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county, son of David and Elizabeth (Myers)
Lehr."

David Lehr was also born in York county,
and was chiefly engaged in teaming to Balti-
more and Pittsburg. After his marriage he
located at Round Town, Manchester township,
where both he and wife died ; they were buried
at Ouickel's church. They had eleven chil-
dren, namely : George, who was a prominent
citizen at Round Town, a merchant and justice
of the peace, married Elizabeth Allison; Sam-
uel ; David married Susan Strickler. and died
in ^Manchester township; Henry died young;
^A'iIliam, a carpenter by trade, resides in the
AA'est ; Tohn, who married Lvdia Strickler, was



a cigarmaker and shoemaker, and li\es in 'Shm-
chester township; Susanna died voung; Eliza-
beth married Adam Bowersox ; Sarah married
Abner Bowersox ; Catherine is deceased ; and
Marjr Ann died aged twelve years. ^

The late Samuel Lehr received a good com-
mon school education in his native township
and when his school days were over, learned
the carpenter's trade, becoming a very thor-
ough woi'kman. He continued at that employ-
ment, subsequently for about forty years be-
coming a contractor and builder, and erecting
many of the substantial buildings in his own
and other townships. About twelve years of
his active life were spent in York, but in 1892
he bought the Henry Hake farm in Conewago
township, his home being situated about two
miles west of Stahleys postoffice.

In 1863 Mr. Lehr married Tacy Ann ]\Iil-
lard, daughter of John and Sarah ( Strom-
inger) Millard, the former of whom died in
1875, and the latter, in 1903. Both were
buried at St. John's cemetery in Fairview
township. In regard to the venerable lady
just mentioned, the following is quoted from a
local newspaper :

"Died on June 15, Sarah ]\Iillard, aged
ninety-three years, nine months and twelve
days. In addition to what has been previously
said concerning this mother in Israel, we would
yet say that she was the mother of ten chil-
dren, six boys and four girls. One son was
killed by the cars ; one, Thomas, died just five
weeks before his mother. She had thirty-seven
grandchildren and fifty-two great-grandchil-
dren. She was buried near Lewisberry, Rev.
Emenheiser officiating." The children of John
and Sarah Millard were : Henry, who was
killed at York in the freight yards, married
Ella Garretson ; Robert, who married }ilary
Clarke, of Illinois, is a plasterer by trade, and
lives in Kansas ; Ann Jane died young" ; Thomas
(deceased) married Ida Johnston, of Ohio;
Rachel is the wife of William Robinson, of
Fairview township ; Tac}' Ann, who married
(first) the late Samuel Lehr. and (sec-
ond) J. L. Gladfelter on ]\Iay 16, 1905 ;
John, a resident of Tennessee, married Eliza-
beth Cockley; Ellen, wife of George Hart,
Ii\'es in Hampton township. Cumberland coun-
ty; Daniel died young; Jacob R.. living in
Iowa, married Alice Fisher, and has a family
of eleven living children.

;\Irs. Glatfelter resides on the home farm



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



in Conewago townsliip. a lady most highly es-
teemed - by all who know her. In the great
berea\-ement which befell her in the sad death
of ]Mr. Lehr. she had the sympathy of the
whole neighborhood. Perhaps an acconnt of
this calamity may best be given in the words
of the local paper:

'YMiile on their way to the Hartman sale,
Samuel Lehr and Jacob Boring had driven to
Mt. Wolf and then started to walk to their
destination on the railroad track of the
Northern Central Railroad. They were walk-
ing on the northbound track and a freight train
was passing them on the southbound track,
noise of which pre\'ented them from hearing
the approaching' passenger train in their rear,
and as the trains were going around a cuiwe,
the engineer was unable to see them in time
to prevent the accident. When the train struck
them they were thrown down +he embankment
on the country road. It is surmised that Mr.
Lehr saw the death-dealing engine a second
before his companion, and threw his arm
around his friend in an attempt to drag him
out of the way. both being hurled down the
bank where they laj^ together in their last
sleep. It is a great credit to a man that his
last care should be for the safety of another."

SPAHR BROTHERS. The well known
contracting and building firm of Spahr Broth-
ers — Charles C. and Amos Spahr — with offices
at No. 6ii Linden avenue. York, has had the
contracts for the erection of a number of the
city's largest buildings. The first of the Spahr
family of Avhom we have any record is William
Spahr, who was reared some three miles north
of Dover by Jacob Sheaffer, a farmer. He
followed agricultural pursuits and died in early
manhood. He was survived by his widow,
formerly Eliza White, daughter of Joseph
White, a stone-mason, contractor and builder,
anrl two children : Lewis, a stone-mason bv
trade, who died many years ago ; and Jacob W.

Jacob W. Spahr was born Nov. lo, 1839,
in Dover township, where he was reared.
When but nine years of age he went to work
on a farm, following that occupation until his
sixteenth year, when he was apprenticed as a
stone-mason to Isaac Fickes and Edward
Gross. After three years of work as a
journeyman he engaged again in agricultural
pursuits, thus continuing frir six years, at the
end of which time he returned to stone-



masonrv. three years later locating in York.
Here he has since followed his trade, being a
first class mechanic as well as one of the good,
honorable . citizens of York. Mr. Spahr was
married, in 1861, to Miss Emmeline Ivlarch,
daughter of Jacob G. and Harriet (Zinn)
March. Mrs. Spahr was .born in \^'ashington
township, York county, in 1843. ^"<^^ to her and
her husband these children were born : Daniel,
a painter of York ; Sarah, the wife of William
Gross, of York; Charles C. : Clarissa, at home;
Amos ; Aaron, a brick-mason of York ; Eliza-
beth, the wife of Charles Sellers, of York;
Arthur J., a brick-layer; I\Iilo, deceased;
Henry Elmer, brick-layer, of York. The fam-
ily, with the exception of Daniel, are members
of the Reformed Church, he being of the
Lutheran faith.

Charles C. Spahr, the senior member of
the firnij was born in this part of Pennsylvania,
July 31, 1867. He was reared on his father's
farm in AVashington .township, and until he
was sixteen years old lived with his grandpar-
ents, and, while working on the farm, received
a common school education. When he had
reached the age named, he was apprenticed
as a brick mason to Harrison Spangler, but
before he had served his time he left his em-
ployer and started out in life for himself. He
at first went to Harrisburg and then spent
some years in different parts of Pennsylvania
and Maryland, covering both States preitty
thoroughly. Returning home in 1892, he as-
sociated himself with his brother, and the
present well known firm of Spahr Brothers
was established. The brothers do a general
contracting and building' business in brick,
stone and concrefe, operating" on a large scale
and giving employment to from thirty-five to
fifty men. They erect all kinds of buildings, Ijut
lately have been especially active in the con-
struction of factories. Among the large
structures erected by the Spahr Brothers may
be mentioned the West Nowell and the Central
school buildings, the Pennsylvania hotel, the
Western Maryland depot, the Diamond silk
mill, the factories of the Jacoby Furniture
Company, the Brownell. Schmitt & Stacy Com-
pany and the Cosmo Carriage Company, of
Glen Rock, and the residences of John Frees,
Edward McCall, Eli Groves, Edgar Fryes. two
for J. A. Dempwolf, as well as Michael's store
building, and many others.

Charles C. Spahr has been twice married.



BIOGRAPHICAL



571



first in April, 1891, to ]\Iiss Jennie Maloney.
who died Sept. 21, 1901. In September, 1903,
Mr. Spalir married Mrs. Josephine Gardner,
daughter of David H. Melhnger, of Marietta,
Lancaster county. Mrs. Spahr had one child
by her first marriage, Georgie Z^Iarie Gardner.
Prior to her marriage Mrs. Spahr served as
matron of the York Git}' Hospital for three
years. Mr. Spahr is a member of Zion's Re-
formed Church, while his wife is associated
with the Methodist faith.

Amos Spahr, beside his connection with
the firm of Spahr Brothers, is also a member
of the stone dealing, quarrying and crushing
firm of Gise, Spahr & Myers, which firm
handles all kinds of building and crushed
stone, and that used for paving, macadamizing
and concrete work. Mr. Spahr was born in
Washington township, March 18, 1871, and
received his education in the public schools of
that vicinity. While a boy he engaged in
various vocations in York. For a time he
was a teamster and when sixteen years of age
he commenced to learn the trade of a brick-
masoq with Albert Spangler of York. After
mastering his trade, he went to Sparrow's
Point, and thence to Middletown, after which
for four years he worked at various places in
the county. At this time in company with
his brother, Charles C, he embarked in the
contracting and building business, and in 1901
formed his partnership with Messrs. Gise and
Myers. This latter company gives employ-
ment to from twenty to thirty-five people, and
is enjoying a steadily increasing business.

Amos Spahr was married April 9, 1896,
to Miss Martha J. Spangler, born in Spring-
getsbury township and the daughter of Philip
Spangler. They have one child, Philip Karl.
In religion Mr. and Mrs. Spahr are members
of the Reformed Church. They live at their
comfortable home. No. 838 \\^est Locust street,
York, where their manv friends are always
welcome.

The firm of Spahr Brothers bears an envi-
able reputation in York, where the brothers
are well known and highly esteemed, and
where, besides their other business interests,
they are prominently identified with real estate
affairs.

SAMUEL PAULES, who passed his en-
tire life in York county, was born rm a farm
near Yf)rkana, Lower \\'inflsir township, York



county, Dec. 10, 1829. son of Adam and Eliza-
beth (Hartzler) Paules. His father was born
Nov. 19, 1794, and died Aug. 26, 1867, while
the mother was born Oct. 18, 1793, and died
Oct. 29, 1858. As is evident from the date
and place of Samuel's birth, the Paules familv
has long been identifier! with the history of
York county,

Samuel Paules was reared under the con-
ditions which marked pioneer life in this fa-
vored section of the Keystone State, and his
educational advantages were such as were af-
forded by the common schools of the period,
which were usually maintained on the sub-
scription plan. That he made good use of his
opportunities in this connection is evident
from the fact that in his youth he was a pop-
ular and successful teacher in the schools of
his native county, being engaged in pedagogic
work for several years, in Lower \\'indsor
township. As a young man he also learned the
shoemaking trade, but ow-ing to somewhat
delicate health never followed that vocation for
any considerable period. His marriage was
solemnized in 1853, and he forthwith took up
his abode on a farm in Lower Windsor town-
ship, afterward engaging in the work of his
trade to a greater or less extent for two years,
and also teaching school at intervals, while
he continued to be identified with agricultural
pursuits until the close of his long- and useful
life, having become the owner of a small but
valuable farm, which is still owned by his
widow.

In his political proclivities Mr. Paules was
a Democrat until the crucial era of the Civil
war, when he espoused the cause of the newly
organized Republican party, of whose princi-
ples he ever afterward continued a stalwart
advocate, having been uncompromising in his
antipathy to the institution of slavery and a
loyal supporter of the Union during the dark
days of the Rebellion. He was a lifelong and
zealous member of the Evangelical Church,
and his daily walk and conversation were in
harmony with the faith to which he held. He
took an active part in all .departments of church
work, especially that of the Sunday school, and
for many years served as deacon and class-
leader, besides holding other official positions.
He attended the various Sunday school conven-
tions and stood forth as a devoted follower
of the Master whom he served with all zeal and
self-abnegation. He was kindlv in his iudg-



572



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



ment of his fellow-men, tolerant and charita-
ble in his views, and ever held the high esteem
and confidence of associates and friends, be-
ing- signally true and faithful in all the rela-
tions of life and fully deserving, at the close of
his labors, the strong words of Divme com-
mendation : "Well done, good and faithful
servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Mr. Paules was summoned into eternal rest
Jan. 17, 1878, and in his death the community
lost one of its most honored and loyal citizens.
In the city of York, on Nov. 24, 1853, Rev.
Christian F. Deininger, a clergyman of the
Evangelical Church, pronounced the words
which united the life destinies of Mr. Paules
and Henrietta Jacobs, who proved to him a de-
voted wife and helpmate during the long years
of their wedded life, and who still survives
him. She was born in Hellam township, York
county, Aug. 17, 1833, and was there reared
and educated. She is a daughter of Henry
and Magdalena (Shenberger) Jacobs. Her
father was a miller by trade and for many
years engaged in farming on a small scale.
Mrs. Paules has been likewise a devoted and
consistent member of the Evangelical Church
and has been active in its work. Until recently
she has enjoyed vigorous health, and this is
attested by the fact that in the autumn of 1903,
at the age of seventy years, she walked the en-
tire distance from her home to the city of York
(seven miles), returning by stage, while pre-
viousl}' she had frequently walked to Craleys-
ville and return, a distance of ten miles. To
Mr. and Mrs. Paules no children were born,
but their home was ever one in which the chil-
dren of the community found a warm welcome,
and was consecjuently a favorite juvenile re-
sort. Mrs. Paules is held in affectionate regard
and is one of the sterling pioneer women of
York county.

E. D. BENTZEL, one of the lights in the
legal profession in York county, comes of
sturdy German ancestry.

In 1745 there emigrated from Germany
two brothers by the name of Bentzel — Philip
and Baltzer — who landed at Baltimore, Md.
Of these Baltzer, who was a shoemaker by
trade, came to York county, and settled near
the town of York. He served his adopted
country in her War for Independence, attain-
ing the rank of captain. Lie married and lae-
came the father of six children : Henry, David,



Catharine Ellman, Anna Maria, Lizzie and
Barbara Kump.

David Bentzel, son of Baltzer, was born in
August, 1777, and he became a successful
farmer and distiller. In 181 1 he erected a
large distillery, and manufactured a high grade
of whiskey which he transported by teams to
the market in Baltimore. The farm on which
he located at the time of his marriage was on
the Little Conewago Creek, near what is now
known as Weigelstown. At the age of twenty-
four years he married Miss Elizabeth Meisen-
helter, and they became the parents of ten
children: Henry, Felix (who died young),
David, Samuel, Daniel M., Barbara, Mary,
Elizabeth, Nancy and Sarah (who died
young). All the children who reached mature
years married.

David Bentzel (2), son of David, was born
May 3, 181 5. In his youth, at his father's
mill, he learned the trade of milling under his
imcle, George Meiseniielter, and at his father's
death he bought this same mill on the Little
Conewago, and there continued to make his
home as long as he lived. He married Sarah
Eisenhart, daughter of John Eisenhart, a car-
penter and cabinet-maker; she died Dec. 25,
1 880, the mother of six children, as follows :
Henry M., born in 1844, located in California,
and there died in 1877, leaving one son, Fred-
erick; Edward D. ; David E., born in 1857;
Nancy married Henry W. Jacobs; Kate E.,
married Peter Binder; and Leah died in
infancy.

Edward D. Bentzel was born Feb. 22,
1846, and his boyhood and youth were passed
at the old homestead on the banks of the Little
Conewago. He learned the milling trade of
his father, but owing to a severe illness, which
so crippled him in his lower limbs as to neces-
sitate the use of crutches, he was forced to
abandon it. His educational opportunities
had been excellent, he having had the ad-
vantage of courses in both the York County
Normal and the Academy. For some six terms
he was successfully engaged in teaching in
York borough and the County. Always inter-
ested in public affairs, he naturally turned to
politics, and as a good stanch Democrat early
became the leader in his chosen party. In
1872 he was elected clerk of the courts, a po-
sition which he aljly filled for three years.
While in that office he was inspired with an
ambition to enter the legal profession, and he



BIOGRAPHICAL



573



became a stiulent in the office of James B.
Ziegler, and in 1878 he was admitted to the
Bar, continuing to the present time in the
active and successful practice of his cho.sen
calHng. A man of broad and progressive
ideas he is a natural leader, and his worth as a
citizen has been demonstrated in every relation
of life.

On Feb. 24, 1881, Mr. Bentzel was united
in marriage to Miss Ida Kate Wehrly,
daughter of George Wehrly, of the "Pennsyl-
vania House," \ork. Three children have
blessed this union namely : Edith May, Ernest
and Edward Wehrly.

JOHN MINSKER was for a number of
years master carpenter of the Baltimore di-
vision of the Northern Central railroad, and
it was said by the late J. N. DuBarry, vice-
president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, that
Mr. Minsker built more bridges and trestles
in his day than any other man in the service
of the company.

Ludwick Minsker (I) was a Revolutionary
soldier, hunter and trapper of Dauphin county.
His son, Ludwick (II), was born and reared
in Clark's Valley, Middle Paxton township,
Dauphin county, where he married Mary
Cairns, and together they reared the following
family: Benjamin married Eliza Mooney;
Moses married Mary Pflieger; Ludwick (III)
was the father of John; joshua died unmar-
ried; Susannah married John Bohl; Rachel
married Christian Fogle; and Catherine mar-
ried a Mr. Weltmer. Ludwick (III) married
Henrietta Kuehne, daughter of William Lud-
wick Kuehne, who came with his family from
Saxony, Germany, to Pennsylvania, about the
year 1821. Mr. Minsker died Jan. i, 1867,
at the age of sixty-eight years, having reared
a family of four sons and three daughters.

John Minsker was born Dec. 11, 1833, in
Clark's Valley, Dauphin county, about three
miles from the town of Dauphin. He was
reared on his father's farm, and served an ap-
prenticeship at blacksmithing in Dauphin, dur-
ing the construction of the present Schuylkill
& Susquehanna Railroad. All blacksmith
work for the road was done at this shop. Mr.
Minsker well remembers how he assisted in the
welding of broken car axles by upsetting the
broken ends and jumping them together when
welding hot. Three sledges were used in the
operation and the strikers would ha\-e their



knuckles pretty well blistered by tlie time the
weld was made. Car axles in that dav were
only about from two and one-half to three
inches in diameter. Mr. Minsker also assisted
to transfer the first ten coal hoppers from the
canal to the railroad, horses hauling them on
their wheels through the streets, 'i hese were
the little four-wheeled coal hoppers Ijuilt by
George W. Ilgenfritz, at York, and were
transported to Dauphin on scows, by way of
the canal. He also took his first car ride on this
road, and the engine, being a wood-burner
with a straight stack and a large knot at the
top as a spark arrester, set his clothing on fire.
The engine was called the "Isaac Lee" and it
was said to be of English make. After being
freed from the blacksmith apprenticeship, :\lr.
Minsker arranged at once to learn the car-
penter's trade, which was more congenial to
his taste. While a carpenter's apprentice, Mr.
Minsker assisted to erect the first coal chute in
Dauphui, which was then the terminus of the
Dauphin & Susquehanna railroad ( since callerl
the Schuylkill & Susquehanna), \\-here he
also assisted to frame a set of coal chutes to
be erected at what is now the North and Alad-
ison streets coal-yard, Baltimore, on the North-
ern Central railroad. In the spring of 1852,
having completed his apprenticeship, he joined
a party from the neighborhood of Dauphni and
went to West Virginia. The \\'inifrede Min-
mg & Manufacturing Co. was then de\-eloping
coal lands on the west bank of the Great Ka-
nawha, on Field's Creek, abo\-e 2\Ialden.
There J\lr. Minsker assisted in constructing
about se\'en miles of railroad, inclined planes,
coal chutes and several small towns for the use
of the miners. A portion of this railroad was
what is known as "slab track" — notched ties,
oak rails wedged fast to the ties, with a flat
strip of iron nailed on the top of the stringer
for the wheels to run on, being the method of
construction. Mr. Minsker remained there
until the suspension of the operations bv the
company. Returning home, in the fall of 1854,
he attended school that winter, and in June,
1855, obtained employment at the Cumberland
Valley railroad bridge, which crosses the Sus-
quehanna at Harrisburg, assisting in replac-
ing the old plank lattice bridge with a new
Ho\^-e truss superstructure. The contractors
for this work were Stone, Ouigley & Burton.
The idea of building a new bridge beneath
the track, without suspending traffic, was al-



7A



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



most entirely unheard of at that time. After
a few months' service in the framing gang,
Mr. Minsker was promoted to its foreman-
ship, in which position he framed about eight-
een spans of the bridge. In 1855 ^'^^ ^""'^^ '^^'
tailed to frame the bridge over the Conodo-
guinet Creek, at West Fairview, on the North-
ern Central railroad. When that work was
finished the gang was sent to the Pennsylvania
railroad, between Rohrerstown and Lancaster,
and assisted on the work on a high deck bridge
there. From that point the gang was ordered
to Georgetown, D. C, where a bridge was
framed and gotten ready to cross the Potomac
at Little Falls, a few miles above that city.
Before the bridge was raised, however, the
gang was dispatched to Cabin John, where
the large arch now is, to erect shanties for the
men to li\e in while building the big arch and
aqueduct. This was in the spring of 1857.
From Georgetown, Mr. Minsker, with a small
g-ang, . was detailed to go to Baltimore and
erect two street bridges on Monument and
O'Donnell streets, on what was called the
Canton branch of the Northern Central rail-
road. When these bridges were completed, in
the fall of 1857, Mr. Minsker resigned his po-
sition, with Stone, Quigley & Burton. He then
obtained employment on the Dauphin bridge,
being built by McCallum & Co. Before this
was completed, he bought out a carpenter and
cabinet establishment at West Fairview, where
he carried on housebuilding, undertaking and
general work in w"Ood.

In the meantime the Pennsylvanians
secured the Northern Central railroad,
which was formerly owned by Marylanders,
and sought Mr. Minsker's services, of-
fering him the foremanship of a gang
of carpenters to take charge of the
Dauphin bridge. This offer he accepted
and on May 16, 1859, went direct to work in
the employ of the Northern Central railroad,
the service being continuous from that date
until Mr. Minsker was put on the retired list,
Dec. 31, 1903. He was promoted to be master
carpenter Dec. i, 1862. When he first became
connected with the road there was but one iron
bridge on the division ; now they are either
stone or iron. The iron bridge referred to is
thought to have been the first plate-girder
built in the world. It was put together in the
Bolton shop in 1846, and hauled suspended
between two cars to the site of the bridge (now



No. 23) o\er Carroll's Run. The bridge was
kept sale until 1882, when it was replaced
and cut up. This division also claims to have
had in their ser\'ice at Jail bridge, one of the
largest plate-girders ever built. Its length
was 128 feet two and one-half inches, by ten
feet deep at the ends, and thirty inches wide at
the flanges.

Mr. Minsker has been on the road long



Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 109 of 201)