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

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ipated in the humane treatment experienced in the i
days of his directorship. Mr. Small died August
8. 188,'), and, as a mark of respect to the deceased,
Chief Burgess Heiges issued the following procla- i
mation :

"By the death of David Small on Saturday
last, York has lost one of its most prominent and
honored citizens. In view of his long and useful
public career in various positions of trust and re- |
sponsibility in this community, and on account of I
his exemplary private life, and because of 'his hav- j
ing so acceptably filled the office of Chief Burgess
of York for nine consecutive years, I have directed |
the borough flag to be suspended at half mast until
after the funeral of David Small, Tuesday after-
noon, August 11, 1885, and I recommend a suspen-
sion of business, as far as possible, from 3i to 4i
p. m. of said day, and especially on the part of all
offices and employes of the borough; and I further
■ direct that the bells on the engine houses be tolled
between the above mentioned hours as tokens of
respect for the memory of the deceased.

"George W. Heires,
"Chief Burgess.

" York, Penn., August 10, 1885." i

The funeral of Mr. Small took place on Tuesday ;
aftefnoon, the services commencing at his late resi- ;
dence at 3i o'clock. Rev. J. O. Miller, of Trinity
Reformed Church, officiating. The remains were
interred in the family lot at Pro.spect Hill Cemetery,
attended by a large concourse of relatives and
friends. In accordance with an expressed desire in
life, the employes of the York Gazette printing-
office acted as pall-bearers. Thus closes the career
of a useful man who has left his impress for good
upon the community, and leaves one land-mark less ;
to connect the past with the present; leaves a void
in the family and social circle, and many regrets
among those who knew him best and had cause to
remember his many kindnesses in word and deed;
and to whom it will be gratifying to know that his
end was peace, and his departure without a strug-
gle, entering into a rest he longed for, as the rest
which endureth forever. [The above sketch is
comprised of extracts from an obituary notice in
the York Gazette of Tuesday, August 11, 1885.]

LUTHER A. SMALL, ex-chief burgess of York
Borotigh, and son of David and Adaline Small, was
born August 16, 1843. He is the youngest in a f am- ;
ily of four children and is of German origin. He
received his education at the York public schools
and the York County Academy. At eighteen years
he began learning the printer's trade, and since
then bis life has been that of a printer and editor,
and he is connected with the Gazette Printing Com-
pany. The marriage of Mr. Small with Miss Susan
Groff was solemnized in 1865. Mrs. Small is also a
native of York. They have one child, Emma V.
Mr. Small is a thorough Democrat, and for quite a
number of years has taken an active part in politi-
cal affairs. During the years 1881 and 1883 he was
a memlDer of the town council. In 1883 he was
elected chief burgess and re-elected in 1884. He is
a member of the I. 0. O. F. and I. O. R. M.

REV. J. C. SMITH, of York, is now the oldest
itinerant minister in the Pennsylvania Conference
of the church of the United Brethren in Christ. He
was born in Franklin County, Penn., January 22,
1819. His grandparents came from Switzerland in



1750, and settled near Chambersburg. Mr. Smith
is next to the youngest of eight children. He at-
tended the schools of his native section first, and
afterward entered an academy at Uniontown, Md. ;
then engaged in teaching, and was licensed to
preach February 28, 1843, and ordained February
26, 1846. His first circuit in Franklin County had
twenty-six appointments, each of which he visited
every four weeks, by traveling 1.50 miles. The
first year of Mr. Smith's labors brought 100 mem-
bers into the church, among them John Dickson,
now bishop of the Pennsylvania Conference. He
next went to the Harrisburg circuit, then to Littles-
town circuit, during which time through his preach-
ing Revs. J. S. Wentz, L. W. Crauraer and W. B.
Raber became members of the church and after-
ward successful ministers of the Gospel. His next
appointment was at York, where he served several
different times. He is now a highly respected and
honored citizen of the town. Few itinerant minis-
ters of the Gospel have had so varied an experience
as Rev. Mr. Smith. He has been an earnest, faith-
ful and devoted worker in the cause of the church,
and has served many other appointments, the work
of which our limited space here cannot describe.
He has been presiding elder of York for several
years, was a member of the board of education in
York, and filled many other positions of trust. His
reminiscences, published in the church journals, are
read with great interest. He was unceasing In his
interest to furnish facts and statistics of church
history for this work.

WILLIAM SMITH, one of the leading druggists
of York, is a native of Lancaster County, where he
was born in 1832. He decided upon a mercantile
career and, in 1834, entered the drug store of C. A.
Morris, now deceased, but who was an old and val
ued citizen and business man of York. Having be-
come thoroughly acquainted with the drug business
and possessing good business qualifications, he was
admitted as a partner in 1846, and continued in this
relation until 1873, when he became the head of the
firm, having in association with him G. P. Yost, who
had been one of the chief clerks of the firm of C. A.
Morris & Co., since 1859. Horace Smith, a son
was admitted as a partner, April 1,1879; he has also
become thoroughly acquainted with the business by
long service. The firm is finely located on East Mar-



GIBSON SMITH, dealer in grain, flour and coal,
was born in Cumberland County, Penn., in 1823, is
a son of Abraham and Sarah (Smith) Smith, and is
of German origin. At the age of four years, Mr.
Smith came with his parents to York County, and
the family made settlement in the "upper end." In
1856 our subject began his present business. He
was married in 1852 to Miss Susan Fahs, daughter
of John Fahs. To this union have been born two
children. Edgar F., born in York County, in 18.54
was educated at the public schools, at York County
Academy and Pennsjdvania College, at Gettysburg;
graduating from that institution, he went to Ger-
many and after two years received a degree from
the University of Goettingen. He is now professor
of natural science at Wittenburg College at Spring-
field, Ohio. Allen J. was born in 1865, in York,
Penn. He has received a liberal education and is
now attending lectures at the University of Penn-
sylvania.

REV. REINHART SMITH was born in the
county of Shopfheim, graud dukedom of Baden,
Germany, near the river Rhine, May 15. 1836, to
Joseph and Rosina (Ruetchli) Smith. He was edu-
cated at the public schools and received a good Ger-
man education. In 1854, in company with his parents,
he came to America, landing at Castle Garden, Ne^v
York,September4. The family proceeded to Lehin-h



46



YORK BOROUGH.



County, Penn., and thence moved to Shelby County,
Ohio, wliere his parents died in 1855. Early in life
our subject was forced to make his own way. and for
a time worlied upon a farm, and then entered a hat
factory as clerk. He studied privately from 1855 to
1860 with Rev. A. Linbagh, Reading, Penn.. while
he was clerk. In 1860 he entered the theological
seminary at Mercersburg, Penn. Completing his
labors at the seminary, he was licensed to preach,
and since that time has been actively engaged in
the ministry. In 1863 he removed to Sullivan
County, and the first year received for his services
$197.85. In 1866 he came to York County and
accepted the pastorate of the Reformed Church at
Dallastown, and there remained until 1868, when he
removed to York and here has since resided. ThC'
marriage of Rev. Smith was solemnized, in 1863, to
Miss Anna Hoelker, of Philadelphia. Mrs. Smith
died in 1864 and our subject was ne.Kt married, in
1866, to Miss Hannah C. Shaffer. They have five
children, viz.: Aaron H., Anna A., William R.,
Charles S. and Emma A.

S. MORGAN" SMITH, inventor of Smith's Suc-
cess Turbine Water-wheel and manuf.acturer of
mill machinery, was born February 1, 1830, in
Davie County, N. C, second son of John W. and
Sarah Purden (Beauchamp) Smith. He is of
English-French descent. His parents were born in
Davie County, N. C, his father in 1811 and mother
in 1816. By occupation his fijther was a farmer
and yet resides in his native county. His mother
died in 1866. The paternal grandfather of Mr.
Smith was also born in Davie County, N. C, and
his great-grandfather in Frederick, Md., and his
great-great-grandfather was a native of France,
who emigrated from England to America and
settled in Frederick City, Md. The subject of this
sketch was educated at the public schools of Davie
County, N. C, and the Moravian College at Beth-
lehem, Penn., from which he graduated in 1861.
During his collegiate course he prepared himself
for the ministry, and from 1861 to 1866 was pastor of
a Moravian Church. In 1866 he went to Canal
Dover, Ohio, and had charge of a congregation at
that place for five years. In 1871 he quit the
ministerial work, on account of a serious throat
trouble, and returned to York. About 1871 Mr.
Smith began giving his attention to the invention
of water-wheels and the manufacture of mill
machinery. He was united in marriage, in 1862, to
Miss Emma R. Fahs. a native of York County.
Children have been born to this marriage as fol-
lows : Charles E., Stephen F., Beauchamp H.,
Sarah P.. Susan E. and Mary D. In 1864 Mr.
Smith was elected chaplain of the Two Hundredth
Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until the close
of the war. He is a Republican, and a member of
the G. A. R. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of
tlie Moravian Church.

THE SMYSER FAMILY. On the 17th of Feb-
ru:iry, 1715, by the historic little village of Rugel-
bach, in the kingdom of Wurtemburg, now Ger-
many, was born Mathias Smyser, the ancestor of
the Smyser family in York County. His father.
Martin Smyser, was an industrious peasant, and a
member of the Lutheran Church. The boyhood
days of the son were spent in the schools of his na-
tive place, and assisting the father in tilling the
soil and weaving. The visit of William Penn to
Germany to invite the industrious peasants of that
country to his new province across the sea, caused
many thousands to emigrate. On September 31.
1731, the good ship "Britannia," with Michael
Franklyn as captain, set sail from Rotterdam, stop-
ping at Cowes to pay proper obeisance to the En-
glish flag and government, thence to Philadelphia,
freighted with 267 German emigrants, 141 of whom
were males, and 126 females. Among them were



Mathias Smyser, then but si-^cteen years old, his
mother Anna Barbara, aged fifty, his sister, Marga-
ret, aged twenty, and his brother George, aged nine.
It was just at the time of their arrival that the first
permanent settlements were being made west of the
Susquehanna, and we next hear of him as a weaver,
among the original settlers of Kruetz Creek, in
York County. Having received money from Ger-
many, he obtained a land warrant from the propri-
etors, and took up a large tract of land near the
present village of Spring Grove, about the year
1740. Being' an.xious to have near neighbors, Ma-
thias divided his plantation into smaller tracts, and
presented all except one to new immigrants. Wheth-
er his brother, who had now grown to manhood, was
the recipient of one of these farms, is not known,
but they did live near each other, on different tracts
of land, for some years. He eventually found that
he had parted with his best land, so he sold the re-
mainder, and purchased a tract of 400 acres from
Mr. Henthorn, about three miles west of York, on
what is now the Berlin Road, erected buildings and
moved there on May 3, 1745. He remained there
until his death in 1778. about the time his distin-
guished son was fighting the battles of the new
government. His brother George also disposed of
his property, and bought a farm north of York,
where he resided several years, but eventually
moved to Virginia, and thence to Kentucky, where
many of his descendants now reside. Mathias
Smyser left to survive him three sons: Michael,
born 1740: Jacob, born 1742; Mathias, born 1744.
Anna Maria, next to the youngest daughter, was
born 1757; Susanna, the youngest, born 1760. The
dates of the births of the other daughters, Dorothy,
Sabina, Rosanna and Elizabeth, cannot be ascer-
tained. Michael, the eldest son, became a conspic-
uous personage during the Revolutionary war.

Cot,. Michael S.vyser, the eldest son, was
born in 1740, and was long and extensively known
as a highly respectable farmer and tavern keeper in
what is now West Manchester Township, near the
site of his father's home. He owned a farm of 200
acres. Though not favored with a liberal educa-
tion, he was known as a man of discriminating mind
and sound judgment. He was early associated
with the Revolutionary patriots, and was a useful
man in the councils of that day, as well as on the
field of battle. He was one of a committee of
twelve from York County, who raised money in
1775 to .send to the inhabitants of Boston, when the
port of that city was closed by the British, collect-
ing £6 12s Id from his own township. If the
American cause had failed, every one of that com-
mittee would have forfeited his life on the scaf-
fold of the enemy. He joined the Continental Army
as a captain in Col. Michael Swope's regiment of
York County volunteers, and was captured by the
enemy in the engagement at Fort Washington,
north of New York City, on the 16th of September,
1776. Several months of distressing imprisonment
followed, during which time he was unremitting in
his efforts to alleviate the sufferings of others, and
bold and animated in the advocacy of his country's
: cause. After his release and return home, in 1778,
i he was elected a member of the house of repre-
sentatives of Pennsylvania from York County, and
from that time to 1790 was seven times re-elected
to the same position. From 1790 to 1795 he repre-
sented his county in the State senate-, hjJing the first
person to fill that position under the S%te constitu-
tion of 1790. Here, his warm attachthent to our
political institutions enabled him to act with honor
to himself and his constituents. After the war he
turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and
kept a tavern. He died in the year 1810, and his
remains are interred near those of his father in the
graveyard of the First Lutheran Church of York.



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



47



He left three sons and four daughters, namely:
Peter, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jacob, Mary, Michael and
Susan.

Jacob Smyser, the second son of Mathias,
the immigrant, was a prosperous farmer, and for
some years a justice of the peace. In 1789 was
elected a memtier of the house of representatives
of Pennsylvania, and soon after died at the age of
fif ly-one years. He left seven sons and one daugh-
ter, viz.: Henry, Jacob, Martin, John, Daniel, Cath-
erine, Peter and Adam.

Mathias Smtser, the youngest son of the im-
migrant, resided on the mansion farm of his father,
wliere he quietly pursued the useful and respecta-
ble occupation of an agriculturist. He was a man
of the strictest integrity. He was in the Revolu-
tionary war as a teamster, driving a baggage wagon.
He lived to the age of eighty-four years, much
longer than the other two of" these brothers, and left
five sons and two daughters, namely: Catharine,
Polly, George, Jacob, Mathias, Philip and Henry.
A centennial celebration was held by the de-
scendants of Mathias Smyser, the elder, on the
mansion farm now owned by Samuel Smyser, in
West Manchester Township, on May 3, 1845. It
occurred on Saturday, and was a bright and pleas-
ant day. The meeting organized by electing
George Smyser president. Jacob Smyser (of Mi-
chael) and Martin Ebert, vice presidents, and Philip
Smyser and Rev. S. Oswald, secretaries. After
a sumptuous dinner, the exercises were opened by
Prof. Charles Hay, now of Gettj'sburg, and an ad-
dress was made by the venerable president, who
yet remembered seeing his aged grandfather, whose
location on that spot, 100 years before, they
were then celelirating. A series of resolutions was
passed, letters read from absent ones, an historical
narration prepared by Philip Smyser was read, and
an address delivered by Rev. S. Oswald. The fol- j
lowing beautiful sentiment is an extract from his i
speech: "My thoughls while here have been made 1
up of some sort of pleasant mingling together of '
the present, the past and the future. At one time
my imagination carries me back 100 years. I look
up, I look around me, but I see naught except the
blue vault of heaven, and a dark, dreary forest, en-
livened only by the sweet warbling of the feathered
songsters, and the rapid darting of the squirrel
among the wide-spreading branches of the forest
oak. I look again and see a solitary adventurer,
firmly treading this thick forest; the sturdy oals
falls before the ax wielded by his vigorous arms;
and soon where once that forest stood now waves
the golden grain. But with the rapidity of thought
I am carried back to this hour, and here I see a nu-
merous assembly, the descendants of that hardy
adventurer, congregated to celebrate the day whicli
dates the flight of a century, since first he called
these lands his own." Prof. ChailesHay made a
short address, after which a resolution was adopted
christening the old homestead "Rugelbach," in
honor of the birth-place of their ancestor. The
meeting adjourned recommending "that future gen-
erations hold a similar celebration in the year 1945,
and further, that we entertain the hope that this
homestead of our ancestor be held in the name of
Smyser." At this meeting, acommittee was appoint-
ed to ascertain the number of descendants of Mathias
Smyser. the elder, then living, reported as follows:
Descendants of Col. Michael Smyser, 244; of Jacob
Smyser, 177; Mathias Smyser, 160; Dorothy, mar-
ried to Peter Hoke, 340; Sabina, married to Jacob
Swope, of Lancaster County, 54; Rosanna, married
to George Maul, who moved to Virginia, 66; Eliza-
beth, married to Leonard Eichelberger, who lived
near Dillsbur)i',"116; Ann Mary, married to Martin
Ebert (whose father came from Germany in the



same vessel with her father), 64; and Susanna, mar-
ried to Philip Ebert, 47; in all, 1,163.

JOSEPH SMYSER was born in West Man-
chesler, three miles west of York, on the Ruegel-
bach farm, in 1811, is a son of Matthias and Eliza-
beth (Eyster) Smyser, and the third eldest in a
family of four children, viz.: Elizabeth, Sarah,
Joseph and Samuel; the three last named are now
living within the same square, in York, Penn.; and
Elizabeth died in the year 1839, The early life of
our subject was .spent on the farm. In 1844 he
moved to Y'ork. where he has since resided. The
marriage of Mr. Smyser took place, in 1835, to Miss
Sarah Weaver, a native of Adams County. Penn.
To this union have been born five children, three
of whom are still living: Catherine h. E., Ellen S.
and Alice M. Politically Mr. Smyser is a Repub-
lican. Mr. and Mrs. Smyser are members of the
Lutheran Church.

SAMUEL SMYSER, retired farmer, was born
in West Manchester Township, on the old Smyser
hom6,stead in 1813, to Matthias and Elizabeth
(Eysler) Smyser, and is of German origin. Mr.
Smyser worked on the farm for his father until he
was twenty-five years of age, when he began life
for himself and continued farming for twelve years.
In 1863 Mr. Smyser came to York and here has
since resided. He now owns the old Smyser home-
stead, which has been in the family for 140
years, and where the fi.mily centennial was
held in 1845. The marriage of Mr. Smyser
occurred, in 1866, to Miss Rebecca M. Lewis,
daughter of Dr. Robert Lewis, of Dover. Mrs!
Smyser was born in Dover, in 1825. The father of
Mrs. Smyser died in 1846, and her mother in 1867.
Mr. Smyser is a Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Smyser
are members of the Lutheran Church and are
among the prominent people of York.

DR. HENRY L. SMYSER was born in York,
December 8, 1825, and is a son of Michael and Eliza
(Lanius) Smyser. He is descended from German
stock. His father was born in York in 1799, was a
tanner, and died in 1874. Here also his mother was
born in 1803, and died in 1883. Dr. Smyser is a
representative of one of the first families of York
County. Having received a common school educa-
tion, he, in 1844, began the study of medicine under
Dr. J. W. Kerr, and in 1847 graduated from the
University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and
afterward located in Jackson Township, York
County, and there remained one year. In 1849 he
went to California, remained two years, and then
returned to his native county. In 18.55 he went to
Europe and entered the Russian Army as contract
surgeon, and was appointed to the rank of major.
At the end of the war he returned to York County,
and for distinguished services he received from the
Emperor Alexander II the decoration of St. Stan-
islaus and also a medal commemorative of the war.
He enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in 1863, and
here also was a contract surgeon. He did faithful
and efficient service at the hospital in Y''ork. In
1860 he was married to Emma E. Rieman, of York,
daughter of John Rieman. Two children. Ella n!
and John R., are the result of this union. Dr. and
Mrs. Smyser are members of the Lutheran
Church.

ALEXANDER D. SMYSER, son of Daniel and
Catherine (Weist) Smyser, fifth of six children, was
born April 3, 1848, in Jackson Township. He was
reared to farming, and resided in Jackson Township
until 1881, when he removed to York. He married
Louisa Yost, daughter of, Peter Y'ost, of Y'ork
Penn. One child— Clayton— was born to them'
May 26, 1881, he married Amanda Metzler, daugh-
ter of George and Mary (Fishel) Metzler. Two
children were born to this marriage: Harry E. and



YORK BOROUGH.



Bertha. (See history of Smyser family for our sub-
iect's ancestral history.)

HAMILTON SPANGLER (deceased), a native of
York, the third of four children of Samuel and
Mary (Dinkel) Spangler, was horn April 10, 1810.
Mr. Spangler was educated at the York County
Academy.' In 1838 he began farming; continued at
this occupation for ten years, then retired from
active business life. While farming Mr. Spangler
resided near Shrewsbury, York County, and owned
two of the best farms in that township. In 1861 he
married Miss Ann Eliza Connellee, a native of
York, daughter of Col. James S. and Sarah (Dan-
ner) Connellee, early settlers of York. The father
of our subject was born in York County in 1773;
Mary Dinkel, his mother, was born in the same
county in 1788. Mr. Spangler's maternal grand-
father was a soldier, and did gallant service for his
country, in the Revolutionary war. Baltzer Spang- ■
ler, his paternal grandfather, served also in that
struggle. Our subject had one sister, Eliza, the
wife of Jacob Hoke, of Havre de Grace, Md. His
brothers were Samuel (deceased) and Washington
(deceased), who died at the early age of sixteen.
The father of Mrs. Spangler, Col. James S. Connel- '
lee, was born in Westmoreland County, Va., in
1788; was reared and educated in the city of Rich- ;
mond, Va. Col. Connellee was a progressive and
prominent citizen of York in his day. He was a ■
leading member and vestryman in the Episcopal ■
Church for many years; member of the York Lodge
of Freemasons, arid one of the first men in York
to ofler his services to his country in the v%-ar of
1813. He was the youngest of four sons; Thorn- I
ton, William and Daniel were the names of his i
brothers. He died on the 23d of April, 1839. Sarah j
(Danner) Connellee, the wife of Col. Connellee, was
the daughter of Abraham Danner. The Danner
family were among the pioneer settlers of York,
and the history of York County will show that
Michael Danner was the intimate friend and adviser
of the Penn family. (See History of York County.)
ADAM SPANGLER was born in York, April
12, 1839, and was the fifth of the six children of
Samuel and Elizabeth (Frank) Spangler, of York,
Penn. Mr. Spangler attended the public schools of 1
York, and also the York County Academy. He <
learned the halter's trade with his father, and
worked at it ten years. He then began building,
and erected sixty-four houses, also a large planing-
mill and sash factory, 80x90 feet, well-equipped for :



Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 170 of 218)