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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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HON. JACOB B. KEMERER, Burgess and practicing attorney, is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business, being a member of the firm of Woller & Kemerer, the largest and most extensive real-estate firm in Bethlehem. He is a native of Center Valley, Lehigh County, his father being Benjamin Kemerer, a merchant by occupation, who removed to Philadelphia with his family when his son was quite young. The family came from Germany, our subject’s grandfather, Jacob, being one of the early settlers of this region. Our subject’s father was a merchant at Center Valley, then removed to Freemansburg, and was engaged in transportation on the Lebigh Canal, in boat building and in manufacturing rope.

Benjamin Kemerer became a resident of Philadelphia in 1848, where he became a member of the firm of Rex, Kemerer & Co., one of the leading stores in the city at that time, and continued to do business until 1858. He then went to New York City, where he was engaged in merchandising on commission, and also in the transportation line. His death occurred in Philadelphia in 1882, when he was sixty-six years of age. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, and was a Republican in politics. His wife, Mary (Bachman) Kemerer, was born in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, and came of a good family of that district. Mrs. Kemerer died in 1867, leaving three children, of whom Sarah died in Philadelphia; our subject is next in order of birth, and Albert H., a member of the firm of Dickie & Co., is engaged in the real-estate business in Pittsburg.

The birth of J. B. Kemerer occurred December 21, 1844, and his education was mainly acquired in the public and high schools of Philadelphia, from the latter of which he graduated in 1861. He then came to Bethlehem, where he pursued a course of legal studies with U. J. Wenner, and in 1876 he was admitted to the Bar. Prior to this he had been engaged for three or four years with the firm of H. B. Claflin & Co., the largest wholesale house in New York. Since being admitted to the Bar, Mr. Kemerer has continued in active practice at his present location, and has been very successful. In 1887 he formed a partnership with Clarence A. Wolle in the real-estate and fire insurance business, and has made a specialty of commercial law and the examination of records. With others he projected and laid out the west side addition to West Bethlehem, a tract of fifty or sixty acres, and has done much for the town in which he dwells. Moreover, he laid out forty acres of North Bethlehem, and it is mainly due to this firm that the Boston capitalists who control the excellent electric railway system connecting Allen town, Catasauqua, Bethlehem and South Bethlehem, were induced to invest their money there.

As a Democrat, Mr. Kemerer has done a good service to his party, and in 1889 his prominence led to his election as Burgess of Bethlehem, to which office he was re-elected the following two years. From 1880 to 1889 he represented the Third Ward in the City Council, and for the last two years was President of the same. He served on the Highway or Street and Water Supply Committees, and was Chairman of the Street, Police and Law Committees. Under his influence, and during the last year he served in the Council, macadamizing was begun on Main Street, and later other improvements were introduced. At the present time he is a member of the State Central Democratic Committee from Northampton County. At the spring election of 1894, Mr. Kemerer was again elected to the office of Chief Burgess for a term of three years.

In this city, in 1865, J. B. Kemerer married Miss Amanda J. Seem, daughter of Joseph Seem, who was a farmer by occupation. Mrs. Kemerer was born near Bethlehem, and by her marriage has become the mother of one son, Albert G., who is engaged in business with his father in the insurance department. The residence of the family is located on North Main Street, and both Mr. Kemerer and his wife are members of the Presbyterian 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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