Carl Theodore Henderson

No. 13095 Carl Theodore Henderson

Photograph contained in an album at the Dorchester Historical Society of about 150 photos kept by Nathaniel R. Perkins, MD, who examined thousands of men who were going into the war, 1914-1918. Given by Mrs N. R. Perkins in accordance with instructions from her late husband, Dr. Nathaniel P. Perkins of 1122 Adams St, Dorchester. Index catalog has entries for the individuals.

Carl T Henderson 21 Ruggles Place Dor Enlisted Apr 1917 Assigned to duty at Readville April 1917 at Framingham June 1917 for guard duty. Overseas Sept 1917 C Co 9th Reg National Guard 101st Reg C Co

Carl Theodore Henderson.  Written by Camille Arbogast.

Carl Theodore Henderson was born on September 20, 1893, in Woodstock, New Brunswick, to Ada Maud (Honey) and Theodore Henderson. Theodore was a painter, born in St. John, New Brunswick and Ada was from Brookline, Massachusetts, also of Canadian ancestry; they were married in Brookline in 1891.

Carl immigrated to the United States when he was three months old. It is likely that Theodore had died by this time. Between 1895 and 1897, Ada lived at 12 Roberts Street in Brookline and worked as a dressmaker. It appears as though Ada and Carl were not able to live together. Carl T. Henderson appears in the 1900 Census living at 60 Sanford Street, Mattapan, with Robert and Isabella Swallow, Canadian immigrants, who had been married for 14 years and had no children of their own. On the 1910 Census, a Carl T. Henderson, a jewelry store errand boy, was reported living at 18 Medway Street in Lower Mills with Alfred and Laura Newcomb and their son, William, who was the same age as Carl. The Newcombs were also Canadian immigrants. Alfred was a carpenter and William, a grocery clerk. Also in the household was a boarder, who worked at the chocolate mill. Ada herself may have lived apart from her parents in childhood; it is possible she is the Ada Honey, age 9, who appears on the 1880 Census living at the Boston Children’s Friend Society, a home for orphaned and neglected children, at 48 Rutland Street in the South End.

By 1912, Ada was living at 21 Ruggles Street (today’s Rugdale Road) in Lower Mills, serving as a nurse to the home’s owner, Lorenzo Wallace Gurney. Carl lived at this address off and on during his life, and it is the address given on Dr. Perkin’s notecard for Carl Henderson.

On May 2, 1917, Carl enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard at the East Armory in Boston, reporting for duty that day. He served in Company C of the 9th Infantry Massachusetts National Guard, which was later reclassified as the 101st Infantry, 26th Division. According to Dr. Perkin’s notecard for Carl Henderson, Carl was assigned first to a camp in Readville, a neighborhood of Hyde Park, and then, in June, was stationed at Camp Framingham, where he was placed on guard duty.

On September 7, 1917, Carl sailed for France and in January 1918, he was made Private First Class. His engagements were Chemin-des-Dames, Toul, Argonne Forest, and Verdun. He was slightly wounded on October 26, 1918, resulting in his being classified as ten percent disabled. On March 28, 1919, he sailed from Brest, France, on the USS America, reaching Boston on April 5. He was discharged at Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts on May 13, 1919.

That fall, Carl was a part of the Ashmont Novelty Orchestra, a jazz band made up of “local boys and ex-service men.” In 1920 and 1921, he appears in the Boston directory living at 21 Ruggles Place, working as a clerk. In December 1921, he was naturalized an American citizen. On his Petition for Naturalization, he gave his occupation as student; in the 1923 and 1924 yearbooks of the College of Business Administration of Boston University, Carl appears as a student in the “Special Course, Federal Board for Vocational Education, Day Division.”

In the same year he became an American citizen, Carl married Dorothy A. Callahan. They had three children: Edith, Doris, and Paul. The Boston directory shows Carl at 188 Minot Street in 1924, 52 Hillsdale Street in 1927 and at 21 Ruggles Place in 1926 and 1928. In 1930, Carl and Dorothy moved to 330 Codman Street (on a stretch of the street soon renamed Gallivan Boulevard). In 1933, they appear once again at 21 Ruggles Place, the same year Lorenzo Wallace Gurney, the home’s owner and Ada’s employer, died. They remained at 21 Ruggles Place until 1946, when they moved to 55 Sturbridge Street in Mattapan. The next year, they moved to 2183 Dorchester Avenue, where they lived for the rest of Carl’s life. Beginning in the mid-1920s, Carl is listed in directories as a salesman. By the early 1940s, he was a clerk with the Postal Service, working at the South Annex in Boston.

Carl died on January 18, 1951, in Dorchester, and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery. He was a member of the Old Dorchester Post of the American Legion, and he was survived by his wife and three children.


Birth Certificates, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts;

Boston University, Syllabus Yearbook,1923, pg 99;

Family Tree,

Naturalization Records. National Archives at Boston, Waltham, Massachusetts;

Brookline Directories, various years; collection Brookline Historical Society

Census Records, Federal, 1880,1900, 1910, 1930;

Boston Directories, various years;

Atlas of the City of Boston, Dorchester: from Actual Surveys and Official Plans, Plates 34 & 35. Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley and Co., 1933, c1934. 1933; Library of Congress,

Service Record; The Adjutant General Office, Archives-Museum Branch, Concord, MA

“Dorchester District,” Boston Globe, 3 September 1919: 4;

“Deaths,” Boston Globe, 19 Jan 1951: 22;

“Deaths,” Boston Globe, 13 June 1960: 26;



Posted on

April 4, 2022

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