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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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DARWIN E. LYMAN, a prosperous merchant of Cummington, Mass., was born in that town, July 26, 1846, son of Benjamin B. and Roxana (Packard) Lyman. This branch of the Lyman family in America started with Richard Lyman, who was born in old England in 1580. On coming to this country, he settled in Connecticut, where he died in 1640.

Beginning with him, the succeeding lineal representatives were: Robert, born in 1629; John, born in 1660; and Gad, who was born in 1713. Gad settled in Goshen, Mass.; and his son Timothy became the father of John C., whose birth occurred in Northampton in 1775. The last named was the grandfather of Darwin E. Lyman. He first settled in the town of Cummington, where L. Steel now lives, and later purchased the farm of one hundred and fifty acres which is now the property of P. P. Lyman. He erected a house there, which has since been burned, and which stood opposite the present one. He was a man of thrift and enterprise, and before his death he had brought his farm into an excellent state of cultivation. He became the father of five children, namely: Coleston, who died in childhood; Benjamin B.; Hannah; Christie; and Susan.

Benjamin B. Lyman was a native of Goshen, Mass., where his birth took place on September 17, 1807. At his father’s death he purchased the old homestead in Cummington, where he devoted his time and attention to stock-raising, making a specialty of sheep-raising. He built the house now standing. In his political relations he was a Republican, and in religious belief he was orthodox and a member of the Congregational church. His wife was a daughter of Philander Packard. They were the parents of six children; namely, William C., Philander, Agnes, Flora, Alvin, and Darwin E. William C., the eldest-born, entered the United States Navy in 1861 as Assistant Surgeon, but was soon after promoted to the position of Head Surgeon, and served as such until the close of the Civil War. He then went to Chicago, Ill., where he was employed for nine years as physician and surgeon in the hospital, after which for thirteen years he was chairman of the Board of Pension Examiners. He ranked high as an authority in medical and surgical matters. During his war service he had the yellow fever, from which he never fully recovered; and in 1879 he died, when but forty-two years of age. He married Miss Kate Hamlin, who survived him, and is now engaged as clerk in the Interior Department at Washington, D.C.

Darwin E. Lyman, the youngest child of his parents, began at the age of twenty-one years to clerk in the store of L. Orcutt, for whom he worked two years; and then, in company with C. W. Streeter, he bought out his employer, and for six years they conducted a general store with much success. At the end of that time he purchased his partner’s interest, and thereafter carried on the business alone. In 1888 he bought the N. F. Orcutt house and store, and moved his store from the lower part of the village to its present site, where he has one of the best country establishments of the kind in Hampshire County. On August 8, 1894, he was burned out. By the 17th of September he had a store ready for occupancy, and by the 1st of February, 1895, had completed his fine new residence, store, storehouse, and barns. His stock comprises as good an assortment as is to be found anywhere in that section of the State.

On November 20, 1870, he was united in marriage with Miss Julia S. Stevens, daughter of Lafayette and Laura (Packard) Stevens, and who conducts a millinery store in Cummington. They have a son and daughter. The son, Eugene W., born April 4, 1872, a graduate of Amherst College, who in 1894 taught in Williston Seminary, is now an instructor at Lawrenceville, N.J., in a preparatory school where young men are fitted for college. The daughter, Laura A., born May 5, 1874, is a member of the Junior class at Smith College, where she is preparing to become a teacher.

Mr. Lyman is a stanch Republican. He has held the town office of Selectman since 1886, and with the exception of the first two years has acted as chairman of that board. He is a member of the Morning Star Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Conway, 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

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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