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

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Johd Welsh, plate, £1, 1 horse, 1 lanyard, 11

persons 833

John Wolff, Jr., tobacconist, 3 persons 153

John Wolff, Sr., tailor, 3 persons 99

Francis Worly, cutler, 3 horses. 9 persons 298

George Weller, 1 horse. 9 persons 233

Henry Wolff, Sr., plate, £15, 3 horses, 4 per-
sons 313

Henry Wolff, Jr,, tanner, 1 horse, 1 tanyard, 4

persons 391

William Welsh, hatter, 1 horse, 7 persons 348

John Wall, saddler, 1 person, tax, £1 10s.

William Wall, laborer, 8 persons 43

Michael Welsh, tailor, 4 persons 333

Henry Walter, storekeeper, plate, £1 5s., 1

horse, merchandise,£100, 5 persons 589

Michael Welsh, cordwainer, 8 persons 233

Frederick Weh, baker, 1 horse, 6 persons 143

John Wahl, distiller, 1 distillery, 7 persons 163

*Signer of the Declaration of Independence.


Widow Welsh, 1 person £ 80

Ludwig Weisang, mason, 4 persons .50

George Wolff, weaver, 3 persons 93

John Welsh, tailor, 4 persons 143

Widow Weidner, 6 persons 83

George Wampler, pump maker 119

Conrad Welshantz, gunsmith, 3 persons 40

Phillip Weber, wagon-maker, 5 persons 113

Phillip Waltenmyer, carpenter, 6 persons 93

John Way, laborer, 3 persons 50

Jacob Wagner 150

John Wolff, saddler, 9 persons 333

Joseph Welshhans, Sr., gunsmith, 4 persons 338

Benjamin Walker, innkeeper, 3 persons 100

Adam Wolff, innkeeper, 4 persons 173

Jacob Welshhans, carpenter, 1 horse, 7 per-
sons 88

David Welshhans, nailer, 7 persons 93

Robert Wilson, weaver, 4 persons 123

George Wehr, laborer, 3 persons 44

Frederick Yous, blacksmith, 10 persons 206

MathfasZimmer, tinman, 1 horse, 11 persons. . 389

Godlib Ziegel, innkeeper, 2 persons 230

John Kunkel, Sr., cooper, 1 distillery, 4 per-
sons 133

George Koch, butcher, 1 horse, 14 persons 148

Joseph Kraft, saddler, 3 persons, tax, £1 4s. 9d. .

Henry King, saddler, 1 horse, 4 persons 253

Ludwig Krafft, bluedier, 3 persons 133

John Keffer 25

John Lindy, 4 persons ... '30

William Lang, tailor, 6 persons 83

Jacob Letter, locksmith, 4 persons 343

Frederick Laumeister, wagon-maker, 6 persons, 173
Christopher Lauman, turner, plate, £15, 10 per-
sons 193

Jacob Mosser, carpenter, 3 persons 30

William Martin, 4 persons.

Gen. Henry Miller, sheriff, plate, £15, 1 slave, 3

horses, 10 persons 621

Henry Steiner, turner, 1 person

Jacob Welshhantz, gunsmith, 5 persons 40

Jo.seph Welshhantz, Jr., gunsmith, 1 person.

William Burgis 50


The corporate history of York dates from
September 24, 1787, when by an act of the
general assembly, approved by the supreme ex-
ecutive council of Pennsylvania, it became the
borough of York, which title it still holds,
and is now one of the largest and most
important boroughs in the State. Two years
more will complete a century of corporate
existence. Our enterprising local journals
are wont to denominate York a city. The
historian must confine himself to facts, and
hence must call it a borough, which it really
is, but probably no more suitable time for
the stable old town on the Codorus to assume
the airs of a city, would be during 18S7, the
centennial year of its municipal history.

Gen. Henry Miller, the Revolutionary hero,
was chosen the first chief burgess, and David
Candler, son of Pastor Candler, of the
First Lutheran Church, assistant. The other
members of the first council were, Hon. James
Smith, Col. David Grier, Col. Michael Dou-
del, Baltzer Spangler, Christian Laumaster


and Peter Miindorf. The first clerk was
George Lewis Leoffler, and the first high
constable, Christian Stoehr (Stair).

The records of the borough council from
1787 to 1848 could not be found, possibly they
are lost. The following is a list of names of
the chief burgesses in the order of succession
since 1848: R. C. Woodward resigned March
17, 1849; Francis Koch succeeded until May
1849; Jacob Barnitz, elected May 12, 1849;
David G. Barnitz, 1850; Daniel Kraber,
1851-52-53 ; Abraham Forry, 1854-55-56 ; Pe-
ter Mclntyre, 1857; Abraham Forry, 1858-59;
Henry Lanius, 1860-61; David Small served
from 1862 to 1871; Daniel Stillinger, 1871;
John M. Deitch, 1872-73-74; Jere Carl,
1875-76; F. C. Polack, 1877; Jere Carl, 1878;
Henry J. Gresly, 1879.

Alexander Duncan, 1880; Francis M. Dick,
1881;) Henry J. Gresly, 1882; Luther A.
Small, 1883-84; George W. Heiges, 1885.
The borough council for the year 1885, is as
follows: First Ward, William A. Mitzel and
William Whare; Second Ward, Jacob Kuehn
and W. H. Lanius; Third Ward, H. C. Adams
and Jonathan Owen; Fourth Ward, Luther A.
Small and Jacob Stager; Fifth Ward, A. H.
Seiifert and Mr. Kottkamp; Sixth Ward,
Henry Heffner and Eli Sprenkle; Seventh
Ward, John Zimmerman and Frank K. Sten-
ger; Eighth Ward, John Allen and A. Steck-
ler; Ninth Ward, G. W. Bell and Charles
Denues: John H. Gibson, clerk to council;
Frederich Zorger elected high constable in
1863 has held the same office continuously to

Dr. W. J. McClure is health officer.

The first government census was taken in
1790 when York had a population of 2,076;
in 1800 it had 2,503; in 1810, 3,201; in
1820,3,545; in 1830, 4,772; in 1840, 5,480;
in 1850, 6,963; in 1860, 8,605; in 1870,
4,301; in 1880, 13,971. Since the census
of 1880 was taken, three densely populated
sections have been added to the borough,
thus causing a great increase of population
which at present, 1885, is not less than

The number of taxable inhabitants in 1883
was 4,444. The valuation of real estate for
Ihe same year was §6,844,725.


About the year 1814 a considerable addi-
tion (but within the limits of the borough)
was made to the town of York. The heirs
of John Hay, deceased, owning sixty acres
and some perches in the northern part of the
borough, laid the same out into lots after the
manner of the rest of the town, extending

the streets and alleys north through the
tract and laying out an entirely new streeet
(called Water Street, the second of the
same name) running nearly east and west.
The lots were sold by the heirs to the highest
bidders, and the amount of the sum received
therefore was $25,000.

The area of the borough remained un-
changed for more than half a century.

On May 7, 1883, by an action of the court
of common pleas, 142 acres and 130 perches
situated south of the town, belonging to
Spring Garden Township, were annexed to
the borough. This is now rapidly improv.
ing, and at the time of its annexation con-
tained a large number of handsome residences.
The western annex, including an area of 424
acres and seventy-two perches, belonging to
West Manchester Township, became a portion
of the borough April 21, 1884. The north-
eastern annex, containing an area of forty
acres and 109 perches, was added to the
borough January 16, 1885.

The West End Improvement Company was
chartered December 15, 1884, with a capital
of $70,000. Its officers are: President,
Capt. William H. Lanius; treasurer, C. S.
Weiser; secretary, Smyser Williams; direc-
tors, Edwin Brillinger, Frank Geise, E. R.
Herr, David Rupp, John Fahs, R. H. Shin-
del, W. H. Lanius, D. K. Trimmer and Smy-
ser Williams. Capt. Lanius purchased sev-
eral tracts of land which were laid out with
streets, and many tine dwelling houses built.
This was admitted into the borough with the
" western annex," which included Bottstown
and Smysertown.

There are a number of suburban homes
noted for their beauty and comfort. Among
them are "Brockie," residence of the late
Judge Black, " Willow Bridges," the home
of Lieut.-Gov. Chauncy F. Black, and the
delightful summer residences of George and
W. Latimer Small, and A. B. Farqubar.


In the year 1750, on the 9th day of Augast,
Hermanns Bott obtained a patent from the
honorable proprietaries of Pennsylvania,
John Penn and Richard Penn, for 297 acres
of land, west of the Codorus Creek, adjoin-
ing the town of York, in the township
of Manchester. He was an industrious
farmer, having emigrated from Germany a
few years before and purchased a lot in York.
In 1753 he conceived the idea of planning a
town west of York, which was then but a
small village. A survey was made of a por-
tion of Bott's tract, and about fifty lots were
laid out. The main highway of the town


■was calJed King Street, and was an extension
of High Street (now Market Street) of York.
This sturdy German intended really to
establish a town to compete with York, and
in order to encourage persons to locate in it,
otfereda title to one lot of ground to any one
who would agree to pay "a yearly quit rent
of seven shillings and one penny forever,
or the value thereof in coin current according
to the exchange that shall be between the
province of Pennsylvania and the city of
London." The lots were sixty -five feet front
«n King Street (now West Market) and 460
feet long, crossing an alley. All the rights
to quit rent on the south side of the street
were afterward purchased by Mathias Smy-
ser. The person obtaining a lot was re-
quired "to erect a substantial dwelling house
twenty feet square, with a good chimney of
brick or stone, to be laid in with lime and
sand and to be built within the space of two
years from the time the deed was executed."
Some of Bott's deeds were printed at the
"New Printing Office of H. Miller and S.
Holland at Lancaster," and bear date of
March. 1763. Many of the first houses
erected were of logs — a few of them are
still standing. Bottstown, after an existence
of 130 years, finally, after repeated attempts
and invitations, was in the year 1884 annexed
to the borough of York. It then had a
population of about 300. It took 100 years
for its population to double. VV. H. Bond
for many years has kept the leading store.
At the time of the annexation, there were a
number of


A census of Bottstown was taken

1783 by the township assessor. There were then

151 inhabitants. T

holders were Peter Lint, joiner, Michael

names of the property

Gotlieb Reicherd who owned four horses, Jeremiah
Shriack, Gabriel Derr, John Ernst, hatter; Mathias
Detter, innkeeper; Andrew Wyer, Peter Engelmor,
Martin Hap, John Haller, Henry Cunningham,
Frederick Horn, baker; widow Hoke, John Detter,
saddler; John Kortz, tobacconist; Robert Bailey,
gunsmith; Alexander Brown, hosier; Frederick
Rothrock. saddler. Andrew Sneider, Robert Lewis,
Jacob Bott, son of the founder of the town owned
eleven acres of land, one horse, one cow and six
sheep and had a family of eight persons; Phihp
Rothrock, Philip Hoffman, Martin Bauer, George
Fink, Nicholas Reisinger, Frederick Roemer, Fred-
erick Eichelberger and Mathias Ament. The entire
property valuation was £3,534 in Pennsylvania


According to George Stevenson's letter
dated 1754 to Richard Peters, secretary of
the province of Pennsylvania, giving a
description of the town of York, there were
then two markets held in the town, which at

that time contained 210 dwelling
John and Richard Penn, by their lieutenant-
governor, Robert Hunter Merris, granted
the first chartered privilege of holding
markets in the town. The date of their
charter for this purpose is recorded as the
"eighteenth day of October, in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
fifty-five. This grant of privilege states
that the inhabitants of the town of York, in
the new county of York, are become so
numerous that they find it necessary to have
a public market established within the said
town of York, for the better supplying and
accommodating them with good wholesome
provisions, and other necessaries, under
proper regulations." It then, "upon the
humble request of the inhabitants of York,
grants and ordains that they and their su.c-
cessors shall and may forever thereafter hold
and keep within the town, in every week in
the year, two market days, the one on Wed-
nesday and the other on Saturday, in such
commodious place or places, as is, shall or
may be, appointed for that purpose." An-
other clause of the charter reads thus: "And
we do hereby appoint John Meem, of the
town of York, to be the first clerk of the
market, who, and all succeeding clerks, shall
have assize of bread, wine, beer and other
things, with all the powers, privileges, and
immunities, by law belonging to such office."

The custom of holding markets on Wed-
nesday and Saturday in the center square of
York, has been kept up without cessation
since 1750. Soon after the completion of
the Continental Court House in 1754, near
it a market house was built which stood for
nearly a century. The present market house,
on the eastern part of Center Square, was
built by Jacob Dietz in 1842, and that on the
western part by Jacob Gotwalt in 1844.

The Farmers Market. — An act of assem-
bly passed on January 31, 1866, with the
following-named persons as incorporators:
Jacob Baer, John Winter, Israel Laucks, C.
F. Winter, John H. Baer. The name of
this corporation was entitled "The Farmers'
Market of York." The rapid growth of the
borough west of Codorus Creek demanded a
market house in that section. The caiptal
stock was limited to $30,000. At an election
held in the store of Christian Bender, on
January 14, 1867, a board of managers was
chosen consisting of Daniel Kraber, Freder-
ick Baugher, Martin Emig, John Winter,
Israel Laucks, Philip Eichelberger and Sam-
uel Smyser. This board soon afterward
organized by electing Frederick Baugher,
president; Daniel Kraber, secretary and



Israel Laucks, treasurei-. This market at
once became a great success, being long be-
fore needed. It was twice enlarged, until it
has reached its present size, being a conspic-
uous building on the corner of West Market
and Penn Streets. Markets are held regu-
larly on Tuesday and Friday afternoons,
and well attended by people on both sides of
the Codorus. The present number of shares
issued is 330 at §50. No market in the town
is better supplied, and its interests and im-
portance are increasing. The adjoining lot,
known as the Pentz property, was piu'chased
for §3,800 in 18S0, giving an opportunity of
increasing the building eastward if desired.

contributed more to eJBTect this valuable re-
sult, than the erection of this market house.
The old characteristic log-cabins, built by
the first settlers of South Duke Street, soon
gave place to the handsomely constructed
and ornamental brick buildings that are now

The southern portion of the town having
extended its limits, a special desire for
establishing a market was felt, which gave
rise to a meeting of enterprising individuals,
July 16, 1878. on the eligible spot where
the building now stands, which for nearly a
century and a half previously had been used
as a Lutheran burying ground, in which there

The York City Market. — On a gentle rise
of ground to the east side of South Duke
Street, stands the York City Market Building.
Descriptive writers have a fondness for ex-
aggeration, a feature entirely avoided in this
work; but it can truthfully be said that this
building is the most artistic and orna-
mental of any one of its kind in the
State of Pennsylvania. It is located
in a portion of the town which has made
rapid strides in the line of improvement
within the' past few years. Nothing has

were a great number of tombs; these were
removed to Prospect Hill Cemetery. The
meeting organized at the time by electing
Dr. W. S. Roland, president. It was at the
same time decided to purchase one-half a
square of land 250x230 feet for $16,725, and
form a company of thirteen directors. At
an adjourned meeting the same evening, a
permanent organization was made with the
following board of directors: president, Dr.
William S. Roland; vice-president, James A.
Dale; secretary, Charles F. Sechrist; treas-


urer, Henry Winter; Daniel Keller, George
Daron, Z. K. Loucks, Frank Geise, John S.
Hiestand, E. D. Ziegler, P. W. Keller, Henry
J. Gresly and Frederick Flinclibaugh. The
board still contains the same number of
directors. The oflScers have never been
changed. The following-named persons have
taken the place of some of the members of
the original board: N. Lehmayer, Charles
H. Stallman, Benjamin Kissinger, John
Burg, James B. Welsh and Henry Bulk. Im-
mediately after organization and the purchase
of the land, steps were taken for the erection
of a building. J. A. Dempwolf was selected
as the architect, and his plan adopted. The
building, as it now stands, is 225 feet long
and 80 feet wide. The inner height of the
sides is 25 feet, and the center 65 feet. The
architecture is of Gothic style. The open
timber roof of excellent Virginia pine, is of
most beautiful design. The building is sur-
mounted by a well-proportioned tower 140
feet high, from the belfry of which is af-
forded a most delightful view of York and
the surrounding country.

The building committee under whose
■direction it was constructed, consisted of
James A. Dale, David Keller, Frank Geise
and the architect; Jacob Seachrist was the
carpenter; Philip Odenwalt, bricklayer and
James S. Bayley, slater. The bricks used
were of the best quality made in the vicinity,
and the slate from the Peach Bottom quar-
ries. The building was completed and
opened for marketing purposes on April 29,
1879, when there was a large attendance.
Its cost, was $27,000; entire amount invested
is $40,000. The capital stock, as allowed
by charter, is $30,000. The shares are $25
each. The number of butchers' stalls is
forty-eight; of farmers' stalls 255. Nearly
all are now rented. David Trout was the
first market master. He was succeeded by
the present one, David Becker. Markets are
regularly held on Tuesday and Friday morn-
ings, and Wednesday and Saturday after-
noons. The Saturday afternoon market is
the largest.


When the town of York was laid out in
1741, the privilege of a fair was granted,
which was to be held twice a year for the
sale of cattle, etc. The early inhabitants
did not take advantage of this until 1765,
when Thomas Penn, then lieutenant-governor
of Pennsylvania, granted the following

Whereas it has been presented to us that it
would be of great service and utility to the inhabi-
tants of the town and county of York, that two
fairs be held yearly in the said town, for buying and

selling goods, wares, merchandize and cattle; know
ye, that we, favoring the reasonable request of the
inhabitants, and considering the flourishing state to
which the town hath arrived through their industry,
have of free will granted, and do, by these presents,
for us, our heirs and successors, grant to the present
and succeeding inhabitants of the town, that they
shall and may, forever hereafter, have and keep in
the said town, two fairs in the year, the one of them
to begin on the 9th day of June yearly, to be held
in High Street, and to continue that day and the
day following; and the other of the said fairs to be
held in the aforesaid place, on the 2d day of
November, every year, and the next day after it,
with all the liberties and customs to such fairs be-
longing or incident.

This privilege was very gratefully received
by the inhabitants, and those semi-annual
gatherings were the liveliest days of the
whole year. Traveling dealers in small
wares, attended them and disposed of their
goods on the streets. Center Square was
nearly filled with them, and a large part of
Market Street. When the town was incor-
porated in 1787, the legislature continued
the right of holding the fairs. The manner
and method of holding them degenerated,
and on those occasions, York became the re-
sort of many objectionable people, so that
the better classes desired a discontinuance of
these gatherings. Robert Dunn lost his life
at the autumn fair, October 15, 1815, and at
the November court, the grand jury declared
that the holding of fairs in York was a pub-
lic nuisance. Three persons were convicted
of manslaughter \ by the court for the killing
of Dunn. The legislature, on the 29th of
January, 1816, ordered that they cease.
They were, however, held for some years


The First Evangelical Lutheran Church. —
Immediately after permits were granted to
purchase lands west of the Susquehanna, in
1731, numerous German emigrants located
on what are now the fertile limestone lands
of the valley, extending from the Susque-
hanna westward to the vicinity of Hanover.
With them were some English, as the land war-
. rants indicate, but the vast bodyof them were
Germans — Lutherans, German Reformed,
and Moravians. These people brought with
them the principles taught in the fatherland,
from which most of them had just come, and
in September, 1733, the Lutherans took
steps for the organization of a congregation,
the first one of this denomination west of the

The contributors -to the purchase of the
first record book for the members of this con-
gregation, in September, 1733, together with
the times of the arrival of some of them in
America, were as follows:


Martin Bauer 1732

Johannes Bentz 1733

Joseph Beyer 1731

Paul Burkhardt

John Adam Diehl.... 1731

Carl Elsen

Christian Groll 1739

Baltzer Knetzer

Christof Kraut

Gottfried Mauch

Nicholas Koger 1732

Jacob Scherer 1732

Mathias Schn
George Schmeiser . . 1731
Geo. A. Zimmerman
Heinrich Schultz. . .1731
Valentine Schultz. .1731
George Schwab . . .1737

Philip Ziegler 1737

George Ziegler 1737

Jacob Ziegler 1737

Michael Walck 1733

Heinrich Zanck 1733

One name illegible .

Rev. John Casper Stoever, the first pastor,
1733-43. — In September, 1733, Lutheran
settlers west of the Susquehanna, were vis-
ited by Eev. John Casper Stoever, who
formed a congregation called "Die Evan-
gelische Lutherische Gemeinde an der Katho-
res," and served as its pastor for ten years.
He was born December 21. 1707, in the
upper province of the Electorate of Hesse,
at the city of Frankenberg, and was the son
of Dietrich Stoever, burger and merchant, and
Magdalena, daughter of Rev. Andrew Eber-
wein, pastor at Frankenberg. In his youth
he was a teacher at Anweiler, in the Rhenish
Palatinate, and while there is supposed to
have studied for the ministry. In 1728 be
sailed from Rotterdam with ninety Palatines
on the ship "James Goodwill," David Crocket,
master, and landed at Philadelphia, Septem-
ber 11, 1728. His name is entered on the
ship's register as "Johann Casper Stoever.
Sancro Sanctse Theologiffi Studiosus."
* He spent the first year in America, in the
vicinity of Trappe. Montgomery County, this
State. May, 1730, he was settled on the up-
per waters of the Conestoga, near where New
Holland, in Lancaster County, now stands.
At this time he served as pastor of the Lu-
therans of Lancaster and Berks Counties. In
September, 1732, Rev. John Christian
Schultze arrived, and, in 1733, he ordained
Mr. Stoever in Montgomery County, within
a barn then used as a place of worship.
Rev. Stoever then proceeded to Lancaster
County, and regularly opened church records
for the congregations he had organized at
Mode Creek, New Holland, Lancaster, and at
North Hill, in Berks County. He then re-
sided near New Holland, Lancaster County,
for many years, until he moved to the Swata-
ra, in Lebanon County, where he lived until
his death May 13, 1779, after having
organized nearly all the older congregations,
from New Holland to the North Mountains,
beyond Lebanon, as well as the historic one
herein described. Several of the first mem-
bers of his newly formed congregation on the
Codorus, came across the ocean in the same
vessel with him, as Sebastian Eberle, and
George Shumacher, and as one of the earliest

routes of e migrants through Lancaster Coun-
ty led them past Rev. Stoever's home, it is
probable that he met them on their way
thither, and maj' have visited them before
1733. There was no building erected as a
church when this congregation was organized.
The services were doubtless held in the houses
of members. York was not laid out then,
but there were a number of settlers who
located in the immediate vicinity during the
years 1730 and 1731, and built dwelling
houses of logs. The emigration west of the
river was very rapid about this time. In
fact it is altogether possible that different
homes were used iu which this pioneer con-
gregation assembled for worship at this
early day, and these may have been located

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 107 of 218)