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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wife of William L. Odemvelder, of South Easton,
later of Lower Nazareth township, who after
farming a number of years moved to Bath, Penn-
sylvania, where he engaged in the flour and feed
business, and later associated with his nephew,
Daniel Odemvelder, and they became the pro-
prietors of the Bath Knitting Mills. At his
death, October 9, 1902, he was a prominent mem-
ber of the Reformed church, and president of the
Bath National Bank. No children were born of
this marriage. Mrs. Odemvelder, at the present
time (1905), resides with her brother, John W.
Trumbower, at Nazareth.

2. Mary, born in 1843, died at the age of
five years.

3. John Weaver, whose name heads this
sketch, mentioned at length hereinafter.

4. Laura, born in August, 1847, attended the
public schools and Weaversville Academy. Jan-
uary 6, 1869, she became the wife of Ausbon
Dech, of Shimer's Station, Northampton county,
who at the time of their marriage was engaged in
the mercantile business at Bethlehem, Pennsyl-
vania. Later they moved to the old homestead
at Shimer's Station, where they now live retired.
They are the parents of three sons : Walter, who
attended the public schools, graduated from Le-
high LTnivcrsity at Bethlehem, and is now a pro-

fessor in Myerstown College. He married a
Miss Oplinger, and three children have been born
to them : Paul, Allen, and an infant. Howard,
who was educated at the public schools and Le-
high Liniversity, graduating from the latter
named institution. For a number of years he
was mechanical engineer with the Dupont
Powder Company, and is now engaged in the
construction of smokeless furnaces. He married
Miss Henrietta Regie, and they have one child,
Ausbon R. Dech. Herbert, who was educated at
the public schools and Myerstown College, and
is now a minister of the United Evangelical
church at Portland, Oregon. He married ]\Iiss
Bertha Bradenberg, a native of that state, and
they are the parents of one child. Homer Dech.

5. Anna, born in March, 1851, attended the
public schools and Weaversville Academy. No-
vember 27, 1868, she became the wife of Dr. Ben-
jamin T. Boyer, of Kreidersville, Allen township,
Northampton county. While attending Franklin
and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
he enlisted in the Two Hundred and Second
Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and became
lieutenant of Company F. At the close of the
war he took up the medical profession and is now
practicing at Springtown, Bucks county, Penn-
sylvania. They became the parents of nine chil-
dren, of whom three are deceased : Emily, wife
of Warren Long, a lawyer of Doylestown, Penn-
sylvania; Mrs. Long is a graduate of Millers-
ville State Normal School, and taught in the pub-
lic schools for a number of years. Howard, who
was educated in the public schools and Lehigh
University, graduating from the latter named ;
he is now weighmaster in the Brooklyn Navy
Yard ; he married a Miss Eisenhart, and they are
the parents of one child, Rebekah. Elizabeth,
wife of William Whittle, a graduate of Nazareth
Hall, now engaged in the museum of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania under direction of Dr.
Hilprecht, the renowned Egyptian explorer ;
Mrs. Whittle is also a graduate of Millersville
State Normal School : they are the parents of
two children, William Everett and Julia. Calvin,
who is a graduate of Millersville State Normal
School and of the Law School of the State Uni-



versit}- of Alichigan, at Ann Arbor ; he is now
practicing law at Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Carrie, who resides with her parents, devoting
her time to the care of her invahd mother. NeUie,
a graduate of Alillersville State Normal School,
and is now a teacher at Doylestown, Pennsyl-
vania. All the children of this family have been
successful teachers in the public and other

6. Stephen Jacob died May ii, 1872.

7. Walter Samuel, born March 28, 1853,
died April 20, 1854.

John W. Trumbower, eldest son of Stephen
Jacob and Maria (Weaver) Trumbower, at-
tended the public schools, Weaversville Academy
and Freeland Seminary, thereby acquiring an ed-
ucation vk^hich qualified him for the responsibili-
ties of life. He resided under the parental roof
until 1868, when he entered the store of his
brother-in-law, A. W. Dech, at Bethlehem, as
clerk, and later engaged in business for himself
in the same place. In 1878, owing to the great
industrial depression at that time, he abandoned
his business, that of general storekeeper, and
moved to his father's farm in East Allen town-
ship, Northampton county, but was compelled to
leave a congenial occupation on account of the
poor health of his wife. In 1880 the family
moved to Nazareth, and two years later, when
the B. & P. R. R. was built to this town, Mr.
Trumbower engaged in the coal, lumber and
grain business, which he conducted until 1888,
since which year he has lived a retired life. He
is a member of the Lutheran church ; exercises
his right of franchise in support of the Repub-
lican party ; has served in the various borough
offices : was for many years a director of the old
Nazareth Water Company ; and at the present
time (1905) is a director of the Nazareth Na-
tional Bank, Nazareth Canning Company, and
Nazareth Improvement Company.

November 8, 1870, Mr. Trumbower was mar-
ried to ]\Iiss Amanda E. Koehler, of Nazareth,
Pennsylvania, born January 27, 1849, second
daughter of Peter and Susan (Young) Koehler,
the former named having been a leading farmer
in Lower Nazareth township, later moved to Naz-

areth, and retired from business pursuits in 1866.
Airs. Trumbower is the only survivor of three
children born to Mr. and Mrs. Koehler, thii
others having been Mary Ann, wife of William
Schortz, of Nazareth, who died without issue ;
and Emeline, who died at the age of fifteen years.
The Koehler homestead, located about a quarter
of a mile outside of the borough limits, has been
in the Koehler family for over a century, and is
in the limestone and cement belt, which has made
Nazareth and the surrounding country so pros-
perous of late years on account of the numerous
large cement plants erected in this vicinity. The
following named children were born to ]\Ir. and
Airs. Trumbower:

I. Anna Susan, born at Bethlehem, Penn-
sylvania, December 15, 1873, was educated at
the public schools and Maryland College. No-
vember 17, 1 90 1, she became the wife of Dr.
Jacob A. Fromfelder, of Easton, Pennsylvania,
who has an extensive practice at Nazareth, and
they are the parents of one child : Anna T., born
March 28, 1903. 2. Amanda Adelia, born at
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1875, at-
tended the public schools of Nazareth and Mary-
land College. She became the wife of the Rev.
Wallace H, Wotring, of Nazareth, pastor of
Dry Land Charge, composed of St. John's Re-
formed congregation of Nazareth, and Dry Land
Reformed congregation of Hecktown. Dry Land
is the strongest charge in the East Pennsylvania
Classis, and numbers over twelve hundred mem-
bers. He has served the charge since August 2,
1 89 1. Rev. Wotring was graduated from Ur-
sinus College, and also from the Theological De-
partment of the same institution. They have one
daughter, Esther, born May 7, 1897. 3. Peter
Stephen, born near Jacksonville, East Allen
township. May 11, 1878, attended the Nazareth
public schools, the Nazareth Hall Military
School for two years, and Muhlenberg College,
Allentown, Pennsylvania, from which he was
graduated in 1899. After leaving college, find-
ing that his eyesight, which had caused him con-
siderable trouble might prevent him from close
application to his studies, he abandoned his atten-
tion of entering one of the professions and turned



his attention to business pursuits. He engaged
in the retail coal business the same year at Nazar-
eth, and his trade steadily increased in volume
and importance. In the summer of 1902, when
the Lehigh and New England Railroad entered
the town, he opened an additional yard on this
road, which is equipped with a stone crusher. He
IS popular among a wide circle of friends, and is
prominently connected with a number of secret
societies and social organizations.

JOHN DAVIS, master mechanic for the Le-
high Coal and Navigation Company at Lansford,
Pennsylvania, was born in Carbondale, Lack-
awanna county, this state, February 28, 1839.
His paternal great-grandfather was a soldier of
the English army during the contest between
England and the American colonies, was wounded
at the battle of Germantown, and was then sent
back to England. David Davis, the grandfather,
served as a musician in the British army. His
parents were David and Rebecca (Bown) Davis,
both of whom were natives of Wales and came
to this country in 1830, their marriage being
celebrated after their arrival in the United States.
David Davis was an experienced miner and one
of the pioneer settlers at Carbondale. This fam-
ily numbered ten children, six of whom are liv-
ing, namely : Ruth, John, David B., 2\lartha,
Frederick and Jane. Of this number Frederick
B. Davis was a veteran of the Civil war. He
served as corporal of Company E, Twentj'-eighth
Regiment Pennsylania Volunteer Infantry, and
participated in the battles of Antietam, Chancel-
lorsville, Gettysburg, Nashville, and many others
of minor importance, receiving an honorable dis-
charge at the close of the war.

John Davis received but limited educational
privileges, but in the industrial world has made
the most of his opportunities and his ability has
enabled him to attain to a position of respon-
sibility which also returns to him a good income.
Early in life he manifested a desire to identify
himself with mechanical interests, and when six-
teen years of age took charge of an engine for
the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. In
1850 he came with his parents to T^ansford, and

since that time has been continually in the em-
ploy of the company. He lived through the
Alollie McGuire troubles without suffering any
injury, although his dearest friend and compan-
ion, John P. Jones, was assassinated by them.
He maintained the respect of all by his fearless-
ness and fidelity to duty, and these qualities have
also been manifested in his citizenship. He has
been elected four times as chief burgess of Lans-
ford, three times as school director, and is now
acting in the latter capacity. Previous to the time
that the charter of the borough was obtained he
was instrumental in causing Lansford to be set
aside as an independent district. He has filled
the position of school director for six years, and
his incumbency will continue for three years ad-
ditional. The cause of education finds in him a
warm friend and he has done much to promote
the interests of the schools in this locality. In
his religious faith Mr. Davis is a Baptist, and in
the church to which he belongs is now serving
as a deacon. He is prominent socially in tlie
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is now
filling the position of district deputy grandmaster.
In 1859 Mr. Davis was united in marriage
to Miss Ann M. Jones, and to them have been
born three children : James E., who is engaged
in merchandising in Lansford ; David L., the edi-
tor of the Lansford Leader; and Florence R.
Davis. Mr. Davis and his family are living in
his own home, which is one of the best in Lans-
ford and was the first brick residence erected in
that borough.

DAVID F. FERREN is one of the oldest and
most trustworthy engineers in the service of the
Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. The family
is of Irish lineage. His father, William Ferren,
was born in Ireland and emigrated to America in
1 83 1, locating at Summit Hill, Pennsylvania,
where he engaged in the butchering business.
Later he removed to Packerton, this state, where
he established himself in the same line of busi-
ness. He was a man of sterling qualities who
enjoyed the high esteem of all who knew him.
He married Miss Sarah Rhodes, who was born
in Packerton in 1824 and who belonged to one



of the old families of the Lehigh Valley. Wil-
liam Ferren passed away in 1879. His children
were Daniel ; John ; Thomas and James, both de-
ceased ; Alichael ; George ; and Sarah and Lizzie,
who have passed away.

David F. Ferren was born at Packerton,
Pennsylvania, May 25, 1844, spent the days of
his boj'hood and youth there, and as a pupil in
the public schools acquired his education. In
early youtli he assisted his father on the farm and
in the butcher shop, but in 1863 turned his atten-
tion to railroad work in the employ of the Lehigh
Railroad Company. He worked in the shops for
a short time, and has been continuously connected
with the corporation since 1866. He went upon
the road as a brakeman, and the following year
was promoted to a position in the round-house,
while a few months later he was made a fireman.
He continued at that post of duty until 1870, at
which time he was given charge of engine No. 43
as an extra engineer. After three months he was
put upon the road as a regular engineer on the
same engine, his route being between East Penn
Junction and Easton. He continued on that rtui
until 1876, and was then transferred to a new
route between Packerton and Perth Amboy, New
Jersey. He was on that run until 1882, when he
was transferred back to the Lehigh division, be-
ing thus employed until 1894, when he was given
his present position in the Packerton yards. Dur-
ing his career as an engineer he has met with
various experiences such as every railroad man
must encounter. On one occasion he ran into a
train, and in order to save his life jumped out of
the cab window. The accident was through no
fault of his, however, as there was no signal to
indicate the danger ahead. He has never re-
ceived a reprimand in all the thirty-nine years
of his service, nor been suspended from duty,
nor has he ever been guilty of any act of negli-
gence or carelessenss. During that time he has
passed through two strikes, meeting experiences
that he hopes never to have again.

On the 22d of April, 1866. I\Ir. Ferren was
married to Miss Harriet O'Brien, a daughter of
Samuel and Lydia (Handwork) O'Brien. Mrs.
Ferren was born in Lehighton, March i. 1847,

and was one of a family of seven children, but
only two are living, the other being her brother,
Joseph O'Brien. Mr. and Mrs. Ferren are the
parents of six children : William H., deceased ;
Thomas R., a machinist; Harriet E., Mary L.,
Bertha B. and Katie E.

CHARLES W. WENTZ. The ancestral
history of the Wentz family can be traced back
to Burfelden, Germany, where representatives of
the name were connected with the brewing busi-
ness. There were three brothers : Bur Jockel,
Bur Jost and Bur Michael. Jost Wentz, whose
full name was Johann Jost Wentz, was born in
1749, and in 1773 he came to America with his
son, John Peter Wentz. His wife was Ann Cath-
erine Wentz, and they had other children in
America. John George Wentz, the third son of
Johann Jost Wentz, was born in Upper Milford
township, Northampton countv. Peimsylvania,
April II, 1778. After his marriage he removed
to Weissport, Carbon county, Pennsylvania,
where he died in 1846. He was married in 1800
to Miss Salome Andreas, of Heidelberg town-
ship, Northampton county, who died in the year
1858. Their children were : John, Sally, Wil-
liam, Elizabeth, Daniel, Catherine and Mary A.

Daniel Wentz, a grandson of John George
and Salome Andreas Wentz and the grandfather
of Charles W. Wentz, was born in Berlinsville,
Pennsylvania, August 12, 1806. He was a black-
smith by trade, a man of strong purpose and hon-
orable principles, and exerted a potent influence
for good in the community in which he made his
home. His fellow townsmen, recognizing his
worth and ability, called him to serve in several
important local positions such as justice of the
peace, convevancer, overseer of the poor and
supervisor. He was also very active and influ-
ential in the Evangelical church, in which he held
membership and m which he served as exhorter,
class leader and steward. He died at Parryville,
Carbon county, February 2, 1882, when in the
seventy-sixth year of his age, and his wife passed
away in that borough .\nguf' 5. 1877. She bore
the maiden name of Rebecca Drie.sbach, who was
born in Lower Towamensing township. Carbon



county, March i6, 1828. They had three chil-
dren: Harrison, born in 1829; Dennis; and
Simon, born in 1836. Of this family Dennis
Wentz was born Jime 2, 1832, and is now one of
the well known and highly respected residents of
Franklin township, Carbon county, where he has
lived for many years. He owns one hundred and
twenty-two acres of good farming land which
has been in the possession of the family for about
seventy-seven years. His home is now included
within the corporation limits of the borough of
Parryville. The members of the Wentz family
have been large lumbermen in the years gone by.
Both Daniel and Dennis Wentz owned extensive
timber tracts, containing eighteen hundred acres
of land. After the death of his father, Dennis
Wentz continued in control of this property until
1882, and since that time has lived retired, save
that with the assistance of his son, Charles W., he
is operating an extensive farm. Like others 01
the family he has always been well known for
his uprightness of life and his strength and purity
of character. He has held the office of council-
man of the borough, overseer of the poor and
treasurer of the borough council. He is a mem-
ber of the United Evangelical church, in which he
is a class leader and exhorter and he has also held
the office of steward, discharging the duties of
these various offices in a manner that has pro-
moted the welfa.-e and upbuilding of the denom-
ination. He was married January 31, 1856, to
Miss Henrietta Belford, of Parryville, who died
March 16, 1882. Their children were: Sarah
J., who was born in 1857 and is now deceased ;
Charles W. ; Jamas A. L., who was born in 1865
and has passed away ; and Ella P., who was born
in 1870 and is also deceased.

Charles W. Wentz, the only surviving mem-
lier of the family, was born in Franklin township.
Carbon county, Pennsylvania, in 1859. He
learned the carpenter's trade in Parryville, where
the days of his boyhood and youth were passed
and where his education was acquired as a stu-
dent in the public schools. He afterward learned
the carpenter's trade, but when he had mastered
the Inisiness he turned his attention to agricul-
tural pursuits, and in addition to the operation

of his farm he has a grist and cider mill, supply-
ing the custom trade with the products thereof.
His cider mill is equipped with one of the best
improved hydraulic processes, and Mr. Wentz is
regarded not only as a capable farmer, but also
as a good mechanic and one whose business abil-
ity is widely recognized. He has served as coun-
cilman of Parryville for two terms, and is now
discharging the duties of a third term. He has
also been supervisor for two years.

Charles W. Wentz was married January 5,
1881, to Miss Amanda Rehrig, of Lehighton,
Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of
three children: Warren, born in 1881 ; William
D., in 1883; and Charles W., in 1885. The
mother died January 5, 1886, and on the 15th of
July, 1893, Mr. Wentz was joined in wedlock to
Mrs. Emma Wentz, the widow of James A. L.
Wentz, and a sister of his first wife. She was
born April 2, 1862, and by her first marriage she
had a daughter, Ida M., born November i, 1885.
By the present marriage there are five children :
Granville S., born October 4, 1894; Mary A.,
born in 1895; John D., born May 31, 1898, and
now deceased; Carrie E., born February 17,
1900; and Ellen S., born April 3, 1902.

JACOB BEGEL, who carries on general
farming in Franklin township, Carbon county,
was born in Wittenberg, Germany, December 8,.
1844, and is a son of Adam and Christiana Begel.
The father was born in Germany, December 21,
1821, while his wife was born in 1825. In 1834
the father crossed the Atlantic to America, and
after making preparations for a home for his
family he was joined the following year by his
wife and son Jacob, who is their only child. He
was a carpenter by trade, and also devoted con-
siderable attention to agricultural pursuits, and
for some time followed boating on the canal.
His death occurred in 1892 and he is still sur-
vived by his widow.

Jacob Begel spent the first nine years of his
life in his native land, and then accompanied his
mother on her emigration to the United States.
Thc>' sailed in 1855 and joined the husband and
father in Pennsvlvania, locatins;- in Montgomery



county, where the family remained for three
years. They then removed to Bucks county,
Pennsylvania, where j\Ir. Begel learned the trade
of cigar-making. In 1861 they came to Franklin
township. Carbon county, Pennsylvania, where
Jacob Begel and his mother have since resided.
He has had various business experiences and
connections. For five years he was engaged in
boating on the canal, and for twelve years was
employed in the Lehigh \'alley Railroad Com-
pany as a brakeman. At the end of that time
he was promoted to the position of conductor
and acted in that capacity until 1875. In 1873
he purchased a small farm, and after he left the
road in 1875 he turned his attention to the dairy
business, establishing a milk route in Mauch
Chunk. Two years later he sold his first farm,
and in 1877 purchased his present place, consti-
tuting sixty acres, covering one-half of the old
Maria Furnace property. He continued as a milk
dealer for twenty-five years, and now gives his
attention to general farming. He has been hon-
ored with a number of township offices, and has
proven himself a worthy citizen of his adopted

In 1866 he was united in marriage to Miss
Anna M. Woolbert. a daughter of Barnet and
Eva Woolbert. Her death occurred in Tanners-
ville, Monroe county, Pennsylvania. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Begel have been born six
children : William, who is a conductor on
the Lehigh ValLy Railroad; Araminta; Augus-
tus, a conductor in the employ of the Lehigh
Valley Railroad ; Adam, who follows carpenter-
ing; George B., who is connected with mercan-
tile circles ; and Winfield Scott, who is agent for
a sewing machine company.

HON. THOMAS D. BANNER, a leading
member of the Northampton county bar and a
member of the senate of Pennsylvania, is widely
recognized for his ability in his profession and
his activity and earnestness in the advocacy of
those principles and policies which he holds as
essential to the best citizenship and public service.

He comes from an ancestry which for several
generations has been honorably associated with


the history of the commonwealth. His family
was planted by three brothers — Michael, Byron
and Melchoir Banner, — who came from Germany
about the middle of the seventeenth century, set-
tling at Reading, Pennsylvania, whence they re-
moved to Moore township, Northampton county.
There they passed the remainder of their days as
industrious farmers and irreproachable citizens,
rearing families from whom have descended all
of their name in Northampton and contiguous

Bernhardt Banner, great-grandfather of Hon,
Thomas B. Banner, was born in Moore township,
Northampton county, and there passed his life.
He was a farmer and blacksmith, and accumu-
lated considerable property. He possessed more
than ordinary education and intelligence, and
was a revered member of the Reformed church.
His wife was Hannah Lay, who bore him several
children, a number of whom died in early child-

Baniel, son of Bernhardt Banner, was born at
the family home, January 16, 1805. He followed
the same occupations as did the father, and inher-
ited the paternal traits in marked degree. He
married Catherine Laubach, a native of Allen
township, and to them were born a family of five
children : John Adam, to be further mentioned ;
Lydia, who became the wife of Frank Bartholo-
mew ; Sarah Ann, who became the wife of Aaron
Banner, and two children who died in infancy.
The father of this family died March 30, 1887,
and he and his wife repose side by side in the
Old Stone Church Cemetery in Lehigh township.

John Adam, eldest child of Baniel and Cath-
erine (Laubach) Banner, was born in the ances-
tral home in Moore township, in April, 1828. He

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 88 of 92)