Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Patrick Meehan - RIP

Many people think that they could write a book about their lives. Patrick Meehan seems to have kept himself busy enough to deserve volumes. An immigrant from Ireland, Meehan worked in different businesses, lived in different states and made his fortune in helping to build Jamaica Plain and Boston. Looking at a Jamaica Plain map of his time, you find yourself saying "there's another Patrick Meehan property, and another, and another." He seems to have kept his holdings mostly in one small area, between Washington street and the railroad tracks. Perhaps he liked to keep an eye on all his properties. His home was on Washington street, a stone's throw from B.F. Sturtevant's blower works, the largest factory in the area. Clearly, this was not a man who wanted to take a country estate and live among bankers and lawyers. Someone needs to do some digging and give this man the write-up he deserves.

Boston Daily Globe February 16, 1916

Patrick Meehan Dead. Extensive Real Estate Owner in Jamaica Plain and Formerly Prominent in Politics.

Patrick Meehan, a holder in much real estate in Jamaica Plain, and formerly very prominent in Democratic political circles, died yesterday at his home, 3451 Washington st, after an illness of several weeks.

Mr Meehan was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, on March 15, 1834, the son of Thomas and Katherine (McMorrow) Meehan. He came to this country in 1846. At first he went to work on a Connecticut farm. After a few years, he entered railroading, and was for a time with the old Boston, Hartford & Erie Road. Later he went to New Orleans and followed steamboating for a number of years.

In 1860 he returned to this State. He made a fortune in the constructing business and settled in Jamaica Plain with his family.

He next turned his attention to real estate and at the time of his death owned much property on Washington st and along the length of Green st. He was one of the original organizers of the Boylston Brewery, later selling out his interests.

He was chariman of the old Democratic Town Committee, when West Roxbury was a town, and he also was chairman of the Democratic Ward Committee for many years after the town's annexation by Boston.

He was married in 1864 to Miss Mary Sheehan, who died about four years ago. Surviving him are two sons, John J. Meehan, who was associated in business with his father; William P. Meehan, Harvard, '94, and Harvard Law School, '96, now a lawyer in this city, and four daughters, Mrs Albert J. Hill of West Roxbury, Mrs Frank I. Johnson of Fitchburg, Mrs Frank M. Flanagan of Brookline and Mrs Ward N. Boylston of Princeton.

The funeral will take place on Thursday morning with a solemn high mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 10 o'clock.

Richards, L.J., 1899. (copyright © 2000 by Cartography Associates.)
David Rumsey Collection

When I first saw this property on Amory Street at Boylston station, I assumed the owner lived here, but the obituary places him on Washington street. Maybe one of the sons lived here.

Count the Patrick Meehan properties.

A strange place for a real estate tycoon's home, no?

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