Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Peter Moyer 1775-1853

There were two Peter Moyers in our area, born less than 10 years apart.  This one is my paternal 5th great grandfather:
The one below is NOT.
I found a word file on (unsourced, I do not know who compiled it, but it is nicely done!) with almost all of the research below, I'm posting it here to help in my research of MY Peter, so I can try to keep the two straight.

Peter Moyer
Son Of John & Margaret Moyer
Born August 25, 1775
Died July 15, 1853
Maria Katherina Gundrum

1775 - Peter is Born 

Peter Moyer was born on August 25, 1775 in Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He was one of thirteen children of John and Margaret Moyer.

He had the following brothers and sisters.

  • Henry
  • Philip
  • Christian
  • Michael
  • Jacob
  • Anna
  • Elizabeth
  • Rudolph
  • Abraham
  • John
  • Barbara
  • Margaret

In 1793, Peter’s father died.  Without guardianship, the Orphan’s Court in Berks County awarded Philip Moyer guardianship.  Philip was Peter’s older brother.

Peter Moyer married Maria Katherina Gundrum on March 18, 1800.  Maria Katherina Gundrum’s parents were Martin Gundrum and his wife, the former Maria Catherina Boshaar.  They were married by the Reverend William Handel in the Trinity Tulpehocken Reform Church in Jackson Township, Berks County (now Lebanon County), Pennsylvania.

They had four children:

Susan Moyer born 1800
John D. Moyer born 1805
Catherine Moyer born 1810
Peter Moyer Jr. born 1815

In 1808, Peter, his wife, and their first two children moved to Lewis Township (now Gamble) in Lycoming County where their other two children were born.  In 1815, Peter and his family moved on to Jackson Township, Lycoming County and purchased 100 acres of land located in the northeastern third of warrant 842, which he cleared and improved.  Peter was a cabinet maker, wheelwright and farmer by trade and lived upon this farm for about thirty years.  He also kept an Inn and Tavern to board the drovers who were driving cattle up the Williamson Trail, which ran along in front of his house.  Peter owned one male slave to help around the place.

Peter and his wife were members of the Lutheran Church and in March 1835, donated approximately one acre of land fort he erection of the Moyer Lutheran Church of Jackson Township.  The original church was torn down many years ago and another one built called Frieden’s Church.

In 1851, Peter sold his farm to his daughter Catherine and her Husband, John Miller for the sum of $1,500 who owned the land adjoining his farm.  Catherine and John Miller are both buried in a small cemetery on this farm formerly owned by her father.  Sometime prior to the sale of this farm, Peter purchased another farm in Mifflin Township in Lycoming County upon which he died.

Peter Moyer died on July 15, 1853 at the age of 78 years.

Peter’s wife, Maria, died on November 24, 1858.  They are buried side by side in the Dan Meiller Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.


Taken from The Records of the Orphan’s Court, Berks County Court House in Reading, Pennsylvania – Dated December 24, 1793

Before the same Judges upon the petition of PETER MOYER, son of John Moyer late of Bethel Township, deceased.  Setting fourth that he is a minor above the age of fourteen years and hath no Guardian to take care of his person and estate therefore praying the Court to admit him to make choice of a Guardian for the purpose aforesaid.  Whereupon he was admitted and made choice of PHILIP MOYER as Guardian which choice was confirmed by the Court.

Before the same Judges upon the petition of HENRY AND ABRAHAM MOYER setting forth that the said Rudolph and Abraham are both minors under the age of fourteen years of age and have no Guardian to take care of their persons and estates therefore praying the Court to appoint some proper person or persons Guardians of the said minors.  Whereupon the Court appointed Christian Frantz Guardian of the said minors.

Before the same Judges upon the petition of MARGARET MOYER, daughter of John Moyer late of Bethel Township setting forth that she is a minor above the age of fourteen years of age and hath no Guardian appointed to take care of her person and estate and therefore praying the Court to admit her to make choice of a Guardian for the purpose aforesaid.  Whereupon she was admitted and made her choice of PHILIP MOYER as Guardian which choice was approved of by the Court.

The Court also issued bonds for the protection of Elizabeth and John Moyer on February 5, 1794.  (Children of John Moyer, deceased).

Last Will of Peter Moyer Sr.

The last will and testament of Peter Moyer Sr. of Mifflin Township, Lycoming County, State of Pennsylvania.  I Peter Moyer Sr. considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind, memory blessed by God for the same, do make and publish this last will and testament in manner following to with: First I do commend my soul to God who gave it hoping to be saved by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ and my body I commit to the earth and my worldly estate I give and devise as followeth:  First I will that all  my just debts which I shall be by me owing at my death, together with my funeral expenses shall in the first place be fully paid and satisfied.  2nd I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Catherine for her support after my death as long as she remains my widow, all the income and interest arising or derived from my real estate situated in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County together with my personal property and the interest of three hundred dollars and in case the above should not be sufficient for her support then the principal, the three hundred dollars shall be at her disposal.  Should my wife Catherine conclude to marry again then she shall have for her support two cows, two beds, the interest of three hundred dollars and one third of the income of the farm with the privilege of living on the aforesaid farm or premises during her natural life.  3rd I give and bequeath to my grand child Mary Moyer daughter of Peter Moyer Jr. one cow, one bed, one borough and one hundred dollars of money to be paid to her when she arrives at the age of eighteen years.  4th I give and bequeath to my youngest daughter Catherine ten dollars to be to her out of the first money that may be placed in the hands of the executors.  5th  I give and bequeath to my three other children namely John, Peter and Susan all the remainder of my property, money or moneys owing to me on note bond or book A to be divided amongst them share and share alike as fast as collected and after the death of my wife Catherine my real estate and personal property which may yet be remaining shall be sold to the best advantage and divided share and share alike among my three children John, Peter, and Susan.  6th I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Jacob Shugar and Daniel Miller of Mifflin Township, Lycoming County executors of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand and seal this thirtieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one.

Peter Moyer (Seal)

Subscribed by the testator in the presence of us
Solomon Bastress
Boon DeFrance

Recorded July 27, 1853

Note: This will was copied from a copy of the hand written will recorded in the Lycoming County Court House, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, by Marian E Gamble of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania

Peter Moyer’s Death Certificate

LDS Microfilm #1016406
Vital Records – Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Under Lycoming County Vital Records – 1853
Page #19: Death Certificate #44

Registration of Deaths in the county of Lycoming, state of Pennsylvania, A.D. eighteen hundred and fifty three

  1. Full name of deceased:                              Peter Moyer
  2. Color:                                                             White
  3. Sex:                                                                Male
  4. Age:                                                                78 years, 11 months, and 22                      days
  5. Name of father of deceased:                      John Moyer
  6. Name of mother of deceased:                   Margaretta Moyer
  7. Occupation:                                                  Wheelwright and farmer
  8. Place of birth:                                                Bethel Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania
  9. Name of wife of deceased:                         Catharine Guntrum
  10. Name of husband of deceased:
  11. Name of spouse living:
  12. Date of birth and date of death:                 August 25, 1775 – July 15, 1853
  13. Cause of death:                                            Consumption
  14. Place of death:                                             Mifflin Township
  15. Name (Place buried):                                  Dan Meillers cemetery
  16. Name of person returning certificate:       Wm. L. Bath
  17. Residence of such person:                         Jersey Shore
  18. Date of certification:                                     July 27, 1853
  19. Date of Registration:                                   July 27, 1853
  20. Signature of register or his deputy:           A. H. Runyan

NOTE: This Death Certificate shows Peter Moyer’s father named John Moyer.  Genealogical Helps for Blockhouse Area shows his father with the name of Fred Moyer.

Lycoming County Courthouse
48 West Third Street
Williamsport, PA 17701-6519
(570) 327-2258

Berks County Register of Wills
633 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Reading, PA 19601
(610) 478-6600

Wheels must be round above all else
Made of wood and bound with iron, the wheels of the carriages, wagons, and riding chairs that navigated rugged colonial roads had to be strong and tight. But first and foremost, the wheels had to be round.
Trade requires strength and precision
Producing wheels requires strength, ingenuity, and the talents of both a carpenter and a blacksmith. Precise measuring skills are mandatory.
Like their Williamsburg predecessors, the wheelwrights who practice the trade at the Governor's Palace today start with a hub fashioned on a lathe from properly aged wood such as elm. A tapered reamer opens the center to receive a metal bearing; The wheelwright uses a chisel to create rectangular spoke holes around the circumference of the wheel. Carved from woods like ash, the spokes radiate to meet a rim of mortised wooden arches, called "fellies," that join to form a perfect circle.
Colonial tire made of iron
The blacksmith supplies a big hoop of iron precisely matched to the distance around the fellies. The wheelwright heats the iron tire, which expands just enough to be coaxed on with a heavy hammer. He then douses the wheel with water, which causes the iron tire to shrink a bit, which in turn binds the assembly.

Peter Moyer’s Land Deed
This document is the Deed for the land Peter Moyer (1775 – 1853) and his wife, Maria Katherine Gundrum (1781 – 1858) executed when they donated the land for the Moyer Lutheran Church in 1835.  A Perch is the same as a Rod and equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet.


This Indenture made the sixteenth day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five between Peter Moyer or Jackson Township, Lycoming County and state of Pennsylvania, gentleman and Catherine his wife of the one part and Jacob Beck, Frederick Bowe and John Kreger, trustees of the Lutheran and Presbyterian Peace Church of the Township, county and state aforesaid gentlemen of the other part and their successors in office Witnesseth that the said Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar to them in hand paid of the said party of the second part the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged and thereof acquits and forever discharges the said Jacob Beck, Federick Bower and John Kreger, trustees and their successors in office by there presents have granted, sold, alienated, enforced, release and confirmed by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, enforce, release and confirm unto the said Jacob Beck, Frederick Bower and John Kreger, trustees and their successors in office all that certain tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in the Township of Jackson in the County of Lycoming and State of Pennsylvania.

Beginning at a Post in the District line thence east twelve and a  half perches to a Post thence north thirteen perches to a Post thence west twelve and a half perches to a Post thence south thirteen perches to the place of Beginning containing one acres and two and a half perches adjoining lands of Peter Moyer east, north and west and south by land of Jacob Beck it being part of a large tract or parcel of land which the Trustees of the Academy of the Protestant and Episcopal Church in the City of Philadelphia by indenture bearing date the first day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred twenty granted and conveyed unto the said Peter Moyer and to his heirs and assigns forever reference to said Deed recorded in the office for recording Deeds in and for said County of Lycoming will at large appear and the said Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife the premises hereby granted with the appurtenances against all and every persons whatsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof to the party of the second part their heirs and assigns shall and will warrant and forever defend by there presents in witness whereof the said parties have to these presents hereunto interchangeably set their hand and seals the day and year first above written Peter Moyer (seal) Catherine X (her mark) Moyer (seal) witness present Robert Allen, John Yoder.  Received the day and date of within Indenture one dollar it being in full for the consideration therein mentioned Peter Moyer present Robert Allen Lycoming Co. Personally before me one of the justices of the peace in and for Lycoming County came Peter Moyer and Catherine his wife.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Almeda Lucretia Lumbard 1842-1911

Is this possibly the sister of Joseph Lumbard, who was from Danville & came to visit??  In reading this, I always thought it meant that Josiah Lumbard had a sister in Danville, but now that I have re read it many times, and found Almeda, I think it might mean Joseph had a sister?

Almeda Lucretia Lumbard
Daughter of Joseph Lumbard & Sarah Ritter
Born 18 Nov 1842
Died 10 Sep 1911
Kimber C. Ent
Son Of

Edith V. Ent M. Fred Holmes
Edwin H. Ent

1860 Almeda is a Teacher, living with the Andrews family:

Sarah's death certificate lists Sarah Ritter as her mother, so find out who the E. Ritter, Age 79, is in this census...

Name: A L Lumbard
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1842
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Pennsylvania
Home in 1860: Bloom, Columbia, Pennsylvania
Post Office: Bloomsburg
Family Number: 499
Household Members:
Name Age
M Andrews 47
S A Andrews 37
A L Lumbard 18
E E Andrews 13
A A Andrews 10
A E Andrews 11/12

E Ritter 79

1867 - Almeda "Houseknect" married Kimber C. Ent

A. Lucretia & Kimber Ent - these are not common names.  Either Almeda's last name is a mistake, she married once before, or this is not the same couple. But I find it VERY unlikely this is not the same couple, since it's the only Kimber Ent we find in the census, and the ages make it clear they are the one and the same...

Another researcher has that Almeda married Christian Houseknecht August 11 1862.  Christian enlisted in the civil war July 29 1863, and died November 2 1863. 

Name: A Lucretia Houseknecht
Event Type: Marriage
Marriage Date: 19 Sep 1867
Marriage Place: Bloomsburg, Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA
Spouse Name: Kimber C Ent
Denomination: Methodist

Organization Name: Wesley United Methodist Church

1868- Daughter Edith V. Ent is born

Name Almeda Lumbard
Gender Female
Birth Place Pennsylvania
Spouse Kimber Ent
Child Edwin Hartman Ent
Almeda Lumbard - True
Household Members
Name Age
Edwin Hartman Ent
Almeda Lumbard
Kimber Ent


1870 - 
Name Almeda Ent
Age in 1870 26
Birth Year abt 1844
Birthplace Pennsylvania
Home in 1870 Bloomsburg West Ward, Columbia, Pennsylvania
Race White
Gender Female
Post Office Bloomsburg
Household Members
Name Age
Kimber Ent 26
Almeda Ent 26
Edith Ent 1

1872 - Son Edwin Hartman Ent is born
He was the assistant postmaster

EDWIN H ENT assistant postmaster at Bloomsburg Pa was born in that city Sept 22 1872 son of Kimber C Ent John Ent his grandfather was a successful bridge contractor and builder and lived at Light Street where he died and is buried He was twice married and by his first wife had three children Zetta Kate and Kimber C Later he married second Elizabeth Philpot by whom he also had three children Dora Roscoe and Annie Kimber C Ent son of John Ent was born at Light Street Columbia Co Pa in 1842 and in young manhood became a clerk in the Iron dale Furnace store near Bloomsburg but later went on the road as a traveling salesman for a queensware and china house of Philadelphia living however at Bloomsburg where he died in 1898 He married Almeda L Lumbard who died Sept 10 191 1 and both are buried in Rosemont cemetery at Bloomsburg Kimber C Ent and his wife had two children Edith who is the wife of Frederick Holmes teller of the First National Bank of Bloomsburg and Edwin H Edwin H Ent went to the public high and normal schools of Bloomsburg and after leaving school commenced working being engaged in the carpet mill and tube works In 1898 he was appointed a letter carrier at Bloomsburg After holding this position for four and a half years on Aug 1 1902 he was made assistant postmaster of the office at Bloomsburg which position he still fills In 1896 Mr Ent was united in mariage with Elsie West a daughter of John F West of Weatherly Pa Mr and Mrs Ent are the parents of one daughter Editha W who was born in 1905 Mr Ent belongs to Washington Lodge No 265 F & AM Bloomsburg Chapter No 218 RAM Crusade Com mandery No 12 KT and Caldwell Consistory A musician he belongs to the consistory choir The Methodist Church holds his membership and he is serving that body as steward Politically he is a Republican and has done yeoman service for his party As a public official and private citizen Mr Ent has demonstrated his worth and stands high in his community. - Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties ... 

1877-  The Ent Family is Found in the Methodist Church Records - 

Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 for A Lucretia Ent
PA - Columbia Bloomsburg Methodist Wesley United Methodist Church
Name: A Lucretia Ent
Event Type: Other
Event Date: 1877
Event Place: Bloomsburg, Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA
Denomination: Methodist

Organization Name: Wesley United Methodist Church

1880 - 
In 1880, the census says Almeda's mother was born in Maine.  Could that possibly be an error and it was her father born in Maine?

Name Almeda Ent
Age 37
Birth Year abt 1843
Birthplace Pennsylvania
Home in 1880 Bloomsburg, Columbia, Pennsylvania
Race White
Gender Female
Relation to Head of House Wife
Marital Status Married
Spouse's Name Kimber C. Ent
Father's Birthplace Pennsylvania
Mother's Birthplace Maine
Occupation Keeping House
Household Members
Name Age
Kimber C. Ent 37
Almeda Ent 37
Edith Ent 11

Edwin H. Ent 7

In 1900 Almeda lists both her parents as born in Pa.  She is living with her daughter and son in law.

Name Almeda Ent
Age 37
Birth Date Nov 1842
Birthplace Pennsylvania
Home in 1900 Bloomsburg, Columbia, Pennsylvania
Race White
Gender Female
Relation to Head of House Boarder
Marital Status Widowed
Father's Birthplace Pennsylvania
Mother's Birthplace Pennsylvania
Mother: number of living children 2
Mother: How many children 3
Household Members
Name Age
Fred Holmes 32
Edith Holmes 31

Almeda Ent 37

1910- Name Almeda Ent
Birthplace Pennsylvania
State PA
Age 67
Color W;W
Enumeration District 0008
Visit 0190
County Columbia, Bloomsburg
Relation Mother-in-law
Other Residents
Relation Name Age Birth Place
Head of Household Fred Homes

1911 - Almeda Died
Her death certificate lists her mother as born in PA, and her father as born in New York.

Gender Female
Race White
Age 68
Birth Date 18 Nov 1842
Birth Place Pennsylvania
Death Date 10 Sep 1911
Death Place Bloomsburg, Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA
Father Joseph Lumbard
Mother Sarah Ritter
Certificate Number 83430
Almeda Lucretia Ent - 1911 - False[Almeda Lucretia Lumbard]
Household Members
Name Age
Almeda Lucretia Ent
Sarah Ritter

Joseph Lumbard

Burial - 
According to Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties ... 
Rosemont Cemetery, Bloomsburg Pa.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

John Follin 1761-1841

John Follin
Mary Ann Baker
daughter of


Writings of Samuel Follin
John Follin Sr., Lieutenant, United States Navy

My father, John Folin, was in the American Revolution as a sailor from Virginia, as I have heard him tell many times.  From numerous reminiscenes that I have heard him repeat, I judge that he embarked as a sailor at Bellhaven now called Alexandria, Virginia, and that not long after his ship was attacked by a British vessel and chased for three days.  He said that the balls fell thick and fast all around him and at first he was greatly scared but soon got so he did not mind it. His vessel was captured and he was taken to England with the other prisoners and held a year, then for some reason they were taken to the rock of Gibraltar and kept about about a year, when they were transferred to a British man-of-war in the same vicinity, where they remained for near another year.  The idea probably was to have them aid the British in the defense of Gibraltar during the "Great Siege," the great fortress then undergoing a four year investment by the combined forces of France and Spain.  As my father was a Scotch-Irishman he was claimed the choice of taking the oath of allegiance to King George III of a flogging. He chose the latter, and was tied to a grating and given thirty-nine lashes on his bare back. On the man-of-war they were often flogged for very trivial offenses.
Frequently heard father speak of a man by the name of Adams from Philadelphia. While near Gibraltar Adams formed a plot to get away. The plan was to take the boat that belonged to the vessel and escape to the mainland. The plot was detected and Adams whipped three times with a doctor standing by each time to say how much he could stand and he was kept confined for a long time. Adams said: "The next time they would whip me; I'll go or die!" Finally he found a good opportunity. It was the custom it seems to keep the arms in a locked compartment. One day while nearly all the ship's crew was eating dinner Adams gave his friends a signal, the arms-house was locked, the guards overpowered, and Adams jumped into the boat and had a knife at the throat of the marine there. The others jumped in, the marine was put out and they rowed. Adams stood up and waved his handkercheif at those on the ship. They were fired on and Adams called loudly "Pull, boys! Pull!" He was the only one who was struck, but they got away and home to America.
Those left on the ship, including my father, were treated harder than ever.  in speaking of the whipping of Adams father said he bore it well, never even grunting. An officer standing by on one occasion, said: "Lay it on; damn rebel!"  Adams replied: "I have a wife and children in Philadelphia and if you were in my place would you not try to get to them?"  The only reply was "Give it to him!"
Father spoke of the fine climate in the region of Gibraltar. There, as well as in England, they were given a chance to take the oath of allegiance to the British Crown. It seems that before father's vessel was captured they were going to Cadiz.  While prisoners in England they were sometimes whipped and they had very little to eat.  One day a butcher came into the prison followed by a fat bull dog. The boys soon had the dog skinned and father tried to get a piece of the meat but failed. The prisoners had a peculiar way of making money part of the time. One or two would escape and go to a certain house where the proprietor would hide them for a few days, waiting for the reward, when the runaways would be returned. The next day half of the reward would come back to them inside a loaf of bread or some such way.  They  managed to make an endless chain of it. Near the close of the Revolution father was on a cartel for exchange and he was taken to Philadelphia for that purpose. He walked all the way home from there, through Baltimore and Georgetown. He said he craved milk all the time and got plenty of it, begging for food until he reached home.  Father was about 17 years of age when he went to the war. When I was a small boy there were two swords at home and I used to play soldier with them.  I do not know their history.  Joseph, my younger brother, had a large drum such as was used by the military and he learned how to beat it like a regular drummer. 
I have heard at least a half a dozen men from Washington and Georgetown urge father to apply for a bounty and a pension under the law.  His reply always was: "No, I don't need it; my Government is poor and I can get along without it."
 Samuel Follin."
Authenticity Affadavits and other information on this family can be found in "A Genealogical History of the Follin Family in America"  By Gabriel Edmondston

Sunday, March 5, 2017

#2 John Schmeck -1867

Not a direct line ancestor

John Schmeck
Son of
Died February 16 1867
Daughter of

Eleonora Schmeck   – 1849 m. John Fox
Elisabeth Eliza Schmeck m. John Fisher 
Benjamin Schmeck 1811 – 1871 
Adam Schmeck 1813 – 1888 
Maria Schmeck  1818 – m. George Fox 
Catherine m. Adam Potteiger

1850 Census
Name: John Schmeck
Age: 68
Birth Year: abt 1782
Home in 1850: Alsace, Berks, Pennsylvania
Gender: Male
Family Number: 406
Household Members:
Name Age
John Schmeck 68
Mary Schmeck 66
(Cannot be "our" Johannes, #1, because he died in 1829)

Will Of Johannes Schmeck

To the Honorable the Judges of the Orphans County of the County of Berks:
The petition of Benjamin Schmeck, of the township of Muhlenberg, in the county of Berks, Respectfully showeth: That John Schmeck, late of the township of Muhlenberg, in the said county , Farmer, died in Muhlenberg township, in the county afore said, on t he sixteenth day of February A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven: and sometime prior to his decease, to wit, on the twenty-eighth of Dec ember, A.D. one thousand eight and forty four, made his last will and testament, wherein and whereby he gave, devised, and bequeathed as follows: -

"And what concerns my worldly estate consisting of a Farm, and
"House and Lot of Ground in said Alsace township, and county of Berks
"I bequeath and give unto my beloved wife Maria, all my personal and
"real property, to wit:- the income thereof as long as she lives upon the "condition that she bears my name so long, or does not marry. Should "she change my name or should she marry, then she shall have seventy-five "cents for her portion. After her death or marriage, my son Benjamin "shall have the income of my worldly estate for one year to his own use, "and after the lapse of the year, it shall be appraised, and my son "Benjamin shall have the preference to accept the same at the appraisement provided he considers it to his advantage, if not, then it "shall be sold at public venue. Should my son Benjamin accept the "same, then he shall have two years time to pay it. The money "realized out of my estate shall be divided as follows: I give to "my two sons for their stock beforehand, to wit, to Benjamin, three "hundred and fifty dollars, to Adam, three hundred dollars. "Further, the remainder shall be divided into six equal shares, "among my two sons and four daughters, to wit, Adam, Benjamin, "Eliza, Eleonora, Catharine and Maria. And lastly, I Nominate my "Beloved wife Maria, and my son Benjamin, executors of this my "last will and testament."

Which said last will and testament, containing (among other thing the afore said devises and bequests was duly proven before the Register of Wills, for the County of Berks, on the twenty-fifth day of February A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven.
Your petitioner further shows that the said John Schmeck died, leaving no widow, his said wife having died during his lifetime, but leaving the aforesaid five children, to wit, Benjamin Schmeck residing in Muhlenberg Twp.) Adam Schmeck, (residing in Fairfield County and the State of Ohio .) Catharine, married to Adam Potteiger,(residing in Cumru township and the county of Berks, aforesaid,) Eliza, married to John Fisher, (residing in Muhlenberg township aforesaid,) and Maria widow of George Fox, deceased, (residing in Muhlenberg township aforesaid,) and three grandchildren, being the children of the aforesaid Eleonora Fox, who died during the testator's life-time, to-wit, John Fox, (residing in Warren County and the State of Indiana,) Mary, married to James Hornberger, (residing in the city of Reading and county of Berks, aforesaid,) and Catherine, married to Joseph Auchenbach, (residing in the city of Reading aforesaid,) seized in his-demesne as a fee of and in the following described real estate, to wit:-

All that certain Massuage or Tenement, Plantation and Tract of Land, situate in the township of Muhlenberg, in the county of Berks, aforesaid, adjoining lands of E Jonathan Deininger, George D Davis, John Schmidt, Daniel Shepp, The Schuylkill Navigation Company, and the river Schuylkill, containing fifty-six acres and forty perches, neat measure, with the appurtenances:

Also-A certain House and Lot of Ground, situate in the township of Muhlenberg in the county of Berks aforesaid, adjoining lands of George D Davis, George R Frill, David M Knight and James Millholland, Paul Blessing and John Schmidt, containing four acres more or less with the appurtenances.

Your petitioner therefore prays, that your Honors award an inquest to value and appraise the premises aforesaid in such a manner as by the said will and the laws of the Commonwealth is directed, and make return of their proceedings according to law, and, as it is duty bound, te.,
Benjamin Schmeck
Berks County, ss.
Benjamin Schmeck, the above named petitioner being duly sworn according to law doth depose and say that the facts set forth in the forgoing petition are true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

Sworn and subscribed before Me this fifth day of October, Benjamin Schmeck A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven.
Washington Richards Alderman

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Watsontown Bridge 1925-1928

As early as 1911, a bridge between Watsontown and White Deer was being discussed. But the war made costs especially high, and the project was tabled for many years.  In 1925, new plans were being discussed, and the Shamokin Coal area was not pleased that "just 400 residents"  might get a new bridge "connecting two insignificant hamlets", while there were long stretches  south of sunbury with no bridge access.  At this time, the coal region produced the bulk of the counties tax revenue, and at one point they even considered breaking off and joining Union county  over this bridge issue.   The Mount Caramel  Item and Shamokin New Dispatch were both extremely critical of the bridge project - but they were not alone.  The bridge project had to actually be taken to the state supreme court, twice, before it was built. 

Northumberland county was to assume 85% of the cost of the bridge, with Union County paying the additional 15%. Estimated cost was $400.000 and 15% of that cost was repeatedly reported as enough to bankrupt union county.In April of 1925 the headline read "Bridge Issue Is Pushed By Union County".  People of Union County had employed counsel from Williamsport, to get the bridge built.  Less than a year later, in March of 1926, the headline read "Union County Will Take Up Fight Against River Bridge".  The second article elaborates "The stand of Union county against the bridge involves the alleged heavy expense of building an approach to the White Deer end of the proposed bridge.  Not only would Union county have to make an extensive fill, but a new creek bridge a the approach of the river bridge will also be required.  Union county officials say this work will cost nearly $100,000 in addition to their share of the regular bridge costs, and that the county is unable to finance the work."  In later articles, from the bridges completion in July of 1928 all the way into 1930, the swampy incomplete road on the white deer side of the bridge continues to be an issue.

The same article in March of 1926 explains why this bridge is wanted - not only would it cut 21 miles off ,trips "to the west", but it would provide Watsontown connection to the Reading Railroad.  "Watsontown residents have been jubilant over their victory in the courts to secure the bridge.  It would be of untold benefit to them, providing connection with the Reading railroad on the west side of the river, it was pointed out yesterday, and would tap a large farming district.  School children must cross the river from the west shore to Watsontown, it is pointed out.

Watsontown is one of the most important industrial towns of its size in this section, ikt is pointed out, and is the largest carload lot shipper along the Reading line between Williamsport and Philadelphia.  Thirty five million bricks were produced in Watsontown last year, and in addition wood working plants in the town were large shippers."

While the bridge was being built, one worker plummeted from the structure, avoiding death but severely injured.  A deer carcass was recovered during construction, and charges were being filed.  (We regularly have deer carcasses dumped on our farm, if it is illegal, it's no longer a law that is enforced.  I'm unclear on the issue here - was the deer out of season, or was the issue the dumping of the carcass?)  In early 1928, builder George Rockwell took a trip to Florida, and he did not return until the county settled a debt of nearly $300,000 for the bridges construction.  At the completion of the bridge in July of 1928,  Rockwell was heralded for his quick and well done build.  But just a few days after the bridge was dedicated, Rockwell closed the structure, as it had not been inspected by both counties.  Even after it was inspected, there was no completed road on the white deer side, and there were reports of merchants crossing the bridge only to have to turn back around because of the mud and water on the white deer side.  Additionally, the Reading Railroad had not completed a bridge so that it could cross the creek - that did not occur until 1930.

Controversy continued for years after the bridges completion, with the Shamokin and Mt Caramel newspapers criticizing the structure in nearly every other issue.  If there was ever discussion of a tax increase, or a poor road condition, the article was sure to blame the Watsontown Bridge.   In 1930 the state took control of the county bridges.

Below are many news articles regarding the creation of the bridge.  This is not nearly all of them, even though there are many here.  This issue was a very large one in local news for several years.

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
04 Apr 1922, Tue  • Page 5

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
27 Jan 1925, Tue  • Page 3

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
13 Mar 1925, Fri  • Page 1

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
17 Apr 1925, Fri  • Page 2

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
02 Jan 1926, Sat  • Page 1

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
11 Jan 1926, Mon  • Page 4

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
10 Feb 1925, Tue  • Page 3

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
17 Feb 1926, Wed  • Page 5

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
02 Mar 1926, Tue  • Page 5

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
28 Apr 1926, Wed  • Page 3

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
19 Aug 1926, Thu  • Page 7

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
24 Dec 1926, Fri  • Page 5

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
16 Mar 1927, Wed  • Page 1

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
25 Feb 1927, Fri  • Page 1

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
28 Feb 1927, Mon  • Page 2

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
16 May 1927, Mon  • Page 8

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
06 Aug 1927, Sat  • Page 6

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
09 Sep 1927, Fri  • Page 1

The Evening News 
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
13 Oct 1927, Thu  • Page 17

The Daily News 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
01 Dec 1927, Thu  • Page 8

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
06 Jan 1928, Fri  • Page 3

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
01 Feb 1928, Wed  • Page 7

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
29 Feb 1928, Wed  • Page 3

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
11 Apr 1928, Wed  • Page 4

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
08 May 1928, Tue  • Page 8

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
09 Jun 1928, Sat  • Page 1

Williamsport Sun-Gazette 
(Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
03 Jul 1928, Tue  • Page 4

The Wilkes-Barre Record 
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
05 Jul 1928, Thu  • Page 24

Harrisburg Telegraph 
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
05 Jul 1928, Thu  • Page 3

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
13 Jul 1928, Fri  • Page 1

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
14 Jul 1928, Sat  • Page 5

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
14 Jul 1928, Sat  • Page 1

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
17 Jul 1928, Tue  • Page 1

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
07 Aug 1928, Tue  • Page 1

Mount Carmel Item 
(Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania)
28 Dec 1928, Fri  • Page 8

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
16 Mar 1929, Sat  • Page 2

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
18 Mar 1929, Mon  • Page 1

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
13 Jan 1930, Mon  • Page 9

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
04 Mar 1930, Tue  • Page 3

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
02 Aug 1930, Sat  • Page 2

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
19 Sep 1930, Fri  • Page 2