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[75] purchase belong, eventually, to Somerville. My recollection of this Fenno land transaction is that John R. Poor and Robert A. Vinal, acting in concert, concluded to buy the land, if they could, trusting to the town's taking it off their hands; and all this was accomplished. There were some persons in town at the time who did not hesitate to assert that the two purchasers made a sum of money on the sale to the town, but the statement was absolutely false. They made nothing, and a more unselfish act by unselfish men was never performed, than the act of John P. Poor and Robert A. Vinal, by which Somerville came into possession of the Fenno land.

On the third of May, 1869, in town meeting, on motion of Clark Bennett, it was voted that the selectmen be instructed and authorized to purchase a piece of land on Highland Avenue, which, in their judgment, shall be suitable for a town hall with town offices, and for an engine house; and on the 29th of the same month, the selectmen having received three several propositions to sell to the town the land contemplated by its vote, accepted, the finance committee acquiescing, the one for a parcel on the corner of Highland Avenue and Walnut Street, having a frontage of 450 feet on Highland Avenue, and extending back on a line parallel with Walnut Street, to Medford Street, containing about three and a half acres.

In 1870, Sleeper sold to George W. Coleman and the late William H. Brine all the remaining land of his original purchase, and in a few days these two sold the premises to the town of Somerville. There is quite a story connected with the transfers of this last piece of property. A short time before the sale and purchase of this remaining parcel, Mr. Brine, who lived near by, conceived the idea that some one might deem it an object to buy the land in anticipation of its being wanted by the town. He thought of Mr. Coleman and suggested it to him. It seemed feasible to Mr. Coleman, and he wanted Mr. Brine to join him in the purchase; ‘but,’ said Mr. Brine, ‘I cannot, for I have no money.’ ‘I will furnish that,’ said Mr. Coleman; and so the land was bought. The consideration in the deed was $25,000, but this may not have been the exact sum. Then came

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