4 Elm Street, Ipswich MA

4 Elm Street, Condon’s Grocery

This building was constructed in1847 and has long served as a business location. The 1856 map shows R. Kimball as the owner of this building. Benjamin Kimball is the owner in 1872, but soon thereafter it became Thomas E. Condon’s Grocery.

In the 1910 map the owner is “Mrs. Condon.” In the 1893 Ipswich Annual Report was T. E. Condon’s grocery, and one of his charges to the town was “food for tramps.” During the Great Depression this was called the “Free Store.”

Obituary, December 6, 1901:

Thomas E. Condon, town treasurer and collector of Ipswich, died a few days ago. Mr. Condon in his younger days was a great lover of sports, and was manager of the Ipswich baseball team, a crack amateur nine, for some time. It was under his astute management that the late William Vinton, who afterwards became a national Leaguer, pitching for the Philadelphias, first began to twirl.

Mr. Condon was born in Ipswich, April 25, 1842 and was educated in the public schools. At the age of 15 he went to sea, commencing a career of adventure, and before he reached 18 years old he made a voyage around the world. In 1860 he was in Calcutta and not liking the captain of the vessel he enlisted in the English army. In a battle with the Sepovs he reaceived a severe wound in the throat.

When he recovered from the wound he fled to the country and enlisted in the United States Navy serving under Admiral Farragut. After serving nine months in the navy he enlisted in Company D, 18th Massachusetts regiment, and was terribly wounded in the shoulder and spine with grapeshot. He never fully recovered from the wounds.

Returning to his native town he worked for a time as clerk and then opened a grocery store which he conducted up to the time of his last illness. He served the town with managibility and efficiency as tax collctor and treasurer, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. As a private citizen he was a man of sterling integrity and always of pleasant and genial disposition. He leaves a wife and two daughters.