125 Marlborough was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built in 1879-1880 by Weston & Shepard, builders, for Charles William Freeland, one of seven contiguous houses (121-123-125-127-129-131-133 Marlborough) built for him between 1877 and 1880, all in the same design and built for speculative sale. The original permit application for 125-127 Marlborough was dated September 6, 1879.
Charles Freeland was a merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer. He and his wife, Sarah Ward (Harrington) Freeland, lived at 117 Beacon.
On April 2, 1877, Charles Freeland purchased a 168 foot wide lot from the estate of Gardiner Howland Shaw, who had purchased the land from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on June 12, 1866. Charles Freeland probably had originally planned to subdivide it into seven equal lots of 24 feet each. However, after building the first four houses at 121-127 Marlborough on 24 foot lots and beginning construction on 129 Marlborough at the same width, he purchased an additional 12 foot wide lot to the west on November 28, 1879, from Henry Lee, Jr. (part of a lot Henry Lee had purchased from the Commonwealth on November 18, 1879), and built 131-133 Marlborough on 30 foot wide lots.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 125 Marlborough.
On March 12, 1880, 125 Marlborough was purchased from Charles Freeland by George Lewis. He previously had lived at 42 Highland in Roxbury. He was a widower; his wife — Susan Minns (Wheelwright) Lewis — having died in October of 1876.
George Lewis was a retired merchant and had served as the last mayor of Roxbury before its annexation by Boston. He was treasurer of the Forest Hills Cemetery and the Granite Railway Company.
He continued to live at 125 Marlborough until his death in October of 1887.
On May 31, 1888, 125 Marlborough was purchased from George Lewis’s estate by Miss Caroline Custis Dixwell. She lived in Jamaica Plain with her mother, Elizabeth Boardman Ingersoll (Bowditch) Dixwell, widow of banker John James Dixwell.
Caroline Dixwell may have purchased 125 Marlborough in anticipation of her upcoming marriage to George Henry Clements, an artist from San Luis Obispo, California, whom she married in October of 1888. However, she sold the house before their marriage.
On September 8, 1888, 125 Marlborough was purchased by Dr. Edward Cornelius Briggs and Dr. Harry Fairfield Hamilton, both dentists. They converted they property into medical offices and residential units.
Edward Briggs and his wife, Lou (Lord) Briggs, lived at 433 Marlborough and he maintained his office at 1 Mt. Vernon. When the remodeling of 125 Marlborough was completed, he moved his office there and he and his wife made their home at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Dartmouth). They subsequently moved to Brookline and later to Milton.
Dr. Harry Fairfield Hamilton was unmarried. He lived and maintained his dental office at 208 Beacon. When the remodeling of 125 Marlborough was completed, he moved his office there and lived at the Hotel Vendôme.
On February 13, 1897, Edward Briggs sold his interest in 125 Marlborough to Harry Hamilton. In May of 1897, he purchased 129 Marlborough, which he converted into medical offices and residential units. He moved his office there when the remodeling was completed.
Harry Hamilton continued to live at the Hotel Vendôme and maintain his office at 125 Marlborough along with several other dentists and doctors.
Longer-term residents of the building included George Henry Thayer and his wife, Cordelia (Skinner) Thayer, who lived there with their adult son, Lucian Skinner Thayer, from about 1892 through 1897. George Thayer was a dealer in dyestuffs and Lucian Thayer was with the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. They previously had lived at 3 Fairfield; they had moved to 12 Gloucester by 1898.
During this same period, 125 Marlborough also was the home of George Noyes Whipple, owner of a public storage warehouse and later an advertising agent. His mother, Elizabeth Ann (Noyes) Whipple, probably lived with him. By 1898. they had moved to 129 Marlborough.
After 1900, the longer-term residents included Theodore Jewett Eastman (nephew of the noted author, Sarah Orne Jewett), who lived there from 1902 through 1905 while attending Harvard Medical School (he later became a physician in Boston). Another resident during this period was Dr. Henry Fox Hewes, a physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School, who lived and maintained his medical office at 125 Marlborough from 1902 until about 1912, when he moved to 416 Marlborough. In 1901, he had lived and maintained his office at 3 Fairfield.
Dr. Hamilton continued to live at the Hotel Vendôme until about 1909, but by 1910 had moved to 125 Marlborough, where he also continued to maintain his dental office. In July of 1914, he married Madelaine Bemis Fisher. After their marriage, they lived at 125 Marlborough until about 1917, but had moved to Brookline by 1919. He continued to maintain his dental office at 125 Marlborough until about 1935.
On December 28, 1933, Harry Fairchild transferred 125 Marlborough into his wife’s name, and on December 27, 1935, she conveyed the property to the Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston. The bank held a mortgage on the property and it appears likely that the transfer was in lieu of foreclosure.
On January 27, 1937, 125 Marlborough was acquired from the Provident Institution for Savings by Abraham Wintman. He lived in Mattapan with his parents, Isadore (Jacob) Wintman and Gertrude (Gitel) (Wintman) Wintman.
That same month, Abraham Wintman he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel 125 Marlborough into ten apartments, including replacing the front façade. The work, which was designed by architect Herman L. Feer, was completed in May of 1938. Plans for the remodeling are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-143). (Bainbridge Bunting’s Houses of Boston’s Back Bay indicates erroneously that this remodeling was of 127 Marlborough).
On December 23, 1940, Israel M. Levin, holder of a mortgage given by Abraham Wintman, foreclosed and sold the property to James F. O’Brien, Jr. He sold the property to Julian Katzeff on March 12, 1941, and Abraham Wintman re-acquired it from him on July 17, 1941.
Abraham Wintman married in June of 1948 to Sylvia Beatrice (Sarah Blume) Cohen. After their marriage, they lived in an apartment at 456 Beacon and later in Brookline.
On December 13, 1985, Abraham Wintman transferred 125 Marlborough into his wife’s name. On March 31, 1992, she transferred the property to her husband and son, Kenneth Wintman, as trustees of the Marlborough Street Nominee Trust, and on January 14, 1994, they transferred the property to Kenneth Wintman as trustee of the Kendra Realty Nominee Trust.
Abraham Wintman and Sylvia Winman both died in August of 1998.
125 Marlborough remained an apartment building in 2016.