History of The Boston Post Cane
In August of 1909, Mr. Edwin A. Grozier, Publisher of the Boston Post, a newspaper, forwarded to the Board of Selectmen in 700 towns (no cities included) in New England a gold-headed ebony cane with the request that it be presented with the complements of the Boston Post to the oldest male citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. The cane would belong to the town and not the man who received it.
The canes were all made by J.F. Fradley and Co., a New York manufacturer. The head was engraved with the inscription “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of Dennis”. The Board of Selectmen were to be the trustees of the cane and keep it always in the hands of the oldest citizen.
In 1924, Mr. Grozier died, and the Boston Post was taken over by his son, Richard, who failed to continue his father’s success. Competition from other newspapers, radio and television contributed to the Post’s decline and it wet out of business in 1957.
The custom of the Boston Post Cane took hold in those towns lucky enough to have canes. As years went by some of the canes were lost, stolen, taken out of town and not returned to the Selectmen or destroyed by accident.
In 1930, after considerable controversy, eligibility for the cane was opened to women as well.
As of December 15, 2010, about 320 of the original 700 towns still have the Cane.
Town of Dennis
Boston Post Cane Recipients
Awarded in 1909 - 92 years old
Mary E. Crowell
Awarded in 1963 - 100 years old
Minnie E. Hayden
Awarded in 1976 - 93 years old
Elizabeth “Betty” Smith
Awarded in 2000 - 107 years old
Awarded in 2002 - 109 years old
Awarded in 2004 - 100 years old
Florence M. Russ
Awarded in 2011 - 103 years old
Maria V. Demetras
Awarded in 2016 - 101 years old
"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." ~ Author Unknown