January 2012 Newsletter


A message from the President

Winter Greetings to all the Cousins!

We are hoping you had an enjoyable Holiday Season. We haven’t had any snow here in New England since October but I haven’t heard anyone complain. The Congregational Church in Westfield, MA is the location for our 2012 Dickinson Family Reunion on Saturday, June 23. This church has a pipe organ which Alan Dickinson will play as part of Dr. Betsy Keithcart’s presentation. The newly renovated Lord Jeff Inn in Amherst, MA will host the Friday night dinner on June 22. In other news, our treasurer, Virginia Allis, has solved a mystery related to an historical monument. Some time ago a kind gentleman sent us a copy of a document he had inherited from his father. This 1872 document describes the installment and ceremony of a memorial monument in Northfield, MA. We didn’t know if this monument still existed 140 years later. Virginia tracked it down on Routes 63 and 10 across from the boat ramp. There are pictures of it on the Northfield Library’s website, northfieldpubliclibrary.org.

Andrew Dickinson, President

 2012 SCHOLARSHIP FORMS AVAILABLE      Application forms are now available for the 2012 DFA scholarship.  Applicants must be descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson and must be accepted to a four-year college or university.  The deadline for submission is April 30, 2012.  Full information on requirements and an application form may be found on our website.  For additional information you may contact our scholarship chair, Jean Blackmer, 61 Sever St., Worcester MA 01609, Jean.Blackmer@becker.edu.     As always, we rely on contributions from DFA members to sustain and increase the scholarship fund.  If you are able, we would appreciate your help.  Indicate “scholarship fund” on the January Survey form if you wish to make a donation.
ANNUAL JANUARY SURVEY      Enclosed with this newsletter is a response card on which you can indicate your tentative intention to attend this year’s reunion.  It also gives you an opportunity to offer your help to the association.  Some of the volunteer work requires that you be able to attend board meetings (usually 3 per year) which currently are held in W. Springfield and Sturbridge, MA.  Distance exempts many of you from this, but we do have a large number of members who live close enough.  We really hope you will give favorable consideration to helping us out.  The association can’t exist without these volunteers.     Also this is the time we ask you to consider a monetary gift to the association.  As you know, we rely on contributions from members for our operating expenses and also to support and build up our scholarship fund.  Please return the response card in the envelope provided, together with your check, if you are able, made out to The Dickinson Family Association. 
NEWSLETTER ALERT      The DFA newsletter typically goes out in January, April, June and November of each year.  The June and November newsletters go out by e-mail to those who are able and willing to receive it this way, and it does save the association time and money.  If you received your last newsletter (Nov. 2011) by postal mail, that means either you have indicated you don’t wish to receive the newsletters electronically, or we do not have a valid e-mail address for you.     We know e-mail addresses change frequently and it is easy to forget to update them.  So if you change your e-mail address we would greatly appreciate your sending the new one to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, at bethl0719@comcast.net
Caleb Cooley Dickinson      Do you recognize Caleb Dickinson? No? Perhaps you might recognize the Cooley Dickinson Hospital located in Northampton, MA. Caleb Cooley Dickinson was a farmer from Hatfield who did not have much use for his first name, Caleb. However he did have a good use for the money he had made over the years. Cooley Dickinson wanted his money to be used to provide care for the sick and the poor.      When Caleb Cooley Dickinson died in 1882 he left a bequest of $97,000 “to establish and put in operation in the town of Northampton a hospital for the sick poor.” The hospital opened on January 1, 1886 on ten acres of the Denniston farm in Northampton, MA. Hence Caleb Cooley Dickinson is the founder of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital.      Caleb is also Emily Dickinson’s forth cousin, twice removed. Caleb Cooley Dickinson lineage is as follows: (1) Nathaniel, (2) Nathaniel, (3) Nathaniel, (4) Daniel, (5) Aaron, (6) Caleb Cooley Dickinson. Caleb was born Nov 25, 1804 and died September 16, 1882. His mother was Experience Phelps, dau of Charles and Dorothy (Root) Phelps and wid of Caleb Cooley. 
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