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1847 City Tax Book

Drawing of a 19th Century Mill Building
Drawing of a 19th Century Mill Building

The town of Manchester became the City of Manchester in September 1846, and the 1847 Tax Book is the first complete tax book for the new municipality.  A tax warrant was signed in May 1847 by Manchester's first mayor, Mayor Hiram Brown, and Aldermen George Judkins, Caleb Johnson, James Wallace, David Bunton, Ebenezar Clark, Edward McQueston and Fred Wallace.

Taxes were assessed on all males in the City of Manchester and on women who owned property.  In 1847, most of the taxpayers were men who did not own property.  The tax rate for them was $1.50 per poll or man. In the databases below, men without property, goods or livestock are listed by their name alone.

Individuals were taxed in the School District where they lived, and property locations were vague. Descriptions of property related to the lots on streets as opposed to actual addresses, and farm land is described by its relationship to another individuals' land.  For instance, Franklin S. Coburn owned Lot #107 on Amherst Street in School District #2 and Daniel Hall Jr. owned land near C.H. Eastman in Manchester Centre, School District #7.

There were a total of nine School Districts.  School Districts were determined by their location to natural boundaries such as the Merrimack River; the boundaries of other towns such as Hooksett, Litchfield, Londonderry and Chester and the location of large farms.  The villages of Hallsville, Janesville and Towlesville are also used to describe the location of property.  C.E. Potter's History of Manchester, written in 1856, provides descriptions of these villages, which were developed because the land did not belong to the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company and thus could be purchased by individuals at a reasonable cost.

Hallsville:  "Hallsville was started around 1840 on the road leading to Manchester Centre, just below where it is crossed by Amoskeag Brook.  It received its name from Joseph B.Hall, who owned a large portion of the land in that neighborhood."

Janesville:  "It is situated on Mile Brook, near to where that crossed Bridge Street.  Janesville received its name from Mrs. Jane Southwark, wife of Taylor M. Southwark, whose maiden name was Jane Young and who inherited the land upon which the village was built."

Towlesville:  "Down the Mile Brook betwixt Janesville and the Amoskeag Company's land and extending south east on the old Falls Road, is Towlesville."  The area was named after Mr. Hiram Towle.

In addition to taxpayers listed in School Districts, there was also another category of taxpayers called "Non-residents".  The 1847 tax book does not give a definition of a non-resident taxpayer.  Some individuals may not have lived in Manchester.  However, there are other individuals who are listed in a School District as residents but who are also listed as non-residents in the same school district.  For instance, well known Manchester resident, Mace Moulton, is listed as a resident of School District #2 and also as a non-resident in the same school district.

Individuals could also be listed as residents in one school district and as non-residents in another. An example is George Manter who is listed in School District #7 as a resident and then as a non-resident in School District #9.  In some cases, it appears that an individual lived in the heavily populated School District #2 and also owned a farm in a more rural School District.

Due to space limitations within the Access databases, not all the categories are listed.  A complete list of categories is as follows:  Polls; Improved and unimproved land; Buildings not speciallty designated; Mills and carding machines; Factories and their machinery; Ferries; Toll Bridges; Locks and Canals; Stock in Public Funds; Stock in Banks and other corporations; Money on hand, at interest and on deposit; Stock in Trade; Value of Carriages; Horses, asses and mules over 18 months old; Cows, oxen and other neat stock over 18 months old; Sheep over 6 months old; Total Value; Reduced Value; State, County, Town, School and Highway Tax; Highway Tax and School House Tax.

Digital Item: Data from 1847 Tax Book