An auto accident trial went forward in Superior Court today thanks to a group of Golden Agers and others who volunteered service as extra jurors.

Sixteen challenges of the jurors originally drawn left Mrs. Irene A. Mason, clerk of court, without another available man for the panel.

For the first time in five years, it was necessary to send the sheriff into the “highways and byways” to recruit help. And it was the first time in the memory of Sheriff J. Bruce McIntyre that a call went out for so many as 10 jurors.

Quick phone calls netted two: William McCusker and Elmer M. Bonnington of this city. They started for the Courthouse immediately. Then the sheriff and his deputy, Fred N. Cummings, left the courtroom and swung down North Street to find the rest. They met Frank A. Shepardson en route and hurried him off to the trial.

After the sheriff was told that the weekly Golden Age Club meeting was in session at the YMCA, he entered and asked for the microphone. No sooner had he explained his dilemma than Bernard J. Boland arose to volunteer.

“Does that mean women too?” a lady asked.

“Sorry,” the sheriff said. “Not yet. We can’t have women jurors until next year.”

But eight other men quickly accepted. They were marshalled in the lobby of the Y and dispatched to the Courthouse in two taxis.

Five of the dozen new jurymen were picked to serve on the panel: Mr. Bonnington, Mr. McCusker, Mr. Shepardson and two of the Golden Agers, Frank D. Waterman of Dalton and Frank A. Halligan. The other volunteers who were then dismissed included Mr. Boland, Myles J. Doran, James J. Hackett, John J. Lucey, Charles V. McLaughlin, Charles W. Roberts, and Edward J. Young.

At that point, Judge Edward T. Broadhurst ordered the trial to begin.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.