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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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THEOPHILUS EDWARDS, a prominent and well-known agriculturist of Westhampton, was born November 9, 1826, in the house where he now lives, and which was also the dwelling of his father, Samuel Edwards, during his entire life.

The annals of Hampshire County show that the Edwards family were among its earliest settlers. Samuel Edwards, Sr., the paternal grandfather of Theophilus Edwards, was born and reared in Southampton. After his marriage he located in Westhampton, buying the homestead property on which his children were born, and on which he and his wife, formerly Silence Judd, spent their remaining days. She passed away in 1840, and his death occurred two years later.

Samuel Edwards, father of Theophilus, succeeded to the ownership of the home farm, which he managed successfully, placing much of the land under cultivation. He was a man of good mental attainments, and had much practical sagacity, duly appreciated by his neighbors. He represented the district in the State legislature during the year 1854-55. He married Betsey Ludden, a native of Williamsburg, Mass., and brought her to the home of his boyhood; there they reared their family and spent their declining years. His wife died in 1857, and he died in 1869. The record of the ten children born to them is as follows: Mrs. Maria Thayer died in Amherst in July, 1895; Asa C. resides in Springfield; Samuel F. died at the age of twenty-one years; Betsey lives in East Amherst; Eli Ludden died at the age of seventy-four years; F. Worster died in 1860; Almeron is a resident of West Springfield; Theophilus is the subject of this article; Sarah, wife of Joel Burch, resides in Sunderland; and Henry B. is a well-known merchant of Amherst.

Theophilus Edwards acquired a good education in his youthful days. Having completed his studies he began working with his father in tilling the soil. Finding the occupation congenial to his tastes Mr. Edwards has continued in it to the present day, and, with the exception of eighteen months in his early manhood, has constantly lived on the family homestead. He has added one hundred and sixteen acres to the original farm, so that now it contains two hundred and sixty acres, making one of the most valuable estates in the vicinity. He is a skilful and practical farmer, being thorough and systematic in his methods. Firm in his convictions of justice and honest in all of his dealings, he is held in high respect. He is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, and served his fellow-townsmen as Selectman in 1869 and 1870, holding at the same time the office of Assessor.

On March 16, 1853, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage with Sarah A. Dole, a native of Shelburne, Mass., and a daughter of Levi and Emily (Rudd) Dole, neither of whom is now living. Mr. Dole was a prosperous farmer; while Mrs. Dole, who survived him, passed the twilight years of her life with her daughter, Mrs. Edwards. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards six children were born, namely: Sarah Alice, born in 1854, who died January 12, 1878; Emily Amelia, wife of Clark F. Thayer, who is engaged in the dry-goods business in Chicago; Ella A., deceased, who married H. J. Chapman; Clara E., also deceased, who was the second wife of H. J. Chapman; Levi W., now a resident of Galesburg, Ill., who married Frances Pierce, of Monmouth, Ill., October 4, 1892; and Arthur T., who lives at home. Mr. Edwards and his wife are active workers in the cause of religion, and belong to the Congregational Church of Westhampton. He is now one of the standing committee of that society, and has been superintendent of its Sunday-school.

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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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