13048 Charles Joseph Ego
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.
Charles J Ego 124 River Street, Serg, 58 Ammunition Train Fort Adams Rhode Island
Charles Joseph Ego. Written by Donna Albino.
Charles Joseph Ego was born in Roxbury on March 7, 1889, to John Ego and Mary (Hassan) Ego. His parents lived at 39 Bowers Street in Roxbury, and his father was a florist. Charles was their fourth child; they had two other sons, James and John, Jr., and a daughter, Elizabeth.
By 1900, the growing family had moved to 124 River Street in Mattapan. Then there were four more children, two more sons, Daniel and Edwin, and two more daughters, Mary and Marguerite. The oldest son, James, was helping his father in the florist trade. The other children were in school.
In the 1910 census, the family was still living at 124 River Street in Mattapan. Charles was 21 and working as a stenographer for an electrical house. His father and his brother, James, were working as florists, and his brother John, Jr. was working as a bookkeeper for a plumbers supplies business. A ninth child had joined the family; Charles’s youngest sibling, a sister Gertrude, was nine years old.
Charles enjoyed helping at social events. The Boston Globe reported in November 1914 that he aided at St. Gregory’s Lyceum semiannual dancing party at Milton Town Hall, and in January 1917, Charles was on the St Gregory’s Lyceum committee in charge of throwing a whist party at Odd Fellows Hall on River Street in Lower Mills.
On June 5, 1917, Charles registered for the war draft. He was working as a ledger clerk and stenographer for Ames Plow Company in Boston, and was listed as tall, with a medium build, blue eyes and brown hair. On his draft card, he wrote that he was ineligible for the draft because he had poor eyesight, but he still ended up being called for the war effort. He was inducted on July 7, 1918, and served in the 14th Company at the Coast Artillery and Coast Defenses of Narragansett Bay at Fort Getty, Rhode Island, until August 24, 1918.
The Coast Defenses of Narragansett Bay was a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps harbor defense command. It coordinated the coast defenses of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island, including Fort Getty, a coast artillery fort. Numerous temporary buildings were constructed in Narragansett Bay to accommodate the wartime mobilization. As the only component of the Army with heavy artillery experience and significant manpower, the Coast Artillery was chosen to operate almost all US-manned heavy and railway artillery in WWI.
After August of 1918, Charles was transferred to Company A of the 58th Ammunition Train, where he would serve until his discharge on December 20, 1918. The ammunition train was an element of armies in 20th century warfare. They were responsible for transporting the artillery and infantry ammunition of each division from the ammunition refilling point to the area of engagement using horse-drawn wagons or motor vehicles.
Charles returned to his childhood home at 124 River Street in Mattapan after the war. His father had passed away in 1911, and his mother Mary was listed as the head of the house in the 1920 census. James was still working as a florist and Edwin was working as a gardener at home. Two other siblings were working as clerks for the City of Boston, and the youngest daughter, Gertrude, was working as a stenographer for a tailoring business.
Charles continued to enjoy organizing events. In May of 1926, there was entertainment after communion at St. Gregory’s church and breakfast at Gilbert Stuart School Hall on Richmond Street; Charles served on the entertainment committee for that event. In June of 1926, Dorchester Lower Mills Council of the Knights of Columbus celebrated its 30th anniversary with a field day and carnival, and Charles served on the committee that organized the event.
The 1930 census for Ward 21, District 523 has not survived, but the Boston city directory confirms that Charles was still living at 124 River Street in Mattapan and working as a clerk in 1931. In 1931, Charles married Ellen Digby in Boston, and they lived in Hyde Park in 1932 and 1933. In 1934, they moved to West Roxbury, and in 1940 they lived at 348 LaGrange St in West Roxbury, and had a son, John, who was seven years old.
In 1942, Charles registered for the war draft. He was working for Gulf Oil, and his card noted he was 6 feet tall, 205 pounds, with blue eyes, red hair, and a ruddy complexion. In April 1943, Gulf Oil Corporation held an event to honor its longest employees, and Charles was recognized for 25 years of service. Even though Charles’s active war duty years had long passed, he continued to serve in the war effort through his employment at Gulf. John Maddocks, Gulf New England division manager, spoke at the service, and drew a connection between Gulf and the WWII war effort: “The long period of service of our men and women is playing an important part in supplying the petroleum products needed by our fighting forces and by American industry in helping bring defeat to the Axis. … Because approximately 12% of all Gulf men and women are in the armed services, the responsibilities of those at home have increased and the experience gained by so many of our employees during their long association with the company is aiding us materially in the conduct of the business of an essential war industry.”
On October 1, 1946, Charles passed away in West Roxbury. He had been a member of the West Roxbury Post, American Legion 167, and Knights of Columbus, Dorchester Lower Mills Council. His wife, Ellen, lived for many years after him. When Charles’s youngest sister Gertrude passed away in Mattapan in 1988, Ellen was listed as a surviving sister-in-law.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1901-1955 and 1966-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
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Year: 1900; Census Place: Boston Ward 24, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 1537; FHL microfilm: 1240688
Year: 1910; Census Place: Boston Ward 24, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_625; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 1633; FHL microfilm: 1374638
Year: 1920; Census Place: Boston Ward 21, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_739; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 523
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Year: 1940; Census Place: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: m-t0627-01680; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 15-705
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 10 Nov 1914, Tue Page 6
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 23 Jan 1917, Tue Page 16
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 10 May 1926, Mon Page 7
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 03 Jun 1926, Thu Page 11
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 06 Apr 1943, Tue Page 6
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 03 Oct 1946, Thu Page 20
Ancestry.com, Silvers Family Tree by srb1059
Wikipedia, Ammunition Train
Wikipedia, Harbor Defenses of Narragansett Bay