Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: The Towle Legacies

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The Towle Legacies

Mr. John Philip Towle, a lifelong resident of Hampton, who died in 1870, gave, by his last will and testament, certain legacies to the town as follows:

"I give and bequeath to the Town of Hampton, as a permanent fund, the income of which shall be used in maintaining forever a convenient public watering-place, near the house of Cotton Brown, the sum of one hundred dollars.

"I also give and bequeath to the Town of Hampton, the sum of two thousand dollars, as a permanent fund, the principal of which shall be kept intact forever, and the income be annually expended, under the direction of the selectmen, or a committee appointed by them, for the benefit of deserving poor persons (who are not paupers), without distinction of sex, color or creed."

At the annual meeting, in March, 1871, the town passed resolutions of thanks and acceptance, and also, the following:

"Resolved, That the selectmen be authorized to invest the money thus received, in such a way as they may consider safe and profitable; and that they be required to keep a full and accurate account of all the receipts and expenditures from each of these funds, separately, in a suitable book, procured and used for that purpose exclusively; and that, for convenience' sake, the larger fund be called THE TOWLE FUND and the smaller, THE WATER FUND; and that, if the selectmen make any charges for their services in managing these funds, and appropriating the income, they shall not be paid from the income of said funds, but in the way as for other services."

These trust have ever sacredly kept; the selectmen have managed the Towle Fund with judgment and delicacy; and in the twenty years that have elapsed, many a family, in permanently straitened circumstances or temporarily unfortunate, has had cause to bless the generous donor. The good deed will reach forward into the remote future.

Mr. Towle was long an invalid; and, as he sat by his window, his sympathies were often awakened, on seeing thirsty horses led to the public watering-place near by, and turned empty away, because of a broken pump. The "water fund" is the outcome of those sympathies.

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