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Fay ; Treas., Michael O'Rourke. The charter members were the officers
and following: Roht. Laverty, Michael Toomey, Chas. O'Neil, Jas.
Carroll, Jno. Carney, Thos. Lawler, Pat. CoiTey, Jno. Foley, Mark Sker-
rett, Wm. Carberry, Wm. Laverty, Peter Givney, Michael Fleming,
Tim. Coffey, Pat. Higgins, Jno. Davis, Michael Foley, Thos. Higgins,
Tim. Luby^ Thos. Duffy, Jno. Madigan, Thos. McGuinnes, Walter Henry,
I^Iark Myans, Lawrence Lawler, Jas. O'Connor, Michael McLoughlin,
Michael Dolan and Jno. Dolan.

The first meetings were in St. John's Church, and then at Turner's
Hall. In 1873 a house on Temple street was bought for $4,200, and a
hall built there in 1874 at a cost of $3,100. In May, 1888, this was sold
for $9,500, a lot bought corner of Green and Harrison streets for
$6,000, and a building erected at a cost of $37,3.50. This has been the
home of the society since then.

The good work of this society is inestimable. It has been one of
the strongest and most useful temperance organizations in the city. It
has made good citizens out of many victims of the drink habit; it has
cared for the sick; buried the dead. Largely composed of men of Irish
birth or descent, it has numbered in its membership most of the men
of that race who have achieved distinction in this city. The society was
incorporated in 1863. In 1899 it celebrated with formal exercises its
fiftieth anniversary. The society has contributed generously to various
charities and public funds.

The society is founded on the total abstinence pledge of its members.
It has always had club rooms for its members, believing that some place
always open for young men to meet, read, play cards, etc., would tend to
keep them away from the saloons. Except for the pledge taken, the
society is purely social.

The present officers are: J. Edward Cronin, pres.; Wm. Cahill,
vice-pres. ; Jas. M. Rafferty, rec. sec; Jas. F. Power, fin. sec; Geo.
H. O'Donnell, treas. The hall is at 4 Harrison street; the membership
is over 300.

Ladies' Father Mathew Society is an allied organization, meeting at
6 Harrison street; Miss Margaret V. Hayes, president.

Temperance Crusaders of 1874. — Women who took part in the
famous crusade against the saloons in 1874, when attempts were made to
destroy the drinking places by violence, have maintained an organization
known as the Temperance Crusaders of 1874. The present officers are :



Mrs. Myra J. Churchill, pres. and secy.; Mrs. Mary Shekleton, vice-
pres. ; Mrs. J. H. Martin, treas.

Sons of Temperance. — Rainbow Division, No. IIT, the first in this
city, was organized July 2.5, 1859, flourished for a number of years, but
surrendered its charter April 11, 1867. New Worcester Division, No.
149, organized Dec. 30, 1859, lasted only three years, probably on account
of the Civil War; its charter was surrendered April 17, 1862. Anchor
Division, No. 56, organized Oct. 24, 1882, was active for a number of
years; its charter was surrendered June 27, 1896. Washingtonian Di-
vision, No. 176, organized July 12, 1865; disbanded many years ago;
there is no record of a surrender of charter.

Commonwealth Division, No. 56, was organized Dec. 8, 1898, with
twenty-one charter members. The officers were: Jno. Rowland, grand
worthy patriarch; Annie M. Nixon, G. treas.; Chas. E. Dennett, G.
scribe ; Jas. H. Nixon, P. G. W. A., and W. H. Williams, P. G. W. P.
The division was obtained by the efforts of P. G. W. A. Mary J. Mon-
tague. The present (1917) officers are: Mrs. Chas. F. Colty, W. P.;
Mrs. Chas. L. Shaw, R. S. O. The lodge meets the last Tuesday in
month, at 183 Pleasant street.

Worcester Reform Club. — In the midst of a period of great activity
in the temperance movement, the Worcester Reform Club was organ-
ized Jan. 16, 1876, in the Old South Church by Dr. Henry A. Reynolds
then of Bangor, Me., now of this city (1917). Mrs. Susan A. Gifford,
known as "Mother" Gifford, minister of the Friends' Society, was
leader of Temperance Crusaders and called the meeting. (See biog.).
The club held its first meetings in rooms on Pleasant street, and their
public meetings in various churches were largely attended. At the end
of the first year the club had a thousand members, and many more had
signed the pledge of total abstinence. During the first three years 2,410
drinking men signed the pledge and joined the club ; in the thirty years
7,000 became members and 18,000 more signed the pledge. Perhaps the
need of such an organization lessened in the more temperate years that
followed. The work has continued, though the audiences are smaller
and the membership not large.

There have been two branches from the old club — the Worcester
Temperance Club, which has disbanded ; and the Catholic Temperance
Society, of which James Burke was leader, and which has for many years
been a highly effective organization. In eleven adjoining towns the Wor-
cester Club assisted in forming similar organizations.

The twentieth anniversary was celebrated in the Old South Cliurch.
Mother Gifford, Mrs. Sarah B. Earle, President William H. Robinson
and Dr. Geo. H. Gould were speakers. The twenty-fifth anniversary was
also celebrated in Old South. The Women's Temperance Crusaders of
1874 were present in a body. The club has maintained rooms and held
public meetings every Sunday evening during all these years except in


the summer months. An historical sketch of the chili was written by
Major F. G. Stiles and published in a jjamphiet. \Vm. II. Robinson was
one of the first seventeen who signed the pledge when the club was
organized ; he was the first president and served for many years, laboring
with heart and soul for the club and its purposes. Other presidents
have been: Wm. H. Blanchard, Maj. Fred. G. Stiles, Thos. M. Dwyer,
Lucius R. Paige and Wm. R. Mill.

The club was incorporated in I'JOT. The present officers are : Pres.,
Jno. A. Stowell; Vice-Prests., Rich. Leach, Edward Bancroft, Carl J.
Rickert; Rec. Sec, Benj. T. Northridge ; Fin. Sec, Adolphe D. Ma-
jor; Treas., Rich. Leach. The rooms are at 271 Main street.

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. — This was organized in
1878, and has maintained a strong organization, actively at work since
that time. Before the Woman's Club came into existence it was consid-
ered the leading organization of women in the city. It has always
exerted a strong influence in the temperance movement and other moral
reforms. The headquarters for many years have been at 10 Walnut
street. The present officers are: Pres., Mrs. Jennie Wilson; Vice-
Prests., Mrs. Alice E. Prentice, Mrs. F. D. Switzer, Mrs. Edythe Mowry,
Mrs. Lucy Knight; Rec. Sec, Mrs. Nettie Boutelle ; Cor. Sec, Mrs. Anna
M. Foster; Treas., Mrs. F. W. Call.

Other Temperance Societies. — Ebenezer Lodge, No. 6, Good Samari-
tans and Daughters of Samaria, meets at 10 Liberty street; Mrs. Rachel
Bosley, sec. Rising Star Degree. No. 1 ; Sec, Mattie E. Storms.

Independent Order of Good Templars :

Freedom Lodge, No. 139, Sec, Mrs. Marion Amidon ; Indepen-
dence Lodge, No. 300, organized in 1890; C. T., P. J. Murphy;
V. T., Maud Cleveland; Sec, Grace S. Akers. Integrity Lodge, Sec,
Mrs. Annie L. Pengalley ; Quinsigamond Val. Lodge, No. 1, Pres., Axel
M. Rosenlund; Eagle Lodge, No. i, Deputy, John L. Youngberg; Kam-
pen Lodge, No. 15, Deputy, Carl A. Johnson; Morgonstjarnon Lodge,
No. 16, Deputy, x\lfred Bogren.

Salvation Army. — The Salvation xA.rniy work was begun in Wor-
cester on March 9, 1889, by Captain May Harris and Lieut. Sadie Gra-
ham. Meetings were conducted on Carletan (now Commercial) street.
This is called No. 1 Corps. The Divisional Officer who assisted was
Major Edwin Gay of Boston.

No. 2 Corps (Swedish) was opened Feb. 3, 1891, by Capt. Carl
Petterson, in the hall on Millbury street, near American Steel & Wire
Co. Works. At present they are at 884 Millbury street, which is the
property of the Salvation Army.

No. 3 Corps (Swedish) was opened in 1894, at 47 Main street; Capt.
Hanson was the Opening Officer. At present they worship in the hall at
135 Belmont street, which is the property of the Salvation Army.


No. 4 Corps (Finnish) was opened in May, 1917, by Ensign Palmer.
Meetings are held at 135 Belmont street.

The Industrial Department of the Salvation Army, located at 146
Southbridge street, was organzied in October, 1901, to care for the home-
less man, giving the benefits of a well ordered home in exchange for labor,
thus making it unnecessary for out-of-work men to become branded as
paupers. A paper industry is carried on, also the repairing of old fur-
niture, clothing, etc. The sale of paper stock and second-hand goods
furnish the funds to prosecute the work.

The institution has been enlarged from time to time to meet the
needs of the city, and has accommodations for thirty men.

Volunteers of America. — This body began work in the American
Bible House, New York, March 9, 1896. Gen. and Mrs. Ballington
Booth assumed the leadership, and organizations were formed in all parts
of the countr3^ Soon after 1896 the Volunteers began work in Worcester,
along the same lines as the Salvation Army. Robert Henry is at present in
charge. The headquarters are at 274 Main street.


Charitable and Benevolent Societies — Associated Charities — Children's

Friend Society — Employment Society — Society for Nursing — North

Worcester Aid Society — Bethel Help — Door of Hope — Animal

Rescue — Other Societies

Associated Charities. — The Associated Charities of Worcester,
organized March IS, 1S!»0. was incorporated in 1903. Rev. Dr. W.
H. Thomas of Trinity M. E. Church was prime mover in the organi-
zation, though many others had manifested a strong interest in this
method of charitable work for a number of years. The original direc-
tors were ;

Stephen Salisbury, P. W. Aloen, E. L. Davis, D. C. Leonard, F. A.
Gaskill, E. I. Comins, Jas. Melanefy, G. C. Whitney, M. J. Whittall, H.
A. Marsh, C. L. Nichols, W. B. Fay, Josiah Pickett, C. A. Chase, A. M.
Stone, F. H. Dewey, M. B. Lamb, H. L. Parker; Jas. Logan, H. H. Mer-
riam, Dwight Smith. Mesdames Geo. Crompton, S. D. Davenport, F.
H. Dewey, C. C. Houghton, F. B. Knowles, W. W. Rice, A. B. F. Kin-
ney, J. H. Coes, W. W. Johnson.

The first general secretary was Mrs. Eliza J. Lee. The lady direc-
tors devoted two hours a day each in turn to assisting her in the office
work. In 1895 when Miss Lee was succeeded by Miss Miriam L. With-
erspoon, the present general secretary, one assistant was hired ; in 1905
two were needed, and in 1910 a stenographer added. A visiting house-
keeper has been employed since 1913.

In 1893, during the hard times, a Citizens' Relief Committee was
organized, using the rooms of the organizations, and aiding 821 families.
In 1907, another period of distress, the Associated Charities was able to
relieve 32-1 families through special contributions. In 1914 another time
of non-employment and suffering, the society co-operated with a com-
mittee of the Chamber of Commerce, of which Charles G. Washburn was
chairman and Miss Billings, secretary, affording great relief to the needy
and suffering, in 206 families.

Besides the regular work of investigation, classification and co-oper-
ation with the 75 other charitable organizations in the city to a greater
or less extent, various other work has been undertaken. The flower
mission began in 1890 to distribute flowers and fruit to the sick. In the
third year this department became a separate society known as the
Fruit and Flower Mission, although working in co-operation with the
Associated Charities and it has continued faithfully at its work ever


The Mothers' Sewing Class was organized in 1893 to provide work
for mothers, give them instruction, and double the aid of the society in
providing clothing. Mrs. C. C. Houghton was in charge until 1907.
The Home Savings Society was established to promote thrift among
children. In the first season $30 was saved by the youthful depositors;
in 1913 over $3,000. This plan has since been widely extended by the
Woman's Club, schools and even the banks of the city. The Directory of
Charities was published in 1903, a book of 46 pages, giving an account
of 50 benevolent societies and 105 churches and missions. In 1902 Miss
Witherspoon organized a Social Study class, which accomplished good
results until it was given up in 1908.

The following have been presidents : Hon. Stephen Salisbury,
1891-94; Hon. Henry L. Parker, 1895-1901; Dr. Chas. L. Nichols, 1902-
— . Secretaries: Dr. Chas. L. Nichols, 1891-94; Prof. Geo. H. Haynes,
1895 — . The present officers (1917) are: Pres., Chas. L. Nichols;
Vice-Prests., Chas. G. Washburn, Geo. Crompton ; Sec, Geo. H.
Haynes; Treas., Carl Bonney.

Directors: Halleck Bartlett, Geo. Crompton, Dan. E. Denny, Chas.
H. Derby, Francis H. Dewey, Edward T. Esty, Matthew B. Lamb. Paul
B. Morgan, Miss Adeline M. Bisco, Miss Margaret Harlow, Chas L. Allen,
Geo. H. Haynes, Chas. L. Nichols, Chas. M. Thayer, Chas. G. Washburn,
Lemuel F. Woodward, Mrs. Jno. H. Goes, Mrs. Frank L. Dean, Mrs.
Homer Gage, Mrs. Albert Wood, Edwin Brown, Edward A. Bigelow,
Carl Bonney, Geo. A. Gaskill, W. S. B. Hopkins, Dan. W. Lincoln, Miss
Isabel M. Crompton, Mrs. Frank L. Durkee, Mrs. Rufus B. Fowler,
Mrs. Leon. P. Kinnicutt.

Staff of Workers: Gen. Secy., Miss Miriam F. Witherspoon; Asst.,
Miss Edith Billings; Registrar, Miss Loretta .V. Luby ; \'isiting House-
keeper, Mrs. Charlotte L. Smith.

Children's Friend Society. — The following is abstracted from an
article by Mr. Frank ]•". Dresser, in the Worcester Magazine, January,

' The Worcester Children's Friend Society was founded by the efforts of Mrs.
Jonas M. Miles, in 1848, a short time after the establishment of similar societies in
Boston, Salem and Providence. Its first public appeal, prepared by Hon. Alfred D.
Foster, stated that "The Visitor of the Poor in 1848 found more than four hundred
children" — (the city then having a population of 17,000) — connected with families
visited and aided by him, some of them so situated as to deeply move the pity and
sympathy of the benevolent." The Society declared that it would never cause a sepa-
ration of child from parent "unless it should be plainly apparent to us that the parental
claim has been forfeited in some one of the following particulars: First, the entire
desertion of the child without provision for its future wants. Second, the total inca-
pacity of the parents to discharge parental duties by reason of habitual and inveterate
habits of intemperance. Third, the certainty that the child, if left with the parents,
will be sacrificed to vice. Lastly, when- insanity, imbecility or peculiar providential
dispensations have deprived the parents of the power to discharge their parental


A home for children was provided for a few months in Mrs. Miles' house, corner
of Chestnut and William streets, and later in a house on Pine street, given to the
Society by Col. John W. Lincoln. The first year, fifty-two children were received
twenty of whom were "placed in good families by adoption or otherwise," the Society
thus early perceiving the modern theory that it is better to place children out in fam-
ilies than to keep them in an institution.

CoJ. Lincoln's house was occupied from 1849 to 1865, when a new house at the
corner of Main and Benefit streets was purchased. This was occupied until 1902,
when the "Orphans' Home," as it was commonly called, was finally abandoned, and
the placing-out system adopted. During these fifty- four years 2,400 children were re-
ceived — "one class as boarders to be reclaimed by their friends as fortune favored
removal, while to another class the Home has been only a passport to a more perma-
nent one." The first matron, Miss Tamerson White, watched over this household for
thirty-si.x years, assisted the greater part of the time by Miss Harriet Knight. Six of
her boys enlisted in the Civil War and three gave up their lives. The records of the
Society contain many letters from men and women who made their way successfully
in the world and gratefully recalled the help which they received from her.

A Bureau of Council attempts to re-establish proper home conditions, so that the
child may safely remain with its parents. This requires study of the particular case,
giving advice or guidance, furnishing medical and dental care by the generosity of phy-
sicians and dentists and the Children's Ward of Memorial Hospital, calling upon rela-
tives, friends or employers for help, and getting the household in the right path. If
the child can remain at home, it is visited frequently, to see whether the diagnosis of
the case is correct and to render such aid as may be necessary. The Placing Out De-
partment has a list of proper foster homes where children may be placed.

While the Bureau of Council and the Placing Out Department comprise the chief
work of the Society, and keep its four agents busily employed, there are other services
to render. The Fresh Air Fund during the past two years has been managed by the
Society, and more women and children have been given vacations and outings at less
expense than ever before. The agents of the Society are frequently called upon by the
court to act as guardians when no other proper persons can be found to serve.

A few years ago, in co-operation with the three Boston societies, a system of rec-
ords was devised which is now used throughout the country by all child-saving agen-
cies. It co-operates with the School for Social Workers in Boston by receiving for
six hours a week students who here supplement their course by practical work.

At no time in its history has the Society been able financially to meet the de-
mand upon it, yet through all its sixty-four years of existence it has been the recipient
of generous legacies. In 1903, when the placing out work began, there were fifty chil-
dren, and the expense for that year was $6,800. In 191 1, 233 children were referred to
the Society, and the expense was a little over $14,000. In 1912, the number of chil-
dren in the Society's care increased 17 per cent, with a consequent increase in expenses.

Recent budgets are roughly divided as follows : For administration cost, rent,
travel, salaries, etc., $3,400, a sum much less than the proportion expended by similar
societies; clothing cost $2,650; board, $7,800; medical expenses, gifts, etc., $150; a to-
tal of $14,000. The receipts were from three sources: Income from invested funds,
$6,500; payments by parents or friends of the children, $3,750; and public contributions,
$2,800. The public contributions have shown but slight increase during the last few
years, and are much less than similar societies receive and than the work requires.

The officers in 1917 were: Pres., Mrs. Wm. Harrington; Vice-
Pres., Frank F. Dresser; Sec, Mrs. Edinund M. Barton; Clerk, Mrs.
Chas. W. Bruninghaus; Treas.,. Daniel W. Lincoln; Asst. Treas., Sally
W. Gilman; Gen. Sec, Helen A. Woods. Directors: Mrs. Chas. P.


Adams, Alfred L. Aiken, Mrs. Fayette A. Amidon, Geo. F. Blake, A.
Geo. Bullock, Mr. and Mrs. Alex. H. Bullock, Mrs. Ed. C. Carleton, Mrs.
Arthur C. Comins, Mary R. Colton, Mrs. Oliver R. Cook, Mrs. F. Hen-
shaw Dewey, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Geo. A. Gaskill, Mrs. Edward R. Goodwin,
Mrs. Henry J. Gross, Mrs. Geo. L. Holden, Lincoln N. Kinnicutt, Mrs.
Lucius J. Knowles, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Logan, Mrs. Paul B. Morgan, Mrs.
Jno. G. Murdock, Mrs. Wm. E. Norcross, Mrs. Edward Searle, Mrs. Wm.
P. Searles, Mrs. Waldo E. Sessions, Dr. Myrtle Smith, Mrs. W. Virgil
Spaulding, Albert L. Stratton, Mrs. D. Wheeler Swift, Mrs. Arthur P.
Rugg, Chas. G. Washburn, Louis N. Wilson, Dr. Lemuel F. Woodward,
Wm. Woodward, Mrs. Jas. E. Whitin, Mrs. Jno. C. F. Wheelock, Mrs.
Burton H. Wright. The office is at 832 Slater building.

Mrs. Edward R. Goodwin was elected president for 1918; Albert L.
Stratton, Treas. ; Mrs. Wm. Harrington, Asst. Treas. ; Mrs. Edmund M.
Barton, Sec; Mrs. Henry J. Cross, Clerk.

Employment Society. — The People's Club, organized in 1871 with
Hon. Henry Chapin president, began the work. The active work of
the club was divided into three sections — benevolent, hospitality and
educational. The benevolent section was subdivided into three depart-
ments, one of which, the employment committee, developed into the
present Employment Society. The relief committee began to send
women that it found wanting work to the employment committee. In
about three years the club ceased to be active.

In 1875 the Employment Society was organized to continue the
work, and a board of managers from various churches was formed. In
1883 the society was incorporated. From time to time it has been aided
by gifts and legacies, and has accomplished much good in providing
work for women, and in utilizing garments made for charitable
purposes. For many years the rooms have been at 36 Pearl street.
The officers in 1917 were: Pres., Mrs. Chas. M. Thayer; Vice-Prests.,
Mrs. Francis PI. Dewey, Mrs. Frank F. Dresser; Treas., Maud E. Chase;
Clerk, Mrs. Leonard P. Kinnicutt ; Chairman of Visiting Committee,
Sally A. Flagg; Agent, Louise M. Pierce; Auditor, Mrs. F. H. Baker.

Society for District Nursing. — This was incorporated in October,
1899. It provided and sui>i>lies nurses, graduates from reliable training
schools, and registered under State Laws, who care for the sick poor
in their homes. The work was started in 1892 b)' the Memorial Hos-
pital Aid Society and was directed by a special committee of which Miss
Mary N. Perley was chairman, and who was the first president of the
Society after its incorporation. In 1909 it assumed the work of the
Good Samaritan Society. The present officers are : Pres., Miss Harriet
E. Clarke; Vice-Pres., Mrs. Edwin Brown; Clerk, Mrs. Henry J. Gross;
Treas., Mrs. Homer Gage ; Supt., Miss Rosebelle Jacobus ; Physician, Dr.
Myrtle Smith. There is a staff of 14 nurses, and more are needed. Pa-
tients pay when possible a small fee, five to fifty cents a visit, and the


Society furnishes nursing service to the industrial policy holders of the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., tiie Society for the Relief and Control
of Tuberculosis, the Denison Mfg. Co., and one or two other factories
in the city.

The Society has had many generous friends who have left substantial
legacies, but it depends largely for its support on annual contributions
and the expenses are steadily increasing as the demands for the nurses
grow. In 1916 4909 patients were visited and 47,376 calls made.

North Worcester Aid Society. — This was organized in the home of
Mrs. Alfred Atherton, North Worcester, near Bryant's pond, in 1874,
for educational, charitable, benevolent, social and religious purposes,
and was the only organized charitable society in Worcester at that time.
The Society started with about 55 workers, with the following officers:
Pres., Mrs. Alfred Atherton; Vice-Pres., Mrs. C. Muzzy; Sec. and
Treas., Mrs. L. B. Hoit; Directresses, Mesdames J. Pierce, Eben Jew-
ett, Jno. Brooks.

The first year's receipts were $113 and expenditures for charity $62.
Through the generosity of Mr. Eben Jewett the Society was given the
use of a piece of land on the easterly side of Holden street near Chester
street, in time a hall was ready for occupancy and many generous gifts
were made to the Society for use in their new home. Before the hall was
completed the Society held meetings in the school house directly across
the street from the hall. The hall was dedicated March 17, 1887. A
charter was granted to the Society Jan. 37, 1887, and has the following
signatures: W. C. Jewett, A. E. Young, Edwin W. Wheeler, Wm. H.
Kilborn, S. E. Feischer, Eben Jewett, A. H. Crosby, W. M. Hodsdon.

The Society has a membership of 113 and the following officers:
Pres., Clifford T. Eldridge; 1st Vice-Pres., Mrs. C. H. Church; 2nd
Vice-Pres., Mrs. Albert R. Brooks; Sec, Mrs. Helen M. Stimson; Treas.,
Mrs. Nancy G. Pierce. Directors: Nils Bjork, chairman, W. E. Sar-
gent, Mrs. Albert Bloss, Mrs. Emma Davis, Mrs. Wm. Wheeler.

Bethel Help Association. — Welcome Mission, founded by Mrs. Anne
Fisher, did excellent work under the superintendency of William Oakley
for twelve or fifteen years, at the corner of Madison and Portland streets.
About 1900 Mr. Oakley decided to go into business; shortly after, the
Mission was closed for lack of leadership. The equipment was taken

Online LibraryCharles NuttHistory of Worcester and its people (Volume 2) → online text (page 37 of 63)