Borough of Mauch Chunk.
(Including Borough of East Mauch Chunk)
The East Mauch Chunk Post-Office
East Mauch Chunk Schools
St. Mark’s Church (Protestant Episcopal)
Methodist Episcopal Church of East Mauch Chunk
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
St. John’s Church of East Mauch Chunk
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Joseph’s German Catholic Church of East Mauch Chunk
Marion Hose Co. No. 1
International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F)
Knights of Pythias
Order of Druids
Grand Army of the Republic
--The town of Mauch Chunk takes its name (the pronunciation of which is settled by common usage as Mauk Chunk) from the curiously-shaped hill on the opposite side of the Lehigh, called by the Indians “Machk Tschunk,” which means Bear Mountain, or the Mountain of Bears. From the earliest known mention of the locality (which occurs in an account of the captivity of the Gilbert family, taken prisoners by the Indians on Mahoning Creek in 1780 (It was republished in Hazard’s Register of May 16, 1829, and appears in Chapter I of the History of Carbon County in this volume.) and published a few years after (it appears that the peculiar Indian name was applied then, as now, to the massive height on the west side of the river, called also at present South Mountain. The allusion to Mauch Chunk in the story of the flight of the Indians with their captives is as follows: “Not much farther was a large hill called Mochunk, which they fixed upon for a place of rendezvous … Near the foot of the hill flows a stream of water called Mochunk Creek, which was crossed, and the second mountain (now Mount Pisgah) passed, the steep and difficult ascent of which appeared very great to the much-enfeebled and affrighted captives. They were permitted to rest themselves for some minutes, and then pressed onward to the broad mountain, at the foot of which runs Nescaconnah creek.” Now the name in its translated form is applied to the hill opposite the town, and in the original Indian language to the peculiarly bold and precipitous South Mountain. To the eye of the traveler who approaches this unique town from the south, this mountain is the first striking object in the rugged and wild landscape which forms its environment. Following the great sweep of the rushing Lehigh River, it rises as a mighty verdure-clad wall from its very brink, and makes more dark the deep and tortuous gorge through which the river seeks the south, and finally flowing through the Lehigh Gap, emerges from its mountain-pent channel into the broader and sunnier valley, bordered by smaller and more gently sloping hills. The sweeping curve of the steep South Mountain forms the segment of a vast amphitheatre, from which the Titans might have watched gladiatorial giants in their fierce combats upon the lesser hill half encircled by the river. The wall rises to a sheer height of more than nine hundred feet, and is rendered more wild and picturesque by the outcroppings among its pines and hemlocks of rugged ledges and strange seams of rock, shattered and torn by the conflict of the elements of great convulsions of nature in ages past, and their mighty fragments strewn upon the steep declivity. The great white Mansion House, loftily over towered by the dark mass of this mountain, appears at first glance like a toy dwelling, or the abode of Lilliputians, and the road which rises from this point by a gentle grade seems a yellowish-brown line drawn across the mingled green and gray of the mountain-side.
Our stand-point has been at the spot where the Lehigh Railroad Company has blasted away the rocks on the face of Bear Mountain, or, as it is sometimes called, Sugar Loaf, to secure sufficient level ground for a passenger depot, and our gaze has been directed to the left. Immediately in front flows the Lehigh, its channel forming a crescent-shaped curve, which might have been described with the apex of the apparently conical Bear Mountain as a centre. It is only by the strictest economy of space and the utmost skill of the engineer that a canal and two great railroads can follow the river in its winding course through this narrow passage in the mountains. Beyond the river and following the curving course of its bank is a street, upon which a long line of buildings front, …
… closely crowded by the mountain in their rear. Away at the right looms the peak of Mount Pisgah, nine hundred feet above the Lehigh, the smoke from the stacks of the stationary engines used to hoist cars upon the plane remotely suggesting the presence of a volcano.
Upon a level piece of table-land, more than two hundred feet above the water, which is seen to be a mighty buttress of Mount Pisgah, gleam the white houses of what the traveler learns is Upper Mauch Chunk.
So far the town has appeared to consist of a single street along the river, but we see a deep and narrow valley, or rather ravine, opening to the Lehigh, between South Mountain and Mount Pisgah. Down through this gorge rushes a small mountain stream, and upward through it, in a zigzag and erratic way, rising constantly but by easy degrees, leads the main street of Mauch Chunk. The houses are built without dooryards upon the street, and impinge upon the base of the mountains on either side. The dashing of the little stream can be heard at intervals as one passes up this strange, angling street, but its waters can nowhere be seen, for it has been covered with arches that the small space it occupies may be utilized, and so it leaps along its hidden way, now under the houses, then under the street, until, concealed to the very last, it plunges into the Lehigh. Almost every foot of available building ground is occupied. Except for a few rods near the mouth of the ravine, where a narrow street with a single row of houses runs parallel with the main street, on a higher level, there is no room for a second thoroughfare or scarcely for an alley. It must be remembered that, although nature challenged man’s admiration here, she did not invite him to become a resident. But nature is seldom so forbidding as she appears, and usually bestows more than she promises. She promised here only the beauties and the majesty of the mountains, and the wealth in her treasure-vaults as the means of making countless comfortable houses elsewhere, but through the force of fate man made here a pleasant home too, and the mountains stand stately and sentinel-like about it, as if to guard the frailer human handiwork.
From Mount Pisgah or the Flagstaff on South Mountain grand views can be obtained of a vast scope of mountain and valley and river, forest and farm and peaceful villages nestled among the hills. The eye reaches the Lehigh and the Delaware Water Gaps, Wind Gap between, the Blue Mountains, and all the nameless, billowy ranges between, with the Schooley Mountains, sixty miles away in New Jersey, while Mauch Chunk and its sister village across the Lehigh appear below as if laid out upon a map. From the Flagstaff is doubtless revealed the most perfect bird'’-eye view afforded in the eastern States, of beauty and bewildering strangeness from which it is difficult o turn away.
But it is not in these steeply-rising mountains shadowing the compact town, or in the far-reaching views which they command, that all of the beauty of the immediate region lies. Their wooded sides, varied with steep boulder-strewn slopes or out-jutting rocks afford an endless series of picturesque views, ever changing with the season or the ramble of the observer, but ever lovely, whether in the vernal green of summer, when the laurels add the lustre of their many-tinted blossoms; in the autumn, when the mountains glow and blaze with color, or even in the depth of winter, clad in snow, to which the only contrast is afforded by the gray and leafless trees and the sombre hue of the hemlocks. Another attraction, which seems only recently to have reached popular appreciation, is the now famous Glen Onoko, formerly known as Moore’s Ravine, two miles above Mauch Chunk.
Broad Mountain is here torn asunder in a deep cleft extending from crest to base. Down through the wild and rocky chasm, lighting its gloom, leaps and plunges in countless cascades and cataracts a crystal stream, now pellucid in some mirror-like pool and now shattered in white spray over a huge precipice. To the many waterfalls and other especial objects of interest fanciful names have been given, as “Entrance Cascade and Pool.” “Hidden Sweet Cascade,” “Crystal Cascade,” “Moss Cascade,” “Lover’s Bath,” “Pulpit Rocks,” “Spectre Cascade,” “Dual Vista,” “Heart of the Glen,” “Chameleon Falls”, …
… “Elfin Cascade,” “Falls of Onoko,” “Sunrise Point,” “Terrace Cascade,” “Cave Falls,” and “Home of the Mist.”
The height of “Cave Falls” is about forty-five feet, that of “Chameleon Falls” a little greater, and at “Onoko Falls” the water plunges downward in a most picturesque sheet seventy-five feet. The length of the glen is about a mile and a quarter, every step of which has its own peculiar beauty and grandeur. The heart of the glen is a chaos of rock, which reveals rugged and weird forms most impressive to behold. The glen is prolific in giant hemlocks, and other trees, and in summer the flora is most varied and luxuriant, far exceeding that of other localities, and offering a grateful and refreshing contrast to the comparatively sterile sides of Broad Mountain. The laurel here attains a larger growth than anywhere else in the vicinity, and in June fills the cool air with the fragrance and lights the glen with the radiance of its blossoms. The management of the Lehigh Valley Railroad has added to the beauty of Onoko and made the wild retreat accessible to the lover of nature by throwing tasteful rustic bridges across the chasm at various points and cutting pathways upward through the ravine. A little distance from the upper end of the glen, on the verge of the mountain, is Packer’s Point (so named in honor of Asa Packer), from which a view of the surrounding country can be had which rivals those commanded by Mount Pisgah and the Flagstaff on Mauch Chunk Mountain.
—The human history of Mauch Chunk properly begins with the operations of the Lehigh coal and Navigation Company in 1818, but to convey an adequate understanding of that commencement of a vast industry it is necessary to give some account of a number of preceding events, particularly the discovery of anthracite coal in this immediate vicinity. On a map published by William Scull in 1770, and dedicated to the Honorable Thomas and Richard Penn, the proprietaries of Pennsylvania, the word “coal” appears at a point near the site of Pottsville, and also on the Mahanoy Creek. But the actual knowledge of anthracite coal which led to its being mined and put in the market had as its forerunner the discovery of the mineral on Sharp Mountain, near the site of Summit Hill, nine miles northwest of Mauch Chunk, in the year 1791, by Philip Ginter, a hunter, who had built himself a cabin in that region. An interesting narrative of this discovery, and of a visit to the place in 1804, occurs in a memoir by Dr. T.C. James, published by the Pennsylvania Historical Society, (Republished in Hazard’s Register, May 9, (et sequiter), 1829) from which we shall make extracts. After describing his starting from Philadelphia, the difficulties of the journey, and his meeting with Ginter, who was then running a mill, Dr. James narrates the incidents of the following day, when his companion and himself, led by Ginter, made their way to the scene of the discovery. “In the course of our pilgrimage we reached the summit of Mauch Chunk Mountain (Sharp Mountain), the present site of the mine, or rather quarry, of anthracite coal. At that time there were only to be seen three or four small pits, which had much the appearance of the commencement of rude wells, into one of which our guide descended with great ease, and threw up some pieces of coal for our examination. After which, while we lingered on the spot, contemplating the wildness of the scene, honest Philip amused us with the following narrative of the original discovery of this most valuable of minerals.
“He said when he first took up his residence in that district of country he built for himself a rough cabin in the forest, and supported his family by the proceeds of his rifle, being literally a hunter of the backwoods. The game he shot, including bear and deer, he carried to the nearest store, and exchanged for the other necessaries of life. But at the particular time to which he then alluded he was without a supply of food for his family, and after being out all day with his gun in quest of it, he was returning towards evening over the Mauch Chunk (Pisgah) Mountain, entirely unsuccessful and dispirited, having shot nothing. A drizzling rain beginning to fall, and the dusky night approaching, he bent his course homeward, considering himself one of the most forsaken of mortals. As he trod slowly over the ground his foot stumbled against something, which, by the stroke, was driven before him. Observing it to be black, to distinguish which there was just light enough remaining, he took it up, and, as he had often listened to the traditions of the country as to the existence of coal in the vicinity, it occurred to him that this might perhaps be a portion of that stone coal of which he had heard. He accordingly carefully took it with him to his cabin, and the next day carried it to Col. Jacob Weiss, residing at what was then known by the name of Fort Allen. (Now Weissport, three miles below Mauch Chunk.) The colonel, who was alive to the subject, brought the specimen with him to Philadelphia, and submitted it to the inspection of John Nicholson and Michael Hillegas, Esqs., and Charles Cist, an intelligent printer, who ascertained its nature and qualities, and authorized the colonel to satisfy Ginter for his discovery upon his pointing out the precise spot where he found the coal. This was done by acceding to Ginter’s proposal of getting through the forms of the Patent Office the title for a small tract of land, which he supposed had never been taken up, comprising a mill-site, on which he afterwards built a mill, and which he was unhappily deprived of by the claim of a prior survey.
“Hillegas, Cist, Weiss, and some others immediately …
... after (about the beginning of 1792) formed themselves into what was called the Lehigh Coal-Mine Company, but without a charter of incorporation, and took up eight to ten thousand acres of land till then unlocated, and including the Mauch Chunk Mountain (Pisgah), but probably never worked the mine.
“It remained in this neglected state, being only used by blacksmiths and people in the immediate vicinity until somewhere about 1806, when William Turnbull, Esq., had an ark constructed at Lausanne, which brought down (to Philadelphia) two or three hundred bushels. This was sold to the manager of the water-works for the use of the Centre Square steam-engine. It was there tried as an experiment, but ultimately rejected as unmanageable, and its character for the time being blasted, the further attempts at introducing it to public notice in this way seemed suspended.”
Erskine Hazard, in a communication to the Pennsylvania Historical Society, agrees practically with the statements of Dr. James, and adds that the company made a very rough road from the river to the mine, upon which, we are told by another authority, they expended the sum of ten pounds Pennsylvania currency. Hazard says further of the use of the coal under the water-works engine, that “it only served to put the fire out, and the remainder of the quantity on hand was spread on the walks in place of gravel.”
The company, anxious to have their property brought into notice, gave leases of their mines to different individuals in succession for periods of twenty-four, fourteen, and ten years, adding to the last the privilege of taking timber from their lands for the purpose of floating the coal to the market. During the war of 1812 Virginia (bituminous) coal became very scarce and dear, and Messrs. J. Cist (son of the printer heretofore mentioned), Charles Miner and John Robinson, being the holders of the land leased, attempted to put coal upon the market, but they succeeded in only a limited degree, as on the return of peace the price of the article was reduced so low that they could not compete with it.
The following history of the operations of this company in the vicinity of Mauch Chunk is compiled from a journal which was kept by Isaac A. Chapman (copied for that purpose from the original by his son, Charles I.A. Chapman, now of Pittston, Pa).
Isaac A. Chapman was a surveyor and civil engineer, and came from Connecticut early in life to Pennsylvania, then the “Far West.” He was a man of excellent education, much mechanical genius, a close observer, and of great energy, devoting every hour of the day and many of the night to physical and mental labor. Of the latter was the compilation of the first history of Wyoming that was written, and which, although incomplete was published after his decease, under the title “A Sketch of the History of Wyoming.” To his researches in this direction later authors owe much that in their day could not have been obtained from any other source.
From Mr. Chapman’s journal we find that on the 10th day of July, 1814, he left Wilkes-Barre for “Lausanne Landing, on the Lehigh.” And rode to “Mr. Conyngham’s, in Sugarloaf,” where he remained until the next morning. On the 11th he reached Lausanne, where he found Mr. Cist and Mr. C. Miner; took dinner with them, and then went with them to the “Coal Bed,” returning at night to Mr. Klotz’s. Mr. Klotz kept the hotel at the Landing.
On the 12th he rode with Mr. Cist down the river as far as “Head’s Creek, below Weiss’s (now Parryville), returned, and “made an agreement concerning coal.”
The journal is silent as to the terms of the agreement, and also as to operations during the summer of 1814; but from other sources we learn that Miner, Cist, and Robinson had leased from Hillegas, Cist and Weiss, who were the owners of the land, and as the name “Robinson” does not appear in connection with the coal operations, the probability is that Mr. Chapman took his place. As to the operations during that summer, we learn also from other sources that on the 9th day of August, 1814, an ark-load of coal was started down the river for Philadelphia, which, after various mishaps, reached the city six days after.
Mr. Erskine Hazard, in a communication to the Historical Society, says that during the Miner, Cist and Robinson lease only three arks reached the city, and that they “abandoned the business at the close of the war, 1815.” From Mr. Chapman’s journal we learn that on the 27th of May, 1816, he succeeded in getting two “flats” loaded with coal as far as New Hope, and that as late as March 28, 1817, Mr. Chapman was at Lausanne, and had boats loaded, but was “unable to get a Pilot.”
On the 8th of October, 1814, Mr. Chapman went to “Chenango Point” (Binghamton), probably for the purpose of enlisting friends living there in the enterprise. He met there a Mr. Shipman, a Mr. Whitney, a Mr. Waterman, a Mr. Evans, a Mr. Collier, a Mr. Shaw, and others, and spent a day or two, and on Tuesday, October 10, 1814, having “made his concluding arrangements with Mr. Waterman and Mr. Whitney relative to the coal,” left for Springville, Susquehanna Co., where, and at Hop Bottom and Montrose, he had relatives and friends. At the latter place the militia were inspected, and on the 17th he met the officers of the regiment at “Capt. Spencer’s, and commenced the business of discipline.” (Mr. Chapman was an officer of the regiment of “Drafted Militia” then being trained for duty in the war of 1812.)
His journal continues as follows:
“Thursday, Oct. 20, 1814—Mr. Waterman and Mr. Shaw, from Chenango Point, called to go with me to Lausanne—went as far as Mr. Scovell’s, at Lackawanna.”
“Saturday, 22d—Rode with Mr. Cist (who had joined them at Wilkesbarre) to Drumheller’s—spent the night there.
“Sunday, 23d—Rode to Lausanne to breakfast. Rode to the coal-mine and returned.”
The journal continues:
“Monday, 24th—Went with the gentlemen to Weiss’s, and there built a skiff, and descended the Lehigh with Mr. Shaw. Spent the night at Lehigh Gap.
“Tuesday, 25th—Descended the river to Allentown.
“Wednesday, 26th—Returned to Lausanne (probably walked), the distance being thirty-two miles.
“Thursday, 27th—Set out for Wilkesbarre; came as far as Conyngham.
“Thursday, Nov. 3—Arrived at home.
“Friday, Nov. 4--…at 4 p.m. received notice from Capt. Tuttle to march toward Baltimore and Washington day after to-morrow.”
The regiment started for the front, but it seems they did not get far before they were ordered back, as the journal continues:
“November 22d—Got our discharges and set out for Berwick, on our return home.
“November 24th—Came to Lausanne.
“November 25th—Examined Mr. Covell’s new flat-bottomed boats for floating coal down the river.
“November 26th—Examined some timber on the mountain and marked it.”
Mr. Chapman then returned to Wilkesbarre, and during the winter visited Chenango Point, and found that “Mr. Whitney had given up the coal business.”
Early in February, 1815, in company with a Mr. Weston of Susquehanna County, who at Mr. Chapman’s request had agreed to take part in the project, or at least in superintending the cutting of timber and making plank and boards for arks, Mr. Chapman returned to Lausanne.
The journal continues:
“Thursday, 9th—Cut some timber for boat plank. This day thirty-five loads of coal were taken from the bed, and during the last eight days twenty-two teams from the country below have been up for coal.
“Wednesday, 15th—Assisted Mr. Peck in his preparations for getting off his ark, which is lodged on the rocks opposite an intended village of ‘Coalville.’
“Thursday, 16th—Spent the day assisting Mr. Peck. This morning the Freeman’s Journal brought us the first and certain news of peace.
“Saturday, 18th—Messrs. Cist and Miner set out for Wilkesbarre. Spent the day making runners for sled.
“Tuesday, 21st—Mr. Weston arrived with two loads of goods, with Capt. Case in company. Took possession of the ‘White House.’
“Thursday, 23d—Mr. Weston went to the Water Gap for hay. I worked on the log sled.
“Friday, 24th—Mr. Horton came with Mr. Weston.
“Wednesday, March 8—Spent the day getting a white-oak log to the mill, and in finishing a log-way for boats. (This ‘mill’ was a short distance above the mouth of Nesquehoning Creek.)
“Thursday, 9th—Spent the day preparing a place for building boats for coal …
“Saturday, 25th—Spent the forenoon in carrying plank, etc., to the river, and in the afternoon went down with some hands and floated my ark bottom down to Weiss’ landing, Mr. Weston with me.”
This landing was probably near the mouth of Mauch Chunk Creek, as we read elsewhere that Hillegas, Cist, and Weiss had some years before formed the “Lehigh Coal-Mine Company,” and taken up eight or ten thousand acres of unlocated land, and that about 1806 William Trumbull had an ark constructed at Lausanne, which brought down two or three hundred bushels. In a communication to the Historical Society, Mr. Erskine Hazard says that they, the “Lehigh Coal-Mine Company,” “opened the mine where it is at present worked,” which would be at Summit Hill, and “made a very rough road from the mine to the river” at Mauch Chunk.
After detailing the work of himself and others at cutting timber, sawing plank, shoeing oxen, etc., the journal continues:
“Wednesday, April 12, 1815—Employed two men, Ely and Miner, to finish the ark. Spent the day with them at Weiss’s.
“Friday, 14th—Had a number of men to assist me in turning the ark bottom at Weiss’s. Did not succeed in turning it.
“Saturday, 15th—Rallied more men from the surrounding country, and succeeded in turning the ark bottom.”
From this date to the 26th the journal details the occupation of Mr. Chapman and Mr. Cist, among other things, “examining the new coal-mine; ascertained that there is undoubtedly a large quantity of coal.” The Nesquehoning was for many years called “The New Mine.” By the 26th it would seem that the ark was loaded, as on that day Mr. Chapman “went up Mahoning Valley to engage hands for running the ark,” and on “Money, May 1, 1815, walked to Lehighton to engage men for running boats at the ‘Training’ there to-day.”
When he succeeded in getting men, or whether he sent the ark down the river, the journal does not state, but during the month of May he details the work of cutting timber, making plank, building and loading boats; and in June the journal continues:
“June 10, 1815—Proceeded to Mauch Chunk to take care of my boats. Loaded one.
“Monday, 12th—At work loading my boats at Mauch Chunk.
“Wednesday, 14th—Finished lower boat.
“Thursday, 15th—Attended to loading upper boat.
“July 23, 1815—Rode to Lausanne. Visited my boats.
“August 5th—Walked to Lehighton and took the required oath as postmaster of Lausanne before Justice Pryor. Appointed Samuel Weston my assistant.
“Monday, 7th—Raining in the morning. Ran my boats to Mauch Chunk.
“Saturday, 26th—Procured a box of coal from the ‘Ground Hog Vein’ for trial below. Explored the hill for more coal.
“Friday, Sept. 29, 1815—Arrived about sunset at Lausanne from Wilkesbarre, where I had been to engage workmen to build Flats.
“Friday, October 13th—Engaged Ely, Sinton, and Elick to build boats; Sinton and self getting logs down the river from Turnhole, Eick and Ely building boats.
“Thursday, November 2d—Spent the day recaulking my boats at Mauch Chunk.
“Tuesday, 7th—Spent the day with Mr. Weston, opening the Ground Hog Vein, up Rhume Run.”
The work during November and December appears to be that of opening the mines, making roads, getting out timber, etc. On the 13th of January, 1816, Mr. Chapman arrives by “stage-sleigh” at Philadelphia, where he saw “Mr. Wallace, Dr. Jones, Dr. Parke, Mr. Shober, Mr. Miffin, and Dr. James,” the two latter by appointment, and “made arrangements relative to Lausanne lands.”
“Friday, 19th—Rode to Allentown to breakfast, thence to Lausanne. Found the Lehigh had been very high. Ice suddenly gone out, and carried away all of my flats and arks except one at Mr. Weiss’s. Thus has gone the fruits of almost a year’s labor and expense.”
Notwithstanding this misfortune, Mr. Chapman commenced at once the building of other boats, working all of that winter and spring, and the journal continues as follows:
“Monday, 27th May, 1816—Set out down the river with two flats loaded with coal; went to Easton.
“Tuesday, 28th—Arrived at New Hope. Contracted with Jacob B. Smith for all the coal, more or less, at $18.50. For the first ten tons, cash down; remainder at same price, ninety days’ credit.
“Wednesday, 29th—Weighed the coal, and found the whole amount twelve tons, three quarters (fifteen hundredweight).
“July 3, 1816—Set out for the Lehigh to make arrangements relative to my boats and arks …
“Jan. 4, 1817—Set out for the Lehigh at Lausanne to attend to the business of my boats and coal at that place. Returned on the 11th, having been absent one week.
“March 1st—After examining the situation of my flats, proceeded down the river to Mr. Balliet’s. Stayed with Gen. Craig.
“March 28th—There having been rain, returned to Lausanne, but could not get a pilot, as all were engaged. Attended to my boats; got them free.
“Sunday, April 27, 1818—Proceeded in the morning (after breakfast at Mr. Harman’s) toward the landing at the Lehigh. Stopped a short time at the Beaver Meadow, at Quakake Valley, and arrived at Klotz’s at Lausanne about 3 ½ p.m. Here being informed that the gentlemen who have undertaken the improvement of the Lehigh navigation were at Lehighton, I proceeded to that place and found them at Hagenbuch’s. Spent the evening in conversation with Messrs. White, Hazard, and Hauto, on the subject of the Lehigh navigation.”
Here ends that part of the diary, which pertains to the operations of Miner, Cist, and Chapman. It will be noticed that in the last entry, which we have quoted Mr. Chapman speaks of meeting and consulting with the men who afterwards successfully mined coal where he and his partners through adverse circumstances had failed. We shall presently show how the attention of those men was drawn to the field through the operations of their predecessors. Mr. Chapman was destined to again labor in the field he had first visited in 1814. He entered the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company as their engineer, and died in Mauch Chunk in 1827. The immediate cause of his sickness was a cold taken while engaged professionally in Hackelbernie tunnel.
Josiah White and Erskine Hazard, who were engaged in making wire at the Falls of Schuylkill, bought most of the coal shipped by Miner, Cist, and Chapman, which reached Philadelphia safely (three out of the five arks they had intrusted to the turbulent Lehigh being wrecked), and it cost them twenty-one dollars per ton. White and Hazard had been induced to try anthracite by learning that Joshua Malin had successfully used it in his rolling-mill. Their first experiment was a failure. Another was tried, “and,” says Hazard in his communication, from which we have already quoted, “a whole night was spent in endeavoring to make a fire in the furnace, when the hands shut the door and left the mill in despair. Fortunately, one of them left his jacket in the mill and returning for it in about half an hour, noticed that the door was red-hot, and upon opening it was surprised at finding the furnace at a glowing white heat. The other hands were summoned, and four separate parcels of iron were heated and rolled by the same fire before it required renewing. The furnace was then replenished, and as letting it alone had succeeded so well, it was concluded to try it again, and the experiment was repeated with the same result.”
—Josiah White, having gained a practical knowledge of the value of the Lehigh coal, made inquiry into their ownership and condition, and determined to visit them to see if anything could be done there. He started out with William Briggs, a stone-mason, who had been working for him, and George F.A. Hauto, who had been an occasional …
... visitor at the Falls of Schuylkill, and the little party reached Bethlehem on Christmas-eve, 1817. They stayed at Lausanne and Lehighton, as the places nearest the mines, where they could board while visiting them. After a week spent in examination, White returned home favorably impressed with the practicability of mining coal and of improving the river so that it could be carried to Philadelphia. “It was concluded,” he says, “that Erskine Hazard, George F.A. Hauto, and myself should join in the enterprise. I was to mature the plan; Hauto was to procure the money from his rich friends; Hazard was to be the scribe, he also being a good machinist and an excellent counselor.” We will remark here that Hauto never fulfilled his part in this plan, and that, being a less desirable character than the other projectors had supposed him, his interest was bought by them at a heavy sacrifice in 1820.
Josiah White, in his communication to the Historical Society, says, “We three at once set about getting a lease of the Lehigh Coal-Mine Company’s lands—ten thousand acres for twenty years, for one ear of corn a year, if demanded; and from and after three years to send to Philadelphia at least forty thousand bushels of coal per annum on our own account, so as to be sure of introducing it into the market, by which means we hoped to make valuable what had hitherto proved to be valueless to the Coal-Mine Company; our intention being to procure the property of the mine and river, which by our plan (of navigation) was to support itself. We soon obtained the grant of a lease, as mentioned, which required two or three weeks to perfect, and during this time Erskine Hazard wrote out the law on the principles mentioned, and then we all posted to Harrisburg to procure its passage through the Legislature, in which we succeeded on the 20th of March, 1818, entitled an act to improve the navigation of the river Lehigh.”
Seven laws had before been procured for this purpose (in 1771, 1791, 1794, 1798, 1810, 1814, and 1816), and a company had been formed under one of them which spent nearly thirty thousand dollars in clearing out channels, but the work was relinquished because of the formidable character of the slate ledges about seven miles above Allentown.
White, Hazard, and Hauto now proposed, after two failures in working the mines and at several in improving the river, to undertake those two enterprises and push them to a successful completion. Their project was considered chimerical, the improvement of the Lehigh particularly being deemed impracticable because of the failure of the various companies who had undertaken it under previous laws, one of which raised money by lottery. Messrs. White and Hazard came to Mauch Chunk in April, 1818, and having made a survey of the river for the purpose of carrying out their plan of navigation, they also bought the tract of land on Mauch Chunk Creek to enable them to make, as they supposed they could, an unbroken plane for a road from the great coal-mine to the river of two feet in descent in the one hundred. But in laying it out it was found that the fall in the creek for two and a half miles at the lower end was too great, and they were therefore obliged to make a variation in the plan from one foot to about four and a half to the hundred. White and Hazard made the location of this road themselves, and it is said to have been the first “laid out by an instrument, on the principle of dividing the whole descent into the whole distance as regularly as the ground would admit of, and have no undulation.” Upon this road the coal was, at the commencement of the work, hauled from Summit Hill to Mauch Chunk.
During the year 1818 the plan for the organization of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company was arranged on the basis of a capital of two hundred thousand dollars in two hundred shares of one thousand dollars each, of which White, Hazard, and Hauto were each to have fifty, leaving fifty to be subscribed for by others, who were to have all that was made up to eighteen percent, and the principal proprietors the residue. But there was a diversity of opinion about the relative profits of the two interests, --mining and navigation—some having faith in the success of one and some in that of the other. Therefore it was considered expedient to form two companies.
The Lehigh Navigation Company was organized Aug 10, and the Lehigh Coal Company on Oct. 10, 1818. White, Hazard, and Hauto were the leading men in both companies. In the spring of 1820 they were consolidated, and on Feb. 13, 1822, incorporated under the title of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. The first election of officers of which there is any record preserved occurred on the 23rd of May, 1821, when John Cox was chosen president; Jonathan Zell, treasurer; Jacob Shoemaker, secretary; and Messrs. White and Hazard acting managers. Prior to the consolidation work had been carried on by the separate companies with many difficulties and under the disadvantage of scanty funds.
The Navigation Company, as soon as it was organized, began the work of making the river a safe waterway with thirteen hands, under Josiah White, at the mouth of Nesquehoning Creek. The number of employees was soon increased to seventy, and afterwards to a much larger number. They rigged two scows, about thirty-five feet long by fourteen feet wide, for lodging-and eating-rooms for the men; also one scow for the managers’ counting-house, store-house, and dwelling, and one for kitchen and bake-house. In these four boats, as the work at one point was finished, they floated down to another at which operations were to be commenced. White says, “The improvement being in a wilderness country, the workmen came from many nations, and were strangers to us. We kept but little cash about us, paying the men
in checks, which were not to be paid by the banks, unless signed by two of us. Thus we offered no inducements for them to commit any violence on us in the wilderness, for we were known to have no money on our persons. We were each (himself and Hazard clad in a complete suit of buckskin clothes, and were sometimes ourselves looked upon as suspicious persons in the country around.”
The improvement consisted at first of wing dams, as the company could not then raise sufficient means to make a slack-water navigation, and they did not know that the market would take from them a sufficient quantity of coal to justify the expense of a more perfect system of improvement. In their report to the stockholders, Dec. 31, 1818, the managers said that they had “made dams amounting in length to about thirteen thousand feet, and supposed to contain upwards of sixteen thousand perches of stone. By these dams the parts of the lower section that were considered the worst have been made navigable at all seasons of common low water, and a fresh dam of four hundred and fifty feet long is nearly finished, which they trust will accommodate the public with a navigation to Easton the coming season.” The following year, however, they found that they had been misinformed in regard to the lowest point reached by the river, and that the natural flow of the Lehigh was insufficient to give eighteen inches and a width of twenty-five feet, as was required by law, and hence they were obliged to resort to the plan of producing artificial freshets. For this purpose a peculiar sluice was needed, and Josiah White devoted himself for several weeks to the work of constructing one, finally producing what came to be known as the “Bear Trap.” He built a miniature experimental sluice in Mauch Chunk Creek, about where Concert Hall now stands, and the name “Bear Trap” was given to it by the workmen, who were annoyed by the inquiries of the curious as to what they were making. (The term was afterwards applied to the locality where the sluice was constructed, and is still sometimes used to designate it.)
During the year 1819 twelve of these dams and locks were built, and the managers fully proved their ability to send to the market, by the artificial navigation, such a regular supply of coal as would supply the demand. The improvement of the river was extended to the Lehigh Water Gap, ten miles below Mauch Chunk. The company, notwithstanding it had spent all of its capital, employed as many men during the winter of 1819-20 as they could find work for, and kept their financial condition a secret from the public. It would have been ruinous for them to have disbanded their men, “and,” says White, “would have confirmed the public in what they had predicted—another failure.”
In the year 1820, the two companies having been united as heretofore described, further improvements were made in the locks and dams, and the first anthracite coal sent to market by artificial navigation, the whole quantity being three hundred and sixty-five tons, which proved more than enough for family supplies in Philadelphia, and the company being indebted to the rolling-mills for taking the surplus. The price was $8.40 per ton. In 1821 the amount sent down the river was one thousand and seventy-three tons. In 1822 and 1823 the descending navigation was perfected. In the former year two thousand two hundred and forty tons of coal were shipped, and in the latter five thousand eight hundred tons, of which one thousand tons was left and sold the next spring. In 1824, “with many misgivings,” says Josiah White, “there was sent down the enormous quantity, as it was thought, of nine thousand five hundred and forty-one tons.” The predictions that were made that not half of it would be sold did not prove true, for people finding that the supply was likely to be permanently adequate, and the price kept at $8.40 or less, began to use it more generally for domestic purposes. The turning point in the use of anthracite had been reached. In the year 1825 the company sent to market twenty-eight thousand three hundred and ninety-three tons of coal. Here we take leave of the old system of navigation, of which a further account will be found in the chapter on internal improvements, as well as the history of the more advanced canal navigation which succeeded the river improvement.
The mines at Summit Hill had, of course, had been vigorously worked to supply the quantities of coal which we have seen were shipped from 1820 to 1825. The coal was taken out as stone is quarried. Hauto, writing of it in December, 1819, says, “ … We have uncovered about four acres of coal, removing all the earth, dirt, slate, etc. (about twelve feet deep), so as to leave a surface for the whole of that area of nothing but the purest coal, containing millions of bushels. We cut a passage through the rocks, so that now the teams drive right into the mine to load. The mine being situated near the summit of the mountain we are not troubled with water and the coal quarries very easy (sic). We have worked the stratum about thirty feet deep, and how much deeper it is we do not know.” In an address published by the company in 1821, the mine was described as appearing “to extend over some hundreds of acres of land, covered by about twelve feet of loose, black dirt, resembling moist gunpowder, which can be removed by cattle with scrapers, and thrown into the valley below, so as never to impede the work. The thickness of the coal is not known, but a shaft has been sunk in it thirty-five feet without penetrating through.” Professor Silliman, in his journal, nine years later, described the mine as follows: “The coal is fairly laid open to view and lies in stupendous masses, which are worked in open air exactly as in a stone-quarry. The excavation being in an angular area, and entered at different points by roads cut through the coal, in some places quite down to the lowest level, it has much the …
... appearance of a vast fort, of which the central area is the parade-ground, and the upper escarpment is the platform for the cannon.” Mining coal from the open cut was practiced almost exclusively at this point until 1844, when, owing to the dip of the veins, the uncovering became too heavy to be profitably carried on, and was, therefore, abandoned and underground work resorted to. Prior to 1827 all of the coal taken from the Summit Hill mine was sent to Mauch Chunk in wagons down the turnpike road, which has been described, but this method of transporting it was superseded by a better one, which bore strong testimony to the enterprising and far-seeing nature of the managers.
—In May 1827, the railroad from the mines to Mauch Chunk was begun. This was the first railroad ever constructed for the transportation of coal, and, with one or two trifling exceptions, for any other purpose. (The Quincy Massachusetts Railroad, three miles in length, was made in the fall of 1826. There had previously been a short wooden railroad, not plated with iron, at Leaper’s stone-quarry, but this was worn out and not in use when the Mauch Chunk road was constructed.) For many years it attracted the attention of travelers as a most wonderful novelty. This road was placed mainly on the route of the old wagon-road. The distance to the river from the mines is about nine miles. The elevation of Summit Hill above the river at the point where the coal was delivered into boats is nine hundred and thirty-six feet. The railroad made this descent by an irregular declivity, finally passing the coal down long chutes into the boats on the water. The whole was completed under the superintendence of Josiah White, who had conceived the idea, in about four months. The rails were of rolled bar-iron, about three-eights of an inch in thickness and one and a half inches in width, laid upon a wooden foundation. The sleepers were four feet apart, and rested upon stone. The loaded cars or wagons, as they were at first called, each carrying about one and a half tons of coal, were connected in trains of from six to fourteen, each attended by a couple of men, who regulated their speed. They made the descent entirely by the force of gravity, and being quickly unloaded at the chutes, were returned on the same track to the mines, being drawn by mules. They descended with the trains in cars made expressly for the purpose, affording a novel spectacle. The descent was made in about thirty minutes, and the mules, each pulling three or four cars, made the laborious back trip in about three hours. The length of the road, including “turn-outs” and branch roads to and into the mines, was twelve and a half miles. It was built at a cost of about three thousand and fifty dollars per mile, or, to be exact, a total of thirty-eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-six dollars. The managers said, in their annual report “One hundred and forty-six railroad wagons have been made, and the utility of the road proved by transporting 27,770 tons of coal, at a saving over the turnpike of 64 ¾ cents per ton, and has produced a saving this year of over $15,000. In mining the coal and in the boating department sixteen cents per ton have been saved, and the cost of the coal was thus reduced eighty cents per ton.” The whole amount of coal sent to market during the year was thirty-two thousand and seventy-four tons, for the transportation of which nearly fifteen miles of boats were constructed from seven million four hundred and twelve thousand, one hundred and eighty-three feet of lumber, taken from the forests up the river.
In 1830 the company commenced a railroad which connected the Rhume Run mines with the landing about a mile above Mauch Chunk. These mines had been opened a short time before on the northern side of the coal-basin, at a break in the mountain caused by the passage of Rhume Run Creek, which flows into the Nesquehoning. The road was substantially built along the side of the mountain, the rails being set in…
… cast-iron knees bolted to stone blocks. Coal was brought down on this road by the force of gravity, precisely the same as upon the Summit Hill and Mauch Chunk road, and at the river was discharged down an inclined plane into boats. When the Nesquehoning Valley Railroad was built the old gravity road was abandoned.
By the spring of 1844 the demand for coal had become so great that greater facilities were needed for its transportation from the mines to the river. The idea of a back track to convey the empty cars from the river to the mine had been conceived some years before by Josiah White, and was now carried out. To effect this object a plane was constructed from the head of the chutes to the top of Mount Pisgah, about nine hundred feet above the Lehigh. From the plateau to the mountain-top is six hundred and sixty-four feet. The length of the plane constructed was two thousand three hundred and twenty-two feet. Up this ascent the cars were drawn by two stationary steam-engines of one hundred and twenty horse-power each, and from thence allowed to run by gravity towards the mines on a track descending at an average grade of fifty feet to the mile, six miles to the foot of Mount Jefferson. From this point they were again raised four hundred and sixty-two feet, upon a plane two thousand and seventy feet in length, and thence by gravity they run a mile to the town of Summit Hill. The back track was completed and opened in 1845, and in the following year operations were commenced in Panther Creek Valley. Into this valley the cars descended for their loads of coal by the “switchback,” now abandoned, which gave to the whole unique and ingenious system the name by which it still is improperly called. The cars zigzaged down the “switchback,” reversing their motion where the tracks came together in the form of a Y. This was effected by a simple arrangement of self-acting switches. Supposing that the car came down the track represented by the left branch of the Y, it would continue upon the stem by the momentum it had gained on the steep down-grade of two hundred and twenty-one feet to the mile, but not far, for that portion of the track represented by the stem of the letter had an ascending grade. As soon as the car had come to a stand-still it began to run down the ascent, but the switch having been closed by a spring, instead of running back a little way on the road it had descended, it was directed to the right branch of the Y, and so continued its descent until it reached another switch, when the automatic operation was repeated. The cars when loaded were drawn to the summit upon a plane similar to that at Mount Pisgah and Mount Jefferson, and thence rolled along the gravity road to Mauch Chunk. This plan of the gravity road over the mountains from the mines to the river and back accomplished all that it was expected to, and was as complete a success from a financial point of view as it was from that of the engineer.
The Mount Pisgah plane was considered at the time of its construction as the greatest triumph of engineering in its peculiar line ever known, the height being the greatest overcome by similar means. The machinery of the planes was practically the same as that now in use, which we shall presently describe. The construction of the Nesquehoning Valley Railroad with a tunnel connecting with the Panther Creek Valley rendered the original gravity road, the back track, and the Switchback useless to the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company for the purposes they…
… were designed for and so many years fulfilled; but, owing to their novelty, they are retained, with the exception of the Switchback, and the gravity circuit of eighteen miles to and from the mines can be made by townspeople or tourists in comfortable passenger cars, the road now being under lease to the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company.
Ascending to the starting-point at the foot of Mount Pisgah plane (in Upper Mauch Chunk), one may study the mechanism of the cars and cables, and at the top the application of the power which lifts the cars with their human loads to the glorious heights where they begin their swift and fascinating journey along the wooded mountain-top towards the scene of Ginter’s important discovery in 1791. At the top of Mount Pisgah, in a house with two great chimneys, are the giants which genius has set to work to overcome the ascent of the mountain. They are engines each capable of exerting the power of one hundred and twenty horses. They revolve two iron drums of twenty-eight feet diameter, designed for operating, by means of two double Swedish iron bands seven and a half inches wide, a safety-car on each track of the plane. These drums can be revolved together or separately, as circumstances may require, and are as perfectly under the control of the engineer in charge as are the driving wheels of a locomotive. They are simply intended to wind up and unwind the iron bands alluded to, which are attached to the safety cars, and pass over rollers between the rails of each track when the machine is in motion. These bands are made of the very best of iron, are almost as strong and flexible as steel, and wind upon the drums as readily, to all appearance, as if composed of leather. They are long enough to reach from the engine-house to the foot of the plane, and, when a passenger car is moved up one track by a safety-car in its rear, the other safety-car, attached to its ban, moves down to take its place in the rear of another passenger car. This position in the rear of the passenger-car is reached by an ingenious arrangement, which obviates the necessity of detaching it from its connection with the power by which it is controlled. As it reaches the foot of the plane the gauge of its running-gear contracts, it takes a narrower track, an descends down a steeper decline into a pit between the rails until out of the way, when the passenger-car moves over and a short distance in advance of it. When all is ready a signal passes from the conductor below to the engineer above; the great drums are set in motion; the band which passes under and between the wheels of the passenger-car becomes taut, and the little safety-car comes slowly out, and is soon pushing up the loaded passenger-car towards the elevated summit. The safety-car looks like a small, solidly-built truck with extra gearing and a strong bumper. It is so called because provided with an iron arm, which extends over a ratchet-rail, upon which the least backward movement would cause it to fall, holding the little train stationary. In all the years that the plane has been in operation not a single person has been injured in going up the mountain.
The so-called “Switchback,” or more properly the gravity railroad, was leased by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and sub-leased by that corporation to Thomas L. Mumford, who is the present manager, and by whom, assisted by his brother, H.J. Mumford, superintendent and passenger agent, it is operated.
—The land upon which the oldest part of Mauch Chunk was built, that about the mouth of the creek, was surveyed on a warrant issued to William Bell, June 28, 1774, and the return of the …
… survey was made January 14, 1798. The tract of fifty-four and three-quarters acres was patented to White, Hazard, and Hauto, January 26, 1820. It was not originally the intention of the company to make the spot the site of the principal town in their territory, but they were compelled by necessity to do so. They thought it best to place the town at Lausanne (mouth of the Nesquehoning), a mile above, but the owner of the land, thinking that the company must accept his terms, made them so high that he defeated his own purpose. He was offered three-fourths of the preposterous price which he had set upon the property, but refused it, and the company, having then made their highest bid, ceased forever their endeavor to buy. “A Common Observer,” in a contribution to the Mauch Chunk Courier in 1830, writes as follows of the relative merits of different sites for an important town: “Mauch Chunk seems by nature designed for a place of business, but as there is not sufficient room, owing to the approach of the mountains to the Lehigh, for a town of much size, the business of the place will most likely be confined pretty much to the shipment of coal. The Landing, or Lausanne, is less confined than Mauch Chunk, and it is probable from its location, being at the head of the navigation, and at the commencement of the turnpike leading to the Susquehanna, that it will in a short time become a place of merchandize and produce destined to and for the upper country ... But summing up the advantages of either of these places for a flourishing country town, they will not compare with Lehighton.”
The improvements made at Mauch Chunk were at first merely those necessary to the business of the company, most rigidly utilitarian in character, and the town gained little attractiveness until it was opened to individual enterprise.
The settlement, when about one year old, was described as follows by George F.A. Hauto: “We have erected about forty buildings for different purposes, among which is a saw-mill (driven by the river), for the purpose of sawing stuff for the use of the navigation; … one other saw-mill (driven by Mauch Chunk Creek), a grist-mill, a mill for the saving of labor for the construction of wagons, etc. (also driven by the creek), smitheries (with eight fires), workshops, dwellings, wharves, etc. We have cut about fifteen thousand saw-logs and cleared four hundred acres of land.”
Nicholas Brink came up from Philadelphia, as company steward, in 1818. His wife, Margaret, was the first woman who came to Mauch Chunk. They brought with them four children,--Henry, William, Nicholas, and Elizabeth. The last named (Mrs. John Painter, now the only survivor of the family) was two years old when she came here, and has been longer a resident of the town than any other person. There was born to the Brinks, in 1820, another child, who was named, in honor of the three pioneer proprietors, Josiah White Erskine Hazard George F.A. Hauto Brink. As this was the first birth at the settlement, it was celebrated by the rough and motley crowd of laborers in quite a demonstrative manner. “The forest was illuminated with pine torches, plenty of good old and pure whiskey was drank, and the noise and dancing were so great that it seemed as if the very tops of the pines had caught the infection and kept time with it by waving to and fro.” This boy, grown to manhood, became an employé of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and at the time of his death in 1877, was an engineer at the Summit Hill mines.
The house built for Steward Brink and his family was the first dwelling in Mauch Chunk. They lived in a boat upon the river until it was completed, having just such a floating domicile as had White and Hazard and their laborers. The house was erected on the lower bank of the creek, and near the river, not far from where the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company’s building now is. The family lived in one end of the structure, and Mr. Brink had his bakery in the other end. Three or four men were employed in the bakery. Mrs. Brink soon after she was settled in the new house had six hundred boarders to take care of, that being about the number engaged on the river improvement, on the coal road, and in the mills and shops and smitheries. They took their meals and slept in a long building adjoining the dwelling-house.
Other buildings were soon erected, among the first being Josiah White’s, now John Leisenring’s, in 1822, at a cost of seventeen hundred and forty-five dollars, and the company’s store, where Mr. Leisenring’s garden now is, to which meals were sent for the managers from Brink’s. William Zane’s house, afterwards Nathan Patterson’s, was built in 1821. Sixteen stone houses on both sides of Broadway, below the “willow tree,” were commenced in 1822, and finished in the following year. A two-story stone building—the company’s store-house—was built in 1828, where the court-house now is, costing four thousand five hundred and sixty-two dollars. This was donated to Carbon County upon its organization, and served as a temple of justice until it was burned in the disastrous fire of 1849. The “Bear Trap” shop, where the wheelwright, James McCray, labored, had been built in 1822, and some stables for oxen and mules nearby. In 1824 the ravine was given a further appearance of being inhabited by the erection of nineteen log buildings above the “Bear Trap”, and in 1825 seven plank houses were built adjoining the stone dwellings of which we have spoken. The Mansion House was begun in 1823 and finished in 1824, and a foundry built the same year. The stone grist-mill which had been commenced in 1821 was completed in 1825, and three saw-mills were put in operation on the river about the same time. Prior to this period saw-mills and dwellings had also been built at Lauraytown.
In 1827 the company built their first bridge across the Lehigh (a wooden structure), erected a fire-proof …
… office where the First National Bank now is, and took a step toward the protection of their other property by purchasing a hand fire-engine, still to be seen in Upper Mauch Chunk, for which, with hose and buckets, they paid six hundred and ninety-six dollars. Thus building went on and improvements were made until the rough mining and lumbering camp became a town.
Still it bore a very crude and rough appearance, and there was nowhere to be seen any attempt at ornament or the attainment of any comforts beyond the commonest. The stone houses were all alike,--small, thick-walled, with a low second story, and they invariably displayed a door and one window below the two square windows above. The fronts were finished in what is known as the “rough cast” or “pebble dashed” style.
The road and the creek did not occupy the same relative position that they now do, and the ravine in some places was a deep, mirey marsh, thickly overgrown with brush and covered with a tangle of vines, through which a man could not make his way.
When the channel of the stream was shifted about to suit the people who had sought homes in the narrow gorge, and Broadway laid out as it now is, there still remained the work of raising the roadway to its present level and of covering and confining the creek in the channel which had been provided for it, and this was not accomplished until recent years.
The appearance of the town of a half-century ago has been described as follows by James T. Blakslee:
“When I landed here the 3d day of April, 1833, there was not a dwelling on either side of Broadway or on Susquehanna Street from William Butler’s residence to the Mansion House, the only hotel then in town. There were no dwellings on the south side of Broadway, from the old ‘willow-tree’ up to where Mr. Wilhelm’s house now stands, and very few on either side above. John Fatzinger’s foundry and machine shop was then in operation. There was no Upper or East Mauch Chunk. We had what were then called Northern Liberties and Burlington, the present site of Packerton. The canal extended no farther up than the No 1 dam and lock here, at the foot of Broadway. The Gravity Railroad was in operation, the mules riding down to haul the return cars to Summit Hill.
Men and manners were as rough as the surroundings for the most part during the early years of the settlement, and of the colossal work that had been undertaken in the wilderness. A great number of men had gathered from far and near, from town and country, to build the river dams, to cut timber, prepare roadways, and delve in the mountain for coal. They were men of many nationalities, and usually of rough nature, and when they came together in a frolic their latent animosities or others suddenly engendered, often terminated the meeting with a fight. They were not so much given, however, to fighting among themselves as they were to waging war against the Lehighton laborers, with whom they were frequently engaged in sanguinary encounters on their own ground. The scenes enacted and the manner of life generally were about the same as those to be observed today wherever a large body of men are employed on an extensive work considerably removed from civilized communities. The use of liquor as much more common then than now. Laboring men were commonly supplied with it by their employers. The sturdy Quaker, Josiah White, made no exception to the rule, and the men employed at Mauch Chunk were given their whiskey as regularly as their meals, a man being employed whose sole duty it was to dispense it, a “jigger” full at a time, to each. William Speers was the “jigger boss” employed by the company, and it was in recognition of his first name that the allowances came to be generally called “Billy cups.”
The following rude verses, an impromptu by the Rev. Mr. Webster, delivered on the occasion of a temperance celebration on the Fourth of July, 1842, allude to early-day customs, and will be familiar to all old residents:
(Air,--“John Anderson my Jo.”)
“When Old Mauch Chunk was young,
J---(Josiah White) used to say,
A man that labored hard should have
Six ‘Billy Cups’ a day.
And so, with an unsparing hand,
The whiskey flood was flung,
And drunkards they were made by scores
When old Mauch Chunk was young.
“When old Mauch Chunk was young,
At noon they blew the horn,
And, gathering thick, came gangs of men,
And so at eve and morn.
With grace and promptitude and skill
They moistened lip and tongue,
And went to work in rain and mud,
When old Mauch Chunk was young.
“When old Mauch Chunk was young
Lehighton was in prime,
Were had in olden time.
Like short-tailed bulls in fly-time,
They at each other sprung,
And many a battle there was fought
When old Mauch Chunk was young.
“When old Mauch Chunk was young
And Captain Abels preached,
The top notch of intemperance
By many a one was reached;
And dark the cloud of sorrow
O’er many a dwelling hung,
With deep disgrace and poverty,
When old Mauch Chunk was young.
“When old Mauch Chunk was young
A treat was no great shakes
Unless before the company
Was set a heap of cakes.
And never better cakes were eat,
Or better song was sung,
Than this which we are laughing at,
When old Mauch Chunk was young.”
The Town Opened to Individual Enterprise—Sale of Lots
—Until 1831 the property in the settlement all belonged to the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and whatever of improvement had been made was solely the work of that corporation. But now the town was to be opened to the enterprise of individuals, and to enter, as was proved subsequently, upon an era of moderate prosperity based upon several independent causes. When the company decided to put the village property in the market, they issued, under date of September 19, 1831, the following advertisement:
“Persons desirous of locating themselves at Mauch Chunk are informed that lots in that town, on both sides of the Lehigh, are now offered for sale on advantageous terms, and free from all restrictions. This town is situated in Northampton County, at the present head of the Lehigh navigation (which is adapted to boats of 140 tons burthen), is 46 miles, by the Lehigh Canal, from Easton (which is at the confluences of the Delaware Canal to Philadelphia and the Morris Canal to New York), 80 miles by land and 124 miles by canal to Philadelphia, 96 miles by land and 156 miles by canal to New York, and 32 miles by turnpike from the Pennsylvania Canal at Berwick, to which place the navigation will, no doubt, in a few years be extended by the route of the Nescopeck Valley. Water-powers can be concentrated here to any extent required for manufacturers, and the families of the laborers engaged in the coal business (of which this place is the exclusive shipping port) will furnish the necessary number of suitable hands. For terms, apply to Josiah White, acting manager at Mauch Chunk.”
The company began to sell lots in 1832. The earliest purchasers were E.W. Harland, who took the lot where Yeager’s furniture store now is; Jesse K. Pryor, who bought the lot now occupied by W.H. Stroh’s store; Thomas Belford, who became the owner of an adjoining lot; John Mears, who, with Cornelius Connor, secured the ground on which the American House stands; and Isaac T. Dodson, who bought the lot on which Judge A.G. Brodhead now lives.
In 1833, Albert Abbott bought the lot next above the present residence of Rev. M.A. Tolman; Isaac Salkeld, the property now owned by W.G. Freyman; Benjamin R. McConnell, the lot known as “the Packer corner” (where the Lehigh Railroad building stands), giving therefore six hundred dollars; Daniel Bertsch, the three lots now occupied by the Broadway Hotel; James Broderick, the lot on which Dr. Mayer resides; Almon Woodworth, the lot on which is Gen. Lilly’s residence; Joseph Butler, the lot on which James I. Blakeslee now lives; and William Knowles and John Mears, what is now known as the “Dodson property,” where Asa Beers’ store is. The Courier noted with pleasure the disposition to buy lots and build houses, and prophesied a bright future for the town.
After the first two years few, if any, lots were sold, until 1836, when John G. Martin, H.B. Hillman, and Henry Mears became purchasers,--the last named of the lot where Carpenter’s jewelry store now is, and Mr. Hillman of the lot at present occupied by Rex’s store.
—In 1822 the population was two hundred and sixty-nine, comprising ninety-three working hands, thirty-five other male adults, forty-five female adults, and ninety-six children. Two years later the population had increased to seven hundred and thirty-four, and included ninety-six families. There were one hundred and six male adults, one hundred male boarders, one hundred and forty-two female adults, and two hundred and fifty-two children. The following persons, most of whom were heads of families, paid taxes on personal property in 1824.
Josiah White Nicholas Brink
Erskine Hazard Samuel Busby
John Pryor John Ruddle
Solomon Minett Isaac Salkeld
Hugh White Richard French
Thomas Clark John Sherry
John Oliver David Wasser
Levi Hugg John Pinman
Daniel Welsh Isaac T. Dodson
Samuel Lippincott Hiram Eich
Benjamin Mears Robert Clark
James O’Brian Thomas O’Riley
Jed Irish George Arthurton
Bear-Trap and Above.
James Bigger Joseph Walker
Jno. Flood Peter Silvis
James Spear John Conner
Hez. Mitchell John Enka
Adam Hoffman John Knowles
David Enbody William Walker
John Henri Justice Gould
Edward Binley Jacob Wanner
James McCrea William Cornelson
James Watt Patrick Burns
James Murray James Kinsley
John Lowry Lawrence Smothers
Jacob Wilhelm Arch. McVicker
Jno. Y. Tutton
John F. Heebner James Lemmon
John Swank Abraham Stroh
George Bobst David Corey
In 1826 the population had increased to thirteen hundred and sixty-four and the number of families to two hundred and thirteen. This census, however included all of the company’s dependencies in Mauch Chunk township, the inhabitants at the mines, and the families living on Hackelbernie and Union farms, which had been established to supply the settlements with certain necessaries.
In 1828 two hundred and seventy-two names…
… appeared upon the assessment-list of Mauch Chunk township, most of whom were in that part of it which now constitutes the borough. The Coal and Navigation Company paid $91.80 of the total tax of $160.44, being assessed on over four thousand acres of land, a grist-mill, three saw-mills, a store-house, tavern, furnace, sixteen stone dwellings, sixty-nine log and frame dwellings, forty-two horses, thirty-six oxen, and thirty-six mules.
Among the names of the residents appear those of the managers, Josiah White and Erskine Hazard, and, in addition, a number not given in the list of 1824, among them those of Isaac A. Chapman, Joseph H. Chapman, Asa L. Foster, Daniel Bertsch, and William Butler.
In 1830 the population of Mauch Chunk proper was only about seven hundred, and in 1840 it was twelve hundred.
First among the pioneers chronologically and in other respects were White and Hazard, through whose enterprise the town was built.
Josiah White was born at Mount Holly, Burlington Co., N.J., March 4, 1781, and was the son of John and Rebecca White. He was descended from Thomas White of Omneu, Cumberland Co., England, whose son, Christopher White, with his wife, Elizabeth, emigrated to America in 1677. Josiah White’s father had a small fulling-mill at Mount Holly, and there the attention of the boy was probably first directed to mechanics. His father dying while he was quite young, the boy found employment in a hardware-store in Philadelphia, where he acquired such knowledge that he was able to succeed his employer in business as soon as he was able to set up for himself. Having acquired sufficient means to satisfy his moderate wants, he retired from business and settled at the Falls of Schuylkill, about five miles from Philadelphia, where he bought a country-place with a water-power, which his engineering ability was soon exercised in improving. He built a dam across the river, and a large lock of cut stone for passing riverboats , which was the first constructed on the river. He built a mill for the manufacture of wire, which was burned down, but immediately rebuilt, and he swung a wire suspension bridge of four hundred feet span across the river from the mill to the opposite bank. At that time Philadelphia was supplied with water pumped by expensive steam machinery, using wood for fuel. Josiah White proposed to contract to supply the city at a greatly reduced rate by the substitution of water-power for steam, and his proposition resulted, after long negotiations, in the undertaking of the work by the city, White, with his partner, Gillingham, selling the power for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The Fairmount Water-Works were then constructed. The wire manufactory, which for a number of years was very profitable, became less so after the war of 1812, and White, with his partner, Erskine Hazard, then sought other enterprises in which to exert their energies. They had successfully experimented on the wire-mill with the Lehigh coal, and that experiment led them to the undertaking of mining it, of forming the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and eventually accomplishing the mighty work which is detailed in the first pages of this chapter. In those operations Josiah White’s perseverance, pluck, skill, and fertility of invention, coupled with great financial ability, were the leading forces. He was the pioneer in canal development in Pennsylvania, as DeWitt Clinton was in New York. His name will ever be inseparably linked with the improvement of the Lehigh, with the building of important railroads, the first successful mining of anthracite coal, and its first successful use in the manufacture of iron, a history of which appears in the chapter of this work devoted to Catasauqua. Josiah White’s residence in Mauch Chunk extended from 1818 to 1831, when, the works of the company being so far completed as not to require his constant attention, he removed with his family (who had come here in 1821) to Philadelphia, where they settled at the corner of Arch and Seventh Streets. He died in that city, November 14, 1850, in the seventieth year of his age. He was by birth a member of the Society of Friends, and all his life retained connection with that sect, being governed by its teachings, and following in dress and habits the customs of its members. He was a man of sterling worth and integrity, and in the latter part of his life, when he had the means to follow his benevolent inclinations, gave largely to many excellent charities, and founded two manual labor schools in the States of Indiana and Iowa.
Erskine Hazard was scarcely second to White as a promoter of the several enterprises along eh Lehigh. He was a man of great ingenuity and an excellent machinist. He had been in partnership with White at the Falls of Schuylkill, in the manufacture of wire, as early as 1811, and in later years, when the great work of opening the mines and putting coal in the market had been performed, his mind seems to have reverted to the handling of iron. In 1839 he went to Wales to learn all that was known of the smelting of iron by the use of anthracite, and it was through that trip that the Lehigh Crane Iron-Works, the first to successfully use anthracite in this country, were brought into existence. (See history of Catasauqua). He had previously experimented with anthracite as a fuel for smelting iron at Mauch Chunk, as it related elsewhere in this chapter. He also conceived the idea and made the first drafts of a machine for making wire rope, which was afterwards erected in the old stone mill-building by E. A. Douglas, superintendent of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and which made all the wire rope used by that company for many years. He invented a propeller screw, several improvements in firearms, the first spark-arrester used on the Camden and Amboy Rail-…
…road, and a number of other articles of practical value. He wrote largely on topics of scientific and general interest, his articles appearing in the Philadelphia Public Ledger and in the Journal of the Franklin Institute. He was also a deep thinker on the various topics of political economy, and when the war broke out, in 1861, it is said that it was he who gave Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, the idea of the United States notes and greenback currency. A writer has said of him, “His life was spent in endeavors to advance the public good, and though, as years advanced, he retired from all active business, except as one of the managers of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company and of the Crane Iron Company, his thoughts and pen were always busy.” He died suddenly, of heart-disease, February 26, 1865, a little over seventy-five years of age. Erskine Hazard was a son of Ebenezer Hazard, Postmaster-General of the United States (1782-89), and was born in New York, November 30, 1789. Ebenezer Hazard (who was descended from a certain Thomas Hazard, who became a freeman of Boston in 1636) removed with his family to Philadelphia in 1790 or 1791, and it was there and in college at Princeton, N.J., that the subject of our brief sketch received the education which was to enable him to be of such great use to his fellow-men. A son, Fisher Hazard, remains in Mauch Chunk.
John Ruddle, a native of England, who had arrived in this country in 1818, came here two years later as a clerk for the Coal and Navigation Company, and remained in the employ of the company as chief bookkeeper until the time of his death, which occurred in 1865. He was a man of character and ability. He left a daughter, Ann, who was the wife of A.W. Leisenring, and son, George Ruddle, who has been for many years real estate agent for the company, and was the first burgess of East Mauch Chunk.
Isaac Salkeld, one of Mauch Chunk’s early inhabitants, was born February 2, 1780, and spent most of his time till 1809 in Philadelphia, when he moved to the Falls of Schuylkill, where Messrs. Josiah White and Erskine Hazard started their rolling-mill, nail and wire factory, and took the superintendency of these works for Messrs. White & Hazard. He remained in charge of these works till 1821, when they were obliged to discontinue on account of the building of Fairmount dam at Philadelphia, which overflowed their works. He then went back to Philadelphia, where he engaged in the rolling-mill business in what he called the city works. On March 6, 1823, he with his wife and children—Jacob H., Isaac, Jr., George Washington, Anna, and Maria B.—left Philadelphia in a two-horse carriage for Mauch Chunk, where they arrived March 9th, having traveled the lines of what are now the North Penn and Lehigh Valley Railroads. Upon reaching Mauch Chunk, he and his family moved into what was then No. 7 Broadway, a stone house south of the "Willow-tree.” Mr. Salkeld became one of the “bosses” of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and superintended the building of the Mansion House, the stone mill (now the office of the Mauch Chunk Democrat), and other buildings of the company. He was also superintendent of the company’s boat-yard, and is still remembered by some, riding his gray mule, in the discharge of his work. The old Nesquehoning Railroad was built under his management, and he at one time had charge of the old Mauch Chunk Foundry, which was one of the first foundries in the State outside of Philadelphia. Mr. Salkeld died in Easton, Pa., May 4, 1839, while there on business for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and is buried in the Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery.
Of his children, Maria B. never married, but is well remembered by the good work she was always willing to do. Anna, the eldest daughter, married John Fatzinger, who was prominently connected with old Mauch Chunk, and who represented the county in the Legislature for several years. Isaac Salkeld, Jr., was employed at the foundry, married Juliet, daughter of John Leisenring, Sr. He died in Mauch Chunk December 26, 1839, aged twenty-six years. George Washington Salkeld, during the greater part of his working life, was in the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and was a civil engineer by profession, and was under Mr. E. A. Douglas, superintendent, instrumental in making many of the engineering achievements during the middle period of the company’s history. His brain and hands are still seen in Mount Pisgah and Mount Jefferson Planes, on the gravity road, and in the Switchback scheme, and also in the first wire-rope machine used by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. During the last few years of his life he was associated in the foundry business with his brother, Jacob, and Samuel Bradley. For ten years prior to his death Mr. Salkeld was a sufferer from consumption, but notwithstanding this he was known to all as a man of unusual energy and geniality. He died February 6, 1861, in his forty-fifth year.
Jacob H. Salkeld, the oldest son, was born in Philadelphia, June 7, 1807, and moved with his parents to Mauch Chunk in 1823, when in his sixteenth year. His early education in Mauch Chunk was taken charge of by Mr. James Nolan, one of the early educators there, whose school was then held just above the foundry dam. During the summer months, when there was vacation, he worked with his father on the various buildings the company was then erecting. For a few years during his minority he worked at the trade of a carpenter with one John O’Neil, in Philadelphia, on the old University of Pennsylvania, and also in a foundry operated by Sedgly & Johnson, near the corner of Broad and Filbert Streets, where the new Masonic Temple now stands. He was afterwards employed in the pattern-shop and foundry of the old Mauch Chunk Foundry, and in August 1829, when…
… the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company desired to give up their foundry, he and his brother-in-law, John Fatzinger, took it, and under the name of Fatzinger & Salkeld operated it for a number of years, till Mr. Fatzinger removed from Mauch Chunk to Waterloo, N.Y. After this he continued in the foundry business (having associated with him various partners) with little interruption till 1880, when he removed to Boston, Mass., where he now lives (January, 1884) in his seventy-seventh year. Mr. Salkeld was for many years a director in the First National Bank, the Mauch Chunk Water Company, and Mauch Chunk Gas Company, and was always willing to help the town and the people as much as was in his power. He was twice married, his first wife being Catharine, sister of John Fatzinger, Esq., and his second wife being Caroline Fatzinger Patterson, widow of Dr. O. S. Patterson, of Waterloo, N.Y., and another sister of Mr. Fatzinger.
George Belford was one of the company’s first employés, and followed his trade of carpentering until the Upper Lehigh navigation improvement was completed, when he became a contractor, and with his several partners began coal-mining at Summit Hill in 1842. He was very successful there and at Eckley. He was elected the first president of the Mauch Chunk Bank in 1855. He died in February, 1873, leaving a number of sons, among whom is the well-known Dr. Belford.
Abraham Stroh, father of William H. and Amos Stroh, came here in 1824, from Milton, and entered the employ of the company as a millwright. He built the mill at Rockport, and completed the old stone mill in this place. He lost his life through injuries received in a great water-wheel which he was engaged in repairing.
Others who were here as early as 1824 were Samuel Lippincott, chief clerk of the company from its organization to the day of his death; Benjamin Mears, who was for a number of years chief bookkeeper in the company’s store department; Isaac Dodson, boat builder, and afterwards a prominent merchant; William Zane, the company’s “boss” carpenter; and Thomas Brelsford, a shoemaker, who died only a few years since. About the same time as these came Abiel Abbott, for a time the company’s superintendent.
Alexander Lockhard came as a teamster in 1826, and afterwards was a successful contractor. James McCrea, wheelwright, came in 1826, or the following year, and Michael Malone, a contractor on the first railroad, in 1827. The latter died a few years ago in Lancaster, at the age of eighty-eight years.
William Butler, of Lycoming County, was an arrival of 1826, and originally one of the company’s employés, like all others who were here prior to 1831. He was subsequently a contractor, and was frequently elected tax collector. He was one of the founders of St. Mark’s Church. His death occurred in 1842. His oldest son, Joseph Butler, long since deceased, was a prominent character in “old Mauch Chunk,” a justice for many years, associate judge, and one of the first Methodists of the town. The family of William Butler was large, but now only four remain,--William, Robert Q., Alexander W., and a sister.
Isaac A. Chapman, the first engineer of the company, a native of Connecticut, came to Mauch Chunk from Wilkesbarre in 1826. His death occurred in 1827, and there are now no immediate representatives of his family in the place, though a son, Charles I.A. Chapman, lives at Port Blanchard (Pittston post office), Luzerne Co. Isaac A. Chapman had, as heretofore at length related, traversed the Mauch Chunk coal region during and after the war of 1812, when Cist, Miner & Co. undertook the work of getting out coal, and did in fact succeed in sending a small quantity to Philadelphia.
Joseph H. Chapman, a nephew of the man whom we have just mentioned, was here as a boy with his grandfather, Joseph Chapman, in 1816, and came as a settler in 1828. He entered the employ of the company, and soon went to the cement-works at Lehigh Gap, where he superintended the work of the Delaware Cement Company, which was engaged in making cement for the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal. In 1831 he returned to Mauch Chunk, but soon after went to Philadelphia. He married there, in 1833, Miss Martha Wooley, and in the following year came to Mauch Chunk to reside permanently. From that time to the present he has made his home in this place, and been absent but very little, though in 1840 he superintended the laying of the first twenty-six miles of the Erie Railroad in New York State. He was the master-carpenter and mechanic of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, but since 1862 has been in charge of the coal shipping, which important duty he now daily attends to, though over eighty years of age. Mr. Chapman, who was born in Massachusetts in 1803, is the only person now living of whom we have any knowledge who beheld the site of Mauch Chunk before a house was built upon it, and has passed more years of adult life here than any other resident.
His eldest son, Lansford F. Chapman, who was colonel of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers was killed at Chancellorsville. His second son, Charles W., is the superintendent and engineer of the Catasauqua and Fogelsville Railroad, upon which the third son, Willard J., lost his life. Two daughters, Mary (Worthington) and Grace (Shaffer), live respectively in the State of Iowa and Alleghany County, Pa.
Asa Lansford Foster, who has been honored by the application of his middle name to the prosperous borough in the western part of Mauch Chunk township, came here in 1827, and was the founder of the first newspaper in the town, The Lehigh Pioneer and Mauch Chunk Courier (now the Coal Gazette), of which an account will presently be given. He was a native of…
… Massachusetts, born in 1798, and at the age of twenty had settled in Berwick, Columbia County, in which place and in Bloomsburg, where he went into business, he spent eight years of his life. In 1826 he went into a large store in Philadelphia, from whence he came to this place a year later, well qualified by experience for the place which he accepted, that of the “Lehigh Company’s storekeeper.” He held the position until the department was discontinued. Subsequently he became one of the leading men of the region. He was a prominent merchant until 1837, when he became one of the organizers and the superintendent of the Buck Mountain Coal Company, which carried on very extensive operations. Later in life he was interested at Eckley. He died in 1868, while on a visit in Wilkesbarre, leaving two sons,--Thomas L. and Charles E., of whom the senior is president of the Second National Bank.
Daniel Bertsch moved here in 1827 from Lockport, Northampton Co., and entered the employ of the company as a blacksmith. He afterwards became a contractor upon the canal and in coal mining, and in 1833 built the Broadway House. He died here in February 1877, leaving a son, who bears his name, and two daughters, Mrs. Polk and Mrs. Price. His oldest daughter, Caroline, now deceased, was the wife of John Leisenring.
Thomas Patterson was the first weigh-master of the Lehigh Company before the construction of the weigh-lock.
William H. Sayre, who came here in 1829, was the surveyor and builder of the “back track” on Mount Pisgah, and of the Panther Creek Valley Railroad. He was also chief clerk and cashier of the weigh-lock, to which position his son, Francis R. succeeded upon his death, holding it until very recently.
Asa Packer, a native of Connecticut, whose name and fame belong to the State of Pennsylvania as well as this locality, came here in 1833. His name has been connected with almost every important enterprise of the valley, and will ever be revered as that of the founder of Lehigh University, and the doer of other great and good deeds. Elsewhere in this volume is an extended sketch, in which the operations which led up to the building of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and the development of the character of the judge, representative, and Congressman, the useful and revered citizen, are outlined.
John Leisenring, originally from Whitehall township, Lehigh Co., but for a number of years a resident of Philadelphia, where he learned the currier trade, came to Mauch Chunk in 1833. He had been a soldier in the war of 1812. The first occupation he followed here was that of a landlord, keeping the Mansion House very successfully for a number of years. Later he became a merchant and general businessman. He died in 1854, aged about sixty years. His oldest son, who bears his full name, was engaged as an engineer on the Upper Lehigh navigation improvement; was afterwards chief engineer and general manager of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and still later chief engineer of the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad. Another son, A.W. Leisenring, is president of the First National Bank, and a daughter is the wife of A.A. Douglass.
James I. Blakslee came to Mauch Chunk from Susquehanna County in 1833, for the purpose of boating on the canal, but he soon went into Asa Packer’s store. He was more or less connected with all of Judge Packer’s mining, shipping, mercantile, and building operations until the Lehigh Valley Railroad was completed in 1855. He was then appointed conductor, and ran the first passenger train on the road. He continued in that position until after the Mahanoy Branch was commenced, when he was appointed its superintendent. He is now superintendent of the coal branches. On April 3, 1883, the fiftieth anniversary of his arrival here, he was made the recipient of a handsome testimonial from a number of the officers and employees of the railroad company, and the occasion was otherwise appropriately made memorable.
John Painter, a native of Sunbury, Northumberland Co., came here from Columbia County in 1831, remained until the following year, and returned to settle permanently in 1836. Two years later he married Elizabeth Brink, who can now claim longer residence here than any other person. Mr. Painter published the Courier for a number of years, and was the second sheriff of the county, serving from 1846 to 1849. Since 1869 he has been borough constable.
Henry Ebert, the first citizen of German birth, came here about 1834, and followed watch-making and dentistry. He died in 1850.
Mention must be made, before we arrive at too recent a period, of other early residents, of whom few details, however, can be given. There was William Knowles, superintendent for several years of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company; L.D. Knowles, boat-builder; Dr. Benjamin Rush McConnell (see chapter on the Medical Profession), the company’s physician; Samuel B. Hutchinson, for many years cashier of the company; George Fegley, merchant, who removed to Penn Haven, but returned and ended his days in the town of his early choice; Abraham Shortz, lumberman, merchant, county commissioner, etc., Patrick Sharkey, who came as a plasterer, and was subsequently a prominent merchant and county treasurer; Ezekiel Harlan, James Broderick, Samuel Holland, John McMurtrie, Samuel Crawford, and George H. Davis, contractors; Alexander Steadman and George Esser, prominent hotel men; Cornelius Connor, first proprietor of the American House; Thomas Hasely, who drove the Hackelbernie tunnel, John Fatzinger, proprietor of the first foundry; Canvass White and his son, Charles L. White, at different periods the company’s engineers,…
… and the latter subsequently connected with the Lehigh Valley Railroad; Nathan Patterson, for many years the company’s cashier; Harry Wilbur, merchant; and the two physicians, Thompson and Righter, both of whom lost their lives by cholera during the epidemic of 1854. There, too, were the prominent attorneys, J.H. Siewers (father of E.W. Siewers), who was the pioneer of an advanced system of education, M.M. Dimmick, who became a member of Congress, Samuel McLane, who moved to Montana, and was elected delegate to Congress in 1860, and General Albright, all of whom are represented in the chapter upon the Bench and Bar.
One of the most active of the comparatively early settlers was Colonel John Lentz, a native of Lehigh County, born in 1793. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and afterwards took much interest in militia matters. After removing to Mauch Chunk he took a prominent part in the agitation of the county division project, which resulted in the setting off of Carbon County in 1843. He was elected a county commissioner in 1847, sheriff in 1852, and associate judge in 1857. He was also a prominent hotel-keeper. He died in 1875, leaving a son, Lafayette, and a daughter, wife of Honorable Robert Klotz.
Robert Klotz came to Mauch Chunk in 1833, to drive horses on the tow-path of the canal. His father, Christian Klotz, had made his home at the Landing Tavern as early as 1821, and was one of the first men engaged in building rafts and boats to run down the river. Robert Klotz was born in Mahoning about three years before his father came to the river to seek a livelihood, and in the vicinity of a farm where his mother’s father, Robert McDaniel, had settled during the Revolutionary war. The young man prospered in the place he had chosen for a home in 1833, and ten years later was elected register and recorder. In 1846 he went as a soldier to Mexico, returned, and was elected to the Legislature in 1849; became a settler in Kansas in 1854, and again becoming a citizen of Mauch Chunk, enlisted in the three-months’ service in 1861. In 1878 he was elected to Congress.
E. A. Douglass came here in 1835, as engineer on the canal, and surveyed for and had charge of the work from Mauch Chunk to White Haven. From 1843 until his death, in 1859, he was the superintendent and engineer of all the company’s works, and a most efficient man in the place.
His brother, still a resident of Mauch Chunk, was also an engineer on the canal, and in 1843 engaged in coal-mining at Nesquehoning with Asa Packer. He carried on that business with various partners until 1865.
Hon. A.G. Brodhead came here in 1841, and has ever since been identified with railroad enterprises. He was made superintendent of the Beaver Meadow Railroad in 1850, and has filled the position with ability ever since, the name of his office changing with the ownership of the road, and now being superintendent of the Beaver Meadow Division of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. He has been prominently identified with the movements, which brought the gas and water-works into existence, and with other local enterprises, and in 1869 was elected to the State Senate. His father, Garret Brodhead, came to Mauch Chunk some years after his own settlement and died here, and his brothers, Andrew, Abram, and Daniel, also became residents in the valley.
Charles O. Skeer made Mauch Chunk his home in 1841, and two years later engaged with Asa Packer in the mercantile business. He succeeded Mr. Packer in the coal business at Nesquehoning, and is now a member of the firm of Linderman, Skeer & Co., operating mines at Stockton.
—After the town had been opened to individual enterprise the various minor industries sprang up, and the mercantile business passed into the hands of a number of active men, who, through competition, gave the people better advantages in trade than they had enjoyed when the company store was the only one in existence. Jesse K. Pryor, who had begun the manufacture of cabinet furniture prior to 1829, continued it through the next decade, and James W. Allison followed the making of hats at the same period.
The first general store was opened in 1833 by Asa L. Foster, who had been the company’s store-keeper, in connection with Dr. Benjamin Rush McConnell and James Broderick, and was located where the Lehigh Valley Railroad building now is. The interests of his partners were soon taken by Mr. Foster and in 1837 he sold out to Asa and R.W. Packer. They carried on the store until about the middle of the next decade, when they abandoned the mercantile business to enter upon coal-mining, as their predecessor, Mr. Foster, had done. They were succeeded by Hiram Wolf, Harry Wilbur, and David Treharn, under the firm-name of Wolf, Wilbur & Co. After several changes in the firm it finally passed out of existence, and Mr. Treharn is left to do business alone in the fine building erected on the site of the old store. Other firms doing business in Mauch Chunk during the first ten years after the company store was closed were Nathan Fegley & Co., Caspar Christman and James Speer, and John Kent & Co. John Leisenring was a prominent merchant from about 1840 to his death, in 1854. He built a store where Mr. Heberling’s now is, and rebuilt after the fire of 1849. The oldest merchants now engaged in business are David Treharn, Leonard Yeager, W.H. Stroh, C.M. Eberhart, and D.G. Bertsch, the latter having been uninterruptedly carrying on his present line of merchandising for thirty years.
—In the year 1826 the Lehigh Coal and Navigation company erected a blast-furnace where the abandoned Salkeld Foundry now is, and in connection with it a tilt-mill or forge, which…
… was originally used for breaking the stone that was put upon the coal road. During the first year, as is shown by the company’s books, the sum of eleven thousand dollars was expended on this furnace and tilt-mill. Messrs. Hazard & White made experiments here with anthracite coal, endeavoring to smelt ore with it, and during the first year Mr. White conceived an imperfect idea of the hot blast, to produce which he passed a current of air through a room heated with a number of common stoves, the principle being the same, though in rudimentary form, as that by which success was finally achieved, though it was a failure in this instance. The furnace was abandoned and a larger one built on adjoining ground, in which charcoal was used.
During this fall and winter of 1837, Messrs. Joseph Baughman, Julius Guiteau, Henry High, of Reading, and F.C. Lowthrop made their first experiments in smelting ore with anthracite, in the old furnace erected by White & Hazard, which was temporarily fitted up for the purpose. They used about eighty per cent of anthracite, and the result was such as to surprise those who witnessed it, and to encourage the persons undertaking it to go on with the work. In order, therefore, to test the matter more thoroughly, they built a small furnace just below Mauch Chunk, by the weigh-lock, which was completed during the month of July 1838. Its dimensions were: stack, twenty-one and a half feet high, twenty-two feet square at base, boshes five and a half feet across, hearth fourteen to sixteen inches square, and four feet nine inches from the dam-stone to the back. The blowing apparatus consisted of two cylinders, each six feet in diameter, a receiver of the same diameter, and about two and a half feet deep; stroke, eleven inches, each piston making from twelve to fifteen strokes per minute. The power was derived from an overshot water-wheel, with a diameter of fourteen feet. Blast was applied in this furnace August 27th, and kept up until September 10th, when they were obliged to stop owing to imperfections in the apparatus for heating the blast. Several tons of iron of No. 2 and 3 quality were produced. The fuel was not entirely, but was principally, anthracite. The temperature did not exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A new and better apparatus for heating the blast was procured, and the furnace was again put in operation in November, 1838, and worked remarkably well for five weeks exclusively with anthracite, when the company was obliged for want of ore to blow out on January 12, 1839. The largest amount of iron produced was about one and a half tons per day of Nos. 1, 2, and 3 iron. The average temperature of the blast was about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The following season the furnace was improved, and on July 26th again put in blast, and continued until Nov. 2, 1839, when the firm having dissolved, it was blown out. For about three months no other fuel than anthracite coal was used, and after the improvement of the furnace, when working best, two tons of iron were made per day, but the manufacture was not commercially successful (See Appendix B).
—In connection with the use of anthracite there are some interesting facts concerning the manufacture of the first stoves in which it was used as a fuel. John Mears, a sheet-iron and tin-plate worker, established himself in the town during the first decade of its existence, and very soon engaged in making stoves in which the fuel so abundant in the neighborhood could be utilized for heating and cooking. Asa L. Foster, a man of much mechanical genius, spent a great deal of time in experimenting to perfect coal stoves, and many of his plans were carried out by Mears. Apropos of early stove manufacture in Mauch Chunk, we make some extracts from a letter written by John Mears to Thomas L. Foster:
Philadelphia, Aug 20, 1879
“…I remember well all the efforts that were made at an early day in regard to stoves, and their subsequent failures, but you give me undue credit in reference to the contrivances which were made to perfect the art of cooking with (anthracite) coal, two or three of which you mention. Your father was the inventor of these things, while I only did the work, and he spent much time and money upon them, with the success that commonly attends ingenious men, though, as nothing is lost, the ideas he suggested were carried out by others, some of whom have made fortunes and gained fame through different patterns of stoves, some of them of value and some not. I presume that John Wilson, who so much delighted to be called ‘John Wulson the tinker,’ a man of rough habits and manners, but a good-hearted soul, nevertheless, made the first stove that ever was used for burning anthracite coal. This John was one of the first eighteen workmen who came up with Josiah White and Erskine Hazard from the Falls of the Schuylkill in 1818, and commenced operations at Mauch Chunk. The stove was a plain, round, sheet-iron cylinder, such as you may have seen since, with fire-door, tearing-door, ash-pit, with drawer to carry off the ashes, and a screen under the grate, made also of sheet-iron, with holes punched in it. I have made several of them. John Wilson also made the first baking-stove I ever saw. This was an improvement, or rather an addition, upon the other stove, by which an oven was placed on the top, and flues to carry off the coal-gas and lead it up the pipe. This was a rude article, but answered the purpose. I also made several of them, but with a square oven instead of round, and they were good bakers. Samuel Lippincott afterwards tried to utilize the old-fashioned ten-plate stove by putting an additional story on the lower part, in order to make space for the coal-furnace. This was only a partial success, and did not last long. The…
… first attempt at warming by heated air was, I think, made by my father, at No. 3 Broadway, where we then lived. This was effected by a chamber back of the open grate in the parlor, and a hot-air pipe passing from the same to the chamber above …
“I ought to mention in this connection that after this Josiah White had a more elaborate concern at his house on the hill, made also by John Wilson, and it worked well, as I believe, while it lasted, which was not long, for being made of thin iron it soon rusted away, and was abandoned.
“Before I close this subject I ought perhaps to tell you how we improvised a fire lining for the primitive stoves. A wooden drum was made two inches less the diameter of the stove, with slats nailed round a short distance from each other and large auger-holes bored in each end. This drum was filled with shavings and chips, then put in the stove, and well-mixed sand and clay rammed down between the iron and wood. When all was finished fire was applied to the cotton, and, when partially burned, other wood was put in and then the coal. This was the kind of ‘cylinder’ used in Mauch Chunk for many years, and, I believe, lasted as long as most of those of modern manufacture…
“I am your friend, as ever,
—The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company established a foundry where now are the dismantled and unused works on Broadway, last operated by Jacob H. Salkeld & Son. John Fatzinger rented this foundry about 1830, and purchased it a little later. He and Jacob H. Salkeld carried on the establishment for many years, and supplanted the original building with the present substantial brick structure. They made the machinery for the Mount Pisgah planes. In 1851, Fatzinger & Salkeld leased the foundry to William Butler and Samuel Bradley who operated it for the first five years, or until 1856, with such success that they were obliged to employ from sixty to one hundred men. Mr. Fatzinger dying, Salkeld, in partnership with Mr. Roberts, carried on the works for about five years, subsequent to which the firm became Salkeld & Son, and so remained until work was suspended. The buildings at the present writing stand vacant, and offer a good location to some enterprising worker in iron.
The Mauch Chunk Iron-Works, at present owned by W.H. Stroh, was started by Edward Lippincott and Elias Miner in 1845. They began a general foundry business in a small way, and also built cars, but soon increased the capacity of the works, and then put in blast an old furnace, which had been erected by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Lippincott & Miner also built a foundry at White Haven, in company with Samuel Hayden. This was burned, but was rebuilt by the enterprising owners, who then took into partnership William Anthony as a third partner. They carried on the White Haven foundry about five years. In the ownership of the Mauch Chunk works Edward Weiss became associated with the original firm. Not long afterwards they failed, and were succeeded by the Mauch Chunk Iron Company, which met with such poor success that bankruptcy ensued. The works then passed into the hands of General Charles Albright, who retained an interest in them as long as he lived. William H. Stroh became his partner in 1863, and since General Albright’s death, in 1881, has carried on the business alone. The superintendent is George Schmauch, and the foreman of the foundry Amos Stroh. From seventy-five to one hundred men have employment here. The power is derived both from steam and water, there usually being no necessity for resorting to the former. The water-wheel, said to be the largest in the State, is forty feet in diameter. The output of the Mauch Chunk Iron-Works consists of steam-engines, mine and quarry machinery, car-and bridge-castings, coal-gigs for anthracite and bituminous coal, iron fronts for buildings, and all kinds of architectural iron-work, steam-pumps, grate bars, and, in addition, general foundry-work. The furnace, which was the unprofitable part of the works, and caused the ruin of the former owners, was abandoned many years ago.
—The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company wishing to make their own wire-rope, established works for that purpose in the old grist-mill building on Susquehanna Street in 1849. E. A. Douglass was superintendent and G.W. Salkeld his assistant. The idea of manufacture was evolved by Erskine Hazard from an idea suggested by the French bobbin machines, and was afterwards fully perfected in these works. Upon the machines devised by Mr. Hazard all of the wire-rope used by the Coal and Navigation Company for many years was manufactured. As the company was not empowered by its charter to make wire-rope for sale, the works were leased in 1852 by Fisher Hazard, son of Erskine, who carried them on very successfully until recent years, making great improvements and enlarging the facilities for production by erecting a second stone building on Susquehanna Street. In 1872 the Hazard Manufacturing Company was formed and the wire-rope industry transferred to Wilkesbarre, where many improvements were made in the method of manufacture and the business greatly enlarged. The wire-mill on Broadway in this place was established in 1858, by George W. Smith and Nathan Fegley, for the purpose of making wire-screens by a peculiar process. It passed into the possession of Fisher Hazard by sheriff’s sale in 1859, was burned and rebuilt, and is now operated by the Hazard Manufacturing Company as a wire-mill, employing about fifteen hands.
—The first grist-mill (the stone building in which is now the office of the Mauch Chunk Democrat was built by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, the work being commenced in 1821,…
… and not fully completed until 1825. This mill, as well as one which was built about the same time at Laurel Run (now Rockport), was finished by Abraham Stroh, who was a practical millwright. The old stone mill was in operation for many years. For some time the water was carried by a race from the creek over the street and into the second-story building, but this arrangement proving a great annoyance because of the dripping of the water on passers-by, was finally abandoned and a better one substituted.
In 1857, Alexander Robinson advertised that having completed his new steam grist-mill, he was prepared to do all kinds of grinding. This was the beginning of the present brick mill at the foot of Broadway.
—The pioneer banking institution was established July 24, 1852, by Rockwood, Hazard & Co., the senior member of which firm is now cashier of one of the Newark, N. J. national banks. The other members were Fisher, Erskine, and Albert B. Hazard, E. A. Douglass, and William Reed. The capital stock was fifty thousand dollars. This bank was in existence for a period of five years, when the partnership expiring by its own limitation, business was suspended. The banking-house was originally where the First National Bank now is, and was afterwards on the spot where the express-office in the Lehigh Valley Railroad building now is.
The Mauch Chunk Bank, which was the predecessor of the First National Bank, commenced business October 1, 1855, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, in a building on the site of the present First National Bank. Hiram Wolf was president; A.W. Leisenring, cashier; and A.W. Butler, book-keeper; and the directors were Hiram Wolf, O.H. Wheeler, William R. Otis, C.O. Skeer, George Belford, M.M. Dimmick, A.A. Douglass, James McLean, Jacob Bowman, Daniel Heberling, Tilghman Arner, Cameron Lockhard, and R.D. Stiles. Business was successfully carried on until 1865, when the First National Bank having come into existence, the affairs of the old bank were wound up.
The First National Bank of Mauch Chunk commenced business August 1, 1864, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, which was increased to four hundred thousand dollars on April 1, 1865. William Lilly was the first president, and A.W. Butler cashier, and the directors were William Lilly, Daniel Bertsch, George Belford, George Ruddle, C.O. Skeer, A.A. Douglass, and A.W. Butler. The present officers are A.W. Leisenring, president, and A.W. Butler, cashier. The latter gentleman has been connected with the old bank and its successor, the present institution, for nearly twenty-nine years.
The “articles of association” of what is now the Second National Bank of Mauch Chunk were acknowledged by the shareholders on the 24th of May, 1864, and taken by General Charles Albright to Washington, where they were presented for the approval of the comptroller of the currency on the 3d day of June, 1864. A new banking law having been approved on that day, it became necessary to prepare and acknowledge new papers, and before this was completed persons connected with the “Mauch Chunk Bank” forwarded articles of association, which were approved, and thus received the title of the “First National Bank,” to which the Second was, by reason of priority of application, entitled, and which it would have had except for the circumstances above related. The revised articles of association were signed and acknowledged by eighty-four shareholders, and approved by the comptroller on the 8th of June 1864, the capital stock being one hundred thousand dollars, and the association to continue until January 1, 1883. A few months after the organization the capital was increased to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars (its present capital), and upon the expiration of the original charter it was extended for twenty years longer, to January 1, 1903. The directors named in the articles of association were Charles Albright, Fisher Hazard, Joseph Wintermute, D.K. Shoemaker, T.F. Walter, Joseph Obert, John C. Dolon, J.W. Smith and William Carter. On the 19th of July 1864, D.K. Shoemaker resigned, and the vacancy was filled by the election of William L. Patterson. At the first election for directors the following were chosen: Charles Albright, Fisher Hazard, T.F. Walter, William Carter, John C. Dolon, Joseph Obert, J.W. Smith, A.H. Fatzinger, and A.L. Mumper. The present board of directors is John C. Dolon, Lafayette Lentz, N.D. Cartright, Charles O. Skeer, Christopher Curran, A.C. Prince, Leonard Yaeger, William H. Stroh, and Thomas L. Foster. In addition to these above named, the following have been directors at different times since the organization of the bank: Daniel Olewine, J.C. Hayden, Thomas Kemerer, R.Q. Butler, Samuel Harleman, C.R. Potts, C.H. Dickerman, Solomon Dreisbach, and James M. Dreisbach. Solomon Dreisbach died August 14, 1880, while a member of the board, and Charles Albright died September 28, 1880, having been president of the bank from its organization until the time of his decease. These are the only deaths of members of the board while holding that position since the organization of the bank. Of the others who have been directors, William Carter, A.L. Mumper, and Joseph Wintermute are at this time (December 24, 1883) deceased. The first officers of the bank were: President, General Charles Albright; Vice-President, Fisher Hazard: Cashier, Thomas L. Foster. During the absence of General Albright in the army, Mr. Hazard attended to his duties as president, and upon his resignation as director, the office of vice-president was abolished. General Albright, as above stated, was annually re-elected president until the time of his decease, when Thomas L. Foster, who had up to that time been the cashier, was elected president, and James M. Dreisbach was elected cashier, these gentle - …
…men being the officers of the bank at this time (December, 1883). From January 4, 1865, to June 11, 1869, this bank was a United States Depository, and received and disbursed nearly eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars of internal revenue. At the time of the last semi-annual report its total profits since its organization were $299, 093.16, of which it had paid its shareholders $260,791.55, leaving $38,301.61 undivided profits and surplus fund. At this time it holds assets in United States and other bonds and stocks, and bills discounted and balances due from other banks $633,036.06, against liabilities, circulating notes due depositors and banks, $440,543.19, showing excess of assets over liabilities of $192,492.87.
G.B. Linderman & Co. established themselves in the banking business in 1867, and conducted affairs prosperously under that title, until the Linderman National Bank was organized, Dec. 30, 1882. The officers of this bank are: President, James I. Blakslee; Vice-President, A.G. Brodhead, Jr., Cashier, S.S. Smith; Directors, James I. Blakeslee, A.G. Brodhead, Jr., Charles O. Skeer, W.C. Morris, Jr., John A. Mayer, J.H. Wilhelm, H. Sondheim, A.P. Blakeslee, and John Taylor.
—The first newspaper issued here was the Lehigh Pioneer and Mauch Chunk Courier, which made its initial appearance on Saturday, May 30, 1829, bearing the name of Amos Sisty at its column heads. The salutatory contained the following:
“The place in which we have located possesses many attractions and peculiar objects which are calculated to interest and gratify the minds of the curious. To give an account of the transactions of the place; the improvements which are being made or contemplated, and the curiosities with which it abounds will be one of our chief objects, and demand our particular attention.”
This paper really owed its existence o the enterprise of Asa L. Foster, one of the most energetic, able, and progressive characters, who came at an early day to Mauch Chunk in the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Mr. Foster purchased a press and materials for a printing-office early in 1829, and secured the services of Sisty, a young acquaintance, whom he knew to possess the requisite literary and mechanical skill, by paying his master for the unexpired time of his apprenticeship, and arranged that the paper should be conducted under his (Sisty’s) name. For years Mr. Foster devoted his spare time and surplus energies to writing for this little sheet published in the new coal settlement, and his efforts being well supplemented by young Sisty’s, the Pioneer not only contained valuable matter, instructively and entertainingly written, but presented a very creditable appearance. The paper was in fact far in advance of what might be expected at that early time, and in so primitive and rude a community as was the Mauch Chunk of 1829 and 1830.
Originally issued as a five-column folio, the Pioneer was made in the second year of its publication and exceedingly neat quarto. In typographical appearance the files of this period compare favorably with modern newspapers of similar form. (The files of the Lehigh Pioneer and Mauch Chunk Courier, and of the other newspapers of the town, were owned by Judge H.E. Packer, through whose kindness many facts have been secured from them for this history). On December 15, 1832, the paper again appeared as a folio, with four broad columns, and the words Lehigh Pioneer were dropped from the title, leaving it simply the Mauch Chunk Courier. At this time J.W. Chapman assumed editorial charge of the paper, and was connected with it until November 1834, when it was for some reason suspended. In November, 1835, the Courier was revived by Mr. Foster and M.H. Sisty (a brother of the first publisher), and under their management it continued to appear until January, 1838, when, with the beginning of the eighth volume, John Painter became associated with Mr. Sisty in its publication, under the firm-name of Sisty & Painter. Mr. Sisty soon withdrew, and the paper was then carried on by John & W.P.J. Painter until 1841, when John Painter became the sole manager. During all these years Mr. Asa L. Foster had been the owner of the paper which he founded, and in 1842 he assumed personally its management. The following year, however, he sold the Courier to J.H. Siewers, Esq., who changed its name to the Carbon County Transit. In 1844 the original owner again secured the property, restored the time-honored name, and after a short period placed it under the management of Samuel Taylor and his son, Thomas L. Foster, now president of the Second National Bank. To them succeeded the firm of Thomas L. & C.E. Foster, prior to the 1847, and afterwards the Courier was successively managed by Taylor & Foster and Taylor & Meacham, by the latter firm being changed to the Mauch Chunk Gazette. Samuel Taylor purchased the office and material, and in May, 1857, sold out to E.H. Rauch (now of the Mauch Chunk Democrat), a native of Lancaster, who had for three years been the editor of the Lehigh Valley Times, at Bethlehem. He carried on the Gazette alone until 1860, when, being elected clerk of the House of Representatives, he took as a partner Samuel Higgins, who retired, however, about a year later.
In 1861, Mr. Rauch, having enlisted a company of men, went into the army, and during his absence the paper, being neglected, went down rapidly in the scale of condition. Its material was used for a time by H. V. Morthimer in the publication of the Union Flag. In 1864, Capt. Rauch, having returned from the army, went to Reading, and the paper of which he had formerly been proprietor was revived by E. Mell Boyle & Brother as the Mauch Chunk Coal Gazette, under which title it has ever since been published. Several firms and individuals were successively engaged in the publication of the paper during the late sixties and the following decade, among…
… them Boyle & Laciar, Boyle, Reed & Guyon, E. M. Boyle, and C. W. Blew. In July 1881, O. B. Sigley, the present proprietor, took possession, and he has since published a bright and newsy local paper, which has been the organ of the Republican Party in the county. In form it is a nine-column folio, and it retains the name Mauch Chunk Coal Gazette, first applied twenty years ago.
The newest aspirant for public favor in the journalistic line is the Mauch Chunk Daily Times, first issued April 2, 1883. It is published from the Gazette office.
The Carbon Democrat was started May 15, 1847, by Enos Tolen, as a local newspaper and supporter of the party of James K. Polk. Originally a six-column sheet, it was in 1853 enlarged to seven columns, and otherwise improved. Mr. Tolen was the editor and proprietor for nearly eleven years, during which period he carried on quite a prosperous business, although seriously crippled by the loss of his office in the great fire of July 15, 1849. The printing material was wholly consumed, and the disaster fell so heavily upon the owner that he was not able to resume the publication of the Democrat until Nov. 17th, when the new issue was made as No. 1, Vol. III. This paper like the Courier (Afterwards the Gazette) passed through numerous changes of ownership. On March 20, 1858, J.R. Struthers became proprietor, and on July 3d of the same year he disposed of the property to William O. Struthers who in turn sold to George Bull, in June 1860. In January 1863, Enos Tolen again had possession of the newspaper, and associated with himself W.H. Hibbs, who, upon May 14th of the same year, became sole owner. He was succeeded by Joseph Lynn, in April 1865. He enlarged the sheet to eight columns in 1867, and changed its name to the Mauch Chunk Democrat in 1870. For a short period the paper was owned by W.P. Furey, who re-christened it the Mauch Chunk Times, but was repossessed by Mr. Lynn, who restored the title, and continued its publication until a very recent date, of which we shall presently speak more definitely.
On Sept. 7, 1871, a new Carbon Democrat was issued by Enos Tolen as a rival to the old one, which he had established almost a quarter of a century before. On November 2d following he sold out to Charles T. Sigman, and just three weeks later the paper appeared with the Carbon Democrat Association as its publishers. Under this management E. H. Siewers, Esq., and E. C. Dimmick were the editors, and they made the paper a lively chronicle of local news and active political agitation. They conducted the journal for only two years, and it was then sold to Mr. Lynn and merged with the Mauch Chunk Democrat.
Another rival for the patronage of the public, and especially of the local Democratic party, appeared in September, 1878, and like that of 1871, under the title of the original Carbon Democrat, with the additional word “County” inserted. The new paper was started by E. H. Rauch, of Lancaster, who had twenty-one years before became, and for several years remained, the editor of the Gazette. The Carbon County Democrat was brought into existence through political causes operating within the party, and naturally became the opponent of the Mauch Chunk Democrat. In 1881, Joseph Lynn retired from the latter journal, which was subsequently conducted by R. M. Brodhead as publisher. The causes of difference between the two papers had been removed by Mr. Lynn’s withdrawal, and the field which it was possible to fill being no larger than that which one newspaper could profitably occupy, the Carbon County Democrat and the Mauch Chunk Democrat were merged under the name of the latter in December, 1882. Mr. Rauch becoming editorially connected with the united and strengthened publication, and Mr. Brodhead remaining in a position similar to that which he had held prior to the union. The Mauch Chunk Democrat, it will thus be seen, has absorbed two newspapers, and as they were both Democrats by name and nature, it would seem that the political predilection of the present journal must be very definite and decided. Mr. Rauch’s editorial duties have included one very novel feature, which has attracted the attention of many other newspaper men in Eastern Pennsylvania and delighted hundreds of readers. We refer to his sketches in Pennsylvania Dutch, over the non de plume of “Pix Schweffelbrenner,” which have long been continued, and we may add in this connection that he has published in book form some interesting contributions to Pennsylvania Dutch literature, the most extensive and laborious being his “Hand-Book of Words,” issued from the Democrat press in 1879, a little volume now quite rare, and which will at some time in the remote future be regarded as a valuable relic of a lost language. His Pennsylvania Dutch “Rip Van Winkle” is a very happy translation and dramatization of Irving’s story, the scene being changed from the Catskills to the Blue Mountains to give it a locale in keeping with the language in which it is rendered.
Besides the two older journals now in existence and the two which have passed out of individual existence (as heretofore related) to add their strength to the Mauch Chunk Democrat, the town has had only a couple of newspapers which are worthy of mention. These were both published in the German language. The Carbon Adler (Eagle) was started by E. H. Rauch in January 1858, to meet a political emergency. Several years prior to this date Edward Spierschneider had established at Weissport the Carbon Telegraph, which after the Adler had been published a few months, he moved to Mauch Chunk. In 1859, Mr. Rauch purchased the Democratic Telegraph and merged it with his Republican Adler, and in the following year the publication was suspended.
About the same time that the German newspapers were first issued by Mr. Rauch and Mr. Spierschneider a small and grossly scandalous sheet called the Mauch …
… Chunk Tattler made its first appearance. It bore no name of editor, was printed and circulated surreptitiously, appeared irregularly, led a feeble, diseased, debased life, and died, after a short career of filthy and cowardly dirt-throwing, in the dark.
—Of the hotels in Mauch Chunk the principal ones are the Mansion House, the American, and the Broadway, and the first named of these three, originally called the Mauch Chunk Inn, is the oldest. It was built in 1825 by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and originally was limited in size to the stone structure, which forms the central portion of the present house. The first of the many additions was a wooden wing, built in 1828, and burned down many years ago. A man named Atherton appears to have kept the Mansion House a short time, but Edward W. Kimball is regarded as the first regularly-installed landlord. That this house was well patronized as early as 1829 is shown by the fact—preserved in an old paper—that in one day in the latter part of June the arrivals numbered fifty. Most of them were gentlemen and ladies from Philadelphia and New York. John Leisenring, Sr., was the next landlord after Mr. Kimball, and was a very popular one. He was succeeded by A. W. Stedman, and he by George Esser. George Hoffer followed Esser, and was succeeded by E. T. Booth, who gave place to the present landlord, J. S. Wibirt. The property was owned by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation company until 1873, when it was transferred to the Mansion House Hotel Company, of which the former company is the principal stockholder.
The original American House was built by Cornelius Connor in 1833, and was a medium-sized frame building. It was called the White Swan. This house was destroyed by the great fire of 1849, and Mr. Connor then erected a brick hotel, which is a part of the present structure. It extended from the alley to the Second National Bank lot, which was then vacant. Mr. Connor was a popular landlord in the new house and continued to carry it on until his death, when it passed into the hands of Isaac Ripple, who, when he was elected sheriff, handed it over to J. K. Lovett. After he retired it was taken charge of by G.W. Wilhelm, who was succeeded by Jesse Miller. The building soon passed into the possession of the Easton Bank, was afterwards owned by Mr. Chidsey, of Easton, and finally sold to Lafayette Lentz of this place, its present proprietor. It was then leased to Robert Klotz and John W. Reed.
The first structure bearing the title of the Broadway House was built in 1833 by Daniel Bertsch, and was two stories in height and about forty feet square, the material being stone, “pebble dashed,” after the manner common to most of the houses in Mauch Chunk of a half-century ago. It was surrounded by towering pine-trees, which made a sort of grove around it, and the great rocks protruding from the ground around its base gave it a wild and romantic appearance. Charles Cox, of Luzerne County, was the first landlord. In April, 1841, Colonel John Lentz, who had been “washed out” of his hotel at Weissport by the great flood of the preceding January, took charge of the Broadway House, and kept it for the succeeding ten years. He placed two stories of brick upon the original stone structure, and built the frame additions on each side. In 1850, Major Robert Klotz took possession, and was its landlord for three years, being succeeded by Alfred Lentz in 1854. Lafayette Lentz, C.A. Williams, Peter J. Keiser, J. G. Odenheimer, Peter Benner, and J.S. Keiser followed in the order named. Peter J. Keiser purchased the property after Lafayette Lentz resigned his place as landlord, and from him his brother purchased the house a few years later, since which he has most of the time kept it, although it was for brief periods leased to O.T. Ziegenfuss and Nathan Klotz.
—The Mauch Chunk post-office was established in 1819, the year after operations were begun here. In 1818 the nearest post-office was eight miles distant, on the Easton line below. In 1824 the people settled here had the opportunity twice each week of communicating with their friends in the outside world and of hearing from them, the mail then being carried by John Jones. In 1829 the postal facilities had so far increased that the number of mails arriving at and dispatched from Mauch Chunk numbered thirty-eight per week. During this year the company controlling the Union line of mail-coaches of Philadelphia made arrangements to have their stages reach this place, and in 1831 a new line was established on the route between Mauch Chunk and Pottsville, under the proprietorship of Messrs. Lippincott & Co. of this place, and Messrs. Christman and Duesenbury, of Port Carbon. The first postmaster was Josiah White, who held the office until 1831, most of the time keeping it either in the company’s store or office. John Leisenring, Sr., succeeded Mr. White in 1831, and held the office until 1847, a period of sixteen years, and the longest, with one exception, that the position was occupied by any incumbent. Alexander Stedman was appointed in 1847, and soon gave place to Captain James Miller. Their united terms occupied a period of only three years, A. W. Leisenring being appointed in January, 1850; he was succeeded in 1853 by Mrs. Eliza Cooper, who was followed in 1860 by Mrs. Jane F. Righter, who was postmistress for the subsequent twenty years, being succeeded by the present postmaster, N.D. Cortright, in September, 1880.
—Asa Packer secured the charter for the Mauch Chunk Water Company in 1849, the exact date of its issue being March 6th, and solicited the subscriptions of stock. The incorporators were, beside Mr. Packer, E. A. Douglass, John Lentz, Jacob H. Salkeld, Cornelius Connor, Conrad Miller, L.D. Knowles, Edward Lippincott, John Mears, and George Weiss. The first president of the company was E. A. …
… Douglass. A good water-supply was found in the springs in the valley of Mauch Chunk Creek, and operations were immediately begun looking towards its introduction to the town. Pipes were laid, and the other necessary work carried on with such expedition that the water was let on from the reservoir in December. The cost of the works was about nine thousand dollars. Pipes were laid to East Mauch Chunk in 1858—1859, and the company also sought and secured an additional supply near the head-waters of Ruddle’s Creek, about a mile and half from the town. The pipes crossing the river were torn away by the flood of 1862, and from that time on the water systems of the two boroughs have been entirely separate and distinct, though controlled by the same company. The quality of the water, secured in both instances from the mountain springs, is excellent, and the high elevation of the reservoir gives a force, which in cases of fire insures the throwing of water upon the highest business block in the town. The present officers of the company are: President, Robert Klotz; Secretary, S.S. Smith; Treasurer, Charles O. Skeer; Directors, James I. Blakeslee, William B. Mack, Charles O. Skeer, and S.S. Smith.
—The charter for this company was procured through the efforts of James I. Blakslee in 1852, but no active measures for organization were resorted to until nearly four years later. In 1856, Mr. Blakslee secured subscriptions of stock, the organization of the company was perfected, E. A. Douglass being chosen president, and gas-works were erected where the present buildings are situated. Gas was made in October 1856, and at once went into use in a large number of houses. The works, with the street pipe, cost about fifteen thousand dollars. In 1862 they were destroyed, and some of the pipes in the streets were torn up by the great flood. Almost immediately after the water subsided, the work of rebuilding was commenced, and gas was again furnished by the company in the fall of the year. Since that time the supply of the illuminating medium has been uninterrupted, except for an interval of three nights in November 1883, caused by the partial burning of the works. Until 1881 the company produced gas from bituminous coal, but in that year the Lowe process of manufacturing it from crude petroleum was adopted. The present officers of the company are: President, A.G. Brodhead, Jr.; Secretary and Treasurer, S.S. Smith; Directors, James I. Blakslee, Charles O. Skeer, Allen Craig, A.A. Douglass, J.W. Heberling, and J.C. Dolan.
—Like Allentown, Mauch Chunk suffered severely from the opposite elements of fire and flood in the fourth decade of the present century and again from the latter element in 1862. Still earlier, in 1831, the creek through the narrow gorge along which Broadway is built became a mountain torrent in all that the name implies, and created as great havoc as was possible in that primitive period of the life of the village. We find in the Pioneer of July 4th the following reference to this occurrence:
“The rains of Thursday and Friday produced on Friday night last a tremendous freshet in the Mauch Chunk Creek. It overflowed the banks, and the water made its way in every direction through the roads and streets into houses and cellars. Broadway was a complete cataract, filled the whole width with the flood. The scene was quite unique, the roaring of the water, hallooing of the people, dodging about in the dark with lamps and lanterns, gave a good specimen of the ludicrous and alarming … We have not heard of any serious damage as yet. The Lehigh is not at a great height, the showers, which gave such a sudden impulse to the waters of the creek having been local. Broadway is impassable for carriages, the water having literally rendered it a gully.”
The Flood of 1841
—Greater damage was caused by the Lehigh flood of June 9, 1841, which was a disastrous one throughout the valley. The water at that time rose to a height then unequaled (though since exceeded), and caused here as elsewhere along the river great loss and general consternation. The saw-mills of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company were swept away, as well as the river bridge in front of the Mansion House, the stone stable building at the hotel, five houses in the Northern Liberties, and three below the Narrows. Several persons lost their lives, among them Adam Beers, his wife and children, at the “Turnhole,” above Mauch Chunk.
The Fire of 1849
—Living in almost constant expectation of a flood, the people of this little town were never so terrified by one, not even by that of 1862 (which we shall presently describe, as they were by the great fire of Sunday, July 15, 1849. This was a most serious calamity, and brought loss to almost every prominent property-holder in the community. The two newspapers then published in Mauch Chunk were wiped out of existence by the fire, and although Mr. Thomas L. Foster, the editor of one of them, exhibited much enterprise in driving immediately to Tamaqua, and there writing an account of the disaster and printing it as an “extra,” no copies of the paper are now in existence, and we therefore rely upon the Allentown journals for information concerning the disaster. The Republikaner of July 19th contained the following:
“On last Sunday morning, at about nine o’clock, our blooming sister town, Mauch Chunk, was visited by a very destructive fire, which laid in ashes the business portion and property of the town. The fire took rise in the store-room of Messrs. Dodson & Williams, on Race Street, and, as a violent northwest wind was blowing at the time, it spread with such rapidity that in a short time the court-house and jail, Packer’s store-house and three three-story brick dwelling-houses, Leisenring’s store and dwelling-house, Conner’s hotel, Ebert & Polk’s drug-store, the…
… printing-house of the Carbon Democrat, the post-office, and a shoe-store, besides a number of other buildings wherein public works were carried on, were in flames and burned to the ground. The fire laid everything in ruins and ashes, on the west side of Broad Street, from Fatzinger’s residence to the place where Packer’s store stood and back to Race Street. On the east side of Race Street everything was burned down, from the court-house and jail, except two or three buildings above Conner’s hotel. Twenty-three buildings became the prey of the destroying element. The loss is, without doubt, very great, since in this part of the town the principal business and industries were carried on. We have, however since learned that the greatest part is covered with insurance. We have not learned whether any human life was lost. A man by the name of Ebert fell from a three-story brick building, above Conner’s hotel. Whether he was seriously injured or escaped with his life we have not heard. As is the case at every fire, thieves broke in at this fire, who availed themselves of the opportunity to rob and plunder. Three of these long-fingered rascals were captured and brought in chains last Monday to the Allentown jail, where they now lie awaiting a hearing at the next session of the Carbon County Court.”
The Friedens Bote of the same date had the following account of the fire: “It is with a feeling of the greatest sympathy that we are compelled to announced that our neighbor, Mauch Chunk, was last Sunday visited by a fearful fire, whereby a loss of not less than one hundred thousand dollars is suffered. At least thirty buildings in the heart of the town lie in ruins. Among them the following: The store of Dodson & Behm with four dwellings, store of Driscoe & Williams, Polk’s drug-store, Legget’s wheelwright-shop, Eberly’s new buildings, J. Meier’s two dwelling-houses, John Leisenring’s residence, store-house and Foster’s saddlery, Packer & Olewein’s shoe-store, Packer’s store-house, the court-house and jail, the printing-house of the Carbon County Gazette, Conner’s hotel, and many other buildings, and a great number of dwelling-houses. The fire is said to have broken out in Dodson & Behm’s warehouse, under which, it is said, ashes containing hot coals were carelessly thrown.
“The fire was discovered at nine o’clock a.m., and as a high wind was stirring at the time, it was not possible to check it, and the whole destroyed district was in a few moments enveloped in flames.
“When the flames attacked the prison the prisoners were set free. Two thieves who appropriated during the progress of the fire the property of others and concealed it (about two hundred and fifty dollars’ worth of jewelry) were brought Monday morning to the Allentown jail.”
The Carbon Democrat on resuming publication after the fire, November 17th, noticed the improvements in progress. John M. Joseph had erected two large three-story brick buildings, which compared favorably with those formerly upon his lots. Dodson & Beam had under roof a block of three-story brick stores and a dwelling, and Cornelius Leggett had erected on the adjoining lot a very good and substantial two-story frame. Henry Mears had put up a small frame building to answer until he could make arrangements for a permanent building. John Leisenring had completed the foundations for two large stores and dwellings; Asa Packer had foundations in process of building for two stores; and Thomas Brelsford had erected a two-story frame building and finished the substructure for a brick dwelling and store.
The Flood of 1862
—Concerning this deplorable event we have already had something to say in the second chapter of the History of Carbon County, and shall content ourselves here with an extended quotation from an authority generally conceded to be correct, the little work bearing the title “Incidents of the Freshet on the Lehigh River, Sixth Month 4th and 5th, 1862.
“Mauch Chunk and its neighborhood suffered … in individual losses to a great extent. The heavy rain caused the creek, which runs through and partly under the town to break its bounds. This occurred soon after night-fall on the 4th; it broke out near the Presbyterian Church, and rushed down Broadway, carrying everything before it. In a few moments the entire street was a rushing torrent, filling every cellar in its course with water. This, meeting the rise of the water from the river, backed it a considerable distance up the street. Before ten o’clock it was over the first floors of nearly all the dwellings below the Broadway House. The stores near the court-house were flooded, and quantities of goods ruined. The water rose five feet one inch in the banking-room of the bank. Its watchman spent the most of the night upon the top of one of the desks, holding on to the gas-fixtures; his dog got on with him, but, forsaking his position, was drowned. Over fifty buildings, such as stores, store-houses, stables, wagon-houses, black-smith-shops, ice-houses, school-house, various temporary erections used for business purposes, including sixteen dwellings, were carried away from the borough limits of it and East Mauch Chunk. Four persons in the town lost their lives.
“From a statement received from the landlord of the Mansion House, it would appear that the water reached its extreme height there somewhere about half-past eleven o’clock on the evening of the 4th. It was seventeen inches on his parlor floor, and twenty-seven feet above the ordinary height of the pool above the dam and opposite the company’s chutes. By a level taken by Walter E. Cox, assistant engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, it is ascertained that it rose thirty feet above the usual low-…
… water mark opposite the house. (The rise was about ten feet above that in 1841, the volume of water thus passing in short space of time must have far exceeded anything of the kind ever known before.) It maintained its extreme height for about fifteen minutes. At twelve o’clock it had receded from the parlor; at three o’clock it was still four feet in the basement; at half-past five it was gone, and men were set to work to clean out the kitchen. When aware of the probability of an unusual rise of the river, the host commenced removing his stores and goods from the first floor to the one above, in the full expectation that they were depositing them in a place of safety. But still higher and higher rose the water, until it reached the height as above stated; the compressed air under the dining-room caused its flooring to rise in the middle for near its whole length. Sugar, salt, flour, etc., placed there, soon mingled with the water, and nearly everything was either lost or ruined. When the flood had risen to this point, some floating mass supposed to be either the company’s store-house or the hotel stable, floating down the stream, struck the north end of the building above the lintel of the second-story window knocking a considerable hole therein, and the waves at the same time dashing over its sill. The inmates of the room, alarmed for their own safety, soon left; and they, with those who occupied other portions of the house, considered it best to resort to the ten-pin alley attached to the building on the side of the mountain, one story higher up. A panic had seized many of them, and the fearful aspect of the scene around was calculated to make the stoutest quail. Those whose strength of nerve enabled them to suppress their own fearful foreboding, had full occupation in endeavoring to calm the more excited. It was a season of gloom, of doubt, and of fear, which is stamped with indelible impress upon their memories.
“Among the inmates of that room was a lady who had been confined to her bed for two weeks, and when compelled by the dire necessity of the case to join this company, she found her husband was not among them, and the agonizing thought that he had fallen a victim to the destroying torrent could not be suppressed …We may picture, but not realize, the feeling of the wife and mother during the long hours of that anxious night. It was a far easier task to rejoice with her in sympathetic feeling, when at morning’s earliest dawn the husband was seen on the other side of the river, giving notice to those opposite of his safety. Welcome news, which quickly sped to the ear of the wife. He, anxious for the safety of a father and sister, had crossed the bridge in order to apprise them of the threatening danger. His foot had not ceased to tread it more than a minute or two before it was carried down the stream; the way for his return was cut off. He was safe, and gratified in being able to get his parent and sister to a place of safety, and his timely warning induced others to seek a position of greater security. The remainder of the night was passed amid doubts and fears in regard to the safety of the dear ones separated from him, from which he was not relieved until it was light enough to communicate by signal with those on the other side of the river. Fearful scenes were enacting elsewhere. Dr. Flentje, an intelligent physician, was in his office (situated a few doors above the Mansion House) with a patient who had called to see him, when, the water rising rapidly in the room, the doctor went in the adjoining one to a back window for the purpose of communicating with a neighbor; whilst there he called to his friend to come also, but the response was, ‘He could not, that the water was coming in so fast, and the door was shut, and he was unable to open it.’ Anxious for his safety, the doctor returned to the door, which, with some difficulty, he succeeded in opening. The water was then in the room up to his waist, and rising with great rapidity. The means of escape apparently cut off, he kept hold of the open door, and by that means supported himself, the water buoying him up. The lights were out, and in the darkness his companion was not to be seen. Here he clung for a while; next a tenpenny nail driven in the wall furnished a place to cling to, when he thought of the stove-pipe hole, situated near the corner of the room, the bottom of the aperture of which, by measurement, was found to be just fifteen inches from the ceiling. Into this he thrust his arm and supported himself during the height of the water; he was thus able to keep his mouth and nose above it, not escaping, however, without swallowing a considerable quantity. When thus suspended, he felt with his feet for the stove, but it had been overset. How long he hung there he had no means of knowing; but he could feel with his feet the retiring of the waters, and we presume he remained until sheer exhaustion relaxed his hold, when, in a state of semi-unconsciousness, he must have sought a resting-place above the water, for when fully aware of his situation, he found himself living upon the top of a case near the middle of the room, with the dead body of his patient near by him on the floor. As mentioned elsewhere, the extreme height of the water did not continue more than fifteen minutes, and we are inclined to think it might have been the undulation of the waves that marked the depth of water in the doctor’s office, it being just four inches below the ceiling.
“Another remarkable preservation from death was exemplified in the case of Leonard Yeager, cabinetmaker. He was at his dwelling, situated on Broadway, when about nine o’clock he was informed that his shop, which stands on the east side of Susquehanna Street, was in danger; his wife, alarmed at the aspect of things around them, was unwilling for him to leave her. Another message coming about ten o’clock, he went down, and, though the water covered the street to a considerable depth, crossed over to his shop, where he found his men and boy endeavoring to take care of his stock. Thinking he might procure a room of a neighbor in which he might place some of his furniture, he left the building and went over for the purpose of making the arrangement. While thus en-…
… gaged the water made a rush (as he describes it), and he returned to his shop, where his men were busily engaged up-stairs, and told them to get away as soon as they could; they promptly obeyed, and the men were enabled to gain the house on the other side. Emanuel Dorwert, his apprentice, aged about twenty years, also made the attempt, but owing to the rapid rise of the water, and his companions urging him to desist from the effort, he returned to the shop as Leonard reached the door from above. Here they stood for a time, Leonard afraid to let his boy go, or to venture himself, supposing the place they occupied would be the safest. But very quickly they were admonished by the rising flood and the shaking building—some of its pieces which covered the porch on which they were standing falling upon and about their heads, and the back part of the structure yielding to the force of the waters—that their position was one of extreme peril. Upon consulting together, and making hasty preparation by stripping off their coats and boots, they made a plunge into the current, with the hope they might reach the Mansion House. Leonard got hold of a piece of timber; this was struck by another and put his head under water, but he quickly emerged, and as he passed the Mansion House, observing a light, he called for help; if heard at all there, they were powerless to assist. Emanuel called also, and Leonard thinks from the sound of his voice opposite the house, they could not have been more than six or eight feet apart. He could not see him in the darkness, and it was the last he heard of him. His body was found on the 6th of the month near the gap, his head mangled, it is supposed crushed between the floating timber. Yeager, soon after passing the hotel, found himself so completely packed in the drift-wood that he could not stir hand or foot, and in the short interval that elapsed in his passage from the Mansion House to the gas-works, thinks he was stunned by a blow from something floating by. At the gas-house, not being able to use his limbs, he thought a leg was broken, and thus went down through the narrows. When about the railroad bridge his arms became released, and he was enabled to crawl out of the water on to the rubbish, over which he scrambled until he reached an empty canal-boat a little below the tavern at Burlington, upon this he succeeded in getting. We suppose the accumulated mass of timber surrounding it furnished the way. He kept himself on the hind box until it reached the island above Weissport, where it struck; here, finding it was filling with water very fast, he worked his way to the forward box, which he barely reached ere it broke loose from the one he left. On this he was carried down by Weissport, the boat taking its course between the canal and the rolling-mill chimney, and thence through the back part of the town. At the lower end of it he passed a house afloat, and distinctly heard the voices of its inmates in their unavailing cry for help. When opposite Parryville, the light from the furnace-stack enabled him to see his position, and approaching very near the shore, he had some thought of jumping off and endeavoring to reach it, but he feared to make the attempt. Some distance below this place the boat was swept so near to the mountain that he was enabled to grasp an overhanging limb, by which he succeeded in getting on to the tree. The boat, without striking, pursued its way down the stream.
“Upon descending the tree he found the water at its foot to be about knee-deep, from whence he made his way up the mountain-side, where he spent the night. He had vest, shirt, and pantaloons on; his coat and boots had been left in the shop, and the rubbish of the river had stripped him of his stockings. About daybreak he reached the house of Christopher Rapp at Parryville, where he was furnished with dry clothes and a breakfast, and at once, much against the judgment and advice of those he was with, started for Mauch Chunk. To get there, a creek whose waters were much swollen had to be crossed, but by going up it a considerable distance he found a log, over which, though covered with a foot or more of water, he ventured, getting safely over, and arrived opposite the town during the morning. A more welcome bulletin, written upon a piece of iron and held up to be read by those on the other side by the aid of a glass, announcing his safety, we are inclined to think, was never before received by his distressed wife.
“A sad incident which occurred on the following second day (the 9th of the month) after the freshet is deserving of record. Elizabeth Ziest, of Tamaqua, and Anna Kirschner, of Mahoning Valley, were at the time of its occurrence living with George Fegley, opposite Penn Haven. Owing to the sudden and rapid rise of the water it was with much difficulty they escaped; it is said a tree assisted one, and the other was extricated by her hair. The morning after the freshet they were sent by George to a neighbor’s some little distance from the river, for shelter until he could go to Mauch Chunk and make some arrangements for them, his house having been entirely washed away. Here they stayed some time, and Elizabeth in conversation remarked that she was under the impression that she would still be drowned. This idea seemed to have taken fast hold of her, though endeavors were used to convince her that she only fancied so from the effects of the fright she had received; she nevertheless persisted in the belief that she was to lose her life by drowning. After remaining at the neighbor’s house some days they concluded they would go to Mauch Chunk and see their employer, who had then arrived there, and they would endeavor to reach their respective homes that their relatives might be advised of their safety. On their way they called upon some acquaintances at East Mauch Chunk. They arrived at the river in the early part of the afternoon; and after they had taken their places in the boat a young man who had joined them…
… pushed it from the shore, and then jumped to get in himself, but the current was so strong, that instead of getting into the boat, he only succeeded in reaching the stern where the women were sitting, causing it instantly to upset, throwing all of its human freight into the rapid current. He and the oarsman by great efforts reached the shore, but the young women were lost; the body of one was recovered near the company’s schute, and the other lodged for a time on the pier of the old bridge opposite the Mansion House, and was taken from the river some distance below it. This accident, if possible, cast a still deeper gloom over the citizens of the town. Six lives, including these, were lost.
“The borough, after the retiring of the flood, presented a sorry appearance. Broadway showed its effects, and Susquehanna Street from the dam to below the Mansion House was nearly half swept away, together with the wall at the river-side. Below, the gas buildings, with its gasometer, were demolished, also the wagon road through the narrows for a considerable portion of its distance, leaving no token in places by which it could be recognized that a road ever existed there; so completely were earth and stone removed that a foot passenger had great difficulty in getting along, and it could only be accomplished by clinging to the rocks and shrubbery on the side of the mountain. The damage to the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company’s works at and below Mauch Chunk to the Delaware River was very extensive. Down to Allentown it was marked by the breaking of guard-banks, the destruction of locks and lock-tenders’ houses, and in a number of places the bed of the canal was so entirely washed away as to leave no indication that it ever existed there. From Allentown to Easton the damage was not so great, and required but a short time and small outlay to repair it. This part of the canal was ready for the passage of boats by the 25th of the Seventh month. The devastation was so great between Mauch Chunk and Allentown that it involved a heavy outlay of money in lumber, iron, and other materials, and the labor of between two and three thousand men and five or six hundred horses and mules for nearly four months before navigation could be resumed. The first boat was loaded and started from Mauch Chunk the 29th day of the Ninth month, 1862.”
—The town having obtained a population of over twenty-five hundred in 1849, a majority of its voters, deeming that its interests would be best sub-served by self-government, petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions for a charter of borough incorporation. This was granted January 26, 1850, and formally accepted by an election in which Charles O. Skeer, E.W. Harlan, Josiah Bullock, Jacob H. Salkeld, Leonard Blakslee, and J.R. Twining were elected councilmen. They chose E.W. Harlan as burgess at their first meeting, March 11, 1850; James I. Blakslee was elected treasurer; Thomas L. Foster, surveyor; J.R. Struthers, borough counsel; C.L. Eberle, clerk; F.C. Kline, high constable; and George Kisner and Owen Williams, street commissioners.
Following are the names of the successive burgesses from 1850 to 1883:
1852—Jesse K. Pryor.
1854—J.I. Blakslee (February)
1854—Jacob Gilger (March)
1855—Samuel B. Hutchinson
Upper Mauch Chunk, as it is commonly called, constitutes the Second Ward of the borough. It is composed almost entirely of residences, which border regularly-laid out streets on the level ground more than two hundred feet above the lower town. This vast natural terrace or buttress of Mount Pisgah was early recognized as available ground for building, and was laid out in 1846. David Pratt was the first settler there, in the year 1823, and he cultivated a considerable portion of the ground now covered by houses as late as 1840. Elliott Lockhart, Philip Swank, Nathan Tubbs, Joseph Weyhenmeyer, and Charles Faga lived there as early as 1837, and the latter has kept store since 1856. There are no mechanical industries in Upper Mauch Chunk except the car-repair shops of the gravity railroad, established in 1847.
The first merchant of the place was Isaac Butz, who, after keeping store about five years, sold out to E. Bauer in 1864. Mr. Bauer is now the oldest merchant of East Mauch Chunk. Others who have gone into business here are Samuel Kennedy, John Dickman, Hooven Brothers, John Muth, and Robert Bauchspies. The first public-house, the Centre Hotel, was built by Solomon Driesbach who kept it for many years.
Incorporation—The town grew rapidly, and by 1853 it had attained such a population as warranted application for its establishment as a separate municipality. In response to the petition of its people, it was incorporated as the Borough of East Mauch Chunk by the Court of Quarter Sessions, January 1, 1854. John Ruddle was chosen the first burgess, and Jacob S. Wallace, Lucas Ashley, Thomas L. Foster, David Mummey, J. R. Twining, and John Beighe were elected as the first council. The names of the burgesses during the past thirty years cannot be accurately ascertained from the minute books, and we therefore omit them. The present burgess is E. H. Blakslee.
The East Mauch Chunk Post-Office was established in June 1870, J.M. Dreisbach being appointed postmaster. E. Bauer was his deputy, and attended to the business of the office.
This borough, although a distinct corporation, is practically one with Mauch Chunk proper, and will be found so treated in this chapter, its churches and schools appearing with those of the older borough. It is a town of houses rather than business institutions, and will doubtless some day rival its neighbor in population, though not in wealth or commercial activity.
The first school of which any memory is retained was kept in 1821, in a log building owned by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. It was sustained in part by the company and in part by the parents of the few pupils who attended it, a stipulated price being paid for the tuition of each one. In 1823 the Coal and Navigation Company built a log schoolhouse, above the foundry-dam, in which in later years the eccentric “Irish schoolmaster,” James Nowlin, taught. In 1824 a slab house, which was subsequently lathed and pebble-dashed, was built on the spot now occupied by A. W. Butler’s residence. This was also opened as a school-house, and so used for many years. There were two teachers in Mauch Chunk prior to Nowlin’s time, whose names have been preserved, and one of them, Margaret Maline Brooks Balton Sanders, seems to be well worth preserving as a curiosity. She was a New Jersey lady, who came here in 1823 or 1824, and remained perhaps ten years, or until after Nowlin’s school had been established and the greater number of the children of school age attracted to it. Mrs. Jane Teeple also had a small school of very young children in the house where she lived.
James Nowlin, the “Irish schoolmaster,” to whom allusion has been made, is said to have been the first teacher in the upper school-house, and if that statement is correct, he must have come here soon after it was built, in 1823. In 1829 he announced, in the Lehigh Pioneer and Courier, that he still remained as teacher at the upper school-house. For a short period during the early part of his career he had a rival in a Mr. Hunter, who taught at the Slab school-house, heretofore mentioned. He taught all common English branches, and in addition the higher mathematics, including surveying, and received a tuition-fee of $2.50 per quarter from each pupil. Nowlin, however, was the most popular teacher, and outlasted Hunter. He had a mixed school of about one hundred and twenty pupils, which included many who have since become prominent in Mauch Chunk or a wider field, as R. Q. Butler, a leading public-spirited school-man, who has for the past quarter of a century been identified with almost every step in educational improvement, Hon. John Leisenring, A. W. Leisenring, Robert Sayre, S. Roberts, and Rothermel, Pennsylvania’s noted artist and the painter of the great battle-scene, “Gettysburg.” Nowlin taught five and a half days in the week, and received $2.50 per quarter for each of his pupils. He was a good mathematician, but not equally master of the other branches, and was a rigid disciplinarian. The punishments inflicted by him were severe and frequent, the instrument used being what he denominated the “taws,” a short, stocky hickory handle, to which were fastened four leather lashes. The unhappy pupil who gave wrong answers in class, as well as the one who disobeyed instructions, was sure to receive a stinging blow from the “taws” upon the hand, which he was instantly obliged to stretch out. The frequency and severity of the punishment, which would not be tolerated to-day under any circumstances, was never resented then, and in spite of his application of the lash, Nowlin was popular with his scholars. He won their regard by his genial ways on the playground and his dexterity in playing ball, at which he could excel any of the boys. In 1831 the upper school suffered slightly from the withdrawal of pupils of the younger classes to attend a school opened by S. Ross, whose wife, Mrs. A. M. Ross, taught needlework, but Nowlin’s fame was too great to make the efforts of any rivals dangerous, and he kept on teaching with great success until …
… after the adoption of the common school in 1835. The poor fellow drifted about, and finally died at the Schuylkill County Poor-House.
The school directors elected in 1834, who assisted in bringing about the adoption of the free-school law in the following year, were S. S. Barber, Asa L. Foster, G. W. Smith, William Butler, Sr., Samuel Holland, and Merrit Abbott.
After Nowlin’s departure the schools were taught by Amos Singley and others, no one of whom retained position very long, until J. H. Siewers, Esq., became the teacher, about 1841. He was an able, successful and popular instructor, and in 1854, in recognition of his services, character, and capability, he was elected the first county superintendent. His labors in the Mauch Chunk schools extended through a period of about twelve years, during which he materially elevated their condition and commenced the work of grading them. He was succeeded in 1853 by Charles Bowman, the present principal of the commercial school, who came from Philadelphia, where he had gained considerable experience as an educator. In 1857, John W. Horner became the principal teacher, and was succeeded by Professor Rice, who, after teaching here five years, removed to Paterson, N.J., where he subsequently died. He was followed by Dr. Cyrus Luce. B. C. Youngman taught about one year, and in 1875 L. H. Barber, who had taught since 1872 in Upper Mauch Chunk, became principal. He resigned in 1880, and Lee Huber filled the position from that time to June 1881. In the fall of that year the present principal, J. T. White, was engaged.
The grading of the schools, which had been commenced by Mr. Siewers, advanced very gradually, and in 1863, Thomas L. Foster, on retiring from his office as county superintendent, reported that there was not a graded school in the county, the nearest approach to that condition being in the towns and villages. The system reached a fair degree of perfection under Professor Rice.
The present school-house from Broadway was built in 1840, and at that time compared favorably with the best in the State, except those of Philadelphia and possibly one or two of the other cities. Rupp, in his history of Carbon County, says, “One of the finest public school-houses to be met with in the State, outside of Philadelphia, is found at Mauch Chunk. Her schools are well managed.” Sherman Day, in his “Historical Collections of Pennsylvania,” wrote, “The people of Mauch Chunk are remarkable for their industry, enterprise, intelligence, and hospitality. A splendid edifice erected at Mauch Chunk for school purposes will vie with any building of the kind in the State.” And still, after a lapse of only forty-three years, the “splendid edifice” is outgrown, is found to look shabby in the midst of the finer modern buildings, and is to be razed to the earth to make room for a new and larger structure, which will probably deserve in this decade as high compliments as the old one received in the forties. The directors have bought the lot adjoining the school-house, the one on which the old Presbyterian Church stands, and will erect a spacious building, embodying the most recent improvements, which will cover a proper proportion of the old and the newly-acquired ground.
The schools of Upper Mauch Chunk, or the Second Ward, are under the same general management as those of the First Ward. The pioneer school of Upper Mauch Chunk was established about 1842. For a number of years three buildings were in use, but in 1864 they were sold and a large frame building erected, which afforded accommodation for all of the school children upon the hill. In 1883 a second building was put up for a primary school-house.
The average enrollment of pupils in the schools of Mauch Chunk is now about one thousand, of which the Second Ward has a slight majority.
East Mauch Chunk Schools—The first school in what is now the borough of East Mauch Chunk was established about 1850 in a frame school-house, built in the woods, still standing on its original location (now the corner of Fourth and North Streets), and occupied as a tailor-shop. The first teacher was Miss Ellen Thompson. She was succeeded by Mrs. George Barker. Another frame building was erected on the same lot in 1856, which is also still standing. In 1860 a school-house was built on the lower part of the present school lot, which was used until the ground was required for the erection of the present building, when it was sold to C. Frank Walter. It is now on the corner of Seventh and North Streets. A school was also established at the weigh-lock in 1856, and a house built there in 1860, which was used until the flood of 1862, after which the present brick building was erected on its site.
The capacity of the old school-house being too limited to accommodate all the children, a new school building was erected during 1869 and 1871, when the new building was occupied for the first time. Mr. R. W. Young was the first principal, and he served one term, 1871-72. The second term, 1871-72, Mr. Cyrus Brubaker was employed as principal. The following persons served for the terms indicated: Mr. J. L. Allen, for term 1872-1873; Mr. J. K. Andre, 1873-74; Mr. – Kind, 1875-76; Mr. C. M. Arnold, 1876-77, 1877-78; Mr. O. Haverly, 1878-79, 1879-80; Mr. A. S. Miller, 1880-81, 1881-82; Mr. H. A. Eisenhardt, 1882-83, 1883-84.
At present there is an established high school course, including a number of the higher branches. All pupils passing a satisfactory examination are granted certificates.
The following are the names of the pupils who will complete the course this year: Miss Emma M. Arner, Emma J. Troxell, Philopena Rauchenberger, and Maggie M. Rowland.
St. Mark’s parish, the mother of all the Episcopal churches in the Valley of the Lehigh, was organized May 17, 1835, at a meeting held for the purpose in a school-house on Broadway, above Quarry Street, near the site of the present residence of Mr. A. W. Butler. This meeting was presided over by the Rev. J. H. Rogers, rector of the Trinity Church, Easton. The articles of association were signed by Samuel Holland, Dr. B. R. McConnell, William H. Sayre, Asa L. Foster, John Ruddle, Asa Packer, James Broderick, William Butler, and J. H. Chapman. At the same meeting the following were elected vestrymen: William H. Sayre, Asa Packer, S. Holland, J. Ruddle, Dr. McConnell, and A. L. Foster; the first two were elected wardens.
Lay services, with an occasional service by a visiting clergyman, had been held in the school-house since the year 1829, when Mr. William H. Sayre, a communicant of the Episcopal Church, came to this place from Columbia County. He at once began to gather a congregation and to serve as lay-reader. He continued his services as lay-reader, vestryman, warden, and Sunday-school superintendent until his removal to Bethlehem, in the year 1862. Ten years after his removal, on the 29th of May, 1872, he entered the rest of paradise.
The first clerical service was held on Sunday, November 23, 1834, by the Reverend James May, rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Wilkesbarre. After the parish organization was effected, in the year 1835, and until a rector was elected, services were held monthly by the Reverend James May, of Wilkesbarre; the Reverend J. H. Rogers, of Easton; the Reverend George C. Drake, of Bloomsburg; and the Reverend James Depui, of Pottsville.
The first baptism in the parish was administered by the Reverend J. H. Rogers, November 8, 1835, and the next day the fist Episcopal visitation was held by the Rt. Reverend Henry U. Onderdonk, D.D., assistant bishop of Pennsylvania, on which occasion five persons received the rite of confirmation. The first administration of the Holy Communion was by the Reverend James May, on the 20th day of March, 1836, when six persons partook of the blessed sacrament, viz: William H. Sayre, James Broderick, Leonard Blakslee, William Butler, Sr., Mrs. Jackson, and Mrs. McQuaid.
On the 19th day of May, 1836, the parish was admitted into union with the Diocese of Pennsylvania. The Sunday-school was organized November 24, 1839, with three teachers and eighteen scholars. Mr. William H. Sayre was superintendent, and Mr. F. R. Sayre, Miss Mary E. Sayre, and Miss Barnes were the teachers. From this small beginning has grown the vast Sunday-school work of the parish, which, at the time of writing this sketch (1884), includes four Sunday-schools, with forty teachers and nearly six hundred scholars.
The first church edifice was begun in 1840, completed in 1845, and consecrated July 13, 1852. The dimensions of the building were: outside length, fifty-five feet; breadth, thirty-eight feet; height of walls, twenty-three feet; tower in front; sixteen feet square; and vestry-room in the rear, eight by sixteen feet. This was taken down, and the present building commenced in 1867. Plans for the new church were furnished by Mr. Upjohn, of New York; the corner-stone was laid by Bishop Stevens, September 21, 1867; and the consecration was held by the same bishop November 25, 1869. The plans were drawn with special reference to the surrounding scenery. The structure, which is one of the most beautiful and imposing in this country, is of a gray sandstone, with brownstone trimmings, and stands on a rock-terrace cut in the side of the mountain. The main entrance is reached by forty-three stone steps, in three flights, covered by an ornamental Gothic porch. The woodwork is of black walnut, the floors of Minton tiles, and the windows are of richly-ornamented stained-glass, with appropriate designs of a memorial character. The ground-plan is the Latin cross. Length, ninety-six feet; width across transepts, seventy-five feet; height of nave-roof, fifty-seven feet; height of spire, one hundred and thirty-five feet.
In a recess on the south of the chancel there is a very fine organ, built by Jardine & Sons, of New York. It has twenty-eight stops, two manuals, with reverse action, and is arranged for a chancel choir.
The interior decorations in polychrome were designed by E. J. N. Stent, of New York, and are exceedingly rich and beautiful. The character of the coloring in the body of the church was chosen principally with reference to the non-absorption of light. The ceiling-panels have as a ground-work a cool greenish gray tint, pleasant and resting to the eye, and are ornamented with sprigs of conventional foliage, painted in properly contrasting colors, arranged symmetrically over the surface, while the massive roof timbers which separate these panels are painted very dark green, almost black, relieved with bands and mouldings of gold, which harmonize pleasantly with the broad borders of peacock-blue which separate these timbers from the surface of the ceiling. The walls of both nave and transepts are treated in the same manner—first a broad, highly-decorated border over the wainscot, followed by a band of dull red, which occupies perhaps one-third of the wall surface. Above this, reaching to the cornice, comes a delicate sage tint separated from the red by a floriated border, composed principally as to color of various shades of dull green and russet, very effective and artistic in …
… treatment, and combining admirably with the other colors. The paneled cornice is quite elaborately treated, the principal spaces being ornamented with the marigold, a flower holding a valued place in Christian art symbolism. The richest decoration is in the chancel, where crimson, blue, an gold are wrought into an elaborate symbolism, each teaching its own special lesson of Christian doctrine, and the whole forming an appropriate setting for the crowning feature of the edifice, the Packer memorial altar and reredos. This beautiful work of art was erected by the family of the late Hon. Asa Packer, who was one of the founders, for forty-four years a vestryman, and for twenty-four years one of the wardens of St. Mark’s.
The memorial is built against the east end of the chancel, extending nearly across its whole width and rising to a height of twenty-three feet from the floor.
The altar is of highly polished statuary marble, resting on steps of veined marble. The top is of one slab, with inlaid Maltese crosses of dark Sienna marble in the centre and corner, and surrounded with a rich heavy moulding. It is supported by four columns in front, the shafts of which are of dark Sienna marble, with bases and caps of statuary marble carved in natural foliage. On the front of the altar, between the columns, are three circular panels elaborately carved. The centre panels contain a crown of thorns thrown over a Greek cross, which is terminated with the symbols of the four Evangelists. The right-hand panel contains the Chi Rho, and the left the Alpha and Omega, each in monogram and enriched with delicately carved grapes, wheat, and leaf-work.
On the face of the super-altar, in three sunken panels is cut the Sanctus.
The reredos is built of Caen stone, elaborately worked, in the middle pointed style of architecture. In general arrangement it is composed vertically of three bays, divided by heavy buttresses. The bays are again divided horizontally at the level of the super-altar by a line of inscription, below which, on the side bays, are three enriched panels containing deeply carved bunches of wheat, grapes, passion-flowers and lilies, and a part of the inscription in raised ribbon-work.
Above the line of inscription and forming the principal features of the structure are three groups of figures representing scenes from Holy Scripture. The figures are carved in high relief, about three-fourths life-size. The centre and most prominent group, rising above the altar, contains eleven figures in various attitudes, repres4enting the scene on Mount Olivet at the ascension of our Lord—Acts I-9.
On each side of this main group are post-resurrection scenes; on the right, the garden scene on the morning of the resurrection, representing the appearance of our Lord to Mary—John XX. John 15-17; and on the left, the appearance to the disciples on the evening of the resurrection—John XX. 19-23; in this group there are seven figures.
In the main gable, above the ascension scene, in a diapered niche, is a sitting figure of our Lord in majesty. His left hand holds a globe surmounted with a cross, and his right hand is outstretched in blessing. The base of the niche is supported by an angel corbel. Below the majesty, on two spandrels, are angels in adoration swinging censers; and above the figure, in the top spandrel of the gable, is a group of seraphim illustrative of the verse in the Te Deum, “To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry.”
On the faces of the four buttresses are columns built up from the floor to the level of the super-altar, terminating with foliated capitals. On these, and under elaborately wrought and gabled canopies crocketed with animal heads, stand figures of the four evangelists, each holding a book in the attitude of declamation. These figures are three feet and seven inches high.
Between these buttresses, over the upper line of the inscription on each side of the main group, is a beautiful cornice richly carved in wheat, vine, and fruit-work, and capped with battlements.
The buttresses are gabled at the top and terminate with crocketed pinnacles. These support four angels playing upon musical instruments, representative of the heavenly host. These angels are nearly four feet high.
The central gable is finished with a cornice of richly carved leaf-work, presenting one of the most pleasing features of the structure. The whole is surmounted with a plain cross resting upon a foliated base.
The inscription, carved upon an embossed ribbon-scroll, and in medieval raised letters, is arranged in six sections in the two side bays, and reads as follows:
“To the Glory of God, and in Memory of Asa Packer, Born December XXIX, Mdcccv, Died May XVII, Mdcccixxix. This Reredos was erected by his wife, Sarah M. Packer, and by his surviving children, Mary H., Robert A., and Harry E. Packer.
In the year 1858, Rudolphus Kent, Esq., of Philadelphia, presented to the parish a bell weighing eleven hundred and sixteen pounds, made by J. Bernhard, Philadelphia. This bell was cracked on the Fourth of July 1876, and sold to the Troy Bell Foundry in exchange for the chime now in use. A portion of the bell was made into small hand-bells and sold as relics. In the tower of the church there is now a chime of nine bells, weighing nine thousand six hundred and forty-two pounds, keyed on E flat. The weight of each bell, and the inscriptions thereon, are as follows:
1st, 2489 lbs., “Presented by Asa Packer.”
2d, 1613 lbs., “Presented by Charles O. Skeer.”
3rd, 1451 lbs., “Presented by G.B. Linderman.”
4th, 1063 lbs., “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. In memory of
William Heysham Sayre, one of the founders, and for twenty years a warden of St. Mark’s Parish; also of his wife Elizabeth Kent Sayre; and of their children…
…and children’s children, who sleep in Christ. A tribute of affection from Robert H. Sayre, A.D. 1876.”
5th, 827 lbs., “Presented by James I. Blakslee.”
6th, 626 lbs., “Holy Innocent’s bells. Presented by the Sunday-school in memory of the children of the Parish
whom Jesus has called to his arms: ‘They are without fault before the throne of God.”
7th, 610 lbs., “In memoriam. R.W. Packer, one of the original vestrymen of St. Mark’s Church.”
8th, 549 lbs., “Presented by the congregation to replace the first bell used in this Parish, given by Rudolphus
9th, 414 lbs., “Presented by A.W. Butler, and family, A.D. 1876.”
The parish building, adjoining the church, and one of the most complete buildings of the kind in this country, was built as a memorial to the late Hon. Asa Packer, by his widow, Mrs. Sarah M. Packer, and named the “Sarah M. Packer Memorial Parish Building of St. Mark’s Church.” In material and general style of architecture it corresponds with the church, except the interior finish, which is of white and yellow pine, and in what is known as the “Queen Anne” style of architecture. It is about one hundred feet in length, forty feet in breadth, and three stories in height. On the first floor there is a chantry for weekday and hold-day services, fitted up completely as a miniature church, with altar, reredos, chancel furniture, organ, and chairs upholstered in crimson plush velvet, with hat-rack, book-rack, and kneeling-benches attached. The walls are richly decorated in polychrome. The ceilings are finished in carved oak, and the floor set with Minton tiles. On the second floor there is a room for storage, and a choir and toilet-room. On the third floor, on a level with the entrance to the church, there is a Sunday-school room, divided by glass partitions into four rooms, which can be thrown into one, furnished with maps, blackboards, organ, and with the most approved style of seats made of ash and cherry. A gallery runs across the east end of the room, and a convenient room for the library opens out of the main vestibule. The entire building was furnished by Miss Mary H. Packer, who also provides a permanent library for the Sunday-School.
The west end of the building is arranged for a sexton’s residence, containing nine rooms, and connecting on two floors with the parish building and church.
The building and furniture were formally presented to the parish, at a service specially adapted to the occasion, after evening prayers, on Saturday, June 3, 1882. The presentation was made by R. A. Packer, Esq., and after the acceptance and an address by the rector, the Rev. Marcus A. Tolman, addresses were made by Mr. A. W. Butler and Mr. T. L. Foster.
In May 1883, the great want of a town clock was met by the novel service of connecting the chime with the Lehigh Valley Railroad office clock, from which the hours could be struck by electricity. The machine and attachments for the purpose were invented by Mr. James Hamblet of New York, and the works were constructed after his designs by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Connecticut. This was the first apparatus ever devised for striking the hours from a distant clock.
In the autumn of 1883 the wooden pulpit and lectern which were placed in the church when it was built were removed for the purpose of making room for two beautiful works of ecclesiastical art, presented by Mr. Harry E. and Miss Mary H. Packer, as memorials to their mother and brother.
The pulpit is octagonal in shape and made of polished brass and gray Champlain marble. From a large stone base rises a central shaft of marble with a richly-carved capital, and six brass columns with foliated capitals, which combine to support the marble floor of the pulpit. The pulpit proper is formed by polished brass shafts connected by richly wrought panels of tracery, and surmounted by an oak top moulding. In the central panel there is wrought in repousse the winged lion as the symbol of St. Mark. Above this rises the manuscript desk resting on a universal joint, and a hooded light, arranged to protect the eyes of speaker and congregation. The pulpit stands on the floor of the nave, and is entered from the choir by a brass staircase. The memorial inscription reads as follows:
“To the glory of God, and in memory of Robert Asa Packer; born Nov. 19, 1842; died Feb. 20, 1883, presented by his sister, Mary H. and by his brother, Harry E. Packer.”
The lectern is a massive piece of work, eagle pattern of richly chased, polished brass. The base is in the form of a Greek cross, and rests on four lions, symbolizing strength, fortitude, and the resurrection. From this base spring buttressed brackets, which strengthen the cluster columns surrounding the shaft. These columns support the central post on which are handsomely chased the four evangelical symbols. Above these are four angels, in standing position, holding scrolls with the names of the evangelists and acting as supporters to the central shaft. The shaft terminates in a richly carved capital, upon which, just below the crown, is engraved the inscription. The lectern is surmounted by a finely chased eagle—the bird of inspiration—which, with out-stretched wings, supports the Holy Bible. The whole rests upon a polished marble base, which raises it from the floor sufficiently to give dignity to the work, and causes it to appear to good advantage. The inscription reads as follows:
“To the glory of God and in memory of Sarah M. Packer, A.D. 1883, born March 12, 1807; died Nov. 17, 1882; the gift of her children—Mary H. and Harry E. Packer.”
These memorials were set apart for their sacred use by a special form of service on All-Saints’ day, 1883, by the Right Rev. H. B. Whipple, D. D., Bishop of Minnesota, assisted by the rector of the parish.
Up to the present time the parish has been served by six rectors only. The Rev. Richard F. Burnham …
… was rector from January 1839 to February 1840; the Rev. Peter Russell from June 2, 1844 to 1855; the Rev. Hurley Baldy from Oct. 1, 1857 to Oct. 1, 1860; the Rev. Edward M. Pecke from Oct. 1, 1860 to July 1866; the Rev. Leighton Coleman, S.T.D., from Dec 2, 1866 to April 1874; and the Rev. Marcus Alden Tolman, the present incumbent, from Aug. 1, 1874.
Parochial Missions—During the rectorship of the Rev. Peter Russell mission services began to be held in the borough of East Mauch Chunk.
On Friday, Aug. 16, 1867, the Right Rev. William Bacon Stevens, D.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, laid the corner-stone of a chapel which was completed in the year 1875, and on the 23d day of September was consecrated under the name of St. John’s Chapel by the Right Rev. M. A. DeWolfe Howe, D.D., Bishop of Central Pennsylvania. For several years a flourishing Sunday-school has been held in connection with this chapel.
At Hackelbirnie village occasional services have been held by the parish clergy for several years, and a Sunday-school was organized in the year 1875.
At Nesquehoning services were held on Sunday afternoons for several years, but owing to the change in the population this mission was abandoned.
At upper Mauch Chunk a mission has been recently organized with very encouraging success.
This parish has always taken an active part in diocesan affairs, and shown a lively interest in the general work of the church.
It has been blessed with a band of earnest lay helpers, male and female, from the beginning and to them—ever ready to give time, labor, and money for every department of the work—are largely due the great and growing prosperity and influence of St. Mark’s Church.
Methodist Episcopal Church—The first Methodist sermon in this place was preached in 1827 by the Rev. William Coder, a local preacher, at his own house, near where the weigh-lock now is. The first class was organized there, and Mr. Coder was appointed leader. The class consisted of twelve persons, among whom were Henry Coder and wife, William Coder and wife, and Isaac Allison and wife. Soon after the organization of the class, a schoolhouse which stood in the ravine above the town was selected as the place for holding meetings. Subsequently a room was rented and fitted up in the second story of a frame building on the main street, on the site of Alexander Butler’s residence. In the fall of the year 1828 Mauch Chunk was visited by Rev. Joseph Chattell of the Philadelphia Conference, who organized the church and received it as one of the appointments of Lehigh Circuit, a six-weeks’ circuit embracing all the territory lying between the Delaware River and Broad Mountain, stretching from Stroudsburg on the east to Pottsville on the west. The three preachers appointed to this circuit in 1829 were Revs. Jacob Hevener, T. Gould, and Joseph Chattell. In the year 1830 Lehigh Circuit was divided, some of the appointments in its northwestern part being transferred to the Baltimore Conference, and thus leaving a four-weeks’ circuit, to which Revs. Thomas Millard and James V. Potts were appointed. During this year William and Henry Coder removed to Port Carbon. The conference of 1831 formed Mauch Chunk and Port Carbon into a separate circuit called Port Carbon Mission, with Rev. Joseph Chattell as pastor. He held the first protracted meeting and the first love-feast known in Mauch Chunk. A revival this year increased the membership of the church to forty. At the Philadelphia Conference of 1832 the mission was given the name of Mauch Chunk, and Rev. Abraham K. Street was appointed pastor. During his administration a house of worship was erected and dedicated by Rev. George Banghart, presiding elder of the North Philadelphia District. The church was a frame building and located on the main street, near the lower end of town, where the Albright residence now is. The trustees were Jonathan Fincher, Joseph Butler, William Butler, Jesse K. Pryor, and Thomas Patterson. The builder was Jesse K. Pryor. In 1834, Rev. Bromwell Andrew was appointed pastor of the mission. In 1835 the mission was left to be supplied and Joseph Butler and Jonathan Fincher, with the help of the leaders, kept up the meetings with regularity.
Rev. John L. Taft was appointed pastor in 1836. The following year the Conference annexed Mauch Chunk to Stroudsburg Circuit, with Rev. Jonathan Davidson as pastor, and Rev. James Neill as assistant pastor. One year later Mauch Chunk was made a station, and Rev. Christopher J. Crouch was appointed pastor. He labored two years and was followed in 1840 by Rev. William H. Elliott. At the close of his services he reported seventy-three members. Revs. William H. McCombs and James Y. Ashton were appointed to the charge in 1841, with Tamaqua and Port Clinton as additional preaching-places. Rev. John A. Boyle was appointed pastor in 1842, and at the close of his labors reported two hundred members, there having been a large accession by reason of a revival. In 1843 Tamaqua became a separate charge and Rev. Henry E. Gilroy was appointed pastor at Mauch Chunk, with Rev. Henry R. Calloway as assistant. During this year the congregation purchased a lot adjoining the schoolhouse on Broadway for six hundred dollars from John Ruddle, and a new church edifice of brick, forty-four by sixty feet, was erected upon it, but not completed. In 1844, while Rev. Dallas D. Love was officiating as pastor, the audience-room was completed and the church dedicated, Rev. J. Neill preaching the sermon, and Rev. Thomas Bowman and Rev. L. M. Conser, of the Baltimore Conference, assisting in the services. The trustees were Jonathan Fincher, Jesse K. Pryor, Thomas Patterson, Jr., Joseph Butler, William Butler, Conrad Miller, Samuel …
… L. Richards, and Ira Cortright, and the contractors were Mr. Prior and R. Blay. The building committee consisted of Mr. Pryor, E. W. Harlan, Conrad Miller, A. Lockhart, George Fegley and Thomas Patterson.
From this time on, for twenty years, the pastors with their dates of service were as follows: 1845, Reverend William Bishop; 1846, Reverend John W. McCaskey; 1847-48, Reverend Newton Heston; 1849, Reverend Henry Sutton; 1850, Reverend Thomas C. Murphy; 1852, Reverend William L. Boswell; 1853-54, Rev. John B. McCullough, with Rev. Samuel W. Kurtz as colleague; 1855, Revs. Daniel L. Patterson and Levi B. Hughes; 1856-57, Rev. Elijah Miller; 1858-59, Rev. William Magon; 1860, Rev. Benjamin F. Price; 1861-62, Rev. George W. McLaughlin; 1863-64, Rev. James Cunningham. The basement of the church had been finished in 1847, under the administration of Rev. Newton Heston, and the old debt discharged in 1853, while Mr. McCullough was pastor; and during the pastorate of Mr. Cunningham, the last gentleman mentioned in our list, a three-story brick building on the north side of Broadway was purchased for a parsonage at a cost of eighteen hundred dollars. This was improved during the term of Rev. George Heacock, who came in 1865, at a cost of nearly one thousand dollars. Mr. Heacock served for three years, and was followed in 1868 by Rev. James E. Meredith, who had as an assistant Rev. Charles W. Bickley, a new church having been organized in East Mauch Chunk through the influence of Gen. Charles Albright. Rev. William Mullen was pastor in 1869, and Rev. John F. Crouch in 1870-71. During the first year of his services the public schoolhouse in Upper Mauch Chunk was purchased for Sunday-school and church purposes, at a cost of four hundred and fifty dollars, and in 1871 an addition was built to the parsonage at a cost of twelve hundred dollars. In 1872, Rev. Noble Frame was appointed pastor. Through his exertions and the hearty cooperation of the members and friends of the church, the present church edifice was built. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, Aug. 24, 1873, with appropriate ceremonies by the Rev. George Crooks, D.D., of New York, assisted by the Revs. Goldsmith D. Carrow, John R. Boyle, and the pastor. The lecture room was dedicated in March 1874, Rev. J. Neill preaching the morning sermon, and Rev. J. H. Vincent the sermon at night. At the Conference of 1874, Rev. Alexander M. Higgins was appointed pastor, and during his two years’ service the debt was discharged, and the sum of three thousand dollars collected to continue the work of furnishing the building. In March 1876, Rev. B. F. Vincent became pastor, and continued until March 1879. During his pastorate the church was completed, and dedicated by Bishop Simpson. In March 1878, Rev. T. M. Griffith became pastor, and served the church until March 1881, when Rev. E. H. Hoffman was appointed. After six months’; service his health failed, and he was succeeded by Rev. L. B. Hoffman, the present incumbent.
The church now has a membership of two hundred and twenty-five, and supports three Sunday schools, -- the first organized in 1831 or the following years, -- which have an aggregate attendance of five hundred scholars.
Methodist Episcopal Church (East Mauch Chunk)—In 1868 the Mauch Chunk Methodist Church deemed it prudent to build a mission church in East Mauch Chun, and after gaining the consent of Bishop Janes, D.D., this was accordingly done. The presiding elder, Rev. D. Castle, entered heartily in the work, and appointed Charles Bickley pastor. Gen. Charles Albright and R. Q. Butler purchased the lot now in possession and built the chapel in which the congregation still worship; the friends of the church aiding to the extent of their ability. The church records give honorable mention of Messrs. Pitcairn, Beers, Boyle, Lacier, Stroh, Butler, Schlemmbach, Cortright, Bertolette, Tombler, and others. The lot is fifty by two hundred feet, and cost eight hundred and fifty dollars; the building, twenty-four by thirty-six feet, cost sixteen hundred dollars.
The first sermon was preached by the pastor on the first Sunday evening in November, from Exodus xxix, 43. During the winter fifty professed a change of heart, forty of whom joined the church on probation joined by transfer. Three classes were immediately formed, --H. Pitcairn, J. Deterline, and A. R. Beers were appointed leaders.
The Sunday-school was most encouraging, the scholars filled the house to its utmost capacity.
A large and beautiful library was immediately purchased for the school. It being impossible to secure the services of Bishop Janes earlier, the church not formally dedicated until December 16th. The sermons of the day preached by the bishop were from John i. 1, morning ; evening, Rom. xii. 1. The dedicatory services were held in the evening according to the ritual of the church. The pastor, in closing the year, remarks, “It has been one of gracious visitation. God has blessed his people specially, and in leaving this field of labor for another place in the Master’s vineyard, let me leave it with my best wishes and earnest prayers for the tender vine planted. May it grow, bloom, flourish and bear fruit to the glory of our precious Saviour’s grace.
In the spring of 1869, Rev. John R. Baily was sent as pastor by the presiding bishop, and served the church faithfully one year. In 1870, Rev. S. H. Hoover took charge, and served the church two years. In 1872, Rev. E. H. Hoffman was sent, and in 1873, Rev. A. L. Urban was the chosen pastor, who after two years of service, gave lace to Rev. D. M. Young who served the church three years. During his pas- …
… torate an addition was built to the church, at a cost of seven hundred dollars, to be used as an infant room. In the spring of 1878, Rev. James Sampson was sent, and served the church one year, giving place the coming spring to William K. McNeal, who served the church three years. In the spring of 1882, Rev. G. Reed was sent, who served the church six months, at the expiration of which time he was sent to a larger field of labor, and the vacancy thus made was filled by Rev. Robert A. Sadlier, who finished up the balance of the year. In 1883, Rev. R. D. Naylor, the present incumbent, was sent. The church at present is in a flourishing condition, having fifty-four members and a Sunday-school numbering one hundred and fifty-two. Preparations are being made to build a new church to take the place of the chapel, which has become too small and unfit for service.
Presbyterian Church.—In October, 1883, D. R. McConnell, John Ruddle, Asa L. Foster, J. Broderick, N. Patterson, E. W. Kimball, and Daniel Bertsch were appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions for building a Presbyterian meeting-house. The measure was not carried out until several years, and in the mean time, in 1835, Rev. Richard Webster, who was located at Easton, and engaged in missionary work far and near, began preaching here once a month. On the 1st of November, 1835, the church society was organized. The committee appointed by the Presbytery of Newton to effect that result consisted of Rev. Dr. Gray, Dr. Caudee, Dr. David X. Junkin, with Thomas McKeen, a ruling elder of the church at Easton, but Dr. Junkin was the only one of the original committee present, the place of Thomas McKeen being taken by Enoch Green, a ruling elder of the same church. On the Sunday of the organization twenty-four persons were received into membership and baptized. The first ruling elders of the church were John Simpson, James Bigger, and George W. Smith. The first meetings of the church and congregation were held in the Methodist meeting-house. Soon after the formation of the church steps were taken to secure the erection of a permanent place of worship, and in the summer of 1836 a contract for building was entered into with Jesse K. Pryor. The church then erected, the stone structure standing at this writing by the school-house, but shortly to be demolished, was dedicated in February, 1837. By the year 1850 the church had increased to such an extent that a new edifice was needed. In September, 1855, five years after the first agitation of the subject, the corner-stone of the present church was laid. Addresses were made by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Webster, Rev. Mr. Glen, of Tamaqua, and Rev. Thomas P. Hunt , of Wyoming. On July 20, 1856, or less than one year after the laying of the corner-stone, the basement of the building was finished and occupied for public worship. On the first Sunday, Rev. Thomas E. Vermilye, of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church of New York City, preached both morning and evening. The congregation held its meetings in the basement for nearly three years, or until June 26, 1859, when the new church was formally dedicated, the prayer being made by Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, of Wyoming, and the sermon preached by Dr. D. X. Junkin. In the evening the sermon was preached by the Rev. Charles W. Shields, of Philadelphia.
The first pastorate, that of Rev. Richard Webster, was begun in July, 1837, and terminated in June, 1856, after most valuable services, extending through a period of nineteen years. The installation sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Irwin, of Allen township. The second pastorate, that of Rev. J. Aspinwall Hodge, began in April, 1857, and closed in April, 1865. For almost a year after the close of Mr. Hodge’s labors, the pulpit was supplied by the Rev. Charles J. Collins, of Wilkesbarre. On Nov. 1, 1866, Rev. Jacob Beleville was installed as pastor, and remained in that relation until April, 1873. He was succeeded by Rev. Edsale Ferrier, who still sustains the relation of Pastor, though prevented by ill health from performing the active duties of his office.
Evangelical Church.— This church, located in Upper Mauch Chunk, had its origin in a class organized in 1855, which held its meetings in the Methodist Episcopal Chapel. The original members were Charles Faga, Fred. Klase, William Mumson, William Zoll, Charles Kreiger, J. Neast, and Matilda Kreinerth. The present church edifice was built in 1869, while Rev. Moses Dissinger was pastor, at a cost of four thousand dollars. The succession of clergymen has been as follows: 1857, Rev. C. Myers; 1858, J. Koehl; 1859, A. Shultz; 1860-61, J. Specht; 1862, S. G. Rhoads; 1863-64, C. B. Fliehr; 1865, J. Zern; 186, J. C. Bluhm; 1867, G. Knerr; 1869, M. Dissinger; 1870-71, A. Ziegenfus; 1872-75, B. F. Bohne and D. A. Medlar; 1875, John Koehl; 1876-77, I. W. Yeakel; 1878, J. Seifrit; 1879, H. D. Shultz; 1880-82, D. S. Stauffer; 1883, H. R. Yost (present pastor). The church is now in prosperous condition, and has a membership of one hundred and four. The Sunday-school is attended by two hundred and fifty children. This charge was formerly annexed to Carbon Circuit, and is now called Mauch Chunk Mission of the East Penn Conference of the Evangelical Association. The pastor preaches in German in the morning, and the evening services are in English.
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (by the pastor, Rev. L. Lindenstruth).— In 1857, Rev. E. A. Bauer, serving several congregations in Carbon County, assumed the pastoral care of the Lutherans of Mauch Chunk, and organized St. John’s Lutheran congregation. In the following year the congregation was incorporated, and purchased the stone church previously used by the First Presbyterian congregation. The following persons consti- …
… tuted the church council at the time of organization: Jacob Loew, Carl Schnebel, Fr. Ballas, elders; G. Sibbach, C. Kurtz, John Spohn, deacons. The number of communicants at the first communion service, held May 3, 1857, was thirty-two. A year later the number of communicants had increased to sixty–seven. During the fifteen years of the pastoral labors of Rev. E. A. Bauer, the congregation enjoyed a steady growth. Various improvements were made to the church property. A Sunday-school was also organized, the teachers being elected annually by the congregation. In the spring of 1872, Rev. Bauer, having accepted a call to Hazleton, Pa., resigned his charge in Carbon County. The congregation at Mauch Chunk, feeling itself strong enough to support its own pastor, elected Rev. G. A. Struntz. It was under Rev. Struntz that the congregation reached its greatest numerical strength. In 1876 the pastor reported six hundred and twenty confirmed members, sixty-three infant baptisms, and twenty-three received by confirmation. Four hundred and forty persons communed during the year. The number of scholars in the Sunday-school was one hundred and ninety; the number of teachers, fifteen.
In 1873 the congregation built a parsonage in Upper Mauch Chunk, where several lots had previously been purchased. The question of erecting a more suitable and convenient church in Upper Mauch Chunk, where the majority of members resided, was considered in the same year, and it was resolved to sell the property in Lower Mauch Chunk as soon as favorable opportunity presented itself. From May to August, 1875, during the absence of the pastor, Rev. F. T. Hennike supplied the congregation. In the spring of 1876 Rev. G. A. Struntz resigned his pastorate, and Rev. W. Wackernagel was elected his successor.
Though its membership was considerably diminished by the removal of members, and from other causes, the congregation, with the beginning of the pastoral labors of Rev. Wackernagel, entered upon a new career of prosperous activity. The question of securing a more suitable place of worship was now finally decided. It was resolved to build a new church in Upper Mauch Chunk, and to finish the basemen as soon as possible, so that divine service could be conducted there .
[Note: the surname appearing in the following as “Waruke” is more commonly known as “Warncke”, while Fründt is better known as “Freundt”]
The following were appointed a building committee: J. Waruke, H. Haak, F. Müller, C. Waruke, H. Waruke, Fr. Grimm, A. Brumm, C. Fründt, E. Leist, I. Cordes.
More attention was also paid to the Sunday-school, which numbered about two hundred and fifty scholars and fifty teachers. A young people’s association was organized, called “Martin Luther Society.” The completion of the new edifice in Upper Mauch Chunk was vigorously pushed forward. The lower rooms were consecrated in the fall of 1877, and used by the congregation at its services and by the Sunday-school at its sessions. In view of the “hard times,” the congregation was not inclined to assume the additional expense of finishing the upper rooms, but the desire to have these also competed induced a number of members and friends of the congregation to act liberally and have the work completed at their own expense. On member paid for all the furniture of the chancel, baptismal font, lectern, pulpit, alter, chairs, railing, etc. A number of the members paid for the painting of the wall in fresco, etc. The bell is the gift of one man. Among those to whose liberal aid the rapid completion of the church was largely owing are Henry and Joachim Waruke, Henry Fellgut, John Miller, John Faga, Mrs. Schultz, and others. The church is a frame structure, seventy by forty-two feet. The interior is beautifully frescoed, including a fine picture of the risen Lord, over the alter, in the rear of the chance; it has stained glass windows, and presents a very pleasing appearance. It was dedicated March 16, 1879. the closing services in the old church, Lower Mauch Chunk, were held Dec. 29, 1879. The property was finally disposed of in March, 1882. In April, 1881, Rev. Wackernagel removed to Allentown, having been elected German professor at Muhlenberg College, and Rev. L. Lindenstruth, the present pastor, was called. Up to this time the services were exclusively in German. The congregation deemed it advisable to have also English services Sunday evening. On Sunday, Dec. 16, 1883, an English Sunday-school was organized, which has the sessions in the morning, the afternoon school being exclusively German. The present number of members is three hundred and eighty. The Sunday-school numbers two hundred and fifty scholars and forty-five teachers. The financial state of affairs is good. The annual contributions toward the various benevolent objects of the church have steadily increased, and the prospects of the congregation are encouraging.
St. John’s Church (East Mauch Chunk).— In 1878 a number of members of St. John’s Church, Mauch Chunk, concluded to unite with the Reformed and build a Union church in East Mauch Chunk. The Lutheran congregation, organized Sept. 15, 1878, decided to form one pastoral charge with the congregation in Mauch Chunk served by Rev. Mr. Wackernagel The constitution published by the Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania was adopted. The cornerstone of the new church was laid Sept. 15, 1878, the church was dedicated May 18, 1879. It is free from debt. Rev. L. Lindenstruth is the Lutheran pastor. Its present membership is fifty. The Sunday-school numbers about fifty scholars and fifteen teachers. Lutheran services are held every two weeks, alternately in German and English.
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.— The present parish comprises the above church and St. Patrick’s Church at Nesquehoning. The first parish church, (St. Patrick’s) was …
… erected at Nesquehoning about forty-five years ago by Father Moloney. He resided at Easton first, afterwards at Tamaqua, and ministered to the Catholics of all the district, from Wilkesbarre Luzerne Co., to Haycock, Bucks Co. He also built churches at Tamaqua and Beaver Meadows, and faithfully tended to the spiritual wants of the Catholics of that immense territory for twelve years. In this parish he was succeeded by Father Hannegan, whose district at first included Summit Hill also. He resided at Nesquehoning, and was pastor from May, 1849, until January, 1852. He built the old or first part of the present church at Mauch Chunk. Father Coffey took his place, residing at Mauch Chunk, and labored here until October, 1854. It was during his time that that fearful scourge, the Asiatic cholera, desolated this region. The good Father Coffey was assisted in giving the last consolations of religion to the victims of this fearful disease by the saintly Bishop Neuman, of Philadelphia. They slept in the church, and there awaited the calls of the sick and dying, which they promptly tended, conscious that perhaps their own hours were numbered. The good bishop would send no priest, but, like a hero, exposed himself to all the dangers of the plague. From October, 1854, until July, 1856, the Rev. J. B. Loughran was pastor. He died at Mauch Chunk at that date, and was buried at St. Michael’s, Philadelphia, of which church his brother, Rev. William Loughran, was pastor. Rev. Charles McEnroe, whose kinda and gentle manners are still fresh in the memory of many, labored here from that date until the time of his death, in May, 1859. Fathers O’Shaughnessy and McCollum each held the charge for a short time, until November, 1861. The Rev. Michael Blacker was appointed pastor, which position he held until May, 1868. He labored hard here during that time, and enlarged and improved the church at Mauch Chunk.
Rev. Hugh Garvey, who succeeded him, was stationed here for a year. He was succeeded by Rev. Peter C. McEnroe. He wrought zealously, built the pastoral residence, and made many other improvements, from April, 1869, to July, 1875. Rev. Michael A. Bunce, the present pastor, has had charge since 1875. He has made many improvements, purchased property for a Catholic school, and is collecting for a new church at Nesquehoning.
St. Joseph’s German Catholic Church (East Mauch Chunk). – This church was founded in 1871. The first pastor was Rev. G. Frende, who resided at Lehighton, and in 1872 he was succeeded by Rev. W. Heinan, who, in 1874, moved to East Mauch Chunk. In 1879 he had an assistant, Rev. A. Mersch, succeeded, in 1880, by Rev. A. Fretz. He gave place, in 1881, to Rev. A Misteli, and was followed, in 1882, by the present assistant, Rev. G. Wolf. The Catholic school in connection with St. Joseph’s Church was founded in 1874, and is kept by the Sisters of Christian Charity, who were exiled by the Prussian government at that period of persecution. The churches at Lehighton, at Bowman’s (or Fire Line), Slatington, and Berlinsville (Northampton County) are attended by Rev. Heinan and his assistant, and the German Catholic school at Lehighton is under the charge of the Sisters who carry on the East Mauch Chunk school.
Temperance. – The earliest temperance movement in Mauch Chunk was undoubtedly that which at a meeting upon Sept. 16, 1829, resulted in the organization of a society, with Joseph Butler as president, Cephas Batchelor as Vice-president, John Mears as secretary, and Jesse K. Pryor as treasurer. Among the prominent members of the society were Ezekiel Harlan, Jonathan Fincher, William Baker, Jr., James McCarty, Asa L. Foster, Jacob H. Salkeld, Thomas Patterson, and William Rudolph. They were appointed as a committee to procure signatures, and secured quite a number, but the society was not long maintained.
The Mauch Chunk Temple of Honor, No. 34, was chartered July 14, 1846, but here is no record of its subsequent operations, and it probably was soon disbanded.
Divisions of the Sons of Temperance were organized in Mauch Chunk and elsewhere throughout the county prior to 1850.
About 1869 a Good Templar lodge was organized here and flourished for a few years, but became inactive after a period of usefulness, and now retains but little life.
Perhaps the most notable temperance society in Mauch Chunk has been that of the Cadets, organized in 1868, and constantly working during the past sixteen years. They have always maintained a large and useful library. There are but a few young men in the town who have been reared here and who have not been members of this organization, and the good that has been done can easily be conjectured. In 1877 the Cadets presented the town with a handsome drinking fountain, in which during the summer months a constant stream of pure cold water flows free for all. To Mr. Henry Webster is probably due , more than to any other one person, the credit for this and other good works of the Cadets.
A county temperance conference was called to meet at Mauch Chunk in October, 1883. It was largely attended by representatives form various parts of the county It was under the auspices of Rev. D. C. Babcock, secretary of the Pennsylvania State Temperance Alliance. It continued part of three days. From this was organized a county association with a full set of officers, who will no doubt carry out the purpose of the organization by holding meetings throughout the county during the coming year.
Carbon County has contributed one of the most eloquent temperance advocates that the State has ever had, --Daniel Kalbfus, Esq., a member of the Carbon County bar. He was prominently identified…
… with the work of organizing the second Temple of Honor lodge. After the disbandment of the Temple temperance work lagged for a time, and Mr. Kalbfus soon after being afflicted by softening of the brain, was removed to the State Insane Asylum, where he died soon after.
The Cemetery in Upper Mauch Chunk was laid out by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company in 1823, as is shown by their books. Prior to that time, however, the remains of a number of persons had been buried there. The mother of Josiah White, Rebecca (Haines) White, is said to have been the first person interred in this ground. The wife of the late Philip Abbott was buried there in 1821, and Jacob Hoch, a German, who lived in Lausanne township, and was killed while unloading logs on the site of Lowreytown, found sepulture here in 1822. The next burial was that of a Mr. Chesney, an employé of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, who was drowned in the river. In 1847 the company deeded the plot to Conrad Miller, L. D. Knowles, E. W. Harlan, Asa Packer, and Daniel Bertsch as trustees, to receive and hold the property in trust for the benefit and use of the citizens of Mauch Chunk. They appointed Conrad Miller, Samuel B. Hutchison, and Edward Lippincott, of Mauch Chunk, James Broderick, of Summit Hill, and Charles Packer, of Nesquehoning, as a committee to collect the necessary funds for the improvement of the cemetery, and William Reed was made treasurer. R. Q. Butler, Esq. Was given charge of the work, and Henry Sterling, a man of fifty years of age, became permanent sexton, holding the place until advancing years with their attendant infirmities compelled him to resign in favor of John Sterling. The old sexton was a Scotchman, and a very good counterpart of “Old Im-mortality.” He had a wonderful memory, and although he kept no record, could tell the name of the inmate of every tomb, give the date of death, and relate the peculiarities of the person while living. When asked by visitors how he was getting along, his common answer was, “Weel, the times are sae hard and na mooch doin’, not many folk are dyin’ these days.” The managers of the cemetery received a legacy of sixty-five shares of Lehigh Valley Railroad stock from the late Daniel Bertsch, one of the pioneers of Mauch Chunk from which over one hundred dollars per year is derived. The trustees of the cemetery are now an incorporated body, and have been since 1873. The present board is composed of Robert Klotz, D. G. Bertsch, L. Yaeger, Nicholas Remmel, R. Q. Butler, Joseph Moore, George Ruddle, Frank Sayre, and C. Kocher. R. Q. Butler is president, and D. G. Bertsch, Secretary and treasurer.
Fire Companies.— A fire engine company was organized as early as 1833, as we learn from an advertisement calling a meeting, and signed by Henry Mears, secretary. In 1834 the officers of this company were as follows: President, Nathan Patterson; Vice-President, I. T. Dodson; Secretary, James W. Chapman; Treasurer, Isaac Salkeld, Jr.; Engineers, B. R. McConnell, Rodolphus Kent, James Bingham, Cornelius Conner, H. B. Heilman, Thomas Quinton. This company probably did not long remain in existence.
Another one, however, was organized, which owned the little engine now in Upper Mauch Chunk, which was used at the time of the great fire of 1849.
Marion Hose Company, No. 1.— The first carriage of the Marion Hose Company, No. 1, of Mauch Chunk, was presented to John Fatzinger and Jacob Salkeld, in 1853, by the first Marion Hose Company, of Philadelphia, and was brought in a canal-boat. A company was then organized by the citizens of the town. After a few years the company disbanded, and the carriage was turned over to the borough authorities. The citizens then did fire-duty without organization until Aug. 8, 1866, when the present Marion Hose Company, No. 1, was instituted, and on June 3, 1867, a charter was granted to said Marion Hose Company, No. 1. When the organization of the company took place, the old United States Hose carriage, no. 14, located at Fifth and Buttonwood Streets, Philadelphia, was purchased, which is still in active service. In 1874 the company purchased a Silsby steam fire-engine, which is still used by the company. The number of active members is now thirty-five. In June, 1883, the company organized a band, which is still kept up by the company.
Masonic Lodge, Chapter, Council & Commandery.-- Upon the petition of John Fatzinger, Asa Packer, Isaac T. Dodson, Daniel Bertsch, William Oliver, and William Lilly, Jr., the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted a charter, dated Dec. 27, 1849, to Carbon Lodge, No. 242, A. &. M., to be held at Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., Pa., which was constituted Feb. 27, 1850, with John Fatzinger as Worshipful Master; Asa Packer, Senior Warden; and Isaac T. Dodson, Junior Warden. William Lilly, Jr., acted as secretary during the balance of the year in which the lodge was constituted, and at the first election Samuel B. Price was elected secretary, and Isaac Ripple treasurer. James I. Blakslee was elected treasurer Dec. 25, 1852, and has been continued in office to present time. The officers of Carbon Lodge for the year 1884 are as follows; James M. Dreisbach, W. M.; George H. Haines, S. W.; Frederick Bertolette, J. W.; Laird H. Barber, Sec.
Herman Baugh, M. E. G. H. P., granted a charter, dated June 21, 1855 for holding a chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Mauch Chunk, and on December 6th of the same year Lilly Chapter, No. 181 was constituted, when William Lilly, Jr., was installed M. E. H. P.; Charles O. Skeer, K.; and Samuel B. Price, S. Elisha P. Wilbur, of Bethlehem, was elected the first secretary, and James I. Blakslee treasurer. The officers for the year 1884 are as fol-…
… lows: Laird H. Barber, M.E.H.P.; William F. Streeter, K.; Dr. Leonard Rensellear, S.; James I. Blakslee, treasurer; William W. Weaver, Sec.
McNair Council, No. 29, Royal, Super-excellent, and Select Masters, opened and assembled under a dispensation dated March 19, 1867, which was subsequently confirmed by a charger form the Grand Council of Pennsylvania, dated June 11, 1867, Anno Dep. 2867. The original petitioners for the dispensation were Illustrious Companions Thomas S. McNair, William Lilly, Robert Klotz, R. A. Packer, J. A. Dinkey, J. K. McCollum, J. H. Wilhelm, Joseph P. Salmon, M. W. Raudenbush, John Green, and A. W. Raudenbush. With the recommendation of the petitioners this dispensation was granted by M. P. Alfred Creigh, Grand Master of Pennsylvania. At the first meeting of McNair Council, Robert A. Packer was installed as T. I. G. M.; Thomas S. McNair, D. I. G. M.; James H. Wilhelm, P. C. of W.; Robert Klotz, M. of E.; James A Dinkey, Rec. The officers for 1884 are as follows; Lafayette Lentz, T. I. G. M.; Albert G. Brodhead, Jr., D. I. G. M.; Leonard Seager, P. C. of W.; Robert Klotz, M. of E.; Eugene H. Blakslee, Rec.
Packer Commandery, No. 23, K. T., of Mauch Chunk, Pa., opened and assembled on the 28th day of September, 1866, under a dispensation dated Sept. 6, 1866. R. E. D. Grand Commander Jeremiah L. Hutchinson, present. The original petitioners for the dispensation were P. E. C. William Lilly, Sir Knights James Houston, M. W. Raudenbush, and A. W. Raudenbush, hailing from the Allen Commandery, No. 20; Sir Knights Thomas S. McNair, Joseph P. Salmon, Isaac K. McCollum, Anthony Dimmick, and Robert Klotz, of Crusade Commandery, No. 12. With the recommendation of the commanderies, this dispensation was granted by Right Eminent Robert Pitcairn, Grand Commander of Pennsylvania, which was subsequently confirmed by a charter from the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania, dated 12th June, A.D. 1867, A.O. 749, A.O.E.P. 70. At the first meeting of Packer Commandery, No. 23, K. T., Thomas S. McNair was installed E. C.; James Houston, Gen.; Robert Klotz, Capt. Gen.; William Lilly, Treas.; Milton W. Raudenbush, Rec. The following are the officers for the year 1833-34: John C. Dolon, E. C.; Laird H. Barber, Gen.; Leonard Seager, Capt. Gen.; Robert Klotz, Treas.; William W. Weaver, Rec.
Mauch Chunk Lodge, No. 76, I. O. O. F.—This lodge was instituted in May, 1842, and has been a more than ordinarily successful and flourishing organization. The following is a list of those who have served as N. G. and V. G.:
May 20, 1842. A. G. Brodhead, John Painter,
Sept. 8, 1842. J. Painter, William Brown
Dec. 8, 1842. William Brown, C. Lockhardt
Mar. 9, 1843. C. Lockhardt, J. Simpson
June 8, 1843. J. Simpson, J. Leisenring, Jr.
Sept. 7, 1843. J. Leisenring, Jr., L. D. Knowles
Dec. 7, 1843. L. D. Knowles, William Lilly
March 7, 1844. William Lilly, Ed. Lippincott
June 6, 1844. Ed. Lippincott, W. H. Fister
Sept. 12, 1844. W. H. Fister, Peter Houck
Dec. 12, 1844. Peter Houck, Philip DeYoung
March 6, 1845. Philip DeYoung, Robert Klotz
June 5, 1845. Robert Klotz, James McKean
Sept. 11, 1845. James McKean, C. O. Skeer
Dec. 11, 1845. C. O. Skeer, John Beighe
March 12, 1846. John Beighe, Daniel Olewine
June 11, 1846. Daniel Olewine, M. M. Cooper
Sept. 10, 1846 M. M. Cooper, J. S. Wallace
Dec. 10, 1845. J. S. Wallace, Charles Packer
July 1, 1847. Charles Packer, Robert Butler
Jan. 6, 1848. Robert Butler, Thomas L. White
July 6, 1848. Thomas L. White, William Butler
Jan. 4, 1849. William Butler, Conrad Kocher
July 5, 1849. Conrad Kocher, S. B. Price
Dec. 27, 1849. S. B. Price, Peter Russel
Dec. 26, 1850. Peter Russel, Jacob Gilger
June 27, 1850. Jacob Gilger, Conrad Miller
July 3, 1851. Conrad Miller, J. S. Line
Dec. 25, 1851. J. S. Line, S. B. Hutchinson
June 21, 1852. S. B. Hutchinson, T. R. Crellin
Sept. 30, 1852 T. R. Crellin, Lewis Beer
Election changed from June and December to March and September.
March 31, 1853. Lewis Beer, J. Weyhenmeyer
Sept. 29, 1853. J. Weyhenmeyer, C. D. Culver
March 30, 1854. C. D. Culver, Dennis Bauman
Sept. 28, 1854. Dennis Bauman, Nathan Tubbs
March 29, 1855. Nathan Tubbs, James Houston
Sept. 27, 1855. James Houston, Leonard Yaeger
March 29, 1856. Leonard Yaeger, Josiah Hoffman
Sept 25, 1856. Josiah Hoffman, Benjamin Yaeger
March 26, 1857. Benjamin Yaeger, Aaron Breisch
Sept. 24, 1857. Aaron Breisch, H. B. Burnham
March 25, 1858. H. B. Burnham, Samuel Line
Sept. 30, 1858. Samuel Line, W. W. Scott
March 31, 1859. W. W. Scott, Robert Porter
Sept. 29, 1859. Robert Porter, Elwen Bauer
March 29, 1860. Elwen Bauer, W. R. Otis
Sept. 29, 1860. W. R. Otis, John McMullen
March 28, 1861. John McMullen, George J. Spengler
Sept. 26, 1861. George J. Spengler, James Gaddes
March 27, 1862. James Gaddes, T. H. Rattcliff
Sept. 25, 1862. T. H. Rattcliff, Philip Miller
March 26, 1863. Philip Miller, Isaac Smith
Sept. 24, 1863. Isaac Smith, E. H. Snyder
March 31, 1864. E. H. Snyder, James Long
Sept. 29, 1864. James Long, Hiram Hontz
March 30, 1865. Hiram Hontz, Thomas Kirchner
Sept. 28, 1865. Thomas Kirchner, J. L. Dink
March 29, 1866. J. L. Dink, J. W. Raudenbush
Sept. 27, 1866. J. W. Raudenbush, H. H. Ashley
March 28, 1867. H. H. Ashley, Lewis Beckhardt
Sept. 26, 1867. Lewis Beckhardt, E. K. Stroh
March 26, 1868. E. K. Stroh, A. R. Beers
Sept. 24, 1868. A. R. Beers, J. M. Dreisbach
March 25, 1869. J. M. Dreisbach, W. T. King
Sept. 30, 1869. W. T. King, E. W. Harlan
March 31, 1870. E. W. Harlan, George Orr
Sept. 29, 1870. George Orr, J. A. Dinkey
March 30, 1871. James A. Dinkey, J. A. Mayer
Sept. 28, 1871. J. A. Mayer, F. P. Semmel
March 28, 1872. F. P. Semmel, Thomas Burk
Sept. 26, 1872. Thomas Burk, J. S. Ackerman
April 3, 1873. J. S. Ackerman, Michael Martin
Sept. 25, 1873. Michael Martin, J. B. Dreisbach
April 9, 1874. J. B. Dreisbach, C. H. Bower
Oct. 1, 1874. C. H. Bower, George W. Twining
April 1, 1875. George W. Twining, Theodore Doering
Oct. 7, 1875. Conrad Kocher, Douglas McLean (res.)
E. A. Packer
April 6, 1876. E. A. Packer, A. F. Corby
Oct. 12, 1876. A. F. Corby, S. M. Leslie
April 12, 1877. S. M. Leslie, William Butler
Sept. 27, 1877. William Butler, G. L Watson
April 11, 1878. G. L Watson, Simon Beckhardt
Oct. 3, 1878. Simon Beckhardt, John McAllister
April 3, 1879. John McAllister, Adolph Doering
Sept. 25, 1879. Adolph Doering, Douglas McLean
March 25, 1880. Douglas McLean, Jonas Sondheim
Sept. 30, 1880. Jonas Sondheim, N. D. Cortright
March 31, 1881. N. D. Cortright, William Hubble
Sept. 29, 1881. William Hubble, Charles Neast
March 30, 1882. Charles Neast, W. A. Cortright
Sept. 28, 1882. W. A. Cortright, Joseph Steventon
March 29, 1883. Joseph Steventon, D. B. Griffith
Sept 27, 1883. D. B. Griffith, Jacob Fretzer
Mauch Chunk Lodge, No. 193, Knights of Pythias, was instituted at Mauch Chun, Pa. on the 19th day of October, A. D. 1869, in the Odd-fellows Hall, by Philip Lowry as Grand Chancellor, P. C. Davis as V. P., P. C. Blair as V. G. C., P. C. Robinson as G. G., P. C. W. H. Haldeman as G. R. S., H. Eckenberger as G. I. S., John Black, Jr., as G. O. S.
The following name chartered members were elected as officers: V. P., Jabez Alsover; W. C., Amos Stroh; V. C., W. E. Frisbie; R. S., Ed. K. Stroh; F. S., John Kuebler; W. B., J. M. Dreisbach; W. I. S., Israel Briggs; W. G., John Miner; W. O. S., J. K. Vanneman. William Merrick, J. W. Heberling, F. A. Barr, Simon Reichart, M. A. Fegley, A. F. Glace, Aaron Miller, N. B. Reber, J. P. Tacy, Francis Pratt, Orlando Harris, Louis Beckhardt, A. J. Marsh, E. F. Luckenbach, J. W. Reed, Daniel Kalbfus, T. S. Beck, George Long, Lafayette Rehrig, Henry Swank, J. A. Mayer, Jacob Hassel, J. B. Wildermer, George Beers, Jacob Romig, Frank Leibenguth, J. S. Eustice, Oliver Breneiser, Aaron Bennyhoff, J. F. Bleckley, James Zellner, A. Vanhorn, James Hutchison, John Smith, James Gensel, Martin Rehrig, John Brelsford, John Kerns, A. E. Scheetz, and Samuel Moore were the additional charter members.
The election of officers afterward resulted as follows:
1869, Dec. 28.—W. C., W. E., Frisbie; V. C., Daniel Kalbfus; R. S., E. K. Stroh; F. S., C. E. Amidon; W. B., J. M. Dreisbach; G., F. W. Pratt; I. S., E. F. Houser; O. S., George Long; Trustees, J. W. Heberling, C. E. Foster, and Louis Beckhardt.
1870, June 28.—W. C., Daniel Kalbfus; V. C., F. W. Pratt; W. G., E. F. Luckenbach; I. S., C. E. Foster; Trustee, J. W. Harlan.
1870, Dec. 27.—W. C., E. F. Luckenbach; V. C., C. E. Foster; I. S., J. W. Harlan; O. S., John Miner; R. S., W. E. Frisbie; F. S., Orlando Harris; W. B., N. F. Glace; Trustee, John Miner; Rep. To Grand Lodge, W. E. Frisbie.
1871, June 27.—W. C., C. E. Foster; V. C., Oliver Breneiser; W. G., John Kern; I. S., D. K. Morrow; Trustee, Daniel Kalbfus.
1871, Dec. 26.—W. C., Oliver Breneiser; V. C., D. K. Morrow; W. G., J. B. Cox; R. S., Orlando Harris; F. S., W. H. Geidner; W. B., N. F. Glace; I. S., C. E. Amidon; O. S. John Faga; Trustee, L. F. Rehrig; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, A. Stroh.
1872, June 25.—W. C., D. K. Morrow; V. C., J. B. Cox; W. G., Henry Beineman; I. S. Orlando Harris; O. S., Ira Oliver; Trustee, Amos Stroh.
1872, Dec. 31.—W. C., J. B. Cox; V. C., Henry Beineman; W. G. Orlando Harris; I. S. Theodore Doering; O. S., Ira Oliver; R. S., E. K. Stroh; F. S., W. H. Geidner; W. B., N. F. Glace; Trustee, Oliver Breneiser; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, C. E. Foster.
1873, June 24. —C. C., Henry Beineman; V. C., Orlando Harris; P., C. E. Foster; M. at A., Theodore Doering; I. G., Jacob Stahl; Trustee, J. W. Harlan.
1873, Dec. 20. —C. C., Charles E. Foster; V. C., Theodore Doering; K. of R. and S., Edward K. Stroh; M. of F., B. F. Tacy; M. of E., N. F. Glace; P., Charles Hontz; M. at A., W. H. Geidner; Trustee, J. W. Heberling.
1874, June 30. —C. C., Theodore Doering; V. C., Charles Hontz; P., W. H. Geidner; M. at A., Joseph Diehl; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, C. E. Foster; Trustee, Henry Beineman, Jr.
1874, Dec. 29. —C. C., E. F. Luckenbach; V. C., William H. Geidner; P., Joseph Diehl; M. at A., Aaron Bennyhoff, K. of R. and S., E. K. Stroh; M. of F., B. S. Tacy; M. of E., N. F. Glace; Trustee, W. H. Reichard.
1875, June 29. —C. C., Joseph Diehl; V. C., Aaron Bennyhoff; P., William H. Reichard; M. at A., George Long; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, C. E. Foster; Trustee, W. H. Geidner.
1875, Dec. 28. —C. C., Aaron Bennyhoff; V. C., William Reichard; P., J. W. Harlan; M. at A., B. S. Tacy; K. of R. and S., E. K. Stroh; M. of E., N. F.
Glace; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; Trustee, C. D. Foster.
1876, June 27. —C. C., William H. Reichard; V. C., J. W. Harlan; P., R. W. Tobias; M. at A., Samuel Hoats; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, C. E. Foster; Trustee, Aaron Bennyhoff.
1876, Dec. 26. —C. C., J. w. Harlan; V. C., R. W. Tobias; P., S. P. Hoats; M. at A., Christopher Herrington; K. of R. and S., W. H. Geidner; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustee, E. K. Stroh.
1877, June 26. —C. C., R. W. Tobias; V. C., S. P. Hoats; P., Christopher Herrington; M. at A., Aaron Bennyhoff; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, E. F. Luckenbach; Trustees, E. F. Luckenbach and Joseph Diehl; vice E. K. Stroh, resigned.
1877, Dec. 25. —C. C., S. P. Hoats; V. C., Charles Hontz; P., Alexander Mumney; M. at A., Josiah Hontz; K. of R. and S., William H. Geidner; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustees, R. W. Tobias and Josiah Hontz.
1878, June 25. —C. C., Charles Hontz; V. C., E. L. Grennados; P., Aaron Bennyhoff; M. at A., Josiah Hontz; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, R. W. Tobias; Trustee, R. H. Reichard.
1878, Dec. 31. —C. C., E. L. Grennados; V. C., Aaron Bennyhoff; P., Josiah Hontz; M. at A., R. W. Tobias; K. of R. and S., W. H. Geidner; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz.
1879, June 24. —C. C. William H. Reichard; V. C., R. W. Tobias, P., Aaron Bennyhoff; M. at A., Josiah Hontz; Trustees, R. W. Tobias, W. H. Reichard and Josiah Hontz.
1879, Dec. 30. —C. C., R. W. Tobias; V. C. Aaron Bennyhoff; P., John Bohn; M. at A., Adolph Doering; K. of R. and S., Elwen Bauer; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustee, W. H. Geidner.
1880, June 29. —C. C., Aaron Bennyhoff; V. C., John Bohn; P., E. L. Grennados; M. at A., Adolph Doering; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, D. K. Morrow; Trustee, Aaron Bennyhoff.
1880, Dec. 28. —C. C., John Bohn; V. C., E. L. Grennados; P., D. P. Hughes; M. at A., Adolph Doering; K. of R. and S., Elwen Bauer; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustees, R. W. Tobias and J. M. Dreisbach.
1881, June 28. —C. C., E. L. Grennados; V. C., D. P. Hughes; P., Adolph Doering; M. at A., Aaron Bennyhoff; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, J. M. Dreisbach; Trustee, J. M. Dreisbach.
1881, Dec. 27. —C. C., D. P. Hughes; V. C., Adolph Doering; P., R. W. Tobias; M. at A., G. F. Schillinger; K. of R. and S., Elwen Bauer; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustee, A. Bennyhoff.
1882, June 27. —C. C. Adolph Doering; V. C., R. W. Tobias; P., E. L. Grennados; M. at A., G. F. Schillinger; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, J. M. Dreisbach; Trustee, R. W. Tobias.
1882, Dec. 26. —C. C., R. W. Tobias; V. C., E. L. Grennados; P., G. F. Schillinger; M. at A., D. P. Hughes; K. of R. and S., Elwen Bauer; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustee, J. M. Dreisbach.
1883, June 26. —C. C., E. L. Grennados; V. C., G. F. Schillinger; P., D. P. Hughes; M. of A., C. C. Brown; Rep. to the Grand Lodge, E. Bauer; Trustee, Aaron Bennyhoff.
1883, Dec. 25. —C. C., G. F. Schillinger; V. C., D. P. Hughes; P., C. C. Brown; M. at A., C. E. Sayre; K. of R. and S., Elwen Bauer; M. of F., D. K. Morrow; M. of E., A. E. Scheetz; Trustee, R. W. Tobias.
Norma Grove, No. 23, Order of Druids. —This lodge was organized Nov. 17, 1858, by Amos Stroh, who became its first Noble Arch, and consisted of sixteen members, among who were Jacob Sandel, Edward K. Stroh, Aaron Bresch, and E. J. Painter. The lodge has about seventy members, and owns property worth from six to seven thousand dollars. The present Noble Arch is C. C. Smith. Vice Arch, Jacob Sandel; Recording Secretary, Amos Stroh; Financial Secretary, A. J. Mayer; Treasurer, A. E. Scheetz; Trustees, Paul Kiefer, Amos Stroh, and Jacob Sandel.
Chapman Post, No. 61, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in May, 1867, by Lieut.-Col. Amos Stroh, Capt. George W. Wilhelm, and Capt. John Shields, and had twenty-six members. It now has seventy or more members, is in good financial condition, and leases a fine hall in Oak Hall building, which is sublet to several other societies. The present officers are: Post Commander, Herman Reiman; Junior Vice-Commander, Charles Hellier; Quartermaster, A. E. Scheetz; Chaplain, William Wilhelm.
Concert Hall. —As fine a public hall as is possessed by any town of similar size in the State was secured through a somewhat novel procedure, exhibiting the liberality and public spirit of a number of prominent citizens in 1882. Upon the ground now occupied by Concert Hall there stood for a quarter of a century prior to 1881 a frame structure known as the Market House and Town Hall, which during the latter part of the period had very poorly served the purposes for which it was designed. It had become old, unsightly, and altogether inadequate for the assemblages of the public, and afforded insufficient room for the market-stalls. There was much complaint on the part of the people, who wanted a suitable hall for public assemblages and entertainments, and finally the dissatisfaction took definite form, and found a voice through E. H. Rauch, W. W. Weaver, and Samuel Carpenter, who, over the indefinitely plural nom de plume of “Many Citizens,” published the following call for a public meeting:
“The citizens of Mauch Chunk are respectfully requested to assemble in town meeting at the Court House on Monday evening next (March 7th, 1881), at 8 o’clock for the purpose of considering the question of building a Town Hall and take such action as may be deemed proper.”
A large audience assembled at the court-house in pursuance of this call, and, after being called to order by W. C. Morris, Esq., organized by the election of A. W. Butler as chairman, W. C. Morris, Jr., and L. H. Barber as vice-presidents, and E. H. Rauch as secretary.
After the object of the meeting was stated by Mr. Butler, a resolution was adopted, after some discussion, “that it is the sense of this meeting that the borough authorities erect a new and substantial market-house on the site now used as a market, and a public hall on the upper part thereof, of sufficient dimensions, safety, and good taste to meet the wants of our people.” On motion of Dr. Erwin a committee was appointed to submit a plan, estimate of cost, etc., and the following-named gentlemen were appointed by the meeting: A. W. Butler, Josiah Sandel, John Fidler, John C. Dolon, and Dr. Erwin. Adjourned to meet on the following Monday evening. The adjourned meeting received the report of the committee (A. W. Butler, chairman), which report favored an election by the citizens, to decide whether or not the Borough Council shall be petitioned to erect a public hall and market-house, at an expense not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars. The report was adopted, and Messrs. A. W. Butler, Dr. Erwin, John Dolon, John Fidler, Josiah Sandel, E. F. Luckenbach, Charles Neast, Hugh Moore, and James McElroy were appointed a committee to provide for holding the election.
The Town Council decided favorably to the project, and issued a proclamation for an election to decide the will of the people upon April 21, 1881. This election resulted, in the First Ward, in two hundred and seventy-five votes for and forty-one against the building of the town hall, while in the Second War there were fifty seven votes for and one hundred and twenty-seven against the proposition, leaving a majority in the borough of one hundred and sixty-four in favor of the enterprise. The Council would then have acted upon the expressed wish of the majority, and erected a hall not to exceed in cost fifteen thousand dollars, but a question as to the legal right of the Council to raise the amount necessary by taxation was brought up, and in that emergency Judge Harry E. Packer and other public-spirited citizens came to the support of the project with the following proposition and subscription for carrying it out:
“We, the undersigned subscribers, hereby agree and promise to pay the amount severally subscribed hereto, at such time and in such installments as may be required for the purpose of building a market-house and town hall on the site of the present market-house in the borough of Mauch Chunk, as per plans and drawings furnished by Addison Hutton, architect, of Philadelphia, and with the understanding and agreement that the said building when completed shall be placed in charge of the authorities of the said borough; they to have all rents and revenues of whatever kind arising therefrom, by paying semi-annually, on the first days of January and July, to a treasurer appointed by us for said purpose, two and one-half percent upon the amount of our subscriptions, which payments are to continue for a period of ten years, and, in consideration of said borough having made full payment of the twenty semi-annual payments above specified, then the said borough is to own and possess the same without further payments:
Harry E. Packer ………….…..….$7500
William Lilly …..……………..…..$5000
Charles O. Skeer ………….…….$5000
John Leisenring ..……………..….$5000
Mahlon S. Kemmerer ……..…….$1000
Lafayette Lentz ..……………..….$1000
Andrew A. Douglas ...…….….….$1000
E. B. Leisenring ……………...….$1000
Allen Craig ……………..…….....$ 500
A. W. Butler…….………..……...$ 500
John C. Dolon ……………...…...$ 500
James I. Blakslee ………….…….$ 500
Daniel Bertsch ……………...…...$ 500
They were thus to pay twenty-nine thousand dollars for the building of the hall, one-half of which was to be returned to them on easy terms within a period of ten years. The proposition being accepted, work was begun, and the corner-stone of the building was laid, with proper observance, on Aug. 10, 1881. In the stone was deposited a condensed history of Mauch Chunk, in printed form, prepared by a committee appointed by the borough authorities, of which E. H. Rauch was chairman, together with other documents and a view of the old market-house and hall, torn down to give space for the new. The work progressed so well that the hall was formally opened on the evening of Feb. 4, 1882, on which occasion a speech of presentation was made by A. W. Butler, and answered by one of acceptance by Frederick Bertolette. The evening’s entertainment, “Edgewood Folks,” a comedy, was then given by Sol Smith Russell and company before a crowded audience. The chairman of the building committee was A. W. Butler, the architect Addison Hutton, and the builders were Balderston and Hutton, of Philadelphia. The tasteful frescoing and the scenery was the work of H. Lempert of Rochester, N. Y. The hall is of ample size, appropriately and elegantly finished and furnished, and possesses the important requisite of good acoustic properties. The lower floor of the substantial brick structure is principally devoted to market purposes, and affords space for a sufficient number of stalls and the free circulation of their patrons.
The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884
Transcribed from the original in 2002 & 2003
Ann Duval & Jack Sterling
Web page by
August 2002 & November 2003