Mrs. Matilda T. Haskins, an honored member of this society, died at Providence, R. I., December 8, 1901. She was born in Medford nearly eighty years ago, being the daughter of the well-known Galen James. She was a life-long resident of this city. In her death there is a distinct loss to this community which she loved, to the church which she served and honored, and to this society, of which she was an early member, and in whose work she was deeply interested. We desire to hereby place on record our expression of sorrow for her removal from us, our high regard for her character, so pure and lofty, and our sense of loss to this organization.
The committee appointed to prepare resolutions in memory of the late John Ward Dean would respectfully report the following:— Again death has invaded our ranks and has taken the Nestor of the society. John Ward Dean was a charter member and was much interested in the organization of the Medford Historical Society, though he was more than four score years at that time. He was born in Wiscasset, Me., March 13, 1815, and died in Medford, January 22, 1902. As a member of the Committee on Papers and Addresses he made many important suggestions. Mr. Dean will be known and remembered mainly by his connection with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, in which he was actively interested for more than fifty years. He filled different [p. 45] positions in that society. For twenty-nine years he was librarian and editor of the Genealogical Register, the quarterly magazine published by the society, and for forty-eight years was on the Committee on Publications. He was a charter member of the Prince Society, organized in 1858, whose object was the publication of rare manuscripts relating to early New England history, and was its president for ten years. He was an honorary or corresponding member in more than twenty-five Historical Societies in this country or in Europe From his boyhood Mr. Dean was greatly interested in American history and became a student of early New England history and a pioneer among those earnest and enthusiastic workers in investigating the history and genealogy of the early New England families, and in the effort to have them written up and published, and thus put into permanent form. Previous to his time such works were largely based on tradition, but he did much to promote that careful and painstaking investigation that is the true basis of history. He was not a man of affairs, and took no part in the struggle for wealth and power, but in his special line he was unsurpassed by any one living or dead. He was of a genial and kindly disposition, and with a remarkable memory he was ever ready to lend a helping hand to all seeking his assistance. Resolved, That in the death of our honored associate, John Ward Dean, the Medford Historical Society has lost a most loyal and devoted member, and the city of Medford a citizen of the highest character. Resolved, That the students of early New England history have met with an irreparable loss in the death of one who was not only a tireless and indefatigable worker in his special line, but inspired others with courage to undertake and carry out important historical investigation. Resolved, That this society extends its sympathy to [p. 46] his family in its bereavement, and that a copy of these resolutions be sent them and to the Medford papers for publication.
In the death of Mr. James W. Tufts at Pinehurst, N. C., February 2, the Historical Society, together with Medford and Boston, has lost a man whose departure will be deeply mourned. His quiet and reserve may have kept him from the wide acquaintance he deserved, but those who knew his worth of character and the modest goodness of his life sorrow that they will see his face no more. Mr. Tufts' active life in affairs began in Somerville, but early he came to Medford, where he continued as a druggist until he entered upon the larger business which, by his untiring industry, and by his sagacity and signal ability in management, made him one of the most successful men of his time, whose enterprise has contributed to the good of others. For the good of others entered into his scheme of life. He was not one who lived to himself alone. But in this, as in his business, he was a man of practical mind. It was characteristic of him that he cared only for such methods of helping others as would enable them to help themselves. One of the charities that deeply interested him was the North End Union in Boston, where habits of industry were taught, and where boys from the ranks of labor could attain skill in their occupations. He tried also to improve the condition of the poor by building a model tenement house in Boston, and it was to him a source of regret that it did not find a better response from those he wished to serve. The large enterprise at [p. 47] Pinehurst was inaugurated with the end in view of establishing a place under the most favorable conditions, where those suffering from ill-health could escape our severe winters and restore their strength at moderate cost. In this he was eminently successful. Those familiar with it, who shared in the good he planned to do, speak of it in the highest terms. And by no means the least of the good was his genial personality, which made the place brighter for those who came to it. There is left to us the delightful memory of a man of pure character and noble purpose, who used his opportunities for the worthiest ends; a friend of all that is good, a lover of his kind, he has made the world better, and too early, as we think, he has passed from this earthly scene which needs such to forward its highest welfare.