Foreword to the 1936 Edition of The History of Winchester
The circumstances which led up to the writing of this history are not without interest. Early in the business depression, a committee of citizens under the chairmanship of Mr. Frederic S. Snyder raised a large fund by private subscription to be used for the relief of unemployment. Difficulty was found in providing work for educated men and women who were not suited for manual labor. Mr. George T. Davidson, vice-chairman of the committee, conceived the idea of employing such persons to collect facts relating to the history of the town. A large amount of material was collected. It was soon apparent, however, that this work could not be effectively done except under expert supervision. The matter was taken up with Dr. J. Harper Blaisdell, president of the Winchester Historical Society, with the result that the town was asked to appropriate a sum of money for the writing and publishing of a town history. The town made an appropriation for the writing of the history and a committee was appointed to secure a competent author and historical investigator and to supervise the work. Very appropriately the town authorized the withdrawal of the necessary amount from the Winchester Fund, which had been given to the town by Colonel William P. Winchester in appreciation of the honor of having the town named for him. When the history had been written, a further sum was appropriated for printing it.
The committee was fortunate in securing the services of one of its own townsmen, Mr. Henry S. Chapman, to whom the committee desires to express its appreciation for the vast amount of research which he has made and for the literary form in which he has cast the results of his investigations.
EDGAR J. RICH, Chairman
A. NATALIE JEWETT, Secretary
J. HARPER BLAISDELL
GEORGE T. DAVIDSON
BERTHA G. THOMPSON
Committee on Winchester Town History
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