George Reeser Prowell.

History of York County, Pennsylvania (Volume v.2) online

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soldier, banker, and for many years president
of various corporate institutions of York, was
born at Flushing, Long Island, Nov. 26, 1843.
He is the son of Henry and Angeline (Miller)
Lanius. His father's ancestors were prominent
in the history of the Moravian Church and
were among the earliest German settlers west
of the Susquehanna. For several generations
they were active and influential in the affairs
of the city and county of York, of which Cap-
tain Lanius has been one of the foremost citi-
zens for nearly a third of a centur\-. During
the rapid growth and development of York in
recent years he has lent his varied accomplish-
ments and best energies to advancing every
cause and enterprise intended to promote the
public good, and develop the resources and the
possibiHties of the city of York. His mother's
ancestors were of English and French Hugue-
not descent, and first settled in the State of
New York, residing on Long Island.

Captain Lanius grew to manhood in the
borough of York. He obtained his early edu-
cation in the private schools of York and then
entered the York County Academy, where
he excelled as a student, acquiring a compre-
hensive knowledge of the English branches
of an education, and also pursued the study of
the classics. He spent several years in this
institution, during which time he took an active
part in debating societies then existing in the
academy and the town of York. At tlie age
of seventeen he entered the oflice of his father.
a prominent lumber merchant at York and

He was seventeen years old when the Civil
war opened. The enlistment of soldiers and
the movement of troops to the front during the
early months of the war aroused his military
ardor, and he then resolved to offer his services
to his country, to aid in defending it when it

was threatened with disunion. Different com-
panies were being recruited in the town and
throughout the county. Drums were beating
in the streets, recruiting offices were opened at
various places in the town, and on Aug. 25.
1 86 1, William H. Lanius became a private in
Company A (commanded by Capt. James A.
Stable), of the 87th Regiment, Pennsylvania
Vohmteers, organized at York under command
of Col. George Hay, with John W. Schall as
lieutenant-colonel. Soon after his enlistment
Private Lanius was promoted to orderly ser-
geant of Company I, which had been largely
recruited at New Oxford and vicinity, in
Adams county. Sergeant Lanius served with
his company and regiment on the marches over
the mountains and through the valleys of West
Virginia with the purpose of driving the Con-
federates from that region. After the close
of the winter encampment at Winchester, Va.,
he was promoted to second lieutenant of his
company, being then the youngest commis-
sioned officer of the regiment. Up to this
period the 87th had had a romantic career, but
liad not taken part in any engagements. Their
real experience as soldiers began on June 12^
1863, in a lively affair at Newtown, near Win-
chester, where the regiment distinguished itself
for courage in a sharp conflict with the enemy.
The 87th at this time was in Milroy's com-
mand. The defeat of the Union army at
Chancellorsville induced General Lee to march
northward on the eventful Gettysburg cam-
paign. In the attack upon Alilroy's forces at
Carter's Woods, a few miles east of Win-
chester. Lieutenant Lanius led his men in line
of battle almost to the enemy's guns. Being
overpowered by the large number of the oppos-
ing forces, Miiroy-s Division was driven back,
and Lieutenant Lanius marched with that part
of the regiment under Colonel Schall that
reached Harper's Ferry. While stationed at


this post, he acted as adjutant of the regiment,
which after the battle of Gettysburg was
placed in the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 3d Army
Corps. During the summer and fall of 1863,
Lieutenant Lanius participated with his com-
mand in the engagements at Manassas Gap,
July 23d; Bealton Station, Oct. 26th; Kelly's
Ford. Nov. 7th; and Brandy Station, Nov.
8th. During the absence of Captain Pfeiffer
on division staff, Lieutenant Lanius com-
manded Company I in the engagement at
Locust Grove, on Nov. 27th. He was also in
•command of his company when the 3d Divi-
:sion was to lead the assault on the Confederate
works at Mine Run, Nov. 30th, but owing to
the impregnable position of the enemy the as-
sault was not made. On Dec. 7th, while in
winter quarters at Brandy Station, Va., he was
promoted to first lieutenant, succeeding An-
thony M. Martin, who had been made adjutant.
When General Morris was wounded, on May
9, 1864, at Spottsylvania. and Colonel Schall
succeeded to the command of the ist Brigade,
:3d Division, 6th Army Corps, in which the
'87th was then serving. Lieutenant Lanius was
placed on the brigade staff as an aide. When
Colonel Truex, the senior officer, assumed
command of the ist Brigade, he was continued
■on the latter' s staff, and was with the regiment
and brigade in all the engagements of Grant's
campaign of 1864, in the movement of the
army from the Rapidan to Petersburg, includ-
ing the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsyl-
vania, Laurel Hill, Po River, North Anna,
Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor and Weldon Rail-
road. He carried the orders along the line for
the movement of the ist Brigade, at the open-
ing charge on the enemy's works at Cold Har-
bor, June 1st. When Captain Pfeiffer was
killed at Cold Harbor he was commissioned
captain of Company I. on June 25th, still re-
taining his position as an aide on brigade staff.
During the summer of 1864. when Grant
•was laying siege to Petersburg and was threat-
ening Richmond, the capital of the Con-
federacy, Ricketts's Division of the 6th Army
Corps, in which the ist Brigade served, was de-
tached from the main army under Grant and
sent to Frederick, Md., to meet a Confederate
army of nearly twent3'-three thousand men,
under General Early, who was then threaten-
ing Washington City. While leading the
charge at Cold Harbor Colonel Schall had been
wounded. The regiment was then placed in

command of Lieut. -Col. James A. Stable. At
the battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, on July
9th, this regiment fought with heroic valor.
Captain Lanius, in this battle, was serving on
the staff of Colonel Truex, commanding the
1st Brigade, and was entrusted with the duty
of carrying dispatches for the movement of
the troops into the fight. It was a hard-fought
battle, in which Captain Lanius displayed both
courage and daring.

"In the afternoon of that day," says
Colonel Stable in a description of the battle,
"when the Confederates were reforming their
line in a woods in our front, with the intention
of turning our left. Captain Lanius came rid-
ing gallantly along our lines, bringing an order
from Gen. Lew Wallace for the 87th Pennsyl-
vania and the 14th New Jersey to charge across
a field, and take position by the Thomas
House." This charge was successfully exe-
cuted, but soon afterward Captain Lanius,
while passing through a shower of balls, was
wounded in the arm, which disabled him for
about two months, when he returned to the
regiment, then under Sheridan in the Shenan-
doah \^alley, and took command of Company
I. participating with it in the battles of
Opequon and Fisher"s Hill.

The three years' term of service for which
he enlisted had now expired. He then re-
turned with the regiment and \\as mustered
out of service, at York, Oct. 13. 1S64. After
Captain Lanius had received his discharge
from the army he was appointed an agent for
a special bureau of the United States Treasury
Department to receive and dispose of captured,
abandoned and confiscated property. On Nov.
1st he bega,n the performance of his duties by
collecting rents on abandoned properties at
Harper's Ferry, W. Va. After remaining
there a short time he opened an office at Win-
chester, where all persons living within the
Union lines who desired to purchase supplies
at government trade stores were required to
get permits. After the permits had been
granted individuals receiving them procured
the supplies at the trade stores and obtained
duplicate bills on which, when approved bv the
post provost marshal, the purchaser paid three
per cent, of the face of the bill at the govern-
ment office of Captain Lanius. He performed
these responsible duties at Winchester until
March, 1865, when he was appointed to a posi-
tion in the Baltimore custom house, where he


remained about one month, when he resigned
and returned to his home in York.

Captain Lanius now entered upon his pros-
perous business career, engaging in the lumber
trade at York, which he continued for a period
of seven years. From 1871 to 1878 he carried
on the same business at Wrightsville, and from
1880 to 1886 he conducted a large wholesale
lumber business at Williamsport. In 1884 he
organized the West End Improvement Com-
pany, a land company that opened up and de-
veloped the western part of York. In Decem-
ber. 1888, he was chosen president of the
Baltimore and Harrisburg Railway (Eastern
Extension), a line built from York to Porters
and later controlled by the Western Maryland.
This railroad when opened for traffic in 1893
gave an important impetus to the growth and
development of York. It was a competing line
to Baltimore. The time of its completion dates
a new era in the business and manufacturing
interests of the city. A large number of in-
dustrial plants were at once established in
York, and the financial institutions and the
business interests began to grow rapidly. Cap-
tain Lanius remained as the president of the
railroad from 1888 until 1906. Feeling the
necessity for rapid transit in York about the
time it was to be incorporated into a city, Cap-
tain Lanius organized the Y^'ork Street Rail-
way Company, of which he served as president
and the active head until the various lines were
constructed through the leading streets of the
cit3^ This project met with so much encour-
agement that in 1900 the York County Trac-
tion Company was organized, which extended
trolley lines to various centers of population in
York county. He remained as the active pro-
moter and head of this enterprising company
until 1906, when its interests were disposed
of to other parties.

Captain Lanius has been president of the
York Trust Company since it was organized
through his efforts in 1890. This institution
has done a large and prosperous business. He
was the first president of the York Board of
Trade, in 1886. and is a trustee of the York
County Academy. He was one of the clnarter
members of the Y^ork County Historical So-
ciety and has always lent his best efforts in
promoting the welfare of that institution, of
which he is vice-president, a trustee and a life
member. In 1S67 he was one of the charter
members, and became the first commander, of

Sedgwick Post, No. 37, G. A. R., at York, and
was its representative a number of times at
State and National encampments. He is a
member of the Loyal Legion and of the
^Masonic Fraternity. In 1866, when he was
twenty-two years old, Captain Lanius organ-
ized the Boys in Blue at York. He represented
this organization at the State Convention held
in Pittsburg the same year. In that year
also Gen. John W. Geary was nominated by
the Republican party for governor of Pennsyl-
vania. The State campaign opened at York
by a parade of the Boys in Blue from Harris-
burg, Carlisle. Lancaster, Reading and York.
After the parade a public meeting was held in
Baumgardner's woods, a short distance south-
east of the city. This meeting was presided
over by Captain Lanius and addressed by Gen-
eral Geary, Governor Curtin and otiier dis-
tinguished men. Four thousand persons were
fed at a table in the form of a hollow square.
It was the largest political meeting ever held
in York county. For eight years Captain
Lanius served in the borough and city councils
of Yprk. In 1884 he was a delegate to the Re-
publican National Convention which nominated
James G. Blaine for President of the United

Captain Lanius is a descendant of a sturdy
and honorable German stock. His first Amer-
ican ancestor came to this country and settled
in eastern Pennsylvania about the year 1731.
This ancestor was Jacob Lanius, who was born
at ]\Ieckenheini, in the Palatinate, Germany,
]May 12. 1708. He married June 13. 1730,
Julianna Kreamer, who was born in Eisen-
heim Jan. 2. 1712. and in 1731 came to Phila-
delphia by way of Rotterdam, in the ship
"Pennsylvania Merchant.'' Afterward he re-
moved to Kreutz Creek, where his name is
found among the taxables of Hellam township
as possessed of 150 acres of land. In 1763 he
removed to York, although, together with his
wife, he had been, from 1752, connected with
the Moravian Church, and his name appears
in the lengthy document in Latin deposited in
the cornerstone of the first church built in
York in 1755. He died in York, March i,
177S. Henry, his fifth child, continued to
live in Hellam township, where he died Sept.
i;. 1808. He also was connected with the
Moravian Church in York. His brother. Will-
iam, came to York with his father and harmed
part of the guard that escorted the Continental


Congress on its return to Philadelphia, June
27, 1778- Christian, the tirst child of Henry
by his second wife, Elizabeth Kuenzly, of Mt.
Joy, was born at Kreutz Creek Sept. 16. 1773,
and baptized in the Moravian Church. He was
a wagonmaker by trade and resided in York,
where by industry and thrift, combined with
good business judgment, he accumulated con-
siderable property and was highly respected
as a public-spirited citizen. He was prominent
in the movement in 181 5 to introduce water
into the borough and was one of the first board
of nine managers that met March 18, 1816,
for that purpose. In 1837 he was one of the
organizers of the movement for the founding
of the York County Savings Institution, now
the York County National Bank, and was
elected its first president, but declined to serve
in that position. He was married Sept. 17,
1797, to Anna, daughter of Jacob and Barbara
Von Updegrafif, born in York March 16, 1774.
They had eight children who reached mature
age: Elizabeth, wife of Michael Smyser; Susan
A., wife of Jacob Weiser; Benjamin; Amelia,
wife of John Fahnestock; Sarah, wife of
Henry KaufTelt ; Henry; Magdalen, wife of
William D. Himes; and Eleanora, wife of E.
C. Parkhurst.

Henry Lanius, father of Captain Lanius,
was born Sept. 20, 1809, at York, and died
June 26, 1879. For many years he was a
prominent lumber merchant at York and
Wrightsville, which business he continued
until 1 87 1, when he retired. Early in life he
belonged to the Whig party and in 1856 be-
came one of the original Republicans in York
county. He took an active part in the public
affairs of the borough and served as chief
burgess of York in i860 and 1861. during the
stirring times at the beginning of the Civil
war. \\'hen the Columbia bridge was burned,
June 28, 1863, by the Union forces, to pre-
vent the Confederates from crossing the river,
the entire lumberyard of Henry Lanius at
Wrig'htsville was destroyed. It was a heavy
loss, from which he never recovered anything"
from the Lhiited States govemment. 'Mr.
Lanius served several years as a member of the
school board of York. He was a consistent
member of the Moravian Church and possessed
many excellent qualities of mind and heart.
He married Angeline Miller, by whom he had
ten children, eight of whom grew to maturity :
Marcus C. deceased; Anna L., deceased.

widow of Thomas iNIyers ; Captain William
Henry; Ellen A.; Rev. Charles C, deceased,
late principal of the Moravian school at Naza-
reth, Pa. ; Sarah F. ; Paul, a resident of Den-
ver, Colo. ; and Susan H., deceased.

president of the A. B. Farquhar Company, of
York, is not only prominent as the head of an
important manufacturing concern, but also as
a writer of distinctive ability on economic
questions. He is a citizen of whom Pennsyl-
vania has every, reason to be proud. It is un-
usual for the characteristics found in Mr. Far-
quhar to be combined in one personality. The
man of mechanical taste and practical experi-
ence often rises to a position of eminence in the
manufacturing world. The man of theories,
not blinded by the fear of risking the success
of his own enterprises, may conceive fair-
minded plans for the wise administration of
business affairs; but the man who has the me-
chanical and business ability to make a success
in a commercial way, and the habits of study
which lead him into the ciuestions of public
economy involved, is rare indeed. As in Mr.
Farquhar's case, his opinions are not listened
to indulgently, or accepted grudgingly. They
are looked upon as authoritative, and as such
are influential in guiding the actions of those
into whose hands the reins of public adminis-
tration have fallen. i\Ir. Farquhar has been
characterized in a recent interview of his
career as "a man of distinctive and forceful in-
dividuality; of broad mentality and most ma-
ture judgment, who has left and is leaving his
impress upon the industrial world, while his
study of economic questions and matters of
public polity has been so close, practical, and
comprehensive that his judgment is relied
upon, and his utterances have weight in those
circles where the material progress of the
Union is centered, as well as among those who
guide the destinies of the nation."

The following sketch of Mr. Farquhar has
been for the most part compiled from an
article in "Illustrated American Biography" :

Arthur B. Farquhar is of Scotch, English
and German ancestry, whose history has been
long and prominently identified with the his-
tory of the section of America in which its
members are found. On the paternal side his
first American ancestor was William F. Far-
quhar, his great-great-great-grandfather, who



emigrated hither from Scotland about the year
1700. being accompanied by a number of re-
ligious refugees who sought in the New World
freedom of thought and an opportunity to bet-
ter their condition in life. The little band of
emigrants settled in Frederick county, I\Id.
The Farquhar family had been prominent in
Scotland, song and story telling of the deeds
of the noble chiefs of the Clan Farquhar.

In the maternal line Mr. Farquhar traces
his ancestry back to Robert Brook, of the
house of \\"arwick, who was born in the year
1602, and married Mary Baker, daughter of
Roger Mainwaring, Dean of Worcester. In
1650 Robert Brook emigrated to America,
accompanied by his wafe and their ten children
and by a retinue of twenty-eight servants. Ke
took up his abode in Charles county, Md., and
that he was a man of prominence and influence
in the Colony is manifest from the fact that
he was made commandant of Maryland, and
eventually president of the Council of Mary-
land. His children and grandchildren settled
in what is now known as Montgomery county,
that State, whence their descendants have be-
come scattered throughout the various States
of the Union.

Amos Farquhar, grandfather of Arthur
B., removed in 1812 to York county. Pa.,
where he erected a cotton factory, conducting
the enterprise with a due measure of success
until after the close of the war witli England,
when its prosperity abruptly declined, and he
thereafter turned his attention to farming and
school teaching.

William Henry Farquhar, father of Arthur
B., was born at York, Pa., June 14, 1813. He
was a learned man, a student from childhood,
being a thorough and well advanced Latin and
Greek scholar at the age of thirteen years.
Though he was a man of fine literary attain-
ments, his intellectuality did not confine itself
to the classics and allied lines, for he became
a mathematician of high reputation. At an
•early age he accompanied his father to Mont-
gomery county, Md., where they established
a seminary for young women, the institution
gaining marked prestige in the educntidual
field of the State.

Arthur B. Farquhar was born in Mont-
gomery county. Md.. Sept. 28, 1838, and his
early educational training was received in
Benjamin Hallowell's select school for boys,
at Alexandria, Va. His father had become

connected with agricultural pursuits, and after
leaving school Arthur B. acted as manager of
the paternal farmstead- for the period of one
year. However, he had early manifested a
predilection for mechanics, in which his father
wisely encouraged him, affording him every
possible advantage for improving his practical
mechanical education. The young man was
alert and self-reliant, and he has consistently
maintained the highest respect and regard for
the dignity of honest toil and for those who
devote themselves to it. His practical mind
showed him that success depends upon the
thorough mastering of even the simplest de-
tails of any business or mechanical art, and
that "here is the master key : skilled hands and
industry." Thus he was content to begin at
the bottom round, and in 1856 he came to
York, Pa., to learn the machinist's trade. Here
he lias remained ever since, and the record of
his brilliant achievements makes .a worthy page
in the history of the city of his adoption.

At the expiration of two years he secured
a partnership interest in the establishment in
which he had labored so efifectively and with
such marked enthusiasm. The concern pros-
pered until the dark cloud of civil war ob-
scured the national horizon, depressing all
lines of commercial activity, at which critical
period the business of the firm flagged apprecia-
bly, and a further loss, by a disastrous fire,
practically completed the overthrow of the en-
terprise. The assets were barely sufficient to
render possible the payment of twenty-five
cents on the dollar in liquidating the indebted-
ness, and to one of Mr. Farquhar's principles
such a settlement was more a matter of per-
sonal grief than the loss of his own accumula-
tions. His first ambition was to seek some
means of retrieving his stranded fortunes and
re-establishing his capital. To this end he con-
ferred with his creditors and persuaded them
to effect a radically different settlement, by
which he could resume his business operations,
and by careful management and well-directed
efforts he was enabled, at the expiration of
three vears. to liquidate his obligations in

From this period the record of the growth
and expansion of the business, until it de-
veloped into the present magnificent industry
of the A. B. Farquhar Company, is one of
progress. The successful management of an
enterprise of such magnitude is indubitable


evidence of Mr. Farquhar's capacity for af-
fairs of breadth, and his own standing testifies
to his unswerving honor as a man among men.
The enterprise had its inception in a modest
estabhshment, a small frame shop, in which
employment was afforded to a few workmen.
In 1889 the A. B. Farquhar Company, Lim-
ited, was organized and duly incorporated,
with a capital stock of $500,000, all of which
stock is owned by the Farquhar family. Of
this company, whose constantly increasing
business has now reached an annual aggregate
of more than one million dollars, Arthur B.
Farquhar is president, and to him is due in a
large measure the wonderful success of the
business. The products of the establishment
not only find sale in the most diverse sections
of the Union, but are also exported to the
Argentine Confederation, Brazil, Chili and
South Africa, and to Mexico and Russia,
where the concern has a large trade — prac-
tically to all parts of the civilized world.

Mr. Farquhar has shown the value of
actual familiarity with every detail of manu-
facturing and has displayed especial wisdom
in furthering the success of the enterprise by
his careful discrimination in the selection of
foremen for the various departments of the
establishment, all being men who are masters

Online LibraryGeorge Reeser ProwellHistory of York County, Pennsylvania (Volume v.2) → online text (page 1 of 203)