THIS VOLUME CONTAINS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF
THE LEADING CITIZENS OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS
"Biography is the home aspect of history"
BOSTON, BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1896.
EDWARD B. NIMS, M.D., who has charge of the Hospital for the Insane at Northampton, Mass., is a native of New Hampshire, born April 20, 1838, in Sullivan, Cheshire County, son of Seth and Maria (FROST) NIMS.
Among the early settlers of Deerfield, in this county, we find the name of Godfrey NIMS. The house he built and subsequently lived in still stands at the corner of Main and Academy Streets. It has but recently passed out of the NIMS family, after an ownership of one hundred and eighty years. Godfrey NIMS was prominent among the pioneers of the town, and his name is engraved on the memorial tablet in the new ball. Some of his descendants settled in New Hampshire, and (page 49) became leading citizens of that State. One of them, David NIMS great-great-uncle of the subject of this sketch, was the first Town Clerk of Keene, N.H. The paternal-grandfather, also named David, was born in Roxbury, N.H., about 1776, and died in 1814 married Abigail CARTER, who survived him, living to the venerable age of fourscore years. She bore her husband eight children-four sons and four daughters -all of whom, with one exception, married, and reared families. One of the sons, Seth, having been brought up a farmer, continued in that occupation after reaching manhood. He entered. into matrimony with Maria FROST, whose parents were esteemed members of the farming community of Sullivan. There were born of the union three children, namely: Edward B.; Ellen E., wife of Henry C. RAWSON, of Sullivan; and Augustus F., of the same town. The mother died in October, 1865, aged fifty-eight years. The father subsequently married Hannah DODGE, with whom he is still livinIg in his New Hampshire home, hale and vigorous yet, although ninety-two years old.
Dr. NIMS was reared on the home farm until sixteen years old, when he was sent to the Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, N.H., to be fitted for college. He made --ood use of the opportunities here. He was admitted to Williams College in 1858, and graduated four years later. He subsequently entered the medical department of the University of Vermont at Burlington. In May, 1 864 he accepted an appointment as Assistant Surgeon of the First Vermont Cavalry, and was in active service in the Civil War under General Sheridan until May, 1865, when he was prostrated with fever. After this his regiment was distributed along the Canadian fromtier: and he was mustered out of service August 9, 1865. Dr. NIMS then continued his medical studies, taking a full course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and received his degree at the Vermont University. After practising his profession for a short time, he was appointed Assistant Physician in the Vermont State Asylum at Brattleboro. He filled this position from February, 1866, until December, 1868, when he accepted that of Assistant Physician in the Northampton Asylum, under Dr. Pliny Earl.- He was appointed Head Physician, his present office, October 21, 1885, when Dr. Earl was retired. He is assisted in his onerous duties by Dr. J. A. Houston, Dr. C. M. Holmes, and Dr. Jane R. Baker, all of whom stand high in the medical fraternity. The hospital receives about two hundred patients annually, who come from the counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire. The building is of brick, very handsome and capacious, four stories high, with a frontage of seven hundred and twelve feet, and is delightfully located, on an eminence overlooking the surrounding country.
On September 5, 1867, Dr. Edward B. NIMS was united in marriage with Elizabeth E. DELANO, of Ticonderoga, N.Y., being the daughter of Asa P. DELANO. The only child born of their union, a son, named Edward Earl NIMS died at this is institution, July 26, 1877, at the age of seven years.