Center. Postmaster J. Herbert Fletcher was confined to the house earlier this week with a bad cold.
Fred A. Meyer, R.F.D. mail carrier, and Mrs. Meyer, are enjoying the annual fifteen days’ vacation (Sundays not included). They are spending the time in New York with Mr. Meyer’s family and are making the trip by automobile. While there they will see Mrs. Clarence Hildreth in Rutherford, N.J. Mrs. Hildreth has recently lost a brother by death from the prevailing epidemic, a young man with bright prospects, leaving a wife and two children.
Miss Marjory Seavey expects to resume her studies at Boston university this coming week.
We have been sorry to hear that Mrs. Grace Lumbert Kenney has had an attack of pneumonia at her home in Wellesley, but is reported better.
Misses Lillian, Sarah and May Atwood attended the wedding of their niece, Miss Jessie Atwood, who was married to Harold B. Stewart at the bride’s home in Chelmsford on Monday [Oct. 14, 1918]. Both young people belong in Chelmsford and the bride has been a frequent visitor at the home of her aunts in this village.
Rev. C. A. Lincoln, who has been housed with a bad cold, is better and has been out of town for several days this week.
Miss Julia O’Neil, who was so very ill with pneumonia at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Preston Skidmore, is so well recovered as to be able to return to Somerville this week.
Marden Seavey is about with an injured hand, having two fingers in splints.
There will be no church service this coming Sunday, but it is hoped the ban will be removed from the schools for this coming week. The J. V. Fletcher library furnace has been repaired during this closing time and probably will be open for the regular days next week.
We hear of no new cases of influenza in the community and those who are sick are reported as doing well.
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Kimball have been in Westford this week and have been putting their house in order for the winter, which is to be occupied by Mrs. Gretchen Kebler Sargent and her two children. Mr. Sargent is in military service. Mr. and Mrs. Kimball will spend the winter in Boston.
Mrs. George F. White has the sympathy of the community in the death of her father, F. W. Dustin, whose funeral took place Tuesday. Mrs. White’s mother will probably be for the present at her daughter’s home in Westford.
Mr. Lawrence went this weekend and brought home Mrs. Lawrence, his daughter, Mrs. Edith Hildreth, and son Richard, where they have been spending some time at their cottage at Nantasket.
The busy apple pickers have been hard at work in their orchards, and some have got about all of their crop picked, but there is still many apples yet to gather. The apples are of uniformly good quality.
The Red Cross treasury gratefully acknowledges a sum of over forty dollars, $41.50 to be exact, which came to them in rather an unusual manner. While the recent epidemic was at its worst in Forge Village one of the operators in the mill was taken sick and died from the disease. He was much alone and the operators in the same room where he was employed took up a collection to help defray expenses of sickness and death. In the meantime relations of the man were heard from, who came forward and paid the bills, leaving this $41.50 unused. Instead of redistributing it among the givers they agreed to give it for Red Cross work and hearty thanks is due them for the gift.
The chairman of the Red Cross wishes to announce that a large consignment of work is at hand, namely seventy-five pajama suits for returned soldiers in hospitals on this side of the water. Two weeks is given to complete this work. There will be meetings every afternoon next week at Library hall. Let every woman who can manage some time and who can do plain sewing try to help on this call. Meetings were held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons of this week with Mrs. O. R. Spalding, but next week the library furnace will be in working order and the work will go on there where the several sewing machines are available.
Foreword. In the absence of the opening meeting of the Tadmuck club, scheduled for October 8, and not held on account of the epidemic, the in-coming president, Mrs. William C. Roudenbush, presents this foreword to the members, which is of much general interest. Provided the ban is lifted concerning the holding of public gatherings in season, the second regular meeting will be held on Tuesday afternoon, October 22, at 2:30 o’clock in Library hall.
It has been necessary because of the epidemic of influenza to omit our opening meeting, October 8. The letter of the president of state federation, Mrs. Gurney, to all clubs, will be read at [the] first meeting held, which we hope may be October 22, as scheduled. The calendar committee were given a very small amount of money to use. The executive committee, in planning the year’s work, felt that as a club we should devote more, both of our time and money, to the war relief work.
Our calendar committee have responded gallantly. You will find alternate meetings are given to the war relief work, at Library hall. At these meetings, which will be necessarily somewhat informal, some entertainment will be provided, the secretary’s report will be given and from time to time such matters of business as need attention will be taken up. We urge your attendance in large numbers at these meetings in particular; that attendance will demonstrate your patriotism and your loyalty to your club and to our friends and fellow members, who will give of their time and strength to provide entertainment while your hands are busy with knitting, sewing or folding gauze. We hope for such large numbers that many will have to knit because of lack of room at the tables for gauze work. So come prepared to knit, to sew or to do whatever the leaders of the Red Cross or French Relief have prepared for you.
The first meeting for relief work is scheduled for October 22 in Library hall at 2:30 o’clock. Miss Helen A. Whittier will give an informal talk on “Europe in 1914.”
November 5—At the Congregational church, Dr. Alice H. Robie, chairman of the public health committee will lecture, and our friend Mrs. William Woods, will sing.
November 19—War relief; current events by Rev. Louis H. Buckshorn. All who heard Mr. Buckshorn two years ago at one of our club meetings will wish to hear him again.
December 3—Guest Night.
January 7—John A. Lowe, chief librarian at Camp Devens, will lecture on “A soldier and his books.” This is a subject of value and interest to us all.
February 4—We shall expect to see every member present early, and perhaps her friends with her, when Mrs. Ruth Stevens Reed will tell us how to obtain “Better dressing on smaller expenditures.”
February 18—Sale for war relief, in charge of economics and conservation committees.
On every date for the year you will find entertainment and instruction. We need not go through the list. The calendars are in the hands of the secretary, ready for distribution. You will find them in a new form, a compact and convenient form, which has made a saving of several dollars by the calendar committee, and which I think they plan to use in a way of more value to the club just now, than the larger calendars.
Let us make this, our year of test, prove that we are an organization of real worth to our community and to our individual members.
About Town. There is a general complaint this year that apples are large and highly colored. Well, the consumer will have to stand for it also.
William Parfitt, on the Lowell road, has been postponed from work on account of the influenza. At the time of writing he had about severed his connection with it.
Amos Polley, on the Prairie farm, is husking a large crop of red popcorn when he is not husking verdicts as juryman at court in Lowell. The novelty in husking this corn is to find an ear not red.
The United States department of agriculture sends out an encouraging report on crops October 31.
Charles Wright, who has been ill with the influenza, is still unable to be at his work. As there are several Charles Wrights around, this is the Plain road variety, near Westford station.
Paul Smith has adjourned from the Strandburg house on the Lowell road, near Brookside, to the large house opposite the Walter Whidden place, near Whidden’s corner.
Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Steele, who have been having the influenza, pneumonia and the grippe, are recovering.
Mrs. Effie (Johnson) Christianson, a well-known lady of Westford corner and West Chelmsford, died at her home Saturday morning after a brief illness of pneumonia, aged 26 years and 2 months. She is survived by her husband, Hans Christianson; two children, Thomas W. and Christine M.; her father, August Johnson; two sisters, Mrs. Carl Hanson, of Graniteville, and Gladys, of West Chelmsford; also, three brothers, William of Lowell and Harry and Howard Johnson of West Chelmsford. The funeral took place from her home on Monday afternoon. Rev. L. H. Buckshorn conducting the services. The floral display conveyed part of the offerings of love. The bearers were Robert Johnson, Nik Esterberg, Fred Angerson and George Hanson. Burial was in the family lot in the West Chelmsford cemetery.
The jury session of court, which was to have been held in Lowell last week Monday and was postponed for a week, has again been postponed on account of the epidemic. Why not hold one session and try the epidemic for assault and battery on society.
The registrars of voters will hold the following meetings: Brookside worsted mills, Friday evening, October 18, 7:30 to 9 o’clock; Healy’s hall; Graniteville, Monday evening, October 21, 7:30 to 9 o’clock; Forge Village, Wednesday evening, October 25, from 7:30 to 9, and Westford Center, town hall, Saturday, October 26, from 12 noon until 10 in the evening.
Ulmont Richardson, one of the large family of children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Richardson, who formerly lived in the John H. Decatur cottage on the Lowell road, died at the home of his mother in Readville on Thursday afternoon of last week of pneumonia. Burial was in Fairview cemetery on Monday afternoon.
Miss Jessie Atwood, of Chelmsford, was married at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Atwood, at two o’clock on October 14, to Harold Bruce Stewart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac J. Stewart, of Chelmsford. It was a very pretty, quiet home wedding. The bride wore a beautiful gown of white satin, and the double ring service was used, the ceremony being performed by Rev. E. C. Bartlett, of Dracut. Mr. Stewart is connected with the Atlas Powder Co., and travels extensively. Mrs. Stewart will accompany him on these trips. The bride was born in Westford on what used to be known as the Deacon Atwood farm, now owned by the Wetmores.
George C. Moore took $10,000 in this town for Brookside mill, thus helping Westford in its quota of liberty bonds.
It is a pleasure to welcome back to Westford Mrs. William Winthrop Sargent, better known to us as Gretchen Kebler. Her husband is on duty for Uncle Sam and she has left her California home and came here with her two charming children to occupy the house which we will love to speak of as the Hall house.
With a quota of $220,000 in this fourth loan our old hill-top town has tried to do its best by making its subscription at the time of writing $356,000 and there is more to come in probably. The number of subscribers is over 400. That seems good; it means that more individuals here are waking up to the fact that if we are truly Americans we are going to buy bonds. Now is the time to help and let us do it willingly and do the very best we can.
We regret the untimely death of William F. Sargent, of Graniteville—a young man of most pleasing appearance, beloved by all. He was in the full flush of youth with a bright outlook before him in the business and social world. He was a member of the liberty loan committee and had shown a marked interest in the securing of subscriptions. The sympathy of the town goes to the Sargent families in the loss of their beloved relative. In one week Westford has lost four of its influential young men—Inglis Wetmore, Charles Colburn, Dr. Wells and William Sargent.
The funeral of Miss Mary Elizabeth O’Brien was held from the home of her mother in South Westford last week Wednesday afternoon. The services were conducted by Rev. Louis H. Buckshorn of the First Parish church. The bearers were Nathaniel and Hamilton Whitney, Everett Jarvis and Edson J. Blaisdell. Burial was in Fairview cemetery. Thus is laid to rest after a long illness that made her shut in from society, but who smiled a cheerful submission through it all [sic].
A Wreck. About ten o’clock Wednesday evening a freight train from Ayer for Lowell on the Stony Brook road had four cars of a train of fifty derailed just after rounding the curve east of Westford station. Nearly a thousand ties were split, bruised, bumped and thumped, some of them fatally. After proceeding in this irregular way for a quarter of a mile the four cars divided up, two plunged into one embankment and the other two plowed into the opposite embankment, and did plowing that for depth would satisfy all those who believe in dynamite subsoiling. The cars were not only derailed, but de-wheeled. The morning passenger trains from Ayer and Lowell ran to the wreck and then individual transportation around the wreck did the rest, including baggage and milk cans. The wrecking train from Lowell worked until noon Thursday before the track was clear, while something like a small army were busy inserting new ties.
The accident was caused apparently by a broken wheel. A down grade speed and the holding of air brake connections, which if severed would have brought the train to stop. As it was the wrecked train ran its limit as the engineer was not appraised of the wreck by any severing of the air brakes.
Dr. Wells. Your correspondent and Rev. L. H. Buckshorn were speaking of the death of Dr. Wells the other day. As near as I can remember the conversation it was about as follows:
“Westford has been very fortunate in the physicians who have come to her in these past years,” said Mr. Buckshorn. “They have been men of training and intelligence—men who made their homes here and became a vital part of the community. Dr. Wells served us in the double capacity—a skillful, intelligent medical servant, and a willing worker in all of the best interests of our town. He was a man, who, by gift of body, stood far above the average man—unusually tall. People everywhere took note when he appeared among them. But it was not only in physical height, but in attributes of mind, of will, of heart, that he was tall. In carriage, he was a gentleman; in demeanor, gentle and sympathetic.
“His death does not seem real. None of us but momentarily expects to see him turning the curve in his machine, responding to the crowding calls in this epidemic-stricken time. He carried a Massachusetts state commission in our state guard, with a recent promotion. He was daily awaiting a federal government commission for medical service in France. Indeed, his last arrangements were to be relieved here that he might sail overseas. And the commission finally came from Washington.
“But he was not to go. What he had helped so many to combat worsted him—tired and spent like so many of his noble profession.”
“He has done the work of a true man,--
Crown him, honor him, love him,
Weep over him, tears of woman,
Stoop, manliest brows, above him!
For the warmest of hearts is frozen,
The freest of hands is still;
And the gap in our picked and chosen
The long years may not fill.
No duty could overtask him,
No need his will outrun;
Or ever our lips could ask him,
His hands the work had done.
He forgot his own soul for others,
Himself to his neighbor lending;
He found the Lord in his suffering brothers,
And not in the clouds descending.
Ah well, the world is discreet;
There are plenty to pause and wait,
But here was a man who set his feet
Sometimes in advance of fate.
Never rode to the wrong’s redressing
A worthier paladin;
Shall he not hear the blessing,
“Good and faithful, enter in!”
Graniteville. The grippe epidemic appears to be on the wane, although there are still a great many cases of illness here. All appear to be progressing favorably and if conditions continue to improve it is hoped that things will be back to normal by next week.
Lester McLenna, who has been seriously ill for the past two weeks, is now able to be about once more.
The schools and churches have been closed here for the past three weeks on account of the grippe epidemic.
Obituary. William Frederick Sargent, second son of Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sargent, died at two o’clock last week Friday afternoon of pleuropneumonia, aged 33 years and 4 days. Mr. Sargent was a young man of most estimable character and active in all movements for the welfare of the community. He was a member of the liberty loan committee of Westford. His father is the treasurer of the C. G. Sargent Corporation and he himself was a member of the Graniteville Foundry Corporation.
Besides his parents he is survived by two sisters, Mary, of Graniteville and Mrs. Henry Hildreth, of Winchester, and a brother, Charles G., of Graniteville.
Mr. Sargent was a member of Caleb Butler lodge of Masons, Bancroft chapter of Ayer and Pilgrim Commandery of Lowell, and Aleppo Temple, Mystic Shrine, Boston. He was extremely popular among his associates and his loss is a severe blow to the town.
The funeral, which was private, was held from his late home here on Sunday morning at ten o’clock. The services were conducted by Rev. Alfred Woods, of Melrose, a former pastor of the M.E. church here. There was a profusion of beautiful floral tributes sent by relatives and friends. The bearers were Harry N. Fletcher, Osborn W. Cilley, Thomas H. Stewart and Arthur E. Day. Burial was in the Lowell cemetery, where the committal service was read by Rev. Alfred Woods.
Forge Village. There will be a meeting of the Red Cross workers on Tuesday evening. A large attendance is desired for there is a special order of sewing to be done for Camp Devens. This order is to be completed in two weeks. There will be no gauze work until further notice. There is a great demand for the saving of yarn, and it is requested that all sweaters be made twenty-two inches in the back and twenty-one inches in the front, that is including the purling. The people whose boys are “over there” will soon be receiving their Christmas labels from the boys. As soon as they are received, arrangements can be made with Miss Eva Pyne for the securing of the carton from the Red Cross. Miss Pyne will gladly advise anyone who wishes further information about the Christmas parcels.
News Items. It is reported that the Fitchburg & Leominster Street Railway Company is to lay an extra track from Depot square to the camp for carrying the great number of passengers between those points, the cars to be run continuously. The contemplated route is said to be a loop line, entering the camp at the west gate and emerging at the main gate.
The Liberty loan at Camp Devens jumped to $600,000 early in the week and it is expected that $400,000 more will be raised, making the camp total for the loan $1,000,000.
The Italian ambassador and the Italian consul at Boston have been invited to the camp to participate in the Italian day celebration on next Saturday.
Considerable disappointment was express in the non-arrival of Billy Sunday, the famous evangelist, who was advertised to appear and make a speech on the liberty loan. It was announced that he was to come from Boston in an airplane to make the address.
The ban on public gatherings, which has been in force for the past few weeks because of the prevalence of influenza, was lifted last week. Accordingly the churches were all open last Sunday. The schools opened on Monday morning. The disease is practically wiped out in town.
District Court. Thursday morning the continued case of Sergt. Harry Berg, for bigamy, was heard. He pleaded guilty and was turned over to the military authorities at the camp for action.
Twenty-one men from district 15 will be sent to training camps during the ensuing week by the local exemption board. The names and the places to which they are to be assigned are as follows:…Victor G. Hanson of Westford,… Fort Warren, leave October 22;… Percy A. Kilmister of Forge Village,… Fort Williams, Me., leave October 21.
News Items. Charles W. Marshall has just plucked from his garden an ear of Liberty corn with red, white and blue kernels. It is now on exhibition and is viewed with considerable interest by the people.