Dorchester Historical Society

Dorchester Historical Society The Dorchester Historical Society was founded in 1843 and incorporated in 1891. DHS collects, preserves, and shares knowledge of the history of the Town of Dorchester (founded 1630) which was annexed to the City of Boston in 1870.
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The Dorchester Historical Society celebrates four centuries of Dorchester MA life through its collections and programs. Dorchester was first settled by immigrants from the West Country of England in 1630. Their ship, the Mary and John, left Plymouth on March 20th and arrived off Nantasket in late May or early June 1630. These hardy families made their way north along the shore in search of a suitable place to live and made their homes in Dorchester- the first settlement in the area, preceding even Boston. Ever since, new immigrants have found their way to Dorchester to become part of its history whether they have come from other parts of Boston or from foreign countries. The Dorchester Historical Society honors everyone's story. The Society has been volunteer-run for over a hundred years. Founded in 1843 and incorporated in 1891, the Society presents regular monthly programs and publishes monographs relating to Dorchester history. The Society owns and cares for three historic houses including the oldest in the city of Boston the James Blake House (1661) on Columbia Road near Massachusetts Ave, the Lemuel Clap House (1765) and the William Clapp House (1806) both within walking distance on Boston Street at Enterprise Street. The William Clapp House also serves as DHS headquarters. The Society has collections of written and printed materials relating to Dorchester history as well as collections of artifacts that relate to Dorchester. Looked upon as the natural custodian and repository of material pertaining to Dorchester's past, donations of archives, documents, records, pictures or other memorabilia relating to Dorchester history are always appreciated, as are monetary donations to support the Society's activities. For additional information about Dorchester's history - its people, its architecture, its businesses, its institutions - visit the DorchesterAtheneum.org web site. If you are descended from a Dorchester family, whether from 1630 or from last year, please check out the Dorchester Descendants project on Facebook!

Dorchester Illustration no. 2429      James Patrick StuartAt the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of...
11/03/2019

Dorchester Illustration no. 2429 James Patrick Stuart

At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit that highlights these men and their service to our country.

Our next biography features: James Patrick Stuart.
Written by Julie Wolf.

James Patrick Stuart was born in Dorchester on May 14, 1896, to Peter M. Stuart, a stonemason at the time, and Margaret McKenna. Peter had emigrated from Scotland in 1889; Margaret, the daughter of Irish immigrants, had emigrated from Canada in 1889. The family, along with his two younger sisters, Margaret and Rachel, would live at the address of James’s birth, 19 Monson Street, for close to two decades. The family’s last name was frequently misspelled “Stewart” in various documents that appeared in the paper trail.

When James was 21 years old, he registered for the draft, employed as an iceman by the Milton Ice Company. The city directory for 1917 also shows that he worked as a chocolate maker at the Baker Chocolate Company during this year. (James’s father had been employed at the chocolate mill in 1900, when James was a baby. Baker, the nation’s first successful chocolate producer, provided work for a vast number of Dorchester residents during the early twentieth century.) Within the year, on April 26, 1918, James enlisted in the Regular Army National Guard, Enlisted Reserve Corps, at Camp Devens, a private in Company A, 302nd Infantry. On July 3 of that year, he went overseas, serving at a camp near Bordeaux for three months before transferring to Company H, 318th Infantry.

By the time James was discharged on June 9, 1919, his parents and sisters had moved to 23 (or 25) Freeland Street in Mattapan, a home his father owned, according to the 1920 census. James held a job as a grocery store clerk in 1920 before becoming a patrolman for Division 6 of the Boston Police Department from 1920 to 1922. His career as an officer ended ignominiously. Although details of the inciting incident are scant, on August 10, 1922, the Boston Globe reported that James was “finally dismissed” after being “found guilty of untruthfulness” regarding charges that stemmed from his alleged participation in a “Houghs Neck party” in Quincy.

In 1924, in Brookline, James married Boston-born Marion Teresa Conroy, like his own mother, the daughter of Irish immigrants. Following his dismissal from the police force, James had again taken work as a clerk at the chocolate mill. The next years saw several address changes within Dorchester for the couple and their sons, James, born around 1927, and Robert, born around 1931. They rented homes at 73 Ridgewood Street, possibly 107 Mt. Ida Road, 27 Selden Street, and finally 102 Bloomfield Street, where they would remain until the late 1950s.

Tragedy struck the family on June 17, 1950, when their elder son James, returning home after a dance, was killed in a head-on car crash in Pembroke that took the life of one other young man and injured approximately seven others. James was 24. Almost four years after the accident, in February 1954, Suffolk Superior Court awarded James $11,020 for his son’s death.

For most of the rest of his life, James worked as a janitor or custodian, first at Curtis Hall, currently the site of Boston Centers for Youth & Families, and then at what the Boston city directories describe as “City Buildings Division.” In 1957 or 1958, James and Marion moved from their longtime home at 102 Bloomfield to 17 Becket Street, where they lived from 1959 to at least 1963. The 1966 city directory finds James retired and living with Marion in an apartment at 10 Rockwell Street. He died in Milton on August 11, 1968, survived by his wife, their son, and his two sisters. His funeral was held in Dorchester, his home until almost the end of his life. His obituary noted that he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 180 of the Lower Mills area, and a World War I veteran.


SOURCES:
“$52,256 Verdicts Awarded in 1950 Pembroke Crash.” Boston Globe, February 25, 1954: 3.
“Accidents (cont’d from Fogg Museum Official Struck Riding Bicycle, Critically Injured.” Boston Globe. June 18, 1950: 13.
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2004.
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006.
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2002.
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1901-1955 and 1966-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
“Dorchester Man Killed in Crash.” Boston Globe, June 17, 1950: 1.
FamilySearch.org. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, database with images. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
FamilySearch.org. United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, database with images. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
“James P. Stuart.” Dr. Perkins WWI Photo Collection.
“Stuart Dismissed from Police Force: Final Action Follows Second Hearing: Division 6 Patrolman One of Party at Houghs Neck.” Boston Globe, August 10, 1922: 3.
“Stuart (James P.).” Boston Globe, August 13, 1968: 35.
“Stuart (Marion).” Boston Globe, July 27, 1977: 50.
“Stuart (James P.).” Boston Globe, June 18, 1950: 63.

[Do not reply to this email. If you have a comment or question please email [email protected]]
Become a member of the Dorchester Historical Society
http://www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org/index.php/sample-sites-2

Check out the Dorchester Historical Society's online catalog at
http://dorchester.pastperfectonline.com/

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at
www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

The Dorchester Historical Society's historic houses are open on different dates. The Lemuel Clap House (1712 and remodeled 1765) at 199 Boston Street is open on the third Saturday of each month. The James Blake House, 735 Columbia Road (1661) and the William Clap House, 195 Boston Street (1806) are open on the third Sunday of each month. Open hours are 11 am to 4 pm.

And, you can walk down the street to visit some Clapp Favorite Pears at the William Clapp House in the springtime!
10/29/2019
History Lesson: The Giant Pear - Caught In Dot

And, you can walk down the street to visit some Clapp Favorite Pears at the William Clapp House in the springtime!

f you’ve walked, biked, or driven through Edward Everett Square, you’ve seen it: a 12-foot-tall bronze Clapp Favorite created by artist Laura Baring-Gould.

Dorchester Illustration no. 2428      Arthur Wellington GrossAt the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process...
10/27/2019

Dorchester Illustration no. 2428 Arthur Wellington Gross

At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit that highlights these men and their service to our country.

Our next biography features: Arthur Welling Gross.
Written by Donna Albino. Arthur is in the center of the photograph.

Arthur Wellington Gross was born on December 26, 1891 in Milton, Massachusetts, to Sylvester Gross and Ellen (Pelrine) Gross; Arthur was their first child. The family moved several times between Milton and Dorchester’s Lower Mills for a few years. By 1900, the family had settled in a rented house at 22 Baker Court in Lower Mills, and Sylvester was working as a coachman. Three more children had been born to the family: two sons named Henry and William, and a daughter named Mary. In 1908, Arthur graduated from the Gilbert Stuart School in Lower Mills.

In 1910, the family was renting a home at 12 Millers Lane in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester. Sylvester was working as a teamster for a chocolate factory, most likely the Walter Baker Chocolate Factory, and Arthur, now 19 years old, was working as a teamster for an express company.

On June 5, 1917, Arthur registered for the draft. He was 26 years old and self-employed in the express business. He was living with his parents at 1234 Morton Street in Lower Mills. A few months later, on September 23, 1917, Arthur was inducted into the war effort. He served with Company F, 301st Infantry, known as “Boston’s Own,” until November 12, 1917.

Arthur was then transferred to Company F, 326th Infantry until April 10, 1918. The 326th Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army. It was initially composed of large numbers of conscripts, or “draftees,” who had been called up for service, most of whom had no previous military experience whatsoever. In April 1918, the regiment received orders to move to Camp Upton in New York in preparation for embarkation to France.

At Camp Upton, Arthur was assigned to the 157th Depot Brigade, which received and organized recruits, provided them with uniforms, equipment, and initial military training before sending them to France to fight on the front lines. On August 31, 1918, Arthur headed to France on the SS Leviathan, an ocean liner painted in British-type “dazzle” camouflage to mislead the enemy about the ship’s course and make it more likely to evade attack. On September 18, 1918, Arthur was assigned to the HQ Company of the 161st Infantry until September 28, 1918. The 161st was not committed to combat; the personnel of the 161st were used as replacements for other units. For its service, the regiment was awarded the WWI campaign streamer without inscription.

Arthur left Brest, France with the St. Aignan Casual Company #1491 on the USS Pueblo on March 16, 1919. The American army was centered on the town of Saint-Aignan toward the close of the war, and a lot of organizational changes occurred here. A casual company was an army group composed for specific duties, drawing personnel from other types of units, for tasks like driving ambulances or ammunition trucks. Arthur’s experiences as a teamster before the war probably made him a good candidate for this type of work, and it kept him out of the trenches. Arthur arrived at Hoboken, NJ on March 27, 1919. Arthur was discharged on April 5, 1919 from Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts.
After the war, Arthur returned to his parents’ home. In the 1920 census, he was living at 1234 Morton Street in Lower Mills, working as a house painter. In 1922, Arthur lived at 343 Codman Street in the Ashmont section of Dorchester for several years, still working as a painter. He returned to his parents’ home for several years in 1926, and then moved to 21 Magdala Street, also in the Ashmont section in Dorchester in 1928. He was still at this address in 1930 when the next census was taken.

In the 1940 census, Arthur was living with his sister Mary and her husband at 36 Old Morton Street, back in Lower Mills. The census did not list employment for Arthur, but in 1942 when Arthur registered for the WWII draft, he was working in Milton, and still living with his sister Mary and her husband at 36 Old Morton Street.
After 1942, Arthur’s path was difficult to trace. Up until 1942, when he waslisted in the Boston city directory, he was listed as Arthur W. Gross. There is an Arthur Gross (without a middle initial) living at several addresses in Dorchester throughout the 1950s, but he might not have been Arthur Wellington Gross.

Arthur Wellington Gross passed away on March 2, 1962, and was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Mattapan. An upright marble, military veteran headstone engraved with a Latin cross was requested from the U.S. War Department by the cemetery several weeks after his death, and was shipped to the cemetery in May of 1962.


Sources:

-Fold3, Boston City Directories, 1891-1897
-The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 23 Jun 1908, Tue Page 7
-Year: 1900; Census Place: Boston Ward 24, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Page: 2; -Enumeration District: 1531; FHL microfilm: 1240688
-Year: 1910; Census Place: Boston Ward 24, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_625; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 1633; FHL microfilm: 1374638
-Year: 1920; Census Place: Boston Ward 21, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_739; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 524
-Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
-Year: 1940; Census Place: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: m-t0627-01676; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 15-610
-Registration State: Massachusetts; Registration County: Suffolk; Roll: 1685013; Draft Board: 21
-US Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger Lists, Ship: Pueblo, Entry Number: NM-81 2060
-US Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger Lists, Ship: Leviathan, Entry Number: NM-81 2061
-worldwar1letters.wordpress.com: Camp Devens; Home of New England's Own

Wikipedia, 326th Infantry Regiment (United States)
-army.togetherweserved.com, 157th Depot Brigade
Wikipedia, 161st Infantry Regiment (United States)
-Rootdig, Michael John Neill's Genealogy Website
-Wikipedia, USS Leviathan
-The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Massachusetts; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2090
-The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 05 Mar 1962, Mon Page 29
-Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
-Ancestry.com, Thayer/Baird Family Tree by JamesCallahan

[Do not reply to this email. If you have a comment or question please email [email protected]]
Become a member of the Dorchester Historical Society
http://www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org/index.php/sample-sites-2

Check out the Dorchester Historical Society's online catalog at
http://dorchester.pastperfectonline.com/

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at
www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

The Dorchester Historical Society's historic houses are open on different dates. The Lemuel Clap House (1712 and remodeled 1765) at 199 Boston Street is open on the third Saturday of each month. The James Blake House, 735 Columbia Road (1661) and the William Clap House, 195 Boston Street (1806) are open on the third Sunday of each month. Open hours are 11 am to 4 pm.

Dorchester Illustration no. 2427      William Valentine DaceyAt the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process...
10/20/2019

Dorchester Illustration no. 2427 William Valentine Dacey

At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit that highlights these men and their service to our country.

Our next biography features: William Valentine Dacey.
Written by Camille Arbogast

In the photograph, William is on the left, and his brother Leonard is on the right.

William Valentine Dacey was born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1896, in Chelsea to William T. and Mary E. (Cummings) Dacey. His father, William T., was born in Boston to Irish parents and his mother, Mary, was born in Charlestown(her father was from northern New England and her mother from Ireland). William had one older brother, Leonard born in 1894, and five younger siblings: Francis, known as Frank, born in 1897, Dorothy in 1899, Marion in 1901, Gertrude in 1904, and Lawrence in 1911. Three of the siblings died as children: Marion at age 10, Gertrude at 16, and Lawrence at 17.

William T. was in the window shade and screen business. At the time of his marriage in 1894, he was a shade cutter. By 1900, he was a window shade salesman. Eventually, he became the president of the Crown Shade and Screen Company. Founded in 1905, with a showroom in Boston and a factory on Lochdale Road in Roslindale not far from Forest Hills Station, the company advertised shade cloth, “roller fly screens,” and made-to-order screens for windows, doors and porches.

When William V. was born, the family lived at 11 Auburn Street in Chelsea. By 1910, they had moved a couple of blocks over to 39 Cherry Street. The family moved within the neighborhood again in 1912 to 131 Williams Street. In his note card for William V. Dacey, Dr. Perkins noted that William graduated from Chelsea High School in 1916. During the 1916-1917 school year, William was a special student in the Boston University Business Administration program. In April 1917, his parents purchased a home at 7 Aberdeen Road in Milton.

That June, on his draft registration, William gave his address as 9 Arlington Street in Chelsea, and his occupation as a “Field Clerk of Army, Northeastern Department.” Although we are unsure of William’s connection to Dorchester or Dr. Perkins, Dr. Perkins did keep an index card entry and photograph for him. And, on that card, Dr. Perkins recorded that William enlisted in the Army on July 1, 1917. On October 18, 1917, William sailed for France with the “Field Clerks, Statistical Division,” leaving from Hoboken, New Jersey, on the USAT Tenadores. Dr. Perkins noted that while overseas William served in “Gnrl Pershings [sic] Headquarters.” William returned to the United States on the USS Cap Finisterre, sailing from Brest, France on July 3, 1919, and arriving in Hoboken on July 13. At the time of his return, his “Rank and Arm or Staff Corps” was listed as Army Field Clerk, Adjutant General’s Department, and his Organization as General Headquarters.
After the war he lived with his family at 7 Aberdeen Road and continued as a clerk for the United States Army. On October 12, 1920, William married Bostonian Mary A. Donovan in Milton. They eventually had two children: William F., and Clare. The Boston directory for 1924 lists William living at 8 Fowle Road in Roslindale and working as a clerk, First Corps Area, South Boston. On the 1930 census, William’s occupation is recorded as army base clerk; the directory listed him as a warrant officer, USA Army base. In 1930, William and his family lived at 149 Willow Street in West Roxbury. By 1934 they had moved a short distance to 231 Manthorne Road.

On September 21, 1936, William died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. His funeral was celebrated at the Church of the Holy Name in West Roxbury and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and children, his mother, and three of his siblings.

Sources

Birth record, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts; Ancestry.com
Family Trees, Ancestry.com
Death Record for Marion Dacey, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts; Ancestry.com
Death listing for Gertrude J. Dacey, 85th Annual Town Report of Milton, Mass. for the Year Ending December 31, 1921, page 50; Archive.org
Death listing for Lawrence Dacey, Town of Milton 92nd Annual Report 1928, page 101; Archive.org
"Crown Shade and Screen Co in Its New Quarters," Boston Globe, 25 Jan 1930, 6; Newspapers.com
Chelsea, Boston directories, various years; Ancestry.com
Boston University Year Book 1916-1917, Vol 5, No 5, Part 2, Boston MA: Boston University, September 1916, page 221; books.google.com
Deed, 7 Aberdeen Road, Milton, Norfolk County Registry of Deeds; Norfolkresearch.org
World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, National Archive and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland; Ancestry.com
Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland; Ancestry.com
Marriage listing, 84th Annual Town Report of Milton Mass. for the Year Ending December 31, 1920, page 64; Archive.org
"Deaths Reported," Evening Star (Washington DC), 23 September 1936, B-13; Chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
"West Roxbury District," Boston Globe, 23 Sept 1936, 16; Newspapers.com
"Deaths," Boston Globe, 23 Sept 1936; 21; Newspapers.com
US Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; Ancestry.com

[Do not reply to this email. If you have a comment or question please email [email protected]]
Become a member of the Dorchester Historical Society
http://www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org/index.php/sample-sites-2

Check out the Dorchester Historical Society's online catalog at
http://dorchester.pastperfectonline.com/

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at
www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

The Dorchester Historical Society's historic houses are open on different dates. The Lemuel Clap House (1712 and remodeled 1765) at 199 Boston Street is open on the third Saturday of each month. The James Blake House, 735 Columbia Road (1661) and the William Clap House, 195 Boston Street (1806) are open on the third Sunday of each month. Open hours are 11 am to 4 pm.

Address

195 Boston St
Dorchester, MA
02125

Walking distance from Andrew Station and JFK/UMass Station both located on the MBTA Red Line

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