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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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CHARLES KINGMAN BREWSTER, a prominent business man of Worthington, was born in that town, July 11, 1843, son of the Hon. Elisha Huntington and Sophronia Martha (Kingman) Brewster. Mr. Brewster is a lineal descendant of Elder Brewster, the leader of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims, who landed at Plymouth, December 21, 1620, and died in Duxbury, April 18, 1643. His children were: Fear, Patience, Jonathan, Love, and Wristling. Jonathan Brewster settled in New London in 1649, and became an Associate Judge there. He established a treaty post at what was known as Brewster’s Neck, where he resided for the remainder of his life, and died in 1661. His son, Benjamin Brewster, married Ann Dart, and raised a family of five children, who were named: Ann, Jonathan, Daniel, William, and Benjamin. Daniel Brewster, who was born in 1667, married Hannah Gager; and his eight children were: Daniel, Jr., Hannah, Mary, John, Jerusha, Ruth, Bothiah, and Jonathan. Daniel Brewster married for his second wife Dorathy Miller, and died May 7, 1735. Jonathan Brewster, son of Daniel, was born June 6, 1705. He married Mary Parish, and had seven children: Lucretia, Ruth, Ephraim, Jonathan, Mary, Lydia, and Hannah. Deacon Jonathan Brewster was born in 1734. He moved from Preston, Conn., to Worthington, Mass., in 1777, and erected a rude dwelling upon a site which is now included in the property of Samuel Converse. He died in 1800. Deacon Jonathan Brewster married Zipporah Smith; and his eight children were: Elisha, Esther, Jonathan, Zipporah, Sarah, Jonah, Moses, and Lydia.

Captain Elisha Brewster, Charles K. Brewster’s grandfather, was born in Preston in 1755. He enlisted in a regiment of light dragoons at an early stage of the Revolutionary War, and served as an officer for seven years and six months. After the close of the war he served as Brigade Quartermaster. At the time of Shays’s Rebellion he volunteered his services, and was one of General Shepard’s aides in that insurrection. Captain Elisha Brewster married Sarah Huntington, daughter of the Rev. Jonathan Huntington, who was the first settled minister in Worthington. They were the parents of twelve children, among whom were: Theodosia, Minerva, Sally, Hannah, Eliza, Zipporah, Hannah (second), Lucy, and Elisha Huntington.

The Hon. Elisha Huntington Brewster, Mr. C. K. Brewster’s father, was born in Worthington, August 5, 1809. He was educated in the public schools and at Hopkins Academy, and remained for several years upon his father’s farm. In 1842 he removed to the centre village, and located a little south of the church and town-house, where he commenced mercantile business in company with his cousin, Mr. Sidney Brewster, under the firm name of S. & E. H. Brewster. That co-partnership continued ten years, when it was dissolved, Mr. E. H. Brewster retiring to attend to his increasing public duties. In 1848 he was chosen as a Whig to represent his town in the legislature; and again, in 1853, he was chosen to the same office. In 1852 he was elected County Commissioner, and held that office sixteen years. For twelve years he was chairman of the board, and distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and the aptness and faithfulness with which he discharged the difficult and often perplexing duties of the position. At the end of his sixtieth year (in 1868), when at the height of his popularity and usefulness, he voluntarily withdrew from that office, declining the offer of a certain re-election, much to the regret of the people of the county. In 1871 he was chosen a member of the State Senate, to represent the Berkshire and Hampshire district. In 1873 he was chosen a member of the Governor’s Council, and was re-elected in 1874. This closed his public life.

In his earlier business years he was often called to fill various town offices, and served in almost every capacity, from Constable to Selectman. He could have served oftener if he had wished, for his townsmen were always willing to elect him. He was also the leading Justice of the Peace, and was appointed one of the first Trial Justices under the new law, holding the office and discharging its duties with marked ability and dignity until he resigned it several years ago. He was often called as a referee to settle disputed questions, both at home and abroad; and after his retirement from the Board of County Commissioners his services were frequently sought as counsel in important road cases. He was the principal legal adviser of the people in his section, wrote numerous wills, and settled many estates in the probate and insolvency courts, doing more of that business probably than any other man in the county.

While a member of the Governor’s Council, he was one of a committee to receive General Grant, who came on an official visit to the State. He was active in the formation of the Worthington Agricultural Society over twenty-five years ago, and was its first President. He was long connected with the old Northampton Institution for Savings as one of its Trustees, and for twenty years (1848 to 1868) was one of the Directors of the Hampshire Mutual Fire Insurance Company, exerting in their behalf an active and valuable influence. When his son, Charles K. Brewster, became of age, the two formed a co-partnership, and bought out the mercantile business of S. Brewster & Son; and that business was continued until his death, under the firm name of E. H. Brewster & Son.

Mr. Brewster was first a Whig and then a Republican. Though a strong party man, he never allowed his party ties to lessen his loyalty to his friends. He was a regular attendant upon divine worship and a firm supporter of the services of the sanctuary. For thirty years he was a member of the choir, and occasionally acted as chorister. During the long pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Bisbee, twenty- eight years, Mr. Brewster was his warm friend and supporter and his frequent adviser. He never formally united with the church, but he had an abiding faith in its underlying principles; and his old pastor bore heartfelt testimony at the funeral to his Christian character as exemplified in his pure and consistent life and peaceful death. The Hon. Elisha H. Brewster died in Worthington, November 27, 1878. His wife, whom he married June 8, 1831, was Sophronia Martha Kingman, daughter of Isaiah Kingman, of Worthington. Her grandfather, Adam Kingman, was a native of Bridgewater, Mass.; and her father, who was a tailor by trade, kept a hotel for many years in the house where Mr. Brewster now resides. His son, Samuel Kingman, was Chief Justice of the State of Kansas for a number of years. Mrs. Elisha H. Brewster became the mother of seven children: Sarah, Elisha K., Lucy Jane, Sophronia K., Charles K., Helen E., and Isabelle W. Of these the only survivors are: Charles K., the subject of this sketch; and Mrs. George M. Green, of New York City.

Charles Kingman Brewster was educated at the Westfield Academy, and, when a young man, engaged in business with his father. He exhibited an aptitude for mercantile pursuits at an early age, and since the death of his father has continued the business with ability and success. He is a Republican in politics, and has long been identified with public affairs. He was Postmaster from 1883 to 1888, has been a member of the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, and Treasurer for eight years, and is at present a special County Commissioner. He also represented his district in the legislature for one term. He is a Director of the Northampton Institution for Savings and of the Hampshire Fire Insurance Company. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and an influential man in the county.

On February 22, 1866, Mr. Brewster was united in marriage to Celina S. Baldwin. Her parents were Chauncey and Harriet (Hume) Baldwin, natives of Windsor, Mass.; and her father was a prosperous farmer of that town. Mr. and Mrs. Brewster have had seven children, as follows: Sophronia E., who was born December 26, 1866, and died April 13, 1870; Grace, born March 9, 1869, who died March 22, 1873; Elisha H., born September 10, 1871, who graduated from the Williston Seminary, and is now a student at the Boston University Law School; Sarah H., born March 6, 1874, who is now a teacher in Temple College, Philadelphia; Charles H., born February 14, 1877; Howard C., born December 24, 1880; and Kingman, born December 24, 1883.

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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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