Slater's Mark: Samuel Slater and the Founding of Webster  
 

 

Samuel Slater and the Founding of Webster

In 1811, Samuel Slater sent an associate, Bela Tiffany, to find a new site for a mill Slater wished to build. The site would need an ample supply of water to run the mill and plenty of nearby farms from which to draw labor. Also, the area would need to be relatively open to allow room for expansion. From his own experience, Tiffany was well aware of a site plentiful in both water power and labor—Oxford South Gore. Within a year, Tiffany had purchased “many adjacent farms and various flowage rights, so there could be no dispute as to who owned the right to utilize this water power.”1 Thus began the story of Webster, a small New England town and a textile giant.

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