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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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W. B. SCHAEFFER, General Agent for the New Jersey Central Railroad at Bethlehem, Pa., was born at Seigfreid’s Bridge, Northampton County, August 5, 1865. His father was born in Moore Township, Northampton County, and was a merchant and traveling salesman in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. His home is now at Whitehall, Lehigh County. He is an active Republican, and has served as Assessor and Justice of the Peace. He is seventy-two years old and is in good health.

The grandfather, Theobald Schaeffer, was born in Moore Township, Northampton County, in 1798, and died in 1890, when over ninety-two years of age. In his youth he learned the tanning trade with Peter Steckel. He afterward built a tannery, and followed tanning and farming for upwards of sixty years. He was one of the Commissioners who built the road over the Blue Mountains at Burrow’s Springs, called Smith Gap, at or near what is now Point Philips. He secured his appointment from the state Government, which furnished the money for the undertaking. The other commissioners were George Schlabach, from Northampton County, and John Smith, from Carbon County. His father was John Schaeffer, commonly called Captain Schaeffer, from his command of a militia company, somewhere about the year 1814. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years. The mother of our subject, Hettie (Steckel) Schaeffer, was born near Egypt, Lehigh County and is still living, at the age of sixty-eight.

There were nine children in the parental family, eight of whom attained maturity, and are still living. The four sons are Rev. Oliver Schaeffer, who is the present pastor of the Reformed Church in Schuylkill County; Dr. Oscar Schaeffer, a practicing physician at Freemansburg; Robert F., the assistant agent in the employ of the New Jersey Central Railroad; and William B. The latter began teaching school when he was only fifteen years old, and taught for one year in Upper Nazareth Township, near Bath. He continued teaching in Northampton and Lehigh Counties until 1884, when he engaged with the Lehigh Valley Railroad as an extra operator, running between Bethlehem and Wilkes Barre.

In 1885, W. B. Schaeffer entered the employ of the New Jersey Central as an operator, being stationed at Seigfreid’s Bridge; later he was transferred to the train dispatcher’s office at Ashley, Pa., and in 1886 came to Bethlehem as an assistant agent. He continued as such until the fall of 1888, when he was promoted to the position of General Agent, and also agent for the United States Express Company, his brother securing his late position. In May, 1887, he was appointed Justice of the Peace, and elected for five years in February, 1888, but owing to the press of other duties he was obliged to resign in February, 1889. His appointment, it is supposed, was the first ever tendered to so young a man. Both parties nominated him for School Director in West Bethlehem, and he was elected to that position for two consecutive terms and is at the present time Secretary of the School Board. Mr. Schaeffer is a member of the Republican county standing committee and was a delegate to the state convention in 1893.

Our subject was married in Newark, N. J., in June, 1886, to Miss Nellie Fairchild, and they have three children, Raymond, Harold and Gerald.

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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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