Exerpts from Town Reports

Early Washington had an Overseer of the Poor. Expenses for each person, along with his/her name, were tallied and written in the town reports.

Annual Reports of the Officers of the Town of Washington, Vt.

1917.

Total teachers’ salaries and board for four schools (Village, South Washington, Newman, Miles) were $1768.00.

High school tuitions (to Spaulding, Chelsea, Goddard Seminary) totaled  $482.

The superintendant’s report in part: “I wish to review my recommendation regarding jacketed stoves for the village school.” “Another urgent need is some kind of sanitary toilets in the village school. In warm weather, it is an insult to decency and a menace to health to ask pupils and teachers to live in such an atmosphere. There are several kinds of chemical closets on the market which are economical in operation and entirely satisfactory. I recommend the purchase of some of them.”

“The children’s’ fair, which was held in connection with the Washington fair, was a decided success. In order to stimulate greater effort on the part of all the children this year, it is hoped that the town will see fit to vote favorably upon the article in the warning, asking for $25.00 to be given as prizes for the best exhibits of vegetables cooking, canning, sewing, poultry, live stock, etc. I hope that parents will encourage each child to have some kind of a garden. I am particularly anxious that as many children as possible raise some kind of a cash crop. I have suggested to the children that they save up their pennies, in order to get at least one setting of eggs from pure-bred hens. Only pure-blooded chickens may be entered for prizes” -C.R. Beeman

The three churches were the Baptist Society, Universalist Society, and the South Washington Society.

$1414.02 was paid on breaking town roads.

There were seven marriages, sixteen births, and twenty-two deaths, including three newborns. Causes of deaths were listed.

1920

Paid to other towns for elementary tuitions: Williamstown, Orange, Chelsea, Corinth, and high schools were Goddard Seminary, Chelsea, and Spaulding Graded.

The total paid to the town officers was $358.87.

The Washington Library Building Fund for the Washington Free Library, paid out $2774.68 for work done.

The balance in the Washington Free Library was $88.82.

1922: Officers of the town included Pound Keepers, Overseer of the Poor, Fence Viewers, Surveyor of Wood Lumber and Shingles, and Weigher of Coal.

Teachers’ salaries and board was up to $3439.40.

“The need of a school in the Simpson district became imperative. This necessitated new curtains, window glass, slate, blackboards, outside paint, outhouses, supplies of all kinds, and an additional teacher in town. This school now needs a new stove. New geographies, at an expense of about $75.00, have been procured. Now the need for new histories and civics I equally urgent, as the schools do not own a single book on United States or Vermont civil government that is today correct in text.”

Seven marriages, twenty births, fifteen deaths, including one during labor.

A twenty day old baby died from “Inanition”, which means “Exhaustion, as from lack of nourishment or vitality”.

1925-

The total expense of the poor was $817.58.

The services of janitors was $188.50.

Teachers’ salaries and board totaled $4171.20. The higher cost was explained by the report of the school directors: “This town never had to pay so much for teachers as now. The state requires so much of its teachers that they are demanding higher salaries.” submitted by G.A. Bohonan, Grace L. MacDonald, and Nathan W. Flint.

Albert Dashner, Road Commissioner, reported a total spent on repair of Highway Fund as $2141.90. The Unselected Highway expenses were $1696.23. Cutting bushes was $226.98. Maintenance was $623.37, Snow Road was $1013.52, Resurfacing was $850.36, and Labor on State Roads was $1810.77.

The town paid out $40.50 to some residents for ‘damage for winter road’.

The Washington Universalist Society loaned the town, at 5% interest, $750.00. John F. Calef loaned the town $10000.00 at the same interest rate.

1926-

Report of Superintendant of Schools: “The small towns are forced to realize each year more and amore the difficulty of securing good teachers at a moderate salary. If we are fortunate enough to get the m for one year it is hard to retain them for of course a live, energetic teacher will go to a larger town, more accessible to reach, longer school year, and a higher salary. Although the salary may not be the chief reason for accepting a position, yet a girl who has spent a considerable amount of money in procuring her education, has to accept the best moneyed position unless she has some particular interest in a locality.”

At this time, there were six schools.

1933-

From the School Superintendant:

“Miss Natalie Morrie was elected to till the vacancy made by the automatic resignation of Mrs. Florence D. Ladd and at this time the town authorities deemed it best not to hire married teachers.”

“The number of pupils enrolled this year is 161. The state law has made it impossible to continue with state aid for children who walk and since September no transportation means have been available.”

“I am recommending that the town place at the hands of the School Board at least a dollar a pupil annually for the purchase of new books. At this rating a complete change of text books may be made in about fifteen years which seems to me is the minimum that I can ask or, the state average being $1.75 a pupil.”

1940-

Washington still had six schools opened, Washington Village, Newman Rural, Miles Rural, Simpson Rural, and South Washington.

The Village school had 3 teachers, while the others each had one, with a combined total of 172 students.

The Washington Schools Improvement Club was organized May 4, 1938 for the purpose of promoting a better understanding between school board, teachers and parents. During the school year of 1939, the Club purchases a piano, some kitchen equipment and a bubbler for the water system.”

The library was now known as the Washington Public Library.

Irving John Gibbs, age 2, Richard Lezer age 27, and Kathryn Gibbs age 23 all died on October 26.

Article 11 of the town meeting warning reads: Shall licenses for the sale of malt and vinous beverages be granted in this Town? Should spirituous liquors be sold in this Town?

Article 12, A: To see if the Town will vote daylight saving and the time shall be the same as Barre City.

B: Shall baseball be permitted in this Town on Sunday?

Article 15: To see if the Town wishes to buy snow removing equipment? If so, how do they wish to pay for the same?

1941-

The cover of the town report features the Washington Union Gospel Church, which is known now as the Baptist.

Inside cover reads in part: ‘Twice, at least, in history, the town was invaded by Indians. In 1704, a party of French and Indians came down by Lake Champlain to the mouth of the Winooski River and followed it down to Deerfield, Mass., where they killed and plundered. The return journey was made by following the White River to South Royalton then through the towns of Tunbridge, Chelsea, and Washington. Again in 1780, a band of about three hundred Indians with seven white men and a British lieutenant in command went through town on their way to Royalton, where they burned 21 houses and 16 new barns, going back through Brookfield and Northfield.

Trucks were hired at .70/hour, while the drivers were hired at .30 or .33 1/3 per hour.

Teams were hired at the same rate as truck drivers, as were the team drivers.

At the Village School. six teachers were paid $21 a week, and one was paid $20 a week. Janitors Robert Deberville and Arthur Paul were paid $70 and $71.60.

There were 153 students.

1942

‘Washington having accomplished an outstanding job in the collection of salvage for the contest period July 1 to December 31, 1942, by exceeding the 110 pounds per capita required, is hereby awarded the right to inscribe “M” for Merit on the annual report for the year 1942. In testimony thereof, this certificate is presented.

WM.H. Wills Governor

Vermont Salvage Committee A. Vail Allen, Chairman.

J. O. Baxendale, Executive Secretary”

M

Washington’s Representative to General Assembly of Vermont was A. C. Kingsbury.

Washington had 30 ‘boys’ in the service, and 21 ‘former boys’.

$96.93 was paid out to men and the City of Barre for fighting fires.

Dr, M,F, Cerasoli was paid .25 for reporting a birth, while Dr. J.B. Tomasi received .50.

Among the town’s real estate owned was 17.5 acres of so-called Quarry land valued at $50.00.

The Simpson school and the Miles school were closed, due to having only 2 students each.

“All school rooms are enrolled in the American Red Cross; all sold Christmas seals; all contributed to the blood plasma bank; all collected scrap iron.”

About the Miles School: “It was opened for the first time in May, 1842. This is the 100th year of its existence and it has changed little during the century. It was then and is now painted red. It has clapboards 8 feet long. Some of its windows are panes of glass 6×9 inches. The floors are made of wide hemlock boards and the wainscoting is of the same variety, running horizontally around the room and not perpendicularly. The seats are double desked and are screwed to the floor after the style of the time. There is much jack-knife carved initials. The stove is placed in the place designed for it, in the middle of the room. Last year Miss Jeanette Paul, the teacher, began to write a book, entitled “The Little Red School House After 100 Years.” I hope she finishes it.” H.V. Wheelock, Supt.

1943-

inside first page “To Alan G. Denison. Whose service for his Country needs neither symbol nor token, this Report is respectfully dedicated.”

Washington had 48 boys in the service.

There were three schools, the Village, South Washington and Miles.

1945-The town listed $5,233.50 worth of equipment, from tractors to stone pickers.

B.O. Spencer was the Road Commissioner, and his wages were .75/hr for labor and truck driving, and his truck garnered him $1.00/hr.

John Salter, blacksmith, received $3.80 for sharpening drills, repairs on chains.

The Newman School was closed due to the teacher leaving before term was up.

From H.V. Wheelock, Superintendant of Schools: “Concerning the repair of the village school: You people of Washington Village: This is for you. Why not have an excavating bee this summer and help out the school board? You need a furnace room, toilet room, play room and a hall. You will enjoy helping and you will save a lot of fuel hereafter. How about it?”

1946-The four teachers at the Village School reach received $1100.00 for the year’s wages.

One of the Governor’s recommendations for the state: ‘The Normal schools should be put into physical condition and renamed “Teachers’ Colleges. “ Eventually four years training will be required of every teacher. The minimum pay for regularly certified teachers be fifteen hundred dollars per year and added increment for those holding certificates of higher grades, and provisions for increases for five years. Teachers holding war certificates not to be classified. The remuneration to be one thousand dollars per year.’

1948-

W.G. Richardson was paid $8.00 by the Overseer of the Poor for keeping four tramps.

R.M. Bowen, Health Officer, reports 14 cases of scarlet fever, 8 chicken pox, 5 German measles, 4 mumps, and 1 whooping cough. Also, the Village School had new toilets installed.

The town’s real estate was valued at $22,725.00.

Electric lights were installed at the Simpson and the South Washington schools. Total cost was $160.00, with half reimbursed by the state’s Standardization Fund.

The 3rd school operating this year was the Village.

There were only three marriages, but twenty-two births.

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