April 2023 Newsletter

Dickinson Family Association

VOLUME XX Number 2

152nd Reunion – Saturday June 24, 2023 – Hatfield, MA

Caleb Cooley Dickinson (1804-1882)

Hello Cousins,

The 2023 Dickinson Family Reunion will be Saturday, June 24 with a Friday night gathering of cousins on June 23.   Main speaker topic: Caleb Cooley Dickinson and the origins of Cooley Dickinson Hospital. 

All events on both Friday and Saturday will be held at “Fishtales Bar & Grill”, 5 School Street, Hatfield, MA located between the Hatfield Fire Station/Town Hall Complex and Post Office (one block west of Main Street). 

General Location: Hatfield, MA (25 miles North of Springfield, MA) approx. 3 miles from Exit 27 off of Rte 91.  Hatfield is a rural, picturesque town located a short distance north of Northampton, MA where local families have kept farms in production for over 300 years, i.e. Bardwell Farm (1685) and Belden Farm (1661).

We will commence at 5:30 pm on Friday, June 24th with a social hour followed by dinner at 6:30 pm.  Saturday’s events will begin at 8:45am and conclude at approx. 3pm.  Hatfield Historical Museum located at the Hatfield Public Library (39 Main St.) will be open from 10am-12pm on Saturday morning.  We are hoping to have the museum open longer, however there are no formal commitments yet from their new curator, Meguey Baker.  You may also want to consider visiting nearby Bardwell Farmstand (49 Main St.) and adjacent cemetery or Hill Cemetery (4 Elm St.) after our closing ceremony.  See more details regarding our schedule on page 2.

Our reunion will celebrate all who were raised in Hatfield.  Our main speaker, W. Michael Ryan, historian, retired lawyer and district judge, will conduct a presentation on Caleb Cooley Dickinson; original benefactor of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital located in Northampton, MA.  Mr. Ryan’s presentation will cover Caleb Cooley’s life, explore the reasoning for his bequest, and his highly contested will which was successfully upheld.

Enclosed with this newsletter is a reservation card and return envelope. Please observe the deadline of June 9th for returning this card.

Did you know that the majority of our members are descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson’s sons (Nathaniel II, Samuel, Obadiah and Hezekiah) who settled in Hatfield?

Notable Dickinsons born in Hatfield:

Caleb Cooley Dickinson (b. Nov 25, 1804): founder of Cooley Dickinson Hospital (our main speaker topic)

William H. (b. March 4, 1820): trustee of Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Smith Charities

William Cooley (b. Sept. 18, 1853): owner of CT River Stock Farm and breeder of Morgan trotting stallions

Rebecca (b. July 25, 1738 ): independent gownmaker. Marla Miller published a book about her life in 2014.

Rev. Jonathan (b. April 22, 1688):  1st President of College of New Jersey (Princeton Univ.)

Gen. Lemuel (b. 1735): Colonel also deacon in Hatfield and a founding trustee of Lowville Academy in NY.

Barnabas (b. May 5, 1783): established 1st public coach and boat route between Montreal and Prescott, Ontario

Samuel (b. Dec. 30, 1687): survived two captures during French & Indian War, established large farm in Deerfield

Dea. Nathaniel (b. May 20, 1670): deacon of Hatfield Congregational Church during French & Indian War

Dea. Obadiah (b. July 28, 1704): deacon of Hatfield Congregational Church during Rev. War

Ken Dickinson, President


Friday, June 23

5:30 pm           Social Hour

6:30 pm           Annual Reunion Dinner

Saturday, June 24

8:45 am            Gathering of cousins: registration, exhibits, sales & refreshments

10:00 am         Short Presentation / Intro to Hatfield (TBD) / Museum Open 10-11:30 am

11:30 am         Group Photos / Chaplain Prayer

11:45 am         Lunch

12:45 pm         Annual meeting, Counting of Cousins, and Presentation of Gifts

1:45 pm           Main Speaker, W. Michael Ryan; Topic:  “Caleb Cooley Dickinson”

2:45 pm           Q&A Session and Concluding Ceremony ending by 3:00 pm


Please send your births, marriages, and death announcements to: dickinsonfamilyassociation@gmail.com

Zoom Lecture on Daniel S. Dickinson

We recently conducted a zoom lecture on Daniel S. Dickinson which was well attended online, and we had a productive group discussion following Jim Thunder’s presentation. Many thanks to Mr. Thunder who was able to repeat his 2022 Reunion performance with additional new information.  As a result of this success, we intend to have another zoom meeting on a different topic in the future.

Note from Bob Magovern on Estate Donations and General Donations

As I reflect upon our mutual ancestor Nathaniel, I would like to remember a little about him. He was a unique person. Not only a leader in his community, he had a very strong belief in education and the future of his family and community. This was exhibited with his dedication to education and his part in the establishment of Hopkins Academy, one of the finest educational institutions of his day. This school continues today.

Many of his descendants made contributions toward education that still live on. Princeton University, Amherst College, Deerfield Academy and Westfield State University are just a very few of the educational institutions that exist today because of the influence of Dickinson family members.

My reason for mentioning this is because I want to ask the question if you might be interested in continuing the Dickinson legacy of education by making plans to leave something for the future by contributing to our Dickinson Family Scholarship Fund. Our scholarship was founded by a gift from Arlene Rosner. She passed away in 1980 and 4 years later, the scholarship was established at our 1984 annual meeting in Wethersfield CT.

Please consider making an estate donation to the Dickinson Family Association. Please consult your attorney. Or send a check to the Dickinson Family Association, c/o Dale Williams, 17 Iroquois Dr, Northboro, MA 01532.

Web site:  www.dickinsonfamilyassociation.org

Newsletter editor:  Dale Williams

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