Lehigh County Historical Society.

Proceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society online

. (page 21 of 32)
Online LibraryLehigh County Historical SocietyProceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society → online text (page 21 of 32)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Department. The vote was 1155 to 935. At the same election
the people voted by 920 to 670 to buy the water works from the
company that had owned and operated them. Col. Good was
born in South Whitehall township, October 6, 1830, a son of
James and Mary Good, his mother having been a daughter of
Rev. Abraham Blumer, who while pastor of Zion's Reformed
church, concealed the Liberty Bell and the Christ church bells
under the chancel floor to save them from falling into British
hands when Lord Howe's forces occupied Philadelphia. Col.
Good was a shoemaker by trade. He lived in Philadelphia two
years and came to AUentown in 1849, as landlord of the Allen House
which he conducted four years. From 1855 to 1859 he was
Paying Teller of the AUentown National Bank, then a State
institution. In 1849, Col. Good became Captain of the Allen
Rifles and when the Civil War broke out, he and his company
volunteered in April, 1861, and were assigned as Co. I, First Pa.
Regt., under Col. S. S. Yohe, and with Good as Lieutenant Colonel.
When this term expired. Col. Good organized the 47th Regt.,
P. v., which he commanded until the expiration of his enlistment,
September 24, 1864. They had their baptism of fire at Pocotaligo,
S.C, October 22, 1862, where Col. Good commanded a brigade.
Col. Good and his men were located long at Key West, Florida,
served under General N. T. Banks in the Red River campaign in
Louisiana and were then transported to the Shenandoah Valley
for service under Sheridan. In 1865, Col. Good took charge of the
American Hotel and in 1869, engaged in the real estate, banking
and insurance business. From 1 879 to 1 885 he ran the Allen House
again, and then opened the Fountain House, which proved unsuc-
cessful. Thereafter he moved to Reading where he conducted
the Grand Central until his death, July 18, 1887. In 1870 he
became Captain of the Allen Rifles again under the State's militia
organization, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Fourth
Regiment in 1874, to Colonel in 1875 and was re-elected in 1880.
He commanded the regiment during the bloody railroad riots
at Reading in July, 1877. Col. Good was an active Mason and
Knight Templar. In 1858 he was elected to the State Legislature.
He tried five times for Mayor of AUentown and was elected three
times. In 1871 he won over Herman Schuon by a majority of 59.
Dr. Theodore Conrad Yeager won over Col. Good in 1873 by 1470
to 1432. In 1874, Col. Good won again over Herman Schuon.
The vote was 1489 to 1365. At his fifth and last appearance
as a candidate for Mayor in 1876, Col. Good lost to Col. E. B.
Young by 1594 to 15 16, one vote being cast for John Bowen.



208

Dr. T. C. Yeager.
Dr. Theodore Conrad Yeager, who was chosen Mayor in 1873,
was born April i, 1828, and died in office, January 14, 1874. He
was a son of Rev. Joshua Yeager and a grandson of Rev. Johann
Conrad Yeager, whose pastorates of Lutheran charges in and
near AUentown, continued 92 years. Dr. Yeager became a
jeweler under Joseph Weiss. He was educated at the AUentown
Academy and AUentown Seminary, studied medicine with Dr.
Charles h. Martin, began practicing in i860, engaged in the drug
business with Dr. W. E. Barnes, was assistant Medical Inspector
of Lehigh county in 1862, assistant Surgeon of the 51st Regt.
in 1863, Professor of Chemistry and Botany at Muhlenberg
College and Deputy Revenue Collector under President Grant.

Herman Schuon.

Dr. Yeager having died in office, Herman Schuon, President
of Select Council, became Mayor ex-officio and served to the end
of the fiscal year. Mr. Schuon is AUentown 's oldest living ex-
mayor. He was born in Wurtemberg, February 22, 1835, and came
to America in 1854. After a short stay in Philadelphia he came to
AUentown as bartender for John G. Schimpf, whose daughter he
married later, succeeding to the business. Mr. Schuon conducted
the Lehigh and Jordan Hotels and then engaged in the grocery
business. He was timekeeper when Capt. James B. Hamersly
was Street Commissioner. He was one of the founders of the
Lehigh Saengerbund, 49 years ago, was an early Barger Lodge
Mason and was on the committee of the Allen Fire Co., No. 7,
that bought the first Amoskeag fire engine for AUentown. Mr.
Schuon served one term in Common Council and two terms in
Select Council.

Col. E. B. Young.

Col. Edward B. Young was Mayor from 1876 to 1878. He
was a son of Joseph and Hannah (Blumer) Young and a grandson
of Christian and Catharine Young and was born in AUentown,
September 6, 1 836. He spent three years at Belief onte, learning the
watchmaking trade. He entered the hardware firm of Barber,
Young & Co., in i860, continuing to his death December 30, 1879.
Col. Young was a lineal descendant of John Jacob Mickley, who
hauled the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to AUentown, and of
Rev. Abraham Blumer, who concealed it from the British in his
church in this city. He was Second Lieutenant of Co. H, 27th
Regt., in 1863. He served on the staffs of Governors Hartranft
and Hoyt. He represented Lehigh county in Republican State
Conventions and in the Hayes National Convention at Cincinnati
in 1876. Col. Young was an active member of the Columbia
Fire Co., No. 4, and served as its Treasurer. Before his elevation



209

to the mayoralty he was a Select Councilman. He was a 32°
Mason. Col. Young was one of the organizers and the first com-
mander of G. A. R. Post, No. 87, now bearing his name, and he
was at one time a member of the Council of Administration of
the State. He served Lehigh county as a Prison Inspector.
During Col. Young's administration occurred the wave of labor
riots in Pennsylvania, which was felt in Allentown, however,
only in one brief demonstration, which Mayor Young promptly
quelled. It was during his term that AUentown's street market,
now a thing of the past, was established.

Dr. Alfred J. Martin.

At the election of 1878, Dr. Alfred J. Martin was elected
Mayor by 1471 votes to 11 99 for Daniel G. Gerhart and 200 for
J. J. Buchmiller. He was of a long and distinguished line of
physicians in Lehigh county, representatives of which are still
engaged in active practice in the city. He was descended from
Dr. Christian Frederick Martin, who came to America from Ger-
many with the pioneer Lutheran clergyman, Henry Melchior
Muhlenberg, and located at the Trappe. Dr. Martin was a son
of Dr. Tilghman H. and Mary A. Martin and was born March 23,
1837. He took his degree at the University of Pennsylvania in
1857. Dr. Martin was a member of the County, Valley and State
Medical Societies. He was Prison Physician, Coroner's Physician,
a director of the Allentown National Bank, a Trustee of St. Luke's
Hospital at South Bethlehem, a founder of the Livingston Club
and a Democratic candidate for Presidential elector in 1880.
Dr. Martin died December 8, 1896. Because of the hard times,' a
wave of economy swept over Allentown during his mayoralty
and the number of policemen was reduced from twelve to eight.
In 1879 the city discontinued the use of coal gas for street
lights and adopted naphtha.

Dr. K. G. Martin.

Dr Edwin G. Martin, cousin of the above, was elected Mayor
twice. He was chosen in 1880 by a vote of 1684 to 1578 for
Frederick A. Ruhe and 1 1 for W. Berkemeyer. He was re-elected
in 1882, when he received 1899 votes to 1783 for Lewis F. Schmidt.
Dr. Martin was born October 3, 1836, and died August 30, 1893.
He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1856 and
besides the active practice of medicine he was prominent in many
local enterprises. He was coroner from i860 to 1862. In 1863
he was surgeon of the 27th Regt. and later was surgeon of the 4th
Regt., N. G. Pa. He was the first President of the Lehigh Valley
Trust and Safe Deposit Co. and served from the time of its organ-
ization in 1886 to his death. He was President of the Board of
Trade, a Trustee of Muhlenberg College, a trustee of the Allentown





Col. Edaaku B. Young.



Alfred J. Martin. M. D.





Edwin G. Martin, M. D. Edward 3. Shimer.

Mayors of Allentown.



211

College for Women, one of the first trustees and the first secretary
of the Board of the State Insane Asylum at Norristown, was a
Prison Inspector and a founder of the Livingston Club. He con-
ducted a drug store, was in the Jordan Manufacturing Co., Allen-
town and Coopersburg Turnpike Co., Allentown and Bethlehem
Turnpike Co., Lehigh Telegraph Co., was a director of the Allen-
town National Bank, was a founder of the Free Library Association
and was at one time, President of the former Washington Fire Co.
He was a member of the County, Valley and State Medical Societies
and was the first President of the Lehigh Valley Society. During
Dr. Martin's incumbency the Adelaide Silk Mill was secured for
this city, which marked a new era in the city's industrial develop-
ment. Dr. Martin was the only Allentonian ever elected Grand
Commander of the Knights Templar of Pennsylvaniaa.

E. S. Shimkr.

Edward S. Shimer was elected Mayor in 1884, receiving 2004
votes to 1820 for W. K. Ruhe. Mr. Shimer was descended in the
sixth generation from Daniel Shimer who emigrated from Germany
and settled in Northampton county. Two villages in the adjoin-
ing counties of Lehigh and Northampton bear the family name.
Mr. Shimer was one of the t^n children of Charles and Anna
(Schantz) Shimer and was born July 13, 1832. He clerked at
stores in Emau^ and Shimersville and came to Allentown when
seventeen years old to become a clerk in the store of Grim & Ren-
inger, becoming a partner five years later when the firm name
was changed to Reninger & Shimer. In 1879 the name was
changed to E. S. Shimer & Co. In 1895 he founded the carpet
house of Shimer & Co. Later he opened a real estate and insurance
office. Mr. Shimer was a director of the Millerstown Bank and
Millerstown Iron Co., a director of the Allen Fire Insurance Co.,
and a Trustee of Muhlenberg College, from its founding in 1867
to his death, March 13, 1902. In 1894 he contested with Harry
G. Stiles for the State Senatorship but lost, the vote being 8491
to 8124. In 1897 he tried for the Aldermanship of the fifth ward.
It was a contest among three candidates and Allen W. Haines
won by 228 votes to 156 for Mr. Shimer and 145 for John W. Sepp.
While Mr. Shimer was Mayor, the electric fire alarm system was
introduced in this city.

W. K. RuHE.

At the election of 1886, Werner K. Ruhe was chosen Mayor
over Alexander J. Zellner. The vote was 1967 to 1888. Mr.
Ruhe was a son of Augustus L. and Addie L. Ruhe and was born in
1843. He died February 6, 1904. He learned the printing trade
under his father in the office of the Allentown Democrat, entering
in July, 1859. In June, 1865, he purchased his father's interest




Werner K. Ruhe.



Ml

Henry W. Allison.





Col. Samuel D. Lehr. Fred E. Lewis.

Mayors of Allentown,



213

in the paper and continued a partner with C. Frank Haines. He
was a director of the Allentown National Bank and the Allen
Fire Insurance Co. and was President of the Allentown Hardware
Works. Mr. Ruhe was an active member of the Columbia Fire Co. ,
was long its Treasurer, served on the committee which on Novem-
ber 24, 1864, bought the Columbia Fire engine, and on March
16, 1872, was elected Chief of the Fire Department over Charles
Mertz by a vote of 210 to 185. Mr. Ruhe served twice in emer-
gencies during the Civil War in the 5th and 41st Regiments.
While Mayor the garbage removal system was established in
Allentown and he made the first recommendation for the purchase
of the Fountain House property for water works purposes, and
while Chief he made the first recommendation for the procurement
of a Hook and Ladder Truck. January 4, 1887, the electric light
service was established on Hamilton St., and in September fol-
lowing 75 electric lights were put to use on the city streets.

H. W. A1.1.ISON.

Henry W. Allison was elected Mayor twice and was defeated
once. At the election of 1888, Mr. Allison won over Dr. W. H.
Hartzell by a vote of 2402 to 2163. In 1893 he was successful
again. The vote was 2802 to 2574 for Dr. H. H. Herbst and 58
for T. P. Peters. In 1899, Mr. Allison lost to Capt. James L.
Schaadt, the vote being 3851 to 3102. Mr. Allison was a native
of Kentucky and was born at Catlettsburg, in that State, July 8,
1846. His ancestors were early settlers of Pennsylvania. His
father was born at Catawissa and his mother at Muncy. They
moved west after their marriage and settled at Catlettsburg, which
was then an important trading post. His father was in the char-
coal iron business. Mr. Allison started in the iron business in
his native state in 1861, and in 1866 went to Hazleton where he
was connected for nine years with A. A. Pardee & Co., coal opera-
tors. In 1875 he came to Allentown as general manager of the
Allentown Rolling Mills which position he has filled continuously
to this day. He was active in the Board of Trade and was a
founder and the first President of the Livingston Club. As
Mayor, Mr. Allison made the first appointment of the Chief of
the Fire Department. In 1893 all street lighting was changed
to electricity. It was during Mr. Allison's term in 1889, that
the railroads built their lines through the city and established
their stations on Hamilton Street at opposite ends, of the Jordan
bridge.

Col. S. D. Lehr.

Col. Samuel D. Lehr was elected Mayor over Wm. F. Yeager
in 1890 by a vote of 2473 to 2234. He was born in Allentown,
May 30, 1838. In his boyhood days he worked in the brickyard
of Dr. Jesse Samuels and later took employment under the same



214

as a civil engineer. He helped to lay out the lines of the Lehigh
Valley Railroad between Allentown and Easton and the Allentown
and Auburn Railroad between this city and Port Clinton. One
of his associates on the latter was George B. Roberts, later President
of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He also assisted in laying out the
Ironton Railroad and the East Penn Railroad. From November 7,
1862, to August 18, 1863, he was captain of Co. B., 176th Regt. P. V.,
during which time he served at Charleston and Hilton Head, S. C.
In 1864 he was a recruiting agent in West Virginia, Washington
and Norfolk. Col. Lehr entered the service of G. A. Aschbach
as an engineer in 1865 and in 1868 formed a partnership with
R. R. Emery, which continued three years. From 1869 to 1889
he was City Engineer of Allentown. Col. Lehr then opened a
civil engineering office and in 1894 had J. Howard Martz as a
partner, and later A. W. Leh was admitted to the firm. Since
July 22, 1 901, the firm has been Lehr & Bascom. One of Col.
Lehr's most praiseworthy works has been the preparation of a
title map of the city tracing the ownership of all property through
successive stages to the Wm. Allen grants. Col. Lehr served in
City Councils from 1897 to 1901. He is President of the Penn-
sylvania Loan and Building Association, and a member of E. B.
Young Post, No. 87., G. A. R. In 1869 he organized the Allen Con-
tinentals, later Co. B., 4th Regt. N. G. Pa., and served as captain
until elected major, December 2, 1875. Resigning January 11, 1876,
he took up the captaincy again and commanded his company at
the Reading riots. He was elected colonel of the 4th Regt., Oct.
29, 1885, and served five years, being in command at the camps in
this city in 1886 and at Slatington in 1888. When Col. Lehr
tried for the nomination as a Democratic candidate for Mayor,
it took thirty ballets to make the choice, the other candidates
being James F. Gallagher, Wm. R. Henninger, W. K. Ruhe, A.
D. Dresher and J. S. Dillinger. While he was Mayor, in 1890, the
trolley made its debut in Allentown.

Frkd E. Lewis.

The Mayoralty elections of 1896 and 1902 proved successful
for Fred E. Lewis. In 1896 he had 3301 votes to 3036 for ex-con-
gressman Wm. H. Sowden and 133 for F. D. Graffin. The vote
in 1902 was: F. E. Lewis 4594, H. E. Crilly, 3986 and J. D.
Kistler, 40. Mr. Lewis was a grandson of Samuel Lewis, Sr.,
one of the pioneers of the iron industry in eastern Pennsylvania
and a founder of the Allentown Iron Works with which his father
Samuel B. Lewis was also identified. Mr. Lewis was born in this
city, February 8, 1864. He studied in the public schools here, at
New Haven, Conn., and in Muhlenberg College, where he nearly
completed his Junior year. Then he entered the law office of R. E.
Wright & Son and was admitted to the bar, February 8, 1888. He
was one of the organizers of the Lehigh Telephone Co., Keystone



215 '

Cement Block Co., Allentown Sand & Coal Co., Allentown and
So. Allentown Bridge Co. and has been President of the Merchants
National Bank since it was opened March 30, 1904. He was at
one time President of the Board of Trade and is an active member
of the Good Will Fire Co., No. 3. He is at present President of
the Clover Club. He has served on the Executive Committee
of the State Firemen's Association. In 1902 Mr. Lewis
aspired to the Republican nomination of Lieutenant Gov-
ernor of the State, but when the nomination for Governor came
to the adjoining county of Montgomery a Western Pennsylvanian
was named. In 1906 his name was again brought forward but
Mr. Lewis withdrew it before the convention met. The Central
Fire and Police Station was built in 1896 during Mr. Lewis' term,
the Pioneer Fire Co. was admitted in 1898 and the Schantz's
Spring property was purchased in 1897.

Captain James L. Schaadt.

Allentown's thirteenth Mayor, Capt. James L. Schaadt, was
born in North Whitehall township, December 21, 1856, a son of
Capt. David Schaadt. He was graduated from Muhlenberg College
with second honor in 1874 ^^^ studied law with Thomas B.
Metzgar, being admitted to the bar April 10, 1878. He was
County Solicitor from 1888 to 1891, District Attorney from 1892
to 1895 and chairman of the Democratic County Committee for
three years. Mr. Schaadt is an active member of the Liberty
Fire Co. He became a National Guardsman, June 21, 1878, as a
private in Co. D., 4th Regt. and was promoted to Sergeant. He
re-enlisted. May 20, 1884, in Co. B as a private, became company
clerk, regimental clerk and corporal. June 17, 1889, he was com-
missioned quartermaster of the regiment. Dec. 29, 1890, he was
elected Captain of Co. B. and served five years, declining a re-elec-
tion. He commanded his company at the Homestead riots in
1892. While Mr. Schaadt was Mayor, the soldiers' monument
was erected on Centre Square in 1899. The city purchased the
Holly pump. Asphalting of the streets was started in 1900.
Many storm water sewers were built, the Allentown Hospital
was opened, the ambulance service was established, a steam road
roller was purchased, the Lehigh Telephone Co. was organized,
the garbage crematory begun, new houses built for the Pioneer,
Franklin, Hibernia and Allen Fire companies, and the Liberty's
house rebuilt and enlarged.

Dr. a. J. Yost.

The election of 1905 resulted favorably to Dr. Alfred J. Yost,
who received 4975 votes to 3571 for Dr. V. H. Wieand, 97 for
J. D. Kistler and one for J. Taylor Roth. Dr. Yost was born
August 13, 1870, at So. Bethlehem, the son of^Dr. Martin L. Yost,





Capt. James L. Schaadt.



Alfred J. Yost, M. D.





C. D. ScHAEFFER. M. D. Harry G. Stiles.

Mayors of Allentown.



217

who was a son of John Yost and who met a tragic death, December
3, 1904, when a trolley car struck his carriage as he was making a
professional call. He was graduated from Muhlenberg College
in 1890 and from the University of Pa. in 1893. In the latter
year he was nominated for coroner by a vote of 4123 to 2731 for
James Goheen and 1428 for W. H. Knauss. He was elected by
a plurality of 693 over Dr. W. Niles Powell. He was renominated
in 1906, the vote being, Dr. Yost, 3154, Dr. I. F. Huebner, 2559,
James Goheen 231 1, and Albert Pfeiffer 332. Dr. Yost was
re-elected, having a plurality of 716 over Major James R. Roney.
In 1902 Dr. Yost tried for the Democratic nomination for Mayor
and received forty votes in the convention. Mr. Crilly won with
89 votes. Dr. Yost was nominated for Mayor by acclamation
in 1905, at which time he had just recovered from a severe attack
of pneumonia. This so undermined his health that in September
following his inauguration he was advised to go to Denver, Col.,
where he remained until March 11, 1907, when he returned home
to die, and the end came April i6th, following.

Dr. C. D. Schaeffer.

When the state of Dr. Yost's health demanded that he go
to Colorado, City Councils elected Dr. C. D. Schaeffer as Acting
Mayor. He is a son of David and Elizabeth Schaeffer and was
born in Maxatawny Township, Berks County, November 4, 1864.
He is one of five sons, all of whom are graduates of the Keystone
State Normal School at Kutztown, four are graduates of Franklin
and Marshall College at Lancaster, two of the Reformed Church
Theological Seminary and one. Dr. Schaeffer, of the Medical Depart-
ment of the University of Pa. One of these is Superintendent
of Public Instruction of the State, another is a Professor in the
Reformed Church Theological Seminary, a third is a lawyer at
Reading, a fourth tills the ancestral farm and the fifth is Dr.
Schaeffer. He is an alumnus of F. and M. College, Class of 1886,
and won his M. D. degree in 1889. Locating in Allentown, he
soon achieved more than local reputation as a physician and sur-
geon. He has been President of the Board of Health, is a Director
of the Allentown National Bank and has been a dominant factor
in the Allentown Hospital since its inception in 1898, as a Trustee
and Surgeon-in-Chief. While a medical student, he was one of
the founders of the Agnew Society, and is now a member of the
Lehigh Co. Medical Society, Lehigh Valley Medical Association,
Medical Society of Pa., Mississippi Valley Medical Society, Amer-
ican Medical Association, and the Roentgen Ray Society. Fol-
lowing the death of Dr. Yost, City Councils unanimously elected
Dr. Schaeffer mayor to fill out the unexpired term.



2l8

Harry G. StilES.

Harry Gibons Stiles, Allentown's latest Mayor, assumed his
office on the first Monday of April in this year. He won out at
the Democratic primaries, January 25th, over four competitors
by a Plurality of 120, and was successful at the election, February
1 8th, by a plurality of 778 over former Mayor Fred E. Lewis. Mr.
Stiles is a son of the late John D. Stiles who was a leading lawyer of
the Lehigh County Bar, and who served thrice in Congress. Born
in Allentown, December 16, 1856, Mr. Stiles was graduated from
the local High School, June 30, 1874, studied at Muhlenberg
College and at Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the
bar April 14, 1870. In 1884 he was nominated a Presidential
Elector. He served as District Attorney of Lehigh County during
the three years following 1889. In 1894 he was elected to the
State Senate, and was re-elected four years later. He is an active
member of the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, No. 8.

It will thus be seen that Allentown has been signally fortunate
in its mayors. All have been conspicuous and prominent men,
and have contributed to the success, growth and prosperity of
one of the most progressive cities of Pennsylvania.

[Acknowledgment is due H. H. Knerr for the use of the cuts illus-
trating this article.]



Tn mcmoriam.



Frank W. Koch.

We all sadly recall the thrill of horror that swept over Allen-
town on that beautiful Sunday morning of July ist, 1906, when
the cable ticked the sad news of the fatal accident to the steam-
boat train at Salisbury, England, the night before, in which
twenty-three passengers and four trainmen were killed, one of
the former having been our esteemed townsman and fellow
member, Frank W. Koch. Mr. Koch had left AUentown with
his wife and only daughter on June 22nd, sailing the following
day on a tour that was to have continued several months. It
was within a few hours after having landed at Plymouth that
the frightful accident happened, bringing their expected pleasant
trip to an abrupt close and shrouding their home with sorrow.
His body was brought back to this country and laid away amongst
the people who had known, respected and honored him.

Mr. Koch was 55 years of age. He was born at Kuhnsville,
Lehigh County, January 10, 1 85 1 , and came to AUentown at the age
of twenty. He learned the tailoring trade with the firm of H. M.
Leh & Co. March 30, 1876, with the late Wilson Shankweiler,
Mr. Koch engaged in the clothing business on a small scale at
No. 618 Hamilton St. The business prospered, due to their enter-
prise, thrift and careful attention. In 1885 they bought the



Online LibraryLehigh County Historical SocietyProceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society → online text (page 21 of 32)