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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August 3, 1821, was commissioned by Governor
Joseph Heister as colonel of the Twenty-sixth
Regiment of Militia of Pennsylvania, his com-
mand comprising the counties of Northampton,
Monroe, Lehigh, Pike and Wayne. Fle was also
commissioned colonel by Governor Andrew
Schuvler in 1825. The originals of these various
commissions are now in the possession of his de-
scendants. Fie was the intimate friend and
political adviser of George Wolf, who was in



1829 elected governor, his elevation to the chief
magistracy of the state being accomphshed more
by the influence of Colonel Kern than by that of
any other one man. In 1835 Colonel Kern was
elected by the people of Pennsylvania to the
office second only to the highest in their gift, be-
ing placed in the chair of the lieutenant-governor.
He married Mary, daughter of George Palmer,
in honor of whom Palmer township was named.
Colonel and Mrs. Kern were the parents of two
children : George Palmer, mentioned at length
hereinafter; and Elizabeth. Colonel Kern died
March 25, 1837, and his wife passed away Feb-
ruary 26, 1 85 1.

George Palmer Kern, son of Jacob and Mary
(Palmer) Kern, was born December 17, 1817,
and received his education at the well known
school presided over by Dr. Vanderveer at
Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He studied medicine
with Dr. John C. Mulhollan, of Bath, and after-
ward attended a course of lectures at Jefferson
JMedical College, Philadelphia. For one year he
practiced his profession at Weissport, Carbon
county, and then went to New York, where he
received in 1842 from the University of New
York the degree of doctor of medicine. He then
settled in Breinigsville, Lehigh county, where
for nine years he was actively engaged in the du-
ties of his profession. In 185 1 he came to Bath
and formed a partnership with his old preceptor.
Dr. Mulhollan. When, in 1854, this connection
was dissolved by the death of Dr. Mulhollan, Dr.
Kern succeeded to the practice of his venerated
instructor, thus enlarging his own alreadv ex-
tended circle of patrons. In 1866 he opened a
drug store in Bath, which he conducted in con-
junction with his practice during the remainder
of his life. He held the office of county physician,
and was a trustee of the Norristown Insane
Asylum. Notwithstanding that Dr. Kern was
before everything else the studious, diligent and
earnest physician, placing fidelity to professional
duties above every other consideration, he yet
found time for activity in other spheres, and was
never neglectful of his obligations as a citizen.
He consented to serve as a member of the town
council, and manifested his practical interest in

the cause of education by holding the office of
school director. His political affiliations were
with the Democratic party. He was a member
of the County Medical Society. He belonged to
the Masonic fraternity, affiliating with Mano-
quesy Lodge, No. 413, in which he held the office
of past master, and attained the Knight Templar
degrees. He was also an Odd Fellow. He was a
member of the Reformed church.

Dr. Kern married, January 3, 1845, Anna
IMaria, daughter of Peter and Mary Ann
(Brunk) Breinig. The former was a son of
Peter, and a grandson of Ludwick Breinig. Mrs.
Kern was born September 4, 1826, in Lehigh
county. Dr. and Mrs. Kern were the parents of
three children : Mary Alice, who was bom Alarch
20, 1846, and died January 18, 1892 ; Palmer M.,
mentioned at length hereinafter ; and William
Henry, who was born March 31, 1856, and died
October 31, i860. March 20, 1889, Dr. Kern
closed his long career of usefulness and benev-
olence, leaving a void not only in the domestic
and social circles but in the community in which
he had for so many years practiced with inde-
fatigable zeal and enlightened skill the duties of
his arduous and beneficent calling.

Palmer M. Kern, son of George Palmer and
Anna Maria (Breinig) Kern, was born September
20, 185 1. He received his primary education in
the public schools, afterward attending the Free-
land Seminary, and studying at Muhlenberg Col-
lege. Deciding to devote himself for life to the
practice of medicine, he pursued his studies under
the guidance of his father and Dr. Breinig. For
seven years he was engaged in his father's drug
store, meanwhile attending lectures in Jefferson
Medical College, and in 1876 began practice with
his father, the connection continuing unbroken
until the death of the elder Dr. Kern in 1889. In
that year the son succeeded to the proprietorship
of the drug store, in addition to the practice
which had ere this passed into his hands. At
the end of a year and a half he moved to Denver,
Colorado, where he remained two 3-ears, and then
returned to Bath. Here he has since resided in
the old home, winning with the lapse of each suc-
ceeding vear fresh honor as a learned, skillful



and highminded physician. He succeeded to his
father's place on the board of trustees of the
Norristown Insane Asyhim, and also served as a
member of the board of health. By allowing
himself to be elected a member of the town
council and by holding the office of school direc-
tor Dr. Kern has proved that he inherits the pub-
lic spirit as well as the professional zeal of his
father. He is a member of the Masonic order,
affiliating with Manoquesy Lodge, No. 413, A. F.
and A. M., in which he is a past master.

Dr. Kern married, October 26, 1876, Viola
Augusta, born January 13, 1854, in Bath, daugh-
ter of Samuel Myers. Dr. and Mrs. Kern are the
parents of one daughter, Mary Myers, who was
born January 16, 1879, and was educated at Eas-
ton and Denver, afterward attending Bethlehem
Seminary. Her musical education was received
in Philadelphia, and she is now distinguished for
her attainments as a vocalist. November 2, 1904,
she was married to George B. Mauser, superin-
tendent of the Mauser Milling Company, Treich-
lers, Pennsylvania, where they now reside.

conservative genius made him one of the build-
ers of Allentown, could without invidious dis-
tinction be called one of the foremost citizens of
the Lehigh Valley. His strong intellect, keenly
analytical and trained in the severest school of
reason and investigation, made him a distin-
guished lav/yer. His recognition of industrial
and commercial conditions led to his co-operation
in the establishment of many enterprises of mag-
nitude and profit. Plis life was at all times dom-
inated by an unselfish interest and the desire for
the greatest good to the greatest number. A
friend and professional associate said that his
life was best epitomized in the words "He was a
lover of his kind, and by his kind beloved."

Major KaufFman was Ijorn in Allentown, June
II, 1848, his parents being Franklin E. and Anna
S. Kauffman. He represented one of the old
families of this city, for his father was born here
and was for many years engaged in the real estate
business in Allentown. He died about twenty
years ago, but his widow still survives. In his

early boyhood days Major Kauffman was a stu-
dent in the Allentown Academy, then conducted
by Professor I. U. Gregory. Later he attended
the Highland Military Academy of Massachu-
setts, and following his graduation from that in-
stitution matriculated in the Hudson River Insti-
tute, where he completed a course, as he also
did in Claverack College of New York. His de-
sire to become an active member of the bar led to
his enrollment as a law student in the office of
Robert E. Wright, Sr., of Allentown, and when
he had largely mastered the principles of juris-
prudence he successfully passed an examination,
thus securing his admission to the Lehigh county
bar on the 4th of April, 1870. Major Kauffman
remained an active member of the profession
from that time until death, although in recent
years he divided his energies between his legal
interests and various industrial and commercial
])ursuits. No dreary novitiate awaited him at
the bar, for he soon demonstrated his ability suc-
cessfully to cope with the intricate problems of
jurisprudence. He ever presented his cause in
the strong clear light of common sense and in-
disputable logic.

In 1882 he entered into a law partnership
with E. H. Reninger, under the firm name of
Kauffman & Reninger, and it was not long be-
fore they won a distinctively representative client-
age, their business connection being maintained
until 1897, when Mr. Reninger retired in order
to give his undivided attention to his duties as
secretary and treasurer of the Lehigh Valley
Trust and Safe Deposit Company. Mr. Kauff-
man was the owner of one of the largest and most
complete law libraries of the city, and at the time
of his death his offices comprised a luxuriantly
furnished suite of rooms in the Commonwealth
Building. As a lawyer he was rather the advo-
cate than the pleader. In the formulation of a
case, the application of correct legal principles,
the marshalling of facts in proper and logical
sequence, a thorough appreciation of details, a
knowledge of precedents and decisions bearing
on the case, and the ability to present it in a plain,
clear, convincing and concise manner before
judge and jury, he was particularly successful,





and occupied a commanding position before the
bar and the pubhc. His greatest achievements
rest upon his abiUty as a corporation lawyer, and
in that capacity he was identified with some of
the most noteworth}- cases ever tried in this

As his financial resources increased with his
success at the bar. Major Kauffman made exten-
sive and judicious investments in real estate,
whereby his annual income was largely increased.
He was perhaps best known to the public, how-
ever, as the promoter of many and varied business
enterprises which contributed in large measure to
the welfare, progress and upbuilding of the city.
He manifested keen discrimination in the control
of all his business enterprises with which he was
associated, and his excellent foresight and recog-
nition of material possibilities enabled him to
secure for Allentown many important productive
concerns which have been the basis of its modern
prosperity and growth. At the time when a de-
pression in the iron industry threatened the con-
tinual enlargement of the scope of AlIentown"s
undertakings, Mr. Kauffman, recognizing the
critical point in the commercial history of the
city, became a leader in business affairs and gave
a new impetus to business activity, the beneficial
result of which the city is yet enjoying. He was
the leader of the movement to make Allentown a
city of diversified industries, and was a member
of the original committee that went to Paterson,
New Jersey, to interview the leading members of
the Phoenix Manufacturing Company, securing
the erection of a silk mill in this city. It was his
individual check for fifteen hundred dollars, given
as a pledge of good faith before any money was
subscribed by the citizens, that secured for Allen-
town the magnificent industry now known as the
Adelaide Silk Alill. This was but the first
forward step made in the commercial development
here, for other silk mills w^ere soon afterward in-
duced to locate in Allentown and throughout
eastern Pennsylvania. Major Kauffman was
likewise instrumental in securing the establish-
ment of the Iowa Barb Wire Mill, and the .\llen-
town Spinning Company. Of the last named
he was a director at the time of liis death. His


business discernment and sound judgment proved
integral factors in the successful conduct of many
other business enterprises, and he served as a
member of the directorate of the Allentown Gas
Company and the Bethlehem Silk Company, as
well as of the Allentown National Bank. He was
one of the organizers of the Allentown Steam
Heat and Power Company, and acted as its trus-
tee for a number of years. He was likewise one
of the organizers of the Lehigh Valley Trust and
Safe Deposit Compan\-, and from the be-
ginning was its trust officer. and re-
mained such until the time of his death.
He w-as one ot the promoters of the
Lehigh Valley Traction Company, which later
absorbed the Allentown & Bethlehem Rapid
Transit Company and its underlying corpora-
tions. He served as its first attorney, and later
as director of the following, and of a number was
the president : The Allentown & Lehigh Valley
Traction Company, the Bethlehem & Allentown
Street Railway Company, the Bethlehem
and South Bethlehem Electric Railway Com-
pany, the Allentown Passenger Railway
Company, the Manhattan Park & Hotel
Company, and the Catasauqua & Northern
Electric Railway Company. In his later
years he was especially interested in the In-
ternational Incandescent Light Company, and
acted in the capacity of local president. He was.
probably a stockholder in more business enter-
prises than any other resident of Allentown, and
it was usually his aid that was first sought
when it was desired to establish a new industry
in the city. He had rare business acumen, and
as a rule was very successful in his investments..
His judgment became recognized as so safe and
reliable that the public generally regarded his
name in connection with any business concern as
a guarantee of its worth and successful prospects.
His opinions were accurate, his acumen in fore-
casting results and anticipating effects was due
to a perfect knowledge of the intricate w'orkings
of the law of supply and demand, and the appli-
cation of correct business principles. He was
never hasty in marking out a course, but possessed
the conservativeness of a man who wanted to be



sure of his ground before he went ahead. Once
satisfied as to that, he pursued his course with
unswerving energy and undeviating persistency.
Major Kaufifman was attorney for the corpora-
tions mentioned and for many others, and few
men of the state have had a more comprehensive
or accurate knowledge of corporation law.

The political allegiance of Major Kauffman
was given to the Republican party. He was
without personal ambition to hold public office,
regarding the duties of a private citizen as em-
inently worthy of his best efforts. Few men out-
side of political circles had a borader or more
comprehensive knowledge of the questions and
issues of the day and their relation to the general
good. His fellow t(jwnsmen, had he so desired,
would have honored him with many public po-
sitions within their gift, and he was several times
mentioned for the position of mayor. He de-
clined to become a candidate on one occasion,
however, because he did not wish to run against
his brother-in-law, the late Dr. E. G. Martin. He
once served as councilman of the second word,
.and while in Europe in 1891 he was nominated
by the Republican party for the position of dele-
gate to the proposed constitutional convention.
In early manhood he delivered many political
addresses, presenting his cause with earn-
estness and force from the platform, but in later
years was more of a political counselor than
an active party worker. He was, however, fre-
quently sent as a delegate to the Republican state

Major Kaufifman earned his military title by
active service in the National Guard of the state.
He was commissioned by Governor Hoyt pay-
master and inspector of the Fourth Regiment
with the rank of captain, and was afterward made
aide-de-camp to General John F. Hartranft, di-
vision commander of the Pennsylvania National
Guard, with the rank of major. He enjoyed fra-
ternal association in the Odd Fellows and ]\Ia-
sonic lodges, belonging to Lehigh Lodge, I. O. O.
F., and to Barger Lodge, F. and A. M. He also
attained the Knight Templar degree, and was a
past eminent commander of Allen Commandery,

No. 20. No matter how great were his business
and social obligations, he never neglected the
higher and holier duties of life, his course being
in consistent harmony with his membership in
St. John's Lutheran church. He was a charter
member of the leading social organization of
Allentown, the Livingston Club. Major Kauff-
man took great delight in travel, several times
having made trips to Europe, and thus familiar-
ized himself with the places of modern and his-
toric interest in the old world.

In October, 1875, occurred the marriage of
Major Kauffman and Miss Arabella Balliet, a
daughter of Stephen Balliet, deceased, who was
one of the prominent iron ore and furnace oper-
ators in the Lehigh Valley. There are two sur-
viving daughters of this marriage, Leila M. and
Adele B. His devotion to the welfare and hap-
piness of his wife and children was one of his
strongest characteristics, and he also held friend-
ship inviolable. No matter how many were the
demands made upon his energies by his
business interests, he always found a mo-
ment for courteous attention to the ex-
pressed opinions of any one who called.
Possessing an even temperament and genial dis-
position, he was at all times a gentleman, and it
is said that if a public vote had been taken as to
the most popular resident of Allentown Major
Kauffman would by the consensus of public opin-
ion receive the honor. Within the present year
(1904), at the request of the state authorities,
who desire to place a portrait of tlie most prom-
inent and useful citizen of Lehigh county in the
Hall of Fame at Harrisburg, a popular vote has
resulted in designating Major Kauffman for that
distinction. His heart was filled with the milk
of human kindness, and he possessed to a marked
degree the tact which not only makes friends
with ease, but succeeds in retaining them.

He died March 10, 1900, and so greatly had
he endeared himself to his fellow men and so
prominently was he associated with the public
life and the upbuilding of the city that his demise
was regarded as a public calamity and occasioned
uniform sorrow. The bar association of which



he had long been a member lield memorial ser-
vices in his honor, on which occasion Arthur G.
Dewalt, the president of the association said :

"On a summer evening, whilst the sun was
slowly sinking to his bed in rosy clouds, and all
nature was preparing for its rest, sauntering
through a New England village church yard, I
chanced upon a stone with this simple inscription
on its face : 'A lover of his kind, and by his kind
beloved.' How fitting would that same inscrip-
tion be, if placed at the resting spot of him whose
memory we to-day are met to commemorate.
How true it is that he was a 'lover of his kind,
and by his kind beloved.' When the startling
report was given that Major Kauffman had died,
grief in the community in which he was so well
known, was also universal. It can be truthfully
said that no one uttered any words but those of

"In the profession which he followed, he be-
came the confidant and adviser of many. Their
troubles, their cares, their difficulties became his
burden. And upon his honor and high sense of
professional duty, those who sought his advice
could always rely. 'His word was as good as his
bond.' It required no paper writing as evidence
of an agreement with this lawyer. His simple
'aye' was quite sufficient. How many enterprises
which tended towards the good of all, did he fos-
ter? How many poor and deserving young men
did he aid? How great was his sympathy and'
generous conduct to all of those who needed help ?
Those who knew him best can this best tell.

"I have said that this man was very human ;
had he been without fault, he would have been
divine ; but his very faults were lovable. Where,
in all your recollection, can you recall a better
companion, truer friend and more social being
than this, out late brother? Quick in his sym-
pathies, loving in his disposition, open and truth-
ful in his nature, he was a man without guile.
He wore no mask. His face was as open as the
brightness of the day. When you and I gathered
to pay our last respects at his funeral ceremonies,
we may have noticed the wealth of beauty in
floral decorations that was strewn about his bier.
Had those blossoms numbered thousands, they
would not have been too many to voice the regrets
of those he left ; had their fragrance been undy-
ing and their bloom forever fresh, they could
have been no sweeter nor brighter than the love
in which we held him."

ANDREW SCHAN. In the legitimate
channels of trade Mr. Schan won the success and
recognition which is the sequel to well directed
labor, sound judgment and untiring perseverance,
and at the same time he has concerned himself
with the affairs of his adopted state in a loyal and
public-spirited way, so that the community ac-
counts him one of its leading and representative
citizens. He is a native of Baden Baden, Ger-
many, the date of his birth being November 30,

The schools of his native land, Germany, af-
forded Andrew Schan practical education which
thoroughly qualified him to cope with the duties
and responsibilities of an active career. He
learned the trade of cabinet maker in his native
country, and for many years was engaged in this
pursuit. In 1866 he emigrated to the United
States, locating in Easton, South Side, where he
made his home up to the year 1871. He then
removed to Easton and three years later began
the manufacture of cigar boxes, which line of
industry he has successfully followed up to the
present time. The annual capacity of his plant
is sixty-three thousand eight hundred and sev-
enty boxes, and the wood used in the manufac-
ture of the same is pure cedar, this being the best
material for that purpose.

Mr. Schan is a strong advocate of the prin-
ciples of Democracy. During the administration
of Mayor Samuel Lesher, Mr. Shan was a
member of the common council, and during his
term of office introduced Article 18, which was
a bill for the laying of sewers in the city of,
Easton. He has also been active in promoting
other enterprises which have proved to be a last-
ing benefit to the city. He is a member of the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, the Improved
Order of Red Men, and the Knights of Pythias.
He is a director of the Easton Band, and is uni-
versally admired and esteemed by all classes of
citizens, irrespective of party feeling. In June,
1903, Mr. Schan took a trip to his native coun-
try, where he spent a few months reviewing the
scenes and associations of his youth. He also



spent some time in the Swiss Mountains, Paris,
and other places of note and interest in the old
world, and visited all the principal attractions.

In 1 87 1 Mr. Schan was united in marriage to
Louisa Bitzer, a native of Easton, Pennsylvania,
whose birth occurred July 15, 1853. Eight chil-
dren were the issue of this union, seven of whom
are living at the present time (1903). Emma R.,
born September 24, 1872; Mary L., born Feb-
ruary 4, 1875; Sophia C, born May 13, 1877;
Minnie C. born October 13, 1878; Andrew J.,
born March 21, 1880; William K., born July 8,
1883 ; Charles C, born November 10, 1884. Mr.
Schan and his family are members of the Lu-
theran church, in which he has held the office of
elder and deacon for fifteen years.

one of the enterprising and successful busi-
ness men of Allentown, Lehigh county, Pennsyl-
vania, and a representative of a family who took
up their residence in that section of the state
many years ago, is a native of East Texas, Le-
high county, Pennsylvania. His grandparents
were Jonathan S. and Lydia Jarrett (Eisenhard)
.Shoemaker, and his parents were Charles Henry
and Caroline (Yeager) .Shoemaker, whose fam-
ily consisted of twelve children, eight of whom
are living at the present time: I. Remelia, wife of
.\ndrew K. Jacks, and their children are : Helen,
wife of Mr. Singmaster ; and Charles, unmarried.
2. George W., mentioned hereinafter. 3. Will-
iam F., who married Elizabeth , and their

family consists of eight children ; 4. Amanda,
wife of Israel Bauer, and mother of one child,
Luella. 5. Elizabeth, wife of Harry C. Kepner,
and their children are Charles and Anna. 6.
Charles, who married Cora Hartman, and they
are the parents of one child, Charles Henry. 7.
Emma, wife of George Bolton, and mother of one
child, Stanley. 8. Fred, who married Miss Wag-
oner, and they have one child.

George W. Shoemaker acqtiired his prelimi-

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 80 of 92)