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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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GEORGE W. COTTRELL, a resident of Middlefield since his early youth, was born in Hinsdale, Mass., on March 15, 1856, son of George W. and Angie M. (Dyer) Cottrell. His parents were George W. and Angie M. (Dyer) Cottrell. George W. Cottrell was a native of Worthington, Mass., where his birth occurred August 31, 1830. He spent his life in farming, which, while involving an almost unceasing round of toil, still allows to its followers a freedom and independence not found in many other occupations. In 1861 he removed to Middlefield, where he purchased a farm, on which he resided during the remaining years of his life. He died there on June 23, 1883. His wife, who was born in Plainfield, Mass., October 4, 1831, is still living. They had four children, as follows: George W.; Mary, the wife of Herbert H. Prentice, a successful agriculturist residing in Middlefield; Carrie, who married King Phillips, and now lives in Peru, Mass., where her husband is profitably engaged in farming; and John, who died at twenty-one years of age. All the children enjoyed the advantages of a common-school education. Mr. Cottrell was a Republican in politics. He also took a keen interest in the affairs of his town, which he served as Selectman; and he was at one time a member of the School Board. He and his wife were both members of the Congregational church at Middlefield.

George W. Cottrell was but five years of age when his parents settled in Middlefield. He remained at home until he was twenty-three years of age, when he established himself as a farmer. His efforts turned out prosperously. Beginning in moderate circumstances, his business ability and prudence have since acquired for him a comfortable competence. Besides his general farming and dairying there is an excellent sugar maple orchard on his farm, which yields him yearly about four thousand pounds of choice maple sugar, for which he finds a ready market in Hartford, Conn. He is one of the largest maple sugar manufacturers of the town.

On May 8, 1879, Mr. Cottrell was married to Miss Elsie Wright, who was born August 19, 1855, and is a native of Middlefield, where her life has been spent. She is a daughter of Charles and Sallie (Smith) Wright. Four children have come to brighten their home, as follows: Mary Addie, born on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1881; Frank Arthur, born August 8, 1882; Sarah Elsie, born March 7, 1884; and John W., born November 20, 1888, who died July 1, 1892.

In politics Mr. Cottrell supports the Republican party, to which he has ever been loyal. Besides attending to his agricultural labors, he finds time to give due attention to such interests of the town as his fellow-citizens have intrusted to his care. At the present time he is serving as Selectman, and has been chairman of that board for two years. He has also been a member of the School Board for several years. Mr. Cottrell and his wife attend church at Middlefield, where both are well known and respected.

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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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