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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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HON. HENRY C. COMINS, a widely known and successful farmer of North Hadley, and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in Leverett, Franklin County, April 11, 1837, son of Simon F. and Nancy T. (Sweet) Comins. Mr. Comins’s father was a native of Worcester County, and followed farming and lumbering throughout his life. He was engaged in the latter occupation for some time in the State of Maine, moving later to Franklin County, Massachusetts, where he resided until 1841, when he purchased a farm in Russellville, Hampshire County, upon which he passed the remainder of his life, and died in December, 1875. Simon F. Comins was prominent in the public affairs of the county, was an Assessor of the town of Hadley, and held other positions of trust. His wife, whom he married while residing in the State of Maine, was a native of Attleboro, Mass.; and she became the mother of four children, as follows: James, who is a prosperous farmer of South Hadley; Nancy, who married R. M. Montague, of North Hadley, and is now dead; Henry C., the subject of this sketch; and Martha A., who married E. P. Hibbard, and resides in Holyoke. She died in December, 1879.

Henry C. Comins commenced his education in the public schools, and completed his studies at the Hopkins Academy in Hadley and Kimball Union Academy of Meriden, N. H. He adopted agriculture as an occupation, which he followed until 1862. On August 25 of that year he enlisted as a private in Company H, Fifty-second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, under Colonel H. S. Greenleaf and Captain William Perkins, for nine months’ service in the Civil War. He participated in the battle of Franklin and the siege of Port Hudson, and received his discharge in Greenfield, Mass., on August 14, 1863. After following agricultural work in Hampshire County for one year he moved to his present farm in North Hadley, consisting of twenty-six acres, twenty acres of which were under cultivation at the time of purchase. Among other improvements effected by him since were additions to the present residence. He has also brought the land to a high state of fertility.

In 1858 Mr. Comins was united in marriage to Harriet Ellen Smith. She was born in North Hadley, September 12, 1837, daughter of Horace and Mary (Belden) Smith, both of whom passed their lives in that town. Mr. and Mrs. Comins had three children. William H., the eldest and only survivor, was born in 1859, and is a graduate of the State Agricultural College at Amherst. He is now engaged in agriculture in North Hadley. He married Cornelia K. Lombard, and has three children: Henry Earl, John Orin, and Leroy Duncan. The other children were Carrie H. and Lowell Smith, both of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Comins died March 21, 1893. She was a member of the Congregational church.

Mr. Comins is a stanch Republican, and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. He has been active in forwarding the interests of his party, and has filled many positions of public trust with credit, both to himself and his constituents. He has been a member of the School Board for fifteen years, and is now its chairman. For three years he was a member of the State Board of Agriculture, and in 1894 represented his district in the legislature. He held the office of President of the Hampshire Agricultural Society for three years, and is Vice-President of the Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Agricultural Society, which is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the State. He is also a member of the Franklin Harvest Club, a select organization composed of the leading men of the Connecticut valley. He is a comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was the first Commander of Edward M. Stanton Post, No. 147, of Amherst, Mass. Hon. Henry C. Comins has attained his present position through his own unaided efforts.

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This family biography is one of 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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