and a conflagration was not considered legally extinguished until the crackers and cheese had been properly served and eaten.
There was, in 1853, no military organization of any kind.
Phalanx, which had enjoyed a nine years existence, had resigned its charter in 1849, and the Lawrence
Light Guard was not formed until October, 1854.
In 1853 there was no regular police force in town.
If you wanted a thief caught you had to catch him yourself or get your neighbors to help you. And there really didn't seem to be much need of policemen.
It was only when the village grew larger and a new element came in that the need became apparent.
In the late fifties, I think it was, three constables were appointed to keep the peace, and they used to carry their badges in their pockets, to be pulled out only in a case of dire emergency.
So you see that ancient Medford
was a law-abiding place and its inhabitants a quiet and God-fearing people.
At that time I do not think there were a dozen families of foreign parentage in town.
The inhabitants were of pure New England
stock, whose blood ran from old English sources.
Go through the records of the names of the first settlers and you will see what I mean.
There are the Lawrences, the Halls, the Tuftses, the Ushers, the Bishops, the Adamses, the Stearnses, and a score of others equally familiar to your ears, all of whom lived in the good old Anglo-Saxon
way, and left a permanent impress on the social and business life of the town.
But to come back.
Fifty years ago there was no Y. M. C. A. I am not sure that you have one now. If not, there is a gap to be filled.
There was no Historical Society.
No one thought of such a thing.
There was no literary club, and you will pardon me if I say it, although there was much genuine literary taste, it was put to little practical use. I was at that time anxious to come in contact with people of literary accomplishment,