No. 13133 Thomas J. Flaherty
Photograph of Thomas J Flaherty. 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.
Thomas J Flaherty 2171 Dorchester Ave enlisted 315t Ammunition Train somewhere in France
No. 13132 John Francis Flaherty
Photograph of John F Flaherty 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
John H Flaherty, 2171 Dorchester Ave., Navy Newport RI
Thomas Flaherty and John Flaherty. Written by Camille Arbogast.
Thomas and John Flaherty were the sons of Michael, a gardener, and Bridget (Byrne) Flaherty; both were Irish immigrants who arrived in the United States around 1880. Michael and Bridget were married in Boston in 1888. Their first child, Thomas Joseph Flaherty, was born on April 11, 1890, in Milton. Their younger son, John Francis, was born February 27, 1897, in Dorchester. Thomas and John had three sisters, Katherine born in 1891, Mary in 1895, and Teresa in 1899.
By the time John was born, the family lived at 23 Monson Street in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester. Michael’s brother, Patrick Flaherty, lived with them and worked in the chocolate mill, most likely at the Walter Baker Chocolate Company. In 1907, Bridget died of pneumonia, a complication of an appendix abscess. In 1917, the family purchased 2171 Dorchester Avenue.
At age 20 in 1910, Thomas was a laborer doing odd jobs. By the time of his draft registration in 1917, he was a forester working for the Metropolitan Park Commission of Massachusetts. During the war, Thomas served as a Private in Company F, 315 Ammunition Train, 90th Division. On July 6, 1918, he sailed from New York on the USS Louisville, bound for Europe. The 90th Division were present at the engagements at Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. After the Armistice, they were part of the Army of Occupation. On May 29, 1919, Thomas returned to the United States, sailing from Saint-Nazaire, France, on the USS Edgar F Lukenbach. He arrived in Boston on June 8, 1919, and was sent to Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts for demobilization.
In June 1918, John registered for the second draft, for men who had turned 18 since the prior draft. At the time of his registration, he, too, worked for the Metropolitan Park Commission. John enrolled in the Navy and was sent to Newport, Rhode Island, probably for training. On his notecard for John Flaherty, Dr. Perkins noted that John served in the First Company, Fifth Regiment in Newport.
After the war, Thomas and John returned to 2171 Dorchester Avenue; John remained there for the rest of his life. Thomas worked as an electrician and John as leather sorter. Their father worked in the chocolate factory, while sisters Katherine and Mary were stenographers.
Thomas married Mary L. Bennett of Waltham on October 19, 1921, at St. Charles Church, Waltham. Mary was known locally as a soprano soloist at the church. The couple settled in Waltham, living with Mary’s parents, Joseph and Catherine Bennett, at 120 Brown Street. Thomas and Mary had one son, Thomas, born in 1926. In 1927, Thomas and Mary, along with Mary’s parents and their young son, moved within Waltham to 24 Fiske Street. The next year they moved again, purchasing 150-152 Russell Street, also in Waltham. In 1937, Thomas, Mary, their son, and Mary’s mother relocated to 96 Galen Street in Waltham. By 1938, they were back at 150 Russell Street. In 1940, Thomas, Mary, and their son lived at 21 Murray Street, Waltham. By 1942, they had moved again, to 16 Hamblin Road, Waltham.
During this time, Thomas worked as a salesman, his primary occupation for his married working life. He was employed by a dye and chemical company, according to the 1930 census. In 1942, on his World War II draft registration, he reported his employer’s address as 72 Granite Street, Boston. By 1940, he made $2,000 a year.
John remained living in the home at 2171 Dorchester Avenue. In 1930, it was valued at $8,000. Residing there with John were his father, Michael, and sisters: Teresa, Katherine, and Mary. Michael died in 1931.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, John appears in the Boston directory as a clerk. In 1930, the census reported he was a salesman for a leather house. In 1936, he was a helper electrician in the Charlestown Navy Yard. On the 1940 census, his profession was recorded as “laborer, forests,” though he had been unemployed for 26 weeks. The 1943 Boston directory lists him as a laborer for the Park Commission at the Charles River Dam (located where the Museum of Science is today). That January, John was granted a leave of absence from his job as a Lock and Draw Operator on account of illness. In 1947, the Metropolitan District Commission voted to appoint him permanent Lock and Draw operator. He continued in this position until the late 1960s. He was retired by 1970.
In the late 1940s, Thomas and Mary moved in with John, Katherine, and Teresa at 2171 Dorchester Avenue. Thomas continued to work as a salesman until 1948, when the Boston directory listed him as a laborer. Their sister, Katherine, was a social worker with the Boston Welfare department.
Thomas died in Dorchester on May 31, 1950, and was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury. He was a member of the Old Dorchester Post Number 65, American Legion. John died on January 15, 1970. Masses for both brothers were celebrated at St. Gregory’s Church in Lower Mills.
Birth Records, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts; Ancestry.com
US Federal Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; Ancestry.com
Death Record, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
Boston and Waltham directories, Various Years, Ancestry.com
World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Lists of Outgoing & Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, The National Archives at College Park, Maryland; Ancestry.com
Wythe, George. A History of the 90th Division, 1920; Archive.org
“Two Snoring Autoists Arrested at Quincy,” Boston Globe, 19 September 1921: 1
“Waltham,” Boston Globe, 19 October 1921; 9
Deaths, Boston Globe, 30 April 1931; 30
Waltham Board of Registrars. Waltham Annual Listing, 1937; Archive.org
Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, National Archives and Records Administration; Ancestry.com
Metropolitan District Commission Minutes, May 1942-July 1945 & 1947; Archive.org
“Charles River Dam Bridge,” Wikipedia.org. Last edited 4 October 2018;
Deaths, Boston Globe, 2 June 1950: 27; Newspapers.com
Deaths, Boston Globe, 1 Feb 1970: 94; Newspapers.co