265 Clarendon was built ca. 1870 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of four contiguous houses (92 Marlborough and 263-265-267 Clarendon) that form a single unit between Marlborough and Public Alley 423.
George Wheatland, Jr., purchased the land for the four houses in two transactions. On October 1, 1869, he bought the lot at the corner of Clarendon and Marlborough, with a frontage of 54 feet on Marlborough, from John Revere, and on March 23, 1870, he bought the lot to the east, with a frontage of 12 feet, from architect John H. Sturgis. Both lots had originally been part of a parcel purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 30, 1862, by David Snow.
The original deeds for the four houses provided a four foot wide easement at the eastern edge of the lots, running from the southeast corner of 92 Marlborough through the rear yards of 263-265-267 Clarendon, to provide for drainage and access to the alley.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 265 Clarendon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 423, from Berkeley to Clarendon.
On April 23, 1870, 265 Clarendon was purchased from George Wheatland, Jr., by Amos Lawrence Mason. Having briefly practiced law in the mid-1860s, he returned to Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1872, after which he studied in Germany and then began practice as a physician.
Amos Mason married in September of 1874 to Louisa Blake Steedman, and they lived at 265 Clarendon after their marriage. They also had a home in Bar Harbor, where he maintained a medical practice during the summer months. In 1897, they made their second home in York Harbor, Maine.
In March of 1902, their daughter and only child, Marion Steedman Mason, married to Richard Thornton Wilson, Jr. He was a banker in New York City, where they lived after their marriage.
During the 1905-1906 winter season, the Masons were in New York, Newport, and Washington DC, and 265 Clarendon was the home of banker John Torrey Linzee and his wife, Anita Homer (Manson) Linzee. They previously had lived at the Hotel Berkeley (southeast corner of Berkeley and Boylston). By the 1906-1907 season, they had moved to 229 Marlborough and the Masons were once again living at 265 Clarendon.
By the 1907-1908 winter season, the Masons were joined at 265 Clarendon by Mrs. Eliza Salmond (Sylvester) Harraden, the widow of Rev. Frank Somerville Harraden.
Louisa Mason died in August of 1908. Amos Mason and Eliza Harraden continued to live at 265 Clarendon.
In 1910, Amos Mason retired from medical practice and moved to Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina to live with his son-in-law and daughter, Richard and Marion Wilson. Eliza Harraden moved to Brookline and re-married in August of 1910 to Hugh Kerr Hatfield, a dentist. After their marriage, they lived at 410 Beacon.
During the 1910-1911 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of William Henry Bowker, president of the Bowker Fertilizer Company, and his wife, Charlotte Jeanette (Ryder) Bowker. They also maintained a home in Concord, Massachusetts. They had lived at 110 Marlborough during the previous season. They had moved to 229 Beacon by the 1911-1912 season.
During the 1911-1912 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of investment banker Barrett Wendell, Jr. and his wife, Barbara (Higginson) Wendell. They had married in June of 1910 and during the 1910-1911 winter season had lived at 358 Marlborough, the home of his parents, Barrett and Edith (Greenough) Wendell, who were traveling in Europe. By the 1912-1913 season, Barrett and Barbara Wendell were living at 136 Beacon.
During the 1912-1913 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of stockbroker Herbert Ames Tucker and his wife, Mary Hamilton (Chase) Tucker. They had lived in an apartment at 416 Marlborough in 1912, and had moved to Brookline by mid-1913.
During the 1913-1914 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of Edward Albert Filene, a bachelor, and his mother, Clara (Ballin) Filene, the widow of William Filene. They previously lived at The Tuileries at 270 Commonwealth. Edward Filene was president of William Filene’s Sons, Inc., owners of Filene’s department store. Known for his progressive views, in 1908 he introduced the concept of employee credit unions in the United States. By 1915, he was living at 8 Otis Place and his mother was living at 236 Bay State Road.
During the 1914-1915 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of real estate trustee, broker, and investor Richard Sears and his wife, Susan Elizabeth Goetel (Drake) Sears. They also maintained a home in Ipswich. By the next season, they had moved to 229 Beacon.
On June 2, 1914, three days before his death, Amos Mason transferred 265 Clarendon to his daughter, Marion Steedman (Mason) Wilson. She was the wife of banker and thoroughbred horse breeder Richard Thornton Wilson, Jr. They lived in New York City and Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, and also maintained two homes in Rhode Island: Shady Lawn in Newport and Indian House in Middletown. She continued to lease 265 Clarendon to other residents.
During the 1915-1916 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of Mathilda Elizabeth Freylinghuysen (Davis) Lodge, the widow of George Cabot Lodge. Her usual residence was in Washington DC. She may have been in Boston because of the death of her mother-in-law, Anna Cabot Mills (Davis) Lodge, wife of US Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who died in September of 1915.
During the 1916-1917 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of James Jackson Storrow, III, and his wife, Margaret Randolph (Rotch) Storrow. They had married in June of 1916 and 265 Clarendon probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 417 Beacon with his parents, James and Helen (Osborne) Storrow.
James J. Storrow, III, was a student at MIT. After graduating in 1917, he served in the US Navy during World War I and then was an electrical engineer with Boston Edison until 1926, when he became trustee of the family’s property after his father’s death.
The Storrows had moved from 265 Clarendon by the 1917-1918 season, and by the next season were living at 192 Beacon.
By the 1917-1918 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of William Watson Caswell and his wife, Pauline (Starr) Caswell. They had lived at The Puritan at 390 Commonwealth during the previous season. William Caswell had been a manufacturer of ramie thread (used extensively in gas lighting mantles) and later served as treasurer of Arthur D. Little, Inc.
They continued to live at 265 Clarendon during the 1918-1919 winter season, but had moved to 192 Beacon by 1920.
By January of 1920, 265 Clarendon was the home of stockbroker and banker Joshua Bennett Holden, Jr., and his wife Mabel (Bonsal) Holden. In 1918, they had lived at 267 Beacon.
By mid-1920, 265 Clarendon was the home of wholesale wool merchant Roger Sherman Dix and his wife Louise (Parrish) Dix. They had lived at 208 Beacon in 1917. They also maintained a home in Greenbush.
By the 1920-1921 winter season, 265 Clarendon was the home of George Megrew and his wife, Annie Louisa (Goudy) Megrew. They previously had lived at the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon. They also maintained a home at Wilton Center, New Hampshire.
George Megrew had been private secretary to coal and steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, and then served as purchasing agent for the Carnegie steel company, resigning in 1900. By 1920, he had become a bond broker. George Megrew was Henry Clay Frick’s first cousin, once removed: George Megrew’s mother, Lavina Isadora (Isa) (Frick) Megrew, was the daughter of Jacob Frick, the brother of Henry Clay Frick’s father, John Wilson Frick.
The Megrews continued to live at 265 Clarendon until about 1932, when they moved to 44 West Cedar.
265 Clarendon was not listed in the 1933-1937 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1933-1937 City Directories.
Marion (Mason) Wilson’s husband had died in December of 1929, and in the late 1930s, she made 265 Clarendon her Boston home. She also continued to maintain her homes in Newport and Middletown, Rhode Island; the Wilson home in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, had been destroyed by fire in 1926.
By 1942, it was the home of Malcolm MacPhail, a former real estate broker, and his wife, Margaret (Horan) MacPhail. They operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 279 Clarendon, and had moved to 61 St. Botolph by 1943.
By 1943, it was the home of Charles Leroy Northridge and his wife, Ann (Lundberg) Northridge. They operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in Revere. Charles Northridge’s sister, Hazel R. Northridge, lived with them. She was a teacher. They continued to live at 265 Clarendon in 1944; in that year, Charles and Ann Northridge moved to 119 Commonwealth and Hazel Northridge moved to 116 Riverway.
By 1945, 265 Clarendon was the home of J. Abigail Johnston, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Cambridge.
On July 8, 1946, J. Abigail Johnston purchased 265 Clarendon from Marion Wilson. When she purchased the house, she entered into a mortgage with Susan Jane (Northridge) Taylor Jones, the widow of Thomas Brierley Taylor and the former wife of David R. Jones. She was the aunt of Charles Leroy Northridge (the son of her brother, William H. Northridge). Susan Taylor Jones lived at 169 Commonwealth.
In October of 1947, J. Abigail Johnston applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house and two apartments.
On October 25. 1950, Susan Taylor Jones foreclosed on J. Abigail Johnston’s mortgage and transferred 265 Clarendon to her son, William Randolph Taylor, a real estate and furniture dealer. He and his wife, Ruth Ranghild (Weckstrom) Taylor, lived in Needham.
On November 7, 1950, W. Randolph Taylor transferred 265 Clarendon to his brother, real estate dealer Robert Winston Taylor. He and his wife, Edna Beatrice (Walls) Taylor, lived in an apartment at 7 Hereford.
In January of 1952, Robert Taylor filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 265 Clarendon into five apartments and one lodging unit. In conjunction with the filing, he submitted a letter to the Building Department asserting that the property currently was occupied as a single-family dwelling.
On September 17, 1953, 265 Clarendon was acquired from the Taylors by Claude W. Yorke. He lived at 181 Marlborough.
On June 19, 1964, 265 Clarendon was acquired from Claude York by Shirley Clifford Speed, a real estate dealer who converted many Back Bay houses into lodging houses and apartments. He had acquired 267 Clarendon in June of 1963.
On January 5, 1965, 265 Clarendon was acquired from S. Clifford Speed by Daniel Arthur Flaherty and his wife, Marion Louise (Taylor) Flaherty. He was a real estate manager and former television news editor. They lived in an apartment at 228 Beacon.
On December 12, 1966, 265 Clarendon was acquired from the Flahertys by Mrs. Carol Elizabeth (Rolph) O’Connor Poehler Morse, trustee of the Embassy Junior Realty Trust. She was the former wife of Thomas R. O’Connor, Percy Augustus Poehler, and Emerson Glover Morse. She lived and maintained her real estate office at 109 Marlborough.
On March 12, 1970, Carol Morse transferred 265 Clarendon to herself. She died in October of 1970.
On March 3, 1972, Ralph David Fraser and George Gibson Wright, trustees of the Clarendon 265 Trust, purchased 265 Clarendon from Carol Morse’s son by her second marriage, Peter Hodges Morse (born Percy Augustus Poehler, jr.).
On July 18, 2005, 265 Clarendon was purchased from George Wright and Charles Fraser by Michael Carl Lesburg. On March 8, 2007, he transferred the property to Selmasson Holdings LLC, of which he and his wife, Susan Diane (Schwartz) Lesburg, were the managers of record.
On July 21, 2021, the property was purchased from Selmasson Holdings LLC by Oriolus LLC (Yu Min, manager)
265 Clarendon continued to be assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling in 2021.