Center. The enrollment in the Westford schools is as follows: Frost school 124, high school 65 (the largest in recent years), Graniteville 145, Forge Village 138, Parker Village 16.
Send before September 15 to Dr. J. N. Murray, Littleton, for entry blanks for the dog show to be held at the Groton Farmers’ and Mechanics’ club fair, September 28.
Letter from Overseas. The following letter has been received by Mr. Seavey from his son Marden, dated Somewhere in England, August 2, and may prove of interest to his friends here:
Dear Father—How are you all? While I have been bounding over the waves and speeding through the country in trains you’ve probably wished that I could be with you all, through the berry season. I would like to well enough, but let’s hope I’ll be there next year. Germany boasts about stopping us with her submarines, but all of our ships crossed without a submarine having a chance to get in at us, with so many chasers ever on the watch. The ship I was on was in the center of the fleet, and so worrying about being blown up didn’t trouble us any. I don’t blame the Germans for hesitating about serving in submarines; they notice that many don’t come back. With us they had as much chance as a rat in a roomful of cats, and if it wouldn’t be censored I could tell you what happened.
On ship we had no drilling, nothing but the usual fatigue and guard duty. Life preservers were worn constantly and our shoes laced but four holes up. However, I had all I wanted of the sailor’s life, and it seemed as if we would never get over here. I don’t wonder Columbus and his crew had a hard time of it.
We disembarked at last, and had a long railroad ride to our present camp, or stop-over, rather. England is a beautiful country, green hills and fields, but very little woods. The cities are clean, homes are very neat with gardens around the houses, the latter being built of brick. Women ride bicycles and there are more of them than automobiles. Traffic goes on the left side of the road. You have heard about the railroad cars being divided into many little compartments—a squad of us rode in each. The freight cars are about as large as a good sized packing box. The engines look like toy ones but they can speed some at that.
Our camp is pleasant, affording a good view of the country around about. The food is good—bacon, graham bread, good stews and cheese. Our beds—well they are wooden ones, three boards raised six inches above the floor and a hay mattress. There are many English and American troops here, for it is a large camp. I should think that many of the English soldiers were eighteen years old.
This morning we went on a sort of sightseeing tour, marching in columns of twos. Of course it would be much better to go alone, so you could ask questions of the people and go where your fancy takes you, but still I was glad for the chance.
Well, there are many things I could tell you, but you know it is supposed to be a privilege for us to write in time of war, anyway. With love, Marden.
Interesting Sermon. At the Unitarian church on last Sunday Mr. Buckshorn spoke on “The spirit and service of Lafayette to this country.” He used as his text a quotation from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where Paul speaks of one of his fellow-workers [Epaphroditus] as “Hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service.”
Nothing expresses better than this quotation the sum of Lafayette’s coming to this country. He came to us in the darkest hour of our early history. The British soldiers had put Washington’s army to flight in the battle of Long Island. The ragged Continentals were freezing in their refuge at Valley Forge. Washington was hard put to it, when this French youth of nineteen years begged the Continental Congress to allow him to serve without pay and to enter service as a common soldier.
A born aristocrat, an entitled nobleman’s son, he came to us as a beam of chivalric light that broke through the dark skies that overhung our early democracy. On his coat of arms he had put the motto, “Cur non?” – “Why not?”
When he defended the action of the colonies against King George, they gave him every reason tyranny and aristocratic rule by divine right could think of. “They have a right to rule themselves,” said the French youth, Cur non?—“Why not?”
The French monarch tried to prevent him from coming over. So he fitted out a vessel and sailed from Spain. “Cur non?”—“Why not?” When congress gave him a cold shoulder instead of a welcome, he entered the continentals as a common solider, without pay. “Cur non?”—“Why not?”
Lafayette’s chivalry has never been forgotten. The French people and the American people have been like-minded not only in their devotion to the memory of this gallant knight of democracy, but in some fundamental things of government and governing. Both people have behaved to a greater degree than any other nation, in the common right to govern and be governed, rather than to be ruled.
And out of this belief—sometimes broken by both nations—has grown a policy and a procedure that has recognized more broadly than any other nation, the right of any and all peoples to choose their own form of government and their own governors.
“Cur non?”—“Why not?” as Lafayette’s motto read on his coat of arms.
Always the spirit of chivalry—the spirit of fair play—the defence [sic] of right as against might—“Hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service,” as St. Paul wrote of his fellow-worker to the people of Philippi.
And America has never forgotten this white-souled, warm-hearted youth in the hazard of his service to us. Then outrage on Belgium aroused our pity. Menaced and bleeding France called forth our American knights in their love for that which must be free and generous and noble in human life and service—in individually and in governments.
Victor Chapman, Richard Hall, Alan Seeger,—Harvard bred and New England’s elect—answered Lafayette’s hazard after nearly one hundred and forty-one years. White-souled, warm-hearted, youth—knights of our American democracy. From the great beyond, the spirit of Lafayette must have saluted you—you must have paid a price even higher than that paid by the hazard of the French knight.
In his “Ode in memory of the American volunteers fallen for France,” which was to be read before the statue of Lafayette and Washington on Decoration day, May 30, 1916, Alan Seeger wrote of those Americans whose fate he was soon to share:
Yet sought they neither recompense nor praise.
Nay, rather, France, to you they rendered thanks
(Seeing they came for honor, not for gain)
Who, opening to them your glorious ranks,
Gave them that grand occasion to excel,
That chance to live the life most free from stain,
And that rare privilege of dying well.
Now heaven be praised
That in that hour that most imperiled her,
Menaced her liberty who foremost raised
Europe’s bright flag of freedom, some there were
Who, not unmindful of the antique debt,
Came back the generous path of Lafayette.
Upon entering the village from the various roads very neat and plain signs have been placed, instructing auto drivers to keep mufflers closed. With this fair warning this ruling will be adhered to.
Miss Elizabeth Kittredge, after a summer of study and before entering her fall work, is having two weeks of vacation at her home.
Miss Hazel B. Hartford is to have the next two weeks of vacation from the John Hancock Insurance office in Boston.
Mrs. L. W. Wheeler has been appointed curator of the historical and loan collection at the J. V. Fletcher library by the trustees. Anyone having contributions to this collection or referring to it in anyway will please communicate with Mrs. Wheeler and not with the librarian whom the trustees have decided has enough to attend to without this added care.
Mrs. J. W. Bright went Friday for a visit with relatives in Wilton, Me.
The annual agricultural fair, under the auspices of the Congregational church, which has been held every autumn for nearly thirty years, will be held Friday evening, September 27. This event is meeting with the usual cooperation among the workers, although subject to war time conditions.
Mrs. Fall of Ipswich and Mrs. Ober of Arlington Heights were guests this week of Mrs. Bartlett at E. J. Whitney.
Miss Pauline Dole has been a visitor at Mrs. Alma M. Richardson’s this week.
The first meeting for the fall season of the Ladies’ Aid society was an all-day session on Thursday at the home of the Misses Green on Lowell road. Work for the coming fair was the order of the day, with good results, and not the least of the day’s assets was the good cheer and pleasant sociability. Basket lunch, with hot coffee and other good things were supplemented by the hostesses at noon. There were fourteen seated at the long dinner table.
Mrs. Donald M. Cameron entertained a very pleasant afternoon party on Thursday afternoon of this week. Delightful sociability, knitting, needlework and dainty refreshments made up the afternoon’s pleasure.
Mrs. George F. White has been to Nashua, N.H., two days this week, called by the serious illness of her father.
Touches of frost on Westford hill on Wednesday and Thursday nights are reported and more serious frost in the lowlands.
About Town. The next meeting of the Grange will be held on Thursday evening, September 19. The music committee will be the controlling influence in the lecturer’s hour.
The nine o’clock electric Monday from Brookside slipped one over on the highway, near Tadmuck brook, and in two hours slipped one back on the rail. This slip off, slip on was caused by the encroachment of gravel on the right of way of the rail, caused by too much automobile pressure.
W. R. Taylor had charge of the draft registration at Brookside.
Almon J. Downing on the Walker homestead had a narrow escape last Saturday from losing the connections between the fingers and his hand. They were badly gashed while sawing wood by a revolving circular saw.
Last year a severe frost caught the corn belt. This year a severe August drought has caught the corn belt and the government is revising its forecast of the number of chickens it expected to hatch now that the hatching has occurred. The revised figures make a reduction of 317,000,000 bushels in the crop forecast, bringing the loss in prospective production since July of 487,000,000 bushels. A corn crop of 2,672,000,000 this year has been forecast from conditions September 1, which would be almost half a billion bushels less than last year’s corn crop and slightly smaller than the average for the last five years. To offset this loss spring wheat increased 21,000,000 bushels. This, with winter wheat of 556,000,000 bushels, makes a total of 889,000,000 bushels, or 250,000,000 more than last year; 90,000,000 bushels more than the average for the last five years.
Boston parties have been in town with a view of purchasing the farm on Francis hill recently sold by John H. Keefe to C. E. Sweatt, of Melrose.
The first frost, with ice accompaniment, of the autumn season lit for business Monday night and was ready for exhibition when the curtain arose on Tuesday morning. Pumpkin vines and bush beans had a limp to them; pole beans climbed out of reach; corn for the most part had got hardened enough to hit back and the frost had nothing on potatoes, which is the largest crop in the Stony Brook valley since some other time, but the present price of two dollars per bushel in digging time seems to indicate a shortage somewhere along the line. Reports are out that the potato crop in France, Switzerland, Germany and other far off places is in a serious condition owing to a serious drought.
In some parts of Russia sugar is worth three dollars per pound and flour $1.25 per pound, and yet we think we are hard hit with a limited sugar supply at ten cents per pound and a combination flour supply.
The contractor for the Graniteville road is surfacing the road with the finer gravel from the gravel pit of Frank C. Drew on Lowell road.
Daniel H. Sheehan has sold some of his portable engines—there are others.
Now that the Middlesex-North Agricultural society is to hold its fair with the Groton farmers on September 27 and 28, will someone be authority enough to broadcast some premium list so that we may know how much of a pumpkin to bring on our shoulders and about how many cents it would be worth for folks to admire.
Mrs. F. A. Snow gave a very delightful porch party to the younger matrons and their children on Sept. 6 in West Chelmsford. This date was chosen as it was Lafayette day, the 161st anniversary of this hero’s birth and Governor McCall had urged an observance. Incidentally it was the twelfth birthday of Perry T. Snow. The spacious porch lent itself delightfully to such a gathering. The mothers made a group at one end and the children played on the lawn or gathered around the kindergarten table at the other end of the porch. There were all kinds of games and toys to amuse the little folks, who were twelve in number. Of course there was a birthday cake with candles to amuse the children, and ice cream. The grown-ups were treated to delicious mousse.
Mrs. Seth Walker, whose husband died very recently, will move from her home in Maine to South Lancaster, so as to take avail of the college for educating her three sons, aged sixteen, ten and three.
Charles Walker and his sister, Mrs. Littlefield, have returned to their home in Fitchburg after spending five weeks in Maine, where they went to see their brother, Seth Walker, in his last illness.
Oliver Desjardens has commenced cutting the hay on the Daniel H. Sheehan farm on Stony Brook road.
Send before September 15 to Dr. J. N. Murray, Littleton, for entry blanks for the dog show to be held at the Groton Farmers’ and Mechanics’ club fair, September 28.
Graniteville. The members of Court Westford, M.C.O.F., held a very successful dancing party in Abbot’s hall, Forge Village, last week Friday night. Broderick’s orchestra of Lowell furnished excellent music for dancing, and at intermission refreshments were served. There was a large number in attendance, many soldiers being present from Camp Devens. Miss Belle Carpentier had general charge of the affair, assisted by members of the order.
Rev. Emile Dupont, the new curate, celebrated both masses in St. Catherine’s church on last Sunday morning.
Miss Helen M. Furbush spent the weekend with friends in Harvard.
C. Leo Healy left here this week for Worcester, where he will enter Clark university.
The Graniteville baseball club will play the Westfords on the home grounds here this Saturday in the last home game of the season. Both clubs are evenly matched and the fans will surely see some good, fast baseball in this final home game. Graniteville will stick to the local players as much as possible, and the game promises to be an exciting one. Game called at three o’clock.
The Ladies’ Aid society of the M.E. church met with Mrs. Frank Caunter on last Thursday afternoon.
Edward DeLorenzo, who was injured at his work in Dedham a short time ago, is improving rapidly and hopes to resume his duties in a short time.
It is well to bear in mind that the local Red Cross meets in its rooms over the postoffice every Wednesday afternoon. It is essential that every member should make a special effort to attend these meetings and continue the good work that is now needed more than ever. Come prepared to do your share. It is expected that the night work will be started very soon.
Mrs. John Donehue [sic] and her two children, of Lowell, have been recent visitors here.
Miss Rachel Wall has been spending part of her vacation with friends in Nashua and Manchester, N.H.
Miss Margaret Driscoll, of Lynn, a former resident here, has been the guest of Miss Catherine Conley for the past few days, and during her visit here has called on many of her old friends.
The Graniteville boys who were called in the last draft and sent to Camp Jackson, Columbia, S.C., report that they have arrived safely and are well pleased with their quarters in the south. Clarence Dane has been appointed a corporal and Henry J. Healy has recently joined the medical corps since going there.
News Items. There is to be a concert in the Soldiers’ club, West street, Wednesday evening, September 18, at half-past seven by Yvonne de Treville, formerly prima donna soprano of the Belgian Royal Opera House, assisted by three other eminent artists. The special feature will be “Daughter of the regiment,” by Donizetti, given in costume. Public invited.
The Liberty Sing will be held as usual at the Soldiers’ club by Jack Archer, Camp Devens’ song leader. Public invited.
Maj. Gen. Henry P. McCain will hold the first review of the 12th division at Camp Devens Saturday morning at 8:30. There will be 20,000 troops in line. Brig. Gen. John N. Hodges will lead the march at the head of the 23rd infantry [brigade]. Brig. Gen. John E. Woodward will head the 24th infantry brigade. The 212th engineers, 212th field signal battalion, 34th machine gun company and division trains will be the other units in order.
Construction has begun for a new laundry building at Camp Devens, where 300 women will be employed to do all the washing for the camp. It will be finished in a month and operated by the quartermaster corps, reclamation department.
Three persons were slightly injured on Tuesday at the camp when a motor bus containing fourteen passengers capsized when in collision with a motor ambulance. Miss Stella Brown, of Shurleville [sic], N.Y., received wounds of the face and shoulders; John R. Waldron, Company K, 74th Infantry, was cut over the left eye, and Ralph Spearin, Company 20, Depot Brigade, had his hands cut by flying glass. The injured were taken to the base hospital, where their wounds were dressed.
Quite a lively mixup took place in front of the C.R.P. Company’s store last Sunday afternoon when a “regular,” more or less under the influence of intoxicants, broke loose and started to clean up a few military police who had endeavored to quiet his unruly ways and escort him to a proper resting up establishment. For a few moments it seemed as though he was going to have his say in the matter, but reinforcements of local police officers and a few more military police, soldiers and officers finally got him in a non-combative position and there he rested until the patrol arrived for him from the camp. Here again a merry time was had in getting him into the patrol, but at last the combined efforts of his captors managed to bundle him in. In the mixup a state officer who got into the engagement with no chance for a war cross and a few military police received several good jolts that surely remained with them for a few days.
District Court. L. J. Wells, a soldier, and Minnie Regan, of Utica, N.Y., were charged with misconduct. The former was given over to the custody of the camp officials. The latter was found not guilty and discharged, upon condition that she return to her home and keep away from this section in the future.