Frederick Louis Alberg

Frederick Louis Alberg by Camille Arbogast

Frederick Louis Alberg, known as Fred, was born on October 2, 1889, in Dedham, Massachusetts. His parents, John Alfred and Johanna (Frederickson) Alberg, had been born in Sweden and immigrated to the United States around 1887. Fred’s younger sister, Hilda, was born in 1894. There were at least two other Alberg children who died in childhood: Minnie Belle who died in 1892 at 11 months, and Annie or Ella, who died in 1898 at 3 months.

Not much is known about Fred’s childhood. His father was a bricklayer. In 1900, the Albergs lived on Milton Street in Dedham. They appear to have moved to Boston around 1905, when Alfred Alberg, mason, appeared in the Boston directory living at 34 Cabot Street in Roxbury. By 1908, Alfred had moved to 978 Harrison Street in Roxbury; in 1911, he began to be listed under John A. Alberg, bricklayer. He appeared at the Harrison Street address through 1915.

By 1917, the family had moved to Dorchester and lived at 1A Leyland Street. Fred was a clerk at the Hotel Brewster which stood on the corner of Washington and Boylston Streets in Boston. That May, he became engaged to Alice Catherine Burkhardt, a bookkeeper and Jamaica Plain native.

On February 26, 1918, Fred was drafted and inducted into the Army. He was sent to Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, for training, where he was assigned to the 20th Company, 5th Training Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade. On March 14, 1918, he was transferred to Company A, 301st Military Police Company, Headquarters Battalion, 76th Division. About a month before he was to leave for France, Fred and Alice married. They were wed on June 14, 1918, by Reverend Paul G. Loeber, of Roxbury’s Trinity Lutheran Church. Fred sailed overseas on July 8, departing from Boston on the HMS Cardiganshire. He was promoted to private first class on November 15. On June 27, 1919, Fred began his journey home, sailing from Brest, France, on the SS Manitou, and arriving in New York City on July 10. He was demobilized and discharged at Camp Devens on July 16, 1919.

After Fred’s return, he and Alice lived with her parents, Gottlieb and Sophie Burkhardt, at 295 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain. Also living in the household in 1920 were Alice’s sister, Sophie C., a grocery store saleslady, as well as her brother, John. Fred, John, and Gottlieb worked for the family moving business, G. W. Burkhardt & Son. Fred and Alice’s daughter, Alice Louise, was born in 1920.

In May 1922, Fred was driving a load of 1,500 bottles of near-beer from Boston to New Bedford. On County Street in Taunton, he lost control of the truck, hit a tree, and the truck overturned. Fred jumped out of the cab before the crash and “escaped serious injury.” But the truck caught fire, igniting the bottles of near-beer. The Fall River Globe reported that “After the outbreak of the flames the bottles, becoming heated, proceeded to explode with such frequency and in such numbers that hundreds of people were attracted by the miniature fireworks celebration and there were not a few who [hoped] that possibly the percentage of alcoholic content might be higher than the law bottles … they could procure. They were doomed to disappointment, for after tests and comparisons of results the unanimous verdict was that the Volstead act had been respected.”

In 1930, Fred, Alice, and their daughter were still living at 296 Amory Street. Alice’s siblings had left the household, and a niece, Natalie Burkhardt, 7, had joined. By 1940, the Albergs had moved to 300 Amory Street. Fred was unemployed. Alice Louise, now 19, worked as a stenographer at an insurance company. By 1942, Fred was employed by A.G. Burkhart of 640 Parker Street, Roxbury, a moving and trucking company.

Fred died in Boston on February 21, 1949. At this time, nothing else is known about his death, including where he was buried.

Researched and written by Camille Arbogast.


Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA;

Family Tree;

1900, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Federal Census;

Boston directories, various years;

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

“West Roxbury District,” Boston Globe, 14 May 1917: 4;

Military, Compiled Service Records. World War I. Carded Records. Records of the Military Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, Massachusetts National Guard.

“Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database citing Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, State Archives, Boston;

“Marriages,” Boston Globe, 23 June 1918: 18;

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

“Fire Destroys Near-Beer Laden Truck at Taunton,” Fall River Globe, 12 May 1922: 6;

United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration;

Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007;



Posted on

March 22, 2022

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