From the May 23, 1918 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Hats off to Gay Head!

Gay Head won the Boston Post Shield of Honor for the largest percentage of men in the service of the United States, its standing being 10.4 per cent, 17 out of its population, according to the 1910 census, 162, being in the uniform of Uncle Sam in one capacity or another.

Gay Head officials have already set in motion elaborate plans for a grand celebration to mark the formal presentation of the Shield of Honor, won by the town in competition with every other town and city in New England.


National Memorial day, Thursday May 30, is designated by President Wilson in a proclamation issued today, as a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting. The people of the nation are asked to gather that day in their houses of worship and pray for the victories of the American armies, which will bring peace founded on mercy, justice and good will.


One of Edgartown’s property holders and a frequent dweller here at his Chappaquiddick place, is doing big things in connection with the war. Arthur R. Sharp, of the Sharp Manufacturing Co. of New Bedford, is president and treasurer of the Atlantic Corporation, recently organized to build ships in New Hampshire. The company’s yard at Portsmouth is on the site of the White Mountain Paper company. For years this great plant, with its fine steel and brick buildings, covering many acres of ground, has been idle. It looms up on the west side of the railroad tracks running east like a small sized city.

Mr. Sharp says the Standard is known throughout New England as one of the biggest and most successful cotton mill men. He is the treasurer of the Sharp Manufacturing Company and also of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Lowell.

When Mr. Sharp took hold of the latter concern it was in need of new blood, new methods and new ideas. It wasn’t long before he rehabilitated the plant, and it soon took its place among the most up-to-date and successful mills in the Spindle City. His New Bedford mill is one of the most successful corporations in a municipality which prides itself on modern manufacturing plants, which tickle their stock holders by their unerring ability to earn dividends.

He has, by no means, limited his business activities to cotton goods manufacturing. For sometime he has been heavily interested in the Mason Machine Works in Taunton. This concern makes textile machinery, engine parts and a variety of machine specialties. Since the war started, its 1200 employees have been turning out gun parts, gun foundation for the navy and different kinds of machinery for that branch of the government, as well as the army.


The local campaign for the second Red Cross War Fund opened Saturday afternoon with one of the most successful and picturesque parades yet seen here. The line formed in front of the Red Cross headquarters on South Water street at 2:30 and marched through the principal streets, returning to the starting point to disband. The American flag was borne by William T. Osborn at the head of the procession, side by side with the drum, played by Richard G. Shute, drummer boy of the Civil War. Next was the Red Cross banner carried horizontally by Mrs. Edward P. Worth, Mrs. Robert W. Watson, Mrs. William P. Howard, Mrs. Edgar W. Hickins, Mrs. Archibald Mellen and Mrs. Charles F. Shurtleff, officers of the Edgartown branch of the Red Cross, followed by members of the executive committee carrying the flags of the allies and by other Red Cross workers. A Red Cross ambulance, next in line, preceded school children carrying flags in all sizes. Civil War veterans, Martha’s Vineyard Chapter, D.A.R., and others were seated in decorated automobiles. The flags carried adding color and brilliancy to the scene. Last in line was the float of Mr. James E. Chadwick, carrying children of the primary grades. During the march a halt was made before the town hall, where the salute to the flag was given and America sung by the school children.


The Red Cross War Fund Drive and a house to house canvas is in progress in Oak Bluffs and it is hoped that Martha’s Vineyard will go “over the top,” as it did in the recent Liberty Loan Campaign. In connection with the Red Cross War Fund Drive there was a patriotic meeting of the citizens of the town on Monday, at 7 p.m., on Circuit avenue. Mr. Herbert A. Eddy, vice chairman of Martha’s Vineyard Chapter, who is in charge of the War Fund Campaign in Oak Bluffs was master of ceremonies and introduced the speakers. The special feature of the occasion was the unfurling to the breeze of three flags, “Old Glory” from a staff over the entrance to the Red Cross Work rooms in the Herald Building, also a “Service Flag” containing starts, covering the number of “Oak Bluffs Boys” in the army, Navy, and Aviation Corps of the United States, and a Red Cross Flag, placed on a staff at the side of one of the work room windows.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox