The Main Players
group having their picnic at the Shawsheen Grove on the day of the murder
was the Harvard Lodge, 1542, G.U.O.O.F. of Cambridge. This specific
lodge was instituted on July 14, 1873 and met the second and fourth
Monday every month at 12 Western Avenue in Cambridge. "Several
hundred" people attended the picnic that day.
Picnic guests began to arrive on the morning train from Boston.
Others came in on the noon train. Most of the picnic guests brought
their own lunches with them. However, the musicians who played for
the crowd were provided with lunch.
Edward Janifer was a member of the Cambridge G.U.O.O.F. and on
the picnic planning committee with three other men. Janifer was 35
years old, married and had two children. His family was with him at
the picnic. Janifer was widely known in the Cambridge African
American community. His employer, wood dealer George M. Smith,
described Janifer as "a quiet, industrious, honest, sober and in
every way a trustworthy man." The Townsman similarly described
Janifer as intelligent, "cool and unexcited."
George "Smoky" or "Smoke" Davenport was a 30 year old resident
of Boston. He was married and his wife was away in August of 1900
visiting her mother. Davenport was not a member of the Cambridge
G.U.O.O.F. and may have arrived on a later train from Boston.
Davenport was known to Janifer by his nickname only.
William "Shorty" Norris was wounded during the duel as he
attempted to break up the fight. Also a resident of Boston and not
Cambridge, it appears that Norris was a friend of Davenport. As his
injury was treated on the scene and he was not held by the police,
little is known about him.
Emblem buttons for
fraternal organizations, such as those illustrated here, were sold
through Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs. Among the orders
represented are: the I.O.O.F., Independent Order of Foresters,
Fraternal Order of Eagles, Elks Epworth League, Knights of Pythias,
Eastern Star, Woodmen of America, Rathbone Sisters, and Daughters of
Rebekkah. The G.U.O.O.F. was not included.
continued, next edition, Aug. 23, 2008