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

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the dry goods business where the building
occupied by the York County National
Bank now stands, which he continued until
his entry into the firm of George Small &
Sons, succeeded by the firm of P. A. & S.
Small, as already stated.

Mr. Small's time and attention were
mainly devoted to the financial departments
of the firm business, to the management of
which he was exceedingly well adajjted.

As a financier, he was shrewd, cautious,
and far-sighted, never led into foolish spec-
ulations by specious appearaaces, but in-
stictively distinguished the solid from the
the merely meretricious. He was acknowl-
edged to be the highest authority in this
community ou all financial matters.

On the death of the late William Coleman
Mr. Small became guardian of his two minor
children. The estate, though immensely
valuable, had been grossly mismanaged
when Mr. Small assumed control. So skill-
fully did he (with the aid of Artemus Wil-
helm, Esq.) whom he put in charge, manage
the estate, that on the arrival of the heirs at
twenty- one he turned over to each upward of
a million and a third of dollars, besides
their valuable ore lands; and for his years of
efficient service he made no charge what-

But it is in connection with his noble
charities that Mr. Small will be longest re-
membered in the community in which he
spent his life.

His hand was ever open to the appeal of
the poor and friendless. No worthy appli-
cant was ever turned away unaided. In
person and by trusted assistants he constantly
sought out the necessitous, in order to min-
ister to their necessities. A horse and con-
veyance was kept for the use of one of his
assistants in this work, in order that he
might more readily visit the poor, and
money was ever furnished to meet all de-

In connection with the late Charles A.
Morris and others, he founded the Children's
Home, of York, where fatherless and mother-

less, deserted and friendless children have
been cared for and educated, and afterward
followed into the world with his fatherly

The York Collegiate Institute was exclu-
sively founded and endowed by him. Here
he endeavored to found an institution where
the formation of individual christian chai -
acter would be the tirst aim. He endowed
it liberally, and provided a fund called the
"Coleman Scholarship Fund," to assist
young men in their preparatory studies for
the ministry.

He also, with others, established the York
Hospital and Dispensary, donating the build-
ing and ground, and subscribing liberally to
its support.

Early in life he united himself with his
father's — the German Reformed — church.
Later he became a member and ruling elder
in the Presbyterian Church; where, in
church, Sunday-school and prayer-meeting,
while in health, his seat was never vacant.

He died July 14, 1885. He occupied a
larger place in the public estimation, was
more loved and respected throughout the
community, has left in his death a greater
.vacancy, and been more missed than any
other individual in the community ever has
been or could be. The day of his interment
was observed by a general suspension of
business and a universal exhibition of grief „


For more than a century, York existed with-
out being lighted by the town authorities. In
front of many of the numerous old hotels
lanterns, containing tallow candles or lard,
were hung by the proprietor for the double
purpose of lighting the way of footmen and
inviting profitable customers. Saloons in the
basements were not so common then. In front
of the houses of some of the wealthy citizens,
lanterns were also placed. The inner apart-
ments of houses were lighted by tallow can-
dles, "fat- lamps," dshoil and sperm oil lamps.
The invention of manufacturing illuminating
gas from bituminous coal was made in the year
1792 by William Murdoch, of Cornwall, Eng-
land. In 1798 he successfully proved his ex-
periment by lighting a large foundry with
artificial gas. A great event in the history of
science was the illumination of the Lyceum
Theatre, London, in 1803, by which it was
first proven that the gas could be conveyed
in pipes from one point to another. The
first patent was obtained in 1804, and soon
after this event the large cities were publicly
lighted with gas.

On the 24th of January, 1849, an act was


passed incorporating the " York Gas Com-
pany." Dr. Alexander Small, Daniel Hart-
man, Dr. W. S. Roland, Edward G. Smyser,
Charles Weiser, William Wagner, Peter Mc-
Intyre, A. J. Glossbrenner, Thomas P. Potts,
Emerson Case, Dr. Luke Rouse, John Evans,
Thomas E. Cochran and Matthew Tyler were
the commissioners named in this act. July
3, 1849, Dr. Alexander Small was chosen
president of the company; Thomas P. Potts,
secretary and treasurer; A. J. Glossbrenner,
Samuel Wagner. John Evans, W. S. Roland
and Thomas E. Cochran, managers. A con-
tract was made with the Trenton Improve-
ment Company to build the works at a cost
of $23,000. The entire amount expended
was $35,000. The gas used until 1857 was
made from rosin. The capital stock of the
company at first was $20.000 — 400 shares at
$50 a share. The capital stock is now
$70,000. There are (1885) about 800 con-
sumers and 10,000,000 cubic feet of gas
are annvially burned in York.

The first superintendent of the works was
Samuel Crull, who was followed by Salmuel
Herman, Simon Kopp, John Schall and
Jacob L. Kuehn. The last-named gentleman
has occupied the position and performed its
duties with excellent ability since the year

Philip A. Small was for many years presi-
dent of the company, and was succeeded by
David E. Small, who served until his death,
when G. Edward Hersh, the present incum-
bent, was elected. The board of managers
are John A. Weiser (who has been treasurer
for nearly thirty years), 'William H.Kurtz,
Latimer Small, George S. Billmyer, John G.
Schmidt and Jacob L. Kuehn. Entirely new
works have been put up since 1868, at a cost
of $70,000, and during the summer of 1885
additional new works were erected in an
eligible spot, along the line of the Hanover
& York Railway, at a cost of $40,000. An
improved jDrocess of manufacturing gas has
been introduced.


The site of this delightfully -located bury-
ing place for the dead was, for nearly a cen-
tury, known as Willis' Woods, owned chron-
ologically by William, John and Samuel
Willis. A charter of incorporation was
granted, a company formed, and the ceme-
tery grounds purchased and laid out in 1859.
The remains of Capt. Enos Small were the
first to be therein interred. There are 10,000
bodies resting in this silent "city of the
dead." It is tastefully laid off, and con-
tains many fine and artistically-made monu-

ments. The one near the entrance gate,
dedicated to the memory of the lamented
dead who lost their lives during the civil war,
was placed there largely through the infiuence
and exertion of some patriotic ladies of York.
To the south side of the cemetery rest the
remains of Philip Livingstone, a signer of
the declaration of Independence, from New
York State, who died while congress was
in session in York. His remains were first
interred in the graveyard adjoining the Re-
formed Church. They were taken to the
cemetery soon after it was laid out, and a
monument erected to his memory by Stephen
Van Renselear, his grandson. Toward the
west end of the grounds is the tomb of the
late Jeremiah S. Black, the distinguished
jurist, publicist and statesman.

This cemetery, which now covers an area
of seventy-five acres, is well taken care of by
Mr. Morningstar.


Among the social institutions of York
worthy of notice is the York Club. The fol-
lowing is abstracted from a sketch delivered
at its twenty-fifth anniversary by William
H. Jordan, treasurer since its commencement
to the present time:

In 1857, a few young men, who were accus-
tomed to congregate at the "Old W^ashington
House," established this club. A room was
selected on the second floor of Hartman's
Building, and the following-named per-
sons each subscribed $10 for the purpose of
furnishing the same, viz.: Dr. Alexander
Small, Dr. T. Tyrell, John Gibson, Dr.
Richard Dingee, W. H. Jordan, E. C. Eichel-
berger, J. Milton Bonham, J F. Rosenmiller,
D. W. Barnitz, F. A. Eichelberger, J. C. Jor-
dan, Peter Bentz, W. H. Strickler, Jacob Em-
mitt, Jr., and Jere Carl.

The first oiScers elected were: president,
Dr. Alexander Small; vice-president, John
Gibson; secretary, Jere Carl ; treasurer, W.
H. Jordan; executive committee, John Gib-
son, Peter Bentz and E. C. Eichelberger. Of
the original members, six have died. Three
have retained their membership uninter-
ruptedly to date, viz. : J. F. Rosenmiller, J.
C. Jordan and W. H. Jordan.

April 1, 1872, the quarters were removed
to the room which they now occupy in Centre

Two members of the club have been mem-
bers of congress, viz.: A. J-. Glossbrenner and
Levi Maish; four have served as members of
the senate and house of representatives of
Pennsylvania: W. H. Welsh, A. H. Glatz,
Levi Maish and G. W. Heiges — Mr. Welsh


being chosen speaker of the senate in 1858;
Channcey F. Black has recentl}' been elected
lieutenant-governor of this State; John Gib-
son was elected and served as a member of
the State constitutional convention of 1873,
and in 1881 was elected additional law judge
for York County, which position he now
holds; W. C. Chapman, J. "W. Bittenger,
and John Blackford, have each held the posi-
tion of district attorney of York County; W.
H. Welsh, secretary of the American legation
at the court of St. James, under Hon. James
Buchanan; Jere Carl, chief-burgess of York;
James A. Schall, cashier of York County
National Bank; G. E. Hersh, president of
York National Bank, and Farmers Fire In-
surance Company; David Strickler, secretary
of Farmers Fire Insiu-ance Company; N. F.
Burnham, president of York Opera House
Association; E W. Spangler, secretary of the
same, and now editor of the York Daily ; W. S.
Koland, president York County Agricultural
Society; A. H.Glatz and E. Chapin, secretaries
of the same; -Horace Bonham, United States as-
sessor; M. S. Eichelberger, J. W. Bittenger, J.
W. Latimer, W. F. Bay Stewart and Daniel
K. Trimmer, borough attorneys; H. H. Car-
ter, superintendent Middle Division Penn-
sylvania Railroad; H. E. Passmore, assistant
supervisor Northern Central Railroad; John
K. Gross, agent of the same at York, and
Alexander Wentz, treasurer of York County.
The fame of Edward Havilland as an archi-
tect is widely known. Thirteen have given
their services to their country in the late war,
viz. : Ivevi Maish, John Schall, A. E. Lewis,
J. Emmitt, Jr., Henry W. Spangler, A. H.
Glatz, H. S. McNair, W. H. Lanius, E. R.
Herr, E. W. Spangler, Charles Fox, John M.
Young and O. K. Harris. Tbe club itself, in
the emergency caused by the invasion of
Gen. Lee in 1862. formed a company called
the Keystone Guards, and under the leader-
ship of John Gibson, as captain, was fully
equipped, mustered into the service of the
State, and was ready to march to its defense.
They were detained at York by a dispatch
from Gov. Curtin, and when the emergency
ended were disbanded.

The visitors of the club include some of
the most prominent men of the country, viz.:
Govs. Hoyt, Hartranft. and Curtin, of Penn-
sylvania; Cochran and Stenger, members of
congress; Coms. Wells and Gibson, of the
United States navy; Gens. Kilpatrick, Gib-
son and Small, of the United States army;
Judges Jere S. Black, Pere L. Wickes, and
R. J. Fisher, members of the Grand Lodge
of F. & A. M. of Pennsylvania; Capt. J.
M. Marshall, of the regular army, and Lieut.

Reeder, of the navy; Col. Devin and other
officers of the New York Sixth Cavalry; Col.
J. M. Riely, of Winchester, Va. ; Gilmore
Hoffman and H. W. Corner, of Baltimore,
Md. The late Dr. George Griffith, of Cali-
fornia, was a frequent visitor and warm
friend, and his handsome present, purchased
in London, is proof of the esteem in which
he held the club. George D. Prentice, Rob-
ert Tyler, Park Benjamin and Dr. Shelton
j Mackenzie, lectured for the club in its earlier

Among the resolutions adopted by the
club, we find the following: " i?e.soZyed, that
no games of chance or gambling of any kind
be permitted in the York Club," which was
carried unanimously, and has been adhered
to ever since.

Lisf of Members from 1857 to 1882— Dr.
Alexander Small, John Gibson, J. F. Rosen-
miller, W. H. Jordan, Jere Carl. J. C. Jor-
dan, AV. H. Strickler, J. M. Bonham, D. W.
Barnitz, Peter Bentz, E. C. Eichelberger, Dr.
T. Tyrrell, F. A. Eichelberger, Jacob Emmitt,
Horace Bonham, A. M. Barnitz, Levi Ar-
nold, David Strickler, John W. Schall, W.
C. Chapman, S. S. Hersh, A. E. Lewis, John
A. Weiser, Alex Wentz, Dr. R. Dingee, O.
K. Harris, Robert Gibson, George Fisher,
AV. H. Welsh, H. W. Spangler, B. F. Spang-
ler, John Williamson, A. H. Glatz, A. Gart-
man, W. H. Kurtz, William Parrott, L. F.
Allen. Charles Sprigg, C. F. Black, John
Mclntyre, J. F. Shunk, Martin S. Eichelber-
ger, J. W. Latimer, J. W. Bittenger, G. E.
Hersh, J. D. Heiges, James Smith, Henry
Black, Charles F^ Sheafer, H. E. Passmore,
L. M. Blackford, John Hough, S. Kochenour,
J. A. Schall, N. F. Burnham, G. A. Heckert,
W. S. Roland, W. H. Throne, T. K. White,
Thomas White, E. Havilland, Charles Bell,
G. W. Heiges, J. B. Hauer, William Smith,
H. S. McNair, H. '.M. Smyser, J. M. Danner,
W. H. Lanius, A. J. Glossbrenner, Charles
Karg, J. H. Hause, Levi Sprenkle, Charles J.
Fox, C. S. Weiser, Jacob Brillinger, E. R.
Herr, J. K. Gross, E. Chapin, John Black-
ford, Horace Keesey, E. W. Spangler, J. M.
Young, H. H. Carter, Levi Maish, W. F.
Bay Stewart, D. K. Trimmer, John M.

List of Active Members, 1885. — John W.
Bittenger, N. F. Burnham, Edward Chapin,
James M. Danner, M. S. Eichelberger, Alfred
Gartman, John Gibson, George W. Heiges,
E. R. Herr, W. H. Jordan, John C. Jordan,
Horace Keesey, W. H. Lanius, J. W. Lati-
mer, H. S. McNair, Levi Maish, H. E. Pass-
more, J. F. Rosenmiller, H. M. Smyser, E.
W. Spangler, W. F. Bay Stewart, W. H.



Strickler, D. K. Trimmer, Charles Mayer,
Grier Hersh, Richard B. Cochran, Schall
Wilhelm, Gates B. Weiser.

Deceased Members of the Club, 1885. — Dr.
Alexander Small, Dr. Thomas Tyrrell, B.
Franklin Spangler, D. Wagner Barnitz, Al-
bert M. Barnitz, Thomas White, John Hough,
Robert Gibson, Edward C. Eichelberger, Ja-
cob B. Hauer, John Williamson, Edward
Havilland, Samuel S. Hersh, Louis P. Allen,
Levi Sprenkle, Charles J. Fox, William Par-
rott, James F. Shunk, Lewis M. Blackford,
Frederick A. Eichelberger, Jacob Emraitt,
George A. Heckert, Samuel Kochenour,
Charles C. Sprigg, John Blackford, O. K.

Officers, 1857. — President, Dr. Alexander
Small; vice-president, Hon. John Gibson;
secretary, Jere Carl; treasurer, William H.

Officers, 1885. — President, James W. Lat-
imer; vice-president, N. F. Burnham; sec-
retary, Horace Keesey; treasurer, William
H. Jordan.


On the east side of South Duke Street, dur-
ing the year 1882, was built the beautiful
and artistically designed York Opera House,
now the pride of the amusement-loving peo-
ple of the town. It was built by a stock
company, who elected as the first officers the
following-named persons: N. F. Burnham,
president; John Blackford, vice-president;
.Frank Geise, secretary; Jere Carl, treasurer.
The cost of the building was $38,000. There
have since been added a number of needed
conveniences. It was opened during the fall
of 1882 by the distinguished comedian, John
S. Clarke. The present officers are N. F.
Burnham, president; David Rupp, vice-pres-
ident; B. C. Peatz, secretary and C. M. Bill-
myer, treasurer.


Among the memorable institutions of York
was the Franklin Lyceum, originally the
Franklin Debating Societv, a literary associ-
ation for " mutual improvement," by means
of debates, essays and lectures, which held
its meetings on the third floor of the York
County Academy building. This hall was
the public lecture room of York at that time,
when a church edifice was not used for that
purpose. Many of the young men of that
day, pupils of the academy and others, de-
rived great benefit from its teachings and
discussions. It was foi'med in December,
1839, and continued in active operation until
1845. In the State House, that stood in the

Centre Square, which was torn down with
the old court house, in 1841, was the York
County Library, a large collection of stand-
ard works, which was removed to the room
occupied by the Franklin Lyceum. But, in
course of time, for want of any library organ-
ization, the books were carried off, and no
doubt grace many private libraries. Efforts
were made from time to time to have this
library restored, the members of the Lyceum
advertising for the missing books, but with-
out success. Among the members of this as-
sociation, now deceased, were G. Christopher
Stair, David F. Williams, D. Spangler Wag-
ner, Joseph Garretson, Charles M. Smyser^
William Sayres, David E. Small and Erastus
H. Weiser. Among the living, who were
members, are Daniel Kirkwood (the great
astronomer), Rev. Augustus C. Wedikind, D.
D. ; Rev. John Fritz; Commander William
Gibson, United States navy; Gen. H. Gates
Gibson, United States army; Thomas Frank-
lin, civil engineer; W. Henry Welsh, for-.,
merly State senator from York County and
speaker of the senate, and Henry J. Stahle,
editor of the Gettysburg Compiler. After
the dissolution of the Lyceixm, in 1845, there
was formed the Franklin Literary Associa-
tion, with the same object. This was com-
posed of the younger fry and continued in
existence until 1848. The Franklin Lyceum
was subsequently reorganized in 1849, and,
continued for several years,


This valuable acquisition to the borough of
York was originated through the united eiforts
of different secret organizations. George E.
Sherwood offered a resolution at a meeting
of Humane Lodge No. 342, I. O. O. F., on
January 10, 1874,which called for the estab-
lishment of a library; whereupon, George E.
Sherwood, John M. Deitch, James H. Fisher, ,
Henry J. Deitch, Franklin L. Seiffert and :
Harry Lamott, a committee who secured a ,
union of efforts on the part of the Mount Zion, .
Humane and Harmonia Lodges and Mount ,
Vernon Encampment of Odd Fellows, Cone
wago, Conewingo and Codorus Council of
Red Men, York and Star Circles of Union
Brotherhood, Eureka Council of Knights of
the Mystic Chain, Keystooe Lodge, Indepen-
dent Order Mechanics, White Rose Lodge,
Knights of Pythias, Rose and Codorus Coun-
cil of American Mechanics, York and Zere-
detha Lodges of Masons and William Penn
Lodge of Manchester Unity O. F. , met repre-
sentatives from all these lodges in the wig-,
wam of Conewago Council and agreed, io



establish a library for the special use of their
members, and the general use of the public.
The first oiBcers elected, were president,
George B. Sherwood; vice-president, John M.
Deitch; librarian, John Hays; assistant libra-
rian, A. K. Bm-ger; treasurer, Charles A. Key-
worth; secretary, James H. Fisher; attendant,
Walter B. Shaffer; managers, Jacob Dick,
Solomon Myers, George E. Sherwood. J. M.
Deitch, D. Philip Heckert,W. F. Bay Stewart,
Curtis Sanders, Joseph W. Ilgenfritz, John
Hays, Jacob Lebach. William H. Bastress,
A. K. Burger, Charlss Keyworth. James H.
Fisher, John Stallman, W. "E. Moore, George
E. Becker, William H. Albright and J. P.
Madsen. Six hundred volumes were first pro-
cured, and the library opened to the public.
The first rules of the library have been
changed by consent of the various bodies
interested, and require at this time an
annual donation of $20, from the several
lodges to secure their respective membership
free tickets. All other persons, not members
of any of the original organizations, desiring
to make use of the library, are required
to pay the nominal fee of SI per annum,
to entitle them to free use of the library.
The last catalogue issued shows that there
are now over 3,000 volumes in use, classified
as follows: Fiction, 1,198; history, 310; mis-
cellaneous works, 560; statistical, 690; secret
society works, 51; literary and scientific, 149;
poetical, 47; German works, 103.

The board of officers and managers at this
date consists of the following gentlemen:
president, George E. Sherwood; vice-presi-
dent, John M. Deitch; secretary, James H.
Fisher; librarian, John Hays; assistant libra-
rian, William H. Bastress; treasurer, Solomon
Myers, managers; George E. Sherwood,
John M. Deitch, Solomon Myers, Curtis San-
ders, Joseph W. Ilgenfritz, Jacob Lebach,
William H. Bastress, George A. Sleeger, D.
P. Heckert, Albertus Hibner, W. Haack and
John Hays.


The Benovolent Association has been in
existence for many years and has done a great
amount of good in assisting the poor of York.
The late Samuel Small was president of it,
and gave liberally of his means. Many
thousands of dollars worth of provisions,
clothing, wood and coal have been distributed
among those deserving of assistance. Judge
David Fahs for several years past has taken
a gi'eat and worthy interest in this work and
has done much good. He thus has con- |
tributed greatly to the comfort and happiness i
of many a deserving person. j


A move was made by enterprising citizens
of York diu'ing the year LSI 5 to supply the
borough of York with water. By act of as-
sembly, George Spangler, William Nes, John
Barnitz, George Small, C. F. Fisher, Abra-
ham Gartman and Jacob Smyser were ap-
pointed commissioners to receive subscrip-
tions to stock. No member was originally
allowed to take more than four shares; $3
on each share were to be paid at the time of
subscription. A board of nine managers was
elected at a meeting held in the court bouse
on Monday, the iSth of March, 1816; as fol-
lows: John Barnitz, George Spangler, Martin
Danner, Abraham Gartman, John Demuth,
Peter Small, Christian Lanius, George Small,
and David Cassat. Contracts for 16,000 feet
of trunks or logs, with a bore of four inches,
were made at the public house of George
Hay, March 19, 1816. David Cassat was
first president; John Barnitz, secretary, and
George Haller, treasurer. The same com-
pany with many changes in management,
still supplies the town with water. Within
the past few years noted improvements have
been made, and the source of supply changed
from the original place. At present there
are about 3,500 consumers in the town. The
engine and water works to obtain supplies
from the Codorus were built in 1850; the
present reservoir on South Queen Street was
constructed in 1852.


The history of what is now known as the
Franklin Institute dates back to August 6,
18v8, when a secret organization, then known
as the Excelsior Literary Society, was organ-
ized. The persons who originated this soci-
ety, were E. O. Goodling, Samuel Price,
Elmer E. Ilgenfritz, Jacob Stager, Jr., Oliver
Weiser, George Piukerton and C. V. B.
Aurand. These persons met at the residence
of Jacob Stager, Sr., on South Park Alley.
E. O. Goodling was elected president; Elmer
E. Ilgenfritz, vice-president; C. V. B. Aurand,
secretary; Oliver Weiser, assistant secretary;
George Pinkerton, treasurer. The society
afterward held its meetings in the lodge
room of the " Junior American Mechanics,"
in Lebach's Building, Centre Square, where
its name was changed to "Goethean Literary
Society," by which title it was known unti'l
it dissolved, November 3, 1879. The founders
of the Franklin were Perry J. M. Heindel, E.
O. Goodling, C. V. B. Aurand, George Swords,
Charles Stager, Jacob Stager, Jr.; B. F.
Harnish, Jeff. Lee Davis, B. F. Briggs, J. T.

*By F. L. Spangler.



Eubie, Jr., F. P. Ilgenfritz and G. Wegman.
On the night of February 24, 1879, these
persons adjourned from the hall of the
Goethean to the parlors of the Central Hotel,
opposite the court house, where the following
officers were elected: president, E. O. Good-
ling ; vice-president, Perry J. M. Heindel;
secretary, Jeff. Lee Davis; assistant secretary,
George A. Swords; treasurer, Jacob Stager,

On the 'ISth of April an entertainment

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 117 of 218)