Frances Blanche Noyes, known as Blanche, was born on June 17, 1900, at 190 Maverick Street in East Boston. Her father, Henry Sia Noyes, immigrated to the United States from Austria around 1884. Her mother, Elizabeth Hermanson, known as Lizzie, arrived in the United States around the same time, having been born in Sweden to Russian parents. Lizzie and Henry married in 1899. They had two younger sons: Samuel born in 1902, and Joseph in 1903.
At the time of Blanche’s birth, Henry was a grocer. By 1903, he had changed jobs, the Boston directory listing him as a canvasser. A year later, he appeared as a tailor, his occupation for the rest of his life. That same year, 1904, Lizzie died of lobar pneumonia at Massachusetts General Hospital. Henry married again in 1908, wedding Rose Bloom, a clerk from Cambridge, Massachusetts. By that time, the Noyes family had moved from East Boston, and lived at 915 Blue Hill Avenue. They relocated to 210 Howard Avenue by 1910, and then, the next year, to 307 Harvard Street. In 1913, Blanche graduated from the George Putnam School on Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.
On August 26, 1918, Blanche enrolled in the United States Naval Reserve Force at the Recruiting Station in Boston, reporting for duty on August 30. At the time of her enlistment, her address was 5 Esmond Street in Dorchester. Stationed at the district detail office in Boston, Blanche served as a yeoman, 2nd class (F). Sometimes called “yeomanettes” or “yeowomen,” female Yeomen were officially enrolled in the Navy and received the same rate of pay as men. The Naval Act of 1916 included a line permitting the enlistment of “all persons who may be capable of performing special useful service for coastal defense.” The non-gendered language was interpreted to include women and they were recruited beginning in March 1917. By the end of the war there were over 11,000 female Yeomen. They most often served in clerical roles, though some held specialized positions.
Blanche was released from duty on July 28, 1919. Many female yeomen were appointed to Civil Service jobs in their previous Navy workplaces after being released from duty, and this seems to have been the case for Blanche, as in January 1920 she was employed as a stenographer in the Navy Yard. She lived at 7 Brenton Street, lodging with fellow Navy stenographer Marion Bloomberg and her family. Blanche was honorably discharged on August 26, 1920, due to lack of funds.
After leaving the Navy, Blanche studied to be a dental hygienist, graduating from the Forsyth-Tufts Training School for Dental Hygienists in June 1922. In the mid-1920s, Blanche lived in Brookline, Massachusetts, and worked as a dental hygienist.
On June 3, 1926, Blanche married Harold Charles Daniels at the Rose Gordon House, 54 Greene Street, in Brookline. A native Bostonian, he lived with his family at 4 Harlem Street in Dorchester. Harold was a mirror salesman, possibly still employed by the Boston Mirror Company, the employer listed on his World War I draft registration. Blanche and Harold were married by Rabbi Samuel J. Abrams. They had two daughters: Lois Anne born in 1928, and Nancy Barbara in 1933.
In the late 1920s, the Daniels resided on Park Vale Avenue in Allston. They returned to Dorchester by 1930, where they rented an apartment at 6 Vesta Road for $70 a month and employed a live-in maid, 16-year-old Dorothy Orkin. Ten years later, they had moved in with Harold’s widowed father, Julius, at 4 Harlem Street. By that time, Harold was no longer in the mirror business, but instead was a picture salesman. In 1942, he reported his employer was The Art Publishing Company of Chicago. Julius died in 1947. Blanche, Harold, and their children remained in the Harlem Street house through the 1950s.
Blanche was involved with local community groups, including serving “as president of the Sisterhood of Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline, and … of the Women’s Auxiliary of Hecht House in Dorchester. She was active in interfaith groups, and was a board member of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Boston.” She regularly addressed women’s groups, often on literary topics; her obituary in the Jewish Times noted, “Mrs. Daniels was well known as a dynamic book reviewer and lecturer on current events.” In 1959, she participated in Jewish Book Month at the Mattapan Branch Library, reading from Sholem Aleichem’s works. A couple of her letters to the editor of the Boston Globe were published during the 1950s. One expressed her concern over the unintended consequences of snowballs thrown by children; a snowball hit a bus she was riding on, shattering a window. In another letter, she commended area teenagers from Glenway and Harlem Streets who assisted with cleanup after recent hurricanes.
By 1961, Blanche and Harold had moved to 26 Priscilla Road in Brighton. Harold passed away in June 1971. Blanche died on December 2, 1980, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. At the time of her death she had six grandchildren. Her funeral was at Levine Chapel in Brookline and a memorial observance was held at her daughter’s home in Wellesley. Remembrance donations were made in her name to Brookline’s Temple Ohabei Shalom, where a fund was “established in her memory … for the purchase of books to be awarded for scholastic excellence to students of the Temple schools.” Blanche was buried beside Harold in the Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, Massachusetts.
Researched and written by Camille Arbogast.
Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Ma; Ancestry.com
1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Federal Census; Ancestry.com
Boston directories, various years; Ancestry.com
“Oliver Wendell Holmes School The Leader in Numbers,” Boston Globe, 19 June 1913: 7; Newspapers.com
The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926; Ancestry.com
Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917 – 1940, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 – 2007. National Archives at St. Louis, MO; FamilySearch.org
Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Ancestry.com
“Diplomas Given 51 Dental Hygienists,” Boston Globe, 2 June 1922: 21; Ancestry.com
“Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database citing Brookline, Suffolk, MA, State Archives, Boston; FamilySearch.org
“Ten Brides of June,” Boston Globe, 12 June 1926: 2; Newspapers.com
United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
“Blanche N. Daniels,” The Jewish Times (Boston, MA), 11 December, 1980: 19; AmericanAncestors.org
“Snowballs Hurled at MTA Buses May Cause Serious Injury to Patrons,” Boston Globe, 10 February 1953: 23; Newspapers.com
“Courageous Teen-Agers Win Praise for Volunteer Work in Hurricanes,” Boston Globe, 25 September 1954: 4; Newspapers.com
“Morning Death Notices,” Boston Globe, 18 June 1971: 30; Newspapers.com
“Deaths,” Boston Globe, 4 December 1980: 79; Newspapers.com
Frances Blanche Daniels, FindAGrave.com