JOEL H. BERA, who is postmaster in the village of Sunfield, where he is also engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, is one of the representative citizens of the thriving and attractive town. Me. Bera is a native of the Buckeye state, which has contributed not a little to the sterling fabric of citizenship in Eaton County. He was born in Portage county, Ohio, February 8, 1854, and is a son of Henry M. and Louisa (Huskins) Bera, the former of whom was born in Germany and the latter in England. Both were infants at the time of the immigration of the respective families to America, both families first locating in Pennsylvania and later removing to Ohio. Henry M. Bera became the owner of a good farm in Ohio, where he remained until 1865, when he removed to Barry County, Michigan, where he purchased eighty acres of land, about twenty acres having had the timber girdled, and a log shanty having been erected. He reclaimed a good farm from the wilderness and continued to reside on this homestead until his death, in 1889, at the age of sixty-two years, his wife dying on the same homestead, at the age of forty-eight years. They became the parents of seven children, of whom Joel H. was the first born; Lydia is the wife of Walter Halladay and they reside in Portage county, Ohio; Charlotte is the wife of Albert E. Dewey, of Barry County; Elvira is the wife of Henry Budd, of the same county; Caleb died at the age of thirty-one years, his wife having passed away two years previously; Warner B. is a farmer of Ionia County; and Edward D. is engaged in mercantile business in Woodbury village, Eaton County. Joel H. Bera secured his early educational training in the district schools of his native county in Ohio, having been eleven years of age at the time of the family removal to Barry County, Michigan, where he continued his studies in the public schools, having attended the high school in Ravenna one year. He continued to assist in the work of the home farm until he had attained the age of twenty years, when he became a clerk in a general store at Banfield, Barry County, being thus employed six years. He then came to Shaytown, Eaton County, where he filled a similar position for the ensuing five years. In 1887 he took up his residence in Sunfield building one of the first stores in the newly platted town and putting in a stock of general merchandise. He conducted his general store several years, then disposing of the same, and in 1892 he erected the substantial building now occupied by his furniture and undertaking business, representing the only enterprise of the sort in the village, and he has had a liberal patronage from the start, keeping a good line of furniture, while the equipment of the undertaking department is excellent in all particulars. Mr. Bera is progressive as a businessman and as a citizen, and maintains a deep interest in all that makes for the advancement and well being of his hometown and county. He is a stalwart Republican, is a member of the county central committee and has been a frequent delegate to the county conventions of the party. He is now (1906) serving his ninth year as postmaster of Sunfield. He is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is commander of Sunfield Tent, No. 552, Knights of the Maccabees. February 11, 1880, Mr. Bera was united in marriage to Miss Dora E. Morford, who was born in Barry County, this state, October 31, 1859, being a daughter of Ardon B. and Hannah (Poor) Morford, who were pioneers of Barry County. Mr. Morford is deceased and his widow resides in the city of Battle Creek. Mr. and Mrs. Bera became the parents of three children, the eldest, Otto, having died at the age of ten years; Ethel N. is the wife of Harry H. Mapes, and they reside with her parents, Mr. Mapes being engaged in the clothing business in Sunfield; Henry O. is attending the public schools, being a lad of ten years. Source: Past and Present of Eaton County - Eaton County, Michigan - 1906