Henry Hartwell Hale, ca. 1898-1900.49. Alfred Munroe (Concord). Henry Hartwell Hale, ca. 1898-1900. From a glass plate negative, presented by Henry Francis Smith.

Near the turn of the twentieth century, retired expressman Henry Hartwell Hale—twice a widower—became a resident of Concord's Home for the Aged. (Established in 1887 at what is now 110 Walden Street, the Home for the Aged is known today as the Timothy Wheeler House.) Mr. Hale was for a time a useful "inmate" of the place, making new screens for the windows and doing repair work (according to the home's 1903 annual report) and taking care of the garden "notwithstanding his lameness" (1907).

In 1908, however, the Board of Management for the home voted to remove Mr. Hale from residence, then relented and put him on probation. In a letter dated July 2, 1908, the board reminded him of the rules of the place, emphasizing in particular that liquor was not to be kept in the rooms, that all cupboards and closets were to be left unlocked for inspection, that permission to entertain visitors had to be obtained from the matron, and that all residents were required to treat the matron and other residents respectfully.

Henry Hale was unable or unwilling to comply with these rules. He was listed in the 1909/10 Concord Directory as living further down Walden Street, at the poor farm. He died in 1912 at the age of eighty.

This photograph shows Mr. Hale near Concord's Home for the Aged in better times, looking dapper and amiable despite his disability, not yet a serious management problem.

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