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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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MERRIAM KING, an energetic farmer of Prescott and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in New Salem, Mass., July 6, 1834, son of Joseph and Joanna (Vaughn) King. Mr. King’s grandfather, Samuel King, was an early settler in New Salem, where he cleared and improved a good farm, upon which he resided for the remainder of his life. His family consisted of six children — three sons and three daughters — all of whom have passed away.

Joseph King, father of Mr. King, was born and reared on the farm. He learned the trade of a carpenter, and followed that occupation in connection with farming. He was an industrious and progressive man and a useful citizen. His latter years were passed upon the present farm of his son Merriam in Prescott, and he lived to the age of eighty-four years. He was formerly a Whig in politics, but later supported the Republican party. His wife, Joanna Vaughn, who was a native of Shutesbury, Mass., became the mother of nine children, seven of whom grew to maturity. Of these two are now living, namely: Lavonia, widow of Varnum V. Vaughn, who resides in New Salem; and Merriam, the subject of this sketch. Those deceased were: Clarissa, Merrill, Joseph H., John M., Maria, Sanford R., and Emory S. The mother lived to the age of eighty-four. Mr. King’s parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Merriam King grew to manhood in New Salem, and received his education in the schools of that town. At the age of fifteen he commenced life for himself by working in a box factory at fifteen dollars per month. After remaining there for a time, he engaged in various employments until July 26, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company H, Twenty-first Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, under Captain Rice, and served six months in the Civil War. He was honorably discharged December 31 of the same year on account of injuries received in a railroad accident, from which he has never fully recovered. After leaving the service, Mr. King returned to his native State, and engaged in different occupations until 1885, when he purchased his present farm in Prescott, where he has since resided. His property consists of ninety acres of well-improved land; and, being thrifty and energetic, his farming operations have yielded satisfactory results. He is a Republican in politics, and has served with ability as a Selectman, Assessor, and Overseer of the Poor for the past five years.

Mr. King has been twice married. On November 26, 1856, he wedded for his first wife Samantha Haskins, a native of New York State, who died January 25, 1857. On November 26, 1863, he married for his second wife Laura A. Warner, daughter of Cullen and Lucy (Cooley) Warner. Cullen Warner was born in Sheffield, Mass., December 22, 1797, was a carpenter and a farmer, and resided in Greenwich for more than fifty years. He was prosperous in business, a Democrat in politics, prominent in public affairs, and served as Selectman, Assessor, Town Clerk, and Representative to the legislature. He died in Greenwich, October 25, 1877. His wife, who was born in Brookfield, November 14, 1795, had eleven children. Seven of these are now living, namely: Mary, George, Eliza, Ann W., and Phoebe M., who are residents of Greenwich; Jennie, who resides in Springfield; and Laura A., now Mrs. King. Those deceased were: Lucy A., Caroline, Maria, and Frank M. The mother died in Greenwich, December 10, 1857. Mr. and Mrs. King have one daughter, named Leona M., who was born December 30, 1885. Mrs. King is a member of the Congregational church.

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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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