by J. A. Buxton
Chapter VIII - The Years 1959 and 1960
This year, 1959, was election year in West Brookfield, and the school committee, the town selectmen, and constables were voted into office. This is the result of the voting; an ”X” before the name denotes the winner.
Selectman (three years)---”X” Alfred N. Willett, 357: Richard Morse, 302.
Selectman (one year)---Calixte Lemire, 105: ”X” Lindsey Smith, 480; Earl Sawyer, 82.
School Committee (three years)---Mrs. Janet Griffin, 111; Warren Vandenburg, 173; Albion Prindle, 16; :x” Herman Patt Jr., 348.
Constable—”X” Peter Brady, 580; ”X” Wayne Cass, 532; ”X” Joseph Codette, 306; ”X” Percy Cregan, 436; ”X” John Wirf, 451; Francis Frew, 245; Walter E. Thompson Jr., 231; Edward Cook, 228.
On the referendum was this question:
Shall the town accept legislation providing for municipal participation in group insurance and hospitalization:
The vote was 367 to 159 in favor of acceptance. A group insurance plan was approved for town employees. A total of 676 persons cast a ballot; there are 1,087 registered voters.
At the town meeting, a few nights later, the voters appropriated $271,718.39, an increase of about $15,000 over last year, and they estimated that there would be a $3 tax increase in the 1958 tax rate of $75. Approximately 100 voters, about ten percent of the registration, appropriated $650 to buy a high pressure compressor for the Fire Department, $800 for a sidewalk on New Braintree Road, and transferred $20,000 from surplus funds toward the 1959 tax rate. The school budget, which rose $14,100, was the major item on the overall budge of $154,352.
On Tuesday, April 7, thirty-six voters were present for the special town meeting. They empowered the selectmen of the town to purchase for $R2,500 the New York Central Railroad station on Front Street; this station has been discontinued. The vote was 21 to 14. The property will be used by the Highway Department for storage according to present plans.
Next year, 1960, will be the anniversary of the founding of the town of Quaboag; it was exactly 300 years ago in1660 that the men from Ipswich and their families settled on Foster Hill. Plans are still vague about the celebration. The various towns, which were later incorporated out of this original settlement, are forming committees to arrange suitable ceremonies for this celebration. At the West Brookfield town meeting, it was voted to choose five men from this town to be on this committee. Also at the town meeting, $300 was voted toward this celebration.
I am certain that the year of 1960 will be an important year in the history of the small, peaceful, but historical town of West Brookfield.