Aug. 18, 1834 Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania, USA
Aug. 10, 1910 Bethlehem Lehigh County Pennsylvania, USA
William Foster Biddle graduated the University of Pennsylvania in 1852 and became an engineer. During 1862-3 he was in active military service in the Civil War on the staff of General McClellan. He was superintendent of the Freedom Iron works until 1865 and vice-president of the Lehig Coal and Navigation Company until 1869. He married Emily Leavitt in January 1860. Emily's father's business fortunes had turned badly and they struggled to get by, but William became successful in coming years. He was able to provide much needed stability to Emily and the nieces she helped raise since their mother had died. One of these girls became the artist Cecilia Beaux and she later cited William as one of the most important figures in shaping her life.