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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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HENRY POTTS LEAF, of the firm of Metz & Leaf, dealers in coal, lime, sand and feed, at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was born April 15, 1835, in the borough in which he now resides. He is-the only child of William and Mary Ann (Lightcap) Leaf, both natives of Montgomery county.

William Leaf (father) was a miller in early life and later had charge and was part owner of an omnibus line on Fifth street, in Philadelphia. He followed this latter occupation for many years. He sold out this business to the first city passenger railroad company, of Philadelphia and became its superintendent. After some years he went to Washington as superintendent of the Georgetown and Washington Railroad. He was afterward superintendent of the Union Line, Philadelphia. He left Philadelphia to accept a position in Newark, New Jersey. He had charge of the Orange & Newark Railway, of the Pennsylvania System, for many years, or until within a few years of his death, when he retired to a farm two miles west of Pottstown. He removed to that farm in 1876, and died there at the age of seventy-one years. His wife died one year previous to his death, at the age of seventy-three years.

George Leaf (grandfather) was a native of Montgomery county. He was a general merchant and owned property in the county. Both he and his wife, whose maiden name was Leonard, died in the prime of life, leaving a family of ten children. The children were reared and cared for by their aunt, Anna Leonard, whose parents were Quakers.

John Lightcap (maternal grandfather) was also born in Montgomery county. His wife was Sarah Lightcap and they had several children. He died when he was about seventy years of age.

Henry P. Leaf was two years and six months old when his parents removed to Indiana. They resided six miles west of Indianapolis until Henry was ten years of age, when they removed to Philadelphia. As the family lived in that city for several years, until 1859, Henry P. Leaf received the greater part of his schooling there, attending the Hancock grammar school. He learned the art of wood engraving and followed that occupation for several years.

In 1859 he took up his residence on a farm two miles west of Pottstown and remained on that place for thirty-one years. In 1890 he went to Pottstown and lived retired for a few years. Since 1894 he has been engaged in the coal, lime and feed business in partnership with Samuel Metz, the firm name being Metz & Leaf. He is a stock-holder in the Citizens’ Bank of Pottstown, and also in the Glasgow Iron Works.

In February, 1858, Henry Potts Leaf married Miss Esther A. Weber, daughter of William H. and Ann (Bean) Weber. They had five children: Mary, who died at the age of three years; Annie, who died at the age of eight years; William; Sarah W.; and Leonard. William Leaf is employed in the machine department of the Stetson Hat Works in Philadelphia. He married Annie Kerlin. They have two children living: Esther and Ruth. Sarah W. resides at home and Leonard is a clerk in the Pottstown National Bank.

Mr. and Mrs. Leaf are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Leaf is an elder in the church and has been for a number of years. He is also a church trustee. During the Civil war he enlisted at the emergency call and went to Chambersburg. He saw no active service. In politics Mr. Leaf is a Republican. He resides at No. 171 Hanover street.

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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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