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a carpenter by trade and followed it for a num-
ber of years, after which he went into business
in Pinetown making grain cradles, and passed
the rest of his life there. He married Miss
Catherine Burns, born in 1805, daughter of
Thomas and Mary (Fisher) Burns, and then-
married life stretched out happily till April 5,
1889, when Mr. Laird passed away to be fol-
lowed by his wife, Sept. 15, 1890. Both are
buried in the graveyard of Moore's Church m
Fairview. township. Mr. Laird was for much
of his life a member of the Church of God and
assisted in building the church near which he
now rests, but later in life he joined the Metho-
dist Church, in which he was very active. The
children of this union were: Washington;
Mary, who died unmarried and is buried at
Moore's Church; Elizabeth, the wife of Daniel
Good, both now deceased ; Thomas, born April
5, 1834. who died in 1838 and was the second
person to be interred in the graveyard of
Emanuel Church; William B., born May 11,
1839, ■^'^'l'"^ married Miss Beckie Strominger,
and died in Fairview township; and John B.,
a farmer at Pinetown, who married (first)
Miss Elton Beck, and (second) Miss Malinda
Richard.

Washington Laird was born in Pinetown,



Fairview township, March 4, 1827, and until
he was sixteen attended school at Pinetown
and at the Moore school. After reaching that
age, he worked for various farmers until Oct.
16, 1856, when he married and settled at Pine-
town, where he bought the Samuel Laird prop-
erty and has made it his home ever since. Mr.
Laird's principal occupation, however, has been
putting up post fences, a business he has carried
on for about thirty-two years in Cumberland,
Dauphin and York counties, and in which he
has been very successful. During the last six
years, however, his active life has been greatly
curtailed by attacks of rheumatism, and he lives
in retirement. Since 1865 Mr. Laird has been
a member 'of the Evangelical Church and has
been very prominent in its work, serving as
class leader and chorister. He is a fine violin-
ist, and is also endowed with a wonderful mem-
ory. In politics he is a Republican.

Mr. Laird chose for his wife Miss Chris-
tiana Oberholtzer, of Harrisburg, who was the
daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Kann)
Oberholtzer, and the others in the family were
Elizabeth, Christian, Thomas, George, Wil-
liam, Sarah and Mary. The union of Mr. and
Mrs. Laird was blessed with four children,
namely: Cecilia, born Aug. 22, 1857, who
died early in life; Mary, Aug. 2, 1861, who at-
tended the Wellsville and Rossville graded
schools, and is now teaching in Fairview town-
ship, having, had fourteen terms experience ;
Elizabeth, March 26, 1866, who married John
A. Hoffman and lives in Fairview township;
and Edward, born Dec. 13, 1868, who died in
1873 and is buried in the Moore's Church
graveyard. The mother of this family was
taken away Sept. 27, 1904, and her remains
rest at Emanuel Church.

WILLIAM BLYMIRE, a lifelong resi-
dent of York county and a representative of
one of the sterling pioneer families of this sec-
tion of Pennsylvania, has attained to a position
of prominence in connection with industrial
activities, and is honored as one of the genial
and whole-souled citizens of his native county,
having an attractive home in Dallastown,
York township, where he is now living prac-
tically retired, enjoying the rewards of his
manv years of earnest toil and endeavor.

Mr. Blymire was born in York township,
June 27, 1 83 1, and is a grandson of Martin
Blymire, who was of stanch German lineage



BIOGRAPHICAL



8ii



and who came to York county, settling in the
vicinity of Innes mill, in York township, where
he took up a large tract of land, becoming one
of the prosperous farmers and influential citi-
zens of this section^ and operating a flaxseed
oil mill on his farm for many years. He died
on the home place at the age of fifty-one years,
and his remains were laid to rest in the ceme-
tery of the Blymire Church, in York town-
ship. This church was named in his honor,
and to secure its erection he donated forty acres
of land, while he otherwise rendered material
aid in the temporal and spiritual affairs of the
church, of which both he and his wife were
zealous and devoted members. His wife rests
by his side in the cemetery mentioned. Of
their children John died in this county : Simon,
father of our subject, is further mentioned in
another paragraph; one daughter became the
wife of a Mr. Smuck and died in this county;
another became the wife of John Inness, and
both died in York township ; and a third, who
was the wife of George Ruker, died in the same
township, and is buried in the Blymire church
cemetery.

Simon Blymire, the honored father of the
subject of this review, was born on the old
homestead farm, in York township, June 7,
1805, and was here reared to manhood, receiv-
ing a common-school education. In his youth
he learned the trade of wagonmaking, which
he followed for some time on the old home
farm. Finallj^ he came to what is now the vil-
lage of Dallastown, purchasing thirty-seven
acres of land, for a consideration of three hun-
dred dollars, and upon the same erecting the
first house of the embryonic village. He plat-
ted eighteen lots on his land and disposed of
the same for prices ranging from five to eleven
dollars. One lot was sold for six dollars, and
many years later the same was sold for four-
teen hundred dollars. Mr. Blymire continued
to be activelv engaged in the work of his trade
as long as his health permitted, and he died at
the age of fifty-two years, interment being made
in the Blymire cemetery. He wss a prominent
and valued member of the Blymire church, tak-
ing an active part in the various branches of its
work and holding various official positions,
while he also served as leader of the congrega-
tional singing for a number of years. The
maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth Swartz,
and she likewise was born in York township,
being a daughter of one of the honored pio-



neers of this county. She died June 21, 1852,
and was laid to rest in the Blymire church
cemetery. Of the children of this worthy
couple, Emanuel died unmarried as a result
of sunstroke received while in the hay-
field ; William was next in the order
of birth ; Sarah, who became the wife of Jacob
Wolf, died in March, 1904, and is buried at
Green Hill church, in York township; Caro-
line, wife of Jacob Summers, died young and
is buried at Winterstown, this county; Charles
met his death by drowning, in New Jersey,
when eighteen years of age ; Elizabeth, wife
of George Wolf, died young, and is interred
in Hellam township ; Josiah, a bachelor, resides
with his nephew, Hillary Blymire, in York
township.

William Blymire, to whom this sketch is
dedicated, secured his early educational train-
ing in the somewhat primitive schools of York
township in the days long past, said schools
having mostly been maintained on the subscrip-
tion plan. He continued his studies under
these conditions until he was about fifteen
years old, when he entered upon a definite ap-
prenticeship at the trade of wagonmaking. un-
der the effective direction of his father, who
was at that time still living on the old home
farm. He continued to work at his trade after
the family removed to Dallastown, where he
became the owner of one of the village lots
platted by his father. He finally sold this lot
for sixteen dollars, which sum he forthwith ap-
plied on the purchase price of seventy-two
acres of land in York township, where he de-
voted his attention to farming up to the time of
the Civil war. He was drafted for service in
the Union army, but family affairs were in such
condition that it was practically impossible for
him to go to the front, so that he employed a
substitute to take his place, though this action
compelled him to sacrifice his farm, which he
was compelled to sell in order to raise the neces-
sary funds. He then purchased a small piece
of land at Dallastown, erected a shop on the
same, and there continued to be engaged in the
vvork of his trade until the close of the war.
He then purchased a farm of seventy-nine
acres from Jacob Mitzer in the borough of Dal-
lastown, and he forthwith instituted the im-
provement of the property — remodeling the
dwelling and erecting a fine barn. There he
continued to be enga.sred in agricultural pur-
suits until the death of his first wife, in 1883,



8l2



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



when he disposed of his property and went to
New Jersey, where he remained about two
years, devoting his attention principally to
work at the millwright's trade. Returning to
Dallastown, he purchased a considerable tract
of land whereon he erected ten of the earliest
houses "built there, including his present at-
tractive residence. He later disposed of eight
of these residence properties, but continued to
be prominently identified with the material up-
building and civic affairs of the borough. He
erected a fine laundry, which he later converted
into a desirable residence, which he sold. In
politics 'Mr. Blymire has ever accorded a stanch
support to the principles and policies of the
Democratic party, and while he has never been
a seeker of public office, he has been ■ called
upon to serve in such local positions of trust
as tax collector and member of the school board
of his borough. He and his wife are promi-
nent and zealous members of the United
Brethren Church in Dallastown. Of the
I'rothers and sisters of our subject (supple-
menting that entered in a preceding para-
graph) : Emanuel was born Nov. 20, 1829;
Sarah, Oct. 24, 1833: Charles, Jan. 22, 1836;
Caroline, Oct. 12. 1837; Elizabeth, July 3,
1840; Josiah, July 9, 1843.

Mr. Blymire was married to Miss Rebecca
Hartman, born in York township, Feb. 10,
1834, and died Sept. 29, 1883. Her father,
Jonathan Hartman, was a sterling pioneer
farmer of York township. The death of Mrs.
Blymire was the result of organic disease of
the heart, and her remains were laid to rest in
the Union cemetery in York township. Of the
children of this union we enter the following
brief record of those still living: Hillary J.,
who married Catherine Synder, and had eleven
children, purchased his father's farm and is de-
voting himself to the management of the prop-
erty: Larena became the wife of John W.
Druck. who died in 1901, and she is now living
in Dallastown (she had five children) ; Wil-
liam, who married Anna Grothe. and had six
children, is a resident of York, and is engaged
in dealing in horses : Elizabeth likewise resides
in the citv of York; Ida is the wife of William
McDowell, of Dallastown, and the mother of
seven children ; Lawrence, who married Annie
Sechrist, and has four children, resides in Dal-
lastown : and Rebecca is the wife of Oran
Reachard, of York, and has had two children.
Following is a record concerning the deceased



children: Cyrus,- born Feb. 15, 1870, died
June 17, 1882; Henrietta J. died April 23,
1865, at the age of eleven years, five months
and twenty-six days; Barbara Ellen died Oct.
28, 1856, aged one year and twenty days;
Isabella died Dec. 15, 1859, aged two years;
Minnie AL, born May 15, 1874, died April 3,
1876; and Cassy Ann, died Sept. 25, i863,aged
one year and twenty-nine days. There are
eight great-grandchildren.

On Sept. 27, 1885, Rev. J. P. Smith, pas-
tor of the United Brethren Church at Dallas-
town, solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bly-
mire to Mrs. Amelia Spotz, the widow of Ben-
jamin Spotz, who died in Dallastown, in 1885,
interment being made in the cemetery of the
United Brethren church. Of his children Laura
is the wife of Jacob Miller, of York; Emma is
the wife of P. Hildebrand, of Dallastown;
Fred, a graduate of the Dallastown high
school, married Miss May Dougherty, and his
death occurred in January, 1902, his remains
being laid to rest in the United Brethren ceme-
tery. No children have been born of our sub-
ject's second marriage.

WILLIAM N. KLINE, senior member of
the well-known contracting and building firm
of Kline & Flohr. of York, Pa., and a very
highly esteemed citizen of that city, was born
in Lancaster county. Pa., Dec. 11, 1836, son of
Michael Kline.

Michael Kline in his early manhood fol-
lowed farming. He later took up teaming as
an occupation, and then found employment
tending the locks near Middletown, on the
Susquehanna river. He died aged eighty years,
and was buried at Highspire, Dauphin county.
He was three times married, but his first wife's
name is not known. His second wife was Mary
Nauman, who became the mother of our sub-
ject, and of Frederick. Mr. Kline's third wife
was a Mrs. Simmons, and they had a family of
nine children, all now deceased as far as
"known.

William N. Kline is a self-made man. He
was bound out at the age of seven years to
Samuel Nisley, and he remained with him until
fourteen years of age, receiving but a few
weeks schooling each year. When a lad of
sixteen years, he had a fall, in a stubble field,
injuring his hearing. When nineteen years
old he went to the wagon making trade in Lan-
caster county, with John Moyer, and at that



BIOGRAPHICAL



813



he continued for tliree years, after which he
was employed at the Mount Joy car shops, at
carpentering, and there remained seven years.
At the outbreak of the Civil war, Mr. Kline
wished to enlist, but his defective hearing pre-
vented this, although he served in the quarter-
master's department at W'ashington, and was
at one time called on to select a gang of fifty
men to take to Tennessee to construct bridges.
He was employed at this for two years, often
being between the fighting lines of the two
armies. After the war Mr. Kline located at
Harrisburg, and was employed at the car shops,
holding the ofiice of assistant foreman, later
becoming foreman. One year later he resigned
this position to go to Erie with the Pennsyl-
vania & Erie railroad as a mechanic, and while
in their employ built the fine ofiice at Erie. He
then returned to Harrisburg and engaged in
carpentering and contracting, later removing to
New Cumberland, Cumberland county, where
he resided twenty years. It has often been said
that while in Cumberland county, Mr. Kline
built every other house erected there. In 1897
he came to York, where he is now engaged in
business with J. W. Flohr.the firm being
known as Kline & Flohr. They are doing a
very large and profitable business, and at
present are engaged in erecting an annex to the
First Evangelical Church, and in the spring
erected a new Evangelical Church at the east
end of York.

Mr. Kline married Miss Catherine Kauft'-
man, daughter of Christian Kaufifman, a
United Brethren clergyman for thirty years
near Annville, Lebanon county, and to this
union have been bom two children : Annie
Mary, who married John Seider, and lives with
her parents ; and Horace C, who is in the real
estate business at Altoona.

Mr. Kline is a Republican in politics, and
in New Cumberland, Cumberland county,
served as notary public eight years, as justice
of the peace five years, and as chief burgess two
years. He is a stanch LTnion man, and is
greatly interested in the rights of all Union
men, running for mayor on the Union ticket
of 1905. ^^^^ile in New Cumberland he erected
the United Brethren Church, and was very
active in the church and Sunday-school.

GEORGE RUBY, a well known river man
and a Civil war veteran, is a native of York
county, and has been many years in Wrights-
ville.



John Rub}-, his grandfather, knnwn
throughout the county as "Major." owned
1,100 acres of land in Lower Windsor town-
ship.

Da\id Ruby, father of George, was born
in Lower Windsor township, where he spent
his life, engaged in farming and blacksmithing.
He married Rebecca Kauffelt. and their chil-
dren were as follows : David, who met his death
by accident at a camp meeting ; George, v,-ho is
mentioned below; and Tobias, who served a
year in the Civil war, and lives near Yorkana.

George Ruby was born July 3, 1838, in
Lower Windsor township, and there grew up.
He attended the subscription school, and then
the public school, and studied in Wrightsville
under Capt. Kerr. When he was se\-enteen he
was apprenticed to the tanner's trade with John
Kaufifelt. He served a two-years apprentice-
ship, and worked for a time as a journevnrm
tanner, but preferred a boatman's life, and has
since been chiefly occupied in rafting and as a
steersman between Marietta and Peach Bot-
tom. He has also had considerable experience
in canal-boating in the employ of his uncle,
Henry Ruby.

Mr. Ruby enlisted in the Union armv. Aug.
21, 1861, as a private in Company B. 55th P.
V. I., under Capt. John C. Shearer, CoL Rich-
ard White, commanding. He saw three vears"
service, and was in many engagements. His
first battle was that of Pocataligo, S. C, and
the other principal engagements in wliich he
took part were Cold Harbor, the ^^'ildernes5..
Bermuda and Petersburg. He was woundc'l
by a piece of shell, which struck him below
the right knee. He received his discharge at
Bermuda Hundred in September, 1864.

On May 14, 1865, ]\Ir, Ruby married Susan
Arnold, who was born in Hellam township.
Alay 19, 1844. Her father. John Arnold, was
born in Hellam township in 1805, and her
mother, Catherine (Jacobs) Arnold, was born
in 1810. Both lived to be eighty-two years of
age, and died in their native place. Mr. Arnold
was a farmer, and was also employed at fence-
making, and the latter years of his life in bas-
ketmaking. He had the following children :
( i) John, who was a soldier in the Civil war,
disappeared after the close of the war, and
was never heard of until his death in 1902.
(2) Catherine, who married Benjamin Druch.
died in Hellam township. (3) Henry, who was
a school teacher in Hellam township, now li\'es
in Indiana. (4) Susan married George Ruliy



8i-i



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



(5) Joseph, a farmer of Hellam township, mar-
ried Sarah Meyers. (6 ) Leah married Jacoli
Barnhart. and died in Conewago. (7) Cassan-
dra died at the age of seventeen. (8) Rebecca
died at the age of seventeen. (9) Rachel died
at twenty-two. (10) Zachariah died at the age
of twenty-three.

Air. and Mrs. Ruby are members of the
German Reformed Church. In poHtics Mr.
Rubv is a Repubhcan. He is a member of
Lieut. R. W. Smith Post, G. A. R., at Wrights-
ville. He is the father of the following chil-
dren : Gustavus, a cigar maker of New Cum-
berland, who married Ida Bowers, and died
Jan. 20, 1906; Elmira, who married Capt. John
H. Drenning, of Wrightsville ; Thomas, a po-
liceman in York, who married Virgie Penned ;
Sophia, who married F. G. Wise, of Wrights-
ville; Richard, who died young; Catherine,
who died young; and Rebecca, who married
Charles Shultz, of Wrightsville.

PHILIP KERCHNER, of Springfield
township, was born on the farm upon which he
now resides, April 20, 1859, son of Henry
Kerchner, a native of Germany.

Henry Kerchner came to America when a
young man, landing at Baltimore. He was a
carpenter by trade and followed that occupa-
tion in Shrewsbury township, whither he had
removed, for a short time. He then located in
Springfield township, and purchased the farm
now owned by his son, Philip. This farm,
finely located, is supplied with running water,
and Air. Kerchner erected a fine set of new
buildings. Here he spent the remainder of his
life, dying at the age of seventy-eight years,
and being interred at Hametown, Shrewsbury
township. He, married Catherine Leicht, also of
Germany ; she died at the age of eighty years.
They had these children : Elizabeth, widow of
John P. Wernig; Annie, deceased wife of
Charles Woolf ; Henry, who died in the West ;
Christian, living at Loganville, who mar-
ried Nancy Shessler, now deceased ; George,
of Baltimore, who married Minnie Harbold;
John, of Baltimore Co., Md. ; William, of
York; Catherine, the wife of Charles Wolf,
living at Glen Rock; Philip; and Maggie, who
died at the age of twelve years.

Philip Kerchner attended the Seitz school
in Springfield township until seventeen years
old, after which he remained with his father for
seven years. At the end of this time he went



to Hopewell township, where he spent three
years at farming, and in 1888 purchased the
old homestead of eighty-three acres. Mr.
Kerchner is one of Springfield's best farmers.
He married Eleanor Geesey, daughter of Mi-
chael and Maria (Hildebrand) Geesey, and to
this union have heen born ; Maria C, the wife
of Jesse Hess, is living on the home farm;
Michael, at home; Catherine, who died aged
seven weeks; Mary E., a bright young lady at-
tending school. In his political affiliations Mr.
Kerchner is connected with the Republican
party. He is a member of the Lutheran
Church, and is very active in the work of that
religious body.

Michael Geesey, grandfather of Mrs.
Kerchner, was a resident of Dallastown, York
county. In early life he was an agriculturist,
but later engaged in the butchering business
in which he was very successful, and which he
carried on until his death, at a ripe old age.
He married Catherine Minnich, and both are
buried at Blimyer's Church in York township,
York county. They had the following children :
Michael, John, Harrison, Frank, Oliver, Jef-
ferson, Warrington and Abington, all deceased
except Frank, who resides in Dallastown, and
all were veterans of the Civil war except Mi-
chael. The girls of this family, Lydia, Cather-
ine and Lucy, are all deceased.

Michael Geesey, the father of Mrs. Kerch-
ner, was an agriculturist of York township, and
was very successful in his operations. He died
at the age of seventy years, and his wife at
sixty-four, and both were buried at the Dunk-
ard Church in Springfield township, of which
they were faithful members. Michael Geesey
married Maria Hildebrand, daughter of Fred-
erick and Catherine (Wallace) Hildebrand,
and the children born to this union were as
follows : John, who married Catherine Hol-
linger, is living in Hopewell township; Jacob,
who married Sarah Bucher, lives in Carroll
Co., Md. ; Mary, wife of A. C. Wernig, of
Springfield township ; Amanda, who married
David Keller, and is living in Dallastown ;
Catherine, wife of Jacob Diehl, making her
home in Red Lion; Michael, who married
(first) Alice Strayer, (second) Elizabeth
Feigley, (third) Ida Strayer, and he died at
the age of forty-six years, beiing buried at
Winterstown ; Henry, a resident of Ohio ;
Emanuel, who married Louisa Diehl, and is
living in Shrewsbury township; Elizabeth,



BIOGRAPHICAL



815



wife of William Burns, of Springfield town-
ship; and Mrs. Kerchner. Tlie Geesey family
is one of York county's old and honored fam-
ihes, and its members are very highly respected
in Springfield township, where they have for
so long been prominently identified with the
agricultural development of the community.

JACOB H. MELLINGER is the able su-
perintendent of the York County Traction
Company, and he has shown himself to lae
amply fortified for the upbearing of the exact-
ing and responsible duties that rest upon him
as an executive. He is a representative of one
of the oldest and most honored families of the
adjoining county of Lancaster, his father,
Abraham Mellinger, being a prominent and
influential farmer and dairyman of that county,
and his mother, whose maiden name was Mar-
tha Hoover, being a daughter of Jacob Hoover,
a representative fai'mer of Lampeter township,
.Lancaster county, where he continued to re-
side until his death. Abraham and Martha
Mellinger became the parents of nine children,
of whom only three are living, viz. : Ada, who
is the wife of Adam Lefever, a farmer of
Lampeter township, Lancaster county; Willis,
who is a conductor for the Conestoga Traction
Company, of Lancaster; and Jacob H.

Jacob H. Mellinger was borp near the vil-
lage of Rocky Springs, in West Lampeter
township, Lancaster county. Pa., June 30, 1862,
and his boyhood days were passed under the
beneficent influences of the old homestead farm,
while his educational training was secured in
the public schools of the locality. After leav-
ing school he continued to assist in the work
and management of the home farm and carried
on a milk route in the city of Lancaster sup-
plied from his father's dairy. At the age of
twenty-six years he entered the street-car
service in Lancaster, working on horse and
electric cars for a period of five years. In
August, 1892, Mr. Mellinger came to York



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