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

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school as far back as the year 1820, under
their own immediate care and supervision,
and have since conducted it in a higlily cred-
itable and successful manner.


The York County Sunday-school Society
was organized in April, 1863, in York, when
a large audience of people assembled. Dele-
gates from all parts of the county were pres-
ent. On account of the large attendance,
the meeting adjourned to the public common,
in order to find a proper place to accommodate
the immense assemblage.

Another successful meeting was held in
April, 1867, at which time it was decided to
celebrate the semi-centennial of the history
of Sunday-schools in York County with ap-
propriate exercises. The following list of
officers were elected to have charge of the

Executive Committee. — President-Charles
A. Morris, York Borough. Vice presidents —
William Herbst, Shrewsbury Township;
Samuel M. Eisenhart, West Manchester
Township; William Shearer, Codorus Town-
ship; Henry Bott, Springfield Township;
Michael Etzler, Hanover Borough;
George Hengst, Hopewell Township. Re-
cording Secretary — Wm. H. Welsh, York
Borough. Corresponding Secretary — C. H.
Neff, York Borough. Treasurer — Gates J.
Weiser, York Borough. S. S. Missionary —
J. B. Baughman, Paradise Township.

Business Committee. — David E. Small,
David Craumer, E. C. Bender, Jacob Sea-
christ, Jacob Basti-ess, David Fahs, Harvey
H. Jacobs, Alexander Spangler.

At this fiftieth anniversary the following
statistics were gathered : In York, there were
17 schools taught by 437 teachers. There
were 2,658 pupils, nearly one-fourth of the
population then. In the entire county there
were 81 Sunday-schools, 41 of which report •
ed at the convention, which assembled in

d^l^^^U^.^.,^^^ ^2^^



April preceding, as having 951 teachers and
4,487 pupils. The amount of money raised
by them during the year 1866 for missionary
and Christian purposes was $4,692.48.

On July 4, 1842, the different schools
had a dinner and grand festival in Wil-
lis' "Woods, and, after the ceremonies of
the day were over, marched in a column
to Centre square, where they united in
singing " Oh, That will be Joyful." They
then adjourned and retired quietly to their
homes. On December 25, 1850, there was a
grand assembly of the Sabbath school chil-
dren in tbe First Lutheran Church in George
Street, where Christmas was celebrated.

In 1818 Rev. Samuel Bacon started the
lirst Sunday-school in Hanover. It continued
about two years, and there was none in suc-
cessful operation then until November, 1827,
when Miss Mary Blaine, of Carlisle, aunt of
Hon. James G. Blaine, while visiting in
Hanover, was instrumental in organizing
a prosperous Sunday-school of about 100
pupils. W. D. Gobrecht was chosen presi-
dent, William Sholl and Henry Myers, as-
sistants. At first bitter opposition was
manifested. It was held in a small room
on Frederick street, and, after some changes,
was in progress until 1845, sometimes being
held in the churches, and was supported by
all denominations. In 1845 the Reformed
Church built a schoolhouse, in which a de-
nominational school was started. The con-
gregation of St. Matthew' s Lutheran Church
organized a denominational school on August
15, 1845, during the pastorate of Rev. J.
Albert; the Methodists, under the pastorate
of Rev. James Brade, in 1847.

A Catholic Sunday-school was started by
Rev. Father Dompeiro in 1863. When St.
Mark's Church was founded in 1864, a Sun-
day-school was started. Rev. Martin Lohr,
who, early in the history of the union
schools in Hanover, took an active part for
many years, conducted a denominational
school in the United Brethren Church.

The history and membership of most of
the Sunday-schools of the county at present
is given in connection with the history of the
different churches. Since 1867 the number
has greatly increased and the membership
nearly doubled.

Mr. J. B. Baughman, Sunday school mis-
sionary for York County, furnished the fol-
lowing report of the Sunday-schools in this
county for tbe year 1885:

Number of Sunday-schools, 250; number of
teachers 4,000; number of pupils, 20,000.
The first Sunday-school convention was held
in 1863; first district convention in 1868.

Nearly the entire county is organized into
district conventions.


TO write a complete historv of the
press of York County would require
great labor and research, and then, on
account of the absence of files of many
papers which have been published, it is
difficult to write an accurate account of them.
Tbe press, and its influence as an educator of
the masses, cannot be overestimated. There
are yet some families in York County in
which a newspaper never regula)'ly enters;
yet even in the rural districts, there are now
families where as many as eight or ten pa-
pers and periodicals are regularly received,
and in towns many more. The number
of daily papers now read in the county is
very large and constantly increasing. The
circulation of daily papers from Philadel-
phia and Baltimore began soon after the
construction of the i-ailroads, but they greatly
increased during the civil war. The "His-
tory of York County," by Hon. A. J. GJoss-
brenner and W. C. Carter, published in 1834,
a work of 220 pages, contains valuable facts
concerning the early history of the press of
York. It was evidently prepared with great
care, and, like other parts of the same work,
has much valuable information, which, if
the book had not been published, would not
be lost to history. Of the introduction of
printing it says: "On the 17th of October,
1777, Congress, then sitting in York, resolved
that the Committee of Intelligence be
authorized to take the most speedy and ef-
fectual measures for getting a printing pi'ess
erected in York Town for the purpose of con-
veying to the public the intelligence that
Congress might from time to time receive.
The press of Hall & Sellers of Philadel-
phia and one of the oldest in the State was
shortly afterward brought to York, where
divers public communications were printed,
as was likewise much continental money.*
This was the first printing-press erected in
Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna.

*A circumstance connected with the printing of continental
money in Yorli, shows that some of the workmen employed i>y
Congress, or the agents of Congress, were not so honest as they
should have been. In the year 1821, repairs were made to tlie
house in which the continental mofley had been printed, and
under the hearth of a room in the second story of the building
bills to the amount of some thousand dollars were found, con-
cealed no doubt with the object of filling them up with counter-
feit signatures — the execution of which object, it is presumable,
was prevented by accident or the fears of those who secreted
the bills.


Congress removed from York in June, 1778,
and the press, with all the appurtenances, ac-
cordingly accompanied them to Philadel-

The Pennsylvania Gazette, originated in
Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin, was
published in York during the time that Con-
gress met here. The tiles of it, including
the copies printed in York, are now (1885) in
the State library at Harrisburg. After the
removal of the Gazette office to Philadelphia,
there was no paper published in York until
1787, when Matthias Bartgis and T. Roberts
established a printing office here. In the
month of OctolDer they issued the first num-
ber of their newspaper, which was entitled
the Pennsylvania Chronicle and York Weekly
Advertiser. It was "printed and published
by M. Bartgis & Co." This paper was con-
tinued about two years, when Edie & Wil-
cocks, having commenced a paper in York, the
press, types, etc., were shortly afterward re-
moved to Harrisburg, Penn.

The next paper printed in York was the
Pennsylvania Herald and York General Ad-
vertiser, the first number of which was issued
by James Edie, John Edie and Henry Wil-
cocks, on the 7th of January, 1789. The
types employed in the printing of the Herald
were cast in Philadelphia by Mr. Bane, a
gentleman who was educated in Edinburgh,
Scotland, and who had been, in this country, a
partner of Dr. Wilson. The press was made
in York under the direction of Henry VVil-
cocks, the iron work being executed by Jacob
Small. The printing ink of the first num-
ber was manufactured at Germantown. The
Herald preserved its title for about eleven
years, though as to minor things, such as
ownership and the like, it underwent some
changes. Thus, for example, we find it, in
1799, "printed every Wednesday by John
Edie; price to subscribers 15 shillings per

Until the year 1796 there had not been
two papers published in York at the same
time. In the spring of that year, Solomon
Meyer commenced the publication of a paper
entitled Die York Gazette. This was the
first paper printed in this county in the
German language. It afterward passed into
the hands of Christian Schlichting, under
whom it ended in 1804. In that year, press,
types, etc., were purchased by Daniel
Heckert, by whom they were sold to Stark &
Lange. of Hanover, by which latter gentle-
man the Hanover Gazette, a German paper,
was established in 1805.

The paper next published in the borough
of York was Der Volks Verichter. the first

number of which was published by Andrew
Billmeyer, on July 25, 1799. There are now
three papers published together in York
one in the English and two in the German
langaage. The Volks Verichter was contio-
ued four years.

In the year 1800, Mr. Edie took Robert
M'Clellan as partner, and changing the title
of the Herald they commenced a new paper
entitled the York Recorder. The Recorder
was in truth the Herald continued; its first
number was issued on the 29th of January,
1800. The Recorder continued until 1830.
The last editor was Samuel Wagner, Esq.
The establishment passed from Mr. Wagner
into the hands of Thomas C. Hambly, by
whom a paper was published, at first called
the York Republican, and was afterward
the Pennsylvania Republican. Mr. Hambly
transferred the establishment in 1831 to Sam-
uel E. Clement.

Der Wahre Republicaner was the third
German paper printed in York, its first
number being issued on February 20, 1805.
This paper which was a continuation of the
Verichter, or rather a revival of it, was at
first published by Schlichting & Billmeyer,
afterward by Daniel Billmever alone, until
his death, in 1828. Shortly' after Mr. Bill-
meyers decease, the establishment was
purchased by Samuel Wagner, at that time
editor of the York Recorder, who from that
time until the year 1830 published an En-
glish and German paper, the latter of which
bore the title of Der Republ icanische Her-

At the time that Mr. Wagner transferred
the York Recorder to Thomas C. Hambly,
as before mentioned, he sold th.0 Republican ■
ische Herald to Messrs. Glossbrenner &
May, by whom the paper was published for
about two months, when Mr. Glossbrenner
transferred his share of it to Benjamin Flory,
and the paper was published by May &
Flory, for about one year, when it was pur-
chased by Thomas C. Hambley and united
to the establishment of the York Republican.
In 1834, Samuel E. Clement purchased both
papers, and they continued to be published
by him for some years, when Thomas E.
Cochran and his brother, John Cochran,
conducted it as a vigorous journal for many
years. It then, in 1850, came into possession
of S. J. & W. C. Shay. It was conducted
by the former alone for a time. In 1858,
it was purchased by Horace Bonham. In
1860, S. H. Spangler became associated in
its publication. The Recorder, a daily
paper, was issued from this office for a short
time during 1861. The Republican was


afterward published by Lewis Smyser, J.
Shelley Boyer, S. I. & M. S. Adams, A. H.
Chase and H. S. McNair. At the time it
ceased laublication, it had nearly reached its
one hundredth anniversary, and was always a
highly prized journal.

Until the year 1808, there had not been
two English papers published here at the
same time. In the month of May, in that
year, the first number of the E.vpositor was
issued, a weekly paper printed and published
every Thursday by Daniel Heckert and
Daniel Updegraflf. The Expositor was con-
tinued until August, 1814, when both editors
suddenly relinquished their employment,
and went forth with signal patriotism to the
field of fame and danger. After their re-
turn from North Point, whither, with other
"hearts of oak," they had marched as vol-
unteers, they did not resume the publication
of the Expositor. In August, 1810, a
monthly literary periodical, the Village
Museum, was started by P. Hardt, and con-
tinued four years. The German Reformed
Magazine, the organ of the theological
seminary, was removed to York in 1828,
and remained here until the removal of that

In the year 1815, a new German paper
entitled Der Union's Freund, was com-
menced in York, the first number of which
was issued on January 19, 1815. by Charles
T. Melsheimer and James Lewis, at that time
joint editors of the York Recorder. This
paper was continued nearly two years. The
last number of it was issued in October, 181(3.

The publication of the York Gazette was
commenced about May 18, 1815, it is sup-
posed by William C. Harris, whose name ap-
pears as publisher in No. 29, Vol. I. It was
published every Thursday, at $2 per an-
num, payable half-yearly in advance.
"Advertisements, not exceeding a square, will
be inserted twice for $1, and every subsequent
insertion 25 ceuts; larger ones in proportion."
The ofiSce was located in the main street,
next door to the German Presbyterian
Church. Copies of the paper now in the
office commence with No. 9, Vol. I, dated
Thursday, November 30, 1815, to April 11,
1816. The size of the paper was 20x16 inch-
es, four columns to the page; column about
fifteen inches in length. On April 1,
1816, the office was removed to South
George Street, where Squire Haller kept his
office, within a few doors of the court house.
An omission here occurs in the file, which
recommences Thursday, May 13, 1819, as
No. 17, volume I, printed by King & Mallo
— A,dam King and Daniel Mallo — between

the court house and postofBce. This was the
first number printed by the new firm. In the
interval the paper had fallen into the hands
of a successor to Hr. Harris, who died, and
whose name is not given, but supposed to be
; W. M. Baxter. On Tuesday, April 1 1, 1820,
I it was announced that "the printing office of
the York Gazette will be removed this week to
the house of James Loyd, between Judge
Baritz's and Presbyterian Church (Zion's Re-
formed), and opposite John Eichelberger's
tavern in Main Street, west of the court
house." The number for April 18, 1820, we
find to be Vol. Ill, published by King & Ab-
bott. Mr. Abbott succeeded Mr. Mallo in
the proprietorship. The file leaves off at
May 21, and recommences May 6, 1823.
May 4, 1824, the partnership of King &
Abbott was dissolved, and King & Welsh —
Henry Welsh — assumed proprietorship. On
September 18, 1827, the office was removed
' to southwest corner Main and Beaver Streets.
King & Welsh dissolved partnership April 7,
1829, when Mr. Welsh was succeeded by
George A. Barnitz. Tuesday, August?, 1823,
the size was increased to 20-|x30 inches —
six columns to a page. In April, 1833,
j the office was removed to the north side
j of Main Street, a few doors below the
I York Bank. King & Barnitz dissolved
partnership April 1, 1835, Mr. Barnitz re-
tiring. He was succeeded by Adam J. Gloss-
brenner. Adam King died May 6, 1835,
and was succeeded by David Small, one of
the present proprietors, in April, 1836.
. In September, 1835, the office was removed
to the west side of North Beaver Street, op-
''■ posite Duncan's Hotel. In April, 1836, it
was removed to the east side of North Beaver
Street, a few doors north of White Hall. It
appeared in enlarged form May 31, 1836,
size, twenty-one and one-half by thirty-five
inches. Another removal took jjlace during
the week between the 10th and 16th of No-
vember, 1847. to East Main Street, in the
building of Charles Weiser (now Lehmay-
I er's). April 1, 1858, the sole proprietorship
passed into the hands of David Small, who
disposed of a half interest April 1, 1858, to
William H. Welsh, son of Henry Welsh, one
of the former proprietors. August 3, 1858,
the paper was enlarged to 261x391- eight
columns to the page. William H. Welsh was
succeeded by his brother, John B. Welsh,
early in the year 1862, and with David Small
I constituted the firm of Small & Welsh, the
1 present proprietors. Owing to the high
j price of paper during the Rebellion, the
size of the Gazette was, on January 13,
' 1803, reduced to 23Jx38 but was restored to


its former size January 26, 1864. The of-
fice was removed to Jordan's building north-
west angle of Centre Squai-e, July 25, 1865,
its present location. Its office machinery and
variety of printing material are' unexcelled.
The Gazette, now the oldest paper in York
County, is substantial, conservative and re-
liable, three very essential requisites to en-
lightened journalism. The tiles of this
paper from 1815 to date, have been of inesti-
mable value to the author of this article in
the preparation of many topics found in this
work. The proprietors will, therefore,
accept our grateful acknowledgements for
the generous courtesy extended to us.

Die ErangeJical Zeituiig, edited by Eev.
John H. Dreyer, began in 1828. It lasted
two years. In 1830, the Harbinger, an
English paper, which originated in Shrews-
bury, this county, was removed to York by
its editor, William C. Smyth. It existed for a
number of yeai's.

The York County Farmer first appeared
in December, 1831. It was printed in the
English language, and edited by A. J. Gloas-
brenner. It was discontinued at the end of
the second year.

A.n agricultural paper was published in
Lewisberry during the year 1835, and a Ger-
man paper existed for tvpo years in the vil-
lage of Jefferson, beginning in 1834.

The Democratic Prefix was established in
June, 1S38, by an association of gentlemen
for the purpose of opposing the erection of
the court house upon its present site. Court
had previously been held in the old court
house in Center Square in which Continental
Congress held its session for nine months of
1777 and 1778, after being driven out of
Philadelphia by the approach of the British
Army during the Revolution. The demoli-
tion of the old court house was an act of
vandalism, and was so considered by this en-
terprising journal. The Press was started
under the editorial control of Thomas Loyd,
who was quite an able writer, but unfortu-
nately it only remained under his charge six
months, in consequence of a misunderstand-
ing among its stockholders, on account of
his strong opposition to Charles A. Barnitz,
the Whig candidate for Congi'ess that year.
Mr. Loyd not being permitted to take as
strong sides for the Democratic candidate as
he desired, withdrew from the editorship.
The paper remained under the conti-ol of the
stockholders, with Dr. T. N. Haller as its
chief, until June, 1839, when Samuel Wehrly
(now in the Government printing office at
Washington)andthe present proprietor, Oliver
Stuck, became its owners, and for a year or

more thereafter, the late Albert C. Ramsay
was its editor. It was published by Wehrly
and Stuck until March, 1845, when Mr.
Wehrly disposed of his interest to F. E.
Bailey, who died a few weeks after. In
April following, D. F. Williams, now
deceased, purchased Mr. Bailey's interest.
The paper was then published by Williams
& Stuck, until October 1855, when the pres-
ent owner purchased Mr. Williams' interest
and it has ever since been printed and pub-
lished under his immediate control and sup-
ervision. The mechanical department of the
establishment, when Mr. Stuck became the
sole owner, contained a double medium
hand press, with 500 or 600 pounds of
brevier and long primer type and a few fonts
of wood and metal job tj'pe. with a small
subscription list. Since that time the office
has prospered and increased from a limited
supply of material to a large and intiuential
journal and an office equipped with modern
steam presses for newspaper and job work.

The York Pennsylvania, a paper very
popular with its readers, was started in 1851,
in a building located on the corner of Market
and Duke Streets, where it continued to be
published until 1867, when the office was
removed to its present place one door east of
court house on East Market Street. The orig-
inal pro])rietors were Frey & Hunter. The
last named gentleman retired in 1853, and
Samuel Wehrly purchased his interest and
remained a part of the firm for three years,
when D. A. Frey became sole proprietor and
continued its publication very successfully.
In 1881, his son, V. R. Frey became a part-
ner, and the paper is now published under
the firm name of D. A. Frey & Son. The
office is supplied with a Hoe power press and
Washington hand press and a Gordon quarter
medium, latest improved job press. The
size of the paper is 25x36^ inches. It
is published weekly; is independent in
politics, and contains a great variety
of local and general news. The price
originally was $1.50 per annum, which was
reduced to $1 per annum in the year 1884.
The Pennsylvania has a number of well-
trained correspondents to its local columns.

The York Advocate was an ardent Whig
paper, edited and published by Christopher
Stair. It continued several yeai's and was an
ably edited journal.

The American Eagle, a lively and interest-
ing paper, was started in 1856, by Henry F.
Thomas. It was an advocate of what was
then known as the American party.

The True Democrat, a paper of strong Re-
publican principles, which soon became a

r. ()y. ^UJ^


prominent and influential journal in York
County, was started during the civil war, as
an ardent advocate in support of the im-
periled government. The first number of
this paper was issued on June 7, ISG-t, the
same day thaU Abraham Lincoln was renomi-
nated for president of the United States by
the National Eepublican Convention, which
then convened in the city of Baltimore. It
was at first issued by a stock company with
Hiram Young as editor. There were at first
about twenty employes. Its circulation in-
creaseil very rapidly, and at one time num-
bered 3,500 regular subscribers. It was
started in the McGrath Building on South
George Street, where it, remained until L867,
when it was desired by the proprietors to in-
troduce steam as a motor. This was an im-
portant event in the history of journalism,
it being the first paper printed by steam
in York. The office ever since the removal
has been at No. 10, East Market Street,
York. A few years ago the name was
changed to the Weekly Dispatch.

The first number of the York Daily made
its appearance on October 5, 1870, under the
management of J. L. Shaw, C. H. Glass-
myer and A. P. Burchell, all of whom were
strangers in York. It was printed in a
Columbia office, and brought to York on the
morning trains. Its original size was 14x21
inches. The business office was in Capt.
Solomon Myer's building, No. 304, west
Market Street. After a few weeks' existence
Rev. J. C. Smith, a highly respected clergy-
man of York, and F. B. Raber, coal merchant,
each having a son who was a practical printer,
purchased printing material and placed it
in the hands of the original firm, with the
condition that their sons, John C. Smith and
Lewis B. Raber become partners in the
business. The arrangement ceased on ac-
count of the expenses exceeding the income,
when Isaac Rudisill, in connection with Raber
& Smith, by reducing the size of the paper,
continued its publicatiou. Its size after
reduction was 15x22 inches. Under this
management the press-work was done in the
office of the American Lutheran. The paper
was enlarged to 18x26 inches and its circula-
tion began to increase. John B. Welsh of
the Gazette purchased a one-half interest in
it, April 24, 1871, and during the following
June became sole proprietor, with Isaac
Rudisill as local editor. In September, 1871,
the office was removed to No. 3, South Beaver

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 78 of 218)