Tag Archives: Lewis

Summer 1934: Seeing America First

Tuesday morning, at 6 a.m., Wilbur F. Lewis, Jr., Alton Jones, Bradford Lewis and Samuel A. Lewis, who are recently graduates from the Somerville High School, left Electric avenue, West Somerville, on a motor canoeing trip to the Pacific Coast and return; planning their first camp at Niagara, New York.

Their itinerary includes stops at the Great Lakes; a visit to the automobile factories in and about Detroit; a week’s stay at the Worlds Fair in Chicago; then a stop in Dakota, where a visit will be made to the Indian Reservation, to the home of an Indian boy, and schoolmate of Wilbur Lewis at Tilton Academy; then a stop at Yellowstone National Park; through the Rockies to the State of Washington, to look over the redwood forests in that part of the country; thence down the coast to San Francisco to Los Angeles, where they have letters of introduction to the Paramount Studios.

The exact route of their return trip had not been decided when the boys left home; but will, in any event, include a visit to Washington, D.C. The boys are equipped with tent, sleeping bags, and cooking utensils; and will live the next two months in the wide-open spaces of America.

June 1944: Wilbur Lewis, Jr. Is Wounded in Action on Anzio Beachhead

Word has been received by Mrs. Wilbur F. Lewis jr. that her husband has been wounded in the Anzio beachhead campaign, sometime between May 19 and 29.

Pfc. Lewis was a member of a special Commando Platoon of the Infantry. He was inducted into the service in August, 1943, completed his basic training at Fort McLellan, Alabama, and specialized training at Camp Mead, Baltimore, Maryland, and embarked for foreign service in the early part of February of this year. He is now confined to a military hospital somewhere in Italy. From information that can be obtained he is making rapid recovery.

Pfc. Lewis is a graduate of Boston university and is the junior member of the firm, S. H. Lewis and Son, real estate and insurance, located in Davis square, Somerville.

Pfc. Lewis has never seen his daughter, Wendy Gilbert Lewis, who was born on April 20 of this year. Mrs. Lewis and daughter are living with Pfc. Lewis’ parents at 51 Foskett street, Somerville.

MARCH 1957: Bank Adopts Resolve on Late Wilbur F. Lewis

Messages of sympathy continue to pour in on the family of the late Wilbur Fletcher Lewis, bank president, builder, and for many years prominent in civic and fraternal affairs of Somerville, who passed away on Mar. 6.

A native and life-long resident of Somerville, he had served in the board of aldermen, the house of representatives and on the board of public welfare of his native city. He was in the building business for many years and had built apartment houses and many dwelling houses in Somerville, Arlington, and other sections of Greater Boston.

The Winter Hill Federal Savings and Loan Association, of which he had been president for the past four years and a director, since 1919, adopted in Memoriam, the following resolutions which have been sent to the family.

“Our Heavenly Father, in His Divine Providence, has removed from our midst, Wilbur F. Lewis, president of the Winter Hill Federal Savings and Loan Association for the past four years and a director since 1919.

“He was a man of exceptional ability and determination, a man with good sound judgement, ready and willing at all times to do his utmost for the benefit of this institution.

“He constributed much to the success of our association and his passing is a great loss to the directors, employees and all others who knew him.

“The deep sympathy of the directors is extended to the family of our departed friend.

“Therefore, Be it Resolved, that this Memorial, be spread to his family.”

He was born in Somerville, 68 years ago, the son of the late Stephen H. and Laura B. (Wright) Lewis. He was a graduate of the Somerville High school and Berkley Preparatory School. He served in the Somerville board of alderman in 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919, in the house of representatives in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924.

After leaving school he entered the building business with his father, as S. H. Lewis & Son, and when his father began to fail in health, Wilbur, took over, for 30 years conducted the business. He built the Powder House Apartments at 119 College ave., the home in which he resided at 51 Foskett Street, and many other dwelling houses in West Somerville and Arlington. He built over 100 houses.

He was noted for his kindness and loyalty to his family and relatives. He was well known in the Davis sq. section, where he was numbered among the “old-timers” and had a wide circle of friends.

The late Mr. Lewis had been a member of the Somerville Lodge of Elks for over 35 years; a lieutenant in the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Co.; Somerville Lodge of Masons, Massachusetts Consistory; Aleppo Temple Mystic Shrine; charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Somerville; Fraternal Order of the Eastern Star; Somerville Chamber of Commerce, College Avenue Methodist church, and a corporiate member of the Fernald School at Waltham.

He leaves his wife, Mrs. Etta E. (Dixon) Lewis, whom he married in 1913; a son, Wilbur Franklin Lewis, and three grandchildren.

Largely attended services were held in the College Avenue Church. Rev. Dr. Guy H. Wayne officiated. Burial was in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Silver Star Winner, Home from Service

Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Silver Star Winner, Home from Service
Somerville Press

Recently arrived home from two years of distinguished service overseas, combat infantryman Lt. Wilbur F. Lewis, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur F. Lewis, 51 Foskett Street, West Somerville, is now reunited with his wife, Marion, and his two-year-old daughter, Wendy whom he had never seen.

A volunteer member of a raider platoon, Lt. Lewis fought his way form Anzio Beachhead in Italy to Salzburg, Austria, with the Fame Third Division of the Seventh Army. Fighting under the French First Army in the Colmar pocket in France, Lt. Lewis was awarded the French Fourragères. Later, he received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in Action in Besancon, France. Other recognitions awarded Lt. Lewis were the Unit Citation with two clusters, the Purple Heart, for wounds received in the drive to Rome, the Infantry Combat Medal, and four battle stars. Lt. Lewis participated in the initial landing in Southern France on August 15, 1944, for which he was awarded the Bronze Arrowhead.

Going into battle as a private immediately on his arrival overseas, Lt. Lewis soon raised himself to the rank of sergeant, and the later received his commission on the field. At the end of the war, Lt. Lewis took an active part in the occupational program of the Third Division as staff officer in the 30th Infantry Regimental School in Eschwege, Germany, after two weeks training in Paris, France.

Following his discharge on February 27, Lt. Lewis will take up his duties as a member of the firm of S. H. Lewis & Son, Builders, Wilbur F. Lewis, Real Estate and Insurance, and the Franklin Realty Trust, located in the Woodbridge Hotel, 23 College avenue, West Somerville.

The Arrival and Naturalization of Stephen H. Lewis

It looks like Ancestry.com has added new naturalization petitions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and it just so happened that I did a new search on Stephen H. Lewis and it revealed three new records with some additional information on his arrival from Nova Scotia.

We already knew his birthdate, though this is yet another citation for it: 13 December 1857. Also added additional citations for birth town (Five Islands), birth county (Colchester), and birth province (Nova Scotia), as well as his occupation in Somerville, Building and Carpenter.

He arrived in the port of Boston on 10 April 1883, and on 9 October 1893, he made his Declaration and Intention to become a citizen of the United States, renouncing “forever all allegiance and fidelity” to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

On 30 December 1901, Stephen H. Lewis “having produced the evidence required by law, took the aforesaid oath and was admitted to become a citizen of the United States of America.” He was living at his longtime residence, 44 Kidder Avenue in West Somerville, Massachusetts. An interesting note is that Edward VII was now the King, following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

Joseph B. Went (51 Hall Ave, Somerville) and George A. Richardson (20 Wesley, Somerville) were the witnesses.




Clustering for more on PEI’s William G. Wright

When William George Wright married Sarah Dennis on 28 December 1848, there were two witnesses to the marriage listed on the marriage record: Isaac Smith, Jr. and James Douglas.

William G Wright Sarah Dennis

As I have written before (and here and here), William Wright was a carpenter or builder in Charlottetown, and there are several historic houses that can be tied directly to him. Proving that the house builder and the ancestor are the same person isn’t at a 100% “fact” yet, but using some cluster research on one of the names of the marriage witnesses moves it that much closer.

Isaac SmithIsaac Smith, Jr. was born in Charlottetown in 1822 to Isaac Smith and Jane Smith. Isaac, the senior, was one of the most prominent builders, contractors and architects for the capitol region of PEI:

Wherever the future Fathers of Confederation looked in the Charlottetown of 1864, they would have been confronted with the work of builder/architect Isaac Smith. They conferred in a legislative building designed by Isaac Smith. On the same square, coming and going from the sessions which conceived the Dominion of Canada, they could observe an Episcopal church designed and built by Isaac Smith, and a round market house constructed by him. They were feted in a Lieutenant Governor’s residence designed and built by Isaac Smith. The very ship carrying the Canadian delegates had been guided into Charlottetown harbour by a lighthouse designed by—Isaac Smith. (Source)

It would only be appropriate to think that Isaac the son would follow in his father’s footsteps, and the fact that William Wright was is the same business also lends itself to the same conclusion that the witness to my ancestor’s wedding was in fact the son of the famous Isaac Smith. Taking it another step, the same magazine article the above quotation was taken from notes that Isaac Smith worked on several of his projects with one Nathan Wright. Finally, both William Wright and Isaac Smith were lay pastors in the Methodist Church. Could this Nathan Wright be my ancestor William’s father? Did the business (and religious and potentially personal) relationship between Isaac and Nathan directly resulted in the friendship of William and Isaac, Jr.? I, for one, would have to answer yes to both questions.

And now that I am thinking about it, how would have my ancestor Stephen H. Lewis–a much accomplished homebuilder in Somerville, Massachusetts, after emigrating from Nova Scotia–have met William’s daughter Laura when he was born and schooled in Five Islands, N.S.? Well, look at this line from his biography:

Mr. Lewis was employed for two years by an uncle at Prince Edward Island


Though proving Nathan and William to be father and son is still on the docket, there is little doubt in my mind that the Wrights who built many of the great structures of 19th century Charlottetown with the more accomplished Smiths are in fact relatives, if not my direct ancestors.

Mrs. Laura B. Lewis (obituary)

Mrs. Laura B. Lewis, wife of Stephen H. Lewis, who had been ill since January, died Sunday at her home, 44 Kidder av, West Somerville, where the funeral service will be held at 2 tomorrow afternoon. Mrs. Lewis was born in Charlottetown, P E I, 65 years ago, and was the daughter of Rev William G. Wright, a Methodist minister. She has been a highly-respected resident of this city since her marriage about 40 years ago, and was also well known in South Duxbury, Mass, where she spent Summers at Standish Shore. She was a member of the College Avenue Methodist Church. In addition to her husband, she is survived by four children, Ex-Representative Wilbur F. Lewis and Dr Minot W. Lewis of the city, Mrs. Laura W. Elliott, wife of Roscoe O. Elliott of Arlington, and Mrs Grace M MacKenzie, wife of William MacKenzie of El Paso, Tex.

Boston Daily Globe
September 14, 1926
Page A12


Obituary of Catherine (Reid) Lewis

Mrs. Catherine Lewis Died at Lyn
Colchester County, June 15

Mrs. Catherine Lewis died at Lyn Colchester County, June 15, aged 86 years. Her maiden name was Reid, born at Race End, Donegal, Ireland. The clan from which this branch of the Reid family sprang was noted in Scotland in the seventeenth century. Members of the family lived to the patriarchal age of 90 and 100 years. Continue reading Obituary of Catherine (Reid) Lewis

Biography of Wilbur Fletcher Lewis

This biography originally appeared in “Middlesex County and Its People”:

Wilbur-Fletcher-LewisWILBUR FLETCHER LEWIS–For more than eighteen years, Wilbur Fletcher Lewis has been identified with the building, real estate, and insurance business at Somerville, first in association with his father, and since 1918, for himself. He is well known in fraternal and club circles, and has always been interested in athletics, especially in baseball. The business is operated under the name of S. H. Lewis and Son, and the office is located at 253 Elm Street.

Wilbur Fletcher Lewis, son of Stephen Henry and Laura Blanche (Wright) Lewis (see preceding biography), was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, February 28, 1889. He received his earliest education at the Edgerly School, and then continued his studies in the Highland School, from which he was graduated in 1904. The following fall he became a student in the English High School, from which he was graduated in 1908, after which he entered Berkley Preparatory School, where he continued his studies for one year.

Continue reading Biography of Wilbur Fletcher Lewis

Biography of Stephen Henry Lewis

This biography originally appeared in “Middlesex County and Its People”:

stephen lewis headshotSTEPHEN HENRY LEWIS–For more than four decades, Mr. Lewis was engaged in the business of carpenter and builder at Somerville, and during those years established a prosperous and prominent industry, which flourished until his retirement from active affairs in 1918. Industrious and enterprising, he had added many important real estate and insurance activities to his business and was recognized as a leader in the trade. His business has continued under the management of a son, Wilbur Fletcher, and to Mr. Lewis is the reward and comfort, the competence which his efforts have earned. Continue reading Biography of Stephen Henry Lewis