John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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trade, and it employs a large force of resi-
dent and traveling salesmen, whose loyalty
and efficiency are matched by their em-
ployers' fairness and generosity. Thus Mr.
Hunsicker has risen step by step from the
humble station allotted to him by the acci-
dent of birth to a commanding position in
the economic life of his city and State.
.And under providence his steady advance-
ment and solid achievement were the result
of his own initiative, energy, sagacity and
integrity. In the best sense of the word he
is a self-made man.

But his commercial and financial success,
commanding though it is, is only the minor
part of his attainments. Greater even than
the successful wholesale merchant is the
citizen, the churchman and the husband and
father. Through all the years of his busy
life Mr. Hunsicker never suffered the four
walls of his business to bound his horizon.
His interest and cooperation went fourth
in many directions, and he became an im-
portant constructive force in the higher life
of his community. The bestowal upon him
of numerous honors and offices marks the
appreciation of his townsmen, and their
public recognition of his sterling worth as
a man of character and ability. He has
served at various times as a director of the
Allentown National Bank, and as a member
and director of the Board of Control of the
public schools of Allentown. Pennsylvania.
He is a member of the board of directors of
the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of


Allentown ; a charter member of the Cham-
ber of Commerce of .\llcntown, serving as
vice-president and as a member of the exec-
utive committee since its organization ; and
a charter member of the National Whole-
sale Dry Goods Association of the United
States. He is also a charter member of
the .Allentown Hospital .Association, to the
promotion of whose interests he has given
lavishly of his time and substance. He was
a member of the building committee which
planned and erected the magnificent hospital
that has healed and helped thousands of suf-
ferers since its completion. He held the
position of vice-president of the hospital
association for many years, until recently,
at the death of the Hon. Edward Harvey,
he succeeded that accomplished gentleman
in the office of president. Besides holding
these numerous honorary offices, he also be-
came identified with the Masons, the Odd
Fellows, the Royal .Arcanum, and the
Golden Eagles.

But. outside of his business interests Mr.
Hunsicker is seen at his best in the sphere
of the church and in the domestic circle.
He is the spiritual heir as well as the lineal
descendant of God-fearing Swiss and Dutch
ancestors who came to this country to find
freedom for their faith. He has inherited
from them his sane and sincere faith in the
Christian religion and his unwavering
loyalty to the Refonned church. Salem Re-
formed Church in Allentown, the largest
congregation of the Reformed church in the
L'nited States, regards Mr. Hunsicker affec-
tionately as its leading member, and the
whole religious community looks ujion him
as a typical and representative layman of the
modern church, in whom creed and deed
are happily blended in a full-orbed Chris-
tian manhood. He is a charter member of
Salem Reformed Church. .Xt various times
he has served this congregation as deacon,
elder and trustee. He has represented it as
lay delegate at the higher judicatories of the
Reformed denomination, and he has been
its president for the last twenty-five years.



But his most efficient religious service has
been rendered in his connection with the
Sunday school of Salem Reformed Church,
whose superintendent he has been for more
than twenty years. This remarkable organ-
ization, numbering over two thousand active
members, both adults and children, owes its
vigorous life and its continuous prosperity
largely to the personal leadership of its de-
voted superintendent. Through it Mr. Hun-
sicker has been one of the influential factors
in the moulding of the moral and religious
life of multitudes of men and women in all
the walks of life. The Reformed church
has recognized his talents and his devotion
to the cause of religion, and it has honored
him by electing him a member of the board
of trustees of Bethany Orphans' Home at
Homelsdorf, Pennsylvania, and also of the
board of trustees of the Theological Semi-
nary of the Reformed Church at Lancaster,

In his domestic relations Mr. Hunsicker
has been singularly happy. He was married
to Mary Hannah Schrader, on December
26, 1872, and his wife became his true help-
mate. She is a daughter of Charles S.
Schrader and Judith, nee Tritch. There
were four other children in this family:
Sarah P. Schrader, the widow of J. George
Snyder, who had two children : Minnie and
Helen, both of whom have departed this
life. William Schrader married Angeline
Gackenbach, and had four children:
Thomas, who married Isabella Troxell ;
Laura, who died in her infancy ; William,
and Alice, the wife of Robert Hall. Jonas
Schrader married Sophia Hilbert, and had
two children: Ada, and Lena, who died at
the age of four. Horatio Schrader mar-
ried Catharine Acker, and has one child:

The union of James F. Hunsicker and
Mary Hannah Schrader has been blessed
with three sons who are an honor to their
parents and a credit to their native city. All
of them have enjoyed the advantages of a
higher education, and they are duplicating

the enviable and honorable record of their
father in their various vocations. George
W. Hunsicker was born September 27, 1873.
He married Eleanor Patterson, having lost
his first wife, Minnie Keck, by death, and
has four children : Josephine, Hannah, Vir-
ginia, and Sylvia. He is a graduate of Le-
high University, and a member of the firm
trading as Dietrich Motor Car Company.
Charles O. Hunsicker was born August 18,
1878. He married Lillian L. Henninger,
and has three children : Mary Elisabeth ;
Anna Henninger, who died in her infancy;
and Robert Franklin. He is a lawyer by
profession, a graduate of Mercersburg
Academy, of Franklin and Marshall Col-
lege, and of the law department of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania. In 1909 he was
elected mayor of the city of Allentown on
the Republican ticket, being the youngest
incumbent who has held that high office.
Herbert J. Hunsicker was born February 7,
1880. He married Ruth Robbins, and has
three children: Marion, James F., and
Henry R. He is a graduate of Drexel In-
stitute, and holds a position in the office of
the firm Bittner, Hunsicker & Company.

The burden of his years rests lightly on
the shoulders of Mr. Hunsicker. In the
Indian summer of his life he continues his
work with unabated vigor, and carries the
zest of youth into his manifold interests.
Surrounded by his estimable wife, and his
sons, his beautiful home forms an attrac-
tive spot in the city of Allentown, where
peace and joy reign supreme, and where
gracious hospitality is dispensed with heart
and hand. Here he finds the richest reward
of his earnest, honest, industrious life in the
afi'ection of his family, the esteem of his
friends, and the respect of his fellowmen.

ETTINGER, George T.,

Educator, Author, Iiectnrer.

For the past one hundred and fifty years
the Ettinger family has been well known in
the business, the musical and the educational


life of Lehigh county. Mathews & Hunger-
ford's "History of the Counties of Lehigh
and Carbon" mentions among the early set-
tlers of Weissenberg township Gottlieb
Ettinger, a hatter, who had a son named
Jacob. Later we find Jacob also a hatter and
prosperous farmer and the ancestor of the
subject of this sketch. The founder of the
Allentown branch of the family was Major
Amos Ettinger, the son of a hatmaker, born
in Lynn township, Lehigh county, March
2^, 1817. His mother's maiden name was
Smith. When still a very young man he
came to Allentown, where he learned the
trade of a coppersmith, in the establishment
of Solomon Gildner, and later he started in
the same business for himself at the south-
east corner of Hamilton and Eighth streets.
Still later he enlarged the fields of his busi-
ness by buying out his brother-in-law, Na-
than Laudenschlager, who was engaged in
the stove and tinware trade. For a long
time his store was at 738 Hamilton street,
until, his business requiring greater and
better accommodations, he purchased the
property at 732 Hamilton street, and erected
one of the largest and best appointed build-
ings in the city. At that time his store room
was the largest in Allentown. He prospered,
and for many years the phrase "Ettinger's
Stove Store" was almost a household ex-
pression in Lehigh county. Tall and digni-
fied in appearance, Amos Ettinger was one
of the most genial of men, with an unusual
fund of wit and humor. Many are the
witticisms and practical jokes that he had
to father. In this respect his reputation in
his native country was proportionately as
great as that of Abraham Lincoln in the
United States. For many years he was the
leader of the Allentown Band, the first
organization of the sort started in Allen-
town. Of this musical organization Henry's
"History of the Lehigh Valley," published
in i860, says: "Although the greater part
of the time is devoted by the citizens of
Allentown to their various business pursuits

and callings, they still find time for recrea-
tion and amusement. The Allentown Band,
of which .Xmos Ettinger is leader, is con-
sidered one of the best in the State, and is
composed entirely of the business men of
the place." There is still in the possession
of the family an excellent oil portrait of
the genial face of .Amos Ettinger, presented
to him by the members of this musical
organization. He was especially prominent
also in the military life of his time, and held
many important offices. He was captain of
a model volunteer company called "The Le-
high Fencibles," and for seven years was
brigade inspector of the Second Brigade,
Seventh Division of the Uniformed Militia
of Pennsylvania. During his lifetime his
fellow citizens honored him with various
positions of trust and responsibility, and at
the time of his death he was the president
of the town council. On Christmas Day.
1S36, he married Susan, a daughter of
Henry and Lydia Hamman Laudenschlager,
who was born in Macungic (then known as
Millerstown), Lehigh county. December 22,
1818. The Laudenschlager family moved
to Allentown, and for many years the father
was a carpet weaver, living in a large stone
house on Union street, near Seventh. From
this marriage were born four sons: William
Jacob, who died in 1863; Alfred Henry;
Richard Carlos, who died in 1896: and
George Taylor Ettinger. Amos Ettinger
died February i. 1866. in the forty-ninth
year of his age. In speaking of his death
the "Lecha County Patriot" of February 8.
1866. said : "Through his aflfable. sociable
demeanor the deceased won for himself the
affection of all that came into contact with
him. He was one of the best loved, mo.';t
highly esteemed and most benevolent citi-
zens of this town." The "Allentown
Friedens-Bote" of February 7. t866. sum-
med up his life and character as follows:
"He was an honorable, upright citizen, and
a host of friends sincerely mourn his early
demise. He was a true friend and a good



neighbor, and, the Spirit saith, he resteth
from his labors and his works do follow

George Taylor Ettinger, the youngest son
of Amos and Susan Ettinger, was born in
Allentown, Pennsylvania, November 8,
i860. He received his elementary training
in the excellent private school of Miss S. V.
Magruder from 1869 to 1873, ^"^^ ^^ t^e
fall of 1873 he entered the academic depart-
ment of Muhlenberg College, with which
institution he has been connected as student
and teacher for forty-one years. As a stu-
dent he had the remarkable record of not
having missed a single recitation in seven
years. He prepared for college in the aca-
demic department from 1873 to 1876, and
in September of the latter year he entered
the freshman class of Muhlenberg. He was
graduated with first honor and the vale-
dictory, June 24, 1880. In 1879 he re-
ceived the junior oratorical prize of twenty-
five dollars for the best oration as to matter
and manner, the subject of his oration being
"The Folly of Warfare." During his col-
lege course he was a member of the Euter-
pean Literary Society and the Phi Gamma
Delta fraternity. Immediately upon his
graduation in 1880 he began to teach in the
academic department of Muhlenberg Col-
lege as assistant to Rev. A. R. Home, D. D.,
from 1880 to 1882, and to Rev. John Koh-
ler, D. D., from 1882 to 1884. From 1884
to 1892 he was principal of the academic
department in connection with Professor E.
S. Dieter, now of the Allentown High
School. During these years the annual en-
rollment of the department increased from
thirteen to seventy-five students. Upon the
occasion of the quarter centennial celebra-
tion of Muhlenberg College in 1892, he
was elected professor of pedagogy and asso-
ciate professor of Latin. Several years
later the title of the chair (which he has
filled ever since) was changed to the Latin
Language and Literature and Pedagogy. In
1888 he enrolled in the graduate department
of New York LTniversity, which three years


later conferred upon him the degree of Doc-
tor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) for work done
in pedagogy, under Dr. Jerome Allen and
Dr. Edgar D. Shinier, and in German under
Dr. A. S. Isaacs. Upon the death of Pro-
fessor Davis Garber, Ph. D., Dr. Ettinger
became librarian of his alma mater, and
upon the death of Professor Matthias H.
Richards, D. D., he was chosen secretary
of the faculty. He was the alumni editor
of The Muhlenberg for many years, also
served as corresponding secretary and treas-
urer of the Alumni Association and a mem-
ber of its board of managers. He is now
president of the Alumni Association. He
has also been a member of the editorial com-
mittee of the Muhlenberg College Bulletin,
an official quarterly publication of the in-
stitution, since its beginning in 1902. In
1904 the board of trustees elected him dean
of the faculty. For nearly fifteen years Dr.
Ettinger was a director of the public schools
of Allentown, during which period he was
repeatedly elected president of the board of
control, later served as secretary of the same
body and was chosen president of the Le-
high County Directors' Association. For
nine years he was connected with the Penn-
sylvania Chautauqua at Mt. Gretna, serving
in various positions as instructor in Latin
and Greek, dean of the faculty and member
of the board of managers. In 1905 he was
chairman of the committee under whose
auspices a successful series of University
Extension Lectures was delivered in Allen-
town by Professor J. C. Powys, M. A., of
Cambridge, England, on "The History of
Liberty," and is one of the vice-presidents
of the Allentown Chautauqua. He has pub-
lished "Pedagogy the Fourth Profession,"
an address delivered before the Lehigh
County Teachers' Institute, and "The Rela-
tions and Duties of Colleges to their Pre-
paratory Schools," a paper read before the
Association of Colleges and Preparatory
Schools of the Middle States and Mary-
land, at Cornell University. In 1904-05 he
was associated, as supervising editor, with


< ^^

"?itCt< - ^/t-/V^


John W. Jordan, LL. D., librarian of the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and Dr.
Edgar M. Green, of Easton, Pennsylvania,
in the publication of an extensive "Genea-
logical History of the Lehigh Valley, Penn-
sylvania," in two handsomely illustrated
volumes brought out by the Lewis Publish-
ing Company of New York and Chicago,
and is a member of the advisory committee
for the present work, "Jordan's Biograph-
ical Encyclopaedia of Pennsylvania," also
by the Lewis Publishing Company. When
the Liberty Bell Chapter of the Daughters
of the American Revolution dedicated the
tablet commemorating the hiding of the Lib-
erty Bell in the old Zion's Reformed
Church, Allentown, PI on. Robert E. Wright,
who had promised to deliver the principal
address found that it would be impossible
for him to keep his engagement. As a spe-
cial favor to the regent of the chapter, Dr.
Ettinger consented to serve as a substitute
and, with but three days for preparation,
delivered what the local press was pleased
to call "a masterpiece." On September i,
1904, he also delivered the opening address
at Muhlenberg College on "The American
College and its Problems," which was after-
wards published by the board of trustees.
His services as a speaker and lecturer
are in frequent demand, his two most
popular lectures being "Life's Lottery" and
"An Evening with the Dictionary." The
subject of this sketch is a member of the
American Philological Society, the Ameri-
can Historical Association, the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania, the Moravian His-
torical Society, the Pennsylvania Society of
New York, of which he served many years
as chairman for Lehigh county, and the Phi
Gamma Delta Club of New York. He is
the president of the Allentown Free Library,
secretary of the Pennsylvania-German So-
ciety, secretary of the Contemporary Club
of Allentown, honorary member of the
Rotary Club of Allentown, member of the
John Play Republican Club of Allentown.
honorary member -A the Luther Burbank

Society of California, member of the Phila-
delphia Society for the Promotion of Class-
ical Studies, and a member of the National
Institute of Social Sciences. He is also
literary editor of the "Allentown Morning
Call," having the largest daily circulation of
any ne\vspapcr in the Lehigh Valley. He
has also served as president of the Lehigh
County Historical Society since its organ-
ization, and is a contributing member of
the Lehigh Saengerbund, and the Allentown
Oratorio Society. For many years he was
the efficient secretary of the Livingston
Club of Allentown, one of the largest and
most representative social clubs of the Le-
high Valley. Although busily engaged as
student and teacher, he still finds time to
share in the larger life of the community
and to discharge his duties as a citizen of
the same. At various times he has served
as a delegate to city and county conventions
of the Republican party, and he presided
over the stormy sessions of the Lehigh
county convention in the historical contest
for political supremacy in the State of Penn-
sylvania, waged between ("lovernor Daniel
H. Hastings and Senator Matthew Stanley
Quay, with such tact and ability that special
mention was made of it in the press of the
State. In 1902 Judge .-Mbright appointed
Dr. Ettinger inspector of the Lehigh county
prison, and his successor, Judge Frank M.
Trexler, has continued him in this position
from year to year. For several years he
has served as secretary of the Prison Board
of Lehigh county. Since his confirmation
in 1877 he has been an active member of St.
John's English Lutheran congregation. For
many years he was an officer and is still a
teacher in the Sunday sciiool, served as
l^resident of the Young People's Society,
was a deacon, secretary of the vestry, elder
and vice-president of the same, and repeat-
edly delegate to conference, .synod and gen-
eral council of the Lutheran Church in
North America. On August 17. iSf/). he
married Emma C, the only daughter of
Gustav A. and Emili<'. F. A.schbach, of


Allentown. This union has been blessed
with one son, Amos Aschbach Ettinger,
born May 24, 1901, and named after his
paternal grandfather. As Dr. Ettinger was
but five years old when his father died, he
was raised by his mother, a woman of
strong mental and moral character, to whose
excellent and Christian training he gladly
ascribes whatever measure of usefulness
and success he has attained in life. She
attained the uncommon age of ninety-four
years and four months, with mind active
and able to lecall and describe scenes, inci-
dents and persons of the days when Allen-
town was hardly more than a large village.
In the words of one of his friends : "Dr.
Ettinger possesses a sympathetic nature,
combined with that true modesty which
causes him to carry his learning as a man
carries his watch — to be kept out of sight
till someone wishes to know the time. No
man has less of the pedant about him. The
lark needs no trumpet to herald the fact that
it is a sweet singer. His advice and criticism
are often sought. The one is always marked
with good sense, and the other by the ut-
most kindliness, but at the same time com-
bined with justness and fairness. He is
keen in his observations and can find 'ser-
mons in stones, books in running brooks,
and good in everything'."

HELB, Theodore R.,

Iicader in Bnsiness Affairs.

The old city of York, strong in the dark-
est hours of our National history in the
patriotism and intrepidity of her citizens,
while no less so to-day, has now an added
element of strength in her noble body of
business men, among the foremost of whom
stands Theodore R. Helb, who has been for
forty years one of the most substantial citi-
zens of York and a business man of Na-
tional reputation.

Theodore R. Helb was born October 17,
1851, in Shrewsbury township (now Rail-
road borough), son of Frederick and Re-

becca (Henry) Helb. Frederick Helb was
a leading business man and citizen of York
county. Theodore R. Helb received his
education in the public schools of his native
township and in those of the city of Balti-
more, and entered early upon his active
career, learning the business of a brewer.
In 1873 he established himself in York as
the proprietor of an independent concern,
but so modest was his beginning that for the
first ten years he himself accomplished the
most important part of the necessary
manual labor, having but one assistant dur-
ing the winter months and none the remain-
der of the year. He was a man, however,
who knew his business thoroughly and
fully realized all its possibilities. He was
distinguished from the first by a peculiar
aptitude in grappling with details and in
recognizing and taking advantage of op-
portunities. His progressive spirit, which
led him to adopt what he perceived to be
real improvements, was combined with an
originality of thought which enabled him to
inaugurate new ideas and methods. His
business increased to proportions which he
would at one time have deemed incredible,
inasmuch as he was by nature conservative
and not over-sanguine, adding to or re-
modeling his brewery only as the actual de-
mands of business rendered it imperative
to do so. His conservatism, however, was
combined with the progressive spirit previ-
ously mentioned as one of his leading char-
acteristics, and he never neglected to avail
himself of an opening, always, however,
first making sure of his ground. The re-
sult is that he has to-day a truly magnificent
establishment, finely planned architecturally
and having the most complete and modern
equipment. Mr. Helb is not only the most
prominent man in his line of business in
York, but also one of the best known
throughout the United States.

As a true citizen Mr. Helb never with-
holds his aid and influence from any move-
ment having for its end the betterment of
York, and no good work done in the name

cM^^./e. p^£^^^


of charity or religion appeals to him in
vain. It is men of this type who are in-
telligent factors in the success of all great
cities, and Mr. Helb is recognized as one in
the inmost circle of those associated with
the business concerns and financial interests
which have most largely conserved the
growth and development of York. Wholly
without political aspirations, he has con-
fined his attention strictly to business mat-
ters, always, however, exercising his right
of voting and taking an intelligent interest
in men and measures, a fact which has
caused his counsel to be often sought in
matters of public moment. Of a genial dis-
position and in manner invariably affable
and courteous, his social popularity is great
and his friends are many. He affiliates with
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
the Order of Foresters, the Knights of the
Mystic Chain, the Knights of Malta, the
Red Men and the Heptasophs. In the last-

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 50 of 58)