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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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SYLVANUS C. DAMON is prominent among the substantial and progressive agriculturists and business man of the western part of Hampshire County. He is a well-known resident of the town of Chesterfield, where he is the owner of a fine farm, which gives ample evidence of the skill and good taste with which it is managed, the homestead presenting a beautiful picture of quiet country life. Mr. Damon is a native of Chesterfield, born February 6, 1838, his parents, Salma and Hannah (Torrey) Damon, having been lifelong residents of this place. The paternal household was large, consisting of fourteen children, namely: Malintha; Fidelia; Lucretia; Emeline; Sylva; Rachael; Oliver; Ephraim; Nelson; Ann; Julia; Elizabeth; Sylvanus C.; and Lucretia, who died in infancy. The father was a farmer, and reared his children to the same healthful and independent occupation.

Sylvanus C. Damon was educated in the district schools and early initiated into the mysteries of agriculture; but, not finding the tilling of the soil quite congenial work, he drifted from the old homestead to Springfield when nineteen years of age, and found employment in a barber shop. He continued thus engaged for twelve years, being in business alone a part of the time. On May 23, 1861, while yet a resident of Springfield, Mr. Damon enlisted in Company F, under Captain Lombard, Tenth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Colonel Briggs. With his regiment he went to the front and took an active part in the engagements at Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, and Antietam. He fortunately escaped being wounded, but spent some weeks in the hospital at Washington, D. C., and afterward received his honorable discharge at Downsville, Md., in November, 1862.

Returning from the field of carnage to Springfield, Mr. Damon continued at his trade of a barber until 1865, when he came back to the place of his birth, and for the next two years rented a farm, carrying it on with such marked success that he then decided to make agriculture his future occupation. He accordingly purchased his present property, which consists of one hundred and twenty acres of choice land, the larger portion of which he has under excellent cultivation and on which he has made the greater part of the improvements. He is also the owner of Damon’s Pond, a famous fishing resort for the sportsmen of Springfield, Boston, and other cities, who make a point of coming here each season to camp out and fish. The pond is one of the most picturesque in this region and covers one hundred and seventy-five acres. Mr. Damon is largely identified with the manufacturing interests of Chesterfield, owning and operating a saw-mill and a whip-butt manufactory, both located near his farm.

On November 21, 1857, Mr. Damon was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Elizabeth J. Burt, a native of Longmeadow, Mass., daughter of Anson and Ann Burt, both of whom spent their last years in Springfield. Nine children have been born of their union, namely: Frederick W., who married Grace Pearl, is a farmer, and resides not far from the parental homestead; Charlie, who died in infancy; Eva L., the wife of Francis Barker, of Cheshire, Mass.; Leon S., who married Sadie Hamel, and lives near his parents; Herbert S., living at home; Lillian J., the wife of Clarence Emerson, of Springfield; Nellie A.; Sylvanus C., Jr.; and Ernest Lester. All were educated in the public schools. Mrs. Damon is a much esteemed member of the Congregational church.

In politics Mr. Damon is an active and earnest Republican, uniformly casting his ballot in the interest of that party. He has served with faithfulness in various offices, including that of Road Surveyor. Socially, he is a comrade of Baker Post, No. 86, Grand Army of the Republic, of Northampton. A portrait of this loyal and useful citizen of the republic is presented on a preceding page of the “Review.”

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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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