Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 11, 2012

Townsman to turn 125 this Sunday


Phillips Academy — Principal Cecil Franklin Patch Bancroft had great plans to modernize the curriculum for the 312 students who paid $60.00 a year for tuition.

Plans were in full swing to develop a physical plant. In 1887, a fire destroyed the old Mansion House originally built by Samuel Phillips Jr. which was visited by George Washington in 1789.

Selectmen — The Chairman of the Board who also acted as assessor and overseer of the poor, received $300; the other two members were paid $250.

Streets — Railroad Street was laid out in 1887 and the road commission spent $2,870 — some $371 more than was appropriated — to straighten out the culverts, put in a retaining wall and fix the street.

Taxes — In 1887, Town Meeting left some of the burden of that year’s expenditures for their townsmen to pay a year later. Voters approved $78,578 for the year and they also voted to raise $40,000 from taxes and borrow whatever else was needed — payable in 1888. Schools took the biggest chunk at $11,000 and another $1,000 for school houses. (An extra $2,500 was appropriated to buy Towle land for a new school).

Highways and bridges came in at $8,000 sidewalks, $1,000; removing snow $1,000; fire department $2,500; street lamps $1,000. Tax income was $40,925 for 1887.

Teachers — The town’s annual report urged “all girls who would seek to become teachers to get at least two years of Normal School preparation” with the following notation to “be a good instructor and not enter upon the profession simply for the money it will bring.” The average pay per week was $9 and the principal received $20 a week.

Town Owned Property – All town-owned property was valued at a total of $330,507 back in 1887. The Town Hall was worth $25,000 in 1887 including fixtures. The Memorial Hall Library was valued at $38,000.

Water Supply — 125 years ago, a special December town meeting approved acceptance of a statute, allowing Andover to set up a water supply system for the community. The first installation began in 1886 at Rabbit’s pond and ran through the center of town. Four town citizens served as a special committee for the installation of water lines for fire protection mainly but also in case the town wanted to distribute water to homes. 7,500 feet of pipe with gates and hydrants for the cost of $9,300 established the town’s first water mains.

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