Fred (Frederick Charles) Brenckman.

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

. (page 41 of 44)
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 41 of 44)
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Mr. Smith is an adherent of the Reformed church,
while being a supporter of the principles espoused by
the Republican party.



576 HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY.

Smith, Hon. Jacob W., a druggist, of Upper Mauch
Chunk, and representing Carbon county in the state
legislature, was born at Lititz, Lancaster county, Pa.,
September 12, 1860. He attended the district schools,
and was later a student at the Lititz Academy, having
also been privately tutored by Prof. Christian Myers
at Lincoln, Lancaster county.

For a short time he worked on a farm, after which
he learned the trade of a blacksmith. In 1884 he came
to Mauch Chunk, entering the office of Doctor Freder-
ick G, Ibachs, for whom he later conducted a pharmacy.
He purchased this business from Doctor Ibachs in
1891, and has conducted it continuously since that time.
He also has charge of the sub-station of the Mauch
Chunk postoffice, located in the Second Ward. Mr.
Smith has been a member of the school board of the
borough for fifteen years, and is a member of the fire
department, having been vice-president of the Fire-
men's Eelief Association for several years.

He is active in fraternal society circles, and was one
of the organizers of Wahnetah Castle, Knights of the
Golden Eagle, and of Hospitaller Commandery, No. 79,
Knights of Malta, of which he is a past grand com-
mander. He is also a member of the Patriotic Order
Sons of America. Mr. Smith is a member of the Evan-
gelical church, while his wife, who was Carrie Weyhen-
meyer, daughter of the late Joseph Weyhenmeyer, of
Mauch Chunk, whom he married in 1891, is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Smith is a supporter of the Democratic part5\
He was elected to the legislature in 1912.

Smith, Marshall L. Born in Chester county, Pa., in
1839, and not coming to this immediate section of the
state until middle life, M. L. Smith, who was the son
of Charles and Margaret Smith, is nevertheless enti-




M. L. Smith.



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HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 577

tied to a secure place in the list of those who left the
impress of their personalities upon the life and activ-
ities of Carbon county. He sprang from Colonial
stock, and received his early education in the public
schools of his native county.

While still quite young he engaged in the milling
business for a short time. Later he read law in the of-
fice of Charles Pennypacker, subsequently chief bur-
gess of West Chester, and a cousin of ex-Governor
Samuel W. Pennypacker, of Pennsylvania. Forsaking
the law for a business career, he opened a real estate
and insurance office in West Chester.

In 1876 Mr. Smith engaged in the manufacture of
paint ore in Chester county, removing his plant two
years later to Lehigh Gap, and later to Slatington, at
which places he conducted his business for ten years.
For a number of years he was also interested in a
coal washery at Buck Mountain.

In 1887 Mr. Smith came to Hudsondale, situated in
Packer township, obtaining a lease on the grounds and
buildings formerly occupied by the machine shop and
foundry of S. W. Hudson. Here Mr. Smith made the
greatest business success of his career, manufacturing
paint ore or ochre, on quite an extensive scale. The
mill where the grinding is done has been operated day
and night almost continuously for nearly a quarter of
a century, furnishing employment to quite a number of
workers. The product is shipped principally to a sin-
gle firm, the George W. Blabon Company, of Philadel-
phia.

About ten years after coming to Hudsondale, Mr.
Smith acquired through purchase the property where
the mill stands and the farm adjoining. He then be-
came an enthusiastic farmer, and the results of his
agricultural operations were such as to justify the



578 HISTOEY OF CARBON COUNTY.

pride that he manifested in this phase of his business.
About this time Mr. Smith also acquired a residence
in Weatherly, where he soon became a dominant fac-
tor in municipal politics. He was five times elected to
the office of burgess, and proved himself to be perhaps
the most progressive and fearless executive that
Weatherly had until then. The borough building and
the electric light plant were both erected during his
administrations, while many other improvements of a
public nature, championed by him, were made through-
out the town. He believed in the strict enforcement of
the borough ordinances and treated all classes of citi-
zens impartially and alike. He was a man of positive
convictions and of masterful personality, nature hav-
ing endowed him with strong combative qualities, while
he had cultivated a ready wit and a nimble tongue. He
delighted to debate on political questions, giving an
opponent no quarter, and maintaining his own position
against any odds. He was a life-long Republican.

Beneath a somewhat brusque exterior he carried a
heart as tender and as loyal as a woman's, being al-
ways ready to give comfort and help of a more prac-
tical nature to those who were in distress or in any
way in need of assistance. He was constitutionally an
optimist, allowing no misfortune to long overwhelm or
cloud his spirit.

Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Mary Eliza-
beth Reazor, a daughter of John and Jane Reazor, of
Norristown, in 1860. Six sons and two daughters
were born to them: Charles W., Ida May, Talbot S.,
Allen H., William M., Cora, Thomas E., John M.

Mr. Smith died of pulmonary trouble at his home in
Hudsondale after a prolonged illness on February 20,
1909, being aged nearly 70 years. His remains repose
in Union Cemetery at Weatherly. All of his children



HISTORY OP CARBON COUNTY. 579

excepting Talbot preceded him in death. His widow,
patient and kindly to the last, departed this life on
July 8, 1912.

Mr. Smith was a member of the Presbyterian church,
and was connected with the Masonic fraternity at
Hazleton.

Smith, Talbot Sidwell, son of Marshall L. and Eliza-
beth (Reazor) Smith, was born in Chester county. Pa.,
on January 22, 1868. Educated in the public schools, he
at an early age entered the establishment of his fa-
ther, who conducted an ochre mill, successively located
at Lehigh Gap, Slatington, and at Hudsondale.

For a time he was a superintendent for the firm of
Smith and Weaver, operating a coal washery at Buck
Mountain. In 1887, upon the establishment of the Hud-
sondale Ochre Works by his father, he removed to
Weatherly, taking part in the conduct of the business.
About ten years later he took up his residence in Hud-
sondale, becoming the superintendent of the plant, and
so continuing until his death.

While engaged in his duties one day, he was caught
in the machinery of the mill, sustaining injuries from
which he never fully recovered.

Mr. Smith was the assistant chief of Weatherly 's
first fire company. He was one of the leaders in the
movement which resulted in the erection of the chapel
of the Bethany Union Sunday school, of Hudsondale,
of which he was a loyal member. He was also a mem-
ber of the Lutheran church at Weatherly.

At the age of eighteen he was united in marriage to
Emma, daughter of John and Elizabeth Link, of Sla-
tington, Lehigh county. The following children were
born to them: Hattie, wife of Samuel O. Gerhard;
Cora, who married Brice Brenckman ; Gertrude, Dama,
Florence, Marshall, Helen, George and Talbot.



5g0 HISTORY OF CAEBON COUNTY.

As a citizen, Mr. Smith was public spirited and
progressive. At the time of his death, which occurred
on February 14, 1910, he was a member of the board
of supervisors of Packer township.

Smitham, James, one of the best equipped of the
younger members of the bar of Carbon county, is the
son of Thomas and Anna (Meese) Smitham, being of
English descent.

His father is living retired at Nesquehoning, Pa.,
where he has resided for the last fifty years.

James was born at that place on March 12, 1872,
gaining his preliminary training in the common schools
and attending Millersville State Normal School, where
he graduated in 1891. He then pursued a course in the
Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., after
which he taught school for two years at Nesquehoning.
Subsequently he enrolled as a student at Dickinson
College, preparatory to entering Princeton University,
graduating in the classical course from the latter in-
stitution in 1897.

Choosing to follow a legal career, he studied law at
Harvard and in the offices of Bertollette and Barber at
Mauch Chunk, being admitted to the bar in 1900, and
successfully practising his profession since that time.
In 1906 he was appointed referee in bankruptcy for
Carbon county, which position he still holds.

Mr. Smitham was married to Anna S. Pierce, of
Williamsport, Pa., on June 18, 1904. They have two
children, Thomas and Mary, the family residing at
Mauch Chunk.

Mr. Smitham is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
Snyder, Nathan, prominent in the business and in-
dustrial affairs of Carbon county, was born at Heidel-
berg, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, in 1823. He spent
his boyhood on his father's farm, subsequently mas-



HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 581

tering the trade of a shoemaker, in addition to that of
a carpenter. During his eighteenth year he walked
from his home in Heidelberg to Mauch Chunk, where
he readily found employment as a carpenter and boat-
builder. For some time after locating here it was his
custom to return to his home in Lehigh county on foot
each Saturday night, in order to spend Sunday with his
family, coming back to Mauch Chunk in time to begin
work with the other men on Monday morning.

Having by industry and thrift accumulated $800, he
allied himself in marriage to Matilda Peters, a daugh-
ter of Henry Peters, of East Penn township. Soon
after the taking of this step, Mr. Snyder opened a
small store, near the Four-Mile House, in Mahoning
township.

In 1846 he went to Weissport, where he established
a boat yard, which he conducted successfully for more
than a quarter of a century. He also purchased and
enlarged the tavern known as the Franklin House, of
which he became the landlord, and in which he conduct-
ed a general store. Disposing of this property after
a time he built the nucleus of the large store, situated
on the opposite side of the street from the Franklin
House, now owned by his son, Milton. He also became
the owner of a similar establishment at Coal Dale,
Schuylkill county.

After retiring from business as a boat builder, Mr.
Snyder, in 1886, established a large planing mill at
East Weissport ; the supervision of this plant occupied
much of his time until 1891, when it was totally de-
stroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $60,000, upon which
there was no insurance.

He was a lover of nature and the life out-of-doors,
and he was the owner of two fine farms in Franklin
township.



582 : HISTOEY OF CAKBON COUNTY.

Mr. Snyder was happy in his domestic relations, and
was the father of eight children, as follows: Sarah,
wife of George Laury, of Lehighton ; Fietta, who mar-
ried E. G. Zern, of the same place; Aaron F., now a
prosperous business man, of Weissport; Clara, who
died in infancy ; Mary, Milton, Emma and Matilda.

Mr. Snyder held pronounced views on political and
religious matters, being a staunch Republican, while in
his latter years he was a loyal supporter and firm ad-
herent of the United Evangelical church. His death
occurred on January 11, 1897.

Stemler, Quentin, president of the Citizens' National
Bank, of East Mauch Chunk, also successful as a deal-
er in grain, feed and livestock, was born at Stemlers-
ville. Carbon county, April 19, 1870.

His father was Reuben Stemler, a farmer, while his
mother, before her marriage, bore the name of Louisa
Smith, both being natives of Carbon county. Their
children were Masina, the wife of Lewis Christman, of
Weissport ; Emma, who is married to Harry Pettit, an
electrician at PaUnerton; Elmira, wife of Pharon An-
drew, of Lehighton; Quentin, James, Charles, Wilson
and Oscar.

Having acquired a common school education, Quen-
tin was called upon, in his twentieth year, to take the
place of his father as the head of the household, the
elder Stemler having been removed by death. As the
oldest male member of the family he discharged the
duty thus devolving upon him with kindness and fidel-
ity, and when those who were younger had become self-
supporting, he came to East Mauch Chunk, where he
conducted a local express business for seven or eight
years. Later he went into the cattle business, supply-
ing the butchers of the lower end of Carbon county,
and handling several car loads of stock weekly. In



HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 583

addition to this he conducts a large grain and feed
store in East Mauch Chunk.

When the Citizens' National Bank, of East Mauch
Chunk, was organized, in 1906, he became a stockholder
and was chosen as its first president. Owing to the
close proximity of the old and well-established banks
of Mauch Chunk, just across the river, many doubted
the feasibility of establishing this new institution, but
Mr. Stemler manifested his confidence in the success
of the venture from the start, and results have vindi-
cated his judgment. The bank has grown stronger,
slowly but steadily, and on July 1, 1910, a dividend of
four per cent, on its capital stock was declared, while
a substantial amount was added to the surplus fund.

Mr. Stemler was joined in wedlock to Aquilla Beltz,
a daughter of David Beltz, one of Franklin township's
foremost citizens, November 10, 1892. Harold, their
only child, is now an attendant of the schools of East
Mauch Chunk.

Mr. Stemler is a member of the Odd Fellows and
of the Red Men, while being an adherent of the faith
of the Reformed church.

Straup, D. 0., president of the First National Bank
of Palmerton, and an ex-commissioner of Carbon
county, is the youngest son of the late Charles Straup,
who was the owner of much of the land on which Pal-
merton now stands. It was on his farm that Fort Le-
high, one of the two frontier forts of Carbon county,
was located. The fort was built by the settlers in the
latter part of 1755, and served as a haven of safety
during the period of hostilities attending the French
and Indian War. Its ruins may still be seen, almost
immediately in the rear of the banking institution of
which Mr. Straup is the head.



584 HISTORY OF CAEBON COUNTY.

Charles Straup was the son of David Straup, a na-
tive of Bucks county, who in early life came to Lower
Towamensing township. Later he worked in the coal
quarry of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company
at Summit Hill, but returned to Lower Towamensing
and followed the occupation of a farmer.

Charles Straup was born in 1828, and, while still a
young man, was married to Julia Ann Snyder, daugh-
ter of Daniel Snyder, of Lower Towamensing town-
ship. They had four children: Caroline, William,
Wesley and David Oliver. The first and last named
only survive, Caroline being the wife of Andrew Seem,
of Bethlehem. Charles Straup died in 1898.

D. 0. Straup was born in Lower Towamensing town-
ship, June 15, 1860, attending the district schools until
he became eighteen years of age. For fourteen years
he rented and operated the farm owned by his father,
and when the property was sold to the Palmer Land
Company, he engaged in the lumber business, which
he still successfully follows, being a dealer in sawed
lumber, mine timber and ties.

In 1902 Mr. Straup was elected on the Kepublican
ticket to the office of county commissioner, being re-
elected on his record in 1905. Three years later he was
again urged to become a candidate for the office by his
friends, but was defeated in the election by a slight
margin.

He was one of the organizers of the First National
Bank of Palmerton, and has since served as its presi-
dent. This is the youngest of the national banks of the
county, and has been successful from the start.

Mr. Straup has been twice married, his first wife
having been Idella Schaeffer, a daughter of Charles
Schaeffer, of Monroe county. The four children of
this union were Clayton, Edith, Florence and Allen.



HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 535

Allen and Clayton died in infancy, while Edith is the
wife of Charles Stemler, of East Mauch Chunk, and
Florence is married to Kobert Reinhart, of Palmerton.

Following the death of his first wife, Mr. Straup
wedded Catharine, daughter of William Silfies and his
wife Fietta, of Kunkletown, Monroe county. The chil-
dren of this marriage are Carrie and Horace Straup.
Three other children died in infancy.

Mr. Straup is an enthusiastic automobilist, and is
the owner of one of the most beautiful homes in Pal-
merton.

In addition to his other business interests he has re-
cently established himself as a dealer in flour, feed
and grain.

Strohl, Dennis, as his name indicates, is a repre-
sentative of one of Carbon county's oldest families,
his forefathers having been among the pioneer settlers
on the north side of the Blue Ridge, in what is now
Carbon county. His farm in Towamensing township
is one of the most prosperous and best appointed in
the county, manifesting every evidence of thrift and
progressiveness.

His grandfather, Nicholas Strohl, was a farmer in
Lower Towamensing township. He was thrice mar-
ried and became the father of a patriarchial family
of thirtv children. His death occurred at the advanced
age of eighty-four years.

Joel, the father of Dennis Strohl, was a farmer of
Towamensing township. In early life he married
Sarah Beer, who bore him seventeen children. Upon
her death he married Katharine Hahn, with whom he
had two children. He died March 10, 1910, being aged
eighty-six years.

Dennis Strohl was born May 11, 1858, in Towamen-
sing township. He was brought up on his father's



5g6 HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY.

farm, attending the district schools until he became
seventeen years of age. For five or six years he was in
partnership with his brother Amos Strohl, engaging in
the business of contracting and building. During this
period they erected many of the dwellings of the bor-
ough of Weatherly. At the age of twenty-three, Mr.
Strohl purchased 107 acres of brush land in Towa-
mensing township, and by hard labor he carved out of
Uiis his present fine farm, upon which he has made
many substantial improvements. Fourteen acres of
the farm is devoted to a pear orchard, while sixteen
acres is given over to apple trees. For a time Mr.
Strohl also owned and operated the farm which origin-
ally belonged to his father.

He was united in wedlock at the age of twenty-eight
to Anna, daughter of William Henning, of Monroe
county. Their children are: Calvin H., Homer E.,
Florence 0., Theodore D., Pearl C, Norman C, Edna
E. and Dorothy G. Strohl.

Theodore is a graduate of the East Stroudsburg
State Normal School, and is now engaged as a teacher.

Calvin, born December 26, 1887, is one of the young-
est justices of the peace in Pennsylvania, having been
elected to that office when but a year past his majority.
He is a product of the Polytechnic Institute, of Gil-
berts, Pa., and has taught school for a number of
terms. He has served as a member of the Republican
county committee, and was a candidate for the office
of jury commissioner in 1909, for which he was de-
feated, having received a handsome vote, however.

Mr. Strohl and his family are members of the Re-
formed church.

Strunk, William F., a native of Hudsondale, at pres-
ent living near Coudersport, Potter county. Pa., was
born on April 29, 1876.



HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 587

His father, who bore the name of Herman, was
brought to this country from Germany by his parents
when a child, in 1849. They crossed the Atlantic in an
old-fashioned sailing vessel, which narrowly escaped
foundering during the voyage.

When at last she reached the haven of her destina-
tion, having been storm-tossed for many months, the
rations on board had been reduced to a single barrel
of crackers.

The family first located at Phoenixville, Pa., settling
permanently in Schuylkill county after a short time.
Herman learned the trade of a blacksmith, and while
still a young man located at Hudsondale, where he
was married to Ellen Walton, and where he spent the
remainder of his life. He was a master craftsman,
and like the *' Village Blacksmith" of whom Longfel-
low sang, excelled as a shoer of horses. His death oc-
curred in 1906.

W. F. Strunk, who is one of a family of seven chil-
dren, was educated in the public schools, and after
various employments, learned the art of telegraphy.

Most of his mature life has been spent in the service
of the Tide Water Pipe Company, by whom he is now
employed.

During 1904 he served as the clerk of the auditors of
Carbon county. He is a progressive Republican and
is a member of the Reformed church.

Struthers, James Robb, was born in Paisley, Scot-
land on August 3, 1815. He was the son of Alexander
Wallace and Jean Syme Struthers, and on his maternal
side was a collateral descendant of William Wallace,
the Scottish chief. His parents emigrated to America
in 1819 and settled permanently in Philadelphia.
James R., the subject of this sketch, received his sec-
ondary education in the Manual Labor Academy of



588 HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY.

Germantown. When this academy moved to Easton
and became the nucleus of the first student body of La-
fayette College, he accompanied the principal, Dr. Jun-
kin, who became the first president of the college, and
completed the classical course as a member of the first
class graduated from Lafayette, which college after-
ward conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts.
While in college he was one of the twelve founders of
the Franklin Literary Society, a noted society that has
since enrolled as members many men of national and
international fame. After completing his college course
he studied law under the Hon. James Madison Porter,
of Easton, Pa., and for a short time taught school in
Mauch Chunk. For a time he practiced law in Monroe
county, residing at Stroudsburg, but on returning to
Mauch Chunk at the time of the organization of Car-
bon county, he was elected the first district attorney of
the county, serving from 1843-46.

At that time, the Columbia railroad, now part of the
Pennsylvania system, was run by state authority and
Mr. Struthers was appointed state agent of the road,
with headquarters at Philadelphia. In 1844 he was
elected a member of the Pennsylvania legislature on
the Democratic ticket, and was re-elected in 1852 and
1853, ranking as one of the most able and promi-
nent members of the assembly. He was county treas-
urer of Carbon county from 1849-1851. In 1864 he
voted for Abraham Lincoln and incidentally drifted
into the Eepublican party, receiving the honor of a
senatorial nomination from his new political relations.
Mr. Struthers was a man of unusual culture and
brilliancy, ranking as one of the foremost lawyers
in the state. He was frequently consulted in
cases outside of his territory, represented many cor-
porations, and his counsel was marked by a profound



HISTORY OF CARBON COUNTY. 589

and exact knowledge of the law that was often con-
firmed by favorable decisions to his clients in the high-
er courts. His mind, however, was too active to keep
him strictly within his professional traces, and he oc-
casionally ventured into other fields besides the law.

He was twice married. His first wife was Ellen Ber-
ril Tolan, daughter of Hugh and Hannah MacDonald
Tolan, and granddaughter of William MacDonald,
born in the highlands of Scotland of that clan which
"is by every rule of antiquity, power and numbers,
entitled to be spoken of before any others." Mrs.
Struthers was a woman of remarkable Christian char-
acter, a charter member of the First Presbyterian
church of Mauch Chunk, and noted for her strong
personality and spiritual qualities. Their children
were: Jean Sym, who married Wm. B. Mack; Ellen
Tolan, married to Daniel C. Heberling; Elizabeth,
Sophia Bixler, married to Henry H. Ashley; Sally
Ann (died in infancy) ; Alexander Wallace, married to
Mary Louise Cooke; Hannah (died in infancy) ; James
E., Jr., married to Mary Kirkhoff ; Simon Cameron,
married to Lucy Barnes ; John Adams, Agnes, Charles
Skeer, married to Jeannette Marshall, and William,
married to Emma Wilson. Mrs. Struthers died on
November 10, 1875, and Mr. Struthers, a few years
later, married Margaret Van Dyke, who still survives.

After retiring from active legal practice he settled in
W^ilkes-Barre, where his sons were prominently en-



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 41 of 44)