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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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JESSE S. LAROS, formerly LaRose, a descendant of an early settled family of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, was born at the old homestead in Upper Macungie township, August 21, 1844. He was reared as a farmer, receiving an ordinary common school education. He was the son of Jesse and Lydia (Seigfried) Laros, she of Berks county, and he was born at the Lehigh county homestead. Jesse Laros (father) was the son of Henry and Catharine (Jacoby) Laros, both of Lehigh county.

Henry Laros (grandfather) was the son of Nicholas Laros, who, with two brothers, came from Europe and settled in Pennsylvania. He was of French Huguenot origin, but during the persecutions in France on account of religious opinions, the family drifted away from their native country, settling elsewhere in Europe. The three brothers who emigrated to America settled in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, Lehigh being afterwards formed from it. The original deed, of parchment, for the land which he bought from William Penn’s agent, is now in the possession of his descendant, Jesse S. Laros. The land is still owned by Mr. Laros, and it has never been out of the family. The family have always been more or less prominent in the community, being considerably above the average of their neighbors in intelligence and general ability, as well as in education.

Nicholas Laros (great-grandfather) was a member of the Reformed church. He had three children: Henry grandfather), Magdalena (Mrs. Hines), and Christina (Mrs. V. Unger). Henry, the son, remained in Lehigh county, the homestead having been left him by his father’s will. He was prominently identified with the interests of the county, serving for a long time as justice of the peace, and also as county commissioner, a very responsible office. He was well educated, and wrote the constitution and by-laws of the Reformed church to which he belonged, as well as transacting other public business. He died in 1859. His children: Jesse (father), Thomas, Enos, Catharine (Mrs. Jonathan Smoyer), Dena (Mrs. Amos Smoyer), Lucy (Mrs. S. Dornblaser), Elizabeth, died young. Jesse (father) died on the old farm in 1879, at the age of seventy-nine years. He improved the farm which had been the home of his parents. In addition to farming, he engaged in mining, the land being well supplied with iron ore. The family became connected with those of German ancestry through intermarriage with their neighbors, and those of the present generation speak that language, as well as English. The family traditions are all Democratic, and the representatives of the family now living are all of that political faith. Jesse (father) held the position of school director and other minor offices, but never aspired to higher honors. It has often been said of him, as of his father and his son, that “his word was as good as his bond.”

The wife of Jesse Laros, Sr., died in 1877. Her father, Solomon Seigfried, was a farmer by occupation. When he settled in that locality (Berks county) there were yet Indians in the neighborhood, who frequently came to his spring in order to obtain a supply of good water. His children: Lydia (mother), Daniel, Henry, David, Elizabeth (Mrs. Dankel), Harriet (Mrs. J. Christman), Polly (Mrs. Ocker), Solomon.

The children of Jesse and Lydia Laros: Mary (Mrs. J. Warm Kessel), Lavina (Mrs. W. Kerchner), Judith (Mrs. E. Griffith), Elimena (Mrs. R. Stetler), who died, and her sister Catharine became his second wife; Jesse S., subject of this sketch; Lydia (Mrs. Benjamin Rupp), Edwin, died at the age of twenty-two years, Sarah (Mrs. George Lichtenwaler). The children were all reared in the Reformed faith.

Jesse S. Laros inherited the homestead in Lehigh county, but some of the heirs not being satisfied with his taking at the appraisement, as the will stipulated, he bought the farm and paid off the other heirs. He had already farmed the place for eleven years. He had also mined iron ore. He remained at the homestead until 1891, when he removed with his family to Collegeville, on account of the educational advantages of the place. He had himself added much to his education by attending school after he had reached the age of twenty-one years, thus qualifying himself for whatever business he might undertake. Resolved to educate his children thoroughly, he selected the vicinity in which Ursinus College is located as a suitable place for his home. All his children are graduates of Ursinus, two of them being ministers in the Reformed church, and one a physician. Mr. Laros, having determined on his future place of residence, purchased a commodious house and fifteen acres of land to which he removed, still living thereon. He is a Democrat in politics, although not an office-seeker in any sense of the term. He has frequently been importuned to become a candidate for public position, but has steadily refused, partly on the ground that if he were a candidate he would be obliged to furnish liquor to voters, against which he is principled, being a strong temperance advocate. He is a man of good business ability, who would dignify any position to which he might be chosen. On coming to Collegeville, he rented his farm in Lehigh county on a ten-year lease, and still owns it, receiving also a royalty on each ton of ore that is mined.

Mr. Laros married in 1868, Miss Maria Moore, who was born in Lehigh county, December 3, 1844. Mrs. Laros is the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Moore. Solomon Moore was the son of Herman Moore, and Herman was the son of Herman Moore, Sr., who came from Germany and settled in Lehigh county. Mrs. Laros was born on the farm on which her great-grandfather settled, and on which the different generations of the family have since resided. Her ancestors were farmers and members of the Reformed church. The children of Herman Moore: Solomon (father of Mrs. Laros), Jonas, Herman, Polly (Mrs. Jonathan Moore), Sallie (Mrs. Meigsler), Elizabeth (Mrs. G. Bechtel), Lydia (Mrs. D. Garnet).

Solomon Moore was reared as a farmer, and lived retired for several years prior to his death, which occurred in 1897, at the age of eighty-five years. He was a Whig, and later a Republican in politics, but never sought or held office, preferring private life. His wife died in 1879. Their children: Tervilia (Mrs. J. Fruse), Solomon, Jr., Jonathan, Tillman, Andrew, Llewellyn, Phaon, Maria (Mrs. Laros), Amanda (Mrs. F. Hanninger), Catharine, died unmarried.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse S. Laros: Pruella, wife of the Rev. William Yenser, located at Marietta, Pennsylvania; Edwin, Reformed minister at Lansford, Carbon county, Pennsylvania; Frank, pastor of the Reformed church, at Pottstown; Albert, a practicing physician at Northampton; Katie, unmarried; Malcolm, a graduate of Ursinus College, who is preparing for the Reformed ministry; Minnie, died at the age of six years.

Mr. and Mrs. Laros enjoy the respect and esteem of all who know them, having a well-spent life to recall, as well as the fact that they have done their best to educate their children properly.

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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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