Center. Harry B. Prescott is enjoying his annual vacation from his daily trips to Boston and as usual taken during the fall hunting season.
The Donald M. Camerons [39 Main St.] and the Misses Atwood [4 Graniteville Rd.] are having their houses painted before cold weather sets in.
Company L, M. S. G., went to North Chelmsford on Monday night to take part in the peace celebration parade and other exercises arranged by the townspeople. There was no regular drill on Tuesday evening.
Rev. and Mrs. H A. Lincoln are planning to move to their new home in Winthrop the first of next week.
The regular meeting of the Red Cross met at Library hall on Wednesday afternoon. Sewing on refugee garments occupied the time.
Members of the Tadmuck club are reminded of the regular meeting next week Tuesday afternoon at Library hall. Scheduled on the calendar is war relief and home talent and current events by Rev. Louis H. Buckshorn.
Erwin Farr, who has been employed at the Parker farm for a number of seasons, is now employed by George F. White, and is in charge of Mr. White’s herd of registered Ayrshire cows.
Rev. O. L. Brownsey, of Northbridge Center, preached as a candidate at the morning and evening services at the Congregational church last Sunday, making a favorable impression at both services. Rev. Charles L. Skinner, of Candia, N.H., is expected to occupy the pulpit on Sunday as a candidate.
Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Wheeler enjoyed a two-days’ auto trip to the Cape Cod canal, Mattapoisett and Newport, R.I., last week.
Mr. and Mrs. George F. White have been spending two or three days in Boston this week.
Principal Roudenbush reports much interest among his pupils in the united War Work fund, the school subscribing 100% of its membership in various amounts.
The grading of the firehouse grounds is being completed this week. The maple tree that practically obstructs the driveway entrance from the street will be removed.
The United War Work fund has gone “over the top” and the correct results will be given next week.
We are glad to report that so far as we know there were no cases of sickness in the village during the unusual noise of Monday [November 11] and again Tuesday.
The postponed agricultural fair of the Congregational church took place this week Friday afternoon and evening.
Peace Celebrated. Probably every town had its peace demonstration on Monday, but we venture to say none were entered into with more spontaneous and thankful zeal than on old Westford hill. In the clear, early dawn of Monday morning people began to hear the whistles and bells in the distance and were pretty sure of the significance of the sounds, but were a bit wary from last week’s proceedings. About as soon as authentic confirmation could be made people got busy with enthusiastic demonstrations. The two church bells and the academy bells [sic] started ringing and other bells, horns, etc., helped make noise. Flags appeared at every house, and school sessions were called off.
The pupils from both the academy and Frost school gathered in line in charge of their teachers, and with other residents started a parade of the village streets, Gordon Seavey acting as bugler. The academy pupils headed the procession with the academy service flag. Presently the good-sized parade from Graniteville and Forge joined the village people and all repaired to the common, when an impromptu program took place. Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, of the public safety committee, presided. He outlined the danger of invasion of this country by the Huns and the causes that frustrated such plans. He also spoke of the reconstruction period before us.
Principal William C. Roudenbush was the next speaker—earnest and patriotic and concluding by urging all to support the United War drive. William Davies spoke for the Forge Village division and tenderly referred to those who had made the supreme sacrifice in this war, Langley, Smith and Lancott. Tribute was paid to these dead soldiers present by one minute’s silence with bowed heads and the sounding of “taps” by Bugler Seavey. Albert R. Wall made a good spokesman for Graniteville, after which Miss Rebecca Leduc, of Graniteville, sang “La Marsellaise” in her native tongue, sung with clear, sweet expression. The audience sang “Rule Britannia” and closed with “The Star Spangled Banner.” The fife and drum corps of Forge Village added much to the occasion with their music.
Heartiest of mutual cheers were interchanged by the three villages and the gathering broke up with the best of community spirit and good feeling. The bandstand made an excellent platform for the musicians and speakers.
At the close of the exercises the clanging bells from steeples took up their wonderful message again. The old First Parish steeple, always beautiful in its white symmetry of proportion and outline, made an effective picture against the clear, blue background, with people in the belfry platform waving flags. At the same time Old Glory and the service flag never looked more beautiful and significant than it did that morning, waving from the flag pole on the common.
The bells were rung again on Tuesday, but the enthusiastic and spontaneous celebration was on Monday when the news of the signing of the armistice first became known.
About Town. The railroad station on the Stony Brook road at Brookside was discontinued on Monday, except as a flag station. Freight and express will be handled at West Chelmsford. Great am ye government ownership, management of ye railroads, which seems to have made a specialty of raising wages and lowering service accommodations.
A wild cat has become a resident of the Stony Brook valley and has been seen inspecting and sampling poultry at the old Peletiah Fletcher farm on the Lowell road. The animal is a large-sized affair and doesn’t believe in any rights but autocracy rights—these he exemplifies with claws. A dog on the Prairie farm cornered the wild cat on the Old Oaken Bucket farm, but the cat soon cornered the dog, who was glad to get off ere he would have to go to an eye doctor.
There was a good attendance at the last meeting of the Grange, when candidates were initiated. The next meeting will be held on next week Thursday evening, when the third and fourth degrees will be conferred and the election of officers will follow.
The electric car line from North Chelmsford to Tyngsboro will be discontinued after December 1, as per order of “don’t pay.” Much farming could be discontinued on the same per order basis and make a more stringent stringency on Hooverism regulations.
Now that peace has come, money is just as necessary for Y.M.C.A. and similar work among the soldiers. J. A. Taylor writes from the Y.M.C.A. hut in a big camp in France of the wonderful educational plans which are being worked out to help “the boys,” for it will be a long time before demobilization can take place. They have asked the government for $10,000,000 worth of text books and are going to start these khaki universities at once. Mr. Taylor says he thought he could stand the French climate, of which we hear so much, but states that he prefers the terrible cold of North Dakota to the awful dampness and rain they have had ever since he had been there. The boys need all the cheer they can get.
Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Middlesex-North Agricultural society was held at Odd Fellows’ hall in Lowell on Tuesday. In the spirit of “Give” that is patriotically contagious, the society unanimously gave $100 to the United War Work campaign, and also appropriated $150 to be used for farmers’ institutes the coming season. It was voted to hold four institutes, the first to be held in December and the last one not later than early March. Two of the institutes will be held in Lowell, as per request of the State Board of Agriculture. The society has about $7800 in the treasury as a result of its real estate sale. Dinner was served at noon to the trustees and invited guests, at the close of which Moseley Hale, of Groton, made an interesting report of the Groton fair.
Then followed the election of officers which were as follows: George W. Trull, pres.; John A. Weinback, treas.; Charles T. Upton, Lowell, sec.; Edward F. Dickinson, Billerica, committee on institutes; L. A. Boynton, S. R. Merrill, Pepperell, William Teel, Lyman Taylor, Acton, Wilber E. Lapham, William H. Shedd, Chelmsford, A. W. Swallow, A. M. Kendall, Dunstable, Benjamin F. Perry, A. B. Eames, Wilmington, J. E. Rowell, Frank A. Fitzgerald, Billerica, Fred Childs, A. Leroy Case, North Reading, Myron P. Swallow, Moseley Hale, Groton, James H. Woodward, B. B. Lawrence, Tyngsboro, Herbert E. Fletcher, Samuel L. Taylor, Westford, John Trull, Howard W. Foster, Tewksbury, J. J. McMannson, Arthur W. Colburn, Dracut, Arthur Foster, John E. Foster, George B. Coburn, Charles H. Stickney, George B. Washburn, Lowell, trustees; John W. Peabody, Sidney A. Bull, George L. Huntoon, Albert J. Trull, Jesse B. Trull, Edwin C. Perham, vice presidents.
Death. Arthur H. Swett died at his home in Winchester last Sunday at the age of forty-three years. He was for many years manager of Rice & Co., wire manufacturers, Lowell, and later in a similar capacity for Morse & White, Boston. When that firm dissolved he formed a partnership with Mr. Libby of that concern, under the firm name of Swett & Libby Co., of Boston. He was a member of the Boston Builders Exchange and the Vesper Country club of Lowell. He was the son of Charles E. and the late Clementine Keyes Swett. His mother will be remembered by Westford people as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Trueworthy Keyes and born at the old homestead on Francis hill. She will be especially remembered by residents of the old Stony Brook school, where she was both scholar and teacher. The writer recalls pleasant memories of her as a teacher of inspiring personality. The son inherited a valuable legacy of this from both father and mother. The funeral was in Winchester on Wednesday, with burial at Riverside cemetery, North Chelmsford.
Forge Village. The Victory Boys and Girls of Cameron school are looking for work in order to obtain money for campaign week. They will do any kind of work—cleaning up yards, taking up leaves or anything, to obtain funds for the soldiers. The work will be done after school and Saturdays. Help the good cause and employ one of the boys and girls.
Mr. and Mrs. John O’Neil have received a German helmet from their son, Private John O’Neil, Jr., of the medical corps, now in France. The helmet has attracted much attention as it traveled all the way from the firing line with no covering or packing, just enough stamps on it to cover mailing. The strap that goes under the chin was blown away, but the article is in good condition. Private O’Neil enlisted in the medical corps in June 1916, and has been in the danger zone for nearly two years, bringing in the wounded, and has been mentioned for bravery and courage under fire. He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. John O’Neil. He was interested in athletics and has run with the clubs in marathons in Lowell and Lawrence.
The first of the motion pictures were shown in Abbot hall on Thursday evening of last week before an audience that taxed the seating capacity. The music was in charge of Miss Carolyne E. Precious. Julian A. Cameron of the Abbot Worsted Company is responsible for the above event and was present to assist in handling the machine. The same pictures were shown again on Saturday evening for the benefit of those who were unable to see them on Thursday. The pictures will continue every week until further notice.
Services will be held at St. Andrew’s mission on Sunday afternoon at 4:30. Rev. Angus Dun will preach on “Prayer.” Sunday school at 3:30.
Edward J. Hanley, who enlisted in the navy some time ago, left here on Wednesday for Boston.
Mr. and Mrs. William A. King and little son Morris, of Eastman, Me., spent this week as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Chester Blodgett of the Ridges. Mrs. King, who was formerly Miss Hattie McArdle, of Lowell, is to live in Fitchburg after farming in Maine with her husband the past few years.
The Ladies’ Sewing circle held a sale and light lunch at St. Andrew’s mission last week Friday evening for the benefit of the church fund. An apron table found ready customers and the white elephant table, composed of articles given by the people and bought over again, caused much amusement. Nearly twenty-five dollars was turned into the treasury. Mrs. Richard Prescott had charge of the affair and was ably assisted by the members of the circle.
The Abbot Worsted Company have announced an increase in wages, taking effect on Monday; also, compensation for the two days’ holiday this week owing to the end of the war.
Twenty-two from here attended the special services held at St. Andrew’s church in Ayer on last Sunday evening for the benefit of the soldiers at Camp Devens. Refreshments were served afterwards at the vicarage by Rev. and Mrs. Angus Dun for the men in uniform and their friends.
Miss Mildred I. Parrott, of Lowell, spent the weekend as the guest of Miss Lillian L. Baker.
Sergt. Daniel Sullivan, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Sullivan, of this village, has been home on a two-days’ furlough. He reports in New York on Friday, and from there goes to an officers’ training school in California. From there he expects to go across where he has already served six months in the trenches.
Peace Celebrated. The largest parade in the history of the town took place Monday morning when the employees of the Abbot Worsted Company learned that the armistice was signed. The mill bell and whistle gave out the good news. In short order a parade was formed with every man, woman and child in the village in line. Heading the parade was “President Wilson” in the person of Hanson Ogee; next the fife and drum corps, the wooden band, several buglers, tin horns, dishpans, bells, paper hats and over 100 flags of all sizes. The crowd, shouting themselves hoarse, marched through all the streets and finally met at the square, where “The Star Spangled Banner” was sung, followed by “Rule Britannia” and the “Marseillaise.”
The crowd then formed in line and marched to Graniteville. There the workers had only just ceased, but readily joined the crowd. After a march down Broadway the parade now several hundred strong, returned to the corner, where “The Star Spangled Banner” and the national anthems of the Allies were sung again. The crowd, which by this time had reached the limits of their enthusiasm, decided to march to Westford. The line was again formed and the march up the big hill began.
An old frame of a farm wagon was next discovered and “President Wilson” was placed in it, surrounded by a bodyguard. Westford Center was finally reached, where the townspeople already were celebrating. All the forces assembled at the common. Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher of the public safety committee addressed the crowd. His speech was brief but interesting. William C. Roudenbush, principal of Westford academy, was then called upon to speak. He made a splendid speech for support in the campaign for money for war work and was loudly cheered. He stated that the school children had pledged about $150 before they started the parade in the morning. Mr. Davies, representing Forge Village, referred to the gathering of this division and also of the boys in the service who had laid down their lives—Smith, Lancott and Langley. In reverence to the boys who had made the supreme sacrifice the 600 people stood with bared heads for one minute in silence and Gordon Seavey sounded “Taps.” Albert R. Wall then represented Graniteville. Miss Rebecca Leduc sang “The Marseillaise” in French, and her splendid voice was never heard to better advantage. Selections by the fife and drum corps of this village and the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” concluded the exercises there.
After giving three rousing cheers the long line, now over 500 strong, marched back to Forge Village and disbanded at the square. Although the crowd were becoming footsore, their enthusiasm kept them walking at a lively rate. Some of them went home to eat breakfast after walking over four hours.
James Kelley, John Mann, Edmund De Le Haye and William Kelly had the simple task of trying to keep the line straight. There was no one at work in the village that day.
News Items. In the army and navy parade in Lowell last Saturday the Mending and Service Board of Camp Devens had a float bearing the name and words, “We mended for the 6th regiment, the 76th and 12th divisions.” At a long table, bearing hand-sewing machines, uniforms and knit articles, were seated the menders, with the following soldiers, who were having their garments patched, buttons sewed on, etc.: Sergts. Anderson and Fairbanks and Privates Johnson, Cunningham and Mottran. The Shirley women taking part were Mrs. Elmer H. Allen, Mrs. Abbie J. Wells and Mrs. Lavonne Edgarton. All were the guests of Mrs. John P. Horner and Mrs. Charles Blaisdell, of Lowell, at a bounteous spread at the close at the home of Mrs. Horner. The soldiers were the guests of the hostesses until Sunday evening. Pictures of the parade were taken, to be shown in movies to the boys in France.
The Mending and Service Board of Shirley was created and exists solely for work at Camp Devens. Hereafter knitted articles and other gifts to the board, the director or to the members will be given only to boys serving in the cantonment. Local organizations will be left to care for the needs of boys in service from the towns and cities.
Death. Miss Mary Cutter entered into the higher live on Wednesday, November 6 . She had been a sufferer from arteriosclerosis for some time, but the end came suddenly. Funeral services were held from her late home on Goldsmith street, Sunday afternoon, her pastor, Rev. F. W. Lambertson officiating. The interment was made in the family lot in [Westlawn Cem.,] Westford, N. B. Conant, D. G. Houghton, F. S. Kimball and W. E. Conant acting as bearers.
Miss Cutter was born in Westford sixty years ago and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. V. [sic, Asaph Byam] Cutter, whose home [now Kimball’s Farm] was just over the Littleton line. After her father’s death Miss Cutter and her two sisters, Misses Alice and Abbie Cutter, by whom she is survived, came to Littleton Common, their present home. Miss Cutter busied herself with household cares and lived a quiet, domestic life. She was a member of the Congregational church, a constant attendant at the Sunday morning service and Sabbath school, and their loyal supporter. Her interest in books and entertainments of an educational value were pronounced. Although not so active outside of the home as some people she did good as she saw the opportunity and from her home rendered an acceptable service.
In Miss Cutter’s death her sisters have the sympathy of their many friends, and the church and the community mourn the loss of a sincere Christian woman, whose interests and influence were ever helpful to those who came in contact with her.
News Items. The capture of an alleged German spy in the act of tapping a wire carrying confidential messages between the headquarters of the 12th division and the war department in Washington was reported Tuesday night by federal officers and members of the division’s intelligence department. The man, whose name was given as Private Pressly H. Stringfellow, B Company, 212th Field Signal Corps, was arrested Monday night, with two civilians, and will be tried by general court-martial, it was stated. The civilians, whose names were not given, were taken by federal officers to Boston. Stringfellow is twenty-six years of age and was born in Culpepper, Va. He was a telegraph operator, and when he took the trade examination at camp he was rated as the best telegraph operator in camp. It is stated that he has served seven years for counterfeiting at Atlanta, GA.
Private Charles Van Salisbury, Company A, 42nd Infantry, was sentenced this week to be dishonorably discharged from the army, forfeit all pay and allowances and to serve ten years at hard labor for being absent without leave for ninety days. He will serve his sentence at Fort Jay, N.Y.
A silent practice march was taken by 20,000 men of the 12th Division on Tuesday night. The orders were to march without any talking or smoking and to proceed with as little noise as if they were marching within sight and sound of enemy observation. The division went out in five units over a six-mile course.
Peace Parade and Speeches. The most impressive spectacle ever witnessed in this vicinity occurred on Tuesday afternoon, when there was a parade of all the school children through West Main and Main streets in honor of the peace that has come to the world after four years of war. The parade was led by George H. Brown, chairman of the school committee, who carried a United States flag. Next came three armed soldiers from the camp, the Foreign Legion band of Camp Devens, Capt. George V. Barrett Camp, S. of V. drum corps and the school children. Flags of all our allies were carried in the parade and were the cause of great enthusiasm along the street. A pretty feature was the carrying of two very large United States flags in a horizontal position by two groups of children. A great number of automobiles followed the parade, carrying the flags of our country and its allies. All kinds of noise producers were used to increase the din. Several thousand visitors witnessed the very impressive sight.
After the parade there was speaking and band selections in Depot square appropriate to the occasion, the speakers making their addresses from a large express truck on the station platform. R. K. Atkinson, executive secretary for this district of the Soldiers’ club, called the great crowd to order and after a few words of greeting introduced Judge George A. Sanderson.
The speaker said that the day of peace was the greatest in the history of the world, coming as it did after a war for the freedom of the world, and through which liberty came to all. The day would be remembered by the children of today and their descendants. Judge Sanderson spoke of our allies in the war for freedom, who deserve the gratitude of the world. He also referred to the Foreign Legion band which played in the parade. This band is made up of representatives of twelve different nationalities, showing the bond of union that exists among the entente allies.
Judge John M. Maloney made a brief speech, comparing the evils of autocracy to the blessings of democracy. He also referred in a complimentary way to the excellent deportment of the soldiers at Camp Devens. His remarks were very well received. Miss Gilson of the Federation House and R. K. Atkinson of the Soldiers’ club were the other speakers.
Three rousing cheers were given for President Wilson, who more than any other man was responsible for the happy outcome of the war. Cheers were also given for General Pershing, Premier Lloyd George of England and all our allies. The program closed by all singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” the Foreign Legion band furnishing the music.
The day being a public holiday all over the state all paces of business and the schools were closed. Many visitors came to camp from many towns.
Frank C. Johnson superintendent of schools, assisted in the parade.
Draft Called Off. With the signing of armistice terms by representatives of the Central Powers the local exemption board has discontinued drafting for the military service in compliance with orders from the war department. The November call for registrants enrolled on September 12, who were ready to go to camp during this week and next, were notified that their services would not be required. They were told, however, that they may be called to serve in some capacity later, for which they were to hold themselves in readiness. One local registrant, who had resigned from his position, came to the exemption board quarters Monday with bag and baggage, ready to go to camp. He was much disappointed to learn that the draft work had ceased and that he could not be accepted for service. While the draft for the army is stopped the call for men for the naval service is as imperative as ever. The men in the sea service, while they will not take part in any fighting, have a tremendous task before them in bringing the 2,000,000 or more men and equipment in Europe home, and the cleaning up of dangerous mines laid in the waters in the naval war zone.
Federation House Notes. D. W. Griffith’s wonderful photo-play, “The great love,” will be shown Saturday afternoon and evening at the Federation House. Special orchestral music. This is one of the greatest photo-plays ever produced.
On Sunday evening, at 7:30, the superintendent will speak on “The great day.” Singing by Miss Ruth Mitchell, contralto, of Boston.
Tuesday afternoon, at four o’clock the hostesses will serve tea to the soldiers’ wives and families.
On Wednesday evening at 7:30, the motion picture feature will be Alfred Whitman in the great Vitagraph picture, “Baree, the son of Kazan.”
The house has recently received a present of a Victrola and eighty records from the people of Westboro.
A Letter of Appreciation. The following letter, from one of our townboys, at that time at Camp Devens, although written in September, will serve to show how much the work of the Special Aid society is appreciated. We are able to publish the same by special request. Chester Hamilton, who received the letter was co-operating with the Special Aid society in conveying the “kit” to the camp. The writer Dana Merrill, left Camp Devens about three weeks ago and is now located at Camp Lee, in Virginia, in an officer’s training school.
Some weeks have gone by since you came over to the camp with the soldier’s kit, so thoughtfully made and given by the Special Aid society. It is needless to say that the contents fit very well the needs of a soldier, and furthermore it is needless to say that it is very much appreciated, and that what little I may write is simply another way of say “Thank you.”
You will probably recall that the organization you found me in was the military police of the newly formed 12th Division. Our regular day consists of mounted drill in the morning and infantry drill in the afternoon. Generally we leave our barracks for the stables about seven o’clock in the morning and saddle our horses. After the usual amount of work necessary to get men into line, with as many horses of as many different temperaments, we take a short trot to the drill grounds for intensive training under a lieutenant. About twenty are taken at one time and the remainder of the company form a large circle, walking, trotting or galloping.
Now, for a brief description of the intensive training of the smaller group. After a good brisk trot about a circle, the command is given to cross stirrups and take up the trot again. I shall not attempt to describe the expression on the faces, or the sensations experienced, during the first few times of such pounding in a hard saddle. Then we are allowed our stirrups and go through various “suppling” exercises to limber the body, the hardest one being to remain in the saddle with the horse moving, and bend back over the high saddle until your shoulders rest on the horse’s back. Of course, what I have told you is merely elementary, but quite essential to the most interesting part—that of formation. Mounted drill lasts for about three hours, after which we come back to the stables, oil and wash our equipment, groom at least two horses, and by that time are ready for dinner. I have written at some length about the horses as this is a phase of army life not heard of very much since the auto and motorcycle play such an important part in the war.
Our work as policemen is not very extensive about camp, as we are apparently training for overseas duty. During the weekends we assist provost guard by doing mounted traffic duty about the cantonment, policing about the depot to Ayer, or sending train guards on the trains to Boston.