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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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CHARLES T. GLEASON, an influential citizen of Sodus Township, Berrien County, owns one of the most finely cultivated and highly improved homesteads in this part of Michigan. He has been a resident of his present locality for about thirty years and is numbered among the leading general agriculturists and prominent men of his home locality. Mr. Gleason is a native of the Queen’s dominions, and was born in Canada, about one hundred and sixty miles from Quebec, in 1836. His father, Patrick Gleason, was a sailor, who made his home in Ireland, and died soon after the birth of his son Charles. Our subject spent the days of early boyhood in different parts of Canada, and had but very limited advantages for an education, never attending school after he was eleven years of age. Charles was only a boy not yet twelve years old, when he came to the States and received his first employment in Lewiston, Niagara County, N. Y. The lad obtained work upon a farm and for four years faithfully sowed, planted and reaped, laboring with steady and unvarying industry, and enjoying few, if any, of the pleasures incidental to youth.

Having now arrived at fifteen years of age, our subject went to Buffalo, and, a bright, intelligent lad, readily procured work and was for the succeeding two years engaged in a ship-yard. In 1855, Mr. Gleason journeyed to the farther West and located in Harrington, Ill. For two years he followed the trade of a carpenter in that vicinity, and then resolved to try his fortunes in Michigan, and coming hither settled in Berrien County, in the immediate neighborhood of his present home. Having but very little ready capital, at first he farmed on shares, but in 1863 bought fifty acres of land, to which he has since added fifty other acres, the one hundred acres being among the most fertile and productive land in the township. The farm with its cultivated fields and attractive improvements is especially noted by all passers-by. The residence, barns and other buildings are modern in construction, well-planned and tastefully finished. Aside from the tilling of the soil, Mr. Gleason profitably handles some excellent stock, and is in every department of agriculture thoroughly practical.

In 1857, Charles Gleason and Miss Harriet Hemingway were united in marriage. Mrs. Gleason is the daughter of Jesse and Lois Hemingway, old-time residents of Berrien County, Mich. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Gleason has been blessed by the birth of nine children, three sons and six daughters. Jessie is the wife of Henry Feather and resides in Berrien County. Nellie married Frank Smith and lives in Sodus Township. George married Annie Clark and makes his home in the neighborhood of his parents and is a prosperous farmer. Hattie and Mary are at home and are among the most successful teachers of the county; Grace, the youngest child, Fred and Ed are all still with their father and mother. Pearl is clerking in the store of Cal Jilleson, at Stevensville. Always regretting his lack of education, our subject early determined to fit his children well for the battle of life, and to that end stimulated and encouraged them to study, and gave them every possible advantage he could for higher instruction. Six of the family have been teachers and three are yet engaged in that vocation.

Mr. Gleason is not personally identified with any church, but his entire family belong to the Methodist Episcopal denomination, and are workers in the church and prominent in its social gatherings and benevolent enterprises. Politically, our subject is a stalwart Republican, and has ever been true to the principles of the “Party of Reform,” casting his vote for John C. Fremont in 1856. As Road Commissioner Mr. Gleason has given faithful service to his fellow-townsmen, and in all the duties of the day has with sincere purpose fulfilled the obligations devolving upon him. Having self-reliantly won his way in life, he has the great pleasure of seeing his children attain to useful and self-respecting manhood and womanhood, possessed of education and natural ability to worthily fill any place of influence or honor to which they may be called.

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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 Berrien County, Michigan family biographies here: Berrien County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Berrien County, Michigan here: Berrien County Michigan Map

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