From the April 8, 1870 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

A large number of the voters of Edgartown assembled in the Town Hall, to transact the business necessary for a proper maintenance of law and good order. The chilly easterly storm did not perceptibly dampen the ardor of those living in the suburbs of our bustling village, as the persons living at a distance manfully braved the elements to perform their duty at the ballot box. “Chabby,” the Plain, and Eastville were well represented, seemingly alive to the importance of the issues involved.

Promptly at 9 o’clock the Town Clerk, Barnard C. Marchant, Esq., called the meeting to order, and after reading the warrant, the first article thereof was acted upon, and Joseph T. Pease, Esq., was unanimously chosen Moderator.

The report of the Auditing Committee was accepted. But didn’t we have a spicy little season of debate between several gentlemen? As the Virginians say, “I reckon.” The other reports of the town officers were read and accepted.

Voted, to raise $2,000 for the support of Schools. Pending this motion a lively scene was enacted, in which the champions of education fought valiantly to show how great was the benefit derived from the expenditure of over forty-four per cent, of the whole amount of money raised for schools, appropriated to the High School. In the matter of dollars and cents, the high school was a success, and the amount of money ought to be sufficient to put new life into the dead languages. To guard against similar griefs, the following motion, offered by Dr. Mayberry was passed:

Voted, that the School Committee be requested so to classify and limit the number of scholars that but one teacher shall be required in the High School.

$200 were raised to pay police officers at the Camp Ground and vicinity.

In the matter of Highways, after considerable discussion it was voted, that such sums of money as may be raised for repairs of highway be assessed.

Voted, that the Selectmen and Treasurer be authorized to renew notes outstanding against the town, and to hire money in anticipation of taxes, to meet current demands.

The article gave rise to some debate, after which it was voted, “that there shall be a discount on all taxes which shall be paid on or before the 1st day of September next, the sum of five per cent.; that on all taxes paid on the 1st of October there shall be a discount of two and a half per cent.; and that on all taxes not paid on or before the 1st of November, there shall be charged interest at ten per cent.

This article was decided in the affirmative.

Charles J. Barney was chosen Collector of Taxes, and it was voted to pay him $125 for his services. It was also voted to pay him $25 in addition to the $75 already received by him as compensation for collecting taxes last year.

Voted, to pay engine men $200 for their services the ensuing year.

Cyrus Vincent was chosen to have the care of the school houses.

$100 were raised for repairs of school houses, and $25 to finish painting the North school house in this village.

Voted, that the sum of $438.73 be raised to pay for the schoolhouse at Eastville; provided, that the schoolhouse shall be moved from where it now is; and that it shall be located upon land to be given to the town by Mr. Shaw Norris, or Mr. Rufus H. Davis, the Selectmen to determine upon the location according to the above proviso.

Other matters were acted upon at different stages of the meeting as follows: -

Voted that the Burial Ground Committee be authorized to take such action as may be by them deemed reasonable, in relation to gravestones and bounds in the graveyard.

Voted, that the use of the Town Hall be granted to the Vineyard Cornet Band, and for educational and religious purposes, the coming year, free of charge; provided, the parties will sweep out the Hall after using it.

Voted, to pay the bill of Dr. Edwin Mayberry for the medicine and medical attendance for one Mr. Baker, said Baker having deeded his property to the town, in consideration of an agreement by the Selectmen, to take care of him.

Voted, that the constables and police officers to be directed to dispense loafers and rioters in the streets, and that said officers be paid $5 for their services for the year.

A bill was presented by Capt. Peter West to the amount of $15 for board &c., of the family of Joseph Noonan. The claim arose from the fact that the poor children were sick with the measles, and the town after ascertaining as accurately as possible the number of measles they had, voted to pay Capt. West the sum of $10 in consideration of the service rendered to the said Noonan family in their measly extremity.

Voted, that all sums of money voted to be raised, be assessed.

The meeting adjourned after a harmonious session of about seven hours, during which time an immense amount of business was transacted, the principal credit for which is due to the fact of having a most excellent presiding officer.

Compiled by Hilary Wall