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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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H. D. GRAVES, an energetic and prosperous wood and coal merchant, located on the West Side, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Clay Street, Niles City, is one of the most enterprising business men of Berrien County, and until January, 1893, also clerked in a grocery and is likewise engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits. Our subject was born in Aurora, Portage County, Ohio, February 28, 1858, and is the son of Rev. Joseph S. Graves and Mrs. Ann (Bois) Graves. The paternal grandfather, William Spencer Graves, was a native of Connecticut, and, a man of fine business ability, was a well-known and successful merchant of the State of his birth. He was of English descent, the Graves being among the Colonial emigrants from the Queen’s dominions to New England. The father of our subject was born, reared and educated in his birthplace, Hartford, Conn. Devoting himself to the profession of the ministry, he became later in life the able pastor of the Congregational Church at Jacksonville, Ill.

The mother, Mrs. Ann (Bois) Graves, was born, educated and married in Portage County, Ohio, and was the daughter of E. Riley Bois, a prominent farmer and old-time resident of the Buckeye State. The father and mother made their home for some time in Aurora, but since 1875 have been located in Niles City, where they enjoy the esteem and confidence of a large circle of acquaintances. Three children blessed the home of the parents, two daughters and one son. Mr. Graves was the second child and accompanied his parents to the West. He received his education mainly in the home of his early youth, but completed his studies in the High School of Niles City. By nature, self-reliant, he was early trained into habits of practical industry.

In the mean time Mr. Graves personally superintended the cultivation of three farms: the Potter farm of two hundred acres in Bertrand Township, and two hundred in Niles Township; the Messenger farm of seventy acres; and Mrs. H. C. Platts’ eighty-acre farm. These several pieces of agricultural property are devoted to general farming and stock-raising, superior grades of cattle and horses being handled upon the various estates. The wood and coal business has been long established and receives a large custom. January 24, 1883, H. D. Graves and Miss Ella Summers were united in marriage. Mrs. Graves is a native of Niles, and has spent her life among the associations of her youth. Our subject and his estimable wife have no children. Mr. Graves is a Republican and was a candidate for Alderman of the Fourth Ward of the city. He is fraternally a valued member of Lodge No. 628, R. A., of Niles, and, a liberal-spirited citizen, is ever ready to aid in all matters tending to the promotion of public welfare.

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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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