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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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JOSEPH F. CRATER, one of the leading citizens of Easton, has been a member of the City Council, and frequently has been sent as a delegate to the various conventions of the Democratic party, of which he is a strong ally. He is a member of the firm of J. F. Crater & Sons, and for years has been engaged in the wholesale produce business, in which he has made a financial success. In addition to his regular business affairs he is a Director in the First National Bank of this place, is associated with the Electric Light Company, the Easton Improvement Association, and other local societies which have for their object the upbuilding and development of this locality. Mr. Crater is of German and English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Mathias Crater, followed agricultural pursuits in Hunterdon County, N. J., where he was born and passed his life. He was quite a well-to-do and respected citizen, and at various times held local offices. His son John, our subject’s father, was born on the old homestead December 12, 1801, and from boyhood was reared to farm life. His death occurred in Morris County, N. J., and he was placed to rest near his home. He was a member of the Methodist Church, and politically was a Democrat. By his marriage with Rachael S. Force he had a family comprising seven children, four of whom are still living. Barbara is the wife of William Betsom, deceased, formerly a resident of Morris County, N. J.; Sarah, who became the wife of Jefferson Lake, also makes her home in Morris County; Joseph F. is the next in order of birth of those living; Rachael A. is Mrs. Hiram Stark, also of Morris County; and three sons have passed from this life.

September 15, 1829, occurred the birth of our subject near Spruce Run, Hunterdon County, N. J., and his boyhood was passed upon his father’s farm, where he early learned the duties of carrying on a homestead. His educational advantages in youth were quite limited, but being studiously inclined he made the best of his opportunities, and by observation and private reading became well informed on general and practical topics. For some time he engaged in farming and teaming prior to reaching his majority, and carefully laid aside a portion of his earnings in order to get a start in business. Believing that there was money to be made in the produce business, he invested in this line and followed it until 1858, when he located in Hackettstown. He was there engaged in the produce business for the next ten years, supplying the city markets and becoming well-to-do. In 1868 he came to Easton and has continued in the same line of business up to the present time. While in Hackettstown he was a member of the firm of Crater & Osmond, but after coming to this place he ran the business independently for a number of years, after which he associated with himself his sons, under the firm name of J. F. Crater & Sons. In addition to the local enterprises in which he has money invested, and a few of which were mentioned at the beginning of this article, he has other industries outside of the city.

Mr. Crater has been twice married. His first union was celebrated in 1855, with Catherine Everett, by whom he had four children: William Everett, in business with his father, as is also his next younger, brother John Wesley; Frank Ellsworth; and Joseph Kethelage, who is unmarried and a business man of this place. The eldest son married Florence Ludwig, of Easton, and is prominent in commercial and Masonic circles of this place. The second son, John W., married Blanch Faye, of Philadelphia; and Frank Ellsworth wedded Lilia Montague, of Easton. The mother of these children was called to her final rest January 4, 1889. The present wife of Joseph Crater was before her marriage Miss Mary, daughter of Thomas Keller, of Easton. Mr. and Mrs. Crater were married January 14, 1892. They have a pleasant home and the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Socially Mr. Crater is a member of the Masonic order, and ranks high in business and fraternal circles.

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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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