How Did Westford Split From Chelmsford?
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According to History of the Town of Westford by the Rev. Edwin Hodgman (available at the J.V Fletcher Library), people have been living in what is now Westford as early as the 1650s, but they didn't attempt to break away from Chelmsford until 1713, when the first attempt to create a western precinct of Chelmsford was defeated.
A year after that attempt, Littleton was incorporated, and immediately had their eyes on annexing this western section of Chelmsford, placing their town common and meeting house right next to the border and allowing seven families that moved unto that land to still be considered residents of Littleton despite their location.
Although Littleton's plan never succeeded, the names of some of those families can still be seen in Westford streets such as Chamberlain Road and Hildreth Road.
These families joined with the residents already living in what is now Westford and continued to agitate for their independence, taking their cause to the General Court in 1724.
Although the legislature agreed that Westford should become a new western precinct within Chelmsford, this was not recognized locally by Chelmsford leaders until 1727, by which point residents in the western precinct were convinced that political conflict with the rest of Chelmsford would continue regardless, leading to the creation of Westford as an indpendent town on September 23, 1729.