Abbruzzese Brothers by Camile Arbogast
Emmanuele (sometimes spelled Emanuele) Abbruzzese was born March 8, 1891. His brother Salvatore was born May 3, 1894. Both were born in Forenza, a town in the province of Potenza, Basilicata, in southern Italy. Their parents were Rocco and Maria L. (Andretta) Abbruzzese. They had at least two brothers: Antonio, born in 1885, and Domenico, born in 1888.
On June 21, 1906, Emmanuele sailed from Naples, Italy, on the White Star Line’s SS Romanic, arriving in Boston on July 4. Emmanuele, who had attended school through the seventh grade, could read and write. He carried on his person ten dollars.
Emmanuele’s passage was paid by his brother, Antonio, who had been living in the United States since 1900. Domenico was also in Boston, having arrived in 1904. In 1906, the Boston directory listed Antonio and Domenico working at 3 Stoughton Street, in Upham’s Corner, Dorchester, and living at 5 Stoughton Street. Antonio married Carmela Corbo in 1909 and they eventually had four children. Both Antonio and Domenico became naturalized American citizens in 1910.
Salvatore arrived in Boston in 1911, sailing on the SS Romanic from Naples on August 26, and arriving in Boston on September 5, 1911. Salvatore had also attended school through the seventh grade and was literate. He carried $50 and paid his own passage.
The brothers lived together from 1910 through 1912 at 99 Endicott Street in the North End. Domenico moved to Weymouth in 1912, where he married Margherta E. Corba. In 1913, Salvatore, Antonio, and Antonio’s family moved to 21 Hecla Street in Dorchester. Emmanuele went back to Italy for a year, returning to Boston in 1914 and joining the household at 21 Hecla Street.
The Abbruzzese brothers were barbers. Emmanuele and Salvatore declared this their profession when they entered the United States. All four brothers appear in the Boston directories as barbers, their life-long occupation. Domenico had a barbershop in Jackson Square, Weymouth, for over 50 years. It seems likely that Antonio was the co-proprietor of a shop near Haymarket Square, “Ciambelli and Abbruzzee.” Emmanuele and Salvatore also worked at this shop; Emmanuele from 1912 until 1914 and Salvatore from 1912 until 1917. In 1915, Emmanuele began working at a barbershop at 1238 Dorchester Avenue where he remained until 1917.
Salvatore was inducted into the Army on June 22, 1918, and sent to Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts for training. Salvatore served in Company 16, 4th Battalion, 151 Depot Brigade until August 23, 1918, when he was transferred to Company L of the 56th Infantry. While at Camp Devens, on October 29, 1918, Salvatore became an American citizen. Salvatore was discharged a month later, on November 30, 1918.
“Another Large Lot of Enthusiastic Young Men Start for Camp Devens for Training” announced the headline of a Boston Globe article about the group of draftees of which Emmanuele was a member. Inducted into the Army on July 20, 1918, he was initially assigned to Company 13, 4th Training Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade. On August 21, he was transferred to a Development Battalion, or a unit which conducted “intensive training with a view to developing unfit men for duty.” Among those who would be considered unfit were “soldiers who have not sufficient knowledge of the English language to enable them properly to perform their duties.” These men would be assigned to a Development Battalion that offered combined military training and English instruction. Emmanuele was first placed in Company E, 2nd Development Battalion, then Company K, 3rd Development Battalion, both part of the 151st Depot Brigade. Emmanuele was promoted to private first class on December 14. He may have worked at the Camp Devens Base Hospital, an assignment listed on his Veterans Administration Master Index entry. In September 1918, Emmanuele was naturalized as an American citizen. He was discharged from Camp Devens on June 2, 1919, “by reason of dependent relatives.”
Boston directories list Emmanuele and Salvatore residing at 21 Hecla Street with Antonio in the early 1920s. On October 5, 1921, Salvatore married Esther Santoianni in Boston. Born in Italy, Esther lived with her parents in Dorchester and worked as a tailoress. Salvatore and Esther had one child, a daughter, Marie. For the early years of their marriage, Salvatore continued to be listed in directories as residing at 21 Hecla Street; probably he and Esther lived with Antonio and his family. In 1926, Antonio moved to 18 Agawam Street, Dorchester. The next year, Salvatore and Esther appeared at 183 Hancock Street, Dorchester. By 1930, the couple owned 102 Lake Street in Arlington, where they remained for the next ten years. Esther’s brother Anthony, a packing clerk, lived with them in 1930. By 1941, Salvatore and Esther had moved to 109 Melrose Street, Arlington. At the end of Salvatore’s life, they lived at 59 Chandler Street, Arlington.
In 1924, Emmanuele was listed in the Boston directory living at 9 Yarmouth Street in the South End. From the mid-1920s through the early 1930s, he did not appear in the Boston directory. In 1932, Emmanuele worked at Williams Beauty Salon and resided at 77 Audubon Road in Boston.
By 1934, he had moved to 77 Park Drive along the Fens.
Emmanuele married on December 27, 1934, in Weymouth. His wife, Marion (Egan) Johnson, had been married previously. At age 15, she wed an express man and had a daughter, Marjorie. After that relationship ended, Marion and Marjorie lived with Marion’s parents in South Boston. Marion worked in a department store. In 1925, she was arrested for “the larceny of $360,” stolen over six months by incorrectly entering sales into the cash register and pocketing small discrepancies. She pled guilty and agreed to “make restitution.” In 1930, she was a supervisor at a razor factory, perhaps the Gillette Company. Marion and Emmanuele had two sons, William and Frederick.
In 1935, Emmanuele and Marion lived at 128 Train Street in Dorchester, where they remained for the rest of the decade. In 1940, they moved to 578 Somerville Avenue in Somerville, which they rented for $35 a month. In 1942, on his World War II draft registration, Emmanuele reported he was self-employed, working at 26 West Street in Boston. By the 1960s, Emmanuele and Marion moved to 89 Beach Street in Green Harbor, a community in Duxbury and Marshfield. Emmanuele had retired by 1970.
Salvatore died in Arlington on January 19, 1965. A Solemn High Mass of Requiem was held for him at St. Camillus Church in Arlington and he was buried in Arlington’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Emmanuele died in Waltham on November 12, 1978. A funeral mass was celebrated for him at St. Bernard’s Church in West Newton and he was buried in Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield.
Passenger Lists, Naturalization Records, National Archives and Records Administration; FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com
Boston Directory, various years; Ancestry.com
World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration; FamilySearch.org
“Another Large Lot of Enthusiastic Young Men Start for Camp Devens For Training,” Boston Globe, 22 July 1918: 7; Newspapers.com
Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.
US Veterans Administration Master Index, Military Service, NARA microfilm publication; FamilySearch.org
United States War Department. “General Orders, Number 45, May 9, 1918: Organization, functions, etc. of Development Battalions,” Extracts from General orders and bulletins, War Department, May 1918. With list of paragraphs of Army regulations and other regulations and manuals of the War Department that have been changed since January 1, 1918. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1918; Archive.org
“Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” State Archives, Boston; FamilySearch.org
The Annual Report of the Town of Weymouth, For the Year Ending December 31, 1934; Archive.org
“Convicted of Store Thefts,” Boston Globe, 5 June 1925: 36; Newspapers.com
1930, 1940 United States Federal Census; Ancestry.com
Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Death Notices, Boston Globe, 21 January 1965: 32; Newspapers.com
Salvatore Abbruzzese, FindAGrave.com
Death Notices, Boston Globe, 13 November 1978; Newspapers.com