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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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HENRY STARKWEATHER. Berrien County is conspicuous for its magnificent farms, that are faultless in the way of management and the order in which they are kept. Those in Niles Township are especially advantageously located, the land being rolling and well watered, fertile and productive. No one is to be more complimented on the perfect method and order with which his agricultural affairs are conducted than he whose name is above. He is a farmer and stock-raiser on section 6, where he has a fine home, the house being commodious and attractive, and the outbuildings substantial and capacious.

Mr. Starkweather claims New York as his native State, his birth occurring in Cayuga County, twenty miles south of Oubourn, September 18, 1820. He is a son of Henry S. and Esther (Hakes) Starkweather, both natives of Connecticut. The grandfather, Ephraim Starkweather, was also born in the Nutmeg State, and there followed farming all his life. The parents of our subject were married in their native State, and there the father tilled the soil for many years, or until his removal to Cayuga County, N. Y. After settling in that State he continued his former occupation and there died when fifty-five years of age. The mother died younger.

Our subject, the seventh in order of birth of eleven children born to his parents, attained his growth in his native place, and there remained until seventeen years of age. Deciding to make a start for himself, he turned his face toward the setting sun and reached the undeveloped State of Michigan in 1836. He made the trip with a man by the name of Isaac Griffin, settled in Berrien County, and remained with him until he had attained his majority. During this time he worked on the farm and received as compensation his board and clothes. When he reached his twenty-first birthday Mr. Griffin gave him one hundred acres of timber-land in Marshall County, Ind., and in 1840 he returned to his native place. Two years later he returned to Niles, Mich., and again made his home with Mr. Griffin, continuing with him two years.

In 1845 our subject was married to Miss Elizabeth Long, a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, born May 28, 1821, and the daughter of William Long, a native Virginian, who followed merchandising in that State for many years. Her mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Aiken, and she was born in Kentucky. Mrs. Starkweather came to Michigan in 1836, as near as can be remembered, and taught school in this State and in Indiana for several years. After his marriage, Mr. Starkweather rented a farm on Burgis’ Prairie and cultivated the soil for two years. Then, as he had a raw farm of one hundred acres in Indiana and Mrs. Starkweather had one of one hundred and fifty acres in the same State, they traded these for two farms in Mason Township, Cass County, Mich., and located on one of them. Three years later they sold, and bought another farm in the same township, but later they also sold this and resided at Elkhart, Ind., for one summer.

The year that Gen. Grant was first elected President they removed to Berrien County, and in 1873 located on the farm where they reside at the present time. Their house and contents were destroyed by fire the same year. Shortly afterward Mr. Starkweather erected one of the finest houses in the township, and now has one hundred and sixty acres of very productive land, thirty acres being in timber. Four interesting children were born of their marriage: May and Edwin, deceased; Emma, who died at the age of twenty years; and Frank J., who is now in the hardware business at Niles. In his political views Mr. Starkweather is a Republican, and in religion was reared a Quaker.

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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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