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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 F. DUNBAR. Few families in Penn Township have a higher standing for character, ability and enterprise than the one represented by the name at the head of this paragraph, and in its various members it is eminently worthy of the respect which is universally conceded to it. The county has been fortunate in being developed by such men, who were not only ambitious, but broad-minded and far-seeing. Many portions of this county are as attractive as though laid out by a landscape gardener, and in any part of it there is no more diversity of scenery than in Penn Township.

James F. Dunbar was born in Berrien County, Mich., July 28, 1855, and is a son of Archibald and Elizabeth (Frame) Dunbar. The father was born in Ohio about 1819, and was a farmer by occupation. He left his native State at an early day and made his way to Berrien County, Mich., where he tilled the soil successfully for many years. There his death occurred about 1872. His wife was born in Ohio, and died at South Bend, Ind., about 1877. Grandfather Dunbar was also a native of Ohio, and during his entire career was engaged in cultivating the soil in that State. His death occurred in Berrien County, where he was well and favorably known.

The original of this notice grew to mature years in Berrien County, Mich., and received his scholastic advantages in the common schools, never attending after his father’s death. The latter was twice married — first to a Miss Myler in Berrien County, and one child, who died young, was the result of this union. The father ran a meat-market and grocery in Buchanan for about five years. In the year 1879 our subject was married to Miss Minnie R. Boyle, whose birthplace is Berrien County, Mich. Her parents, Godlip and Mary Boyle, were early settlers of that county and both natives of Germany.

The marriage of our subject resulted in the birth of one child, Hattie May, who is a bright, intelligent little girl. Farming has been our subject’s chosen calling through life, and the earnest manner in which he has taken hold of all advanced ideas and principles has had much to do with the success he has made of this calling. He has two good farms — one of forty acres, five and a-half miles northeast of the county seat; and the other one hundred and forty acres six and a-half miles northeast, on section 9.

In his religious views, Mr. Dunbar is a Quaker, and his wife holds membership in the same church. They take a deep interest in their church and its progress, but are also interested in all other worthy enterprises and contribute freely of their means to their support. Both are highly esteemed and have many warm friends. Mr. Dunbar is a member of the Farmers’ Alliance.

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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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