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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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ERASMUS MILLER KRUSE. In mentioning those of foreign birth who have become closely associated with the farming interests of Berrien County, Mich., we should not fail to present an outline of Mr. Kruse, for he is one who has fully borne out the reputation of that class of industrious, energetic and far-seeing men who claim Denmark as their native country. He is a retired sailor and is now engaged in farming in Royalton Township, Berrien County, Mich. He was born in Arhuns, Denmark, December 15, 1826, and is a son of Hans B. and Vearn (Skipter) Kruse, both of whom were natives of that country.

Hans B. Kruse was a sailor and was captain of a sailing-vessel for about forty years. His father Amity Kruse, was also an old sailor, but after leaving the sea he was engaged in merchandising, following that until his death. Hans B. Kruse died in his native country in 1856, and his wife followed him to the grave about four years afterwards. They were members of the Lutheran Church. Their family consisted of three sons and one daughter, as follows: Erasmus M. our subject; Amity C., deceased; and Christina, wife of Mr. Danckert, who was born in Denmark and who was a lawyer by profession. He is now deceased and his widow resides in the Old Country. Yance, another, child, is deceased. The last-named was a civil engineer and while standing up in a wagon putting on his overcoat, was thrown out backward by the horses starting, and was killed. The maternal grandfather of these children was also a sailor.

The original of this brief notice remained with his parents until fourteen years of age, and then decided to try a sailor’s life. He went from Denmark to China for a cargo of tea in 1841, and continued working on the vessel until 1846, when he was shipwrecked off the coast of South America, near Montevideo. After this he went on a convoy up the La Platte and Paraguay Rivers, thirteen hundred miles, and returned to Montevideo loaded with hides. Leaving the convoy, he boarded a Baltimore vessel and sailed for New York, landing in that city in 1846. From there he made three voyages to England, France and the East Indies, after which he settled in Boston. Shortly afterwards he went to San Francisco in a ship called the “John M. Mail,” and had a Dane for captain. This was on the 2d of January, 1850, and he landed in San Francisco the last of April. From April of that year until 1853 he was running on a pilot boat, getting $150 to $180 per month, but in the last-named year he heard that his mother was sick and started immediately for his native country, reaching his home in December, 1854. His mother recovered and lived for a number of years after that.

From 1854 to 1858 Mr. Kruse was master of a vessel called the “Caliph,” but the year 1859 he came to Chicago and remained there until the fall, when he moved to St. Joseph, Mich. For several years after this he sailed on the Lakes, but in 1870 he bought his present farm, forty acres, six miles south of St. Joseph. In the year 1879 he was married in Berrien County to Miss Mary Sarah Mayhew, a native of Canada, and four children were the fruits of this union; Ansel M., Rachel M., Robert E. and Reuben W. Mr. Kruse is one of the honorable, upright men of the county, and his word is as good as his bond. He is a stanch Republican in his political views, and his first Presidential vote was for Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Kruse is a Free Methodist in her religious belief, and a lady of much intelligence.

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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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