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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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LOT BONINE. Among the well-known residents of Penn Township there is not one more warmly beloved or more truly honored by his neighbors than he whose name has just been given, and whose success in life has been due almost wholly to his industry and perseverance. His long life of usefulness and his record for integrity and true-hearted faithfulness in all the relations of life have given him a hold upon the community which all might well desire to share.

Isaac Bonine, father of our subject, was a native of Tennessee, in which State he was married to Miss Sarah Talbert, also a Tennesseean. They emigrated to Wayne County, Ind., shortly after their marriage, and were among the first settlers there. Mr. Bonine followed the occupation of a farmer, but in connection was interested in a grist, saw and oil mill. About 1843 he and his wife emigrated to Cass County, Mich., and there passed the closing scenes of their lives. Both were members of the Friends’ Church and active workers in the same.

The subject of this notice was born in Wayne County, Ind., July 18, 1825, and was the sixth in order of birth of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. He was educated in the district schools of his native township, and when about eighteen years of age came with his parents to Cass County, Mich. He was first married in Punn Township April 9, 1846, to Miss Susan Donnell, a native of the Buckeye State, who died April 4, 1862. She was the mother of six children: Jonathan D.; John N.; Emma Estella, deceased; James M.; Sarah L., wife of Charles F. Wright; and Rose E., wife of Claude L. Pemberton.

On the 30th of December, 1870, Mr. Bonine was married in Berrien County, Mich., to Miss Amanda J. Price, who was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1842, and who is a daughter of James and Rosalind (Emory) Price. The father was born near Dayton, Ohio, and the mother is a native of the State of New York. In 1842 they removed to Iowa, where they now reside. They were the parents of nine children, five of whom died in infancy, and Mrs. Bonine was the third in order of birth. She was educated in Marion County, Iowa, but came to Cass County, Mich., with the Lamb family. Mr. and Mrs. Bonine’s marriage resulted in the birth of two children: Effie, who was born January 17, 1872, and died February 19, 1879; and Arley I., born October 17, 1883.

Mr. Bonine began for himself when about twenty years of age, and, as he had been reared to farming, it seemed but natural that he should select that as his chosen calling. When twenty-four years of age his father gave him a piece of land, and in a few years he had traded it for eighty acres of the land he now owns. During his youthful days he spent considerable time trapping and hunting, and in the winter season often made as high as $600. Stricken at last with the “gold fever,” he went to California in 1851, and worked on the Yuba River for $10 a day for some time. Later he discovered a gold mine, and worked that until the cholera broke out in camp, when he left the State and returned home. He took passage on a sailing-vessel and was on the water sixty-six days, thirty days of that time being out of sight of land. He reached home in 1852, and has since resided in Cass County. Mr. Bonine has killed a great many animals in his day, and got his start in life by selling furs. His farm was all a wilderness when he became its owner, but he has now one hundred and sixty acres of fine tillable land, located five miles east of the county seat, and is one of the representative men and farmers of the township. His first Presidential vote was cast for President Taylor.

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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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