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, 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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The Westford Wardsman, September 7, 1918

Westford Academy reopens with 65 students. Dancing parties held in Town Hall & in Nabnasset Hall. Graniteville baseball club defeats Forge Village.

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The Westford Wardsman, August 31, 1918

Local company of the Massachusetts State Guard serves four-days’ tour of duty in Framingham. Work on widening, straightening & grading Graniteville Road is making good progress. “Merry” farewell party given for drafted Graniteville man.

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The Westford Wardsman, August 24, 1918

U.S. Public Health Service’s Director of Nurses gives talk at Town Hall on rural nursing. Spalding Light Cavalry Association holds its reunion with a pigeon shoot & business meeting. Heavy frost reported in north part of town. Letters from local men serving overseas are printed.

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The Westford Wardsman, August 17, 1918

Spaulding Light Cavalry association holds its annual reunion. 100-year-old lifelong Westford resident dies.

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The Westford Wardsman, August 10, 1918

Home Guard drills at Whitney playground. In Forge Village, many baseball fans watch Westford team defeat Forge Village. Children of the Methodist Church Sunday School enjoy a basket picnic on the church grounds.

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