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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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WILLIAM L. ODENWELDER, one of the well known citizens and business men of Northampton County, is part proprietor of the Bath Knitting Mills, and also owns a flour and feed store in this place. The former concern does business under the firm name of Odenwelder & Co. Their plant is well equipped with all needful machinery, and is one of the active local industries. The building which is occupied was erected in the fall of 1882, is of brick, 72x90 feet in dimensions, and was originally constructed for a machine shop. It served only a short time for that purpose, after which it stood idle for several years, or until June, 1889, when the present knitting mills were organized by William L. Odenwelder, and machinery was put in place for operating the business. The original firm was Odenwelder, Mauser & Co., but April 20, 1889, the subject of this sketch bought out his partners’ interest, and his present partners are J. W. Trumbower, of Nazareth, Pa., and D. J. Odenwelder.

The mills contain good machinery for the purpose of manufacturing ladies’ and misses’ seamless hose, this being their specialty. About eighty-five hands on an average are employed in the mills, and the business is constantly growing, the products being sent to many of the states. Mr. Odenwelder is superintendent of the concern, and is making a good success of it in a business way. He is enterprising and progressive in his methods, and to his energy and practical manner of carrying on affairs is due the success which has been achieved by the firm.

Mr. Odenwelder was born July 7, 1838, in Northampton County. He comes of an old and honored family of the county, of which his parents are also natives. They are Daniel and Barbara A. (Miller) Odenwelder, the former of whom was born in 1807, and the latter in 1810. Daniel Odenwelder, who was one of the early settlers of South Easton, departed this life in 1875. His widow, who still survives, has reached the good old age of eighty-five years. One of her sons, John H., who has departed this life, at one time served as Recorder of Deeds of Northampton County. The family has always held a high position in the esteem and good will of the inhabitants of this county. The early years of William L. Odenwelder were passed on his father’s farm, and to agricultural pursuits he devoted his time until arriving at maturity. His primary education was obtained in the common schools, though he was largely self educated. Coming to Bath in 1886, he engaged in the flour and feed business for a number of years, but has lately given his attention to operating the knitting works.

September 16, 1862, occurred the marriage of Mr. Odenwelder and Frances Trumbower. Her father, Stephen J. Trumbower, now deceased, was formerly a citizen of East Allen Township. Mr. Odenwelder is a member of the Town Council of Bath, and in politics votes with the Democratic party. He has served as School Director of Lower Nazareth Township, and as Treasurer of East Allen Township. In 1880 he acted as Census Enumerator of the last-named township, and has also been Judge of Election several times.

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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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