Chronology of Westfield

Louis M. Dewey
Copyrighted, 1905, '10, '19, L.M.D.

1871. May 30. Soldiers' Monument was dedicated.

A steam fire engine was procured.

Westfield and Holyoke steam railroad was opened.
1873. Board of Water Commissioners was appointed. Montgomery Water Works were completed the following year.
1874. Normal School boarding house was opened on Washington street. Now "the Alquat."
1878. Great flood, December 10, with damage of $100,000.
1879-80. New dike, dam, and bridge were built over Great River, at Elm street.
1880. Telephones were introduced in town.
1881. Memorial Day made a holiday in Massachusetts.

Westfield Co-operative Bank was chartered.
1883. Abner Gibbs, principal of the High School died.
1884. Free text-books for schools granted.
1886. Town was first lighted by electricity.

District Court for Western Hampden was created.

Labor Day made a holiday in Massachusetts. Celebrated in Westfield by labor parade and picnic.
1888. New sewage system begun. Gamewell fire alarm system was established.

First superintendent of schools was appointed.
1890. Old third meeting house was burned in February.

Australian ballot was introduced in elections.

Woronoco Street Railway was organized.

Grade crossings of N.Y., N.H. & H. railroad at Elm and Orange streets were abolished and iron bridges erected,

East Hall, the old academy part of High School burned, November 10. A business course was introduced.
1892. June 20. Present Normal School building on Court street dedicated.

Grade crossings at Chapel, Thomas, Main, and Silver streets were abolished.
1893. First Board of Health chosen.
1894. Woronoco Park opened in July.
1895. Horse cars were changed to electric and the two street railway companies combined.
1896. Grade crossing of Boston and Albany railroad at North Elm street eliminated. Depot square laid out.

Old covered, wooden county bridge built in 1864, at Little River district, burned, but was replaced the next year by the present steel structure.

Board of Trade organized.
1897. Noble Hospital dedicated.

Present system of storm sewers was adopted.
1898. New iron bridge on Main street over Little River, built to replace the old iron bridge that had served for about forty years, and which for the first twenty years was the only iron structure of the kind in the town.

Ashley street school and first town kindergarten was opened.

Four men in Spanish war; two died.
Granville water system first used.

Electric cars first run to SPringfield.

Town bought Westfield Gas and Electric plant.

Shurtleff mission was opened.
1902. President Roosevelt was present at the Normal School commencement.

First town almoner was appointed.

Rural free delivery of mail was begun.
1903. June 11. Electric cars were run to Hampton Ponds and Holyoke.

Dickinson Hall was opened on King street.
1904. Aged People's Home formally opened on Silver street, in April.
1905. July. Encampment of Massachusetts State Militia on Hampton Plains, Camp Bartlett.

New Electric car line opened to Huntington.
September 12. Fourth Annual Muster of Connecticut Valley League of Veteran Firemen.
1908. April 24. Parks Block damaged to the extent of $75,000 by fire. Quarters of Mount Moriah Lodge of Masons burned out.

September 24. Sarah Gillett Home for Aged People dedicated.
1910. June 8. General Shepard elm tablet dedicated.

June 24. Westfield High School Alumni Association formed.

November 8. Lozierville trolley line opened.

Federal census placed Westfield's population at 16,044.
1911. September 11. Tekoa Country Club house in Western avenue opened.

October 1. North Side sub-postal station opened.

October 23. Squad A truck, first piece of motor-driven fire apparatus, was put into commission by the Fire Department.

Westfield became the Pure-Food Town.
1912. May 3. The Day House in East Mountain, built in 1723 by Thomas Noble, torn down.

June 14-15. Westfield Pageant at the Elder Day property was held.

The old Gem Opera House, converted into a garage, was destroyed by fire which also burned 22 automobiles. Loss of $50,000.
1914. January 9-10. Post office was moved to new federal building.

September 1. Abner Gibbs School was opened and dedicated on September 11.

November 2. Westfield voted not to accept city charter draft.

December 24. First municipal Christmas tree celebration.
1915. Mosely School was opened March 1. Dedicated November 4, following.

November 19. Head-on trolley collision on Springfield line in East Main street, first serious accident on that line. Resulted in severe injuries to five and minor injuries to 30 other passengers.

December 15. Westfield Girls' Club organized.

December 24. Community Christmas tree celebration.

December 26. Severe windstorm unroofed houses and laid tobacco barns flat.
1916. June 23. Twenty-five Westfield men in the 2d regiment, mobilized at Framingham for service on the Mexican border.

Juvenile court opened September 18, in Elm Park block.
1917. For Meadow School was opened, February 5. Dedicated, February 12.

March 30. Westfield Home Guard formed.

June 5. Registration for selective service in the draft army in Town Hall.

Patriotic meetings, parades, etc. 1,743 enrolled here.

June 11. First Liberty Loan quota for Westfield of $550,000 over-subscribed.

June 23. Division No. 6 draft board for consideration of cases of Westfield, West Springfield, and Southwick registrants, named and offices in G.A.R. Hall block.

August 16. Lee-Huntington trolley line opened.

August 17. Camp Bartlett was opened for mobilization of National Guard organization of the New England states. It was in operation for fourteen weeks, 13,000 encamped. 103d and 104th Inf. Regts. and other units of the 26th Yankee Division formed here for service in France.

August 26, Camp Bartlett was visited by 100,000 persons, the largest crowd in the town's history.

September 5. First one per cent draft quota of three men sent to Camp Devens.

Draft quota of 101 men sent to Camp Devens on September 23, and the same number on September 30.

October 18. Second Liberty Loan quota over-subscribed with purchase on bonds to the total of $598,550.

November 21. Red Triangle raised $10,969 for war work.

December 26. Red Cross enrolled 3,800 members in its campaign.
1918. May. Third Liberty Loan quota of $500,000 over-subscribed, $602,850 pledged.

June 5 and August 24. Registration days for now "21's."

September 5. Registration day for males between 18-45 years inclusive.

September 23 - November 8. Influenza epidemic. Schools, theatres, churches, and saloons closed. State Guard on quarantine guard duty. 1,921 cases reported with 109 deaths.

October 19. Fourth Liberty Loan quota of $1,012,000 oversubscribed by $161,200.

November 11-12. Armistice signed. Big celebration, parades, etc.

War chest subscribed, $101,000.

In World War, Westfield had: 700 in the Army, 147 in the Navy, 3 in the Marines; 14 killed or died overseas, including one with Allies, 12 died of disease or accident in this country.
1919. April. Fifth and last Victory Loan quota of $756,000 oversubscribed by $15,500.

On June 17, State Guard Co. E., 18th Regiment, which was formed from the Home Defense League, ordered to disband. It had made an excellent record in all ways.

August 31-September 3. Quarter millennial celebration of town's incorporation.

I wish to hereby thank my son, J. Chambers Dewey, reporter for the Springfield Union, for kind assistance on the later years of this record. — L.M.D.

| Previous Page | Next Page |

| 250th Anniv. Program Home | 250th Anniv. Program Contents |
| Westfield Page | Hampden County History & Genealogy |

These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 2000 - 2005, all rights reserved
Copying these pages without written permission for the purpose of republishing
in print or electronic format is strictly forbidden
This page was last updated on 22 Jul 2005