406 Marlborough was designed by Shaw and Hunnewell, architects, and built in 1888 by H. McLaughlin and McKensie & Hersey, builders, as the home of cotton broker Frederic Dexter and his wife, Susan (Chapman) Dexter. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated March 30, 1888, and on the final building inspection report, dated May 30, 1889 (a water-damaged plan of the first floor is bound with the building inspection report, located in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department). He also is shown as the owner on the 1888, 1890, and 1895 Bromley maps.
Frederic Dexter died in March of 1895. Susan Dexter continued to live at 406 Marlborough.
In about 1897, she was living elsewhere and 406 Marlborough was the home of Col. Henry Strugis Russell and his wife, Mary Hathaway (Forbes) Russell. They also maintained a residence, Home Farm, in Milton. Col. Russell had been named Boston Fire Commissioner in April of 1896, after which he maintained a residence in Boston as well as in Milton. He formerly had been a shipping merchant in the East India and China trade in his father-in-law’s firm, John Murray Forbes & Co., and had served as president of the Continental Telephone Company. By 1898, they had moved to 24 Commonwealth.
Susan Dexter continued to live at 406 Marlborough, joined in about 1908 by her niece, Eliza Post, the daughter of Jothan William Post and Eliza (Chapman) Post. Eliza Post previously had lived in Brookline with her widowed mother, who died in November of 1906.
During the 1908-1909 winter seeason, they were living elsewhere and 406 Marlborough was the home of stockbroker Alfred Codman and his wife, Lydia Emmet (Eliot) Codman. They also maintained a residence in Nahant. They previously had lived at 459 Beacon. By the 1909-1910 winter season, they had moved to 211 Beacon.
Susan Dexter and Eliza Post resumed living at 406 Marlborough by 1910. Susan Dexter died in February of 1917. Eliza Post moved to an apartment at 50 Commonwealth and then, by the 1918-1919 winter season, to 17 Exeter.
406 Marlborough was not listed in the 1918 and 1919 Blue Books.
The heirs of Frederic Dexter are shown as the owners of 406 Marlborough on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and were the assessed owners through 1923.
By 1920, 406 Marlborough was the fraternity house of the MIT Chapter (Delta Chapter) of Theta Xi. It continued to be located there until 1923.
By 1923, 406 Marlborough was owned by Dr. Walter G. McGauley, a dentist, who maintained his offices there and at 1746 Washington Street. He lived in Jamaica Plain. He was the assessed owner of 406 Marlborough in 1924 and 1925.
In August of 1923, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into medical offices.
He continued to maintain his offices there in 1924. By 1925, he had been joined there by his brother, Frank H. McGauley, also a dentist, who also lived in Jamaica Plain. Several other doctors and dentists also maintained offices there, and it also was the home of three teachers: Alice W. Clark, Mary G. Harvey, and Dorothy Wilkinson.
In 1925, Walter McGauley was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of Boston.
During the winter of 1925-1926, he was taken to court for failing to provide sufficient heat for his tenants.
By 1926, 406 Marlborough was owned by Gertrude Allyn (Rexford) Bristol, the wife of Bennet Beri Bristol. They lived in Foxborough. She was the assessed owner from 1926 through 1929 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. She died in May of 1930. The property remained in the Bristol family: Evelyn Bristol (her daughter) was the assessed owner from 1930 through 1932; Bennet B. Bristol et al, trustees, were the assessed owners from 1933 through 1938 and are shown as the owners on the 1938 Bromley map; and the Bristol Trust, Inc., was the assessed owner in 1939.
By 1929, 406 Marlborough was the home of Myron H. Smith, a public utility engineer, and his wife, Claire H. Smith, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 463 Commonwealth.
In November of 1933, F. N. Noyes, trustee, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling and medical offices into a two-family dwelling and medical offices.
The Smiths continued to live at 406 Marlborough until about 1937, when they moved to Medfield.
The property changed hands and by 1954 was owned by the Wald Realty Trust. Hyman Wald, trustee, was the assessed owner from 1954. In April of 1954, the Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as five apartments and two offices, which it indicated was the existing condition.
in July of 1956 was purchased by Miss Susie D. Wallace of Washington, D.C. In March of 1957, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as eight apartments, which she indicated was the existing condition when she purchased the property.
The property changed hands and in January of 1998 was purchased by the Madeira Isle Real Estate Corporation. In February of 1998, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from eight apartments into four apartments.
In November of 1998, it converted the property into four condominium units, The Jonah B. Wallace House Condominium.