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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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ASA DICKINSON, a thorough farmer and respected citizen of Amherst, was born in that town on February 24, 1809, son of Asa and Salome (Hastings) Dickinson.

His grandfather, Nathan Dickinson, came to Amherst from Hatfield, settling in the eastern part of the town. At that time there were few inhabitants, and the larger part of the town was covered with forests of primitive growth. Though settling in a new country, where the conditions demanded a great deal of labor and hardship, he nevertheless lived to a good age. He was the father of a large family of children. His son, Asa Dickinson, was reared to the business of a farmer, but was never a man of much physical strength. He died of consumption at sixty-three years of age, and his wife lived to be seventy-six years old. Their union was blessed by the birth of three children, of whom but one, Asa Dickinson, is now living. The others were: Friend Dickinson, who was born April 6, 1806, and died November 22, 1851; and Noble Dickinson, born December 14, 1807, who died October 27, 1887.

Asa Dickinson was but fifteen years of age at his father’s death. After that event he assisted his mother in running the farm, and later on he purchased the old home with its forty acres of land. To this he has since added, so that he now has a farm of one hundred and fifty acres. Intelligent industry has brought him success, and to-day he has an excellent farm and a desirable residence. At the present time the farm work is performed by his two younger sons, who carry on general operations.

On January 20, 1841, he was united in marriage with Miss Louisa Sprout, of Hardwick, Mass., where her birth occurred on May 24, 1809. Three sons and a daughter have been born to them in the following order, namely: Edwin H., born September 10, 1843, who lives in Pennsylvania; Albert S., born December 22, 1845, residing on the home farm in Amherst; William A., who was born November 19, 1849, also living at the farm; and Emma L., born August 23, 1855, who is the wife of Fred Dickinson, and resides in Amherst. Their mother died on April 2, 1890.

Mr. Dickinson’s politics are independent. His religious views are liberal. His wife was a member of the Congregational church. Though well advanced in years, being one of the oldest citizens of Amherst, Mr. Dickinson still retains a good amount of mental vigor and bodily activity.

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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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