John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

. (page 64 of 92)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 64 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


35^



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



Laura Walters, and has two children — Laura and
John. 4. Anna, who completes the Knecht family.
To Dr. and Airs. Freeman have been bcrn four
children, but Anna Elizabeth is the only one now
living, the others having died in infancy.

LEWIS SHARPS BIXLER, a director in
the National Novelty Company of New York,
located at 826-28 Broadway, New York city,
also serving in the capacity of general manager
of the branch business located at Freeemansburg,
Pennsylvania, where he is well known and influ-
ential resident, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania,
October i, 1864. He is a representative in the
present generation of the old and honored Bixler
family, the earliest ancestor of whom there is any
authentic record having been Christian Bixler,
Sr. (great-great-grandfather), who was a man
of prominence and influence in Berks county,
Pennsylvania, was the owner of a large amount
of real estate, and also owned and operated ex-
tensive grist and saw mills.

Christian Bixler, Jr., (great-grandfather)
was born in Breakneck township, Berks county,
Pennsylvania, in 1765. He was a silversmith
and clockmaker by trade, and in 1785 estab-
lished a business in Easton which proved a profit-
able source of income throughout the active
years of his life, and since his demise has been
conducted in the same locality by his descendants.
In those early days the knives, spoons and other
articles of ware were manufactured from the raw
material, and a number of the tall wall sweep
clocks manufactured by Christian ]]ixler are still
to be found in the homes of the older inhabitants
of that section of the state. He also conducted
an extensive milling business on the present site
of Kuhler's Brewery, this mill being one of the
first erected on the banks of the Delaware river
in this section, and being very successful in the
management of both these enterprises he was
enabled to accumulate a large amount of real
estate. He married Catherine Opp, daughter of
Jacob and .\nna Maria (Hofifman) Opp, the
former named having been an extensive land
owner, a man of great influence in the commun-
ity, and the proprietor of an inn which was lo-



cated on the present site of the Central Hotel
in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Daniel Lewis Bixler ( grandfather j was
born in Easton, Pennsylvania, October 3, iSoi,
and during his boyhcod days he entered the sil-
versmith and jewelry establishment owned by his
father, where he thoroughly learned the trade, and
later succeeded to the business which he con-
ducted in connection with various other enter-
prises, among which was a hardware store and
saw mill. Daniel L. Bixler and his wife, Elouise
(Douglas) Bi.xler, were the parents of the fol-
lowing named children — Adelia Douglas, widow
of Jacob Shinier Butz ; Alonzo, deceased ; Rush
Heintztena, father of Lewis S. Bixler ; Caroline
Amelia, wife of Lorenzo Wilson : Floyd Smith ;
Christian Willis ; Lewis Edward : Georgiana,
wife of Milton J. Shimer, of Bethlehem. Mr.
Bixler was an active member of the Lutheran
church, in which his wife also held membership,
and in politics he was a firm Democrat. Ben-
jamin Douglas, father of Mrs. Bixler, was born
in Edinborough, Scotland, in 1770, a son of Ben-
jamin Douglas, who came to this country in
1772. Deborah (Post) Douglas, wife of Benja-
min Douglas, was a daughter of John Post, who
was born in New York in 1740.

Rush Heintztena Bixler (father) was born
in Easton, Pennsylvania. After acquiring a com-
mon school education he learned the trade of jew-
eler with his father, and this line of industry he
followed both in the western section of the L^nited'
States, where he resided for a number of years,
and in the city of Easton, Penns>-lvania. Mr.
Bixler married Sallie Robins, who bore him the
following named children — i. Lewis S., men-
tioned at length in the following paragraph ; 2.
Frank, who married Sallie Small and they are
the parents of one child, George Bixler; 3. Willis,
who married for his first wife Tillie Knipe. who
bore him two children — Florence and Ada —
after her decease he married Sadie Jones ; 4.
Walter, who married Carrie Crader and two
children are the issue of this union — Ethel and
Margaret Bixler: 5. Elouise, wife of Harry Van'
Billiard, and their family consists of two chil-
dren — Lewis antl Ruth \'an Billiard : 6. Edward,



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



00/



who married Hope Campbell and they are the
parents of one child, Elouise Bixler : 7. Russell,
who died in early life.

Lewis S. Bixler, eldest son of Rush H. and
Sallie Bixler, attended the public schools of
Easton, and by diligence and close application to
his studies completed his education at the age of
fifteen years. The following threee years he
served an apprenticeship at the trade of ma-
chinist with the firm of William Shimer Sen &
Co., of Freemansburg, Pennsylvania, later was
promoted to the position of foreman, which he
capably and efficiently filled for ten years, and
subsequently received the appointment of general
superintendent, which position he occupied until
his resignation in 1899. In that year Mr. Bixler
entered into partnership with C. A. Jones, Esq.,
and they established a foundry for the manufac-
ture of iron toys, grey iron castings and iron
novelties. This was continued until 1 901, when
the firm was incorporated as the Jones & Bixler
Manufacturing Company, and from the date of
incorporation Mr. Bixler was the president and
general manager. In July, 1903, the Jones &
Bixler Company was merged into the National
Novelty Company of New York, and since that
date he has been a director in the company and
general manager of the Freemansburg branch of
the business. In religion Mr. Bixler adheres to
the doctrines of the Lutheran church, and in poli-
tics is a staunch supporter of the principles of the
Republican party. He is an honored member of
the Royal Arcanum and the ^Modern Woodmen
of America.

]\Ir. Bixler married Sybilla Reigle, a daugh-
ter of Thomas Reigle, and four children have
been the issue of this union — Raymond, Linda.
Willard and Harold Bixler.

CHRISTIAN SPEER is one of the old re-
liable citizens of Bangor, having been a resident
of the borough when it was a mere hamlet called
L^ttsville. He is a descendant of John and Bar-
bara (Sebold) Speer, both of whom were natives
of Germany and crossed the Atlantic on the
same vessel. They were married on this side
the Atlantic, and made their way to Pennsyl-



vania, choosing Upper Mount Bethel, North-
ampton county, as the place of their residence.
John Speer was a weaver by trade, and followed
that vocation throughout his entire life. Both
he and his wife were worthy people who com-
manded the respect of all who knew them, and
both died at Mount Bethel at an advanced age.
Their family numbered ten children, seven of
whom are yet living, and three of the number are
yet residents of the Lehigh valley, namely : Chris-
tion, Louis and Mrs. Hannah Weaver.

Christian Speer, the youngest son of the fam-
ily, was born in Upper Mount Bethel in 1835. In
early manhood he followed the miller's trade for
about five years, and then turned his attention to
merchandising, but in the interim he had removed
to Monroe county, Pennsylvania, where he en-
gaged in driving stage for eight years. On the
expiration of that period he removed to Bangor,
where he established a store, his place of business
being on Market street, where for ten years he
enjoved a large and constantly increasing busi-
ness. As the years passed he added continually
to his capital until, having acquired a comfortable
competence, and sold his store, he retired from
business life and is now enjoying the fruits of
his former toil, his income being sufficient to
supply him with all of the necessities and many
of the comforts which go to make life worth the
living.

In 1856 Mr. Speer was united in marriage to
^liss Catherine Bartholomew, of Upper Blount
Bethel. Seven children have been born unto
them, of whom four are living: 3.1ary Walton,
Martha Flory, Emery and William. ?ilr. Speer
has held the office of councilman in the borough
of Bangor, and has always taken a helpful in-
terest in the progress of the town along lines of
material upbuilding and social, educational and
moral improvement, and he is regarded as one
of the substantial citizens.

DR. JOHN WALTER SHUMAN, the lead-
ing dentist of Bangor, is a native son of Penn-
sylvania, his birth having occurred in Bath, Jan-
uary 10, 1876. His parents, Charles and Amelia
R. (Straub) Shuman, a daughter of Samuel



358



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



and Alary (2\liller) Straub, born October 6, 1843,
were also natives of Bath.

The father, bcrn in 1841, was reared and edu-
cated in Bath, and there learned the machinist's
trade, which he followed for about five years.
In 1 87 1 he was selected to take charge of the Old
Bangor Quarry, the position however to be only
a temporary one, but he gave such satisfaction in
the management of the enterprise and conducted
it with such ability that he has continued in
charge up to the present time, covering a period
of thirty-two consecutive years. He now has
the oversight of the entire property, and is also
superintendent of the West Bangor and Bangor
Fidelity quarries. He likewise has a very large
interest in the Globe Hard Vein and the White
Oak quarries at Eidleman, Pennsylvania.

In 1863, when the divided opinion concern-
ing the slaverv question caused some of the
southern states to attempt secession, resulting in
a long and bitter war, he volunteered as a private
in defense of the Union, and was enrolled as a
member of Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-
third Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, for nine
months service. He took part in the battles of
Gainesville and Chancellorsville, and others of
minor importance, and on the expiration of his
term of service was honorably discharged, but re-
enlisted, this time becoming a member of Com-
pany G, One Hundred and Ninety-ninth Regi-
ment of Pennsylvania Infantry. With this com-
mand he was engaged in the fierce battle of Get-
tysburg and in other severe conflicts, remaining
with the army until the close of the war, when
he was again honorably discharged.

To Mr. and Mrs. Shuman were born four
children: i. Minnie, who was born March 9,
1868, and is now the wife of Howard A. Wor-
man, by whom she has had three children, Jean ;
Carl, died in childhood ; and Clair ; 2. Annie,
who was born February 5, 1870, and is a gradu-
ate of the Hagerstown schools ; 3. John W., of
this review ; 4. Helen, who was born August 6,
1884, and is a graduate of Blair Hall. The fam-
ily is well known in Bangor. Mr. Shuman is one
of the pioneer slate men of the city, and has a
wide and favorable acquaintance in the slate



belt, where he is recognized as a man of sterling
worth and of strict integrity in all trade relations.
Dr. Shuman began his educaticn in his native
town, and subsequently attended the Moravian
school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. When he
had completed his literary course he entered upon
preparation for the dental profession as a student
of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery,
and on completing the regular course was grad-
uated in that institution with the class of 1895.
The same year he opened an ofiice in Bangor,
and entered upon what has proved a very suc-
cessful career as a practitioner. He has an office
splendidly equipped, and the high grade of his
work shows that he is thoroughly intormed con-
cerning the most approved modern methods.
He is a member of Bangor Lodge, No. 565, F.
and A. M. : Bangor Chapter, No. 274, R. A. M. ;
Hugh De Payens, Commandery. No. 19, K. T.,
of Easton, Pennsylvania ; Caldwell Consistory,
S. P. R. S., of Bloomsburg, and Lulu Temple,
A. A. O. M. S., of Philadelphia.

On October 25, 1900, was celebrated the mar-
riage of Dr. Shuman and Miss Rose E. Pritchard,
a daughter of Hugh and Ellen Pritchard, of
Bangor. She is a most accomplished lady, and
after graduation in the high school of Bangor she
became a teacher in the public schools, and was
recognized as an instructor of considerable merit.
Dr. Shuman and his wife enjoy the hospitality
of many of the best homes of the city, and en-
tertain splendidly in return.

DR. H. STRAUB SHERRER is cne of the
leading young physicians of his native city,
Bangor, Pennsylvania, where he was born on the
27th of October, 1875, a son of \\'illiani C. and
Mary A. (Straub) Sherrer.

The father was born in Rieglesville, New
Jerscv, and the mother near Bath, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Sherrer is one of Bangor's well known citi-
zens, having been in connection with the old
Bangor quarry for thirty years, and thus a repre-
sentative of industrial interests. For the last
six vears he has been its general manager, and
in this capacity controls the largest quarry in the
state. He is also a director of the ■Merchants



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



359



National Bank of Bangor, and is one of the rep-
resentative men of the city. His devotion to the
general welfare and his excellent qualifications
for office have occasioned his selection for a
number of positions of public trust and responsi-
bility. He has served as chief burgess, as coun-
cilman and as a member of the school board, and
has ever exercised his official prerogatives to se-
cure advancement along lines of permanent good
to the greatest number. Little is known concern-
ing his ancestry, save that they were worthy
farming people of New Jersey.

There are, however, authentic records con-
cerning the Carpenter family, from whom Dr.
Sherrer is descended in the paternal line. Joseph
Carpenter was of English parentage, and in com-
pany with a Joseph Zimmerman, of German
parentage, he purchased a tract of land consist-
ing of three hundred and fifty acres, the date of
the purchase being April 15, 1745. This land
was located near Carpentersville, New Jersey, a
town named in honor of the family. This Joseph
Carpenter was born in 1720, and after attaining
manhood he married Elizabeth Foreman. In
1764 they became the parents of a son to whom
they gave the name of Abraham, and who, after
reaching adult age, wedded Ann, the daughter of
George Nice. She was born in 1771. being seven
years her husband's senior. Their children were
Joseph, George, Isaac, ]\Iargaret and Elizabeth,
the last named being the great-grandmother of
Dr. Sherrer.

The Straub family, from whom Dr. Sherrer
is descended in the maternal line, is of Dutch ex-
traction. His grandfather, Samuel Straub, was
born near Bath, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and for
a number of years conducted a hotel, but later in
life engaged in merchandising. He bought goods
at a low figure prior to the Civil war, but at the
time of the war prices were greatly advanced
throughout the country, and he was thus enabled
to realize a handsome profit on his investment.
In 1868, in connection with others, 'he purchased
land in the neighborhood of Bangor, and devel-
oped what is known as the Old Bangor Slate
Quarry, of which he personally took charge, act-
ing as its superintendent up to the time of his



death, which occurred in 1884. He was united
in marriage to Miss Mary 'SI. Miller, and their
children were George, Christian, Susan, Ara-
vesta, Amelia and Angelica. The father of Sam-
uel Straub was Christian Straub, a tailor by
trade and a most worthy man.

Dr. Sherrer was reared in Bangor, and at
the usual age entered the public schools, in
which he continued his studies until he had grad-
uated from the high school. After a thorough
preparatory course he entered Lafayette College
in 1892, spending four years in that institution,
in which he was graduated in 1896 with high
honors. Immediately afterward he entered the
]Medical L'niversity of Pennsylvania at Philadel-
phia, completing the course there with the class
of 1899. The same year he entered upon the
work of the profession as a practitioner rf the
regular school, and has since secured a large
patronage in Bangor, where his skill and merit
soon won recognition, his capable efforts indicat-
ing his broad knowledge concerning the principles
of the medical science.

In September, 1901, Dr. Sherrer was united
in marriage to JMiss Kathryn Le Fevre, the
daughter of David F. and Sarah J. More, and
September 2, 1902, a daughter was born to them
to whom they gave the name of Elizabeth Car-
penter. Dr. Sherrer and his wife have many
friends in Bangor, and are favorably known in
the leading social circles of the city, while in
professional circles he also has a wide acquain-
tance, being a member of the County and State
]\Iedical Societies, and a Fellow of the American
Academy of Medicine.

WILLIAM H. MESSINGER, the president
of the Bangor Lumber ^Manufacturing Company,
of Bangor, Pennsylvania, is a representative of
an old family of that name that was established
in Washington township, Northampton county, at
a verv early period in the development of this
portion of the state. The family is of German
origin, and from the fatherland came the pro-
genitors of the family in the United otates.
George ^^lessinger, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, removed from ^^'ashington township to New



360



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



Jersey, and later he went to the west, where his
last days were passed. Unto him and his wife,
Susan JNIessinger, were born the following
named: Simon, Theodore, Zachariah. George,
Edward, Peter, Miles, Levi, and Susan. Most
of the sons followed agricultural pursuits, but
all have now passed away with the exception of
Miles and Zachariah.

Simon Messinger, the father of William H.
Messinger, was born in Washington township,
Northampton county, in 1833, and died in the
year 1901, when about sixty-eight years of age.
In early life he learned the carpenter's trade ,and
continued to follow that pursuit throughout his
entire life. He was also interested in agricultural
pursuits, having land which his sons cultivated.
He owned two farms, one comprising one hun-
dred and three acres, while the latter comprised
sixty acres. Mr. Messinger was an expert me-
chanic, and in the line of his trade did an exten-
sive and prosperous business. As a companion
and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss
Lavina Wilhelm, of Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania,
and unto this union eight children were born :
William H., George, Isaiah, John, Herbert, Flora,
Anna and Lucinda. The mother of these chil-
dren is still living, being a resident of Bangor,
Pennsylvania.

William H. Messinger was born in Vvashing-
ton township, in 1868, and under the parental
roof he spent his boyhood days, pursuing his
education in the common schools. The first busi-
ness enterprise with which he was connected was
that of farming, but subsequently he turned his
attention to painting, and followed that pursuit
for several years. His residence in Bangor dates
from 1889, since which time he has been con-
nected with the industrial interests of this city,
and has won for himself an enviable position in
business circles. He is now the president of the
Bangor Lumber Manufacturing Company, manu-
facturing doors, sash, blinds, etc., as well as deal-
ing in all kinds of building materials. This busi-
ness was established in i8yo by the firm of Flory,
Walter & Company, and in 1895 it was incor-
porated under the present style, its officers being
William H. i\lessingcr. president : Isaiah Mes-



singer, vice-president ; and S. R. \\'alter, secre-
tarv. The plant covers about two acres of
ground, and the buildings are thoroughly equip-
ped with the latest improved machinery to fa-
cilitate the work. A large number of capable
workmen are employed, and the company does
a large manufacturing business and also en-
joys an extensive trade in building materials.

In 1895 Mr. Messinger was united in mar-
riage to Miss Anna Beck, a daughter of R. and
Matilda Beck. She was born in 1878, and by
her marriage has become the mother of three
interesting children : Carl, Hilda, and Delbert.
Mr. Messinger has held the office of school di-
rector, and is deeply interested in the cause of
education and in the advancement of the city
along other lines of progress and improvement.
He belongs to the Junior Order of LTnited Amer-
ican Workmen, and is a young man of marked
enterprise, who throughout his business career
has displayed sound judgment and unfaltering
lovaltv to the highest commercial ethics.

TILGHMAN OCHS, who as a contractor
and builder has contributed in large measure to
the improvement and development of Allentown,
traces his ancestry in America back to the year
1747, when A. Mathias Ochs and his wife Rosina
Schmenk came to the new world. They had a
large family of children, including Jacob Ochs,
who married Susan Boehm. They were the pa-
rents of eight children : Mary, Charles, Jacob,
David, Jessie, John, Philip, and Susanna. The
last named became the wife of Aaron Buckecker,
and is living at this writing in 1904.

Jacob Ochs, Jr., the father of Tilghman Ochs,
was born in Northampton county, and after ar-
riving at years of maturity married Sarah Nagle,
a daughter of Jacob Nagle. She died in Lehigh
county, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1859, hav-
ing survived her husband. They were the parents
of eight children, six sons and two daughlers :
Charles (deceased) who married Wilhelmina
Miller, by whom he had two children, and made
their home in Northampton county : William and
John, who have passed away; Tilghman; Alary,
the wife of Benjamin Klechner, by whom she



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



361



has two cliildren ; Jesse, who married Amanda
Hoppe, who has seven children ; John, who mar-
ried Ellen Albert and has seven children ; and
Sarah Jane the wife of William Lutz.

Tilghman Ochs was reared upon his father's
farm, following the plow in the early springtime
and assisting in harvesting the crops in the late
autumn. Through the winter months he at-
tended the public schools, and was thus qualified
to enter upcn a practical business career. After
completing his education he took up his abode
in AUentown, where he learned the trade of r
bricklayer under the direction of Jacob Nagle
and Joseph Seip. After completing his appren-
ticeship he was employed as a journeyman by
the former for six vears, and then worked at fire-
brick laying for twelve years. Since that time he
has been engaged in contracting and building
on his own account. He was first engaged in
building blast furnaces in the iron region, and he
has also erected many of the fine homes of Allen-
town and the leading business blocks, together
with other public structures. In 1885 he ad-
mitted his son Milton to a partnership under
the firm style of T. Ochs & Son, and this rela-
tion was maintained until 1897. when the father
retired. He, however, yet makes his home in
Allentown, where he has a wide acquaintance,
enjoying the high regard of his fellow men by
reason of the honorable course he ever pursued in
his business career. He is a member of the Rev.
formed church, and in matters of citizenship has
ever been public-spirited and progressive, being
found as a champion of many measures that have
for their object the welfare and promotion of the
best interests of the community.

In 1854 Mr. Ochs was married to Sarah S.
Long, of Allentown, a native of Montgomen,'
county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jacob
S. Long. jMrs. Ochs died August 29, 1899, in
the faith of the Salem Reformed church, of which,
she was a member. The children born of this
marriage are as fellows : Milton Tilghman Jacob :
John \'ictor .-Mien, who married .Annie iMoyer :
Oscar Henrv Eugene, who married Helena Roth ;
Ida .Amanda Susanna, who is the wife of Lewis
Hamman and had five children, but only cnc.



Raxinond L., is now living; Emma I\Iatilda. ih -
wife of Oscar Keck, by whom she has one daugh-
ter, Florence ; Harry L'lysses Grant, deceased ;
Clinton Marcus Franklin, who married Sallie
Schmoyer, and has two children — Dorothy Ger-
trude and Tilghman Daniel ; Emelia Nancy Aline,
who is the wife of W. Bion Fritchman, of Free-
mansburg ; Florence Gertrude Abigail, who is the
wife of Charles C. Vogt, and has one child,
Charles C, Jr. ; and Flora Lavina May, who
married Oscar Wilson, and lives in Philadelphia.

DAVID FELLOWS MORE. John More,
the great-grandfather of our subject, was born
in Forres, Elginshire, Scotland, February 24,
1745. He became a skilled mechanic and re-
moved to Rothicnuirchus on the border of Inver-



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 64 of 92)