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

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October, 1793, he was installed pastor of the Pres-
byterian churches at York, Penn., and Round Hill,
in Hopewell Township in York County, by the
Presbytery of Carlisle. Of the latter church he was
pastor for forty-two years, and of the former for
forty-four years, preaching in each on alternate Sun-
days, while pastor of both. During these fort}' two
years, though the Hopewell church was distant
from his home in York fifteen miles, he never failed
when at home, to reach his pulpit, excepting on one
Sabbath when ill. For thirty successive years he
was yearly elected by the Presbytery to which he
belonged its commissioner to the general assembly
of that denomination, and for twenty years was
stated clerk of that body. The degree of doctor of
divinity was conferred on him by Queen's, now
Rutger's College, New Brunswick, N.J. He was for
thirty years a trustee of Dickinson College, Carlisle,
and obtained from it the degi-ee of doctor of divinity
for Scott, the great Scriptural commentator. Always
identified with and an active promoter of public
education, he was one of the original trustees of the
York County Academy, and president of the board
' for many years. Some years before his death he
tendered his resignation as president, but the board
declined to accept it. He was a liberal contributor
to all the missionary and charitable enterprises of
j his own church, as well as to those not strictlj^
denominational, such as the Bible and Tract Soci-
eties, and the American Sunday-school Union. It
has been justly said of him that he taught his people
liberality by example, rather thanby precept. One of
his successors wrote of him: "I knew Dr. Cathcart
as well as a son could know a father, visited him
daily for years, and, with the best opportunities for
judging, can say that he was among the best and .
purest of our American clergy." jVnother summing
up his character, says: " He was remarkable for his
I honesty, liberality, gentlemanliness, philanthrophy
I and attachment to his church and her principles
I and form of government." In 1796 he married
j Susan Latimer of Newport, Del. He survived her
I thirty-nine years, and died on October 19, 1849, leav-
ing three sons and two daugh-ters.of whom onl}- one
daughter is now living. Dr. Cathcart was a man of
' great learning, of broad and liberal culture, and
' catholic views on all religious questions. Though



ardently attached to the Presbyterian Church, in
-which he was born and to which he devoted his life,
there was nothing narrow or sectarian about him.
He was not an orator in the ordinary sense of the
term. His delivery w-as somewhat monotonous,
and with little gesture and no attempt at rhetorical
display; but the purity and elegance of his diction,
the depth and breadth of thought, the originality
displayed in his sermons, always attracted a large
and attentive audience of the most cultivated and
intellectual people in the town. His high personal
and professional standing in the community, his
long connection with the highest judicatory of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States, and the
influence he there exercised in molding and guiding
the policy of the church, make it eminently fitting
that he should be selected as the representative of
Presbyteriauism in this work. In the great schism,
which rent the Presbyterian Church in twain about
1837, Dr. Cathcart was an earnest advocate of the
liberal or" new school' side. The trial of Rev. Albert
Barnes for heresy by the s}'nod of Pennsj-lvania,
took place in the York Church. One of the few
lawsuits concerning church property growing out
of that schism was instituted by the "old school"
minority of the York congregation to recover the
church and parsonage property. It was tried in 1841
before Judge Hayes of Lancaster, Messrs Mayer
and Chapin being of counsel for the "new school"
party, and Messrs. Hambly & Mason for the "old
school," and the former gained the suit both in the
court below, and in the Supreme Court. The cause is
reported in 1 Watts' and Serjeants' Reports.



Col. Thomas Hartley was born in the neigh-
borhood of Reading, Berks Co., Penn.,
September 7, 1748. Having received the
rudiments of a good classical education in
that town, he removed w^hen eighteen years
of age, to York, Penn., when he commenced
the study of the law under the tuition of Mr.
Samuel Johnson. Having pursued his law
studies with diligence for the term of three
years, he was admitted to practice in the
courts of York, July 25, 1769. He now
arose in his profession with an almost unex-
ampled rapidity, for he not only had a thor-
ough knowledge of the law, but was ac-
quainted with two languages, each of which
was then necessary in such a county as York;
his early days having been spent in Read-
ing, then as now mostly peopled by Ger-
mans, he was from childhood acquainted with
their language, which he spoke with the fliT-
ency of an orator. Another thing which
favored young Hartley much, was that he and
the Hon. James Smith were for some time the
only practicing lawyers of the county; Mr.

had studied, beingi

Johnson, with whom
then prothonotary.

Hartley was early distinguished as a warm I
friend of his country, both in the cabinet
and in the field. In the year 177-1-. he was

: elected by the citizens of York County, a

I member of the provincial meeting of depu-
ties, which was held at Philadelphia on the
15th of July. In the year 1775, he was a
member from the same county, of the provin-
cial convention which was held at Philadel-

I phia on the 23d of January.

! The war of the Revolution was now ap-
proaching and Hartley was soon distinguished
as a soldier. The Committee of Safety for
Pennsylvania, recommended a number of per-
sons to Congress, for field officers to the Sixth
Battalion, ordered to be raised in that colony,
and Congress accordingly January 10, 1776,
elected William Irwin, Esq., as colonel;
Thomas Hartley, Esq., as lieutenant-colonel;
and James Dunlap, Esq., as major. Mr.
Hartley was shortly afterward promoted to

j the full degree of colonel.

Col. Hartley having continued about three

1 years in faithful and laborious duty as
an officer, wrote a letter to Congress Feb-
ruary 13, 1779, desiring leave to resign his

1 commission. Congress thinking the reasons

, offered, satisfactory, accepted his resigna-
tion, and on the same day resolved that they
had " high sense of Col. Hartlev's merit and


In October, 1778, he was elected a member
of the State Legislature from the county of

In the year 1783, he was elected a member
of the Council of Censors, the first day of
whose meeting was on the 10th of November.

In the latter part of the year 1787, he was
a member of the State Convention which
adopted the Constittition of the United

In the year I788, he was elected a member
of congress and accordingly attended their
first session under the constitution. As a
new order of things had now commenced,
the public mind was filled with hope and
fear. The citizens of York County had
taken a great interest in the establishment of
the new constitution, and as Col. Hartley
was the first person who was to go forth
from among them,, as a member of congress
under that constitution, they determined in
the warmth of their feelings, to show him
every honor. "When he set out from York
on February 23, 1789, on his way to the city
of New York, where the congress was to sit,
he was accompanied to Susquehanna by a
great number of the inhabitants of the



borough and was there received by a com-
pany fro)o that part of the county and from
Lancaster. The citizens then partook of a
dinner, and the whole was one splendid
celebration. "When on the way of his return,
he arrived at Wright's ferry on October 6,
he was met at that place by a number of
gentlemen from the borough and county of
York, and was there conducted to his house
in town amidst the acclamations of his friends
and fellow citizens.

Col. Hartley continued a member of con-
gress for about twelve years, he was such until
the time of his death.

On April 28, 1800, he was commissioned
by Gov. M'Kean, as major-general of the
Fifth Division of the Pennsylvania Militia,
consisting of the counties of York and Adams.

His life of labor, usefulaess and honor are
now drawing to a close. Disease was destroy-
ing his energies, and had already commenced
the work of death. After a long and tedious
sickness he died at his home in York, on the
morning of December 21, 1800, aged fifty-
two years, three months and fourteen days.
"When his mortal part was deposited in the
burying ground of the Church of St. John's
the following tribute of respect to his mem-
ory was paid by the Rev. Dr. John Campbell,
his pastor and friend:

" If I could blow the trump of fame over
you ever so loud and long, what would you
be the better for all this noise? yet, let not
your integrity, patriotism, fortitude, hospi-
tality and jDatronage be forgotten. Another
(who need not be named), hath borne away
the palm of glory, splendid with the never-
dying honor of rearing the stupendous fabric
of American freedom and empire. Departed
friend! you hear me not, the grave is deaf and
silent. In this work of blessing to future ages
you bore, though a subordinate, yet an honor-
able part. Soldiers of Liberty! come drop a
tear over your companion i rf arms. Lovers of
justice! come drop a tear over your able ad-
vocate, and of science! come drop a tear over
its warmest patron. Children of misfortune!
come drop a tear over your benefactor and
protector. Brethren of the earthly lodge!
rejoice that our brother is removed to the
temple of the Supreme. Ministers of relig-
ion! come, drop a tear to the memory of a
man, who, lamenting human frailty, was
ever the friend of truth and virtue. And
thou, my soul! come not into the assembly of
those who would draw his reposing spirit
from the bosom of his Father who is in

of the lust acts of his

As an appendix to the biography of this soldier
and statesman we give the following address to his
constituents, which he published a short time before

his decease, and which


Fellow Citizens:

Through want of health, and a wish to retire from a
sedentary public life and to attend to my private
concerns, which have been much deranged by my
absence from Torlc town, I have been induced most
fixedly to decline serving in the House of Represent-
atives in Congress after the third day of March next.
Indeed it is well known that for some years past I
have not wished to be elected; and should long since
have declined the honor had it not been for the
political condition of the world, and of our own
States in particular, which have frequently suffered
from two great nations; — I hope liowever we shall
soon have "peace.

A greiit portion of my life has beijn devoted to the
service of my country, as will appear from the fol-
lowing facts. I have to say that I was in two pro-
vincial conventions previous to the revolution, that
I served in the Revolutionary army more than three
years, was one year in the Assembly of the State of
Pennsylvania, in the Council of Censors one year,
was in the convention which adopted the constitu-
tion of the United States, and have twice been
elected by citizens of Pennsylvania at general elec-
tions, and four times at district elections, as a
member of the House of Representatives in Congress.
In some instances I have perhaps been useful; but I
may say I have ever desired to advance the interests
of the "United States as far as my powers and consti-
tution would admit. I shall endeavor to be of much
service as possible in the militia, which will occa-
sionally require some attention and exercise.
1 I thank the citizens of Pennsylvania at large for
showing their frequent confidence in me, and par-
I ticularly of that part of the State composing York
] and Adams Counties, andwish them every happiness.
I am with due respect for them,

Tho.has Hartley.
York, September St7i, 1800.

i N. B. — My indisposition has relarded this publi-
cation longer than I intended.


Hon. John Stewart was the second repre -
sentative in the United States congress.
Upon the death of Col. Hartley, he was
elected at a special election on January 15,

1801, to succeed that distinguished statesman
and soldier. He was re-elected in October,

1802, and became apromineut and infltiential
representative. Before his election to con-
gress he had served continuously, with great

I credit to his constituents, as a member of the

I Pennsylvania Legislature from 1789 to 1796.

i Mr. Stewart died" in 1820, in Spring Garden

Township, and his remains were interred on

his farm now owned by John H. Small. A

tombstone marks his grave.


Hon. James Kelley was born in the lower
end of York County, received a classical ed-
ucation at Princeton college, studied law, and
was admitted to the bar- at York, July 17,
1790, and practiced law; was a member of
the legislature 1795-96-97-98; was elected a
representative from this county to the ninth



congress and was re-eU'cted to the tenth con-
gress, serving from December 2, 1805 to
March 3, 1809. He died at Philadelphia.
February 4, 1819.


Hon. William Crawford, M. D., was born
in Paisley, 1760, received a classic-
al education, studied medicine at the Universi-
ty of Edinburgh, Scotland and received his de-
gree in 1791; emigrated to York County (now
Adams County) and located near the present
site of Gettysburg, purchased a farm on Marsh
Creek in 1795 and spent the remainder of his
life there practicing medicine among his
friends, with the exception of intervals that
he was elected to office. He was an associate
judge and was elected to represent the York
district in the eleventh congress, in 1808, as
a Democrat or Republican, as the name was
then generally termed. He was reelected to
the twelfth congress to represent York dis-
trict and to the thirteenth and fourteenth
congresses to represent a new district formed,
of which Adams County was a part, serving
continuously from 1809 to 1817, after which
he resumed the practice of medicine, and
died in 1823.


Hon. Hugh Glasgow was born September
8, 1769, at Nottingham, Chester County,
to which place his father emigrated
about the year 1730. His grandfather
was a man of local distinction in the
city of Glasgow, Scotland. The father
died at Nottingham in 1772. Hugh was the
third son, but the only one that grew to man-
hood. Soon after his father's death he came
to York County. For a time he was engaged
in farming, and shortly after the Revolution-
ary war, began the store near the Peach Bot-
tom Ferry. He continued this business for
a number of years, and became a prominent
man in township and county affairs. He was
commissioned an associate judge of the
courts of York County, at the age of thirty-
one years, on July 1, 1800, and continued to
hold that position until March 29, 1818. At
the October election in 1812 he was elected
to represent York County in the national
congress, and was re-elected in October, 1814.
He thus was in public life for a term of sis-
teen years — twelve as judge, and four in the
House of Representatives at Washington.
He was a man of excellent character and dis-
criminating judgment. During the war of
1812-11 he was an ardent supporter of Pres-
ident Madison. Before leaving congress, he
secured the establishment of a postof&co at

Peach Bottom, the iirst in that section. He
had a library of well-selected books. He con-
tracted a severe cold, took sick while in
Washington, and died of consumption on
January 31, 1818, at his home in Peach Bot-
tom, about two miles from the river. His re-
mains were interred in the Slate Ridge bury-
ing ground. As was the custom in those
days, he rode on horseback as far as Baltimore,
and from there he went by stage to Washing-
ton, when a congressman. His son, Cun-
ningham R. Glasgow, owns and lives on a
farm one mile south of the old Glasgow
homestead. The famous Mason and Di.Kon's
line crosses it, and his home is on the Mary-
land side. The third milestone from the
Susquehanna, placed there by the direction
of the distinguished surveyors in 1768, stands
near his house. Mr. Glasgow has already
lived to be thirty years older than his father
was when he died,


Mr. Spangler, born in 1768, was one of the
first pupils of the York County Academy.
Early in life he turned his attention to sur-
veying, and served York County as county
surveyor for many years. He waa one of the
commissioners in 1800, and ran the lines to
divide York County and form the new county
of Adams. ' In 1817, by the authority of the
attorneys of the heirs of the Penns, he made
an accurate re-survey of the Springetsbury
Manor. He was elected a representative to
the Fifteenth Congress from York County by
the Federalist party, and served from De-
cember 1, 1817, to April 20, 1818, when he
resigned. He afterwards became a promi-
nent Jackson Democrat. He subsequently
served as surveyor-general of Pennsylvania,
and died at York, June 17, 1843. His title
was obtained as a commander of volunteer and
militia regiments and battalions, and he was
well versed in military tactics. In his day
he was a prominent man in the aifairs of
York County. He had the honor of being
the chief escort of Lafayette on his trip from
York to Harrisburg, January 30, 1825.
They crossed the river at York Haven, took
dinner at Middletown, and arrived at Harris-
burg amid great enthusiasm at 5 P. M.


Mr. Hostetter, who represented York
County in the Congress of the United States,
was elected March, 1818, to fill the vacancy
caused by the resignation of Hon. Jacob
Spangler, was re elected in October of the
same year and served a full term of two
years, and previously served as a member of


the State legislature from 1797 to 1801. He
was born near the present site oE Hanover,
on May 9, 1754, and was promptly identified
with the growth and prosperity of what was
then known as the Conewago settlement, be-
ing born ten years before Hanover was laid
out by Richard McAllister, who came to the
settlement after him. Early in life he learned
the trade of a watchmaker, and for many years
manufactured the large eight-day chronom-
eter, then familiarly known to a large section
of country as the " Hostetter clock," some of
which are still in existence, and kept as relics
by the descendants of persons who purchased
them of the manufacturer. He diligently
followed his trade in a building yet standing
next door west of the Central Hotel, in Han-
over. In the meantime he was an influential
Jefferson Democrat of York County. His
son, then a youth of twenty years, at the
close of the congressional session regularly
went to Washington on horseback to bring
his father home, there being no railroads at
that time. Jacob Hostetter, Jr., the son, in
the spring of 1822, emigrated to Ohio, locat-
ing at New Lisbon, Columbiana County,
where a considerable Pennsylvania settlement
had already been formed. He was followed
three years later by his father, who had
shortlj- before completed his second congres-
sional term. The clockmaker's business was
continued by both father and son together.
They subsequently moved to the vicinity of
Canton, where the father, Congressman
Hostetter, died, June 29, 1831, at the
age of seventy-nine j'ears. His wife survived
him until 1840. His son, Jacob Hostet-
ter, became a member of the legislature of
Ohio from Stark County, superintended the
taking of the census of the same county in
1830, and was an associate judge of the
courts for seven years, A number of de-
scendants now live in Columbiana and Stark


James Mitchell was born near the village of
Rossville in Warrington Township, this coun-
ty, received his early education in the schools
of his native township, mostly at the War-
rington Friends' Meeting House School of
his township, and was a member of the
society of Friends. In 1812 he was elected
to the Pennsylvania legislature and re-elect-
ed in 1810 and 1814. He was elected a rep-
resentative for York County in the Seven-
teenth Congress, as a Democrat; was re elect-
ed to the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Con-
gresses, serving from December 3, 1821 to
March 3, 1826. At the expiration of his

term of service he moved west where he


Mr. King was born at York. After receiv-
ing an academical education, he studie.d
medicine and practiced at York. He was
elected clerk of the courts and prothonotary of
York County, in 1818, serving one term.
For many years he was one of the editors and
proprietors of the York Gazette. He was
elected a representative from York County to
the Twentieth Congress as a Jackson Demo-
crat, and re-elected to the Twenty-first and
Twenty-second Congresses, serving from De-
cember 3, 1827, to March, 1833. On January
30, 1825, he was one of the committee to
escort Geu. Lafayette from York to Harris-
burg. He was defeated for the election to
the Twenty-third Congress by Charles A,
Barnitz, a Clay Whig. His unaccountable
death occurred in York, May, 6, 1835.


Charles A. Barnitz was born in York,
September 11, 1780; received a liberal edu-
cation, studied law and was admitted to the
bar, and praticed at York, where he attained
an excellent reputation in his profession and
a very large and lucrative practice. For a
number of years he was the attorney for the
heirs of Penn in the affairs of the Springets-
bury Manor. He was elected to the State
senate of Pennsylvania in 1815, and elected
representative from York County in the
Twenty-third Congress as a friend of Henry
Clay, defeating Dr. Adam King, and served
from December 2, 1833, to March 3, 1835.
He was president of the York bank for many
years. He died in York, January 8, 1850.
For twenty years Mr. Barnitz was the recog-
nized head of the York bar, and was a gen-
tleman of high culture and of very courteous


Hon. Henry Nes, M. D. , was born in York
in 1799; received a liberal education; studied
medicine, and praticed for many years; filled
several local offices; was elected to represent
York County in the Twenty-eighth Congress,
as an Independent, receiving 4,016 votes
against 3,413 votes for Dr. Alexander Small,
Democrat, serving from December 4, 1843,
to March 3, 1845; he was again elected to the
Thirtieth Congress as a Whig; and was re-
elected to the Thirty first Congress, receiving
6,599 votes against 5,989 votes for J. B.
Danner, the Democratic Candidate, serving
from December 6, 1847. to September 10,
1850, when he died at York. Dr. Nes was a


man of remarkable popularity, and
an extraordinary faculty for eleotioneerinc
He was a member of the House of Representa-
tives when ex-President John Quincy Adams,
then a fellow member, fell from his chair
from a stroke of apoplexy. Dr. Nes was one
of his attending physicians.


Hon. William H. Kurtz was born in York,
where he resided, and was a member of the
bar, and deputy attorney-general for some
years; was electsd a representative from
York County in the thirty-second Congress as
a Democrat, receiving 5.765 votes against
5,3(1! votes for his Whig opponents; was re-
elected to the thirty-third Congress, receiving
U,523 votes against 7,306 for Biddle, the
Whig candidate serving from December 1.
1851 to March 3, 1855. He died in York.


Hon. Adam J. Glossbrenner was born in
Hager.stown, Md., August 31, 1810, and
was self-educated. At the age of nineteen
he commenced learning theprinting business,
and in 1827 began the publication of the
Ohio Monitor at Columbus, Ohio, for Judge
Smith. In 1828 he started the Western Tele-
graph, at Hamilton, Ohio. In 1829. he vis-
ited York on an engagement to remain a month
or two. The visit was protracted to a term
of fifty years. In 1831, he started the York
County Farmer; in 1833, married Charlotte,
daughter of Dr. Thomas Jameson of York,
and the same year published the History of
York County. In 1834, he became a partner
in the publication of the York Gazette, and

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 85 of 218)