A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. A new gasoline tank is being installed at Clarence Hildreth’s Prospect hill garage.
In digging to place the tank, rock and ledge were encountered, making blasting necessary. This
makes the third commercial supply tank in the village.
“Miss Elinor [sic, Eleanor A.] Cameron is to spend the winter abroad, going with her aunt,
Mrs. Emma Abbot Atwood, and Mr. [William Edwin] Atwood. The larger part of the winter is to
be spent in Italy. Mrs. Julian A. Cameron went to New York last week, when the party sailed, to
see them off.
“Mr. and Mrs. Abiel J. Abbot are spending the winter in Boston.
“The Harry M. Ingalls household is quarantined, their son, Lawrence, being sick with scarlet
fever. This is reported as a light case. Mr. and Mrs. John K. Felch are also quarantined, their son
Howard, also having scarlet fever. As this little boy is an invalid from paralysis it makes his case
seem all the harder.
“The Misses Sarah, Lillian and May Atwood start this Saturday for their usual winter stay at
Jacksonville, Fla. Also, going at the same time are: Emory J. Whitney, Mrs. H. M. Bartlett and
Mr. and Mrs. Eliot Atwood of Chelmsford. Mr. and Mrs. James L. Kimball plan to start for
Florida next week.
“J. M. [John Melvin] Hartwell of the firm of Hartwell & Hosmer of Littleton, who has so
faithfully cared for the Westford route for at least twenty-five or thirty years, serving his
customers with meats and provisions during that time, will be much missed by them, having
severed his connection with the business to give all his time to his automobile business….
“A good animal story is always of interest to most people. Mr. and Mrs. Perry Shupe, on the
Boston road, have a pet Angora cat named ‘Fluffy Ruffles,’ who at present has an interesting little
family of four kittens. Recently Mr. and Mrs. Shupe were obliged to be at their farm in South
Merrimack, N.H., remaining over night. They left a good supply of food for ‘Fluff’ and her
children, but the next morning she decided more would be acceptable and appeared at her good
neighbors, the Bodahs, and told them about it. They gave her a good breakfast and she
disappeared and presently one of the family who was on the piazza saw her appearing from across
the street, with all of her kittens in tow. Just at this time a large automobile was coming up to
town at a good speed. The driver was the right sort and applied his brakes, coming to a full stop
to avoid a catastrophe to puss or her family. The man was a stranger but as he got his machine
under way again, those on the piazza saw him look back with a satisfied smile that no harm was
done. Sufficient to say that Fluff was rewarded with more breakfast and plenty for her family.
“About Town. H. E. and E. H. Gould have bought all the standing lumber, about fifty acres,
on the farm of the late Hammet D. Wright, and are cutting and hauling it to their sawmill near the
Wright schoolhouse [now 125 Groton Road].
“Neighbors’ night with Westford Grange last week Thursday evening. Chelmsford and
Boxboro Granges were liberally represented, besides visitors from Ayer, Tyngsboro and Littleton
Granges. Chelmsford Grange was entertaining in songs and readings. Boxboro Grange was
entertaining in variety and closed with a humorous play that made the hall echo with applause.
Westford Grange furnished supper to a large congregation.
“Amos Polley on the ‘Prairie’ farm has an acreage of winter wheat and winter rye that is a
bright green, contrast on the landscape to the frosted grass. It is for sowing purposes next spring.
“The W.C.T.U. met last week at the home of Mrs. Clarence Hildreth. Mrs. Charles Wright
gave an interesting report of the state convention. Mrs. Lucy Keyes was elected a life-member of
the union, being a charter member of the union and at 89 cast her vote at the recent election….
“The people of the Orthodox [i.e., Union Congregational] church have kindly offered the use
of their building to the people of the First Parish church in case their building is not ready to use
“Graniteville. Last Saturday the Abbot Worsted Co. soccer club defeated the Lynn Thistles
by the score of 2 to 0 in a league game. This Saturday the Abbots will meet either the United
Shoe eleven or the Fore River team at Forge Village in the second round for the national cup….”
Lucy Ann (Turrell) Keyes (1831-1934) was the oldest female voter in Westford in the 1920
election, the first presidential election in which women voted. Courtesy photo / “The Boston
Globe,” Nov. 19, 1931, p. 8.