100 Years Ago in Suffield

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Selected from the pages of the Windsor Locks Journal and lightly annotated by Town Historian Lester Smith.

November 1

A large barn and attached sheds of the Dan I. King place on East street was totally destroyed by fire last Saturday night and the loss is estimated at about $5,500. Bucket brigades were formed and helped to save the nearby tobacco barns and were in readiness to carry the furniture from the house if it became necessary.

About a hundred of the parishioners of Rev J. E. Clark called at Sacred Heart rectory Tuesday evening to give him a farewell party. Father Clark is leaving Wednesday for his new parish in Willimantic, having been transferred there last week. During the evening, J. Henry Day, in behalf of the parishioners, presented Father Clark with a purse of $500 as a slight token of the high esteem in which he was held here, and for his faithful work during his pastorate here.

The Polish people held a mass meeting in the Town hall Sunday afternoon for the purpose of raising money to meet Suffield’s quota of $1,200 for the Polish war fund. . . . At the close of the meeting $1,800 was raised from the Polish residents of the town, many of whom gave Liberty Bonds, Thrift Stamps, and cash, besides pledges.

November 8

The beginning of the day Tuesday looked rather bad for bringing out a large vote in the town, but in spite of the weather over 400 votes had been cast at 1 o’clock, when the sun came out. . . . and when the polls closed at 5 o’clock, 657 ballots were cast, sixteen more than at the town election in October. [For every office, the vote was Republican by a substantial margin.]

Principal Hobart G. Truesdell of the Suffield Military School has decided to drop all games on the football schedule on account of the influenza epidemic and the close quarantine that is now being maintained at the school.

The voters of this town had an opportunity to study the workings of a voting machine at the Town hall all day Tuesday. Selectman Harman secured a machine from the city of Hartford and had an experienced man to demonstrate it. . . . The general impression was that it was not as complicated as the present method of voting. . . . The matter of purchasing machines will come before the voters at a special town meeting to be held in March . . . [There had been a premature announcement the previous week.]

November 15

The news of the signing of the armistice was celebrated in this town with the same enthusiasm that prevailed all over the country Monday. Parades started every once in a while and horns and bells added to the noise. In the evening a huge bonfire was kept burning for about two hours by the boys of the Suffield School.

The Second Baptist and First Congregational churches will open Sunday morning after having been closed for three weeks on account of the influenza epidemic. In both churches services of Thanksgiving for the ending of the war will be held.

Services will be resumed at Calvary Episcopal church in this place, Sunday morning at 10:30 o’clock. This service will be a victory thanksgiving service.

November 22

The rains of this week have given the farmers exceptional opportunity to get their tobacco from the poles, and most of them have taken advantage of it. It is said that more than seventy-five per cent of the crop has been taken down. The buyers have not been as active of late as they were before the tobacco was harvested, and prices offered are somewhat lower.

The influenza epidemic seems to be on the wane in this town as only two or three cases were reported this week. . . . It has been decided not to open the Suffield School until December 2d. Some of the district schools that are still closed will re-open next week.

November 29

A letter was received by an officer of the Calvary Episcopal church from Miss Carrie Bannister, who was organist at the church for several years, but is now doing Red Cross work in Paris. She tells of the joy and excitement in that city when the news of the signing of the armistice came to the French capitol.

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