John Woolf Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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FAYETTE COUNTY



393



commanded the scouts in Delaware. He was
in great favor with Washington, who appre-
ciated his courage, sagacity and patriotism.
Late in the year, an experienced commander
being needed on the western fronfier, Colonel
Crawford was sent to Fort Pitt to take com-
mand under Brigadier-General Edward
Hand. This removal cost him his place in the
Continental line which even Washington,
much to his regret, could not get restored.
He was in command of the Virginia militia
in the Indian country until the close of the
Revolution. In 1781 he retired from the ser-
vice and returned to his home, determined
to pass the remainder of his days in peace.
But this was not to be. Indian troubles made
it necessary to send an expedition to Ohio,
and at the earnest request of General Irvine,
in command at Fort Pitt, Colonel Crawford
took command of the expedition. He started
with 480 mounted men, the flower of the bor-
der, including many of the most experienced
Indian fighters of that section. The march
began May 25, 1782, the objective point be-
ing the Indian towns on the Upper Sandusky
and its object their destruction. While every
precaution was taken, the Indians, reinforced
by the British Rangers, succeeded in attack-
ing in both front and flank. The Americans
finally retreated after the loss of about 180
men, including their beloved commander, his
son John, his son-in-law Major Harrison, his
nephew and Dr. John Knight. The "Great
Captain," to the unspeakable joy of the In-
dians, was in their hands, and they were de-
termined to put him to death with all the
fiendish tortures that devilish malignity could
invent. Their intentions were carried out to
the letter. On June 11, at Upper Sandusky,
he was burned at the stake. After four hours
of the most excruciating torture his daunt-
less spirit took its flight from its cruelly mu-
tilated earthly tenement. Dr. Knight, who
was compelled to witness the torture of
Crawford, subsequently escaped and gave to
history a vivid and circumstantial account of
Crawford's frightful end.

Colonel Crawford's wife was Hannah
Vance. Her brother was the father of the
A'ance family of Tyrone township, and for a
century prominent in its afifairs. She bore
him three children: John, who accompanied
his father on his last fatal campaign, but es-
caped and subsequently settled on lands



along the Ohio; Sarah, married to Major
William Harrison, who also perished in the
Sandusky affair, and Effie, who married Will-
iam jMcCormick. The latter were the parents
of Judge Provance McCormick, father of
Jane McCormick, wife of Christian Snyder.
Children: Mary; Lillian Elizabeth, married
Charles L. Gray; George B., died August 7,
1909; and Henry Provance, of further men-
tion.

(II) Henry Provance, son of Christian
Snyder, was born in Connellsville, Pennsyl-
vania, August 2, 1856. He was educated in
the public schools and at Mount Pleasant
Academy. At the age of fifteen he became
his father's principal assistant in the Hian-
agement of his numerous interests. He acted
as bookkeeper and paymaster and did most
of the clerical work, just prior to this time
he graduated from the commercial school of
Thomas P. Forsythe, a famous teacher of his
time. Upon completing the course j\Ir. Sny-
der was presented with a certificate stating
that he was competent not only to keep
books, but to open and close them and "to
settle deranged partnership accounts." This
knowledge served him in good stead subse-
quently, when his activities brought him in
contact with numerous diversified industries
and actual connection with not a few.

In 1878 he began the study of law in the
office of P. S. Newmyer, of Connellsville. In
1879 the Connellsville Tri'^'nn^ became finan-
cially involved and was sold by the sheriff to
satisfy the claims of creditors. The ma-
chinery and materials were purchased by a
small group of progressive and public spir-
ited Connellsville business men, who felt that
a dead newspaper did not indicate a live
town. The paper was renamed The Courier
and Mr. Snyder, who had joined in its pur-
chase, was requested to become its editor.
He consented to so act temporarily, little
doubting, in the large confidence of youth,
his ability to become a successful lawyer and
editor at one and the same time. It soon
dawned upon him that he could not serve
both mistresses. He abandoned the law and
devoted his energies to making The Courier
what some of the highest critics subsequently
declared to be "a model weekly paper." He
became sole owner of the paper in 1891. In
1902 a dailv edition was established, which
soon acquired a phenomenal circulation. A



394



PENNSYLVANIA



Sunday edition was added in 1906, but the
panic of 1907 so limited its advertising reve-
nues that it was discontinued. The Courier
is a prosperous and influential newspaper.
The weekly edition is a recognized authority
on the statistics of Connellsville coke produc-
tion and output, its figures having for years
been accepted as authoritative by the coke
and iron interests, and by the industrial bu-
reaus of the State and the United States and
due credit given therefor in their official pub-
lications.

In addition to the management of his
newspapers Mr. Snyder has always been con-
nected more or less actively with numerous
other business interests. He has been en-
gaged in the lumber business in Pennsylvania
and the rice business in Louisiana ; he has
mingled in the management of various indus-
tries from a tin plate plant to a ferry com-
pany; he has been a bank director and man-
ager of building and loan associations; he
was secretary of the first chamber of com-
merce established in Connellsville, and was
for a time president of the present reorgan-
ized chamber; he is secretary and a life trus-
tee of the Carnegie Free Library, and a trus-
tee of the Cottage State Hospital. He has
been active in newspaper association work.
He has been prominent in the affairs of the
National Editorial Association; served as
president of the Pennsylvania State Editorial
Association early in its career, and is now
president of the Western Pennsylvania Asso-
ciated Dailies, which includes all the leading
daily newspapers of Western Pennsylvania
outside of Pittsburgh. His energies were
never confined to a single purpose, yet in all
he has succeeded very well, owing chiefly to
his keen foresight and restless mental
activity.

Mr. Snyder is naturally very much inter-
ested in local history, and has made some
valuable contributions thereto in the columns
of The Courier. A concise but comprehen-
sive historical address on the life and services
of Colonel William Crawford, delivered be-
fore the Washington County Historical So-
ciety, February 22, 1909, excited widespread
favorable comment, and applications for
printed copies were received by the author
from historical societies and universities all
over the country.

In politics Mr. Snyder has been a man of



strong convictions and earnest purposes. He
was reared a Democrat and continued in that
faith until 1896, when he refused to support
the Free Silver platform of the Democratic
party and identified himself with the Gold
Democracy. Four years later he supported
the Republican ticket, and he has been of that
political faith since. In his political changes
The Courier has faithfully reflected his views.
He never lacked the courage of his views on
questions, political or otherwise, and the
clientele of The Courier has always respected
them, no matter how' much it has differed
from them, because it has felt that they were
the courageous expression of conviction.

Mr. Snyder has never identified himself
with any church or secret society. His re-
ligion has been as broad as his charity and
his home life too happy to make lodge af-
filiations attractive. He is a member of a
number of purely social clubs and has been
prominent in Connellsville's social life.

He married (first) August 24, 1886, Jane,
daughter of David and Josephine (Emery)
Roberts, of Connellsville. David Roberts was
born in Wales, came to the United States,
where he married Josephine Emery. Mrs.
Jane Snyder died, 1902. He married (second)
January 25, 1905, Katharine Mclntyre,
daughter of Mrs. Alice (Kuhn) Mclntyre. of
McKeesport, a prominent family of Western
Pennsylvania, related to 'the Speer family of
Pittsburgh. Child of first wife: Jean, born
1887, educated at National Park Seminary,
Washington, and INIiss Capron's School for
Girls at Northampton, Massachusetts. Chil-
dren of second wife: Henry Provance (2),
born 1906; Alice Ivuhn, 1908; Josephine,
1909.



The Sn} ders of Dawson, Penn-
SXYDER sylvania, descend from a Ger-
man ancestry, the father of Jo-
seph C. Snyder being the first of his branch
to settle in the L^nited States. His grand-
parents lived and died in Germany. Their
children: John B., Louise and Louis; the two
latter lived rnd died in Germany.

(i) John B. Snyder was born in Essen,
Germany. July i, 1831, died in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, in 1899. He was well educated
in the German schools, and learned the ma-
chinist's trade, working in the great Krupp
works at Essen, the most famous iron works



FAYETTE COUNTY



395



in Europe, known perhaps best throughout
the world as the plant at which the great
Krupp guns are manufactured. He married
and remained at the Krupp work^ until 1869,
when he came to the United States with his
wife and her widowed mother. He settled
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was
employed as a machinist until his death, at the
J. & L. Iron and Steel works. He was
a devout member, with his wife, of the Ger-
man Lutheran church. He married Amelia
Woerman, born at Essen, Germany, May 15,
1839, died in Pittsburgh, May 13, 1887,
daughter of John and Louise Woerman, both
born in Germany, where John Woerman. a
farmer, died. His wife Louise accompanied
her daughter and son-in-law, John B. Snyder,
to lhe United States. Their children: Amelia
(of previous mention) ; Matilda, married John
Johnson, and resides in Baldwin township,
Allegheny county. Pennsylvania; Tillie, mar-
ried Dietrich Schmidt, and resides in Essen,
GernKiny; Augusta, married Augustus Pros-
ser, and resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Children of John B. Snyder: i. Hugo, died in
infancy. 2. Albert, died in infancy. 3. Joseph
(of whom furtiier). 4. Elizabeth, married
Charles Ashbaugh. head roller in the tin plate
mills at New Kensington, Pennsylvania,
where the farpily resides. 5. Henry, a bridge
builder, resides in New York City.

(II) Joseph, son of John B. Snyder, was
born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 28,
1874. He attended the public schools of that
city until he was fifteen years of age. then
became a wage earner at the Cunningham
Bottle Works, remaining one year; then at
the I^IcKee Glass Works on Tenth street,
Pittsburgh, one year; then two years at the
J. & L. Iron and Steel works. He then decided
to learn the machinist's trade, and entering the
repair shops of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie
railroad, served a four years' apprenticeship.
From 1892 until 1897 he was employed in
the McKees Rocks shops on locomotive re-
pairs. In 1899 he became foreman of the
machine shops of the Pressed Steel Car Com-
pany, continuing three years, then returning
to the nrchine shops of the Pittsburgh &
Lake Erie. Two months after his return he
was made foreman at the McKees Rocks
roundhouse, holding that position seven
years. In 1909 he was appointed general fore-



man of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie machine
shops at Dickerson Run, Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, and so continues. He is a most
skillful machinist and a capable manager of
men. Plis entire record with his companv is
one of efficiency and honorable service. He is
a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Con-
nellsviile, Pennsylvania; also of the Knights
of Malta, and the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. Politically he is a Democrat, and
now holds the oftice of school director at
Dawson, Pennsylvania, his home.

He married, January 14. 1897, Anna K. L.
Shuite, born in Pittsburgh. Pennsvlvania,
January 10, 1878, daughter of Henry and
Lisetta Shuite. both born in Germany, where
they were married, came to the United States
about 1875, and settled in Pittsburgh, where
Henry Shuite died ; his widow is still living
in that city. Children of Joseph and Anna
K. L. (Shuite) Snyder: Wilbert, born May
15, 1898; Alberta, October 20. 1899; Helen
K., March 18, 1902; Joseph C. (2), May 4,
1904.



This name dates in Pennsylvania
ARTIS to pre-revolutionary times. A
William Artis served in the war
for independence from Chester county, but
the Connellsville family descends from John
Artis, who came to Fayette county from Vir-
ginia at an early date. He met his death from
a filling tree near the town of Dunbar. He
married and left issue.

(II) Elijah, son of John Artis, was born
about 1786. He spent his life and died in
Fayette county. He was a teamster and a
worker around the charcoal furnaces, and is
said to have been a soldier of the war of 1812.
He married Sarah Dillinger, and left issue, in-
cluding: Jacob, of whom further; William,
enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and
Forty-second Regiment. Pennsylvania Volun-
teer Infantry, and was killed at the battle of
Fredericksburg.

(III) Jacob, son of Elijah Artis. was born
in Fayette county in 1816. He was a tinner
bv trade, and also a stationary engineer. He
enlisted during the civil war in Company H,
One Hundred and Forty-second Regiment,
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He mar-
ried Amanda Curry, whose mother. Hannah
(Bland) Curry, was of the old Virginia family



396



PEXXSYLVANIA



of that name. Curry, father of Amanda,

was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was
one of the defenders of Fort Henry, in Balti-
more harbor, when it was attacked by the
British. He died shortly after that war, and
his daughter Amanda was reared by an uncle,
John Bland. Hannah Curry, her mother,
then came to western Pennsylvania, and died
lit Connellsville. aged eighty years. Children
of Jacob and Amanda (Curry) Artis: i. Will-
iam Alexander, of whom further. 2. Oscar,
a molder by trade, died in Sacramento, Cah-
fornia, leaving a daughter. 3. Jacob Emery,
now of Connellsville. 4. George, died in in-
fancy. 5. Melissa, married James Cady, of
Connellsville. 6. Carrie, married George
Critchfield, of Mount Washington, Pennsyl-
vania.

(IV) William Alexander, son of Jacob
Artis, was born near Liberty (now Vander-
bilt), Pennsylvania, October 10, 1846. He was
educated in the public schools, but when the
civil war broke out enlisted, although very
young, in the same company as his father and
Uncle William — Company H, One Hundred
and Forty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania
\'olunteer Infantry. He was taken prisoner
at the battle of Fredericksburg, and for two
months was confined in Libbv prison. After
the exchange of prisoners began his name
was soon reached, the exchange being in
alphabetical order. He then rejoined his regi-
ment and fought at Gettysburg, where he re-
ceived four wounds. Later he was honorably
discharged and mustered out. After the war
he learned the tanner's trade and also en-
gaged in teaming. In 1882 he entered the
employ of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad as
wreck master, a position he still holds. His
work is highly commended by his superior
officers, who fully appreciate his valuable
services in times of disaster to the road. In
politics he is a Republican. In fraternal rela-
tion he is a member of the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, an order he joined in 1862,
and the Union Veteran Legion.

He married, in 1867, Theresa, born in
Uniontown, daughter of Simon and Mary
Ann (^Gorley) Samsell. Simon Samsell was
born in western \'irginia. came to Fayette
countv before the civil war, and served in
the I'nion army. He was a coach builder and
merchant before the war, but afterward lived



retired on account of ill health. He died
about 1880: his wife. Mary A. Samsell, died
aged seventy-two. They had fifteen children,
ten of whom grew to maturity. Children of
William Alexander Artis: i. Walter, born
July 8, 1870, married Jessie Calhoun; chil-
dren: Ada Bertha, Annabel. WilHam Robert.
2. Ada Mary, June 28, 1873, married Robert
Hamman, of Connellsville: children: Robert,
Ada ]\Iay. 3. Annabel, December 24, 1875,
died in youthful womanhood, June 30, 1899.
4. Daisy Ellen, born November 15, 1879; died
June 13, 19 10, married John Colhns; chil-
dren: Helen, William, John, James Edward.



While the spelling of this name
RIST would indicate German origin, it
was brought to the United States
from Scotland, where Conrad and Helen Rist
were born, lived and married. On coming to
this country they first located in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, where they remained two years,
and where Conrad worked at his trade of
boat builder or ship carpenter. They then
came to Tayette county, where both died.
Children: Conrad (2), became a farmer of
Kansas, where he died; John H., of whom fur-
ther; Katherine. died at Bradford, Pennsyl-
vania, m.arried John Orbin; Eliza, died at
Bradford, married Henry Orbin.

(II) John H., son of Conrad (i) Rist, was
born in Fayette county. Pennsylvania, died
October 26, 1876. He received a good edu-
cation, and for many years engaged in teach-
ing; later became a farmer. He was a Demo-
crat, and a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church. Toward the close of the civil
war he was drafted and served his term. He
married Katherine C. Bally, born in Fayette
county. May 2, 1843. She married (second)
James E. Sidebottom. of Connellsville. Chil-
dren of John H. Rist: i. George T., of whom
further. 2. Charles H., now hving in Con-
neaut, Ohio. 3. John S., now of Cincinnati,
Ohio. 4. Molly, married William Cole, of
Pittsburgh. 5. Anna Kate, died in infancy.

(HI) George T., son of John H. Rist. was
bom in Connellsvlle, March 17, 1864. He
was educated in the public schools. His first
employment was a brakeman on the Balti-
more & Ohio railroad, later being advanced
to conductor. After twelve years" service he
let: that company and for three years was



FAYETTE COUXTY



.^97



conductor on the Pennsylvania railroad. He
then for the next ten years was in the employ
of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, making his
home in West Xewton. Pennsylvania. In
i8y9 he returned to the employ Qt the Balti-
more & Ohio railroad, and until 1910 held the
position of conductor. In 1910 he left the
company, .md ha; since been night watchman
at Broad Ford for Overholt & Company. In
1909 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Fay-
ette county, and is now holding both the last
named positions. He is a Republican in poli-
tics, and a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church. He also belongs to the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and the Order
of Railway Conductors.

He married, January 9, 1S98, Anna Mary
Nicholson, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth
(^Myers') Nicholson, of Somerset county,
Pennsylvania. Peter Nicholson is a farmer
and large land owner. Children of George T.
Rist: Anna Marie, born December 11. 1896;
Dewey L.. November 30, 1898: Leo M., April
18, 1901 : James H., August 2},. 1904; John T.,
December 2},, 1907.



In the Province of Alsace-
HIRLEMAN Lorraine George Hirleman
was born in 17S2. of French
parentage. He grew to manhood there, and
when Napoleon Bonaparte had so impressed
his genius upon France that in 1804 he was
crowned emperor, George Hirleman became
a soldier and devoted follower of that greatest
soldier of Europe. For iour years he fol-
lowed the fortune of his emperor, years of
Napoleon's greatest military glory, including
the victories of Austerlitz, December 2, 1805,
v%hen he defeated the Austrians and Russians,
and dictated terms in the Austrian capital,
Vienna ; Jena, where he again defeated them
with an added ally, Prussia; captured Berlin,
and dictated his terms from that capital.
These and other battles were participated iii
by George Hirleman. who, during part of his
military service, was a part of the emperor's
personal guard. He left the army before al-
lied Europe had overthrown Napoleon or
even occasioned temporary reverse to dim the
glory of that great chieftain. He saw the
abdication, the return from Elba, the one hun-
dred days of restored power, the final over-
throw at Waterloo, June 18, 181 5, and the



restoration of Louis XMII to the throne of
France. After his marriage George Hirle-
nian came to the United States about 1823,
first settling at Germantown. Pennsylvania.
Later he bought a farm near PottsviDe. which
is still owned in the family. Here he lived
until his death in 1882. lacking one day of
bemg one hundred years and two months of
age. His wife, ^Martha, preceded him to the
grave, aged ninety-five years. Both retained
their power of mind and a goodly amount of
bodily vigor until their very last davs. The
old French soldier never tired of extolling the
greatness of his beloved emperor, and to gain
his friendship it was only necessary to ex-
press admiration for Napoleon. Children:
George, died on his farm near Bloomsburg,
Pennsylvania : Henr\- : Philip, of whom fur-
ther; Adeline, married Frederick Beck; Sa-
rah, married George Beck; Barbara, now
aged eighty years, married Henry Shappell
and is the last survivor of the family.

(II) Philip, son of George Hirleinan, was
born in Alsace-Lorraine, now part of the
German empire. He came to the United
States in the same party as his father and
future wife. He worked at various occupa-
tions, teamster, etc., finally becoming a boat-
man en the Schuylkill canal, being so engaged
until his death in 1861. the result of accidental
injury. He married, in Pennsylvania, Eva
Wagner, died in 1902, daughter of German
parents, who died m Germany. Thev were
both members of the Lutheran church. Chil-
dren : Louisa : Matilda ; Edward, now of Read-
ing. Pennsylvania ; Daniel Thomas, of whom
further; Sophia, married Abraham \"annatta.
and died in Connellsville. Pennsylvania ; Ella,
married, and lives in Deep Water. Connecti-
cut; B. Frank; Philip Jacob; John, died aged
four years.

(III) Daniel Thomas, son of Philip and Eva
(Wagner) Hirleman, was born in Schuylkill
Haven, Pennsylvania, December 16, 1852.
He attended school until he was eight years
of age, then went on the cp.nal with his father.
With the exception of two winters he had no
further schooling, but continued on the canal
until 1877. Then he became fireman on the
Catawissa railroad, continuing two years.
From this branch road he was promoted to
a run on the main line of the Philadelphia &
Reading rs conductor, continuing until 1890,



39«



PENNSYLVANIA



excepting three years spent as despatcher at
Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1850 he ran
lor a few months on the Pittsburgh, Fort
Wayne & Chicago; then in 1891 located in
Connellfiville, Pennsylvania, where for a time
he was in the meat business. In 1897 he
entered the employ of the Baltimore] & Ohio
railroad, first as brakeman, but was soon pro-
moted conductor. In 1901 he resigned, and
has since been engaged as a public works
contractor, being senior member of Hirleman
& Guard. This is a successful firm and one
that has faithfully executed many important
contracts with the city of Connellsville for
sewer construction, etc. Mr. Hirleman is an
Independent in politics. For twenty-six yeo'rs
he has been a member of the Order of Rail-
way Conductors, and is deputy grand cor.i-
mander of the Knights of Malta.

He married, June i, 1890, Geneva Yates,
born in Connellsville, daughter of James H.
and Mary Josephine (Garver) Yates. Her
grandfather, William (2) Yates, born in Man-
chester, England, crime to the United States at
the age of twenty-one years, joining his pa-
rents, William (i) and Margaret (Tinsley)
Yates, who had preceded him. William (2)
Yates was a weaver, as was his father, and
together they operated a factory, manufac-
turing laces, suspenders, etc. He spent two
years in Connellsville, but died in Philadel-
phia, Pennsylvania, aged ninety-seven years.
He married Margaret Graham, born near
Philadelphia. His son, James H. Yates, was
born January 12, 1840, in Somerset county.
Pennsylvania. He was a railroad man and a
soldier of the civil war, serving three years
in the Eleventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Re-
serves, and one year in the Twenty-second
Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was en-
gaged in thiiteen battles, including the sec-
ond battle of P>ull Run, Antietam, Fredericks-



Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 17 of 57)