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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his fourteenth j-ear he worked on the paternal
farm during the summer montns, in winter at-
tending the neighboring schools. Despite u.s
youth he was well grounded in the fundamental
branches of an education, and at the early age
stated he left home to become clerk in a general
store in Emaus. In this employment he devel-
oped a real aptitude for a business career, and
before he reached the years of manhood he lo-
cated in Easton, where for a number of years he
successfully conducted a dry goods business. The
confining nature of this occupation, however,
wrought impairment of his health, and in 1856
he relinquished his mercantile business and re-
moved to Allentown, where he engaged in a lum-
ber business. His first associates were his broth-
ers, Jonas and Wiloughby Trexler. Later
Thomas Weaver became a partner in what was
known as the lirm of Trexler & Weaver. The
last named subsequently retired, and j\Ir. Trex-
ler admitted his sons, Harry C. and Edwin G.
Trexler, to partnership with liimself, under the
firm name of E. W. Trexler & Sons.

About 1890 Mr. Trexler, on account of ad-
vancing years, and out of his intense love for
farm pursuits and outdoor occupation, retired
from, the lumber business, which was continued
by his sons, and during his remaining years de-
voted almost all his attention to his farm. Upon
this splendid tract, one of the handsomest and
most productive in the entire region, Mr. Tre.x-
ler carried out his own plans of farming, adapting
it in principal degree to the breeding of high-grade
Holstein and Jersey cattle. He took an ardent
interest in his occupation, and cared for his herds
with even more than humane regard, — something
not far from real affection. His animals were
the pride of his farm, and he was primarily in-
strumental in introducing his breeds into general
use in this part of Pennsylvania, to the displace-
ment of the inferior cattle which had hitherto
been in vogue, and in this wav contributed largely
to an increase of wealth to the dair\men farmers.
He was recognized throughout the entire country
as the highest possible authority in all matters
pertaining to the strains whicl, he made his spec-
ialty, and from 1894 until death was con-

tinued in membership in the Holstein-i^riesian
Association of America, in which body he was a
familiar figure and in which he was held in high

Mr. Trexler came to his death under the most
distressing circumstances on July 10, 1900. In
crossing the track of the East Pennsylvania Rail-
road, near Emaus, his vehicle was struck hy a
freight train running at high speed, and was ut-
terly wrecked, the horse fatally injured, and
]\Ir. Trexler instantly killed. The distressing
event was a dreadful shock to tne community in
which he had so long lived and to whose people
he had so greatly endeared himself by his genial
disposition, enterprising public spirit and abund-
ant generosity. He was in all respects an ideal
citizen, bearing himself modestly yet manfully,
never seeking prominence, but content with faith-
fully discharging the duty of the hour. He was,
however, ever alert to discover opportunity for
the development of the interests which en-
gaged his principal attention, in all his eft'orts
holding himself as anxious to advance the for-
tunes of those about as he was his own. In poli-
tics he was a stanch Republican.

j\lr. Trexler married, in 1852, at Easton, Miss
Matilda Sourpeck, who survives him, with their
three sons : Colonel Harry C. Trexler, who con-
ducts the lumber business established by his fa-
ther ; Edwin G. Trexler and Judge Frank M.

VINCENT BRISCOE, who is residing in
Forks township, Northampton county, is one of
the energetic and practical farmers of this part of
the state and his diligence, perseverance and pro-
gressive methods bring excellent results in his
work. He is a native of sunny Italy, with her blue
skies and climbing vines, his birth having there
occurred on the i8th of June, 1851. His father
died in Italy, and the son afterward emigrated
to the land of freedom, where many of Italy's
sons have made their home. Indeed, it was to
one of the sons of that land that America owes
her discovery. The mother came to the United
States with her children, taking her son Mncent
to Maryland, where she left him in charge of an



uncle who reared and educated him. Early in
life his tastes seemed to be in the direction of
farming and gardening, and giving his energies
to these pursuits he has succeeded beyond his
most sanguine expectations. He started out in
life with no capital, but with strong determina-
tion, and brooking no obstacles that could be
overcome by honorable effort, he has steadily
worked his way upward to success. About 1880
he came to the north, locating in Pennsylvania,
and here he became identified with agricultural
pursuits. He now lives in Forks township,
Northampton county, where he owns a good
tract of land. This he purchased in 1891, and
upon his farm he has made many needed and val-
uable improvements until it is now a very desir-
able property, modern in all its equipments.

Mr. Briscoe has been twice married. He
first wedded Miss Henrietta Curlott, and unto
them four children were born : Mrs. Rene Welsh,
Samuel W., Mary F. and Oscar. In 1884 Mr.
Briscoe was united in marriage to Mrs. Sarah
E. D'Attique, who by her former marriage had
two daughters and one son, namely : Mrs. A. G.
Messenger, Mrs. Margaret Servoss, and James
E. D'Attique. The last named is a graduate of
Lafayette College with the class of 1895, and is
chemist of St. Agnes, Michigan. The DAttiques
are of French extraction and representatives of
a prominent family. Edouard DAttique, a near
relative of Mrs. Briscoe, was a captain in the
United States army in the war of 1812.

Mr. Briscoe has led a very industrious life,
and he finds in his wife an able companion and
helpmate for the journey, she co-operating with
him in every movement which he undertakes for
their mutual good and for the embelishment of
their beautiful home. He is thoroughly familiar
with the best methods of farming, and his la-
bors have been so directed that his energies have
been crowned with success.

is actively interested in all that pertains to the
material, intellectual and moral progress and im-
provement of Allentown, occupies an enviable
position in commercial and financial circles, not

only by reason of the success he has achieved,
but also because of the honorable, straightforward
business policy he has ever followed as he has
advanced his interests along modern mercantile

Born in Lehigh county, he is a son of Owen
and Sarah (Bittner) Hunsicker, the latter a
daughter of Jacob Bittner. His paternal grand-
father was Daniel Hunsicker, who married a
Miss Peters. In the family of Owen and Sarah
Hunsicker were five children, of whom James
Franklin is the second in order of birth. Henry
W., the eldest, married Ida A. Grim, and has
five children : Walter O., Hessa G., Jessie, Rhoda
and George. Francis P. Hunsicker, the third
brother, married Ellen J. Clauser, and they have
three children : Katie, the wife of George Knaus ;
Florence C. ; and JMamie. The only daughter of
Owen Hunsicker, Mary Alice, married George
Koch, and they have five children : Harry, who
married Carrie E. IMiller, and has two children,
George H. and J. Walter; Lula, who married
Ambrose Kunkle ; IMazie, Sallie, and Sadie.
Owen S. Hunsicker married Nellie White, and
has three children — Harry, Frederick and Esther.

At the usual age James F. Hunsicker entered
the public schools, and when his education was
completed he began work in order to assist in the
support of his father's family. He went to
Catasauqua, where he was employed in a hotel
for some time, and later he occupied a similar
position in Philadelphia. Not desiring to make
this his permanent occupation he returned home,
and for a time was engaged in civil engineering.
He entered the employ of Colonel S. D. Lehr,
and joined the engineering corps that was en-
gaged in laying out the route of the Ironton &
Steinsville Railroad, but after the survey work
was completed the project was abandoned. Mr.
Hunsicker then returned again to Allentown.

It was at this time that he first became con-
nected with merchandising as an employee of Jo-
seph Kressly, who conducted a general store, in
which he remained for about two years. On the
expiration of that period he entered the service
of the Allentown Iron Company, in what was
known as the company store, but remained there



for only a short time, when he secured a position
in the store of A. A. Huber. Such was his busi-
ness connection until 1870, wlien he began busi-
ness on his own account. In that year, in com-
pany with is brother, Henry W. Hunsicker, he
purchased his employer's stock of goods and un-
der the firm name of Hunsicker Brothers con-
tinued the business. Two years later Elias Bitt-
ner was admitted to a partnership and the firm
name was changed to Bittner & Hunsicker Broth-
ers. No further change occurred until 1880,
when Frank D. Bittner, a son of Elias Bittner,
joined the firm, and the business was then con-
ducted under the style of Bittner, Hunsicker &
Company until 1886, when the partnership was
dissolved, Henry W. Hunsicker taking the retail
business, while James F. Hunsicker and the Bitt-
ners, father and son, continued as proprietors of
the wholesale business. Previous to this time
they had organized a business and equipped a
factory for the manufacture of hosiery. The
new firm also became the owners of this manu-
facturing enterprise, but later abandoned it in
•order to give their entire attention to the develop-
men of their growing wholesale business. In
December, 1902, the building which they occupied
was destroyed by fire, but they immediately re-
built it and increased their capacity from a three
floor to to a five story structure, and now have
one of the largest wholesale dry-goods establish-
ments in the state outside of Philadelphia and
New York. Their patronage has constantly
grown, and they now have a large force of sales-
men on the road, while the reputation of the
house for reliability is widely recognized.

Air. Hunsicker has advanced from humble
surroundings to large successes through the op-
portunity which is one of the characteristic fea-
tures of America's business conditions, winning
advancement because of his ready adaptability,
luiwearied energy and laudable ambition. He has
not confined his attention entirely to merchandis-
ing for he is now and has been for many
years a director in the Allentown National Bank
and is also a director of the Allen ]\Iu-
tual Fire Insurance Company. He is also
a co-op erant factor in many movements

for the general welfare, and his gener-
ous benevolent spirit is manifest in his liberal
donations to many charitable institutions. He
has been a trustee of the Allentown Hospital since
its organization, and is a member of the board of
managers of the Bethany Orphans' Home, which
at the present time provides for one hundred and
thirty-five homeless little children. For many
years he has been a member of the board of school
directors, and his eft'orts have been efliective in
furthering the educational interests of the city.
He was one of the charter members of the Salem
Reformed church, and has served as a deacon,
elder, trustee and treasurer, while now he is presi-
dent of the congregation. He is also superin-
tendent of the Sunday-school, which has an en-
rollment of over two thousand pupils and an
average attendance of more than thirteen hun-
dred. Fraternally, he is connected with the Ma-
sonic society, and the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, and is an active and earnest worker in
both organizations. In politics, he is a stalwart
Republican, deeply interested in the success and
growth of the party, and thus his interests,
branching out to many lines, have made his a
well rounded character.

I\Ir. Hunsicker was married to Miss I\Iary
Schrader, a daughter of Charles S. and Judith
(Fritch) Schrader, and a granddaughter of
Henry Fritch. In her. father's family were five
children. Sarah P., the eldest, is the wife of
George Snyder, and has two children, ;\Iinnie
and Helen, both now deceased. William Schra-
der married Angelina Gachenbach, and they have
four children : Thomas, who married Isabella
Troxell, and has five children, Alice, \\'illiam,
Thomas, Mary and Jonas ; Laura, who died in
childhood ; William ; and Alice, the wife of Rob-
ert Hall, by who she had three children, Helen,
\\'iniam and Paul. Jonas Schrader married So-
phia Helbert, and has two children. Ada, and
Lena, who died at the age of four years. Horatio
Schrader married Catharine Acker, and has one
son, Edwin.

Mr. and I\Irs. Hunsicker have three children :
I. George W.. who married ]\Iinnie Keck (de-
ceased), and then Eleanor Patterson. He is as-



sistant superintendent of the American Cement
Company, of Egypt, Pennsylvania. 2. Charles
O., a lawyer, at Allentown, Pennsylvania. 3.
Herbert J., who is in the employ of the Bittner-
Hunsicker Company ; he married Ruth Robbins,
and they have one child, Marion.

WILLIAM SAEGER, who served in the
capacity of second president of the Allentown
Bank, and the first under the present (national)
organization, was a descendant of an old and
honored German lineage. He was born Septem-
ber 4, 1806, in Whitehall township, Northampton
county, Pennsylvania, and died in Allentown,
Pennsylvania, March 10, 1893, after a long,
honorable and useful career, his remains being
interred in Allentown cemetery.

Christian Saeger (grandfather) married and
had among his children three sons — Nicholas, Ja-
cob and Daniel. Jacob Saeger (father) was born
in the year 1774, in Whitehall township, North-
ampton county, Pennsylvania, where he continued
to reside for many years and became an enterpris-
ing agriculturist. Subsequently he removed to
Allentown, and in connection with his brother
Daniel erected a mill there and engaged in mer-
cantile enterprises. He was united in marriage
to Margaret Mickley, of the same county, to
whom was bom children : Sarah, Catherine, Ann,
Charles, William, Abigail, Mary and Rebecca.

William Saeger resided in his native town-
ship, Whitehall, until his tenth year, when he ac-
companied his parents to Allentown. He enjoyed
such advantages of education as the pub-
lic school afforded, after which he became a
clerk, and later opened in Hanover township a
canal store for the sale of wares then in demand
by the canal employes. About the year 1828 or
1829 he established a general store in East Al-
lentown, and later extended the field of his la-
bors by the entering into copartnership with his
brother Charles and brother-in-law Solomon
Keck, under the firm name of Saeger, Keck &
Co. Continuing the store in East Allentown,
and establishing a general store in Allentown,
also a general grain and flouring business, they
assumed the manatrcmcnt of the flouring mill

built by his father in East Allentown. The Le-
high Coal and Navigation Company's canal was
opened up about that time and brought a large
amount of trade to the mill, which was equipped
to supply all demands in grain, feed and flour.
This mill is still standing, and is now operated
by Jacob H. Saeger, a grandson of the original
owner. In addition to this he was a manufac-
turer of lumber, owner of timber tracts, a coal
merchant, and the possessor of considerable real

Hanover township continued to be his resi-
dence until 1866, when he built a home in Allen-
town and abandoned active participation in his
various business schemes. In 1862 he became
president of the Allentown National Bank, ia
which he had previously been a stockholder and
director, and continued his official relation with
that institution until 1883, a period of twenty-
one vears, when he resigned and retired frorii
active business. Mr. Saeger was in early life a
Whig, and later espoused the principles of the
Republican party ; he was not an aspirant for po-
litical honors, and therefore held no other office
but that of school director. His sympathy in
the cause of education assumed a practical form
in the influence and financial aid given to Muh-
lenberg College, located at Allentown. He was a
member of St. John's English Lutheran Church
of Allentown, in wdiich he served as elder and
treasurer of the church council.

In 1833 ^li"- Saeger married ]Miss Hannah
Gangwere, daughter of Daniel Gangwere, of
Hanover township. Their children were-: Al-
fred Gangwere, mentioned at length hereinafter;
Mary, deceased ; Robert F., deceased ; Jacob H.,
who married Emma Schimpt, daughter of John
Schimpf ; Emma, deceased ; Thomas W., who-
married Florence Troxell, daughter of Aaron
Troxell ; and Ella, who died at the age of about
seventeen years. Jacob H. and Emma (Schimpf)
Saeger are the parents of three children : Rob-
ert W., who married Blanch Warwick, and has-
two children; Marguerite and Catherine. John
F., who married Frances Ormrod, and has one
son, John Ormrod Saeger. Luther, who is a
practicing jihysician.

^ij- ^hyAHBXtctixe




Alfred Gangwere Saeger was born in Lehigh
count)-, Pennsylvania. During his early boyhood
days he was a pupil in the public schools, and
afterward attended Allentown Seminar}-, w-hich
was the predecessor of Muhlenberg College. He
then entered his father's store to become familiar
with merchandising, and after serving as a clerk
for a number of years became a partner in the
business, continuing his connection therewith un-
til 1859, when he joined James K. ■Mosser and
Thomas Keck in the establishment of the firm of
Mosser, Keck & Co., for the tanning and manu-
facture of sole leather. The output of the fac-
tory was entirely union tanned and found a ready
. sale on the market. The business grew very rap-
dly and the profits increased so that within a
few years the members of the firm accumulated
a fortune. ]\Ir. Saeger retired from the business
in 1876. Throughout his entire life his political
support has been given to the Republican party.
Alfred G. Saeger was united in marriage to
Ella Troxell, a daughter of Aaron Troxell and
his wife Angeline (Jarrett) Troxell, whose fam-
ily consisted of three children : Ella, above men-
tioned ; Emma, wife of Francis K. Smith, of
Lockhaven, Pennsylvania ; and Florence, wife of
Thomas \V. Saeger. Aaron Troxell was a son
of Peter and Elizabeth (^lickley) Troxell, and
his wife, Angeline (Jarrett) Troxell, was a daugh-
ter of Henry and (Heinley) Jarrett. ]\Ir.

and Mrs. Saeger are members of St. John's Lu-
theran church.

GEORGE J. KUNTZ, one of the represent-
ative and highly esteemed citizens of East Allen
township, where he is successfully engaged in
agricultural pursuits and also serves in the ca-
pacity of justice of the peace, has been a lifelong
resident in the neighborhood where he resides,
having been born in East Allen township, North-
ampton county, Pennsylvania, November 19,
1836, a son of Adam and Caroline (Stem) Kuntz,
and grandson of Bernhardt Kuntz. who was the
progenitor of the family in America.

Adam Kuntz (father) was born in Lehigh
township, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, in
1797. He received the educational advantages


afforded by the common schools of that day, and
early in life became proficient at the trades of
tanner and distiller, having served an apprentice-
ship w'ith is father, Bernhardt Kuntz, who fol-
lowed those lines of industry in connection w-ith
agricultural pursuits. Subsequently, Adam Kuntz
and his brother purchased one of the homestead
farms in Lehigh township, and for many years
w-as successful in the cultivation and operation
of the same. In 1835 Air. Kuntz removed to
East Allen township and purchased the old
Stienger farm, which w-as located on the out-
skirts of the borough of Bath, and on this prop-
erty he resided for the remainder of his life. He
was honored by his fellow-citizens by election tO'
various local offices. He was a member and
elder in the Lutheran church, and was formerly
an old line Whig, but later a Republican in his
political views. Mr. Kuntz married Caroline
Stem, w-ho -was born in Bcrlinville, Lehigh town-
ship, a daughter of Jacob Stem. Their children
were : Sabina Ann ; Elizabeth Ann, wife of Ja-
cob ]\Iiller, of Catasauqua; George J., and Har-
riet, who died January 6, 1894; she was the wife
of Dr. E. G. Steinmetz, of Hokendauqua. Adam
Kuntz, the father of these children, died in 1882,
and his wife passed away in the year 1879.

George J. Kuntz acquired a liberal education
in the schools conducted by Dr. \'anderveer and
Professor Stem, in the city of Easton, Pennsyl-
vania, and this course of instruction thoroughly
qualified him for the position of teacher, in which
capacitv he served for twenty-six and a half
terms, his entire administration being noted for
faithfulness and efficiency. In 1881 he purchased
his present farm which was a portion of the old
estate formerly ow-ned by William Brown, and
since that date he has devoted his time and energy
to the cultivation and improvement of his prop-
ertv, conducting his general farming operations
on an extensive scale. His loyalty as a citizen
and his devotion to the interests of his country
have ever been among his chief characteristics,
and this fact being recognized by his fellow-citi-
zens he has been chosen to fill various township
offices. In 1899, although a Republican in poli-
tics and the township being strongly Democratic,



he was elected justice of the peace by a large ma-
jority and is the incumbent of the ofifice at the
present time (1903).

j\Ir. Kuntz was united in marriage in 1859,
to Jane Insley, a daughter of the late Philip In-
sley, and the issue of this union was two sons :
I. Howard I., born in i860; he was a student at
Lehigh University, but owing to failing health
returned to the farm; in 1881 he married Fanny
M. Lerch, daughter of Aaroh Lerch, and they
were the parents of three children — Frank A.,
a law student at the University of Pennsylvania ;
Rella Irene ; and George Chester Elroy,
who died at the age of three years.
Howard Kuntz died August 2, 1890 ; his wile
died September 8, 1887, and the children have
been reared and educated by their grandparents,
Mr. and i\lrs. Kuntz. 2. Horner, born April 21,
1862 ; he received his education at the schools of
Bethlehem and the Business College at Easton,
and since his graduation has been engaged as a
commercial traveler ; he was united in marriage
to Carrie Miller. Mr. Kuntz and his family are
active members of the Presbyterian church.

JOHN C. SCHWARTZ. Industry, perse-
verance and thrift have been the chief character-
istics in the business career of John C. Schwartz,
an enterprising and energetic citizen of the thriv-
ing city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, whose birth
occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January
6, 1873. He is a worthy representative of an old
and honored German ancestry.

George Schwartz (grandfather) was a native
of Germany, in which country he was educated,
reared, spent his active business life, married,
reared a family of children, and died. One
of his sons, Frederick Schwartz, (father) was
Ijorn at Stuttgart, Germany, received his educa-
tion in the excellent educational institutions of
his country, and in 1859 came to this country,
settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he
liecame a butcher, which nccupation he followed
for manv years. In 1891 he came to Allentown,
same state, where he has since resided, practically
in retirement, enjoving the result of his years of
tnil and activity. Bv his marriage to Christina

Rombard, the following named children were
born : Fi-ederick, deceased ; Kate, deceased ; John
C, mentioned at length hereinafter ; George, who
died in the Spanish- American war, in the year
1898; Carrie; and several who died in infancy.
Three brothers of Frederick Schwartz (father)
and seven half-brothers also migrated to the
United States, locating in or near the city of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and becoming active
and useful citizens.

During his boyhood John C. Schwartz 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 74 of 92)