Lowell in World War One: Sept 24 – Sept 29, 1917

This is the 24th weekly installment of my Lowell in World War One series which commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War One. Here are the headlines from one hundred years ago this week:

September 24, 1917 – Monday – American troops in France ready and anxious for call to action. Officers have hard work keeping men out of British front line trenches. Some US officers have been “over the top” with British forces.  Dedication of the new St. Louis Church on West Sixth Street.

September 25, 1917 – Tuesday – Double air raid on England. Zeppelins and airplanes drop bombs on London. Fifteen killed and 70 injured. One man killed and several injured in explosion at the Newton Manufacturing Co. in Lowell where artillery primers were being manufactured. Killed was Harry Cluin, of 32 Wilson street. Seven others were seriously injured. F. C. Newton, general manager of the Newton Manufacturing Co., said the explosion occurred at 2:30 a.m. due to the mishandling of one of the primers which resulted in the explosion. The man who was killed was an assembler of the American artillery primers. After assembling them, he passed them to a loader. The loaded primer was returned to him and he disassembled it. The men had been warned to handle the primers carefully. This morning’s accident is evidently due to carelessness. The deceased was 21 years old and was very popular and well known. He had previously been in the grocery business and had hoped to open his own store.

September 26, 1917 – Wednesday – British advance in new drive. Field Marshal Haig’s forces make attack on wide front in the Ypres region. Another peace offer by Pope. Vote in state primaries light in Lowell. Statewide, incumbent Governor Samuel McCall swamps challenger Grafton Cushing in the Republican primary. Other Republican nominees are Calvin Coolidge of Northampton for Lt Governor; Albert Langtry of Springfield for Secretary of State; Charles Burrill of Boston for Treasurer; Alonzo Cook of Boston for Auditor; and Henry Attwill fo Lynn for Attorney General. The Democratic nominees are Frederick Mansfield of Boston for Governor; Matthew Hale of Boston for Lt Governor; Arthur Reed of Abington for Secretary; Humphrey O’Sullivan of Lowell for Treasurer; Elzear Choquette of New Bedford for Auditor; and Josiah Quincy of Boston for Attorney General. Lowell High School Commission hearing resumed. City Treasurer refuses to recognize the High School Commission as a duly authorized body with power to spend funds on the construction of the high school addition. The Commission is seeking a court order requiring the Treasurer to honor bills submitted by the Commission.

September 27, 1917 – Thursday – Raid frustrates German plot to wreck machinery in munitions plants. US agents break up plot to destroy machines in American shops. 100 alien enemies arrested and interned. British victory in Flanders complete. Military funeral for Segar Severson of 39 D Street. Severson, a member of the band at the US Naval Training station at Hingham, was killed by an express train near the station. The funeral was held at First Baptist Church and burial was in Westlawn Cemetery. The annual outing of the Lowell Fish and Game association was held today at the Martin Luther grounds in Tyngsboro. License Board closes three hotel bars. The licenses of the Harrisonia, Arlington and St. Charles hotels will be suspended for two days; the license of P. Donohoe & Co., 15 Adams st, will be suspended for four days; the complaints against the Old Washington Tavern and John C Rourke & Co, 9 Thorndike St, were dismissed.

September 28, 1917 – Friday –  160 indicted in IWW plots to hamper government in its war activities. Ton of evidence discloses plans for anti-draft demonstrations, crippling of war industries by strikes, burning of wheat fields and timber, seditious conspiracy charged.  Big reception to Black Watch Highlanders. Thirty members of the Fifth Royal Highlanders of Canada – the Black Watch – visited Lowell yesterday while on their US tour. These men were all wounded in battle and are recovering on this side of the Atlantic. All soon will return to the front. British looking for men in Lowell. The British recruiting mission opened its headquarters at 119 Merrimack street and is hard at work rounding up British and Canadian subjects for the British forces.  To make Camp Devens, Ayer, “bone dry.” Two civilians were arrested for bringing liquor for sale to soldiers onto the grounds of Camp Devens in violation of strict federal laws that prohibit giving liquor to soldiers. Well earned promotion for Walter Hickey. Walter H Hickey, acting claim agent for the Bay State Street Railway Co, today was appointed acting superintendent of the Lowell division of the road.

September 29, 1917 – Saturday – Kerensky accepts challenge and tells Congress his regime saved Russia. Premier cooly faced supreme test of the power of his government. British casualties in September 104,598. Haywood and other IWW leaders still in jail. Nine leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World who were charged with seditious conspiracy in Chicago last night are still in jail. British recruiting mission successful. 15 men from Lowell enlisted in British Army. Division Three Local Exemption Board announced the eight more men had passed their physicals and claimed no exemptions from the draft. Lowell woman will form militia company. Mayor O’Donnell granted permission to Miss Emma Leclair, an employee of the Lawrence mills, to organize a militia company composed entirely of unmarried women. Major Walter Jeyes, commander of the state guard in Lowell, offered his full cooperation. Miss Leclair envisions a force of 50 to 75 women, equipped with uniforms and arms, who train once a week at the Westford street armory. She said they would participate in public events and be ready if needed by the city. She also hoped to “inject a little pep into some of the young men of this city” and “stimulate some of the male slackers in enlisting either in the army or navy.”