311 Marlborough was built in 1877-1878 by builder Daniel Weeks Beckler, one of four contiguous houses (309-311-313-315 Marlborough) built at the same time.
Daniel Beckler was a builder and lumber dealer. In about 1874, he became the proprietor of Beacon Park, a trotting park and race track in Allston, and by 1875 he also owned a stable in Hancock Square in Charlestown. He and his wife, Julia A. (Judkins) Beckler, lived in South Boston in 1874 but moved soon thereafter to Winter Hill in Somerville. They also owned a home in Northfield, New Hampshire, where he raised thoroughbred horses.
The land on which 309-315 Marlborough were built was owned by Harvey Jewell, a lawyer and former state legislator, who had served as Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1868 through 1872. He and his wife, Susan A. (Bradley) Jewell, lived at 204 Beacon.
Harvey Jewell had acquired the property on June 10, 1869, from Franklin Evans. The land was part of one of several parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 311 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 416, from Fairfield to Gloucester.
Daniel Beckler bought the land from Harvey Jewell on October 4, 1874, and, at the same time, entered into a mortgage on the property with him. In mid-October, he received building permits for all four houses (reported in the Boston Globe on October 24, 1874) and probably intended to begin construction soon thereafter (in January of 1874 he had acquired the land immediately to the west, where he had built 317-319 Marlborough). He had overextended himself, however, and in late 1874 or early 1875, he declared bankruptcy. On April 12, 1875, Harvey Jewell took back the land, waiving his claims as a creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings but keeping the mortgage in effect to preserve his claim to the land, which remained vacant for the next two years.
Subsequently, Harvey Jewell apparently entered into an agreement with Daniel Beckler to construct the four houses at 309-315 Marlborough in 1877-1878 and also to build five more houses in 1878 at 302-310 Marlborough, across the street, on other land which he owned.
On October 11, 1877, Daniel Beckler filed a new building permit application for the four houses at 309-315 Marlborough. He is shown as the owner of the land. On March 16, 1878, Harvey Jewell foreclosed on his mortgage on the property and he is shown as the owner (and Daniel Beckler as the former owner) on the final inspection report for the four houses, dated December 30, 1878.
311 Marlborough continued to be owned by Harvey Jewell and by the 1879-1880 winter season had been leased by wholesale clothing merchant Louis J. Elkan and his wife Pauline (Crohn) Oppenheim Elkan. They had married in December of 1878 and 311 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Living with them was Pauline Elkan’s mother, Mary (Geogel) Crohn, the widow of Louis Crohn.
On May 12, 1881, 311 Marlborough was purchased from Harvey Jewell by William Sprague, trustee of the estate of Charles Copeland. It became the home of Charles Copeland’s widow (and William Sprague’s sister), Susan Rogers (Sprague) Copeland. She previously had lived at the Hoffman House apartments on Berkeley at Columbus.
Living with her was her daughter, Mrs. Susan Sprague (Copeland) Tribou, the wife of Walter Scott Tribou. Walter Tribou was living in Lexington, where he died in September of 1883. Susan Copeland and Susan Tribou continued to live at 311 Marlborough during the 1883-1884 season, but moved thereafter. The estate of Charles Copeland continued to own 311 Marlborough and lease it to others.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, it was the home of Edward Angell Newell, an agent for the White Line Transit Company and then the Merchants Dispatch Transportation Company. He was a widower, his wife, Carrie M. T. (Goodwin) Newell, having died in March of 1883. Prior to her death, they had lived at 812 Tremont. He lived at 311 Marlborough with their three adult children: Frederick Ellis Newell, a salesman; Otis Kimball Newell, a physician; and Mary Angell Newell.
In October of 1888, Edward Newell married again, to Helen F. Morey. After their marriage, they moved to 7 Batavia. Otis Newell married the same month to Mary Rowena Coon and they moved to 312 Marlborough. Frederick Newell married in March of 1889 to Florence Lillian Fullerton and they moved to 76 Chestnut. Mary Newell moved to 7 Batavia with her father and stepmother, and married in June of 1889 to Harry Hill Ripley, a wholesale boot and shoe merchant.
During the 1888-1889 winter season, 311 Marlborough was once again the home of Susan Copeland. She had moved by 1890 and was living in an apartment at 405 Marlborough at the time of her death in May of 1891.
On July 31, 1891, 311 Commonwealth was transferred to Susan Copeland’s three surviving children: Emily (Copeland) Shattuck, the wife of attorney George Otis Shattuck, who lived at 166 Beacon; Sarah (Copeland) Tribou, who had moved to Baltimore; and Charles Frederick Copeland, who lived in Chicago with his wife, Sophia Ellen (Walker) Copeland. On August 1/2, 1891, Charles Copeland transferred his one-third interest in the property to his wife.
By the 1889-1890 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of attorney Josiah Prentice Tucker and his wife, Hannah Ralston (Whipple) Tucker. They previously had lived at 194 Marlborough. They continued to live at 311 Marlborough in 1894, but were living in Hingham by 1895.
By the 1895-1896 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of Dr. George Hamlin Washburn, a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and his wife, Anna Marilla (Hoyt) Washburn. They previously had lived at 302 Marlborough.
Living with the Washburns were his grandmother, Elizabeth (Homes) Washburn, the widow of Philander Washburn, and his aunt, Elizabeth Homes (Washburn) Brainard, the former wife of Charles Rollin Brainard, an Episcopal minister and later a lawyer and author. Elizabeth Brainard was an artist.
They all continued to live at 311 Marlborough during the 1900-1901 season, after which they moved to 377 Marlborough.
311 Marlborough was not listed in the 1902 and 1903 Blue Books.
On January 12, 1903, 311 Marlborough was acquired from the Copeland family by George Henry Smith. He and his wife, Elizabeth Mary (Clement) Smith, lived next door, at 313 Marlborough.
On March 28, 1904, 311 Marlborough was acquired from George H. Smith by Agnes (Stewart) Holder, the wife of Daniel Curtis Holder, Jr. They previously had lived in an apartment at 220 Marlborough. Daniel Holder was a former hardware and metals dealer. He withdrew from the firm in 1904 with the idea of associating himself with a business in the South (where his wife came from). They had moved from 311 Marlborough by the 1904-1905 season, probably to New Orleans where they were living by 1908.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Farrar Crane Cobb, a physician and Superintendent of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and his wife, Frances W. (McMurray) Cobb. They previously had lived at The Marlborough at 416 Marlborough.
They continued to live at 311 Marlborough in 1907, but by 1908 had moved to 317 Marlborough . By 1909, he only maintained his office at 317 Marlborough, and by 1910, they were living at 5 Brimmer Street.
On March 23, 1908, 311 Marlborough was purchased from Agnes Holder by Preston Player, a mechanical and electrical engineer. His mother, Susan (Tiffany) Player, the widow of lawyer John Preston Player, lived with him. They previously had lived at 375 Beacon.
Susan Player died in October of 1910. Preston Player continued to live at 311 Marlborough during the 1911-1912 winter season, after which he moved to 536 Commonwealth. He continued own 311 Marlborough and lease it to others.
During the 1913-1914 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of stockbroker Nelson Slater Bartlett, Jr., and his wife, Christiana Sargent (Hunnewell) Bartlett. They had been married in May of 1913, and 311 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 140 Beacon. His widowed father, retired iron merchant Nelson Slater Bartlett, Sr., lived with them; he previously had lived in Manchester. By the 1914-1915 season, Nelson and Christiana Bartlett had moved to 118 Marlborough, and Nelson, Sr., had resumed living in Manchester.
During the 1914-1915 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of Charles Fessenden Morse and his wife, Ellen Mary (Holdredge) Morse. They had lived for many years in Kansas City, where he was general manager of the Kansas City Stockyards Company, returning to Massachusetts in about 1913. They also maintained a home in Falmouth.
In the fall of 1915, they purchased and subsequently moved to 173 Marlborough.
311 Marlborough was not listed in the 1916 and 1917 Blue Books.
By the 1917-1918 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of Dr. James Lincoln Huntington, a physician, and his wife, Sarah Higginson (Pierce) Huntington. He also maintained his offices there. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 8 Gloucester.
On June 5, 1918, Sarah Huntington purchased 311 Marlborough from Preston Player.
The Huntingtons continued to live there during the 1925-1926 season, after which they moved to Brookline. In about 1925, he had begun maintaining his office at both 311 Marlborough and 24 Marlborough; after they moved to Brookline, he continued to maintain his office at 24 Marlborough.
During the 1926-1927 winter season, it was the home of Josiah Robinson Harding, a retired cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Jessie Campbell (Ware) Harding. They also maintained a home at Marblehead Neck. By 1928, they had moved to 13 Hereford.
During the 1927-1928 winter season, it was the home of stockbroker Archibald Blanchard and his wife, Elinor (Whitney) Blanchard. They also maintained a home in Nahant. They had lived at 204 Commonwealth (which they owned) during the previous season, and had moved back there by the 1928-1929 season.
During the 1928-1929 winter season, 311 Marlborough was the home of Arthur Cecil Butler and his wife, Cicely (Hyland) Butler. He was an importer of textile machinery. They previously had lived at 251 Beacon.
By the 1929-1930 winter season, it was the home of Henry Morgan Bohlen, a realtor, and his wife, Margaret (Curtis) Bohlen. They previously had lived in an apartment at 90 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home in Nahant.
The Bohlens continued to live at 311 Marlborough until about 1933, when they divorced. He moved to Ipswich and she moved to Dover. She married again in July of 1934 to Carleton Maxwell Pike; after their marriage, they lived at 73 Marlborough and in Lubec, Maine.
In March of 1935, James Huntington applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 311 Marlborough from a single-family dwelling into a single-family dwelling and doctor’s office.
That same month, on March 27, 1935, the State Street Trust Company foreclosed its mortgage to the Huntingtons and took possession of the property. The Huntingtons restructured their debt and on April 30, 1935, they acquired the property back from the bank.
By 1936, the Huntingtons — who had been living in an apartment at 50 Commonwealth (260 Berkeley) since about 1933 — made 311 Marlborough their home and his office once again. They continued to live — and he to maintain his office — there until about 1943. They divorced in 1944.
On December 3, 1943, 311 Marlborough was acquired from the Huntingtons by Miss Helen M. Woodfin of Marblehead. She operated the property as a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house.
On January 29, 1953, 311 Marlborough was acquired by Helen B. Scott. In November of 1956, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling and doctor’s office into a single-family dwelling and lodging house.
On April 1, 1960, 311 Marlborough was acquired from Helen Scott by Heyward Lothrop Leavitt, Jr., who lived there with his mother, Grace H. (Pencelle) Leavitt, the widow of Heyward Lothrop Leavitt, Sr. They previously had lived in Waban. They operated 311 Marlborough as a lodging house. Heyward Lothrop also was proprietor of The Newbury Boutique, an antiques store at 252 Newbury. They continued to live at 311 Marlborough in the mid-1960s; by 1969, he was living in South Casco, Maine.
On March 30, 1970, 311 Marlborough was acquired from Heywood Leavitt, Jr., by Peter W. Thomas and his wife, Donna G. Thomas. It appears that the Thomases were divorced in the late 1970s, inasmuch as on August 23, 1979, Donna Thomas transferred her interest in the property to Peter Thomas, indicating in the deed that she was unmarried.
On May 12, 1984, however, Peter Thomas transferred the property back into both their names, the deed indicating that he lived in Miami and she lived at 105 Revere in Boston. The transfer probably was to permit them to share in the subsequent sale of the house.
On July 31, 1984, 311 Marlborough it was purchased from Peter and Donna Thomas by Richard J. Connaughton. In January of 1985, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling and lodging house into a single-family dwelling.
The property subsequently changed hands. It remained a single-family dwelling in 2015.