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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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JOEL HARTLINE, an extensive general agriculturist and pioneer settler of Buchanan Township, Berrien County, is a native of Pennsylvania and was born in Schuyler County, October 7, 1829. His parents, David and Mollie (Smith) Hartline, were of German parentage and long-time residents of the Quaker State. The father, a blacksmith by trade and an energetic hard-working man, removed with his family to Ohio in 1835, and in 1841 died in that State. The maternal grandfather, Michael Smith, was a courageous and resolute man, serving with fidelity in the war for independence.

Soon after the death of her husband, the mother of our subject brought her family to Michigan, and in 1841 settled two miles north of the farm on which Mr. Hartline now resides. The country was then a veritable wilderness, without roads from one settlement to another, the paths being the only visible trail. The mother with her children had but very little means, and eagerly did all that they could to help, working out by the day or month, and when without employment returning to the home. As the eldest child was but fourteen years of age when the family located in Berrien County, the widow and her little ones were often sorely pressed to obtain the necessaries of life, but after a few years their circumstances improved.

Mrs. Hartline survived to witness the progress of twenty-seven changing years in Michigan. Eli, the eldest-born, died in the service of the Union, in 1863 or 1864; Joel is our subject; Mary is the widow of Jasper Worthington; Betsey is the widow of Domingo Spuretta; Abbie, deceased, was the wife of Van Buren Clendennin; Joshua resides in Weesaw Township; Catherine, deceased, was the wife of Joseph Willard; Laney is the widow of Theo Root; and Melissa is the wife of John Cuspard.

Our subject was bound out when eleven years of age to Nathan Fitch, of Berrien County, and worked for him until twenty-one years old. His education was limited to a very few months of study in the winter, and from his earliest childhood he was inured to hard labor. As soon as he attained his majority Mr. Fitch gave him $100, which sum was applied at once toward the payment of forty acres of land bought by Mr. Hartline of Mr. Fitch for $125. Our subject worked out the $25 at $12.50 per month. After a time he sold this land at $30 profit and then bought one hundred and sixty acres in Oronoko Township at $4 per acre. Later he disposed of fifty acres to Nathan Field for $800. The next venture, eighty acres of land in the neighborhood of Dayton, and slightly improved, was purchased by Mr. Hartline and disposed of about a year after at a clean profit of $600. Finally our subject bought one hundred acres close to his residence and added to the tract until he owned about two hundred acres, which having improved he sold at $1,000 profit. Constantly speculating in land he purchased in Berrien Springs one hundred and sixty-eight unimproved acres at $36, and the same year, 1864, sold it for $57.50 per acre. His next purchase was his present homestead, of which he at first bought one hundred and sixty acres, with seventy acres under cultivation, for which he paid $50 per acre. To this Mr. Hartline has since added, and after giving forty acres to his son has two hundred and twenty-five acres remaining, one hundred and twenty of which are under a high state of cultivation. Our subject has improved the homestead with a handsome two-story residence and a bank barn, 30x60 on the ground and 36x60 at the top.

In 1859, Mr. Hartline was married to Miss Hettie Boyle, a native of Berrien County and a daughter of Godfrey and Rosanna Boyle, natives of Germany. Our subject and his estimable wife have been blessed by the birth of thirteen children, ten of whom are yet living. They are in the order of their birth: David, Eli, George, Ella (wife of John Gifford), Nathan, Stella, Edna, Minnie, William and Clayton. These children have enjoyed excellent opportunities of receiving a good education and are worthily fitted to occupy positions of usefulness. Politically, Mr. Hartline is a stanch Republican and takes an interest in the management of local and national affairs. Financially prospered, he has won his upward way by self-reliant effort and is a liberal-spirited man and a leading citizen of Berrien County.

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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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