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

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the American Tract Society.

He continued to reside at York, still
preaching at Quickel's Church untiri852,

1805, son of John and Eve Oswald. His
parents were of Swabian and Alsatian origin,
and on his father's side of long generations
of Lutherans; his mother the descendant of
Meunonites. After pursuing theological
studies for sixteen or eighteen months, he
went to Gettysburg, and was the second the-
ological student registered. After pursuing
the whole theological course he was gradu-
ated and licensed.


Rev. A. H. Lochman, D. D., 1836-80.—
Mr. Lochman was a son of Dr. George Loch-
man and Susanna Hoffman, whose sister was
the second wife of Dr. J. G. Schmucker.
He was born October 5, 1802, in the parsonage
of Salem Church, Lebanon, Penn., of which
his father was pastor. In 1815 his father
moved to Harrisburg, when the son entered
the academy there. In 1822 he entered the
University of Pennsylvania, in the junior
class, and was graduated July, 1823, and
then studied theology with his father, and
licensed to preach June 16, 1824. He be-
came pastor of a charge in Cumberland Coun-
ty in 1825, and was married in July of that
year to Anna Maria Partenheimer, of Phila-
delphia, and took up their residence in Me-
chanicsburg, then a village of a dozen houses.
In 1826, upon the death of his father, he
became his successor at Harrisburg. In
April, 1836, he was called to York, where he
continued pastor until 1880, where he was
greatly beloved and eminently successful.
He has taken an active part in all the general
movements of the Lutheran Church in Amer-
ica; was a member of the first board of
trustees of Pennsylvania College; was a
trustee in Franklin College; has been for a
long time one of the board of directors of
the seminary, and many 'years its president;
was president of the synod of Pennsylvania
and of the general synod.

The honorary degree of D. D. was con-
ferred upon him in 1856, by Pennsylvania
College. He has made a number of valuable
translations from the German. Dr. Loch-
man has retired from the active pastoral
ofiBce, full of years and of labors, after serv-
ing this church nearly half a century.
During the first year of his pastorate, the
Second Lutheran Church of York (St. Paul's)
was formed.

In September, 1841, the old town clock
was placed on the steeple by the county com-
missioners. In 1850 Zion Lutheran Con-
gregation was formed. On October 31, 1867,
the jubilee of the Reformation was cele-
brated with much enthusiasm by the churches
in York. In the afternoon all the Lutheran
Sunday-school children (1,500) assembled
in this church. In 1874 the church was
remodeled. On June 12. 1880. Dr. Loch-
man resigned his long pastorate. For two
years the congregation was served by sup-

Rev. George W. Enders, the present pastor,
entered upon his duties in 1882. A stairway
and sacristy has since been placed on the east
side of the chancel. At the one hundred and
fiftieth anniversary of the history of the

church, in 1883, Rev. M. Schmucker, D. !>.,
of Pottstown, Penn., grandson of one of the
pastors, delivered an historical discourse to
this congregation, and to him we are greatly
indebted for much of the information herein
given. The membership in 1885 is 628, and
the congregation very prosperous. The Sun-
day-school has fifty-two teachers, and 580
pupils. All of the other Lutheran Churches
of York colonized from this church.

The First Re/onned Church of York, Penn-
sylvania. — The reformed congregation in
York antedates the organization of the
county, and is connected with the first settle-
ment of the town, in 1742. The precise date
of its organization cannot be fixed. The Rev.
Jacob Lisehey, its first pastor, in a record made,
j 1744, in a book held by the present pastor,
Rev. Dr. J. O. Miller, says " this congregation
has been for several years without a pastor."
They had an organization prior to his coming
to visit them, and they must have worshiped
in a private house.

In August, 1744, Rev. Mr. Lisehey, a
"Swiss preacher," visited this settlement
and preached for them. The elders, George
Meyer, Philip Rothrock,and others, extended
to him a call; and a second call, in May 29,
1745, which latter he accepted. The congre-
gation had no house of worship until 1746,
when a block building was erected on Lot No.
ill. granted by the Penns. The congregation
passed through many scenes of excitement
in the first fifteen years of its history, on ac-
count of the conduct of its pastor, and the
uncertainty of where he stood, as Reformed
or Moravian. He several times offered to
resign, but a strong party took up for him
and retained him. He finally, under a
charge, withdrew in 1760, and organized an
independent church, in Codorus Township,
and was deposed by the synod. A biography
of Rev. Lisehey will be found on page 406.

The congregation was vacant for one year.
They then called the Rev. John Conrad Wirtz,
who entered upon his labors. May 9, 1762;
and soon brought the congregation into har-
mony. The church prospered. The block
building was taken down and the corner- stone
of a large stone building was laid May 24,
1763. Rev. Wirtz did not live to see it com-
pleted. He died September 21, 1763, and
was buried under the altar. A vacancy of two
years, of which there is no record, occurred.
In September, 1765, Rev. William Otterbein
was called, became pastor November, 1765, and
served five years. A desire to visit his native
land pressed upon him, and without resign-
ing he departed for Germany. The congre-
gation was oecasionnally supplied by the Rev.



Daniel Wagner, who preached at Kreutz Creek
The Kev. Otterbein returned Octoberl, 1771,
continued to serve this people three years
more, and then went to Baltimore. In May,
1774, Rev. Daniel Wagner became the pastor.
He was a most estimable man; the church
prospered under his ministry. He remained
during the period of the Revolutionary war.
He resigned in 1786, and accepted a call
from the Tulpehocken congregation, Berks

In the fall of the same year the church was
supplied by a young man, Rev. Philip Stock,
who remained until November, 1789. And
the records show that, in 1790, Rev. George
Troldenier was pastor; not much is learned
from the records concerning him; his last
baptism was on May 31, 1793.

The congregation extended a call to their
former pastor, the Rev. Daniel Wagner, who
accepted, and entered upon his duties
August 1, 1798. His second ministry was
more successful than the first had been. Dur-
ing this period the stone church, built in the
time of Rev. Wirtz, was destroyed by fire
on July 4, 1797, and all the records
were burnt save one book. The congregation
at once took steps for a new building, which
they reared on the same spot 65x55 feet,
with the side to the front, which was
dedicated in May, 1800, and which is still
standing. In May, 1804, Mr. Wagner resigned
and the Rev. George Geistweit took his
place. He ministered to this people for
sixteen years, until 1820. There is no record
from which to estimate the work done. He
is kindly spoken of by those who knew him,
and the church held its own, but made no

Rev. Lewis Mayer, D. D., took charge Jan-
uary 8,1821. It was followed by an awakening
and the bringing in of new life. His preach-
ing was profound— his energy great. He in-
troduced English preaching with the German,
built a lecture and school-room on the rear
of the lot. He had weekly service for lecture
and prayer — also Sunday-school. In the
midst of his usefulness he was called to the
theological professorship in the seminaiy. He
resigned April 3, 1825.

The church was vacant for two years. The
Rev. James Reily was called, April 1, 1827.
His health failing he had Rev. Daniel Zacha-
rias, a licentiate, for an assistant. He resigned
July, 1881.

A vacancy of one year and a quarter occurs ;
when the Rev. John Cares, of blessed memory,
was called, October 1, 1832. He did an
effectual work. The lecture room at the rear
of the lot was destroyed by fire December 8,

1837, and instead of rebuilding it the con-
gregation resolved to alter the interior of the
church, taking off ten feet of the audience
room and making lecture and Sunday-school
room out of it. The Rev. Cares served
eleven years, and on April 5, 1848, died. He
was greatly lamented by his people.

Now followed an exciting and stormy pe-
riod in the history of this congregation.
Scarcely had the grave closed over their bo-
loved pastor, until an effort was made by cer-
tain parties to secure the services of Rev.
Herman Douglas, a converted Jew, then
pastor of an Associated Reformed Church, at
Hagerstown. He was a man of brilliant
attainments, and great pulpit ability. This
excited serious opposition among a large
class of persons; they resented it and appealed
to the classis. Mr. Douglas took charge July,
1843; he remained only one year and a half.
January 1, 1845, resigned, and went to
Europe. The congregation did not remain
long vacant. On January 16, 1845, they
called the Rev. William A. Good, from Ha-
gerstown, Md. He, like the four who pre-
ceded him, preached in both languages, En-
glish and German, and likewise served sur-
rounding congregations. During his minis-
try, the congregation was chartered by the
legislature of Pennsylvania, on March 9,
1849, under the title " The First Reformed
Church of the borough of York and its vicin-
ity," and under this charter, the congrega-
tion was authorized to lay out a public cem-
etery, under the title of "Prospect Hill
Cemetery," which now contains between 80
and 100 acres. In the latter part of Mr. Good's
pastorate, it was resolved to call a co-pastor,
to preach exclusively in the English lan-
guage. This was unsatisfactory. They then
resolved to divide into two sections, English
and German, each to call its own pastor,
and support him, but to hold their property
in common under one corporation. This
called for the resignation of both Messrs. Good
and Philips, in the fall of 1851.

This opens a new era in the history of this
congregation. It was virtually two congre-
gations under one corporation in one building.
The Rev.David Bossler,of Harrisburg,Penn.,
was called by the German section, and entered
upon his work April 4, 1852; and on
November 6, 1852., the Rev. J. O. Miller, of
Winchester. Va., was called by the English
section, and accepted the position, January
1, 1853. Each section had the use of the
audience room on alternate Sunday mornings;
the English preached alternately in the lecture
room, and in the evening in the church above.

A mission chapel was built by the pastor


of the English section for Sunday-school
service, 1861, on Queen Street. In the spring
ol 1862 Rev. D. Bossier resigned, and he
was succeeded by the Rev. Daniel Ziegler.
The inconvenience of two congregations
worshiping in one building became daily
manifest; and steps were taken for a final
and entire separation of the sections. Terms
were agreed upon — the property, all but the
cemetery, should be put up, and the highest
bidder of the two sections should have it.
The Germans bought it, and paid the
English for their rights in the church build-
ing, graveyard, and parsonage, §9,725 — the
English to retain the corporate title, and
the Cemetery (Prospect Hill).

The English section, now an independent
congregation, went out, and for a year or
more worshiped in the court house, and
then built for themselves their splendid
church, called "Trinity," on the second lot
east of the old building. It is in Romanesque
style of architecture, with tower and turret,
60 feet front and 180 feet deep, with
chapel attached; a chime of nine bells, organ,
etc., the entire cost $60,000. The building
was consecrated during the meeting of the
Synod of the United States, October 21, 1866.
The pastor is the Rev. J. O. Miller, D. D.,
who has been with it for nearly thirty-three
years since it become a distinct English con-
gregation. The congregation is in a liealthy,
growing condition, with a membership,
confirmed and unconfirmed, of 550 people;
two Sunday-schools numbering 520.

Zion Reformed Church. — The German
section of the original congregation, is now
under the pastoral care of Rev. Aaron
Spangler, who conducts services in both
German and English. The chm-ch building
on the original site, was remodeled and im-
proved a few years ago at an expense of
several thousand dollars. The communicant
membership of Zion's Church is 498. The
elders, for 1885, are William, Reisinger,
Charles Yost, John Stouch, Frederick Sake-
miller. Peter Moore and Lenhart Himmel-
reich; the deacons are George R. Stough,
Franklin Quickel, Jacob Spahr, Adam Nay-
lor, John L. Sheffer and Charles Craft. The
Sunday-school has 301 members. The pastor
is president; Samuel G. Hildebrand, super-
intendent; H. F. Keesey, secretary; George
R. Stough, treasurer; William B. Fry is
organist of the church, and Samuel G. Hil-
debrand leader of the choir. To the rear
of the First Reformed building, Philip Liv-
ingston, one of the signers of the Declaration
of Independence, was buried in 1778, while
congress met in York. His remains have

since been moved to Prospect Hill Cemetery.
It will be a matter of great interest to
know who some of the original members of
this church were. The following is a list of
some of the more prominent persons who
were members before 1754. They did not
all live in York; some were farmers:

George Mayer, Zachariah Shugart,

Casper Kie'ffer, Christopher Weider,

Christian Wampler, John Wahl,

Jacob Ob (Upp), George Grimm,

Philip Hintz. John Guckes,

John Welsch, Michael Neuman,

Abraham Welschans, John Appleman,
Martin Danner, , Christian DittenhofEer,

Peter Wolf, Dewalt Emrich,

Philip Weber, George Schrum,

Henry Glatfelter, Jonas Leib,

George Zinn, John Bentzel,

George Hoke. Jacob Schaffer,

Philip Houck, Michael Kann.

Michael Weider, George Rudy,

Philip Ganss, Christian Wampler, 8r.,

John Welsch, tailor, Jacob Hildebrandt,

Killian Smith, Conrad Miller,

Dieter Meyer, Henry Everhart,

Benedict Swope, Jacob Welsh,

Ludwig Kraft, school- John Wolflf,

master, Jacob Wagner,

Ulrich Hess, Jacob Shearer,

Nicholas Reisinger, Nicholas Kerr,

Abraham Kieffer, Henry Wolff,

Gerhart Luc, Henry Luckenbaugh,

Nicholas Ob (Upp), Matthias Gemshem,

Jacob Reifl, John Meyer,

Michael Greybill, Charles Grimm,

John Gerber, Henry Stittler,

Nicholas Scheaffer, Henry Linebach,

Henry Bier, Godfry Frey,

Nicholas Wilt, George Weldey.

Nicholas Schrum.
S^. John's Episcopal Church. — It is im-
possible to ascertain when the services of
the English Church were first introduced into
York. When the first regular missionary
was sent from England by the "Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts," in 1755, he found a congregation of
churchmen, duly organized at York, though
enjoying no regular services. In May or
June, 1755, Rev. Thomas Barton, who had
just returned from England, whither he
went to be ordained, instituted stated wor-
ship. No record remains of the place where
such services were held. For nearly a dec-
ade he was the zealous missionary of the
"Venerable Society," at Huntington (York
Springs), Carlisle and York, and with large-
hearted charity, even sought the conversion
of the Indians. His letters to the society are
full of this truly missionary work among the
aborigines of the soil. To his office of
priest he added that of soldier, for in the
troublesome times with the French and hos-
tile Indians, he organized his people for de-
fense against their allied foes; and so much
did he distinguish himself in this patriotic


service, that his conduct was spoken of in a
letter from Philadelphia to Mr. Penn, the
ipropriefcary : "Mr. Barton deserves the com-
mendation of all lovers of their country, for
he has put himself at the head of his con-
gregations, and marched either by night or
by day at every alarm; nor has he done any-
thing in a military way but what hath in-
creased his character for piety, and that of a
sincerely religious man and zealous minister;
in short, he is a most worthy, active and
serviceable pastor and missionary." (See
chapter entitled "Historical Biography," in
this work, page 405.)

Mr. Barton was succeeded as missionary by
the Rev. John Andrews, who set about at
once to secure a church. In 1765 a subscrip-
tion was opened and in 1766 "an act of as-
sembly was obtained for a lottery to raise a
sum of money sufficient to build Episcopal
Churches in York and Reading and to pay the
debts due on the English Episcopal Churches
of St. Peter's and St. Paul's of Philadelphia."
By this lottery £257 5s. were obtained for
York. Through^solicitation on the part of the
members of the congregation among their
friends in Philadelphia and Lancaster £150
more were secured. The Rev. Mr. Andrews
also secured £57 which in addition to the
subscriptions from the congregation furnished
sufficient funds to complete the church with
but a trifling debt remaining unpaid.

The ground was secured through the influ-
ence of the Rev. Dr. Peters, who had himself
subscribed £10. "He applied to the Pro-
prietaries and got a lot of ground in York
.Town— eighty feet front, 250 feet in depth,
for the building of said church and for burial
ground, at the yearly rent of one shilling
sterling if demanded, and the warrant was
granted to Samuel Johnston and Thomas
Minshall, Esqs., and to Mr. Joseph Adlum as
trustees of the congregation." The church
was built under the supervision of these gen-
tlemen, but whether in 1766 or 1769 is a
matter of dispute. The church records in-
cline to the former, while the tablet on the
church tower gives the lattei-. It is worthy
of note that the English Church at York was",
when erected, one of the only four in the
colony of Pennsylvania outside of Phila-
delphia. It was a small unpretentious brick
structure situated back from the street, facing
the alley and opening thereupon. The chancel
was at the opposite (northern) end. The total
cost of the church was £459. The Rev.
Mr. Andrews resigned his missionary
charge of I'ork and Cumberland Counties in
1772, and was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Bat-
well, likewise an Englishman. In 1774, the

year of Mr. Batwell's induction, a bell was
presented to the church by Queen Caroline,
consort of George III, but as there was no
belfry to the church the bell was hung in
the cupola of the Court House in Centre
Square where it rang out its patriotic sum-
mons to the members of the Continental Con-
gress when in session in York. It remained
in the Court House for half a century, when,
upon the demolition of this temple of liberty it
was recovered by the church and placed in its
tower, where it has done faithful service ever

The Rev. Mr. Batwell was a loyalist, and
during the early stages of the Revolution
so favored his native land and his Tory con-
victions, that he ceased not to pray for his
Majesty George III, which so enraged
the people that he was ducked one night in
the neighboring creek and discharged in
1776. From this date until 1782 the church
was without the ministrations of a clergyman;
but it appears from the church records that
the congregation was still active, as "in
1777 a lot of ground was granted by the
honorable proprietaries to Robert Jones,Will-
iam Johnston and George Welsh, trustees,
for the use of the missionary of the said
church and for the benefit of the said church,
and for no other use or purpose whatsoever, as
appears by the ticket for the same signed by
Samuel Johnston, Esq."

This property was situated immediately
opposite the church and had a frontage of
160 feet and a depth of 250 feet.

In 1784 a letter was received from the
Rev. William White, D. D., on behalf of the
clergy and a special committee of the laity
of the Episcopal Church in Philadelphia,
asking the church wardens and vestrymen to
delegate ^one or more of their body, to assist
at a meeting to be held May 24, 1784, for
the purpose of proposing a plan of ecclesi-
astical government for the Episcopalians
generally throughout the United States.
Col. Thomas Hartley, William Baily and
William Johnston were chosen delegates.

In 1784 Rev. John Campbell succeeded
for over twenty years. Through his exertions
the rectory was built on the lot opposite the
church; and also the academy, for the erection
of both of which he collected money, princi-
pally in the cities of Philadelphia, Balti-
more and Lancaster. "Toward the close of
his rectorship the congregation somewhat
declined, through the proselyting efforts of
the sects. A large portion was drawn off at
the close of the century and formed the
Presbyterian congregation at the other end
of the town." He shortly afterward — in


1804 — removed to the parish of St. John,
Carlisle, where he labored very acceptably
until his death.

The parish remained without a rector un-
til April, 1810, when the Rev. John Arm-
strong was chosen, and served nine years.
During his ministry the charch was presented
with a handsome brass chandelier (valued at
$300) by the members of St. Paul's Parish,
Baltimore. The church property, in 1810,
underwent great improvement. A new floor
was laid in the church; the chancel removed
from the north to the west side; the entrance
changed from the south to the east end, and
a gallery erected over the door. This large
expenditure was promply met and the records
state, "The church is freed from all incum-
brance and is in a flourising condition."

The first Sunday-school in Yoi'k County
was established by Samuel Bacon, Esq.,
August 7, 1817. Mr. Bacon was a lawyer of
prominence in York, and a devout member
of St. John's Church.

The Rev. Grandison Aisquith was rector
from 1819 to 1821; Rev. George B. Schaeffer
from 1821 to 1823; Rev. Charles Williams,
from 1823 to 1825; under Rev. Will-
iams the congregation was enlarged, he
was elected principal of Baltimore College.
The Rev. Richard Hall 'next succeeded, and
enjoyed great popularity for three years.
On Easter day 1829, the Rev. John V. E.
Thorn was engaged as an occasional supply,
after which the parish went very much into
decay, and membership greatly decreased by
death or defection. In 1831 the Rev. Ben-
jamin Hutchins took charge of the parish
and served it gratuitously for a year
and a half, doing much to restore it to its
former condition. The church and rectory
were improved at the cost of 1900, and a
handsome set of silver communion plate was
presented by the rector in charge.

The Rev. Walter E. Franklin, who served
two years, became rector in 1836, and was
succeeded in 1838 by the Rev. Edward Way-
len, an English clergyman temporarily in
America. The Rev. John H. Marsden was
rector from 1841 to 1844, and the Rev. John
H. Hoffman from 1844 to 1849. The parish
at this time seems to have been somewhat
weak, as it accepted aid from the Missionary
Society of Grace Church, Philadelphia, to-
ward the payment of the salary of the Rev.
Charles West Thomson, who entered upon
his duties in 1849, and continued for seven-
teen years, laying firm and solid founda-
tions of future strength and usefulness.
He was a native of Philadelphia, and of
Quaker parentage. He possessed gracious

I gifts of mind and heart, such as made him

j signally successful in the high office of a
clergyman. The parish soon began to feel

I the effect of his wise and faithful services.
The attendance so greatly increased that, in
1850, the church building was enlarged to
more than twice its original capacity. It was
still a plain, mipretentious church, with lit-

', tie pretense to architectural beauty.

Attracted by Mr. Thomson's sermonic ef-
forts, as well as by his personal character,
many who had been strangers to the church,
identified themselves with it, and are still
among her most loyal members. So rapidly
and substantially did the parish increase that,
in 1863, it was found necessary to make an-
other enlargement of the church. Transepts
were added and a recess chancel built, and
also a tower. As a poet also, Mr. Thomson

; gained deserved distinction, and many of his
productions have been incorporated in our
school readers. All his writings were charac-
terized by beaut}' of sentiment and clearness
of thought, clothed in the choicest language.

I He resigned in 1866, owing to the increasing

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 109 of 218)