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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ALBERT NICHOLS, a veteran agriculturist, is one of the oldest native-born citizens of Hampshire County, his birth having occurred in the town of Chesterfield, January 5, 1812. He is a son of the late Joshua Nichols, who was born in Plymouth County, Mass., in that part of the town of Pembroke now included within the limits of Hanson. Joshua Nichols was a farmer by occupation, and came to this county in his early manhood. He was united in marriage to one of Chesterfield’s fairest daughters. Miss Rebecca Witherell, who died in 1828. He was a man of prominence in these parts, having served as Selectman, Assessor, and Overseer of the Poor. After living to a good old age he died in 1853. He reared nine children, of whom Albert, the subject of this sketch, is the only survivor. Those deceased were: Olive, Harvey, Varnum, Lucy, Mary, John, Asahel, and Theron.

Albert Nichols received a good education in the public schools, and at the age of sixteen years began to assist his father on the homestead. On reaching his majority, he hired out his services among the neighboring farmers. Having saved up a little money he went westward in 1834, locating in Geauga County, Ohio. Here he spent three years working in the fields during seed-time and harvest, and teaching school in a pioneer log house in the winter season. In 1837 Mr. Nichols, being entirely satisfied with his share of experience in frontier life, returned to Chesterfield, and, after attending the academy one term, bought a farm, which he labored hard to clear and improve. Twenty years later he disposed of that and bought a small tract of land in the village, which he tilled successfully for another score of years. He bought the farm where he now resides in 1863-65. This property has also prospered, it being now well under cultivation and substantially improved.

On April 12, 1838, Mr. Nichols was united in marriage with Clarinda B. Johnson, a daughter of William and Sylvia Johnson, respectively natives of Williamsburg and Mansfield, Mass. Mr. Johnson spent his entire life in Williamsburg. Mrs. Johnson survived him, and passed her declining years at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols. The latter became the parents of three children: Warner B., William J., and John H. The eldest son, Warner, was a clerk in the employment of the government when the late rebellion broke out, and enlisted from Washington in a regiment of cavalry. At the close of hostilities he returned to Washington, obtained a position as clerk in a land office, and remained a resident of that city until his death, June 14, 1875. William J. likewise served in the late Civil War, and at the battle of the Wilderness received a gunshot wound, from the effects of which he died at the hospital in Washington, May 30, 1864. John H., now a resident of Brooklyn, was educated in the navy. He has been twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Emma Robbins, died in Hartford, Conn.; and he subsequently married his present wife, Mrs. Sallie Muse, of Virginia.

While so laudably attending to his own interests Mr. Nichols has not been unmindful of the interests of his native town and county. He has served both with ability and fidelity in several official capacities. For a quarter of a century he was Town Clerk, was Selectman and Assessor for many years, has been an earnest worker in behalf of the schools all his life, and was a member of the School Board from 1838 until 1875. He was also a Justice of the Peace for a long period of time, his term of office having expired August 24, 1895. Three different terms Mr. Nichols represented his district in the State legislature, serving twice in the lower house and one term in the Senate. In politics the subject was at one time identified with the Know Nothing party. He afterward became a Republican, but of late years he votes the Prohibition ticket.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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