Sixty Years Ago February 23, 1956

Trefry 2

“Mr. Marblehead”, Raymond Hale Trefry passed away on February 20, 1956 at the age of 64. He was my 3rd cousin twice removed. Just to give you some basic information on how he was related to me.  His sister was Helen Reynolds Trefry who was married to Henry Nelson Smith, my Grand Uncle.  Henry was the brother of “Aunt Sadie” Smith the fudge lady by Grace Oliver’s Beach, my grand aunt. Raymond was the great grandson of Thomas Trefry (1794-1845) and Sarah Proctor (1801-1879).  The first Trefry family I have record of in Marblehead is Thomas Trefry  who was born about 1640 in England and came to Marblehead about 1665.  He was married to Elizabeth Humphries.

Raymond Trefry passed away suddenly at Salem Hospital after collapsing at the Registry of Deeds at the Court House in Salem, MA. “Damey” as he was known was considered Marblehead’s ” most prominent and influential citizen and indispensable Town counsel for 38 years.” He was an avid reader of history and historical novels and left no history about Marblehead unread.  It was noted that he had a brilliant and photographic memory, remembering all the facts of whatever he read.  He had a dry wit and keen sense of humor.

Raymond was born March 9, 1891 at 9 Darling Street in Marblehead, MA to Charles Mansfield Trefry and Annie Hooper Dixey. His father died in 1908. He attended the Story Grammar School graduating in 1904.  In 1908 he graduated from Lynn Classical High School and went on to study law at the Charles H. Innis Law School on State Street in Boston, MA. He was admitted to the bar September 3, 1915. His office was in the Gregory Building in Marblehead and later moved to the Masonic Building in Salem, MA.  He did his own secretarial work and never took a vacation.  He was also known for being able to mimic people he knew, entertaining his friends.

He became involved in town politics on the day he became eligible to vote in 1912 when he was appointed as Sealer of Weights and Measures in Marblehead, a position he held until 1915. He was appointed to the Town Counsel in 1917, serving until his death. 

Raymond enlisted in the Navy on June 5, 1917 as a yeoman 3rd class.  He served in Washington, DC , New York City and aboard the USS Triton before being honorably discharged on January 25, 1919.  According to his WW I draft registration card he was tall in stature, medium build, gray eyes and brown hair.   He was a charter member of the American Legion.   During World War II he was an air raid warden and served on the advisory committee of the selective service board for Marblehead and Swampscott.  He was also a member of the Marblehead Masons.

Raymond was married on October 17, 1923 to Elizabeth Johnson of Newburyport. They were married at the home of the bride’s parents at 33 Federal Street in Newburyport, MA with only the immediate family present. This was the fourth wedding in the direct line of decent that took place in her family home. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Allan M. Patterson of the Old South Church in Newburyport. Elizabeth graduated from Middlebury College and for three years was head of the domestic science department at Amesbury High School. Following their wedding they went on an automobile trip for their honeymoon.  They made their home at 14 South Street in Marblehead, MA and had two children, Richard Greenleaf Trefry and Elizabeth Hale Trefry.


A few other noteworthy events for this week in 1956:

 Harry C. Christenson was appointed as patrolman on the Marblehead Police Force.

There was a disastrous fire at the Old Rose Farm House, one of the last old landmarks in the Clifton section of town. It was located at 4 Orchard Circle.

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