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THIS lot was sold by the Town, in 1801, to Thomas Handasyd Perkins, who resold it in the following year to John Gore. The latter built thereon a brick dwelling, and the property remained in the possession of his descendants for many years. Francis Calley Gray became the owner of the estate in 1843; and the next year a portion of the lot was bought by Dr. John C. Warren, Senior. He built a house, nineteen feet wide, on this land, for his son, Dr. J. Mason Warren, who occupied it, with his family, in 1845. Here they made their home until 1857, when they removed to Number Two Park Street. This latter house had been the residence of the elder physician for more than half a century. As Dr. J. M. Warren had then five children, “this removal greatly increased his comfort; and in truth the need of more roomy quarters had become imperative. For the dwelling at Number Six, although cheerful and convenient both within and without, was but a little slice of a house at best.” This house was bequeathed by Dr. J. C. Warren, Senior, to his son, James Sullivan Warren (Harvard, 1832), who lived there for about ten years; and his widow continued to occupy it until 1898.
John Warren, M.D. (1753-1815), Harvard, 1771, was Surgeon to the military hospitals of Boston during the Revolutionary War; and Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Harvard for thirty-three years. He was a younger brother of Joseph Warren, the eminent physician, Major-General, and patriot, who was killed at Bunker Hill, at the age of thirty-four. John Warren was settled at that time in Salem, where he heard the sound of the cannon, and saw the smoke and flames of the Charlestown conflagration on June 17, 1775. Knowing well the courage and boldness of his brother, and that he would not hesitate to expose his life in the service of his country, John Warren hastened on foot toward the battle-field, anxiously seeking tidings of Joseph. Pressing forward in haste, when near the scene of action he encountered a sentinel, whom he attempted to pass; and in so doing he received a bayonet wound, whereof he carried the scar through life. Both Joseph and John Warren were born at the Warren homestead farm in Roxbury. A strong attachment existed between the brothers. “Joseph’s twelve years of seniority, while it gave him the advantage of a large experience, was not sufficient to repel familiarity; neither was his disposition likely to do so. The brothers, warm-hearted, ardent, enthusiastic, and of attractive manners, were closely united by patriotic, as well as by professional sympathies.”1
Dr. John Collins Warren, Senior (1778-1856), a son of the preceding, was for seven years a student at the Boston Public Latin School, and graduated at Harvard in 1797. After devoting three years to medical studies abroad, chiefly in London, Paris, and Edinburgh, he returned home, and in 1809 was appointed Adjunct Professor of Anatomy in the Harvard Medical School. In 1815 he succeeded his father as Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery; retaining the position until 1847. “As a surgeon,” wrote Dr. O. W. Holmes, “Dr. Warren was supreme among his fellows, and deservedly so. He performed a great number of difficult operations; always deliberate, always cool; with a grim smile in sudden emergencies, where weaker men would have looked perplexed, and wiped their foreheads. He had the stuff in him, which carried his uncle, Joseph Warren, to Bunker Hill, and left him there, slain among the last in retreat.” Dr. Warren was for seventeen years a warden of Saint Paul’s Church, Boston.
Jonathan Mason Warren, son of Dr. John Collins Warren, was born at Boston, February 5, 1811, in the house, Number Two Park Street, and died there, August 19, 1867. He was for a short time a member of the Harvard Class of 1830; but was obliged to leave college during the Sophomore year owing to ill health. He graduated from the Medical School in 1832, and received the honorary degree of Master of Arts in 1844. After more than three years’ study in Europe, Dr. Warren, following his father’s example, entered upon practice in his native city. He married, April 30, 1839, Anna Caspar, the youngest daughter of Benjamin W. Crowninshield, a member of Congress and a former Secretary of the United States Navy. Dr. Warren was elected a Visiting Surgeon of the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1848; and in October of that year he “assisted his father in the operation which was destined to be known as the first public demonstration of surgical anæsthesia.” “Dr. Warren,” wrote his biographer, “was equally eminent as surgeon and physician; a union seldom encountered; since few are so constituted that the qualities needed for success in the one calling do not prevent, in a certain degree, distinction in the other.”
John Collins Warren (A.B., Harvard, 1863; M.D., 1866; LL.D., 1906) was born in Pemberton Square, Boston, May 4, 1842. His early education was received at the Public Latin School, and at Epes S. Dixwell’s private school in Boston. After leaving the Medical College, he devoted three years to the study of surgery in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris. Returning, he became Instructor in Surgery at Harvard; Assistant Professor, 1882; Associate Professor, 1887; Professor of Surgery, 1893; Moseley Professor of Surgery, 1899; Professor Emeritus, 1907. He has been President of the American Surgical Association, 1896; Harvard Overseer, 1908-14. Dr. Warren was largely instrumental in securing liberal donations for the erection of the present magnificent Harvard Medical School Buildings. He is the author of several works on Surgery. Dr. Warren married, May 27, 1873, Miss Amy Shaw, of Boston. John Warren, his elder son (Harvard, A.B., 1896; M.D., 1900), served as Demonstrator of Anatomy 1901-08; and since the latter date he has been Associate Professor of Anatomy, and University Marshal since 1911. Joseph Warren, the younger son (Harvard, 1897; LL.B., 1900), held the office of Secretary to the Corporation, 1907-10; Instructor in the Law School, 1909-13. He is at this time Bemis Professor of Law in the University.
In the upper portion of the house, at Number Six Park Street, are the apartments of the Mayflower Club, which was founded by Mrs. Charles D. Homans and her sister, Mrs. Oliver W. Peabody. The first President was Mrs. J. Elliot Cabot. The need of a rendezvous for ladies had long been felt; and this was the pioneer Women’s Club of this region. At the start the Club was fortunate in having rooms in the John Amory Lowell house at Number Seven Park Street, with its charming view of the Common and of the country beyond from its front windows. The organization was named after the flower, and not after the Pilgrims’ vessel. Its rooms were opened on Mayflower Day, May 1, 1893. At first the membership was limited to three hundred. The object of the Club was solely to provide comfort and rest for its members. It was a social Club for women, where mental improvement was ignored, and no petitions for objects of charity or philanthropy were allowed. As the membership increased, more spacious quarters were needed, and when, in 1896, the house was bought by the Union Club, the Mayflower members leased apartments in “the Tudor,” on the corner of Beacon and Joy Streets. Later they removed to their present home at Number Six Park Street, which was owned at that time by Mrs. J. Sullivan Warren. For many years the Club has been under the able management of Miss Katharine P. Loring, as President.Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.