7 Hereford was designed by Alfred S. Bither, architect, and built in 1879-1880 by Edward E. Chapin, builder, for real estate dealer Henry Whitwell. It was one of four contiguous houses (435 Beacon and 7-9-11 Hereford). All four houses originally were planned as two-story buildings; however, an additional story was added to 7 and 11 Hereford before they were completed. Henry Whitwell is shown as the owner on the original building permit for 7-9-11 Hereford, dated December 13, 1879.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting attributes 435 Beacon, 7-9-11 Hereford, 364 Marlborough, 27-29-31 Hereford, and 216-218 Commonwealth – all built in 1879 – to R. S. Bither. This is a misreading of the handwriting on the permit applications. It is clearly written as “A. S. Bither” on several of the permit applications, and is less legible on several others. There was no R. S. Bither listed in the Boston City Directories at any time in the 1870s or 1880s, whereas Alfred S. Bither was a practicing architect there from 1870 to 1880.
By 1882, 7 Hereford was the home of Arthur Hobart and his wife, Anna (Turner) Hobart. They had been married in November of 1881, and 7 Hereford probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived with his parents, Aaron Hobard and Anna Mann (Browne) Hobart, at 22 Dover. Arthur Hobart is shown as the owner of 7 Hereford on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps.
He was treasurer of the Aetna Mills, woolen manufacturers in Watertown.
Arthur Hobart’s father died in May of 1880, and Anna (Browne) Hobart lived with Arthur and Anna Hobart at 7 Hereford until the mid-1880s.
Arthur and Anna Hobart continued to live at 7 Hereford in 1894, but had moved to 109 Sedgwick by 1895.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, 7 Hereford was the home of Miss Mary H. Bartlett. She previously had lived at the Hotel Vendôme. She is shown as the owner of 7 Hereford on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps. She continued to live at 7 Hereford in 1904, but had moved to The Tuileries at 270 Commonwealth by 1905.
During the 1904-1905 winter serason, 7 Hereford was the home of Mrs. Florence L. (Clarke) Cruft. the widow of Charles F. Cruft, and their unmarried daughters, Eunice and Frances. They previously had lived at 13 Hereford.
Charles Cruft had been auditor and general ticket agent for the St. Paul and Duluth Railway until his death in 1880.
By the 1905-1906 winter season, they had moved to 254 Commonwealth.
7 Hereford was not listed in the 1906 Blue Book.
During the 1906-1907 winter season, 7 Hereford was the home of Philip H. Stockton and his wife, Margaret (Head) Stockton. They had been married in February of 1906, and 7 Hereford probably was their first home together.
In the spring of 1907, 7 Hereford was purchased by Dr. Hasket Derby, an ophthalmologist, and the Stocktons moved to 14 Gloucester. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on May 29, 1907.
7 Hereford became the home of Hasket Derby’s son, Dr. George Strong Derby, also an ophthalmologist (and later Ophthalmic Chief at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary), and his wife Mary Brewster (Brown) Derby. George Derby also maintauined his medical office there. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 387 Marlborough. Hasket Derby continued to own the house until his death in August of 1914. The Heirs of Hasket Derby are shown as the owners on the 1928 Bromley map.
George and Mary Derby also maintained a home in Portland, Maine.
The Derbys’ children, Hasket Derby II and Mary Brewster Derby, lived with them.
Hasket Derby II married in June of 1931 to Alison Lawrence Haughton and they moved to an apartment at 7 Exeter (also living at 7 Exeter at about the same time were his uncle, Arthur Lawrence Derby and his wife, Jeannette (Barr) Derby; they usually lived at 383 Marlborough with Sarah (Mason) Derby, the widow of Dr. Hasket Derby). Hasket Derby II was sales manager for Skyways, Inc., an air transportation company, and later was a yacht broker in Dover.
George Derby died in December of 1931. Mary Derby and their daughter, Mary, continued to live at 7 Hereford until Mrs. Derby’s death in 1933. After her mother’s death, Mary Brewster Derby lived at 383 Marlborough with her grandmother, Sarah (Mason) Derby.
In March of 1935, 7 Hereford was purchased from the estate of Mary Derby by Warren Joyce.
By 1937, 7 Hereford was owned by Alex K. Williams. In September of 1937, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into eight apartments. He is shown as the owner of 7 Hereford on the 1938 Bromley map.
The property changed hands and in July of 1978 was purchased by Diana Pasley, trustee of the 7 Hereford Street Realty Trust.
In November of 1978, she converted the property into nine condominium units, the 7 Hereford Street Condominium.