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History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

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large place in the hearts of York people since
coming among them, and are the recipients of
much attention in the most exclusive social



come a truism that the man with a specialty,
one who thoroughly understands a business
from the ground up, is he who is the most
likely to succeed in life. In these days, when
industries and enterprises of all kinds are be-
ing developed, it is the practical man who is
wanted. There is an abundance of capital in
the land ever ready to be enlisted in undertak-
ings that promise success. And at junctures
like that the man of the hour is he who can con-
duct the various departments of the enterprise
through the intricacies of actual operation.
Fredei-ick W. Weber is a practical man. He
knows how to do things in the_ special line of
work to which he has devoted himself. He is
the treasurer of the Hanover Cordage Com-
pany, one of the active industries of that city,
and it is a field of industry in which he is most
thoroughly at home. The present works were
established Jan. 29, 1900, by Mr. "John Green-
away, Frederick W. Weber and George H.
Bonte, who were known as the Bonte Cordage
Company, Limited. This company successfully
operated until April, 1903, wh£n Mr. Bonte
sold his interests to H. N. Gift and C. J. De-
lone, of Hanover, and the Hanover Cordage
Company was then incorporated by the follow-
ing gentlemen : President, H. N. Gitt ; vice-
president and superintendent, John Green-
away; secretary, C. J. Delone; treasurer, Fred-
erick W. Weber. They took the entire inter-
ests of the Bonte Cordage Company, Limited.
New machinery was added and the equipment
of the plant, once improved and increased, has
since been preserved and operated in excellent
condition. The business of the company has
rapidly increased since the new management
has thus come into possession. The capital
stock is $100,000, and 150 men and boys are
employed. The products of the company are
sold through the United States. Mr. Weber
has had many years' experience in this branch
of manufacture and understands all the details
of the cordage business, having started in when
a boy fifteen years of age, entering the em-
ploy of the Elizabethport Steam Cordage
Works of Elizabeth, N. J., in 1878. He has
worked in all the branches, such as preparing
the various fibres, spinning, etc., and even sell-
ing the finished product in many of the States
of the Union. It may be mentioned that his
maternal grandfather, Frederick Rutchow,
came from Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany,

where he was engaged in the manufacture of
twine and cordage, when the business was all
done by hand. Lie was a very successful man
in that line and an expert workman. In 1854
Mr. Rutchow came to America with the inten-
tion of locating a plant in Cincinnati, Ohio,
but finding conditions at the time not favorable
decided not to do so and went instead to Eliza-
bethport, N. J. So Mr. Weber has inherited to
a great extent thac equality which he possesses,
and which must be possessed to make any busi-
ness a success. His father, Anton Weber, who
came to America in 1856 from Prussia, Ger-
many, is also a prominent man in the cordage
business, in i860 engaging in the manufac-
ture of (hard fibre) cordage, and having
worked in many of the leading manufactories
in the United States, to-day having charge of
the preparation and spinning for the \Miitlock
Cordage Company, at Jersey City, New Jersey.

Mr. Frederick W. Weber is a native of
Elizabeth, N. J., born Jan. 29, 1864. His par-
ents, Anton and Freda Weber, were both born
in Gei'many, and in 1856 settled in New Jer-
sey, and in that State the youth of Frederick
W. was passed. In 1890 he came to Hanover
and took charge of the Hanover Cordage Com-
pany, Limited, in the capacity of superintendent.
He remained with the company until and
after the sale of the works to the National
Cordage Company of New York, and in 1898
accepted a position with the Lawrence Cordage
Company of Brooklyn, N. Y. Returning to
Hanover Mr. Weber, in 1900, interested a
number of business men in the plant with which
he is now connected, since which time he has
filled the position of treasurer for the company,
as well as having general charge of the buying
and selling of its products.

Mr. Weber was married, in October, 1890,
to Gussie E. Grube, of Rahway, N. J., daugh-
ter of Charles and Caroline Grube. To this
union two children have been born : Freda C.
and Charles A. Mr. and Mrs. W^eber are
prominent members of St. Mark's Lutheran
Church, of which he has served for a number
of years as deacon. In politics he is a Republi-
can. He is prominent in the fraternal orders,
belonging to Patmos Lodge, No. 348, F. & A.
M. ; Good Samaritan Chapter, No. 266, Royal
Arch Masons; and Gettysburg Commandery,
No. 79, K. T. He is also a member of Han-
over Lodge, No. 763, B. P. O. Elks.



J. WESLEY MYERS was born in Carroll
county, Md., March 19, 1850, the son of Philip
H. and Elizabeth (Baughman) Myers, and the
grandson of Jacob and Anna (^Lawyer) Myers,
the latter living to the age of eighty-six years.
Philip H. Myers, the father of J. Wesley, is
a man of more than ordinary force of
character. He was born in Carroll
county, Md., in 1822, and in his early
manhood married Elizabeth Baughman, who
was born in Maryland in 1825, the daughter
of Frederick Baughman, a native of Maryland,
an enterprising business man, and the owner of
mills and large landed estates, who was widely
known for his many estimable qualities. For
a number of years Philip H. Myers was en-
gaged in mercantile pursuits, and later turned
his attention largely to agriculture. He was
for thirteen years the president of the Dug
Hill Fire Insurance Company of Carroll coun-
ty. His wife died in 1894. He is still living,
now in his eighty-fourth year. Three children
were born to Philip H. and Elizabeth Myers,
namely : J. Wesley ; Maranda, wife of Samuel
Wine, of Hanover; and Elizabeth, who died
in infancy.

J. Wesley Myers received his education in
a private school in his native State. He early
applied himself to the vocation of a farmer, but
when he attained the age of twenty-three years
he began to deal in cattle on his own account,
on the farm in Carroll county, Md., conducting
the same successfully for a number of years.
The cattle were purchased by Mr. Myers at
Chicago for feeding for the Eastern markets,
and he continued the business successfully for
a number of years. In 1893 he removed from
his farm to the borough of Hanover, where he
has since resided. Since then he has purchased
a number of large properties at Hanover,- which
he has improved and repaired, besides remodel-
ing buildings already erected.

In every populous and thriving region that
owes its wealth and superior advantages to the
development of material resources, there are
necessarily men who lead in this forward
march, men whose perceptions are keen, whose
faith in themselves is undaunted and who pos-
sess the courage to put into execution the plans,
which to the dimmer-visaged may seem un-
certain of success. Mr. Myers is comparatively
young in years, but he was devoted in his

younger years to active business enterprises,
and he has acquired a competence to which he
constantly adds by the tramed business facul-
ties he has developed. He is sometimes called
by his friends a capitalist, a term which in this
instance is one of unblemished honor, typify-
ing as it does the achievement of a well-spent
life, and crowned with the means and willing-
ness to further various business enterprises
which exhibit to the experienced financier the
promise of permanent growth and public bene-
fit. Among other business relations he is a
director of the Hanover Savings Fund Society.
He is also a director of the Hanover Shoe
Manufacturing Company, one of the city's lead-
ing industries, the output of whose factory is
sold through twenty-three stores, which are
located in different States, most of them in
Pennsylvania and Virginia. The factory
makes a specialty of a superior shoe, which is
uniformly sold at all these retail stores for
$2.50 per pair. It is a new departure in the
shoe business, and one which has proved pop-
ular and very successful. Mr. Myers is the
owner of a valuable farm in Carroll county,
Md. He is also the owner of business property
on Baltimore street, Hanover, the three-story
structure on which — 28x100 feet — is occupied
by the drj^-goods firm of Wentz & Bro. Mr.
Myers is not only a business man of superior
merits, but he possesses that affability of man-
ner and courtesy of deportment in his relation-
ship with his fellowmen that has won him a
wide popularity.

In 1 87 1 Mj-. Myers married Mary Agnes
Schaeffer, daughter of Noah and Elizabeth
(Kessler) Schaeffer, of Carroll county, Md.
Three children have been born to them : Milton
P., an active business man of Baughman's
Valley, Md. ; Clinton N., secretary and treas-
urer of the Hanover Shoe Company, of Han-
over; and Bessie E., who died Sept. i, 19CX),
aged twenty-two years and six months. Mr.
and Mrs. Myers are prominent members of
Emanuel Reformed Church.

JAMES C. MAY, M. D., was born in
Washington township, York county, Jan. 14.
1858. His parents were John B. and Caro-
line (Leathery) May, of York county, and of
German descent. They reared a family of four
sons and three daughters, of whom James C.



is the second. He remained on the farm until
his fifteenth year, and attended. the common
schools and the York County Academy. At
the age of seventeen he began teaching in the
public schools. After teaching lour terms he
entered the office of Dr. Kain, at Manchester,
and at the end of two years went to Jefferson
Medical College, at Philadelphia, where he
graduated in March, 1881. Returning to Man-
chester he formed a partnership with his pre-
ceptor, and began practicing at once. In the
spring of 1884 he bought the interest of his
partner, and has since been practicing for him-
self. All his time is devoted to his profession.
In October, 1881, Dr. May was married in
Columbia, Pa., to Ellen M. Yinger, a native
of Manchester. They have two children, a
son and a daughter. The son, Charles H.
May, is a student in the medical department of
the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
The daughter, Mary, is at home. Dr. May
is an ex-president of the York County Medi-
cal Society, a member of the Pennsylvania
State Medical Society, and of the American
Medical Association. He has also served as
school director for Manchester borough a
number of terms.

CHARLES E. ZIGNER, a prominent
citizen and public ofliicial of Newberry town-
ship, who is post master at Etters and a justice
of the peace, has been actively engaged in the
livery business and the sale of fertilizers since
1887. Mr. Zigner was born in 1838, in Sax-
ony, Germany. His parents difd while he was
quite young, and he was sent to America by
the will of his guardian. Mr. Zigner located
at Mechanicsburg, Cumberland county, where
he learned the wheelwright's trade, and in
1858 he located in Shiremanstown, that coun-
ty, but stayed there only a short time, remov-
ing to Goldsboro, where he made horse rakes,
being among the founders of that industry.
In 1862 Mr. Zigner married Miss Mary Bur-
ger, and returned to Shiremanstown, where he
followed coach making until 1869. At this
time he was burnt out, and after this loss,
spent one year in Harrisburg, after which he
went to Mt. Wolf, York county, remaining
there three years. In 1872 Mr. Zigner re-
turned to Goldsboro, where he followed his
trade for fifteen years, and in 1887 he en-
gaged in the fertilizer business, in conjunction

with a livery business, which he has continued
up to the present time.

During President Harrison's administra-
tion Mr. Zigner was appointed post master
at Etters, and in March, 1903, was re-ap-
pointed, and holds that office at the present
time. Mr. Zigner was appointed a justice of
the peace in May, 1903, and has made a very
efficient official. Politically he is a stanch Re-
publican, and has held the office of councilman,
and has been a school director for a number of
years. He has also held office in Cumberland

The children born to Charles E. Zigner and
his wife were: (i) John B., who was ap-
pointed assessor of Goldsboro in 1900, and
again in 1904, and is now assistant postmaster,
married Emma Riesser, and lives at Golds-
boro ; he is a county committeeman and is very
active in politics. (2) Robert married Sarah
Pfisterer, and lives at Cly, York county. (3)
Harry B. is a clerk at Harrisburg. (4)
Charles B. married Becky Blessing, and lives
in Philadelphia. (5) Lydia M. married Prof.
Harry Smith, and resides at York, York coun-
ty. Mr. Zigner is a representative citizen of
Newberry township, one of the solid, substan-
tial, enterprising men whose good judgment
and public spirit continually contribute to the
advancement of the town.

DAVID S. WITMER, one of the promi-
nent and successful farmers in Windsor town-
ship, was born June 29, 1845, on the Witnier
farm in what was then Spring Garden (now
Springetsbury) township.

The Witnier family is from Swiss ances-
try who settled in Lancaster county. Pa.
David' Witnier, grandfather of David S., moved
to York county when a young man and made
his home near Stone Ridge, where he owned
about ninety acres. He was a Mennonite
preacher, and built the first church of that per-
suasion in his section, still known as the Wit-
nier meeting house. He continued his preach-
ing all through that region until he was pros-
trated by illness, passing away at his home in
1843, aged seventy years, eleven months, and
eighteen days. His wife, Magdalena (Kauff-
nian), whom he married in Lancaster county,
survived him until 1857. They were the par-
ents of seven children, namely : John, who
married Miss Lefevre, located first at Dills-



burg, and then in Manchester township, and
tneie died on the same day as his father, their
funerals bemg held together; Latherme, Mrs.
David f-'orry, aied at her home in Hanover in
1869; Lyciia, Mrs. David Sprenkle, lived and
died on the old Sprenkle homestead near
Nashville, York county ; Annie, Mrs. Samuel
Roth, died at her home near Nashville ; David,
a Mennonite preacher, married Miss Nancy
Kauffman and died at Bloomingdale, York
county; Elias is mentioned below; Susan, Mrs.
Christian Hursh, died in Windsor township.

Elias Witmer was born on the old home-
stead Feb. 8, 1 8 14, and was all his life a farm-
er by occupation. He remained on the Witmer
farm until 1858, and then bought the place
where his son now lives, a tract of sixty-four
acres on the road from Locust Grove to Stony
Brook. This farm was originally owned by
George Holtzinger, from whom it passed suc-
cessively to Harry Strickler, Zachariah Kendig,
and Mr. Witmer. The house was built of log
and stone in the first place, but David S. Wit-
mer has added another story of frame. The
barn still in use was erected in 1843 ^Y Harry
Strickler. Elias Witmer was a lifelong Demo-
crat, and served on the school board and as
supervisor. He married in 1840 Miss Annie
Strickler, daughter of Ulrich and Mary ( Shel-
lenberger) Strickler, and granddaughter of
John Strickler, who came to America from
Switzerland. Both husband and wife died on
the farm, he in 1873, aged fifty-nine years,
eight months, and six days ; she on Oct. 27,
1891, aged sixty-eight years, one month, and
twelve days. Their children were as follows :
Sarah ched unmarried, Aug. 8, 1901, aged six-
ty; David Strickler is our subject; John, a
soldier in the regular army for three years, and
a millwright and bridge builder by trade, mar-
ried Miss Ellen Amshbaucher, and died in
Lancaster, where he kept a hotel, Aug. 31,
1894, aged forty-six; Edward, deceased, pro-
prietor of the "Spring Garden Hotel" in East
York, married Miss Ellen Winemiller; Ulrich
died at the age of twenty-three : Henry died in
boyhood; Mary is Mrs. Jacob Landis, of
Springetsbury township ; Clara is Mrs. William
Markley, of Spring Grove, York county; Ag-
nes died in childhood ; Allen is a resident of
York; Amanda, Mrs. Ellsworth Kauffman,
died at Longstown, Aug. 8, 1888, aged twenty-
three ; Elias died in infancy ; Joseph lives with
his brother David.

David S. Witmer was thirteen years old
when his lather moved to the present home-
stead. Previously he had gone to school from
the age of five in the old Vv^itmer schoolhouse,
to John Throne, who taught there for a term
of four months each year. From the age of
thirteen Mr. Witmer' went to the Locust Crove
school, finishing under D. P. Brown, who is
now m Baltimore, still teaching. From the lo-
cal schools he went to the York Normal, study-
ing under S. B. Heiges and S. G. Boyd. At
the age of twenty, after leaving the Normal, he
began teaching, and his first position was m the
Tyson school, in Windsor township, atter
which he was successively engaged at the home
schools lor two terms, the Tyson for one, the
Windsorville for one, the Tyson for one, and
the Spring Garden township school for two.
During his vacations he usually worked on his
father's farm, and was at times a traveling
salesman for the Stauffer Cracker Company, of
York, spending, altogether, about a year and a
half in that business. For three years he trav-
eled for the Osborn Reaper Company. In
1883 Mr. Witmer took charge of the home
farm, and ten years later, after his mother had
died, he bought the place and has since then
given his entire attention to it. He does gen-
eral . farming, attends market, and is in every
way a progressive and wide-awake farmer.

The marriage of Mr. Witmer to Miss Eliz-
abeth Bull occurred in York, and the cere-
mony was performed by Rev. A. H. Lochman.
the same clergyman who united Mr. Witmer's
parents. Miss Bull was the daughter of Isaac
Bull, and granddaughter of Thomas Bull, who
came to this country from England. The fol-
lowing children were born to this union : Al-
bert Vincent, who married Miss Florence E.
Keimard, and who is in a railroad freight of-
fice in York: Edward H- of Wrightsville, who
married Miss Katie V. Poff ; Eli W., of ^Vind-
sor township, married to Miss Ida J. \Yan-
baugh ; and Annie C, unmarried.

Mr. Witmer and his wife are members of
the Mennonite Church. A lifelong Democrat,
he has always been active in politics, and has
filled several offices with unquestioned abilitv.
From 1893 to 1895, inclusive, he was regis-
ter of wills, and for nine years in succession
served on the school board, the last time poll-
ing the entire vote of his' own party and three
Republican votes in addition. In 1900 he was
appointed census enumerator for Windsor



township, being tlie only Democratic appointee
to that position in York county. Mr. Witmer
is a man of considerable influence, able and
well trained, and is held in the highest esteem
in his community.

agricultural implements, is a well-known citi-
zen of Hellam township, where he, like his
father before him, has passed his entire life.
His grandfather, Benjamin Strickler, is men-
tioned elsewhere.

Benjamin Strickler, father of Edward M.,
Avas born in Hellam township, near Wrights-
viUe, in December, 182 1. The farm on which
he was born and where his boyhood was spent
is now the property of Henry L. Stoner. He
received what, in those days, was a good edu-
cation in the subscription and public schools,
and was brought up to farming, in which call-
ing he was engaged throughout life. After
his marriage he settled on the farm of his
father-in-law, a half mile north of the Pike,
near Hellam. This farm he afterward bought,
and there he died in 1893, after a long and
useful life. He was widely known for his kind-
hriess and helpfulness to others, and lived an
upright, honest and honored life. He was al-
ways a Republican in political faith, and filled
the office of school director and judge of elec-
tions. In religious matters he followed Dun-
kard teachings. He married Eleanora Bahn,
daughter of David and Rachel (Witman)
Bahn, who was born in 1831, and still lives on
the home farm. David Bahn was a well-
known farmer of Hellam township, where he
hved and died. He was an active citizen and
held several township offices. He was a mem-
ber of the German Reformed Church of Kreutz
Creek, of which he was one of the founders.
His daughter, Mrs. Strickler, is also a mem-
ber of that church. The children of Benjamin
and Eleanora (Bahn) Strickler were as fol-
lows: Byron B., a farmer of Hellam town-
ship, who married Annie, daughter of Fred-
erick Sultzbach, of that township; Edward M.,
who is mentioned below; Albert W., who died
at the age of twenty-four, unmarried ; Elmer
D., who married Katy Myers, and lives on the
home farm; Mary E., who lives at home, un-
married; and Flora R., who is Mrs. Edward
B. Stoner, of Hellam township.

Edward M, Strickler, was born on his fath-
er's farm iii Hellam township, Jan, 17, 1856,
and attended the public schools of the neigh-
borhood until he was twenty years old. He also
attended York Academy for a few terms, his
vacations being spent in farm work. After
leaving school he taught for four years ; his
first school was in Lower Windsor township,
the other three years he taught in Hellam town-
ship. He married in 1881, and went to farm-
ing in his native township, but after five years
moved into Hellam, and was there engaged in
the meat business for fifteen years. At the
same time he served as justice of the peace,
his first election to that office being in 1889,
with two re-elections since. In 1901 he estab-
lished himself in the agricultural implement
business in Hellam, while he continues to carry
on with success.

Mr, Strickler married, Sept. 29, 1881, Clara
V, Stoner, daughter of Christian S. and Rebec-
ca (Landis) Stoner, of whom the former, now
deceased, was a farmer and lime dealer in Hel-
lam township, while the latter is now living in

Mr. and Mrs. Strickler have had the follow-
ing children : (T ) Ralph S., born Jan. i, 1883,
attended the public schools in Hellam township,
and York Academy, and graduated from Pat-
rick's Business College in York; he was book-
keeper for the firm of McClelland & Gotwalt,
and died May 14, 1905, aged twenty-two years.

(2) Claude E., born Dec. 2, 1887, attended the
public schools and graduated from Patrick's
Business College at York in September, 1904.

(3) Carrie V, died in infancy, (4) Walter B.
was born June 24, 1892. The family are mem-
bers of the German Reformed Church. Mr.
Strickler has always voted the Republi-
can ticket, has acted as election inspector, and
has served six years on the township school

G. MILTON BAIR, investment securities,
Hanover, has been active in the financial and in
the political affairs of York county, and for ten
years, as a Republican, he was elected a mem-
ber of the city council from a Democratic
ward. He has for a period of thirty-four
years, or ever since he attained his majority,
been a strong advocate of Republican princi-
ples. For fifteen years he served on the County



Executi\-e Committee of his party, and for
fifteen years as a ward committeeman. To his
ripe experience as a financier and business man
he adds a geniahty, which has made for him a
host of hfe-long friends. Mr. Bair is a native
of Hanover. He was born in that borough Dec.
30, 1850, sen of Edward and Deha (Gitt) Bair.

Edward Bair was born Jan. 14, 1810, and
was by trade a saddler, a vocation which he fol-
lowed through life, surviving to the age of
seventy-one years, his. death occurring Sept.
14, 1882. His father, John Bair, was also a
saddler by trade, and was twice married, first
to a Miss Bittinger. Delia (Gitt) Bair, the
mother of our subject, was born in Hanover in
1813. and was a sister of Josiah W. Gitt. She
died in August, 1903. To Edward and Delia
(Gitt) Bair were born five children, two of
whom died in infancy. The survivors are :
J. Emory Bair, cashier of the Gettysburg Na-
tional Bank, one of the oldest national banking
institutions in that city ; G. Milton ; and Alice
O., wife of Jacob N. Slagle, for many years
treasurer of the Hanover Savings Fund So-

G. Milton Bair was educated in the schools
of Hanover, completing his education in the

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 30 of 201)