Henry W. Young, 1900-1976

No. 13121 Henry W Young Corp. 94 Standard St Mattapan Co B Harvard S.A.T.C.

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.

Dorchester World War One Service Member biography: Henry William Young, 1900-1976

 At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit that highlights these men and their service to our country.

Henry William Young was born August 9, 1900, at 212 F Street in South Boston. He was the oldest child of Bostonians Mary A. (Birmingh) and William J.J. Young, a draftsman. They also had six younger children: Joseph, John, Mary, Helen, William, and Francis. By 1910, the family lived on Sewall Street (today’s Southwick Street and Salina Road) in Neponset.

In 1916, Henry was one of the “energetic Dorchester boys” who started a cadet group associated with Saint Peter’s church on Bowdoin Street. Perhaps caught up in the enthusiasm over the United States’ entry into World War I but too young to enlist, the boys drilled in Fields Corner’s Ronan Park, as well at the Columbia Road Gymnasium. They were supported by “public-spirited men and women,” whose donations enabled the group to be “equipped with uniforms and swords.” Henry was the Drum Major.

By 1918, his parents had purchased 94 Standard Street in Mattapan. That September, Henry registered for the second draft, for men who had turned 18 since the first draft in June 1917. At that time, he was a machinist helper at the Bethlehem Ship Building Corporation in Squantum.

On his notecard for Henry W. Young, Dr. Perkins noted that Henry was in Company B of the Harvard Student Army Training Corps (SATC), a program that allowed students to combine college studies with military training. Harvard was one of 525 schools to participate. Henry probably entered the SATC on its first day, October 1, 1918, when as many as 200,000 students were voluntarily inducted into its ranks. The program did not last long, as the Armistice occurred only a little over a month after the SATC’s formation. The Harvard SATC was disbanded in early December 1918. It is unclear if Henry had any further involvement with Harvard. According to a newspaper article written about him in the late 1920s, Henry was “graduate of Boston University and Harvard College;” on the 1940 census, it was reported he attended two years of college.

In 1920, he was living at 94 Standard Street and working as a clerk in a shipyard. By 1926, he was a custodian for the Boston Public Schools, his life-long career. He began at the Martha Baker School on Walk Hill Avenue. In May 1926, he applied for and received a transfer to the nearby Charles Logue School. In December 1927, he again applied for a transfer and moved to the Dwight School on West Springfield Street in the South End.

On the eighth of June 1929, he wed Helena Evelyn Sullivan of 21 Standard Street. Helena was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Roxbury. According to the 1940 census, she attended five years of college. They were married at Saint Gregory’s Church in Lower Mills. Henry’s sister, Mary, was in the wedding party. The officiant was Helena’s brother Edward, who was recently ordained. Henry’s brother, John, also had become a priest, in the Congregation of the Mission order. After their wedding trip, Henry and Helena settled at 14 Duxbury Road in Mattapan. They had four children: John, Henry, Kathleen, and Joan.

In February 1930, an illness kept Henry from work, and he applied for sick leave. He was given “one-half net compensation.” That fall, he transferred to the Warren School on Pearl and Summer Streets in Charlestown. In 1932, after a summer at the Norcross School House, he moved to the Emily Fifield School, where he remained for the rest of the decade. In the 1930s, Henry applied for a couple of other Boston Public School jobs, including Attendance Officer and Fuel Engineer, but it does not appear he was hired for them.

By 1940, Henry and Helena owned 54 Richview Street, valued at $5,000. By this time, Henry was earning $3,000 a year. In 1941, he was the custodian of the Robert Treat Paine School on Blue Hill Avenue near Harvard Street. After a couple of years, he transferred to the Francis Parkman School on Walk Hill Street in Jamaica Plain, then to the Lowell School, before settling at the Thomas J. Kenney School on Oakton Avenue near Adams Street. Henry was then  a Senior Custodian. Finally, in late 1947, he moved to the Henry L. Pierce school in Codman Square.

Henry died in Dorchester on June 19, 1976. A funeral mass was held for him at Saint Gregory’s Church, and he was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery. Henry was a member of Saint Gregory’s Holy Name Society, the Saint Vincent De Paul Society, the Lower Mills Knights of Columbus 180, and Bishop Cheverus 4th Degree Assembly.



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

Family Tree, Ancestry.com

US Federal Census 1910, 1920, 1940; Ancestry.com

G.W. Bromley & Co. Atlas of the City of Boston, Dorchester, 1910; DorchesterAtheneum.org

“Energetic Dorchester Boys Form St. Peter’s Church Cadets,” Boston Globe, 27 April 1916: 5; Newspapers.com

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

“Reserve Officers Training Corps,” Wikipedia.org, 23 September 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_Officers%27_Training_Corps#Student_Army_Training_Corps_(SATC)>

“SATC Will End Wednesday,” The Harvard Crimson, 6 Dec 1918; TheCrimson.com

Donner, M.J., “Fifty Percent of SATC College Men” [editorial], The Harvard Crimson, 14 April 1919; TheCrimson.com

Manual of the Public Schools of the City of Boston, Various Years; Archive.org

Proceedings of the School Committee of the City of Boston, Various Years; Archive.org

“H.W. Young, Dorchester, and Miss Sullivan Wed,” Boston Globe, 8 June 1929: 2; Newpapers.com

“38 Eligible for School Job,” Boston Globe, 24 Nov 1931: 15; Newspapers.com

“Eleven Eligible for Deputy Fire Chief,” Boston Globe, 18 Aug 1934: 19: Newspapers.com

“Deaths,” Boston Globe, 21 Jun 1976: 27; Newspapers.com



Posted on

December 15, 2021

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.