Dorchester Illustration no. 2318 Axel W. Lagerquist
At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring servicemen and women in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit which highlights these men and women and their service to our country.
Our next biography features:Axel W. Lagerquist
Axel Wilhelm Lagerquist was born 23 March 1890 in Hjalmseryd, in the Jonkoping region of Sweden which is in the Province of Smaland. Parent’s names are unknown. Axel immigrated to the United States in 1908. He was 18 years old when he left his father, G. Lagerquist, whom he listed as his nearest relative. He traveled by train to Gottenburg, Sweden. He left Sweden on 28 September 1908 by boat to Hull, England where he would take a train to Liverpool. He sailed on 8 October 1908 from Liverpool & Queenstown on the Lusitania (about 1 year after her maiden voyage) and arrived in New York on 10 October 1908 destined for Newton, Mass. Several years later on 23 February 1911, he filed his Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen.
By June 5, 1917, when Axel registered for the Draft, he was 27 years old, married and living on Norfolk St., Dorchester. He was a manager of a grocery store, J. T. Connor Co., 2249 Dorchester Ave., Milton and the sole support of his wife. He was tall and slender with blue eyes and blonde hair. His place of birth was listed as Jonkoping, Sweden.
He enlisted in R.A.N.G.E.R.C. and was inducted at Division #21, Boston, Mass. on March29, 1918 at age 28 at Camp Devens. He served in Company C, 303 MG Battalion, until November 7, 1918 and Company C, 148 MG Battalion until discharge. He became Private First Class on July 1, 1918 and Corporal on August 23, 1918. He filed his Petition for Naturalization on 5 June 1918 and then served overseas from July 10, 1918 until June 29, 1919. He was honorably discharged at Camp Mills, Long Island, New York, on July 7, 1919.
On his Petition for Naturalization signed at Camp Devens, he listed his spouse as Esther J. Lagerquist, born in Lamhult (Lammhult), Sweden, on 1 November 1889. He is listed as being born in Lamhult also which is in the same area as listed above, so perhaps they knew each other in the old country. They were listed living on Norfolk St., Mattapan and had a daughter born 1 June 1918. His occupation was listed as “soldier-merchant”.
In the 1920 census, the family consisted of Axel, Esther and daughter Ruth on Dorchester Ave., Boston. He was again listed as a manager of grocery store. In 1923, Axel became a member of the Macedonian Lodge of the Masons.
In 1930 and 1940 census, the family of 3 was living on Wendell Pak East, Milton, Mass. and Axel owned his business.
In 1942, Axel registered for the Draft at age 52. He lived on Dyer Ave, Milton and was his own employer at 1168 Washington St., Dorchester. His wife, Esther, was listed as his next of kin.
On 1 June 1949, Axel remarried to Janet Frances Bates and on 13 March 1956, he changed his Masonic affiliation to Wellesley, Mass.
On 6 November 1969, Axel died at age 79. He was living on Prospect St., Wellesley Hills, Mass. He was survived by his daughter Mrs. Joseph (Ruth) McCann of Norwood and 2 grandchildren. A Masonic service was held at the Waterman Chapel, 592 Washington St., Wellesley.
Do you know more about Axel Lagerquist? We would love to hear from you! All material has been researched by volunteers at the Dorchester Historical Society, so please let us know if we got something wrong or you think a piece of the story is missing! You can reach us through the contact box at the bottom of the Dorchester Historical Society’s home page on its website www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org.
Passenger List, 1908, Ancestry.com
Draft Registration, WW1 & WW11, FamilySearch.com
Naturalization Record, Ancestry.com
U.S. Census Records, 1920, 1930, 1940, FamilySearch.com
Mason Member Card, Ancestry.com
Death Record, 1969, FamilySearch.com
Obituary, Boston Globe, 7 Nov 1969
Service Record, Military Museum, Concord, MA
Dr. Perkins’ notes