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The Town & the City: Lowell before and after The Civil War

Originally created to be a digital archive for Lowell documents from 1826 to 1861, this website has grown to cover many periods and events in Lowell's history.


Rev. Theodore Edson, D.D. (1793 - 1883) was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He entered Harvard in 1818, and graduated with honors, then entered the ministry.

Rev. Edson was the assistant at St. Matthew's Church, South Boston, when he was invited by people in Lowell to be their minister. On March 16, 1825, he was ordained at St. Anne's on the same day the Church was consecrated.

In 1836, when the city of Lowell was incorporated, Rev. Edson became Chairman of the School Committee. From 1826, when Lowell became a town, and 1852 he served 14 terms on the School Committee.  He was always the prominent advocate of public education in the City.

In 1875, Rev. Edson established an orphanage in part of the present Parish House which known as the French House.

Rev. Edson died June 25, 1883, having served as Rector of St. Anne's for 59 years. He is buried in Lowell’s Edson Cemetery, which was named after him.

Owner of original document(s): Lowell Historical Society

Location of original document(s): Center for Lowell History