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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 W. FELTON, a stirring and enterprising farmer of Enfield, was born in the town of Ware, September 9, 1859, son of Daniel B. and Arvilla (Grover) Felton.

The first representative of the Felton family in this country came from England in the person of Nathaniel Felton. He was born about the year 1615, and settled in Salem, Mass., when only sixteen or seventeen years of age. In the course of time he became a prominent citizen of that place, winning the esteem of his fellow-men as a man of good judgment and integrity. He married Miss Mary Skelton, a daughter of the Rev. Samuel Skelton, who was the first minister of Salem. Mr. Felton died on July 30, 1705, at the advanced age of ninety years; and his wife died on May 8, 1701, aged seventy-five years. Ebenezer Felton, son of Nathaniel Felton, born in Salem in 1685, was a carpenter by trade. He was one of the first settlers of New Salem, Mass., to which place he went with his five sons in 1740, when fifty-five years of age. In November, 1742, he and his wife were transferred from Salem church to the church in New Salem. He was the first Deacon of the church, and was the first Town Clerk in New Salem. He was one of the Selectmen in 1753, the year the town was incorporated. He died in 1776, aged ninety years. His wife, it is believed, lived several years after her husband’s death.

Amos Felton, grandson of Ebenezer, and grandfather of Charles W. Felton, was born in Shutesbury, Mass., December 5, 1779. He followed the calling of a farmer throughout his life, residing in the town of New Salem, which was formerly a part of Shutesbury. He died in New Salem on April 24, 1850. For his first wife he married Miss Lydia King, who was born January 27, 1779, and was a daughter of Samuel King, of New Salem. Nine children of this union were reared, but all have since died. Their mother’s death occurred July 31, 1839. Mr. Felton’s second union was with Mrs. Eunice Thomas. She died in 1874, leaving no children.

Daniel B. Felton, who was a native of what is now called New Salem, Mass., was born August 31, 1814. Soon after leaving his parental home to start in life for himself, he settled in Abington, Mass., and remained there until about the year 1857, when he removed to Ware. Here, in company with others, he engaged in a large lumber business, and operated a saw-mill. He died in Ware, August 24, 1861. He was an attendant of the Universalist church, and was a Republican in politics. He was twice married. His first union was with Miss Lydia Felton. She died on February 18, 1847, leaving five children. After her death he married Miss Arvilla Grover, who was born in Denmark, Me., in 1835, daughter of Lemuel and Hannah (Long) Grover, of Denmark, Me. Six children were born of the latter union. Of all Daniel B. Felton’s children seven are now living, as follows: Mary L., who married William Wheeler, residing in Worcester, Mass.; Hattie A., the wife of Arthur Hunt, of Brockton, Mass.; Daniel T., residing in Worcester; Lydia A. R., who married Lyman Hathaway, of Ware; John W., residing in Hinsdale; Webster F., who lives in Greenwich; and Charles W., the subject of this article. The deceased were: Henry C., Joanna B., Ida E., and Frank B. After her husband’s death Mrs. Arvilla Felton was joined in marriage with Sidney Richards, of Enfield, where he resided, on the farm now owned by her son, Charles W. Felton. This farm had been in the Richards family since about 1800, having been first occupied by James Richards and his wife, formerly Sarah Rich. They were succeeded at their death by their son Sidney, who was born on September 7, 1797. He died January 9, 1881. His union with Mrs. Felton was blessed by the birth of a daughter, Susan A., now the wife of Edgar O. Cogswell, and residing in Allston, near Boston, Mass. Mrs. Richards died February 23, 1895.

Charles W. Felton was five years old at the time his mother settled in Enfield. He acquired a good practical education in the common schools of Enfield and at New Salem Academy, after which he turned his attention to farming, and has continued in that occupation since. He now has a choice farm of two hundred acres, where he successfully carries on mixed farming and dairying. He keeps fifty head of cattle. The farm buildings have been remodelled and improved since he purchased the place. Everywhere can be seen evidences of the proprietor’s enterprise and good judgment.

In January, 1880, he was united in marriage with Miss Angenette I. Cogswell, who was born in New Salem, June 22, 1861, a daughter of Henry and Lura (Underwood) Cogswell. Her father is successfully engaged in farming and lumbering in New Salem. Her mother died on July 23, 1873. Mr. Cogswell entered into a second marriage with Miss Faustina A. Stone, on June 2, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Felton have no children. Mr. Felton casts his vote with the Republican party, and for several years he has been chairman of the Republican Town Committee. He takes much interest in the welfare of his town, and for several years has served faithfully as Assessor. He has also filled the office of Road Commissioner since it was created. He is a member of Bethel Lodge, A. F. & A. M. Mrs. Felton is a communicant of the Congregational church at Enfield.

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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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