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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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LAWSON PONTIUS well deserves representation in this volume, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life. He resides in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, and is well and widely known throughout its bounds as a progressive and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser. Mr. Pontius was born in this town, September 13, 1845, and was here reared to manhood and educated in the schools which were carried on in the district.

The parents of our subject were Philip and Susan (Crobaugh) Pontius, the former a native of Fayette, while the latter was born in Cumberland County, Pa. Philip Pontius was a farmer by occupation, and the first piece of property which he purchased, in 1850, consisted of one hundred and fifty-six acres. This estate is now owned by his son, our subject, and is one of the best cultivated tracts in the town.

The parental family consisted of four children, of whom the eldest, Ellen, married John N. Kipp, and makes her home in this town; Lawson, of this history, was the second-born; Christopher C. is a farmer in the town of Romulus; and Lucinda, now Mrs. Charles E. Berry, makes her home in Seneca Falls. Her husband is also the owner of a valuable tract of land in the town of Fayette. Although taking an active interest in the success of the Democratic party, whose candidates he always supported, the father of our subject was never desirous of holding office. He departed this life in February, 1879, while his good wife survived until 1882, passing away in March of that year.

As stated above, our subject was reared on the farm which he now occupies, under the careful training of his father learning to become a thorough agriculturist, and early in life was competent to take charge of affairs. He was married, January 19, 1866, to Miss Mary C. Lusk, then living in Waterloo, but whose birth occurred about 1845, in the town of Fayette. She is the daughter of William A. and Elizabeth A. (Thorpe) Lusk, well-to-do residents of this locality. To Mr. and Mrs. Pontius there have been born two children. Philip S., whose birth occurred in the town of Romulus, July 6, 1872, is a well educated young man, completing his studies in the Geneva High School. Paul T. was born in the town of Fayette, October 2, 1878.

At one time Philip Pontius owned a tract of one hundred and seventy acres, located in the town of Romulus, besides property in the village of South Waterloo, which he sold for $3,000. He was truly self-made, and was well known and highly respected throughout the county. In the use of his money he was very generous, and lost considerable by going security for other people.

After his marriage our subject lived on the farm in the town of Romulus for a period of four years, working it on shares for his father. At the expiration of that time he moved upon the old homestead, and has continued to make it his abiding-place ever since. In addition to his farming interests, Mr. Pontius is connected with the West Fayette Tile Works, with which he became associated in the spring of 1895. He is a man of superior business ability, and, with a fertile mind directing industrious hands, he has achieved success. In politics he is a Democrat, and for twelve years in succession filled the office of Justice of the Peace. During that time his decisions were always sustained, and no case was ever appealed. Socially he belongs to Rose Hill Lodge, P. of H., and became a member of Kendaia Grange in the town of Romulus, in which he filled many of the chairs.

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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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