Fred (Frederick Charles) Brenckman.

History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, online

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Online LibraryFred (Frederick Charles) BrenckmanHistory of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, → online text (page 13 of 44)
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1868, when, becoming embarrassed, he was succeeded
by A. L. Mumper & Company. Under this firm a
breaker was erected in 1869, which was destroyed by
fire of incendiary origin, late in 1876. The loss'
amounted to $60,000. The structure was rebuilt the
following year. Another breaker was built in 1875.


In 1878 a lease for fifteen years was made to Thomas
John & Company. Thomas John was killed in a rmi-
away accident in 1880, and the firm was reorganized
by George H. Myers, George John and Thomas Dough-
erty, under the title of George H. Myers & Company.
At the expiration of this lease the Lehigh Valley Coal
Company began to work the mines. The coal produced
here is prepared for shipment at Jeanesville.

The Beaver Meadow colliery of Coxe Brothers &
Company was opened by the firm of E. B. Ely & Com-
pany during the early seventies. John Martyn, Sr., of
Beaver Meadow, and the late Edwin R. Enbody, of
Maucli Chunk, were the local men interested in this
venture. This company built a large breaker, but was
not very successful. After a time they closed out their
lease to Coxe Brothers & Company, still operating the
mines. The original breaker was torn down and has
been replaced by a larger and more modern structure.
The land is owned by the Lehigh Valley Coal Com-

Evans ' colliery, located a short distance from Beaver
Meadow, near the Luzerne county line, was opened by
the Evans Coal Company, headed by John D. Evans,
of Lansford. The breaker was erected in 1889, while
the first coal was shipped in 1890. This company was
not successful, and for a time the colliery was at a
standstill, the breaker having been burned down, evi-
dently by an incendiary.

In June, 1906, the land was leased by A. S. Van-
Wickle for ten years, the coal being prepared for ship-
ment at the Coleraine breaker. At the expiration of
this lease, operations were again suspended.

On October 27, 1906, the Evans Colliery Company,
of which W. E. Smith is the general manager, was
chartered, and still operates the mines. The tract on


which the colliery is located contains 228 acres of land,
and is owned by the heirs of A. H. Reeder, of Easton.

This completes the list of the coal operations of
Banks township. Different parties have expended
time and treasure in prospecting for coal on the Pen-
rose property, farther east in the township than any
of the openings that have been noticed, but so far with-
out success.

In speaking of the towns of this division of the
county, it has already been said that they owe their
existence entirely to the underlying mineral wealth,
and they came into being as the collieries on which
they depend were developed.

Audenried and Yorktown, adjoining each other, lie
in the western portion of the township, and a small
section of the former is built across the line into
Schuylkill county. Audenried is the namesake of
Lewis Audenried, of Philadelphia, while Yorktown is
probably so christened in recognition of the company
that owns the land on which it is located, — the New
York and Lehigh Coal Company.

The postoffice at Audenried was opened on October
15, 1860, Samuel Martyn, a brother of John Martyn,
Sr., of Beaver Meadow, being the first postmaster.
The office was for many years kept in the store of the
Honey Brook Coal Company.

About the year 1870, the Rev. Daniel Durrelle was
sent to this section by the Presbyterian Board of Mis-
sions. Through his influence a congregation was gath-
ered, and a church was erected in 1872, at Audenried.
This church has now no regular pastor.

The Methodists of this region were formerly under
the charge of ministers from the Conyngham district.
The church of this denomination was erected here in


St. Patrick 's Roman Catholic church was commenced
in 1873, the cornerstone being laid in June of that year.
It was completed and dedicated two years later, Arch-
bishop Wood performing the dedicatory service. The
church was torn down about 1898 and removed to
McAdoo, Schuylkill county, which is but a short dis-
tance from Audenried. The Catholic population of the
latter place now worship there.

The Welsh Baptists and the Congregationalists wor-
shiped together for a few years in the old armory
building, and later in the school house. In 1872, the
members of the first named denomination built a
church at a cost of $2,500. Extensive improvements
have since been made. It is now known as an English
Baptist church. The Congregational church has no
regular pastor.

Salem Evangelical Lutheran church was organized
in 1891, the leading spirits in the movement being Kev.
J. 0. Schlenker, then pastor of Christ church, Hazle-
ton, and Rev. George Kunkle, then of Weatherly. The
church was erected in 1893, the cornerstone being laid
on the twenty-ninth of October.

On July 10, 1871, the company which erected Hos-
ack Hall was formed. A lot was donated by the New
York and Lehigh Coal Company. The building erected
thereon, which is still standing, cost $7,500.

Tresckow, lying east of Audenried and Yorktown,
is the outgrowth of the mining operations commenced
there in 1851 by the German Pennsylvania Coal Com-
pany. Formerly it was commonly known as Dutch-
town. By many it is to-day called Park View. The
name of the postoffice, however, is Tresckow. It is a
neat village, containing many cozy dwelling houses.
The people of the place find employment at the nearby
collieries of the various coal companies. The Banks


township high school is located at this point. St.
Michael's Roman Catholic church was here erected in

Jeanesville, but a short distance from Tresckow,
lies mostly in Luzerne county. The place was named
for Joseph Jeanes, of Philadelphia. The village dates
back to 1847, when the mines at this place were opened.
The town has declined since the Jeanesville iron works
were removed to Hazleton in 1902.

Coleraine depends wholly on the colliery of that
name, owned and operated by the estate of A. S. Van-
Wickle. The history of this operation, which has al-
ready been given, is the history of the village. The
Independent Welsh Congregational church at this
place was one of the first in the region. It was erected
in 1848, and the people of that denomination from
places so far away as Audenried, Buck Mountain and
Hazleton formerly worshiped there.

Leviston and Coolstown are hamlets lying close to
Coleraine, occupying the site of the old Beaver
Meadow mines. The Lehigh Valley Railroad has a
station here.

The village known as Coxeville, located on the high-
way leading from Beaver Meadow to Hazleton, has
grown up since the seventies, when the colliery of Coxe
Brothers & Company, upon which it depends, was

Following the practice that prevails in most of the
coal-producing townships of the region. Banks does
not levy any taxes for road purposes, the highways
being maintained by the Taxpayers ' Association, which
means the coal companies. They have found it more
economical to follow this plan than to pay taxes.
There are ninteen graded schools and one high school,
housed in six buildings, in the district.



While being next to the youngest borough in Carbon
county, Beaver Meadow nevertheless enjoys the dis-
tinction of being the oldest town in the upper end of the
county. It is located centrally in Banks township, of
which it formed a part prior to its organization as a
borough in 1897. A number of citizens, headed by J.
M. Stauffer, who was then a prominent resident here,
made an effort to secure the incorporation of the town
in 1896, but the grand jury acted adversely on their
petition, and a charter was not granted until the fol-
lowing year. Mr. Stauff'er became the first chief bur-

Beaver Meadow is maintained by the surrounding
coal operations of Coxe Brothers & Company, the
mines of the A. S. VanWickle Estate, at Coleraine, a
little more than a mile distant, and the workings of the
Evans Colliery Company.

The town is situated on the Beaver Meadow division
of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, about six miles from
Weatherly, and four from Hazleton. It lies approxi-
mately fourteen hundred feet above sea level, while
Beaver creek flows sluggishly past it, parallel to the
railroad tracks. Its name was derived from the cir-
cumstance that the smooth and glossy beaver once lived
and toiled in the meadows along the creek.

The land on which the town is built was warranted
in 1787 to Patrick and Mary Keene, and later it came
into the possession of Nathan Beach, who sold five
hundred acres to Judge Joseph Barnes, of Philadel-
phia, in 1830.

The Lehigh and Susquehanna turnpike ran through
the tract, and the principal street of the village, still
known as Berwick street, was built on the line of this
old highway. The first house was here erected in 1804.



It was of logs, and was kept as a tavern. There was a
tollgate at the foot of the Spring mountain, kept by a
man named Green.

On April 10, 1826, William H. Wilson removed, with
his family, to the place and became the landlord of the
tavern. The next arrival was James Lamison, who
built a house which he, in 1831, occupied as a tavern.
In 1833 came N. R. Penrose, a member of the family
to which United States Senator Boies Penrose, of
Pennsylvania, belongs. He became the agent of the
property of Judge Barnes, and built the large frame
building at the eastern end of the town, later known
as the ' ' Cornishmen 's Home. ' ' Upon its completion it
was occupied by William H. Wilson as a tavern. Later
it became the property of James Gowan, father of
Franklin B. Gowan, who became famous as the able
and aggressive president of the Philadelphia and Read-
ing Railway Company and its subsidiary coal and iron
company. This building was also for a time used as
a store, being owned by William T. Carter and others.
It was for many years one of the landmarks of Beaver
Meadow, and was finally torn down in 1910. Much of
the timber it contained was used in erecting new dwell-
ing houses, while some of it was sawed into proper
length for mine ties.

One of the early residents of Beaver Meadow was
Henry Brenckman, a native of Germany. He had be-
come skilled in the art of brewing beer and had ac-
quired the trade of a cooper in the Fatherland. Upon
locating in Beaver Meadow he erected a small brewery,
probably the first in Carbon county. He personally
made the barrels which contained the output of his
plant, and kept a tavern. His death occurred in 1860.

The early growth and prosperity of Beaver Meadow
resulted from the operations of the Beaver Meadow


Railroad and Coal Company, the Beaver Meadow
Mines, where coal was first produced in Banks town-
ship, being situated about a mile west of the town.
The railroad to the mines was finished and
opened for transportation in the fall of 1836.
The machine, blacksmith and car shops of the
company were located at Beaver Meadow. The
first master mechanic of the shops was Hopkin
Thomas, a Welsh immigrant, and one of the
pioneer inventors of the Lehigh Valley. Through one
of his inventions anthracite coal was first made avail-
able as fuel for the use of locomotives. He also in-
vented and successfully used the chilled cast-iron car
wheel, as well as the most improved and successful
mine pumps and machinery of the day.

Under the supervision of Mr. Thomas, a ten-wheel
locomotive, said to have been the first of its kind built
in this country, and named the '^ Nonpareil," was con-
structed at Beaver Meadow. The shops were removed
to Weatherly in 1842.

In 1848, N. R. Penrose erected a foundry here, which
he conducted for a short time, then disposing of the
property to S. W. and B. W. Hudson. In 1859, B. W.
Hudson purchased the interest of his brother and con-
tinued the business until 1865. Much of the iron work
used in constructing the Mahanoy division of the Le-
high Valley Railroad was turned out from this foundry.
After the retirement of B. W. Hudson, the shops
passed into the ownership of the Spring Mountain
Coal Company, and were torn down in 1868 and re-
moved to Jeanesville. These shops formed the nucleus
of the Jeanesville Iron Works, since established at
Hazleton, constituting one of the largest industries
of that city. Beaver Meadow was already quite a vil-


lage before Hazleton was born, and the people of the
last named place once did their trading here.

The only coal operation within the borough limits
is the Number 4 slope of Coxe Brothers & Company,
which was sunk by Jonah Rees, about 1867. It was for
a time abandoned, but during the eighties it was sunk
to the basin by Coxe Brothers & Company. It is from
the foot of this slope that the drainage tunnel through
the Spring mountain to Quakake Valley is driven.

A postoffice was established here in 1830, with Wil-
liam H. Wilson in charge. The second postmaster was
A. G. Brodhead, who, in turn, was succeeded by Mr.
Wilson. The present incumbent is Robert Trezise.

The first school in the place was kept by Miss Lydia
Bidlack, and was opened about the year 1835. A later
teacher who served for manv vears was Thomas Mc-
Curly. There are now five graded schools in the town,
all being housed in one building.

A Presbyterian church was here organized about
1838, largely through the influence of A. H. VanCleve,
who was then superintendent of the Beaver Meadow
shops. The edifice in which this congregation wor-
shijoed occupied the site on which the hall of the Pa-
triotic Order of Sons of America now stands. The re-
moval of the shops to Weatherly affected the congrega-
tion, and it declined. The Methodists subsequently
conducted services in the church, and upon the erec-
tion of a new building by that denomination, in 1874,
the adherents of the German Reformed faith found a
meeting place in the old edifice for a time.

St. Mary's Roman Catholic church was founded in
1841. The original church building stood on the ceme-
tery of the parish, a short distance beyond the town
on the road to Hazleton. St. Nicholas' church, of
Weatherly, and St. Joseph's, of Laurytown, were for-


merly missions of this church. During the pastorate
of Rev. Francis Brady, the old church was removed
to the site of the present building, which was erected
during the pastorate of Rev. John J. McEnroe. The
cornerstone of the new building was laid in 1904, while
the church, which cost about $15,000, was dedicated by
the Rt. Rev. Edmund F. Prendergast. Formerly St.
Mary's was the only Catholic church in this part of the
coal region, and the people of Hazleton, Audenried,
Weatherly, Buck Mountain, and other places journeyed
hither to worship.

St. Paul 's Evangelical Lutheran church was built in
1897. Rev. J. 0, Schlenker, formerly pastor of Christ
church, Hazleton, and Rev. D. G. Gerberich, of Weath-
erly, were the leading spirits in the organization of
this congregation.

St. Peter's and St. Paul's Greek Catholic chui*ch
was erected in 1895, the cornerstone being laid during
the month of May.

The town is supplied with water by the Citizens'
Water Company, organized at about the time of the
erection of the borough.

Both the Anthracite and the Bell Telephone Com-
pany have lines connecting with this place. A rural
line connecting with the system of the latter company
at Hazleton was built in 1908, Robert Trezise being
the local agent.

The streets of the borough were allowed to remain
unlighted until 1911, when the Harwood Electric Light
and Power Company extended its lines to this point.
The town has a fire company, but its equipment is
meagre. Thomas Grenfell is the present chief burgess.



The principal cause which operated to bring the
town of East Mauch Chunk into existence was the
scarcity of land available for building purposes in
Mauch Chunk proper, of which it originally formed a
part. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Lehigh
river, opposite to its sister borough, and is a town of
homes rather than of industries and business estab-

The locality was known during the early years of
its settlement and growth as "The Kettle," a designa-
tion that had a certain degree of appropriateness in
view of the great bowl formed by the surrounding

John Burns took up his residence here in 1824, while
John Ruddle came at a later period.

The spot being favorable for the location of a town,
affording a large tract of comparatively smooth land,
gently sloping towards the river, the Lehigh Coal and
Navigation Company, in 1850, laid out about sixty
acres in lots, which were soon disposed of at one hun-
dred dollars each.

The place grew rapidly, and additions to the original
plot were made from time to time.

Isaac Butz was the first merchant in the town; at
the expiration of five years he, in 1864, disposed of
his business to Elwin Bauer, who, after nearly fifty
years still retains it. Others, who later established
themselves in various lines of business were, Samuel
Kennedy, John Muth, Robert Bauchspies, John Dick-
man and Hoover Brothers.

The Centre House, built by Solomon Dreisbach, a
native of Northampton county, who came to this local-
ity in 1850, was the first hotel. It was kept by him for
many years.





The wharf of the Beaver Meadow Railroad and the
Honeybrook Coal Company was the town's initial in-
dustry. After the freshet of 1862, it came under the
control of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company,
being abandoned in 1887.

In response to a petition of its people, East Mauch
Chunk was incorporated as a borough on January 1,

John Ruddle, who has already been mentioned as
one of the earliest settlers, was chosen as the first chief
burgess. The original members of town council were :
Jacob S. Wallace, Lucas Ashley, Thomas L. Foster,
David Mummey, J. R. Twining and John Beighe.

A frame school house, built in the woods, where
Fourth and North streets now intersect, was erected in
1851. It was occupied in November of that year.
Ellen Thompson was the teacher in charge, while
there were twenty pupils in attendance. This was the
first school in the town. Mrs. George Barker succeeded
Ellen Thompson as teacher. In 1856, another frame
building was erected on the same lot as the first, while
still another was opened at the weigh lock.

The old building now in use was erected in 1871,
when the schools were first regularly graded. R. W.
Young was the first principal. In 1900, the present
high school building, which is a handsome, well-
equipped structure, was built.

During the past twenty years, the educational inter-
ests of the borough have been under the supervision
of P. H. McCabe, a man of practical ideas and general
efficiency. The parochial schools of the town were es-
tablished under the auspices of St. Joseph's Roman
Catholic church, in 1874. They were first kept by
Sisters of Christian charity, who had been exiled by
the Prussian government.


The postoffice was here opened in May, 1870, with
J. M. Dreisbach, now president of the Mauch Chunk
Trust Company, as the postmaster. His deputy was
Elwin Bauer, who attended to the duties of the office.

Six churches now supply the means of grace to the
people of East Mauch Chunk:

St. John's Episcopal church was started as a mis-
sion of St. Mark's, of Mauch Chunk. This was during
the rectorship of Rev. Peter Russell. On August 16,
1867, the cornerstone of the present church edifice was
laid by the Rt. Rev. William Bacon Stevens, D.D.,
Bishop of Pennsylvania. The building was conse-
crated on December 23, 1875, by the Rt. Rev. M. A.
DeWolfe Howe, D.D., Bishop of Central Pennsylvania.
St. John's was organized as an independent parish on
October 12, 1891, Rev. A. A. Bresee, now of Lehighton,
being the first rector. The rectory was completed two
years later.

The Methodist Episcopal church was also founded
as a mission of that denomination in Mauch Chunk.
General Charles Albright and R. Q. Butler purchased
the lot on which, in 1868, a chapel was erected, while
Rev. Charles Bickley was appointed as pastor. The
chapel, which has since been replaced by a larger and
more modern building, was dedicated on the evening of
December 16, 1868. A flourishing Sunday school was
at once established, constituting one of the principal
sources of the congregation's strength. C. A. Rex, the
well-known Mauch Chunk merchant, has been the su-
perintendent of this school for nearly forty j^ears.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church was founded in
1871, the first pastor being Rev. G. Frende, who was
then stationed at Lehighton. During the following year
he was succeeded by Rev. William Heinan, one of the
ablest and best-known members of the priesthood in


this section of Pennsylvania. He was particularly suc-
cessful as a church builder, having been instrumental
in the erection of churches in various localities. It
was under his leadership that the massive and costly
temple in which St. Joseph's congregation now wor-
ships was erected in 1897.

On September 5, 1878, the Reformed and Lutheran
people of the borough organized a union church. Prior
to this religious services had been conducted in the
public school house at Fourth and North streets at
occasional intervals for many years. The cornerstone
of the union church was laid in September, 1878. In
1893, the Lutherans purchased the interest of the Re-
formed people, since which time the two congregations
have been independent of each other. The original
building is still in use, although it was remodeled in

After the separation, the Reformed element, under
the leadership of Rev. Morgan Peters, now of Palmer-
ton, built a new church. This was erected during the
same year in which the division took place

The Memorial Presbyterian church was the out-
growth of a mission started here by the First Presby-
terian church of Mauch Chunk. The congregation has
been on a self-sustaining basis since February 14, 1903.
Its house of worship was erected twenty years previ-
ous to that time. Rev. A. J. Wright was the first pas-
tor in charge. The church now has an active member-
ship of about one hundred and forty.

The plant of the Dery Silk Mill constitutes the
largest industry of East Mauch Chunk, affording em-
ployment to more than four hundred operatives. The
mill has been in operation for more than twenty-five
years. A. W. Leisenring was prominent among those
who secured its establishment.


Charles Neast & Comjiany have also operated a large
planing mill here for years.

The Eagle Brewery was built by Easton capitalists
about the time of the Civil War. Since 1879 it has been
owned and operated by Pius H. Schweibinz, who re-
built and enlarged the original plant.

There are several smaller establishments giving em-
ployment to labor within the limits of the borough,
among the number being a facing mill, located in the
Narrows, and owned by the Lehigh Coal and Naviga-
tion Company. The power plants of the Mauch Chunk
Heat, Power and Electric Light Company and the
Carbon Transit Company are also situated in the bor-

East Mauch Chunk has two fire companies. The first
to be organized was the Onoko Hose Company, the
building of which was erected in 1890. This also is the
meeting place of town council.

Edward Armbruster, son of Charles Armbruster, the
present burgess of the town, was the leading spirit in
the organiganization of the Fairview Hose Company,
in 1907. Both companies have fine buildings and good

The town has been supplied with water by the Mauch
Chunk Water Company since the beginning, deriving
its light from the Mauch Chunk Heat, Power and Elec-
tric Light Company.

Since 1892 it has been connected with its sister bor-
ough by means of an electric railway, now operated by
the Carbon Transit Company. During the same year
the Progressive Building and Loan Association was
organized. This institution has been a distinct and
material benefit to the town. Many of the substantial,
and beautiful homes in the place were erected through
its agency. Charles Neast is the president of the as-
sociation, while Philip Swank is its secretary.

Online LibraryFred (Frederick Charles) BrenckmanHistory of Carbon County, Pennsylvania; also containing a separate account of the several boroughs and townships in the county, → online text (page 13 of 44)