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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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ALFRED M. PAFF, one of the native sons of Northampton County, was born in Lower Mt. Bethel Township, December 14, 1849, and for fifteen years and over his home has been in Bangor. In 1882 he organized the First National Bank of this place, which was incorporated with a capital stock of $60,000, this having since been increased to $170,000, besides the reserved surplus and deposits. Since the bank was organized Mr. Paff has acted in the capacity of Cashier, to which position he was unanimously elected.

The ancestors of our subject, about one hundred years ago, lived near Baden Baden, Germany. The founder of the family in America settled in Bucks County, this state, and there our subject’s grandfather, John, was born. He followed the lifelong occupation of farming, dying when his son Henry was about nine years of age. His remains were placed to rest in the cemetery within the limits of this county. He was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Lutheran Church. On the maternal side the grandfather, Barnet Miller, was a native of Northampton County, and also followed agricultural pursuits. He died and was buried in the cemetery at Centreville, Stone Church, Pa. Our subject’s father, Henry, who was born in Lower Mt. Bethel Township, October 4, 1821, died March 14, 1859, and was buried at Martin’s Creek, in the Three Churches Cemetery. Like his ancestors, he devoted himself to agriculture, and was industrious and a worthy citizen. In political faith he was a Democrat, and religiously was associated with the Lutheran denomination, being a regular church attendant. He married Sarah A. Miller, by whom he had six children: Catherine Ann, Mrs. Reuben H. Labar, of Stone Church; Susannah, Mrs. Daniel Gruver, of Washington Township; Jacob H, who married a Miss Darrhon, and lives in Bushkill Township; Alfred M.; Sarah J., Mrs. Joseph Slamp, of Bangor; and William, who died in infancy.

Our subject was reared on his father’s farm, his time being alternately divided between work on the homestead and in attending the public schools. Afterwards he entered Millersville Normal. As his guardian was very careful of his ward’s money, and allowed him barely enough for his expenses, he obtained a position as teacher, and thus worked his way independently for some years. In 1873 he graduated from the Millersville Normal, and then for the next five years held schools at Loysville, Perry County; at Portland, this county, and other places. The next two years he served as Principal of the Bangor School, being the first to occupy that position after it became a borough. He introduced the graded system in his school, and at the same time took part in the various branches of educational and institute work throughout the county. In the mean time, after graduating from Millersville Normal, he applied himself to mathematics, Latin and the higher branches of learning. He has served this borough as Surveyor for a number of years, and had not his duties in connection with the bank precluded his acting in that capacity, he probably would have devoted himself to surveying. In 1878 he accepted a position in a private bank at Bangor, and remained in that place for four years. Having an eye to business openings, the young man became convinced that on account of the increasing demands upon the bank a larger and more thoroughly organized institution would be extremely practicable, and the First National Bank was the outgrowth of this idea.

Mr. Paff has been identified as a stockholder in the Bangor Union Slate Company, in which he is Treasurer, and in the Seek-No-Further Slate Company of East Bangor. When the Bangor & Portland Railroad was being organized, he was influential in securing the right of way. In regard to politics he is a Republican, and actively interested in his party’s welfare, having been elected to serve as Chief Burgess, member of the Council, a Director on the School Board, and in various other public positions.

May 6, 1876, Mr. Paff married Ariella, daughter of Joseph H. and Margaret A. Beck, of Stone Church, Pa. To Mr. and Mrs. Paff have been born two children, Joseph Willard and Mary Florence, their birthdays occurring in November, 1877, and in April, 1882, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Paff are members of the Reformed Church.

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This family biography is one of the 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

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