Walter D. Chickering, Lifelong Walpole St. Neighbor
Walter Dean Chickering (1857-1923)
Walter Dean Chickering, the son of John Dean Chickering and Amelia Coakley Chickering, was born on November 12, 1857. He was born in the house that had belonged to his grandparents, Dean and Mary (Dean) Chickering that today still stands at the corner of Chickering Rd. and Walpole Street. At the time of Walter’s birth, the house stood on a farm of many acres, bordered by the property of Samuel Pond and Lewis Guild.
Walter Dean Chickering’s mother, Amelia, died at a young age and Mary Dean Chickering brought up the child. According to a Norwood Messenger account, the boy and grandmother became fast friends with Mary Chickering telling the child many stories of
South Dedham’s early history. Walter also recalled that as he walked to the village school as a boy he passed only three houses: one belonging to Lewis Guild (later the site of the Shattuck mansion and today’s First Congregational Church), on belonging to Mark Hoyle (later the site of the Lewis Plimpton mansion, across from the today’s library), and the original church parsonage, near the corner of Beacon and Walpole streets.
Walter Dean Chickering continued to live in the Chickering House until his death on March 1, 1923. At the time of his death, he was a janitor at the Masonic Temple.