Scanned from: Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania, John W. Jorden, ed., Vol. 1, The Lewis Publishing Co., New York, 1905. (Parkland Community Library, LH 974.82 JOR)


WILLIAM F. NEFF, one of the leading merchants of Allentown, Pennsylvania, whose business transactions have been straightforward and upright, and who has built up fur himself a reputation as a good citizen, contributing liberally of his time and means to whatever tends to the general welfare, and by his industry and enterprise affording a worthy example to others, was born in Slatington, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1865. The pioneer ancestor of the family came from Germany at an early day. The name at that time was spelled Neif, but later was changed to Neff, as at present.
John Neif (great-grandfather) was born in Lynn township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, and he is the first of the family of whom there is any authentic information. He was a lifelong resident of that township, followed agricultural pursuits, and in addition to this was a mason by trade. He married a Miss Oswald, and they reared a family of four sons, namely: John, who followed farming in Lynn township; he was a bachelor until about sixty years of age, when he married the widow of his brother Henry. Jonas

B., mentioned hereinafter. Elias, who was a mason by trade, and later devoted his time to farming in Lynn township; he married Lydia Ann Mosser, who bore him a number of children. Henry, who was a merchant at Cherry Hollow, Monroe county; he married and was the father of one child, Quincy Neff.
Jonas L. Neff (grandfather) was born in Lynn township, Pennsylvania, about 1803. In early life he gained a thorough knowledge of farming, which occupation he followed thereafter, conducting his operations in Lynn township. For fourteen years he served as captain in the state militia, and his political affiliations were with the Democratic party. He married Mary Magdalene Mosser, a daughter of Jacob Mosser, who was a farmer and merchant, and a son of Burkhart Mosser, who came from Germany. Their children were as follows: Nathan, who died in 1852, unmarried; he was a mason by trade. Edward, who died at the age of thirty years, unmarried. Jonas, who died when about the age of forty years, unmarried. Duan, mentioned hereinafter. Matilda, who became the wife of David Weaver, a carpenter and farmer, a resident of Germansville, Pennsylvania, and they are the parents of three children: Thomas, Sarah and Ella Weaver. Jonas B.. Neff, father of these children. died in 1867, and was survived by his wife, who passed away in 1885.
Duan Neff (father) was born on a farm in Lynn township, Pennsylvania, July 19, 1839. He was reared and educated there, attending the old country school, which was located about three miles from his home. He served an apprenticeship at the trade of carpenter in Slatington, returning to his home on Saturday in order to spend the Sabbath day with his family. He followed that line of work until about 1878, and during this time erected many residences, school houses, and two churches in Slatington, giving employment to a number of skilled workmen, all of the window cases, doors and other things being gotten out by hand at that time. Among the structures which stand as monuments to his skill and ability are the following: the Presbyterian church, St. John's Reformed church, the Slatington

Knitting Mill, and the American House. Mr. Neff casts his vote with the Democratic party, the principles of which he believes to be for the best form of government. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Slatington Lodge, No. 634; Slatington Encampment, No. 230, I. O. O. F., of which he was a charter member; the American Mechanics of Slatington; Samuel H. Kress Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of Slatington; and the Knights of Honor of Slatington.
January 2, 1859, Duan Neff was united in marriage to Amelia Hunsicker, who was born in Washington township, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1840, a daughter of Dennis and Esther (Smith) Hunsicker and granddaughter of Peter and Mary (Hartman) Hunsicker, whose family consisted of nine children, as follows : Dennis, Lydia, Caroline, Royal, Mary, Ezra, Rufina, Edwin and Frena Hunsicker. Peter Hunsicker (grandfather) was a farmer in Washington township, and an active participant in the war of 1812. Dennis Hunsicker (father) was born in Washington township, was a farmer by occupation., and by his marriage to Esther Smith the following named children were born: Harrison, who died in early life; Amandus, who also died in early life. Amelia, aforementioned as the wife: of Duan Neff; Leon, who married Sarah Kuntz, and they are the parents of one child, Ida; the family reside in Slatington; Alfred, who married Isabella Remaly, and their children are: William, Clyde, Minnie, James, and Mary; the family reside in Washington township, where Mr. Hunsicker is engaged in farming. Nine children were the issue of the marriage of Duan and Amelia (Hunsicker) Neff, namely: 1. Ida Virginia, who died in infancy. 2. James, who also died in infancy. 3. Allen A., who married Mahala Leiby, of Elysberg, Pennsylvania, who bore him one child, Lizzie; after the death of his wife, Allen A. married Mrs. Almeda Kutz, and one child has been born of this union, Emily; the family reside in Allentown. 4. William F., mentioned hereinafter. 5. Emma E., who became the wife of Edward I. Krause, of Slatington, and two children were born to them: Antoinette Amelia who died in

infancy; and Helen. Mr. Krause is a manufacturer of noiseless school slates and the inventor of several machines for making slates and pencils. 6. Ella E., a dressmaker. 7. Melvin L., who married Katie Morehead ; he is president of Neff, Chattoe & Co., manufacturers of stained glass windows. 8. Calvin N., who died at the age of four years. 9. Walter C., who died at the age of nine years. Mr. Neff and his family arc members of St. John's Reformed church of Slatington
William F. Neff spent his boyhood days in Slatington, attended the public schools thereof, and for seven years following the completion of his studies worked in the slate quarries. In 1883 he engaged in the slate roof business, and followed the same until 1893, a period of ten years, when he came to Allentown and engaged in the stove, sheet metal work and tile roofing business. His store, which is located on the corner of North Hall and North Seventh street, is twenty by one hundred feet, with a basement the entire length of the store. Here he handles kitchen furnishing goods, stoves, ranges and furnaces. His shop is twenty by eighty feet, three stories and basement, and here he manufactures skylights, galvanized and copper cornices and sheet metals of all kinds, employing none but skilled workmen, and thus his work is performed in a thoroughly reliable manner. Mr. Neff is the exclusive handler of tile roofing, and has done the best and finest roofing in the city of Allentown, Philadelphia, and has gone as far west as Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and also throughout New Jersey and Delaware. He is a member of Lehigh Lodge, No. 83, of Allentown, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Encampment, and the Euterpean Orotorio Society of Allentown. He is a Democrat in politics.
On November 21, 1890, Mr. Neff married Cora J. Krause, who was born in Lowhill township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania July 6, 1868, a daughter of Wilson and Abigail (Clauss) Krause, a granddaughter of Frederick and Catharine Krause, the former named a native of Heidelberg township, a great-granddaughter of George Krause, also a native of Heidelberg town-
ship, whose father emigrated to this country from Germany at an early date. Wilson Krause (father) followed the occupation of farming in Lowhill township, his native place, and by his marriage to Abigail Clauss was the father of five children, namely: Richard A., who married Ellen Leh, and their children are: Marcus D., Mamie A. and Harold W., Oliver N., who married Martha Steckel, no issue. Cora J., aforementioned as the wife of William F. Neff. Annie V., who became the wife of Charles Bradbury, and their children are: Marion A. and Blanche K. Eugene W., who married Annie Wagner, and their children arc: Daisy, Clarence, Llewellyn and Earl. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Neff consist of five children, as follows: Florence A., Russel M., Mabel A., Hilda E., and Esther K. Mr. Neff and his family are members of St. Andrew's Reformed church, one of the finest churches in the state, in which they take an active and prominent part: it is located near their home. Mr. Neff was one of the original fifty-four members who organized the congregation and obtained the charter.