John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) online

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who was territorial governor of Kansas during
the administration of President Buchanan, was
captain of the company. Air. Taylor served in
the borough council and the school board for a,
number of terms, and was identified generally
with the public and private institutions of the
town. He was also among the original stock-
holders of the Lehigh Navigation, Lehigh \'alley,
and New Jersey Central Railroad companies.
His business career in Easton ended in the early
months of 1861, just prior to the outbreak of the
Civil war, when he removed with his family to
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he lived retired
for eight years. While a resident of the latter
place he served on the school board a number of
terms ; was treasurer of the Christian Association
as well as of the Christian Commission during
the war (a number of the subscription books rep-
resenting subscriptions to the Union cause by citi-
zens of the town and vicinage being still in pos-
session of the family) ; was one of the projectors
of the New Street Bridge connecting Bethlehem
with South Bethlehem, one of the great enter-
prises in those days ; and one of the promoters of
the First National Bank, the construction of
Avhich building he superintended ; also one of the
organizers of the American Slate Company, that
involved a large amount of capital among the
Bethlehemites, and assisted in establishing the
Lchio^h Valky Chronicle, the outgrowth of which
publication is the present Bethlehem Daily Times.
Mr. Taylor moved to Reading, Pennsylvania,
and, although preferring a retired life, was in-
duced to serve several terms on the board of con-
trol, and otherwise interest himself in public and
private matters. He died May 13, 1894, in his
eighty-seventh year, and was one of the oldest
Free Masons in the state, being a member of
Easton Lodge, No. 152. The obituary notices
in the Easton. Bethlehem and Reading local
papers at the time of his death contained a brief
review of nis life, in which appeared the following
allusion to his personal traits of character: "Mah-
lon Taylor was a self-cultured man, of abstemious
and frugal habits. His material success in life






-was due to his indomitable will, and this in face
•of reverses that would have caused disaster to
Jess self-reliant men. He was a man of kindly
and generous impulses, a staunch friend, an in-
dependent, honest and just man. He lived truly
a moral life, and was ever solicitious of his fam-
ily's welfare."

;\Ir. Taylor learned his trade in New York
city, whither he had gone at the age of sixteen
years, and where, under the tutorship of an old
Revolutionary sergeant, he gained a limited rudi-
mentary knowledge that was denied him pre-
viously because of the absence of educational
advantages in the vicinity of his early youth.
"The American Instructor" was the title of the
onlv text-book placed in his hands, but from this
time forth he became a comparatively extensive
reader — launching out with light literature,
biblical, ancient and modern history, Josephus's
works and those of the philosophers, as well as
treatises on commerce and finance. Many hard-
ships were experienced in his early business days
in making trips to Philadelphia, New York and
Boston, for the purchase of goods for his "shop,"
as transportation in those times was limited to
stages, except where navigation was available,
and this, added to the fluctuating and uncertain
value of the paper currency that prevailed in sev-
eral of the states, created a contrast to present
conditions of a stable currency and the purchase
of gocds through traveling salesmen, that fur-
nished material for many an entertaining conver-
sation on modern business methods and the mar-
velous progress made by the country during his

I\Ir. Taylor descended from one John Tay-
lor, who emigrated from England in the eigh-
teenth century and located in Virginia, and whose
son Elijah was the father of the subject of this
sketch. Elijah was born in 1781, and left Vir-
ginia when a young man to settle in Pennsylvania.
He married Catherine Lott, of Philadelphia, who
was of Dutch extraction, and from this union
there were born eleven children, the youngest,
Colonel Benjamin L. Taylor, a resident of Phila-
delphia, born July 5, 182 1, being the only one

remaining of this generation. Elijah located in
Bucks county, on the Delaware river, and en-
gaged in the produce and general supply bus-
iness, which called for the services of what was
known in those days as a "Durham boat." Peri-
odical trips were made to Philadelphia by this
river craft to deliver and receive goods, and
among those with whom Elijah had business deal-
ings was Stephen A. Girard. Tradition has it
that Girard, who was without issue, solicited the
adoption of Elijah's handsome young daughter
Jane, whose winsome manners are said to have
captivated him, anrl b}- taking the lass with him
frequently, Elijah became a special subject in his
tradings with the great merchant and philan-
thropist. Jane is remembered by the older resi-
dents of Easton as the wife of David Connor, and
some years after his demise as the spouse of the
late Jesse Lines. Jane expired in 1892, at the age
of eighty-three years. Elijah died in 1821, and
was interred in the old Easton cemetery, back of
Mount Jefferson. An uncle of Catherine Lott,
and grand-uncle of Mahlon Taylor, and whose
christian name and war record have been lost
sight of, was one of the patriots of the American
Revolution, and was with the continental army
at the time of the surrender of Cornwallis at

Benjamin L. Taylor, who is mentioned above
as the youngest son of Elijah's children, was
lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred and Nine-
tv-second Regiment Pennsylvania \'olunteers
during the Civil war. He was one of the three
original organizers of the famous Republican In-
vincibles, and was the chief marshal for many
vears. He was appointed by President Lincoln
in 1861 as one of the inspectors cf the port of
Philadelphia, and continued in this position until
he entered the army, and at the close of the war
resumed his duties at the custom house, and thus
continued until the fall of 1866, when he and the
collector of the port were removed by President
Johnson, who had become affiliated with the
Democratic party. Latterly Colonel Taylor served
as crier in one of the courts of Philadelphia, and
is now (1904) on the retired list, in the eighty-



fourth year of his age. The days of his youth
were spent in Easton, under the guardianship of
his elder brother, Mahlon, where he attended
school and finally learned his trade.

Mahlon Taylor was wedded to Elizabeth Over-
field, of Monroe county, whose father was some-
what of a politician, as well as an extensive
farmer and produce dealer, and who, among other
offices he held, was one of the canal commission-
ers of the state in his day. Elizabeth Over-
field's father was a nephew of Henry Bush, Sr.,
who was born in Holland in 1754, and came to
America in 1774. He served in the continental
army, and after participating in several engage-
ments was taken prisoner by the British and quar-
tered in what was known as the "Old Sugar
House" prison, then in the vicinity of the Bat-
tery, New York City. At the close of the war,
Henry Bush, Sr., settled in Easton, and was one
of the first sheriffs of Northampton county, hav-
ing been commissioned by Governor Franklin.
His son, Henry Bush, Jr., an uncle of Elizabeth
Overfield, was born in Easton in 1790. He
served in the war of 1812, and was with Jack-
son at New Orleans. Elizabeth Overfield Taylor
died July 10, 1904, at Reading, aged ninety-
four years. She is survived by two sisters, Cath-
erine Overfield Finley, born 18 1 3, and Angeline
Overfield Fairchild, born 1815.

Valuable data bearing upon the lineage of the
Taylor family that was in the possession of
Elijah, was lost after his death, through the sep-
aration of the family, several of the members re-
moving to the west in the early part of the last
century, whereby all traces of the exact location
of the English ancestrage were destroyed. Some
of the older Friends or Quakers of Bucks county
frequently contended that Mahlon Taylor's an-
cestors were induced to leave England at the
time of the exodus of that religious sect, David
H. Taylor, a Quaker and prominent citizen of
Bucks county, and for many years a lumber dealer
and resident of Morrisville, now deceased, having
stoutly maintained during his life that he was a
relative. This statement was made bv Mahlon
Taylor to his son, Mahlon (i. Tavlor, Jr., a citi-

zen of Reading, Pennsylvania, and president of
the Neversink Bank of that place, and who is
custodian of the documents that supplied the
material for the construction of this narrative.

HENRY O. SAYLOR is one of Easton's
native sons and one of her worthy and respected
citizens. He was born in that city on the 19th
of August, 1849, 'i"d o''' the paternal side is of
German descent. His grandfather. Captain
Jacob Savior, won his title as commander of a
company in the state militia. He was a stone-
mason by trade, and one of the best mechanics in
his day. As a man he was upright and honorable
in all things, and was held in high regard by his
fellow citizens. He was very active, energetic
and intelligent, being such a man as it is a pleas-
ure to meet. His wife was in her maidenhood
Miss Mary Paulus, and their family consisted of
four children.

One of these was George Saylor, the father,
of our subject. He was born in Bethlehem town-
ship, Northampton county, in 1822, and became a
leading merchant of Easton, where he resided for
a number of years, d}ing there in 1856. He was
considered one of the substantial men of the city
at that time. In 1848 he married J\Iiss Sarah A.
Ott, who after his death wedded Thomas Oden-
weller, now deceased. She is still living, and is
a resident of the south side of Easton. By her
first marriage she had three children, two of
whom are living, namely : John and Henry O.
Her parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Hess)
Ott, well known people of Northampton county.
Mr. Ott was born in Upper Mount Bethel, and
became a practical and extensive farmer. His
family numbered seven children, but only Mrs.
Sarah Ann Odenweller and ]\Irs. T. A. Steiner
are now living. Samuel Ott was a son of Peter
and Mary (Heber) Ott. both of whom were na-
tives of Bucks county, Pennsylvania.

Henry O. Saylor acquired his education in the
schools of Easton and vicinity. His early life
was devoted to clerical work — clerking and
bookkeeping — and he spent five years with the
firm of Dav & Sa\lor, at Hickorv Run, Pcnnsvl-



vania. He was next in the employ of \\'illiam
H. Kunsman, at No. 436 Northampton street,
Easton, whom he served most faithfully for the
long period of twenty-eight years, and since
leaving that gentleman in 1892 he has been a
traveling salesman for mill products, such as
infants' shoes and hosiery.

In 1883 Mr. Savior was united in marriage to
Miss Lennie Dow Koch, who was born at Mar-
tin's Creek, in 1863, and is a daughter of Charles
and Elvira Koch. The Kochs are an old and
worthy family of Northampton county, where
they have resided for a number of generations.
Mrs. Saylor's father owned and operated a good
farm of one hundred and three acres near Mar-
tin's Creek, and enjoyed the full confidence of a
large circle of friends and acquaintances. To our
subject and his wife were born two children, but
Charles is now deceased. H. DeWitt, born in
1886, is a student in Lafayette College. Pleasant
and genial in manner, Mr. Saylor is a popular
salesman and he makes friends wherever he goes.

GEORGE B. KIDNEY, the well known pro-
prietor of the Excelsior Bakery, of Easton, Penn-
sylvania, was born on the 25th of November, 1854,
in Blairstown, New Jersey, his parents being
Isaiah and ]\Iary (Van Camp) Kidney. His
father was a miller by occupation and plied his
trade along Paulins Kiln, in Warren county. New
Jersey. He was an honest, sober and industrious
man, who commanded the respect and esteem of
all who knew him. His family consisted of four
children, all of whom are living, three being
residents of Easton, Pennsylvania and the other
of \\'heeling. West Virginia.

In Warren county. New Jersey, George P..
Kidney grew to manhood, receiving his education
in the public schools of that localitv. While
young he apprenticed himself to the baker's
trade at Portland, Pennsylvania, and later worked
as a journeyman at various places for some time.
At length he established himself in the growing
and busy city of Easton, Pennsylvania, in the
spring of 1884. Ambitious to gain success more
rapidly, added to his inexperience, prompted him
to move to Bloomsburv, New Tersev, where he

prospered, but was still dissatisfied, and in 1896
he returned to Easton, where he believes he
should have remained in the first place. He now
owns his own establishment here, which is one
of the best of the kind in the city, the Excelsior
Bakery having gained a wide-spread reputation
for the excellence of its productions. Mr. Kidney
thoroughly understands his business in all its
various departments, a fact which accounts for
his extensive partonage, and he is to-day num-
bered among the leading and successful business
men of Easton.

In July, 1883, 2\Ir. Kidney led to the marriage
altar Miss Jennie A^an Horn, a native of Pater-
son, New Jersey, and to them have been born
seven children, namely : Lila, Robert, deceased ;
Grace, Carleton, George W., [Nlarjorie, and

HARRY F. DECH. one of the most promis-
ing young merchant of Easton, Pennsylvania,
who has begun at the very bottom round of the
ladder and is gradually working his way upward
to success and prosperity, is a native of North-
ampton county, born in Forks township, March
30, 1875, and is a son of Henry A. and Emma M.
( Keller) Dech, and grandson of Reuben and
Polly A. (Schnovel) Dech. Northampton county
has been the home of the family for many gener-
ations, and the paternal grandfather of Harry F.
Dech was born in Hanover township, while his
wife's birth occurrred in Bethlehem township.
Thev had but two children : Erwin, and Henry A.
The maternal grandfather of Harry F. Dech was
twice married, and had six children, four by his
first wife and two by the second. All were
worthv people and loyal citizens. Henry A.
Dech (father) was born in Bethlehem township,
October 23, 1854, and his wife on the 13th of
October, 1855.

The only child of this worthy couple is Harry
F. Dech. He passed the da\s of his boyhood and
vouth in his native township and there attended
school. Later he learned the machinist's trade, at
which he worked for twelve years, being in the
employ of but two firms during that time — S. S.
Messinger & Son, of Tatamy. and Ingorsol Com-



pany, of Easton. He was a first-class mechanic
and skilled workman, but was at length compelled
to abandon his trade on account of ill health. In
1898, Mr. Dech removed to Easton and after his
retirement from the machinist's trade, he em-
barked in merchandising on his own account,
which he has since carried on with good success.
As he carries a fine line of goods, fresh from the
producers, and is strictly honorable in all his
dealing's, he has built up a good trade which is
constantly increasing. He is a very wide-awake,
energetic business man, and well deserves the
success that has come to him.

In 1894 was celebrated the marriage of Mr.
Dech and ^liss Clara S. Messinger, who was born
in Nazareth, Northampton county, April 4, 1874,
and they now have a little daughter, Margaret
E., born February 22, 1901.

JOHN EYERMAN, of Easton, represents
families of the first prominence in Germany and
Pennsylvania. He is a descendant of Captain
Jean Jacques Eyerman, a grandson of Jean Eyer-
man, who was born in 1531.

Captain Jean Jacques Eyerman, styled in the
old official record "le Sieur Jean Jacques Eyer-
man," was born in 1590, at Preuschdorf, near
Worth, Alsace, and there died September i, 1660.
He was captain-lieutenant, (officicr siipcriciir) at
his native place during the Thirty Years War.
His son Jean Georges Eyerman was born there
February 2, 1645, and died May 10, 1708. He
married, November 29, 1664, Marguerite Oster,
daughter of Matthias Oster, a native of the same
village with himself, and they were the parents
of seven children.

Matthias, second son and child of Jean
Georges Eyerman, was born August 26, 1666;
at Preuschdorf, and died there October 8, 1728.
He married, June 29, 1691, Anne Catherine
Schaeffer, of Lampertsloch, and they were the
parents of five children.

Judge Jean Henri, eldest child of Matthias
Eyerman, was born July 10, 1692, and died there
December 3. 1753. He married. May 3, 1718,
Catherine, daughter of Judge Jean Martin Roes-
sel, of Preuschdorf, and Catherine Pfeiffer, his

wife ; the latter named was of one of the oldest and
most prominent families of Alsace. Of that mar-
riage were born six children.

Jean Georges, eldest child of Jean Henri Eyer-
man, was born at Lampertsloch, May 24, 1719,
and died at F'reuschdorf, February 4, 1794. Feb-
ruary 12, 1745, he married Anne Marie, daugh-
ter of Jean Martin Eyer, of Feldbach, and to
them were born nine children.

Jean Matthias, fourth child and third son of
Jean Georges Eyerman, was born February 24,
1753, at Lampertsloch, and his baptismal cer-
tificate of date February 26 is now in the posses-
sion of Mr. John Eyerman. He was the founder
of the American family of Eyerman. He came to
America and settled in New Hanover, Montgom-
ery county, Pennsylvania. Shortly after the Rev-
olution he removed to Easton, where he died,
November 18, 181 6. He married Johanna
Sneider, who was born in 1749, and died in
1843, daughter of Henry and Catherine Sneider,
of New Hanover, and to them were born four
children : Anna Maria, Henry, Hannah and

Henry, second child and only son of Jean
Matthias and Johanna (Sneider) Eyerman, born
January 29, 1784, was baptized in New Hanover
church and died at Easton, February 22, 1814.
He married Elizabeth Herster, born November
25, 1786, and died May 12, 1861. Her grand-
father, Andrew Herster, bom in 1726, at the age
of twenty-three embarked at Rotterdam on the
ship "Speedwell," and qualified at Philadelphia,
September 25, 1749. He settled at Long (or
Faulkner) Swamp, near F'ottstown. In 1766 he
removed to Easton. He took part in the battle
of Long Island and died on board the
British prison-ship "Jersey," December 25, 1776,
His wife was *Anna ]\Iaria Marstellar, and to
them were born three children, the eldest of whom

='The Marstellar family arrived at Philadel-
phia on the ship "Bilander Townsend," October
5, 1737, and settled in Providence township,
Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Peter Mar-
stellar owned land in New Hanover and Provi-
dence townships, and in 1745 had eighty-si.x acres
in Lehia;h county.

i7s PuDitshs'ig Co



was John, born at Long Swamp, October i6,
1758, and died at Easton, February 25, 1856. He
married Margaret Shnyder, born 1762, died Jan-
uary II, 1811, who was the mother of EHzabeth.
John Herster was ensign of the second battahon
Northampton militia, 1782.

The children of Henry and Elizabeth (Her-
ster) Eyerman were: i. John, (see below); 2.
Edward, born April 10, 1810, died August 19,
1833; 3. Margaret, born December 25, 1812, died
December 21, 1856. The eldest. Captain John
Eyerman, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, July
6, 1808, was baptized in St. John's church, and
died January 6, 1883. "He took an active part
in the organization of many local stock companies,
* * * in this respect his life is a plain proof
that an extended business may be diligently and
successfully conducted without neglecting the
higher duties of life. Throughout his entire
career he strictly adhered to what he believed to
be duty, and in every position he has relied for
success upon principle and unremitting indus-
try. In official position he manifested the same
regard for the interest of others as for his own."
(Capt. Ellis.) He was one of the incorporators
of the Warren Foundry and Machine Company,
1856 ; the Lehigh Water Company, i860 ; the Del-
aware Rolling Mills, 1866; the North P'enn Iron
Company, 1873. In 1868 he was elected presi-
dent of the Delaware Bridge Company and of the
Easton Water Company, both of which offices he
held until his death in 1883. He was at various
times a director of the Easton National Bank, the
North Penn Iron Company, and the Phillipsburg
Stove Works Company. At dififerent times he
was notary public, a member of the school board
and of the town council, and he was frequently
made the executor, administrator and trustee of
some of the largest and most important estates.
He was treasurer and vestryman of Christ church
and St. Paul's church. For manv years he took
an active interest in military affairs. He was a
member of the Citizens' Volunteers for six years,
and in 1851 he was captain of the National
Guards. During the Civil war he aided the gov-
ernor in every possible way in the formation of
companies for the service of the national gov-

ernment and for the defense of the State, and he
was among the most diligent and liberal in pro-
viding for the wants of soldiers' families while
their protectors were in the field. He died at
Easton, January 6, 1883.

Mr. Eyerman married, October 15, 1844, at
Easton, Anna M. Black, daughter of James Black
and **Mary Kachlein. She was born in Easton,
August 17, 1820, died October 28, 1891. Of

** Mary Kachlein was a descendant of Lieut
Colonel Peter Kachlein, born in Kirchheimbo-
landen, November 8, 1722, and seventh in
descent from Heinrich Kachlein of Liestae,
Switzerland, born 1528, son of John Peter
Kachlein, who with his three sons, Peter, Andrew
and Charles, arrived at Philadelphia on the
"Francis and Elizabeth," and qualified September
21, 1742. They settled in Bedminster township,
Bucks county, and Peter subsequently removed to
Easton. He was for several years a student in
the Heidelberg University. He became a leading
citizen of Easton, closely identified with its inter-
ests. He was a ruling elder in the German Re-
formed church, in 1755 a trustee of the School
for the Education of Protestant Youth, in 1759
a commissioner and in 1762 he was colonel of
militia, and rendered useful service in the out-
breaks of 1763. From 1762 to 1772 he was high
sheritT of Northampton, before it division into six
counties. In 1771 he commanded the expedition
to Fort Wyoming, and in 1774 was deputy to the
provincial convention. jNIarch 9, 1774, justice of
Northampton courts, he was made a member of
the standing committee of Safety, and in 1775
a member of the colonial assembly and the provin-
cial assembly at F'hiladelphia. j\Iay 22 he was
captain of the Easton company; July 17 colonel
of the first battalion. In 1776 he was lieutenant
-colonel of the Northampton county battalion,
which he commanded at the battle of Long Island,
in which he bore a splendid part. He was cap-
tured in the battle, and released on parole. Gen-
eral Howe said that General Grant was killedby
his men, who inflicted the greatest loss upon that
division. In 1780 he was lieutenant of the county
under the supreme council of Pennsylvania; in
1787 judge of the court of common pleas ; in 1789
the first chief magistrate of Easton, and a member
of the first constitutional convention of the State.
In 1762 he erected a grist and saw mill near
Easton. His son Jacob was first corporal in Cap-
tain Arndt's first battalion, and took part in the
battle of Long Island.



this marriage was born one son, Edward Hester
Eyerman, at Easton, August 5, 1845, died March
7, 1874. He was baptized in Christ Church. He
was educated at the Easton Academy and the
Pennsylvania MiHtary Academy at Chester.
Ellis says : "Growing to manhood, influence and
usefulness, his cheerful and social disposition
rendered his companionship genial and attrac-
tive, and surrounded him with an extended circle
of warmly attached friends." At the age of
twenty-two he founded the firm of Eyerman &

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 10 of 92)