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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 S. ACUFF, the well-known attorney-at-law of Ambler, is descended from an old family in that section of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was born in Philadelphia, October 8, 1871, but was reared in Montgomery county.

He was educated in the public schools, where he acquired a knowledge of elementary branches which was supplemented by a course at a business college. He commenced the study of law in 1893 with Robert H. Hinkley, a well known attorney of Philadelphia, remaining with him two years, and then entering the law department of the University of Pennsylvania, in which he continued until 1897. He took a general course in the office of Mr. Hinkley for admission to the bar, and was admitted to practice in the courts of Montgomery county, at Norristown, in July, 1897. He had previously been admitted in Philadelphia, so that he has been engaged in the active practice of law since. In 1895 he opened a real estate office in Ambler, but has abandoned that branch of business in view of the fact that his legal practice absorbs all his time and attention. He has offices in Norristown as well as in Ambler, and is entitled to practice in all courts, including the supreme court of Pennsylvania, and is rapidly building up an extensive practice. In politics Mr. Acuff is a Republican, and he is an active supporter of the party and its principles. He has been assistant postmaster at Ambler, and has always been active in promoting the interests of the place. He has been a member of the town council of Ambler for three years, and president of that body, and has also been borough solicitor for several years. He is now solicitor for the school board of Ambler. Mr. Acuff has been a prominent candidate for the Republican nomination for district attorney of Montgomery county, although he did not receive it. In religious faith he is a believer in the Reformed mode of worship, and is a member of the church of that denomination at Fort Washington. Fraternally, he is a past master of Fort Washington Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, is also a member of the Masonic chapter at that place, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of other fraternal societies.

Mr. Acuff has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Laura H. Gottshall, whom he married in 1896. She was the daughter of John C. and Mary (Hackman) Godshall, of Lansdale. They had one child, Mary. Mrs. Acuff died in 1898. She was a member of the Reformed church. Her parents are both deceased. Mr. Acuff married (second wife) Catherine E. C. Cooper, daughter of Dr. A. K. and Elizabeth (Ridge) Cooper. The Coopers are an old and highly respected family of Bucks county. Dr. Cooper, father of Mrs. Acuff, died in 1898. The children of Dr. and Mrs. Cooper: Dr. W. R., of Point Pleasant, in Bucks county; Dr. J. Howard; Catherine E. C., wife of Mr. Acuff. The children of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Acuff: Elizabeth, born in 1899; William S., Jr., born in 1901; Margaret, born in December, 1903. Mrs. Acuff is a member of the Reformed church.

William S. Acuff is the son of Alfred S. and Mary (Marshall) Acuff, both of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Alfred Acuff was a son of William and Eliza (Scheetz) Acuff. William Acuff was a son of David Acuff. David Acuff was a son of Jacob Acuff. Jacob Acuff and his son David Acuff were both soldiers in the Revolutionary army in the war of Independence. David Acuff kept the hotel at Gwynedd for many years. Prior to that he kept the tavern at Springhouse.

Alfred S. Acuff (father) was a son of William and Eliza, and was descended from Revolutionary stock on his mother’s as well as his father’s side. She was the daughter of General Henry Scheetz, of the third generation of the family in America. The Scheetz family are of German origin, and their ancestors were among the pioneers of Montgomery county. Several members of the family participated in the war for independence. General Scheetz was quite a young man, but he held the position of captain. In the second war with Great Britain in 1812-15 he acquired the title of general. In peace as in war, he was among the most prominent men of Montgomery county, having been one of the organizers of the Montgomery National Bank. Henry Scheetz, father of the General, was one of the first judges in Montgomery county.

Alfred Acuff was most of his life a resident of Montgomery county, and died in Ambler, in 1888. For many years he was engaged in mercantile business at that place, and later conducted a hotel. Still later he was a stock drover, and carried on an extensive business. He was a Republican in politics, but never aspired to political preferment. His wife is living, and resides in Roxborough. She is a daughter of John Marshall, of Gwynedd, whose father was a Revolutionary soldier. The Marshalls were an early family in Pennsylvania, of Irish descent. John Marshall had four children in all.

The children of Alfred and Mary Acuff: Elizabeth A., wife of Dr. Shelly, of Ambler; John M., a chemist; William S., subject of this sketch; Walter, a banker and broker of Philadelphia; Margaret, Mrs. E. Flanagan, whose husband was a wool merchant; Alfred S., a machinist; Frances M., unmarried; Clarence S., engaged in the wool business. Alfred Acuff was a member of the Episcopal church. His wife is a Baptist.

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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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