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Charles and Abigail Morse, A Tradesman and Family

Charles Edwin Morse (1815-1859)

Abigail Colburn Morse (1816-1854)

Harriet Wales Fletcher Morse (1827-1907)

Charles Edwin Morse was born on October 27, 1815. He was the eldest son of Ezra Morse (1791-1873) and his wife, Sally Baker Morse (1791-1880).

On December 13, 1840, Charles Morse married Abigail Colburn, also of Dedham. They had two sons, Charles Willis Morse and Arthur Colburn Morse. Abigail Colburn Morse died on February 18, 1854 of tuberculosis. She was 37.

On July 4, 1858, widower Charles E. Morse married Harriet Wales Fletcher, a widow and former school teacher. She had been born in New Hampshire. A little more than a year later, in December of 1859, Charles E. Morse, who was a wheelwright and carriage maker, died of tuberculosis at 44 years of age. He left his two sons, then 13 and 16 years of age, in Harriet’s care. She provided for the two until they completed college.

880 Washington St. Former home of Harriet Morse as it appeared in 1990

Harriet Wales Fletcher Morse later opened a private school at her home at 880 Washington Street in South Dedham, later Norwood. Her school had an excellent reputation and remained open until 1905. She passed away on September 18, 1907, at the age of 79 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Harriet Morse was held in high esteem by her friends and was respected by all in the community. At her death, she was considered “the last remaining representative in this vicinity of the old-time teachers.”

Charles Edwin Morse, along with his two wives, is buried in the Morse family lot 103.


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