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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical 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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CLARENCE JACOB REDDIG, A. M., M. A., one of the leading merchants and substantial men of Shippensburg, was born Nov. 4, 1855, in that city, and he has continued to make it his home. He is a son of Jeremiah Burr Reddig, and comes of an old and honorable family.

(I) Henry Reddig, of German descent, was born May 1, 1779, in Meyerstown, Berks Co., Pa., and married Julia Reinoehl, of Lebanon, Pa., June 7, 1804. Later in life, Henry Reddig moved to the vicinity of Middlespring, Cumberland county, Pa., and there passed away, Jan. 22, 1855.

(II) Jeremiah Burr Reddig, son of Henry, was born at his father’s homestead, near Middlespring, Oct. 28, 1825. When but a boy of fourteen, on March 1, 1840, he made his way to Shippensburg, and by persistence obtained a position in a dry goods store. For some years the lad worked along this line, and then in January, 1851, he with his brother Jacob, was offered a partnership in the dry goods establishment at the northeast corner of Mail and Railroad streets, owned by Joseph P. Nevin. This offer was accepted, and the firm of Nevin & Reddig was organized. In 1857, the brothers bought the interest of Mr. Nevin as well as the real estate upon which the store was located. The style of the firm was changed to J. & J. B. Reddig, and the Reddig name has been continued in the dry goods business at the same location for more than half a century. In 1888 the brothers transferred their interests to the four sons of J. Burr Reddig, whose hand had safely guided the house through many a financial storm, and the firm name adopted was the Reddig Company.

On Jan. 30, 1849, Mr. Reddig married Barbara Ann Heck, daughter of John and Lydia (Cressler) Heck, who died Jan. 29, 1890. Four sons were born of this marriage: William E.; Clarence J.; Albert B.; and Charles H. Mr. Reddig was a man of genial disposition, and was courteous and pleasing in manner. All his life, he was industrious, persevering, ambitious, and capable of carrying out his designs. His executive ability and keen, business judgment were phenomenal, and yet in all his transactions he was conservative and strictly honorable. The house he built to such proportions, is scarcely second to any in the Cumberland Valley. Not only was he a shrewd business man, but Mr. Reddig had another side to his character. On Jan. 5, 1850, he joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Shippensburg, and remained its leading support until his death. Liberal to a fault, he contributed generously toward the erection of the handsome Memorial Lutheran Church, and his contributions were made in both time and money, the former being as valuable as the latter. He was chairman of the building committee of the church, while his brother Jacob was treasurer of the committee. The four-dial tower clock was the gift of Jacob and J. B. Reddig, while Mr. Jacob Reddig bestowed upon the church the magnificent pipe organ of twenty-seven pipes, built by Odell, of New York. For thirty years this most excellent man was a teacher in the Sunday School, and for many years was secretary of the church council. Although he never held a public office, he was trustee of the State Normal School of Shippensburg. On March 31, 1899, this able and successful business man, great financier and beloved and honored member of the church, passed away, leaving the community stricken with sorrow and his family prostrated. Every honor which loving hearts, and a community which valued him at his true worth, could devise, was paid his remains, and his memory is kept green in the city where he labored and his good works show forth.

Clarence Jacob Reddig was educated in the public schools of Shippensburg, being graduated as valedictorian of the high school class of 1871, and at the age of eighteen years entered the Freshman class of Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pa., in September, 1873, with a view of preparing for a professional career. After three years of faithful study, with extra work in fraternity and literary societies, his health failed, and he was compelled to relinquish the completing of his college course, and his cherished plans for a chosen profession. After a year’s recuperation, he decided to enter the mercantile business and therefore took a full course at Eastman’s Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., receiving the degree of Master of Accounts in 1877. Properly equipped for business, he returned to Shippensburg, and established The Peoples Cash Store, in 1878, which he successfully conducted until 1886, when the business houses of J. and J. B. Reddig and the Peoples Cash Store were united, and conducted under the firm name of J. and J. B. Reddig & Sons. with the different changes of the firm since 1886, Clarence J. Reddig has remained identified with it, and in 1894, he became owner of the original Nevin-Reddig real estate, which included the store property, as well as the Reddig corner property, where the post office is now located, and which was also the Reddig mansion home.

While at college Mr. Reddig was a charter member of Pennsylvania Beta Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and was delegate of the same to the national convention held at Philadelphia in 1876; to Wooster, Ohio, in 1878; to Indianapolis in 1880, and to Richmond, Va., in 1882. He held the highest offices in the gift of the fraternity, being national president from 1878 to 1880, and national treasurer from 1880 to 1882. In the fields of literature, he has contributed to three editions of the song book of his fraternity, including the “Greeting” and “Parting” Centennial song, written for the reunion in Philadelphia in 1876. He is a frequent contributor to the public press, and a careful historian in collecting data of events. His alma mater, Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, gave him his honorary degree of Master of Arts in 1896.

Mr. Reddig joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jan. 22, 1871, and for over thirty years has been a very liberal contributor, and for twenty-five years was an earnest Sunday School worker. For ten years, from 1878 to 1887, he took an active part in County and State Sunday school work, being an organizer of superior ability, and was recording secretary for five years; statistical secretary four years, and president one year of the Cumberland County Sunday School Association, and for three years a member of the Pennsylvania State Executive Committee, being president of the Fourth District of the State, and was one of the first advocates of the Chautauqua idea in connection with the County Sunday School Convention, which developed into the Cumberland Valley Sunday School Assembly.

On Oct. 17, 1882, Mr. Reddig was married to Eva Dolores Mansfield, only child of Albert and Harriet (Munson) Mansfield, both of English origin, the father being for forty years superintendent of the Mt. Holly Paper Mills at Mt. Holly Springs. On the mother’s side, Mrs. Reddig is descended from Revolutionary stock, her great-grandfather having served in the Revolutionary army. Her line of ancestors is also traced back to Thomas Munson, of English descent, who was one of the first settlers of New Haven, Conn., in 1638. Mrs. Reddig is a lady of great refinement and takes an active part in social affairs. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the World’s Fair Committee from Cumberland county. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Reddig: Eva Pearl Mansfield, born June 7, 1885, who now attends Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.; and Clarence Mansfield, born June 3, 1892, a student of the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. In politics, Mr. Reddig was a Republican, and took an active part in the campaigns, supporting Garfield and Blaine, and was a friend of Harrison, from all three of whom he has autograph letters. He joined the independent Republican movement in 1884, engaged in the local option contest of the same year, and in 1886 supported Hon. Charles S. Wolf, the Prohibition candidate for governor, and was secretary of the State Prohibition Committee for four years, 1886 to 1889. By reason of his wide knowledge of public men and his practical business and political ideas, he was selected as secretary of the Pennsylvania Non-Partisan amendment committee in 1889, with headquarters in Philadelphia, which position he tilled with great efficiency, and he was regarded as a “most systematic secretary combining discretion and judgment with zeal for the cause of Prohibition.”

Public-spirited, aggressive and progressive, Mr. Reddig is a practical citizen and business man, and for three years he was secretary of the Shippensburg Manufacturing Company, of which he was a charter member, a period continuing from 1889 to 1891. In 1890, he organized the Shippensburg Electric Light Company, and was treasurer of the same from its organization until 1896. Mr. Reddig is past regent of the Shippensburg Council, No. 995, Royal Arcanum, and has done much to make his council one of strength and influence. Amid a busy mercantile life, he finds time to keep in touch with the leading events of the day, and daily takes time for reading and study. He is a careful, judicious reader, a clear thinker, a logical reasoner and a good public speaker.

The Reddig family has been identified with the mercantile affairs of the city for many years and has made an indelible mark upon the trade interests of Shippensburg for a period of more than fifty years. With a business experience built upon the principles of integrity and honesty, inculcatedly an honored father and uncle, Mr. Reddig holds a high place in the favor and confidence of the public, and with his progressive, energetic and systematic dealings, he well merits the success which attends him.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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