Aldrich Stead Libbey

Aldrich Stead Libbey was born on October 4, 1897, at 38 Clifton Street in Roxbury. His father, Herbert N. Libbey, a jewelry salesman, had grown up in East Somerville. His mother, Ella Gray Stead, born Portland, Maine and raised in Brighton, was seamstress prior to her marriage. Herbert and Ella married in April 1889. They had four other children: Chester born in 1891, Mildred in 1894, Herbert Nathan in 1900, and Gordon in 1910; as well as a stillborn child born in 1890.

By 1904, the Libbeys lived at 67 Dennis Street. In 1909, they moved to 45 Greenock Street, where they lived with Aldrich’s maternal grandmother, Mrs. Gordon I. Stead, and his uncle, Walter, a machinist. It appears Aldrich had left school by that time. He attended school through the eighth grade, according to the 1940 census. In 1917, the family was living at 10 Iola Street in Codman Square.

On May 19, 1917, Aldrich enlisted in the Army, joining the cavalry at the recruiting station at 3 Tremont Row in Boston. On June 11, he was assigned to 18th U.S. Cavalry, which was later designated the 76th Field Artillery, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, 3rd Division. Aldrich served in Battery F. The unit trained at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Aldrich was appointed private first class on September 1, then promoted to corporal shortly before departing for France. On February 27, 1918, he sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey, as part of an advance detail from the 3rd Division, headed for “wireless and field signaling” training at the government school for artillery communications in France.

On July 5, the 76th Field Artillery “went into position,” near Chateau Thierry; Battery F was located at Petit Ballois. On the evening of July 14, a German offensive began. During the barrage, Aldrich was part of a detail sent out to keep telephone lines operational. The Roll of Honor of the Seventy-Sixth US Field Artillery described the night: “the whole sky was lit by the flashes of the guns, as though there were some tremendous fire extending for miles. It was impossible to distinguish the individual report of guns; the roar was continuous.” Aldrich stayed at his task all night, even as the other members of the detail were killed by shell fire. For this service Aldrich was recommended for the Distinguished Service Medal. He was cited “for exceptional devotion to duty and continual repairing of telephone lines during the night of July 14th and 15th, 1918, near Chateau-Thierry, France, regardless of personal danger, after the rest of his detail has been killed by heavy shell fire he continued to repair the line disregarding all fire and physical exhaustion.

The 76th Field Artillery also participated the engagements at the Champagne-Marne from July 15-17; the Aisne-Marne, July18-August 1; Saint Mihiel, September 12-15; and the Meuse-Argonne, September 26-November 11, 1918. After the Armistice, they were part of the Army of Occupation in Germany. In February 1919, Aldrich was reported “wounded slightly.” That July, while stationed in Kottenheim on the Rhine, he was promoted to the Army Intelligence Department. He was also cited for “faithful and loyal service;” it was his third citation from Army Headquarters. He was later awarded a Purple Heart. On August 12, Aldrich sailed from Brest, France, on the USS Madawaska, arriving in Brooklyn, New York, on August 23. He was discharged on August 29, 1919.

After the war, Aldrich lived with his family, who had moved to 175 Talbot Avenue in Dorchester. Aldrich worked as a shoe salesman. In the 1920s and 1930s, he was employed by the T. E. Moseley Company at their store at 39 West Street. T.E. Moseley was “Boston’s oldest exclusive shoe store,” according to the Boot and Shoe Recorder. Later Aldrich sold shoes for the Jordan Marsh department store.

On August 2, 1922, Aldrich married Marion E. Kellaway at 1454 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. Marion, a bookkeeper, lived at 1059 Washington Street and had been born in Brighton. They were married by Reverend Watson Wordsworth of the Village Congregational Church on River Street in Lower Mills. Aldrich and Marion had three children: Ruth Louise born in 1925, Beverly Elizabeth in 1929, and Aldrich Stead in 1932.

In the early years of their marriage, Aldrich and Marion lived at 104 Itasca Street in Mattapan. By 1929, they had purchased 78 Wilson Avenue in Weymouth, Massachusetts, a home valued at $5,000. Aldrich’s father, Herbert, and his brother Gordon lived with them. His brother Herbert lived nearby at 56 Wilson. Aldrich resided at 78 Wilson Avenue for the rest of his life.

In 1933, Aldrich and his brother Herbert were injured in a train accident. A New York, New Haven, and Hartford train which had departed from Braintree rear-ended a Nantasket-Boston train stopped at the Neponset drawbridge, resulting in the death of a train employee and the injury of 52 others. The brothers were sent to Quincy Hospital; Aldrich sustained a head injury and Herbert, lacerations to his nose.

Aldrich died on August 10, 1951. Services were held for him at DeWare Brothers Memorial Chapel on Hancock Street in Quincy, Massachusetts. He was buried in Quincy’s Mount Wollaston Cemetery. When Marion died in 1976, she was buried beside him.

Research and written by Camille Arbogast.


Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA;

“Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database, citing State Archives, Boston, MA;

“Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001,” database, citing Death, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston, MA;

1900, 1910, 1930, 1940 U.S. Federal Census;

“Star Football Player Enlists,” Boston Globe, 19 May 1917: 4;

“76th Field Artillery Regiment,”, last edited on 2 June 2021. <>

“United States, Enlisted and Officer Muster Rolls and Rosters, 1916-1939,” database; Family

“Dorchester District,” Boston Globe, 21 March 1918: 9;

“Dorchester District,” Boston Globe, 22 March 1918: 6;

“The 76th Field Artillery During World War I.” Greg Krenzelok, Roots Web/;  <>

Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, The National Archives at College Park, MD;

“American Roll of Honor,” Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, MA), 5 Feb 1919: 8;

“Aldrich S. Libbey Wins Promotion in Army,” Boston Globe, 19 July 1919: 2;

Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, National Archives at Washington, D.C.;

“Boston’s Growth- 1882-1922,” Boot and Shoe Recorder, 15 April 1922: 165;

United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration;

“Charge Engineer Sped by Signals,” Boston Globe, 30 November 1933; 26;

“Weymouth Brothers Both Hurt in Wreck,” Boston Globe, 29 November 1933: 11;

“Death Notices,” Boston Globe, 12 August 1951: 44;

CPL Aldrich Libbey; FindAGrave. com



Posted on

April 5, 2022

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.