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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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ELIAS PARDEE, long a prominent business man of Dowagiac, Cass County, Mich., and now a highly esteemed and leading citizen of the city, has been an abiding and enterprising resident of his present home for more than two-score years, but is now retired from active business. He has a fine collection from skilled taxidermists of the State, and has also in his possession some of the finest trophies of the field and stream. Our subject is a native of Knox County, Ohio, and in the thriving town of Bloomfield he was born October 7, 1826. The birthplace of his father, Isaac Pardee, was New York State, where in the old homestead he was reared, attending the district schools of the neighborhood. Isaac Pardee removed to Ohio in early life and there made his home for many years. His wife, Lucy (Dickerman) Pardee, was born in the beautiful city of New Haven, Conn., in which part of New England the ancestors of Mrs. Pardee had lived for generation after generation.

The Pardees are of French extraction, Grandfather Pardee having himself been a native of sunny France. He came to this country in his youth, and was an energetic and patriotic American citizen. As the family of Isaac Pardee began to cluster about the fireside of the Ohio home, he finally determined to remove with his family to the more progressive and broader fields of the farther West, and in 1844 journeyed to Buchanan, Berrien County, Mich. The family traveled by team and spent eleven days upon the way, arriving in the month of May. Nearly a half-century has passed since Elias Pardee, then eighteen years of age, came to the State destined from thence to be his permanent home. A constant eye-witness of the rapid development of the country, he has actively participated in its advancement, aiding in all enterprises tending to local growth and progress, and he may with pride recall his energetic and public-spirited efforts of other and early days.

In 1850, our subject settled in the village of Dowagiac, and two years later, February 28, 1852, entered the employ of the Central Railroad Company. He continued with that corporation until August 1, 1861, and during his nine years of faithful service was at first watchman and later station agent and also performed the duties of express agent. An excellent financier, he invested in farming property, but after a time disposed of his agricultural interests, selling his farm in 1865. He had meantime, in 1861, erected his handsome brick residence, which he still makes his city home. Financially prospered, Mr. Pardee long ago accumulated a comfortable competence. In 1881, he began the improvement of a piece of land located upon Sisters’ Lake, and developed the once wilderness into a beautiful summer resort. On account of the ill health of his estimable wife, our subject finally sold out his interest in that fine piece of real estate. Mr. Pardee entered the bonds of matrimony the second year after he made his home in Dowagiac, being married June 10, 1853. In 1888, our subject, who has long been a noted hunter and fisherman, established a camp upon Magician Lake, where he spends most of his summers.

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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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