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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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HON. DANIEL BATES GILLETT, whose portrait is herewith presented, is a retired business man of Enfield, Mass., and ex-member of the State Senate. He was born in South Hadley, July 21, 1819, son of Daniel and Edith (Bates) Gillett. Mr. Gillett is a descendant of Cornelius Gillett, who emigrated from England to Dorchester, Mass., in 1635, and in 1636 settled in Windsor, Conn., where he passed the remainder of his life. He married Priscilla Kelsey, and raised a family of nine children. Daniel Gillett, Mr. Gillett’s grandfather, a prosperous farmer of Windsor, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War; and at the close of that struggle he resumed farming in Windsor, where he died at the age of eighty-nine years. On November 2, 1769, he married Amy Palmer, and became the father of five children, his namesake, Daniel, Mr. Gillett’s father, being the eldest son. His second wife, whom he married February 15, 1789, was Alithina Gratia Rowland.

Daniel Gillett, son of Daniel and Amy (Palmer) Gillett, was born in Windsor, Conn., September 25, 1781. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits during the greater part of his active life, and was conducting trade in Granville, Mass., in 1812. He subsequently moved to South Hadley Falls, where he entered into partnership with Ariel Cooley; and the firm of Gillett & Cooley was the leading mercantile concern in that town for many years. They ran a line of boats to Hartford, which proved a profitable investment; and they also owned and conducted a flax-seed oil mill. The firm continued until the death of Mr. Cooley, after which the enterprise was carried on alone by Mr. Daniel Gillett until his death, which occurred January 15, 1824. He was a stanch patriot, an able business man, and a useful citizen. His wife, Edith Bates, whom he married November 20, 1806, was born in Granville, Mass., May 1, 1781, daughter of Colonel Jacob Bates, and sister of the Hon. Isaac C. Bates, of Northampton. Colonel Bates served seven years in the Revolutionary War, and was with Washington at the memorable crossing of the Delaware in the winter of 1776. Mrs. Edith Bates Gillett became the mother of seven children, two of whom are now living, namely: Edward, who resides in Westfield, Mass.; and Daniel Bates, the subject of this sketch, who is the youngest. The deceased were: Catherine; Elizabeth; Mary Ann; Daniel, first; and Edith. The mother died August 5, 1853.

Daniel Bates Gillett grew to manhood in South Hadley, and received his education in the Woodbridge School and at the Hopkins Academy in Hadley. After completing his studies he went to Hartford, Conn., and secured a position in the store of Daniel Buck & Co., with whom he remained for two years. He then went to Amherst, Mass., where he was engaged as a clerk in the store of Sweetzer & Cutler for two years, at the expiration of which time he formed a partnership with a Mr. Ingraham and engaged in business in South Hadley Falls. This firm carried on trade successfully for three years, a greater part of which time Mr. Gillett served as Postmaster. In 1846 he moved to Enfield, where, in company with Woods Brothers, he engaged in the woollen manufacture, conducting a large and profitable business for more than forty years, making a specialty of producing cotton warp goods, which were extensively sold throughout the country. The business averaged one hundred thousand dollars per year, and employed a force of fifty skilful workmen. In 1 890 Mr. Gillett practically retired from active pursuits, but is still financially interested with J. W. Flint in conducting a large lumber business, and is still owner personally of the village grist-mill.

On May 6, 1845, Daniel B. Gillett was united in marriage to Charlotte Woods, daughter of Leonard Woods, of Enfield. Mrs. Charlotte W. Gillett died August 20, 1856, leaving two children, as follows: Daniel Bates, Jr., who was born May 5, 1846, and is now an expert mining engineer on the Pacific Coast; and Rufus W., born August 18, 1849, who is now a physician in Danville, Ill. Daniel B. Gillett, Jr., married Anna S. Carr, and has two children, namely: Charlotte E. W., born December 5, 1868; and Burroughs E. C., born in April, 1870. Rufus W. Gillett married Alice Wilkinson and has two children: Daniel W., born October 28, 1882; and Rufus W., Jr., born July 11, 1892. On September 25, 1858, Mr. Daniel B. Gillett married for his second wife Persis L. Winslow, sister of Dr. J. W. Winslow, of Easthampton. She died March 20, 1880.

Mr. Gillett is one of the oldest residents of Enfield. He has been an active and energetic business man, and is now enjoying a well-earned retirement. His homestead, which consists of twenty-five acres, is delightfully situated upon an elevation of one hundred feet above Swift River at the foot of Mount Quabbin, and is surrounded by the beautiful mountain scenery of Western Massachusetts. The valley is supposed to have been a favorite hunting-ground of the Indians, and many relics are found there. Mr. Gillett has in his possession a large number of these, and he also has several letters written by his grandfather during the Revolutionary War. He is an exceedingly pleasant gentleman to meet and a general favorite with his fellow-townsmen. He has been a member of the Congregational church since early manhood. He was formerly a Whig in politics, but later joined the Republican party, and served as a Selectman and in other town offices for several years, one of which he was Postmaster. He was County Commissioner for two years, and in 1865 and 1866 he was a member of the State Senate from the district which included Hampshire and Franklin Counties. He is a member of Bethel Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Enfield, and also High Priest in King Solomon Royal Arch Chapter, now removed to Warren, Mass.

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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

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