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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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LEVI CHURCH, deceased since August 24, 1889, who was a successful farmer for many years in South Hadley, was born April 27, 1828. Josiah Church, his father, born March 7, 1790, was one of the early settlers of the locality. He bought a tract of wild land, from which he cleared a farm, and on it spent the remainder of a long and useful life, which terminated April 23, 1855. Josiah’s wife, whose maiden name was Sallie Smith, was born May 29, 1791, and died on the old homestead July 3, 1834. She bore her husband eight children, one of whom died in infancy. The record of the others is as follows: Luther, born April 18, 1830, is the only one now living; Waitstell, born December 10, 1818, died September 7, 1846; Russell, born October 3, 1820, died January 10, 1866; Eli, born June 5, 1822, died June 9, 1866; Dorcas, born October 6, 1825, died January 22, 1879; Levi, the subject of this notice; and Marinda, born February 17, 1832, died April 11, 1848.

After the death of his father Levi Church assumed the management of the home farm. In the course of time he made many substantial improvements, placing the eighty-two acres of land in an excellent state of cultivation, and rendering it one of the best farms in the vicinity. He was a man of enterprise and energy, and had a spirit not easily daunted by difficulties. In due time his pluck and perseverance brought him competency. He was much respected for his integrity, and, though never very prominent in local matters, served two years as Assessor. He married Mary A. Stebbim, of Granby, a daughter of Austin Stebbim. Their household circle was enlarged by the birth of four children, as follows: Edgar, born February 22, 1859, died August 31, 1859; Edwin, born November 6, 1860, now owner and occupant of the old homestead; Mary F., born September 22, 1862, married F. A. Luther, of Canton, Ohio; and Carrie M., born April 15, 1865, died in 1892. Mrs. Church, who was a true helpmeet to her husband, aiding and encouraging him in all his ventures, is still living, making her home by turns with her son and daughter. Edwin J. Church, the only living son, received a practical training from his father in the business of farming. Since taking possession of the estate he has managed it with remarkable success. He married Eliza C. Judd; and, of the two children that came of the union, one died in infancy. The survivor, Cleora Catherine, was born September 18, 1893. Mr. Church is a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife are members of the Congregational church.

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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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