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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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AUSBEN W. DECH is a well known and highly respected citizen of Hanover Township. For six years he has been engaged in mercantile business at Bethlehem, but at the present time he is turning his attention to agricultural pursuits. He has served in various public capacities most acceptably, and is recognized as a faithful citizen and just man.

Mr. Dech is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Ritter) Dech, both likewise natives of Northampton County, and his birth occurred in Hanover Township, September 16, 1847. The Dech family have been well known residents of this locality for many years, and have been noted for their industrious and enterprising qualities. The grandfather, Andrew Dech, was born in this county, though his ancestors were Germans, having emigrated from the Fatherland in an early day to assist in the upbuilding and prosperity of this portion of Pennsylvania.

Joseph Dech, our subject’s father, is a life-long resident of Northampton County, and, though now about fourscore years of age, is still living at Bethlehem. In his family there were three children, all of the number still surviving, namely: Eliza A., who is the wife of P. J. Heller, of Kansas; Elmira, who makes her home in Bethlehem; and Ausben W., whose name heads this narrative. The father of this family has ever been an honest and upright man, having made ithis chief object in life to rear his children in the duties of citizenship and honorable living before their fellow-men. His life has been chiefly devoted to agriculture, at which calling he made a good living for himself and family. For a number of years he was Justice of the Peace, the duties of which office he performed to the satisfaction of all. In his political faith he has been a Republican, and religiously has been connected for a great many years with the Evangelical Association at Bethlehem.

From his early years our subject was inured to the labors of farm life, his father having given him practical lessons in the duties pertaining to the same. It is not strange that when he grew to man’s estate he concluded to make this calling his principal life work. However, for a time he was diverted from this channel, as for a period covering some six years he followed the mercantile business at Bethlehem, meeting with a fair share of success. In 1873 Mr. Dech resumed farming, cultivating a tract of land in Hanover Township. As an agriculturist he brings to bear upon his work his thorough knowledge of the best methods now advocated in this branch, so important to the welfare of all. Recently he has retired to a certain extent from active life, though still living on his old farm. He has leased the homestead, and is enjoying a well earned rest.

Having enjoyed better advantages in an educational way than many of the men in his time, Mr. Dech is more than ordinarily well read and educated. After having attended for a number of years the public schools of Hanover Township and the schools at Bethlehem, he was enabled to enter Freeland Seminary, where he pursued a course of study for two terms. For a period he also attended the normal school at Trenton, N. J. To further equip himself for business life he then entered as a student the celebrated Eastman’s Business College, which is located in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Having enjoyed these various educational facilities, and having kept up his general reading, it is a matter of no wonder that Mr. Dech is fully abreast of the times, and as such is considered by his friends and neighbors.

The marriage of Mr. Dech and Miss Laura, daughter of Stephen Trumbower, of East Allen Township, Northumberland County, was celebrated January 6, 1868. By this union have been born three children: Walter J., Howard S. and Herbert A. The parents are most valued members of the Evangelical Association, which our subject has served zealously as Trustee, and in other practical ways. Much credit is due Mr. Dech for the success he has made in life, as it has been the result of his own industry and business enterprise. He acquired a well improved farm of one-hundred and twelve acres, which he placed under good cultivation, and, as aforesaid, this property he now leases, thus bringing him in a good and steady income. In his political affiliations he is a Republican, and for three years was Assessor of Hanover Township. In the spring of 1894 he was elected for a like period of time to serve as a School Director. He is a member of Bethlehem Grange No. 504, P. of H., in Hanover Township. With this order he is now acting as Master of the lodge, having been chosen as such in January, 1894. Those who are best acquainted with this worthy man believe him to be true, honorable and upright, and give to him their highest regard and genuine respect.

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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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