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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then has confined his efforts to the manufacture
of brick. • The clay used in this enterprise is from
his own farm, is of the very best quality, and the
brick is both durable and excellent for all build-
ing purposes. Mr. Koch is one of the best known
and most popular residents of the borough, and
for a number of years creditably served as coun-

Mr. Koch was married, in 1881, to Susan E.
Olewine, daughter of Daniel and Esther (Zoll)
Olewine, and their family consists of two chil-
dren : Mary E. and Daniel W. Koch.

The Olewine family numbers among the early
settlers of the Lehigh Valley. The grandparents
of Mrs. Susan E. (Olewine) Koch were George
and Susan (Erdman) Olewine, the former named
having been born in Carbon county, and the lat-
ter in Bucks county, and their family consisted
of eight children, four sons and four daughters.
Daniel Olewine, the seventh child of the afore-
mentioned family, and father of Mrs. Susan E.
(Olewine) Koch, was born in Lower Towamen-
cin township. Carbon county, April 13, 1815.
After obtaining all the advantages of the common
schools, he was apprenticed to the trade of tan-
ner, and spent ten years as a journeyman. In
1847 lie removed to Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania,
wlicre he engaged in the tanning and shoe n>anu-



facturing business. In 1S56 he located in Le-
highton, but still continued the tanning business
up to 1873, in which year the buildings were de-
stroyed by fire. From 1875 to 1877 he engaged
in general foundry business, which proved both
successful and profitable. He was a director in
the Second National Bank of Mauch Chunk for
five years, president of the First National Bank
of Lehighton for five years, and a consistent mem-
ber of the Methodist Episcopal church for thirty
years. At the age of thirty-five years he was
united in marriage to Esther Zoll, aged thirty-
two years, of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania,
the ceremony being performed on April 14, 1850.
Their children are : Susan E., mentioned above
as the wife of William S. Koch ; Clara A., wife
of Mr. Lentz ; and Daniel I.

SAMUEL SEILER, a resident of Lehighton
Carbon county, Pennsylvania, where during his
active business career, which was devoted to
various pursuits, he became well known for his
integrity, enterprise and thrift, is now leading
a practically retired life, only attending to his ex-
tensive real estate holdings, and is enjoying to
the full the ample competence which he acquired
by means of hard and honest toil. He was born
in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, Octobci'
17, 1841, one of three sons — Benjamin, Daniel
and Samuel — born to Henry and Leah (Shuler)
Seller, both of whom were natives of Montgom-
ery county, Pennsylvania. Henry Seller (father)
was born in 1801, a son of Henry Seller, a farmer,
who lived and died in ^larlboro township, IMont-
gomery county, Pennsylvania. He was a pros-
perous agriculturist, and died in his native state
in Marlboro township in 1876. Leah (Shuler)
Seller (mother) was born in 1812 and died in

The educational advantages enjoyed by Sam-
uel Seller were obtained in the schools of his na-
tive county, and in early life he was apprenticed
to the coach making trade, at which he worked in
his native count}' up to 1865, when he removed
to Carbon county. He then secured employ-
ment with the Lehigh ^'alley Company in their
car shops at Packerton, and this position he re-

tained for eight years. At the e.xpiration cf this
period of time, in 1873, l^e ^'^^^ the \'alley people
and turned his attention to butchering, which oc-
cupation he followed up to 1887, and which
proved a profitable source of income. About this
time he lost somewhat heavily by various specula-
tions, and in order to save his property he also
engaged in the hardware business in the borough
of Lehighton, using this as a side issue. This
enterprise proved most successful and remunera-
tive, and he conducted it for two years. In 1889
he engaged in the real estate business, and he was
largely instrumental in the growth and prosper-
ity of the town. He erected about twenty-four
houses, thirteen of which he still owns and rents,
and the remainder he sold to parties on easy
terms. He also disposed of a number of lots in
the borough, on which have been erected modern
residences, and this has added materially to the
improvement and development of the com-
munity. Although not now engaged in any active
business pursuits, Mr. Seller is a member of the
Lehighton Foundry and Machine Compaii}-, and
is a director of the Lehigh Valley Building and
Loan Association. He has served the borough
as councilman and treasurer, proving most effi-
cient in the discharge of his duties. He is a
prominent member of the Lutheran church, and
has held membership in that body for thirty con-
secutive years. He is affiliated with the Im-
proved Order of Red Men, Knights of Pythias,
and Knights of the Golden Eagle.

In 1870 Rlr. Seller was married to Elizabeth
Graver, daughter of Lewis and Leah (Lauchner)
Graver. Of the three children born of this union,
two are living at the present time : Anna L., wife
of Charles Schwartz ; and Edgar L., a clerk in
the employ of Cook Brothers, of Allentown,

JOSIAH RUCH, a retired citizen of Weiss-
port, Pennsylvania, and one of the well known
and prominent men of that section of Carbon
county, possesses a vast amount of practical and
valuable experience and more than ordinary in-
telligence. History informs us that three broth-
ers — Lawrence, Peter and Joseph — emigrated



from Switzerland at a very earl_v age, and settled
at Whitehall, Northampton county, Pennsylvania.
Of these three, Peter was the great-grandfather
of Josiah Ruch, and his son, also named Peter,
grandfather of Josiah Ruch, was a miller by trade
and also conducted extensive farming interests.
He built a tliree stock brick mill at Harmony,
near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and was consid-
ered a wealthy man in his day.

John Ruch, father of Josiah Ruch, was born
at Whitehall, Northampton county, in 1800, and
died in 1842. His wife, whose maiden name was
Catherine Sigfried, a native of Sigfried's Bridge,
Northampton county, Pennsylvania, was bom
January 31, 1805, and died in 1887, at the ad-
vanced age of eighty-one years. Their children
were : Josiah, John, Jonathan, Angeline, Louise
and a child that died in infancy.

' Jcsiah Ruch was born in Northampton county,
Pennsylvania, January 13, 1826. He was edu-
cated in the common schools of his native county,
and remained a resident thereof until his seven-
teenth year. About the year i860 he removed to
Weissport, and was first employed in a hotel.
Subsequently he was employed by the sheriff of
Carbon county, John Snyder, to take care of the
prisoners in the Carbon county jail, which was
located in the city of Mauch Chunk. After a
short period of time spent in the latter named
occupation he returned to Weissport, and was en-
gaged in the capacity of clerk in a gen-
eral store owned by Lewis Weiss, and
while so employed acquired a large fund of
knowledge along this line of enterprise which
proved valuable to him in later years. His next
occupation was in the boat yard at Weissport,
after which he secured a position with the Lehigh
Navigation Company in building boats, and in
connection with this employment he was engaged
in burning lime to a considerable extent at Weiss-
port. In 1877 he established a general store which
he conducted in a profitable and businesslike man-
ner until 1891, when he dis])osed of it to the
firm of Krum & Lentz, and since then has lived
a retired life. l\lr, Ruch is a representative of
the chiss of men who bv their own industrv and

enterprise achieve financial success, he having'
been thrown upon his own resources at the early
age of eight years, and his first occupation was
driving on the canal. He was the incumbent of
the office of school director in Franklin township
for two years, during which time he was secre-
tary of the board, and largely through his instru-
mentality a large school debt was liquidated.

On .August 27, 1849, Ml"- Ri-ich was married
to Mary Heller, and to this union were born four
children, all of whom died in infancy. His sec-
ond marriage, which occurred November 24,
1894, was to Lydia A. Muschlet. Mr. Ruch is a
member of the United Evangelical church, in
which he served as exhorter and class leader for
a number of years. He is a descendant of a
Swiss ancestry.

family is of French lineage. John Stofflet, the
great-grandfather of Steward M. Stofflet, was
born in France and emigrated to America about
1800. He was a stone mason by trade, and was
employed in the erection of many of the stone
arches that span the streams of Northampton
county to-day. As the years advanced he became
a contractor, and because of his excellent me-
chanical skill and ability secured a liberal patron-
age. His family numbered the following: Ed-
ward, John, Charles, Amanda, Mrs. R. Russell,
Mrs. Rickard, Mrs. Frankenfield and Mrs.

Of this number John Stofflet was the grand-
father of our subject. He followed the occupa-
tion of farming, and was a man of broad experi-
ence and acquired considerable capability. He
purchased the mill which is now being operated
by his grandson. Steward. He had it operated
by his son Charles H. Stofflet, who had a practi-
cal knowledge of the milling business. The
grandfather was a gentleman of considerable
influence, prominent and honored in the com-
munity where he resided. He married Lydia
Weaver, and to them were born eight children :
John, Charles H., Thomas, Frank, Mary, Eliza,
Hannah and Susanna. Sevfen of this number are

^.J^' ^




yet residents of Northampton county, and all
were born in Hamilton township, Monroe
county, Pennsylvania.

Charles H. Stofflet, a son of John Stofflet, was
torn in 1848, and in early life became an exten-
sive miller, which business he has followed to the
present time with the exception of a brief inter-
val of two years. In 1870 he was united in mar-
riage to Miss Emma Ackerman, and their chil-
-dren are as follows : Steward IsL. Clinton F., born
in 1877 ; Anna, born in 1882 ; and Laura, born in
1886. Charles H. Stofflet is a member of Pen
Argyl Lodge, No. 594; F. and A. M., and the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Steward M. Stofflet was born in 1871, pur-
sued his education in the public schools, and
served an apprenticeship to the miller's trade in
Allentown, Pennsylvania. He returned to Dele-
Ijole perfectly competent to take charge of a
flouring mill, and after working for his father for
several years he became a partner in their present
milling enterprises in 1900. One of the oldest
mills in the northern part of Northampton county
•was erected by the grandfather of Dr. Keller in
Bangor county, Pennsylvania, in the town of
Delebole, early in the eighteenth century, and was
equipped with one of the old fashioned overshot
water wheels. This mill did faithful service for
the pioneer settlers who braved the hardship inci-
dent to life in a frontier region while developing
liomes in a new country. As time passed the
mill became the property of the father and son
through successive generations, and improve-
ments were carried on in keeping with the press
t)f the times. The present mill was built by a
son of the deceased ^Ir. Keller in the year 1848.
Afterward a sawmill was built and operated in
connection with a flouring mill, but as lumber
Tsecame scarce in this section of the countrv the
sawmill was suspended and torn down. The
firm of Stofflet & Son has operated the mill since
1873, and since by purchase it came into posses-
sion of the firm many necessary and desirable im-
provements have been made. The mill has been
operated both by water and steam power, the lat-
ter being furnished by a steam engine of fifty
horse-power, while the water force amounts to

thirty horse-power. The mill has a capacity of
forty barrels of flour per day and eight tons of
feed. Charles Stofflet and his son Steward, who
constitute the firm, are millers of broad practical
experience, and supply adjoining towns with an
excellent quality of flour.

Steward M. Stofflet was united in marriage to
Miss Amanda Stiles, of Upper Mount Bethel, in
1893. To this union were born four children:
Jennie, Charles, Russell and Esther.

Dr. Clinton F. Stofflet, the second son of
Charles H. and Anna Ackerman Stofflet, is one
of the leading physicians of Fen Argyl, Penn-
sylvania. He was educated in the common
schools of Plainfield and Washington townships
of Northampton county, and in Easton Academy,
in which he completed a course of study and was
graduated in 1894. He then pursued a special
course of study in Lafayette College preparatory
to entering upon the practice of medicine. Later
he matriculated in the Chirurgical Medical Col-
lege of Pennsylvania, in which he was graduated
with the class of 1898. Immediately afterward
he became a resident of Pen Arg}d, where he has
succeeded in building up an excellent practice
that has come to him as a public recognition of
his skill and ability in the line of his chosen pro-
fession. He is a man of genial deportment, of
kindly spirit and broad sympathy, and his cheery
manner carries with it into the sick room much of
the sunshine and happiness of life. He is a
member of the Northampton County Medical So-
ciety and the Pennsylvania State :\Iedical So-
ciety. He is also the president of the board of
health of Pen Argyl, and belongs to the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and the Improved
Order of Foresters.

family, which numbers among its members many
well known and prominent citizens of the Lehigh
\^alley. is of Swiss origin, and dates back to
George Kistler, who was among the Palatinates
who, during the period between the years 1735
and 1745 removed from Falkner Swamp and
Goshenhoppen, now Montgomery county, to Lynn
township, and settled in the vicinity of what is



now called Jerusalem church. George Kistler
was the father of six sons and three daughters,
namely : George, Jacob, John, Samuel, Philip,
Michael, Barbara, Dorothea and Elizabeth

Samuel Kistler (great-great-grandfather) was
born September 20, 1754, and died April 24,
1822. His first wife was Mary E. (Ladich)
Kistler, who became the mother of three children
— Barbara, Jacob S. and Samuel. By a second
marriage with Catherine Brobst the following
named children were born to him : John S., Mich-
ael, Christian, Daniel S., David, Jesse, Charles,
Levi, Maria, Elizabeth, Catherine, Salome and

Jacob S. Kistler (great-grandfather) was
born in Lynn township, Pennsylvania. He was a
farmer by occupation, was prosperous and suc-
cessful in the management of his estate, and pos-
sessed a large amount of this world's goods. He
held the office of justice of the peace, and also a
number of other important positions in the town-
ship. His death occurred about the year 1836.
By his first wife, whose maiden name was Miss
Carl, he had two sons, John and Jacob. His sec-
ond wife was Catherine (Baush) Kistler, no issue.
His third wife was Anna Baush, a sister of his
second wife, and both daughters of Henry
Baush, and she bore him the following named
children : Nathan, Stephen, David J., Reuben,
Jonas J., Charles, Salome, Mary, Lydia, Cath-
erine, Anna P., Helenah, Elizabeth and Samuel J.

John Kistler (grandfather) was born August
21, 1802, died January 27, 1862, and his remains
are interred at the Jerusalem church. He was
united in marriage to Lucy Fetherolf, and their
children were: John, Dr. Nelson, Wilmer, Milton
and Allan.

Henry F. Kistler (father) was born in Al-
bany township, Berks county, Pennsylvania,
March 30, 1859. He was reared and educated at
Mosesville, Lehigh county, whither his parents
removed, and upon attaining young manhood he
turned his attention to farming, which occupation
proved a profitable source of income for a num-
ber of years. In 1887 he changed his place of
residence to Lehighton, Carbon county, and

shortly afterward entered into partnership in a.
mercantile business with Josiah T. Krum. By-
close application to business and faithful adher-
ence to honorable methods the firm succeeded irt
building up a large and lucrative patronage, and.
in winning a prominent place among the business^
houses of the borough. He was a zealous mem-
ber of the Lutheran church, in which he held the
office of deacon, and in the community he was-
universally admired and esteemed. His death oc-
curred January 27, 1901. In 1882 Mr. Kistler
was married to Emma Geary, daughter of Nathan-
and Eliza (Seibert) Geary, and the issue of this-
union was one son : Maurice Z. Kistler.

Maurice Z. Kistler was born August 23, 1883,.
at Mosesville, Lehigh county. He attended the
schools of Lehighton in which he graduated, and
Allentown, Pennsylvania, thereby gaining a prac-
tical education which prepared him for the activ-
ities of life. Although only in his eighteenth
year when his father died, he has succeeded to>
the place occupied by the latter in the business,
firm, and is endeavoring to the best of his ability
to follow in his footsteps. He is one of the bright
and promising young men of Lehighton, who-
have the opportunity of carving out for them-
selves a career (both in the business and social
world) which shall be an honor and credit not-
only to themselves but to posterity.

JOHN S. LENTZ. The simple record of a_
man's life spent in honest and honorable pursuits-
is the best and most lasting monument that one
man can erect to the memory of another. It is
therefore not our purpose to attempt an elaborate
story of "what might have been," but to give a
few of the plain unvarnished facts in the life of
John S. Lentz, and those who preceded him. No-
family is more widely known and no man is more
highly respected in the borough of Lehighton,.
Carbon county, Pennsylvania, than Mr. Lentz,.
who has climbed from the bottom of the ladder
to his present position of master car builder of
the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. His an-
cestors were of noble birth and blood and held
high positions in their native country. The pio-
neer ancestor, Nicholas Lentz, a school teacher.



ininiigTatcd t3 this country in 1777, and settled in
what is now known as Whitehall township,
Xorthampton county. His family was large, and
well and tenderly reared.

John Lentz, son of Nicholas Lentz, was born
in Whitehall township, Northampton county,
Pennsylvania, in 1795, and died in 1875. He was
a shoemaker by occupation, a profitable trade in
those days, but he subsequently abandoned it and
removed to Mauch Chunk, where he was the pro-
prietor of a hotel. Later he changed his place
of residence to Weissport, where he conducted a
hotel, but becoming dissatisfied he returned to
Mauch Chunk, and finally w'ent down the river
and settled at Parryville. During all this period
of time he was an extensive contractor, was
closely associated with Asa Packer, and they
were the first to run a boat on the Lehigh Canal
after its completion. He was an active factor in
the movement that caused the division of North-
ampton county into other counties, namely : Mon-
roe, Lehigh, Carbon and Northampton. He was
associate judge of the Carbon county court, and
later was elected by a large majority of his fel-
low citizens to the office of sheriff of the same
county. He was commissioned a colonel in the
war of 1812, served his country well and faith-
fully, and was ever afterward known as Colonel
Lentz. Luring the war of the rebellion he or-
ganized a company to stem the onslaught of the
rebel host as they invaded his native state. Col-
onel Lentz was a man who was universally es-
teemed and admired, and his grip on the hearts of
the people was strong and lasting. He was a
member of the Reformed church, in which he
held several offices, and to the support of which
he contributed liberally. He was an honored
member of the Masonic fraternity.

Colonel Lentz was married three times. His
first wife bore him six children, all of whom are '
deceased but Lafayette Lentz. For his second
wife he married j\Irs. Barnet. who bore him one
child, who is living at the present time (1904),
and the widow of William C. ^Morris. His third
wife, Elizabeth (High") Lentz. bore him three
children : John S., Alice, deceased : and
Franklin P.

John S. Lentz, eldest son of Colonel John and
Elizabeth Lentz, was born at ^Nlauch Chunk,
Pennsylvania, in 1847. He acquired a good Eng-
lish education in the schools of his native town,
after which he became a messenger boy in the
employ of the Lehigh Valle)- Company, with
which corporation he has served in various ca-
pacities for the past thirty-nine years. From
messenger boy he was promoted to the shop store,
w^hich he conducted for some time ; he was then
made chief clerk ; the next promotion was as-
sistant to the master car builder, then superin-
tendent of the car department, then assistant su-
perintendent of motive powder, and then to his
present office of master car builder, which posi-
tion he has filled since 1900.

He is a prominent member of the Master Car
Builders Association, which he served as presi-
dent for two terms, in 1895 and 1896. He has
been a resident of the borough of Lehighton for
forty-three years, and during this long period of
time has served as director of the First National
Bank of Lehighton, and president of the Lehigh-
ton Water Company. He has also held the office
of school director in the borough. He holds
membership in Lehighton Lodge, No. 621, Free
and Accepted ]\Iasons ; Lilly Chapter, No. iSr,
Royal Arch Masons; and Packer Commandery,
No. 23, K. T.

Mr. Lentz was married, in 1869, to ^lartha J.
Lazarus, and to this union was born one child,
Robert P., now employed as a real estate and in-
surance agent. After the death of his first wife,
I\Ir. Lentz was married to Elizabeth Kramer,
and the issue of this union was one son, John,
now a member of the firm of Kramer & Lentz,
merchants in Weissport, Pennsylvania.

DAVID McCORMICK, editor of the Le-
highton Press, is one of the rising young news-
paper men in the Lehigh \^alley, and it is largely
through his instrumentality that the paper has
become the leading weekly in Carbon county,
and the success w'hich it has attained is only the
forerunner of what it will achieve in the near fu-
ture. He has based his business principles and
actions upon strict adherence to the rules of



industry, economy and unswerving integrity, and
his enterprise and progressive spirit have made
him a typical American in every sense of the
word. By constant exertion and good judgment
he has raised himself to a prominent position,
having the friendship of many and the respect of
all who know him.

David McCormick (paternal grandfather) was
of Irish birth, but a descendant of a Welsh and
Scotch ancestry. He was born in 1800, immi-
grated to this country in 1828, and located in New
Jersey, where he assisted in the completion of
the Morris Canal, and subsequently was appointed
superintendent of the entire canal, which was
•one hundred and one miles in length. In 185 1
he removed to Carbon county, Pennsylvania, and
thereafter was engaged in the lumber business.
He married Mary Lockwood, a native of Con-
necticut, born March 15, 1813, who bore him the
following named children: William C, George
W., Theodore, Thomas, Mary A., David, Andrew
J., and Margaret A. David McCormick, father
of these children, died March 23, 1854, and hi
wife survived him for many years, passing away
April 28, 1900. Mary (Lockwood) McCormick
was the granddaughter on the maternal side of
Baltzer Tomer, a native of New Jersey, whose
family consisted of the following named children :
Margaret, Polly, Sallie, Diana, Eliza, Catherine,
James, and Quinn, who served as a private in the
war of 1812. Of these children Margaret was
the mother of Mrs. McCormick ; she was born in
New Jersey, in 1790, and subsequently became
the wife of Gersham Lockwood, a native of Con-
necticut, to whom she bore the following named
children : Elizabeth, Matilda, Sarah, Mary, Cath-
erine, Margaret, Andrew and George W.

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 56 of 92)