A Century Ago in Westford

The Westford Wardsman was published weekly as part of Turner's Public Spirit, an Ayer-based newspaper. In the 21st century, Bob Oliphant, a longtime Westford Historical Society supporter, transcribed the complete articles from digital copies. His abridged versions of the Wardsman are published weekly in the Westford Eagle.

A more thorough introduction to the Wardsman is available here. A glossary of the abbreviations used in the Wardsman is available here.

This page is continually being updated, so check back soon for more recent articles.

You can also use the Westford Wardsman Date Index page to browse for specific issues by date.

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The Westford Wardsman, January 25, 1919

New kindergarten, with a class of 10 “little people,” starts meeting three mornings a week at a private home. House on Groton Rd. burns to the ground. A popular feature of twice-weekly movies shown in Forge Village is a sing-along, with songs’ words projected on-screen.

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The Westford Wardsman, January 18, 1919

WA seniors hold a whist party at Unitarian Church, with cake & cocoa & dancing afterwards. Eight-year-old boy is badly injured in a coasting accident on Main St. Ice company is cutting ice on Forge Pond.

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The Westford Wardsman, January 11, 1919

At the annual meeting of the Westford Red Cross, its secretary reports that the chapter made 517 sweaters, 1239 pairs of socks, 22,382 surgical dressings & hundreds of additional items to be sent to troops overseas, as well as collecting 2,000 pounds of clothing for Belgium relief. Local couple celebrates 60th anniversary. Flags at half-mast on the death of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

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The Westford Wardsman, January 4, 1919

WA junior class holds “a very pleasant” New Year’s dancing party at Town Hall. Several letters from soldiers still in Europe are printed. Court Westford, M.C.O.F elects officers for the new year.

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The Westford Wardsman, December 28, 1918

Schools’ Christmas vacation shortened to make up some of the days lost due to closing during flu epidemic. Churches celebrate the holiday with services, music, parties and Santa. Carolers entertain shut-ins on Christmas Day.

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The Westford Wardsman, December 21, 1918

New trolley schedule between the Center & Brookside is announced. Successful Farmers’ Institute attracts 200 attendees. Russian Cemetery is dedicated,

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The Westford Wardsman, December 14, 1918

Good attendance greets new pastor at Congregational Church. Grange gives prizes to Girls’ Canning Club. “The moving pictures” are a great hit in Graniteville.

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The Westford Wardsman, December 7, 1918

Women of the Red Cross ready large amount of refugee clothing for shipment. Letters from servicemen overseas describe war conditions.

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The Westford Wardsman, November 30, 1918

Red Cross calls for collection of clothing for Belgian relief & of hospital furnishings. A service flag is raised at St. Catherine’s Church. Fire destroys large barn & several tons of hay in Graniteville.

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The Westford Wardsman, November 23, 1918

Congregational Church’s annual fair, postponed due to flu epidemic, is held at Town Hall. Successful War Work fundraising campaign more than doubles $5000 quota. 13-year-old Graniteville girl dies from flu.

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The Westford Wardsman, November 16, 1918

Town rejoices in the war’s end with “an enthusiastic and spontaneous celebration”: ringing bells, flags flying from every house, closed schools & mills, “the largest parade in the history of the town,” & an impromptu program on the Common of speeches, singing of the Allies’ national anthems, & a moment of silence to honor local soldiers who died in the war.

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The Westford Wardsman, November 9, 1918

Serious motorcycle accident injures three Camp Devens soldiers. Abbot Worsted Co. installs a lunch-room for employees. Soldier writing from France reports “we have been so busy with Fritz” and such warm weather that “I wish we had Forge pond over here.”

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