John Gibson.

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

. (page 77 of 218)
Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 77 of 218)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

served from the organization of the institu-
tion (1799-1849), a period of fifty years. He
served as president of the board during forty-
five years, and almost completed a century on
eflrth. Most tender and pathetic resolutions
were offered by the board to his memory.

On May 7, 1S74, Dr. C. A. Morris, having
completed more than fifty years of service as
a member of the board, departed from earth
A few mouths previous to his death, his semi
centennial in the cause of education was
duly celebrated at his home, on which occa
sion the trustees and principal of the acad
emy were present as invited guests.

November 20, 1819, the name of Mr. D. B,
Prince first occm-s as a teacher. He contin
ued to serve with eminent ability, in the
female department, with an absence of several
years until July 18, 1866, a period of forty-
five years. On his retirement, the male and
female departments, which had been separa-
ted during forty-three years( 1823-1866), were
again consolidated, and Prof. G. W. Ruby, who
had served as principal of male department
from 1850, was elected to the principalship
of both male and female departments.

Prominent among the teachers who died
while in the service of the institution was
Rev, Stephen Boyer, whose Jaithful labor

j of twenty-five years (1823-1848), received a
worthy tribute from the board of trustees.

On April 1, 1870, the female department
was discontinued.

The following names occur among the
teachers of an early date: Hon. Thaddeus
Stevens. Messrs. Bacon, Carothers, Steen,
Smith, James, Livermore, Beardsley, Merrills
Blanchard, Skinner, Prof. Daniel Kirkwood,
since known as the great astronomer Kirk-
wood, Miss Coulson, and Mrs, Young,

Hon. Thaddeus Stevens here began his

legal studies, and, as student and teacher

obtained the necessary preparation for those

I positions of honor and trust to which he was

subsequently called.

George W. Ruby, Ph. D., a graduate of
Mercersburg College, occupied the position
of principal of the academy for nearly thirty
years, commencing in 1850, and served con-
tinuously until the time of his death. Dur-
ing that period he had under his instruction
about 5,000 pupils prepared a large number
for college, many of whom graduated and are
now holding prominent positions in various
professions and occupations. He was much
beloved by his pupils and honored by the
community. Upon his death, George W.
Gross was elected, and served several years
with success, C. C. Stauffer was elected
principal in 1885.


The " Lancastrian System," so called in
honor of Joseph Lancaster, a native of Eng-
land, who visited Pennsylvania about 1815,
was based upon monitorial or mutual instruc-
tion. It required that a school should be di-
vided into several sections, according to the
acquirements of the scholars; over each one
of these sections, the head teacher appointed
a "monitor," generally the most advanced
pupil, whose duty it was to superintend the
instruction of his companions in the section
to which he belonged.

A school of this kind was opened in Tork,
'•' on Water Street, in the house of Jacob
j Wampler," on April 1, 1816, by Abner
Thomas and Amos Gilbert, two very intelli-
gent members of the society of Friends.
They were then both intimate associates of
Thaddeus Stevens, who was a teacher at the
academy. They taught reading, arithmetic,
writing, English grammar, and the English
classics, and furnished the pupils with books
and paper. Amos Gilbert afterward became
a noted educator. The school was moved to
the building adjoining the Friends' meeting
house, on Philadelphia Street. In 1820


Francis McDermot was teacher. It prospered
for a number of years.


This institution was founded by an act of
the synod of the German Reformed Church
at its session at Bedford, in September,
18'24, and commenced its operations in Car-
lisle on the 17th of May, 1825, the inaugur-
ation of the professor having previously taken
place on the 6t]i of April. It was removed
to York in October, 1828, in pursuance of an
act of the synod at its session at Lebanon, in
September of the same year. The institution
had a library of between 3,000 and 4,000
volumes, chiefly in the German language,
among which are some rare works. There
were two professors, viz. : L. Mayer, D.D., pro
fessor of Dogmatic Theology, and Rev. F. A.
Rauch, D. P. , professor of Sacred Literature.

A classical school under the auspices of the
synod of the German Reformed Church
was founded by a resolution of the sy-
nod at Harrisburg in September, 1831.
It was commenced in May, 1832. Mr.
William Good of Reading, Penn., wasap-
appointed teacher. In September, 1832, the
synod at Frederick, Md., appointed F. A.
Rauch principal of the institution and pro-
fessor in the theological seminary. Rev.
' John H. Agnew, formerly professor of lan-
guages in Washington College, Penn., was
subsequently appointed assistant, and upon
his resignation in Septembei-, 1833, the board
of visitors elected Rov. H. Miller his suc-
cessor. Rev. Charles Dober, pastor of the
Moravian Church in York, was also engaged
as assistant in May, 1832, and in the spring
of 1834, on the resignation of Mr. Miller,
Mr. Samuel W. Budd, A. B., was appointed
to the vacancy.

This institution, which was originated in
York, prospered for a number of years, and af-
terward was removed to Mercersburg College,
where it remained for a time and was then
taken to Lancaster. It is now connected with
Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster.

Of the many students who attended the
theological seminary while in York, there is
now but one person living, the venerable
Rev. Mr. Riegle, pastor of the Reformed de-
nominations in and around Dillsburg, this
county — who has passed his eightieth year,
and is yet (1885) in the vigor of health.

The institution was located on the north-
west corner of Market and Penn Streets.


This institution of learning is located on
a very desirable plat of ground on the east

side of south Duke Street. From its observ-
atory a most beautiful landscape view is

i afforded the observer. The cost of the
building and ground was 150,000, and the

I present endowment is $70,000. Of these
amounts $ 11 0, 000 were the direct contribution
uf Samuel Small, Sr..the founder, the remain
ing sum of $10,000 having been donated by
Robert H. Coleman, of Cornwall, Penn. The
Cassat library was presented to the institute
by Mrs. Small, in honor of her father, the
late David Cassat. The philosophical de-
partment and library are well furnished.
The entire building, composed of brick,
consisting of three stories with mansard
roof, is supplied with all the modern im-
provements in school architecture. It is
warmed by furnaces, is well ventilated, con-
tains a commodious chapel, recitation and li-
brary rooms, gymnasium, etc.

The school was opened in 1873, with the

; following board of trustees : Samuel Small,
president ; Rev. H. E. Niles. D. D., secre-
tary, and Samuel Small, Jr., treasurer. The
other members of the original board were
Dr. James W. Kerr, David E. Small, John
M. Brown, W. Latimer Small, Samuel S.

; Hersh, Jacob H. Huber, John H. Small,

I Revs., J. Y. Cowhick, C. W. Stewart and C.
P. Wing. Rev. James McDougall, then
pastor of a congregation at Babylon. Long
Island, was chosen president of the Institute.
He is a graduate of Princeton College and
Theological Seminary, had several years of
pastoral experience, and also for some time
conducted a private classical school in New
York City. S. B. Heiges, extensively and

I favorably known in this section as an

I educator, was elected professor of mathe-
matics and natural science. The faculty
was afterward completed by adding Miss
S. L. Otis for English ; Rev. P. Anstadt,
German; and Miss Mary E. Prince, music ;
and on September 15, 1873, the institution
was opened for students. The catalogue
exhibits four courses of instruction, viz. :
classical, scientific, ladies' and commercial.
The classical and scientific courses take the
students through two years of the regular
college course. Many of the graduates of
this institution have entered the junior
classes at Princeton and Lafayette Colleges.
The Phi Sigma Literary Society holds its
meetings every week. There is a " Coleman
Scholarship Fund " of $10,000, the interest
of which is given to aid- such students as
are recommended by the Presbytery of West-
minster as candidates for the ministry, and
approved by the faculty and trustees. Many
of the students are of mature years. It is



not a sectarian school, and is patronized by
various denominations. The president and
the teacher of music have occupied their
respective positions continuously since the
origin of the school. A. B. Garner, a grad-
uate of Princeton, in 1875 became professor
of mathematics and T. H. Dinsmore in 1879
professor national science. Rev. H. Walker
is the present instructor in German.

In 1885 S. M. Davis was elected to the
position vacated by Prof. Dinsmore.


This institution was started as a young

Heiges and W. H. Griffith conducted a nor-
mal school in the building. For school pur-
poses it was last used by the Misses Thornbury
and Mifflin, who had the " Young Ladies'
Seminary of York" in this building for a
lumber of years, until they removed to their
present locality on the corner opposite St.
Paul's Lutheran Church. At this place they
have now a flourishing and well-conducted
school, which is well patronized.

York County Normal School was orig-
inated by county superintendent A. R. Blair.
Its object is to train teachers of this county
for the active duties of their profession, and


ladies, seminary by Rev. T. F. Hey of
Baltimore. He at once secured the attend-
ance of a large number of pupils, and the
school prospered for a number of years.
Rev. D. Eberly was his successor, and had a
good attendance. It was under him a char-
tered institution, in connection with confer-
ence of the United Brethren in Christ, with
the powers to confer degrees upon complet-
ing a course of study. Several classes grad-
\iated during this period. For a time S. B.

is kept open during the spring months of the
year only. It has been held at Cottage
Hill in Masonic Hall, York County Acade-
my, and now in Hartman's six-story building
in Center square. The attendance is usually
about sixty, most of whom are teachers.
The principal teachers since its organization
have been S. B. Heiges, W. H. Griffith,
S. G. Boyd, George W. Heiges, W. H.
Kain, George R. Prowell, J. P. Hays and '
M. H. Seitz. D. H. Gardner is the present


principal, and haa been connected with it for
the past ten years.


In the spring of 1851, Rev. S. Hume
Smith, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, se-
cured the use of the public sehoolhouse in
Stewartstown, for a select school, and pro-
cured the services of- his cousin, J. A. Mur-
phy, A. M., a graduate of Jefferson College,
as a teacher. This was the origin of Stew-
artstown English and Classical Institute. In
the autumn of that year. Rev. Mr. Smith deliv-
ered a lecture on " The Past, Present and
Future of Stewartstown." On the past and
preseat, he was brief, but of the future, he
spent an hour in developing his plan for the
establishment of an academy, which was
adopted. A building was put up and ready
for occupancy by December, 1857.

Adam Ebaugh. William Griffith, Joel
Mitzel, William H. Leib, Daniel Leib, A. J.
Fulton, J. L. Free, Daniel I. Downs, James
Fulton, David K. Ebaugh and J. A. Murphy
submitted to the court a form of charter of in-
corporation, which named Dr. John L. Free,
Daniel Leib, David K. Ebaugh, William
Griffith and Joel Mitzel as a board of trus-
tees. The cost of the original building, with
the ground, was $750.

It served the purposes until 1873, when
the number of students so increased that a
commodious building to the front of the
academy was built at a cost of $1,566, and
by the commencement of the fall term, the
new building was ready for occupancy.

Mr. Murphy taught the first session, was
succeeded by William Chandler, of Lancas-
ter County, who taught a single term, when
George M. Ettinger, of York, a tine mathe-
matician and musician was elected. He, in
turn, was succeeded by J. Q. A. Jones of
Maryland, and J. W. Edie, of Hopewell. In
186(1 Mr. Murphy was again elected princi-
pal and continued until 1864, when he took
charge of a Shrewsbury academy. Rev. J.
McElway, of Princeton College, succeeded
for two years, when Henry A. Gable was
elected. Mr. Murphy returned to Stewarts-
town and taught until 187'2, and retired from
the profession. He now resides in the vil-
lage. The trustees then elected R. S. Max-
well, of Lancaster County, who served until
1876. Miss Amanda Manifold, Rev. Richard
Arthur and W. W. Grove each served at dif-
ferent times as assistants. The following-
named gentlemen have since been principals:
F. N. D. Browne, a graduate oE Harvard;
James Greene, of Dublin University; M. R.
Beck, James ^Iliot, H. T. Dawson and

Charles T. Wright. The academy is now
ander the principalship of the last-named


The Childrens' Home of York was incor-
porated by the legislature, February 2, 1865,
for the purpose of educating and providing
for friendless and destitute children distinct
from the State provision for soldiers' orphans;
though it was proposed to send to it those
belonging to the county. A. house was rented
on the 1st of May, 1865, and on the 18 th of
the same month, the first soldiers' orphans
were admitted. Daring the first two years,
on account of limited accommodations, but
thirty-one wards of the State were admitted
— all very young. The large and commo-
dious building was first occupied April, 18(')7.
It was erected on ground donated by Samuel
Small, Sr., and under his direction, and prin-
cipally at his expense, aided also by contri-
butions from the late Charles A. Morris. It
cost $1:0,00(». Soldiers' children have been
assigned to the home from York, Adams,
Dauphin and Cumberland Counties.

Since its organization to 1885, there have
been ninety soldiers' orphans trained in this
school. They are kept in it until the age of
ten years, when they are transferred to White
Hall or other State orphan schools. There
are now but three orphans of this class in the
institution. In all, there have be?n 207 des-
titute children admitted and trained, mak-
ing a total of about 300 of both classes.
There are now fifty children enjoying its hos
pitable care. They are taught by Miss Nettie
Stair. The girls "who are admitted, of either
class, are either kept in the home until they are
sixteen years old, or bound out in good fami-
lies, but still under the protecting care of the
managers, until they are sixteen. During
the past year, 1884," Samuel Small built a
large play-house and school-room in connec-
tion with the home at a cost of $8,000.

In addition to the State appropriation, the
school is largely sustained by subscriptions
and donations from a number of ladies and
gentlemen in the community, and from the
interest arising from the bequest of S5,()U0,
made by the late Charles A. Morris — who, to-
gether with his noble wife, also deceased,
was untiring in his devotion to all the inter-
ests of the "Home."

The following-named persons compose the
board of managers: Mrs. Samuel Small,
president; Miss L. Durkee, vice-president;
Miss Theo. Weiser, treasurer; Miss Sue
M. Chalfant, secretary; Mrs. Daniel Rupert.
Mrs. Henry A. Hantz, Mrs. D. S. Wagner,



Mrs. D.'A. Rupp, Mrs. George Eisenhart, ! trustees: Samuel Small, president; E. G.

Mrs. George Wehrly, Mrs. Lewis Carl. Mrs. Smyser, first vice-president; Charles S. Wei-

D. F. Williams, Mrs. C. S. Weiser, Mrs. John ser, second vice-president; Jacob Bastress,

Gehring, Mrs. George Heckert, Mrs. Dr. treasurer; George Buck, secretary; William

Smyser, Mrs. William H. Kurtz, Mrs. Ed-
ward Chapin, Miss H. Buel, Miss J. C. Lati-
mer, Miss S. B. Small, Miss K. F. Kurtz,
Miss Mary Beitzel, Miss S. E. Thornbury,

Laumaster, William Smith, (Druggist), W. H.
Welsh, A. H. Lochman, D. D., Martin Bender,
James Kell, Samuel Small, Jr., George
Wantz, Jacob A. Sechrist, George Eisenhart.


The York County Bible Society, an or-
ganization tributary to the American
Bible Society, was formed in York, on August
7, 1817. Its object was " to distribute the
Sacred Scriptures, without note or comment,
in all sections of the county." The guiding
spirit in effecting this organization was
Samuel Bacon, who was born in Sturbridge,
Mass., July 22, 1782. He came to York
from Lancaster, Penn., after graduating at
Harvard College. He was principal of an
academy, which afterward became Franklin
College. Being invited to York to teach
the classics in York County Academy, he
came here when still a young man. During
the war of 1812 he went to Washington, and
entered the military service as an officer of
marines. In the year 1815 he returned to
York and began the practice of law, having
been admitted to the bar at Washington. At
once he became a public-spirited citizen.
Having seen elsewhere the successful opera-
ations of the American Bible Society, he
assisted in organizing meetings in Y'ork and
in the county, and at once received the hearty
encouragement of most of the influential
clergymen of the county. While yet in the
practice of the law he began the study of the-
ology, and in 1817, was ordained by Bishop
White as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.
Mr. Bacon was a man of striking individu-
ality and great force of character.


The York County Bible Society became the
same year "The Bible Charity and Sunday-
school Society of York County," and, under a
charter granted by the legislature, was per-
manently organized by electing Rev. Samuel
Bacon president, on August 10, 1817. From
that day dates the origin of Sunday-school
work in York County. This meeting was
held in the building immediately west of the
Friends' Meeting House on Philadelphia
Street. The first meeting to discuss the
question of organizing such a society, was
held in the academy.

All protestant denominations were invited
to lend a helping hand, and a school was
established in this building, which was used
by the afterward celebrated Amos Gilbert, a
teacher of the Lancastrian school. He and
Abner Thomas, both members of the society
of Friends, conducted such a school in this
building at that time. They assisted in the
first Sunday-school. The peisonnel of this,
the first Sunday-school, cannot now be given.
Under the protecting care of its active super-

intendent it prospered. It was not many
weeks until more than 100 pupils attended.
The clergy of York in general and many lay-
men assisted, and others gave encouragement.
In the month of April, 1818, the number of
pujjils had increased to 300, and the school
was removed to the York County Academy,
and all of the different rooms used.


During the summers of 1818 and 1819,
Eev. Bacon used the most extraordinary
efforts in establishing Sunday-schools in York
County, and, owing to his wonderful exer-
tions, during those two years he succeeded in
organizing twenty-six schools in the villages
and thickly settled country places of the
county. In September, 181U, their combined
membership numbered 2,000 pupils. A
writer of the time said that "Mr. Bacon be-
came the admiration of all who knew him."
Robert Foster, a veteran in the Sunday-
school cause, remembers his coming to Lew-
isberry in 1817 and starting a school there.
As a representative of the Bible and Sunday-
school Society, he frequently distributed bi-
bles free to persons in the county worthy of
such charity. Sad to relate, this enthusiastic
worker in the cause of christian charity and
great advocate of sjireading the truths of the
Gospel, died of a fever at an English settle-
ment in Cape Shilling, on the coast of Africa,
on May 3, 1820, at the early age of thirty-
eight years. He had been sent there but a
few months before by the American Coloni-
zation Society as their representative.


In the spring of 1819, a number of ladies
of the borough of York joined the first
school in the academy. This was a new era
in its history and greatly increased its mem-
bership. This school became a great center
of interest in York, and for a number of
years was the only one in the town. It was in
January, 1820, that Rev. Bacon left York for
Africa, as he was the representative head of
the society, although its president for only
one year. Of the first organization '\Vm.
Doll was secretary, and Wm. Jones librarian.
In the year 1819 the Bible and Sunday
School Society elected Rev. George Geistweit
president; Revs. J. G. Schmucker, R. Cath-
cart and Constantine Miller, vice-presidents;
William Barber, treasm-er, and Samuel Bacon
secretary. Regular quarterly meetings were
held and reports read of the progress of the
work. Mr. Bacon made his tenth and last re-
port to the society, which met in the Episco-
pal Church, in October, 1819, at which time


it was stated that 2.000 pupils in York
County belonged to the twenty-six Sunday
schools then formed. In the spring of 1822,
an election was held at which the following
officers were chosen: Rev. Robert Cathcart,
D. D., of the Presbyterian Church, president;
Rev. Dr. Lewis Mayer and Rev. Geistweit. of
the Reformed Chui'ch, vice-presidents; Will-
iam Barber, treasurer; Jacob Eichelberger,
secretary; Rev. Constantine Miller, C. Pret-
tyman, Philip J. King, Andrew Cramer,
Jonathan Jessop and William Nes, managers.
The quarterly meetings were held in the dif-
ferent churches of York. For a number of
years this society, with the double design of
circulating the Scriptures and encouraging
the reading and study of them, did efl'ective
work. The combined eiforts of all denom-
inations seemed to harmonize as well as was

In the original school at York all the
teaching was done in the English language.
The precise location of all the schools in the
county established in 1818 and 181U caa-
not now be definitely stated. The exercises
in some of them were in German. In the
tenth quarterly report made by Mr. Bacon,
the following places were mentioned as hav-
ing schools, and as having been supplied
with books: Dover, Lower Chanceford,
Mechanicsburg (Stewartstown), Strasburg
(Shrewsbury), Hanover, Cross Roads (Hope-
well), Wellshoffer's School House (Helam),
Liverpool, Bald Hills, Warrington (Friends'
Meeting House), Newberry, York Haven,
New Holland and New Market. In many
places chui'ches were not given and school-
houses were used.


There are still some union schools prosper-
ing in York County, but most of them are
now denominational schools.

In 1824 the Methodist Episcopal Church
people were the first to leave the general
organization in York and start a Sunday-
school in their church. It has ever since
maintained a prosperous existence. St John's
Episcopal Church followed in 1826 —the
English Branch of the Reformed Church in
1828— the First Lutheran in January 1829
— the Moravians in 1836 — St. Paul's Lutheran
in 1836 — and by the Presbyterians, who were
the last to leave, in the year 1888. The First
Lutheran, under the pastoral charge of the
Rev. Dr. Lochman, and Zion Lutheran, under
that of the Rev. Mr. Lilly, united their for-
tunes together at the time of the seperate

In 1842 the Evangelical Association in York

organized a Sabbath -school of their own. In ,
1843 the United Brethren followed their ex- j
ample — the Baptist in 1853 — the Union '
Lutheran west of the Codorus in 1860 — the
First German Reformed in 1864— the Metho-
dist Episcopal Chapel Mission in 18(31 — the
Trinity Chapel Mission in 1861 — St. Luke's
Mission in 1862, and the English Reformed
in 1867. None of these belonged to the
original organization, but organized as sep
arate and distinct schools under the auspices
and direction of their several churches.
And in this connection it will be proper to
observe that the African Methodist Episcopal
Church of this place established a Sabbath-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 77 of 218)