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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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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SWARTZ. This gentleman, who is descended from one of the most prominent and oldest families in the county, is a substantial business man in Catasauqua, and is at present a stockholder in the Lehigh Car Wheel and Axle Works, which is one of the important industries of this section.

Our subject was born at Swartz’s Dam, one and one-half miles north of Catasauqua, April 7, 1838, and is the son of John Swartz, a resident of Northampton County, this state. The latter was an infant of twelve months when he was taken by his parents to Swartz’s Dam, his father, Christian Swartz, being an early settler in that locality, where he owned a valuable farm, and when the canal was built established a hotel at that place. John Swartz lived and died in that place, departing this life when in his sixty-eighth year. He was a member of the Reformed Church in Howertown, and a Whig in politics.

The maiden name of our subject’s mother was Catherine Heller. She was born in Hellertown, this state, and died in 1861, at the age of sixty-three years. Their union resulted in the birth of twelve children, all of whom, with the exception of two, grew to mature years and four are still living. Benjamin F., of this sketch, was the youngest but one and was reared to manhood in his native county and obtained a fair education in the district schools. His father died when he was a lad of fourteen years. At that early age he began clerking in a store at Hokendauqua, and a year later was thus employed for six months in Bloomsburg.

At the expiration of that time our subject came to this city and took charge of William Miller’s store, and after a stay of six months entered Wyoming Seminary, where he carried on his studies during the winter of 1856-57, after which he went to Allentown. In the fall of the following year he made a trip to Ohio, where for two and one-half years he clerked in a store in Wyandot County. He was a very successful business man and soon had an establishment of his own, which he carried on in Carey, until the fall of 1865, in partnership with a Mr. Park. That year he disposed of his interest in the business and went to Kenton, where he was engaged for a time with a firm, and then formed a partnership with his brother, the firm being B. F. & C. Swartz.

In 1869 Mr. Swartz came to this city and engaged to work for Fuller & Co. as traveling salesman. In 1883 he was taken into the company as a stockholder, and has been connected with the same ever since. Our subject was married in November, 1861, to Miss Anna L., daughter of Alvin Dow, who is at present residing at Carey, Ohio, where he is classed among its substantial residents. Mrs. Swartz was educated in the Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of a daughter, Maude O., who is now the wife of George W. Graffin, a merchant of Allentown.

Mr. Swartz is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he is serving as Trustee and Treasurer. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and never fails to aid in any way he can all measures set on foot for the betterment of his community.

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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 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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