A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. Master William Carver had the eighth anniversary of his birth made very pleasant
for him with a birthday party arranged by his parents last Saturday afternoon. Twenty of his little
friends and playmates were invited from three until five in the afternoon. There were games
which were much enjoyed and a birthday supper with ice cream and cake; also, a birthday cake
and other good things. A Jack Horner pie was a feature that the little people very much
“At the republican caucus on Monday evening … Sherman H. Fletcher was chosen chairman
and A. W. Hartford, secretary. The following officers were nominated and will be voted for at
the annual town meeting on February 9: Oscar R. Spalding, selectman; Wesley O. Hawkes,
overseer of the poor; William E. Wright, assessor; Harwood L. Wright, treasurer; Leonard W.
Wheeler, collector of taxes; John Spinner, Arthur E. Day, school committee; William R. Taylor,
to fill out the unexpired term of John P. Wright; Charles W. Robinson, constable; Frederic Smith,
auditor; Charles O. Prescott, commissioner public burying grounds; Alice M. Howard, trustee
public library; board of health, Alexander A. Cameron, Edward T. Hanley, P. Henry Harrington.
“Tadmuck Club. The second meeting of the Tadmuck club for January took place at Library
hall at 2:30, Tuesday afternoon….
“Miss Emily F. Fletcher added to the interest of the meeting with a picture and account of an
unusual plant of the mallow family. An article in the Rhodora magazine, concerning this
discovery of Miss Fletcher, says this plant was not known to science until 1906, and even now is
known by only three collections. This plant was found growing in some wool waste and in
inquiry at the mill it was ascertained that among the various sheep-raising districts from which
wool was imported the last two years to Westford was South America as far south as Chili [sic]
and Argentine [sic]. This is evidence which helps to explain the presence of this unusual plant in
“Oscar R. Spalding has had his teams and men busy taking advantage of the good sledding to
move some extra large, fine chestnut logs from some swamp land to his home place.
“Much hard work has been done by Road Superintendent McDonald and his men to make the
roads in more passable condition on account of the bulk of snow lately.
“About Town. The Read-Drew farm [164 Main St.] have been loading apples onto the cars at
Westford for Boston. The auto truck to Boston has been crippled in its usual daily trips by snow
storms and blow storms. This is the longest delay since auto truck service to Boston started.
“Frederick A. Hanscom, the successful poultry man, has moved from the residence of Mrs.
Charles D. Coburn to Charles H. Bicknell’s at the Center. He is planning to move soon after the
weather gets over its zero fits to some of the superb suburbs of Boston. We are sorry to lose so
much well-balanced, workable intelligence.
“Seth W. Banister has finished as census enumerator and has since taken the census of the
snowdrifts on the Stony Brook road.
“William J. Parfitt, at the Whidden house at Westford station, is sleighing to and from night
work at the mills in North Chelmsford.
“Graniteville. Thomas Hughes, who has been a valued employee of the Abbot Worsted
Company for over thirty years, has recently left their employ to engage in business in Boston.
“A horse owned by William Tousignant, driven by his son Joel, fell down in the car tracks
near Abbot’s corner, Wednesday morning. Several men who were closeby [sic] removed the
harness and assisted the horse to its feet. No damage was done and after again being hitched up
the boy drove the horse away as though nothing had happened.
“An Enjoyable Event. The Abbot Worsted soccer team held their first annual ball in Abbot’s
hall on last week Friday evening. Many were present from all the nearby towns. It was the first
ball to be given in the new hall. The committee in charge were James Kelly, manager; Alexander
Scott, John Mann, John Beaver, William Blott, William Kelly, John Kavanaugh, Joseph Costello
and Thomas May. Joseph Blott and Everett Scott were in charge of the checking and cloak room.
Poole’s orchestra of Boston furnished the music, starting with a concert program from eight to
nine. The rest of the evening was given to dancing. At 10:30 refreshments were served in the
new dining hall. Mrs. Thomas Monohan was in charge of the supper committee, assisted by Mrs.
John Mann, Miss Mary Merrick, Miss Margaret Kavanaugh and Mrs. Thos. May. A late car
especially for the ball took care of the out-of-town guests….”