George R. Prowell.

History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

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Emanuel, born Nov. 2, 1834, lives on the old
home in Fairview township; Eliza, born Dec.
8, 1855; Samuel, born Feb. 18, 1837, married
Lydia Ginter (deceased), and they live near
Springfield, O. ; Maria A., born Dec. 4, 1838.
died young ; John F. ; Susan, born Dec. 6.
1842, married John Sheelly (deceased), and
lives at New Cumberland ; Peter, born March
14, 1844, married Jane Sultzenberger, and they
live at Lewisberry, Newberry township ; Mat-
tie, born Jan. 13, 1846, is the widow of John
Rupp, who was a soldier in the Civil war;
Elizabeth, born Feb. 13, 1848, died in infancy:
Annie, born June i, 1849, died at the age of
twenty- four years; Henry, born Jan. 10, 1850.
married Ellen Ebersole, and lives in Fairview
township, and Amanda, born Nov. 10, 1850.
wife of John Ryan, died at the age of tv/enty-
four years.

John F. Snyder, the filth child of the fam-
ily, was eleven years old when he came with
his father to Fairview township. He attended
the township schools until he was eighteen
years of age and then learned the black-
smith's trade at Lewisberry, which he followed
for about two and one-half years. In the first
call for men for the Civil war Mr. Snvder en-
listed in Company H, 47th P. V. I., at Harris-
burg. He participated in a number of engage-
ments, being in the battle of Cedar Creek,
where he was wounded in the ear and the back
of the head, and taken prisoner. He was con-
fined in the hospital one month, then confined
for two months in Libby prison, and was re-
leased by exchange. For bravery on the field
Mr. Snyder was promoted from the ranks to
a sergeantship. He has an honorable war
record, and is one of the few living soldiers
who took part in Sheridan's memorable ride
to Winchester. Sergeant Snyder was honor-
ably discharged in January, 1866, at Phila-
delphia, after which he returned to York

For a time after the war ^Ir. Snvder
worked as a day laborer. In December, i'868.
he married Annie S. Freed, daughter of Jo-
seph and Sarah (Schroll) Freed, of Freys-
town, York county, the couple locating in
Hampden township, Cumberland county, where
for two vears Mr. Snvder engaged in farm-



ing". They then remo^■ed to Lower Allen
township, Cumberland county, where the hus-
band continued to work by the day until March,
1893, when he removed to his present home,
which he purchased from Michael Shitller,
and which consists of lifty-two acres of fine
land in Fairview township, near Yocum'town.
Since acc[uiring" the property Mr. Snyder has
erected good buildings and has made many
improvements thereon, being now the owner
of a g'ood, productive farm.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Sny-
der are as follows : S. Alda, who married
William Clouser, is living at Shiremanstown,
Cumberland county; Frank S., who married
Ada Eichelberger, is living at the same place;
Joseph H., who married Ida Slosser, resides at
Penbrook, Dauphin county, where he is en-
gaged in the bakery business ; Howard W. is
employed as an iron-worker in South Chicago,
and is single ; and Florence E., unmarried, is
residing on the old homestead.

Althoug'h never aspiring to political office
Mr. Snyder is a stanch Republican and al-
ways takes a great interest in the success of
his party. Mrs. Snyder is a consistent mem-
ber of the United Brethren Church, to which
Mr. Snyder is a liberal contributor. Mr. Sny-
der is reg'arded as a g^ood farmer, is highly es-
teemed as a citizen, and has countless friends
throughout Fairview township.

MICHAEL HEINDEL, a farmer in
Windsor township, was born on the family
homestead near Windsor, Dec. 24, 1831, son of
Michael and Elizabeth (Oberdorff) Heindel,
and is the third of his name to live in that sec-
tion. The grandfather was perhaps born in
Germany, but came to Windsor township from
Maryland,' where he had married a Miss Lutz,
bought the homestead, and settled and died

Michael Heindel (2) was born in Mary-
land, but settled in Pennsylvania in early man-
hood. He was given a common-school educa-
tion, principally in the German language.
Brought up to farming he carried on the home-
stead after his father's death, and himself
passed away there in March, 1861, aged sixty-
two. His wife was Elizabeth Oberdorff, an
aunt of John T. Oberdorff, of Windsor town-
ship, who survived her husband for a number
of years and died at the age of eighty-four.
Their children were : Charlotte, Mrs. Llenry

Shaffer, decea.sed; Joshua, who married (first)
Nancy Tice and (second) Lizzie Fry, and died
in Yorkana; Samuel, who married Henrietta
Shenberger, and moved to Michigan, where
he died; Elizabeth, Mrs. John R. Green, of
Dallastown; Rudolph, deceased; Michael; and
William, who married Catherine Walk, and
died in York. The father of the family was
a member of the United Brethren Church, and
in politics was first a Whig, then a Democrat,
and finally, before his death, was converted
to Republican principles. He served in several
township offices.

Michael Heindel (3) attended the village
school at Windsor, located where the Flinch-
baugh store now stands, and his first teacher
was John Anstine. Those were primitive days,
and the seats in the old log building were
made from logs cut in two, with holes
bored for the legs. At first a subscrip-
tion school, it later became a part of the public
school system, and the term was lengthened
from three months to four. Leaving school
at the age of eighteen, Mr. Heindel worked
the next year for his father, and then com-
menced the shoemaker's trade with his brother
Joshua, at Yorkana. In those days all shoes
were made by hand, and so constant was the
demand for their work that the brothers la-
bored day and night. At the end of two years
Joshua Heindel sold his shop to Abraham
Hartzler, under whom Michael continued at
the trade two years longer. After another two
years spent on the farm working for his
father, he married and settled on the home-
stead, where he labored one year more before
buying- a farm for himself. He purchased his
present place, a tract of eighty-five acres, and
in 1885 erected the present family residence.
When he began his married life, his only prop-
erty was an old horse and waggon, but he
worked hard, was economical, and in the end
became a prosperous farmer. A Republican in
his politics, he has taken an active part in local
affairs, and has filled efficiently some of the
minor township offices. He is a member of the
United Brethren Church of Windsor.

The marriage of Mr. Fleindel to Catherine
Fry occurred Dec. 23, 1855. Mrs. Heindel
was the daughter of Frederick K. and Eliza-
beth (Tyson) Fry, and was born at Spring-
vale, but reached womanhood in what is' now
Yorkana, whither her father moved when she
was a child. Frederick K. Fry was born at


Spriugvale, was a miller by trade, and died at
Yorkana aged sixty-three. His wife passed
away in the same town at the age of seventy.
Both belonged to the Evangelical faith. A
large family was born to Michael and Cath-
erine Heindel, as follows : Reuben F., Aug.
29, i860, who married Susan Sites, and lives
on his father's farm; Uriah Alvin, Jan. 18,
1857, who died aged six; Amanda Elizabeth,
July 12, 1865, who married the late Ellsworth
Heiner; Ida E., July 15, 1868, Mrs. Peter
Schmuck, of Windsor; Michael E., Maixh 26,
1874, who married Esther Waughtel, and
lives at Red Lion; Joshua Harvey and
Anna Rebecca (twins), June 21, 1877, the
former deceased Nov. 24, 1884, and the latter
living at home.

WILLIAM G. McDowell. The Mc-
Dowell family was established in America by
four McDowell brothers, who came from the
North of Ireland and settled in the lower end
of York county. There two of the brothers re-
mained, while the other two went South.

John McDowell, the grandfather of Will-
iam G., was boi^n in either Lower or Upper
Chanceford townships, probably near Bethel
church, in the latter township, where he was
the owner of a farm and a substantial man of
his time. His first wife's name was Patter-
son, and his second was Jane Reed, who was
born on the Reed homestead, now occupied by
William G. McDowell. Mrs. McDowell's
grandfather, John Reed, came from Ireland,
and with his son, also named John Reed, took
up 320 acres in Lower Chanceford township,
at two different times. One of these farms,
called "Craigie Mount," was owned by the
son, who afterward acquired the other farm,
"Sliding Fountain." John Reed (i) was a
congressman, and died in Philadelphia just
before the signing of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence. He had sons in the Revolutionary
war. His son, John (2), married a Susan
Ramsey, and they had children : Jane, the
grandmother of William G. McDowell;
Thomas, who moved to Ohio, and James. John
Reed (2) married for his second wife Agnes
Modderwell, of Lancaster county, and she bore
him several children : Nancy married a brother
of James Buchanan, Mr. Buchanan loc:\ting
in Ohio in 1825 ; Nancy accompanied her hus-
band to the Buckeye State, where they reared
a large familv, one of the sons being a U. P.

preacher. Thomas settled in Ohio with his wife
and children pi-ior to 1812, first locating in
Union county and then removing to Logan
county. Sarah married Samuel Moore, and
after his death returned to the homestead,
where she died. John died single. jNIartha
also died unmarried.

In the spring of 1812 Grandfather McDow-
ell loaded his property on a four-horse wagon
and, with his family, set out for Union county,
Ohio, and reaching his destination in safety
he took up a tract of 100 acres of land. This
he cleared, and fourteen years later djed upon
his farm. His wife died in the spring of 1861,
in the faith of the Seceder Church, to which
her husband had also belonged. Several chil-
dren were born to Mr. McDowell and his first
wife, one of the daughters marrying a Mr.
Snodgrass and dying in Ohio. To the second
union were born the following: John R., the
father of William G. ; William Glasgow, who
married Rebecca Paris and lived on the home-
stead in Union county, Ohio; Hannah, Mrs.
Paris, who died in Union county, and two
children, who died when small.

John Reed McDowell was born in Upper
Chanceford township in 1809, and was three
years old when taken to Ohio. He was reared
on the homestead near Milford Center, Union
Co., Ohio, and received a common-school edu-
cation. He married Mary Porter, who was
born in Erie county, Pa., daughter of John
Porter, who went to Erie county from York
county. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs.
McDowell lived on a farm near the homestead,
finally settling in 1850 on the farm on which
he died in i_893. Mrs. Mary McDowell was
killed by a fall from a wagon in 1877, and he
married in 1881 a widow, Mrs. Caton, who
survived him one year. Nine children were
born to the first union : Robert Nelson, the
first-born, enlisted in the 32d Regiment. Ohio
V. I., was wounded while entering breast-
works after a charge, and was captured by the
Rebels ; he was put in the prison at Winchester,
where he was taken sick with pneumonia and
died, and was buried at home. The biographv
of William G. follows. John Porter, the third
child, enlisted as a first-call man and served
three months ; he then re-enlisted, in the 32d
Regiment, O. V. I., and served until August,
1865, a term of four years and nine months : he
was with Sherman on his march to the sea, was
taken prisoner, and had a gallant record: his



wife was Nettie Kise. Jesse Vincent was a
private in the 40th Ohio V. I., and was
drowned in the Big Sandy river, Ky.. in thts
fall of 1862. Elizabeth jane died at the age
of nine years. Newton L. married Jennie
Wright and resides in Union county, Ohio.
Calvin Reed married Diadamia Dort, and re-
sides in Topeka, Kans. Mary Ann, Mrs.
Frank Gardner, died in Union county, Ohio,
and Leander Carmine, of the same county,
married (first) Lucinda McCampbell and (sec-
ond) Orrie Reed.

William G. McDowell was born on the
farm near Milford Center, Union Co., Ohio,
Feb. 7, 1838, and received a common-school
education, also attending Oberlin College. He
was reared a farmer's boy and remained with
his father until the spring of 1861, when he
located in Lower Chanceford township to care
for a granduncle and two grandaunts (Reeds),
living with them until the close of the war. At
their death he fell heir to their estate of 100
acres, and since that time had added twenty
acres to the tract. When lorty-five years of
age Mr. McDowell contracted rheumatism
from which he has been a constant sufferer
for a great many years. Mr. McDowell was
married in Lower Chanceford township, July
14, 1864, to Margaret Jane McCollam, who
was born on the McCollam homestead near
Airville, Pa., Feb. 5, 1830, daughter of Gil-
bert and Mary (Smith) McCollam. Mrs. Mc-
Dowell became a member of the Airville U. P.
Church when sixteen years old, while her hus-
band joined the same organization in Ohio in
1858, it then being known as the Associate
Church. He has been a member of the AirviUe
United Presbyterian Church since locating in
Lower Chanceford township, and has been an
elder in that body for twenty-nine years. He has
taught a Bible class, has been superintendent
of the Sabbath-school, and has been very active
in all church work, being a good Christian
man. Mr. McDowell voted first for Lincoln
on the Republican ticket, but for the last twenty
years has been a Prohibitionist.

Three children have been born to Mr. and
Mrs. McDowell : John Reed, the eldest, was
born June 10, 1865, and educated in the com-
mon schools. He is a farmer and he has
had charge of the homestead since the father's
attack of sickness. He spent two years with
relatives in Union county, Ohio. He is a
member of the U. P. Church, was formerly

secretary of the Sabbath-school, and is now
trustee of the church. In politics he is a Re-
publican. Mary, the second, resides at home.
Robert Vincent, of Philadelphia, a conductor
on a trolley line, married Anna White, in
Chester county.

HENRY K. THOMAS, who is now living
a retired life at Thomasville, Jackson township,
was born April 8, 1841, in Cumberland county,
son of George B. and Catherine (Ebert)
Thomas and grandson of Jacob and Mary
Thomas. The Thomas family are of Scotch-
Irish extraction, the founders of this branch
settling in Adams county, where most of them
engaged in farming. They were a sober, in-
dustrious people and did much to advance the
material welfare of their adopted country. Ja-
cob Thomas owned a fine farm of 160 acres
which he cultivated until his retirement, three
or four years before his death. He and his
wife were parents of the following children:
Martin, deceased, George B., Catherine, Peggy
and Polly. In religious belief they were Luth-
erans and Mr. Thomas was a Democrat m

George B. Thomas, father of Henry K.,
was reared and educated in Adams county, and
in 1857 removed to Heidelberg township, York
county, where he engaged in farming, remain-
ing there until i860, when he located in Jack-
son township. Renting a farm, he operated it
for about ten years, and then purchased a small
piece of land, erected a building and established
a small store, where, in 1870, the United Stares
government installed a postoffice, giving it the
name of Thomasville, after George B. Thomas,
the first postmaster. The little settlement grew
rapidly and the name has always stood as a
monument to Mr. Thomas' memory. It is one
of the flourishing little villages of York county
and does quite an extensive mercantile busi-
ness with the surrounding agricultural country. M
At the time of his death, in 1893, Mr. Thomas t|
had reached the advanced age of eighty-three
years. He was very highly respected for his
honorable methods and many sterling traits of M
character. Very public-spirited, he was always fl
ready to commend and assist any enterprise
that his good judgment told him would benefit
the community. Mr. Thomas will long be re-
membered as a kind and charitable man, one
whose loss was keenly felt. His death removed j
from the township one who had always been




one of its best citizens. To George B. Thomas
and his wife these children were born: John,
Jacob, Martin, Henry K., Mary C., Ehzabeth,
Maggie, Luther (deceased), and George (de-
ceased). Li rehgion Mr. Thomas was a de-
vout member and hberal supporter of the Luth-
eran Church, in which service he was very ac-
tive. Although no politician Mr. Thomas'
sympathies were with the Democratic party
and for twelve years was a justice of the peace.
He was also a school director. Mrs. Thomas
died in the year 1882, aged eighty-three

Henry K. Thomas received his education
in the common schools of Adams and York
counties and as soon as he was old enough
learned the trade of blacksmith. After serv-
ing his apprenticeship he established a shop at
Thomasville, and in 1867 built a dwelling
which has been his permanent residence ever
since. Mr. Thomas has been very successful
in his chosen trade and after years of hard
labor he decided, in 1895, that he would retire,
having accumulated a handsome competency,
Mr. Thomas' shop was one of the best stands
between York and Abbottstown on the York

Li 1868 Henry K. Thomas married Leah
latter of wdiom, with- his brothers, settled in
Spangler. daughter of George Spangier, the
what is known as Spangler's Valley, Jackson
township. No children were born to Mr.
and Mrs. Thomas. Li religion they were both
active members of the Reformed Church. Mr.
Thomas has long" supported the principles of
the Democratic party, as did his father before
him, but has never aspired to public office. He
has also ever striven to continue the honorable
methods and name established by his father,
and in this, as in his other efforts, has been
signally successful. He has hosts of friends
in every section of the county, who have been
attracted to him by his strong, fearless and
resolute character and by the unswerving in-
tegrity of his conduct.

Mrs. Thomas died Jan. 21, 1905, aged
fifty-seven years, five months and twenty-one
days, and was buried at Wolf's church, West
Manchester township. She was generally
known throughout the township, having
countless friends who held her in the highest
esteem as a true neighbor. Many were her
benefactions of which the public knew nothing,
and she was liberal in her support of worthy
charitable organizations. She was a strong.

good woman — a worthy companion of a sub-
stantial, true man — and her death was a per-
manent loss to the community.

SAMUEL F. GREGORY, one of the best
known business men of York, Pa., who is en-
gaged in the hat business on South George
street, that city, was born in Philadelphia, Pa.,
Oct. 13, 1874, son of the late William and
Margaret C. (Smith) Gregory, of Philadel-

Mr. S. F. Gregory attended the public
schools of Philadelphia, after which he was em-
ployed by John Wanamaker in the hat depart-
ment of his Philadelphia store. There he re-
mained about four years, at the end of which
time he accepted a position as hat salesman in
a wholesale manufacturing house for which
he traveled through the eastern States. The
next eight years were spent in charge of the
hat department of Wanamaker & Brown. He
then came to York, and on April 3, 1905, en-
gaged in business on his own account.
Through his conscientious business methods
and his fair treatment of customers, Mr.
Gregory has built up one of the best businesses
in his line in the cit}', and his trade is increas-
ing steadily.

Mr. Gregory married M. Isabella Mc-
Cleery, of Philadelphia, and they, with their
two children, reside at No. 425 Lincoln street.
Mr. Gregory is a member of Covenant Lodge,
No. 161, F. & A. M. ; the York Lodge, No. 47,
I. O. O. F. : Washington Camp, No. 655, P.
O. S. of A. ; St. John's Assembly, No. 28, A.
O. M. P. ; and the P. H. C, No. 570.

EDWIN T. BENTZ. The government of
York county is in the hands of as efficient a
body of men as have ever honored the different
offices in the county courthouse. All had ac-
quired a valuable experience in the private
walks of life before assuming public office and
were of hig-h character and standing in their
different communities. Edwin T. Bentz, as-
sumed the office of Recorder of Deeds on the
first Monday of 1903 at the behest of the Dem-
ocratic voters expressed in the election of the
previous fall.

Mr. Bentz is a native of York county,
where the family have been worthy and lead-
ing farmers for the most part in North Codorus
township for the past hundred years. His
grandfather, Michael Bentz, was a hale and



hearty man even up to his death at eighty-two
years. This likewise was the advanced age
reached by Peter, Mr. Bentz" father. Both
passed their Hves on farms in North Codorus
township. Peter Bentz married Sarah Tyson,
daughter of Henry Tyson, who passed away
Avhile on his North Codorus farm at the age
of eighty-seven. They had three sons, Frank-
Hn T., a weU known farmer of North Codorus
township; Michael T., who likewise resides in
-that township, and Edwin T.

Born on the old homestead in North Co-
dorus township, Nov. 26, 1856, Edwin T.
Bentz grew up with the advantages of a good
home, whose head believed that boys and work
made a very proper mixture. Lessons of econ-
omy, industry and thrift taught in those early
days yet cling to him, and are the index to the
-success which has followed him through life.
He received an ordinary country school edu-
cation and in his young manhood was appren-
ticed to the carpenter's trade, a vocation which
he has followed at different times since. He
worked at his trade during the first fifteen years
of his career, and then returned to the occupa-
tion honored by his ancestry, purchasing a 40-
acre farm in North Codorus township. After
a decade there he entered the carriage factory
of S. E. Baily & Co., at York, as a body-
maker, and it was while engaged there in No-
vember, 1902, that he was elected on the Dem-
ocratic ticket to the office of recorder. There
is a seeming inconsistency in this change of oc-
cupation from a mechanical to a clerical life,
and yet Mr. Bentz early demonstrated the en-
tire wisdom of the change.

The wife of Mr. Bentz' youth is now de-
■ceased. Her maiden name was Barbara Mes-
sersmith, and her father was a worthy'
farmer of North Codorus township. Eight
•children were born to her, five of whom sur-
vive, as follows : Chauncey F., farmer ; Anna
K., Mrs. Charles Harold, North Codorus ; Ber-
tha, wife of Andrew G. Myers, who is in the
employ of the S. Morgan Smith Sons Co., at
York; Claudie, wife of Daniel Krout, a farmer,
of Springfield township ; and Lydia J., now
Mrs. Allen N. Moss, of North Codorus. The
mother of these children died in May of 1889,
and on the last day of the following year he
married her sister, Sarah Messersmith. Three
children have been born of this union : Bar-
bara, who died in infancy; and Ada and Peter

The life of Edwin T. Bentz has not been
a spectacular one. He has accepted opportuni-
ties and issues as they have been presented,
failing in tiiany, succeeding in some — the story
of average humanity. But amid it all it can be
truly said of him that he has kept his integrity
intact and his honor unsullied. He has been
a lifelong worker in the Reformed Church,
with membership in St. Paul's of Stoverstown,
acting at different periods as deacon and elder
of that organization. His fraternal connection
is with the P. O. S. A.

JOSEPH WILT, who owns and occupies
a fertile, well-cultivated farm in Fairview
township, is at the present time acting in the
capacity of school director. He was born in
Fishing Creek Valley, March 2, 1849, son of
William Wilt.

Michael Wilt, the grandfather of Joseph,
was a farmer of Manchester borough, Man-
chester township, where he died, the father of
these children : Henr}^ ; William ; John, of
Perry county ; Daniel, of Kansas ; Catherine,
the wife of John Prowell; Susan, the wife of
James Prowell, and Lydia A., the wife of John
Zeigler, of York. William \Vilt received a
common-school education, and on attaining
maturity commenced farming in Fishing Creek
Valley, later working on Dr. Young's farin
in Cumberland county. He returned to York
county, and farmed property then owned by
Peter Bricker, now known as the Moser place.
He then located at Slate Hill, returning- to

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 119 of 201)