from The Webster Evening Times, November 3, 1927(Volume 5 #28),
| SELECTMEN CONFRONTED BY PROBLEM IN RESIGNATION OF LOCKUP KEEPER WAKEFIELD
Veteran of Civil war and Sole surviving Member of Slater guards, Wishes To Br Relieved From Duties as lockup Keeper and Janitor. Retirement On Half Pay Asked, and Town Has Never accepted this Chapter of the General Laws—Mr. Wakefield Is 83 years of age.
Wishing to retire from his duties as janitor of the Engine building. Elias B. Wakefield, 84 years old, widely known Civil War veteran finds that the Selectmen are unable to accept his resignation. Mr. Wakefield sent his resignation to the selectmen basing his resignation on the Laws of 1912. Section 1, Chapter 447. This calls for retirement of Civil War veterans in the employ of a town at half pay.
In looking up this chapter in the General Laws, the Selectmen found that the law has never been accepted by the town, and therefore they could not accept Mr. Wakefield’s resignation. In order to have this law accepted by the town a special town meeting solely for this would have to be called, where the citizens of the town could vote to see whether they would accept it.
This has brought up a peculiar situation in the town and although the Selectmen would like to adhere to Mr. Wakefield’s wish in regard to retirement they are themselves helpless at the present time. Mr Wakefield who has served as janitor of the Engine building and lockup keeper, in his resignation stated that he believed that the position should be given to a younger man, as he is now in his 84th year. The matter however will be delved into more deeply by the members of the board of selectmen in an effort to find some way in which the resignation of Mr. Wakefield could be accepted by the town.
The law states emphatically that it must be accepted by the town at a special meeting, called solely for the purpose. However the selectmen will try to find some way in settling the matter, possible some later laws passed after the Laws of 1912.
Mr. Wakefield, among all the remaining veterans of the Civil War connected with the Nathaniel Lyons post is the only one who pursues his regular duties every day and is believed to be one of the very few civil War veterans in the entire state who is actively engaged every day.
The duties of lockup keeper and as janitor of the Engine building call for his attendance at the building every day, and throughout the long term of service in that capacity there have been but few days that he was not on the job. Aside from the fact that 83 years of age leaves a man no longer young he is remarkably active, few men of his years being in better general health.
As commander of the Nathaniel Lyon post and as president of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment Association, he attends all meetings, and assumes active direction of all activities. During his service as lockup keeper, Mr. Wakefield had had under his charge all prisoners locked up in the Webster station, and has provided the food for those confined in the station overnight or for any length of time. not many year ago, he prevented a get-away by a prisoner, courageously giving battle to the man half his years and clinging to him although his glasses were broken in the scuffle and he was badly pounded by the prisoner.