If ever you want a birds-eye view of Hebron history for a particular year, all you have to do is study the town’s annual report, and most especially those published in the early 20th century.

hebron town_report_1912_1913

Dorothy Ganter Giglio, Elton Buell’s granddaughter, recently donated 14 such annual reports to the Hebron Historical Society, dating from 1909 to 1941. It is the 1912-13 Annual Report that draws immediate attention. In this report we see how much Hebron has changed… and how much Hebron has not changed. We can also laugh at some of the detail, which would not be included in 21st century annual reports.
 
dan way_also_transported_children_to_school_by_horse_and_wagon

The town, it appears, took on responsibility for the schools, transporting students, care of the sick, maintenance of roads, and reimbursement to farmers for livestock killed by fox and wild dogs, as well as damage done to orchards by deer. The town was a major employer of the residents, as evidenced by the detailed ledger; every dime spent is carefully documented.

elton w._buell__shown_here_in_1892_at_the_age_of_18__was_paid_to_transport_children_to_school

At times, it is pure comedy. On November 29, 1912, F. Slater was paid $2 for “Getting old horse out of road,” and the following day, D. A. Kellogg was paid $25 “For damage to horse by breaking through bridge in Turnerville.” We can only assume that Kellogg’s horse was rather old! Ben Jones was paid $32 “for damage to ox by breaking through bridge.” Either the bridges in town were in much need of repair, and/or the town took seriously its obligation to residents’ livestock traversing the bridges.

There are numerous entries “For lodging tramp” at the cost of 50 cents per day. Finally, on December 26, the town invested $5.55 for 26 ½ hours of labor and $2.20 for 221 feet of lumber for a “Building to keep tramps in.”  Problem solved, for less than $10!

dr. cyrus_h._pendleton_was_the_hebron_health_officer_for_many_years

The town also paid for medical care of its residents: there are monthly entries of $17 payments to Hartford State Tuberculosis Sanitarium for Board of Chas. Thompson.” (Thompson’s care is also included in the 1909 Annual Report.) Dr. Cyrus H. Pendleton was paid $12.72 per year to serve as Town Health Officer. He was also paid $5.50 for “medical attendance for poor.”

Page after page records payment to local residents for work on the roads. The number of hours spent, as well as the total number of employees, was carefully documented. For example, H.C. Porter was paid $12 for “2 2/3 days with team on state road.” John Strickland was paid $4.85 for “for 2 days work on state road with boy.” Charles Ams, of Sterling Manufacturing fame, is mentioned frequently for the dynamite and bridge building services he provided the town.

hart e._buell_received__1_for_services_as_appraiser_for_deer_damage

Deer appeared to be a particular problem in 1912. There are numerous entries reimbursing residents, such as to W. H. Johnson, who received $20 “For damage done by deer to peach trees.” Alas, Mary Beckwith received only $3 for the “Damage done by deer” to her property. Others, such as Fred Prentice and H. E. Buell, received $1 for “Services as appraiser for deer damage.”  The state reimbursed the town $75 for deer damage.

daisy white_was_paid__10_per_week_for_teaching_at_the_jones_street_school_house

The Town School Committee also provided detailed information on everything spent. Teachers made $10 per week, and were reimbursed for any “extras” they provided (Daisy White received 10 cents for a box of crayons; Jennie Gilbert was paid an additional $1.20 for building fires.)  Residents such as Arnold Baumberger, Dan Way, Wilbur Hills and Elton Buell were paid for transporting students to school – the modern day equivalent of school buses! Through these annual reports, we learn much about Hebron history, and how our community functioned as a highly integral, highly interdependent unit. Each annual report is worthy of a book.