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

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either around the present site of York, east or
west of it. Many of the original members lived
east of York in the rfegion then called Grist
Creek Valley, after one of the first English
settlers there, and later has been corrupted
into Kreutz Creek Valley. As late as 1800,
the small stream, a few miles east of York,
which crosses the pike, was called the Codo-
rus, and the large one at York the Great
Codorus. This will explain the tradition
that the first church was organized east of
York, when the fact, correctly understood,
should be that all the German Lutherans,
within a large territory, belonged to this one
congregation organized by Pastor Stoever.

List of male members of congregation in
the time of Pastor Stoever, from 1733 to 1743,
with date of arrival at Philadelphia, as given
in Rupp's "30,000 German Emigrants:"

George Amendt 1733

Conrad Aman 1731

Martin Bauer 1732

George M. Beierle . . 1730

Philip Bentz 1733

Joseph Beyer 1731

Melchior Beyer

Frederich Bleiblreu.

Jacob Braum 1733

Ulrich Buehler 1734

Paul Burkhardt. . . .
Barthol Creutzdorf. .
John George Cruradt

Henry Dewees 1733

.lohn Adam Diehl. , .1731

Conrad Dietz

Daniel Barley

Sebastian Eberle. . . . 1728

Michael Ebert 17-31

Charles Eisen

Philip Adam Endtler

Henry English

Michael Fisher

Conrad Fry 17.33

Martin Fry

John Funck 1727

Peter Gaertner

Jacob Gaunerner. . .
John Adam Giszner.
John George 6obel.l738

Adam Gossner

Philip Gohn

Christian Groll ....1729
Philip Ernst Gruber,

Jacob Haurie

John Hearken

Tobias Hendrick . . .

John Herberger 1733

Nicholas Hoeltzel. . .
Erasmus Holtzapfel.1731
Leonard Immel....
Christof Kauffeld..

Casper Kerber 1733

Leonard Knady

Baltzer Knetzer. . . .
John Peter Knobel.

Nicholas Koger 1732

Valentine Krantz. . .
Christof Kraut ....
Michael Krueger. . .1733
John G. Lansbager.

Conrad Lau

Christian Lau 1732

John Christ. Loeffler.1733
John G. Loewanstein
Bartholomew Maul. 1732

Gottfried Mauck

Dertrich Meyer

George Meyer

William Morgan. . . .


Adam Mueller 1732

Conrad Mueller 1732

Jacob Mueller 1732

Andreas Nebinger. .
Christian Neuman. . . •

George Pflueger 1731

John Jacob Rudisiel.
Meyrich Rudisiel. . .1737
John Adam Ruppert. 1731
Dietrich Saltzgaber.

Jacob Seherer 1732

Mathias Schmeiser. .1731
John Geo. Schmeiser
Hienrich Schmidt. . .1732
John Geo. Schmidt. 1731
Baltzer Shoenberger 1732

John Schryack 1732

John Shuetz....:... 1732
John Henry Schultz.
Valentine Schultz. .1732

George Schwab 1727

John Scheigardt. . . .
Baltzer Spangler. . .1733

Ludwig Stein

Henry Stultz 1731

John Sultzbach 1733

Torek Updegraff . . . .

Michael Walch 1732

Martin Weigel

Ludwig Weisong. . .

Mathias Weller

Jacob Weller

Martin Weybrecht.. 1733
V. Winterbauer. . . .
John George Wolff. 1727

Wilhelm WolfiE

John Yost

Heinrioh Zauch. . . .1782

Jacob Ziegler

John George Ziegler. 1727

Rev. David Candler, 1743-44. — The second
pastor was Rev. David Candler, who in May,
1743, organized "the Evangelical Lutheran
Congregation of the Conewago." the present
St. Matthew's Church of Hanover. He resided
in "the Conewago settlement," in the vicinity
of the spot where Hanover stands, around
which a number of Germans had settled as
early as 1731. His charge extended from
the Susquehanna to the Potomac. He bap-
tized seventy children in the York congrega-
tion and equally as many at Hanover. His
son David, born May 6, 1740, became a prom-
inent citizen of York. Pastor Candler's
health failed; he died in December, 1744,
and was buried in a graveyard one-half mile
northwest of Hanover.

In 1744 the first log-church was built in
York, on the spot where the Christ Church
stands. For the first ten years no special
house of worship was used, so far as is
known, though there may have been one
at another point in the great York Valley.
The churchjin York was built just three years
after the town of York was founded.

Rev. Lars Thorstansen Nyberg, 1744-
48.— The funeral of Rev. Candler in De
cember, 1744, was attended by many per
sons. The oiSciatiug clergyman was Rev,
Lars Nyberg, of Lancaster. He was a Swede
and had before entering upon the ministry,
been a surveyor, and early in life also
studied theology. Through intercourse with
Arvid Gradin, he had accepted Moravian
views. He was engaged as a teacher by a
Swedish court, when a call from the Lancas-
ter Lutheran Church was sent to Sweden for
a minister. On his way to America he met,
in London, Rev. Spangenberg, who became
one of the apostles of the Moravian Church
in America, and there, it is asserted, confirmed
his faith in Moravian doctrine, but soon
after became pastor of the Lutheran Churches
at Lancaster, York, Hanover and Monocacy

In all of these congregations troubles arose
on account of his attempts to turn them over
to the Moravians. At York the controversy
was especially severe and exciting, as Rev.
Jacob Lischy, then pastor of the Reformed
Church, was of the same faith. In 1746 a
Moravian Synod was held in Kruetz Creek,
and Nyberg brought two missionaries there,
one to be pastor of the York Congregation
and the other of the Monocacy Congregation.
The most deteroained opponent at York was
Bartholomew Maul, then the parish school-
master, who was also empowered to read ser-
mons during the absence of the pastor. Rev.
Henry Muhlenberg visited York in May,
1746, for the first time. He reports in his
diary that the York congregation then eon^
tained 110 families, living over a large ex-
tent of country. He baptized several chil-
dren, and confirmed those that Schoolmastei
Maul had instructed. In June, 1747, Muh-
lenberg again visited York, and went also to
Conewago, Monocacy and Frederick. In hie
diary for June 21, 1747, he says:

"In the afternoon we rode from Lancaster, and
In the night reached the newly laid out town of
York, some of the people came together in the mid-
dle of the night and rejoiced at my arrival, and ex-
pected that the Lord's Supper would be adminis-
tered to them on the following Sunday. I was now
in the district in which the Lutheran congregations
had commissioned Mr. Nyberg. He visitedithe con-
gregations as far as into Maryland. The people
who had been awakened by his methods, clung
very closely to him, were ready to live or die with
him. The stronger party nevertheless locked the
church against him."

"On Saturday, June 27, at noon," says Rev. Muh-
lenberg, "we arrived at York on our return from
Maryland, when the members of the congregation
were assembled that they might give in their names
to cQme to the Lord's Supper. I called together
those elders and members who were most act-
ive, and begged of them to put away all dissension
and distraction. Schoolmaster Maul, who had dil-
igently instructed the children, and on Sundays
read sermons, was present, and was questioned con-
cerning the congregation. One or more of the
vorsteher had been too loud, and had shown to»
much heat in the strife with the Moravians, for
which I reproved them in love and gentleness. The
justice of the peace presented himself, but made
complaint against a contentious neighbor, who be-
ing e-xamined, conducted himself rudely, .refused
admonition and was excluded until he amended.
Those who favored Nyberg did not attend services
regularly, and said only by hispreaching were their
hearts moved. They proinised. however, that if a
worthy pastor of our United Ministry, came hitter
to preach, they would come and hear him and fol-
low him. At 3 o'clock I went to the church and
had a profitable preparation based on Matthew XI,
8; the people were all attention. After the prepara-
tive service I received the group of young men whom
the schoolmaster had instructed for their confirma-
tion. In the evening I edified and refreshed mysejf
still further with the elders and vorsteher in the
house. On Sunday, June 28, some persons who lived
faroff.made application for the Lord's Supper. The
church on thisday was too small, and nearly half of



the audience had to stand outside, for a great con-
gregation had assembled from a distance even of
leu or twenty miles; it was the second Sunday-
after Trinity. I baptized a number after sermon,
and confirmed fifteen persons, and administered the
Lord's Supper to 200 communicants, and then
closed the services hy the whole congregation on
bended knees giving thanks to God. In the eve-
ning I was invited as a guest by the justice of the

The justice mentioned was George Swaab
(Swope). After Muhlenberg's departure
Bartholomew Maul continued to read ser-
mons to the congregation. He was after-
ward elected one of the first commissioners
of York County, and died about 1759.

Eev. John Helfrich Schaum, 1748-55. —
In May, 1748, the United Ministry sent Kev.
Schaum. He was born in Geissen, in Hesse-
Darmstadt. His father was preceptor of a
school atMunichholzhausen; was educated at
the University of Halle, and sent to America
with authority to teach in the Congregational
school at Philadelphia, where he landed
January 26, 1745. He preached in German-
town and at Raritan, N. J. He was sent to
York with special instructions and minute
directions as to how he should minister to
the congregation. A prescribed order of
services was required to be followed, which
was common to all the churches of the Lu-
theran Union at that time.

On his arrival at York, May 17, 1748, he
was accompanied by Pastor Handschuh, of
Lancaster, and Schoolmaster Vigera, of
Philadelphia. On the afternoon of the 18th
the constitution for the congregation adopted
by the United Ministers, was presented and
put into force, and so continued until 1781.
On Ascension day, May 19, the pastor in-
stalled the newly-elected elders and vorsteher,
and confirmed sixteen persons. On Satur-
day Handschuh and Vigera went to Cone-
wago (Hanover) to arrange for its connection
with York, which soon after was effected, as
was that of the Lower Bermudian congrega-
tion, to which Schaum preached May 31,
1748. For nearly five years the congr-ega-
tion at York had been without an authorized
pastor. While on his way to the consecration
of a churcb at Raritan, N. J., Schaum was
severely injured, from which he suffered for
years, and for a time was not able to preach.
In 1752 he was requested to occasionally
visit the congregation at Frederick, which
was vacant. In May, of the same year, his
wife, Anna Eva, and their young child, Anna
Gertrude, died. He was again married August
7, 1753, to Maria Dorotha Stunipf, of Lancas-
ter. Rev. Schaum's health failed, and, on
account of growing opposition, retired from

the pastorate of York, and in April, 1755, he
went to Tohickon.

Eev. John Samuel Schwerdfeger, 1755-
56. — The opposition to Rev. Schaum heard
of the arrival at Baltimore of a candidate of
theology, John Samuel Schwerdfeger, a
young man of twenty- three years, who had
been educated as an orphan at Neustadt, in
Bavaria, and at the University of Erlangen,
where he studied law and theology. He was
shipped from Holland to Baltimore with
' emigrants; being unable to pay his passage
would have been sold as a "redemptioner,"
j upon landing, when the congregation at
1 York bought his freedom. "He was ordained,"
says Muhlenberg, "by ministers who called
themselves 'Orthodox Lutherans,' and who
did not belong to the Synod." The congre-
gation was then divided into two factions.
Rev. Lucas Raus, of Goschenhoppen, Berks
County, was called to York to settle the
strife, but he would not then come.

George Ludwig Hochheimer. 1756-58. —
The next pastor was Hochheimer, who ar-
rived in America November 1, 1755, from Ger-
; many, where he was a schoolmaster and bar-
ber. He came to York in 1756, when the two
parties still existed; the majority of both ae-
j cepted him as pastor. He remained a short
time. In 1774, he was pastor of a congre-
gation in South Carolina, and had
; been for many years before. Rev.

John Kirchner, another Lutheran pastor,
was at York during a part of the same time.
He also had charge of Shuster's Church, in
Springfield Township, from 1763 to 1767,
and probably organized that congregation.

Rev. Lucas Raus, 1758-63.— The next
pastor. Rev. Lucas Raus, moved to York in
April, 1758, met with success in building
up the congregation, and excelled any pre-
vious pastor. In 1759, he baptized 132,
and in 1761, 161 children in the York con-
gregation. The congregation then had 300
I adult and 250 young members. On June 2,
1760, the corner-stone for a stone church •
was laid. It was used for baptisms April
' 30, 1761, but was not fully completed until
i 1762. During the fall of that year it was
consecrated by Dr. Wrangle, of Philadelphia,
Revs. Borell, of Wilmington, Del., Geroch
and N. Kurtz. The new stone church which
stood until 1812, was 40x65 feet in dimen-
sion. It was located where the church
now stands, but was placed nearer the street
than it. The steeple was taken down in
1805, as far as the bells, and a roof placed
over them. In 1763, on account of some
difficulties. Rev. Raus retired from his
[ charge at York, and turned his attention more


to medicine. He had charge of some country
churcheg, organized the churches at Dover
and Quicker 8, and preached at Shuster'a
church, in Springfield Township, from 1770
to 1787. The record shows baptisms ad-
ministered by him at Bermudian, 1758-
1702; Kruetz Creek and "Chockely" 1760;
Carlisle, in 1762; in the school house at
Jacob Ziegler's, in Codorus Township;
at Justice Noblet's house, and held English
services in Newberi'y Township. A bio-
graphical sketch of Mr. Raus will be found
on page 405.

Rev. Nicholas Hornell, 1763-65, was
the next pastor at York. He was from
Sweden, and came to Philadelphia from
Wilmington, and on July 8, 1763, left Phil-
adelphia on the Lancaster stage for York,
having obtained the Agenda for use at his
new charge. Pastor Hornell had been or-
dained in London in 1747,served the congrega-
tion at Hoor in the province of Scania,
was charged of serious wrongdoing and fled
to Denmark. This news came to York and
interfered with his success. On Juae 30,
1765, he delivered a farewell discourse and
retired from the ministry. In 1767 he
was living one-half mile from York. The
congregation had no pastor from July 1765
to February 1767. During this interim it is
supposed certain religious ceremonies were
performed by Philip Teutsch (Deitch) who
succeeded Bartholomew Maul as schoolmaster.
"William Kurtz was teacher of the school in
1756, established in York by the English
Society. Philip Deitch continued as school-
master until his death in 1789.

Rev. John George Bager, 1767-69.— |
The next pastor, Rev. Bager, had been in
charge of the German church in New York
City since 1763. Before he went to New
York he had been pastor of the church at
Hanover, where he lived. In 1769 he re- '
turned to Hanover.

Rev. Bager was born at Niederlinz, in
Nassau-Saarbruck, March 29, 1725. His '
father was a pastor. The son studied theol-
ogy at Halle. Muhlenberg said "he was a
very worthy and learned man, and was
ordained in Germany." He was married to
Anna Elizabeth Schwab, born at Geissen in
Hesse-Darmstadt. He arrived in Phila-
delphia October 23, 1752, and was met by '
Rev. Stoever and taken to Lebanon. In
December, 1752, he visited Hanover and re-
ceived a call on the 16th, moved there soon
after and remained at Hanover until he went to
New York. His first two children died in
Europe, the third, Catharine, was born in
Lebanon ; the fourth, Christian Fredrick, born

August 29, 1754, in Hanover. Upon the death
of his father Rev. Bager inherited money to
purchase a farm near Hanover on which he
died June 9,1791. Daring many years he min-
istered to scattered Lutheran congregations.
He is the ancestor of the Baugher family in
York and Adams Counties, some of whom
have become prominent clergymen and

Rev. John Nicholas Kurtz, 1770-89. — In
April, 1770, Mr. Kurtz took charge of the con-
gregation. He was born October, ] 722, in
Lutzellinden, in the principality of Nassau
Weilburg, now in Rhenish Prussia, His
father was teacher of the Congregational
school. The son spent six years in a clas-
sical school at Geissen, and studied theology
in the university there, and afterward at
Halle. He arrived at Philadelphia Janu-
ary 26, 1745, and went to New Hanover as a
teacher, and as a preacher in Montgomery
County, Penn.,and at Karitan, N. J. He next
went to Tulpehocken, Berks County, and also
preached in Lancaster County. He was or-
dained August 15, 1748. When Rev. Kurtz
came to York he was in his forty-eighth year;
he was a well formed man, live feet ten inches
high, with broad forehead, dark eyes and
dark curling hair. He had a full, strong
resonant voice, and was inclined to preach
the law and not abate its terms, as he pos-
sessed great firmness of purpose. During
his pastorate at York, the Revolutionary war
took place and congress met here. He was
at first troubled about the oath of allegiance
he had taken to the king of England, but his
conscience became clear and, in 1776, he was
naturalized. During the meeting of congress
when the houses of citizens had to be opened
to entertain, his house was the home of Bishop
White,thenof the Spanish minister, afterward
of the French minister, then of a member from
South Carolina. In 1777, when money was
scarce, and provisions for the soldiers meager,
Mr. Kurtz, after a sermon, asked his audience
to collect all articles and stores they could
and send them to his house, and a committee
was appointed to distribute them to the suf-
fering soldiers according to the authority of
his grandson. Dr. Benjamin Kurtz.

Mr. Kurtz's work was very i
did a great amount of ministerial work in
the country west of York. He served as sec,
retary of the Miaistenum in 1763, and wa-
president in 1778, and on the death of Dr. Hs
M. Muhlenberg he was accorded the high hon.
or of becoming his successor, as senior Minis-
terii. In 1789, Rev. Kurtz moved to Balti-
more, where he lived with his son. Rev. J.
Daniel Kurtz. He died suddenly of apo-



plexy, May 12, 1794, aged seventy-two years.
America had in his day very few preachers
equal to him.

Key- Jacob Goering, 1783-1S07.— The
nest pastor was the son of Jacob and Mar-
garet Groering, and was born in Chanceford
Township, York Co., Penn., January 17,
1755. "When eighteen years old his father
took him to Dr. Helmuth of Lancaster, with
whom he remained two years as a diligent
student. He was ordained in 1776, and set-
tled in Carlisle. lie there preached to six con-
gregations: Carlisle, Dover, Paradise, Upper
and Lower Bermudian and Lower Settlement.
In 1783, the Ministerium met at York for the
second time, on which occasion the tirst even-
ing service was held of which there is any
record. At this time Mr. Goering had be-
come assistant pastor of this charge and had
removed to York. On the removal of pastor
Kurtz to Baltimore, Mr. Goering became sole
pastor. In 1791, he accepted a call to Ha-
gerstown, Md. , but he soon after came back
to York. In 1793. he had charge of the
York, "Chockley'' (Conojohela), and Kruetz
Creek congregations.

The parochial school in 1796, was very
strong. Instruction was given in both Ger-
man and English. The cougregation was in-
corporated in 1S04; under it two elders were
to be elected each year to serve for six years;
the wardens, as the vorsteher are called, to
serve for two years.

Rev. Jacob Goering died of consumption
November 27, 1809. He was a man of very
acute and active mind; he wrote three treatises
that were published, and a number of others
which, before he died, he ordered to be burned.
Dr. J. G. Schmucker studied Hebrew with
him during his pastorate atQuickel's Church.
After his death there was a vacancy for two

Rev. John George Schmucker, 1809-36.
— This gentleman was chosen pastor May 2,
1809, and he received a call while at a meet-
ing of the synod at Hanover, on the 28th of
same month. His charge consisted at that
time of York, Quickel's, Wolf's, Holzchwamm,
Kruetz Creek and Chockely. la 1813, he
gave up part of the field, but retained five
— John Herbst, Jr., it is supposed took one of
them. In 1814, Charles A. TSIorris took
charge of Kruetz Creek, and in 1817, Chock-
ely had been for some time in Herbst's
charge. In 1820, Rev. Schmucker's charge
consisted of York, Quickel's and Wolf's
Churches, to which some years later Hoover's
was added. In 1811, steps were taken for
erecting a new church. George Hay and
Peter Striber, were made managers; George

Lottman, John Barnitz and Jacob Schmeiser,
John Brillinger, Peter Schmeiser, made as-
sistants; Ignatius Lightner was elected
treasurer. Corner-stone was laid July 2,
1812; the services were conducted by Rev.
Drs. H. E. Muhlenberg, J. Daniel Kurtz,
George Lochman and the pastor.

The new chui-ch was dedicated May 1, 1814,
by Rev. F. V. Melsheimer, of Hanover, and
the pastor. In 1813, a new schoolhouse was
built, under supervision of Jacob Upp and
Jacob Eichelberger. The cost of the church
alone was at least $18,590.

In June, 1817, the ministerium, of Pennsyl-
vania, met for a fourth time in York; Dr.
George Lochman, father of A. H. Lochman,
was president. The synod of Ohio was
formed by authority of this meeting. It was
the third centennial commemoration of the
Reformation. The president invited Re-
formed, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Mora-
vian people to participate in the commemora-
tion. Jacob Barnitz. who had been the
worthy secretary and treasurer of the church
for many years, died in April, 1828.

In 1827, a Sunday-school met in the church
for the first time. In 1828, a sea! was
adopted; in 1829, lamps were bought for
evening services. In 1830, land was bought on
Duke Street for a burial place; in 1832, the
use of the small bell was granted to the

I Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

I When the temperance question came up
for discussion, both Dr. Schmucker and Mr.
Oswald, assistant, were deeply interested in
it. and very zealous in its advocacy, where-
upon the yearly salary was for a time dimin-
ished one half, but they persisted in the
cause, and eventually won high honor.

English services began about 1820, only

' in the evening. The time for English services
was indicated by a peculiar ringing of the

j bell. October 7, 1829, Rev. Jonathan Os-
wald, D. D., was licensed, and became assist-
ant pastor, and also took entire charge of
Wolf's and Hoover's Churches, where the
services were German, and preached English
in York three Sunday evenings out of four.
Dr. Schmucker continued at Quickel' s Church.
Dr. Oswald, then a young man, is now a
highly respected and honored citizen of York,
familiar to all our people.

In 1836 the ministry of Dr. Schmucker
ended. In person he was of medium stat-
ure, rather thick set, but not corpulent; bis
complexion was dark, and his body was very
erect. His character was unusually sym-
metrical and well balanced, and his temper
so placid, or under such control, that even
his own household scarcely ever saw it


He was especially regardful of the
feelings of others, and so unafifeetedly polite on
all occasions that he won the admiration and
respect of every one he met. He was careful
in the preparation of his sermons, methodical
in arrangement, earnest in delivery, tender
in feeling, and deeply serious. All of these
elements united to make him an admirable
and most useful preacher. He was a great
student, and procured books from Europe
each year, and had his whole library at com-

when he removed to the home of some of his
children at Williamsburg, where he died
October 7, 1854. His remains lie in front
of this chiu'ch. He was married first to Eliza-
beth Gross, from Quickel's congregation, by
whom he had twelve children; she died in
l8l9;second,in 1821, to Anna Maria Hofi"man,
of Baltimore, by whom he had seven children.
Rev. Jonathan Oswald, D. D., assistant
pastor, 1829-36. — Dr. Oswald was born in
Washington County, Md., December 20,


mand. He contributed largely to the Evan-
gelical Magazine. He published a number
of volumes, chiefly connected with the proph-
ecies. In the establishment of Pennsylva-
nia College and Theological Seminary at
Gettysburg, he took a prominent part, and
at the time of his death was vice-president of

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 108 of 218)