Peabody () is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 51,251 at the 2010 census, and in 2019 the estimated population was 53,070. Peabody is located in the North Shore region of Massachusetts, and is known for its rich industrial history. Originally known as the Northfields, Salem Farms, and Brooksby, the area was settled in 1626 by a small group of English colonists from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant. In 1752, the area was set off from Salem, and incorporated as a district of Danvers. It was referred to as “the South Parish”, associated with a church located in present-day Peabody Square. In 1855, the community broke away from Danvers, and was incorporated as the independent town of South Danvers.
The name was changed to Peabody on April 30, 1868, in honor of George Peabody, noted philanthropist born in present-day Peabody, widely regarded as the “father of modern philanthropy”. It was granted city status in 1916. The western, less densely populated area of town is often separately, yet unofficially, referred to as West Peabody. Peabody started off as a farming community, but its rivers and streams attracted mills which operated by water power. In particular, Peabody was a major center of New England‘s leather industry, which attracted immigrants from all around the world. By 1915, a third of the population was born outside the United States.
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