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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 M. BERTOLET is one of the old and valued employes of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which he has served in different capacities for over twenty-five years, and is now their local agent at Bethlehem. He is a man who numbers hosts of friends, as he looks on the bright side of life, and is of a genial and happy disposition. His birth occurred in Norristown, Pa., in 1850, and he is of French origin, his great-great-grandfather, John Bertolet, having been one of the French Huguenots who sought refuge in this land of freedom, becoming worthy citizens of Berks County. The great-grandfather and grandfather were both farmers in Oley Township, Berks County, and there our subject’s father, A. W., was born. He was a prominent business man of Norristown, running a coalyard and drug store in that city.

During the war, Mr. Bertolet, Sr., enlisted for three years in Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, and on the eve of being promoted, was honorably discharged on account of physical disability. Prior to this, however, he had already served as First Lieutenant, and it was probably during his army life that he contracted the dread disease of consumption. He departed this life March 30, 1864, at the age of thirty-six years. Both he and his wife belonged to the Society of Friends. The latter, whose maiden name was Matilda S. Potts, was a native of Norristown. Her father, George M., also a native of Norristown, was of English descent, and had the honor of entertaining George Washington when he was at Valley Forge. His death occurred in Norristown. Mrs. Bertolet died previous to her husband’s death, on November 3, 1863, and of her five children, four sons and a daughter, George M., who was the eldest, is the only one now living.

Being orphaned when quite a young lad, George M. Bertolet was deprived of his parents’ care and attention, and was early thrown on his own resources. His education was obtained in the public schools of Norristown, and he commenced his railroad career on the 19th of June, 1867, when he was a youth of seventeen years. His first place was at Allentown, as ticket agent for the East Pennsylvania Railroad, and there he remained until November 30, 1869. The following day he was employed by the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Mauch Chunk as a clerk in their general freight office, and October 1, 1871, he was transferred to the office of the General Superintendent at Bethlehem, under whom he served as clerk for seventeen years. In 1888 he became Chief Clerk for Colonel R. H. Wilbur, Assistant to the Second Vice-President. To that gentleman he gave his faithful services until he was appointed to his present position as agent for the Lehigh Valley Road, having charge of all the local freight, this promotion was effected August 17, 1893, and is considered the most important station between Jersey City and Buffalo, N. Y., and in the local freight department in order to handle the volume of business transacted it is necessary to employ twenty-one men.

Mr. Bertolet continued to make his home in Allentown until 1893, when he removed his family to this city, his residence now being at No. 158 South New Street. It was in 1872, in Allentown, that he married Miss Ella Stetler, a native of that place. Her father, Henry Stetler, now deceased, was formerly a member of the firm of Seigler & Stetler, who were engaged in the harness business in Allentown. Fraternally, Mr. Bertolet is a member of the lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at Allentown, of which he is Past Master. He also belongs to the Royal Arch Masons, and to Allen Commandery, K. T. He is much interested in the success of the Republican party, to which he gives his loyal support.

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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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