Monday, April 28, 2008

End Of An Era

I made an effort to find the last Jamaica Plain Civil War veteran, and came up more or less empty-handed. I did find obituaries for Jamaica Plain veterans, but all were for men who had settled in Jamaica Plain after their service - usually long after. In this case, Lieutenant George Haines of the West Roxbury and later Boston police departments may not have been born in Jamaica Plain, but he did spend most of his adult life there. The city street directories have him first as a boarder (renter?) on Chestnut avenue, and then on Lamartine street. It sounds like he was a fixture in the department and the community.

Boston Daily Globe April 6, 1900

Lieut Haines To Retire.

Sickness Compelled Him to Take the Step.

Tuesday Was the 35th Anniversary of His Appointment to the Force.

Has Been Lieutenant at Jamaica Plain Station Since 1877.

Lieut George E. Haines of the Jamaica Plain station is to be retired shortly on a pension. The question of his retirement has been before the police commissioners for some time. He has been sick at his home, 300 Lamartine st, Jamaica Plain, more than five months. He is a sufferer fro rheumatism, and for the last 10 years has been confined to his home for from one to three months each winter. He is now at home and quite ill.

Tuesday was the 35th anniversary of his appointment to the police force. There are not than half a dozen men in the department that have seen a longer term of service on the force then he. It is with regret both to himself and his superiors that his physical condition compels his retirement.

Absence from duty has made it necessary for himself to ask for retirement. His papers are not yet on file with the commissioners, but it is understood they will be forwarded within a few days,

Lieut Haines is in his 61st year. He is a veteran of the civil war. In Co D, 1st Massachusetts infantry, he served three years as a volunteer. In 1865, shortly after his return from the war, he joined the police force. At that time his parents were living in West Roxbury, then a town. The "lockup," now known as police station 13, was located on Center st, now called Thomas st. The fire department was in the same building. Mr Haines served in the capacity of policeman and fireman under the old town government.

Old members of the department tell of his bravery, both as policeman and fireman in those days.

Mr Haines was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1874, when the town was annexed to Boston. Three years later he was made lieutenant, and as such has since served at the Jamaica Plain station. He has been a careful, painstaking official, and one in whom his captain and headquarters officials had the utmost confidence.

His retirement will cause regret throughout the department. He is a member of the police relief association and of several social and fraternal orders in Jamaica Plain.


  1. I am currently researching my family lineage and recently found out that my great-grandfather was a patrolman in Jamacia Plain district (station 13) from 1900 to 1918 when he went to France with the 26th Yankee Infantry Division to fight in WWI. I find no record of him after that, but my mother has a picture of Aldred Readmon in uniform and on a police mount.

  2. The 1905 Boston Directory gives this listing for Aldred Readmon:

    Readmon Aldred W police station 5 home 42 Knoll Ros

    He doesn't show up in the 1925 book.

  3. I found a couple of articles that mention your g-grandfather. He did work out of station 5 in the South End at the time. You can read them by accessing the Boston Globe archive on the Boston Public Library web site. Search "patrolman readmon" and you'll come up with the articles. In one, he puts out a fire in a tenement room. In the other, he's involved in a dispute between three thieves.

    You'll need a BPL account to access the Globe archive.