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Aldrich, P. Emory, was born in New Salem, Franklin County. His ancestors came from England in 1635, residing at first in Dorchester and Braintree, and afterwards settling in Mendon, Worcester County.
After obtaining his early education at the public schools, he fitted for college at the Shelburne Falls Academy, and in private study mastered a collegiate education. He studied law while engaged in teaching at the South, and later attended the Harvard law school. In 1845 he was admitted to the bar in Richmond, Va., but the following year returned to Massachusetts, and after studying for six months with Chapman, Ashmun & Norton, in Springfield, he was admitted to practice in the courts of the State.
He began practice in Barre, where he remained for seven years, for three years editing the “Barre Patriot.” He was sent as a delegate to the Convention of 1853 for the revision of the state constitution, and the same year Governor Clifford appointed him district attorney for the middle district, which office he held till 1866. Removing to Worcester in 1854, he became a partner of Hon. P. C. Bacon. In 1862 he was elected mayor of Worcester, declining a re-election. He was sent as a representative to the Legislature in 1866-’67, and for three years after its organization he was a member of the state board of health.
In the cause of temperance and education he has ever taken a lively interest. He has been an active member of the American Antiquarian Society, and one of its council. He has also been a valued member of the board of trustees of the Worcester County Free Institution of Industrial Science.
In 1850 Mr. Aldrich married Sarah, daughter of Harding P. Wood, of Barre.