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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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ner before thee goes?" They consented. The
Quaker had three interesting young daugh-
ters; two of them prepared the meal, and en-
tertained the visitors so well that the third
sister went to the barn, planned the means
of escape for the slaves; and to the utter
surprise and astonishment of the South-
ern gentlemen, after having finished their
dinner and went to the barn for their slaves,
found they had gone, but they never suspected
who assisted in their escape.

The fugitive slave law, an act of Congress
passed in 1850, imposed a fine not exceeding
$1,000, and imprisonment not exceeding six
months, upon any individual harboring or
giving aid to fugitives, and $1,000 for each
slave who was lost to his master by the as-
sistance of others. Any one called upon by a
deputy marshal was required to assist in re-
covering a runaway. If any food was given
him, the donor was subject to prosecution. In
1850, an agent of the "underground railroad,"
in York County transmitted two or three
slaves to Mr. Kauffman, of Cumberland
County. He allowed them to harbor in his
barn, where some member of his family,
without his knowledge, gave them food.
They escaped northward. Suit was soon af-
ter brought against Kauffman for the recov-
ery of the value of these slaves, under the
new law, by the reputed owner, who lived in
Virginia. Thaddeus Stevens was employed
for the defendant, and "contested every inch
of ground," says our worthy informant, Sam-
uel Evans. Esq., of Columbia. The case
came before the United States Court at Phila-
delphia. Two jurors, one of whom is still
living, Abraham N. Cassel, of Marrietta —
"hung" the jury for six weeks, and prevented
a verdict in favor of the slaveholder.

The first martyr in the United States un-
der the fugitive slave law, was William
Smith, a colored man of Columbia, Penn., who
was shot and instantly killed while attempt-
ing to avoid capture, by Albert G. Ridgeley,
a slave-catcher, from Baltimore County, Md.

This occurred on the 30th of April, 1852,
It was claimed that Smith was an escaped slave
belonging to George W. Hall, of Harford
County, Md. After the murder, Ridgeley
fled across the river into York Countj', took
the old Baltimore Road from Wrightsville,
passed south of York, and was not captured,
although the sheriff of York County and his
posse were on the alert for him. In his
headlong flight he became over-heated, and



took sick and died soon afterward in Balti-
more. This created a great sensation
throughout the entire State. Application
was made to Gov. Bigler for a requisition,
but owing to some complications in the case
it was not granted.

Slaves continued to escape, and the "un-
derground railway" system kept up until the
outbreak of the Kebellion.


SERVANTS were in great demand during
colonial days, and cargoes of laboring peo-
ple were brought across the ocean and disposed
of in America by indenture. The form was
little better than slavery. As recorded in
the early taxable lists of York County, they
were assessed as personal property the same
as colored slaves. Most of them in this
county were "redemptioners" from Germany;
some from other countries. Indentures were
prepared before setting sail for this country,
binding the subject to serve for a number of
years, rarely less than four. Servitude of
this kind existed as late as 1800 iu York
County. Many European mechanics, as well
as farmers, came here under such conditions,
and some of both classes, after serving the
term of their indenture, became prosperous
and well-to-do citizens. In 1760 there were
more than 100 redemptioners in York County.
In 1781 there were forty-nine. An adver-
tisement for the recovery of a runaway ser-
vant was very common in those days. Some-
times "three cents reward" was offered for
their return.

The most remarkable case was that of
James Annesley, son of Arthur Annesley,
(Lord Altham) who, as an orphan boy, was
enticed on board an American vessel by an
uncle who wanted to get possession of his
legacy. The boy was landed at Philadelphia
and sold as a servant by the captain, to fulfill
the contract with the uncle. His place of
servitude was forty miles west of Philadel-
phia, where he remained twelve years. In
1740 he was discovered by two Irish emi-
grants to America from his native place. He
was taken from his condition of sei-vitude,
returned home, and in 1743 brought suit
against his imcle for the recovery of his prop-
erty, and gained his case; but pending an ap-
peal to the House of Lords, he died. A story
by the celebrated novelist, Charles Reade,
entitled the "Wandering Heir," was founded
upon this incident.

The sale of "redemptioners" became a busi-
ness dui-ing colonial days. They were
brought to this country and then taken
through the land and sold by indenture.
On this account those who sold them were
called "soul-di-ivers." The following tradi-
tional story is common to many localities:
One of these venders of human beings had
disposed of all his drove except one, who
proved to be as ingenious at making a bar
gain as his owner. Having put up at a tav-
ern for the night, the sagacious servant rose
first and sold his master to the landlord, re-
covering quite a handsome sum. He quickly
departed, but first warning the landlord that
the servant he sold him had a vicious habit
of telling falsehoods, and warned him that he
might try to pass himself ofi' as the master.



THERE are traditions of the working of the
Masonic brethren in the then Yorktown
as early as the year 1777. The Misses Clark,
daughters of Gen. John Clark, an officer of
the Revolution, frequently heard their father
speak of sitting in a lodge at Yorktown.
This might have been one of the traveling
lodges of Revolutionary times, and if so, was
in York at the time the Continental Congress
held its sessions there. If we are rightly in-
formed it was customary in earlier days, when
a number of Masons were sojourning in the
same place, to open a lodge for fraternal greet-
ing, there being no work. On the 27th day of
October, A. D. 1810, and of Masonry 5810, a
warrant was granted by the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania and Masonic jurisdiction there-
unto belonging, " according to the old consti-
tution received by his Royal Highness Prince
Edwin of York, in the Kingdom of England,
in the year of the Christian Jf^ra Nine hundred
and twenty and six, and in the year of Masonry
Four thousand nine hundred twenty an six,"
to John Armstrong, Jacob Kline and Thomas
McGrath, authorizing and empowering them
to form a lodge to be called St. John's,
No. 123, to be held in the town of York,
"or within five miles of the same, and
make Free Masons according to the most
Ancient and Honorable custom of the
Royal Craft in all ages and nations through
the Known World and not Contrary wise. "
It appears from good authority, that the first

*By A. Hiestand Glatz.


meeting of this lodge was held in the build-
ing now known as the Lafayette House, on
South George Street, on the 30th day of
November, 1810, and the lirst officers of the
lodge were then installed. They continued
holding their meetings at that place for some
years, after which they moved into the brick
house on the east side of South George Street,
one door north of the German Catholic
Church, and finally in a building that ad-
joined Hartman's store on the same street,
owned at that time by George Haller, Esq.,
father of Dr. T. N. Haller, deceased. The
entrance to the lodge room was through
an alley between Hartman's and Winer's
stores. There the last meeting of the lodge
was held about the year 1836, and by reason |
of the loss of its charter during the anti- I
Masonic excitement which then prevailed
throughout the State, the lodge ceased to
exist. Among its members we find such
names as George Haller, Esq., Calvin Mason,
David B. Prince, Morris J. Gardnier, Dr.
Luke Rouse, Abraham Hiestand, Henry
Smyser, Judge Walter S. Franklin, Judge
Samuel C. Bonham, George S. Morris and
Judge Robert J. Fisher.

The warrant for the present lodge, No. 266,
was granted by the Right Worshipful the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, September 6,
1852, and constituted November 4, of the
same year. The place of the meeting of
this lodge, until September 24, 1864, was in
the Odd Fellows' Hall. In the year 1863,
the feasibilty of securing a permanent hall
was considerably discussed by the members,
and on April 7, of the same year, a con-
tract was made with Frederick Stailman, a
member of the lodge, to build a suitable hall.
The corner-stone was laid September 13,
1863. The committee under whose super-
vision the hall was constructed, reported that
the hall built by Frederick Stailman, "was
finished, furnished and ready for 'solemn
dedication,' " which was done by the Right
Worshipful the Grand Officers of the Grand
Lodge, September 6, 1864. The hall has
been purchased from Mr. Stailman, and is
now the property of York Lodge, No. 266,
F. & A. M. From September 6, 1864, to the
present time, the lodge has continued to hold
meetings in the same place.

York Lodge, No. 266, is the parent of not
less than four lodges in the county, of which
we give a list.

Patmos Lodge, No. 348, held at Hanover;
warrant dated June 6, A. D. 1864; A. L.

Shewsbury Lodge, No. 423, held at Shews-
bury; warrant dated March 4, 1868.

Zeredatha, No. 451, held at York, warrant
dated November 24, 1869.

Riverside, No. 503, held at Wrightsville;
warrant dated December 26, 1871.

Howell Chapter, No. 199, Royal Arch
Mason, was constituted September 29, 1864.

York Commandery, No. 21, Knights Tem-
plar, was constituted January 19, 1865.


The counties of York and Adams constitute
Masonic Distict No. 4, with Isaac A. Elliott
as district deputy grand master. Following
is a complete list of the past masters of York
Lodge from the time of its constitution until
the present.

fGeorge S. Morris, November 4, 1852, to
December 27, 1853.

fDavid B. Prince, December 27, 1853, to
December 27, 1855.

tPeter Bentz, December 27, 1855, to De-
cember 27, 1857.

William Smith, December 27, 1857, to De-
cember 27, 1859.

Robert J. Fisher, December 27, 1859, to
December 27, 1860.

William H. Jordan, December 27, 1860, to
December 27. 1862.

Samuel J. Rouse, December 27, 1862, to
December 27, 1863.

Michael B. Spahr, December 27, 1863, to
December 27, 1864.

fThomas White, December 27, 1864, to De-
cember 27, 1865.

Jere Carl, December 27, 1865, to December
27, 1866.

George H. Maish, December 27, 1866, to
December 27, 1867.

Joseph R. Davis, December 27, 1867, to De-
cember 27, 1868.



Fitz James Evans, December 27, 1868, to
December 27, 1869.

David P. Shultz, December 27, 1869, to De-
cember 27, 1870.

John Gibson, December 27, 18(0, to De-
cember 27, 1871.

O. C. Brickley. December 27, 1871, to De-
cember 27, 1872.

Jacob D. Heiges. December 27. 1872, to
December 27, 18/3.

jMartin J. Skinner, December 27, 1873, to
December 27, 1874.

Jere W. Brickley, December 27, 1874, to
December 27, 1875.

Israel F. Gross, December 27, 1875, to De-
cember 27, 1876.

William Gilberthorp, December 27, 1876,
to December 27, 1877.

A. Hiestand Glatz, December 27, 1877, to
December 27, 1878.

Samuel B. Heiges, December 27, 1878, to
December 27, 1879.

Charles S. Weiser, December 27, 1879, to
December 27, 1881.

Isaac A. Elliott, December 27, 1881, to De-
cember 27, 1883.

James Kell, December 27, 1883, to Decem-
ber 27, 1884.

The present officers are Samuel I. Adams,
VV. M. ; Richard E. Cochran, S. W. ; David
O. Prince, J. W. ; Jere Carl, treasurer;
David P. Shultz. secretary; William H. Jor-
dan, A. Hiestand Glatz and Jere W. Brick-
ley, trustees. The number of members is 115.


The Order of Odd Fellows in York County
was, from the day of its introduction, pos-
sessed of a spirit of energy not displayed by
any other secret organization introduced be-
fore or after the period of anti-Masonic an-
tagonism. The only secret society of which
there exists any record, the original Masonic
Lodge, of York, had disbanded during the
anti-Masonic troubles, and the greater num-
ber of her members felt disinclined to face
public opinion, then freely and openly mani-
fested against all so-called oath-bound or-
ganizations. But the spirit and the teachings
inculcated by the Masonic fraternity re-
mained, and evidently only slumbered, await-
ing a favorable opportunity to branch forth
in perhaps a somewhat modified form; omit-
ting the objectionable, "oath-bound" portion,
but retaining strict and implicit secrecy un-
der "Honor-Pledge." Many of those who
had been looked upon as ardent advocates of
the "square and compass," turned their at-

tention to the beauties of the so-called
"three linked fraternity," and became stead-
fast votaries at her shrine.

Some time during the early part of Janu-
ary, 1842, some twenty citizens of York (wlio
had been initiated at Baltimore aod Philadel-
phia) assembled at what was known as the
Museum Building, on North Beaver Street, to
consult as to the advisability and practicabil-
ity of organizing a lodge of the I. O. O. F.
The spirit manifested at this meeting showed
a decided promise for speedy action, and cul-
minated in the appointment of a committee
to mali-e the necessary application for a char-
ter. On the 5th of March, the committee re-
ported the reception of a dispensation grant-
ed by the board of grand officers of the-juris-
diction of Pennsylvania, authorizing the es-
tablishment of Mount Zion Lodge. No. 74;
Jacob Forrest, noble grand. Gen. George
Hay, vice grand, Edwin C. Epley, secretary,
Alexander Klinefelter, assistant secretary, and
Abraham Arnold, treasurer, were designated
as the officers of the lodge, and their names
were duly recorded upon the original charter.
Some four weeks after the arrival of the dis-
pensation the institution proper took place
at said Museum Building, where the meetings
took place for a period, and the admission of
members followed in unexpected succession.
On Tuesday, the 15th day of November,
1842, the lodge room, which had been re-
moved to South George Street, near the site
of the present German Catholic St. Mary's
Church, was regularly dedicated to the pur-
poses of Odd-Fellowship, at which time 105
members proved present, participated in the
ceremonies, and signed a memorial apper-
taining to the services in their own proper

The power of the order soon developed.
The deportment of the members, their stand-
ing in the community as citizens, and the ac-
tivity displayed by the new converts, many of
whom constituted the very best elements of the
community, gave the organization a foot- hold
so firm, that opposition yielded, and the bit-
ter passions of hatred and violence, which
felt inclined to beat against her base, ex-
pended themselves without doing any harm.
Application ttpon application followed, and
continued to strengthen the fort of "friend-
ship, love and truth."

On the 28th of January, 1845, or just
about three years after the institution of
Mount Zion Lodge, Mount Vernon Encamp-
ment No. 14, was called into existence by a
desire to learn and disseminate the princi-
ples of the order in their entirety. George
S. Morris, chief patriarch, E. G. Smyser,


high priest, Henry Bayler, senior warden,
Matthew Tyler, junior warden, D. W. Funk,
scribe, J. Demuth, treasurer, and Jacob For-
rest, guide, composed the founders and char-
ter members of this, the so-called aristocratic
portion of the fraternity. This part of the
order did not prosper as well numerically as
might have been expected, a fact largely at-
tributable to the circumstances, that the
founders of this branch felt disinclined to en-
large the iisefulness of the encampment, and
appeared to rather confine its privileges to a
chosen few. Notwithstanding these disincli-
nations, the patriarchal tires burned brightly,
and the Encampment today, although it still
maintains a certain seclusion, proves pros-
perous and is at this period one of the rich-
est of its kind in the State.

In the meantime many citizens from the
vicinity of Shrewsbury and Hopewell Town-
ships, had associated themselves with the
order, and the disposition openly manifested
by many others, seeking knowledge under
the banner of "Faith, Hope and Charity," led
to the establishment of Mount Vernon Lodge,
No. 143, located to this day at Shrewsbury
Borough. The charter of this lodge bears
date December 29, 1S45, but the institution
proper did not take place until February,
1846. The first or charter officers were
Henry G. Bnssey, noble grand; George Bias -
ser. vice grand: Eli S. Beck, secretary;
Samuel Brenise, assistant secretary; and C.
F. Meyers, treasurer. Like her sister lodge
in York, she flourished and grew in the face
of all opposition, making a noble record and
maintaining it to the present day.

Two years later, Wrightsville made her
demand for her own retreat, and the appli-
cation of the there residing members was
favorably considered by the board of grand
officers, and a charter was duly granted,
bearing date August 2, 1848, with Elias
Kaub, noble grand; John Kerr, vice grand;
D. J. Boynton, secretary; Jacob Stoll, assis-
tant secretary and David Flury, treasurer.

Chihuahua Lodge, No. 317, proved as
healthy as her sister lodges, and considering
the comparatively small population from
■which to draw membership, stands as a proud
success both numerically as well as tinan-

During the same year Hanover sought and
obtained a charter, bearing date August 23,
1848, with the following complement of
officers: noble grand, Samuel Shirk; vice
grand, R. J. Winterode; secretary, J. E.
Naille; assistant secretary, E. J. Owings;
treasurer, John Bair. Hanover Lodge, No.
327, located in one of the most thickly set-

tled portions of the county, soon forged to
the front and maintains to this day second
rank numerically, and third financially in
the county.

During this period, the old mother lodge.
Mount Zion, No. 74, had become too un-
wieldy, numbering in the spring of 1849
over 400 active members, the greater portion
of whom had become regular attendants at
lodge meetings, which fact called a consul-
tation, where it was decided that the best
interests of the order required the establish-
ment of a second lodge. The intention was
promulgated on February 19, 1849, when a
charter was granted for the institution of
Humane Lodge, No. 342. The charter
officers being noble grand. Dr. William S.
Roland; vice grand, David E. Small; secretary,
William R. Stouch; assistant secretary, J.
G. Capito; treasurer, Wesley Test. This
lodge soon gathered around her altars the
most active and ardent converts, and by
steady, firm and shrewd management forged
ahead of all the lodges of the county, occupy-
ing to-day the first position in the county
numerically, and the first position in the
State financially. She remains the most
active of all the lodges and numbers among
her membership the best posted in southern

From 1849 to 1855, there prevailed a dor-
mancy in the establishment of new lodges.
During the latter year, Mount Hebron, No.
516, was chartered. Charles Shultz, district
deputy grand master, instituted this lodge at
Delta on May 16, 1855, with the follow-
ing officers: Dr. J. Y. Bryan, noble grand;
William J. McCurdy, vice grand; A. C.
McCurdy, secretary; William McSparran,
assistant secretary; E. C. Steinford, treasurer.

After a lapse of nearly seventeen years,
Goldsboro called for her own lodge, and her
application for a charter was duly considered,
and granted on March 8, 1872. The insti-
tution of Goldsboro Lodge, No. 791, took
place shortly afterward, when the following
charter officers were duly installed: John
Nicholas, N. G.; H. Montgomery, V. G. ;
J. K. Waidley, secretary; Adam Wisman.
assistant secretary; George S. Wolf, treas-
urer. This lodge had the misfortune of
having her hall, a costly three-story build-
ing, destroyed by fire, a circumstance which
materially crippled her progress; she stands,
however, to-day, though few in numbers, on
a solid financial basis."

Following the institution of Goldsboro
Lodge, came the organization of Harmonia
Lodge, No. 853, located at York. Mount
Zion and Humane Lodges having become



wealthy and in consequence somewhat fas-
tidious relative to the admission of candi-
dates, the leaders of the order deemed it
desirable to make a call for the establish-
ment of a third lodge in York Borough.
The answer to this call brought nearh^ eighty
applications, and a petition was at once sent
to the grand oflScers. who issued the required
dispensation on August 18, 1S73. Shortly
after the reception of the dispensation the
institution took jslace. at which time the fol-
lowing members were installed as the char-
ter officers: noble grand, D. H. Ginter;
vice grand, Crayton W. Brand; secretary,
D. K. Trimmer; assistant secretary, "\V. I.
Reisinger; treasurer, Peter Swartz.

Two years later, on July 3, 1875, Mount
Sinai. No. 908, located at Jefferson Borough,
received her charter and was duly instituted
by D. D. Grand Master George E. Sher-
wood, who installed the following set of
officers: noble grand, Dr. William F. Brink-
man; vice grand, E. J. Masamore; secretary,
Henry B. Baker; assistant secretary, Jesse
Williams; treasurer, Ephraim Dubs.

During the year 1876 some twenty mem-
bers of various lodges made application for
a charter for a new lodge to be located at
East Prospect, under title of Winona Lodge
No. 944. After some delay the charter was
granted, bearing date October 3, 1876, and
enumerating the following charter members:
Michael Shenberger, Moses Burg, B. F.
Beard, Valentine Knisley. H. B. Beard, A. J.
Givens, Henry Burg, Walter Burg, George
S. Oberdorflf, L. Jacobs; A. W. Himes, S. W.
Smith. David Barshinger. F. T. Glatfelter,
George C. Dritt, A. M. Helder, J. W. Young,
H. H. Sprenkel, J. E. Wallace, John F.
Kline, Frank Kauffman and Peter J. Gil-
bert. The institution of the lodge took
place on January 13, 1877, George E. Sher-
wood acting as grand master.

The last born of the three-linked fraternity
is Mount Olivet. No. 997. located at the thriv-
ing village of Spring Grove. The there re-
siding membership, brethren of Mount Sinai,
Shrewsbury and Hanover Lodges, desired a
home of their own, and duly petitioned the
grand lodge for that purpose. Considerable
opposition was manifested by the member-
ship of Mount Sinai on account of the close
proximity of the two places, aad the hostility
caused a rejection of the tirst application.
Undaunted, the second application was made
in the fall of 1SS3, and on January 5, 1884,
the charter was granted, and the lodge duly
organized with the following charter officers :
noble grand, Charles Michael; vice grand,
J. J. Hawkins; secretary, Charles H. Seiler;

assistant secretary, George E. Miller; treas-
ui-er, William Hoke.

Eagle Encamjyment, No. 158, was institated
on the 12th day of October, 1867. It has
worked slowly up to within a recent date,
when a new spirit appears to have taken
possession of it, and it now promises to move
to the front. The charter members of this
encampment were chief patriarch, Charles
Bowman; high priest, J. D. Slagle; senior
warden, George W. HoLise; junior warden,
William Bair; scribe, J. H. Flickinger; treas-
urer, Fred L. Bange.

Riverside Encampment, No. 245, located
at Goldsboro, was of short duration. The-
destruction of the Odd Fellow's Hall, by UrOv
caused a sui-render of the charter. May 8,
1879. Its charter bore date November 12,.

1873. Its institution took place January 20,

1874, and the charter officers were Jacob
AVaidley, Franklin R. Prowell, John P.
Nicholas, James Markley, William Palmer,
George K. Grove, John Alwine, H. Strickler,^
William Jessop and Lawrence Alwine.

Salome Rebekah Degree Lodge, No. 30, of
York, was instituted Februai-y 18, 1870. It
however found no favor among the greater
portion of the male membership and surren-
dered its charter to the grand lodge after
having been in existence about five years. It
ceased to exist July 19, 1876.

The present strength and condition of the
Order of Odd Fellows in York County are as

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 103 of 218)