It was seven years after the civil war. Gold was still at a premium.
The South was under partial military rule.
was serving his first term as President
and Charles Sumner
were our national senators, General N. P. Banks
was our representative in Congress, William B. Washburn
was governor of Massachusetts
was a town of seven thousand inhabitants, and West Medford had about one hundred families.
Mr. Charles Cummings
was principal of the Medford
High School, with two assistants, and the one hundred pupils of West Medford were housed in the Brooks schoolhouse
, under the instruction of three teachers.
's was the only store.
There was no physician.
The post office was in the railroad station, Reuben Willey
being both station agent and postmaster.
Some families attended church at Medford
, but there was no public conveyance, Cunningham
's omnibus line not being in operation till five years later.
The West Medford Christian Union held preaching services in Mystic Hall, but there was no church organization which could build a meeting-house, and no joint action of different denominations seemed feasible.
The Baptists, under the lead of Mr. Horace A. Breed
, agitated the question of a Baptist church and were satisfied to give it up. Then the Methodists discussed the matter, but took no public action.
It remained for the Congregationalists to see what they could do and whether they ought to proceed.
And so it came to pass that members of the families of Ackerman
, with some others, to the number of about twenty persons, met at Mr. Norton
's house, on February 26, 1872, to take counsel together with reference to this situation.
John H. Norton
was elected chairman and David H. Brown
After prayer by J. G. Fuller
, Mr. Norton
stated the object of the meeting, to consider the expediency