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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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HENRY S. GERE, proprietor and publisher of the Hampshire Gazette, a prominent citizen of Northampton and a man of wide-spread influence, was born in Williamsburg, Mass., April 30, 1828, son of Edward and Arabella (Williams) Gere. His paternal grandfather, Isaac Gere, whose parents were Nathan and Jerusha Gere, was born in Preston, Conn., December 6, 1771, and died in Northampton, Mass., September 24, 1812. He was a jeweller by trade, and in 1800 he erected directly opposite the Old Church the first brick store built in Northampton. He was first married on March 1, 1798, to Jemima, daughter of Enos and Abigail Kingsley, of Northampton, and by this union had three children, as follows: Edward, who was born at Northampton, Mass., December 19, 1798; Lucy, born September 11, 1800, died in infancy; Isaac, Jr., who was born February 3, 1803, and died in Oxford, Ohio, in 1851, whither he had gone in 1838. Isaac Gere, Jr., was a man well known in Williamsburg, Mass., where he was engaged as a merchant and woollen manufacturer, and served as Selectman and member of the legislature. He left two sons and daughters. For his second wife Isaac Gere, Sr., married Lucy Ware, by whom he had two sons, Frederick and William, and one daughter, Lucy, who married Dr. Brown, and died in Ohio at an advanced age.

Edward Gere, father of Henry S., was a graduate of Yale College, but on account of impaired health gave up his contemplated professional career and settled on his farm in the northerly part of Williamsburg. He took an active interest in public affairs, and at the time of his death held the office of Selectman. He was a prominent member of the Methodist church and one of the most respected citizens of the town. He was married on October 14, 1824, to Arabella Williams, daughter of Gross Williams, of Williamsburg, Mass. She was born January 6, 1805, and died at Williamsburg, March 5, 1893. Their three children were: Edward W., born April 8, 1826, who died in Leamington, England, on the day of his mother’s death here; Henry S., of Northampton; and Collins, born November 25, 1830, who died at Southampton, April 22, 1882. Edward W. and Collins were manufacturers of brass goods, of the firm of Hayden, Gere & Co., having their headquarters in New York City and their factory at Haydenville in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Edward Gere, the father, died September 24, 1832, in Williamsburg, where both he and his wife are buried.

Henry S. Gere acquired a good practical education in the public schools of Williamsburg and at Wilbraham Academy and Williston Seminary. His business career began at the age of seventeen, when on March 5, 1845, he became the printer’s “devil” in the office of the Hampshire Herald in Northampton. This was the first abolition paper in Western Massachusetts, and had but recently been started. In 1847 young Gere rose to the position of editor. About a year later the Hampshire Herald vias merged into the Northampton Courier, previously a Whig organ; and it was published by Mr. Gere, who had now become its owner, as a Free Soil paper for nearly ten years. In November, 1858, the Courier and the Gazette were united under the name of the Hampshire Gazette, which became the leading Republican paper of the county. Since that time the paper has been published on Gothic Street, in the building purchased by the owners of the Gazette over thirty years ago. The Gazette is now in its one hundred and tenth year.

In 1862 Mr. Gere enlisted in the Fifty-second Massachusetts Infantry, Company C, as a private, and was in the Banks’ expedition to Louisiana. While in rendezvous at Baton Rouge, previous to the attack of Port Hudson, he was appointed Postmaster by General Grover, and held that office until the expiration of his term of service. Soon after the regiment returned, its members formed an association, of which Mr. Gere was chosen secretary and treasurer, which position he still holds. He was married August 22, 1849, to Martha, daughter of Simeon P. and Dorcas (Clapp) Clark, of Easthampton. They buried one child, Frederick, at the age of six years. Their living children are: George S., a printer; Collins H. and Edward C., both associate editors and partners with their father; Mary E., a graduate of Smith College, and at the present time a teacher in the Western Female College in Oxford, Ohio; William H., a reporter on the Hampshire Gazette, and Martha F., a young lady residing at home.

In politics Mr. Gere is an unswerving Republican and an ardent advocate of the principles of his party. In November, 1858, he was chosen Treasurer of the County of Hampshire, in which capacity he served from January 1, 1859, to January 1, 1877, a period of eighteen years. He served as chairman of the Republican County Committee twenty-five years, for six years was on the general School Committee, is one of the Trustees of the Northampton Institution for Savings, and has held various other positions of trust and responsibility. In 1890 the honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by Amherst College. He and his family reside at 75 High Street, where in 1888 he erected his fine residence. The location is picturesque and commands a splendid view of the fair landscape stretching over the beautiful meadows to Mounts Holyoke and Tom in the distance.

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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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