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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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SILAS H. THOMAS. Personal popularity, it cannot be denied, results largely from the industry, perseverance and close attention to business which a person displays in the management of the different occupations in which he engages. In the case of Mr. Thomas this is particularly true, for he has adhered so closely to farming and the stock-raising industry that high esteem has been placed upon him. He is a typical Michigan farmer, enterprising and progressive, and such a man as wields no small influence in the community where he makes his home.

Mr. Thomas was born in Grant County, Ind., May 14, 1832, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Bogue) Thomas, natives respectively of South and North Carolina. The grandfather, Elijah Thomas, was born in the Palmetto State and was of Welsh descent. At an early date he moved to Wayne County, Ind., and after a residence there of a few years located in Grant County, that State, where he made his home until 1854. He then moved to St. Joseph County, Mich., and died near Constantine. He was a farmer and lumber dealer in early life, but was following the trade of a basket-maker at the time of his death, which occurred when he was eighty-eight years of age. His wife’s maiden name was Susanah Snead, and she was a native of one of the Carolinas. Her death occurred in Grant County, Ind.

Samuel Thomas, the father of our subject, was but a boy when he left his native State for Indiana. He was married to Miss Bogue, daughter of Benjamin Bogue, and after residing in Indiana for some time, they moved to St. Joseph County, Mich., and there both received their final summons. They were the parents of seven children, six sons and one daughter, viz.: Josiah, Exom, Silas, David, Enos, Benjamin and Abigail.

When nineteen years of age our subject started out for himself by working by the day and month at railroading and ditching. He helped to grade the Lake Shore of Michigan’ Southern Railroad between Goshen and Elkhart, Ind., then laid the track west of La Porte, Ind. When twenty-four years of age he was married to Miss Elvira Bogue, who was born in Cass County, Mich., January 19, 1836, and who is a sister of Stephen A. Bogue. (See sketch.) Since his marriage, Mr. Thomas has turned his attention principally to farming, and everything about his place indicates to the beholder that he has made a success of the calling. He cleared the farm he now owns and has resided on this since the spring of 1860. He has one hundred and twenty acres of good land located four miles east of the county seat, and has it well improved and well cultivated.

In politics Mr. Thomas advocates the principles of the Republican party and cast his first Presidential vote for Col. John C. Fremont. To his marriage have been born six children: James Arthur; Edward Foster, deceased; Mary E., wife of R. W. Gammon, a minister of the Friends’ Church, now in Earlham College; Blanch, wife of Charles M. Ratcliff, who is now Prosecuting Attorney at Marion, Ind.; Florence, wife of Frank Fox, who is a minister of the Congregational Church, and resides in Big Rock, Ill.; and Cora A., who died January 22, 1890. The latter was a young lady of more than ordinary intelligence and was highly respected by all. She and all her sisters were teachers and members of the Friends’ Church. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are birthright members of that church and were married in the same.

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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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