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

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Latimer Small, Martin Bender, Adam Her-
man; George H. Sprigg, cashier; A. H.
Griffith, first teller; John A. Small, book-
keeper; Charles I. Nes, clerk.

George H. Sprigg, the cashier, was born
in Baltimore, Md. , and had experience in
banking busiuess in that State before he was
elected the cashier of the York Bank in 1859.
G. Edward, the president, was born
in Gettysburg, Adams County, in 1822, and
came to York in 1848. In 1855 he became
a director of the bank, and remained as such
until 1878, when he was made president.

The York County National Bayik. — This
institution was originally organized as the
York County Savings Institution. Chris-
tian Lanius was chosen president, and
William Ilgenfritz, cashier, who both de-
•clined to serve, and Charles Weiser was
elected president, and William Wagner,
cashier. The first board of directors
were Daniel Hartman, Christian Lanius,
Peter Mclntyre, Michael Doudel, Charles
Weiser. Dr. Luke Bouse, Abraham Forry,
Thomas Baumgardner, William Danner and

John G. Campbell. July 21, 1846, Mr.
Weiser resigned the presidency, and was suc-
ceeded by Mr. Campbell. In 1849, the
name of the institution was changed to the
York County Bank, when it became a bank
of issue. In 1852 Eli Lewis was chosen
president, in place of Mr. Campbell. In
1858 Mr. Lewis resigned the presidency, and
was succeeded by Philip A. Small. In 1864
the bank accepted the provisions of the act of
congress, and became the York County Na-
tional Bank. In 1869, William Wagner, the
cashier, died, and James A. Schall succeeded
him in that office, who had acted as teller
continuously since February, 1853. In
1875, Philip A. Small, the president, died,
and David F. Williams succeeded him.
In October, 1881, Mr. Williams died, and m
the following month Joseph E. Rosenmiiler
was elected president, William H. Kurtz,
vice-president, having acted in the meantime.
On March 10, 1885, Mr. Rosenmiiler re-
signed, and was succeeded by Dr. W. S.
Roland. The present officers are: W. S. Ro-
land, president; James A. Schall, cashier;
Isaac A. Elliott, teller; Lewis Eppley, book-
keeper since January 22, 1873. The present
board of directors are Dr. W. S. Roland,
W. H. Kurtz, Joseph E. Rosenmiiler, Samuel
Gotwalt, Enos Frej, AV. E. Patterson, James
H. Fisher, James A. Dale and William Lau-
mester. Daniel Lehman had been messenger
and watchman from the organization of the
institution, for nearly thirty years. He was
succeeded by Lewis J. Wampler, and John
Craver is the present incumbent. Capital
stock of this prosperous and reliable institu-
tion is $300,000.

The First National Bank. — The national
administration at Washington, approved an
act, February 25, 1863, "to provide a national
currency, secured by a pledge of United
States Bonds, and provide for the circulation
and redemption thereof.'' An as.sociation of
individuals at York, accepted the provisions
of this act of Congress. At a meeting of the
stockholders of the First National Bank, held
December 15, 1863, the following board of
directors was elected: Eli Lewis, Edward
Chapin, W. Latimer Small. Daniel A. Rupp,
Zachariah K. Loucks, David E. Small, John
L. Mayer, Jacob D. Schall and Daniel Hart-
man. On the 10th of the same month, Eli
Lewis was elected president, Henry D.
Schmidt, cashier, and Samuel B. Hopkins,
teller. On the 18th of May, 1867, Henry D.
Schmidt was chosen president, to till the
I vacancy caused by the death of Eli Lewis,
and Jacob Bastress was elected cashier; C. E.
Lewis, teller. On the 2d of October, 1867,





Mr. Schmidt resigned on account of
and removed to Minnesota, whereupon
David E. Small was elected president. Z. K.
Louoks was elected vice-president April 17,
1876, owing to the illness of the president;
D. E. Small, who resigned on account of con-
tinued ill health, December 4, 1876; and Z.
K. Loucks, succeeded as president January
15, 1877. John J. Frick, became book-keeper,
in December, 1867, and was elected teller in
1876, and R. H. Shindel, book-keeper. The
board of directors of the bank, for the year
1885, is as follows: Z. K. Loucks, president;
J. D. Schall. James M. Danner, Isaac Frazer,
Jacob Loucks, John H. Small, C. M. Bill-
myer, Niles H. Shearer, Robert Smith and
Henry Small. Jacob Bastress is cashier;
John J. Frick, teller; E. H. Shindel, book-
keeper; Ivan Glossbrenner, book-keeper;
Henry K. Fox, assistant book-keeper; Caleb
Kepner, messenger, eleven years; capital
stock $300,000. This institution has had a
very prosperous existence.

Western National Bank. — The series of
meetings which had for their object the for-
mation of a national bank in the Fifth Ward
of the borough of York commenced April 6,
1875. On the 22d day of July, 1875. the ar-
ticles of association were adopted, the organ-
ization certificate filed, and the following di-
rectors elected: J. H. Bear, Israel Laucks,
William H. Emig, Clay E. Lewis, Frederick
Greiman, Albert Smyser, John Fahs, Jr., Si-
las H. Forry, Daniel Kraber. Charles A.
Klinefelter, H. B. Shroeder, Solomon Myers,
and George W. Ruby. J. H. Bear was elect-
ed president of the boai'd of directors and of
the bank, on the 29th day of July, 1875, and
M. J. Skinner, cashier. The name agreed
upon for the bank is " The Western National
Bank of York," and it was authorized to com-
mence business on the 8th day of October,
1875. Its bonds as a basis of circulation
were deposited October 11, 1875, and con-
sisted of the 5's of 1881. On the 29th of
November, 1875, the bank was formally
opened for business. Albert Smyser was
elected president May 12, 1877. On the 10th
day of January, 1879, M. J. Skinner, the
cashier, died. On the 13th day of January
following, C. E. Lewis was elected cashier.
The present board of directors consists of the
following-named gentlemen; Albert Smyser,
president; and Samuel S. Sprenkle, William i
Eyster, Michael Miller, Israel Laucks, Will-
iam H. Miller, Charles A. Klinefelter,
Albert Smyser, John Zeller, E. L. Schroeder,
John Fahs, Solomon Myers and Frederick
Greiman. Capital, $100,000. ',

The Farmers National Bank. — The cer-

tificate of the comptroller authorizing this
bank to commence business bears date March
1, 1875. Capital 1200,000. The officers are
V. K. Keesey, president, E. P. Stair, cashier.
The directors are -John A. Weiser, W. H.
Jordan, M. S. Eichelberger, M. B. Spahr, N.
Lehmayer, Charles Spangler, S. H. Forry,
Horace Keesey and V. K. Keesey. The
bank commenced business on March 25,

The Drovern and Mechanics National Bank.
— This bank was organized May 22, 1883,
with N. F. Burnham as president and I. V.
Giesey as cashier. The first board of direct-
ors were Samuel Lichtenberger, Edward
Smyser, H. J. Gresley, Dr. B. F. Spangler,
W.H.Bond, George F.Shive, Israel F. Gross,
Frederick Grothe, Jacob Brodbeck, and George
W. Holtzinger. Edward Smyser has since
died. H. J. Gresley and B. F. Spangler
have resigned, and Frank Loucks and Sam-
uel Rutter are the present directors in their

Banking House of Weiser, Son & Carl. —
This institution was established by Charles
Weiser in January. 1856. In 1861, Charles
S. Weiser was admitted as a partner under
the firm name of Charles Weiser & Son.
In January 1867, Jere Carl was admitted as
a member of the firm. In July, 1867, Charles
Weiser died, and the business is now con-
ducted under the firm name of Weiser, Son &
Carl. This banking hoiTse began business
where the Farmers National Bank now stands.
In April, 1867, it was moved to its present
location. In the year 1884, the firm built
the block known as Weiser's Bank Building,
a handsome architectural structure, where
they have commodious appartments.

Jacob H. Baer had conducted a private
bank, west of the bridge, for many years. He
was for a time president of the Western
National Bank, from 1875 to 1877. Since
then he has resumed his private banking.

Schall, Danner & Sperry are a firm of
bankers and brokers on Market Street.


York was a post-town under the colonial
system, and during the Revolution, while con-
gress was in session here, there was a regu-
lar governmeut postal route from Lancaster
and Reading to this place. The present gov-
ernment system went into effect in Januai'y,
1790, and since that time ofiicial records have
been kept. The following is an accurate
list of the names of all postmasters under
the present system in order of succession,
together with the dates of their appointment:


Andrew Johnston, February 16, 1790.
Jamles Edie, October 9, 1791.
Kobert Dunn, January 1, 1794.
Gen. Jacob Spaugler, January 1, 1795.
Peter Spangler, December 14. 1812.
Peter Small, December 19, 1814.
Thomas McGrath. November 19, 1831.
Daniel Small, June 3, 1839.
David Small, March 30, 1839.
George Upp, Jr., July 3, 1841.
David Small, May 5, 1843.
Michael Hay, April 3, 1849.
John J. Cochran, September 35, 1850.
David Small, March 30, 1857.
Alexander J. Frey. April 5, 1861.
Jonathan Jessop, July 13, 1865.
James Kell, February 19, 1884.

Within the recollecUon of the oldest citi-
zens, the office was kept at the following
places: near Jonathan Owen's Corner; in the
honse of Mrs. Griffith, adjoining the National
Hotel; in a house where the court house now
stands; at McGrath' s Hotel, now Rupp's
Corner; in a house on present site of Trinity
•ehm-chyard; in a stone house, now the site
of K J. Miller's clothing store, in the room
HOW occupied by H. C. Adams as a book-
store; in the room now occupied by Alex
Fissel as a store room, and the present loca-

Andrew Johnston, the postmaster, was
wounded at the battle of Paoli, under Gen.

David Small, first appointed in 1839, was
the lirst newspaper man in tlie United States
who held the office of postmaster. He re-
ceived the appointment three times.

Jonathan Jessop held the office the longest,
meai'ly nineteen years,


There are few towns or cities in this coun-
try with a volunteer lire department equal to
that of the borough of York. There are
aow four companies, each with a large
membership. Four elegant and commodious
engine-houses stand as monuments of the
enterprise of our people. The beautiful
steam-engines are the property of each com-
pany, and all other equipments are surpass-
ingly good and complete. On many occasions
within the past twenty years these companies
have checked the progress of fire, which,
without them, might have destroyed much
valuable property.

Tlie Sun Fire Company. — There are no
records by which it can for a certainty be
determined when the first fire company was
organized in York, but, doubtless, the first
on© that ever did any effective service was the
"Sun Fire Company," formed April 3, 1772.
According to the minute book of this company,
now in possession of S. H. Spangler, its

object was for " better [neserving our own
and fellow townsmen's House, Goods and
Effects from Fire." Each member was to
supply " at his own proper expense, one
Leathern Bucket, one Bag and one conven-
ient Basket; the Bag to be made of good
Osenbrigs (Osnaburgs) or wider linen, where-
of each Bag shall contain two yards at least,
and shall have a running string at mouth, '
which said Buckets, Bags and Baskets shall
be marked with our names respectively and
Company, and shall be kept ready at hand
and applied to no other use than preserving
our own and fellow townsmen's Houses, Goods
and Effects in case of fire."

Each member in default of the above was
fined one shilling. If any of the apparatus
was lost, it was supplied out of the funds of
the company. A part of their duty was to
save the property and carry it in their bags
and baskets to a place of safety, and detail
one of their number to watch it till the
owners could claim and care for it. A fine of
one shilling was imposed upon every member
absenting himself or failing to bring "Buck-
et. Bag and Basket " on the occasion of a fire
in any part of the " town of York." Each
member in turn in order of their subscription
was to serve as clerk and president. He was
also fined " five shillings " for neglect of any

The original members were Michael
Swoope, John Shultz, Michael Hahn, Jacob
Doudle, Baltzer Spangler, Frederick House-
man, Henry Walter, John Hay, George
Stake, David Candler, Peter Dinkle, George
Moul, Michael Welsh, Henry Miller, John
Morris, Valentine Lees, Michael Welder,
Rudolph Spangler, Michael Graybill, nearly
every one of whom became soldiers of the
Revolutionary war. Jacob Doudel was
elected the first treasurer, and received funds
to the amount of £1 -Is 6d. of which amount
7s (3J was a donation from Samuel Edie,
Esq. A "water-engine" was purchased in
August, 1772, and a house was built for it in
1773. This engine had a side lever gallery,
and was supplied by means of buckets, as
hose was then unknown.

The Hand in Hand was another company
in existence in 1773. Jacob Shultz of this
company was provided with a key to the old
German Reformed Church, so as to be able to
give an alarm by ringing the church bell in ease
of fire. A fire occurred in York in June, 1773,
at which the companies did good service, and
another in Bottstown in December of the
same year.

The Pennsylvania Herald mentions a de-
structive tire which occurred in 1797, and



states that the " fire-engiae was kept in con-
tinual exercise in extinguishing the flames."
The people were arranged in two lines, and
passed the tire buckets full up one line and
empty down the other.

The Laurel Fire Company. — This com-
pany, now almost one hundred years old, was
organized at the bouse of Henry Miller, Feb-
ruary 13, 1790. It was a bucket company,
each member was required to furnish his own
bucket, on which was painted his name, with
the design of a hand grasping a laurel wreath;
around the bucket were painted the words,
"Laurel Fire Company, 1790." They were
to be used only for the purposeof extinguish-
ing hres. After the adoption of this style of
a bucket, Messrs. George Stuck, Jacob Small,
Philip Waltemyer and Frederick Laumaster,
were appointed to make lire ladders and hooks.

A meeting was held March 1, 1790, for the
election of officers, resulting in the choice of
Henry Miller, chairman; Andrew Billmeyer,
treasurer; John Lukens, clerk; and Jacob
Welshans, keeper of the engine. September
6, of the same year, a committee was ap-
pointed to purchase material to make tire lad-
ders for the company. March 5, 1792, the
same officers were again selected. Daring
the succeeding years to 1797, the meetings
were held at the house of Mr. Mulerart, at one
of which tifteen members were fined for not
working their engine at a fire, which occurred
August, 1795.

The next meeting was held July 8, 1797,
when Joseph Welshaus, David Cassatt, Ralph
Bowie, John Stroman, John Fisher, Jr., were
appointed a committee to revise the rules of
the company. By this revision the member-
ship was increased to sixty. It was compulsory
for each member to have the rules placed in
his house, near by to his bucket and basket.
In the year 1798, an engine was built for the

On March 7, 1803, Jacob Barnitz was elect-
ed president, and John Fisher, Jr., secre-
tary. In February, 1816, the company was
reorganized. Col. George Spangler, at whose
house the meeting was held, became presi-
dent, and D. Heckert. secretary; George
Spangler, Ralph Bowie, Peter Small, Dr.John
Rouse, Peter Wilt, Samuel Weiser, staif-
men; George Small, Jacob Rudy, Jacob Law-
master, Michael Emich, axmen; William
Rees, Daniel Fogelsgesang, Thomas Baum-
gartner, Adam Lightner, John Lehman, Jacob
Lehman, William Spangler, Jacob Spangler,
Peter Reigier, Jacob May, John Miller, Jacob
Heckert, Jr., Joseph Updegraif, hook, ladder
and roof men; Christian Lanius, Henry Small,
Jesse Hines, spoutmen.

The' following was then unanimously

Resolved, That the last Saturday in each and
every month be assigned to examine into the state
and make trial of the engine.

Martin Weiser, George Heckert, Christian
Rupp, Jacob Cramer, Jacob Rudy, Frederick
Younce, were property guards.

In 18-10, Dr. Alexander Small, president
of the Laurel, and others, petitioned the legis-
lature for an act of incorporation, to exist for
fifteen years. A charter was granted by the
court in 1874. In 1840 an engine was pur-
chased from the Humane Fire Company of
Philadelphia. It was brought from Phila-
delphia to Columbia on the railroad, and
from thence to York, drawn by horses
on the turnpipe. The late Charles A. Morris
was president from 1850 to 1854. In 1855
a large bell was purchased of the Good Will
Fire Company of Philadelphia. It rang out
an alarm of a destructive fire on October 8,
1856; the bell was recast next year. The
uniform of the company at that time, con-
sisted of black bats, six inches high with a
rim three inches wide, cap with the name of
the company on it, and date of incorporation.
In 1868 a new uniform was adopted. Under
the presidency of Erastus H. Weiser, the
steam-engine, " Old Suz," was purchased and
arrived at York. May 11. In 1870, Michael
Edwards, one of the original members of the
company, visited York. A gold-headed cane
was presented him by the Laurel, Hon. John
Gibson making the presentation speech. Mr.
Edwards died at his home in West Virginia,
in 1876, at an advanced age.

The first headquarters of the company was
on the corner owned by P. A. & S. Small,
next the corner now owned by Jere Carl;
from thence moved in 1840 to the engine
house on South Duke Street, which was re-
modeled in 1856, and used until 1878, when
the present engine house, an honor to the
borough, and the pride of the members of the
company, was built, and its first occupancy
celebrated with imposing ceremonies. The
presidents of this company of late years in
order of succession have been Charles W.
Myers, James B. Ziegler and William H.

The Vigilant. — The exact date of the
organization of this company is not known,
but enough has been gathered for its mem-
bers to claim that it had its birth between
1778 and 1781, and that it was first called
the Union Fire Company. Soon after its
organization a hand engine, built by Richard
Mason of Philadelphia, was procured.

It was a side-lever engine, and threw its


water, which was supplied by buckets, direct
from the gallery. Repairs were made to it
sometime between the date of purchase and
1791, by the employes of Elisha Kirk, and in
1796 repairs were again made and improve-
ments added to it by Jonathan Jessop.

The first change in the name of the "Union"
was that ordered December 11, 1816, from
which date it bore the title of the "York Vigi-
lant Fire Company,'' and Philip Smyser was
chosen its president. During the great flood
of 1817, the records of the company which
were kept in Jonathan Jessop's house on the
west side of the Codorus Creek, were lost.
The engine was kept at this date and until
1834, on the south side of West Market Street,
between Water Street and Codorus. after
which time it was located on the north side of
Market Street and the west side of the Co-
dorus a short distance from its present posi-
tion which last was occupied in April, 1871.

In 1839 it was reorganized and a constitu-
tion and by-laws adopted. On February 6,

1842, application was made for a charter to
the Court of Common Pleas, which was grant-
ed on April 7, 1842, under the name of the
"York Vigilant Fire Company." A new
engine was wanted. For this purpose the
burgesses donated $1,000 and the committee
appointed for the purpose procured one from
John Agnew, of Philadelphia, for the sum of
$1,120. This went into service in October,

1843, and the old "Mason"' after sixty years
use in York, was sold to the people of Dover,
York County, where it still remains. The
first alarm Isell was purchased of Jones &
Hitchcock, of Troy, N. Y., at a cost of
1223.20 and rang its first call to service on
Saturday morning. June 7, 1853.

In 18ri6, the engine was rebuilt by John
Agnew, who placed upon it the handsome
silver-plated gallery and side badges, which
had been purchased of the Vigilant Engine
Company of Philadelphia. This engine is
still retained by the company.

In 1867 the first steps toward a steam fire
department were taken, and in 1868 Button
& Son, of Waterford, N. Y., built to the order
of the company a steamer at a cost of $3, 500.
In 1868, by order of court, the name was
changed to Vigilant S. F. E. Co., No. 1. In
1870 the present building was occupied and
a new alarm bell weighing 2,200 pounds and
costing $900 was placed in position. The
cost of building exclusive of the ground on
which it stands was $7,199.58. The expense
of furnishing the parlors of the company
was borne by the members themselves. The
spider was purchased from C. F. Hartshorne,
of New York, at a cost of $450, and it went

: into service in January, 1878, becoming the
property of the company by having been
purchased with funds in the treasury of the
company. The Button Crane Neck carriage of
the company, built by L. Button & Son, was
purchased for $600, and went into service,
April 14, 1879.

October, 1880, the company celebrated its
centennial anniversary, which was the occa-
sion of a jubilee, and street parade in con-
nection with the other companies of the
town and the Humane Company, of Norris-
town, Penn. July 1883, the company having
in view the introduction of the fire alarm
telegraph, had the first alarm station erected
on the flag staff in Center Square, to connect
with a large gong on their engine house,
During the flood of June 26, 1884, the water
reached the depth of nine feet on the first
floor of the engine house completely sub-
merging the apparatus, which was damaged
and everything movable swept away. After
the flood had receded, the engine was put to
pumping water out of the flooded buildings,
remaining in service 118 consecutive hours,
a work rarely accomplished by a steam tire

October 15, 1884, the steamer of the com-
pany purchased of L. Button & Son, in 1868,
was taken out of service for repairs. March 3,
1885 the new engine was purchased for $4,-
000, of the Button Fire Engine Company, of
Watertown, N. Y. Friday evening, March
6, 1885, the company celebrated the recep-
tion of the new steamer by a banquet at the
Eyster House. The company equipments
consist of a dark blue flannel shirt, black
frock overcoat, with blue flannel lining, a
black patent leather belt with white binding,
with the name Vigilant in white letters on a
red background, a New York style of hat,
black, a nickle shield, with "Vigilant S. F.
E. Co.." and a figure "1" in the center.

The following named persons have been
president ef this company from the date of
its organization to 1885:

Elisha Kirk, John Hay, Jesse Spangler,
Philip Smyser, Martin Ziegler, George Wag-
ner, Jonathan Jessop, Charles A. Morris,
Benjamin Beitzel, Joseph Morris, Charles
Hahn, George Philip Zeigler, Henry Ebert,
Michael Doudel, Jacob Smyser, Jacob Baylor,
Frederick Baugher, Isaac Garretson. Will-
iam Sayres, Michael Eppley, Daniel Kraber,
Daniel Motter, David F. Williams, Henry
A. Hantz, Jere Carl, William A. Stahle,
Daniel Heckert, George J. Chalfant, Edward
Stuck, L. T. Deininger.

The honorary life members have been
Jere Carl, Jacob Strine, Frederick Zorger,


Daniel Heckert, E. G. Smyser, Charles Hahn,
Henry A. Hantz. Alonzo A. Shultz, Henry
Smalibrook, Alexander Strickler.

The Union.— On the 2l8t of May, 1855. a
meeting was held in the business office of
Small & Smyser, now the Variety Iron
Works, for the purpose of organizing a fire
company in the northern part of York. Dr.
Alexander Small was chosen president of
this meeting. The amount of $865.50 was
raised. John Nevin, George W. Ilgenfritz
and Dr. Small were selected as a committee
to purchase a suction engine from Rodgers
& Sons, of Baltimore, for $1,200. It was
brought to York in September of the same
year. After long and valuable use this
engine was sold to the borough of Philips-
burg, Center County, for $800. Thomas E.
Cochran, John Nevin and George M. Shetter
framed a constitution and by-laws, and the
organization was named the " Union Fire
Company." Upon receiving a charter, the
following named officers were chosen: Presi-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 115 of 218)