Stoughton Historical Society Newsletter  

February 1982


Volume XIII, Number 1 – Editor:- Ye 0l’ Ed   February 1982

MR. CARL LIBBY will be our speaker this month on Monday, the 15th. A citizen of Our Town for over fifty years, he is the inventor of the Libby Shuttleless loom, former Vice-President of J. W. Wood Elastic Web Co., an artist, musician and philosopher. The title of his talk is "Know Yourself."

WE HAVE RECEIVED an American flag which was flown over the Capitol on the occasion of Bill O'Brien's most recent birthday. It was originally given to Bill by his family and is now given to us by Bill and his wife, Belle. A large illustrated (and annotated) map of Our Town (1854), given by Edgar Malcolm, proved to include a bonus. On the reverse was pasted an 1866 railway map of New England . The railway map shows a station named "Birds" between Canton and Stoughton . (We have also heard from one member in reply to inquiries concerning the Boston "Post" cane ... Commander Miles may well have been the last recipient of the gold‑headed cane in Stoughton .)

ST. VALENTINE was a holy priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd century. He was beheaded in the year 270 on February 14, but soon became recognized as the patron saint of lovers. February 15 was a pagan feast day on which Roman young men declared who their sweethearts were and announced their marriage plans. The christian young men and women decided to imitate the pagan practice; but they wanted the blessing of the saint rather than the pagan god. The Catholic church was already honoring St. Valentine, so he became their patron, and their marriage announcements were called "Valentines."

INEXPENSIVE COMFORT was available at J. J. Newberry Co. (The Dependable Store With Dependable Values) in 1941 . . . Men's Ankle‑Length Woolen Underwear was 79¢; All or Part Wool Sweaters, 69¢ to $2.39;

Children's Corduroy Overalls, 69¢ to $1.19; Flannel Bloomers were 15¢ and 20¢; Ladies’ Flannel Pajamas, 69¢ to $1.29; and Flannel Nightgowns, 79¢  to $1.19.   Just in case you are a bit behind with the news, Newberry's closed their doors for good on December 31 [1981] last.

A FAVORITE DRINK in Puritan New England was RUM FUSTIAN. Recipe: take a pint of beer, pint of sherry and a pint of gin, yolks of a dozen eggs., sugar and a little nutmeg. Stir all together., then heat with a redhot poker. It is said that the Puritans gave the Indians several barrels of rum fustian when trouble seemed imminent . . . it was easier than fighting them. (Fustian means imitation, so this drink was supposed to be a good substitute for rum.)

OUR PRESIDENTS . . . Woodrow Wilson (1913‑21) was the only president with a Ph.D. degrees.

IN THESE DAYS of "Plastic money" the dollar bills we have grown to know and love my become obsolete  belonging to a bygone era. Let's get to know our paper dollar better before it is too  late: -- As you look at your dollar bill which, incidentally, is called a banknote, you will notice the words "Federal Reserve Note above the portrait of Washington (he's there as our first president, of course). Most all paper money issued by Federal Reserve banks with the permission the U.S. Treasury. There are twelve of these banks in the United States and the seal to the left George      (as in the phrase "Let George do it") as look at the note tells you which of the twelve issued the banknote.

HOWARD  HANSEN . . . a brief biography: Born October 3, 1943, third son of Orrin and Ruth Hansen . . . educated Stoughton public schools through junior high . . . majored in printing at Boston Trade High School . . . continued education at Shaw Prep School and Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, graduating in '68. . . saw military duty with National Guard . . . returned to N.E.. and the printing business which actually began when he purchased his first full-sized press at the age of 16 . . . (You saw that press on a truck in the "250th" parade in 1976) ... Howard is keenly interested in the Boy  Scouts of America, is a member of the Troop Committee and the Board of Review . . . Our new president is also greatly interested in the history of Stoughton and history in general . . . A Town Meeting Representative., he is Chairman of precinct One . . . He is artistically inclined, precise, adept at several crafts . . . About once each year takes off for Canada, Vermont . . . NOTE: This short paragraph serves to introduce your current president; to knew him and your other officers better you have only to attend more meetings. They'll all be glad to see you there. (And, Howie, these tidbits from your life were supplied by an intimate, R.I.H.)

SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER with a friend.  It may be all that friend needs to interest him / her in Our Society. We can always use more members, particularly active folks; and, remember, membership in the Stoughton Historical Society is still the best bargain in town. Perhaps the young lady sharing her Newsletter with a "friend" has an ulterior motive. Well$ so do we. We need workers and can promise only pleasure in accomplishment as a reward - and fine social contacts.

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