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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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WESTON DODSON, founder of the firm of Weston Dodson & Co., extensive miners and shippers of anthracite coal, was formerly a resident and prominent citizen of Bethlehem, with the welfare of which place he was identified for twenty-six years. Though he left a large estate at the time of his death, it was all honestly and honorably acquired, for he was a man of the strictest integrity, and made it his rule in life to follow in a practical way the Master’s teaching of doing unto others as he would be done by. By his fellow-citizens and those who knew him best, he was held in the highest honor as a man of inflexible truth and noble work.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was Samuel Dodson, and his father, whose given name was John, was a well known farmer of Penn Township, in what was formerly Northampton, but which is now comprised within the limits of Carbon County. The date of his birth was February 26, 1771, and his mother was Elizabeth (Rhoades) Dodson. He was the fourth in order of birth and the second son of ten children. After attaining his majority he removed to Huntingdon Township, Luzerne County, where he purchased a farm, which he improved and cultivated until his death, May 9, 1859. He was first married in 1796, to Miss Clarissa Harrison, daughter of Stephen Harrison. This lady died in 1820, leaving eight children to mourn her loss. Her father was formerly a resident of Litchfield County, Conn., and became a prominent farmer in Luzerne County. For his second wife John Dodson chose Sophronia Monroe, who was a native of Connecticut, and whose death occurred in 1841. The father was a Justice of the Peace, having been first appointed by the Governor, and later elected for several terms by the people. The Dodson family is of English descent, three brothers having located in Pennsylvania in its early history.

Weston Dodson was born April 22, 1824, and grew to manhood on his father’s farm in Luzerne County. In early manhood he went to Freemansburg, where he began his life work. At the age of thirty-five he removed to Bethlehem, where he finished his long and highly prosperous business career.

April 12, 1859, a ceremony was performed that united Weston Dodson and Miss Jane E. Craig, daughter of William Craig, a pioneer of Northampton County. The result of this union was the birth of three children: Mary R., now Mrs. G. R. Radford, who resides in Philadelphia; and C. Miner and Jane W., the two latter living with their mother.

The large coal mines in which Mr. Dodson was interested are located at Morea and Audenried, Schuylkill and Carbon Counties respectively, and rank among the finest in the state, thousands of tons of coal being daily handled at these points. The villages inhabited by the miners are beautifully situated, and are much better managed than the villages usually allotted to this class of workmen. The residences are substantial, the communities plentifully supplied with pure, wholesome water, and the company has always made it a point, as far as possible, to surround their workmen with favorable and pleasant conditions.

The death of Weston Dodson occurred January 8, 1889, and his funeral was attended by hosts of friends and fellow-townsmen and numbers of prominent people from all parts of the country, the services taking place at the Trinity Episcopal Church, of which he was one of the founders. Among the last words which fell from the lips of our subject was one brief sentence, which deserves to be remembered by everyone who knew him. Within a few hours of his death, when the dark shadows were closing around him, he said, with a flash of proud consciousness, which gave a most touching pathos to his words; “Every dollar I leave my children has been justly earned.” The name which he kept untarnished is a truly noble heritage for his children, and his influence in the community is one which is still felt for good.

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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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