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Spencer, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Spencer's Memorial Town Hall, on Main Street at Maple Street.
Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°14′38″N 71°59′34″W / 42.24389°N 71.99278°W / 42.24389; -71.99278
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1721
Incorporated 1753
Government
 - Type Open town meeting
 - Town
   Administrator
Paul Guida
Area
 - Total 34.1 sq mi (88.2 km2)
 - Land 32.9 sq mi (85.1 km2)
 - Water 1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)
Elevation 925 ft (282 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 11,691
 Density 355.9/sq mi (137.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01562
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-66105
GNIS feature ID 0618385
Website www.spencerma.gov

Spencer is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,691 at the 2000 census.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Spencer, please see the article Spencer (CDP), Massachusetts.

Contents

History

Spencer was first settled in 1721 by Samuel Bemis and was officially incorporated on April 12, 1753, splitting from the town of Leicester. Spencer was named after the then-acting governor of Massachusetts, Spencer Phips. Spencer was the home of the Howe family of inventors, including Elias Howe, who perfected the lockstitch sewing machine.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.0 square miles (88 km2), of which, 32.8 square miles (85 km2) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it (3.52%) is water. The town, roughly rectangular in shape, is bounded on the east by Leicester on the south by Charlton, on the west by East Brookfield, and on the north by Paxton. It is divided into quarters by north-south Route 31 and east-west Route 9. A third state highway, Route 49, connects the town's western portions with nearby Sturbridge.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 11,691 people, 4,583 households, and 3,093 families residing in the town. The population density was 355.9 inhabitants per square mile (137.4 /km2). There were 4,938 housing units at an average density of 150.3 per square mile (58.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.93% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.33% of the population.

There were 4,583 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $46,598, and the median income for a family was $56,763. Males had a median income of $40,581 versus $29,837 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,017. About 5.9% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.2% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government

County government: Worcester County
Clerk of Courts: Dennis P. McManus (D)
District Attorney: Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
Register of Deeds: Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
Register of Probate: Stephen Abraham (D)
County Sheriff: Guy W. Glodis (D)
State government
State Representative(s): Anne M. Gobi (D), Geraldo Alicea (D)
State Senator(s): Stephen M. Brewer (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Thomas J. Foley (D)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): Richard E. Neal (D-2nd District),
U.S. Senators: John Kerry (D), Scott Brown (R)


Education

Spencer's public schools are regionalized K-12 with East Brookfield. Spencer students attend Maple Street School for kindergarten, Lake Street School for grades 1-3, and Wire Village School for grades 4-6. Students from both towns attend Knox Trail Junior High School for grades 7-8 and David Prouty High School for grades 9-12. David Prouty Junior High School, which was also the former building of the old high school, was recently closed after being replaced by the Knox Trail Junior High School.

Notable residents

Sharon Legasey, The Spencer Chapter President for Hearts for Heat

2007 Public Water Lye Accident

On April 25, 2007, it was discovered early in the morning that there was a malfunction at one of the town's water treatment facilities where a hazardous amount of sodium hydroxide (lye) was released into the town's water supply. The official cause was a malfunction of the system that regulates the amount of lye released. According to local news reports, dozens of people received medical treatment for "burning sensations and skin rashes."[3]

See also

References

External links

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