John Gibson.

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

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Frederick Oleweiler, 50 acres 125

Jacob Oleweiler, 116 acres 107

George Oberdorf, 100 acres 96

Benjamin Tyson, Esq., 120 acres 200

John Schmuck, 100 acres 170

Baltzer Shenberger, 150 acres 200

Moses Scott, 300 acres 810

Michael Tush, 390 acres 300

Jacob Dritt, 146 acres 200

Philip Thomas, 90 acres 1,39

Abraham Dem, 100 acres 129

Jacob WeltzhofEer, 170 acres 672

Wendal Golf 20

Michael Weiland 20

Samuel Wright, 400 acres 1,850

Jacob Witmer 73

John Wright, .500 acres, 2 slaves 2,0.55

William Willis 20

Solomon Williams 78

John Wyland, 99 acres 235

John Steiner, weaver

William Holtzinger 20

Simon Holtzinger 20

Michael Ponkennen 43

Widow Morgan, 200 acres 450

Tikabat Stater 20

Solomon Williams 20

James Williams 20

Abraham Bruckhardt, 300 acres 394


Christian Reist, weaver.

Michael Derstein.

Joseph Reed.

Nicholas Hertzly.

Godlil Rupp.

Jacob Shultz, blacksmith

Martin Huber.

Henry Bannise, weaver.

Henry Geip.

John Fitz, weaver.

John Peterman.

John Ewing.

John Strickler, Jr.

Casper Wolf.

Jacob Longenecker, black-
George Druck.
John Armend.
.John Auhle.
Jacob Griegelbaum.
Michael Glessner.
Randall Cross.
James Cross.
John Cross.
Jacob Keyser.
John Robinson.


Windsor Postofiice, or Windsorville, is
located in the southern part of the township.
There was a postoffice by that name a distance
south of the site of the present village as
early as the year 1832. William S. Corn-
well, of Manor Furnace fame, was its post-
master then. He was succeeded by Rev.
Peter Herrman, who kept it many years.
Michael Anstine was the next postmaster for
thirty-one years, until his death, when Dan-
iel K. Ruby received the appointment. An-
stine's store was a central point of interest
for more than thirty years. Around it, in a
rather attractive little valley, has lately grown
up a thrifty village of about forty nicely
painted and attractively built dwelling
houses. Most, of the inhabitants are engaged
in the tobacco and cigar business. We re-
frain from giving the original name of this
apparently prosperous hamlet, or recording
the legend from which it was obtained; if the
name was practical it was not poetical, and
we omit it. The village schoolhouse is a
comfortable building. John N. Flinchbaugh
is the present postmaster, and has a store of
general merchandise, and Jonathan Shindle a
similar store. Some of the mechanical trades
are represented in the village.


This settlement obtained its name, as is
self evident, from the early inhabitants. Its
antiquity is known from the time-worn tomb-
stones in the historic old churchyard, within
whose sacred portals slumber the remains of
several patriots of the Revolution. Many
graves are unmarked, except by sianken
mounds; some by illegible inscriptions in
German. The oldest tombs have the names
carved in English. On one of them the
name Anna Frey, who died 1748; on anoth-
er, Mary Nichols, about the same year, are
plainly marked. The oldest one visible died



1747, but the name cannot be deciphered.
This hamlet has but a half-dozen houses.
The manufacturing of cigars is an important
business here.

Emanuel's Lutheran and Reformed
Church, familiarly known as "Frysville
Church," is located in the southern part of
Windsor, and according to the deed and re-
cords, was founded March 28, 1771. The
surrounding land was owned by Conrad Fry,
an early settler, who on the date mentioned
deeded a church lot containing one and a half
acres, for 5 shillings, to Jacob Segner,
Adam Heindel, Jacob Ruby and Stephen
Slifer, in trust for the "Lutheran and Pres-
byterian congregations." (At an early date
the German Reformed Church was thought
to be the same as the Presbyterian, except
that the worship of the former was conduct-
ed in the German language. ) A log church
was first built. The spaces between the logs
were "chunked," and had no outside plaster-
ing, according to the custom of those times.
The gable end and window frames were
painted red. The door and inside were
painted white. The church was heated by a
heavy plated stove, long enough to receive
cordwood full length. From the boxed door-
sill to the floor inside was a step of unusual'
height, over which full grown persons could
step without much difficulty, while the chil-
dren delighted to jump from the door-sill
down on the floor inside. About 1820 the
building was much improved. It was made
higher, weather- boarded, an end gallery add-
ed, and used until 1852. when the present
brick church was built, about three hundred
yards from the site of the first building.
Some of the land surrounding the present
church was used as a burying ground as
early as 1745. Some of it was deeded by M.
Deis to Simon Anstine, Peter Steffy, Peter
Lefever, Peter Schmuck and Conrad Fox, in
trust for the two congregations. In 1S84
two and one-fourth acres adjoining were
purchased from Henry Stein. The church
was remodeled in 1884 and was recently
rededicated. The names of all Reformed
ministers who have served here cannot be
given. Revs. Adam Ettinger, C. Becker,
Jacob Scholl, Jacob Moyer, H. Habilston,
J. Forscht. John Reineka, William F. Van-
dersloot, William A. Good, David Bossier,
R. Smith, E. G. Williams and A Wanner,
D. D. The last named took charge of the
congregation April 1, 1882. (The author is
under many obligations to Dr. Wanner for
the kindly interest he took in collecting ma-

terial of church history and furnishing it for
this book). The Lutheran congregation was
served generally by the same pastors who
officiated at the church in Lower Windsor.

Zion United Brethren Church is located
near Springvale. In the absence of records,
it is difficult to give exact dates, yet it is
known by the oldest members of the church,
that as early as 1820 such of the fathers of
the denomination as Rev. John Neidig,
Christian Newcomer, John Schneider, Sam-
uel Huber, William Brown, John Kroch and
others preached in houses and barns of the
neighborhood of the above named house of
worship. A quarterly conference held in
1843, appointed Adam Stahley, Adam Strayer
and Frederick Grove a board of trustees,
under whose administration that year was
built the first church of the United Brethren
in Christ in York County on the lands of
Adam Stabley; Rev. John Russell, then pre-
siding elder, dedicated this church, assisted
by Rev. Christian Crider, then preacher in
charge of the circuit. The present beautiful
church was built in 1881; Rev. Geo. W.
Lightner was then the preacher in charge.
Jonathan Smiech, Jacob Stabley, John Stab-
ley, John Seitz and John Neff were trustees.
Rev. J. C. Smith of York officiated when
corner-stone was laid. Rev. Ezekiel Light
of Lebanon, Penn., dedicated the church.
Rev. J. C. Smith of Y'ork is present pastor
(1885). The pastors before him have been
Christian S. Crider, Henry Greenblade, J. S.
Wentz, Tobias Crider, VV. H. Craumer, J. H.
Young, Peter Carl, A. H. Rice, Samuel En-
terline, Isaac Coomes, W. B. Raber, Jesse
Cline, and L. Kohr. Church membership is
seventy- two; number of pupils in Sunday
school is seventy -live; superintended by Mr.

Bethlehem Church. — A class was formed
in the vicinity where this church is, about
the year 1835; services were held in the pri-
vate houses of the members very frequently
in the dwelling of Daniel Oberdorf, Sr., now
deceased. The organization was frequently
called " Oberdorf's Class." Bishop Seymour
and Rev. G. Dunlap were among the clergy-
men who ministered to the spiritual wants
of the first members.

A church long known as the "stone pile"
was built in 1853, and dedicated by Rev.
Philip Wagner, P. E., March 16, 1854. Rev.
George Dellinger was the preacher. The
title given was "The New Bethlehem Evan-
gelical Church of Windsor Township." John
Landis, who subsequently moved to Ohio,
gave the land. The trustees then were Dan-
iel Oberdorf, Sr. , Joseph Strayer and Aaron


Snyder. Revs. Bennington, Wilson, Zulauf,
H. A. Stoke, M. J. Carrothers, Z. Horn-
berger, A. Longsdorf and A. Krause preached
in the first building. In 1871, the second
church was built, and was dedicated by Rev.
Swengel of York. The trustees then were Bar-
nitz Knisley, Samuel Barshinger and Joseph
Strayer. The senior pastors who have ofiBciated
in the new building have been Revs. Man-
beck, H. Conrad, S. Aurand, A. Yearick and
H. N. Greninger. The junior pastors have
been Revs. A. W. Shenberger, Lilly, Brown-
miller, D. Kline. G. Carrothers, H. W.
Gross, C. W. Finkbinder, C. H. Goodling,
M: J. Snyder and L. E. Crumbling. The
class leaders are Benjamin Craley and Dan-
iel Oberdorf. The membership is forty-live.
The Sunday-school was organized March 16,

1854, with eight teachers and seventy-four
pupils and has been kept up since.

Union Church. — This church is located
near Windsorville. Rev. Charles Stabley of
the United Brethren in Christ organized the
first class. For many years the preaching
was held in the house of Michael Heindel,
Sr. In 1853 the present brick church was
built, the first trustees were Michael Heindel,
Michael Anstine and Jacob Allison. Rev.
J. C. Smith, of York, was the pastor in

1855. The previous pastors were the same
as at Zion Church. Trustees in 1885' are
John Slenker, G. W. Gable and J. Flinch-
baugh; church membership thirty-five; Sun-
day school, sixty pupils; G.W. Gable, superin-

Windsor Bethel. — This church is located
about a mile north of Windsorville. The
congregation that worships here is a part of
the, " Lower York Mission" of the Church of
God, it being the only building of this de-
nomination in the lower end of York County.
The sect to which it belongs is an order of
Baptists, and originated in Lancaster, Penn.
in 1830, under the leadership of Rev. John
Winebrenner. For about twenty years j
preaching in Windsor was held in the house
of Daniel Holtzinger and Gotlieb Barley.
The first visiting clergyman. Rev. Keller,
preached several times and baptized some ;
members. During the early history of this
denomination in Windsor, the preaching was
supplied by ministers of the West York Cir-
cuit from Goldsboro. • The church was built
in 1876, at a cost of $1,400, and was dedi-
cated by Rev. John Weishampel of Lancas- '
ter the same year. The clergymen, who '
have served since that time are Revs. Stone-
seifer, Hackenberger, Hiss, Albert, Long and
Still. Samuel E. Herman of Red Lion is
the present pastor. The membership is thirty. |

Locust Grove Church. — The Reformed
Church by this name was built in 1866, at a
cost of $1,500; much of material and work
were voluntarily contributed by generous
persons. The building committee were Dan-
iel Kaltreider, J. W. Landis and D. Armold.
The congregation was organized in 1874
with thirteen members by Rev. R. Rahauser.
He was succeeded by Rev. E. G. Williams.
In the spring of 1884. by order of Classis,
Rev. A. Wanner, D. D., became the supply.
The Sunday-school now kept in the church
was organized in 1866 with 125 pupils and
teachers. J. W. Landis has for many years
been superintendent. The congregation has
about thirty members.


The names of the fourteen schools of
Windsor are as follows: Diehl's, Cross',
(Raubs), Anstine's, Frysville, Cedar Hill,
Gehley's, Wambaugh's, Brilhart's, Tyson's,
Miller's, Grove's, East End, Smalls' and
Fairview. The members of the school board
during the past year were David I. Witmer,
president; J. T. Flinchbach, secretary; Will-
iam Flinchbach, treasurer; Solomon Frey,
David S. Smith and Daniel K. Anstine. Joel
Kaufi'man of this township has taught school
twenty-seven years. J. T. Flinchbach, now a
member of the board, and Amos Hengst, a
merchant, taught many years.


Windsor,as well as its neighbors, York, Hel
lam and Lower Windsor, has valuable veins of
iron ore. Samuel Hengst's bank was opened
about twelve years ago, and 8,050 tons of
brown hematite taken out. Moser's new bank,
near Longstown, was opened in 1866 by Mr.
Myers of Marietta, and considerable buff lim-
onite secured. Near the York and Windsor
line is Moser's old bank, four miles south-
east of York. It was opened about sixty
years ago by the York Furnace Company, and
worked second by J ohn A. Wright & Co., third
by Schoenberger, Musselman & Co., in 1850;
fourth by Musselman & Watts, and fifth by
Musselman & Sons. Since 1850 there were
42,090 tons of lump and wash ore ob-
tained from this bank and reduced in the
Musselman Furnace at Marietta. The bank
is nearly 300 yards long, and the excavation
of great size. The bestx)re here makes forty
per cent metallic iron.

What is known as Ore Valley, extending
into York Township, has yielded ore in large
quantities at different places.




Before the division of Windsor the vot-
ing place for the general election was at.
David Leber's tannery, and the spring
election at George Overdorff's mill, nov?
owned by William Fishel.

Windsor was a great hunting ground for
deer many years ago, especially the lower
part of it. Leber's tannery is located at the
extreme lower end of the town along the
"head of Kreutz Creek." Henry Leber,
father of Nathaniel Leber, purchased the
property in 1824, of John Kauffelt, who for
many years before conducted the same busi-
ness. Charles A. Leber is now the proprie-
tor. There are two other tanneries in this
township in operation, one owned by Daniel
Stine and the other by D. W. Gehly. Amos
Hengst has for a number of years conducted
a store of general merchandise near the cen-
ter of Windsor.

Spring Vale Postofiice was established in
1877. Noah Goodling was the first postmas-
ter; John Seitz succeeded.

One of the few woolen factories of this
county now in existence is owned by Daniel
L. Gehly of Windsor; as a fulling-mill it
has been run since 1780, or possibly earlier.
Large quantities of the "linsey-woolsey" of
olden times was manufactured here before
cloths, flannels, cassimeres and casinets were
common in this country. John C. Gehly, a
son of the owner, is the present proprietor.
The woolen factory department was started
in 1851. A large business is now carried on
at this place. Stocking yarn, flannels, blank-
ets, cloths, satinets and carpets are made in
considerable quantities.

Jacob Wallick, who was enlisted as a sol-
dier in 1814, now eighty-eight years old,
lives in Windsor. He belonged to Capt.
Hare's company, which formed at York, and
marched toward Baltimore in September,
1814, when the British threatened that city.
When his company, together with many
others, had gone as far south as Shrewsbury,
news was brought to them that the English
had retreated; hence, they returned to York
and were soon afterward discharged. Mr.
Wallick is a pensioner. His health, during
the summer of 1885, was very good and he
was strong and vigorous. He shot, during j
his younger days, twenty-sis deer in
Windsor. He is the father of nine children,
has lived fifty-one years where he now lives, ;
and on the day of our visit to him was on his
way to the woods to shoot squirrels. He
voted for James Monroe for president of the
United States, and afterward voted three

times for Andrew Jackson for the same office.
He is one of the three soldiers of the war of
1812 now living in York County. The other
two are William Cowan, aged ninety five, of
Lower Chanceford, and Robert Ramsay, aged
ninety-three, of Delta.


A short distance north of the York and East
Prospect road and in the northeastern part of
Windsor, is the site of the Revolutionary pris-
on. This land is now owned by Isaac Kaufl"-
man. For nearly three- fourths of a century it
was owned by Jacob Holtzinger. The prison
"pen," as it was called, was built in the
form of a circle. Posts, fifteen feet in
length, were erected in close proximity, so
that the entire prison resembled an Indian
fort; within this enclosure the prisoners built
huts. One- fourth of a mile distant from the
large pen, was a smaller one. Farmers
afterward used these posts for fence rails
and an occasional one can yet be seen.
This historic spot, though very rugged, is now
nearly all farmed over, so that it is difficult
to identify it unless pointed out by some old
citizen of the neighborhood. There were a
great many British and Hessian prisoners at
different times kept in Lancaster, York,
Carlisle, Reading and Lebanon, and event-
ually a number were sent to western Mary-
land and Virginia. A few were imprisoned
in the town of York. The object in locating
this prison four and one-half miles southeast
of the town doubtless was to avoid the
prevalence of contagious diseases and to
obtain a secure place. The first prisoners
sent into central Pennsylvania arrived
December, 1775. Some of them were capt-
vu-ed from British vessels along the coast of
New Jersey, and some by Gen. Montgomery
on his Canada expedition. Of the last were
eight officers and 200 men of the Seventh
Royal Fusiliers. Dr. John Kearsley was
brought to York a prisoner, October 25, 1775,
and delivered to the Committee of Safety for
endeavoring to procure British troops to
invade the colonies. He was a man of abili-
ty and was allowed a clerk and a servant to
attend him during his imprisonment. March
14, 1776, it was decided to remove British
officers and other prisoners of war from Lan-
caster to York and Carlisle. On account of
sickness in York, many who were to have
been sent here, were taken to Lebanon, where
some of them escaped.

The following is a copy of a letter from
the Committee of Safety, of Philadelphia,
to the Committee of Safety of York:


Committee op Safety, |

Philadelphia, January 14, 1776. f
Gentlemen: Prom every appearance of the
enemy's motions we have reasons to apprehend an
attack upon this city, which has determined the
board to form a magazine of stores at Germantown,
the present place of residence of Lieut. Boger,
S. Ball, two navy officers, who have been made
prisoners; from that circumstance it is thought not
advisable to remove them. Your town is tixed upon
as the most suitable place, as it is likely to be remote
from the scene of action, and of course not a ready
channel either to convey or receive intelligence that
may be injurious to us, but more especially on
account of tlie virtuous and determined attach-
ment of your good people to the cause of American
liberty. They will be escorted by an officer of
Col. Atlee's battalion, who will hand you this com-
munication. They are to remain on the same foot-
ing and to have the same allowance as the other
British officers at York, who are upon parole.

When Gen. Burgoyne surrendered to Gen.
Gates at Saratoga in October, 1777, his sol-
diers were imprisoned at different places.
Many of them were sent to Lancaster, and
in February, 1778, they were brought to
York County. At a session of the Executive
Council at Lacaster, February 12, 1778,
W. A. Atlee, commissary of prisoners, in-
formed the council " that there were a num-
ber of British prisoners now to be removed
to York, and that Capt. Long, with a com-
pany of York County militia on their way
home, their term of service having expired
that day; but they would conduct the pris-
oners to York if they were allowed rations
and pay for the time." A number of " con-
vention prisoners " were sent south from
York and Lancaster in 1778. December 6,
1778, the Executive Council directed the
Board of War to have William Scott, lieuten-
ant of York County, call out one class of the
militia to meet British prisoners at Wright's
Perry, on Susquehanna. A letter written by
Edward Shippen to Col. Burd, dated Lan-
caster, January 2, 1779, says: "All the pris-
oners of Gen. Burgoyne's army are gone over
the Susquehanna. Happy for this borough,
they were not detained by the weather here
all winter." Some of them were imprisoned
here and some were sent to H agerstovvn, Md.,
and to Virginia.

The Continental Congress passed a res-
olution March 3, 1781, directing that all
" convention prisoners" (Burgoyne's soldiers)
should be removed back from Virginia and
Maryland to Pennsylvania — the British to
York and the Hessians to Lancaster. Some
citizens of York County had petitioned the
council that no more Hessians be sent here.
There were some Hessians sent after their
petition, however. The York County militia
guarded the prisoners most of the time. In
January 2, 1782, the Supreme Executive

[ Council ordered Gen.Lincoln, minister of war,

] to send Gen. Hazen's regiment, the " Con-
gress' Own," to guard the prisoners in York,

j Lancaster and Berks counties. The county
militia, who had been guarding them, were
then discharged, but in the fall of 1782
Hazen's regiment was sent to Fort Pitt. In

j 1781 a malignant fever broke out among the
convention and Hessian prisoners at York
and in Lancaster. It was called " jail fever "

j or "camp fever." At the Windsor prison
numbers of them, mostly Hessians, died.
(Seepage 156.)


THIS township was formed in 1838, by a
division of Windsor, of which it formed
a part for a period of eighty years. Lower
Windsor is bounded on the north by Hellam,
on the east by the Susquehanna, on the south
by Chanceford and on the west by Windsor.
It slopes gently eastward, and is drained by
various small tributaries of the Susquehanna.
The farming land in the greater part of the
township is very valuable, and there are still
tracts of excellent woodland.

The valley which extends across the entire
township in an east and west direction, is
fertile with historical associations of the
colonial period, and the times of the first
settlements west of the Susquehanna. It
was then called the Conojohela* Valley, a
beautiful Indian name which, on account of
its euphony, should not be lost to history or
literature. It has been, however, within the
past half century, corrupted into " Jockly,"
''Canojockly" "Canodocholy," etc. The
original name should be revived. It was in
this valley that some of the first "squatters"
on the west side of the Susquehanna located,
and were driven to the east side by the Provin-
cial authorities, before the time of authorized
settlements, the incidents of which are related
in the first part of this book. It was on the
opposite side of the river, at the site of the
village of Washington, that James Patterson,
the Indian trader lived and flourished when
the territory of York County was yet owned by
the red man. As early as 1722 he used a
portion of the Conojohela Valley as a public
pasture ground for his horses. At his store
the surveyors who laid off' Springetsbury
Manor met. Gov. Keith and the Hon. John
Penn stopped there and met representatives
of the native tribes of the Susquehannocks.

*The meaning of this word is unknown.


One of the volumes of the Pennsylvania
Archives, record the fact that in the year
1722, some Indian squaws had g-athered
apples in this valley, and were about to take
them across the river to their settlement at
Indian Town, when the white "squatters"
took the apples from the Indians and abused
them, on account of which, complaint was
made to the authorities. Inasmuch as apples
are not indigenous to America, this fact would
seem to indicate that this fruit was introduced
into York County by our aborigines before
the time of the settlement by the whites.

At the base of the Conojohela Valley, near
the mouth of Cabin Branch Creek, was the
site of what was known as the fort of Col.
Thomas Cresap, the hero of the Maryland
Intruders. The thrilling incidents which
caused so much commotion on account of the
encroachment of the Marylauders, will be
found in the chapter entitled "Border Troub-
les " in the first part of this work.


Most of the first settlers of this township
were Germans, and the first religious serv-
ices were held in their native tongue, in the
homes of the well-to-do pioneers, and con-
ducted by missionaries. These people before
they left the fatherland, were members either
of the Lutheran or German Reformed Church.
These two denominations in 1763, joined
together in the erection of a house of wor-

The whole community assisted in building
it, and no one, except the joiner, whose name
was Gossler, received any pay for his work.

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 148 of 218)