City Bosses in the United States: A Study of Twenty Municipal Bosses

By Harold B. Zink | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
"CZAR" MARTIN LOMASNEY

Boston has given birth to a sizable band of powerful ward and local leaders who have warred so vigorously and yet survived so stubbornly as to render impossible the emergence of a single all-powerful boss. Among these lesser lights Martin Michael Lomasney, "Czar" of old Ward Eight now and for the past thirty years, holds the unchallenged record for length of service, picturesque character, and genuine native ability.

Mr. Lomasney claims Boston as native city in spite of persistent rumors to the effect that Nova Scotia deserves that honor. The doubt as to his birthplace arises from the absence of record in parish or public archives of Boston. However, Mr. Lomasney has never taken out naturalization papers, has repeatedly insisted that he was born in Boston down on South Margin Street, and states that he has a birth certificate and a baptismal record bearing out his claim1 Whichever place actually gave him birth, he was living in the city of Boston within a very few years after December 3, 1859, the date of his nativity. Maurice Lomasney, his father, born in Fermoy, Cork County, Ireland, apparently sprang from good although poor stock, emigrated to America in the forties, set up in the tailoring business, and died from sunstroke about 1870. Mary Murray, Mr. Lomasney's mother, was born in Lismore, Waterford County, Ireland2 The Lomasneys had four sons, two of whom died even before the premature deaths of their parents. The two surviv

____________________
1
Rumors in regard to the Nova Scotia claim are to be picked up from a good many Boston politicians. For Lomasney's claim, see " Martin Lomasney , The Story of His Life as Related by Him to Thomas Carens, "Boston Herald", December 5, 1925, 1:5.
2
See the Boston Herald, December 5, 1925, 1:5, and the Boston Globe, December 2, 1923. for additional information.

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