Lehigh County Historical Society.

Proceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society online

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eight gentlemen came to Bethlehem from Easton, and put up at
the Sun Inn. After attending church and dining, they left for
the capitol. On June 15th, 1762, he again passed through the
town to Easton, where he was to hold a treaty with the Indians,
and several days later was followed by Sir William Johnson, of
New York. In company with Teedyuscung, on the 29th, he
again passed on to Philadelphia. In the meantime General
Napier, a brother of Gen. Amherst and other gentlemen, with
letters of introduction from William Allen, were entertained by
Bishop Spangenberg, visited the houses and mills, and were
present at a funeral.


Full four years of tranquility passed to the summer of 1763,
when the Indians of the western country conspired under Pontiac,
the Ottawa, in a mighty effort to reclaim their ancestral seats
from the English. This movement on the part of the western
tribes, awakened memories of old wrongs in the bosoms of the
Indians, east of the AUeghenies, and they unburied the hatchet.
It was feared that the horrors of the autumn of 1755 would be
re-enacted. Once more in its history, the settlers of the valley
prepared for defence. Before daybreak on the morning of
October 8th, some Delaware warriors struck fatal blows at Sten-
ton's in Allen township, killing eight persons; plundered Andrew
Hazlett's farm house and tomahawked his wife and two children;
fired Philip Kratzer's barn; waded the Lehigh, at the so-called
Indian Falls, above Siegfried's Bridge, and in Egypt of Whitehall,
murdered and burned at Mickley's, Schneider's and Marx's.

At Stenton's, Capt. Jacob Wetterhold, with a squad of men,
were lodging for the night. Meeting the wife of James Horner,
who was on her way to a neighbor for coals to light her morning's
fire, the Indians, fearing she might raise an alarm, despatched her
with their tomahawks. Thereupon they surrounded Stenton's.
No sooner had Capt. Wetterhold 's servant stepped out of the
house, to saddle the Captain's horse, than he was shot down. The
report brought his master to the door, when he received a fatal
wound. Sergeant McGuire, in his attempt to draw him in, was
also dangerously wounded. Thereupon the Lieutenant advanced.*
He was confronted by an Indian, who, leaping upon the bodies
of the fallen men, presented a pistol, which the lieutenant thrust
aside as it was being discharged — thus escaping with his life, and
succeeding also in expelling the savage. The Indians now took a
position at a window, and there shotStenton as he was rising from
his bed. Rushing from the house, the wounded man ran for a
mile and dropped down a corpse. His wife and two children,
meanwhile, had secreted themselves in the cellar, where they
were fired upon three times, but without being struck. Capt.
Wetterhold, despite his sufferings, dragged himself to a window,
through which he shot one of the savages in the act of applying
a torch to the house. Taking up the body of their comrade, the
Indians withdrew.

When the news reached Bethlehem, a relief party was sent
to carry in the wounded, and Capt. Wetterhold was taken to
the Crown Inn, where he breathed his last on the 9th, and the fol-
lowing day was buried in the graveyard nearby. The other dead,
and those who died of their wounds, were buried at the Burnside
Plantation near Bethlehem. Dr. John M. Otto professionally
attended to them. This bold foray struck terror, as well it might,
into the neighborhood, and the Moravians made arrangements
immediately for the care of the refugees from Allen and Lehigh
townships. On October i8th, news reached the town of the


massacre at Wyoming, and word was sent to the Irish settlement
to be on their guard.

One month later, about one o'clock at night, the Bethlehem
Oil Mill, on the Manocacy, began to burn furiously, before it was
noticed, notwithstanding, the night watch a short time before had
passed by. This fact, added to the fear of Indians being about,
who sought by this means to profit in their evil designs, increased
the excitement. "A part of our men," continue the chronicles
of the town, "hurried there to put out the flames, another party
patrolled in and about the town. The mill, however, was so
totally wrapped in flames, that all quenching was in vain, and
attention was turned to saving the adjacent new water-works,
which at one time was on fire. A strong northeast wind, kept
the fire from the town, which otherwise might have suffered very

Two days later a fire engine was received from England. It
was late in December, before the last of the fugitives left for their

* Two months prior to the fire, Judge Lewis Weiss of Philadelphia, wrote to the
pastor at Bethlehem: " In case Bethlehem should be attacked, I hope great care will
be taken of the mills and water works; if the Indians should destroy them, you must
all starve for want of water."

Revolutionary Patriots of Allentown
and Vicinity.

By Charles R. Roberts, -

Allentown and that part of old Northampton county which
now constitutes Lehigh county furnished a large number of
soldiers in the Revolutionary War, as well as its quota of officers
and officials. Taking first those who occupied high official posi-
tions, we find that Allentown had two such, Peter Rhoads
and David Deshler.

Peter Rhoads.

Peter Rhoads occupied important positions from the begin-
ning of the Revolution until his death. Born in Whitehall town-
ship in April, 1737, two miles north of the present city of Allen-
town, the son of Daniel Roth, a native of Switzerland, he was
educated among the Quakers, by whom he was persuaded to
change the spelling of his name to Rhoads. He received a good
English education, and was equally as well read in German, besides
acquiring a knowledge of French, Latin, surveying, book-keeping
and those duties pertaining to the scrivener of that day. He also
learned the trade of a tailor, as it was customary among the
Quakers to teach the young men useful occupations.

In 1 761 he returned to his native township, Whitehall, and
the following year, on November 23, 1762, was married to Sabina
Kohler, daughter of Jacob Kohler, of Egypt. In 1 763, he occupied
his new stone dwelling house in Allentown, which had just been
completed, and which still stands on North Seventh Street. Upon
the organization of Zion's Reformed congregation in that year,
he was chosen one of the deacons. Already in 1 768 he conducted
a general store, which he maintained until his death. In 1772,
he was tax collector of Salisbury township, and in 1773 was
treasurer of Zion's Reformed congregation.

The Provincial Conference of Committees having resolved
that it was necessary that a provincial convention be called for
the express purpose of forming a new government in the province,
on the authority of the people only, at an election held at Allen-
town on July 8th, 1776, at which John Gerhart, David Deshler


and George Breinig were the judges of election, Peter Rhoads and
Peter Burkhalter were elected members of the convention.

This convention, which formulated the first constitution of
Pennsylvania, met at the State House in Philadelphia on the
i5th of July, 1776, and was in session until September 28th fol-
lowing. On July 23, 1776, the convention elected the members
of the Council of Safety, consisting of fifteen members from
Philadelphia county, and one from each of the other counties.
Peter Rhoads was elected the member from Northampton county.
The Council of Safety, in session from July 24, 1776 to March 17,

Home of Judge Rhoads on North Seventh Street, AUentown.

1777, was the most important body in the state at that time, and
carried on the executive duties of the government until the
Supreme Executive Council, chosen under the constitution at
the election in February, organized in March, 1777.

On September 3, 1776, the convention constituted all the
members of the Council of Safety Justices of the Peace for the
State. This constitutional convention consisted of the repre-
sentative men of the State — men selected for their ability, patriot-
ism and personal popularity. Benjamin Franklin was elected
its president, and its labors were completed on the 28th of Sep-
tember, 1776, by the adoption of the first State Constitution, which
went into immediate effect, without a vote of the people.


On May 2, 1777, Peter Rhoads was appointed by the Board
of War one 0/ the commissioners from Northampton county, to
collect blankets for the continental troops. November 24, 1776,
he was appointed treasurer for the advance money, for North-
ampton county.

In October, 1777, he was elected a member of the Assembly,
which met at Lancaster on October 27th, but did not obtain a
quorum until November 20, 1777, and was re-elected in 1778, 1779
and 1780. On April 2, 1781, he voted in favor of the bill which
was passed abolishing slavery in Pennsylvania. He was appointed
Justice of the Peace, December 4, 1783.

On October 8, 1784, he was appointed and commissioned by
the Supreme Executive Council, President Judge of the Court of
Common Pleas and of General Quarter Sessions for Northampton
county. On October 22nd, 1787, he was chairman of the meeting
at Bethlehem approving the Federal Constitution, and condemn-
ing the acts of the members of the Pennsylvania Assembly
who had withdrawn from that body. He was a member
of the Constitutional Convention of i789-'90, and under
that constitution commissioned an Associate Judge, August
17, 1 791. This position he held continuously in North-
ampton county, until the erection of Lehigh county in 181 2, when
he was appointed Senior Associate Judge in that county, which
position he filled until his death, making a total service on the
bench of thirty years.

In 1 792 an attempt was made by the Allen family to establish
a separate county with Allentown as the county seat, and Judge
Rhoads, who was the agent of the Allen family at Allentown, took
a leading part in the movement, but the effort was unsuccessful.

About 1798, the Lehigh Navigation Company was formed
for the purpose of improving the Lehigh river, and Judge Rhoads
became its President. After expending a large sum of money,
the company abandoned the project. In 181 1, Allentown was
incorporated into a borough, and Judge Rhoads was elected the
first Burgess and re-elected in 1 81 2. He was a man of fine physical
proportions and possessed great energy and activity. Pr. Kgle
in a sketch of him says: "Judge Rhoads was a gentleman of firm
convictions, upright and conscientious and wielded a great influ-
ence in the town and county."

In a letter written September 22, 1814, to Judge Rhoads by
the eminent lawyer, Samuel Sitgreaves, of Easton, the writer
in discussing the depression of the Federalist party says: "I have
become indolent and inert, and must leave the Turmoil of Elections
to younger men who love Bustle, and whose Zeal is not rendered
torpid by Infirmity of Body. I rejoice, my dear Sir, that you,
to whose more advanced age these Observations might still more
reasonably apply, appear to preserve the Zeal of a youthful Spirit
beneath the Frost of Years ; and I wish it were more generally the


Case with our veteran Patriots — Altho' I feel the weight of Apathy
heavy on my own Mind, 1 much honor the perennial Vigor of
others — and hope you may long live to infuse your Ardour into
the refractory Spirits about you."

Judge Rhoads died at his residence in this city on Sunday
evening, December i8, 1814, at nine o'clock, at the age of 77 years
and 8 months. He was buried the following Wednesday, in the
cemetery at Tenth and Linden Streets, but I regret to say, no
trace of his grave can now be found. The Friedensbote of Decem-
ber 29, 1 81 4, contains a notice of his death, and after stating that
he had served the public in an uninterrupted succession of offices
from the beginning of the Revolution, with untired zeal, and that
he had preserved his intellectual faculties up to the last instant,
adds: "In the fullness of his heart, one of his fellow citizens pays
this tribute to him," which I can not refrain from quoting in the
German in which it is written, on account of the beauty of the

"Ein Kleinod ist von eurem Haupt genommen,

Ein ehrenwerther Vater, Bruder, Freund,

Der es so herzlich gut und treu gemeint;

Doch that's der Herr — von dem ihr ihn bekommen,

Und was er thut, es ist alles wohl bedacht —

Ja unvergleichlich gut und shoen gemacht.

Ehrwuerdiger Greis! nim ruhe an den Herzen,

Das dort am Kreuz der Speer fuer dich durch stach —

Das ueber dich so goettlich liebreich brach;

An dem du hier vergaszet Noth und Schmerzen;

Empfange nun die schoene Ehren-Kron,

Als den fuer deinen Fleisz versprochenen Gnaden-Lohn.

Indesz bleibst du wahrhaftig bei uns alien,
Die dich gekannt, verehret und geliebt,
Und die dein abruf jetzt gar sehr betruebt
So lange wlr im Thraenen-Thale wallen,
. Tief eingedrueckt; wir denken dankvoll dran,
Wie viele Treue du an uns gethan."

David Deshler.
David Deshler, the son of Adam Deshler, was born in Switz-
erland, in 1734. His father was one of the early settlers of White-
hall township, where he became quite prominent. David, his
eldest son, who was naturalized April 10, 1761, purchased the
mill property on the Little Lehigh from Michael Rothrock in 1762
and was one of the first settlers of Allentown. In 1762 he was
taxed ^9, and in 1768 for a grist mill and a saw mill and fifty acres
of land in Salisbury township. He was a member of the Com-
mittee of Observation, which was chosen December 21, 1774, and


was a delegate from Northampton county to the Provincial
Conference of Committees, which met in Carpenters' Hall, Phila-
delphia, on June i8, 1776. He was chosen by this conference as
one of the judges of election for members of the convention, on
July 8, 1776, at Allentown, where the second election district,
consisting of Northampton, Salsburg, Upper Saucon, Upper
Milford, Macungie, Weisenberg, Lynn, Whitehall and Heidelburg
held its election.

On March 12, 1777, he was elected by the Assembly one of
the four Sub-Lieutenants of Northampton county.

In his account, filed September 4, 1779, he reports having
received ^4,818 17 s. 9 p., from sundry persons for non-perform-
ance of militia duty. He was appointed one of the Commissioners
of Purchases for Northampton county on February 19, 1778, and
on July 7, 1780, Assistant Commissary of Purchases. He was a
delegate to the convention called to ratify the Federal Consti-
tution in 1787.

Mr. Deshler was a man of great ability and much force of
character. In 1782, he purchased from John Benezet of Philadel-
phia, the house built by George Taylor, a signer of the Declaration
of Independence, with the land belonging to the plantation, which
Mr. Taylor had sold to Mr. Benezet in 1776. Here he spent the
latter part of his life. When slavery was abolished in the state,
Mr. Deshler owned two negroes. He was one of the wealthiest
men of his time in the county and in his will bequeathed each of
his six daughters ^^500, his son David ;/Ji,ooo, and his tanyard
and bark-mill to his son George, having already given his portion
to his son John Adam.

He died in December, 1796, at the age of 62 years, at Biery's
Bridge, now Catasauqua, a large part of the borough of Catasauqua
occupying what was then his farm. The location of his grave is
unknown to the writer, although it is probable that he was buried
at Shoenersville.

Peter Burkh alter.

Peter Burkhalter, the son of Ulrich Burkhalter, was born
December 2, 1731, and accompanied his parents to America from
Switzerland, arriving at Philadelphia on September 28, i733-
The family settled in Whitehall township, where the father pur-
chased a tract of 300 acres in 1743, which he conveyed by deed of
gift, to his only son, Peter, on March 9, i754-' Peter Burkhalter
was naturalized on April 10, 176 1. He married Eve Catherine
Deshler, a daughter of Adam Deshler.

On July 8, 1776, Mr. Burkhalter was elected a member of
the Constitutional Convention, which met on July 15, 1776, and
in November of that year was elected a member of the first
Assembly under that constitution, whch organized on November


28, 1776, he being the only member from that portion of North-
ampton county which now constitutes Lehigh county. He was
re-elected in 1777, and again elected in 1784, 1785 and 1786. On
March 30, 1 780, he was appointed one of the Sub-Lieutenants of
Northampton county. His name also appears as captain of a
company of associators on May 22, 1775.

He died October 22, 1805, and is buried at Egypt church.

Peter Kohler.

Peter Kohler, the son of Jacob Kohler, a pioneer settler of
Whitehall township, was born April 2, 1735, at Egypt. The first
mention of him in active life is in 1 764, when he opened a store
at Egypt. He operated the grist mill built by his father and also
kept a house of entertainment for travelers.

Mr. Kohler was appointed by the Pennsylvania Assembly on
December 16, 1777, one of the persons to take subscriptions for
the Continental loan in Northampton county, and was also one
of a committee to collect clothing. He was commissioned one of
the Justices for Northampton county on May 28, 1779, and was
elected to the Assembly in 1780, 1781 and 1782. He died Sep-
tember 27, 1793, a-iid is buried at Egypt.

Stephen Balliet.

Stephen Balliet, the son of Paul Balliet, was born in 1753.
He married Magdalena Burkhalter, a daughter of Peter Burk-
halter. He became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Revolution, his
name appearing as such in a return of the officers of the Second
Battalion of Northampton county militia, dated May 21, 1777.
Under dates of June i, 1780 and November i, 1781, his name
appears as Lieutenant Colonel of the First Battalion.

In the Journals of the Assembly, under date of December 14,
1780, appears the following: "A petition from Stephen Balliet,
Lieutenant Colonel of the First Battalion of Militia in the county
of Northampton, was read stating that in the month of August,
1778, he inlisted twenty men to serve in the militia on the frontiers
of the said county, at his private expense, and representing certain
difficulties he meets with in obtaining re-payment of the monies
so expended; and praying relief from the house, etc., was ordered
to lie on the table for consideration." On February 13, 1781, the
petition was referred to the Supreme Executive Council.

In October, 1783, Col. Balliet was elected a member of the
Supreme Executive Council; in 1789, a member of the Assembly;
and in 1797 was appointed Revenue Collector for the Second
District of Pennsylvania. He died August 4, 1821, and is buried
in the old graveyard at Unionville.


George Breinig.

A Revolutionary officer who has not received mention of his
services in any of our histories was George Breinig. A native of
Germany, where he was born January 31, 1733, he settled in
Macungie township, having emigrated to America in 1 749.

He was one of the judges of election at Allentown, on July 8,
1776, and became Colonel of the Second Battalion of Northampton
County Militia, consisting of eight companies, his name appearing
in muster rolls dated May 21, 1777, and May 14, 1778. In 1786,
he was commissioned a justice of the district of Macungie and
Weisenberg townships.

He died May 12, 181 2, and is buried at Lehigh church.

Peter Trexler.

Peter Trexler, Jr., son of Peter Trexler, one of the first Com-
missioners of Northampton county and a Colonial Justice, and
grandson of Peter Trexler, the pioneer settler of Macungie town-
ship, was born August 15, 1748. On May 21, 1777, he was captain
of the fifth company of Col. Breinig's Second Battalion of Militia;
on November i, 1781, Major of the First Battalion, under Lieut.
Col. Balliet; and on May 6, 1783, was chosen Lieutenant Colonel
in the militia battalion district of Whitehall, Macungie and Upper
Milford township. The several persons chosen Lieutenant
Colonels met at the house of Joseph Hartzell, Esq., on May 14,
1783 and cast lots for rank of the battalions, and the third bat-
talion fell to the lot of Lieut. Col. Trexler. He died March 13,
1828, and is buried at Mertztown.

George Graff.

George Graff, born at Killendorf, Alsace, October 11, 1747,
emigrated to America with his father, Jacob Graff, in 1 754. The
family settled in Whitehall township, where the subject of this
sketch had a narrow escape from death by Indians on October 8,
1763. George Graff married Barbara, daughter of Jacob Kohler,
and in 1772 entered into partnership with his brother-in-law
Peter Kohler, at Egypt. In 1773, Mr. Graff removed to Allentown
and opened a store at Eighth and Hamilton Streets.

In June, 1776, he became Captain of the third company of
the First Battalion of the Flying Camp, which was commanded
on June 18, 1 777, by Col. George Huebner. He was a commissioner
for purchasing clothing in Northampton county in 1778; was
elected Collector of the Excise on November 27, 1778, serving as
such until January 9, 1786; was sheriff of the county from 1787
to 1790; and a member of the Assembly from 1793 to 1796. In
1 814 he was Burgess of Allentown.

Mr. Graff died February 2, 1835, aged 87 years, and is buried
in the old Allentown Cemetery.


Henry Hagenbuch.

Henry Hagenbuch, who was Captain of a company of the
Second Battalion of the Flying Camp, on August 6, 1776, was
born in 1738. He kept a hotel at Allentown for many years, and
died here April 20, 1805. His tombstone is still to be seen in
the old Allentown cemetery.

CharIvES Deshler.

Charles Deshler, born September 10, 1754, was Quarter-
master of the Fourth Battalion of Northampton County Militia,
under the command of Lieut. Col. Boehm. He was a storekeeper
here for many years and a prominent citizen. He died February
4, 1 84 1, and is buried in Union Cemetery.

Other officers who served in the Revolution, were: Col. Henry
Geiger, Maj. Michael Schneider, Maj. Frederick Limbach and
Lieut. Abraham Woodring, who may be made the subject of
future sketches, as well as the many private soldiers, whom time
does not permit us to mention.

The Mayors of Allentown.

By Wm. L. Hartman.

Allentown has been served by fifteen Mayors in the forty
years of its corporate history. Created a city by act of the State
Legislature, approved by Governor John W. Geary, March 12,
1867, its first Mayor was Samuel McHose. He was elected on the
third Friday of March, 1867, over Robert E. Wright, Sr., by a
vote of 974 to 881. Mr. McHose at the time of his election was
president of the Borough Council. He was born in Northampton
County, February 15, 1816, a son of Isaac and EHzabeth (Lau-
bach) McHose, and when he was four years old his parents moved to
Rittersville, in this county. He became a mason and a contractor
in stone and brick. As such he assisted in the construction of
the first successful anthracite blast furnace, built by David Thomas
at Catasauqua in 1839. In 1846, he built the Allentown Iran
Works. Mr. McHose built nearly every blast furnace and rolling
mill in the Lehigh Valley, in the earlier days of the iron industry
and in 1854, with Oliver Ritter he engaged in the fire brick business
in this city. He also started the Lehigh Valley Fire Brick Works
at Catasauqua, with David Thomas and Oliver Ritter. Mr.
McHose moved to Allentown in 1856. He built the beautiful
home at 448 Hamilton Street. The Jay Cooke panic of 1873,
which nearly completely prostrated the iron industry in the Lehigh
Valley, dealing blows from which some of the companies never
recovered, played havoc with Mr. McHose 's fortunes and there-
after to the day of his death he lived a retired life. In his early
life, Mr. McHose was a democrat and h,e cast his first Presidential
vote for Martin Van Buren in 1841. Later he became a. Whig
and on the disintegration of that party ,[he joined the republicans.
As a republican he was twice a delegate to National conventions
in which he voted for Lincoln and Grant. Mr. McHose served in
Borough Council, 1858 and 1859 and again in 1865 and 1866.
From 1884 to 1886 he was a Select Councilman and was elecetd
President of the body. He was one of the chief members of the
unique Rotunda Association. Mr. McHose was the father of
eleven children. He died April 21, 1893, at the age of 77 years.

Samuel McHose

Col. Tilghman H. Good.

Theodore C. Yeager, M. D. Herman Schuon.

Mayors of Allkntown.


Coiv. TiivGHMAN H. Good.

At the election in 1869, Col. Tilghman H. Good defeated for
Mayor, George Beisel, who had been chief of the borough's Fire

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