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have been looking up residents of Medford in years past to search for elderly people, natives of this city. As we have examined the records, tender thoughts have filled our minds as we read the names of those whose faces were familiar to us, and found it hard to realize that they have passed on. Mr. and Mrs. Dudley C. Hall, Mrs. Thomas S. Harlow and her sister, Mrs. Fitch, Miss Helen Porter, Miss Almira Stetson, Mrs. Matilda T. Haskins, Mrs. George F. Lane, Messrs. Elijah B. Smith, Cleopas Johnson, David Osgood Kidder and eighteen others, resident in Medford, have died within the last seven years, all of them born here more than three quarters of a century ago. We recognized the names of Mr. John K. Fuller of Dorchester, Mrs. Caroline R. (Brooks) Hayes of Woburn, Mrs. Hepsa (Hall) Bradlee of Boston, Mr. Oliver Wellington of Winchester, Mr. Andrew D. Blanchard of Melrose, and Mr. Andrew Waitt of Cambridge, who although no longer residents, claim Medford as their birthplace, and
in 1823. His widow Margaret, commonly called Peggy, Swan, continued to reside there and rented a portion of the house until her passing away. Of the occupants during the past fifty years we can speak with certainty of but one, the last, Cleopas Johnson, who died there on December 17, 1902. He was a carpenter and builder and a thorough mechanic, as was also his partner and brother, Theophilus. The brothers were familiarly called Cope and Tope by all the old-timers of Medford. Cleopas outhe town; the Unitarian, built in 1839 (on which was the old Paul Revere bell and the clock given by Peter C. Brooks, both in service on the former house and destroyed by the fire); and the present stone edifice of the First Parish. Since Cleopas Johnson's death the house has been unoccupied and falling into decay. It is now to give place to dwellings of modern type and containing such accessories and conveniences as were little dreamed of when Mr. Watson built it or Doctor Brooks entertain
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., An old Medford school boy's reminiscences. (search)
rchard grass over the wall, but there was an upward slope to the roadway, very rough, and the horse could not stir the load. So the usual method for boys and horses was adopted, and he began a long and most cruel beating of the animal. The small boys about, who always were the Greek chorus to any Medford event, were very angry and were about stoning Tufts, till one suggested that we should probably hit the horse. Just then appeared on the north side of the street near the house where Cleopas Johnson once lived, a rather short, elderly gentleman. He was dressed all in black with short breeches, black silk stockings, buckled shoes and carried a cane. At once he came across the street, went straight to Tufts and said clearly and loudly: If you strike that horse another blow I'll prosecute you. Tufts stopped, raised the whip, and we thought trouble was coming. If Tufts had struck Mr. Brooks every boy would have let fly his stone. But the king of the Boston marine underwriters did
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 29., The Renovation of Peter Tufts' house. (search)
wood work now to be seen in the house, except the girders or large timbers in the ceilings of both stories. We were told that these were renovated by being scraped quite smoothly to remove the axe-marks of the hewing. In 1884, a builders' magazine of New York sent its artist here, got a view of the house and made illustrative drawings of the roof frame and peculiarities of window frames and published the same in its August issue. This was probably because of a communication from Mr. Cleopas Johnson, who had told of re-shingling it thirty-five years before, and in his letter quoting Brooks' history. Only the stairway is enclosed in the attic, and a lot of drawers and storage spaces fitted under its steep roof add to its convenience. In the eastern end there are no port-holes as in the western. Mr. Brooks tells that Mr. Shedd, then owner, had to tear down and rebuild part of that end, which may account for the two regular-shaped windows now there. Descending to the cellar,