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[p. 51] chosen, the price of which was four cents per foot. At that stage of the matter Mr. Usher was in the minority, but by ‘his powerful eloquence’ in the district meeting this conclusion was arrived at. Then, ‘that there be no want of excitement the school committee stept aside from their proper Calling in order to give their advice in the matter.’ Then, after more turmoil, when ‘one would have supposed there was a foreign invasion by the noise,’ and ‘Mr. Smith said he would follow the Committee from the foundation to the pinnacle,’ the schoolhouse was at last located on land of Samuel Teele at the corner of Brooks and Irving streets. Mr. Caldwell says dimensions were agreed upon and he was asked to, and did, draw plans (a front and side elevation) with which no fault was found, the committee meeting soon after to stake out foundation, and fronting it southwest. Mr. Usher was to proceed with the foundation, as he said he had raised money by subscription for that expense.

It appears from Mr. Caldwell's writing that Hon. Edward Brooks had become interested in the proposed building, and had suggested or offered to furnish plans for the same. These plans, he writes, were ‘drawn in the old English style,’ and were adopted, not without his criticism. Then the question of frontage came up again. ‘Mr. Usher wanted it northwest,’ and ‘here was open war again.’ ‘Mr. Usher controlled the subscription,’ saying, ‘Unless the house fronts to suit me you can have none of this money.’ At last Mr. Hatch is quoted as saying that he wanted that style of house, and rather than not have it, would vote to front it northwest, though against his wish. Mr. Caldwell closed the minority report with, ‘I was now fully satisfied that the present majority of the Committee were proceeding without regard to expense or the interest of the town. . . . I refused taking any further responsibility. . . for I was convinced that the whole thing from the beginning was a selfish speculation, Conceived in iniquity and brought forth in sin.’

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James M. Usher (4)
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