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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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WILLIAM J. ABBOTT. Throughout Cass County the subject of this notice has gained the reputation of being an enterprising citizen, genial companion and successful farmer. On section 3, Milton Township, he owns and operates a large tract of land, on which he raises the various cereals and also engages in stock-raising. Of the one hundred and twenty acres comprising the farm, one hundred have been placed under cultivation, and the entire estate is embellished with first-class improvements. Since Mr. Abbott located here in 1877 he has been instrumental in securing many improvements and has erected a number of substantial buildings suitable to their various purposes.

Born in Kent County, Del., near the city of Milford, May 19, 1838, the subject of this sketch is the son of George and Mary (Jones) Abbott, natives of Delaware, who were there married and resided for many years. The father, who was a farmer by occupation and a painter by trade, migrated to Michigan in an early day and located in Milton Township, Cass County, where he died at the age of seventy. The mother passed away at the age of sixty-eight, and their mortal remains are buried side by side in the Smith Chapel Cemetery. Both were honorable, upright, and kind-hearted in disposition, and the mother was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In the parental family were the following children; Mary P., deceased; Elizabeth H., widow of J. A. Coverdale, of Milton Township; George P., a resident of Howard Township, Cass County; William J., of this sketch; Hiram, who was killed in August, 1892, by falling from a horse, which dragged him a considerable distance in the stirrup; James H., who makes his home in Milton Township, Cass County; Alice A., the wife of John W. Webb, of Nebraska; Lydia J., wife of A. J. Dunning; and Louisa, who died in infancy. William J. is the fifth child and the second son of this family. He was about five years old when he accompanied his parents to Cass County and located in Milton Township, where the rudiments of his education were secured in the log schoolhouse near his home.

March 28, 1860, Mr. Abbott married Sarah J. Wilson, who was born in Sussex County, Del., June 2, 1835, being the daughter of David and Sarah (Davis) Wilson, natives of Delaware. Mrs. Abbott, the eldest of three children in the family, was reared in Delaware, where she remained until twenty-two years of age. After his marriage Mr. Abbott resided for one year on a farm in Jefferson Township, Cass County, and thence removed to Milton Township, locating on section 3. For twelve years he resided in that place, and thence in 1877 he removed to his present farm on the same section, where he now owns one hundred and twenty acres.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Abbott have been born two daughters: Zada, who is at home; and Zella, the wife of Alvin Leet, of Milton Township. In his political connections Mr. Abbott gives his hearty support to the principles of the Democratic party and is prominent in the ranks of that organization. For two years he served as Treasurer of the township and has also filled the school offices acceptably. In whatever position he has served, he has proved the possession of energy, good judgment and sound common sense, and is justly prominent in local affairs.

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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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