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[p. 16]

Francis A. Wait.

Passed out of this life, Francis A. Wait in his eighty-eighth year, on Tuesday, December 12th, 1916, at his home, 63 Ashland street. Here, on December 15th, a very stormy day, his funeral services were conducted by Rev. Louis C. Dethlefs, pastor of the Unitarian Church.

Mr. Wait had resided on Ashland street with his three sisters, Misses Susan M., Hetty F. and Sarah H. Wait, for some fifteen years. The family previously lived in a house on Main street, near Cradock bridge, the site of which was included in the takings of the Metropolitan Park Commission. This house was on the site of the Wait homestead, and was built to replace the one destroyed in the great fire of 1850. The burned house was the house in which Mr. Wait was born, July 28, 1829, the second son of Nathan W. and Susan (Smith) Wait.

His father and his grandfather were blacksmiths. His father's grandmother was Sarah Bradlee Fulton, and Mr. Wait was an attendant at the exercises of dedication of the monument placed in the Salem-street cemetery in her honor by the Sarah Bradlee Fulton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

He received his education in the Medford public schools. When quite young he learned the trade of a blacksmith in his father's shop, and successively as apprentice, journeyman, foreman and master mechanic, was employed by the Boston and Maine railroad for a period of thirty-two years, in the locomotive department. Retiring therefrom he busied himself in ‘farming’ about the home, and ‘always found something to do,’ as he himself said.

Mr. Wait's great-grandfather(on the maternal side),when five years old, witnessed the battle of Lexington, whose scenes were so distinctly impressed on the lad's mind as never to be forgotten. By inheritance (or otherwise) Mr. Wait possessed a remarkable memory and was quite an authority on Medford in the 50's. He furnished the material for several articles in the Historical Register [p. 17] under the caption ‘Reminiscences of Medford Fifty Years Ago.’ He was a Mason, a member of Henry Price Lodge since 1863, in religion a Unitarian, in politics an Independent.

By appointment, the writer of this article walked with Mr. Wait during the forenoon of a fine day in September last, up Forest street, by Bellevue, and Quarry road around Pine hill to the main highway, recalling the names of the families who forty years since occupied the houses by the way, paying special attention to the remaining evidences that quarrying stone was a considerable business eighty years ago, looking at the dignified profile of the ‘Old man of the Fells,’ viewing Wright's pond from the site of the old pumping station, and inspecting the station of the Metropolitan park police. Mr. Wait evidently enjoyed the woods walk and spoke with much satisfaction of the time when he owned a boat and made frequent trips on Mystic river both ways from Cradock bridge, and on Mystic lake.

He was well liked by both social and business acquaintances and had a pleasant salutation for each. As a member of the Medford Historical Society he was interested not alone in the Register, but in its collections as well. He contributed some old Medford town reports, in one of which he took pleasure in showing me the amount of taxes paid by Ackerman & Philbrick (my grandfather and great-uncle), owners of one of the afore-mentioned quarries. He was also interested in our new home, visiting it several times a week to watch its construction and talk over the plans with the building committee.

The Society needs new members to fill the places left by such as he. Who, who will now take their places in our ranks?

H. N. A.

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