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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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MRS. ANNIE HILL LEAF, who has charge of the post office at Fort Washington, is the widow of Charles Clay Leaf, deceased. She was born in Mercer county, New Jersey, being a daughter of Davis S. and Ann (Sutphen) Hill. Her father was a son of David Hill, also of New Jersey, of a colonial family. The children of David Hill (grandfather): ann, wife of Eli Moore, prominent in the manufacture of pottery; Elizabeth (Mrs. G. Obert); David S., father.

David S. Hill was reared in New Jersey, being trained as a farmer, which occupation he followed through life, and was one of the most prominent men in Mercer county, where he spent the greater part of his life. Politically he was a Democrat, but never aspired to political preferment, and kept the even tenor of his way as an honest and successful farmer. After the death of his wife in 1883 he removed to Pennsylvania, and resided with his son in Monroe county, where he died in 1886, at the age of sixty-seven years. In religious faith he was a Baptist of the old school type. His wife, Ann Sutphen, belonged to a family who are among the oldest in New Jersey, having settled there in colonial times. The Sutphen ancestor came from Holland. Ann was the daughter of Arthur Sutphen.

Derrick A. Sutphen, born March 20, 1785, married Mary Cox. They were the parents of Lewis Sutphen, who died July 2, 1898, at an advanced age. He lived and died on a part of the original tract of land settled by the Sutphens, the immigrant being his great-grandfather. Lewis Sutphen was the great-great-great-grandson of Richard and Penelope Stout, and also stood in the same relationship to Derrick van Sutphen and his wife, Lisbeth J. Van Nuys, who came from the town of Zutphen, in Holland. Arthur Sutphen was reared on a farm and became very successful in that occupation. His children: Ann (mother); Edward, William, Lewis, Derrick, Mary (Mrs. Schenck); Sarah (Mrs. L. Labaw).

The children of David S. and Ann Hill: Benjamin, a farmer; George, who located on a farm in Monroe county, Pennsylvania, where his father also lived and died, after which the son sold the farm and returned to New Jersey, where he established himself in a real estate business at Newark; Frances (Mrs. William Reilly); Margaret (Mrs. V. Stout); Laura (Mrs. E. Young); Annie, subject of this sketch; David, died young.

Charles Clay Leaf and Annie Hill were married at Philadelphia. He was born at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, October 3, 1854, the son of Rev. Edmund and Harriet Potts (Clay) Leaf, the last named being a daughter of Charles and Maria (Evans) Clay. The Evans family are among the earliest settlers in Montgomery county. The Clays have long been prominent in American history. The immigrant was Robert Clay, of Chesterfield, in Yorkshire, England, and later of Sheffield. He married Maria Slater in 1687, and about 1700 emigrated to Virginia. Among his descendants was the great statesman and candidate of the Whig party in 1848 for president, Henry Clay. Cassius M. Clay is another descendant, as well as Charles Clay, of Pottstown, who owned a portion of the land on which that borough was built. His children: Harriet Potts Clay, George Clay, and two daughters, one of whom was Hannah.

Rev. Edmund Leaf, D. D., was a native of Pottstown, where he was born in 1818. He died at Birdsboro, in Berks county, Pennsylvania, in 1890. He was a rector of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal church at Douglassville from 1844 to 1876. His father, George Leaf, was a pioneer merchant of Pottstown, and died there in 1823. His children: George, Thomas, William, Harlan, Edmund, Mary, Anna, Julia, Elizabeth. Mary married Thomas Boyd. Elizabeth married Daniel H. Beecher, for many years a prominent merchant of Pottstown. Edmund was the last survivor of the family. He graduated at Yale College in 1841, and in 1844 was ordained a minister of the Episcopal church. In that year he was called to the rectorship of Christ church, Pottstown, and was in charge there and at St. Gabriel’s church until 1858. In 1850 he commenced preaching at Birdsboro, and from a mission with a few members who met in a school house a large congregation was gathered. In 1853 a church building was erected. Mr. Leaf served the three congregations until 1858, when he resigned that at Pottstown, and some years later that at Douglassville, continuing in charge of the Birdsboro church until his last illness. In 1844 he married Harriet Potts Clay, who survived him. Their children: Charles Clay, husband of Mrs. Leaf; Kellie Lane; Edward Bowman, married Elizabeth Trenchard, and their children are Harriet Clay and Frances Trenchard; George Herbert.

Charles Clay Leaf was reared at Pottstown, receiving a liberal education. He was by profession a civil engineer. He engaged in the service of the Reading Railway Express Company, with his office at Philadelphia. He married, and in 1887 removed to Fort Washington, where he engaged in business as a merchant, in which he continued ten years. He then accepted a clerkship in the office of the auditor general of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg, where he was the warrant clerk. He continued in this position until his death on May 12, 1898, he being one of the many victims of the Exeter wreck, being instantly killed, along with many prominent citizens of Norristown who had been in attendance at the dedication of the monument to General John Frederic Hartranft, and were returning home. He was thus removed suddenly from his wife and young family, his death being a great loss not only to them but also to the community. He was an earnest and aggressive Republican, and had much influence in politics. He was the acknowledged party leader in that section of Montgomery county.

On March 31, 1902, Mrs. Leaf received the appointment of postmaster at Fort Washington, and has been able to keep her family together and to educate them well. They are four in number, as follows: 1. Louis H., born May 21, 1878, who after his school days were ended enlisted in the United States army, and a year later was commissioned as second lieutenant of infantry at Fort Meade, North Dakota, and was ordered from that place at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, and a few months later to the Philippines, where he rendered valuable services for nearly two years, being in a number of battles and skirmishes, in one of which he received a wound in the right leg, which required amputation, and this operation had to be repeated. After his return home still another operation was required. 2. Eleanor Clay, who is attending school at Washington, D. C. 3. Charles L., also attending school. 4. Elizabeth, at school at Germantown. The family are members of the St. Thomas Episcopal church of Whitemarsh township.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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