James Dean was born around 1723. He was likely a descendant of Walter Dean of Chard, England. He married Agnes McIntire on 16 July 1747 in Rutland, Massachusetts, and they did not have any children.
James Dean was one of the first ten settlers of Oakham in late 1750. He settled on the Dean Farm in 1750, and built on it the first frame house in Oakham, Massachusetts. He was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church from 1767, until it was reorganized as the Congregational Church. He served as a selectman and as an assessor in Oakham.
Agnes McIntire died on 21 April 1776 in Oakham, Massachusetts. Deacon James Dean married Sarah Hardy on 25 May 1777, and they did not have any children.
During the American Revolution, Deacon James Dean was represented by Matthew McGilligan in Captain Samuel Dexter’s Company, Col. Ebenezer Learned’s Regiment. He was represented by McGilligan in the Continental Army for three years.
Sarah Hardy died on 24 June 1786 in Oakham. Deacon James Dean married Esther Partridge on 16 July 1787 in Oakham, Massachusetts, and they had four children: James Dean (1788-1868), John Dean (1789-1860), Silas Dean (1791-aft. 1836), and Lucy Dean (1793-unk).
Deacon James Dean died on 9 February 1812 in Oakham, Massachusetts, and was buried with his first two wives in the Oakham Congregational Church Cemetery in Oakham.
[Excerpted from A Genealogy of the Descendants of James Dean: One of the First Settlers of Oakham, MA (1889), by Gardner Milton Dean].
The picture at left is Compatriot John Dean visiting his ancestor’s grave in 2002.