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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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DON A. FLETCHER, an enterprising and popular farmer of Cass County, whose home is pleasantly situated on section 10, La Grange Township, was born in Wayne County, N. Y., April 7, 1837, being the son of William R. and Sarah A. (Stearns) Fletcher. The family is one of the oldest in America, and the first representative emigrated to this country in the “Mayflower.” The paternal grandfather, Russell Fletcher, was a native of Woodstock, Vt., and followed farming pursuits. About 1825 he removed from Vermont to Wayne County, N. Y., where he purchased fifty acres and engaged in general farming and stock-raising. When three years of age he had scarlet fever, which left him quite deaf.

The union of Russell Fletcher with Rachel Scott resulted in the birth of four children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are: William R., Henry E. (deceased), and Charles M., a resident of Kalamazoo. Grandfather Fletcher came to Michigan about 1847 and purchased eighty acres in Kalamazoo County, where he made his home for six years. Thence he came to Cass County, and here his life was brought to a close at the age of seventy-five. The father of our subject, William R. Fletcher, was born in Vermont in 1807 and received a common-school education. He went to New York one year prior to the removal of his parents thither, and for a time worked by the month for others.

In 1846 William R. Fletcher moved to Cass County, Mich., and later went to Kalamazoo County, where he remained for three years. Returning to Cass County, he purchased the farm adjoining the present property belonging to our subject, and through industry and energy accumulated landed possessions aggregating four hundred acres in La Grange Township. Politically, he was a Democrat and at different times he was chosen to fill various offices of trust in the township and county. He married Sarah A., daughter of Thomas Stearns, and they became the parents of five children: Don. A., Delinda C., Caroline R. (widow of E. Hunger), Joseph W., and Cecilia B., who married Albert Stevenson. The mother of this family passed away in 1889, and the father died during the following year.

After completing his studies in the common schools of the district, our subject entered upon the vocation of a farmer. At the age of twenty-five he married Sarepta, daughter of Isaac and Mary Shurte. Mrs. Fletcher was born in Cass County, October 27, 1838. Her father was born in New Jersey in 1796 and removed to Butler County, Ohio, where he married, his wife, Mary Wright, also being a native of New Jersey. In 1829 they came to Cass County, being very early settlers of this part of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher are the parents of four children, namely: William I., Mary L., Ross A. and Charles C. The eldest son, who resides in Oregon, married Cora Jones and they have one child, Mabel E. Mary L. is a graduate of the Dowagiac High School and the South Bend Commercial College; Ross is also a graduate of the South Bend Commercial College; Charles C. is now a student in the Cassopolis High School.

Following his marriage Mr. Fletcher operated as a renter for a number of years, but by saving his earnings he was enabled to purchase two hundred and twenty-six acres of his father’s farm. To this he has since added forty acres, the most of which has been improved and placed under cultivation. As a farmer, he studies the science of agriculture and aims to raise only such cereals as are adapted to the soil. A neat set of farm buildings may be found upon the place, and the air of thrift noticeable everywhere proves the energy and industrious nature of the proprietor. Socially, Mr. Fletcher is identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, belonging to the lodge at Cassopolis. In political belief a Democrat, he is influential in the ranks of his party and has held a number of township offices.

Besides the farm Mr. Fletcher owns a one-third interest in the gristmill at La Grange.

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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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