By Jay A. Graybeal
The 1895 election in
"In our column Last week we mentioned the fact that through a vote of the citizenry, the use of street lighting by electric arc lamps was preferred. That is, the overwhelming majority of the 'Electric' ticket over the 'Gas' Ticket brought electric lights to our streets. To follow the press and certain actions on the part of our city fathers, it would indicate that
From the time of the third incorporation of
Quite frequently in the early years the town authorities found it necessary to employ laborers to mow the grass along
Paving had received its share of attention throughout the years. One of the first acts following the incorporation of 1838 was a paving and grading ordinance. Either good brick or flagging was preferred. On November 11, 1839, flagging was ordered laid from 'sidewalk to sidewalk across alleys.' In 1882 the city ordered 142 property owners in the town 'to pave, grade, repair or replay their brick pavements.'
Evidently these requests on the part of our city fathers received only scant attention, for as late as 1910 similar requests were being made.
Many of our readers will remember these conditions—they will recall cinder walks, board and plank walks and in some places no side walks at all. Most all the curbing was of limestone, but some of the more prominent homes sported brick gutters and there were a few curbs of planking.
As has been said, the town seemed to take on new life after the coming of the arc lamps, and many of these breakneck side walks were relaid and a majority of those who had not walks at all, complied with the town ordinances. Walking actually became safer.
Many of us remember the hours we have spent cleaning grass from our sidewalks and gutters—but can you remember the hundreds of black bugs then buzzed about those arc lamps at night? We took great joy in tramping on them, just to hear them crack."
It is interesting to see how the residents responded to the improved lighting. Some residents fixed their sidewalks, others installed them, and local kids like