Blanche A. Paull (1890 – 1983) 



Blanche A. Paull

Artist, Musician and Poet 

2043 Main Road, Westport Point 

Born in Taunton, MA in 1890, Blanche A. (Leonard) Paull was a painter, musician and poet. As a young girl she and her family often summered in Westport, arriving by horse-drawn wagon and camping on East Beach. She graduated from Bridgewater Normal School in 1908, and taught school in Taunton prior to her marriage to Dr. M. H. Paull in 1913. They moved to Barre, MA, where Dr. Paull practiced medicine for 55 years, while Mrs. Paull raised four children and served as the president of the Barre Women’s Club and a matron of the Eastern Star.  

After marriage Mrs. Paull’s connection to Westport continued, and her husband and four children vacationed in Westport. In 1928 they built a summer home on Westport Point at 2043 Main Road. (Just as an interesting aside -The house was constructed from the wide boards of old homes that were slated for destruction when the Quabbin Reservoir was built. In addition, the granite step that stands at the backdoor was moved from the home of social reformer Jacob Riis, who lived on a farm in Barre.)  

Mrs. Paull began painting with watercolors in the 1950s. She was a prolific landscape artist and enjoyed sketching old homes and historic buildings. She often could be seen painting a picture outside a house while her husband called on a patient inside. A true Yankee, her art paper often had pictures painted on both sides and her frames were sometimes homemade. Mrs. Paull was also a poet and several of her art works are accompanied by descriptive poems. 


She was active in the original Westport Art Group and its art shows at the Westport Point School, often exhibiting several pictures. (Interestingly enough on the back of one of the paintings still owned by the family, you can see the original “Westport Art Group Arts and Crafts Exhibition, August 1957” sticker. This was the second exhibit of the Westport Art Group.) 

Mrs. Paull’s family was surprised to learn that she was not a Charter member of the Westport Art Group. Many of the Charter members such as Helen Wilkinson, who served as the original President, Carol Danhauser, who served as the original Secretary, Dorothy Robbins Gifford, Sydney Johnson, Edna Leuvelink, Ruth Reach, Elsie Sherman and Elizabeth Wing were neighbors and close friends of Mrs. Paull’s.  It seems likely that Mrs. Paull was in Barre at the time the Charter was signed. 

Mrs. Paull’s interest in the arts led her to try woodcarving. She turned to her close friend, Helen Ellis, for instruction. In return for the woodcarving lessons, Mrs. Paull attempted to teach Ms. Ellis to play the flute, but Ms. Ellis’ talents were in areas other than music. However, Mrs. Paull richly rewarded Ms. Ellis in another fashion. It was during WWII and Dr. Paull owned a herd of beef cattle. With meat rationing a grim reality, Ms. Ellis was delighted to receive steaks in exchange for her lessons! 

(Mrs. Paull did succeed in making several woodcarvings, the most spectacular is a wall hanging of nymphs, animals and fauna that measures 45” by 20”.)  

Mrs. Paull also was an accomplished self-taught musician, playing the flute, clarinet, recorder, cello, viola, violin and piano and in a pinch, the French horn. She amassed a large collection of orchestral music and liked nothing better then organizing informal concerts over the years with the Wings, the Yeomans, Madam Chardon, the Drs. Frisch, and her grandchildren, all of who were expected to learn to play an instrument! 

Mrs. Paull was descended from James Leonard, who was born in approximately 1604 in Pontypool, Wales (known for its iron works.) He immigrated to first Saugus and then to Taunton, MA where he was instrumental in forming the first ironworks.  It is unclear what James Leonard’s relationship was to the Leonard who developed the iron works on Forge Road in Westport. Mrs. Paull also was descended from Ursula Macomber, who was born in approximately 1653, in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA. Ursula’s father, William Macomber, was reputedly a Baptist Minister, who at one time was connected with Westport.   

Her son, Attorney Richard Paull, drafted the original legislation creating the Westport Historic District, and her granddaughter, Dorothy Tongue, is a practising Westport attorney. Her grandson, Jonathan Paull, is an Assistant Harbor Master for Westport. Many of her 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren live or summer in the area.   

Mrs. Paull died at age 93 in 1983.