Aunt Lillian Emelia Johnson Maloon, the youngest daughter and fourth child of John Albert Johnson and Mary Anderson, was born October 22, 1889 in Jamaica Plain (off Center Street), Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. She was christened in the Lutheran Church on Emerald Street, Boston. (This building was moved to Dorchester and is now known as the Emmanuel Church.) When she was about one and one-half years old, Aunt Lillian’s family moved to Roslindale and here she lived until she graduated from High School.
Aunt Lillian’s father was a cabinet maker working in the making of pianos and worked for the Chickering Piano Company in Boston. Maybe this influenced Aunt Lillian to take piano lessons as a child.
At the age of fifteen Aunt Lillian graduated from the Charles Summer Grammar School on Ashland Street in Roslindale. She attended the West Roxbury High School in Jamaica Plain and graduated form there in 1908. Some of the courses she studied were algebra, history, typing, and French. Following high school graduation, she attended Cutler’s Business College in the Colonial Building in Boston for one term. For practical experience she worked in the office of the principal.
As a teenager of about sixteen she studied voice at the New England Conservatory of Music as a metzo soprano. Her teacher was a Frenchman by the name of C. Pol Plaucon. When her mother was quite ill, Aunt Lillian sang, at her request, “Somewhere a Voice is Calling.” She sang one verse and could not go any farther, overcome with emotion. She never sang again, although she had been preparing to sing at Chautauqua.
For the next year Aunt Lillian stayed at home to care for her mother, but finally it was necessary to have a trained nurse. Her mother passed away in 1918.
Aunt Lillian then went to live with her sister, Anna Chandler, in Canton, Massachusetts. For the next four years she worked as secretary – first, to the General manager at the Remington Typewriter Company and then, to Judge O’Brien in Boston, where she also had the experience of taking shorthand notes in court. She also worked for several years for the Employers Liability Assurance Company of London, England, at their Boston office at 33 Broad Street.
In 1922 Mr. Ivery Emerson Gill and Aunt Lillian were married and went to live at 1086 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts. A year later on the morning of August 2, 1923, while traveling in Maine they were in an automobile accident near Brunswick, Maine. A driver, approaching them from the opposite direction, fell asleep at the wheel and ran headlong into them. Aunt Lillian was hospitalized in Gardiner General Hospital for several weeks.
In July, 1925, Aunt Lillian was divorced from Mr. Gill. The previous year she had moved to Medford to be near Mother Gill, living in a house owned by Paul and Edna Cheney. Then, for a time, she lived with Ivy Whitney in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For many years Aunt Lillian worked for Allen Wood Iron and Steel Company in the Park Square, as secretary to Mr. Beal, one of the company heads. In 1930 the company closed its Boston office and Mr. Beal wanted to take Aunt Lillian to another location but there were no openings, so she was out of work. She had been living in a second floor apartment on Strathmore Road, in Brookline, paying $50.00 a month for rent but now moved downstairs to share an apartment with Nellie Peters (Randlett). Aunt Lillian had made Nellie’s acquaintance through Nellie’s beautiful cat. Times were hard. Glory Johnson (Aunt Lillian’s sister-in-law), suggested that Nellie and Aunt Lillian make neckties. And so they began a business – making neckties of Thresher’s silks with wool linings, selling them for $1.50 - $2.50 each to customers of the Allen Wood Iron and Steel Company, such as Bath Iron Works executives and others Aunt Lillian had met. They continued this business about a year.
In February, 1933, Aunt Lillian answered an ad in a Sunday paper for a position of housekeeper and shortly thereafter went to work at the home of Mr. Richard Long, Greenwood, Massachusetts (near Crystal Lake, last house on the street, across the bridge, over the railroad tracks). Mr. Long was a full-blooded Indian, originally from California. He worked as an engrosser, hand-writing all the diplomas for Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His wife had died, leaving him with three sons, Richard, Jr., Gardiner, and Merritt, for whom to care. (Mr. Long died about 1950.) Aunt Lillian worked here for about one and one-half years. Carolyn Law lived on this same street and she and Aunt Lillian met while waiting for a bus and have been good friends ever since.
Through a mutual acquaintance, Maybelle Allen Austin, manager of Arthur Totman’s restaurant in the Park Square Building, Boston, Aunt Lillian met Uncle Ara Maloon. They were married June 5, 1934. Dr. Leroy Coombs, pastor of the Universalist Church on the Fenway, performed the marriage ceremony. Dr. Coombs had been pastor of the Universalist Church in Pittsfield, Maine, 1898–1907, and had known Mother, Dad and Aunt Bessie well. When it was realized Uncle Ara was of the same family, Mrs. Coombs also asked to come to the wedding as a guest. Other guests were Ethel Tate, Aunt Lillian’s niece, and Glory Johnson, her sister-in-law. With a wedding breakfast at the Copley Plaza Hotel and dinner at the Three Bears in Danvers, Massachusetts and the addition of Pete, Uncle Ara’s cat that arrived that day from Maine after “boarding” several years under Betsey’s care, Uncle Ara and Aunt Lillian began their married life at Somerset Avenue, in Winthrop, Massachusetts.
From this point on, the account of Aunt Lillian’s life is joined with that of Uncle Ara’s as they have lived their lives so completely together.
In the Fall of 1936 Aunt Lillian joined the Easter Star, Colonial Chapter, Winthrop, Massachusetts, with the office of Chaplain.
At te present time (1965) Aunt Lillian attends the Stoughton Methodist Church and is a member of the Dodge Circle, an organization of the church for mature people.
Aunt Lillian has always loved animals. Her “Mother always had a pet of some kind - she had a canary when I was very young and then a cat named Toodles. I have always kept in touch until recent years with the Angell Memorial Hospital [for animals] for my animals but have no personal connection.” (Aunt Lillian’s letter of July 17, 1964) “Polly was given to me by a friend - really given to Mother - 1915, and died in 1940. Uncle Ara and I got Matoonas in 1934 shortly after Pete died that Fall and his name was Hassanamisco Tango Matoonas with a long pedigree which I still have.” (Same reference as above) Pete was a kitten Uncle Ara and Aunt Nina had brought from the former Frank Walker farm in Troy, Maine (John and Blanche Richmond were living there at the time and they had earlier given the Libbey family a kitten, sister to Pete, which we called “Bicky,” short for Bickmore - Blanche was a Bickmore). After Aunt Nin died, Uncle Ara sent Pete to Maine for Betsey to care for ($1.00 a week including food – salmon was four cans for $.27 at that time). When he returned to Massachusetts in 1934, Pete lived only a few months. After Matoonas came a little blond spaniel, Penny, and now Aunt Lillian’s companion is Puffy – plus all the neighbor’s pets! There have been parakeets, as well.
Aunt Lillian has always enjoyed writing poetry to express her inner feelings and emotions. A few of her poems have been published. Crocheting and embroidery are others of her hobbies.
Aunt Lillian’s family consisted of two brothers, Albert and Oscar William, and one sister, Anna Louise, who married a Chandler.
Albert married Ida
Ethel - Harold Tate, dentist (Dunbar Street, Canton, Massachusetts)
- Harold Jr. - dentist 2. Barbara
Stanley (see below)
- No children
Oscar - Glory Dahlquist (Providence, Rhode Island) no children, adopted Stanley as their son, after his parentsdied
Anna - Chandler
Edith - Frank Bryan 2. Dorothy - Frank Cohenno
- Edith - Frank Bryant (150 Maskwonicut St., Sharon, Massachusetts)
Harlow - Helen
Lillian - Ara Maloon
Neighbor - Clifford and Doris, Janet, Dague, Lincoln Street, Stoughton