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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were of the greatest good to the community. He
was one of the organizers of the Bishopthorpe
School, served as a member of the board of trus-
tees from the beginning, and also as president,
and put forth earnest effort in behalf of the insti-
tution. He was also one of the first to advocate
the building of St. Luke's Hospital, and was the
chairman of the first committee formed to secure
subscriptions to this project, and the first chair-
man of the executive committee. He was active
in the organization of the Church cf the Nativity,
and was one of the committee of three appointed
to secure subscriptions therefor. The first service
of this congregation was held in his own home,
and in every way possible he advanced the inter-
ests and growth of the church. At the time of his
demise, he was a member of the vestry of the
church, and also of the board of trustees of the
St. Luke's Hospital.

Tinsley Jeter was united in marriage to Mary
.Smith Richards, who was born July 15, 1832, a
daughter of Thomas and Harriet (Nichols) Rich-
ards, granddaughter of Samuel Richards, great-
granddaughter of \Mlliam Richards, who was
born September 12, 1738, and related to the Ball
and Haskins families. Samuel Richards (grand-
.father), born Alay 8, 1769, was the owner of an
iron furnace known as the "JMaria," located near



Wauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, and he wedded Mrs.
Mary (Smith) Morgan, a widow. Among their
children was Thomas Richards (father), who on
the i2th of May, 1825, married Harriet Nichols,
a daughter of General Francis Nichols, who ser-
ved his country in the Revolutionary war. Thomas
Richards resided in F'hiladelphia, where he was
largely interested in the iron business, also in the
iron furnace owned by his father. He took a
prominent part in military afifairs, and was a
member of the First City Troop of Philadelphia.
Thomas and Harriet (Nichols) Richards were
the parents of four children : Samuel N., born
February 4, 1826; Henry K., born December 20,
1829, Mary, born July 15, 1832, the only surviv-
ing member of the family, now the widow of Tins-
ley Jeter; and Susan Miller, born July 25, 1837.
The father, grandfather and great-grandfather
of Mrs. Jeter were among the earliest iron work-
ers in this section of the country, and they also
conducted this enterprise in the southern part of
New Jersey. The family originally came from
Wales, where they had learned the iron business
in all its branches.

The children of Tinsley and Mary Richards
Jeter are: John Tinsley, now a resident of Wilkes
Barre, Pennsylvania ; William Richards, de-
ceased ; Harriet, Richards, and Mary.

ceased, was a resident of Bethlehem, Pennsyl-
vania, and his activity in industrial affairs made
him one of the representative citizens of the com-
munity. His business interests were of a char-
acter that proved of value in the promotion of
commercial activity, while bringing to him at the
same time a desirable financial reward for his
labor. In matters of citizenship he was loyal and
progressive, and his name was enrolled among
the soldiers who went to the front from Pennsyl-
vania in the Civil war.

Samuel Conmenius Wolle was born in Lan-
caster county, Pennsylvania, May 28, 1825. His
paternal grandfather, Peter Wolle (see sketch of
Clarence A. Wdle), was a Moravian missionary,
who was born at Schwersentz, Poland, November
6, 1745. Coming to America in order to spread

the gospel idea in which he believed, he devoted
his remaining days to missionary work in this
country and died at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, No-
vember 20, 181 3. His son, Peter Wolle, Jr., was
born at New Herrnhut on the island of St.
Thomas, in the West Indies, January 5, 1792. He
was one of three theological students who matri-
culated in the Alcravian Theological Seminary at
the time it was opened in 1807. Having prepared
for the ministry, he served as pastor of the church
of his denomination in Lancaster, F'hiladelphia,
and Lititz, Pennsylvania, and in 1845 w^s conse-
crated a bishop of the church. From 1855 until
i86r he was a member of the governing board of
the Moravian church in America, and was one of
the most eminent divines of his denomination, his
advanced scholarship, zeal and energy making his
influence a most important ' force in the develop-
ment and progress of his church. He married Miss
Maria Theresa Schober, who died in 1853, while
he passed away in 1871. Their children were as
follows: Emma E., born August 6, 1820; Na-
thaniel, born October 9, 1822 ; Samuel C, born
May 28, 1825; James H., born May 7, 1828;
Theodore, born February 12, 1832; and Henry
Herman, born May 7, 1836. Of this family
Emma became the wife of Ferdinand Rickert, and
to them were born three children : Francis Ed-
ward, now deceased: Florence T., born December
8, 1848; and Adelaide L., born July 28, 1850.
Nathaniel Wolle married Angelica Mitsch, and
their children were three in number : Charles E.,
born July 18, 1848: Robert N., born July i, 1850;
and Esther Elizabeth, born October 3, 1854.
James H. Wolle was married to Sarah Grosch,
of Lititz, Lancaster county, who died in April,
i860. Their children were Estelle T., born June
25, 1856; Lewis T., born April 15, 1858; and J.
Samuel, April 12, i860. Flis second wife was
Amelia Weiss, a daughter of Jedediah Weiss, and
they had two children : William Sayre, born Sep-
tember 29, 1862; and Mary W., born Septeniber
25, 1871. Theodore Wolle, who was born Feb-
ruary 12, 1832, married Adelaide Sussdorff, and
their cliildren were Agnes L., born July 28, 1866;
and Caroline M., born March 10, 1874. For some
time he served as director of the choir and organ-



ist of the ^Moravian church in Bethlehem, and for
many years was connected with the Bethlehem
Philharmonic Society. He died in 1885. Henry
Herman W'olle was married to Gertrude Kimber,
of Philadelphia, who was born November 15,
1835. Their children were Laura G., born May
31, 1S57, and now deceased; Francis, who was
born April i, i860, and died in childhood; Lily
M., born November 13, 1866; and Helen, who
•died in early girlhood.

Samuel C. Wolle, the second son of Peter and
Maria Theresa ^\'olle, was born in Lancaster
county, Pennsylvania, where he was a classmate
of the late Bishop Edmund de Sweinitz. On
completing his own course of study he afterward
became a teacher in the Hall, where he served
from 1845 I'ntil 1848. Later he was engaged in
teaching at Canal Dover, Tuscarawas county,
Ohio, for a number of years, and then abandoning
the educational field he entered the employ of the
Thomas Iron Company at Canal Dover, about
1857. The company had erected a furnace there
for the manufacture of pig iron, but in i860 the
business passed into other hands, and 'Sir. Wolle
returned to Pennsylvania. Subsequently he was
connected with the Parryville furnace, and later
with the Hokendauqua furnace, and following the
period of his service in the Civil war he resumed
his position with the Thomas Iron Company, re-
maining as cashier of the Hokendauqua works
until he resigned about three years prior to his
death, at which time he was the oldest employee
in the service of the company.

When the country became involved in civil
war over the attempt of the south to withdraw
from the Union Mr. Wolle offered his services in
its defense and became an orderly sergeant under
Captain James Thomas of Company D, Thirty-
fourth Regiment of Emergency ]\Ien, in 1863. He
was always faithful in citizenship, taking a pub-
lic spirited interest in whatever pertained to local
advancement or to national welfare. In politics
he was a stanch Republican, thoroughly loval to
his party and its interests and he not only kept
well informed concerning the political questions
of the day, but was also well versed in current and
hterary topics. His strength of character and his

upright life as well as his business integrity won
him the respect and confidence of all who knew

Samuel C. Wolle was united in marriage on
the 23d of July, 1867, to Miss Phoebe Louisa iNlil-
ler, a native of Ohio. She was born at Canal Do-
ver, November 10, 1835, ^ daughter of Benjamin
and Catherine ]\Iiller. Her girlhood days
were spent in her native city and her education
was acquired in its public schools. One child
was born unto Mr. and Mrs. Wolle: Emma Er-
nestine, whose birth occurred March 15, 1870, and
who is now the wife of Robert Paul Stout, in
charge of the gun department in the steel works.
They have two children ; Robert, born April 26,
1895, and Frank Wolle, born July 15, 1899.

JOHN LERCH. The Lerch family of
Bethlehem traces its ancestry back to Anthony
Lerch, who resided in Lower Saucon township,
Northampton county, Pennsylvania, prior to the
war of the Revolution. He was born in Germany,
September 20, 1720, and when a young man of
eighteen years he left' the Palatine, together with
his brother Gratius, and his father, Andreas
Lerch, and sailed for America. Gratius Lerch
was then sixteen years of age. Peter Lerch, twen-
ty years of age, also came at that time, but it is
not definitely known whether he was the brother
of Anthony and Gratius Lerch, although it is sup-
posed that he was. They sailed from Rotterdam
on the ship Queen Elizabeth, commanded by
Captain Alexander Hope, and landed at Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1738. An-
thony, Gratius and Peter Lerch settled in Lower
Saucon township, Northampton county, the first
named owning real estate there in 1754- There
were three others of the name of Lerch — William,
Nicholas and Yost — who came to America in the
same ship, but their names do not appear on the
passenger list, as they were still quite young.
They lived in Berks county, Pennsylvania, in
1759. but little is known of them, and nothing of
Andreas and Joh.ann Lerch after their emigration
to the new world.

Anthony Lerch, the founder of the family to
wliich Ichn Lerch, whose name introduces this



review, belongs, died August 28, 1793. His wife,
Anna Margaretta, was born March 7, 1728, and
died February 14, 1796. Their children were as
follows: Johannes (John) born November 17,
1747, died Alarch 17, 1818. Anthony, born
March 18, 1750, died April 23, 1798; Catherine,
born March 8, 1752; Anna Margaretta, born
December 31, 1754: Nicholas, born March 30,
1757; Johann Frederick, born April 17, 1759, and
died August i, 1826; Anna Maria, born February
4, 1762 ; Peter, born March 7, 1764, and died Feb-
ruary 24, 1813; Elizabeth, born August 2, 1768,
and died October 24, 1833 ; and Susannah, born
January 31, 1773.

John Lerch, the eldest son of Anthony and
Margaretta Lerch, was born November 17, 1747,
and died ?ilarch 17, 1818. His wife, Sybilla
Christina, was born June 24, 1752, and died De-
cember 30, 1817. They had nine children. Anna
Alargaretta was born in April, 1772. John, bom
January 3, 1774, died May 31, 1798. Anna Mary,
born April 10, 1776, became the wife of George
Kleppinger, and had eleven children. Adam,
born December 24, 1778', married Magdalena
Waldman, and had ten children. Jacob, born
May 15, 1781, died September 27, i860. His wife
was Catherine Newhart, and they had eight chil-
dren. Abraham, born March 9, 1784, died Janu-
ary 5, 1868. Joseph, born December 21, 1786,
died September 4, 1856. Michael, born November
9, 1789, died February 28, 1847. His wife was
Susan Huston, and their children were four in
number. IMargaret, born June 17, 1792, died May
16, 1866. She was the wife of Samuel Dietz, and
they had five children.

Joseph Lerch. the seventh child of John and
Sybilla Lerch. and the father of John Lerch, of
this review, was born December 21, 1786, and
married Salome Bleim, who was born December
15, 1796, and died April 24, 1847. They had eight
children. Stephen, the eldest, born February 12,
1820, died November 25, 1870; he removed to
Stark county, Indiana, in 1853. and was married
to Margaret E. Falls, by whom he had three chil-
dren — Sarah, Martha and Jennie Lind. David,
born August 11, 1821, married Sallie Young, and
their children were Frank J., William H., Jacob,

Tillie, Harry, George, John, Frederick and Er-
win. Joseph, born December 31, 1822, died Au-
gust 12, 1858; he married Eliza Hummel, and
their children were Amelia, Henry and Amandus
W. Catherine Magdelena, born April 23, 1825^
died March 4, 1833; Sarah, born June 7, 1828,
became the wife of Reuben Kuntz, and their chil-
dren were Milton, Robert, George and Sallie.
John was the sixth of the family. Mandes was
born May 19, 1833. Benneville, born June 29,
1839, married Senia Saeger, and she was the
mother of one son, Charley.

John Lerch, the sixth child of Joseph and
Salome (Bleim) Lerch, was born October 16,
1829, near Kreidersville, Pennsylvania, and was
reared on his father's farm in Alien township,
Northampton county. His educational privileges
were limited to a brief attendance at the academy
of Kirkpatrick and Horn, in Easton, Pennsyl-
vania, in addition to the advant:!ges afforded by
the common schocls. In 1844 he entered upon his
commercial career by becoming a salesman in the
store of George Weber & Son, at Kreidersville,
Pennsylvania, and in 1846 he came to Bethlehem,
which was then a town of about one thousand in-
habitants, almost exclusively Moravians. Here
he entered the store of James A. Rice, and re-
ceived a mercantile training of more than ordin-
ary excellence and thoroughness. It was the cus-
tom at that time for the young clerk to become a
member of his employer's family, a step which re-
sulted in cementing a bond of friendship and es-
teeni between him and the family that was only
broken by death. When Mr. Rice died, in 1850,
Mr. Lerch was called upon to conduct the busi-
ness in behalf of the heirs until the settlement of
the estate, and this he did in the most satisfactory
and creditable manner. At a later date he served
as deputy postmaster of the town.

In 185 1 he again became an active factor in
mercantile circles, entering into partnership with
Rufus A. Grider. In the spring of 1857 the lirm
of Grider & Lerch, was dissolved and Mr. Lerch
embarked in business on his own account. He
possessed great energy, keen discrimination and
unfaltering diligence, and those qualities proved
the salient features in his success. His trade be-



came larger than that of any other house in this
section of the country, his patronage being drawn
from the farming community over a large area,
and no establishment of this part of the state was
so popular or well known as Lerch's Bee Hive.
In 1865 J\Ir. Lerch admitted Joseph A. Rice, a
son of his former employer, to a partnership in
the business, and the firm style of John Lerch &
Company was adopted. L'ntil 1871 tiTe business
was conducted in a small room which had served
a similar purpose since 1822, but was entirely in-
adequate to the needs of the enterprise. In 1875
Mr. Rice became the owner of this building, and
a large and commodious store was erected for the
Bee Hive in order that there should be sufficient
space in which to display their extensive line of
merchandise to good advantage. In 1874 ]\I. J.
Person was admitted to a partnership, whicl"
however, was dissolved in 1885. Mr. Lerch and
Mr. Rice continued together as proprietors of the
Bee Hive, the business name of Lerch & Rice be-
ing then adopted. For many years Mr. Lerch was
thus prominently identified with the mercantile
interests of Bethlehem. Honcred and respected
by all, he occupied a very enviable position in
mercantile and financial circles, not alone because
of the success he achieved but also by reason of
the honorable business methods he ever followed.

Mr. Lerch was married, August 7, 1855, to
Miss Sarah E. Jones, a daughter of Joseph B.
Jones, of Bethlehem township, Northampton
county, Pennsylvania. They became the parents
of two children. The elder, Joseph A., born Au-
gust 4, i860, died May 20, 1861. The younger
son, Frank J., born October 18, 1863, has spent
his life in the store, which he now owns in part-
nership with Mr. Rice.

As a citizen, John Lerch was eminently public-
spirited and progressive. He was deeply inter-
ested in every movement that might develop and
improve the city of his adoption, and was a co-
operant factor in many measures for advancement
along substantial lines. To him the community is
largely indebted for the establishment of a weekly
newspaper in liethlehem, which subsequently de-
veloped into the Bethlehem Times, now being
published. During the Civil war he twice an-

swered the emergency call for troops, and never
wavered in his allegiance to the Union cause. He
held membership in the Reformed church, was one
of its leading officers and his influence and efforts
wTre potent factors in its development. At one
time he served as a trustee of Franklin and ^lar-
shall College, at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where
he founded several scholarships. His life was
upright, his actions manly and sincere, and his in-
fluence was ever for the good of the community in
which he made his home. He died January 16,
1886. ' ■

THE RAU FAMILY. John Conrad Rau
was born in W'urtemberg, Germany, April 27,
1741, and in 1768 crossed the Atlantic to the new
world, establishing his home in Pennsylvania. He
settled on a farm two miles south of Bethlehem,
and there carried en agricultural pursuits until
his death, which occurred in 1803. He had mar-
ried Mrs. ^Margaret Sheets nee Weber and to
them were born several children.

Ehrhard, the eldest, born September 3, 1787,
died at Sparta, New York, in 1884. at the age of
ninety-seven years. His wife, wdiose name was
Susan Kidd, died in 1867. They were survived
by thirteen children, all of whom settled in the
Genesee valley in New York.

Margaret Rau, the second child of John Con-
rad Rau, became the wife of Henry Premer.

Catherine Rau, born in 1782, married Andrew
Kichline, who resided two miles northw-est of
Bethlehem, and her death occurred in 185 1.

Conrad Rau was born in 1789 and died in
1838. He married Catherine Luckenbach, of
Bethlehem, and their children were Charles W.,
who married Miss Newhard and died at Allen-
town, Pennsylvania ; Adam, who resides at Catas-
auqua, Pennsylvania ; Lucy, who became the wife
of Mr. Fehr, and died at their home five miles
east of Bethlehem ; Caroline, who became Mrs.
Opp : and James, who died about 1852.

Christine Rau, the fifth member of the family
of John Conrad and Margaret Rau, became the
wife of George Gross.

\'alentine Rau, born in 1796, died in Pittston,
Pennsylvania, in 1877. He w^as married in 1817



to Elizabeth Fenner, and they resided near Beth-
lehem, Pennsylvania, until 1836, when they re-
moved to Pittston, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania.
Their children were Simon Ran, who was born in
1818, and married Lucy Ann Luckenbach, by
whom he had a son, Eugene A. Rau, who was
born in 1848, and married Matilda Klose ; David
Rau, who was born in 1820, and died in 1879,
married Sarah A. Yundt, who was born in 1818,
and died in 1895. They had a son, Robert Rau,
born in 1844, who in 1867 married Caroline A.
Busse, born in 1845. William Rau, the third
child, was born in 1822, and lives in Iowa. Mary
Ann, born in 1824, was the wife of John LeVal-
ley, of Iowa. Olivia Salome, born in 1826, be-
came the wife of John Fenner, and died in Brook-
lyn, New York, in 1900. Ann Amelia, born in
1830, is the wife of J. Van Luvanee, and resides
in California. Edward, born in 1828, died in
Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1852. Henrietta, born
in 1833, was the wife of John Van Vliet, of
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Charles, born in
1838, died in Pittston.

Robert Rau, the son of David and Sarah A.
(Yundt) Rau, married Caroline A. Blisse, and has
one son Albert George Rau, who was born Au-
gust 7, 1868. He is a graduate of Lehigh Uni-
versity, and is now superintendent of the Bethle-
hem Moravian parochial school. He married
Gertrude L. Brunner, and their children are Rob-
ert Otto Rau, born in 1897, and Henry Brunner
Rau, born in 1901.

civil and mining engineer, who is now general
manager of the plant of the Clear Water Spring
Company at Catasauqua, was born in Montrose,
Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, in 1870.

John Watson, a great-uncle of Walter L. Wat-
son, founded the John Watson University of
Edinburgh, Scotland, and also endowed the L^ni-
versity of Edinburgh.

The family, of Scotch origin, was founded in
America by Walter Watson, the great-grandfa-
ther, who crossed the Atlantic from Scotland in
the first quarter of the nineteenth century and
settled on the Hudson river in the state of New

York. He afterward returned to Scotland, leaving
his son Walter, who was born in Scotland in
1819, and after his father's return to that country
removed to Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania,
where he purchased a tract of land of one hun-
dred and fifty acres. He built there a homestead
wdiich still remains in possession of the family.
He married Candace Hammond, and to them
were born seven children. Wilson Watson, the
eldest, was married twice and had two children,
Edward and Gertrude. Willoughby W., the sec-
ond, is the father of Walter L. Watson. Can-
dace (3d) married and had two daughters. Cul-
ley (4th) married Orrie Washburn. Rose (5th)
became the wife of Daniel Hanna ; John (6tl?)
married and had three girls and one boy ; Delia
(7th) married Charles Tyler.

Willoughby W. Watson was born in New
Milford, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, in
1842, acquired his education in the public schools,
began teaching at a very early age, and when only
nineteen years of age was county superintend-
ent of schools. He entered upon the study of law
under the direction of Judge Fitch, subsequently
became a partner of his preceptor, and attained a
position of distinction in connection wdth the Sus-
quehanna bar. He became a recognized leader of
public opinion, and his high standing in the re-
gard and confidence of his fellow men is indicated
bv the fact that he was chosen for the position of
state senator in 1875, tlie first Republican nominee
ever elected to that office in the county, defeating
Charles Hawley, the Democratic candidate. In
1883 he removed to Scranton, Pennsylvania,
where he continued his law practice, and he is now
a member of seven different bars. He is also con-
nected with many of the leading financial and in-
dustrial enterprises of Scranton and vicinity, be-
ing the vice president of the Traders' National
Bank, of Scranton ; a director of the Cement Na-
tional Bank at Siegfried, Pennsylvania ; president
of the Pennsylvania Casualty Company of Scran-
ton ; a director of the Clear Spring Water Com-
pany of Catasauqua, and of the Whitehall Port-
land Cement Company. He has come to be a
lawyer and man of afiairs of commanding ability,
^■ct his labors have not been restricted to the ad-



vancenient of his own personal interests, as he
has extended his efforts to various fields in which
as an acknowledged leader he has championed
the highest interests of the people of this section
of the state. He married Annie Kemmerer, and
they had six children : Walter ; Charles and Ger-
trude, who died in childhood ; Albert, who mar-
ried Mabel Wheeler ; z\nnie, and Candace.

Walter L. \\'atson was reared in Scranton,
Pennsylvania, and his preliminary education, ac-
quired in the public schools there, was supple-
mented by study in Swarthmore College, in
which he was graduated with the class of 1893,
completing a course in civil and mining engi-
neering. His business activity has always been
directed along those lines. He was first em-
ployed by the Mid- Valley and Mount Carmel
Coal Companies in the coal mining regions,
w'here he remained for six years, and later he
removed to Cementon, where he was employed
for three years, building the plant cf the Clear
W^ater Spring Company. He is now general
manager for this company at Catasauqua, and
of the enterprise John J. Kemmerer is the

Walter L. Watson was married to Miss ^lar-
garet E. Boyer, a daughter of Reuben and Re-
becca Boyer. She was born at Catasauqua, and
thev now have two children : Candace, born
]\Iay 10, 1902, and ]\Iargaret 3.1. , born October
17, 1903-

ing studied under some of the best musicians of

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 47 of 92)