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

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"Martinsville." When the railway was
completed, in 1850, the station was called
by its present name, in honor of J. M. Golds-
borough, the civil engineer of the road.

John Prunk died before the town of Golds-
boro was dreamed of, and his property came
into possession of his daughter Nancy, who
married Joseph McCreary.

The old burying ground of the vicinity is
located within the present borough limits,
immediately west of the Grammar School
building. On the old "Kister Homestead,"
now owned by Christian Miller, one of the
first graveyards of the valley is situated.

Henry Etter died in the spring of- 1848,
and the postoffice was removed to Adam
Kister's Ferry, which was one-half mile north
of Middletown Ferry. Adam Kister was a
soldier of the Revolution, and complained
bitterly of Gen. LaFayette for accepting as
a gift a township of land in Louisiana.
This was in 1825, on which occasion La-
Fayette visited York. He claimed that such
unusual attentions to the French patriot
would only tend to bring America into an-
other war with England.


When the railroad was completed and busi-
ness centered, the postoffice was removed to
Goldsboro, but still retains the name Etter's
PostofBee. There is a postoliice in Lacka-
wanna County, this State, named Gouldsboro,
after the great financier Jay Gould of New
York, who once lived there. John Kister,
for many years has been postmaster at
Goldsboro; H. C. Shelley at present.

Dr. Alexander Small, ' of York, in 1849,
secured the services of Daniel M. Ettinger to
make a survey of a plat of ground on which
the present town of Goldsboro now stands.
The leading highways were named York
Avenue, Broadway and Kister Streets.

P. A. & S.Small purchased the "Ked Mill,"
and soon afterward built a large brick I
mill, and since then this firm have bought |
at this mill nearly all the grain hauled to |
market over a large territory of the northern ;
part of the county. The lumber and mill-
ing interests caused the village to prosper, j
It contains several stores, two hotels, two
churches and a number of fine homes.

A fire destroyed several buildings a few
years ago. Drs. Rynard and Warren prac-
tice their profession here. Among persons
who have conducted stores here are Frazer &
Kister, Ford & Sprenkle, C. F. Rehling, J.
Z. Hildbrand, William Willis, John Kister,
Henry Shelley, J. K. Waidley, George Good,
Ernest Yinger and Mrs. Williams. There
are now a number of cigar factories. The
large town hall was bui-ned. There are
several secret societies and a post of G. A. R.
The railroad offices do an extensive busi-
ness, it being the most important station be-
tween York and Harrisburg. Population in
1880 was 378. Number of taxable inhabit-
ants in 1884 was 134; property valuation,

The Silver Cornet Band is an excellent
musical organization.

Isaac Frazer, who has been prominently
identified with this town since its origin, is
owner and controller of the Goldsboro Saw-
mill, planing-mill, sash and door factory,
and the Atlantic Saw-mill, all of Goldsboro.
He was born, May 20, 1 820, in Newberry Town-
ship, and is the eldest of nine children. His
father, John Frazer, and his mother, Pheba
(Warren) Frazer, died at the advanced ages
of eighty-two and seventy- nine years, re-
spectively. Alexander Frazer, his grand-
father, was a native of Lisburn, Cumberland
Co., Penn. Our subject received his educa-
tion in the schools of the vicinity of his
home. Early in his boyhood days he turned
his attention to mechanical pursuits, assist-
ing his father in the manufacture of coffee-

mills and door locks. He remained at homo
with his father until he was twenty-one years
of age, working at this business and receiv-
ing nothing but his clothing and board.
When he arrived at his majority, with a
capital of S400, he began the mercantile
business in a small room adjoining his fa-
ther's factory, and continued the same until
1852. In 1849, however, he purchased a lot,
and erected a building, in which he and his
brother-in-law, the late G. Washington Kis-
ter, opened a store of general merchandise
at Goldsboro. This was about the time of
the building of the Northern Central Rail-
road. In the year 1851, Mr. Frazer, taking
advantage of an excellent opportunity,
erected a large and commodious warehouse at
Goldsboro, on the new railroad, and began
buying grain and produce. The next year
he sold out his store in the township, and
devoted his entire time to his interests in
Goldsboro. In the year 1852, he and his
father-in-law. Rev. Jacob G. Kister, rented a
saw- mill, and in the following year he built
the Goldsboro Saw-mill, which is still in
operation. As the business enlarged he in-
creased the capacity of the mill, and during
the past twenty years has done an immense
business. In the year 1873, he leased the
Atlantic Saw-mill at Goldsboro from P. A.
& S. Small, of York, and operated the same
in connection with his other mills until 1881,
when it was destroyed by fire. He then
leased the ground and rebuilt the mill him-
self. In the lumber trade he has done an
immense business, supplying not only the
purchasers of the surrounding couutrj', but
shipping large orders continually to towns
and cities. His mills have, ever since their
erection, furnished employment to most of
the inhabitants of Goldsboro. It was mainly
through his industry and thrift that the town
prospered. Always manifesting a kindly in-
terest in the welfare of his workmen, the rela-
tions between him and them have continually
been mutual and amicable. In the public
improvements of the village of Goldsboro
he has ever shown a spirit of commendable
enterprise. Endowed by nature with more
than ordinary business tact and good judg-
ment, which, combined with indefatigable
energy and continued application, have not
only rewarded Mr. Frazer for his industry in
accumulating means, but elevated him to an
important position among the influential busi-
ness men of our county and State. A de-
voted Whig in his early life, he has since
been an ardent advocate of the principles of
the Republican party. He represented this
congressional district in the electoral college


which re-elected Gen. Grant for president of
the' United States.

To the cause of education he has always
given an encouraging word, and lent a help-
ing hand. For many years was a member of
the school board of Goldsboro, and at one
time supported a private academy in his town.
The Board of Trustees of Findley College,
located in Findley, Hancock Co., Ohio,
have lately elected him president of that
body. He was a liberal contributor toward
the erection of that promising educational
institution, and is now devoting considerable
time to the welfare of it.

Mr. Frazer's ancestors were of the rigid
Quaker stock, who emigrated from the east-
ern part of Pennsylvania, about 1735, and
located on the fertile soil of the Redland
Valley. The old homestead, which has
passed from father to son since that time, is
now his property, which on account of its
historic associations, he values more highly
than any of the 425 acres of land in Penn-
sylvania, or the 560 acres in the State of
Iowa, which he now owns. Many years ago
he became a communicant member of the
Church of God, a Baptist organization, and is
now a liberal supporter of that denomination:
is chairman of the Board of Publication, a
member of the Board of Missions, and an
active worker in the interests of his adopted
church. Mr. Frazer was married, March 9,
184:8, to Miss Susan Kister, daughter of Rev.
Jacob G. and Nancy (Bowen) Kister. They
have had four children; William, Robert and
Cora are deceased. Edgar, the youngest
son is now associated with his father in bus-
iness. Some years ago Mr. Frazer moved
with his family to Mechauicsburg, Cumber-
land County. Recently he purchased a lot
of ground, and erected an elegant residence
on Third Street, Harrisburg, opposite the
State Capitol building. In this he now re-
sides, but continues his business at Golds-

The River Meeting Hoiise. — A few hundred
yards north of the village, for half a century,
stood a frame building known far and wide
as "the River Meeting House," used for
school purposes, and for religious services,
by different denominations. It has long
since disappeared; Michael Shelley, Henry
Drorbaugh and Jacob Kister were the last
trustees of it. In it William Chandlee and
Asa Johnson each taught school for a num-
ber of years.

This building became noted for its great
revival meetings, under the auspices of the
Church of God. Rev. John Winebrenner,
the founder of this denomination, himself

preached in it on many occasions, as well as
Revs. Maxwell, Mullenis, Kister, Weishampel
and other fathers of the church.

One of the most noted events of its history
occurred in November, 1825, when Lorenzo
Dow preached to an immense audience in
this building, shortly after his European tour,
when the nobility of England paid admis-
sion to hear that singular yet wonderful gen-

The Bethel Church was built about 1860.
by the Church of God. There was then an
organization and a good membership. Mr.
Isaac Frazer contributed largely to its erec-
tion. Some of the preachers who have served
the circuit to which this church belongs, are
Revs. Price, Jones, Keller, Charleton,
Owens, Seabrooks, Meixel, Arnold, Carvell,
and Fliegle. W. J. Grissinger was pastor
in 1885.

The Sunday-school, which numbers about
150 pupils and teachers, is superintended by
Ross W. Dugan. The school originated in
the "River Meeting House," before 1850,
and was then superintended by Samuel Bier-
brower and George W. Kister.

The Methodist Church, built a dozen or
more years ago, v?as first connected with the
Duke Street Methodist Episcopal charge, at
York. It now belongs to a circuit, and is
supplied by the pastor who resides at Lewis-

Schools. — The schools of Goldsboro have
been graded for many years. Two schools
are kept up regularly for six months. Jacob
Smith of Manchester, has taught the gram-
mar school for several sessions.

Goldsboro Sandstone Quarry. — During the
year 1850, or thereabouts, Mr. Symington,
of Baltimore, opened a sandstone quarr}',
about two miles west of Goldsboro. After
a little prospecting he found a large vein of
the most valuable sandstone, which he quar-
ried and shipped to his native city for build-
ing purposes. George Betz came in posses-
sion of it in 1858, and worked it properly
for a number of years. C. F. Reehling sub-
sequently became the owner, and has since
sold large quantities of this valuable build-
ing material for public buildings and private

A Notorious Prize Fight. — The usually
quiet village of Goldsboro, long known ^or
the great equanimity and peaceful disposi-
tions of the people, was stirred up from
center to circumference on a certain Tuesday
morning of January, 1867. Four or five years
previous to this time, it was nothing uncom-
mon to see train after train of "Union sol-
diers pass through the town on their way "to


the front." Many a worthy son of the North
and the West stopped at this point, while i
his train was waiting on the arrival of a
northern bound train to pass, and engaged in
innocent amusements, but what disturbed the
peace and harmony of Goldsboro, on this oc-
casion, was the arrival of several hundred
Baltimore and New York roughs, who came
to this place to witness the brutal outrage of
a prize light between Samuel Collyer, of the
former, and John McGlade of the latter city.
It was a very disgraceful and demoralizing
affair. Collyer came off victorious, after
forty-seven rounds, and won the prize of
§2,000. The tight lasted one hour. The
sheriff of York County appeared on the
ground with a small posse, but being gi'eatly
outnumbered, could do nothing to prevent
the contest. A military company, on their
way to the inauguration of governor, was or-
dered to stop at Goldsboro, but under some
misunderstanding, it seems the order was not
officially received. It was said at the time
that bets to the amount of §200,000 were
won on the result of the disgraceful affair.
This money was carried away in triumph
by the party from Baltimore.

Hay Run. — The name of this little stream
which drains the southeastern part of New-
berry Township, originated early in the his-
tory of the settlement there. There are a
great many fertile meadows along its banks.
Before the introduction of clover and timo-
thy, which grasses were not grown in York
County before 1790, these meadows sup-
plied much of the hay to the farmers of
that section. Hence the name of the stream.

The. Last Indian. — Along a small stream
called "Oil Mill Run," about three- fourths
miles south of Goldsboro, is the site of
the last Indian wigwam of Newberry Town-
ship. At this place a half-civilized red
man and his family lived as late as 1770,
long after his brothers had gone "to the


The Middletown Ferry was originally Hus-
sey's Ferry, opened in 1738. Many of the
early Quakers crossed the river at this place,
which was an important crossing in colonial
days. Middletown was once the site of a
Shawanese Indian village. They also had an
encampment near the site of Goldsboro.
Middletown is midway between Lancaster
and Carlisle, and was laid out in 1755, about
thirty years before Harrisburg.

Some of the English Quakers crossed the
Susquehanna here as early as 1730. Five
years later a temporary road was opened on i

the York County side. Thomas Hall, John
McFesson, Joseph Bennett, John Heald, John
Rankin and Ellis Lewis frpm Chester
County, crossed the Susquehanna from the
mouth of the Swatara, and selected lands on
the west side of the river in the year 1732.
It has often been related of them, that when
they arrived at the eastern bank of the river,
and there being no other kinds of crafts than
canoes to cross, they fastened two together,
and placed their horses' front feet in one
canoe and the hind feet in another, then
piloted the frail crafts, with their precious
burden, across the stream by meaos of poles.
The ferry obtained its present name and was
licensed in 1760. At the mouth of the Swa
tara and along the Susquehanna, a body of
soldiers were stationed in 1756, during the
French and Indian war, to prevent the incur-
sions of the then savage red men, who had
championed the cause of the French, along
the western frontier. This occurred after
the defeat of Braddock's army, near Pitts-
burgh. During the Revolutionary war, in the
fall of 1779, a commissary department was
established at Middletown, and along the
river on both sides of the stream the boats
for Gen. Sullivan's army were built, and
his troops furnished with provisions and mili-
tary stores for the famous expedition against
the Six Nations of Indians, in Central New
York, who had committed depredations in the
settlements in the Mohawk and Wyoming
Valleys the year before. Until the opening
of the Conewago Canal in 1776, Middletown
Ferry was the southern terminus of naviga-
tion with the famous keel boats. The ferry
is still a prominent crossing place. A steam-
boat is now used for conveying passengers
and freight. The ferry was owned many
years by Henry Etter, whose house was
blown down March 22, 1826, and a young
lady killed. About the year 1835 "Black
Dan" Johnson, in a jealous fit. killed his
comrade "Jim" Brown by cutting him in the
abdomen with an as. Dan was tried and
convicted of murder, biitdied while iu prison
at York, the night before he was to have been


Is located on an eminence at the eastern
extremity of Fishing Creek Valley. The
followers of John Winebrenner had, for a
number of years, prospered by increasing
their number at the encouraging meetings
held in "the River Schoolhouse," near
Goldsboro. Some of the members deter-
mined to build a church in "the valley," and
in 1849, Michael Burger deeded to William


Kremer, Samuel Kister and Daniel Shelley, a
plat of ground upon which the church was
built the next year. The congregation that
worships here belongs to the East York Cir-
cuit, and is served by the same ministers that
preach in Goldsboro. A Sunday-school has
regularly been held in this church, superin-
tended of late years by John Nicholas, How-
ard Nicholas and Henry Fortenbaugh.


It is a difficult task, as it is a sad one, to
chronicle all the names of the patriotic dead
of Newberry and Fairview, "who yielded up
their lives that this nation might live" on
many a hard fought battle field, or lan-
guished in prison during the civil war.
Among them were the following: Gardner
Bryan came home almost entirely emaciated,
after suffering many months in a Confederate
prison, and died soon after. Sanford Fisher,
a youth of seventeen, while leading the ad-
vance line of the Ninety-third Regiment, fell,
from a tlesh wound, iu the battle of Fair
Oaks. Mortification followed and he died in
the ho.spital. His brother, Sergt. John
Fisher, of the same regiment, was pierced
through the heart by the well-directed aim
of a Confederate sharpshooter, while lead
ing on a squad of men, in an open plain,
during a lull in the famous battle of the
Wilderness. He had served three years
almost to the day, and had previously en-
gaged in about twenty battles and skirmishes.
Ross Krieger died in Andersonville prison.
Harman Miller, William Palmer and Samuel
May were killed in the battle of Antietam,
in less than a month after enlistment,
in the One Hundred and Thirtieth Penn-
sylvania Regiment, nine months' men.
William Shanly, of Lewisberry, died of dis-
ease contracted in burying the dead after
battle. Lyman Brubaker was lost in the bat-
tle of Fredericksburg, and his is one of the
many "unknown" graves. William Walters
was wounded, and died afterward in a Phila-
delphia hospital. Lieut. Arnold, of Capt.
Bailey's company, of the Seventh Pennsylva-
nia Reserves, fell while gallantly leading the
van in battle. His body was carried heroic-
ally in the retreat by Henry Gise and George
H. Writer, two brave comrades in arms.
Being hard pressed by the Confederate ad-
vance, they were compelled to drop the body,
and it fell into the hands of the enemy. The
names of others killed are: John Anthony
and Chester Krall, of the One Hundred and
Thirtieth Regiment; Thompson Nichols, Elias
Fissell, William Grove and John Nicholas.
Hugh Machlin was accidentally killed at Fort

Sumter, while firing a salute, celebrating the
close of the war.


The village of Yocumtown is located on
high ground, overlooking to the north and
east the beautiful Fishing Creek Valley.
The stream which passes near it was called,
by the first settlers, Y Creek, as its course
nearly outlines that letter. The valley was
also called "Y Creek Valley" says our intel-
ligent informant, Joseph Wickersham, whose
ancestors settled in the vicinity at a very early
date, coming with the tide of Quaker immi-
grants from Chester County, Penn.

David Warren, one of the first settlers
who lived in this vicinity, was accustomed to
put bells on his horses, when he turned them
into pasture, in order that he might find them
in the thickets. This was before the era of

David Richardson, of England, was the first
surveyor of this region. Edward Shippen, of
Philadelphia, took out warrants for large
tracts of land in Fishing Creek Valley, the
first settlers of which were nearly all Quakers,
who came there as early as 1732, among
whom were the Healds, Halls, Barneses,
Whinnerys, Husseys, W^arrenses, Millses etc.

Having few wagons some of the pioneer
farmers sawed rings from the trunks of gum
trees for wagon wheels, thrashed the first
crops of wheat with the tlail, and separated
the grain from the chaff by means of linen
sheets; placing both together, and throwing
them up in the air, a gentle breeze would
separate the chaff from the wheat.

Thomas Mills, in 1814, built the first
house where Yocumtown stands.

William Nailer, before 1770, built a fulling-
mill along the Fishing Creek near Yocum-
town. Elijah Yocum became the owner
later, and near by built a meeting house. A
woolen factory was afterwai-d attached to the
fulling-mill. This industry was subsequently
owned by Messrs Arnold, Ginder, Heathcoate
and others.

A man named Plow accidentally drowned
himself more than half a century ago, north
of the village, by attempting to drink from a
spring near his house, by lying down to the
water. He lost his balance, fell headlong
into the deep spring and lost his life.

The muster groiinds of militia times for
Newberry and Fairview Townships, were
near the old Conrad Brnbaker property below
Yocumtown. At this place James Mills, in
1739,built the first stone house in the neigh-
borhood. He was one of the original Quaker



settlers. The militia were drilled by Capts.
John Weitzel and David Fisher, of Fairview.
The company numbered 100 men.

David Reeser, who died in Yocumtown a
few years ago, was a soldier in the war of
1812, along the Niagara frontier.

This town lies on the old and consider-
ably traveled route from Lewisberry to Mid-
dletown. It was named after Elijah Yocum,
who located here about 1816. Some of his
first neighbors were Daniel Brookhart. Lee
Montgomery, James Mills and Isaiah Yocum.
Stores have been kept here by Samuel Kis-
ter, Samuel Fortenbaugh, Hiram N. Prow-
ell, David Good and others. There has been
no hotel for a number of years. Dr. Will-
iam E. Sweiler, an intelligent and successful
practitioner, has long been the village physi-
cian. A tannery was in successful operation
here for many years. The business was con-
ducted by Samuel Kister, and later by his
son Clinton Kister. The schoolhouse is to
the north of the village, near which is the
Union Church, a neat and cozy building with
a bell and spire. Various denominations
worship in it, and a prosperous Sunday-
school is held. The old log, weather-board-
ed school and meeting house stood on the
same site for more than half a century. Is-
rael Garrettson, now a prosperous farmer and
member of the State agricultural board,
kept school here eleven years in succession, a
long time ago. The population is 140.


Lewisberry is situated near the centre of
Redland Valley, which, early in our colo-
nial history, was thickly populated by En-
glish Quakers, among whom were the
Healds, Halls, Bennetts, Rankins, Lewises,
Garretsons, Kirks and others; the first of
whom settled there in 1732. Maj. Eli Lew-
is, in 1783, owned 8.50 acres of land, six
dwelling houses, all valued at £1,018
sterling, and conducted a store. This ham-
let was the center of interest over a large
section of country. In 1798 the number of
houses in the immediate vicinity had in-
creased, and Eli Lewis secured the services
of Isaac Kirk, a neighbor, to make a survey
and plat a town. Some of the first persons
to purchase lots were Jacob and Isaac Kirk,
and Messrs. Nicholas, Bennett, Mateer and

The founder of the town, a son of Ellis
Lewis, was born in 1750, in this valley. He
learned the printing business and, in 1791,
started the Harrisburg Advertiser which was
the first newspaper jjublished in the capital

city. He sold it afterward to Mr. Wyeth, and
the name was changed to the Oracle. The
files are yet in existence and were of much as-
sistance to the writer.

Major Lewis, though of Quaker parent-
age, was a soldier of the Revolution, and a
man of very fair literary ability. In 1791
he wrote a poem of considerable merit enti-
tled "St. Clair's Defeat." He returned to
his former home, founded the town which
bears his name, and died on Sunday morn
ing, February 2, 1807, aged fifty-seven years,
leaving four sons who won distinction: Ellis
Lewis, became judge of the supreme court'
of Pennsylvania (see "Historical Biography"
page 404), James Lewis, a prominent law-
yer, and Eli Lewis, a prominent business
man of York, and Dr. Webster Lewis, a lead-
ing physician. Ellis Lewis, the ancestor of
the family, immigrated to Chester County in

Lewisberry was incorporated April 2, 1832,
and thus became the third borough in the
county. It thus was the center of an intelli-
gent English population and had a number of
manufactories. It is situated fifteen miles

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 129 of 218)