247 Beacon was built ca. 1868 for real estate dealer Henry Whitwell, for speculative sale, one of six contiguous houses (241-243-245-247-249-251 Beacon), designed as three matching and symmetrical pairs of houses.
By 1870, 247 Beacon was the home of insurance broker Robert Hale Bancroft, and his mother, Hannah (Putnam) Bancroft, the widow of Thomas Poynton Bancroft. She is shown as the owner on the 1874 Hopkins map.
Hannah Bancroft died in August of 1872. Robert Bancroft retired from business and traveled to Europe.
By 1873, 247 Beacon was the home of Horatio Greenough Curtis and his wife, Annie (Nelson) Curtis. They previously had lived at 279 Clarendon. Horatio Curtis was a shipping merchant in the Calcutta trade. He subsequently was a sugar refiner, agent for the Pacific Guano Company, and president of the Old Boston National Bank. By 1875. they had moved to 239 Beacon and Robert Bancroft was living at 247 Beacon once again. He continued to live there until about 1878.
1990 season, but moved soon thereafter and by 1882 were living at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Boylston and Clarendon).
By the 1880-1881 winter season, 247 Beacon was once again Robert Bancroft’s home. His deceased mother, Hannah Bancroft, continued to be shown as the owner on the 1883 Bromley map; her heirs are shown as the owners on the 1888 and 1898 maps.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, Robert Bancroft was living elsewhere and 247 Beacon was the home of Miss Mary A. Tappan.
Robert Bancroft married in December of 1891 to Elise (Elsie) Tiffany Milligan. After their marriage, they lived at 247 Beacon and also maintained a home in Beverly. His unmarried sister, Ellen Bancroft, lived with them. They continued to live at 247 Beacon in 1906.
By late1906, the Bancrofts had purchased and moved to 249 Beacon, next door. They continued to own 247 Beacon as well. On the 1908 and 1912 Bromley maps, Robert H. Bancroft et al, trustees are shown as the owners of 247 Beacon, and Robert H. Bancroft is shown as the owner of 249 Beacon.
By the 1906-1907 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of banker Thomas Motley, Jr., and his wife, Margaret (Fay) Motley. They previously had lived in an apartment at 384 Commonwealth. They continued to live at 247 Beacon during the 1910-1911 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 241 Beacon.
During the 1911-1912 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of Miss Ellen Bancroft, who had been living at 249 Beacon with her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Elise (Milligan) Bancroft. She continued to live at 247 Beacon until her death in April of 1912.
By 1912-1913 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of Dr. Charles Galloupe Mixter, a physician and surgeon, and his wife, Helen Worthington (McIntosh) Mixter. They had been married in October of 1911 and had lived briefly at 17 Exeter. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 180 Marlborough with his parents, Dr. Samuel Jason Mixter and Wilhelmina (Galloupe) Mixter. He continued to maintain his medical practice at 180 Marlborough with his father and brother, William Jason Mixter.
The Mixters continued to live at 247 Beacon in 1916, but had purchased and moved to 187 Beacon by mid-1917.
Robert and Elise Bancroft continued to own 247 and 249 Beacon, and to live at 249 Beacon. He died in April of 1918. Elise Bancroft is shown as the owner of both houses on the 1917 and 1928 Bromley maps.
In September of 1917, 247 Beacon became the home of Dr. George Richards Minot and his wife, Marian Linzee (Weld) Minot. They previously had lived in an apartment at 224 Marlborough. He maintained his medical offices with his father, James Jackson Minot, at 188 Marlborough.
Dr. Minot was a physician, professor of medicine, and director of Harvard’s Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital. He was a pioneer in research on blood diseases and in 1934 received a Nobel Prize for his work with William P. Murphy and George Hoyt Whipple on the treatment of pernicious anemia.
The Minots continued to live at 247 Beacon during the 1922-1923 winter season, but moved in the fall of 1923 to 30 Marlborough.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of banker Henry Parsons King, Jr., and his wife, Mary (Parker) King. They previously had lived at 229 Marlborough, and by the 1924-1925 season, they had purchased and moved to 35 Marlborough.
During the 1924-1925 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of Charles Brooks Perkins and his wife, Mary Louise (Floyd) Perkins. He was a tobacco dealer. They previously had lived at The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon, and by the 1925-1926 season had moved to an apartment at 100 Beacon.
By the 1925-1926 winter season, 247 Beacon was the home of insurance agent John Paulding Meade and his wife Ada (Wood) Meade. They also maintained a summer home in Scituate. The Meades continued to live at 247 Beacon in 1931.
The house was not listed in the 1932-1935 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1931-1935 City Directories. Elise Bancroft remained the assessed owner of both 247 and 249 Beacon through 1935.
In June of 1935, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 247 Beacon into a three-family dwelling. She converted 249 Beacon into a lodging house at about the same time. She subsequently was cited by the Building Department for converting 247 Beacon into five (rather than three) apartments without obtaining the necessary permits.
By late 1936, 247 Beacon was being operated by S. Clifford Speed, who completed the work required by the Building Department to legalize the five apartments.
Shirley Clifford Speed was a real estate dealer who converted many Back Bay houses into lodging houses and apartments.
Mary McGill sold 247 Beacon to S. Clifford Speed at about this time. In a December 22, 1936, letter to the Building Department, Herman Feer, the architect for the remodeling, indicated that Mary McGill had transferred the property to S. Clifford Speed. However, she continued to be shown as the owner of both 247 and 249 Beacon on the 1938 Bromley map. S. Clifford Speed was the assessed owner of 247 Beacon from 1939, and continued to own it until the late 1940s. Mary McGill continued to own 249 Beacon until the mid-1940s.
By 1938, S. Clifford Speed and his mother, Flora E. (Clifford) Speed, the widow of David George Speed, lived at 247 Beacon and operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 70 Commonwealth. They continued to live at 247 beacon in 1947, but had moved to 33 Commonwealth by 1948.
By 1950, 247 Beacon was owned by Ralph T. Hilton, who was the assessed owner from 1949. In April of 1950, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the building and increase the number of apartments from five to seven.
The property subsequently changed hands several times, and in June of 1985 was acquired by Burton F. Jaffe, trustee of the 247 Beacon Realty Trust. In August of 1986, he converted the property into seven condominiums.
In August of 1986, he applied for permission to add a fifth story and increase the number of units to eight.