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News and citizen. [volume] (Morrisville, Vt. ;) 1881-current, November 02, 1898, Supplement, Image 9

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Vol. 18, No. 2.
Hyde Park asks of the Legislature
ing the pending hill to change the
town lines between herself and Mor
ristown. To her it is an all-important
mattera matter involving the
further growth, prosperity and pro
gress of the town. She begs of the
Honorable Senate and House of Rep
resentatives a suspension of judg
ment until her claims may be fairly
heard and have received careful
consideration. She begs that neither
personal nor political reasons, fear
nor friendship, may be permitted to
determine the action of any member.
She believes that a more righteous
cause than hers was never presented
for the consideration of the (Jeneral
Assemblya cause involving the
right of every village to enjoy the
legitimate growth to which nature
and the enterprise, pluck and public
spirit of her citizens entitle her.
Hyde Park does not seek the in
jury of 3Iorristown. She only asks
that which, being withheld, paralyzes
the forces and neutralizes the condi
tions upon which her future growth
and prosperity depends. She is will
ing to give an equivalent even more
than an equivalent in grand list, for
that which she asks as indispensable
to her life and growth.
Although the bill as drawn con
templates the annexation to Hyde
Park of HI acres of land, she would
as soon have 50 as 144. She only
cares for a strip of land each side the
railroad track upon which she may
erect such buildings as may answer
the purpose of those who would come
to Hyde Park to start manufacturing
enterprises. She wishes to be able to
say to those enterprises " Locate at
Hyde Park and we Avill extend to
you the usual exemption from taxa
tion, and assure you of liberal con
sideration 011 all lines." That privi
lege she does not now enjoy. She
has no land near her station and on
the railroad track, and consequent
ly all prospective enterprises must,
until the town line is changed, beg of
her rival village Morrisville the
privilege of existing. She has pur
posely made the boundary so as to
include three-fourths mile of expen
sive highway and three bridges, that
it may not be claimed that she is sel
fish in her demands.
Don't forget that Hyde Park is
more than willing to give a fair
equivalent for all she asks.
Hyde Park is Growing and Needs
the Room.
During the past six jrears, buildings cost
ing $70,000 have been erected upon the mar
gin of that part of Hyde Park h'ing next to
Morristown, the farthest of them being less
than 750 feet from the town line. Practically
every building lot in that section of the town
is occupied. A petition is now in the hands of
the Selectmen asking that a new street be
laid out to make room for further growth.
One end of the proposed street would be in
Hyde Park, the other would be in the town of
Morristown. Those who would build upon
it say : " We cannot afford to build in Morris
town because the occupants of such dwellings
as might be erected would wish to avail them
selves of the advantages of the Lamoille
Central Academy and Hyde Par- Graded
School, which is" within GOO feet of Morris
town line. If we should build in Morristown,
either tuition must be paid or our children
must go nearly a mile away to the nearest
schoolhouse in Morristown." Is this right?
Is it in furtherance of the cause of education ?
Hyde Park Has the Capital and the
Power. Why Not Give Her
the Opportunity ?
Hyde Park has a banking capital of more
than three-quarters of a million dollars and
she has public-spirited citizens who are ever
ready to offer financial assistance to legiti
mate enterprises. Her policy is and ever has
been to build up home industries. With her
newly installed electric plant, which is sus
ceptible of almost unlimited development, she
is now in position as never before to offer
power and capital to industries wishing to
locate within her borders ; but all such enter
prises insist upon being upon the line of rail
road that they ma' save the important item
of cartages. If such industries come to Hyde
Park they naturally ask the same liberal ex
emption and encouragement which all enter
prising towns in the state now so freely offer,
namely, exemption from taxation for a term
of years.
Is it fair to deprive Hyde Park of that
growth which her capital, her electric power
and the enterprise of her citizens so justly en
title her? Is it fair to deprive her of those
opportunities and advantages which every
other enterprising railroad village in Vermont
enjoys ? It is for this legislature to say.
A Kit of Railroad History.
Montpelier, Vt., Oct. 28, 1S98.
Hon. Waldo Brigiiam:
Will you kindly give me the facts pertain
ing to the bonding of the towns of Hyde Park
and Morristown m aid of the Lamoille Valler
Railroad ? Having been its President from its
organization untilitspassageinto the new St.
Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad
corporation, I know of no one who can bet
ter state from personal knowledge the early
history of this important enterprise.
Respectfully yours,
Geo. B. Allen.
Hyde Park, Vt., Oct. 31, 1898.
Geo. B. Allen, Montpelier, Vt.
Dear Sir: Answering your letter of the
28th inst., say that my recollection is very
distinct as to the position taken by every
town on the line of the Lamoille Valley Rail
road, and I am pleased to give you the facts
you ask for.
Hyde Park was the first town to bond in
aid of the Lamoille Valley Railroad. It bonded
for twelve times its grand list, the utmost ex
tent to which it was permitted bv statute to
As early as January 25, 18GS, the town
of Hyde Park held its town meeting and set
the example which was afterwards followed
by her sister towns, making possible the
consummation of an enterprise which had so
long been essential to the prosperity of the
Lamoille valley.
The town bonded unconditionally, but
provided ( I quote from the records of
the town of Hyde Park) that "No
interest to be paid or to accrue on said con
tract until said road shall regularly com
mence the carrying of freight and passengers
over and upon said road and INTO TUB
TOWN of Hyde Park."
The survey as made by the engineers gave
Hyde Park a depot on its own land, but
it did not carry the line into the very heart
of Morrisville, as desired by the citizens of
that village, and it soon became apparent
that unless a change in the location of the
line was made to comply with the wishes of
Morrisville, the town of Morristown would
not bond in aid of the enterprise.
A new surve' was therefore made, at
the expense of two additional bridges across
the Lamoille River and a detour in the line, add
ing nearly one mile to its length. The route of
the line was changed to comply with the de
mands of Morristown, and that town has
reaped the benefit of this change to an extent
that has made Morrisville the largest village
between Lake Champlain and St. Johnsbury.
This involved the abandonment of that
line which gave to Hyde Park a depot within
her borders. The new survey made it imprac
ticable, without subjecting the road to extra
ordinary expense, to build the station at any
other point than where it is now located, to
wit, 230 feet from Hyde Park line.
Of course under this change of location it
became evident that the interest on the bonds
which Hyde Park was to issue cottld never be
collected. It is true that the road would cut
into Hyde Park upon its southern border, but
at points where it would be impossible or
at least impracticable to have a depot and
yard, and the spirit at least of the contract
between the town and the road would not
have been carried out.
Hyde Park was therefore appealed to to
change its contract with the railroad in order
that the demands of Morrisville might be sat
isfied, and on the 31st day of March, 1800,
another town meeting was called, and, with
the generosity and magnani:r.itv which has
ever characterized Hyde Park with reference
to this enterprise, she changed her contract to
read as follows: (I quote from the records of
the town.)
"Whatever interest shall accrue on an
bonds of said town from the time when
said bonds are issued and delivered to said
Railroad Companv to the time when said
railroad is in actual operation TO OR NEAR
the business center of said town shall be
paid," etc. Note that the language of the first
town meeting, "into the town of Hyde Park"
was hy the second town meeting changed to
read " to or near the business centre of said
It is needless to say that at this time the
action of Hyde Park was regarded by her
neighboring town as generous, and although
no agreement was made or could have been
made without a special town meeting called
therefor, it was nevertheless understood that
Morristown would extend to Hyde Park the
same generous treatment which I lyde Park
had so freclv accorded to Morrisville, and
that no objection should be made to annex
ing the little strip of laud where our depot
and railroad facilities were to be located, to
the town of Hyde Park.
I think I have substantially answered the
point which your letter seemed to call for,and
beg to remain, Very respectfully yours,
Waldo Brigiiam.
Is It Fair?
Hyde Park not only honied for twelve
times her grand list, but she contri uteri
about twenty-five per cent, as much more in
private subscriptions. Including interest paid
by the town, the actual cash contributed
probably foots nearly if not quite $100,000,
and that, too, on a grand list of less than
Is it fair that she now be deprived of the
legitimate advantages which a railroad se
cured at so great sacrifice is expected to
afford ? It is for this Legislature to say.
What Hyde Park Is Doing.
The village of Hyde Park is one which in
neatness and beauty, sanitary conditions and
general enterprise cannot be excelled by any
village of its size in Vermont. It has in the
last six years built a new schoohouse at a
cost of about $10,000. It has practically
given $9,000 for the purpose of building a
hotel, the acknowledged equal of any between
Burlington and St. Johnsbury. It has put
$20,000 into an electric plant." It is abcut to
commence the erection of a new church. It
believes that it is the duty of the State to help
those who try to help themselves, and town
lines are not so sacred but that they were
made to be changed, where the wheels of
legitimate progress would be unfairly re
tarded by their continuance. Is it fair to make
Hyde Park an exception to this rule?
Don't forget that 3IorrisvilIe,
which insists upon the control of
Hyde Park's station, is a rival village
three miles away.
Small, but Progressive.
The members of this Assembly do notneed
to be told that Hyde Park is an enterprising,
pushing, progressive little village; that her
citizens are loyal to Vermont ; that every dol
lar of her extensive banking capital is kept in
Vermont to foster and develop Vermont's in
dustries. They need not be told that there is
no village anywhere of its size that has given
Vermont as extended and favorable a reputa
tion as Hyde Park. The Boston Commercial
Bulletin, the leading commercial paper of New
England, said recently in an editorial: "Ex
Governor Carroll S. Page is as well known in
Europe as in the United States as one of the
greatest hide and skin factors of the world."
It is said that "the Lord helps those who
try to help themselves." Can Vermont do bet
ter than to pattern after Providence and help
a little village that is doing its best to help it
selfespecially since that assistance does not
involve the injury of any other village, locality,
industry, or individual in the State?
If Hyde Park were asking that which in
jured Morristown, then indeed should the
Legislature interpose its objection to her re
quest. She asks that only which, if withheld,
makes her poor indeed, and makes her compet
itor, Morristown, none the richer.
How Hyde Park is Handicapped.
That particular industry which has given
Morrisville its greatest growth is its tannery.
From its very start it has received practical
its entire financial backing sometimes ag
gregating as high as $100,000 from C. S.
Page. Before it was built its promoters came
to Hyde Park and had a consultation with
Mr. Page. They confessed that on many ac
counts Hyde Park was preeminently the place
where the tannery should be located, and
although it may not have been the determin
ing factor, it is nevertheless true that the
question of exemption from taxation was
discussed and the friends of the industry as
sured Air. Page that if they built at Morris
ville they would have an exemption from tax
ation for a term of years, whereas that ex
emption could not be expected if the plant
were located three miles away and near the
village of Hyde Park. H-de Park had not
within its borders suitable land upon which
to locate this tannery because it must be con
tiguous to railroad track so that supplies of
bark could be delivered direct from cars to
The promoters of this enterprise told
Mr. Page that Morrisville would furnish the
capital to build the tannery, or a large part
thereof. Mr. Page assured them at that time
that Hyde Park would do the same, but the
question of exemption could not be overcome.
Is it fair that the growth of Hyde Park
should be thus handicapped and those enter
prises which should legitimately come to Hyde
Park be deterred from so doing because or
ris ville is able to say, "If you build at Hyde
Park you build upon laud which we control
and you do so at your peril; we won't ex
empt you there; we will exempt you if v m
build at Morrisville? " It is for the Legisla
ture to say.
How Educational Interests Will be
In 1S07 the Child & Waite Co. commenced
the erection of a dwelling house near the rail
road station to be occupied by an engineer on
the St. J. & L. C. R. R. The stone were drawn
to the site and the ground for the cellar was
about to be broken, when the attention of the
engineer was called to the fact that his chil
dren could not enjoy the benefits of the La
moille Central Academy and the I lyde Park
Graded School if he resided on the Morristown
side of the town line, but that the- would
have to be sent to a district school a mile
away. The result was that the stone were
removed across the line into the town of Hyde
Park and a building erected, and that build
ing is now occupied as contemplated and the
children are enjoying the benefit of one of the
best schools in Northern Vermont. Is it right
that the beautiful locations for dwellings in
the vicinity of Hyde Park station be aban
doned, because the occupants of the buildings
to be erected thereon would be deprived of
those school advantages which should of right
appertain to all dwellers locating around and
in the vicinity of Hyde Park station? Legis
latures were organized to provide for the
greatest good of the greatest number. Are
they doing their duty to the cause of educa
tion if they refuse to give to the locality in
question the legitimate educational advan
tages to which it is of right entitled?

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