Biography of Phineas Prarl



Berrien County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

This gentleman, a true son of New England, was the youngest in a family of five children, and was born in Windsor Co., Vt., May 12, 1789. At the age of fourteen he began to learn the carpenter's trade, and worked at it eight years. He then removed to Little Falls, Herkimer Co., N. Y., and learned the trade of wagon making, at which he worked about seven years, and removed to Jefferson Co., N. Y. During the ten or twelve years spent in the latter, his time was occupied in farming and clearing land by contract, but not being successful at the business, he emigrated with his family to Monroe Co., Mich., in 1830, and purchased a small farm. About 1840, having exchanged his place for six lots in Benton township, Berrien Co., he removed to the latter and settled on section 25.

Mr. Pearl was married in March, 1813, in Vermont, to Miss Fannie Hatch, whose parents were natives of Connecticut. To Mr. and Mrs. Pearl were born nine children, of whom but four are now living. Three were buried in New York, when small, and two in Benton township, Michigan, a son and a daughter, the son meeting his death by drowning. Mrs. Pearl died Aug. 23, 1866. Mr. Pearl is now the owner of about one hundred acres of land in this town, finely improved. He is now ninety one years of age, and his character is of that rugged type inherent in the famed "Green Mountain boys." Those of his children who are living occupy farms near their father. Although of so great an age, Mr. Pearl attends to all his own business with as much ease, apparently, as in his younger days.

Politically, he is a Democrat; has been twice supervisor of his township, and has held minor offices. He is not a member of any religious organization. His early advantages for obtaining an education were those afforded by the straggling schools of the time, held in the log school houses or in barns, when, though discipline was strict and the rod was never spared, the children indulged in various characteristic pastimes, and the "big boys" turned the master out if they could, or obeyed him fearfully if they could not. Mr. Pearl's father died when the son was about five years old, and his mother remained a widow until her death, which occurred in 1825. She was a true New England mother, and strove for her children's, welfare, teaching them, by her own example, habits of industry, economy, honesty, and sociability, and of them she never had cause to complain, for they all became prosperous and respected citizens.

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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