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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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J. MILTON LEWIN, one of the most successful business men of Royersford, is a native of Chester county, Pennsylvania, although not far from the place at which he now resides. He was born at Springville, now Spring City, June 21, 1853. He is the eldest son of William and Rebecca (Custer) Lewin.

The Lewin family are of English descent. William Lewin was born in England, May 4, 1823. He came to this country with his parents in 1831, locating at Trappe, in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was educated in the schools of the vicinity, and after leaving school learned the trade of wheelwright. He conducted the wheelwright business at Springville for several years. In 1861 he purchased a tract of thirty-one acres of land, upon which a part of Royersford now stands. He cleared the timber from his tract, erected farm buildings, and continued to cultivate the tract until his death, which occurred November 4, 1878. The executors of William Lewin’s estate, Rebecca Lewin and J. M. Lewin, subject of this sketch, divided the tract into building lots, and it thus became the site of a considerable portion of the flourishing manufacturing and residence town of Royersford. William Lewin married, February 8, 1851, Rebecca, daughter of Samuel Custer. Their children: Elizabeth, died in infancy; J. Milton, Sarah, Samuel, Willis, George, Mary, Emma, Abraham.

J. Milton Lewin would have preferred a college education, but his father objected, and he was obliged to content himself with such advantages as could be obtained at the Hobson school in the neighborhood. The greater part of his boyhood was spent on his father’s farm, attending to such matters as constitute the routine of farm life. He entered the shoemaker shop of John U. Bean, in Upper Providence township, on April 1, 1873, to learn the trade. He served two years as an apprentice, and then opened a shop of his own in Royersford, April 1, 1875. Having no competitor in the business in Royersford, Mr. Lewin began business as a shoe dealer in a small way, in addition to his regular custom work. The business prospered, and, his capital having accumulated, he purchased a half interest in the general store of Rogers & Son. He continued in that business from May 27, 1879, until August 1, 1881. He then sold his interest in the business to Jones Rogers, and entered the shipping department of the Buckwalter Stove Company, where he continued until September 13, 1883, when he again engaged in the occupation of a shoe dealer. Having built a new store on the principal thoroughfare of the borough of Royersford, Main street, he conducted a large and successful business until September 1, 1892, when he disposed of his entire business to F. S. Brown. He then entered the firm of the Grander Stove Company, purchasing the interest of Benjamin Carver, deceased. Mr. Lewin was elected the treasurer of the company. His enterprise and business ability have been of great value to the company. He is a liberal and public spirited citizen and has contributed much to the prosperity of Royersford, by the exercise of these qualities. He has been identified with a number of the industries of that busy town, among them the Royersford Iron Foundry, of which he was president at the time of its sale to Floyd, wells & Company. He assisted to organize the Penn Glass Company, and was one of its board of directors. He was one of the founders of the Keystone Meter Company, and continued as a director until the reorganization some years ago. Mr. Lewin was treasurer of the original Enterprise Hosiery Company, of which he was one of the organizers. He with five other persons organized the Fernwood Cemetery Company, and is still one of its board of managers. He is also a director of the Industrial Savings Bank, chartered March 21, 1892. Not only did he assist in the organization of that institution, but was also very prominent in the organization of the two national banks, the Home and the National Bank of Royersford. Being one of the organizers of the Home Water Company, he was elected one of its directors, and served in that capacity for a short time. He is an active member of the Humane Fire Company, having been one of its founders, and for some time its financial secretary. He has been the efficient secretary of the Royersford Building and Loan Association from its organization, May 1, 1890.

In 1894 he became an organizer of the Linfield Cold Storage Company, of which he was elected treasurer.

In politics Mr. Lewin is an Independent. He was appointed a notary public by the late Governor Robert E. Pattison, April 8, 1886, which position he yet holds by successive reappointments, from time to time. He was one of those who were instrumental in the incorporation of Royersford as a borough in 1879. He filled the position of school director for nine years, during which time he successfully advocated the system of free school books and a modern plan of heating and ventilating the school building. In 1885 he was elected assistant assessor. In 1892 he was chosen burgess of Royersford by an overwhelming majority of its voters, serving one year. It was during his administration as burgess that the franchise was granted to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to lay its tracks on First avenue.

Fraternally Mr. Lewin is prominent and active in Masonic circles. He is a charter member of Royersford Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, No. 585; a member of Pottstown Chapter, No. 271; a charter member of Nativity Commandery. No. 71, K. T., of Pottstown; a member of Bloomsburg Consistory; a member of Palestine Council, No. 8, of Phoenixville and a Noble of Rajah Temple of the Mystic Shrine, Reading. He is also a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, Towamencin Tribe, No. 99, of Royersford.

Religiously Mr. Lewin is an active member of the Lutheran church. When he was executor of the estate of William Lewin, his father, he donated the land upon which was erected Grace Evangelical Lutheran church. He is one of the trustees of the Lutheran congregation of Royersford.

Mr. Levin married, February 18, 1875, Lizzie Bean, daughter of Isaac Bean, of Upper Providence. She died July 1, 1894. The couple had three children: William A., Isaac E., deceased, and Lawrence B, Mr. Lewin’s eldest son graduated with honors from Fairfield Military Academy in June, 1895.

June 20, 1901, he was married the second time to Mary G. Gibson, of Dover, New Jersey. Mr. Lewin is an influential and highly respected citizen of Royersford. He has done everything possible in the course of an active and useful career to build up the prosperity of the community in which he lives, and his efforts so successfully exerted in this direction are fully appreciated by his fellow townsmen, without reference to their political or denominational affiliations.

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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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