Friday, February 29, 2008

Plug That Leak!

This entry is an excerpt from the Half Century Sermon of Minister Thomas Gray of the Congregational church, now the Unitarian Universalist at Centre and Eliot streets. The sermon was published in 1842, and this particular paragraph refers to a short-lived mill at Jamaica Pond. Presumably, it sat between Jamaica and Ward's ponds. Water runs down hill, so the owner must have cut a channel across today's Perkins street to provide the drop that turned the wheel. The only other reference to a mill I'm aware of comes from the old name of Bussey brook that flows through the Arboretum. Old maps name the same stream Sawmill brook, but I've never seen any metion of the mill itself. In this case, you have to wonder how much water the mill was taking out of the pond for it to affect the local wells.

"In September, 1788, a difficulty first arose in respect to the waters of Jamaica Pond being drawn off for the supply of a corn mill, so far as to affect the wells of the inhabitants of the Plain, who considered then as altogether supplied by the pond. This difficulty terminated in a lawsuit; John Marston, owner of the mill, plaintiff, and Martin Brimmer, David S. Greenough, and Capt. Daniel McCarthy, defendants (unsuccessful.) Afterwards, in 1795, Mr Marston sold his mill and privileges in the waters of the pond, which had been granted by the town of Roxbury for said mill, to the Aqueduct Corporation, for supplying the town of Boston with Jamaica Pond water."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quincy A. Shaw - Very Rich Guy

Richards, L.J. 1899

The Shaw estate is at the top of the map along Perkins street.

I don't suppose that Quincy Shaw spent much time on Centre street. He did, however, reverse the pattern of wealthy businessmen who built summer homes on Jamaica Pond. He spent the winter at his Jamaica Plain estate, and summered at Prides Crossing. A couple of years after his death, it was revealed that his executors had underreported an inventory of his estate by half, to the tune of $7,000,000. giving a total of $21,000,000. As a result, a tax of $420,000 was paid to the city of Boston. The property was later owned by the Cabots, and finally shared the fate of so many three-deckers, becoming condos. The location of the property, along the Brookline side of Perkins street, is shown in this map. The story of the Calument & Hecla copper mines that brought Shaw his wealth is told here.

Boston Daily Globe June 13, 1908

Quincy A. Shaw Passes Away

Head of Noted Family Was 83 Years Old.

Gave Large Sums of Money for Philanthropic Purposes.

Heaviest Individual Taxpayer in the State.

Quincy A. Shaw, the heaviest individual taxpayer in Massachusetts, the largest individual owner of Calumet & Hecla stock in the state, and the head of the family whose members in various ways have done much to promote the educational and commercial interests of Boston, died yesterday morning at his home, 241 Perkins st, Jamaica Plain, aged 83 years. He had been in poor health since last fall.

Mr Shaw was born in Boston, Feb 8, 1825. His parents were Robert Gould Shaw of Gouldsboro, Me, and Elizabeth Willard Parkman of Boston. He graduated from Harvard in the class of '45, in the company with the late Justice Horace Gray of the U.S. Supreme court; A.P. Merrill, one-time minister to Belgium; Thomas Russell, who represented this country in Venezuela, Dr John P. Raynolds of Boston and many other distinguished men.

The foundation of Mr Shaw's wealth was a few thousand dollars which he inherited from his father, who was the representative of one of the oldest and most influential families in Boston. Mr Shaw married on Nov 30, 1860, Miss Pauline Agassiz, the daughter of Prof Louis Agassiz, the famous Swiss naturalist. She survives him, as do four children, Mrs L. Carteret Fenno of Boston, Mrs Harry Pratt McKean of Philadelphia, Quincy A. Shaw Jr and Robert Gould Shaw 2d, also of Boston.

Quincy A. Shaw Jr is second vice president of the Calumet & Hecla company, though his father retired from active connection with his mining interests some years ago.

Mr Shaw became interested in Caulmet & Hecla with Maj Henry L. Higganson, who also married a daughter of Prof Agassiz. The property had been prospected by Prof Agassiz, and his son Alexander was trying to develop it. Mr Higginson and Mr Shaw shared the tremendous efforts that were made before the mine became a dividend payer, and it is said that Mr Shaw put in nearly all the money he had before this happened. He picked up all he could afford to buy, even when it was selling at $1 a share.

The public will never know how large a proportion of the Shaw wealth has been dispensed in philanthropic enterprises. In all of them Mr Shaw, the giver, has kept in the background, the active work being done by Mrs Quincy A. Shaw. She is known as the foster-mother of the Kindergarten system of Boston; she has been the main prop of the North Bennett-st school; she it was who placed on a sound financial footing the civic Service house in Salem st and many of the day nurseries in the city, and scores and scores of men and women live in Boston today who have been helped to better things by the Shaw money and influence, in 1870 the Shaws opened the first public kindergarten in this country. Later, at their own expense, they opened two classes for the summer months, one in Jamaica Plain and the other in Brookline; the following year two more were opened, Mrs Shaw presiding over each for the first few weeks.

Mr and Mrs Shaw kept up this work until 1887, when they induced the Boston school committee to take it over; today there are more than 6000 children in that department.

They next turned their attention to day nurseries, establishing several in various parts of the city. And no charitable enterprise has been undertaken in Boston for the last 30 years that has not had Mrs Shaw as a willing subscriber.

Mr Shaw refused to move into Boston for the winter. He preferred to stay in the interesting mansion on the border of the parkway, where he had one of the best collections of Millet's paintings in America. He maintained, however, a summer home at Prides Crossing, known as the Commons, where the family has gone early in the season for a number of years.

Boston's Oldest Wheelman

When browsing obituaries I often come across an interesting person who only came to live in Jamaica Plain near the end of their lives - usually with their grown children. In most cases, I decide not to post their stories, because there just isn't enough local interest to make them relevant to this site. In this case, I think Mr Edwin Brown deserves our interest. For all our modern medical miracles, we don't make 'em any better that him.

It's not history, but it must have been quite a sight when he rode up Centre street.

Boston Daily Globe October 25, 1901

Boston's Oldest Wheelman Dead.

Edwin Brown of Jamaica Plain Passed Away at the Age of 96 -- Rode a Tricycle Up to Last Summer.

Edwin Brown, Jamaica Plain's oldest resident and Boston's oldest wheelman, died yesterday afternoon at the residence of his daughter, Mrs S.E. Barnard, 7 Eliot st, Jamaica Plain, at the age of 96. Mr Brown had been in excellent health up to a short time ago and was frequently seen riding around the streets of the section on his tricycle.

He was born in West Fitchburg, June 19, 1805. His maternal grandfather was in the battle of Bunker Hill, and when a young man Mr Brown himself was captain of a militia company in this city. For the greater part of his life he was identified with the piano business, having been a member of the firm of Woodward & Brown.

When a young man he came to Boston from Fitchburg to learn the cabinetmaker's trade. He was employed by the Chickerings. He devoted considerable time to improvements in construction of pianos. In the rear of his house is a workshop where after retiring from active business he passed many pleasant hours.

For the past 18 years he resided with his daughter. He had a large circle of friends in the section. He always took a keen interest in public affairs.

Not the least interesting feature concerning the old gentleman was his riding of a tricycle up the last summer.

Two years ago the Globe representative visited Mr Brown and had a pleasant chat with him. In the course of his talk he said:

"How long have I been a wheelman? Let me see -- about 15 years. My wheel, I think, keeps me in first-class health. I believe cycling to be an excellent recreation, providing the rider does not over-exert."

That Mr Brown had great faith in his ability on a wheel was shown by a little incident happening when he was 92 years of age. He had been riding around on his tricycle and had stopped in the midst of a crowd of spectators gathered to see such an aged man on a wheel. One of the young men wagered him $10 that he could not ride up a certain steep hill in Jamaica Plain. Mr Brown would not bet, but just to show what he could do he got on his wheel and rode up the hill without difficulty.

Mr Brown was a firm believer in Spiritualism.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Parkman House, As It Was

The house of Francis Parkman, taken from The Homes of America, by Martha Joanna Lamb.

This is the only picture I know of showing the Parkman house. You can see the location of the house in this 1874 map on the JPHS web site. The memorial erected at the site of the old house sits opposite Jamaica Pond on an isolated patch of ground that is rarely visited. Most commuters who pass by every work day probably have no idea of the man it memorializes, much less that he once lived on the site. A sign on the road around Jamaica Pond with a short discussion about the man and his time in Jamaica Plain would give curious walkers an explanation for the stone monument across the street and maybe an excuse to walk across and take a close look. Are you listening, City of Boston?

Addendum: I just found this photograph of the house, apparently taken from the opposite direction.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Living Large In Jamaica Plain

I found these in the book The Country House: A Practical Manual of the Planning and Construction of, by Charles Edward Hooper. There are many illustrations in the book, and somehow these four from a Jamaica Plain house were used. The book was published in 1905, so it could have been the Quincy Shaw house - he was rich as Croesus. It would be interesting to know where they got the pictures. Where they found in a magazine, or were they taken especially for the book? In any case, we get a look at how the other half lived in J.P. one hundred years ago.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jamaica Plain Built

Here's a nice advertisement listing some of the many Sturtevant products manufactured in Jamaica Plain. They sold forges for use in school classrooms and ventilation fans that made life bearable belowdecks in Navy destroyers. One brick building remains of the old plant, now used for office space on the Amory street extension near English High School.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cundy-Bettoney, Where Are You?

Bromley, 1931 - Roxbury (BPL) (Added 7/2008)

Here's a puzzler. The Cundy-Bettoney company published sheet music and manufactured flutes and clarinets. The earliest reference I can find to the company is 1910. The above advertisement, with Jamaica Plain address, comes from the Music Educator's Journal, March, 1936. They were publishing in Hyde Park in 1946-1954, and manufacturing flutes there in 1961. Maybe someone with knowledge of the company will find this site and enlighten us.

Edit: I found an online reference that puts the company at 106 Chestnut avenue. Google Street View shows a house at that address. More questions...

Addendum: I've had an email from Rusty, who informs me that William Cundy played clarinet in Gilmore's band, which was attached to the Mass. 24th Regiment, and travelled with the Burnside Expedition to North Carolina during the Civil War. Cundy started the business, which Bettoney took over in 1907. In 1919, Cundy-Bettoney took over Boston Musical Instruments.

Two Die In Jamaica Pond

After collecting several articles describing drownings at Jamaica Pond over the years, I recently began putting together an entry listing each. When I got to this very detailed article, I decided to use it to represent the others. Most drownings reported between 1875 and 1925 involved either boating accidents or children breaking through thin ice. In this case, a rolling baby carriage set off a chain of events that led to an unnecessary tragedy.

The article also tells us a little about the people of Jamaica Plain. Women working as domestics, and men working for the Elevated company. And of course the families who hired the women. They all lived in the same community, as in the same geographic district, but the division was clear: "the haves" and "the don't have much's".

Boston Daily Globe August 30, 1910

Two Sink As Baby Rolls Into Water.

Mrs Hogarty Runs After Carriage,

Man Tries to Save Her.

Both Drown in Jamaica Pond, Another Woman Rescues Little One.

While endeavoring to rescue her child, Marie, two years and eight months old, from drowning in Jamaica Pond yesterday afternoon, Mrs Catherine M. Hogarty of 16 Hall st, Jamaica Plain, lost her life by drowning, and an unknown man, about 60 years old, who attempted to rescue Mrs Hogarty and her baby, was also drowned.

The baby, Marie Hogarty, was rescued by the heroic act of Miss Martha Daley, 28 years old, a nursery maid employed by Dr Mark W. Richardson of 116 Moss Hill road, Jamaica Plain, who, on seeing the frantic efforts of the unknown man in his attempt to aid Mrs Hogarty and the child, ran into the water and brought the baby safely to shore.

Mrs Hogarty, with her children, Marie and Annie, 10 months old, went to the pond, as has been their custom this summer, to spend the afternoon under the trees near the shore.

Baby Marie was sitting in the four-wheeled carriage, with leather hood, while Annie was sitting in the grass beside her mother under a tree nearly opposite the end of Eliot st. There the ground at the shore of the pond rises in a slight knoll that is quite irregular and precipitous.

From some cause unexplained the carriage with Marie in it started down the embankment toward the water. The mother screamed, got to her feet as quickly as possible and ran after the carriage, hoping to stop it before it should reach the water.

But the carriage with Marie sitting in it rolled quickly down the hill and into deep water.

The shore at this point, near where the old boathouse stood, dips quickly and the water is a number of feed deed a short distance from land.

When the carriage struck the water the baby was thrown out.

Mrs Hogarty thought nothing of her danger, but madly sprang into the water to save Marie.

In her excitement she screamed and floundered about and attracted the attention of an aged man.

He ran up the path and boldly jumped into the water to rescue mother and child.

He is said to have reached Mrs Hogarty, who was fast losing her strength, and took hold of her. The baby had floated away a little distance from Mrs Hogarty, and she frantically endeavored to reach her child. As a result there was a struggle with the unknown man and both sank.

Miss Daley was sitting on the grass not far from the scene of the accident with little Martha Richardson. Seeing the danger of the baby Hogarty drowning, she ran into the water up to her waist and rescued the baby. When Miss Daley had reached the shore with the child, she turned to see how the man was getting along in his effort to rescue Mrs Hogarty, and to her amazement and grief both man and woman had disappeared from view.

Weeds Balk Efforts of Rescuers.

Martin Nee of 14 Humbolt pl, South Boston, was driving past the place and, hearing the screams of people, left his wagon and, on learning what had happened, he walked into the water up to the waist in an effort to recover the man and woman. A plant growth in the pond prevented him from seeing either.

Sergt Charles Gilman of police division 13, who was a short distance away, also heard the screams, and, snatching a life preserver from a post on the shore, ran to the spot. When he arrived both Mrs Hogarty and her would-be rescuer had disappeared. Other men who were attracted to the spot tried in every way to aid in the quick recovery of the bodies.

Simon Fraser and George Erickson, employed at the boathouse at Jamaica pond, manned two boats and hurried to the spot where it was said the two persons had sunk, and they were ready to make the attempt at recovery of the bodies by diving. But they did not know where to dive.

Sergt Gillman went to a police signal box and notified Capt Harriman at division 13, and the patrol wagon with grappling irons were hurried to the pond, with Sergt Frank Arnold and patrolmen Herthol, Egan, Claflin and Howes.

A large crowd collected to watch the work of the police. The officers worked as fast as possible, as they believed that there was a good chance to revive the victims.

The first body recovered was that of the unknown man, about 20 minutes after the drowning. Mrs Hogarty's body was brought to the surface about an hour later.

Vain Attempt to Revive Victims.

When the body of the man was brought ashore Dr T.J. O'Brien of 1470 Tremont st, Dr Arthur N. Broughton of 10 Roanoke av, Jamaica Plain, and Dr George C. Smith of 99 Commonwealth av, who had been driving in their automobiles about the pond, were attracted to the scene. The three physicians worked to revive him, laying his body face down over the edge of the banking and moving his arms in the effort to produce artificial respiration. Their efforts were without success, and it was apparent the man had been dead about 20 minutes.

When the body of Mrs Hogarty was recovered the physicians did what was possible to revive her, but without avail. The bodies were given in charge of undertaker Waldo J. Stokes of Roslindale, and were removed to the City hospital morgue and the medical examiner was notified.

Baby Marie Cared For by Police.

Dr O'Brien ran down to the pond just as Miss Daily brought the baby to the shore.

The baby had not been in the water long but was soaked through and was blue with cold. He removed its clothing and wrapped it up in dry coats which were offered by Mrs Guy E. Tripp of Hingham and Mrs Arthur H.Nickerson of Brookline, who with her daughters had been riding past in an automobile and had stopped on hearing of the accident.

Mrs Tripp then took the baby in her car to police station 13, where the police gave the child stimulants and made her warm and comfortable. Miss Daley had also gone in the car and Mrs Tripp then took her back to Dr Richardson's.

Dr O'Brien, after attending to the older child, was called to the younger, who had been splashed with water and who was crying for her mother. There was, however, nothing for him to do for her, and with the others he waited for the result of the grappling.

Many Tried to Help in Rescue.

Every effort was made by people near at the time to save the drowning ones, and among the number were Miss Margaret Leving of 27 Keyes st, Jamaica Plain, and Mrs Bruill of 271 Lamartine st.

Mrs George H. Sauer of 39 Starr lane, Jamaica Plain, was one of the first on the scene. With her little girl Ruth she was sitting near the boathouse and heard the cries of Mrs Hogarty.

With three other women she hurried along the bank, but was too late to be of assistance. As she came up Miss Daley was bringing the baby from the pond and Mrs Hogarty and the man had already sunk beneath the surface.

Mrs Sauer said last evening that one of her companions had told her that the unknown man, whose efforts to rescue Mrs Hogarty resulting in his own death, was a frequent visitor to the pond and had come there repeatedly on afternoons to sit under the trees by the water. No one, she added, knew his name or who or what he was.

Every effort was made by the police last night to learn the man's identity, but up to a late hour every effort had failed.

Unknown Hero Had $60 in Pocket.

He is described as about 60 years old, 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighing about 160 pounds. He was smooth shaven and had gray hair and gray eyes he wore a gray coat, dark striped trousers, checked shirt, black shoes, no underclothing, no stockings and a light straw hat. His shoes had been recently tapped and it is thought it was the work of one unaccustomed to such work.

In his clothing was found a wallet containing $60 and a gold watch, that had stopped at 3:15. He had a handkerchief and a memorandum book.

The book contained the names of F.R. Whit, 47 Regent st, Roxbury, and Paul, 187 Lexington av, East Boston, and the following addresses; 33 Dover st, 8 Cumberland st, Paul Gore st and 101 Moreland st.

Last evening policemen were sent to all the above addresses in order to ascertain the man's identity. None of the occupants of the houses recognized him from the description, but it is expected a large number of people will view the body at the City hospital morgue today, and the man's identity may then be established.

From the address "Paul Gore st," written in the book it was believed that he might possibly live on that street, since that was the only address in Jamaica Plain. Inquiries made last evening, however, at every house on the street failed to reveal any man answering to his description, nor was there anyone reported missing at any house upon the street. It was general opinion that the address written in the book must have been that of someone on whom he intended to call.

Husband Collapses at Tragedy.

Mrs Hogarty had been married about four years. Her maiden name was Catherine Manning. She was born in Ireland and after coming to this country was employed for a number of years in the family of Prof Frank Vogel of Jamaica Plain. Her husband is employed as a fireman at the West Roxbury high school, Jamaica Plain.

When Mr Hogarty learned of the death of his wife he collapsed and would not be comforted. Relatives of the family went to the stricken home and cared for the two young children. A brother of to Mrs Hogarty, Patrick Manning, who is employed as a conductor of the elevated road and lived with the Hogartys, knew nothing of the death of his sister until he reached his home, about 8 o'clock. He was told of the accident by a neighbor just before he entered the house and collapsed in the street. He was revived by friends.

Miss Daley Sought to Save Them.

Miss Martha Daley, who brought the baby out of the water, was so affected by the sight of the drowning that she was unable to tell her story herself last evening, and it was made public by Dr Broughton, a friend of Dr Richardson, who was in medical attendance on Miss Daley.

He said she was walking along the shore of the pond with little Martha Richardson, when she saw the baby carriage roll down into the water and a woman and man run after it.

She is a competent swimmer and without hesitation she ran down and caught up the baby, who had fallen out of the carriage and was sunk in a few feet of water. To recover her she needed to into the water only up to her waist, but just beyond that point the bottom of the pond goes down sharply, and it was here that Mrs Hogarty and her would-be rescuer were struggling.

After Miss Daley had brought the baby from the water and turned her over to a doctor's charge she turned to go back to the others, but they had sunk beneath the surface and no sign offered to show where they were. She then sat down on the bank and it was not for some time that anyone knew that it was she who had rescued the child.


The man who drowned at Jamaica pond was William Barton. When no one came to claim the body, Dr McCollom of Boston City hospital, Dr John Dixwell and Thomas A. Forsythe of the hotel Lenox arranged the funeral. Services were held at the City hospital chapel, and Mr Barton was buried at Mt Hope cemetery.

Source: Boston Globe, September 24, 1910

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back When A Parish Was A Parish

Boston Daily Globe September 17, 1916

Field Day Draws Crowd Of 5000

St Thomas' Church Parishioners Out In Full Force at Jamaica Plain Gathering

Nearly 5000 persons attended the fourth annual field day of St Thomas' Church at the Carolina-av Playgrounds, Jamaica Plain, yesterday. Ex-Gov David I. Walsh was among those present.

The girls' nine, the Maplewoods, beat the boys' White Sox, 8-4.

After the junior races the Forest Hills Red Sox beat the Jamaica Lincolns, 11 to 10.

The big feature of the afternoon, however, was the game between the local doctors and lawyers. Excitement reached a climax in the third, when Rev J.P.. Sherry knocked a home run for the doctors with the bases loaded. The teams comprised W.W. O'Brien, F.P. Broderick, Rev J.P. Sherry, J.F. Keliher, B.J. Glennon, J.C. Porcella, S. Moran, J. McClellan and E. MacKey, doctors; and J.Kenny, J.J. Norton, J.J. Leonard, William F. McMorran, F.J. Horgan, Jack Leonard, F.Leveroni, H. J. Lawler and J.E. Kelly, lawyers. The game went six innings and was won by the doctors, 12 to 3.

Ex-Gov Walsh, Mayor Curley and Dist Atty Pelletier were speakers. After Mr Walsh's speech the A.O.H. and the M.C.O.F. teams engaged in a tug-of-war. The first heat went to the Hibernians by half an inch. The second to the Foresters by the same margin. The final pull went to the M.C.O.F. team.

Tables were in charge of Eleanor F. Donaghue, Alice McMurrough, Katherine McMurrough, Mrs M.M. Dolan, Alice Donaghue, Mrs Ruth Lannigan, Theresa Leonard, Mary Havllin, Mrs Catherine W. Sheehan, Mrs Elizabeth C. McGinty, Dorothy Berthaus, Mary E. Mulligan, Mrs H. Fitzgerald, Mrs Frank Dyers, Miss Elizabeth Shanney, Mrs Thomas H. Duffey, Mrs Emmen Kaymes, Miss Mary McArdle, Mrs M. O'Connell, Mrs Annie Keefe, Miss Julia Morris, Mrs Mary McDougal, Mrs Mary E. Donavan, Mrs L. Duffey, Miss Helen Duffey, Miss E. Rooney, Mrs T. Mulvey, Miss F. McMorrow, Miss Rose Travers, Mrs W. Merrill, Mrs E. Farley, Mrs Anna Corr, Mrs E. Corr, Miss M. Conway, Miss A. Fraer and Miss J. Hurley.

Rt Rev E.J. Moriarty, James P. Sherry, Rev L.F. Kelliher, Thomas F. Lally, Dr Hugh C. McGuire, John M. Leonard, Thomas Condry, John F. McDonald, Hon F.J. Horgan, W.J. Laughlin and Rev F.J. Donovan were in general charge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Buff & Buff

Buff & Buff Transit

Buff & Buff Wye level

The story of the Buff & Buff Manufacturing Company is told on this page. As a young child I lived nearby, and never heard of the factory's existance. Just last year, with my interest in Jamaica Plain history peaked, I was talking to my Mother about the neighborhood, and she mentioned that she could see a factory out the back window of our Marlou Terrace apartment. Being puzzled by the idea of a factory in this residential district, I took a ride to the area, and poked around. Sure enough, in behind some trees on Lamartine street, I could see a brick building that I had never noticed in 40+ years. In that little building, with little local fanfare, world-class surveying equipment was made for much of the 20th Century.

I happened to find some Buff & Buff advertisements online, so I thought I'd make them available here. They come out of industry magazines that have been scanned.

3/5/2008 - I just found a new picture online - someone was selling the theodolite poster. Apparently there's a market for antique engineering equipment porn.

4/12/2008 - The two top pictures come from the Smithsonian Institution web site.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dr Elizabeth C. Keller

The following is an excerpt from the book Biography of Ephraim McDowell, M.D., by Mrs. M.T. Valentine, his granddaughter. The book includes biographical sketches of doctors of the time, including Elizabeth C. Keller, whose career has been discussed within an article on the Bowditch school at the Jamaica Plain Historical Society web site. I've bypassed similar information in the quoted sketch, and jumped directly to the Jamaica Plain-related information.

The 1885 Boston Directory places Dr Keller at Rockview and Green sts. In 1905, she is listed practicing at 46 St John st, with a home address of 235 Forest Hills st. If the tone of the quoted sketch borders on hagiography, I'd count it up to the times - the people of the late 19th Century were not shy about piling it on. No doubt Dr. Keller was an admirable physician and citizen.

Addendum: The Rockview and Green address made me think of the Jamaica Club house at the same corner. I little poking around verifies that the Jamaica Club did, in fact, buy the house from Dr Keller. An 1884 fire insurance map shows the property in her posession, and a Boston Globe article dated Feb. 7, 1890 tells of a Jamaica Club vote to buy the house. An article from July 7 tells us that the club had paid $20,000 for the property in April. Since the house - and Rockview street - don't show up on the 1874 map, I suspect that Dr Keller had it built between 1875, when she was appointed to her position at the New England Hospital for Women, and 1884. The house can be seen in a post card view at the JP Historical Society site here.

"But it is in the department of surgery where Dr Keller has exhibited qualities which justly place her in the front rank, not only among women, but among surgeons. During the twenty years in which she has held the position of Senior Operating Surgeon at the New England Hospital her terms of service have been full of thorough, ingenious, and progressive work, including not only minor surgery, but the reduction of fractures, amputations,, and abdominal surgery. A true optimist, Dr Keller carries the inherent principles of success into the operating-room, where her quiet, cheerful mien marks her as one in full command of the situation. As an operator she is cool and deliberate, yet prompt and decided; cautious, but ready; deft-handed and fertile in resource. From the first incision each movement tells, and, with no appearance of hurry, work moves rapidly on. To her corps of internes she is an inspiration; each step in the work is made an object lesson. Knowing the vital importance of correct emergency treatment, she instructs them in improvising apparatus from material at hand, and many an appliance, made up from the wood-house and attic, has, by its ready utility, enforced essential principles in surgery never to be forgotten.

Great as she is in her profession, Dr. Keller has that genius of character that would give her prominence in whatever position she might fill. She has a commanding presence, a fine physique, and manners that are affable and magnetic. Thus she wins her way without effort. She is ready and forceful speaker upon various effort. She is a ready and forceful speaker upon various subjects, and her interest is vivid whether the occasion be the dedication of a new school-house, the presentation of graduate diplomas, the rehearsal of the last interesting case, or the discussion of some vital topics of the day.

All questions pertaining to the advancement of the world, particularly of women, lie very close to her heart. Broad and catholic in spirit, generous and forgiving toward human frailty, she can yet be rightously indignant in the face of wrong and fearless in its denunciation.

That she can carry so much responsibility in her profession and do so much earnest work in other directions, is a source of wonder to her friends. Since 1890 Dr. Keller has been a member of the Boston School Board, holding the position with distinguished honor and credit. She has done the most effective work as a member of the Committees on Text Books, Hygiene, and Examinations. She is at the present time Chairman of a division which includes seven large grammar schools, with all the colonies and primaries, of which she is expected to know the condition and the needs; to nominate for them suitable teachers and to decide vexed questions of discipline - in a word, to keep these schools up to the recognized standard; and she has gained the confidence and respect of all who have come in contact with her in this special department.

With all this varied work she is not unmindful of the sweet amenities of life. Her home in Jamaica Plain, Mass., is made attractive with music, pictures, and books, and a most hospitable welcome awaits her friends, while plenty and good cheer crown the board.

Within the past few years she has planned and superintended the building of seven houses.

During the summer months Dr Keller repairs to her beautiful mountain retreat in Jaffery, N.H., where she tosses care to the breezes and invites a well-earned rest, and almost any day one may see her driving her fine span of horses over those mountain roads. Dr. Keller has not lived unto herself alone. She has provided home and education for three orphan nieces, one of whom, Dr. Ida F. Curry, a girl of rare promise, died in the second year of her practice; her daughter, Helen, is prepared to enter Smith College this year, and an interesting grandchild, the daughter of her only son, completes the happy picture of young life in the household."

Jamaica Plain Builds Planes

The full story of the Sturtevant Aeroplane Company can be seen at the Sturtevant web site here.
It is interesting that the company history makes no reference to potential service in Mexico. The Aeroplane company was headquartered in Jamaica Plain, but some of the work was done in Readville. The linked story above tells us that the order for the four planes described below was cancelled at a later date. Not before I could get an entry about it.

Boston Daily Globe March 31, 1916

Battleplanes For U.S. Army In Mexico

Jamaica Plain Concern Is Building Four.

Machines of Special Design for Use Under Difficult Conditions.

The Sturtevant Aeroplane Company of Jamaica Plain has just received from the United States Army Signal Corps an order for four Sturtevant steel battleplanes for use in Mexico. Work on the machines has begun.

The planes will be equipped with (?)-horse power motors and are of a special design for use under the difficult conditions which the Army aviators have met with in Mexico.

Last winter Lieut B.Q. Jones experimented with the Sturtevant planes at Readville, and the concern was subsequently awarded a medal of merit by the Aero Club of America.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Agassiz School Postcard

Agassiz School circa 1901-07

This picture is very similar to one that can be found online, but these is a subtle difference in the location of the camera. In the lower left, it says "No. 3 Pub. by the E.W. Clark Co." A Web search gives up no reference to a Clark post card company, but there may be another explanation. There was an E.W. Clark dry goods store in the White Block on Centre street, just around the corner from the school. I suspect that Mr Clark may have had a series of post cards featuring local scenes printed up to sell at his store. The Library of Congress web site tells us that a post card of this design would have been produced during the years 1901-1907. The school was built in 1902, so that cuts one year off the range.

correction: the school was built in 1892, not 1902.

Jamaica Plain Men Build Boston's First Subway

Boston Daily Globe March 27, 1895

Looking Over Ground.

Transit Commission on the Subway's Route.

Jones & Meehan Not Likely to Begin Work for a Few Days.

Sketches of the Two Contractors for the First Section.

The members of the Boston transit commission, Mr Davis, one of its engineers, Jones and Meehan, who will build the first section of the subway, and Superintendent Doogue of the public grounds went carefully over the ground on the Tremont and Boylston st malls of the common and public garden yesterday, noting the position of the trees.

The ground will not be opened for a few days, as Jones & Meehan are not quite ready to begin work. No public ceremony will mark the event. Sightseers will be kept at a distance by a fence, and, in the words of Sec Beal, "the whole matter will be conducted with republican simplicity." The men who are building the subway are interesting local characters. They are residents of the West Robury district, Michael Meehan and J. Edwin Jones, the former a practical mechanic, the latter an accomplished engineer. Mr Jones was superintendent of streets under Mayor Hart and Mr Meehan was his deptuy. If one were to believe the politicians the order was reversed, but that is political talk, not transit.

Mr Meehan was born in Ireland, June 20, 1840, and came to this country when 15 years old. The same ship that brought him landed his brother, Patrick, who today is one of the strongest financial men in Boston, and one of the richest in Jamaica Plain. Patrick takes a brotherly interest in Michael and is always ready to help him in business enterprises.

Michael Meehan served before the mast in the union navy in the war. After the war he became a contractor. He was an active young democrat, and was secretary of the democratic state committee in 78 and 79. In 84 and 85 he was elected superintendent of streets, but was removed for political and personal differences by Mayor O'Brien. Since then Mr Meehan has acted with the republicans.

J. Edwin Jones was once a civil engineer and surveyor. Early in his life he took a course in the engineering school of Harvard university, and then entered the office of the civil engineer at the U.S. navy yard, Portsmouth, N.H. At the end of two years he became assistant engineer to what was then the European & North American railway, having charge of the line between Bangor and Oldtown in the state of Maine. After a service of two years, he, in 1868, accepted the position of assistant engineer in the bureau of sewers, Croton aqueduct department, city of New York, where he acquired valuable knowledge in the theory and practice of the construction of sewers.

In 1870 Mr Jones came to the city of Boston as assistant to the then city surveyor, Thomas W. Davis, and made a survey of the city of Roxbury, and in 1874 he took charge of the suryey of the West Roxbury district, which had then but recently been annexed to the city.

On the completion of the survey of the West Roxbury district, in 1879, he opened an office in Jamaica Plain, and in connection therewith made surveys of the Muddy river improvement and the Arnold Arboretum, and a topographical survey of Franklin park for the late city engineer, Henry M. Wightman. Mr Jones has been interested with R.S. Barrows, editor and publisher of the West Roxbury News. He is also engaged in the general practice of a civil engineer and surveyor at the same place, and has a large business. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being connected with Eliot lodge of Jamaica Plain, F. and A.M., and also of the ancient order of United Workmen, and Knights of Honor. In politics Mr Jones is a republican.

Tuberculosis Comes To Town

Jamaica Plain was having enough cases of TB in 1908 that a series of lectures for the public was given at Curtis Hall. The article cites a Jamaica Plain dispensary - apparently a free or low cost facility. I've seen references to it, but I have yet to find any definitive information. Perhaps it was in Curtis Hall itself.

Boston Daily Globe October 4, 1908

Tuberculosis Lectures.

Series to be Given in Curtis Hall, Jamaica Plain, Beginning Next Wednesday.

Under the auspices of the Norfolk district medical society and the Jamaica Plain dispensary a series of free tuberculosis exhibits and lectures will be given at Curtis hall, Jamaica Plain, beginning next Wednesday. The exhibit and lectures are designed for well people to show them how they can avoid consumption.

The program follows,

Wednesday, 8 P.M.

Chairman, Dr Arthur P. Perry, president of the Norfolk district medical society; Dr Thomas F. Harrington, director of hygiene in the public schools of Boston, "Some False Ideas Concerning Tuberculosis"; Walter E. Kreusl, secretary of the Boston association for the releif and control of tuberculosis, "The Line of Progress."

Thursday, 8 P.M.

Chairman, Hon Samuel B. Capen; Dr J. Stephen Scott, member Massachusetts dental association. "Hygiene of the mouth as a protection Against Disease"; Henry Abrahams, secretary cigarmakers' international union, "What the Labor Unions Can Do to Stamp Out Tuberculosis.

Friday, 8 P.M.

Chairman, Hon Michael J. Murray; Dr Bradford Kent, examining physician Massachusetts sanatorium at Rutland, "How the State Has Responded to the Cry of the consumptive."

Saturday, 3:30 P.M.

Chairman, Dr B.N. Bridgeman; Dr H.F.R. Watts, physician to the Free Home for Consumptives, "Consumption the Unnecessary Evil."

Saturday, 8 P.M.

Chairman, Rev Charles F. Dole; Dr E.O. Otis, president of the Boston Association for the Relief and Control of Tuberculosis. Subject, "What Can the Layman Do in the Prevention of Tuberculosis?"

Sunday, 3:30 P.M.

Chairman, Rev Chauncey J. Hawkins; Miss M.A. Gallagher, visiting nurse to the Association for the Relief and Control of Tuberculosis, Subject, "What Our Association Does for Tuberculosis Patients."

Sunday, 8 P.M.

Chairman, Dr E. Peabody Gerry; Dr David Townsend, physician to the Boston Consumptives hospital. Subject, "What the City is Doing for the Consumptive." The lecture will be illustrated with the stereopticon.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A History Of The First Congregational Society

Here's another online book that is far easier to link to than copy out and post here. It's a nice source of historical nuggets from the first church to be established in Jamaica Plain, now the Unitarian Universalist church at the Monument on Centre street. Said nuggets include: the pew of Benjamin Bussey had a canopy over it; when the new church was built in 1853, a box of papers was put in the cornerstone - a picture of the old meeting house, deeds, registers, newspapers, and coins of the day. What ever happened to the box, I wonder... And not but not least, the silver tankards, flagons and cups that had been given by church members over the years were melted down, to be remade in modern patterns some time around the 1850s. Nice!


The Gangs Of Jamaica Plain

I've tried to balance entries describing church meetings and honored veterans with articles featuring crime and poverty. At the same time that Catholic church parishes could host thousands for annual celebrations, those same neighborhoods could also produce young men ready to kick a policeman in the head. If we want to remember the good old days in J.P., we need to keep in mind the less savory element of the community. Life in turn of the century Jamaica Plain was not all Footlight Club plays and Tuesday Club teas. In an earlier entry, a newspaper article refers to residents Jamaica Plain during these same years hiring watchmen to protect their property from break-ins.

I try to copy the newspaper articles as accurately as possible, so if the spelling of a name changes, I'm following what I find. Sometimes, deciphering the type is difficult, so I have to guess at the words and spelling. Did you get the cinematic referece in the title above?

Boston Daily Globe April 21, 1907

Gang Took His Club And Gun

Patrolman McKinnon Badly Used Up.

Unknown Man Had Been Robbed in Jamaica Plain.

Officer Then Came on scene -- Two Arrests.

Patrolman McKinnon of division 13 was assaulted by a crowd of men on Keyes st, Jamaica Plain, last night, and John J. Dolan, 20 years old, of 53 Call st and Edward J. Dolan, 23, of 40 Orchard st, were arrested shortly afterward, charged with the assault.

An unknown man was held up by a gang of young men about 12:30, near the corner of Washington and Keyes sts, and was beaten and robbed. McKinnon came upon the scene and the gang fled. The officer overhauled them on Keyes st, near the railroad bridge where they turned upon him.

There were six in the crowd and they speedily overpowered the officer. He was thrown to the ground and his assailantw took his club and revolver from him and used the club on him.

In the meantime somebody had telephoned police station 13 of the troubles, and a number of officers were sent to the place.

The gang ran away with McKinnon, who was bleeding from a gash on the head, in persuit. The beating he had received had weakened him, however, and he fell in the street where he lay until the other patrolmen came to his aid. He was sent to the station house, where his wounds, a number of cuts on the head, were dressed by Dr Woodruff.

From the description they obtained the officers arrested the two Dolans on the charge of assault and battery. They will be arraigned in court tomorrow where they will probably answer to a more serious charge.

January 22, 1908

Thugs Strike From Behind

Patrolman Attacked in Jamaica Plain.

Hayes Was Walking on Centre St in Plain Clothes.

Question Whether Robbery or Revenge Was Motive.

Patrolman Jeremiah Hayes of division 13, Jamaica Plain, was murderously attacked about 8:30 last night by two young men, who stole up behind him as he was walking along Centre st on his way to the station house on Seaverns av. One of the pair struck him on the back of the head with a blunt weapon and felled him to the ground.

The officer was in citizen's clothes and it is an open question whether his assailants, not knowing he was a patrolman, attacked him with intent to rob him or whether they were taking revenge because of police activity in that section of late.

Patrolman Hayes noticed two young fellows behind him when he was near Lakeville pl, but they did not arouse his suspicions. After the assault they ran down Centre sts and disappeared through Lockstead av. in the direction of Jamaica pond.

Though dazed by the blow, patrolman Hayes recovered sufficiently to get a glimpse of one of the fellows, who is about 5 feet 5 inches in height, stout built, and wore a light-colored overcoat, dark-colored trousers and a golf cap.

With head and face covered with the blood from his wounds on the head and face, caused by the violence of his fall to the ground, Hayes managed to make his way to the station house a considerable distance away, and reported to Lieut Bodenschatz. Dr Arthur N.Broughton dressed his wounds and found he had sustained a severe scalp wound on the back of his head, about two inches long, and abrasions on his face, right hand, knees and shins.

Patrolman Hayes could not explain the assault on him. It occurred in an aristocratic section of Jamaica Plain, and so far as Hayes knows, he has not an enemy in the district, where he has been a patrolman since 1894.

Recently, however, the police of division 13 have been active in the arrest of local characters, some of them for assault on patrolman McKinnon of division 13 about a year ago, who was beaten so terribly that he has not been able to perform police duty since. Three of the defendants in the case were sent away for a time and have recently been released. Others have been arrested for alleged attempt to break and enter a store.

Patrolman Hayes was born in Ireland, Jan 3, 1850. He was appointed a patrolman Oct 31, 1881, and was assigned to division 4; he was transferred to division 13 Aug 29, 1894, and has remained on duty at that station since that time.

January 23, 1908

Youths Arrested.

Charged With Assault on Patrolman Hayes.

Officer Positively Identifies Lad of 14 as One Assailant.

Two Roxbury youths, Richard J. Connolly, aged 16, of 963 Parker st, and Henry W. Hildreth, 14, of 4 Highland pl, are under arrest charged with breaking and entering the grocery store of M.S. Morton at Hyde Park last Tuesday morning and also with assaulting patrolman Jeremiah Hayes of division 13 with a blackjack Tuesday night in Jamaica Plain.

Neither of the youths has enjoyed an enviable reputation with the police for some time, and Hildreth is said to have been arrested for larceny before. The pair were arrested yesterday morning, at Boylston and Amory sts, by patrolmen Eagan and Morse of division 13 after quite a struggle, in which the young fellows are said to have tried to use blackjacks on the patrolmen.

At noon patrolman Hayes, who is laid up at his home with the injuries due to the assault on Tuesday, was brought to the station house, where he identified Hildreth positively and Connolly partially, as his assailants.

April 7, 1908

Scuffle Has Fatal Sequel.

Patrolman Fitzgerald Dies at His Home -- Paralysis Follows His Fight With a Prisoner.

Patrolman John J. Fitzgerald of division 13, who was injured in a scuffle with three young men whom he attempted to arrest Friday afternoon, died at his home, 11 North av, Roxbury, at 10:10 last night, from paralysis of the right side, caused by the bursting of a blood vessel in his head.

Friday afternoon patrolman Fitzgerald, who was in charge of the substation in Franklin park, was called by patrolman McAdams to assist in the arrest of three men who were charged with the larceny of brass pipe valued at $5. David A. Shugrue, who is alleded to have been one of them, is said to have fought Patrolman Fitzgerald off and to have escaped. The other men, Louis Selby and Stephen Shugrue, a brother of David, were arrested.

Patrolman Fitzgerald remained on duty at the station Friday night until 10 o'clock, when he was taken home and two physicians were called to attend him. He had become uncouscious, and the doctors said that his condition was serious.

David A. Shugrue, 26 years old, of 3409 Washington st, was arrested by patrolman O'Neil of division 13 Saturday night, charged with drunkenness, but when he appeared in the dock in the Jamaica Plain court yesterday morning patrolman McAdams said he recognized him as the man who had struggled with patrolman Fitzgerald, and McAdams brought two complaints against him. Shugrue is charged with assault on patrolman Fitzgerald and assault of Louis Selby, one of the men arrested Friday afternoon. He was held in bail aggregating $1200 on the assault cases and the charge of drunkenness for a hearing next Tuesday.

Patrolman John J. Fitzgerald was born in Boston Dec 25, 1858, and was educated in the public schools. He was appointed a patrolman Oct 11, 1881, and assigned to division 15. May 2, 1882, he was transferred to division 2, and afterward shifted to division 13, Jamaica Plain, where he had command of the substation. He was a member of the Police relief association.

June 24, 1910

Policeman Is Beaten by Gang

Katon's Face Cut and Body Bruised at Jamaica Plain.

Draws Revolver and John J. Dolan Is Shot in Struggle.

In a fight with a gang of seven or eight men who attempted to rescue a prisoner from him on Washington and Williams sts, Jamaica Plain, last evening, patrolman Owen A. Katon of division 13 was severely pounded on the head with his short club and kicked in the face and body. During the fight Katon fired one shot from his revolver, the bullet entering the right side of John J. Dolan, alias Trapper Dolan, penetrating the right lung and making its exit at the right side of Dolan's back.

Dolan was hurried to the City hospital in the police ambulance and his name is on the dangerous list. Patrolman Katon was taken to the station house on Seaverns av, Jamaica Plain, where his wounds were dressed by Dr Arthur A. Perry. It took seven stitches to close the wound over Katon's right eye and his body is covered with bruises.

The affair took place in the locality not far from the place where about four years ago the so-called "Keyes-st gang" clubbed patrolman Edward McKinnon of division so severely that he was never able to do a day's police duty since. Dolan, the man shot last night by patrolman Katon, was one of the six men found guilty in the McKinnon case, and was sentenced to six months in the house of correction. He has a long police record.

Patrolman Katon left the station at 5:45 last evening to patrol his route in the vicinity of Washington and Williams sts. He had just reached that point when he made the arrest of an unknown man for drunkenness.

While taking his prisoner to the box, he was set upon by Dolan, 22, who lives at 58 Call st, Jamaica Plain, nad several of Dolan's friends.

Kanton held his prisoner and fought the crowd to the signal box. He got out his short club to use if necessary. When Dolan and his gang saw the club, they pounced on Katon and wrestled it from him, and while Dolan, it is said, fought desperately with the police officer, some one of the number struck Katon over the right eye with the club, opening a wound that bled freely. Katon lost his prisoner, but tackled Dolan, and the two men fought in the mud. While struggling with Dolan on the ground, the gang kicked Katon in the head, face and body. The policeman got his revolver from his pocket. Dolan wrested the revolver from the officer. It fell in the street and was quickly picked up by a boy who managed to give it to Katon. Then the struggle was on again between Katon and Dolan. The revolver was discharged, the bullet penetrating the right side of Dolan's body.

At the sound of the shot the crowd scattered. Patrolman Katon, his face covered with blood and suffering severely from the clubbing and kicking he had received, managed to reach the police signal box and telephone Lieut Bodenschatz, in charge at the station. The ambulance and patrol wagon were hurried to the scene. Dolan lay on the sidewalk until the arrival of the ambulance, when he was hurried to the City hospital. There it was found the 38 calibre bullet had passed through the right side of his body and had penetrated the right lung.

Patrolman Katon was hurried to the station. Dr Arthur Perry took seven stitches to close the wound over Katon's right eye. He was put to bed in the station house.

Sergt Fettredge with patrolman Lordan, Enlis, McLaughlin, Snow, Holleran and O'Neil, went to work immediately to round up the gang concerned in the assault. Before 10 six suspects had been brought into the station house and booked on suspicion and two suspects were picked up by patrolman of division 2.

It is the worst affair of its kind in Jamaica Plain since the assault on patrolman Edward McKinnon in April four years ago, and is similar to the assaults on patrolman Cleveland with a bottle and the slugging of patrolman Hayes with a blackjack two years ago.

Lieut Bodenschatz detailed reserve officer Chaflin to watch Dolan at the Cit hospital, and an officer will be stationed at his bedside until he recovers sufficiently to be brought into a court.

Patrolman Katon is a Roxbury boy. He is 28 years old and resides with his mother and sisters at 16 Warren pl, Roxbury. His mother is ill and Katon requested that she be kept in ignorance of his condition until today. He was appointed to the police force Nov 16, 1900, as a reserve officer and was made a regular April 21, this year. He is athletic and the pitcher of the baseball team of division 13.

July 1, 1910

Was Beaten By A Crowd

Is the Testimony of Patrolman Katen.

Fell Senseless After He Had Shot John J. Dolan.

Men Accused of Assaulting Officer in Court.

The four defendants charged with assault and battery on patrolman Owen A. Katen of division 13, Jamaica Plain, Thursday evening, June 23, at Washington and Williams sts, when Katen was beaten and kicked and John J Dolan was shot in the right lung, appeared in the West Roxbury municipal court this morning.

The defendants are John H. Crowley, 28 years old, of 21 Plainville st, Edward Moore, 22 years old, of 25 Boynton st, James F. Galvin, 22 years old, of 18 Boynton st, and Andrew McCarron, 28, years old, of 336 Amory st. McCarron, Galvin and Crowley were represented by John F. McDonald. The government's case was prosecuted by patrolman Ralph Inglis, assisted by Capt Harriman and Sergt Fettridge.

Patrolman Katen testified that on June 23, about 6:05, saw a crowd in front of Silver's saloon on the corner of Keyes and Washington sts and ordered the men to move along. They went in different directions. Joseph O. Gorman he arrested for drunkenness and started with him to the police signal box at the corner of Williams and Washington sts.

When at the signal box John J. Dolan approached him and asked if he had placed the man under arrest. Katen said "Yes, and if you don't go along I'll place you under arrest."

He said he placed Dolan under arrest and received a blow in the face from him. At the same time he received blows from behind. He testified that he saw in the crowd Crowley, Moore, Gorman, James F. Galvin, Thomas Dolan and McCarron.

When he received the blow he reached for his short stick, which John J. Dolan got from him and struck him on the head with it, and he fell to the ground. He was kicked about the head and body, and his watch was broken. He managed to get to his feet and felt someboey attempting to get his revolver from his pocket. He received a second blow on the head, causing him to stagger.

John and Thomas Dolan were in front of him. Gorman was on his left side. On receiving the second blow on the head he was dazed and fell to the ground. John L. Dolan was over him with the policeman's short stick, ready to strike him. Dolan said, "Now, you ---, I have got you."

Katen drew his revolver, believing he was in danger of his life, and he pulled the trigger once. The revolver was not discharged on the first pull. The crowd ran in different directions.

"I pulled the trigger a second time," he said, "and the last man to leave me was John J. Dolan. After firing the revolver I became unconscious. Don't remember anything more. When I revived some women were bathing my face. With the assistance of some men I got to the signal box and telephoned the station house to send an ambulance to box 29, and then I fainted.

"I was taken to the station house in the patrol wagon. My head was cut in several places, my eyes were blackened and my body was black and blue from the kicks I had received. Dr Perry dressed my wounds. I was put to bed in the station house.

I did not know the names of the defendants, but had seen then about the streets at night around the locality. I would not say that Crowley asssaulted me, but about the other defendants I am positive."

Alfred Marshall, a conductor for the Boston elevated road living at 3582 Washington st, testified that he saw Katon struck on the head while he, Marshall, was standing on his car. He testified that he left his car, went across the street, near where Katon and the prisoners were, and saw the two Dolan boys strike Katon and also saw Gorman strike Katon on the head with a police billy. McCarron, he testified, had his arms around Katon's neck while the officer was struck.

Recess was taken until 2 o'clock and at that time John J. Dolan was brought from the city hospital in the police auto.

August 11, 1910

Dolan Given Two Years.

Pleads Guilty to Charge of Assault on Policeman Katon in Jamaica plain on June 23.

Charged with assault on policeman Owen Katon of division 13 on June 23, John J. Dolan of Jamaica Plain was sentenced to the house of correction yesterday for two years by Judge Sanderson in the superior criminal court. Dolan, with Andrew McCarron, James F. Galvin and Edward Moore, pleaded guilty. McCarron, Galvin and Moore were placed on probation.

Dolan has recovered from a shot through the lung received at the time of the assault. Early in the evening of June 23 several women told policeman Katon that a man had insulted them. Katon arrested a man named Gorman and as he was taking Gorman to the box at Williams and Washington sts in Jamaica Plain Dolan ordered him to release Gorman. Upon Katon's refusal there was some talk, when the policeman hit Dolan with his club. Dolan then got the club and struck Katon on the head with it.

The policeman said that at the same time someone was trying to get his revolver. He reached first, however, and as Dolan stood before him wiht the club raised and ready to strike he pulled the trigger. The revolver did not go off, but on the second trial he sent a bullet through Dolan's body. Dolan said he was shot as he was running away.

Boston Daily Globe August 8, 1911

Policeman Attacked.

Gang Supposed to Be of the "Forty Thieves" of Jamaica Plain Attempt Rescue of a Prisoner.

Patrolman John W. Shone of Jamaica Plain was attacked and beaten by a gang of boys and young men near the Boylston-st railroad station late last evening while making the arrest of Edward Morgan of 1392 Collumbus av, Roxbury.

Morgan, told to move along, had behaved in a surly manner and the officer started to arrest him. Some of Morgan's frields then attacked Shone. The gang then retreated to the railroad tracks, about 20 feet above the street level, and threw rocks at Shone, who continued to hold his prisoner, protecting himself by placing the prisoner in front of himself as the target for the missles. Morgan was hurt some, but the patrolman escaped injury.

Some one had meanwhile telephoned to Sergt Hennessey at the station. The sergeant sent out a patrol wagon wiht 11 officers to Shone's rescue, and at the sound of the wagon gong the gang scattered. Shone knows the names of several in the gang and will ask for warrants today.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swans At Jamaica Pond

Swans at Jamaica Pond, circa 1910 (from eBay)

This picture looks towards the Pinebank hill. To the right, a small cove dipped inland a bit, before it was filled in by the city. Here's a suggestion - let's recreate the old cove, and put a little bridge over the mouth. Picturesque, no?

The Japanese Problem

This second sermon article is a good deal more complicated than the previous one. Reverend Wentworth was nationalistic and xenophobic to some degree, but he was also willing to criticize his own country as too materialistic and too prideful as well. He would certainly not be at either extreme of the immigration debate today, unlike the Reverend Hawkins from the previous entry.

Boston Daily Globe May 26, 1913

Defends California.

Rev Stewart L. Wentworth of the Jamaica Plain M.E. Church Discusses the Japanese Problem.

"We have gone too far, I think, in letting Japan think that she is the biggest thing on earth," said Rev Stewart L. Wentworth, pastor of the Jamaica Plain M.E. Church, speaking before a large congregation, including many Civil War veterans, on "The Present Situation in Our National Life" yesterday.

"The situuation on the Pacific Coast," he said, "should have arisen a quarter of a century ago right here in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and other congested centers of population where a foreign element swarms, and should have been settled at that time.

"A good many people are much concerned as to what is likely to happen as a result of this trouble on the Pacific Coast. Some think that the Japanese cold beat us out. There is talk of war in the land. I think that the people of California have some rights. I don't think that the Japanese or any other people have a right to come into this country and tell us what our attitude toward them shall be.

"We do not wish to shut out any people, but if this Nation is to stand for God and justice, there must be some way for us to assimilate the alien peoples who come to our shores, that our principles may not be lowered or our high standards torn down.

"America has gotten to be too proud of herself. I believe the times in which we live are times of overmuch boasting of our greatness, without qualifying ourselves to be worthy of our boast. The peril of our land is not in the multitudes who come here, but the motives from which they come.

"We are largely to blame ourselves for their ideas of exploitation of this land, as we have promoted them in ourselves. We must remember that America is not only another name for oppoutunity, but also another name for responsibility.

"We cannot shut our doors against the world and we do not wish to, but we must be careful to set before the immigrant some other example than that our country is one for spoils and individual aggrandizement. We must inspire in our citizens the principles for which men of past generations fought to offset the sordid considerations of the present day.

"We have provoked our labor problems from top to bottom; both parties are wrong. When a Nation seeks for great corporate wealth, must we not expect that the man at the bottom will try to get a greater proportion of that wealth for himself?

"Unless our National life can be keyed up to higher principles, there is but little hope for democracy. The root of the trouble is the selfishnes at both ends of the line. Unless we can eliminate this tremendous selfish ambition from our people, we shall never be able to solve the great problems of our Nation."

Positively Pernicious

During 1916, District Attorney Pelletier prosecuted a man for advocating birth control and sex education as part of a national movement of the time. Since he considered the subject as discussed to be obscene, he wanted women to be barred from the courtroom to protect their modesty. Here we have Rev Chauncey Hawkins of Central Congregational church speaking his mind on the subject.

Boston Daily Globe December 4, 1916

Birth Control Is Pernicious, He Says

Rev Mr Hawkins Flays "Pink Tea Reformers"

Praises Dist Atty Pelletier For His Action on Propaganda

Declaring that the propaganda for birth control is pernicious and constitutes a blow at morality, Rev Chauncey J. Hawkins of the Central Congregational Church of Jamaica Plain flayed the "pink tea society set of social reformers" at the church last evening.

"Enthusiasm for social betterment is good," he said, "but when it is ignorantly directed it is as destructive to our institutions as though it were premeditated crime or vice, and I for one am with the district attorney of Boston. I believe he was right in trying to stop this hodge podge of nonsense, and in arresting one who tried to scatter it.

"Enough knowledge is circulated without thrusting it into the faces of those who ought not to know it, and to the district attorney I would say, the mass of the community are with you. Stamp out this movement, and we will stand behind you.

"Any man familiar with the facts knows that the birth rate is regulated by economic factors, if it is not artificially stopped. There is no reason for alarm when the United STates stands with France and Sweden as having the lowest birth rate in the world. It would seem that, instead of getting up a movement for the control of or reduction of the birth rate, we should be get up a movement for the increase of births.

"The weakness of the American home is not big families, but the lack of the old-fashioned American moralities, and the lack of religion about the family circles. The useful ones in the world have almost without exception, come up from poverty.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mary E. Curley - Class of 1963

Somehow, my brother's Curley graduation program was saved all these years. You can click on the pictures to get much larger and readable images.

Obituary #10

Boston Daily Globe February 15, 1914

Dr A.H. Tompkins Dead.

Jamaica Plain Physician Graduated From the Boston University School in 1875.

Dr Albert H. Tompkins, one of the most widely known homeopathic physicians of this city, died at his home, 20 Seaverns av, Jamaica Plain, yesterday morning, following a short illenss, aged 70.

He was born in Little Compton, R.I. He attended a business college in this city and for several years was employed as a bookkeeper.

He graduated from Boston University Medical School in 1875 and took up the practice of medicine in Jamaica Plain, and was in active practice up to the time of his death. Dr Tompkins was a frequent contributor to medical journals and was a member of the homeopathic medical societies of the city, State and Nation.

He leaves his wife, a son, Ernst A. Tompkins, and brother and a sister. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 3 o'clock, at the house.

December 3, 1914

Veteran Patrolman Dead.

William N.H. Knight Had Been Attached to Jamaica Plain Station 20 Years.

William N.H. Knight, for 20 years a patrolman attached to the Jamaica Plain station, who resigned from the police force only a few days ago, died yesterday at his home, 29 Green st, Jamaica Plain, after a two months' illness.

Mr Knight was born in South Boston July 9, 1855, and was educated in the public schools. Nov 4, 1885, he was appointed to the police force, having previously served as a fireman in South Boston, and was assigned to the La grange -st Station.

He went to the Jamaia Plain Station aug 30, 1894, and had been attached to it until Nov 28, when he offered his resignation on grounds of disability. For many year he had driven the station patrol wagon. He was a member of the Police Relief Association.

Mr Knight was unmarried.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Child Killed By Train - And A Memory

Here's a terribly sad story, and one that relates to the previous entry. Wherever there are train tracks, eventually there are train deaths. At the time, there were four tracks to the New York, New Haven and Hartford line - the two express lines in the middle, and the two local lines on the outside. At each station, fences were put up between the local and express linesto prevent riders from crossing the tracks and coming to grief with the passing express trains. Outside of the stations, there was no such fence, and the embankment would have been a magnet for boys.

So it was when I lived on Spalding street. There, on the north side of Forest Hills, was a widening of the embankment, and spur lines forked off to take parked boxcars. I was 5-6 years old when I wandered the embankment, walking the spur rails and climbing the boxcars. The trains would rush by with a roar and a palpable sense of danger, but I don't recall any deaths during my time in Jamaica Plain, but I did have to be rushed to the hospital. One day, while a group of us climbed the ladder on the end of a boxcar, the lovely little girl in front of me looked back down at me and quite deliberately stepped on my hand. Off I went, falling backwards to the ground. Apparently, my head landed inches from a rail. My father heard my bawling across the Hood's milk lot, and came and got me. Being covered in the black coal dust of the embankment, I was put in the bathtub, cleaned up, and then, presentable to the doctors and nurses, brought to the hospital. With a spleen not quite ruptured, and none the worse for wear and tear, I was sent home to deal with the DO NOT PLAY ON THE TRAINS! speech that would finally sink in. In later years, this became a family joke, along the lines of "Always wear clean underwear in case you have to go to the hospital."

Thus do I relate to the boy killed by the speeding train. A parent's warning never sinks in until after the advice is needed.

The connection to the previous entry? The little swimming hole would have been very close to the storm drain inlet shown in the second pair of pictures. No map of the time shows the pond, but neither do they show Bussey brook. Perhaps they filled it in to prevent boys from crossing the railroad tracks to reach it.

Boston Daily Globe July 23, 1910

Express Hurls Boy To Death

Thomas J. Kevill Hit at Forest Hills.

On Way to Swimming Pool He Tried to Cross Tracks.

Third Fatal Accident in Last Two Days.

The third death by accident in the West Roxbury district in the last two days, was that of Thomas John Kevill, the 9-year-old son of Mr and Mrs Patrick J. Kevill of 3512 Washington st, Jamaica Plain, who was killed by a locomotive on the NY, NH & H RR, near the Forest Hills station.

The little fellow, with three companions, Thomas Shea, 9 years old, of 412 Amory st, Andrew Fraser, 11 years old of Lotus pl, and William Bentley of Rosmore road, Jamaica Plain, started yesterday afternoon to go to the meadow land on the west side of the Dedham branch tracks of the railroad, near Forest Hills, known as "Muddy pond," to have a swim.

The four youths were walking on the railroad tracks just south of Forest Hills station, where the Dedham branch tracks form a junction with the main line tracks of the railroad. The New York express was approaching the junction and Kevill's companions ran across the tracks.

One of them shouted to Kevill, "Look out for the train!" He answered: "I'll get across all right." He evidently misjudged the distance and speed of the express train and was struck by the locomotive and thrown 40 feet.

The train was stopped and employes(sic) of the railroad who were near ran to the child to find him dead. His head was terribly crushed.

Mrs Kevill, when seen by a reporter of the Globe, after the accident said that she had cautioned her son not to go to the pond. He was a pupil in the third grade of the Margaret Fuller school on Glen road.

Bussey Brook - Before And After

Bussey brook, Hemlock hill. August, 2007

Bussey brook, February, 2008

Bussey brook storm drain inlet, August, 2007

Storm drain inlet, February, 2008

I've posted several entries on the history of Stony Brook, that mysterious waterway that once ran through the length of Jamaica Plain. When I took pictures of what is left of the brook and its tributaries, it was dry season, and some of those pictures showed dry water beds. Since we had about 2.5 inches of rain yesterday, on top of a light snow cover, I figured that those dry beds should be worth another look today.

Bussey brook passes through the Arnold Arboretum, from Walter street, across the front of Hemlock hill, under South street, where it empties into a wetland in the South street extension of the Arboretum. These before-and-after pictures show the effects of a light snow cover, a day of rain, and temperatures in the low 40s. The brook bed went from dry in August to several inches deep and 4-5 feet across in February.

Where the water finally drains underground, near the West Roxbury/Needham line railroad tracks just south of Forest Hills, the formerly dry drain area was flooded back a few hundred feet, with perhaps a foot of standing water in many places.

This small stream was just one of several contributors to Stony brook as it ran through Jamaica Plain, and should give us some idea of what the people of the past experienced. The watershed was too small to keep a constant flow throughout the year, but would have risen quickly after each heavy rain or thaw. Before the district had been built up, none of this would have mattered, but when buildings and roads went in, the brook would no longer be free to flood its banks, and trouble was inevitable. Unlike the smaller Muddy River, which became protected by a park, Stony brook was too big to ignore, but not large enough to be untouchable. Stony brook was just the right size to suffer the indignity of being buried 30 feet underground and forgotten.