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moved to Little Britain, Lancaster county, and
they became the parents of Robert Fulton, Sr.,
M-hose son was Robert Fulton, of imperishable
fame. John Smith died in 1760, and his wife
Susanna, in 1767. Their three older sons
had sought homes elsewhere, so to their son
Robert fell the homestead.

Robert Smith's early life was doubtless like
that of all other boys of his time and locality,
and of it we have no record. In 1757 the pub-
lic records show that Sergeant Robert Smith
went to "Reading to be qualified."' This was
during the war between the French and Eng-
lish, when the Indians all along the border were
restless and aggressive. At the opening of the
Revolution in August, 1775, he again comes
into prominence by being placed in charge of
the proposed defences to be sunk in the Dela-
.ware for the protection of Philadelphia. Dur-
ing the years he was in charge there he planned
land fortifications, and in January, 1777, was
one to advise with the Committee of Safety re-



gai-ding the necessary defences. He was a
membei- of the convention that, Sept. 28, 1776,
adopted the first State constitution of Pennsyl-
vania. On March 12, 1777, the Supreme exe-
cutive council called him to the post of lieuten-
ant of Chester county. This gave him the rank
of colonel, and the onerous task of raising,
arming and provisioning the military contin-
gent of his district, the troops remaining under
his command until they were called into active
ser\ace. During the time he was county lieu-
tenant he was elected, March 29, 1777, sheriff
-of Chester county, and March 31, 1777, justice
of the peace holding the latter office a number
of years. He was re-elected sheriff Nov. 21,
1778, but, owing to the conscientious dis-
- charge of his duties, incurred some unpopular-
ity and was not again chosen to the office for
five years. He was untiring in the discharge
of his duty, and his patriotism was so great
that his own private fortune melted away in
gifts to the soldiers, or their needy families.
His work was well done, and there seemed,
during the progress of the war, no thought
otherwise. But after peace had been declared,
those less patriotic than himself, who felt
chagrined at the exactions made upon them,
■ called his actions into question. He v/zs sum-
moned to appear before the Supreme execu-
tive council and removed from office March 6,
1786, but this action was reconsidered and he
was reappointed on March 15, following. The
enemies he had made were powerful, and they
rallied again, succeeding in having his reap-
pointment revoked March 21st. At the same
time he retired from all his offices, except that
of trustee of the State Loan Office, which he
retained for a year. In 1785 he served in the
State Assembl3^ and in 1787, at the age of six-
ty-seven, he retired to his farm. His death, in
1803, was caused by paralysis. A man of up-
right and firm character, though of genial man-
ners, his long public career gave his word great
weight, and he was often sought as an arbitra-
tor in disputes, and as an adviser in times of
trouble. He was a great reader, and was one
of the foremost men of his day. In religion, a
Presbyterian, he was an elder and pillar in the
church of that stanch old patriot. Rev. John
'Carmichael. Daily reading of the Scriptiu^es
and prayer were a part of his routine, and a
large portion of every Sunday was devoted to
the study of the Biljle and the Westminster

Catechism. He owned two fine farms on the

On Dec. 20, 1758, Robert Smith married
Margaret Vaug-hen, daughter of John Vaughen
of Red Lion, Chester county ; she died in Phil-
adelphia in 1822, at the age of eighty-seven.
Of their children, Jonathan was for many years
connected with the First and Second United
States Banks, and the Bank of Pennsylvania,
as cashier; John, an ironmaster, was the owner
of Joanna Furnace; Joseph was an iron and
shipping merchant in Philadelphia ; and Isaac
was the sixth son. There are no records of
the other children.

Isaac Smith, sixth soli of Robert and Mar-
garet (Vaughen) Smith, born July 20, 1773,
grew to ■ manhood in the stirring times of
the early days of the republic. He inherited
from his parents the sterling traits that char-
acterized his race, and under the influences of a
Christian home imbibed the Presbyterianism of
his ancestors, tempered with the broader char-
ity that so marked his father's calm, even tem-
per and genial manner. Like him, too, he was
strict in the discharge of duty, and like him,
died (Oct. 8, 1840) honored and respected of
men. On April 19, 1804, he married Mar-
garet Fleming; she was born Nov. 6, 1774,
and died July 10, 1820. The following four
children were born to them : Robert Washing-
ton is mentioned below ; James Fleming, born
Jan. I, 1807, married Elizaijeth, daughter of
James and Elizabeth Schall, of York, Pa., and
died Aug. 17, 1854; Jonathan Vaughen, born
Feb. 22, 1808, died Sept. 28, 1828; and Sam-
uel McKean, born May 21, 1812, married
Eliza, daughter of John and Mary Kauffelt, at
Wrightsville, Pa., and died Feb. 24, 1879.

Robert Washington Smith, eldest of the
children of Isaac Smith, was born in Chester
county, Jan. 10, 1805, and he died in Philadel-
phia, at the home of his son, J. Futhey, Oct. 21,
1884. He married Martha Herr, daughter of
Rudolph and Martha Herr, of Hellam town-
ship, York count}^, and nine children were born
to this union : ( i ) Henrietta Fleming, who
married William Steel Boyd, had five chil-
dren: Ida Martha, who died Aug. 31, 1887;
William Smith, who married Lillian Pauline
Zurflich; Ella Mary; Anna Eliza; and Charles
Roljert. (2) James, dfied in infancy. (3)
James Herr. (4) John Futhey, married Mary
McFetrich. (5) "Robert Wirt. (6) Calvin



Grier. (7) Martha Herr, married Frank J.
Magee. and has two children, Robert Smith
and Martha Helen. (8) Margaret Fleming.
{9) Charles Persifer, married Hannah Ger-
trude Kern, and has had four children : John
Futhey, Charles Kern, Helen Gertrude (de-
ceased ) , and Persifer.

The death of Robert Washington Smith,
while on a visit to his son, was a sad loss to the
community, and it caused profound sorrow.
Although lacking less than three months of
the four-score mark, his dignified bearing and
well-groomed appearance, together with his
unimpaired faculties, gave him the air of a
much younger man. To most of the citizens
of Wrightsville, where he had lived for half a
•century, he was known as 'Scjuire Smith, from
his forty years' service as justice of the peace,
his commission being first signed by Governor
Ritner, in 1835, and he resigned in 1875, be-
cause of advancing years. His boyhood was
passed at Castle Fin, York county, and he was
but a young man when he became identified
with the best interests of Wrightsville. At the
time the borough was incorporated in 1834, he
was elected a member of the first town council,
and was chosen its president.

In 1854, seeing the need of a newspaper,
Mr. Smitli founded the York County Star and
continued its publication until in 1861, when
all his employees enlisted in the service of their
country, and he was obliged to suspend work.
After the close of the war he sold the material
to a stock company, and for a few years contin-
ued with the paper as editor. After the paper
was purchased by Messrs. Magee & Smith, he
still manifested a warm interest in its welfare,
and was a frec[uent contributor to its columns.

On July 21, 1832, Mr. Smith professed
faith, and united with the Presbyterian Church,
and continued faithful and consistent in his
membership. A constant and earnest student
of the Scriptures, he was rigid in observing pri-
vate devotions, as well as church attendance,
and he was a great lover of sacred music. In
his broad sympathy and deep comprehension,
those laboring in the Master's cause found in
him an intelligent friend, who knew and felt
the trials, the disappointments and the heart-
aches, as well as the holy joys, that attend the
faithful devoted workers, striving to spread the
beneficent story of the Gospel to all jieople.
He filled various offices in the cliurch, includ-
ing that of ruling elder.

J.\MEs Herr Smith, son of Robert
Washington and Martha (Herr) Smith, was
born in Wrightsville, Dec. 5, 1833. The vil-
lage schools of his native town afiforded him his
only education, other than that he has acquired
by self-study and in the great school of exper-
ience. He worked with his father on the Star.
and at an early age entered the general store of
his uncle, James Fleming Smith, then a promi-
nent business man, for a mercantile training,
after spending several years in a wholesale
house in Philadelphia. After his marriage he
worked at Wrightsville in the general store of
Smith & Harris, until at the organization of the
Wrightsville Iron Company, he became its
cashier and bookkeeper. In 1863 he was ap-
pointed to a clerkship in the War Department,
a position he resigned June 23d, after a brief
service, to rejoin his famil}' at Wrightsville,
which place was captured by Gen. Gordon's
brigade of Confederates on Sunday, June 28.
At that time Mr. Smith was clerk of the town
council, and the burgess, James F. McGee, sum-
moned the council to meet in the clerk's office
to consider what action, if any, should be taken,
the enemy then being in advance upon York.
While considering the question. Major Haller,
of the United States army, with a small force,
made up of State troops and invalid soldiers
from the hospitals at York, gathered to guard
the bridge across the Susquehanna, appeared
before the council, and declared Wrightsville
under martial law, at the same time appointing
Capt. Samuel H. Mann provost marshal, and
forbidding any action by the town council.
All male citizens were summoned for duty in
erecting barricades in the streets, and the wo-
men were asked to cook provisions for the
troops. Mr. Smith was appointed assistant
provost. At about three o'clock in the after-
noon the enemy made an attack, shelling the
town and forcing the Northern soldiers to re-
treat across the bridge, wdiich they burned, to-
gether with considerable property on Front
street. As they could not cross the river, the
Confederates abandoned the town next clay,
and retreated to York, thence in a few days to
Gettysburg, where they met defeat in the ter-
rible battles there. During the shelling of
Wrightsville, Mr. Smith, realizing that his
home (a frame dwelling) would furnish little
protection to his familv, took his wife, children
and sister to the brick dwelling of D. S. Cook
opposite. These buildings were in the direct



line of tii-e of a battery, and the shells fell
within sixt}^ feet. No one was injured by the
artillery fire and but few soldiers were wound-
ed in the skirmish at the rifle pits. Aluch
alarm was felt while the enemy held the town
and the flames from the burning bridge com-
municated to the neighboring buildings and
lumber yards. The horses had all been taken
across the river to prevent their confiscation.
Mr. Smith piled a wagon with a part of his
furniture, clothing,, etc., and pulled it to a safer
place, where he was obliged to do lonely guard
duty for some hours. He was questioned by
the Confederates, but in no way molested, and
later, when he had returned home, a number of
them gathered on his porch for a social chat.
Ten years later, when ]\Ir. Smith was living in
Georgia, he found in his physician the colonel
of one of the regiments in General Gordon's
brigade, when Wrightsville was taken. Dur-
ing his earlier years in his native village, Mr.
Smith was active in town afifairs, serving, as
above stated, as clerk of the council, and he
was also secretary of the school board and dis-
trict superintendent.

In the spring of 1871, as one of a firm rep-
resenting a New York house, having large land
and lumber interests in Georgia and Florida,
Mr. Smith moved to the latter State, remain-
ing a year at Panama, near Jacksonville, when
he was transferred to Brunswick, Ga., to take
charge of the office work there. He at once
placed himself in touch with the life of his new
home, especially in religious work, and in 1874
was ordained an elder in the Presbyterian
Church there. In April, 1876, he brought his
family back to Pennsylvania, he himself re-
turning South in August. Yellow fever, that
great plague of the Southland, broke out, and
he was taken ill. He returned North to re-
cuperate, and did not again go South until the
following February (1877). Upon this occa-
sion he remained at Brunswick until July. 1878.
In 1884, the tide of business prosperity return-
ed to the South, and at Brunswick was organ-
ized a national bank, of which Mr. Smith was
made cashier. He accepted and the bank open-
ed for business Feb. i, 1884. It continued
with considerable success until the panic of
1893, when it succumbed to the prevailing
hard times. A reorganization was effected and,
when it was reopened, Mr. Smith again be-
came cashier, but severed his connection there-

with Dec. 31, 1895, to become cashier for the
Downing Company, dealers and shippers of
naval stores and general supplies, with which
firm he remained until the spring of 1899,
when he resigned and rejoined his family in
Wrightsville. Another bank in the South
sought his services as cashier, but he declined.

On June 8, 1856, James Herr Smith was
married to Caroline Dickenson Eberenz, who
was born at \^"ellsboro, Tioga Co., Pa.', April
I, 1835, daughter of William and Mary Ann
(Huber) Eberenz. The latter was a daughter
of Samuel Huber. a native of Switzerland, who
served as a surgeon under Napoleon, and who
emigrated to the United States in 1819, settling
in Tioga county, where he practiced until his
death. His wife. Barbara, and two sons — Sam-
uel (an inveterate hunter, who was eventually
killed by wild animals) and Jacob (who died
unmarried) — and two daughters — Mary Ann
and Rosanna (Mrs. William Moyer) — accom-
panied him to America. To James Herr
Smith and wife were born four children :
(i) Marcia Eberenz married Rev. S. Henry
Bell, D. D., of North Carolina, a chaplain in
the United States army, who saw service in
Cuba, and they have had three children : Mar-
cia Parish, Merle, and Margaret Parish (who
died Jan. 6, 1902). (2) Robert William mar-
ried Mary O'Donnel, and has had eight chil-
dren — Robert W^illiam, born Feb. 27, 1887;
Roscoe Daniel, who died Aug. 18, 1889; Gwen-
dolyn (Marie), born July i, 1890; James Herr,
born Oct. 31, 1891 ; Veronica, born Feb. 4,
1895; Estella, born Dec. 3, 1897; Aurea. born
Aug. 20, 1899, and a daughter that died in in-
fancy, in July, 1903. (3) Estella Mary, mar-
ried (first) William D. Houston, of Savannah,
Ga., and had two children — Neill and Carrie
Smith: she married (second) Frank A. Deans,
of Wellsboro, Pa. (4) Caroline Herr, died
Jan. 9, 1893.

In his political faith Mr. Smith is a stanch
Republican, and as a progi^essive, public-spirit-
ed man has always been keenly interested in
the public affairs of whatever city has been his
home. His love for his native Wrightsville
has been strong, and he has been continually
drawn back to York county.

Lieut. Robert Wirt Smith, son of
Robert Washington and Martha (Herr)
Smith, was born Nov. 27, 1839, and he died at
Washington, D. C, Sept. 7, 1862, from a



wound recei\-e(l in the second battle of Bull
Run. He entered his country's service ^lay 8,
1861, as a private in Company K. ( Cookman
Rangers), 5th Pa. Reserve Corps, commanded
by the late Col. S. G. Simmons, "and was first
in active service with his regiment and the
noted Bucktails in Western Virginia, when the
enemy threatened to annihilate the brave com-
mand of Col. (afterward General) Lew ^^'al-
lace, where they were schooled in the hard-
ships and sufferings of a soldier's life, and fitly
prepared to do the duty the Reserves later so
nobly performed, both on the Peninsula and
in front of Washington. Shortl)^ after the di-
vision was connected with the Army of the Po-
tomac under General McClellan, the deceased
was appointed by his colonel, drum major, and
soon thereafter serg-eant major of the regiment.
In the latter position he passed through the
seven-days' battles in front of Richmond, bear-
ing himself so creditably that he was promoted
for gallant conduct on the field of battle to a
lieutenancy in Company G of the same regi-
ment, in which position he was wounded while
in the discharge of his duty at the second bat-
tle of Bull Run, Saturday, Aug. 30th. was left
upon the field of battle, taken prisoner and
paroled by the enemy and sent to Washington,
where death closed his short though noble
career." — Lancaster Express, Sept. 10, •1862.

Many acts of kindness and love are told of
the late Lieut. Robert W. Smith, and among
them are mentioned a few of the deeds that
won to him the hearts of all about him. "Ad-
jutant Alason, a warm friend, was wounded at
the battle of W'hite Oak Swamp and sent to
the hospital after the battle was over. When
the order came in the night for retreat and con-
sequent abandonment of the hospitals with the
sick and wounded. Sergeant Major Smith
sought out the adjutant and prevailed upon
him to make the attempt to retreat with oiu^
forces, promising to bring him off safely if he
had to carr}' him. And he did carry him,
through stream and over rough roads, and
\\-hene\-er the wounded man was too much ex-
hausted to walk. And this devotion was re-
warded, for the two came in among the strag-
glers far in the rear of their regiment, but safe.
* * * He was a brave man. a thorough
soldier, and one who knew and loved him will
pronounce him the truest of friends." — Co-
lumbia Spy. Sept. 13, 1862.

Extract from correspondence to the Colum-

bia Spy, dated at camp near \\'aterford, Va.,
Oct. 21, 1862: "An incident this moment oc-
curs to my mind, which exemplifies a trait in
the character of the late lamented Lieut. Rob-
ert W. Smith, alike creditable to him whilst
living and to his memory. At the battle of
\Miite Oak Swamp, when that unfortunate
charge was made at the house, by the 5th, a
number of prisoners were taken ; among the
number were two officers taken by Lieut.
Smith. One of them afterward was shot, the
other was taken and protected by Lieut. Smith
at the risk of his life. This officer was so
grateful to the Lieutenant that he gave him his
sword, and offered and insisted upon him tak-
ing a very valuable gold watch, and a purse
filled with money. All was rejected, Lieut.
Smith believing that he had only done his duty
toward a brave and chivalrous officer. After-
ward, when again urged to accept some me-
mento, he consented to receive a sword, which
he forwarded to his father.''

At \A^riglitsville, under the auspices of the
Pennsylvania Department, Grand Army of the
Republic, there was instituted Post Xo. 270,
known as the Lieut. R. W. Smith Post, thus
preserving to posterity the name of one of the
bravest and truest of York county's soldiers.

'Twas on the field twice dyed with patriot blood,

A field that hath no music in its name.

Though aching bosom long will thrill with woe

When e"er 'tis heard — Bull Run — 'twas there fell one

How dear a son and brother none may know

Save those whose clustering hopes were 'round him

How brave — was on the field of strife oft proved :
How faithful — knew the wounded friend he bore
Within his arms beyond the foeman's reach;
How nobly generous — knew the conquered foe
By him protected from a rebel's doom,
Though at his peril — ]Magnanimity —
That conquered e'en the hating Southern heart,
Subduing it to honor for the true,
For Northern chivalry !

Calvin Grier Smith, son of Robert
Washington and Martha (Herr) Smith, was
born Nov. 27, 1839, twin to Robert W. Until
he was fourteen he attended the public schools,
and then entered the general store of his uncle.
James Fleming Smith, with whom he remain-
ed one year. The next year was passed at work
in a foundry, and at the age of sixteen he
entered the office of the York County Star,
then owned by his father, to learn the trade
of printer. Completing his apprenticeship, he
followed his trade a few vears. and in 1861,



in company with \\". S. Boyd, he engaged in
mercantile pursuits for three years. During
the Civil war he served one enlistment as mu-
sician in a Maryland ca\-alrv regiment, and
afterward was in the quartermaster's depart-
nient at ^^'ashington, D. C. connected with
the 135th P. V. I. After the war closed he
and Capt. Magee bought the York County
Star, and changed its name to the W'rights-
ville Star. They brought it out up-to-date,
and soon had a reliable, popular and newsy
paper. About 1872 he sold to his partner,
and engaged in the coal business, in which he
continues. He was one of the incorporators
of the Wrightsville & Chanceford Turnpike
Company, of which he is secretary, and of the
Wrightsville Cemetery Association, of which
he is secretary and treasurer.

In December, 1869, Calvin Grier Smith
was united in marriage with Sarah Anna
Kaufi'elt, daughter of Henry Kauffelt. Four
children blessed this union : Harry Kauffelt,
secretary of the Susquehanna Casting Com-
pany, at AVrightsville ; Robert Grier, who mar-
ried Sarah J. Mackin, and has three chil-
dren, Robert Mackin, Janet Frances and Anna
Kauffelt : Amy Lanius ; and Paul.

In 1874 Mr. Smith was appointed bank
assessor by State Treasurer Mackey. Presi-
dent Harrison appointed him postmaster at
Wrightsville when the office was in the fourth
class. Increase of the volume of business
placed it in the third class, and Mr. Smith
received a second appointment for four years.
He has always been a Republican, his first
vote being cast for Abraham Lincoln. Fra-
ternally he belonged to the Royal Arcanum.
In his religious views he has not departed
from the faith of his fathers, and is a stanch
Presbyterian, as is also his wife.

VIRTUE C. GROVE, the oldest resident
of Lewisberry borough, and a veteran of the
Civil war, w-as born Jan. 12, 1827, in Lewis-
berry, son of Samuel and Hannah (Ruchart)

Samuel Grove, the grandfather of Virtue
C, was born in Germany, near Holland,
where he was a large land owaier. He came
to America, landing New York, and emigrated
to Lancaster county, where he followed gun-
smithing and manufactured edged tools in
Fairview townshi]), near Lewisberry borough.

At the time he built his shop (1790) there,
the Indians were still numerous. He died in
Fairview township, and was buried at the
Lutheran Church.

Samuel Grove, son of Samuel, was born
Aug. 30, 1782, in Lancaster county. He came
with his father to York county, and learned the
trade of a gunsmith, becoming very skillful,
and following that trade until his death. In
1 82 1 he built the house in Lewisberry now
owned by Dr. H. A. Harding, and resided in
it until his death. It is still very substantial,
and is considered one. of the best in Lewis-
berry for its age. Mr. Grove was buried in
Fairview township at the Lutheran Church.
On Nov. II, 1806, he married Hannah
Ruchart, and she died in Lewisberry town-
ship, and is buried at the Emanuel cemetery
in Newberry township. The children born
to this worthy couple were : Catherine married
Virtue Clark, and died in Indiana ; George
died at the age of sevent3'-one years ; Abraham
died at Lewisberry, at the age of twenty-two
years ; Susanna married Jacob Flowerton, and
resides at Pittsburg, Pa. ; John died unmarried
at Lewisberry ; Yinger married Julia Bell, and
died at Lewisberry ; Samuel died aged ten
years; Hannah died at the age. of twelve;
Samuel married Katie Ann Fetrow. and died
at Shepherdstown, Cumberland county : Virtue
C. : Annie married Jacob Welsh, deceased, and
lives in York ; and Matilda married AMlson
Zimmerman, of Chicago.

Virtue C. Grove received a very scant edu-
cation in his youth, attending the school only
three short terms, but he has educated himself,
and is now one of the best posted men of the
community. At the age of sixteen he engaged
in lumbering at Cherry Tree. Ind., and fol-
lowed rafting for about thirty-two years along
the Susquehanna river. Mr. Grove can tell
in a very interesting way many incidents and
anecdotes of the early rafting days. Mr.
Grove sold his lumber along the river at
various points, and in this way accumulated

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 71 of 201)