George R. Prowell.

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father of Noah, was born in Shrewsbury town-
ship, where he was a highly respected citizen,
following agriculture all his life. He' was
prominently identified with the Lutheran
Church. His children, ten in number, were :
William ; Emanuel ; Henry ; Le\ i ; Charles ;-
Elizabeth, wife of Emanuel Anstine; Sarah,
Mrs. Daniel Ehrhart; Samuel; Catherine, wife
of Jesse Lentz, and Noah. Henry Markel died
in 1850 and his wife in 1896.

Noah Markel was educated in the common
schools of Shrewsbury township and worked
out on neighboring farms until he was eigh-
teen years of age, when he became an appren-
tice to the carpenter's trade, which he pursued
in conjunction with bridge building for twen-
ty-one successive years. During one year of
that period he was employed in the car shops
of Billmyer & Small, of York, a firm that has
been engaged in the manufacture of railroad
cars for a great many years. Mr. Markel then
devoted his attention to huckstering and for
thirteen years was thus prosperously engaged.
Then he became convinced that there was a

promising" field in this agricultural section in
the manufacture of fertilizers, and on Dec. i,
1896, he embarked in that line at Seitzland.
His beginning was on a small scale but he has
now the control of a large and constantly in-
creasing trade. His plant, located at Seitz-
land, has been enlarged and his custom is
drawn from all portions of York county. He
understands all the details of the manufacture,
has modern machinery and prepares his prod-
uct in a scientific manner. In addition to
farming a fertile tract of thirty-five acres in
this vicinity, he keeps his plant in operation
throughout the season.

In 1868 Mr. Markel was married to Julia
Shuman, daughter of George Shuman, of Car-
roll county, Md., and they have these children :
James F., Harry A., Edward L., Emmor L.,
Anena B. and Emma K., wife of Harry C.
Neller. For several years Mr. Markel has
been a member of the Reformed Church and
during a part of this period he has been on its
official board. He has taken part in the
township's public affairs, has served as judge
of elections and also as township collector.
Mr. Markel has been connected with the Ma-
sonic fraternity for many years, and belongs
also to the Patriotic Order of Sons of Amer-
ica. He is a man who stands high in the es-
timation of his fellow citizens.

HENRY K. BENTZ, of North Codorus
township, who is engaged in the manufacture
of carpets near Jefferson borough, was born
in North Codorus township March 9, 1854.
son of Michael Bentz.

Andrew Bentz, the great-grandfather of
Henry K., is supposed to have come from Ger-
many to the United States. He was a land-
owner in North Codorus township, where he
died. He was the father of the following
named children : Andrew, George, ^Michael,
Susan, Barbara, Elizabeth, Grace, Bollie and

Michael Bentz, the grandfather of Henry
K., was born in North Codorus township,
where he owned a farm of ninety-five acres,
which he cultivated until he was sixty-five
years of age, when he became blind, but. after
two years of treatment by Dr. Fisher, of York,
he i-ecovered his sight. He died aged eighty
years, and his wife at the age of seventy-five,
I'joth being buried at the Ziegler church. They
had these children : John, ]\Iichael, Jacob. An-



drew, Elizabeth, Peter, Catherine. Becky and

]\Iichael Bentz, the father of Henry K.,
was born in 181 8, and was a farmer and dis-
tiller. He married Eleanor Klinedinst, a
daughter of George Klinedinst. and died on
his farm in 1879, being buried at Ziegler's
church. His widow married (second) Henry
Ramble, who died in 1884. She is now living
in North Codorus township. To Mr. and
Mrs. Bentz were born : George, who married
Katie Lau, and lives in North Codorus town-
ship ; Peter, who runs on a local freight train
from York to Marysville, married to Alverta
]\Iarthenthal], and residing" in York ; Jacob,
Avho died young; and Henry K.

Henry K. Bentz attended the common
schools of North Codorus township until
twenty years of age and then for a short time
worked as a day laborer, later being employed
at the carpet weaving trade with William
Freysinger, of York, with whom he remained
three years ; he then located at his present
place of business. He has twenty-six looms
and employs from fifteen to twenty people in
his factory, which is in dimensions 72x20 feet,
with a 14x34 foot annex, two stories in
height. He finds a ready sale for his goods
throughout Pennsylvania, New York and
Maryland. He is a director and stockholder
of the Codorus Canning Company, and one of
the promoters of that industry. He is a trus-
tee of the cemetery association.

Mr. Bentz married Emma J. Kessler,
daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Brillhart)
Kessler, and to this union have been born :
Alverta, the wife of George Trump, an em-
ployee of Mr. Bentz; and Henry H., who died
at the a'ge of eighteen years. Mr. Bentz is a
Republican, and served as a census taker in
1900. In religious matters he is a member of
the Reformed Church, in which he has been
a deacon and elder. He is connected with the
P. O. S. of A.

Manchester township June 10, 1845, ^ son of
John, a grandson of Rudolph, and a great-
grandson of Casper Lichtenberger.

Rudolph Lichtenberger, the grandfather,
was born May 8, 1797, in Manchester town-
ship, where he died Oct. 20, 1843, aged forty-
six years, five months, twelve daj'S. Like his
father he was a farmer and tanner, owning a

tract of fifty-four acres of the old homestead
farm. There he lived an honest, industrious
life, married and reared an estimable family,
and was laid to rest in the Union cemetery at
Manchester. His wife died April 2, 1836,
aged thirty-seven years and twenty-four days.
She had formerly been Elizabeth Bear, and
was born March 8, 1799. Their children were :
Rudolph, who lives at Sterrett's Gap, Cumber-
land county ; Emanuel, who died in Ohio ;
Catherine, who died in Silver Spring town-
ship, Cumberland county; William, buried at
Union cemetery, and John, whose sketch fol-

John Lichtenberger, the father of Jesse,
was born May 27, 1821, in Manchester town-
ship. His education was the best afforded by
the local schools of his day; his life was
passed in the occupations of farmer and tan-
ner, and he died April 25, 1848, when only
twaity-six years, ten months, two days old.
He married Louise Hoffman, daughter of
Henry and Lovina (Kann) Hoffman, the
latter of whom lived to the unusual age of
ninety-five years. After marriage Mr. and
Mrs. Lichtenberger settled on the old Lichten-
berger farm, upon which the widow continued
to reside one year after the early death of her
husband. She survived until the age of sixty-
two years, and was buried in the Lutheran
cemetery at Manchester, her husband's grave
being in the Union cemetery amid the remains
of his ancestors.

Jesse Lichtenberger was his parents' only
child. His education was gained principally
in the public schools, which he attended tmtil
he was seventeen years of age. after which he
enjoyed one session at the Millersville Normal
school. Prior to settling down to farming, he
taught four terms of school in East Manches-
ter township, one term in Conewago township
and one term in Dover town.ship, meeting
with much success and making many friends.
Tn 1868 he was united in marriage with Eliza
Kohr, a daughter of Henry and Lydia
(Stauffer) Kohr, natives of Manchester town-
ship. Mr. and Mrs. Lichtenberger have had
four children, namely; Ellen J., who is the
wife of Elmer Bahn, resides in North York
borough ; Clara J. is the wife of Harvey Glat-
felter, who is in the marble business in Man-
chester borough; Annie died aged two months;
John married Lottie Bear and lives at North
York. For three years after his marriage Mr.



Lichtenberger was a farmer in Manchester
township and then was a clerk for two years
for G. H. Wolf. In 1899 ^^ bought twenty-
one acres of the old homestead, on which he
has erected some of the finest buildings in the
neighborhood and made excellent, substantial
improvements of all kinds. In addition to his
homestead just mentioned, he owns two other
valuable farms, one of twenty-one acres and
another of fifty-five acres.

In addition to his farming interests, Mr.
Lichtenberger has been a tobacco buyer for M.
H. Engle, of Lancaster, Pa., for the past fif-
teen years, and since February, 1904, has been
in the tobacco business for himself. His office
and warehouses are at Lancaster, and the busi-
ness is conducted under the firm style of J.
Lichtenberger & Co. Since 1903 he has re-
sided in Manchester borough and is considered
one of the leading business men of that locality.

Mr. Lichtenberger is a Republican, and for
years has been very active in the party, by
which he has been honored with office on many
occasions. He has served five terms as school
director, has been township assessor and town-
ship clerk, and for nine years was township
auditor. The duties of these offices have all
been discharged with an eye to the welfare of
the public and with the same business success
which has attended his personal enterprises.
As a citizen no man stands higher in his sec-
tion of the county than does Mr. Lichtenber-
ger. For many years he has been one of the
leading members and active workers, as well
as liberal contributors, of the Lutheran
Church, having served in that body both as
deacon and elder for a long period. It is in-
teresting to thus historically trace the old fam-
ilies of a section and to note how the estimable
characteristics and goodly virtues of the an-
cestors have an influence in shaping the char-
acters of the descendants. The Lichtenber-
gers and Bears of York county are both well
known and most honorable families of the old
Keystone State.

AARON H. CRALEY. The post office
of Craley, named in honor of the family of
that name, was established about a score of
years ago, and Aaron H. Craley has served as
postmaster from the beginning to the present,
while he is known as one of the worthy citi-
zens of York county, with whose history the
name which he bears has been continuouslv

identified from the period of the early pio-

The original progenitor of the Craley fam-
ily in the United States was George Craley,
grandfather of Aaron H. This ancestor was
one of the Hessian soldiers who came to Amer-
ica to assist the British troops in their attempt
to suppress the Revolution. He was stationed
in the State of New York, and it is practically
authenticated that ere the close of the war his
sympathies were so strongly enlisted in the
cause of the struggling patriots that he arrayed
himself in the Continental line, and thereafter
aided in gaining the boon of independence to
the American colonies. After the close of the
war he came to York county. Pa., and settled
in the primitive wilds of what is now Chance-
ford township, his location having been at the
point which was later called New Bridgeville.
He cleared a tract of land in the midst of the
virgin forest, and was numbered among the
representative farmers of the locality and
period. In York county was solemnized his
marriage, and there were born his three chil-
dren, namely: George, father of Aaron H;
Martin, who married a Miss Mitzel, and who
settled and died near New Bridgeville; and
Elizabeth, who died unmarried when well ad-
vanced in years. The grandfather continued
to be identified with agricultural pursuits until
his death, and his widow later contracted a sec-
ond marriage, the name of her second husband
being Baymiller. By this marriage she had
two children : Andrew, who became a success-
ful farmer in Morrow county, Ohio, where he
died at the age of ninety-two years ; and John,
who is a resident of Lower Windsor township,
being nearly four score years of age.

George Craley, the father of Aaron H.,
was born on the old homestead at New
Bridgeville, in 1814, and his educational ad-
vantages were such as were afforded by the
common schools of the localit3-. He early be-
gan to follow the vocation of fishing, drawfng
many a fine catch from the river, and when the
tidewater canal was in process of construction
he conducted a somewhat primitive hotel at
Green Branch, to which place the name of New
Bridgeville was applied at the time the postof-
fice was located there. \M:iIe in the hotel busi-
ness Mr. Craley had the somewhat responsible
task of entertaining as guests about one hun-
dred laborers on the canal, the force being com-
posed principally of Irishmen and Germans. It



may be said that the provender supphed con-
sisted principally of potatoes and whiskey. The
hotel shanty was one hundred feet in length,
and the dining table ran practically the entire
length of the room. At meal time Mr. Craley
would have a bushel of potatoes cooked with-
out removing the skins, and, standing at the
end of the table, would throw the potatoes
along the festal board, each of the guests seiz-
ing his portion. The guests would then re-
spectively circle their potatoes with forefinger
and thumb, and by pressing the tuber through
the grasping digits were able to remove the
peeling or skin. The accommodating landlord
had no little difficulty in maintaing peace-
ful relations among his guests, the impetuous
sons of the Emerald Isle being- ready to fight
a person one moment and die for him the next.
Often when the men would engage in free-for-
all fights Mr. Craley would be compelled to
take his gun and line them up on a long bench,
thereupon giving them the warning that if any
one of them started further altercation he
might expect to receive a ration of powder and
shot. Having thus pacified the belligerents the
landlord would then draw a large bucket of
Avhiskey and serve the men. In that early day
shad-fishing was unexcelled in this section,
enormous quantities being taken from the
river by the use of seines. Mr. Craley con-
ducted this hotel for a period of ten years, con-
tinuing "to live in the locality until he was
about thirty years of age, when he located at
what is now known as Craley, for the purpose
of establishing a hotel at that point. There,
however, he secured a large tract of land and
turned his attention to farming, being the
owner at one time of fully 300 acres of land,
his possessions extending from Craley to the
river. He purchased the property from the
Revnolds family, of Lancaster, who had se-
cured it from the heirs of William Penn. The
tract was covered with a fine growth of hick-
ory and oak timber, and this Mr. Craley cut
and took to the river, where it was transported
on boats to Columbia and there sold to the rail-
road, which was then owned by the State, the
timber being sawed the proper length to serve
as engine fuel, etc. Mr. Craley improved a
fine farm and continued to be here identified
with agricultural pursuits until his death,
which occurred on the old homestead, in June,
1876, in his sixty-third year. He was a
-man of large physical proportions, strong

and \-igorous, and was endowed with those
estimable and amiable attributes which ever
gain to a person the confidence and good will
of his fellowmen. He was well known
throughout the county, and was a man of ster-
ling character and fine mentality. When the
Albrights began the erection of a small church
building near his farm he assisted in the work
and was finally converted, thereafter living in
harmony with the faith which he professed.
He had previously been associated with such
companions as to cause him to become some-
what rough and heedless, but upon his con-
version he determined to withdraw from the
hotel business permanently and to cease sell-
ing whiskey. He identified himself with the
Republican party at the time of its inception,
and ever afterward remained a stalwart sup-
porter of its cause. Mr. Craley was thrice
married. His first wife was a Miss Gable.
She died without issue. His second wife bore
him one child, whose advent resulted in her
death. This child, Ann, became the wife of
Granville Leber. The third wife of Mr. Cra-
ley bore the maiden name of Julia Ann Peters.
She was born in York township, and was
there reared and educated, her father, Henry
Peters, having been a prominent and influen-
tial farmer and a member of one of the old
and honored families of that section. The
maiden name of his wife was Miller. Julia
Ann (Peters) Craley long survived her hon-
ored husband, her death occurring in 1898, at
which time she was more than seventy years
of age. Of her five children Aaron H. is men-
tioned below ; Amos, who married Amelia
Mowry, is a shoemaker by vocation, and re-
sides in Lancaster; Caroline, became the wife
of John Liephart and her death occurred in
Lower Windsor township ; Jeremiah, who mar-
ried Tracy Fry, is engaged in the ginseng busi-
ness at Craley; and Julia Ann, who became
the wife of William Ness, is deceased.

Aaron H. Craley was born on the old home-
stead, March 16, 1845, his birthplace having
been the house first erected by his father after
locating upon the place. He secured his early
educational discipline in the old log school
house, and recalls as one of his first instructors
Joseph Butt; also an Irishman named Demin-
shire, who taught him several terms ; but the
first teacher who accomplished much in the in-
structing of Aaron H. was the late Charles
Fry, of York, who was an able man and one



of sterling character. Mr. Craley continued to
• attend the old home school until he had at-
tained the age of eighteen years, his last
teacher there being William Miller, who is
now a resident of York. Thereafter he at-
tended school in York during se\'eral winter
terms, assisting in the work of the farm dur-
ing the summer seasons.

When about nineteen years of age Mr.
Craley went to Union county, Ohio, then con-
sidered in the far West. He arrived in the
Buckeye State in December, and a farmer of
the county mentioned offered him $25 a month
to feed sheep, being the owner of 2,000 acres
of land on the Darby plains. On the farm
were kept about two thousand sheep, and by
starting early in the morning Mr. Craley was
able usually to complete the feeding before
five o'clock in the afternoon. He remained
thus engaged until April, when another farmer
offered him $30 monthl)', to be increased to
$40 during the harvest season ; and he consid-
ered himself fortunate in commanding such
wages, as the average pay received by farm
hands in Pennsylvania at the time was from
S6 to $8 per month. In the autumn of the
same year he made his initial business experi-
ment in an independent way, going to Morrow
county, Ohio, to visit his uncle, and there in-
vesting his savings, about $40, in apples, which
he shipped to the city of Columbus, where he
sold them at a profit of $30. He then invested
Ills $70 in more apples, upon which he cleared
$150. With his newly acquired fund Mr.
Craley then returned to his home in York
county, where he engaged in the cigar and to-
Ijacco business, opening a small shop at Mar-
tinsville and employing three cigarmakers. Six
months later he removed to Craley, where he
built the residence now occupied by John
Reichard, establishing his shop in the house
•and employing eight hands. Here his first wife
died in 1869, and he later married her sister,
after which he went to the river and built a
house-boat on the canal, fitting up a shop and
increasing his force of workmen to forty-five.
He had manufactured a special wagon, and, in
company with his wife, started to visit the
various towns along the canal, selling his cigars
and tobaccos from his vehicle. The wagon was
transported on his house-boat from one point
to another on the canal, Harrisburg being his
first stopping place. There he would usually
tie up his boat for two days, starting out with

his wagon in the morning and returning at
night. In this way he made his way from town
to town along the canal and river, penetrating
the coal districts and usually being absent ivum
four to six weeks, returning home after dis-
posing of the stock of goods on the boat and
then starting out again. This proved a rather
idyllic method of living and the profits were
of a satisfactory order in a financial way. Mr.
Craley knew every grocer on each side of the
river for a distance of ten miles inland and be-
tween his home and the city of Wilkes-Barre,
and he was well known as the "Dutch Yan-
kee," from the fact that he could usuallv make
a dollar where most men would fail. The
depredations of the ''Molly Maguires" in the
coal regions eventually became so flagrant that
Mr. Craley did not consider it safe to longer
visit that section, as he often found dead men
along the river — victims of the members of the
society mentioned ; so he abandoned his house-
boat and his wagon plan of operations after
a period of six years, his wife having accom-
panied him on his various trips. He reverts to
this period as one of the most pleasing in his
experience. After thus abandoning his boat
he returned to Craley and erected a building for
a cigar factory, later adding a general store,
and further showing his enterprising spirit by
building dwellings for rent. At the present
time he is the owner of seven residence prop-
erties there, besides his own attractive home.
In connection with his cigar business he con-
ducted a general merchandise enterprise for
eighteen years, and at one time his cigar man-
ufactory made shipments into the most diverse
sections of the Union. He has personally
traveled through fifteen or more States in the
interest of his business, and he is known and
honored as a progressive, reliable and honor-
able business man and public-spirited citizen.
He is now living in comparative retirement,
having closed out his cigar manufacturing in

In politics Mr. Craley is a stanch advocate
of the principles of the Republican party, and
is well fortified in matters of politics and re-
ligion. He has a deep reverence for the Chris-
tian verities and spiritual truths, but is not
formally identified with any religious body.

In 1866 Mr. Craley was married to Susan
Poff, who died in August, 1869. In Novem-
ber of that year he married Rebecca Poff. a
sister of his first wife, and their wedded life



extended over a period of thirty-three years.
She was summoned into eternal rest Sept. lo,
1903. Mr. Craley's third marriage was to
Miss Mary Frantz, of Mecca, Ind., a well edu-
cated and accomplished young lady. John C. H.
Frantz, father of Mrs. Craley, was a valiant
soldier in the Union army during the entire
course of the Civil war, after which he was
for five years engaged in Indian fighting in the
West. He is now passing the closing years of
his life in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Craley have
one child, Aaron J.

FRANK C. WERNER, a contractor and
builder residing at No. 855 South Queen street,
York, has won success in the fifteen years he
has been in business for himself. A native of
York, Mr. Werner was born Oct. 23, 1865, son
of William and Louise (Schotte) Werner.

William Werner and his wife were natives
of Hanover, Germany, and came to America
at the ages of twenty and fourteen, respect-
ively. Mr. Werner went directly to York after
landing and has resided there ever since, en-
gaged in shoemaking. Like his wife he became
a member of St. John's German Lutheran
Church. He had reached the ripe age of sev-
enty-seven, when his wife, twelve years his
junior, was taken from him by death, the sad
event occurring April 15, 1905. They had only
two children — William, a machinist in York,
and Frank.

Frank C. Werner was educated in the pub-
lic schools of York and then learned his
trade as a mechanic and carpenter under Na-
thaniel Weigel (deceased), one of the masters
of his craft, and from whom Mr. Werner se-
cured an unusually thorough training. He be-
gan with Mr. Weigel in 1882, and remained
under him till the latter retired in 1890, and
then engaged in contracting on his own ac-
count. Starting at the very bottom with no
capital, he at first carted his lumber on a small
"go-cart," but his untiring efforts met with de-
served reward, and he now does an extensive
business. He employs twenty-five carpenters
and does most satisfactory work, for his eye
is constantly on the construction in hand to in-

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 146 of 201)