Charlie Hildreth, Town Clerk. (1879-1968)

By James VanBever

    Charles Lewis Hildreth was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts,  on June 15, 1879. His parents were Charles Willis Hildreth and Lucy Maria Colburn. The house in Cambridge where Charles was born later became the Continental Hotel. However, the family would later move to Southboro, Massachusetts when Charles or “Charlie” and his brother Henry were young boys. Charlie would attend grade school in Southboro. 

      The family would then move to Westford where Charlie would attend Westford Academy. He would graduate from Westford Academy in 1897, which was the last class to graduate from the original Academy building. The building became the Westford Center fire station and is now the site of the Westford Museum. 

     When Charlie’s family moved to Westford, his father bought the Richardson farm at 86 Main Street. It was here that the young Hildreth learned the meaning of hard work. All through high school and then college, Charlie would work on his father’s farm and sometimes on a neighbor’s farm for ten cents an hour. 

    After graduating from Westford Academy, Charlie entered Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, Hildreth received the nickname the “Deacon,” though he later admitted that he did not know where the name came from. Also, at Dartmouth the young Hildreth became president of the tennis club, the college “Y,” the class photographer, among other student activities. His love of photography would continue throughout his entire life.

  Upon graduating from Dartmouth College in 1901, Charlie entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1904. After graduating from Harvard Law, Hildreth began his long law career with Judge Frederick Fisher and Edward Fisher in Lowell. He would later join the law firm of Edward L. Monahan which was also located in the Mill City.

  In 1907, Charlie Hildreth married his high school sweetheart Elizabeth Cushing Heywood. Elizabeth and Charlie had been both in the same graduating class from Westford Academy. Elizabeth was also a member of the first class to graduate from Lowell Normal School (now known as UMass Lowell) in 1899. She had taught school in Lancaster, Massachusetts, but gave up teaching because of family health concerns. The couple had one son named Roger, who was born in 1911.

 During his law career, Attorney Hildreth represented the United Fruit Company, and often went on business trips to such places as Havana, Cuba, and Panama. His young son Roger would sometimes accompany his father on these trips. During these journeys, Charlie would make a point of taking pictures of the places he visited.

  Charlie Hildreth began his long service to the Town of Westford in 1909, when he became Chairman of the Overseers of the Poor. This board oversaw the cost and operation of the Westford Town Farm, 35 Town Farm Road; he would hold this position until 1915. 

  But it was Mr. Hildreth’s role as Town Clerk that he is best known for in Westford. He was elected town clerk in 1915 following Edward Fisher. When Hildreth became Town Clerk, he was paid $15.00 per year and adding remunerations for various license fees, his cost to the town was $97.50 annually. This was actually a pay increase for the Town Clerk since Edward Fisher had received a salary of $ 12.50 in 1914.

  Charlie was a good fit for this position since his expertise in law was in title searching. This would be a tremendous asset to the town. Years later, former Town Moderator Ben Drew would comment that he had worked with Charlie Hildreth for many years, and told of how Charlie had always followed the letter of the law and that of all of his decisions that were questioned, none was ever overturned.  Even more amazing was that Hildreth did not have an office at Town Hall, but instead conducted business from his home on 25 Boston Road, a  tradition that would continue until 1973. 

Charlie would continue to serve Westford as town clerk from his home office on 25 Boston Road until he retired. But being town clerk was only a small part of a rich life that Hildreth lived. A major part of that life was his lifelong love of photography. Charlie’s living room was adorned with beautiful pictures that he had photographed. Many of these pictures were of “Westford’s beautiful highways and byways.”  One of his favorite photos was of Vice President Charles G. Dawes and General John “Black Jack” Pershing.  Hildreth took this  picture  at a Revolutionary War celebration in Lexington.

 But civic engagement would always be part of Mr. Hildreth’s life. During World War I, Westford men who were too old or did not qualify for military service entered a military standby unit. These men would march and drill on the Westford Common or the Whitney Playground. Charlie would become a sergeant in this unit.

 During this time, a major emergency occurred in the City of Boston when the Boston Police Department went on strike. This strike was the first of its kind in the entire United States. Calvin Coolidge, who was governor of Massachusetts at the time, declared that “there is no right to strike against the public safety.”  The governor went on to say that “without police, rowdies roamed Boston.” Accordingly, Coolidge called up 1,100 recruits to restore order. Hildreth and his fellow Westford men were among them. 

 In 1925, tragedy would strike Charlie when his beloved wife Elizabeth passed away when she was only 45 years old. The couple had been together since their student days at Westford Academy. In Charlie’s  diaries while a student at Dartmouth College, Elizabeth had always been the center of his life. His son Roger was sixteen when his mother died.

Young Roger would soon follow in his father’s footsteps and became involved in Westford’s civic affairs when he became Town Moderator of Westford in 1933. At the time, the 23 year old Hildreth became the youngest town moderator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He would hold this position until 1942.

During his time as town moderator, Roger recalled one humorous incident that occurred at a town meeting. There was a discussion about the regulations for Fairview Cemetery, when a voter asked “Are there any lots left in the cemetery? A woman in the audience yelled out, “You need not worry, they have a lot saved for you.”

Charlie would remarry in 1935, when he married Alice Ann Battersby of Lowell. The couple would reside in their home on 25 Boston Road. Alice would become involved in town affairs and eventually became assistant town clerk, and when Charlie retired, she succeeded her husband in that role. Mrs. Hildreth would become Westford’s first female to hold this position.

Tragedy would again strike the Hildreth family in May 1964, when Roger Hildreth, while on a camping trip in Maine, failed to return to his camp site after an early morning hike to watch the sunrise. Unfortunately, Roger was not found until a year later when a boy camper discovered his remains on Mt, Katahdin. The State  of Maine authorities declared that there was no sign of foul play. Roger Hildreth was 54 years old.

Mr. Hildreth would resign his position as Town Clerk in 1965. This would conclude 59 years of service to the Town of Westford. His wife Alice would continue in this role until she died in 1974. The Town Clerk’s office continued to be housed at their home on 25  Boston Road until the office was transferred to the Town Hall in 1973. However, Alice never made the move to town hall, but her assistant  Enid Vaughn did. 

Charles L. Hildreth would pass away on February 7, 1968 at the age of 88. His wife Alice would die on February 9, 1974. After Charlie retired, the Town of Westford’s Annual Report best summed up his service to the town when it wrote:  “He has kept the Town Records; the Town Meeting notes and voter registration books. He has issued birth and death certificates, and marriage licenses. In many ways his work has been part of the lives of all of us in Westford.

Charlie was also an exceptional photographer, the Westford Museum’s 2023 Calendar,
Westford 100 years ago
is full of Mr. Hildreth’s photos of Westford. Order here 

Charles L. Hildreth in The Westford Wardsman (1906-1922)
Researched by Bob Oliphant
Search the Westford Wardsman Archives HERE

There were two men named Charles L. Hildreth who lived contemporaneously in Westford during the early 20th century and who were both mentioned in The Westford Wardsman.  The first Charles Lewis Hildreth was born in 1823 in Concord, N.H. and died Feb. 26, 1909.  He is buried in Edson Cemetery, Lowell.  He was the son of Elijah Hildreth Jr. (1776-1853) and Isabelle (Caldwell) Hildreth (1783-1884).  Charles married Maria M. Lovejoy (c. 1821-1889) of Pembroke, N.H. in 1846 in Nashua, N.H.  Maria died in Lowell twenty years before Charles.  Charles’ lengthy obituary appears in The Westford Wardsman of March 6, 1909, given below.  Charles and Maria had two daughters.  Emily Frances (1847-1849) died at the age of 1.  Ella Francella (1849-1924) lived in Westford and never married.

Charles Lewis Hildreth 2nd was born in 1879 in Cambridge and died in 1968 in Westford.  He was the son of Charles Willis Hildreth (1847-1934) and Lucy Marie (Colburn) Hildreth (1845-1931).  Charles Willis was the grandson of Elijah Hildreth, Jr., the father of the first Charles L. Hildreth, making Charles L. Hildreth 2nd the grand nephew of the first Charles L. Hildreth.  Charles was often referred to as the “2nd” to distinguish him from the elder man of the same name, for whom he was undoubtedly named, and not because his father also had that name.  Charles L. Hildreth 2nd married Elizabeth Cushing (Heywood) Hildreth (1879-1925) in Westford in 1907.  Their marriage is described in The Westford Wardsman of July 27, 1907.  They had one son, Roger Heywood Hildreth (1909-1964).

January 6, 1906

Center.  The engagement is announced of Miss Elizabeth C. Heywood and Charles L. Hildreth.

July 27, 1907

Wedding.  A very pretty wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Heywood, Wednesday afternoon, when their only daughter, Elizabeth Cushing Heywood, was united in marriage with Charles Lewis Hildreth.  Both are well-known young people, being graduates of Westford academy in the same class.  The groom is a graduate of Dartmouth college, class of ’01, and of Harvard law school.  The bride, after graduating from Lowell Normal school, was a successful teacher in Lancaster for a number of years.  Owing to the poor health of the bride’s father the wedding party consisted of only the immediate families of the young people.  The ceremony took place at five o’clock in the afternoon, and was performed by Rev. B. H. Bailey.  The bride’s dress was a dainty brown and white silk, with lace trimmings, and the traveling dress was a handsome blue cloth, with hat to match.

The wedding presents were numerous and beautiful, consisting of silver, cut glass, china, linen and articles of furniture.  A wedding collation was served, after which the happy couple took their departure for a wedding trip.  On their return they will make their home for the present with the groom’s parents Mr. and Mrs. C. Willis Hildreth.  No cards.

September 21, 1907

About Town.  The board of registration met at the selectmen’s room last Saturday evening, assistant town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth, acting in place of Edward Fisher, who is still incapacitated by illness from official duties.  The assessors also held a meeting in conjunction with the registrars to correct errors in name.  The next meeting of the registrars will be held at Moore’s mill, Brookside, Wednesday evening, Oct. 16, from 7:45 to 8:45.

November 9, 1907

Wedding.  A very brilliant November wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Grandison Sargent on Main st. [in Graniteville], at three o’clock last Tuesday afternoon, when their daughter, Miss Harriette Craven Sargent, and Henry Willis Hildreth of Cambridge were united in marriage by Rev. Alfred A. Woods of Newburyport, the double ring service being used.  Charles L. Hildreth, 2d, of Westford, brother of the bridegroom, was best man, and the maid of honor was Miss Alice Thayer of Worcester, a classmate of the bride.  The bride was becomingly attired in a gown of white radium silk, trimmed with princess lace.  She wore a tulle veil with orange blossoms, and carried a shower bouquet of roses and lilies of the valley.  The maid of honor looked charming in a gown of white net over blue satin, and carried a shower bouquet of pink roses. …

February 15, 1908

CenterCharles L. Hildreth has been making the most of the good sledding and filled his icehouse this week from Burgess pond.

July 25, 1908

Center.—Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth are spending a vacation at Ogonquit [sic], Me.

October 3, 1908

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, who have been boarding with his parents since their marriage a year ago this summer, have moved into the house on Boston road made vacant by the John P. Wrights [25 Boston Road].

November 7, 1908

Center.  Our venerable and respected townsman, Charles L. Hildreth, who has been seriously sick the past week, is much improved, although still under the care of doctor and trained nurse.  Heart weakness, induced by over-fatigue, was the cause of his illness.

November 21, 1908

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Mr. and Mrs. Wm. L. Woods attended the Harvard-Dartmouth football game, Saturday, at Cambridge [Harvard won 6-0].  Mr. Hildreth is a Dartmouth man, class of ’01.

December 5, 1908

Center.  Miss Ruth Fisher has been confined to her home this week with tonsillitis.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth has been substituting at the school for her, revving her successful teaching days.

March 6, 1909

Obituary.  Our community has had its full share of sudden deaths in recent years, but when word was passed about Friday afternoon, Feb. 26, of the death of our venerable and respected townsman, Charles L. Hildreth, it was a shock and surprise, for recently he has been in comparatively comfortable health.  In the fall and early winter he was seriously sick with heart trouble and his physicians gave but little hope of his recovery, but the strong constitution and the strong will rallied and of late he had resumed many of his former cares and the daily outdoor exercises in which he firmly believed.  Friday afternoon he started out to walk to the neighboring home of W. M. Wright, who has been in his employ for many years.  This house was originally the home of his ancestor, Richard Hildreth, and the late Mr. Hildreth was of the seventh generation to occupy these ancestral acres.

When he arrived at his house he complained of feeling ill and died before aid could be brought to him.

Charles Lewis Hildreth was born in Concord, N.H., Oct. 9, 1923, educated at the academy in New Ipswich, N.H., and removed from New Ipswich to Lowell when twenty-two years of age and began work in the Lowell machine shop as an apprentice, serving three years.  He then became a contractor in the machine shop, which place he held for about ten years.  During the great depression in the iron trade in 1858, he became foreman for a Philadelphia firm, remaining two years, when he returned to Lowell, and became foreman in the machine shop in 1865, holding the position fourteen years.  In 1879 he was elected to the important office of superintendent of the “big shop.”  These works are the largest of the kind in America and Mr. Hildreth was conversant with the minutest details.  During this period he resided part of the year in Lowell and the remainder of the time in Westford, going daily in the summer to look after the immense business in Lowell, and at the same time taking a deep interest in the farm at Westford where he made many substantial improvements.

About five years ago he retired to his Westford farm, building the beautiful and substantial home where his last days were spent.  A few years ago he built the picturesque log cabin at the summit of sightly Prospect hill.  These and the several other houses owned by him, the care of his large farming interests, and the extensive building of substantial stone walls occupied his time.

While living in Lowell he was closely identified with the Kirk st. church and in Westford with the Union Congregational church.  He was its friend and benefactor and its members will ever hold his name in loving memory.  It was Mr. Hildreth some years ago, when this church was remodeled, who came forward with his sagacious and practical business ability and generosity and made possible many things that otherwise could not have been accomplished.  Embodied in the report of the building committee on the church records is the following entry:

“A report from this building committee would not be complete without mention of a self-elected member thereof, who has proved the most efficient member of the committee.  When the contract work was well under way Mr. Hildreth found what was being done and ordered the construction of an organ loft.  From that time on in building and furnishing, in adding finishing touches within and without and about the building his kindly hand has constantly been visible.  With excellent taste and with the end in view of the completion of the whole in a manner harmonious throughout and thoroughly adapted to the purpose of the building, he has steadily labored.  The carpet, the pews, the decorations, the stained glass windows, except the memorial window, with numerous small items thoughtfully provided are from his generous hand.  Last but not by any means least the organ is from him and his daughter.”

This is but a part of the record, but it shows how at that time and many times since he has come forward with kindly and discriminating generosity.

Mr. Hildreth was married in July, 1846, to Miss Mary M. Lovejoy of Nashua, N.H.  She died in Lowell Dec. 1, 1889.  Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth,–Emily Frances, born July 11, 1847, and Ella Francella, born Dec. 12, 1849.  The latter survives him.  Since the death of her mother she has been her father’s devoted friend, helper and homemaker.  Mr. Hildreth had traveled extensively in this country and in Europe.

The funeral was held from his late home Monday morning at eleven o’clock and was largely attended.  A large delegation of friends from Lowell was present.  Rev. Charles P. Marshall was the officiating clergyman and he spoke wise and tender words of loving sympathy and paid fitting and just tribute to him who had lived his long life with manly strength and faithfulness.  He also read from a beautiful poem entitled “He gives his Angels charge o’er all our ways,” which was a favorite with Mr. Hildreth.  The quartet from the Kirk st. church, Lowell, rendered beautiful selections, the first an adaptation from [John Greenleaf] Whittier’s beautiful “Our Master” and “O, Love that will not let me go,” and lastly “Abide with me.”

The bearers were F. A. Flather, E. W. Burke, Channing Whittaker and C. L. Hedrick.  The arrangements were in charge of A. G. Cumnock, and undertaker Rufus O. Adams was in attendance.  Interment was in the family lot in the Edson cemetery, Lowell.  Mr. Marshall accompanied the funeral party to Lowell and conducted the committal service at the grave.  The flowers that Mr. Hildreth so loved in life were rarely beautiful for this last service and completely banked the casket.  They were as follows:

Wreath of box leaves and violets, Ella F. Hildreth; wreath of galax leaves, violets and orchids, old friends among the mill agents; set piece of roses and pinks, Lowell machine shop; Jacqueminot roses and palms, James T. Smith; spray of pinks and ferns, Union Congregational church; wreath of roses and ferns, Mr. and Mrs. Edward N. Burke; narcissus and pinks, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Wright; wreath of Easter lilies and galax, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Hildreth and Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Hildreth; white roses and ferns, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Southworth; cut roses, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Elliot; white roses, violets and palms, Franklin Pevey and daughters; violets and galax leaves, Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Hedrick; wreath of violets, galax leaves and pinks, Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Palmer; spray of pinks and palms, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Wright; Easter lilies and ferns, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Flather; tea roses and ferns, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sargent; spray white roses, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Hildreth; white azalea plant, Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Hildreth; wreath of galax leaves and violets, Channing Whittaker; spray pink roses, Dr. John L. Hildreth; pinks Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Barrett.

Banquet.  The ladies of the Thimble club held their annual cooperative banquet complimentary to their husbands last Saturday evening.  It was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Hartford, who made the very best kind of host and hostess, and it was also a sort of house warming for their pretty new home in which they have but recently become established.  The long table extended the length of two rooms and was beautifully decorated with carnations and ferns.  The place cards were of dainty white with a pink carnation fastened through with pink ribbon.  The menu was one of the best that this group of housewives knew how to plan and after it had been thoroughly and happily discussed the evening was rounded out with games, music and congenial sociability.

The group of gentlemen who enjoyed this party with their wives were Edward Fisher, William D. Woods, A. W. Hartford, H. V. Hildreth, O. R. Spaulding, D. [L.?] W. Wheeler and J. H. Fletcher, and invited guests were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Fisher of Lowell, and H. L. Wright and W. R. Taylor.  Last but not least was the daughter of the household, Miss Hazel Hartford.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, 2d, were much missed, but were detained at home on account of Mr. Hildreth’s uncle’s death.

March 20, 1909

Tadmuck Club.  The members of the Tadmuck club held their regular meeting in library hall Tuesday afternoon, under some difficulties, but it was a good meeting withal. …

The next meeting promises to be of much interest.  The subject is “Women of the north and south during the civil war.”  Papers on the respective sides by Mrs. H. V. Hildreth and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

April 3, 1909

Tadmuck Club.  There was a good attendance of members and guests present at the regular meeting of the Tadmuck club in Library hall Tuesday afternoon for the program, which promised to be one of interest, was in no way disappointing.  The members were pleased to have the president Miss Loker, who has been detained at home with an attack of grippe, in her accustomed place.

At the business session, the matter of increasing the annual membership fee was put to vote by written ballot and defeated.  It was voted to reconsider the plan of gentleman’s night, to guest’s night.  All members who had husbands and wished to invite them, to do so, and others privileged to invite one guest, either lady or gentleman.  A small assessment will be placed upon each member to meet the expense of this.

The subject of the afternoon was, “Women of the north and south during the Civil war.”  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth read the first paper, a thoroughly well written and well delivered portrayal of the part of our northern women in that great struggle; of their loyalty and devotion, privation and suffering, an account of those who worked at home and those who went as nurses.  Mrs. H. V. Hildreth’s paper on the women of the south during those eventful days, fully merited the close and appreciating attention it received to the last work.  It was a vivid and eloquent account of those women, many of whom had known only luxury and ease, but in those days of hardship were constantly enduring and sacrificing to the army who wore the gray.

The subject so ably treated from both sides was ever the same heart-stirring narrative, equally to those who remember those days of the great Civil war, and to those who have been born since.

Miss Miranda G. Luce interspersed the two papers with one entitled, “Personal recollections of a young girl during the war,” telling in her own keen, entertaining style many happenings in our own town during those four years.

May 15, 1909

Center.  The Thimble club met with Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth Thursday afternoon of last week with every member in attendance.  Miss Esther Gardner Fisher [born Feb. 4, 1909, daughter of Edward and Helen I. (Gardner) Fisher] was admitted into membership.

Club Guest Night.  The annual gentlemen’s or guests night given by the members of the Tadmuck club proved a most successful and enjoyable occasion.  It took place at the Congregational church Tuesday evening, with about one hundred and fifty people in attendance.  The church was prettily trimmed with palms, ferns and early spring flowers. …

The committee in charge of this annual social were Mrs. Oscar R. Spalding, Mrs. Julian A. Cameron and Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher.  The hospitality committee who had charge of refreshments were Mrs. Herbert V. Hildreth, Mrs. John P. Wright, Miss Lillian B. Atwood, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Mrs. Edward Fisher.

June 26, 1909

Grange.  The last meeting of the grange for June at the town hall last week Thursday evening proved interesting and enjoyable.  There was a good attendance of the members and a visiting delegation of six patrons from Chelmsford. …

The next meeting, July 1, promises to be full of interest.  The first subject is “Farm laws,” by Charles L. Hildreth, and the second is a discussion: “From which do we derive the most benefit, education or observation?”

July 10, 1909

Grange.  At the grange meeting last week Thursday evening the lecturer’s hour was entertainingly and instructively occupied.  Music by the grange orchestra so lively and good that it had to be played all over again several times, such was the hand clapping for it, that it couldn’t be put off with a bow.  Mrs. H. B. Read read a paper of much interest and news to many on “What the women of the north did for the women of the south during the Civil war.”  Charles L. Hildreth read and explained “Farm law” in its bearing on the farmer, with particular reference to the milk standard, forest laws, the setting of fires and the protection of wild game.  Mrs. F. C. Wright read and quoted interesting facts relating to the early history of the town.  The discussion of the question, “From which do we derive the most benefits, education or observation,” was postponed until the first meeting in August on account of the crowded benefits of the evening.  The grange voted to invite Tyngsboro and Concord granges to visit Westford grange the evening of Sept. 16.

July 31, 1909

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth have been enjoying a week’s vacation at Ipswich.

September 18, 1909

About Town.  Time revolves on its axis so easily and swiftly that you can almost catch the distant sound of these familiar questions, although twenty-one future, “What is your full name?”  “Roger Heywood Hildreth.”  “Where were you born?”  “In Westford, Saturday, September 11, 1909.”  Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, baby boy and grandparents.  Memory recalls the youthful school days’ association in the palmy days of the old Stony Brook school with the grandfather on the democratic side of this ticket. …

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth are rejoicing over the advent of a son into their home.  The little newcomer’s name is Roger Heywood Hildreth.

Royally Entertained.  The Thimble club had one of its red-letter days Wednesday, when they were entertained at Camp O-at-ka for the day by Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Goode.  It was ever the same delightful “Goode” hospitality amid the same pleasant surroundings.  The scene at the long dinner table at noon was a merry affair.  Nothing was omitted, especially the club blessing.  It came out during the meal that it was the host’s birthday, and he was the recipient of happy felicitations, although he did not acknowledge especial maturity of years.  Ample justice was done to the many good things.  Among these was the result of the host’s successful angling for an hour or two, and his success with the finny tribe was an enjoyable addition.

Later in the afternoon the members were true to their name, and needle work and the spontaneous sociability of long association together was enjoyed, after which outdoor games until it was necessary to think of going home.  Some crossed the pond by boat and came back to the village by trolley, while others drove home.  Those members detained from being present for various reasons and much missed were Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mrs. O. R. Spaulding, Mrs. Edward Fisher, Miss Ruth Fisher and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

February 5, 1910

About Town.  The annual meeting of the republican town committee was held at the selectmen’s room last week Friday evening, to organize.  Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was chosen chairman.  Alfred W. Hartford, secretary, Julian A. Cameron, treasurer.  A later meeting will be held in February to determine the date of the caucus, to nominate candidates for the general town offices to be voted for at the coming March meeting.  The important offices to be filled for a term of three years, and the individuals whose term expires, are selectman, Edward M. Abbot; assessor, Charles D. Colburn; overseer of the poor, Charles L. Hildreth; school committee, Albert R. Choate, Henry B. Read.

March 5, 1910

CenterCharles L. Hildreth has been confined to his home on Boston road this past week with an attack of the grippe.

Marc 26, 1910

Town Meeting.  Fair skies and good travelling made it easy to reach the town hall, the mecca of the voters for the annual town meeting Monday, March 21.

Neither were there any squalls within the hall, but a lively interest in the town’s affairs that brought out the largest vote that has been cast for years.  Contests for the offices of selectman, school committee, constable and the license question were the more vital issues of the day.

The first act of the voters was to choose for moderator, Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, the governor’s councilor from this district.  Under Article two was the “battle of the ballots,” with the following results:

For selectman, Sherman H. Fletcher was elected for three years, the vote being Fletcher 191, Wall 144.

Charles D. Colburn, assessor for three years; Charles L. Hildreth, overseer of the poor; Harwood L. Wright, town treasurer; Leonard W. Wheeler, tax collector; William R. Taylor, auditor; Edson G. Boynton, constable, 247; Fennimore Martin, constable, 180; John A. Sullivan, defeated, 129.  School committee, three years, H. B. Reardon, 198; H. E. Gould, 229; Albert R. Choate, 162; Read and Gould elected.  Trustee of public library, Charles O. Prescott.  Commissioner of public burial ground, for three years, David L. George.

In the license question the noes were happily in the ascendant, having 262 votes, against 142 yes.  The total numbers of voters casting ballots during the day was 363, including two suffragettes. …

June 25, 1910

Children’s Sunday.  That Sunday set aside in early summer as exclusively belonging to the children was observed most successfully at the Congregational church last Sunday morning.  The large audience present readily extended the responsive appreciation that the exercises merited.

The decorations were especially pretty, being a skillful arrangement of lilies, mountain laurel, syringas and ferns and making an attractive setting for the bright faces of the children.

The beautiful and impressive rites of baptism were received by five [four?] little ones, Roger Heywood Hildreth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth; Violet Marion Green and Evelyn Marjory Green, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Green and John Henry Perkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Perkins.  

August 6, 1910

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Master Roger Heywood Hildreth are enjoying a vacation at Wilton, N.H.

August 20, 1910

Centre.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth entertained the Thimble club at her home on Boston road on Tuesday afternoon of this week.  There was the usual pleasant time that occurs when this congenial group are together.  Mrs. Harriet Sargent Hildreth was a special guest of the afternoon.

October 22, 1910

Centre.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher attended the wedding of their classmate, Miss Gertrude Craven, at her home in Lowell on Wednesday evening [Oct. 19] to Mr. Elliot, a son of Thomas H. Elliot, the well-known real estate dealer.

November 19, 1910

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth went to Cambridge last Saturday for the Dartmouth-Harvard football game [Harvard won 18-0] and afterward went to Winchester and spent Sunday with the Henry Hildreths.

Recount.  The board of registrars met on Monday evening at the selectmen’s room to recount the votes for congressman from the fourth district and senator from the seventh district, as petitioned for by disappointed candidates.  George T. Day and Charles L. Hildreth represented Mr. Wilder and Lawyer O’Sullivan of Lowell represented Mr. Mitchell.  In the senatorial count, John A. Healey of Graniteville represented candidate Kiely of Lynn and the board of registrars represented candidate Bennett of Saugus.  The recount revealed no material change from the returns of the election officers.  Both candidates for congress lost one vote each for the long term.  By the recount Wilder has 194 for the long term and 195 for the short term.  Mitchell has 144 for the long term and 159 for the short term.  Lawyer O’Sullivan contested eight votes for Wilder.  [For] The recount for senator, the returns of the election officers was confirmed.

February 4, 1911

Village Improvement Meeting.  The Westford Improvement association having been moribund for ten years, and as some of our leading citizens recognizing need of some organization to look out in a broad way for the welfare of the town, a meeting was held in town hall on Tuesday evening when about twenty-five of our citizens were present.

Being called to order by Sherman H. Fletcher, Edward Fisher was chosen chairman and Charles O. Prescott temporary secretary.  After brief speeches by Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Fisher, followed by a general discussion, a committee of five retired and nominated George T. Day, Charles L. Hildreth, John C. Abbot, Charles O. Prescott and Leonard W. Wheeler as a committee to investigate and report as to name, purposes and by-laws for the proposed organization.  This committee was promptly elected and adjournment was made to Thursday, February 9, when this committee is to report.

February 11, 1911

Inspection.  The annual town farm inspection and appraisal was held with the usual temptations of dinner last Saturday.  Although a drenching rain was putting in fast work to discourage attendance, the tempting dinner won and everybody came.  Those present were—Oscar R. Spalding, Sherman H. Fletcher, Andrew Johnson, representing the selectmen, Charles L. Hildreth, Albert R. Choate, Arthur H. Burnham, representing the overseers of the poor, Leonard W. Wheeler, tax collector, William R. Taylor, auditor, Representative Edward Fisher, town clerk, Frank C. Hildreth, Fred R. Blodgett, Calvin L. Howard, as appraisers.  All the above acted as appraisers of the dinner and like the appraisal of the personal property it held all past good in the addition of present best.

February 18, 1911

Board of Trade.  The recently organized Board of Trade made up of the citizens of our town with a view to its welfare and development on broad lines starts out most auspiciously.  There are twelve articles in the constitution, the first two of which give a good idea of the proposed scope of the organization, and are as follows:

Article 1.  The association shall be known as the Westford Board of Trade.

Article 2.  It shall have for its object the advancement of the public interests of the town of Westford; the development of all legitimate enterprises tending to increase the prosperity; the uniting of the energies and influence of its citizens upon all subjects affecting the welfare of the town; the improvement of facilities for transportation; the diffusion of information concerning the manufactures, trade and business of the town; and the cultivation of friendly relations among the citizens of Westford and vicinity.

The membership fee is fifty cents and an annual fee hereafter of fifty cents a year.

The new officers are: Edward Fisher, pres.; P. Henry Harrington, vice pres.; Charles O. Prescott, sec.; Leonard W. Wheeler, treas.  The board of directors to serve for one year are: Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, Edward Hanley, A. R. Wall, Samuel L. Taylor and Herbert V. Hildreth, and these directors have appointed the following committees for the ensuing year: Town affairs and real estate development, Capt. S. H. Fletcher, George T. Day, Hammett D. Wright; transportation, John C. Abbot, Herbert E. Fletcher, Edward Fisher; statistics and information, Charles O. Prescott, Elmer Nutting, Albert R. Wall; manufacture and mercantile affairs, Julian A. Cameron, Charles G. Sargent, Charles M. Trull; public buildings, parks, sidewalks, street lighting and village improvement, Albert R. Choate, Oscar R. Spalding, Edward T. Hanley; athletics, Dexter E. Coggshall, R. J. McCarthy, John Spinner; collection and presentation of local historical and photographical material, Charles L. Hildreth, John D. Carmichael, R. D. Prescott; entertainment, Edward M. Abbot, Joseph Wall, George H. Weaver.

May 20, 1911

Tadmuck club.  The last event in the Tadmuck calendar was the final social which took place on Tuesday evening at the Unitarian parlors.  This was a guest night and as most of the members who could invited their husbands, it was rather gentlemen’s night.  There were about one hundred and twenty-five present, the beautiful spring evening making it easy for all to come. …

The efficient committee in charge were Mrs. Edward Fisher, Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher, Mrs. S. L. Taylor and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

June 17, 1911

About Town.  The alumni of Westford academy will give their annual dance and reception on Friday evening, June 30.  Music by Hibbard’s orchestra of Lowell, the leader of which is serving his fourth term in the Massachusetts senate.  The committee on the part of the alumni to stir up arrangements and a contagious faith and zeal of the Long days are Charles L. Hildreth and William R. Taylor.

July 1, 1911

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth returned this week from several days delightful sojourn at Hanover, N.H., and the commencement exercises of Mr. Hildreth’s alma mater at Dartmouth college.  It is the tenth reunion of his class of which there was a large delegation present.

July 8, 1911

Graduation.  It was good graduation weather last week Friday for the large class of graduates from the academy and their interested parents and friends.  The exercises took place at ten o’clock in the forenoon in the town hall before a large audience.  The decorations were especially effective and attractive with an abundance of restful green and potted plants.  The class colors of blue and white were much in evidence and the class motto, “Onward and upward,” was arranged over the stage and the year 1911 occupied a prominent position and was a good shield for what later proved to be the class gift.

The graduates were Seth W. Bannister, Ruth M. Furbush, Clarence H. McMaster, Ruth A. Flagg, Victor G. Hanson, Ida M. Trask, Joseph O. LeDuc, Anna H. Symmes, John Feeney, jr., and Addie L. Day. …

A meeting of the Alumni association took place after the exercises and changes of plans for future gatherings were discussed and the following executive committee appointed: Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Arthur G. Hildreth and Seth W. Bannister.  Judge F. A. Fisher of Lowell was elected president; H. V. Hildreth, vice pres.; C. Mabel Drew, sec. and treas.

In the evening the annual reception and dance took place.  This is always one of the pleasant social occasions of the year and Friday evening was no exception in attendance and enjoyment.  In the receiving line were the teachers of the academy—Dexter Coggshall, principal, Miss Bertha Norris and Miss Edith Lawrence.  Superintendent of schools Frank H. Hill and Mrs. Hill and the ten graduates, the young ladies alternating with the young gentlemen.  The grand march was led by Mr. Coggshall and Miss Norris, followed by about seventy-five couples, after which dancing was enjoyed until one o’clock.  Music was furnished by Hibbard’s orchestra of Lowell and the D. L. Page Company catered.  The committee in charge was William R. Taylor, Mrs. Harriet C. S. Hildreth and Charles L. Hildreth.

September 30, 1911

CenterCharles L. Hildreth [2nd] has bought of Miss Ella F. Hildreth the pleasant home occupied by himself and family for the last three years.

November 25, 1911

Tadmuck.  At the meeting of the Tadmuck club on Tuesday afternoon, Miss Ella F. Hildreth, vice president, had charge of the afternoon’s program.  The subject was the second in the season’s special topic for study and was “South American cities.”  Miss Hildreth had chosen Montevideo in Uruguay, and gave an interesting sketch of this progressive South American city; also, one of La Plaza in Bolivia, and a brief one of Tripoli.  Miss Hildreth illustrated her talk with some good views.

Under the charge of the committee on preliminary exercises, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth read a thanksgiving article by John D. Long, on which Mr. Long gave one of his masterly word pictures of the old Thanksgiving and the new.  This was followed with the closest attention.

December 2, 1911

Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving day, the homiest holiday of the year, the festival of the fireside, has come and gone.  While apparently a quiet day in our village, there were many pleasant gatherings while others went to gather around festive boards in other places. …

The A. H. Sutherlands entertained Mr. and Mrs. George Cameron and Bertram Cass, of Somerville.  Guests at Miss Ella F. Hildreth’s were Mr. and Mrs. C. Willis Hildreth.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth spent the day at George W. Heywood’s. …

January 6, 1912

Board of Trade Meeting.  The Westford Board of Trade met on Wednesday evening at the town hall with good attendance.  The president, Edward Fisher, presided.  It was decided that the entertainment committee, with the board of directors, hold some sort of entertainments before the end of February.  Some discussion took place as to prospective playground or playgrounds for Graniteville, results of which it is hoped will materialize later. …

Village improvement committee was asked to give a report on sidewalks at the next meeting.  The board has at present a membership of sixty-two and the organization promises well for town betterment.  The officers chosen were:

Edward Fisher, pres.; P. H. Harrington, v.p.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec.; L. W. Wheeler, treas. and col.; Sherman H. Fletcher, Samuel L. Taylor, A. R. Wall, Edward Hanley and H. V. Hildreth, dir.

February 10, 1912

Center.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger were guests on Tuesday of Mrs. Hildreth’s old-time school friend, Mrs. Gertrude Craven Elliott, at her pleasant home in Lowell.

Good Management.  The annual appraisal of the personal property at the town farm took place last Saturday with the usual gathering of town officials.  Among those present were Oscar R. Spalding, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher and Andrew Johnson, representing the selectmen, J. Willard Fletcher, Charles D. Colburn and William L. Woods, assessors, Charles L. Hildreth, Albert R. Choate and Arthur H. Burnham, overseers of the poor, Edward Fisher, town clerk, Harwood L. Wright, treasurer, William R. Taylor, auditor, and Leonard W. Wheeler, collector.  The appraisers were John McMaster, Charles Blodgett and William E. Wright.

The appraisal, as was expected, proved that the property of the town farm is in a condition showing thrift and good management, and the buildings a credit to town, county or state.  The usual “smoke social” was pleasantly observed by the town officials while the appraisal was being made, then came one of those town farm temptations, the annual dinner, that none but sick people are able to resist. …

May 11, 1912

Center.  A very pleasant meeting of the Thimble club was held at the home of Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth on Boston road Tuesday afternoon.

May 18, 1912

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger were over Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth at Winchester this week.

August 24, 1912

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger returned this week from a very pleasant vacation spent at Temple, N.H.  Mrs. Hildreth also enjoyed a day at Lancaster renewing associations of seven years of teaching before her marriage.

September 28, 1912

About Town.  On last Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Snow gave a social party of sports and games at their residence in West Chelmsford to former schoolmate friends and other companionable attractions.  Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Elliott.

November 30, 1912

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert Young, of Lowell, were weekend guests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.  Another guest was Victor Cutter, of Guatemala, Central America.  Mr. Cutter is at home on a visit to his home people in Dracut.  He and Mr. Hildreth were college mates at Dartmouth.  An interesting present to his host and hostess was a large mahogany tray, the whole being shaped from one piece of this beautiful wood, which is so abundant in the country of Guatemala.

January 11, 1913

Center.  The Thimble club was very pleasantly entertained by Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth at her home on the Boston road Friday afternoon of this week.

About Town.  The annual meeting of the Westford Board of Trade was held on Wednesday evening, when the following officers were elected: Hon. Edward Fisher, pres.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec.; Leonard W. Wheeler, treas.; Capt. S. H. Fletcher, H. V. Hildreth, Albert R. Wall, directors.  Ten new members were added.  It was voted to procure three “rope lines” for Forge Village, Graniteville and Westford station to be used in the emergency of drowning accidents.  The entertainment was from the skill of Prof. Hansill, of Waltham, and everybody swayed back and forth with laughter to the point of tears and nodded that they had discovered it, and more too.  The meeting adjourned to Graniteville at the call of the directors to discuss the question of an evening school.

February 8, 1913

Town Farm Appraisal.  That annual event, the annual appraisal of property at the town farm, followed by the dinner to the town officers, took place on last Saturday.  The appraisers this year were William E. Wright, David L. Greig and Alec MacDonald.  They found everything well kept and in excellent order under the charge of the master and matron, Mr. and Mrs. Barnes.  The three inmates at the farm are Sarah Ingalls [aged 50], Mary Cowdrey [54] and Hiram Leland [65].  Mrs. Barnes served a dinner at noon to fourteen, fully up to the high standard of preceding events of this kind, and full justice was done to the same.

Those present, beside the appraisers already mentioned, were the three assessors, J. Willard Fletcher, William L. Woods and Charles D. Colburn; O. R. Spalding, representing the selectmen; three members of the board of overseers, Charles L. Hildreth, Arthur H. Burnham and Albert R. Choate; William R. Taylor, Edward Fisher, town clerk, and C. A. Blaney, M.D., town physician.  S. H. Fletcher, H. L. Wright and Andrew Johnson were unable to be present.

March 8, 1913

About Town.  At the republican caucus on Tuesday evening, H. V. Hildreth was chosen chairman and Alfred W. Hartford as secretary.  The following nominations were made: Sherman H. Fletcher, selectman; Charles D. Colburn 3 yrs., J. Austin Healy 2 yrs., assessors; Charles L. Hildreth, overseer of poor; Harwood L. Wright, treas.; Leonard W. Wheeler, collector; William R. Taylor, auditor; Harry L. Nesmith, tree warden; Charles T. Brooks, John A. Sullivan, constables; Frank L. Furbush, Arthur E. Day, school committee 3 yrs.; Charles O. Prescott 3 yrs., John P. Wright 1 yr., library trustees; David L. Greig, cemetery commissioner.

March 15, 1913

Town Warrant.  The annual town meeting will be held at the town hall on Monday, March 17.  The polls will be opened at eight o’clock and may be closed at one in the afternoon.  Aside from the annual election of officers and the usual town business, the warrant, which contains thirty articles, has several special measures. …

Art. 38.  To see if the town will vote to release and convey to Charles L. Hildreth a parcel of land situated on the westerly side of the Boston road, formerly used as a town pound.

March 22, 1913

Town Meeting.  The quietest town meeting possibly on record was held on Monday, and as evidence of this, of the thirty-nine articles in the warrant all were passed without a word in dissent except in article 32, and this dissent was humorous and not vital or spicy, and the active contest was confined entirely on the election of selectmen and school committee.  The selectmen acted as ballot clerks and Henry O. McDonald, Arthur H. Burnham, Walter J. Merritt, Alonzo Sutherland, Joseph Wall, Frank A. Healy as tellers.  The polls opened at eight o’clock in the morning and closed at 1:15 in the afternoon.

Three hundred and thirty-one ballots were cast and resulted as follows: Sherman H. Fletcher, selectman; Charles D. Colburn 3 yrs., J. Austin Healy 2 yrs. Assessors; Charles L. Hildreth, overseer of poor; Harwood L. Wright, treas.; Leonard W. Wheeler, col.; William R. Taylor, aud.; John A. Sullivan, Charles T. Brooks, constables; Frank L. Furbush, John P. Wright 3 yrs., Arthur E. Day 1 yr., school com.; Charles O. Prescott, John P. Wright, library trustees; David L. Greig, commissioner of burial grounds; Harry L. Nesmith, tree warden; “Shall licenses be granted for the sale of intoxicating liquors in this town?” No 167, Yes 111. …

Art. 15.  On motion of Charles L. Hildreth, chairman of overseers of the poor, the town contributed $1100 in money, and all the fruit, vegetables and milk necessary off the town farm for the benefit of those who are incapacitated from conferring self-benefits. …

Art. 38.  Sold a piece of land known in history as the “Pound” to Charles L. Hildreth for a one dollar bill.  This is the largest sale of real estate that the town has driven to a terminal for many years.  The dollar bill will not quite cover all the land, enough for a hill of cucumbers will perhaps be left uncovered. …

April 26, 1913

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth, of Winchester, were guests over the holiday of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

July 5, 1913

Center.  The Donald Camerons are at Yarmouth for the month of July.

Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth entertained a group of her classmates who graduated with her from the Lowell Normal school in 1899, at her home on the Boston road Tuesday of this week.  These friends have always kept in touch with each other since graduation by a circulating letter going the rounds regularly and by reunions.  Those whom Mrs. Hildreth entertained on Tuesday were Miss Ethel Kimball, of Chelmsford, Miss Maud Jarvis, of Lowell, Miss Katherine Jantzen, also of Lowell, and Mrs. Arno Gotz and little son Philip and daughter Selma, of Hudson, N.H.

Charles L. Hildreth, whose work with photography belongs in the professional rather than the amateur class of picture taking has some particularly good views of different scenes of the wreck of the Bar Harbor express train which took place at Graniteville two weeks ago, on exhibition at Wright & Fletcher’s store.

July 12, 1913

About Town.  Frederick L. McCoy is reported to have bought the Samuel G. Humiston farm, corner of Flagg and Robinson roads.  For several years he leased the Melbourne Hutchins farm until sold to Boston parties.

Mrs. Hiram Whitney lost a cow and several sheep recently as the result of grass and arsenate of lead.

Charles L. Hildreth, Fred A. Snow and Taylor brothers played a sharp game of lawn tennis on the Old Oaken Bucket court Tuesday afternoon.  A shower of fifteen drops or less prevented knowing who of the above cracks would hold out tennis courting the longest.

July 26, 1913

Center.  Mrs. Mary A. Prindle has been a recent visitor at Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth’s

October 4, 1913

Center.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth entertained the Thimble club very pleasantly at her home last Saturday afternoon.

October 11, 1913

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth enjoyed a trip out through the Hoosac tunnel to North Adams last Saturday, making also a side trip to Williams college.

November 1, 1913

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth entertained over last Sunday Mr. and Mrs. Robert Elliott, of Lowell, and also their more distant friends, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Cutter, of Guatemala.  Mr. Cutter holds a responsible position as manager of the Guatemala division of the United Fruit Co.  Mrs. Cutter is the daughter of the Dutch ambassador to Guatemala from Holland.

November 22, 1913

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger were members of a congenial group of friends invited for the weekend to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth’s at their home in Winchester this last week.

January 10, 1914

Board of Trade.  The Westford Board of Trade held the annual meeting on Wednesday evening with much people present and much enthusiasm.  The election of officers came first and other easy pleasant tasks later:

Hon. Edward Fisher, pres.; P. Henry Harrington, v.p.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec.; Leonard W. Wheeler, treas.; Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, Albert R. Wall, Edward T. Hanley, Herbert V. Hildreth, Samuel L. Taylor, trustees.

The following committees were appointed:

George T. Day, Hammett D. Wright, Julian A. Cameron, town affairs; John C. Abbot, Herbert E. Fletcher, Hon. Edward Fisher, transportation; Julian A. Cameron, Frederick G. Sargent, P. Henry Harrington, manufacturing; Charles L. Hildreth, John B. Carmichael, Sebastian B. Watson, historical and pictorial; Albert R. Choate, Oscar R. Spalding, Edward T. Hanley, public buildings; W. C. Roudenbush, Robert J. McCarthy, William R. Taylor, athletic; Charles O. Prescott, Albert R. Wall, Walter J. Merritt, entertainment.

February 28, 1914

Death.  George Washington Heywood, more familiarly known on the street, in social and business life, and in rare good friendship as plain George W. Heywood, died at his home on Main street, Westford Center, Friday morning, February 20, aged eighty-four years after a lingering illness of several years.  He was a native of Westford, the son of Levi and Martha (Keyes) Heywood and was born at the old Peletiah Fletcher place on the Lowell road.  He was one of the older scholars of the old Stony Brook school and the writer recalls a term at school with him in those good old-fashioned days of the district school with men-grown boys as scholars.  He afterwards attended Westford academy when William Cushing (1811-1895) was principal (1847-1850).  In rare good judgment he served the town for several years as one of the selectmen.  He was elected a member of the legislature from this district in 1868 on the democratic ticket, the district being strongly republican, which is evidence of the confidence of the people in his native ability.  He was one of the original members of the Spalding Light Cavalry, afterwards Troop F Cavalry.  When this was disbanded he became a member of the Cavalry association.

In 1849, with others, he went to California and saw much of the world and some of its gold.  After several years he returned and in 1860 he married Elizabeth Fletcher, who died several years later.  He married for his second wife Mrs. Mary Cushing.  Three children were born to them, Elizabeth C. and Albert W., and Lewis [Levi], who died in his infancy.  In 1861 he purchased the old saw and grist mill at Westford station of Stewart P. Wright.  In 1868 he took in as a partner William H. H. Burbeck under the name of Heywood and Burbeck, continuing in business for over a quarter of a century, when it was sold to Mr. Marden and thence to George C. Moore, the present owner.

Mr. Heywood had unbounded faith in the people.  His hand was always extended to the deserving poor and to those temporarily in financial trouble he always acted as the financial Samaritan.  In business life he had no “gold bricks” for sale or “get rich quick” schemes to advocate or trade off.  His business dealings were always “Yea, yea, and nay, nay,” and his words and his conduct balanced.  He was a life-long defender of the principals of Jackson and Jefferson and loyal through all discouragements and defeats, and when at last he beheld these principals victorious in the nation in 1912 then could he say as was said of old “Now Lord let they servant depart in peace.” 

Named as he was after the “father of his country,” it was fitting as well as singular that his funeral should take place on Washington’s birthday, Sunday, February 22.  A large gathering of his relatives and old friends gathered in loving tribute to staunch life.  Rev. Lyman B. Weeks, of the Unitarian church, conducted the services and drew a clear picture of the balances by which the departed had so courageously and honestly rounded out his life with his fellow men.  William North lodge of Masons of Lowell, of which he was a member, were represented at the funeral.

The deceased leaves besides his wife, two children, Albert W. Heywood and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.  The bearers were Hon. Edward Fisher, Donald Cameron, Andrew Johnson, Harwood L. Wright.  Burial was at Fairview cemetery, the Masonic burial service being conducted by the delegation from William North lodge.

March 21, 1914

About Town.  Wednesday, March 11, Mrs. Gertrude Craven Elliott gave a luncheon at her home on Stevens street, Lowell, to the following guests: Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. Henry Hildreth, Mrs. F. A. Reed, Mrs. F. A. Snow and Mrs. W. R. Taylor.

June 20, 1914

Graduation and Reunion.  Beginning with one of June’s loveliest days everything conspired to make the annual graduation of Westford academy, followed by the alumni reunion and dinner, one of the most successful events of its kind for many years. …

Those graduating in the academic course are Elizabeth Kimball, Edward C. Read, Marjorie M. Seavey, Pauline S. Wallace; those in the English business course are Elva M. Bicknell, Arthur E. Blodgett, John L. Connell, William F. Davis, Maurice S. Flagg, Claude E. Gladu, Madeline E. Holland, Bertha M. Woodbury.

Roll of honor—Pupils with a general average of ninety percent or more since enrollment: Pauline S. Wallace, Bertha M. Woodbury, Marjorie M. Seavey, Elizabeth Kimball, four years; Helen M. McCoy, three years; Beatrice Hosmer, one year. …

During the noon hour a meeting of the Alumni association was held and the following officers elected: Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, pres.; Henry M. Wright of Quincy, v.p.; Miss A. Mabel Drew, sec. and treas.; Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Charles L. Hildreth, Miss Clara Fisher, William R. Taylor and Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher, ex. Com.

November 14, 1914

Annual Banquet.  The twelfth successive annual banquet under the auspices of the Congregational church took place Tuesday evening and all the arrangements were carried out to make it the pleasant community affair of good cheer and good fellowship of its predecessors.  The decorative scheme was simple but effective, with late autumn foliage, chrysanthemums and the bright berries of the bittersweet and red alder. …

Miss Moreland, of the academy teaching force, sang a solo after which Samuel H. Thompson, of the Kirk street Congregational church, and a well-known Lowell merchant, was introduced and spoke pleasantly and in introductory vein to his long-time friend and former pastor, Rev. William A. Bartlett, D.D., formerly one of the leading pastors of Lowell.  Some years ago Dr. Bartlett preached the re-dedicatory sermon at this church at the time it was rebuilt, and at about that time spent the summer season in Westford with his family, and he was welcomed on Tuesday evening as an old friend and his timely message of wit and wisdom, “A man’s place in the community,” was much appreciated.  During his address he paid a splendid tribute to the memory of this church’s good friend, the late Charles L. Hildreth [who died Feb. 26, 1909].

November 28, 1914

Center.  Among those householders who entertained family groups for Thanksgiving were the H. V. Hildreths, Sherman H. Fletchers, Harry B. Prescotts, Charles L. Hildreths and John M. Fletchers.

December 26, 1914

Center.  Among those entertaining large family groups of relatives and friends for the holiday are the O. [Oscar] R. Spaldings, A. [Alfred] W. Hartfords, S.[Sebastian] B. Watsons and Charles L. Hildreths. …

Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Miss Eva E. Fletcher and Misses Gertrude and Julia Fletcher were luncheon guests of Mrs. Mabel Whitney Wright at her home in Brookline on Thursday of last week.

January 23, 1915

Old Folks’ Concert.  The mild, clear winter’s night with good traveling made it possible for a large attendance at the old folks’ concert and supper at the Congregational church, Wednesday evening.  Many were present who do not usually go out evenings, and they, with those who do, must have felt rewarded with the good supper, the social good cheer, and the good entertainment.

Supper was served at 6:30 and the long tables were filled and some resetting necessary.  The menu consisted of meat pies, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, pies, coffee, rolls, doughnuts, and relishes.  Those in charge of the supper were Mrs. C. H. Wright, Miss Edith A. Wright, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. Hugh Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Watson, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Day and other willing helpers. …

About Town.  Caucus season is upon us and with this in view the republican caucus for the nomination of town officers will be held at the town hall on Monday evening, January 25, to be followed by the democrat caucus on Tuesday evening, January 26.  The following town officers are reported as having declined renomination: Edward Fisher, town clerk; Charles L. Hildreth and Arthur H. Burnham, overseers of the poor.

January 30, 1915

About Town.  At the republican caucus held Monday evening Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was chosen chairman and Alfred W. Hartford, sec.  After the preliminary, Charles L. Hildreth was nominated for town clerk; Frank L. Furbush, selectman; Fred R. Blodgett, Chas. L. Hildreth, overseers of the poor; J. Austin Healey, assessor; L. W. Wheeler, collector; H. L. Wright, treas.; Chas. O. Prescott, A. E. Wilson, school committee; W. O. Hawkes, cemetery commissioner; H. L. Nesmith, tree warden; E. T. Hanley, auditor; Stephen Gardell, constable; Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, moderator.  After years of industrious training and service for the town the following persons declined re-election: Hon. Edward Fisher as town clerk, Andrew Johnson as selectman, Arthur H. Burnham as overseer of poor and William R. Taylor as auditor.

February 6, 1915

Center.  The monthly business meeting and supper of the E. M. Abbot hose company at the firehouse on Tuesday evening was of more than usual interest because of the presentation to the company by Charles L. Hildreth of a fine large photograph of the Abbot house taken the morning after it was gutted by fire last February.  This makes a very acceptable and fitting ornament for the company’s quarters.

February 13, 1915

Town Meeting.  The peaceful character of the town meeting on Monday is indicated by the fact that thirty-eight articles in the warrant were disposed of in a little over an hour and a half.  Preceding these were two articles.  Under the first, Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was chosen as moderator, and his skilled presiding had much to do with the speed of the afternoon session.  Under the second article the following officers were elected, total number of votes cast being 236, and only two suffragists appearing:

Town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth 162, Alfred W. Hartford, 21; selectman, Frank L. Furbush; assessor, J. Austin Healy; overseer of poor, 3 yrs., Chas. A. Blodgett 136, Joe Wall 93; overseer of poor 1 yr., Charles L. Hildreth; treasurer, Harwood L. Wright; collector of taxes, L. W. Wheeler; auditor, E. T. Hanley; constable, Stephen Gardell 113, John Sullivan, 99; school committee, Charles O. Prescott and T. Arthur Wilson; trustee of library, Julian A. Cameron; commissioner of public burial grounds, Wesley O. Hawkes; tree warden, Harry L. Nesmith 114, George Gower 103.

No license [“for the sale of intoxicating liquors”] was carried by 145 no against 71 yes. …

February 20, 1915

Center.  The overseers of the poor have organized, choosing Charles L. Hildreth as chairman, and honoring the new member of the board, Fred Blodgett, with the secretaryship.  Dr. Blaney was chosen town physician.  The salary of the master of the town farm was increased by a majority vote of the board.  Mr. Hildreth did not make any allowance for this item when asking for the necessary appropriation at the town meeting and so stood by his previously expressed opinion, but was out-voted.

May 15, 1915

About Town.  The Board of Trade met at the town hall on Monday evening, being well represented and ably represented as to the suffragettes.  Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, president of the Board of Trade, presided, and Charles L. Hildreth, secretary, acted as shorthand reporter of speeches.  Hon. Edward Fisher opened the case and cleared up the case so effectively in his financial statement relating to the electric line from Westford to Brookside that money was raised at the terminal of his statement in sufficient amount to guarantee needed repairs on the road bed.  Other speeches of a suggestive nature were made by Herbert V. Hildreth, Edward M. Abbot, William R. Taylor, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, H. M. Seavey, Charles L. Hildreth, [and] Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher.  The sentiment of the meeting favored a ten-cent fare to Brookside, subject to the approval of the public service commission.

August 21, 1915

CenterCharles L. Hildreth has been enjoying vacation days, spent mostly at his pleasant home on Boston road.

September 4, 1915

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. John Hildreth and their children, of Bayonne, N.J., while en route to a visit to kinspeople in New Hampshire, stopped over for a night at Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth’s the first of the week.

Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger are guests of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth at Juniper Point, and Mr. Hildreth joins them for the weekend, all staying over to the holiday.

October 9, 1915

Center.  Mrs. Walter Frost, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is visiting at the home of her brother, C. Willis Hildreth; also, with her nephew, Charles L. Hildreth, and with other eastern relatives.  Mrs. Frost was a guest at the Tadmuck club on Tuesday afternoon and a charming woman to meet, but the suffrage adherents would be disappointed to hear her say that while living in a suffrage state she most emphatically does not believe in votes for women.

October 16, 1915

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth, of Winchester, were holiday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

January 8, 1916

Center.  The annual appraisal and dinner for the town officers took place at the town farm last Saturday, new year’s day.  Those in charge of the appraisal of town property for this year at the farm were Samuel H. Balch, Fred R. Blodgett and Leonard W. Wheeler.  Mr. and Mrs. Harvey W. Barnes, master and matron, in charge of the buildings, had everything clean and well kept, and in the best of order.  An appetizing dinner finely cooked and well served was enjoyed by the town officers in the early afternoon.  Besides the appraisers those present were O. R. Spalding and Frank L. Furbush, selectmen; J. Willard Fletcher and Charles D. Colburn, assessors; Charles L. Hildreth, A. R. Choate, Fred R. Blodgett, overseers of the poor; Edward T. Hanley, auditor, and Dr. C. A. Blaney, town physician.  Sherman H. Fletcher, selectman, Austin Healy, assessor, and H. L. Wright, treasurer, were unable to be present.

Death.  The community mourns the loss this week of one of its long-time residents.  Mary E. Heywood died at her home on Monday evening after an illness of several weeks, aged 69 yrs. 9 mos. 7 days.  Mrs. Heywood was the widow of the late George W. Heywood and for many years lived in the Westford depot neighborhood, where Mr. Heywood was in the grain business with W. H. H. Burbeck.  After his retirement from business Mr. and Mrs. Heywood lived at their pleasant home at the Center [7 Main Street] until after the former’s death two years ago, and more recently Mrs. Heywood had bought and established for herself the cosey home near the soldier’s monument.

Mrs. Heywood (Mary Cushing) was born in Roxbury, but at the time of her marriage to Mr. Heywood was the widow of Capt. Mellen, her home being in Medford.  Mrs. Heywood was a member of the Unitarian church and of the Tadmuck club.  She was a devoted wife and mother and a good friend and neighbor.  She gave her late husband the most devoted care during a long period of invalidism.

Mrs. Heywood is survived by an only son, Albert Whittemore Heywood, and an only daughter, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth; also, three grandchildren.

January 15, 1916

Center.  The funeral of Mrs. Mary E. Heywood [nee Mulhern] took place from the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Thursday afternoon of last week at two o’clock.  There was a large gathering of sorrowing relatives, neighbors and friends present.  Rev. L. H. Buckshorn conducted the services with wise words of sympathy and comfort, closing with the reading of “Crossing the bar” and “The friend’s burial.”  The floral tributes were profuse and beautiful.  The bearers were H. L. Wright, J. Herbert Fletcher, Alfred Tuttle and Edward Fisher.  Interment was in the family lot at Fairview cemetery.

January 29, 1916

Tadmuck Club.  The regular meeting of the Tadmuck club took place on Tuesday afternoon at Library hall.  Records of previous meetings were given, and the president, Mrs. Hildreth, paid tender and sympathetic tribute to the memory of its two recently deceased members, Mrs. Mary E. Heywood and Mrs. Alma B. Hildreth.

The speaker of the afternoon was Warren F. Spalding, secretary of the Massachusetts Prison association, who spoke on “The treatment of crime—past, present and future.”  Mr. Spalding, out of a wide experience, proved a most interesting speaker sketching the reforms in the penal code along reformatory and probationary methods in dealing with what he called the weakness, rather than the wickedness, of humanity in many instances.

This meeting was in charge of the legislative department of the club, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, chairman.  Special attention was called to the program for the next meeting in charge of the literature and library extension committee when Mrs. Trueworthy White is expected to lecture on “Current literature.”

February 5, 1916

About Town.  At the republican caucus Monday evening Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was chosen as chairman and Alfred W. Hartford as secretary.  The following were nominated for votes at town meeting: Town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth; selectman, Sherman H. Fletcher; assessor, Charles D. Colburn; treasurer, Harwood L. Wright; collector, Leonard W. Wheeler; overseer, Samuel H. Balch; school committee, John P. Wright, Frank F. Furbush; library trustee, Charles O. Prescott; cemetery trustee, David L. Greig; constable, William H. Wall; moderator, Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher.

February 12, 1916

Board of Trade.  The Board of Trade held its annual come-together, election of officers and discussion of the town warrant on last week Thursday evening in the town hall.  Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, as president, called the meeting to order, which did not require many calls, as the gathering was automatically orderly.  Charles L. Hildreth was keeper of records.  The following officers were elected: Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, pres.; P. Henry Harrington, v.p.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec.; Leonard W. Wheeler, treas. and col.; Hon. Edward Fisher, Edward T. Hanley, Albert R. Wall, Herbert V. Hildreth, Samuel L. Taylor, directors. …

February 19, 1916

Town Meeting.  Westford’s town meeting on Monday passed off very expeditiously and quietly.  After the choice of Herbert E. Fletcher for moderator the annual election of officers was held.  The contests for the offices of selectman and of tree warden resulted in re-elections.  While the heavy snow lessened the number of automobiles in use the voters were on hand by the use of various conveyances and the town hall was as busy a place as usual on town meeting day.  For selectman, Sherman H. Fletcher was re-elected in a vote of 169 against 82 votes for Frank Collins.  Harry L. Nesmith again won his time-honored contest with William E. Green for tree warden by a vote of 135 to 103.  William L. Wall won out for constable by a vote of 128 to 109 against John Sullivan, a one-time holder of that office.  Aside from Wall, Samuel H. Balch was the only new man elected to office, he succeeding Charles L. Hildreth, who declined to serve again as overseer of the poor.  Other officers re-elected were Charles D. Colburn, assessor, Harwood L. Wright, treasurer; Leonard W. Wheeler, tax collector; Edward T. Hanley, auditor; Frank L. Furbush and John P. Wright, school committee; Charles O. Prescott, trustee of library, David L. Greig, commissioner of burial grounds.

June 3, 1916

CenterCharles L. Hildreth, one of the most successful amateur gardeners, has raised some unusually fine tulips this season.  One day last week he took into Lowell an unusual specimen in the form of five tulips on a single stalk.  As is well known there is usually but one flower on each stalk.  Mr. Hildreth’s specimen was of the Isis [sic] variety, a beautiful red flower, with blue and white cup when fully developed.  The stalk in this instance was unusually large and four of the flowers were clustered at the top, while the fifth was on a branching stem a little lower on the main stalk.  It was shown to several Lowell florists who do not remember ever having seen anything of the kind before.  Mr. Hildreth has had numerous other tulips with two and three blossoms to a stalk.  He enjoys sharing the beauties of his garden with friends and neighbors.

June 24, 1916

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth [1879-1968] have been attending commencement exercises at Dartmouth college, Hanover, N.H., this week.  Mr. Hildreth enjoyed the fifteenth reunion of his class of 1901 and of that class Ernest M. Hopkins [1877-1964] has had the honor conferred of becoming [the 11th] president of Dartmouth college [serving from 1916 to 1945].  Another distinguished member of this class, who was present at the reunion, was Channing Cox [1879-1968], speaker of the Massachusetts house of representatives [and later governor of Massachusetts (1921-1925)].

Graduating Exercises.  It was ideal graduating weather for the graduating class of 1916, Westford academy, the exercises taking place at the town hall on Wednesday morning at ten o’clock.  The stage was beautifully decorated with greenery and a profusion of daisies and other cut flowers.  The class motto, “Animo et fide [courage and faith],” occupied a central position on the stage.  The class colors, green and gold, were carried out in the graduation programs.  The class flower was the lily of the valley.  The graduates were Frederick Sullivan Healy, John Joseph Provost, academic course; Ethele Amy Burland, Leo James Connell, Artemas Gage Griffin, Francis Mitchel Sullivan, English-business course. …

At the close of the graduating exercises [??? 3 illegible lines] officers of the alumni association were chosen: Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, pres.; Hon. Edward Fisher, v.p.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec. and treas.; Edith[?] A.[?] Wright, Alice M. Howard, Marjory M. Seavey, E.[?] M.[?] Wright and C.[?] H.[?] Prescott ex. com. …

July 1, 1916

Center.  One of the pleasantest of summer afternoon parties was given Wednesday afternoon by Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher to a large group of her friends.  There were eight tables of bridge whist.  The pleasant rooms and spacious screened-in porch were decorated with the beautiful garden and field flowers of early summer, while the score cards were dainty hand-painted designs in clover and daisy blossoms.  The highest score was attained by Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, and the lowest by Mrs. Hamlin, Mrs. Skidmore’s New York guest.  Delicious refreshments were served during the afternoon.

July 8, 1916

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger are enjoying a two-weeks’ vacation at Ogunquit, Me., registered at the St. Aspinquid.  Alfred Tuttle is in charge of the town clerk’s work during Mr. Hildreth’s absence.

September 30, 1916

Special Town Meeting.  There was a very good attendance at the special town meeting last week Friday evening.  Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk, called the meeting to order and Arthur E. Day was elected moderator.  The special town meeting prior to this one related to the purchase by the town of the Henry O. Keyes property in Westford Center for a firehouse, and while it was unanimously a peaceable meeting, it was also a unanimously lawless meeting, for after all the outflow of desire to improve the environments at the Center the law steps in and says you can’t borrow any money at a special meeting to repair buildings, but you can borrow sky high to build onto buildings already existing.  The special town meeting last week was to get back to law, and having got back to law this much was saved in the transit: Oscar R. Spalding, chairman of the board of selectmen, out of the generosity of his life and the largeness of his finances, bought the Henry O. Keyes property for $2300 and was willing to donate it to the town as soon as the town was willing to donate him $2300 and interest, which the town nodded in the affirmative.  It was voted to sell all the valuable buildings on said lot except the academy building and the cottage house.

January 6, 1917

Annual Appraisal and Dinner.  The annual appraisal and dinner to the town officers took place at the town farm last Saturday.  The appraisers this year were L. W. Wheeler, S. H. Balch and Fred L. McCoy.  Those present at the dinner wee J. Willard Fletcher, C. D. Colburn and J. Austin Healy of the board of assessors; A. R. Choate, Fred H. Blodgett and S. H. Balch, of the board of overseers of the poor; Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk; C. A. Blaney, town physician; Harold W. Hildreth, clerk of the board of selectmen; L. W. Wheeler, collector of taxes; Oscar Spalding and Frank L. Furbush, selectmen.  Sherman H. Fletcher, selectman; Harwood L. Wright, treasurer, and Edward T. Hanley, auditor, were unable to be present.  The dinner served by Supt. and Mrs. Barnes and their assistants was a credit in every way, and the premises and everything about them were in the best of well cared for condition.  This town farm for years has been listed by the state inspector of institutions of this kind as one of the best cared for in a town of this size as any in the state.  Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, who have been the caretakers for a number of years, have recently resigned to take effect April 1, they having bought a farm in New Hampshire.  There are at the present time five inmates at the farm.

January 27, 1917

Center.  The social for January in the series of the winter took place at the vestry of the Congregational church Tuesday evening with over 100 in attendance.  Musical talent from West Chelmsford assisted in the entertainment.  A quartet consisting of Albert and Clarence Bruce, Anthony Anderson and Joseph Peters were heard in several pleasing selections.  Albert Bruce also contributed a solo.  Miss Marion Marshall was the accompanist.  Miss Julia H. Fletcher and Miss Elinor Colburn played two very enjoyable piano duets, and Mrs. Colburn sang a solo, accompanied by Miss Colburn.  A one-act play, “An interrupted proposal,” was given by Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. D. L. Greig, Mr. and Mrs. Labouteley and Mrs. Joseph E. Knight.  The various characters were given with spirited delineation and were much enjoyed.  Refreshments of cake and cocoa, with social hour, were enjoyed after the entertainment.  The committee in charge were Mrs. W. R. Taylor, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Miss Edith Wright and Mrs. D. L. Greig.

May 12, 1917

Center.  The selectmen have appointed Alfred W. Hartford, Alfred W. Tuttle, Charles L. Hildreth and Robert J. McCarty for the making up of the registration in compliance with the selective draft.  Charles L. Hildreth will act as clerk of the board, and this group will serve without pay.  The registration and military enrollment will be made in the four precincts of the town within fifteen days.

June 2, 1917

Center.  Members of the board of registration have received their appointments from the governor and will enroll the male residents between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one, Tuesday, June 5.  This registration calls for both native-born and alien residents.  The bells will be rung at morning, noon and night, and the hours for registration are from seven in the morning until nine in the evening.  Charles L. Hildreth, assisted by L. W. Wheeler, are those appointed work at the Center.  Those appointed for the other precincts with their assistants are A. W. Hartford, A. W Tuttle and R. J. McCarty.

June 9, 1917

Center.  Military registration on Tuesday [June 5, nationwide,] was a new experience to most of the residents in town.  The ringing of church bells at seven in the morning, at noon and at six in the evening sounded like the Fourth of July.  One of the registrars of voters, with an assistant, was at each polling place in town.  Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk, was at the town hall with L. W. Wheeler; Alfred W. Hartford was at Abbot’s hall, Forge Village, with John Edwards; R. J. McCarthy, Healy’s hall, Graniteville, with A. W. Prinn; Alfred Tuttle at Moore’s mill, Brookside, with Charles S. Edwards.  The number of non-English speaking aliens made Forge Village the hardest place for the workers.  Interpreters had to be used there, as in Graniteville.  All went quietly and smoothly.  After closing time all gathered at the town hall and tabulated the cards.  Of the 250 registered 119 were aliens.  One of the registrars inquired what labor union would get after them for being on duty from seven in the morning until one o’clock the next morning, making nineteen hours from leaving homes to returning to them.

July 14, 1917

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger go this weekend for a vacation at Ogunquit Beach, Me.

Red Cross Subscribers.  Westford’s subscription to the special fund for Red Cross work, amounting to nearly $52,000, was a generous one.  Those contributing five dollars and more are given in this list and grateful acknowledgement is made to those who gave lesser amounts, which would gladly be published did space permit.  Thanks is also due to the committees who worked so hard and so faithfully.

Abiel J. Abbot $1500.00

Abbot Worsted Co. 500.00

Julian A. Cameron 500.00

Mrs. Abiel J. Abbott 250.00

Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher 250.00 …

Charles L. Hildreth 5.00

Ella F. Hildreth 5.00 …

August 25, 1917

Soldiers Camp Over Night Here.  It will be an occasion long to be remembered when the three companies, C. G and K, of the 6th regiment, in returning last week Friday to the Ayer camp from the reception by the people of Lowell, spent the night in Westford.  This brought the townspeople in closer touch with the men in khaki and perhaps a more realizing sense of what the conflict entered into by them really means.  The three companies of young men, about 432 in all, in their uniforms of olive drab, bronzed of feature and lithe of carriage, were certainly on their good behavior and further won the sympathetic interest that everyone entertains for those doing their duty at this crisis.  The Hildreth farm [10 Hildreth St.], owned by Miss Ella F. Hildreth, was the spot chosen for the night’s encampment, the large, sloping tract back of Charles L. Hildreth’s and Robert Elliott’s [now 6 Priscilla Lane] further up on the hill.  This elevation gave excellent opportunity for pitching the tents and water drawn from the town water supply by means of hose gave good water supply.

The day was surely not ideal for marching, the threatening clouds during the day brought rain in the afternoon and when the three companies came into the village it was raining hard, but later, during the supper hour and the evening, they were not troubled with rain.

The companies were preceded by Lieut. Walker on detached duty, staking out the field for the tents and the commissary department.  The four big mule teams arrived next in charge of Sergt. James Fales, about three o’clock.  The three companies arrived about four o’clock in command of Maj. Colby T. Kittredge.  Company K was in charge of Capt. James N. Greig and Companies G and C by Captains Thomas Doyle and James J. Powers.  The boys wore their regular marching equipment, though few had any rain protection.  They were unaccompanied with music, their band having gone by train to Ayer, but they swung along with good military precision and were received all along the line with many friendly ovations, waving of flags, etc.  Upon their arrival they were met by Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher of the board of selectmen and secretary of the public safety committee, who extended the use of the Cavalry association building for the officers during the stay if they chose to use it, but their policy was to fare alike with their men.

Much interest was manifested in their preparations, the setting up of the pup tents, so-called, two men to a tent, the lowering of the staff at sundown, using for the purpose Robert Elliott’s fine flag and staff.  Some quick and efficient work was done during the day and through the generosity of the townspeople a supply of doughnuts, coffee and cheese supplemented the men’s supper of salmon, potatoes, onions and bread and butter.  This enterprise was in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, who gave the use of the kitchen for making the coffee; also, Mrs. H. V. Hildreth and Mrs. A. W. Hartford, president and secretary of the local Red Cross, assisted by Mrs. H. M. Wright, Mrs. P. H. Skidmore, Mrs. O. R. Spalding, Mrs. O. V. Wells, Miss Kittredge, Mrs. L. W. Wheeler and Mrs. Perry Shupe.  Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Hildreth and Miss Ella Hildreth co-operated in every way to make the encampment a success for the men and the generosity of the townspeople in contributing at quick notice was much appreciated. …

September 29, 1917

“Sent Away With a Smile.”  Nearly 200 townspeople turned out last week Friday morning to give the nine young drafted men a hearty God speed and cordial farewell on their departure for Ayer.  This number was the first of Westford’s forty percent quota to report for camp and were as follows: Leon F. Hildreth [b. 1895], Frank C. Johnson [b. 1889], Clarence E. Hildreth, Robert Orr [b. 1894], John Hobson, Herbert Smith, Frank Charlton, Gustave Eliason and Arthur Szyswilan [John Szylvan] [also Joseph Perkins, see Oct. 6, 1917, “Center”].  As each man reported at the town hall they were heartily welcomed, and after they were all assembled pictures were taken by Charles L. Hildreth and another picture as they were ready to depart in the automobiles.  It was a sad time at best, but everyone did their level best to give the boys a good sendoff.  The board of selectmen, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, Oscar R. Spalding and Frank L. Furbush, and Herbert V. Hildreth of the public safety committee, accompanied the young men to Ayer in the automobiles which were furnished by Dr. O. V. Wells, Dr. W. A. Sherman and Arthur G. Walker.  As the party moved away they were given three rousing cheers by the assembled company.  Thus do the first contingent of drafted men start in to train for soldiers for Uncle Sam, and it is expected that another group of numbers will soon be drawn for reporting at Ayer.

December 1, 1917

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth entertained Mr. and Mrs. Willis Hildreth for Thanksgiving dinner and Wednesday evening.  Mr. and Mrs. Willis Hildreth entertained Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hildreth, of Winchester, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Roger at a supper party.

December 22, 1917

About Town.  Associate members of the legal advisory board for division 15 of Massachusetts have been appointed for helping all registrants answer the questionnaire, which has to be made out according to the requirements of the selective draft law.  The questionnaire is rather complicated and this advisory board helps out free of charge.  It is very different from the simple arrangement of the civil war days.  The advisory board for Westford is composed of Charles L. Hildreth, chairman, Charles O. Prescott, William R. Taylor and Edward Hanley.  They meet at the town hall on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, from 7 to 9:30.  They help answer the questions and take the oaths of those registering.  These papers have to be filled out within seven days from the date mentioned on the first page and returned to the local exemption board in Ayer.  On Wednesday and Saturday evenings arrangements have been made to have an interpreter present who speaks Polish and Russian.

February 2, 1918

Center.  The republican caucus on Monday evening was a rather quiet affair.  The three new officers nominated were George H. Hartford for assessor, Charles O. Prescott for school committee, and Mr. Ripley, at the town farm, for constable.  Following are the nominations for three-year terms: Town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth; selectman, Frank L. Furbush; overseer of the poor, Fred R. Blodgett; assessor, George H. Hartford; school committee, Charles O. Prescott and T. Arthur E. Wilson; commissioner of public burying grounds, Wesley O. Hawkes; trustee J. V. Fletcher library, Julian A. Cameron; one year term, town treasurer, Harwood L. Wright; tax collector, Leonard W. Wheeler; constable, Charles S. Ripley; auditor, Edward T. Hanley; tree warden, Harry L. Nesmith.  The caucus was called to order by Alfred W. Hartford.  Sherman H. Fletcher was elected a chairman, and Alfred W. Hartford, secretary.

February 16, 1918

Town Meeting.  The annual town meeting was held on Monday with the lightest vote cast for less than a century, for out of something like 500 registered voters the license question showed 25 voted Yes and 94 No, and the only contest for town office, that of constable, showed 120 votes cast.  The following were elected without opposition for three years for the various offices: Town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth; selectman, Frank L. Furbush; assessor, George H. Hartford; overseer of the poor, Fred R. Blodgett; school committee, Charles O. Prescott and T. A. E. Wilson; trustee of J. V. Fletcher library, Julia [sic, Julian] A. Cameron; commissioners of cemeteries, Wesley O. Hawkes; for unexpired term, Charles O. Prescott.  The following were elected for one year: Collector, Leonard W. Wheeler; treasurer, Harwood L. Wright; auditor, Edward T. Hanley; constable, Charles S. Ripley 85; John A. Sullivan 35; tree warden, Harry L. Nesmith; liquor question, No. 94, Yes 25.

March 2, 1918

Center.  The last of Westford’s first quota of the draft, the last fifteen percent, which in this case took six of our young men, were summoned to Ayer for training at Camp Devens this week—George Wilson, Thomas G. Sullivan, Arthur Meloit [Milot], E. Clyde Prescott, Paul Symmes and Joseph Thompson.  Each young man was presented with a comfort kit by the generosity of some of our citizens; also, equipped with knitted articles by the local Red Cross.  They were given a send-off on Tuesday at the town hall.  All the children of the Frost school sang and gave the salute to the flag, and Charles L. Hildreth took pictures of the group.  Three rousing cheers were given them as they departed.  Julian A. Cameron kindly furnished the transportation by automobile.

March 30, 1918

Center.  We note two appointments recently of Westford men.  Hon. Edward Fisher, who is the assistant food administrator in Middlesex county, has been appointed food administrator for Lowell.  Mr. Fisher will organize with four sub- and the intention is to see that the food laws are lived up to.  The second appointment concerns the following provision: “Under the provisions of a federal act which became effective November 15, 1917, individuals, firms and corporations possessing, buying or selling explosives or ingredients thereof, must procure a federal license in addition to such license as is required by the laws of this commonwealth.”  Charles L. Hildreth, of Westford, with an office at 807 Sun building, Lowell, has been appointed a federal licensing officer and is authorized to issue licenses. …

In these war times items of interest concerning other wars are of more interest.  In a copy of Acts and Resolves of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1775-1776, sent to Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk, for filing at the library, was an article concerning army blankets each town being required to furnish a given number.  Westford’s apportionment was fifteen blankets.  These must have been hand-spun and woven, as they were quite heavy, representing for those times a considerable contribution.

June 15, 1918

About Town.  On June 5 the second registration of the selective draft occurred.  On that day twenty-four young men registered here.  The registration was in charge of Charles L. Hildreth and W. R. Taylor.

July 27, 1918

Center.  The Charles L. Hildreths have recently had their first ripe tomatoes from their gardens.

September 7, 1918

Center.  Those in charge of the registration in the several precincts, September 12, are Charles L. Hildreth and Alfred W. Hartford, precinct 1; William R. Taylor, Brookside; A. T. Prinn and Robert McCarthy, Graniteville; Edward T. Hanley and John Edwards, Forge Village.

September 21, 1918

About Town.  On registration day we found we had 331 men in the town from eighteen to forty-six years of age who had not previously registered.  The town was divided into precincts as follows: Precinct 1, town hall, Charles L. Hildreth, registrar, registration 93; Brookside Precinct, Moore’s mill, W. R. Taylor and Alfred Tuttle, registrars, registration 38; Graniteville Precinct, Healy’s hall, Robert McCarty and Alfred T. W. Prinn, registrars, registration 114; Forge Village, Abbot’s hall, Edward T. Hanley and John Edwards, registrars, registration 96.  Out of the total tabulation of 331 men 132 were aliens.

November 2, 1918

Home Service Branch.  A branch of the home service of the North Middlesex County chapter of the Red Cross has been formed in Westford.  The purpose of home service is to assist the families of soldiers and sailors, both our own and those of the allies.  Men before and after leaving home and their families wish information concerning various laws passed for the benefit of the soldier, sailor and his family.  It may be mothers or wives are unable to pay the rent or cannot get word from the soldier, or are troubled about the non-receipt of allotments, about taxes, mortgages, insurance, etc.

Each camp in America and Europe and each city and town has a representative of home service who cooperates in relieving the men and their families from anxiety concerning each other.  The committee in Westford has been formed, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher serving as chairman, and the committee is as follows: Mrs. Adeline M. Buckshorn, Westford and vicinity; Wesley O. Hawkes and Mrs. Hammett D. Wright, Graniteville; John Edwards and Miss Grace Lawrence, Forge Village.  For the purpose of explaining all important legal matters, a lawyer, Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk, has offered his services and will be glad to meet anyone.

The committee, through the home service section in Lowell, headquarters for the North Middlesex chapter, which is in touch with the Red Cross in Washington, is also prepared to furnish information in regard to men who are injured, killed, or taken as prisoners.

The committee has on hand a supply of little books, entitled “Before you go,” giving valuable information in regard to allotments, family allowance, government insurance, and everything pertaining to the welfare of the soldier and his family, which will be gladly furnished by any member of the committee to those who enter the army on application, or will be mailed to them if they will send their address.

January 18, 1919

About Town.  At a recent meeting of the Westford Board of Trade, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher was chosen president; P. Henry Harrington, v.p.; Charles L. Hildreth, sec.; Leonard W. Wheeler, treas.; Hon. Edward Fisher, Edward T. Hanley, Albert R. Wall, Herbert V. Hildreth, Samuel L. Taylor, board of directors.  The treasurer’s report showed a balance of $43.10 as an unencumbered asset.  It was voted to hold a public meeting in the near future with a speaker to be announced.

January 25, 1919

Center.  Notices have been posted by Charles L. Hildreth, clerk of the board of registrars, that the board of registrars of voters will be in session at Brookside Worsted mills, Friday evening, January 24, from 7:30 to 9 o’clock; Abbot hall, Forge Village, Thursday evening, January 30, from 7:30 to 9; Healy’s hall, Graniteville, Friday evening, January 31, from 7:30 to 9; and town hall, Westford Center, on Saturday, February 1 from 12 noon until 10 o’clock in the evening.

February 1, 1919

About Town.  At the republican caucus, Monday evening, the following were unanimously called to service: Herbert V. Hildreth, chairman; Alfred W. Hartford, sec.; Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk; Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, selectman; James W. Rafter, assessor; Samuel H. Balch, overseer of poor; Leonard W. Wheeler collector; Harwood L. Wright, treasurer; Fred A. Smith, auditor; Frank L. Furbush, John P. Wright, school committee; Charles O. Prescott, library trustee; David L. Greig, cemetery commissioner; Harry L. Nesmith, tree warden; Herbert E. Fletcher, moderator.  These are the persons to be marked up for approval at the annual town meeting on Monday, February 10.

June 7, 1919

Center.  The graduation exercise of the academy will be held in the town hall on Wednesday morning, June 18, at ten o’clock.  A reception to the graduating class will follow immediately after the graduating exercise, when luncheon will be served.  Guests will be welcome at the reception provided tickets are ordered of Charles L. Hildreth on or before June 10.  No tickets can be promised after this date.  A business meeting of the alumni will be held after the reception and as many of the alumni as possible are urged to be present as matters of importance will come up.

June 28, 1919

Center.  The program, committee of the Tadmuck club, who have to do much faithful work during the summer, are Mrs. Harold W. Hildreth, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. John W. Shaddick and Miss May E. Day.

July 5, 1919

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and son Roger spent the weekend with relatives in Sterling.

September 20, 1919

About Town.  A special town meeting was held on Wednesday evening, called to order by Oscar R. Spalding, chairman of the board of selectmen.  S. H. Fletcher was elected moderator and Edward M. Abbot, clerk pro tem in place of Charles L. Hildreth, who is patrolling Boston as state guard.  The articles were to see if the town at the next annual meeting would elect a board of health; to appropriate an additional sum of $5000 for roads; to appropriate an additional sum of $2000 for schools; to appropriate the additional sum of $300 for health nurse; to hear report of committee in regard to advisability of town operating the electric railroad from Westford to Brookside.  Considering that so many are absent on state guard duty at the cradle of liberty to prevent its being rocked dizzy, it was voted to adjourn to October 1.

November 15, 1919

Center.  The Red Cross drive closed this week with a total of about 600 paid memberships; to be exact the number was 595.  Those at the Center in charge were Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. A. W. Hartford and Mrs. H. M. Bartlett.

December 6, 1919

Center.  The Willis Hildreth and the Charles L. Hildreth families were together for Thanksgiving dinner at the home of the latter.

February 14, 1920

Town Meeting.  The annual town meeting took place on Monday as per warnings of the warrant, the news of which was read by Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk.  Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was unanimously elected as moderator on the first ballot.  The other election officers were Henry O. McDonald, T. Arthur E. Wilson, ballot clerks; John M. Fletcher, Alonzo H. Sutherland, ballot box.  The weather conditions of the road were adverse to a large vote, but after five hours of voting it was found that sixty votes had been cast….

March 13, 1920

Center.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth has been sick and under the doctor’s care with an attack of tonsillitis.

October 9, 1920

Center.  The rain and windstorm last week did a good deal of damage.  Some of the orchardists estimate their losses as considerable, while others do not feel that it made much difference to them.  A good-sized maple tree was uprooted on Charles L. Hildreth’s lawn and the village streets and lawns were badly cluttered with fallen branches from trees.

Largest Taxpayers.  The assessors have committed the annual taxes to the collector for the year, the rate per one thousand dollars being $18 and the total levy $54,429.30 divided as follows:

743 Polls at $5.00 $3,715.00

Moth tax 1,466.96

Personal Property 14,784.87

Real Estate 34,462.47

Those paying a tax of $50 or over are: …

Charles L. Hildreth 59.00 …

January 22, 1921

Center.  After a quiescent period of some months the Westford board of trade held a meeting at the town hall Monday evening.  Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher presided and Charles L. Hildreth acted as secretary.  A nominating committee, consisting of H. V. Hildreth, A. W. Hartford and F. C. Wright was chosen, who submitted the following list of officers: W. C. Roudenbush, pres.; H. W. Hildreth, vice pres.; A. W. Tuttle, sec.; L. W. Wheeler, treas.; F. C. Wright, P. E. Wright, A. R. Wall, E. T. Hanley and W. R. Taylor, directors.  A meeting will be held Friday evening, February 1, at which the articles in the town warrant will be discussed and a luncheon of doughnuts, sandwiches and coffee will be provided.

February 5, 1921

Town Caucus.  The town [Republican] caucus Monday evening exemplified in many ways the brotherhood of man and the fellowship of woman in that there were no disturbing small politics and pantaloons didn’t do all the voting, the women being out in large numbers to look after their old rights newly conceded.  It was a full house as rarely ever before.  There was a quorum and plenty for several more quorums.  Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was chose chairman and Representative Alfred W. Hartford, secretary.

The following were nominated: town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth; selectman, Frank L. Furbush 61, W. Otis Day 49; assessor, Elbert H. Flagg 59, Perley E. Wright 51; two school committee for three years, Arthur G. Hildreth 88, Mabel Drew 87, T. A. E. Wilson 61; for two years, George D. Wilson of Forge Village was nominated without opposition; treasurer, Harwood L. Wright; collector, Leonard W. Wheeler; overseer of poor, Fred R. Blodgett; trustee of public library, Julian A. Cameron; commissioner of cemeteries, Wesley O. Hawkes; board of health, P. Henry Harrington; tree warden, Harry L. Nesmith; auditor, Frederick Smith; constable, William A. Wall.  Moderator at annual town meeting second Monday in February Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher.  Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mrs. A. H. Sutherland, W. R. Taylor and A. H. Sutherland were appointed tellers.

February 19, 1921

Town Meeting.  Weather for the annual town meeting Monday proved threatening early, but later was all that could be desired for a pleasant winter’s day to draw the voters to the town hall for the annual transaction of the town’s business.  There was the largest gathering in the town hall for a long time, the attendance being estimated at fully 450.

Last year’s town meeting recorded about sixty voters.  Monday’s voting was done in the lower town hall, but the afternoon session adjourned to the upper hall for the first time in the town’s history of town meetings.  Both the hall and gallery were well filled, many in the gallery being voting people who will be future voters.  There were a large number of women present to take an active and intelligent interest in the day’s affairs.

While there were special contests for office much interest was shown in the appropriations, as an unusually high tax rate is in prospect, but some assurance was given that the high figure of $28 on a thousand might not be realized.

There seemed to be one or two conscientious objectors to many of the articles of the warrant, but as a rule the 43 articles were well considered and voted on with promptness.  Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher was the moderator and assisted by Alfred W. Hartford.

Much interest centered on article 33, which was as follows: To see if the town will vote to appropriate or borrow money for the construction of the Groton road with macadam pavement or other road material under specifications approved by the division of highways, or act in relation to the same.  The pros and cons of this article brought out much discussion and it simmered down to a matter of good business to vote in favor.  The vote stood 152 to 12, the town to appropriate $5000 and the state and county $5000 each. …

The following officers were elected: Charles L. Hildreth, town clerk; Frank L. Furbush, selectman; Elbert H. Flagg, assessor; Fred A. Blodgett, overseer of poor; Leonard W. Wheeler, tax collector; Harwood L. Wright, Frederick Smith, auditors; Wesley O. Hawkes, cemetery commissioner; Julian A. Cameron, library trustee; William R. Wall, constable; Harry L. Nesmith, tree warden; A. Mabel Drew, Arthur G. Hildreth, school committee, three years; George H. Wilson, two years.

February 26, 1921

Inaugural Ball.  The members of the Republican League are making great preparations for their inaugural concert and ball, which takes place Friday evening, March 4, at the town hall.  They have appointed the following committees: executive, Alfred W. Hartford, Arthur G. Walker and Warren G. Hanscom; decorations, Alonzo H. Sutherland, John S. Greig, Leon F. Hildreth, George D. Wilson and Fred H. Meyer; supper, Charles V. Roby, Walter Fletcher, Ira Goodwin, Frank Caunter, William R. Wall and Alvin Nelson; reception committee, Mrs. W. W. Sargent, Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mrs. A. W. Hartford, Mrs. William E. Wright, Mrs. A. M. Wells, Mrs. Robert Prescott, Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Sweatt, John B. Carmichael, Edward M. Abbot, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert E. Fletcher, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, Charles L. Hildreth, John Edwards and Mrs. A. H. Sutherland.

March 12, 1921

Inaugural Ball.  The committees in charge of the inaugural ball worked faithfully and harmoniously to make it the successful event for this and the surrounding towns that it was last Friday evening at the town hall.  There was a fine concert program from eight until nine and dancing from nine until two, the dancing being extended one hour by urgent request.  Prominent in the decorative scheme were portraits of Harding and Coolidge at the front of the hall.  Palms and a profusion of other greenery banked the stage.  Many handsome gowns were worn by the ladies and it was decidedly a “dress suit” party.  Poole & Brigham’s orchestra furnished music for the occasion.

The following committees were in charge: executive committee, Rep. A. W. Hartford, William R. Taylor, A. G. Walker and W. G. Hanscom; decorations, A. H. Sutherland, J. S. Greig, Chester Burnham, L. F. Hildreth, G. D. Wilson and F. H. Meyer; supper, Charles Roby, Walter Fletcher, A. R. Nelson, Frank Caunter, Ira Goodwin and Edward Clement; reception committee, Mrs. Gretchen Sargent, Miss Alice M. Wells, Misses Gertrude D. and Julia H. Fletcher, Robert Prescott, William E. Wright, Mrs. M. A. Sutherland, Frank L. Furbush, Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Hildreth, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Sweatt, Edward M. Abbot, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Fletcher, Capt. Sherman H. Fletcher, Mrs. J. Herbert Fletcher, Charles L. Hildreth and John Edwards.

April 9, 1921

Golden Wedding.  To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Willis Hildreth of this village came the privilege Wednesday of this week of celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

The day was made memorable for Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth by a very pleasantly arranged gathering and reunion of relatives at the home of their son, Charles L. Hildreth.  The two sons and their wives, Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth of this village and Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Hildreth of Winchester, arranged and carried out the plans for the day.  Relatives of about 35 in number were present from Wilton, N.H., New Ipswich, N.H., Cambridge, Holliston, Winchester, New York and Westford.

A delicious collation was served, the table being handsomely decorated in yellow with centerpiece of golden jonquils.  A handsome wedding cake had its place of honor.  Later a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth was taken, also a group picture of the company by C. L. Hildreth, who is skillful at photography.

Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth were the recipients of various nice gifts, tokens of love and esteem from their children, besides gold pieces and other gifts.  Mr. Hildreth was born in New Ipswich, N.H., and Mrs. Hildreth, who was Lucy M. Colburn, was born in Temple, N.H.  They were married at Cambridge, April 6, 1871, by Dr. Alexander Mackenzie.  They have lived in Cambridge and Southboro and for the last 25 years have made their home in Westford.  They have two sons as previously stated and one grandson, Roger Heywood Hildreth.

Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth’s many friends join in extending to them felicitous greetings and good wishes upon so happy an occasion.

April 30, 1921

CenterCharles L. Hildreth is staying at his parents’ home during the quarantine of his son, Roger, with scarlet fever.  The latter has been suffering with ear complications requiring a specialist from Lowell the first of the week.

May 14, 1921

Center.  The Charles L. Hildreths are getting back to normal after their hard siege with sickness—Roger with scarlet fever and Mrs. Hildreth at the same time sick with bronchitis and requiring a nurse.

July 9, 1921

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Roger attended Mr. Hildreth’s reunion [class of 1901] at Dartmouth college in June.  From there they went to Montreal and took a trip down the St. Lawrence and on to Niagara Falls.  There they had an unexpected meeting with Miss Ruth Tuttle, who was making a trip to the falls with a friend from Winchester.  Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth were gone about three weeks.

September 24, 1921

CenterCharles L. Hildreth, while playing baseball the first of the week with his son Roger, was unfortunate enough to get one eye badly injured, making it necessary for him to remain at home from his office for a time.

October 15, 1921

Republican Field Day.  The Massachusetts Republican league held a big field day last Saturday afternoon on the Whitney playground.  It was attended by all the countryside, as the number of autos indicated that were parked in the splendid parking place behind the academy.  Westford may well be proud of her beautiful Whitney playground which lends itself so well for such occasions.  The Republican club considers this an off year, as there is no political contest, but it is always well to keep republican traditions and ideals before the people.  More than 2000 persons listened most attentively to the speakers of the afternoon.

The Abbot Worsted Company band gave a splendid concert and then went over to the Frost school and met the governor of Massachusetts, Channing Cox, who arrived in a car flying on its hood a flag with the seal of the commonwealth.  Preceded by the special marshals, Mr. Sutherland and Mr. Robinson, and escorted by the band, the governor, with Representative Alfred Hartford, president of the Republican league of this district, and Charles Nichols, of Chelmsford, secretary of the league, on either side, marched across the greensward to the speaker’s stand.  Governors have been here before, and one governor was a teacher at the old academy [John Davis Long].  It is always an honor to have a governor come and the assembled crowd gave him a hearty cheer.

  1. J. Robbins, of Chelmsford, chairman, presided, and spoke of the purpose of the club and then introduced the speakers.

Mrs. Emma Fail Schofield, of the league, gave a splendid talk, urging the women to become members of a political party and exercise their full privilege and duty.

Congressman John Jacob Rogers, being in close touch with affairs in Washington, was eminently fitted to tell of what is being done there.  He thinks President Harding is a fine type of a man and has done extraordinarily well under the circumstances.  He urged cooperation in carrying out the disarmament program and other progressive measures.

Governor Cox paid a tribute to our town clerk [Charles Lewis Hildreth], who was his classmate at Dartmouth [Class of 1901].  He complimented the fifth district upon their judgment in keeping such a brilliant man as John Jacob Rogers in Washington.  At the conclusion of his speech, which was well applauded, the people had an opportunity to meet their governor and then he and Congressman Rogers were on their way to the Acton fair.

December 17, 1921

Ladies’ Aid Meeting.  The Ladies’ Aid meeting of the Congregational church, held at the home of Mrs. Charles H. Wright, on Thursday of last week, was an especially profitable and successful meeting.  There was the annual meeting and a nominating committee, Mrs. William C. Roudenbush, chairman, presented the following list of officers and committees, all of whom accepted, there being no refusals, and were as follows: Mrs. Perley E. Wright, pres.; Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, vice pres.; Mrs. Leonard W. Wheeler, sec.; Mrs. George F. White, treas.; Misses Mary and Winnifred Green, Mrs. Arthur Day, Mrs. Harry Gumb and Mrs. Phonsie Isles, directresses; chairmen for monthly suppers, January, men’s supper, Perley Wright; February, Mrs. L. W. Wheeler; March, Mrs. George F. White; April, Mrs. Harry Ingalls; May, Mrs. Alonzo H. Sutherland; annual fair arrangements, Mr. Hanscom, Mr. Ingalls, Mr. Davis, Miss Lillian Atwood; decorations, Miss May Atwood, Mrs. Nora Colburn, Miss Eleanor Colburn; entertainment, Alfred Hartford, Warren Hanscom, William E. Wright; supper, Mrs. Perley E. Wright; table, fancy and aprons, directresses; donated articles, Mrs. Wheeler; candy, Mrs. Gumb; mystery, Mrs. Clarence Hildreth, Mrs. Charles Hildreth; white elephant, Mrs. J. Kimball. …

January 7, 1922

GranitevilleCharles L. Hildreth, the genial Westford town clerk, wishes to inform local hunters and fishermen that there has been some change made in the fees for licenses for the year 1922.  The new scale of prices are as follows: Resident citizens’ combination certificate (hunt, trap and fish) two dollars; resident citizens’ hunting and trapping certificate $1.00; resident citizens’ fishing certificate $1.00.

January 14, 1922

Center.  The warrant for the annual town meeting will be drawn up Saturday evening; all articles for insertion in the warrant must be in the hands of the selectmen on or before that date.  Reports from the various town committees are requested to be handed in to the town clerk, Charles L. Hildreth, not later than next week in order that they may be received for print in the annual town report.

January 28, 1922

Ladies’ Aid Society.  The usual large attendance of the members of the Ladies’ Aid society of the Congregational church were present at an all-day meeting at the home of Mrs. George F. White on last week Thursday.  Reports were given of the last meeting which was held in December.  The board of officers were also elected at the last meeting as follows: Mrs. Perley E. Wright, pres.; Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, v.p.; Mrs. L. W. Wheeler, sec.; Mrs. George F. White, treas.; Misses Mary F. Green, Winifred Green, directresses; Mrs. Arthur Day, Mrs. Harry M. Gumb and Mrs. Phonsie Isles, asst. directresses. …

September, the annual fair; Frederic Hanscom, Harry Ingalls, William Davis, Miss L. B. Atwood, committee of arrangements; Miss May Atwood, Mrs. Nora Colburn, Miss E. Colburn, decoration; Misses Green, fancy table; Mrs. L. W. Wheeler, donated articles; Mrs. Harry Gumb, candy table; Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. Clarence Hildreth, mystery table; Mrs. James Kimball, white elephants; Mrs. Perley E. Wright, supper com.; Mrs. A. W. Hartford, Warren Hanscom, William E. Wright, entertainment com.; Mrs. Phonsie Isles, Mrs. Charles Wright, good cheer com.

February 4, 1922

Citizens’ Caucus.  The annual town caucus for the nominating of candidates for the election of February 13 was held at the town hall on Tuesday evening at eight o’clock.  The women voters were out forty strong and men were also present from all sections of the town with plenty of “pep.”

Alfred W. Hartford was chosen moderator; Charles L. Hildreth, clerk; Alfred Prinn and Fred Sweet [sic], tellers, after which nominations were in order. …

February 18, 1922

CenterCharles L. Hildreth has recovered from a recent attack of tonsillitis and is able to attend to his business in Lowell.

March 4, 1922

News Items.  Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth has been a Lowell visitor this week.

Concert and Ball.  The first annual costume ball and concert of the Westford post, A.L., assisted by the Auxiliary, was held on the evening of February 22 in the town hall with an attendance of about one hundred couples.  Attractive costumes and decorations and a beautifully executed grand march were among the features.  The grand march was led by Dr. Harry R. Colburn and Miss Nancy Patterson, who were clad in Scotch costumes.  Robert Abbot and Miss M. Brown won first prize for the prettiest costumes.  Many of the costumes were very unique and deserve special mention.  The judges were Charles L. Hildreth, Perley E. Wright and William C. Roudenbush.  The party was opened with an excellent concert by Poole & Brigham’s orchestra, who furnished music for the evening.  The decorating committee were Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, Mrs. Clarence Hildreth, Mrs. A. G. Hildreth and Miss Katherine Clement.  The Legion committee in charge of the ball and concert were Dr. H. R. Coburn, Edward T. Healey and Frank C. Johnson. …

July 1, 1922

Center.  A meeting of the Alumni association of Westford academy was held in the town hall following the graduating exercises.  The following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: Charles L. Hildreth, pres.; Herbert V. Hildreth, v.p.; Josephine M. Connell, sec. and treas.; Arthur G. Hildreth, A. Mabel Drew, Ruth Sargent, Ruth Tuttle, John A. Kimball, ex. com.

July 15, 1922

Special Town Meeting.  A special town meeting took place at the town hall on Friday evening of last week.  There were nine articles in the warrant.  Rep. Alfred W. Hartford acted as moderator and Charles L. Hildreth as clerk. …

August 26, 1922

Center.  The welfare committee of the Ladies’ Auxiliary to the American Legion proved themselves ideal hostesses to the fourteen disabled soldiers from the Groton hospital who were spending the day at Camp Edwards, which is a part of Camp Devens, last Wednesday.  The boys greatly appreciated the dinner which was served to them.  It is customary for a different organization to take charge each day at the camp, and the Westford women are to be congratulated on their splendid menu.  Mrs. Clarence Hildreth, of the welfare committee, was ably assisted by Dr. Edna Packard and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth.

About Town.  Mrs. Fabyan Packard took Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth and Mrs. Clarence Hildreth to Camp Devens in her car to assist in the entertaining of some soldiers on Wednesday.

October 21, 1922

Center.  Mr. and Mrs. Harry Heywood, of Woonsocket, R.I.; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Heywood, of New York city, and Mrs. Stella Warren, of Newark, N.J., were weekend guests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hildreth, at their home [at 25] Boston road.