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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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CHARLES H. NEISSER is superintendent of the Bethlehem South Gas and Water Company, and discharges his duties with faithfulness and ability. He is well thought of in this city, where he numbers a large circle of friends and acquaintances, as he is active in business and fraternal circles and is identified with the general welfare of the place.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, William George Neisser, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in November, 1796, and was a son of George H. Neisser, a native of Germautown, born in 1771. The family history can be still further traced, as it is known that the father of the last-named, Augustine Neisser, was born in Moravia in 1717, and located in 1737 in Germantown, where he followed his trade of cutler. He died in that city in 1780. His wife was Catherine Eeissinger, and by her he had three sons. One of these, George H., previously mentioned, became a resident of Bethlehem, where his death occurred September 17, 1803. His son, William G., was here engaged in general business until his death, June 10, 1859. His wife, Frances, was a daughter of William and Barbara Boehler. These ancestors of our subject were all Moravians in religious belief.

B. F. Neisser, our subject’s father, was born in Bethlehem, and learned the cabinet-maker’s trade. In middle age he became a Justice of the Peace of the First Ward in Bethlehem, serving for many years. For some time prior to his death he was an invalid, having been stricken with paralysis he departed this life in 1888, aged sixty-four years. His wife, Sarah Ann Smith, was a native of Bucks County, having been born in Haycock Township, in 1822. She was a daughter of I. George and A. M. Smith, who were both born in Bucks County. The former died at the age of sixty-five, and the latter, whose maiden name was Anna Maria Steinbach, died at the age of seventy-eight years. Mrs. Neisser was called from this life May 30, 1889. Her eldest son, William G., was accidentally killed on the railroad in 1877, at the age of twenty-five years. The youngest son, Edward A., is in the employ of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in the capacity of clerk.

The birth of Charles H. Neisser occurred June 28, 1853, in this city, and his education was obtained in the Moravian Parochial Schools, where he completed the course. Afterward he clerked in various stores until 1870, when he became a clerk in the employ of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in the office of H. Stanley Goodwin. In 1874 he became bookkeeper for E. P. Wilbur, and in 1879 was appointed Collector for the Gas and Water Company. Later he was made Secretary, and on the death of B. E. Lehman, in February, 1892. was made Acting Superintendent, and later Superintendent, in connection with his work as Secretary. Finding the business too large, however, he resigned the latter office, his time being amply taken up with the duties of Superintendent.

The Bethlehem South Gas and Water Company was incorporated in 1864. In 1867 the company erected a coal-gas plant, and began the manufacture of gas the same year. This plant was in operation until 1888, when, owing to the great increase in consumption, a new and more modern one was erected, with apparatus for the manufacture of gas by the Lowe process. The works are located at the corner of Linden Street and the North Pennsylvania Railroad, and have a capacity of two hundred and fifty thousand cubic feet per day. In 1875 the company commenced to supply the people of South Bethlehem with water by a system of pumping direct into the mains. In 1885 (ten years later) two reservoirs of one and a-half million gallons’ capacity each were built in order to meet the increased demands of their patrons, and a pumping station was erected along the tracks of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, opposite Calypso Island, with a pumping engine purchased from the Dickson Manufacturing Company, of Scranton, Pa., having a capacity of two million gallons per day. In 1893 an additional reservoir was constructed, having a storage capacity of twelve million gallons, and a new pumping engine was purchased from the Holly Manufacturing Company, of Lockport, N. Y., which is capable of pumping five million gallons per day. In 1886 the water mains were extended to West Bethlehem, and at the present time the reservoirs are supplying the boroughs of South and West Bethlehem and West Fountain Hill.

In Bethlehem, in 1879, Mr. Neisser married Miss Amanda, daughter of George and Fredericka Trinkle, both of whom were born in Germany. Mrs. Neisser is a native of Bethlehem, and is the mother of a daughter, Mary L. The home of the family is situated in West Bethlehem, in the incorporation of which Mr. Neisser took an active part. In 1889 he was elected to a seat in the Borough Council, holding that office until the spring of 1892. During that time he served on a number of important committees, for two years being Chairman of the Street Committee and also Chairman of the Finance Committee. Religiously he is identified with the Moravian Church, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Moravian Parochial Schools. By his vote he supports the nominees and principles of the Democratic party, and, being interested in secret societies, belongs to the Royal Arcanum and the Heptasophs. He is also a member of Bethlehem Lodge No. 283, F. & A. M.; is Past High Priest of Zinzendorf Chapter No. 216, R. A. M.; is Past Commander of Allen Commandery No. 20, K. T.; and a member of Lu Lu Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Philadelphia.

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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

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