George R. Prowell.

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age noted he accompanied his parents on their
removal to the farm in Lower Windsor town-
ship, York county, where he reached mamiood,
assisting in the work of the farm during the
sumnier seasons and attending the district
school during the winter terms until he had at-
tained to the age of eighteen years ; his instruc-
tor during" his final school work was Samuel
A. Gilbert, one of the county's representative
citizens. Mr. Heim continued to assist his
father in the work of the farm until he was
twenty-two years old, when (in 1885) he was
married and started his independent career. He
devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits
in Lower Windsor township for the ensuing
five years, and then purchased the hotel at East
Pi^ospect, which he successfully conducted for
four years, at the expiration of which he sold
the property to J. F. Bossum. During the fol-
lowing year Mr. Heim was not actively en-



gaged in business, but in 1896 became the pro-
prietor of a bakery in East Prospect, succeed-
ing to the business formerly conducted by H.
E. Gresser. He built up the enterprise and
made it one of the leading concerns of the sort
in this section, continuing to conduct it for
six years and then advantageously disposing
of the business. He next established himself
in the grocery business, purchasing the building
which he now occupies, and with this enterprise
he has since been successfully identified, having
a large and well appointed store in which are
handled staple and fancy groceries and table
delicacies, ice cream and confectionery, the
two lines last mentioned being made a promi-
nent feature of the business. Mr. Heim has
ever pursued a straightforward course, has
shown marked discrimination and ability and
has been at all times a loyal and progressive
citizen, so that it has been but a natural sequel
that he has retained the good-will and high re-
gard of those with whom he has been asso-
ciated. In politics he is stanchly Democratic,
but he has never been ambitious to hold office,
and fraternally he is identified with Winona
Lodge, No. 944, I. O. O. F., of which he is
past grand and with Aurora Lodge, No. 304,
Jr. O. U. A. M. He was reared in the faith
of the Lutheran Church, and his wife is an ac-
tive member of that denomination.

On Sept. 2j, 1885, Mr. Heim was united
in marriage to Emma S. Leber, of Windsor
township, the ceremony being performed at
Wrightsville, by Rev. Levi Seachrist, pastor of
the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Heim was born
and reared in Windsor township, daughter of
Nathaniel and Julia (Hengst) Leber, both of
whom are now deceased. Her father was a
tanner by trade and a man of prominence in
his community, as is indicated by the fact that
he served a term as a member of the board of
commissioners of York county. Mr. and Mrs.
Heim have no children.

JAMES H. BLASSER is a representative
of one of the sterling pioneer families of York
county. His great-great-grandfather, Peter
Blasser, was a Mennonite clergvman who left
Switzerland in 1754, on account of religious
persecution, and emigrated to America, locating"
in York county, where he passed the remainder
of his long and noble life and where many of his
descendants are to be found today. John Blas-
ser, grandfather of James H., passed his entire

life in York county. He owned and operated a
fulling mill and an oil mill, the latter being
utilized for the manufacture of linseed oil. He
was a prominent and influential citizen and
commanded uniform esteem in the community
where he lived and labored to such worthy ends.

George Blasser, father of James H., was a
cabinetmaker by trade, and followed that oc-
cupation for many years in Shrewsbury in con-
nection with the undertaking business. He fin-
ally became a farmer and the owner of the fine
estate known as Woodlands, at Shrewsbury,
where he died Dec. 24, 1875, ^t the age of six-
ty-six years. His wife, whose maiden name
was Elizabeth Klinefelter, was born in Shrews-
bury, daughter of Joseph Klinefelter, a well
known tanner of that place. She is now de-
ceased. In the family were eleven children, of
whom five are living, namely : Mary, wife of
Thomas Benton, who is engaged in the insur-
ance business in York ; Susan R. ; Amelia, wife
of John Singer, of York; Emma R., wife of
Henry Gray, a farmer of near Earned, Kans. ;
and James H.

James H. Blasser was born in Shrewsbury
township, York county, Aug. 9, 1831, and, af-
ter having passed through the common schools
of the locality, enjoyed the further advantage
of receiving instruction under the Rev. An-
drew Berg, a clergyman of the Lutheran
Church. Somewhat later he assumed- the study
of medicine, ha^•ing as his preceptor Dr. James
H. Sterner, of Baltimore, and he finally entered
the Medical Department of the L'niversity of
Maryland, from which he was graduated with
the degree of M. D. The practice of medicine,
however, proved distasteful to him, and he has
given little attention to professional work.
Upon his return to York county he engaged in
teaching, continuing to follow the pedagogic
profession most successfully from 1854 until
1861, when he responded to the higher demands
of patriotism. On Aug. 19, 1861, ]\Ir. Blasser
enlisted as a private in Company D, 87th P. V.
I., which was the first command to leave York
county for the front. He was made first ser-
geant in his company, and served as such until
Alay 9, 1862. when he was promoted to be sec-
ond lieutenant, while Oct. 25th of the same
year he was made first lieutenant. On May
10, 1863, Lieut. Blasser was promoted to the
captaincy of his company, and he continued in
that position until March 9, 1864, when he re-
signed from the service and received his honor-



able dischai-ge. His regiment was assigned to
the Army of the Potomac, and participated in a
number of the important engagements of the
great conflict, Capt. Blasser's mihtar}' record
being that of a vahant, loyal and faithful son of
the republic.

After his return home Captain Blasser be-
came a surveyor and civil engineer, following
that profession until 1873, when he was made
deputy prothonotary of York county, serving
thus for five years, when he was made court
crier and interpreter of German. After accep-
tably and ably serving in this dual office about
six years he became bookkeeper in the local of-
fice of the Standard Oil Company, hold-
ing the position twelve years, after which
he was a clerical assistant in the office of
the A. B. Farquhar Company for three years.
At the expiration of this interval, April 6, 1902,
he was most consistently given appointment to
the office of deputy city controller, and his serv-
ices have been most faithfully performed. He
is well known throughout the county and his
coterie of friends is limited only by that of his
acquaintances. In politics Capt. Blasser has
ever accorded a stalwart allegiance to the Re-
publican party, and both, he and his wife are
prominent and zealous members of the First
]\I. E. Church, of York, in which he served as
trustee and class-leader for many years. He
is an honored and appreciative member of the
time-honored order of Freemasonry, in which
he has attained to the thirty-second degree of
the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

On March 5, 1857, was solemnized the mar-
riage of Capt. Blasser to Miss Louise Conway,
a daughter of Henry Conway, who was a rep-
resentative farmer of Shrewsbury township,
and three sons were born of this union : Guy,
who died in infancy; Oscar L., who married
Virginia Brocker, and died in Chambersburg,
Pa., in February, 1903, as a result of a fracture
of the skull, being survived by his wife and five
children; and Walter K., the only surviving
son, who is a printer by vocation and resides
in York.

JOHN S. KEESEY, of East Hopewell
township, York county, residing on his farm of
sixty acres, is descended from one of three-
brothers who came to America from Switzer-
land, settling in a Swiss colony in Delaware.
Grandfather Jacob Keesey married and reared
a family, among whose members was Jacob,

who was born in Hopewell township. In early
life he learned milling and followed this occu-
pation most of his life. John S. Keesey was
born on a farm in Hopewell township, Aug.
27, 1848. He received a common-school edu-
cation, finishing it when nineteen years of age.
He spent seven years in Chanceford township,
and learned the carpenter's trade with Jesse
Warner, with whom' he remained two years.
It may be said that he never served an appren-
ticeship, learning so rapidly that he was a wage-
earner almost from the first. His next em-
ployer, for nearly a year, was John M. Baugh-
man, of Lancaster. He was with Archie Hy-
son nearly seven years, building the Stewarts-
town church, the Lutheran church in Shrews-
bury, and the edifice at New Freedom, a fine
church structure near Cockeysville, Md., and
one at Bentley's Spring-s. He also assisted in
the erection of several fine houses and barns.
After leaving Mr. Hyson's emploj' he was an
independent builder for a time, and then, about
1890, began operating a small farm of twenty-
two acres in East Hopewell township. In
1893, after the death of his father, he pur-
chased the homestead, which was sold at a pub-
lic sale. The tract comprises sixty acres of
good land, upon which Mr. Keesey carries on
general farming in a very successful manner.
In 1877 Mr. Keesey was married to J.
Agnes Hyson, daughter of Robert Hyson (de-
ceased), and to this union have been born:
Lawrence H., born Dec. 2, 1878, educated in
the public schools, the Stewartstown academy
and Millersville Normal, and for the past four
years a teacher in the public schools ; Foster W..
born Sept. 3, 1881, preparing to be a teacher
at Millersville Normal school; and Mabel L.
C, who is at the same institution. The family
are members of the Hopewell U. P. Church, in
which Mr. Keesey has been a trustee for thir-
teen years, the last eight of which have been
consecutive. He is a stanch Democrat, served
in old, Hopewell as tax collector for two years,
and has been assessor in East Hopewell town-

HENRY M. RAUHAUSER was born in
1852 in Dover township, son of Henry Rauhau-
ser. Jacob Rauhauser, his great-grandfather,
was born in Germany, and coming to America
was among the early settlers of Dover town-
ship, York Co., Pa. There he took up a large
tract of land which he farmed until his death,


and his remains are buried at Strayer's church,
in Dover township.

Peter Rauhauser, the grandfather of Henry
M., was born in Dover township and engaged
in farming upon his father's tract, erecting a
fine set of buildings-and hving there all his life.
He is buried in the U. B. churchyard near
Dover. The children born to him and his wife
were : Peter, who died in Ohio ; Joshua, who
died in Maryland ; Henry, the father of Henry
M. ; and Joel, who died in Iowa.

Henry Rauhauser was born in Dover town-
ship, where he was reared and educated, work-
ing on the family farm. Later he removed to
a small farm of thirty acres, and he spent his
entire life in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Rau-
hauser died at the age of sixty-five years, four
months, five days, and is buried at Neiman's
church. He married Emeline Misenhelder,
daughter of Daniel Misenhelder, whose wife's
maiden name was Zinn. Mrs. Rauhauser is now
residing with her son Henry M. at the age of
eighty-three years. Two children were born
to this worthy couple : Henry M. and Chris-
tiana, the latter dying at the age of four years
and being buried at the United Brethren church
in this township.

Henry M. Rauhauser attended the public
scnools of his township and worked for his
father until his marriage, June 9, 1872, to
Emma Jane Doll, daughter of Michael and
Leah (Rafifensberger) Doll, of Dover town-
ship. Both Mr. and Mrs. Doll are deceased
and are buried at Strayer's church. After his
marriage Mr. Rauhauser located on the old
homestead, where he remained five years, and
then upon his father's death removed to the
small farm, where he lived two years, returning
at the end of this time to the old home, and re-
siding there for twelve years. He sold ofi all
the stock and lived for four years with his son-
in-law. Mr. Rauhauser has built substantial
buildings on his farm and the place is noted for
its beauty. In 1901 he bought a home in Dover
borough, where he now resides, actively en-
gaged in horse and cattle dealing. He owns
two farms comprising 266 acres of fine land in
Dover township, besides other properties.

To Mr. and Mrs. Rauhauser the following
named children have been born : Martha
Agnes married Henry D. Straver and they live
on the old homestead in Dover township, and
have one daughter, Mabel Ellen ; Cora Ellen,
married to James J. Hamm, lives on her
father's other farm in Dover township.

Mr. Rauhauser is a stanch Republican and
deeply interested in his party's success. He
has always been a man of industrious habits
and the result is shown in his present sounci
financial condition. He is highly respecLed in
Dover township. Mrs. Rauhauser is a mem-
ber of the Reformed Church.

JACOB CONLEY, whose ninety-eight-
acre farm in Newberry township, York coun-
ty, is one of the finest in that section, was born
Xov. 5, 185 1, in Manchester township, on the
old Loucks fami, son of Samuel and Elizabeth
(Plymire) Conley.

Joseph Conley, grandfather of Jacob, was a
shoemaker residing near ElizabethtoNyn, Lan-
caster county, and he died when a young man.
leaving these children: Samuel; William, liv-
ing in Fairview township, at the age of eightv-
seven years; and Elizabeth, who married
Thomas Kohr and died in Dauphin countv.

Samuel Conley was born in Lancaster coun-
ty, near Elizabethtown, and was four years old
when his father died. He came to York when a
small boy and learned the weaver's trade, which
he pursued for about twenty-eight years, near
Emigsville. His wife was Elizabeth Plymire.
daughter of John Plymire, who died in 1874
and is buried at Miller's cemetery in Xewberrv
township. Mr. Conley commenced farming in
Manchester township, where he remained two
years, and spent the same length of time in
Conewago township, after which he returned
to Manchester township, where he remained ten
years. He then located in Newberry township
and bought the old David Bryan farm, wirich
consists of about ninety acres, where he is still
residing, aged eighty-four years. For several
years Mr. Conley has lived in retirement, and
is universally honored and respected. The chil-
dren born to him and his worthy wife were;
Mary lives at Goldsboro, the widow of David
Prowell, who died in 1888; Sarah married Ja-
cob Fink and they are both deceased : Jacob :
Samuel, Jr., died in 1864; Elizabeth married
Henry Rebman, deceased, and she now live^
with her father ; Annie lives in Fairview town-
ship, the widow of Alexander Stettler. who
died in 1904; Alice married Clayton Groom,
and lives at Goldsboro borough ; Henry died at
home; Eli married Sarah Strickland, and lives
at New Cumberland, Cumberland countv: and
John, who married Clara Frey, resides at the
same place.

Jacob Conley came to Newberry township



at the age of nine years, and with his father
learned the carpenter's trade, which he fohowed
about li\'e years and then commenced farming.
Mr. Conley bought his present homestead of
ninety-eight acres in 1881, where he erected
ah of his buildings ; he also owns a farm of
133 acres which his son Samuel is working.
Further, Mr. Conley is the owner of a fine piece
of woodland, which consists of sixteen acres.
In every respect he is a yery successful farmer;
but the success he has attained only through
years of hard work. His buildings are mod-
ern, well-built structures, his land is highly
■cultivated and very productive, and his farms
well situated and capably managed.

On Nov. 19, 1S74, Mr. Conley married
Frances Detwiler, daughter of Elias and Fran-
ces (Gotwals) Detwiler, who are descendants
of pioneer families of the county. The
children born to Mr. and Mrs. Conley have
been: Samuel D.. born in 1875, married
Emma Fisher, and is working one of his
lather's farms ; Floward, married Carrie Betz,
and is farming in Newberry township; Elias
resides in Dauphin county; Elizabeth, at home;
Charles, in Illinois; James, at home; Jacob,
resides with his brother Samuel ; Susan, mar-
ried Charles Cullinder,* of New Cumberland ;
Mary, Joseph, Frances, Katie and Sarah, all
at home.

Mr. Conley is a Democrat, and has been
school director six years and has also held the
ofifice of supervisor. Mrs. Conley is a valued
member of the Dunkard Church. The family
is very highly esteemed in the community.

BENJAMIN MITTEL is the owner, and
operator of the Margaretta Furnace flouring
mill, in Lower Windsor township, which is one
of the most interesting and ancient landmarks
of that section of the State, having been erected
nearly a century ago, and having been in active
service as a flouring mill during practically the
entire intervening period. The original por-
tion of the structure was erected by Henry Y.
Slaymaker, who was a prominent and honored
pioneer of the county, and since his time two
additions have been made to the building, while
as a matter of course, there have been numer-
ous changes in the mechanical equipment and in
the remodeling of the interior. The last' addi-
tion was made in 1841. In the ownership of
the property the firm of Kerns, Himes & Kerns
succeeded the original proprietor in 1867, ac-

quiring the mill at sheriff's sale, the incumbent
of the shrievalty at the time being Jesse Engles.
Later \Villiam D. Himes became the owner of
the property, operating the mill for a number of
years, and from the executors of his estate the
present owner purchased the mill, in 1897, to-
gether with fifty-two acres of land surround-
ing- it. He has since profitably operated the
mill, securing an excellent custom trade and
also shipping a considerable portion of the
product of the mill (whose capacity is thirty
barrels). It may be added that the machinery
and operating accessories are of the best mod-
ern type. The little farm in connection is main-
tained under a high state of cultivation, while
it has substantial improvements, including a
commodious and attractive residence. Mr. Mit-
tel gives practically his entire time and atten-
tion to the supervision of this property, and is
recognized as a most progressive, reliable and
straightforward business man and as a loyal
and public-spirited citizen. He is possessed
also of those personal attributes and social
qualities which ever beget warm and lasting-

Mr. Mittel is a native son of the old Key-
stone State, having been born in West Lamjje-
ter townshipc Lancaster county, Feb. 12, 1861,
son of Michael and Catherine (Mowrer) Mit-
tel, the former of whom was born in Germany
and the latter in Lancaster county, this State.
Michael Mittel was reared and educated in the
Fatherland, where he remained until he had
attained the age of eighteen years, when he
came to America. Having previously learned
the trade of stonemason, he located in Lancas-
ter county and there followed his trade for
many years,^ becoming a successful contractor
and identified with much important work in his
line. He is now living retired, in Lancaster
county, and is past eighty-five years of age.
His devoted wife remains by his side, and they
find the evening of their lives crowned with
content, peace and happiness. They became
the parents of seven children, namely : Elam,
who died at the age of sixteen years ; Amos,
who died in 1902; Jacob, who is a resident of
Coatesville, Chester county; Benjamin, the
fourth child, whose biography follows ; Annie,
who is the wife of John Pleam, of Lancaster ;
William, who resides in Downingtown, Pa.,
and Michael, Jr., who resides in Lancaster.

Benjamin Mittel was reared to manhood in
his native county, reaching maturity on the



farm owned and conducted by his father and
early beginning to assist in its work, while his
education was gained in the public schools. He
continued to be identified with the work of the
farm the major portion of the time until he
was nearly twenty-one years of age, though he
began working at the miller's trade when eigh-
teen years old and became thoroughly compe-
tent in that vocation, having served his appren-
ticeship under John W. Eshelman, of Lancas-
ter, Pa. Mr. Mittel was for one and one-half
years employed as a journeyman miller in the
Safe Harbor mills at Safe Harbor, and at
Salunga, Lancaster county, for three years. He
then came to York county and \vas for three
years employed in the William Strickler mill,
in Hellam township, and from 1888 to 1897
rented the property which he purchased in the
latter year and still owns. In connection with
this industry Mr. Mittel has a cider mill and
does custom-grinding of apples, his output for
1903 being 54,000 gallons.

In politics Mr. Mittel in an uncompromising
and ardent s'upporter of the Republican party
and has been an active worker in its local
ranks; he has served as township auditor and
committeeman. He is affiliated with Winona
Lodge, No. 944, I. O. O. F., at East Prospect,
being a past grand, and in the same town is
identified with Aurora Council, No. 304, Junior
Order of United American Mechanics.

In Lower \\'indsor township, Feb. 2, 1890,
Mr. iMittel was united in marriage to Mary
Blessing, who was born and reared in that
township, daughter of John and Rebecca
(Dietz) Blessing, representative citizens of
that section of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Mit-
tel have two children, Elmer and Benjamin, Jr.

GEORGE BOWER, of Fairview town-
ship, York county, was bom May 12, 1850, in
Conewago township. He was nine years of
age when he went to Newberry township with
his parents and until his majority attended the
township schools. He assisted in building the
house, where his brother Howard now li\'es.
On Dec. 25, 1873, Mr. Bower married Lurinda
Miller, born in 1854 in Fairview township,
daughter of Jonas and Nancy (Berger) Miller.
Mr. Miller was born at Shrewsbury, but was a
farmer in Fairview township until his death on
May 8, 1889. His wife survived him until
1896, and both are buried at the Mt. Zion
Church, Fairview township.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bower
located near Lewisberr}-, in Newberry town-
ship, on the Jacob Garretson farm, remaining
there one year, after which Air. Bower operated
his father-in-law's farm lor four years, and
afterward, for three years, the tract owned by
Isaac Rudisill in the same township. He then
located at Steelton where he was engaged in the
steel plant for one year, later returning to his
father-in-law's farm, where he remained seven
years. When the property was sold Mr.
Bower went to Lewisberry, where he remained
five years, in 1896 buying his father-in-law's
farm. It consists of 143 acres of land situated
near Lewisberry, and there he has since re-
sided. He attends the Harrisburg market and
is one of the most up-to-date farmers of the
upper end of York county. Since taking pos-
session of the farm he has greatly impro\'ed it,
and it is^iow one of the most productive tracts
in the community. In politics ]Mr. Bower is a
Democrat, and, although always ready to do
his duty as a citizen, has steadily refused to
accept office. To Mr. and Mrs. Bower the fol-
lowing children have been born : Harry, died
at the age of two years and is buried at Mt.
Zion cemetery; Margaret, married Jacob Zim-
merman of New Cumberland, Cumberland
county : Charles, a bookkeeper of Lancaster
City, married Mary Beelman, of Dillsburg, and
they reside in Lancaster, at No. 420 Lancaster

grain, coal, fertilizers, flour, feed, salt, seed and
general merchandise, at Nashville, Jackson
township, was born in York county, in West
Manchester, March 13, 1869, son of George
W. and Sarah Emig Sprenkle.

(I) George Sprenkle, his great-great-
grandfather, emigrated from German}- at a
very early day, and probably settled in York

(II) George Sprenkle (2), son of George,
was a Alennonite in religious faith. He was
buried at the Codorus graveyard.

(III) David Sprenkle, son of George (2),
was a nati\'e of York county, born in West
Manchester, in 1800, and died on his farm in
1884, being buried in the Codorus graveyard,
at Baer's meeting-house. Both he and his wife

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 149 of 201)