Contents     Previous Page     Next Page

which was known as the Ruth Farm. That house was destroyed by fire some years ago. When Elias T. Main was elected Town Clerk in 1818, the records were moved to his house, which was also on the Milford Turnpike. Later a small second-hand safe was procured to provide better protection for valuable papers. A Town Clerk's office was established in West Haven in 1874 in a central building, and the safe was moved to that office.
When the West Haven Town Hall was erected in 1892, a fireproof vault was provided to hold all records pertaining to the Town. All early records are deposited there, and up to the year 1921, when the towns were separated. The Town Clerk's office and all records were kept in the home of Arthur D. Clark for the next twenty-five years, until Mr. Clark retired from the office of Town Clerk.
At the present time, the Town Clerk's office is at the Town Hall, with a specially-built room designated as the ''safe room'' to hold all records. The present Town Clerk is Howard B. Treat.
Whether or not crime was more prevalent in the earlier days, it seems to be certain that the facilities for detecting it were much less effectual than at the present time. This is illustrated by the Ira Clark murder. Ira Clark, with his wife and children, lived on the road from Milford to Derby, just below what was known as ''George's Cellar Hill." They had a boarder by the name of Bowen. Bowen and the wife became very friendly, so much so that the husband became an incumbrance, and on the morning of the 18th of September, 18 50, he was found behind the barn, with his throat cut. Traces of blood were found in the kitchen. On that morning, Bowen hitched up his horse and drove to the house of Gould Smith, who was a grand juror, to inform him of the murder. Bowen was