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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM G. DETTERER was born in Philadelphia, November 3, 1849, and when he was thirteen years of age he left his home in Philadelphia and started out in life for himself. He secured a position with a farmer in Tacony, and after eighteen months spent in his service he went to Delaware county, where he worked another eighteen months for George B. Allen. Returning to his father, who was engaged in farming, he remained at home two years. He then worked on an adjoining farm owned by David Wolf, for a year or more. Withdrawing from that occupation, he went to Phoenixville and worked for several years in the Phoenix Iron Works. Leaving there he went to Pencoyd Iron Works, and was employed there about a year. He next worked for a few months, and was then employed with Dennis Keeley at Roxborough, farming and working in a coal yard.

Returning home, his father being on a farm near Chestnut Hill, he worked for a year with him, and then went back to Roxborough, where he remained three years in the service of the Hancock Ice and Coal Company. He then started as a tenant, occupying Mr. Shallcross’s farm in Whitemarsh, and two years more on Thomas Phills’ farm in the same township. He next managed Mr. David’s farm for seven years, and afterwards the Dougherty farm in Plymouth township, near Norristown, for five years.

Mr. Detterer then went to Norriton township and bought what is known as the Baker farm, with eighty-four acres of improved land, and having convenient and commodious buildings. The house and barn are both of stone. The house is supplied with water from a spring at some distance, and the house has every convenience found in a city home. Mr. Detterer is a Republican in politics, and has always voted for the candidates of that party. His first presidential vote was cast for General U. S. Grant. Mr. Detterer has been a member of the First Presbyterian church of Bridgeport for many years, and has been a trustee three years.

Joseph M. Detterer (father) was born near Trappe. He was a sheet-iron worker in Philadelphia, and was employed by John S. Clark and James S. Spear for many years, although he rented farms for his boys to cultivate. He was a Republican in politics. He married Miss Kate Simons, and their children were: Mary A., married William J. Morris; they reside in Wissahickon; their children are George, Edward, Emily and Lewis. 2. William G. Detterer. 3. Joseph M. J., unmarried, and resides with his mother in Roxborough. Joseph M. Detterer died March 20, 1879, his remains being interred at Barren Hill.

William G. Detterer married, December 22, 1870, Miss Catherine, daughter of David and Anna (Lloyd) Steele. They were an old family of Roxborough, and resided there for many years. David Steele was born in the home of his ancestors, in which Mrs. Detterer lived from childhood until she was married. Mr. Steele was a farmer and cooper, working at the latter trade in the winter and in the summer on the farm. He was a staunch Republican in politics. He was for twelve years superintendent of Fairmount Park, along the Wissahickon. His children were: Margaret, married George Frech, she died May 15, 1885; John, died in infancy; William F., married Sarah Bisbing, and lives in Roxborough; Catherine H. (Mrs. Detterer); David, Jr., married Ophelia Bisbing, and lives in Roxborough; Mary, married Joseph Hansen, and lives in the state of New York; Marion, married George W. Moyer, and lives in Roxborough.

Mr. and Mrs. William G. Detterer have had ten children, as follows: William F., born November 7, 1871, married Mary Mulholland, and they have two children, William Leroy and Raymond; Mary M., born May 27, 1874, died January 22, 1897; Nellie, born December 22, 1876, unmarried, and is a trained nurse in Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia; Lelna, born August 7, 1879, died January 5, 1902; Joseph M., born November 1, 1881, married Isabella Ribley; Walter, born November 7, 1883, unmarried, is a machinist at Pencoyd Iron Works; Edward, born December 12, 1884, lives with his parents ; Jennie, born April 5, 1887, died December 5, 1901; Howard, born September 2, 1888, lives with his parents and works on the farm when not in school; Katie, born January 10, 1890, died January 13, 1902.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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