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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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CHARLES N. DYER, merchant, Postmaster, and Town Clerk of Plainfield, was born in that town, January 7, 1850, son of Newell and Mary Ann (Whitmarsh) Dyer. Mr. Dyer’s grandfather, Jesse Dyer, was a son of Christopher Dyer, Jr. Jesse Dyer was a native of Abington, Mass., and settled in the town of Ashfield about the year 1790. He bought a tract of one hundred acres, which he improved into a good farm, first building a small house and later a larger and more substantial residence. He was the first settler in that part of Ashfield, and he became a well-to-do farmer. He died in 1854, aged eighty-five years; and his farm is now owned by B. M. Dyer. On October 4, 1795, he married Sally Pool; and she became the mother of the following children: Jared, Oakes, Bela, Albert, Sarah, Samuel, and Newell. The mother died in 1852, aged seventy-three years.

Newell Dyer, Mr. Dyer’s father, was born in Ashfield, January 23, 1818. He succeeded to the ownership of his father’s farm, which he conducted for five years. Selling the property, he moved to Plainfield, where he bought the Deacon Richards farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres, which he improved to a considerable extent. He resided there for eight years, at the expiration of which he sold, and purchased the farm which is now owned by J. W. Sears, together with an adjoining farm and some outlying lots. He was a successful farmer, a Republican in politics, and a Congregationalist in his religious belief. He died at the age of fifty-four. His first wife, Mary Whitmarsh before marriage, was a daughter of Jacob Whitmarsh. She became the mother of one son, Charles N., the subject of this sketch. She died in 1866, aged forty-seven years. Newell Dyer wedded for his second wife Mrs. Lydia Sears, who survives him, and is now the wife of Lemuel Cross, of Ashfield.

Charles N. Dyer was educated in the schools of his native town, and at the age of sixteen became a clerk in a general store in Hadley, where he remained for one year. He then taught school for seven succeeding winters, his summers being occupied in agricultural pursuits. He then went to Northampton, where he worked at the machinist’s trade until the death of his father caused him to return to Plainfield. He conducted the farm for ten years, and then engaged in mercantile business in the store which is now occupied as a residence by J. W. Sears. After conducting a successful business for seven years, he sold this store; and, purchasing a lot of land adjoining the town hall, he erected his present place of business, which he opened in 1887. He carries a large and varied stock of general merchandise, and enjoys a liberal patronage. Mr. Dyer is a Republican in politics, and is prominent in local affairs. He was a member of the School Committee for twelve years, has been Town Clerk and Treasurer since 1876, Justice of the Peace since 1884, and was appointed Postmaster in 1889, a position which he still holds to general satisfaction.

On October 6, 1872, Mr. Dyer was united in marriage to M. Antoinette Ford. She was born in Hinsdale, Mass., April 2, 1852, daughter of William R. and Cornelia (Worthington) Ford, the former of whom is a prosperous farmer of Peru, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Dyer have three children, namely: Albert F., born August 2, 1873; Genevieve L., born June 7, 1880; and Frederick C., born August 16, 1882.

Mr. Dyer has compiled and issued a complete history of the town of Plainfield from 1785 to 1891, including biographical sketches of twenty-three of the early settlers, with their family genealogy. The work, which was published in 1891, contains one hundred and eighty-seven pages, is well illustrated, and bound in cloth. Five hundred copies were printed, and the book was sought for and highly prized by residents of the town.

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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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