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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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REV. JAMES J. REITZ, A. M., holds the pastorate of the Lutheran Church in Walnutport, St. Paul’s Church, in Lehigh Township, and Emanuel’s Church in Moore Township, Northampton County. Mr. Reitz was born in Lehigh County, December 13, 1859, and is the son of Benjamin and Leah (Phillips) Reitz, also born in that county. The family is a very old and honored one in this locality, the great-grandfather of our subject, Lorentz Reitz, having come from Germany in an early day, and made settlement in Lynn Township, the above county.

Benjamin Reitz was a miller by trade, to which he later added the occupation of a farmer. James J., of this sketch, was consequently reared to farm pursuits, although he also acquired a knowledge of the milling business. His primary studies were carried on in the district school, which he attended quite regularly until reaching his fifteenth year. Then, passing the examination, he was awarded a teacher’s certificate, and the following year began teaching school, following that occupation during three winters. During the summer season he attended the Edinboro State Normal in Erie County, this state, and in 1880 became a student in Muhlenberg College in Allen town, where he took a four-years course, and was graduated with the Class of ‘84 as Bachelor of Arts.

In 1884 Mr. Reitz, deciding to follow the ministry, entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, from which institution he was graduated in 1887. The following summer he took the elementary and intermediate course in Hebrew at Dr. W. R. Harper’s Hebrew Summer School in the Quaker City. Dr. Harper was then President of Yale College, and conducted the summer schools in Hebrew throughout the country. He is now the well known President of Chicago University. After completing his studies, Rev. Mr. Reitz conducted a private school in New Tripoli, which had for its object the preparing of teachers for public-school work. In 1887, however, he took charge of the three churches mentioned in our opening paragraph, in the work of which he is very successful. For several years he made his home in Cherryville, but in 1893 moved to Walnutport, where he owns farm lands of one hundred acres. He is a very popular minister of the Gospel, and not only is he highly esteemed by the members of his own church, but his name is the synonym for integrity and probity wherever known.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Ada J. Follweiler was celebrated March 12, 1889. The lady is the daughter of Charles and Kate Follweiler, and a sister of Assemblyman Warren T. Follweiler, and by her union with Mr. Reitz there has been born a son, Charles B. The congregations over which our subject has charge are independent of the control of any synod, which result was brought about after a vote of the members, when an attempt had been made to unite them. Elder Reitz was a member of the synod at this time, and in order to retain his position as minister of the congregations he was obliged to withdraw from that body.

In 1887 Muhlenberg College conferred upon Rev. Mr. Reitz the degree of Master of Arts. Since devoting his life to the salvation of others, he has been greatly prospered, and his well balanced and well stored mind and manly character have won for him popularity among the parishioners.

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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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