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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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JOHN T. DYER, one of the most prominent business men of Norristown, is a native of Lehigh county, where he was born April 19, 1848. His ancestors were English Friends or Quakers. They were among the early settlers of Pennsylvania. He is the son of Richard H. and Caroline (Hoffman) Dyer. The Dyers settled in the vicinity of Dyerstown, Bucks county, the family giving name to the place.

Jesse Dyer (grandfather) was a farmer by occupation. He was born at Dyerstown and died near Doylestown, Bucks county, in 1855, at the age of eighty-two years. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Orthodox). He married Lucinda Hough. The couple had three sons, Thomas P., Richard H. and John S. The father was a successful business man and accumulated a competence.

Richard H. Dyer (father) was born in Warrington, Bucks county, in 1817, He was educated in the schools of the vicinity, obtaining a good education. On reaching manhood, he engaged in teaching in the public schools of Lehigh county. After being occupied in this vocation for several years, he became interested in building and contracting, combining these occupations with the lumber business. He was also engaged in general merchandising, shipping produce to Philadelphia and New York. His strict integrity and careful attention to business brought him success in all the enterprises with which he was connected. He was an earnest, enterprising and public-spirited citizen, doing all that he could to promote the welfare of his community, contributing liberally of his means to every worthy object. He married Caroline Hoffman. The couple had six children as follows: William G., John T., Eugene, Elizabeth, Emily and Laura. In 1854 Mr. Dyer removed to Slatington, residing there until his death in 1876.

John T. Dyer was educated in the public schools of the vicinity, and after leaving school was employed as a clerk in one of the quarries at Slatington. He soon became interested in railroad construction, superintending the building of new lines. In 1880 he engaged extensively in railroad contracting on his own account, his first large contract being on the New York, Ontario & Western. He did much of the construction work on the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley line, which led to still more important contracts. He soon afterwards located permanently in Norristown. He also was extensively engaged in executing other railroad contracts, including the following: Bay Ridge and Annapolis Railroad; fourteen miles of the Ohio River Railroad, from Parkersburg, West Virginia, south, and a similar stretch on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Mr. Dyer has also done much work on trolley line construction in Norristown and elsewhere, employing large numbers of men, and pushing his contracts with great energy and success. He built the terminal at Waterbury, Connecticut, and several sections of the Trenton Cut-off Branch of the Pennsylvania railroad.

Mr. Dyer married, December 11, 1879, Mary F., daughter of the late Dr. Cornelius S. Baker, a prominent physician and druggist of Norristown. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Dyer are: Elsie, Caroline, Frederick, John L., William Gordon and Marion.

Mr. Dyer is a Democrat in politics and was for several years a member of the board of trustees of the Norristown Hospital for the Insane, by appointment of Governor Pattison. In these as in all other positions in which he has been placed, Mr. Dyer has performed his duties faithfully and conscientiously, endeavoring to promote the public interests by every means in his power. He is also connected with several Norristown corporations, including the Merchants Ice Company, with extensive plant at Markley and Marshall streets. Mr. Dyer has for a number of years been very extensively engaged in stone-crushing at Howellville and near Norristown, also at Trap Rock quarries at Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, carrying on the business on a very large scale. He is interested in many local enterprises, and is generally recognized as a liberal and public-spirited citizen. By his industry, energy and business ability, he has achieved a position and a reputation among the business men of eastern Pennsylvania such as few have attained.

The Bakers (Mrs. Dyer’s family), are of New England origin, although long domiciled in eastern Pennsylvania. David Baker (grandfather) was a native of Connecticut. He came to New Jersey settling near New Brunswick. His son, Cornelius Baker, studied at Yale College, entering the medical department, where he studied under Professor Tully, then at the head of that department. He graduated from the institution most creditably. Dr. Baker married a daughter of Professor Tully, who did not, however, live very long. He practiced medicine at Churchville, Bucks county, for a time, and married (second wife) Miss Elizabeth Feaster, of a prominent family, long settled in that section of the state. Dr. Baker also practiced medicine at Carlisle two years, and then removed to Norristown where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1886, in his seventy-second year. The family resided on DeKalb street, and he conducted for many years the drug store at the west corner of Main and DeKalb streets, which, since his death, has been conducted by his son, Theodore W. Baker, and George W. Grady, the firm being Baker & Grady.

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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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