Jack was the faithful companion of Dr. Arthur Mitchell, who came to Medfield in 1887 at the age of 23 and served as Medfield’s beloved doctor for 48 years.
During a storm of epic proportions, the young doctor fell into the floodwaters of a river, which we assume was the Charles. He was under the rapids and his lungs were filling with water when he saw, from the corner of his eyes, his faithful dog and companion, “Jack.” All he remembers was holding onto Jack for dear life and seeing the shore come closer and closer.
Reaching the river bank, he was able to grab onto tree branches protruding into the water and pull himself up onto the bank with Jack still by his side. The event he never forgot; nor the fact that it was Jack who dove into the river after him. His life had been saved by his dog.
Mitchell then commissioned Medfield artist J.A.S. Monks to paint Jack and had it hung in his doctor’s office. In Mitchell’s will, the painting was left to his housekeeper, Mrs. Mary C. Haskell, and was later donated to the Medfield Historical Society.
The other images on this Art Box include Monks Block (which the artist and his wife Olive built in 1888 on property owned by her parents) and an etching of sheep, a subject matter for which Monks would become famous.
This Art Box was sponsored by MEMO, the Medfield Employer and Merchant Organization. The Art Boxes are a program of the Medfield Cultural District and the remaining five will be installed in the spring, each telling a different story of Medfield's history.
Now, TELL US: What breed of dog do you think Jack is? The organizers have identified the breed and will let us know on Friday. Leave your answer in the comment box.
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Mixed Breed
- Pit Bull