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Ellis Family Industrialists

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Paul Ellis (1781-1871)

Sarah “Sally” Dudley Ellis (1786-1871)

Paul Ellis was born on December 6, 1781 in Dedham. His parents, Oliver Ellis (1745-1821) and Mary Colburn Ellis (1754-1826) were married in Dedham on December 16, 1779.

On February 28, 1807, the 25-year-old Paul Ellis married Sarah Dudley in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sarah, known as “Sally,” was born on May 5, 1786 in Framingham. The couple had several children including Lewis, Paul, Jr., Oliver, Charles, John, and Isaac.

Ellis owned the Ellis Wrapping Paper Mill at Ellis Pond, off today’s Walpole Street, in South Dedham. According to historian Bryant Tolles, the mill was founded by Isaac Ellis and Joseph Day in 1832 and the pond may well have been created, by a well-placed dam on Hawes Brook, to support the business. Within two years, both Ellis and Day had departed and the mill passed to Paul Ellis. He continued the manufacture of paper and trunk board on that site, and was later joined in the enterprise by his own son, Isaac (1827-1910). Later Isaac and his sons, Lewis Dudley Ellis and Ernest Winfred Ellis, ran a successful ice business on Ellis Pond.

Ellis Pond Ice House

Ice pick from the Ellis Pond Ice. Co. in use today.

Paul Ellis continued working in the mill until after he turned 80 – in the 1860 US Census, his occupation remains “paper manufacturer.” By 1870, he was 88 and had retired.

Sally Ellis died on March 14, 1871. A few months later, Paul Ellis died on November 16, 1871. Both deaths occurred in Walpole and were recorded as due to old age. Although there appears to be no stone, Paul and Sally Ellis were interred in the family lot in Old Parish Cemetery.

Ellis family lot 100 in Old Parish Cemetery, unmarked grave site of Paul and Sally Ellis.

You can visit the site of the Ellis Paper Mill and Ice House. Click the Ellis Pond Trail Guide below.

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