Francis Maule, Class of 1921
For many years Francis Maule was well known in Oxford for his heavy involvement in a wide variety of activities throughout the community. An independent craftsman and businessman, Mr. Maule held elective positions in local government, and he took part in projects sponsored by many community service organizations. He was extremely proud of Oxford’s history and traditions, and he also felt a great responsibility to do as much as he could to improve conditions for every resident of the area.
Mr. Maule’s formal education began almost a century ago, and the current events of his school years included topics such as Woodrow Wilson, “Pancho” Villa, the League of Nations, and women gaining the right to vote. For him, the early 1920’s were an exciting time to be graduating from high school into a world made “safe for democracy” by the “war to end all wars” that had recently been decided on the battlefields of France and Belgium.
The optimistic spirit of the Roaring Twenties certainly inspired Mr. Maule, persuading him that anything could be accomplished by people who were willing to dedicate time and energy to community projects. Among the many local groups he supported during his life were the Masons, Oxford’s Union Fire Company, and the Boy Scouts of America. It is evident that the Scouts’ “Be Prepared” motto guided Mr. Maule throughout his astonishing 75 years of membership in the organization.
Most of us respond to problems by ignoring them, complaining about them, grimly tolerating them, or insisting that “they” should do something about the situation. This was not Francis Maule’s way of doing things. For example, when increasing car and truck traffic in Oxford made walking to school hazardous for the children of the town, he organized a unit of volunteer crossing guards who kept the street corners safe.