Liberty Dodge Packard

Friday, March 2, 2012

Liberty Dodge Packard (1831-1895), Liberty Haven Hutchinson (1844-1882), Liberty Webster Foskett (1840-1923), Liberty Emery Holden (1833-1913), Liberty Eaton Fellows (1834-1912), Liberty Hall (1826-1891), Liberty Walkup (1844-1922)

From the Illustrated History of South Boston, 1900.

   Today’s profile will be the largest yet written, as this author has located several political figures with the given name Liberty. The first to be profiled is Liberty Dodge Packard of Boston, Massachusetts. Besides having some truly impressive side whiskers and a name that brings to mind a car dealership, Packard was a leading physician and public servant in his native county of Suffolk.  Liberty D. Packard was born on September 13, 1831, in North Bridgewater (now Brockton), Massachusetts, one of seven children born to Liberty (1808-1894) and Mary Dodge Packard (born 1810). Packard attended local schools and also attended the Adelphi Academy. He began studying medicine early in his life and was also tutored by Dr. Alexander Hinchborn of North Bridgewater. 
  Packard enrolled at the Harvard Medical School in 1860 and graduated with a degree in medicine from the Homeopathic Medical College of New York in 1862. On September 15, 1853, Liberty Packard married Ms. Lucy Ann Kingman (1830-1919), with whom he would have the following children: Ernest Kingman (1856-1877), Nellie Hall (born 1863), Lillie Mansfield (born 1863) and Mary Wallace (born 1869).
  Within months of his graduation from the Medical College Packard established a practice in East Boston and later moved his practice to South Boston, where he resided until his death. Sources of the time mention his caring demeanor and diligence when making house calls, with The Illustrated History of South Boston noting that Packard “was a friend as well as physician to many families, and his books show thousands of calls made for sweet charity’s sake.” 

L.D. Packard during his legislative service, 1872.

   In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Packard gained local distinction as a public official and educational leader. His name is listed amongst the past presidents of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical Society and also as a senior member of the American Institute of Homeopathy. From 1867-71, 1883, and 1888-1891 he held a seat on the Boston School Board, eventually serving as the chairman of its South Boston division. His patronage of Boston’s educational system is noted by the Illustrated History of South Boston as one of Packard’s lasting attributes, stating that”hundreds of South Boston boys and girls have received their diplomas from his hand, and often he has been called “the teacher’s friend””.
  While Packard was active in medical circles in the South Boston area, he would also enter the political life of his region. In 1872 he was elected to the Massachusetts General Court, representing Boston’s 12th district. He served in the 1873-74 session on the Joint Committee on Education and at the conclusion of his term returned to practicing medicine. In his later years, Packard served as a visiting physician to the Perkins Institute for the Blind and later at the Massachusetts School for Feeble-Minded Children. Packard would die of a heart ailment on January 5, 1895, at his home in South Boston. He was survived by his wife and children, with a burial location for him being unknown at this time.

Sycamore Ave.

Section 7  Lot 321