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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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ROLAND MORRILL, a successful general agriculturist and prominent fruit-grower of Benton Township, Berrien County, is a native of Michigan, and was born in Coldwater in 1852. The Morrill family are of English descent, various branches of the name having for many generations occupied with distinction high social, political and business positions throughout New England. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Jeremiah Morrill, was a native of Irasburgh, Vt., where he was reared and educated, removing in mature years to Michigan. One of his sons, Joseph Morrill, the father of Roland, was a boy of enterprise and spirit, and early resolved to try his fortune in the then far West of Michigan. Unincumbered by any surplus baggage, he left Irasburgh when a lad of sixteen, and, with determined purpose and untiring energy, walked the greater part of the way to Coldwater, Mich., near which place he made his home for years. The one hundred and twenty acres which he perseveringly cultivated were located ten miles from the village, and upon the land, surrounded by Indians, the young pioneer lived alone for sixteen years.

In 1848, Joseph Morrill was united in marriage in Coldwater with Miss Mary J. Jones, a native of Canada, but an early resident of Michigan, to which State she emigrated with her parents. Mr. Morrill had found much time for study in his secluded life, and, gaining an excellent knowledge of medicine, became a skillful and well-known pioneer physician of Coldwater, enjoying a large practice and commanding the high respect of his fellow-townsmen. The pleasant home of the worthy physician and his good wife was blessed by the birth of three sons, of whom our subject was the eldest. Dana, the second-born, is a prosperous business man, of Omaha, Neb.; and Flavius, the youngest, is a resident of Washington, D. C., and is connected with a railroad company. While the children were yet in their early years, the parents removed to Grand Rapids, and in that city the boys attended the public schools and received the best educational advantages their surroundings afforded.

Roland Morrill became self-supporting while only a lad, and soon after attaining his majority settled in Berrien County, since 1872 his constant residence. Beginning in life for himself, he worked by the month for one year, and then rented a farm. Industrious and a good manager, he was prospered, and later purchased land, now owning a fine homestead of two hundred and forty acres, substantially improved with excellent buildings. Aside from his other occupations, Mr. Morrill is profitably interested in the nursery business, and, a man of acknowledged executive ability, has long, been a member and has held the office of Director in the State Horticultural Society, and is also a valued member of the World’s Fair Commission in the horticultural display of the State.

Mr. Morrill was married in 1873 to Miss Ella Pearl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Warren H. Pearl, old and esteemed settlers of Berrien County. Two children, a son and daughter, Warren and Mabel, have been born unto our subject and his excellent wife. In political affiliation Mr. Morrill is a stanch Republican, taking an active interest in the affairs of the day. He has been an important factor in local progress and improvements, and with two other leading citizens has ably discharged the duties of Superintendent or Supervisor of the Poor of the county. During his score of years passed in Berrien County, our subject has aided and encouraged educational advancement, promoted business enterprise, and entirely through his own self-reliant efforts has won his way to assured success in life.

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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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