|• Type||Open town meeting|
| • Town
|• Board of Selectmen||Chairman
Randy Becker, Secretary
Donald D. Bourque
|• Total||14.5 sq mi (37.7 km2)|
|• Land||12.5 sq mi (32.3 km2)|
|• Water||2.1 sq mi (5.3 km2)|
|Elevation||460 ft (140 m)|
|• Density||1,200/sq mi (470/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0618389|
Named after statesman Daniel Webster, the town was founded by industrialist Samuel Slater, and was home to several early American textile mills. It is home to the Chaubunagungamaug Reservation of the Nipmuc, as well as Lake Chaubunagungamaug, the third largest body of freshwater, and largest natural lake, in Massachusetts.
The area that is now Webster was the ancestral home of the Nipmuc people for thousands of years. It was first settled by Europeans in 1713 and was officially incorporated on March 6, 1832. The area forming the town had previously been divided among the town of Dudley, the town of Oxford and an unincorporated gore. The primary founder was the manufacturer Samuel Slater, who came to the area after his celebrated activities in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and founded several textile mills, one of which was taken over by the Cranston Print Works in 1936. He named the town after his friend Daniel Webster. Slater spent his last years in Webster and died and is buried there in Mount Zion Cemetery.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.5 square miles (38 km2), of which 12.5 square miles (32 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), or 14.10%, is water.
The town is bounded on the north by Oxford; on the east by Douglas; on the south by Thompson, Connecticut, and on the west by Dudley, with which it is most closely tied culturally and politically.
The town is home to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, also known as Lake Chaubunagungamaug or simply “Webster Lake”, the third largest lake in Massachusetts. The 45-character name is often regarded as the longest place name in the United States of America and the third longest in the world.
As of the 2000 census, of 2000, there were 16,415 people, 6,905 households, and 4,274 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,314.2 inhabitants per square mile (507.4/km2). There were 7,554 housing units at an average density of 604.8 per square mile (233.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.82% White (92.9% if non-Hispanic whites are counted), 1.11% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 1.49% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.95% of the population. About 60% of the Latinos were Puerto Ricans.
The town is known for incorporating many Polish-American immigrants. Persons of Polish descent may constitute as much a third of the town’s population. St. Joseph Basilica, the oldest Polish-American Catholic parish church in New England, is located in Webster.
As of 2000, there were 6,905 households, out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,169, and the median income for a family was $48,898. Males had a median income of $37,863 versus $26,912 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,410. About 8.1% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.
Chaubunagungamaug Reservation, a state-recognized Nipmuc Indian reservation, is located within the town. There are over 500 tribe members officially recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but they are not recognized as a tribal government by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Public schools in Webster include Park Avenue School (grades K–4), Webster Middle School (grades 5–8), and Bartlett High School (grades 9–12). Webster Middle School opened in 2005, replacing the former Anthony J. Sitkowski Middle School, a building attached to Town Hall which is now an apartment building for senior citizens.
Three of Webster’s Catholic churches also support elementary schools: St. Anne’s, St. Joseph’s, and St. Louis. In 2016, St. Anne’s and St. Louis’s were combined to form All Saints Academy, which has two buildings: a middle school campus (grades 5–8), and an elementary school campus (grades K–4).
Indian Ranch is a summer concert venue located on Webster Lake, and has hosted musical acts such as Charlie Daniels, Thomas Rhett, The Barenaked Ladies, Scotty McCreery, Third Eye Blind, Huey Lewis and the News, Gavin DeGraw, and others. It is currently home to Indian Princess, a riverboat that once rode the Mississippi River, where guests can tour the lake.
|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 Representative(s):||Joseph D. McKenna (R)|
|State Senator(s):||Ryan Fattman (R)|
|Governor’s Councilor(s):||Paul DePalo (D)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||James P. McGovern (D-2nd District)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
- Webster Times, published every Friday
- Telegram & Gazette (Worcester; South Central edition)
- The Boston Globe
- Boston Herald
- WQVR-AM 940
Webster’s public library opened in 1889. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Webster spent 1.07% ($299,159) of its budget on its public library—approximately $17 per person ($22.40 adjusted for inflation to 2022).
The Chester C. Corbin Library opened in 1921 and served the town until being demolished in the fall of 2016, with its contents temporarily moved to the Webster Town Hall while a new building was constructed. The new library, named for Gladys E. Kelly, opened in 2018.
- Andrew J. Bates (1839–1915), industrialist and founder of the Bates Shoe Company
- Bette Boucher (born 1943), retired professional wrestler
- William Slater Brown (1896–1997), novelist, biographer, and translator of French literature
- Stasia Czernicki (1922–1993), professional candlepin bowler
- George Derby (1857–1925), professional baseball player
- Gene Filipski (1931–1994), professional football player
- Frank Gilmore (1864–1929), professional baseball player
- George R. Stobbs (1877–1966), member of the United States House of Representatives
- Mike Sullivan (1860–1929), professional baseball player
- Lyman T. Tingier (1862–1920), Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
- https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?g=0600000US2502773895 Census – Geography Profile: Webster town, Worcester County, Massachusetts
- “The History of Cranston Print Works”. www.cpw.com. Archived from the original on 2000-08-17.
- “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.
- “U.S. Census website”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- “Census Fact Sheet for Webster”. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- “Martin Issues Final Determination to Decline Federal Acknowledgment of The Nipmuc Nation”. U.S. Department of the Interior. June 18, 2004. Archived from the original on September 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
- “Contact Us.” Goya Foods. Retrieved on March 26, 2016. “Goya Foods of Massachusetts 5 Goya Drive Webster, MA 01570”
- C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891.
- Chester C. Corbin Public Library. Retrieved 2010-11-10
- 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
- “History of the Webster library”.
- Grand Opening at Webster’s new Gladys E. Kelly Public Library, Blackstone Valley Xpress