My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

AUSTIN GEER, who is successfully engaged in general farming and dairying in the town of Worthington, was born within the borders of that town on October 18, 1821, being a son of Luther and Joanna Geer, the former of whom was a native of Peru, Mass., and the latter of Chesterfield, Mass.

Luther Geer followed the different occupations of carpenter, farmer, and shoemaker, the last named only to a limited extent. In 1810 he settled in Worthington, purchasing about one hundred acres of land, but little of which had been cleared and brought into a state of cultivation. Later on he added to it by the purchase of forty acres. The last years of his life were spent on his farm, where he died in April, 1854. His wife’s death occurred over twenty years previously, in January, 1832, leaving nine children: Roxana, Sherman, Warren L., Rosilla J., Lucy, Austin, Dolly Ann, Clarinda, and Maria D. Of these but two, Austin and Rosilla, are now living. Their father subsequently married Miss Lydia Bisbee, of Chesterfield, Mass., the ceremony being performed on May 30, 1832. Marietta Geer, the only child born of the latter union, died when but twenty years of age. In politics Mr. Geer was a Whig.

Austin Geer continued to live with his parents for a year after he attained his majority. He then for two years followed the business of a pedler with good success, but was taken sick with a fever, which laid him up for about a year. When again able to work he accepted a position in a store in Pittsfield, where he remained for eight months. He next engaged in agriculture, and, being possessed of good business ability and prudence, his enterprises have prospered so that he is now the owner of over five hundred acres of land. He carries on general farming, raises a good quantity of such standard New England products as corn, oats, and potatoes, and also engages moderately in dairying. On October 9, 1849, Mr. Geer was joined in marriage with Miss Lucy Ann Osgood, whose birth occurred in New Lebanon, N. Y., December 27, 1823. Her parents, Safford and Olive (Abby) Osgood, were respectively natives of New Hampshire and New York. They came to Massachusetts in 1830, first settling in Peru, and later on removing to Worthington. Her father was a mason by trade, and also followed agriculture with success. He spent the last years of his life in Worthington, where he died February 1, 1890. His wife died many years previously, on February 22, 1864. Both are buried in Worthington. Mr. and Mrs. Geer’s union has been blessed by four children, as follows: Ann Jane, born August 13, 1850, living at home; Millard Henry, born April 4, 1852, who died March 24, 1854; Charles Preston, born August 3, 1856; and Addie F., born November 5, 1861, who died May 27, 1865. Charles Preston Geer, who has made his home with his parents, is, like his father, a successful farmer; and in connection with that avocation he devotes some time to that of pedler. On September 15, 1892, he was married to Miss Lemira Edith Pelton, who was born in Springfield, Mass., July 10, 1864. She is a daughter of John Winfield and Lemira Phoebe (Kingsley) Pelton. The father was born June 23, 1821; and the mother’s birth occurred in Plainfield, Mass., May 29, 1829. Mr. Pelton was a carpenter and builder throughout his life. He died April 3, 1866, and is buried in Springfield, Mass. He was the father of the following children: George F.; Francis G.; Louis D.; Franklin E.; Charles S.; John W., Jr.; Lemira Edith; and Martha I. Lemira Edith and John W., Jr., are the only survivors. The latter, who is a travelling salesman for a Boston firm, was married October 23, 1886, to Miss Lizzie Jones Bartlett, of Hartford, Conn., and has two children: Alice Frances and George Bartlett. Mrs. Pelton lives with her daughter.

Mr. Geer is a Republican in politics, and has always been an ardent advocate of the principles of his party. During the past twenty years he has rendered faithful and efficient service as Highway Surveyor. He served acceptably as Selectman in 1891, and has also acted as Overseer of the Poor.

* * * *

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

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.