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

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died June 4, 1881, leaving four daughters: Dora L.,
Marian C, Nannie and Mary A. His second marriage,
December 17, 1884, was with Miss Sallie E. McCon-
key, daughter of S. D. McConkey, of Baltimore, Md.
Mr. Ritchie is a member of the Slateville Presbyter-
ian Church.

WILLIAM R. ROBINSON, deceased, son of
James and Rachel (Kerr) Robinson, natives of Ire-
land, was born in Peach Bottom Township, on the
farm now occupied by his family. He married, in
1861, Margaret Ailes. daughter of William Ailes, of
Lancaster County, Penn., and had born to him
three children: Lizzie B., Rachel K. and Mary B.
The homestead contains about 220 acres, on which
Mr. Robinson successfully pursued farming until
his death, which took place March 23. 1876. Mrs.
Robinson remarried in November, 1879, with .lohn
T. Smith, a native of Baltimore, Md., who came to
Peachbottom in 1872. The family are members of
the Slateville Presbyterian Church.

BENJAMIM F. RUFF, a native of Harford
County, Md. , was born April 29, 1820. His parents.
Richard and Lovina (Montgomery) Ruff, were of
English descent. His father was one of the "Old
Defenders," having been with his company at Bal-
timore in 1814. He died in 1823. The subject of
this sketch spent his early life on a farm, and re-
ceived his education in a subscription school, and
at Abington Academy. After leaving school he
served an apprenticeship at blacksmithing at Bush
Furnace, and afterward worked at Patterson's Iron
Works, in Baltimore County. In 1842 he came to
Peach Bottom Township, rented a shop one year

from James Ramsay, after which he built a shop at
Slate Hill, where he now resides. He was married
in 1845, to Elizabeth, daughter of James and Eliza-
beth (Bankhead) Alexander, of Harford County,
Md., and had bora to him five children, all of
whom died soon after they were grown up. His
wife died in 1862, and in a few years he entered
into a second marriage with Virginia, daughter of
John L. and Mary Ann (Gibbons) Sterns, by whom
he has two sons: Purlee and James Ross. His sec-
ond wife died February 22, 1884, and she as well as
the first, was interred at Slateville Presbyterian
Church, of which the family are members. Mr.
Ruff enjoys a reputation among his neighbors for
strict integrity of character and upright dealing.
By his industry he has acquired a fair competence.

REV. JOSEPH D. SMITH was born May 30,
1828, in Londonderry, Ireland, and accompanied
his parents to America in 1847, landing at Philadel-
phia, where the family resided until 1860, when the
father died at the age of sixty-five. In 1872 the
mother came to reside with the subject of this
sketch until the time of her death in June, 1883.
Her age was ninety years. Joseph was the eldest
of the family, which consisted of three sons and
one daughter. William resides at Philadelphia;
David at Edgewater Park, N. J., and the sister re-
sides with our subject at Slate Ridge. Joseph was
partly educated in Ireland, and after coming to
America attended the preparatory department of
the freshman class in Danville, Ky. In '1853 he
entered Jefferson College, at Cannonsburg, Penn.,
and after graduating there passed a theological
course in Princeton, N. J. He was licensed to
preach in 1859 by the Presbytery of Philadelphia,
and a few months later came to York County, and
assumed the pastorate of Slate Ridge Presbyterian
Church. As a minister Mr. Smith has endeared
himself to his people by his eloquence and earnest'
nessin the pulpit, and his zealous advocacy of every-
thing tending to the benefit of the community and
the elevation of morality. During the past ten
years he has prepared several young men for col-
lege, in addition to his ministerial duties. He has
also purchased about thirty acres of land, which he
cultivates principally with his own hands. Mr.
Smith is unmarried.

ASAHEL STEWARD, M. D., the eldest son and
sixth child of the ten children of Nehemiah and
Amelia (Cooper) Steward, was born in Peach Bottom
Township, March 10, 1841. His parents were na-
tives of York County, his father of Irish and his
mother of English extraction. His boyhood was
passed on his father's farm, and his early educa-
tion received in the common schools, and at York
County Academy. At the age of twenty-two he
began the study of medicine with Dr. James Y.
Bryan, and graduated at the Bellevue Hospital
Medical College, New York Citj', in the class of
1868-69. His first practice as a physician was in
Fulton Township, Lancaster Co., Penn., where he
remained about eight years. In 1877 he returned to
Peach Bottom Township, where he still pursues his
profession, enjoying a laree and lucrative practice.
He was married, December 9, 1875, to Miss Cas-
sandra I. McCuUough, daughter of Robert K.
McCullough, of Lancaster County. Their children
are William J., Amelia F., Montgomery L., Asahel,
who died in August, 1884. and Robert King, who
died in infancy. Mr. Steward is a member of
Mount Hebron Lodge No, 516, I. O. O. F., and also
of Esdraelon Lodge No. 176, A. F. & A. M. His
parents are both living at the age of seventy-five

REV. ALFRED WELLS, pastor of the Baptist
Church, of Delta, is a native of Wales, and came
with his parents to Minersville, Penn., in 1859. He
is the sixth of eight children, and was born August


8, 1846. At the age of seventeen he began the trade
of carriage smith at Tamaqua, and worked about a
year and a half, when he went coal mining, which
business he continued to follow for several years.
His education was acquired at common schools,
and by making use of the hours that could be
spared from his labor. At the age of twenty-nine
he was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church,
though he had been for ten years before a licentiate.
His first charge was at Mahanoy, Schuylkill Coun-
ty, from which he went to Coleraine, Lancaster
County, next to Green Valley, Chester County, and
in 1879 came to Peach Bottom Township, York,
where he took charge of a small congregation at
Glenwood School House. On the completion of
the new church in Dela in 1884, he removed there.
From the age of nineteen until 1873 he was a mem-
ber of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He mar-
ried in 1870, Martha Boughey, a native of Pennsyl-
vania, and has four children living: Adeline, Will-
iam A., Josiah B. and Joseph T. Mr. Wells, by
his earnest devotion to his chosen work, has been
largely instrumental in building up a flourishing
congregation in Delta. He also has charge of the
Drumore Baptist Church, Lancaster County.

CHARLES H. A. WHITEFORD, the eldest son
of Hugh C. and Cassandra (Silver) Whiteford, was
born in Harford County, Md., March 37, 1839. His
parents were of Scotch-Irish and Welsh descent,
both families being prominent in the politics and
business of Harford County. He remained on his
father's farm until the age of twenty years, having,
in the meantime, obtained a fair education. In
1865 he entered the mercantile business at Delta, in
which he continued until 1873. He then opened, at
the same place, a photograph gallery, and gave his
attention to that business for some years. He mar-
ried Miss Cassandra Findley, a native of Lancaster
County, December 4, 1866. They have one child
living — Lizzie Grace — and have buried one in in-
fancy. He has held the office of borough auditor
for two terms, and is now principally engaged in
the business of slate roofing. The Railroad House,
one of the principal hotels of the place, is owned
by Mr. Whiteford.

E. HOWARD WILEY was born in Peach Bottom
Township, September 13, 1859. His parents, David
E. andMargaretta(McConkey) Wiley, were both na-
tives of this township, the former the son of Joseph
D. Wiley, for many years the leading business man
in thecommunit}^ and the latter is a daughter of the
late Andrew McConkey. The subjectof thissketch
is an enterprising farmer, occupying a farm of 140
acres of fine land, near Slate Hill. He married,
April 14, 1881, Miss Anna M. Jenness, a native of
Cecil County, Md., who has borne two children:
Paul C. and Margetaretta. The family are mem-
bers of the Slateville Presbyterian Church.

WILLIAM E. WILLIAMS is the third son of
Evan and Elizabeth Williams, and was born in
north Wales August 5, 1830. His parents died in
Wales, and he, with two brothers and a sister,
came to America in 1853, and settled near the slate
quarries of York County, Penn., where he worked
for John Humphrey for several years. He after-
ward entered the mercantile business, first with E.
D. Humphrey, and later with E. E. Williams and
H. Evans, under the firm name of William E. Will-
iams & Co. Besides the store at West Bangor, the
firm now own several tracts of slate land, both in
York County and Harford County, Md. Tliey have
a large and productive quarry in the latter place,
purchased in 1874 from Isaac Parker, from which,
in 1888, they took out more than 3,001) squares of
roofing slate. Mr. Williams was married* at Man-
chester, Wis., in 1863, to Elizabeth Roberts, and has
five children: John R., William, William R., Eliza-
beth Maritte and Maggie. He has held the ofBce of

judge of elections, and has been a school director
two terms. He has also been assistant postmaster
at West Bangor for about twenty-eight years. The
family are connected with the Calvinistic Method-
ist Church.


Accomack County, Va., August 15, 1805, of very
pious parents, members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. His father, who was a planter of means,
died while Edward was yet an infant, leaving three
sons. Their mother removed to Baltimore shortly
after the death of the father, where she had the
boys educated. When seventeen years old, Edward
attended Light Street Church at Baltimore, and
there, influenced by a powerful sermon of Rev.
Val. Cook, he embraced religion. Choosing the
ministry for his profession, he entered it in 1837,
and was first assigned to the Bellefonte Circuit,
Penn. As he was a member of the Baltimore con-
ference, he was, by request, transferred to Balti-
more, where he was stationed many years, the
members petitioning the conference to have him
remain. He was a zealous worker, and beloved by
all who knew him. He was of a kind, genial dis-
position, full of humor and wit. Ex-President
Buchanan and ex-Gov. Packer, of Pennsylvania,
were warm friends of his, the former saying that he
was one of the finest speakers he knew. He was a
member of No. 45, A. Y. M. of Baltimore. While
in Bellefonte he was married to Senator Wilson's
daughter, of Williamsport, Penn., and had three
children, the eldest died in infancy: Thomas Ed-
ward and Mrs. Mary R. Campbell, of Baltimore.
His second wife, Lizzie Wiley, of Baltimore, left
five children. He died in Shrewsbury, May 38,
1873, to which place he came to recruit his health.
As one of the old ministers remarked: "He died in
the harness, and did not rust out." He was buried
in the Baltimore Cemetery.

MILTON W. BAHN was born June 36, 1839. in
Hellam Township. His parents, David and Rachel
(Witman) Bahn, natives of York County, had six
children, two died in childhood, and Milton W. is
the only .«on and the youngest of the family living.
He was brought up on a farm and educated at the
York County Academy, and State Normal School,
at Millersville, Penn. From the age of eighteen to

twenty-four, he taught in York County public
schools. In January, 1865, he engaged in the mer-
cantile business in partnership with W. H. Emig, at

New Freedom, which he has since followed. Mr.
Emig retired from the firm in 1880. Mr. Bahn was
married November 4, 1864, at Emigsville, to Miss
Ella S. Emig, of that place, daughter of John
Emig (deceased), and has had four children — two
have died: Lillie Alice, aged eleven years, and
Corrinne Ella, aged eight years. The living are
Arthur W. and Walter D. Mr. Bahn was appointed
postmaster of New Freedom, in 1865, and with the
exception of one year (1881-83) has held the office
since. He is also agent of the Northern Central
Railroad Company, and of the Adams Express
Company. He is interested in a new railroad en-
terprise between Stewartstown and New Freedom;
was one of the organizers and president ten years
out of twelve of the "New Freedom Building and
Loan Association," and was a member of the
borough school board, three years, ending in 1879,
and a member of the borough council one year
(1880). He is an active Republican; also an elder


in the Reformed Clinrch, in which he and -svife
have been brought up. His father died in 1863,
aged sixty years.

JEREMIAH BAILEY, farmer, was born in
Springfield Township, June 2, 1825. His parents,
John C. and Barbara (Allison) Bailey, were natives
of York County, and of German and English
■descent, respectively. They reared a family of
twelve children — seven daughters and five sons — of
whom Jeremiah is the eldest. He was brought up
on a farm and educated at the common schools.
At the age of nineteen he went to New Marlvet,
Md., and learned the trade of wheelwright. He
worlied at Logansville, Wrightsville. and West
Manchester, at which latter place he remaine'^ five
years; then returned to Wrightsville; there he
worked three years, then went back to West Man-
chester, at which latter place he remained for four
or five years. He then went to Maryland, where he
worked at his trade, and farming nineteen years.
He also worked about four years at New Freedom.
In the spring of 1880, he removed to his farm in
Shrewsbury Township, near the Maryland line.
where he has since been farming and working at
his trade. In 1848 he was married at Wrightsville,
to Elizabeth Jane Detweiler, of Wrightsville, who
died October 24, 1874, leaving ten children — three
of whom died also. The living are William G.,
Charles G.. Emma J., John M., Webster O.,
Jeremiah D. and Ida L. He was next married,
March 11, 1877, at York, toj Barbara Bahn, widow
of Samuel N. Bahn, who was mother of ten chil-
dren, by her first husband — seven girls and three
boys: Alice, Agnes Ammeda, Sylvester. Ida,
Anna, Barbara, Ellen and Samuel Howard; Walter
and Rosetta are deceased. The family were mem-
bers of the Evangelical Church. Mr. Bailey
belongs to the P. of H.. was a director of schools
three years; a trustee in Maryland twelve years,
and is a director of New Freedom Cemetery Asso-

D. A. BECKER, son of Peter and Sarah (Henry)
Becker, was born in North Codorus Township,
September 9, 1849, was reared on his father's farm
until the age of sixteen, when he rented Bott's
store at Smyer's Station, Northern Central Rail-
road. He then began the business of manufactur-
ing cigars. March .5, 1869, Mr. Becker married
Matilda Krebs, daughter of Jere and Rachael
(Schwartz) Krebs. of North Codorus Township.
Three children were born to this marriage: Annie
M., Leona M. and Jeremiah E. T. Mr. Becker is a
member of the firm of Bortner & Becker, whole-
sale ice cream manufacturers and ships largely in
this line through Pennsylvania and Maryland.

FRANCIS R. BLASSER, D. V. S., was born
in Shrewsbury Township, March 2, 184.5, and is the
youngest of the twelve children born to John and
Esther (Ritchey) Blasser, natives of Pennsylvania,
but of German and Scotch-Irish descent. He was
reared a farmer, but subsequently followed pump-
making for twenty years, both in Pennsylvania
and Maryland. In 1872 he began the study of
veterinary surgery, and since 1874, has been in
active practice, having met with the most flattering
success, as is instanced by the fact that for the past
four years he has lost but four animals in a list of
of 450. He has care of some of the finest trotting
horses in the land, is the regular professional of the
Ashland Iron Company, and also surgeon of Post
342. G. A. R. In 1866 he married Mary J. Miller,
of Maryland, and has had born to him ten children
— of these are living only four: Harry G., Lulu
May, Delia G. and William H. In 1862 he enlisted
in Company K, One Hundred and Sixty-sixth
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; was promoted to
drum-major and served a term of nine months.


County, October, 182.5, is the son of Peter and
Catherine (Klinefelter)Bollinger, of Swiss and Ger-
man descent. Joseph and Henry Bollinger, with
their mother, came to America about the year 1754,
and from Josepli,has descended the subject of this
sketch, who began life on a farm, and entered the
milling business under his uncle, N. Seitz, at the
age of fourteen years, and at the age of twenty-two,
having saved $750 from his earnings, he began bus-
iness ioT himself at Seitzland, where he has since
resided, engaged in connection with milling, in mer-
cantile business, as a member of the firm of Kline-
felter & Co., sixteen years, and in the milling and
grain business exclusively, eight years; bought the
real estate now occupied by him, in his business in
1866; in 1874, began the manufacture of Bollinger's
Ammoniated Phosphates, and is now doing business
as miller, grain dealer, and manufacturer and dealer
in phosphates; has been agent of the Northern Cen-
tral Railway Company, at Seitzland, since 1872, and
postmaster since 1875; is president of the Glen Rock
Manufacturing Company,and a director of the First
National Bank, of Glen Rock, and was a charter
member of both organizations; is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, and of the I. O. O. F. Lodge
and Encampment. In Gettysburg, Adams Co
Penn., in 1849, he was married to Barbara Roser
and they have had eight children: Stephen R., Ab
til, Aaron, Amanda (wife of E. Dickson, Esq.),
George W., Uriah G., Angelina (deceased), and Eva
Jane, wife of T. B. Seitz, Esq. Mr. Bollinger is an
elder and the whole family are members of the
Lutheran Church.

JACOB G. BORTNER is a son of Jacob and
Catherine (Garbeck) Bortner. of Codorus Township,
where our subject was born November 23, 1826. He
was reared on his father's farm, and after learning
his trade, at Krouse tannery, Maryland, married
March 10, 1852, Matilda Messomer, daughter of
Daniel and Christine (Reitz) Messomer, of Manheim
Township; this marriage has been blessed with seven
children: Castila A.; Syrian P.; Josephine A.; Levi-
na H.. deceased; Catherine A.; Alvan J., deceased;
and Matilda H. He built his tannery in 1851, and
has kept it running at its full capacity ever since,
employing on an average ten to twelve hands. Mr.
Bortner manufactures (in connection with his tan-
ning) flavine and extract of black oak bark. He
built his present residence in 1852. Mr. Bortner is
one of the leading business men of Shrewsbury

JOHN L. BOYER was born in York County,
Penn., November 7, 1820. His parents, Samuel S.
and Sarah (Le Fevre) Boyer, were natives of Penn-
sylvania. Samuel Boyer, the great-grandfather,
came from Switzerland. John L. spent the first
twenty-one years of his life on the farm, in York
County, getting his education at the local schools.
At the age of twenty-one, his parents removed to
Carroll County, Md., where they lived twenty years,
and then removed to Frederick County, where they
died. John L. was married in Carroll County, to
Nancy La Mott, daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth
(Hershey) La Mott, Maryland and Pennsylvania,
and of French and German descent. JoshuaLa Mott
was a general in the war of 1812. To this union
were born four children: Sarah Jane, deceased;
Elizabeth W. ; Joshua H. La Mott; and BelindaW.,
deceased. In 1870 Mr. Boyer removed to New
Freedom, where the family has since resided. Mr.
Boyer is a member of the German Reformed Church
and his wife a member of the Mennonites. Joshua
Henry La Mott Boyer was born in Carroll County,
Md., November 22, 1857, was educated at the com-
mon schools, and taught singing when but sixteen
years of age. He is organist and choir leader and
quite a speaker.

WILLIAM H. BRENISE, superintendent of



Young &Co's. flavineand extract works, at Shrews-
bury Station, was born in Slirewsbury, December
29, 1856. . His parents were Samuel and Mary
(Klinefelter) Breuise, of York County, who had six
children, of whom he was the youngest. He was
educated at the public schools, and at the age of
sixteen years he began working in the above works,
and April 1, 1883, became superintendent. He has
under him fifteen men, and under his supervision 2,000
tons of bark are annually converted into flavine and
extract. His father, who was a carpenter, died at
Shrewsbury, May,1883, aged sixty-seven years. Mr.
Brenise belongs to the K. of P., of Glen Rock.

FRANKLIN W. BROWN, merchant, was born
in West Manchester Township, October 10, 1850.
His parents, Jeremiah andChristiana (Geise) Brown,
were natives of Adams and York Countie.s, respect-
ively, and of German descent. They had four
children, of whom Franklin W. is the third son. He
was brought up on a farm and attended the public
schools. Until 1882 he was clerking in diilerent
places. From 1869 to 1870, he worked at cigar-mak-
ing at Loganville. In April, 1874, he came to Glen
Rock, and clerked for Mdler & Glatfelter for seven
or eight years. In 1883 he began business for him-
self by engaging in the merchandising business.
November 5, 1878, he was married at Loganville, to
Elenora Goodling, daughter of Daniel Goodling.
They have one child— Thomas Morris. Mr. Brown
is a member of the German Reformed Church, and
his wife a member of the Evangelical Association.
He is also trustee of the K. of P., and held the
office of district deputy from 1883 to 1884; he was
auditor of Glen Rock from 1876 to 1878.

HENRY G. BUSSEY, M. D., was born at Green
Spring Plantation, Harford Co., Md., in 1816, and
is the' third sou of Henry G. and Elizabeth (Harris)
Bussey, of French and Scotch descent, respectively.
The paternal grandfather was a colonel during the
Revolutionary war, and the maternal grandfather a
captain. Henry G. Bussey was a captain in the
war of 1813. Our subject received his elementary
education at the Green Spring Academy, on his
father's premises: he then read medicine for two
years with Dr. W. J. McElheney, of Bel Air, Md. ;
then, in 1834, entered the University of Maryland,
from which he graduated in 1837; he practiced in
Peach Bottom Township, this county, a few months,
then in Maryland until 1840, when he settled in
Shrewsbury Borough, where he has ever since en-
joyed a lucrative practice. In 1837 he married Miss
Catharine Boarman, who bore him two children
(Mary Elizabeth and Henry G.), and died in Janu-
ary, 1884. The Doctor has held a number of offices,
among them those of inspector and judge of elec-
tions, school director, physician to the county prison,
physician to alms house in his native county, pro-
thonotary, 18.57 to 1863, and in 1874-76 State senator.
In 1848 he was nominated for cengress, but declined
in favor of J. B. Dana.

Hopewell Township, York County, February 14,
1853, and was the third son and child in a family of
four sons and two daughters. His parents, Corne-
lius and Elizabeth (Gordon) Collins, were natives of
York County, and of Scotch-Irish descent. He grew
up on the farm; was educated at home and in
Stewartslown Academy. He entered the Shrews-
bury Savings Institution, in 1876, as assistant
cashier. In 1879 he went to Cheyenne, Wyoming
Territory, where he clerked in a bank two years.
He returned to Shrewsbury in the spring in 1882,
when he was elected cashier of the old bank, which
position he has since held. He is a member of the
United Presbyterian Church.

born in Carlisle, Penn., April 9, 1836. His parents.
Japaes and Mary (Cart) Crever, were natives of

Carlisle, and of German descent. His father was
one of the founders, and for many years the editor
and proprietor of the Carlisle Republican, now the
Carlisle Herald. Frederick K. was educated in the
public schools of Carlisle, and beginning at the age
of nineteen, served an apprenticeship of three years
at the carpenter's trade, and worked three years
more as journeyman; was baptized in infancy, and
brought up in the Lutheran Church ; united with
the Methodist Episcopal Church; early felt called to
the ministry, but learned his trade to satisfy his
father; joined the conference as a candidate in
1853, and was appointed to Sinnamahoning Circuit;
at once applied himself to the course of study re-
quired by the rules of his church, and, at the end of
two years, was ordained deacon, and two years
later elder, and was appointed to Newport Cir-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 207 of 218)