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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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 H. LAHR. It is possible that the gentleman of whom we write has an experience extending over as many years in this particular locality as almost anyone in this county, for he was born in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, where he now makes his home, February 17, 1841. His parents were Henry and Catherine (Singer) Lahr, the former of whom was born in Uniontown, Northumberland County, Pa., in the year 1812. He came to this county when about twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, and here he married Miss Singer, a native of Seneca County.

The father of our subject came to this section in limited circumstances, and secured possession of a small farm. He was taken with typhoid fever, however, with which disease he died, as did also his wife and two children, in the year 1858, within two weeks of each other. Nine sons and daughters were thus left orphans, and as none of them was old enough to assume the management of the land, it was sold. Of this family, seven were sons, five of whom served as soldiers during the late war, namely: Aaron B., Peter F., Warren M., Marcellus A. and our subject. The latter enlisted in the fall of 1862 in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Infantry, in which company his brothers Aaron and Peter were also mustered. This regiment formed a part of the Sixth Army Corps and served a part of the time under General Sherman. William H. served until the close of the war, during which time he participated in many of the hard-fought battles of that period, among them being the battle of Gettysburg and Harper’s Ferry. After the surrender of the last-named place, Mr. Lahr was sent with a number of his comrades to the Chicago Parole Camp, where he remained until the following spring. He then participated in the Grand Review in Washington, after which he was discharged and mustered out of service.

On his return from the war, our subject began working at whatever he could find to do, and, being very handy in the use of tools, found plenty of carpenter work. He was married, in April, 1867, to Miss Pernina Pontius, a native of the town of Junius, but who was then living in the town of Fayette. Her parents were Martin and Nancy (Hill) Pontius, well-to-do residents of the former town. For several years after his marriage Mr. Lahr continued to work at his trade, and also operated a farm on shares a part of the time until 1887, in which year he purchased the tract of one hundred acres which he now occupies. This place was considerably run down when he took possession, but with characteristic energy he worked hard to improve it, and has now the satisfaction of knowing it is classed among the most productive in the county.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lahr there were born eleven children, of whom we make the following mention: Edward is well educated, and at home; Cora married Fred Jolly, a farmer of Fayette; Jessie is the wife of Bartholomew Cronin, and lives in Waterloo; Libbie, Henry, George, Warren, Adelbert and Spencer are at home with their parents, and two died in infancy.

In politics our subject is a stanch Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864, while in the army, although he afterward learned that his ballot never reached home. He still keeps up his acquaintance with many of his old comrades, and is a member of the Veteran Union at Waterloo.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Seneca County, New York family biographies here: Seneca County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Seneca County, New York here: Seneca County, New York Map

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