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

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sian soldiers who preferred not to be
exchanged after the Revolution. These Ger-
man Huelfs-truppen or subsidiary troops, were
bought in Brunswick Hanau, Anspaeh, Wal-
deck, Anhalt, Hesse- Gassel, Hesse-Darmstadt,
Brandenberg,etc., in lai'ge numbers. They cost
George III $8,100,000 and 11.000 of them
died or perished in battle. A great many of
these people settled in Pennsylvania, Mary-
land and the Valley of Virginia after the war.
The other immigrants were German Galvin-
ists, Moravians, Schweukenfelders, Omish-
ites, Dunkers, Menuonites and Separatists
(or Seventh Day Baptists).

"Up to about 1760 the Germans in Mary-
land were supplied from these plentiful
sources. A good many Palatines came in by
direct consignment to Chespeake Bay, but the
great majority of the Germans drifted down
from York and Lancaster. They came into
Baltimore county in small parties, but they


settled in Frederick Coanty and the Valley of
Virginia by the wholesale. Many of our
best people came to Baltimore in this way
from Frederick County. We need only allude
to such names as the Schleys, Steiners,
Shrivers, Slingluffs, Warners, Pipers,
Raborgs. Reinharts, Lurmans, Miltenber-
gers, Yeisers, Littigs, etc."

To show still further, the enterprising spirit ;
and intelligence of oar Pennsylvania Ger-
man ancestors, some additional quotations
from the historical writings of Mr. Scharf
may be appropriate, and, in view of the
existing and increasing social and commer-
cial relations between our people and those
of Baltimore, will, it is hoped, not prove
wholly uninteresting to the former. Among
the Germans named in connection with the
early history of that great and growing city,
will be recognized many worthy and honora-
ble ones, familiar to our readers at the pres-
ent day.

'■ The immigration of Germans must have
been rapid. In 1748 we find Leonard and
Daniel Barnitz, from York, Penn . erecting a
brewery on the corner of Baltimore and Han-
over Streets. In the next year Thomas Schley
(from Frederick), in partnership with Maj.
Thomas Sheradine lex-sherifF and one of the
most considerable men in the county, presid- i
ing justice, town commissioner, etc.,) bought i
eighteen acres from Hurst and added them to
the town. In 1752 the town of Baltimore
looks very small and insignificant on Mr. John
Moale's map, but the coanty then had a
population of 17.238, and the town had much
more than the twenty-five houses and 200
people given it by Mr. Moale. That probably
only included the little nucleus of a town
around the basin; but the part east of the
falls was larger and more populous and there
the majority of the Germans congregated.
In that year, among known inhabitants, were
the following Germans: George Strebeck,
wagoner; JakeKeepoi-ts, carpenter (afterward
rich, and purchasing agent for the Continental
Army. He built a house in South Gay Street
in 1757): Conrad Smith (also built on South
Gay Street); Philip Littig (whose wife was
the German midwife) and Hilt Stranwick.
Next year we find mention of George M.
Myers (Meiers), a Pennsylvania German, and
Valentine Loersch (Larsh) coming to town.
Myers went into the milling business. Larsh
built a tavern, corner Baltimore and Gay
Streets. In the same year came in Andrew
Steiger, butcher, who built corner Charles
and Baltimore Streets, but in 1756 bought
'Steiger's meadow,' a sixteen-acre tract,
then east of the Falls and still called ' The

Meadow.' Frederick and Peter Myers, John
Schley and Conrad Smith are also named as
having come in about this time and as having
added, built and improved the town.

"We find Melchior Keener, fresh from
Pennsylvania, in 1761, building a wharf and
warehouse as well as dwelling. These enter-
prising Germans were at work in extending
the city long before the Purviances, Patter-
sons, Lawsons, Spears, McLures. Calhouns
and other Scotch -Irish Presbyterians, to
whom the city 'owes so miich of its prosperity,
had come over. Keener and Hartz were
among the managers for the lottery in 1763
to build a new market house; Steiger in 1756
was Jones' Falls commissioner; Isaac Griest,
Vanbibber, Keener and Myers, were found tak-
ing up lots along the water-front and improv-
ing them, and in 1769, when the first tire com-
pany, the old Mechanical, was organized,
Deaver and Lindenberger are among the cor-
porators. It is Steiger and Yeiser who
undertake to chauge the course of Jones'
Falls; it is Dr. Weisenthal who, after long and
distinguished services, lays the foundation
for the Medico Chirurgical Society and the
University of Maryland; it is Jacob Fitewho
builds Congress Hall; it is Leonard Harbaugh
and Michael Diffenderfer who cut Calvert
Street through, leaving the court house perch-
ed on a rock and inaccessible to apy but those
who require justice and equity or marriage
licenses. Of those who subscribed to the cost
of this uuderpioning.wefind the largest sum
but one to have Iseen given by Engelhardt
Yeizer, who gave £125. Henry Speck also
contributed, Adam Fonerden, Peter Hoffman,
George Presstman and Erasmus Uhler. This
was in 1784. This Peter Hoflman was the
founder of the house of Peter Hoft'man &
Sons, and of the honored Hoffman family in
Baltimore. He came from Frankfort-on-the
Main, settled first in Frederick County, came
to Baltimore in 1778, and established a flour-
ishing dry-goods trade. His store and resi-
dence were where Hamilton Easter's now
stands. He was a commissioner of Baltimore
Town, along with Englehardt Yeiser and
George Lindenberger and one of the found-
ers of the Calvert Street Spring, once so fash-
ionable as an evening resort. George
Presstman was the first member of the family
of that name, and came from Pennsylvania.
" About this time there was an important
accession to our German population of
young and enterprising men, like Hoffman,
of the mercantile burgher classes, who came
direct from Germany, from Hamburg, Bre-
men, Frankfort, etc. They were attracted


by the fact that the German population of
Frederick County imported largely of Ger-
man goods byway of London, and that Balti-
more was the port through which the Germans
of York, Lancaster and the Cumberland Val-
ley of Pennsylvannia entered their goods.
These young men were educated, had some
capital, commercial enterprise, spirit and
knowledge, and were in a position to extend
remarkably our commercial intercourse with
the continent. Our people, besides, would
not take British goods, and being forbid to
manufacture, had the more need of those of
Germany. We notice among those now
arriving, besides names previously given,
those of Garts, Rathel, Schaeffer, Eichel-
berger, Hultz, Stenhouse. Gildert, etc. The
Presstmans were among the original purchase
ers of the lot for the Baptist Church, built
in 1773, where the shot tower now stands,
and Isaac Griest was one of the commis-
sioners appointed by Baltimore Town to
spend $11,01)0 in laying out roads in Balti-
more County.

"This was in 1774, on the eve of the
Eevolution, and we find the well known
names of Frick, Diffenderfer, Kaborg, Ley-
poldt, Schultze, Heide and Schaffer as among
Germans who came to us from Europe just
as the war broke out. The part which our
German fellow-citizens took in that great
struggle was manly, patriotic, distinguished.
They furnished a great many soldiers, and
the Baltimore, Frederick and Lancaster Gei'-
mans fought face to face with the Hessians
on many a bloody field. The majority of the
battalions of sharpshooters which Daniel
Morgan and Michael Cresap took to Cam-
bridge as soon as Bunker Hill was fought,
was recruited from among the Germans in
Frederick, Connocheague and the Valley of
Virginia. Maryland had nearly a full Ger
man regiment in service during the whole
war and Baltimore always had one company
and- sometimes two in this regiment. These
brave fellows were among the sturdiest and
si.ernest fighters who fought under the ban-
ners of Smallwood and Gist.

John Jacob Astor landed in Baltimore
from Waldorf in 1783. Gartz & Leypoldt
established their sugar refinery in the same
year, and John Fritz Amelung brought over
a shipload of glass blowers for his works on
the Monocacy. Cruse, Peter Hoffman's
nephew, tried to set up a steam fiour-mill.
David Stoddert, the first secretary of the
Navy, set up a ship-yard, at which Abraham
Vanbibber launches Indiamen of 600 tons.
Thomas Butter was elected sheriff of Balti
more County at the same time that Col.

Howard became governor of the State. In
1789, under Town Commissioners Harhaugh
and Diflenderfer among others, the paving
of the streets is begun at an expense of
£2,799, and in the same year the German
churches and societies raised lots of money
by lotteries. In the first anti-slavery society
of Maryland, founded this year, we find the
names of Isaac Griest, Adam Fonerden and
James Eichelberger. lu 1790 Yeiser, Garts
and Sluby are named among the incorpor-
ators of the bank of Maryland ; Jacob Hart
and John Strieker, incorporators of the Falls

In Thompson & Walker's " Baltimore Town
and Fell's Point Directory" for 1796 we
find, besides the German names given above,
others which are still current in the com-
munity, such as Alricks, Altwater, Bantz,
Bausman, Beck, Eiselin, Horne,Emich,Engle,
Fischer, Fowble, Forney, Foss, Getz, Hart-
man, Hershberger, Heiner, Heintze, Kaufman,
Keilholtz, Kolb, Keyser, Kurtz, Lowderman,
Lurman, Lutz, Messersmith, Miltenberger,
Baltzer, Munnikhuysen, Mumma, Riddle-
moser, Rinehart, Reinecker, Butter, Schwartz,
Schriver, Seidenstricker, Schryock, Sumwalt,
Sourwein, Steever, Steeger, Stump, Strieker,
Stouffer, Sultzer, Uhler, Klopper. Ziegler,
Zimmerman, Zollicoifer, etc. Henry Stouf-
fer's daughter was Robert Garrett's wife and
JohnW. Garrett's mother— a cross of Scotch-
Irish Presbyterian upon Pennsylvania Dutch
Reformed that is by many considered to
yield the sturdiest race in the world. In
James Robinson's Directory for 1804 the
German names have greatly increased, but
we cannot attempt to single them out. Balti
more was now a city; it bad a population of
30,000; it was incorporated and had a munic-
ipal government; it is not possible to cata-
logue individuals any longer. We must
now confine ourselves to dealing with groups.
In the city government of that year we find
George Presstman in the second branch of
the city council, Henry Stouffer. William
Lorman, George P. Keeports, Christopher
Raborg, Baltzer Sohae£fer, John Schrin and
John Mackenheimer, in the first branch;
Peter Frick is a city commissioner; Adam
Fonerden, a health commissioner; Frederick
Sumwalt, a pump superintendent ; John
Esender, a sweep master.

"We have treated the sources whence our
original German population was derived, and
set forth the honorable and important part
which it played in the foundation of otir be-
loved city. It remains now to show that our
German citizens have as large a share today
in developing our industries, maintaining our


manufactures, commerce, credit and civic re-
pute and standing, as they had in originally
establishing it. The facts are ample for the
purpose and they must convince everyone who
is not a skeptic wilfully and from prepense
malice. The population of Baltimore of
German descent constitutes our most indus-
trious classes; they are productive far beyond
their ratio in the aggregate popalation ; they
produce more, consume less, and consequent-
ly save more per capita, than the other
classes of people. It must follow that they
are accumulating capital more rapidly, get-
ting rich faster than the other classes. In-
dustry and economy are their rules, but they
do not spare enterprise, and they put their
thrifty hands upon every branch of trade.
There is an old German proverb which says:
'Nurnberg's Hand geht diwch jecle>i Land,' but
80 does the German hand go into every land.
and we find it most prosperously^ employed
here in every industry, from Wilkens' liair
factory to Knabe's piano works; from Schu-
macher's Bremen steamers to Knapp's school.
We see it in the intelligent and elaborate
network of German charities, in the brilliant
German social organizations. We see it in
the German signs upon our business houses
and the German faces upon our busy streets.
The descendants of Germans in Pennsylva-
nia are 1,200,000 strong. Within the last
forty years 2,000,000 have come into this
country, every man of them with four hands.
This population is 'a giant asleep.' They
are one-third of us and the heaviest third, too.
Nearly all the direct immigration to Balti-
more of late years, and the larger part of the
indirect immigration has been of Germans.
For the three months ended December 31,
1877, of 497 immigrants landed in Baltimore
384 were from Germany and Austria, and
this is about the normal proportion — four-
lifths, and over one per cent, per annum in
the aggregate. * * * *

" They come from every part of Germany
and Austria, and they are of all trades except
those of gentleman, idler and tramp — artists,
clergymen, engineers, doctors, teachers,
scientists, bakers, blacksmiths, butchers,
carpenters, clerks, mariners, masons, painters,
shoemakers, tailors, weavers, unskilled labor-
ers, etc. When business revives and this
country offers again its old chances for a
livelihood to all, you must multiply this
immigration by five to restore it where it
was in 1872; by ten to put it vrhere it prob-
ably will be. These people nearly all have
trades; nearly all bring a little money with
them. They are the most valuable immi-
grants that the world affords."

What has been so well said by Mr. Scharf
about the enterprise, intelligence,and patriot
ism of the German settlers of Baltimore is
equally true of those of York, whence many
of them went. Leonard Harbaugh, whon;
he mentions in connection with the wonderful
achievement of "cutting Calvert Stn^.t
through, leaving the court house perched on
a rock'" was the seventh sou of the elder Yost
Herbach, the great grandfather of the lati'
Rev. Henry Harbaugh D. D. as also (on tln>
mother's side; of the author of this sketcli.
Doctor Harbaugh, in his Annals of the Har-
baugh Family, gives a brief account of his
granduncle Leonard, furnished by one of the
latter's sons, (Benjamin,) then (1853) still
living in Baltimore; the substance of which,
together with other interesting facts in rela-
tion to the Harbaugh family, owing to its
intimate connection with the early settlement
and history of the county, will probably,
not be deemed out of place here.

Yost Harbaugh, the elder, was a Swiss
immigrant who first settled in Maxatawny
Valley, (now) Berks County, in the year 1736,
from whence, about the year 1743, he removed
to "Hallam" Township, cm Kreutz Creek, this
county, where he became the owner of a tract
of nearly 200 acres of land near where Kreutz
Creek Church now stands. The land was
originally taken up (in 1736) by John
Huntzecker, and after passing throiigh

various ownerships, became vested in

Stoner, in the possession of whose descendants
it still remains.


Yost Herbach, once the owner of this land,
died in 1762 in possesion of it. He left to
survive him ten children, of whom seven
were sons, some of whom and their descend-
ants may claim more than a mere passing
notice, George, Ltidwig, and Jacob, the eldest
three, were born in Switzerland and came with
their parents into the province of Pennsyl-
vania, and to the old homestead just de-
scribed, where they grew up to manhood and
then removed to and settled in a beautiful
little valley, nestled among the winding and
broken ranges of the South Mountain, partly
in Frederick County, Md,, and partly in
Adams County. Penn,, where they became land
owners, prosperous farmers, the heads of
large and respectable families, and partici-
pants in the founding of churches and schools.
So numerous did their descendants become
and so firmly attached to their new mount-
ain home, that the valley itself took their
name and will, probably, continue to be
known through all time as Harbaugh's Val-



ley. The descendants of Jacob alone, of
whom Dr. Harbaugh was one, when the lat-
ter compiled his family annals in 1856, were
321. The traveller or the excursionist as
he is swung round Horse- shoe Curve, near
Sabillasville, on the "Western Maryland Eail-
road, approaching Penn-Mar, enjoys a fine
view of this picturesque and peaceful little
vale. All the descendants of Yost Herbach
(the elder) in America, living and dead, num-
ber several thousands. But few of them re-
main in York County, and the name has,
probably, entirely disappeared from the local
tax lists and current records, though several
families, descendants of the original settler,
(Yost) reside in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Col-
ambiana County, Ohio, and other parts of
the West.

Rev. Dr. Henry Harbaugh was a son_ of
George Harbaugh, a worthy farmer, a de-
voted Christian, and highly respected citizen
of Franklin County, Penn., and a son of Jacob
who was the third son of the elder Yost Her-
bach. Dr. Harbaugh, though brought up
on his father's farm, was a student while a
plow-boy, and it is said a carpenter; from his
very childhood he was religiously inclined
and by dint of his own rigid application and
perseverence he became an eminent scholar
and theologian, and the author of several
well written books: 1, "Heaven, Or
an Earnest Scriptural Inquiry into the
Abode of the Sainted Dead." 2, "The
Heavenly Recognition, Or An Earnest and
Scriptural Discussion of the Question, "Will
We Know our Friends in Heaven?" 3, "The
Heavenly Home, Or the Employments and
Enjo^njents of the Saints in Heaven." 4,
"The Future Life." (three vols.) 5, " The
Birds of the Bible." 6. "The Fathers of
the German Reformed Church in Eui-ope and
America." 7, "Union With the Church,
the Solemn Daty and Blessed Privilege of
All Who Would be Saved." Their very titles
show the ruling feature and bent of his
mind, and that he lived, so to speak, rather in
the future than in the present world. There
was, however a humorous as well as a
pathetic side to his nature. He was a poet,
but courted the Muse only too seldom; yet he
wrote quite a number of fine pieces in verse.
chiefly in the Pennsylvania German (his
native dialect) which, since his death, have
been collected and published in a neat little
volume entitled Harbaugh's Harfe.

John Harbaugh, the fourth son of the great
ancestor Yost, was born in 1735, in Switzer-
land, or on the passage hither. After his mar-
riage he owned,and resided for many years on
the mill property,now Small's, in Springgarden

Township. In 1777 he was commissioned a

, magistrate, which office he held for a number
of years. During the Revolutionary war he
was a member of a "committee of sympathj',
support, and safety for York County," and
was very active in correspondence with, and
furnishing aid to our ai-my. He died in 1803
and was buried in the old German Reformed
graveyard on North Beaver Street. Some- few
of his descendants, children of his daughters,
Mary, the wife of the late William Johnson.
Sr. and of Elizabeth, who was the wife of

! John Adam Bahn, deceased, live in, or near
York. Y^ost, the sixth son, was born on the
homestead on Kreatz Creek in 1741. In 1755.
when he was but fourteen years old, he did
duty as a teamster in Braddoek's expedition;
also to Bloody Run in the Indian wars, and.
during the Revolution he was a captain in
actual service. In 1799 he represented York
county in the State legislature. He was a
very large man, fully six feet in height and
well proportioned. His dress continued
throughout his long life to be of the old con-
tinental style, and his habits strictly temper-
ate, his diet plain and frugal, and his temper
and disposition calm and sober. He was a
man of robust frame and health, industrious
ways, and great powers of endurance. Even
in his old age, he was accustomed to make an
annual trip, sometimes on horseback and some-
times on foot, without overcoat or umbrella,
from his residence near York (now Mr. Jacob
Yost's, just north of the Chicken Bridge) on a
visit to a daughter (Mrs. Benjamin Emmert, )
then residing on what is now the historic An-
tietam battlefield. Though he was what is
usually called an uneducated man, he pos-
sessed great native vigor of intellect, abund-

I ance of strong, practical, common sense, keen,
ready wit, a high notion of personal honor
and integrity, a deep sense of moral and re-

' ligious obligation, and, withal, a wonderfully
retentive memory. He remembered, and, in
his extreme old age, loved nothing so well
(unless it was his accustomed bowl of mush
and milk) as to sit. on winter evenings by the
big tire on the hearth, surrounded by groups
of merry young folks, and tell them tales of
the olden times, of times and things when he
was young, of the early days when the
Indians were still about ; of the little Indian
village on Canoe Run, near Kreutz Creek
church ; how the town of "Little" Y'"ork had
to be guarded and defended against their
hostile incursions ; how some sturdy, robust
farmer of the neighborhood came with
his rugged plow with a wooden mold-
board, and drew a furrow around the
town along which the armed sentinels


paced to and fro. in the dead of night,
ready to soiind the note of alarm and give
the terrible warning of the approach of the
savage foe. How, when he still lived on his
farm, now Samuel Rutter's, near Emigsville,
where still stands the old Swiss stone barn
erected by him in 1793, and which still bears
his name carved in a stone in the gable, the
children (of whom the writer's mother was
one) went to gather whortleberries in the
woods on the hill beyond the Codorus, and
found in the leaves and bushes several pretty
little puppies, as they supposed, which the
girls took pity on and carried home, where
they were told by him. to their great surprise
and consternation, that the little foundlings
were young wolves! How some of the har-
vest hands proposed to kill them, and how
he, on the score of prudence as well as
humanity, accompanied by several of the men
with loaded riHes and an ample supply of
ammunition against a not improbable emer-
gency, carried the mistaken and unwelcome
pets back to their forest home, and left them
as nearly as possible where they had been
found ; forlunately without encountering the
old wolf- folks. For many years afterwards
that hill was known in the neighborhood by
the name of "der Wolf Berg" (Wolf-hill).
In those days, he said, it was nothing unus-
ual for wolves to attack and destroy sheep at
night, if left exposed in the lields. and even
to carry away the younger lambs. To the
young, there is nothing so entertaining and
fascinating as tales of wild and startling
adventure, and often did our still more wild
and startling midnight- dreams take on the
hues and shapes of the stories we had lis-
tened to in breathless silence, broken only by
our beating hearts, at the knee of grand-
father Harbaugh. when gathered around the
old-time family hearth-tire on a long winter
evening. Well and sweetly did Scotland's
greatest poet sing :

Thus while I ape the measure wild
Of tales that charmed me, yet a child;
Rude though they be, still with the chime
Return the thoughts of early time;
And feelings roused in life's first day
Glow in the line and prompt the lay.

All these tales of our venerable grandsire,
were told in our native dialect, then compara-
tively in its infancy. Grave and stern as he
was, none the less fond of a good practical
joke, and he excelled most unlettered men of
his time in quick, keen wit, sarcasm and
repartee. He lived to the great age of al-
most ninety, (eighty-nine years, nine
and nine days), and died in the full
sion of all his senses and mental faculties on

August 16, 1832, of Asiatic cholera, after an
illness of four days, at the residence of his
daughter, Mrs. Benjamin Emmert. and lies
buried now, side by side with many of those
who fell in llie cause of their country on the
bloody field of Antietam. He lived and died
in the faith of the German Reformed Church,
to which his ancestors and nearly all ot his
posterity, the latter now numbering more
than 200, belong or did belong, while living.
Among the survivors are some of the descend-
ants of his daughter Eve. late wife of Daniel
Wolf, of West Manchester Township, (de-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 48 of 218)