Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

November 1, 2012

Dalton column: Living in Andover 100 years ago

(Continued)

Editor John N. Cole must also have taken a liking to my grandmother and her children because he regularly mentioned them in his front page news vignettes. For example, "A large number of children and grown-ups stopped before the display window of the Metropolitan and viewed the barley sugar creations in the window." Or, "Mrs. M. E. Dalton and daughter Frances, and Mrs. T. E. Rhodes will witness the performance of the 'Blue Bird' at the Shubert Theater, Boston, this evening." Within a few years, my father’s family moved into a house next to the Rhodes, and my father and his siblings thought of Mr. Rhodes as a father to them.

It didn't take long for my grandmother to reciprocate the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes by buying goods from him when he became the main supplier of the bakery. When I look through my grandmother’s ledger, there was hardly a day that went by that he didn’t supply the bakery with fresh goods, and my grandmother did the same for Mr. Cole by placing advertising in the Townsman. It was no wonder that my father lived by the credo that you do business with those who do business with you.

It was a presidential election year in 1912, and labor unrest throughout the Northeast was centered in Lawrence, leading to the Bread and Roses Strike, which was a national news story. One such story, carried by the Townsman, said, "Warlike preparations were being carried out in Lawrence. Sharpshooters were at the Atlantic Mill, stationed at windows of the plant, because a large quantity of dynamite is said to have been purchased for the strikers." John N. Cole, editor of the Townsman, condemned the Lawrence strikers and especially the I.W.W., known as the "Wobblies," who were, at the least, socialists and, at the most, communists and subversives.

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