George R. Prowell.

History of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) online

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League of Third Class Cities, held at W'ilkes-
Barre, Sept. 6, 7, 8, 1904, read a paper on the
"Taxation and Assessment of Property" which
attracted marked attention, and was published
in the Wilkes-Barre newspapers, accompanied
by a likeness of Mt. Shreiner.

On May 11, 1865. Mr. Shreiner married
Sallie K. Kinzer, of Kinzer's Station, this being
a historic point named after that family in
Lancaster county. Three children came to this
union, Edward dying Dec. 28, 1897, in his
thirty-second year. The survivors are : Harry
K., who is employed at the Baldwin Locomo-
tive works, at Philadelphia, and Rebecca Triss-
ler, who now presides over the home, her
mother having died Aug. 9. 1900.

!Mr. Shreiner affiliates with the Heptasophs
and is an elder in St. Matthew's Lutheran
Church. He is a man of the strictest pi'obity
of character, administering his office with that
painstaking care more frequently observed in
the old days than at present. In political affil-
iation he is a stanch Republican, and is a valued
worker in the local ranks of the organization.
In the social life of the city both he and his
wife have been prominent and helpful factors.
He is found allied with the forces of law and
order and good government in e\-ery movement
which comes up for consideration in the com-
munity, and is a tower of strength in shaping
the moral tone of the city. The esteem in
which he is held is universal.

-the successful physicians of New Freedom,
Pa., was born Dec. 29. 1855, at Cross Roads,
York county, son of Genesis and Mary (Line-
baugh) Glessic.

Joseph Glessic, the grandfather, was a farm-
er who had these children: Jerry; Genesis; Jo-
seph: William; Caroline, married George Eck-

ert ; Mary; Sanura, married George Dittenhae-
f er ; Lydia, married Thomas Montgomery ; and
Sarah married John Minnon, of York. The
maternal grandfather Linebaugh followed agri-
cultural pursuits all his life. At the time of
his death he had the following children : Abra-
ham, Daniel and Mary (twins), John, Jesse,
\\'illiam and Harry.

Genesis Glessic was a farmer and was
prominent all his life. His death occurred July
30, 1898. His wife, Mary Linebaugh, was
married twice, her first marriage being to Dan-
iel Machlin, by whom she had these children :
Daiwalt; Salina, wdio married Edward Line-
baugh; Mary, who married John M. Fishel;
Sarah, who married Solomon Wire; and
Susan, who married Henry Kochenour. To
Genesis and Mary Glessic two children were
born, John Henry and William D.

William D. Glessic, after attending the
public schools, entered the Stewartstown Col-
legiate Institute under Prof. Maxwell in
1874-5, after which he taught school for one
year, and then attended tw^o terms at the Col-
lege of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore,
Md. He was graduated from the Bellevue
Hospital Medical College, New York City, in
1880, and commenced practice in Lancaster
county, where he remained for one year, remov-
ing to York county, where he has continued
ever since.

On May 29, 1895, Dr. Glessic married
Miss Nettie E. Wilson, one of the twelve chil-
dren of William S. Wilson, of York county.
She was a successful teacher for a number
of years, and greatly beloved by her pupils:
Dr. Glessic has been very successful profession-
ally, and he has gained a position of import-
ance in his line. While never seeking office
he has always taken a public-spirited interest
in the welfare of the town, and has generously
supported every movement which his judg-
ment has led him to regard as beneficial. He
is universally esteemed, and occupies a high
social position. He is a member of the York
County Medical Society.

\\TLLIAM K. BURNS, who died Dec.
26, 1905, was a leading citizen of Monaghan
township, York county, conducting a first
class, comfortable hostelry at Siddonsburg. He
was born in Monaghan township, Feb. 18,
1834, son of George and Mary (Kerr) Bums'

Thomas Burns, his grandfather, came from



Loch Lomond, Scotland, to America and locat-
ing in Pennsylvania, settled in York county,
where he spent his life in agricultural pursuits.
He married Mary Fisher, by whom he had
these children, Thomas, William, George,
Catherine, Elizabeth and Mary. Religiously
these good people were Presbyterians, while
politically Mr. Burns affiliated with the Demo-
cratic party.

George Burns was born in Monaghan
township, where he followed his trade, that of
a cooper, for. many years, but from. 1843 to
1875 he conducted the hotel later owned by
his son, William K. Mr. Burns was twice mar-
ried. By his first wife, Mary Kerr, two chil-
dren were born, William K. and Thomas. Mr.
Burjis then married Lydia A. Kinter, by whom
he had two children, Mary and Laura, both of
whom are now deceased. Mrs. Burns still sur-
vives and is living in Bowmansdale, Cumber-
land county.

William K. Burns remained at home until
the age of twenty-one, at which time he started
clerking in a store at Siddonsburg, which he
■continued for a number of years, and then en-
gaged in farm work. Later he became clerk
in his father's hotel and after the latter's
death became proprietor of the hotel. Mr.
Burns leased the hotel from 1887 to 1897,
during which time he purchased a piece of
property in Monaghan township, which he im-
proved, and in 1897 returned to the hotel busi-
ness, which he carried on until his death, as
•stated, Dec. 26, 1905, and on flie 29th follow-
ing he was laid to rest.

In 1873 Mr. Burns married Catherine E.
Myers, daughter of Jacob D. Myers, of York
county; she died in 1886, at the age of forty-
one years. In 1897 Mr. Burns married Miss
Mary E. Barlup, daughter of Charles H. Bar-
lup, a native of Monaghan township, and one
child, Mary R., was born to this union.

Mr. Burns, politically, was a stanch Demo-
crat, and was very prominent in public affairs.
The hotel was never in a more prosperous con-
dition than under his guidance, and Mr. Burns
was favorably considered in financial circles
throughout the township. Possessing many of
the business attributes which made his
•esteemed father so successful, he combined also
a pleasing manner, which won both business
and personal friends, and his death was sin-
cerely mourned.

MICHAEL HOKE bears a name which
for at least three g'enerations has stood for
honesty, industry and influence in the annals
of York county. The grandfather, Michael
Hoke, was one of the devout Mennonites, who
a century ago aided in the development of the
county. He was twice married, and his first
wife was a member of the well known Hershey
family. He was of German descent, and
throughout life was a diligent and prosperous
farmer of York county.

Michael Hoke, the father of our subject,
was born in Jackson township, York county,
in 1 81 8. He was a man of versatile abilities,
and while pursuing the vocation of farming for
many years was also actively engaged in vari-
ous enterprises, which the resources of his time
opened to^ vigilant and far-sighted young men.
Acquiring the trade of wheelwright and black-
smith, he later served an apprenticeship as a
machinist at Nashville, Pa., and was a mer-
chant for some time at the same town. He
married Anna Martin, -who was born in York
county, near the State Line, and he died in
1863, comparatively young in years.

Michael Hoke, our subject, was born in
North Codorus township, York county, Nov.
17, 1840. His early boyhood days were spent
on the farm, from which he attended the pub-
lic schools at Spring Grove, and later at the old
Moul schoolhouse. In i860 he beg'an an ap-
prenticeship at the machinist'.s trade with Sam-
uel Fitz, and after completing his trade he re-
mained with his emplo3'er for ten years. In
1870 he formed a partnership with Isaac Shaf-
fer in the grain business under the firm name
of Hoke & Shafifer. In 1880 feed was added
to their line, and by adding coal the business
was further extended and continued until 1890,
when Mr. Hoke purchased the interest of Mr.
Shafifer, admitted his son to partnership, and
changed the name of the firm to M. Hoke &
Son. Soon after they engaged in the burning
and shipping- of lime. A series of modernly
constructed kilns were erected along the line
of the Pennsylvania railroad, the stone coming
from the celebrated Rock quarry of Adams
county. The lime thus produced possessing
a superior ciuality, the firm have succeeded in
building up an extensive business, which ex-
tends to the States of Virginia, New Jersey,
Delaware, New York and Maryland. They
now deal in cement, plaster, feed, coal and hair.



Mr. Hoke is also owner of a good farm in
York county.

In November, 1865, Mr. Hoke married
Harriet Reed, of Adams county, daughter of
John and Mary Magdalena (Dubbs) Reed.
To Mr. and M'rs. Hoke Have been born six
chiklren, as follows : Paul A., who is engaged
in business with his father ; Mary Elsie, the
wife of H. A. Smith : Anna, who married Wil-
liam Ray, and resides in Philadelphia; Mazie
M., at home; and John R. and Edward M., at
home. In politics Mr. Hoke is a Democrat, and
for two years he served as a member of the city
council. Among the fraternal orders he is
a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 327,
and also of the Royal Arcanum. He and his
wife are active members of the Reformed
Church, in which he has served for several
years as deacon and elder. While serving his
apprenticeship he was drafted for army service
in 1862, and served nine months. He is one
of the substantial and successful business men
of Hanover, of that type which brings growth
and prosperity to the community in which their
careers are centered.

JOHN GREENAWAY, who now holds
the position of vice-president and superintend-
ent of the Hanover Cordage Company, of Han-
over, Pa., was born July 5, i860, in the County
of Armagh, Ireland, near Belfast, the center
of the linen industry of that country. He
there acquired a good common-school educa-
tion after which he entered the employ of the
leading linen yarn manufacturers of Belfast,
learning the trade of preparing and spinning
master. Possessing a natural aptitude for me-
chanics Mr. Greenaway, on the completion of
his trade thus acquired, decided to seek a
larger field of activity, and in 1883 came to
America. On his arrival in this country he at
once entered the employ of the Ludlow Manu-
facturing Associates of Ludlow, Mass., was
later with the A. H. Hart Company, New
York City, their place being known as the Elm
Flax Mills, and also at other leading manufac-
uring establishments in this country. The op-
portunities thus presenting themselves, he
with his natural aptitude for mechanics gained
a thorough knowledge of the business in which
he was engaged.

Mr. Greenawav on Jan. 29, 1900, assisted
Mr. Frederick W.' Weber and Mr. George H.

Bonte in forming the Bonte Cordage Company,
Limited, locating in Hanover, Pa., and be-
cause of his wide experience and skill in the
manufacturing of twines and cordage was
elected to the position of vice-president and
superintendent of the company. When in
April, 1903, Mr. George H. Bonte sold his
interest to Mr. H. N. Gitt and Mr. C. J. De-
lone, and the entire interests were sold to the
newly incorporated company known then and
now as the Hanover Cordage Company, he
was again elected to the position of vice-presi-
dent and superintendent, in which official ca-
pacity he has since continued.

In September, 1886, Mr. Greenaway mar-
ried Marcella Cartwright, of Dundee:, Scot-
land, where are located some of the largest
jute manufacturing establishments in the
world. Incidentally it may be mentioned that
Mrs. Greenaway comes from a family who are
thoroughly versed in that industry. To Mr.
and Mrs. Greenaway have been born seven
children, as follows : Jennie, John Nicholas,
Christiana, William Thomas, Ellen Elina,
Laura, and David, all of whom are now living
with the exception of Christiana. M'r. Green-
away in politics is a stanch Republican and
both Mr. and Mrs. Greenaway hold member-
ship in the Emanuel Reformed Church of Han-
over, Pennsylvania.

SILAS M. BIRNSTOCK has passed many
years of his life in Wrightsville, where he is
engaged in business.

The Birnstock family is of German origin,
Henry Birnstock, father of Silas M., having
been born in Germany, Nov. 4, 1837. His
father, Frederick Birnstock. was also a native
of Germany, where he lived and died. He was
a mason by trade and married Johanna Funk,
by whom he had the following children : Hen-
rietta, who married in Germany, and with her
husband, Mr. Schueler, came to America and
settled in Lawrence, Mass., where she now
lives ; Henry, father of Silas M., who was a
soldier in the German army during the Franco-
Prussian war, a locksmith by trade, living in
Germany ; and Ferdinand, deceased. L'ntil he
was fifteen years old Henry Birnstock attended
school in his native town. At that time one
of his mother's sisters was coming to America,
and asked that Henry might accompany her.
Flis parents gave their i^ermission. and the boy



and his aunt sailed from Bremen on a sailing-
vessel bound for Baltimore, ]Md. After a six
weeks' voyage they landed, and went at once
to York, Pa., where four other sisters of Mrs.
Birnstock were already settled. Henry imme-
diately entered the shop of D. D. Doudel to
learn the tinsmith's trade. He served an ap-
prenticeship of five years and three months,
after which he worked for Mr. Doudel until
the outbreak of the Civil war. In April, 1861,
at the first call for volunteers, he enlisted in
Company A. i6th P. V. I., for three months'
service. The regiment was recruited in York
county, and sent to Harper's Ferry. Thence
the regiment returned home and was dis-
charged. Mr. Birnstock again enlisted, Aug.
20, 1861. in Company I. 76th P. V. I., for
three years under Capt. Mclntyre, Col. Powers
commanding. The first engagement in which
he took part was at Pocataligo, S. C, under
Colonel, afterward Major-General, Terry, then
commanding the brigade. In this battle he
was wounded in the left cheek by a minie ball.
He also participated in the engagements at
Hilton Head, S. C, Fort Pulaski. James
Island. Secessionville, Morris Island. Fort
Wagner (both assaults), destruction of Rich-
mond and Petersburg railroad, Chesterfield
Heights, Swifts Creek. Drury's Blufif. Green
Plains, Cold Harbor. AA'ier Bottom Church,
Bermuda Hundred, siege of Petersburg
(mine explosion). Chapin's Farm, assault on
Fort Gilmer and Fair Oaks. On the organiza-
tion of the company Mr. Birnstock was ap-
pointed sergeant, and he left the army as first
sergeant of his regiment. He received his dis-
charge and was mustered out of the service
Nov. 28. 1864. at Harrisburg, Pa., having
served three months beyond the time for which
he enlisted.

On returning from the war Mr. Birnstock
returned to his old employment in the tinsmith
shop of Mr. Doudel, in York, where he re-
mained until 1869. In that year he located at
Wrightsville and bought the tinsmith business
from the estate of Henry Huber. The store
was then in the basement of the dwelling house
and the workshop in the stable at the rear. In
1872 Mr. Birnstock purchased the adjoining
brick building to which he moved his store,
and erected a workshop and warehouse on the
rear of the lot. There he continued the business
until 1898. when he sold it to his sons, who

continue it under the firm name of Birnstock
Bros. Since 1880 Air. Birnstock has had an'
interest in the Wrightsville Hardware Com-
pany, of which he is one of the original direct-
ors. The company was incorporated under the
laws of Pennsylvania, and in 1898, on the
death of its first president; Col. Frank Magee,
Mr. Birnstock was dlected to that iposition,
which he has ever since occupied.

Mr. Birnstock is a member of the G. A. R.,
and past commander of Lieut. R. W. Smith
Post, No. 270. He is also a member of the
I. O. O. F., F. & A. M., and of the Royal Ar-
canum. In politics he is a Democrat ; he has
served as chief burgess and in the town coun-
cil, and as a member of the school board. He
adheres to the faith of the Lutheran Church in
which he was reared.

On Feb. 2, 1865. in York, Mr. Birnstock
married Barbara Weisman, of that place,
daughter of Adam Weisman, deceased. The
children of this marriage are as follows :
Silas M. ; Harry D., of Wrightsville, who mar-
ried Alinnie Kinard; Charles F., of Wrights-
ville, who married Edith McElroy ; William
W.. of York, who married Jennie Yesler; and
three children, who died in infancy.

Silas M. Birnstock was born in York, Feb.
23, 1867, and when he was two years old his
jsarents moved to Wrightsville. There he at-
tended the public schools, his first teacher be-
ing Miss Annie Moore. He graduated at the
age of sixteen under Prof. Gardner. His
father had intended that he should go to col-
lege, but he was not very fond of study, and
did not care to avail himself of this oppor-
tunity. As a boy he enjoyed working in his
father's tinsmith shop, where he was allowed
to do odd jobs, and earned as much as fifty
cents a day. On leaving school he began to
learn the plumber's trade, and finished his ap-
prenticeship at the age of nineteen. He now de-
cided to try his future in the West, going first
to Ashton, 111., and, after working at his trade
there for a time, traveling to Tacoma and
Spokane, Wash. In Tacoma he was thus em-
ployed for nearly a year, then for seven months
was with a surveying party of the Northern
Pacific railroad, between South Bend and Che-
halis. Wash. Returning to Tacoma he worked
at his trade a few months, after which he re-
turned to the East. He soon married and set-
tled in Wrightsville. doing a thriving business



in hardware, plumbing and tinning. In 1898,
Mr. Birnstock, and his brother, Charles F.,
bought their father's well-established business,
which they conducted under the firm name of
Birnstock Brothers. They have greatly en-
larged its scope, increased the stock, and have
a flourishing trade. Mr. Birnstock has been
superintendent of the Wrightsville Water
Supply Co. since its organization. On July
8, 1 90 1, he bought out the Columbia Steam-
Ferry & Tow Boat Company, which is now-
incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania,
Mr. Birnstock being treasurer, his brother,
Charles F., secretary, and his father, president.
His steamboat "The Mary" is the finest boat
that ever plied between Wrightsville and Co-
lumbia, being 92 xi6 feet in dimensions, with
a capacity of 190 passengers, and a draft of
twelve inches, light. The boat makes con-
nections with all trains from Lancaster and

Mr. Birnstock's marriage to Edith L. Og-
den, daughter of George Ogden, of York, took
place in that city Nov. 25, 1891. They have
one child, Henry Ogden, born Nov. 12, 1892.
Mr. and Mrs. Birnstock have a very pleasant
home, an hospitable center for their many
friends, and the latter is an active worker in
the Presbyterian Church. Like his father Mr.
Birnstock votes the Democratic ticket, his first
presidential vote being cast for Cleveland. He
is not an office seeker, but was once a candi-
date for sheriff of York county. Fraternally
he is connected with Riverside Lodge, F. & A.
M., of which he is past master; is a member
of Chihuahua Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Wrights-
ville; and a charter member of Lodge No. 213,
B. P. O. E., of York. He is essentially a self-
made man, and owes his success to his own en-
ergy, perseverance and ability.

EPHRAIM! K. COBLE, late a prominent
citizen and land owner of Goldsboro, York
county, was born in 1831, in Newberry town-
ship, this county, son of George and Henrietta
(Kauffman) Coble.

Casper Coble, grandfather of Ephraim,
was born in Newberry to^^•nship, where he fol-
lowed farming. He died at Ball Hill at an ad-
vanced age. The children born to himself and
wife were as follows : George, Abraham,
Peter and John, all of whom are deceased.

George Coble, father of our subject, was

burn in Newberry township, and received a
common school education. He followed farm-
ing in York, Dauphin and Lancaster counties,
and finally settled in Cly, Newberry township,
where he lived retired up to the time of his
death, which occurred in his eighty-second
year. He was buried in Pine Grove cemetery
in Newberry township. Mr. Coble married
Henrietta Kauffman, who lived to an advanced
age. The children born to Mr. and Mrs.
Coble were as follows : Solomon died in active
service during the Civil war; Ephraim is our
subject; Jessie died at Pittsburg; Lucy died in
Dauphin county ; Catherine died in Lewis-
berry; Moses died from injuries received on
the Isattlefield, having been removed to a hos-
pital in West Virginia ; Andrew died in New-
berry township ; Washington lives at York
Haven; Reuben died young; Mary married
John Fink, deceased, and she resides in Colum-
bia, Lancaster county ; and Alary died in Golds-

Ephraim K. Coble received but a scanty
education, at the age of seven years being sent
out to fight his own way in life. He was first
engaged with a Peter Bair, on his farm in
Newberry township. In 1858 he married
Sarah Jane Palmer, daughter of George and
Catherine (Hoffman) Palmer, of York county.
During the Civil war Mr. Coble enlisted in
Company K, 143d P. V. I., Capt. J. S. Little,
commanding, and took part in a number of
engagements, and in the battle of the Wilder-
ness was severely wounded, being shot in the
hip, the thigh and the shoulder, and losing a
finger from his left hand. These injuries did
not, however, incapacitate Mr. Coble and he
served three years, or to the close of the war,
when he returned to Newberry township. He
was then employed by Abraham Shelley, of
Cly, as a man of all work, remaining with him
thirteen years, and accumulating enough
money b}^ the end of that time to purchase a
small tract of land in Newberry township,
where he remained about seven years. In
1875 Mr. Coble returned to Cly, and bought
a tract of about twenty-five acres, put up four
fine buildings, and followed farming. At the
time of his death, March 5, 1905, he was liv-
ing retired, feeling that his many years of la-
bor earned him a rest.

To Air. and Airs. Coble three children were
born : Angeline married \\'illiam Brunaw



and li\-es at Cly ; Sadie died in infancy : and
Carrie ( deceased ) married Robert Ancker of

Politically Mr. Coble was a stanch Repub-
lican, but he took no active interest in politics.
He was a valued member of the United Breth-
ren Church, of which he was a liberal suppor-
ter. ^Ir. Coble started in life on his own re-
sources, and climbed the ladder of success,
rung by rung, practically unaided. He was a
truly self-made man. He had an excellent
war record, and was highly esteemed and re-
spected by all with whom he came in contact.

GEORGE W. THOMAS. It illustrates
the character of this well known citizen of
Hanover that when he returned home from
the Civil war he appreciated the value of ad-
ditional education and did not scruple to again
place himself under the direction of the public
schoolmaster, just as he had unfalteringly fol-
lowed the commands of cavalry ofificers during
the closing years of that memorable conflict,
which forever cemented the national union.

George Thomas, the paternal grandfather
of George W., was a native of Scotland, and
when a young man migrated to America. He
married Mary Glessner, and settled in Han-

Emanuel Thomas, son of George and
father of George A\'., was born in Hanover in
1818. He acquired the trade of a coachmaker,
which he followed through his acti\-e years.
He married Sarah A. Smyser, who was born
July 21, 1826, daughter of Jacob and Annie
M. (Eisenhart) Smyser. Eight children were
born to Elmer and Sarah A. Thomas, name-
ly : George W. ; J. A., a dentist at Hanover;
Edward C, deceased ; Mary Antoinette, wife
of William Strayer, of St. Paul, Minn.; How-
ard S., living in Maryland, near Stone Cottage;
Cora E., deceased; Emma Grace, who married
Emory Swartz ; and Carrie, who married Wil-
liam Melhorn, of Hanover. The father, Eman-
uel Thomas, died in October, 1880, aged sixty-
two years.

George W. Thomas, the eldest of the fam-
ily, was born at Hanover June 11, 1847. His
education was received in the public schools of
the little city and he was still a boy when he
enlisted in the military service of his country

Online LibraryGeorge R. ProwellHistory of York County Pennsylvania (Volume II) → online text (page 83 of 201)