Material gathered from public documents, state and municipal archives, special
publications, programs, old letters, clippings, and my personal files.
By Ed Patenaude
May 27--The Colony of Massachusetts gave William Stoughton and Joseph Dudley authority
to buy land for the future town of Oxford from the Natick and Nipmuck Indians.
1685 Oct. 18--Revocation of the Edict of
Nantes meant Huguenot Protestants were not allowed to practice their religion
in France. 1686-87 No date--Thirty French
Huguenot families accepted invitation of Stoughton and Dudley and settled in Oxford
in the latter part of 1686 or early 1687. 1687
Sept. 19--The first survey of Oxford was made by John Gore of Roxbury. 1696
August 25--Indian raids through the first half of the 1690s culminated in the
murder of three children and father in the Johnson family, bringing Oxford's Huguenot
settlement to an end. 1713 July 8--Lots in
Oxford were assigned to pioneer families and deeds to the village were filed with
the Recorder of Deeds for Suffolk County. July 22--The first meeting to elect
officers was held in Oxford. 1714 Feb. 10--The
entire Nipmuc Country from Sothern Massachusetts to Nash-a-way (near Mechanicsville)
was given over to Massachusetts for fifty pounds. July 29--Oxford voted to
build a meeting house 30 feet square, and 18 feet (high). 1732
June 1--The town of Dudley was incorporated. June 20--Dudley held its first
town meeting in the William Carter house. 1733
Feb. 26--Dudley Selectmen hired Rev. Isaac Richardson as clergyman because Colonial
Massachusetts required that a town have a minister. June 5--The Rev. Mr. Richardson
was ordained at the house of Joshua Healy, and refreshments were provided by Joseph
Edmonds at his house. 1753 May 14--Dudley
residents voted to retain their errant pastor, Rev. Perley Howe, who begged forgiveness
after falling from grace by the use of liquor. 1775
April 20--A group of Dudley Minutemen, assembled after the battle of Lexington,
reported for service at Cambridge. 1782 Jan.
18--Daniel Webster, statesman for whom the town was named, born. 1811 Jan. 11--Samuel Slater bought his first property in Webster. 1812
Feb. 13--Merino Woolen Co., the first woolen manufacturer in Dudley, was incorporated. 1816 Feb. 8--Dudley Cotton Manufacturing Co.,
the first cotton manufacturer in Dudley, was incorporated. 1820
Sept. 10--Tuition at Nichols Academy was $6 a term, and board was $1.50 a week.
1821 Dec. 25--Clara Barton was born in Oxford.
1823 Feb. 8--The Oxford Bank was incorporated with Jonathan Davis as its first
president. 1828 Jan. 7--First Post Office
in East Village established. 1832 April 2--First
town meeting in Webster was held in the Baptist Church, East Main Street.
June 28--Hannah H. Harlow was the first baby born in Webster. 1833
May 1--Blaming cost of supporting the poor, Webster ended its first fiscal year
with a $519.40 deficit. 1834 March 9--Webster
agreed to pay abled bodied men 10 cents an hour to work on local highways. 1836 March 21--Webster accepted Mount Zion Cemetery
as a gift from the Samuel Slater estate. 1843
Oct. 17--Aaron A. Tufts, of Dudley, was appointed to the Court of Sessions. 1846 June 8--Voted: Three reservoirs to hold water
be built as security against fire at the expense of the town, and that one be
located near the Baptist meeting house, one near the Baptist meeting house, one
near J.P. Stockwell's house (Lake and Main Streets) and one near the depot,(front
of Gillis store). In 1846, the old Sheldon Hotel was constructed near the
Railroad Depot, on the plot where the Hotel DeWitt was later built. Also in
1846, L. Barnes came to Webster and set up a paint business on School Street.
Later the new street cut between that site and Mechanic Street was names Barnes
Street in his honor. Abraham Lindy purchased the property many years later and
conducted a paint and wallpaper business there. Also in 1846, a newspaper
was established in town, the Webster Weekly, started by Joseph Shumway. It had
only a brief existence, lasting about two years. In 1846, the town meeting
voted to build a Fire House, in back of the Maanexit Hotel. The Fire Company had
been established the year before. 1852 Jan.
1--The first issue of the Webster News was published by J. M. Shumway, editor
and printer. 1853 George Tracy opened a store
for boots and shoes in the Stockwell Block. Some years later he built the Tracy
Block, which housed Liggett's and the New York Fashion Shop. 1855
April 5--Webster voted to establish a high school, and approved construction of
a building in East Village. 1859
Sept. 10--Webster Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons was organized. 1861 July 10--The Slater Guards, made up of local
men, started training at Beacon Park near Webster Lake. July 16--The Slater
Guards was federalized and assigned to Worcester area units. 1862
Dec. 19--Union soldier George L. Brackett described a Civil War attempt to take
Fredericksburg in a letter to his father. 1864
Nov. 25--St. Louis parish dedicated Calvary Cemetery in Dudley. The church bought
15 acres for $600. A railroad station was completed at the East Village by
the New York and New England Railroad, at the site where the old Thrifty Market
was located. Union Point was opened to the public by Lyman Sheldon. Calvary
Cemetery was commenced by St. Louis Parish. A boiler explosion at North Village
Mill destroyed the building and killed George Smith. 1865
Jan. 28--The Oxford Bank changed to a national bank. Dec. 22--The Civil War
record for Worcester County was released on this date. Webster lost 49 men, Dudley
lost 27 men, and Oxford lost 61 men. 1866
Jan. 1--Webster Gas Co., the town's first utility, opened for business. 1867 Jan. 15--Blizzard blocks railroad for four days. 1868
Jan. 11--Clock bought by Fr. Quan in France installed at St. Louis Church.
March 16--Webster Five Cents Savings Bank organized but acceptance of deposits
was delayed. Dec. 1--Webster Five Cents Savings Bank accepted deposits. 1869 June 6--Elliott Proctor Joslin, who'd come
to found the world famous Joslin Diabetes Clinic, was born in Oxford. July
18--The Episcopal Church of the Reconciliation held its first service in Webster.
The Webster Brass Band was organized by Carl Krebs. 1870 Jan. 22--Town Hall at East Webster destroyed by fire. 1871
Feb. 15--Rock Castle School opened with elementary pupils assigned to the first
floor and secondary students to the second floor. Feb. 17--North Village bridge
built. Prospect Street was laid out and opened to the lublic. Webster
voted to build a bridge on Pleasant St. if Dudley would agree to pay part of the
cost. Later $3,500 was appropriated for an iron bridge. 1872
March 25--Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division II of Webster organized with 60
members. 1874 Rev. James Quan of St. Louis
Parish bought from the Slater family the land known as Eliot's Shore (Beacon Park).
He had a 40 by 50 ft. tent erected and in 1879 built a roofed dance platform.
Each year on August 15, the whole town celebrated Father Quan's birthday. Even
the mills declared the occassion a holiday and most of the town gathered at Eliot's
Shore for a big picnic. 1875 August 25--A
monument was dedicated at the site of the Johnson Family Massacre in South Oxford.
1876 Feb. 1-- Universalist Church Steeple
on School St. (later St. Anthony of Padua) blew down during gale. 1877 The first house was built at Point Pleasant, which then became a popular
resort for summer cottages. 1878 Feb. 12--Webster's
first textile plant, Samuel Slater's Green Mill in East Village was destroyed
by fire. 1879 March 5--Writing in a Worcester
newspaper, M. Goggan of Nichols Academy said: "The majority of our high schools
have ...no claim upon the public treasury." 1880
May 1--Webster's first telephone exchange was established in a Main Street building. 1881 Jan. 3--Church of Reconciliation cornerstone
laid, 1881. March 21--Many children were not attending school because grade
rooms were crowded, the Webster School Committee reported. Oct. 4--Oxford
Huguenot Memorial Society formed by 95 descendents of the French Huguenots, the
town's original settlers. 1883 Jan. 16--Reports
of the week: "David Wellington is harvesting ice ...Nicholas Gilles won a
case of stuffed birds at a drawing in Oxford...A panther is causing a lot of trouble
in the Douglas woods." 1884 Jan. 1--The
Fire Department developed an alarm system using factory and church bells.
Feb. 3--J.D. Kingsbury lost his life in a fire that destroyed his barn. May
16--Warren B. Johnson walked from California to Webster with a horse, a cow, and
a dog, arriving on this date. June 2--William Schofield of Dudley, a law clerk
to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Gray, joined a Boston law firm. Oct. 2--A large
granite cross and pedestal, erected on Fort Hill at the site of the French Huguenots
original settlement, was dedicated. 1885 March
23--Oxford Grange, No. 123, organized with 24 members. May 1--1,145 children
were in Webster public schools, according to the annual census of assessors. 1886 Oct. 17--A St. Patrick's Total Abstinence
Society Chapter was established at St. Louis Church. 1887
Dec. 23--James Farrell, 10, drowned when he fell through the ice on the South
Village Mill pond. 1888 Feb. 16--A debating
and lecture group was organized at Webster High School. April 10--Dudley Grange
was chartered. August 16--Horatio N. Slater, 80, president of S. Slater &
Sons Co., died of cancer. A nephew, also named Horatio N. Slater, was his successor. 1889 July 30--Webster's first public library opened
to townspeople. August 2--Webster Co-operative Bank was chartered. 1890
Feb. 4--A baby boy was abandoned at the entrance to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Friske's
home on Whitcomb Street, Webster. June 10--Fire destroyed the Congregational
Church on Dudley Hill. The bell was rung to summon help until its rope burned
off. 1891 April 23--Moses Brosseau, 45, was
hit by a train while walking on the railroad tracks in East Village. Oct.
15--A man hunting squirrels in the Jericho woods shot a 13 year old Dudley boy
who jumped into his line of fire. 1892 Feb.
19--A Business Men's Association was organized. March 4--A reviewer described
George F. Daniels history of Oxford as "well well written with excellent
material for family geneologies." July 4--Extra Independence Day police
patrols were asssigned to Webster villages to preserve order. 1893
Jan. 27--George W. Burr of Dudley was granted a patent for a wool shearing machine.
Feb. 18--The Columbia Block on Main Street was dedicated by owner Horatio N. Slater.
June 28-29-30---The Barnum & Bailey Circus presented performances in
Webster. 1894 Jan. 6--Stevens Linen Works
opened a club house for employees at Village and Mill Streets. Coffee was one
cent a cup. Jan. 16--The pump in Webster's new waterworks was tested, pumping
60,000 gallons of water an hour. 1895 March
17--A 60 horse power boiler in Slater's South Village Mill exploded. 1896
June 19--Edmund Jonakowski was the only boy in the graduating class at Webster
High School. 1897 Jan. 9--Organ dedicated
at St. Louis Church. Jan. 11--Ernest L. Wallis, 17, was the first person
in Webster to get an automobile drivers license. May 7--Ten Webster men enlisted
in Company K of Southbridge for service in the Spanish-American War. May 16--Webster
Council, 228, Knights of Columbus was instituted and 40 men were initiated charter
members. 1898 Jan. 17--Frederick T. Chase,
woolen manufacturer, died. March 28--Order of the Eastern Star, Clara Barton
Chapter of Oxford, organized with 21 charter members. 1899
May 1--Webster's first Police Department was organized. Gilbert Osborne was the
first uniformed officer. 1900 Jan. 6--Lucy
Boston, one of the last Indians living in Webster, died in a fire that destroyed
her one room home near Fifth Avenue. July 4--An 8-year-old boy and another
person were killed in a head-on crash of Worcester and Webster bound trolleys
on East Main Street. 1901 July 15--Home delivery
of mail started from the Webster Post Office. 1902
Fire of mysterious origin destroyed the Beacon Park Boat House and four steamers.
Loss was estimated at about $10,000. Emil Roemer appeared on Main St. driving
an Orient automobile. He was believed to be the first local man to operate one
in the town. Jan. 2--Iron bridge on the Norwich & Worcester R.R. complete,
1902. Jan. 22--Hezekiah Conant, 74, of Pawtucket, R.I., and Dudley, benefactor
and president of Nichols Academy, died at his winter home in Pawtucket. Jan.
23--The refurbished City Hotel on Railroad Square (Davis Street) reopened with
a public reception. Jan. 29--Thompson Tramway, from Snow's Corner to North
Grosvenordale opened, with Motorman Garret Nagle and conductor James Hyland in
charge. April 7--The annual town meeting voted to pay highway workers $1.75
for nine hours work. The School Department appropriation was $19,600. Sept.
2--Examinations were held for acceptance into the freshman class at Webster High
School. Make-up exams for promotion to other grades in the school were also held. 1903 Jan. 4--O.K. Chabot, furniture store, opened
for business, 1903. March 4--John Cort, editor of the TIMES, died. March
13--Industrialist Chester C. Corbin died unexpectedly in New York City. July
10--"Webster is just as wicked as it ever was," said Rev. B.B. Johnson,
who conducted a camp meeting at Point Breeze. "We can't even get people to
listen to the preaching of the gospel." October 21--Holy Trinity Polish
National Catholic Church founded. 1904 July
3--The Papanicol Bros., owners of two candy and ice cream stores, were arrested
by Webster police for keeping their stores open on Sunday. 1905
L.J. Dugan opened a drug store in the new Racicot Building. The Cook Building,
erected by Luman Tiffany, was completed. It was named for his mother. Nov.
16--Work was nearly complete on installation of a sewer line in Lake Street. 1906 The Empire Laundry was founded by Dennis
J. Delaney and David Towns. The Webster tax rate was announced at $10.50 per
thousand. March 1--Advocates of an 8-hour work-day held a rally in Music Hall.
Reducing the work day by four or two hours would promote a "longer life,
more opportunities for self development, a higher citizenship; and nobler manhood,"
a promotional circular suggested. March 6--The first Mergenthyler Linotype
Machine in town was delivered to Webster Printing Co. July 6--A diamond rattlesnake
was killed near the East Village Dam, measuring 3 1/2 feet long and had three
rattles. July 16--Webster High School on Negus Street was turned over to Selectmen
by the School Building Committee. The town appropriated $80,000 for the new school,
and it cost $79,788.61, fully equipped. Oct. 6--Webster and Dudley formed
a school union to elect a superintendent for both towns. Oct. 11--Contract
for Webster's Civil War memorial was awarded to J.W. White & Sons of Quincy. 1907 June 1--Oxford Water Co., established in
1904 by special legislation, sold water to the town for a first time. Dec.
13--"Webster was a veritable center for tuberculosis," Hortense Genereux,
a teacher, said in a letter to officials. Spitting on town streets should be prohibited,
she said. Dec. 19--Love Bros. Co., of Webster, was awarded a contract to erect
a Civil War monument in Douglas. 1908 Jan.
16--Archie F. Winter suggested removal of electric light poles, billboards, fences
and an unsightly old schoolhouse in a letter to Webster selectmen. April 6--Voters
appropriated $30,000 to macadam roads and build sidewalks "to give work to
unemployed citizens." Nov. 2--Lawrence J. Dugan, D-Webster, was elected
state Representative from the 7th Worcester District, defeating Horace L. Lampson,
R-Oxford, by 263 votes. 1909 Nov. 13--Benjamin
Alexandrowicz, 4, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Alexandrowicz, was run over by a
horse drawn hack. June--Thirteen students were graduated from Webster High
School at the exercises held in Assembly Hall. 1910
April 25--Oxford introduced a voucher system, itemizing town purchases and identifying
people employed by the town. Webster Selectmen granted permits for moving
pictures on Sundays to Oscar W. Mercier for Music Hall and William E. Browne for
the Pastime theatre on Davis St. John W. Dobbie was elected president of the
National Bank, replacing Josiah Perry, deceased. Rev. A.A. Cyran, pastor of
St. Joseph parish, announced that a new convent would be erected for the Felician
Sisters on Maynard St. The Grand Trunk Railroad announced that a station would
eventually be located in Webster near the gas and electric plant. 1911
Jan. 1--The Bohemian Club held a New Year's social and dance in Racicot hall.
Sixty couples attended. Jan. 5--Webster Temperence Reform Club held a fund
appeal. Feb. 28--The cornerstone of Webster's $60,000 post office was laid
in the presence of 1500 people. March 17--St. Louis Dramatic Club presented
"The Irish Exile" as its St. Patrick's Day program in the church hall.
May 3--The new hall of the Polish Political Club,located on Harris St., was
dedicated. With the close of registration, there were 1783 male and nine female
voters on the Webster list. The women voters could vote for School Committee only.
A census, taken on the first Saturday in June, revealed that 17,018 persons appeared
on Main St. on foot, 1,602 in rigs and 172 in automobiles. Dr. Joseph O. Genereux
presented diplomas to the graduating class of Bartlett High School, 11 receiving
diplomas. Francis Plouffe, singer at the Music Hall, resigned and was succeeded
by Wilbur Levering. 1912
Jan. 3--Ralph Jardine stole a locomotive from
the Worcester railroad yards, drove it to Webster and crashed into another
locomotive at the town train station.
Jan. 19--The Abner
Bartlett property (site of the public library) purchased by town. April 1--Webster's
new $60,000 Post Office opened. April 12--Clara Barton died at her winter
home in Glen Echo, Md. April 14--A funeral for Clara Barton, founder of the
American Red Cross, was held in Oxford. Sept. 5--St. Anthony Slavonic Society
purchased the Universalist Church on
School Street from Lawrence Keegan of Wilsonville. No sale price was announced. 1913 July 3-4-5 and 6--Oxford celebrated its 200th
anniversary. The first parcel post package was delivered from the Webster
post office by substitute carrier Laurence J. Daly, who assumed the duties of
parcel post carrier. William C. Klebart, George J. Brunnell and Dennis J.
Delaney were elected Selectmen. Licenses to operate power boats of the Beacon
Park Company were granted by the Selectmen to Ralph W. Hill, Clifford B. Hill,
Michael J. Thompson, Franklin A. Papineau, Henry Flecker, Joseph Houghton and
Philip Lavery. The Waldorf Minstrels opened the summer season at the Rustic
Theatre at Beacon Park. 1914 June 18--Twenty-six
students, the largest class ever, graduated from Bartlett High School. The
Webster Samaritan Association was organized. Young Men's Political Club was
organized with Atty. Francis E. Cassidy as president. 1915
Henry J. Steinberg, Prentiss Howard and George R. Coster,all Webster men, announced
in late January that a modern theatre builing would be constructed to the rear
of the Larchar-Branch Block at a cost of $45,000. February 1-- appointment
of Thomas J. Hederman as Webster Postmaster. Appointment was made by President
Woodrow Wilson. Feb. 12--Andrew J. Bates, founder of Bates Shoe Co., died.
July 20--A Slater Co. worker was sentenced to four months in jail after police
found missing factory goods in his apartment. The State Board of Health warned
the Selectmen of Webster that pollution of the French River with sewage "must
be stopped." 1916 Selectmen named Town
Clerk John E. Hickey to serve as the town's first accountant. The first Christmas
Club checks mailed from the First National Bank went to 350 subscribers. The payment
totalled about $10,000. Nov. 7--Dr. George Fred Hart of Webster was elected
state senator from the 4th Worcester District, and George J. Brunell, also of
Webster, was elected state representative from the 6th Worcester District in the
1917 March 27--A resolution
supporting President Woodrow Wilson's conduct of the World War in Europe was unanimously
adopted at Webster's annual town meeting. April 5--Webster-Dudley District
of the State Welfare League brought complaints against two Dudley bars, alleging
they sold liquor during a town election. April 12--Military training was introduced
for boys attending Bartlett High School. August 23--Two hundred Webster area
men were drafted for Army service. Sept. 13--Francis Morse, alias Francis
Ducharme, once of Dudley, was put to death in the electric chair at Charlestown
State Prison. He murdered a 3-year-old Chicopee girl Oct. 21, 1916. The St.
Anthony Slovak Church on School Street was opened and the first mass was celebrated
by the pastor, Rev. P. Herman. 1918 Jan. 10--More
than 300 Webster-Dudley men were in serving in the military, a support organization
reported. 119 were stationed in France. Nov. 11--Impromptu parades in area
towns marked the end of World War I. Dr. L.A. Paquin, as inspector of animals,
advised every family who could do so to keep a pig to combat the war cost of living
and to help the food supply. Dr. Inez Currie came to Webster from Roslindale
and became the first woman physician to practice in the community. Maurice
P. Clare was named Chief of Police by the Board of Selectmen. All schools
in the town were closed in early September by order of the Board of Health because
of the influenza epidemic. 1919 Jan. 2--Webster
National Bank opened its doors for a first time. August 22--Webster adopted
its first motor vehicle traffic rules. Sept. 10--Webster-Dudley Post, No.
184, American Legion was chartered. National Prohibition arrived in late June
and the 12 licensed establishments in Webster and four in Dudley were closed,
with a big sale of liquor reported on closing night. 1920
Jan 28--Liquor valued at $800 was taken from a summer home in the Webster Gore.
May 19--Sons of Veterans of the Civil War honored members who served in World
War I. Work was started on construction of the Chester C. Corbin Public Library,
to cost about $80,000 and which was the bequest of Mrs. Augusta Corbin in memory
of her husband. For the first time, under the woman suffrage law, women voted
in the primaries held in Webster and Dudley. 1921
Feb. 24--George H. Coster, Gustave H. Bibidorff of Edgar S. Hill, local businessmen,
formed The American Motor Car Co. to export automobiles to Sweden. July 3--Several
hundred people attended an open house at the Chester C. Corbin Public Library,
a memorial gift to the town. August 4--The Chester C. Corbin Library was officially
opened. Nov. 11--President Warren G. Harding's Armistice Day speech, carried
over a telephone line and through a sound system set-up in Webster's downtown
park, was heard by a large crowd of people. Webster Assessors announced that
the names of all women 20 years of age and over would be included in the street
list for the first time. Middlesex Casket Company was organized with with
Stanislaus Nowakowski named as president at the first meeting of directors. 1922 Jan. 19--Louis O. Rieutord of Southbridge
was named justice of the Webster-Southbridge District Court. Feb. 2--Music
Hall on High Street, for years the town's largest hall, was destroyed by fire
with a loss of $100,000. Otto K. Gatzke was named chief of the fire department,
replacing James H. Newman, who resigned. May 1--Dudley's first uniformed police
officers, Charles Gion and Stanley Kokernak, started their rounds. Loss estimated
at $15,000 was caused by fire that gutted the interior of the Mason Drug Co. on
Main St. The first Student Council was formed at Bartlett High School. 1923 April 26--Webster Lodge of Elks instituted.
April 30--American Woolen Company purchased Slater South Village Mill. May
3--Webster Knights of Columbus Council held a musical featuring baritone Joseph
Martel and violinist Henri Kokernak, both Webster natives, and both well known
entertainers. William C. Klebart, a Selectman for nine years, announced that
he would not be a candidate for re-election. In an exchange of properties,
The Knolls on East Main St. was returned to the Slater estate by the town, land
near the standpipe being deed to the town in return. The Maanexit Spinning
Co. purchased the Perry Yarn Mill on Pearl Street and started operations in mid-April.
Samuel Wylie, for 11 years serving as assistant, was named superintendent of the
Water Department, succeeding Michael Schofield, who retired. 1924
May 19--Al Kleindienst, Webster's pioneer radio man, attracted considerable attention
when he parked his car on Main street and turned on the first auto radio ever
heard in the town of Webster. Jan 2--Fire destroyed two wooden business blocks
on Main Street. Owners of both properties, Nicholas C. Gilles and Luman H. Tiffany,
said they would rebuild. May 12--Place Motor Co., authorized Ford agent for
Webster, bought a lot on South Main Street. Owner George L. Place said a modern
garage and service station would be built. May 27--The Webster Lake Hotel
at Colonial Park opened. 1925 Feb. 14--First
broadcast over Webster's Radio Station WKBE. June 10--J.C. Penney Co. opened
its 571st store in the Tiffany Block on Main Street. June 23--A train with
President Calvin Coolidge aboard went through Webster at 11:55 p.m. July
1--Frank Bateman bought the general store and post office on Dudley Hill from
Arthur E. Jacobs. 1926 Jan. 10--Webster-Dudley
Golf Club, formed by local residents to build a golf course, secured an option
to the so-called Williams Farm in Dudley, owned by Victor Ethier. Feb. 1--Nathaniel
Lyon Post 61 Grand Army of the Republic reported a roster of 13 members. Feb.
11--The Hodges building on Main Street, built in 1834, was torn down to make way
for a new 2-story brick building, announced Boston developer Antonio Vito.
April 14--Oscar O. Lynch, 45, of North Grosvenordale, died a week after suffering
a tarantula bite in a Webster fruit store. 1927
Arthur Belmore was named chief of the fire department and James H. Hetherman chief
of police. June 27--Webster-Southbridge Gas & Electric Co. stock was sold
to New England Power Co. for $410 a share. 1928
Webster Rotary Club was organized with Dr. Joseph C. Sullivan as president; Ralph
K. Hubbard, vice president; Laurence J. Daly, secretary and William A. Cash, treasurer.
Jan. 25--Adeline P. Janakowski, an assistant bank cashier, was appointed to the
Webster School Committee. Jan. 30--The Webster Credit Union started business
in rooms over the Woolworth store on Main Street. May 28--The Webster Town
Hall and Bartlett High School complex, two properties connected by an auditorium,
was dedicated at ceremonies attended by about 3,000 persons. 1929
Bates Shoe Company announced the purchase of all of the assets of the A.J. Bates
Co. The biggest auction sale in the history of Webster was announced when
Slater interests indicated that 33 dwellings in East Village would be disposed
of. Jan. 14--St. Louis School on Negus Street was destroyed by fire. Feb.
23--The Dudley Line House at New Boston Road, with an across the border bar that
served liquor from two states, was destroyed in a fire. April 2--A non-profit
corporation was established to manage Webster District Hospital at a public meeting
in the Town Hall. August 24--James A. Lobban was named superintendent of the
Webster-Dudley School Union and Cyril C. Smith of Barnstable was named as the
new principal of the high school. Sept. 15--Aviator Charles A. Lindberg, famous
for his solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927, made an emergency landing
at the Oxford airport. Oct. 9--The Liberty Theatre in Webster, a silent movie
venue for several years, was wired for "talkies." March 7--Selectmen
named a committee to plan Webster's 100th anniversary. 1930
Feb. 5--Webster Lions Club instituted. Feb. 9--Rev. Anthony A. Cyran, pastor
of Webster's St. Joseph Church, the oldest Polish Catholic parish in New England,
became the first Polish priest in New England invested with the robes of a Monsignor.
Feb. 22--Body of Mrs. Leon Trudeau found murdered on Thompson Road. March
14--Bartlett High School's first student newspaper, The Bart-lett-er, went on
sale in the school. March 17--The state Director of Accounts found illegal
practices in an audit of Oxford accounts. School Committee members were paid,
contrary to law, and vouchers were not submitted for Memorial Day expenditures.
June 1--H.L. Dakin Co., of Worcester, bought the Nicholas C. Gilles market on
Main Street, Webster. 1931 May 25--More than
300 U.S. Army airplanes flew over area towns. Objective was to acquaint the public
with the need for military airpower. 1932
April 3--Ice remained on parts of Webster Lake, but Esther Kokernak took her first
swim of the year. Some member of her family had been first to swim in the lake
over several years. June 16--Two bandits robbed a Webster National Bank messenger
on the steps of the Webster Post Office, escaping with $10,000 in cash. Sept.
22--Dudley Town Clerk Lillian F. Gaboury was the moderator for a special town
meeting, marking the first time that a woman served in the office. Oct. 8--Luman
H. Tiffany purchased the Vito Block on Main Street from Antonio Leo of Everett
for $65,000. The acquisition made Mr. Tiffany owner of more business property
in Webster than any other person. 1933 July
10--Nellie N. Lightbody, principal at the Filmer School, drowned while vacationing
in Waterville, Maine. She was walking along the bank of a river, slipped, and
fell into fast moving water. Sept. 14--Msgr. Anthony A. Cyran, 51, pastor
of St. Joseph's Church for 23 years, died in St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester.
Dec. 4--John Parker opened a restaurant at 217 Main St., Webster. The special
was fruit cocktail, juice, or soup; relish, turkey, roast beef, or lamb, mashed
or boiled potatoes, vegetables, dessert, rolls, butter; tea, coffee, or a bottle
of beer, all for 50 cents. Dec. 31--Nine deaths from tuberculosis were recorded
during the year, the Webster Board of Health reported. 1934
March 16--Deputy Police Chief John C. Templeman was named Webster's Police Chief,
replacing James H. Hetherman, deceased. Officer John Kloss was promoted to sergeant
and Frank Kokocinski was named a full-time officer. May 24--Dr. Joseph O.
Genereux, a physician in Webster for 50 years, was honored at a banquet sponsored
by the state Medical Society. June 1--Webster leased Second Island beach from
the Slater family for 10 years at $1 a year. July 3--Oxford Garden Club formed
to promote gardening and flower arrangement. August 6--National Consolidated
Shoe Co., with five factories in New England, established Webster Shoe Co., occupying
the former B.A. Corbin & Son Co. factory behind Main Street. Nov. 22--Etta
Riel, about 15, of Oxford, was reported missing. 1935
April 29--A drama, "Angel of Depression," was presented in the French
language at the State Theater, sponsored by Club Gagnon Auxiliary. 1936
Jan. 6--Cranston Print Co. bought the Slater Co. mill in East Village. Feb.
25--The last Webster-Dudley Civil War veteran, Christian A. Holley, died at his
home on Oxford Avenue. March 12--The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad
Co. sold its former Webster passenger station for salvage. 1937
Jan.13--John E. Hickey, town clerk for many years, died. June 1--Richard
Aubertin, janitor at the North Village School, was first to benefit from the Webster
retirement system, receiving $40 a month. Oct. 12--Italian-American societies
of Webster-Dudley dedicated their club building on High Street.
1938 Sept. 21--The Great Hurricane brought terror to large parts of
New England, including the Webster area, where several houses were destroyed.
Oct. 6--The Mohegan pavillion on Thompson Road, a big bands venue, was destroyed
by fire. 1939 Feb. 8--Joslin House, Webster
oldest hotel, destroyed by fire. July 7--Cornerstone laying ceremonies were
held at the new Joslin House Hotel in Webster. Oct. 2--Work started on demolition
of the DeWitt Hotel on Main Street at the railroad tracks. Oct. 22--A monument
at East Main and Granite Streets was dedicated in honory of Rev. J. Agapit Legris,
a long time pastor of Webster's Sacred Heart Church. Dec. 25--Christmas Day:
Webster fire fighter Charles Marsha died of smoke inhalation inside a burning
buildings in Charlton. 1940 Jan. 1--Dr. Quincy
H. Merrill, chairman of the Dudley School Committee, resigned after 25 years service.
Jan. 1--The new Joslin House opened, 1940. Feb. 7--Dr. Wilfred Bazinet named
clerk of First District Court. Feb. 14--Valentine's day Blizzard. April
7--The motion picture "Gone With the Wind" opened for a week's engagement
at the Liberty Theatre in Webster. Tickets were by reservation, 75 cents for matinees
and $1 for night shows. April 11--The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad
Co. abandoned its rail line from Webster to East Thompson, Conn. August 2--D.L.K.
Hall off Oxford Avenue in Dudley was sold to Harry Kuchar of Brooklyn, N.Y., for
$5,200. Sept. 5--O. Floyd Nolf, an undertaker in Webster for more than 25
years, collapsed while directing a funeral in Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and died
almost immediately. Oct. 12--With war raging in Europe, a Preparedness Day
Parade was held in downtown Webster. Oct. 16--The United States registered
men for a military draft. Nov. 18--The first four Webster Draft Board inductees
left for Army service. 1941 Jan. 5--Fire fighters
fought a stubborn fire in the West Dudley Paper Mill through below zero temperatures
for more than 20 hours. Jan. 10--The 103 soldiers in Company L, a Webster
based national guard unit, were inducted into federal service. Jan. 26--Company
L soldiers left for Camp Edwards on Cape Cod. Feb. 15--A state guard rifle
team, made up mostly of area high school students, was organized. Feb. 20--Miss
Grace Parsons had a steel-fabricated air raid shelter installed on the lawn of
her Perryville residence. Oct. 30--Five ambulances, purchased by Americans
for use in war-bombed England, parked in front of the Webster Town Hall while
drivers lunched in a town restaurant. The ambulances were driven from New York
to Canada for shipment to England. 1942 Jan.
22--C. S. Allen Co., manufacturers of English style toffee, moved from Brooklyn,
N.Y., to a North Village Mills building. March 1--Webster held its first war-time
air raid practice. Feb. 18--Chief Petty Officer Felix Borus, U.S. Navy, was
the first Webster serviceman to die during World War II. April 30--Almon C.
Jackson, owner of a car agency, bought the Oxford fairgrounds and race track.
May 1-2-3--Food rationing was introduced throughout the United States. 1943
January 10--A federal order was enacted prohibiting motor vehicle travel on Sundays.
March 31--Twenty-six railway freight cars went off the tracks in Oxford. July
4--A Sunday, this holiday was set aside as a National Day of Prayer for men and
women in the armed forces of the United States. Nov. 24--Charles Haggerty
was named basketball coach at St. Louis High School. Dec. 30--B/W Footwear
Co. at North Village received a government order for 150,000 pairs of shoes for
allied nations under America's lend-lease program. 1944
June 6--D-Day. June 27--The Parsons-Perry estate sold 13 Perry Mills Co. houses
in Perryville to long time occupants. August 11--About 250 Webster voters
approved taking Second Island beach from the former Slater Co. by eminent domain.
August 20--Lt. Peter Popiak piloted one of the B-29s in the first daylight bombing
raid on Japan. 1945 Jan. 28--Gov. Maurice
J. Tobin presented 53 pins to Webster-Dudley Gold Star Mothers. Feb. 1--National
brown out regulations were extended. Windows had to be covered with curtains or
drapes and outside lighting was prohibited. March 17--An antenna that fell
off an Army Air Force plane punched a one foot hole through the roof on William
Prout's home on Dresser Street, Webster. July 4--Dedication of St. Anthony
Cemetery on Worcester Road, Webster, took place during a 10 a.m. Mass in the new
cemetery. Sept. 2--VJ Day was celebrated with a parade, community singing
and a fireworks display. More than 3,000 people witnessed the parade, police estimated.
Sept. 6--A fire was discovered in the coal bin in the Town Hall and school complex
on Main Street. More than 250 tons of soft coal had to be taken out of the bin. 1946 Feb. 4--Nichols Junior College, closed during
World War II, reopened with a student body of mostly war veterans. April 18--Telesphore
Leboeuf, 64, died suddenly at a meeting of Webster National Bank directors. He
was being nominated president of the bank. May 1--Stevens Linen Co., the largest
manufacture of linen crash in the United States, celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Dec. 8--Edward Stasko, Roger D. Courtemanche and Albert Simons, all 20, and all
of Webster, drowned when their car went through a guard rail in West Thompson
and sunk in the French River. 1947 July 27--The
New England Lutheran Conference Camp at Colonial Park was dedicated. August
21--Three hundred parking meters were installed in downtown Webster. Nov.
7--The body of Navy CPO Felix Borus, the first Webster man to lose his life in
World War II, was returned to Webster. 1948
March 14--On his way to interview a bartender in the
Forest Club on Main Street, Webster, a state police corporal took the wrong
doorway, walking into a bookie parlor. He arrested three men. Dec. 16--J.
William Belanger of Webster was elected president of the Massachusetts C.I.O.
Council. 1949 March 24--The 9-hole Webster-Dudley
Country Club Inc., golf course near Dudley Hill and Center Roads in Dudley was
leased to Nichols College for 10 years. May 15--Nectar Ice Cream Company moved
to its new headquarters on Thompson Road, known as Nectarland.
June 2--Donald Coyle, a graduate of St. Louis High School in Webster, was the
first recipient of the Webster-Dudley Rotary Club-Nichols College scholarship.
June 25--Webster-Dudley Business Bureau initiates Life Membership Award at their
annual meeting honoring Laurence J. Daly, editor of the Webster TIMES. July
13--The Beach Building Committee accepted Webster's new World War II memorial
bathhouse for the town. Nov. 29--George "Birdie" Tebbets, a catcher
for the Boston Red Sox, was guest speaker at a Webster-Dudley Business Bureau
meeting. 1950 Jan. 31--J.C. Penney Co. closed
its Webster store after 24 years. April 5--Webster Housing Authority broke
ground for a housing project for war veterans at Second Island and Thompson Roads.
May 30--Dudley Veterans Association dedicated a memorial on West Main Street to
the 28 men from the town killed during World War II. June 25--Mr. Ralph K.
Hubbard awarded W-D Business Bureau Life Membership. Sept. 19--Lt. j.g. Margaret
G. Kennedy was killed in a plane crash at sea off Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands
during the Korean War. She was the only Webster woman ever to die in a war. 1951 June--W-D Business Bureau honors Spaulding
Bartlett with Life Membership. Sept. 5--Mary Wojcik became the first woman
drawn for jury duty in Webster. Oct. 18--Webster National Bank opened its
newly renovated and expanded facility on Main Street. Dec. 17--Dudley Police
Association honored Police Chief Lawrence Christopher at a surprise Christmas
celebration. 1952 May 17--The Rev. James I.
Mitchell, pastor of St. Louis Church for 10 years, was elevated to Right Reverend
Monsignor. 1953 May 5--Oxford Police Chief
Mitchell H. LaPlante was honored for community service at a dinner in the Bolero
Inn. 1954 Jan. 14--Eugene Filipski of Dudley,
a Look Magazine All-American player at Villanova University, was named outstanding
player in the North-South Senior Bowl. Feb. 21--Bishop John J. Wright dedicated
St. Andrew Bobola Church in Dudley. 1955
March 20--Radio Station WESO went on the air for a first time. Announcers and
newscasters were Bob Binet, John Bunnewith, Joe Capillo, Esther Costa, Bob Harris,
Mildred Henshall, Bill Mindy, and Bob Nims. June--W-D Business Bureau name
changed to W-D Chamber of Commerce and honors Lawrence J. Dugan with Life Membership.
July 21--New England Telephone Co. announced plans for an automated dial center
at 32 Negus St., Webster. August 19-20--Rivers throughout Central Massachusetts
and Northeastern Connecticut overflowed, causing millions of dollars damage. Webster
Chamber of Commerce forms disaster committee requesting SBA and federal funds.
Over $1 million in relief was obtained in the first month. Sept.--Chamber
of Commerce committee headed by S.R. Dunham formed the Quinebaug French River
Flood Control Committee. During the next four years, five new dams were in the
process of construction. Oct. 26--An AP photo of President Dwight D. Eisenhower,
recovering from a heart attack, showed him being wheeled to a deck at Fitzsimmons
Army hospital in Denver by Army nurse Lt. Lorraine Knox, a former Webster resident.
Oct. 2--United Church of Christ, Federated dedicated its new church on Main and
Church Streets. Nov. 2--Webster's new $850,000 district hospital was dedicated
at ceremonies attended by about 200 people. Nov. 28--Bartlett High School's
undefeated football team beat Southbridge High, 34 to 12. 1956
April 25--Nectarland Restaurant opens new facility with car hop service. April
24--Contracts to replace bridges at Chase Avenue and Peter Street were awarded
to Monroe Construction Co., of North Attleboro. May 30--Walter A. Stewart,
Chairman of the French-Quinebaug Manufacturers Association, addressed "The
Case for Regional Planning" before the Webster-Dudley Chamber of Commerce.
Sept. 13--Webster voters authorized a School Building Needs Committee. Dec.
26--Joseph A. Sroka, 42, was electrocuted when a guy wire to the TV antenna he
was repairing at 1 Brown Court, Webster, hit a 2,300 volt electric line crossing
the roof of the building. 1957 Feb. 23--The
National Guard armory on Ray Street opened. May 2--Webster Welfare Department
closed the town poor house. The three residents remaining in the building were
boarded at the Charlton poor house. June-- Col. James Conrad, President of
Nichols College awarded Chamber of Commerce Life Membership. Oct. 1--Webster-Dudley
Medical Association announced new fees: office visit $4, house calls $5, night
calls, holidays, and Sundays $6. Oct.--Chamber of Commerce convinced town
officials to oversee sale of town land in Webster for Industrial Park after Chamber
was instrumental in re-purchase of foreclosed 3-acre lot. Sold first parcel to
Pinkerton for $1,600 and was the first new factory constructed. Five other industries
followed with strong Chamber support. 1958
Jan 28--Chamber of Commerce formed committee to promote the new Route 52 through
Webster and Oxford. State had initially proposed the route to go through Woodstock,
Ct and Southbridge to Sturbridge at exit 11. Committee named "Short Link
Committee" because the mileage was 12.6 miles shorter that the originally
proposed plan. Jan. 29--James L. Conrad Sr., President of Nichols College,
was elected first president of the Webster-Dudley Boys Club. April 24--Selectmen
appointed Sgt. Anthony W. Szamocki chief of police. April 30--Webster's first
Zoning Board was named by selectmen. June 12--Incorporators of the Webster-Dudley
Boys Club decided to buy a building in Dudley for $20,000. 1959 June--W-D Chamber of Commerce elects Herman F. Becker, local businessman,
president. Dec. 17--Webster Academy opened in the original Webster Lake Hotel
at Colonial Park. Dec. 23--The State School Building Assistance Commission
approved plans for a $1.2 million middle school in Webster. 1960
Jan. 7--Dredging the French River at Chaseville was completed. Jan. 21--Dudley
established a call Fire Department. Feb. 25--Plans for a new $560,000 post
office for Webster were approved in Washington. 1961
April 19--New England Telephone Co. closed its manual, operator run Webster-Dudley
telephone office, cutting over to a dial system at 12:01 a.m. May--Final plans
for Route 52 through Webster-Oxford area made public after Connecticut located
their portion near Route 193 at state line. July 13--First National Bank of
Webster announced plans to build a new building at 335 Main Street, Oxford.
Sept. 11--Classes opened for a first time in Webster's new Intermediate School.
1962 Feb. 21--Judge Joseph Goldberg of Central
District Court in Worcester, was the speaker at a Brotherhood meeting in the Congregation
Sons of Israel Synagogue. March 3--Dudley appropriated $375,000 to build a
new 8-classroom school on Mason Road. April 19--Webster Manufacturing Co.,
a plastic furniture manufacturer, and a subsidiary of Baumritter Corp., closed
its Tracy Court factory. April 25--Selectmen named veteran fire fighter Andrew
Buksar to the Board of Engineers of the Webster Fire Department. June--William
A. Cash, president of First National Bank was awarded Chamber of Commerce Life
Membership. Dec. 9--Sterling Realty opens Webster office. 1963
Jan. 17--Design for a new Webster Post Office was approved by federal officials.
April 17--Webster sold the one room Little Red Schoolhouse on School Street to
the Webster-Dudley Historical Society for $1. 1964
Jan. 1--Webster-Dudley Country Club
was destroyed by fire at 4:30 a.m. just hours after 175 New Year's Eve revelers
left the restaurant. August 1--Packard Woolen Co. closed its Dudley mill.
August 20--Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored with Nipmuc Ski Club the National
Ski meet. Covered by CBS telelvision, over 80,000 attended the event. 1965
March 2-- Industrial Development Commission formed. Responsible
for the development of the 122.25 acres off Rt.16 known as the Webster Industrial
Park. Located there includes Lelanite, Imperial Machine, Glass Guard, B&W
Footwear, Gould & Eberhardt, Hallmark Optical, the Patriot, Kunkel Bus.
August--United Fund charter received after Chamber of Commerce efforts which began
in October 1964. Sept. 15--Webster Credit Union bought a former Slater Co.
apartment house at 1 North Main Street, announcing plans to build its headquarters
on the site. 1966 Feb. 23--Webster National
Bank merged with Worcester County National Bank of Worcester. Dec. 5--Town
meetings were held at 7 p.m. in Charlton, Dudley, Oxford, Southbridge, and Webster
to consider a regional vocational school district. 1967
May 14--The St. Louis parish rectory was destroyed in an early morning fire.
May 18--Msgr. James I. Mitchell, 80, pastor of St. Louis Church from July 4, 1942,
died in St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, four days after a fire destroyed the
parish rectory. 1968 Dec. 30--George A. Sellig,
superintendent of the Webster-Dudley School Union retired after 27 years service.
Dec. 31--The Webster-Dudley School Union, the administrative link between
the Webster and Dudley School Committees was officially terminated. 1969
Jan. 1--A fire that started in the boiler room at 3:40 a.m. spread to most of
the multi-story factories in the former Slater Mills at North Village. June--Atty.
Leonard Leboeuf was awarded Chamber of Commerce Life Membership Award May
6--A state waterways permit to fill in 3-acres in Webster Lake for an interstate
on-ramp at Union Point was overturned after two years of legal action by the town.
July 19--Men landed and walked on the moon. 1970
July 5--Ground was broken for the new St. Anthony of Padua Church in Dudley.
July 11--Dudley Postmaster Minnie E. Bateman retired after 30 years service.
August--Chamber of Commerce initiates action for Federal Grant of $324,000 for
sewer to Industrial Park as a result of the Jan. 1, 1969 $10 million fire at North
Village. August 15--Webster-Dudley Post, No. 184, American Legion celebrated
the 25th anniversary of VJ Day with a ball in the national guard armory. Nov.
11--Southern Worcester County Rehabilitation Center, Inc., opened a private, non-profit
workshop for handicapped persons. 1971 May
7 -- Webster TIMES sold to Herman F. Becker and Arthur J. Remillard, Jr.
May 10--A Silver Beaver Boy Scout Leaders award was presented to Stanley Ryzewski,
institutional representative for Troop 173 of Webster. March 8--Norma Cash
Smith became the first woman elected a Dudley selectman. August 24--Dudley
and Charlton authorized a $5.8 million debt issue for construction of a regional
senior-junior high school. August 24--Dudley and Charlton approved formation
of a kindergarten through Grade 12 Dudley-Charlton Regional School District.
Sept. 19--The new St. Louis Church was dedicated. 1972
June 3--Ground was broken for an $800,000 dining hall at Nichols College.
June--Hugh W. Crawford Sr., president of Stevens Linen Corp., named Life Member
at Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. July 1--Commerce Insurance Company
opened for business at the corner of Lake and Main Streets. 14 families polled
their finances and raised a total of $2 million to launch the new venture.
Oct. 7-8-9--Dudley Hill Fair, an annual event in the 1930s, resumed with Raymond
L. Bateman as manager. Oct. 24--John B. Wheeler started work as Oxford's first
town administrator. Nov. 8--William A. Starzec was elected state representative
from the 6th Worcester District, the towns of Webster and Dudley.
1973 Feb. 7--Treasure Island property sold to ACO Development Corp.(Androlewicz,
Carter, Osowski). Construction of new motel complex begins. June--W-D Chamber
of Commerce awards Charles R. Puliafico, president of Webco Chemical, Life Membership.
Oct. 11--Commerce Insurance Co. expanded offices at the East Main Street Plaza.
Nov. 14--Webster TIMES sold to Loren Ghiglione of Southbridge Evening News.
Dec. 31--The soda fountain in Vernon's Drug Store on East Main Street, the
last in Webster, closed at the end of the business day. 1974 March 6--Lillian G. Dwyer, Dudley Town Clerk for 42 years, did not seek re-election.
April 20--The first Chinese restaurant in Webster (Wind Tiki) opened at the former
Nectarland building on Thompson Road. 1975
Sept. 24--Webster Redevelopment Authority was established. Oct. 28--Webster
School Building Committee hired Drummey Rosane Anderson Inc., of Wellesley, to
design a new senior-junior high school. 1976
Jan. 1--Greeting Services Industries closed its Dudley greeting card plant.
April 24--Webster and Dudley held a ball commemorating the nation's bicentennial.
April 25--A parade with 32 floats and 27 bands highlighted Webster's national
bicentennial celebration. May 4--Webster voters authorized construction of
a $10 million high school June 15--Robert E. Duteau was installed president
of the Web ster-Dudley-Oxford Chamber of Commerce. Oct. 15--Highway Superintendent
Joseph W. Dziedzic retired after 38 1/2 years. Oct. 20--The state opened a
boat launch ramp at Lakeside Beach on Webster Lake. 1977
Jan. 12--A special town meeting authorized sale of 8.6 acres at the town industrial
park to B/W Footwear Manufacturing Co. 1978
Sept. 30--Four-year-old Andrew Amato disappeared while playing in woods behind
Richards Avenue in Webster, where he lived with his parents and a sister. The
case was never solved. Nov.3--Route 52 (later I-395) finally completed from
Worcester to Connecticut -- Started in January 1958 -- took 21 years to complete. 1979 Feb. 1--Plaza-at-Latham Associates, Latham,
N.Y., bought Webster Plaza on Worcester Road for $400,000. Feb. 28--A funeral
was held for Anthony C. Vegnone, 28, director of athletics at Shepherd Hill Regional
High School, who died in a drowning accident on Cape Cod. April 13--The Engine
Building between School and High Streets, built in 1874 to house the fire-police
departments and town offices, was torn down. May 14--Webster used an automatic
vote counting system for a first time. July 31--Webster auctioned eight properties,
collecting $6,115. Webster Little League bought a former ball park off Lake Street
for $753.50. Oct. 23--Webster Credit Union bought the original Slater Co.
store building on South Main Street for parking. Nov. 4--The new Bartlett
High School was dedicated. 1980 Jan. 6--Webster
Five Cents Savings Bank dedicated its new headquarters building on Thompson Road.
Jan. 7--Webster Five Cents Savings Bank held an open house in its new bank.
May 15--Voters appropriated $350,000 to build a Highway Department garage on Cudworth
Road. August 1--Susan M. Phelps, 27, was the first woman appointed a full-time
private in the Dudley Fire Department. August 10--Gentex Corp., manufacturer
of polycarbonate lenses, moved into a new factory off West Main Street in Dudley.
Sept. 3--Webster public school accommodations were adequate for the first time
in 13 years, eliminating the need to lease classrooms. Sept. 25-- Building
renovations began on the former W.T. Grant building and two adjoining lots on
Main Street preparing for the new home office of Commerce Insurance Company.
Oct. 7--Fire destroyed a 6-unit building at 33 School Street, and damaged an adjacent
structure. 1981 June--W-D Chamber of Commerce
names Mr. and Mrs. Eudore Morse co-recipients of the Life Membership Award.
Oct. 26--St. Ann's Church in North Oxford observed its 75th anniversary with a
Mass of Thanksgiving. Nov. 7--George Rosebrooks of the Upper Gore, a volunteer
with the state Association of Conservation Districts, was awarded an expenses
paid trip to the Goodyear Co. Plantation in Arizona. Nov. 18--The Nichols
College Institute for American Values held its inaugural lecture. Dr. Russell
A. Kirk, a professor at Michigan State University, was the speaker. Nov. 30--Francis
R. Sterczala closed his full-service gasoline station on East Main Street, claiming
Getty Oil Co., owners of the property, kept increasing the rent. 1982 Jan. 14--Five persons lost their lives in a fire that destroyed
the Webster Fraternal Order of Eagles building on Davis Street.
April 3--Dudley observed its 250th anniversary with with a ball in the Nichols
College auditorium. Dec. 30--A complaint alleging the Zoning Board of Appeals
exceeded its authority in approving a condominium project at Beacon Park was dismissed
in Worcester Superior Court. 1983 March 1--Resident
stickers were required to dump rubbish at the Dudley town landfill for a first
time. May 2--Rafferty & Rafferty Co., of Whitinsville, was awarded a contract
to build the new Dudley Town Hall for $449,627. August 1--Industrial user
claims that Webster's $33.7 million wastewater plant had design flaws were rejected
by state and federal authorities. 1984 Sept.
13--Paul J. Minarik was named chief of the Webster Police Department. 1985
April 9--Webster's vacant Rock Castle and Thompson Schools were sold to M.J. Casa
Co., of Millbury, for $55,000. The buyer planned to convert the buildings for
housing. June 17--Dudley selectmen appointed Robert T. Hylka town highway
superintendent. June 23--Seder Memorial Square at I-395 Exit 2 was dedicated
in honor of Harry Seder, founder of a wholesale foods and supply business.
Sept. 13--Bentley Shoe Co., a division of Desco Shoe Co., of New York City, closed
its Dudley factory. Sept. 15--Ground was broken for a $550,000 addition to
Hubbard Regional Hospital. 1986 July 21--Dr.
Charles J. Lada of Webster, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, and four
others, were the first scientists in the world to detect a star forming.
Sept. 7--More than 2000 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house
for the new mulit-million dollar addition to the Commerce Insurance Company of
Main Street. Oct. 5--Rockefeller Square at I-395 exit 2, was dedicated in
honor of Godfrey S. Rockefeller, president of Cranston Print Works Co. 1987
Jan.10--Commerce Insurance purchased 38,000 sq. ft. Dana Corp. building at the
Industrial Park for $1,330,000. May 24--Webster Credit Union opened offices
at Dudley Plaza. July 1--A portrait of Gabriel Bernon, who sponsored Oxford's
French Huguenot settlement in 1687, was presented to the Oxford Public Library
by the Huguenot Memorial Society. Oct. 19--Webster's first representative
town meeting was held in the Town Hall, with 110 of the 120 elected members on
hand. Dec. 18--Michael C. Wood, 32, of Fort Washington, Pa., was appointed
Webster's first town administrator. Dec. 14--Evanski Bakery closed after 70
years, shutting down the last brick bakery oven in Webster. 1988
Jan. 6--Commerce Insurance Co. announced plans for a 165,000 sq. ft. office building
on Route 16. March 8--Noel Development Co., of North Grafton, started construction
of 84 townhouse condominiums at Treasure Island on Webster Lake. May 30--Webster's
Korean War Memorial was dedicated. June--Herman F. Becker, owner of Sterling
Realty and developer of Blueberry Hill, awarded with Chamber of Commerce Life
Membership Award. July 17--An estimated 30,000 people lined Oxford's Main
Street for the town's 275th anniversary parade. July 21--Work started on a
$33.7 million advanced wastewater treatment plant for Webster and Dudley.
Oct. 17--Contract for a waste transfer station near the former town dump on Cudworth
Road was awarded to R. Bates & Sons Inc., of Clinton for $515,000. 1989
April 15--Webster Spring Co. Inc., and Webster Wire, Inc., both of Oxford, were
sold to Legett & Platt Corp., of Carthage, Mo. No sales price was announced.
Nov. 15--Vicon Corp. plans for a waste to energy incinerator in Webster were abandoned.
1990 March 21--Daniel J. Lekas, coordinator
of the Boston University educational library, was named director of Webster's
Chester C. Corbin Public Library. August 25--GOYA Foods of Seacaucus, N.J.,
opened a 60,000 square foot distribution center off Cudworth Road in Webster.
Nov. 1--John F. Canavan of Sturbridge, the first Dudley-Charlton School District
superintendent of schools, retired. 1991 May
20--Dudley accepted 90 acres from Harriet and Hugh W. Crawford, Jr. for conservation
purposes. June 1--The capstone to seven years of restoration work in the Black
Tavern on Dudley Hill was celebrated with an open house. July 9--The Webster-Dudley
Historical Society's Little Red Schoolhouse Museum was placed on the National
Register of Historic Places. July 24--The Norman J. McKay Bandstand in Webster's
municipal park was dedicated with a concert by the Pulaski Brass Band. 1992
May 4--Webster town charter was changed, eliminating representative town meetings.
Sept. 15--Selectmen awarded a contract to Wheelabrator Inc., of Millbury, to run
the town-owned transfer station on Cudworth Road. 1993
Jan.--Mark Stankiewicz, of Norwich CT, hired as Town Administrator,
replacing Michael C. Wood who resigned under fire from Selectmen. Paul Minarik
served as interim adiminstrator while Selectmen searched for new administrator.
June 21--Dozens of people waited in line to interview for jobs at the new Wal-Mart
store on Route 12 in North Oxford. July 13--Webster Redevelopment Authority
received a $182,000 state grant to install an elevator in the Town Hall. Aug.
4--Dudley Town Clerk Freda Lambros retired after 25 years service, six as Planning
Board clerk, and 19 as town clerk. Dec. 27--Hubbard Regional Hospital signed
a contract with Fallon Healthcare Systems, opening its facilities to physicians
affiliated with the health maintenance organization. 1994
March 1--Kunkel Buick Inc., successors to Webster Buick Co., went out of business.
May 29--The newly built bridge over the French River at North Village was dedicated
the Charles R. Guenther Post 654 Veterans of Foreign Wars of Webster and Dudley
Bridge. June 28--Herman F. Becker resigned as secretary of the W-D-O Chamber
of Commerce after 30 years of service (1964-1994). 1995
July 1--Linda M. Slota was named director of the Webster Senior Center, replacing
Carol A. Radzik, who retired. Nov. 16--Voters authorized a $5.6 million debt
issue to extend sewer mains and water lines into the Lakeside Beach area at Webster
Lake. 1996 Feb. 17--Chris Chevrolet garage
at 119 West Main St., Dudley, was sold to Martin L. Nieski for $220,000 at a foreclosure
auction. March 4--Debris from the town garage on May Street was finally cleared
away. Work, started Nov. 10, 1994, was delayed when a state DEP inspector found
asbestos at the site. Costs jumped from $9,500 to more than $60,000. March
14--James J. Darazsdi, 47, chief executive officer of Rocco Enterprises Inc.,
Harrisonburg, Va., was appointed president of Nichols College May 6--The Dudley
Board of Selectmen was increased from three to five members. July 10--Richard
Bergeron, formerly of Quincy, MA, appointed Webster Police Chief. 1997
Feb. 10--Joseph M. Moran was appointed principal of the Oxford Middle School.
March 26--Milton Teguis was named Superintendent of Webster Schools, replacing
Anthony D. D'Acchioli, who accepted a similar post in Woonsocket, R.I. May
5--Fire destroyed a 3-story building at 62 Negus Street, Webster. Eleven persons
were left without housing and Paul's Pizza lost its location. May 7--Elvis
Corrado, a volunteer with town agencies for 60 years, was honored "for devotion
and dedication to volunteer services" by the Webster Woman's Club. 1998
May 9-- Ford Motors Corp. recognized Place Motor Co. of Webster on its 75th anniversary
as its oldest dealership in Massachusetts. August 18--Gov. A. Paul Cellucci
participated in the victory celebration that ended Webster's 11 year battle against
a mega-landfill in Douglas at the town line. 1999
Dec. 31--A town Millennium Celebration at Memorial Beach ended with a fireworks
program. 2000 Feb. 5--The state agreed to
pay $34 million for a 305 acre parcel in Douglas at the Webster line, once slated
to become a landfill. June 7--Dr. Vincent E. Simone, superintendent of Jaffrey-Rindge,
N.H., School District, was elected superintendent of the Webster public school
system. June 17--Hometown Bank of Webster opened a bank on Sutton Avenue in
Oxford, moving its corporate offices to the new facility. August 12--The old
Dudley Town Hall on West Main Street, built in 1850, was torn down.