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.

Search Westford Wardsman Issues


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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The Westford Wardsman, November 2, 1918

School-day hours extended to make up for time lost when schools were closed during flu epidemic. Regular church services resume as well. Westford branch of Red Cross home service formed to aid families of servicemen.

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The Westford Wardsman, October 26, 1918

Schools, library & churches reopen after several weeks’ closure due to flu epidemic. Tadmuck Club holds a relief work meeting, producing “hospital suits.” Mother of 8 children dies in car accident.

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The Westford Wardsman, October 19, 1918

No new flu cases reported. Apple pickers have been busy in orchards; apples are of uniformly good quality. Four cars of a freight train derail near Westford station, damaging nearly a thousand ties.

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The Westford Wardsman, October 12, 1918

Town mourns several more influenza deaths. Schools, churches & the library remain closed & all other gatherings & meetings are cancelled or postponed. Westford again goes “over the top” in its fourth Liberty Loan drive.

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The Westford Wardsman, October 5, 1918

Schools & library remain closed, church services & club meetings canceled, due to flu epidemic. First Westford soldier of the war dies at Camp Devens, a victim of flu.

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The Westford Wardsman, September 28, 1918

Three local Boy Scouts receive honors. Influenza epidemic causes radical changes in community plans, including the mid-week closing of the Frost School & Westford Academy & curtailing of work at the Abbot mills.

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The Westford Wardsman, September 21, 1918

Town’s first cases of Spanish flu reported. 331 more Westford men register for draft. W.C.T.U. elects new officers. Graniteville baseball club defeats the Westford club, retaining the town championship.

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The Westford Wardsman, September 14, 1918

488 students enrolled in Westford schools. Ladies’ Aid Society holds all-day session preparing for the upcoming fair. Court Westford, M.C.O.F., holds successful dancing party in Forge Village.

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