1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Easthampton

EASTHAMPTON, a township of Hampshire county, Mass., U.S.A., in the Connecticut Valley. Pop. (1900) 5603, of whom 1731 were foreign-born; (1905) 6808; (1910) 8524. It is served by the Boston & Maine, and the New York, New Haven & Hartford railways, and by interurban electric railways. The township is generally level, and is surrounded by high hills. In Easthampton are a free public library and Williston Seminary; the latter, one of the oldest and largest preparatory schools in New England, was founded in 1841 by the gifts of Samuel Williston (1795–1874) and Emily Graves Williston (1797–1885). Mr and Mrs Williston built up the industry of covering buttons with cloth, at first doing the work by hand, then (1827) experimenting with machinery, and in 1848 building a factory for making and covering buttons. As the soil was fertile and well watered, the township had been agricultural up to this time. It is now chiefly devoted to manufacturing. Among its products are cotton goods, especially mercerised goods, for the manufacture of which it has one of the largest plants in the country; rubber, thread, elastic fabrics, suspenders and buttons. Parts of Northampton and Southampton were incorporated as the “district” of Easthampton in 1785; it became a township in 1809, and in 1841 and 1850 annexed parts of Southampton.