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the head of the Scottish troops, and with no
weapons but their ox-yokes succeeded in rally-
ing the frightened soldiers and at length drove
the Danes to their ships. As a reward for his
bravery he was called before the King, Ken-
neth II, who knighted him, and loosing a fal-
con, said he would give Hay all the land over
which the bird should fly, "from sunrise till
sunset," which comprised a considerable estate
in the County of Perth. Since that time many
of the descendants of Thomas Hay have held
high office in Scotland, notably Gilbert, who
was a partisan of Robert Bruce, and was con-



stituted by him Lord High Constable of the
Kingdom in 1315, for life, "with remainder of
his heirs forever.'' The present head of the
house is Charles Gore Hay, LL. D., Earl of
Errol, Baron Kilmarnock, of Slains Castle,
Cruxden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The family has been long represented in
York county, the first member to settle here
having been Jacob Hay, who emigrated from
Scotland in Colonial days and made his home
in what was then the Province of Pennsyl-
vania, at York. He became a prominent mer-
chant, and served as a justice of the peace.

Dr. Jacob Hay, Sr., son of the emigrant,
was born in York, and received his early edu-
cation there. He completed his literary train-
ing with a course at Princeton College, gradu-
ating from that institution, and then became a
student of medicine with the famous Dr. John
Spangler, in his day so well known all over
York county. He graduated in medicine at
the University of Maryland, and afterward lo-
cated in the city of York for general practice,
in which he continued actively for fifty five
years. His standing in his profession was un-
surpassed by any physician of his day in the city
or county, and he was equally prominent as an
enlightened and public-spirited citizen of the
municipality, ever ready to give of his time
and means to the furtherance of any good pro-
ject. Perhaps his intimate association with the
lives of the people, and his extensive riding
into different localities in the pursuit of his
professional work, gave him an insight into the
needs of the community that few had the op-
portunity to gain, and the affectionate esteem
which so many had for him made his influence
a power to be reckoned with. He took an in-
terest in everything that pertained to the local
welfare, served as a trustee of the York
County Academy and was for a number of
years president of the York Bank.

Dr. Hay married Sarah Beard, whose fam-
ily also settled early in York county, her father,
George Beard, being one of the first emigrants
to make a settlement in what is now Spring
Garden township. The Indians were still on
his land when he took up his home there, and
he gave them a pick and sho\-el to gain their
friendship and strengthen his title to the prop-
erty. He followed farming and also kept hotel.
Dr. Hay and his wife both passed away in the
year 1875, he in April and she in July. They



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



were members of the Lutheran Church. Eight
children were born to them, namely: (i)
John, who became a successful physician, died
at the age of forty-two. (2) Mary E., now de-
ceased, was the widow of Dr. J. A. Brown,
president of the Lutheran Theological Semi-
nary, at Gettysburg. (3) Caroline is deceased.
(4) Lucy, now deceased, was the widow of
W. H. Davis. (5) Jacob is mentioned below.
(6) William graduated from Pennsylvania
College, and was a highly successful lawyer
and a prominent member of the York Bar un-
til his death, which occurred at the compara-
tively early age of forty-seven. He was a man
of brilliant intellectual gifts and equally high
character, and had an honored place in tne
community. He was a Republican Presiden-
tial elector from his district in 1876. (7) Henry
and (8) Sarah are deceased.

Dr. Jacob Hay, Jr., was born in York in
1833. He received his early education in the
York County Academy and began reading
medicine in his father's office, subsequently en-
tering the Medical Department of the Uni-
versity of Maryland. He graduated in the
spring of 1854, and from that time until his
death, in 1897, was in continuous practice in
his native place. Dr. Hay will live in the
memories of many who looked upon him as a
friend in the truest sense of the word. His
skill as a physician enabled him to sustain suc-
cessfully the reputation established by his hon-
ored father, but his worth as a man counted
for just as much in his relations with his fel-
low citizens. He took a deep interest in the
question of public education, and served a num-
ber of years as a member of the board of school
control in York, for several years acting as
president of that body. He was a prominent
member of the York County Medical Society,
of which he served as president, and also held
membership in the State Medical Society and
the National Medical Association. Fraternally
he was a Knight Templar Mason, belonging
to the York Commandery. His death, which
occurred Oct. 18, 1897, was widely mourned
in many circles, and he was laid to rest in
Prospect Hill cemetery with many marks of
loving regard.

In 1865 Dr. Hay was united in marriage
with Miss Catherine L. E. Smyser, daughter of
Joseph Smyser, of York. Five children came
to this union: Sarah (Nellie), who is the wife



of Francis A. Stevens and lives at Overbrook,
near Philadelphia; Lucy Kate, wife of Charles
A. Weeks, residing in Philadelphia; Dr. Jo-
seph S., a graduate of Harvard, now practicing
in Boston, Mass.; Katie S., who is at home;
and Jacob, who has not yet completed his edu-
cation. Mrs. Hay still resides at the family
home. No. 141 West Market street, York.
She and her family belong to the Lutheran
Church, of which the Doctor v,ras also a mem-
ber.

SMYSER. The Smyser family, to which
Mrs. Hay belongs, is one of the oldest and most
prominent in York county. The name was or-
iginally Schmeisser, which translated means
"one who throws," and the laurel branch was
the emblem of the family. The first of whom
we have record is Martin Schmeisser, a farm-
er, who became second commanding officer un-
der Frederick V, and was mortally wounded
at the battle near Wurtemberg. His last words
were, "Though all the world is lost, I stand
firm in my faith." IMenzel's "History of Ger-
man Warriors."] He was a member of the
Lutheran Church in the parish of Lustenan.
Later his wife, Anna Barbara, aged fifty years,
emigrated to America in the vessel "Brittania,"
Michael Franklin, master, being accompanied
by her daughter, Margaret, aged twenty years,
and her two sons, Mathias, aged sixteen, and
George, aged nine. They sailed from Rotter-
dam Sept. I, 1 73 1.

Mathias Schmeisser (i), son of Martin and
Anna Barbara, was born Feb. 17, 171 5, in the
\'illage of Rugelbach, belonging to the parish
of Lustenan, about six miles west of Dinkels-
buhl, Germany. Dinkelsbuhl is a considerable
town within a few miles of the boundary of the
Kingdom of Bavaria. Rugelbach is situated
within a few miles of the boundary which di-
vides that Kingdom from that of Bavaria.
Dinkelsbuhl is nearly in a straight line between
Stuttgart and Nuremberg, about seventy-five
miles from the former and sixty miles west-
southwest from the latter. Mathias Schmeis-
ser made his first settlement in the neighbor-
hood of Kreutz Creek, York county, where he
follower the weaving business, soon afterward
taking up a large body of land in the vicinity
of what is now called Spring Forge, in the same
county. It is said that, anxious to get neigh-
bors, Mathias made presents of several farms



BIOGRAPHICAL



IS



from his own tract to such as agreed to im-
prove and live on them. Whether his brother
George v^as one of those who received a plan-
tation from him on the same terms mentioned
is not certainly known, but it is known that the
two brothers were neighbors at the above
named place, and it is said that Mathias, after
some years' residence there, finding that he had
parted with the best portion of his land, sold
out and purchased a tract of about 400 or 500
acres from a Mr. Henthorn, about three miles
west of York, to which he removed May 3,
1745. On this farm he continued to reside un-
til his death, in 1778.

George Schmeisser, Mathias' brother, pur-
chased a farm somewhere between York and
York Haven, where he resided several years,
and then, not being pleased with the quality of
his land, he sold it and removed to the back-
woods, as the west and southwest country was
then called, probably to some part of Virginia,
and nothing from the time of his removal is
definitely known of him. There are, however,
Smysers residing in the neighborhood of Louis-
ville, Ky., and it is thought that they are de-
scendants of George Smyser, the brother of
Mathias.

Mathias Schmeisser (i) married Anna
Wolfgang Copenheaver, who was born June
5, 1 71 7, and who died Feb. 13, 1763. Her
funeral was very large, and the following
hymns were sung: "Lo now I wish you good-
night," and "Oh, Jesus Christ, The Light of
my Life." The text of the funeral sermon
was from Luke X, 41-42. Rev. L. Rous was
the minister in charge. Mrs. Schmeisser left to
survive her a husband, three sons and six
daughters, out of a family of eleven children :
Col. John Michael; Mathias Jacob; Mathias;
Maria Dorotha; Sabina; Rosanna; Elizabeth;
Anna Maria ; and Susan. Those deceased were
John George; and Daniel, who died young.
Mathias Schmeisser (i) died April 12, 1778.

( I ) Col. John Michael Schmeisser, the eld-
est, was born in 1740, and died in 1810. He
was long and widely known as a respectable
farmer and tavern-keeper, the owner of a well-
cultivated farm of about 200 acres, which was
cut from a portion of his father's farm, and,
although not favored with a liberal education,
was known as a man of discriminating mind
and sound judgment. He was early associated
with the leading Revolutionary patriots of the
country, and marched to the battlefield as cap-



tain of a company in Col. M. Swope's regi-
ment, and was one of those who were taken
prisoner at Fort Washington, on the Hudson,
near New York, on Nov. 16, 1776. He be-
came colonel of his regiment, and the sword
carried by him in the War of Independence
may now be seen in the York County Histori-
cal Society's rooms. In 1778 he was elected
one of the members of the House of Repre-
sentatives in the State Legislature for York
county, and from that time until 1790 he was
seven times chosen to serve in that capacity.
In 1790 and 1794 he was elected to the State
Senate, serving until 1798. He left three sons
and four daughters : Peter, Elizabeth, Sarah,
Jacob, Mary, Michael and Susan.

(2) Mathias Jacob Schmeisser, son of Ma-
thias,. was born in 1742, and died in 1794. He
was also a respectable farmer . and for some
years a justice of the peace. In 1789 he was
elected to the House of Representatives, and
a few years afterward died at the age of fifty-
one years. He left children: Henry, Jacobs
Martin, John, Catherine, Daniel, Peter and
Adam.

(3) Mathias Schmeisser (2} (or Smyser),
the youngest of the three surviving sons, born
Feb. I, 1744, resided at the mansion home of
his father, where he quietly pursued the use-
ful occupation of an agriculturist, laboring
with his own hands for many years, and main-
taining in the course of a long life the well
earned reputation of an honest man of the strict-
est integrity. In the Revolutionary war he was
also in the service for some time, not as a sol-
dier, but as a teamster, conducting a baggage
wagon, and was throughout a zealous advo-
cate of the Whig cause. He lived to be over
eighty-four years old, a greater age, by several
years, than any of his brothers or sisters at-
tained.

(4) Maria Dorotha, the eldest daughter,
who married Peter Hoke, left eight children :
Michael, Clorrissa, Catherine, Peter, Jacob,
Sarah, Polly and George.

(5) Sabina married Jacob Swope, and re-
sided in Lancaster county, where she left five
sons, Jacob, George, Matthias, Imanuel, Fred-
erick and two daughters.

(6) Rosanna married George ]\Ioul and re-
sided for some years in the town of York, and
afterward removed to Virginia, with her hus-
band, locating between Noland's Ferry on the
Potomac and Leesburg in Loudoun county.



14



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



\vhere she died about 1796 or 1797, leaving
four daughters and one son, Susan, Catherine,
PoHy, Peggy and Phihp, Ehzabeth, George
and Daniel, each having lived to the age of
twenty years, and Peggy and Philip having
died since 1806.

(7) Elizabeth married Leonard Eichel-
berger, and at the time of her death was re-
siding near Dillsburg, York county. She left
four sons, Jacob, Frederick, George and John,
and four daughters whose names are not
known.

(8) Anna Maria, born in 1757, died in
1833. She married Martin Ebert, and left
George, Martin, Daniel, Adam, Michael,
Susan, Helena and Anna Mary.

(9) Susan, the youngest daughter, born in
1760, died in 1840. She married Philip Ebert,
and left one son and four daughters to survive
her : Henry, Elizabeth, Catherine, Lydia, and
Sarah; her youngest son, Michael, died about
a year before his mother. He had resided in
St. Louis, Mo., where he had engaged as a
merchant. Her second daughter, the wife of
Henry Small, also died about two years pre-
vious to her mother's death.

Thus we have sixty-four grandsons and
daughters of Mathias Schmeisser the elder,
nearly all of whom are now living and have
or have had families.

In April, 1839, Mathias Smyser (3), grand-
son of Mathias (i), set out to make a tour
through a part of Europe. He was then fifty-
six years old and had spent his past life as a
farmer in York count}^ The main object of
his trip to Europe was to visit the birthplace
of his grandfather. There was nothing in this
country by which the place of his nativity could
be traced except the inscription on his tomb-
stone in the burj'ing ground of the Lutheran
Church, in the borough of York. Mr. Smyser
sailed from New York for Havre, France,
where he arrived in safety. From Havre he
traveled through the interior of France to
Geneva ; from Geneva his main route was to
Lausanne, Berne, Basel, Freiburg, Strassburg,
Baden, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Krailsheim and
then to Dinkelsbuhl, where he inquired for
Rugelbach, and found that he was within six
miles of his destination. This is a small vil-
lage inhabited by farmers, and in itself is noth-
ing interesting to a stranger, but to him who
sought it as being the birthplace of his ances-
tor, it was a spot of intense interest. When the



house was pointed out to him, in which his
grandfather had been born 124 years previous,
still known by the name of Schmeisser' s house,
though its present occupants were of another
name, when he beheld this time-worn, humble
mansion, when he entered it and felt a con-
sciousness of being within the same walls,
probably treading upon the same floor which
more than a century ago had been trodden by
his grandfather, his gratification can hardly be
imagined by us who have not experienced it.
Mr. Smyser called upon the then pastor of
the parish, the Reverend Sieskind, and made
known to him his desire to see his grandfather's
name on the baptismal register. The reverend
gentleman opened the ancient book, but
through age and accident it had become much
mutilated, and it took hours of patient search
before the following interesting entry was
found: "Mathias Schmeisser, born 17th day
ot February, 171 5, son of Martin Schmeisser
and his wife. Anna Barbara, was baptized.'' etc.
This record agrees precisely vvith that on his
combstone in America. The minister next led
Mr. Smyser to the church of the parish and
pointed out to him the taufsteine, assuring him
that, according to the unvarying custom, be-
fore that stone, and on that spot, his grand-
father had been baptized. In the register men-
tioned above and also in that of a village called
Dreiber, some miles distant, the name of
Schmeisser was very often found. Mathias
Smyser met with a man named Andrew
Schmeisser at or near Mosbach, who was sixty-
seven years of age, with whom he was greatly
pleased, seeing in him a strong resemblance to
his own father, especially when the latter was
about the same age. They may have been sec-
ond cousins, although Andrew Schmeisser had
no recollection of hearing that a Mathias
Schmeisser had emigrated to America.

Mathias Schmeisser (i), and his brother
George, were among the original members of
Christ Lutheran Church, of York, the first Lu-
theran congregation organized in Y^ork and its
vicinity, soon after his arrival in America.
Their names are found on the record of the
members of that congregation, which com-
menced the erection of a church, a wooden
structure, in 1752. In the graveyard connected
with this church, in 1778, his body was inter-
red, the evidence of which is found on his
tombstone.

The Smyser family were all warm and ac-



BIOGRAPHICAL



15



tive supporters of the American cause during
the Revolutionary struggle, Col. Michael Smy-
ser being a useful man in the councils of that
time, as well as in the field. When the war
commenced in 1775, and the port of Boston
was closed, for the purpose of starving the
people of that important point into submission,
a committee of twelve persons of York county
was formed for the purpose of affording re-
lief to their distressed brethren of Boston.
A sum of nearly 250 pounds specie, a large
sum at that time, was raised and remitted to
John Hancock, afterward president of Con-
gress, with a spirited letter of encouragement
and promises of further assistance. These
facts are recorded for the honor of our country
in the American Archives at Washington with
the names of the committee. Michael Smyser
was an active and leading member of that com-
mittee and remitted as a part of the above sum,
from Manchester township, six pounds, twelve
shillings and one pence. If the American
cause had failed, every member of that commit-
tee, as well as their illustrious correspondent,
on whose head a price was set, would have for-
feited their lives on the scaffold.

To return to the record of the earlier gen-
erations in direct line to Mrs. Hay :

Mathias Schmeisser (2), born Feb. i,
1744, died Feb. 21, 1827. On March 5, 1771,
he married Louisa Slagle, who was born May
3, 1744, and died Aug. 26, 1820. They had
children as follows : Maria Catharine, who
married S. Eichelberger ; George, who mar-
ried Catharine Gardner; Jacob, who married
Elizabeth Emig; Anna Maria, who married
John Emig; Mathias (3), who married Eliza-
beth Eyster; Philip, who married Susan Hoy-
er; Elizabeth, who died young; and Henry,
who married Catharine Spangler.

Mathias Schmeisser (3), born Dec. 29,
1782, died April 7, 1843. ^^ 1804 he married
Elizabeth Eyster, who was born in 1776, and
who died in 1 849. They had two sons and two
daughters : Joseph married Sarah Weaver ;
Samuel married Rebecca Lewis ; Sarah married
Jacob King ; Elizabeth married George Laucks.

Mathias (i), Mathias (2), and Mathias
(3) and their wives were all buried in the
churchyard of Christ Lutheran Church, in
York, but later they were removed to the lot of
Joseph and Samuel Smyser, in Prospect Hill
cemetery, at York.

Joseph Smyser, son of Mathias (3), was



born Feb. i, 181 1, on the old homestead in
West Manchester township. He was engaged
in farming throughout his active years, but
during his closing years lived retired in York,
where he died, Jan. 31, 1903. In 1835 he was
married to Sarah Weaver, of Adams county.
Pa., and they had children as follows: Cath-
erine L. E., the widow of Dr. Jacob Hay, and
the historian of the family; Ellen Sarah,
widow of Clay Lewis; and Alice M., widow
of Dr. J. G. Cannon, residing in York. Mr.
Smyser was a charter member of the Union
Evangelical Lutheran Church, and always took
an active part in its work. He was a Repub-
lican in political faith. A man of high char-
acter, he stood well among his associates in
every walk of life.

HENRY NFS, M. D., president of the
York National Bank, director of the York Gas
Company, is of the fourth generation in York
county of a family noted for the versatility
and solid attainments of its representatives.
jMoreover, his grandfather, his father and him-
self, native sons of York count}^, have all iden-
tified themselves with professional, industrial,
financial and legislative history there, and they
have woven themselves not only into sectional
but national affairs.

In the York Recorder of July 22, 1828. ap-
peared the following obituary notice :

"Died on Saturday evening, the 19th in-
stant, William Nes, Esq., of an extremely pain-
ful and lingering disease, aged about sixty-
eight years. Mr. Nes was treasurer of York
county the usual time the office is held by one
individual, and was afterward a representative
in the House of Representatives of the General
Assembly. For many years he was one of the
most enterprising and successful merchants of
York, and in all his vocations, whether public
or private, he sustained the character of an
honest man. He was of an obliging and friend-
Iv disposition. To his friends he was devoted,
and in his friendships he was ardent and sin-
cere."

This ^^'llliam Nes was the great-grandfather
of Dr. Henry Nes. He was born July 13,
1 761, was one of York's leading merchants,
and took an active part in the affairs of the
town. He began business with a general store
located at the southwest corner of Market and
Water streets, afterward purchasing the prop-
erty in Center Square now known as Jordan's



i6'



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Corner, which he occupied as a residence and
place of business until his death, in ii828.
From 1 817 to 1820 he held the office of treas-
urer of York county, and was a member of the
Pennsylvania Assembly during the years of
1820 and 1 82 1. William Nes was one of a
number of leading citizens of York who or-
ganized the York Bank, now the York Na-
tional Bank, becoming one of its first board of
directors. He was married to Elizabeth, a
daughter of Rudolph Spengler, the latter one
of York's early settlers and a captain in the
Revolutionary war. Both William Nes and
his wife are buried in Christ Lutheran church-
yard.

Hon. Henry Nes, M. D.(son of William
Nes), the grandfather of the living representa-
tive of that name, colleague of Hon. Thaddeus
Stevens in Congress, and a distinguished phy-
sician and surgeon, was born in York, May 20,
1802, and died Sept. 10, 1850. On Aug. 25,
1825, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Benja-
min Weiser, and five children were born to
them: Dr. Charles M. ; Arabella, Mrs. E. A.
King; Frederick F., who was for many years
connected with the United States Coast Sur-
vey; Margaret, Mrs. G. W. Doty, of Clinton-
ville. Wis.; and Ada E., wife of Dr. B. F.
Spangler, of York. Dr. Henry Nes and his
son. Dr. Charles M. Nes, are more fully men-
tioned in the first volume of this work.

Charles M. Nes, M. D., was born in York,
June 26, 1827, and died June 11, 1896. In
1846 he married Caroline, daughter of Jacob
King, and the surviving children of this union
are: Dr. Henry Nes, Charles M. Nes, E.
Gulick Nes, and Elizabeth (Mrs. Eli Forney).

Henry Nes, M. D., the eldest of the four
children of the late Dr. Charles M. Nes and
Caroline (King) Nes, is descended on his
mother's side from the Smysers, who were
among the opulent landowners of this section
of Pennsylvania. He was born in York, in
1854, and received his education at the York
County Academy and the Eastman Business
College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Like his father
and grandfather his attraction to the medical
profession was too strong to be overcome, and
he abandoned a position in a York bank to as-
sume professional studies. After graduating
from Jefferson Medical College. Philadelphia,
and assisting his father for a time, he returned
to a business career by establishing the York
Tack and Nail Works. As active head of that
concern for twenty years, he developed it into



one of the most prosperous manufactories of
the city, retiring from his responsibilities in
October, 1905.

Ten years ago Dr. Nes became a director of
the York National Bank, and from the first
has actively participated in its management.
He served for six years as its vice-president,
and in January, 1906, was elevated to the pres-
idency, succeeding- Grier Hersh, who resigned
to become the head of the Maryland Trust
Company, of Baltimore. Dr. Nes thus takes



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