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Full text of ""A visit to Annville sixty years ago.""

ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 




3 1833 01766 0652 



PAPER READ 



GENEALOGY 

L49L 
V.1, 

N0.8 



BEFORE THE 




Lebanon County Historical Society 



ON 



JUNE 16, 1899 



A Visit to Annville Sixty Years Ago. 



BY 



E. BENJ. BIERMAN, Ph.D. 



ANNVILLE, PA. 



Vol. 1. No. 8 



PAPER READ 



BEFORE THE 



Lebanon County Historical Society 



ON 



JUNE 16, 1899 



"A Visit to Annville Sixty Years Ago. 



BY 



E. BENJ. BIERMAN, Ph.D. 

ANNVILLE, PA. 



Vol. 1. No. 8 



LEBANON. PA. 
VVkiglky & Co., Printers 



"A Visit to Annville Sixty Years Ago." 



E. BENJ. BIERMAN, Ph. D. 



In his " Advancement of Learning," Lord Bacon says: " In- 
dustrious persons by an exact and scrupulous diligence and 
observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, 
private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of 
books that concern not story, and the like, do save and recover 
somewhat from the deluge of time." 

In the gathering of the contents of this paper I have been 
obliged to resort to the majority, if not all, of the sources of 
information enumerated by the writer here quoted. 

Sixty years ago witnessed the declining years of Martin Van 
Buren's administration of our national affairs. 

Van Buren was a man of great tact and uncommon shrewdness, 
and except under the stress of party discipline he was patriotic as 
well as sagacious, nor was he a bad president. Overwhelmed by 
the financial crisis of 1837 when commercial ruin and repudiation 
filled the land, and though the President showed no want of 
coolness or resource, nothing could avert the effects of public 
calamity on the reputation of the government and the party in 
power. While on a canvassing tour from Harrisburg to Reading, 
in the month of June, 1839, President Van Buren, with some of 
his political associates made a brief stop at one of our hotels in 
Annville. Several of our older citizens distinctly recall this event 
and of their having paid their respects to him and his associates. 
The carriage of the party was drawn by beautiful bay horses. 
Politics was running high. Indeed the country has never known 
a more excited canvass except during the late civil war than was 
then pending. The Whigs and the Democrats were the two great 
parties which disputed for victory. 

Orators whose names are forever identified with the classic 
period of American eloquence ; statesmen who were probing and 
settling principles of constitutional law for coming generations ; 
sagacious men, of all pursuits of life, were experimenting in the 
problems of banking, protection, free trade, of slave and free labor, 
of colonization, of internal improvements. Soldiers, whose laurels 



136 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

won in the late war with England had scarcely yet withered, and, 
who jealous of every possible encroachment of the mother country, 
were eagerly watching for the adjustment of all difficulties between 
the two nations on a satisfactory basis — these all were interested 
in the proper solution of the national problems in 1839. 

The illustrious triumvirs — Clay, Webster and Calhoun — and 
many others of hardly less fame, such as Benton, Preston, Wright 
and Buchanan occupied seats in the American Senate. Confidence 
was destroyed and trade in general was not recovering very rapidly. 

The people looked forward, looked for a change in our 
government before they could hope for better times. 

David Rittenhouse Porter, a man a little over fifty years of age, 
of thorough classical training, an ex-State Senator, was governor of 
the State, 

At the opening of the year the whole State was thrown into an 
unusual political excitement by the so-called M Buck-shot War," and 
this was not without its effect on the patriotic citizens of our county 
and village. 

Annville, sixty years ago, had by actual count one hundred 
and fourteen houses occupied by families as private residences or as 
business places ; all these buildings were of log, rough stone or frame, 
with the exception of three — one on the north-west corner of Main 
and Whiteoak streets, one on the south-west corner of Main and 
King streets, and one on the south-east corner of Main and Mill 
streets — which were of brick, and the probable population was 
between five and six hundred. By the official census of the fol- 
lowing year Lebanon county had a population of 21,872, and 
Annville township, including the two divisions of north and south, 
2,649. There were also 689 white persons over twenty years of age, 
reported for the county, who could neither read or write. 

Two church edifices only are found in the town. The Jerus- 
alem Union German Reformed and Lutheran Church, now called 
Christ's Reformed Church, near South Whiteoak Street, which was 
erected in 1804, and the United Brethren Church, on Queen Street 
near Mill Street, in the south-western section of the village, erected 
in the year 1820 or 1821. The Rev. Henry Wagner, residing at 
Lebanon, was the pastor of the Reformed congregation, and the 
Rev. Jonathan Ruthrauff, also residing at Lebanon, was the pastor 
of the Lutheran congregation. The former having charge of the 
First Reformed Church and the latter of Salem Evangelical Luth- 
eran, both located in the town of Lebanon. 

These congregations were then as they were for many years 
afterward, as well as before, supplied with preaching by ministers 
stationed at the county seat. 

The United Brethren Church was part of a large circuit under 
the supervision of a presiding elder and the Rev. Casper Light was 
pastor. 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO. 137 

The best informed citizens of the town tell me that the Penn- 
sylvania Dutch was then spoken by everybody, man, woman and 
child, and that but few made use of the English language. 

There were three school buildings in town. The one-story 
academy building of lime stone on the south side of Main street, 
almost opposite Peter Graybill's present residence, which was in 
charge of a Miss Rohrer as principal, where the so-called higher 
branches were taught ; and two others for instruction in the 
common school branches. One a log building on the south-west 
corner of Whiteoak and Queen streets and the other of frame at 
the south-west corner of Chestnut and Queen streets. Both 
buildings are still standing and are occupied as private residences. 

Mr. George C. Strine, a German by birth, and a man of fine 
educational qualifications, was the teacher of the school at the 
corner of Whiteoak and Queen streets at this time 
and for many years previous, as well as later. The salary paid to 
the teacher was from two to three cents a day for each pupil 
attending. Strine's private residence was the school building. He 
also followed conveyancing and scrivening, as the following an- 
nouncement appears in the "Lebanon Democrat" of that day : 
'•The subscriber respectfully informs his friends and the public 
generally that he has commenced the practice of Conveyancing and 
Scrivening in all the different branches. His residence is near the 
church in Millerstown, Lebanon county, where all instruments of 
writing will be executed with great care and attention as he has 
long been acquainted with the above business. George C. Strine." 

A Sunday-school under the direction and management of the 
members of the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations was 
among the agencies to promote the spiritual instruction of the 
children of the town, and among its workers were Mr. John 
Shertzer, the superintendent, John D. Biever, Adam Ulnch, Jacob 
Shertzer and Daniel Stine. 

John D, Biever, born June 5, 1812, died April 5, 1880, was 
then a young man of twenty-seven years and engaged in the tanning 
business on Whiteoak street, south of Main. He was a prominent 
teacher and superintendent of the Sunday-school for many years 
and a valued and faithful member of the Lutheran Church to the 
day of his death. 

As my visitor approaches the town from the eist the first house 
that meets his eye is on the northeast corner of Main and Manheim 
streets, Mrs. Elizabeth Brightbill's present residence, occupied by 
Dr. Gideon Fahnestock, born April 27, 1804, died May 4, 1866, a 
young and ambitious physician of thirty-five years, with a successful 
practice. He visits his country patients on horseback and is fre- 
quently obliged to call several horses into service to reach his 



138 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

numerous patients. The house he then occupied is now located on 
the opposite side of the street and is still used as a private residence. 

A large blacksmith shop is in sight at the southwest corner of the 
street, Dr. Marshall's present residence. 

Mr. Philip Carmany, born March 1, 1794, died April 15, 1873, 
a man of forty-five, is the owner, and one who can swing the ham- 
mer to some purpose. It is related of him that on a certain occasion 
after completing a job for a neighbor his bill for the work was 
pronounced exorbitant when he looked up sternly and replied : 
" Why Ich muss viel charche for an lewe zu macha for Ich habsehr 
wenig tzu do." 

On the south side of the street we find a large hat manufactory 
under the superintendence and ownership of Charles Arndt, jr., 
born March 21, 1807, died November 15, 1888, a stalwart, well 
built young man of thirty-two years, who was afterwards (1842— '45) 
honored with the office of Register of Wills of the county. 

Among the hatters of the town we also find the firm of Philip 
and Daniel Stein (P. & D. Stein) father and son, located on the 
south side of Main street, near the east end of the square. Philip, 
born 1779, died August 11, 1850, the father, was a man of sixty 
years, ripe in judgment and sagacious in business. Daniel, the son, 
born May 16, 181 1, died January 9, 1894 was in the prime of life, 
twenty-eight years of age, enterprising and industrious, enjoying 
the confidence of the people to an unusual degree and in after years 
honored with the office of Justice of the Peace for five full terms. 

William Fegan also carried on the business of a hatter on West 
Main street, on the north side, near Cherry street. 

The manufacture of silk and felt hats was a leading business of 
this town sixty years ago, many hands were employed, and the 
trade extended over a large territory. 

As we proceed west from Arndt' s hat factory we soon reach the 
old pump in front of Peter Bachman's home, Peter Graybill's 
present residence, on the north side of Main street. Here many 
a weary traveler slaked his thirst ; here many a thirsty vdlager drank 
to satiety and bathed his fevered brow to find relief in the cooling 
waters. What a benediction a well of good water is to a town t 
Sky-mated, related, Earth's holiest daughter ! 
Not the hot kiss of wine 
Is half so divine 
As the sip of thy lip, inspiring Cold Water. 

— Coles. 

Among the wells then in use are the following in addition to 
the one already named : Stine's on Main street, south side, near the 
scpuare ; Messinger's on Main, north side, near Letitia alley ; 
Johnson's Hotel, north-west corner of Main and King streets ; 
Hoverter's store on Main and Chestnut streets, near the alley ; 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO. 139 

Boger's blacksmith shop on Main street, opposite the Black Horse 
Hotel, and one on the northwest corner of Main and Mill streets. 
There were also wells of excellent water on Beaver's tanyard, on the 
lot of north-east corner of Queen street and Letitia alley, and one 
on Cherry street, north of Main, not far from John Graybill's 
present residence. 

On the south-west corner of Main and Whiteoak streets is 
Henning's Hotel, kept by Jacob Henning, born December 10, 1788, 
died June 12, 1857, the present site of Hotel Eagle, one of the 
leading hostelries of the village. The landlord is popular and the 
patronage large. 

But hark ! do you hear that noise in the distance ? The stage 
is coming ! With what notes of preparation it enters the little 
village on the old turnpike road. All the town are at their doors, 
and every lower pane of glass is a juvenile face in a frame to see 
who has come and who is going, and all about it. How the old 
coach rattles and plunges down the hill — how it rushes over the 
bridge at the west end — with what professional skill the driver 
draws his long whip from the top of the coach and makes its lash 
ring again and again to the leader's right and left — with what a 
sweep he whirls up before the hotel, and reins his prancers in, till 
the coach rattles and rocks like a ship ashore ! The latest news is 
here from the West. The postmaster comes across the street for 
the mail. The maid stays her hand at the well to see who gets out 
— a cloud of steam rises from the glittering coats of the panting 
team of four. But, after a brief stay the mailbag is swung beneath 
the driver's feet, the passengers are gathered, the door is flung to 
with a slam — a short, sharp call of " all right " from the drowsy 
handler of the lines, and crack, smack, clatter, swing, and away 
rolls the coach for Lebanon and the east and with it, the day's 
excitement of the village. In the crowd of bystanders during the 
arrival and departure of the stage is Paul Frank, a short, chunky, 
jolly fat fellow who lives a short distance north of town, and who is 
the vendue-crier ; Samuel Achenbach, of thirty -two, a sedate and 
industrious shoemaker ; David Seabold, fifty-two, a leading stone 
mason; Daniel Bingaman, an aged carpet and linen weaver; 
Christian Hoverter, sr., a retired blacksmith of wide acquaintance ; 
Rudolph Boltz, a popular carpenter, and his son Joel, and Adam 
Faust, a well-to-do gentleman of the town. 

The Black Horse Hotel on Main street, south side, west of 
Chestnut street, kept by Adam Miller, sr., born January 6, 1776, 
died May 13, 1840, a man somewhat advanced in life, being 
sixty-three years of age, is another hotel of large patronage. On 
the north side, almost opposite, Adam Miller, jr., carries on the 
shoemaker's trade very extensively, employing many hands and 
turning out excellent work. George Peter, Henry Peter, Isaac Fry 
and Henry Black are among his employes of that day. The black- 



140 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

smith shop near by on the same side of the street is owned and 
managed by Thomas Boger, born March 6, 1810, died January 28, 
1886. He is in his thirtieth year, is a skillful mechanic, manages 
well and his customers are numerous. 

The Millers, father and son, rank well among the most practical 
enterprising business men of the town. The great grandfather was 
the founder of the town — Annville — so called Millerstown for 
nearly a century after its founding in 1762. 

A third is Lewis Gilbert's Hotel on Main street, south side, a 
short distance west of the public square. This hotel was the 
stopping place of President Van Buren and party on their visit in 
June, 1839. The house — a rough stone — is still standing and 
used as a private residence. 

The fourth public house is " The Golden Swan," now known 
as the Pennsylvania House, north-west corner of Main and King 
streets, kept by Jacob Johnson, who is an accommodating landlord 
and in favor with the people. 

Mr. Jeremiah Boehm carries on the mercantile business next 
door west of the hotel. Boehm was active in politics and upon the 
accession of General William Henry Harrison to the Presidency he 
was appointed postmaster of the town. After President Harrison's 
death Vice President Tyler succeeded him and because of some 
objectionable measures adopted or advocated by the new adminis- 
tration Postmaster Boehm turned the portrait of Tyler, which he 
had hanging in his office, either up-side down or with the face to 
the wall. This unwise act was reported to the men in power at 
Washington and Postmaster Boehm was promptly removed from 
office. 

But now let us cross the street from Henning's Hotel and call 
upon Mr. John Schertzer, born April 1, 1799, died September 30, 
1854, who with his brother, Jacob Schertzer, born December 5, 
1802, died July 14, 1881, is doing business under the firm name of 
John Schertzer and Brother. The house is now occupied by the 
firm of Shenk & Kinports. Mr. Shertzer is one of the foremost 
citizens of the town, thirty-nine years of age, medium height, 
well built, dark hair and dark black eyes, a keen and yet benign 
countenance, and withal great decision of character, speaks both 
languages fluently and correctly, has scholarly tastes and is popular 
with all the people. Is married to a lady originally from the city 
of Philadelphia, has a family of interesting children, is a promi- 
ment member of the Lutheran Church and a hard worker in the 
Sunday school and resides comfortably in a fine brick house on the 
north-west corner of Main and Whiteoak streets. The house is 
now occupied by the writer, with the postorfice in the front room 
on the first floor. 

On the south side of Main Street, almost opposite Schertzer's 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO " 141 

store, near the square we enter the office of Dr. Henry Stine, 
born October 22, 1807, died May 16, 1861, a scholarly gentleman 
thirty-two years of age, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, 
class of 1828 and a popular physician. His practice is large and 
growing. On public gatherings or Fourth of July celebrations he 
is usually the orator of the day. 

At the east end of the square there lived for many years 
Stoffel Ruecke'd, a practical dyer, and a man with a keen eye to 
business. Honest and straightforwarded in his dealings. He died 
in 1833, but his widow lived to November 12, 1842. It is related 
of him that on making settlement with one of his customers the 
accounts balanced within»a half a cent in Stoffel's favor. 

The half cent was not paid on the day of settlement but that 
on meeting his creditor several months afterwards Stoffel did not 
fail to demand payment. 

Immediately opposite on the north side of the street are 
found two interesting maiden ladies, Mary Marshall born April 
17, 1790, died September 18, 1867, and Elizabeth Marshall born 
March 3, 1798, died March 20, 1877. These ladies are popularly 
known as Polly and Betsy Marshall respectively. Both in full ma- 
turity of life, forty-nine and forty-two, they are women of in- 
fluence, of positive convictions, well informed in all matters of 
general interest and hold the esteem of all who know them. 

" Two women faster wedded in one love 
Then pairs of wedlock. — " 

Perhaps there is no species of friendship more sure to elude 
publicity than that subsisting between sisters. It plays its undra- 
matic part in domestic scenes, avoiding rather than asking the 
notice of the world. 

These women dwelt together for over seventy-five years in en- 
tire and fervent affection, and now sleep side by side in their 
grave on Evergreen cemetery. 

Passing along the square on the east side we reach the corner 
of Lancaster street, the home of Mr. John Barth born February 
11, 1798, died June 26, 1879, a well-built gentleman of forty. one 
years who is employed as cloth and carpet weaver. The house in 
which he lives is a fine two-story building erected in 1799. Al- 
though a hundred years old it is still in fair condition and has 
undergone less changes than any building for its age in town. 

On the same side of the street a few doors above Lancaster 
you will find Mr. John F. Miller's store. He deals in general 
merchandise. 

Just across the street on the northwest corner of Main and 
Lancas.er Streets we are greeted by another of Annville's most suc- 
cessful and popular citizens and merchants, Mr. John Killinger 



142 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

born February 22, 1797, died September 17, 1S60, a man in the 
prime of life, forty-two years of age, tall in stature, well built, 
with a keen eye and of more than ordinary enterprise and intel- 
ligence. 

During the sessions of 1837-38 of the State legislature Mr. 
John Killinger served as member of the lower house, and in 
1839-40 he occupied a seat in the State Senate with great credit to 
himself and the entire satisfaction of his constituency. His wife, 
Fannie, is a sister of Mr. John Schertzer and the mother .)f an in- 
terestsng family of children, among whom we find John W. 
Killinger, born September 18, 1825, died June 30, 1896, after- 
wards a member of Congress, a youth at fourteen preparing to 
enter Marshall College, at Mercersburg, at the opening of the fall 
term. 

A few doors farther west on the northeast corner of Main 
street and Letitia alley we find Dr. John G. Marshall's comfort- 
able home and office, and as we enter we are courteously received 
by the genial doctor and tendered a seat. 

Dr. Marshall born February 10, 1793, died December 13, 
1846, is forty-six years of age, a graduate of the medical depart- 
ment of the University of Pennsylvania, class of 1819, the senior 
in years and practice of his medical associates of the town, and by 
instinct and training an eminently successful member of the heal- 
ing art. To set a broken limb or to amputate a malignant or 
crushed member of the body is his forte and delight. His prac- 
tice is extensive in town and country. He is a son of David Mar- 
shall, born January 21, 1749, died September 4, 1832, who was a 
successful doctor here for many years. 

Across the alley on the same side of the street William Mel- 
linger has a tinsmith shop. 

The wheelwright trade is carrid on extensively by John 
Stroh on the southwest corner of Main and Chestnut streets, and 
by Henry Fisher, aged forty-six years, on West Main street, near 
Cherry. 

Joseph Andrews is the clock and watch maker and repairer, of 
the town. It is said that Andrews spent many years in the effort 
to make a clock that would run six months without re winding but 
that he never succeeded. 

The Raiguel Mill, owned and managed by Abraham Raiguel, 
jr., born January 25, 1796, died August 9, 1849, south 
of town, and the Herr Mill, owned by Abraham Herr, born 
August 12, 1794, died October 25, 1857, at the west end of town, 
supply the village and vicinity with flour and (cc^\, as the mana- 
gers of these mills do at the present day to a large extent. 

The fine stone bridge, 180 feet in length, with three arches, 
across the Quittapahilla creek near Raiguel's Mill, was built during 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO. 143 

the year 1S39 by the commissioners of the county under the 
supervision of Messrs. John D. Biever and Pb.il.ip Imboden. 

Daniel Stroh, born Augnst 27, 1771, died January 9, 1863, 
lives on the northeast corner of Main and Lancaster, and follows 
wood turning and chair making. 

On the north-west corner of King and Queen streets in a 
two-story frame house lives Mr. Leonard Nye, born March 
1797, died June 13, 1876. He is a carpenter by trade and the 
leading undertaker of the town. 

His son, William C. Nye, born February 15, 1822, assists 
him in his work. 

Near the west end of the village my visitor met one of its 
younger citizens who kindly invited him to be seated by saying in 
the popular dialect of the day; "Nemm dir ein sitz und mach 
dich bequem," and then in his own peculiar way volunteered the 
following information: 

"There are several quite old people in our town. Why not 
go to see them? Among them you will find Mrs. Anna Katrina 
Reddich,born May 9, 1760, died December 16,1855, who is in her 
eightieth year. Mrs. Juliana Ulrich,born November 10,1747, died 
April 15, 1842, who is nearly ninety-two years old, and Mr. John 
Shertzer, sr., born July 23, 1766, died October 1, 1847, wno i s 
seventy- three years old. We buried one of the oldest women of 
the town last winter, Mrs. Dorothy Ulrich, born May 7, 1749, 
died February 16, 1839, widow of Martin Ulrich, who was in her 
ninetieth year. Her husband died fourteen years ago. 

"Only a few days ago we buried Mr. Abraham Shenk, born 
June 2, 1790, died July 31, 1839, one of our farmers near town. 
Hs leaves a family of six children, the youngest is a boy, David 
O., of five years. Mr. Shenk was a very industrious, hardworking 
farmer and his early death is greatly lamented." David O. Shenk 
is now the successful merchant of our town and the senior mem- 
ber of the firm of Shenk and Kinports. 

"Did you meet Mr. Joseph Smith, born September 1,1795, died 
Sept. 16, 1862, the tinker, near the corner of Main and King 
streets today? He is a man of middle life and full of business 
enterprise. His son, John N. Smith, who is about eighteen, 
works at the cooper trade. 

"George Rigler, born March 29, 1817, died March 26, 1889, 
is a young man of twenty-two in the very prime of life and was 
married about a year ago. He is in the butchering business and 
with the energy and foresight he possesses, is sure to succeed. 

"Mr. John Ward, born April 14, i79i,died April 24,1853, on 
the north. east corner of Main and Cherry streets, is one of our 
successful tailors. John Uhler, born February 8, 1804, died Sep- 
tember 20, 1871, is another. Martin Funk, just of age, promises 



144 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

to become a successful shoemaker, and John Troxel, born January 
8, 1800, died November 1, 1S78, is our cabinet maker. 

"Do you hear that call? That is Mr. CasselFs parrot over 
there, just two doors below where you see those boys play marble. 
Playing marble and town ball are popular games in our town. 

"Those old gentlemen you see sitting over there and talking 
are Christian Cassel, born 1764, died 1852, and several of his 
friends. They spend much of their time that way. 

"Christian Hoverter, jr., born October 15, 1802, died Feb- 
ruary 9, 1880, keeps store on the north-east corner of Main and 
Chestnut streets and is doing a thriving business. The young 
man employed by him is John H. Kinports, born January 21, 
1821, died March 8, 1893. He was formerly with Mr. James 
Bingham in the same place. He is only eighteen years old but 
makes an excellent clerk.'' Judge Kinports was afterwards clerk 
of the Orphans' Court, (1851-1854) and associate judge, (1866- 
1876) of the county for ten years. 

"Peter Black, born December 15, 1783. died August 9, 1862, 
is our constable. He is a very industrious and efficient officer. 

"He is the father of David Black, born February 8, 181 2, died 
December 11,1871, one of our stone masons." These are the parent 
and grand parent of Mr. John H. Black, who is now extensively 
engaged in the marble and granite stoue business. 

"On the north-west corner of Main and Chestnut streets, 
Thomas McGinley, the chairmaker, has his shop. Walter Clarke 
also makes chairs. lie lives a little farther west on the other side 
of the street. 

"Fred Gelbach is our saddler, Peter Berry, one of our gun- 
smiths, Martin Funk, one of our leading shoemakers, and George 
Hix our broom and basket manufacturer 

"There are but few shade trees on theMain street of our town. 

"You will find a large willow tree near Mr. Stein's hat factory 
and several tall poplar trees in front of Mr. Stroh's residence. 

"The Harrisburg and Reading Turnpike Company keeps it 
road bed in excellent condition. 

"Well, as to the morals of our people I can report favorably. 

"There are no special evils prevalent in our midst, and our 
justice of the peace Mr. Adam Miller, jr., whom you see crossing 
the street over there, says there are no cases unadjusted on his 
docket. 

"Christian Lessley, born November 15, 18 18, who has his 
blacksmith shop next door to the south-west corner of Main and 
Cherry streets, was married to Mary Mase, born November 9, 
1820, last fall. He learned his trade with Mr. Thomas Hoger and 
is now kept busy every day in his own shop." 

These two aged people still live happy and contented a few 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO." 145 

doors west of their former home, and Mr. Lessley is at this writ- 
ing the oldest citizen of our town. 

"Though old he still retains his manly sense, 
And still remembers that he once was young, 
No chronic tortures rack his aged limb, 
For luxury and sloth have nourished none for him." 
To Mr. and Mrs. Lessley, John A. Bodenhorn, Peter Gray- 
bill, John N. Smith, Andrew Kreider, William C. Nye and Joel 
Boltz, the writer is under many obligations for information fur- 
nished. 

The system of militia carried on in the state at this time was 
active and successful in Lebanon county, and Annville had an 
organized volunteer infantry company called the "Annville 
Guards." The militia men were paraded and trained in May of 
each year; first in companies on the first Monday of the month 
and afterwards in battalions. "Battalion Day" was set apart as a 
holiday, and these military services and parades beyond their 
utility, provided great amusement for the people. 

The following is almost the complete muster roll of the com- 
pany : 

Cyrus Cormany, Captain. 
John D. Biever, First Lieutenant. 
John Alwein, Seeond Lieutenant. 
William Aston Peter Howard 

Henry Ault Martin Kochenderfer 

William Ault Richard Lemmer 

John Benson Christian Lessley 

Conrad Berry Henry Marquart 

William Beaver Adam Miller, jr. 

John F. Beaver Jacob Miller 

Robert Bingham John F. Miller 

David Black George Miller 

Henry Black Thomas Miller 

Henry Blauch Christopher Miller 

Joel Boltz George Peter 

Henry Cormany William Sanders 

John Cormany Daniel Seabold 

John Daniel William Seabold 

Hamilton Dixon Christian Shenk 

Henry Ellenberger George Sheffy 

James Forney Curtis Smith 

John Forney John N. Smith 

Peter Forney John Spotts 

John Frantz David Spotts 

Israel Gruber Miller Stambaugh 

Smith Glenn George Stein 



146 LEBANON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 

Jno. A. Heilman John Stroh 

Ephraim Heilman William Troxel 

Jacob Henning Adam Thomas 
Peter F. Houser 

The following is a copy of an honorable discharge granted all 
those who faithfully served the term of seven years : 

" We, Walter Clarke, formerly captain, duly commissioned, 
and Cyrus Cormany, captain at the present time, duly commis- 
sioned, and commanding the organized Volunteer Infantry Com- 
pany, called the "Annville Guards," now attached to the Inde- 
pendent Battalion of Lebanon County, composed of the Lebanon 
County Cavalry, the Annville Guards, and the Independent 
Guards, Pennsylvania Militia, Do Hereby Certify, by virtue of 
the tenth section of the Militia Law of the 24th day of March, 
A. D., 1818, That Israel Gruber, corporal, enrolled, uniformed, 
and equipped himself, and faithfully served as a member of said 
compaay, for the space of seven successive years, commencing on 
the 16th of August, 1834, And is therefore exempted from Militia 
Duty, except in time of an invasion, insurrection, or actual war, 
and is entitled to be honorably discharged. 

Witness our hands at Annville, the 16th day of August, A. 

D., 1841. 

Cyrus Cormany, Captain, 
Tohn D. Biever. First Lieutenant. 
John Alwein, Second Lieutenant. 
Major, Frederick Embich." 

Joel Boltz aud Ephraim Heilman, both still living also hold 
papers of like character. 

Israel Gruber, born August 30, 1813, died December 21,1897, 
stone mason and brick layer, was the father of Captain David A. 
Gruber born December 17, 1 841, who distinguished himself for 
bravery in the late Civil War. 

On the north-west corner of King street and Lebanon alley 
stood the Engine House in which was kept a small hand-engine, 
this with the aid of the "bucket brigade" did noble service 
for many years. 

Sixty years ago everybody burned wood. If there was any 
coal, charcoal excepted, above ground but few knew it or used it. 
Fireplaces were mostly used for heating as well as for cooking 
purposes. To " keep fire " was one of the things necessary in 
every household. A chunk of partly-burned hickory wood was the 
best for this use. It was carefully covered over with ashes, and if 
the wood was all right, and the covering properly done, we were 
pretty sure to have fire in the morning. 



"A VISIT TO ANNVILLE SIXTY YEARS AGO. 1 47 

But occasionally it was found that there was not a coal or 
even a spark left. Then steel and flint and punk and tow had to 
be resorted to. When they were wanting the old flint-lock was 
brought out. The pan was filled with powder and the trigger 
pulled. Tow was held near enought to be caught by the flash of 
the powder, and we were again favored with fire. When all these 
failed, there was nothing left but to go to a neighbor's house and 
borrow. In pleasant weather this was not much of a task, but to 
go on a cold January morning for a shovel of fire was a duty no 
one especially coveted. 

Matches such as we use today were not known sixty years ago, 
and keeping fire was as much of a task in summer as in winter. 

Fat lamps of various devices, tallow dips and sperm candles 
served to furnish the people with light at night, and several men 
of the town manufactured these lamps in large quantities for the 
market. 

A certain writer says : "As we read history we must become 
Greek, Roman, Turk, priest, king, martyr and executioner; we 
must fasten these images to some reality in our secret experience, 
or we shall learn nothing rightly. " In this instance I have tried 
to become an Annvillite of sixty year ago. Standing face to face 
with these p:ople I have tried to learn their mode of life and their 
peculiar surroundings and if possible, picture them in their true 
light. If I have succeeded in a measure only I shall be satisfied. 
Since then many advances have been made in all departments of 
work and walks of life, but most of them grew out of the wants of 
the people and thus others will come in due time, and for the same 
reason. 



Heckman 

BINDERY, INC. 
Bound-Tb-Please* 

DEC 04 



N. MANCHESTER, INDIANA 46962