Dudley, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Dudley, Massachusetts
War Monument by renowned sculptor John A. Wilson, Dudley, Massachusetts
War Monument by renowned sculptor John A. Wilson, Dudley, Massachusetts
Official seal of Dudley, Massachusetts
Motto: All was others: All will be others
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1714
Incorporated 1732
 • Total 22.1 sq mi (57.1 km2)
 • Land 21.1 sq mi (54.5 km2)
 • Water 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
Elevation 670 ft (204 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,390
 • Density 515.4/sq mi (199.47/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01571
Area code(s) 508/774
FIPS code 25-17685
GNIS feature ID 0618361
Website www.dudleyma.gov

Dudley is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,390 at the 2010 census.


Dudley was first settled in 1714 and was officially incorporated in 1732. The town was named for landholders Paul and William Dudley.

In April 1776, on his way to New York City from Boston after his victory in the Siege of Boston, General George Washington camped in the town of Dudley with the Continental Army along what is now a portion of Route 31 near the Connecticut border. During the trip, it is rumored that a "large cache" of captured and recovered British weaponry and supplies was ordered "concealed in the grounds" in the rural area along the route. The cache, hidden to resupply reinforcements from Massachusetts or to cover a retreat from the south, were never used or recorded as having been recovered.

Union soldiers from Dudley, the 15th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, suffered heavy casualties inflicted by the Confederacy during the Battle of Gettysburg. Dudley was the primary manufacturer of "Brogan boots" worn by the Union Army and produced the majority of the standard issue Union uniforms worn during the Civil War.

Cemetery Controversy

A proposal to create an Muslim cemetery by the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester on 55 acres (22 ha) of farmland elicited intense community opposition when discussed at a public hearing in February 2016. The Islamic Society sought to establish a closer burial place than Enfield, Connecticut. After a complicated process, with much back and forth between the Islamic Society and town officials, the neccesary permit was issued over a year later.

At the initial hearings, some residents made it clear that they did not want this cemetery in their town with concerns that included noise, traffic and well water contamination issues. The comments of some of the small town's residents raised concerns of religious bigotry. A series of test pits dug by the applicant, with the Dudley Board of Health Inspector present, showed that the average water table was 24" below the grade of the ground, with many spots having ground water only 18" from the surface.[1][2] The public hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeals reviewed the status of the land as an agricultural protected parcel protected under MGL Chapter 61A. At a town meeting held on May 23, 2016, the town residents in an almost unanimous vote, authorized the Board of Selectman to exercise the Town's first right of refusal and proceed to purchase the agricultural piece of land. When the Zoning Board of Appeals met on June 2, 2016 they asked the Islamic Society of Worcester if they were presenting a revised 5 Acre cemetery plan which they had read about in the newspapers the week before. The Islamic Society of Worcester stated there was no revised plan and they expected the Zoning Board of Appeals to vote on their original proposal for 12,000+ grave sites.[3] The Zoning Board of Appeals then scheduled a full vote for June 9, 2016 at which time the application for a cemetery was denied because the Islamic Society of Worcester technically did not have a legal right to even submit the cemetery plan because they lacked the proper legal standing to do so. [4] The Islamic Society of Worcester asked for 3 continuances from the Town of Dudley Board of Health during its Public hearing process and failed to provide the Board of health with responses to 13 questions the Board of Health had sent in writing to the applicant on numerous occasions.[5][6][7]

Both sides came to an agreement in December 2016 with the zoning board granting the permit for the cemetery on March 3, 2017. Burials will be restricted to 6 acres (2.4 ha) for the first 10-years. The permit requires a buffer zones of vegetation between the burials and the neighboring property in accordance with the agreement.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.1 square miles (57 km2), of which 21.0 square miles (54 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 4.58%, is water. Dudley is bounded on the northeast by Oxford, on the north by Charlton, on the west by Southbridge, on the south by Woodstock and Thompson, Connecticut, and on the east by Webster, with which it traditionally had the closest cultural and political relations.


As of the census of 2000, there were 10,036 people, 3,737 households, and 2,668 families residing in the town. The population density was 476.7 inhabitants per square mile (184.1/km2). There were 3,910 housing units at an average density of 185.7 per square mile (71.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.83% White, 0.23%African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.75% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.01% of the population.

There were 3,737 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,602, and the median income for a family was $59,309. Males had a median income of $40,337 versus $27,589 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,546. About 3.1% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


The public library in Dudley opened in 1897. The library has changed location a few times since then, and in the early 21st century, a new building was constructed over the site of the former town hall, which had also been relocated. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Dudley spent 1.44% ($163,468) of its budget on its public library—some $14 per person.

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