Town of Franklin
Industry Need Not Wish
| • Town|
|• Total||27.03 sq mi (70.00 km2)|
|• Land||26.64 sq mi (68.99 km2)|
|• Water||0.39 sq mi (1.01 km2)|
|Elevation||300 ft (91 m)|
|• Density||1,248.58/sq mi (482.08/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0611686|
The Town of Franklin is a city 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. As of 2022, the city's population was 36,745, with a growth rate of 15.38% since 2015. It is home to the country's first public 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.
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. 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, including Night-Thoughts, James Janeway's Invisible Realities, and the works of John Locke. 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.
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, 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.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2022)
Franklin is located at (42.0891, –71.4069). 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) is water.
Much of the Town 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.
Ernest DelCarte (1911–2000) bequeathed the land that would become the conservation area to the Town of Franklin. The DelCarte family assisted in the transfer to Franklin in return for the town's commitment to preserve the land as open space. Worth an estimated $3 million at the time of the transfer of title, the Recreation and Conservation Area received a multi-million-dollar upgrade in 2014. Significant public forests and parks include the Franklin State and the Franklin Town Forests.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, 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)). 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.
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.
It is part of the Massachusetts Senate's Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district. The Town is located in Massachusetts's 4th congressional district and is currently represented by Jake Auchincloss.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2022)
The Franklin Public Schools have five elementary schools serving K–5, three middle schools serving 6-8, and one high school serving 9–12. There is one charter school (grades K–8).
Elementary Schools K–5:
- John F. Kennedy Memorial School
- Gerald M. Parmenter Elementary School
- Oak Street Elementary School
- Helen Keller Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- 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 the USA.
Middle Schools 6-8:
- Horace Mann Middle School
- Annie Sullivan Middle School
- Remington Middle School
High School 9–12:
- Franklin High School constructed a new high school building and tore down the old one in 2014.
- Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School
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 schools in the United States, but is not still functioning, celebrated its 175th birthday in 2008.
Franklin has two exits along I-495 at Route 140 and King Street. MBTA Commuter Rail service on the Franklin/Foxboro Line stops at Forge Park/495 and Franklin/Dean College. Franklin is part of the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) service region. It is served by demand-responsive transit.
- Charles Partridge Adams, born in Franklin, 1858; landscape painter, Gold Medal of National Mining and Industrial Exposition, Denver, for landscape
- Asa Aldis, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
- Maria Barrett, US Army Major General; elder sister of US Army General Paula Lodi
- Edward Reed Blake, born in Franklin; Wisconsin state legislator and businessman
- Bernard Davis (1916–1994), biologist, was born in Franklin
- Oliver Dean, MD, born in Franklin, 1783; physician and educator, benefactor and founder of Dean Academy
- George Warren Fuller, born in Franklin, 1868; responsible for important innovations in water and wastewater treatment
- Richard Grieco, Class of 1983, actor and former fashion model
- Eddie Grant (baseball), born in 1883; baseball player, killed in WWI
- Murray Hill, comedian, drag king
- Kristi Kirshe, American rugby sevens player
- Peter Laviolette, born in 1964 and grew up in Franklin; professional ice hockey player and coach – NHL hockey coach
- Paula Lodi, US Army Brigadier General; younger sister of US Army General Maria Barrett
- Horace Mann, born in Franklin, 1796; educator
- Theron Metcalf, born in Franklin, 1784; Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
- Robbie O'Connell, folk singer, former resident of Franklin
- Jen O'Malley Dillon, political strategist and campaign manager
- Albert D. Richardson, born in Franklin, 1833; journalist, spy, and author
- Bobby Santos III, born in Franklin, 1985; NASCAR driver
- Ilario Zannino, mobster, former resident of Franklin
- Jermaine Samuels, basketball player, grew up in Franklin
- "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
- Although it is called the "Town of Franklin," it is a statutory city of Massachusetts. See Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- Office of the Secretary of State of Massachusetts, sec.state.ma.us. Accessed November 18, 2022.
- "Town of Franklin - History of the Franklin Public Library". www.town.franklin.ma.us. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010.
- "Town Profile". Town of Franklin. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- "History of the Franklin Public Library". Town of Franklin. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- The Red Brick School Archived 2008-09-11 at the Wayback Machine, Franklin, Massachusetts site. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Ernest DelCarte Recreation and Conservation Area, 02038.com. Accessed November 18, 2022.
- "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
- "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Franklin, Massachusetts - QuickFacts - United States Census Bureau". quickfacts.census.gov. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "Franklin city, Massachusetts - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- "Franklin Town (zip 02038), Massachusetts Religion". bestplaces.net. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "U.S. House of Representatives: Massachusetts". house.gov. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
- "The New FHS: Timeline". The New Franklin High School. Archived from the original on November 27, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
- The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. Chronicle Books. May 27, 2014. ISBN 978-1-61689-327-9.
- Aldrich, Lewis Cass (1891). History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co. p. 223.
- "2 sisters make Army history as first pair to attain general rank: Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and her younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi", abcnews.go.com. September 6, 2019.
- Major General Maria B. Barrett (USA), gomo.army.mil. Accessed November 18, 2022.
- Wisconsin Blue Book 1885 Biographical Sketch: Edward Reed Blake, pg. 425.
- 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.
- "Franklin's favorite son Peter Laviolette on wrong side of rink". The Milford Daily News. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Brigadier General Paula C. Lodi, gomo.army.mil. Accessed November 17, 2022.
- 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 (www.viaappiapress.com), 2012; ISBN 978-0-9825485-4-7