Acton Memorial Library
|William G. Priest
Expires While Engaged at His Daily Occupation
William G. Priest, aged 74 years, Civil War veteran and respected citizen, died suddenly Monday morning at 8 o'clock from an attack of heart trouble while engaged in preliminary duties in making the steam roller of the street department ready for construction work on Great road. Mr. Priest was inspecting the water supply in the boiler when the attack came on. He was in a kneeling position so that it is presumed it was responsible for a dizziness which preceded the attack. Medical attendance was summoned but Mr. Priest expired before the doctor arrived.
He started for work in apparently good health. He was met at the square by John J. Driscoll, superintendent of streets who as usual conveyed Mr. Priest to his work. Upon the arrival at the Catholic cemetery where the roller was standing Mr. Driscoll called George Jackman and Chester Sawyer. They busied themselves with the heavy work while Mr. Priest went to look after his water supply. The men heard a groan from the other side of the machine and in seeking its cause found Mr. Priest in an unconscious condition.
Mr. Driscoll was immediately notified and hurried for assistance. Dr. E.J. Flaherty responded but Mr. Priest had passed away before his arrival. The medical examiner was notified and after viewing the remains gave permission for the removal of Mr. Priest to his late home on Walcott street.
Mr. Priest was born in Guernesy [sic], England, Nov. 23, 1845. When but eight years of age he removed to Lachine, P.Q. [Quebec], with his parents. On March 17, 1870 he was married to Mrs. Priest in Waterloo, P.Q., and they came to Maynard shortly afterward. Mr. Priest has been a resident of Maynard for the past thirty-nine years and during that time he had gained the respect and confidence of all with whom he was acquainted. He was especially loved by the children during his long term of janitorship in the public schools and his visits to the schools on the day preceding Memorial Day were of great pleasure to children and teachers. He was a type of citizen which was an honor to the town in which he resided. He was a home loving man, modest to a degree but always interested in the welfare of the community.
When but eighteen years of age Mr. Priest at the opening of hostilities in the Civil War enlisted in the Union navy and was assigned to the Powhattan and he served throughout the war as an engineer. His service was an enviable one and after receiving his honorable discharge he followed the vocation of engineer for many years. He was a member of Isaac Davis Post G.A.R. and its color bearer for a long period.
Besides his wife he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. William Marshall of Waltham and Mrs. John Weaving of this town. Six sons, Lyman, Walter, William, Charles, Albert, and James Priest, all of this town. He is also survived by three brothers and three sisters.
The funeral was from his late home on Walcott street Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. It was largely attended. Tuesday evening there was a large delegation from the Frank J. DeMars Post, its auxiliary and The Just Us club besides large numbers of relatives and friends. Funeral services were conducted by Christadelphian Brothers, one from Quincy and the other from Fitchburg. Burial was in the family lot in Glenwood Cemetery. The bearers were his six sons. Mr. Priest's request was that there be no display attendant to the funeral which was observed and it was as modest as the life he had lived.