The Fate of Annexation

by Laurel | March 3rd, 2012

Note: Are you aware there was once a movement in the works seeking to annex Willimansett and Fairview to Holyoke?

03 March 1912

Chicopee’s Strong Opposition to Willimansett Plan

The movement for annexing Willimansett and Fairview to Holyoke apparently fell through for pure lack of momentum, although there was some active backing behind the movement and the arguments presented had some merits. What was lacking, however, which was absolutely essential to the success of such a movement, a popular majority and a widespread popular demand. Instead of any such condition developing, it became evident at least two weeks before the hearing that there was overwhelming opposition to the movement, not only among the people at large, outside of Willimansett itself, but in the board of aldermen, the office of the mayor and the board of trade. Representative Daniel C. Buckley also came out in an open statement in opposition to the measure, and the cup of woe seemed to be full for the Willimansett Improvement Club. The activity shown by the mayor in opposing the measure was surprising to many, as he had been a member of the Willimansett Improvement Club. It was through Mayor Rivers that the exhaustive data showing the amounts spent by each city department were arranged for the use of the legislators who were to hear the case.

Not only were the exponents of annexation outnumbered among the people, but they were apparently outmaneuvered. The data which was presented was convincing, and they had nothing with which to combat it. They were also late in hiring an attorney, and after several lawyers had found it impossible to accept their case, Attorney O’Connor of Holyoke was retained only the morning before the hearing and it was quite out of the question for any attorney to work up a case in the short period of time allowed him. According to Senate Chairman Newhall of the committee on cities, there was no difference between the action taken in granting permission to withdraw their petition. In case they had withdrawn the petition, the matter would have been absolutely dead; but as it is, the case is dead for this year, and another bill will have to be introduced, and practically all of the details repeated next year. The petitioners stated after the hearing that they are by no means discouraged, and are firm in their intention to again agitate the matter next year, having hopes of better success at that time.

From The Springfield Republican.

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