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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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EDWARD B. NIMS, M.D., who has charge of the Hospital for the Insane at Northampton, Mass., is a native of New Hampshire, born April 20, 1838, in Sullivan, Cheshire County, son of Seth and Maria (Frost) Nims.

Among the early settlers of Deerfield, in this county, we find the name of Godfrey Nims. The house he built and subsequently lived in still stands at the corner of Main and Academy Streets. It has but recently passed out of the Nims family, after an ownership of one hundred and eighty years. Godfrey Nims was prominent among the pioneers of the town, and his name is engraved on the memorial tablet in the new hall. Some of his descendants settled in New Hampshire, and became leading citizens of that State. One of them, David Nims, great-great-uncle of the subject of this sketch, was the first Town Clerk of Keene, N.H. The paternal grandfather, also named David, was born in Roxbury, N.H., about 1776, and died in 1814. He married Abigail Carter, who survived him, living to the venerable age of fourscore years. She bore her husband eight children — four sons and four daughters — all of whom, with one exception, married, and reared families. One of the sons, Seth, having been brought up a farmer, continued in that occupation after reaching manhood. He entered into matrimony with Maria Frost, whose parents were esteemed members of the farming community of Sullivan. There were born of the union three children, namely: Edward B.; Ellen E., wife of Henry C. Rawson, of Sullivan; and Augustus F., of the same town. The mother died in October, 1865, aged fifty-eight years. The father subsequently married Hannah Dodge, with whom he is still living in his New Hampshire home, hale and vigorous yet, although ninety-two years old.

Dr. Nims was reared on the home farm until sixteen years old, when he was sent to the Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, N.H., to be fitted for college. He made good use of the opportunities here. He was admitted to Williams College in 1858, and graduated four years later. He subsequently entered the medical department of the University of Vermont at Burlington. In May, 1864, he accepted an appointment as Assistant Surgeon of the First Vermont Cavalry, and was in active service in the Civil War under General Sheridan until May, 1865, when he was prostrated with fever. After this his regiment was distributed along the Canadian frontier; and he was mustered out of service August 9, 1865. Dr. Nims then continued his medical studies, taking a full course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and received his degree at the Vermont University. After practising his profession for a short time, he was appointed Assistant Physician in the Vermont State Asylum at Brattleboro. He filled this position from February, 1866, until December, 1868, when he accepted that of Assistant Physician in the Northampton Asylum, under Dr. Pliny Earl. He was appointed Head Physician, his present office, October 21, 1885, when Dr. Earl was retired. He is assisted in his onerous duties by Dr. J. A. Houston, Dr. C. M. Holmes, and Dr. Jane R. Baker, all of whom stand high in the medical fraternity. The hospital receives about two hundred patients annually, who come from the counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire. The building is of brick, very handsome and capacious, four stories high, with a frontage of seven hundred and twelve feet, and is delightfully located, on an eminence overlooking the surrounding country.

On September 5, 1867, Dr. Edward B. Nims was united in marriage with Elizabeth E. Delano, of Ticonderoga, N.Y., being the daughter of Asa P. Delano. The only child born of their union, a son, named Edward Earl Nims, died at this institution, July 26, 1877, at the age of seven years.

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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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