Marlborough Historical Society showcases sword owned by former mayor/Civil War officer


Marlborough Historical Society showcases sword owned by former mayor/Civil War officer
Mayor Arthur Vigeant and members of the Marlborough Historical Society inspect a sword and cane showcased during a press conference this week. (Photo/Ben Domaingue)

MARLBOROUGH – The sword of former mayor and civil war officer Henry Parsons was recently presented to Marlborough’s current mayor, Arthur Vigeant, by representatives of the Marlborough Historical Society on Thursday. 

Parsons, who began his career as a private in the New York Volunteers in 1862, quickly rose to the rank of captain. After the war, he was promoted to the role of brigadier general in the Massachusetts State Militia. 

“I appreciate the Historical Society sharing this remarkable artifact and former Mayor Parsons’ important role,” Vigeant said this week.

Parsons served as the 10th mayor of Marlborough between 1905 and 1906. He then returned to serve as the city’s 12th mayor between 1908 and 1909. 

“He was also a hero from the Civil War and someone who served for a number of years and was actually there when the Confederates surrendered,” Vigeant said. 

In addition to his mayoral career, Parsons began his own business, Parsons Machinery Co., which built both steam engines and shoe manufacturing machinery. 

The remnants of this factory can be found near the state armory building on Lincoln Street in Marlborough. 

The society also presented a historic cane to Vigeant on Thursday. That cane contains material gathered from Gettysburg, the White House, Faneuil Hall and Concord Bridge. 

“I didn’t even know we had this cane,” said Historical Society Curator Bob Kane. “Somewhere along the line they got lost in our society and put up in the attic.” 

The historic sword will be stored and displayed at the Marlborough Historical Society.


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