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river. There they saw the old flag for the first
time since their capture, and a glad sight it was.
A guard of honor was waiting to receive them.
On the march to the steamboat landing colored
troops formed in line on both sides of the way.
They had erected an arch over the road with
the words "Welcome Home" in the center. The
circumstances and the surroundings touched the
hearts of the sternest men, and brought forth
such feelings of emotion as were seldom wit-
nessed. The same day, March i, 1865. Lieut.
Stallman and some of his comrades took^ the
boat at Wilmington for Annapolis, ^Md., where
they arrived on Uie 5th, without shoes, and with
very little clothing. He was mustered out of
service bv special order of the Secretary of
War, March 12, 1865, and thus ended an ex-
perience which comes to but few men, and
which he himself cares not to repeat.

A faithful soldier, a loyal and patriotic cit-
izen, a successful business man and a tried and
true friend in all circumstances. Lieut. Stall-
man combines qualities which ha\-e endeared
him to all his townsmen and a host of friends
throughout the State and nation.



REV. R. R. RODES belongs to a branch
of the Rodes family which is of German an-
cestry and is descended from a progenitor who
left nis native land for the New World in
1730. Landing at Philadelphia, he became one
of the early settlers of York county," Man-
chester township.

(II) John Rodes (or Roth), the next in
line, was born in 1756, and died in 1835. He
bought a large tract of land lying between
W'hat IS now Manchester township and the
Susquehanna river, and moved thither with
his parents who died there and were buried
on the farm. In 1813 John Rodes built on his
place the large gristmill now operated by
Kochenour Brothers, situated a half-mile north
of Mount Wolf. Besides engaging in farming
he served as a minister of the Mennonite
Church, and w-as the founder of the old church
of that persuasion which is situated three quar-
ters of a mile north of Manchester. Rev. John
Rodes had eight sons and two daughters.

(III) Christian Rodes was born in 1780,
and died in 1838. After his marriage, in
1805, to Miss Susanna Bowers, he settled at a
home lying along the same stream on which
his father's mill stood. Five years later he
built a stone structure, the upper story of which
was used for his residence while he distilled
whiskey in the basement. In 1820 he built a
fulling-mill, and operated it for thirteen years,
but in the meantime ,store goods had been
brought into competition and the fulling busi-
ness was ruined. Christian Rodes was a man
of considerable reputation as a mechanic and
builder; the barn on Whistler's Island, east of
York Haven, which was demolished by the ice
flood in the spring of 1904, was built by him in
1805, and stood there for nearly a century. In
1806 he erected the substantial barn which is
still standing on the George Lichtenberger farm
in East Manchester. The family of Christian
Rodes was composed of five daughters and six

(IV) Daniel Rodes. born in 1806, died in
1890. On April 14, 1831, he married Miss
Susannah Palmer, and they had a family of
six sons and six daughters, of whom four sons
and one daughter died in infancy. Another
son, Joel, died in 1863, in the army hospital
at Louisville, Ky., and one daughter passed
away after reaching maturity. Daniel Rodes

spent his entire life on his father's homestead.
In 1840 he was one of the strongest Harrison
Whigs, and not only attended political meetings
and pole raisings, but also made many speeches
during the campaign. He was made captain
of the Manchester militia, and for year after
year, until he resigned, Capt. Rodes drilled the
"Broomstick Brigade" regularly on George
Wogan's Commons, and on each battalion da}'
led out his gallant men in their uniforms of
homespun. Among the well-known military
and political friends whom he made at this
time may be mentioned Sheriff Daniel Ginter,
Col. Daniel Stillinger, George and Michael
Hay, and that honest, level-headed citizen and
editor and lawyer, Thomas E. Cochran. Daniel
Rodes became a member of the United Breth-
ren Church in 1843, ^1"*^ later developed into
a local preacher of good repute, being not only
a man of true Christian piety but also very well
informed for his time. He officiated at many
funerals, particularly for the poor. During
the Civil war he served as school director, and
was the man chosen to go to Harrisburg with
a sum of money to buy substitutes to fill the
quota for Manchester township.

(V) Zebulon P. Rodes, at present a resi-
dent of Mount Wolf, was born, in 1834. In
1856 he married Miss Sarah Zorger, who died
in 1892, aged fifty-seven years. Of the five
sons born to them four are now living, namely :
John M. and Jesse J., of Mount Wolf, Chris-
tian, of Starview; and R. R.

(VI) Rev. R. R. Rodes has filled import-
ant charges in New Cumberland and Dallas-
town, and is now pastor of the Allison Me-
morial United Brethren Church, on West Prin-
cess street, York.

now living in leisurely retirement, at York, has
been connected with the city's banking interests
for many years.

Mr. Griffith comes of Welsh ancestry. He
was born Aug. 19, 1836, on West Market
street, York, and is the only survivor of three
children born to his parents, William and Sarah
(Gotwalt) Griffith. The father w-as born in
1803, near Dillsburg, York county, and he
came to York when a boy. Here he learned the
shoemaking trade, one which he followed until
his death. His business was a large one for



his day, he having many workmen, as, in his
time, all work was done by hand, and he
amassed what was then considered a comfort-
able fortune. He was noted for his quiet, dig-
mtied manner, and he was held in just esteem
as an upright and honorable man. For many
years he was a trustee "of the First M. ' K.

William Hamilton Grilifith first attended
the York schools, pursuing classical studies in
the York Academy, and ni 1854 he entered
Dickinson College. There he was graduated
-m 1858, with the degree of A. B., and the col-
lege subsequently conferred the degree of A.
IVi. After nis graduation he taught school for
a season, spending several years in this pro-
fession, at the Cumberland Valley Institute,
in. Dauphin county, and also in Maryland. In
i86i, in association with Prof. S..B. Heiges,
he started a Normal School at York, and was
connected with this enterprise until 1865.

On Dec. i, 1866, Mr. Griffith accepted the
position of bookkeeper in the York National
Bank at York, and continued his connection
with this financial institution until Dec. i,
1896, filling the successive positions of book-
keeper, teller, discount clerk and cashier, oc-
cupying the latter position for seven years. In
1896 he retired from business activity. In
various ways he has been a prominent citizen
here, always interested in public movements
and. fully acquiescing in plans for the public
welfare. He served as a member of the school
board for the Third ward, and for a number of
years was a member of the town council. For
some time he was president of one building and
loan association, and treasurer of another.

In 1865 Mr. Griffith was married to Annie
M. Lehman, who died in January, 1889, leav-
ing three children: Louisa M., a resident of
New York City; John H., connected with the
street railway company of York; and Isabel
B., wife of Harold Stieg, of Washington, D.
C. In September, 1898, Mr. Griffith married
Rose C. O'Neill, formerly of Baltimore, ]\Id.
The comfortable family home is at No. 5 West
Philadelphia street.

merchant in York, was born in that count}-,
Dover township, March 2^, 1845, s^" "*' Jacob

Jacob Brillhart was born in Seven Valley,
Aug. 17, 1822, and was left fatherless when
only seven years old. He was at once taken
from school and bound out to Henry Leib,
owner of the Codorus mill, learning the mil-
ler's trade under him. When he was eighteen
the youth went to farming and made his own
way sufficiently to marry four years later, and
rent a large farm of 200 acres, to be his home.
There he remained twenty years before buying
a farm of his own. At the end of that time he
invested in 100 acres. For ten years he tilled
this, then sold it, and bought a smaller tract
where the rest of his life was passed. He was
married in 1844, to Miss Sarah Ann Homer,
daughter of Jacob and Catherine ( Brenner j
Homer, who was born in West Manchester
township, July 11, 1824, and died Feb. i,
1904. She became the mother of the follow-
ing children : Martin V., was born March
23, 1845. Emma, born in December, 1847,
married Andrew Gross, of Dover township,
died Jan. 27, 1905, and is buried at Salem's
Church. Catherine, born in March, 1849, who
married William Spangler, of Dover, lives near
Hazleton. Albert, born in October, 185 1,
married Miss Lydia Licht}', and lives in \\'est
York. Jane, born Dec. 25, 1853, married
Samuel Yeager, and is residing in York.
George W., born in 1855, married Miss Ellen
Polly, and lives near Austin, Texas. Amanda,
who died young, is buried at Salem's Church.
Alice, born about i860, is the wife of Howard
Stambaugh, and lives in York. J. Clayton,
born in November, 1863, married ]Miss Phoebe
Christ, and lives in Dover township.

Jacob Brillhart passed from this world
April 12. 1889, and is buried in the family lot
at Salem's Church, near Dover, where his wife
was afterward interred beside him. Mr. Brill-
hart's death left only one of his father's family
surviving. The brothers and sisters were as
follows: Joseph, deceased about 1866, in
Illinois; David, who died aged seventy-five,
and is buried in Washington township: Peter,
who died young and is buried in York county;
Daniel, who died about 1874. aged sixty-
seven years, and is buried at Salem Church,
near Dover: Jesse, who died in Virginia;
John, deceased in ^^'est Virginia; Adam, who
is still living as a retired farmer at Porter,
Heidelberg township, and who married ^Nliss



Emma Stambaugh; Elizabeth, who is buried
in ^lanchester township ; Esther, who is buried
in York count)-; Catherine, buried in Manches-
ter township; Lena, who died young in York
county; and Polly, who is buried in York

Martin V. Brillhart attended the public
schools near Dover borough until he was
seventeen, and worked after school hours on
his father's farm. In 1862 he went to the Mil-
lersville State Normal School for a term, and
with this preparation entered the teaching
field the next year. From 1863 until 1876 he
followed that profession, but at the end of that
time decided upon a radical change and going
west to Abilene, Kans., embarked there in a
mercantile enterprise which absorbed his at-
tention for fourteen years. In 1890 Mr. Brill-
hart returned to Pennsylvania, settled in York,
and went into business as the proprietor of a
gentlemen's clothing and furnishings store. His
place of business was located on the northwest
corner of Market and Penn streets, and con-
tinued there until he retired from active busi-
ness in 1895.

]\Ir. Brillhart's marriage occurred during
the period of his teaching. His wife was a
Miss Ellen Lauer, daughter of John and Cas-
sandra (Becker) Lauer, of Dover borough,
and their union was solemnized Oct. i, 1871.
The children born to them were ; Nettie B.,
born in York city, Nov. 2, 1872, Avife of W.
P. Swartz, now residing in York; Mace J.,
born in Dover township, April i, 1876, who
became the wife of George L. Stallman, a
wdiolesale cigar and tobacco dealer; William
^L, bom in Abilene, Aug. 4, 1878, a promi-
nent electrical contractor in York; and Charles
E., born in Abilene, July 25, 1882, who was
graduated from the Naval Academy at An-
napolis Feb. 2, 1903, and is now an ensign on
the U. S. S. "Stewart." Mr. and Mrs. Brill-
hart have many friends in York, -and are held
in high esteem.

JOHN W. STEACY, a prominent iron
man of southeastern Pennsylvania, and a resi-
dent of York, is a native of Lancaster county,
having been born in Strasburg June 9, 1833,
son of John and Elizabeth (Graham) Steacy.

Mr. Steacy is of Irish ancestry, both his
father and grandfather having been natives of

County Derry, Ireland. The grandfather lived
and died there, but the father, born in 1786,
came to America when about umeteen years of
age, and located near Strasburg, Lancaster Co.,
Pa., where he died in 1844. He was a farmer
and contractor and also engkged in freighting
between Pittsburg and Philadelphia, having in
that service a number of teams. For eight or
ten years he served as a magistrate. Politically
he was of the old Jackson school of Democracy,
and took an active part in such matters. He
married Elizabeth Graham, and they had two
children, one of whom died.

John W. Steacy received his education in
the public schools and at Strasburg Academy,
but he left his studies at the age of thirteen and
went to work on the farm, leaving that occupa-
tion to go into the foundry at Eden, where he
accjuii'ed a knowledge of the trade. Soon after
serving his apprenticeship he entered a country
store at New Providence, Lancaster county,
where he continued for some time, and then
went to Columbia. For five years he clerked in
a dry goods store, and then embarked in mer-
cantile pursuits for himself, in the towns of
Columbia and Marietta. After twelve years
spent in merchandising he engaged in the oil
business, as part owner in the Columbia Oil
Works, and as buyer and seller for the firm,
which was known as Trescott & Co. They
went out of the oil business in 1876, and Mr.
Steacy then for a time conducted the flouring-
mill near Columbia, under the firm name of
Steacy & Co. In 1878 Trescott & Co. pur-
chased the York Rolling Mill at York, and the
business was conducted as a partnership con-
cern under the name of Schall, Steacy & Denny
with Mr. Steacy in the position of manager.
In 1886 a joint stock company under the name
of Steacy & Denny was organized and the
plant, which at that time was employing 250
hands, was worked. In 1886 the firm bought
the Columbia Rolling Mill, and Mr. Steacy be-
came treasurer and manager of that interest.
Two years previously the firm had purchased
the Aurora Furnace at Wrightsville, and added
the Vesta Furnace, at Watt's Station, to their

In 1899 Mr. Steacy was one of the pro
moters of the consolidation of the Columbia
Rolling Mill, Vesta Furnace, Aurora Furnace
and York Rolling Mill into the Susquehanna



Iron and Steel Company, of which he was a
director for several years, and then became
general manager. It was capitalized at $1,500,-
000. Mr. Steacy withdrew from this concern
Dec. I, 1903, and de\-oted himself to the build-
ing of suburban trolley lines around York, he
being one of the seven gentlemen controlling
the entire system. In addition to these inter-
ests Mr. Steacy has been president of the Edi-
son Electric Light and Power Company for
several years ; has been a director of the York
Trust Company since its organization, and was
a charter member of the York County Traction
Company, of which he is now a director. He
is a director and vice-president of the Norway
Iron & Steel Company ; was a director of the
Baltimore & Harrisburg (eastern extension)
railroad, commonly known as the Western
Maryland, of which it is a division ; ij at the
head of the firm of Steac}" & Co., in the lime
business at Wrightsville, an industry that has
been in successful existence for fifteen years,
and of which Mr. S. S. Wilton is manager; a
director in the Broomell, Schmidt & Steacy
Company; has been a director of the Columbia
Trust Company since its organization, and is
closely affiliated with other interests bearing
upon the material welfare of the community.
While a resident of Columbia he served as a
director of the First National Bank.

Having moved to York upon his assuming
the management of the rolling mill in 1880,
Mr. Steacy became very prominently identi-
fied with the civic, business and charitable in-
terests of the cit)^ While in Columbia he
served on the school board, and in the councils
of that town. Locating in Y^ork,' he was hon-
ored by the people of his district by being elect-
ed to councils here. He served in the first
select branch upon the inauguration of the city
government, and for several succeeding terms.
Despite his pronounced Republicanism he was
elected president of the branch, though at that
time it was controlled by the Democrats, and
he filled the position with strict impartiality,
retiring with a record beyond criticism. He
has served as director of the Y''ork Hospital and
of the Children's Home, and as trustee of the
Y'ork County Historical Society.

John W. Steacy married Mary Harmley, of
Columbia, by whom he had two sons : Frank
H., deceased; and Edwin G., a resident of
Y'ork. Mr. Steacy's first wife died in 1866.

He married (second) Anna Gyger, of Bryn
Mawr, Pa., in 1877.

ANDREW G. HIRT, who passed away
Aug. 22, 1905, was a resident of Y'ork for
many years, was well known in business circles,
and while engaged in contracting and build-
ing erected some of the best buildings of the
city. Mr. Hirt was born in Overham, Kretz-
heim, Germany, April 20, 1820.

George Hirt, the father of Andrew G. Hirt,
was a tailor in Germany, where he died in
1838, his wife surviving until about 1848.
Their children were: Margaret, who died in
Germany; Michael, who died in Germanv ;
Lenhart, who also died in Germany; Andrew
G. ; Mary, who came to the United States and
married Lenhart Himmelreich, deceased;
George, who died in Germany: and Martin.

At the age of fourteen years Andrew G.
Hirt left the parochial school and went to
learn the mason's trade, at which he served
three years. In 1846 he came to the United
States, sailing from Bremen to Baltimore on
the sailing vessel "Sophia", the trip taking two
months. Mr. Hirt could speak no English,
but he found employment at the ore banks near
Baltimore, receiving eighty cents per day, and
this he continued two years. In 1846 he was
first married, and he then engaged in a saloon
business on the ^Vashington road, between
A^'ashington and Baltimore, near the ore banks.
In 1850 he removed to Harrisburg and engaged
in working on the bridge being built across the
Susquehanna river, but becoming sick the first
day he was obliged to give up this work. He
then located in Y'ork and went to work at his
trade. For six years he worked for others and
then engaged in the contracting business on his
own account, erecting the old opera house, the
Lutheran church on West Market street, and
also building the Kreutz Creek church, in Hel-
1am township. While working in York he
helped to build the Zion Reformed church. Mr.
Hirt carried on business until about 1900, when
he retired from active life.

Mr. Hirt's first wife died in York, and he
married (second) Mary Pfeffer. who was born
in 1842 in Nieder Hessen, Germany, and diefl
April 2, 1897: she was buried in Prospect Hill
cemetery. Her parents died when she was six
vears old, and she and her five sisters came to



the United States. To Mr. and Mrs. Hirt
children as follows were born: x-\nnie, who
died at the age of thirty years; Margaret, Mrs.
Louis Watson, of York ; Andrew George, liv-
ing in Readnig, Pa.: Otto, of York; Albert,
who died in infancy ; Franklin,deceased ; Oscar,
at home; Mayme, Mrs. Jacob Pyle, at home;
and Walter, also at home. The Hn-t family are
members of Bethlehem Evangelical Church.
In -politics yh. Hirt was a Democrat.

HENRY WEITSEL is now living retired
in York, after many years of business life.
His birth occurred Sept. 15, 1826, in Fishing
Creek Valley, Fairview township, York coun-
ty, and he is' a son of John Weitsel.

The grandfather of our subject was a
prominent farmer of Fairview township,
Avhere he died, leaving two children, one of
whom died in Middletown, Dauphin county.

John Weitsel, father of Henry, was a black-
smith by trade, having learned that occupa-
tion at Harrisburg. He followed that all of
his life in Fishing Creek Valley, and died
there at the age of forty-seven years, being
buried at the Salem Church in his native
township. He was one of the first to be buried
in that yard. He married Nancy Fisher,
daughter of John Fisher, and she passed away
in York, aged eighty-seven years, being buried
beside her husband. They had these children :
David; Henry; Mary, who married Henry
Strickler; Samuel; Harriet, who died young;
Ellen, wife of William Brubaker, of Ohio;
Nancy, wife of Eli Fetrow, of Ohio; Rebecca,
wife of Dr. I. H. Betz, of York City, whose
sketch appears elsewhere.

Henry Weitsel spent his schooldays in Fish-
ing Creek Valley, leaving school at the age of
sixteen years. When twenty years old he
came to York and learned the plastering trade,
at which he worked for ten years, being then
employed as boss on the 13th Division of the
Northeril Central Railroad, and remained
with that company until 1880. Then he
was employed by P. A. & S. Small as night-
watchman, and after twelve years of this work,
in 1892, resigned his position. Since that
time he has lived retired at his home, which he
built in 1895 ^-t ^o. 685 East Philadelphia
street, York.

Mr. Weitsel married Catherine A. ^vliller,
daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Decker)
Miller, of York. Mrs. Weitsel w^as born Feb.
12, 1826, and married Mr. Weitsel March 28,
1850, in York, Rev. Jacob C. Smith, a United
Brethren minister, performing the cere-
mony. The following children were born to
the union : John W., a machinist emploj'ed
at Brillinger & Small's, who married Mary A.
Lay ; Mary E., the widow of Daniel Spangler,
of York, Pa.; Henry C, who died j^oung; Fil-
bert, employed with the Northern Central
Railroad, and residing at home ; Annie,
wife of Walter Blauser, a printer of York,
Pa. ; George, a painter and grainer, employed
at Strack Bros., York, and married to Carrie
Baker; Edmund S., a printer by trade, resid-
ing at home ; Lillie M. R., wife of D. Wilson
Kuehn, superintendent of the bill-posters of
York; Clara A., deceased; and one child that
died in infancy.

Politically Mr. Weitsel is a Republican,
and served three years as councilman. He is
a member of the United Brethren Church.
Mrs. Weitsel is well known in York city and
county. She is a charter member of the Evan-
gelical Church, for nearly sixty years taking
a great and active interest in all church work,
and has been a teacher in the Sunday-school
for fifty years in both English and German,
having taught a class of young men in the
Sunday-school since they wore knee-trousers.
She is a member of Aid, the Home and the
C. E. Societies. For forty years she has be-
longed to the Rebekahs. She is superintendent
of the Alms House, and has been connected
with the W. C. T. U. for the last twenty-two
years. Few women are better known in York
city, and her great and good work in all lines
has been felt and appreciated by all. Kind and
gentle, she is a good Christian woman, and is
loved and honored by all who know her.

Fraternally for fiftv years Mr. Weitsel has
been connected with Humane Lodge, No. 342,
I. O. O. F., and Mt. Vernon Encampment,
No. 14, I. O. O. F., of York, and in this order
he is extremely popular. Like his venerable
wife he is highly respected by all. Especially
well is Mr. Weitsel known for his strict hon-
esty and integrity and for the businesslike
manner in which anv business is carried out by
him. He and his wife have reared a family of



children which would be a credit to any com-
munity, and they may be truly called a repre-
sentative couple of the city of York.

ELI K. WILLI A:\IS died in York Dec.
3, 1895. He W'-as born in Springlield town-
ship, York county. Sept. 30, 1838, son of John
B. and Catherine (Koller) Williams.

Frederick W'illiams, grandfather of our
subject, was born in 1765, and died July 30,
1832. He married Elizabeth Raymond,
daughter of Henry Raymond, who died in
1 81 6, aged twenty-three years.

John B. Williams the father of our sub-
ject died Jan. 12. 1881, and his wife, Cath-
erine Koller, April 10, 1887.

Eli K. Williams grew to manhood on his
father's farm, being reared to the life of a
farmer, and educated in the common schools.

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 18 of 201)