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Millie & Lewis Boyden

Millie E. Morse Boyden (1825-1920)

James Lewis Boyden (1822-1906)


Born in South Dedham on January 26, 1825, Millie was the daughter of Joseph and Millie (Dean) Morse, thus she was descended from both the Dean and Morse families, two of the oldest families in the area. She lived her entire life in this community.


Millie Morse married J. Lewis Boyden, a cabinet maker, on September 6, 1845. The couple raised five children – Josephine, Emma, Frederick, Arthur, and Eva – in South Dedham, later Norwood.


According to the 1880 US Census, J. Lewis Boyden was employed at the railroad car shops, their son Arthur was working at the Ellis paper mill, and their daughter, Eva, was a clerk in an apothecary. Millie was keeping house.



James Lewis Boyden died on May 5, 1906 at the age of 83. The primary cause of his death was old age, with cardiac problems as a secondary cause.


When Millie Boyden died at their home at 943 Washington Street on August 24, 1920, at 95, she was the oldest woman in town and, with one exception, the oldest person. According to her obituary in the Norwood Messenger, Millie Boyden, the widow of Lewis Boyden, who had died in 1906, “was a wonderful old lady, with a clear mind and able to be around and wait on herself. She had her faculties preserved, though she could not see well to read or sew. She had not been ill and had been out in the garden the day before her death. She was of strong individuality and had a wonderful retentive memory.”


Millie Boyden's neighborhood at the time of her death in 1920 as it appears today.

Mrs. Boyden had a great many friends drawn to her because of her kindness and easy disposition. At the time of her death, she was survived by 2 sons, 2 daughters, 8 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. Three of her children still lived in Norwood.


She was interred in the family lot in the Old Cemetery.



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