American History and Genealogy Project

AHGP

Synopsis of Municipal Records ~ 1838~1898

In 1834 the population of Swan's Island had increased to nearly two hundred inhabitants, and the settlers, having long felt the disadvantages of an unorganized place, thought that the time had come when the number of inhabitants warranted an organization into some local government. Many local matters of considerable moment to the settlers were neglected by the State authorities; roads needed to be built and kept in repair, and, above all, some regular method was needed of furnishing instruction to the young. Concerning the first organization there is no record known to exist. It is supposed that the first record and those of the three following years were burned in a house where the records were kept that was destroyed by fire.

Whether a regular plantation form of government was incorporated according to the requirements of law, or whether the settlers merely met by mutual agreement and chose their officers without any formality, will probably never be known, as no record of their proceedings was made to the secretary of State. Whether this omission was the result of carelessness or not, I do not know.

Concerning the year of this organization I am informed by Benj. Smith, esq., who was present at that first meeting, and although but a boy he remembered distinctly not only the year (1834) but also the officers who were then elected. I also find in the record of the meeting held in 1839 that it was voted to abate a tax on Benjamin F. Staples' bills for the year 1834; thus showing that an organization must have existed at that time.

Swan's Island alone constituted this alleged plantation which started on its career in the spring of 1834 at a meeting held in the house of Ebenezer Joyce, where the following officers were elected: Assessors, Benjamin Stinson, Benjamin Smith and James Joyce; clerk, John Stockbridge; treasurer, Benjamin Stinson; collector of taxes, Benjamin F. Staples. . No further record is found until that of the year

1838

The assessors chosen this year were Augustus R. Staples, Edward Gott and Benjamin F. Stinson.

1839

Met at schoolhouse in east district. Meeting was opened by prayer by Benjamin Stinson. The following officers were chosen: Benjamin Stinson, moderator and treasurer; Benjamin F. Stinson, clerk; Benjamin Stinson, Augustus R. Staples and James Joyce, assessors; collection of taxes bid off at auction at 3 per cent, by Thomas Sadler. Raised $90 for schools, $150 for roads, and $25 for plantation expenses. William Stanley and Levi Torrey were elected school agents; Benjamin F. Stinson, William Fife and Joseph R. Torrey, school committee; Asa Staples, John Stockbridge and Edward Gott, tythingmen; William Joyce and Enoch Billings sextons.

Voted to abate O'Maley's tax on Benjamin F. Staples' bill for 1834. Voted that no license be given to sell ardent spirits. Voted that the island be divided so that three-fifths of the voters shall be in the west district, and two-fifths in the east district. A road was laid out from John Stockbridge's to Thomas Sadler's house. The tax list this year contained fifty persons.

State election was held September 9, and the following was the vote: For governor, John Fairfield had 19 votes; Edward Kent, 1; for senator, Charles Jarvis, 19; representative to legislature, Allen Hopkins, 19; Amos Clements, 1.

A meeting was called in the west district October 8. They voted to finish their schoolhouse, and raised $60 for the same. The work was set up at auction, and bid off by Edward Gott. School was to begin December 20, and continue eight weeks. Master's board bid off by Thomas Colomy for fifty cents per week. Wood furnished by Benjamin F. Stinson at one shilling per cord. East district voted to have two and one-half months' school in winter, and three months in the summer.

1840

Augustus R. Staples was chosen moderator; James Joyce, clerk; Benjamin Stinson, Augustus R. Staples and John Stinson, assessors; Benjamin Stinson, treasurer. Voted to pay their taxes in directly to the treasurer. Raised $100 for schools, $150 for highways, and $20 for plantation expenses. Joshua S. Trask and Thomas Colony were elected school agents; Benjamin F. Stinson, Joseph R. Torrey and Joshua S. Trask, school committee. Voted to lay out a road from the highway to Asa C. Staples' house.

School meeting was held in east district October 14. Voted to begin school the first Monday in January. Master's board bid off by Ebenezer Joyce at $1 a week. In the presidential election held this year the democratic electors had 41 votes, the Whigs 3. State election, John Fairfield had 47 votes for governor; Edward Kent 2; representative to the legislature, Thomas Bunker 47; Amos Clements 2.

1841

Augustus R. Staples, James Joyce and Joseph R. Torrey were chosen assessors. Raised $100 for schools, $30 for current expenses, and $130 for highways. William Joyce and Benjamin Smith were chosen school agents; Augustus R. Staples, Benjamin F. Stinson and Moses Staples, 3d, school committee. Voted to abate the tax on gristmill. State election, the vote cast was as follows: For governor, John Fairfield 49; Edward Kent 3; representative to the legislature, Amos Allen, 48. At a school meeting it was voted to have two months' school. Board bid off by Moses Staples, 3d, at seventy-two cents a week.

1842

Benjamin Stinson, William Stinson and Kimball Herrick were chosen assessors. Raised $100 for schools, $30 for current expenses, and $150 for highways. Ebenezer Joyce and Joseph Gott were chosen school agents. Benjamin F. Stinson, John Adams and Silas Hardy, school committee. Voted to divide west district. The southeast district to be formed, the line running between Joseph Gott's and John Gott's; Irish point district line to run between Abel Lane's and David Smith's. William Joyce, William Fife and Joseph Gott were chosen tythingmen. Voted to give east district power to elect its own school agent. State election, John Fairfield had 34 votes for governor; Edward Roberson i; for representative to the legislature, Stephen Allen 34.

1843

John Adams, Ebenezer Joyce and Kimball Herrick were chosen assessors; John Adams, Benjamin Stinson and Silas Hardy, school committee. Voted to allow school districts to choose their own agents. Voted to number the districts: West district shall be No. 1, east district No. 2, southwest district No. 3, southeast district No. 4. Raised $100 for schools, $150 for highways, and $40 for current expenses. Voted to lay out a road from Edmond Stanley's to Widow Gott's house. The school committee was allowed fifty cents per school for their compensation. A road to be laid out from the schoolhouse to Silas Hardy's. In district No. 2 voted to pay summer teacher $1.00 per week. At the State election the following vote was cast: For governor, Hugh J. Anderson, 23 votes; representative to the legislature, Erastus Redman, 23.

1844

Benjamin Stinson, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph R. Torrey were chosen assessors; William Joyce and Samuel Gott tythingmen. Raised $125 for schools, $150 for highways and $35 for current expenses. Voted that the assessors lay out a road from William Joyce's to Abel E. Staples' house. At State election the vote was as follows: For governor, Hugh J. Anderson, 45; Edward Robinson, 1; for representative to the legislature, Benjamin F. Stinson, 45; Humphrey Wells, 1. Voted on an amendment to the constitution so as to establish town courts. The votes cast were even, 18 yeas and 18 noes. Presidential election, the democratic electors received 60 votes, the Whigs 1.

1845

Augustus R. Staples, Kimball Herrick and William Joyce were chosen assessors. John Adams, Benjamin Smith and Ebenezer Joyce, school committee. Raised $150 for schools, $40 for current expenses, $61 for arrearages, and $150 for highways. Voted not to grant license to sell intoxicating liquors. At the State election the following vote was cast: For governor, Hugh J. Anderson, 40; Freeman H. Morse, 1; Representative to the legislature, Hezekiah D. Means, 40. A meeting was called Feb. 14, 1846, at which it was voted to prohibit all nonresidents from running hounds, setting traps or laying poison for any furbearing animal. The penalty to be $50 fine, one-half of which fine to go to the complainant.

1846

Augustus R. Staples, Benjamin F. Staples and Kimball Herrick, assessors. Raised $150 for schools, $50 for current expenses, and $150 for highways. Benjamin F. Stinson, Joshua S. Trask and William Fife, school committee. State election the following vote was cast: For governor, John W. Dana, 42; David Bronson, 1; representative to the legislature, Erastus Redman, 42. A meeting was called Feb. 3, 1847, at which it was voted that the men who had been chopping wood on advertised land be allowed to take the wood and pay stumpage according to value, fifty cents for hard wood, and twenty-five for soft wood. These men shall obtain a permit to remove this wood, or they will be liable for trespass. Voted that those claiming the land they occupy shall have the land surveyed, and a record made in the clerk's book. That all other lands not occupied be run out and marked into fifty acre lots. This survey to be completed before April 30 next. All persons having taken up wild lands shall have the same surveyed and recorded before April l next.

1847

Benjamin Stinson, Augustus R. Staples and Kimball Herrick were chosen assessors. Raised $160 for schools, $50 for current expenses and $150 for highways. No person is to be allowed to hunt with hounds except on his own land. Any person who does not pay tax on the land he has run out shall forfeit his right to said land. Voted to compel every man tokeep his sheep within his own enclosure. Accepted the road laid out from Levi Torrey, jr's house to the main road.

In this year the wild land which had been advertised was run out by John Dodge, and the following lots were at once taken up: Edmond Stanley, 50 acres; James Sprague 75; John and David Sprague 200; Moses Staples 25; Washington Staples 33; Solomon Barbour 49; Benjamin F. Staples 26; Levi Torrey, jr., 12; Elias Morey 31; Isaiah B. Joyce 10; Benjamin Stockbridge 7; John Stockbridge 31; Ebenezer and Isaiah B. Joyce 151; Joseph Gott 138; Edward Gott 40; Kingsland and Conary 100; Asa C. Staples 25; Benjamin Smith 50; David Smith 115, and Kimball Herrick 115. There were also twenty-two other lots of 50 acres each which were not taken up at this time.

At the State election the votes cast were: For governor, John W. Dana, 35; David Bronson, 1; representative to the legislature, Hezekiah Means, 35; N. K. Sawyer, 1. On the vote to see if the State officers shall be elected by plurality, the result was 26 noes.

1848

Augustus R. Staples, Benjamin F. Stinson and Benjamin Stockbridge, assessors. Raised $150 for schools, $150 for highways, and $60 for current expenses. Voted to sell nonresident land at auction for cash. Augustus R. Staples was made agent to run off this land and sell it. The lots were marked, according to quality, into first, second and third class. At the State election John W. Dana had 32 votes for governor: Erastus Redman, 36 votes for representative to the legislature. Presidential election the democratic electors had 43 votes; the Whig electors 3.

1849

Kimball Herrick, Benjamin Smith, and Thomas J. Colomy, assessors. Raised $160 for schools, $170 for highways, and $50 for current expenses. Benjamin F. Stinson, Joseph R. Torrey and James Joyce were elected school committee. Ambrose Gott, Edward Gott and Elias Morey, tythingmen. Voted to accept the road laid out from Samuel Roberson's to the highway. Voted to divide the money received from wild lands sold, in proportion, according to the inventory of 1846. At the State election John Hubbard received 28 votes for governor; Wyer Sargent 28 votes for representative to the legislature.

1850

Benjamin Smith, jr., Edward Gott and David Stinson were chosen assessors. School agents chosen were Johnson Billings No. 1, Jacob Reed No. 2, David Stinson No. 3, and David Sprague No. 4. Benjamin F. Stinson, Benjamin Stinson and Edward Gott were chosen school committee. Raised $160 for schools, $175 for roads and $75 for current expenses. The school census in 1850 gave the following result: District No. 1, 64 scholars; No. 2, 62; No. 3, 25; No. 4, 43; total, 194. State election, John Hubbard had 24 votes for governor, William G. Crosby, 3. For representative to the legislature, Stephen D. Gray had 24; Rufus B. Walker, 1, and Rufus K. Walker, 2,

1851

Kimball Herrick, John Sprague and John Stinson were chosen assessors; Benjamin F. Stinson, Joseph R. Torrey and Augustus R. Torrey, school committee; Benjamin Stinson, the plantation agent to sell wild lands. Raised $150 for schools, $150 for highways and $40 for current expenses. Voted to annex John Gott's property to district No. 1. This year the school census was: District No. 1, 59 scholars; No. 2, 66, No. 3, 21; No. 4, 37. There were at this time 68 voters in the plantation. A special meeting was called for districts Nos. 1, 3 and 4, which voted to lay out a burying ground, funds for the same to be raised by' subscription.

1852

Solomon Barbour, Augustus R. Staples and Thomas Sadler were chosen assessors; Benjamin F. Stinson on the school board. Raised $180 for schools, $175 for highways and $50 for current expenses. At the State election the vote cast was: For governor, John Hubbard, 51; representative to the legislature, William Webb, 56. At the presidential election the democratic electors had 51 votes; Whigs none.

1853

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph R. Torrey were chosen assessors; Augustus R. Torrey was chosen on the school board. Raised $180 for schools, $200 for highways and $60 for current expenses. Voted to lay out a road from Benjamin F. Stinson's house to the highway. State election, vote for governor was: Albert Pillsbury, 12, Anson P. Morrill, 9; William G. Crosby, 2; representative to the legislature, William F. Collins, 15. Voted to accept the road laid out from schoolhouse in district No. 4 to Moses Bridges.

1854

Benjamin Smith, jr., Benjamin Stinson and Joseph R. Torrey were chosen assessors; Benjamin F. Stinson supervisor of schools. Raised $215 for schools, $200 for highways and $60 for current expenses. The article to provide for the selling of liquor for medicinal purposes was passed over. The number of voters in the plantation this year was 85.

1855

Kimball Herrick, Asa Joyce and David Stinson were chosen assessors; Benjamin F. Stinson, supervisor of schools. Raised $215 for schools, $125 for highways. Voted that each man shall work out his tax on or before September 20, or shall cause the same to be worked out on the highway. Raised $60 for current expenses. Voted to accept the road laid out from Moses Conary's house to J. S. Smith's barn; also the road from Samuel Kent's to Asa Smith's.

1856

Augustus R. Staples, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Solomon Barbour were chosen assessors. Voted to have a school committee in place of a supervisor; Benjamin F. Stinson, Augustus R. Torrey and Ebenezer Joyce were chosen. Raised $254 for schools, $200 for highways and $75 for current expenses. State election, the votes cast were: For governor, Samuel Wells, 29; Hannibal Hamlin, 28; representative to the legislature, James Turner, 2d, 29: Charles A. Spofford, 28.

1857

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Smith, jr., and John Stockbridge were chosen assessors; Benjamin F. Stinson, Joseph R. Torrey and Ebenezer Joyce, school committee. Raised $260 for schools, $175 for roads, and $75 for current expenses. Voted that districts No. 1 and No. 2 be divided by a line between the property of Edward Gott and Isaiah B. Joyce; that Roderick M. Joyce be annexed to district No. 2, and John Gott to be set off to district No. 1. Number of voters this year was 86. At the State election the vote for governor was: Manassah H. Smith, 19; Lot M. Morrill, 7; representative to the legislature, William Babbidge 19; John Turner 7.

1858

David Sprague, Benjamin Smith, jr., and John Stockbridge, assessors. Chose Benjamin F. Stinson supervisor of schools. Raised $260 for schools, $75 for current expenses and $150 for roads. The plantation selected the hill near Wharton's as a suitable place to build a schoolhouse, on the north side of the road leading from James Joyce's to B. F. Staples', if a deed can be obtained at a reasonable price. If not it is to be built on land of O. W. Morrey's near said hill.

1859

Kimball Herrick, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph W. Staples, assessors. The board of assessors be also the school committee. Raised $260 for schools, $75 for current expenses and $150 for highways. Voted to accept road from Lucy Valentine's house to the highway. Voted to divide district No. 1 between David Sprague's and Edward Gott's; the north portion to be known as district No. 5; also that Roderick M. Joyce and others from district No. 2 at the line between J. W. Staples and John S. Joyce, and from district No. 1 to Benjamin Stinson's south line, this new district to be known as No. 6.

i860

Benjamin Smith, jr., Joseph R. Torrey and Benjamin F. Staples, assessors, the assessors to serve as the school board. Raised $275 for schools, $200 for highways, and $75 for current expenses. At the presidential election the democratic electors had 20 votes and the republican 19.

1861

Kimball Herrick, Benjamin F. Staples and Benjamin Stockbridge, assessors and school committee. Raised amount of school money required by law; $150 for roads, and $75 for current expenses.

1862

Benjamin Smith, jr., John Staples and Martin V. Babbidge, assessors. Raised $300 for schools, $80 for current expenses and $150 for highways.

1863

Same board of assessors as the previous year was elected. Oliver L. Joyce was chosen collector of taxes, and was paid 4 per cent. Martin V. Babbidge, Cornelius Wasgatt and Ebenezer Joyce were school committee. Raised $300 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and $200 for roads. A special meeting was called Dec. 1, at which it was voted to raise $2,100 for volunteers; that the money be hired for two or three years' time, to be obtained in town if possible. Solomon Barbour was chosen agent to raise this money. This year there were 99 voters in the plantation.

1864

James Joyce, Isaiah B. Joyce and James Joyce, jr., assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt and Martin V. Babbidge, school committee. Voted to instruct the plantation agent to put all bills for war tax into the constable's hands for collection if not paid by September 2. Raised $300 for schools, $50 for current expenses, and $200 for highways. Paid 6 per cent, for collection of taxes. A meeting was called October 24 in which it was voted to raise $5,000 for volunteers and substitutes; that young men liable to be taxed shall pay $50 apiece. Benjamin Smith and Joseph W. Staples were elected collectors. A meeting was called February 17 at which $7,860 was raised to pay the men who have put substitutes in the army under the call of July, 1864. Voted to raise $800 to every man who enlisted.

1865

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph R. Torrey, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph R. Torrey, school committee. Raised $350 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and $150 for highways. Voted to accept the road laid out from B. F. Staples' wharf to the nearest highway: also the road from E. F, Smith's to Fred and H. Benson's. A special meeting was called July 10. Heard the report of the men who had put substitutes into the army. Voted to pay them 50 per cent, of what they had paid out, and exempt them from further taxation. Voted to pay the money hired in three yearly installments.

1866

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Stockbridge and Oliver L. Joyce, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Joseph R. Torrey and Oliver L. Joyce, school committee. Raised $370 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and voted to pay town officers $1.50 a day; $200 for highways. Voted to tax dogs $5. Voted to accept the road laid out from James Joyce's to Jacob S. Reed's, and thence to the highway at the corner of James Joyce's fence, near Joseph F. Reed's.

1867

Cornelius Wasgatt, Benjamin Smith, jr., and William Herrick, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Oliver L. Joyce, school committee. Raised $450 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and $250 for highways. Voted that all road tax not worked out before Oct. l0 to be put in the collector's hands. Chose Jacob S. Reed and Joseph Gott tythingmen. Voted that there shall be a town landing at the head of the harbor, near J. Gott's, and a road be laid out to the highway. A meeting was called June 3 at which it was voted to accept the road laid out from Roderick M. Joyce's wharf to the highway near schoolhouse No. 6; also road from John Valentine's dwelling to the highway, and to discontinue the road near Benjamin Stinson's. Aug. 17, there were 96 voters in the plantation.

1868

Solomon Barbour, Joseph R. Torrey and Isaiah J. Stockbridge, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, John V. Stinson and Oliver L. Joyce, school committee. Raised $450 for schools, $40 for current expenses, and $200 for highways. Chose Edward Gott collector of taxes; Levi B. Joyce and James F. Gott tythingmen. Number of voters tills year was 102. A meeting was called Dec. 5, at which it was voted to pay each man who went from this plantation into the war of the rebellion, or who furnished a substitute, the sum of $100. This amount to be raised in sixty days. At a subsequent meeting this vote was reconsidered, and a longer time given in which to raise $1,500.

1869

Kimball Herrick, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Joseph Torrey, assessors. The first assessor having resigned, John Stockbridge was chosen. Oliver L. Joyce, Martin V. Babbidge and Joseph R. Torrey, school committee, Raised $500 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and $200 for roads. Levi B. Joyce and Benjamin Smith, jr., were chosen tythingmen.

1870

Cornelius Wasgatt, Kimball Herrick and William Herrick, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, James F. Gott and Mehiah J. Stinson, school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $75 for current expenses, and $50 for roads. Voted that the plantation assess and collect $10.50 out of the $1,500, to pay war debt.

1871

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Smith, jr., and Meltiah J. Stinson, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Joseph W. Staples and John N. Stinson, school committee. Raised $350 for schools, $100 for highways, $75 for current expenses. Voted to accept road from Kimball Herrick's house to the highway. Voted that district No. 6 be abolished, and that the dividing line between districts No. 1 and 2 be the line between the property of Edward Gott and David H. Sprague.

1872

Solomon Barbour, Benjamin Smith, jr., and John Stockbridge, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Hanson B. Joyce and Charles H. Joyce, school committee. Raised $450 for schools, $150 for roads. Voted to buy the schoolhouse at Center.

1873

Hanson B. Joyce, George H. Barbour and Benjamin J. Staples, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Hanson B. Joyce and Charles H. Joyce, school committee, and that the committee be paid $2 per day. Raised $500 for schools, $300 for highways, and $200 for current expenses. Accepted the road laid out from Henry D. Joyce's to Joanna Torrey's house. Voted to change the road that now runs to the northward of E. M, Staples' house so as to run to the southwest of it, commencing at the southwest corner of B. F. Staples' field and meeting the old road in Leslie W. Joyce's pasture. The board of assessors having resigned, Benjamin Smith, Joseph W. Staples and Charles H. Joyce were chosen. In State election Joseph Titcomb had 5 votes; Nelson Dingley, jr., 6.

1874

Cornelius Wasgatt, Joseph R. Torrey and Benjamin Smith, assessors; Hanson B. Joyce and J. W. Stinson, school committee. Raised $300 for highways, $375 for schools, and $200 for current expenses. Voted that the superintending school committee be authorized to designate what series of textbooks shall be used in the schools, and give notice thereof to the parents of the several districts before the summer term of school begins.

1875

Cornelius Wasgatt, Joseph R. Torrey and Levi B. Joyce, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Martin V. Babbidge and Charles H. Joyce, school committee. James Joyce was chosen collector, his compensation to be $24.50. Raised $500 for schools, $300 for highways and $275 for current expenses.

1876

David E. Sprague, M. J. Stinson and James Joyce, assessors; Benjamin Smith, collector; Cornelius Wasgatt, Levi B. Joyce and Martin V. Babbidge, school committee. Voted that the treasurer make a discount of 10 per cent. on all taxes paid in previous to November 1, and that all taxes remaining unpaid January 1, 1877, be put in the constable's hands for collection. Raised $400 for schools, $50 for highways and $350 for current expenses. Voted to expend $25 on road leading from Kimball Herrick's house to the highway. The assessors to sell schoolhouse No. 6, and the proceeds divided between districts No. 1 and No. 2 in proportion to the number of scholars which each district received from district No. 6 when this school was discontinued. There were 117 voters in town at this election.

1877

David E. Sprague, James Joyce and Michael Stinson, assessors; Cornelius Wasgatt, Martin V. Babbidge and Levi B. Joyce, school committee. Raised $400 for schools, $100 for highways, and $375 for current expenses.

1878

Benjamin Smith, M. J. Stinson and Levi B. Joyce, assessors; John Staples, treasurer: Levi B. Joyce and Charles IL Joyce, school committee. Raised $400 for schools, $375 for current expenses, and $100 for highway's. Voted to accept the road laid out from Michael Stinson's house to his wharf , also that the assessors lay out a road from Kimball Herrick's house to the lighthouse on Hocomock Head. A meeting was called March 21, 1878, at which it was voted to discontinue all highways on Swan's Island, and that all money raised for highways be expended on private way's. At the State election the following vote was cast: For governor, Seldon Connor had 3; Joseph L. Smith, 24; Alonzo Garcelon, 12; representative to the legislature, Charles A. Russ had 32; Benjamin G. Barbour, 4. This year there were 139 voters.

1879

Benjamin Smith, Levi B. Joyce and Oliver L. Joyce, assessors; John Staples, treasurer; Martin V. Babbidge on the school committee. Raised $300 for current expenses, $400 for schools and $200 for roads. At the State election the vote for governor was: Joseph L. Smith, 42; Alonzo Garcelon, 9; Daniel F. Davis, 9; for representative to the legislature, Charles H. S. Webb, 57; Rodney Witherspoon, 9. On the constitutional amendment to have biennial elections for State officers, yeas 57.

1880

David E. Sprague, James Joyce and Joseph W. Staples, assessors; Joseph W. Staples and Levi B. Joyce, school committee. Raised $400 for current expenses, $400 for schools and $200 for highways. At the Slate election the vote for governor was: Harris M. Plaisted, 29; Daniel F. Davis, 5; representative to the legislature, Seth Webb, 29; Moses S. Joyce, 5; on constitutional amendment to elect State officers by plurality, yeas 2; noes 10. In the presidential election the democratic electors had 78 votes; the republican 11.

1881

David E. Sprague, Oliver L. Joyce and Joseph W. Staples, assessors; Levi B. Joyce, Joseph W. Staples and Charles H. Joyce, school committee. Raised $400 for current expenses, $490 for schools, and $400 for highways. Voted that the road laid out by the assessors from Toothaker's by David E. Sprague's to connect with the old road nearly abreast George B. Stewart's, be accepted; also accepted the road laid out past Levi B. Joyce's barn, and running to the old road near the swamp.

1882

Benjamin Smith, Joseph W. Staples and Myric E. Staples, assessors; Isaiah J. Stockbridge, on the school committee. Raised $490 for schools, $350 for current expenses, and $400 for highways. Voted that all books be bought at the plantation's expense and sold at cost, John Staples was appointed agent. Voted to accept the road laid out from Herbert Joyce's house to the steamboat wharf; also the road from Orlando Trask's house, past John S. Staples' barn to the main road. At the State election the vote stood: For governor, Harris M. Plaisted, 23; Frederick Robie, 7; representative to the legislature, Charles A. Spofford, 23; George H. Howard, 7.

1883

David E. Sprague, Joseph W. Staples and Isaiah J. Stockbridge, assessors; Levi B. Joyce on the school committee. Raised $500 for highway's, $485 for schools, and $400 for current expenses. Voted to discontinue the road from Henry D. Joyce's to the crossroad near M. E. Staples'; also the road from where Benjamin J. Staples' wharf was to the highway, and also the road from Charles W. Kent's to John C. Kent's. The whole amount of tax raised this year was $1,888.21.

1884

David E. Sprague, Isaiah J. Stockbridge and Oliver L. Joyce, assessors; Oliver L. Joyce, on the school committee. Raised $490 for schools, $350 for current expenses, and $500 for highways. Discontinued the road near the head of the harbor. At the State election the vote for governor was: John B. Redman, 35; Frederick Robie, 25; representative to the legislature, William P. Herrick, 56. At the presidential election the democratic electors had 21 votes: the republican, 21; prohibition, 3. A special meeting was held at schoolhouse No. 5, and it was voted to accept the new road laid out at the head of the harbor, and also road south of No. 6 schoolhouse, and to hire $100 to be expended on said roads immediately.

1885

Joseph W. Staples, Levi B. Joyce and Edmond F. Bridges, assessors; Isaiah J. Stockbridge on the school committee. Raised $485 for schools, $300 for current expenses, and $500 for highways. Voted to discontinue the road from the highway to the old Torrey place, and also the old road eastward of James L. Smith's, abreast the new road laid out. Voted to accept the road laid out from John C. Kent's to Albion W. Smith's field. There were 22 majority in favor of rebuilding county buildings at Ellsworth.

1886

David E. Sprague, Edmond F. Bridges and Joseph W. Staples, assessors; Alphonso N. Witham, on the school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $350 for current expenses, and $300 for highways. Voted to accept road laid out from Silvester Morse's to the highway. In the State election the vote for governor was: Clark S. Edwards, 13; Joseph R. Bodwell, i2; for representative to the legislature, Benjamin F. Fifield, 11; Wilmot B. Thurlow, 12.

1887

Joseph W. Staples, Levi B. Joyce and Benjamin Smith, assessors; Oliver L. Joyce, on the school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $300 for current expenses, and $400 for highways.

1888

Edmond F. Bridges, Levi B. Joyce and Isaac W. Stinson, assessors; Levi B. Joyce, supervisor of schools. Raised $500 for schools, $300 for current expenses, and $400 for highways. Voted to make a town landing of M. Stinson's wharf, he to be allowed $10 for the use of it. At the State election the vote for governor was: Edwin C. Burleigh, 19; William L. Putnam, 15; for representative to the legislature, Seth Webb, 22; Frank S. Warren, 15.

1889

Edmond F. Bridges, Levi B. Joyce and Oliver L. Joyce, assessors; Levi B. Joyce, Oscar S. Erskine and Charles H. Joyce, school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $300 for current expenses, and $400 for highways. Accepted road laid out from Hosea Kent's to John C. Kent's. Voted to unite districts No. 3 and No. 5, and Bradford E. Rowe, Hiram Colomy and Benjamin J. Staples were chosen a committee to locate the schoolhouse for said districts.

1890

Edmond F. Bridges, Levi B. Joyce and N. T. Morse, assessors; Levi B. Joyce on the school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $400 for highways, $250 for current expenses. At the State election the vote for governor was: Edwin C. Burleigh, 17; William P. Thompson, 34; representative to the legislature, Joseph W. Haskell, 12; Seth Webb, 43.

1891

Charles H. Joyce, Oliver L. Joyce and Benjamin Smith, assessors; Oliver L. Joyce on the school committee. Raised $500 for schools, $100 for textbooks, $500 for highways, and $200 for current expenses. Voted to discontinue the road from the John Smith place to where it joins the road from Herbert Holbrook's; that the assessors examine the road from Herbert Holbrook's place and lay out a road where they think necessary . The assessors are authorized to get a road machine, and if it works satisfactorily to pay for it out of the money raised for roads.

1892

Edmond F. Bridges, Levi B. Joyce and Joseph W. Staples, assessors; Charles H. Joyce and Isaiah J. Stockbridge, school committee, with Levi B. Joyce chairman. Raised $575 for schools, $50 for textbooks, $650 for highways, and $300 for current expenses. At the State election the vote for governor was: Henry B. Cleaves, 21; Charles F. Johnson, 18; Timothy B. Hussey, 1; for representative to the legislature, Wilmot B. Thurlow, 25; Franklin B. Ferguson, 16.

1893

Isaac W. Stinson, Charles E. Sprague and Frank E. Peuingill, assessors; Levi B. Joyce on the school committee. Raised $75 for textbooks, $600 for schools, $550 for highways, $50 on road from David Smith's to Lewis Stanley's; $300 for current expenses. Voted not to divide district No. 4. Voted to apply to the legislature for a town charter, if it can be secured without becoming liable to support the paupers on the adjacent islands.

1894

Charles E. Sprague, Isaiah J. Stockbridge and Lewis Stanley, assessors; H. W. Small, Isaac W. Stinson and George Sprague, school committee. H. W. Small was elected supervisor. Raised $600 for schools, $50 for textbooks, $450 for current expenses, and $300 for roads. Districts Nos. 1, 3 and 5 were consolidated. Voted to build a two story schoolhouse for the accommodation of these combined districts. Chose Benjamin Smith, Charles E. Sprague, Hermon W. Small, Dana E. Burns and Benjamin J. Staples as building committee, who shall determine the location of said schoolhouse, and superintend its building.

1895

There were three meetings this year for the election of municipal officers. The first two were considered void on account of some informality in the warrants. The first meeting was held March 4, the second March 27; the third at No. 4 schoolhouse on April 18. Chose J. W. Staples, moderator, Levi B. Joyce, clerk. Voted to reconsider the transactions of the two previous meetings and the officers chosen at these former meetings tendered their resignations. Charles E. Sprague, I.J. Stockbridge and Nelson T. Morse were chosen assessors; I. W. Stinson, treasurer; Fred A. Joyce on the school board; H. W. Small, superintendent of schools; N. T. Morse, collector of taxes. Appropriated $505 for schools, $75 for textbooks, $500 for highways, $450 for current expenses, $100 for repairs on schoolhouses.

During the session of the legislature of 1895-6 an act was passed, incorporating into a town Swan's Island and all other islands, the whole or part of which are within three miles from high water mark of said Swan's Island, except Marshall's Island and such islands as are now a part of Long Island plantation. This act was passed, with the provision that this law shall not take effect unless the same is accepted by a majority vote by ballot of the legal voters of Swan's Island, taken at their annual meeting held the first Monday in March, A. D. 1896, an article there for having; been inserted in the warrant calling the meeting. If act is then so accepted, it shall immediately take effect, and the legal voters their present may proceed to elect the usual town officers, and transact any other business as a town of which notice has been given in the warrant calling said meeting of said plantation.

1896

The annual meeting was held at Atlantic schoolhouse; N. T. Morse was chosen moderator. Voted not to accept the town charter by a vote of 82 to 59. L. B. Joyce was elected clerk; C. H. Joyce, I. J. Stockbridge and Oliver Bowley, assessors; Charles W. Shaw auditor; I. W. Stinson, treasurer. H. W. Small and Levi B. Joyce on the school board: H. W. Small, superintendent of schools; Fred Turner, road commissioner. Appropriated $505 for schools, $30 for schoolbooks, $300 for highways, $400 for current expenses, and $200 for support of the poor. Voted to pay the balance due on the schoolhouse debt. Accepted the road laid out from near Philip McRae's to S. Morse's.

In State election in September the vote was: For governor, Llewellyn Powers, 22; Melvin P. Frank, 14; representative to the legislature, Stephen B. Thurlow had 32; Dudley W. Fifield, 7. During the session of the legislature of 1896-7 a bill was passed making Swan's Island a town. The limits were the same as in the bill passed by the previous legislature, and contained the following islands: Swan's Island, Orino, Round, Sheep, Finney, Buckle, Crow, Heron, Hat, Hay, Green, Harbor, Scrag, two Bakers, John's and the two Sister islands, which include eighteen out of the twenty-five islands that were originally conveyed to Swan in the Burnt Coat group. The legislature also authorized the new town to collect in all outstanding taxes that had been assessed by the officers of the de facto plantation. It also gave authority to any justice of the peace in Hancock County to warn a meeting. This bill, granting a town charter to Swan's Island, was signed by the governor, and became a law March 26, 1897.

1897

The annual meeting was held March i, and the usual officers chosen. The question, however, was raised in regard to the legality of the incorporation of the plantation, as no record was to be found of such proceedings, and the legislature did not legalize either the title to a plantation or the transactions that had taken place under the alleged plantation. So a new meeting was warned according to the requirements of the new town charter. The first town meeting was held in No. 4 schoolhouse on April 13. The warrant was issued by Levi B. Joyce, esq., to Llewellyn V. Joyce, directing him to warn a meeting at the above named place and date, to elect the usual town officers.

The meeting was called to order by L. V. Joyce. Nelson T. Morse was elected moderator; C. E. Sprague, clerk; C. H. Joyce, I. J. Stockbridge and Oliver Bowley, selectmen; George A. Sprague, auditor; I. W. Stinson, treasurer; Isaac W. Stinson, A. C. Smith and E. K. Gott, school board; John Hardy, superintendent of schools; Horace E. Stanley and Fred Turner, road commissioners. Appropriated $505 for schools, $75 for textbooks, $400 for roads, $550 for current expenses, $60 for repairs on schoolhouses, and $200 for support of poor. By the death of Congressman Seth L. Milliken, a special election was held June 12 to choose his successor. The vote was: For Edwin C. Burleigh, 24; Frederick W. Plaisted, 4.

1898

Meeting was held at Atlantic schoolhouse. This year two hundred names appeared on the voting list. The following were the officers chosen: Moderator, C. E, Sprague; clerk, F. F. Morse; selectmen, C. H. Joyce, Oliver Bowley and Linwood E. Joyce; school board, C. E. Sprague, F. F. Morse and Nelson Sprague; superintendent of schools, H. W. Small; auditor, J. W. Staples; road commissioner, David M. Stanley. Appropriated $505 for schools, $700 for town expenses, $500 for highways, $200 for support of poor, $50 for repairs on schoolhouse, $80 for textbooks, and $100 for supplies and appliances. Accepted road laid out from John Sprague's to Elias Sprague's.

Source: A History of Swan's Island, Maine, by H.W. Small, MD, Ellsworth Me, Hancock County Publishing Company, Printers, 1808

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