Benjamin Cushing School or Robinson School

No. 3571 Postcard. The Robinson School, Dorchester, Mass. circa 1910.

The Benajmin Cushing School was located where there is now a vacant lot on Robinson Street, where pieces of stone and fence indicate what was once there.

This building, named the Benjamin Cushing School, opened in 1897 and closed in 1973 [i.e., 1984 – see comment below from Don Chappell.  It was demolished soon thereafter.

The detail from the 1933 atlas shows the location.

The School was named for Dr. Benjamin Cushing:

Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume IX 1890-1897. (Boston: Published by the Society, 1908),  291-291.

Benjamin Cushing

Benjamin Cushing, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, who was elected a Resident Member of this society in 1887, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, May 9, 1822, and died in Dorchester, October 16, 1895.  His father was Jerome Cushing.  His mother was Mary Thaxter.  He was descended in the seventh generation from Matthew Cushing and Nazareth Pitcher, who came from Hingham, England, in 1638, and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts.  On the Thaxter side, his great-grandfather was Major Samuel Thaxter, who was at the capture of Fort William Henry.

After the death of Jerom Cushing, his widow, with her children, came to live in Dorchester, with her unmarried brother, Dr. Robert Thaxter.

Dr. Benjamin Cushing was prepared for college at Derby Academy, in Hingham, and was graduated from Harvard University in 1842.  During his college course he spent a winter in Cuba, for the benefit of his health.  He went to Calcuttta, on a sailing vessel, after he left college.  In 1846 he was graduated from Harvard Medical School, and went to Paris for a year’s further study of his profession.  The discovery, by Dr. Morton of Boston of the surgical use of ether was made while Dr. Cushing was in Paris, and he saw the first two operations there in which it was used. 

He began the practice of medicine in Dorchester, on his return from Paris, in 1847, being associated at first with his uncle, Dr. Thaxter.  All his professional life was in Dorchester.  During the Civil War he volunteered to act as surgeon, and was sent to Fortress Monroe.  After the close of the war he made a second trip to Europe, in 1866, and a third in 1875.

Dr. Cushing was faithful and very skilful physician.  His heart was always open to the calls of suffering.  He was true friend, full of public spirit, wise in counsel and generous in his gifts.  He was a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and was chairman of the Visiting Board of the Danvers Hospital for the Insane.  He was also one of the consulting physicians of the City Hospital.  He was much interested i certain proposed reforms in the treatment of dipsomaniacs.  He served for a long time on the School Board of Dorchester.

He married, in 1848, Anna Quincy Thaxter, of Hingham.

Comments from readers:

Jan Richardi –  I went to school here, at the Benjamin Cushing, back in the early 1950s. Boys entered in one door, girls in another.

Don Chapell –  lived on 43 Robinson for 20 years. Went to the Cushing from grades 1-3 then to the Mather.  The Benjamin Cushing school did not close in 1973. it was active until it burned down in 1984.


Posted on

May 31, 2020