William Robert Fleming

No. 13119 William Robert Fleming

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 latehusband, Dr. Nathaniel P. Perkins of 1122 Adams St, Dorchester. Index catalog has entries for the individuals.

William R Fleming Lt 169 River St, Mattapan Selected Oct 5, 1917 sent to Camp Devens Recd 2d Lt Oct 24, 1918 sent to Camp Green Charlotte NC 117th Ordinance Depot

William Robert Fleming.  Written by Donna Albino.

William Robert Fleming was born on February 23, 1892, to Edward J. Fleming and Margaret (Maloney) Fleming of 105 Union Park Street in the South End of Bostonis father was listed as a hack driver on William’s birth record. In 1900, the census shows that Margaret was still married, but her husband was not living with her and the rest of the family. Margaret was head of the household at 18 Davis St in the South End, and kept a rented lodging house. Her daughter Theresa, age 10, her son Edward, age 8, her son William age 7, and 15 other people were listed at this address in the 1900 census.

The whereabouts of William’s father is a mystery. He showed up in the 1880 census with his parents before his marriage to Margaret in 1888, and showed up again in the 1920 census as a patient in the Long Island Hospital in Boston. At the time, the hospital was used for consumptive patients (or those with tuberculosis) and others with chronic or infectious diseases, so it may be that Margaret ended up being head of the household because her husband couldn’t live at home due to his disease.

In the 1910 census, Margaret was still listed as married and also head of the household. She was the owner of a restaurant and was living at 396 Tremont St in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Her daughter Theresa was 21 and working as a bookkeeper. Her son William was 18, but was not in school or employed.

On August 29, 1917, William married Mary M. Byrne in Boston. Mary’s parents lived on 169 River Street in Mattapan, and it was from this address where William was inducted into the Great War on October 5, 1917. He was stationed at the 103 Ordnance Depot at Camp Devens in Massachusetts until his discharge in October, 1918.

By 1930, William and Mary had settled in Milton with their sons William Jr, age 11, and Francis X, age 10. William’s occupation was listed as manager of phonographs in the 1930 census.

William’s life was cut short, tragically, on February 20, 1935, when he was fatally injured in an automobile accident on the Worcester turnpike. He is buried in Milton Cemetery in Milton. The American Legion Post in Mattapan applied for a veteran’s headstone for his grave in November, 1935, and it was shipped to Milton in February, 1936.

After William’s death, his widow Mary and her sons moved in with her parents at 256 Manchester Street in Mattapan. She later moved to Randolph, and passed away in 1984. At the time of her death, her son William lived in Randolph, and her son Francis lived in Everett.


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

FamilySearch.org. Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920, Film #004966605

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Boston Ward 9, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 1275; FHL microfilm: 1240679

Year: 1910; Census Place: Boston Ward 9, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_616; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 1378; FHL microfilm: 1374629

Year: 1920; Census Place: Boston Ward 2, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_728; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 36

Year: 1930; Census Place: Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 2340670

United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

Registration State: Massachusetts; Registration County: Suffolk; Roll: 1685013; Draft Board: 21

City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division, Guide to the Long Island Hospital records, Historical Note

The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 28 Mar 1935, Thu Page 5

Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 10 Jul 1984, Tue Page 12



Posted on

April 3, 2022

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