This Day in Norwood History-May 6, 1893-G.H. Bateman Elected Selectman, Roads Are Hot Topic

Appropriations and Lively Discussions

Town meeting, No. 3, took place Monday afternoon and evening. Contrary to expectation the orators were very moderate in their speeches and there was just enough earnest discussion to make it interesting. F. A. Fales was elected moderator, and the time of 3 o’clock till about 7.30 was devoted to balloting for a selectman to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Morse. There were two candidates in the held, George H. Bateman and John Gillooly, both popular men, as the close vote shows.

Whole number of ballots cast, 555
Number of blanks. 8
George Hill, 1
Tyler Thayer, 1
John Gillooly 272
George H. Bateman, 278

Francis Tinker offered the following resolutions upon the resignation of Mr. Morse, and moved their adoption. The motion was seconded by E. J. Shattuck, and unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That we regret the retirement of Mr. G. H. Morse from the Board of Town Officers after about twenty years of Service, and we feel it a pleasure to ourselves and justice to him to put upon record our appreciation of his labors and tender to him our grateful thanks and best wishes as lie lays down the burdens of office.

Resolved, That this resolution be placed upon the records of the town.

Mr. Morse replied in brief, thanking the town for the token of appreciation, and said, “It will be a pleasant thing to remember. I have always had the best interests of the town in mind and I shall continue to do so.” Mr. Morse appeared much affected as he sat down and received hearty applause.

George H. Morse, 1909 (Norwood Historical Society)

Under Article 3 it was unanimously voted to borrow the sum of $4000 and transfer to the Water Commissioners’ treasury, the same to be known as the Water Works Loan; $2000 of this to be paid in 1895 and $2000 in ’97 ; the money to be used in making extensions to the water mains subject to the usual guaranty.

The Water Commissioners were authorized to take from their funds the sum of $467.01, for the purpose of extending the water main on Rock Hill Street, when the street has been accepted by the town. The town also voted to authorize the Commissioners to apply to the next Legislature for permission to issue bonds to an amount not exceeding $20,000 to pay for extensions in waterworks.

On motion of F. M. Baker it was voted to sell at private or public sale the old office on Guild Street.

When Article 7 was before the meeting considerable discussion was brought out because so much money was asked for to heat and ventilate the Everett school building. Mr. Hill reported for the committee that it would probably cost $3778 to comply with the requirements of the state inspector. Mr. Atwood proposed to raise $1200 of this sum by tax and the balance to be taken from corporation and bank tax. Mr. Mahoney thought it unwise to expend so much money on this building. He created quite a sensation when he said, “The roof leaks all over.”

Everett School

The Everett School was located near the present-day post office building. Built in 1851, it was named in honor of Israel Everett, a Revolutionary War veteran.

Mr. Hill spoke at length on the condition of the building and closed by saying, “Don’t throw away a good building because a clapboard is off. All we propose is to comply with the state law. We should treat town property as we would our own.”

“But,” said Mr. Mahoney, “one of the best carpenters in town says the roof cannot he repaired.”

Mr. Hill—”I should like to know the name of that carpenter.”

Mr. Mahoney —”His name is Walker.”

Mr. H F. Walker then stated that the roof was made of square-edged boards, and stated that the only way said, The roof is not in the bill, and if, after we get the ventilation, we find that the roof leaks, fix that.

It was then voted to accept the report and to appropriate $3778, to be expended under the direction of the following named committee:— H. T. Atwood, George Hill, Tyler Thayer.

The excitement of the evening was over the county road, under Articles 8 and 9.

G. H. Morse said: It was a bad street, all mud in places, and that gravel had to be carted a long distance. Sharon, whose gravel is handy, can build her portion for about 44 cents per foot; Walpole, 57 cents.; Canton, 70 cents.; Norwood, 65 cents. These estimates are on the basis of building somewhere near as laid out, and he moved that the sum of $2000 be raised to complete the job.

H. B. Baker moved to amend, making the sum $700.

Mr. Morse said he asked the commissioners if they would accept a cheaper job, and was told they probably would not.

M. M. Alden—”It is the old story. The majority say the commissioners did not expect it would cost so much, and it seems a little strange for a retiring selectman to stand up here and again urge the sum of $2000. He went with us over that road and he did not say a word about it costing $2000 to finish it, and the road was not “all mud.””

Mr. Morse—”I don’t see anything funny about it. They didn’t ask my opinion; they said what they thought “(meaning the other members of the committee). “They got one thing into their noodles and nothing else. “(Applause.) “No wonder Mr. Alden did not see any mud. The ground was frozen hard as a rock. “(More applause.)

Mr. Hill said a commissioner told him he supposed $1000 would do the job, and that he proposed that we raise $700 this year, and if our friends get stuck in the mud we will help them out next year.

Mr. Cottle — “All we want is a twenty-foot street, and if it can be done for $700, I should like to see it.”

F. À. Fales stated that the commissioners did make an estimate and that it was 65 cents. per foot.

The newly elected selectman, F. L. Fisher, during the excitement, walked in “majestic sweetness” to and from on the platform, and when he could resist no longer, said :

“The road cannot be properly built for $700. It is like spending a pound to save a penny. I want to see the man who says the road can he built for that.”

M. M. Alden—”I was one of them.”

Mr. Fisher—”Did you ever build a road?”

Mr. Alden, sorrowfully—”I never did.”

Mr. Fisher—”I have worked on our streets for twelve years, and I know it cannot be built for any such sum.”

Eben F. Gay said the work could not be done for so small an amount.

Mr. Shattuck thought that as $1000 had already been laid out, $700 was enough.

Mr. Hill said he did not know whether the commissioners were road-builders or not, but certainly reports from them did not agree.

“There are good farms in that neighborhood. Mr. Cottle has one and he knows how to take care of it. He deserves a good road, and he has it, but we don’t want to go way beyond where the frogs and walruses live.”

The vote on the question of raising $2000 was lost, 43 voting for and 92 against.

On the question of appropriating money to carry children to and from the Hawes neighborhood, there was considerable discussion, and it was decided to put the matter into the hands of the school committee.

Under Article 11 it was voted to raise $175 to pay one-half the cost of setting edge stones on Nahatan and Washington streets.

(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)

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