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Fair and square: It's known to most as Everett Square, but local vets finally succeed in push to rededicate the local landmark as Glass Square

The Standard Times - 1/17/2019

Jan. 17--MIDDLEBORO -- The somewhat disorienting five-way intersection located at the top of Center Street in downtown Middleboro known locally as Everett Square is due to be redesigned in 2020, but before that, Everett Square had to be renamed, or better yet, reestablished, as John F. Glass, Jr. Square, as it was always supposed to be.

That happened with little or no resistance from those partial to the name "Everett Square," which in all likelihood was named so for no other reason than its proximity to Everett Street, one of the five intersecting streets converging at the Square -- along with Station St., High St., Center Ave and the aforementioned Center St.

So now, John Glass Square is again -- and as it has been since it was decided so in 1929 -- John Glass Square, and John Glass Square is due to be redesigned in 2020.

Well, that redesign got an early start last Thursday with the unveiling and dedication of a new sign recognizing the square as John F. Glass, Jr. Square, and for Bob Lessard, current Commander of American Legion Post 64 in Middleboro, it's a small gesture that will go a long way in correcting a bit of local history and acknowledging, for all time, a Middleboro soldier who paid the ultimate price while serving his country.

"He died October 26, and the war ended Nov. 11. So, the poor guy got killed just a couple of weeks before the war ended," Lessard said, relaying the story of PFC John F. Glass, Jr at the dedication.

PFC Glass was the last serviceman from Middleboro to be killed in action in World War I. At the time of his death, he was serving with the Yankee Division's 101st Infantry, Company D. His remains did not make it home to Middleboro, and he is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.

Lessard, who's been leading the call for the correction for the better part of a decade, says Middleboro American Legion Post 64 membership petitioned to have the square memorialized in the name of John F. Glass, Jr. back in 1929. The spot was dedicated and took the name of John F. Glass, Jr. Square on May 30, 1929, part of that year's Memorial Day services, and later that spring, on June 18, the request to make it official and put it on the books was approved by Town Meeting voters.

At that same spring 1929 Town Meeting, voters approved a measure that renamed the road running from Main St. and adjacent to Middleboro Town Hall from Town House Ave. to Nickerson Ave. in the name of another local WWI war hero, Simeon L. Nickerson.

Lessard says, for some reason, Nickerson Ave. stuck, but Glass Square did not. (Also worth noting, Middleboro VFW Post 2188 is named after John F. Glass, Jr. and American Legion Post 64 in named in the memory of Simeon L. Nickerson.)

"A sign was put across the street," Lessard said, "but it's a small sign and as you exit Everett Street you can't see it, because you have to be careful coming into the Square."

Earlier this year, in June, Lessard and company took their concerns to the Middleboro Board of Selectmen, and after years of beating the drum, something clicked. Selectmen jumped on board, and after some planning and work by Town Manager Robert Nunes, DPW Director Chris Peck and DPW staff member Dave Blanton, a new sign was designed and installed.

The new two-sided sign is located on the traffic island between Center Ave. and Station St. and is easy to see while traveling on Center St. or coming into town via Station Ave.

Now, the question is will local folks take to calling it "John Glass Square" or "Glass Square" or keep with the old standby, "Everett Square." Lessard hopes a bit of publicity and the coming construction project will go a long way to drive the point home.

But, for now, Lessard and the other local veterans gathered at last Thursday's dedication are just pleased with finally having set the record straight.

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