John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

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the Golden Eagle, Patriotic Order Sons of Amer-
ica, and the Railroad Relief Association.

In 1889 Mr. Kleppinger married Lena Peifly,
a daughter of ]\Iichael Peifly, a prominent farmer
of Lehigh county, a man of character and ability
and who filled various important local offices.
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Klep-
pinger — Warren and Clayton Kleppinger. Air.
Kleppinger and his family attend the Lutheran

JijSEPH KEEPER, deceased, was numbered
among- the highly respected citizens of Lehigh
county, where he so directed his labors that his
energy and ability resulted in winning for him a
creditable measure of success, while his honorable
dealing gained for him an unassailable reputation.
A native of Northampton county, he was born in

Allen township on the 9th of April, 1844, a son
of Elias and Lydia (Solt) Keefer. The father
was of German descent, but was himself a native
of Northampton county, Pennsylvania. In citi-
zenship he was always patriotic and loyal, and he
served his country as a soldier of the war of 181 2.
He was twice married, and by his first union had
a daughter Catherine. The children of the sec-
ond marriage were Elizabeth, George, John, Jo-
seph, Samuel and William.

Joseph Keefer was reared upon the home
farm, and attended the public schools to a limited
extent, but, as the family were in straitened
financial circumstances, it became necessary that
he earn his living at an early age, and in his youtn
he followed various pursuits in order to provide
for his own support. For four years he engaged
in boating. When fifteen years of age he became
a resident of Whitehall township, Northampton
county, and not long afterward began learning
the blacksmith's trade. Before he had completed
his term of apprenticeship, however, the Civil war
was inaugurated, and, believing that his first duty
was to his country, he oft'ered his aid to the gov-
ernment as a defender of the L'nion, and became
a private in the Sixteenth Regiment Pennsylvania
Volunteer Cavalry. During his term of service,
ending in August, 1865, he worked at his trade,
but nevertheless participated in a number of im-
portant engagements, including the battles of
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness,
Petersburg, and many others of lesser importance
together with a large number of skirmishes.
When the country no longer needed his services
he was honorably discharged and again resumed
work at the anvil, following blacksmithing for
seven consecutive years. In 1871, however, he
secured employment at the Hokendauqua fur-
nace, where he remained for three years, and
while thus engaged his attention became attracted
to mining interests and operations and, beginning
work in that department of industrial activity,
he continued successfully therein for several
years. In 1880 he purchased a farm which he
operated through the agency of hired help. In
1900 he purchased another farm which he
brought under a high state of cultivation. After



he abandoned mining he turned his attention to
<iuarrying stone under contract for the various
cement plants doing business in this part of the
state, and in that work he continued up to the
time of his death, which occurred on the 13th of
April, 1903. He was very successful in the con-
duct of all of his enterprises, and accumulated a
very desirable competency. Whatever he under-
took he carried forward to successful completion,
brooking no obstacles that could be overcome by
<letermined purpose and honorable efifort. As his
financial resources increased he made judicious
investments in real estate, and also became a large
stockholder and one of the directors in the Cement
National Bank at Siegfrieds, Pennsylvania.

In 1866 ]Mr. Keefer was united in marriage
to Miss Mary Kleckner, a daughter of ^^'illiam
and Clarissa Kleckner Ol Lehigh county. i\Irs.
Keefer was born near Egypt. Pennsylvania, Au-
gust 24, 1845, 3"d was one of a family of eight
children, but only two are now living, her sister
being Mrs. Eliza Biege. of Coplay, Pennsylvania.
L'nto Mr. and Mrs. Keefer were born six chil-
dren, but John H., Joseph E. and Samuel L. are
now deceased. George W., born September 7,
1866, married 2^Iiss Ida Woodring. and mito
them were born seven children, five of whom are
yet living, namely : Florence T., Joseph F.,
Alice. William E. and Bessie. Sarah A. Keefer
was born August 20. 1868, and is the wife of Rev.
A. J. Breining, a minister of the Lutheran church,
and of their six children three are living: Ben-
jamin E., Clarissa A. and ^Margaret A. ^lary
A. Keefer, born August 5, 1873, '^ the wife of
David Lindaman, and they became the parents of
two children, but both are now deceased. ^Ir.
and Mrs. Keefer also had an adopted son, Alfred,
who was born August 3, 1882, and who is one of
the rising voung business men of Siegfrieds,
Pennsylvania, where he is now employed as book-
keeper in the Cement National Bank.

IMr. Keefer was a member r i the Grand Army
of the Republic at Catasauqua, and also of the
A'eteran League of Allentown. He held member-
ship in the Reformed church of Egypt, Pennsyl-
vania, in which he served as elder, and he took
an active and helpful interest in all movements

pertaining to the welfare and progress of his
community, was loyal in citizenship, faithful in
friendship, reliable in business and devoted to
the best interests of his family, so that he left
behind him an untarnished name.

HENRY E. ]\IARTIN, J\I. D., of Al-
lentown, as a member of the medical fraternity
and a representative of the slate industry has
for many years been a prominent factor in pro-
fessional and manufacturing circles in Lehigh
county. IMany representatives of the name have
followed the profession which was the life work
of the progenitor of the family in America. Four
of his sons, Jacob, George, Charles and Peter
became physicians.

He is descended from Dr. Christian Frederick
iMartin, the founder of the family in America,
who was born in Prussia, December 22, 1737,
and was the son of a Lutheran clergyman. He
acquired a classical and medical education in
Berlin, and soon after his graduation at the Uni-
versity of Medicine he came to America in com-
pany with the Rev. Henry JMelchoir iMuhlenberg
and others, and settled at Trappe, in iMontgomery
county. He married a IMiss Schwatz, the daugh-
ter of a clergyman, and entered upon the practice
of his profession. By his first wife he has six
children : Frederick, who died in Otsego county.
New York; John; Samuel: Elizabeth, who mar-
ried a Mr. Egner ; Mrs. Ellen Hartzell ; and Mrs.
Hilary Dickenshield. The second wife of Dr.
Christian Frederick Martin was Mary Miller,
and their children were : Andrew ; Jacob, a phy-
sician; George; Charles H., also a physician;
Peter, and Anna, wife of Peter Bright.

George IMartin, of this family, studied medi-
cine, and about the year 1800 settled in Whit-
pain township, Montgomey county, Pennsylva-
nia, where he remained until 1814. when he re-
moved to Whitemarsh. He practiced there un-
til 1850, in which year he became a resident of
Philadelphia, making his home in that city until
his death, December 8, 1862. He left three sons
— Frederick A., Charles and John. The first was
a graduated physician of the University of Penn-
sylvania of the class of 1830, and practiced at



Coopersburg until 1843. I" 1850 he retired from
his profession and went to Bethlehem, where he
remairted until 1867, when he became a resident
of Philadelphia. His brother Charles prepared
for the medical profession in the University of
Pennsylvania, being graduated in 1833, but aft-
erward became a minister and had charge of St.
James Episcopal church in New York city. John,
youngest of the three brothers, was a graduate of
the University of Pennsylvania of the class of
1836, practiced medicine at Whitemarsh, Penn-
sylvania, and afterward removed to California.
On his return to the east he studied law and prac-
ticed at Norristown, Pennsylvania, but later re-
sumed the practice of medicine. He died at JNIag-
nolia, Pennsylvania, March 13, 1872.

Charles H. Martin, son of Christian Frederick
Martin, studied medicine with his father, settled
in Allentown about 181 2, and practiced there un
til his death. May 31, 1844. He married Chris-
tiana Huber, who died November 26, 1883. Theii
son, Charles Ludwig Martin, was graduated with
honors from the University of Pennsylvania in
the spring of 1841, and, having prepared for the
profession, succeeded to his father's practice in
1844. He was married February 20, 1845, to
Miss INIatilda Detvviller, and had six children :
Lucy, wife of Isaac Ash ; Matilda, wife of John
Satterfield ; Lizzie C, wife of A. B. Fichter; Con-
stantine ; Charles D. ; and Truman J., who are all
physicians ; John Norton, a lawyer ; and \Yil-
liam E.

Peter ^lartin, son of Dr. Christian Frederick
I\lartin, also became a member of the medical
profession and died in 1856.

Jacob L. Martin, son of Dr. Christian Fred-
erick Martin, studied medicine with his father
and began practice in Allentown about 1790.
He served as postmaster from 1805 until 1814.
and his death occurred in Allentown in 1834. His
wife was Jane Savitz, a daugnter of George
Savitz, and to them were born ten children :
I'xlwanl 1"., Charles II., Tilghman H.,
Walter, h'ranklin ]',., William, Thomas, Mrs.
Tliomas ]',. Wilson, Mrs. John W. Horn-
beck and Mrs. E. ?,. Newhard. Two of the sons
became physicians. (.)f these Tilghman, Ijorn De-

cember 6, 1809, was graduated from the medical
department of the University of Pennsylvania in
1 83 1, and succeeded to his father's practice in
Allentown. He was an active member of the
Lehigh County JMedical Society and of the Penn-
sylvania State Medical Society. In 1836 he
wedded Mary, daughter of Daniel Kramer, and
their children were Alfred J., M. Eugene, Dan-
iel, deceased ; Harvey, Thomas T., Eliza, and

Dr. Edward ]\Iartin, son of Jacob Martin and
uncle of Dr. Henry F. I^Iartin, became a physi-
cian and settled at Weaversville, Pennsylvania,
where he died, leaving a son Walter, who also
became a physician.

Charles H. Martin, father of Dr. Henry F.
Martin, was graduated from the medical depart-
ment of the LTniversity of Pennsylvania, March
6, 1830, began practice in Allentown and con-
tinued therein until his death, in September,
i860. He left three sons who became physicians :
Dewees J., Edwin G., and Henry F.

Henry Francis Martin, like many other rep-
resentatives of the family, is a graduate of the
medical department of the University of Penn-
sylvania, and entered upon the practice of
his profession in Slatington. Not long
afterward the Civil w'ar began, and on
the 5th of July, 1861, he enlisted as
assistant surgeon of the Thirty-eighth Regiment
( Ninth Reserve) Pennsylvania Volunteers for
three years service. He remained with that com-
mand until promoted to Surgeon of the One Hun-
dred and Twenty-third Regiment, September 6,
1862. Later he was made chief surgeon of the
brigade, and was finally mustered out with the
One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment A I ay
13' 1863. At the emergency call he re-enlisted
and served as surgeon of the Thirty-first Regi-
ment for three or four weeks, being discharged
.August 8, 1863.

Dr. Martin then resumetl the practice of medi-
cine, lo'cating in Catasauqua,' where he remained
for some time. Eventually, however, he turned
his attention to the slate business, and the firm
of which he was a member received a medal at
the Centennial Exposition in 1876 for the excel-



lence of material and the style of finish of their
work. He continued in that line until 1881, when
he retired from manufacturing and invested in
mining property in Colorado, where he still holds
several valuable claims, but retains his residence
in Allentown. He is a member of the Episcopal
church, and gives his political support to the
Democratic party. He has actively supported
many movements to promote social, intellectual,
material and moral development and military af-
fairs in Lehigh county.

Dr. Martin married Anna ^I. Dresher, daugh-
ter of Nathan and Alary Elizabeth (Zeller)
Dresher, and of this marriage were born three
children : George Dresher, deceased ; Nathan
Dresher and May Elizabeth ]\Iartin. The second
of the sons, Nathan Dresher Martin, ac-
quired his education in the public schools
of Allentown, graduating from the high
school, and at Muhlenberg College, which
he entered in 1886 and from which he graduated
in 1890. He has never engaged in either pro-
fessional or active business work. He is a mem-
ber of Grace (Protestant Episcopal) church, and
is actively identified with the Brotherhood of St.
Andrew and the Young jNIen's Christian Asso-
ciation. In politics, he is a Republican.

Airs. Henry F. Martin (nee Anna j\I.
Dresher) is a descendant of an old and honored
German ancestry dating from pre-revolutionary
times. The founder of her family in America
was her great-grandfather, Philip Dresher,
who came from W'urtemberg, Germany, about
1744. and whose son Conrad (died in 1828) was
father of Philip Dresher. Philip Dresher
married Anna Trexler, and their children
were Nathan, and Judith, who became the wife
of John Reiter. Nathan Dresher was born in
Longswamp township, Berks county, on the farm
of his grandfather, Conrad Dresher, February
18, 1815, and died September 10, 1900. His
father died when he was twelve years of age,
and when he was eighteen the family removed to
Allentown. He attended Allentown Academy
and a similar school in Doylestown, and acquired
a liberal education. He passed some time
in Philadelphia, where he studied music

and became a most proficient performer on the
violin. He engaged in the lumber business in
Allentown with Hoffman Brothers, who were
then located where Hersh & Sons' hardware
store now stands. Later he embarked in the lum-
ber business on his own account on Hamilton,
street, above Ninth, adjoining his home, and was
so engaged until 1856, when he retired and was
succeeded by Edwin Jonas & Willoughby
Trexler. In 1868 he resumed the lumber busi-
ness, in partnership with his son Daniel and Ja-
cob Grim. His son died the next year, and he
retired, being succeeded by Jacob Grim, Reuben
D. Butz and Benjamin Kline, Colonel Harry
Trexler having leased the old place.

Nathan Dresher married, Alarch 15, 1842,
Mary E. Zeller, daughter of Rev. Daniel
Zeller, a clergyman of the Reformed church. Of
this marriage were born three children : Daniel
A. ; Anna AL, who became the wife of Dr. Henry
F. Martin; and Mary E. Dresher.

HARRY E. GRIM, proprietor of the \\>n-
nersville Hotel in Wennersville, Pennsylvania,
was born at Allentown, Lehigh county, November
6, 1871.

He is descended in the paternal line from good
old Revolutionary stock, and is a representative
of a colonial family that was established in Penn-
sylvania at an early period in the development
of the state. His paternal great-great-grand-
father was Heinrich Grim, who married jMissHot-
tenstein. and among their children was David
Grim, the great-grandfather, whose birth occur-
red in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and who,
joining the American forces at the time of the
Revolutionary war. rose to the rank of colonel in
Washington's army. He wedded Miss Hannah
Knapp, and their family included Peter Knapp
Grim, who was born on the 20th of January,
1829, in Lehigh county. He has for many years
made his home in Allentown, and for a long-
period was engaged in the tanning business, but
withdrew from the trade in 1881, and is now liv-
ing a retired life. He married Aliss Elizabeth
Alosser, who was born in Lehigh county in 1827,
and also survives. Her father. Tacob Alosser..



who was a tanner b}' occupation, was called to his
final rest in his sevent_y-ninth year. Unto the
marriage of Peter K. and Elizabeth (Mosser)
Grim were born nine children, of whom David
Grim, father of Harry E. Grim, is the eldest.
Ellen, the second child of Peter K. and Eliza-
beth Grim, is now the wife of William J. Fred-
erick and has three children, Bessie, Mabel and
Lillian. Kate, the third member of the family, is
unmarried. Amanda is the wife of John T. Hart-
zell. and their children are : Elizabeth, the wife
of Tilden Kelchner ; Florence, the wife of Lyman
Clark ; Ralph, Catherine, and John. Emma, the
fifth child of Peter K. Grim, is unmarried.
Jacob W., a member of the firm of Grim Broth-
ers, brick manufacturers of Allentown, has been
married twice. His first wife was Mary Miller,
by whom he had one child, Anna, and his second
wife was Aggie Miller, a sister of the first wife.
Albert P. married Tillie Hauck, and they have
■one daughter, Florence. R. Tillie is the wife of,
Charles J. Apple and has two children. May and
Charles. Annie is the wife of L. O. Shankwiler
and has four children : Claude, Edna, Raymond
and Anna.

David AL Grim, the father of Harry E. Grim,
was born in Lehigh county, learned the tanner's
trade in early life, and followed that pursuit until
1886. He then turned his attention to farming
in Dorneysville, where he still resides. He mar-
ried Miss Sarah Shaffer, and they became the
parents of seven children, Harry E. being the
eldest. J. Peter married Grace J. Kern and has
two children, Anora M. and Luther D. Frank
D. wedded Emma Fleming and has one child,
Earle. William R. married Sadie Miller and has
one son, Raymond. Helen E., Lula J. and Ida
are all at home.

Harry E. Grim acquired his education in the
puljlic schools of Allentown, which he attended
until about fifteen years of age, when he began
learning the plumber's trade with the firm of
Birchall & Parlon, of Allentown, in whose ser-
vices he remained for three years. After he had
completed his trade he worked for one year for
Thomas Yeager, and afterward for one year for
-Samuel Swnrtz. He next spent eighteen months

in the employ of his uncles, constituting the firm
of Grim Brothers, proprietors of a brick yard
of Allentown, and during the succeeding year and
a half he was engaged in plumbing as an em-
ploye of John Bittling. For eight and a half
years he was in the service of Evan Seagraves
& Company, plumbers of Allentown, and in April,
1904, he leased the Wennersville Hotel, which he
is still conducting, having made it one of the best
road houses in Lehigh county.

In his political views Mr. Grim is a Republi-
can, and is now serving as assistant postmaster
at the Eckert postoffice. Fraternally, he is con-
nected with the Junior Order of United American
Mechanics, belonging to Lodge No. 753 of Al-
lentown. He is also a member of Lodge No. no
of the Fraternal Order of Eagles at Allentown.
He was married in 1893 to Miss Sarah M. Otto,
and they are now the parents of three children-
Lillian O., born February 26, 1894; Evelyn R.,
born January 13, 1896; and Calvin O., born No-
vember 7, 1902.

WILLIAM F. NEFF, one of the leading
merchants of Allentown, Pennsylvania, whose
business transactions have been straightforward
and upright, and who has built up for himself a
reputation as a good citizen, contributing liber-
ally of his time and means to whatever tends to
the general welfare, and by his industry and en-
terprise affording a worthy example to others,
was born in Slatington, Pennsylvania, November
20, 1865. The pioneer ancestor of the family
came from Germany at an early day. The name
at that time was spelled Neif, but later was
changed to Neff, as at present.

John Neif (great-grandfather) was born in
Lynn township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania,
and he is the first of the family of whom there is
any authentic information. He was a lifelong
resident of that township, followed agricultural
pursuits, and in addition to this was a mason by
trade. He married a Miss Oswald, and they
reared a family of four sons, namely: John, who
followed farming in Lynn township ; he was 'i
Ijachelor until about sixty years of age, when he
married the widow of his brother Henr\-. Jonas


':r^ ^}lyj^



B., mentioned hereinafter. Elias, who was a
mason by trade, and later devoted his time to
farming in Lynn township ; he married Lydia
Ann JMosser, who bore him a number of children.
Henry, who was a merchant at Cherrj' Hollow,
Monroe county ; he married and was the father
of one child, Ouincy Neff.

Jonas B. Xeff (grandfather) was born in
Lynn township, Pennsylvania, about 1803. In
early life he gained a thorough knowledge of
farming, which occupation he followed there-
after, conducting- his operations in Lynn town-
ship. For fourteen years he served as captain
in the state militia, and his political affiliations
were with the Democratic party. He married
Mary Magdalene ]\Iosser, a daughter of Jacob
Mosser, who was a farmer and merchant, and a
son of Burkhart Mosser, who came from Ger-
many. Their children were as follows : Nathan,
who died in 1852, unmarried ; he was a mason b}'
trade. Edward, who died at the age of thirty
years, unmarried. Jonas, who died when about
the age of forty years, unmarried. Duan, men-
tioned hereinafter. ]\Iatilda, who became the wife
of David Weaver, a carpenter and farmer, a resi-
dent of Germansville, Pennsylvania, and they
are the parents of three children : Thomas, Sa-
rah and Ella Weaver. Jonas B. Neff, father of
these children, died in 1867, and was survived
by his wife, who passed away in 1885.

Duan NefT (father) was born on a farm in
Lynn township, Pennsylvania, July 19, 1839. He
was reared and educated there, attending the old
country school, whicli was located about three
miles from his home. He served an apprentice-
ship at the trade of carpenter in Slatington, re-
turning to his home on Saturday in order to spend
the Sabbath day with his family. He followed
that line of work until about 1878, and during
this time erected many residences, school houses,
and two churches in Slatington, giving employ-
ment to a number of skilled workmen, all of the
window cases, doors and other things being got-
ten out by hand at that time. Among the struc-
tures which stand as monuments to his skill and
ability are the following : the Presbyterian
chruch, St. John's Reformed church, the Slating-

ton Knitting Mill, and the American House. 'Mr.
Ne'fi casts his vote with the Democratic party,
the principles of which he believes to be for the
best form of government. He is a member of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Slating-
ton Lodge, No. 634; Slatington Encampment,
No. 230, I. O. O. F., of which he was a charter
member ; the American ]\Iechanics of Slatington ;
Samuel H. Kress Post, Grand Army of the Re-
public, of Slatington ; and the Knights of Honor
of Slatington.

January 2, 1859, Duan Nefi' was united in
marriage to Amelia Hunsicker, who was born in
AVashington township, Pennsylvania, [March 11,
1840, a daughter of Dennis and Esther (Smith)
Hunsicker and granddaughter of Peter and
Mary (Hartman) Hunsicker, whose family con-
sisted of nine children, as follows : Dennis, Lydia,
Caroline, Royal, Mary, Ezra, Kufina, Edwin and
Frena Hunsicker. Peter Hunsicker (grandfa-
ther) was a farmer in Washington township, and
an active participant in the war of 1812. Den-
nis Hunsicker (father) was born in Washington
township, was a farmer by occupation, and by
his marriage to Esther Smith the following
named children were born : Harrison, who died
in early life; Amandus, who also died in early
life : Amelia, aforementioned as the wife of Duan
Neiif; Leon, who married Sarah Kuntz, and they
are the parents of one child, Ida ; the family re-
side in Slatington; Alfred, who married Isabella
Remaly, and their children are : William, Clyde,
Minnie, James, and Mary; the family reside in
Washington township, where Mr. Hunsicker is
engaged in farming. Nine children were the
issue of the marriage of Duan and Amelia (Hun-
sicker) Neff, namely: i. Ida Virginia, who died
in infancy. 2. James, who also died in infancy.
3. Allen A., who married ]\Iahala Leiby, of Elys-
berg, Pennsylvania, who bore him one child, Liz-
zie ; after the death of his wife, Allen A. married
I\Irs. Almeda Kutz, and one child has been born
of this union, Emily ; the family reside in Allen-
town. 4. ^^'illiam F., mentioned hereinafter. 5.
Emma E., who became the wife of Edward L.
Krause, of Slatington, and two children were

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 76 of 92)