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William Ellis (1830-1908)

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

William Ellis was born in 1830 in Walpole. He came to South Dedham some years later and married Anna Mariann Hurd (1847-1929) on August 7, 1869 in Dedham. They had three children: William “Willie” Harris, Charles Granville, and Eva Mabel.

Plimpton Foundry

As soon as he came to the area, William Ellis began work at the J. E. Plimpton Foundry and continued as a moulder his entire working life.

According to the Norwood Messenger, Ellis was “a much-esteemed old resident” of Norwood when he died in October of 1908 at his home at 232 Nahatan Street.

The 1908 home of William Ellis

The obituary went on to say, “He was a hard-working, quiet, faithful man and had the good will of friends and neighbors. He was a man of great kindness of heart and probably had not an enemy in the world.” Ellis had been in failing health for some time but, the newspaper noted, he had “rallied considerably” and “had been about a good deal during the past summer,” although acknowledging he had not “regained his old strength.”

Ellis was a great friend of George E. Metcalf of 87 Vernon Street and shortly before he died, he had visited Metcalf at which time both being in poor health, “they had joked together about a planned hunting trip.”

William Ellis was 78 when he died. He was survived by his widow, Anna, and a daughter, Eva, both sons having predeceased their father.

After a few years, his widow moved from their Nahatan Street home to an apartment in the newly-constructed Talbot Building at the corner of Guild and Washington Streets. Anna Hurd Ellis died in 1929; she too was interred in the William Ellis lot. Also buried in the family plot is Anna’s sister, Sarah C. Hurd, who died of consumption in 1863 and William and Anna’s daughter, Eva Ellis Richard, who died in 1960, and was likely the last person interred in the Old Parish Cemetery.

William “Willie” Harris who had been born on May 22, 1870, died before his first birthday on May 11, 1871. Only little William “Willie” Harris Ellis has a gravestone.

Willie Harris Ellis' gravestone before(left) and after Old Parish Volunteers restoration.

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