Frederic Nixon Weaver

No. 13070 Frederic Nixon Weaver

Photograph 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.

Frederick N Weaver Corp. 101st US Engineers Co F A.E.F. France

Frederick Nixon Weaver.  Written by Donna Albino.

Frederic Nixon Weaver was born September 21, 1889, at 4 Dimock Street in Roxbury, the first child of Margaret I. (Nixon) and George Edwin Weaver. He was followed by three siblings: Warren born in 1891, Mabel in 1893, and Ralph in 1901.

Frederic’s paternal grandparents owned a home in Dorchester at the corner of Milton Avenue and Prospect Street (today’s Edson street). Frederic’s grandfather, a “stationary engineer,” died in 1891; by 1893, Boston directories list the Weaver family living at 50 Milton Avenue, probably the grandparents’ home. In 1895, there was a real estate transaction between Frederic’s father George and Jennie Cliff, Frederic’s aunt; it appears they divided the family property. The Cliffs lived at the corner of Milton and Edson, and the Weavers on the next lot in from the corner, 65 Edson. Growing up in Dorchester, Frederic attended the Henry L. Pierce school at Washington Street and Welles Avenue.

After working as a mason for over twenty years, Frederic’s father George became the Sexton of the Second Congregational Church, Codman Square, around 1910. At that time, Frederic was attending Tufts College. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering in 1913. In addition to his studies, Frederic pledged Sigma Tau Alpha, was Class Treasurer and served on the Class Day Committee.

Frederic also developed his creative side while in college. He was on the editorial board of The Tuftonian, a monthly literary magazine. His play “One a Williams,” produced at the college, won the Pen, Paint, and Pretzel Club playwriting award. Representing the Tufts Dramatic Society, he worked with the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavors of the Second Congregational Church, Codman Square, to produce the plays “Lost—A Chaperone,” and “The Deacon’s Second Wife.”

Literary endeavors continued throughout his life. In 1921, his short story “When Walls Have Breath” ran in Detective Story magazine; “Angling for Eddie,” a three-act-play, was published in 1927.  In the late 1930s, his play “A Clear Conscience” was produced by Barnstormers of Pennsylvania; two years later it was presented at Tufts by the Graduate Dramatic Society. Combining his literary and engineering talents, he also wrote a book on applied mechanics.

After graduation, Frederic spent the summer of 1913 in Europe, travelling in Italy and France. When he returned, he went to work as a checker for the New England Structural Company in Everett, Massachusetts. In 1915, he moved to Passaic, New Jersey, and taught industrial education at Passaic High School for two years.

He registered for the draft in Passaic. He had already begun the process of determining how he might serve in the war; it was noted on his registration that he had “passed officer military examination.” Frederic enlisted in the National Guard in Boston on August 22, 1917.

He served in F Company, 101st Engineers of the 26th Division, or Yankee Division. They trained for a month at Wentworth Institute in Boston, before sailing for France on the USS Andania on September 26. They were initially stationed in Rolampont, in the Haute-Marne, where they built a camp to be occupied by later arriving troops. This involved building barracks, digging latrines, and working on roads. For six weeks in February and March 1918, the Company was in the Chemin des Dames Sector, where they spent their nights stringing barbed wire and digging trenches. In the spring, in the Toul-Boucq Sector, they improved frontline trenches, again working at night, and often under fire. Frederic was promoted to Corporal in April. In July, they were at Chateau-Thierry, during the Aisne-Marne offensive. Here, their assignments included burying the dead and constructing trenches, enduring shellfire and a gas attack. Sometimes they were called upon as infantry, participating in attacks, or “going over the top.” Once they were in enemy territory, they blew up or cut barbed wire, bombed dugouts and wrecked trenches. Frederic was slightly wounded in action on July 21, a day the Company was assigned to fill shell holes on the Lucy-le-Bocage road. In August, the tenor of the war changed, and instead of digging trenches, they now filled them, building roads over them for the advancing Allied Army. In September, F Company was at the engagement at Saint-Mihiel; in October they worked around Verdon in the Meuse-Argonne. Just before the Armistice, in early November, Frederic left his company to attended the final course offered at the Engineer Candidates School. When the school closed on January 31, 1919, he returned to F Company, now assigned to road work in northwestern France.

In late February, Frederic, along with two other members of his company, “took advantage of the government’s offer and spent four blissful months in French Universities,” as he remembered in the published history of F Company. As part of the American School Detachment, Frederic studied at the University of Caen, where he remained until the end of June. He thought this “the best part of the war.”

Frederic returned to the United States in mid-July, sailing from Brest with the Brest Casual Company 2249 on the USS Imperator. He was discharged on July 22. Back in Massachusetts, he lived for a year in Medford before returning to live with his family at 65 Edson Street.

On December 19, 1923, Frederic married Ruth Johnson of Dorchester, a co-thespian from his Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavors days. For their honeymoon, they travelled in Europe for four months in the summer of 1924, visiting France, Switzerland, Italy, and England. In 1925, their son, Arthur, was born. A daughter, Dorothy, followed in 1938. The couple’s first home together was located at 16 High Street in West Somerville. By 1930, they owned 29 Adams Street in Medford, and in 1948, they purchased 34 Jackson Road, West Medford, where they lived for the rest of Frederic’s life.

Beginning with the 1919-20 school year, Frederic was an instructor of Mathematics at Tufts College. He spent his career at Tufts, rising to Professor of Civil Engineering in 1932, and finally head of the Civil Engineering department, a position he held until his retirement in 1957. During summers, he maintained a civil engineering practice. He was active in professorial and civil engineering professional societies, serving as president of the Tufts Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the New England section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Boston Society of Civil Engineers

Frederick died on August 22, 1976 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford. He was survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren


Birth Certificate, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts;

Weaver, Lucius Egbert. History and Genealogy of a Branch of the Weaver Family. Du Bois Press, 1928;

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

Boston Directories, various years,

1884 Bromley Atlas of the City of Boston, Dorchester, Plate N; 1910 Bromley Atlas of the City of Boston, Dorchester, Plate 25; Dorchester Historical Society,

“Real Estate Matters,” Boston Globe, 30 Aug 1895: 7;

“Henry L. Pierce School,” Boston Globe 23 June 1903: 5;

“Tufts College Commencement,” Boston Globe 18 June 1913: 3;

“Bush’s Vote Elects His Rival,” Boston Globe, 3 October 1912: 4;

“Editors of the Tuftonian,” Boston Globe, 13 June 1911: 11;

“Tufts Will Give an Ibsen Play,” Boston Globe 19 January 1913: 51;

“Lost—A Chaperone,” Boston Globe, 29 May 1913: 14;

“Presented 3-Act Comedy,” Boston Globe, 14 May 1914: 11;

Weaver, Frederic Nixon. “When Walls Have Breath,” Detective Story Magazine, October 15, 1921

Weaver, Frederic Nixon, Angling for Eddie. Boston: Walter H. Baker Company, 1927

“Tufts Graduates to Give Original One Act Play” Boston Globe, 8 March 1940: 13;

Weaver, Frederic N. Applied Mechanics. NY: Ronald Press, 1930

Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C., 28 Jun 1913-09 Jul 1913;

World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, National Archive and Records Administration;

Service Record; The Adjutant General Office, Archives-Museum Branch, Concord, MA

Weaver, Frederic N. and Philip N. Sanborn. The Story F Company 101st US Engineers, An Informal Narrative. Boston: T.O. Metcalf Co, 1924

Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, The National Archives at College Park, Maryland;

Passport Application, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; 20 May 1924;

34 Jackson Road Deed, Southern Middlesex Registry of Deeds,

Tufts College Bulletin, Annual Catalog, 1919-1920, Published by the Trustees of Tufts College; 56,

Tufts Yearbooks, Various Years;

“Engineering Head at Tufts Will Retire from Post” Boston Globe, 3 Sept 1957: 6;

“Frederic Weaver; taught at Tufts,” Boston Globe, 23 August 1976: 31;



Posted on

April 12, 2022

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