elementary, and at the time was one of the best designs for a high school. In 1962 again they built the right now Horace Mann Middle school/ Oak Street Elementary. Shortly after due to the growing population, they built a new high school, which opened in 1971. In 2005, the school was placed on Warning Status for Accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), so a new Franklin High School was constructed on what was once the old high school's athletic fields. It was first open to the public about 2 weeks before the first day of school (September 3, 2014). They demolished the old FHS and the next year completed the athletic fields.

Franklin Line

The Franklin Line, part of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, runs from Boston's South Station in a southwesterly direction toward Franklin, Massachusetts, utilizing the Northeast Corridor before splitting off onto the namesake Franklin Branch. Most Franklin Line trains connect to the Providence/Stoughton Line at Readville, though some weekday trains use the Dorchester Branch (Fairmount Line) to access South Station. Most weekday trains, and all weekend trains, bypass Hyde Park and Plimptonville. Several weekday trains originate at Norwood Central or Walpole. Trains only serve Foxboro from Boston during special events at Gillette Stadium, but regular service is proposed.

George W. Fuller

George Warren Fuller (December 21, 1868 – June 15, 1934) was a sanitary engineer who was also trained in bacteriology and chemistry. His career extended from 1890 to 1934 and he was responsible for important innovations in water and wastewater treatment. He designed and built the first modern water filtration plant, and he designed and built the first chlorination system that disinfected a U.S. drinking water supply. In addition, he performed groundbreaking engineering work on sewage treatment facilities in the U.S. He was President of both the American Water Works Association and the American Public Health Association, and he was recognized internationally as an expert civil and sanitary engineer.

Greg Dickerson

Greg Dickerson is a Boston sportscaster who served as the Boston Celtics sideline reporter and co-host of Sports Tonight for Comcast SportsNet New England.

Dickerson's career began in 1995 at WWTM in Worcester, Massachusetts and WBZ radio in Boston. From 1997 to 2002, he was the Celtics' public address announcer, as well as the alternate PA announcer for the New England Patriots and the PA announcer for the Worcester Ice Cats of the American Hockey League. He joined FSN New England's Celtics broadcast team during the 2002–2003 season as pre- and post-game host. He became the Celtics sideline reporter in 2005.

His other work included stints as an ESPN Radio SportsCenter host and as a studio host on NHL Radio. He was also a fill-in host for WEEI-FM and presently is a fill-in host on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Dickerson studied at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts before transferring to Emerson College where he earned his degree.

Harriet Ware

Harriet Ware was born Paxton, Massachusetts on July 12, 1799. She taught in India Point in 1832 and later founded Children's Friend Society in 1835.

Horace Mann

Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 – August 2, 1859) was an American educational reformer inspired by the work of the Whig dedication to promoting public education. A central theme of his life was that "it is the law of our nature to desire happiness. This law is not local, but universal; not temporary, but eternal. It is not a law to be proved by exceptions, for it knows no exception." He served in the Massachusetts State legislature (1827–1837). In 1848, after public service as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, Mann was elected to the United States House of Representatives (1848–1853). From September 1852 to his death, he served as President of Antioch College.

About Mann's intellectual progressivism, the historian Ellwood P. Cubberley said:

No one did more than he to establish in the minds of the American people the conception that education should be universal, non-sectarian, free, and that its aims should be social efficiency, civic virtue, and character, rather than mere learning or the advancement of education ends.

Arguing that universal public education was the best way to turn unruly American children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens, Mann won widespread approval from modernizers, especially in the Whig Party, for building public schools. Most states adopted a version of the system Mann established in Massachusetts, especially the program for normal schools to train professional teachers. Educational historians credit Horace Mann, along with Henry Barnard and Catherine Beecher as one of the major advocates of the Common School Movement.

Jeffrey Roy

Jeffrey N. Roy is a State Representative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Court. Representative Roy represents the 10th Norfolk District, which includes the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts in its entirety and Precincts 2, 3 and 4 of the Town of Medway, Massachusetts. Representative Roy was elected on the 6th of November, 2012.

Jen O'Malley Dillon

Jennifer Brigid O'Malley Dillon (born September 28, 1976) is a Democratic campaign strategist.

A native of Franklin, Massachusetts, her great-grandparents were Irish Catholic immigrants from Gorumna Island, County Galway.O'Malley Dillon is a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee who served as deputy manager for Barack Obama 2012 presidential campaign. She is currently the campaign manager for Beto O'Rourke 2020 presidential campaign.

Massachusetts Senate's Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin district

Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin was a district of the Massachusetts Senate from 2003 to 2013. It covered the expanse of Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties. It was last represented in the State Senate by Benjamin Downing of the Democratic Party. Until the election of Andrea Nuciforo in 1997, the district had been a Republican stronghold.

Pat Mason

Patrick Mason is an American college baseball coach and former catcher. He is the volunteer assistant coach at Northeastern University. Mason played college baseball at Northeastern University for coach Neil McPhee from 1994 to 1997 and played in the Heartland League for one season in 1997. He served as the head coach at Virginia Tech from 2014–2017. Mason was a catcher for Northeastern for four years, before a brief minor league career. He helped lead the Huskies to a pair of conference titles in 1994 and 1997. He then earned an assistant coaching position at Boston College, his first position under Pete Hughes. After four season with the Eagles, he spent one year at Framingham State before returning to his alma mater for six seasons. Mason was reunited with Hughes at Virginia Tech in 2011, earning the Associate Head Coach position in 2012. Following Hughes' departure for Oklahoma following the Hokies' first-ever selection as a regional host in 2013, Mason was promoted to head coach. After a 90–126–1 record in 4 season at Virginia Tech, Mason was fired.On September 25, 2017, Mason returned to Northeastern as a volunteer assistant coach.

Red Brick School (Massachusetts)

The Red Brick School is a historic school in Franklin, Massachusetts. It was one of the oldest active one-room schools in the United States.

Stanley Hornbeck

Stanley Kuhl Hornbeck (May 4, 1883 – December 10, 1966) was an American professor and diplomat. A Rhodes scholar and the author of eight books, he had a distinguished thirty-year career in government service. He was chief of the State Department Division of Far Eastern Affairs (1928–1937), a special adviser to Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1937–1944), and ambassador to the Netherlands (1944–1947).

Theron Metcalf

Theron Metcalf (October 16, 1784 – November 12, 1875) was an American attorney and politician from Massachusetts. He was a New England jurist and served as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, often abbreviated Tri-County, is a public vocational high school in Franklin, Massachusetts.


WGAO (88.3 FM) is a radio station broadcasting an Album Oriented Rock format. Licensed to Franklin, Massachusetts, United States. The station is owned by Dean College.

Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
Municipalities and communities of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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