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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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WILLIAM M. BALDWIN is a substantial citizen of Berrien County, Mich., and from early boyhood has devoted his attention to farming interests, being now the owner of an excellent tract of land, comprising seventy acres, which is the result of earnest persistent toil, as well as progressive and enlightened views. From the age of ten years he has been a resident of Michigan, and he has witnessed a wonderful transformation in the State, especially in Berrien County, and during all these years he has been an active observer of the trend of events. He has not been merely a “looker on in Venice,” but a citizen who has through his enterprise, his integrity and his public spirit contributed his full share to the magnificent development of the section in which he resides.

Mr. Baldwin was born in Essex County, N. J., in 1845, and is a son of David R. and Elizabeth (Kerns) Baldwin, natives respectively of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The parents celebrated their nuptials in the Keystone State, but subsequently returned to New Jersey, where they resided some time. From there they moved to Calhoun County, Mich., and in 1859 came to Berrien County, when it was wild and unsettled. He located at what is now known as Ruggles’ Mills and engaged in blacksmithing, which he followed until his death, which occurred in 1880, when about seventy-one years of age. His wife survived him until about 1883. They were the parents of the following children: Margaret, deceased, who was the wife of Joel Starr; George, who was killed in the battle of Atlanta; Sarah, the wife of L. Hunter, of Oceana County, Mich.; Charles, who died in the army; Elias, who resides in Barroda; and William M., our subject.

The original of this notice was quite small when his parents first came to Michigan, and he was educated in the common schools of Calhoun County. At the youthful age of sixteen years he started out to fight life’s battles for himself and first commenced as a laborer on a farm. This he continued until about 1865, when he began renting land, continuing this for a number of years. In 1886 he purchased his present farm of seventy acres, which was all heavy timber-land. For the past thirteen years he has been engaged in milling and has utilized the timber on his land. He has a mill on his farm, and for a number of years has been doing quite an extensive lumber business.

In the year 1866 he was united in marriage with Miss Jeanette Mead, a native of Berrien County, Mich., and the daughter of Varney P. and Experience (Saunders) Mead, early settlers of this county. To Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin were born three children: Alice, the wife of Allison Post, of this county; Nellie, deceased; and Eva, at home.

Politically, Mr. Baldwin is a Democrat and is a warm advocate of the principles of his party.

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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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