ARTHUR BLAKE MADDISON

1889-1955 - Woburn, Middlesex co., MA & Lynn, Essex co., MA

(Third Generation - Maddison Family)

FATHER
MOTHER
Mark R. Maddison
Lena O'Connor



BIRTH A. B. was born on 11 June 1889 in Woburn, Middlesex co., MA[3]. This is confirmed by the fact that he was 34 at the time of his marriage in 1922 and 66y. 11m. 26d. at the time of his death in 1955.
DEATH & BURIAL He died in Lynnfield, Essex co., MA on 7 May 1955, aged 66y. 11m. 26d[14], of Arteriosclerosis & Heart Disease caused by Essential Hypertension. He died at a recuperative home at 165 Summer Street in Lynnfield. Essex co., MA, having been there for only 20 days before he died[14]. Family lore says that his widow vowed to never go there again, but 10 years later was placed there herself not remembering this vow since she was suffering from what we now know as Alzheimer's. A.B. was buried on 10 May 1955 in Forest Hill, Lynnfield, Essex co., MA[14].
MILITARY According to his death record, A.B. never served in the military -- he was of the age which was too young to serve in World War I and too old to serve in World War II[14].
OCCUPATION & RESIDENCE Arthur Blake Maddison was commonly known as "A.B." and was a man profoundly shaped by the Depression era in America. When you ask people to describe him, often the first thing said is that he was "a man's man". His life's work revolved around construction, especially windows and installations. At the time of his marriage in 1922, he lived at 40 New Park Street in Lynn, Essex co., MA and was a Manager for a construction firm in Woburn, Middlesex co., MA[3]. By the time of the birth of his eldest child in 1923, the family had moved to Chestnut Street in Lynn, Essex co., MA and he was now a Sales Manager for the Woburn firm[15].

Family Lore has it that this construction firm failed quickly and catastrophically during the early years of the Depression. Literally, the men came to work one day and were told that they had been laid off retroactively to the previous week. In addition, the bank with the family accounts also closed and never again opened its doors. A.B. was out of a job and had no money or unemployment to fall back on. He decided to do what he knew best to do, but to be the boss this time he formed his own construction company as a Steel/Construction contractor[14].

My mother, Barbara Ann Maddison, told of how one house after another on their street was foreclosed upon during this time. You could tell because a red flag would go onto the house when it was foreclosed upon. A.B. staved off foreclosure because he was starting his business literally in the basement of his house, with his wife, Marian keeping the books. A.B. Maddison & Company was a success. By the end of the 1930s, he had contracts for jobs such as the now-demolished parking garage in Post Office Square in Boston.

His sons, Fred & David following him into the business and kept it humming until they decided to liquidate it after the death of their mother in 1984. They made a great team, with Fred dealing with the inevitable politics that go into bidding and labor relations and David in charge of actual constructions. Fred somehow also knew Albert DiSalvo, otherwise known as "The Boston Strangler", while the latter was in prison. The most notable, and notorious, project they worked on was the installation of the windows twice -- in the I.M. Pei- designed John Hancock Building in Boston in the early 1970s. The first windows they installed in this glass-façade building soon began to pop out and cascade into shards on the street below. The windows were soon replaced with plywood (earning the building the nickname "Plywood Palace") while the principals involved sorted out blame and solutions. It was eventually determined that the specifications for the widow frames did not take into consideration how the widows would flex in Boston's notorious downtown winds and were just short enough that the windows would literally pop out when they flexed enough. Frames with larger lips were put in and the building remains a centerpiece of downtown Boston today.

A terrific Pulitzer Prize winning article on the John Hancock debacle can be found at http://www.pulitzer.org/year/1996/criticism/works/CRIT-MAR3.html the building is now cited in "When Bad Things Happen to Good Buildings", by Thomas A. Schwartz, Architecture Week No. 44, 2001.0404, p. B1.1. You'll see that the problems with its construction went far beyond the widows. Interestingly enough, I went looking for a picture of the building in its plywood glory (an image I remember very well from the time), but could only find shimmering shots of the now-acclaimed building.

The family soon moved into what the next generation considered "Nana's House" at 515 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Essex co., MA, which stayed in the family through A.B.'s death in 1955[14] and until Marian could no longer care for herself in the mid-1960s. The house is still standing much as it did at that time.

At the time of his death and for many years afterward, the boys would find safe deposit keys and bankbooks hidden in the nooks and crannies of A.B.'s office and home. His experience in the Depression had led to a grave mistrust of the banking system, so he had his assets scattered around many institutions. It is a family joke today that the family probably never found all his assets after his death. After all, how does one track down a random safe deposit box key found taped to the bottom of a drawer? In addition, the terms of his will all but mandated that the boys keep the family business going until Marian died. Having been badly burned once by having others in charge of his life, he was not going to let it happen again.

MARRIAGE On 29 May 1922 when Arthur Blake was 32, he married Marion Louise NEWHALL, daughter of Henry Ernest NEWHALL & Mary Josephine NEWHALL, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[3] by The Reverend Herbert L. Johnson. Their intention was filed on 23 May 1922 in Lynn, Essex co., MA by Joseph W. Attwill.

CHILDREN 2. i. Barbara Ann MADDISON Please see her own page.
ii. Frederick MADDISON
iii. David MADDISON





GENERATION G0 Grandfather
FAMILY NUMBER 6
SOURCES 1. "Mark R. Maddison Death Certificate," 22 November 1917, Lynn, Essex co., MA, 1917, p. 269, Registered number 1293.

2. Mark Maddison & Lena O'Connor Marriage Record," 19 April 1884, Woburn, Middlesex co., MA, 1884, v. 353, p. 267.

3. "Thomas Maddison Citizenship Papers," 25 October 1880, U.S. District Court, Boston, Suffolk co., MA.

4. "Arthur Blake Maddison & Marian Louise Newhall Marriage Record," 1 June 1922, Lynn, Essex co., MA, 1922, v. 455, A436015 - Registered Number 347, Intention Number 360, Commonwealth of MA Vital Records.

5. "Mark R. Maddison Citizenship Papers," 30 October 1880, U.S. District Court, Boston, Suffolk co., MA.

6. "Mark R. Maddison Citizenship Intention," 19 February 1887, Fourth District Court of East Middlesex - Woburn, 1885-1906, pp. 32, 32A, 32B.

7. "Federal Archives, Waltham, Middlesex co., MA." 1885-1906-32.

8. "Mark R. Maddison Citizenship Papers," 30 October 1880, U.S. District Court, Boston, Suffolk co., MA.

9. "Mark R. Maddison Citizenship Intention," 19 February 1887, Fourth District Court of East Middlesex - Woburn, 1885-1906, pp. 32, 32A, 32B.

10. Commonwealth of MA Vital Records, [MAVR], Marriage Records, 1884, 353, 267.

11. "Alina O'Connor Birth Record," 2 August 1865, Winchester, Middlesex co., MA, 1865, v. 178, p. 235, #34.

12. "Lena O'Connor Maddison Death Certificate," 6 January 1959, Lynn, Essex co., MA, 1959, p. 34, Registered Number 19.

13. Commonwealth of MA Vital Records, [MAVR], Death Records 1959, v. 65, p. 34.

14. "Walter F. Maddison Birth Record," Woburn, Middlesex co., MA, 1887, v. 377, p. 310.

15. Commonwealth of MA Vital Records, [MAVR], Birth Records, 1887, 377, 310.

16. "Arthur Blake Maddison Death Record," 7 May 1955, Lynnfield, Essex co., MA, 1955, 160, A436098 - Registered Number 14 in Lynnfield, Commonwealth of MA Vital Records.

17. Barbara Maddison Birth Record, 14 January 1923, Swampscott, Essex co., MA, 1923, 8, Paper, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vital Records.

18. Marblehead, Essex co., MA Vital Records. [MarbleheadVR]

19. Commonwealth of MA Vital Records, [MAVR], Birth Records 1893, Volume 430, Page 451, #1104, Lynn [Marion Louise Newhall].

20. Ibid. Death Records 1984, #042443.

21. Barbara Maddison Hall Death Record, 1988, #022743, Paper, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vital Records.

22. Commonwealth of MA Vital Records, [MAVR], Death Records, 1988, #022747.

23. Hall Family Record 2, Marriages Page, Written Records in Family Bibles.

24. Hall-Maddison Marriage Certificate, 20 February 1943, Crane Chapel, Tufts University, Medford, Middlesex co., MA, 1943, Actual Certificate from the Reverend George Ladd., Certificate in posession of Kristin Hall.

25. Hall Family Record, Marriages Page, Written Records in Family Bibles.

26. Hall Family Record, Births Page, Written Records in Family Bibles.

27. Hall Family Records 2, Children's Names Page, Written Family Records from Family bibles.

28. Walter Kenneth Hall Birth Record, 6 January 1920, Boston, Suffolk co., MA, 1920, 1, 6, 225, Paper, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vital Records.

29. Kristin Carole Hall Birth Record, 26 May 1961, Portland, Cumberland co., ME, 1961, 271821, State of Maine Vital Records.

30. Family Notes Transcription. Notes originally in Walter K. Hall's, Barbara M. Hall's or Heather Hall's hand.

31. 1939 The World Almanac, [1939Alm], 918.

32. Heather Hall Birth Record, 27 November 1944, Melrose, Middlesex co., MA, 1944, 488, 605, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vital Records.

33. Alan Maddison Hall Birth Record, 27 October 1947, Melrose, Middlesex co., MA, 1947, Melrose, 46, 871, Paper, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vital Records.




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