At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit that highlights these men and their service to our country.
Carl Burdick Burt St private October Replacement Battalion Camp Hancock Georgia.
Carl Noah Burdick. Written by Julie Wolf.
Carl Noah Burdick was born at 119 Warren Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on August 16, 1895, to William Burdick, originally of Danville, Vermont, and Mabel Crowther (sometimes Cowther, sometimes Crocker), originally of Penacook, New Hampshire. Multiple censuses indicate that Carl, the eldest of six children,almost always lived with extended family, from boyhood through adulthood. In 1900, 4-year-old Carl lived in a full house at 12 Sumner Terrace (right behind the James Blake House) in Dorchester with his maternal grandparents, James S. and Amelia J. Crowther; his parents and sister Alice, who diedthe following year at age 2; and three boarders and their children. In 1910, he lived at 27 Bailey Street in Dorchester with immediate family only, which now included Arthur, 8; Beatrice, 6; Edna, 4; and Grace, not yet 1. By 1920, Carl’s widowed grandmother, Amelia, had moved in.
This was Carl’s home when he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. His draft card described him as a “grille worker (helper)” at the Hub Wire Cloth & Wire Work Co. in Cambridge. Unmarried, he was of medium height and slender build, with gray eyes and brown hair. A Boston Globe article identifies Carl as one of some 80 young Dorchester men out of a total 2,000-plus “limited service men” comprising “the final shipment of draftees under the September calls.” They were heading to Syracuse, New York, “where they will be trained, sworn in and assigned to duty in various parts of the country.” For Carl, whose enlistment date was September 16, 1918, that meant Ordnance Training Camp at Camp Hancock in Georgia, followed by Ordnance Supply School, 2dBattalion at Camp Amatol in New Jersey. Honorably discharged on December 31, 1918, as a private at Camp Dix, New Jersey, he did not serve overseas.
For at least the next several years, Carl was a member of Dorchester’s Charles F. Hammond, Jr., Post 78 of the American Legion. In 1921, he assisted in a ceremony at the renamed James M. Kennedy Square, at “the junction of Columbia road and Washington street,” in memory of the Dorchester soldier killed in action during Phase II of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Carl served as the post’s historian in 1922 and in 1924 as its finance officer.
At least since1922, Carl belonged to Tremont Lodge #15 I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows). As his father had, Carl rose through the fraternal organization’s ranks. In 1922, he participated in an officers’ swearing-in ceremony as a “banner bearer, first degree.” In 1928, the title of “noble grand”—presiding officer of the lodge—was conferred upon him.
Also during the 1920s, Carl got married. On September 25, 1926, Carl, age 31, wed Lillian Mildred Holbrook, age 33, of Holbrook, Massachusetts. It was the first marriage for both of them. The 1926 City Directory shows them living at 178 North Franklin Street in Holbrook. This was the home of Lillian’s parents, Lester Holbrook and Fanny (Fannie) Belcher. At the end of the decade, Carl and Lillian would have their only child, Phyllis. The family continued to live with the Holbrooks until at least 1950. According to the 1930 census, Carl’s occupation was “assistant super” in an office building; in 1940 he was a school janitor, which waslikely the job he still held in 1950.
On April 27, 1942, Carl, age 46, registered with the U.S. Selective Service as part of the “Old Man’s Draft,” a requirement for “men born on or after April 28, 1877, and on or before February 16, 1897.” Described as having gray eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion, Carl, employed by the Massachusetts Department of Education at 200 Newbury Street in Boston, wore glasses and was 5’4” and 160 pounds.
Carl died in Brockton, Massachusetts, on March 27, 1958. His obituary revealed what appeared to be a lifelong affiliation with the Tremont Lodge #15 I.O.O.F: “we regret to announce the sudden death of Bro. Carl. N. Burdick P.G.” P.G. stands for “past grand,” or past presiding officer. Carl was 62 years old.
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2004.
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2002.
Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Ancestry.com. U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
“Burdick.”Boston Globe, March 28, 1958: 32.
“Dorchester District.”Boston Globe, December 21, 1922: 7.
FamilySearch.org. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, database with images.
“New Officers at the Helm in Tremont Lodge , I.O.O.F.,” October 18, 1928: 19.
“Over 2000 Go for Unlimited Service: Crowd at Station When Men Left for Syracuse.” Boston Globe, September 6, 1918: 9.
“Tremont I.O.O.F. Lodge Confers Third Degree.” Boston Globe. December 21, 1922: 7.
“Will Dedicate Square Sunday in Memory of Dorchester Soldier.”Boston Globe, May 6, 1921.