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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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CHARLES HANSON, a successful agriculturist of Jefferson Township, Cass County, Mich., has passed his entire life in his present locality, and was born in the township June 23, 1855. His parents, old-time residents of Cass County, were William and Elizabeth (Crawford) Hanson. The paternal grandfather, John Hanson, was a native of Johnstown, Fulton County, N. Y. Emigrating to Michigan in 1835, this worthy pioneer settled upon section 31, Jefferson Township, where, after improving a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, he passed away while making a trip to mill. He was found on the ice of Pleasant Lake, near Edwardsburgh, and was dead when discovered. His wife survived until 1871. In political opinions, he was a Democrat. His wife was a Presbyterian, and a sincere Christian. They were the parents of six sons: Ralph, engaged in mining in Colorado; Benjamin, who died while in the army; John, William, James and Victor. The two daughters were Ann and Rebecca. By his first marriage, the grandfather had two daughters, Margaret and Eliza.

William Hanson, the father of our subject, was born in Fulton County, N. Y., November 14, 1824. He emigrated with his parents to Michigan in 1835, and, having reached maturity, began life for himself upon a farm of eighty acres. He increased his estate to seven hundred and twenty acres, nearly all located in Jefferson Township, and mostly under high cultivation. Our subject owns the old homestead on which he settled in 1857. The father retired from active farming duties in 1881, and made his home in Edwardsburgh, when he gave each of his five children eighty acres apiece. He was twice married; first to Elizabeth Crawford, who bore him five children: Mary Head, of San Angelo, Tex.; Henry A.; Charles; Ann Thatcher; and Lizzie, who died at two years of age. The first wife, the mother of our subject, died in September, 1875. Miss Matilda Kownover became the second wife of the father, and was the mother of one child, Minnie Harris. William Hanson was a Democrat, and actively interested in local and national politics.

The maternal grandfather of our subject was Robert Crawford, a pioneer farmer of Jefferson Township, who prosperously worked a small farm of seventy acres. He was a man of liberal views, and was of Irish ancestry. He reared a family of four daughters: Mary, Hannah, Margaret and Elizabeth, the latter of whom, the mother of Charles Hanson, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject spent the days of boyhood on the old farm, and gained his education in the school of the district. At twenty-one years of age he became his own master, and diligently continued in agricultural pursuits. He married at twenty-six, and now owns one hundred and thirty acres of the homestead. Upon December 28, 1881, he entered into wedlock with Miss Carrie A. Truitt, a native of Milton Township, Cass County, Mich. Mrs. Hanson is the daughter of Henry P. and Letitia (Hicks) Truitt, who were born respectively in Delaware and Erie County, Ohio. Upon their homestead of eighty acres two daughters, Carrie A. and Bessie, shared the labors of the mother, and grew up to intelligent womanhood.

The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Hanson, Peter Truitt, was born in Slatter Neck, Sussex County, Del., February 7, 1801. He emigrated to Michigan by team in 1831, and was forty-four days upon the way. He entered fifteen hundred acres of land, which he afterward divided among his children. He passed away December 29, 1881, having been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and an active and liberal supporter of his denomination, assisting in organizing the first church of that persuasion in the township. Politically, he was in early life a Whig, but afterward became a stanch Republican. He was the first and only Postmaster in Milton Township, and, ever anxious to assist in public improvements, helped to build the road between the city of Niles and his home. He entered matrimonial bonds four times. His first wife, Mary Simpler, was the mother of John M., Elizabeth C. Tittle, Henry P. and David T.; one child died in infancy. By his second wife, Elizabeth, he had two children, Mary J. Butts and Esther Griffith. The third wife, Deborah McKnitt, was the sister of the second wife, and had but one child, James M. The fourth wife, Sarah Lane, nee McKnitt, had no issue. Peter Truitt was the son of Langford and Esther A. (Shockley) Truitt, whose home was on a Delaware farm. The first wife of Peter Truitt was a daughter of Milby Simpler, a Revolutionary soldier of patriotic stock.

Our subject and his estimable wife are the parents of one child, a son, Frank L., at home, born June 22, 1888. Reared and educated in the locality of their present home, Mr. and Mrs. Hanson enjoy the esteem and confidence of many friends.

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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 Cass County, Michigan family biographies here: Cass County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Cass County, Michigan here: Cass County Michigan Map

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