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Jesse Harding Pomeroy Materials in the City Archives

On the evening of July 18, 1874, two South Boston workmen uncovered the body of 10 year old Katherine Mary Curran in a Broadway Street basement.  Two days later,  fourteen year old Jesse Harding Pomeroy, already imprisoned and awaiting trial for the murder of four year old Horace Millen, confessed to Curran’s death. When Pomeroy was convicted of the murder of Katie Curran and Horace Millen, he became Massachusetts’s youngest killer.  


November 29, 1859 – Jesse Harding Pomeroy is born to Ruth Ann and Thomas Pomeroy

February 21, 1872 – Seven year old Tracy Hayden of Chelsea is beaten and left on Powder Horn Hill.

May 20, 1872 – Eight year old Robert Maier is beaten in an abandoned outhouse in Chelsea

July 22, 1872 – Seven year old Johnny Balch is discovered tied and beaten in an abandoned outhouse on Powder Horn Hill.

July 28, 1872 – The Boston Globe reports that “the public are considerably excited” about “A Fiendish Boy” believed to be behind the attacks on Tracy Hayden, Robert Maier, and Johnny Balch.

August 2, 1872 – Ruth Ann Pomeroy leaves Chelsea with her two sons, Charles and Jesse. They settle at 312 Broadway Street in South Boston.  Thomas Pomeroy had already abandoned the family.

August 17, 1872 – Seven year old George Pratt of South Boston is discovered by a local fisherman after being beaten

September 11, 1872 – Seven year old Joseph Kennedy is lured to a vacant boathouse near the South Boston bay salt marshes. He is beaten and cut with a pocket knife.

September 17, 1872 – Railroad workers walking along the Hartford and Erie line in South Boston find five year old Robert Gould tied to a telegraph pole. Gould had been beaten and slashed by a knife.

September 20, 1872 – Jesse Pomeroy looks into the window of South Boston’s Police Station Six and is identified by Joseph Kennedy who is at the station. Pomeroy is arrested and admits to being the “boy torturer.” The rest of Pomeroy’s victims also identify him as their assailant.

September 21, 1872 – Pomeroy is arraigned, confesses to the attacks before Judge William G. Forsaith, and is sentenced to six years at the House of Reformation in Westborough.

February 6, 1874 – Pomeroy is released after 6 months at the House of Reformation on account of model behavior and the recommendation of Police Captain Dyer of Station Six and State Board of Charities Agent Gardiner Tufts

March 18, 1874 – Katie Curran visits the newsstand run by Charles and Jesse Pomeroy at 327 Broadway and asks to buy a notebook. She enters the shop, but does not leave.

April 22, 1874 – Four year old Horace Millen of South Boston disappears. Neighbors report seeing him in the company of a “bigger boy.” At 3:45 in the afternoon,  his body is discovered at Savin Hill Beach. At 10:00 pm,  police officers arrive at the Pomeroy home and take Jesse Pomeroy into custody. He is taken to the Charles Street Jail.

April 25, 1874 – Horace Millen is buried. Millen’s parents, John and Leonora, are so poor that they cannot afford a coffin.  Individuals across South Boston donate money to the family, including the police officers at Station Six and John Millen’s co-workers at Clark’s Cabinet Factory.

May 31, 1874 – After business at her dressmaking store at 327 Broadway drops off, Ruth Ann Pomeroy moves the business into her house at 312 Broadway.

June 1874 – Pomeroy’s trial for the murder of Horace Millen is set for December 1874. He awaits the trial at the Charles Street Jail.

July 1874 – James Nash of 342 Broadway purchases the building holding 327 Broadway, Ruth Ann Pomeroy’s former dress shop.  His workers begin to excavate and remodel the building, including the basement. They immediately notice a strong odor.

July 18, 1874 – Charles McGinnis and Patrick O’Connell are excavating the basement of 327 Broadway when they discover Katie Curran’s body in a corner of the basement under an ash heap.

July 20, 1874 – Pomeroy verbally confesses to killing Katie Curran.

July 22, 1874 – Katie Curran is buried. Ruth Ann and Charles Pomeroy are imprisoned at the Charles Street Jail following the first day of the inquest into the Katie Curran’s death.

July 30, 1874 – A Grand Jury calls for the Jesse Harding Pomeroy to be tried for Katie Curran’s death.

December 8, 1874 – Pomeroy’s trial for the murders of Katie Curran and Horace Millen begins.

December 11, 1874 – Pomeroy is pronounced guilty of the murders of Horace Millen and Katherine Mary Curran. The jury recommends mercy on account of Pomeroy’s youth.

August 1876 – Pomeroy’s death sentence is commuted to life in prison in solitary confinement by the Governor’s Council.

September 7, 1876 – Pomeroy is transferred from the Suffolk County Jail (Charles Street Jail) to the State Prison at Charlestown

Sept 29, 1932 – Pomeroy dies at the Bridgewater Hospital for the Criminally Insane