No. 13049 Edwin L. 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.
Edwin L Ego 124 River St, Mattapan 74th US Infantry supply line
Edwin Leo Ego. Written by Donna Albino.
Edwin Leo Ego was born in Roxbury on February 1, 1896 to John Ego and Mary (Hassan) Ego. Edwin was their sixth child; they had three sons and two daughters before him.
By 1900, the growing family had moved to 124 River Street in Mattapan. At that time, there were two more children, a boy and a girl. 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. Edwin was 14 and still in school; his father and his brother James were working as florists, his brother John Jr was working as a bookkeeper for a plumbers supplies business, and his brother Charles was working as a stenographer for an electrical business. A ninth child had joined the family; Charles’s youngest sibling, a sister Gertrude, was nine years old.
On June 5, 1917, Edwin and his brother Charles registered for the war draft. A tall, slender man with dark hair and gray eyes, Edwin was working as a gardener, employed by his older brother James. The brothers were both still listed as living at 124 River Street in Mattapan on their draft cards.
Edwin was inducted on June 24, 1918 along with 500 other men from the greater Boston area, and left on a special train from North Station for Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts shortly before noon. The men were given a rousing sendoff as the train of 15 cars pulled out of the shed. A Boston Globe reporter described the scene: “The now familiar scenes were reenacted. This going away was the same as others in the past; the same tender farewells, the same parting kisses from mothers, sisters and sweethearts; the same courageous handshakes of fathers and brothers. And then the fluttering of handkerchiefs and the wiping away of tears.”
Edwin was assigned to the 151st Depot Brigade until August 1, 1918. The role of depot brigades was to receive and organize recruits, provide them with uniforms, equipment and initial military training, and then send them to France to fight on the front lines. The 151st Depot Brigade organized for the Great War was stationed at Camp Devens.
After August of 1918, Edwin was stationed with the Supply Company in the 74th Infantry. Infantry is a military specialization that engages in military combat on foot. Infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transports. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare. The 74th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 12th Division, and demobilized in January 1919. Edwin was discharged on January 22, 1919 at Camp Devens.
Edwin 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 has the head of the house in the 1920 census. James was working as a florist, Charles was a bookkeeper for an oil company, 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.
In 1927, Edwin married Mary Lillian Carroll. By 1930, they moved to 19 Blue Hill Terrace in Milton, and had a daughter Marian, who was a year old. Edwin was working as a clerk at the post office. They were renting the home in 1930, but by the 1940 census, they had bought the home at 19 Blue Hill Terrace, and their daughter Marian was now 11 years old. Edwin was still working as an office clerk at the post office.
In 1942, Edwin registered for the second World War draft. His draft card revealed that he worked at the post office in Dorchester. His physical description was very similar to his appearance 25 years earlier for the first World War draft, but his hair was gray.
The year 1944 was a year of loss for the Ego family. In February of 1944, Edwin’s mother passed away, and was interred at New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan. Only a few months later, on June 19, 1944, Edwin passed away in Milton. His obituary listed him as a member of the Harris Post of the American Legion, and identified the post office where he worked as the Dorchester Center Post Office.
In 1945, Edwin’s wife Mary filled out an application for a military veteran’s headstone for his grave. The request for flat granite marker was approved and sent to Milton Cemetery. Edwin’s wife Mary never remarried. She passed away in 1976 and was interred in Milton Cemetery, likely next to Edwin’s resting place.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Birth Index, 1860-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1901-1955 and 1966-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
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
Year: 1930; Census Place: Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 2340670
Year: 1940; Census Place: Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: m-t0627-01628; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 11-131
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
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) 24 Jun 1918, Mon Pages 1-2
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 21 Feb 1944, Mon Page 17
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 21 Jun 1944, Wed Page 18
The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 05 Feb 1976, Thu Page 33