The Westford Wardsman, June 28, 1919
Center. An interesting recent real estate transfer is that of the sale of Francis A. Frost to trustees of Westford academy of land and buildings on Main street. This is the home [12 Main St.] of the late Mr. and Mrs. William E. Frost, and this purchase by the trustees insures a house for the principal of the academy, a suitable home for whom has not always been available when renting was depended upon.
The reading circle of the Tadmuck club, Mrs. H. W. Hildreth, chairman, met with Mrs. A. H. Sutherland on Wednesday afternoon, reading “The Philander.”
The J. V. Fletcher library will be closed Sundays for the customary opening at noon during July and August and will close during the week at eight o’clock.
E. J. Whitney has finished this week a twelve-week term of jury duty, it being the first session of the superior court in Lowell and Cambridge. Mr. Whitney is at present confined to his home with a serious cold and under the doctor’s care.
The new automobile, a Ford sedan, for the use of Miss Weir, the public health nurse, arrived this week. This is purchased by the town and by the Red Cross society. It will be housed in the garage owned by Mrs. Isles.
Mrs. Maria E. Stone is somewhat improved this week, being able to sit up a little. Miss Amy Schellinger is caring for her.
Miss Marjory Seavey has completed her course at Boston university and her commencement exercises have taken place during this week.
Mrs. Fred H. Meyer, who recently underwent an operation for appendicitis at the Lowell General hospital, returned to her home last Saturday and is getting back nicely to normal health. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer both appreciate the many manifestations of kindness and friendliness during the former’s illness.
Mr. and Mrs. John Feeney, Jr., have returned from a pleasant automobile vacation.
Alfred W. Hartford has been detained at home this week by sickness.
The branch line car service remains closed, and we hear that Alfred Tuttle is planning to start a jitney service as soon as he can procure a suitable car.
Miss Grace Ranney, who has been attending the graduation of a relative since her own school closed, is at Mr. and Mrs. Knight’s for a few days before returning to her home in Wayland for the long vacation.
Mrs. Martha Grant Whitney expects her husband, Lieut. Whitney, to arrive in New York from France his week. Mrs. Whitney closed her teaching career in Westford this June, not planning to return in September. Hers is a splendid record of twelve years of efficient teaching here, the latter years as principal of the Frost school. In addition Mrs. Whitney has always been helpful and friendly as far as school duties would permit, and which came first with her, in the community in the church, and the Grange. She takes with her the best wishes into her new home life for happiness and prosperity of a wide circle of friends in Westford. Her marriage to Lieut. Whitney took place last summer, shortly before he sailed for France.
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Knight have been entertaining a relative, Corp. Reuben Barker, who has recently received his discharge after a year’s duty overseas.
Mrs. Alice M. Wells drove with her automobile to Northampton on Monday for the wedding of her only brother, William O. Morrill, who returned from France this spring. The bride was Miss Josephine Deane, and the ceremony, which took place on Tuesday [June 24], was a pretty home wedding. The bride and groom returned to Westford with Mrs. Wells for a part of their honeymoon.
Westford Center residents regret to hear this week of the death of Albert R. Choate, Graniteville. His long residence in town and his identification in its affairs have gained him many friends here.
The continued drouth [sic] has cut the strawberry crop, which was so promising at the beginning, and the hay crop is much in need of a good rain. The finishing of the street oiling this week is much appreciated. If housewives would keep some kerosene and a cloth close at hand while the oil and gravel is getting settled, if some gets tracked onto floors and rugs it can be quickly removed by using the kerosene cloth at once.
A recent booklet of the activities of the Middlesex County Farm Bureau has been received by the recent members of the dressmaking class, which contains a picture of said class while at work at Library hall. It is a remarkably clear picture and contains Mesdames Prescott, Carver, Hartford, C. L. Hildreth, White, Bartlett, Loveless, Sutherland, John Feeney, Sr., and Perley E. Wright, Misses Mabel Drew and May E. Day, and as a sort of a mascot Master Harold Wright.
Mrs. L. W. Wheeler was a weekend guest of a long-time friend, Mrs. Lillian M. Wentworth, Somerville, last Sunday.
The program, committee of the Tadmuck club, who have to do much faithful work during the summer, are Mrs. Harold W. Hildreth, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. John W. Shaddick and Miss May E. Day.
The Ladies’ Missionary society held its annual field day with Mrs. A. E. Loveless on Friday of last week. There were about twenty in attendance. Mrs. Norah E. Colburn, with her automobile, capably assisted in transportation. Basket lunch at noon, with hot tea and coffee by the hostess.
George F. White is making extensive alterations in his barn, which, when completed, will be one of the most up-to-date and sanitary interiors for the housing of his thoroughbred herd of Ayrshires.
Rev. O. L. Brownsey will take for his morning subject at the Congregational church, Sunday, “The new declaration of inter-dependence.” Sunday school at noon and annual meeting of the Men’s club with election of officers. At the evening service Mr. Brownsey’s subject will be “Aspiration.”
The winners of the prizes given by the academy trustees are as follows: Historical essay with water color map, upper school, third and fourth years, first prize, Ruth Merle Sargent ’19, $5.00; second prize, Ethel Marjory Collins ’19, $2.50; honorable mention, Dorothy Shrugue [sic] ’20; lower school, first and second year, first prize, Helen Kimball ’22, $5.00; second prize, Marjorie Bell ’21, $2.50; honorable mention, Frances Daley ’21. Typewriting, advanced class, first prize, Julia Donnelley ’20, $5.00; second prize, Ethel Marjorie Collins, $2.50; honorable mention, Ethel Minerva Ripley ’19; beginners’ class prize, Gertrude Strandberg ’21, $2.50; honorable mention, E. Pamelia Precious ’20, Hattie Simpson ’21.
About Town. Seth W. Banister has been transferred to Virginia and is still in the service of the United States.
Owing to the warm weather and some dry weather the last meeting of the Grange was thinly attended. Refreshments, readings and general sociability kept those who were present busy.
W. R. Taylor has sold the grass on his farm, “Twin Brooks,” to William Graves.
The selectmen are to be congratulated on the new railing protection to dangerous places. A lack of railing cost the town a few thousand a few years ago. To those who criticize modern posts as compared with stone posts, the stone posts, unless set extremely deep, are top heavy and sag over. Another improvement that the selectmen might wisely undertake would be the lengthening of the bridge on the curve over Tadmuck brook and straightening the curve. The driveway through the brook has long since been discontinued and straightening the curve is the needed finish.
Mr. Cutting, who has bought the Amesbury farm, is an engineer on the Boston and Maine railroad and goes daily by auto to Lowell by way of the state road to Chelmsford.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Fletcher are being congratulated on the birth of a son [Lewis M. Fletcher], Tuesday [June 24, 1919]. Mrs. Fletcher will be remembered as Miss Ida Walkden.
The committee on the soldiers’ memorial have organized by electing Edward M. Abbot as chairman and Mrs. Julian A. Cameron as secretary. The committee is ready to receive suggestions and later will give a public hearing.
Walter Fletcher and Miss Evelyn Taylor, of Lowell, were united in marriage on Wednesday afternoon in St. John’s Episcopal church, Lowell, by the rector, Rev. James Bancroft. Austin Fletcher was best man; Miss Janet Sabine was flower girl; Bertram and Alfred Sutherland acted as ushers. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher will make their home on Plain street, near Westford station.
Mr. and Mrs. [Royal L.] Kyser [Keizer] are receiving congratulations on the birth of a daughter, Marion Eileen [Eleen, born June 18, 1919, in Clinton]. Mrs. Kyser [Keizer] will be remembered as Miss Addie Day.
Graniteville. The Abbot Worsted Co. club met with their first defeat last Saturday at the hands of the Lamson club by the score of 11 to 4. The home club was very much off form and it is hoped that they got all of the bad baseball out of their system in this game. On next Saturday the crack St. Peters A.A. of Lowell play here and a good game is looked for.
A large number of the Westford men who were in the U.S. service during the world war, both overseas and at home, held a meeting in the Abbot club house on Monday evening for the purpose of forming a post of the American Legion. A permanent organization was formed and during the session the following officers were elected; Ralph Fletcher of Westford, pres.; Eugene Guichard, sec.; Private Costello of Forge Village, treas. All present signed the roster as charter members.
The members of Cameron circle, C. of F., held their regular meeting on Tuesday night when the following officers were duly elected: Mrs. Maria Wall, chief companion; Miss Emily Hanson, sub-chief; Miss Rachel Wall, fin. sec.; Miss Laura McCarthy, rec. sec.; Mrs. Julia B. Wall, treas.; Miss Martha Doucette, right guide; Miss Helena Hanson, left guide; Miss Emma Wood, inner guard; Mrs. Alma Benson, outer guard; Mrs. Elizabeth Harrington trustee. A rising vote of thanks was extended to the committee in charge of the minstrel show and dance that was held recently that proved to be such a great success. Miss Emily Hanson had general charge, assisted by Miss Laura McCarthy, Miss Helma Hanson and Emma Wall.
Death. Albert Rockwood Choate, an old and respected resident of this village, died early Tuesday morning at his home on Broadway, after an illness of two weeks’ duration. His age was 76 yrs. 3 mos. and 22 days. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Clara Gray, who made her home with him, and Mrs. F. G. Lamprey, of Boston. Also, two sisters, Mrs. Abbie Blaisdell of Tewksbury and Miss Anna Choate of Billerica. Funeral services were held in the M.E. church Thursday afternoon at two o’clock. Burial private at North Chelmsford.
Albert R. Choate, son of Asa and Eliza Chapman Choate was born in Billerica. At an early age he came to reside in North Chelmsford, where he learned the machinist trade at the original Gay & Silver shop. With a keen brain and an inventive turn of mind he soon became an expert machinist and later took up engineering, and from then on his advance was rapid in the mechanical field. Some forty-six years ago he came to Graniteville to accept the position of master mechanic with the Abbot Worsted Company at their mills here, and has filled that position with credit and honor to the firm he represented. He was a real mechanic in every sense of the word and his good work from a mechanical point of view, coupled with the result of his inventive genius, will remain as a fitting monument to his memory for many years to come. With Mr. Choate it was not all work, however, for he was honored by his fellow citizens on several occasions when he was called upon to serve them as selectman, member of the school committee, overseer of the poor, and also fire engineer of the town of Westford. The latter position he held when he passed away. The local fire company is named in his honor, being known as Albert R. Choate Hose Company No. 2, W. F. D.
He was a man of general impulses, with a keen intellect and in spite of his years always kept abreast of the times. He had a wide circle of friends in this and surrounding towns where his public life brought him in contact with many people.
His death is sincerely mourned by all and the deepest sympathy is expressed to the bereaved daughters in the loss of a kind and devoted father.
Forge Village. Miss E. Mae Lord has arrived from overseas where she has been the past year with the Red Cross. She arrived in New York city last Thursday. Her parents are expecting her home any time.
John Rafferty returned to Texas on Wednesday after a short furlough which he spent at the home of Mrs. Josephine Cougle. He has enlisted again with the cavalry for three years. Harold Connell, who has been with the cavalry for over a year, has been discharged from the army and is now at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Connell.
Miss Lena Mae Bowden of Billerica street, Lowell, is visiting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Pendlebury.
Alfred Shaw returned to his home in Derby, Me., Wednesday, after spending the past few weeks at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fennimore Morton. Mrs. Shaw will remain here and help care for her father, Adino Northrup, who is very feeble.
A son [Robert Philip Lord] was born to Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lord on Thursday, June 19.
Miss Anna V. Keefe of Chelsea visited relatives here Sunday.
The members of Loyal Self Help lodge, I.O.O.F., M.U., will have their headquarters down stairs at St. Andrew’s mission, until Abbot hall, which is now being enlarged, is completed.
Miss Violet Collins of Providence, R.I., is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Miles Collins. Mr. and Mrs. Collins have received their new car, a Buick.
The Sunday school picnic for the children of St. Andrew’s mission will be held Saturday afternoon.
Miss Rita Pendlebury spent the weekend as the guest of Miss Eva F. Pyne.
Miss Myrtle Healy is spending two weeks’ vacation at the home of her grandmother, Mrs. Fred Emerson, at Dedham.
Mrs. Miller has moved from Orchard street into the cottage in Pond street vacated by William Weaver.
Mr. and Mrs. John Edwards and daughter Edna spent the weekend at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Blodgett of Medford. Miss Edna will remain there for the next three weeks.
$25,000 Fire at Camp. Fire destroyed two of the barracks at Camp Devens early last week Friday evening, causing a loss estimated at $25,000. The barracks were located in what is known as the demobilization group and have been used as overflow quarters for soldiers who were to be transferred to other camps. The fire caught in one of the barracks and spread to the other, both of them being destroyed in their entirety. Two alarms were sounded and the camp fire department, which is now composed entirely of civilians, kept the flames from spreading to surrounding property. The barracks’ floors recently had been oiled and this, together with the fact that they are of wood and protected with tar paper, made excellent tinder for the flames and the blaze proved quite spectacular. The barracks were 2 ½-story buildings, about 45×125 feet in size, and contained quarters for 150 men, besides a kitchen and a mess hall. It is possible that the blaze might have started from spontaneous combustion as a result of oily rags left in the building, or from a lighted cigarette thrown carelessly down on the floor. A board of officers have been appointed to inquire into the blaze and report.
To Investigate Officer’s Clubbing. It is reported that the camp authorities have started an investigation to determine whether Officer James Pirone was justified in clubbing a soldier on Wednesday morning at the corner of West and Main streets. Officer Pirone states that the soldier was making a disturbance at this corner, and that he spoke to the soldier and told him to keep quiet. The soldier answered by striking Officer Pirone in the face. Bystanders were called on for assistance and the soldier attacked them and again attempted to strike Officer Pirone, who drew his club and hit the soldier on the head. A member of the provost guard, who arrived on the scene, took the soldier in charge and removed him to camp. Friends of the soldier claim that Officer Pirone’s action was unwarranted, but disinterested spectators claim that he was within his rights in subduing the soldier. The bulletin, which was found tacked on a telephone post was not placed there by Officer Pirone, as has been reported about town, but was a report which he had given to Chief Betty, and which fell from the chief’s pocket, was picked up by some unknown party and was posted for the public to read.
Camp News. The United States now owns five parcels of cantonment land which is to form a part of the permanent military reservation. Capt. Ashby, disbursing officer of the quartermaster corps from Washington, Wednesday, made the first payment of money to Albert W. Woods of Shirley for thirty acres of land. Four other parcels were transferred. The government receives the land free of all encumbrances, such as taxes and mortgages. The money is deposited in a bank to be paid as soon as the title company passes the deed. The bank pays the taxes, mortgage and the residue to the owner. There are 130 parcels yet to be purchased.
There have been 140,000 soldiers discharged at this camp whom Capt. Francis D. Harrigan, a Boston attorney, has officially said “Good-bye” to for the army. Major General McCain delegated Capt. Harrigan to make a farewell address to each group of men on their discharge last November.
Lieut. R. B. McClure, a Y.D. [Yankee Division] veteran, has been appointed physical director of the R.O.T.C. infantry camp by Col. Guy G. Palmer.
Blue Birds Leave Camp. The home nest is deserted, for the last twenty-seven of the “blue birds,” as the volunteer war nurses were known, have gone to the Boston Floating hospital, leaving behind soldier patients who wept at the parting. The patients will be transferred, too, according to details for the plan to discharge the soldiers who have been on duty for nearly two years. Practically all the patients will go to the hospital at Plattsburg, N.Y. Because of the epidemic of 1918 when influenza claimed nearly 1000 persons at the camp as its victims, the “blue birds” will forever count among the war’s deserving heroes. Many of them were sick but remained on duty to minister to the thousands of sick soldiers. A few nurses and doctors died from the disease. Many of the “blue birds” were released on April 1, but others chose to stay and care for the wounded men from overseas, as long as their services were required. The nurses numbered many girls from wealthy families, and there were cases of girls who enlisted without their parents’ knowledge so eager were they to serve in a worthwhile way. The “blue birds’ easily enjoyed the maximum of popularity in camp and were invited often to officers’ dances, to dinner or motoring.