A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher is confined to the house with a serious cold, complicated
with some pleurisy. With both Mr. Wright and Mr. Hartford absent on state guard duty,
conditions have been especially hard at Wright & Fletcher’s store.
“Principal William C. Roudenbush was at home on furlough from state guard duty and able to
be at school all day Thursday.
“Mr. and Mrs. George F. White, with guests, were in attendance on Thursday at the Readville
fair, where Mr. White had some of his thoroughbred Ayrshires entered among the exhibits.
“Gordon Seavey recently entered his fine five months old Berkshire pig, ‘Queen Tadmuck,’
and valued at $150, at the Springfield fair or [sic] the Eastern States Industrial exposition and was
awarded a fourth prize. Master Gordon also received first prize, a gold medal, for his pig
demonstration team. There was also one other juvenile pig raiser from Waltham who received
this honor. It should be understood that ‘Tadmuck Queen’ [sic] is an especially trained pig taught
by his young master. He exhibited her before 25,000 people driven in harness with various stops
at which he had her mount on a standard and partake of gum or candy.
“Mrs. Frank C. Wright is entertaining as a guest a maternal uncle, Washington Wyman.
Westford was Mr. Wyman’s native town, but he has lived in California for thirty-five years. He
is seventy-five years old and while crossing the continent visited a brother in Wisconsin, who is
eighty-one years old. Mr. Wyman has always followed the carpenter’s trade, which he learned of
Cyrus Hamlin in young manhood.
“Mrs. John P. Wright, who was in Westford over the weekend, took a group of friends to
Boston last Saturday to visit their state guard husbands. Miss Frances Wright was the capable
driver of her father’s seven-passenger Chandler. An informal but very pleasant luncheon party
was enjoyed at Mrs. Wright’s apartments in Cambridge before going to Boston.
“The members of the state guard on duty in Boston are being granted a day at home at a time
as far as possible to straighten out and do a little work on their own affairs as far as they can in a
“Sergt. Herbert A. Walkden, recently returned from duty overseas and gave a most interesting
talk of his experiences and impressions Sunday evening at the Congregational church. Sergt.
Walkden belonged to the great S.O.S. service of supplies army and his frank and friendly and
intelligent account of his work both before the armistice and after was followed with close
interest. He paid appreciative tribute to the various welfare leagues as he saw them, especially
“About Town. Samuel H. Balch goes to the head on best yield of potatoes—six bushels from
one peck of seed, and on chemicals only. This yield is at the rate of twenty-four bushels from one
bushel of planting. The average is about fifteen bushels from one of planting.
“The postponed town meeting will be held at the town hall on Wednesday evening, when all
our cold storage speeches will be warmed up for delivery. The warrant calls for additional money
for roads, schools and town nurse; also, to see if the town will elect a board of health at the next
annual meeting, and lastly to hear the report of the committee in regard to the advisability of the
town operating the branch electric railway from Westford to Brookside….
“Forge Village. Francis Lowther, Charles Dudevoir and Edmund de la Haye, members of the
state guard, now on duty in Boston, were home on Wednesday and returned on Thursday for duty
again. Edward T. Hanley, George D. Wilson and Julian A. Cameron were home on Friday for a
short time. James May, now on duty in Boston, captured a pickpocket and assisted in landing
him in jail.
“Joseph Costello, a veteran of the world war, left for Boston on Thursday to serve with the
“Graniteville. Some persons unknown attempted to wreck a train on the Boston and Maine
tracks here a few nights ago. Mr. Sleeper, who is employed on the section of the railroad, was
returning home Saturday night and in crossing the tracks near the foundry discovered large pieces
of iron lodged between the rails. The switch light had also been pulled off the post and thrown to
one side. He informed the telegraph operator at the station who held up the freight train that was
then due. The tracks were cleared without any resulting damage. There appears to be no clue as
to who attempted the wreck, but railroad detectives have the matter under investigation and a
close watch will be kept of this particular part of the line in the future.”