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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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A. G. COPLEY. In order to perpetuate for coming generations the record of one who was very prominently connected with the early days of Cass County, a brief account of the life of Ebenezer Copley, father of our subject, is placed on the pages of this Record. He was one of the early settlers of this part of the State and for many years was closely identified with its development and progress. Grandfather Copley was a native of England, and came to America over one hundred years ago. He was a soldier in the American army during the Revolution, and while trying to escape from capture by the British army, crossed the Connecticut River in a small boat, which was capsized and he drowned. Ebenezer Copley was born in the Nutmeg State, but after reaching mature years went to Jefferson County, N. Y., where he was united in marriage to Miss Annis Albart, a native of the Empire State and of Welsh descent. For many years he followed the trade of a shoemaker, but in connection was also engaged in farming. He was drafted in the War of 1812. About 1835 became to Michigan, and settled on section 13, where he entered eighty acres of Government land. This land was wild and settlers few and far between, but with perseverance and energy he worked away and soon had a comfortable home. He built a frame house shortly after settling on his farm, and this was considered something at that time, for log houses were the rule. This worthy pioneer passed away in 1842, and his wife in 1848. Ten children were born to them, only four of whom are now living, three besides our subject. Thomas N. resides in Decatur, Mich.; Ebenezer makes his home in Wayne Township; and John J. in Wexford County.

On the 10th of August, 1815, in Otsego County, N. Y., occurred the birth of our subject. He grew to sturdy manhood on the farm in his native State and during his youthful days attended the common schools of his county. As soon as he could earn a shilling a day he began working out, and for some time received but 13 a month, and never more than $7. He also assisted his father in making a living until twenty-two years of age, when he started out to make his own way in life. The fertile soil in Michigan tempted him to wander in that direction, and in 1834, alone and on foot, he reached that State. For some time he made his home with his uncle, the father of Hon. A. B. Copley of Decatur, Mich., working out by the year, but in 1835 he went to Big Prairie Ronde, in Kalamazoo County, where he was engaged in harvesting.

Returning to Cass County in company with David Baldwin and Stephen and Jonathan Bunker, he broke two hundred acres of bottom land at Lyonstown, at the mouth of Maple River. After this he worked out and rented farms. In the year 1844 he was wedded to Miss Mary Beebe, a daughter of Martin Beebe, who was an early settler here from the Empire State. Following his marriage Mr. Copley settled on land belonging to his uncle, remained on it for some time, and after the death of his mother he bought out the heirs and settled on his present farm. In the year 1852 his wife died, at the age of twenty-eight years. Of the four children born to them only one is now living, Gilbert C, who married Miss Melva Hammond, and now resides in Nebraska. In the year 1858 Mr. Copley married Miss Eliza Foglesong, a native of Springfield, Ohio, born July 19, 1842.

Her parents, John and Ann Eliza (Renton) Foglesong, were natives of Ohio and New Jersey respectively. They were married in Xenia, Ohio, but afterwards settled in Greene County, that State, where in connection with other occupations he was engaged in farming. In the year 1857 he came to Michigan, settled on section 14, Volinia Township, and remained there nine years. From there he moved to Scott County, Ill., but after a residence there of one year moved to Bangor, Mich. Selling out at that place a few years later, he bought forty acres in Van Buren County, and died there in 1879. Mrs. Foglesong still survives and resides at Portland, Ore. Ten children were born to them, six of whom are living: Katie, Mrs. Copley, Mary, Prudence, Margaret and George. Both parents were Methodists in their religious views.

Mr. Copley’s estate now includes one hundred acres of land, ninety acres under a high state of cultivation, and he is classed among the successful and prominent tillers of the soil in his section. He takes much interest in all public affairs, has been Road Overseer and has also been a member of the School Board. In his religious views he is a Swedenborgian.

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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 Cass County, Michigan family biographies here: Cass County, Michigan Biographies

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

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