Samuel P. (Samuel Penniman) Bates.

History of Franklin county, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania, statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc online

. (page 117 of 149)
Online LibrarySamuel P. (Samuel Penniman) BatesHistory of Franklin county, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania, statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc → online text (page 117 of 149)
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where. His sound judgment makes him a wise and judicious counselor, and
while his advice is never obtruded, neither is it withheld from those who desire
to profit by it. Mr. McKinstry has seven children who have arrived at years
of maturity — six sons and one daughter. William E. , born in Yazoo County,
Miss., December 4, 1841, received a mercantile education, and assisted in
conducting his father's business until the latter retired, and then continued
in the agency of the Adams Express Company, at Mercersburg. James W.
was born in Hagerstown, Md., September 22, 1842, and was educated in part
at Franklin and Marshall Colleges, at Lancaster, Penn., and Princeton Col-
lege, New Jersey. He engaged in mercantile business, and was married, at
Mercersburg, in September, 1872, to Miss Caroline Hurst. Soon after his
marriage he m rved to Canton, Fulton Co. , 111. Claudius B. was born in Mer-
cersburg April 13. 1845. He graduated at Princeton College, in 1865, and
read law in the office of Hon. John McDowell Sharpe, of Chambersburg. He
was admitted to the bar in 1867, and in 1868 located in St. Louis for the
practice of his profession. In 1873 he removed to Chicago, 111., and from
there went to Goodhue County, Minn. , where he now resides. Howard L.
McKinstry was born in Mercersburg, June 14, 1847. He received a classica.


education, and read medicine in the offices of Dr. A. H. Senseny, of Cham-
bersburg, and Dr. H. Lenox Hodge, of Philadelphia. He graduated at the
University of Pennsylvania in 1870, and practiced his profession for a short
time in Mercersburg. Ho then located in Chicago, 111., in September, 1871.
He did not remain long in that city, but moved to South Evanston, 111. In
1873 he settled in Zumbrota, Goodhue Co., Minn., and has succeeded to a large
and lucrative practice. He was married, in Baltimore, Md. , in December, 1871,
to Miss Mary Broderick. Charles R. McKinstry was born November 8, 1849,
and was educated at the high schools of his native town. For several years
he was employed as a salesman in a dry goods store, and moved from Mercers-
burg to Chicago, in 1884, and is now engaged in merchandising on his own
account in that city. Edward P. McKinstry was born at Mercersburg April
28, 1851, and received his education at the high schools of the town. For
some years he engaged in farming, but is now in the grocery business in Lan-
caster, Penn., in which city he located in 1883. Mary McKinstry, only daugh-
ter of William D. McKinstry, was born in Mercersburg, and received her edu-
cation at Wilson Female College, of which she is a graduate.

Mrs. Margaret McKinstry, wife of William D. McKinstry, was stricken
with apoplexy in- the spring of 1881. Although she measurably recovered
from the attack, yet the accompanying paralysis continued. She remained an
invalid, confined to her room, with more or less suffering, which she bore with
Christian resignation and uncomplaining submission to her Master's will, until
He released her from her sufferings and took her to her home in heaven on the
1st of April, 1885.

GEORGE W. MILLER, farmer, P. O. Clay Lick. Jacob Miller was
born in Berks County, Penn. , and came to what is now known as ' ' the Cor-
ners," in this county, when twenty years of age. His father, who came from
Germany, reared a number of children in Berks County, Jacob and his brother
William being the only ones of which any information can be obtained.
Jacob Miller was born in 1791, and after coming to this township learned black-
smithing, becoming .one of the best known smiths in the county. For sixty
years he was an active business man. His (Jacob's) wife was Catharine, daugh-
ter of George Swigart of this county, and their family, who have since nearly
all immigrated to the West (principally to Illinois), was composed of three
daughters and four sons: Daniel D., Catharine, May, George W., Samuel S.,
Jacob F. and Elizabeth. The two remaining in this county are Mrs. Cath-
arine Pensinger and our subject. The father died in 1880, at the ripe age of
eighty-nine. The mother died in 1805. George W. Miller was born in 1829,
and from choice has engaged in farming. In 1852 he was united in marriage
with Elizabeth Hawbecker, and their married life was commenced on a farm ad-
jacent to his present home. One year later they removed to Maryland, and six
years after returned to this township and purchased a nice farm near Clay
Lick. Sarah C, the oldest daughter was born where her parents began
housekeeping. Mary A., Calvin H. and William T. were born in Maryland, and
Annie E., Emma S. , Samuel S. and Harry H. on the old mansion farm. Sarah
C. is now the wife of Clayton Angle; Mary A. married Samuel Elliott; Emma
is Mrs. Jacob Royer, and Calvin wedded Clara Shoemaker, of Fulton County,
111! Our subject during his business life has been honored with nearly every
official position that could be conferred by his township — served three terms
as assessor, one as supervisor, one as auditor, and frequently as judge and in-
spector of elections. He is an old school Democrat and his sons follow in his
footsteps. Mr. Miller's first wife died September 28, 1881, and April 27,
1880, he was again married, this time to Miss Annie, daughter of Jacob Bohrer,
one of the oldest and most prominent men in the valley.


JOH>J F. PENSINGER, miller, Mercersburg, is a grandson of Jacob
Pensinger, Sr., who came from Lancaster County, Penn., about 1810, and
settled on a farm near Greencastle, this county. He was at that date married,
but his children, Jacob, John, Henry, George, David, Nancy, Elizabeth and
Rosannah, were born in this county; four are living. Of these George married
Christiana Ruthrauff, whose parents also resided near Greencastle, this county,
and who came from Germany about the same time that the Pensingers arrived
from Lancaster County.. George Pensinger enlisted in Company D, One Hun-
dred and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, in 1862. By trade a miller,
he operated the Martin mills for thirty years, after which his son William suc-
ceeded him. He and his wife were parents of twelve children: William and
Mary, born near Greencastle; Catharine, Margaret, Elizabeth, Maria, George,
Jacob, John, Luther, Abram and Emma, born at the old mill. Jacob, John
F. and William volunteered in the spring of 1863 in Company K, Twenty-first
Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. All participated in the battles fought at
Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Reams Station, Dinwiddie Court
House, Farmanville, Appomattox, and in many other engagements. John T.
Pensinger was born October 5, 1818, in this township. He learned the mill-
er's trade of his father, and that of millwright with M. Hays of Mercersburg.
Since 1870 he has given especial attention to the millwright business, erecting
the grist-mills for Everhart & Bro., of Newport, Penn. ; Abram Reams at Fort
Hunter, Dauphin Co. , Penn. ; and four in Chambersburg for C. Burkharts,
Kerlin & Zollinger. W. F. Eyster & Bro., and M. C. Sfconer & Co., respectively.
In 1874 he married Louisa, daughter of Christian and Maria Shaffer, by whom
he has five children: Hays, Mary, Ida, John and George. In February, 1886,
Mr. Pensinger was elected burgess of Mercersburg. He has filled other
offices ol trust serving three years as director in the public schools, and in 1884
as auditor of Franklin County. Ha is a prominent local politician, Repub-
lican, and one of the best known men of his age in Franklin County. He is
a member of McCollough Post, No. 497, G. A. R. ; also member of Brownson
Camp, No. 132, S. V. The family attend the services of the Lutheran Church.

S. JOHNSTON RASKIN, farmer, P. O. Mercersburg. Jeremiah Rankin,
the great-grandfather of our subject, cams from Scotland, or Belfast, Ireland,
(just when cannot correctly be ascertained, but it was long prior to the war of
the Revolution). He obtained patents for about 800 acres of land, which
property was afterward divided into four farms and inherited by his four sons:
Jeremiah, David, Jamas and Archie. Jeremiah (grandfather of our subject)
was born in the stone mansion erected more than a century ago, and which ia
to-day one of the most imposing residences in the valley. He married Mary
Clark, born in this township, and they began their domestic life on the pater-
nal homestead, which by his father had been converted from forests to quite a
nice farm, but which he himself much improved. Jeremiah and Mary Rankin
had four children: Maria, Nancy, Esther and Clark. Maria became the wife
of Samuel Johnston, who was born and reared in this county, and had no peer
in business or socially; Nancy is the wife of John Imbrie, of Beaver County,
Penn. ; Esther is the wife of Alexander Johnston. Clark Rankin was born in
1800, received a practical education, and then learned civil engineering, in
which profession he became one of the experts of the day. He also trans-
acted a great deal of business for his neighbors, who came to him on account of
his superior judgment and education. He married, March 27, 1828, Elizabeth
Watson, of Greencastle, Penn. , and three sons and three daughters graced this
union: Mary J., Rebecca V., S. Johnston, John W., Esther and Jeremiah C.
The death of Clark Rankin occurred in June, 1866, and that of his widow in


April, 1875. Only the heirs of two of Clark Rankin's children are now living.
Jeremiah, married Annie, daughter of Dr. Huber, of Gettysburg, Penn.,
who bore two children: Maria L. and Mary J. S. Johnston, our subject, was
born June 5, 1833, in this township. He was married, March 17, 1868, to
Miss Elizabeth H. , daughter of Samuel and Margaret (VVitherow) Knox of
Adams County, Penn. She graduated from Sunnyside Seminary and from the
State normal school, Millersville, and then taught school until her marriage.
To this union were born two children: Elizabeth Watson and an infant daugfh-
ter (deceased). Elizabeth W., who will complete her education in the near
future, is now attending Mercersburg College. The Knox family originally
came either from Belfast, Ireland, or Scotland. Samuel Knox (the great-
grandfather of Mrs. Rankin) married Polly Hopkins, and their son, Dr. Samuel
Knox, was born while they were crossing the ocean. Dr. Knox, wedded
Margaret Hodge, who bore him three children: Rev. John Knox, D. D.,
Rebecca and Samuel, the father of Mrs. Rankin. Mr. and Mrs. S. Johnston
Rankin commenced their married life under the most favorable auspices, and
he is now the inheritor of the original Rankin estate, possessing the same busi-
ness enterprise and crodiality of manner that have always made the name
famous in the county.

WILLIAM. REED, farmer, P. O. Welsh Run. John Reed was born in
Berks County, Penn. , in 1780, came to Franklin County, Penn., about 1798,
and for ten years lived at the old mill now owned by Z. David and William
Hays. During this time he had formed the acquaintance of and married Mary
Seibert, also a native of Berks County. To this union were born eleven chil-
dren, of whom Mary (wife of David Niswenger), William, Samuel (residing in
California, unmarried), Sarah (widow of Jacob Sword), Catharine (wife of
John Whitmer) and George (married to Miss Newcomer) are living. In 1808
John Reed came to Mercersburg, this county, where he engaged in his trade
(mason), and the material for the large stone house now used as a hardware
store by Mr. Riesner was quarried from the hills and the building was erected
by him during this time. Three years later he purchased the farm recently
bought by his son from Buterbaugh's assignees. John Reed built a stone barn
in 1820 which was destroyed by tire, and in 1885 this structure was rebuilt by
his son. He subsequently bought a farm (in 1821) on "Locust Level" near
the Maryland line. Here his first wife died in 1833, and he subsequently mar-
ried Mary Creigh, a widow with seven children. John Reed died in 1818, and
his remains are interred in Stecks Cemetery. William Reed was born in this
township, February 15, 1817. He commenced farming on his present farm
March 1, 1839, and has been very successful financially. He was married to
Sarah Niswenger, by whom he has six children: Mary, widow of John Sword;
Eliza; William, married to Mary Fetters ; John, married to a Holmes; Cath-
erine, wife of David M. Negley, and Christian W. , married to Anna Shartle.
Our subject has filled numerous township offices. He is a stanch Democrat,
and has considerable influence in his party.

JOHN A. RHOADS, farmer, P. O. Clay Lick. William Rhoads was born
in Lancaster County, Penn., in 1779, and was married March 16, 1815, to
Jane Rutter, who was born May 10, 1799. They remained in Lancaster
County until 1837, when they moved to the farm, now the property of their
son, in this township, then known as the "George Chambers farm," and
which was formerly owned by a Mr. Huston. The house, a substantial double
log structure, built more than a century ago, is still standing, and in it is the
old-fashioned chimney place in which the blazing logs ci*ackled and burned for
so many years. By its side sitt the old grandmother, who, in her eighty-


seventh year is still hale and cordial and possessed of an astute memory which
verifies many important facts contained in this history. Eight children were
born to Mr. Rhoads and his wife: James, married to Elizabeth Eankin;
Hanford, who died unmarried; George, married to Mary, daughter of James
Patterson; Hetty, who died unmarried; D. Clemson, who died unmarried ; John;
Frances J. , married to Baker McClellan ; and Jacob R. , a gallant soldier dur-
ing the late civil war, captured at the battle of the Wilderness, and died in the
prison pen at Andersonville. All are now deceased but John, born in this town-
ship September 14, 1831. He was drafted in 1865, in Company K, Pennsylvania
Volunteer Infantry, and served until close of the war. In 1869 John Rhoads
was married to Miss Elizabeth E., daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Keefover)
Young, of Upton, this county. Their domestic life was commenced in the
old mansion which has been hallowed by so many pleasant associations, and
there were born William H. , John R., Mary J., George W., Adam G. , David
Z., Fanny G. Our subject has ranked among the foremost business men of
this township for integrity and industry since his business life began. He has
been three years connected with the public schools as director, and has always
been foremost in promoting educational and social interests. He inherits the
mansion farm, and his aged mother finds a pleasant home with him. An
old arm chair, long past its hundredth anniversary, graces the spacious sit-
ting-room in which a happy and intelligent family of children congregate when
the work of the day is done.

MARTIN L. STECK, coachmaker, Welsh Run, was born in Montgomery
Township, this county, near Welsh Run, January 10, 1835, son of George and
Nancy (Whitmore) Steck, the latter probably born near the birthplace of her
son in 1794. George Steck for many years carried on a blacksmith shop near
Welsh Run, and was one of the most enterprising men of the place. Six chil-
dren were reared at the old smithy: Philip R. , Elizabeth, Nancy, Susanna,
Martin L. and Mary. Our subject learned his trade with Jacob Hightman at
Fairview, Washington Co., Md. , and then entered into a partnership with that
gentleman. After about ten years spent in this business at Fairview and at
the old homestead in this county, Mr. Steck engaged in farming in Maryland
for a few years, after which he came to Welsh Run and purchased lands on
the site of the old smithy which had flourished several years prior to his com-
ing. He erected new buildings, and for the past thirteen years has engaged
quite extensively in the manufacture of buggies, wagons, etc. , and has also one
forge devoted to general blacksmithing. He manufactures about forty bug-
gies, a number of other wagons and carriages, annually, and usually employs
six workmen. This is the chief manufacturing enterprise of Welsh Run, and
has won for Mr. Steck a merited reputation. In 1856 he married Lydia T. ,
daughter of John and Catharine (Lantz) Payne, natives of Middleton, Freder-
ick Co., Md. Of the ten children born to this union eight are living: Ida A.
C. ; Florence A.; Luther R., married to May R. Keyser; Alda E., wife of
John K. Graham; Lillie F. ; L. Ella; W. Clarence and Nellie B. All the
children have received classical educations at Kennedy Academy. Lillie F. is
now completing a course at the State normal school in Millersville ; Ida A. C.
finished at Shippensburg Normal School, and has taught several terms in the
public schools. They form an interesting family, and are an honor to the old
families from whom they are descended.

JOSEPH WINGER (retired), Clay Lick. Joseph Winger, one of the best
known men of this township, came from Lancaster, Penn. , and settled in this
county in 1839, purchasing the woolen factory now owned by William Adams,
and the next year a farm two miles distant; a few years later he disposed of


these interests and purchased a part of the Bradley farm near the Mercersburg
turnpike. He married Esther Buckwalter, bora in Lancaster County, Penn. ,
in 1812, who bore him sixteen children, nine of whom married and had fam-
ilies of their own, and four still reside in this county : Sarah ; Elizabeth, wife
of Jacob Lewis (they live in Frederick, Md. ) ; Anna M. , married to John Sto-
ver (they live in Pleasanton, Cal.); Benjamin F. , an attorney, married to
Maggie Byer; and Elam B. , married to Elizabeth Stover (he is connected with
the Freeport machine shops, in Freeport, 111. , where he resides), were born in
Lancaster County, Penn. Catharine, Joseph W., married Margaret Irwin
(he resides in Lincoln, Neb. , is a heavy land owner, and, at present, a real es
tate agent); Lydia; Esther A., wife of J. H. Angle; David; Emma C, widow
of J. B. Seacrest; John N. ; Lucy, wife of W. Rush Gillin, an attorney; Cal-
vin W. ; Jacob Melville and Albert C. , were born in Montgomery Township,
this county. Darius Buckwalter and Karl Michael Winger, the maternal and
paternal grandfathers, were born in Zurich, Switzerland, the former of whom
immigrated to Lancaster County, Penn. , in 1725, the later in 1736. In 1853
Joseph Winger came to Clay Lick, having purchased a farm adjoining the vil-
lage the previous year, and engaged in mercantile business. Though numerous
changes have been made in the ownership of the store up to this date (1886),
the Wingers have always been whole or part proprietors. Jacob Melville Win'
ger purchased his brother's interest in 1876, and in August, 1884, took as a
partner J. Frank Angle, and the firm is now Winger & Angle. Mrs. Esther
(Buckwalter) Winger died September 17, 1868. Mr. Winger has been for many
years one of the most enterprising men of this township; he was a large dealer
in stock, and has amassed a competence; is very sprightly, though now in
his eightieth year. To the Wingers is due the establishment of the postoffice
here about 1858. In politics our subject is a Republican. During the late
war of the Rebellion, Joseph Winger was captured by the Confederate troops
under " Jeb" Stuart, and conveyed to Libby prison, where he was held as
hostage for six weeks. The rebels at that date also captured a lot of his stock,
and helped themselves to what they wished of the goods in his store. Having
some money in his pocket he fared somewhat better than many other prison-
ers in that vile pen, and a number of men who are living to-day have him to
thank for bread purchased and distributed by him at that time.

JACOB MELVILLE WINGER, postmaster and merchant, Clay Lick, was
born in 1852 on the old Bradley farm near the Mercersburg turnpike; he was
united in marriage in 1879 with Catharine Lesher, and to this union have been
born three children: Mary (deceased), Eva K. and Jacob Melville, Jr.

JOHN A. WITHERSPOON, farmer, P. O. Upton. The early history of
the Witherspoon family may be read in the sketch of James Witherspoon.
Our subject was born in 1842 on his grandfather Little's farm. He was pre-
pared for college at Mercersburg Academy, but after spending a year in the
West returned to his native State and engaged in farming. In 1866 his
father purchased the Irwin farm, and John A. came with him, remaining there
until his marriage, February 26, 1874, with Hetty E., daughter of Samuel and
Mary H. (Johnston) Bradley, when he assumed the management of the farm,
which he has since continued. The Bradleys have quite an interesting history
in this township. Samuel Bradley, a native of Ireland, came to Dauphin
County more than a century ago; he was married in that county to Hetty
Armstrong, and several children were born to them there, and before they
came to Franklin County. Samuel Bradley was born in 1802, and his parents
moved to Montgomery Township, this county, settling on the farm now owned
by Johnston Bradley, in 1804. Samuel Bradley and wife were parents of


seven children: Johnston, Van F., Hetty E., T. Oswald, Kerie A., Matthew
H. and S. Chalmers (deceased). All reside in the county but Rev. Matthew
H. Bradley, who has charge of Mount Pleasant Church, Westmoreland Coun-
ty, Penn. To our subject and wife five children have been born: Mary G. , S.
Bradley, J. Edgar, Frederick W. and James R. Mr. Witherspoon has served
the township and county in official positions, and is at present director of the
poor, elected in 1884. He takes delight in agriculture, and is one of the
most prosperous farmers of his neighborhood. He and his wife are Presbyte-
rians of the strictest type, and are representatives of the original family faith
(on both sides). They are descendants of the earliest settlers in this valley.
In politics Mr. Witherspoon is a Republican.

JAMES W. WITHERSPOON, bank cashier, Mercersburg, was born March
18, 1844. His father, James Witherspoon, was the son of John Witherspoon
whose father was the first of this name to settle in Franklin County and lived
near Chambersburg more than a century ago. He (John) married Nancy
Scott and their children, four in number, were James, Eliza, Mary and Mar-
garet, all born on the old farm in this township, where their parents lived a
long lifetime. James, the son of John and Nancy (Scott) Witherspoon, mar-
ried Mary Little, who was born in County Armagh, Ireland, daughter of John
Little, also a native of the Emerald Isle, and who came with her parents to
America when eighteen years old. The parents of our subject were both de-
scended from old Scotch-Irish stock and were firm believers in the Presbyte-
rian faith, the tenets of which were religiously observed by them through life,
and their children still remain true to the faith of their ancestors. James and
Mary (Little) Witherspoon had two sons: John A., married to Hetty Bradley,
resides on the paternal homestead, and James W. Our subject's education
Was received at the Mercersburg Academy. Then for a number of years he
remained on a farm prior to making Mercersburg his permanent location. In
April, 1878, he accepted the position of cashier of the Farmers Bank of Mer-
cersburg, which he has creditably filled, and under his able management what
was formerly a poorly paying investment now returns good dividends. As a
business man Mr. Witherspoon has proved himself a success. He was married
December 8, 1886, to Carrie, daughter of Mariot Hays, of Mercersburg, Penn.
In politics Mr. Witherspoon is a Republican. He is a member of the Presby-
terian Church.

GEORGE W. WOLFE, farmer, P. O. Mercersburg, was born in Maryland,
in 1815, and came to Franklin County, Penn., in 1825, with his parents, who
settled near Mercersburg at what was then the John McDowell mill, now owned
by Adam Rider. Henry H. Wolfe, his father, was by trade a miller and for a
dozen years operated the mill. Our subject learned the trade of his father and
when twenty- one years of age went to Antrim Township, this county, where he
rented Worley's mill; four years later he was elected constable, and the follow-
ing year moved to Middleburg, Penn. , where he managed a general store for
five years, and also a smithy and butcher shop, besides attending to his offi-
cial duties. In 1846 he came to Mercersburg, having already secured quite a
competence by industry and frugality. He made several judicious investments in
the borough and has also desirable property in Chambersburg, Penn. , and Hagers-
town, Md. He is owner of thirty houses and lots in Mercersburg, five farms

Online LibrarySamuel P. (Samuel Penniman) BatesHistory of Franklin county, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania, statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc → online text (page 117 of 149)