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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 W. RIEGEL is senior member of the firm of Riegel & Cortright, dealers in general merchandise on Main Street, Bethlehem. This firm has the largest floor space of any firm in the city, and their trade is exceedingly large. In their excellent and extensive stock may be found anything in the line of dry goods, carpets, groceries, notions, etc. The partners are old and experienced men in the business to which they give their entire supervision, and their efforts have met with success. They are both members of the Board of Trade, and for the past thirty years or more they have been closely identified with the progress of this city and are numbered among her most enterprising merchants.

George W. Riegel was born in Washington, N. J., July 1, 1842, and his early education was commenced in the public schools of his native city, after which he finished his schooling in Allentown Seminary, now known as Muhlenberg College. His grandfather, Hon. Benjamin Riegel, was one of the founders of Riegelsville, where he was engaged in the hotel business. He was a prominent man at one time; was Captain of a military company, and represented his district in the Legislature. One of his sons, Isaac T., in former years ran a sawmill where Riegelsville now stands. Eli Riegel engaged in farming in Washington Township, and in 1866 came to Bethlehem, where he lived a retired life until his death, at the age of eighty-three years. He was a consistent member of the Reformed Church, and a man whose life was a long and useful one. His wife, Anna M. Unangst, was born near Riegelsville, Pa., her father being engaged in carrying on his farm and sawmill near that place. Mrs. Riegel was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died in New Jersey, while still a young woman.

George W. Riegel is the youngest and only child of his parents now living. He attended the common schools until 1859, when he came to Bethlehem, engaging as a clerk for John Lerch, in whose employ he continued until 1866. However, in the mean time, in 1862, he had volunteered his services on the emergency call, and was stationed at Harrisburg and Hagerstown. In 1866 he started in business for himself on Main Street, opposite the postoffice, and in 1872 he joined the firm of Cortright & Solt, the firm becoming Riegel, Cortright & Solt, and continuing as such until February, 1890, when the firm was dissolved by the death of Mr. Solt. In 1891 the present firm was formed, and they have continued in business successfully up to the present time. In 1872 Mr. Riegel built the Globe Building, which is one of the large business blocks in the city. The space occupied by their store is 30x200 feet, three stories and a basement. A portion of the second floor is given up to offices, and the third floor contains two lodge rooms. On the first floor is a well equipped carpet department, and the main floor is devoted to general retail merchandise. In addition to the latter they do a wholesale business to some extent, and in the establishment are employed about twenty clerks.

The residence of George W. Riegel is located at No. 71 South Main Street. He was married in this city, in 1864, to Miss O. M., daughter of C. W. Rauch, who was formerly engaged in the manufacture of furniture, and is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Riegel became the parents of two sons and a daughter. George W., who is a clerk in his father’s store, graduated from the parochial schools and Eastman’s Business College, at Poughkeepsie, after which he attended Lehigh University; Howard is a member of the Class of ‘98, of Lehigh University; and Annie M. received her education in the parochial schools and Linden Hall, at Lititz. The family are members of the Moravian Church, in which Mr. Riegel is a prominent member. Politically he votes with the Republican party, and has always shown a commendable interest in every
movement for the benefit of this city.

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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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