Charles Slocomb who made the first straw braid hat for men in this country was born in Wrentham, now a part of Norfolk, MA. One day while at a Boston millinery store, he watched the process in which a woman's bonnet was created. He conceived the idea that straw braid could be converted in a similar manner into a hat for men. The next day he had some of the braid sent to his factory and as a result he appeared with a straw hat, the first of its kind ever made.

Eli Richardson builds his house on the hill next to his factory, in City Mills. He also builds a stone store on the property, at this time. The house and stone store were later owned by William Sweatt, another prominent businessman in town, in the next century.