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serves, under Capt. Diven, in the army of the
Potomac, and during his term of service was
wounded in the breast and hand. (2) Eliza-
beth is the widow of Col. Andrew Fulton, of
Civil war fame, and is now living in Philadel-
phia. (3) Lucinda is Mrs. James Blosser, of
York. (4) Eliza married George \Vhitcroft,
of Baltimore county, Md. (5) Charles, a resi-
dent of Baltimore, has been twice married, his
first wife being formerly- Alice Jones. (6)
William Carnes came next in order of birth.
(7) George married Miss Jennie Whitcroft
and died in Baltimore.

William C. Conway was only a few months
old when, in the spring of 1845, his parents
moved to Stewartstown, and there he reached
maturity, receiving his education in the public
schools. His energetic temperament displaved
itself earlv in life, and almost from bovhood



he began to make his way in the world. He
at first hired out as a farm hand and later
^vorked for his father. After his marriage, in
1.873, ^Ii"- Conway bought the home farm and
lived there for some time, but later bought a
tract of land on the opposite side of the road,
built a beautiful home there in 1898 and has
since resided on this property. His farm, which
comprises 112 acres, lies on the Winemiller
road, two miles from Stewartstown, and is de-
voted to general agriculture and to dairying.
In 1873, in Baltimore county, Md., Mr.
Conway was united to Miss Laura Jane Leib.
Her parents were Rev. William and Eliza
(Allen) Leib, the former a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, now living re-
tired in Baltimore. Mrs. Leib is also still liv-
ing. Mr. and Mrs. Conway are the parents of
two children, viz. : W. Ashton, who married
Miss Nettie Kearns and lives in Stewarts-
town ; and Grace A., who was first sent to
the public schools, then took a special course
at York and for the past six years has been
a successful teacher in the home schools. Mr.
Conway joined the Hopewell Methodist Epis-
copal Church in 1868. Later the congrega-
tion moved to Stewartstown and built a new
church there, where both Mr. and M(rs. Con-
way are among the most active members. Mr.
Conway has always been a strong Republican
and fraternally is a member of the Heptasophs.
Mr. Conway, as a veteran of the Civil war,
was formerly a member of G. A. R. Post No.
365, in which he filled various offices. This
post has been disbanded. His military service
i)egan in 1863, when he enlisted at Harris-
burg, Pa., in Company A, 21st Pa. Cav., Capt.
Hugh McCall, under Col. Boyd and later
under Col. O. B. Knowles. The regiment
formed part of the 2d Division, Army of the
Potomac, under Gregg, and saw much hard
service. Mr. Conway was in the battles of
the Wilderness and Cold Harbor, in the
Peninsular campaign and at Petersburg. He
received his first wound at Cold Harbor, where
a minie ball, which had already passed through
one man, lodged in his hip. He was wounded
again, in front of Petersburg, June 19th, when
a piece of shell struck his right hand. He was
in the field hospital for some time, was sent
as a fever patient to Jarvis General Hospital,
Baltimore, on the day after Lee surrendered,
in the spring of 1865, and was finally dis-
charged in June of that year, thus ending a

service which included much of hardship,
danger and honor.

CALVIN A. BOYER, councilman from
the Twelfth ward of York, was born there,
Aug. 9, 1854, son of Conrad and Margaret
Ann (Adams) Boyer.

Daniel Boyer, grandfather of Calvin A.,
was a basket and fence-maker in Spring Gar-
den township, and was well known in that
community. He died aged sixty-five j'ears,
leaving these children : Conrad, Jacob, Daniel,
Sampson, Henry, Mary, Rachel, Susan, Sarah
and Christie.

In 1824, Conrad Boyer, son of Daniel, was
born in Spring Garden township, and there
received a common school education. He
learned the tailor's trade, the vocation of his
life, and died Oct. 22, 1904. His wife, known
in maidenhood as Margaret Ann Adams, is
now living with her daughter, Mrs. Clinton D.
Frey, of York, Pa. To this union were born :
W. P., Mary, Walter, Martha, Rufus, Marvin,
Alpheus G., Calvin A. and Harry D.

Calvin A. Boyer attended the schools of
Spring Garden township until seventeen years
of age, when he learned the carpenter's trade
with William Miller, with whom he remained
eleven years. He was then employed by dif-
ferent builders until 1896, when he engaged
in business on his own account, erecting some
of the largest plants in York, among which
may be mentioned the following : the Diamond
Silk Mills ; Evangelical church, on Wallace
and Vine streets and the Reformed church on
Market street. He is now constructing a large
machine shop for the York Safe & Lock
Works, where he has already erected three
large buildings. At a meeting of the school
directors of Red Lion, Mx. Boyer was awarded
the contract for the new schoolhouse to be
erected at a cost of $23,990. The structure
will be more than fifty per cent, larger than
any school building yet erected in the county
outside of the city of York, but owing to the
simplicity of planning and design, the cost is
less, per pupil capacity, than that of any
modern schoolhouse in the county.

In 1873 Mr. Boyer was united in marriage
to Ella M. Blauser, daughter of Henry and
Amanda (Campbell) Blauser, and to this
union the following children have been born :
Harry, Edgar, Annie and Cora. Mr. Boyer
is a Democrat, and has served as justice of the



peace in Spring Garden township; also for
eight years as constable. In 1905 he was
elected councilman from the Twelfth ward, a
position for which he is excellently cjualified.
He is a member of St. Mark's Lutheran
Church of York, where he has held the office
of deacon. He and his family are well known
in York, where they reside in their fine resi-
dence at No. 958 East Market street.

SAMUEL A. McALISTER, one of the
old and honored residents of East Hopewell
township, York county, now retired from active
life, was for many years engaged as a carpen-
ter in that section, but in later years followed
agricultural pursuits. He was born on his
father's farm in East Hopewell township, July
2, 1833.

James McAlister, grandfather of Samuel
A., emigrated from Ireland to America when
a 3'oung man. The trip to his new home was
a stormy and perilous one, but, although the
last of the provisions on board were consumed
before the destination Avas reached, all landed
in safety. James M'cAlister took up about 400
acres of land, becoming a ViCry prosperous
farmer. His wife, who had been Ellen An-
derson, was also a native of Ireland.

John McAlister, son of James, was born
on what is now the Lewis Miller farm in East
Hopewell township, Jan. 29, 1780, and
throughout life was a farmer. He acquired a
farm close to his father's, and there he died
in 1846. He was a member of the Associate
Reformed Church, and when it merged with
the U. P. Church, joined the latter. A leader
in religious work, Mr. McAlister was for many
3'ears an elder. In politics he was an active
Whig, and very influential in such matters.
Mr. McAlister was buried in the cemetery close
to his farm, where his wife was also interred.
John McAlister was married in 1809, to Miss
Jane Proudfit, born Jan. 12, 1788, daughter
of David and Agnes Proudfit, and she died
Feb. 5, 1845, the mother of the following chil-
dren: James, the father of W. N. McAlister
of Laurel, a full sketch of whom will be found
elsewhere; David, who died at the age of twen-
ty-four years; Agnes P., Mrs. William Gem-
mell (deceased) ; Thomas, who married Miss
Elizabeth Moore, of Washington county, Pa.,
and died in that county ; Eleanor A.. Mrs.
Simpson Smith, who died at Cross Roads,
York county; Martha, who died young; John,

born in 1825 (educated in the public schools,
the academy at York, Chanceford township,
Athens College at Athens, O., and in the Alle-
gheny Seminary and preached in the U. P.
churches in Eastern Pennsylvania and New
England and the Western States), who married
Maggie McClain of Shippensburg, Pa., and
they reside in Pittsburg; Elizabeth Mary, who
died May 16, 1899; Euphemia C, residing
with Samuel A., who was educated in the pub-
lic schools and the Stewartstown academy,
taught schools for three years, and is noted for
her remarkable memory; and Samuel A.

Samuel A. McAlister attended the Wallace
school, during winter terms, until his
eighteenth year. He was reared on the home
farm and at an early age commenced to learn
the carpenter's trade with Henry Hare and
finished his apprenticeship with James Gem-
mell. This vocation he followed for thirty
years in different parts of York county, and
also worked for one year at Alliance, Stark Co.,
Ohio. He lived at the homestead until 1864,
and then until 1871 resided in a rented house
near the Round Hill U. P. church. In 1870
he pui chased his present place of twenty-one
acres, upon which he built his residence, but
did not occupy it until the following year. In
1863, during the battle of Gettysburg, Mr. Mc-
Alister was a member of a Lancaster county
company, with which he served three months,
having enlisted in Lancaster City. He was
stationed along the river, at Harrisburg, Pa.,
Hagerstown, Md., and Williamsport, Md., and
at the end of his term of service was honorably
discharged at Lancaster City.

For the past five years Mr. McAlister has
been a member of the Hopewell Presbyterian
Church, prior to this having been connected
with the Round Hill U. P. Church for a period
of thirty years. He has been a life-long Re-
publican, and has served as a township official
on many different occasions. Besides having
been a farmer, during the active years of his
life Mr. McAlister was a business man of the
highest rank, and is looked upon by his friends
and neighbors as an able and honest citizen.
He has lived an industrious as well as a suc-
cessful life, and is now living in comfort and
plenty, enjoying the fruits of his early labors.

JACOB H. BRENNEMAN belongs to a
family whose connection with the history of
York county dates back at least to the Revolu-



tion and whose annals present pictures of suc-
ceeding generations of honorable, thrift)' agri-
culturists. Samuel Brenneman. great-grand-
father of Jacob H., owned a farm in Conewago
township, near Strinestown, and there reached
an extreme old age. His children were: Henry;
John ; Samuel ; Peter ; Elizabeth, Mrs. Neiman
and Mary, Mrs. McFadden.

Peter Brenneman was bom on the home-
stead in 1800. His occupation for the greater
part of his life was milling, a trade which he
learned at what is now Cline's mill. Thence
he went to Bowmansdale, working as a miller
for five years, and then moved to M'pnaghan
township, near Andersontown, where he
bought a tract of about loo acres, built a saw-
mill and operated his mill and farm for many
years. His last days were spent in Mt. Pleas-
ant, where he passed away at the age of sixty-
two years. His wife was a Mrs. Getner, who-
lived to be sixty-three and was buried, as was
also Mr. Brenneman, in Andersontown. They
were the parents of a large family, namely ;
John G. ; Julia Ann, who died at the age of
thirty-five, the wife of Israel Sulsenberger ;
Jacob G. ; Peter, who died aged sixteen ; Mary,
Mrs. Joseph Elcock; Henry, who married
Miss Annie Kann ; Jacob, who died aged twen-
ty-five; Elizabeth, Mrs. Emaline Myers; Sam-
uel, deceased at the age of twenty-one ; Wil-
liam, who died aged eleven, and Sarah, who
married John Andrew Myers, of Mt. Pleasant.

John G. Brenneman was born in Conewago
township, near Strinestown, Sept. 11, 1825,
and until he was twenty attended the township
schools. For the first year after leaving school
he worked for his father and then was em-
ployed by other farmers until his marriage, six
years later. He then commenced his career as
an independent agriculturist on a farm on the
line between Monaghan and Fairview town-
ships, where he remained for seventeen years.
At the end of that time he bought the Jacob
Hart farm in Fairview township, consisting
of 156 acres, and he operated that for eighteen
years ("or until 1894), when he retired from
active life and is residing in Lisburn. He is
a Republican and served seven -years as school
director in Fairview township. Mrs. Brenne-
man, who was Miss Eliza Jane Heckernell,
daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Moore) Heck-
ernell, died Jan. 20, 1886, and is buried at
Andersontown. She bore her husband the
following children: Rosella, at home; Jacob

H. ; William P., who married Miss Mary Kim-
mel and bought his father's Fairview farm ;
Sallie, the widow of Elsworth Miller, residing
in Mechanicsburg; Annis, Mrs, Harry Dif-
fendeffer, of Lancaster; Minnie, the wife of
Rev. John Manifold, a Lutheran minister lo-
cated in Northumberland county; Henry, who
died aged three months; Alberta, a graduate
of the Millersville Normal, teaching at Lis-
burn; May at home, and Gale, who died when
ten years old.

Jacob H. Brenneman was born in Fair-
view township, July 27, 1857. He received
his education in the Mbrris and Navoo schools,
attending- until he was twenty years old. The
following six years were spent on the home-
stead assisting his father and for still another
year after his marriage, which occurred in
1883, he remained on his father's farm.
The next year he operated the John M.
Hart farm in Fairview township, and then
returned to his father's homestead for four
years more. In 1891 he bought the Sam-
uel Sunday farm at Navoo, consisting of 102
acres, which he has since made his home, suc-
cessfully engaged in agriculture. He has
greatly improved the property and has built
a handsome house. Besides being a well-
known farmer, Mr. Brenneman is prominent
in local business enterprises, and is stockholder
and director and the president of the Fairview
Mutual Fire Insurance Co. In politics he is
a Republican. He is a rnember of the Bethel
Church of Lisburn and has filled the office of

Mr. Brenneman" s marriage occurred Dec.
23, 1883, when he was united to Laura I.
Coover, a daughter of Michael and Mary
(Gardner) Coover, the former of whom, born
in 18 1 5, is still living and a resident of Cum-
berland county. The children born to Mr.
and Mrs. Brenneman are Gale, Pearl, Mary,
Coover J. and Eva May.

born at Harford Furnace, Md., April 14, 1847.
The Ruff family is of Irish and Scotch extrac-
tion, early members of the family emigrating
to America from Ireland and Scotland. They
were stanch adherents to Presbyterian doc-
trines and principles.

George Washington Ruff, father of Benja-
min F., was born probably in Harford county,
Md., where he received a common-school edu-

/3 7/iii-



cation, and followed the occupation of farm-
ing. He married Mary Jane Gilbert, who was
born near Aberdeen, Md. Ten children blessed
this union, viz.: Richard, who died' in 1903;
William J. ; Ezekiel G., a farmer of Peach
Bottom township; Eliza Jane, wife of George
Naylor, of Red Lion; Btenjamin F. ; Mary
Margaret, wife of Jacob T. Meyers, of Peach
Bottom township; Nathaniel George and Jacob
John, twins; one who died while young; and
Moses Norris, deceased.

Benjamin F. Rufif obtained his education
in Harford county, Md., and in Peach Bottom
township, York county, completing it at the
age of nineteen years. He was apprenticed
to learn the blacksmith's trade in 1864, and
served for a period of five years. In 1869,
having mastered the trade, he located in Bry-
ansville, where he has since resided. He owns
an interest in a canning factory with his
brother-in-law, Jacob T. Meyers, which they
operate under the name of B. F. Ruff & Co.
They make a specialty of corn.

On June 21, 1877, Mr. Ruff was united in
marriage with Miss Marcelina Chalk, daugh-
ter of Harrison and Martha (Jones) Chalk,
of Cambria, Md., and they are the parents of
two living children, Carrie and Bessie, both at
home. Mr. Ruff is a member of the Republi-
can party, but has never sought office. While
a member of no religious denomination he and
his family attend the Methodist Church.

JONAS DEISINGER, M. D. (deceased),
who for thirty years was engaged in the prac-
tice of medicine in the town of Hellam, was
born April 18, 1833, in Paradise (now Jack-
son) township, York county, son of Jacob and
Salome (Davis) Deisinger, natives of York
county and of German descent.

Dr. Deisinger was one of a family of eleven
children, and the first twenty years of his life
were spent on his father's farm, where he re-
ceived his education in the neighboring schools.
For the next three years after finishing this
portion of his education, he attended select
schools at York, teaching during the winter
months in the common schools of his county.
At the age of twenty-three he began to read
medicine with Dr. C. S. Picking, and in 1858
entered the medical department of the Penn-
sylvania College at Philadelphia. In 1862 Dr.
Deisinger was united in marriage with Miss
Maria Mann, born in Hellam township, York
county, Nov. 9, 1833, daughter of John and

Elizabeth (Blessing) Mann, the former of
whom was a farmer and died in 1835, while
the mother passed away in 1879, both being
buried at Hellam, York county.

In 1866 Dr. Deisinger entered the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania, graduating in the
class of 1867, and, returning to Hellam, at
once began the practice of his profession, 111
which he continued until 1896. In that year
he removed to York, where he lived retired
until his death Aug. 13, 1903. Dr. Deisinger
was a member and an elder of the Reformed
Church of the United States. He was greatly
interested in educational matters, and for some
time served as school director. His profession
connected him with the York County Medical
Association (of which he was president) and
with the State Medical Association.

JOHN K. SEITZ, who now lives in retire-
ment on his well-improved farm in Fairview
township, was born Oct. 31, 1837, in Shrews-
bury township, York county, a member of a
fine old famil)' of that locality. The great-
grandfather of Mr. Seitz emigrated from Ger-
many and was among the pioneer settlers of the
township named. There his son John was
born, and at the death of his father he pur-
chased the homestead and continued to farm
there through his active life, his death taking
place at the age of eighty years ; there, also,
his wife passed away at the age of seventy-five
years. Both were interred in Shrewsbury
township. They were quiet, virtuous, home-
loving people who capably cared for a large
family and left records of Christian lives in
their community. The children were : Jacob,
Noah, John, Samuel and Daniel, all of whom
died in Shrewsbury township ; Adam, of
York; George, father of John K. ; Mrs. Myers,
who died in Shrewsbury township ; Mrs.
Seicks, who died in a Western home ; Mrs.
Grove, whose death occurred in Chicago ; Ben-
jamin, who passed away at the age of twenty-
one }-ears, and the other six of the family of
seventeen children died in infancy. *

George Seitz. father of John K.. was born
Oct. 20, 1810, at the old home in Shrewsbury
township. Fie enjoyed the advantages of a
district-school education and then was ap-
prenticed to the shoemaker's trade, which he
continued to pursue for some twenty years. He
then bought a farm of eighty-seven acres in
Fairview township, which he cultix-ated until
his retirement a few years before his death.



George Seitz married Anna 'Slavy Knisely,
daughter of Anthony and Susan (Snyder)
Knisely. INIr. Seitz came to Fairview township
in 1838 and both he and wife died in Fairview
township and are buried in St. John's cemetery.
They were active members of the EvangeHcal
Church. In pohtics he was a RepubHcan and
at one time served the township as tax collec-
tor. He was an upright, honorable man in all
his dealings with others, and exemplary in
■every relation of life. His four children were :
.Susan, wife of Abraham Reiff, died in Fair-
view township ; John K. ; William, married
Susan Kilmore and lives at Lisburn, Cumber-
land county; and Daniel, deceased, married
Maggie Shaw.

John K. Seitz, as an infant of one year,
was brought by his parents to Fairview town-
ship. There he was educated and remained
•on his father's farm, working occasionally as a
carpenter, until he was twenty-two years old.
In 1865 he married Annie E. Grissinger,
daughter of the late Jacob S. and Annie
(Snell) Grissinger, of Windsor township.
After his marriage Mr. Seitz continued to farm
the old place, which he bought of his father,
for over thirty years. In' 1895 he located on
his present farm, which contains about fifteen
acres, and built there a very fine residence.
Mr. and Mrs. Seitz have one son, Jacob G.,
who was born in 1866; and is now one of the
township's leading men. In 1903 he was
-elected a justice of the peace in Fairview. He
married Minnie E. Ort and they have one son,
James G. Blaine.

Mr. Seitz is a Republican in his political
views and has freciuently been elected to town-
ship offices, serving at various times as auditor
and assessor. He is a member of the Lutheran
Church. For many years Mr. Seitz has suf-
fered from the effects of an accident which
happened to him about four months after his
marriage. He was driving a spirited team of
four horses when the accident occurred.

The death of the father of Mrs. Seitz called
forth more than the usual comment in Fair-
view township, where this \'enerable citizen had
been an honored resident so long, and there is
here appended a comprehensive account of the
leading events of his long and useful life, pre-
pared by one who knew him well :

"On the i6th inst., 1883, Mr. Jacob S.
Grissinger, one of Fairview township's oldest
farmers, departed this life, aged seventy-three

years, five months and twelve days. The sub-
ject of this sketch was boi'n in Fairview town-
ship, York Co., Pa., on the farm now owned
by Andrew Strominger, and grew from
cliildhood to boyhood and from boyhood
to manhood there, and on the farm now
owned by Jacob Sultzberger, and known
as the old Henry Grissenger farm, lo-
cated but a short distance from his birth-
place. He remained at home a faithful
young man to his parents, assisting them on
the farm and in building the large stone dwell-
ing that still stands on the old farm, and was at
all times industrious. At the age of twenty-
three years he married Anna Snell, one of Fair-
view's fair maids (she was born in Windsor
township and moved with her parents to this
township when but six years old) . On the first
day of May, 1833, they began housekeeping
on the farm now owned by Dr. Laferty, and
on the first of April, 1834, they moved to their
present home, in which he died. For forty-
nine years the happy couple walked hand in
hand adown life's thorny pathway, sharing
each other's joys and sorrows, until death laid
his icy hand upon a loving husband and a kind
father. Financiall}^ the couple prospered with
the success that only attends those who work
harmoniously and for each other. There were
ten children born unto them — eight girls and
two boys — all of whom sur^•i^•e their father,
except one son, Joseph, who died when quite
young. Twenty-eight .grandchildren and one
great-grandchild are lett to mourn their loss.

"When about eighteen years old he be-
came a true Christian and connected himself
with the Lutheran Church, which connection
remained unbroken until his demise. He was
a faithful and devoted attendant of his church
and a generous contributor to the church fund.
On the 1 8th inst. he was buried in the ceme-
tery near Lewisberry, a short distance from
where he was born, and a large concourse of
people followed his body to its last resting
place. An appropriate and interesting" sermon
was preached by Rev. Dasher, of Harrisburg,
from First Samuel, 20th chapter and i8th
verse : 'And thou shalt be missed because thy
seat will be empty.'

"We laid his body to rest in the silent grave
to await the resurrection of the just. In his
death the community loses a worthy citizen,
the church a faithful adherent, the wife a de-
voted husband and the family a true and loving



father. Being acquainted witli the departed
for many years we knew him to he an upright
citizen, an Iionest man and a man of unques-
tionable integrity in aU his business relations,

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 116 of 201)