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

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Township, also improved with buildings. Mr. and
Mrs. Peterman have been members of the United
Brethren Church since 1863; of this church Mr.
Peterman has been steward, and he has also served
the township as school director for three years.

LEWIS J. PRESSEL, son of John and Abigail
Pressel, of Washington Township, was born
February 9, 1830, and is of German descent on his
father's side and of English on bis mother's. He
was reared to manhood on the home farm, attend-
ing select school in the winters. He learned sur-
veying and subsequently taught school in Lower
Allen Township, Cumberland County, and also in
this township. He began farming on the home
stead in 1857, and the same year married Sarah,
daughter of Henry and Catherine ReifE, of Monroe
Township, Cumberland County, and to this mar-
riage have been born six children, of whom two
boys and three girls survive. In 1874 he built on
the homestead, which consists of 100 acres, a fine
new dwelling, and out buildings. Mr. Pressel, wife
and all the family are members of the Lutheran
Church at Filey's, of which he has been deacon and
elder a number of years; he was also superintend-
ent of the Northern Sunday-school several years,
and has filled a number of township offices.

HENRY W. PRESSEL is the fourth child of
John and Abigail Pressel, of this township, and is
of German and English descent. John Pressel, now
deceased, settled in Carroll Township in 1831. Our
subject grew to manhood on the home farm, attend-
ing school in the meantime. In 1853 he began teach-
ing and followed that profession at various points un-
til 1860. He also learned the theory of surveying. In
1857 he began farming on the southern part of the
old homestead, putting up a new dwelling in 1857,
and a barn in 1863. December 37, 1857, he married
Annie E., daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Plank.
Mrs. Pressel died April 7, 1875, the mother of seven
children, five of whom are still living. Mr. and
Mrs. Pressel joined the Lutheran Church at Filey's
in 1861, and of this church, for a number of years,
Mr. Pressel has been both deacon and elder. He has
also served in different offices — township assessor and
township clerk several times. He is an I. O. O. F.,
a K. of P., an agent of the fire insurance company
and a stockholder in the Harrisburg & Potomac
Railroad and several other companies. He retired
to private life in the spring of 1884, but still owns
104 acres of clear land, on which there are two sets
of buildings, and one-half interest in 134 33-100 acres
clear land io Cumberland County, on which there
is one set of buildings ; also twenty-four acres tim-

CHARLES W. SHEFFER, son of David and
Sarah ShefEer, of Dillsburg, was born June 15,
1846. In 1860 he began learning coach-making of
his father, and in 1^73 went to Dover, where for
about six 3'ears he worked for Brown & Strayer.
On his return to Dillsburg he erected a fine dwell-
ing house and a large coach-maker's shop, and has
succeeded in establishing a large and lucrative trade
in the borough and surrounding country in buggies,
spring wagons, hacks, phaetons, etc. He was mar-
ried in 1868 to Mary Baish. daughter of Joseph and
Mary Baish; of the two children born to this union —
a boy and a girl — the girl only is living. Mrs.
Sheffer is a member of the Lutheran Church.

JOHN A. SMITH, son of John Smith of Dills-
burg, was born August- 30. 1834, and is of German
descent, ^t the age of fifteen he began learning
tinsmithing with his father, who died three years
later. John A. and his brother, Thomas, then con-
tinued the business until 1861, when John A.

bought his brother's interest. In 1873 his brother
Andrew came in, but retired in 1876. In 1873 our
subject had enlarged the shop, and also built a resi-
dence for his mother near by; he also erected a
dwelling on Main Street opposite the public school
building. In 1864 he married Catherine, daughter
of William Spahr, of Dover Township, and this
marriage is graced with three children: Laura.
William and John. Mr. Smith has been a success-
ful business man and has filled various positions of
public trust. He served one year as chief burgess,
and has also served as judge of elections and coun-
cilman, and has been school director nine consecu-
tive years. At present he is treasurer of the school
board; he is also a stockholder in the Dillsburg tt
Mechanicsburg Railroad.

MARTIN SMYSER, son of Henry and Eve
Smyser, of Adams County, was born February 6,
1810, and is of German descent through his great-
grandfather. He grew to manhood on the home
farm, and in 1831 married Mary, daughter of Chris-
tian and Margaret Hostler; he settled near Dills-
burg and has resided here ever since, with the
exception of four months passed in Michigan.
Mrs. Smyser died in 1879, the mother of five chil-
dren — two boys and three girls. The second son,
George W., is a resident of Russell County, Kas.
Mr. Smyser is a member of the Lutheran Church of
Dillsburg, in which he has served as deacon and
trustee; he has also served his township in the
capacity of supervisor, inspector and clerk. He is
a prosperous farmer, and on his premises are two
valuable ore mines.

JEROME B. STARRY is the sixth of the eleven
children of John P. and Sarah A. (Chronister)
Starry; was born in Adams County in 1841, and is
of German extraction. He was reared on the farm
and educated in the common schools and at the
high school at Carlisle. At the age of fourteen he
came to York County and began teaching in the
common schools under the superintendent, A. R.
Blair, and for twenty-eight years has followed the
profession. For two and a half years, however, he
served his country in the late war as sergeant in
Company A, Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry,
and took part at Cold Harbor, Petersburgh, the
capture of the Weldon Railway, Five Forks and at
other points. After his return he began farming in
connection with teaching, and now has a place of
twenty-two acres in this township. In 1869 he
married Jennie E., daughter of James L. Livingston,
of Cumberland County, and became the father of
three children: George W., Irvia B. and H. F.
(deceased). He has been a member of the Lutheran
Church since sixteen years old.

LEWIS HTERS WATTS, son of Hiram and
Sarah Ann Watts, of Upper Allen Township, Cum-
berland County, was born June 31, 1850, and is of
English and German descent. He was reared on a
farm, but received a good education, and during
the winter of 1870-71 taught school in Penn Town-
ship, and in the winter of 1873, in Lower Allen '
Township, Cumberland County. In the summer of
1873 he began reading medicine with Dr. J. W.
Rupp, of New Cumberland; then began the drug
business at the same place; he came to Dillsburgh
in February, 1874, and opened on the corner of
Baltimore and Harrisburg Streets; twenty months
later he removed to opposite the Nelson House,
on Baltimore Street, remained there four years and
four months, and then took his present store on the
same street, where he has met' with abundant suc-
cess. August 8, 1871, he married Mary F., daugh-
ter of David H. and Mary Miller, of Northumber-
land County; to this union have been born two
children: Leon Lewis (deceased) and Amy Alda.
Mr. and Mrs. Watts are members of the Presbyte-
rian Church.


JOHN "WILLIAMS, son of James Williams, of
Monroe Township, Cumberland County, was born
February 5, 1815, and is of Welsh descent. He
was reared a farmer and married, in 1846, Lucinda
Nelson. In 1847 he settled on fifty acres at the
mouth of Dogwood Run, and engaged in farming
and milling. He has had born to him a family of
seven children — four sons, still single, now living
on the home place. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are
members of the Monaghan Presbyterian Church at
Dillsburgh. Mr. Williams has served as school
director, auditor, assessor and judge of elections.

CHARLES WILLIAMS, soii of John and Nancy
Williams, was born June 18, 1840, and is of Scotch-
Irish extraction. He was reared a farmer, and in 1864
began on his own account on sixty-four acres on the
roads leading from Harrisburg to York and from
Sidonsburg to Dillsburg. In the fall of 1862 he
was drafted and assigned to Company C, One
Hundred and Sixty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, as
corporal; was stationed at Suffolk in the Third
Army Corps, under Gen. Peck, and was mustered
out in July, 1863, at Harrisburg. He was engaged
in butchering from 1870 to 1873, in connection with
farming, and in 1877 opened a general store. He
is a Jeflersonian Democrat; he served as school
director in MonaghanTownship three years, and in
Carroll six years, and in the fall of 1884 was
elected to the legislature by over 8,800 majority.
Since 1861 he has been a member of Filey's Lu-
theran Church, and has been deacon, elder and trus-
tee many years; he has been actively connected
with the Sunday-school since boyhood, and in the
conventions at the upper end held the otflces of
president and secretary and chairman of the exec-
utive committee. In 1861 he married Margaret A.,
daughter of Thomas and Sarah Burtnet, of this
township, and of the seven children born to him
four are living: Mary Jane, Henry Wesley, Cather-
ine Elizabeth and Martha Elverta.


DANIEL CONRAD is a native of Lancaster
County, Penn., born in 1838. and is a son of Daniel
and Mary (Erisman) Conrad. His grandfather,
Daniel Conrad, was a native of Lancaster County,
Penn., and a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He
had three sons and four daughters. At the age of
eighteen years our subject was apprenticed to tlje
wheelwright's trade, and after serving three years
began business for himself at New Danville, Lan-
caster Co., Penn., where he remained UDtil 1860.
He then removed to Chanceford Township, York
County, and purchased a farm, and is now engaged
in farming and keeping hotel. Mr. Conrad was
married, in 185.5, to Miss Martha Zercher, of Lan-
caster County. They have four children: Elvina,
Benjamin P., Daniel W. and Henry. Mr. Conrad
is a member of the German Reformed Church.

THOMAS G. CROSS, son of James and Eliza-
beth (Grove) Cross, was born on the old homestead
in Windsor Township, York County, August 14,
1818. His grandfather, James Cross, was a native
of the "Emerald Isle," and came to America at
twelve years of age with his parents, who were
among the first set'tlers of York County. Several
of the older members of the Cross family were sol-
diers in the early wars, and held some of the first
civil oflicial positions in York County. Thomas
Cross, great-grandfather of our subject, came from
Ireland to the United States about 1752, locating in

Windsor Town.ship, where he took up about .500
acres of land. He died in 1776, leaving three sons:
John, who served in the Revolution, settled in the
West; James, who remained upon the old home-
stead and followed farming, served in the French
and Indian wars and the whisky insurrection, died
in 1845, leaving six children — three sons and three
daughters — James, the father of our subject, being
the eldest. He followed farming, and served as
justice of the peace for twenty-five years. He died
in June, 1872, leaving two sons and four daughters.
Thomas G. Cross -was educated at the common
schools and York County Academy, and also spent
some time at Chanceford Academy. At seventeen
years of age he began teaching, and followed that
occupation for thirteen years, and for four years
was engaged in mercantile business. In 1851 he
settled where he now resides and engaged in sur-
veying and general farming. He served as justice
of the peace for ten years, and 1857 was director of
the poor for York County, serving until 1860, dur-
ing which period the county hospital was erected.
In 1866 he was elected county prothonotary, and
served three years. In 1872 he returned to his
farm, where he now lives. He was married, in

I 1849, to Miss Martha J. Campbell, daughter of
John S. Campbell, of Lower Chanceford Township.
Seven children have blessed this union: Almira A.,
Elizabeth J., Maggie E.. Emma M., Nettie S., Otho
W. and Thomas C. Mr. and Mrs. Cross and all
their children are members of the United Presbyte-
rian Church.

THE CURRAN FAMILY. John Curran was a
son of David Curran, who emigrated from Ire-
land to America and settled where Jefferson, Md..
is now situated. This property afterward passed
into the hands of John Curran, who subsequently
sold it to Thomas Jefierson, and removed to
Chanceford Township. John Curran had ten
children: Samuel, John, David. Jacob, Charles.
Sophia, Sarah, Elizabeth, Margaret and Catherine.
John Curran died in 1819. Samuel Curran had
seven children: Andrew, John, Henry, Samuel,
Joseph, Mary and Margaret. Andrew Curran, a
son of Samuel and Mary (Wise) Curran, was born
January 29, 1829. At the age of twenty-three he
began serving an apprenticeship at the stonemason's
trade at Dallastown, Penn.,and continued this trade
for several years. In 1855 he removed from York
Township and settled on his present farm. He
was married in 1854 to Miss Catherine N. Young,
daughter of Jacob Young of York Township.
This marriage has been blessed with four children:
Mary C, Joseph A., Margaret A. and Samuel H.
Mr. Curran is a member of the German Reformed
Church, and his wife belongs to the Lutheran
Church. .lohn Curran, a son of Samuel and Mary
A. (Wise) Curran, was born September 14, 1833, in
the old family homestead, which he now owns and
where he resides; he is a farmer and grows tobacco
extensively. In 1859 he married Miss Sarah A.
Wise, daughter of John Wise of Chanceford Town-
ship. They have five children: John S,, William
F.. Joseph W., George A. and Mary M. Mr. Cur-
ran has held various official positions in his town-
ship. He is agent for the Southern Mutual Insur-
ance Company of York. He is a member of the
German Reformed Church. Henry Curran, son of
Samuel and Mary A. (Wise) Curran, was born on
the old homestead in 1884, and remained at home
until 1868, when he went to Montana, and engaged
in mining. In 1870 he returned to Chanceford
Township and engaged in farming and merchandis-
ing at Collinsville. He remained there some time
and then removed to Brogueville.where he continued
business for seven years! and then sold his interest
and began business where he now resides. He is

I also engaged in farming, and has 180 acres of land.


He was married, in 1877, to Miss Maria Trout,
daughter of Judge Valentine Trout. Three chil-
dren have blessed this marriage: Ivy M.. Mary IJ.,
and Sarah J. He is a member of the German Re- j
formed Church and his wife of the Presbyterian
Church. Samuel Curran, son of Samuel and Mary
A (Wise) Curran, was born October 29, 1836, and
reared and educated in his native township. He
reniainedon the homestead farm until thirty-three
y ears of age, when he purchased a farm adjoining
that of his father, and there he remained eight
yt-ars. In 1881 he purchased his present farm,
where he now resides. He was married in 1869 to
Miss Mary A.Sechrist, daughter of Charles Sechrist,
of Chanceford Township. Mr. Curran's second mar-
riage was in 1879 to Mrs. Catherine E. McNaughton.
They have three children: William H., George S.,
and .Tai-ob E. Mr. and Mrs. Curran are members
of the Lutheran Church.

HENRY DIETZ was born March 3, 1853, and is
a son of Frederick and Magdalena (Strickler) Dietz,
natives of Hellam Township, York Co., Penu.
At the age of nineteen years he began learning the
miller's trade, which he followed until 1877, when
he purchased a farm of 143 acres in Chanceford
Township and is now engaged in general farming.
He was married in 1874 to Miss Henrietta Burg of
Lower Windsor Township. They have one child,

LEVI C. FRY was born in Chanceford Town-
ship. York Co., Penn., March 3.5, 1843, and is a son
of John and Christina (Blouse) Fry, also natives
of this township. His grandfather. John Fry, was
a native of Lancaster County. Penn. He was
reared on the farm, and in 1861 enlisted in the
Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was
at the battles of Winchester, Kelly's Ford. Mine i
Run, Wilderness, and was wounded at Locust
Grove. November 27, 1863, and also look part at j
Horse Shoe Bend, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and 1
Bermuda. At the battle of Petersburg he was cap- ;
tured. June 22, 1864, and was confined at Bell
Island. Castle Thunder, Libby and Andersonville
prisons. He was released April 28, 186.5, and dis-
charged June 18, 1865. After the war he returned
to Chanceford Township, and engaged in farming.
Mr. Fry was married, March 33, 1866, to Miss
Cevella A. Hoover, daughter of Philip and Eliza-
beth Hoover, of Manchester Township. Mr. Fry
has served as township auditor, and is a church

ROBERT S. GEMMILL was born in 1840, and
is a son of James and Mary A. (Norris) Gemmill,
the latter a daughter of John V. Norris, of Harford
County, Md. William Gemmill. subject's grand- '
father, was a native of Hopewell Township, York
County. He had seven children, of whom the
father of Robert S. was the second son, who was
twice married, and who died in 1859. Robert S.
remained at home until his twentj'-first year, when
he purchased a farm and began general farming.
He now owns a farm of 126 acres of well improved
land, and is one of the successful farmers of Chance- |
ford Township. In 1861 he was married to Miss
Margaret I. Andrews, daughter of Robert Andrews, [
of Chanceford Township. This union has been
blessed with eight children: Franklin P., James N.,
Robert A., Mary L., Hugh L., William W., Annie
P. and Flora L. Mr. and Mrs. Gemmill are mem-
bers of the Preshyterian Church. Joseph W. Gem-
mill, brother of Robert S., was born December 4,
1845. on the old Gemmill homestead. At the death
of his liiother he inherited a portion of the home
farm, and bought the remainder and engaged in
farming. He now has 1.50 acres of good land. He
was married December 27, 1870, lo Emma
C. Good, daughter of Jesse B. Good, of Hopewell
Township. They have four children: Lottie I.,

James L., Sarah E. and Alfuah M. Mr. and Mrs.
Gemmill are members of the Presbyterian Church.

a soldier of the American Revolution, was born in
1751, and emigrated from Ireland in 1768. He
was married July 16, 1778, to Miss Hannah Hooper,
who bore him eleven children— five sons and six
daughters. Thomas Graham died in 1832. Robert
Graham, a son of Thomas, inherited the Graham
homestead. He followed farming, and in 1839 was
appointed postmaster, and held that office (from
which Grahamville originated) until 1860. He was
married in 1889, to Miss Sarah F. Clarkson, of
Chanceford Township, who died May 38, 1859, leav-
ing four children: Andrew C, Thomas L., James
C. and Hannah E. Mr. Graham's second marriage
was in 1860 to Miss Jane M. Stewart, who died in
1880. Mr. Graham represented York County in the
Stale legislature during the years 1843-43 and held
many township offices, and was a prominent mer-
chant. For many years he was an elder in the
Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member at
the time of his death in January 20,1875, aged eighty-
one years one month and fifteen days. Thomas L.
Graham is principal of the academy at Elkton,
Cecil Co., Md., and is a Mason. James C. Graham
was born August 22, 1845, on the old homestead,
and is by occupation a farmer. He was married,
November 38, 1878, to Miss Ella A. Shaw, of Hope-
well. They have one child — Robert. Mr. Graham
is a Mason. The Graham family have been identi-
fied with the history of York County for more than
a century, and the members of the family have
always figured prominently in the affairs of the

JAMES W. KILGORE. son of Robert N. and
Mary E . (Wilson) Kilgore, natives respectively of
Chanceford Township and of Maryland, was born
February 23, 1851. His grandfather, John Kilgore,
was a native of Lower Chanceford Township, and
was married to Margaret Nelson, by whom he had
five sons and three daughters. Our subject received
his education at the public schools and York County
Academy. In 1875 he engaged in general merchaii-
dising at Brogueville, under the firm name of Cur-
ran ifc Kilgore. and continued business for some time,
but at the death of Mr. Kilgore's father, in 1877, he
sold his interest in the store and took charge of the
old homestead. In 1883 he again entered the mer
cantile business in partnership with a Mr. Grove.
In 1880 he was elected justice of the peace. His
term expired M,iy 1. 1885. Mr. Kilgore owns a
farm of 150 acres, which he operates in connection
with merchandising.

JACOB K. KOHLER was born in 1831, in Con
ewago Township, York County, and is a son of
.lohn and Anna Maria Kohler, natives of Manches-
ter Township. His grandfather. Baltzar Kohler,
was a farmer and tavern keeper at Manchester, then
known as Liverpool. He had six children, of whom
the f ather of Jacob K. was the youngest. At nineteen
years of age Jacob K. began learning the miller's
trade, and afterward followed the milling busi-
ness for fifteen years. In 1858 he came to Chance-
ford Township, and for a time worked at his trade.
In 1873 he purchased his present farm. He was
married, in 1857, to Miss Eleah Scheaflfer, of Hope-
well Township. They have two children: Albert
J. and Emma L. Mr. Kohler has been school direct-
or of Chanceford Township.' Mr. and Mrs. K. are
members of the Lutheran Church.

MICHAEL LYMAN, son of Michael and Sarah
(Kline) Lyman, was born in Lancaster County,
Penn., in 1833. His father was born in Centre
County, and his mother in Lancaster County, Penn.
Our subject remained in his native county until
1847, when he came to York County and entered
the employ of the Tide Water Canal Company, and



was located in Lower Chanceford Township. Here
he continued to work for three years, and then be-
gan boating, which he continued until 1870, when
he removed to York Furnace and engaged in the
hotel business. He remained thereuntil 1884, when
he removed to Shank's Ferry and entered the hotel
business. Mr. Lyman was married in 1845, to Miss
Elraira Raymond, of Dauphin County. Penn. They
have seven children: Jacob, ^neas, Ella, Joseph,
Charley, Lilly and Theodore. Mr. Lyman is a
member of Lodge No. 135, of the Brotherhood of
the Union.

THOMAS McCULLOUGH was born in Chester
County, Penn., in 1818, and is a son of Thomas and
Ann McCullough. The father of our subject was
born ict Harford County, Md., and the mother in
Chester County, Penn. Mr. McCullough first
learned the manufacturing of machinery and edged
tools of every description, and followed auger-mak-
ing for a number of years. His native home was
Kennett Square, and his early days were spent in
company with our esteemed and niuch loved friend
and poet. Bayard Taylor. In 1856 he removed to
Chanceford Township, York Co.. Penn., and en-
gaged in farming and boating. When the tocsin of
war was sounded, he offered his life and interest in
the defense of his country's honor. They received
him, and chartered his boats at Baltimore to con-
vey soldiers across the Southern rivers, and he many
days lay defenseless under the enemy's fire on the
Paraun'key until the malarial fever drove him home.
Mr. McCullough married Miss Eliza Porter, of New
Garden Township, Chester Co., Penn., in 1848.
Mrs. McCullough died November 3, 1883. Mr. Mc-
Collough is a member of the Methodist Episcopal

WILLIAM MOORE, son of John and Elizabeth
(Ellison) Moore, was born January 30, 1846, on the
old family homestead in Chanceford Township.
His grandfather, Samuel Moore, a native of Scot-
land, came to America and settled in Chanceford
Township. He died in 1836. He had eight chil-
dred — four sons and four daughters — the father of
our subject being the eldest son. John Moore, sub-
ject's father, was by occupation a cooper, and died
in 1878, leaving three children: William, Samuel
H. and John A. Our subject served a three-years'
apprenticeship at carpentering, and for seventeen
years worked at that trade. Mr. Moore is now en-
gaged in general farming. He was married, in 1868,
to Miss Mtary E. Shaw, of Chanceford Township.
They have three children: Lemon S., Maggie S. and
Ida E. Mr. Moore is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church.

JOHN MURPHY is a sou of James and Mary
(Smith) Murphy, natives of Chanceford Township,
York County. His paternal grandfather was born
in Ireland and immigrated to America prior to the
American Revolution, in which he was a soldier.

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 183 of 218)