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Oxford Town Hall
Oxford Town Hall
Official seal of Oxford
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 1687
Incorporated 1713
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 27.5 sq mi (71.3 km2)
 • Land 26.6 sq mi (69.0 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)
508 ft (155 m)
 • Total 13,347
 • Density 485.3/sq mi (187.19/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
01537, 01540
Area code(s) 508/ 774
FIPS code 25-51825
GNIS feature ID 0618379

Oxford is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,347 as of the 2020 United States Census.


Oxford was first settled in 1686 and was officially incorporated in 1713. It was the birthplace of Clara Barton, the first president and founder of the American Red Cross. Oxford was originally settled by Huguenots in two waves, the original settlement having been abandoned after four residents (John Johnson and his three children, Peter, Andrew and Mary) were killed in a violent confrontation with local Native Americans. This event, the Johnson Massacre, is commemorated near the south end of town on Main Street. The remains of the Huguenot Fort (built in 1686) still exist off Huguenot Road.

The first town clerk of Oxford was John Town, who also served as selectman and as a church deacon.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.5 square miles (71 km2), of which 26.6 square miles (69 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), or 3.20%, is water. The town sits in a valley, and much of its area lies in the flood plain of the French River, which runs through the town. A substantial parcel north and west of Oxford Center is held, for flood control purposes, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The land, known as Greenbriar, also serves as a nature preserve.

It also serves to cut off east–west travel on former roads through the site. Route 20 runs east–west through North Oxford; running north–south Route 12, locally called Main Street; less than a mile of Route 56, connecting North Oxford with points north; and Interstate 395, linking Oxford to Worcester and eastern Connecticut with three local exits: Depot Road in North Oxford; Sutton Avenue, the main east–west street in Oxford Center; and Cudworth Road, on the Webster town line.

The town used to include much of what is now Webster, on its southern border, but Oxford and neighboring Dudley both gave portions of their land to allow the creation of that town. Other towns bordering Oxford are Charlton on the west, Leicester and Auburn on the north, Millbury and Sutton on the east, and Douglas on the southeast.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,000
1800 1,273 27.3%
1810 1,277 0.3%
1820 1,562 22.3%
1830 2,034 30.2%
1840 1,742 −14.4%
1850 2,380 36.6%
1860 3,034 27.5%
1870 2,713 −10.6%
1880 2,604 −4.0%
1890 2,616 0.5%
1900 2,677 2.3%
1910 3,361 25.6%
2000 13,352
2010 13,709 2.7%
2020 13,347 −2.6%

As of the 2000 census there were 13,352 people, 5,058 households, and 3,596 families residing in the town. The population density was 501.5 inhabitants per square mile (193.6/km2). There were 5,228 housing units at an average density of 196.4 per square mile (75.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.62% White, 0.87% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Of the population, 1.97% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,058 households, out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. Of all households, 23.6% were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $52,233, and the median income for a family was $58,973. Males had a median income of $41,727 versus $30,828 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,828. Of the population, 7.8% and 5.5% of families were below the poverty line. Of those, 12.5% under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

The population was 13,709 at the 2010 census.

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


The Oxford public library was established in 1869. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Oxford spent 1.5% ($468,609) of its budget on its public library—some $34 per person.

Points of interest


Oxford has a public school system with two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

The first elementary school is the Alfred M. Chaffee School, which offers a pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade education. The second elementary school is the Clara Barton School, which offers 2nd–4th grade education. The Oxford Middle School offers 5th–7th grade courses, and Oxford High School offers grades 8th–12th.

Oxford High School has a number of sports throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons. Some of these sports include, field hockey, cross country, football, soccer, indoor track, basketball, outdoor track, baseball, softball, golf, and ultimate frisbee.

Notable people

  • Agnes Ballard, educator, early woman architect and first woman elected to office in Florida was born here
  • Clara Barton, teacher, nurse, humanitarian best remembered for organizing American Red Cross during the Civil War
  • Nelson H. Davis, brigadier general during American Civil War
  • Aaron Steven Haddad, professional wrestler and actor, known by ring names Damien Sandow (WWE) and Aaron Stevens (independent circuit)
  • Tom Herrion, former head basketball coach at College of Charleston and Marshall University
  • Elliott P. Joslin, doctor, pioneer in diabetes research
  • Ebenezer Learned, general in American Revolution
  • Tony Reno, football head coach at Yale
  • Matthew Sands, educator
  • Elvira Stone (1816–1900), postmaster, genealogist, teacher

See also

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