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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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L. BURGET DES VOIGNES. The career of a lawyer is a succession of contests, and the successes made in the legal field are probably more than in any other calling in life examples of the “survival of the fittest.” To become distinguished at the Bar requires not only capacity, but also sound judgment and persevering industry, and these qualities are admirably combined in L. Burget Des Voignes. This gentleman was born at Mt. Eaton, Wayne County, Ohio, October 14, 1857, the son of Louis A. Des Voignes, and the grandson of Peter Des Voignes, who was a native of Berne, Switzerland. The latter was a dry-goods merchant in his native city, and was a man of excellent judgment and good business methods. His three sons were named Augustus, Jules and Louis. Mr. Des Voignes, with his wife and three sons, came to America in 1844, and located at Mt. Eaton, Ohio, where he engaged in the boot and shoe business. Upon settling in this country he became a Whig m politics, and later a Republican. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, and died in 1861, in full communion with that church.

Louis A. Des Voignes, father of our subject, was born in Berne, Switzerland, and was eleven years of age when he crossed the ocean to the “land of the free.” He grew to manhood in Mt. Eaton, but when twelve years of age started to work in a store. Later in life he and his two brothers bought the building and stock, and in 1855 Mr. Des Voignes was married to Miss Sovilla A. Messner, who was the daughter of John Messner, of Mt. Eaton, Ohio. The latter was a farmer of that county, but in addition was also engaged as a coal dealer. Mr. Des Voignes resided at Mt. Eaton until 1862 or 1863, when he was burned out of house and home by the rebels. He entered the service when Morgan was making his raid through Ohio, but subsequently moved to Mendon, Mich., where he clerked in a store for five years. After this he engaged in the drug business for some seven years. He is now residing at Mendon, retired from the active duties of life, and has been a resident of that city for many years. The mother died on the 20th of July, 1887.

The original of this notice received his early educational training in the schools of Mendon, Mich., graduating from the High School in 1876. After graduating he began the study of law in the office of Hon. O. J. Fast, a noted lawyer of St. Joseph County and State Senator. In 1877 Mr. Des Voignes was admitted to the Bar in St. Joseph County, but the same year he entered the law school at Ann Arbor, Mich., from which he graduated in 1878. After finishing he came to Marcellus, began practicing his profession, and has been located here ever since. He is a most capable member of his profession, and is a highly reputable citizen. In the year 1880 he was married to Miss Allie M. Clapp, a native of St. Joseph County, Mich., and the daughter of Dr. Clapp, of Mendon, that county. She was reared and educated in that town, and is a lady of refinement and culture. One child has been born to our subject and wife, Jules Verne Des Voignes. Mr. Des Voignes is an active member of the Republican party, and held the office of Circuit Court Commissioner from 1888 to 1891. From the latter date until 1893 he was Prosecuting Attorney of the county. He was a member of the Board of Education for five years, was a member of the Village Council for three years, and was Town Attorney for thirteen years.

He is deeply interested in political affairs, and stumped the county for the Republican State Central Committee in 1880. His reputation as an orator is well known. In 1880 he was a delegate to the State convention, and was a delegate in 1881, 1888 and 1892. A member of the County Republican Committee, he has been an active worker for his party, and is one of the first men of the county. He has shown his appreciation of secret organizations by becoming a Mason (Royal Arch) and a member of the Knights of Pythias. He practices in all the State and Federal courts of the county, and is one of the most reliable and popular lawyers in western Michigan.

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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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