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land and a shop from his father at Dolf, East
Hopewell township, where he built up a fine
trade. Here he also erected a fine home.
\Vhen his health failed, he decided to sell, and
disposing of his property to E. L. Grove, he lo-
cated on his present ;,'ace, which he rented for
three years, at the end of which time he pur-
chased it. He carries on general farming,
also raises tobacco, his ninety-two acres being
in a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Bisker was
reared in the faith of the M. E. Church, and
attends at Prospect. He has always been a
Democrat.

Mr. Bisker married, June 5, 1884, Miss
Mary M. Runkle, a native of Chanceford town-
ship, and a daughter of Charles and Sarah
Runkle, both deceased. To Mr. and Mrs.
Bisker have been torn: Harry L, Lizzie, John,
Martha, Robert, Joseph, Mabel and Clarence,
all at home.

LUTHER E. LANDIS, an enterprising
farmer of Manchester township, York county,
is the inventor of the Farmer's Friend Plow, a
device rightly named, which has brought him
not only money but fame. Mr. Landis was
born Oct. 6. 1865, in West Manchester town-
ship, son of Jacob B. and Susanna (Gross)
Landi.s.

Christian Landis, grandfather of our sub-
ject, was born in York county, along Codorus
Creek, and followed farming in West Man-
chester township, where he died, and his re-
mains are buried at Prospect Hill cemetery.
He married a Miss Bixler, and their children
were: Alexander, who died in Windsor town-



ship; ]\Iichael, who died in York township;
Jacob B. ; William, who died in York ; An-
drew, who lives in York; and George and
Reuben, who both died in York.

Jacob B. Landis was born in West Man-
chester township, and remained at home until
his marriage to Susanna Gross. After that
event he located in West Manchester township,
at his father's old home. Here he remained
for eight years, afterward going to Hellam
township, but after two j^ears returned to the
old home. He spent fourteen years there, and
then settled on Michael Gross' farm, in Man-
chester township, near Manchester torough,
remaining there four years, at the end of that
time removing to Springetsbury township,
where he died in 1888. He is buried at Pros-
pect Hill cemetery. His wife died in York in
1898, and is buried beside her husband. The
children born to Mr. and Mrs. Landis wer.e:
Christian; George; Sarah, who married Adam
Spotts, and they are both deceased, being in-
terred at вЦ† Green Mount cemetery ; Lucinda ;
Emma, who .married Jacob Miller and lives in
Conewag^o township; Jacob A., who married
Anna Forry, and lives in Springetsbury town-
ship ; Aaron ; Susan, who married Cyrus Mus-
ser, and died at Stony Brook, being buried
there ; Oscar F., who married Lizzie Fahs, and
lives in Windsor township ; Bernard, who mar-
ried Lizzie Reeser, and lives in West York
borough, w'here he is chief burgess ; Luther E. ;
Flora R., who married Joseph Loucks, and
lives in York ; Edward, who married Rebecca
Ness, and lives in Springfield township ; Wilson
H. ; and Clayton M., who married Lillie Frey,
and lives in Spring'field township.

Luther E. Landis received his preliminary
education in the township schools and supple-
mented this with a course at the York County
Normal school. He worked with his father at
farming, remaining at home until, in the year
of 1886, he married Mary E. Burg, born in
Hellam township, daughter of C. C. and Mary
(Houser) Burg. After marriage Mr. and
Mrs. Landis located in Springetsbury town-
ship, where they remained two years, and after
spending a year in Hellam township, they set-
tled in Springfield township, where they spent
eig'ht years. They finally located in Man-
chester township, where Mr. Landis purchased
the George H. Buck farm of 75 acres and 118
perches. He is also interested in the culture
of plants and flowers.

Mr. Landis is the inventor of the Farmer's



BIOGRAPHICAL



943



Friend Plow, receiving his patent in Xo\eni-
ber, 1903. It is attached to the plow beam in
front and can Ije operated without touching
the handles. It is a very ingenious device
which will, no doubt, become something that
the up-to-date, well informed farmer cannot
afford to be without. His brother, E. M. Lan-
dis, is greatly interested in the device.

Mr. and Mrs. Landis are the parents of the
following children : Blanche M. ; Martha M. ;
Alfred H., who died at the age of twelve years
and six months; Elmer Luther; Mary Ann;
Sarah Rebecca; Florence May; Nettie I.;
Christopher C. ; Esther M. ; Matilda E., and
Philip William, at home.

Mr. Landis casts his ballot in support of
the Democratic party, but has never been active
in party work. Mr. Landis has been con-
nected with the Mennonite Church since 1892,
and is one of its valued members.

WILLIAM W. GINGRICH, who conducts
a general merchandise store at the Glades,
Springetsbury township, York county, is a
native of that township, born Aug. 23, 1862,
son of Jacob and Catharine ( Kauff man ) Ging-
rich.

Jacob Gingrich, grandfather of Wiilliam
W., married Betsey Holder, and they lived to
a ripe old age. They were members of the
Lutheran Church.

Jacob Gingrich, father of William W., was
born in Springetsbury township, then Spring
Garden, Aug. 18, 1815, and died March 31,
1886. He was a carpenter by ti'ade, but fol-
lowed farming nearly all of his life. He mar-
ried Catharine Kauffman, born June 2"], 1825,
daughter of Jacob and Polly (Brillinger)
Kauffman. Jacob Kauffman came from Lan-
caster county and married, afterward engaging
in farming. He was the possessor of a fine
farm and lived to be nearly seventy years old.
His wife was sixty-three years of age at the
time of her death. They were the parents of
fourteen children : John, Solomon, Jacob, Dan-
iel, Henry, Samuel, Peter, Zachariah, George,
Adam, Catherine, Eliza and two that died in
infancy unnamed.

To Jacob and Catherine Ginlgrich these
children were born : Susan married Samuel
Seiple, of Springetsbury township ; Mary mar-
ried Henry Dellinger, of York; Sarah married
Charles Eisenhart, of York ; Elizabeth mar-
ried Milton Shamberger, of York ; Daniel is a



carpenter at Indianapolis, Ind. ; Jacob resides
in McDonougli Co., Ills. ; Michael is a laborer
in York; Eliza married Miles Garbrick of
Springetsbury township; Catharine married
Daniel Kennedy, of Springet; Amanda,
married H. Cann, of Springetsbury township;
William W. ; Ellen married Robert Morrow,
deceased; Franklin is a cigar maker of York;
and Malinda died in infancy.

William W. Gingrich was reared on the
home farm and attended the schools of the
township. At the age of sixteen he started
out in life for himself, working for a while at
various occupations. He then learned the
cigar making trade, at which he was employed
for some eight years, two years of this time be-
ing spent in Indiana and Illinois. After his
return to Pennsylvania, he learned the carpen-
ter's trade and followed this for three years,
when he again engaged in cigar making. This
he followed until 1893 when he embarked in
the mercantile business, which he has since con-
tinued with remarkable success. He carries a
full line of general merchandise, and is con-
sidered one of the substantial business men of
the township.

On April 8, 1888, Mr. Gingrich married
Miss Annie E. Jacoby, daughter of Daniel and
Susan Jacoby. They have an adopted daugh-
ter, Alverta. In religion they are members
of the Lutheran Church, and are among the
liberal supporters of that religious organiza-
tion. Mr. Gingrich is a Republican in politics,
but has always refused to hold public office.
During his many years of business life in this
locality, Mr. Gingrich has attracted to him the
esteem of his fellow citizens, partly on account
of his honest business dealing, and partly be-
cause of his pleasant, genial personality.

JOHN THOMAS GEMMILL, residing
on his fine fai'm farm of 115 acres in East
Hopewell township, was torn Jan. 13, 1846,
on the farm upon which he now resides. His
home was erected by his grandfather. Major
Robert Gemmill, and the farm has been in the
possession of the family ever since, with the
exception of a few years, when it was owned
by Trout & Coulter, to whom it had been sold
by the heirs of our subject's father. Mr.
Gemmill purchased it from these gentlemen in
187:;, and has resided on it ever since.

Thomas Gemmill, father of John Thomas,
was bom on this farm July 26, "1809, and his



944



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



death occurred Dec. 3, 1848, when our subject
was two years old. On Nov. 30, 1837, he
married Miss Mary A. Caldwell, born April
8, 1816, in Chanceford township, and they had
these children: Sarah, born Sept. 24, 1838,
married John C. Liggett, and died in this
township"; Robert, born Feb. 28, 1840, died in
infancy; William C, born April 9, 1842, died
in the West; Margaret J., born March 21,
1844, married John D. Manifold, and died in
York; John Thomas, our subject; and Alex-
ander R., deceased.

On the death of his father, our subject be-
ing but two years old, was taken to the home
of his aunt, Mrs. Margaret Wallace, who lived
in East Hopewell township. This good wo-
man also adopted our subject's two sisters,
Sarah and Margaret. Mr. Gemmill was given
the usual winter term education at the town-
ship schools, which he attended until eighteen
years old. His mother had gone West, on the
death of his father, taking the infant son,
Alexander R. Mrs. Gemmill died in Ohio,
where her youngest son grew to manhood and
married Miss Ann Duncan, daughter of An-
drew Duncan, of Cross Roads. He returned
to East Hopewell township, after having grown
to manhood, and lived for a time at Mark Sav-
ior's hotel, and he died at Winterstown.

John T. Gemmill remained with his aunt
until grown to manhood. He was married
Dec. 6, 1877, to Miss Martha Ellen Gemmill,
born in East Hopewell township, July 30, 1857,
daughter of Thomas and Maria Ann (Bell)
Gemmill, both of whom are deceased. After
marriage Mr. Gemmill settled on his present
place, which he had purchased two years be-
fore, and where he has successfully been en-
gaged ever since in general farming and to-
bacco raising. To Mr. and Mrs. Gemmill have
been born : Andrew Thomas, at home ; and
James Monteville, who died in infancy.

JACOB DIEHL. One of the landmarks
of Springetsbury township was the Diehl mill,
which was the first one built on the Codorus
and which until 1900 stood on the site of the
present Hively mill. It was built by John
Adam Diehl, the first of the family to come to
America, and descended from father to son for
a number of generations. So closely was it
associated with the family name that even the
new mill is often called by the old appellation.

CI) John Adam Diehl came from Ger-



man}^ in an earl}' day and purchased 360 acres
of land on the Little Codorus Creek, previous-
ly owned by the government. There he built
the mill and made his home for the rest of his
life.

(II) Peter Diehl, son of John A., inherited
the mill, and it was rebuilt by him.

(III) Jacob Diehl, one of the several sons
of Peter, was the next owner. He and his
brother Nicholas bought the estate left by their
father from the other heirs. Jacob's part in-
cluded the mill, and he also owned four still
houses and several good farms. The land for
the county almshouse was a part of his prop-
erty, and was purchased from him. He was
one of the progressive men of the county, and
one who was thoroughly alive to its interests.
In his family of six there were two sons, and
the mill descended to the younger, Daniel.

(IV) Charles Diehl, elder son of Jacob,
gave his entire attention to farming and owned
over 200 acres. In political bias he was a life-
long- Democrat. He married Miss Leah Lut-
man, davighter of John Lutman, and they had
a family of eleven children, as follows : Lucin-
da, Mrs. John Rutter ; John, deceased ; Susan,
who married the late Henry Miller; Anna
Mary, Mrs. Cieorge Rutter; Jacob; Amanda,
wife of the late Emanuel Bear; Alfred, of De-
catur, 111. ; Charles, of Illinois ; Samuel, de-
ceased ; Edmund, a resident of Oklahoma ; and
Rachel, deceased wife of George Matthews.
Charles Diehl and his wife were both members
of the Lutheran Church of York.

(V) Jacob Diehl was bom March 13,
1832, and was reared on the farm, attending
the public schools. He remained at home till
he was twentj^-five years of age, and then be-
g-an farming on his own account on one of his
father's farms. This occupied his whole at-
tention till 1897, when he retired from active
work. A strong Democrat, Mr. Diehl has al-
ways been one of the best workers for his party,
and has served as a delegate to various conven-
tions, and been a member of the county com-
mittee on several occasions. He has filled a
number of township offices including those of
director of the poor and treasurer, and is rec-
ognized as one of the most reliable, efficient
and influential men of his party. Twice mar-
ried, Mr. Diehl was first united to Miss Mag-
daline Dietz, daughter of Jacob Dietz, of
Springetsbury township. They were the par-
ents of five children : ( i ) Jacob L. was em-



BIOGRAPHICAL



945



ployed in the mill for eight years, but is now
engaged in farming at Pleasantville, where he
owns some good land. He married Miss Mary
Ellen Inners, and has two children, Jacob M.
and Wilbert A. (2) Ada Agnes married Al-
bert Cunningham. {3) Alfred N. is a cigar
manufacturer at Pldasaritville. (4) Ed-
mund D. is a decorator, with the firm of Watt
& Bro. of York. (5) Martha Ann married
Henry Billett, of Hanover. Jacob Diehl mar-
ried ( second) Miss Sarah C. Runkle, also de-
ceased. Mr. Diehl is a member of the Lutheran
Church.

(VI) Alfred N. Diehl, born Oct. 24, 1862,
was educated in the public schools and remained
with his father till he was twenty-one. He
then began in his present occupation of cigar
making at Springet. He employs from five to
seven people, puts out annually fifty cases of
cigars, of medium grade, and gives his entire
attention to this business. He was married
to Miss Annie Shepp, daughter of William
Shepp, of Springetsbury township, and they
have had fourteen children : Elmer, Minnie,
Charles, William, Francis, Daisy, Stewart,
Sallie, Lester, Mary, Viola and three who died
in childhood.

GEORGE A. FARCHT, a prominent bus-
iness man of York, who is at present yardmas-
ter at York for the Northern Central railroad,
was born in Manchester borough, Manchester
township, York county, Jan. 4, 1863, son of
John and Leah (Ramsey) Farcht, and grand-
son of Christian and Polly (Schwartz) Farcht.

Christian Farcht was born in York town-
ship, where be received his schooling, later
learning the carpenter's trade, which he follow-
ed until his death in 1857, at the age of sixty-six
years, being buried at Roller's school house,
Conewago township. He married Polly
Schwartz, and their children were : John ; Ly-
dia, born in York township, died in 1840, and
was buried at Quickel's Church; Catherine,
born in Dover township, died in 1891, and was
buried at Roller's school house ; and Henry,
born in Dover township, died in 1900, and was
buried in Manchester borough.

John Farcht was born in York township,
Dec. 22, 1827, and when six years old was
brought by his parents to Dover township,
where he attended the common schools until
eighteen years of age. He then went to Con-
ewago township, and later to Manchester town-



ship, where he worked on different farms un-
til twenty-eight years old. On Aug. 5, 1855,
he married Leah Ramsey, born March 6, 1832,
daughter of John and Sarah (Haines) Ram-
sey, the former of whom was a miller in New-
berry township. After his marriage John
Farcht went to work for the Northern Central
railroad, remaining with that company until
1862, when he enlisted in Company A, i66th
P. V. I., to serve nine months, and then re-
turned home, re-enlisting in 1864. He was
captured by the Confederates and taken to
Libby Prison for sixteen days, and to High
Point for two days, later to Salisbury, where
he remained until March i, 1865. Mr. Farcht,
although never engaging in any serious con-
flict, had a great deal of skirmish work to do,
and was also ordered to do a great deal of picket
duty. After his discharge from the army he
returned to Manchester borough, and again
worked for the Northern Central Railroad,
continuing in their service thirty-one years.
He was pensioned by that company in 1901,
since which time he has lived retired in Man-
chester borough. The children born to John
and Leah Farcht were as follows : William
Henry, born April 4, 1856, married Tilda
Brosch, and lives in Columbia, Pa. ; John Wes-
ley, born May 28, 1858, married Hattie Hein-
dle, and lives in York; Leah, bom June 28,
i860, married Edward Doll, and lives in York;
Joseph, born May 13, 1865, married Anna
Kunkle, and lives in Manchester borough;
Mary Alice, born March 29, 1871, married Ed-
ward Brown, and lives in Manchester borough
Edward, born Oct. 19, 1873, lives in Baltimore
Susan Charlotte, born Dec. 13, 1876, died Dec
20, 1876 ; and George A.

George A. Farcht received a common
school education in Manchester township,
where he remained until sixteen years old, at
that time finding employment on a farm in
the same county for one year. At the age of
seventeen years he went to Lancaster county,
and worked as a farm hand, then returning to
Manchester township, and working on a farm
until twenty years old. At that age he began
railroading for the Northern Central Railroad,
in which company's service he has since re-
mained. He started as a brakeman, a position
he held for eight years ; was then made a con-
ductor, occupying this position for twelve
years ; and in 1903 was made day yardmaster of
the Northern Central Railroad, at York.



946



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



In 1 88 1 Mr. Farcht and Miss Mary L.
Hinkle were united in marriage. Mrs. Farcht
is a daughter of Asher and Angehne (Kough-
enour) Hinkle, and to this union has been born
one child, William H., born Sept. 21, 1882,
living at home. George A. Farcht is a mem-
ber of the Mystic Chain, York Castle No. 34;
the Ejnigsville Mutual Relief Association and
the Order of Railway Conductors. He and
his estimable wife are consistent and devoted
members of the Reformed Church of York, in
the work of which both are very active. The
family is a well known and highly respected
one in York, and Mr. Farcht is to be envied
for his reputation as a man of honor and in-
tegrity.

EDWIN C. EICHELBERGER, who has
been a resident of York city for twenty-five
years, is well known as a skilled mechanic, and
has been in the service of his present employers,
the widely known building and contracting
firm of Oermann & Blaebaum, since 1884. He
was born Jan. 22, 1852, in Heidelberg town-
ship, York county, son of Michael D. and
Elizabeth (Hershey) Eichelberger.

George Eichelberger, his grandfather, was
an infant when his father died, and he grew up
on the home owned by his great-grandfather,
purchasing this farm when he became of age.
In 1822 he married Sarah Diehl, and they
reared a family of eight children. Mrs. Eich-
elberger died in 1865 in Hanover, while Mr.
Eichelberger survived until 1869, when he
passed away, aged sixty-nine years. Four of
his children died before him, namely : Anna
Maria, who died aged seventeen years; Sarah,
who died at the age of fourteen years; George,
deceased when nine years of age, and Michael
D., the father of Edwin C, who passed away
aged thirty-five years, in 1863, and was buried
at Bears cemetery. The children of George
Eichelberger who survived him were : Martin,
born in 1823, married in 1844 Catherine Geisel-
man; Franklin, who married Louise Hershey,
died in the upper part of Adams county,where
he had reared a large family ; Charles F., who
married Susan Menges, died near Hanover,
Pa. ; Louise Catherine married William J.
Young, a well-known grain elevator man of
Hanover, where they reside.

Michael D. Eichelberger was born in Heid-
elberg township, and was a lifelong farmer.
He married Elizabeth Hershey, daughter of



Henry and Elizabeth (Strickhouser) Hershey,
of Codorus township, and she died in 1897,
leaving two boys : Henry G., a carpenter with
Hench & Dromgold, who married Amanda
Strickhouser; and Edwin C, our subject.

Edwin C. Eichelberger attended the com-
mon schools until he was nineteen years of age,
and then learned the carpenter's trade with
George Sheaffer, of North Codorus township,
with whom he remained three years. He then
located in York (1880), and was employed by
Weiser Brothers for four years, at the end of
that time engaging with his present employers,
for whom he does most of the skilled work,
turning, scroll work, etc. On April 2, 1906,
he was promoted to foreman of the planing
mill.

In 1872 Mr. Eichelberger married Susan
Strickhouser, daughter of Henry and Isabella
( Zellers) Strickhouser, and to this union have
been born : Grace, now the wife of Clifford
Drenning, of Baltimore; Harry L., who is de-
ceased; Percy, who died in infancy; and Wil-
lard M-, a clerk.

In politics Mr. Eichelberger is a Democrat,
and he served the terms of 1 899-1 900-1 901
under Mayors Gise and Gibson as city
assessor. He is a member of Grace Reformed
Church. Mr. and Mrs. Eichelberger reside
at their pleasant home. No. 316 North New-
berry street, York, where their many friends
are always sure of a hearty welcome.

JOHN C. TORBERT, who is residing on
his well cultivated farm in East Hopewell
township, was born in Fawn township, Dec. 6,
1854.

John Torbert, the father of our subject, was
born in the West, and came to York county,
where he engaged at his trade until the opening
of the war, when he joined the i66th P. V. I.,
as a private, serving out his time. After the
war he engaged in farming, and at this he con-
tinued until his death in Fawn township. He
married Emma Miller, a native of New York
State, and she died in Lower Chanceford town-
ship, having borne her husband ten children.
After her death Mr. Torbert married (sec-
ond) Mary Ann Burkholder, by whom he had
nine children. Mr. Torbert married (third)
Mary Martha Wayne, by whom he had two
children. Eighteen of his twenty-one children
attended Mr. Torbert's funeral.

John C. Torbert, our subject, had little



BIOGRAPHICAL



947



chance for an education, attending in all only
four months. His father being in the army dur-
ing the Civil war, young Torbert was compelled
to work on the farm, and at the age of sixteen
years he left home and went to Williamsport,
Pa., and worked in a sawmill for six months, at
$2.50 per day. He then went to Baltimore,
Md., and drove his team at the penitentiary for
one year. Mr. Torbert next went to Wood-
bine, where he farmed William Inglefritz's
farm for three years. There he married, and
settled on a small farm, near Laurel, East
Hopewell township. He built a home, and
learned the mason's trade with James Stewart,
of Chanceford township. This he followed
until 1895, when, he located on his present farm
of eighty-four acres, which was formerly known
as the old Henry Mitchell farm.

Mr. Torbert and his family are members
of the Cross Roads M. E. Church. In politics
he is a stanch Republican, and he served thir-
teen years as constable, was then out of office
two years, at the end of which time he was ap-
pointed to fill the unexpired term of Franklin
Tyson, and in the spring of 1905 was again
elected to serve three years.

Mr. Torbert married, in Hopewell town-
ship, in 1876, Miss Ellen E. Snyder, daughter
of John and Agnes (Sentz) Snyder. Their
surviving children are: Agnes, Mrs. Jacob
Gardner; John H., at home; Lottie and
Maggie.

TITUS S. WELSH, a blacksmith and me-
chanic of North Codorus township, was born
in the house where he now resides, Oct. 26,
1862, son of William Welsh.

Abraham Welsh, his grandfather, married
Mary McDate. He was a resident of Spring
Grove, and was a shoemaker by trade, which
he followed all of his life. Both he and his
widow were buried at Lischy's Church in North
Codorus township. They had these children :
Maggie, George, Jane and William.

William Welsh was born'in Spring Grove
and received a common school education. He
was at one time an engineer for the Northern
Central Railroad, but was better known as a
dealer in horses, engaging as such very exten-
sively in Chester and Lancaster counties, and
he is now living a retired life in the latter
county. During the Civil war he served his
country as a soldier and had a good record.



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