History of Marshfield. 207

[Thanks to Linda Smith for transcribing this chapter]

Town House into the new hall in the Ventress Memorial Building, and has since held its town meetings and elections in this hall, now called the Town Hall.
   The school committee serve as trustees of the library, and have sole charge of its management.   It now contains some 3000 volumes.   The town voted to send by express to all the postoffices in town books from the library once a week to patrons demanding them, free of charge.   The town appropriates annually about $300 for its support, a part of which is devoted for the purchase of books.   The library is open two days each week.   Its first librarian was Miss Rosa M. Sprague (now Mrs. Ames).   The present officer is Joshua Baker.
   The old Town Hall, which was used the larger part of the last century for town meetings, elections and caucuses, was abandoned and sold at public auction to Luther White for a small sum, and moved down to the Ferry and converted into a stable.   Here was where the soldiers were recruited for the Civil war, and here was where the Hon. Daniel Webster came to meet his townsmen year after year and cast his vote as a citizen of Marshfield.   It was here, when the Hon. Edward Little (a Quaker, and many years town clerk) said to Webster, when some disputed question in the meeting arose, and a motion was made to divide the house, the persons voting yea to stand on one side of the house, and those voting nay to stand on the other side, Webster, undecided on which side to turn, stood in the middle of the floor, when Little (having in mind his uncertain attitude in the Senate at that time in his feelings towards the South) called out to him, "Friend Webster, thee has been standing on the fence long enough; turn to one side or the other."   It created a storm of applause, and Webster, good naturedly, took his position on the side of his choice.


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