Ordinances, Schools and Taxes
Farr Elected Mayor - Board of Trade
Organized - High School Established - New City Hall Completed -
Celebration of Opening - Ordinance to Prohibit Vice and
Immorality - Kite Experiments - New City Dock - Public Library
Opened - Annual Tax for 1894 - Contract for Pure Water.
William C. Farr was elected Mayor in
1891 on the Republican-Citizens' ticket.
On October 5, 1891, the Board of Trade was organized.
The following year the Bergen Neck
Railway spur from Communipaw to Constable's Hook was completed.
This spur was used for the purpose of conveying oil and other
products from the Hook.
In 1892 the organization of the High
School was effected. The academic classes which had previously
been held in Schools Nos. 2, 4 and 6, were transferred to the
old church building on Avenue D and Twenty-ninth Street, and
termed the High School.
In the fall of the same year the new
City Hall was completed, at a cost of $55,236.15. The grounds,
however, costing $9,046.43, brings the total cost to $64,282.58.
This building was occupied on October 21. On this day, the
inhabitants celebrated the opening of the new City Hall.
Churches, schools, stores and dwellings were tastefully
decorated with flags and bunting. Pupils of the schools held
anniversary exercises. A large military, civic and trade union
parade took place. The Fire Department and school children also
participated in this event, making a total of 4,000 in line. The
following day, the 22d, the City Hall was thrown open for
inspection. Police Headquarters were also transferred from the
old City Hall to the new, and additional patrolmen were soon
added to the force.
In March, 1893, the Common Council
granted to the Board of Trustees of the Public Library a
ten-year lease of the old building at a nominal rent, with the
privilege of removing.
An ordinance to prohibit and prevent
vice and immorality was passed May 2, 1893, and approved May 4
by Mayor Farr. This ordinance made it unlawful to admit any
female under sixteen years of age to any picnic, ball, dance
house or other public place of amusement, unless accompanied by
her parents or by her legal guardian.
The highest flight ever made by a kite
was on November 7, 1893, at Bergen Point, when William A. Eddy
used two miles of cord in flying tandem kites, one of which
reached an altitude of 5,595 feet.
In 1893 the city built a dock at the
foot of Ingham Avenue, at a cost of $9,000.
It was during this year that the Bayonne
"Democrat," with M. R. Freel as editor and publisher, began
publication as a weekly democratic newspaper.
In the spring of this year Mayor Farr
received both the Republican and Democratic nominations, and
was re-elected. He was the first Mayor ever elected in Bayonne
without an opposition candidate.
During the last term of Farr's
administration the city obtained control of the property bounded
by the Boulevard, Newark Bay, Sixteenth to Fourteenth Streets,
to be used at some future time as a public park.1
On January 8, 1894, the reading-room of
the Public Library was opened to the public, and two weeks later
the circulating department was opened with nearly 4,cxx) volumes
on the shelves. The books of the Workingmen's Library (some
1,500 volumes) were purchased June 25, 1894, and on February 1,
1895, the total number of volumes had increased to about 6,600.
An ordinance to direct the assessment
and collection of the annual tax for 1894 included the
following: For supporting and maintaining public schools,
$45,710; for support of Fire Department, $5,000; Bayonne
Hospital, $1,500; repairs to streets, $7,000; police pensions,
$975; salaries of city officials, $15,800; support of police,
$34,100; Free Public Library, $3,675.80.
In 1894, old No. 3 School in Pamrapo was
condemned, having been cracked in the process of moving from
Centre Street to Forty-seventh Street.
Up to this time the city contracted with
Jersey City for its water supply. This water was very poor and
unhealthy, and it was deemed a public necessity to obtain a
better supply. As a result, in September, 1894, the Common
Council awarded a twenty-five year contract to the New York and
New Jersey Water Company to supply the city with pure water, the
city agreeing to pay for two million gallons daily the first
year, and two and one-half millions daily thereafter, at the
following rates: 2,000,000 gallons at $89 per million, 3,000,000
gallons at $80 per million, 4,000,000 gallons at $70 per
million, 5,000,000 gallons at $55 per million, 6,000,000 gallons
at $40 per million. This contract contained a provision by which
the water company was obliged to purchase lands for dams, etc.,
and build water works and sell the same to the city at certain
periods mentioned in the contract, should the city desire to
purchase the same.
On February 28, 1895, the Charity
Organization Society was organized.
During Farr's administration, more than
$350,000 was paid for street improvements alone, for which bonds
were issued and sold for as high as $110.
The completion of the labors of the
"Martin Act" Commission and its discharge by the Circuit Court
occurred during Farr's term of office. This was the means of
saving an expenditure of about $12,000 per year in fees and
The organization of the detective bureau, the adoption of the
present fire alarm signal system, and the paving of East
Twenty-second Street from Avenues D to I, making it fit for
public travel,2 were also accomplished.
This land was secured and taken in exchange by the city, in lieu
of unpaid taxes and assessments.
2. The city endeavored to
improve this road several times during the eighties, but always
failed on account of court proceedings instituted by the Central
Source: First History of Bayonne, New
Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24
East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.