The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

August 22, 2007

Aug. 22, 2007 – Civic Year Book - 1909

In 1909 Lieut. Col. E.A. Potter was the Mayor of Springhill and George Hopkins was Deputy Mayor. George Pepperdine and Calvin N. Ward were councilors for Ward 1, George Hopkins and Thomas Pigott were elected councilors for Ward 2 and Thomas Blenkhorn and Daniel C. Matheson were elected in Ward 3. The Town Clerk and Treasurer was Daniel McLeod. Chief of Police was G.L. Smith and the Principal of the Public Schools was F.G. Morehouse. There were four Vice-Principles: A.J. McKenzie, Mabel Sproule, Georgia Hall and Bertha O’Brien.

Mayor Potter stated that when he was a councilor some years ago it was a standing regulation that the town business should be enacted through the Town Office by the Clerk under the direction of the Mayor or Chairman of the Board of the School Commission but since he became Mayor he noticed that this wasn’t being done in 1909 and bills were coming before the council or School Board and they didn’t know who ordered them or where they were delivered. E.A. Potter brought these old, well-established rules and regulations back.

The new High School was being built in 1909 because of the increased number of scholars attending High School that it was not possible for the Principle to manage 3 grades in one class room. Therefore, one of the primary grades was moved to the Orange Hall and Annie G. Murray was hired as an assistant to the Principle and was given the room that was vacated.

Several new teachers were hired which were graduates from the Springhill High School . The percentage of High School pupils who wrote and passed Provincial Examinations was larger than any other examination station in the province showed that the teachers had laid the foundation for success in the more advanced classes.

There was also an extension made to the West End School .

In 1909 the Town was having financial difficulties because that was the start of the 22 month strike at the coal mines. Therefore, the property taxes, poll tax and other bills went unpaid leaving the town with a net deficit $2,846.45.

The Streets Commissioner stated that on the roads with not much traffic a thick coating of red stone would make a practically permanent road if water was kept off of it with proper width and moderately graded from the center to the ditch.

The water department reported that there was a number of broken pipes, two on the main line necessitating shutting off the town water supply and because the reservoir is only small causing a shortage of water for a short time. A road along the pipe line is need and a recommendation to provide as soon as possible a ground reservoir near the stand pipe at Bent’s farm large enough to hold enough water to keep the town supplied in an emergency.

The Town was also having trouble with vandals either stealing or damaging any part of the exposed water system. They damaged the camp at the dam and made it unfit to be inhabited and one of the breaks on the main line was believed to be caused by someone dropping a large can into the intake of the pipe at one of the dams. The cost of the repair was $75.00.

On the medical front in 1909 Springhill had a lot of typhoid fever with 50 cases being treated at the Hospital with four deaths. There were four deaths from diphtheria and there were a few cases of scarlet fever with no deaths. There were also cases of tuberculosis with 3 or 4 deaths. As these are all filth-bred diseases it showed the need for a sewerage system. But with the current financial position it was impossible to extend the sewerage system so the Health Officer, Dr. M.J. Wardrope hoped the town could make an effort to keep the gutters well cleaned and flushed out so as to prevent the spreading of these diseases.

On Mar. 7, 1909 there was a fire in the store and dwelling owned by F.L. Mills with stock in the store and dwelling partly destroyed.

The house of Smith McNutt on the corner of Maple and Wolsley Streets had $270.00 of damage on January 20, 1909 and a fire was reported in an old unoccupied house on Sept. 28, 1909 .

When elections were held in 1910 Lieut. Col. E.A. Potter was elected Mayor by acclamation.