Monument Square Again

From Old Charlestown Hisotrical Biographical Reminiscent

By: Timothy T. Sawyer, Published by James H. West Company 1902

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Lynde A. Huntington — Rev. Dr. W. I. Buddington — Rev. Oliver C. Everett — Dr. Luther V. Bell — Mrs. Henry Forster — Dr. Edward J. Forster — Rev. James B. Miles.


IT will be interesting, I think, to read something concerning the erection of other buildings around Monument Square, and about their former occupants.

After the Warren and Hubbell houses were built, Mr. Lynde A. Huntington built the house on the opposite corner of Chestnut Street, and it was his happy home until his death. We have referred in another article to his superior character and are made happy by reflection upon it whenever memory is stirred by any allusion to the good man. Then, Richard Frothingham’s patriotism became stronger than his love for the locality on which his ancestors first settled, and he left his residence on the corner of Main and Oak streets for a new home in the building next below the Huntington’s, which he had erected for the purpose, and where he kept up the historical researches and friendly relations we have specially referred to in a chapter on the Frothingham family. About the same time Doctor Gunter, of the city of Washington, District of Columbia, built the house in the rear of the Monument, next to the corner of Lexington Street, for his daughter, the wife of Rev. William I. Buddington, then the pastor of the First Church. The Buddingtons lived in it until it became needful for Mrs. Buddington to remove to a warmer climate, she being in feeble health. After that time it was occupied by Rev. Oliver C. Everett during the whole period of his service here as missionary of the Harvard Unitarian Society and pastor of the Edgeworth Street Chapel. Sometime afterwards it was purchased by John Boyle O’Reilly, but he never removed from the house 34 Winthrop Street, in which he resided for many years before his death, August 10, 1890.

Doctor Buddington’s ministry in Charlestown was a very successful one, and during the fifteen years he was here he made many warm personal friends. He was a growing man and very soon became prominent among the Congregational ministers. He removed to Washington from here, but was afterwards settled over a large society in Brooklyn, New York, where he died. While in Charlestown he compiled his very interesting history of the old church.

His successor in Charlestown was Rev. James B. Miles, who was ordained and installed here on January 2, 1855. The sunshine of his kind spirit was soon reflected upon all who came in contact with him. Among his own people, and with his fellow-citizens generally, he was very highly esteemed and was looked upon with great confidence and regard. He was interested in the schools and in all matters which could affect favorably the welfare of the city. He remained here seventeen years, living all the time in Adams Street, near the corner of Monument Square, and gave up his pastorate to take the position of secretary of the American Peace Society. After this, in the interests of that society and of the association for the reform and codification of the law of nations, he made several successful visits to Europe and was becoming very popular as their representative and prominent in the discussions and movement for arbitration in the place of war among the nations, when he was taken down with peritonitis at Worcester, Massachusetts, while on a visit there, and died suddenly, November 13, 1875.

Mr. Nathaniel F. Frothingham built the house adjoining that of Doctor Buddington, and occupied it until his decease. He was for many years successfully engaged in ship-brokerage on Long Wharf, in Boston, and was widely known among merchants and business men.

The house on the corner of Monument Square and Monument Street was built by Mrs. Henry Forster. She had planned it for her own and her children’s accommodation and the entertainment of friends, and she used it generously for this purpose until her three Sons were graduated from Harvard University and her daughter married, when she sold it and removed to Jamaica Plain, where she now resides in a new house delightfully situated on the Park near Jamaica Pond.

The house on the opposite corner of Monument Street was built in by F. L. Gilman, who lived in it until May, 1879, when it was purchased by Dr. Edward J. Forster, who occupied it until a few years ago, when he removed to the city proper. His successful career and recent death while he was occupying the position of Surgeon-General of the State of Massachusetts is fresh in the memory of us all.

On the Concord Street side of the square Dr. Luther V. Bell built the house now the residence of Dr. Henry Lyon, and occupied it six or seven years, until his death, February 11, 1862, at Camp Baker, two miles from Budd’s Ferry, on the Potomac, where his life was laid down for his country. He bad offered his services as a surgeon in the army, and in the performance of his duties as such contracted the disease which ended his life. Doctor Bell acquired fame in his profession, especially in the treatment of insanity while he was at the head of the McLean Asylum and other similar institutions. He had reached an age when exemption from active service would have been natural and honorable, but he saw the need of skillful treatment among the country’s defenders in her time of trial, and he could not withhold the aid that he felt he might render. His funeral took place at Saint John’s Church, which had been his place of worship, February 17, 1862, and he was borne to his grave with all the marks of affection, respect, and honor which his life here, as well as his position, had earned and secured for him.

The present club-house of the Catholic Literary Union was built by James Lee, Jr., who removed here from Boston and occupied it for many years, after which he sold it to E. G. Byam and went back to the city proper. While here, Mr. Lee was interested and active in Charlestown society and affairs, and served several years on the school committee and one term in the Legislature.

The house recently sold by W. E. Carleton was built by his father, William Carleton, who occupied it until his decease, Tuesday, December 5, 1876. We have before referred to him as a resident of Harvard Street and the founder of Carleton College.

The house on the corner of the square and Tremont Street was erected by a native of Charlestown, Sampson Stoddard Blanchard, for many years cashier of the Hamilton Bank, Boston, and a brother of Mrs. Richard Frothingham. They were children of Deacon Isaac Blanchard, of the Unitarian Church, who was for many years town treasurer. Mr. S. S. Blanchard lived in the house until his death.
JULY 2, 1898.



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