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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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WILLIS H. ARGABRIGHT, foreman of the Round Oak Stove Works at Dowagiac, was born in Clarke County, Ohio, May 21, 1841. His father, John Argabright, was born in Blacksburg, Giles County, Va., and after learning the trade of a blacksmith in the Old Dominion he came to Ohio and settled in Clarke County, where he followed his chosen occupation. In 1854 he came to Michigan and settled in Cass County, renting a farm near the city of Cassopolis. Farming pursuits engaged his attention, and he tilled the soil of that place until 1867, when he removed to a farm situated about five miles south of Dowagiac. Later he ceased his active farming labors, and, coming to Dowagiac, lived here retired from business anxieties and cares until his demise, which occurred in 1874.

The union of John Argabright and Matilda Prilliman was blessed by the birth of six children, three of whom are now living, namely: our subject; Henry M., who is assistant foreman at the Round Oak Stove Works; and Mrs. Charity Rench, whose home is in Dowagiac. The father of this family was a devout member of the Baptist Church and was an honorable, upright man, whose religious belief was exemplified by his noble life. In Clarke County, Ohio, the subject of this sketch resided until thirteen years old, when he accompanied his father to Michigan and grew to manhood upon the farm in Cass County.

The marriage of Mr. Argabright occurred in 1868 and united him with Miss Lucy, daughter of Ziba Neff, who was a farmer of Jefferson Township, Cass County, Mich. Mrs. Argabright was born in Lake County, Ohio, and was about seven years old when she came to Michigan. After his marriage Mr. Argabright located near Edwardsburgh, Cass County, but after residing there for two years came to Dowagiac, where for a time he worked on the railroad. After following that occupation for about six months he was appointed freight clerk, which position he filled for five years. Later he received the appointment of freight and ticket agent at this place for the Michigan Central Railroad, and occupied that responsible position twenty-two years. Afterward he traveled for two years in the employ of the Round Oak Stove Works, being the third traveling salesman on the road for this company. When he left the road he accepted the position he still occupies as foreman of the Round Oak Stove Works, which he has filled since 1888.

Politically, Mr. Argabright is a Democrat, firm in his allegiance to the party of his choice. Socially, he is identified with the Order of Maccabees. His residence is a pleasant abode, built after the latest designs and containing modern improvements, and is located on the corner of Chesboro and Park Place. In addition to this property Mr. Argabright is the owner of a finely improved place of eighty acres located two miles from the corporate limits of Dowagiac, in Pokagon Township. This farm is devoted to general farming and stock-raising purposes and is embellished with an excellent class of buildings.

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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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