Dexter Josiah Cutter


Dexter Josiah Cutter

D.J. Cutter & Co., a heating fuel company, was started in 1872 by Dexter Josiah Cutter, passing to his son Frank Ware Cutter, to his son Edward Learoyd Cutter, to his son Edward Learoyd Cutter, Jr., and to his son Timothy Morse Cutter (still managing the business in 2005).

Dexter and Frank built homes on Blanche Street, Dexter at #15 and Frank at #11.

The company started out at Commercial Point, possibly renting from

John Preston before buying the property where they sold coal brought in on boats.

The business would have been located at approximately where Victory Road Park is now.  A heating fuel company existed at this location as 1858 as shown on the Walling Map of Norfolk County.  Although the first word in the name is hard to read, the name of the firm seems to be Spicer & Purrinton Wood & Coal Yard.  Preston’s name appears as well, so perhaps the wood and coal company rented the space.  By 1884 Cutter appears to own the property.  At the same time, the Boston Gas Light Co. had acquired much of Commercial Point.  The company stored coal gas in tanks shown on the 1884 map.

Notes from the National Register Description of Harrison Square/Commercial Point (1990s):

Around 1880, a half dozen stylish and substantial Stick Style houses were built in the district from designs provided by the important Dorchester architect John A. Fox, who may be seen as the successor to Briggs as the district “court architect.” Like Briggs, Fox designed substantial housing noteworthy for memorable siting, bold forms, and picturesque design. These Stick Style residences reflect a design evolution that acknowledges the debt owed to earlier styles such as the Carpenter Gothic and Swiss Chalet. Most of these houses display the asymmetrical massing, steeply pitched gables, highly decorative juxtapositions of clapboards and wood shingles, rustic porch treatments, ornamental stick work, and paneled and corbelled chimneys associated with the Stick Style. Fine examples of Fox-designed domestic architecture in the district included the 1887 house of coal dealer Dexter Cutter at 15 Blanche Street.  Together with the altered Stick Style house at 11 Blanche Street, the D.J. Cutter House at 15 Blanche Street was built in 1887. Like 30 Mill Street, 15 Blanche’s form is unusually compact for the style. Possessing a boxy, rectangular, center entrance plan, the house rises two stories to a steeply-pitched hip roof whose east elevation exhibits a low tripartite dormer enclosed by a sweeping roof slope. Crisply accented by corner boards and a string course between the first and second stories, this house retains its clapboard sheathing. A flight of wooden stairs provides access to a center entrance which is sheltered by a rustic gable-roofed front porch. First floor windows are surmounted by unusual wood shingle-clad aprons which descend and flare out from the second story’s string courses to the heads of the windows.

Dexter Josiah Cutter spent his last five years living with his daughter and her husband at 40 Pleasant St in Waltham MA. He probably moved out of Dorchester after his wife died in 1901.

Frank moved to Milton MA and was residing at 97 Randolph Ave in 1913.

Edward L Cutter Sr. was born at 11 Blanche Street, went to Roxbury Latin 1902 and Harvard college 1906. He built a house next to his father (Frank) on North Russell street in Milton in 1918.

Edward L Cutter Jr. was born in Milton in 1916, went to Milton Academy 1934 and then Harvard College 1938. He resided at 50 Woodland Road Milton MA from 1940 until he death in 1989.

Timothy M Cutter, currently in Dedham MA, have a brother Edward L Cutter III who lives in Westwood MA and a sister Wendy L (Cutter) Maynard who is in Painesville Ohio.


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Posted on

November 11, 2022

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