Woodward Hudson House

This property in Concord, Mass., has a big-time journalism connection, which fills us with delight.

Built in 1889-1890, this beauty was built for Woodward Hudson (1858-1938) and his wife, Bessie Keyes Hudson. The land had been owned by Woodward’s father, Frederic, a journalist who was one of the founders of the Associated Press (!) and editor of the New York Herald during the Civil War.

From 1865 until his 1875 death, the elder Hudson lived here in a house originally built by Julius Smith. He had that house moved to a different location, and built this one here. Other preparations include filling a large riverfront, during which 2,000 two-horse wagon loads (!) are said to have been moved from the Reuben Brown House on Lexington Road.

Woodward Hudson, a successful attorney, lived here until his 1938 death. After a year with Ropes, Gray and Loring in Boston in 1884, he formed a partnership, Parker, Thorp & Hudson with Joseph Thorp and Edmund Parker.

He became assistant counsel to the Boston & Albany Railroad (his neighbor, Samuel Hoar was its general counsel) and devoted himself for railroad law for the remainder of his life. After Hoar’s death, he was promoted to the head of the law department of the New York Central, which had taken over Boston & Albany.

He did that from 1904 to 1916, when he became vice president and general counsel of the Boston & Maine Railroad. He was briefly president there in 1918, but after the company was reorganized, he returned to his former position, finally retiring in 1925.

Hudson was also active in the Concord community, serving almost continuously from 1885-1909. He was on School Committee for six years; spent 17 years as treasurer of the Public Library; one year as Selectman; six years on Sewer Commission, overseeing construction of the original sewer system. He was also a trustee of the Middlesex Institution of Savings.

In addition, Hudson also loved nature and plants, planting and transplanting trees from other areas on this and other properties he owned.

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