Van Buren County
Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
The ancestors of Mr. Charles, as far as they can be traced, were originally from Scotland. His parents, however,
were natives of Ireland; and in County Londonderry, of the " Emerald Isle," Mr. Charles himself was born,
March 25, 1829, being the second in a family of twelve children. When he was twelve years old he came to America,
in company with his uncle, Andrew Charles, who had lived in America sevcral years, but was back visiting his old
homc; they arrived in New York in April, 1841. His father and the rest of the family emigrated ten years later.
Andrew Charles was a harness-maker by trade, and had carried on the business in Angelica, Allegany Co., N. Y.,
for several years. David K. lived with him two years, learning the trade. At the expiration of two years, he worked
in the same town one year at the tanner's trade. He then learned the art of St. Crispin, shoemaking, and worked
at the latter until 1849, when he established a business of his own at Angelica. On the 8th of April, 1851, he
was married, at that place, to Miss Caroline Barnum, daughter of David and Elizabeth Barnum, who was a native of
Angelica, and whose parents were both born in New York. She is one of a family of seven children. To Mr. and Mrs.
Charles have been born four children, as follows: Amelia C., born Feb. 13, 1852, died March 30, 1853; Emma C.,
born July 20, 1854; Clifton B., born June 21, 1857; Hattie B., born Dec. 22, 1858.
In July, 1858, Mr. Charles' property at Wellsville, N. Y., was destroyed by fire, after which he commenced business
in Olean, where a like disaster occurred in 1866. This somewhat disheartened him, but he was not of the nature
to be totally despondent, and removed with his family to Illinois. In 1867 he came to Michigan and located at the
village of Bangor, where he opened an establishment for the sale of general merchandise, and continued in business
five years. In 1872 he moved upou the farm he now occupies, on which is one of the finest residences in the township,
a sketch of which is inserted in this volume. The farm contains four hundred acres, and is well adapted to both
grain and stock raising. Mr. Charles makes a specialty of hay, cutting about one hundred tons annually. His early
schooling was in the district educational institutions where he lived, his attendance being principally during
winters. At the age of twenty he entered Richburgh Academy, New York, and remained one term. In politics Mr. Charles
is a Republican, but is in no sense of the term an office-seeker. Both he and his wife are members of the Episcopal
Church, but as there is no society of that denomination in Banger they have worked with the Methodist Episcopal
Church. Their children, except the one who died in infancy, have all grown to maturity. The oldest daughter is
married; Clifton, who has recently completed a four years' course at the Agricultural College, is working his father's
farm. Mr. Charles, since his arrival in the township, has erected seven dwellings and five barns, and aside from
his farm owns a hotel and other property in Bangor village. His start in life was humble, but his ventures have
been eminently successful, and great credit is due him for his achievements.
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.