George R. Prowell.

History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

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Webster, born in 1855, married Annie Reed;
Sarah Ellen, born in 1858, died young; Ed-
ward, born in 1862, married Emma Lease, and
lives in New Cumberland, Cumberland county ;
and Lucinda, born in 1856, married Herman
Goodyear, and they are living in New Cumber-
land, Cumberland county.

Joseph J\I. Prowell attended school in New-
berry and Fairview townships until the age of
twenty years, and then started working in the
lime-l;ilns and quarries. In 1862 Mr. Prowell
removed to Dauphin county, and followed
trucking for a number of years. In August,
1864, he enlisted in Co.D, 201st P. V. I., being-
mustered in at Harrisburg. Mr. Prowell did
guard duty and served ten months, and, after
receiving his discharge returned to Newberry
township and went to farming. In 1877 ^Ir.
Prowell located near Strinestown, Conewago
township, and Nov. 18, 1902, bought a home in
Strinestown, where he is now living retired.

In 1867 Mr. Prowell married ]Miss Eliza-
beth Ann Crider, daughter of Reuben and
]\Iary (Hoffman) Crider, of York county, and
the children born to them have been : Ross, who
married Ida Westhefifer, and lives in Strines-
town ; Rebecca, who married Andrew Fink, and
lives in Conewago township ; Martin, who mar-
ried Anna Hoffman, and lives at Falls, York
county; Grant, who' married Amelia Sweitzer,
and lives at Falls ; Agnes, who married George
Bear, and lives at Zion's View ; Cora, who died
at the age of nineteen, and is buried in ]\Ian-
chester township; Bertha, who married Isaac
Bupp, of York ; Emma, who married George
Strine. of Strinestown ; ]\Iary Jane, who mar-
ried George Sheaffer, of York ; and George W.,
a baker at York.

In politics jMr. Prowell is a Republican,
and for two years has been supervisor, and has
also served as judge of election.

WILLIAAI C. SEITZ. ^I. D.. a represen-
tative of the school of Homeopathy in York
coimty, is established in the practice of his pro-
fession at Glen Rock. He is a native son of
York county, and a descendant of pioneer
stock, the name being historically identified



v,-ith that section of the Keystone State since
very early in the eighteenth century. The first
i-epresentative of the family in York county was
John Seitz, great-grandfather of the Doctor,
who was Ijorn and reared in Germany and who
was a resident of Maryland for a time before
coming hither. He located near what is now
the thriving city of York and took up a tract
of wild land, a considerable portion of which
he reclaimed to cultivation, becoming one of the
prominent pioneer farmers of this locality. He
had three sons, Andrew, John and Lewis — the
first two named continuing to be permanent res-
idents of Pennsylvania, while Lewis removed
to Ohio, where he was undoubtedly the first to
represent the family.

Andrew Seitz, grandfather of William C,
was born on the old homestead farm, in York
township, and the major portion of his active
career was devoted to agricultural pursuits.
He removed to Maryland after his marriage
and there continued to reside for a few years,
after which he returned to York county, where
both he and his wife (whose maiden name was
Catharine Klinefelter: born Aug. 23, 1784,
died Aug. 21, 1859) passed the remainder of
their lives. They became the parents of seven
children, all of whom attained years of ma-

William Seitz, father of the Doctor, was
born in Harford county, Md., where his par-
ents had taken up their residence a few years
previously, and the year of his nativity was
1821. He was educated partly in Maryland and
partly in York county, where he grew to man-
hood. He became a prominent and influential
farmer of Shrewsbury township, was a man of
exalted principles and ever commanded the
highest respect. He died in 1871, being sur-
vived a score of years by his wife, whose death
occurred in 1891. Pier maiden name was
Magdalena Zeigler, and she was born and
reared in York county, being likewise a repre-
sentative of one of its sterling pioneer families.
Both she and her husband were members of the
Lutheran church, in whose faith they reared
their children, concerning whom is recorded the
following: Eli married Mary Overmiller, and
is engaged in milling at Glen Rock, York coun-
ty : Emanuel, who married Mary Burkhardt, is
employed by the Pennsylvania Steel Co. ; Eliza
J., deceased, was the wife of Samuel Mace, of
Shrewsbury township : Cyrus is deceased : Jus-

tina E. is unmarried; Oliver died in infancy;
William C. was the next in order of birth ; and
Roland F., who married Martha Heathcote,
is a musician.

Michael Zeigler, the maternal grandfather
cf Dr. Seitz, came of stanch German lineage,
and was a member of a family early founded in
Pennsylvania. He devoted the greater por-
tion of his life to agricultural pursuits and was
one of the worthy and substantial citizens of
York county, where both he and his wife died.
They had six children, namely: Michael,
George, John, Mary (who became the wife of
Michael Seitz), Magdalena (mother of Will-
iam C), and Andrew.

Dr. William C. Seitz passed his boyhood
days on the old homestead farm, continuing to
assist in its work according to the measure of
his powers until he had attained the age of
fourteen 3'ears, and having- in the meanwhile
duly availed himself of the advantages of the
public schools of his native township of Shrews-
bury, where he was born March 18, 1864. He
then entered upon an apprenticeship at the
printer's trade, in the office of the Glen Rock
Item, where he duly familiarized himself with
the mysteries and intricacies of the "art pre-
servative of all arts," and in which he continued
to be actively engaged until he was about
twenty-one years of age. He had in the mean-
while determined upon a professional career,
and he forthwith began preparations for enter-
ing the medical profession by taking up a
course of technical reading under the precep-
torship of Dr. H. W. Fair, of Seitzland, with
whom he remained as a student for three years.
At the expiration of that period, in the autumn
of 1885, he was matriculated at Hahnemann
Medical College, Philadelphia, one of the lead-
ing Homeopathic medical schools of the
Union, where he completed the prescribed
course and was graduated with his degree on
the 6th of April, 1888, coming forth well
equipped for the active work and responsibilities
of the profession in which he has since attained
such marked prestige and success. Soon after
his graduation Dr. Seitz located at Steelton,
Dauphin county. Pa., where he remained in
practice until March of the following year,
when he located at Glen Rock, where he has
since been established in practice. He has se-
cured a representative clientage, and is the only
Homeopathic practitioner in that section be-



tween York and the city of Baltimore. He is
a member of the American Institute of Homeo-
pathy, and finds his identification with this
national association of much practical value,
while he keeps in close touch with the advances
made in his profession, by the proper utilization
of the best standard and periodical literature of
a technical order. He is also a member of the
State Homeopathic Society and the Tri-County
Homeopathic (Goodno) Society.

In politics Dr. Seitz give allegiance to the
Republican party, and he has ever manifest-
ed a loyal interest in public affairs of a local na-
ture, while for the past three years he has been
a valued and zealous member of the board of
education of his home town. In a fraternal
way he is affiliated with the Improved Order of
Red Men, the Junior Order of United Ameri-
can Mechanics, the Knights of Malta and the
Heptasophs, while both he and his wife are
members of the Lutheran Church. He has
shown distinctive public spirit, and tliat he has
.lent his aid in the promotion of enterprises hav-
ing a marked bearing upon the commercial and
industrial status of the C3mmunity is indicated
in the fact that he was one of the organizers of
the American Wire Cloth Co., of Glen Rock,
that he is a stockholder in the Glen Rock Stamp-
ing Co., and was one of the organizers, stock-
holders and directors of the Glen Rock Wire
Screen Works.

The Doctor has marked musical talent,
both vocal and instrumental, and displays in
that line a predilection that seems to he char-
acteristic of the family, eleven of whose mem-
-bers have been enrolled upon the membership
list of the Glen Rock Musical Association, of
which he is the director, while he is also known
as a skillful clarinetist.

On March 26, 1890, was solemnized the
marriage of Dr. Seitz to Sarah C. Heathcote,
who was born and reared in York county, be-
ing a daughter of James and Christina' Heath-
cote and a granddaughter of William Heath-
cote. Dr. and Mrs. Seitz have two children —
James S. and Grace L.

that temperament (dominant in so many of the
German emigrants to America) which leads to
success and to an honored place in a new land,
Ambrose Schmidt, for more than half a century
a resident of York countv, attained a substan-

tial business reputation and position, and by his
useful and active life, rounded out for himself
a career that is most creditable. He was
eighteen years of age, when, in 1842, he set-
tled at York, Pa., with his parents, Andrew
and Catherine (Meissner) Schmidt, just after
their arrival from the Fatherland, where Am-
brose was born in 1824. In Germany he had
accjuired the trade of a stone-mason by a com-
plete apprenticeship, and thus equipped he be-
gan life at York, following the trade indus-
triously for a period of twenty-four years. Dur-
ing that time he was employed on many of the
notable improvements that were made at the
county seat. He aided in demolishing the old
county jail, which stood at the northeast corner
of George and King- streets, and in 1855 he as-
sisted in the construction of the large jail lo-
cated in the northeast part of York. In 1866
Mr. Schmidt removed from York to Hanover,
where he embarked in the brewing business, in
1878, adding thereto beer bottling and the
manufacture of soda water. This business he
conducted successfully for twenty-two years,
or until 1888, when he disposed of the business
to his son, Ambrose, and his son-in-law, Nich-
olas Wagner, and retired at the age of sixty-
four years.

Mr. Schmidt was married Aug. 2, 1849, to
Catherine Boll of York, and to them were born
six children, as follows: Catherine, deceased;
Margaret, who married Nicholas Wagner, now
a merchant tailor of Hanover; Adam E., de-
ceased; Mary, who married Henry Klunk, of
Hanover; Ambrose, deceased; and John J., of
Hanover. The father died in that city in 1898,
at the age of seventy-four years, and ten years
after his retirement from active life, his faith-
ful wife surviving until 1902. They were de-
vout members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church
of Hanover, and when the present handsome
edifice of the congregation on Baltimore street
was erected in 1877, ^^'"- Schmidt was a mem-
ber of the building committee. He was highly
esteemed for his many good qualities and is re-
membered by a wide circle of friends.

John J. Schmidt, son of Ambrose and
Catherine (Boll) Schmidt, and an e.x-chief bur-
gess of Hanover, was born in York Aug. 14,
1859. When about seven years of age he re-
moved with his parents from York to Hanover,
and his education was received in the parochial
schools at Hanover. \\'hen his school-days



were ended, John J. acquired the tinner's trade,
which he fohowed for a number of years, but
in 1882 he became interested in the botthng
works of his father at Hanover, and a httle later
purchased the "City Hotel," which he conduct-
ed about nine years, when he purchased the
bottling- business formerly conducted by his
father. In 1894 he associated with himself as
partner Julius C. Helb, which connection con-
tinued until 1900. In that year they sold the
works to Victor K. and W. F. Jordan. Mr.
Schmidt was the founder of the Hanover Bend-
ing works, which he subsequently sold. For
several years he has served as a director in the
Hanover Savings Fund Society, the oldest
banking institution in the town. He has pros-
pered in all his business enterprises, and has ac-
quired a considerable amount of real estate.
He built for himself, in 1900, a fine residence
on Middle street, and in addition owns several
other residence properties in Hanover.

Mr. Schmidt has also taken an active part
in politics, serving as a delegate to both county
and State conventions. For six years he was
a member of the Hanover borough council and
for three years a competent and efficient chief
burgess. During his term of office as chief
burgess he was instrumental in the adoption of
many measures for the improvement of the
borough, resulting in superior sanitary condi-
tions and the general welfare of the city.
Among the fraternal orders, Mr. Schmidt holds
membership in the Order of Heptasophs, the
St. Joseph Knights of St. Paul and the B. P.
O. E. He was married in 1882 to Mary,
daughter of Henry and Anna Kampeter of
York. Six children have been born to them,
and of these five survive, namely : Annie, Ger-
trude, Hilda, Marie, and Florence. Henry,
the only son, died at the age of ten years. Mr.
and Mrs. Schmidt are members of St. Joseph's
Catholic Church.

JOHN W. MINNICH. When it is stated
that the name borne by John W. Minnich has
been identified with the annals of York county
for more than a century, further mention of the
family prestige in connection with the develop-
ment and civic and material progress of that
favored section is scarcely demancled. As one
generation has here followed another upon the
stage of life's activities, there have been found
in the Minnich family men of sturdy integrity.

marked pragmatic abilit}' and invincible spirit,
while the women have been endowed with
gracious attributes and have played well their
part in home and social life. Industry and
tenacity of purpose have been dominating char-
acteristics of the Minnich family, whose mem-
bers seem to ha-\-e invariably held no obstacle as
insuperable when interposed in the path. of am-
bition and definite accomplishment in their re-
spective fields of endeavor. They have also
evinced a high sense of stewardship and an un-
equivocal loyalty to the duties of citizenship, so
that it is needless to say that the family has ever
maintained a high standing in York county.
The prestige of the name has been well upheld
by the subject under special consideration, who
possesses in a significant degree the sterling
characteristics noted above, as indicative of the
family attributes, and who is one of the in-
fluential citizens and most prominent business
men of the borough of Dallastown, where his
capitalistic interests are of wide scope and var-
iety. He has done much to further the Indus-,
trial and commercial precedence of the com-
munity and is one of the most popular and
highly esteemed business men of his native

John ^^'esley Minnich was born on a farm
three miles east of Dallastown, in York town-
ship, this county, Jan. 21, 1861, a son of Gran-
ville and Mary (Spatz) Minnich, both of whom
were likewise born and reared in York county,
the latter having been a daughter of Jacob and
Mary (Daugherty) Spatz, so that the lineage
of Mr. Minnich has a strain of Irish blood com-
mingled with that of the sturdy German ex-
traction. The father of John W. Minnich was
a farmer and died in the prime of life, passing
away in 1863, at the age of twenty-five years,
and leaving his widow in straitened circum-
stances with two young sons dependent
upon her. The devoted mother survived
her husband not many years, being sum-
moned into eternal rest in 1873, ^^ the
age of thirty years. She was a zeal-
ous member of the United Brethren Church,
was a woman of noble attributes, and
held in afifectionate regard by a wide circle of
appreciative friends. Owing to the conditions
noted in this connection, John W. and his
brother early began to fight the battle of
life and it is most gratifying to note the dis-
tinctive success which each has attained, the



brother, William H., M. D., being one of the
representative members of the medical profes-
sion at Dallastown, York county. He is a
thoroughly schooled physician and surgeon, is
a member of numerous medical societies, and
prominent both professionally and socially.
The two orphaned lads bravely faced the world,
undaunted by the unpropitious environments
and circumstances of their childhood, and both
have fought their way to the front, having
never violated by one jot or tittle 'their legiti-
mate claim to the confidence and respect of their

John W. IMinnich secured his educational
discipline in the public schools of his native
township, completing his specific school work
as a student in the high school at Dallastown,
and having, in the meanwhile, bent his energies
to incidental labors which rendered financial re-
turns of greater or less amounts. In 1879, at
the age of eig'hteen years, he entered upon an
apprenticeship at the trade of cigar-making, in
Dallastown. He soon became a skilled work-
man, a^nd continued to be employed at his trade
until 1882, when he gave inception to his inde-
pendent business career by engaging in the
same line of enterprise on his own responsibil-
ity, beginning- operations on a modest scale and
giving employment to three assistants. This
little factory was the nucleus of his present ex-
tensive industry in the line, the business having
been developed through well directed energy
and correct methods and being now conducted
under the title of J. W. Minnich & Son. In the
finely equipped factory employment is afforded
to an average force of 125 workmen, and the
output of cigars is the largest of all the factories
in York county, more than twelve million repre-
senting the average annual product of the con-
cern. York county, as is well-known, main-
tains high prestige in the growing and manu-
facture of tobacco, through which is maintained
one of the leading industrial activities of that
section, and thus there is no little significance
in the above statements as to the relative status
of the enterprise built up and maintained by Mr.

Aside from the enterprise just mentioned
Mr. Minnich has prominently identified himself
with local business and civic interests. In 1903
he effected the organization of the First Na-
tional Bank of Dallastown, which he capitalized
for $50,000 and which is today recognized as

one uf the stable and abl}' managed financial
institutions of York county, i\Ir. Minnich being
the principal stockholder and having been elect-
ed to the presidency of the bank at the time of
its organization, while he has since continued to
zealously safeguard its interests and direct its
policy along safe and conservative lines. He
was the founder of the Dallastown Water Co.,
of whose directorate he remains a valued mem-
ber; is president and a director of the Dallas-
town, on Sept. I, 1883, and who is one of the
the Merchants' Cigar Box Co., of Dallastown,
which manufactures more than 8,000 boxes
daily. It may thus be seen that Mr. Minnich
is conspicuously identified with the industrial
and commercial actix'ities of his home county
and State, and is equally prominent in civic and
social connections. In politics he gives a stanch
allegiance to the Democratic party, and. while
never ambitious for official preferment, his fel-
low citizens have called upon him to serve in
various positions of local trust and responsibil-
ity. Thus he has given faithful service in the
offices of councilman, chief burgess^ school di-
rector and in other local capacities. In a frater-
nal way he is affiliated with Dallas Lodge, No.
1017, I. O. O. F., and with the local organiza-
tion of the Junior Order of United American
Mechanics. He is a member of the L'nited
Brethren Church.

On April 9, 1882, Mr. Minnich was united
in marriage to Miss Susie Geesey, who was
born and reared in York county, being a daugh-
ter of Samuel and Sarah (Rechard) Geesey, of
York township. Mr. and ]\Irs. Minnich have
one son, Chauncey ^^^, who was born in Dallas-
town, on Sept. I, 1883. and who is one of the
popular young men of the community. He is
now associated with his father in business, hav-
ing been admitted to partnership in his ci.gar-
manufacturing enterprise on the ist of Jan.,
1904, since which time the business has been
conducted under the firm name of J. W. ^lin-
nich & Son.

born on the family homestead in Spring Garden
township Nov. 14, 1857, son of Abraham and
Mary ("Peters) Loucks. Abraham Loucks was
the son of George and Catherine (Shank)
Loucks, and the other children of the family
were: Isaac and Nathan, deceased; Jacob; and
Amanda, the wife of P. H. Glatfelter. Abra-



ham married Mary Peters, daughter of Peter
and Anna May (Hess) Peters, and they be-
came the parents of a large family, viz. : Aaron
F. : Joseph ; George ; Perry, deceased ; Abra-
ham : Isabella and Amanda, deceased ; and
Mary, wife of Jacob M. Gruber. The father
died in 1876, while the mother survived him
until 1 89 1.

Aaron F. Loucks during his boyhood at-
tended the old school on the property of the late
Jeremiah Black, a structure which is still stand-
ing.and later he was a student at Hyde's School
in Spring Garden township. He chose farm-
ing for his life work and in 1884 started inde-
pedently in North Codorus township, but five
years later bought the old Loucks homestead,
where he has since lived. The property has
been in the family for over seventy years, is in
a section noted for its rich soil and is one of the
most productive farms even in that vicinity.

Mr. Loucks was married in 1884 to Eme-
line, daughter of Reuben and Elizabeth ( Span-
gler) Minnich. Mr. Minnich. who died in
1895, hacl a large family, viz. : Leander M. ;
Edwin ; Henry ; Simon, deceased ; Ezra ; Eme-
line, Mrs. Loucks; Agnes, Mrs. Kauffman ;
Priscilla, deceased : Flora, Mrs. Gladfelter ; and
Rosa. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Loucks
three children have been born, as follows :
Mnry E., the wife of Samuel H. Ensminger ;
Reuben F., at home ; and Florence V., attending
school. Mr. Loucks is a Republican -and is
identified with Christ Lutheran Church at

CHARLES E. SMITH, florist at York, is
a son of Charles H. Smith, who emigrated from
Westphalia, Germany, in 1839, settling in
York, where, after a successful business as a
lime-burner for many years, he died in 1901,
aged eighty-two years. Charles H. Smith
married Charlotte Meyers, daughter of Harry
Meyers (deceased), and the children born to
this union were ten in number, five of whom are
dead. The survivors are : Mary, the wife of
John Einerbrink, connected with the Meyers &
Adams establishment in York; Catherine, at
home; Emma, the wife of C. H. Dempwolf,
whose sketch will be found elsewhere ; William
F., in the coal and lime business in York; and
Charles E.

Charles E. Smith was born in York, Jan.
19, 1862. and was educated in the public schools
and in York County Academy. His first busi-

ness was as a coal dealer, and after continuing
in that line for eight years, he established him-
self as a florist. This was in 1889, and the
fact that he has now twenty-six fine hot
houses at the corner of Jefferson and Junifer
streets, attests to his success. At one
time Mr. Smith shipped largely of his
products to other sections, successfully main-
taining two stores in Baltimore for six years,
but, discovering that he had home trade enough
to keep him'busy, he confined himself exclusive-
ly to the local business, making a specialty of
fine cut flowers. His taste as a landscape gar-
dener and decorator is such that for two or
more seasons he has planted those two beau-
tiful parks of York, Penn and Farquhar.

Charles E. Smith was married Oct. 9, 1885,
to Emma Sieck, daughter of A. H. Sieck, a
well-known baker of Baltimore, and eight chil-
dren were born to this union, of whom Tillie
died in infancy, and Paul, at the age of nine
years. The survivors are Florence and Eliza-
beth, who have finished their education : Maria
and Ruth, at school; and Elmer and Eugene.
The only social organization to which Mr.
Smith belongs is the Vigilant Fire Co., he hav-
ing been a member since 1900. In religion he

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 77 of 201)