The Henneberry home on Warfield Street.
Betty (Knights) Henneberry
My grandfather owned a lot of land in the Warfield Street vicinity. He left some of it on this side
(the side toward the airport) to my father and the other side to my aunt. My father sold the
land that became the airport. My house was the last one on this side, and the land went down
to where he put Thayer Street in. He gave us the deed to the lot where we built our house, but
to be honest this isn't where I wanted to go. I wanted to go look at houses and buy one, but I
never told him that. I couldn't turn down his offer.
My mother was a Goodnow from Mendon. We had many relatives in Mendon years ago, but
now Warren Goodnow is the only one left.
This was a nice, nice neighborhood. We all had children the same age, and we were all
friendly. I'm the only one left on the street from those days. Well, the Blatzes and me. I
remember the Wilcox, Chilson and Fitzgerald families from when I was a kid. The Chilsons
raised their grandson, Stanley Tiernan, who became a well-known runner in this area. The
Albees and the Thayers also lived in this area. We were somehow related to the Thayers.
When Clara Thayer died, it was in her will that her house and land would go to her nephew,
Howard Thayer, but if he didn't want it, it would go to my father. Of course Howard took it.
I had two sisters, twins, Theda and Thelma, who were several years older than me. Their
married names were Theda White and Thelma Smith. Theda was my mother's middle name. I
also had a brother, Davis. He was three years younger than me. Davis was my Grandmother
Knghts' maiden name. I was a twin also, but my twin died at the age of three months.
I was born in the older house across the street, and later we moved to 374 South Main Street,
which was where I grew up. The people at this end of town weren't treated very well by the
people in the center of town. It was worse for my sisters than it was for me. I can remember
them coming home crying because of some little thing. It was better by the time I was in
school; not great, but better. By the time my brother went to school, it was much better. I can't
say they weren't good to us, but you knew there was a division.
I'd sometimes go to the South Hopedale Branch Library. It was in different homes at different
times. I remember that Connie Jones had it in her home on Mellen Street at one time.
Our house on South Main Street didn't have an indoor bathroom when we were first there, but
my father was a plumber and he put one in.
My sisters had gone to the South Hopedale School for some of their elementary schooling.
That was closed by the time I started school. For some of my elementary years I went to the
Chapel Street School, and for others I went to Park Street School, and for fifth through eighth
I went to Dutcher Street.
We were near the town lines of Mendon and Bellingham, which was where my closest friends
Howard Thayer had a grocery store in Bellingham. He would go to the houses around here
and take orders. Then later he'd deliver the groceries. That continued up until the war. During
and after the war a lot of things changed. By that time, my mother was doing her shopping at
the First National in the center of Milford. She always drove as far back as I can remember.
I don't remember what kind of fuel was used for our kitchen stove. I remember that it was
always hot. My favorite cake that my mother made was a two-layer cake with chocolate
When I was a kid, all the girls thought Chet Sanborn was wonderful. At the Dutcher Street
School when we'd go to the park for recess, the girls would be thrilled when Chet was at the
intersection to get us safely across the street. He was always very nice to us. All the cops
were nice. Of course the kids were good then too. (YouTube video of Chet tapping maple
trees at Memorial School.)
My favorite subject in high school was English. I had a very hard time with geometry. I talked
to the principal, Mr. Dennett, about it, and he suggested that I switch to the business course.
When I tell people that the whole school would begin the day in one room they're surprised to
hear it. It was called the main room and it had desks for more than 100 students. We had
rhetoricals where'd have to get up and give a memorized talk to the whole school. I was a little
nervous, but not too bad. Some kids really suffered over that. Dexter Whiting passed out
when he was up there for his speech.
The Minasians had a gas station on 140 at the intersection of Hartford Avenue. They lived at
the house behind the station.
We went to church at the Green Store. Every Sunday a minster from one of the Milford
churches came to do the service. Different ones took turns. I went to Sunday school there,
along with most of the Protestant kids from this end of town. My kids did, too. You got a good
religious training there. One of my sisters taught Sunday school. Myla Thayer was very active
in the church. I think she was the one who really kept it going. Eventually they were able to get
their own minister.
During World War II, long convoys of Army trucks would sometimes be seen traveling along
Route 140. They may have been going between Camp Edwards and Camp Devens. It could
take 25 minutes for them all to pass by. My sister and I would stand by the side of the road,
watch them and wave to them. One time a couple of the men threw out papers with their
addresses on them. We wrote to them and got letters back.
It was often hard to get meat during the war years, and my mother had to deal with rationing.
Sometimes she would give my father the meat, and give us kids something else. She figured
he needed it for his work. I don't think we cared. Sometimes he would have steak and we
might have hamburger. Later on he gave up his plumbing business and went to Drapers
where he became boss of the plumbing department.
I graduated from high school in 1946. I worked at Drapers for about a year, and then I went to
South Middlesex Business School in Framingham. When I look back, that was one of my
favorite years. Everybody accepted everybody, no matter who you were or where you came
from. I made two or three lifelong friends there. I didn't have a car then. My friend, Marilyn
Souls and I would get there on the Johnson bus. Before going to the school, my job in
Drapers was in the shop. When I went back, I worked in the billing department in the Main
The way I met my husband, James Henneberry, is a funny story. I had spent the summer in
Auburn where I worked at an inn. The job was connected with the 4-H Club. I had stayed there
for most of the summer, doing housework and other odd-jobs. One night after I got back here,
a group of us decided to go to a movie at the State Theater in Milford. We sat up in the
balcony. Why, I don't know. I had never been up there before. There were two guys behind us
and they bothered us all through the show.
When the show was over we left and got on the bus. We had to take the bus for everything.
The two guys followed us and they got on the bus too. They had no idea they were going to
get down here, and they were from Medway. They were going to have to get back there at
some point. When we got off the bus, they did too, and they followed me home. There was
really nothing to it, and it was probably months and months later when I got a letter from one
of them. I don't know how he got my name and address. He was in the Navy by that time. The
other fellow called me and wanted me to go out with him, but my mother wouldn't let me go. I
was probably 16 or 17 then.
James and I were married in 1950, and over the next few years we had three boys - Danny,
Larry and Charlie.
My father built the house next door. My mother didn't want that, but that was his dream. They
were older when he did that. We were all grown and out of the house by that time. He only
lived four or five years after he built that house. He was 58 when he died.
In 1972 there was a plane crash at the end of the runway and all five on it were killed. Two of
those killed were the Melin brothers who lived near the airport. My youngest son came home
that day, all excited, out of breath, and almost in tears. He had been delivering papers when
he heard the crash. He went over to the wreckage. One of the Melin brothers was his
When my youngest son was still in elementary school our neighbor, Jim Ronan, told me that
there was a job at Drapers available that I might be interested in. It would be at the Main
Office for a week and a half or two weeks at the end of each month. I took the job. It took a
while for my youngest son to get used to the idea that I wasn't always here.
Memories Menu HOME
Betty M. (Knights) Henneberry, 93, of Hopedale passed away Thursday, November 5,
2020 in Genesis of Milford. She was the wife of the late James B. Henneberry for 67
years who died in 2017. Mrs. Henneberry was the secretary at the Milford VNA for 20
years before retiring in 1992. She also spent several years working for the former
Draper Corporation in Hopedale. She was born October 9, 1927 in Milford the
daughter of the late Charles and Mildred (Goodnow) Knights and graduated from
Hopedale High School, class of 1946 and South Middlesex Secretarial School in
Framingham. Betty enjoyed her monthly card group with her many close friends. She
was a former Sunday school teacher and a den mother for the Cub Scouts. She
enjoyed crossword puzzles and reading. Betty dearly loved her sons and their wives
and took great joy when her grandchildren came to visit. She is survived by her sons,
Dan J. Henneberry and his wife June Whitney of Blackstone, Lawrence B. Henneberry
and his wife Loretta Blatz of Mendon and Charles B. Henneberry, Sr. of Milford and
his former wife Linda DiMaria; 6 grandchildren, Danielle Henneberry, Alezandra
Swarr, Linda King, Jennifer DAleo, Kyle Henneberry and Charles Henneberry, Jr.; six
great-grandchildren and a sister-in-law, Mary Wolfe. She was predeceased by her
siblings, Davis Knights, twins, Theda White and Thelma Smith, Barbara MacGray, and
her twin Beatrice Knights. Visiting hours will be held Monday November 9, 2020 from
5-7 PM in the Buma- Sargent Funeral Home, 42 Congress St., Milford. Funeral
services will be private in the funeral home. Burial will be in South Hopedale
Cemetery, Hopedale. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity
of ones choice. www.bumafuneralhome.com