Oxford, Massachusetts

Oxford is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States.

Oxford, Massachusetts
Oxford Town Hall
Oxford Town Hall
Official seal of Oxford, Massachusetts

Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Coordinates: 42°07′00″N 71°51′55″W / 42.11667°N 71.86528°WCoordinates: 42°07′00″N 71°51′55″W / 42.11667°N 71.86528°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Town
Jennifer Callahan
 • Total27.5 sq mi (71.3 km2)
 • Land26.6 sq mi (69.0 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)
508 ft (155 m)
 • Total13,911
 • Density510/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
01537, 01540
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-51825
GNIS feature ID0618379


Historical population
Census Pop.

The population was 13,709 at the 2010 census.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Oxford, please see the article Oxford (CDP), Massachusetts.


Oxford was first settled in 1687 and was officially incorporated in 1713. It was the birthplace of Clara Barton, the first president and founder of the American Red Cross. Oxford was originally settled by Huguenots in two waves, the original settlement having been abandoned after four residents (John Johnson and his three children, Peter, Andrew and Mary) were killed in a violent confrontation with local Native Americans. This event, the Johnson Massacre, is commemorated near the south end of town on Main Street. The remains of the Huguenot Fort (built in 1686) still exist near Huguenot Road.[1]

The first town clerk of Oxford was John Town, who also served as selectman and as a church deacon.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.5 square miles (71 km2), of which 26.6 square miles (69 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), or 3.20%, is water. The town sits in a valley, and much of its area lies in the flood plain of the French River, which runs through the town. A substantial parcel north and west of Oxford Center is held, for flood control purposes, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The land, known as Greenbriar, also serves as a nature preserve.

It also serves to cut off east–west travel on former roads through the site. Route 20 runs east–west through North Oxford; running north–south Route 12, locally called Main Street; less than a mile from Route 56, connecting North Oxford with points north; and Interstate 395, linking Oxford to Worcester and eastern Connecticut with three local exits: Depot Road in North Oxford; Sutton Avenue, the main east–west street in Oxford Center; and Cudworth Road, near the Webster town line.

The town used to include much of what is now Webster, on its southern border, but Oxford and neighboring Dudley both gave portions of their land to allow the creation of that town. Other towns bordering Oxford are Charlton to the west, Leicester and Auburn to the north, Millbury and Sutton to the east, and Douglas to the southeast.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 13,352 people, 5,058 households, and 3,596 families residing in the town. The population density was 501.5 inhabitants per square mile (193.6/km2). There were 5,228 housing units at an average density of 196.4 per square mile (75.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.62% White, 0.87% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,058 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $52,233, and the median income for a family was $58,973. Males had a median income of $41,727 versus $30,828 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,828. 7.8% of the population and 5.5% of families were below the poverty line. 12.5% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Local government

County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joe Early Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Katie Toomey (D)
Register of Probate: Stephanie Fattman (R)
County Sheriff: Lew Evangelidis (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Peter Durant (R), Paul K. Frost (R)
State Senator(s): Ryan Fattman (R)
Governor's Councilor(s): Jen Caissie (R)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): James P. McGovern (D-2nd District),
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)


The Oxford public library was established in 1869.[3][4] In fiscal year 2008, the town of Oxford spent 1.5% ($468,609) of its budget on its public library—some $34 per person.[5]


Oxford has a public school system with two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

The first elementary school is The Alfred M. Chaffee School, which offers a pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade education. The second elementary school is The Clara Barton School, which offers 2nd-4th grade education. The Oxford Middle School offers 5th-7th grade courses, and The Oxford High School offers grades 8th-12th.

Oxford High School has a number of sports throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons. Some of these sports include, field hockey, cross country, football, soccer, indoor track, basketball, outdoor track, baseball, softball, golf, and ultimate Frisbee.

Points of interest

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Historical Oxford, settled by the French Huguenots", p.2 Oxford Historical Commission, 1984
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
  4. ^ Oxford Free Public Library. Retrieved 2010-11-10
  5. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports Archived 2012-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-08-04
  6. ^ "The Story of My Childhood". World Digital Library. 1907. Retrieved 2013-10-09.

External links

Alexander De Witt

Alexander De Witt (April 2, 1798 – January 13, 1879) was a 19th-century American politician from the state of Massachusetts.

Born in New Braintree, Massachusetts, De Witt worked in textile manufacturing in Oxford, Massachusetts. Active in politics as a Democrat, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1830, serving until 1836. He served in the Massachusetts State Senate in 1842, 1844, 1850, and 1851.An anti-slavery activist, De Witt later joined the Free Soil Party. As a Free Soiler he was elected to the United States Congress in 1853. In January 1854, he was one of six signatories of the "Appeal of the Independent Democrats", drafted to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

After the demise of the Free Soil Party, De Witt joined the American Party, then the only major party with an anti-slavery platform. He won a second term in 1854, and served in the 34th Congress.He was defeated in his 1856 bid for reelection and returned to his previous work as a textile manufacturer. De Witt later became a Republican, and supported the Union during the American Civil War by participating in efforts to recruit and equip soldiers for Massachusetts regiments.

De Witt died in Oxford on January 13, 1879. He is buried in Oxford's South Cemetery.

Bartlett's Bridge

Bartlett's Bridge is a historic stone arch bridge carrying Clara Barton Road over the French River in Oxford, Massachusetts. Built in 1889, it is a rare example of late 19th-century stone bridge construction in the state. It was originally built to provide improved capacity for vehicles servicing a nearby textile mill complex. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Camp Hill (Massachusetts)

Camp Hill is an encampment site that existed from 1799 to 1800 in Oxford, Massachusetts.

Charles Shumway

Charles Shumway (1806–1898) was an early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served as a member of the council of 50 and was part of the Utah Legislature for one term in 1851.

Shumway was born in Oxford, Massachusetts to Parley Shumway and his wife the former Polly Johnson. By his mid-teens he had moved to Brimfield, Massachusetts. In 1832 he married Julie Ann Hooker in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. He moved to Illinois in 1837 where in 1841 he was baptized by Elisha H. Groves.

That same year he moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. The following year he served a mission to the Cherokee Nation along with Phineas Young. He later serve for a time as a policeman in Nauvoo. Also during his residence in Nauvoo he went on a mission to Massachusetts with Daniel Spencer. In 1845 he was sent on assignment by the council of 50 to meet with a council of Native American leaders, but the meeting did not happen as planned. In 1846 he was involved in the organization of Winter Quarters, Nebraska.

In 1847 Shumway was one of the members of the first group of Latter-day Saints to enter the Salt Lake Valley, under the leadership of Brigham Young.

In 1849 he led the group that founded Manti, Utah where he served as the first bishop. He also built the first sawmill in that county. In 1851 he was in the Utah legislture.

In 1854 he constructed a sawmill in Payson, Utah but later that year relocated to Murray, Utah. In 1857 he served a mission for the Church to Canada. He moved further north in Utah in 1859 settling in Wellsville, Utah. A short time later he moved to Mendon, Utah also in Cache County, Utah. When a branch of ZCMI was organized in that community in 1869 he was on the board of directors.

In 1877 he moved to the sounthern Utah county of Kane. He then moved to Taylor, Arizona in 1879 and a short while later to Shumway, Arizona. In Shumway he built a gristmill. He served as a member of the high council of the Snowflake Stake and as a patriarch of that stake.

Kenneth Godfrey a descendant, would later write a biography of Shumway.

Clara Barton

Clarissa Harlowe Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was a pioneering nurse who founded the American Red Cross. She was a hospital nurse in the American Civil War, a teacher, and patent clerk. Nursing education was not very formalized at that time and she did not attend nursing school, so she provided self-taught nursing care. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work and civil rights advocacy at a time before women had the right to vote. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973.

Clara Barton Homestead

The Clara Barton Homestead, also known as the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, is a historic house museum at 60 Clara Barton Road in Oxford, Massachusetts. The museum celebrates the life and activities of Clara Barton (1821-1912), founder of the American Red Cross. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The museum is open seasonally, or by appointment. It has been restored to the period when Barton lived there.

David B. Mellish

David Batcheller Mellish (January 2, 1831 – May 23, 1874) was a businessman, journalist, and public official from Oxford, Massachusetts. He became a resident of New York City, and won election to Congress in 1872. He was serving his first term as United States Representative from New York when he died in Washington, D.C.

Ebenezer Learned

Ebenezer Learned (April 18, 1728 – April 1, 1801) was a brigadier general in the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

George L. Lilley

George Leavens Lilley (August 3, 1859 – April 21, 1909) was a United States Representative and the 63rd Governor of Connecticut.

James A. Kelly Jr.

James A. Kelly Jr. (May 11, 1926 – August 9, 2013) was an American politician who served as a Democrat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1959 to 1965 and the Massachusetts Senate from 1965 to 1979. In 1983, he was convicted of extortion.

Martha Ballard

Martha Moore Ballard (1735 – May 1812) was an American midwife and healer. Unusually for the time, Ballard kept a diary with thousands of entries over nearly three decades, which has provided historians with invaluable insight into frontier-women's lives. Ballard was made famous by the publication of A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812 by historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in 1990.

Matthew Sands

Matthew Linzee Sands (October 20, 1919 – September 13, 2014) was an American physicist and educator best known as a co-author of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. A graduate of Rice University, Sands served with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and the Manhattan Project's Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II.

After the war, Sands studied cosmic rays for his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the supervision of Bruno Rossi. Sands went to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1950, and helped build and operate its 1.5 GeV electron synchrotron. He became deputy director for the construction and early operation of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in 1963. Sands later joined the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) as a professor of physics, and served as its Vice Chancellor for Science from 1969 to 1972. In 1998, The American Physical Society awarded him the Robert R. Wilson Prize "for his many contributions to accelerator physics and the development of electron-positron and proton colliders."

Nehemiah Shumway

Nehemiah Shumway (August 26, 1761 – July 1843) was an American composer of sacred music, teacher, and farmer.

Nelson H. Davis

Nelson H. Davis was a career soldier in the United States Army. Graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1845, he served in the Mexican–American War, the American Civil War and in actions against the Apache people in New Mexico. His service in the Civil War began as a colonel commanding the 7th Massachusetts. However, after a few months, he was transferred as a major to a staff position within the Army of the Potomac. In this capacity, he caught the attention of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who eventually assigned Davis to duty with his headquarters staff. On July 10, 1868, President Andrew Johnson nominated Davis for the award of the honorary grade of brevet brigadier general, U.S.A., Regular Army, to rank from March 13, 1865, for meritorious and efficient services during the war, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on July 28, 1868. Nelson H. Davis retired from the army as a brigadier general in 1885. He died at Governor's Island, New York, on May 15, 1890.

Oxford (village), New York

Oxford is a village in Chenango County, New York, United States. The population was 1,450 at the 2010 census. The village is named after Oxford, Massachusetts, the hometown of the landowner.

The village of Oxford is in the northern part of the town of Oxford, southwest of the city of Norwich.

Oxford High School (Massachusetts)

Oxford High School is in Oxford, Massachusetts.

Peter B. Olney

Peter Butler Olney (July 23, 1843 Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts - February 9, 1922 Cedarhurst, Nassau County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Richard Olney

Richard Olney (September 15, 1835 – April 8, 1917) was an American statesman. He served as United States Attorney General and Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland, and in the latter position, briefly, under Cleveland's successor, William McKinley. As attorney general, Olney used injunctions against striking workers in the Pullman strike, setting a precedent, and advised the use of federal troops, when legal means failed to control the strikers. As secretary of state, he raised the status of America in the world by elevating U.S. diplomatic posts to the status of embassy.

Tom Herrion

Tom Herrion (born November 13, 1967) is an American college basketball assistant coach for South Florida. He also previously served as head basketball coach at Marshall University and at the College of Charleston.

Municipalities and communities of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Ghost town
Indian reservations
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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