March 2017 Newsletter

March 2017 Newsletter

Our Daniels Family and the Question of Slavery

The American Civil War had been in full destructive mood for sixteen months in August, 1862, when a 9 year old Fred Harris Daniels stood with his father and mother and watched his two older brothers march to the Worcester train station as volunteers in the 36th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a unit of the Army of the Potomac. We can have no real idea as to what Fred was thinking, and nothing survives that would tell us, but that had to be an important moment in his life.

Fred’s father, and our great great grandfather William Pomeroy Daniels, was a contractor and lumber merchant on Grove Street in Worcester. He and his wife Hepsy Ann Stark brought their family to Worcester from New Hampshire and would raise five children, four boys and a girl.

As Samuel A. Eliot wrote in 1911 of William Pomeroy Daniels: “… A man of vigorous character, tenacious of his opinions, benevolent and ardent in his championship of equal rights. In the stirring years of the anti-slavery agitation he was an eager and uncompromising abolitionist.” He brought his children up with the same beliefs.

The two brothers, Lt. Henry William Daniels and Private Myron Morton Daniels, were both in their 20’s and much older than Fred.  From the Worcester train station they would travel south for the rest of 1862, fighting in the Battle of Fredericksburg and the sieges of Vicksburg and Jackson, and then spending all of 1863 fighting the various forces of the Confederacy.

In May 1864 the 36th would participate in the Battle of the Wilderness, which took the lives of 2246 union soldiers in just 3 days, including Fred’s brother Myron. And just a day later the 36th fought in the Battle of Spotsylvania, where 2725 union soldiers died, including Lt. Henry William Daniels.

They never returned to Worcester.  We will never know how William and Hepsy and Fred felt about the sacrifice made by their children and brothers, but there is on the common behind City Hall a monument erected 10 years later, in 1874, dedicated to all the 398 soldiers of Worcester who died in the war, with their names inscribed, including the names of Myron Morton Daniels and Henry William Daniels.

Fred H. Daniels graduated from Worcester Tech in 1873, and when the monument was unveiled a year later he was beginning his long and profitable career in the drafting rooms of the Washburn and Moen at the age of 21. It was just the beginning.

G4 Fund Works with Two Grant Recipients

The G4 Fund Subcommittee group of Laura Rutkiewicz (Clarence line), Ashley Gabrenas (Clarence line), Barre Hardy (Dwight line), Lindsay Blake Reardon (Dwight line), Sarah Drozowicz (Dwight line), and Amy Cook (Dwight line), chose Worcester HEARS, which is part of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts for the 2nd distribution of grant funds, which was given out at the September 2016 quarterly meeting.  The first year implementation of Worcester HEARS will have the five Worcester Public Schools with the highest at-risk youth commencing a research-based curriculum related to trauma-sensitive education and resiliency. WPS will work with community partners and parents to create more effective, supportive, and safe school environments and improve student performance.  This is a new grant recipient for the Foundation.

The time frame for this grant was accelerated slightly to line up with the start of the school year. The G4 Fund Subcommittee group will be expecting a six month review from HEARS over the summer, but the data will more likely include the whole school year. As this is a school program, an annual review between HEARS and the G4 Fund Subcommittee may make more sense than semi-annually.

The 1st grant funding given in Sept. 2015 to Luk for Peer Leadership & Outreach Training is successfully up and running. Luk has had 9 months to operate their Peer Leadership & Outreach Training Program (PLOT).

A site visit in early July confirmed the success of the program. Maurie Bergeron, the Executive Director, communicates their progress with the G4 Fund group on a semi-annual basis.

The G4 Fund subcommittee is expecting a year-end-review of the progress with a questionnaire in Foundant. The second group of Peers have been selected and are getting comfortable in their roles. They will have the benefit of the learned experiences of the first group of Peers. The questionnaire will show how the new Peers build off the inroads made in the first half of the year. They will explain how the financials have been allocated and the scope of their reach. We are expecting a very positive result.

G4 Achieves Board Majority in 2024

The Daniels Foundation Board is in the process of evolving from the 3rd generation to the 4th generation of leadership. Currently three G4’s sit on the Board: James Morse, Carlos Daniels, and Wendy Andrews.

The Foundation Bylaws state: “No director shall serve beyond the age of 75 without an extension by Board vote”, and so as more members of G4 are engaging with the Board and participating actively with the G4 Fund, it seems appropriate to publish the table below.

Current Board Member Born in Turns 75 in…
Meridith D. Wesby 1943 2018
Jonathan D. Blake 1946 2021
Sarah P. Daignault 1948 2023
Dwight C. Blake 1949 2024
Chris N. Eaton 1949 2024
Sarah D. Morse 1950 2025
William O. Pettit, III 1950 2025
David A. Nicholson 1953 2028
Fred H. Daniels, II 1955 2030
Wendy W. Andrews 1965 2040
James T. Morse 1975 2050
Carlos L. Daniels 1984 2059

With three G4 Board members already in place, a majority of the Board will transition fully over to the next generation in 2024. In fact, by the end of that year the Board will include 8 members of the coming generation.

With this in mind, we applaud the hard work being done by the 6 members of G4 on the G4 Fund, and encourage all G4’s to take advantage of opportunities to learn about the Foundation and consider participating. To this end the G4 and Communications Committee has made and will be following up on several recommendations designed to facilitate participation.

We encourage you to get involved! Your time is coming! By the time America’s first female President is halfway through her first term G4 will be a majority! ;>)

Grant Profile:  Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.

Since 2009, the F. H. Daniels Foundation has granted $355,000 to the Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.

The Family Health Center of Worcester is a federally funded community health center providing medical, dental, social services and additional nutrition services for a total of 36,000 patients.  Their mission is to improve the health and well-being of traditionally underserved and culturally diverse populations, regardless of their ability to pay.

At the December 2016 meeting, the foundation voted a grant of $15,000 towards Healthcare for Homeless Families, a repeat of a 2015 grant.

The Family Health Center was also the recipient of a 2009-2012 strategic grant of $225,000.  The foundation also supported a recent capital campaign for the expansion and renovation of their campus at 26 Queen Street with a grant of $100,000.

The board has been steady in their view that the Family Health Center of Worcester is an important organization addressing the ongoing needs of the diverse and economically challenged Worcester population.  To read more about their important work, visit their website at

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.