Feb. 5, 1909 (Friday)
FIRE STRIKES DORCHESTER HOME OF ONE OF P.T. BARNUM'S FAMOUS MIDGETS: Major Nutt, who with his brother, was once known as "the smallest man int he world" yesterday decided he had recovered enough from a recent illness to get out of bed and leave his home -- for the first time in nearly a year. While at the Post Office, he heard the fire trucks, so he hustled to his home on Norfolk Street in Dorchester. He was greeted at t he door by his wife, whom the Globe says is about 200 pounds and, therefore, "would make three of the major." It turns out that his wife's room had gone up in flames, evidently because the daughter of the housekeeper had overturned a stove.
The Major, who was born Rodney Nutt, was the brother of Commodore Nutt (shown at right with his wife, Minnie Warren). Major Nutt is now a fairly successful real estate seller. The Globe says that for about 20 years, he performed as a Lilliputian for P.T. Barnum and is evidently the only surviving male member of the troupe of little performers. When a reporter called the house to ask about the fire, Nutt apologized for making the caller wait. He had to climb up on a chair to get to the telephone. He explained, "The telephone was built for my wife not me."
It appears that many of his souvenirs survived the fire.