John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) online

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and the battle of liberty yet to be fought. Mr. Keil was a man of talent,
who besides following the trade of weaver, was also a surveyor, neither of
which ability were likely to go begging in the rapidly developing country.
The first home chosen by the Keil family in their adopted land was Pitts-
burgh, Pennsylvania, and here the four sons of George Keil spent their
childhood and youth. His sons were Jacob, John, Peter and George, the
three latter choosing a mercantile life, John becoming a grocer in Pittsburgh,
Peter, a grain dealer and banker, and George in the same city.

In the case of Jacob Keil, through whom the direct line of descent to
the present representatives of the family was continued, the business which
he chose was the highly lucrative one of building contractor, in which he
prospered greatly, erecting a number of important structures, and among
them the Allegheny County Work House, of which one of his sons, Peter,
Jr., afterwards became the first superintendent. Jacob Keil was later asso-
ciated with the firm of Lewis, Dalzell & Company, who did a large iron and
steel business in Pittsburgh. Tt was during the life of Jacob Keil that the
family removed from the city of Pittsburgh to Etna, Pennsylvania, about
the year 1840, and at a later date they again changed their home to the
present location in Sharpsburg. The children of Jacob Keil, four in num-
ber, all sons, were as follows: Peter, Jr., of further mention; Edward;
John; George L., the father of the present Sharpsburg family of the name.
Of these George L. and Peter are no longer living.

Peter Keil served during the Civil War in the LInion army, enlisting
as a drummer boy, and returning with the musket of a full fledged soldier.
He married Margaret Bram, of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, and by her had
three children. His children were unusually talented, one of them, Hen-
rietta Keil, having an unusual voice, which was given careful cultivation in
New York and Paris. Later the young lady went on a tour of Europe and
the United States with Damrosch, and there won much renown as an artist.
A son, A. L. Keil, is now the eastern representative of William G. John-
ston, the great publisher's firm of Pittsburgh, having his offices in Phila-
delphia. George Laurence Keil, the youngest son of Jacob Keil, was for
many years a successful grain merchant in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, and


died in 1899. He married, Alay 19, 1881, Maria E. Seavey, a daughter of
William L. Seavey, of Sharpsburg, where she was born.

The Seavey family are of French Huguenot descent, a strain which has
contributed so much to the vigor and strength of the splendid New England
stock of the country, and furnished not a few of the most distinguished
names in American Colonial history. The earliest mention of the name in
this country is in connection with Nathaniel Seavey. who appears in Maine,
whither he had been attracted by the opportunities there afforded to ship
builders, by the great pine forests near at hand, the presumption being that
he had followed the same occupation in Europe before his migration to these
shores. Josiah fought in the Continental army during the Revolution for
the cause of freedom. Their home in Maine was in Kennebunkport.

Josiah Seavey, whose father served in the Continental army, as late
as 1830 moved from the old Maine home and came to Western Pennsyl-
vania, where he had a grant of land situated between Allegheny and Etna,
in Allegheny county. Here he settled in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, and
here erected the first of Apang's iron mills, which afterwards grew to such
great proportions. He was the father of six children, as follows : William
L., the father of Mrs. George Keil, mentioned above; George A.; Josiah,
Jr. ; Jason ; Emily, now Mrs. James Saint, the only survivor of this genera-
tion in the town of Sharpsburg: and Katherine and Anna. All of these
children are dead with the exception of Mrs. Saint, just mentioned, and
Mrs. Anna Turney, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. George A. Seavey and
his brother, Josiah, went west to Colorado, where they engaged in mining.
For a full account of the Seavey family, the reader is referred to the ex-
cellent genealogy^ of the family contained in the Boston Genealogical

William L. Seavey, the eldest son of Josiah Seavey, became a building
contractor in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, and did a prosperous business
there. He also owned a valuable farm in the locality. At the time of the
outbreak of the Civil War, William L. Seavey was anxious to enlist in the
LTnion army, but an unfortunate accident while a boy had deprived him of
the sight of one eye, and this was deemed sufficient to debar him from the
desired service. Air. Seavey married Eliza Jane Hughes, and by her had
four children, as follows : Maria E., who as above mentioned became the
wife of George L. Keil; Luella I., now a resident of Columbiana, Ohio;
George A., now profitably engaged in the grain business in Sharpsburg,
Pennsylvania ; and Orion W., now a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, general
manager of Electric Freight Service in Ohio.

By the marriage of George L. Keil to Miss Seavey, two old families,
both of which have been conspicuously associated with the Sharpsburg
region, have been united, and in the character of the children of this union
there is every reason to believe that the high traditions of the past will be
continued. Mr. and Mrs. George L. Keil are the parents of three children:
Laurence H., of further mention; Clifford V.. who studied at the Institute
of Technology, now engaged in the hardware business in Sharpsburg; and
Alma L., now a student at the Pennsylvania College for Women.


Laurence H. Keil, the eldest child of George L. and Maria E. (Seavey)
Keil, was bom June i, 1882, at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. The elementary
portion of his education was obtained in the local public schools, and at
Pittsburgh Central High School, which he attended until 1900. He then
matriculated at the Western University of Pennsylvania, now the University
of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in due course of time graduated there-
from with the class of 1906. Later he was admitted to the bar of Alle-
gheny county, and of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh. Since that time he has
been active in the practice of his profession in Pittsburgh and Sharpsburg,
Pennsylvania. He has also been engaged in real estate development work
in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.

Charles A. Hartmann is one of a family representative
HARTMANN of the best type of German American character, which
has brought to the cosmop>olitan citizenship of the
United States a leaven of its own peculiar virtues, of unswerving pursuit of
an object, of quiet industry and honest thrift. His grandparents on both
sides of the house lived and died in the "Fatherland," and his father also
passed his youth and early manhood there, receiving his education at the
local volkeschule, and later learning the tinning trade. He was married in
Germany to Barbara Isengart, but emigrated to the United States when their
son Charles A. was but little more than a year old. His destination in this
country was Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but he did not settle in that city, but
pressed on to Sharpsburg in the same state, and there made his first home
in the "New World." He later removed to Temperanceville, and finally to
Etna, Pennsylvania, where he remained until the time of his death. During
these years Mr. Hartmann, Sr., followed the trade he had learned in his
native land, and did considerable tinning work, and at length, after making
his home in Etna, he also established a tinning business there, to which he
devoted himself for the remainder of his life. To Mr. Hartmann and his
wife were born ten children, as follows: Henry, Edward, Charles A., Frank,
John, Kate, Barbara, Lizzie, Rosa and Anna.

Charles A. Hartmann, the third child of John and Barbara (Isengart)
Hartmann, was born October 14, 1859, in Germany. The following year
his parents brought him to the United States with them at the time of their
immigration thither. He was educated in the public schools of Etna, Penn-
sylvania, and upon completing his studies, learned from his father the
latter's trade of tinning. He started an independent business on Freeport
street, Etna, in 1890, and his office is still at that location, although, on
account of his greatly increased business, he was obliged to move his shop
to the two-story building which he now occupies on Union street. In the
year 191 1 the firm became C. A. Hartmann & Sons, Mr. Hartmann taking
into partnership his sons. Lender the new arrangement the business con-
tinues to be large and flourishing. Besides his business. Mr. Hartmann
finds time for other interests and is greatly interested in politics, whether
local, state or national. He is a member of the Republican party.

Mr. Hartmann has been thrice married. His first wife was Elizabeth


Roth, a native of Pittsburgh. To them were born five children, as follows :
Harrison; Frederick, deceased; Karl J., of whom further; Cyril and Freda,
deceased. Mr. Hartmann's second wife was Louisa Greinner, a native of
Ross township. The children of this union were : Elry ; Rosa, deceased ;
Edward, also deceased. Mr. Hartmann was a third time married, this
time to Emma Meister, a native of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. To them
have been born three children: Esther, Alice, Florence, deceased. Mr.
Hartmann is a member of the Lutheran church and in that belief has reared
his children.

Karl J. Hartmann, the third child of Charles A. and Elizabeth (Roth)
Hartmann, was born in Etna, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1890. He was
educated in the local public schools, continuing his studies until reaching
the age of sixteen years, when he entered the tinning shop of his father
and there learned the trade. In the year 191 1 he was taken into partnership
by his father, and now aids in conducting the flourishing business. Young
Mr. Hartmann is one of the rising men of the town and a very active
member of the community. Like his father, he belongs to the Republican
party. He is a member of the local lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is prominent in the life of
these organizations and in the social life of the town generally.

The \\'iiller family is an ancient and honorable one of Ger-
WULLER many, where it has been distinguished for a number of
generations for the ability displayed by its various members
in the field of music. This ability has been transmitted to their descend-
ants here.

Professor John Wiiller, a native of Westphalia, Germany, spent his
entire life in that land, where he died at the age of sixty-five years. He
was an organist and builder by occupation, and earned more than a merely
local renown. His wife, who died at the age of eighty-six years, bore
him two sons and two daughters.

Professor John Henry Wiiller, son of Professor John Wiiller, was
born at Marl, Westphalia, Germany, March 2, 1821, and died in Butler,
Butler county, Pennsylvania, January 30, 1889. He was the recipient of an
excellent education in his native land, especial attention being paid to the
subject of music, as he showed undoubted talent and marked ability from
his earliest years. For some years he taught school in his native land, and
at the age of thirty years came to the United States, where he supported
himself by giving musical instruction. Five years were spent in this occu-
pation in New York City, and he then removed to Selina, New York, having
married in the meantime, and lived in that town for a period of one year.
He next removed to Pitt.sburgh, Pennsylvania, where he taught music two
years, and finally settled at No. 123 Franklin street, Butler, Butler county,
Pennsylvania, where the remainder of his life was spent. The homestead
on which he resided is still in the same condition as in his lifetime. He
followed the musical profession in Butler also, and in addition to this was

J^/^ K^U4Uf/ (ilp/i^<e4^


largely interested in real estate matters. He lived retired from business
responsibilities during the last sixteen years of his life. While giving his
consistent support to the principles of the Democratic party, Mr. Wiiller
took no active part in the political affairs of the township. He was con-
sidered the leading musician of Butler, during his years of activity, being
able to play on a variety of instruments, and also was equally proficient in
vocal music. His religious affiliation was with the Roman Catholic Church,
of which he was a devout member.

Professor Wiiller married, about 1853, Johanna Keiffer, also born in
(jermany, who was ten years of age when brought to this country by her
parents, Daniel and Margaret (Kerk) Keifer, and received her education
in this country. She had no especial musical ability, but the children were
all talented, and received excellent high school and college educations.
Children of Professor and Mrs. Wiiller: Daniel H., now deceased, was a
druggist on Main street, Butler, Pennsylvania ; Mary, unmarried, at home ;
Joseph L., a retired druggist of Butler; Jennie and Emma, at home;
Charles B., a druggist of East Butler.

The name of Johnston has been familiar in this country
JOHNSTON from its first settlement by Europeans, but in various
forms, that of the family under discussion here being
the ancient English and Scotch form, differing from such as Jonson, John-
son, Jansen, Johansen, etc.

(I) James Johnston, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, emigrated to America
with his wife, Catherine (Sept) Johnston, and for a time lived on the
"Pike." Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a shoemaker by trade and plied
this successfully at Pittsburgh, later removing to Beaver county, where he
died at the age of sixty-five years.

(II) Archibald Johnston, son of James and Catherine (Sept) Johnston,
was born in the North of Ireland, and came to this country with his parents
when he was nine years of age. He was educated here in the district
schools, and when he reached man's estate became an engineer on vessels
which plied on the Ohio river. Later he retired to the old homestead at
Scottsville, where he kept the farm in a fine state of cultivation. He mar-
ried Mary Mackrell, also born in the North of Ireland, a daughter of Henry
and Nancy (Real) Mackrell. The latter died before her children emigrated
to America. Mrs. Johnston emigrated to this country at the age of seven-
teen years, and later she and the other children of this family sent for
their father and his second wife to come over here. They had purchased
a farm in Scottsville. Beaver county. Pennsylvania, as a home for the old
people, but the father died two days after his arrival there.

(III) Marshall Johnston, son of Archibald and Mary (Mackrell)
Johnston, was born in Scottsville, Beaver county, Pennsylvania, October
19, 1842, died June 4, 1910.

During his boyhood he was obliged to assist with the farm work
during the summer months, and could only attend school during the winter.


He acquired his education at the district schools and the Dayton Academy,
and was attending this last named institution at the outbreak of the Civil
War. He at once abandoned his studies and offered his services in defence
of the Union. He tried to enlist in the Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry,
but was not accepted because of his youth. Having obtained the permission
of his parents, he made another attempt to join the army, and this time was
accepted, and served three years under Captain Duff, a professor of the
Dayton Academy. He then returned to Pittsburgh, and there read law in
the office of Judge Fetterman and S. A. Johnston, the latter his brother.
Having been duly admitted to the bar, he commenced the active practice
of his profession, with which he was identified until his death. He was in
partnership with his brother, S. A. Johnston, and later his son, Oliver
Reed, was admitted to the firm. Mr. Johnston was an excellent man of
business as well as a fine lawyer, and had he chosen to devote his energies
to a business career would undoubtedly have been as successful in that as
he was in his professional work. He was one of the organizers of the
Peoples Building and Loan Association of Pittsburgh, and of the Home
Building and Loan Association of Bellevue ; was the first vice-president of
the Citizens' National Bank of Bellevue. At the time of his death he was
a member of the board of trustees of the Third United Presbyterian Church
of Pittsburgh. He was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic ;
the Veteran Legion ; Avalon Lodge, No. 657, Free and Accepted Masons.

Mr. Johnston married, in 1868. Mary W. Reed, of Pittsburgh; Mrs.
Johnston lived in the same place fifty years, the house having formerly
belonged to her paternal grandmother, who was a member of an old Alle-
gheny family. William Reed, grandfather of Mrs. Johnston, was born in
Ireland, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, emigrated to America at an early date
and settled at Pittsburgh. He was a carpet weaver by trade. He married
Mary Wilson, and their son. William F. Reed, married a daughter of William
and Maria (Harris) Whitehead, of England, who came to this country
about 1845 and settled on ground which has now been appropriated to
cemetery uses. He was a marble cutter by trade in England, and he and his
brothers brought the laurels which are still in the cemetery. William F.
Reed, father of Mrs. Johnston, was a plumber and brass fitter. He was born
in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have had children :
Oliver Reed, a promising young attorney, died in young manhood: Annie
Matilda ; Harry Kerr, a right of way man of the Central District Telephone
Company ; Mary Eva, who married John C. Dicks.

This is among the oldest of German families, all obtainable
HILLEN information showing the residence of the name in that coun-
try. Peter Hillen, father of Peter Hillen, Jr., was born in
that country about 1828, the son of German parents who had passed their
lives there, and died about 1880. He was the owner of a farm in his
native land and cultivated his acres until his death. Both he and his
wife were members of the Catholic church. He was twice married, his


first wife having six children, and he married (second) Katherina, daughter
of Phihp and Anna Frerres, who lived and died in Rhine province, Ger-
many, her father a farmer on a small scale. Of the children of Philip and
Anna Frerres, two came to the United States, Katherina and a brother, who
now resides in the West. After the death of Peter Hillen, his wife, in 1884,
came to the United States and settled in Heidelberg, Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania. Her resources were slender and her needs many, so that
soon after her arrival she apprenticed her oldest son to a farmer of the
locality, in 1888 marrying a second time, her husband being Frank Libert,
she dying in 1912, he surviving her to the present time. By her second
marriage she was the mother of one daughter, Lena, who married Peter
McDermott, a merchant, and resides in Burdine, Allegheny county, Penn-
sylvania. Children of Peter and Katherina (Frerres) Hillen: i. William,
a carpenter of Heidelberg, Pennsylvania. 2. Peter, of whom further. 3.
Philip, a justice of the peace of Heidelberg, Pennsylvania. 4. Catherine,
married Peter Teiss, and resides in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

Peter Hillen, son of Peter and Katherina (Frerres) Hillen, was born
in Rhine province, Prussia, Germany, April 19, 1872. He received his
scholastic training in the schools of Germany, France and the United
States, in France receiving instruction from an uncle with whom he lived
and learned the language of that country. He learned the carpenter's trade
after completing his studies and followed that occupation for fifteen years,
in 1904 establishing in contracting, a line in which he has since remained, the
present scope of his business including operations in Carnegie, Bridgeville,
Mount Lebanon and Heidelberg. The greater part of his work has been
done in the erection of residences, many of the most attractive houses of
that locality having been built under his direction, his force numbering
about eight men. In 1908 he constructed a house on Ellsworth avenue,
Loupurex, Pennsylvania, and there resides at the present time, his residence
commodious, tastefully designed and comfortable. For three terms Mr.
Hillen has served as a member of the borough council of Loupurex, his
political beliefs being those of the Socialist party. He belongs to the Im-
proved Order of Red Men, the Knights of Malta, the Loyal Order of
Moose, and the German Beneficial Society, of which last named body he
was an organizer and has for two years been its president, an ofiice he now
(1914) holds. Mr. Hillen married, in 1906, Agnes, born in Prussia, Ger-
many, daughter of Jacob and Anna Colley. Mr. and Mrs. Hillen are the
parents of two children, Agnes and Arthur.

The name of Jenkins is of English origin, and is recorded
JENKINS with honor in America and Europe. They have furnished
many men of distinction in professional life, as well as in
commercial pursuits, and the other activities of life.

(I) Jenkins was a farmer and old resident of Black Lick, Indiana

county, Pennsylvania, where he was also an extensive land owner. He mar-
ried and had children : Mary, married David Berry, and died in Indiana


county, Pennsylvania; William Henry, of further mention; David, lives in
Black Lick, Indiana county, Pennsylvania.

(II) William Henry Jenkins, son of Jenkins, was born in Indiana

county, Pennsylvania, and died in Saltsburg, in the same county, in 1892,
aged fifty-four years. After his marriage he settled at Livermore, West-
moreland county, Pennsylvania, where he taught school for a time, then
engaged in the feed business. Subsequently he turned his attention to real
estate matters, with which he was identified for some years. He was always
active in the interests of the Republican party, and served for a long time as
justice of the peace. He was twice a candidate for the state assembly, and
during three terms held a political appointment in the house of representa-
tives at Harrisburg. He was a justice of the peace at the time of his death.
During the Civil War he served in Company A, Fifty-fourth Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He and his wife were members of the
Presbyterian church, and fraternally he was connected with the Royal
Arcanum. He married Mary Catherine Rombach, who died in Glenfield,
Pennsylvania, in 1900, aged sixty-one years. She was a daughter of
Matthias and Mary (Jennings) Rombach, the latter born near Latrobe,
Pennsylvania, died at Saltsburg. Mr. Rombach was born in Germany, and
was in his early youth when he came to this country. He commenced his
business career as a traveling peddler, going about the country on foot, as
was the custom of those days. When he had accumulated a small capital by
dint of thrift and undoubted industry, he opened a store, and carried on his
business in this manner on a small scale. His correct business methods,
however, did not fail of their proper effect, and his business increased
steadily, until at the time of his death he was considered one of the most
successful jewelers in that section. Mr. and Mrs. Rombach had children :
Elizabeth, married John Martin ; Matthias, Jr., retired from business, lives
at Saltsburg; William D., died in Saltsburg, was a hardware merchant:
Mary Catherine, mentioned above. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have had children :
Harry, died in infancy; Ehzabeth, died in infancy; Mary Florence: William
Martin, of further mention; J. Arthur, a jeweler, living at La Grande.
Oregon ; Anna Catherine, widow of Charles E. Sprague.

(III) \Villiam Martin Jenkins, son of William Henry and Mary
Catherine (Rombach) Jenkins, was born at Livermore, Indiana county,
Pennsylvania, November 14, 1871. At first he attended the pubHc schools
of Saltsburg, then was pre])ared for college at the Kiskiminetas Preparatory
School, finally matriculating at the University of Pittsburgh, where he
took a special course in civil engineering to round out some practical work
he had done in that line. He was in the employ of several firms and of
the United States government for some years, then established himself in
the real estate and insurance business at Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, in asso-
ciation with John E. Elrick. He continued there until iqoo, when he
entered the employ of the Pittsburgh Coal Company as a draftsman and

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) → online text (page 36 of 92)