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Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; genealogy--family history--biography; containing historical sketches of old families and of representative and prominent citizens, past and present (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoSchuylkill County, Pennsylvania; genealogy--family history--biography; containing historical sketches of old families and of representative and prominent citizens, past and present (Volume 2) → online text (page 65 of 92)
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ship, who was born at Fountain, Schuylkill county, daughter of -^

and Lucinda Schucker. old residents of the county; both her parents are
deceased. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gable:
Emma, Elmer, Kate, Mapde, Henry, Dorothy and Armer. The eldest son
died recently, at the age of twenty-one years.

HARRY J. BRACHMAN, of Brockton, Schuylkill county, has been a
resident of that place all his life, having been born there July 10, 1876. and he



1034 SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

has been closely identified with the administration of its public affairs as well
as its business interests from early manhood. He is indeed a representative
member of one of the oldest families in the town, where his father, Frederick
W. Brachman, settled in the early forties.

Frederick W. Brachman was born in Germany July 13, 1823, and spent his
early years in that country, coming to the United States when a young man
of nineteen. He was one of the first settlers at Patterson (now Brockton post
office), in Schuylkill township, Schuylkill Co., Pa., where he spent the rest
of his life, at first doing mine work there, until 1864. Then he engaged in
the hotel business, carrying on the "Schuylkill Valley Hotel," which he con-
ducted until his death, Sept. 18, 1888. He is buried in the Lutheran cemetery
at Middleport. A man of intelligence and progressive ideas, he took a genuine
interest in the welfare of the community and the proper administration of local
government, and himself served as tax collector and school director, Irolding
the latter office for many years. He was a Lutheran in religious doctrine.
Mrs. Brachman died March 20, 1910, and is buried at Brockton. They were
the parents of the following children: Caroline died in infancy; Kate married
Richard McBreen ; John is a resident of Middleport, this county; Mary is mar-
ried to Frank Wadlinger; Sophia married Fred Krantz ; Peter is a resident
of Tamaqua, this county; Lena (deceased) was the wife of Peter L. Hoffman,
of Brockton, who survived her many years, dying in 191 5; Frederick W. is
a prominent business man of Tuscarora, this county; Margaret (deceased)
was the wife of Lewis Lawrence, district superintendent for the Philadelphia
& Reading Coal & Iron Company, at Shenandoah, Pa. ; Matilda married
Michael J. Hoffman ; Emma married Michael Bonenberger ; Harry J. completes
the family.

Harry J. Brachman obtained his education in the public schools of Brock-
ton. He was quite young when his father died, and he assisted his mother in
the operation of the hotel, which was in the family for a period of fifty
years altogether. After his mother's death Harry J. Brachman continued it
on his own account until 1913. Meantime he had had various other business
interests. He was the first postmaster at what is now known as Brockton,
taking office March 3, 1899. At that time the post office was known as Harry,
so called in his honor, and that name was used for seven years, when it was
changed to Brockton — practically a corruption of the family name Brachman,
as it was adopted in compliment to the Brachmans. For about ten years Mr.
Brachman manufactured cigars at Brockton. Since giving up the hotel busi-
ness he has devoted his time to dealing in real estate, and as a broker in that
line, and a private banker, he has built up a patronage which now occupies most
of his time. He has always taken a keen interest in promoting those things
which would have a beneficial effect upon the development of the town, and
his own operations have qualified him to judge correctly of the value of local
enterprises, regarding which his opinion is sought and valued. For the last
nine years Mr. Brachman has held the office of tax collector in Schuylkill
township, his comprehensive knowledge of the worth of real estate fitting him
particularly well for such duties. His political affiliation is with the Repub-
lican party, in which he has been an active worker, having served as dele-
gate and committeeman.

On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1915, Mr. Brachman was united in mar-
riage with Mae Mitchell, daughter of James and Mary (McBreen) Mitchell,



SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 1035

of Mahonoy City. The present residence of Mr. Brachman is the old family
house which has been occupied by the Brachmans for more than half a century.

JOHN J. PAUL has been connected with the Pine Knot colliery in Cass
township in the capacity of outside foreman since 1908, and has done his share
in securing its profitable operation by conscientious attention to his particular
duties. He has proved himself capable and trustworthy, and personally is
deserving of the high regard in which he is held wherever known.

Mr. Paul was born at Tremont, Schuylkill county, in 1869, and his
father, Emanuel Paul, was also a native of the county, born at Valley View.
He followed mining until his accidental death, having been killed at the East
Franklin colliery in West End.

John J. Paul had public school advantages in youth, and though he com-
menced to pick slate at the breaker when eleven years old, spent part of the
time at his studies until he grew a little older. He obtained the usual experience
in different positions at the mines, until he became foreman at the Independ-
ent colliery, where he remained for a period of five years. The next five years
he was at' Wadesville, this county, in the position of outside foreman, and in
1908 he came to the Pine Knot colliery, where he has since held a similar posi-
tion. He has a wide acquaintance throughout the mining region of Schuylkill
county.

Mr. Paul married Kate Miller, a daughter of William Miller, of Pine
Grove, this county, and they have the following children : Esther, Charles,
Ruth, Bertha, John, Edna, Edith, George and Mildred. The family are Meth-
odists in religious association. Fraternally Mr. Paul is a Mason, belonging to
Swatara Lodge No. 267, F. & A. M., of Tremont, this county.

CHARLES O'NEILL, a prosperous farmer of Butler township, Schuyl-
kill Co., Pa., was born Oct. 31, 1846, at Minersville, this county, son of Philip
and Mary (O'Neill) O'Neill, both natives of Ireland.

Philip O'Neill, the father, came to America at an early date and settled at
Minersville after remaining for a time at Philadelphia. He was a weaver by
occupation, but after coming to Minersville worked in the mines. He died
there in 185 1. Of his three children, two sons and one daughter, Charles is
the only survivor. After the death of her first husband Mrs. O'Neill married
Bernard Fuller, and they had eleven children, only one of whom is now living.
Mrs. Fuller died in 1907 at the home of her son Charles.

Charles O'Neill attended the schools of Minersville but a short time, com-
mencing work in the mines at an early age. He went to Ashland in 1867 and
worked there in the mines for a time, about 1905 settling in Butler township,
where he bought his present farm, which he has continued to reside upon and
cultiyate ever since. Mr. O'Neill was married June 8, 1872, to Mary Durkin,
a native of Pottsville. and to them have been born twelve children, of whom
Mary is the oldest living; Philip, who conducts a saloon in Mahanoy City,
married Lucy Thomas, of Schuylkill county, and they have two children,
Charles and Barbara ; Charles runs an ice wagon ; Peter, James, Irene and
Thomas are at home.

John Durkin, father of Mrs. O'Neill, was born in Ireland and came to
America after his marriage, settling at Pottsville, Pa. He followed mining
after locating here. He and his wife Mary are both deceased. They had ten
children : Patrick died in Ireland ; Annie is the wife of Thomas Grady, of



1036 SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Ashland, Pa.; Sarah is the wife of a Mr. Casey, of Ashland; Mrs. O'Neill is
next in the family ; Thomas resides in Ashland ; John is living in Philadelphia ;
Ella is the wife of Timothy McCarthy, of Ashland; and the remaining three
are dead.

Both the O'Neill and the Durkin families are members of the Roman Cath-
olic Church.

LEWIS A. KLINGER, a prominent farmer of Barry township, Schuyl-
kill Co., Pa., was born in that township in March, 1880, and is a son of George
Klinger and grandson of David Klinger. The members of the Klinger family
are numerous all over Berks and Schuylkill counties, most of them being
descended from a common ancestor, who came over from Germany about 1749
or 1750, and settled in this part of Pennsylvania.

David Klinger, grandfather of Lewis A. Klinger, was one of the early set-
tlers of Barry township and was a farmer by occupation. His son, George
Klinger, father of Lewis A., was a farmer all of his life, and resided in Barry
township, where he died Dec. 2. igo8. He was married to Emma Morgan,
daughter of Samuel Morgan, of the same township, an early settler and farmer.
Mr. Morgan was bom in 1812, and died at the age of eighty-five years. Mrs.
Klinger is still living in Barry township. She is the mother of nine children,
of whom Charles, Mabel, Eva, Sarah and Thomas are all deceased ; John is a
resident of Barry township, on the home place ; Lewis A. is mentioned below.

Lewis A. Klinger attended school in Barry township, lived while a child at
Minersville, and was employed in the mines until he had attained the age of
fifteen years. He then went to work on a farm, and has continued to follow
agricultural pursuits up to the present time. In 191 1 he purchased his pres-
ent farm in Barry township, and has made of it a fertile and valuable tract.
He does a general farming business, and has modern ideas which he applies
to the work of cultivation and marketing of his products.

In 1904 Mr. Klinger was married to Nora Geist, a native of Barry township,
daughter of Xoah and Sarah ( Gable ) Geist, both of whom are living in Barry
township. Mr. Geist was a soldier in the Civil war, serving in the 50th Penn-
sylvania Infantry. Mrs. Klinger has two brothers living: Frank, at Mount
Carmel, Pa., and Oscar, at Gordon, Pa. To Mr. and Mrs. Klinger has been
born one child, LeRoy. They attend the Lutheran Church. Mr. Klinger is
a member of the Barry township school board. He belongs to tlie P. O. S. of
A. camp at Weishample, Barry township.

HENRY M. SEITZINGER, now living retired at Fountain Springs,
belongs to a family identified with that locality from' the beginning of its set-
tlement. The place was so named by his first ancestor here, Nicholas Seit-
zinger, and no family in this section of Schuylkill county is more deservedly
honored.

The Seitzingers are one of the families descended from Hessian soldiers
who remained in America following their services in the American Revolu-
tionary war. Nicholas Seitzinger was a German by birth. He came to this
country as one of the Hessian soldiers hired by England, and thus took part in
the Revolution, but his sympathies were with the Colonial cause, and after the
war he did not return to the old country. For a time he lived in Bucks county.
Pa., removing thence to what is now Schuylkill county, where he took up 1,600
acres of land. The region was then a wilderness, but he set bravely about



SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANL\ 1037

the task of making a home for himself and family, and it was he who estab-
lished the town of P'ountain Springs, which was really named in his honor.
He is buried in the cemetery there. His family consisted of six children.

Peter Seitzinger, son of Nicholas, was born in Pottsville, Schuylkill county,
and followed farming all his life, making his home in Butler township. He
died in 1874, and he, too, is buried in the cemetery at Fountain Springs. His
wife, Catherine (Shelley), born in 1808 at Pottsville, was a daughter of
Charles Shelley, and member of a family which has been settled in Butler
township from the early days. Mr. Shelley was a carpenter by trade. He is
buried in the cemetery at Fountain Springs. Of the twelve children born to
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Seitzinger, Alice, the eldest, is the widow of Thomas
Connor, of Butler township; Catherine is the widow of Atkin Seltzer, of Butler
township; they and their brother Henry are the only survivors of this large
family. Among the deceased are Barbara, Amanda and Alexander.

Henry M. Seitzinger was bom Jan. 21, 1845, and spent his early Hfe on
the fanu in Butler township, acquiring such education as the neighboring pub-
lic schools afforded. He followed farm work until his enlistment in the
Union army, in 1864, with which he served until the close of the war as a
member of Company G, ii6th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
He was mustered out in 1865. Mr. Seitzinger saw service in many battles,
and was wounded three times at the Po river. Returning home he resumed
work on the farm, which he continued to follow for many years, his thorough
and industrious methods and systematic labors bringing him steady prosperity.
He is now living in retirement at Fountain Springs, enjoying the earnings of
his earlier years. Mr. Seitzinger has interested himself in the public welfare
of his locality, has served his township as supervisor, and as a worthy rep-
resentative of a substantial family has always been reckoned among the best
citizens of his locality. He is a member of the G. A. R. post at Ashland.

On Jan. 13, 1866, Mr. Seitzinger was married to Elizabeth Ebert. whose
parents, William and Ellen (Hughes) Ebert, were natives of Berks and Colum-
bia counties, respectively. Mr. Ebert belonged to an old pioneer family of
Berks county, and Mrs. Ebert was of Quaker stock which came to Schuylkill
county in an early day and settled at Minersville. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ebert
are buried in the cemetery at Fountain Springs. They were the parents of
nine children, of whom Edward, the eldest, is deceased ; Maria is deceased ;
Regina. deceased, was the wife of Stephen Reese, of Ashland; Mrs. Seitzinger,
the next in the family, was born at Minersville; Mary is the wife of James
Seitzinger, of Gordon, this county ; William is a resident of Ashland ; Jerry
is deceased ; Caroline is deceased.

Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Seitzinger, Laura is the wife of
Peter Bilder, of Mount Carmel, Pa. ; Caroline is married to Harry Connor,
who is a physician at the State Hospital, Fountain Springs ; Peter is deceased ;
Mary is deceased; Catherine is the wife of John Williams, of Philadelphia;
Harrison and Luther live at Fountain Springs ; Lucy is the wife of Yoel
Kehler, of Locust Dale, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Seitzinger are members
of the Fountain Springs Congregational Church.

FERDINAND FELTY, a farmer of Pine Grove township, is a descendant
of Tin old family of Schuylkill county of German origin. The name was
formerly written "Fallentine."

Martin Felty, grandfather of Ferdinand Felty, was born in Pine Grove



1038 SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

township, and spent the greater part of his life there, dying in 1845, aged
seventy-eight years. He Owned a large amount of land, which has since been
divided up into a number of small farms and is still for the most part in the
possession of the Felty family. By occupation Martin Felty was a farmer. He
.was the father of seven children, three sons, John, Levi and another, and four
daughters ; Levi married Lavinia Barshore. Politically Mr. Felty was a Whig,
in religion a member of the Lutheran Church.

John Felty, son of Martin, was born in Pine Grove township, and like his
father engaged in farming. He remained in his native township until his
death, which occurred in 1847. He married Elizabeth Flossier, who was born
in Berks county. Pa., her father coming to this county at an early time and
dying here ; he is buried in Pine Grove. Mrs. Felty died in 1890. Six children
were born to this marriage, viz. : Leo, who is deceased ; Elizabeth, deceased ;
Mary, deceased; John H., living retired in Pine Grove township; Levi, de-
ceased ; and Ferdinand.

Ferdinand Felty, son of John, was born May 21, 1846, in Pine Grove town-
ship, was brought up near his present home, and obtained his education in the
public schools of the township. In 1864 he enlisted in the Union army, joining
Company K, 48th Pennsylvania \'olunteer Infantry, took part in many battles,
and lost his hearing while in the service. He was mustered out at Harrisburg.
Upon his return home Mr. Felty engaged in farming in Pine Grove township,
and he has met with more than average success. The house he now occupies
is the old homestead place of Henry Felty, his wife's grandfather.

On April 14, 1866, Mr. Felty married Angeline P'elty, a native of
Pine Grove township, daughter of Seaward and Elizabeth Etta Felty. farming
people, the former born on the place where Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Felty now
live. He continued to reside there until his death, in 1885. Mrs. Elizabeth
Felty was born in Berks county. Pa., where her family was settled from pioneer
times. She died in 1872, the mother of twelve children, of whom but three
now survive : Angeline, Mrs. Ferdinand Felty ; Emeline, widow of William
Reiger, of Lebanon, Pa. ; and Catherine, Mrs. Behler, of Pine Grove.

Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Felty : Tressie, the eldest,
is the wife of George Moose, of Pine Grove; Charles, who now gives his time
to the operation of the home farm, married Lillie Klinger, of Pine Grove town-
ship ; Virgie is the wife of John Reinbold, of Pine Grove township ; Gertie, twin
of X'irgie, is the wife of Wilson Minnich, of Schuylkill Haven ; the others are
deceased.

Mr. Felty holds membership in the Lutheran Church. He keeps in touch
with his Civil war comrades as a member of Wolf Post, G. A. R., of Pine
Grove, and also belongs to the P. O. S. of A. camp at Suedberg. His sterling
personal qualities, arid the industrious, useful life he has led, accoiuit sufficiently
for the unqualified esteem in which he is held by all his associates.

EZRA J. BOUGHTER has been a resident at Suedberg for over forty
years, and is now living retired in the enjoyment of the competence won in his
active days. He is a native of Lebanon county. Pa., and a representative of
one of the early families of that section, where his grandfather. Joseph
Boughter, was a pioneer. The latter was of Scotch descent. Of his children,
Amos (now deceased) was a lawyer of Lebanon, Pa. ; Sarah was the only
daughter.

Levi Boughter, son of Joseph, was born in Lebanon county, and like



SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANL\ 1039

his father became an iron worker. Moving into Lancaster county, Pa., he
was engaged in the management of iron furnaces, and remained there until
his death, which occurred at Marietta. He married Elizabeth Strohman,
who was a native of York county, Pa., where her father, Joseph Strohman,
was also born. The Strohmans moved to Lebanon county and settled in
Union township. Mrs. Levi Boughter died in Lebanon county in 1865. She
and her husband had two children.

Ezra J. Boughter, son of Levi, was born Dec. 25, 1839, in Swatara town-
ship, Lebanon county, and was reared in that county. He attended the public
schools. When the Civil war broke out he was living in Lebanon county,
and there he enlisted, Oct. 4, 1861, in Company B, 93d Pennsylvania Regi-
ment. He served all through the rest of the war, and was mustered out at
Washington, D. C, with the rank of sergeant. In 1864 he was made cor-
poral, and later promoted to sergeant. He took part in several of the battles
of the Army of the Potomac.

Returning to Lebanon at the conclusion of his army service Mr. Boughter
clerked in a store for a time and later worked in the rolling mills. Then he
moved to Suedberg, Schuylkill county, and is now leading the leisurely life
to which his industrious career entitles him. While in Lebanon county Mr.
Boughter held the office of assessor, but he has not taken any direct part
in public affairs since settling in Schuylkill county. By reason of his Civil
war service he holds membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, belong-
ing to Wolf Post, of Pine Grove, of which he is senior vice commander.
He is also a prominent member of the P. O. S. of A., and was the first com-
mander of the camp at Suedberg. In religion he is a member of the
Methodist Church.

In 1864 Mr. Boughter was married to ]\Iary A. Lewis, of Lebanon, daugh-
ter of John and Keziah (Boyce) Lewis, of York county; Mr. Lewis was a
furnace worker. Mrs. Boughter died Aug. 6, 1910, the mother of nine chil-
dren, namely : John, the eldest, is a resident of Pine Grove township ; Laura
is the wife of Frank Ditzler, of Pine Grove township ; Lillie is the wife of
William A. Reed, of Suedberg; Robert lives at Suedberg; Mary is married
to Harry Schneck, of Pine Grove township; the others are deceased.

JOHN E. HUNTSINGER has been a prosperous young business man of
Valley View, meeting with notable success in the same line his father follows
at Hegins, where he became established over thirty years ago. As furniture
dealers and undertakers of unquestioned reliability they command the greater
share of the business in their field in this portion of Schuylkill county.

The Huntsinger family here under consideration has been in Pennsylvania
since the Provincial period. It is of German origin, and the emigrant ances-
tor, John George Huntsinger. arrived in this country Oct. 2, 1743, on the ship
"Jacob," Capt. Adolph de Grove, from Rotterdam, via Shields, England.
There were 290 more of his countrymen among the passengers. He had the
following children : Susanna, George, Daniel, Viola, Michael, Henry, John,
Jacob, and another daughter.

Jacob Huntsinger, youngest son of John George, grew to manhood in
Pennsylvania and here passed the rest of his life. He was survived by a
family of ten children : George, Samuel, Phoebe, William, Jacob, Edward,
Elizabeth, Sarah, Charles and Frank B.

George Huntsinger, son of Jacob, and next in the line of descent we are



1040 SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

tracing, was the father of eleven children : Elizabeth, Mary, George, William,
Joseph, Emanuel, Hannah, David, Reuben, Alarcus and Harriet.

Reuben Huntsinger, son of George, was in his day one of the leading
farmers in the vicinity of Valley View, Schuylkill county, owning the tract
near that town which is the property now of P. H. Updegrove. There he
made his home until his death. He married Angeline Artz, and they became
the parents of eight children : Samuel A., Josiah H., Catherine, Lucy, Eman-
uel M., Caroline, Reuben R. and Abby.

Samuel A. Huntsinger, son of Reuben, was born in 1847 ^t Valley View,
Schuylkill county, and there grew to maturity. He had excellent educational
advantages for the period, attending the local public schools until seventeen
years old, and meantime assisted with the farm work at home. He turned
from agriculture to take up the carpenter's trade, at which he served a full
apprenticeship, afterwards working as a journeyman for twenty years. Dur-
ing that period he had been advancing steadily, preparing himself for all
branches of his chosen calling, and when he started business at Hegins on
his own account, in 1884, he was well equipped for a successful career. In
the year mentioned he commenced to manufacture cabinets, furniture, porch
work, handrails and window frames. He also secured a certificate as under-
taker, being called upon for all the work of that kind needed in the town
and much of the adjoining territory. His trade in all lines has shown a
constant increase, a substantial evidence of the appreciation of the com-
munity for his thorough work and intelligent attention to all patrons.

Mr. Huntsinger married Louisa Schwartz, who was born in Hegins town-
ship, daughter of Abraham Schwartz, a farmer of that township, and they
have had eleven children, namely: Cora is the wife of William Minnick, of
Hegins township, and has a large family. Alma, Stanton, Charles, Bulu, Ira,
Albert, Laura, William and Myrtle; Catherine A. is married to William
Dierff, of Minersville; Tamie is the wife of Samuel Herb, of Hegins; Ellen
G. is the wife of Harry Coleman, of Hegins; Francis E. is a resident of
Hegins ; Mary J. lives at home ; John E. is next ; Sadie A. is the wife of Elmer
Miller, of Hegins; James \'., Emma E. and another are deceased.

John E. Huntsinger was born at Hegins, this county, in 1883, and was
reared there. He obtained his education in the public schools, and began
his business career as his father's assistant, in that capacity receiving a thor-
ough training in carpenter work, to which he gave the principal share of his
attention for five years. He also acquired a comprehensive knowledge of
undertaking, by practical e.xperience and regular training, taking a course
in the Eckels School of Embalming at Philadelphia, from which lie was



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