Cass County Michigan Biographies
From The History of Cass County by Glover

Page E


Edd W. Easton operates and occupies a fine farm of two hundred and twenty acres, pleasantly situated on section 21, Silver Creek township. It was upon this farm that his birth occurred in the 17th of February, 1861. Throughout his entire life he has lived in Silver Creek township and has become widely recognized as an enterprising, progressive agriculturist, whose business interests are capably conducted and who is all his dealings is upright and reliable. His father, Thomas Easton, was a native of Kentucky and came to Michigan with his parents when a boy, locating in Berrien county, where he was reared amid pioneer surroundings. When a young man he removed to Cass county and was married here to Miss Emily Hinchman, a native of Virginia, who came with her parents to this state in her early girlhood days. Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Easton located on Section 21, Silver Creek township, where the husband devoted his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits, placing his land under a high state of cultivation and developing an excellent farm. He continued in active farm work until his life's labors were ended in death, when he was in his seventy-fifth year. He is still survived by his wife, who is one of the worthy pioneer women of the county. In their family were four children, three sons and a daughter, namely: Dr. W. W. Easton, who is living in Dowagiac; Jennie, the widow of William Allen, also a resident of Dowagiac; Dr. J. M. Easton, of Decatur; and Edd W., of this review.

The youngest of the family, Edd W. Easton, was reared under the parental roof upon the farm where he now resides, and pursued his education in the common schools of the township. When not busy with his text-books or engaged with the pleasures of the playground his attention was given to the work of the farm, and in early life he became familiar with the best methods of cultivating the soil and caring for the crops. He remained at home until his marriage, which was celebrated on the 14th of October, 1883, the lady of his choice being Miss Florence Mason, a daughter of A. H. and Temperance (Cross) Mason, the former a native of New York and the latter of Canada. They came to Cass county in an early day, being among the first settlers of Dowagiac. The father is a carpenter by trade but has conducted a hotel and planing mill and has been closely associated with the business development of his adopted city. Mrs. Easton was born in Dowagiac August 7, 1862, and is the seventh in order of birth in a family of nine children. She remained with her parents during the days of her girlhood and is indebted to the public school system of her native city for the educational privileges which she enjoyed. At the time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Easton located upon the farm where he has since resided with the exception of a brief period spent in Dowagiac. He has here two hundred and twenty acres of land belonging to his mother. He has placed the farm under a high state of cultivation and it richly repays his efforts in splendid crops which the fields annually yield. Everything about the place is kept up in good condition and its neat and thrifty appearance indicates the careful supervision of a practical and progressive owner.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Easton have been born two daughters, May, who finished the eleventh grade in the Dowagiac city schoo, took the normal course in 1906, and also has taken instrumental music. She will take charge of District No. Six in Silver Creek. Alma, the youngest, is in the fourth grade. The family is well known in the community and have many warm friends here. Mr. Easton is an earnest Republican in his political views, and in 1904 was elected to the office of supervisor of his township, in which capacity he served for a year. He has been a school director for a number of years, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. In fact he is a recognized supporter of all progressive movements, and his co-operation has been of value in measures for the public good. He belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees at Dowagiac. He has known no other home than Cass county nor has he wished to change his place of residence. The lives of such men are an indication of the attractiveness of the county as a place of residence and of the opportunities here afforded to the citizens, for were conditions otherwise enterprising men like Mr. Easton would seek homes elsewhere. On the contrary they recognize that they have good advantages here and they are always laboring to promote the welfare and progress of the county, while at the same time carefully conducting private business interests.

Typed by Barbara O'Reagan


Daniel Eby, residing on section 21, Porter township, was born in this township 21 April 1858. He is the sixth child and fifth son in a family of eight sons and one daughter, whose parents were Typed by Larry Sullivan

[Editing note: Capitalization, style and punctuation of original text have been followed throughout except for the occasional insertion of commas in long compound sentences. Several long paragraphs also have been divided up for ease of reading. Deletions are marked by elipses (...).]


No history of Cass county would be complete without mention of Gabriel Eby, who is the oldest living resident of Porter township, having passed the eighty-eighth milestone on life’s journey. His residence is on section 6, South Porter township, and from pioneer times he has remained upon this farm, an interested witness of the changes that have occurred and the transformation that has been wrought as the county has been developed from a wild and unimproved region into one of rich fertility, becoming a center of agricultural development in Michigan. Mr. Eby was born in Stark county, Ohio, five miles east of Canton, on the 27th of July, 1818. His paternal grandfather, David Eby, was born on the ocean while his parents were en route from Germany to America and the family home was established in Virginia in early colonial days. His father, the Rev. John Eby, was a native of Virginia and was minister of the United Brethren church, who devoted his entire life to the cause of preaching the gospel. He exerted a wide and beneficial influence in behalf of moral development and wherever he went labored earnestly for the welfare of the people among whom he located. He became a pioneer settler of Stark county, Ohio, and there he died in the sixty-second year of his age, leaving behind an honored name and a memory that has been cherished by all who knew him. His wife bore the maiden name of Mary M. Dague and was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. She died at a comparatively early age, being but forty years old when called to her final rest. Rev. Eby afterward married again, his second union being with Miss Mary Hamger, and by the two marriages he became the father of seventeen children, all of whom reached adult life. By the first marriage there were nine children, eight sons and a daughter, while of the second union four sons and four daughters were born.

Gabriel Eby was the seventh child and sixth son of the first marriage, and was reared in Stark county, Ohio, amid the wild scenes and environments of pioneer life. The work of improvement and cultivation had scarcely been begun in that section of the state in his early youth. Only here and there was a little cabin to show that some adventurous settler was endeavoring to found a home in the wilderness. He was sixteen years of age when the first schoolhouse was built in his district and in consequence his educational privileges were limited, but through experience and observation he has gained a good practical business knowledge. He was nineteen years of age when he left Ohio and made his way to Elkhart county, Indiana, but later he returned to the county of his nativity and was there married in 1846 to Miss Caroline Wagner. With his bride he returned to Elkhart county, where he resided for a brief period, when in 1848, they removed to Cass county, Michigan, settling in Porter township. They took up their abode upon the farm where Mr. Eby yet resides and their first home was a little log cabin sixteen by eighteen feet, in which they lived for fifteen years. He had up to this time always lived on the frontier, first in Ohio, later in Indiana and now in Michigan, and the hardships and privations incident to settlement in a pioneer country were familiar to him and were courageously borne in his attempt to establish a good home for his family. He lived in his first house for fifteen years, during which period it was roofed three different times. Later be built a brick house, manufacturing the brick on his own farm. His life has been one of earnest and unremitting toil, and it has only been in recent years that he has left the work of the farm to others. He secured one hundred and sixty acres of land on coming to the county and resolutely began the task of clearing and cultivating this, placing it in the course of time under a high state of cultivation. He still owns eighty acres of the original tract, having sold the remaining eighty acres to his son.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Eby were born eight sons and one daughter, and the family circle remained unbroken until after all had attained years of maturity. The record is as follows: Catherine, the widow of John B. Harmon and a resident of Cassopolis: Daniel, a teacher and farmer living in Porter township: Gabriel, who is devoting his attention to fruit-raising in the same township. 

Typed by Carol Foss


Peter Eby, who for fifty-eight years has been a resident of Porter township, may well be termed one of the old settlers of the county and has demonstrated his right in many ways to rank with its representative citizens, for he belongs to that class of men who in the faithful performance of each day’s duties of every public task devolving upon him, manifests his loyalty and interest in the general good. He resides on section 6, south Porter Township, and is a native of Elkhart county, Indiana, born on the 9th of August, 1848. He is the eldest son of Gabriel and Caroline (Wagner) Eby, and was only about two months old when the parents removed from Indiana to Michigan, settling in Porter township. He has therefore been a lifelong resident of Cass county and yet resides in the township where his boyhood and youth were spent. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age and assisted in clearing up and improving the farm. When he was about twenty-five years of age he bought the land upon which he now resides. In the winter seasons he attended the early schools of the township, spending about three months each year in school, while the remainder of the time was given to the tasks of plowing, planting and harvesting. He continued to work in the fields for the benefit of his father until he attained his majority.

Mr. Eby won a companion and helpmate for life’s journey when, in 1871, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Carman, a daughter of Chauncey and Elsie J. (Adams) Carman, who was born in Winnebago county, Illinois, and was there reared to the age of thirteen years, at which time she came to Porter township, Cass county, with her parents. Mr. Eby has a farm of eighty acres, upon which he has made all the improvements. There are now substantial buildings upon the place, good machinery and well tilled fields. He raises the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and also has some good stock upon his place, but his attention is chiefly given to the cultivation of his fields.

Unto Mr. & Mrs. Eby have been born three children: Florence, the wife of George Wagner, of Mason township; Raymond, who is upon the home farm and who married Lois E. Richardson, a daughter of Jesse and Clara Richardson, well known residents of Porter township; and Ralph C., who is attending college in South Bend, Indiana. The attractiveness of Cass county as a place of residence is indicated by the fact that many of her native sons have remained within her borders and Mr. Eby may be classed with this number, as he was but two months old when brought to Michigan. He early became familiar with the best methods of cultivating and improving land and on attaining his majority determined to devote his life to the occupation to which he was reared. Not to the fact of any fortunate combination of circumstances has he prospered, but through his own unfaltering labor, perseverance and diligent effort--qualities which may be cultivated by all and which ever produce the best results. In his political views Mr. Eby is a Republican, active in the support of the party, with which he has been allied since attaining majority. He has never been away from his present farm for more that four weeks at a time and with persistent purpose has carried on his work, being today one of the representative agriculturists of the community.

Typed by Carol Foss


Ulysses S. Eby, engaged in the practice of law in Cassopolis, where his thorough understanding of judicial principles and careful preparation of cases have been manifest in the able manner in which he has handled in the courts the litigated interest entrusted to his care, was born in Porter township, this county, on the 7th of August, 1864, his parents being Gabriel and Caroline (Wagner) Eby. The father came to this county in 1842 and has remained on his farm ever since. He was born in Ohio, while his wife is a native of Germany, having been born near the Rhine.

After attending the common schools, U.S. Eby became a student in Valparaiso University, Indiana, and was graduated in law in June, 1900. Prior to this time he had successfully engaged in teaching school in Cass county and following his admission to the bar he entered at once upon the active practice of his profession, in which he has continued since with a large and distinctively representative clientage. The true measure of success is determined by what one has accomplished and, as taken in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, there is particular interest attaching to the career of the subject of this review, since he is a native son of the county where he has passed his active life and so directed his ability and efforts as to gain recognition as one of the representative citizens and able lawyers of Cassopolis. In 1896 he was elected county clerk and held the position for two years. In 1900 he was chosen by popular suffrage to the office of prosecuting attorney, in which capacity he also served for two years, while for three years he has been a member of the board of education.

On the 26th of September, 1888, Mr. Eby was married at Union, Michigan, to Miss Clara A. Loupee, a daughter of Oscar Loupee, of Vandalia, Michigan, and they have one son, Ulysses Guy Eby, born August 25, 1889. Mr. Eby is a member of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, which he joined in 1892 as a charter member at Jones, Michigan. For two years he was commander of the tent. In politics he is a stalwart Democrat, although his seven brothers are all Republicans. In 1890 he joined the Free Baptist church at Union, Michigan, and is still identified therewith. He is a respected and worthy citizen of Cassopolis, where his professional labors, his political service and his fidelity to social and moral obligations have made him a man worthy of high regard and esteem which is uniformly accorded him.

Typed by Carol Foss


J. Fred Emerson, one of the early residents of Cass county, who has long witnessed the growth and development that have wrought many changes here and brought about an advanced state of civilization, was born in Ontwa township, where he still lives, owning and operating one hundred and twenty acres of rich land. His father, Matthew Emerson, was a pioneer resident of Cass county, coming to Michigan when this portion of the state was largely a wild and unimproved district. He was born in Concord county, New Hampshire, on the 11th of December, 1808, and was there reared upon his father's farm, where he remained until twenty-one years of age. The paternal grandfather, Joseph Emerson, was likewise a native of the Old Granite state and became a farmer, devoting his entire life to the tilling of the soil. He married Miss Susanna Harvey, a descendant of Dr. Harvey, the celebrated discoverer of the system of the circulation of the blood. Their son Matthew was the second in order of birth in a family of five children and was reared and educated in New Hampshire, where he early became familiar with farm work, also giving a portion of his time to milling and school teaching, following the latter profession for two or three terms. He was also employed in a hardware store in Albany, New York, and in 1839, attracted by the business opportunities of a new but rapidly developing western country, he came to Cass county, Michigan, taking up his abode near Edwardsburg. He there planted a crop of wheat on what is now the Harris farm. In 1841 he removed to the old farm homestead on section 13, Ontwa township, at first purchasing eighty acres of partially improved land. He made most of the improvements upon the place, however, and converted it into a splendid property. In 1848, owing to ill health, he was compelled to rent his farm, and he then entered the employ of M. G. & M. Sage, of Adamsville, remaining in their service for five years, when, his health being greatly improved, he returned to the farm in 1853. He was then engaged in its cultivation and further development until his life's labors were ended in death on the 17th of March, 1877. He had prospered in his undertakings and at his demise left a valuable property of one hundred and twenty acres. In 1841, in Adamsville, he had married Miss Alzina Allen, who was born in Vermont January 27, 1823, and was twelve years of age when she came to Cass county with her parents. She was a daughter of Reuben Allen, who came of the same stock as Ethan Allen, the noted hero of Ticonderoga in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Emerson was the eldest of three children, the brother being Joseph Allen, who died in 1889, and the sister Antinette, now the widow of Murry Morse, of Jefferson township, Cass county. It was in the year 1835 that the Allen family was established in Mason township. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson became the parents of three sons, of whom the second died in infancy. J. Fred is the eldest and Allen at present lives in Buchanan, Michigan. He commenced to learn the trade of coach and carriage making at seventeen years of age in the city of Buffalo, New York. In September, 1879, he went to Buchanan and worked at his trade a number of years, while at present he is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business. He married Miss Ida Weaver, a member of an old and very highly respected family of the vicinity. The father was a Democrat in his political views and served for many years as justice of the peace, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Baptist church.

J. Fred Emerson was reared upon the old farm homestead, working in the fields through the summer months, or until after the crops were harvested in the late autumn. The public schools afforded him his educational privileges. He was married October 23, 1878, going to Vermont for his bride, who in her maidenhood bore the name of Delia A. Thomas. She was born January 27, 1847, and died November 24, 1900. She was a daughter of Horace and Anna (Wainright) Thomas, farming people of the Green Mountain state. With his young wife Mr. Emerson returned to Cass county, and the marriage has been blessed with two children: Ralph W., who was born November 8, 1879, and is now a bookkeeper in Elkhart, Indiana; and Fred Ray, who was born February 14, 1885, and is at home, assisting his father in the operation of the farm.

Throughout his entire life Mr. Emerson has devoted his attention and energies to the occupation to which he was reared, and is to-day the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land in Ontwa township, all improved. Upon the place are substantial buildings, good farm machinery and other modern equipments that facilitate the work of the farm. Mr. Emerson votes with the Democracy and like his father has served for a number of years as justice of the peace, "winning golden opinions from all sorts of people" by his "even-handed justice." His life has been largely passed in a quiet manner, and yet he has displayed the sterling characteristics of an honorable manhood and loyal citizenship.

Typed by Barbara O'Reagan


George Emmons, who is classed among the leading and influential farmers of Porter township, his home being on section 27, is a native of Ohio. He was born in Lorain county on the 14th of September, 1848, and is a son of Lucius and Sabrina (Adams) Emmons. His paternal grandfather was James Emmons, who settled in Ohio at a very early day, having made his way to that state from Massachusetts. His maternal grandfather, William Adams, was also a native of New England and removed from Connecticut to Ohio, casting in his lot with the pioneers who aided in reclaiming that state from the domain of the savages and converting it into the center of an advanced civilization. Lucius Emmons remained a resident of Ohio until 1858, when he was called to his final rest. His widow, however, still survives him and of their family of five children three were sons and two daughters.

George Emmons, the second child and second son, was reared in the county of his nativity, spending his boyhood days upon a farm and early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life and he attended school and worked in the fields until twenty-three years of age. About that time he was married, having in 1871 wedded Miss Sarah Ann Locke who died three years later, in 1874. For his second wife, whom he married in 1880, Mr. Emmons chose Mrs. May Loynes, the daughter of Charles and Mary (Tubbs) Williams. She was born in Mount Holly, Rutland county, Vermont, February 4, 1847, and has one son born of her first marriage, Frank Loynes, who is now living in Chicago. Mrs. Emmons came to Michigan in 1874, making her way to Cass county, and took up her abode upon the farm where she now resides. There has been one child born of this marriage, Zaida, who is attending school in Hillsdale, Michigan. The parents of Mrs Emmons were both natives of Vermont and they had but two children, the other one is now deceased. Her mother was married a second time, becoming the wife of Spencer Arnold, with whom she removed to Michigan from Ohio in 1865, locating on a farm where Mr. and Mrs. Emmons now make their home. There was one child of the second marriage, William Arnold.

Mr. Emmons has a farm of one hundred and eighty acres and has devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits but rents most of his place, thus leaving its care and improvement to others, while he is largely enjoying a well earned rest. He has served as township treasurer for six years and has taken an active part in public affairs, laboring earnestly for the welfare and substantial improvement of the community. He is a member of the Grange and is well known in Cass county, where he has lived for twenty-six years. In 1902 his home was destroyed by fire but he at once erected another dwelling and now has a fine two-story house, which is one of the attractive features of the landscape. There are also good barns and other outbuildings upon his place and all modern improvements and equipments in keeping with a model farm. Everything about his place is neat and thrifty in appearance and Mr. Emmons has long been regarded as one of the practical, enterprising and respected farmers of his community.

Typed by Barbara O'Reagan


James M. EMMONS, who after long years of active connection with farming interests is now living retired in the enjoyment of a well earned rest, is one of the old settlers of Cass county, having from an early period been a witness of its development and progress as modern conditions have replaced those of pioneer life. He was born in Giles county, Virginia, on the 6th of April, 1827, and had therefore passed the seventy-eighth milestone on life's journey. His father, William EMMONS, was also a native of the Old Dominion and was there reared, turning his attention to agricultural pursuits as a life work after he attained his majority. In the fall of 1828 he came with his family to Michigan, settling in Berrien county, which was then a largely unimproved tract, the work of development and progress having scarcely been begun within its borders. All around stretched the native forests or the unbroken prairie land, and it remained for the pioneer settlers to convert the district into a productive region wherein agricultural and commercial interests might be profitable conducted. Mr. EMMONS was a leading representative of industrial interests, operating a sawmill in Berrien county until 1834, when he removed to Cass county, settling in Pokagon township. Here he took up forty acres of land from the government, upon which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made, and he also bought eighty acres from Mr. RITTER. This place he improved, carrying on the work of the fields year after year, or until called to his final rest. He was married in Virginia to Miss Elsie KIRK, a native of that state, and unto them were born eight children, three sons and five daughters, of whom James M. EMMONS was the sixth child and second son. One of the number died in infancy. The father voted with the Democracy and kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but had little desire for public office.

James M. EMMONS was about five years of age when his father came to Cass county, and here he was reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life. He acquired his education in one of the little old-time log school-houses, where the methods of instruction were almost as primitive as the building in which the sessions of school were held. His training at farm labor, however, was not meager, for he early began work in the fields and remained at home during his father's life, assisting him in the arduous work of the farm. There he remained until his marriage, when he removed to his present place of residence, comprising two hundred and seventeen acres of land in Pokagon township. He has since given his attention to the further development of this property. He built first a log cabin in which he lived until after the Civil war, when the pioneer home was replaced by a frame residence. He has also built barns and outbuildings and has added equipments that facilitate the farm work and make his labor more profitable.

Mr. EMMONS has always been actuated by high and honorable principles, by a conscientious regard for his obligations to his fellow men and by a loyalty to duty that is above question. For twenty-one years he has given earnest support to the Prohibition party because of his firm belief in temperance principles and his opposition to the liquor traffic. He is well known and for many years was accounted a leading farmer of Pokagon township, but at the present writing has given over to others the care and improvement of his farm, while he is enjoying a well earned rest. This is certainly as nature intended, and he is not only a retired citizen of Cass county, but also one of its respected and honored men, well known in this part of the state from pioneer times down to the present.



The farming interests of Pokagon township have a worthy representative in Frank Engle, who is living on section 14, where he owns and operates a good farm that is equipped with modern conveniences and improvements. He is a native son of Michigan, his birth having occurred in Van Buren county on the 16th of September, 1855. His father, Benjamin Franklin Engle, was born in Allegany county, New York, on the 2nd of April, 1833, and was the fifth in order of birth in a family of seven children. In June, 1844, when a youth of eleven years, he became a resident of Van Buren county, Michigan, to which district he removed with his parents. There he spent about twenty-one years, and in 1865, he came to Cass county, taking up his abode in LaGrange township. Upon this place he built a house and then with characteristic energy began the improvement of his eighty-acre farm, which he placed under a high state of cultivation. In addition to the tilling of the soil and the raising of cereals best adapted to soil and climate, he also devoted considerable attention to fruit culture. He was married on the 23rd of December, 1854, to Miss Lovina Elliott, a daughter of Jonathan Elliott. This union was blessed with five children: Frank, May, Silas, Hattie and Laura, but the last named is now deceased. All were born in Van Buren county, but were reared and educated in Cass county. In the course of an active business career, Mr. Engle was always respected by reason of his genuine worth and fair dealing, never being known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellow men in any trade transaction. In politics he voted with the Republican party, but was without aspiration for office for himself. His wife passed away February 3, 1901.

Frank Engle spent the first ten years of his life in the county of his nativity and then with his parents took up his abode on what is known as the old farm homestead in LaGrange township. He assisted in the arduous task of clearing the fields and planting the crops, and remained on the old home farm until 1896, when he removed to his present place of residence -- a well-improved farm of eighty acres in Pokagon township. His time and attention have since been given to the further development of this property and through the rotation of crops, the use of modern machinery and the exercise of practical common sense in his work he has won a comfortable competence and made for himself a place among the substantial agriculturists of his community. He has set out a good orchard on his place which yields its fruits in season, and he has also made other improvements in keeping with the modern spirit of agricultural progress.

On the 28th of March, 1878, Mr. Engle was married to Miss Lou M. Tremmel, a daughter of Jacob and Martha (Woods) Tremmel. The Woods family were the third white family to settle in Berrien county, Michigan, and they came to Cass county in 1854, taking up their abode in Howard township. It was upon that place that Mrs. Engle was born and reared, being the third in a family of eight children, of whom two are now deceased. Her father died in December, 1879, and was survived by his wife until January, 1883, when she, too, passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Engle have become the parents of three children, of whom two are living: Lena, born August 31, 1879; and Mable, born April 25, 1886. The youngest, Walter, was born January 21, 1889, and died on the 13th of June, 1904. Mable and Walter were born in Morgan county, Indiana, while Lena's birth occurred on the old home farm in this county.

Mr. Engle is a staunch advocate of temperance principles, as is indicated by the fact that he exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates of the Prohibition party. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Pokagon, and holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church at Dowagiac. In all life's relations he is found loyal to the trust reposed in him, and he earnestly espouses and supports every cause in which he believes.

Typed by Darwina Michael