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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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WILLIAM COOLEY DICKINSON, of Hatfield, proprietor of the Connecticut River Stock Farm and an extensive tobacco grower, was born in this town, September 8, 1853, son of William Henry and Angelina (Waite) Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson is a descendant of Nathaniel Dickinson, who emigrated from England, and settled in Wethersfield, Conn., in 1637. He became a prominent man in the colony, and served as Town Clerk and Representative to the General Court. In 1659 he moved to Hadley, Mass., where he died in 1676, leaving several children. Two of his sons, Azariah and Joseph, were killed by the Indians in King Philip’s War, Joseph being slain with Captain Beers on September 4, 1675. Nathaniel Dickinson, second, son of Joseph, was born in 1670, and died in 1745. His son, Obadiah Dickinson, was born in Hadley on July 28, 1704, and died June 24, 1788. He settled in Hatfield, where he became a large land-owner, and was for many years a Deacon of the Congregational church. He married for his second wife Martha Wait; and his son Elihu by this marriage was the great-grandfather of William Cooley Dickinson. The children of Elihu Dickinson were as follows: Cotton D., Israel, William, Pamelia, Silas, Clarissa, and two who died in infancy.

William Dickinson, third son of Elihu, was born in Hatfield, June 13, 1783. He inherited the homestead, and became the largest real estate owner in the town. He was possessed of a strong constitution, and continued active until within a short time previous to his death, which occurred December 29, 1870. He married on January 20, 1814, Fanny Smith, a daughter of Lieutenant Samuel Smith, a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. William Dickinson were the parents of three children: John, Mary, and William Henry. The mother died February 21, 1853, aged sixty-five years and six months.

William Henry Dickinson was born at the ancestral homestead in Hatfield, March 4, 1820. He received his education at Hatfield and the Leicester Academy, and succeeded to the ownership of the home property. He became a land and stock speculator, owning land in Iowa, and is largely interested in native-bred cattle. He has likewise been an extensive farmer and tobacco grower, possessing some fine land upon the Hatfield meadows, which is especially adapted for that purpose. In 1875 he erected a new and handsome three-story house to replace the old Dickinson residence, which had been the birthplace of four generations; and he has built modern farm buildings. Besides his family dwelling he owns three tenement-houses. He is a Director of the Hampshire County National Bank, and is President of the Board of Trustees of Smith Academy, and one of the Trustees of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

William H. Dickinson is a Republican in politics. He represented his district in the legislature in 1853 and again in 1859. During the Civil War he served as chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and rendered valuable aid to the government in procuring recruits for the army. His wife, Angelina Waite, whom he wedded November 30, 1842, was born October 14, 1822, daughter of Justin and Olive (Cooley) Waite. Her father was a native of Hatfield and a representative of a highly respected family. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Dickinson have had four children, of whom only one, William Cooley, is now living. James W., born October 24, 1844, died November 10, 1868; he married Avie M. Wood, and they had a daughter, Mary J. Mary S. Dickinson, born October 14, 1847, died August 13, 1849. Sarah E., born November 23, 1851, became the wife of E. A. Bardwell, and died August 10, 1876, leaving one child, James D. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Dickinson are among the most prominent and highly esteemed residents of Hatfield.

William Cooley Dickinson has been in these later years closely identified with his father’s business ventures. He is now largely interested in the cultivation of tobacco, and devotes much time and attention to the breeding of fine horses, being the owner of some excellent and speedy animals, including Electmont, one of the best-bred stallions in the county. His stables are equipped with all modern conveniences for boarding and training horses, and in that business he has been very successful.

Mr. Dickinson was married on November 4, 1891, to Clara L. Graves, who was born October 9, 1867, daughter of Thaddeus and Mary H. (Hubbard) Graves. Thaddeus Graves is a prosperous farmer and a leading business man of Hatfield. Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson have two children; namely, William H. and Mary G. Mr. William C. Dickinson is a Republican in politics. His father, Mr. William Henry Dickinson, a portrait of whom is pre-fixed to this partial record of the family, is of the seventh generation from the first Nathaniel; and he has two great-grandchildren, who represent the tenth generation from that emigrant ancestor.

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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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