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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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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CHRISTOPHER C. PONTIUS is one of the great mass of citizens who, while never pushing themselves to the front, yet leave the impress of their minds upon others and wield an influence, imperceptible it may be, though no less potent because of the fact that they never send a herald to proclaim their deeds. Content to occupy a humble position in life, Mr. Pontius goes along the even tenor of his way, trusting that whatever talent he may possess will not be wholly lost. In politics he is a consistent Democrat, thoroughly believing in the principles of his party. He believes the farmer’s calling the most honorable one of any of the vocations, but realizes that he labors under more disadvantages than those in any other calling, because more isolated, and without opportunity of exchanging ideas and thoughts as quickly and as easily as his urban neighbors. For that reason he identified himself with the Grange movement, and has been active in proclaiming the principles of the organization and urging farmers everywhere to avail themselves of its privileges. For three years he was Master of the local Grange and did much to advance its interests.

Christopher C. Pontius was born in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, February 8, 1848, and is a son of Philip and Susan (Crobaugh) Pontius. His grandfather, George Pontius, a native of Pennsylvania, came to the town of Fayette in the very early days and engaged in farming, and there passed the remainder of his life. Our subject was one of four children born to Philip and Susan Pontius, namely: Ellen, the wife of John Kipp; Larson, a farmer of the town of Fayette; Christopher C., our subject; and Lucinda, the wife of Charles E. Berry.

The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native town and was reared to the life of a farmer. In his youth he attended the common schools in his town and received a fair English education. With the exception of four years, he remained upon the home farm, assisting his father in its cultivation until his marriage, which occurred February 8, 1871, to Miss Jane E. Walker. By this union two children have been born, Maude and Chauncey. Soon after their marriage they moved to the farm on which they now reside, and which has been their home for a quarter of a century. The farm comprises one hundred and sixty-five acres, lying adjacent to Lake Seneca, and here Mr. Pontius is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of Jersey cattle. In his farming operations it may be said that he has been fairly successful, and his farm, which is kept under a high state of cultivation, yields abundantly — enough, at least, to supply all the necessaries of life.

While giving his time and attention to farming interests, Mr. Pontius yet cultivates his social nature, and in addition to the Grange, in which, as already stated, he has taken an active part, he is also a member of the Royal Arcanum. In educational matters he has always taken great interest, believing in having the best schools that can be obtained. In Brown’s Business College at Auburn he secured a practical business education, and for two years he taught in one district. He is enterprising and progressive in all things, and for some years has been engaged in buying and shipping grain and in conducting a coalyard at Kendaia, in which he has been quite successful. Upon his farm is a house, in a good state of preservation, which was built over one hundred years ago, and in which the first town meeting of the town of Romulus was held.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Seneca County, New York family biographies here: Seneca County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Seneca County, New York here: Seneca County, New York Map

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