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Profiles
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According to Waite family lore, the
property was not a working farm, but a
"gentleman's farm." Paul believes the
McCurders spent summers on their
Bedford farm in the "main house" what
he thinks is now MCC's Trustees' House.
Irving Waite's family lived up the hill in
the farmhouse where his youngest son,
Myron Phillip Waite (Paul and William's
father), was born in 1892. That house,
still known as MCC's Farm House, is
now the office of the Massachusetts
Community Colleges General Counsel.
As a teenager, Myron worked as a
chauffer for the McCurder family,
according to Paul. "My father used to tell
us about the time he drove the
McCurders to New York and had to
change three or four flat tires on one trip!
The roads were really bad back then."
Paul Waite believes the McCurders sold
the farm in the early 1900s. "We were
well established on Springs Road by
1930," he said. "I remember the farm as a
child, but we didn't go over there much;
by that time it was the Marist Brothers
Seminary."
Over the years, as the Marist Brothers
population dwindled, the farm fell idle.
In 1970, MCC opened for classes just 1.5
miles south, on the grounds of the
Veterans Administration Hospital. With
enrollment growing, in 1972 the college
leased buildings on the seminary grounds
for classrooms and offices.
The state purchased the 200-acre Marist
property in 1978 for MCC's permanent
Bedford campus, and broke ground in
1990. The campus opened in 1992.
Nobody in the Waite family knows when
Irving became manager of the farm or
when he left exactly, Paul said. What
they do know is that Irving was Bedford's
Fire Chief from 1935 until his death in
1939.
"I assume it was a volunteer fire
department, most of them were in those
days," said Paul. "I remember my
grandfather drove a big old Chevrolet
which he was not supposed to drive over
5 miles per hour in town. But as soon as
he heard the fire bell, he could go as fast
as he could!"
Paul Waite moved from the area in his
late teens, but William Waite Sr.
remained in Bedford until his death in
2002. Their father, Myron, had started a
carpentry business in 1922 "out of the
trunk of his car," said Joan Waite. Her
husband helped expand the business and
took it over in 1952 as William H. Waite
Inc. He married Joan, a New Hampshire
native, in 1960. They had four sons and
she helped him run the business out of
their home.
Their son, William Henry Waite Jr.,
assumed control of the business in 1988.
And there might be a fourth-generation
contractor in the family: William Jr.'s
son, Benjamin (Joan's grandson), is now
working with his father in the company.
Irving Waite's descendants (and their
spouses) continue the connection to the
land he once worked. Ethel Waite
(William Jr.'s wife) earned a degree in
Radiologic Technology in 1978 at
Middlesex and their sons Benjamin and
Steven (Joan's grandsons) both studied
at MCC. Joan also has two other
grandchildren Taylor and Katelyn
Waite who are current Middlesex
students.
"Bill was very happy that the plans for
the Bedford campus didn't alter the
natural terrain of the property too
much," said Joan.
"Bill felt the college was a wonderful use
for a property that had been idle for so
long," she said. "I can't imagine anyone
not being proud to attend Middlesex. It's
just beautiful!"
Kathy Register
Three generations of the Waite family Irving Charles Waite (left) managed the farm that is now MCC's Bedford campus and was Bedford Fire Chief from 1935-39;
Irving's son, Myron Phillip Waite (center) was born in 1892 in the farmhouse that still stands on campus; and Myron's sons (left) Paul Irving Waite (standing) and
William Henry Waite Sr., who grew up near the 200-acre property that became the Middlesex Bedford campus.
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