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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litical support was given to the Democracy, and
he took a deep interest in the success of his party.
He belonged to the Baptist church, and died in
that faith in Benton, Pennsylvania, November
27, 1873. He was married in New York, October
2, 1844, to Miss Gratia Finn, a daughter of Sol-
omon and Irene (Scoville) Finn. Their children
were Thomas, Charles, S. B., and Mary E.

Charles J. Fitzgerald spent his youth in Ben-
ton, Lackawanna county, and was a student in
the public schools until he entered upon his busi-
ness career as a carpenter and joiner under the
direction of his father. He followed that pursuit
until 1887. when he removed to Pen Argyl and
entered into partnership with his brother, S. B.
Fitzgerald, as proprietor of a planing mill and
lumber yard. They also added a contracting
business, and at the end of four years the partner-
ship was dissolved and the new firm of Fitz-
gerald, Speer & Buzzard was formed. It was
the intention of Charles J. Fitzgerald when a
young man to study for the bar, but his financial
circumstances were limited, and he also had to
bear the burden of caring for his aged parents.
These circumstances caused him to abandon his
cherished idea and to turn his attention to me-
chanical pursuits, in which he attained great ]iro-
ficiency. The splendid success now enjoyed by
his firm is largely attrilnUahle to his experience
and judgment as a practical mechanic. He su-
perintends the outside work of the concern, and



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



385



is not only an excellent mechanic but is also a
draftsman and architect of considerable ability.
Aside from the plant of the firm in Pen Argyl,
they operated six sawmills situated in Monroe
and Northampton counties. Buying land on which
good timber is to be found, they cut down the
trees and manufacture the lumber. The firm also
owns two hundred and sixty-seven acres of land
in the vicinity of Jacobsburg, Pennsylvania, on
which is a slate quarry as yet undeveloped. The
present firm was organized in 1890, at which time
but six men were employed. The business, how-
ever, has grown and developed from year to year
until now on the pay roll are found the names
of one hundred workmen. Mr. Fitzgerald is a
man of splendid business capacity, enterprise and
keen discernment, and belongs to that class of
representative American men who, while promot-
ing individual success, also advances the general
welfare through the avenues of commercial and
industrial activity. He has not confined his at-
tention entirely to the lumber and kindred busi-
ness interests of the firm, but has extended his
labors to other lines and at the present writing
(in 1903) is the president of the Building and
Loan Association of Pen Argyl. He has held the
office of president of the Electric Light Company
of Pen Argyl, and was its superintendent. He is
now the president of the board of trade, which
office he has filled for twelve years, and was also
president of the school board for four years. In-
tricate business problems are quickly compre-
hended by him and a practical solution furnished.
Whatever he undertakes he carries forward to
successful completion, and the desirable result
that has followed his efforts proves that he was
very fortunate in the selection of a life vocation.
Politically, Mr. Fitzgerald is a Democrat, and
his religious belief is largely in harmony with the
teachings of the Presbyterian church. Socially,
he is connected with Pen Argyl Lodge, No. 594,
F & A. M.. and also belongs to Bangor Chapter,
No. 274, R. A. M., and to Hugh De Payens Com-
mandery of Easton, of which he is an honored
Sir Knight. He was formerly a member of the
Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Improved

25



Order of Red Men. He has served as burgess
of Pen Argyl, and also as committeeman from
his district, and while in Lackawanna county was
a member of the school board for nine years.

Mr. Fitzgerald was married February 20,
1870, to Miss Emma Haydcn, a daughter of
Charles Hayden of Scranton, Pennsylvania,
Their children are two in number. Bertha, the
wife of Clifford Palmer, of Pen Argyl, and
Orella.

WILLIAM S. WILLIAMSON, proprietor
of the Mount Bethel Hotel at Mount Bethel.
Northampton county, is of English descent.
Frank Williamson, his grandfather, was a native
of England and came to the LTnited States in
1832. He was active in the development of the
slate industry in the Lehigh Valley, devoting his
entire life to that pursuit.

William Williamson, the father, was born in
Easton, Pennsylvania, and for a number of years
was also engaged in the slate trade, but during
the last twenty years of his life was proprietor of
a hotel. He conducted the Franklin House for
several years, as well as other important hos-
telries in this section of the state. He was a man
well qualified for the business, being of a genial,
courteous and affable disposition, and at the same
time possessing sound judgment and keen fore-
sight in business affairs. He was a veteran of
the Civil war, offering his services to his country
at the outbreak of hostilities, and remaining with
the army for four and a half years as a defender
of the Union cause. He married Aliss Emma
Switzer, a native of Easton, Pennsylvania, and
unto this marriage were born thirteen children,
eleven of whom are living. Two of the sons are
now proprietors of hotels. William Williamson
died in 1900, but his widow is still living (in
1903) and makes her home in Belfast. Penn-
sylvania.

William S. Williamson was born in Plainfield
township, Northampton county, Pennsvlvania, in
1 87 1. He spent the days of his boyhood and
youth there. In early life he became connected
with the slate industry and since 1895 'i^s been
engaged in the hotel business. He was proprietor



3S6



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



of the Belfast Hotel for four years, and in 1900
he purchased his present property, which is a
commodious and substantial house with capacity
for the entertainment of thirty-five guests. His
bar is also well furnished with a choice line of
liquors and cigars. Mr. Williamson is a mem-
ber of the Improved Order of Red Men, the
Junior Order of American Mechanics, and the
Sons of Veterans.

He was married July 26, 1890, to Miss Clara
Cope, a daughter of Isaac and Sarah Cope, of
Bushkill township. Six children were born unto
them, of whom four are living, namely : I'rank,
William, Mary and Lottie Williamson.

REUBEN SHOOK is a retired farmer who
has resided in the borough of Bangor since 1891.
The ancestral history claims that the family is
of German origin. George Shook, the grand-
father, was a native of Monroe county, Pennsyl-
vania, bprn in 1S03. In early life he removed to
Ackernianville, Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania, where he wedded Miss Elizabeth Acker-
man, an estimable lady. They subsequently took
up their abode between Bangor and East Ban-
gor. Mr. Shook was a tailor by trade, and fol-
lowed his chosen calling for a number of years,
but finally abandoned it in order to give his at-
tention to agricultural pursuits. He purchased
about eighty acres of farming land which he
tilled with much skill and ability up to the time
of his death, which occurred in 1892. He was a
member of the Lutheran church, to which his
wife and children also belonged. The family
numbered the following sons and daughters :
Daniel. Jonas, Adam, Sarah, Margaret, Lydia,
Eliza and Maryetta.

Daniel Shook father of Reuben Shook, was
born on the old family homestead near Bangor, in
Washington township, Northampton county, in
1824, and died in 1888, at the age of sixty-four
years. He became an extensive farmer, owning
three valuable tracts of land which he managed
with great foresight, energy and ability. His
well directed labors brought him good and sub-
stantial financial returns. His farms were lo-
cated respectively in Washington, Plainficld and



Ijushkill townships. He married Miss Malinda
Reinier, a daughter of Nicholas Reimer, and their
children were Irwin, Reuben, William, George
S., Elmira and Sarah E., all born in Washington
township, and all living at this writing in 1903.

Reuben Shook was born July 2, 185 1, and
was reared and educated in Washington town-
ship, attending the common schools. He made
farming his life work, and successfully followed
that pursuit until 1892, at which time he took up
his abode in Bangor and retired from business
cares. He is now to some extent engaged in
s]3eculating in various enterprises. He is a man
of reliability in all trade transactions, and enjoys
the entire confidence of many friends. He now
owns eighty acres of good farming land in Wash-
ington township. He and his family held mem-
bership in the Lutheran church, in which he is
occupying the position of trusteee.

Mr. Shook was married to Miss Emaline
Miller, a daughter of Barnet and Mary Miller,
in 187 1. His wife was born May 26, 1848, and
by her marirage has become the mother of two
children: Mary, who was born July 12, 1872, and
is now the wife of Wilson Steckel ; and Joseph
H., who was born in 1874, and is now a practic-
ing physician in Portland, Pennsylvania.

GEORGE E. GRAY, an attorney at the
Carbon county bar, living in Lehighton, was born
in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, at a little ham-
let called Welsh Run. His parents were George
W. and Margaret E. (Albert) Gray, the former
born in Maryland and the latter in Virginia.
The father was a carriage maker by trade, pos-
sessing mechanical al)ility in that line. In his
family were nine children, of whom five are yet
living, namely : Laura V., Edward E., George
E., Missouri C. and Norman V.

George E. Gray as a student in the public
schools of Fairview, Maryland, mastered the ele-
mentary branches of learning, and subsequently
entered the state normal school at Shippensburg,
Pennsylvania, from which institution he was
graduated in 1890. Following the completion
of his course there, he engaged in teaching
school, and at the same time pursued a special



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



387



course in the L'nivcrsity of Pennsylvania. In
1898, however, he abandoned the teacher's pro-
fession in order to give his attention to the mas-
tery of the principles of jurisprudence, having
taken up the study of law under the direction of
the well known firm of Loose & Craig, attorneys
of Manch Chunk, Pennsylvania. In 1899 he was
admitted to the Carbon County bar, since which
time he has been engaged in the practice of law.
In 1900 he purchased the Mauch Chunk Coal Ga-
zette and th-^ Mauch Chunk Times, and of both
of these papers is now proprietor and editor.
Each journal is well conducted, and has a cir-
culation of about two thousand copies. Mr.
Gray likewise represents some of the leading in-
surance companies of this country. While never
a politician in the sense of seeking official prefer-
ment, Mr. Gray has deep interest in the ques-
tions and issues of the day and is a stanch adher-
ent of the principle of the Republican party. He
is a faithful member of the Zion Reformed
church, and has served as superintendent of its
Sunday school for seven years. He belongs to
Lehighton Lodge, No. 621, F. and A. M., and to
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, his life
exemplifying its principles of friendship, love
and truth.

In August, 1895, Mr. Gray was married to
Miss Anzionetta A. Montz, the only daughter of
William H. and Susan Montz. They now have
three children, Margaret S., Charlotte A., and
\\'illiam G. Gray.

DAVID H. STR.A.UB, who is now living re-
tired in Lehighton, but who for many years was
industriously and successfully identified with ag-
ricultural pursuits in Carbon county, belongs to
one of the early families of the Lehigh \^alley, of
- German origin. His grandfather, Theodore
Straub, was born in what is known as Dry Land,
a little hamlet located between Easton and Beth-
lehem. He was an extensive distiller, and a man
of considerable force of character arid local in-
fluence in his day, being widely known as an
industrious, upright and worthy citizen. His
family numbered five sons : Emanuel, Daniel,
John, David and Thomas, and three daughters.



David Straub, the father of D. H. Straub, was
born at Dry Land, and in his youth became fa-
miliar with the duties and labors that fall to the
lot of the agriculturist. After attaining man's
estate he continued to follow the pursuit to
which he had been reared, and owned and culti-
vated one hundred anl thirty-six acres of valu-
able land. During his active life he amassed con-
siderable property both in real estate and per-
sonalty. In all of his business relations with his
fellow men he was honorable and trustworthy,
and commanded the respect and good will of all
with whom he became associated, either in busi-
ness or social relations. He married Polly Old-
wine, and they became the parents of eleven chil-
dren : Charles, Thomas, Daniel, Levi, John, David
H., Marv, Harriet, Josiah, Emeline and Amelia,
but David H. and the daughters are the only
members of that once numerous household now
living.

David H. Straub was born in Towamencin
township, Carbon county, Pennsylvania, July
20, 1833. He was reared and educated there,
and in his youth learned the bricklayer's trade,
which he followed for five years, from 185 1 until
1856. He then turned his attention to farming-
and for thirty years resided upon a farm, contin-
uing to make it his home until 1886, when he re-
moved to Lehignton. Here he owns good city-
property in addition to his rich and productive
tract of land of two hundred acres in East Penn
township, Carbon county. He is a worthy citi-
zen of the borough of Lehighton, and that he
has the confidence and trust of his fellow towns-
men is indicated by the fact that he was chosen
bv popular vote for the office of borough treas-
urer. He has also been treasurer for the fire and
water companies of Lehighton, and while resid-
ing in East Penn township he filled several local
offices. His religious faith is indicated by his
membership in the Lutheran church, in which
he has also occupied several official positions.

I\Ir. Straub has been twice married. In 1856
he wedded Miss Drucilla Harter, and they be-
came the parents of a daughter, Annie, who is
now the wife of Mr. Hoppis. In 1872 Mr.
Straub wedded Mrs. Amelia Hawk, who by her



388



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



first marriage had two sons, Emery and David.
The former resides at East Penn, and the latter
is a minister of the Lutheran church in Lancaster
county, Pennsylvania. By the second marriage
of Mr. Straub there are two children : Rev Har-
vey L. Straub, a minister of the Lutheran church,
at Berneville, now stationed in Berks county,
Pennsylvania ; and Arville D., the wife of Rev.
Wilmer Heldt, pastor of Lutheran church at
Centerville, Northampton county, Pennsylvania.

HIRAM MARCUS LEH, deceased, prom-
inently and actively identified for many years with
the mercantile interests of Allentown, Pennsyl-
vania, where he resided up to the time of his de-
cease in 1895, was a son of Henry and Catherine
(Kern) Leh, and his birth occurred in Lehigh
county, Pennsylvania, in 1837. Henry Leh (fa-
ther) was born March 14, 1793, at North White-
hall, near Ballietsville, Pennsylvania, one of a
family of five children, the names of the others
having been : John, who was engaged in agricul-
tural pursuits n Sandusky, Ohio ; Daniel, a resi-
dent of Whitehall, Pennsylvania ; Mrs. Catherine
Mussleman, of Philadelphia ; and Mrs. Sallie
Diehl, of Philadelphia. Henry Leh obtained a
limited education in the common schools of h's
day, and his business career was devoted to tlie
occupations of farmer and distiller. He served
as county commissioner of Lehigh county about
the year 1842. He was a consistent member of
the Reformed Congregation at Union vi He, Penn-
sylvania, and a staunch supporter of the princi-
ples of the Democratic party. His wife, Cath-
erine (Kern) Leh, was born in Heidelberg town-
ship, Lehigh county, near Slatington, May 7,
1798. Henry Leh died at the age of seventy-nine
years.

Hiram M. Leh attended the public scnools in
the vicinity of his home, where he gained a thor-
ough preliminary education, and this was sup-
plemented by attendance at the Allentown Acad-
emy, where he completed his educational course.
He began his business career by becoming active-
ly associated with the firm of Leisenring & Seager,
and after a short period of time dissolved his
connection with them and entered the firm of



Hartzell & Company, printers, with whom he
remained for two years. Upon the dissolution
of this association he admitted into partnership
Mr. Lewis Breinig, who remained with him until
his retirement from active business pursuits, after
which Mr. Leh formed a co-partnership with Mr.
A. Dresher, and this was continued up to the
demise of Mr. Leh in 1895. Mr. Leh was a ca-
pable and thorough going business man, possess-
ing those qualifications which insure success in
whatever line or calling a man may pursue, and
as a result of his well-directed efforts he was
enabled to leave his familv a comfortable com-
petence. He held membership in the Reformed
Church, to the support of which he contributed
most liberally, and for twenty-eight years he
served in the capacity of an officer. His political
affiliations were with the Democratic party.

Mr. Leh was married to Mary Jane Stettler,
daughter of Henry and Susan (Houk) Stettler,
the former named being a son of Daniel and Eva
(Groman) Stettler, and grandson of Henry Stet-
tler, and the latter was a daughter of Abram and
Elizabeth (Missimer) Houk. Henry and Susan
(Houk) Stettler were the parents of two children,,
namely : Ella, who became the wife of George
Bertolette ; and Mary Jane, aforementioned as
the wife of Hiram J\L Leh. The following named
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Leh: Harry
Edgar, who died aged two years ; Jennie, un-
married : Edward, who died at the age of twenty-
one years ; Katie, deceased ; Gertrude, deceased \
Susan, deceased : and Harold, who is new in Bos-
ton, completing his education at the iNlassa-
chusetts Institute of Technology.

JOSEPH GILBERT, living in Lehighton,.
where he is well known as an extensive contrac-
tor, was born January 26, 1846. The family is
of English lineage. His great-grandparents, ac-
companied by their three children, took passage
on a westward bound sailing vessel for .A.merica,
but the father and mother both died on the voy-
age and were buried at sea. The children, how-
ever, landed in America, and one of the sons,
Philip, became the grandfather of him wnose
name introduces this record. After spending



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



389



brief periods of time in various places, Philip
Gilbert eventually arrived at Jriarrisburg, Penn-
sylvania, and subsequently made his way into
Schtiylkill county, where he purchased a farm of
eighty acres and turned his attention to agricul-
tural pursuits. His business career was char-
acterized by unflagging industrv and strong pur-
pose, and he became the possessor of a comfort-
able competence. He married a Miss Furtman,
and to them were born the following children :
John, George. Daniel, Nathan, and four daugh-
ters. All were natives of Schuylkill county,
Pennsylvania, and the sons became leading farm-
ers and substantial citizens of their respective
localities.

Daniel Gilbert, born in 1805, was reared in
Schuylkill county, and followed the occupation
to which he had been reared, becoming the owner
of one hundred and seventy acres of good farm-
ing land. In the development of his property he
displayed a progressive spirit as well as unfalter-
ing energy, and in all hte's relations he mani-
fested those traits of character which ever win
friendship and regard. He married Miss Han-
nah Krum, and they became the parents of eight
children : Nathan, who followed farming ; Jo-
seph ; Dennis, a carpenter : Lizzie ; Caroline ; Re-
becca : Harriet : and Abbie. All were born in
Schuylkill coimty, and are yet living.

Joseph Gilbert spent t.ie days of his boyhood
and youth in his native county, and there learned
the trades of a mason, bricklayer and plasterer.
He was employed at these occupations until 1880,
when he removed to Carbon county, establishing
his home in Lehighton, where he purchased a lot
upon which he has erected the house that he has
now occupied for twenty-four years. Here he
began business as a mason and plasterer, and has
become an extensive contractor, doing a large
amount of the business in his line in this locality.
His excellent workmanship won him public favor,
and he has ever been found faithful to the terms
of every busines agreement. Politically he is a
stanch Republican, and he and his family are
members of the L'nited Evangelical church.

"Sir. Gilbert was married in 1871 to ]\Iiss
Catherine Reaser, who is a native of Berks



county, Pennsylvania, her natal year being 1850.
Unto them were born eight children : Edward,
who is a bricklayer, married Miss Mattie Caf-
fery, and they have four children, Joseph, Frank,
George and Kate ; William, a laborer, married
Miss Lula i\Ioothodt ; Charles, who is employed
in the silk mill in Lehighton, married Miss Bertha
Rice, and they have one son, Charles ; George,
the next in the family, is a silk weaver ; Harry is
still pursuing his education ; Alice is the wife of
George Long ; Kate is the deceased wife of Will-
iam Berlin ; and Mary, who completes the family,
resides at home.

SAMUEL GRAVER. The fitting sequel to
an active and well spent life, especially when it
is devoted to business pursuits, is the years of
retirement from former activities, in which one
is enabled to reap the benefits of their labor.
Such a life is now being enjoyed by Samuel
Graver, a resident of Leighton, Pennsylvania,
who has endeared himself to the hearts of the
citizens of the town by his upright business life
and his noble character. He was born in North-
ampton county, Pennsylvania, March 18, 1830,
a son of Solomon and Sallie (Smith) Graver,
both of whom were also natives of Northampton
county. Solomon Graver (father) was a repre-
sentative farmer, and this vocation he followed up
to his death, an event which occurred during his
early manhood.

Samuel Graver, only child of Solomon and
Sallie Graver, was reared and educated in Lehigh
county, and later served an apprenticeship at the
trade of tinsmith, which line of industry he fol-
lowed for a number of years. In 1853 he took up
his residence in Weissport, but after a short
period of time he located in Leighton and resided
there for several years. He then abandoned his
trade for agricultural pursuits, which he followed
successfully for sixteen years in Carbon county,
but in 1869 he finally settled in the town of
Leighton, and again resumed work at his trade.
He was thus employed until i8g6. but since that
vear he has led a practically retired life, his only
occupation being that of looking after his real
estate in Lehighton, which he acquired after dis-



390



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



posing of his farm property in Carbon county.
As an evidence of the respect in which he is held
by the citizens of Lehighton, he was chosen as
their representative for the office of chief burgess,
which he filled for a term of two years. He holds
membership in the Reformed church, and has
served for a number of years as a member of the
board of deacons and elders.

Mr. Graver was united in marriage in 1854
to Miss Hannah Horn, who was born in Mahon-
ing Valley, Pennsylvania, in 1830, and their chil-
dren are : Mrs. Emma Luce, Mrs. Lizzie Schneck,
John B., Ella and Mrs. Hettie Ditterline. Mrs.
Graver is a daughter of Squire John Horn, wlio
was born January 22, 1788, and died November
23, i860. He was a worthy and influential man
in his day, possessed an excellent education, and
was beyond the average in intelligence. He was
a shoemaker by trade, and in addition was an
extensive agriculturist, conducting his operations
on a tract of land consisting of over two hundred
acres which he owned. He served as justice of
the peace for thirty years, was a county com-
missioner for Carbon county, a prominent mem-
ber of the Reformed church, in which he was
honored with all the offices which that body could
confer upon him, and one of the leading men of
his day in church music. He married Miss
Catherine Blinn, who was born in 1789 and died
February i, 1863; ten children were the issue of
this marriage, eight of whom arrived at



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 69 of 92)