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|History of Cambria County, V.3|
|234||HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY.|
region at that time were indeed meagre and the common school system of the state had not been established and besides the young man was the eldest son in a family of nine children and it soon became necessary that he find the means of his own support and prepare himself for future business life.
William Lewis, the head of this family in Pennsylvania, was born at Micheldean, Gloucestershire, England, and was a dealer in groceries and drugs when he determined to emigrate to America. About the year 1817 he married Mary Ann Lake, a native of Boston, who had gone to live in England when she was a child. Both died in Pennsylvania, Mr. Lewes in 1854, and his widow in 1876. Their nine children were as follows: 1. Mary Ann, deceased. 2. William C., of Johnstown. 3. Thomas B., deceased. 4. Sarah Jane, born December 15, 1824, died February 16. 1881; married Christian Kuhn, who died several years previous to her death. 5. Alfred J., of Altoona. 6. George H., deceased, formerly of Philadelphia. 7. Eliza B., born August 18, 1832, died March 20, 1904; married Thomas Clark, who died several years previous to her death. 8. Emma Penelope. 9. Amelia L., of Altoona.
William C: Lewis, second child and eldest son of William and Mary Ann (Lake) Lewis, was born at Micheldean, Gloucestershire, England, August 24, 1820, but for more than sixty-years has been an important part of the life and history of Johnstown. After attending school a short time in his home town in Blair county, he laid aside the books and found employment at Hollidaysburg in a store which combined the business of a grocery and a bakery. There he learned the baker's trade, and on August 20, 1839, left that place and removed to Johnstown to live. From that time until April, 1847, he worked as journeyman baker, then became proprietor of a grocery, confectionery and bakery business and continued it until 1864, when he withdrew from mercantile pursuits and took up general fire, life and accident insurance.
In the meantime, having made an extended acquaintance in Johnstown and its vicinity, Mr. Lewes interested himself somewhat in public affairs, and indulged in local politics to the extent only of serving the best interests of the municipality. He served two years in the Johnstown council when it was a borough, and filled out an unexpired term as burgess when William McKee was burgess, but went to the Civil war. In 1857 he was elected borough treasurer and served in that office fifteen years. He also served several years as secretary of the Johnstown Building and Loan Association, seven years as treasurer of the Johnstown Water and Gas Company, treasurer of Union Benevolent Association of Conemaugh Valley from its organization up to the present, and treasurer and trustee of the Johnstown Young Men's Christian Association.
On September 12, 1870, the Johnstown Savings Bank was chartered, and in March, 1878, Mr. Lewis was elected treasurer of that institution, succeeding Mr. Frank Dibert, resigned, and has served in that capacity to the present time, for the trustees feel and know that under his wise and conservative management their own interests as well as the interests of thousands of depositors are faithfully guarded, and that notwithstanding his more than eighty-five years of life. After the terrible visitation of 1889 he was treasurer of the Johnstown Flood Finance Committee and took an earnest part in the work of providing relief for the distressed families of the valley. His own home was swept away, but fortunately none of his family was lost. Mr. Lewis has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church more than seventy years, for more than half that time has been superintendent of the Sunday school, member of the Board of Stew-