Thomas Papers

Carlyle and Kay Thomas Papers


Carlyle W. Thomas


Carlyle W. Thomas (1912-1996) was born in Connecticut but raised in Swampscott, Massachusetts.  He attended Swampscott and Lynn schools and graduated from Tilton Academy in New Hampshire.  He spent a year at MIT and received a degree from Boston University's School of Business Administration in 1933.  He was a captain in the Army Air Corp and served during World War II.


Carlyle spent most of his career at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation in Beverly, where he worked in design and quality control and was a statistician/economic analyst.


In the early 1940s he married his childhood sweetheart Catherine Tilden, also of Swampscott.  They moved to Boxford in 1951 to live on Baldpate Road, where they pursued their mutual interest of gardening, bird watching and raising dogs. 


In 1966 Carlyle embarked on a long period of public service by serving on the following boards and committees: Finance Committee, 1966-1971; Selectmen, 1972-1977; Board of Appeals, 1978-1996.  He also was on the Committee to Purchase Wildcat, 1974, and was a member of the Boxford Housing Partnership Committee, 1988-1995.


Not only did Carlyle serve on these boards, but he also kept informed on all the town's business by attending Planning Board meetings and other committee meetings on a regular basis.  His amazing memory and passion for details enabled him to act as a kind of watchdog over town affairs by reminding different boards and officials of issues and decisions made years before that pertained to current problems and cases.  He kept all the boards on their toes much to the delight of many and ultimately to the benefit of the town.


In 1995 the Selectmen honored Carlyle by naming the month of December "Carlyle W. Thomas Month" in recognition of his long years of service and many contributions to the town.  He died February 20, 1996.



Catherine (Tilden) Thomas


Catherine (Tilden) Thomas (1914-1996) was born in Boston and raised in Swampscott.  She graduated from Swampscott High School and then from the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston.


She went to work as a legal secretary to attorney Charles P. Curtis, Jr. of the law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart.  She also was personal secretary to the Countess Rosalind Wood Guardavassi in Italy for two years.  Returning to the United States she went to work for the State Department in Washington, D.C. during World War II.


Known to her friends as "Kay", she married her childhood sweetheart Carlyle W. Thomas in the early 1940s.  They moved to Boxford in 1951 to live on Baldpate Road where they pursued their mutual interests of bird watching, gardening and raising dogs.


Kay was a member of the Boxford Conservation Commission from 1964-1968.  She was dedicated to the Boxford libraries and served as a library trustee of the Boxford Town Libraries from 1964-1979.  She also belonged to the Boxford Village Garden Club and the North Shore Kennel Club.


In 1985 she co-authored with Barbara Perley a short history of the town, prepared for the town's 300th anniversary, entitled Town of Boxford Massachusetts 1685-1985: a Fragment of History.


Kay's delightfully whimsical sense of humor and her generosity towards others endeared her to many people in Boxford.

Box 1 - Boxford, MA




Camps - North Bennett Street Industrial School - deed

Churches - A Church Extension Study, 1960



Housing - Numbers

Ingaldsby Farm

Johnson Memorial Field


Open Space


American Legion

Athletic Association

Bicentennial Commission

Boxford Historical Society

Boxford / Topsfield League of Women Voters

Boxford Trails Association (BTA)

Boxford Village Garden Club

Council on Aging

Tri-Town Council



Sanitary Landfill

Box 2 - Boxford, MA

Schools - Elementary

Schools - Masconomet

Schools - North Shore Regional Vocational

Schools - Pamphlets


Town Buildings

Town Charter

Town Committees

Boxford Citizens Recycling Study, 1978

Capital budgeting, 1970

Growth Policy, 1970s

Land Bank, 1984

Mosquito Control Study, 1964

Open Space Planning, 1988

Recreation Committee, 1960

Town Engineer Study, 1970

Town Facilities, 1968

Town Hall Study, 1968

Town Hall

Town Meetings

Box 3 - Boxford, MA

Town Officials - Building Inspector

Town Officials - Conservation Commission

Town Officials - Conservation Commission - Kaiter case

Town Officials - Department of Public Works (DPW)

Town Officials - Fire Department - Report of Defenses, 1973

Town Officials - Fire and Communications - Miscellaneous

Town Officials - Planning Board - Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land, Boxford, Mass., June 30, 1981

Town Officials - Police Department

Town Officials - Selectmen - Behrens, Donald

Town Officials - Selectmen - Bolton, Gaines

Town Officials - Selectmen - Killam, Charles

Town Officials - Selectmen - Race, Ruth

Town Officials - Selectmen - Thomas, Carlyle


United States Postal Service (USPS)


Boxes 4-5 - Housing

Andrews Farm

Box 6 - Housing

Affordable Housing

Baldpate Project

Boxford Crossing

Boxford Housing Partnership

Four Mile Village

Box 7 - Libraries

Boxford Public Library

Auction and Golden Tea for Miss Perley


Committees - Book

Committees - House & Garden




Survey Report, 1965

Trustees - Correspondence

Trustees - Reports

Trustees - Miscellaneous

West Boxford


Box 8 - Zoning Board of Appeals

Applications for Variances

Minutes of Meetings, 1984-1989

Flood Plain Zoning

Matses Appeal

Box 9 - Personal Papers


Letters to Kay from Carlyle

Elizabeth R. Choate Will

Marie Thomas Peaslee Estate

Diaries, 1977-1994

Membership cards - Selectmen’s Association & Sheriff’s Association


Box 10 - Personal Papers


Magazines and Map of Rome

Massachusetts Selectmen’s Handbooks

United Shoe Machinery Papers