Official Seal


Committee on Papers and Publications.
Charles F. White.
Charles F. Read.
The President, ex officio

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Mr. Edward W. Baker died at his home in Brookline on January 26, 1928, after a short illness. He had served Brookline as Town Clerk for thirty years, helping more than can be told the growth and prosperity of this great town and its good government. He had been Treasurer of the Brookline Historical Society since it was founded in 1901 and his report for this year is now printed. Not only is this Society grateful to Mr. Baker for his careful work with the funds in his charge, but for the ever-willing work of preparing lectures on the history of Brookline, illustrated by his choice collection of photographs and important town papers of which he was custodian. Brookline has indeed met with a great loss in the death of so valuable a man and we all miss him as a sincere friend. The portrait printed here was published by consent of Mrs. Baker and the Brookline Chronicle where it appeared on February second with an important obituary article. We are thankful to have it. Edward Wild Baker was born ill"' Brookline, September 20, 1859, son of Benjamin F. and Lovina (Libby) Baker. After attending the Brookline schools he graduated at Harvard in 1882. He was elected town clerk in 1898, succeeding his father, who had held the office for forty-six years. In 1888 Mr. Baker married Miss Alice Souther of Melrose who alone survives him as both their children died in infancy.
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JANUARY 26, 1928

The twenty-seventh annual meeting of the Brookline Historical Society was held in the Edward Devotion House, Brookline, on January 26, 1928, at 8 p. m., President William O. Comstock in the chair.


Members of the Brookline Historical Society and Friends: -

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting of our Society. Our membership is as follows:
Annual members: 123
Life members: 24
Benefactors: 3
Total: 150

We welcome the new members of 1927. They are as follows: Mrs. Frank Marshall, Mrs. Frank H. Mason, Mrs. Lora A. Underhill, and Joseph Warren.
The following seven members have died:
Dr. George K. Sabine, died March 21, 1927.
Prof. Charles S. Sargent, died March 22, 1927.
Charles vV. Holtzer, died March 31, 1927.
Daniel J. Daley, died June 16, 1927.
Dr. Martha E. Mann, died June 20, 1927.
Payson Dana, died November 8, 1927.
Miss Ellen G. Coolidge, died November 27, 1927.

This report can give but a brief and inadequate word in regard to these members who have died and whose loss we feel, as does the town of Brookline that has been so benefited by their lives.

Dr. George K. Sabine lived in this town for many years as a beloved physician and known as the friend of the poor. A Christian gentleman and one who took great interest in our soldiers of the World War, both while they were in service and after the war. His loss is greatly felt.

Professor Charles Sprague Sargent was born in Boston but came here as a boy with his family. His father built a stone house on a large estate on Warren Street. This estate has been enlarged from time to time, including among the additions the fine Thomas Lee place with its beautiful trees. As a young man Professor Sargent took a course at Harvard in landscape gardening and applied his knowledge and taste in making his estate such as to be known everywhere for its beauty. He also made the wonderful Arnold Arboretum. This was a great transformation from the old Bussey farm in Jamaica Plain, after fifty years of work, into the beautiful park of today. The Arboretum is a museum of trees and shrubs so placed as to be of the greatest beauty and available for study. He served Brookline as a Park Commissioner for all the many years from when the commission was established until his death. He also was a member of the Board of the Walnut Hills Cemetery for over fifty years, and is greatly missed.

Charles WW. Holtzer came to Brookline from Germany about 1875. He was greatly interested in electricity, manufacturing, and studying, and enlarging his work until today his immense factory in Roxbury is turning out many wonderful electric machines. For years he was a director of the Brookline Savings Bank. A kindly and good citizen.

Daniel J. Daley was born in Brookline, beginning work early in life, getting into the printing business, and then for ten years was an assessor of the town. He studied law and was admitted to the Bar. He was a ready public speaker and will be remembered as one of our town-meeting orators.

Dr. Mann had lived in Brookline for about twenty-five years, attaining much prominence as a physician.

Payson Dana came to Brookline when a boy and went to the Brookline schools, then graduating at Harvard and going through the Harvard Law School. He rose to the head of the Civil Service Board. He was largely interested in Coolidge Corner real estate. From his long illness he could not recover.

Miss Ellen Griggs Coolidge was born in Brookline and lived all her life in the house where she died. She was connected with two large and well-known families and was the last in her generation. She was much loved and lived a happy and peaceful life.

During 1927 the Society has had four regular meetings, in January, March, May, and November, all of which have been at the Edward Devotion House.

The Annual Meeting was on January 27 at 8 p. m. Mr. Edward W. Baker read his treasurer's report and the President, William O. Comstock, read his annual report. The Kominating Committee's report was accepted and the officers elected. The President, on being authorized, appointed Dr. Francis P. Denny, Messrs. Charles H. Stearns, Albert Hale, Charles F. White, and William C. Hunneman as a Committee to wait on Mr. Baker in regard to his writing a History of Brookline. *

At a Trustees' meeting on March 7th increase of membership was discussed and $20 voted toward that object. A discussion was also held in regard to publishing the Vital Records of Brookline in conformity with the rules of the State in this matter.

The March meeting was on Thursday, the 31st, and a paper was read by Mr. Charles F. White entitled "Thomas White, Captain of the Brookline Fort Company at the Battle of Lexington; his services, family, and connections." The mother of Captain Thomas White was Sarah Aspinwall, the sister-in-law of Johanna Aspinwall for whom one of the two chapters of Brookline D. A. R. is named. The paper was of great value, coming from such an authority as Mr. Charles F. White.

At the May 19 meeting, on motion by Mr. Baker, it was voted: "That the Brookline Historical Society, in proper form, request the Board of Selectmen to take the necessary steps to provide for an appropriation for the printing of the Vital Records of Brookline under the regulations and provisions required by the State."

The paper of the evening was by Rev. Abbot Peterson, entitled "The Pirate Captain of the Mayflower." A hearty *Mr. Baker took great interest in this and hoped to do it. The Committee is now working for an Edward W. Baker Memorial History of Brookline. vote of thanks was given to Mr. Peterson for this very interesting and valuable paper.

The fall meeting of the Society was held on Thursday evening, November 17, at 8 o'clock. The speaker of the evening was our treasurer, Mr. Edward W. Baker, who gave a most interesting description of the road from Boston to Harvard College, by way of Harvard Street, through Brookline, in the early days, and oyer which in front of the Edward Devotion House Major William Dawes, Jr., then a lieutenant, rode on his way to Lexington on April 18, 1775. Early maps and later photographs of the then thinly settled country were shown.

Your President spoke briefly of the unveiling of the bronze tablet at the Trading Post at Bourne last summer, where from 1627 for many years the Pilgrims traded with the Dutch, and where today the cellar and foundations of their house are still to be seen.

After each of these meetings we enjoyed a social half hour and light refreshments were served.

There were four meetings, during 1927, of the Bay State Historical League, and your President was at all of these meetings as President of the League, having been re-elected at the summer meeting. The winter meeting on January 22 was with the Old South Historical Society in the Old South Meeting House on Washington Street. The subject discussed was "Historical Myths." Interesting addresses were given and many were present.

The spring meeting was on April 30, at the Royall House, Medford. by invitation of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles M. Green, M. D., and Mr. Grenville H. Norcross, President and Vice-President of the Royall House Association. The subject of discussion was the "Preservation of Colonial Houses."

The Annual Meeting of the Bay State Historical League was on June 25 with the Scituate Historical Society, in the old Cudworth House owned by that town society. Officers were elected and after refreshments, a two-mile drive was enjoyed to interesting points, under the guidance of Mr. Farmer and others of the Scituate Society.

The fall meeting was on October 8, at Unity Hall, Sherborn, Mass., as the guests of the Sherborn Historical Society. After the meeting the delegates visited the Dowse Memorial Library, which contains the interesting collections of the Sherborn Historical Society. This is a very old town with interesting history. Their first minister, Rev. Daniel Gookin, son of Major General Daniel Gookin, helped with Rev. John Eliot in teaching the Indians. The library and church near it are beautiful buildings.

The Roosevelt Day Committee of Brookline celebrated Lincoln's birthday at the High School, on Friday, the eleventh of February, as the twelfth came on Saturday. The afternoon and evening performances, with their interesting moving pictures, music, and speaking, brought out about two thousand in all, mostly children. This winter Washington's Birthday will be celebrated, and I hope it can be continued as a National hero's day, as it not only gives great enjoyment but the right kind of teaching for the young people. This Society and Town can and does help in many celebrations. We had open house at the Edward Devotion House last 19th of April, receiving the rider representing Lieutenant William Dawes, Jr., and his escort, giving them light refreshments and a short rest on their journey. Your President gave an account of Dawes in the Revolution.

In 1930 Boston and all Massachusetts will celebrate the Tercentenary of the Settlement' of Boston and of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Brookline will always remember that in its earliest years, from 1630 until 1705, it was a part of Boston, settled by the same people, as it has been further settled ever since. From the satisfactory result of that settlement now before us we will take pride in celebrating the 1930 event.


Brookline, January 26, 1928.



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