Turner's Public Spirit, April 28, 1923
A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
Center. Mrs. Downing and daughter Kathleen, of Hanover, have been spending a week with Mr. and Mrs. John O’Connell, of the Nashoba Farm.
Robert Simpson, of Lowell, was the guest of John G. Fletcher at his home in town last weekend.
Don’t forget the exhibit of the Boys’ and Girls’ club work which will be held in the town hall this Friday evening. Mr. Farley, state leader, will speak.
The motion pictures given in the town hall on last Saturday evening by the Middlesex Farm Bureau brought out a good attendance. This will be the last until next fall.
Mrs. Mary A. Grant is visiting with relatives in Rockport and Gloucester.
The fire department responded to a call on Wednesday afternoon for a brush fire near Pine Ridge.
Evangelistic services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 at the Congregational church. Miss Reid will sing; Mr. Sherman will be present on Saturday evening; Mr. DeLong is unable to be present. The pastor will preach on Sunday morning. Sunday school at noon. Junior C.E. at five o’clock. Young people’s meeting at 6:30.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Campbell, of Hudson, N.H., have been recent guests of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Knight.
The Misses Mary, Dorothy and Karen Grant spent the holiday and weekend in town with their aunt, Mrs. Harry E. Whiting.
Dr. and Mrs. C. A. Blaney and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Meyer attended the theatre in Boston on the holiday.
The Grange will neighbor with Stow Grange on Tuesday evening and will furnish part of the entertainment.
The annual Westford academy senior play, “The importance of being earnest,” will be presented in the town hall on Friday evening, May 4, at eight o’clock. The play will probably bring out a large attendance as usual. The cast includes Herbert Shea, Raymond Shea, Richard Wall, Edward Hunt, Olive Hanson, Alice Socorelis, Alice Swenson and Persis Ormsby.
Tadmuck Club Guest Night. The annual guest night of the Tadmuck club was held in the Congregational church on Tuesday evening and proved to be one of the most successful social events of the season and was largely attended. The speaker of the evening, Mr. Cook, who came in place of Mr. Bazeley, gave an interesting talk with lantern slides on the conservation work. He was secured through the conservation committee, Mrs. Frank C. Wright, chairman. Mrs. Robert Prescott, hostess of the evening, [paper torn, line missing] of readings by Mrs. Alice Livingston Gage, of Lowell; vocal solos, Mrs. Nettie Roberts, of Lowell; readings, Miss Eleanor Reece, of West Chelmsford; music by the Precious orchestra, and violin solo, Miss Carolyn Precious.
The decorations in the vestry were blue and gold, and the following dainty menu was served: Chicken salad, rolls, ice cream, cake, olives, salted nuts, marshmallow marguerites [a marshmallow on a cracker that is broiled in the oven], tea and coffee. Mrs. Robert Prescott and Mrs. William R. Taylor poured. Mrs. Prescott was assisted by Mrs. Alfred Hartford, Mrs. Frederick Meyer, Mrs. William Wright, Mrs. George White, Mrs. Perley Wright, Mrs. Charles Hildreth, Mrs. Alice Wells and Mrs. William R. Taylor.
The decorations were by Mrs. Prescott and Mrs. Taylor. Mrs. John Feeney, Jr., was in charge of the ushers, who also assisted in the serving.
Much credit is due Mrs. Prescott and her able corps of assistants for the very enjoyable evening.
Legion and Auxiliary Notes. The regular monthly meetings of the Legion and Auxiliary were held on Monday evening. Following the business meeting refreshments were served and a social time was enjoyed in playing Coo-Coo.
The following letter is being sent to ex-service men about town by Harold W. Hildreth, commander of the local Legion post: “Arrangements have been made for a good old get-together party at Legion headquarters [20 Boston Road] on Monday evening, April 30, at eight o’clock. At this time we are to be favored with the presence of the commander of the Department of Massachusetts, William H. Doyle. He is sure a live wire. Other entertainers have been secured, who will make things lively. After this everyone will line up for chow. We want every ex-service man in the town with us to help things along, as well as have a good time for himself. This means you.”
The ladies of the Auxiliary will hold a food sale in the town hall on Thursday afternoon, May 3, at three o’clock. Each member will be asked to donate two things in the food line. Tea will also be served during the afternoon.
About Town. Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, Oak hill, who owns large slate quarry interests in Munson, Me., reports four feet of snow on the level ten days ago. Is it any wonder that someone reported “The only fault I find with far east Maine is that there is about two months in the year when it is rather poor sleighing?”
The Nabnassett farm has planted five bushels of peas.
The next meeting of Middlesex-North Pomona Grange will be held on Friday, May 4, in Odd Fellows’ hall, Bridge street, Lowell. The following is the morning program: “A labor saving kitchen,” Mrs. Ella Spaulding; “Most helpful household tools,” Mrs. Ida Whitely; “Advantages of preparing menus in advance,” Mrs. Elizabeth Vinal; “Helpful hints that have been invaluable to me,” Mrs. Leslie Putnam; “Should the children all have any allowance weekly and be taught how to use it to the best advantage?” Mrs. Margaret Farre; “Should the wife have a weekly allowance, have a bookkeeping system for expenses, and why?” Mrs. Evelyn Richardson. The afternoon speaker will be Charles M. Gardner, and the meeting will be open to the public.
They are having early peas at the Old Oaken Bucket farm—that is, they are not on the table yet, but they are through the ground, which is an essential preliminary exercise preceding the table exercises.
The Banister farm is keeping up with the Stony Brook procession and rather over-lapping ahead of them with his tractor plowing an acre an hour.
Last Saturday was the hottest day for April in the memory of the oldest inhabitant in the Stony Brook Valley. At the Old Oaken Bucket farm the heat monitor registered 85.
Nathan Prescott is painting the buildings of the Read-Drew farm [164 Main St.].
A woodland fire on last Saturday afternoon ran over about fifty acres below Twiss crossing on the Stony Brook railroad, between the railroad and the West Chelmsford highway, burning all of the afternoon.
John Burroughs, the naturalist, is authority for the statement that bird life in the United States has decreased 75% in the last sixty years; 13 species of birds have been exterminated and 16 more are on the verge of extermination.
A summer resort fire started last Saturday at Nutting’s lake in Billerica which called out fire departments of Lowell, Billerica, Lexington, Chelmsford and Bedford. The high and dry wind soon got it beyond control. The Lowell company laid a line of hose a mile long from Nutting’s lake to the front of the fire, thus saving hundreds of summer camps. As it was, ten were burned and a store, which with the woodland, caused a loss estimated at about $20,000.
It was a long weather leap from 85 in the shade on last Saturday to snow squalls on Monday. Talk about winter lingering in the lap of spring—it’s a very small lap this year.
- L. Taylor has received and accepted a unanimous invitation from F. W. Savage, Sr., of Harvard, to meet him in questionnaire contest conference at his home in Harvard, the date to be announced by Mr. Taylor, which will be as soon as the weather quits playing winter in the lap of spring and threatens to extend the play into summer.
The annual exhibit of home economics club work from all sections of the town will be held in the town hall this week Friday evening. These are the clubs which are organized and directed by the Middlesex County Bureau under the leadership of local teachers. The speaker will be George L. Farley of Massachusetts Agricultural college and state leader of Boys’ and Girls’ club work. Here is a free and open chance to encourage the boys and girls in industrial work. Let us encourage them by an encouraging audience.
Mr. Davey, the celebrated tree surgeon, says “A $100,000,000 loss to trees is caused in the United States annually by reason of the decrease in the number of native song birds. If we could get plenty of native song birds no trees would be troubled by insects.” Why, my dear sir, it is one of the simplest things to increase the song birds. Teach the value of birds to the children in the public school. Form boys’ and girls’ bird clubs, organize Audubon societies and tell the children how naughty and wasteful it is to shoot the birds, and then send their fathers and some mothers to the legislature to legislate an open season to school the birds that we have been teaching the value of as a necessary economical asset to the life of man. If that does not come close to a masterpiece for real effective dunce statesmanship I am open to be informed what is idiocy. Why not try and extinguish a fire with gasoline—it is no more lacking in practicable common sense.
Let us remember that on Sunday morning the state enters into a lying contest with the sun, moon and stars and all the correct time almanacs in trying to persuade them that it is seven o’clock, although wheels of the universe say it is only six o’clock. The principle of daylight saving is correct; get all the spare time at one end of the day instead of dividing and distributing it at both ends of the day, but can’t it be accomplished without changing the clock? This question has been asked several million times and has not even received one answer. Why not, we ask? Our fathers and mothers went to work and asked no help from clock tinkering. Massachusetts against all the United States in working timetables is a harmful emphasis of state rights.
The Morning Glory farmer has ploughed his land for potatoes three times this spring and once last autumn. By experience he has learned to hoe his potatoes by horse power before he plants the crop, rather than hoe witch grass by man power after the crop is up, or in other words use more head power and less muscle power.
The selectmen of Westford, Billerica and Chelmsford, who received instruction from their several annual town meetings to unite in an attempt for a lower rate of electric lighting from the Lowell Electric Light Corporation than $19.80 per street lamp have succeeded in making a contract for $18 per lamp, the same price as before. It seems to be a case of you will stand it; but when you shake the possibilities of another company in their face, then if we can’t we will not. If they could furnish lighting at $18 at a profit, why did they try to fit us up at $19.80? This is the law of governing all to gather too much of modern business. If we can we will; if we cannot we back down as soon as someone shows lower figures. The coal trusts, sugar trusts and beef trusts and all other mistrusts are not the only over-reaching financial sinners in the pool.
First Parish church (Unitarian)—Sunday service at 4 p.m. Preacher, Rev. Frank B. Crandall, the minister. Subject, “Luminous shots.”
Town Forests. At the last annual town meeting of Billerica a committee was appointed to consider the question of establishing town forests as recommended by Gov. Cox and State Forester Bazeley. There was a meeting on Tuesday at the Old Manning Manse. Mr. Bazeley and Mr. Cook, his assistant, were present to give information as to the relation of state and town forests and forest management. Frank S. Clark of the Hopedale park commission, who has charge of the extensive town forests there, was also present to state the results in Hopedale. There was an extensive exhibition of maps showing forest areas and proposed reservations. Several important gifts of land have already been made.
In view of the fact that Westford is the only town in this vicinity that dismissed the article from the warrant relating to town forests, an article will appear in the warrant for the close-by special town meeting, which reads very much like this: To see if the town will authorize the selectmen to appoint a committee of two persons from each of the voting precincts of the town to consider the question of town forests and report their findings in the next annual town report, said committee to serve without financial compensation from the town.
Here is a chance to investigate this question. Here is a chance for some of our overtaxed worthless landowners to unload their burden on the town and show their patriotic love for the forests, and here is a chance to show our love for the birds and establish bird preservations, sometimes called bird sanctuaries, largely because of the righteousness of bird protection. But it is possible that the birds will all be exterminated before we can grow our sanctuary. Certainly, we shall have to have something more protective than the wicked, brutal cussedness of an open season.
Here are a few of the startling facts resulting from bounties on bird-killing: Dr. C. Hart Merriam, of the United States Department of Agriculture, estimated that in offering a bounty on hawks and owls which resulted in killing more than 100,000 of these birds, the state of Pennsylvania has sustained a loss of nearly $4,000,000 in one year and a half. The effect of bounty laws is bad and the practical operation of laws directed at particular species is vicious. An owl kept in a barn is a better mouser than a cat. In face of these facts let us keep right on shooting our friends in the open season, which is a modern annex to the ancient beatitudes. “Blessed are they who shoot the birds, for verily they are his friends.”
Arbor-Bird Day. Let us remember that Gov. Cox has set apart this Saturday as Arbor and Bird day, and the week of April 22-28 as forest protection week. I wish to quote a few condensed statements from this unusually common-sense proclamation. “The conference last January in Boston of New England unanimously recommended town forests. To preserve what remains of our once great forests every effort must be made to arrest the annual waste by fire and other agencies of destruction. The record of 1922 is startling when 4100 fires swept over 85,000 acres, causing $500,000 damage, requiring the expenditure of $100,000 to fight them and taking in their toll five human lives and 122 buildings, to say nothing of destruction of cover for song birds and friendly animal life.” That’s first rate, Mr. Governor. You were an exceptionally bright, clear and sensible leader in the house in 1913, and this proclamation shows that you have lost none of your sensible lustre. The governor further recommends that the principles involved in [his] Arbor-Bird day proclamation be generally observed throughout the commonwealth and make every day Arbor and Bird day.
“Let the children in the schools become interested in this helpful and pleasant work so that they may better understand nature and more deeply appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors in which they have a part in creating and preserving.”
The next meeting of the Grange will be held on Thursday, May 4. Berton T. Morey, lecturer of the State Grange, will be the speaker.
Graniteville. Daniel Dailey [sic, Daley], an old resident of this village, died at his home on First street on last week Thursday following a long illness, aged sixty-seven years. He leaves a wife, Mary A.; two daughters, Mary E. and Alice K. Dailey; a son, Edward; two brothers, George, of Leominster, and Hugh F. Dailey, of Forge Village, and two sisters, Mrs. Ellen Murphy and Miss Mary F. Dailey, both of Manchester, N.H. The funeral took place from his late home on last Saturday morning at 8:30. At nine o’clock a funeral mass was celebrated at St. Catherine’s church by the pastor A. S. Malone. The regular choir was in attendance, and under the direction of Miss Mary F. Hanley sang the Gregorian chant. The bearers were Joseph Couture, Charles Couture, Harry Fletcher and Henry J. Healy. Burial took place in St. Catherine’s cemetery.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward French, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sanborn and Mrs. Cyril Smith, of Wilton, N.H., have been recent guests of Mrs. Minnie F. Gray.
The M.E. church choir held a regular rehearsal in the church on Wednesday evening.
Prayer meetings will be held in the M.E. church on every Friday evening at 7:30.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Redding and daughter Mildred, of Lowell, have been recent guests of John B. Carmichael.
The Abbot Worsted soccer club of Forge Village won two games last week. They defeated the American Woolen team of Lawrence on Saturday afternoon, 2 to 1, and on Sunday afternoon defeated the Methuen club 5 to 1. On this week Saturday the Abbots are scheduled to play the Fore River club of Quincy at Forge Village.
Many from here attended the guest night entertainment given by the Tadmuck club at the Center on Tuesday evening.
The Abbot Worsted Company are planning to do considerable building this spring. Sixteen new houses are to be erected in Forge Village; also, a new office building. The houses are to be of wooden construction, with all modern improvements. Most of them will be equipped with the one-pipe heating system. The office building will be of brick construction. Work on these new houses will be started at once. P. Henry Harrington has the contract for the houses and office.
Deaths. On Friday afternoon, April 20, Mrs. Eva M. Andrews passed away at her home in Fitchburg after a brief illness. Mrs. Andrews was born in Groton about twenty-seven years ago, the daughter of Samuel L. and Margaret Blodgett. She attended the schools here and graduated from the high school in the class of 1914. On June 9, 1915, she was married to Forrest O. Andrews, who survives her. Besides her husband she leaves her mother; three children, Charles, Wallace and Bernice; five brothers, William A., Chester L. and Charles B. Blodgett, of this town, and Samuel E. and Walter A. Blodgett, of Ayer, and three sisters, Annie, wife of Aaron Tuttle, of Lowell, Cora, wife of Thomas McGovern, of Ayer, and Emma Blodgett of this town.
Mrs. Andrews’ sudden death will be keenly felt by her family, leaving as she did three small children, one of them an infant daughter only seven months old, while her mother, Mrs. Samuel L. Blodgett, is in quite frail health, making her daughter’s passing away so suddenly at this time peculiarly hard to bear.
The funeral services were held at her late home at 360 Lunenburg street, Fitchburg, on Monday afternoon at one o’clock. Rev. Leslie F. Wallace of St. Andrew’s church, Ayer, was the officiating clergyman at the services, which were largely attended. There was an abundance of beautiful flowers in token of friendly sympathy and esteem. The interment was in Westford.
Several of Mrs. Andrews’ former schoolmates acted as bearers, Guy W. Swallow, Renald [sic] Fernald, Ernest Moyle and William H. Folkins, and two relatives, Fred and Charles Blodgett, from Westford.
News Items. In the account of the play presented by St. Andrew’s parish last week the name of Miss Lorraine Stone, of Harvard, who gave solo dances, was unintentionally omitted. The play is to be repeated this Friday evening in Forge Village with the same cast. Groton School will furnish music.
Real Estate Transfers. Westford—John A. Healy to Anaclet Brisson, land on Bridge street; Christopher W. Balsor to Lewis Foster et ux., land on Chelmsford road; Charles R. Smith to Lewis Foster et ux.
Notes: “COO-COO is a party game published in 1921. Players punch out a hole in a pegboard using a metal ‘key.’ A little wad of paper is pushed out, which when unrolled reveals a slip containing some stunt the player must perform. Each pegboard contains 100 stunts.” See https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/21448/coo-coo