Washington Township

Pages 549 to 555


Including sections on:


                   Early Settlers

                   Land Warrants


                   Justices of the Peace


                   Lehigh Furnace

                   The Slate Interests



                   Evangelical Association



And a Biographical Sketch of John Balliet



Page 549


Organization. - The territory now included in Washington was a part of the large township of Heidelberg, erected in 1752, and was not organized as it now exists until 1847.  At the November term of court in that year the following report was made.


“August 31, 1847, Jesse Samuels, Benjamin Fogel, and Charles H Sheimer, Commissioners appointed by an order of this court to enquire into the expediency of dividing the township of Heidelberg into two separate Townships.  Report, that having first given the notice required by law of the time and place of their meeting, they met at the house of Charles and David Peter, in said township of Heidelberg, on the sixteenth day of August, instant, and having first been sworn according to law and the order of said Court, did inquire into the propriety of granting the prayer of the petitioners, and having deemed the division of the said township of Heidelberg to be necessary, they did proceed to divide the same by making the proposed division–line therein, which they have designated by sufficient landmarks, as follows:  Beginning at  the point at which the division-line between the townships of North Whitehall and Lowhill intersect the line of said Heidelberg, said point being East distant eleven perches from the dwelling-house of Jacob Hensinger, and running thence by magnetic bearing north twenty-four and a quarter degrees west by a line of marked trees and other monuments through lands of Jacob Hensinger, John Hausman, George Hoatz, Frederick Krause, Phillip Handwerk, Andrew Peter, Jonas Peter, Godfrey Peter, Henry Bloss, George Metzger, John Roeder, Daniel and Elias Roeder, ____ Muth, George Rex, William Rex, Jacob Bachman, Jacob Rex, Elias Snyder, Christian Snyder, Jonas Bloss, John Bloss, Stephen Balliet, and others; twenty-four hundred and twenty perches to a point on the summit of the Blue Mountain on the line of the township East  Penn, Carbon County, said point bearing  south thirty-eight degrees East distance one hundred and twenty five perches from a stone set for a corner on the Eastside of the public road leading from the Lehigh Furnace, in said Heidelberg Township, to Dinkey Tavern, in said township of East Penn…. And the undersigned would also beg leave to report it as their opinion that it is proper and expedient that the said Township of Heidelberg should be divided into two townships, agreeably to the above-described line of partition and the draft hereunto annexed”


This report was read in open court Sept. 1, 1847, and held under advisement, and on the 6th of December, 1847 it was confirmed, and it was ordered “that the township of Heidelberg be divided into two separate townships, agreeably to the division-line aforesaid, and that the western division of said township be called “Dallas” township.”


The first election in Dallas township was held March 17, 1848, the officers elected being as follows: Moses Lentz and Nathan Miller, constables; Joseph Paten, judge; John Balliet and Tilghman Kuntz, inspectors; Stephen Schlosser, justice of the peace; Benjamin S. Levan, Jacob F. Hailer, John Rex and John Raher, school directors.  These were the last as well as the first office elected for Dallas Township, for by act of the Assembly, the name was changed to Washington on April 24, 1848.


Early Settlers. - Caspar Peters, one of the earliest settlers in that part of Heidelberg which is now Washington, came here about 1741, from Switzerland, and took up three hundred acres of land between Unionville and Slatington, and about four miles distant from the latter place.  His log house was built where is now the residence of his great-grandson, Daniel Peters.  The date of the death of this pioneer progenitor of the Peters family is not known.  He was buried in the Union Church Cemetery. He left several sons, among others, John and Caspar.  The name of Jacob Peters appears in a list of warrants, in which it is indicated that he took up land Jan 28, 1752.  Rudolph Peters took up land in 1754.  It is not known that these two men were sons of the first Peters, but is presumable that they were.   Caspar son of Caspar, was a native of the township, born in 1754.  He married Elizabeth Rachel, the daughter of an early settler, and settled on the homestead farm.  He died in 1811, and was buried in the Union church yard, as was also his wife.  They had sons, - Jonas, John, Caspar, Godfrey, Henry, and Daniel.  Jonas, who married Sally Ann Hoffman, a daughter of Wilhelm Hoffman, lived most of his life near the old homestead.  He died in 1873, aged eighty-three years, leaving two sons, David and Charles, the former of whom lived on the Fenstermacher farm, where he died about 1840, and the latter moved to Slatington in 1857.


John Peters, about 1823, moved to Luzerne County, where he died about 1840, leaving a large family.  Caspar married Miss Roth, of this township, and settled in Weissenberg.  He was buried at Fogelsville.


Godfrey, who married a Miss Fenstermacher, settled in North Whitehall.  He died there, and was buried in the old Egypt churchyard. 


Henry married a daughter of Adam German, and settled in Heidelberg. He died there, and was buried in New Tripoli churchyard. He left a large family, but its members are scattered.


Daniel, who married Miss Siegfried, settled on the old homestead farm, where his son, Daniel, now lives. 





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        Descendants of several brothers of Caspar Peters are living in the township.  One of the brothers has sons: Joseph, John, George, William, Daniel, Henry, and John.  The first named lived on the homestead, near Best’s Station.  He died March 9, 1876, at the age of eighty-one years, and let thirteen children, seventy-seven grandchildren, and forty-nine great grand children.  John Peters, Brother Joseph, died in 1881; Daniel settled near Millerstown; Henry settled at Freichlersville, and died there May 5, 1879, at the age of sixty-seven years.  His sons were John who settled at Lowhill, and Jacob, who removed to the West.  Tilghman, a son of Jacob, lives on the homestead.  The Rev. William J Peters, of Slatington, is also a son of Jacob.


Dewald Peters lived on the Lehigh River.  He died a number of years ago, leaving two sons:  Jonas, who is on the homestead, and Jacob, who resided in Slatington.


Henry Hoffman, who was from Switzerland, came here prior to 1749, for we find that in that year he procured a warrant for one hundred and eight acres of land.  At various subsequent dates he took up other tracts until he had an aggregate of more than eight hundred acres.  This land lay near Unionville, and adjoined that of Peters.  Henry Hoffman had a son, Wilhelm, and others of who little is known.  He was born January 14, 1749, and married Elizabeth Gerber, of Weissenberg, in 1770, when she was only thirteen years of age.  They received a part of the homestead farm, on which they lived, near Union Church.  He died there in 1824, and she in 1841.  They left eight children; Jonas, Daniel, Henry, Peter, Sally Ann, Elizabeth, Catharine, and Eve.  Jonas settled and died upon the homestead farm, where his son, James now lives.  Another son David has long been deceased.


Daniel, brother of Jonas, removed to the West.   Henry lived nearly all of his mature years near Unionville, and died there.  David and Stephen both reside upon the old farm.  Peter moved to Schuylkill County.  Sally Ann (Mrs. Jonas Peters) and Elizabeth (Mrs. Henry Bare) removed to Luzerne County: Catharine (Mrs. Christian Holben) removed to Seneca County, Ohio; Eve is the wife of Christian Troxell.


John Rachel obtained a warrant Feb.10, 1755, for one hundred and twelve acres of land near the river, and about one mile and a half from the site of Slatington.  How long he had been settled here prior to taking out the warrant is not known.  Adam Rachel was also in the township n 1755.  Caspar Peters married his sister.  John, Henry, and George Rachel were descendants of this family.


John Rober, a native of Wurtemberg, settled in that part of Heidelberg which is now Washington, on what is at present known as the Hallenbach place.  His son, John, a native of the township, was born in 1771, and died on the old homestead in 1858. Another son, Daniel, settled near the homestead, George removed to the Susquehanna, and Phillip located in Whitehall.


The Rex families were among the earliest settlers of this township.  They came originally from Germany, but had prior to their appearance here been for several years resident at Germantown.  Locating in the northern part of Washington, along trout creek, they became in short time the largest land-owners in that region.  Jacob Rex, in 1752 built a stone house, which is still standing, and owned by Stephen Rex, son of George, and grandson of the builder.  A stone set in the wall bears the inscription, “Anno 1752-J.R., M.S.”  He was born in 1724, married Elizabeth Ornerin May 16, 1746, lived in matrimony thirty six years, and died in 1782, leaving eleven children, fifty-five grand children, and twelve great grand children.


Wilhelm Fenstermacher at an early day took up land three miles southwest of Slatington, which is now owned by David Peter.  At the time the canal navigation bill was before the Pennsylvania Legislature Fenstermacher was a member of that body.  It took him in a private conveyance to Reading, where he first saw a genuine Concord stage-coach.  Where the stage rolled up at the door of the hotel dinner was announced, and the tired travelers vacated the great vehicle.  Fenstermacher, anxious not to be left, ate hurriedly, and upon going to the door and finding the stage there, determined to secure a seat.  He helped the driver stow away his baggage in the boot, and then looking around for an entrance to the coach he could find none, except that offered by the open window in the door.   Nothing daunted, and supposing that the regular entrance, he crawled through it and seated himself.  When the other passengers came out the driver turned the catch, the door was opened, and they entered much more easily than had the member of the General Assembly from Lehigh, who, quite astonished, exclaimed, “Dunner wetter, a door to a wagon!”


Fenstermacher was a man of affairs and a prominent citizen.  He kept a hotel and carried on a distillery, was for many years a justice of the peace, and in 1812 was elected as one of the commissioners of Lehigh County.  He had three sons: John, Jacob, and Charles.  John died upon the homestead farm, and Charles died near here, never having married.  Jacob removed to Schuylkill County.


Peter Handwerk, one of the early pioneers is the township, located about six miles from the site of Slatington, and on what afterwards became the line of Berks County Railroad.  The present owner of the farm is Martin Handwerk.  Peter had three sons Abraham, Martin and Jonas and two daughters, Mrs. Daniel Rex and Mrs. John Raber, both of whom now line in the township.  Abraham, who settled on a part of the old homestead, died in 1865, leaving a family of eight children; Levi, John, and a daughter Mrs. Susanna Banneger., are in Indiana; …





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                                                                                       … Martin is living on the old homestead; Jonas died in the township many years ago.


Michael Wehr, one of the old-time residents of Washington, lived about three miles from Slatington, on the Saegersville road, and died there about 1855, aged nearly eighty years.  He was a descendant of Simon Wehr, who took out a warrant for land as early as 1753; Michael has sons, Michael, Daniel, William, Solomon and Eli, and a daughter, who married Jonas Kern.  Daniel retained his father’s farm.  Solomon is in Iowa, and Eli in Schuylkill County.


The Kunkle family was represented in the township as early as 1769 by John and Michael.  How much earlier they were here is not definitely known.  George Kunkle lived at one time near the Lehigh Furnace, but moved to Chestnut Hill.  Andreas Kunkle lived on the Lehigh Furnace road.  He had two sons, Charles and Abraham, of whom the latter died young.  Charles lived and died on his father’s homestead.  His son, Samuel, now resides in Slatington.


Henry Geiger settled here some time prior to 1765, and took out a land warrant in that year.  He had four sons; Jonas, Jacob, John, and Henry.  Jonas and John both settled in Heidelberg, but none of their descendants are now living there.  Jacob removed to the West, and Henry located on the homestead farm, where his son David now lives.  Another son, Henry lives in Lowhill, Manuel in Heidelberg, and Lewis in this township.


Ambrose Remaly and George Remaly came from Germany about the year 1775. They were neither brothers nor relatives.  Ambrose Remaly settled where the old log house is yet to be seen upon Elias and Daniel Remaly’s farm, a short distance south of the borough of Slatington, on the public road along the Lehigh River to Andrew’s saw mill or to Rockdale.  Ambrose Remaly took up two hundred and thirty-two acres of land.  George Remaly settled where now Gabriel Kern’s farm-house is, nearly south of the Slatington borough line, and took up two hundred acres or more of land.                                                                         


Ambrose Remaly had two sons; Jacob and John.  Jacob had five sons; Stephen, Charles, Jonas, David, and Adam Remaly.  He also had four daughters; Susan, Polly, Lydia, and Carolina.  John Remaly son of Ambrose Remaly, had two sons and two daughters; Elias, Daniel, Lucy, and Sarah.  George Remaly was married to an English woman by the name of Polly Kocher, and they had four sons and four daughters; Michael, Henry, William, and Jacob George, and Kate (married to Jacob Remaly, son of Ambrose Remaly),  Elizabeth (married to John Ringer), Maria (married to Peter Newhard), and Sarah (married to Daniel Brown).  After George Remaly’s death his son Jacob George Remaly (generally called George Remaly), bought his father’s land, and was married to Mary E. Benninger, and had four sons and two daughters,  John, William, Paul, Jacob, Kate and Elizabeth.


In 1850, Jacob George Remaly by deed sold to his oldest son, John Remaly, fifty acres of his farm, bounded by lands of George Kern, Jonas Kern, Jacob Remaly, Jacob George Remaly, George Wassum and George Kern.  On this land John Remaly (son of Jacob George) built in 1850 the first house in Upper Slatington (at the time there was only one house in Lower Slatington).  Then John Remaly started the first hotel, now called the Slatington Hotel, and got the first license in Upper Slatington in January `85`.  He then commenced laying out lots and building houses, and so started the borough of Slatington.  In 1862, January 3rd, John Remaly died, leaving his widow, two daughters; Sarah A. (now married to J.C. Mack) , Ellen A. (now married to G. T. Oplinger and one son James, who died in 1872.


Land Warrants- following is a list of warrants for land, with name of parties and date of warrant, for that portion of Heidelberg township now Washington:


Name                                                                                    Acres

Adam German, Nov 16, 1786                                           14

Adam German, Nov 16, 1786                                         101

Adam German, April 17, 1792                                         15

Adam German, April17, 1792                                          36

Henry Geiger, Oct. 25, 1765                                              46

Henry Houser, April 25, 1744                                         167

Henry Hoffman, Jan 28, 1749                                         108

John Handwerk, Now 9, 1758                                           57

Elizabeth Hoffman, Nov. 30, 1763                                  16

Nicholas Handwerk, Aug, 12, 1768                               110

George Hofe, Jan 2 1769                                                     29

Fredrick Kern, May 4, 1748                                             149

John Kuntz, Nov.17, 1790                                                    7

Johannes Kunkle, Oct.29, 1769                                         91

Michael Kunkle, Oct 29, 1769                                           41

John Kern, March 27, 1769                                              370

Jacob Moyer, March 25, 1749                                          100

Jacob Moyer, Dec. 6, 1749                                                100

Jacob Mowrer, Dec 15, 1743                                              33

Jacob Mowrer, Dec. 15, 1743                                           182

Jacob Mowrer, May 15, 1745                                             33

Peter Missemer, Feb.7, 1752                                              25

Peter Missemer, Dec. 14, 1753                                        174

Peter Missemer, Dec. 31, 1773                                          28

Peter Missemer, Aug 12, 1776                                           32

George Nyhart, May 30, 1750                                         112

Henry Oswald, Jan 31, 1749                                              63

Jacob Peters, Mar 12, 1752                                                 31

Rudolph Peters, Mar 12, 1752                                           74

Adam Reeder, Aug 5, 1752                                                27

John Rochel, Feb. 10, 1755                                                112

William Rex, Oct 31, 1753                                                 86

Michael Remaly, Aug 5, 1767                                           32

John Ruckle, Aug 10, 1765                                                 28

Peter Ruch, Oct. 24, 1765                                                  38

Simon Wehr, Oct 3, 1753                                                  161

Simon Wehr, Apr 6, 1787                                                     6

Leonard Wasson, Aug 7, 1766                                          50

Simon Wehr, Aug 15, 1767                                                25


Schools. - The earliest information obtainable concerning the schools of this township relates to the year 1812, and is received from Jonas Kern, who in that year and in 1813 attended a school held in a log building situated where Stephen and Edward Kern now live.  The teacher was one Moyer, and the medium of education was exclusively German.  Later, about 1815, Dorsey Rudy held school in a log building a mile back from the river, where the Friedens Church now is.  Like Moyer, he imparted instruction in the German language.  In 1818, Moyer had a school where Joseph Schettler now lives.


The first English school in the township was doubtless that which was opened by William Kern about





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 1820 in the old mill which stood in the middle of the road at the end of the Trout Creek Bridge.  The next English school was opened in 1847 at the house of David and Charles Peters by George Reyhart, and was taught at a later period by Cochran Sterling, who received eight dollars per month and “boarded round.”  He had on the average eight pupils.


German schools were kept regularly after 1812 (and probably for a considerable period prior to that date).  Joseph Oberholtzen taught where the Friedens Church now is about 1837, and was followed by George Haley, Reyhart, Rhodes, and others.


The school law providing for free education passed the Legislature in 1834.  Heidelberg, of which Washington was then a part, voted against its acceptance year after year, and public opinion progressed so slowly that it was not until 1848 that it was accepted.  By that time that portion of the law providing for annual appropriations from the county funds for the maintenance of schools in the accepting district had been revoked, and the amount which had accumulated for Heidelberg since 1834 was lost.  Washington, on becoming a separate township, was divided into seven districts; Friedens, the furnace, Peter’s, Bachman’s (Rex’s), and two in union with Heidelberg and Whitehall.


In 1865 the township had eleven districts and six hundred and fifty-five pupils.  By 1874 another district had been set off, making twelve.  The number of pupils in that year was six hundred and seventy-eight. There are now twelve districts, one of two of which contains two schools.  The school houses now in use are all good brick structures, about twenty-five by thirty-five feet, and costing on an average one thousand dollars each.


In Friedens District the old building was retained in use until the present substantial brick house was built in 1881. 


In Newhart’s District school was kept for many years in an old log building about half a mile from the present one, on land of Henry Peters.  The new school-house was built in 1876.


Rex’s District was supplied with a new and well furnished building in 1872.  The old school house was about a quarter of a mile from the present one, on the land of Jacob Rex. 


The old school house in the furnace district gave place to the present one in the summer of 1876.


The first school-house in Peter’s district was built in 1872, but being an inferior building was supplanted with the present in 1878.


In the Williamstown district a school came into existence as a result of the quarrying operations.  The first house, built there about twenty years ago, gave place to the present brick structure recently.  There have been three school-houses in the Lehigh gap district. It was there that the pioneer Pedagogue Moyer, to whom allusion has already been made, taught school in 1812. A fairly good frame building succeeded the one in which he taught, and in turn was supplanted by the present brick building.


Slatedale district has two school-houses. Many years ago frame structures were built, which were ample for the needs of the few children of the neighborhood then, but as the development of the slate quarries brought an influx of population, more room was demanded, and the present brick school houses were erected in 1882.


Franklin district contains school houses numbers 12 and 13, both built in 1876.  Schools had formerly been kept in such rooms as the board could rent.


In the Renninger district the present school-house built quite recently, was the first.


The school in the Remaly district (No.11) was an outgrowth of the village of Friedensville, The present school house was built in 1870.


Justices of the Peace. - The justices elected for this township since it’s organization have been as follows:


Name                                                            Commissioned date

Stephen Schlosser                                      April 11, 1848

Boas Hausman                                            April 9, 1850

Lewis C Smith                                             April 9, 1850

Levi Krauser                                                April 10, 1855

Henry Kuntz                                               April 10, 1855

William F. Moyer                                       May 2, 1859

Henry Kuntz                                               April 10, 1860

Alexander Peter                                          April 14, 1863

Benj. J. Schlosser                                         April 11, 1865

Alexander Peter                                          April 14, 1868

Lewis C Smith                                             April 8, 1870

Lewis H Roth                                               April 9, 1872

Alexander Peter                                          April 15, 1873

Lewis H. Roth                                              April 19, 1877

Alexander Peter                                          March 25, 1878

Lewis H Roth                                               March 30, 1882

Orville S. Peter                                            April 6, 1883

Alexander Peter                                          April 6, 1883


Mills. - The first grist mill within the present limits of Washington Township is thought to have been located on Trout Creek, near the site of Slatedale, and to have been built before the first of the Kern Mills, which stood where the ruins of the old saw-mill are above Trout Creek Bridge.  The second Kern Mill was built in the middle of the road, and the third and present one was erected in 1850, by Jonas Kern.


About 1860, George Krause built an extensive grist-mill at Slatedale, on the site of the old one, but it was destroyed by fire in 1881, and has not been rebuilt.  Another grist-mill was carried on near the saw mill on the creek by Jonas Bloss.


A large grist-mill was built by ______ Frantz, on a branch of Trout Creek, about 1814.  It became the property of Jacob Kuntz, and was sold by him to his son, Tilghman Kuntz, and passed into the possession of the present proprietor Mr. Oswald, about 1873.


The first saw mill was on Trout Creek, above the present Trout Creek Bridge, and was built before 1756, and subsequently removed to where the, mantel factory now is.  This was where Franklin got his timber sawed for Fort Allen.  In 1844, George Kern, son of John, repaired the mill, and when ready to run, he wanted something to keep his accounts on.  He went to the store of David and Charles Peter, who then kept a variety store, three miles from Slatington, to buy a slate.  They had them to sell, but George thought forty-five cents “sicsaen zu hoch” (“too high”), and went home without buying one, took an …





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                             … axe, and went out to the ledge back of the mill and split off a piece of the outcrop of rock, smoothed it off a little, squared it, and hung it up as his account-slate, and used it three years before he knew he had slate on his ground.


At present there are five saw-mills in the township. Thomas Weiss has a steam-power mill near Slatedale; Jonas Bloss has one on Trout Creek; Caspar Hewitt & Co. operate one near the old Lehigh Furnace; Stephen Andrews has one below Slatington, on the Lehigh River, and near this is another owned by Elias Andrews.


Lehigh Furnace. - In 1826, Stephen Balliet and Samuel Helffrich purchased from Christian Snyder and Christian Bloss about twenty five acres of land, lying at the foot of the Blue Mountain, upon which in the same year they erected a furnace, the dimensions of which were: height, thirty feet: bosh (about) eight feet.  It was “blown in” in the latter part of the summer of 1826, the ore used being brought by wagon from a bed in South Whitehall township owned by Messrs. Balliet & Helffrich, and now the property of the former’s heirs.  Mr. Helffrich died in 1839, and two years later his interest was purchased by Stephen Balliet, who operated the furnace until his death, in 1854, after which it was carried on by his heirs for several years, and sold by them to Cooper & Hewitt, of New York, who still own the property.  It has been out of blast for several years.  The location for the furnace was chosen near the Blue Ridge because of the quantity of wood on the mountain for making charcoal.  Other tracts of land adjoining were purchased soon after the furnace was blown in.  One Applebach was the first superintendent, but was soon succeeded by Samuel Lewis (now of Allentown), who conducted the business about four years, when Benjamin S. Levan (now of Coplay) took charge, and continued till the death of Mr. Balliet, in January 1854, when he became the superintendent of the Lehigh Valley Iron Company (now Coplay Iron Company) at Coplay.


The Slate Interests. - The most important industry in this township, after farming, is the quarrying of slate.  An account of the first operations appears in the chapter upon Slatington, and we here give facts concerning the several quarries and companies or individuals operating them.


The Lehigh Slate Company was chartered in 1854, and began business with a capital of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  The first quarry opened by this strong organization was the Washington.  The Franklin was added soon afterwards, the Mantel in 1860, and the New Bangor in 1868.  The company continued in business until 1881, when the property was sold to the Easton stockholders under the name of J. Hess & Co.  It is now principally owned by Mr. Hess.  Caskie & Emack are the present lessees of Washington Quarry, and the Franklin, owned by the Williams Estate, is leased to and operated by the firm of Huntz & Jacobs.  The Mantel is at present abandoned.  This quarry, located on Trout Creek, eight hundred feet west of the Lehigh Valley Railroad station at Slatington, was opened by George and Nelson Lobar in 1848, and when it became the property of Lehigh Slate Company in 1868 it was valued at fifty thousand dollars.  Robert McDowell had been superintendent from the first.  It was here that Samuel Caskie conceived and put into practical use the idea of tunneling for slate.  The quarry was about to be abandoned in 1860 on account of its heavy top, when Mr. Caskie took the matter in charge and drove a tunnel and as a consequence the market was supplied from this quarry for years with the very best quality of slate for mantels, blackboards, etc.


The Williams Quarry, on the railroad, four hundred feet north of the station at Slatington, was opened by David and Owen Williams in 1863. This quarry which has been valued at one hundred thousand dollars, is now owned by Henry Fulmer, of Easton.  It affords excellent school slate.


The Keystone, fifteen hundred feet north of Slatington Station, was opened by H. O. Wilson, J. Hoffman, William Peters, L. C. Smith, and H. J. Hankel in 1863.  In 1868 the proprietors assumed the name of the Keystone Slate Company.  The quarry, now valued at eighty five thousand dollars, is owned by Dodson Brothers, and leased by Cassel & Co.


The Douglas quarry, on Trout Creek, one-third of a mile west of Slatington Station, was opened by Robert McDowell in 1849, and in 1868 was owned by Morgan Jones.  It is now the property of Henry Kuntz and family, but is not worked.


Owen Jones and William Roberts, in 1845, opened on the west branch of Trout Creek, half a mile from the station, which was called the Welchtown Quarry.  By 1868 the property had passed into the possession of Benjamin Kern, and was worked by R. R. Hughes & Co., under Mr. Hughes; superintendence.  Mr. Kern now leases the property to John T. Roberts & Co. who works the quarry by tunneling.


The Franklin quarry was opened subsequent to 1852, and purchased by Jones & Williams in 1867 for eighty nine thousand dollars.  The machinery here is propelled by a twenty-five horse-power engine. 


The Eagle quarry, three fourths of a mile from Slatington, was opened in 1867, and Phillip Woodring and Henry Kuntz soon became its proprietors.


David Williams in 1869 opened a quarry two hundred yards from the Slatington station, and erected a school slate factory, in which he employed a twenty horse-power engine.  He built also, in 1877, a school-slate mantel-factory.


The first derrick used in the slate-quarries was erected at the old Washington Quarry in 1857, by Charles Peters and Boas Housman.


Stephen Daner in 1867 opened the Monitor Quarry, on the west branch of Trout Creek, three fourths of a mile from Slatington Station.  R. Knecht was assoc-…





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                                                                                                          … iated with him, under the name of the Monitor Slate Company.  The quarry is not now worked.


The Madison, near the quarry just mentioned, was opened by J. Shofely, S. Daner and D. Coward in 1867, but was sold the succeeding year to the Rochester Slate Company. Benjamin Kern now owns this and also the Monitor.


Bangor Quarry, on Trout Creek, half a mile from Slatington Station, was opened in 1867, by R. McDowell.  It was considered worth forty thousand dollars.


Washington Quarry, which had been heretofore mentioned, was also opened by R. McDowell in the year 1848.  It is now owned by James Hess of Easton, and leased by Caskie & Emack.


Blue Vein Quarry, on Trout Creek, three fifths of a mile from Slatington Depot, was opened by D. D. Jones, O. Snyder, and others in 1866.  Two years later it was owned by the Blue Vein Slate Company, which was chartered with a capital of seventy five thousand dollars, and was then considered worth fifty thousand dollars, it is now owned by the Melchior H. Horn, and leased to William Siebert.


Near the last mentioned is the Penryn Quarry, which was by Hugh Hughes and D. D. Jones in 1864.  In 1868 it was owned by D. D. Jones alone, and the little hamlet which grew up at the place was called Jamestown.  The quarry is now owned by D.D Jones and Amos Bonnall, and is leased to William H. Siebert.


Demarara Quarry, near the above was opened in 1856 by Nelson Labar and F. Smith, and owned in 1868 by the Demarara Slate Company.  It is now owned by Warthman & Peters, but is not worked.


The American Quarry, four fifths of a mile from the depot, was opened by Thomas Kern in 1864.  Later it was owned by the American Slate Company, chartered with a capital of one hundred twenty five thousand dollars.  The present owner is Dr. John J. Detweiler, of Easton, and lessee Joel Neff.


The quarry known as the Harry Williams on Trout creek, nearly a mile and a quarter from Slatington Station, was opened by William J. Roberts in 1850, and subsequently was operated by the Blue Mountain Slate Company.  It has been valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  This quarry is now owned by the estate of Henry Williams, and leased to Krum, Mosser & Co.


A little further up trout creek is a quarry named after it, and opened by Z. Thomas and D. McKenna in 1865.  It subsequently passed into the possession of the McDowell Slate Company, and is now the property o the Dime Savings Bank.  It is not worked at present.  The property is valued at one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars.


The Franklin, still farther up the creek, was opened by Dr. H. O. Wilson in 1865, and soon became the property of D. D. Jones and H. Williams.  It is now owned by the Williams estate, and leased to Kuntz and Jacobs.  Value is stated as one hundred and forty thousand dollars.


The slate quarry a little distance above the last named was opened by Daniel Thomas in 1868, and is now owned by the Star Slate Company, and leased to Owen A. Williams.  It is valued at sixty thousand dollars. With the lands and buildings.


The Glencoe, on the west branch of Trout Creek, two miles from the station in Slatington, was opened by M. D. George and others in 1856, but soon the Glencoe Slate Company was organized, with a capital of forty thousand dollars, to operate it.  The value of the property is about thirty thousand dollars.


The Conway Quarry, about two miles up the creek, opened by Dr. H. O. Wilson in 1866, subsequently passed into the possession of the Conway Slate Company, who are the present owners.


The Brooklyn, near that just mentioned, opened by D. McKenna and Mr. Thomas is 1866 is the property of the Brooklyn Slate Company.  It is valued at fifty thousand dollars.


The Humboldt, a short distance from the Brooklyn, was opened by Henry Wert in 1866, and passed into the ownership of the Humboldt Slate Company.  It is not now worked.


North of the quarry just mentioned is the Hoffman, opened by William Weiss and William Roth in 1868.  This quarry, now not worked, has been valued at forty thousand dollars.


The Locke Slate Quarry, at Slatedale, three and one half miles from the station at Slatington, now owned by Francis Shenter was opened by George and Wilson Labar in 1848, and subsequently owned by the Locke Slate Company.  The value of the property has been estimated at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.


Enterprise Quarry, near Slatedale was opened by Shenter in 1868, subsequently operated by Enterprise Slate Company, and is now the property of Joseph German, who leases to John Bauer & Co.  The property is valued at seventy five thousand dollars. It is being worked.


Hope Quarry, on Trout Creek, four miles from Slatington, was opened by Owen Lloyd in 1861.  It subsequently passed into the hands of Hope Slate Company and the Saegersville Slate Company, the present owners.  This quarry is also now operated, and the property is valued at sixty five thousand dollars.


Diamond Quarry, on Trout Creek, five miles from Slatington, was opened by Schall & Balliet in 1848, and in 1863, passed to the Diamond Slate Company.  It is now owned by William Herbst, but is not worked.


The Kern Quarry, on the creek, one mile from the …





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                                                                                   … station at Slatington, was opened by J. Kern, Morgan & Co. in 1867.  It is now owned by D. D. Jones, but is not worked.


Two and a quarter miles up the creek, T. Weiss, in 1847, opened the Joy Quarry, which he still owns, but does not operate.


Three fourths of a mile up the creek is the Laury Quarry, opened by Laury & Co. in 1858, and now owned and operated by John Williams &Co.


The Blue Mountain Quarry, on Trout Creek, two and a half miles from Slatington Station, was opened by Dr. H. O. Wilson in 1866.  It has been owned by several persons, and is now the property of the Blue Vein Slate Company.  Work is now going on here.


About a quarter mile from the quarry just mentioned is Excelsior, opened by T. Weiss in 1864, and still owned by him. The Excelsior is not operated now.


Besides these quarried which have been mentioned there are several newer ones.  D.D. Jones and Robert R. Roberts opened valuable beds in 1883, which are now worked to good advantage.


Many of these quarries have been exhausted and abandoned.  Others, though long operated, are still yielding well, while new ones are frequently opened.  The quarries from which school slates are now being taken are those of David Williams & Co., the Lehigh Slate Company, Jones & Town, the Locke Slate Company and Glencoe Company.  These companies take out about two hundred and eighty five thousand school slates per month in the rough, and something over fifty-three thousand squares of roofing slate. More then five hundred men are employed in the industry.


The deposit of slate in this region extends from Trout Creek to the Blue Mountain, and is practically inexhaustible.


Besides the borough of Slatington, to which a separate chapter is devoted, there are in Washington Township several small villages, concerning which a few facts remain to be presented.


Friedensville. -  The land on which this hamlet is situated was owned at an early date by John Peters.  The place contains about a dozen houses, a Union Church, and a school-house.  The location of the church here in 1847 may be considered the beginning of the hamlet.  It was built by the Lutheran and German Reformed congregations, which were organized by the people of the neighborhood. The pastors of the Lutheran congregation have been as follows: Revs. Jeremiah Shindel, William B. Roth, Thomas Steck (1859-67), J. S. Renninger (1867 to date).  The congregation has about two hundred and fifty members.  The reformed congregation, which numbers but a few less then the Lutheran, has been ministered to by the following pastors viz: Revs, Erasmus Helffrich, Alfred J. G. Dubbs, William Helffrich, Levi K. Derr, and William J. Peters.


Slatedale. -  Has two hotels (kept by John Lewis and John Balliet), two stores, a blacksmith shop, a school-house, two churches, a depot building of the Lehigh Valley Branch Railroad, and a post office.  Its population is about seven hundred.  The post office was established in June, 1883, with Lewis F. Fink as postmaster.


Of the churches here the Methodist is the oldest and best sustained. The walls of the house erected by this denomination were put up in 1856.  The trustees were Owen W. Owens and Stinson Hagaman, and they constituted the building committee.  The first pastor was Rev. John Jones, and the succeeding ones Jacob Schlichter, __ McGee, ___ Barr, S. Powers, N. B. Durell and E. Townsend.  The church is served in connection with that at Slatington. 


Evangelical Association. - The first meetings were held in private houses in the year 1858, by itinerant preachers sent out by the Evangelical Association.  An edifice twenty four by thirty feet was erected in 1860, under the direction of the Rev. John Schell.  The society grew in numbers until more room was required.  In 1881, under the pastorate f the Rev. J. C. Bliem, a new brick church, thirty four by fifty feet, was erected.  The church is under care of the pastors of the church at Slatington.


A Lutheran Church was organized in 1876, but has not been actively maintained.


The Presbyterian Church, organized several years ago, now has no preaching and maintains no active organization.


Williamstown. - Is a small hamlet, with a population of less then three hundred, and like the other hamlets in this township had its origin in the slate development.  There is a brick church here, owned by The Welsh Baptists, and built in 1862, by Henry Williams.  It has at present twenty members, and no pastor. The hamlet contains also a store and a school-house.


Franklin. - Contains a population of about four hundred.  There is a hotel here, kept by W. P. Williams, a mantel factory, a store and two school-houses.



A Biographical Sketch of John Balliet














The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,


Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford

Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884


Transcribed from the original in 2005


Lisa Weierbach



Web page by

Jack Sterling

March 2005