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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  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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JONAS GERMAN. The publishers of the Record would fail in their object of presenting to their readers a review of the lives of the most prominent citizens of the county, were they to omit that of Jonas German, a successful merchant, hotelman and miller of New Tripoli, Lehigh County. He was born in this county in 1823, and is the son of Jacob and Catherine (Stemmler) German, also natives of the Keystone State. Grandfather German, who is said to have been born in the Fatherland, emigrated to America and located in Lehigh County, occupying an honored place among its old pioneers.

Our subject was reared to man’s estate on his father’s farm in this county, and not having the advantages offered the youth of the present day for obtaining an education, is mainly self educated. Following in the footsteps of his father, in his earlier years he carried on agricultural pursuits in Heidelberg Township, until 1868, when he removed to New Tripoli and drifted into the hotel and mercantile business. After carrying on these combined occupations for about two years, he returned to his farm, where he resided for five years. We next find him living in New Tripoli, where he again associated himself with mercantile interests, and where he has continued to make his home to the present time. He has been extremely successful in all his undertakings, and in 1893 purchased the grist mill at this place. Although the plant does both custom and merchant work, Mr. German makes a specialty of the latter, and is carrying on a flourishing business in that line. In addition to the enterprises already mentioned, our subject is the proprietor of a seventy-acre tract of land in Heidelberg Township, which bears all the improvements which one would expect to find on the estate of an enterprising and wide-awake man. Mr. German is also a Director in the Allentown National Bank, with which he has been connected for about fifteen years.

The lady to whom our subject was married in 1851 was Miss Maria Harter, a native of Heidelberg Township, and the daughter of Jacob Harter, formerly a resident of that locality, but now deceased. Their union has been blessed by the birth of four children, three of whom survive, viz.: Sophia, the wife of Frank P. Beck, Postmaster of Lowhill; Henry W., a resident of New Tripoli; and Louisa, the wife of James A. Miller. The latter has been Justice of the Peace for many years, and is engaged in the mercantile business with our subject.

Mrs. German departed this life in 1888, firm in the faith of the Lutheran Church. Our subject also belongs to that denomination, and has served in several official capacities. He is public spirited and deeply interested in all movements which promise to advance the material or moral prosperity of the citizens.

James A. Miller, a son-in-law of our subject, was born May 3, 1863, in Lynn Township, to Reuben and Sarah (Mantz) Miller, both natives of this county. They make their home in this township. Here Mr. Miller was reared to manhood, and attended the district school, which was taught on the subscription plan. He began, teaching school when only seventeen years of age, and after following this for two years, engaged in clerking in the store of our subject, with whom he has been continuously up to the present time, and is manager of the establishment.

Mr. Miller is now serving his second term as Justice of the Peace; he was elected to that position when only twenty-two years of age, and was probably the youngest Justice of the Peace in the state. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, and has represented his party many times in the state conventions. He weighs carefully all matters brought before him for consideration, and when once he has arrived at a decision, is firm in adhering to the same. His fellow-men hold him in good repute as a man of intelligence, uprightness and cordial spirit. He was married in 1881 to Miss Louisa German, who was born September 25, 1858. They have one child, a son, Ralph E.

Mr. Miller is a working member of the Reformed Church, in which he officiates as Deacon. He is also connected with the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, holding membership with Council No. 204, at New Tripoli. Mr. Miller is a Mason of high standing, belonging to Slatington Lodge No. 440; Blue Mountain Lodge No. 249, at Steinsville, and Washington Camp No. 380, P. O. S. of A., at the above place.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

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