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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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ABRAHAM DIEFFENBACHER, for two-score years a resident of his fine farm of one hundred and eighty acres, now under a fine state of cultivation and well improved with substantial and commodious buildings, is one of the representative agriculturists of Cass County, Mich., and has long been a prosperous citizen of Ontwa Township. Our subject is a native of Northumberland County, Pa., and was born February 4, 1814. He was the son of John and Elizabeth (Follmer) Dieffenbacher. The paternal grandfather, Conrad Dieffenbacher, emigrated from the Fatherland to America in Colonial days and settled in Pennsylvania. He was a man of persevering industry and energy, and was prospered in his new home. After a long life of busy usefulness he passed away within the boundaries of the Quaker State. He was a consistent member of the German Reformed Church, and, happily married, reared six sons and several daughters. The sons were Conrad, David, Henry, John, Jacob and Abraham.

John Dieffenbacher was born in Pennsylvania, July 13, 1771, and died aged seventy-one. He was the father of twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity. Catherine Newcomber passed away in Illinois; Jacob died in Pennsylvania; Elizabeth died in Cass County, Mich.; Susan is with her brother; Daniel resides in Niagara County, N. Y.; Abraham and Conrad were twins, and the latter died in Niagara County, N. Y.; David passed away in Cass County, Mich., with our subject; John is next; and Margaret Miller died in Harrisburgh, Pa. Two children, Leonard and Jonathan, died in youth. The mother of our subject was also a native of Pennsylvania. She passed away at the age of seventy-two years. She was the daughter of Jacob Follmer, who came from Germany to the United States, and, a Christian man, was a member of the German Reformed Church. Mr. Dieffenbacher was reared on the old homestead of his parents and received his education in the little subscription schools of those early days. When twenty years old he began life for himself, working by the day and month for two years.

Our subject later engaged in selling threshers and rowers and continued in that employment one year, then going into business in Harrisburg. He next spent two years in Painsborough, Pa., and afterward remained at his home one year. About 1847 he journeyed to Michigan by stage, and first located in South Bend, where he helped to make threshers for two summers, and for twelve months was employed in Constantine. In 1850, he bought one hundred and eighty acres, one hundred in Michigan and eighty in Indiana, and to this homestead has devoted his faithful care, being annually rewarded by an abundant harvest. For two seasons he profitably ran a thresher, and has with thrift and ceaseless industry won his way upward, now possessing a comfortable competence. He is essentially a self-made man, and by his own efforts has attained success in life. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and is liberal in its support. Up to 1884 he was a sturdy Democrat. Never an officer-seeker, he takes an intelligent interest in local and National affairs. One sister and brother comprise the household of Mr. Dieffenbacher. Our subject, arriving in the West in the early days, has been intimately associated with the growth and progress of his present locality and is widely known and esteemed by his fellows-townsmen.

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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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