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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the bar of Lehigh county in 1883; he is now
practicing in Allentown ; he married Blanche G.
Stiles, and has one child, Frederic Stiles Martin ;
8. \\'illiam E., a ribbon manufacturer, who re-
sides in Bethlehem.

By the marriage of Amadeus B. Fichter and
Elizabeth C. ]\Iartin there was born one son,
Leonard M., whose birth occurred on the 6th of
November. 1884, and his death on the 7th of July,
1885. It was the year following their marriage
that Mr. and Mrs. Fichter came to Bethlehem,
where they have since made their home. Imme-
diately afterward Mr. Fichter entered upon the
manufacture of silk in connection with his broth-
er-in-law, William E. Martin, and has developed
a business of extensive proportions, theirs being
one of the largest silk factories in Pennsylvania.
He began operations with only a few looms, which
he imported from Switzerland, but has increased
its capacity to meet the growing demands of his
trade, and now has a plant that not only covers
much area, but is equipped with the latest im-
proved machinery known to silk manufacture.
He possesses natural mechanical ability, and has
thus been able to superintend the practical work-
ings of the factory, and at the same time he has
kept thoroughly informed concerning the latest
processes used in his line of business. To-day
the plant embraces a four story factory, two hun-
dred and fifty feet long, and employment is furn-
ished to about two hundred operatives. This ex-
tensive enterprise has been built up under the per-
sonal supervision and direction of Mr. Fichter,
and the product of the house finds a ready sale
upon the market. Possessing little capital at the
outset of his career, he has gradually developed
an enterprise which in e.xtent and importance is
now classed among the foremost productive in-
dustries of the Lehigh ^"alley. He has been
watchful of all details of his business and of all
indications pointing toward advancement, and
from the beginning has had abiding faith in the
ultimate success of his enterprise. Justice has
ever been maintained in his relations to patrons



and employes, and many of those who began with
him during the early existence of his enterprise
are still in his service. In business aft'airs he is
notably prompt, reliable and energetic. He forms
his plans readily, is determined in their execution,
and to him there has come the attainment of a
leading position in connection with the great ma-
terial industries of the valley. He has found in
each transitional stage of his business career an
incentive for further development and the ac-
quirement of broader knowledge, and each for-
ward step he has made has led to still greater
progress and advancement. He has gained
wealth, yet it is not alone the goal for which he
has striven, for he belongs to that class of repre-
sentative American citizens who promote the gen-
eral prosperity while advancing individual inter-
ests.

]\Ir. Fichter is a man of strong intellectual
qualities and his attention has been by no means
confined exclusively to his business, although in
manufacturing circles he has achieved a success
that many would regard as an excellent life work.
He has ever been a close observer of men and
affairs, and his reading has covered a wide range
leading to the acquirement of scholarly attain-
ments. He is a patient listener, ever readv to
accord to any the courtesy of an interview, and
while firm in his convictions he is at the same
time ready to receive the opinions of others that
he might gain higher knowledge and look upon
life from a still broader view. His home rela-
tions are largely ideal,- for there is between Mr.
and ]\Irs. Fichter a marked congenialty of taste
and temperament. Mrs. Fichter is a lady of su-
perior social grace and charming manner, and
presides over her home with the most cordial and
pleasing hospitality. The Fichter residence is a
most attractive one, because of the beauty and
artistic adornments of the home and of the good
cheer which there reigns supreme. Mr. Fichter
entertains many original and attractive ideas con-
cerning architecture and design which are ex-
emplified in his home. With a deep appreciation
of the beauty of color and harmony of form, he
lias carried out his original ideas in the adorn-
ment of a number of the rooms. The walls of



2/2



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



one room are covered with fine China paintings
which contain scenes of some historical event. This
fine collection was brought from Switzerland,
where it was selected with great care by Mr.
Fichter, who has it most artistically arranged.
The walls of another room are covered with orig-
inal designs with perfectly harmonious coloring,
and the beautiful soft mellow glow that floods
these rooms coming from lights which in them-
selves are invisible (being set behind a cornice
at the top of the room), is an evidence of the
artistic appreciation of Mr. and Mrs. Fichter for
the effect produced by light and shadow. Much
of the furniture of the house is hand carved,
and most of it was brought from a castle in Switz-
erland. Some pieces are most antique;, the date
being carved with the unmistakable characters of
1603. It is amid such attractive surroundings
that the hospitality of Mr. Fichter and his accom-
plished wife is extended to friends and strangers
alike, and an evening spent in their home is one
that leaves to the visitor many pleasant memories.

D. GEORGE DERY, one of the leading busi-
ness men in the Lehigh Valley, is an example of
what a young man can accomplish who possesses
brains, honesty and perseverance. At the pres-
ent time (1904) he is at the head of three of the
largest silk industries in the valley, and is giving
constant employment to about one thousand hands
in the operation of these plants. His knowledge
of the silk business is' second to none in this coun-
try, he having had a wide experience in his na-
tive land before he came to the new world. In
Europe he studied the art of silk weaving, and
had charge of the operation of various plants
there.

In 1886 he came to the United States, and at
once assumed charge of a silk mill at Paterson,
New Jersey, remaining the superintendent of the
same up to 1892, when having saved up and ac-
quired some capital he embarked in business on
his own account. He built and operated a silk
mill, which was conducted under his name in
Faterson up to 1897, when he moved the plant to
Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, and established his
home and the base of his future operations. Up



to that time the city of Paterson had and still has
the lead in silk manufacturing in this country,
but now this section of the Lehigh Valley is fast
taking a leading place in this industry. In 1897
he built his first plant in the valley at Catasauqua,
which gives employment to three hundred and
fifty operators. The plant is of brick and well
equipped with all the latest improved machinery
for the purpose of manufacturing silk dress goods
and staple silks. In 1900 he acquired the plant
at East Alauch Chunk, which is on a more e.xi'en-
sive scale, and employs five hundred hands in the
conduct of their business. Still the demands of
his trade were in excess of the product of his vari-
ous plants, and in 1902 he built the silk mill at
Allentown, where more than one hundred hands
are now constantly employed. All of the mills are
substantial structures, well equipped for the suc-
cessful conduct of the line of business for which
they are built, and add materially to the growth
and welfare of the sections where they are located,
and thus the Lehigh Valley has benefited by the
energy of one man.

Mr. Dery is an authority in his line, is of a
modest and retiring disposition, and possesses a
strong domestic taste. He erected a handsome
and commodious house in the finest residential
section of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, where he
has become much valued as a citizen. He is
fond of reading, is well informed on the topics of
the day, and although but thirty-eight years of
age he has gained an enviable reputation as a
solid man of affairs. He is a member of the Liv-
ingston Club of Allentown, the Catasauqua Club
of that town, and the Hamilton Club of Paterson,
New Jersey.

GENERAL ROBERT SAMUEL BROWN,
who is living in Bethlehem township, Northamp-
ton county, is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The first
representative of the family in America was Sam-
uel Brown, who was born in Ireland, but was of
Scotch parentage, representatives of the family
in earlier generations having lived in Colstown,
Scotland.

Samuel Brown, desiring to establish his home
in the new world, crossed the Atlantic to Phil-



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



273



adelphia in 1720, and became a landowner of this
state. About 1728 he removed to Allen town-
ship, and was one of the foimders of this borough,
assisting in the establishment of a Scotch-Irish
settlement here. He aided in shaping the early
policy of the entire community and in carrying
forward its work along progressive lines of sub-
stantial upbuilding. He was of the Presbyterian
faith, and died June 11, 1798. His wife, who
bore the maiden name of Jane Boyd, was born in
1720, and died ]\Iarch 12, 1812, at the advanced
age of about ninety-two years. Her birth oc-
curred in Scotland, and her parents were John
and Jane (Craig) Bcyd, who were pioneer set-
tlers of Allen township. Jane (Craig) Boyd^was
a sister of Daniel Craig, who was an ancestor of
President Roosevelt. The ancestry of the Boyd
family can be traced back to Thomas Boyd, who
wedded ]\Iary, a daughter cf King James II of
Scotland, who ruled between the years 1423-1460.
Among his descendants was Adam Boyd, who
with the rank of captain was sent from Scotland
to Ireland by King Charles I in 1649. John and
Jane (Craig) Boyd had two children. The son,
John, married Elizabeth, a daughter of Sir Wil-
liam Ycung, while Jane became the wife of Sam-
uel Brown. The children of Samuel and Jane
(Boyd) Brown were General Robert Brown; Sa-
rah, who married Lieutenant James Hays ;
Esther, who became the wife of Robert Craig;
William, who married Jean Hays; Elizabeth, who
married William Craig; Jane, who became the
wife of Thomas Herron ; Joseph, who wedded
Marv Lattimore ; and John, who married Eliza-
beth Doke.

Robert Brown, the grandfather of General
Robert Samuel Brown, and a son of Samuel
Brown, the founder of the family in America,
became a distinguished citizen of Pennsylvania.
He won the rank of general in military service,
and was also a member of congress for many
years. His birth occurred in Northampton
county. Pennsylvania, December 25. 1744, and at
the commencement of the Revolutionary war he
was appointed commander of Pennsylvania troops
at Flying Camp. He was taken prisoner on Long
Island, and while held in captivity he worked at

18



the blacksmith trade, the money thus earned be-
ing used to buy food for his fellow prisoners.
Later he was put aboard the prison ship "Judith,"
and subsequently was incarcerated in the old city
hall in New York city. General Brown of this
review has the parole which was granted to him
on board the prison ship December 10, 1777, and
he also has a copy of his commission as lieutenant
dated September 10, 1776, as he went from Allen
township under Captain Peter Rundio's command
in Flying Camp. A firm and infie.xible adherent
of the American cause, a patriot of unfaltering
loyalty, he enjoyed the esteem of all who knew
him, and whether in da>s of peace or da}s of war
he was equally true to his country and its per-
manent good. Honored and respected bv all, he
had a marked influence on public thought and
feeling, and his fellow townsmen rejoiced in his
advancement, gladly bestowing upon him the of-
ficial preferments within their power. He filled
a number of positions, was sent by his district
to the Pennsylvania senate, where he served for
several terms, and was afterward a member of
the house of representatives of the Lnited States
for seventeen years. While serving in the coun-
cil chambers of the nation the question of a sec-
ond war with Great Britain came before con-
gress, and he voted to engage in hostilities. He
became a brigadier-general of Pennsylvania
troops, and was thus prominently identified with
political and military interests. His was a high
order of citizenship and of statesmanship, and his
clear strong views concerning the questions which
came up for settlement in the national legislative
halls showed that he had thoroughly mastered
the subject and had the welfare of his country
close at heart. He died at his home in .\llen
township, Northampton county. February 26,
1823, at the age of seventy-nine year;. While in
congress he formed the acquaintance of many of
the most eminent men of the nation, and friend-
ships which had their root in these meetings con-
tinued in existence throughout his life. While a
member of congress he was invited to dine with
Thomas Jefferson, then president of the L'nited
States. The invitation was dated Tuesdav, Feb-
ruary 18, 1803, and read "To dine on Fridav at



274



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



3 130, or whatever later hour the house may rise."
He also received an invitation to dine with James
Madison, dated November 4, 1812. He married
Catherine Snyder, of Northampton county, a dis-
tant relative of Governor Snyder, and they liad
but one child, William Brown, born August 14,
1792.

^^'illiam Brown, father of General Robert
Samuel Brown, was born in Northampton county,
Pennsylvania, August 14, 1792. After attaining
to manhood his attention was largely given to
the supervision of the estates belonging to his
father and his wife near Bath, where he lived for
a number cf years. He afterward removed to
Bethlehem, where his death occurred, January
10, 1867. He married Susan Shimer, a sister of
General Shimer, her death occurred near Bath,
Pennsylvania, where she passed away on the 18th
of March, 1834, at the age of thirty-nine years.
The children of that marriage were Eliza, who
married Peter Wycofif, and Robert Samuel, the
former now deceased. For his second wife Wil-
liam Brown chose Susan Conrad, of Maryland,
and their only child, Gulielma, now residing in
" F'hiladelphia, is the widow of Mr. Hyndman.
Her only son, Roy Hyndman, resides at Freder-
ick, [Maryland.

General Robert Samuel Brown was born near
Bath, Pennsylvania, August 14, 1817, pursued his
education in the public schools and academy there,
and afterward continued his studies at Lititz and
Nazareth. Entering upon his business career,
he gave his attention to the supervision of his fa-
ther's estate and to dealing in property. He is,
however, a lawyer by profession, having been ad-
mitted to practice at the Lehigh and Northamp-
ton county bars. A number of years ago he re-
tired from active practice and since then has de-
voted his leisure hours largely to intellectual pur-
suits and the superintendence of his farms, in
which he has always taken the greatest interest.

Like his grandfather, for whom he was named,
General Brown rose from the ranks in military
service to be major-general of militia of the Sev-
enth Division of the Pennsylvania troops, com-
posed of the companies of Lehigh and Northamp-



ton counties. At the outbreak of the Civil war he
patriotically tendered the services of himself and
his command, but owing to a determination to
appoint only West Point graduates in command
this offer was not accepted by the government.
In his political affiliations he has always been a
strong Democrat, inflexible in his adherence to
the principles of the party. In 1869 he was nom-
inated by acclamation in the Democratic conven-
tion for state senator, and was elected by over
five thousand majority, representing Lehigh and
Northampton counties for three years with such
ability and distinction as to win the highest com-
pliments from his political adversaries. He was
also the president of the first board of prison in-
spectors of Northampton county, and for many
years was president of the Farmers' Mutual Fire
Insurance Company. He has also been prominent
in church affairs, and for a long period has been
an elder in the First Presbyterian church of Beth-
lehem.

On the .9th of January, 1838, General Brown
was married to Miss Caroline Matilda Grim, a
daughter of Jacob and Mary (Shimer) Grim, of
Friedensville, Lehigh county. They resided in
AUentown for a number of years, and in 1842 re-
moved to the home which is vet occupied by Gen-
eral Brown. His wife died July 3, 1887. Their
children were Oliver and Clara, who died in child-
hood ; Mary E., who died in 1879; Alfred, a phy-
sician of Hellertown, who married ]\liss Amanda
Person, and died September 10, 1899, leaving
three children — Myrtle, wife of J. C. Lease ; Rob-
ert, of Reading, Pennsylvania ; and Wye P.
Brown, at home ; Flora S., the only surviving
child of General Brown, resides with her father.
She is the wife of Henry J. Brown, a descendant
of Samuel Brown through his son William and
Jean (Hays) Brown, of the settlement.

WILLIAM VINCENT KNAUSS, who is
treasurer of the E. P. Wilbur Trust Company, of
South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and whose con-
nection with the business covers a period of
thirty-nine years, is a representative of an old
family of German lineage, the ancestry being



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



275



traced back to Samuel and Maria (Dcngler)
Knauss, in whose family were six children :
JNIaria, who was horn November 7, 1810, and be-
came the wife of Sasseman ; George, born

October 28, 1812; Mrs. Sarah Ann Maurer, born
February 27, 1815 ; Charles, born October 5,
1817; Hannah, born June 12, 1820; and Lucy
Ann, who was born October 11, 1822, and became
the wife of John Nonnemacher. Her death oc-
curred on the 1st of August, 1879.

George Knauss, the eldest son of Samuel and
I\Iaria Knauss, was born at Coalbrcokdale, Berks
county, Pennsylvania, on the 28th of October,

18 12, and was reared and educated there. On
putting aside his text books he learned the tan-
ner's trade, and afterward followed that business
on his own account in Jacobsburg, Pennsylvania.
Subsequently, in 1844, he removed to Nazareth,
Pennsylvania, where he engaged in active busi-
ness for a number of years; In politics he was a
Democrat, and wdiile residing in Nazareth he was
received into the IVIoravian church. His death
was occasioned by paralysis, on the 14th of ]\Iay,
1888. Following his removal to Nazareth, he
was married, on the 27th of July, 1845, to Anna-
bella Beitel, whose birth occurred September 13,

1813. She was a daughter of John and Anna
Magdalena (Romig) Beitel.

William \'incent Knauss, the only child of
George and Annabella Knauss, was reared in
Nazareth, and obtained his education in the
parochial school there. He came to Bethlehem
at the age of fourteen years to take his place in
the business world, and was first employed by H.
T. ]\Iilchsack as telegraph operator. For five
years he remained with that gentleman and the
Lehigh \'alley Railroad Company, and then be-
came connected with the E. P. \\'ilbur Trust
Company, an association which has been main-
tained up to the present time, covering a period
of thirty-nine consecutive years. His close ap-
plication, his fidelity to duty and his business
adaptability led to his promotion from time to
time and he is now the treasurer of the company.

During the Civil war Mr. Knauss enlisted fcr
nine months' service, becoming a member of Com-
pany C, Forty-sixth Regiment of Pennsylvania



\'olunteers. He was also for three months in the
Union League Regiment under Colonel Nefif.
His political support is given to the Democracy,
and he has served as borough treasurer for eleven
years, proving a most capable and trustworthy
ofiicial. Socially he is a Mason, and is now treas-
urer of Bethlehem Lodge, No. 283, F. and A. M.
He belongs to the Moravian church, of which he
has been sacristan for twenty-eight years. That
he has the entire confidence of all with whom he
has been associated is shown by the fact that to
him have been intrusted financial interests in busi-
ness, political and social circles, and no word has
ever been uttered against his integrity and hon-
esty of purpose.

On the 19th of October, 1871, William V.
Knauss was united in marriage to Miss Maria L.
\\'ilhelm, a daughter of Dr. B. and Frederica
(Paulus) ^^'ilhelm. She was born in Bethlehem,
April 28, 1850, and by her marriage became the
mother cf a daughter, Emily Frederica, who was
born September 15, 1872, and was married June
9, 1903, to Albert G. Connelly. For his second
wife I\Ir. Knauss chose ^Matilda A. Luckenbach,
a daughter of Jacob and Mary Luckenbach. She
is a representative of one of the old families of
Pennsylvania, tracing her ancestry from Adam
Luckenbach, who was born in 1713, and died in
1785. His son, David Adam Luckenbach, mar-
ried Elizabeth Clewell, and to them was born a
son, Adam Luckenbach, who wedded Maria
Whitesell. Among their children was Jacob
Luckenbach, the father of ?^Irs. Knauss. He was
born April 2, 1805. i\Irs. Knauss was born in
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and pursued her edu-
cation in the parochial school there. By this mar-
riage there was one child that died in infancy.

jrmX TAYLOR. The death of John Tay-
lor, at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, X' vember 2,
1895, ended a life of high endeavor and faithful
service. He lived to a fulness of experience and
a consummate knowledge of life, but he died he-
fore a man may be accounted old in years. He
was a man of wide sympathies^ and he carried the
standards of his private life into his business and
his citizenship. His forty-one years of service



276



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



with the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, in
the course of which he worked from humble
place to important posts, were marked by respect
for authority and unfailing consideration for those
who stood below him.

Edmcnd Taylor, father of John Taylor, was
born August 4, 1804, in the parish of Alynge-
moor, Hertfordshire, England, youngest of the
fourteen children of John and Sarah Taylor. The
oldest of this family fought with Admiral Nelson
at Trafalgar, the famous naval battle that gave to
Great Britain the control of Gibraltar. The names
of the children were as follows : Charles, Samuel,
Frank, Richard, Henry, Joseph, William, John,
Thomas, Robert, Arnold, Elizabeth, Ann, Ed-
mond. Edmond Taylor came to America as a
child, his parents having settled in Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, about 1813. He was edu-
cated in the public schools, and learned the sad-
dler's trade. He worked at his trade in \\'ilkes-
Barre, where despite his obscure calling he made
himself a force in public life. He was a man of
large capacity which gained substantial recogni-
tion. He was elected to the offices of treasurer
and assessor in Luzerne county, and was after-
ward made associate judge. Judge Taylor died
in 1880, one of the most respected citizens of the
county. He married Mary Ann Wilson at Wilkes-
Barre, December 26, 1828. She was born at
Kingston, Luzerne county, August 11, 1804, the
daughter of Elnathan and Elizabeth Wilson. The
marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev.
Samuel Carver. Six children were born to the
couple: I. Mary Ann, born September 27, 1829,
who became the wife of Samuel White, of Haver-
hill, Massachusetts, and had one child that died
in infancy; 2. John, born January 16, 1832; 3.
Elizabeth, born September 28, 1833, married Ed-
ward Chase of Massachusetts, and became the
mother of four children, — HarOld, Ethel, Samuel,
and Francis ; 4. Ellen, born October 25, 1835, and
died December 18, 1836 ; 5. Thomas, born Decem-
ber 16, 1837, married Amelia , and has

two children, Williarn and Frank ; 6. Edmond,

b.orn August it, 1839, married Elizabeth Duryea.

John, second child and first son of Judge Ed-



mond and Mary Ann (Wilson) Taylor, was born
at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1832.
He was given good school advantages and was an
apt scholar. Pie attended school at Wilkes-Barre
and at Gray, Pennsylvania. He was himself a
teacher for a time, but he soon decided to seek
business opportunities, and went to New York
city, where he found employment. It was not
long before he secured a place with an engineer-
ing corps working on the construction of the Le-
high Valley Railroad. He served with this corps
until the completion of the road, when he became
an express agent in its employ. Soon he was
promoted to ticket and freight agent, a position he



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 49 of 92)