What Are Some Facts About Methuen, Massachusetts?


Quick Answer

Methuen, Massachusetts separated from the neighboring town of Haverhill and was incorporated in 1725. The town was named after Sir Paul Methuen, who was a friend of Governor William Dummer. It became a city in 1993, after residents voted for a Charter change. Two of the town's most famous inhabitants are Major Robert Rogers and Edward F. Searles.

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Full Answer

Methuen was originally settled in the late 1600s, when conflict with local Native American tribes was common. It began as a farming and fur-trapping community; its first permanent structure was a town pound designed to enclose stray animals. In the early 1800s, as America became more industrialized, Methuen became the home of the Methuen Cotton Mills, which the Spicket River powered. These mills produced hats and shoes and served as a major source of employment and income for the town. Other mills grew up nearby along the Merrimack River, and the area became increasingly industrialized throughout the 19th century.

Edward F. Searles was born in Methuen on July 4, 1841. As a child, he worked at the cotton mills to help support his impoverished family. Eventually, through skill and good fortune, he became an interior designer for an important New York firm, Herter Brothers. An accomplished organist and pianist, Searles was fascinated by organs and bells. He started the United States Tubular Bell Company and the Methuen Organ Company in Methuen. His home, Searles Castle, is one of the most famous buildings in the city.

Major Robert Rogers was a famous Tory sympathizer and specialized in guerrilla warfare during the American Revolution. He formed his own company, Rogers' Rangers, to serve England during the war. He is known for his unconventional methods and for the fact that he included freed slaves and Native Americans in his company.

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