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enjoyed the advantages of a select school at
Abbottstown. His time, when not in school,
was employed in working on the farm. In 1875
he entered the East Berlin Normal School,
and attended a second term there the follow-
ing year.

In the fall of 1876 Mr. Thoman entered
■upon his first work as a teacher in the public
schools of York county. He became accjuainted
with the prominent teachers of that county,
which induced him, in the spring of 1877, to
enter the old York County Academy. He
again, after being there one term, engaged in
teaching, and so continued until 1883, when
he entered the Shippensburg State Normal

School. After spending one year in that in-
stitution he again engaged in his profession,
and rapidly advanced in his chosen calling.

In 1884 Prof. Thoman was elected princi-
pal of the Abbottstown schools, and continued
at the head of those schools with growing pop-
ularity. His winter's work was augmented
by a term of summer instruction, with a view
of preparing' young men and women for the
profession of teaching. The result of his en-
terprise was a popular Normal School for
teachers, which he continued for a period of
six years, and the large numbers of ladies and
gentlemen who attended the school was a per-
ceptible indication of its efficiency and real ex-

During the time of Prof. Thoman's in-
cumbency at Abbottstown, other places ex-
tended calls to him, among these, Duncannon,
Perry Co., Pa., where he was elected in the
fall of 1888 to the principalship of the schools
at a large increase of salary, above that which
he was receiving at Abbottstown, but owing to
the persistent appeals of directors, patrons and
pupils of Abbottstown he was induced not to
accept the position. He held his first provis-
ional certificate in 1876, passed the examina-
tion for professional certificate in 1882, and
in 1886 passed the examining board on Per-
manent certificates with an average of ninety-
two per cent. He also holds two certificates
under the Departmental Service of the Govern-
ment of the United States.

In May, 1890, Prof. Thoman was elected
county superintendent of schools of Adams
county, was re-elected in 1893, elected for a
third term in 1896, and continued to serve un-
til June, 1899, a period of nine years in suc-
cession. He is a member of the Reformed
Church, and, in connection with his public
school work, held the superintendency of Em-
manuel Reformed Sunday-school of Abbotts-
town for eight years. Prof. Thoman held,
from time to time, positions of trust and re-«
sponsibility, and in December, 1903, was em-
ployed by the Record Publishing Company, of
Hanover, Pa., to audit the accounts of the
company. On Alay i, 1904, when the Record
Publishing Company and the Hanover Hei'ald
consolidated and became incorporated under
the name of the Hanover Printing Company,
Prof. Thoman was the man chosen for the re-
sponsible position of cashier and bookkeeper,



the position which he holds at the present time.

On Dec. 30, 1880, Prof. Thoman was
united in matrimonj' \\'ith Miss Phoebe Mum-
mert, the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca
(Wehler) Mummert, of Hamilton township,
Adams county. This union has been blessed
with three children, two daughters and one
son, as follows : Carrie Mae, born Nov. 26,
1881 ; Gertrude Naomi, born Sept. 15, 1884;
and Horace Clay, born Sept. 2, 1888. On
April I, 1904, he with his family removed
from Abbottstown to Hanover, where he will,
doubtless, spend the remaining years of his life.

A notable feature of Prof. Thoman's work
is the full and earnest devotion to that which is
before him. Whatever demands his efforts
receives from him careful and painstaking at-
tention. [The above sketch was given by one
who has been in close touch with Prof.
Thoman since boyhood.]

AI. D. One of the resident physicians of
York, whose success, especially along the line
of electro therapeutics, has attracted most fav-
orable attention, is Dr. R. F. Strayer. The
Doctor is a comparatively young man, but has
had a successful experience extending over a
period of some twenty-five years.

Strayer is a German name, the earlier spell-
ing favoring "Strahr." The first of the name
to settle in Amercia from the Fatherland so
spelled it, and this member of the family set-
tled on a large tract of land in Dover township,
York county, prior to the Revolutionary war.
An old house of worship known as "Strayer's
Church," and which was built on land given
by the Doctor's great-grandfather, still stands
to testify to the religious character of that
gentleman. Peter Strayer, grandfather of
our subject, owned and operated a farm which
was part of the original emigrant's purchase.

Dr. Strayer was born in York, Feb. 12,
1 86 1, son of Lewis S. and Leah (Beck)
Strayer, the latter the daughter of a well-
known farmer of x\dams county, and both at
present residents of York. They reared a
family of four sons, one of whom, Harry J.,
died in 1896, at the age of twenty- four years.
Of the others, Allen William Penn, superin-
tendent of the United States Express Company
at Kokomo, Ind., is the eldest ; Robert Franklin
is the second ; and Lewis, a clerk at York, is
the third.

Dr. Strayer laid the foundation of his edu-
cational equipment in the public schools of
York, to which he added courses at Lebanon
Valley College and Pennsylvania College,
Gettysburg. He then entered Hahnemann
Medical College, at Philadelphia, where he
took four special courses besides the general
work for his degree, giving special attention
to Diseases of Women and Practical Anatomy,
and Surgery. He graduated in 1881, being
one of the youngest members of his class.

His practice was begun at once at Macon,
Ga., where he remained five years, meetino-
with much success, and leaving there only be^
cause of climatic conditions developing in him
both rheumatism and malaria. He returned
to York so crippled that he was obliged to walk
with crutches, but soon recovered his health,
and in a few years went to Staunton, Va.,'
where after eighteen months his Georgia ex-
perience was repeated, and again on crutches
he sought York county, this time settling in
Craleysville. He soon gathered a good prac-
tice, but was unfortunately mixed up in a
I unaway accident and came out with a broken
leg. With "physician, heal thyself" as a motto
he gave up his practice and returned to York,
a third time on crutches. It required some
ele^•en months for Dr. Strayer to become suffi-
ciently strong to admit of practice again. He
selected a new location at Strinestown, York
county, where for four years he continued with
marked success, having an extensive practice
and had accumulated considerable property.
Again his evil genius (or Providence) got the
upper hand, this time in the form of a tornado,
which in 1899 completely annihilated his en-
tire belongings. This ill luck drove him home
to stay. He maintains a suite of offices at No.
201 ^^'est Market street, which he has equipped
with e\-erything known to Electro-therapeu-
tics, and many other valuable instruments.
His practice is select and extensive, his success
m his chosen line of specialties causing him to
be sought from far and near.

Dr. Strayer's home is presided over bv his
wife, who was prior to her marriage Miss
Maggie Myers, daughter of John Myers, of
York. They were married in 1890. An
adopted daughter, Ella, is their onlv child, she
now being the wife of E. F. ^^'altman. a real
estate dealer of York. Socially prominent in
the Heptasophs, the Independent Order of
^^'orkmen. the Patriotic Sons of America, the



Star of Bethlehem, the Brotherhood of the
Union, and Vigilant Steam Fire Engine Co.,
Xo. I, Dr. Strayer enjoys his busy life and
merits the uniform esteem in which he is held.
He favors Democracy, and is numbered among
the members of the German Baptist Church.

JOSEPH A. KUGLER, a prominent and
enterprising citizen of New Freedom, and a
survivor of the great Civil war, who for twenty
years has been a justice of the peace, was born
in September, 1845, "'^ Chester county. Pa.,
son of David and Anna (Bloom) Kugler.

John Kluger, his great-grandfather, was
a farmer and hotelkeeper of Chester county,
who came from Germany in 1740, and took up
large tracts of land. He was one of the early
patriots, fighting in the Continental army, in
which he did considerable scouting. His chil-
dren were : John, Jr., and Valentine.

John Kugler, Jr., the grandfather, followed
his father's occupations of fanning and hotel-
keeping, and like his father was a soldier, serv-
ing in the war of 1812. These children were
born to him : David ; Elizabeth, who married
Robert Reed : Hannah, who married Andrew
Arthur; and John.

David Kugler was a soldier in the regular
army and for several j^ears served in the cav-
alry, afterward engaging in farming, which
he followed until his death, which occurred in
1854. He married Anna Bloom, whose father
was a soldier in the Revolution. Mr. Bloom
married a Miss Dison, and they had the fol-
lowing children, Elizabeth, Martha, Thomas,
Charles, Mary, and Anna. The Blooms were
of English origin, and came to the United
States early in 1800, locating in Chester coun-
ty. The children boi'n to David and Anna
(Bloom) Kugler were: Charles; John; Jo-
seph A. ; Sarah P., who married William Tar-
rasillis: Hannah E., who married (first) Rog-
er Shunk, and (second) Joseph Bishop, a vet-
eran of the Civil war ; and Annie, who married
Mr. Howard. Of these, Charles, John and
Joseph A. were all soldiers in the Civil w^r.

Joseph A. Kugler attended the public
schools of Chester county, and at the age of
sixteen enlisted in Company C, Q/th Pa, V.
I., and served two years, being discharged for
disability in 186.^. His regiment saw some
hard service. After the war Mr. Kugler en-
gaged in farming and lime burning in Chester
county, removing in 1867 to Perry county.

where he engaged in the lumber business for
about one year, after which he removed to
Clinton county, and there followed lumbering
until the Spring of 1872. He then located at
York, where he was engaged in an agricultural
implement shop until 1874, at that time engag-
ing as a photographer, which business he
followed five years. In 1876 he came to
New Freedom where he ran a sawmill,
came to New Freedom where he ran a sawmill,
and was assistant railroad ticket agent until
1890. In that year he engaged in the lumber
business in partnership with C. W. Koller,
which partnership was dissolved in 1903, and
Mr. Kugler has since conducted the business
in partnership with his sons, Harry C. and Ar-
thur R., under the firm name of J. A. Kugler
& Sons, and they do an extensive wholesale
and retail business in lumber, doors, sash,
blinds, oils, paints, hardv^are, building material,

Mr. Kugler was commissioned justice of
the peace about twenty years ago and he has
held that oifice ever since. He has also served
as borough tax collector, assessor. Republican
committeeman, and has several times served as
a delegate to the county convention. Frater-
nally Mr. Kugler is connected with the I. O.
O. F., and the G. A. R., serving the latter or-
ganization as Post Commander for several
terms. Mr. Kugler is a liberal supporter of
the United Evangelical Church, and has been
class leader, exhorter, trustee and superintend-
ent of the Sunday-school.

In 1 87 1, Mr. Kugler married Miss Achsah
Ehrman, daughter of Samuel Ehrman of Y^ork
county, and three children have been born to
this union: Ida B.,who married A. N. Hetrick,
and died at the age of twenty-two ; Harry C,
who married Lillie Klinefelter ; and Arthur R.
Mr. Kugler has earned honor and respect in
public life as well as affection and veneration
in private.

STRONG, for over a quarter of a century a
successful physician at Hellam, was born at
New Lisbon, Ohio, Jan. 8, 1839. He was the
son of James and Margaret (Knepley) Arm-
strong. On the paternal side he was descended
from a Scotch-Irish family noted in the his-
tory of Pennsylvania. Early in life his grand-
father, John Armstrong, migrated to the State
of Ohio, where he filled the position of bank



cashier. James Armstrong, his father, who
died in 1841, was a lawyer by profession and a
man of fine intellectual attainments. Margaret
Knepley, the mother of Dr. Armstrong, was a
daughter of John and Margaret (Marr) Knep-
ley, of Washington, D. C.

James Armstrong died when his son was
two years old. After the father's death, Mrs.
Armstrong and her son were brought to the
vicinity of New Oxford, Pa., by his uncle, Hon.
Nicholas Heltzel, a member of the Leg"islature
and a prominent citizen of Adams county. Dr.
Armstrong grew to manhood on the farm of
his uncle, and obtained his preliminary educa-
tion in the public schools. For several years he
was a student in the "New Oxford College and
Medical Institute," founded in 1845 ^Y Dr.
M. D. G. Pfeiffer, an eminent German scholar
and physician. Young Armstrong began the
study of medicine with Dr. Pfeiffer at New
Oxford and continued his studies in the
office of Dr. PefTer, a physician at Ab-
bottstown. He entered the medical de-
partment of the University of Pennsylvania in
1863, where he remained two years. After
practicing medicine in Adams county a few-
years he returned to the University of Penn-
sylvania, where he was graduated with the
class of 1870. The following year he settled
at Hellam, where he practiced medicine for the
remainder of his life. His skill as a physician
and his many excellent qualities of mind and
heart won for him a large circle of friends. Dr.
Armstrong was known not only in the com-
munity in which he resided as a prominent
physician, but his reputation and ability, both
as physician and surgeon, extended through-
out York county. He was always interested in
everything that tended to promote the welfare
of the people among whom he so long lived
and prospered. He filled the office of school
director for many years, and was active and
influential in the affairs of the Lutheran
Church, serving for many j-ears as a deacon in
the congregation which worships in the Kreutz
Creek Church, founded about 1735. Dr. Arm-
strong was a man of fine personal appearance,
affable in manners, and universally popular
among a large circle of friends and associates.
In politics he was a Democrat and was active
in promoting the interests of his party. He
was a member of the York County Medical
Society and the State Medical Society of

On Oct. 19, 1865, Dr. Armstrong was
married to Mary, daughter of Samuel and Ger-
trude (Wiest) Wolf, of Hamilton township,
Adams county. Both these families were prom-
inent in the affairs of York and Adams coun-
ties. Dr. and Mrs. Armstrong had six chil-
dren: Virgil Eugene, Ernest Adelbert, Ger-
trude May, Samuel Wolf. Mary Edith and
Margaret Lydia. Dr. Armstrong died at his
home in Hellam, July 20, 1905, survived by
his widow and two children, Ernest A. and
Mary E. Armstrong.

Ernest A. Armstrong, after leaving the
public schools of his native village, attended
the York Collegiate Institute and York Coun-
ty Normal School. He then taught several
years in the public schools of York and Lancas-
ter counties, and was graduated from the State
Normal School at Millersville. Desiring to
continue his studies, he entered Pennsylvania
College, at Gettysburg, and was graduated with
the degree of A. B. with the class of 1897. For
three years he was a member of the faculty of
Millersville State Normal School. He then
began the study of law in the office of Joseph
R. Strawbridge, a prominent member of the le-
gal profession, at York, and was admitted to
the Bar in 1905. While attending Pennsyl-
vania College he was an active member of the
Philomathean Literary Society, and was one
of its representatives on the editorial staff of
the "Mercury," the literary journal of the col-
"eg;. He was also on the staff of the "Spec-
trum," the coUeg'e annual. He was a member
of the College Athletic Association and chair-
man of the Athletic Field Fund Committee,
which had in charge the construction of the
college athletic field, of which the college is
justly proud, and manager of the college base-
ball team during his Junior and Senior years.
Mr. Armstrong has taken an active part in the
Democratic politics of York county. He is a
member of Masonic Lodge No. 43. of Lan-
caster, Pennsylvania.

Mary E. Armstrong was married in 1903
to \\^illiam H. \\"olf, a rising young cigar man-
ufacturer of Hellam. They have one son, John
Armstrong Wolf, born Oct. 17. 1905.

Manchester township. Jan. 9. 1830, was the
voungest son of Jacob and Elizabeth Holtz-
apple, and is one of the prominent members of



the family, all of whom are well known in
York county.

]Mr. Holtzapple attended school until he
Avas nineteen years of age,, going both to
Lauck's and Neiman's. After finishing his ed-
ucation he spent three years with John Kain,
acquiring a knowledge of the carpenter's trade,
which was afterward his main occupation for
twenty-five years. He located at Dover, ^ near
^Emig's Mills, and combined farming with his
other work to some extent. During the Civil
war he was twice drafted for service, the first
time paying $450 for his substitute, G." W. Rei-
singer, who later became lieutenant-colonel;
the second time he paid $300 for a substitute.

In 1865 Mr. Holtzapple moved to York and
engaged in contracting and building, with his
headquarters in the Eleventh ward, continuing
in this line for eighteen years. During the sum-
mer his whole attention was given to his con-
tract work, but in the winter he began during
the latter part of that time to engage in butch-
ering. Fmally, in 1900, he gave up contracting
entirely, in order to follow the other business
exclusively, and has been very successful in it;
he makes a sausage which is shipped all over
the United States. The shop which he now oc-
cupies was built by Mr. Holtzapple himself in
1893, and is admirably adapted to its purposes,
being thoroughly up-to-date in every detail and
equipped with the latest machinery.

yh. Holtzapple was but twenty-two years
of age when, in 1852, he was united in mar-
riage to Miss Catherine Reikert. They lived
together for forty-six years, IMrs. Holtzapple
dying in 1898 ; her remains were interred in the
Green Mount cemetery. She bore her husband
three children, namely : Emma, wife of Eman-
uel Eyster, a butcher in York : Alice, who mar-
ried William Zeigler, weighmaster at the Eys-
ter & Weiser foundry ; and Dr. J\I. H., a gradu-
ate of the Baltimore Medical College. The
Doctor is located with his father at No. 424
West .Pbiladelphia street, and is one of the
prominent physicians of York.

During the years that Henry Holtzapple
lived in West Manchester township he held the
office of deacon in Wolf's Church, and since
coming to York he has lieen a member of the
Union Lutheran Church. In political matters
he is a Democrat. He is a man of much
strength of character and aljility, and is much

JOHN F. RUDISILL is descended from a
family who came to America from Germany in
1642, and settled in Maryland. His grandfath-
er, Abraham Rudisill, who was a tailor by oc-
cupation, was born in Hanover, York county,
and George Rudisill, the father of our subject,
was a merchant tailor of York. George Rud-
isill was a member of the common council for
five successive terms from the Ninth ward,
which was the largest ward in the city, and his
majority grew larger with each election. He
was also one of the city assessors for three
years from 1903 to 1906. He enlisted in the
three months' service, being a member of the
first volunteer organization in active service
and afterward in Company A, 200th P. V. I.,
during the War of the Rebellion, and was made
orderly sergeant of his company. He was
wounded at Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865,
and was mustered out of service at the close of
the war. He married Elizabeth Neater, daugh-
ter of John Frederick and Wilhelmina Neater,
who were born in Germany. Six children were
born of this union, two of whom died in in-

John F. Rudisill was born in York, Feb. 14,
1874, and received his education in the public
schools of that city, graduating from the York
High school in 1891. His first occupation was
as bookkeeper for M. B. Spahr & Sons, which
position he filled for ten years. After resign-
ing that position, and keeping books for The
American Caramel Company for three and one-
half years, Mr. Rudisill became bookkeeper for
the Chase Felt & Paper Co., and the Susque-
hanna Roofing Manufacturing Co. Mr. Rudi-
sill is secretary and treasurer of the B. M. Root
Co., manufacturers of a general line of wood-
working machines, their specialty being plow
handle machinery, for which they find a mark-
et all over the United States, Mr. Rudisill was
secretary of the York city school Ixiard from
1897 to 1902.

Mr. John F. Rudisill was married June 22,
1900, to Elizabeth T. Root, daughter of B. M.
Root of the B. M. Root Co. Mrs. Rudisill is
a graduate of the York High school, class of
1 89 1, where she was awarded the honor of sal-
utatorian, and she graduated from Dickinson
College in 1895. Two children have been born
to this union : Harriet R. and John F., Jr., the
latter of whom died in infancy.

Mr. Rudisill is a member of the First
United Brethren Church of York, where he has



been organist lor a numljer of years, and for
two years has been president of the Young Peo-
ple's Christian Union of the Pennsylvania Con-
ference branch.

James Rudisill, brother oi John F., was
born in York, Sept. 3, 1872, and received his
education in the public schools. He began to
learn printing in the office of the York Tribune,
and completed his apprenticeship in the office
of the Chromatic Printing Co., John B. Welsh,
proprietor. He was also employed for several
years in the office of the York Dispatch. After
traveling in the United States for two years,
in 1893 he made a tour of Europe, and then
went to Madras, India, remaining there for
two years, as superintendent of the mechanical
department of the Methodist Episcopal Pub-
lishing house. Returning to York, Mr. Rucli-
sill took a course of instruction in linotyping-,
and installed the first linotype in that city. He
was superintendent of the Gazette Printing &
Publishing Company, of York, and is now sec-
retary of the York Printing Company, he with
Messrs. George J. Hildebrand and John C.
Zimmerman being sole owners.

James Rudisill was married April 8, 1897,
to Catherine R. Brunhause, daughter of Fred-
erick W. Brunhause, a merchant and highway
commissioner of York, and four children have
been born to this union: George, Jr., James
Jefferson, Mary L., and Frederick. Mr. Rud-
isill belongs to the Vigilant Fire Company. He
is associated with the York Typographical
Union. His religious connections are with St.
John's Episcopal Church. In politics he is
a Republican.

FRANCIS G. WILSON, a former success-
ful teacher and now a prosperous farmer of
East Hopewell township, comes of goo,d Irish

James Wilson, his paternal grandfather was
born and reared in County Antrim, Ireland. He
came to America prior to 1764, and took up
three tracts of land, one called Derry tract, the
second Calhamc and the third not known.
These three tracts were located mostly in what
is now East Hopewell township. All three
aggregated 194 acres. James Wilson made the
first improvements upon these tracts in 1764,
building a log cabin, wdiich he made his home
until circumstances permitted him to build a
better residence. This was also built of logs
and two additions were later added to it, and

this home was burned fiiteen or si.xteen years
ago. James \\'ilson settletl down to work to
clear his land, also engaging in weaving, hav-
ing a loom in the cellar of his home, and mak-
ing coverlets and homespun cloth from the flax
raised on the farm, which others of the famn
spun for him to weave. Mr. Wilson married
Rachel Anderson, very likely born in Ireland,
and she died in 1827, while her husband passed
away in 1809, aged sixty-nine years. They
were members of the Presbyterian Church.
Their children were: James, who married Miss
Helen Manifold, resided for a time near what

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 63 of 201)