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Centennial Monograph: Observation of the 50th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Maynard


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Centennial Monograph: Observation of the 50th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Maynard


For the occasion of the town's coming 100th anniversary in 1971, a look back on how the 50th anniversary was celebrated in 1921.


Elizabeth M. Schnair





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Observation of the 50th Anniversary of the
Incorporation of the Town of Maynard
prepared by
Elizabeth M. Schnair
April, 1966

At the town meeting held in Maynard on March 7, 1921, the following article appeared:

"To see if the town will vote to take action in regard to the observation of the 50th anniversary of the Incorporation of the tov/n and appropriate money for the same."

The results of this article as recorded in the minutes of that meeting by Town Clerk, Frank E. Sanderson: "Voted that the town vote to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Incorporation of the town on the 19th day of April next, and that it vote and appropriate a sum of money not to exceed $1000 for the expenses of such celebration. The underwriting or guaranteeing of the expenses incurred in publishing a history of the town is to be included in said sum, and that the moderator and Town Clerk be instructed to appoint a committee of not less than twenty-one citizens to make all arrangements for such celebration."

Mr. Sanderson and Mr. Horace P, Bates, town moderator, appointed a committee of thirty to arrange for the celebration. At the next selectmen's meeting, March 9, the committee was enlarged to forty-eight. Arthur J,. Coughlan was appointed chairman, Mr. Sanderson, secretary, and Charles H. Persons, treasurer. Because of critical illness, Mr. Coughlan was unable to continue this work. and on April 7th Mr. Sanderson was appointed general chairman, and Wallace C. Priest, secretary.

The following men and women served as chairmen of appointed committees:

Music - Edwin Carlton
Invitations - George H. Gutteridge
Community singing - Mrs. Howard Wilson
Printing - Frank E. Sanderson
History - William H. Gutteridge
Honorary Membership - Charles H. Persons
Sunday observance - Albert Bately
School observance - William A. Millington
Press - Cornelius J. Lynch
Speakers - Howard A. Wilson
Program - Arthur Coughlan
Decoration - Frank S. Binks
Parade - Arthur Coughlan
Re-Union - Mrs. Frank E. Sanderson
Reception - Howard A. Wilson

The committee engaged the New England Decorating Co. of Boston to decorate the streets, schools and town buildings. Businessmen and private citizens engaged other decorating companies to drape their buildings and homes with flags and bunting. All this was to be completed several days before the celebration to give the town a gala appearance,

A real old-fashioned celebration featuring a spirited reunion of old settlers and others living elsewhere was planned. Reminiscenses of old folks when the village of Assabet changed to Maynard, the the narrations of remembered happenings and experiences of the early days, and a reception where old friends could meet and greet was the essence of such a reunion. Tentative plans for the reunion by the committee called for it to be held at Riverside Hall (now known as Gruber's Block) where the first town meeting took place. It was arranged to transport by automobile the elderly and infirm residents to the Hall to attend the exercises there.

Over 500 invitations were mailed to Maynardites residing out of town according to committeeman P. J. Sullivan.

The celebration lasted three days, April 17th (Sunday) April 18th and April 19th, Anniversary Day. The entire three days of holiday festivities were held under unfavorable weather conditions - cold, rain and snow.

Thousands of visitors and forrer residents came to town to enjoy the celebration. A great many had arrived over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday morning the electric cars and trains brought hundreds more.

All the stores, churches, schools and public buildings near the center of the town were decorated with flags, bunting and streamers. The electric wire posts had bunting wrapped about them and pennants were suspended from wires strung over the roads from Paper Mill Bridge to the Main Street School, including Nason Street. (The cost of such decoration - $350)

Store windows were used to display a variety of relics, old pictures, etc., donated by residents. Mr Lucius Maynard exhibited two chairs from the Old. Brick Schoolhouse that were in use over 100 years before. They were wooden and were built in as part of the floor. Mr. Maynard's father sat in one when he attended the school.

A picture of Nason Street 40 years before attracted much attention. Also a road sign "Assabet 2 miles and South Acton 4 miles" that was at the Iron Works Causeway previous to 1871. There were several photographs of Mr, and Mrs. Amory Maynard (founder of the town) of Henry Fowler and Jonathan Bent, first selectmen, and of Eli Chase, first town clerk. A school bell used at the Old Turnpike and Garfield Schools by teacher John Vose, was donated by Mrs, James Sheridan, Sr., and was the object of much attention.

Mr. Amory Maynard's first home in Maynard was opposite the Mill Office. It was decorated with flags and an appropriate sign of identification was in front of it. Open house was observed all during Anniversary Day by Amory Maynard, grandson of the town's founder. Governor Cox, Senator Gibbs and many others visited there. Mr. Maynard showed life-size portraits of his

On Sunday April 17th, appropriate services were conducted at all the churches. Many former residents here for the celebration were in attendance. At the Congregational Church, Rev. E. Atiyeh, preached on the celebration. A brief talk on the history of the town, church and schools were given by Frank E. Sanderson, William H. Gutteridge, William H. Millington, (Supt. of Schools) and E. F. Bates, school principal. Special music was directed by George W. Lawton, choir director, and Herbert Lawton, organist.

At the Methodist Church, Rev. D. F. Angell gave an appropriate sermon taking as his text, "I am a Jew of Tarsua, a citizen of no mean city." He touched on four topics:
(1} The geographical advantages of a city
(2)The historical value
(3) The commercial importance
(4) Its men and women

At St. George’s Church, Rev., Arthur B. Papineau made reference to the anniversary. Rev. Johannes Vaananen, minister to the Finnish Congregational parish preached on the celebration
of the anniversary at evening services. Mrs. Waino Kauppi read an original poem appropriate to the anniversary and remarks were made by Oscar Grovdahl, member. Appropriate services were held at the Lutheran Church on Glendale Street.

On Monday, April 18th, the schools held special exercises. The following is an account of the school’s participation written hy William Millington, superintendent of schools, for the Town
Report of 1921:

The schools took an important and appropriate part in the celebration of Maynard’s fiftieth anniversary. On the afternoon of April 18th patriotic exercises were held in all schools. As the basis of these exercises, the children had been for two or three weeks previously writing compositions on the history of Maynard, and, so far as possible on the contributions to local, state and national advantage by representatives of each nationality represented in our population. In some of our schools, original plays representing scenes from local or national history were written. Several of these were extremely creditable. The Senior and Junior High Schools combined in a pageant written in blank verse by Miss Helena G. Fowler, head of the English department, from material in the compositions written by the pupils, So far as possible, pupils of each nationality were chosen to present the separate parts, except cf course, in the case of the Indian, and a folk dance of the nation represented ended each scene. The pageant centered around the idea of the contribution each nationality had made to the history of Maynard and the Country, ending with a tableau representing each as offering its flag as a token of fealty. It was given in Colonial Hall on the 18th to a capacity audience which was so enthusiastic that only the numerous events of the following day prevented its repetition.

On the next day, the school children took part in the parade. Each school was distinctive in its decoration and it would be impossible to say which attracted the most attention. All were warmly commended by the Governor from the reviewing stand, and the marching occasioned everywhere favorable comment by townspeople and visitors. The teachers, to whose effort the credit was largely due, have a right to feel that their work merited the highest praise.

An account of tha participation of the schools in the celebration has been stored among the records of the town to be produced at our one hundredth anniversary,

(end of Mr. Millington*s account)


Star Spangled Banner - All
History of Maynard - Julia Wardzala,VIII A
"Our Native Land" - Seventh Grade Pupils
"My 0wn Native Land" - Seventh Grade Pupils
Original Poems
"The Founding of Maynard" - Peter Little
"Advantages of Maynard" - Peter Little
"American Hymn" - Eighth Grade Pupils
"Old Schoolhouses of Maynard" - George Bariteau, Jr. High
"To Thee 0 Country" - Eighth Grade Pupils
"The Assabet Never Forgets" - Annie Mark, VII A
"America the Beautiful" - All


Order of Presentation:
River god speaks
Indian speaks
Indian Dance - Junior High School
England speaks
Scotland speaks
Highland Fling - Allen children
Wales speaks
Ireland speaks
Irish Jig - Hannah Sweeney
Germany speaks
Hebrews speak
France spealcs
Vineyard Dance - Junior High School
Italy speaks
Scandinavia speaks
Norwegian Dance - Junior High School
Poland speaks
Polka - Mamie Phillips
Lithuania speaks
Finland speaks
Finnish Dance - Junior High School
"Columbia the Gem of the Ocean"
Flag Salute

At 7:00 A..M. on the morning of Anniversary Day, April 19th, 1921, the Assabet Mill siren blew steadily for 5 minutes. The fire alarm was sounded and all the church bells rang. A salute of 50 guns was fired by Battery D - 2nd Field Artillery of Lowell under the direction, of Capt. W. C. Brayne, from the hill at the rear of the Reed residence on Summer Street. The guns were brought over the road by William Strout on Monday and the firing squad on followed by auto the next morning.

At 9:30 A.M. all the town officers marched to the Roosevelt School and were photographed by George D. Elson. They then prepared to take part in the parade.

Formation of the parade was at Sudbury and Main Streets and began at 11:00 A.M. It marched Main Street to Nason Street to Main Street and disbanded at Walnut Street.

A reviewing stand was erected on the lawn of the Congregational Church. Among the honored guests were Governor Channing H. Cox, his wife, and his aide Mayor Edward Sampson. Mrs. Ralph Case, Mrs. John Maley, and Mrs. Albert Haynes greeted Mrs. Cox
and sat with her on the platform. Seated with the Governor were Frank S . Binks, Edwin Carlton and Charles Keane, selectmen, Rev. A. N. Atiyeh, Rev. Arthur T. Papineau, Rev. Albert Crowley of Wellesley (a Maynard native) Rev. D. M. Angell, Rev, Francis Jablonski, Rev. Johannes Vaanenen, Rev. Theoplan Butetoff, George Creighton, Albert Bately, Alfred E, McCleary, P. J, Sullivan, Howard Wilson, W. B. Case, Amory Maynard, 0, C. Drechsler and the members of the reception committee.

Line of Parade

First Division

James J, M'organ, Marshall, assisted by Fred Hanson, representing the U. S. Marines
John Lawton, Joshua Edwards, Robert Denniston (members of the parade committee)
Squad of Police
Maynard Brass Band Town officers
Ladies Auxiiliary American Legion led by Mrs. Mary Jones
Frank J, Demars Post No. 235 American Legion
1st Platoon led by Harold Sheridan, Commanding Officer
2nd Platoon led by James Ryan
3rd Platoon led by William Baron
Color bearer - Cornelius Moynihan
Guards - Frank Murdock and Dana Jones
John T. Higgins representing sailors and marines
G. A. R. veterans in cars
Maynard Grange, No. 340 led by Mrs. Elizabeth Hodgess
Knights of Pythias with Bay State Company in full dress uniforms led by Raymond Coulter.

Second Division

John Gibbons, U. S. Navy, 2nd assistant marshall
Finnish Temperance Band
Girl Scouts
Assabet Aerie Order of Eagles No. 643
St. Casimir^s Polish Society
Finnish residents
Maynard council K. of C. No. 2121 formed as a cross

Third Division

Sgt. Frank Parks, U.S.A., third assistant marshall
Imatra Band
Summer Hill Lodge, Ancient order of United Workmen
Maynard Lodge of Odd Fellows No. 131
Thomas Camphell, G.A.R. veteran, drummer
Superintendent of Schools, Mr William H. Millington, marshall, assisted by teachers
Main Street School children with red sashes and hats
Bancroft Street School children with blue sashes and hats
Nason Street School children with American flags
Summer Street School children with red, white and blue hats and sashes, led by Patrick Hines
Old Timers in automobiles

The Old Timers were given a grand reception by the onlookers. Thomas Campbell, a Civil War Veteran, used a drum presented him by his company in 1863 in Washington which he also played in the first parade in Maynard in 1871. After the parade he was congratulated by the Governor. Mr. Campbell stated that he ’’had not done any drumming for a good many years", but he demonstrated that he had not lost any of his ability. Other "old timers" in line were Dennis Buckley, Frank Whitney, John Church, and John McCormack from Hyde Park, a former Maynard resident.

Following the parade, ceremonies were held in front of the reviewing stand. Frank E. Sanderson gave a patriotic address in which he congratulated Maynard on its growth and development. He then introduced the following guests who made brief addresses:
Governor Channing Cox, who paid tribute to all the old-timers in the parade and commended the industry, thrift and courage of the people half a century ago, who, he said, were God-fearing citizens. Aa a closing word, he pointed to the industry, schools and homes of America as something to he thankful for, and after speaking of the sacrifices of the settlers of the early days, urged that all should look forward with as optimistic view to the greatness of the state, the nation, and Maynard.

Representative Fred Glazier of Hudson voiced his tribute to the town and brought greetings from Hudson.

The last speaker on this program was ex-State Treasurer Charles L. Burrill. These guests and others were then served a dinner at the Congregational Church by the Ladies Benevolent Society, of which Mrs Maude Gutteridge was chairman. The women on this committee who prepared and served the dinner were: Mrs .
Howard Case, Miss Phemie Hall, Mrs. Peter Wilcox, Mrs. Robert Archer, Mrs. Charles Wilcox, Mrs. John Ingham, Mrs Benjamin Townsend, Miss Nellie Carver, Mrs. Gilbert Hawkes, Mrs Rod Mclver, Mrs. George Mclnnes, Gertrude and Grace Haynes, Irene Martin and Grace Wood.

At the Methodist Church a luncheon was served by the Ladies Aid Society, Mrs. Harvey Richardson, chairman, Mrs. 0. S. Dunham, Mrs . Hiram Parkin, Mrs. Rhoda Palmer, Mrs. Nathaniel Davis, Mrs. Fred Cahill, Mrs. Robert Veitch, Marion Wilson, Helen and Marion Angell, Bertha Carmichael, Margaret and Rachel Gates, Emma Greenhalge and Helen Henderson of Lowell,

The program of community singing and band concert which was to be held on the church lawn were canceled because of bad weather, as was a baseball game between old rivals - Concord and Maynard.

At 2:00 P.M, all the old-timers, former residents and many townspeople gathered at Riverside Hall. The gala reunion held forth there from 2 till 6:00 P.M, and seemed to be the high spot of the days activities. The exterior of the hall was beautifully draped with flags and blue and yellow bunting. The windows were hung with lace curtains and many potted plants were on the stage. The walls were lined with old pictures and views of the town in years gone by. These caused a great deal of interest as many people recognized old friends and classmates, The gathering was like a big family reunion. Smiling and happy faces were abundant. Everyone was busy renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. The hall "buzzed with subdued conversation that was lively, homey and joyful, Too much cannot be said of the spirit of that reunion." "The happiest day since I was a schoolgirl" said one grandmother, "I’ve talked and laughed till my bones ache" said another old-timer. All present had an enjoyable time and were hoping it would not be 50 years more before they could enjoy another one! It was detracting nothing from any other feature of the celebration to say that here was the very essence of the anniversary.

The reunion committee was headed by Mrs. Frank Sanderson, great grand-daughter of Amory Maynard. The guest book, in charge of Miss Emma Deane and Miss Laura Parkin, bears the registration of about 1300 names, The first name registered is John W. Parmenter of Orange, 86 years old and former resident of Maynard. Serving with Mrs. Sanderson on the reunion committee were:

Mrs. John Horan
Mrs. Irvin Howe
Mrs, Brooks Reed
Mrs. Howard A.Wilson
Miss Laura Woodart
Miss Alice Nagle
Mrs. John Maley
Mrs. Arthur Coughlan
Mrs. Albert W. Haynes
Mrs. Ralph Case

At 3:00 P.M. Mr . Sanderson called assembly by the ringing of the old school bell used by John Vose and introduced the afternoon speakers:

Mr. Brooks Reed extended a warm welcome and greetings of the town. His father, Joseph W. Reed, as justice of the peace, issued the first town warrant, and the first town meeting was held in the very same hall.

Mr. Amory Maynard spoke of his grandfather and grandmother as he remembered them.

Mr Erastus Williams of Hyde Park, who campaigned in the village of Assabet for President Grant in 1868 delivered an historical address from the same platform.

The following is a letter he had written to Selectman Frank Binks back in March of 1921;
"I read in the papers of your contemplated anniversary of 50th year of the Incorporation of your town. I could not resist telling you of the pleasant occasion enjoyed in the village of Assabet in October of 1868 - the Grant campaign, when I made a speech in your hall in company with George A. Bruce and Robert K. Potter, state printer. I stopped with Mr. Maynard for whom your town is named. All of us felt that it was a great occasion. Is anyone alive who heard me that evening? I am now 78 years old and in 1868 was 26. The next night I spoke in Stow and 45 years later, in 1913, I gave a lecture there on the Battle of Gettysburg."

Mr. Williams made a stirring address to the reunion audience and in closing wished Maynard as much prosperity for years to come as it has had in the past.

Father William McGrail, a Maynard native, had this to say,

"Maynard is the best town on earth. It is my home wherever I am. and it will always be my home. I have enjoyed this day as I have no other day in my memory."

Mr. Thomas Lees of Lowell spoke of his reminiscences.

Mr. Owen Reynolds of Dedham, organizer and captain of Maynard's first baseball team spoke of the many games that were played . The first game was with a team from Concord and Maynard won it by a score of 33 to 11.

John F, Fitzgerald, an old favorite and frequent visitor to Maynard was the final orator. He spoke of many entertainments and dances he attended here, of taking his wife from Acton and of the interest he always had in Maynard, He was given a tremendous ovation and ended by singing "Sweet Adeline" accompanied at the piano by Mrs, Louis Sullivan. Little did he dream then that he was to become grandfather of a President of the United States.

Interspersed with the orators were selections by the Community Chorus under the supervision of George H. Woods.

Refreshments of tea and cakes were served by the reunion committee at the end of the program.

G. Homer Gaiger, a former High School teacher, was given a reception by many of his former students.

The meeting was brought to a close by singing in unison "Auld Lang Syne".

The days program was concluded at 6:00 P.M. by the ringing of the church bells.

Original Poem of Celebration
(Read at Bancroft Street School)

April 19 -- historic day
Is with us once again,
The day that's bright with memories
of great and noble men.

’Twas on this day in years gone by
With loud and ringing cheer
Was born the town of Maynard fair,
To many hearts so dear.

Full fifty years have passed since then
And it has larger grown
It ’s welcomed these from every land
It’s blessings all have known.

They’ve learned to love her river blue
Her steep and grassy hills
Her springtime and her Autumn bright
Their hearts with sunshine fills.

The children bom beneath her skies
Tho’ far from here they roam
In spirit are with us today
For Maynard still is home.

And while we celebrate the past
And count the favors won
The future holds fair promises
For nineteen seventy-one.