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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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HENRY L. ODENWELDER, who is officiating as Justice of the Peace of Palmer Township, Northampton County, was born here on the 5th of February, 1842, being a son of Jacob B. and Mary A. (Gratwhole) Odenwelder, also natives of this county. His paternal grandfather, Philip Odenwelder, was likewise born here, and it is said that his grandfather was the founder of the family in Palmer Township, whither he came in a very early day and became one of its pioneer settlers.

During his earlier years the father of our subject was employed as a tiller of the soil, but in later life he was for a time proprietor of the well known Forest House, which is situated in Palmer, adjoining Easton Township. His death occurred April 15, 1884, at a ripe old age. Of his children, five are now living, namely: Robert, who makes his home in Forks Township, Northampton County; Sabilla, wife of Enos Ott, a resident of Easton, Pa.; Henry L., of this sketch; Tilghman, who lives in Palmer Township, near the Forest House; and Asher J., a resident of Easton, Pa.

In the district schools of Palmer Township the subject of this sketch was enabled to gain a rudimentary knowledge of the three R’s, after which he attended a private school in Easton. Starting out in life, he became proprietor of the Forest House, where for about a quarter of a century he officiated as “mine host,” and by his genial hospitality won the friendship of the traveling public, so that those who were once his guests looked forward to a second visit with pleasure. For a short time he made his home in Easton, and in October, 1891, moved to his present home.

Taking a deep interest in everything pertaining to the public welfare, Mr. Odenwelder has long been an important factor in promoting the progress of town and county. In politics a Democrat, that party has no supporter more loyal than he. For a time he served as Auditor of Palmer Township, and in February, 1893, he was elected to his present position, that of Justice of the Peace, which he holds for a term of five years. Socially he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, belonging to Castle Hall, Amana Lodge No. 77, at Easton.

The marriage of Mr. Odenwelder united him with Miss Emilina Breinig, who is a daughter of George Breinig, a resident of Lehigh County, living near Bethlehem. One child blesses this union, Emma C. In addition to his other interests, our subject is a stockholder in the South Side Land Company. He is a man who enjoys to the fullest extent the confidence and regard of the people among whom his entire life has been passed, and while he has not gained great wealth, he has secured a competence which will enable him to spend his declining years in comfort.

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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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