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Norwood's First Historian

Francis Tinker (1816-1896)

R. Elizabeth Hutchinson Tinker (1825-1915)

Orra Gertrude Tinker (1872-1880)



Francis O. Tinker, apothecary and Norwood’s first town clerk and historian, was born on January 3, 1816 in Worthington, Massachusetts. He lived for many years in Ashby, Massachusetts where he was postmaster, town clerk, librarian, and historian.


On June 15, 1841, Francis Tinker married Jane Amelia Patch. A little over a year later, Jane Tinker died.


On May 11, 1848, Francis Tinker remarried. His wife, Rachel Elizabeth Hutchinson, was born on January 3, 1825 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The couple had three children: Charles, Ella, and Eva.




The Tinker family moved to South Dedham around 1867, and opened a small drugstore at the corner of Nahatan and Washington Streets.


In 1872 at the incorporation of Norwood, Francis Tinker was elected town clerk. He held that office for 23 years until age and ill health caused him to resign in 1895. In addition, he served as a library trustee, and his history of the town appeared in Norwood’s History and Directory of 1890.


On November 13, 1872, shortly after Norwood’s incorporation, Orra Gertrude Tinker was born (although 1873 is engraved on her stone). She was the daughter of Charles Tinker and his wife Ann Maria Wellington Tinker, and the granddaughter of Francis O. Tinker.


Tragically, on March 24, 1880, seven-year-old Orra Gertrude Tinker died of meningitis.

Francis O. Tinker died on June 6, 1896 at his home on Cottage Street. His wife, Rachel Elizabeth Hutchinson Tinker died on June 27, 1915 in Vermont.


All three are interred in the Tinker lot in Old Parish Cemetery.





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