The earliest printed report of the Town of Medford
on file at the City Clerk's office
bears date of 1838, and consists of 24 pages.
Previous to that time the expenses and receipts were printed on detached sheets of paper.
From the printed
reports of succeeding years and the manuscript
records of the Selectmen
of previous years, we can find, not accurately but nearly so, the cost of supplying the town with water annually.
I say not accurately, for some times the bills approved included other items besides repairs to the pump, digging wells, etc. Charges for setting glass, warning town meetings, repairing windows in the meeting-house and procuring wood for the school appear occasionally.
In some instances the price of labor per day is given.
Under the same date it is expressed in the two forms of $1.25 and 7s. 6d.; in another place as 10s. 6d. This was for digging wells.
A fair estimate for the first half of the last century will not bring the yearly expense up to $13.50, and alas!
there were no cash receipts to the credit of the old system.
These records of approved bills furnish us with the names of the craftsmen of former generations, the skillful workmen in iron and wood, the blacksmiths, carpenters and masons, who kept the bridge and pumps in repair.
The following names are those of men whose lives were a part of Medford
's history, and some were known personally by many living today: William Bradbury
, Timothy Dexter
, Nathan Wait, Daniel Symmes
, Darius Wait, John T. Cram
, William A. Egery
, Thomas Pratt
, Oakman Joyce
, Nathan W. Wait
, Benjamin Moore
and R. G. Pinkham
's name occurs most frequently as having had bills approved for repairing the pumps.
The Waits and Symmeses were blacksmiths; Thomas Pratt
, Oakman Joyce
, R. G. Pinkham
The last named did a good deal of work on pumps also, and died a few years ago, the last of those here mentioned.
John T. Cram
was a pump maker and lived on