Old Stoughton Musical Society

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The History of the Stoughton Town Seal

Edwin Arthur Jones is the designer of the Stoughton Town Seal which was adopted in 1892. The following remarks were published in The Stoughton Sentinel after the adoption of the seal in 1892.

"The design in intended to represent after the manner of heraldry, the most notable facts in the history of Stoughton. The first of these is the fact that the territory now called Stoughton was once Dorchester. This is represented of the shield in the lower right hand side of the circle, which shield is taken bodily from the shield of Dorchester, and which symbolizes the important facts in the history of Dorchester at the time it included what is now Stoughton. The building in left foreground represents the first church of Dorchester, the society of which was organized in England in March 1630 and arrived here in June of the same year. The building in the rear of the church calls to mind the first free school, established in 1639. This was undoubtedly was the first free Public School in history. The building in the background, on the Neponset River, represents the first Grist Mill, built in 1633 by Captain Israel Stoughton, the father of William Stoughton, for whom the town was named.

The smaller shield on the left overlapping the Dorchester shield, calls to mind the fact that the portion of Dorchester set apart for the town received its name from Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton. This is indicated by the presence on the shield of the Stoughton arms. copied from the seal impressed on that gentleman's last will and testament.

The harp which rests above the shield, represents, after the manner of heraldry, that in addition to sharing with Dorchester the distinction of possessing the first mill, church and free school, we also claim in our own special right the origin of the first musical society in the country, a fact which is now everywhere admitted.

It will be seen that the Town Seal is peculiarly significant and characteristic. It tells its own story briefly and completely and since its adoption has been heartily endorsed by every resident of this historical town."