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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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CYRUS B. GROAT, an energetic general agriculturist located on section 36, Berrien Township, Berrien County, Mich., now devoting himself exclusively to farming, was for twenty-four years an able teacher of the county and, a man of executive ability, has for eleven consecutive years discharged with efficiency the duties of Supervisor, and has been Chairman of the important committees of the Board. Our subject is a life-time resident of his present locality, and was born in Berrien Township April 6, 1844. His father, a well-known citizen of Pokagon Township, is a native of Canada. The mother, Mrs. Lucinda (Pinnell) Groat, is by birth a Virginian. Married in Michigan, the parents settled upon section 24, Berrien Township, and brought up from a wild condition into a high state of cultivation a farm, upon which they lived a number of years. They subsequently removed to Berrien Springs, again improved hitherto uncultivated acreage, and two years later made their home in Berrien Township, later moving to Niles Township. From that locality after eight years’ residence they went to Pokagon, where, upon a homestead situated upon section 31, they are enjoying the comforts of life, and the father, retired from active duties, is taking a well-earned rest. The parents are valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they have been connected ten years, ever active in good work. Prior to joining the Methodist Episcopal Church, they belonged to the United Brethren Church a number of years. The father is the oldest settler in the locality, and is a life-time farmer.

The eldest child living of the family, our subject was reared upon a farm and educated in the graded schools of Berrien County, since adding to his early stock of knowledge by close observation and reading. During his extended term as instructor, he taught successfully two winters at the Normal School at Berrien Centre. Until he was twenty-two years of age he remained with his parents, but from that time was away from home. Mr. Groat traveled eighteen months for Harper Bros., handling their school-books, throughout Michigan and Indiana. In 1868 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Stutsman, of Elkhart Ind., and with his estimable wife settled upon his present farm. Mr. and Mrs. Groat were the parents of two children, of whom one son survives, Max, now attending school. The homestead contains one hundred and forty-five acres of valuable land, one hundred and twenty acres of which are under a high state of productiveness. The farm is devoted mainly to the cultivation of grain and the raising of a superior grade of stock. In 1873, an attractive residence was erected at a cost of $1,500, and the other improvements are substantial and commodious.

Aside from the care of his farm, Mr. Groat is President of the Pokagon Butter and Cheese Company, and much of his time and attention is necessarily given to this enterprise. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Crystal Springs Lodge, Summerville, and has been through all the chairs. He also affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, at Niles, and has been a member of the Grange, and was Secretary of the old Grange. Especially interested in educational advancement, our subject has, as Township Superintendent of Schools for five years, and as a member of the Board of School Examiners of Berrien County for eight years, materially assisted in the promotion of a high grade of scholarship and instruction. He was Secretary of the Board for four years, and during that time, served as County Secretary of Schools. He retained his membership until 1892, and while Secretary held Teachers’ Institutes. In the fall of 1892, he was re-elected a member of the Board of School Examiners. Mr. Groat is a member of the Board of Visitors of the college at Benton Harbor. Politically, our subject is a stalwart Republican, and has represented his constituents as delegate to various county and State conventions. In 1881, elected Supervisor, he continued an incumbent of that position until 1893, to the great satisfaction of his friends and fellow-townsmen. Mr. and Mrs. Groat are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Morris Chapel, and as Trustee and Superintendent of the Sunday-school for the past ten years, Mr. Groat has been especially faithful in religious work. Mrs. Groat has also taught in the Sunday-school, and both our subject and his wife enjoy the esteem and confidence of the entire community, among whom they occupy positions of usefulness and influence. Mr. Groat has now rented his farm, and bought a home in Niles, where he contemplates moving this fall in order to give his son the advantage of the High School.

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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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