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George T. (George Thornton) Fleming.

History of Schuylkill County, Pa. online

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UNIVERSITY
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NEW YORK:
W. W. MUNSELL & CO.

36 Vesey Street.
1881.



PRESS OF GEORGE MACNAMARA, 36 VESEY STREET, N. Y.




Dar.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



OUTLINE HISTORY OF PENNSYLVANIA.



PACE
CHAPTER I.
The Discovery of the Delaware— Pennsyl-
vania Granted to and Organized by Wil-
liam Penn ft-11

CHAPTER II.
German Immigration— The Administra-
tions of William Penn and Sir William

Keith. n, 13

CHAPTER III.
The Question of Taxing the Proprietary Es-
tates—Wars with the French and Indians 13-15
CHAPTER IV.
" Mason and Dixon's Line "—Causes of the
Revolution— Patriotic Action of Pennsyl-
vania 15,16

CHAPTER V.
Revolution in the Provincial Government
—Pennsylvania a State— Battles of 1776

and 1777— Indian Warfare 17, 18

CHAPTER VI.
Later Events of the Revolution— War with
the Western Indians —Constitutional

Changes 19, 20

CHAPTER VII.
The PennamiteWar— Whiskey Insurrection
— " Mollie Maguire " Outrages— The Riots

of 1877 20-33

CHAPTER VIII.

Harrisburg made the Capital— The War of

1813— Internal Improvements— Schools . . . 33-24

CHAPTER IX.

Patriotic Action in the Mexican and Ci\il

Wars— Governors of Pennsylvania 34, 25



SCHUYLKILL COUNTY.

CHAPTER I.

Ancient Inhabitants— Berlis County 37, 28

CHAPTER II.
First Settlement and Pioneer Life in

Schuylkill County . . 28-31

CHAPTER III.

Topography of Schuylkill County 33-34

CHAPTER IV.

Geology of Sehuj'lkill County ;M-41

CHAPTER V.
Development of the Coal Production and

Trade in Schuylkill County 41-73

CHAPTER VI.
Land Titles in Schuylkill County-The
First Settlers and their Achievements.... 73, 73
CHAPTER VII.
Organization and Growth of Schuylkill

County— Officers and Representatives 74-76

CHAPTER VIII.
Public Buildings— Removal of the Seat of
Justice— The County Law Library 76-79



PAGE
CHAPTER IX.
Waterways of the County— Lumbering and
Rafting — Schuylkill Navigation — The
Union Canal 79-81

CHAPTER X.
Early Wagon Roads— Construction of the

Center Turnpike— Stage Lines 83, aS

CHAPTER XI.
The Railroad System of Schuylkill County 83-93

CHAPTER XII.
Education in Schuylkill County— The Fight
for Free Schools— Orwigsburg Academy 93-95
CHAPTER Xlll.
Medical, Religious and Agricultural .'So-
cieties—The- Miners' Hospital 95-97

CHAPTER XIV.
Labor Troubles— The Crimes and Suppres-
sion of the Mollie Maguires 97-106

CHAPTER XV.
The Militia of Schuylkill County -Par-
ticipation in the Mexican War 106-108

CHAPTER XVI.
Origin and Early Incidents of the Civil War
—Patriotic Spirit in Schuylkill County. . . 108-113
CHAPTER XVII.
Companies from Schuylkill County that

saw comparatively little service 113-117

CHAPTER XVIII.
A Regiment of Schuylkill County Men—
The Fort.v-Eighth Pennsylvania Volun-
teers 118-127

CHAPTER XIX.
Records and Rolls of the Fiftieth and Fifty-
Second Regiments 138-131

CHAPTER XX.
The Fifty-Third, Fifty-Fifth and Fifty-
Sixth Regiments 131-132

CHAPTER XXI.
The Sixtieth and Sixty-Fifth Regiments-
Third and Fifth Cavalry 133-134

CHAPTER XXII.
Representatives from Schuylkill in the

67th, 70th, 75th and 76th Regiments 134, 135

CHAPTER XXIII.
The 81st Regiment— The 80th and 89th (7th

and 8th Cavalry) 135-1.38

CHAPTER XXIV.
Histories of the 93d and 96th Regiments. . . . 138-144

CHAPTER XXV.
Records of the 99th, 104th, 107th, 108th,

lietli, 117th and 127th Regiments 144-146

CHAPTER XXVI.
History of the 139th Regiment-The 137th

and 1.51st Regiments 146-149

CHAPTER XXVII.

Later Regiments— 16th and 17th Cavalry—

173d, 184th, 194th, 310th and 214th Infantry 149-151

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Schuylkill Men in other than Schuylkill

Regiments— Casualties among the same 1.52-1.55



TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH HISTORIES.

PAGE

Ashland Borough 181-189

Auburn Borough 350,351

Barry Township 156-158

Blythe Township 1.58-160

Branch Township 163-164

Butler Township 177-180

Cass Township 194-197

Cressona Borough 246-250

East Brunswick Township 198,199

East Norwegian Township 201

East Union Township 21.3, 314

Eldred Township 214, 315

Foster Township 315,216

Frackville Borough 37.3,374

Frailey Township 216-319

Gilberton Borough 374-376

Girardville Borough 190-193

Hegins Township 319-231

Hubley Township 221,222

Klein Township 2'32-224

Mahanoy Township 225-228

Mahanoy City Borough 239-341

Middleport Borough jgo, 161

Minersville Borough 165-176

Mount Carbon Borough 2,50, 351

New Castle Township 342-244

New Philadelphia Borough ]6i

New Ringgold Borough 200

North Manheim Township 244-346

North Union Township 261

Norwegian Township 361-363

Orwigsburg Borough 364-366

Palo Alto Borough 301,302

Pine Grove Township 313-315

Pine Grove Borough 31.5-323

Port Carbon Borough 202-207

Port Clinton Borough 366,367

Porter Township 334-336

Pottsville Borough 263-313

Rahn Township 336,327

Reilly Township 342-344

Rush Township 344-347

Ryan Township -jig

Schuylkill and Walker Townships 348,349

Schuylkill Haven Borough 251,356

Shenandoah Borough 377-384, 388-390

South Manheim Township 349, 35o

St. Clair Borough 207-213

Tamaq ua Borough ,327, 341

Tremont Toivnship 351,353

Tremont Borough 353-.354

Union Township 354-.356

Upper Mahantongo Township 356, 357

Washington Township 3.57, 358

Wayne Township 353, 361

West Brunswick Township 361-364

West Mahanoy Township 367-372

West Penn Township .384-387

Yorkville Borough 313

VILLAGES.

Barnesville 344

Big Mine Run 179

Branch Dale 342

Brandon ville ^13

Coal Dale 326

Delano .345



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



PAGE

DeTurkville 3.57

Donaldson 218

Drehers ville 199

Elwood 314

Fishback 27-t

Forestville 19"

Fountain Springs 1"9

Priedensburg 359

Geary town 327

Gilberton 375

Gordon 177

Heckscherville 197

Heola 199

Heginsville 320

Helfenstein 2U

Hometown 344

Honey Brook 224

Jalapa 374

Kepnersville 386

Klingerstown 356

LeibysviUe 386

Lewisto wn 349

Llewellyn 163

Locust Dale 178

Lorberry Junction 352

McKeansburg 189

Mabanoy Plane 374

Maizeville 375

Mantzville 386

Mifflin 314

Mt. Laffee 34,3

New Castle 24.3

Ncwkirk 349

New Town 34,3

North Penn 386

Patterson 348

Pitman 315

Quakake Junction 34.5

Reevesdale 349

Ringto wn 355

Rock ■ 357

St. Nicholas 225

Silver Brook 324

Summit 360

Summit Station 323

Swatara 343

Tamanend 344

Taylorsville 156

Torbert 313

Tower City 326

Tuscarora 348

Wadesville 242

William Penn 368

Valley View. . 220



BIOGRAPHIES.

Allison, Robert 313

Audenried, Lewis 306

Audenried, William 305a

Bannan, Benjamin 393

Bartholomew, Lin 396

Bast, Gideon 258

Beach, W. T 174

Bechtel, O. P 302

Boyer, Emanuel 229

Brown, D. P 371

Brumm, Charles N 173

Buck , Peter E 189

Campbell, John ,347

Comrey, Andrew 230

Conrad,F. W 321

Conrad, H. W 321

Conrad, Victor L 321

Donaldson, William, Pottsville 30:3

Donaldson, William, Tamaqua 3.38

Dleflenderf er, R. E 302

Eichman, John 229

Encke, William 230

Fermier, H 2:32

Filbert, Peter 323

Foster, Solomon 306a

Fridiriei, Alfred 387

Garner, Joseph W 185



PAGE

Grant, William 383

Green, D. B 301

Griffiths, Ryce J 330

Grisoom, Samuel 394

Griscom, Samuel E 295

Haeseler, C.H 299

Haywood. B 308

Heilner, B 337

Hein, Jonas 229

Hoppes, Solomon S 232

Hughes, F. W 311

Jones, William F 229

Kear, Frank G 175

Kendrick, William 389

Kitzmiller, .John 322

Kline,Jacob 300

Kline, Mrs. Jacob 300

Kopitzsch, Charles F 309

Lawrence, Jacob S 174

Losch, S. A 259

Major, George 3.30

May, Alexander 3:30

McCarthy, Patrick 230

McKibbin, D.J 189

Meek, Charles A 260

Merkel, M 176

Nutting, J. L 319

Pal mer, Robert M 298

Parry, Edwin 307

Pershing, C. L 301

Pipor, O. P 258

Potts, George H 305

Quinn, John T 229

Keilly, B 311a

Richardson, William F 232

Ryon, J. W 297

Schlicher, Edwin 337

Seltzer, Conrad 312

Shannon, B. F 357

Shannon, Samuel H 2.57

Shepp, Daniel 339

Shoener, John A 232

Short, William 233

Sigfried, J. K 304

Spayd, Benjamin 298

Stauffer, H. H 230

Steach, George N 232

Torbert Family 213a

Ulmer, Jacob 309a

Walker, Thomas H ,301

Weber, Augustus 230

Weber, John 2.30

Weber, William Y 233

Weiss, G. W 260

Weissinger, L. W 310

Weldy,H.A 336

Wenrich, Frank ; 230

Werner, J. Frank 312

Wetherill, J. M 307

Wiggan, George 340

Wiggan, Mrs. George 341

Williams, John H 310

Wren, Thomas 309a

Watson, M. C 390

Wythe, George W 3,30

PORTRAITS.

Allison, Robert, Port Carbon 313

Audenried, Lewis, Philadelphia 306

Audenried, William, " 305a

Bannan, Benjamin, Pottsville 393

Bartholomew, Lin " 396

Bast, Gideon, Schuylkill Haven 358

Beach, W. T., Minersville 174

Bechtel, O. P., Pottsville 301

Blass, Louis, Girard ville 333

Blatchf ord, Mary J., Torbert 313b

Brown, D. P., Lost Creek 371

Brumm, Charles N., Minersville 173

Buck, Peter E., Ashland 188

Campbell, John, Rush Township 347

Donaldson, William, Pottsville ,303

Donaldson, William, Tamaqua 338

Filbert, Peter, Pine Grove 333



PAGE

Foster, Solomon, Pottsville 306a

Garner, Joseph W., AsMand 184

Green, D. B., Pottsville 301

Griscom, Samuel, Philadelphia 394

Griscom, Samuel E., " 395

Haeseler, C. H., Pottsville 399

Haywood, Benjamin. " 308

Heilner, Benjamin, Tamaqua 337

Hughes, F. W., Pottsville 311

Kear, Frank G., Minersville 175

Kendrick, William, Shamokin 389

Kopitzsch, C. P., Pottsville 309

Kline, Jacob, Pottsville 300

Kliue, Mrs. Jacob " 300

Lawrence, Jacob S., Minersville 174

Losch, Samuel A., Schuylkill Haven 359

MacMillan, M. M., Ann Arbor, Mich 213c

MacMillan, Ida v., " " 213c

McKibbin, D. J., Ashland 189

Meek, Charles A., Schuylkill Haven 360

Merkel, M., Minersville 176

Nutting, J. L., Pine Grove 319

Palmer, Robert M., Pottsville 398

Parry, Edwin O., " 307

Pershing, Cyrus L., " 301

Piper, O. P., Schuylkill Haven 3.58

Potts, George H., N. Y. City 305

Reilly, B., Philadelphia 311a

Ryon, J. W., Pottsville 397

Schlicher, Edwin, Tamaqua 337

Seltzer, Conrad. Pottsville 313

Severn, E. L., Mahanoy City 232

Shannon, Benjamin F., Schuylkill Haven 357

Shepp, Daniel, Tamaqua 339

Sigfried, J. K., Pottsville 304

Titman. Charles E., Shenandoah 213d

Titman, Lizzie F. " 213d

Torbert, A. Carrie, Torbert 313d

Torbert, Hester, " 313c

Torbert. James, " 213b

Torbert, James F., " 313c

Torbert, Margaret A., " 313b

Torbert, Mary C, " 213c

Torbert, Sallie R., " 313c

Torbert, Susie L., " .213d

Torbert, William Stephen, Torbert 213d

Torbert, Hon. William L., " 313a

Torbert, Victoria H., " 213d

Ulmer, Jacob, Pottsville 309a

Walker, Thomas H., Pottsville 301

Watson, M. C, Shenandoah 390

Weiss, G. W., Schuylkill Haven 260

Weissinger, L. W., Sporting Hill 310a

Weldy, H. A., Tamaqua a36

Werner, J. F., Pottsville 312

Wetherill, J. M., " 307

Wiggan, George, Tamaqua .340

Wiggan, Mrs. George, Tamaqua 341

Williams, John H., Pottsville 310

Wren n, George H., Mahanoy City 189

Wrenn, Thomas, Pottsville 309a

ILLUSTRATIONS,

Bast, Mrs. Gideon, Schuylkill Haven, Res 2.58a

Buck, Peter E., Ashland, Res., Store & Ware-
house 188

Coal Chart 40a

Colliery, Big Mine Run, Butler 179

Colliery, William Penn, West Mahanoy 369

Diamond Drill Company, Pottsville, Works... 273

Fenstermacher. John, Ringtown Hotel 180

Garner, Joseph W., Ashland, Iron Works 184

Grant Iron Works, Mahanoy City, Works 233

Geological Chart ■. . . 38

Map, Schuylkill county 8

Metz, C, Mahanoy City, Hotel 180

Safe Deposit Bank, Pottsville, Building 375

Seltzer, William and Conrad, Pottsville, Res.,

Hotel 313

Thompson, L. C, Pottsville, Store ... 273

Torbert, W. L., Torbert, Res. and Grounds 313e, f , g

Troutman, H., Ashland, Hotel 180

Watson, M. C, Shenandoah, Store 390

Weissinger, L. W... Sporting Hill, Res 310a



■^



^
^

4



INTRODUCTION.



In preparing the following work for publication infor-
mation has been sought from every available source, and
it is believed that many of the facts recorded have been
preserved from oblivion by being thus rescued from the
failing memories of those who will soon pass away.

It is hardly possible that in a work like this no errors
will be found; but it is confidently hoped that if inaccur-
acies are discovered the great difficulty of preventing
their occurrence will be considered, and that they will
be regarded in a charitable rather than a censorious
spirit.

The publishers desire to acknowledge the kindness
and courtesy with which their efforts to obtain the facts
recorded here have been almost uniformly met. To the
press, and especially to the editors of the Miners' Jour-
nal, of Pottsville, and the Shenandoah Herald, for free
access to the files of their journals; to Colonel Hyde,
the gentlemanly librarian of the Pottsville Athenaeum,
for the privileges of the library; to county and borough
officers, for assistance in examining their records; to
the pastors of nearly all the churches in the county,
for assistance in preparing the religious history; and
to secretaries of numerous societies and lodges, for
data furnished, their grateful acknowledgements are
due.

The following books have been freely consulted:
Sherman Day's and Dr. Egle's histories of Pennsylvania,



Pennsylvania Archives, Rupp's history of Schuylkill
county, Dewees's and Martin's histories of the Mollie
Maguires, the history of the Pennsylvania volunteers,
prepared under the authority of the State by Samuel
P. Bates, LL. D.; and the Memorial of the Patriotism
of Schuylkill County, by the late Francis B. Wallace,
from which last the lists of the soldiers of the Union
from Schuylkill county were taken.

Of those who have aided in the preparation of the
work, or furnished valuable information, it is a pleasure
to the publishers to name the following, besides the
authors of sections of the work who are named in con-
nection with their contributions : The intelligent octo-
genarians, Abraham Pott, who came here at the age of
ten, and Jeremiah Reed, who was born here; Judge
David B. Green, Judge E. O. Parry, F. A. Mortimer,
0. J. Airgood, clerk of the courts, J. B. Kaercher, C. D.
Arters, D. E. Miller, Christopher Little, John P. Ber-
tram, William L. Whitney, John A. M. Passmore, George
R. Kaercher, Jesse Hawley, Rev. Drs. Bellville and
George W. Smiley, Revs. G. A. Hinterleitner, Edward J.
Koons, J. B. Stein and B. F. Patterson, J. Wallace
McCool, Charles Tanner, W. B. Staller, Jacob S. Long-
acre, H. H. Brownmiller, F. G. Faust, H. S. Strong, A.
L. Boughner, W. H. Zeller, John Anthony, Edward T.
Filbert, Rev. E. S. Henry, John Jacob Schnoke, J. O.
Roads and Richard Harington.



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OUTLINE HISTORY



OF



PENNSYLVANIA




CHAPTER I.



THE DISCOVERY OF THE DELAWARE PENN'SVLVA?

GRANTED TO AND ORGANIZED BY WILLIAM PENN.



;5SiHE first discovery of Delaware bay, and the
1 river whicli forms a portion of the eastern
t^„\\ boundary of the State of Pennsylvania ap-
pears to have been made by Hendrick Hud-
son, an Englishman in the service of the Dutch, in
1609. In August of that year he entered the bay,
and after a short cruise in it left and proceeded to
the mouth of the Hudson river, which stream he ascend-
ed as far as Albany.

It is said that Lord Delaware visited the bay in 1610;
hence the name by which it and the river are known. It
was called by the Dutch South river, the Hudson being
termed by them the North river.

Another Dutch navigator. Captain Mey, visited the
bay in 1614; but Captain, or, as he was termed, skipper
Cornelius Hendrickson first ascended the river as far as
the mouth of the Schuylkill, in 1616.

A short lived settlement was made on the east bank of
the Delaware under the auspices of the Dutch West In-
dia Company in 1623, under the direction of Captains
Mey and Tienpont. Another settlement was made on
the bay, farther down, in 1630; but this was soon de-
stroyed by the Indians, whose enmity the colonists had
indiscreetly incurred.

Maryland was granted to Lord Baltimore in 1632, and
the territory on the west side of the Delaware was
claimed by him, and the disputes arising out of this
claim remained unsettled during many years.

In 1638 a settlement was made on the west bank of
the Delaware by a colony of Swedes, under the patron-
age of Queen Christina. This colony was under the
direction of Peter Minuit, a Hollander, who had been a
director in the colony of New Amsterdam. Several
Swedish go'-ernors followed Minuit in succession; pros
perous settlements sprang up along ihe west bank of the



river, and a thriving trade was carried on by the Swedes.
They were watched with jealousy by the Dutch, who set
up the claim of jurisdiction by reason of former occupa-
tion, and instituted intrigues and plans to dispossess the
Swedes. In 1655 a force of seven vessels and six hun-
dred men was sent up the Delaware for that purpose.
The Swedish government had been kept in ignorance of
this expedition, and it was easily successful.

On the restoration of Charles the Second to the throne
of Great Britain, he granted the territory now including
New York and New Jersey, and afterwards that of Del-
aware, to his brother the Duke of York. The latter im-
mediately sent a force to take possession of the country
thus granted. New Amsterdam and Fort Orange on the
Hudson were at once possessed, and rechristened re-
spectively New York, in honor of the Duke of York, and
Albany. A portion of the force was then dispatched to
take possession of the Dutch colonies on the Delaware,
which was accomplished almost without resistance. This
dispossession of the Dutch by the English led to a war
between Great Britain and Holland, at the conclusion of
which the title of the former to these territories was ac-
knowledged by treatyi The Duke of York continued in
possession of this region, undisturbed except by the
Marylanders, who resorted to occasional, acts of violence
in order to assert the claim of Lord Baltimore, until, in
1663, war again broke out betwen Great Britain and
Holland, and Dutch privateers visited the coasts and
plundered the inhabitants; and during that year a Dutch
squadron of vessels arrived and repossessed the domin-
ions which had been granted to the Duke of York. These
were lestored by the treaty of Westminster in 1674, and
in the same year, by a new patent, the title of the Duke
of York was confirmed. During eight years following
these events great changes took place among the propri-
etaries of the region, in the course of which William
Penn, by reason of being a trustee of one of these pro-
prietaries and a purchase of a portion of the territory,
became quite familiar with the region, as well as with the
plans for its colonization.

William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, an ad-
miral in the royal navy, who at his death left a claim of



OUTLINE HISTORY OF PENNSYLVANIA.



sixteen thousand iiounds against the government of Great
Britain. Though in early life he was a soldier of some
distinction, he afterwards became a Quaker, and was
several times imprisoned because of his religious faith.
Having become, as before stated, familiar with the re-
gion on the Delaware, and with the schemes for its colo-
nization, he conceived the plan of founding a colony
there on the broad principles of equality which his faith
taught. Accordingly, in 1680, he petitioned King Charles
the Second for a grant of a tract of land west from the
Delaware river and south from Maryland, in liquidation
of the claim which he had inherited from his father. Af-
ter the discussion and arrangement of the preliminaries
the petition was granted, and a charter signed by the
king in 1681. Penn at first desired that the province
might be called New Wales, and wnen objections were
raised against this he suggested Sylvania. To this the
king and his counsellors prefixed Penn, for the double
reason that the name would appropriately mean high
woodlands, and that it was the name of a distinguished
admiral, whose memory the king desired to honor. A
royal address was at once issued informing the inhabit-
ants that William Penn was the sole proprietor, and that
he was invested with all the necessary governmental
powers. A proclamation was also issued by William
Penn to the people of his province, setting forth the
policy which he intended to adopt in the government of
the colony. A deputy was sent in the Sjjring of the
same year, with instructions to institute measures for the
management of affairs and the temporary government of
the province. In autumn of the same year he sent com-
missioners to make treaties with the Indians, and arrange
for future settlement.

South from the province of Pennsylvania, along the
Delaware bay, the Duke of York was still the proprietor
of the country. Foreseeing the possibility of future an-
noyance to the commerce of his province, Penn was de-
sirous of acquiring this territory; and accordingly en-
tered into negotiations with the Duke of York for it, and
in the autumn of 1682 he became the proprietor of the
land by deeds, which, however, conveyed no political
rights. In the autumn of 1682 Penn visited his province
in the new world, took formal possession of the territory
along Delaware bay, proceeded up the Delaware and
visited the settlements along that river. During this year
the celebrated treaty between William Penn and the In-
dians was made, it is said by some historians, under a large
elm tree at Shakamaxon. By others it is insisted that no
evidence exists of any such treaty at that place; but
that the accounts of it that have passed into history were
drawn largely from the fertile imaginatons of early
writers. Whether a treaty was held there or not, it is
almost certain that during that year treaties were made
between Penn and the Indians, and it is a historical fact
that between the Indians and Quakers perfect faith was
kept. Voltaire said of the treaty which was said to have
been made at Shakamaxon: " It was the only one ever
made between savages and Christians that was not ratified
by an oath, and the only one that was never broken."



The three principal tribes of Indians which then in-
habited Pennsylvania were the Lenni Lenapes, the Min-
goes and the Shawnees. Their relations with the Swedes
had been of a friendly character, and the pacific and kind
|)olicy of Penn and his Quaker colonists toward them
bore fruit in strong contrast with that which the dishonest
and reckless policy of other colonies, and of the United
States government in later times, has brought forth.

The plan of the city of Philadelphia, which had been
laid out by the commissioners that had preceded the pro-
prietor, was revised by him, and the present beautiful and
regular plan adopted, and even the present names given
to the principal streets.

In the latter part of the year 1682 the first legislative
body in the province was convened by the proprietor,
who, though he was vested with all the powers of a pro-
prietary governor, saw fit, in the furtherance of his original
plan, to adopt a purely democratic form of government.



Online LibraryGeorge T. (George Thornton) FlemingHistory of Schuylkill County, Pa. → online text (page 1 of 109)