Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Writing in the 1930s, local historian Win Everett felt that Bacon’s face on this gravestone was “the finest and most human in the yard,” He elaborated that “You will have no trouble in seeing the Captain’s long, lean, intelligent face which is framed in a full wig with three curls on each side. The eyes are large and commanding. The lips are straight and firm. It is a real soldier’s face….”
William Bacon was one of the founders of the Second Parish of Dedham (now the First Congregational Church) and was on the building committee of the first meeting house.
A soldier in the Colonial Wars, Bacon rose to the rank of Captain and led troops in the Crown Point Expedition in 1755 and 1756 as part of Col. Richard Gridley’s regiment. He participated in the Lake George Campaign in 1756. In both of these campaigns, the British were trying to expel the French from North America and gain control of Lake Champlain. On May 21, 1761, Bacon died from the lingering effects of the Lake George campaign.
Colonel Richard Gridley went on to become famous. During the American Revolution, Gridley was made Chief Engineer in the New England Provincial Army. He laid out the defenses on Breed's Hill and was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill. When the Continental Congress first created a Continental Army under the command of George Washington in 1775, Gridley was named Chief Engineer. He directed the construction of the fortifications on Dorchester Heights which forced the British to evacuate Boston in March 1776. Gridley retired in 1781 at age 70. He died from blood poisoning induced by cutting dogwood bushes, in Stoughton, Massachusetts, and is buried in the Canton Corner Cemetery.