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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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GEORGE J. DESH, one of the substantial business men of Bethlehem, is proprietor of a large retail meat business on Fairview Street, and his patrons affirm that he furnishes the best meats to be found anywhere in the city. For many years he has been an earnest believer in the future of Bethlehem, and has built and improved a number of pieces of property in Bethlehem, South Bethlehem and West Bethlehem, and in every possible manner has assisted in the development and progress of the place. He was born June 16, 1837, at Hellertown, Northampton County, and is the son of Heniy Desh, whose birth occurred in Lehigh County.

George Desh, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Germany, who on emigrating to America, settled near Macungie, Lehigh County, where he died when still a young man. His son, Henry Desh, who was the father of our subject, was in early life a butcher, and later became a hotel man in Hellertown. His death took place in Philadelphia, when he had attained the age of sixty-three years. The name of the family was originally Desch; but after coming to America, it was found better to shorten the same, and it came to be spelled Desh, as at present. Our subject’s mother, Annie M., was the daughter of William Heisler, who came to the United States from Germany in his boyhood, and was sold at Philadelphia to a Berks County man to pay the expense of his voyage. On the proclamation of George Washington to free emigrants after enlisting for three years, he entered the service in the War of the Revolution, serving until the close. Afterward he located in Berks County near Reading, where he engaged in farming until his death. To Mr. and Mrs. Henry Desh were born ten children, who lived to maturity, and six are still living. George J., the youngest of his father’s family, was reared in Hellertown, where he was a student in the common schools. In 1854 he went to Philadelphia, where he obtained employment in a tobacco store, and a few years later went to Ohio, going over the mountains to Delaware and Marion Counties, and remained there a few months. Returning to Hellertown he went again to Philadelphia, where he was located for a year and a-half.

While a resident of the Quaker City, Mr. Desh married Miss Catherine Crater, who was born in Chester County. After his marriage he became a resident of Bethlehem, in the fall of 1859, where, in company with his brother Daniel, he started in the butcher business, continuing here until 1861. Next he went to Freemansburg, where for two years he was engaged in the same business for himself, but in 1863 returned to this city, locating on Fairview Street, where he has since continued the business. His shop is located at a good point for general trade, and is thoroughly equipped, having a fine ice house and four wagons, and a large assortment of prime stock is always kept on hand.

Mr. and Mrs. George J. Desh have ten living children: Annie E., the widow of Charles Rush; Antoinette O., wife of William Sample, of Philadelphia; Clara E., who is Mrs. William Winch, a resident of Bethlehem; Laura B., who became the wife of Charles Dech; Bertha E., wife of Edward Osborne, residing in Philadelphia; Adelaide C., Warren E., Henry C., Grace G. and Earl G., who are at home.

For several years Mr. Desh was a Councilman, being elected on the Republican ticket, though in a Democratic Ward. For thirteen and a-half years he served as a member of the School Board, when he declined further honor. While he was a member of the Board, some of the finest school buildings in the place were erected. Mr. Desh is quite interested in real estate, owning a good farm of one hundred and two acres in East Allen Township, and some thirty pieces of property in Bethlehem, most of which are improved. He has built twenty-one residences in the place, and has been active in making good improvements. In politics he is a stanch Republican, doing all in his power to further the welfare of his party. With his wife he holds membership with Grace Lutheran Church.

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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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