George R. Prowell.

History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

. (page 35 of 201)
Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 35 of 201)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

scribes the place in his "Autobiography of a
Country Parson" : "We were invited to spend a
summer in Uncle John's Oak Bank, Ramelton.
The Oak Bank was one of the most delightful
spots, commanding a view of Lough Swilly on
tthe east, with a forest of grand old oaks on the
west, and the beautiful River Lanyan flowing
in front." The house is still standing on the
lough, though much changed. But half a doz-
.(Cn of the oaks are still left.

It was in this beautiful spot that Mr. Gam-
"ble spent his boyhood. He was carefully edu-
cated in the Classical School of Ramelton,
where he developed a particular proficiency in
mathematics. Financial reverses, however,
coming at the age of nineteen, he and his broth-
ers were forced to emigrate to America. He
first attempted to settle in New York, but not
finding congenial employment there he went to
Philadelphia, where he was taken into the large
bookbinding firm of Altemus & Co., to learn the
■business of gilding and stamping book covers.
Having thoroughly mastered this business, he
returned to New York, to accept a position in

1. "The Autobiography of a Country Parson," by
James Reid Dill, M. A.

2. Anne Park (wife of Alexander Scott, of Ros-
reagh) was the daughter of Nathan Park and Anne
Wood, a niece and ward of the Earl of Belmont. This
family intermarried with the Shaftsbury and Enniskil-
len families. The Parks were an important county
family in the North of Ireland at that time, holding
large possessions in County Donegal.

the Bible House, with which he was connected
until called to the work to which he practically
devoted his life. Most of his leisure he spent
in study, his ambition at this time being to ob-
tain a college training. He even contemplated
entering the ministry ; and being unable for the
lack of money to buy the books he needed, he
copied out the whole of "Hodge's Systematic
Theology" by hand.

When the position in which he afterward so
distinguished himself was offered him, he was
extremely reluctant to accept. It was so en-
tirely different from the plans he had made for
himself, and he was so modest in regard to his
own powers, that it took much persuasion on
the part of his friends to make him see his fit-
ness for so responsible a task. Of this work we
can g-ive no better idea than that contained in
the memorial sketch by his friend and co-
worker, the Rev. John Wherry, which was read
at Mr. Gamble's funeral, and printed in the
York Daily of May 22, 1886. We quote all
but the opening lines, the substance of which is
given above :

"At this time a competent layman was
wanted to take charge of the infant press that
the Presbyterian mission had established at
Ningpo. Mr. Gamble's intelligence, education,
energy, practical business capacity, robust
health, all crowned with strong Christian prin-
ciples, marked him as the man for the place,
and he was unanimously chosen by the board,
and after some months' study of electrotyping,
at that time a new art, was sent out about the
year 1858. On his arrival at Ningpo, it became
his ambition to make the small and compara-
tively inefficient establishment he found there
the most potent factor possible in the enlight-
enment and evangelization of China. To do this
it soon became necessary to remove it to Shang-
hai, which, after its opening as a port, began
to absorb the trade of Ningpo and other ports,
and to become, as it now is, the great commer-
cial metropolis of Eastern Asia. Here it re-
mains, and here it flourishes to-day. With com-
modious buildings and ample appliances it soon
became the leading publishing house of the
East; and, were this all he had accomplished,
his career would have been called a success.
But this was only the preliminary condition of
his real work. To explain clearly in the brief
space allotted to me to an audience unfamiliar
with the Chinese language what this was is


difficult; but I hope at least to give an in-
telligible idea of it. It must be remembered
that Chinese writing is not alphabetic but ideo-
graphic, that words cannot be compounded of
letters, and that, in printing, each word must
have its own individual, solid, metallic type.
Thus instead of twenty-six capitals, twenty-six
Roman letters, ten numerals and the few punc-
tuation marks and other signs which make up
an English font, and which will suffice to print
all the words in the dictionary, the ten thou-
sand words in common use in Chinese require,
except for a modification of the system, which
eases the matter somewhat, ten thousand dis-
tinct individual kind's of type, requiring ten
thousand matrices to cast. To maks them was
'the problem Mr. Gamble set himself to solve.
By the old method the character was cut out
of a solid block O'f steel, and this as a punch,
when hardened, was driven into a piece of cop-
per, which, properly adjusted to the typecast-
ing machine, became the matrix for that char-
acter. But the cutting out of steel of ten thou-
sand different punches, some of them most com-
plicated, involved such prodigious labor, pa-
tience and expense, as to become practically an
impossibility. Mr. Gamble, studying the prob-
lem, conceived the idea of cutting the characters
on ends of oblong blocks of boxwood, taking
from these, when set up, like pages of type, wax
impressions on presses made for this purpose,
transferring these impressions, properly cov-
ered with plumbago, to an electro-typing bat-
tery, backing up the copper plates thus produced
with type metal, sawing the plates into squares,
each containing a character, and fastening these
into blocks made most ingeniously out of
grooved bars, thus producing, except the cut-
ting on boxwood of each character, a simple
Chinese art, matrices by the hundreds instead
of singly. These matrices, thus made, not
only cost but a fraction of the expense and time
of those made by the old method, but were
much superior in form and accuracy. This in-
vention, for so it must be called, though not
patented, revolutionized the making of Chinese
type. The next difficulty Mr. Gamble had to
meet was to arrange these cheaplv produced
ten thousand kinds of types in cases so as to
be readily accessible by the hand of the com-
positor. As a preliminary he employed compe-
tent native Chinese scholars to index riot only
all the different characters in the thirteen

Chinese classics and the Bible, as translated by
Dr. Culbertson, his colleague, but to count the
number of times each occurred. Bookkeepers
who know what it is to post accounts can judge
of the labor of making so many entries in a
ledger as there are words in the Bible (I do
not mean kinds of words), and thirteen books
besides. It took three industrious men a whole
year to accomplish this preliminary work. On
the relative frequency of characters thus as-
certained, besides regulating the number of
each kind of type to a font, he arranged the
size and position of the boxes in the type-cases,
which were in the shape of a hopper, with the
compositor in the vortex, relegating to draw-
ers or cases on the walls characters that were
only called for perhaps a few time in a whole
book. The labor and loss of time thus spared
to the compositor can only be appreciated by
one who has personally seen the old style and
the new. I may add that Mr. Gamble pub-
lished a list of these characters, thus indexed
and counted, with the number of times found,
which is one of the curiosities of literature;
and also that on the basis of the relative fre-
quency of characters thus laboriously obtained
Dr. Martin, now of the University of Pekin,
prepared a text-book for beginners in Chinese,
both native and foreign. These great projects
having been successfully accomplished, Mr.
Gamble's next work was to construct by his
new processes a font of Chinese types, which,
while perfectly legible, were to be but of the
size known to printers as small pica — smaller
than hitherto had been practical. His object
was two-fold — first to be able to print the Bible
in a conveniently small and inexpensive form
for general circulation ; and second, to be able
to align Chinese and Roman types in the
dictionaries, grammars, and scientific books he
was constantly called on to publish. This, after
several years" labor, was successfully accom-
plished, and admirably answered both purposes.
I cannot show you Dr. Williams' large Chinese-
English dictionary, which, though not printed
by Mr. Gamble, was printed soon after his de-
parture from China on the type he had made,
but I hold in my hand a copy of the Bible
printed by himself from this font, which, from
cover to cover, binding and all, is in the most
important sense his workmanship. This done,
to make practical reference Bibles in Chinese,
he produced a small font of legible types but

1 82


the fourth part of the size of small pica. Con-
jointly with these great works he undertook to
perfect all existing fonts of Chinese types, and
made new sets of matrices by his own pro-
cesses, which are now caretully preserved in
fire-proof safes in our press at Shanghai. This
also was a work of years, but done once was
done forever. I might also mention Manchu,
and especially Japanese fonts, the latter of
which cost him much thought, many experi-
ments and no small correspondence with mis-
sionaries in Japan, the beautiful result of which
is seen in Dr. Hepburn's Japanese-English
dictionary, also printed at our press simulta-
neously with Dr. Williams'. He also undertook
to make electro-type plates of the chief standard
Christian books published by the Press, to les-
sen expenses and facilitate rapidity of produc-
tion. He had the satisfaction, and it was a
very great one to him, of producing, before he
left Shanghai, from such plates a beautiful
edition of the New Testament, which he could
afford to sell, bound in the Chinese manner,
in paper stitched with silk, for five cents a copy.
In like manner he produced a cheap popular
edition cf the celebrated ]\Ir. Burns' transla-
tion into Chinese of the Pilgrim's Progress.
If it be remembered that while he was exe-
cuting these laborious projects with the as-
sistance of other hands, which had only be-
come skilled out of the crudest material by
his own years of patient teaching, he was at
the same time directing and looking after, to
the minutest particulars, a printing establish-
ment that poured out annually nearly 30,000,-
000 pages of Christian and other literature, the
indomitable courage and energy of the man
can begin to be appreciated. This involved the
selection and oversight of forty or fifty work-
people, inspection of their work and pay rolls,
purchase of materials in other ports and Eu-
rope and America, innumerable accounts, an
extensive banking and shipping business, and a
correspondence that extended to every port and
mission station almost in China, as well as to
Elngland, America, Australia, the; Sandwich
Islands and Japan. Only perfect system, per-
fect control of his forces, and untiring in-
dustry, could have enabled him to accomplish
so many, so varied and so difficult tasks. And
in the meantime was growing without his wish
a type foundry rivalling the Press in the extent
of its operations, supplying, as it did.the \\'orld

with Chinese types. There are fonts made by
himself, or from his matrices, in various parts
of China, Japan, England, France, and the
United States. From the 'Mei Hua Shu Kuan,'
as it is known over China, at the east gate of
Shanghai, have sprung many Chinese printing
establishments, some Governmental, some mis-
sionary, some newspaper, some private,
through which our friend, though dead, is still
effectually assisting in the intellectual and re-
ligious awakening of that Empire. This was
his life work, so far as it was peculiar. In
it he had found his sphere, and was peerless.
It is safe to predict that for a century to come
not a Bible, a Christian or scientific book
printed from movable Chinese types in that
Empire or in Japan, but will bear the impress ■
of Mr. Gamble's hand. And yet, such was his
modesty, that I doubt if even his most intimate
friends had any adequate conception of what
he had done. It was as a rule only incidentally
that he spoke of his work. This sketch would
not be complete without a few words about his
religious life as I saw it in Shanghai. His
workmai were native Chinese, and most of
them were at fir.^'t heathen. For their instruc-
tion in the doctrines and duties of Christianity
he was always anxious, and made constant pro-
vision. In this he was assisted by his col-
leagues, a native preacher who is now the
pastor of the separate church that embraces
the workmen at the Press, and by his native
foreman, a devout Christian man, and most
trusted friend. He attached himself to the
Union Church at Shanghai, and was seldom
absent from its services or from the weekly
prayer meetings and other meetings of the mis-
sion. But he took special interest in a class
of young men, English, Germans and Swedes,
whom he gathered together at Shanghai, and
met each Sabbath at his own house for the
study of some Scripture lesson and prayer.
Every branch of the work of his own mission
received his careful thought, and, burdened as
he was by his own tasks, he still found time
to advise, help and encourage his colleagues
in all their work. He took special interest in
the founding of the China Inland Mission,
under J. Hudson Taylor, the special object of
which was to place missionaries in the interior
and in every province, and when the ship 'Lam-
mermuir' brought the first dozen missionaries
of that societv to China he received them into



liis own home, and entertained them until they
were able to make arrangements for their abode
in the interior. His hospitality to the members
of the mission, and indeed to all men, was un-
bounded. He lived to see this society the
largest by all odds in China, able to send out
seventy new missionaries, I believe, in one year.
When his work in Shanghai was done he
made a tour of the mission ports and stations
in China, and after several years' labor in
Japan, where he went at the request of a
Japanese prince, to teach type founding and
printing, he returned to this country. \A'ith
the desire for knowledge, especially of a
scientific kind, which always characterized him,
he entered the Sheffield Institute at New
Haven, where, in recognition of his services to
China and Japan, Yale College conferred on
him the honorary title of [Master of Arts. He
then entered the [Medical Department of the
University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia,
and continued his medical studies at Paris, re-
siding afterward successively at Geneva, Lon-
don and Edinburgh, whence he returned to this
country, and settled in York. His life here, as
you know, was quiet and uneventful. His true
work had been done in China. There his name
will be gratefullv remembered. There his in-
fluence through the mighty engine of the press
will be felt for all generations. Of our per-
sonal relations I cannot now speak. Suffice it
to say, that thrown together for five years in a
heathen land, intimately associated in bur work,
for mine in a sense supplemented his, we
formed mutual attachments which death has
not power to dissolve."'

Mr. Gamble was nianied Sept. i, 1874, in
Philadelphia, to Miss Phinie Aliller, daughter
of the Rev. Samuel [Miller. Irnmediately upon
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gamble went to
Europe, where they remained seven years.
Wishing, however, to have their children
brought up in America, they returned to this
country in the spring of 1881 and came to
York in the summer of that year. Mr. Gamble
built a home on the corner of Duke street and
Cottage Place, but did not live many years to
enjoy it. He caught a violent cold in May,
1886, and died on the i8th of that month. He
is buried at Prospect Hill cemetery. His chil-
dren are as follows: Rev. William [Miller
Gamble, Anna Dill Gamble and Samuel

has since 1901 been the efficient assistant post-
master of York, and for twenty years prior to
that time was connected with the York Dis-
patch. Mr. Hugentugler is a descendant, on
both sides, of old and honorable families, the
Smysers receiving fuller consideration else-

The history of the family bearing the name
of Hugentugler can be traced back to the year
1710, at which date the original emigrant came
to America from Hesse-Darmstadt. Frorii
1 710 no trace can be found of the name until
in 1750, when the birth of Abraham Hugen-
tugler, the great-great-grandfather of Ephraim
S., occurred. Four daughters and two sons
were born to him. In 1794 one of the sons, the
great-grandfather of Ephraim, married MisS'
Christina Ortman. Ten children, seven sons-
and three daughters, were born to this union.
One of the sons, Samuel Hugentugler, the
grandfather of Ephraim S., was born in 181 3.
He was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca
[Madden, and of this union were born four
children, three sons and one daughter. Of this
family Ephraim JM. Hugentugler, born in 1838,
married Mary A. Smyser, and their family
numbered eight children, seven of whom are
living, Rebecca having died when only six
years of age. The living are: Ephraim S.,
assistant postmaster of York ; Luther S.,
wholesale cigar dealer of Columbus, Ohio;
Harry S., a chairmaker of York; and Estella,
Abbie S., Grace and Mary, living at home.
The father, Ephraim M. Hugentugler, an
honored resident of York, is a retired mer-
chant. For many years he was one of the able
business men of that place and through honest
dealing and thorough business methods ac-
quired a competency, by which he was able to
retire in his advancing age.

Ephraim Smyser Hugentugler was born in
Columbia, Lancaster county. [May 31, 1869.
When he was ten years of age his parents took
up their residence in York. Here, at the York
high school, he received his education. Soon
after leaving school he became a carrier for
the York Dispatch. Afterward entering the
office of that paper as an apprentice, he was ad-
vanced until he became one of the most ef-
ficient printers in the office. On Xov. i, 1901,
he was appointed assistant postmaster of York.
On June 26, 1892, [M*-. Hugentugler was


joined in matrimony to Miss Laura Dander, of
Lancaster, Pa., a daughter of a partner in the
well-known Hollinger tannery of Lancaster,
Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Hugentugler have one child,
Charles R., a student at school.

The career of Mr. Hugentugler in York
has been entirely creditable and is an evidence
of the fact that earnest and conscientious en-
deavor counts in this work-a-day world. In
politics Mr. Hugentugler is a stanch Republi-
can; an active worker for his party, he was
for nine years secretary of the Republican
county committee. Socially he is a member of
the York Club, the Heptasophs, the Elks, the
Royal Arcanum, and the Jr. O. U. A. M. In
religion he is a worthy member of the Union
Lutheran Church. His obliging disposition
and painstaking efforts to please the public
have won him a very large place in the hearts
of the people, and gained him their hearty ap-

former firm of Hench & Dromgold, and now
vice-president and general manager of the
Hench & Dromgold Company, manufacturers
of agricultural implements and machinery, is
a son of John and Bandina (Hench) Drom-
gold. He was born near Ickesburg, Perry
Co., Pa., March 4, 1850, being of Scotch-
Irish ancestry.

Thomas Dromgold, grandfather of Walker
A., was born in County Louth, near Dublin,
Ireland, where his father was a merchant, mill
owner and farmer. The former came to the
United States in young manhood, emigrating
from Warren Point, in the North of Ireland,
about the nth day of May, 1801, and arriving
at Newcastle, Del., July 226. of the same year.
He traveled from there, mostly on foot, to the
Chesapeake Bay, continuing his journey from
the mouth of the Susquehanna river, follow-
ing the river until he reached Millerstown, Pa.
Removing from Millerstown to Donally's
Mills, in the same county, Mr. Dromgold, the
pioneer of that name in this country, pur-
chased a farm near Ickesburg, Perry Co., Pa.,
and married Elizabeth Donally, of Donally's
Mills. Four children were born of this union,
three sons and one daughter. He resided
on this farm until the time of his death, his
widow subsequently remaining there, where
she was tenderly cared for by the father of

Walker A. Dromgold. In the Common Pleas
court in Bloomfield, Perry county, Jan. 5,
1830, Thomas Dromgold, then fifty-five years
old, became a naturalized citizen of the United
States. He died in Perry county, of which he
had been one of the early settlers, March 8,
1 841; and his wife, Elizabeth (Donally)
Dromgold, died Sept. 28, i860, in her seventy-
fourth year.

John Dromgold, one of the three sons of
Thomas Dromgold (the other two having
been Edward and Manassas, and the daughter
having been Susanna, who married Jacob
Miller), was bom on the old homestead farm
near Ickesburg, March 20, 181 1, and died on
his farm near Ickesburg Jan. 13, 1887. On
Aug. 18, 1834, he married Bandina Hench,
daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Yohn)
Hench, who had two sons and three daugh-
ters, our subject's mother having been
the eldest. Samuel Hench, the maternal
grandfather of W. A. Dromgold, who was
of German descent, had three brothers and
five sisters : John, Jacob, Peter, Elizabeth,
Susan, Catharine, Mary and Lena. Samuel
Hench's farm adjoined that of the elder Drom-
gold. Bandina (Hench) Dromgold was born
Jan. 17, 1 81 5, and died Dec. i, 1876. During
the first five years of their married life Mr. and
Mrs. Dromgold lived on a farm near Dever's
Run, then removed to Turbett township, near
Port Royal, Juniata count3% a few years later
removing to Spruce Hill township and finally
returning to their native county, where they
spent the remainder of their lives. He became
the owner of his father's great farm of 600
acres, 300 of which he improved, erecting a
number of tenement houses, employing many
laborers, and being justly regarded as a very
prominent man. Honored with various of-
fices in his township, he was active in political
and busiiness affairs. He was a Democrat
politically, and a devout member of the Lu-
theran Church. Five sons and four daughters
were born to him : Eliza J., deceased, who
married Solomon Bower, deceased, late of
Blain, Pa. ; J. Ellen, wife of Nicholas Ickes, of
Nebraska; Maggie A., deceased, who was the
wife of George Kochenderfer ; Sarah P., de-
ceased, wife of Philip Kell, of Ickesburg, Pa.;
Samuel M., of Blain, Perry county; William
S., Hving on the old homestead; Dr. Thomas
M., a practicing physician at Seneca. 111.;




Walker A., our subject; and Dr. Stewart T.,
a practicing physician of Elmore, Ohio.

Walker A. Dromgold was reared on the
farm upon which he was born and was edu-
cated in the public schools at Spring Grove
and Mt. Pleasant. After leaving school be
went to farming with his father, remaining at
thiii until twenty-one years old. Then he con-
ducted a farm for three years on his own ac-
count, and next removed to Patterson, Juniata
Co., Pa., continuing agricultural and other
pursuits on the estate of Hon. James North, a
very prominent citizen, of that section.

His next move was to Turbett township,
same county, where he continued to reside until
1877, when he disposed of his interests and
associated himself with S. Nevin Hench, of
Ickesburg, in the manufacture and sale of agri-
cultural implements, near Port Royal. At the
end of two years Mr. Dromgold removed to
Perry county, to take charge of his father's
farm, remaining there three years, and, in
addition to managing his father's farm, selling
and manufacturing agricultural implements
during that period. In 1882 Mr. Dromgold
left Perry county and located in York, where
the business he then established has grown to
great proportions. In the formation of the
National Harrow Company of New York
Mr. Dromgold was elected a director in the in-
terests of Hench & Dromgold, .serving and
continuing as such to the present time. A few
years later, on the formation of the Standard
Harrow Company, of Jersey City, N. J., cap-
italized at $2,000,000, Mr. Dromgold was
elected a director, as a recognition of his large
practical knowledge and sterling business

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 35 of 201)