Publication: The Boston Daily Globe
Boston, MA, United States
QUARTER-CENTENNIAL OF HYDE PARK.
HYDE PARK, April 21. — The town of Hyde Park will be 25 years old tomorrow, and her citizens will then proudly celebrate the anniversary.
The historical society will be heartily cooperated with in the observance of the quarter-centennial by the board of trade and others. Appropriate exercises were held in the public schools today.
Tomorrow there will be a grand street parade, which will be participated in by the trades people, societies and organizations, the Veteran Firemen's Association, Grand Army Post, high school battalion and others.
In the evening a reception and banquet will be held in Waverly Hall, at which Lieut. Gov. Walcott, Senator Lodge and Congressman Draper will be present as invited guests, and the presence of Gov. Russell is expected.
On Sunday historical sermons will be delivered by the pastors of several churches.
Incorporated in 1868, anything that is said about Hyde Park prior to that time belongs to the history of those adjoining towns from whose territory it was made up.
The intention was to form a new town of what is now the business portion, from territory taken from the towns of Milton, Dorchester and Dedham.
The leaders in the movement got together and agreed to divide the town into 12 sections, and one Saturday night, between the hours of 7 and 9 o'clock, one man went through each section with his petition, nearly everyone signing it.
The men signing one petition would not of course sign another against it, consequently there was no local opposition and the 12 petitions were pasted together and 571 names went before the Legislature in favor of a new town.
The request for incorporation was variously viewed by the towns whose territory was affected. Dorchester made no opposition. Dedham refused to yield as much as asked for, and succeeded in getting a part of it; Milton also decidedly objected, the contest finally narrowing down to the boundary line question.
Over this the fight waxed furious, which resulted at last in a report to the Legislature
Recommending a Compromise Law,
and on April 22, 1868, the governor signed the bill incorporating the new town, which took about 1300 acres from Dorchester, 800 from Dedham and 700 from Milton, and at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of April 30, the legal voters assembled in Music Hall, and were called to order by William Rogers, formerly ol [sic] on Gov. Andrew's staff, who read the call for the meeting and the act of the Legislature incorporating the town.
Mr. Rogers was then chosen moderator, and Rev. Perley B. Davis, then pastor of the Orthodox church, offered prayer for the prosperity of the new town.
The board of selectmen elected consisted of Messrs. Henry Grew, Zenas Allen, Martin L. Whitcher, William J. Stuart and Benjamin F. Radford; town clerk, Charles W. Turner; treasurer, Henry S. Adams; tax collector, Henry A. Rick; school committee, Rev. Nicholas T. Whittaker, Rev. Perley B. Davis , Rev. William H. S. Ventries, Rev. William H. Collins, Rev. Amos Webster and William A. Bullard; auditors, C. C. Bradbury, H. C. Adams and E. P. Davis; constables, H. C. Adams, Henry A. Rick, S. S. Bunker, Nathaniel Hibberd and James L. Vialle.
Of these gentlemen Messrs. Radford, Stuart. Rick and Webster still reside in Hyde Park.
The recipients of municipal honors were not elected without vigorous opposition. There were no less than five tickets in the field, the regular caucus nominations being the successful ones.
A section of Capt. Baxter's Light Battery was present, and when the vote for moderator was announced, a salute of 100 guns was fired.
The citizens made a holiday of the occasion and in the evening there was a grand display of fireworks.
Old Music Hall, where the election took place, was originally situated on the site of the old Apollo beer garden, corner of Harvard and Washington sts., Boston. It was afterward moved to Hyde Park, and after it had outgrown its usefulness as a place of public meetings, it was again moved to its present location on Hyde Park av., at the head of Webster St., where it is used for commercial purposes.
At this time there were in the town four schoolhouses, only one of which, however, was of any considerable size or value; six religious societies, three of which worshipped in their own edifices and the others in public halls; and of manufacturing industries, a woollen mill, cotton mill, paper mill, a vise factory, iron works, car shops and a needle factory.
The population was about 3500, the number of polls 774, and the valuation as fixed on the 1st of May following $2,000,000.
One of the leading motives which had caused the mass of the residents of the town of Hyde Park
To Espouse so Warmly
the project of incorporation had been the felling that their needs had not received sufficient attention from the parent towns of which it was formerly a part.
The school accommodations were very inadequate, there was no fire department, the streets were in bad condition, poorly lighted, and only a few of them had been accepted by the towns.
To remedy all these deficiencies and numberless others, the citizens had asked for and had obtained self-government.
Streets were now accepted and put in good repair, bridges built, a fire department organized and a suitable engine house built.
Within five years of its corporate existence the town erected four large school buildings at a cost of about $120,000.
For a number of years the town business was transacted in rooms and halls hire d for the purpose.
A town hall was desired by many. In 1870 a most intense controversy arose over a proposition to purchase for town meeting purposes the building standing on the corner of West River st. and Gordon av.
After much contention the property was purchased, but was accidentally destroyed by fire March 8, 1883.
The year 1870 was quite prolific in notable events.
Then it was that the women of the town, determining to have a voice in the political issues of the day, held a caucus in Bragg's Hall on Friday, Match 4, for the purpose of nominating a full ticket to be voted for at the ensuing election.
This event carried the name and fame of Hyde Park throughout the United States.
The caucus was well attended, stirring addresses were made inciting the auditors to stand by the position they had taken in the woman suffrage movement to make up their ticket and back it at the polls.
The regular ticket was nominated with the exception of three of the school committee, for whom the names of Mrs. Sarah Brown, Mrs. Caroline A. Parrott and Rev. Perley B. Davis were substituted.
There was a great deal of discussion among the townspeople as to the propriety of the ladies appearing at the polls, but, nothing daunted, on March 8, in a blinding snowstorm and amidst a noisy crowd, the women walked bravely up to the polls and deposited their ballots.
They had assembled in the Everett House parlors, whence they proposed to make their descent in a body upon the voting place.
At the latter place, meantime was congregated a large number of the townspeople and people had ceome from Boston and elsewhere to witness the triumph or defeat of the women.
The polls opened at 2 o'clock. The men voters awaited with anxiety and impatience the coming of the women.
At 4:30 they sent an advance guard to notify the moderator, the late Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., the well-known novelist, that they were ready to proceed to business.
Mr. Cobb immediately announced to the crowd assembled that
A Delegation of Women
were waiting to deposit their ballots for town officers and asked that they be treated with courtesy.
The excitement in the hall grew greater, and cries of "Don't let them in" were raised, and it was some time before order could be preserved.
The moderator spoke to the angry throng before him, urging them to behave with courtesy and decorum towards their approaching townswomen.
His word allayed the tumult, and the ladies immediately entered, each carrying a bouquet of flowers.
They were led by Mrs. Theodore D, Weld and sister, Miss Sarah Grimke, formerly of South Carolina, who voluntarily liberated her slaves, and became the first public female speaker in opposition to the laws against fugitives.
On entering the hall the women , were received with a storm of groans and hisses, and it was with difficulty that they could move through the throng about them.
The moderator threatened with arrest and removal the most uproarious of the opponents, which at once produced a calm on the floor, and the women without further trouble deposited their ballots.
The votes were kept .separate, however, and not counted, but the result showed that there were 60 women in town who believed in female suffrage.
This act of the women received much attention from the press throughout the United States.
The financial panic which swept over the country in the latter part of 1873 fell with excessive weight upon Hyde Park, and almost menaced its future existence.
The very methods which had been adopted to cause the selling of land for a small sum down and a large sum secured by mortgage rendered it peculiarly open to such a catastrophe as then came upon it.
Taxes were suffered to remain unpaid. In 1874 the list of estates advertised for sale for non-payment of taxes numbered 218.
The estates lost by their unlucky former possessors have become the property of others better able to hold, improve and beautify them, and the town has thus gained in its outward appearance and the number of its well-to-do citizens.
A greater conservatism is manifested in public and private enterprises, and the present status of the town is one of healthy and well-based prosperity.
Its net debt is now greatly reduced, and by means of the sinking fund, as now managed, will be entirely liquidated in a few years, and this debt is placed on terms as favorable as those enjoyed by any town or city in the State.
It is not without interest in this article to mention a word or two about the town's public institutions and enterprises.
Postoffice Was Established
35 years ago, in a building long since destroyed, which stood on the lot nearly opposite the New York & New England depot.
It was known as the Fairmount postoffice, and the first mail brought to the postmaster, J. Russell Story, was three letters and two papers.
The hall overhead was used by the Union Religious society. A few years later the building was destroyed by fire.
The postoffice was then moved to Rich's building, which stood on the present site of the Salvation Army Hall building, and Enoch E. Blake, who is still a resident of the town, was appointed postmaster.
This building was destroyed by fire in 1864. The postoffice, after a few more changes in location, each time moving nearer the business centre of the town, is now located in Brown's block in Everett sq., and illustrates the growth and prosperity of the town during the past 25 years.
The Present postmaster is Samuel R. Moseley and the town is favored with the carrier service.
The first school on the Fairmount side was held in the parlor of David Higgins and afterwards by degrees was merged into the splendid structure now known as the Fairmount school.
In the southwesterly part of the town, known as the Readville district, was another small affair, which stood on the present site of the Damon schoolhouse, and was called the Old Damon.
The third and most famous of them all was the Butler Schoolhouse, which is still standing on East River st., near Huntington av., and is used by the town for the children in the primary department in that district.
It is-a one-story frame building, said to be the oldest school building in New England.
The town now has five large school buildings, located in the several sections of the town.
The first church organization in the town was the Baptist, and was organized at the house of Lyman B. Hanaford, on the 9th of September, 1858, with 10 members.
They first held services in a hall dedicated to public worship. In 1861 a small chapel was built. In 1870 the present edifice was completed and dedicated. The present pastor is Rev. M. Francis Perry.
The Congregational Society is the largest in town, and was organized May 7, 1863. Services were first held in Bragg's Hall. The church building was erected in 1868, on land given by the Real Estate and Building Company 1874 a chapel was built, and in 1883 both church and chapel were enlarged on account of the growth of the society.
The society has had but two settled pastors, the first being Rev. Perley B. Davis, who was installed in May, 1867. Mr. Davis tendered his resignation last year and is now settled Dorchester.
Rev. Dr. Andrew W. Archibald is the present pastor.
The first services of the Episcopal Society
Were Held in Union Hall,
over the depot of the New York Central railroad, now the New York & New England, on Oct. 10, 1858.
Soon after, the meetings were transferred to Lyman Hall, In the building used as a depot by the Providence railroad.
The present parish was organized Nov. 8, 1860, under the name of Christ church, and the present church building consecrated Dec. 1, 1863. Rt. Rev. Manton Eastburn, then bishop of the diocese, officiating.
The first rector was Hon. A. H. Washburn. The society is going to build, on the site of the present church, a new stone edifice at a cost of about $20,000, plans of which are now being drawn by the architect.
The present rector is Rev. Samuel G. Babcock.
The Methodist Society was formed Feb. 10, 1867, with 28 members. For a number of years meetings were held in halls hired for the purpose, the pulpit being filled by different clergymen.
Rev. N. T. Whittaker was the first settled pastor. In 1871 a parsonage was built, and the church edifice erected in 1873. Rev. Mr. Heath is pastor.
June 1, 1867, the first Unitarian meeting was held in the Fairmount schoolhouse, and for some time afterward services held in halls, clergymen from Boston and vicinity occupying the pulpit.
In June, 1868, a permanent organization was formed under the name of the Christian Fraternity. Later on this name was changed to that of the Second Congregational Society.
Since May, 1880, it has been known as the First Unitarian Society. Their place of worship was built in 1875.
The parish of the church or the Most Precious Blood was organized Oct. 1, 1870, and Rev. J. Corcoran appointed pastor.
Services were held in the old Music Hall during the building of a church on Hyde Park av., which was destroyed by fire, Jan. 2. 1875.
The present handsome brick and stone edifice on Mt. Neponset was built 12 years ago.
The cornerstone was laid by Most Rev. John J. Williams (in the presence of some 6000 people), who also performed the dedicatory rites. On the church grounds are also built a parochial school and residence.
The Clarendon Congregational church was organized April 10, 1880, with 15 members. Rev. E. H. Johnson is pastor and services are held in the chapel.
The Blue Hill Evangelical Society was incorporated Sept. 19, 1888. The chapel was built the following year. The pulpit is being supplied by the several ministers in town and vicinity.
For a number of years the Salvation Army have held meetings in town, their barracks being in Whipple's block.
A branch of the Christian Alliance also held weekly meetings. One pleasant remembrance of the early church-going days is
The Portable Melodeon,
the property of Select man Amos A. Brainard, a member of the Episcopal church.
Every Sunday morning Mr. Brainard carried it to church and at the close of the service would take it homo again.
This musical instrument seems to have been common property among the religious societies in those days.
For several years it was borrowed by the Congregational, Baptist and other societies whenever occasion demanded.
Mr. Brainard still has the instrument in his possession.
The Hyde Park public library was opened to the public in March, 1874, in Everett block, with 3700 volumes for circulation.
The library has greatly increased in size and circulation, and now contains about 12,500 books.
It remained in Everett block until February, 1884, when having entirely outgrown its limits, it was moved to rooms fitted up for it in the Masonic block.
On Sept. 30, 1870, the fire department was organized. Hydrant service is used, and there is a fire alarm circuit.
Tho Horticultural Society was organized May 13, 1884, and held s two exhibitions a year.
Young Men's Christian Association was organized on Feb, 2, 1885. They have commodious quarters in the old skating rink building on West River St., which contains a gymnasium, hall, offices and a reading room, furnished with all the modern improvements.
Hyde Park abounds in secret societies, among them being the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor, Royal Arcanum and numerous others.
There is a Grand Army Post, Woman's Relief Corps and Sons of Veterans.
There are two social clubs in town, the Waverly and Hyde Park, and two bicycle clubs.
Two local papers are published weekly, the Norfolk County Gazette and Hyde Park Times.
Manufacturing interests are quite numerous, among them being the woolen mills of Robert Bleakie & Co., B. B. & R. Knights' cotton mill, one of the oldest of its kind in America: Tileston &• Hollingsworth' s paper mills, the Brainard Twilling Machine Company, Boston Blower works. American Tool and Machine Company, the Boston Rubber Gossamer Company. Glover & Willcomb's curled hair factory, and others.
In process of erection are the works of the E. O. Morris Safe Company and the Standard Glass Insulator Company.
Hyde Park can also boast of a savings bank, a co-operative bank, board of trade, and there is talk of a national bank or a trust company.
The town is well lighted by an electric light plant, and
Good Spring Water
is furnished the citizens by the Hyde Park Water Company.
In the Readville district is the new Fairview cemetery, opened last fall, and the town is agitating public parks.
Before next fall it is expected that electric cars will be running through the town, the suburban electric street railway having been granted a franchise.
The railroad facilities to and from Boston are excellent, there being two lines of railroads, the Providence division of the Old Colony and the New York & New England. On the Old Colony there are four stations, the Hyde Park, Clarendon Hills, Hazlewood and Readville, and on the New York and New England, three — Hyde Park, River St. and Readville.
The town voted "no" on the license question.
The following items of interest are taken from assessors' annual report for the year ending Jan.; 31, and show the present valuation of the town:
The-total number of polls is 2611, number of dwellings 1876. The tax rate is $15.
The Hyde Park Historical Society, to whom is due the credit for the observance of the anniversary, held their first meeting in Association Hall, Neponset block, March 1, 1877, to collate and preserve information concerning the early days of the town.
The society now has quarters in the Everett House, which are fast becoming too small for them, and they hope in the near future to have a suitable building.
|Keywords:||Standard Glass Insulator Company|
|Date completed:||May 12, 2010 by: Bob Stahr;|