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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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EUGENE G. KELLEY, an enterprising and successful merchant of Greenwich and Postmaster of that town, was born in Greenwich, January 25, 1857, son of George S. and Delia S. (Edson) Kelley.

Mr. Kelley’s great-grandfather, George Kelley, who was born December 23, 1755, was the original ancestor of the family to locate in Greenwich. He followed agriculture as an occupation during his entire life, and died in Greenwich, December 14, 1819. His wife, Hoxia Kelley, became the mother of nine children: Rebecca, Rhoda, Sampson, Elias, Olive, Sylvia, Chloe, Seth, and Smith. She died August 30, 1826. Smith Kelley, Mr. Kelley’s grandfather, was a resident in Greenwich from the time when he was a young man until his death. He owned a good farm in the north-west part of the town, which he conducted successfully. He died at the age of seventy-eight years. He married for his first wife Caroline Titus, who died in 1832, leaving one son, George S. His second wife was Lydia Childs, and she became the mother of three children, namely: Adelia C., who died at the age of thirty-two; Sophia, who became Mrs. Sly, and is now living in Athol, Mass.; and Mary, who died aged eighteen. Smith Kelley’s second wife died September 23, 1879.

George S. Kelley, Mr. Kelley’s father, was born in Greenwich, March 9, 1832. During his childhood he received injuries which crippled him for life; and when a young man he learned the trade of a shoemaker, which he followed as an occupation for some time. In 1862 he moved to Greenwich Plains, where he purchased a small farm of four acres, and, relinquishing his trade, devoted his time and attention to market gardening, in which he became very successful. He erected a substantial residence and other buildings; and his barn, which he built in 1890, is one of the finest in that part of the town. By judicious management he made his small property pay so well that he was able to invest in land in different parts of Greenwich, and this he devoted to the cultivation of grain. He also engaged quite extensively in dairying. He continued to reside upon the original four-acre farm, however, and passed the remainder of his life there. He died May 21, 1892. In his religious views he was liberal, and in politics he was a stanch Republican. His wife, Delia S. Edson before marriage, who was born in Hartford, Conn., August 4, 1837, was a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Towne) Edson. Her father was a native of New Braintree, Mass.; and his parents were Elijah and Nancy (Barr) Edson, the former of whom was also born there. Elijah Edson raised a family of eight children: Marshall, Sally, Lucinda, Cordelia, Lorinda, Harvey, Samuel, and Nancy. Samuel Edson, father of Mrs. George S. Kelley, was a prosperous farmer, a Republican in politics, and spent the greater part of his active life in Greenwich, where he died at the age of forty-three. His wife, Sarah Towne in her maidenhood, was a native of Greenwich; and her parents, Jonathan and Betsey (Stratton) Towne, raised a family of six children, who were named: Jonathan, Truman, Eliza, Rufus, Orrin, and Sarah. Samuel and Sarah (Towne) Edson, Mrs. George S. Kelley’s parents, raised a family of five children, as follows: Delia; Harriet A.; Julia M.; Ella M.; and Clarence P., who is no longer living. The children of Mr. and Mrs. George S. Kelley are as follows: Eugene G., the subject of this sketch; Lillian H., who was born February 3, 1859, and resides at home; and Nellie M., who was born June 2, 1862, and is now employed in her brother’s store. The mother is still living, and is engaged in carrying on the farm.

Eugene G. Kelley was educated in the schools of his native town, and at an early age commenced to assist his father in farming and gardening. He continued in that occupation until 1884, at which time he began a mercantile business in Greenwich Plains. He now conducts a general country store, in which he carries a large and varied stock of merchandise. His aim is to sell the best quality of goods at nominal prices. He has created for himself an enviable business reputation, and is a very successful merchant. He also does a large business in the buying and selling of country produce. He is actively interested in church work. He is a Republican in politics, and in 1884 was appointed Postmaster, a position which he has since filled with marked ability.

On May 25, 1881, Mr. Kelley was united in marriage to Carrie Lyman, his first wife. She was born in Granby, Mass., daughter of George J. Lyman, who resides in Hartford, Conn. She died November 18, 1892, leaving four children, as follows: Lewis S., who was born June 25, 1882; Ambrose, born April 17, 1884; Marion, born January 22, 1886; and Raymond, born May 28, 1888. His second wife, whom he wedded June 6, 1894, was before marriage Cora E. Hunter. She was born in Waterbury, Conn., daughter of George L. and Susan E. (Wheeler) Hunter.

George L. Hunter was born in Prescott, Mass., February 9, 1847, son of William J. and Hannah (Shaw) Hunter. Mr. Hunter’s grandfather, William Hunter, was an early settler in Prescott, where he became a prosperous farmer and resided for many years. His latter years were passed in Hardwick, Mass., where he died at an advanced age. He was the father of six children, two of whom are still living; namely, Mrs. Ann Root and Mrs. Fanny Smith, both residing in Greenwich.

William J. Hunter, Mr. Hunter’s father, was born in Prescott in 181 7, and was a life-long resident of that town. He was a successful farmer and stock dealer, making a specialty of importing Canadian horses. He was a well-known and energetic business man, and owned a good farm, which he cultivated with satisfactory results during the active period of his life. He was a Republican in politics. His wife, Hannah Shaw in maidenhood, who was born in Prescott, April 25, 1819, became the mother of five children, two of whom are now living, namely: Eliza, wife of Austin Jamison, a resident of Prescott; and George L., who is the youngest.

George L. Hunter was educated in the schools of Prescott; and at the age of eighteen he began farming upon his own account, in which he continued for three years. He then went to Greenfield, where he engaged in the fish business for a time; and from there he went to Waterbury, Conn., where he remained for one year. He then returned to Prescott; and, after spending some time in farming, he was employed in a bucket factory in Swanzey, N.H., for seven years. He next resided for a short time in Natick, Mass.; and in 1885 he returned to Prescott, where he has since lived. He engaged in selling tinware upon the road for a time; and in 1889 he built a blacksmith shop, which he has since conducted with profit. He resides upon the old Hunter farm in Prescott, employing assistants to carry it on. He is also engaged in handling agricultural implements and standard fertilizers, and, in company with his son, conducts a general mercantile business in Prescott.

Mr. Hunter was married in May, 1868, to Susan E. Wheeler, of Prescott, daughter of Thomas and Susan Wheeler, the former of whom was a prosperous farmer. Mrs. Hunter’s parents are no longer living. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter have two children, namely: Charles H., who is in mercantile business in Prescott; and Cora E., who is now Mrs. Eugene G. Kelley. Mr. Hunter is an active and able business man, and is now enjoying a well-earned prosperity. He is a Republican in politics, and is at present serving as Tax Collector.

Mr. and Mrs. Kelley possess a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and socially they are very popular in the community.

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This family biography is one of 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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