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refused to raise the money. On the 17th of January, 1732, the town again refused to raise money to build a school-house. On 25th of September, 1732, the town voted to build a school-house, to be finished the 25th of November. Captain Brooks was chairman of a committee of three to attend to the matter, and, although no appropriation was made at the time, and no allusion is made to the matter at a meeting held the next January, I am inclined to think the building was erected. From about 1736 Medford seems to have had what may be called an annual school—that is, for seven or eight months each year, as this year the people voted to have a school from September to May. On the 30th of July, 1738, they voted to have a school for the space of a year, and July 23, 1739, they voted to have an annual school. The hiring of the master and the care of the school was usually put in the hands of a special committee, as now, but for some years before the Revolution the selectmen were char
death, his executors sold his lands in very large parcels to speculators, in whose hands they remained without doing much good to anybody. And so Medford became what the folks in the General Court called a peculiar town. It was exempted from taxation and received a grant of public territory in Maine, from which I imagine it never realized much benefit. As late as 1707 Medford had only 46 ratable polls, with an entire population of 230 souls; but after that it grew more rapidly, so that in 1736 its population had nearly trebled. People from outside had begun to get possession of the land, and they found that Medford was a very good place to live in—as they have ever since. If we are to be historical, let us tell the truth. I recall these facts of the olden time with no spirit of disparagement, either in the case of the early inhabitants of Medford, or that magnificent man, Matthew Cradock. The evils to which I have referred were simply the result of exceptional circumstances.