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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  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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HON. ABRAHAM W. LERCH. Through his services in the State Legislature for two terms the subject of this sketch has gained a high reputation, not only in his own district, but throughout other portions of Pennsylvania. He resides in Lehigh Township, Northampton County, where he manufactures school slates and carries on a general mercantile business. Both as a business man and in public affairs he is efficient, capable and trustworthy, and has deservedly gained more than ordinary success.

The Lerch family was numbered among the pioneers of Northampton County, and the parents of our subject, Adam and Magdalena (Waitman) Lerch, were both born here. Upon his father’s farm in Allen Township, Abraham W. was born October 10, 1814. He remained at home, his time being spent in the manner common to farmer boys, until he attained his fourteenth year, when he went to live with his uncle, Abraham Lerch, a merchant in Lehigh Township, with whom he remained until his marriage. In the neighboring public schools he acquired a fair knowledge of the studies taught in that day. From the time he became an inmate of his uncle’s home he aided him in the management of his store, of which he early gained a thorough knowledge.

The marriage of Mr. Lerch took place in March, 1840, at which time Miss Mary, daughter of Elias and Sybilla Klepinger, became his wife. They have had five children, one of whom, Amanda, is deceased. The others are named as follows: Sallie, wife of Lewis Koons and a resident of Carbon County; George H., whose home is in Lehigh Township, Northampton County; James M., also living in this township; and Catherine, wife of Dr. Sieger, of Seigfried’s Bridge, this state.

For many years our subject was in partnership with his uncle, whose interest he purchased in 1853, and for some years afterward was sole proprietor of the concern. In 1870 he associated himself with his sons, George H. and James M., the firm name becoming Lerch & Co. They are doing a good business, and have a well stocked establishment, where everything needed in the city or country household can be found. For many years Mr. Lerch engaged extensively in the manufacture of late roofing, but for the past few years has confined his attention to the making of school slates, and gives employment in his factory to twenty men.

Mr. Lerch has always been one of the most popular citizens of Lehigh Township. He is prominent in politics as a member of the Democratic party. For many years he served as Justice of the Peace, and in 1878 was elected to the State Legislature, in which responsible position he served for two terms. He is liberal in his views and in favor of every movement having for its object the improvement of the county. He is a member of the Reformed Church, in which he has officiated as an Elder, Deacon and Trustee.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

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

View a historic 1911 map of Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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