town (township), Worcester county, south-central Massachusetts, U.S., on the French River, 18 miles (29 km) south of Worcester city. Within the town limits is Lake Chaubunagungamaug (now also called Lake Webster), 3 miles (5 km) long and the focus of a recreational area. The lake's full name, Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, reportedly is Nipmuc (Algonquian) for "You fish your side of the lake; I fish my side; nobody fish in the middle." The town was settled about 1713 and named (1832) for the American statesman and orator Daniel Webster. It was noted for its early textile mills, established in 1811. The arrival of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad in 1840 spurred further industrial development. The economy is now diversified. Insurance and the production of textiles account for the largest share of employment. Nichols College (1815) is in nearby Dudley. Inc. 1832. Area 15 square miles (39 square km). Pop. (1990) 16,196; (2000) 16,415; (2005 est.) 16,851.
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