Birth Clipping from Boston Sunday Post, Sun, Jun 25, 1905.

Clipped from US, Massachusetts, Boston, Boston Sunday Post, June 25, 1905

BOSTON SUNDAuVMattapoisett Willie9fOnethe Oddest Charactersin MassachusettsMATTAPOISETT, June 24.—Living the simple life In a poverty stricken and dingy hut surrounded by a settlement of wealthy cottagers whosehomes and automobiles are rated the best In town, is a hermit known as “Mattapoisett Willie,” who is probably one of the oddest characters in New England.By nature, a contortionist; by education, a student and musical genius of.V.V.V.VaV-VV.V.'VX• . . ». •...i •1 * * •,••••«! lt;*•••« , • , I . | I fi « » . 1. i • »p. , i • a • * • • a • r r• • • -.V. . . *i « » , • • • * ' - v . « • » QBWAV.' * »V.* - . V.V.* V.1 ■ •«••• • ♦.. V,**. iy. w. v» • • • »a li a:■% a •//v:r.• ■ I I • III*« • • •» f » • ‘ I ... • * * * * * ' I •» 1 I I « 1 • lt;M.a.1 • * * i i • • It • » •••*•_-.v v. .yv.v-v■vMLa • • • ■■ • • • * * • lt;•A.O lt;t . lt;no mean talent;a reclusethrough love, and still feels the pain of Dan Cupid’s arrow broken off short In his heart.Once he was known as William C. Radigan, and dimly remembers having been addressed as “Mr. Radigan.” Now all that is forgotten, but still heI.ij.a * *V/w •. :•lt;. * —.1w.v.05v!r» »-• ».v• • J,mmMi/*rtf».‘ViflATT/IPOjSETT MU/C PlvbaMy one of MeOddest ^Characters /n ftew^hy/snd.holds the memory of one night when a pretty school teacher said: “Why, Mr. Radigan, I couldn’t think of it.”Since then he has been known only as Willie’’ and today few of the townspeople know what his last name is or that he ever had one. He has passed into the stage of being a town celebrity whose eccentric habits from custom are known to be harmless. His long residence here gave him the appellation of Mattapoisett Willie.’’In many ways he is strangely different from others who have gained the title of hermit. While living a secluded life in the very centre of a thriving town, he has many odd characteristics.He Never SwearsOne thing Willie never does is to swear. No matter what happens, he declares, he has always the fear of God in his heart, and has a W. C. T. U. re-jpugnance for profanity.In spite of all the years he has spent In an outdoor life, he is no prophet on the weather. Weather to him is his shop, and Willie never talks shop.He says that if there was no weather to talk about, half the earth’s population would want for a subject of conversation. He even refrains from saying good morning, and his greeting is .always rfow do you do?”Shakspere and SilenceHe Is polite to everybody, but prefers the silence of his hut, with two volumes of Shakspere and newspapers a week old, to conversation. For Willie is a student of Shakspere and agrees with King Lear that the wintry blasts arepreferable to the unkindness of human beings.All last winter he read A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and can quote from that and ‘‘As You Like It” in lengthy extracts that would make many envious of his marvellous memory.Mattapoisett Willie is 55 years old, and was born in Scotland. He wus given a good education by his parents and undertook to bp a singing master, backed by a fine baritone voice, well trained. Somewhere, the tale goes, he met a pretty maiden when he was starting out in life.She was a school teacher, Oh, so fair,” as the verso has it, as well as the story, at the firesides in Mattapoisett, and she jilted him. He went away, and finally about 20 years ago drifted into the little herring town.Willie Is a TwisterWillie is a natural contortionist, and the way he can twist himself in and out of shape would insure him a fair living anywhere with a circus or vaudeville show. But he rarely indulges in such feats, and some say it was that drawback which cost him a sweetheart.Until last winter the hermit never slept in a house. In the summer any place would do, but in the winter he crawled into barns and sheds unmolested by owners.When bad weather came and he advanced in years an effort was made to have him go to the poor farm. He stoutly refused, and as he never paid taxes of any kind, or voted, the Selectmen didn’t see any way clear to compel him to heed their bidding.At the beginning of last winter orders were given to have him ejected from any'MARBLE. HALL*.The Abode of Mattapoisett M/he.»hed or barn, so Willie built himself a home. It is located a stone’s throw from the Town Hall on private land owned by the Onset Street Railway Company, and is in the centre of the summer cottages.The hut, like Willie, is wonderfully made. It is called Marble Hall” by the residents of the town, probably because it would take the imagination of dreamland to even give it the name of house.Ih building the abode, which closely resembles a leanto, Willie first erected a s'tove, and around that stove constructed four sides, giving no thought to proportion. Big cracks scam all sides, leaving room for the mosquitoes to come in during the summer, and in winter an entrance for chilly blasts.A Riddle of Escaped F'reezlngHow Willie managed to escape freezing during the winter just passed is still talked of in town. He attributes his escape to a pair of horse blankets and his strong constitution.Inside his hut are the ordinary cooking utensils, a bunk, a table and a mysteriousice chest. Where the ice chest came from nobody can fathom.It was discovered there recently, and is brand new. Willie never bought It, and everybody stands by him loyally when there is anything said of a refrigerator disappearing from any of the cottages.The hermit will divulge no information concerning the chest. He says he has no gold, and those who sometimes visit him claim he never has use for ice. The chest is always empty but well polished, and forms the only ornament in the hut. Its posession is unfathomable.Mattapoisett Willie lives by doing odd jobs, and his fame is known along the Cape from New Bedford down. He often makes a trip to Bedford, as he calls it, and owing to various circumstances he arranges a signal for the conductors.In time for the last car, he manages to station himself somewhere on the bridge, and with sight bedimmed, he continues to hoot toot” like an owl at each passing car until one bound for Mattapoisett stops and takes him aboard.Willie Hath a Quoting TongueLife is a passing show, and somepersons think mine is the fool’s part,” Willie said, with a laugh, in talking of his life. I’m happy and contented, if I’m left alone, and what more can beasked?Life is short and I enjoy it. I have my good time. I read, I do chores, and have my good times when I go to Bedford. I don’t own anything that would cause me sorrow to lose.This is a simple life. I’m not up to date, for I don’t get the papers on time. They are two weeks old when they reach me. and I’m interested in the war. I’m with the Japs, for they are on the winning side.Some folks think I’m odd. I’m healthy, I’ve never been sick, and I’ve never had a cold. I don’t know a doctor, even by name. At night I sing unmolested.I go to bed late and get up late and I trouble nobody. It’s ^Villie’s pride that he never swore in the presence of any woman—not that I like them, but out of respect for one.”At the remembrance Willie’s gray eyeB dimmed, his words choked oft suddenly and he went inside his hut, slamming the door. It’s a way he has of terminatinga visit.