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ment to a large force of men. Mr. Johnston's
business is steadily growing, and he has estab-
lished a very enviable reputation for honesty
of dealing and thoroughness of work, being
individually respected because of his energy,
capability and reliability.

]\Ir. Johnston was married in 1888, to
Miss Laura Loucks, of York, Pa., a daughter
of Jacob and Catherine (Slagle) Loucks. In
politics, Mr. Johnston is a Democrat, and has
been honored \vith several important offices
within the gift of the people. In 1899, he was
elected chief burgess of the borough of Spring
Grove for a term of three years, and was a
member of the city council for a like period.
In addition to his other interests, he is a stock-
holder in the First National Bank, and vice-
president of the Friendship Hose Co. He has
been identified with many of the changes
which have taken place for the better in his
vicinity, and certainly deserves honorable men-
tion with other contemporaries.

GEORGE SPAHR, owner of the old
Brinton farm of 126 acres, probably the oldest
in Fishing Creek Valley, Newberry township,
is a self-made man, and was born in 1850, in
Fairview township, son of John and Elizabeth
(Rudy) Spahr, and grandson of Adam Spahr.

The first of this family to settle in America
came from Germany in the early part of the
se\-enteenth century. There were two brothers,
one of whom had a family of nineteen chil-
dren and the other, twenty-two children. John
Spahr was born in Dover township, where he
learned the blacksmith's trade and engaged in
it for about thirty years. He located in Fair-
view township and bought a small tract of
twenty-five acres of land, where he farmed in
conjunction with his trade. He then spent
one year in Newberry township, after which
he returned to Fairview township, and for four
vears worked the Shuler farm. He then set-



tied on the Doll farm in Conewago township,
remaining there one year, after which he re-
turned to Newberry township and bought sev-
enty-seven acres of land, upon which he re-
mained for thirteen years. He thdi bought a
small tract of twentj'-two acres, upon which
he erected all of the buildings, and there he died
at the age of eighty-four years. Mr. Spahr
married Elizabeth Rudy, a daughter of George
W. and Mary (Miller) Rudy, and she died in
1898, she and her husband being buried at the
Paddletown church in Newberry township.
Mr. Spahr was a man of popularity and sterling
worth of character. The children born to Mr.
and Mrs. Spahr are as follows : W^illiam died
at the age of twenty-one years : Annie, living
at York, married Milton Reigart, deceased ;
Lena married Josiah Taylor, and lives at Me-
chanicsburg, Cumberland county; Mary died
unmarried at the age of forty-four years ; Ellen,
who died in May, 1902, married Benjamin Be-
shore ; George ; and David, who is living on the
old home in Newberry township, married Ella

George Spahr received his education in the
public schools of Conewago and Newberry
townships, attending school until about eight-
een years of age, when he commenced work as
a day laborer. For about ten years he con-
tinued in this line, with the cultivation of to-
bacco, and then bought a small tract of about
twenty acres of land, erecting all of the build-
ings thereon. In the year 1877 Mr. Spahr mar-
ried Jane Bower, the estimable daughter of
Henry and Mary (Keister) Bower, and after
marriage continued tobacco farming and truck-
ing for a short time in Newberrv township,
then locating on John K. ^Yillis' farm in Fair-
view township, where he remained for ten
3'ears. He then bought the old Brinton farm
o'f 126 acres, the first in the Fishing Creek
Valley, Newberry township. Mr. Spahr made
many improvements on the farm, and the fruit
of his labors is shown by his present substan-
tial financial condition. Mr. Spahr is fond of
good literature, spending much of his spare
time in reading and finding much of his recrea-
tion and enjoyment in his library. Mr. Spahr
is a self-made man. He is enterprising and
full of energy, and his success in life has been
brought about wholly through his own efforts.
He is a member of the Democratic party and
takes a lively interest in its success, although
he has never sought public office, deciding that

his farming interests demand the bulk of his
time and attention. He is one of the leading
citizens of Newberry township, honest and up-
right, and always ready to do his part in pro-
moting public improvements and in advancing
the interests of the school and church.

The children born to George Spahr and
his wife were : Susie, who married John
Stoner, is living in Newberry township ; Wil-
liam, residing upon and assisting in the oper-
ation of his father's farm, married Carrie
Shelley, daughter of Edward Shelley, and they
have two children, Ruth and Leona; Harry
died in Steelton in 1900, and is buried at Pad-
dletown church ; Lizzie married Samuel Hart-
man and lives at Yocumtown, York county;
and Clara, Daisy, Nora, John and Howard, all
reside at home unmarried. The Spahr family
is well known throughout York county, and is
very highly respected.

HENRY HOFF was born Oct. 19, 1857,
in North Codorus township, York county, son
of Henr)^ and Rosanna (Emig) Hoff, and he
is now engaged in contracting and building in

Henry Hoff, gxandfather of our subject,
was a farmer and distiller of North Codorus
township, owning a large tract of land in that
township, and farming it until his death. He
was buried at Ziegler's chiu'ch. The children
born to him and his wife were : Adam, of Sev-
en Valley; John, of North Codorus township;
Lydia, the wife of Isaac Rennols, of Penn
township ; Caroline, the wife of, Jesse Rise,
who resides near Hanover, York county, Mrs.
Harry Raver ; Mrs. B. Spangler, of Jefferson
borough; and Henry (2).

Henry Hoff (2), son of Henry, was born
Jan. II, 1829, in North Codorus township,
where he received a common school education
and married Rosanna, daughter of John Emig;
she was born Jan. 26, 1826. After his mar-
riage Mr. Hoff commenced to farm on the old
homestead, also carrying on distilling. He built
a fine brick house and barn, where he lived
until 1904, when he retired from active work,
since which time he has resided in a small
home adjoining his farm. He is a member of
Ziegler's Lutheran Church, having served as
a deacon, and in its work he has always been
active and influential. In politics he is a Dem-
ocrat and served his party as •township treas-
urer for fifty years. The children born to Mr.



and I\Irs. Hoff were as follows : Isabella, the
wife of Henn- Shaffer, of York; Susanna, who
married Nathan Gladfelter, a cigar-maker of
Se\'en Valley ; Levi and Rosa, who died
young; and Henr}- (3).

Henry Hoff (3) attended Ziegler's school
in North Codorus township until he was nine-
teen years of age, and, after receiving his edu-
cation, assisted his father for a short time on
the farm. He then learned the cabinet-mak-
er's trade, at which he worked for four years,
and later, for a period of fourteen years, was
employed as a -house carpenter by Menough &
Co., of York. He was engaged at pattern
making for three and one-half years with E.
G. Smyser, after which he clerked for one
year, in 1899 engaging in the building and
contracting business, since which year he has
been very successful. Mr. Hoff employs
thirty-two carpenters and a total force of about
100 men. Some of ,the finest buildings of
York have been erected under Mr. Hoff's con-
tracts, and he is considered a first-class busi-
ness man in every respect.

On May 24, 1877, Mr. Hoff was united in
marriage with Alphreatta Yingling, daughter
of Frederick and Rebecca (Zinn) Yingling.
Mr. Hoff is a prominent Democrat and was
water assessor of the Ninth ward for six years.
He also served on the select council for four
years. In his religious views he is connected
with Ziegler's Lutheran Church. ]\Ir. and Mrs.
Hoff reside in a tine residence at No. 1 19 South
Penn street, York.

JOHN NEELY, who owns and conducts
a tine fifty-acre farm, and engages extensively
in stock raising in Lower Chanceford town-
ship, was born near Gordonville, Lancaster
county. May 4, 1844, son of \^'illiam and Jane
(Frew) Neely.

William Neely, grandfather of John, died
in County Derry, Ireland, where he had owned
a farm and was largely engaged in raising flax.
His son William was born in County Derry,
where he received a common-school education
and was reared to an agricultural life. He was
of the Irish gentry, and much of their time was
spent in hunting- foxes behind the hounds.
William Neely married Jane Frew, daughter
of James Frew, wdio came to America at the
time Mr. Neely sent for his family. James
Frew died in Philadelphia, where some of his
family settled, in 1848, well-advanced in years.

His wife had died in Ireland. Mv. and 2vlrs.
Frew were the parents of the following chil-
dren : Jane, mother of John Neely; Susan, who
married John Burns, and died in Philadelphia;
]\Iary, who married John Campbell, and located
in Illinois, where she died; Matilda, who mar-
ried Richard Whiteside and lived and died in
Philadelphia; John, who married a lady of
Baltimore, Md., and settled in Philadelphia,
where he died ; and Thomas, who also died in

In 1838 William Neely emigrated to the
United States and the following year brought
his family and that of Mr. Frew to this coun-
try. The voyage was a long and dangerous
one, the sailing vessel having sprung a leak in
a storm, and all the male passengers had
to take their turn at the pumps, while those
not on duty were sent below and the hatches
nailed down. The voyage was completed,
however, and Mr. Neely bought land in Lan-
caster county, near Gordonville, where he en-
gaged in stock dealing. Soon after he sold this
property and bought a larger tract near Stras-
burg and many years before the railroad was
built drove over the mountains the stock he had
purchased in the West. Mr. Neely followed
that occupation until old age incapacitated
him, and was a thorough cattleman, his name
being known throughout the county. After
retiring from active life Mr. Neely sold his
place and lived on a farm of 150 acres in Cole-
rain township, which he sold eleven years later,
and removed to a location near Oxford, Ches-
ter county, remaining there for three years. He
sold the farm named, and, with his wife, went
to live with his son, Dr. S. F. Neely, of Leav-
enworth, Kans., but returned to Pennsylvania
alter several years to reside with his son,
Thomas, at Centerville, York county; at
Thomas' death he returned to Dr. Neely and
lived with him eleven years. He then again
returned to Pennsylvania, and up to the time
of his death lived with John Neely, paying
several visits, however, to Dr. Neely, during
his stay there. He died at the home of John
Neely, Sept. 16, 1897, being one hundred years,
six months and three days old. Mr. Neely was
of fine physique and in full possession of all
his faculties at the time of his death. In
religion he \\-as a member of the Presbyterian
Church. In politics he was a Democrat. Mrs.
Neely died Feb. 19, 1893, aged eighty-six
years, the mother of the following children, the


first five of whom were born in Ireland : Alary,
who married Samuel Lj'ons, living in Phila-
delphia at the age of sevent3'-four years ; Sam-
uel, who died unmarried; jMargaret, who mar-
ried John Gable of Philadelphia ; Thomas, de-
ceased, who married Hannah Colvin; Eliza,
who died at the age of twelve years ; Shaw
Frew, a practicing physician of Leavenworth,
Kans.^ who married Martha Murphy, daughter
of Col. George Murphy, of Chanceford town-
ship; John; William, who died in Philadelphia
at the age of twenty-one j'ears ; Ella, who
married (first) George Neely, of Leavenworth,
Kans., where he died, and (second) David
Thomas, and now resides in Chicago.

John Neely was educated in different town-
ship schools, but his learning was principally
obtained in the schools of Colerain town-
ship. Mr. Neely located in Centerville, Lower
Chanceford township, where he learned butch-
ering with his brother, Thomas, and this voca-
,tion he followed for twelve y^ars, nine of
which were spent in Airville, Pa. Mr. Neely
was first married to Lizzie Johnson, June 15,
1870, and she died Sept. 19, 1888. Three sons
were born to this union as follows : William
N., born Sept. 30, 1871, died in infancy; Wal-
ter C, born April 12, 1873, married in 1899,
in Philadelphia, Delia B. Martin; and Robert
E., born Aug. 4, 1875, married, in 1903, Nel-
lie Bunting, and they live in Lower Chance-
ford township. Mr. Neely's second marriage,
Feb. 10, 1892, in Lower Chanceford town-
ship, was to Mary B. Snyder, daughter of
Michael and Elizabeth (Taylor) Snyder, and
she was reared on the Peach Bottom township
farm. She became the mother of the following-
children: Harry Campbell, born April 10,
1893; Marion E., born July 6, 1896, and
Pauline E., born Jan. i, 1899, died Jan. 10,

After leaving the butchering busmess Mr.
Neely embarked in stock-raising, in which he
has since continued with eminent success. In
the year 1888, he bought his present well-cul-
tivated farm of fifty acres in Lower Chance-
ford township, and since he has become the
owner has made many improvements. Mr.
Neely is one" of the grand old men of Lower
Chanceford township. Of an excellent phy-
sique, and dignified manner, he would attract
attention in any gathering, while his social
qualities win friends for him wherever he goes.
Mr. Neely is a self-made man and his success

tells its own lesson of the value of persever-
ance and industry.

Lower Windsor township, was boi'n Oct. 15,
1855, en the farm now owned by Isaac Hin-
kle, on the Wrightsville pike, in Lower Wind-
sor township.

John Anstine, his father, was likewise born
and reared in that township, the year of his
nativity being 1814. He learned the carpen-
ter's trade in his youth, engaging in it for a
number of years after leaving the farm and
finally again turning his attention to agricul-
tural pursuits, with which he continued to be
identified during the remainder of his life, own-
ing a well improved farm in Lower Windsor
township, where he died April 5, 1877. He
was a Whig in politics until the organization
of the Republican party, .after which he ever
remained an unswerving advocate of the prin-
ciples of the latter. He also had a loyal con-
cern in local affairs and held various minor
offices, including that of township supervisor.
He was a sincere, earnest and consistent mem-
ber of the Evangelical Church, in which he was
an active worker, having served as class-leader
and in other church offices. His wife, who was
a devoted companion and helpmate during the
long years of their ideal wedded life, died in
1905, aged eighty-five. She was held in af-
fectionate regard in the community in -which
so many years of her life had been passed,
while she, likewise, was a lifelong and zealous
member of the Evangelical Church. Her
maiden name was Eliza Kise, and she also was
born and reared in Lower Windsor township,
being a representative of one of the old and
honored pioneer families of the county.

Of the children of John and Eliza (Kise)
Anstine we have the follo\\nng record: Mary
Ann is the wife of Emanuel Detwiler, of Red
Lion, York county; Catherine is the wife of
William Haines, a farmer of Lower Windsor
township ; Eliza is the wife of Philip Heim, of
East Prospect; Henry, who is a resident of
Yoe, York county, married Rebecca Haines;
Leah is the wife of Barton Dellinger, of Lower
Windsor township; Susan is the wife of Sam-
uel B. Ruby, of the same township ; Jane, who
became the wife of Benjamin Ruby, is de-
ceased ; William F. was the eighth child ; \'Ves-
ley died at the age of twelve years ; Henrietta
died in childhood; Ida became the wife of



George Heindle and is now deceased ; and
George, who married Elizal:)eth Helder, is a
resident of East Prospect.

William F. Anstine was reared on the pa-
ternal farm and attended what was known as
the Kline school, in Lower Windsor township,
until he had attained the age of sixteen years,
though he usually was in school only during
the winter terms, as his services during the
summer seasons were demanded in connection
with the work of the homestead. He was
twenty-two years of age at the time of his
father's death, and thereafter had charge of
the homestead farm for one year. At various
times, both before and after this period, he
worked b}' the day on farms in the county,
boarding one year with his brother-in-law, S.
B. Ruby. Later he remained for a year in
the home of another brother-in-law, Barton
Dellinger. Li the meanwhile he had become a
capable carpenter and joiner, having had a
practical apprenticeship under the direction of
his father and others. He was married in
1879 and thereafter followed his trade for
several years, alter which he rented from Dan-
iel Leber the sixty-three-acre farm which he
now owns, working the same on shares for the
ensuing eight 3'ears and then (after the death
of Mr. Leber j purchasing the property. He
has made many improvements on the place,
which is one of the attractive and valuable
properties of the township, while the owner has
brought much of enterprise, energ}' and dis-
crimination to bear on the various departments
of the farm w'ork; neither has he been denied
a due reward of his efiforts, being recognized
as one of the reliable, thrifty and progressive
farmers of York county. He gives consider-
able attention to the raising of tobacco, and
has the best of facilities for maturing and other-
wise caring for the crop, having- erected a good
tobacco cellar on his farm, . while the large
corn barn on the farm Avas also built b}' him.
He is held in high regard in his community
and takes a loyal interest in local affairs of a
public nature, though he has never been an
aspirant for office, the only incumbency of the
sort which he has filled being that of tax col-
lector of his township, in A\-hich capacity he
served one term. In politics he is an uncom-
promising' Republican, having followed in the
footsteps of his honored father, who was a
most loyal and enthusiastic advocate of the
principles of the "grand old party." Mr. An-

stine was reared in the faith of the Evangelical
Church, but is not formally identified with any
religious body. He is affiliated with Winona
Lodge, No. 944, I. O. O. E., at East Pros-

In the city of York, on June 12, 1879, Rev.
R. C. Philebar solemnized the marriage of Mr.
Anstine to Laura Heindle, who was born and
reared in Lower Windsor township, where her
parents, John and Mary Ann [Fox) Heindle,
still reside, her father being a representative
farmer of that section. Mr. and Mrs. Anstine
have eight children living, all of whom remain
at the parental home except the eldest, their
names being, in order of birth : Clayton, who
resides in York, married to Mayme Mitzel;
John, who remains on the home farm, mar-
ried to Gertrude, daughter of Alexander
Dietz, of Lower Windsor township; and Ches-
ter, Arrie, Charles, Mabel, Beulah and Elmer,
who live at home and are numbered among the
popular young people of the community. There
was also an infant who died unnamed.

JOHN G. MILLER. Among the agricul-
turists of East Hopewell township is John G.
Miller, whose farm of 119 acres is well situated
and finely cultivated. He was born in the
"City of Brotherly Love," July 31, 1851, son
of John and Barbara Miller, a full history of
whom will be found elsewhere in the sketch of
Lewis J. Miller.

Mr. Miller was reared in York county, his
parents settling in the village of Gatchellville,
Fawn township, after which they removed to
East Hopewell township, on the old James
Wallace place. Mr. Miller attended the town-
ship schools until twenty-one years of age,
among his teachers being : John M. Gemmill,
J. ^^^ Wallace, W. N. McAhster and Andrew
Collins. He was reared to farm pursuits, and
remained at home until he was twenty-three
)-ears old, when he began on his own account,
going to Lancaster county and working at
twelve dollars per month. After two and one-
half years he went to Minnesota to examine
the country, but not finding conditions there
to his liking returned to his home after a few
months, working until his marriage as a day
laborer. i\Ir. Miller's marriage occurred Dec.
26, 1876, to ]\Iiss Dora Schumm, born in ]\Ia-
ryland. daughter of John and Barbara ( Wil-
helm) Schumm. After marriage Mr. and
]Mrs. ]\Iiller rented the property upon which


they now reside for five years, and then Mr.
MiUer cropped for a time, in 1891 purchasing
the farm from his father-in-law. Here he has
since remained, successfully engaged in farm-
ing and stock-raising. He is a member of Mt.
Pleasant Lutheran Church, where he has filled
various offices. He is a Democrat in political

Mr. and Mrs. Miller have had the following-
children : Mary B'., Mrs. Lewis Mitzel, of
AA'indsor township; Annie M., Mrs. William
F. Logan, of Cross Roads borough ; Aaron
Franklin, Lizzie, John Andrew, Emma J., Re-
becca S. and Celia, all at home.

WILLIAM J. POSEY is a member of one
of York county's old and respected families,
which has many representatives scattered over
the Union who are proud to bear its name.
The record of this old family antedates the
Revolutionary war, and Grandmother Posey,
whose maiden name was Rachel Peck, and who
lived until 1868, could recall many reminis-
cences of General Washington and the Conti-
nental army. She could recall that memorable
winter in Valley Forge, and how she and her
mother knit stockings for the soldiers ; how her
father gave them his horses and how the
women worked all day preparing bread and
butter for the army, while Grandmother Posey
did the distributing. Her father was asso-
ciated with General Washington and spent
much time at his headquarters, while her hus-
band, Micajah Posey, was a soldier in his
army. The Brandywinej battlefield was not
far from the Posey home, and Grandfather
Posey, fighting under Colonel Bull, was
wounded and taken prisoner, and, after endur-
ing many hardships (being confined in prison-
ships at Philadelphia), was exchanged. Mi-
cajah Posey died March 30, 1828, when nearly
(^ighty-seven years of age. Grandmother
Rachel Posey died at Valley Forge Aug. 14,
18.68, at the remarkable age of 102 years. In
many other ways she was a notable character.
She was the mother of ten children and the
grandmother of eighty-one; had iig great-
grandchildren ; thirty-three great-great-grand-
children and five great-great-great-grandchil-
dren. Gray-haired grandchildren and great-
grandchildren attended her funeral, representa-
tives of all generations in the family being at
her grave. At the time of her death the Nczu
York Post gave a history of her life. Re-

spected and loved by all, she w-as known as
Grandmother Posey, and her children for six
generations haye risen up to call her blessed.
To Micajah and Rachel Posey the following
children were born : Jesse, who died at Read-
ing, Pa. ; Isaac, who went West when a young
man, all trace of him being lost; Thomas;
William, who died at Pine Hill, Lancaster
county, at the age of seventy-nine years, the
father of two sons and two daughters ; Eliza-
beth, who married Edward Pierce, and died
near Churchtown, Chester county; Micajah,
the father of William J. ; and four children
whose names are not known.

Micajah Posey was born May 25, 1810,
in Chester county, near Brandywine battlefield,
and resided at that place until after his mar-
riage. He learned the trade of a molder and
furnaceman, and removed to Cecil county,
Md., where he managed a furnace for George
P. Whittaker for ten or twelve years ; he then
located in York county and blew the York
Furnace, in Lower Chanceford township, for
John Baer & Co., from 1846 until 1851. In
the latter year, as the business had gradually
died out, he bought a farm of thirty-one acres
from a Mr. Turk, and from that time until his
death, in 1882, he spent most of his time in
farming. Originally Mr. Posey was a Whig,
and later voted independently — fa\-oring the
man more than the party.

Micajah Posey married Catherine Stone-
back, born in 18 12 in Chester county, daughter
of Jacob and Catherine Stoneback. His wife

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 143 of 201)