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

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dent. Hon. Thomas E. Cochran; vice-presi-
dent, George A. Heckert; secretary, George
M. Shetter; treasurer, George W. Ilgen-
fritz; directors, John Eppley, Charles
Collars, Gates J. Weiser, George Upp and
A. J. Dick. A uniform hat for the firemen
was adopted by the company, May 29, 1857.
It was ultra-marine blue. On the 4th of
July, 1857, the Union participated in a
parade and celebration at Chambersburg.
Penn., by a special invitation of the Frank-
lin Fire Company of that borough. At the
out-break of the civil war, many of the mem-
bers entered the Union army; the engine
house became a recruiting office, and the
company had no regular organization until
November 2, 1865, when George A. Heckert
was chosen president; A. B. Farquhar, vice-
president; J. W. Schall, treasurer, and C. H.
Stallman, secretary. A bell was purchased
in 1868 for $168. During the same year a
uniform for the members was adopted. It
consisted of black pants, white shirt and
black slouch hat; in August of the same
year, changed to a green shirt, black pants,
white belt, white necktie and navy cap. The
first festival of the Union was held in No-
vember, 1868, at which $210 were cleared.
A steam tire engine was purchased of Jucket
& Freeman, of Massachusetts, October 18,
1870, at a cost of $3,200. In September,
1876, the company participated in the tire-
men's centennial parade, in Philadelphia.
In 1882 the present engine house was built
on the site of the late George Heckert's resi-
dence on North George Street, nearly oppo-
site the old engine house. It is a large.

beautiful and ornamental structure. The
height of tower is 110 feet, and weight of
alarm belt 2,066 pounds. The entire cost of
the building was $6,590. The following is
a list of the presidents of the company in
order of succession together with the date of

Thomas E. Cochran, 1855; George A. Heck-
ert, 1865; Charles H. Stalleman, 1866; James
Kell, 1868; I. W. G. Weirman, 1869; Mi-
chael Stambaugh, 1870; O. P. Weiser, 1872;
J. P. Madsen, 1874; W. H. P^odenhouse,
1875; George W. Cole, 1880; B. C. Pentz,

The Rescue. — This company was organized
in 1872. The tii-st meetings of the company
were held in the basement of a brick building
on South George Street, near the corner of
East College Avenue, then occupied as a
green grocery. At this meeting John Immel
was elected president and W. H. Schwartz,
secretary. The school directors seeing the
necessity of an additional fire company for
the better protection of public and private
property, in the fast growing south end of
town, kindly granted the use of the public
school building on South Duke Street, in
which the fourth meeting of the company was
held. At this meeting, George Graybill was
elected secretary, and the organization of the
company perfected. The company soon after
rented and remodeled an old one-story frame
cooper shop on East South Street, near George

A committee of the company asked the Town
Council for the use of a hose cart, formerly
the property of the Kesolution Fire Company,
and for several links of the hose, then in
possession of the Vigilant Fire Company.
The committee's request was granted. A
steamer manufactured by Cole Bros., Paw-
tucket, R. I., was next purchased and arrived
in York on the 22d day of February, 1873,
within a year from the organization of the
company. The Laurel Fire Company kindly
received and took charge of the engine until
after it had been tested, examined and ap-
proved by the company. With the addition
of a hose carriage and hose and other auxili-
aries necessary for the proper equipment of
a fire company, the old cooper shop was
becoming too much crowded, and the boys
were cramped for room. A lot was purchased
by the company on South George Street, and
the handsome and commodious three-story
brick engine house now occupied by the
company built thereon.

The equipment consists of a fourth-class
Cole Bros, steamer, one crane-neck hose car-
riage,spider and about 1,200 feet of good leath-



er hose. The uniform consists of black pants,
blue shirt with blue shield and white figure
4, white New York style fire hat, white leather
belt, white necktie and gloves and dark blue
overcoat with brass buttons. They have a
splendidly furnished parlor in which the
members take great pride.

The following is a list of the presidents of
the Rescue with date of election:

T. Kirk White, 1872; M. L. Van Baman,
1875; T. Kirk White, 1876; George Graybill,
1883 ; Albert Bishop. 1885. The following is
a list of the secretaries:

W. F. Eicher, 1872; George Graybill, 1873;
John Swartz, 1875; Jacob A. Mayer, 1876;
Albert Bishop, 1877; John Swartz, 1880; C.
F. Horner, 1882; William H. Hibner, 1884.


York is now known as a manufacturing
town of great importance, a feature given to
it largely through the enterprising spirit of
many of her citizens within the past third of
a century. It is impossible to note all the
manufacturing enterprises which have ex-

Maj. William Bailey, the gallant soldier
of the Revolution, made copper stills in
abundance in York, a century ago. There
was then great demand for them. Gen.
Michael Doudel, Jacob Doudel and John
Welsh, of the same period, had tanneries.
John Fisher, Elisha Kirk and Godfrey Len-
hart made the old style clocks. Charles Bar-
nitz had a brewery; John Wahl owned a dis-
tillery; a half dozen gunsmiths and silver-
smiths complete the list of manufacturers in
the town during the Revolutionary period.

Phineas Davis and James Webb, in 1819,
started the first large iron foundry and fur-
nace in York. It was located on the corner of
Newberry and King Streets. A full descrip-
tion of this will be found in an article in this
book on the " Early Iron Industries of York
County." They employed quite a number of

The railroad company's shops, near the
depot, continued there for a quarter of a
■century, and then were removed to Baltimore,
ligenfritz & White did a large business in
the manufacture of railroad cars, at the foot
of Beaver Street. On the same site Michael
Schall, who built and owns the Empire Car
Works, has manufactured cars in large num-
bers within the past twenty years.

The Billmyer & Small Company, founded
by H. Small & Sons in 1847, and changed to
Billmyer & Small in 1857, began that year
to manufacture cars, and have since con-
tinued, regularly employing a great many

men. They recentlv built large works in
East York.

David E. Small, a great-great-grandson of
Lorenz, great-grandson of Killian, grandson
of Joseph, and son of Henry Small, was born
December 3, 1824, and died March 25, 1883.
He was one of the most enterprising and
public spirited men that York has known.
At the age of thirteen, he left York County
Academy, and entered the store of his fa-
ther's cousins, P. A. & S. Small, and became
one of the family of Samuel Small. He rose
from one position to another, and under the
protecting care and wise counsel of his em-
ployers, soon learned the important principles
of a prosperous business career. In 1845 he
eugaged with his father in the lumber busi-
ness, and two years later the firm became H.
Small & Sons. In 1852, he entered into a
partnership with Charles Billmyer, for
the manufacture of railway cars in York,
at which business they greatly prospered. In
1853, while conducting a gentleman through
the shops, his clothing caught in rapidly
revolving machinery, from which accident
he lost his right arm. He, however, resumed
business in a few weeks. Upon the death of
Mr. Billmyer, the firm became The Billmyer
& Small Co., and Mr. Small was its presi-
dent. He became a prominent stockholder
in the Pennsylvania Railroad, and in 1874
was appointed on a special committee to ex-
amine and report the condition of that road
and all its branches. He was elected presi-
dent of the First National Bank of York, in
1867, and continued as such until December,
1876. Mr. Small was an earnest and consistent
advocate of temperance, and wielded a pow-
erful influence for good in any cause or
enterprise he supported. He tilled a great
many responsible positions, and had a won-
derful faculty for the transaction of business.
He was chosen president of the York
Gas Company, director in the York Water
Company, director in the Lochiel &
Wrightsville Iron Works, a member of the
York School Board, trustee of the York
County Academy, Collegiate Institute, Or-
phan's Home and York Hospital, and presi-
dent of the Y. M. C. A. of York. In the
year 1876, his nervous system gave way and
from that time to his death he never fully
recovered his health. He was an active mem-
ber of the Presbyterian Church.

The York Rolling mill was established in
the winter of 1868, by Jacob Jamison, Hon.
F. H. Hughes, C. M. Nes and Henry Kra-
ber, the last two gentlemen being residents
of York. In 1869 the company was char-
tered by the State as the York County Iron





Company, with W. W. Wickea, president; L
T. Rossiter, secretary and treasurer, and
Henry Kraber, vice-president and superin-
tendent. The works were then enlarged,
with the intention of making steel rails,
which was changed to the manufacture of
steel, bar and car iron, the business subse-
quently being chiefly the manufacture of
rails with steel top, which business did not
prosper, and the works were for a number
of years idle. In March, 1881, Samuel
Treseott, M. S. Shuman and J. W. Steacy
bought the works from the Farmers Mutual
Insurance Company, and commenced opera-
tion. Treseott sold his interest the same
year to M. Schall, the firm being the Schall
Steacy & Co. They manufactured muck bars
or puddle iron, and subsequently manufact-
ured bar iron, supplying the car shops and
the trade through the Baltimore markets.
In October, 1881, Mr. Shuman sold his inter-
est to John Q. Denney, of Harrisburg, and
the present firm of Schall, Steacey & Denney
was founded. They remodeled the works,
■enlarging and adding a number of furnaces
and new machinery, and are now making
plate iron exclusively. The firm is in a
prosperous condition, and employ about 200
hands on full time. They finish 900 tons of
finished iron monthly, and ()50 tons of pud-
dling iron per month.

Wambaugh's Agricultural Works, a dozen
or more years ago, were an important indus-
try in West York.

The York Manufacturing Company, near
the corner of Penn and Market Streets, was
established in 1874, by a stock company. In
1878 Jacob Loucks became president; G. W.
S. Loucks, secretary, and John Flook,
superintendent. In 1881 the entire business
passed into the hands of Jacob Loucks &

The organ factory, in East York, is now
•quite a prominent industry, and large num-
bers of them are sold. J. O. Weaver has
been in the business since 1873.

There are a number of large carriage man-
ufactories,among them those of Phineas Palm-
er, Charles H. Neff, Ales Spangler, Dick
& Rodenhouse, D. P. Frank, etc.

The shoe factory, now owned by W. H. Sou-
der, employs from fifty to seventy- five work-

The York Whip Company was started in
1879, by John H. Wellensick and Henry M.

Heffner & Seachrist, cigar-box manufac-
turers, began in 1877 what has since devel-
oped into a large business.

Root & Case, for more than a third of a

century, prospered in the manufacture of
I weighing- scales, the only establishment of the
kind in southern Pennsylvania.

The Baltimore Condensed Milk Company,
I located a short distance north of the borough,
I started business in 1863. It was owned by
William Numsen & Sons, Baltimore. The
establishment has lately been used for can-
ning fruits.

The Variety Iron Works were established
in the year 1840, when Elisha Geiger and
Samuel Bechtol formed a co-partnership and
' conducted a business of manufacturing iron
I into artistic forma, on a small scale. The
I location of their shops was on part of the
I present site of the extensive Variety Iron
I Works, of I'ork, so familiar to the people of
I the town and county. In 1846 Dr. Alexander
Small succeeded Mr. Geiger. Mr. Bechtol
I died in 1853, and E. G. Smyser then became
j associated with Dr. Small, under the firm
I name of Small & Smyser. In 1862 Dr.
: Small died, and Mr. Smyser became sole
j proprietor. The original works covered only
a small area, but the continual enlargement
of the business, required frequent additions
and improvements. Large and convenient
brick buildings were erected, containing all
necessary facilities for improved manufacture,
until now the entire works cover an area of
five acres of land. It is at present recog-
nized as one of the important iron establish-
ments of the State of Pennsylvania, and is
in continual operation, even under the most
depressing times in financial circles and in
the business interests of the country. The
employes of this establishment are always
kept regularly at work. The best facilities
are afforded for the manufacture of various
kinds of artistic ornaments and practical de-
signs. The different departments are con-
nected with one another by narrow-guage
railroad tracks, so as to do work with the
j greatest dispatch, and economy of expense
1 and labor. They manufacture machinery of
[ various kinds, builders' iron columns, stair-
cases, window caps and sills, iron railings,
wrought beams, vases, fountains, iron build-
ings, mill work and machinery, etc., and
make a specialty of architectural and orna-
, mental iron work. In all the departments
about 130 men have been employed regularly
for the past ten years, many of whom are
skilled artisans, requiring a monthly dis-
bursement of nearly $5,000 for wages. No
establishment has done more to increase the
reputation of York as a manufacturing cen-
ter than the Variety Iron Works. For sev-
eral years past Mr. Smyser has had associ-
ated with him in business his three sons.


George P., Henry M. and James A. Smyser.
In 1877 he located a branch house in Balti-
more, for the sale of his valuable manufac-
tured products. It is now under the man
agement of his youngest son, James A. Smy

Casper Loucks started business in 1875
and now owns the famous Eagle Pop Works
on South George Street.

Theodore B. Helb owns a brewery on
the corner of King and Queen Streets, which
has lately been enlarged.

Nes',now Kurtz's Brewery and Malt Works
have long been in operation.

J. Busser & Sons' Soap Factory was started
by John Busser in 1S47.

A variety of turbine water wheels have been
and are now manufactured in York, which
have had a large sale.

The paper mill now owned by Jere Horton,
originated more than a century ago. In 1817
when owned by Philip King it was partly
injured by the flood of that year; a large
amount of tine quality foolscap and note
paper has been made at this establishment
since its origin.

Chains are manufactured by two or three
different firms; John C. Schmidt,; in East
York, makes them quite extensively.

A very important and valuable industry is
that of Frey, Motter & Co., manufacturers of
steam engines, boilers, etc. Enos Frey, the
senior member of this tirm, is now largely en-
gaged in the milling business flint works
near York, and the slate mines in Peach
Bottom. He started the business of manu-
facturing engines, etc., in 1845, in connection
with Frederick Baugher. His present part-
ners are George F. Motter and Jacob Reichly.
They have manufactured machinery in im-
mense quantities. A few years ago a large
iron steamboat for the Madeira River, in
South America, was made in their shops. It
was shipped in parts. Mr. Enos Frey,
a native of York, is a practical machinist,
and has met with gi'eat prosperity in his

The Foundry, Machine Shops and Tannery
of Baugher, Kurtz & Stewart are among the
most important and valuable manufacturing
industries of York. Frederick Baugher,
who recently died at an advanced age,
purchased the grounds in 1832; there was
then a tannery on the site. The foundry and
machine shops were built about 1856 by
George F, Baugher. The tannery business
was then in the hands of W. H. Kurtz. The
present works are a valuable acquisition to
York, on account of the number of employes
required to run them.

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Works
! which have grown gradually, until they are
now among the most important manufactur-
I ing industries of Pennsj-lvania, are located
j on North Duke Street, and cover an area of
I four acres. A great variety of agricultural
I machinery is made here, and shipped to all
parts of the Union, and very esteusivly man-
ufactured for foreign trade. From 200 to
400 workmen are employed, thus making it a
very valuable enterprise to the town of

A. B. Farquhar, the proprietor of these large
works, was born in Maryland, in 1837. He
came to York in 1855, and was in the employ
1 of Dingee & Co., then the largest manufact-
urers of agricultural implements in York;
1 at the expiration of three years he became a
I partner. The works were destroyed by lire
in 1861, but were immediately rebuilt, and in
1862, Mr. Farquhar became sole proprietor.
j His prosperity continued until 1875, when the
j establishment was again almost burned down.
I The actual loss was about $100,000 to the
enterprising proprietor, who, with his charac-
teristic energy, had them rebuilt at once and
has since continued his business on a still
more extended scale with unabated prosperity.
Mr. Farquhar superintends the minutest
details of his business with wonderful skill.
The firm of P. A. & S. Small, since its
establishment in 1833, has been very promi-
nently identified with the business and man-
ufacturing interests of York. "Small's Store"
is a familiar name not only in York and this
county, but throughout southern and eastern
Pennsylvania. This firm since 1840 has
purchased a very large percentage of the
grain raised in York County, and manufact-
ured choice brands of flour in large quanti-
ties. The original members of this tirm were
Philip A. and Samuel Small, both of whom
j are now deceased. They had one other
! brother. Dr. Alexander Small, who was also a

public spirited and enterprising man.

I Philip Albright Small and Samuel Small

! were descendants from the prolific stock of

j Lorenz Schmall, a German emigrant to

America from the middle Palatinate in the

year 1743. Lorenz Schmall settled in what is

now Hellam Township, about six miles east of

York. His family consisted of four sons and

two daughters, the eldest of whom — Kill-

ian — settled in the town of York, where he

begat seven sons, viz. : Jacob, John, George,

Joseph, Peter, Michael and Henry.

George Small married Anna Maria, a
daughter of Philip Albright, an officer
in the Revolutionary army, whose sword
remains in the possession of the family.



He had four children: Cassandra, Philip
Albright, Samuel and Alexander.

George Small became a carpenter, and as-
sisted his brother Peter in building the
Lutheran Church and spire, still standing in
South George Street. In 1809, he bought
for $1,300, the property at the corner of
East Main Street and Center Square in the
borough of York, where, subsequently, he
went into business with his sons, and where
that business has been continued to the
present day.

Philip Albright Small, eldest son of
George, commenced his business life in the
employ of Shulz, Konig & Co., of Balti-
more, who had an extensive hardware and
grocery trade throughout the South. For
this firm he made collections, traveling on
horse back through Virginia, the Carolinas,
northern Georgia and Alabama, Tennessee
and Kentucky, returning from Cincinnati by
boat and stage. He often told, in after life,
of reaching Cincinnati on one of these trips,
to find that a bank, whose notes formed a
large part of his collections, had become ut-
terly insolvent during his absence beyond
all sources of information.

In 1821 he entered into the hardware
business with his father, on the corner of
East Market Street and Center Square, under
the tirm name of George Small & Son, which
was afterward changed to George Small &
Sons, on the second son, Samuel, becoming a

In 1833 George Small, desiring to retire
from business, sold out his interest to his
sons, and then, on July 1, 1833, the firm
of P. A. & S. Small began and has ever since
continued its honorable career on "Small's
Corner," without blot or stain, without "pro-
test" or "extension," without any interrup-
tion of its prosperity, or any shadow on its

In 1838, the completion of the Baltimore &
Susquehanna Railroad, from Baltimore to
York, enabled the firm to commence a grain
business, buying and shipping to Baltimore
large quantities, which has since enlarged
into an extensive flour manufacturing and
shipping business, with Eio Janeiro and
other South American ports.

In 1838, the iron manufacture, then grow-
ing in importance, was commenced by the
firm, first at Manor, York County, then at
Sarah Furnace, Harford County, Md. ; and af-
terward at Ashland, Baltimore County, Md.,
where, with Messrs. E. & J. Patterson, they
erected their furnaces.

The high credit always enjoyed by Messrs.
P. A. & S. Small, made the firm for many

years the depositoiy of large sums of money
"on call," left with them especially by the
farmers from whom they made their purchases
of grain; the amount of cash thus deposited
with them ran up as high as $250,000, and this
continued mitil the firm, owing to the decreas-
ing value of money and rates of interest, de-
clined any longer to receive deposits.

Philip A. Small devoted his attention
principally to the management of the out-
door business of the firm. The mills, farms,
ore-banks, and furnaces were under his su-
pervision. He was always a firm believer in the
value of real estate, and much of the large
amount of land owned by the firm, was
bought at his instance. In all matters con-
nected with agriculture he was an expert,
and recognized as an authority. One of the
originators of the York County Agricultural
Society and one of its board of managers, he
was deeply interested in the promotion of
scientific argriculture.

He was a man of singularly genial dispo-
sition, of most pleasing and agreeable man-
ners, and yet withal of great personal dig-
nity. He was peculiarly charitable in his
judgments of the conduct of others. Of the
most absolute integrity and truthfulness him-
self, he could tolerate no falsehood or fraud
in any one, yet his kindly disposition made
him slow to condemn.

He was a man of broad and catholic views
on all public questions. In politics, he was
first a Whig and later a Kepublican.

A very sagacious business man, he occu-
pied many positions of trust in the various
corporations in which the firm was interested.
He was many years president of the York
County National Bank and York Gas Com-
pany; was a director and active promoter of
the Hanover & York Railroad Company; was
many years a director of the Northern Cen-
tral Railroad Company and the York AVater
Company, and president of Ashland Iron
Company. His counsel and assistance were
always sought, and never vainly, in every en-
terprise and undertaking for the advance-
ment of the public good.

He died on April, 3, 1875, leaving to sur-
vive him five daughters and three sons, who
now compose the firm of P, A. & S. Small,
viz. : George, William Latimer and Samuel,
the first named being one of the leading
business men of Baltimore.

Samuel Small, second son of George
Small, and Anna Maria, his wife, was born
in York on July 25, 1799. Like his
brother Philip, he commenced his business
career in the employ of Shulz, Konig & Co.,
of Baltimore, who, recognizing his ability.


sent him to Pittsburgh to open a branch store.
Here he made a new departure, by removing
his stock of goods to a flat-boat, which he
floated down the Ohio, stopping at points on
the river to make sales. He landed at Cin-
cinnati, rented a store, and put in it his
stock of goods. While engaged in business
in Cincinnati he received letters from his
father urging him to return to York.

In the year 1826 he returned to York,
having sold out his store in Cincinnati, and
engaged with the late George S. Morris in

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 116 of 218)