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Moses Guild III and the Guild Square Neighborhood

Moses Guild, III (1792-1857)

Julitte Ellis Guild (1791-1872)

Moses Guild, III, was born on December 8, 1792. He was the son of Moses Guild Jr. and Abigail Everett Guild, both of Dedham, who were married on September 18, 1788. He was the grandson of Moses Guild (1725-1789), the brother of Aaron Guild.

On April 16, 1820, Moses married Julitte Ellis (1791-1872), the daughter of John and Hannah Ellis. They had two children: Moses Ellis Guild (1821-1903) and George Dwight Guild (1825-1862).

Like his father and grandfather before him, Guild was a prominent man in South Dedham. He was a farmer but became one of the largest landowners and wealthiest men in the village. His father, Moses Guild, Jr., founded a fleet of freight wagons that ran between Boston and Providence over the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike (today’s Washington Street) which opened around 1805. The freight wagons and equipment were stored in a wooden structure (in the area of today’s Guild Square Park) across from Guild’s home, called the “Corner House,” situated at the corner of modern Washington and Guild Streets. After his father died in 1829, Moses III continued in the business. With the arrival of the railroad, the freight company was phased out and the wagon barn was utilized as a mill, playing card factory, and carpenter shop. For a time it was the first South Dedham home to Irish immigrants.

2022 site of "Corner House" and wagon barn on Guild Sq.

In addition, Moses Guild was South Dedham’s first postmaster. Established on December 18, 1846, a year before the first U. S. postage stamps were issued, the “post office” was housed in the building at the corner of Washington and Nahatan Streets (where the United Church stands today), It was a post office in name only. In fact, mail was inserted into a three-foot high cylindrical letter wheel made of wood and tin. Guild was succeeded as postmaster by Ebenezer Gay but returned to the position in April of 1857 for only a few months; he died on July 27 of that year. The cause was listed as apoplexy.

Cylindrical letter wheel

Julitte Ellis Guild died on April 24, 1872, of pneumonia at the age of 80, just months after South Dedham was incorporated as the new town of Norwood. Interred alongside them in the Old Parish Cemetery are two of their grandchildren. Moses Dwight Guild and Minnie French Guild, the children of their son Moses Ellis Guild and his wife, Sarah Ann.

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