George R. Prowell.

History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

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choir during his school days. He has secured
his education almost entirely by his own efforts,
earning the money to pay for his tuition.

Mr. Stauffer was married in Hallton, Elk
county, Aug. 26, 1903, to Miss Grace B. l\Ioh-
ney, aaughter of Silas and Maggie Mohney,
the former deceased. To this union has come
one child, a daughter named Ethel.

sentative business man of the younger genera-
tion in the lower end of York count}-, where he
has resided from the time of his birth, is a
leading manufacturer of the county, his plant
and headcjuarters being in the town of Yoe. He
was born in York county, in the immediate
vicinity of the present borough of Shrewsbury,
Oct. I, 1865, youngest of the six children of
Henry F. and Anna Y. (Keeney) Taylor.

Henry F. Taylor now makes his home in
Dallastown; his wife, Anna Y. Keene}', daugh-
ter of the late John Keeney, died in April, 1899.
Only four of their six children are still living.

James K. Taylor passed his boyhood in the
vicinity of his birth place, and was practically
reared to the discipline of the farm, while in
the district schools common to the rural local-
ities he secured his preliminary educational
training. His public-school work was supple-
mented by three terms in the Normal Depart-
ment of York County Academy, at York, where
he fitted himself for teaching, and became the
instructor in one of the district schools in
York township when eighteen j^ears of age. He
has pronounced talent, however, in another di-
rection. As a penman he displayed much ar-
tistic ability and facility, and this talent se-
cured him no little recognition in an incidental
way. After three seasons of successful work as
a teacher, under the county superintendency
of D. G. Williams and H. C. Brenneman, he
decided to turn his attention to the "eirt pre-
servative of all arts," for which he manifested
no slight predilection. Readily and with due
appreciation he mastered the intricacies of the
printing business, and several years were de-
voted to woYking for different persons engaged
in business along this line. Mr. Taylor was
not satisfied, however, and his ambition soon
led him to formulate plans to engage in busi-
ness for himself, and he forthwith began can-
vassing the situation and devising ways and
means. Realizing that considerable capital
would be demanded to inaugurate an enterprise
of very considerable scope, he w.isely decided to
begin operations upon a modest scale, and ac-
cordingly, Feb. II, 1892, he purchased six



small fonts of tj'pe and a small Dorman hand
press, capable of printing a form five by seven
and one-half inches, and with this little equip-
ment initiated the business which has now
grown to be one of considerable scope, as the
result of his energy and able management.
To-day Mr. Taylor owns the finely appointed
plant and businesses conducted under the titles
of the Yoe Printing Co., and the Taylor Cal-
endar Co., and his concerns have gained repu-
tations which transcend the limits of the State
of Pennsylvania. With his six fonts of type
and small press Mr. Taylor began the printing
of cards, note-heads, envelopes, etc., at his res-
idence, then in Jacobus, this county. He was
his own solicitor by day, journeyman printer
bv night and bookkeeper at intervals. Trials
and tribulations were encountered on every,
hand, and at times the outlook was far from
alluring, Mr. Taylor's greatest worriment be-
ing his inability to have an office of adequate
equipment to enable him to turn out a great
amount of work which was tendered him, and
which he was compelled to refuse for lack of
proper facilities. Many a time, in the coldest
days. of winter and the hottest of summer, he
was his own pack-mule, never having been
troubled with false pride. With finished work
that would weigh i6o pounds he would trudge
from one town to another to deliver the same,
which he carried on his back. His persever-
ence and unremitting application brought the
business to a prosperous standpoint. The
enterprise at that time was conducted un-
der the title of the Jacobus Printing Co. New
type, larger presses and other mechanical ac-
cessories became necessary, and Mr. Taylor
made additions to his equipment as rapidly as
he felt justified, and finally, almost before he
realized the condition, he found himself in con-
trol of a plant from which could be turned out
almost anything desired in the printing or
paper line. His specialty from the inception
of the business was mercantile work, and his
motto is at the present time. "If it's made of
paper, we have it." Novelties of every descrip-
tion are now to be had from this admirable es-
tablishment, and special features are cartons,
cigar-cases, cigar pouches, telescope pouches,
calendars and fans for advertising purposes,
besides book, job, half-tone and lithogravure
printing of the highest class. The goods of
this company go into all parts of the Union,

and while the establishment is one of the most
prosperous and well equipped under ]Mr. Tay-
lor's management, the enterprise can hardly
be said to be more than an "infant industry,"
for with the application of his originality, push
and marked power of initiative, a prediction
as to the ultimate magnitude of the business is
difficult to make. A year ago the Taylor Cal-
endar Company was organized to take care of
the wholesale part of the calendar business, and
it has already assumed great proportions. The
two concerns are rated in both Bradstreet's and
Dun's mercantile books. Mr. Taylor has made
his field of business brighter by a number of
years of patient toil and hard, indomitable ap-
plication. Among his most valvied possessions
to-day is the little Dorman press, which stands
silent in the midst of the fine modern machinery
of a thoroughly first-class printing establish-
ment, and the estimate which he places on the
primitive little press is based on his full ap-
preciation of the fact that it was the nucleus of
the present large business enterprise.

On July 13, 1888, was solemnized the mar-
riage of Mr. Taylor to Miss Emma Jane
Hengst, who was born and reared in this coun-
ty, a daughter of John and Fienna (Knaub)
Hengst, old and honored residents of York
county. In his home are centered our sub-
ject's highest hopes, affections and interests,
and the conditions are ideal in their nature.
About the pleasant hearthstone of the
home are the following named children :
Ada Idella, Austin James, Edna Grace,
Florence Estella, Mabel Minerva. • Emma
Leona, Herold DeWitt, Dwight Clement
and Kenneth Hengst. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor are zealous and de\'Oted members
of the United Evangelical Church, in which he
has been a most active and valued worker.
Several years ago, as a mark of appreciation of
his zeal and his ability as a Bible student and
expounder, the church ordained him as a
preacher, and he frequently occupies the pul-
pit. Notwithstanding the exactions of his busi-
ness and the manifold claims upon his time and
attention. Mr. Taylor takes a deep interest in
everything connected with the material and
civic welfare of his home town, freely giving
his time and energies, as well as his financial
support, to those movements which tend to con-
serve the general good. He is identified with a
number of fraternal and other organizations.

1 66


STEPHEN S. SECHRIST, a well-known
business man of the borough of Red Lion, in
York county, comes of a family which has long
been located in this region. His grandfather
was a farmer and distiller in Chanceford town-
ship, where he owned a large farm, and was
widely known in his section. He hauled his
whiskey to Baltimore for sale. He was twice
married, and had children by both unions.

John Sechrist, father of Stephen S., was
born in Chanceford township in 1813, and was
a farmer all his life, during his early manhood
also driving team for his father, taking the
product of his distillery to Baltimore. He was
given the advantages of a common-school edu-
cation, and made such good use of his oppor-
tunities that he became a prosperous and re-
spected man. After his marriage he settled on
the farm of 149 acres in Chanceford township,
which was his home for fifty-six years, during
which period he was successfully engaged in
general farming. At the end of that time he
sold the place and removed to Red Lion, where
he passed the rest of his days in retirement,
dying in 1901, at the advanced age of eighty-
eight years. Mr. Sechrist was a lifelong Demo-
crat, and an ardent supporter of the principles
of his party, but he could never be induced to
accept public office. He was a devout Christian,
was a member of Trinity Evangelical Church
of Chanceford, of which he served many years
as trustee, being quite active in church work.
He endeavored to live up to the teachings of
the faith he professed, and practiced fair deal-
ing in all his transactions.

John Sechrist married Susan Fry, daugh-
ter of Jacob Fry, and she still sur\nves, at the
age of eighty-three years ; she has been a mem-
ber of the Evangelical Church, and active in
its work. To Mr. and Mrs. Sechrist were born
nine children, as follows: Henry F., a farmer
of Chanceford township, who married Sarah
Richard ; Jacob, formerly a farmer, now super-
visor in Dallastown, who married Mary
Schaull ; Amos, who was also reared to farm-
ing, but is now engaged in cigar manufactur-
ing in Red Lion (he married Sarah Craley) ;
Leah. Mrs. Emanuel Stabley. who died in the
summer of 1904; Lizzie, unmarried; James, of
Berwick, Pa., a United Evangelical minister,
who married Delia Reichard ; Stephen S.. men-
tioned below ; William, who died when eight
years old; and John F., a cigar manufacturer
of Freysville, York county.

Stephen S. Sechrist was born March 24,
1857, in Chanceford township, York county,
on the old home farm previously mentioned,
and received his early education in the local
public schools, which he attended from the age
of six years until he was sixteen. For a short
time he was a pupil at the Union Seminary, at
New Berlin. Pa., and at the early age of eight-
een he began teaching, in the home school in
Chanceford township. He continued to follow
that profession for sixteen consecutive school
terms, being engaged at Dallastown. Red Lion
and Windsor, all in York county. He first
commenced his present business at Red Lion
on a small scale, in 1884, and continued to con-
duct the factory until 1899, when he formed
his present partnership with T. E. Brooks and
D. A. Horn, the firm being known as the Porto
Rico Cigar Co., of which he has always been
treasurer. The business increased rapidly
from the start, and the firm now has the larg-
est factory in the borough, occupying- a build-
ing 35 X 85 feet in dimensions, with room for
100 employees ; it is a substantial brick struct-
ure and was erected in 1900. The Porto Rico
Cigar Co. manufactures all grades of cigars
from those that sell for two for five cents up
to the ten-cent varieties, and also deals larg'ely
in leaf tobacco, doing a prosperous business in
both lines. There is no doubt that the ex-
cellent financial condition of the company's af-
fairs is due principally to the sound judgment
and good management of the founders of the
business, for Mr. Sechrist has alwaj-s ranked
among the most reliable men in the borough
since he took up his residence there. Begin-
ning with a small shop, he has worked his way
to a place among the leaders in his line in this
section, without aid from anyone, and he is
accordingly regarded with the utmost respect
by his business associates and fellow townsmen
generally. For the past three years he has been
one of the directors of the First National Bank
of Red Lion, and in all his business relations'
enjoys the merited confidence of those with
whom he has dealings. He has been identified
with the local civil administration as member
of the borough council and school director, in
which offices he discharged his duties with the
fidelity and efficiency which might have been
expected of an enterprising business man. who
understands the necessity for promptness and
straightforwardness in municipal affairs as
well as in private undertakings. He is a stanch



Democrat in political faith, and takes part in
the religious life of the community as a mem-
ber of the United Evangelical Church. Socially
he is an Odd Fellow, holding membership in
Katahdin Lodge, at Red Lion.

Mr. Sechrist was married in Windsor
township, York county, Sept. 11, 1883, to Miss
Susan G. Stine, daughter of Daniel and Susan
(Grove) Stine, and they have had four chil-
dren. Bertha (wife of Charles F. Zarfos),
James and Elsie, living, and Stella, deceased.
The home occupied by the family is conceded
to be one of the finest in the borough.

DAVID A. MILLER, merchant in Red
Lion, comes of a family long known in Penn-
sylvania, for the old Miller homestead was
originally purchased from William Penn him-
self, by the great-grandfather of David A.
Miller, and it remained among the descendants
for over 100 years, but is at present occupied
by W. Blouse.

Michael Miller, son of the original pur-
chaser, lived on the homestead first, but later
bought another farm to which he moved for
a while, afterward selling this property to his
son Jacob. Michael Miller lived to the age of
eighty-eight years. His wife's maiden name
was Sellers.

Jacob Miller, son of Michael, was born
on the homestead in Windsor township, and
was a lifelong farmer. He bought the old
home from his father and lived there till he
was sixty-five, when he retired to Red Lion,
and gave up all active part in affairs for the
ten years intervening before his death in 1895.
A member of the Reformed Church, he was al-
ways prominent in its work and filled various
church offices. A Republican in politics, he
was elected to several township positions.
Mr. Miller married Miss Mary Ann Anstine,
who was born and brought up in Lower Wind-
sor township. Her father was George An-
stine, a Revolutionary soldier, and her moth-
er's maiden name was Smith. Mrs. Miller
bore her husband ten children, of whom three
died in infancv. The others were : Catherine,
Mrs. Jacob Flinchbaugh. of Red Lion; Will-
iam H., deceased; Malinda, Mrs. Pius Kersey,
of Dallastown ; Eliza Jane ; Ellen, wife of Rev.
G. Grover, of Stark county, Ohio; Jacob A.,
of Red Lion ; and David A.

David A. Miller was born on his father's

farm in 1849, and lived there till he was eight-
een years old, attending the Miller school. His
first teacher was Mr. Hollinger, while he fin-
ished under Miss Annie Dietz. Jacob Miller
was an almost daily visitor at school during
the sessions of four and five months, and kept
careful watch to insure his children's studying,
hard, and improving every moment. The
teachers boarded in the family, and additional
help was given to the youthful students in the

At the age of eighteen Da\'id A. Miller
left home to go into the tanning and currying
establishment of J. Klump, of Marietta, Pa.,
and then, after two years there, went west to
Canton, Ohio, where he worked as a journey-
man. The next year was spent in the lumber
camps of Michigan, whence he made his way
to Lincoln, Nebraska, and there secured em-
ployment from the Chicago, Burlington &
Ouincy Railroad, in laying the track to Den-
ver. This occupied him for six months, the
next three were spent in grading the road
from Georgetown, Colo., to Deadwood, and
then for two years and a half he traveled about
taking any employment he could get, and mak-
ing his way finally down along the Pacific
Coast to Mexico. He never had any difficult3r
in securing work for he was a good mechanic
and could turn his hand to anything. In 1882
Mr. Miller returned home and became a part-
ner with his brother, J. A. Miller, who was
running a general store, grain elevator and
lumber yard. After three years' experience
with him David A. Miller went into business
for himself, opening the first bakery in Red
Lion, and conducted it for four years. His
next enterprise was in a cigar and leaf tobacco
business in the same city, and there, three years
later, in 1897, he opened the general store
which has ever since absorbed most of his at-
tention. He is wide awake and progressive,
and his store is the largest of its kind in town.

Mr. Miller was united to his wife, wdiose
maiden name was Agnes S. Dietz, in Ma3^
1886. Mrs. Miller was a dausfhter of the late
Jacob Dietz, of Hellam township, and his wife
Sarah (Louck) Dietz. One son, Luther, was
born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, but he died in in-
fancy. Mr. Miller is a member of the Re-
formed Church. Politically he is a Republi-
can. He was one of the organizers of the
Farmers and Merchants Bank, and has been a
director in it ever since.

1 68


to an old York county family, being the grand-
son of Joseph Graybill, who was a distiller
and the owner of several farms in West Man-
chester township, and who, in his earlier man-
hood, carried ireight by wagon to Baltimore.
Captain Graybill's father, Samuel Graybill.
who died in' i'882, aged seventy-three years,
%vas a farmer for many years and for the last
fifteen years of his life, a horticulturist, hn.v-
ing been an extensive fruit grower near Yark.

Captain Graybill has had a very remark-
able military career. He is the possessor of
six military commissions, one of them, his
captain's commission, having been signed by
the late Matthew Stanley Quay, when Secre-
tary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
and his first cortimission during the war was
signed by the late Charles A. Dana the as-
sistant secretary of war. Captain Graybill
enlisted in the Union army, in the War of the
Rebellion, when only sixteen years old and
was a commissioned officer before he was
twenty, serving gallantly in Gen. John F.
Hartranft's Third Division. He was commis-
sioned first lieutenant of the York Zouaves,
on Dec. 2. 1873, the commission being signed
by John F. Hartranft and M. S. Quay. These
Zoua\es afterward became Company A, 8th
P. N. G., Captain Graybill commanding, and
of this regiment he became quartermaster, serv-
ing seven years in the National Guard; earlier
he had been inspector general of the Fourth Di-
vision. During the war Capt. Graybill partici-
pated in many battles, and no soldier bears a
better record.

Next to his military career, Capt. Gray-
bill has reason to be proud of his record as a
volunteer fireman of York. He was one of the
organizers of the Rescue Fire Company, of
York, of which he was president for some
years, and he also organized the Firemens
Union, of York, of which he was also president
for a time. The forming of this union gave the
volunteer fire department of York its present
solidity, and with all the diplomacy of which
Capt. Graybill is possessed, it kept him busy
for six months in getting the several fire com-
panies of York together. Capt. Graybill was
also honored with the presidency of the State
Firemen's Association in 1885-86, and has in
his office the complimentary resolution passed
by that body at the close of his term of office.

But it is not only in the fields of war,
fire matters and insurance that Capt. Graybill
is known, but also in the field of invention, he
being the inventor of the Graybill Electro-AIed-
ico, a device for administering medicines by
means of the electric current (Patented, 1901),
and also of the Rheostat, a device for control-
ling electric currents (Patented Feb. 9, 1904).

Capt. Graybill was married, Dec. 10, 1874,
to Anna M. Detwiler, daughter of David Det-
wiler, a farmer and capitalist of Wrightsville,
who died Dec. 14, 1898. in his eighty-first
year. One daughter was born of this union,
Sarah, who died in August, 1876, aged ten

Capt. Graybill controls one of the most ex-
tensive insurance agencies in the interior of
the State. He represents six fire insurance
companies ; two life insurance companies — the
New England Mutual and the Travelers ; and
one plate glass company. The stability of his
companies and his own reputation for integrity
have brought him a very extensive business.

ADAM KOHLER, who for nearly forty
years has been identified with the business life
of Dallastown, is a native of Pennsylvania,
born in York county Jan. i, 1842, son of Ja-
cob and Mary (Sechrist) Kohler. He was one
of a large family, having five brothers and
three sisters, as follows: George and Eli. de-
ceased ; Jacob, of Nashville, York county ;
John, a farmer in Chanceford township ;
Charles, a cigar box manufacturer in Dallas-
town; Mary, Mrs. Reuben E. Beard, of Phila-
delphia; Leah, deceased, who married (first)
Henry Neff and (second) William Snyder;
and Cassandra, deceased wife of Henry flyers,
of Red Lion.

Adam Kohler was sent first to the public
schools of York township, and when he had
completed that preparatory course attended
Cottage Hill College, York, where he was
under the preceptorship of Prof. S. B. Heiges.
After leaving the college he taught in his own
township for seven terms and another in Dal-
lastown, but he never adopted teaching as a
permanent employment, and about 1866 en-
gaged in business in Dallastown as a general
merchant. For the next twenty years he was
thus occupied, and during part of the time also
conducted a cigar factory and carriage busi-
ness, but in 1886 he disposed of his other in-



terests, and has ever since devoted his atten-
tion exclusively to manufacturing cigars.

On May 28, 1870, Mr. Kohler was united
in matrimony to Miss Alice Geesey, daughter
of Samuel and Sallie (Reachard) Geesey, of
York township. To this union six children
have been born, namely : Claudia Estella, Mrs.
Halbert Bayler, of York City ; Lillie May ; Al-
verta Bell ; Mabel Garland ; Leona R. ; and
Howard Lee, who is in business with his father.

Mr. Kohler is a man of varied interests.
He is a member of the school board, belongs to
the I. O. O. F., Dallas Lodge, No. 1017, and
his church associations are with Christ Evan-
gelical Lutheran Church, of which he is a
trustee. He is also an old army man, having
enlisted in 1865 in Company G, 103d P. V. I.,
and served until the close of the war. For
forty-two years Mr. Kohler has been well-
known in connection with the Dallastown Band,
one of the oldest musical organizations in the
State, which he formed in 1862. This band
has furnished music on many notable occa-
sions, one of which was the funeral of Presi-
dent Lincoln, in 1865, when Mr. Kohler was
chosen to act as bugler. In all the relations of
life he is highly esteemed and possesses the
respect of his fellow citizens.

a Lutheran minister of Codorus township, hold-
ing the Jefferson charge, comes from one of
York county's early families.

William Ehrhart, his father, was born in
Shrewsbury township, York Co., Pa., Oct. 18,
1830, son of William and Ablena (Runk) Ehr-
hart and grandson of William and Susanna
Ehrhart. William and Ablena (Runk) Ehr-
hart had three sons and four daughters, name-
ly: William, father of our subject, who was
the last survivor of the family ; Emanuel ;
Henry ; Mary ; Maria, who married Peter Ful-
ccmer ; Eliza, who married Harry Zeck, and
Lucinda, who married Harry Gladfelter.

In February, 1854, William Ehrhart mar-
ried Eliza Stump, daughter of John and Mar-
garet (Hall) Stump, and the following chil-
dren were born to them : William Henry :
Benjamin; Adam A., a farmer of York town-
ship; Jesse; John, Lucy and Elizabeth, all three
deceased ; and Catherine, who is unmarried and
resided with her father in Dalhstown. The
mother passed away April 22, 1902, and the

father Feb. 6, 1906. During his boyhood Will-
iam Ehrhart attended the pay school in his na-
tive township, and after leaving school he went
to work at farming, which was his occupation
throughout his active years. He li\-ed in
York township until April i, 1903, when he re-
tired and moved to Dallastown.

William H. Ehrhart was born in York
township Oct. 26, 1861. He first attended the
township schools, then the York County Aca-
demy, and in 1884 was studying at Millers-
ville, Lancaster county. After teaching in Dal-
lastown and York township six terms he spent
a year and a half at the drug business in Phila-
delphia, and then resumed his studies. He
graduated from Pennsylvania College, in

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 32 of 201)