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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 M. CHAPMAN, familiarly known to a large circle of old-time friends as “Deacon Chapman,” came to Michigan in 1844, and has for almost a half century been an energetic and prosperous agriculturist of Newburg Township, Cass County. Our subject is a native of Medina County, Ohio, and was born in the year 1818. He received an excellent common-school education in his birthplace, and, his studies ended, taught school. James M. was one of a family of seven children, six of whom survived to maturity. The eldest-born, Amory, died in Cass County in 1892. Samuel was a resident of the county at the time of his death. Lemuel makes his home in Plainwell, Mich. Levi died in Ohio. Eugenia is married, and lives in Antrim County, Mich. The parents, Levi and Lucinda (Turner) Chapman, were of New England birth. The father was born in Connecticut, the mother in New Hampshire. The Chapmans are of English descent, but Reuben Chapman, the paternal grandfather, was undoubtedly a native of Connecticut. One of his sons, an uncle of our subject, took an active part in the War of 1812.

In 1843 Mr. Chapman was married in Ohio, and the succeeding year, early in the spring, journeyed with his wife to the then far West. The entire possessions of the husband and wife were loaded into one wagon, and by slow stages they arrived safely at their destination. Mr. and Mrs. Chapman settled down in the dense woods of Michigan, and in common with the other pioneer farmers suffered many privations. To make his heavily timbered land productive, our subject was obliged to toil early and late, but industry and perseverance enabled him to overcome difficulties and win a competence. The homestead upon which he now resides, and which is under a high state of cultivation, has been the constant residence of the family since August, 1844. The old farm contains one hundred and sixty valuable acres, and in connection with his son, Mr. Chapman owns an eighty acre tract a short distance north of the home place. Two sons comprised the family of our subject and his estimable helpmate. Harvey, the eldest, a promising young man, died at the age of eighteen years. Frank Chapman is a representative citizen, an excellent business man, and is a native of Cass County. After the location of Mr. Chapman in Michigan, three of his brothers followed his example and made this State their home. Men of usefulness and intelligence, they readily adapted themselves to the demands of a new country and occupied positions of influence.

Politically, our subject is a stalwart Republican, and cast his first vote for W. H. Harrison. A public-spirited citizen, he has always taken an active interest in local and National issues, and served with efficiency as Supervisor of Newburg Township for fourteen consecutive years. During this entire time he was unwearied in his efforts to promote needed public improvements, and, an enterprising man, materially aided in the progressive interests of the township. Both Mr. and Mrs. Chapman early identified themselves with the cause of Christianity, and have always been numbered among the workers in religious enterprise. They are members of the Baptist Church in which Mr. Chapman has held the office of Deacon for a great number of years. Throughout the length and breadth of Cass County our subject is well known and respected for his sincerity and upright character.

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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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