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, July 27, 1918

Dancing party at Town Hall raises $25 for French relief. Church bells ring to announce an allied victory overseas. Congregational Church holds Children’s Sunday. Graniteville ball club hosts largely attended concert & dance.

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The Westford Wardsman, July 20, 1918

Congregational Church’s minister gives talk on the significance of Bastille Day. Couple celebrates their 50th anniversary with relatives & friends. Cameron circle, C. of F. of A., holds very successful gala day in Graniteville featuring ball game, food booths, a “midway,” & a dance in the evening.

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The Westford Wardsman, July 13, 1918

Horse killed by lightning while standing in barn; “The barn escaped with only a few scratches.” Westford soldier stationed in England receives “personal letter of welcome” from King George. 28,000 Ft. Devens soldiers ship out to Europe on July 4th.

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The Westford Wardsman, July 6, 1918

State health nurse weighs & measures 48 children in Forge Village. Abbot Worsted Co. building a large bathhouse on Forge Pond. Forge baseball team defeats Graniteville.

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The Westford Wardsman, June 29, 1918

Ladies’ Missionary Society enjoys its annual field day. Hard frosts spare “hill gardens” but damage crops in “the lower lands.” Boys destroy garden in Forge Village

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The Westford Wardsman, June 22, 1918

Town’s food administrator limits how much sugar can be sold to households. Westford State Guard marches in Lowell Flag Day parade. Nine girls & five boys graduate from the Academy. Frost reported in Brookside.

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The Westford Wardsman, June 15, 1918

150 couples attend Grange dance. 24 more men register for draft. Abbot Worsted to increase wages in all departments. Ft. Devens soliders give a minstrel show in Graniteville to benefit Red Cross. Forge Village Girls’ Club entertains Red Cross workers.

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The Westford Wardsman, June 8, 1918

Measles epidemic continues, & several cases of mumps are reported. Children’s May party begins with “the triumphal entrance of the May queen” & closes with a May pole dance. Memorial Day observed with marching band, speeches, dinner at noon & an afternoon band concert.

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The Westford Wardsman, June 1, 1918

Girls in Frost School sewing & cooking classes host exhibition & sale. Large audience enjoys a “pretty Japanese play” by Westford Academy’s senior class. Nearly 40% of the town donates to second Red Cross drive, raising $7530.

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The Westford Wardsman, May 25, 1918

Measles epidemic continues, with 100 cases estimated in town. Members of Westford’s State Guard, Red Cross branch & Junior Red Cross march in Lowell’s Red Cross parade. Deputy fish & game warden “liberates” 12,000 yellow perch in local ponds.

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The Westford Wardsman, May 18, 1918

Private Adlat J. Langley, first Westford man to die in service during the world war, dies in France. Abbot Worsted Company’s tulip beds are in full bloom. School physician closes Cameron School due to measles outbreak.

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The Westford Wardsman, May 11, 1918

Measles outbreak postpones May Day party. Cameron School 6th, 7th & 8th graders give patriotic speeches at program. Girl Scouts perform “The American Girl,” an operetta. Graniteville baseball team beats Forge Village in season opener.

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