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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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LAWSON A. DUNCAN. The public-spirited citizens of Berrien County have contributed largely to the promotion of its interests and the extension of its influence. Among the number, probably few have become more widely and favorably known than the subject of this biographical sketch, who is one of the most popular citizens of Niles. As an official, he has discharged the duties incumbent upon him with energy and straightforward fidelity, which have won the commendation of his fellow-citizens.

Mr. Duncan is a native of Indiana. His grandfather and father were editors, and he early took to journalism. Drifting to Iowa in 1856, he soon became associated with the late Hon. George H. Jerome in the editorial control of the Iowa City Republican. This pursuit was followed until Mr. Duncan enlisted in the late war. He became a member of the Fortieth Iowa Infantry in 1862, resigning a position as one of the Commissioners of Iowa to settle the swamp-land claims of the State with the general Government. He was appointed Adjutant of the regiment, and was subsequently commissioned Major. He was with his regiment in all its engagements until the close of the war, serving in Kentucky, at Vicksburg and in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

At the close of the war, our subject located in Niles, Mich., where in 1866 he purchased and consolidated the Niles Inquirer and the Berrien County Freeman. From that time to the present, he has had editorial control of the Niles Times, the name soon being changed to the Niles Republican, Mr. Duncan has served on the Republican State Central Committee, and for many years was a member of the County Committee, six years of which time he was its Chairman. He was a visitor to the State Normal School one year, a Presidential elector in 1872, and cast a personal vote for Grant and Wilson.

Mr. Duncan has been Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue and was a member of the State Senate in 1883. He has held the office of Postmaster at Niles for four years. He has been a firm, unfaltering and consistent Republican from the day of the organization of the party, never bitter, but prudent and unwavering.

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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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