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Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, and an affluent suburb of Boston. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. In 2007, 2009, and 2011, Money magazine listed Milton as 7th, 5th, and 2nd, respectively, on its annual list of the "Best Places to Live" in the United States.
Milton is located between the Neponset River and the Blue Hills. It is bordered by Boston's Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods to the north and its Hyde Park neighborhood to the west; Quincy to the east and south; Randolph to the south, and Canton to the west.
Milton was settled in the 1630s as a part of Dorchester by Puritans from England. Richard Callicott, one of the first settlers, built a trading post near the Neponset River and negotiated the purchase of Milton from Sachem Cutshamekin. Many of the settlers arrived during the 1650s, fleeing the aftermath of Oliver Cromwell’s deposition from power and the English Civil War. It was referred to as Unquity, the term used by the Neponset Tribe of the Massachusetts Indians meaning "Lower Falls." This was adapted as "Lower Mills" after the establishment of the Israel Stoughton Grist Mill in 1634. In 1662, "that part of the Town of Dorchester which is situated on the south side of the Neponset River commonly called 'Unquatiquisset' was incorporated as an independent town and named Milton in honor of Milton Abbey, Dorset, England.”
Many early Puritan families of Milton became influential in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, such as: the Sumners, Houghtons, Hutchinsons, Stoughtons, Tuckers, Glovers and Babcocks.
A powder mill established in 1674 may have been the first in the earliest in the colonies, taking advantage of the town's water power sites. Boston investors, seeing the potential of the town and its proximity to the city, provided the capital to develop 18th-century Milton as an industrial area, including an iron slitting mill, paper and sawmills, and the first chocolate factory in New England (the Walter Baker Chocolate Factory) in 1764, which was converted from the old Stoughton Grist Mill.
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