Millbury was originally known as the North Parish of Sutton. Residents of the North Parish petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to split the Town of Sutton into two separate towns because traveling from one part of Sutton to the other for town meetings was difficult. The North Parish became the Town of Millbury on June 11, 1813.
Millbury’s industrial history can be traced to the early 18th century. In 1735, John Singletary began operating a mill on Singletary Brook. Around 1753, John Singletary built the S & D Spinning mill, which is still in operation, making it one of the oldest continuously operating mills in the United States. The mill is featured on the town seal. The mill also makes the red stitching that is on major league baseballs.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Asa Waters II and his brother Elijah purchased land along the Blackstone River and built mills producing goods such as guns, scythes and sawmill saws. With the wealth Asa Waters II received from his factories, he began construction, in 1826, of a Federal-style mansion, near the town center. Designed by Boston architect Asher Benjamin, it was completed in 1832. Known as the Asa Waters Mansion, it is an icon of the town.
President William Howard Taft spent summer vacations in Millbury as a young boy, attending the public schools for a year. The Torrey House, where President Taft stayed during his visits, is commonly called the Taft House today.
Some notable residents of Millbury include Ron Darling, a former professional baseball player, James Kallstrom, former head of the New York FBI office, Asa Waters II and Congressmen George A. Sheridan and George E. White.