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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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GEORGE DRESSER, a well-known and much respected farmer and land-owner of Goshen, was born on the farm where he now resides, July 12, 1820, son of Moses and Vesta (Cushman) Dresser. His grandparents on the paternal side were Reuben and Mary (Burnell) Dresser; and his great-grandfather, Richard Dresser, was the son of Richard Dresser, Sr., who came from England at an early day in the history of this country.

Reuben Dresser, the grandfather, was a native of Charlton, Worcester County, Mass. He moved to Goshen, where his brother-in-law, William White, was engaged in farming on what is now known as the White homestead, at a time when that part of the journey between Chesterfield and Goshen had to be made on foot, there being but a cow path in place of a road. He bought seven hundred acres of uncultivated land, and cleared about two hundred acres, building thereon a log house, which was later replaced by a large and substantial dwelling, though on a site slightly removed from the original primitive home. He kept a large amount of stock, mostly cattle and sheep, and became one of the most thriving agriculturists of his town. He was a Whig in politics, and held many town offices, which he filled with credit to himself and benefit to his constituents. His marriage to Mary Burnell took place in Chesterfield.

Their son Moses, father of George Dresser, was born on the farm in the large house above referred to, October 27, 1789. He remained at home after reaching manhood, and assisted his father in the duties of the farm, and at the latter’s death came into possession of the homestead. He was engaged in general farming; and he also built a saw-mill, and engaged to some extent in lumbering and custom work. Like his father he was a Whig; but on the formation of the Republican party he joined it, and remained faithful to its principles thereafter. He served the town as Selectman for a number of years, and was one of the most prominent citizens of Goshen. He died at the age of eighty-eight years, after a well-spent life. His wife, Vesta Cushman, attained the age of seventy-seven. Their children were by name as follows: Caleb C., Levi, Martha (deceased), George, Dorothy, Chloe, Wealthy, Rufus C., and Martha (second).

George Dresser received his education partly at a select school and partly at New Salem Academy. He remained at home, and took care of his parents in their later years, and after their death in 1854 came into possession of the farm. He then sold the place, and went to Hermon, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., where he engaged in mercantile business for some time; but, as the buyer of the estate failed to make good his purchase, the property came again into his possession, and in 1860 he returned to Goshen, and settled down on the homestead of his immediate ancestors. He had previously, in 1846, built the present house; and he has since in other ways improved the property, and is now reckoned among the thriving farmers of the town. His son, George C., resides with him, and takes an active part in the general superintendence of the farm work.

Mr. Dresser was married January 14, 1847, to Miss Alvey Stone, a daughter of Colonel Luther Stone. She was born January 17,
1825, and died October 7, 1893, after many years of faithful performance of her duties as wife and mother. Her children were as follows: Henry B., born December 17, 1849, married Alice Montgomery, and they have four children, and reside in Goshen; George C. was born February 18, 1852; Vesta C., born September 8, 1854, married Edward C. Packard, and died May 18, 1879, at the age of twenty-four years, leaving two children — Edward W. and Laurence.

Mr. Dresser is a Republican in politics. He has served the town as Collector and Treasurer as well as Selectman, and has been School Commissioner for twenty years. He stands high in the estimation of his fellow-townsmen, and may be justly considered as a good representative of the farming community of Hampshire County. See portrait* on a preceding page.

*Editor's note: Portrait was included in the original printed book.

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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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