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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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JAMES A. COVERDALE. For many years this gentleman was prominently connected with the agricultural interests of Cass County, and in his death Milton Township lost one of its most enterprising and popular citizens. He was a native of Sussex County, Del., having been born August 10, 1826, and was the third of a family of five children born to Israel and Nancy Coverdale. At the age of ten years he accompanied his parents to Michigan, where he was reared to manhood upon a farm, meantime enjoying such advantages as were afforded by the schools of Cass County.

Throughout his entire active life, Mr. Coverdale followed the occupation of a farmer. A stanch Republican in politics, he held numerous school offices, and was elected to other positions of honor, which, however, he refused to accept on account of the delicate state of his health. In his religious belief he was a Methodist and officiated as Trustee in a church here, contributing with the utmost generosity to its support, as well as to other religious enterprises. His death occurred March 15, 1892, and he was laid to rest in Smith Chapel Cemetery, in Milton Township. Though he has passed from the scenes of earth he still lives in the hearts of those most dear to him, as well as in the affection of his large circle of acquaintances. He was for five years a Director in the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company and had been elected for the sixth year only a few weeks prior to his death.

The lady who for a long time was the devoted wife and affectionate counselor of Mr. Coverdale, and who now remains to mourn his loss, was formerly Miss Elizabeth Abbott and was born in Kent County, Del., on the 16th of October, 1829. Her father, George Abbott, and her mother, whose maiden name was Mary Jones, were both natives of Delaware, and were the parents of eight children, Mrs. Coverdale being the third in order of birth. She received her education principally in Delaware, but also attended the district schools of Milton Township, Cass County, for one term. Her parents were in humble circumstances when they came to Michigan, and she worked during one summer in Niles. After her marriage, which took place on the 7th of December, 1848, she located with her husband on the farm where she now lives. Their first home was a little log house, containing two rooms, but in 1871 this humble dwelling was replaced by the present elegant frame residence that now adorns the place.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Coverdale there were born seven children, as follows: Mary E., the wife of James Watson, of Boone County, Neb.; Calista J,, who died shortly after her marriage to Robert Clark; Florence B., the wife of Edward Stewart, of Niles; Alice E. and James F., deceased; Minnie, who is the wife of Charles Champion, a prominent grocer of Niles; and Alberta, who is at home with her mother. Mrs. Coverdale owns a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, to which, since her husband’s death, she has given her personal supervision. As she possesses high ability and excellent judgment, she makes of her farming business a complete success, and the estate under her careful management maintains the high standard of excellence it reached in Mr. Coverdale’s lifetime.

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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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