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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. ROBERT E. JAMES, who has been one of the eminent members of the legal fraternity in Easton, Pa., for nearly a quarter of a century, is a representative citizen of this place. In 1876 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to represent this district in the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and served for one term. In 1880 he was elected District Attorney to serve for a period of three years, and in 1885 received the appointment of National Bank Examiner for eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For six years he remained officiating in that capacity, during part of which time he was also Bank Examiner for the city of New York. In many of the enterprises and progressive movements having for their object the betterment of this city and section of the state Mr. James has taken an active part, and is always in the front ranks of modern ideas.

The birth of our subject occurred in Centreville in Upper Mt. Bethel Township, Northampton County, August 9, 1848. His parents were Robert E. and Caroline (Dietterich) James. Evan James, the father of the former, was a native of Bucks County, and of Welsh-English descent. Robert E. James, Sr., was born in Bucks County, November 13, 1802, and became one of the foremost physicians of his day. Me received superior advantages in an educational way, and graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania and from the Jefferson Medical College. Much of his life work was done in Centreville and vicinity, where he established a large practice. He was a member of the State Legislature at one time, having been elected to that position on the Democratic ticket by his many warm friends and neighbors. His service in the House was during the years of 1836-37, after which he refused to be returned, preferring to devote himself solely to his profession. In the entire northern part of the county he exerted a wise and beneficial influence, and by all was believed to be a man of exceptional attainments. To himself and wife were born five children, all of whom are living. Frances M. is the wife of Dr. H. Long, of Sunbury; Mary E. is the wife of Hon. T. H. Purdy, of Sunbury; William M. makes his home in Steelton, Pa.; J. Dietterich is also a resident of Sunbury, Pa.; and Robert E. completes the family.

The early years of our subject were passed at Centreville, and when twelve years of age he was deprived of his father’s watchful care by death. From that time forward he resided in Sunbury, and was educated at the Buckwell University, there being fitted for college. In 1866 he entered Lafayette College and was graduated from that institution three years later. Afterwards he took up the study of law with Edward J. Fox, being at the same time Principal of the Easton High School. He was admitted to the Bar in November, 1872, and at once began active practice. In 1875 he was a member of the Board of School Control for Easton, and during that year and the following one was President of that honorable body. In the Centennial year he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1883 he was nominated for Judge of the Lebanon-Dauphin District on the Democratic ticket, but was not elected, as the Republicans had an overwhelming majority. In 1890 Mr. James with others was instrumental in the organization of the Easton Trust Company, resigning from the Government service to accept the position with this concern, and upon the death of John T. Knight was elected President of the Trust Company. Socially he is a member of the Masonic order, and possesses hosts of friends in this portion of the county.

In 1876 occurred the marriage of Mr. James and Miss Annie Heller, and of their union has been born one child, a son, Robert E., Jr. Though a member of the Baptist denomination, Mr. James now attends the Presbyterian Church of this city. At various times he has been County and City Solicitor, and his practice has led him into many departments of legal work.

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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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