140 Marlborough

140 Marlborough (2015)

Lot 23.5' x 112' (2,632 sf)

Lot 23.5′ x 112′ (2,632 sf)

140 Marlborough is located on the south side of Marlborough, between Clarendon and Dartmouth, with 138 Marlborough to the east and 142 Marlborough to the west.

140 Marlborough was built ca. 1872 for building contractor John Farrington, probably for speculative sale, one of five contiguous houses (140-142-144-146-148 Marlborough).

John Farrington also had three more contiguous houses built ca. 1871-1872 at 132-134-136 Marlborough, leaving a vacant lot at 138 Marlborough. It appears likely that 140-148 Marlborough were built somewhat later than 132-136 Marlborough, inasmuch as 140-148 Marlborough were shown on the 1874 Hopkins map as still being owned by John Farrington, whereas 132-136 Marlborough already were owned by individual residents.

By 1874, 140 Marlborough was the home of dry goods merchant James Lovell Little, Jr. and his wife, Mary Robbins (Revere) Little.  They had been married in January of 1874 and 140 Marlborough probably was their first home together.  Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 2 Commonwealth with his parents, James and Julia Augusta (Cook) Little.

James and Mary Little continued to live at 140 Marlborough in 1878, but had moved soon thereafter to Brookline.   James L. Little, Jr., trustee, continued to be shown as the owner of the house on the 1883, 1888, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.

140-142 Marlborough (2013)

140-142 Marlborough (2013)

By 1880, 140 Marlborough was the home of Horatio Greenough Curtis and his wife, Annie Neilson (Winthrop) Curtis.  They had lived at 80 Marlborough in 1878.

Horatio Curtis was a shipping merchant in the Calcutta trade and later a sugar refiner.  By 1885, he was agent for the Pacific Guano Company, and from 1891 to 1916, he was president of the Old Boston National Bank.

They continued to live at 140 Marlborough in 1882, but moved soon thereafter to a new home they had built at 179 Marlborough.

By the 1882-1883 winter season, 140 Marlborough was the home of cotton mill treasurer Samuel Leonard Bush and his wife Emeline (Emma) Bicknell (Franklin) Bush.  They had lived at 80 Marlborough during the previous season.  Samuel Bush died in April of 1884.  Emma Bush continued to live at 140 Marlborough.  Living with her were their unmarried children — Samuel Dacre Bush, Emma T. Bush, and Mary L. Bush — and her unmarried brother, Daniel B. Franklin.

They continued to live there until about 1886, when they moved to a new house they had built at 283 Beacon.

By 1886, 140 Marlborough was the home of Edmund Hamilton Sears, Jr., where he operated a “school for young ladies.”  By 1889, he had moved to 233 Marlborough, where he continued to operate the school.

By 1889, 140 Marlborough had become a lodging house operated by Miss Delia Murphy and a kindergarten school operated by Miss Edith Annie Fiske.  Miss Fiske lived at 140 Marlborough and also maintained a home in Milton.

In his biography of Noble Laureate Dr. George Richards Minot, The Inquisitive Physician, Francis M. Rackemann comments that Dr. Minot attended Fiske School from the age of six (ca. 1891-1892), and describes Miss Fiske as “an energetic, able woman of strong character, who each year introduced a new group of little boys and girls into the mysteries of the three R’s.”  He indicates that the school was “in a private home on Dartmouth Street,” which appears to be an error, inasmuch as as the school was located at 140 Marlborough (near Dartmouth).

By 1890, Dr. Walter Lincoln Burrage, a gynecologist, was a lodger at 140 Marlborough.  By 1892, Dr. John L. Morse, a physician, also was a lodger there.  Walter Burrage married in October of 1894 to Sally Swan.  After their marriage, they moved to 317 Marlborough and Dr. Morse moved with them.

In 1894, Harriet Mulford (Stone) Lothrop, the widow of publisher Daniel Lothrop, was a lodger at 140 Marlborough.  She was an author of children’s books (notably the “Five Little Peppers” series), writing under the name Margaret Sidney.  She had lived at the Copley Square Hotel (northeast corner of Huntington and Exeter) the previous year.  Her primary residences was Wayside in Concord, once the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, which she made her year-round home in 1895.

At the time of the 1900 US Census, Miss Murphy had two lodgers: Nelson Randolph Bradford and Frank Florence.

In June of 1900, Edith Fiske married to Dr. Edward Hickling Bradford.  He was a physician and surgeon, and later would become Dean of the Harvard Medical School.  After their marriage, they lived with his mother at 218 Beacon.

Delia Murphy continued to live at 140 Marlborough and Edith (Fiske) Bradford continued to operate her school there until about 1904.

By 1905, 140 Marlborough had become the home of Miss Caroline Hooper Fabens and Miss Jeannette (Janet) W. Forbes.

Miss Fabens acquired the Fiske School from Edith (Fiske) Bradford and operated it with Miss Ada Dana.  Miss Fabens lived at 140 Marlborough; Miss Dana lived in Newton.

Miss Fabens also continued to accept lodgers at 140 Marlborough.

By 1925, the Fiske School had grown to have four teachers (all of whom lived elsewhere) plus Caroline Fabens, who was listed as principal (Miss Dana no longer was affiliated with the school).  The Fiske school is described in the 1926 Handbook of American Private Schools as “a day school for boys and girls from the first grade to the ninth…the Winnetka method of individual instruction is used.”

Sometime between about 1917 and 1928, Miss Fabens acquired 140 Marlborough from James L. Little, Jr.  He is listed as the owner on the 1917 Bromley map, but she is shown as the owner on the 1928 map.

Jeannette Forbes continued to live at 140 Marlborough until about 1929.  Caroline Fabens continued to live there until about 1930, operating the Fiske School.  She also continued to rent units to several other families.

By September of 1930, Caroline Fabens had leased 140 Marlborough to the Katharine Gibbs School as a dormitory.

The house was not listed in the 1932-1934 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1932 and 1933 City Directories.

In August of 1933, Caroline Fabens applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from single-family dwelling to four apartments (3 single units and 1 duplex).  It appears that the fourth floor was expanded at this time.

Caroline H. Fabens continued to be shown as the owner of 140 Marlborough on the 1938 Bromley map.

140 Marlborough changed hands and by 1968 was the home of publisher Paul Edwin Prindle and his wife, Susan (Dwight) Prindle.  They continued to maintain it as a four-family residence.  Paul Prindle died in April of 2000.  After his death, Susan Prindle continued to live at 140 Marlborough.

140 Marlborough remained assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling until 2012, when it was converted into two condominiums.