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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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JAMES R. ANDERSON, general foreman of the Montague City Rod Manufactory in Pelham, was born in Lowell, Mass., March 27, 1859, son of Hugh and Isabella (Stuart) Anderson. Mr. Anderson’s father was born in Ayrshire, Scotland; and in 1846, when he was eighteen years of age, he emigrated to the United States. He was a carpet weaver by trade, and followed that occupation during his early manhood. He finally located in Belchertown, where he purchased a farm, and resided on it for the remainder of his life. He was energetic and industrious, and became a prosperous farmer. He was a Methodist in his religious belief and a Republican in politics. Hugh Anderson died at the age of sixty-three years. His wife, also a native of Scotland and daughter of a peasant residing upon a large estate, became the mother of two children, of whom one, James R., reached maturity, the other having died at the age of six years. The mother, who survives, now resides with her son.

James R. Anderson passed his boyhood in Springfield, Mass., and received his education in the schools of that city. In 1883 he was engaged as a book-keeper by the Montague City Rod Manufactory in Pelham, and later was advanced to the position of foreman of the Pelham factory. His thorough knowledge of the business, together with the energy and decision he displayed in the performance of his duties, was appreciated by his employers; and in 1885 he was appointed general foreman of the entire enterprise.

Mr. Anderson is a Republican in politics, and is prominently identified with public affairs. He is chairman of the Board of Selectmen and of the Board of Assessors and a member of the School Board. In 1890 he was a candidate for Representative to the legislature, and has been chairman of the Republican Town Committee since 1886. He is a member of Pacific Lodge of Free Masons in Amherst.

On September 8, 1885, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Mary M. Brainard. She was born in Pelham, daughter of John L. and Fidelia L. Brainard. Mrs. Anderson died August 10, 1889, leaving one child, named Fidelia L. Mr. Anderson is a rising young business man, and is highly esteemed by his fellow-townsmen.

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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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