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

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tral Railway shops at Baltimore. Returning to
York he worked for E. C. Smyser for tw^o years,
and tlien went to Springfield, Ohio, where he
worked for one year in the Champion shops. In
1877 he went to Baltimore, and for three years was
engaged in the produce business. Mr. Bayler is
now engaged in the manufacture of cigars. He
was married in 1875 to Kate Halbert, a native of
Carlisle, Penn., born in 1854, daughter of Joseph
Halbert. They have two children: Charles H. and
Rose M. Mr. Bayler is a Republican, and is a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity. He and his wife are
members of the Lutheran Church.

Charles A. Bayler was born March 18, 1853, and
is tlie youngest son living born to Henry and Sarah
A. (Klinefelter) Bayler. He is a wholesale dealer
in lumber and cigars. He received his schooling at
the public schools of York County, and at the York
County Academy, and at twenty-five years of age
began business for himself; but prior to this he had
learned the carpenter's trade. In 1877 he engaged
in the lumber business, and continued until 1882,
when he began the cigar biisiness. He was married
in 1878 to Rose B. Mason, a native of Columbia.
Mr. Bayler is a Republican.

C. H. BECKMEYER, general merchant, is a na-
tive of Germany, was horn in 1850 and is a son of
Frederick and Sophia Beckmeyer. He is the sixth
in a family of nine children, and of pure German
lineage. The boyhood of our subject was Spent in
his native country, where he attended the public
schools. In 1866 he came to America and took a
clerkship in a store. Remaining in New York City
ten years, he came in 1876 to York and engaged in
his present business. He was married in 1879 to
Miss Minnie Bode, a native of York, and a daugh-
ter of William and Charlotte Bode, natives of Ger-
many. They have three children: William, Char-
lotte and Edward. Mr. Beckmeyer is an enter-
prising citizen, and has made life a success. He
and wife are niembei-s of the German Lutheran
Church.



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



GEORGE W. BELL, superintendent of Weisle's
planing-mill and sash faclory, was born in Kew
YQrk City, February 38, 1851, to George S. and Julia
R. (Slawson) Bell, and is of Scotch-Irish origin.
The father of Mr. Bell was born in Boston, Mass.,
in 1820, and his mother in Rensselaer County, N.
Y., in 1834. His mother died in New York City in
1873. The paternal grandfather of our .subject was
Edward A. Bell, a native of Boston, Mass. His
great-grandfather came from Ireland to America,
and settled in Massachusetts. Mr. Bell was educa-
ted at the public schools of New York City, and
subsequently learned the carpenter's trade, and stud-
ied architecture, and at this continued for some
years. In 1878 he came to York and accepted the
position he now occupies. He superintended the
erection of the York City Market House, in 1878
and 1879, and the York Opera House in 1881 and

1883, and also designed some of the best business
houses and private residences and churches in York.
We would mention particularly the new St. Mary's
Roman Catholic Church, just finished, and tlie bank-
ing house of Weiser, Son & Carl. In 1880 Mr. Bell
was married to Miss Mary Kissinger, daughter of
Prof. E. J. Kissinger. To this marriage were born
two children: Emma D. and Mary E. Mrs. Bell
died in 1883. Politically Mr. Bell is a Republican.
In 1884 he was elected to represent the Ninth Ward
in the borough council. In the famous flood of

1884, Mr. Bell, as one of the members of the health
committee, did effective service, and also, as one of
tlie members of the relief committee, spent much
time and labor in helping all those that were in dis-
tress, and by his energy many people were helped,
and their homes put in a comfortable position once

DR. THEODORE H. BELTZ, son of Henry E.
and Julia A. Beltz, natives of Manchester, Carroll
Co., Md., was born in December, 1841. His father
was a physician. Dr. Beltz began his professional
studies at Irving College, Manchester, Md., and
graduated from that institution in March, 1861. He
then went to the Medical University of Maryland,
and graduated in March, 1863. On his return home
he formed a copartnership with his father. Dr.
Henry E. Beltz, who had practiced medicine in
Manchester for more than forty years. He remained
in partnership with his father three years, and then
went to Jefferson, York Co., Penn., where he
remained three years, and then came, in 1880, to
York. He married, in December, 1874, Nettie S.,
daughter of George A. Shower, of Manchester, Md.
Thev have one ctiild — Harry S.

EDMUND C. BENDER, son of Christian and
Sarah (Carl) Bender, was born in Dillsburg, York
County, January 23. 1831, and at an early age moved
with his parents to York. Here he attended school
until the age of sixteen, when he entered the dry
goods house of Rex, Brooke & Brown, of Philadel-
phia, and from there went to Baltimore as book-
keeper for the commission house of Lewis Frysinger
& Co., of that city. While there, the firm of P. A.
& S. Small, knowing him as a young man of great
integrity and excellent business qualities, offered him
the position of manager of their large grain depot and
warehouse at York; accepting this he returned to
his former home. He subsequently became man-
ager of the lumber-yard of the same firm, and
eventually, ou account of his superior business tact,
became a partner, under the firm name of Smalls,
Bender & Co. This copartnership existed for sev-
eral years, enjoying a large trade, when the firm
changed to Bender & Weiser, with Gates J. Weiser
as partner. In 1875 he sold his business interests in
York to Weiser Bros., and together with Messrs. J.
F. Steiner and Charles S. Weiser, leased a large
tract of valuable, fine timber laud, near Philipsburg,
Center Co., Penn., and removed with his family to



that town. At this place he remained for nine
years, a part of which time Gates J. Weiser was a
partner with him. They cut down and had sawed
into building material vast quantities of lumber.
While in Philipsburg his son, Edmund, showing a
desire to engage in the art of printing, he purchased
the Journal of that town, and conducted it until he
removed to York. Under his proprietorship it was
a live, well-edited paper. After returning to York,
he engaged in the grain business with his brother
Martin, under the firm name of Bender Bros., and
also in the grocery business with his son, as Bender
& Son. On May 15, 1856, he was married to Mar-
garet M. Weiser, daughter of Daniel B. and Matilda
Weiser, of York. They had two children: Sarah
M. and Edmund C. Bender. The death of this esti-
mable gentleman and model business man occurred
on August 29, 1883. By his strict adherence to
every enterprise in which he engaged, and correct
habits, he accumulated a large estate. Mr. Bender
early in life became a member of the Lutheran
Church, and at the time of his death was secretary
of the Lutheran Church Extension Society, a di-
rector of the York National Bank, a director of the
York & Peach Bottom Railroad, and a manager of
the Farmers' Market. As a citizen of York, he was
universally esteemed and respected. His son, Ed-
mund C. Bender, Jr., succeeds his father in the excel-
lent stand, on the corner of West Market and Penn
Streets, opposite the Farmers' Market, where he has
one of the largest and most attractive grocery stores
in York. He is a young man of excellent business
qualities.

MARTIN BENDER, second son of Christian
and Sarah (Carl) Bender, was born March 21, 1832,
in York. His education was received in the public
schools of his native town. After leaving school,
he assisted his father in the mercantile and milling
business for a number of years. His father, who
died at an advanced age in York, was for forty
years actively engaged in business, and was a
worthy citizen. At the age of twenty-one Martin
Bender embarked in business in York, opening a
dry goods store, which he conducted for nine years.
During the five years following he was associated
with John F. Patton in the drug trade. He then
opened a flour and feed store, and engaged in the
purchase of grain, in West York, for a time, in
partnership with his brother, E. C. Bender. The
firm is now Bender, Bond & Co., manufacturers and
dealers in flour, feed, grain, etc.. In which line they
are doing a large trade. Mr. Bender was united in
marriage, in 1867, with Miss Emma, daughter of
Samuel and Anna M. Weiser. They have had two
children: Willie C. (deceased) and Helen B. Mr.
Bender is a member of Zion Lutheran Church, of
York, in which he has been an elder for many
years, and for a long time has served very accept-
ably as superintendent of the infant department of
the Sunday-school. He is« a gentleman of exem-
plary character and a prosperous business man.
Since writing the above, Emma, wife of Martin
Bender, died, September 30, 1881. She was a con-
sistent member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Rev.
Dr. Gotwalt, pastor.

CHRISTIAN BENDER, a representative of an
old and prosperous family, descendants of -the first
settlers of York County, was born in York, Decem-
ber 2, 1833, and is the son of George and Hannah
Bender. The ancestors of the Benders emigrated
from Germany, and landed in this country about
the year 1740. The father of our subject was a
brickmaker, and owned a yard in the vicinity of
York. The son, in his younger days, while yet
attending school, assisted his father. In 1875 he
engaged in the coal and wood business, on East
Market Street, York. As a reward for his energy
and integrity he has now established a large trade,



YORK BOROUGH.



having among his patrons many of the most influ-
ential citizens of his native town. On January 7.
18.55, Mr. Benderwas married to Sarah, daughter of
Daniel and Mary A. Graver, of York. They had
five children, viz.: John C, Lavinla M., Amelia A.,
Irene E. and Christopher C. His tirst wife died in
187.3. His second marriage was with Martha C.
Herman. Mr. Bender and family are members of
I he Lutheran Church. For a number of years he
has been a member of the Masonic fraternity.

PETER BENTZ (deceased) was a native of
York, Penn., born November 21, 1830, son of
Michael and Anna Bentz, and was of German
extraction. The Bentz family came from Germany
to America and settled in Pennsylvania. Subject
was educated at the York public schools. _ By occu-
pation he was a musician and proprietor of a
music store for thirty-five years. He was one of
the leading musicians and music teachers of York
for many years. For a quarter of a century he was
the organist at St. John's Episcopal Church. In
1861 he was married to Miss Ellen J. Griffith, a
native of Baltimore, Md. To this union were born
four children, viz.: W. Stewart, Harry, Mary S.
and Anna. Politically Mr. Bentz was a Repub-
lican. He was a Mason and a member of St. John's
Episcopal Church. He was a prominent man and
highly respected citizen. His death took place in
September, 1884.

E. D. BENTZEL. attorney at law. Baltzer and
Philip Bentzel, emigrated from Germany to Amer-
ica, and arrived at Baltimore in the year 1745. Soon
after their arrival, Baltzer came to what is now York
County, Penn., and settled near York: he was ashoe-
maker by trade, reared a family of two sons and
four daughters: Henry, David, Catharine Elltnan,
Anna Maria, Lizzie and Barbara Kump. The father
was a captain in the Revolutionary war; he died
when David, who was born in August, 1777, was a
young man. AVhen David was twenty-four yeas of
age. he married Miss Elizabeth Meisenhelter.rand
settled upon a farm, on the Little Conewago Creek,
near what is now Weigelstown. He was a success-
ful farmer, and in 1811 erected a large distillery,
manufacturing whisky which he conveyed by his
teams to Baltimore, there being no railroads at the
time where it was marketed. He reared a family of
five sous and five daughters: Henry, Felix, David,
Samuel and Daniel M., Barbara, Mary, Elizabeth,
Nancy and Sarah (who died young), all of whom
were married except Felix, who died young, David
was born May 8, 1815. He learned the trade of
milling from his uncle, George Meisenhelter, at his
father's mill, on the Little Conewago, which he
bought at his father's death, and where he is still
living. He married Sarah, daughter of John Eisen-
hart, who was a carpenter and cabinet-maker; she
died December 35, 1880. One of her brothers, Samuel
M. Eisenhart, is now a resident of York. Six children
were born to this union: Henry M., born in 1844,
located in California, where he died in 1877, leaving
to survive a son, Frederick; Edward D. and David
E., born in 1857; Nancy, wife of Henry "W. Jacobs;
Kate E., wife of Peter Binder, and Leah, who
died in her infancy. Our subject was born Feb-
ruary 22, 1846, and learned the milling trade of his
father, which he was forced to abandon on account
of a violent illness, which crippled him in his lower
limbs to such an e.xtent, that he was compelled to
use crutches. He then secured an excellent educa-
tion, having the advantage of the York County Nor-
mal and the Academy. 'Subsequently he became a
teacher, which he continued for sis terms in York
Borough and the county. He then entered the polit-
ical field, and in 1872 was elected clerk of the courts,
the duties of which position he honorablv dis-
charged for three years. Deciding upon the pro-
fession of law, he entered the office of James B.



Ziegler, Esq., and in 1878 was admitted to practice,
at which he has been actively engaged up to the
present time. Mr. Bentzel is an uncompromising
Democrat, a valued leader in politics, and a citizen
of worth and progressive ideas. He was married to
Ida Kate Wehrly, daughter of George Wehrly, pro-
prietor of the Pennsylvania House, York, February
24, 1881. They have three children: Edith May,
Earnie and Edward Wehrly.

JOHN AV.BITTENGER.one of the leading attor-
neys of the York County bar, is a descendant of old
Pennsylvania ancestry. His great-grandfather, Capt.
Nicholas Bittenger, a native and resident of Adams
County, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
Upon his mother's side, John Wierman.also a native
and citizen of Adams County, was a wealthy farmer
and, for a number of years, a justice of the peace.
His grandparents were Joseph Bittenger, of Adams
County, and Hon. Daniel ShefEer, a native of York
County, who, in early life, was a physician. He
became subsequently associate judge of Adams
County, and in 1836 was elected to represent Adams
and Franklin Countiesin congress, attained distinc-
tion and became one of the leading political factors
of his time in the State. The parents of our subject
were Henry and Juliann (Sheffer) Bittenger, both
natives of Adams Count}'. The father is now a res-
ident of Hanover. The mother died in 1837, leav-
ing three children: Mrs. George C. Barnitz of Mid-
dletown,Ohio, Mrs. Reuben Young of Hanover, and
the subject of this biography.

JOHN W. BITTENGER, jR.,was born in Adams
County in the year 1834. He received a good edu-
cation, attending the academies of Sirasburg, Penn.,
and Rockville, Md., supplemented by a partial
course at the Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg;
during the latter he was also a student of law with
the late Hon. Moses McCle'an. He subsequently
went to Rockville, Md., and finished reading in the
office of W. Viers Bouic, now judge of the circuit
court of that county, being admitted to the bar at
Rockville. in 1856. After graduating at the law
school, of Harvard College, he went to Lexington,
Ky., where he entered upon the practical duties of
his profession, remaining in that State three years.
In 1860 Mr. Bittenger became a citizen of York,
where he has since been in constant practice. His
ability was soon recognized, and in 1862 he was
elected district attorney, of York County, serving
six years. He has also served as counsel for the
county commissioners and as attorney for the bor-
ough of York. Mr. Bittenger has attained a promi-
nent position among his fellows and was a lead-
ing candidate for the nomination for county judge
in 1881, and in 1885 secured the candidacy. As a
citizen he is of the progressive type, and as a politi-
cian one of the leaders of the Democracy. Mr.
Bittenger is a member of the Masonic order, of the
I. O. O. F. (Encampment), and the I. O. R. M., also
of the York Club. In 1877 he was united in marriage
with Miss Anna Brenneman, a native of York Coun-
ty. They have two children living: Ida May and
Julia Anna, and one deceased, Jolin H., who died
at the age of seven years.

CHAUNCEY F. BLACK. The stock from
which the present lieutenant-governor springs
needs no introduction to Pennsylvanians. His illus-
trious father, Jeremiah Sullivan Black, was pre-
eminently a Pennsylvanian by blood and birth, by
education and public service. He unites the ruling
types in the rural portions of the State— the sturdy
Pennsylvania German and energetic Scotch-Irish.
Born in the Glades, Somerset County, his father
was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his mother of Scotch-
Irish on her father's side, as her name, Sullivan,
indicates, and of Pennsylvania German descent on
her mother's side. Judge Black's father, Henry
Black, was a man of prominence in southern Penn-



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



sylvania; tie served in the legislature from 1814 to
1818, was an associate judge for a term, and was a
■member of the National house of representatives
when he died. His wife was the daughter of
Chauncey Forward, who was a member of congress
and a brother of Walter Forward, secretary of the
treasury underTyler. Chauncey Forward Black, who
bearshis mother's family name, was born in Somerset
County, Penn., November, 1839. His early educa-
tion was obtained at Monongalia Academy,
Morgantown, W. Va., at Hiram College, in Ohio,
and he finished his studies at Jefferson College,
Canonsburg. When he was a pupil at Hiram
the late President Garfield was a tutor there,
and the acquaintance thus formed
ripened into a personal friendship,
which was only interrupted by the
president's tragic death. Their po-
litical differences were the widest,
as illustrated by the scholarly and
irresistible paper, in which Mr. Black
took issue with Mr. Garfield's exul-
tant boast that the influence of Jef-
ferson is on the wane in our political
system. He was admitted to the
bar of Somerset, and also of York,
but never practiced much, showing
early inclination toward journalism
and other forms of literary work.
From the time of beginning his law
studie.s he wrote for various journals
on a wide range of topics, doing a
vast amount of effective political
work, for which he has trained
himself by study of the fathers of
the republic. Jefferson found in
him an appreciative but discrimina-
ting admirer, and the Hamiltonian
theories encountered his early criti-
cism and dissent. Study of the
constitution and of the discussions
over its adoption and construction,
convinced him that they who had
founded our institutions had builded
wiser than they knew, formulating
a system which could be practicably
and profitably applied to every
question that arose. Mr. Black,
though a student of politics, has
never failed to take a laboring oar
in the practical work of campaigns.
Besides the engagement of his pen
for effective work in many quarters,
he has been heard upon the stump
year after year, and a number of
the later platforms of the Demo-
cratic State conventions are accred-
ited to his authorship. In 1879 he
represented York County in the
State convention, and in 1880 he
was one of the delegates from that
congressional district to the Cincin-
nati convention, voting on the first
ballot for Judge Field, and on the
second for Gen. Hancock. Prior to the late State
convention, from the time his nomination for lieu-
tenant-governor was first broached, the suggestion
was received with popular favor, and he was chosen
by a large majority on the first ballot. The selection
was ratified most heartily not only bj' the Demo-
cratic press of Pennsylvania, but by many journals
of large influence outside the State.

From his youtli up Mr. Black has been a sup-
porter of those principles which he comes to by in-
heritance and holds by intelligent conviction.
With ready pen and eloquent tongue he has steadily
maintained them for over twenty years. In all his
utterances and writings they never found' abler nor



more fitting expression than in his successful efforts
to revive the .leffersonian societies and extend the
study of Jeffersonian principles. To this patriotic
task he has applied himself, not because of any
retrospective tendency of his mind, nor by reason of
any failure to profoundly appreciate the spirit of
true progressiveuess and to adapt himself and his
political principles to the wonderful development
of our national life. He holds that in the Jeffer-
sonian philosophy are the germs of all political pro-
gress.

Since 1873 Mr. Black has been closely and
continuously identified with the journalism of the
country. He lias been uninterruptedly an editorial




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contributor to the New York Sun and other promi-
nent journals of the country, his facile pen being
devoted to no special range of subjects, and often
wandaj'ing into the more graceful lines of literature,
while his fulminations are vigorous and effective
when hurled at political evils. The geniality and
native humor of his temperament, which make him
a social favorite wherever he is known, unmistaka-
bly manifest themselves in his literarj^. work, but
the sturdy Anglo-Saxon and virile thought of his
editorial expression make it recognizable.

In November, 1882, he was elected lieutenant-
governor of Pennsylvania. His majority in York
County was one of the largest ever received by any



YORK BOROUGH.



candidate, -when opposed by the opposite party. In
January, 1883, he entered upon his duties as presid-
ing officer of the senate of Pennsylvania. His
(lignitied bearing, affable manners and courtesy have
won the admiration of the senators of both parties,
and of the officers, of the various departments, with
whom he has had official intercourse.

In 1863 Mr. Black was married to the daughter
of the late Hon, John L. Dawson, whose home was
at Friendship Hill, Fayette County, the former
residence of Albert Gallatin, .and the present resi-
dence of Mr. Dawson's widow, which is still in the
ownership of the family. Mr. Dawson represented
the (then) Tweitty-tirst District in congress with
great distinction. He was in reality the father of
the homestead law now in force. Of the four chil-
dren at "Willow Bridges," the three boys illustrate
their distinguished lineage by the names .leremiah
Sullivan, John L. Dawson and Chauncey Forward.
Possessed in eminent degree of those tireside virtues
which are the best qualities of public men, Mr.
Black has social accomplishments which make him
e.xtremely popular with his acquaintances. Upon
his nomination for lieutenant-governor he received
the hearty congratulations of hi,s neighbors and
assurances of their support regardless of party, be-
cause of the warmth of feeling which his personal
characteristics have awakened for liim. No local
interest fails to engage his sympathy, and his former
friends and neighbors are accustomed to count him
among those who regard their agricultural concerns
with community of interest. He was one of the
charter members of Springettsbury Grange. No. 79,
organized in Spring Garden Township, York Co.,
Penn., January 4, 1874, by R. H. Thomas, State
secretary. He attends the Episcopal Church.

On tlie left hand side of the Northern Central
Railroad, about a mile southwest of York, Penn..
and in the township of Spring Garden is a beautiful
home, bowered among apple trees, which are thick-
ly set on a smoothly kept lawn. Well trimmed
hedges run all around this little farm; through
them, here and there, grow the osage trees and
towering elms, while drooping willows and whisper-
ing maples shade the enclosed grounds. The ivy
grows over the stone springhouse; Virginia creepers
cling to trellises and branching trees and flaunt
their graceful foliage in the summer wind. Within
the house which adorns " Willow Bridges," are the
signs of solid comfort and refinement. ' Near by, an
office of rustic beauty, furnished with all the
facilities for literary labor, is the workshop of
Chauncey F. Black.'

Inheriting from a hardy race of ancestors a love
of nature, he lives here in the country at the foot
of Webb's Hill, over which the spacious and highly



Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 158 of 218)