George R. Prowell.

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Moss, born Jan. 23, 1899, died Sept. 11, 1899;
Ethel Irene, born April 9, 1900; Floyd Mani-
fold, born May 8, 1901 ; and Ruth Ozella, born
Oct. 28, 1905.

native of York county, born in Hellam town-
ship, Jan. 23, 1876, to Albert and Frances
(Riegart) Sprenkle.

His paternal grandparents were John and
Elizabeth (Inners) Sprenkle, who had a fam-
ily of seven children, viz.: Albert; Hiram H.,
deceased; Charles; Eli; Henry; Edward, de-
ceased; and Elizabeth, who married the late
Edward Heindle. Mrs. Sprenkle's parents were
Henry and Susan (Darone) Riegart, and they
had only the two children, Frances and
Milton, the latter deceased.

Albert and Frances (Riegart) Sprenkle
had seven children, those besides Henry Rie-
gart being : Walter A. ; John N., Chauncey E.,
and James , all three deceased ; Allen ; and Su-

In his earlier years Henry R. Sprenkle at-
tended the Kreutz Creek school in Hellam
township, and then continued his studies at the
York County Academy, under Prof. David
Gardner, now county superintendent of schools.
After leaving the academy Mr. Sprenkle taught
a couple of years, spent a short time at the State
Normal at Millersville, and in 1894 entered the
State Normal at Westchester. In 1896 he took
a position in the public schools of Hellam town-
ship, and until the fall of 1900 pursued the

teacher's profession with eminent success, in-
terrupting his work only for a short period in
1898-99, when he attended the well-known
Eastman Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N.
Y., where he took a complete course in book-
keeping and stenography, and was graduated
with honors in 1899. His last year as a teacher
was spent in Springetsbury township, and in
the following October he commenced his busi-
ness career.

Mr. Sprenkle was first employed by the
Merchants' Cigar Box Company, of Dallas-
town, as bookkeeper, and he filled that position
for two years, but in the fall of 1902 he was
promoted to the place of manager of the entire
plant. This responsibility he has carried with
a marked executive ability, which has been
plainly demonstrated by the great increase in
the business, much of it being directly attrib-
utable to Mr. Sprenkle. The company now
has over fifty employees, is one of the largest
factories in its line in York county, and sells
not only there but also in a number of adja-
cent counties.

Mr. Sprenkle is active in social life also,.
and is prominently identified with Washington
Camp, P. O. S. of A., of Dallas.

FRANK H. REIFF, a progressive and en-
terprising young business man of York, Pa.,
engaged in the sporting goods business, was
born April 14, 1872, in Manheim, Lancaster
Co., Pa., son of Abraham R. Reiff.

Abraham Reiff, the great-great-grand-
fathier of Frank H., was bom in Holland.
Coming to America, he located in Philadelphia,
and taking up a large tract of land from the
Penns, near Manheim, Lancaster county, set-
tled down to farming, which occupation he fol-
lowed until his death. He married a daughter
of Hantz Grafif, and she also died on the farm,
both being buried in the family burying-
ground on the farm.

Abraliam Reiff (2), son of Abraham, was
born in Manheim, where he also followed
farming, and where he died and was buried.
He had married a Miss Herr, by whom he
had children : Joseph, the grandfather of
Frank H. ; Christian, twin of Joseph ; John ;
Abraham; Jacob; Samuel; Mrs. Burkholder,
whose husband was a bishop in the Mennonite
Church in Lancaster county; and Fannie, Mrs.
Porter, the only one of this generation living.

Joseph Reiff received a common-school
education, and learned the coachmaking busi-



ness. whicli he followed for many years at
jSIanheim. For some time prior to his death,
at the age of eighty-seven years, he lived a
retired life. He married Sarah Rice, daughter
of John Rice, and she died in her sixty-third
year, both being buried at Manheim, Lancas-
ter county. Their children were: Mary Ann,
the wife of John H. Reist; Adeline, who mar-
ried John Richards ; Sallie, who married Sam-
uel A. Shroff; Emma, the wife of Joseph R.
Metzler: and Abraham R., the father of
Frank H.

Abraham R. Reiff was born June i, 1847,
at jManheim, Lancaster county, where he re-
ceived a common school education. From
1869 until 1882 he was engaged in the pack-
ing of tobacco, in which he was a very large
dealer, and he also dealt extensively in cigars,
which he manufactured at Manheim. Mr.
Reiff also engaged in the manufacture of shirt-
waists and hosierv', following that business two
years and spending one year in Philadelphia.
Finding York a good business center, he lo-
cated here with his family in 1893, and is now
in business as a member of the firm of Adair
& Reiff, on West Gas avenue. In 1867 Mr.
Reiff married Mary F. Fetter, daughter of
Jacob G. and Catherine (Neavling) Fetter,
and to this union were born six children, name-
ly : Minnie F., the wife of Walter Fuerneisen^
who is in the jewelry business at Middletown,
Dauphin county ; Wilson F., who married Cora
Burns and lives in Manheim; Frank H., our
subject; Ella, married to Carlton P. Sunday,
the druggist, whose place of business is at the
corner of Market and Hartley streets, York;
Katie May, who resides at home; and Emma,
the wife of Ralph Hilliker, of York. In politics
Mr. Reiff is a Republican. He is a charter
member of Masonic Lodge No. 587, of Man-
heim, having been made a Mason in 1881 at
the Mt. Joy Lodge, of which he remained a
member until the organization of the one at

Frank H. Reiff attended the common
schools of his township and took a business
course. With his father he learned the ma-
chinist trade, serving also some time in Phila-
delphia under instructors. He was with his
father at Manheim, Lancaster county, and in
Philadelphia, both as a machinist and in the
office, and came to York with his father in
1893. He was first employed in York by P.
E. Sprenkle, in the bicycle business, in which
he continued one year, and then for the next

two years managed Mr. Henry Licking's busi-
ness. The next five years he spent with the
Holtzman people, manufacturers of waists,
and in April, 1905, he bought out J. W. Rich-
ley's business, which well known stand is situ-
ated at Nos. 16-18 North Beaver street, York.
Here may be found anything in the sporting
goods line, Mr. Reiff's stock of sporting and
athletic goods being- well kept-up and up-to-

Mr. Reiff was married in 1904 to Miss
Carrie J. Spotz, the daughter of William H.
Spotz, and they reside at No. 204 South
George street, York. In his political sympa-
thies Air. Reiff is a Republican. He is a mem-
ber of Manheim Lodge, No. 587, Blue Lodge
of Masons.

Codorus township, March 6, 1878, son of S.
B. Brodbeck. He attended first at Brod-
beck's school, in that township, then attended
the high school at Hanover and the academy
at Glenville,. Pa., finishing with a course in
the Golde}^ Commercial College at Wilming-
ton, Delaware. When ready to begin his busi-
ness life, Mr. Brodbeck, on April i, 1897,
took charge of his father's office, acting
as assistant postmaster, does general office
work and is assistant station freight agent for
the Adams Express Company. He is also tele-
graph operator at the Western Maryland Rail-
road station of Green Ridge, or Brodbeck's
P. O., as it was long known.

On April 2, 1899, Mr. Brodbeck was joined
in matrimony to Agnes Kate Raffensberger, of
Mummasburg, Adams Co., Pa., who was born
A^pril I, 1 88 1. They have two daughters:
Ruth, born Oct. 29, 1900; and Leah, Aug. 18,

EZRA P. MINNICH, proprietor of the
Quaker Bakery of York, was born Dec. 10,
1867, in Spring Garden township, York coun-
ty. His education was received in the public
schools of his native township, two terms at
the York County Academy, and a course at a
business school in Philadelphia. He was em-
ployed six years by Strawbridge & Clothier,
of Philadelphia, and then came to York, where,
in the fall of 1898, he engaged in the bakery
business, in which he has made a great suc-
cess. His bakery is known as the "Quaker
Bakery," is an 18x45, two-story brick structure,
and he has a weekly output of 6,900 loaves of



bread. Mr. Minnich's goods are of the purest
material, and his straightforward way of do-
ing business has gained the confidence of the
people of York.

In 1904 Mr. Jilinnich was united in mar-
riage with Miss Mary O. Siegel, daughter of
the Rev. Charles and Annie (Faesig) Siegel.
The father of Mrs. Minnich is a Reformed
minister, and he and his wife are living with
their son-in-law in York. In politics Mr.
Minnich is a Democrat.


in a log house situated on the road leading
from Dillsburg to Franklintown, July 30,

His paternal great-grandfather was the
survivor of an entire regiment which was
forced to fight under Napoleon Bonaparte at
Moscow, Russia. He was the only one of the
regiment to get back alive, and was afterward
known as Old Greyhound.

George Adam Reichley, grandfather of
.John W., served in the German army, and
later in the United States regulars as a cavalry-
man. He was stationed at Fortress Monroe,

John G. F. Reichley, son of George Adam, .
was filled with the martial spirit that had char-
acterized his father and grandfather. He
served through four years of the Civil war,
and was wounded four times, attesting his re-
markable power of endurance by never enter-
ing a hospital. At the battle of Cold Harbor
he was shot and lay unconscious from early
morning until evening. On regaining con-
sciousness he found himself covered from head
to foot with blood from a shattered shoulder,
but he arose and at once rejoined his company,
making a charge with them yet that evening.
At the battle of the Wilderness he marched
twelve prisoners back to the rear, a distance
of several miles, with his left ami hanging ab-
solutely useless at his side. At Petersburg,
July 30, 1864, he was struck by a ten-pound
shell, which was about spent, and he picked it
up and quickly hurled it over the breast works.
After the war he married Elizabeth Menear,
of Dillsburg. To them was born a _son, John
William, July 30, 1874, just ten years to the
day and hour from the miraculous escape of
Mr. Reichley from death at Petersburg.

John William Richley lived in the little
log house in which he was born until he was

about four years old, his father then moving
to Charlestown, W. Va., where they remained
one year, then moved to Front Royal, Va.,
where they lived five years, and there our sub-
ject at the age of six years started to school.
The teacher had over 100 pupils in the one
room, and found time about once a week to
hear the smaller pupils recite, consequently ad-,
vancement was slow. From Virginia, the
family removed to York, Pa., and there John
W. Richley attended the public schools for but
a short time, at the age of eleven years com-
mencing to learn the painter's trade, which he
finished at the age of fourteen years. At that
age he had charge of the shop. Painting not
being very agreeable to him he gave it up and
started an apprenticeship at the machinist's
trade in the Penn Agricultural Works in York.
There he served four years, finishing at the age
of eighteen. Finding himself at this age with
little or no education he started to school, at-
tending the York County Academy. He was
so rusty that he could not add one-half and
one-third, and disgusted and heart-broken he
was ready to give it up as a bad job, when
he realized that this was his only and last
chance to obtain an education. He went to
work with a determination to win. At the
end of seven months he had caught up to his
old associates, and was in the same classes in
all branches, in spite of a seven years' handi-
cap. At the end of two years at the York
County Academy he passed an examination
and received a certificate to teach school in the
county; he- was one of the few who passed out
of a total number of 170.

Mr. Richley taught two years in the prim-
ary department at Violet Hill, South York,
and wasUhen promoted to A and B grammar
grade, where he taught three years. From
there he was promoted to the high school
building in East Market street, where he
taught two years more.

In the spring of 1898 Mr. Richley started
in the bicycle business with a capital of $7,
with which he bought a vise and blow torch.
Making a few other handy tools, he carried on
this small business during vacation and in the
evenings after school. In the four years after
this start in business he had built and paid
for his present home at the corner of Chestnut
and Ridge avenue. In 1905 he started in the
laundry business, at the corner of East Phila-
delphia street and Broad, but not liking it he



Avent into the automobile business at Nos. 25-
29 South Beaver street, where his business is
located at the time of this writing.

EDWARD J. LIBHART, proprietor of
the "Yorkana Hotel," was born at his father's
mill property in Hellam township, Feb. 12,

Henry Libhart, grandfather of Edward J.,
was a farmer and miller, and operated the mill
in which our subject was born, he having re-
ceived it from his father, Jacob, who had come
from Germany at an early date.

George Libhart, father of our subject, was
born in 1807, and followed farming and mill-
ing all of his life. Although beginning a poor
boy, he made his mark in the world, and at his
death was a well-to-do man. He was a mem-
ber of the Reformed Church, and in politics
was a Republican, serving in a number of town-
ship offices. He married Cassandra Sprenkle,
daughter of Jacob Sprenkle, and she still sur-
vives. These children were born to Mr. and
Mrs. Libhart: Annie, the widow of Charles
Leber, of York; Henry S., who died when
thirty years of age ; Sallie, Mrs. Faust ; George,
mentioned below ; and Edward J.

Edward J. Libhart received his education iii
the Musser public school, and at Patrick's Busi-
ness College, York, his first teacher being Clay-
ton Graybill and his last Benjamin Deitz, both
well known educators. He remained at home
after leaving school, and in 1896, he married
Miss Laura Lieber Knecht, daughter of Amos
and Rosie (Creswell) Knecht. Mr. Libhart
then engaged in a mercantile business for four
years, at Yorkana, where R. T. Paules' place is
now situated, and then purchased the "York-
ana Hotel," which he conducted for one year.
At the end of this time he sold the place to A.
C. Haines, from whom he repurchased it, and
since that time has been operating it very suc-
cessfully. He is an active Republican, while
in religion he is a member of the Reformed
Church. He and his wife have had the follow-
ing named children: Morgan; Robert; Clare,
deceased; Wilbur, deceased; and Merle,
Mr. Libhart is a kind, genial man, is very lib-
eral, and as a landlord is exceedingly popular.
He is straightforward and honest in all busi-
ness dealings and he bears an enviable reputa-
tion for integrity. Both he and his estimable
wife, who is of German and Scotch-Irish de-
scent, are popular in the social circles of their

George Libhart, the brother of Edward
J., was born at the mill in Hellam township.
He attended the Musser school until about six-
teen years of age, and when still a boy com-
menced to help his father at the mill and farm.
He is now engaged in tobacco raising, an oc-
cupation which he started when still in his
teens, and he has been very successful. Mr.
Libhart was married Dec. 15, 1895, to Miss
Mamie Lieber Knecht, born at Yorkana, July
16, 1880, sister of Mrs. Edward J. Libhart.
Two children have been born to this union :
Annie Catherine, born June 23, 1896; and
Grace Pauline, April i, 1898. Mr. Libhart is
a Republican. He was reared in the faith of
the Reformed Church. Like his brother, Mr.
Libhart is very well liked in the community,
as is also his wife, and his reputation in busi-
ness affairs is above reproach.

York's own sons, born there May 30, 1874, son
of Elias and Harriet (Peeling) Kohler.

The Kohler family is of German descent.
Elias Kohler was the son of Jacob, who mar-
ried Miss Anna Seachrist, and was born April
15, 1845, the eighth child in a family of
nine. He worked on his father's farm till
he reached his majority and then started
out for himself in Dallastown, where he
was engaged in the butchering business
for two years. He followed the same call-
ing in York for the next three years, and an-
other three years were spent in the livery busi-
ness. From that time till 1887 he was the pro-
prietor of the "Central Hotel," then conducted
a restaurant at No. 12 South George street for
a year, and in January, 1888, took a position
as salesman with the York Furniture Company.
Five years later he returned to the hotel busi-
ness and for five years operated the "Aldine
Hotel" at Spring Grove. In April, 1898, he
returned to York, and after an interval of two
years resumed charge of the "Aldine Hotel"^
April I, 1902. Only a month later, however,
May 2d, Mr. Kohler died suddenly, leaving his
widow to carry on the charge he had under-
taken. Mr. Kohler was a man of an inventive
turn of mind, and in 1881 he devised what is
known as' the Kohler Improved Cattle Car, one
of the best ever invented. In politics he was
a Democrat, was a member of the town council
and always deeply interested in public affairs.
He was a member of the I. O. O. F., and pop-
ular not only in that organization, but very



generally, being well-known and liked by a
large circle of friends. He was married in
1868 to Miss Harriet Peeling, daughter of
John Peeling, and they had five children, Min-
nie A., Chauncey C, Anna Gertrude, Earl C,
and Harper L.

Chauncey C. Kohler was brought up and
educated in York, leaving school at the age of
thirteen to enter the employ of the Mutual
Union Telegraph Company in York, where he
spent two years learning telegraphy. He next
spent one year in Baltimore as inventory clerk
for the Union News Company, and then be-
came an apprentice with the York Daily Pub-
lishing Company to learn the printing business.
Two years later, when he was eighteen, he
was associated with the Daily and Gazette for
a year, and at the end of that time went to
Philadelphia, to leam the lithographing busi-
ness with Alfred M. Slocum, where he re-
mained three years, mastering the business.
He stayed in Philadelphia till 1898, and held
the position of foreman in the Spencer B.
Crouthamal printing and engraving estab-
lishment. Returning in that year to York, he
accepted a place as traveling salesman for
George A. Kohler & Company, cigar manu-
facturers with whom he worked till March,
1901, when he went into business for himself.
For the first two years he was located at No.
21 West Market street, then removed to No.
17 East Market street and in April, 1905, took
up his more commodious quarters at Nos. 26
to 30 North George street, where he has the
entire building. He was the foremost to es-
tablish a first rate cigar store in the cit}', an
example followed by several since, and was also
the one to introduce bowling into the city. He
now has by far the finest alley in York, and
also has opened attractive billiard rooms. Mr.
Kohler is alive and energetic, with modern
methods and is steadily prospering. His cigar
and tobacco business is a retail and jobbing
one, and is increasing in scope constantly.

Mr. Kohler was married June 23, 1898,
to Miss Florence Metzgar, daughter of An-
drew J. Metzgar, of Philadelphia. The young
people are popular socially and have a large
number of warm friends.

WILLIAM H. MILLER, a cigar manu-
facturer in Windsor township, was born in
that township, June 7, 1868, son of Theodore
and Ellen (Snyder) Miller, natives of Ger-
many who came to this country in 1861.

Theodore Miller, at the time of his emi-
gration, was twenty-eight years old, and a
shoemaker by trade. Landing at Baltimore,
he located first in Lower Windsor, and then
in Windsor township, removing still later ta
Martinsville, where he died Feb. 16, 1885, and
his wife, Nov. 3, 1888. He was a soldier in
the Civil war in 1862, enlisting in Company
G, 184th Reg. P. V. L, and serving three -
years. He was seriously disabled in the battle
of Petersburg, June 22, 1864, when his right
hip was shot away. Eight children were born,
to him and his wife, the oldest before the
family left Germany, viz. : Oscar, of Windsor
township; Emma, Mrs. Daniel Dillinger, of
Red Lion; Mary, Mrs. Calvin Dietz, of York-
ana ; William H. ; David, of Red Lion ; Sam-
uel A., of Windsorville ; Amanda E., Mrs..
Wesley Schmuck,' of Windsorville; and one
that died unnamed.

William H. Miller was still a child when
his parents moved to Martinsville, and received
al his education in that town. His first teacher
was James Sitler, and he completed his school-
ing under J. P. Wallace, at the age of sixteen.
Until he was thirteen the boy had always writ-
ten with his left hand, but Mr. Wallace com-
pelled him to use his right, an act which Mr.
Miller his since greatly appreciated. On leav-
ing school he began cigarmaking for George
W. McGuigan, continuing that occupation in
different places until he entered the business
for himself. In 1888, having saved enough
from his earnings to make the essay, he and
his wife began manufacturing cigars on their
own account, using the basement of their
dwelling for a factory. Mr. Miller was suc-
cessful in his venture, and in 1899 erected a.
building for his growing business, and he now
employs eight hands and manufactures cigars
ranging in price from $10.50 to $18 and $35
per thousand.

Mr. Miller was married, in Dallastown, in
1889, to Sophia J. Schmuck, daughter of Reu-
ben and Eliza (Neff) Schmuck, both of whom
are still living. Mrs. Miller has borne her
husband three children : Paul E., Ernest M.
and Orestus K. In religious faith Mr. Miller
is identified with the L'nited Brethren, and has
served as assistant class leader in that church.
Believing in the principles upheld by the Pro-
hibition party, he has always supported the
candidates on that ticket. He is emphatically
a self-made man, who commenced life with
nothing, but who has by his own industry and


perseverance made an assured place for him-
self. He is upright and honest, and commands
the unqualified respect of all who have been
.associated with him.

GEORGE W. GIVENS, of William Giv-
ens & Son, of York, fish and produce dealers,
was born in York, in 1869, son of ^Villiam
and Alary Ann (Miller) Givens.

Dietrich Givens, the grandfather of George
\\'., was a farmer of Manchester township,
вАҐwho later came to York. Here he died in
1877, and was buried at Prospect Hill ceme-
tery. He married Miss Elizabeth Leiben-
.knight, and they had these children : Dietrich,
a resident of York; William ; Angeline, wife of
Albert Fray, living in Baltimore; Mary, wife
of George Neff, the well known druggist of
York; Elizabeth, wife of Granville Weiser, of
Y^ork; Jane, wife of Peter Lantz, of York;
and Lydia, wife of Milton Brubaker, of Yoi-k.

William Givens was born in York county,
and received his education in the common
schools. He assisted his father in farming,
and at the age of twenty-two years engaged in
business for himself, on East Market street,
York, selling oysters. By strict attention to
business, and good management of his affairs
Mr. Givens has built up the finest trade in his
line in the county. For some time the busi-
ness was situated at Center Square, where
business was done day and night. Mr. Givens
located at his present place, at the comer of
Court and Newton avenues, in 1883, building
and furnishing to suit his business. The firm
is now doing a general commission business,
dealing in fruit, produce, fish and oysters,
wholesale and retail, buying the goods from
Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the finest of
goods are on sale in season. Mr. Givens was
married in York to Miss Mary Ann Miller,
daughter of John Miller, and to this union
these children were born : Charles E. G., who
died in 1882, at the age of fifteen years;
George W. ; and Ida May, wife of A. L. Har-
bold, of York.

George W. Givens attended the schools of
York, and after completing his education as-
sisted his father in the business. In 1903 he

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 192 of 201)