Dedham ( DED-əm) is a town in and the county seat of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 24,729 at the 2010 census. It is located on Boston's southwest border. On the northwest it is bordered by Needham, on the southwest by Westwood, and on the southeast by Canton. The town was first settled by European colonists in 1635.
Settled in 1635 by people from Roxbury and Watertown, Dedham was incorporated in 1636. It became the county seat of Norfolk County when the county was formed from parts of Suffolk County on March 26, 1793. When the Town was originally incorporated, the residents wanted to name it "Contentment." The Massachusetts General Court overruled them and named the town after Dedham, Essex in England, where some of the original inhabitants were born. The boundaries of the town at the time stretched to the Rhode Island border.
At the first public meeting on August 15, 1636, eighteen men signed the town covenant.