xt77sq8qg032 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt77sq8qg032/data/mets.xml New Hampshire Historical Records Survey Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration New Hampshire New Hampshire Historical Records Survey Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration 1942 ii, 90 p.: ill. 27 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number: FW 4.14:N 42h/no.6/v.3 books  English Manchester, N.H.: The Survey  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. New Hampshire Works Progress Administration Publications Bedford (N.H.) -- Archival resources New Hampshire -- History -- Sources -- Catalogs Archives -- New Hampshire -- Catalogs Public records -- New Hampshire -- Bedford Bedford (N.H.: Town) -- History -- Sources Inventory of the Town Archives of New Hampshire. No. 6, Hillsborough County, vol. III, Bedford, 1942 text Inventory of the Town Archives of New Hampshire. No. 6, Hillsborough County, vol. III, Bedford, 1942 1942 1942 2020 true xt77sq8qg032 section xt77sq8qg032 1 or THE
or  ,





Publication of this volume has been made

possible by a generous contribution from

Mrs. Gordon Wbodbury.







NO. 6. Hillsborough County



The New Hampshire Historical Records Survey
Division of Community Service Programs
Work Projects Administration


Sponsored by

The University of New Hampshire


Manchester, New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Historical Records Survey
January l9#2



Sargent B. Child, Director
Frank N. Jordan, State Supervisor

Harvey E. Beoknell, Director

Carl Rogers, Acting Regional Supervisor
Richard G. wood, State Supervisor

Florence Kerr; AsSistant Commissioner

Carl Rogers, Acting Chief Regional Supervisor
Mary H. Head, State Director

Howard 0. Hunter. Commissioner

John J. MbDonough, Regional Director
James P. Quinn, State Administrator


County of Hillsborough. City of ibnohester,
and other cities and towns throughout the
State 0


 F 0 R E W O R D

The Inventory 22 the Town Archives 2; New Hampshire is one of a number
of guides to historical materials prepared throughout the United States by
workers on Historical Records Survey projects of the work Projects Adminis—
tration. The publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives
of the town of Bedford, is number III of the Hillsborough County series of

The Historical Records Survey program was undertaken in the winter of
1935-36 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unemployed
historians, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical workers. In carry—
ing out this objective, the project was organized to compile inventories of
historical materials, particularly the unpublished government documents and
records which are basic in the administration of local government, and which
provide invaluable data for students of political, economic, and social his-
tory. The archival guide herewith presented is intended to meet the re-
quirements of the day-to-day administration by the officials of the county,
and also the needs of lawyers, businessmen, and other citizens who require
facts from the public records for the proper conduct of their affairs. The
volume is so designed that it can be used by the historian in his research
in unprinted sources in the same way he uses the library card catalog for
printed sources.

The inventories produced by Historical Records Survey projects attempt
to do more than give merely a list of rocords-they attempt further to
sketch in the historical background of the county or other unit of govern-
ment, and to describe precisely and in detail the organization and function:
of the government agencies whose records they list. The county, town, and
other local inventories for the entire country will, when completed, consti»
tute an encyclopedia of local government as well as a bibliography of local
archives. Up to the present time more than 1,700 publications have been
issued throughout the Nations

The successful conclusion of the work of Historical Records Survey pro~
jccts, oven in a single town, would not be possible without the support of
public officials, historical and legal specialists, and many other groups
in the community. Their cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.

The Survey program was organized by Luther H. Evans, who served as
Director until hhrch l, 1940, when he was succeeded by Sargent B. Child.
The Survey operates as a Nation—wide series of locally sponsored projects
in the Division of Community Service Programs, of which MTS. Florence Kerr,
Assistant Commissioner, is in charge.

Commissioner of
work Projects




To bring together the records of the past
and to house them in buildings where they will
be preserved for the use of men living in the
future, a nation must believe in three things.
It must believe in the past. It must believe
in the future. It must, above all, believe in
the capacity of its people so to learn from the
past that they can gain in judgment for the
creation of the future.


By authority of a Presidential Letter, the Historical Records Survey
was initiated in January 1936 as a Nation-wide undertaking of the Wbrk Proj-
ects Administration, but did not begin operations in New Hampshire until
April 7. Prior to August 31, 1939, the Survey was Federally sponsored, but
since that date it has been a local project sponsored by the university of
New Hampshire. Until March 1940, this project was directed by Dr. Richard
G. Wbod. At that time Dr. Wbod became State Supervisor of Research and
Records Projects, and the present State Supervisor was appointed.

The purpose of the Survey is to make accessible to public officials,
lawyers, historians, and students of government the records of State,
county, and municipal offices. In addition, church records, including those
of defunct organizations, are being inventoried so that a foundation may be
laid for research in this field of social history. The present volume is
the tenth in a series of inventories concerning town archives of New Hamp-
shire. A key volume, Town Government EE New Hampshire, and a volume en-
titled Guide 33 Depositories pf Manuscript Collections in the united States
—:§2w Hampshire have been published. Five volumes of county archives and
one volume of church records have also been issued. For a complete record
of those published works of the Survey in New Hampshire, 322 List of Publi-
cations on page 9c.

In addition to listing the records of the different town officers, the
inventory sketches briefly the historical background of the town of Bedford
and describes the organization of the offices whose records are listed.

The essays on the individual offices present only material relating specifi-
cally to Bedford. For a history of the legal background of each office, and
its State—wide implication, it is necessary to consult the key volume men-
tioned in the preceding paragraph. Records are described in entries whose
style is formalized to give the following information: Title of record,
dates for which available, quantity, labeling of volumes or containers, in-
formation on missing and discontinued records, variant titles, description
of record contents, manner of arrangement, indexing, nature of recording,
size of volumes or containers, and location.

The listing of the Bedford records was made by Raymond P. Gagne and
Arthur A. Blake. The recheck was completed by Perley L. Cater and Thomas
E. Linehan. The forms were edited and the entries written by Samuel T.
Bakus. The essays in this publication were written by Bernice M. Newell




and Joseph M. Barry. The editorial work was done by Gordon F. Palmer. State
Editor. The legal research} which forms the basis for the essays, and the
preparation of the index were conducted under the direction of Beatrice B.
Calnan. Documentation was checked by Beatrice B. Calnan and Elizabeth M.
Ryan. The maps and charts were made and the stencils were out by Kathleen
E. Schragle. The mimeographing was done by Rita E. Duffley. The cover was
designed by Edward F. Tilc. All clerical work was supervised by Marcellene
N. O'Connor. Helpful criticism of this inventory in manuscript form was
offered by Mabel B. Eisenhart, editor in charge of public records inven-
tories, of the Central office.

The Survey wishes to express its appreciation for the cooperation given
and the courtesy shown to its workers by the Bedford officials. The Survey
is also indebted to the Secretary of State, the Mhnchester City Library, the
New Hampshire State Library, and the New Hampshire Historical Society for
facilities granted the Survey in its research work. Labor funds have been
furnished by the Wbrk Projects Administration. The Survey wishes to ac-
knowledge contributions for non-labor costs by the County of Hillsborough,
the City of Manchester, and other cities and towns throughout the State.

The inventory of the archives of the towns of Hillsborough County is
number 6 of the New Hampshire series. The Bedford inventory is volume III
of the Hillsborough series.

Copies of this inventory are distributed to Federal, State, and local
governmental offices, libraries, and institutions of learning throughout
the United States and its territorial possessions. Requests for informa-
tion concerning the published volumes should be addressed to the State Su-
pervisor, Administration Building, Lincoln and Silver Streets, lhnchester,
New Hampshire.

Frank N. Jordan

State Supervisor

New Hampshire

Historical Records Survey

Manchester, New Hampshire
January 1942





















A. Town of Bedford and Its Records System
Historical Sketch 3
Bedford Population Graph 12
Lip of Bedford Showing Transitions Since 1250 ....................... 13
Governmental Organization and Records System ................................... 1h
Chart of Bedford Officers, 1765 19
Chart of Bedferd Officers, 1850 20
Chart of Bedford Town Officers at Present Time ......... 21
Chart of Bedford Municipal Court, Fire Depart-
ment, Cemetery Association, and School Of-
ficers 22
Housing, Care, and Aeoessiblilty of the Records- .............................. 23
Recommendations 2#
Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes ....................................... 25
B. Town Offices and Their Records
Town Clerk 28

Early Proprietory Records. Warrants and
Nfinutes. Vital Statistics. Licenses, Per—
mits, Receipts and Payments. Invoices.
Town Officers. Attachments, mortgages, Con-
ditional Sales. miscellaneous.
Selectmen 45
Printed Reports. Taxation. Finance. Jury
Lists, Militia Enrollment. Miscellaneous,












Budget Committee 50
Assessors, Town Counters 51
Tax Collector 51
Treasurer 53
Auditors 5A
Trustees of Trust Funds 55
Cemetery Trustees 56
Bedford Center Old Cemetery Association. Mmmeminwwwwwwmjé
Surplus Revenue Agent 57
Moderator ' 58
Supervisors of the Check—List 58
Inspectors of Elections, Ballot Clerks.IWWWWIWMWIMwMWWMMS8
School District ‘ .58


District and Board Minutes. General Fund-
Loan Fund. Cash Books. Bank Records.
Orders. Stevens-Buswell School. Miscel»



Supervisory Union 63
Library Trustees 63
Minutes, Finance, Reports. Librarian's
Overseer of the Poor 65


Health Officer 66



 Table of
























Contents Page
Road Agent, Highway Agent, Surveyor of Highways .............................. 67
Police, Constables ' 68
Municipal Court 69
Town Agent (Legal Agent) 69
Liquor Enforcement Officer 70
Fire Department, Firewards 70
Forest Fire warden 71
Weigher of Hay 71
Sealer of Weights and Mbasures 71
Sealers of Leather 72
Lumber Officers 72
Poundkeeper 73
Hogreeves, Rewards. Field Drivers 73
Fish wards, Fish and Game warden 74
Deer Keeper 74
Fence Viewers 74
Clerk of the market 25
Sexton. Caretaker of Ebeting-House 75
Tythingmen 25
Appendix 76
Bibliography 78
Subject Index to Inventory 79


New Hampshire Historical Records Survey Publications .............. 90



(First entry, p. 28)



Bedford was a Massachusetts grant, made in 17339 to the SOldierS 0f
King Philip's war. or their heirs. It Was then known as Narragansett Ho. 5
and also as Souhegan East. The town remained under the control of Nassa-
chusetts until the boundary lines were set in 1741.1 On May 10, 1750 the
majority of the people being "Generally of the Presbyterian Denomination
* * * having been Long Destitute of the Gospel" petitioned Governor Benning
Wentworth to incorporate them as a town.2 On hhy 18, 1750 this petition
was unanimously approved by the Council, which advised the Governor to grant
the charter.3 On the following day the charter was granted and the town was
incorporated by the government of New Hampshire and was named in honor of the
Duke of Bedford, who was at that time one of the Secretaries of State in the
government of George the SecondJ‘L ‘

Actual settlement had begun in the middle 1730's. A man named Sebbins
or Sibbins came from Braintree, Mhssachusetts, in the winter of 1735, which
he spent in making shingles, drawing them the following spring to the Mer-
rimack River on a hand sled and rafting them downstream to what is now
lewell. Sebbins later disappeared and it was supposed he was drowned in one
of the bogs near his camp. The first permanent settlement was made in the
fall of 1737 by two brothers, Robert and James walker, and in the spring of
1738 by Mhtthew and Samuel Patten, also brothers. Other settlers followed

Only two of the original grantees-—Zachariah Chandler and John Barnes——
actually settled here. The others sold their titles to settlers from near—
by Londonderry. This is why the racial strain became predominately Scotch-
Irish and the religion Presbyterian.7

Even before the incorporation of the town the question of building a
meeting-house received serious consideration, and a site was unanimously
agreed upon; but when a sizable tract of land was detached from the original
grant to increase the territory of the town of Morrimack, it became ad—
visable to change the proposed location to a more central one within the
reduced boundaries. A meeting of the inhabitants was held in hatthew
Patten's barn, four months before the Bedford incorporation, at which it was
decided to build a meeting-house at either the east or west side of Bell
Hill if John Bell and John Mblaughlin would give 2 acres of land with ad-
ditional land for a road. An agreement could not be reached as to whether
the east or west side of the hill should be used, and at a town meeting
in 1752, 2 years after the incorporation of Bedford, it was voted to
refer the matter to a committee of three men from Londonderry consisting
1. New Hampshire State Papers, 11:176. 177.
2. Ibid., 9:51.

30 Ibid. , 615.

4. Ibid., 11:177. '

5. History 2; Bedford New Hampshire From 1797 * * * (hereinafter cited as
History gfiDBedford), p. 85.

6c Ibidl’ pg 95.

7- Ibido' Pa 263.



Historical Sketch (First entry. p. 28)

of Capt. Andrew Todd, Capt. John Mitchell, and It. Robert Cochran. The
committee reported in favor of the east side. The committee then received
its dismissal and during the next 2 years was succeeded by two other com—
mittees. The third committee heWed a frame and drew it to the west side
of Bell Hill, but at a meeting held April 15, 1754 in William Holmes' barn
an entirely new location was discussed; this was on the land of Noah Thayer.
At a meeting held September 22, 1755 it was voted to build a meeting-house
on land purchased by William Mbor from Noah Thayer for the town and for
that purpose. As a result of that vote the building was raised on the
fourteenth and fifteenth of the following October at the place designated.1
Matthew Patten's diary, on the fourteenth, contains the following notation:
I'went to raising our Lbeting house we Get up the plates and all the beames
but two."2*

In 1771 it was voted "to Repair the troughs at the Eves of the hteting
house";3and in 1773 it was voted "to Make wall Pew all Round the Meeting
house and too pews on Each Side of the ally in the back of the Dimon.“ It
was also voted that the pew ground be laid out, numbered, and sold to the
highest bidder.4 No further mention is found until 1785 when the pew ground
was auctioned off and the purchasers had to build their own pews of uniform
size and have their names inscribed on them. Only residents of Bedford
were allowed to make purchases.

After having sent out three invitations to as many candidates, the town
in 1756 finally succeeded in obtaining the services of John Houston as its
minister. Rev. fir. Houston enjoyed success in his parochial relations
until 1768 when certain members tried to exempt themselves from the minis-
terial tax because of occasional communion with the church of Londonderry.7
In 1775 dissension broke out between the people and the minister in regard
to his Loyalist views, and it was voted "that the Meeting House doors be
Shut against kw. John Houston untill * * * he * * * behave himself to the
Setiesfaction of the town and that he Shall have no Sallery from the
town * * *."8 In the same year a committee was appointed to secure his dis-
missal.9 There was no decisive action taken by this committee, for in 1776
Mr. Houston was given the whole year to himself and "the town free from his
‘Chargc."lo Mk. Houston's pastoral connections were not actually severed
until 1778, when he was dismissed by a trial held at the Presbytery.“-

For the next 26 years Bedford was destitute of a settled minister. but
the pulpit was supplied from time to time and sums of money were voted for
preaching.12 The interim of supplying the pulpit with temporary preachers



1. History 2; Bedfcrd, pp. 326-328.

2. hatthew Patten, The Diary 2; Matthew Patten g: Bedford,.fl. fig, From
Seventeen Hundred Fifty-Four ta Seventeen Hundred Eighty-Eight (here-

. inafter cited as Patten, Diary), p. 22. '

3. State's Ocpy of [Bedford Town Records] (hereinafter cited as State's
Copy), vol. 3, p. 27 (1771), gee entry 6.

h. Ibid., p. 82 (1773).

5. ___._Ibid-. PP- 550-553 (1785).

6. fligtggy 3: Bedford, p. 281.

70 Mo. PP. 285, 286,

8. State's Copy, vol. 3. pp. 136. 137 (1775)! E22 entry 6.

9. 1.13.19: :‘ P- 1M (1775)-

1c.. Ibid.. pp. 153. 154 (1776).

11. History 2; Bedford, p. 291.

12. Ibid.. p. 293; State's Copy, vol. 3, p. 197 (1778), gt passim
1779e180h, £22 entry 6.


Historical Sketch (First entry, p.28)

terminated in 1804. On February 20 of that year it was voted "that the
Town give nr. David McGregore a Call to the work of the Ministry."1 Mr.
MCGregore accepted the call the following may; he retained the pastorate
21 years.

In 1831 a committee was appointed to locate a site for a new meeting-
house. Four sites were recommended and the town voted to build a new
meeting-house between the store and burying ground. This vote, however.
was reconsidered and a more satisfactory site on Houston Hill was selected.
The frame was raised in 1832 and the house was dedicated on December
25, 1832.3 It continues to serve the Presbyterians of Bedford as their
place of worship, and, with its Colonial porch added in 1894 by the archi—
tect wadsworth Longfellow,4 contributes to the attractiveness of the
village. It is this church-a1most 110 years old—~which furnishes the sub-
ject for the cover design of this volume.

Besides the Presbyterian which, as already indicated, was the estab-
lished town church prior to the separation of church and State, there have
been at least two other religious denominations in the town.

The Universalist Church came into existence in 1832, and in 1835 this
group voted to build a brick meeting—house. The building was dedicated on
July 13, 1836. The pews were auctioned off in August of the same year.

In 1833 Rev. J. hL Wilson had become the minister. This society did not
prosper any too well, and as early as 1840 it was proposed to sell the

.meeting—house. The house was finally sold in 1846 to Isaac Darrah and the

society disbanded.

A Baptist society composed of 32 members was formed in 1835. It had
no meeting-house and on some occasions used the Universalist house. The
first regular minister was Rev. George Evans. The society ceased to func—
tion in 1848.6

A curious natural phenomenon occuring in may 1780 is vividly recorded
in hatthew Patten's 23332:

19th was a Thunder shower in the morning and was followed
by an uncommon darkness such as is not remembered it was so
dark That one could not known a man but at a small distance and
were obliged to keep a light in the chimney to see to go about
and the night was Extraordinary dark untill one 0 Clock that a
person could not see their hand when held up nor even a white
sheet of paper the day and night was oloudey the clouds in the
day did not seem thick and was of a lightening up couler our
almanack makers have given no account of the matter the cause
unknown The works of the Lord are great and marvellous past
finding out untill he Graciously pleases to Reveal them.7


l. State’s Copy, vol. 2.“p. 521 (1804), E22 entry 6.
2. Ibid., p. 560 (1804); History 2: Bedford, p. 310.
3. History 2; Bedfqgg, pp. 348-350.

4. Ibid., p. 353.

5- Ibid., PP- 274. 275-

6. Ibid.. pp. 275. 276.

7. Patten, Diary, p. 414.



- 6 _
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 28)

.Bedford, being a frontier town, was exposed for quite a time to Indian'
attacks, consequently enduring many hardships and anxieties. In spite of
all this there is no recollection of more than one person being killed by
the Indians.

In 1745 James MhQuade and John Burns went to Penacook,
(Concord) to purchase corn for their families * * * on
their return homeward as far as Suncook, (Pembroke)

* * * they were fired upon by a party of Indians * * *
MbQuade was shot dead, but Burns made his escape, by
running in a zigzag direction, which method baffled the
fire of his pursuers, and arrived in safety to his
family.1 ,

During the French and Indian Whrs he New England forces were, at one
time, under the command of Col. John Goffe of Bedford and many citizens from
the town were soldiers under his command.2

In the Revolutionary war Bedford furnished a large number of men who
joined with those from other towns in reSisting the oppression of Great
Britain, and who were zealous in sharing the dangers and hardships so neces—
sary to achieving independence.3 Evidently ammunition was somewhat scarce
at the outbreak of hostilities, for in 1775 the town voted a sum of money
to buy ammunition "if possible."4 In the same year the town voted "that
the Select inn Inspect in to the family's of our men that is gone to the
army and if they want to provid what is Necessary for them at the Towns
Cost."5 The first group of soldiers to leave Redford numbered 20 or more
and they left on the night of April 20, 1775.6

In 1777 the town, in order to induce men to join the armed forces,
voted " to Raise Eighty Dollars to Give as a bounty to Each Soldier that
Shall Inlist in this Town for the Continental army."7 During this war Bed—
ford, like many other towns, elected a committee of safety8 to cooperate
with S cute and county committees. In 1775 and 1776 Matthew Patten of Bed—
ford served as chairman of the county committee.9

During the her of 1812 a group of patriotic citizens went to the den
fence of their country and it is well to note that this group equipped them—
selves at their own expense.10

The Town lhnute Books are missing from 1853 to 1884. These records
were destroyed by fire and in them was the account of the part Bedford
played in the Civil war. However, certain votes from the minutes were in-
corporated in the town history published before the fire and so it is



1. Thomas Savage, _.9_. Historical Sketch 9;; Bedford, 11. fl. , Being a Discourse
Delivered Sabbath Afternoon, July 4th, 1841 * * *, p. h.

2. EL C. Lindsay, "A Brief Sketch of Bedford", Granite Menthly,
January 1898.

3. History gglgggford, p. 480.

4. State's Copy. vol. 3. p. 138 (1775). .3192 entry 6-

5- lth-: P- 135 (1775).

6. Patten, Diar , p. 342.

7. State's Copy, vol. 3, p. 175 (1777): £22 entry 6.

8. Ibid., p. 37 (1775). 32 passim 1776—1779.

9. EEEEEEZ 2: Bedford, p. 527.

10- Ibid., p. 503.




_ 7 _
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 28)

learned that on August 12, 1862,it was voted 'that the selectmen % * * pay
to every person resident of said town who has enlisted since the first day
of June last, or may enlist until the first of September next *7* * the sum
of fifty dollars to be paid as soon as said resident shall be sworn into the
United States service.’ later in the same year it was voted to pay $200 to
any man who served 9 months in the United States service, and in the follow-
ing year the sum was raised to $300. Bedford is credited with 153 enlist—
ments to the armed forces of the country, including 14 by men who were not
residing in Bedford at the time.

In the first world war Bedford sent its share of men and the town has
appropriately honored these men by setting up a boulder with a bronze tablet
inscribed with the name and rank of each man who answered the call of his
country. This boulder is located in front of the town hall.2

Realizing the value and necessity of educating their children, the early
settlers banded together and built two schoolhouses. One was erected about
one fourth of a mile from the farm of John Orr; the other near the farm of
Samuel Chandler. No record can be found of the date these schools were
erected or demolished.3 The destruction of the early town minutes has elim—
inated this source for research work, but from a discourse delivered by
Rev. Thomas Savage in 1841 it is learned that in 1754 the following vote was
passed in relation to schools:

voted to have the school kept this year, in the following
manner; beginning at the south westerly corner of the town,
and to continue there one month, and then to be kept at the
north easterly corner one month, and so alternately one
month in each of the aforementioned places, in rotation as
before mentioned, until the whole 8 months he completed.

In 1770 the town voted "Not to hire a town School the Ensueing year",5
but in 1772 the town voted to raise a sum of money to pay for "School keep~
ing."6 In the latter year matthew Patten and others hired a in. Stillman
to keep school for a month.7 On July 4 of that year a new schoolhouse was
built; for Matthew Patten writes, "I worked at framing the school house and
we Raised it about Sun Set."8 This school was built by subscription, and
was located at the junction of the river road and the back river road,
south of Samuel Chandler's place.9 In 1773 a vote was passed to divide the
town into seven school districts.10 The school property was evidently be~
ing damaged, for in 1774 a committee was elected "to Prosecut any person
1. History gf‘gedford, pp. 511-514.

2. See Records-Town of Bedford (hereinafter cited as T. M. B.), vol. 8,
pp. 521, 522 (1927), EEE entry 5.

3. History 2f Bedford, p. 418.

4- Savage, pp. at... p. 11.

5. State's Copy, vol. 3, p. 5 (1770), 332 entry 6.

6. Ibid., p. 49 (1772).

7. Patten, Diary, p. 280.

8. Ibid., p. 286.

9. History QEEEME! P0 4180

lo. State's Copy, vol. 3, p. 70 (1773). Egg entry 6.


 will-.. A. .


Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 28)

or Persons that have or Shall Traspass on Said lotts.“l There is no mention
of school affairs during the period from 1775 to 1779. quite probably due
to the-Revolutionary war, but in 1780 the toWn raised 120 pounds "to hire
a Town School Easter the Present Season."2 Although Bedford had many school
masters, the first one named in the town records was John O‘Neil who taught
school in 1774, but for some obscure reason was not paid until 1781.
Periodically from 1782 to 1800, the town raised money for school purposes.4

So rapid was the growth of the town that by 1800 six school houses had
been erected. The town history presents the assumption that these school-
houses were not built by the town but by the people residing in their vi-
cinity. This system presented a great disadvantage as the people were
continually sending children from one school to another according to their
likes and dislikes.5 (The vote of 1773, mentioned above, dividing the town
into school districts had not defined the bounds). To remedy this situation
the town voted in 1800 "that the Select Lhn shall Lay out the Town in School
Districts."6 As a result the selectmen laid out nine districts and de-
scribed their bounds.7 Each district determined the length of the school
terms, chose its agent to hire teachers, and exercised control of other
school matters.8 money was raised to repair and erect schoolhouses, by
assessing each district in proportion to its poll.9 It appears by a vote
of 1807 that permission from the town was necessary for the withdrawal of
individuals from one district to another.10

New sohoclhouses were built or repaired as they were needed. In 1810
School District No. A was permitted to draw a sum of money from the treasury
of the town, towards building a new schoolhouse.ll In 1816 the scleotmcn
were "requested to Assess the Polls and taxable property in School District
No. 9 * * * for the purpose of Building a School House * * * ."12

Bedford dissolved its multiple school districts in 1886.13 The town
now constitutes a single school district, which is a member of Supervisory
Union No. 27.1h

Two years after the 1733 grant, the proprietors voted ‘That their shall
be a sofisent Cart Bridge Built over Soughegon Rivergi * * that their Shall
be a sutetable High way layed through ye town For the Benifit of our town
& other towns * * *.'16 In 1740 money was voted for a highway 'between
Piscataquog and souhegan.'l7 -


l. State‘s Copy, vol. 3, p. 98 (1774); p22 entry 6.
2. Ibido, P. 311 (1780). .

3. Ibid., p. 356 (1781).

4. Ibid,, p. 409 (1782), §t_passim 1783-1800,

5. History 2; Bedfoni p. A21.

6. State's Copy, V01. 2, p. 387 (1800), see entry 6.
7. lhlg., p. 411 (1800).

8. History _o_;§‘_.Bedf‘ord, P. 421.

9. State's Copy, vol. 2, pp. 455-459 (1802), Egg entry 6.
lo. 231%.. V01. 39 P1 29 (1807).

11. Ibid., vol. 4, p. 142 (1810).

13. History 93 Bedford, p. 431.

14. New Hampshire State Board pi Education Directory * * * 1940-1941, p. 8.
15. The original grant extended to the Souhegan River.

16. History 2: Bedford, p. 125.

17. Ibid.. p. 195»



. _ 9 _
Historical Sketch (First entry, p.28)

Two highway votes were passed by the town in 1770. One related to
delinquent surveyors of highways. The other relinquished "that part of a
highway from Deacon Boies to Goffstown line by the Easterly end of Crosslies

On November 7, 1766 a charter was granted to John Goffe of Derryfield
to operate a ferry across the lbrrimack River between Derryfield and Bedford.
In the following year another charter for a ferry was granted to Abraham
lbrrell and this ferry was located about one—half mile below the present
Granite Street Bridge in hhnchester.2

lhny attempts were made to procure a charter to connect Manchester and
hfilford by a railroad, but it was not until 1899 that the people of Bedford
were gratified to learn that the Boston and thine Railroad had succeeded in
securing a charter. This road passed through the center of Bedford and it
afforded an easier means for the people of Bedford to reach the market with
their goods. This road was officially opened to traffic on December 31,
1900, with two trains running each way daily,3 and was discontinued on
September 27, 1924.

One of the first acts of the early settlers was to clear a plot of
ground at the southeast part of the town and use it for a graveyard. In
1752 the town voted a sum of money to build a stone wall around this yard5
and again voted sums of money for the same purpose in 1772 and 1774.

In 1776 the town voted "to purchase land as near the MBeting House as
may be had for a buring p1ace."7 In 1780 money w