Frank Lemuel Black

Frank L. Black

Frank L. Black is listed among service records maintained by Dr. Nathaniel Royal Perkins.  During World I, Dr. Perkins was employed by the draft registration board to examine young men for the draft.  During this job, he befriended many servicemen and kept track of their military service during the war.  Dr. Perkins died in 1922, and his widow, Clara, donated the collection to the Dorchester Historical Society in 1924.

Frank L. Black lived at 3 Oak Terrace, Dorchester

Frank Lemuel Black.  By Camille Arbogast

Francis Lemuel Black, known as Frank, was born on May 30, 1892, in Roxbury. A twin, he was born just before his brother Robert, Jr.. Their parents, Robert LeBaron and Cecelia V. (McManaman), were immigrants from New Brunswick, Canada, who married in Boston in 1889. Prior to her marriage, Cecelia was a tailoress. Robert was a painter and a piano finisher before becoming an electric railway motorman. Robert and Cecelia had four other children: Cecelia L. born in 1889, William in 1896, Minnie in 1895, and Vincent in 1899.

At the time of Frank’s birth, the Blacks lived at 14 Adams Street in Roxbury. By 1895, they were living in Dorchester, residing at 5 Ballou Avenue. Five years later, they had moved a short distance to 90 Chapman Avenue (today’s Callender Street). They lived at 150 Canterbury Street (today’s American Legion Highway) at the edge of Franklin Park by 1910.

Frank attended three years of high school, then apprenticed as a machinist. By 1917, he was employed as a machinist toolmaker by the Nelson Blower & Furnace Company of 11 Elkins Street in South Boston. At that time, he was living with his family at 3 Oak Terrace (today’s Oakhurst Street).

At this point, little is known about Frank’s First World War service. On his draft registration in June, 1917, he gave his name as Frank Laurence Black and stated that he had already served four years as a Machinist in the Navy in Boston. It is likely he served in a similar capacity during the war. His obituary reported that he was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War I.

In 1920, Frank was living at 3 Oak Terrace and working as a toolmaker at a tool company. On May 29, 1924, he married secretary Irene Fawcett at Trinity Church in Haverhill. Irene was born in Everett to English immigrant parents. John Fawcett, her father, had been a harbor pilot, guiding ocean liners through Boston harbor. At the time of his death in 1908, he was “the owner of considerable real estate in Dorchester.”

In 1930, Frank and Irene were living with her mother, Marion Fawcett, in Brighton at 1657 Commonwealth Avenue, in an apartment they rented for $50 a month. By 1935, they lived in Newton. Two years later, Frank purchased 131 Bailey Road in Somerville, a home worth $3,600 in 1940.  Frank and Irene had moved to 93 Oxford Street in Arlington by 1942. In the early 1940s, in Somerville and Arlington, Irene’s brother Joseph Fawcett lived with them.

At the time of his marriage, Frank was a mechanical engineer. This was the occupation reported for him on the 1930 census. In 1940, he was a dye maker. Two years later, he worked for switch manufacturer Ucinite of 459 Watertown Street in Newtonville. At the end of his career he was a machinist at United Car Fastener.

In the late 1940s or 1950s, Frank and Irene moved to Needham. Around 1962, they relocated to Florida, living at 2107 Bayshore Gardens Parkway in Bradenton. There, Frank was a member of the Bayshore American Legion Post 217 and Irene belonged to the English Order of Odd Ladies of Massachusetts. Irene passed away in October 1966. Frank died on August 18, 1971, in Bradenton, Florida.


Birth Record, Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook);

Robert L. Black Naturalization Papers, National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA;

1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Federal Census;

Family Tree,

World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration;

Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915;

“Mourn With Family,” Boston Globe, 8 July 1908: 11;

“Deeds,” Boston Globe, 21 May 1937: 39;

Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration;

“Deaths in Tampa, Other Cities on the West Coast,” Tampa Tribune, 26 Oct 1966: 13;

Obituaries, Tampa Bay Times (St Petersburg, FL) 20 August 1971: 27;


Posted on

March 26, 2022

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