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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former place for a number of years, he took
charge of his father's farming and lumbering
interests. He was an energetic and enterprising
citizen, and was active in promoting a number
of the important public enterprises of his day.
He commended the public-school system to the
farmers of his locality, putting forth every effort
in his power in behalf of public education, but
met with considerable opposition among the Ger-
man residents of the locality, who did not favor
that method of instructing the young. After the
completion of the Lehigh canal, Mr. Weiss, in
connection with his brother, Francis, laid out the
town of Weissport.

Thomas Weiss married Maria Solt, and
they had eight children. Rebecca, the eldest,
married Dr. John D. Thompson, and her chil-
dren were Louise, wife of Judge Dreyer, and

Elizabeth (2) married Jacob Bowman, and
their children were : Bishop Thomas Bowman,
who married Diana Young ; Captain James Bow-
man, who married Fanny Torborg; Wesley W.
Bowman, who married Cenia Kuntz ; Ellen, wife
of Perry Wanamacker ; and Sarah, wife of Hon.
Levi Wirtz.

Lewis (3) married Mary Wentz, and after-
ward Matilda Brotherline. By his first marriage
he has six children. Charles, married El-
len Moyer, and had two children — George,
who married Miss Tureft", and Mary, de-
ceased. Anna, second child of Lewis Weiss,
married Charles Sweeny, and their children
were Robert, who married Alice Crater;
Harry, who married Anna Patterson ; and Sa-
rah, deceased. Harriet, third child of Lewis, married William Romig, of Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, and their children are: Albert,

who married Carrie Dorney ; Minnie, wife of
Harry Lynn, by whom she has three children,
William, Harry and Donald ; and Mary, wife of
John Angeny, by whom she has three children,
John, Harriet and iMary. Sarah, fourth child of
Lewis Weiss, became the wife of Hon. Andrew
Raudenbush, and their children are Horace, who
married Grace Doran, and has three children,
Esther, Earl and Helen ; Charles ; and Ralph,
who married Edith Dilly, of Wilkes-Barre, Penn-
sylvania . Milton, fifth child of Lewis Weiss,
married Edna Hegeman, and their children are
Ellen, who is the wife of James Runyon, and the
mother of one child, Margaret Runyon ; and
Catherine, wife of Theodore Cramp Webster, of
the United States Army. Emily, the sixth child,
died ii. infancy. By his second wife Lewis Weiss
had two children, Clarence and Carrie.

Charles Weiss (4) died in Michigan, No-
vember 30, 1839.

Julia, (5) died in Weissport, Pennsylvania,
January 2, 1818.

Francis (6), married Elizabeth Koons.
They have had eleven children: Mary and
Helen, both deceased ; Mrs. Rebecca Schmaltz ;
Thomas, who was born at Summit Hill,
Carbon county, Pennsylvania, April 17, 1847;
Caroline, wife of George Myers ; Francis,
who married, but his wife is now de-
ceased ; John, deceased ; William H., who mar-
ried Marie, daughter of Amos Lentz, and has one
child, William Lentz, born December 4, 1879 ;
Catherine ; Louis, deceased ; and Harry E.

Edward (7) married Polly Kleppinger, and
had one child, Priscilla. His second wife was
Henrietta Steckel, and he died August 6, 1866.
He had eight children by his second marriage.
I. Ellen J., who became the wife of Nathan
Lafifler, now deceased, and their children are:
Edward F., and William, deceased. 2. Edward
J., who married Jennie Hammond. 3. Webster
C, further mentioned in following pages. 4.
Elizabeth C, deceased, who was the wife of A.
T. Koch, by whom she had a daughter, Bessie
Koch. 5. John C, who married Emma Reber,
and their children are : Julius and Merrill. 6.
Jennie A., who became the wife of John Williams,



now deceased, and their children were : Norman,
and Nona; by her second hnsband, Milton Head-
man, she has one child, Paul Headman. 7. Bar-
dine. 8. Harry G., deceased.

Alexander Weiss (8) married Elizabeth
Greene, of Easton, Pennsylvania. They had five
children, Charles, Camillas, Thomas, Frederick
and Robert. Mrs. Weiss is now deceased. Alex-
ander Weiss was the youngest of the children of
Thomas and Maria (Solt) Weiss.

THOMAS WEISS, a son of Francis and
Elizabeth (Koons) Weiss, was born at Summit
Hill, Carbon county, Pennsylvania, April 17,
1847. When he was ten years of age his par-
ents removed to Eckley, where he resided until
attaining years of maturity.

His early studies were pursued in Saunders'
private school, and afterward he entered the mili-
tary school at West Philadelphia, there remain-
ing for five years. He graduated from the acad-
emy with honor, after which he assisted his fa-
ther in the management of the mines. For a
period of two years he was employed by George
Rickert in repairing the pumps under ground,
and later took charge of the breakers. Leaving
this, he formed a company of state militia, the
Luzerne Zouaves, of which he was made captain,
and during the reign of the "Alolly McGuires"
and other troubles of that period the company
rendered excellent service. In 1870, almost thir-
ty-five years ago, Mr. Weiss located in Bethle-
hem, and in the southern part of the city estab-
lished a manufactory for shovels, scoops and
spades, which under his excellent management
grew to extensive proportions, the trade increas-
ing in volume and importance during each suc-
ceeding year. Subsequently he disposed of this
enterprise and turned his attention almost wholly
to the breeding of fine horses, being an authority
on this subject, and he is now one of the very
few men of the United States who are so fa-
miliar with the best specimens of horses and their
history that they can tabulate their genealogy
from memory. On his East End Farm, which
he has since sold, he reared a number of noted
horses, among which were "Sable King," "Silver

Bell," "Condensation," "Alchemy," "Charming
Bell," and "Electioneer," all of which were of
the finest breeds, being of the Wilkes strain. Mr.
Weiss was the originator and first president of
the Bethlehem Fair and Driving Park Associa-
tion, but declined the honor of re-election to the
presidency. In 1893 he organized the Gentle-
men's Driving Club and was appointed its presi-
dent, in which capacity he is still serving. The
club has from two to three races a year, and num-
bers among its members many of the prominent
citizens and business men. He was a corres-
pondent for eastern Pennsylvania for John H.
Wallace, the originator of the "Horse Register,"
serving for several years. He exerts his influ-
ence in behalf of the Republican party, the prin-
ciples of which he has always believed to be for
the best form of government, and in every re-
spect he has proved himself a public-spirited citi-
zen, upholding the best interests of his fellow-
townsmen. Mr. Weiss is connected with the
Masonic order, affiliated with the Royal Arch
and the Council, and with Hugh DePayens Com-
mandery. Knights Templar, of Easton.

Mr. Weiss was united in marriage in New
York city, in 1874, to Miss Amelia A. Meyer, a
native of that city, and five children were born
to them, namely : Thomas, Jr., J. Bernard, Wil-
helmina, Esther, and Alexander, who died in
infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Weiss are members of
the Episcopal church, and are liberal contribu-
tors to the work connected therewith. The fam-
ily reside in a commodious and pleasant home
at the corner of Linden and Market streets,

WILLIAM H. WEISS, who is now leading
a retired life at his home in Bethlehem, sur-
rounded with peace and plenty and realizing to
the full that there is no reward so satisfactory
as the consciousness of a life well spent, was
born at Eckley, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania',
September 17, 1856, a son of Francis and Eliza-
beth (Koons) Weiss.

He attended the schools in the vicinity of his
home, and the knowledge thus obtained was sup-
plemented by attendance at the Moravian day



school in Bethlehem, whither he removed in
1870; by a two years' course at Rondthaler
School, and by a four years' course in the acad-
emy at Lawrenceville, New Jersey, from which
institution he was graduated in 1876. Upon his
return home he continued his studies for two
years longer under the preceptorship of George
Perkins, thus becoming thoroughly qualified to
face and overcome the many obstacles that beset
a man in a successful business career. At first
he engaged in general merchandising at Bingen,
Northampton county, but the following year
disposed of the same and conducted a general
store on Broad street, which he also conducted
for a similar period of time before disposing of
it. He then accepted a position as bookkeeper
for the Lehigh Manufacturing Company, contin-
uing with that firm until the business was closed
up at the decease of his father. In 1889 Mr.
Weiss retired from active business, his income
from his investments and from his share of his
father's estate, being adecpate to supply his every
need and requirements. He devotes consider-
able time and attention to the breeding of thor-
oughbred dogs, having been the owner of several
very fine specimens, among them being "Sir Tat-
ton," an English setter. Mr. Weiss is deeply
interested in the welfare of his community, and
has always been a potent factor in all movements
which would enhance its material, educational
and moral prosperity. He casts his vote with
the Republican party, and holds membership in
the Order of Red Men and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks.

In 1879 Mr. Weiss was united in marriage in
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Miss Mary Louisa
Lentz, who was born in Mauch Chunk, Pennsyl-
vania, daughter of Amos Lentz, a railroad con-
tractor. They are the parents of one son, Wil-
liam L. Their home, which is noted for the ut-
most hospitality, is situated at No. 328 Broad
street, Bethlehem. The family hold membership
in Trinity Episcopal church.

Edward and Henrietta (Steckel) Weiss, was
born September 23, 1853, in Weissport, Carbon

county, Pennsylvania, and was there reared and
educated. He attended school during the winter
months only. At twelve years of age he was
thrown on his own resources, as he was deprived
by death of his father's care, and afterwards he
and his brother were obliged to support the fam-
ily. He commenced his business career by driv-
ing mules on the gravel bank for the Lehigh Coal
and Navigation Company. He worked his way
from this lowly position to that of boating agent
for the company with which he had been con-
nected since boyhood. In 1885 he resigned his
position to accept that of sales-agent for the
wholesale coal firm of Whitney & Kemmerer,
taking charge of their Mauch Chunk office, which
position he resigned in 1899.

The political career of Mr. Weiss has been
marked. When only twenty-one years of age he
was placed on the Republican ticket for auditor
and was elected by a handsome majority. Three
years later when only twenty-four years of age,
he was nominated for justice of the peace and
after a severe contest was elected by a flattering
majority. A few years later he was nominated
for school director and was again elected, became
the secretary of the board and in this capacity
advised the board to adopt a uniform system of
text-books and pay for the same out of the dis-
trict treasury. This was done and his arrest fol-
lowed for misappropriation of public funds. He
was indicted by the grand jury on this charge,
but the late Judge Dreher decided in his favor
and since then the state has provided for free
te.xt-books. Mr. Weiss was the first Repubii-
can State Representative of the House ever elected
from Northampton county on a straight ticket
and was the only successful candidate on the
ticket in 1894, the year of his election. He was
re-nominated in the fall of 1896, and re-elected
by a largely increased majority, notwithstanding
the fact that the county gave a Democratic ma-
joritv for the Presidential electors.

Major Weiss served on several very import-
ant committees, prominent among them being the
Educational and the Appropriation. Among the
important bills introduced by Mr. Weiss was one
calling for an appropriation of $40,000 for St.





Luke's Hospital. He secured $25,000, which
was an increase of $17,000 over what had been
voted the hospital prior to Mr. W'eiss's election.
Another bill was that calling for an appropria-
tion of $200,000 for Lehigh L'niversity. The
University was in financial straits and would
have suiTered very materially had not the State
come to the rescue. $150,000 was appropriated,
and Air. \\'eiss is held in grateful remembrance
for his untiring energy in pushing this measure.

Major Weiss served with distinction in the
volunteer service during the Spanish-Americar.
war, having been appointed a paymaster with
the rank of Major, by President McKinley, June
13, 1898. This appointment was promptly con-
firmed by the United States Senate. He served
until the close of the volunteer campaign and
was honorably discharged June 13, 1899. Dur-
ing his service he was stationed as the resident
paymaster in several of the large camps. His
work was severe and responsible, disbursing
$1,812,000.00 and accounting for every dollar,
no charges for errors nor loss of funds standing
against him in the Paymaster's Departments. So
efficient were his services that General Stanton,
Paymaster-general of the U. S. Army, wrote to
United States Senator Al. S. Quay as follows:
"Major Weiss has proven himself to be a very
valuable officer and well worthy of your recom-
mendation, and it gives me pleasure to say that
in making Major Weiss paymaster of volunteers,
\ou exercised good, sound judgment, and he has
proven himself worthy of your confidence. He
is made of the right kind of material, and I hope
we may retain him."

Major Weiss did not wish an appointment in
the regular army, but returned home at the close
of the volunteer movement, and resumed his po-
sition with ^^'hitney & Kemmerer, having been
transferred to the Carbon Iron & Steel Co. as
sales agent, of which company Air. Kemmerer
was president.

Major Weiss resigned this position in the fall
of 1899 and devoted all of his time to the Penn-
sylvania State Jurisdiction of the Royal Ar-
canum, having been elected to the office of grand
regent at Pittsburg in May, 1899. He was so

successful in building up the order in the state,
and in increasing its membership that he was pre-
vailed upon to accept the office of state secretary
at the biennial session of the Grand Council held
at Gettysburg in 1901. He was unanimously re-
elected at Wilkes-Barre in 1903, and is devoting
all his time to the interest of the fraternity. He
has beautifully furnished offices at Bethlehem
where with able assistants he keeps in close touch
with the 300 councils, divided into 75 districts,
representing 5,000 officers, and a membership of
40,000, with $75,000,000.00 of insurance pro-
tection in force in the state. He founded the
Keystone Arcaiiian, the official organ of the State
Jurisdiction and has continued its editor to this
day. He is held in high esteem in his home and
by the order which he represents. As an orator
and after-dinner speaker he has few equals in
fraternal circles, and few men are more widely
known in the state than he, having within the past
five years traveled more than 50,000 miles
through the state, delivering upwards of five
hundred addresses and participating in more than
one hundred and fifty banquets. The press of
the state has paid him high tributes as instance
that voiced by tha Brad dock Daily Xezus in the
following notice of his visit to that city : "Mr.
\\'eiss is an eloquent orator ; a man of splendid
attainments, and is most at home on the plat-
form, when presenting the great principles of the
Royal Arcanum. The work which he is doing
can not be measured by human mind and must
be fruitful of great results, not only to the Royal
Arcanum Brotherhood, but to other kindred or-
ganizations as well, and the name of Webster C.
Weiss will ever shine among the galaxy of men
who have labored for the good of "Brother man.' "

The marriage of Webster C. Weiss was cele-
brated in Weissport in 1874 with Miss Hattie
E., daughter of the late John .\dam and Mary
A. Schnayberger. Three children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Weiss: Ilerda E., further men-
tioned hereinafter; Lilly L. and Claire G., de-

Aliss Ilerda Ethelda Weiss, daughter of
Alajor Webster C. Weiss, died December 14,
1903, and the distressing event evoked from the



Bethlehem Times the following fervent tribute
to her character and worth :

After a brave fight for many years against ill
health, Miss Ilerda Ethelda Weiss, the estimable
young daughter of Major Webster C. Weiss,
Grand Secretary of the Royal Arcanum of the
State of Pennsylvania, and his wife, Mrs. Hattie
E. Weiss, departed this life shortly after 2 o'clock
this morning at the family residence, ' No. 120
North Main street, Bethlehem, aged twenty-eight
years, one month and ten days. Her passing
away was caused by heart failure. Up to No-
vember 13 of the present year she was able to at-
tend to her office duties. The deceased young
woman was born in Weissport. Seventeen years
ago the family removed to Bethlehem. Here she
was graduated from the Bethlehem High School
as well as the Bethlehem Business Col-
lege. She was recognized as a young woman
of fine business attainments. During the Grand
Regency of her father. Major Webster C. Weiss,
in the Royal Arcanum, his first prominent office in
that fraternity, she served as his private secre-
tary and after his election to the State Secre-
taryship he appointed her his general office as-
sistant. She mastered all the details of the work,
frequently assuming the supervision of vast cor-
respondence for weeks at a time during her
■ father's absence. She was deeply in love with her
work and the order with which she became so
familiar for the past five years. During the ab-
sence of her father during the Spanish-American
War she took charge of his coal trade in the
Bethlehems and Allentown for Messrs. Whitney
& Kemmerer, by whom her father was employed.
So well did she perform this work that the firm
liberally rewarded her, presenting her with a
purse of $500. Miss Weiss was a charter member
of the Bethany United Evangelical Church, of
this place, serving as assistant organist from time
to time and until her strength commenced to fail
taught a class of boys in the Sunday-school. She
possessed a loving disposition and was devoted
to her parents and sister. All her spare time for
the last several weeks was devoted to making
and selecting Christmas presents for her friends,
expecting to live to distribute them at Christmas,
but realizing a few days ago that the end was
near, she called her parents and sister, giving
them minute instructions concerning the distri-
bution of her gifts, presenting a number in per-
son ; then turning to her parents, she said : "Don't
weep for me. T am so glad to go to meet my sister
in heaven. I have suffered so much ; my end is
near; rejoice rather than weep: one has gone.

soon I will go, but you have one more left." Her
whole life was one of constant consideration for
the comfort and pleasure of others. The de-
ceased was preceded to the grave about five years
ago by a sister, Miss Claire Weiss. Besides her
bereaved parents, one sister. Miss Lillie Weiss,
survives to mourn her early death. The bereaved
family have the sympathy of the community.

The funeral took place from the family resi-
dence, where a large concourse of relatives and
friends were gathered. Rev. Wm. H. Hartzler
of Bethany United Evengelical church, Bethle-
hem, Rev. A. A. DeLong of Easton, and Rev. J.
A. Feger of Bangor, officiated. Rev. Mr. Feger
preached the sermon. Bethany church choir sang
four selections. Many floral tributes were sent,
including a wreath on an easel by the Grand
Council of the Royal Arcanum of Pennsylvania
and a pillow from the family. The pallbearers
were Dr. James A. Crawford, Wm. J. Wood-
ring, Arthur C. Krause, Geo. J. Frantz, John H.
Kruse and Charles E. Wenhold, Jr., members
of Lehigh Council, R. A., of Bethlehem.

ALBERT H. JACOBS, late sheriff of Lu-
zerne county, Pennsylvania, and foremost among
the representative citizens of Hazleton, Pennsyl-
vania, where he has resided for the greater part
of his life, is a man possessing marked executive
ability of a high order, and also those character-
istics that insure success in whatever calling or
vocation they choose to engage in. He was born
in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, November 5, 1863,
a son of John H. and Clara (Baur) Jacobs.

John H. Jacobs (father) is a native of Ger-
many, from which country he emigrated to the
LTnited States in 1856. He settled first in Tam-
aqua, but after a short residence there he re-
moved to Pottsville, where he remained until
1869, when he finally settled in Hazleton and es-
tablished the bakery and confectionery business,
which he has conducted up to the present time
( 1904) and which has proved a lucrative means
of livelihood. His religious views are in accord
with those advanced by the German Lutheran
church, in which he holds membership, and his
political affiliations are with the Democratic



part_y. In 1861 he married Clara Baur, daughter
of Joseph Baur, M. D., of Tamaqua, Pennsyl-
vania, and to this union were born thirteen chil-
dren, five of whom died in childhood. The sur-
viving members of the family are: Albert H.,
mentioned hereinafter; Harry W., manager of
the Central Pennsylvania Brewing Company ;
Bertha, unmarried, resides at home ; John J.,
deputy sheriff at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania;
Elsie A., unmarried, resides at home ; Eugene,
a resident of Hazleton, and collector for the
Central Pennsylvania Brewing Company ; Clara
L., resides at home; and Carrell R., also resides
at home.

The educational advantages enjoyed by Al-
bert H. Jacobs, eldest surviving child of John
H. and Clara (Baur) Jacobs, were obtained in
tlie public schools of Hazleton, whither he accom-
panied his parents when a boy of six years. He
began his business career by learning the trade
of baker and confectioner under the tuition of
his father, and this occupation he followed with
a marked degree of success until the year 1901,
when he was elected to fill the office of sheriff of
Luzerne county by the Democratic party, to
which organization he has given his allegiance
since attaining his majority. He holds member-
ship in the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 57, and the
Knights of Malta, No. 304, of Hazleton, Penn-
sylvania, has passed all chairs in both organiza-
tions, and served in the capacity of secretary of
the former named for a number of years.

Air. Jacobs was united in marriage to Bessie
Mac Donald, daughter of William Mac Donald,
the present superintendent of the Dupont Pow-
der Works, Laurel Run. Pennsylvania. The is-
sue of this union was six children, one of whom
died in infancy, and the remainder all reside at
home with their parents: Donald C, Clara T.,
William M., John H. and Arthur M. Jacobs.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are members of the Pres-
byterian church.

Williams has figured in connection with the ag-
ricultural development of Northampton county
through an entire century, and Wilson O. Wil-

liams is connected with the same calling in Lower
Nazareth township.

His grandfather, John Williams, was born
and died in Moore township of this county, and
having acquired his education in the common
schools he began farming on his own account and
followed that pursuit until his life's labors were
ended in death. He married Sarah Road, of
]\loore township, and they had six children, in-
cluding Joseph Williams, the father of Wilson O.
Williams. He was born on the old home place
in Moore township in 1840, and died in 1900,
when sixty years of age. In his youth he became
familiar with the branches of learning which
formed the school curriculum of the day, and
later returned to the old homestead, where he
devoted his energies to the tilling of the soil
throughout his entire life. He was an active
Democrat in his politics, having firm faith in
the principles of his party, and he attended the
Reformed church. He was married to Miss
Mary Fehnel, whose birth occurred in Moore

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 82 of 92)