20 Hereford is located on the NE corner of Marlborough and Hereford, with 18 Hereford to the north, 362 Marlborough to the south, across Marlborough, 357 Marlborough to the east, and 363 Marlborough to the west, across Hereford.
20 Hereford was built ca. 1871 for G. Gibson (probably building contractor George Martin Gibson), one of four contiguous houses (14-16-18-20 Hereford) built for speculative sale, designed as two matching symmetrical pairs.
By 1873, 20 Hereford was the home of hide broker William West and his wife, Emma F. (Adams) West. Emma A. West is shown as the owner on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1877, 20 Hereford was the home of stockbroker Charles Cabot Jackson and his wife Frances Elizabeth (Appleton) Cabot. They had been married in June of 1876, and 20 Hereford probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, Charles Cabot had lived at 88 Marlborough with his mother, Susan Cabot (Jackson) Jackson, the widow of Charles Jackson, Jr. W. and W. Minot, trustees, are shown as the owners of 20 Hereford on the 1883 Bromley map.
The Cabots continued to live there in 1884, but had purchased and moved to 181 Commonwealth by 1885.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of William Caleb Loring and his wife, Susan Mason (Lawrence) Loring. They previously had lived at 267 Clarendon. Susan Loring is shown as the owner of 20 Hereford on the 1888 and 1890 Bromley maps.
William Loring was an attorney and in 1899 would become a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
They continued to live at 20 Hereford until 1894, when they moved to a new home they had built at 404 Beacon (2 Gloucester).
By 1895, 20 Hereford was owned by Mrs. Helen Fisher )Bradford) Howe, the widow of James Henry Howe. She was living in Europe and leased the house to others. She is shown as the owner of 20 Hereford on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, it was the home of commission merchant Edward Jackson, his sister, Ellen Jackson, and their niece, Miss Lucy Ellery Russel, daughter of William C. Russel and Sarah Cabot (Jackson) Russel. They previously had lived in an apartment at the Hotel Agassiz at 191 Commonwealth.
They continued to live at 20 Hereford during the 1896-1897 winter season, but moved back to the Hotel Agassiz soon thereafter.
During the 1897-1898 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of Joseph Lee and his wife, Margaret Copley (Cabot) Lee. They had been married in June of 1897, and 20 Hereford probably was their first home together.
Joseph Lee was an attorney and would later become a leader of the Metropolitan Civic League, advocates for social and municipal reform.
By 1899, they had moved to 48 Chestnut.
By the 1899-1900 winter season, it was the home of Dr. Langdon Frothingham, a veterinarian, his brother, Louis Adams Frothingham, an attorney and future Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, and their sister, Miss Anne Gorham Frothingham. They previously had lived at 29 Gloucester.
Langdon Frothingham married Olga Frothingham (his first cousin) in December of 1901 and moved to The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon. Louis and Anne Frothingham continued to live at 20 Hereford in 1904, but had moved to 92 Bay State Road by 1905. Anne Frothingham married in June of 1905 to Charles Eliot Guild and Louis Frothingham moved to 24 Marlborough.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, 20 Hereford had become the home of Helen (Bradford) Howe, who had owned it since the mid-1890s. Her son, George, a student at Harvard, lived with her. In 1903, they had lived at The Imperial at 308-310 Commonwealth.
In the spring of 1907, 20 Hereford was purchased from Helen Howe by Francis Williams Sargent. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on April 26, 1907. Helen Howe moved back to The Imperial, and 20 Hereford became the home of Francis Sargent’s son-in-law and daughter, Dr. David Cheever and Jane Welles (Sargent) Cheever, after their marriage in June of 1907. Jane W. Cheever is shown as the owner on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1920.
David Cheever was a surgeon.
The Cheevers continued to live at 20 Hereford during the 1918-1919 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 193 Marlborough.
By January of 1920, at the time of the 1920 US Census enumeration, 20 Hereford was the home of Ralph Blake Williams, a real estate trustee, and his wife, Susan (Jackson) Williams. They had lived at 356 Beacon in 1917. They also maintained a home in Dover. They moved soon thereafter to 424 Beacon to live with his mother, Alice (Weld) Williams, the widow of Thomas Blake Williams.
By the 1920-1921 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of Caleb Loring and his wife, Susanne Grantland (Bailey) Loring. They had been married in April of 1920, and 20 Hereford probably was their first home together. Caleb Loring was the assessed owner of 20 Hereford from 1921 through 1925.
Caleb Loring was treasurer of a coal company.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of banker Arnold Welles Hunnewell and his wife Mary Copley (Amory) Hunnewell. They previously had lived at 179 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Wellesley. By the 1924-1925 season, they were living at 7 Fairfield.
By the 1924-1925 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of John Babson Thomas and his wife, Marietta (Shea) Reece Thomas. Living with them were John Reece and Robert Reece, Marietta Thomas’s sons by her previous marriage to John Reece (inventor of the buttonhole machine). In 1923, they had lived at 34 Gloucester.
During the 1925-1926 winter season, 20 Hereford was the home of Dr. John Hammond Blodgett, a recently-retired an ear, nose, and throat specialist. He was unmarried. He previously had lived in an apartment at 7 Exeter and, before, that at 51 Massachusetts Avenue. He was the assessed owner of 20 Hereford in 1926.
Also living at 20 Hereford was Miss Anna C. Hanson, John Blodgett’s housekeeper. She also previously had lived at 7 Exeter and at 51 Massachusetts Avenue.
John Blodgett died in February of 1926.
Anna Hanson continued to live at 20 Hereford until her death in September of 1935. She is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map and was the assessed owner from 1927 through 1935.
By 1937, 20 Hereford was owned by James J. Kelly, who is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map and was the assessed owner from 1937 through 1941.
By 1937, it was the home and office of Andreas (Andrew) Forest Christian, a physician and physiotherapist. He had lived (and maintained his office) at 401 Marlborough in 1936. He was a widower.
By 1938, he had moved to 469 Beacon, where he lived and operated the Boston School of Physio-Therapy and the Massachusetts Studio for Health. He continued to live there in 1939.
By 1940, Andreas Christian had resumed living at 20 Hereford, joined by Bertram S. Petersen, also a physiotherapist. Bertram Petersen was the assessed owner of 20 Hereford in 1942 and 1943, and continued to live there until about 1943.
Also living at 20 Hereford was Miss Matilda Peterson, who had been Dr. Christian’s nurse for many years and had previously lived at 469 Beacon and, before that, at 401 Marlborough. The 1940 US Census indicates that she was Bertram Petersen’s wife, which, while possible, is more likely to be an erroneous entry based on the similarity of their names.
Matilda Peterson was the assessed owner of 20 Hereford in 1944 and 1945.
Andreas Christian married again in 1941 to Frances Willard Hammond. After their marriage, they lived at 20 Hereford
He died in September of 1945. Frances Christian and Matilda Peterson continued to live at 20 Hereford in 1946. Frances Christian was the assessed owner in 1946.
In February of 1946, Frances Christian filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments. By 1947, she had moved to 328 Commonwealth.
20 Hereford changed hands and in April of 1973 was acquired by Betty Bishop. In November of 1973, she converted the property into four condominium units, the 20 Hereford Street Condominium.