John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

. (page 17 of 92)
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 17 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

which he pursued an advanced medical course in
the Medical Department of the University of Penn-
sylvania, from which he also received the Medi-
cal degree. He located for practice at Freemans-
burg, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, whence
he soon removed to Centerville, Upper Mount
•Bethel township, of the same county. He married
Caroline Dietterich, who was born at Williams-
burg, Upper Mount Bethel, in 1817, and died in
1853 ; she was a daughter of Jacob and Margaret
(Kintz) Dietterich. Caroline Dietterich's ances-
tors were of German descent, and came from
Germany to America in 1748, and took up lands
in what is now known as LTppcr ;\Iount Bethel.
Her grandfather, Louis Kintz, was a soldier in
the Revolutionary war, in the Third Regiment of
the Continental Line.

Dr. Robert Evan James remained in Copper
Mount Bethel townshi]i, after locating there,
during the remainder of Ids life. He was a leader
in his profession. His practice extended over the
entire upper portion of the county of Northamp-
ton, a portion of Monroe county, and reached into
the county of Warren, in the State of New Jer-
sey. He was a man of extraonlinar\- influence,
and was held in the most profound respect by tlie
]5eo])le in llie ci immunities in which he practiced.
He aided in the organization of the Northampton
Countv Alrdical Society, of \\-hich lie was the

first president, and served in that capacity until
his death. He was a Democrat in politics, with
strong anti-slavery inclinations, participating in
his views in that respect with his close personal
friend and political associate. Governor Reeder. He
was a leader of political thought in his section,
and while as a rule, he declined political offices,
he was elected to the state legislature in 1837, but
refused to, accept a second term, which was cus-
tomary, and subsequently never was a candidate
for office, except in one instance, when he was a
candidate for congress, and was defeated in the
convention by his opponent, the late United
States senator, Richard Broadhead, by one vote.
He was devoted to educational interests, and the
unusual educational advantages given to youths
of his period in Mount Bethel still remain a mat-
ter of comment and admiration among the people.
His personal character was admirable in all re-
spects. He was a gentleman of the old school,
frank, affable, sympathetic, dignified, and the
impress of his life is still potential in Mount
Bethel. To Dr. Robert Evan and Caroline James
were born five children; i. Frances, who be-
came the wife of Dr. Hiram Long; 2. Mary E.,
who became the wife of the late Hon. Truman H.
Purdy, who was a lawyer of Sunbury, Pennsxl-
vania ; 3.. William. McHenry, a manufacturer of
Steelton, Pennsylvania ; 4. Jacob Dietterich, a
lawyer, now residing in .Sunbury, Pennsylvania;
5. Robert Evan.

Robert Evan James, youngest child in the fam-
ily last named, was born in Upper Mount Bethel
township, Northam])ton county, August 9, 1S48.
Until his father's death in i860 he resided at
home, attended the local schools, and partially
[jrepared for college. He subsequently became
a student tem]iorarilv at Pennsylvania College,
Gettysburg, afterwards at Bucknell Univer-
sity at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he
passed his freshman year, and was admitted to
the sophomore class at Lafayette College. He
graduated from Lafayette College with the class
of i86q. He then entered the law office of Ed-
ward J. Fo.x, Esq., and was admitted to the bar,
November, 1872. Prior to his admission he was
principal of the Easton liigh school.



Subsequent to his admission, he at once en-
gaged in the pfactice of law, in which he has been
successful up to the present time. His profes-
sional abilities found recognition in his election
to various positions open only to lawyers of
capability — to the office of county solicitor, in
1879 : to that of district attorney of the county,
in 1880: to that of city solicitor, in 1884; and in
1883 he was Democratic nominee for the judge-
ship in the Dauphin-Lebanon district. Shortly
after his admission to the bar, ]\Ir. James was
elected to the Easton school' board, and im-
mediately thereafter was made president of that
body, and so continued until January i. 1877,
when, having been elected to the house of repre-
sentatives of the state legislature, he resigned
his connection with the school board, to enter
upon legislative duties. He was a member of the
legislature in the years 1877 and 1878. He early
took an active interest in political affairs, as in-
dicated by the offices held, and during the admin-
istration of President Cleveland he was appointed
national bank examiner for eastern Pennsylvania
and New Jerse}-, and subsec^uently assigned as
such to the city of New York, remaining in office
during Mr. Cleveland's term, and a portion of
the term of President Harrison, voluntarily re-
signing in 1890 in order to give personal at-
tention to the Easton Trust Company, of which
he was one of the organizers. He subsequently
became president of the Trust Company, and has
remained such to this time. In politics Mr. James
is a Democrat of the Tilden-Cleveland school,
and has no sympathy with the political wreckers
who in later years have made the party an object
of pity and reproach. Mr. James was an active
leader in state politics for many years. He was
on several occasions chairman of state conventions
and of important committees, etc. He was the
chairman of the committee on resolutions which
in 1896 presented for adoption a gold Democratic
platform for the Democrats of Pennsylvania, and
which platform was adopteil by the convention
almost without a dissenting voice, and when,
three months later, the convention reconvened in
order to readjust its political conscience and make
it harmonize with the philosophy of the Platte,

]\Ir. James, as the representative of the Demo-
crats, who would not surrender party principles
for the hope of temporary success, presented their
protest upon the floor of the convention. ]\Ir.
James has taken great interest in banking mat-
ters, and in 1891, at the solicitation of the joint
committee on banking of the Pennsylvania legis-
lature, especially appointed, prepared and urged
to final adoption the bill establishing a banking
department for the State of Pennsylvania. He
is at this time chairman of the Association of
Trust Companies of the State of Pennsylvania.

Mr. James is a member of various IMasonic
bodies, and is affiliated with Dallas Lodge, F. and
A. M., Easton Chapter, R. A. ]\I., and Hugh de
Payens Commandery, K. T. He is also a member
of Sigma Chi college fraternity. He is of fine
personal appearance, excellent social qualities,
and his broad information and brilliant conver-
sational powers make him an admirable acquisi-
tion to various intelligent circles. He is an elo-
quent speaker, and at the bar and on the rostrum
has made a wide reputation as an orator and advo-

Mr. James was married, April 4, 1876, to ]\Iiss
Anna B. Heller, a native of Easton, and daugh-
ter of Louis and Aima B. Heller, of Reading,
Pennsylvania. Of this marriage was born one
child, Robert Evan James, April 10, 1879. He
was educated at Easton Academy, and graduated
at Lafayette College in the class of 1901. He was
admitted to the bar and is now associated with
his father in the practice of his profession.

the oldest members of the Northampton county
bar, has for more than half a century been an
honored and respected citizen of Easton. His
ancestors were among the earliest settlers of this

While Northampton was still a part of Bucks
county, his great-grandfather. Christian Steckel,
settled in the western part of this county. In
1736, having secured a patent for 266 acres of
land from the Penns, he located at what is now
Eg\pt, Lehigh county. He constructed a house
upon his estate which served the twofold purpose



of a dwelling and a fort for defense against at-
tacks by the Indians. The dimensions of the
building are thirty-five by forty feet, with walls
two and a quarter feet in thickness, and the struc-
ture is still standing in good condition, owned by
Joseph Steckel, also a direct descendant of Chris-
tian Steckel. The latter was married to Maria
Baer. and they had ten children, five sons and five

Daniel Steckel, born September i, 1767, was
ont' of the sons and the grandfather of Henry
Franklin Steckel. Daniel left the old homestead
and became one of the first settlers at Bath, being
the ancestor of the Steckels who, for more than
a hundred years, have lived at Bath and its vi-
cinity. He was married to Rebecca Jones, daugh-
ter of Jesse Jones, who originally owned the
Steckel tract at Bath. After acquiring consid-
erable land in and about Bath, Daniel purchased
the tannery which had been established by his
father-in-law. He conducted the tanning busi-
ness ver\- successfully for many years, together
with the management of his agricultural interests.
The old stone mansion a short distance from the
tannery was built by Daniel, and is still owned by
his grandson, Henry F. Steckel. Being a mem-
ber of the Reformed church, he was actively inter-
ested in the erection of the old church at Bath,
and rendered valuable financial aid for its con-
struction. Daniel Steckel attained a very great
age, and, always having been closely identified
with the best interests and welfare of the com-
munity, he was tendered a public celebration by
his fellow-citizens on his hundredth birthday,
September i, 1867, as a mark of the esteem and
high regard in which he was held Iw every one.
He was noted -as the possessor of an extraor-
dinary memory. In politics he was an adherent
of the Democratic ]iarty. On the i8th of Sep-
tember, 1868, he closed his long life of usefulness
and honor at the great age of one hundred and
one }ears. Daniel Steckel was survived by the
following children: Sarah, Hannah, Daniel, Jr.,
Elizabeth, Joseph, and Peter, who was sergeant
in Captain Sheffer's company in the war of 1812,
anil sheriff of Xortliampton cuuntv from 1841 in

Joseph Steckel, son of Daniel and Rebecca
Jones Steckel, was born March 29, 1806, at Bath,
where he was educated in the common schools.
After leaving school he learned the tanning busi-
ness under the tuition of his father. Pursuing
this industry as his life-work, he soon succeeded
his father as proprietor of the business. Follow-
ing the paternal example he managed a large tract
of farming land in connection with his commer-
cial pursuits, and, like his father, was successful
in both. He and his family were members of the
Reformed church at Bath. He married Elizabeth,
daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Deemer Scholl.
She was born in Moore township, in 1808. Joseph
Steckel died in 1872, and his widow survived him
man}- years, passing away on ?i larch 6, 1S98, in
the ninetieth year of her age. Their children
were : Henry Franklin, Susan A., deceased : and
Elizabeth, deceased.

Henry Franklin Steckel, son of Joseph and
Elizabeth Scholl Steckel, was born at Bath,
Northampton county, February 25, 1829. He
received his primary education in the schools of
his native place. Later he came to Easton and
attended the well-known school presided over by
Dr. Vanderveer, celebrated as one of the best
educators of his day. After finishing his studies
at the Vanderveer school, he decided to take up
the study of law. He pursued his legal studies
under the guidance of iNIatthew Hale Jones, Esq.,
then one of the leading attorneys at
the Northampton county bar. He was ad-
mitted as a member of this bar in 1852.
For two years Mr. Steckel practiced in Easton,
and at the end of that time was elected prothono-
tary of the court of common pleas of Northamp-
ton county, his election being the result of the
reputation for legal knowledge and integrity of
character which he had already acquired. He
held the office of prothonotary for two terms of
three years each, his discharge of the duties de-
volving upon him more than justifying the con-
fidence with which he was regarded by his fel-
low-citizens. After retiring from the office of
prothonotary, Mr. Steckel again devoted his time
to the practice of law for a period of six or seven
vears. In the meanwhile, on the retirement of



his father from the tanning business in 1864, he
succeeded to the proprietorship of the tannery,
which he conducted successfully in connection
with his legal practice. In 1867, owing to ill
health, ^Ir. Steckel gave up the active practice of
his profession at Easton and moved to the
"Scotch-Irish settlement" near Bath, where, hav-
ing purchased the old Wilson estate, he soon com-
pletely regained his health. A few years later
Mr. Steckel again moved to Easton in order to
look after his large real estate interests. He has
lived in this city ever since, reaping the fruits of
his long and honorable career.

On the 20th of June, 1866, he was married to
Anna ]\I. W'hitesell. She is the granddaughter of
Henry Whitesell, who was born in 1798, in Sus-
sex county. New Jersey, and who was married to
Julia Correll, a native of Northampton county.
Their son, Daniel, born in 1816, in Nazareth
township, married Catharine ]\Iessinger, who be-
longed to an old family of Forks township,
Northampton county, \\here she was born in
1816. Their daughter became the wife of Henry
F. Steckel, and they are the parents of two chil-
dren : Jennie M., born April 13, 1871 ; and Dan-
iel E., who was born on the 22d of February,

THE SANDT FA^MILY. Thus far seven
generations of Sandts have been represented in
this country, all of whom so far as is known can
be traced to a common ancestor, John Sand, who
with his wife, Elizabeth Christina Seip, widow
of a Mr. Chumber (possibly Jumper) with two
children, crossed the ocean in 1766 from Rotter-
dam, on the vessel called "Chance," landing in
Philadelphia on September 23. Thev are said
to have been married en route. It is known that
the wife came from Gammelsbach, in Hesse
Darmstadt, near Heidelberg, Germany, to which
place the numerous Seip family in eastern Penn-
sylvania trace their ancestry : and as she was
intimately associated with the wife of Edward
Shimer, also a Seip, living in. Lower Mount
Bethel township north of Easton, it is probably
that they were either sisters or cousins. It is
more than likelv that Adam Sand hailed from the

same section of Germany, though as yet no defi-
nite evidence to substantiate the belief has been

He at once took up 319 acres of land in Forks
township, not far from the Delaware river, at a
point now known as "Sandt's Eddy," for which
he paid 165 pounds sterling. When the oldest
of his three sons, Adam (born December 17, 1767,
died September 28, 1835), had reached the age
of twenty-three he purchased an adjoining tract
of 22T, acres extending along the northern bank
of the ^lud Run Creek to the Delaware river, for
which he paid the sum of 706 pounds, and placed
it in charge of this son. Thus, at the time of his
death, which occurred April 7, 1793, he had ac-
quired 543 acres of land, which eight years later,
according to the provisions of an interesting will,
were divided into "three parcels equal in quality
and value,'' Adam, the oldest son, receiving a
portion of the homestead farm and retaining part
of what he already had; IMichael (born ]\Iarch
30, 1769, died April 12, 1851) receiving a por-
tion of the homestead farm, and John (born July
22, 1 77 1, died ?ilay 4, 1833) being apportioned
the land stretching to the Delaware river. From
these three sons have grown the three branches
that embrace all the Sandts that are known to
have lived in this country, and they may be desig-
nated as the Adam Sandt, ]\Iichael Sandt, and the
John Sandt branches.

Considerable land was added to the three
farms by these sons, particularly to that of John
Sandt, who, at the earnest solicitation of his wife,
Magdalena Correll, bought the farm of her fa-
ther upon the latter"s death, and had accumu-
lated when he died 682 acres. Having died in-
testate, the orphans' court was called upon to
divide the estate and make distribution to the
thirteen children, and the offspring of the four-
teenth, John, who had died before his father.
The estate was appraised at $33,470.60.

This farming country, extending from
"Sandt's Eddy," along both sides of the Mud
Run, through the northern section of Forks town-
ship, the southern of Mount Bethel and Plain-
field townships, from the native sacred heath,
where chiefl\' lie enshrined the life, traditions.



liistory, and memories of the first three genera-
tions. Of the old homestead of Adam Sand on
Michael's farm, the walls are still standing, but
are invisible because of the frame structure reared
around them ; Adam's home has since been re-
placed by a new frame building ; and the old
"yellow house" which John owned, and in which
all his children except the youngest, (Susanna)
were born, was torn down and replaced by the
];rcsent substantial hotel structure at Sandt's
Eddy. Another landmark that John left was the
stone bridge across the Mud Run Creek. To
liim belongs the credit also of having paved the
way for the construction of the roadway along
the Delaware River.

The Sandts of the first four generations
particularly, formed strong attachments among
themselves, and never ventured far from home.
Even to-day the great majority of the Sandts,
1719 of whose names are collected in a record
kept bv Peter B. Schoch, of Easton (married to
a daughter of Adam, of the John Sandt branch)
will be found in Northampton county. The only
Sandts of the third generation (and they are
thirty in number) who migrated from the old
settlement were John, of the Michael Sandt
branch, who settled in Reading, and Joseph, of
the same branch, who settled on a farm in Mon-
roe county.

Unusually large families were the rule in the
second, third, and fourth generations. Adam
(second generation) married to Anna Marie
Fuchs (born December 10, 1767, died September
28, 1835) had four children, thirty-two grand-
children, and 1 1 1 great-grandchildren ; Michael,
married to Anna Marie Shiffcr ( born March 7,
1771, died February 9, 1853) had twelve chil-
dren, 120 grandchildren, and 398 great-grand-
children ; John, married to Maria Magdalena Cor-
rell (horn October 10, 1773, died January 10,
1848) had seventeen children, eighty-six grand-
children, and 200 great-grandchildren. In the
Adam Sandt branch the names Pyschcr and
Rasely figure c|uite largely; in the Michael Sandt
branch, the names of Schug. Meyers, Root, Shu-
man, and W'erkeiser ; and in the John .Sandt
branch, the names of Mann and Lerch.

In the first three generations farming was al-
most the exclusive occupation of the Sandts. It
would appear that John Sandt (second genera-
tion) had given the impetus in the direction of
other vocations ; for besides farming his land, he
ran a saw mill and conducted a reputable and suc-
cessful hotel. He had eleven stalwart sons of
fine large physique, and m'ost of them were ex-
ceptionally successful in farming, many of their
children launched in business, teaching and other
pursuits. Prominent among them was the young-
est son, Samuel, a sketch of whose life appears
further on, who became a physician, while his
sons in turn, two of whom are alumni of Lafay-
ette College, either entered law or engaged in
business. Fotir of Philip's sons were at one time
teachers, and none of them continued on the
farm. His oldest son, John, a sketch of whose life
is given below, was a physician, and his brother
Philip, .widely known and respected throughout
the county, conducted a successful store at Stock-
ertown. Uriah, son of Charles, was a lawyer.

Among the living, Fleming Sandt. son of
Samuel, is at present in the retail leather business
in Easton ; his brother Albert, at one time en-
gaged in the practice of law, is now the general
manager of the Emery Wheel Company, which
operates a number of factories in the United
States and Canada. George Sandt, son of George
of the John Sandt branch, owns, and his son
conducts, a large hotel at Sea Bright, New Jer-
sey. Clyde, a grandson of George, is prominently
identified with politics. Enos, son of Leonard of
the Adam Sandt branch, was for years a success-
ful school teacher, and is now connected with the
Farmers' Mutual P^ire Insurance Company, of
Nazareth. P'rank, grandson of Leonard, is a
physician practicing in Paterson, New Jersey.
Madison, son of Peter, who died in the war, is
manager in Bush & P.ulls' store. Other physi-
cians of the John Sandt branch are John Lear, of
Allentown, who is also professor of biology in
Muhlenberg College, and William Schoch of
Easton. Frank, son of Dr. John Sandt, has for
\cars been jirincipal of the Easton High
School, and John E. Santlt is professor in
the Stroudsburg Normal School. Four have




entered the Lutheran ministry. — George, son
of Dr. John Saiidt, who is edictor of
The Lutheran, pubhshed in Philadelphia, the of-
ficial paper of the General Council ; Charles AL,
son of Simon Sandt, pastor of a congregation in
the same city ; Charles E., son of Philip Sandt,
pastor of a congregation in South AUentown ;
and John H., son of JMelchoir Sandt, pastor in
Lebanon. Still others are in colleges and schools,
preparing for the 'higher walks of life.

Only one Sandt answered the call to arms in
the war of 1812, and that was Adam (second
generation), but his company was never sent to
the front, being no longer needed. In the war of
the rebellion, Dr. Samuel Sandt, son of John
Sandt (second generation) served as surgeon.
Three sons of his brother Philip took up arms —
Peter was killed at Fredericksburg ; Amnndus
was wounded in the thigh at Chancellorsville,
and some time later his brother, Dr. John Sandt,
extracted the flattened bullet and removed about
thirty small splinters of bone; (the wound was
probably responsible for his subsecjuent death) ;
Edwin spent some time in the famous Saulsbury
prison. Others who served in the war were Levi
Mann, grandson of John Sandt (second genera-
tion), John Lerch, another grandson who died
at Frederick City, J\Iarvland, five grandsons of
Michael Sandt (second generation), Alfred, Sam-
uel. Uriah, and Hiram Meyers, all sons of John
and Hetty (Sandt) ]\Ieyers, and John Schug,
son of Jesse and Catherine ( Sandt) Schug : and
Adam and Jacob, sons of Leonard of the Adam
Sandt branch.

The Sandts of the first four generations were
with few exceptions members of the Lutheran
church. The first Adam and his wife and sons
communed in St. John's Lutheran church, Easton,
wdien the congregation worshipped in the Third
Street Reformed church. The remains of him-
self and wife were interred in the cemetery where
the Fourth Street school building now stands,
and were afterwards removed to the Forks church
cemetery where most of the Sandts lie buried,
though not a few rest in the Easton ceme-

DR. SAMUEL SANDT, son of John and
]\[agdalene (Seip) Sandt, was born at Sandt's
Hotel, five miles north of Easton, Pennsylvania,
November 15, 1815. He began his education in
the schools of the late Dr. V'anderveer, and in
his young manhood came to Easton, where he ob-
tained employment in the general store of the late
}ilichael Butz. In 1839 ^''^ entered Lafayette
College, from which he received his degree. He
read medicine under the office tutorsliip of Dr.
H. H. Abernethy, and then became a student
in the Medical Department of the University of
Pennsylvania, and received his medical diploma
in 1844.

He began practice in Plainfield township, and
was so engaged until 1848, when he removed to
the city of Easton, wdiere was thereafter his
abode, and where he conducted a large and very
successful practice which extended into all the ad-
jacent regions. In connection with his practice
he also conducted a drug store from 1855 until
1862, when he closed its doors to enter the army.
Commissioned as surgeon of the Eighty-fifth
Regiment Pennsylvania \'olunteers, he performed
three years arduous service with troops in the
field, incurring all the dangers and undergoing
all the hardships incident to some of the most ex-
acting campaigns and bitterly contested battles of
the Civil war. During the latter portion of his

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 17 of 92)