Daly Industrial School

No. 1307 Postcard. Daly Industrial School and Grounds, Dorchester, Mass. Circa 1910.
No. 9132 Spaulding House, later the Daily Industrial School.

The Daly Industrial School was located on Pope’s Hill. Some time between 1898 and 1904 the school took over the property formerly owned by the Spaulding family. In the map, Gustine Street is now called Daly Street. Train Street is on the right.

The following is from: History of the Catholic Church in the New England States by William Byrne, et. al. (Boston, 1899):

The Daly Industrial School, King and Train Streets, Pope’s Hill, Dorchester

Up to the present time there has been no industrial school in this archdiocese for poor but respectable girls. Good work in this line has been done at the St. Vincent?s Orphan Asylum, and at the private home conducted by Miss Magaret A. Gately in Dorchester, but the need of an establishment specially devoted to the work, and thoroughly equipped in its various departments, has been realized for several years. In the fierce competition of modern society many young women are obliged to support not only themselves, but others, and the acquisition of skill in a trade is the safest path to success in this effort.

For several years the archbishop has been considering plans for a trade school similar to those which have been carried on in New Orleans and elsewhere under the management of religious orders. Not long ago Rev. T.J. Murphy, of Neponset, was given general direction of the undertaking, and a site was secured for the proposed institution on the confines of his parish. This was the Spaulding estate, on Pope’s Hill, comprising a fine three-story mansion. The assessed value of the property was $44,000.

By his recent donation of $50,000 to the school, Rev. Patrick J. Daly has rendered possible the speedy realization of the wishes of the promoters of this new and desirable charity. There have been few, if any, single gifts to the Catholic institutions of the archdiocese more substantial in value than his, and Father Daly?s name will, therefore, like that of Andrew Carney with the Carney Hospital, be permanently identified with the school in Dorchester.

A band of Sisters of St. Joseph, who have been preparing themselves for this special task, will take charge of the institution. The plan, as outlined, will last five years, thus graduating the pupils at the dawn of womanhood. Useful trades, such as millinery, dressmaking, typewriting and domestic service will be thoroughly taught. Daughters of poor parents will be received from all parts of the archdiocese, and the instruction and other benefits imparted will be absolutely free. It is expected that a board of incorporators will be formed, consisting of Archbishop Williams, Bishop Brady and ten other clergymen. With the generous endowment bestowed upon it by Father Daly, and several other large donations which have been received from friends of the proposition, the success of this Industrial School would seem to be assured.

Rev. Patrick J. Daly, its chief benefactor, was born in Ireland about fifty years ago. Ordained at an early age, he served as curate at St. Francis de Sales? church, Roxbury, for eight years. In November, 1882, he was made pastor in Winchester. After six years of service there he returned to his original parish, succeeding Rev. John Delahunty in the pastorship. He is still pastor of St. Francis de Sales? church, presiding over a congregation which is one of the largest in the archdiocese.

From: Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society, v. XIII, 1914, p. 347-8

The Right Reverend Monsignor William P. McQuaid took a prominent part in the management of the Daly Industrial School.

Daly Industrial School by Priscilla (Harper) Gimple

My name is Priscilla (Harper) Gimple.  I was born in 1931. My relatives lived in Dorchester as early as 1926.  I attended the Daly Industrial School on Train Street in Dorchester for 4 years.  For two years I boarded there, and for the other 2 I was a day student.  I was born in Newton and lived in Waban until I was six.  I am one of four children, 2 boys and 2 girls.  My older brother was William and younger brother was John.   My sister Edith (now Morian) was born in 1933 in Newton Wellesley Hospital also.  My mother did not survive my sister’s birth due to complications.  She was 33.  My father was 2 generations older.  She was the secretary in business, and they fell in love.  We lived in a Tudor-style home in Waban, and we had everything.  Then the Depression hit us, and we ended by losing our home and fortune.  We were then all split up.  My grandmother, who lived in Boston at the time, took in my sister.  My brother and I went to live with an aunt in Dorchester.   We lived with her on Westmoreland Street and made our First Communion at St. Brendan’s Church.  We were moved around a lot.  Eventually we all ended up with my grandmother who became legal guardian to all of us.  We then attended the Cathedral school nearby except my oldest brother, who went to English High School.  Soon it was decided we should to to boarding school.  In 1943 my brother went to the Working boys Home, and my sister and I were sent to the Daly Industrial School in Dorchester.  My sister, who wasn’t happy there, stayed only one year.   She missed my grandmother and went back to live with her.  My oldest brother also stayed with my grandmother and eventually joined the Navy towards the end of the War

When the Second World War broke out, the government contacted my father who then  worked at the Fore River shipyards during the war.   Before I was born, he had represented a fleet of coastal ships out of Boston.  Her certainly knew ships, and I wrote a biography of him.

The name of the principal at the Daly was Sr. Rose Patrice, and she ruled with an iron hand.  Everyone was afraid of her, and no-one dared to cross her.  The Sisters of Saint Joseph were the same order that we had at the Cathedral.

Some of the names were: Sr. Margaret Edward, who taught 8th grade, Sr. Charlotte, the 9th, Sr. Redemptus, the 10th and Sr. Veronica the 11th.  The school went only to the 11th grade.  All the basics were taught including French, Latin, English, etc.  My favorite teacher was Sr. Veronica.

Life at the school was generally uneventful.  I remember once during the time I boarded there that we had an outbreak of head lice!  Everyone was forced to have DDT put on their heads and wrapped up, regardless of whether we had contracted the lice or not.  We found out the infestation was brought in by two new boarders.

Sometimes my friend Clair Pintel and I were asked if we would go over to the nuns’ residence and cut hosts for Mass on Sunday.  We jumped at the chance.  When the nun would leave the room, w sneaked pieces of the host material and chewed it!  We thought that was fun, as we knew it wasn’t consecrated.  We were not supposed to do that, and if we had been caught, we would have lost the privilege of stamping out the hosts with the manual stamper.

Another incident occurred when I was in the dining room after the dinner meal.  We were asked to be quiet, but a girl at another table said something funny, and I snickered.  The nun in charge of the dining room came over to me and clapped me as she could across my face.  I had been there only 2 days, and I had never been it in the face my whole life of 13 years.  I will never forget it.  I didn’t give her the satisfaction of crying.  Actually, I was very embarrassed as I hadn’t gotten to know anybody yet.

Evening prayers were said in the chapel every night.  Each student was issued a white chapel veil when she came to board at the school, along with a number that had to be printed on the veil and everything else she owned.  I liked chapel. 

Every night I would look out the window and see Dorchester.  It was comforting because I would think of my aunt who lived a short distance from the school and would come to visit me on Sundays.  I knew Dorchester fairly well by then.

I stayed at the school until the 11th grade.  I then went back to my grandmothers in Boston.  When I was 14, I found I could get a worker’s permit.  I couldn’t wait to find some kind of a job to help out.  I met a lade from the Franklin Square House, and she told me to apply there to work in the kitchen, etc. I was so excited when they hired me.  It  was a home for working women located perhaps on Canton Street in the South End.  I could walk across Blackstone Park from my grandmother’s building and be there in five minutes.  I made 35 cents per hour and did all sorts of jobs.  There was an Irish lady I sometimes worked with who always asked me to sing Danny Boy.  I have sung since I was 6  and do so even today. 

By then I decided to finish school at the Daly.  I worked at the Franklin Square House from 6 o’clock until eight.  I then took the train to Fields Corer and took a bus from there to Train Street where the school was located.  Climbing up that hill was a task in itself.  Train Street was quite steep, at least for me anyway.  I would get to the door of the school, and there was Sister Patrice waiting inside to see if I was late.  I never was!  She insisted I could not wear ankle sox to school.  It had to be stockings, and we had to wear cotton ones because of the war.  I obliged with no problems. 

At 3 o’clock school was over for the day.  I hurried back home and worked from 4 until 8.  I then went home, did my homework and started the next morning all over again. 

When I graduated in 1947, there were 12 in our class.  Our certificate said “Daly Commercial High School.”   I can remember a few of my classmates.  One was Mary Lynch, a boarder.  there there was Katherine Henderson and Barbara Tasha who both lived on Train Street.  Years later I tried to find Katherine but had no success. I lost contact when I moved to Dearborn, Michigan, after marrying in 1952 in Cambridge.   My husband was Design Engineer at Ford Motor Co.  He was there for 36 years, retired in 1984 and died ten years later.  He was in the Marine Corps and was originally from Michigan.  We had 41 years together and raised 2 great daughters .  I am now 86.

I kept in touch with my friend Claire Pintel.  I introduced her to my oldest brother and eventually they fell in love.  They had children including twins.  My younger brother whose friend was at the working Boys Home with him become life-long friends. His name was Neil Gray.  My brother made his home with Neil’s family even after Neil died.  They had gone into business together in Arizona.  My brother died in December 2016

Although I am 86 I have to keep busy or I am lost.  I’m in St. Pat’s choir; I bowl once a week; and I am an artist like my grandmother who came from famous artists in England named Dixon.  My art keeps me going.  I have had heart valve surgery, 2 broken hips and one ankle!!!  Oh well, such is life.  I paint seascapes and lighthouses, some of Michigan and some of Massachusetts, and I make a few dollars.  My grandmother had the artist William Paskell for a teacher.  He rented a room in her apartment, which helped with the bills for the 4 of us.  I learned a lot from both.

Patricia Gimple

7787 Oakland Pl

Waterford, MI  48327



Reader’s comment:

From: Marie E. Ziniti

I grew up on Train Street, just a block from the Daly Industrial. As kids we didn’t know anything about it, other than it had a GREAT old climbing tree on the property.

I never met any of the children who went to school there never even saw them. It was something of a “mystery” school.

I met two of the sisters from Daly Industrial, when traveling on the bus with my mother. They invited me to visit the school, which I did. I only stayed for a short time and got a quick glimpse inside the classrooms as I made my way to the principal’s office.

I was quite little but was amazed that so many children were in the classrooms so late in the day and that I had never met one of them. It was my first and only visit inside the walls.

When they torn down the school and built the houses, it was the turning of an era. We would walk among its ruins trying to figure out who had lived there. We found marble lying on the ground as if it were a headstone to the loss of the building and grounds. Within a year or so of its destruction, you would never know that that beautiful estate and school had once been there. I think of it as a great loss and wish I had photographs to remind me of its elegance.


Posted on

June 1, 2020