Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Fire Company / Printing of Town Accounts

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Fire Company

In January, 1833, a fire company, then recently organized, consisting of Josiah Dearborn, Edmund W. Toppan, Samuel Garland, Jr., Josiah Dow, Jr., David Marston, Thomas Ward and their associates, fifty in all, bought an engine, of the American Hydraulic Company, of Vermont, for two hundred twenty-five dollars, in shares, of five dollars each. At the annual town meeting that year, liberty was given the company, to build an engine house, on the school lot, in the center district. This house remained long after the fire company had become extinct and the engine abandoned, which result occurred after a few years, in which little service was required.

No public means of extinguishing fires now exist. The town did have, for some years, several sets of fire-hooks, in different localities, but even these are lost, for any practical use; and the bucket and well are mainly depended on in case of fire, which, happily, is of rare occurrence.

Under this state of things, the town has now and then trembled for its Records and valuable papers; but never to any practical purpose, till, in 1891, a fire-proof safe, weighing four tons, was placed in the town-house, at a cost of three hundred seventy-five dollars.

Printing of Town Accounts

In March, 1834, was the first record to have the town accounts printed, itemized. This was to be done immediately, and copy given to each legal voter, "on or before September 20, next." Two years later, voted, "that the accounts for the current year be printed, before the next March meeting." This was probably the beginning of the present custom, of printing and distributing (one to each family) a few days before the annual meeting. Since 1860, the report of the superintendent of schools has been printed in the same pamphlet with the town accounts.
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