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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1893.  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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JACOB BOON, a prominent business man of Berrien Springs, was born in Roanoke County, Va., near the village of Salem, on the 12th of November, 1830. He is the son of Daniel and Mary (Salem) Boon, natives of Virginia, the former being a farmer by occupation. Accompanied by his family, he came to Michigan in 1848 and located in Berrien Township, Berrien County, where he purchased some land and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. His wife died sometime during the Civil War, and he survived her only a few years.

There were ten children in the family, and nine of that number are still living, all in Berrien Springs with the exception of Mrs. Mary Foster, who resides in Missouri. The subject of this notice was the fifth son in order of birth. He passed his youth in the Old Dominion, and at the age of eighteen accompanied his parents to Berrien County, where he aided his father in the labor of clearing and improving a farm. He served an apprenticeship of six months to the blacksmith trade under Jacob Ewalt, of Berrien Springs, and at the expiration of that time he purchased the business of Mr. Ewalt and conducted it upon his own account. He has a large trade, both in his blacksmith’s shop and wagon manufactory, and is recognized as one of the most enterprising men in the village.

Oh the 26th of February, 1863, at Berrien Springs, Mr. Boon and Miss Mary E. Watson were united in marriage. The bride was the daughter of James Watson, whose parents were among the pioneers of the village of Berrien Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Boon became the parents of three children: James D., Hattie and Frank M., the latter having died in infancy. The family was bereaved on the 19th of November, 1886, by the death of the devoted wife and mother, who passed away when in life’s prime.

In politics a Democrat, Mr. Boon has filled various positions to which he has been elected on that ticket. He served for four terms as Trustee of Berrien Springs and has occupied other positions of trust. Socially, he is a member of Western Star Lodge No. 39, A. F. & A. M., and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His interest in educational matters has been a noticeable feature in his character, and his service as a member of the School Board was efficient and highly satisfactory.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published in 1893. 

View additional Berrien County, Michigan family biographies here: Berrien County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Berrien County, Michigan here: Berrien County Michigan Map

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