1722-1995; bulk: 1906-1970

Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists of the personal and family papers, diaries, records, and scrapbooks of sculptress, horsewoman, farmer, and philanthropist Amelia Peabody of Boston and Dover, Mass.

Biographical Sketch

Francis Howard Peabody

Francis Howard Peabody (1831-1905) was the son of William Bourne Oliver Peabody (1799-1847) and Elizabeth Amelia White (1799-1843). He had three brothers: Everett (1830-1862), Oliver W. (1834-1896), and William B. (1834-1894). Francis was first in the employ of the banking house John E. Thayer & Brother with his brother Oliver W. In 1865 Henry P. Kidder, Francis, and Oliver W. Peabody formed Kidder, Peabody & Co. In 1854, Francis married Lucy Adelaide Kinsley (1831-1914). Their children were Frank Everett (1856-1918), Fanny (1858-1896), and Lilian (1863-1942). Fanny and Lilian never married.

Frank Everett Peabody

Frank Everett Peabody (1856-1918) was employed in the family business Kidder, Peabody & Co. He married in 1882 Gertrude Bayley (1859-1937). Their children were: Everett (1885-1900) and Amelia (1890-1984). The couple maintained a summer house in Marblehead, Mass., and their winter residence at 120 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. They also purchased a farm ("Snipatuit Farm") and camp on a lake in North Rochester, Mass. Frank enjoyed hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and yachting. Frank's widow Gertrude (Bayley) married (2nd) in 1920 a long-time family friend, William Storer Eaton.

Amelia Peabody

Amelia Peabody was born in 1890, the daughter of Frank E. Peabody, a partner in the investment house of Kidder, Peabody. After her debut in 1909, she studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts under Charles Grafly and became an accomplished sculptress, horsewoman, farm owner and breeder, and philanthropist. At her farms in Dover, Mass., she raised registered Hereford cattle, Yorkshire pigs, sheep, and thoroughbred horses. For many years, she was the Chairman of the Arts and Skills Service of the American Red Cross, which promoted art therapy for wounded servicemen during World War II, and continued to promote art therapy for hospital patients of all kinds after the War. She maintained her family home at 120 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, as well as Mill Farm, her residence in Dover, Mass., and Powisset Farm, also in Dover, with a number of other land holdings in that town. Miss Peabody died of natural causes in 1984, leaving the bulk of her vast estate to charity.

William Storer Eaton

William Storer Eaton (1854-1949), long a bachelor who pursued outdoor activities in North Rochester and Marblehead, and maintained the family fortunes, married in 1920 Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody, the widow of his long-time friend Frank Everett Peabody. Eaton owned a large yacht, Taormina, on which the couple lived in the summer months. They also owned a house ("The Bog") in Lakeville, Mass. Eaton was the son of William Storer Eaton (1817-1902) and Frederica Warren Goddard (1822-1894). He was descended from the Quincy and Storer families through his father. His siblings were Georgiana Goddard and Francis Storer Eaton. Eaton died in 1949, leaving the bulk of his estate to his step-daughter Amelia Peabody.


Rhoads, Linda Smith. Amelia Peabody. Boston, 1998.

Collection Description

The collection consists of personal and family papers, scrapbooks, diaries and records, and photographs of Amelia Peabody and her family, and related items of William Storer Eaton, her stepfather and also a long-time family friend to the Peabodys. The collection is housed in 7 manuscript boxes and 25 cased volumes.

The loose papers in the collection consist of materials relating to the estate of Amelia Peabody, her various properties and possessions, and their disposition. There are also genealogical notes on a number of families from which Amelia Peabody and William S. Eaton descended; and a series of wills and related matter concerning various family members. The personal papers include Storer family papers presumably gathered and saved by William S. Eaton; papers relating to the death of Everett Peabody (1839-1862), killed at the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War; some items pertaining to Oliver W. Peabody, Gertrude Peabody, and William S. Eaton; and miscellaneous papers of Amelia Peabody, mostly newspaper clippings, brief notes and ephemera, and materials related to her death in 1984.

The diaries and records include a two-volume travel journal of Francis H. Peabody, 1872; a diary kept by Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody at Snipatuit Farm, 1905-1923; and two volumes of records for the yacht Taormina kept by William S. Eaton, 1938-1941. Amelia Peabody volumes consist of a diary in three volumes, 1909-1918; a travel diary, 1927; a line-a-day diary, 1935-1940; three date books with scattered diary entries, 1957, 1963, and 1972; an undated sketchbook; and a sculpture record notebook.

The scrapbooks, in 15 volumes, are the physical bulk of the personal papers. They were all kept (presumably) by Amelia Peabody, and contain photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, greeting cards, and other ephemera, pertaining to Amelia Peabody's interests and activities which included horseback riding, sculpture and the arts, travel, British royalty, the Red Cross Arts and Skills program, animal husbandry, her farms, her solar house, items about her friends and acquaintances, and much matter on Boston Society people and events.

Printed materials removed from the collection appear at the end of this guide. Photographs have been removed to the Amelia Peabody photographs (Photo. Coll. 28; see the guide to that collection for more details) and the MHS Photo Archives (unprocessed oversize).

Acquisition Information

This collection was given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, 30 December 1998, with additions in March 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Personal and family papers, 1722-1995

The family papers include matter relating to the Storer family, Everett Peabody, Oliver W. Peabody, Peabody Associates, Gertrude Bayley, William S. Eaton, and Amelia Peabody. The Storer family papers were removed from a scrapbook; the items are numbered in the order in which they appeared in the scrapbook. Included is a 1722 letter from Ebenezer Storer (1699-1761) to Mary Edwards (1700-1771); a history of his business troubles during the Revolution by Ebenezer Storer (1730-1807); and an 1802 "Memorandum of Affairs" by Ebenezer Storer (1730-1807), as well as later copies of family correspondence and other writings. Silhouettes of Ebenezer Storer (1730-1807) and Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844) have been removed to the MHS silhouettes collection.

The materials relating to Everett and Oliver W. Peabody were bound into a scrapbook, along with numerous photographs, detailing the death of Everett Peabody and Civil War experience of Oliver W. Peabody. There are many newspaper clippings concerning the manner of Everett's death in the Battle of Shiloh, as well as correspondence with Oliver W. and Francis H. Peabody from many acquaintances concerning the death of Everett. Later items describe Oliver W. Peabody's service as Captain and Lieutenant Colonel of the 45th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and his death in 1896. This scrapbook was disbound in Feb. 2000. The items are numbered according to their order in the scrapbook. Photographs from the scrapbook were removed to the MHS Photo. Archives, Amelia Peabody photographs (Photo. Coll. 28); see the Guide to that collection for details.

Amelia Peabody's personal papers consist of a few drawings, many newspaper clippings regarding family matters, a few items of correspondence and ephemera, and a series of newspaper articles and other documents concerning her life and career, death and memorials.

William Storer Eaton's papers consist of a few drawings and newspaper clippings, poetry about his "Nichewaug Club" (a horseback-riding club), and loose items from his Taormina record books (Diaries and Records, vols. 9-10).

Gertrude Peabody Eaton's papers consist of two manuscript poems removed from her farm diary (Diaries and Records, vol. 3).

Box 1Folder 1-3
Storer family papers, 1723-1827

Items removed from a scrapbook. Includes genealogical information, writings, correspondence, and obituaries of Storer family members. Penciled numbers on items reflect their original order in the scrapbook.

Box 1Folder 4-6
Everett Peabody papers, 1862

Materials removed from a scrapbook, mostly concerning Col. Everett Peabody of the 25th Missouri Regiment and his death at the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War (1862). Includes correspondence, newspaper articles, and obituaries. Penciled numbers on items reflect their original order in the scrapbook.

Box 1Folder 7
Oliver W. Peabody papers, 1862-1898

Materials removed from a scrapbook. Penciled numbers on items reflect their order in the scrapbook. Items concern his participation in the Civil War as Lieut. Colonel of the 45th Mass. Vol. Infantry Regiment and his death in 1896.

Box 1Folder 8
Peabody Associates, programs for private theatrical performances, 1871- 1872
Box 1Folder 9
Gertrude Bayley, poems, 1877?

Two poems removed from her farm diary (Diaries and Records, Vol. 3).

Box 1Folder 10
William S. Eaton, Nichewaug Club, 1883-1884

Poems and drawings regarding the Nichewaug Club's ride from Boston to Petersham, Oct. 4-11, 1883.

Box 1Folder 11
William S. Eaton papers, 1861-1938

Miscellaneous writings, drawings, and newspaper clippings.

Box 1Folder 12-13
William S. Eaton papers, 1938-1941

Loose items removed from the yacht Taormina record books (Diaries and Records, Vol. 9-10).

Box 1Folder 14-15
Amelia Peabody miscellaneous papers, 1903-1967

Brief notes, ephemera, newspaper clippings, and some correspondence.

Box 1Folder 16
Amelia Peabody biographical information, 1891-1995

Birth certificate, Colonial Dames application, and newspaper articles.

Box 1Folder 17
Amelia Peabody, death of, 1984-1985

Obituaries, memorial services, and church programs.

Box 1Folder 18
Amelia Peabody, loose ephemera removed from photograph albums. Also includes drawings by Peabody, late 1890s.

II. Genealogical papers

The genealogical papers include wills and/or other items concerning the deaths of Georgiana G. Eaton, Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody Eaton, William S. Eaton Sr., William S. Eaton Jr., Georgie Andrews Kinsley, Frank E. Peabody, Lilian Peabody, Mary L. Peabody, and Oliver W. Peabody. There are numerous notes and genealogical matter for the Atkins/Gray, Bancroft, Bayley, Bourne, Eaton, Kinsley/Billings, Leonard, Peabody, Porter/Varnham, Quincy/Hancock, Tobey, and Walker families.

A. Wills, etc.

Box 2Folder 1
Georgiana Goddard Eaton
Box 2Folder 2
Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody Eaton
Box 2Folder 3
William Storer Eaton Sr.
Box 2Folder 4
William Storer Eaton Jr.
Box 2Folder 5
Georgie Andrews Kinsley
Box 2Folder 6
Frank Everett Peabody
Box 2Folder 7
Lilian Peabody
Box 2Folder 8
Mary L. Peabody
Box 2Folder 9
Oliver W. Peabody

B. Genealogy

Box 2Folder 10
Atkins/Gray families
Box 2Folder 11
Bancroft family
Box 2Folder 12
Bayley family
Box 2Folder 13
Bourne family
Box 2Folder 14
Eaton family
Box 2Folder 15
Kinsley/Billings families
Box 2Folder 16
Leonard family
Box 2Folder 17
Peabody family
Box 2Folder 18
Porter/Varnham families
Box 2Folder 19
Quincy/Hancock families
Box 2Folder 20
Tobey family
Box 2Folder 21
Walker family

III. Estate papers

The estate papers (boxes 3-5) are papers presumably gathered by the executors of Amelia Peabody's estate. They contain appraisals of real estate, furniture, paintings, jewelry, and stock holdings, with other inventories of property and papers relating to the disposition of the estate and properties at 120 Commonwealth Avenue and 328 Newbury Street in Boston, and her numerous land holdings and buildings in Dover, Mass. Box 3 contains all papers relative to 120 Commonwealth Avenue and 328 Newbury Street (the Peabody garages). Box 4 contains papers pertaining to all the properties in Dover, Mass. Materials in Box 5 relate to the estate in general, and include items such as deeds for plots in Forest Hills Cemetery (Jamaica Plain, Mass.), a portfolio evaluation, papers concerning farm equipment and livestock, jewelry appraisals, instructions to the executors, and other matters.

A. 120 Commonwealth Avenue and 328 Newbury Street

Box 3Folder 1
Silver inventory, 1952
Box 3Folder 2
Roland B. Hammond, Inc., appraisal, 1974
Box 3Folder 3-4
Hammond appraisal, 1975
Box 3Folder 5-6
Hammond appraisal, 1984
Box 3Folder 7
Sotheby's appraisal, 1985
Box 3Folder 8
Sotheby's appraisal, 1985, with changes
Box 3Folder 9
Sotheby's appraisal, 1985, with annotations
Box 3Folder 10
Vose Galleries picture appraisal, 1983-1984
Box 3Folder 11
Philip J. Waterman real estate analysis, 1984
Box 3Folder 12
Richard W. Withington, Inc., needlework appraisal, 1984
Box 3Folder 13
Signature Properties development, 1985
Box 3Folder 14
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, gifts and bequest, 1958 and 1985
Box 3Folder 15
328 Newbury St., Philip J. Waterman real estate analysis, 1984

B. Dover properties

Box 4Folder 1
Philip J. Waterman real estate analysis, all Dover properties, 1984
Box 4Folder 2
Site plans, 1930-1985
Box 4Folder 3
Percolation and stratification tests
Box 4Folder 4
List of residents of all Dover properties, n.d.
Box 4Folder 5
Insurance, Dedham St.
Box 4Folder 6
143 Dedham St., Philip J. Waterman real estate analysis, 1984
Box 4Folder 7-8
Mill Farm, Waterman real estate analysis, 1984
Box 4Folder 9
Mill Farm, Roland B. Hammond appraisal, 1974
Box 4Folder 10
Mill Farm, L. Goldstein & Son, Inc., appraisal, 1984
Box 4Folder 11
Mill Farm, Goldstein appraisal, 1984, with annotations
Box 4Folder 12
Mill Farm, miscellaneous items
Box 4Folder 13
Noanet Woods, Philip J. Waterman real estate analysis, 1984
Box 4Folder 14
Powisset Farm, Waterman real estate analysis, 1984
Box 4Folder 15
Powisset Farm, site plan

C. Miscellaneous estate papers

Box 5Folder 1
Box 5Folder 2
Box 5Folder 3
Danforth Museum of Art
Box 5Folder 4
Executors, instructions to
Box 5Folder 5
Farm equipment and vehicles
Box 5Folder 6
Forest Hills Cemetery
Box 5Folder 7
Insurance survey, n.d., various properties
Box 5Folder 8-9
Jewelry, Dana appraisal, 1984
Box 5Folder 10
Jewelry, Sotheby's appraisal, 1984
Box 5Folder 11
Museum of Fine Arts, appraisal by Roland B. Hammond, 1985
Box 5Folder 12
Paul Fisher, Inc., offers
Box 5Folder 13
Portfolio evaluation
Box 5Folder 14
Purchase & sales
Box 5Folder 15
Real estate, summary of appraisal reports by Philip J. Waterman

IV. Diaries and records, 1872-1972

There are 15 volumes of diaries and records in the collection. The first two are a detailed European travel journal of Francis H. Peabody kept in 1872, when he traveled abroad with his family and others. Volume 3 is a diary kept by Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody, later Eaton, at "Snipatuit Farm" and camp, a Peabody property in North Rochester, Mass., 1905-1923, when the farm was sold. Volumes 4-6 are an intimate diary kept by Amelia Peabody, from her "coming out" in 1909 to 1918. Volume 7 is a travel diary kept by Amelia Peabody in 1927 on a voyage to Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, Monaco, Naples, Greece, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Venice, and other locations. Box 6 contains five small Amelia Peabody volumes, including a line-a-day diary, 1935-1940; three date books with scattered diary entries, 1957, 1963, and 1972; and an undated sketchbook. Volume 8 is a notebook of records of sculpture by Amelia Peabody, with name (if any) of the sculpture, size, price, where shown, the purchases or commissioner, etc. No dates are given, but the notebook appears to date from the 1960s. Volumes 9-10 are record books for W.S. Eaton's yacht Taormina for 1938-1941, with photographs, guest lists, ephemera, and summaries of activities by season.

Vol. 1-2
Francis H. Peabody travel journal, 30 Apr.-9 Oct. 1872

A formal journal in two volumes, probably copied out upon return from the trip. Peabody, his wife and children traveled with a group of friends and/or relatives in the Royal Mail Steam Ship Siberia from Boston to Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They sailed home from England in the Russia to New York City. The volumes contain some photographs and photographic postcards.

Vol. 3
Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody farm diary, 29 Apr. 1905-1 Nov. 1923

Diary kept at Snipatuit Farm and camp in North Rochester, Mass. The diary ends with the sale of the property and shipment of furniture to Amelia Peabody's Mill Farm in Dover, Mass.

Vol. 4-6
Amelia Peabody diary, 23 Oct. 1909-21 Mar. 1918, in three volumes

NOTE: Use photocopies in Box 5a.

Box 5a
Amelia Peabody diary, 23 Oct. 1909-21 Mar. 1918 [photocopies]
Vol. 7
Amelia Peabody travel diary, 23 Feb.-6 May 1927

Diary kept while traveling to Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, Monaco, Naples, Greece, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Venice, and other locales in Italy.

Box 6
Amelia Peabody volumes, 1935-1972

One line-a-day diary, 1935-1940; three date books with scattered diary entries, 1957, 1963, and 1972; and an undated sketchbook.

Vol. 8
Amelia Peabody sculpture records

Notebook with records of Amelia Peabody's sculpture by name, size, price, where shown, purchaser, etc. Not all of her sculpture is listed here. No dates are given, but the volume appears to date from the 1960s.

Vol. 9-10
William S. Eaton, yacht Taormina record books, 1938-1941

Two volumes of photographs, guest lists, ephemera, seasonal summaries of activities.

V. Scrapbooks, 1906-1973

The scrapbooks were all kept presumably by Amelia Peabody, and contain photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, greeting cards, and other ephemera relating to her many interests and activities. These include, but are not limited to, sculpture, horses, animal husbandry, her solar house, the Red Cross Arts and Skills program, her farms in Dover, the activities of family members and friends, as well as Boston high society events. (Note that photographs in scrapbooks have not been numbered as part of the Amelia Peabody photographs, Photo. Coll. 28). Volumes 5 and 6 are scrapbooks documenting the design, construction, and function of Amelia Peabody's solar house in Dover, Mass.

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4
Vol. 5-6
1948-1949 (material on the solar house, Dover, Mass.)
Vol. 7
Vol. 8
Vol. 9
Vol. 10
Vol. 11
Vol. 12
Vol. 13
Vol. 14
Vol. 15

Preferred Citation

Amelia Peabody papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Bayley family--Genealogy.
Eaton family--Genealogy.
Kinsley family--Genealogy.
Peabody family--Genealogy.
Storer family--Genealogy.
Eaton, Gertrude Bayley Peabody, 1859-1937.
Eaton, William Storer, 1854-1949.
Peabody, Everett, 1830-1862.
Peabody, Francis Howard, 1831-1905.
Peabody, Oliver White, 1834-1896.
Storer, Ebenezer, 1730-1807.
Storer, Hannah Quincy Lincoln, 1736-1827.
Peabody family.
Storer family.


American Red Cross.
Taormina (Yacht).
United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 45th (1862-1863).
United States. Army. Missouri Infantry Regiment, 25th (1861-1864).


Horse shows.
Shiloh, Battle of, 1862.
Solar houses.
Upper class--Massachusetts--Boston.
Voyages and travels.
Women artists.
Women farmers.
Women in horse sports.
Women philanthropists.
Women sculptors.
Women travelers.
World War, 1939-1945--War work--Red Cross.
Europe--Description and travel--1800-1918.
Europe--Description and travel--1919-1944.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Massachusetts Infantry, 45th Volunteers.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Missouri Infantry, 25th Volunteers.

Materials Removed from the Collection


Photographs in this collection have been removed to the Amelia Peabody photographs, ca. 1845-1960 (Photo. Coll. 28) and the MHS Photo Archives (unprocessed oversize).

Printed Materials

For a list of printed materials removed from this collection, see Curator of Manuscripts.


The following items have been removed to the MHS engravings collection:

Unidentified man, profile bust. Engraving.

William B.O. Peabody. S.W. Cheney, [original artist]. J. Andrews, [engraver]. E.H. Bass, Print (1 copy).

Oliver W.B. Peabody. Tappan & Bradford's Lith. (1 copy).

Paul B. Goddard. M.D. Engraved by T.H. Welch, from a daguerreotype by Richards. Phila. Pubd. By Harrison. 39 So. 8th. St. Philada.


The following items have been removed to the MHS silhouettes collection:

Charles Bulfinch / Architect of the State House. By Unidentified silhouettist. Blank ink on wove paper on gray card stock, dated [late 18th c.]. Removed from Box 1, folder 3.

Ebenezer Storer / 1775. By Unidentified silhouettist. Wove paper, hollow cut with black paper backing on gray card stock, dated [late 18th c.]. Removed from Box 1, folder 1.