Vol. II, No. 51
Mrs. Howard M. Lane is quite ill at her home.
Miss Mildred Batchelder is spending a few days' vacation at her home in town.
The W. C. T. U. realized over $26.00 from their recent sale. Many thanks is extended to all friends who contributed to, as well as to those who patronized the sale. Especial thanks are due to Mr. and Mrs. Warren Lane for the use of the store, and the help given in many other ways.
Oliver H. Godfrey has been elected commander of Perkins Post for the coming year, and Mrs. Caroline E. Cole president of Perkins W. R. C. Both are fortunate in having these officers.
Mrs. Nellie Nudd as returned to her home from Hampton Falls were she has been caring for Mrs. J. Elma Sanborn, who has been critically ill. Mrs. Nudd's kind and loving manner, cheery disposition, endears her to her patient and the household, and makes many loving friends.
Miss Emma Davis spent Monday in Newburyport, Mass., as the guest of her sister.
Miss Grace K. Marston of Exeter is enjoying a three weeks' vacation at her home in town.
Delia A. Munsey, wife of Charles Munsey, died at her home on the Exeter road late Sunday evening at the age of 37 years. Bright's disease was the cause of death. She was at one time a resident of Manchester. Funeral services were held at the home on Wednesday afternoon. A husband survives her.
A good delegation attended the Pascataqua club of the Congregational church at Dover Tuesday. They report a very pleasant meeting.
Mrs. Albert K. Church, Miss Adeline Marston and Miss Josephine Joplin went to Portsmouth Wednesday on a Christmas shopping tour.
James Blanchard's two sisters, Mary and Susan, of Weymouth, Mass., were his guests last week.
The Salvation Army team from Haverhill, Mass., was in town Tuesday collecting papers, cast off clothing, shoes, rubbers, books, magazines, etc. 11,000 men during the past year have been fed and clothed and put into condition to seek and find work by the help of these things and the Salvation Army.
Rev. W. Lincoln Phillips, pastor of the Baptist church, took a trip to Boston Wednesday, on business.
Six from Hampton, including two ministers, went to Exeter Tuesday evening to attend the revival meeting at the Adventist church.
Christmas exercises will be given at the Baptist vestry Saturday evening, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, recitations, etc. There will be a tree and presents and gifts as usual, and Santa Clause is expected.
Mr. Aiken Coffin died after less than a week's illness with pneumonia last Tuesday morning in the 85th year of his age. He leaves a widow, two sons, Albert and Frank, and a daughter, Mrs. Rich, of Dorchester, Mass.
W. Harrison Hobbs was called to Leominster, Mass., by the death of the wife of his son, Webster. The funeral was held on Wednesday, and was attended also by Mrs. Howard G. Lane. There are three small children left without a mother's care.
Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Ross returned Monday night from a visit to New York and New Jersey. Their many friends are glad to see them back after a month's absence.
Edward Brown and wife attended the State grange meeting in Concord this week.
Next Sunday morning at the Free Baptist church, the pastor, Rev. W. Lincoln Phillips, will preach from the theme, "There was no room in the Inn." Room for the penitent in Christ, but little room for Christ in the world. The ladies choir will sing a selection entitled, "At Midnight, when the Stars were Bright." Sunday school at the close of the morning service at 11:45 and the word for the school is "Savior." Choir rehearsal directly at the close of the Sunday school. Union service of all churches and all the people at the Congregational church at 7 o'clock. Pastor Partington will take charge of the service and Rev. James L. MacLaughlin, will be the preacher. Come one and all. Let us have a Pentecostal sitting together. Wednesday evening prayer meeting at the Christian Advent church at 7 o'clock. Prayer meetings Thursday evening at the Congregational, Methodist and Baptist vestries. Let these meetings be well sustained.
The gold watch in the vote contest was won by Mrs. Mamie Higgins, who received 11,420 votes, and the gold ring by Miss Mae E. Davis, who received 8,435 votes. Jas. H. Tattersall of Exeter furnished the prizes and elegant ones they were.
We extend to our readers a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
The indications now are for a white Christmas and suitable weather to facilitate Santa Claus in his annual visit.
The Union office will be closed all day Monday, Dec 26.
A very pleasant meeting of the Monday club was held this week with Miss C. J. Powers. Nearly the full membership was present, and there were guests Mrs. Tufts and Mrs. Tuttle of Exeter. Interesting papers on the Revolution were read by Mrs. Mack, Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Whittier. A dainty lunch was served by the hostess.
A pleasant event occurred at the home of Mrs. E. D. Berry last Friday, it being her 75th birthday. Friends numbering sixteen were present. She was the recipient of many useful gifts. Her sister, Mrs. Frank Chipman, presented her with a cluster of pinks, reading at the same time the following original poem:
Sister, you are seventy-five to day --
So the years in number say;
But the saying's true, I weal,
We are only as old's we feel.
With your eyes so bright and shining,
And your step so light and strong,
And your thoughtfulness for others,
We think years are numbered wrong.
Not by year are you remembered,
But by kind acts you are known;
Working always for some other,
For some one that's left alone.
Trouble, sickness, where'er may be,
You are always to be found
With a word of cheer and comfort,
And desire to right all wrong.
These lovely bright and fragrant blossoms
Are a symbol of your life,
Which has helped so many others
In the World's hard, bitter strife.
"May your years to come be many,
Health and strength still with you stay,"
Is the wish of all who know you
On this milestone of your way.
To the Editor of the Hamptons Union: --
The writer does not care to give the impression that he is trying to run things by these communications, which you publish so kindly, but he has always been strongly of the opinion that free and open discussion sometimes succeeds in arousing the people's interest in things that too frequently are not given the attention and the consideration that they demand. He's not a "native" kicker or a "foreign" grumbler, but merely a citizen interested in certain public questions that affect Hampton. And just now a heated discussion would go a long way toward warming up the public interest and getting the eyes of the people open so that they can intelligently decide the future polling of the town in regard to certain lines of action. "Stand-patism" has seen its best days in one great political party and it should be on its last legs in Hampton when it comes to a question of whether she should awake or sleep on for another decade. She has already had a ten-year slumber slightly disturbed by the Board of Equalization. Perhaps if we follow up the advantage she may rub her eyes and get up. The writer believes in seeing that town monies are expended in improvement that will result in the greatest benefit to her. Do you? Then he desires to call attention to the breakwater recently erected near the Casino. The town and state joined hands and constructed it at a total cost of about $3,000, one-half of which is to be paid by the town. The Hampton Beach Improvement Co., was not asked to contribute one cent. Although the chances of securing any aid from that corporation were very small, in fact almost microscopic, nevertheless, it would have been good business judgement at least to broach the subject to its officers to discover their attitude. It might have contributed something, and every little bit helps. In fact the writer has heard it said that the company would have been found willing to do its part. However, the sea has been barricaded to protect leased lands, while the town's lands in the North Beach remain without protection. The danger of the sea breaking through at the latter place is as imminent as it was where the Casino breakwater was constructed. Now it appears that the state agreed to expend for the improvement of the water front a dollar for every dollar contributed by the town. When offered such aid, it seems that the town should have protected its own lands first and left the Hampton Beach Improvement Co., end until the last, and then only after a determined effort had been made to get the company to share. By the terms of its lease with the Hampton Beach Improvement Co., the town was not bound to build any breakwater to protect the shore-line, but it may be urged that although under no legal obligation to do so, it was at least morally incumbent upon the town to keep the sea back from the leased lands of the Hampton Beach Improvement Co. If that is so then morality this year is responsible for Hampton's giving back to the company in the form of a breakwater the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, a sum equivalent to the rental for three years under the lease.
The next thing we may reasonably expect will be an agitation of the property owners above the Casino for an extension of the breakwater to protect them and to be consistent the town will be obliged to listen to their appeal, for the evidence is very strong that the danger from the sea at that point is just as great as it was where the breakwater has been erected. If Hampton is to shoulder all these moral responsibilities that justly belong to the Hampton Beach Improvement Co., for it is its duty to protect its tenants, then it would be cheaper in the end perhaps to agree with the company to call it square for a stated period of years and waive the lease-rental, if the company will erect a breakwater the rest of way south. Aside from the moral responsibilities, however, there is another fact which will be urged as justifying the breakwater - the increased valuation of the property along the boulevard. But will it amount to so much in the long run as would be realized from a business-like development and improvement of the North Beach lots? If so, then improve the Casino tract and let the town lots alone for it's poor policy to have too many irons in the fire, and the principal thing is the welfare of the town. Whichever course will best promote her interests is the one to pursue. The writer is open to conviction but at present he is unable to see the greater wisdom of erecting a breakwater at the Casino, then in front of its own property on the North Beach. Benjamin Franklin once said, "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute." The same idea, adopted to meet present conditions might be written: "thousands for a town breakwater, but not one cent for a Hampton Beach Improvement Co. breakwater." The one is a defense, the other is tribute.
The writer doesn't wish to be misunderstood - the Casino breakwater is undeniably a great improvement and a feature that will add to the popularity of the beach. And also is he aware that the more popular Hampton becomes as a summer resort the more benefit does she reap indirectly. But direct benefits are better. The clink of the coin as it falls into the town treasury is preferable to indirect benefits, because in moneys received direct of Hampton you have a tangible benefit, not speculative.
Is it natural and good business sense to protect one's own property first or that of his neighbors? That's the question when you come down to hard-pan. To argue that the Casino breakwater is a great improvement is begging the question, so to speak. The real and vital question is, where would a breakwater have brought Hampton the greatest returns? Some may fail to see how the construction of one on the North Beach would have been of greater benefit. They may be right, but the writer desires to urge for their consideration certain points, before they pass jovial judgment. Does the town wish to lease its lots on the North Beach and draw to them the attention of those who build houses? Does it wish to make those lots desirable as building sites? If these questions are answered affirmatively, then the writer asks, what does the timber breakwater in front of the block between 10th and 11th streets mean? Does it not mean that the sea has already broken through and threatened the land that is now laid out into lots of the town? And what it has done at one place along the water-front at that point can't it do again at any other point where the shore is as low? Can they expect prospective cottage builders to put money into the erection of houses on lots, over which the winter seas may run? Doesn't the average man want to be reasonably sure that when he goes in the spring to open his cottage, he'll find it were he left it? Will the fact that the sea has already broken through in front of the town lot on the North Beach deter people from leasing those lots and building on them? If that question is a little difficult to answer offhand, then let it be stated conversely. Will the erection of a breakwater that protects those lots operate as a greater inducement for leases? Can anyone say "no?" Then the whole question comes down to this, which is axiomatic, that improved property sells faster and at better prices than unimproved. A breakwater would be a tremendous improvement. The lots would increase greatly in value and correspondingly as greater rentals would be secured. They would be desirable from every point of view and the town would find itself in possession of a great natural asset that would yield for greater reserve than will be realized if the present method in the disposal of the lots is continued. Therefore efforts could and should be made to see if the state wouldn't join the town, and from now on, construct yearly a length of breakwater equal to that at the Casino until the town's strip of land has been completely protected. By such action the town would find it unnecessary to hunt for somebody to build a house in that section, in order to boom the lots and give impetus to building. The lots would go like hot cakes. Even if the state's aid cannot be secured, it is no reason why the town shouldn't go ahead and as fast as she can, conveniently, improve the land by the erection of such a breakwater. In the meantime the Water Company should be seen and arrangements made with it to extend its mains along the highways upon which the lots abut. It would undoubtedly be willing to meet Hampton halfway in a program of improvement that meant the development of the land with the necessarily attendant benefits to itself. Whoever leases a lot now, must depend upon a cistern for water, a decided drawback to the development of property in these days. The great drought from which New England is now suffering kills all well and cistern argument.
Some may think that the writer has an enlarged imagination or is writing a bit of fiction and picturing a Utopia with gold mines to back it up. But they who think so are wrong; their "specs" don't fit their eyes. If they can see straight, he hopes that they also can see in the development and improvement of the town land, vast possibilities of large and quick returns for its building lots. Some years ago, about 1898 it is recorded, the town of Hampton killed one goose just before she began laying her golden eggs. Don't let her kill this second goose that she has caught. But she will do so, unless precautions are taken. The town not only wants to lease its lots, for which it will obtain a yearly rental, but after the lots are leased, it wants to see buildings erected, thereby bringing more taxable property into existence. The present form of lease is good enough as far as it goes, but it should go further and contain a condition stipulating that within a certain length of time, a house should be erected. Leases without that condition may insure a faster disposal of the lots, but in view of what has happened at White Rock Island, it is poor business judgement to leave it out. There, leases of very desirable lots have been taken with no intention of building, but merely to be held for the purpose of exacting a large house from any party who in good wishing a building site, was unable to find a desirable location. The lease holder manipulates his lease for a profit. That is his perfect right, but until someone accedes to his demands and pays him a big bonus, no building is erected on that lot and the town loses the valuation of a house that some other party would have been glad to build. Hampton should not permit that sort of traffic. It wants lease builders, not lease traders. It wants to bring into existence as much taxable property as it can. By disposing of the choice lots to those who do not intend to build, the growth, valuation, and development of the property will be greatly retarded. Look out for lease swappers. Haste makes waste in leasing lots as well as in anything else. The town should not dump its lots on the market. The farsighted and conservative real estate man does dispose of all his holdings at the same price. The latter is always governed by the demand, and the same principle should be invoked in the management of the town's land. In that way whatever bonus there is to be had will fall into the town treasury. In other words, she will reap all the advantages, as she should, from the land. It's no place for middlemen to operate.
All we can demand of men in public office is reasonable judgement and honesty. If they make reasonable mistakes, they are not to be condemned and thrown aside on that account, for "to err is human," and we all make mistakes at times. But God gave us reason to use and when reason tells us a mistake is being made, we should take heed and shift our course. Let the Selectmen hereafter insert in their leases a condition, making it incumbent upon the lessee to build a house within a stated period of time. To not do so will be such a mistake in the opinion of the writer, as will well warrant adverse opinion of their policy and business methods in connection with the town's lots on the North Beach."
M. H. Browne