Ipswich History 1900 – 1950

1900 –  1950: The Town confronts the problems of War, Depression,  and Governmental Reform

1900 — The population of Ipswich is 4,658.

1902 — George Schofield, a Selectman and a Democrat, is elected to the Massachusetts General Court from a largely Republican District and serves several terms in the House and Senate.

1903 — The Electric Light System is built as a municipal utility by the Town under the leadership of George Schofield.

1907 — Greek settlers build their church, St. Mary’s of the Assumption. Walter Hayward is appointed General Manager of Ipswich Mills.

1908 — Polish settlers build Sacred Heart Church. Their priest is Rev. Charles Ryc. Jewish residents establish a synagogue. Ipswich artists win international fame: Arthur Wesley Dow, Theodore Wendel, Henry Kenyon, Francis Richardson.

1910 – French residents found St. Stanislaus Parish, and begin their church in 1912. Their priest is Fr. Stanislaus Vermette.

1913 — Labor troubles erupt at Ipswich Hosiery Mills with a strike and violence as the workers demand higher wages. One woman is killed and out-of-town police have to be called in.  Walter Hayward organizes the Ipswich Cooperative Bank.

1914 — Sympathetic organizations send help to Britain, Belgium and France as World War I begins with the German invasions.

1916 —Cable Memorial Hospital is built and equipped by Richard T. Crane, Jr., and given to the Trustees for the Town.

1917 — As the United States goes to war, many Ipswich men begin service in the armed forces. About 200 serve through the war.

1918 — A severe influenza epidemic strikes the Town with so many people ill that they are cared for in tents on the hospital grounds. There are many deaths.

1918–Ipswich celebrates the end of the war, and the service men return home. Col. F. R. Appleton, Jr., is one of the founders of the American Legion in Paris. The American Legion is organized in Ipswich.

1920 — Period of postwar unemployment causes much hardship among families, who are compelled to seek help from the Out Poor Department.

1921 —Memorial Building is voted to be built in memory of Ipswich Veterans of all wars at a cost of $52,000.

1922 —Hayward’s Stocking Manufacturing Plant is organized by Walter Hayward and his friend, Perley Barbour, and the building is constructed on land that was purchased from the Boston and Maine Railroad.

1923 — Rotary Club is formed with twenty members, soon increased to twenty-eight. Walter Hayward is the first President.

1928 — The closing of the Ipswich Hosiery Mills, caused by the failure of the owners, the Lawrence family to modernize, leaves several hundred people unemployed.

1928- — The Great Depression brings desperately hard times to the people of  Ipswich. Many families are able to survive only because of the help of the Town’s Welfare Department and of the federal agencies like the ERA, CWA, PWA and WPA, most of which are supervised by Selectman Brainard Wallace.

1934 — The 300th anniversary of the incorporation of Ipswich is celebrated. — The First Church of Christ, Scientist, on North Main street is dedicated.

1936 — The Ipswich High School is completed with the help of  federal funds on Green Street at the site of the old jail, at a cost of $229,000. The opening is celebrated with a gala reunion of all the classes of Manning High.

1937 — An expedition starts from Ipswich to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Manasseh Cutler’s expedition to Marietta, Ohio, in the Northwest Territory. Ipswich’s belief in freedom of the individual is believed to be an important contribution to the development of non-slave governments in that Territory.

1938 — Robinson’s Shipyard on Fox Creek is set up to build yachts and sailing ships. When war comes, the company converts to building a variety of vessels for the Navy. The Great Hurricane causes much damage and the destruction of hundreds of ancient elm trees.

1941 After President Roosevelt and Congress declare war on Germany and Japan, hundreds of men and women begin to join all the armed forces.  Sylvania converts to super-secret war work for the Navy. 1,200 people are employed there building a device which was revealed to be the proximity fuse which had an important role in achieving victory.  Townspeople participate in Civil Defense work — airplane spotting, air-raid drills, and War Bond drives.

1945 –In May World War II in Europe comes to an end with the defeat of Hitler’s armed forces; and in August, with the news of the surrender of Japan, an impromptu parade downtown to the honor roll celebrates the victory, but remembers with prayer the 30 men and one woman who gave their lives. (Shortly thereafter, the VFW, the Amvets and the PLAV join the American Legion in representing the veterans of Ipswich.)

1948 — Movement for Charter government begins, with John F. Conley as the chief proponent of more effective and economical town government.

1950 — Selectmen-Town Manager Charter is approved by the voters to go into effect March 1951. Joseph Coupal is appointed first Town Manager. The total assessed valuation of the Town is $9,119,855. As the Korean War begins, several Ipswich young men join the armed forces. The townspeople join with the Trustees of Reservations to fight a possible state take-over of Crane’s Beach.

Forward and Introduction

1630 – 1692  The Town is founded and flourishes as one of the leading towns of the Colony

1700 – 1800 The Town gives its wealth and manpower to fighting the long French and Indian Wars, then staunchly supports the War for Independence and the founding of the Nation.

1800 – 1850  The Town is plunged into mourning when George Washington dies in December. Mourning bands are worn, pictures are draped. and the town observes a long period of “solemn observances”. The Town, having lost Hamilton in 1793 and Essex in 1819, is beset by economic troubles.

1850 – 1900  Ipswich  endures the ordeal of sending 350 men to the Civil War, but comes into more prosperous times with the commencement and expansion of the Ipswich Hosiery Mills.

1900 –  1950: The Town confronts the problems of War, Depression,  and Governmental Reform

1950 –  1975: Growth, Social and Environmental Change.

1975 – 2000: Ipswich continues into the Modern Age while protecting its historic and natural resources.

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