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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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REV. WILLIAM E. DICKINSON, pastor of the College Mission Church in Amherst, was born in North Amherst, June 11, 1832, son of Daniel and Tammy (Eastman) Dickinson, respectively natives of Amherst and Granby, Mass. Mr. Dickinson comes of a distinguished family which up to the present time has numbered many prominent professional men among its members. His grandfather, Azariah Dickinson, was an early settler of Amherst, he and his brother Oliver having been large land-owners and wealthy citizens in the town. His wife also, Mary Eastman, was a member of a prominent family. They both lived to an advanced age, rearing five children, all of whom became prominent in church work. They were: Ransom, a Deacon; Daniel, the father of William E.; Austin, a minister; Baxter, a doctor of divinity; and Hannah, wife of Deacon Austin Loomis.

Daniel Dickinson grew to manhood in Amherst, receiving his education in the schools of that town and in Hadley Academy. His chief occupation was agriculture, and he was a large land-owner in the town. Politically, Mr. Dickinson was first a Whig and then a Republican. He represented his district in the legislature, was Selectman of the town for many terms, Assessor, and Justice of the Peace. He was often called upon to settle differences respecting estates. In military matters also he was interested, and acted as Captain of the State militia. In religious belief he was a Congregationalist, and was influential among the members of the church in North Amherst. He died December 25, 1875, aged eighty-two years. He was twice married, and was the father of two children by his first wife and of six by his second. The latter was the mother of the subject of this sketch. She lived eighty-six years, passing away in 1887. Of these children four are now living, namely: Daniel, a farmer in Illinois; William E., the subject, as before mentioned; Sarah, wife of the Rev. Frederick Phelps, of Whiting, Vt.; and Charles R., a farmer residing on the old Oliver Dickinson farm in North Amherst. Louisa, wife of the Rev. J. M. Green, D. D., of Lowell, died at the age of fifty-one; Edward B., a Sergeant in Company D, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, died when a young man of twenty-eight, soon after the close of the war, from a disease contracted while in the service; and one child died in infancy.

William E. Dickinson received his early education in the public schools of Amherst and Easthampton. He graduated from Amherst College in 1855. He subsequently studied theology at the Union Theological Seminary, New York, and at Andover. He graduated at the latter place in 1858, and was ordained at Orleans in 1860. He was in poor health at the time of his ordination, but bravely took up the duties of his vocation. His first charge as a regular pastor was at Canton, Mass., where he remained four years, subsequently filling pulpits at Walpole, N. H., and at Chicopee, Mass. In the latter place he remained twelve years. He was dismissed from Chicopee to accept a call to Fitzwilliam, N. H. After four years of service there he removed to Amherst, where he is now pastor of the College Mission Church. He is enjoining by word and deed the great principle of Christianity, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” while blessed in return by the love of all in his flock.

In 1860 Mr. Dickinson was united in marriage with Eliza H. Hobart, a native of Amherst, daughter of Joshua Hobart, an early settler of the same town. Their union was blessed by one son, Edward B., who was born in Amherst, and is now a leading dentist there, an adept in his profession and a capable business man.

Mr. Dickinson votes the Republican ticket. He has been active and efficient in educational matters, having been called to serve on various school boards during his pastorates both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He and his wife are Congregationalists in religious belief. Mr. Dickinson belongs to one of the old , families of the town, which for several generations has sustained a reputation for probity, intellectual ability, and prominence in church work.

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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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