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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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HENRY B. ANDERSON, an able and practical agriculturist residing near Ware, was born in that town, May 28, 1853, son of Nathaniel H. and Lavasta (Ruggles) Anderson.

His great-grandfather, William Anderson, whose birth occurred in 1749, came to Ware as a young man and took up a half-mile square tract of heavily timbered land. He married Miss Sarah Holmes, of New Braintree, Mass.; and there, in a region that might well be called a wilderness, they reared a family of three sons and three daughters. Many and stern were the hardships they suffered. These were caused not only by the newness of the country, but also by the hostility of the Indians, whose descents more than once caused them to flee for safety to the fort near by. The price paid for the land was two cents per acre. By diligent work he soon had a portion of it cleared and producing crops of grains and vegetables. Both he and his wife lived to a good age, his death occurring when he was eighty-three years old, and that of his wife in her seventy-fifth year. They are buried at Ware Centre. Their son, Nathaniel H. Anderson, was married to Miss Salome Snell, a daughter of Thomas Snell, of Bridgewater, Mass. He took his bride to the old homestead; and there they spent their lives, he in clearing the land and tilling the soil, and she occupied with her household duties. Five children were born of their union, two sons and three daughters. Of these, one daughter, Louisa, died at eight years of age. Susanna A., the wife of Emory G. Howard, died in 1891, seventy-eight years of age; another daughter died unnamed in infancy; and Erastus died when twenty-five years old, in the second year of his college course at Williamstown. Their mother was orthodox in her religious belief. Both parents died in early life, she in 1825, when but thirty-three years of age, and he in 1827, at forty-four.

Nathaniel H. Anderson remained on the old homestead, which he inherited after his parents’ death; and his life has been spent there in successful farming. On March 20, 1845, he was joined in marriage with Miss Lavasta Ruggles, of Enfield, Mass., a daughter of Benjamin Ruggles. She bore her husband five sons and a daughter. The daughter, Elizabeth F., is the wife of Joel Nutting, who resides on the adjoining farm. Albert Carey, one of the sons, died in 1870, twenty years old. Edward N., another, born August 27, 1857, a young man of marked musical talent and possessing a fine tenor voice, having studied in Boston and London, taught both vocal and instrumental music, first in Ware, where for a number of years he acted as leader of the Congregational church choir, and later at the Union and Central Church in Worcester, at the Elms in Springfield, at the Hartford Theological School, and in Boston, where he had pupils. He was also a composer of music. His early death on April 1, 1894, at the age of thirty-six years, was a deep regret to all who knew him; and he had many friends and admirers. William Augustus, who is also a musician and a professor of vocal culture, received his musical education under his brother’s instruction. He still follows the vocation of teacher in Ware. George Walter died aged twenty months. Both parents are members of the Congregational church, of which the father is senior Deacon, having served over forty years. In politics he is a Republican, but votes the Prohibition ticket. He served acceptably on the School Committee, and also as Selectman.

Henry B. Anderson received a good practical education, graduating from the Ware High School. Later on he studied music in Boston; and, though his life work has been that of an agriculturist, he has given much time to music. He succeeded his brother Edward as choir leader in the Congregational church at Ware. He was married on February 27, 1884, to Miss Mary E. Bowdoin, who is a graduate of Ware High School, and who prior to her marriage was successfully engaged in teaching. She is a daughter of Jabez E. and Maria E. (Marsh) Bowdoin, the former of whom was born in Belchertown in 1825. He is a son of John Bowdoin, who was born in Ware in 1791, son of William Bowdoin. William Bowdoin followed with success the two-fold vocations of carpenter and farmer, and for many years served as Justice of the Peace, in which capacity he came to be known as “Squire Bowdoin.” He married Miss Eunice Hixon, who became the mother of six children. After her death he again married, his second wife being a widow, Mrs. Nell Tyler Brigham; and she also bore him six children. He died in 1831, seventy-one years of age. His son, John Bowdoin, married Miss Hannah Lewis, who was born in Dedham, Mass., daughter of Jesse Lewis. They were the parents of seven children, of whom Jabez E. was the third in order of birth. Four are now living, namely: William, residing in Colorado; Jabez E.; John A., living in Springfield, Mass.; and Emily H., who lives on the old homestead with her brother. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have two sons, namely: Arthur B., born June 4, 1888; and Herbert H., born August 19, 1893.

In politics Mr. Anderson is a Republican. The family reside on the Bowdoin homestead.

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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

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