Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview March 7, 1975 Adelaide and Lester Ball
24-Mr. Ball, born in Wrentham, Mass.
65-attended Tufts Engineering School
71-graduated in 1915
76-worked at General Electric, in turbine research
81-worked as a Naval Architect, Portsmouth, N.H. during World War I
90-Involved with mathematical research and submarine development
100-two hundred foot dive was to be ultimate test of Sub's reliability
113-Mr Ball recalls that soon after he left the Portsmouth job every one of the project's subs sank
161-taught at Lowell Tech for seven years, technical drawing and math
166-at Tech from 1923 to 1930, remembers a lot of interdepartmental conflict
176-also taught at Wentworth Institute
179-during WWII worked for the Navy at the Charlestown Navy yard, research on destroyers
188-worked on mathematical details of launching
200-helped to develop a device to measure the friction of the waves against the ship (as it affected speed)
212-describes launching procedures and comedy of Champagne Bottles broken on the bough
226-Chelmsford Historical Society origination Mr. Ball was one of the first presidents
232-one of the originators was Charles Bartlett who wanted to start a society around 1930 -at the time there were not many societies in smaller towns
272-Chelmsford Historical Society first held meetings at George Hall in the Adams Library, the Society's Museum was upstairs in the Library
290-in 1916 the Captain Bill Fletcher House was dismantled
329-story of Mr and Mrs Ball's involvement with the Fletcher House
402-Mr Ball first came to Chelmsford in 1924
459-Mrs. Adelaide Ball (born Adelaide Wright)
462-lived in farmhouse at 200 Acton Road
463-descended from Thomas Barrett, an original petitioner of the town
474-speaks of town schools
485-Chelmsford Academy
491-Ralph Waldo Emerson
496-schools attended by Mrs. Ball
513-Old schoolhouse on North Road, where fire station is today
517-before 1900 there were only four rooms
520-graduated from High School in 1903
523-Mrs. Ball's sister was in the first graduating class from the four year course-graduated in 1901
534 Miss Susie McFarlin taught the fifth grade
553-describes Miss McFarlin as "half mad" all the time
561-cirriculum differed
573-sciences were weak
573-attended Hyannis Normal School
584-more on Miss McFarlin and her retirement from teaching
590-retired around 1930
593-Charlie Nichols
610-Levi Howard
615-Jesse Stewart, attended Normal Art School in Boston
629-life at Hyannis Normal
630-Lowell at the time had the Normal school but its reputation was unfavorable
641-dormitory life
650-coeducational dorms
652-girls were on the upper floor, boys on the lower
674-lights out at ten o'clock

46-Mrs. Ball taught school in Dracut, Mass., Londonderry, N.H. and Carlisle after graduation from High School
62-there were no winter sessions then
75-Candia Schools
93-Carlisle Superintendent expected excessive uniformity
106-school requirements and academic freedom
111-Marblehead, thirteen years, after teaching in Dracut, went to Normal School, then to Marblehead)
120-stopped teaching when she married
126-most schools wouldn't have married women as teachers
138-Mrs. Ball's sister, Ethel Wright, became a Librarian at Adams
147-Mrs. Ball helped out at the Library, became director at her sister's death. Served for eleven years during the late forties and early fifties Mr and Mrs Ball both comment from this point on
165-early Chelmsford; in 1924 Acton Road was just being Hot Topped
172-South Chelmsford was often isolated by snow storms
183-the population of Chelmsford in 1920 was 5,000
203-Town Planning during the 1930's
210-Mr. Ball was President of the Village Improvement Association
216-opposition from Town Fathers
223-VIA drew up building codes and zoning guidelines
227-presentation at Town Meeting caused a furor, police had to quell the disturbance
260-more on the VIA, established in 1874
268-some of its projects were tree planting and sidewalks
285-active until 1930's when the village began to enlarge
293-describes a very pleasant Christmas Party
330-Christmas caroling for shut ins, very cold night
341-trumpeters in Church belfry playing Carols
368-VIA was concentrated in the Center
370-strong rivalry between North Chelmsford and the Center so strong that Town Meetings alternated between North and Center Town Halls
375-High School graduations also alternated
381-communication between the two sections was limited
385-it was possibly a class difference; or a difference in social status
390-North had the industry
408-Poor Farm, the house itself was built in 1818 by Mrs. Ball's ancestors. It was previously a Tavern built by Jonathan Manning as an Inn
448-Carl Perham,Selectman, was strongly against the Town running the poor Farm. His objection is uncertain but it may have been financial. The inmates were finally sent to Tewksbury State Hospital
468-issues of birthplace and residence became problems
477-people were in the Town Farm because they were "unfortunate", had health difficulties, financial problems, or because they "were not too smart" or they were elderly
491-story of poverty
521-Chelmsford was mostly a farming district, especially the South section
529-doctors and dentists
544-teeth were not well cared for at the time
547-method of tooth extraction
554-Mr. Bell's father was from New Brunswick
560-Providence Station, Park Square
568-Politics, Town Meeting was during the day Attendance was low and there was little opposition to issues
576-"Old Settlers" were against everything modern, particularly opposed spending money
594-roads were muddy and cars never traveled over twenty-five miles an hour
600-springtime was very muddy and messy
620-for entertainment there were parties, sleigh rides and Church suppers
630-Church plays were fun

05-general feelings toward the town
06-one problem is that the schools are overbuilt
10-government is spending too much money
19-things haven't been well for 40 years
28-where are our friends (as a nation)
35-people need to pull in their belts

End of interview
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