Mar. 31, 1837 Foxboro Norfolk County Massachusetts, USA
Apr. 10, 1925 Taunton Bristol County Massachusetts, USA
Dr. Ashael Sumner Dean (in later years he spelled his name Deane) was born in Foxboro, Mass., March 31, 1837. He received his elementary education in the grammar school of his native town. He then entered the State Normal, which he attended for some time, after which he taught school in Canton, two terms in Foxboro and two terms in Maynard. He was a student of medicine for a time at Pittsfield, Mass., and then entered the Navy on his certificate as a surgeon, remaining until the close of the war. Returning to Pittsfield he graduated in 1865. While in the service he was surgeon on the USS Harvest Moon, flag ship of Admiral Dahlgren's squadron, and in that capacity met many of the best men of the country for those times. During this time he spent one winter in Washington, and was blown up on the government dispatch boat "Harvest Moon." He had among his mess mates Admiral Johnson and Admiral Forsyth. In 1866 Dr. Dean went to Fall River and engaged in the practice of his profession for a few months. He then went to Wrentham, Mass., where he practiced for five years, and in 1871 he located in Taunton where he actively engaged in his profession for the rest of his life.
In 1860 Dr. Dean was married to Virginia Hughes, who was born in Pittsburg, Mass. Their children were Ellen Virginia, born October 16, 1861; Frederick Sumner born August 8, 1864, died May 20, 1883 while a member of the freshman class at Amherst College; Fanny Brown, born in 1867 and died soon after; Lemira Harris born June 22, 1868, married William C. Hawley of Malden, Mass., and had three children, Alice Sumner (born Nov. 12, 1893), Catharine Deane (born Feb 16, 1896) and William Sumner (born Sep 17, 1901).
During the Civil War Acting Assistant Surgeon Dean served on the USS Harvest Moon from the time it was commissioned at Charlestown, Mass. in February 1864 until it was torpedoed in Winyah Bay, South Carolina on March 1, 1865. During this time he frequently wrote home to his wife and family. Many of his letters during this time have survived and provide insight to wartime conditions and life on a Naval ship on blockade duty in the South Atlantic.