Saturday, July 21, 2012

Joseph and Harriet Nute: Was it the Genes?

Just two days after his 17th birthday, young Raymond Nute took a ride with the men of the family on a motor truck vehicle in Fall River, Massachusetts.  It was documented with a photo and perhaps published at the time in the Fall River newspaper.  In any event, the photo was published some unknown years later, likely as a historical photo, and the news clipping recently found in family papers.

The narrative reads,

COMFORT IS RELATIVE.  This was a gala holiday trip, April 19, 1909, on one of the first motor trucks purchased by the Fall River Gas Works Company.  Judging from the happy smiles of the passengers, one gathers this vehicle had more to offer than a surrey.  In the front seat, right, Joseph E. Nute, general manager of the Gas Company, with George Hadley, the driver.  In the second seat are Mr. Nute's sons, Raymond, Alden, and Warren.  Charles Leonard, superintendent of the Pond Street gas works, is facing in the rear seat.  Behind him are Matthew Kelly, spare office, and Fred J. Hopkins, Paymaster.  Many people may remember this truck.  It had coil springs in the rear - what we call today "knee action" - was chain driven, and had solid rubber tires.  Background is probably the Narrows.

Joseph graduated from Boston's Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering in 1885.  Fresh out of school, he took his first job in Philadelphia  as an engineer for the United Gas Improvement Company of Philadelphia.  Two years later, he married a young music teacher from Boston, Harriet Gove Wilkins, and transferred with his new bride to Jersey City, New Jersey, where he worked for the next three years as superintendent for United Gas and their first born, Helen Elizabeth, was born.   Joseph moved his young family to Fall River in 1890 where he took charge of the Fall River Gas Works Company, and remained in this position until his retirement.

His biography published in Our country and Its People, Part 2, by Alanson Borden, Boston History Company, relates that Joseph was a member of the American Gas Light Association, the New England Association of Gas Engineers and a recognized authority on all matters pertaining to gas construction.

Harriet was descended from the Gove (of Edward, John and Nathaniel fame) and Wilkins families in Boston.

All three boys - Raymond, Alden, and Warren -  and the youngest child, Katharine, were born in Fall River.

Helen taught on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College and married a student, Arthur G. Wadsworth; he was 19 and she 28.

Warren served in World War I in the Splinter fleet, SC 259, a submarine chaser, and worked as a bank clerk after the war.  Working on a World War I submarine chaser was considered to be a pretty hazardous way to spend your time.

Alden graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and married a fellow student, Loretta Dakin, who also graduated from MIT and went on to further graduate work.  An article in a 1920 M.I.T. paper reported,

Miss Loretta Mildred Dakin Sp  '18 has just been appointed bacteriologist for the United States Health Service at New Haven, Connecticut.  Ms Dakin goes to New Haven from the health department of Toledo, Ohio
After graduation from the Toledo Normal School, she came to the Institute and specialized under Professor William T. Sedgwick of the Biology Department in bacteriology and chemistry, leaving in 1918 to take further work at Harvard Medical and Columbia University.

The appointment of women in the health service has been found to be better than filling the positions with men.  The war gave the first impetus to this movement and the women have become more and more prominent in health work.

Alden had a career as a chemist and became the assistant superintendent of the cotton company in Fall River, later working for the Calco Chemical Company in Connecticut.

The youngest, Katharine, was an occupational therapist at the Lakeville Sanitorium for tuberculosis, and lived at home, never married, until her death from lymphoma at the young age of 34.

And, of course, we know about the career of young Raymond who left MIT for Mass Ag to study pomology and created the wonderful orchard in Kentucky.  Such an illustrious group of kids they all were.


Pat said...

The appointment of women in the health service has been found to be better than filling the positions with men? LMAO!!

Nice post, as always, Katharine Jr.

Katharine said...

LMAO? And, yep, I was named for her, 9 years later.