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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township, Northampton county, June 22, 1842.
Her parents were John and Mary (Musselman)
Fehnel, and her father was a well known farmer
of JMoore township. Mrs. Williams survives her
husband, and is now residing in Hecktown,
Lower Nazareth township.

Wilson O. Williams, the only child of Joseph
and Mary Williams, was born on the old home-
stead in Moore township, December 8, 1865.
He obtained a common school education and
then returned to his father's farm, assisting in
its cultivation and improvement. He afterward
learned the creamery business in Moore township,
and in 1894 sold the old homestead and removed
to his present farm at Hecktown in Lower Naza-
reth township, where he erected a nice residence
and also a large creamery. He is now extensively
and successfully engaged in the creamery busi-
ness, having an output of nine thousand pounds
of milk per day. He is a man of enterprise and
diligence, and his labors are now being crowned
with richly merited prosperity. In politics he
is a Democrat, and socially is connected with the
Junior Order of American Mechanics and with
the Knights of Malta. He attends the Reformed



464



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



church, and is a director of the Dairy Association
of Northampton county.

In 1888 Wilson \MlHams was married to Miss
Mary Issemayer, a daughter of William and
Mary Issemayer, farming people of Moore town-
ship. They have three children : Harriet, born
September 26, 1888; Annie, February 15, 1893;
and Charles, bom March 4, 1897.

EDWIN MEIXELL, a prosperous farmer
and worthy citizen of Lower Nazareth township,
traces his descent from old residents of Pennsyl-
vania. His grandfather was a native of Monroe
county, where he lived in what was known as
Meixell Valley, a tract of six hundred acres
which had been acquired by his father. He re-
ceived his education in the common schools, and
was all his life engaged in agricultural pursuits.
In politics he was a Republican, and always took
an active part in the affairs of the township. He
married and was the father of a number of chil-
dren, all of whom became good and useful citi-
zens.

Barnet Meixell, son of the farmer of "Meixell
Valley," was born in 1833 O" '^^''^ homestead in
Monroe county, and became a farmer, thus fol-
lowing in the footsteps of his father. He was at
one time the proprietor of the hotel at Stricklers-
town. His political affiliations were with the
Democrats, but he could never be persuaded to
accept office. In 1862 he enlisted in Company A,
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment Penn-
sylvania Volunteers, and served with honor in
several battles. He married jNIargaret, sister of
Judge Groover, of Monroe county, and the fol-
lowing children were born to them : Edwin,
mentioned at length hereinafter ; Alice, who is
the widow of Carney Coates ; Abraham, Jere-
miah, and WilHam. The three last named chil-
dren are unmarried. In the spring of 1865 Mr.
Meixell, the father of the family, while serving
in the army, was attacked with hospital fever,
and in the autumn of that year died in an army
hospital in the south, thus giving his life for his
country. His widow, who is still living, resides
in New Jersey.

Edwin Aleixell. son of Barnet and Margaret



(Groover) Meixell, was born August 25, 1852,
on the old homestead in Monroe county, and ob-
tained his primary education in the common
schools of the township. At the age of eight
years he was sent by his parents to Easton,
Pennsylvania, where for some time longer he pur-
sued his studies. After completing his education
he learned the carpenter's trade and then moved
to Bethlehem, where for eleven years he prac-
ticed his trade successfully. Feeling an inclina-
tion for the calling which might be said to be
hereditary in his famil\ — that of agriculture — he
came in 1898 to Lower Nazareth township and
took up his abode on the farm which is now his
home. He has since devoted himself to general
farming, and the success which has attended his
eft'orts proves that he has inherited not only a
preference but also an aptitude for agricultural
pursuits. He takes the interest of a good citi-
zen in all township affairs, and possesses in a
high degree the esteem and confidence of his
neighbors, who have elected him to the offices of
director of the poor and county committeeman.
He has served in both these capacities for eleven
years, a fact which speaks volumes for his integ-
rity and usefulness. His political principles are
those of an earnest Republican. He and his fam-
ily attend the Lutheran church.

Air. Meixell married in 1873 Matilda, daugh-
ter of Zebulon and Caroline (Seyphert) Walker,
the former a farmer of Monroe county. Mr. and
Mrs. Meixell are the parents of the following
children : Charles, who was born August 5,
1874; Harvey, who was born March 26, 1880,
and married Nellie Snyder ; William, who was
born May 18, 1887; and Margaret, who was born
October 7. 1889.

JEREMIAH W. LERCH, one of the reliable
and venerable citizens of Northampton county,
belongs to a family that has been instrumental in
promoting the welfare and prosperity of this por-
tion of the state for many years. His great-
grandfather was a native of Germany, who on
leaving the fatherland crossed the Atlantic to
America, settling in Moore township, Northamp-
ton countv. He had a familv of sons, one of



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



465



whom was Frederick Lerch, the grandfather of
our subject. Frederick Lerch removed from
IMoore township to Forks township, estabhshing
his home on the Bushkill creek, where he owned
three hundred acres of excellent farming land.
He was a thrifty and industrious man who in his
farming operations met with prosperity, his fields
yielding to him good crops which annually found
a ready sale on the market. He was also popular
with his fellow citizens, who elected him justice
of the peace, and also called him to other local
positions of public trust which he filled in an
acceptable manner. He was, however, never an
office seeker, but was sought by those who recog-
nized his ability and fairness for public honors.
An earnest Christian gentleman, he held mem-
bership in the Forks church, and he died in that
faith on the ist of August, 1826, being survived
for ten years by his wife. She bore the maiden
name of Elizabeth Sweitzell, and they became the
parents of seventeen children, fourteen of whom
reached adult age, and of this number nine were
sons.

Frederick Lerch, Jr., the father of our sub-
ject, was born in Moore township, Northampton
county, in 1769, and in early manhood was united
in marriage to Miss Anna M. Brown, by whom
he had eleven children, seven of whom grew to
maturity. Frederick Lerch, Jr., was a shoe-
maker by trade, and followed that pursuit for a
number of years, but finally abandoned that call-
ing in order to follow the more congenial occu-
pation of farming. He bought and operated one
hundred acres of land which he placed under a
very high state of cultivation, the fields yielding
to him splendid crops as a reward for the care
and labor which he bestowed upon them. He,
too, was called to public office in his township,
and was recognized as a man of worth and honor,
numbered among the influential citizens of his
community. His sons were as follows : Daniel,
Melchior, Simon, Charles, Frederick and Jere-
miah W. The last named, however, is the only
surviving member of the family. All were iden-
tified with the Forks church, and were people of
the highest respectability.

Jeremiah W. Lerch was born in Forks town-

30



ship, Northampton county, in 1829, and was
reared to the occupation of farming, which he has
always followed as a life work. He found in
this a profitable source of labor, and through his
close attention to his business, his keen foresight
and capable management, he has won success,
acquiring a very desirable competence.

Mr. Lerch has been twice married. He first
wedded Miss Amanda Seip, a daughter of Peter
Seip, this union being celebrated in 1854. They
traveled life's journey together for about forty
years, and then Mrs. Lerch was called to
her final rest on the 27th of August, 1893. Im
1900 Mr. Lerch was again married, his second
union being with Mrs. Elizabeth R. Uhler. The
following year they removed to Easton, where
they enjoy the fruits of a wellspent life in ease
and luxury as their sun descends the western
slope of time. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lerch were
worthy members of the Forks church, in which
he has held the ofiice of deacon, elder and trus-
tee. He has led an earnest consistent Christian
life, and now in his declining years can look back
over the past without regret and forward to the
future without fear. His retirement from labor
is well merited, for his was an honorable busi-
ness career, and all that he enjoys was worthily
won.

JAMES McCAULEY is one of the best
known citizens of Easton, where he was before
the public in an official capacity for a number of
years, but is now living a retired life, enjoying a
well earned rest. A native of Northampton
county, he was born in Forks township, July 5,
1845, ''nd is a son of John and Mary McCauley,
who were born, reared and married in Ireland.
The father was a distiller and worked at that oc-
cupation for a number of years. He died in 1855
and his wnfe passed away in 1849. They were the
parents of ten sons, but our subject is now the
only survivor.

James McCauley passed his boyhood and
youth in Forks township and the city of Easton,
and is indebted to the public schools of North-
ampton county for the educational privileges he
enjoyed. His early life was spent in milling, to



466



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



which occupation he devoted his attention for
seven years at that time. He wras next engaged
in teaching school, and for six years instructed
the young minds of Palmer township. In 1871
he married Miss Elizabeth King, and to them
were born four children, namely : Laura, Carrie,
Lulu and H. Roy.

In 1872 Mr. McCauley took up his residence
in Easton and embarked in mercantile business,
dealing in flour, feed and groceries for four
years, but abandoned it in 1876 and returned to
his old employer in the mill, where he remained
for several years. In 1882 he again opened a
store in Easton and continued to carry on the
same with good success for ten years.

In the meantime Mr. McCauley had entered
upon his public career, having been elected city
treasurer on the Republican ticket in 1887 — the
same year in which the city received its charter.
So acceptably did he fill the office that he was
several times re-elected and served in all for five
terms with credit to himself and to the entire sat-
isfaction of all concerned. Fraternally he is a
member of the Royal Arcanum and the Junior
Order of United American Mechanics.

In 1882 Mr. McCauley was called upon to
mourn the loss of his first wife, who died that
year, and in 1893 he wedded Mrs. Annie Mutch-
ler. They occupy a fine brick residence, erected
by Mr. McCauley in 1890, and there their many
friends are always sure of a hearty welcome. He-
is a man of refined and cultured tastes, pleasant
and agreeable in manner, and his honesty is pro-
verbial. He therefore enjoys the good will and
confidence of the public, and is one of Easton's
most highly esteemed citizens.

WILLIAM N. KIEFER, who is serving as
assistant superintendent of the Easton Heights
Cemetery, was born on the south side of Easton
in 1858, and is a descendant of Andrew Kiefer
and his wife Elizabeth, who were natives of Ger-
many, and came to America at an early period
in the colonization of this country. Their sons
were John, Andrew, Abraham and Joseph, and
they also had four daughters. Of these sons
John Kiefer was the grandfather of him whose



name introduces this record. He was born in
Williams township, Northampton county, at
what is now called Island Park, 1809. He was
born with patriotic blood in his veins, for his
father Andrew was a soldier in the Revolutionary
army, and the son, following in his footsteps,
fought in the Mexican war under General Scott.
John Kiefer was both a blacksmith and wheel-
wright by trade, and followed those pursuits for
a number of years, in fact thus provided for
the maintenance of his family. He married Mis.'^
Sarah A. Shively, and unto them were born
seven children, as follows: Annie, Mary, Edward
J., William R., Amanda, Shively and Ella. Two
of this number, Mary and Amanda, are now de-
ceased. The father lived to the advanced age of
eighty-nine years, and the mother passed away
in 1880.

Of this family Edward J. Kiefer became the
father of our subject. He was born at Raubs-
ville, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware river, in
1837, and he too became a blacksmith and wheel-
wright, learning those trades with his father, and
becoming an excellent workman in those lines.
He carried on business in his native town and
secured a liberal patronage there. He was quite
prominent and active in public affairs, being rec-
ognized as one of the valued and influential citi-
zens of the community. For several years he
served as supervisor of his township. Fraternally
he was connected with the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, and his life has ever been in har-
mony with its beneficent teachings. At the time of
the Civil war he entered the Union army, becom-
ing a private of Company E, One Hundred and
Fifty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in
1863. He served for ten months, and during that
time participated in tv.'o of the most severe battles
of the war- — Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He
is still living at the age of sixty-six years, but his
wife passed away in 1891. They were the pa-
rents of thirteen children, eleven of whom are
still living, namely : William N., Tilghman,
Luther, Edward, Sarah, Israel J., Elmer J.,
Harry E., Augusta, Minerva, and Mattie. Eliza-
beth and Nettie have passed away.

Having acquired a good common-school edu-



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



467



cation William N. Kiefer learned the carpenter's
trade, which he followed for twelve years, after
which he turned his attention to commercial pur-
suits, opening a grocery store in 1889. This he
conducted for about five years, after which he
became an agent for the Prudential Insurance
Company, which he represented in this locality
for five years, doing a large amount of business
and gaining the high esteem and confidence of the
company. Later he was made superintendent of
the Easton Heights Cemetery, and has since
served in this capacity, having control of this
beautiful city of the dead and superintending its
care and improvement.

In 1890 Mr. Kiefer was united in marriage to
Miss Stella M. Calvin, and unto them two chil-
dren have been born: Margaret A. and Paul,
the latter now deceased. Socially Mr. Kiefer is
connected with the Sons of Veterans, and has
been appointed a delegate to several state en-
campments. He also belongs to the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and is a worthy brother
of that body. He is a young man whose business
possibilities are good, because he is enterprising,
diligent and ambitious, and his genial nature has
made him popular with a large circle of friends.

WILLIAM P. F. RANDOLPH. The ori-
gin of the illustrious family to which William
P. F. Randolph belongs dates back to the time of
the Norman conquest. The Randolphs, or, as
they were formerly called, Fitzrandolphs, sprang
from Norman-French stock, the line being traced
to William, Duke of Normandy, who afterward
became king of England. The Fitzrandolphs
were also related to the prominent Merrill fam-
ily, also of Norman blood. By the marriage of
the Indian maiden Pocahontas to John Rolfe
there was one son, Thomas Rolfe, who married
Jane Boiling, by whom he had five daughters.
One of these daughters became the wife of a
Fitzrandolph, from whom descended Mary Fitz-
randolph, who became the wife of Richard
Merrill.

William P. F. Randolph, of this review, is a
descendant of William and Susan Randolph, rep-
resentatives of early families of Northampton



county. In early life William Randolph learned
the shoemaker's trade, which was then a lucrative
employment, and one which he followed with
profit throughout his entire life. Becoming a
member of the American army, in the war of the
Revolution, he did patriotic service in winning
independence for his country. Unto him and his
wife were born four children, and after his demise
his widow became the wife of Jacob Rickard, but
no children were born of that marriage.

William Randolph, one of the children of
William and Susan Randolph, was born in Eas-
ton, Pennsylvania, where he learned the trade of
bricklaying and plastering. Although he was
absent from Easton at various times he always
made this city his home. He was united in mar-
riage to Miss Catherine Derr, and they became
the parents of eight children, of whom four are
now living, namely: Mrs. Harriet Lattig, \\'ill-
iam P. F., Mrs. Emma West and John B.

It was in Easton, on the 1st of January, 1842,
that William P. F. Randolph was born, and his
education was acquired in the public schools,
where he made the necessary progress that fitted
him for a life of future usefulness. On putting
aside his text books he apprenticed himself to the
machinist's trade, which he followed for some
time, and on the outbreak of the Civil war, when
the country needed the aid of its loyal sons to
preserve the union, he put aside business and per-
sonal considerations and ofl:'ered his services, en-
listing in August, 1862, as a private of Company
K, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania
Infantry Regiment, with which he served for
nine months. His regiment participated in the
following battles : Bull Run, Antietam, Freder-
icksburg and Chancellorsville, and was honor-
ably discharged on the field of batttle in 1863.

Mr. Randolph was connected with the Central
Railroad Company of New Jersey for thirty
years, eighteen of which he was a conductor on
passenger trains. He was one of the most trusted
and faithful representatives of the company, and
was retained in their employ until 1893 when he
resigned his position and again took up the trade
of a machinist, which he is now following as an
emijloye in the Ingersol Works, where he is



468



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



highly prized as a master workman, his abihty
in the hne of his chosen pursuit being of a su-
perior order.

In 1869, in the state of Illinois, Mr. Ran-
dolph was raised to the sublime degree of a
Master Mason, and he is now an active and
worthy member of Dallas Lodge, No. 152, F.
and A. M. He also belongs to Easton Chapter,
No. 73, R. A. M., and Hugh DePayen Com-
mandery, No. 19, K. T. He is also a member of
Columbia Council, O. U. A. M.; the Order of
Railway Conductors, No. 147; and LaFayette
Post, No. 217, G. A. R., and of these various
organizations is a loyal and valued representa-
tive. In matters of citizenship he is public spir-
ited and progressive, manifesting the same pa-
triotic attachment to his country that he dis-
played when he followed the old flag on south-
ern battle fields.

In 1865 Mr. Randolph led to the marriage
altar Miss Ellen, daughter of Allen and Ellen
Bell. She is a native of the beautiful and pic-
turesque Emerald Isle, her natal year being
1844. By her marriage she has become the
mother of three children : Howard, born in 1866,
Harriet, in 1868, and Walter, in 1873. Howard
wedded Miss Mary Wolbach, and to them have
been born two children, Harriet and William.
Harriet, the only daughter, is now the wife of
Howard L. Moore, and Walter married Miss
Nellie Smitli, and has two children, Carey and
Donald.

AARON RASLEY, a well known and re-
spected resident of Lower Mount Bethel town-
ship, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, traces
his descent through five generations of landhold-
ers of the Lehigh Valley from one of the earliest
German settlers. He is a farmer, and his liking
for out-of-door occupations and preference for
the independent life of the agriculturist is inborn.

The family of which he is a representative
sprang from Conrad Rasley, a native of Germany,
who came to Pennsylvania in the days before the
Revolution, and whose sons grew up to take part
in that great struggle. He took land in the new
country and reared a large family, of whom the



names were as follows : John, Jacob, Conrad,
Joseph, Henry, and a daughter who became the
wife of the Rev. John Mann, a minister of the
Reformed church. John, the oldest son of this
family, was born in Bucks county, but moved to
Bushkill, Northampton county, in early life, set-
tling in Lower Mount Bethel township in 1814,
where he bought three hundred acres of land.
He was a teamster in the Continental army dur-
ing the whole course of the Revolutionary war.
He was only eighteen when he enlisted in the
service, and he was one of the most faithful sup-
porters of the patriot cause. His wife was Mag-
daline Small, and both she and her husband were
devoted members of the Reformed church. John
died in October, 1838, and his wife in February,
1844. Their children were as follows, John,
Henry, George, Jacob, Peter, Elizabeth, Margaret
and Catherine.

John, oldest son of John and Magdaline
(Small) Rasley, was born in Forks township in
1793. Like his fathers of the preceding genera-
tions he was a considerable landholder, and a
man of consequence in his community. He was
captain of a company of state militia, and a dea-
con and elder in the Reformed church. He mar-
ried Sarah Sandt, who bore him fourteen chil-
dren, of whom the following ten grew to matur-
ity: Peter, Aaron, William, John, Adam, Susan,
Mary, Catherine, Sarah, and Jeremiah. John,
the father of this family, died in May, 1866, and
his wife died May 11, 1867.

Peter, oldest son of John and Sarah (Sandt)
Rasley, was born in Lower Mount Bethel town-
ship in 1817. He followed the family tradition
in becoming a farmer, and was the owner of
sixty acres of valuable land. He was a worthy
and industrious citizen, and was universally re-
spected. He was an interested member of the
Reformed church, and always ready in the prac-
tical support of his denomination. He married
Mary Staufer, of Plainfield township, and of the
union twelve children were born, namely, Wil-
liam, John H., Emma (deceased), Aaron, Sarah
M., Isaac L., Kate A. and Mary A., twins, Simon
P., Edwin, and an unnamed infant.

Aaron, fourth child and third son of Peter



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



469



and Mary (Staufer) Rasley, was born August
10, 1855, in Lower Mount Bethel township. He
was educated in the local schools, and early de-
termined to make farming his occupation. He
has applied himself to his work with intelligence
and perseverance, and it has yielded a good re-
turn, not only as the means of a livelihood, but as
a field of creative activity. He owns fifty acres
of land which he cultivates carefully, believing
that a small farm well tilled offers the most inde-
pendent life. He is one of the most worthy and
substantial citizens of the township.

Mr. Rasley married Martha Hutchinson in
December, 1880. She was a daughter of Wil-
liam and Crissy (Teal) Hutchinson, of Lower
Mount Bethel township. Both he and his wife
• are active as members of the Reformed church,
and contribute generously to its support. The
children born of their marriage are as follows :
Gertrude M., born January 22, 1883 ; Jennie A.,
born October 10, 1888; Elizabeth H., born No-
vember 15, 1892.

ROBERT E. YOUNG, who follows farm-
ing in Plainfield township, Northampton county,
is a representative of one of the old families of
Bucks county. His grandfather, Peter Young,
removed from Bucks county at an early period
in the history of Lehigh Valley, and selected East
Allen township, Northampton county, as his place
of residence. He was an experienced lime
burner, following that pursuit when it was a
lucrative business. For a number of years he
carried on operations in that way, meeting with
very good success. He married Miss Elizabeth
Keifer, who belonged to one of the old families
of Northampton county, and they became the
parents of six children : James, William, Henry,
Edwin, Mary and Jane. Of this number Edwin
became superintendent of the schools of Le-
high county ; Mary became the wife of
Frank Long, who established and con-
ducted a select school at Downingtown,
Chester county, Pennsylvania ; and James Young,
the eldest, was born in East Allen township,
March 3, 1826. He did not own any great



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 83 of 92)