George R. Prowell.

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east of York, where he died about 1844. Of
his large family of children, we have the names
of John, George, Jacob, Daniel, Benjamin,
Nancy, Catherine, Elizabeth, Susan ajid Mary.

George Holtzinger, father of George W.,
was born in York county, and received his edu-
cation in the subscription schools in vogue
here during his boyhood. He learned shoe-
making from his father, and worked at that
trade, and also accjuired a knowledge of lime
burning, at which he was engaged for about
five years. Turning his attention to agricul-
tural pursuits, he devoted his energies to same
during the remainder of his active years. He
purchased the farm in Windsor township now
owned by M. B. Spahr, and later selling that
place bought the one in the same to\\-nship now
owned by M. P. Smith. Here he passed his
remaining years, and died at the age of sixty-
four. He was a member of the Winebrenner-
ian Church. Mr. Holtzinger married (first)
Elizabeth Heindel, by whom he had six chil-
dren namely : Lydia, Catherine, Elizabeth, Re-
becca, Mary and Susan. The mother of these
was a member of the Reformed Church. After
her death Mr. Holtzinger married Susannah
Stauffer, a native of York county, who died in
1879, at the age of sixty years. She was a
Mennonite in religious faith. To this union
were born four children, George W.. David S.,
John and Sarah, of whom the last named died
in infancy.

George W. Holtzinger obtained his edu-
cation in the public schools of his native town-

ship and at a select school. When he reached
the age of nineteen he recei\-ed a certificate and
engaged in teaching for a period of three
years. In the meantime he learned the car-
penter's trade, following that occupation dur-
ing the summer months. He then engaged in
the cigar manufacturing business where the
village of Holtz is now situated, at that place
and at branch cigar factories employing about
forty workmen. He continued in this business
until 1902, meantime accjuiring other interests
in the locality. About 1895 he embarked in
the mercantile business at the old Sechrist
stand in Holtz, carrying on the store success-
fully four years. During the Harrison admin-
istration a post office was established at Holtz,
and Mr. Holtzinger served four years as post-
master, having the office in his store. Since
1902, when he abandoned the manufacture of
cigars, Mr. Holtzinger has given his attention
to farming, to his duties as secretary of the
Western Mutual Fire Insurance Company of
York County, and to selling commercial fer-
tilizers. He owns the homestead farm of
twenty-four acres, and the Sechrist property
containing thirty-six acres, and what was
known as the Slenker farm of 136 acres. These
farms are cultivated by his sons, John, Henry,
and David. His other son, Moses, conducts
the merchandising- business at Holtz. Mr.
Holtzinger became a director of the Drovers
and Mechanics National Bank at York on its
organization, in 1882, and has continued as
such ever since. The Red Lion Canning Com-
pany, of which he is president, was organized
in 1905. He has taken an active interest in
public affairs, advocating the policy and prin-
ciples of the Republican party. He served
three years as jury commissioner, to which of-
fice he was elected in 1876; and in 1905 he
was nominated and elected one of the commis-
sioners for York county. He entered upon
the duties of that responsible position in Jan-
uary, 1906, for which his many years of suc-
cessful business experience have thoroughly
fitted him.

In 1869 Mr. Holtzinger was married to
Anna E. Keller, daughter of John and Eliza
Keller, representative farming people of Low-
er Windsor township, and fourteen children
were born to this union, five of whom died in
infancy, and eight survive; Emma, who be-
came the wife of H. A. Kinard, having died in

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1903, leaving three children, Carrie, Norman
and Paul. The survivors are : John C, who
married Ellen Paules, and has three children,
Carrie, Mabel and Charles D. ; Henr}^, who
operates a gristmill and feedmill run by water-
power, who married Annie Slenker, and has
one child, Grace Irene, who is now (1905)
twelve years old, five feet, five inches tall, and
weighs 142 pounds; Moses, who married Mary
E. Smith, and has one child, Thomas; David,
who married Cora Sechrist, and has one child,
Stewart; Mary M., who married Irvin Paules,
and has two children. Sterling and Orie; and
Cora, Ivan and Elsie, who are unmarried. Mr.
and Mrs. Holtzinger are members of the Lu-
theran Church.

WEBSTER WILLIS, of Newberry town-
ship, was born in 1832, in Fairview township,
son of Joseph and Susan (Kreiger) Willis.

William Willis was born in 1777, in
Dauphin county, and died April 14, 1843, be-
ing one of the first to be buried at Yocumtown
cemetery. During life Mr. Willis was a stone
and brick mason, which trade he followed
through Fairview township. Mr. Willis mar-
ried a Miss Taylor and she died and is buried
at Newberrytown. The children born to Wil-
liam Willis and his wife were : William,
Joseph, John, Thomas, George and Hannah,
all of whom are deceased.

Joseph Willis was born in Fairview town-
ship, Jan. 10, 1 80 1. He received -a common
school education, and was a farmer all of his
life. He married Susan Kreiger, born Sept.
21, 1802, who died May 21, 1872. Mr. Willis
survived until 1873, when he died, and he and
his wife are buried at Yocumtown cemetery,
вЦ†where a magnificent monument marks their
last resting place. The children born to this
worthy couple are as follows : William, who
died at Goldsboro; Jacob, who died April 15.
1891, aged sixty-six years; Harriet, born Dec.
6, 1826, who married Samuel N. Prowell,
father of Prof. George R. Prowell, and died
Oct. 8, 1894, being buried at the Yocumtown
cemetery: Mary, who died single; John, who
died in 1900, aged seventy years; Webster;
Joseph, in the shoe business at Strinestown;
Elizabeth, Adeline and Harrison, deceased.

Webster Willis attended the schools of
Fairview and Newberry townships until he
reached the age of twenty, and then learned
the carpe'nter's trade, with his brother, AVil-

liam. He remained with his brother a few
years, afterward starting in business for him-
self, carpentering, and so continuing from
1858 until 1898. Mr. Willis engaged in the
undertaking business in 1879, and has con-
tinued in that line ever since. He has a fine
home, and owns fourteen acres of land upon
which he carries on farming.

In 1858 Mr. Willis married Annie E. Bru-
baker, daughter of Henry and Susan (Zorger)
Brubaker, and these children have been born
to this union : Washington, who resides at
home ; Susan, who married W'illiam Bamber-
ger, and lives at Goldsboro borough ; jMi-
nerva, who died at the age of twenty-two
years; Minnie, who married John Upede-
graph, of Newberry township; Elizabeth, de-
ceased, who married Henry Funk; Carrie,
who married Lawrence Fetrow, and lives at
New Cumberland, Cumberland county; Mary,
who married Daniel Koller. of Yocumtown ;
Maggie, residing at home ; Myrtle, who mar-
ried William Krone, and lives in Warrington
township ; Joseph, who married Blance
Householder, and lives at Elkwood, Cumber-
land county.

In politics Mr. Willis is a Republican, but
has never sought public office. He is very
highl}' esteemed throughout the community.

PROF. E. M. STAHL. one of the lead-
ing educators of southeastern Pennsylvania,
who is now in charge of the academy at Glen-
ville, York county, was bom Aug. 14, 1864,
in Somerset county, Pa., a member of an old
established family of that section.

George Stahl, his great-grandfather, mar-
ried a Miss Baker, and is said to have gone
from York county to Somerset county shortly
after the Revolution, perhaps between 1795
and 1800.

William G. Stahl. grandfather of Prof.
Stahl, was a blacksmith by trade. He lived to
the age of eighty-five years, being retired some
years prior to his decease. He married Eliza-
beth Ohler, and both are buried at St. Paul's
Lutheran Church, in Somerset county. Their
children were : George, a veteran of the Civil
war, who died at City Point, Va., during that
struggle; Samuel, living at Pine Hill, Pa.;
Susan, wife of Henry C. ^^'ahl, a veteran of
the Civil war:. Catherine, wife of Ananias
Gloss ; and John.

John Stahl, son of ^^'illiam G., was born



in Somerset county, Pa., and learned the black-
smith's trade which he followed for some
years, and then engaged in farming for thirty
years. His death occurred March 7, 1901,
when he was aged sixty-two years. He mar-
ried Adeline Hay, daughter of John and Sarah
(Musser) Hay, and they had children as fol-
lows : Prof. E. M. ; Sarah, wife of Ephraim
Bauman, a carpenter and surveyor; William
R., a minister in the Lutheran Church, and who
died at Shanksville, Somerset Co., Pa., Oct.
II, 1905, aged thirty-seven years (he was
a graduate of Gettysburg College, and was
married to Bertha Tholan) ; J. Franklin, the
farmer on the home farm; Charles H., an
artist of ability, who died in April, 1897;
Irvin P., a music teacher, who was a student
with the distinguished Hutchinson, Goodwin
and Boise at Peabody Institute, Baltimore,
Md., and died Sept. 17, 1905; Susan M., at
home; and Robert M., a student at the Frank-
lin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, Penn-

Mrs. Adeline (Hay) Stahl was a great-
great-granddaughter of Simeon Hay, who is
supposed to have gone from York county, or
its immediate vicinity, to Somerset county
about 1780.

Prof. Stahl belongs to a family of more
than usual intellectual attainments. He com-
pleted his early schooling at the age of fifteen
years, and then taught school in Somerset
county until he was twenty-one years of age.
In 1886 he went to Iowa, where he taught
country schools for two years. Then he en-
tered Iowa College at Grinnell, Iowa, com-
pleting the sophomore , year, and then for a
number of years filled positions as high school
teacher until he entered Gettysburg College,
where he was graduated in 1894. He returned
to Somerset county and spent two years in
study, making a specialty of minerals and fos-
sils and plants of Somerset county, of which he
has a collection of several thousand. In 1896
he came to Glenville and accepted charge of the
academy. In addition to academic studies this
school is conducted as the only township high
school in York county. The fine school which
has been built up mainly under the excellent
and intelligent management of Prof. Stahl de-
serves a history of its own. which will be found
elsewhere. The number of pupils averages
from seventy to seventy-fi\-e.

Prof. Stahl married Lydia Hamm, daugh-
ter of Daniel and Salome Hamm, of York
county. They have two children : William
J. and Mary A. In his political principles
Prof. Stahl is a Democrat. He is one of the
leading members of the Lutheran Church at
Pine Hill, Somerset county. It seems peculiar
that after one hundred years Prof. Stahl
should come back to the home of his ancestors
and so firmly establish himself in the estima-
tion and affection of the people.

DR. MERCER R. GIRVIN, a physician
and surgeon practicing at Grahamville,
Chanceford township, York county, was born
June 27, 1868. He is of blended Scotch, Irish
and German descent, and is a son of Elias and
Lydia A. Girvin. Elias Girvin was a large
land owner of Lancaster cotmty, and later
lived retired in Lancaster city.

The subject of this sketch received his edu-
cation in the common schools and at Octo-
raro Academy. For a time he was employed in
the insurance business in Reading and Phila-
delphia. Tiring of that he began the study of
medicine with Dr. Charles E. Helm of Bart,
Pa., who was one of the most prominent physi-
cians of Lancaster county. In 1890 he entered
the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Bal-
timore, and graduated in 1893. He began
practice at Marticville, Lancaster county,
where he remained for a period of three years,
and then removed to Grahamville, where he
has ever since been in active and lucrative

In the spring of 1894 Dr. Girvin married
Miss Lillie M. Shenk, of Martic township,
Lancaster Co., daughter of Tobias and Isa-
belle Shenk, and two children have been born
to this vmion : Chester T. and Harry M., the
latter having died in infancy. Dr. Girvin is a
member of the Reformed Church. In politics
he is liberal in his views, voting rather for
good interests than for party. He has been
very successfid professionally, and has gained
a position of importance in his line. While
never seeking office he has always taken a pub-
lic-spirited interest in the town and commun-
ity, and has generously supported every bene-
ficial movement for its welfare.


one of the most highly esteemed residents of



Washington township, Yoi'k county, and a be-
loved and useful mmister of the Dunkard
Church, was born in 1833, in Dover township,
son of Daniel and grandson of Jacob Goch-

The family was established in York coun-
ty. Pa., by the great-grandfather of Rev.
Emanuel, who emigrated from Germany.
The grandfather, Jacob Gochenauer, was
born June 19, 1757, and died Aug. i, 1834,
at the age of seventy-seven years and two
months. His wife Eva was born March 20,
1768, and died June 7, 1847, aged seventy-
nine years, two months and eighteen days.
Both were buried in the Mennonite cemetery
in Dover township. He owned a farm in that
township and erected buildings thereon. His
children were: Jacob, Joseph, Michael, John,
Daniel, Mary (wife of Christian Bushey) and
Mrs. Witmer.

Daniel Gochenauer, father of Rev. Eman-
uel, was born on the old homestead in Dover
township, July 15, 1804, and died Nov. 20,
1834, aged thirty years and four months. He
married Katie Weigel, who died June 13,
1867, at the age of fifty-eight years, four
months and nine days, and her remains were
laid away at Strayer's Church in Dover town-
ship. His burial took place in the Mennonite
cemetery in the same township. He was a life-
long farmer and purchased his father's farm
of 137 acres, on which he spent his life. The
children of Daniel and Katie Gochenauer
were: Lavina, who died in York, wife of
Jacob Sunday; Sophia, who died in Dover
township, wife of William Gerber ; Delilah,
who died in East Berlin, Adams county, wife
of John Deardorff ; and Emanuel.

Emanuel Gochenauer was educated in the
schools of Dover township, but the death of
his father while he was still a lad, prevented
him from pursuing a more advanced course
than that supplied by the district schools. He
helped his mother according to his best judg-
ment and boyish strength, and when he mar-
ried he bought the homestead and lived upon
it for five years. Then he came to Washing-
ton township and bought his father-in-law's
farm of 143 acres, and still later purchased an-
other farm containing ninety-five acres, and
now owns two of the finest farms in the town-
ship. He has been a resident of this township
since 1859, and has lived retired since 1884.

In 1870 Mr. Gochenauer was ordained a
minister in the Dunkard Church, at Lower
Conewago, in Washington township. He
served on the building committee when the
church was' erected, and is an elder in that
church now. His estimable wile is also an
active member of this religious body, and
they both enjoy the esteem and affection of all
who know them. They are now spending the
evening of life in a small but comfortable
home, near their large farms, in the vicinity
of Mulberry postofiice.

Mr. Gochenauer married Susan Deardorff,
daughter of John and Susan (Baker) Dear-
dorff and their children are : Katie, wife of
John Boserman, lives in Reading township,
Adams county; John, who is engaged in the
sawmill business with his residence at Dills-
burg, married Susan Firestone; Daniel, who
lives in Dover township, married Susan Moul ;
Mary married Samuel Aldinger, of West York
borough; Emanuel, Jr., a paper hanger living
in York, married Emma Wolfort; Amanda
married Charles H. Altland, and they live on
one of our subject's farms in Washington
township ; Jacob S. ; and William E.

Jacob S. Gochenauer is a graduate of the
Milersville Normal School, in Lancaster
county. He taught school for a number of
years in York county, and in the meantime
prepared himself and subsequently entered
Harvard College, where he was graduated with
credit. He continued in the educational field
and taught in a number of well-known insti-
tutions of learning, including the Westchester
State Normal School and Bucknell, and later
became principal of the schools of Dubuque,
Iowa. At present he is located in St. Louis.
He is a man of great scholarly attainments.
Lie married Florence Flory.

William E. Gochenauer, the youngest
son, is also a graduate of the Millersville Nor-
mal School. After teaching with success for
some years in York he Avent to Philadelphia,
where he is at present engaged extensively in
the implement business. He married Bertha

GEORGE SNYDER, engaged in a car-
riage making and blacksmith business, at
Brogueville, Chanceford township. York Co..-
Pa., was horn Oct. q. 18^^, at Baltimore. Md..
son of John and Margaret Snyder.



John Snyder was born in 1830, in Ger-
many, and there learned the tailor's trade. He
came to the United States a poor young man
and found work at his trade in Baltimore, but
later moved to York county, Pa., afterward
settling in Chanceford township. Here he
worked at his trade during the winter time,
and as a farm hand in the summer time. He
bought the sixty acre farm on which he still
resides. In politics he is a Democrat, and has
served as township collector. In religious faith
he is a Lutheran. John Snyder was married
in Baltimore to Margaret Gohn, born also in
Germany, who came to the United States in
young womanhood. She died in 1900, on the
home farm, and was buried at St. James
Church cemetery in Chanceford township.
The children of John Snyder and wife were:
George; John, who died young; Barbara, Mrs.
Jesse Workinger, of Hopewell township ; Liz-
zie, Mrs. Oscar Bair, of Lower Chanceford
township; Jane, Mrs. John D. Warner, of
Chanceford township ; Lewis, of Collinsville,
who married Bertha Lloyd; Katy, Mrs. David
Wilson, of Carlisle; and William, a farmer
by occupation, who married Sadie House-

George Snyder lived in the city of Balti-
more until he was six years of age, when his
father removed to Fawn township, York
county, and there he began to attend school,
entering the Fawn Grove school when he was
but a little lad of six years, and he continued
to attend the public schools until the age limit
of twenty-one was reached, thus obtaining a
very good education. His first work was un-
dertaken when he was about nineteen years of
age, as one of the laborers employed in the
grading of the York & Peach Bottom railroad.
He began work at High Rock, and ended when
the gang had completed to Fenmore Station,
receiving wages of $1.65 per day.

When he had reached his majority, he
came to Brogueville and learned the trade of
blacksmith, working one year with Daniel
Uffleman, and the balance of the time with
Frank Nicholas, formerly of Dallastown. Af-
ter becoming proficient in his trade, Mr. Sny-
der opened up his own establishment at
Brogueville, a first class blacksmith and car-
riage making shop, to which, since April,
1903, he has added cigar making. In all the
enterprises he has undertaken Mr. Snyder has

been very successful, and he is reckoned with
the prosperous men of this community.

In 1877, at Brogueville, George Snyder
was united in marriage with Mary Catherine
McDunn, a daughter of Frederick and Eliza-
beth (Hastings) McDunn. They have these
children : John F., a conductor on an electric
road in Philadelphia; and Harry L. and Irv-
ing R., both at home.

Mrs. Snyder is of Scotch extraction. Her
grandfather, was born in Scotland. Beyond
the fact of his being a carpenter, the family
have no record of where he settled in America
nor where he died. It was most probably in
Baltimore, for it was in that city that Mrs.
Snyder's father was bound out, and subse-
quently ran aw-ay from his employer. In
those days it was possible for the employer of
an apprenticed lad to use very harsh means to
bring a runaway back, and this is probably the
reason that the youth dropped his surname of
McDunn and was known by his two names of
Frederick Henry.

The boy made his way to Chanceford town-
ship, York county, and was reared by William
Colvin. Mr. Colvin Avas the proprietor of the
"Jack Hotel," in Lower Chanceford township,
and in young manhood, Mr. McDunn bought
a small farm near Shenk's Ferry, on which he
lived until his death, which occurred in De-
cember, 1897; his wife had passed away in
the previous August. Both were consistent
members of the M. E. Church. They had
these children : Charles, of Chanceford town-
ship, w-ho married Mary Jarvis ; Mary Cath-
erine, Mrs. Snyder; William, a farmer in Lan-
caster county, who married Mary ;

Levi W., a farmer of Chanceford township,
who married Maggie AVallace; Martha, Mrs.
John Kaler, of Columbia ; George and Ed-
ward, who both died young; Emma, Mrs.
Lewis Ottstal, of near Columbia; Elias, of
Lancaster county, who married Mary Ottsat;
Clementine, Mrs. David Kindig of Lancaster
county; Isabella, Mrs. Solomon Campbell, of
Hellam township, York county ; Susan, Mrs.
George Ritz, of York county.

M^r. Snyder has always taken an intelligent
interest in political afifairs, voting with the
Democratic party. By it he was advanced as
a candidate for re^'ister of wills. Althous'h
not a member, he is a liberal contributor tn the
support of the Lutheran Church, in which he
was reared bv a devout mother.



JOHN PLATT ALLEN is descended
from New England ancestry, who settled in
New Haven, Conn., in 1638, his paternal pro-
genitor, Roger Allen, having been the first
treasurer of the Colon)' and deacon of the first

Mr. Allen's grand lather was a farmer of
Meriden, Conn., while his father, Edward C.
Allen, also carried on farming there.

Edward C. Allen married Jerusha T. Piatt,
daughter of John Piatt, a farmer of Deep
River, Conn. Four children were born to them
as follows : George W. ; Caroline, wife of A.
B. Jennings, of New York City; Edward L. ;
and John Piatt.

John Piatt Allen was born at Meriden,
Conn., Nov. 13, 1850, and received his educa-
tion in New York City, and in the Highland
Military Academy, Worcester, Mass., gradu-
ating from the latter in 1868. His first occu-
pation "was at civil engineering in Illinois,
where he remained one year, and then went to
Scranton, Pa., where his uncle was superin-
tendent of the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Co.
Col. Joseph H. Scranton, Mr. Allen's uncle's
partner and brother-in-law, belonged to the
family that gave the city its name. Leaving
Scranton after two years service with the
Lackawanna Iron & Coal Co., Mr. Allen went
to St. Louis, where he remained four years,
and then went to New York City, remaining
there for twenty-five years- in connection with
an extensive wall paper manufacturing con-
cern, Fr. Beak & Co., becoming assistant sup-
erintendent and secretary. His next venture
was in Worcester, Mass., where he established
an industry known as the AUen-Higgins Co.,
manufacturers of fine wall papers, of which
Mr. Allen was president. In June, 1903, Mr.
Allen, after spending four years in this enter-
prise, came to York, and took charge of a
special fine goods department of the York
Card and Wall Paper Co., where his business
is to select the designs, color, and in a general
way to superintend the manufacture of the
high grade goods.

In 1877 Mr. Allen was married to Mary
Frances Ramsey, daughter of John Ramsey of
St. Louis. She died in 1882. Two children
were born to this union: Edith K., wife of
M. B. Thayer, of New York City, president of
the Colonial Press, which is a ijranch of Ap-
pleton & Co. ; and Francis R., a graduate of
Cornell University, who holds a responsible

position with the Bethlehem Steel Company.

Mr. Allen was married (second) in 1884,
to Alice Foster Harris, daughter of William H.
Harris, of Brooklyn, N. Y., who was a com-
mission merchant in New York City. ]Mr. Al-
len belongs to the New England Society of the
City of Brooklyn and to the Sons of the Revo-
lution of New York. He is a graduate of the

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 54 of 201)