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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whom were born in South Easton, Pennsylvania,
were the issue of their marriage, and of this num-
ber five are living at the present time (1903) —
Thomas, Rose, Pauline, Caroline, and Daniel
Zehnder. Anthony Zehnder, father of these chil-
dren, died at his home in South Easton, in 1886,
survived by his wife, who is living at the present
time.



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



175



The public schools of the city of Easton, Penn-
sylvania, afforded Daniel Zehnder a good English
education. Early in life he learned the trade of
stone mason, but shortly afterward abandoned
this for a more steady but less lucrative business.
Inuring the panic of 1875 and 1876 he was em-
ployed in a blast furnace at Chain Dam, the re-
muneration being seventy-two cents per day of
twelve hours work. When the opportunity of-
fered he accepted a position in the Barb Wire
Works, and when that corporation moved its
plant trom Easton to Allentown Mr. Zehnder
changed his place of residence to that town, and
for seven years faithfully and conscientiously per-
formed the duties of the position. In 1888 he
returned to Easton and began the manufacture
of brick, the clay used in the construction of the
bricks being found on his own property. His
brick-yards are situated on the Philadelphia
road, where for the past fifteen years he has man-
ufactured the best quality of air dried building
brick. His plant has a capacity of eighteen
thousand bricks per day, gives employment to
forty-two hands, and is equipped with a fifty-
horse-power engine. He is one of the most
extensive brick manufacturers in the locality, and
therefore enjoys a large and lucrative trade.

Mr. Zehnder has been twice married, his first
wife having been Mary (Staser) Zehnder, to
whom two children were born, one of wdiom
Charles Zehnder, is living at the present time
(1903). For his second wife Mr. Zehnder chose
Rachel Woolback, the ceremony being performed
in 1894. To this union there has been no issue.

AMANDUS SAMPSON. The business
career of Amandus Sampson, an honored and re-
spected resident of Cederville, Easton, Pennsyl-
vania, has been wholly devoted to mining inter-
ests in the states of Pennsylvania, A'irginia, and
New Jersey, and has been characterized by the
strictest integrity in all transactions. He was
born in Williams township, Pennsylvania, in
185 1, the son of Joseph, a native of England, who
emigrated to the United States, in 1850, and
Susan (Brotzman) Sampson, a native of North-
ampton county, Pennsylvania, whose family con-



sisted of seven children, all of whom are living
at the present time (1903).

Amandus Sampson attended the public
schools of Williams township, and obtained a
practical education which qualified him for the
duties and obligations which fall to the lot of
every man. He began his business career by en-
gaging in mining pursuits in the states of
Pennsylvania and Virginia, spending several
years in the latter named state in the oversight
of his mines. He is the owner of a manganese
mine in New Jersey, and also the owner and oper-
ator of a mine in Williams township, situated
south of Easton, on the Philadelphia road. This
mine was opened and operated by the Glendon
Company at a very early date, possibly as far
back as 1840. The property was then owned by
John Best, subsequently fell into the hands of
Adam Hahn, and later was owned and operated
by Joseph Sampson, father of Amandus Sampson,
who located in Williams township, after his ar-
rival in this country from England, and pur-
chased a one hundred acre tract of land on which
was located the mines in question. During the
ownership of Joseph Sampson the mines were in
a flourishing condition, but the output was lim-
ited owing to the crude facilities for operating
them. Joseph Sampson acquired a handsome
competence from this enterprise, which he con-
ducted up to the time of his decease, wdiich oc-
curred in 1877.

During the year 1903, under the competent
management of Amandus Sampson, the present
owner of the mine, the output is two thousand six
hundred tons per month. He is mining at a depth
of three hundred feet, has two shafts, and gives
employment to twenty-five men, but this number
is onlv one-half the force necessary to run the
mines to their fullest capacity. In connection
with his mine there is a large deposit of umber,
which he disposes of to C. K. ^^'illiams & Co., a
large paint firm in Easton, Pennsylvania. In the
commercial world Mr. Sampson's name is syn-
onymous with enterprise, integrity and fair deal-
ing. He has been honored with several township
offices, the duties of which he performed witl;
credit and distinction.



176



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



Mr. Sampson was united in marriage to Eliza
Slack, and four children were born to them, three
of whom are living — Joseph R., employed as a
machinist in the Washington Navy Yard ; Ger-
trude A., wife of Archibald C. Pasco, an enter-
prising and successful mechanic ; and Lillie P.
Sampson, wife of Fred Christine. In 1886 Mr.
Sampson married, for his second wife, Annie A.
Stocker, and the issue of this union was one
daughter, Florence M. Sampson.

JACOB W. RICKER, a prominent con-
tractor, carpenter and builder of Easton, and one
of the progressive men of the city, is descended
from a prominent old family which had its origin
in Holland. In the early history of the Lehigh
Valley a poor but honest stone-mason emigrated
to this country from Holland in the time of
George III, but little is known of him. William
Ricker, one of his sons, was born in Easton,
Pennsylvania, and became a carpenter by trade.
He married Catherine Operheimer, and to them
were born seven children, one of whom, Eva
Catherine, is still living. One of their sons,
Jacob Ricker, was born in Easton on the 1st of
May, 1 80 1, and also made carpentering and build-
ing his life work. His wife, who bore the maiden
name of Elizabeth Carey, was also a native of
Easton and a granddaughter of Captain John
Carey, who served with distinction as an officer
in the Revolutionary war. The family of Jacob
and Elizabeth (Carey) Ricker consisted of eleven
children, six of whom are living at the present
writing.

Captain John P. Ricker, one of the eleven chil-
dren and a highly respected citizen of Easton,
was born in this city on the 3d of September,
1824, and like his ancestors learned the carpenter
and builder's trade, at which he labored during
the most of his life, meeting with well merited
success. When the Civil war was inaugurated
he loyally espoused the cause of the Cfnion, and
organized a company which became known as
Company E of the One Hundred and Fifty-third
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and of which
he was commissioned captain. He took part in
the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettvsburg,



and was wounded and taken prisoner in the lat-
ter engagement, but after several days of hard
fighting he was recaptured by his own troops.
After a nine months' service the Captain was hon-
orably discharged and returned home to resume
the more quiet pursuits of civil life, continuing
to work at his trade until old age compelled him
to desist. He is still an honored resident of
Easton, where he has held the office of city
councilman and served one term as member of the
school board. He married Miss Rebecca Burt,
who was born in Easton in 1829, and died there
in 1895. The following children were born to
them : Jacob W., Burt, deceased ; Samuel A. ;
Thomas P. ; Howard L. ; and Oscar A.

J. W. Ricker, the immediate subject of this
review, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, on the
2d of July, 1850. Choosing the life occupation
of his ancestors he learned the carpenter's trade,
having worked as a journeyman at the bench until
1883, when he launched out on his own account
as a contractor, and many of the fine buildings of
the locality testify to his skill in his calling and
stand as monuments to his genius and ability.
Mr. Ricker holds a prominent position in both
the business and social circles of the city, and in
his fraternal relations is a member of Easton
Lodge, No. 152, F. & A. M., also of Chapter No.
73, and Council No. 20. In this noble order he
has attained to the Knighthood degrees, holding
membership in Hugh De Payen Commandery
No. 19.

The marriage of Mr. Ricker was celebrated
in 1891, when ]\Iiss Emma, the daughter of
Phalon Klotz, became his wife. They reside in
a pleasant residence in Easton, and both Mr.
and Mrs. Ricker are highly regarded by a large
circle of friends and acquaintances who appreciate
their sterling worth and many excellencies of
character.

MAURICE CLEMENS, captain of Company
I of the Thirteenth Regiment of the National
Guard of Pennsylvania, and a musician of Easton,
was born in that city, December 17, 1865. He is
a son of James Breckenridge and Susan Burk
(Wagener) Clemens. His paternal grandparents



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



177



were James Wolfe and Eleanor (Sherrard) Clem-
ens. His ancestry in the maternal line can be
traced back to David Wagener, who was born in
Silesia, Germany, on the 24th of May, 1736. He
became a resident of Worcester township, Phila-
delphia coimty, Pennsylvania, October 26, 1741,
and afterward removed to Northampton county.
He was appointed associate justice of the North-
ampton courts in 1791, and served until his death,
which occurred at Easton on the 9th of May,
1796. He was a Lutheran in religious faith. His
wife, Susannah Umsted, was born on the 2d of
Februar}', 1734, and died April 22, 1819, in
lEaston.

Daniel ^^'agener, son of David and Susannah
Wagener, was born in Bucks county, Pennsyl-
vania, near Doylestown, in the year 1766, and in
1777 became a resident of Easton. The Revolu-
tionary war was then in progress, and Pennsyl-
vania was the scene of many contests between
the opposing armies. Daniel Wagener became a
prominent citizen of Easton, and was identified
with many interests of the town and county. He
built the large merchant mill on the east side of
Bushkill creek in 1792, and his father had built
the mill on the opposite side of the creek in
1780. Daniel Wagener engaged in milling and
merchandising for a number of years, and also
took an active part in public affairs, serving for
thirty-nine years as associate justice of North-
ampton county. He died in 1842, at the venerable
age of seventy-seven years, leaving three sons
and two daughters, to whom he bequeathed a
handsome estate accumulated through his indi-
vidual energ)' and careful management. He was
married on the 13th of April, 1785. to Eve Opp.

Hon. David D. Wagener, son of Judge Daniel
and Eve (Opp) Wagener, was born in Easton,
October ir, 1792. He spent his boyhood days in
the acquirement of a good education, and in as-
sisting his father in his mercantile and milling
business. In 1816 he was elected captain of the
Easton Union Guard, a newly organized military
company of which he continued in command until
its dissolution in 1829. In that capacity he vis-
ited Philadelphia in 1824, with his company of
one hundred and thirty-five men, and assisted in
12



the ceremonies held in connection with the recep-
tion of General Lafayette. He took deep interest
in political affairs and became a prominent repre-
sentative and distinguished leader of the Democ-
racy in Pennsylvania, nor was his influence con-
fined to the state. In 1828 he was elected a
member of the Pennsylvania assembly, and aided
materially in shaping the policy of the common-
wealth during that early period of the nineteenth
century. He continued a member of the house in
1829-30-31, and then retired from that office in
order to accept higher political preferment, hav-
ing been chosen to represent his district in con-
gress. He was elected in 1832 after a close and
exciting contest, his opponent being the well
known and popular Peter Ihrie. His congres-
sional record was in harmony with that which he
had made as a private citizen and as a public
official, characterized by the utmost fidelity to
duty, and by marked capability in the discharge
of the tasks which devolved upon him in the
council chambers of the nation. He was re-
elected, and continued to serve until 1840, when
he retired from active public life, both because
he felt in need of rest, and because he wished to
devote more attention to his private business in-
terests. On the 4th of May, 1852, he was unani-
mously elected president of the Easton Bank to
fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Col-
onel Thomas McKeen, and continued at the head
of that institution until his death, inaugurating
in its government a safe conservative policy which
made it one of the strong financial institutions of
his part of the state. He largely donated the
ground upon which the court house of Easton
now stands, and he gave active and helpful co-
operation to many movements for general pro-
gress and improvement.

On the 20th of September, 1821, Hon. David
Wagener was married to IMiss Mary Knauss,
who was spoken of as "a woman of great personal
beauty and piety." She died February 13, 1833,
and Mr. Wagener ever remained true to her
memory, living a widower for twenty-seven years,
and passing away October 21, i860, in the sixty-
ninth year of his age. He was an intimate
friend and trusted counselor of James Buchanan



178



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



and of General Jackson, and he left the impress
of his individuahty upon state and national af-
fairs. The "Easton Argus" of October 4, i860,
published the following estimate of his character
and life work :

"He was not only a good man, but a useful
man. He was a kind and faithful friend, a safe
counselor, an indulgent and affectionate father,
and an upright man in all relations of life. To the
poor he was kind and liberal, and many a penni-
less beginner as he started on his voyage to fight
the battle of life has been cheered on by the kmd
assistance of and good counsel of David D. Wag-
ener. The possessor of an ample fortune, he was
ever plain and simple in his habits, familiar and
sociable in his intercourse with his fellowmen, yet
dignified in his bearing. He was a strictly up-
right man, and scorned to do a dishonorable act
in public or private life. He was constitutionally
an honest man, and his word was as good as his
bond. Few men have left behind them a brighter
record or a more illustrious example than the
Hon. David D. Wagener."

Hon. E)avid and Mary (Knauss) Wagener
had five children, two sons and three daughters,
' including Susan Burk Wagener, who was born
April IS, 1827, and on the 30th of November,
1850, gave her hand in marriage to Jacob Breck-
enridge Clemens.

Captain Maurice Clemens supplemented his
early education acquired in the common schools
by attendance at the Cheltenham Military Acad-
emy between the years 1880 and 1S84. He then
entered Lafayette College, of which he was a
member of the class of 1888. He has largely
devoted his life to music and as a choral leader
has gained more than local reputation. He has
rendered military service to his state as a mem-
ber of the National Guard, and in 1898 he en-
listed with his i-egiment for service in the Span-
ish-American war, but the command was ac-
cepted only for the National Guard service. On
the 7th of February, 1902, he was elected captain
of Company I of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania
Regiment of the National Guard. His political
allegiance is given to the Democracy, and his re-
ligious faith is that of the Episcopal church. He
i.s identified with a number of political and social



organizations, including the Jacksonian Demo-
cratic Club of Easton, the Country Club of North-
ampton county, the Markham andl University
Clubs of Philadelphia and the Pom fret Club of
Easton.

GEORGE FOLKENSON, a retired citizen
of Easton, Pennsylvania, whose ancestors on
both the paternal and maternal side were prom-
inent residents of Forks township, and actively
associated with the agricultural and political in-
terests of Northampton county, was born in that
portion of Forks township, which now consti-
tutes Palmer township, in October, 1843, a son of
John and Catherine (Fraunfetter) Folkenson.

John Folkenson (father) was also a native of
Forks township, Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania. In early life he learned the trade of wheel-
wright and devoted his attention to that occu-
pation for several years, but subsequently became
a carpenter and engaged in that line of industry
for the remainder of his active career. He was
honorable and conscientious in all business trans-
actions, and therefore enjoyed the full confidence
and respect of his fellow citizens. For a number
of years he creditably and efficiently filled the of-
fices of constable and assessor in Forks township.
He was united in marriage to Catherine Fraun-
fetter, daughter of Jacob Fraunfetter, who was a
native of Forks township and owned and operated
an extensive farm in that locality. Twelve chil-
dren were the issue of this union, five of whom
are living at the present time (1903) — George,
Lewis, James, Susanna, and Sophia. Mr. Folk-
enson was a prominent member of the Lutheran
church, and his wife held membership in the
Dutch Reformed church.

George Folkenson, eldest surviving son of
John arid Catherine Folkenson, was reared to
manhood in his native township and acquired a
practical education in its public schools. During
the early years of his life he followed the custom
of most boys reared in the country, that of work-
ing on a farm. Later his tastes and inclinations
led him to apply his mind to the trade of car-
penter, and being industrious and possessing a
keen perceptive mind he soon mastered all the



i



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



179



details of the business and became an expert me-
chanic. This occupation, which he followed up
to the year 1893, proved both successful and re-
munerative, and therefore he was enabled to retire
from business and enjoy the ease and comfort
which is a fitting sequel to a well spent life of
ceaseless activity and toil. Mr. Folkenson has
been a resident of Easton, Pennsylvania, since
i860, and during this long period of time has al-
ways evinced an active interest in all measures
that pertained to its welfare and upbuilding.

i\Ir. Folkenson was united in marriage to
Mary J. Hester, born April 4, 1846, a daughter
of Daniel and Catherine Hester, and one child
has been born to them, Emma, now the wife of
John Leibert, who is serving in the capacity of
time-keeper at the Lehigh Valley Depot. Mrs.
Folkenson died in 1899. The family have been
active members of the German Reformed church
of Easton, Pennsylvania, for many years.

HENRY L. ODENWELDER. The found-
ers of the Odenwelder family, who have been
noted for uprightness of character and loy-
alty of citizenship, were John and Oden-
welder, brothers, who were born in Northampton
county, Pennsylvania, in the early part of the
eighteenth century, their parents being of Ger-
man origin. They became good and loyal citizens
of this commonwealth, and were prominent fac-
tors in all enterprises that conduced to the wel-
fare and upbuilding of their community.

Phillip Odenwelder (grandfather), son of the
above-mentioned John Odenwelder, purchased a
farm of two hundred acres of rich and arable
land upon which is located the Forrest House, a
well known land mark in Northampton county,
and this estate, which was situated on the north
side of the Lehigh river, was finally named Oden-
weldertown in his honor. He was one of the
wealthy and influential men of the community, a
large landowner, and at the time of his decease
bequeathed to each of his ten children a large
farm. His wife, whose maiden name was Koch,
was highly esteemed for her upright and Chris-
tian character. He was the progenitor of the
Odenwelder family in Palmer township. John



Odenwelder, a cousin of Phillip Odenwelder,
purchased a tract of two hundred acres of choice
farming land on the south side of the Lehigh
river, on which he resided for many years.

Jacob- A. Odenwelder (father), son of Phillip
Odenwelder, was born in Odenweldertown in
1810, received the educational advantages af-
forded by the schools of that day, and became a
worthy citizen whose influence for good was
manifestly felt in the community. He was a
man of enterprise, and was far in advance of his
day in the line of improvements. In 1855 he
built the Forrest House, and when it was com-
pleted he rented it to George Bellis, and later to
George Fisher, and in 1859 took possession of
the hotel and from that date until 1865 success-
fully conducted this enterprise, which was one of
the best known and leading hotels of the county.
The building is forty by fifty feet square, has a
capacity of entertaining forty guests, and with all
the out-buildings cover an area of three and a
half acres. Mr, Odenwelder married Mary Grad-
wahl. who was born in 18 14, and the following
named children were born to them : Robert, Sa-
billa, Henry L., Tilghman, and Ascher J. Jacob
A. Odenwelder, father of these children, died at
his home in Palmer township in 1884 ; he was sur-
vived by his wife, Mary Odenwelder, whose
death occurred in 1887. The Gradwahl family-
were among the prominent residents of the com-
inunity, were the owners of about four hundred
acres of good farming land, and the male mem-
bers of the family were loyal and worthy citizens.
Henry L. Odenwelder, son of Jacob A. and
Tilary Odenwelder, was born in Palmer township,
February 5, 1842. He obtained an excellent Eng-
lish education in the schools of the neighborhood,
and at the early age of twenty-two years became
the proprietor of the above mentioned Forrest
House, which he conducted to the entire satis-
faction of the public for twenty-five years. Dur-
ing this long period of time Mr. Odenwelder
fully demonstrated the fact to the traveling public
and his numerous patrons, that no man was bet-
ter qualified to cater to the wants of a fastidious
guest than he. In 1891 he retired from his su-
perintendency of the hotel, and entered upon a re-



i8o



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



tired life. He was a stockholder in the Soutli
Side Land and Improvement Company, and
every enterprise that promoted the interests of
the city of Easton and the welfare of its citizens
found in Mr. Odenwelder a ready and willing
champion. He took a deep interest in municipal
afifairs and served his township in the capacity of
auditor and justice of the peace, being the incum-
bent of the latter named office for many years.
He died November 21, 1903.

On December 14, 1864, occurred the marriage
of Henry L. Odenwelder and Emeline Breinig,
of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, and the issue
of this union was one child, Emma C. Oden-
welder, born March 6, 1869. She married John
H. Neumeyer, and has a son, John Henry, born
April 12, i^



SAMUEL S. EALER, a representative busi-
ness man of Easton, Pennsylvania, who is con-
ducting a successful meat and poultry business in
his fine and commodious establishment which ex-
tends from 1213 to 1217 Washington street, one
of the best business localities in the city, was born
in Kintnersville, Bucks county, Pennsylvania,
February 6, 1875. His parents are Malchor
and Angeline (Bachman) Ealer, whose family
consisted of four children. Malchor Ealer was a
butcher and farmer by occupation, but is now re-
tired from business pursuits ; he resides in Easton,
Pennsylvania, with his son Samuel S. Ealer, and
is fully enjoying a life of ease and comfort.

Th educational advantages enjoyed by Sam-
uel S. Ealer were obtained in the schools of Kint-
nersville, and until he attained the age of seven-
teen years he assisted with the work on the farm
and country butchering. He then accepted a clerk-
ship in a general store at Readingtoii, Pennsyl-
vania, where he remained for two years, and at
the expiration of this period of time he located
in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After a short resi-
dence in that city his health became seriously
imiiaired, and he was compelled to abandon his
position, after which he returned to the butcher-
ing business, and his health and strength rapidly
returned to their full vigor. He engaged in this
line of industry in various localities with a num-



ber of firms for the sole purpose of gaining a
thorough and comprehensive knxDwledge of a
business which he had decided to make his voca-
tion in life. For three years he was in the employ
of the celebrated firm of Swift & Co., of Chicago^



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 32 of 92)