The most prominent news item in the Mathews Journal of July 18, 1912, told readers of the newly-incorporated Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.
"The purpose of this organization is a charitable one, that is, the prevention of cruelty to animals, a most commendable object and one which should receive the hearty support and cooperation of all good people," the Journal stated.
This month, the society triumphantly marks one century of existence and good work.
In its early days, the group consisted of a few members and its clients usually were farm animals. Residents relied on their horses for transportation and farm work, and at times beat them mercilessly in order to get the poor, broken-down nags to keep moving. Dogs and cats, in those days, were mostly on their own.
The society’s membership remained small for years; it mostly relied on the philanthropy of a few individual angels to assist hard-luck cases.
Tractors and trucks eventually allowed the draft anima...
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