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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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JOHN F. CLENDENEN. Many of the best known farmers and residents of Cass County have been born and reared within its confines. In them we find men of energy and enterprise, who in the trite parlance of the present day might appropriately be called “hustlers,” and who are bound to become wealthy and influential citizens as the years go by. John F. Clendenen was born on the farm where he now lives, December 22, 1861, and, although young in years, is old in experience. He is a man whom nature seems to have intended for a farmer, for, owing to his desire to keep out of the beaten path, and to his adoption of new and improved methods, together with industry and good judgment, he has met with more than the average degree of success in pursuing his calling.

The parents of our subject, Oscar and Harriet (Swisher) Clendenen, were natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively, and his grandparents, Robert and Amanda (Hinchman) Clendenen, were natives also of the Old Dominion, where they resided many years. At an early date the grandparents emigrated to Michigan and settled in Cass County, where the closing scenes of their lives were passed. Oscar Clendenen was born December 20, 1829, and was quite young when he came to Michigan with his parents. All his scholastic training was received in the district schools, and his time was spent, when out of school, in assisting to improve the home place. He was married in Cass County, Mich., to Miss Harriet Swisher, daughter of John Swisher, and shortly afterward purchased eighty acres of the farm upon which our subject is now living. To this he added from time to time until he became the owner of one hundred and fifty-five acres, all improved and under a good state of cultivation. On this farm his death occurred in March, 1870. He was a hard-working, industrious man, and one who was universally respected. In politics, he was a Democrat, and held a number of the local offices. His widow was married the second time, to William Ketchum, and now resides in Dowagiac.

Of the three children born to his parents, our subject is first in order of birth. Frank, the second child, married Miss Lena Flanigan. The other child was named Florence. John F. received a good practical education in the district schools of Silver Creek Township, and remained with his mother until grown. In December, 1884, he married Miss Emma Oyler, a native of this county, and the daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Robinson) Oyler, who were early pioneers of Cass County. To this union were born four children, as follows: Bessie; Lula; Niel, who died at the age of two years; and Earl. In politics, Mr. Clendenen is a Democrat, and has held a number of local offices. He was Township Clerk for two years, Highway Commissioner one year, and in 1893 he was elected the second time as Township Treasurer. He is a public-spirited young man, and one of the best farmers in his section.

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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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