112 Marlborough was built ca. 1868 for merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer Charles W. Freeland, probably for speculative sale, one of 11 contiguous houses (110-130 Marlborough). The houses are arranged in a symmetrical composition, with two houses at each end of the group (110-112 Marlborough and 128-130 Marlborough) with bay windows which carry into the mansard roof, two pairs of intermediate houses with oriel windows (114-116 Marlborough and 124-126 Marlborough), and a central pavilion of three houses (118-120-122 Marlborough).
By 1870, 112 Marlborough was the home of Warren L. Tower, a dealer in shoe manufacturers’ findings, and his wife, Lucinda (Stoddard) Tower. In 1869, they had lived at 13 Walnut. They continued to live there in 1871, but had moved to the Commonwealth Hotel by 1872.
By 1872, 112 Marlborough was the home of Elizabeth Sherburne Bowers Danforth and Mary Sherburne Danforth, unmarried sisters, the daughters of Dr. Thomas Danforth. They are shown as the owners on the 1874 Hopkins map, Elizabeth Danforth is shown as the owner on the 1883 Bromley map, and Mary Danforth et al are shown as the owners on the 1888 and 1890 maps.
Elizabeth Danforth died in November of 1885. Mary Danforth continued to live at 112 Marlborough until her death in March of 1889.
By 1890, 112 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Henry Lee Morse and his wife, Jessie Frances (Scott) Morse. He was a physician specializing in ear, nose, and throat diseases, and also maintained his medical office there. They previously had lived at 160 Mt. Vernon and he had maintained his office at 109 Boylston.
The Heirs of Samuel Torrey Morse (his father) are shown as the owners on the 1895, 1898, 1908, and 1912 Bromley maps, and he is shown as the owner on the 1917 map.
Jessie Morse died in October of 1909. Dr. Morse continued to live at 112 Marlborough with their daughter, Jessie Gwendolen, during the 1914-1915 winter season, but moved soon thereafter, probably to Medfield, where they were living on a farm in 1920.
During the 1915-1916 and 1916-1917 winter seasons, 112 Marlborough was the home of Francis William Bird and his wife, Margery Willard (Phelps) Bird. A former attorney in New York City, Francis Bird was editor and publisher of the Advertiser newspaper. The firm was sold to William Randolph Hearst in November of 1917.
112 Marlborough was not listed in the 1918 Blue Book.
By the 1918-1919 winter season, 112 Marlborough was the home of Dr. James Dellinger Barney, a urologist, and his wife, Margaret (Higginson) Barney. They previously had lived at 80 Marlborough. He maintained his office at 99 Commonwealth (260 Clarendon). They continued to live at 112 Marlborough during the 1920-1921 season, but moved thereafter to 87 Marlborough.
By 1922, 112 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Benjamin Harrison Ragle and his wife, Marguerite (Williams) Ragle. B. Harrison Ragle was a physician. He was personal physician to Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., and was a consultant on medical matters to Byrd’s 1939-1941 exploration of the Antarctic. Ragle Glacier in Antarctica is named in his honor.
They continued to live at 112 Marlborough in 1923, but had purchased and moved to 226 Marlborough by 1924.
In the spring of 1924, 112 Marlborough was purchased from the Morse family by real estate dealer Franklin Goldthwaite Sherrill. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on May 2, 1924. He was unmarried and lived there with his mother, Mrs. Maria Knox (Mills) Sherrill, the widow of Henry Williams Sherrill. F. Goldthwaite Sherrill is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.
Maria Sherrill died in September of 1932, and F. Goldthwaite Sherrill died in March of 1933.
The house was not listed in the 1934 and 1935 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1934 and 1935 Boston City Directories.
In early 1935, 112 Marlborough was purchased from F. Goldthwaite Sherrill’s brother, Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill (Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts), by Katherine T. Sullivan. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on February 24, 1935.
By 1936, 112 Marlborough was owned by H. Leon Sharmat, who also owned 114 Marlborough. In January of 1936, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct fire balconies connecting the rears of the two buildings. Both were indicated as being lodging houses, although neither had been approved as such by the Building Department.
By 1937, 112 Marlborough was owned by the New England Order of Protection at 15a Newbury. In March of 1937, the Building Department wrote of the organization, indicating that “we are informed that your organization has taken title to” 112 Marlborough and advising him of unsafe conditions (lack of adequate egress).
By 1938, 112 Marlborough was owned by Ingeborg G. Nielsen. She also was owner of 114 Marlborough, where she lived and operated a lodging house.
In January of 1938, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy of 112 Marlborough as a lodging house, and to cut doors in the party wall to connect the two buildings. She is shown as the owner of 112 and 114 Marlborough on the 1938 Bromley map.
112 Marlborough ceased being listed in the City Directories in 1944, but remained a lodging house, probably owned and operated by Ingeborg Nielsen (who continued to live at 114 Marlborough until the early 1950s). It is possible that both 112 and 114 Marlborough were acquired by real estate dealer S. Clifford Speed by 1946, inasmuch as he is shown as the owner on a permit application filed in June of 1946 seeking approval to add additional fire balconies between the two houses.
112-114 Marlborough changed hands and continued to be operated as a lodging house.
In April of 1978, they were purchased by real estate broker and investor Patrick J. Glynn. In June of 1996, he applied for permission to convert 112 Marlborough from a lodging house for fourteen people into fourteen apartments. His application was denied and his appeal was dismissed by the Board of Appeal.
112 Marlborough was assessed as an apartment house in 2010.