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to the position of general purchasing agent,
Avith full charge of the office. In his death the
firm lost an employee hard to replace, he be-
ing one of the best and closest buyers in York.
Mr. Evans was buried in Prospect Hill ceme-
tery. He married Miss Lucy A. Palmer, a
daughter of Phineas and Susan) (Lenhai't)
Palmer, and a member of an old English fam-
ily. Mrs. Evans survives, residing in one of
the oldest and most historic houses in York,
situated at No. 31 North Beaver street, and
she holds a deed for the same dated 1763,
from the Penns. Children as follows were
born to Mr. and Mrs. Evans : Louisa P.. a
graduate of the York high school ; Florence,
who is attending school ; and Fitz James.

In politics Mr. Evans was a Republican,
and served as president of the school board of
York, among the lasting- monuments to his
name being the new high school building now
erected on Potter's Field, for it was mainly
through his efforts that the plat was secured to
the city for that purpose. He was connected
with the Episcopal Church, of which he was a
valued and consistent member. He was high-
ly respected for his many sterling qualities,
and in his death the city of York lost an honor-
able and upright citizen.

horrors and devastation of war that swept Al-
sace, the German Palatinate and the Rhenish
Alps before and after 1689, as well as religious
persecution by the militant Calvinists, caused
the pietistic, non-combatant Mennonite ances-
tors of Robert C. Bair to depart from Switzer-

land and go into neutral Holland. How long
they remained there before emigrating to
America is not known, but a well preserved
family tradition has it that they also lived a
number of years in one of the colonies north
of Pennsylvania, in all about thirty years,
prior to their arrival with other German fam-
ilies in the Province of Pennsylvania.

The Swiss German families separated and
scattered thus by a series of cruel circumstances
had been carried during the period mentioned
to Ireland and the West Indies, and deposited
all along the American coast from Georgia,
East and West Jersey to Acadia. By grace
of the English Queen Anne thousands had also
been brought to the country in and around
London (1703), and after suffering three
years unutterable hardships at that place were
conveyed thence to territory along the Hud-
son and Mohawk rivers.

It is difficult to find the lost trails by which
the early Bairs (they wrote the name Bar)
came into Pennsylvania during the period be-
tween 1703 and 1727. The names of the or-
iginal heads of this Bair freundschaft migrat-
ing 1 707- 1 709 into what, after 1729, became
Lancaster county. Pa., were Henry, Jacob,
John, Michael, Martin and Abraham. Of
these either Henry or Jacob was the ancestor
of the family branch here traced. The name
Jacob runs through every generation of this
branch. He most probably was the father of
certain five sons and one daughter, who were
born in Europe and came with their parents
across the Atlantic, viz. : Samuel Bair of Co-
calico township, Michael of Upper Leacock
township, Henry of Earl township, Jacob of
Earl township, John of Leacock township, and
Barbara of Cocalico, who married a Bowman
— all being- of Lancaster county, PennsylvaT

Jacob Bair of Earl was Robert C. Bair's
great-great-grandfather.. He early occupied
lands in the rich Lancaster county valley 'twixt
the Conestoga and Pequea creeks, near Mill
Creek, in Leacock and Earl townships. The
land on which his people first dwelt (six hun-
dred acres where Mechanicsburg now stands)
was not patented until June 9, 1741, and his
homestead tract upon which he died was noti
patented until July 2, 1765, although warrants!
and surveys were had, respectively, in 1729
and Feb. 28, 1734.

The homestead tract, 1 52 acres, is situated



o,. : -■, I;;,, :SYLVANIA

,;,, itral Holland. How ii

ai Uu; Squiac, '.e before emigrating

' im-e ^ F.v=>n« : vn, but a well preser

it that they also live
one of the colonies n

all about thirty ycc
: with other German fa
i:)!,'.' (.if Pennsylvania,
ierman families separated am
, a .series of cmel circumstanr-
1 during the period mentio
• \ Indies, and depo;:
rican coast from Geoi':
,asey,to Acadia. By g-
)ueen Anne thousands had ;■.
•v.> the country in and arr.-i
u, and after suffering ti
lie hardships at that place wt
■■; to territory along the Huii
vvk rivers.

■ to find the lost trails by wl-.
• ( they wrote the name E
isylvania during the period 1
1 1727. The names of the
this Bair freundschaft mig:
into what, after 1729, bee:,
■ty. Pa., were Henry, Ja'

Martin and Abraham,
■ury or Jacob was the ancc
•.'•anch here traced. The n .
ough every generation of '
M'St probably w-as the fathe
L ■ .^ and one daughter, who -.

vvl i- and came with their pav.

iutic, viz. : Samuel Bair of
ani' 1, Michael of Upper Leai

^ ! , ..ry of Earl township, Jacol>

: township, John of Leacock townsliip,
:i.ira (if C> ■.■;;]i(.-i>. who married a Bovvi
■ ^iit}'. Penns}^

Jacob Bair of Earl \vas Robert C. B;
u-great-graridfather. He early occui
■ > '; in the rich Lancaster county valley 't'

^'' ' Conestoga and Pequea creeks, near

Creek, in Leacock and Earl townships,
land on which his people first dwelt (six I
i'' '■'' ' > . 1 lie dred acres where Mechanicsburg noAv star

horror^ swept Al- w'as not patented until Jime 9, 1741, an.:

sacc, the t.trr.i.n iaiitiM.: V n vue Rhenish homestead tract upon which he died wa,=
.Mpslwfore and after 1689, as ^M,-^' .hs religious patented until July 2, T765, although war-^
persecution by the militant CaHiai!?!?. caused and surveys were had, respectively, in ■
the pietistic, non-combatant Mennonite ances- and Feb. 28, 1734.

.l.r-rt- r R^M- tr^ ,1,.

The homestead tract, 152 acres, is sii>



in Earl township on the north side of the old
Peter Bazillion Indian Trader Road. It is
immediately in front of the gap that cuts the
westei-n terminus of the Welsh mountains,
through which runs the Intercourse and New
Holland road. This pioneer homestead re-
mained in the family until 1800, when it was
sold to Adam Diller. It is in the Diller name
now (1906).

Jacoh Bair of Earl township died in No-
vember, 1769, leaving a widow, Sarah, his
second wife, and three sons, Jacob, Michael
and Abraham, and two daughters, Barbara
and Mary. Barbara married Michael Knisely.
Alary married Joseph Hersberger, both of Co-
calico (now Ephrata) township, Lancaster

Abraham Bair, of Leacock township, great-
grandfather of Robert C. Bair, born Sept. 7,
1741, died March 14, 1828, leaving a widow,
Catharine Worst, and five sons and five daugh-
ters : Jacob, John, Benjamin, David, Abra-
ham, and Elizabeth, Anna, Mary, Leah, and
Catharine. Elizabeth married John Miller, of
Lancaster county; Leah married Christian
Zook, of Shippensburg, Pa. ; the others were

John .Bair, of Leacock township, grand-
father of Robert C. Bair, born March 22,
1 78 1, died March 4, 1819, at Intercourse, Lan-
caster county, leaving a widow, Elizabeth
(3ililler), daughter of John and Mary (Soud-
er) Miller, and four sons and two daughters:
David married Mary Buckwalter, of Wheat-
land, Lancaster county; Jacob married Eliza-
beth Bowman, of Lancaster county; Daniel
married Hettie Shenk, of Providence township,
Lancaster county: John married Susanna
Groff of Camargo, Lancaster county ; Elizabeth
married John Shaub, of Lancaster county:
Catharine married first Daniel Keeport, of
Lancaster county, and (second) Joseph Mc-
Sherry, of Lower Chanceford, York county.

John Bair, father of Robert C. Bair, born
May 25, 1816, at Intercourse, Lancaster coun-
ty, died at the home of his daughter in Chance-
ford township, York Co., Pa., Jan. 30, 1892,
leaving a widow, Susanna (Groff). daughter
of David and Ann (Longenecker) Groff, and
one son and one daughter, Robert C. Bair and
Lizzie. Lizzie married Samuel M. Fulton, of
Chanceford township, York Co., Pa. John
Bair was a charcoal ironmaster. He came to
York Furnace, York county, in 1844. For

nearly fifty years he conducted an active busi-
ness on the Susc|uehanna Tide Water canal
in pig iron, lumber, coal, bark, grain and gen-
eral merchandise. He was an influential man
and has left his mark not only on numerous
farms and lands but upon the people who knew

Robert Cabeen Bair was born at York
Furnace, Lower Chanceford, York county,
April 2"], 1856. He was educated at Millers-
ville State Normal School and York Collegiate
Institute. Fie was engaged for thirteen years
in business with his father, 1 878-1 891, under
the firm name of John Bair & Son. In 1887
he married Ella Nora, daughter of Dr. Henry
L. and Emma E. (Rieman) Smyser, of York.
To this union a son, Henry Smyser Bair, was
born April 2, 1889. Mr. Bair removed to
York and read law with Silas H. Forry and
James G. Glessner. Admitted to the bar Jan.
I, 1899, he at once entered upon an active
practice. He is a close student in genealogy,
archaeology, history and statistics, attracting
attention as an original and effective worker.
As chairman of the York County Republican
Committee since 1900, his careful management
has unified his party and divided and totally
defeated the Democrats. Under his general-
ship a series of partial victories culminated at
the November election of 1905 in the election
of the entire Republican ticket by majorities
exceeding two thousand. His services and his
general capabilities as a statistician found
recognition in appointment as chief of the
Pennsylvania Bureau of Industrial Statistics
by Gov. Samuel W. Pennypacker upon the
recommendation of Hon. Isaac B. Brown, sec-
retary of Internal affairs, Harrisburg, May 5.
1903, for a term of four years. The work of
this Bureau is of great interest and importance
to the public. Its province is to make impartial
examinations of the relations existing between
capital and labor and inquire into the educa-
tional, industrial and social conditions of those
engaged in manual labor. To aid the chief
of this Bureau all corporations, firms or indi-
viduals engaged in mining, manufacturing or
other business, and all persons working for
wages within the Commonwealth, are required
to furnish such statistical information as he
may demand.

HENRY L. SMYSER, physician, grad-
uate of the LTniversitv of Pennsvlvania, was


born in York borough Dec. 8, 1825. He was
descended from Mathias Smyser, who with
Barbara Margerite and George Smyser, emi-
grated from Germany in the year 1 73 1 to
America, and settled in York county, Pa.
The genealogical line ascending is : His father,
Michael, 1799-1874: grandfather, Jacob Smy-
ser, 1765-18 — ; great-grandfather, Jacob
Smyser, 1 742- 1 793 ; great-great-grandfather,
Mathias Smyser (emigrant), 1715-1778. The
ancestor Mathias took up land and settled in
what is now West Manchester and North
Codorus townships, in 1740.

In 1844 Henry L. Smyser began the study
of medicine under the late Dr. James W. Kerr,
of York, and in 1847, graduated from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania. He began the prac-
tice of his profession in Jackson township,
York county, and had already secured a valu-
able practice when gold was discovered in Cal-
ifornia. Joining the Rocky Mountain migra-
tion, he became one of the original "forty-
niners." The Doctor was an active pick and
shovel miner in the washings of California for
two years. In 1851 flattering suggestions
reached him to induce his return to' the East,
and to accept the deputy superintendency of
the State Hospital for the Insane at Harris-
burg. "With much reluctance I pulled up
stakes," as he said, "from a certain profit to
go a long . journey wild goose chasing: for
when I reached Pennsylvania, by the long and
tedious Panama route, the appointment I ex-
pected to receive had already been made." Re-
engaging in his practice, which soon became lu-
crative, in 1855, other inducements coming to
him, he went to Europe and attached himself
as sergeant-major to the Russian army, serv-
ing through the Crimean war. At the close
of the war, for distinguished services, Alexan-
der II, Czar of Russia, decorated him with the
medal of St. Stanislaus. Returning to Amer-
ica he again took up his profession, locating on
South Beaver street, in York, and at once en-
tered upon a fine practice. His experience
proved of inestimable value for the Doctor
had developed a professional quickness of per-
ception and soundness of judgment and con-
clusion that made him a physician and surgeon
of a high order.

In 1862 he enlisted in the war of the Re-
bellion, and was immerliately apnointed con-
tract surgeon in the armv. Being assigned

to permanent work in the Army Hospital, es-
tablished on the Commons, now Penn Park, at
York, his record in that institution was marked
by faithful and efficient service. At the close of
the war he was in greater demand profession-
ally than ever before. Having contracted a
condition of weak heart, he relincpished his
practice at its most lucrative period. For a
number of years he rested modestly on his
well-earned laurels. He died at York Sept.
16, 1900, at his home No. 30 South Beaver
street, the immediate cause of his death being
myocardial degeneration of the aorta.

In i860 Dr. Smyser married Emma E.
Rienian, daughter of the late Associate Judge
John Rienian, of York. To this union were
born two children, a daughter and a son :
Ella Nora, wife of Robert C. Bair, Esq. ; and
John Rieman, druggist, member of the com-
mon council of Philadelphia. The brothers
and sisters of Dr. Smyser were : Jacob,' Al-
bert, Thomas C, Michael, Lewis E., Mrs. An-
nie M. Williams, Mrs. Ella Hagen and Eliza

Dr. Smyser was unobtrusive, but there are
among his friends and the profession which he
honored many who will bear testimony to his
medical skill, his strong common .sense, as
well as his careful business methods and finan-
cial ability in affairs. Generous and kind,
whatever he did was ungrudging and un-
stinted. Though plain, blunt and unpreten-
tious in his ways, the recipients of his favor
and his counsel were always sure his acts were
honest and his words sincere.

known shirt manufacturing firm of J. E. Will-
iams & Co., York, is a native of the citv of
which he has become such a successful business
man. He was born in 1868, son of David F.
and Annie M. S. Williams.

Mr. Williams received his education in the
York County Academy, attending that institu-
tion from 1879 to 1 88 1, and then went to the
York Collegiate Institute, attending during the
years 1882-1884. After completing his edu-
cation Mr. Williams was employed as book-
keeper for one year bv A. B. Farquhar. and
then by Broomell & Schmidt for two years.
The next five years were spent with the Variety
Iron Works, after which he engas-ed with the
York Dynamite Company, of which he was a


stockholder, treasurer and manager. In that
capacity he remained three years, and then,
with John F. Kell, engaged in the insurance
business, the firm being known as Kell & Will-
iams, the partnership continuing three years.

In November, 1898, ]Mr. ^Villiams engaged
in his present business — the manufacture of
shirts — under the firm name of J. E. Williams
& Co. His first place of business was on
Cherry avenue, where he remained three years,
but on account of the increase in his business
was compelled to seek larger quarters, and he
removed to East Philadelphia street. Here he
remained three years, when he was again
forced to vacate, and he left the building now
occupied by .the York Dispatch Publishing Co.
In 1904 Mr. Williams located in his present
place, No. 5 West Gay avenue, in the rear of
No. 156 North George street, where he has
four floors, and 8640 square feet of floor space.
He manufactures men's and boys' shirts and
employs over 100 hands. His business is
steadily increasing', as his goods are trust-
worthy and his business methods honorable,
and he sustains an enviable reputation for hon-
esty and integrity.

Mr. \ViIliams resides at No. 321 East Mar-
ket street, York. In politics he is a Repub-
lican. He is a member of the Lafayette and
Country Clubs of York.

JOHN KROUS is a prominent business
man and successful farmer of Lower Chance-
ford township, York county, and for the last
ten years has engaged in dealing in furs and
the cultivation of ginseng. His birth occurred
Oct. 3, 185 1, near Grahamville, Chanceford
township, and he is the son of John and Mar-
garet (Dressel) Krous.

John Krous, the father of our subject, was
born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 18 14, and
attended school until fourteen years of age, ac-
quiring a good education. For some years af-
ter this he herded geese and worked on a farm.
At the age of twenty-one years he' sailed for
America, landing at Baltimore after a terrible
voyage of seventy-two days, on a sailing ves-
sel. The passage had been so rough that it
was impossible to cook food on board, and by
the time the ship made a landing, after being
repeatedly driven back, the crew and all on
board were nearly starved. After locating in
Baltimore Mr. Krous obtained work as a

shoemaker, receiving as wages twenty-six
cents per day. He married jMiss Margaret
Dressel, born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in
1 819, who had come over on the same vessel
with him, and they were married in Baltimore
soon after landing. Mr. and i\Irs. Krous
moved from Baltimore to York several years
after their marriage, and there Mr. Krous fol-
lowed his trade of shoemaking. He removed to
Lower Chanceford township, where he located
in a tenant house on the old Ankrum farm, and
followed his trade at different points in this
section. He finally bought a farm from John
Bair, in Chanceford township, which he occu-
pied for twelve years and then sold to Abra-
ham Heaps, and then bought a farn: of t\venty-
eight acres in Lower Chanceford township,
where he died Jan. 6, 1900. Mrs. Krous
passed away Feb. 6, 1892. Both she and her
husband were valued members of the Lutheran
Church. In politics Mr. Krous was a Demo-
crat. The following children were born to
this worthy couple: Christina married James
Duncan, of Lower Chanceford township;
Katie (deceased), married George Shotta, of
Baltimore, Md. ; Sophia married Frederick
Sheck and died in Baltimore, Md. ; Mary mar-
ried Charles Keener, of Biggsville, 111. ; Henry
married (first) Martha Smith and (second)
Mary Scarborough; John is the subject of this
sketch ; George, of Columbia, married Martha
Lee; Thomas is a resident of Lower Chance-
ford township; and Lizzie married George
Martin, of Northumberland county.

John Krous spent his boyhood days on his
father's farm near Coram, in Lower Chance-
ford township, and attended the public schools
until sixteen years of age, during the winter
months, while in the summer he worked on the
farm. He remained at home until twenty-three
years of age, when he married and began
housekeeping in a tenant house on John Bair's
farm, where he remained one year, working
out. He then farmed the Samuel Curran farm,
in Chanceford township, for two vears, on
shares, and then went to a tenant house on the
Stephen McKinley farm, in Lower Chanceford
township, remaining on this place one year.
He next went to the John Smith farm for one
year, and then returned to the Samuel Curran
farm, working it this time for Clark ISIurph}'',
and remaining two years. After this he bought
forty-eight acres of his present farm, adding
the other fortv-eight acres in 1002. This



farm was formerly the old Robert Campbell
farm. Although not himself actively engaged
in the farm work Mr. Krous oversees all work
done, and it is due to his excellent manage-
ment that the place has become one of the most
productive of its size in the community. For
the past ten years Mr. Krous has been engaged
in raw fur dealing during the winter months,
and finds a ready market for his goods in New
York. During the summer months he deals
extensively in ginseng, buying in Ohio, Ken-
tucky, Indiana, Michigan, Delaware and
throughout Pennsylvania, and selling in New
Y''ork. Mr. Krous has built up cpite a large
business in this line, and can say from exper-
ience that the cultivation of ginseng pays when
properly managed.

On June 28, 1874, Mr. Krous was married,
in Lower Chanceford township, to Miss Susan
Ellen McConkey, born Feb. 22, 1857, in Bain-
bridge, and she was reared on the Duncan
farm, in Lower Chanceford township. Chil-
dren have been born to Mr. and John Krous
as follows : George William, born Sept. 24,
1875, married Miss Hattie Simmers, and they
reside in Lower Chanceford township ; John
Charles, born March i, 1877, resides in York;
Etta E., born Oct. 20, 1879. married G. W.
Stewart, of Go ram ; Chester B., born May 13,
1882, died in infancy; Lillie E. was born June
10, 1884: T. Wiley, March 10, 1886; Marv
M., Oct. 5, 1888; Harry L., Oct. 18, 1890, and
Robert J., July 26, 1895.

John Krous was reared in the faith of the
M. E. Church, but belongs to ' no particular
religious denomination. In politics he is a
Democrat. He is a inan who commands the
respect of his neighbors, and has a wide circle
of personal friends. In every sense of the
word he is a self-made man.

MICHAEL J. KELLEY, superintendent
of the Philip H. Glatfelter Paper Mill, and one
of the reliable and substantial men of Spring-
Grove. York county. Pa., is a native of
America, born Nov. 5, 1861, son of Martin
Kelley, a native of Ireland, and a paper maker
by trade. Emigrating to America when a
young man he found employment for his skill,
in a paper mill in Massachusetts, and there he
perfected his knowledge of paper manufactur-
ing in all its branches, he following this line
of work until 1882.

The early life of Michael J. Kelley was

spent at Holyoke, Mass., and there he learned
his trade of paper making. He was superin-
tendent of the Dickinson & Clark Paper Com-
pany for three years. Later, he removed to
Providence, Md., to take charge as superin-
tendent, of the Singerly Paper Company. Still
later, he accepted the same position at Lock-
haven, Pa., with the New York & P. P. Mills
Co., which operated another plant at Johnson-
burg, Pa., of which he was also manager. In
1895 Mr. Kelley was offered the position of
superintendent of the Philip H. Glatfelter Pa-
per Co., manufacturers of blank book paper,
writing paper and label papers. From his long
experience in the paper business with various
companies, and in the manufacture of different
kinds of paper, Mr. Kelley has become thor-
oughly acquainted with the business in all its
details. He does the greater part of the buy-
ing for the establishment; arranges the sales,
which extend throughout the principal cities
of the east, and makes large contracts with the
government for book paper, and he is an ex-
pert in his line.

In 1883, Mr. Kelley married Miss Sarah
O'Brian, of Holyoke, JNIass., and five children
have been born to them : Mary A. ; Esther ;
Lillie; Ruth and Sarah. Mr. Kelley possesses
in remarkable degree the faculty for organiza-
tion, and his executive ability is recognized to
a marked- extent by his company. His keen,
clear intellect and quick perception of business
opportunities give him that necessary insight
into future possibilities, indispensible to a man
in his responsible position. Personally Mr.
Kelley is a man of pleasing- manner, and has a
host of loj^al friends and numerous business ac-
jjuaintances, not only in his immediate vicinity,
but throughout the entire East.

HENRY L. NEUMAN, ice cream manu-
facturer, wholesale and retail dealer in ice,
building sand and gTavel, of York, Pa., is one
of the most progressive and public-spirited
business men of York, where he is engaged in
several flourishing enterprises. He was born
in Conewago township, York county, Dec. 9,
1839, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Lenhart)
Neuman, both natives of this count}^

Andrew Neuman, the paternal grandfather,
was an early settler of Conewago township,
while the maternal grandfather. William Len-
hart, for many years resided near Dover. Ja-
cob Neuman was a very prosperous farmer of



Conewago township, and a man respected by
all who knew him. Henry L. Neuman passed

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 41 of 201)