Turner's Public Spirit, February 3, 1923
A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
Center. Mr. and Mrs. Sidney B. Wright quietly observed the thirty-third anniversary of their wedding on Monday. [Sidney married Ella May Smith Jan. 29, 1890, at the M.E. church in Townsend.]
Chester Blaisdell is the new assistant R.F.D. mail carrier on Alfred Tuttle’s route.
The sleighride and theatre party planned by the Legion and Auxiliary for Thursday evening of this week did not take place.
Miss Doris Davis, of Concord, N.H., is spending her mid-winter vacation at the Parker farm.
The fire department answered two calls this week, one, a still alarm for a chimney fire at the Dunollie farm on Monday night, and the other call being to Graniteville on Tuesday morning to the fire at Richards’ bowling alley.
Several from the Center attended the Kreisler concert in Lowell on Monday evening.
Mrs. Alexander Cameron and young son are the guests of Mrs. Cameron’s parents in Concord.
Fred L. McCoy has been reported on the sick list.
Alexander Cameron, who was operated on at a Boston hospital recently, is reported as improving.
The Ladies Aid of the Congregational church will hold an all-day meeting at the home of Mrs. David L. Greig on next week Thursday.
The following boys of the two upper classes of Westford academy, Fisher Buckshorn, Raymond Shea Raymond Prescott, Edward Hunt and Richard Wall, have formed a student council, the idea of which is to act in conjunction with Principal William Roudenbush and other teachers in matters pertaining to school affairs. It is really the beginning of student government, and Mr. Roudenbush and the above-named pupils are to be commended upon the adoption of this idea, which has proved so successful in many parts of the country.
Mrs. A. J. Blaisdell is reported on the sick list.
A temperature of 20 below zero was reported at Westford depot early Monday morning but by noon the mercury had gone up 25°. This particular spot seems to be the coldest in this section.
Prayer meeting at the Congregational church this Friday evening at eight o’clock. Morning service on Sunday at 10:45, subject of sermon, “The best man.” Sunday school at [paper torn, half of line missing] 4:30. Young People’s league at 6:30. Sermon them for the evening service at 7:15, “I’m not afraid.”
First Parish church (Unitarian) Sunday service at 4 p.m. Preacher, Rev. Frank B. Crandall, the minister. Subject, “The place of sacrifice in religion.”
Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Westford Water Company stockholders was held on January 27, at which time the following directors were elected: John C. Abbot, Charles O. Prescott, Julian A Cameron and Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher. It was voted to amend the by-laws to elect not over seven directors instead of five, this to be acted upon at the next annual meeting. John C. Abbot was elected president, Charles O. Prescott, sec. and treas.; Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, manager, and Alonzo H. Sutherland, superintendent. During the year the company has completed a fireproof pumping station to replace the wooden structure which was extremely dangerous, as a fire would have cut off the water supply from the entire town. The revenue of the company has been greatly increased during the year by the many new installations of services. According to the superintendent’s report there are at present 400 service connections, and during the year 46,592,515 gallons of water were pumped. The manager, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, in his report, invites the stockholders and general public to visit this new and up-to-date pumping station.
Citizens’ Caucus. A citizens’ caucus was held in the town hall on Tuesday evening at which time nominations for the various town offices to be filled at the annual town meeting were made. Before the caucus several aspirants for the office of selectman were reported, but only one nomination was made, that of Arthur G. Hildreth. For school committee there were five nominations, Mrs. F. Edith Blaney and Mrs. Eva F. Wright, of the Center, Mrs. Julia Wall, of Graniteville, Mrs. Annie Precious and Edward Spinner, of Forge Village. There are two vacancies to be filled. Mrs. Annie Precious received the Forge Village nomination by a very small majority over Edward spinner, and it is reported that the latter is considering taking out nomination papers. For the other vacancy Mrs. Eva F. Wright secured the nomination.
Other nominations were as follows in nearly all cases there being only one nominee: Overseer of poor 3 years, Wesley O. Hawkes; treasurer, Frederick Meyer; tax collector, L. W. Wheeler; tree warden, Harry L. Nesmith; board of health 3 years, Alexander Cameron; trustee of J. V. Fletcher library 3 years, Miss Alice M. Howard; commissioner of public burying grounds, Sebastian B. Watson; constable, William Wall; assessor 3 years, Leonard W. Wheeler; moderator 1 year, Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher. Rep. Alfred W. Hartford acted as chairman of the meeting and Warren Hanscom as secretary.
In nominating a new member to the board of selectmen a tribute was paid to the retiring member, Oscar R. Spalding, for his many years of service to the town.
A committee was appointed consisting of Julian Cameron, John Spinner, Austin Healey, Robert Prescott and Frank Furbush, to appoint persons to fill all vacancies from any cause in the various nominations.
About Town. There is an old saying, “As the days begin to lengthen the cold begins to strengthen.” Here is an annex for this year, “As the cold begins to strengthen the snow begins to lengthen” and still at it. If you don’t believe it [ask] the ice men, who are obliged to sled the snow off the ice, there being too much to scrape off as usual winters allow it.
Houghton G. Osgood, who has been spending all of his spare time looking after his interest in the grippe, is sitting up every day.
- Arthur O’Brien is doing the mill teaming between Brookside and Forge Village for the Abbot Worsted Co. Such are the closely applied emergency brakes of the snow against the wheels of auto trucking, the longest hold-up to auto trucking since we can remember.
Here is some timely zero thawing water pipe advice from George O’Neal, state fire marshal, and Alfred F. Foote, commissioner of public safety, who have issued a warning to householders to use care in the thawing of frozen water pipes. These two officials recite their advice together in unison in substance like this: “We warn persons against thawing out pipes by fire or flame of any kind. Women are particularly warned against any fire to thaw pipes because of the possibility of wearing flimsy garments which are liable to catch fire easily. Fire losses resulting from the careless use of fire in the thawing of pipes amount to $633,939 during the past ten years or nearly $64,000 a year.”
The retiring president of the Employment Association of Central Massachusetts recently said at a meeting “The last textile strike in New England caused a loss of $250,000,000 in wages and disturbers were planning to bring about another strike as costly.” He advocated a stand by the textile operatives against the forty-eight-hour [work week] law.
Mrs. Henry A. Fletcher, at Chamberlain’s Corner, is recovering from an attack of the grippe.
Mrs. William R. Taylor reports many birds coming every day to feed at her home. An ash heap was made on the snow and food and grain are placed on it every day. It has now become the daily feeding place for pheasants, red-headed wood-peckers, bluejays and chickadees. As many as seven bluejays have been seen there at one time.
William Socerolis [sic, Socorelis] was married last week to Eva Goslyn [sic, Gosselin]. The groom belongs to the Greek family living on Leland road, not far from Westford Center; the bride has lived in Brookside.
The officers of West Chelmsford Grange were installed on last week Thursday evening at Abbot’s hall, Brookside, by Willard G. White, of Shirley, and his inspiring suite. The installing officer, as past master of Ayer Grange and present master of Middlesex-Worcester Pomona Grange, has had a wide experience in the installing of the officers of the local Granges. This has developed efficacy that enables him to always be at his best. Although the installation was open to the public the attendance was comparatively small, owing to the condition of the weather.
In the report last week about the photograph of the house in Westford taken by Lawrence Park, of Groton, the word Wright should have been Wight. This house was known in ancient times as the Deacon Caleb Wight place, who lived there for many years and then sold it to Bradley V. Lyon and moved to Westford Center. I remember the Sunday prayers of Deacon Wight in the Sunday school.
Various committees have been busy holding meetings in the town hall, getting ready for the citizens’ caucus held on Tuesday evening, and also getting their reports ready for the annual town report and the annual town meeting. They have spent a good deal of time and thought upon their work and deserve the gratitude of the community for ably looking after the interests of the town.
On Tuesday morning there were various reports given about the temperature. It was 10° below at the Taylor homestead; Austin Fletcher reported 16° below at the depot, and Clarence Burne reported 20° below at West Chelmsford.
Twenty houses are reported empty in Westford Center. At first that seemed incredible, but when we took an inventory we decided that it was really so and there may be even more than twenty. Most of these houses are vacant because the owners have gone to Florida so you see it speaks well for the prosperity of the town after all.
The Friday evening prayer meeting of the M.E. church at Graniteville was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Nutting on Nutting road. This was a peculiarly appropriate place to hold it for the house is built on the cellar foundation of a prospective Second Advent church, it being a seceding slit form the close-by original church where Ernest Dane now lives.
Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Fletcher and Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Hildreth have returned from their trip to Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher also visited their daughter, Mrs. Hazel Fletcher Pyle, in Baltimore.
The truck of the Abbot Worsted Company resumed on Wednesday daily trips between Brookside and Forge Village. It has been held up some time by the snow and Arthur O’Brien did the transportation with is two-horse sled.
William Clement, of Brookside, is still transporting the pupils from this district in a two-horse sled.
Electric lights are being installed in all the houses at Westford depot corner. This is a great step forward. We shall be glad when every house in town has the benefit of electric lights. We hope that the electric company will now be ready to make the connection between Westford depot and Brookside and put lights into the houses along the Stony Brook Valley.
Death. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Dane, of North Westford, have received word of the death of their daughter, Miss Mabel G. Dane, in Colton, Cal., at the home of her uncle Frederick Dane, January 23. Miss Dane went last spring to California for the benefit of her health and stayed with her aunt, Miss Josephine Dane. Not gaining as fast as they had hoped for, her grandfather, Hiram Dane, took her from Long Beach to the mountains, but even the mountain air failed to help her, so she was taken back to her uncle’s home in Colton, where she passed on.
Miss Dane was a graduate of Westford academy in the class of 1921. She was an “honor student” and received one of the prizes for highest percentage of improvement in scholarship. Miss Dane was very lady-like, a good student and a young woman of fine ideals, beloved by all who knew her. Taken in the springtime of life, her going brings sorrow to her family and friends. The sympathy of the community goes to her relatives.
Funeral services were held in California. Her ashes later will be placed in the family lot in the cemetery in Westford.
Engagement Announced. Mrs. Charles C. Baron, of 88 11th street, Lowell, announces the engagement of her daughter, Miss Natalie Swan Baron, to Edward Moseley Abbot, son of the late Abiel J. Abbot and his wife, Mrs. Alice Moseley Abbot. Miss Baron is the daughter of the late Charles C. Baron and granddaughter of the late Daniel A. Swan, of Lowell. There is another sister and a brother. Miss Baron is a graduate of Vassar college in the class of 1920 and is very popular in social circles. Miss Baron and her mother have just returned from an European trip. Miss Baron’s fiancé is a graduate of St. Mark’s school, Southboro, in the class of 1901. His brother is John Moseley Abbot, and his sister, Alice Carnzu Abbot, is the wife of Dr. George O. Clark, of Boston. Mr. Abbot is a junior member of the Abbot Worsted Co., and has shown much business acumen. He is a director of the First National bank, Lowell.
Mr. Abbot’s clubs are the Norfolk Hunt, the Algonquin, the Concord County club and the Vesper Country and Yorick clubs of Lowell.
Some Prescription. Here is a prescription for colds and pneumonia “and all the ills that flesh is heir to.” The prescription was prepared and taken by Eugene Willard, Chelsea. He is known to every man, woman and child in Chelsea and has traveled over 50,000 miles in his bare feet. His wandering have taken him into almost every city and town in this country and Europe. The weather has no terrors for Willard and his bare feet. In this fashion he has traveled the snow-capped mountains and the burning sands. His favorite weather is about ten degrees above zero, and if this temperature happens to produce snow “Barefoot Gene,” as he is familiarly called, gets so much more enjoyment when out in it. To quote direct from “Barefoot Gene”: I have never had a cough or a sick day in my life. Go barefooted and you’ll be free from all the ailments afflicting mankind. People make a big mistake when they wrap their feet so carefully. I have traveled over miles of frozen ground with the weather around zero and have never felt a single ill effect.” See here, Gene, if every man woman and child should take your barefoot prescription it would collapse into hopeless financial bankruptcy for all the doctors and shoe manufacturers in the civilized and uncivilized world.
“Wild Animal Rights.”
This is Dr. Harnaday again in the role of “Wild animal bill of rights.”
Every keeper or owner of a captive wild animal, who through indolence, forgetfulness or cruelty permits a wild creature in his charge to perish because of his negligence, is guilty of a very grave misdemeanor and he should be punished as the evidence demands. An animal in captivity has a right to do all the damage to its surrounds that it can do. And it is not to be punished therefor. The idea that all captive wild animals are necessarily miserable is erroneous because captive animals are better fed, better protected and more happy in captivity than similar animals in a wild state beset by dangers and harassed by hunger and thirst. It is the opinion of the vast majority of civilized people that there is no higher use to which a wild bird or mammal ca be devoted than to place it in perfectly comfortable captivity to be seen by millions of persons who desire to make its acquaintance.
“About 95% of all the wild mammals seen in captivity were either born in captivity or captured when in their infancy and therefore have no ideas of freedom or visions of their wild homes; consequently their supposed pining for freedom often is more imaginary than real. A wild animal has no more inherent right to live a life of lazy and luxurious ease and freedom from all care than a man or woman has to live without work or family cares. In the large cities of the world there are many millions of toiling humans who are worse off per capita as to burdens and sorrows and joys than are the beasts and birds in a well-kept zoological park. ‘Freedom’ is comparative only, not absolute.”
Lost—In Westford, a gold capped self-filling fountain pen on ribbon. Finder please notify Dorothy Latham, Box 46, Westford.
Real Estate Transfers. The following real estate transfers have been recorded from this vicinity recently: …
Westford—Clifton E. Flagg et ux to Wesley W. Flagg et al.; Georgie E. Sherman et al. to Abbot Worsted Co., land on Broadway street.
West. Miss Persis Ormsby, of Westford academy, spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ormsby.