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Norwood's First Birth

Updated: Mar 1

Anna Ellis Cowell (1849-1873)

Edwin Louis Cowell (1872-1872)


Typical 19th century infant gravestone for an unnamed infant.

Edwin Louis Cowell was born on February 29, 1872, the first child born in the new town of Norwood. He was the son of Edwin Tucker Cowell (1841-1914) and Anna Ellis Cowell (1849-1873).




Born in Dedham in 1849, Anna Ellis was the daughter of Alvin L. Ellis (1819-1876) and Martha B. Dean Ellis (1822-1869), a family well-known in South Dedham. She married Edwin Tucker Cowell on June 4, 1871 in Dedham. Cowell was from Wrentham and had served in the Civil War. By the time of their marriage Edwin Tucker Cowell was a railroad employee.


Anna and Edwin welcomed their first child, Edwin Louis, on February 29 of 1872, a leap year. Sadly, the baby died on March 10, 1872, only 11 days later; the cause of death was reported as abscess. The child was interred in the Ellis family lot in Old Parish Cemetery. On the cemetery’s plot plan, a small grave is drawn in the center of the lot with a note reading: “small coffin (ground could be used)” indicating how very small the infant’s body and coffin were.

.."a small grave is drawn in the center of the lot with a note reading: “small coffin (ground could be used)”


Just over a year later, on May 27, 1873, Anna Ellis Cowell died of consumption at the age of 24. She was buried in the Ellis family lot as well. Edwin Tucker Cowell left Norwood, remarried, continued to work for the railroad as a conductor, and died in 1914.







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