Biography of William S. Charles
Van Buren County, MI Biographies



Van Buren County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

This gentleman was bora in County Perry, Ireland, June 28, 1839, and was the seventh in a family of twelve children. In the spring of 1851 he accompanied his parents to America, settling in Angelica, N. Y. When sixteen years of age he left home and came to Michigan, arriving at Detroit with but twenty five cents in money remaining. His subsequcnt experience was for a time varied and somewhat exciting. He was for two weeks in the employ of Dr. Sweeney, at Dearborn, and subsequently found employment in Van Buren County as a wood-chopper until 1856. He then went to Allegan County, remaining until June of the latter year, and from thence to Paw Paw, where he lived three years, finally coming to Bangor, where, in 1860, he purchased forty acres of land, on which he still resides, and to which he has added numerous purchases, having at the present time a total of five hundred acres in the home farm besides lands in other portions of the county. Oct. 14, 1861, Mr. Charles enlisted as a private in Battery B, First Michigan Artillery, and was in the service of the nation three years and eight months. He was promoted, step by step, and on the 14th of November, 1864, received a commission as second lieutenant. He was an exemplary soldier, and was never absent from duty. His command formed a part of the Western army. He participated in the memorable battle of Pittsburg Landing, and took part in various engagements in Georgia and the Carolinas, having a varied experience, until the 21st and 22d of March, 1865. Oct. 31, 1865, he was married to Mary Jane Cramer, at Hudson, Mich. She was the only daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Sterling) Cramer, and was born in Medina, Lenawee Co., Mich., Nov. 29, 1840. Her parents were natives of New York, and came to Michigan not long before their daughter was born, settling in Lenawee County, where Mr. Cramer still resides. Four of his sons are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Charles are the parents of the following children, viz., Frank L., born Aug. 24, 1866; Carrie B., born Oct. 14, 1868; and two others, who died young. In politics Mr. Charles is a Republican; has for two years held the position of township treasurer, besides having held minor offices. In religious matters his views are liberal. His advantages for obtaining an education were of an ordinary nature.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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