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

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immediately began to organize congregations
at the three places above mentioned. Ves-
trymen and wardens were settled in each of
the places. He visited other settlements,
administered the religious rites to the church
people. While here in York and Cumber-
land Counties, as early as 1756, his attention
was called to the unfortunate condition of
the poor Indians, with whom he frequentlj'
associated while on his ministerial tours.
Some Indians came to Carlisle to sell fur and
deer skins, he invited them into his church
or building, in which he was conducting
religious services. The few of them, who
could understand English, at once became
interested in him. When they returned they
brought some of their friends to visit him,
and shake hands with them. He then had
great hopes of converting many of them to
Christianity, but the direful French and
Indian war broke out, and all hopes of his
prosecuting his missionary work among them
ceased. At this period he found himself and
his parishes exposed to the iiicursions of the
exasperated red' man, and he became chap-
lain of the troops under Gen. Forbes on the
Western expedition, and became a prominent
personage in that important campaign.
After the French and Indian war, he served
as rector of St. James' Church at Lancaster,
for a period of twenty years. In 1770 he
received the honorary degree of A. M. from
King's College. N. Y. During his pastorate
at Lancaster, he frequently conducted relig-
ious services at York. When the war of the
Revolution came on, Mr. Barton found him-
self considerably impeded in the perform-
ance of his ministerial duties, and was ulti-
mately obliged to retire from his held of labor
altogether. He was not willing to take the
oath of allegiance to the commonwealth, and
was permitted to sell his property and pass
within the British lines. He arrived in New
York in November, 1778, where he died
of dropsy May 25th, 1780, aged fifty
years. He was married in 1753, at Philadel-

phia, to a sister of the celebrated David Eit-
tenhouse. At his death he left a widow and
eight children; one of his sons, Benjamin
Smith Barton, was a distinguished professor
in the University of Pennsylvania, and died
in 1815. William Barton, his eldest son,
wrote the life of David RittenhoLise. The
widow died at the age of ninety years. Rev.
Barton published a sermon on Braddock's
defeat. Hon. John Penn said of him: "He
was a most worthy pastor and missionary,
and as such, his name should go down to pos-


The "Schweitzer Prediger " was promi-
nently identified with the early religious his-
tory of York County among the first German
settlers. He worked as a missionary, attend-
ing to the spiritual wants of the people in
various sections. His record book of his first
labors in this county, when the settlement
was yet sparse, is still in existence. As a
man he had a vigorous intellect, of consider-
able force of character, and yet his career
was anomalous and strikingly singular and
erratic. Most of his life was spent in the
ministry of the German Reformed Church,
and yet he neither began nor ended his
I career within that church. Jacob Lischy
was a Swiss German, and immigrated to
America, landing at New York May 28,1842,
in company with twenty- seven other German
emigrants, in the sailing vessel, called
"Snow Catharine," commanded by Capt.
Gladman. He was not a minister when he
came to this country, but was soon recog-
nized as a man of intellect above the ordin-
ary German emigrant. Soon after arriving
in Pennsylvania he was brought under the
influence of Count Zinzindorf, the apostle of
the Moravian Church in America, who came
to this country in 1741. At the instance of
Zinzindorf, he was ordained a missionary
when yet a young man. According to his
own words he adopted the Christian religion
under the preaching of the Moravians at
Basle, in Switzerland, when fourteen years
old. Making a success of his missionary
work as a layman he was ordained as a min-
ister at Bethlehem in January, 1743, and
sent out to preach the gospel under the di-
rection of Count Zinzindorf. Soon after his
ordination he preached to newly formed
congregations at Mode Creek and Kissels'
farm in Lancaster County. An old record
says, "he was a warm-hearted, gifted and
approved preacher, and made a great im-
pression wherever he went." In his own
words he " was preaching for the congregation



of God in the Spirit," and consequently used
different types and modes of worship, which
he claimed was a union of the Moravian,
Reformed and Lutheran faith. For this
reason he got into frequent controversy.
About this time he received at least a dozen
calls to preach. Some of them came from \
his native eountiy.

On the 12th of August, 1744, a written
invitation was sent him to lake charge of the
German Reformed congregation in York,
which had not yet had a settled pastor. An
old record says: "'In 1744 the well-known
Jacob Lischy, who had been sent out by the
congregation at Bethlehem, Penn., came into
the neighborhood of York to preach the gos-
pel to all who were willing to hear him. He
professed to be a Reformed minister, and was
invited to preach to the German Reformed
congregation at York; on the 29th of May,
1745, he accepted the pastorship of this
church." In 174G " a brethren synod " was
held in Kreutz Creek, at which Rev. Lischy
and Rev. Nyberg, a Lutheran preacher,
lately from Sweden, who also belonged to the
"Union Church," were the prominent cler-
gymen. Nyberg took charge of the Luther-
an Church of Hanover that year. It was
about this time that the elders of the congre-
gations at York and Kreutz Creek became
aware that their pastor. Rev. Lischy, had
some Moravian proclivities, and when he
wished again to preach in York many per-
sons had collected in front of the church
with great noise, and for a time forbade him
to preach in their church. In contiection
with Rev. Christian Henry Ranch, an open
air meeting was held along the Codorus, and
a large audience attended. For a time pub-
lic services were held at Immel's house on
the Codorus. There was a great religious
awakening among the German settlers dur-
ing the years 1745-46. It was brought
about by the united efforts of the clergymen
of the German Reformed, Lutheran and Mo-
ravian denominations. This gave rise to
great controversy as to which denomination
should eventually gain the ascendancy.
Lischy's sphere seemed to be that of a con-
troversionalist, His preaching was, how-
ever, effective, and he continued the regular
pastor until 1754 of York, Kreutz Creek and
other congregations in York County formed
by him. During his pastorate here he had
repeated calls elsewhere. But his career in
York was not all harmonious. On May 2,
1747, the celebrated Rev. Michael Schlatter
visited York, and according to his journal
" found a large German Reformed congrega-
tion. But on account of Lischy's semi-re-

formed and semi -Moravian tenets, the
brethren (Moravians) in connection with
Rev. Lischy, has brought much confusion
among them."

Rev. Lischy, through the instrumentality of
Rev. Schlatter the distinguished clergyman
of the Reformed Church, was regularly or-
dained a minister of the German Reformed
Church, on September 29, 1747. He then
invited Mr. Schlatter to come from the synod
at Philadelphia, to York, to assist in restor-
ing harmony. He was not allowed to admin-
ister the holy sacrament for a time. By May
17, 1748, when Rev. Schlatter returned again
to York, he found that "confidence in Lischy
had been restored and their affection for him
was kindled anew." On the ISth of May he was
asked to preach before Rev. Schlatter and the
congregation, without having much time for
preparation, in order to test his orthodoxy.
The following was the text selected: "For
many are called, but few are chosen." This
was the first time he had preached in the
church since the disturbance, more than a
year before. His sermon was a success, and
he was afterward allowed to preach in the
church regularly. After separating from the
brethren (Moravians) he became violent
against them, both in writing and speaking.
In this he showed a side in his nature not to
be admired. When he left York charge in
1754, a series of resolutions were passed
and signed by eighty seven male members,
and the name and work of Dominie Lischy
was long remembered among them. There
were, however, many inconsistencies in Do-
minie Lischy's extraordinary character,
which sometimes overruled his great preten-
sions to piety. For an unfortunate calamity-
that befell him he was suspended from the
ministry of the German Reformed Church
June 8, 1757. Final action was taken in
his case by the synod of Holland, during the
year 176* ». Shortly after this event he moved
to a farm, which he had before purchased, in
what is now North Codorus Township, this
county, on the right of the road leading from
Spring Grove to Jefferson, and nearly mid-
way between the two places. He opened a
school and organized an independent church
and did not disappear from the ecclesiastical
arena. For a time his son taught a very
successful school on his farm. Rev. Lischy
organized, in 1765, what is now known as
"Lischy's church," in that vicinity. In this
quiet community he spent the remainder of
his life, and was respected by the peoj^le
among whom he labored. Among the taxa-
ble lists for 1780, we find the following as-
sessment: "Rev. Jacob Lischy owned 100



acres of land, 40 of which was cleared, had
three horses, two cows and five sheep. En-
tire valuation £1,600. He paid a tax that
year of ', £30. The continental currency
then was much depreciated. In the family
graveyard, on what was his farm, we copied
the following , inscription: "In memory of
Rev. Jacob Lisehy, V. D. M., born in
Switzerland, in Europe. Departed this life
A. D. 1781." A few other persons are inter-
red in this same "neglected spot," among
them, his wife, who died in 1754. A large
pear tree has gi'own up by her grave. The
burying ground is on an elevated plane, with
a commanding view of the surrounding


The Rev. Jacob Goering, second son of
Jacob and Margaret Goering (emigrants
from German}'), was born in Ghanceford
Township, in this county, January 17,
1755. His father was a farmer. Young
Goering was soon distinguished for as-
siduity in the pursuit of knowledge. Such
was his economy of time, and his passion for
study, that scarcely a moment of his youth
was spent in idleness. At an early age he
was a teacher of English school in the neigh-
borhood of his father's house; he when about
eighteen years old moved to Lancaster to
pursue his studies under the direction of
Rev. Mr. Helmuth. From there he went to
Carlisle, and preached to the Lutheran con-
gregations in that town and vicinity. After
a few years residence in Cumberland County,
he removed to Dover township, this county,
and preached to the Lutheran congregations
in that neighborhood, still continuing his
stated services at Carlisle. While residing
in Dover Township he was married to Eliza-
beth, daughter of the Rev. Nicholas Kurtz,
who was at that time pastor of the German
Lutheran congregation in York. About the
year 1780, he was invited to take charge of
the Lutheran congregation in York. After
preaching si,\ years here, received and ac-
cepted an invitation to preach to the congre-
gation in Hagerstown. Md. He was at length
induced again to take charge of the congre-
gation at York.

Mp. Goering continued to minister to the
congregation in York until his death, on
November 27, 1807.

Mr. Goering wrote much, though he pub-
lished but little. His manuscripts contained
much that marked his original and energetic
mind. These valuable papers, with all the '
letters he had received, he committed to the
flames during his last illness. The manu- 1
scripts of Mr. Goering did not contain dis- |

quisitions on theological subjects only —
they embraced many inquiries into the orien-
tal languages, with translations, from the
most beautiful works of Arabic poets.

He was a man of profound thought and
deep investigations, a fine scholar, an elo-
quent public speaker, and a warm-hearted and
charitable Christian.


Samuel Bacon was born at Sturbridge,
Mass., on July 22, 1782. Having prepared
himself in an underschool, he became a
student in the university of Cambridge,
at which institution he was afterward
gi-aduated. On leaving the college he
went forth " in quest of fortune and
a name." From New-England he went
to Lancaster, Penn., and there he was for
some time principal of the "Franklin Col-
lege." His leisure hours were now spent in
the study of the law, and conducting the
"Hive," then a periodical paper of some
literary merit. From Lancaster he came to
York ; and this town he afterward considered
as his home. Here he was at first a classical
teacher in the York County Academy,
and in this task of instruction he acquired
the good will of all his pupils, and became
the admiration of all that knew him. Be-
coming weary of the pursuit, which is at
least irksome and tedious, he applied for a
commission in the service of his country,
and was appointed a lieutenant of marines.
He was soon afterward appointed a quarter-
master, with the rank of captain. In the
year 1814, he was married at York to Anne
Barnitz, daugliter of Jacob Barnitz, Esq.
She died in the succeeding year, leaving a
son who still lives.

Whilst yet an officer of marines, he re-
sumed the study of the law with a distin-
guished advocate in the city of Washington,
and was admitted to the bar in that metropo-
lis. At the battle of Bladensburg he was
attached to Commodore Barney's corps, and
was the ofiicer who conducted the retreat. In
the year 1815 or 1816, he resigned his com-
mission, and returning to York, he com-
menced the practice of the law, and received
the appointment of deputy attorney-general
for the county. About this time he began
to be seriously attentive to things relating to
his eternal welfare ; and he evinced his
sincerity by the best practical proofs. He
labored continually for the establishing of
Sunday-schools ; and owing to his extraor-
dinary exertions there were at one time, in
twenty-six schools of this county, about 2,000
scholars. He commenced a course of theo-


logical reading, whilst yet in the practice of
the law. Upon relinquishing his profession
he was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal
Church, by Bishop White. He then trav-
eled as an agent of the Missionary and
Bible Society through this and the neighbor-
ing States, soliciting donations, establishing
Sunday-schools, and endeavoring to do
good in the great office to which he had
been called. At length he was appointed by
the heads of government the agent of the
United States, to accompany the first adven-
turers of the Colonization Society to their
intended settlement on the African coast.
There, at an English settlement called Cape
Shilling, he died of a fever incident to that
country, May 3, 1820, aged thirty-eight

Bacon perished in a land of savages, far
removed from all that could smooth his
passage to the tomb, or uphold him in the
hour of death. But his was the hope of a
Christian, and he leaned upon the arm of his
God. No storied urn, no proud mausoleum
marks the place of his repose ; but the poor
savage as he passes over the place where his
dust sleeps, will drop a tear to the memory
of the friend of man.


Rev. Lewis Mayer was born at Lancaster,
Penn., March 26, 1783, and was the son of
George L. Mayer, a gentleman of liberal edu-
cation. He received a good German and
English education in his native town, and at
an early age removed to Frederick, Md. , and
began business. Being better suited to
books, he then determined to enter the min-
istry. He made rapid progress in classical
and theological studies, and was licensed to
preach in 1807, by the Reformed synod, which
met that year at New Holland, Lancaster
County. He is supposed to have preached
at Frederick the first year of his ministry.
In 1808 he accepted a call to the Shepherds-
town, W. Va., charge, where he officiated
twelve years. In this position he succeeded
well, and soon became one of the most prom-
inent ministers of his chui-ch. In 1821 he
was called to the Reformed Church of York,
which position be filled until his election to
preside over the Theological Seminary of the
German Reformed Church, which was estab-
lished in 1820. at Carlisle. Mr. Mayer
resigned his charge at York in 1825, and
went to Carlisle and commenced operations
as its president. In 1829 the seminary was
removed to York, where it rapidly increased
in number of pupils and influence under his
direction and care. This year the Reformed

Dutch College, at New Brunswick, N. J., con-
ferred upon Mr. Mayer the honorary degree
of doctor of divinity. In 1835 the synod
determined to remove the seminary to Mer-
cersburg, when Dr. Mayer resigned his pi'O-
fessorship, and determined to remain at York.
He spent the remainder of his life in literary
labors. He was favorably known as a scholar,
minister and author. He was a great student,
a deep and correct thinker. For a long time
he edited the German Reformed Messenger
and Magazine. Among bis works are " Sin
against the Holy Ghost,""Lectures on Scriptu-
ral Subjects," "Hermeneutics and Exegesis,"
" History of the German Reformed Church."
He was twice married. His first wife was
Catharine Line. By this marriage they had
six children, one of whom was John L.
Mayer, for many years a prominent lawyer
of York. His second wife was Mary Smith.
Dr. Mayer, who did not enjoy good health
for many years, died of dysentery on August
25, 1849.


Rev. Daniel Zeigler was born in Reading,
Penn., on the 11th of June, 1801. After he
attained the age of twenty-one years, he
entered the University of Pennsylvania, at
Philadelphia, where ho remained for a time
and then came to York, as a student of the-
ology in the theological seminary of the Ger-
man Reformed Church. It was under the
presidency of Rev. Dr. Mayer. About the year
1828, he became pastor of the Kreutz Creek
charo-e. It included the Reformed congre-
gations in the Canodocholy valley, and con-
tinued his services in that charge for a period
of thirty-seven years, and served eighteen
years as pastor of the German Reformed
congregation in York. Early in his minis-
terial work he turned his attention to the new
science of entomology, and in connection
with Dr. Melsheimer of Davidburg, became
quite jjroficient in classifying insects, and in
the study of their characteristics. He en-
tered into a correspondence with many noted
personages, who were interested with him in
the same department of scientific investiga-
tion. Ursinus College conferred on him the
title of doctor of divinity. He di 1 in
York, May 23, 1873.


Rev. Adam Ettinger, father of Prof. D, M.
Ettinger, of York, was one of the original
clergymen of the Evangelical Association in
York County. His father, Rev. Adam Ettin-
ger, was a clergyman of the German Re-
formed Church, and died in 1809. His




mother was a sister of Rev, John Stouch,
of the Lutheran Church. In the fall of 1813,
under the administration of Eev. John
A\'alter. the tirst fellow- laborer of Rev. Jacob
Albright, founder of^the Evangelical Associa-
tion, Adam Ettinger joined that denomination
which at that date, had only fifteen preach-
ers and 769 members in America. In
1815 he was licensed to preach, and the next
year joined the conference. No minister
of the gospel was a more devoted fol-

summer time camp-meetings were held in the
woods adjoiniog it. To the church and its
interests he was generous and philanthropic
beyond his means. He died October 31, 1877,
aged ninety j'ears, seven months and twelve
days, after serving as a minister of the gos-
pel for sixty-two years. His remains were
interred in Prospect Hill Cemetery.


Rev. Constantino J. Deininger was born

lower of the doctrines and principles of the
church of his choice than he, giving not
only his time but his means to the support
of the cause he so faithfully advocated. He
was married early m life to a daughter of
Conrad Miller, a soldier of the Revolution,
and well-to-do farmer of Hopewell. His
father in-law and mother-in-law then formed
a part of his family, and their home became
a great place for religious meetings, and in

I in Center County, Penn., August 30, 1822,
I and was the son of the late Rev. A. G.
Deininger, a prominent ana influential Luth-
eran clergyman, who was born in Wurtem-
berg, Germany, in'1795, emigrated to Ameri-
ca at the age of seventeen, and located 'in
Center County. He married Susan Phebe
Brown, of Center County, born in 1819, and
died in 1872. He studied theology at Lan-
' caster. After serving the Lutheran congre-



gations of Dover, Paradise, East Berlin, and
Pigeon Hill, and other chnrches in York
County, for the long period of fifty-one years,
he died in the village of East Berlin, Sep-
tember 30, 1880, at the advanced age of
eighty- five. Eev. A. G. Deininger was the
son of Dr. Christian Deininger, a noted phy-
sician of the kingdom of Wnrtemberg. Rev.
C. J. Deininger, the subject of the present
sketcli, entered Pennsylvania College at Get-
tysburg in 1840, and was graduated in 1844.
After completing the theological course at the
seminary of the same college, he entered the
ministry in 1846, and was ordained in Sep-
tember, 1848. On November 4, 1S4G, he was

married to Maria (daughter of Isaiah ),

of Adams County. They had children as fol-
lows : Luther T., Emma (deceased), Susan P.,
Charles A. (deceased), and Mary Louisa.
Rev. Deininger's first charge embraced the
churches of East Berlin, Jefferson, Zeigler's
and Wolf's which he served until 1S50, when
he accepted a call to Indiana, Penn., remain-
ing there two and a half years ; on account
of ill health returned to East Berlin, and
during 1852-53, supplied Berlin and Wolf's
Lutheran congregations. In 1853 he removed
to York, where he remained until his death,
July 21, 1885, at the age of sixty-two
years four months and twenty-two days. In
the course of his long pastorate of thirty-
seven years in York County, he ministered to
a number of Lutheran congregations and
organized the congregations of that denomi-
nation in the following churches: Mount
Zion, Spring Garden Township, 1852; Salem
Church, in Springfield, 1858 ; New Salem in
North Codorus, 1861 ; Manchester Borough
Church, 1857; Trinity, in Seven Valley, 1878;
and Stoverstown Church, in 1882. At the
time of his death, and for many years before,
he served with great acceptability the Luth-
eran congregations of Mount Zion, Paradise,
Quickie's and "Wolf's Churches. He was a
faithful and beloved pastoi'. Until a few
weeks before his death, he was unceasing in
his interests to furnishing the writer with
valuable facts and statistics of the Lutheran
Church of York County, for this history. He
kept a careful record of all his ministerial
acts, a summary of which from September,
1846, to his death in 1885, is as follows :
Infant baptisms, 3,860 ; adult baptisms, 215 ;
funerals, 1,617: confirmations, 2,118; mar-
riages, 1,649; sermons preached, 4,481;
number of miles traveled in pursuance of min-
isterial work, 83,640 miles, or a distance of
three times around the world.


Rev. Robert Cathcart, D. D., deceased, was

the son of Alexander Cathcart and Mary Walk-
er, bis wife. He was born in November, 1759, near
the town of Coleraine, Ireland, where his early
education was conducted. He afterward became a
student at the University of Glasgow, where he
gi'aduated, and having selected the ministry as his
profession, studied divinity at that institution. He
was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Route,
and labored within its bonds for several years. ' Hav-
ing an uncle in America, the Rev. Robert Cath-
cart of Wilmington, Del., he came to the United
States in 1790,and joined the Presbytery of Philadel-
phia, filling various vacant pulpits in that vicinity.
During this period he declined a call to Cape May,
on account of its supposed unhealthfulness. In

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 84 of 218)