Ward Boss Lomasney, commemorates the legendary status of Martin Lomasney, the undisputed boss of Boston’s Ward 8 (later Ward 5, then Ward 3 under redistricting) from about 1885 until his death in 1933. Reproductions of W. Norman Ritchie’s political cartoons from the Boston Post and others from the Boston Globe are display together with graphic panels featuring related articles and Lomasney’s most renowned quotes, including “Don’t write when you can talk. Don’t talk when you can nod your head.”
“Martin Lomasney is without a doubt one of the central figures in West End lore,” says Lucia. “His influence on the community, both socially and politically, cannot be overstated. To this day, the street named after him (Lomasney Way) is a testament to the legendary status he holds with many current and former residents of the area, and we felt the Museum should honor that.”
Born in Boston in 1859, Lomasney was the son of Irish immigrants who fled to the U.S. during the great potato famine. After leaving school in the eighth grade, he befriended a local ward boss, who steered him from trouble and gave him a job as a lamplighter and health inspector. In 1875 he entered politics as an aide to Boston’s Democratic boss, Michael Wells. Often referred to as the “mahatma” or “czar,” Lomasney gained political prowess and wielded substantial control over city and county politics. He served as State Senator, State Representative and Alderman while conducting business out of his West End headquarters at the Hendricks Club. Lomasney and his brother Joseph founded the Hendricks Club in 1885 at the corner of Lowell and Causeway streets.
Exhibit and Design copyright Duane Lucia.