Charles Spear
Records, 1856-1888

Mss: 100

Historical Note:

Charles Spear was born in Quincy, Massachusetts about 1835 and lived in that town until after 1863. According to family lore, Spear worked for the Adams family while living in Quincy. A great-uncle, Daniel Spear, was deacon in the Stone Church in Quincy Square. Spear Street and Spear farm were named after family members.

Before 1868, Charles Spear moved to Dorchester and was superintendent of streets there as well as taking charge of the poor farm. While living in Dorchester, he and his wife lived on Dorchester Avenue.

Scope and Content:

Collections consists of four volumes of records kept by Charles Spear from 1856-1872 and one box of documents. These relate to both personal and professional finances and include:

Volume 1 - Account Book, 1859-1860, 1878-1879, 1885-1888. Contains accounts for farm produce and general store items, 1859-1860, for Asa P. Leonard, O. D. Knowlton, Isaac Mitchell, Sheep and Wool Account, Henry Webster, Pork Account, Beef Account, F. M. Granger, Oat Field Five Acres, Wheat Field 60 Acres, Potato Field 20 Acres, James Davidson, Henry Ingalls, John Adams, Cash Accounts, Ortho H. Hudson and O. D. Morgan. Accounts, 1878-1879, for expenses Charles Spear incurred while in the employ of the town of Woburn, Massachusetts; bulk are for transportation costs. Accounts, 1885-1888, contain chronological entries listing Charles Spear's income and expenses.

Volume 2 - "Charles Spear Dorchester Pav[ing] Dept. 1872". January-September 1872. Payroll book listing month, name of worker, date worked.

Volume 3 - Account Book, 1856-1869. Receipts and expenses for Work at Sawyer Shipyard, Hingham & Quincy Bridge & Turnpike Corporation, Adams & Hersey and Town of Newburg. In addition, volume contains amounts of whiskey or cider given to workmen with name, date and amount in quarts or pints.

Volume 4 - "Dorchester, Massachusetts Travellers [sic] lodged and persons sent to State Almshouse" 1864-1870. Volume contains chronological entries with name, date, color, age, sex, height, complexion of men, women and children seeking shelter.

Box 5 - Contains two folders: (1) Bills, memoranda, payroll sheets, and certificates, 1870-1872, relating to Spear's duties as Superintendent of Streets in Dorchester; and (2) material removed from Volume 4 including governor's pardon, bills, receipts, petition to pay for female poor, and replevin bonds.

Provenance: Gift of Alice J. Spear, 1931.

Amount: 4 volumes, 1 box

Container List:

V. 1 Account Book, 1859-1860, 1878-1879, 1885-1888.
V. 2 "Charles Spear Dorchester Pav[ing] Dept. 1872"
V. 3 Account Book, 1856-1869
V. 4 "Dorchester, Massachusetts Travellers [sic] lodged and persons sent to State Almshouse" 1864-1870
B. 5 f.1 Superintendent of Streets, 1870-1872
f.2 Documents removed from Almshouse   V. 4, 1868-1871