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Fishing Creek Valley in 1861 and purchasing
the Michael Smith farm of 133 acres in 1865.
This he operated for a number of years, greatly
improving it and building upon it a residence
in which he lived until 1885. He then lived
retired for a number of years in New Cumber-
land, prior to his death, April 2, 1903, at the
age of seventy-nine. William Wilt married
Sarah Smith, daughter of Michael and Cather-
ine Smith, and she died in July, 1862, being
interred, as was her husband, at Mt. Olivet
cemetery, Fairview township. Mr. \Vilt was
a Republican in political faith. He was a
faithful member of the Lutheran Church of
Fairview township. The children born to Mr.
and Mrs. Wilt were : John, who was killed
by an elevator at Steelton, in April, 1884; Jo-
seph ; Harry, who is in the furniture and under-
taking' business at Steelton, Dauphin county, .
married a Miss Gross; Julia, the wife of Lewis



BIOGRAPHICAL



627



Kilmore, lives in New Cumberland, and Ella,
the wife of Jacob LeFevre, also lives in New
Cumberland.

Joseph Wilt attended the township schools
until seventeen years of age, and then com-
menced to work for his father on the home
farm. In 1869 he married Sarah J. Beckley,
daug'hter of Jesse and Susan (Hare) Beckley,
of Fairview township. After marriage Mr.
and Mrs. Wilt located on his father's farm,
and then removed to Mr. Beckley's farm, where
he remained four years. In 1874 they returned
to the paternal homestead, remaining there
three years, after which he passed a short time
in Kansas. He returned to Pennsjdvania and
located in New Cumberland, Cumberland coun-
ty, where he remained three years. In 1884
he purchased his father's farm, where he has
since been engaged in farming and butchering,
attending the Harrisburg markets. Mr. Wilt
is one of the substantial business men and good
citizens of the township, and is held in the
highest esteem by his neighbors and associates
generally.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilt have had these children :
Russel, who died when, thirteen months old;
Susan, died when seven weeks old ; one infant,
deceased ; Adam, who died when nineteen days
old, and Lloyd B., who attended Shippensburg
Normal school, from which he was graduated
in 1900, taught school at the Hickory Grove
school, Fairview township, and is now assist-
ing his father on the farm. In politics Mr.
Wilt is a Republican, and is serving his town-
ship most acceptably as a school director.

Jesse Beckley, Mrs. Wilt's father, was born
in Baltimore count)', Md., as were her mother
and herself. He came to Pennsylvania, in
1858,. and settled in Fairview township, where
he farmed upon property which he there pur-
chased. He was a prominent farmer and a
very active man, living in retirement for sev-
eral years previous to his death, which oc-
curred in 1897, at the age of eighty-one years.
His wife is still living, aged seventy-six. Eight
children were born to this worthy couple, viz. :
Sarah J., Mary E., Arietta, William H., John
Q.. David, Elmer and Susan.

MARTIN HOKE, M. D., physician and
surgeon of Spring Grove, Jackson township,
is one of the leading physicians of the com-
munity, and was born upon the homestead
farm in the township named, Dec, 31. 1859,
sen of Flenrv and Anna (Hershev) Floke.



JMichael Hoke, grandfather of Dr. Hoke,
was born in York county, and was a substantial
farmer and hotel keeper. His hostelry was
widely known and largely patronized by the old
settlers, and is remembered by them to this
day for its kindly hospitality. He lived to be
eighty-four years of age. The maternal grand-
father was Henry Hershey, his daughter,
mother of Dr. Hoke, being born on his farm,
one-half miles east of Spring Grove, Jackson
township, in 1819; she died in 1884, and
was buried in the old Pidgeon Hill church-
yard.

Henry Hoke was born in Jackson township,
in 1818, and died in 1892. The greater por-
tion of his life was spent in farmhig, but in
1882 he purchased the store property in Nash-
ville. In 1883 he moved to the Nashville prop-
erty, where he and one of the younger sons
(George) engaged in the general mercantile
business, which was continued until his death.
The old Hoke homestead, containing 118 acres,
was located three miles northeast of Spring
Grove, in the rich valley of Jackson township.
This property was originally impro\'ed by Hen-
ry Hoke, and after his death was purchased by
George E. Sprenkle. Twelve children were
born to Henry Hoke and his wife, eight sons
and four daughters, all of whom lived to ma-
turity : Elizabeth N., married E. B. Sprenkle;
Wihiam, a farn:sr; Emanuel H., a resident of
Fulton county, 111. ; Henry, also of Fulton
county; Sarah, who married Peter Bott, and
resides in York county; Eliza, who married
Wesley Little ; Jacob, contractor and carpen-
ter, residing at Thomasville, York county. Pa. ;
Joseph, deceased in 1882; Amanda, who mar-
ried Felix Bentzle (died in 1905). and is a resi-
dent of York county ; Martin ; George, at pres-
ent a prosperous merchant of Nashville, Pa. ;
Michael a resident of McSherrystown, and a
farmer of Adams county.

Dr. Martin Hoke was reared upon the farm,
attending the district schools in the winter, and
there laying the foundations of an excellent
education. Later, he was a student at the
York Academy for two years, afterward tak-
ing up the study of medicine and reading with
Dr. John Weist of Jackson township. When
prepared, he attended Jefferson Aledical Col-
lege for three years, from which he was grad-
uated in the spring of 1881. After his grad-
uation. Dr. Hoke located at Spring Grove,
where he has since continued in general and
successful practice. In 1886, he opened a drug



628



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



store, and conducts it in conjunction with his
practice.

In November, 1884, Dr. Hoke married
Harriet Swartz, of Spring Grove, daughter of
Deterich Swartz, and Anna (Hoke) Swartz,
of Adams county, Pa. They have had no chil-
dren. Dr. Hoke is a member of York CcrLuity
]\Iedical Society, the State Medical Society and
the American Medical Association. In addi-
tion to his other interests. Dr. Hoke is a stock-
holder and director of the First National Bank,
of Spring Grove, having been connected with
it since its organization. He is an excellent,
scholarly physician and thorough business man,
whose Iriends are lo be found throughout the
entire county. Taking a deep interest in edu-
cational matters, Dr. Hoke has served upon
the school board for three years, and was a
member of the town council for the same length
of time. He and his wife are prominent mem-
bers of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. They re-
side in a pleasant home, where the Doctor's
office is also located, and there they dispense a
.warm and gracious hospitality to their many
friends.

SAMUEL RIDER. The status of every
city, town and community is determined almost
entirely by the character of their business men,
their reliability, enterprise, integrity and fidelity
to contracts and agreements, and their loyalty
and public spirit as citizens. York county is
specially favored in the class of men who make
up its cjuota of business factors, and of these
men Samuel Rider holds high prestige as a suc-
cessful and enterprising manufacturer and as
a citizen of sterling character, so that he is emi-
nently entitled to consideration in a publication
of this character. Mr. Rider is a native of
York county, born in the city of York, then a
small village, May 17, 1836.

^Christian Rider, his great-grandfather,
passed his entire life in Germany, where he was
a shingle manufacturer and a scion of one of
the sterling old families of the great German
empire. Three of his brothers emigrated from
the Fatherland to America in the Colonial era
and all served as soldiers in the Continental
line during the war of the Revolution. After
the close of the war they all settled near Han-
over, York county, Pa., so that the family
name has been linked with die annals of that
section ever since the very early pioneer epoch,
while not a few of the descendants of these



brothers are to be found there at the present
time.

Samuel Rider, son of Christian, likewise
passed his entire life in Germany, but his son
Christian came to America and joined his rel-
atives in York county.

Christian Rider made the long and tedious
voyage on a sailing vessel and landed in the
city of Baltimore, being then twenty-five years
of age. He had received good educational ad-
vantages in the Fatherland and had there
learned the trade of shoemaker, so that he was
well fortified to fight the battle of life on his
arrival in the United States. Soon thereafter
he wedded Miss Mary Summer, to whom he
had become affianced in his native land, and
who had come to America on the same ship
with him. After their marriage they located
in Shrewsbury township, York county, where
he was engaged at his trade for the ensuing
two years, at the expiration of which he lo-
cated in York, the county seat, where he fol-
lowed the same vocation for five years. He
then purchased land in York township, on the
Baltimore pike, and turned his attention to its
improvement and cultivation, developing a
good farm and becoming one of the substantial
citizens of the township. He located on this
farm in 1836 and continued to reside there
until 1868, when he retired from active labor
and returned to the city of York, where he
passed the remainder of his long and useful
life, his death occurring in 1887, while his
cherished and devoted wife passed away two
years previously, both being laid to rest in the
Catholic cemetery of the county seat. They
were zealous and consistent communicants of
the Catholic Church, in whose faith they reared
their children, concerning whom is offered a
brief record at this juncture : Ignatius and
Henry both died in York township, being
farmers by vocation; Samuel, of this review,
was the next in order of birth; John died in the
city of York, having been a tailor during the
greater portion of his active career ; Peter is a
resident of York, where he is living retired;
Mary is the wife of George Dumler, of Balti-
more, Md. ; Adam resides in York, where he
is a grocer, and George, the youngest of the
family, when last located, was a resident of
Philadelphia.

Samuel Rider was reared on the old home-
stead, in Y^ork township, and there he contin-
ued to attend the common schools until he had



BIOGRAPHICAL



C29



attained the age of seventeen years, assisting
for several years thereafter in the work of the
home farm. He then learned the miller's trade,
and for five years was thus employed in the old
Gotwalt mill, in York township. Thereafter
he was engaged in farming until 1887, when
he established his present flourishing enterprise
— the manufacture of cigar boxes — which in-
dustry meets a large local demand, as York
county is a prominent center for the growing
and manufacture of tobacco. He purchased
the old Gotwalt mill property, previously men-
tioned, and on the site of the mill erected his
present factory which is 26x36 feet in dimen-
sions and two and one-half stories in height.
The plant is equipped with the latest improved
machinery and accessories, while, in connection
with the manufacture of the cigar boxes, is
maintained an excellent plant in which is exe-
cuted all the incidental printing on boxes, as
well as the turning out of labels, stationery, etc.
Employment is afforded to a corps of several
skilled workmen and in the box factory about
one thousand cases represent the average an-
nual output, the product being utilized almost
entirely by the cigar manufacturers in the
county. Mr. Rider owns thirteen acres of
land, and his commodious and attractive resi-
dence, as well as his factory, is located on this
tract, the balance being devoted to general
farming. He is a careful and conservative
business man and one whose reputation is un-
assailable, and through his energy and good
management has established a large and profit-
able trade. In politics he is found arrayed as
a stanch supporter of the principles and poli-
cies of the Democratic party, and both he and
his wife are members of the Lutheran Church
at Paradise.

In 1862 Mr. Rider was united in marriage
to Miss Elizabeth Decker, who was born and
reared in York county, being a daughter of
Elizabeth Decker; she died in 1866, leaving
one son, William Henry, who is now a cigar-
maker and barber in East York. On June 27,
1868, Mr. Rider consummated a second mar-
riage, being then united to Miss Barbara Sheaf-
fer, who was born and reared in York town-
ship, where her father, Jacob Sheaffer, was a
representative farmer. In conclusion the fol-
lowing data are recorded concerning the chil-
dren of the second marriag'e : Ida remains at
the parental home ; Alfred died at the age of
twenty-two years; Mary is the wife of Charles



Geinrich, of Green Hill, York county; Harry
is a cigar-box manufacturer at Red Lion; and
Bertha May remains a member of the home
circle.

ROBERT BORTNER HYSON, owner of
extensive canneries in Pennsylvania and Vir-
ginia, was born in Hopewell township, York
county, Feb. 28, 1853. son of John and Mar-
garet (Miller) Hyson. • The paternal grand-
father was Robert Hyson, who married a Miss
Bortner, and they were the parents of three
sons — Robert, Archibald and John. The ma-
ternal grandfather was John Miller, and his
wife's name was Trout. To them were
born the following: Samuel; David; V.
Trout; Henry; John; Mary, Mrs. James An-
derson ; Eliza, Mrs. David MafTet ; Ann, Mrs.
ambrose McGugin. John and Margaret (Mil-
ler) Hyson had a large family, viz. ; Robert B. ;
John M., of Red Lion; Archibald, of Chicago;
David F., of Hampstead, Md. ; Pleasant C, of
Omaha, Neb. ; Jane Ann, wife of Harvey H.
Anderson, of East Hopewell ; Elizabeth M.,
Mrs. Clinton M. Johnson, of East Hopewell ;
Sarah M., wife of Daniel M. Brenneman, of
Hopewell ; Alice, for nearly twenty-five years a
teacher in the Indian schools of New Mexico;
Cordelia E., wife of Prof. Fairchilds, of Ohio,
fcrmerly principal of the Ada State Normal
School and now a professor in Crawford Col-
lege ; Emma M., Mrs. John A. Wilson, of East
Hopewell ; Gertrude ; Bertha, Mrs. Payne
Manifold, of East Hopewell, and Clara, who
died while a schoolgirl in 1888. John Hyson
died in 1892, but his wife survives him at the
age of eighty-two, and resides in East Hope-
well.

Robert B. Hyson was educated in the pub-
lic schools of East Hopewell township and at
the Stewartstown Collegiate Institute. After he
left school he taught for one session at Mt.
Pleasant, Pa., where in 1876 he entered busi-
ness, continuing thus until 1879. In that year
he moved to Gatchellville and was a meichant
there until 1887, when he disposed of his es-
tablishment, and bought a business at Bridge-
ton. In 1893 he added a cannery to the orig-
inal retail business, and in 1900 erected a
creamery. These various branches have been
very successfully operated, and !\Ir. Hyson is
now managing the largest concern in Fawn
township. He also operates a large cannery
at Llopeside, Va., where immense quantities of



630



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



vegetables are put up, besides deaHng in oys-
ters and iish.

In poHtics a RepubHcan, Mr. Hyson was in
1882 elected justice of the peace for Fawn
township and has filled that office with the
greatest credit for twenty-four consecutive
years; he has also been postmaster at Bridg'e-
ton for ten years. Moreover, he has outside
business interests, being a director of the Hart-
ley Mutual Fire Insurance Co., of York. He
is a member of the Chanceford Presbyterian
Church.

On April 15, 1880, Robert B. Hyson was
united in marriage to Mary Elizabeth Markey,
of Shrewsbury township. To them have been
born the following children : Blanche, who
married Harry B. Reese, of Northumberland
county, Va., and is the mother .of Mary E.,
Robert H., and John M.; Olive M., who holds
an important position with her father ; Mantz
A. and Margie M., at school. Mrs. Elizabeth
M. Hyson is a daughter of Jacob and Eliza
(Trout) Markey, and the other children in the
family were : Franklin, of South Carolina ;
Amos, of Wyoming; Elmer; Newton, of York;
Riley, deceased; Annie, Mrs. John Thompson,
of York; Ettie, Mrs. Wilson Rehmeyer, of
Shrewsbury township; Rebecca Taylor; and
Margaret Pyle, deceased.

NATHANIEL LEBER was born June 28,
1849, ii'' Windsor township, on a farm near
Canadochley church. His parents were Ja-
cob and Eliza (Paules) Leber.

His paternal grandfather was Honeical
Leber, who died in Lower Windsor township.
He was a tailor by trade. His only son was
Jacob, born at Yorkana in 18 14, who was
given a common-school education and reared
as a farmer. During the last fourteen years of
his life he was blind and made his home with
his son Nathaniel. He was a devout member
of the Reformed Church, and in politics a life-
long Democrat. He died in 1902. His wife,
who was Eliza Paules, was born in Yorkana,
the daughter of Michael and Rebecca ( Heltzel)
Paules, and died in her son's home at the age
of eighty-five. She bore her husband the fol-
lowing children : Maria, Mrs. Reuben Neiman,
deceased ; Rebecca, Mrs. John Spyker, of
Lower Windsor township; Jacob P., who en-
listed in the Civil war in the 95th P. V. I., and
died in a Baltimore hospital of typhoid fever ;
Nathaniel ; and Annie, Mrs. Moses Emenhei-
ser, of York.



Nathaniel Leber was sent to the public
schools in Lower Windsor, Hellam and York
townships, in which section of the State his
father lived during his boyhood. The boy was
never able to attend more than three months
in the year, and often less, as his help was
needed at home. His first teacher was Jacob
Wallace, and his last, Adam Geesey. He left
school when he was eighteen, and until his
marriag-e spent all his time working on the home
farm. For twenty-two years he resided on a
farm near Freysville, but in 1902 he bought
his present homestead, and after renting k
for a year, located upon it, and in 1904 erected
thereon a handsome residence. He has been
industrious, energetic and progressive, and has
made a decided success of his operations. In
politics Mr. Leber is a Democrat, but not an
office seeker or an active politician. Eight
years ago he united with the Freysville Re-
formed Church, and has served four years as
deacon and two as elder.

On Sept. 14, 1889, Mr. Leber was mar-
ried by Rev. Kelil to Irene Seaks, born in
North Hopewell township, Jan. 22, 1871,
daughter of John and Sarah (Ziegler) Seaks.
To this union have been born three children,
namely: Jacob, July 8, 1900; Sarah Jane,
Aug. 10, 1902, and Milton S., Nov. 30, 1904.

John Seaks, father of Mrs. Leber, was born
in Germany, and emigrated to America with
his parents at the age of fourteen, landing at
Baltimore. After living some years in Mary-
land, they removed to York county. John had
attended school in both Germany and Mary-
land. He was married in North Hopewell
township to Miss Ziegler, who was a native of
York county, daughter of Michael and Hen-
rietta (Newhouse) Ziegler. At first a miller,
Mr. Seaks was afterward a farmer and lived
a number of years in Springfield township,
where he died in 1902. His wife is still living,
aged fifty-two. She is the mother of nine chil-
dren : Mrs. Leber ; Henrietta, Mrs. Milton
Streawig; Carrie, Mrs. Samuel Anstine, of
Glen Rock; Laura, Mrs. Riley Smith, of Red
Lion ; Howard, at home ; Cora ; Louise ; John ;
and Roy. Mrs. Leber's grandfather was Her-
man Seaks, who married Mary IMillendore, and
lived and died on his farm in Springfield town-
ship.

ADAM ELLIS, proprietor of the Cross
Keys Hotel of Chanceford township, was born
in that township, York county, Pa., on Jan. i,



BIOGRAPHICAL



631:



1868, son of Benjamin and Kate (Kopp) Ellis.
The father was a farmer and died in the town-
ship about 1888, his wife surviving him until
1894. In politics he was a Democrat, while
in religion he was a member of the United
Brethren Church.

Adam Ellis attended the Gipe school until
the age of fifteen years in the winter time, his
first teacher being a Mr. Gemmell and his last
Porter Wallace. During his youth he was a
farm hand, at the age of twelve years being
employed on the canal as a mule driver. Tor
which he received $5 a month and board, his
wages being" increased to ^2j and board when
he was promoted to the position of bowman.
He followed the canal for nine years, between
Columbia and Nanticoke and other points to
New York City. He then began farming and
labored by the day for two years, being then
engaged by John Emig for three years, after
which he was employed for three years on the
Gemmell place and one year on Squire Thomp-
son's farm. In 1900 he bought a tract of 127
acres, on which he conducted general farming,
tobacco raising and stock raising until April
I, 1905, when he sold and purchased his pres-
ent property. Mr. Ellis has greatly increased
the trade since taking hold of this property,
having proved himself a first-class landlord and
being the owner of one of the best rural stands
in York county.

In 1892 Mr. Ellis married Miss Lizzie Ar-
nold of Chanceford township, daughter of
Henry and Amanda (Hess) Arnold, and two
children have been born to this union — George
Henry and John Paul. In their family is also
Elsie May, a little girl of three years whom
Mr. Ellis and his wife adopted when she was
an infant of six months. Mr. Ellis is a mem-
ber of the United Brethren Church, while in
politics he is a stanch Democrat, and takes a
loyal interest in the success of his party.

WILBUR C. BRESSLER, D. D. S., who
is engaged in the practice of his profession in
York, is a son of Dr. Charles Huston Bressler,
who was one of the most prominent physicians
and dentists of York, where he was actively en-
gaged in the practice of his dual profession for
many years and where he died in February,
1894, at the venerable age of seventy-three
years, after an illness of only two weeks' dura-
tion. Pie was assisting his son, Wilbur C,
in operati\e work at the time when he received



the stroke of paralysis which terminated in his-
death. He was specially active and influential
in public affairs, and was one of the leaders of
the Republican party in this section ot the
State. Upon several occasions he was made.
the party nominee for Congress, but was unable.
to overcome the large Democratic majority in
his district. He served nine months as sheriff
of York county, having been appointed by Gov-
ernor Andrew G. Curtin. He was a man of
high intellectual and professional attainments^
while his genial nature and lofty integrity of
character gained and retained for him the un-
qualified esteem of his fellow-men. His wife,
whose maiden name was Sarah Ann Towner,
was a daughter of Rev. John Towner, a clergy-
man of the Methodist Episcopal Church and
for many years secretary of the Buckeye
Reaper Company, of Ohio; she died in 1869,.
aged thirty-nine years. Of the eight children
born of this union the following brief record
is made: Charles died in infancy.; John
Towner is engaged in the practice of dentis-
try in Shepherdstown, Cumberland county;
George B. is a printer by profession residing
in the city of Lancaster, Pa., where he is alder-
man of the Fifth ward; Emma B., Clara V.
and Ella May remain at the family home;
Andrew Curtin is a traveling salesman and is
employed in his home city of York; and Wil-
bur C, immediate subject of this sketch, is
sixth in the order of birth of the eight children.
Dr. Wilbur Clarke Bressler was born in
York, April 30, 1858. After completing the
public and high school courses he entered
the dental department of the Universitv of
Maryland, Baltimore, where he remained dur-
ing the years 1883-84. In the meanwhile he
had given careful attention to the study and
practice of laboratory and operative dentistry,
under the direction of his father, so that he
doubly fortified himself for successful work in
his chosen profession. After leaving college
he returned to York and here became asso-
ciated with his father in active practice, this
alliance continuing until the death of the latter,
since which time the Doctor has continued in
individual practice. He controls a large and
representative clientage and his fine offices have
the most modern equipment and accessories,
while both in the laboratory and the operative
departments none but the highest class of work
is done. The Doctor is popular in both busi-
ness and social circles, and is one of the rep-



Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 120 of 201)