The New International Encyclopædia/Lawrence (Massachusetts)
LAWRENCE. An important manufacturing city and one of the county-seats of Essex County, Mass., 26 miles northwest of Boston; on both sides of the Merrimac River, and on several branches of the Boston and Maine Railroad (Map: Massachusetts, E 2). It includes the villages of Arlington District, Carltonville, and Hallsville. The Merrimac at this point has a descent of 26 feet in half a mile, affording water-power estimated at 10,000 horse-power, controlled by a dam of solid granite, 900 feet long and 30 feet high, thrown across the rapids, and by canals on each side of the river, the first of which was opened in 1848. The Pacific, Atlantic, Washington, Arlington, Everett, and Pemberton are the principal mills producing textiles, among which are included shirtings, calicoes, shawls, worsted dress-goods, cassimeres, flannels, broadcloths, cambrics, duck, etc. Other manufactures are paper, paper-mill machinery, foundry products, carriages, doors, sash and blinds, engines, boilers, beltings, and Archibald wheels. The city has the Essex County Truant School, Children's Home, Cottage and Lawrence Hospitals, a public library of over 50,000 volumes, and a large common and other public parks. There are also several bridges across the river, libraries for operatives in the principal mills, numerous private charitable institutions, and a number of county buildings. The government is vested in a mayor, annually elected: a bicameral council, and subordinate administrative departments, as follows: fire department and board of health, appointed by the executive subject to the consent of the board of aldermen; water board, elected by the council; and pauper department, superintendent of streets, and school committee, chosen by popular election. The city spends annually, in maintenance and operation, over $800,000. the principal amounts being about $170,000 for schools, $65,000 for charitable institutions, $60,000 for the water-works, $60,000 for the police department, $55,000 for the fire department, and $40,000 for the health department. Population, in 1850, 8282; in 1860, 17,639; in 1870, 28,921; in 1880, 39,151; in 1890, 44,654; in 1900, 62,559, including 28,600 persons of foreign birth, and 87 of negro descent. Lawrence was created by act of the Legislature, March 20, 1845, out of parts of Methuen and Andover, and was incorporated as a city May 10, 1853. On January 10, 1860, the Pemberton Mill, five stories high, suddenly fell, and soon afterwards caught fire. Of the 700 persons in the mill, 100 were killed, and many more seriously injured. Consult Wadsworth, History of Lawrence, Mass. (Lawrence, 1880).