The Westford Wardsman, November 9, 1918
Center. Families who have men in service overseas and who have received slips from them for their Christmas packages, should apply to Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, chairman of the Red Cross at the Center; to Mrs. Hammett D. Wright at Graniteville, and to Miss Eva Pyne at Forge Village, for the Christmas boxes which will be the only ones recognized for shipment, one to each soldier, each box weighing three pounds. When filled it must be taken to those mentioned in charge, when it will be inspected, weighed and sealed, according to requirements. With discrimination a Christmas box can be sent even with these limitations and requirements and promptness now will insure the boys getting the packages on time.
Edward M. Abbot went this week Tuesday to Camp Zachary Taylor, where he will enter the officers’ training school. Mr. Abbot, who has been beyond the draft age until now, has been active in war work at home, being a sergeant in the local company of state guard. He was a hard-working member of the third liberty loan committee and was chairman of the last Red Cross committee which solicited $7500 for the Red Cross. Mr. Abbot has also served his home town as a member of the board of selectmen.
The old stone found on the farm of George H. Hartford and which for a time was at Wright & Fletcher’s store, has been placed in the J. V. Fletcher library, in the basement, and the tag with which it is marked tells about it as follows: “This stone was found on George H. Hartford’s land in 1917. Supposed to be a boundary marker, used by Timothy Fletcher in 1784, as it has on its face T. F. 1784, and Timothy Fletcher owned the next farm, later owned by Rufus Patten. Timothy Fletcher’s name was on the south list of the first tax list. See Town History, pages 25, 26 and 28.”
Edward T. Hanley, who has been with the Abbot Worsted Company for the past eighteen years, has resigned his position to enlist in the navy. He went Wednesday to Bumkin Island [Boston Harbor], where he will remain for three or four weeks, until assigned to [a] definite post. Mr. Hanley has been active in war work, having served on the local liberty loan committee and the committee for raising Red Cross funds. He has been a member of the questionnaire advisory board and a corporal in Company L, M.S.G., and also has served most acceptably as town auditor for a number of years and was always the cautious and efficient official. Mr. Hanley takes with him the best wishes of his many friends.
The Ladies’ Aid society will hold an all-day sewing meeting with Mrs. George F. White on next week Thursday.
Alfred A. Sutherland is one of the list of registrants posted by District 15 exemption board of Ayer to report for military duty between November 11 and 16, which will be some time next week. Alfred is one of our native Westford boys, having been born in Westford depot neighborhood twenty-one years ago [July 17, 1897]. He attended the town school and Westford academy, after which he went for one year to the vocational school in Lowell. For several seasons he worked for the late George T. Day outside of school hours. Alfred has always been a sincere, industrious and likeable chap and he takes with him the sincere good wishes of a host of friends in his new experiences.
Capt. Charles W. Robison and family moved this week into J. Henry Colburn’s house at the Center, Monday. As captain of Company L, M.S.G., this central location, with telephone connection, will be much more convenient.
Town Clerk Hildreth, in addition to his many other duties at this time, has issued fully ninety-five hunters’ licenses.
Mrs. Sidney B. Wright reports picking this week some good specimens of ripe red raspberries of the Cuthbert variety.
L. W. Wheeler, tax collector, reports an unusually good percentage of the town’s taxes collected to November 1.
At the Congregational church last Sunday, Rev. Howard A. Lincoln preached morning and evening, had a good message for his hearers at both services, and also conducting the communion service. This will probably be Mr. Lincoln’s last service, as on Sunday a preacher will occupy the pulpit as a candidate.
Miss Sarah C. Atwood, Miss Sarah W. Loker, James L. Rafter and Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Wheeler were in attendance at the fall meeting of the Middlesex Union of Churches in Concord on Wednesday.
The regular drills of the home guard company were resumed on Tuesday evening at the town hall.
There was no meeting of the Red Cross this week, but the regular meeting will be held on next Wednesday afternoon at Library hall.
Mrs. Helen M. Bartlett has recently enjoyed a brief visit from her son, Leslie Bartlett, wife and baby, of Claremont, N.H.
Accident. A very serious accident happened last Sunday afternoon in front of Ernest C. Emerson’s, and those who saw and knew about the accident expressed the wonder that results were no worse than they were. A truck loaded with some calves was standing on the right side of the road, when a motorcycle with three soldiers came along at a fierce speed, going toward Lowell. Just at the time a large Winton car came from the opposite direction and on the curve, and in an effort to go between the truck and the touring car, the driver of the motorcycle hit the truck with dreadful force, throwing all the men, as it was reported, literally under the truck. They were pulled out and taken to Mr. Emerson’s home.
Mr. Emerson was not at home, but Mrs. Emerson and a woman guest rendered all possible assistance. There was some delay in getting a doctor to the scene, but when Dr. Sherman arrived he found all the men badly bruised and shaken. One was unconscious, one had a broken arm, and one a broken nose.
The accident happened at 3:15 and it was 4:50 when the men were taken to the base hospital at the camp by ambulance. A large crowd gathered at the scene of the accident.
This curve is not a bad one if taken with lessened speed and well to the driver’s right side of the road and also the branch road to South Chelmsford helps to widen the place, but if taken with top speed it is another matter. With the heavy traffic on Saturdays and Sundays some caution signs might help out the situation.
Tadmuck Club. The Tadmuck club meetings are back to schedule after the epidemic and the first regular meeting for November was held in the vestry of the Congregational church on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was in charge of the public health committee, Mrs. Olive E. Loveless, chairman. Dr. Alice H. Robie, the speaker of the afternoon, was obliged to cancel her appointment, owing to serious illness in her family. In the emergency Dr. C. A. Blaney was the speaker of the afternoon, giving a helpful and practical paper on “The care and feeding of children.”
Miss Marie Byrne, of Boston, presented the war work activities of the seven organizations represented in the coming drive for funds. Mrs. Edna Ferguson Woods, of Somerville, was the soloist, with Miss Julia H. Fletcher at the piano. “God be with our boys tonight,” “Boys’ dreams” and “Don’t you mind the sorrows,” were Mrs. Woods’ selections, which were much enjoyed and appreciated. Mrs. Roudenbush presided and read the state president’s October and November messages to the club women. Mrs. Hanscom, who is spending the winter with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Loveless, was admitted into membership.
About Town. The autumn conference of the Unitarian and other Christian churches of Middlesex-North, which was to have been held in October, will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at All Saints’ Unitarian church, High street, Lowell.
Miss Ella T. Wright, who loves Westford, and in turn is dearly beloved by all who know her, has closed her summer home and returned to her winter home in Cleveland, Ohio. Miss Wright and her friend, Miss Helen Whittier, left last week, Miss Wright to Ohio and Miss Whittier for Boston.
The Dubois family, living in the John H. Decatur house on the Lowell road, have all been ill with our newly arrived influenza and diphtheria. Besides the father and mother there are seven children. Agnes, aged five years, died last week Friday after an illness of one week. Funeral services were held at the home on Saturday and burial took place in St. Catherine’s cemetery, Graniteville.
An apple tree in Tewksbury Center responded to the recent eighty degrees in the shade weather and started new leaves and blossoms. According to the allotted time for apples to mature after blossoming, these blossoms will be ready to pick as apples in March.
In accordance with an act of the legislature providing for the appointment of trustees for county aid to agriculture, the county commissioners in Middlesex county have made the following appointments for the Middlesex County Farm Bureau: Nathaniel J. Bowditch, R. W. Bird of Framingham, Arthur W. Colburn of Dracut, 3 years; Mrs. J. J. Storrow of Lincoln, L. W. Dean of Waltham, George H. Ellis of Newton, 2 years; Mrs. J. C. Woodman of Melrose, Gordon Hutchins of Concord, G. B. Willard of Waltham, 1 year. The newly appointed trustees will have entire direction of the extension work in agriculture and home economics in Middlesex county in the future whenever public funds are concerned. The bureau is planning on holding a series of extension schools of several days’ duration during January, February and March in towns filing an application.
The state election passed off quietly; also, some of the candidates. Regrets that their busy usefulness was not appreciated enough to re-elect them. Westford contributed this much towards the cause: Governor, Coolidge 220, Long 102; U.S. Senator, Weeks 195, Walsh 113, Lawson 14; biennial elections, no 108, yes 80; initiative and referendum, no 181, yes 73.
The fish and game commission asks us to refrain from shooting. The writer can propose a more vital request than that, call off the open season for firearms. Legislating an open season and then request “don’t shoot” is about as sane as to give children candy and then request them not to eat it. Unless we have a closed season for five years the request not to shoot will be meaningless, for there won’t be anything to shoot.
With potatoes all dug, voting all done and the epidemic in the hands of receivers, the jury session of court will open in Lowell on Monday.
As a naturalist, with emphasis on bird life as well as interested member of the Audubon societies, William Blanchard, of Tyngsboro, reports seeing an American egret on September 3, wading in the mud flats in the mill pond in that town. This is a rare bird in these parts and really ought to be shot to make it more rare. Besides the American egret he saw black-crowned night herons, green herons, blue herons, greater yellow legs and other rare birds.
Arthur D. Butterfield, who graduated from Westford academy [entered the Academy in 1886] and later made an enviable reputation for himself as professor at the University of Vermont and Worcester Polytechnic, offered his services to the government at the beginning of our entrance in this great war. He was assigned to the Officers’ Reserve Corps. Dispatches to this country show that he is now a major in an aero squadron.
Dr. Fred Virgin, a man of marked distinction in the medical profession in New York, passed through here last week on his return auto trip from the heart of the Maine woods to the metropolis of New York. He had been away five weeks on a hunting trip and it had the desired effect of building him up physically, ready for the big tasks before him. He had grown a beard, had gained twenty pounds and had excellent success in hunting. He was a full of life as a boy when he stopped to see some West Chelmsford friends for a few minutes.
Here is a picture for the “can’t get any help” farmers: A farmer was observed recently driving a six-horse team, attached to a disc harrow, and leading a three-horse team hitched to a common harrow. He was working nine horses and two modern agricultural implements, doing the work of several men and teams under the old system of farming.
The United War Work campaign begins on November 11. Seven different organizations have combined in one big drive for a fund for the welfare of the boys in camp and overseas. Westford’s quota is $5000, and it ought to be doubled easily. Donald Cameron, who so efficiently managed the drive of a year ago, will have charge of Westford’s drive again this time.
Mrs. H. E. Fletcher, who is the able superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school in West Chelmsford, took all the scholars who had not been absent or tardy up to Camp Devens in autos recently. Three lieutenants showed them around and the party had a memorable time.
Mrs. Martha Taylor Howard reports that her nephew, Herbert Howard, of Bound Brook, N.J., returned Sunday night on a leave from his work as ambulance driver for the Red Cross in France. The significant thing about his return is that he came over on the Louraine, the first boat to cross with all her lights glowing. That certainly means that the submarine peril is over and the freedom of the seas is ours once more, never to be taken away again, let us hope.
Obituary. We regret we must record the death of Eugene Andrew Tallant in the full prime of his young manhood. “Gene,” as his friends always called him, was full of abounding vitality and good spirits, full of fun and life. He was a big fellow, good to look upon, and it seems strange that he should go so suddenly with pneumonia. He died on Sunday [Nov. 4] in Contoocook, N.H., where he was living on a big farm which was owned by his mother-in-law. The funeral services were held there on Wednesday afternoon.
Eugene A. Tallant was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Tallant, formerly of Pelham, N.H., but now living in Mississippi. He was one of the oldest of a family of fourteen children, twelve of whom are now living. This family was devoted to each other, and this is the second death in the large family circle. He was a nephew of the late Eben Tallant and upon the death of his uncle came into possession of the farm which is now owned by W. R. Taylor. He lived here for a number of years and several of the children in his father’s family graduated from Westford academy.
Aside from his father and mother he is survived by a wife and twelve brothers and sisters. Three of his brothers are in the service of their country, two in France and one, a lieutenant, in a camp in Alabama, where he was sent as instructor. One sister lives here, Mrs. William Parfitt. He was a cousin of the Robey boys, who are also in the service of their country.
Forge Village. Miss Carolyn M. Precious, a graduate of Westford academy, in the class of 1918, has entered the freshman class of the College of Liberal Arts of Boston university.
The Ladies’ Sewing circle of St. Andrew’s mission are to hold a sale of aprons and other useful articles Friday evening for the benefit of the church. A full report will be given next week.
Rev. Angus Dun conducted the services at the mission house last Sunday afternoon at 4:30. Sunday school is held at 3:30 and is well attended.
Motion pictures will be given this Saturday evening. Miss Caroline E. Precious will furnish the music.
Bring your peach stones and nut shells to the store of Hanley & Co., where they will be promptly forwarded to headquarters.
Edward T. Hanley, who enlisted in the navy, left here on Wednesday to join the colors. William Mulligan also goes to serve his country and left for Camp Devens on Wednesday.
Mrs. Avery Smith and little daughter are recovering from an attack of influenza.
Mrs. Michael Keefe [nee Annie Precious], of Townsend Harbor, and daughter, Miss Anna V., of Chelsea, spent the weekend at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Carmichael.
The Abbot Worsted Company have installed a lunch-room at Abbot hall for the benefit of their employees. A substantial meal can be had at noon at cost price. A large number who work here from out of town are taking advantage of the chance to enjoy a hot luncheon at noon.
John Shaddick, owner of the Tadmuck farm, and for many years chief engineer of the S.S. Malden, plying between Boston and Baltimore, has been assigned to a shore position, at Boston. This is a welcome change as it enables him to spend his evenings with his family.
Letter from France. The many friends of Corp. Herbert Smith, Headquarters Co., 327th Infantry, A.E.F., France, will be glad to know that he is well. In a recent letter, dated September 16, he writes as follows:
I received your most welcome letter dated August 16, today, and was more than glad to hear from you and that you are well. I haven’t had much time to write lately as we have been so busy with Fritz. He has been kind of fresh ever since we came on this sector, but he has been sorry for it. I haven’t heard from my brother Charles for about three weeks. I sent him a letter last Tuesday, but haven’t received a reply. No doubt he is busy.
Last night I went into the dugout and no sooner had I gone to sleep than Fritzie began sending his shells over, and that of course woke me up, but our artillery made up for it and they certainly made Fritz sit up and take notice. We are all sure of victory. We are still driving the Huns back every day and capturing great numbers of prisoners. I suppose you are reading about it in the papers. We had the pleasure of seeing a Boche plane sent down by an American aviator a couple of days ago. The Boche was seen to dive down and the Yankee after him, and the next thing we saw the Boche turn over, and he kept turning over until he reached the ground.
We are having lovely weather here, and I hope it is cooler for you. The pond is some relief. I wish we had Forge pond over here.
Corp. Smith’s brother [Charles Smith, Jr.], mentioned in the above letter, was killed in France in September [Sept. 28].
Graniteville. In order to clean up any misunderstanding that may exist concerning the Graniteville Auxiliary of the Red Cross it may be stated at this time that the local Red Cross is now entirely in charge of Mrs. Hammett D. Wright, who assumed the position since the resignation of Mrs. W. H. Sherman. Mrs. Clara Gray has been appointed a member of the home service committee. The purpose of the home service of the Red Cross is to assist and advise the families of soldiers and sailors, both our own and those of our allies. The local Red Cross now have the Christmas boxes for the soldiers and sailors, full particulars of which have already been published in these columns.
The opening of the hunting season on wild birds November 2 brought out many of the local nimrods in this vicinity. One hunting party consisting of Fred Defoe and Ike Hall of this village and Walter Longbottom of Lexington, a former resident here, appeared to meet with the most success. Fred Defoe’s dog, “Scott,” flushed the game and the hunters bagged three pheasants and one woodcock, due in a great measure to the clever shooting of Walter Longbottom. It was an ideal day for hunting and the sportsmen certainly had a very enjoyable time from sunrise to sunset.
Dr. W. H. Sherman, who has been the local physician here for the past twelve years, left here on last Monday morning for Camp Oglethorpe, Ga. Dr. Sherman has already received his commission as first lieutenant in the U.S. medical corps.
F. Russell Furbush has been visiting at his home here for the past few days.
In spite of the rainy weather on election day a very good vote was brought out. The principal interest seemed to be centered on the contest for governor and U.S. Senator David I. Walsh polled an excellent vote in this precinct.
It is expected that the moving picture show will start here next week.
Dr. E. B. Richardson of Conway has recently moved into the Dr. Sherman house [33 Broadway, Graniteville] here, having assumed the practice formerly held here by Dr. Sherman.
Auto Accident. Two jitney loads of soldiers from Camp Devens narrowly escaped a fatality when they crashed together opposite Andrew Johnson’s driveway on King street at 8:45 Tuesday evening. One car shot across the road and the other, the west bound car, cut a groove through the macadam a short distance, and then, turning abruptly between two trees, ploughed through the lawn and smashed into Thomas H. Stephens’ house, punching a hole, breaking the mopboard in two, cracking one pane of glass, shattering the cement in the cellar walls and doing more or less other damage.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen opened their home to the two parties and telephoned for Dr. Christie and the constables. The former came within a few minutes and shortly afterward Chief Hibbard was present. One soldier was suffering from a bruised hand, another had an injured leg, and others were thoroughly shaken up.
The automobile that hit the Stephens house was totally wrecked. This was removed during the night; the other, which was somewhat crippled, but less of a wreck, remains near the scene of the accident at time of writing.
As usual, the jitney drivers maintained that they were going at a moderate rate of speed; but results speak more loudly than words and give reliable testimony.
News Items. An entertainment for the benefit of the local Red Cross branch was given at the town hall on Saturday evening. The entertainers were boys from Camp Devens, who gave a musical program, and two ladies from Concord, Mrs. Darling and Miss Colt, who spoke on home service. About thirty-three dollars were turned into the treasury.
Information Wanted. The publicity and soldiers information committee would appreciate the favor if the families of all the soldiers from Groton would send to them any information in regard to the boys abroad that would help to fill out the record of each soldier.
Such items are not only of present interest but they will be of historical value. No items are too trivial to be sent to this committee. It is better to send too many items than to omit any as we can eliminate if we wish. This committee is charged with the duty of furnishing to the state all changes which might help to identify a soldier—sick, wounded or killed—so that the right family can be notified.
News Items. Five thousand people attended the solemn high military mass on the main parade ground near the main Knights of Columbus building at Camp Devens last Sunday morning. Rev. Fr. Keane, an army chaplain at the camp, was the celebrant of the mass. Rev. Fr. Stanton, who is assigned to Holy Cross college, Worcester, preached an inspiring sermon to the soldiers on patriotism. He stated that he has visited the army camps all over the country and everywhere Camp Devens is regarded as the cleanest and best, physically and morally, of any in the country.
Perhaps the greatest military spectacle which has ever been witnessed in New England took place last Saturday when 20,000 soldiers from Camp Devens, in heavy marching order, marched from the camp to Still River through Shirley. Upon arrival at their destination the soldiers were put through a series of drills which lasted throughout the day. Each served his own meals in the “pup” tents which were carried along as a part of their equipment. The army reached camp late in the afternoon on the return trip over the same route they went. The military authorities who reviewed the parade praised the work of the men very highly.
Thomas F. Gosnell, a popular Knights of Columbus secretary at the camp, has been ordered to Portsmouth, N.H., for a similar position.
Every member of the 73rd Infantry who could reach home and return to camp within twenty-four hours was allowed to go home to vote on Tuesday.
The custom of men in the naval service in wearing on their hat bands the name of the ship to which they are attached has been stopped through orders from Washington for the period of the war at least. With the names of ships appearing on the sailors’ hats the enemy can learn the names and number of battleships in port, thereby giving him information which would be valuable in the prosecution of the war. Hence the order forbidding the use of the names.
Private John Schmidt, of Camp Devens, has been sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment at Fort Jay, N.Y., for refusal to obey an order from Lieut. Roger S. Robbins. In addition to the imprisonment he was ordered to be dishonorably discharged from the service. Schmidt is a Quaker and as such claims to be a conscientious objector, the tenets of the sect being opposed to war. His parents are in Germany. Seven other prisoners besides Schmidt, who also were sent to Fort Jay, were taken to that place on Thursday, the sentences ranging from fifteen to twenty-five years.
An automobile owned by James B. Cunningham and driven by Maurice Bell, of Boston, left the state road in Lexington, Tuesday night, plunged through a wire fence and tipped over in a field. The car was on its way from Boston to Camp Devens, and besides the driver contained seven soldiers, three of whom and the driver were hurt. The automobile was badly damaged. Bell received a cut in his face that required five stitches to close. He and the injured soldiers were sent to the Waltham hospital. The soldiers were not seriously injured. They gave their names as Corp. G. L. Reed, Corp. F. J. Moynihan and Cook Chinn, the latter being a Chinaman. Four of the soldiers were uninjured and returned to camp in other machines. It is thought that the cause of the accident was due to the inability of the driver to see his way because of the darkness.
The premature report that Germany had surrendered caused tremendous excitement at the camp and about town on Thursday afternoon [Nov. 7]. Whistles were blown and bells rung in celebration of the “surrender.” Later in the evening it became known that the report was without the slightest foundation.
Federation House Notes. Movie attractions at the Federation House are drawing appreciative audiences Wednesdays and Saturdays. The forthcoming bookings will be of interest. On Saturday, November 9, at 2:30 and 7:30, will be shown the well known favorite photo play, “The seven keys of Baldpate.” On Wednesday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m., will be shown, “To the highest bidder” and “Telegraphic tangle.” Especial attention will be drawn to the announcement for Saturday, November 16, when D. W. Grittith’s great recent production, “The great love,” will be given.
Sunday evening a service of worship will be held at 7:30 o’clock. The superintendent will give the address and there will be good music.
On Friday evening, November 15, an entertainment for soldiers and friends will be held in the social room. The young people from the Congregational church in Westboro will furnish the entertainment and refreshments.
On Tuesday afternoon at four o’clock the hostesses will serve tea in the social room to soldiers’ wives.
Miss Carolyn V. Tucker of Ware is a new hostess at the Federation House. Miss Tucker is a Smith college graduate and a well known club woman, having been for three years a director of the state federation of women’s clubs and for the past five years president of the Ware Woman’s club.
Fox Hunt Finished. On last Saturday the fall hunt of the New England Fox club was brought to a successful finish with a record of twenty-three pelts, although the number of men in the field each day was somewhat smaller than in previous years.
Thursday saw only about forty members out, as the forenoon was stormy, but three foxes were killed….
The huntsmen pronounced themselves pleased with the result of the hunt, although it might have lacked a little of the zest of former years, in view of the existing conditions of the world of today. Regarded as a warfare against Sir Reynard it was made insignificant by the greater warfare now going on; and regarded as merely a sport, there are few men in the country today who have not other and more weighty matters claiming their attention, although a brief rest and recreation might prove of benefit.
The winter meet of the club is called for January in Bedford.