LEEDS — In August, 1909 Edwin A. Grozier, Publisher of the Boston Post newspaper, gave 700 New England towns a cane to be presented with the compliments of the Boston Post to the oldest male citizen of the town. It was to be used by him as long as he lived (or moved from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town.
The canes were produced by J.F. Fradley and Co., a New York manufacturer, from ebony shipped from Africa. They were cut to cane lengths, seasoned for six months, turned on lathes, coated and polished. The canes’ heads were 14-carat gold, hand decorated, and engraved with the inscription “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town)…To Be Transmitted.” The cane would belong to the town and not the man who received it. In 1930, after considerable controversy, eligibility for the cane was opened to women as well.
With the passing of Marion Additon at age 100 in March, the Leeds Historical Society, in conjunction with the Town of Leeds, is trying to determine to whom the Boston Post Cane should now be presented.
In order to be considered the town’s oldest citizen, the citizen must have resided in and/or been eligible to vote in Leeds for the last 20 years.
Marion Additon is presented with the Boston Post Cane by her son, Leeds Selectman Errol Additon, in 2011.