I was recently contacted by Mr. Stephen Jerome of Boston about a decorative plate that he recently acquired. He bought the plate at a yard sale in Jamaica Plain from a vendor of various china objects who had his wares spread out on a blanket on the grass. Mr. Jerome has graciously allowed me to post a photograph of it on this blog.
The plate carries the date of October 14, 1913, which was Benjamin F. Dutton’s 82nd birthday, so it was apparently produced in commemoration of that occasion. I don’t know the identity of “C.H.T.” who gave B. F. Dutton the plate. The picture in the center of the plate is of the Dutton homestead in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, where B. F. Dutton was born. This is most likely the property that B. F. Dutton’s grandfather, Jeremiah Dutton, had purchased in 1802, and it remained in the family well into the twentieth century, known into modern times as the Dutton Farm.
In its issue of Oct. 16, 1913, p. 4, The Boston Globe took notice of the prominent businessman’s birthday:
Malden, Oct. 15–Benjamin Franklin Dutton of Glen Rock, a founder of the firm of Houghton & Dutton Co. of Boston, is receiving congratulations upon reaching his 82d birthday, which came yesterday. Although there was no formal observance of the occasion, Mr. Dutton received numerous remembrances from friends, relatives and business associates.
Mr. Dutton is active and spends a few hours each day at his place of business in Boston. He is an enthusiastic baseball fan and witnessed many games in Boston the past season. He is a native of Hillsboro, N.H., and has lived in this city 33 years. He has 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
It would appear that Mr. Jerome’s plate was one of the “numerous remembrances from friends, relatives and business associates” to mark the auspicious occasion.