Borough of Slatington


Pages 556 to 569


Including sections on:

                   Settlement of the Kerns 

                   The Discovery and Development of the Slate Deposits

                             Including Short Biographies of Daniel D. Jones, David Williams & Hugh L. Davis

                    Incorporation as a Borough

                   The Trout Creek Bridge






                   Business Interests

                   Post-Office and Postmasters    

                   The Waterworks

                   The Slatington News

                   The Lehigh Valley Railroad



                   Biographical Sketches of :

                                                          Robert McDowell

                                                          Peter Gross

                                                          Hiram Hankee




Page 556

Settlement of the Kerns. – On the west side of the Lehigh River, about two miles below the gap in the Blue Ridge, at a point where the famous “Warriors’ Path crossed the stream, and were is now the thriving borough of Slatington, one Nicholas Kern, as early as 1737, took up land on which he subsequently made his home.  His first warrant was dated Nov. 24, 1737, and his second March 15, 17 38.  The two tracts amounted to five hundred acres.  It was described as being on the west branch of the Delaware (as the Lehigh was then called), and was adjoined on one side by land of Gottfried Knauss (who then lived near the site of Emaus), and upon the other by vacant land.


Nicholas Kern, after raising a large family of children, died in 1748, leaving a widow, six sons – Henry, Frederick, Nicholas, John, William, George -- and one daughter, -- Caroline (Mrs. Martin Singling).  A will left by Kern directed that the property should be divided into eight equal parts between the widow and children.  All of the family remained at this place until the youngest children had arrived at maturity, when some of them removed to the lower part of the county, where their descendants still reside.  William and John remained at the homestead and took care of the farm and the mills which had been erected on Trout Creek.


In the Evans map of 1755, and in Edward Scull’s of 1770, one of these mills was designated as “Trucker’s Mill.”  Benjamin Franklin, in his report to Governor Morris, in January, 1756, states that he procured boards and timber for the building of Fort Allen, at Weissport, from “Trucker’s Saw-Mill.”  Many state papers, letters or reports from officers who were stationed in this region from 1756 to 1764, bear date “Kern’s” or “Trucker’s.”  Mrs. Michael Ramaly, long since dead, gave information many years ago to Charles Peters, of Slatington, concerning this name “Trucker,” stating that it was given to William Kern to distinguish him from others of the same name, and that he was of a jovial turn of mind, much given to joking.  Trockener,” in German, signifies a joker, a wit, and that was doubtless the term originally applied to the miller, which in time was corrupted to “Trucker.”


In the year 1761 a road was laid out on the line of he old Warriors’ Path, crossing Trout Creek, and running through the site of Slatington.


On the 4th of January, 1770, William and John Kern bought of the other heirs considerable of the land left to them.  The former had one hundred and forty acres, for which he paid three hundred pounds, and John two hundred and twenty-six acres, for which he paid two hundred and fifty pounds.  William purchased other lands, and on Oct. 1, 1799, he and his wife, Salome, deeded to Nicholas and John Kern, their sons, two tracts of land near the homestead.  One of these tracts (one hundred and seventy two acres) had been patented Jan. 16, 1784, and another, of two hundred and ninety-five acres, March 10, 1794.  Frederick Kern, a brother of William, took up a warrant for land the year his father died, and John, another brother, took up one hundred and forty-nine acres March 27, 1769.


The mill heretofore spoken of originally stood above the iron bridge that crosses Trout Creek, but subsequently was removed to the place where now stands Hess & Co.’s mantel-factory.  William Kern’s house, built of logs and possessing the distinction of a double porch, stood where the residences of Benjamin Kern and Henry Kuntz now are.  It was torn down about 1858.  The old stone barn, built about 1807, is still standing.


Reverting to the Kern family, we can state that William, who lived until about 1810, had at least eight children, viz.: William, Stoffel (or Christopher), Nicholas, John, Jacob, Elizabeth, Salome, and Julia, by two wives.  William lied at Lehigh Gap and kept tav3rn there many years.  He died near Stemlersville.  Stoffel settled about midway between the site of Slatington and the Blue Mountain and followed farming.  His sons were Henry, Daniel, Charles, Levi, and Stephen; Levi alone is now living and is …



Page 557

             …located north of the mountains.  There were also three daughters, of whom Elizabeth (Mrs. Stephen Smith), of Schnecksville, is the only one living.  Nicholas Kern lived at the homestead until 1819.  He married Hannah Best, the daughter of an early settler, and built a house on the portion of the old farm about a mile from the site of Slatington.  He had four sons, -- Henry, Jacob, Adam and Stephen, of whom Adam and Jacob are the only ones living, and are located respectively in Illinois and in Heidelberg township.  Two daughters are also living, -- Polly (Mrs. Eli Hoffman) in Lowhill, and Anna (Mrs. Eli Kern) in Washington township.


John Kern, son of William, was born in 1777, and died here in 1850, aged seventy-three years.  He carried on the farm and also the second mill (of which more extended mention will presently be made).  His sons were Jonas, Daniel, Thomas, Reuben, and Joseph, and his daughters, Susanna (Mrs. James Hoffman), Hannah (Mrs. D. Wehr), Lydia (Mrs. William Opp), and Leah (Mrs. Eli Hoffman).


Jonas settled at the homestead, and conducted the mill and farm until 1861, and now lives in Lower Slatington with his son, Benjamin.  The mill was given to Mrs. Henry Kuntz, whose husband rented it for a time.  It now belongs to H. A. Kern, son of Charles, son of Christopher.


Jacob Kern settled about two miles down the Lehigh from the old home, on a farm which Nathan Kern now owns.  The only one of this family now living is Elias Kern, of Quakertown.


John Kern, brother of William, in 1755 lived on land which is now cut up and owned by various persons, but principally by Williams & Co.  Daniel, John, and George were his sons.  Daniel removed to Indiana, and John to New York, George settled on the river and followed farming.  He also built the stone tavern and barn which still stand in the lower part of Slatington and are inscribed with the figures of the year in which they were reared, 1824.  He died about 1850.  He had two sons, -- George and Conrad.


There were no other settlers than the Kerns at what is now Slatington until the discovery of slate.  The family lived her quietly as farmers and millers.  Concerning the mills, it may not be out of place to state that the first grist-mill stood on Trout Creek where now are the ruins of the saw-mill built in 1763, and still to be seen.  It is said that William Kern was attacked here by the Indians the year that the mill was erected, but the onslaught couldn’t have been a very desperate one, if it is true, as alleged, that he drove them away with a cart-whip.  The second mill, a stone structure, a story and a half high, was built in the centre of the present road, at the end of the bridge over Trout Creek.  It was torn down in 1850, and the present mill was then erected by Jonas Kern.


At that time the only people who lived here were Jonas Kern (who had a double house and the mill already mentioned), John Kern, his father, Henry Kuntz, and Robert McDowell, who had established a store.  This slight increase of population, and the subsequent building of a town on this spot, where caused by the discovery of the great deposit of slate, valuable for various commercial purposes.


The Discovery and Development of the Slate Deposits (see footnote below). – In 1844 two Welshmen, William Roberts and Nelson Labar, who were traveling in this region, became instrumental in bringing into existence a great industry and incidentally the town of which we write.  While making the journey on foot from Easton to Mauch Chunk, by the old stage route along the Lehigh, they discovered at one of their resting places, opposite the site of Slatington, some pieces of stone, leaning against the barn of Peter Heimbach, in which they learned from Mr. Heimbach where it had been obtained, and upon leaving his house went to the spot, a little distance down the river, and made investigations which fully satisfied them of the value of the material.  She slate was found on the land of John Benninger in Northampton County, and the two Welshmen immediately leased the property.  In the spring of 1845 they opened a quarry a little below where the works of Caskie & Emach now are, and in August of the same year John Benninger opened Quarry No. 1 of the Heimbach vein.


The same season, Nelson Labar and William Roberts came over the west side of the river, in the vicinity of Slatington, to look for slate, but they decided that threw was none there.  A short time afterwards, however, it was discovered by Owen Jones.  Roberts then united with him, and they leased land from Jonas Kern for fifteen years.  Following is a portion of the agreement which they drew up:


In this connection the following statement by D. D. Jones, concerning the early slate discoveries, proves interesting:

“The first digging for slate began in this county (which was then Northampton) as early as the beginning of this century.  We read that a number of capitalists were organized under a charter granted by the Legislature to open and work a slate-quarry on the Delaware, below the Water Gap, as early as A.D. 1805.  The organization of this company no doubt stimulated others to new enterprises and further discoveries.

“After slate had been quarried along the Delaware for a number of years, it was thought it might be found further along the Blue Mountain, near Lehigh Gap.  Accordingly, in 1844, a few Welsh and Jerseymen, from near the Delaware Water Gap, emigrated to this vicinity, where they made the first opening on the east side of the Lehigh, near the present quarries of the Heimbach Slate Company.  They also explored along Trout Creek, and in 1845 opened the first quarry, situated on the hill near Welshtown, which is worked at present under lease by Hugh L. Davis, Henry Williams, and others, some of whom arrived here direct from Wales.

“I should mention that previous to the above explorations a party of gentlemen from Baltimore, Md., in 1828, opened a slate-quarry in Whitehall township, west of Laury’s Station, and in 1831 a portion of them, accompanied by our townsman, R. McDowell, Esq., discovered slate on the farm of Thomas Benninger, near the Lehigh Water Gap.  A quarry was opened and worked for several years, after which slate of a better quality was elsewhere discovered, and the old opening abandoned. (RETURN)



Page 558

             “Article of agreement made and concluded upon this thirtieth day of August, 1845, between Jonas Kern, of the township of Heidelberg, in the County of Lehigh, State of Pennsylvania, and Owen Jones and William Roberts of the same place, -- Term of 15 years, for the “makding a quarry of slate-stone to kake slate shingles, ‘ to ‘ pay to the said Jonas Kernd, Miller, twenty-eight cents for each and every tone of slate shingles.’  Jonas Kern to have the right to have as many of the large slate that could not be used for shingles … ‘And further, the afroresaid parties agree that if the aid jonas kern, miller, has a mind to begin to quarrey himself, he can’t take nobody to him as a partner exceptiong Owen Jones or William Roberts; therefore nobody has no Right to Commence to make a quarey on the aforesaid lands but Owen Jones and William Roberts or Jnas Kern, Miller, himself, with the aforesaid Owen Jones and William Roberts.’


                                                                                      “Jonas Kern

                                                                                      “Owen Jones

                                                                                      “William Roberts

“Witness at signing,

          “George Rex.”


Jones and Roberts then opened a quarry in the face of the hill, on the east side of the road leading to Welchtown.  This opening, now known as the “Tunnel Quarry,” is worked by John B. Roberts.  In the fall of 1858, Robert McDowell bought a third interest of Owen Jones and William Roberts.  Mr. Jones soon after engaged in the slate business, went to Wales and brought his family to this country.  He lived here many years, and then removed to Danielsville, where he was killed by the fall of a derrick.  Mr. Roberts, who has been mentioned in connection with these pioneer operations in slate, also established the first school-slate factory.  The Mr. McDowell who entered into partnership, as already stated, with Jones and Roberts, became a prominent merchant of the town, and one of the leading slate dealers. 


The second lease of Jonas Kern’s land was to a company (in which he had a place) composed of James M. Porter, Samuel Taylor, John Williams, and Robert McDowell.  They formed a partnership for the purpose of carrying on the mercantile business and also for quarrying.  The store was to be opened March 25, 1847, but was not until a later date, because of Mr. Kern’s withdrawal, and other reasons.  It was finally opened in the double house which was owned by Jonas Kern, and built many years before by William Kern.  This was occupied until Kern built a new structure (the west end of the Kern block), when McDowell & Co. took possession of it.  They kept here until 1851, and then sold out to Kern, and opened a store in Upper Slatington, where Mr. Kuntz now is.


Under the second lease, the Douglass and Washington Quarries were opened, Thomas Craig uniting with the original lessees in operating them.  The lands were subsequently bought. 


The second house on the hill was built by Boas Housman, who was book-keeper for McDowell & Co.  It was of stone, and stood where the stores of Kreitz and Seibert now are.  The office of the company was where J. C. Mack’s store is.  The second office – a brick building – is now the office of Caskie & Emack.


In 1851 the town was regularly laid out by D. D. Jones and Robert McDowell, and lots were sold.  By 1860 the place, which had but two or three buildings in 1851, had gained a population of five hundred, and in 1869 it had reached two thousand.  One of the buildings alluded to was a stone tavern, built by John Ramaly in 1849.  The first store was started in Upper Slatington in 1852 by Robert McDowell.  From this time on growth of the town, at first called Waverly, is shown in the history of its schools, churches and other institutions.  (The numerous slate-quarries are mentioned in the chapter on Washington township.


In connection with this account of the operations in slate and the development of the town, we subjoin sketches of three of the men most prominently engaged in the industry, while others will be found at the close of the chapter. 


Daniel D. Jones is of Welsh descent.  His maternal grandfather, ----- Smith, a native of Northampton County, with his wife, removed to Philadelphia, where he engaged in the hauling of lumber.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith were, in 1798, the victims of an epidemic of yellow fever prevailing in Philadelphia, and died in one night, leaving two infant daughters, who were adopted by friends of the family.  One of these, Sophia, married Peter Jones,  a seafaring man, whose son, Daniel, the only survivor of four children, is the subject of this sketch.  He was born April 1, 1827, in Philadelphia, and having been left an orphan at the age of nine years, was bound for four years to a farmer in Bucks County, where he remained two years beyond the specified time.  Having determined to acquire a trade, he removed to Bethlehem and perfected himself in that of a house-carpenter.  In 1849 he followed the tide of emigration to California, and there found his trade a remunerative one, skillful workmen receiving for their labor sixteen dollars per day.  Mr. Jones, later, engaged in the mining of gold, and subsequently in traffic on the Sacramento River.  In 1850 he embarked in mercantile operations, which were continued until his return, the following year, to his native State.  Mr. Jones made Bethlehem his residence, and subsequently removed to Philadelphia.  He had meanwhile invested capital in the slate business at Slatington, and was among the first to develop these extensive interests, having erected the first house within the present borough limits, and bestowed upon the hamlet the name it bears.  He enlisted in 1861 and during the late war served in the quartermaster’s department, first as regimental quartermaster and later, in the same capacity, connected with a brigade and a division.  In 1867, Mr. Jones married Miss S. Jenny Mott, daughter of Elijah Mott, of Montrose, Susquehanna Co.  Their children are Harry D., Freddy M., Hiram Belford, and three who died in childhood.  Mr. Jones has been actively identified with business enterprises and with affairs of a public and official character.  He was the firs postmaster of Slatington, appointed in 1851, president of the…



Page 559

                                                                        …Dime Savings-Bank of Slatington, for nine years a director of the Manufacturers’ National Bank of Philadelphia, and one of the organizers of the Lehigh Slate Company.  He represented the city of Philadelphia in the directorship of the North Penn Railroad, is a life-member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as also of its publication fund, having ever manifested much interest in matters of a historical and antiquarian nature.  He is a Republican in politics, and as such was elected burgess of Slatington and member of its school board.  Mr. Jones is also an active Mason, and member of the Meridian Sun Lodge, No 158, of Philadelphia, and of the Girard Mark Lodge, No. 214, as also of the Columbia Chapter, No. 91, of Philadelphia.


David Williams is if Welsh descent, and the son of William Owen & Elizabeth Williams, who resided in Park, Near Bethesda, North Wales.  Their son, David, was born Sept. 9, 1822, and spent his boyhood in Park, the place of his birth.  He received such advantages of education as the common schools afforded, and at the age of fifteen sought employment at the Penryn Slate Quarries, where he continued to labor until the age of twenty, when , in company with his brother, he emigrated to America, landing in New York City.  Seeking the slate-quarries of Northampton County, Pa., he prosecuted his trade for two years with Owen Evans, and during the succeeding six years varied this with other occupations.


In 1849 he located in Northampton County, having purchased slate-quarries, which he operated until the property was sold.  In 1867 he became the owner of quarries at Slatington, which were successfully worked for a period of years, when, in 1881, he disposed of the interest and purchased the quarries in Northampton County, which he now works.  He still retains his residence at Slatington, where he is the proprietor of an extensive factory for the manufacture of school-slates.  Mr. Williams is one of the most extensive slate-workers in the county, and has been largely identified wit the development of this important interest in Pennsylvania.  His factory produces annually one million three hundred thousand school-slate, which find a ready market in the various States of the Union.  Mr. Williams was married in 1851 to Miss Julia Ann Brown, daughter of Peter Brown, of Northampton County.  Their children are James M., Llewellyn E., Walter L., Allavesta, and Cinderella.  In politics he is a Republican, and represented his party for five years as burgess of the borough of Slatington.  He was educated in the faith of the Presbyterian Church , though a supporter of all religious denominations.


Hugh L. Davis is the son of Edward Davis, who was of Welsh lineage, and resided in Montgomery County, North Wales, where he was an agriculturist.  He married Ann Lumley, of the same county, and had children (eleven in number), --John, Jane, Mary, Rees, Edward, Ann, Hugh L., David, Elizabeth, Samuel, and one who died in youth.  Hugh L., of this number, was born on the 2nd of November, 1816, in Montgomery County, North Wales, and remained, during boyhood and youth, upon the farm of his father, whom he assisted in his daily routine of labor.  Desiring a wider field of action than was possible in his native country, he, in 1841, emigrated to America.  Landing in New York, he at once made the State of Pennsylvania the objective-point, tarrying for a brief period at various places which offered advantageous employment.  He eventually located at Summit Hill, Carbon Co., and remained for twenty-two years as superintendent of the collieries of Daniel Bertsch.  Mr. Davis then made Slatington his place of residence, and became interested in the Upper Lehigh Coal Company, as well as in slate-quarries in the immediate vicinity.  In connection with other parties, and under the firm name of Abbott and Davis, he leased the coal mines at Carbon Run, and continued for four years to operate them.  His interest in the great mineral products of the state gradually increased, and Mr. Davis became one of the stockholders in the Connellsville Coke and Iron Company, at Connellsville, Pa., and still retains connection with this influential company.  Mr. Davis having devoted the larger part of his life to business pursuits, and by fidelity to the trusts imposed in him, and great technical knowledge of the industries with which he was connected, rendered his career a successful one, some years since retired from active business, though still retaining his connection with many important industries.  He was married April 28, 1858, to Miss Mary, daughter of William Morgan of Summit Hill.  They have had four children, of whom Annie, wife of Rev. J. Elwy Lloyd, is the only survivor.  Mr. Davis is a member of the Welsh Presbyterian Church of Slatington, in which he has officiated as an elder.  He is identified with the Masonic fraternity as a member of Slatington Lodge, No. 440, of F. and A. M.


Mr. D. D. Jones thus speaks of early improvements in and about town:


“In 1854 the Slatington Bridge Company was chartered, the bridge built, and in November opened to the public.  The Lehigh Slate Company, formerly R. McDowell & Co., was also chartered this year by the Legislature, increasing their capital, whereby many buildings and other improvements were added to the town.  In 1856 the Lehigh Valley Railroad was first opened.  The same year the hotel near the railroad depot was opened, one or more dwellings added, and the settlement called Liberty.  Building-lots up-town were sold by adjoining land-owners at remunerative prices, and from this date the town grew rapidly.  In 1859 the mantel-factory of the Lehigh Slate Company was erected.  Some of the largest machinery introduced was brought here from Vermont.  A smaller building had been put up on the opposite side of the creek in 1852 by Jones & Co., wherein…



Page 560

                                                                                                                                                … the first mantels were made and finished.  The property subsequently passed into possession of the Lehigh Slate Company, and the available machinery removed into the new factory, the old buildings being taken down and turned into dwellings.  In 1862 the Riverside Slate-Quarry was opened.  In 1863 David Williams & Co. opened a quarry near the Lehigh River, and the school-slate factory put up in 1865, which was destroyed by fire in 1874, and the present large and substantial structure erected in its place in 1875.”


Incorporation as a Borough. – In1864 and important step was taken in the advancement of the town.  Conflicting interests arose, and to harmonize them it was deemed best to incorporate the town.  Accordingly, a petition was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lehigh County at the April term, praying for the incorporation of a borough, to be known as Slatington, by the following bounds, viz.: Beginning at a white-oak tree on the west bank of the Lehigh River and forty-eight perches south of the Lehigh Valley Railroad bridge across Trout Creek; thence through lands of D. & E. Remely, Jacob Remely, R. McDowell, and D. D. Jones south seventy-seven degrees west tow hundred and forty perches to a stone; thence through lands of said R. McDowell and D. D. Jones, John Remely (deceased, and the Lehigh Slate Company, and Thomas Kern, north thirteen degrees west one hundred and thirty perches to a stone; thence through land of Henry Kuntz, Benjamin Kern, Elias Kern, and Williams & Hall north seventy-seven degrees east two hundred and sixty-eight degrees to the west bank of the Lehigh River; thence down the said Lehigh River one hundred and thirty-two perches, more or less, to the place of beginning.


The petition was granted, and a decree of incorporation issued Sept. 7, 1864.


The first election was held in pursuance of the decree at Charles Peters’ in November, the judges being Robert McDowell and Henry Kuntz.  Robert McDowell was chosen burgess and Henry Kuntz, Charles Peters, Jonas Hoffman, Henry Handwerk, and Abraham Person, councilmen.   The early meetings of the Council were held at the Lehigh Slate Company’s office, and later ones at the Slatington Hotel.  One of the first actions of the Council was to rent “the little corner house,” on Main Street and Centre Alley, for a Lock-up, and to appoint Henry Handwerk to fit it up for that purpose.  The borough was surveyed by A. J. Hauman some time during the winter of 1865-66, and the plan or map which he drew was approved in March, 1866.


On Aug. 1, 1866, the Council leased a piece of land of Benjamin Kern for the purpose of establishing a market.  This lot was on Front (or River) Street, and extended to Second.  No market-house was built upon it, however.  The enterprise of the authorities seems instead to have been directed toward the building of a station-house and council-chamber, which was finished in the fall of 1867.  The borough was presented, in the spring of 1868, with a fire-engine and hose-carriage by the Slatington Gift Enterprise Company, and the engine still remains in the old school-house.  Thus the conveniences needed by a thriving town were gradually secured.  It was not until some years later that the building known as the town hall was built by Hugh L. Davis, and the armory building erected by the Slatington Rifles (Company H. of the National Guard). 


The following is a list of the principal borough officers:




1864.              Robert McDowell.                                                  1875-76.                    David Williams.

1865-66.        A. P. Steckel.                                                            1877.                          Benjamin Kern.      

1867-68.        D. D. Jones.                                                               1878-79.                    David Williams.    

1869.              William Morgan.                                                    1880.                          Samuel Caskie.

1870-71.        Robert McDowell.                                                  1881.                          Joel Neff.      

1872-73.        D. D. Jones.                                                               1882.                          Samuel Caskie.       

1874.              Thomas Kern.                                                          1883.                          Joel Neff.




1864. – Henry Kuntz, Charles Peter, Jonas Hoffman, Henry Handwerk, Abraham Person.

1865. – Daniel R. Williams, Jesse Labar, John Handwerk, Benjamin Kern, William Morgan.

1866. – William Morgan, Benjamin Kern, William R. Williams, Evan Williams, Aaron Peter.

1867. – Aaron Peter, William R. Williams, G. H. Scholl, William H. Kress, A. Berkemeyer.

1868. – A. Berkemeyer, Aaron Peter, G. H. Scholl, Hugh L. Davis, William H. Kress.

1869. – A. Berkemeyer, J. F. Kress, Jonas Hoffman, Abill Heilman, J. C. Mack.

1870. – A. Berkemeyer, Benjamin Kern, David Ross, J. F. Kress. J. L. Schreiber.

1871. –  ------- Kern, A. Berkemeyer, J. F. Kress, John L. Schreiber, David Ross.

1872. – Thomas Kern, Jesse Labar, James Anthony, Benjamin Kern, John F. Kress, Duane Neff.

1873. – Owen E. Mank, Griffith Ellis, Jesse Labar, Jonas Hoffman, William Kern, Allen Xander

1874. – J. C. Mack, Joel Neff, S. A. Santee, S. H. Schneck, William Morgan.

1875. – John T. Roberts, William H. Houser, E. B. Neff.

1876. – William H. Houser, Hugh L. Davis, Jonas Hoffman, Benjamin Kern, J. C. Mack, Thomas Kern.

1877. – Thomas Kern, Hugh L. Davis, Jonas Hoffman, Joel Neff, D. F. Snyder, Griffith Ellis.

1878. – D. J. F. Miller, William H. Houser, Joel Neff, J. C. Mack, Fred Welz, Hugh L. Davis.

1879. – Jonas Hoffman, William Ruch, Joel Neff, E. B. Neff, D. D. Jones, Aaron Peter.

1880. – J. C. Mack, L. Campbell, Ed. Rauch, D. D. Jones, Joel Neff, David Lutz.

1881. – L. Campbell, E. B. Neff, Hyman Peters, J. C. Mack, D. D. Jones, Jonas Hoffman.

1882. – J. Labar, William Morgan, J. F. Hunsicker, John Balliet, Evan Williams, E. D. Peter.

1883. – William Morgan, John G. Davis, Thomas Kern, Walter B. Grosh, Phaon A. Semmel, Evan





Commissioned                                                                                   Commissioned

Henry Kuntz ……………April 17, 1866                                 Isaac M. Cassell  …………… Dec. 2, 1880

Lewis C. Smith …………          17, 1866                                 Hiram J. Hanker…………… April 9, 1881

J. F. Kress  ………………           14, 1868                                F. J. Stetler …………………           9, 1881

Henry Kuntz  …………  March 21, 1876                                Oscar A. Neff  ………………  May 9, 1882

John F. Kress ……………          25, 1878                                 Arthur W. Miller   …………  April 6, 1883


The Trout Creek Bridge. – The county records show that viewers appointed in 1814 for the purpose of ascertaining the expediency of building a bridge …



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                                                                                                            …over Trout Creek at this point, reported in favor of the project, but for some reason the work was not done until 1826, two years after building the bridge over the Lehigh at the Gap.  The bridge then built was of stone.  The commissioners were John Rinker and Conrad Knerr.  The bridge was torn down in 1869, and the present iron structure was then thrown across the stream.


Hotels. – The first hotel in what is now Slatington, a stone building, still standing on Main Street, in the lower part of town, and occupied as a private residence, was built by George Kern in 1824.  The building opposite, now used as a carriage-shop, was the barn in connection with the hotel.  Kern kept the hotel until about 1840, and then closed it, for, although upon the road between Philadelphia and Mauch Chunk, it was but little patronized.


The second hotel was built by Jonas Kern in 1847.  It as kept by Henry Kuntz, Dennis Hunsicker, and Edward Raeber, and Jesse Miller, the last mentioned being landlord in 1866, when it was closed.  The building is now used as a dwelling.


The next hotel, and the first in Upper Slatington, was a stone building erected in 1850 by John Ramaly.  It was kept at first by Robert L. Roberts, and by Richard H. Dyer in 1857.  About that time Charles Peters bought it, and kept it until 1869, when he leased it to Edward B. Neff, who was landlord until 1871.  Charles Peters was then the host until 1877, when the property was bought by E. B. Neff.


The Railroad Hotel, at the depot, was built by Thompson West in 1851.  It has been kept by Eli Frantz, Jonas Hoffman, Amandus and Henry Bittner.


The Eagle Hotel was built by Israel Rudy about 1856.


The United States was built by Dunkle & Snyder.  It had many landlords, and for the past two years has been conducted by Oby Keiser.


The Mansion House, built a number of years ago, was taken possession of in 1876 by F. M. Ringer.  The Broadway, erected and kept for a time by Peter Breyfogel, now has as a landlord Tilghman H. Yehl.


The American was built by Benjamin Kern in 1868.  It has had as landlords Jonas Hoffman, M. Heilman, Peter Keiser, Benjamiin F. Peter, and Tilghman H. Yehl.  The present landlord is Walter Peters.


Churches – The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation (by Rev. J. S. Erb). – In the spring of the year 1868 it happened one day that some five or six members of the Lutheran faith met, and the conversation turned to the consideration of the propriety of beginning a German and English Sunday school in the borough of Slatington. The result was the appointing of a committee to obtain the old school-house on Church Street for this purpose.  Rev. J. S. Renninger, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and pastor of the Schnecksville charge, was invited to deliver an address on the subject on Sunday-schools, to which request he responded.  The address was delivered in the Presbyterian Church of this place.  The Sunday-school was opened with eighteen scholars.  On the second Sunday the number had increased to sixty-four, and continued to increase so rapidly that the place was soon too small, and it became necessary to procure a more commodious building.  This want was met by obtaining the public school-house of the borough.


A Bible class was also organized about the same time, and was instructed every other week by Rev. J. S. Renninger.  By and by Rev. S. A. Leinbach, of the Reformed Church, commenced his mission in the place mutually assisting in the enterprise.  By the efforts of these men, the members of the Sunday-school and Bible class were induced to see the necessity of a spiritual home, -- i.e., of building a house of worship in this rapidly-rising town.


A meeting was called on the 17th of July, 1868, to take into consideration the building of a Union Church, Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed.  Mr. Charles Peter was chairman, and Henry Kuntz secretary of the meeting.  A Subsequent meeting was held on the 31st of July, 1868, at which meeting a committee on site and plan of the church was appointed.


On Sept. 19, 1868, this congregation was organized, adopting a constitution and electing as a church council, Elders, Henry Handwerk and David Ross; Deacons, Amandus Young, John Handwerk, and Jacob Unruh.  The building committee consisted of David Ross and Henry Handwerk of the Lutheran congregation, and Jonas Kern and Philip Woodring of the Reformed.  The corner-stone of the church was laid on the 27th of June, 1869.  Ministers present, Isaac Loos, and S. A. Leinbach, of the reformed Church and L. Groh and J. S. Renninger of the Lutheran Church.


The church was dedicated on the 25th and 26th of December, 1869.  Ministers present, Revs. J. D. Schindel, F. Berkemier, of the Lutheran Church, and Revs. D. Brendel, L. K. Derr, and S. A. Leinbach, of the Reformed Church.


In the spring of the year 1871, Rev. D. K. Kepner was elected and became the pastor of the Evangelical congregation.  At about the same time, Rev. L. K. Derr was elected and became the pastor of the Reformed congregation.  Rev. D. K. Kepner resigned this congregation on the 1st of January, 1875.  The Evangelical Lutheran was now without a regular pastor for about one year.  The congregation was supplied with the word and sacrament by Rev. J. D. Schindel, and four students of the Evangelical Seminary at Philadelphia.  During the summer of 1875, J. S. Erb, a student at the seminary, supplied the congregation during his vacation, and continued doing so during the last year of his seminary course.  In the spring of the year 1876, he was unanimously elected as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation.  In the year 1880 the union arrangement be-…



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                                                                                                                                                            … tween the Lutheran and Reformed was dissolved, the reformed buying the old church building.  It then became necessary for the Evangelical Lutheran congregation to build for themselves a house of worship.


April 25, 1871, the congregation met and decided to build a church.  They commenced in good earnest to break ground, on a lot on Second street, which lot, along with a parsonage, was donated to the congregation by Mrs. David Ross.  On July 2, 1881, the corner-stone was laid.  The pastor, J. S. Erb, was assisted by Professor W. W. Wachernagle and Rev. S. A.. Ziegenfuss.  The basement of the church was dedicated Nov. 6, 1881.  Ministers present, Rev. I. N. S. Erb and G. A. Brengel.  The audience-room of the church was dedicated Dec. 2, 1883, Rev. Professor B. Sadtler, D. D., and J. D. Schindel assisting the pastor.  The congregation has a beautiful house of worship, with a parsonage alongside of the church, and is in a prosperous condition.  The present pastor is Rev. J. S. Erb.


The Reformed Church. – This congregation with the Lutheran was organized as a Union Church in 1869, and a house of worship was built the same year, and dedicated December 25th.  The church had supplies until 1870, after that time until 1880 it was in charge of the Rev. L. R. Derr.  In March, 1880, Rev. William J. Peters became pastor, and has since served in that capacity.  The Church has a membership of two hundred and twenty.  A Sunday-school in connection, of which Robert F. Mushlitz is superintendent, has, counting teachers and pupils, two hundred and seventy-five members.  This congregation, upon the separation of the Lutheran element in 1880, retained the church building.


Methodist Episcopal Church. – In the month of July, 1869, it was determined to build a church at this place.  The building committee consisted of Rev. J. W. Knapp, pastor in charge; James Anthony, James Thomas, David Evans, Harrison Evans, George S. Coffin, and William H. Gish.  Rev. J. W. Knapp, chairman; William H. Gish, secretary and treasurer. 


The corner-stone was laid Sept. 12, 1869, Rev. Jerome Lindermuth officiating.  The house was dedicated Dec. 19, 1869, the ministers officiating being Rev. Jerome Lindermuth, Rev. William H. Fries, Rev. Kimble, and Rev. J. W. Knapp.  The trustees for Slatington and Slatedale, -- Harrison Evans, David Evans, Owen W. Owens, William H. Gish, and George S. Coffin.  The following have been the pastors in charge: Rev. J. W. Knapp, 1869; Rev. E. H. Hoffman, 1870; Rev. J. T. Folsom, 1871-73; Rev. James Richards, 1874; Rev. G. L. Schaffer, 1877-79; Rev. Josiah Bawden, 1880; Rev. W. F. Shepperd, 1881-82; Rev. F. Illman, 1883.


The Presbyterian Church. – This church was organized in 1850 (the precise date is not obtainable, as the records have been lost) by a committee of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, consisting of the Rev. Dr. Gray, of Easton, Rev. Leslie Irvine, of the Allen township church, and James Kennedy, ruling elder of the latter body.  There were thirteen original members, Robert McDowell and James Marshall were the ruling elders and W. S. Crosbie and W. Jones deacons.  Meetings were held during 1850 and 1851.  From its organization until 1855 the church had no stated supply, but was favored with occasional preaching.


The house of worship was built in 1854-55 the cornerstone being laid in July of the former year, and the building dedicated in February of the latter.  Rev. Dr. D. V. McLean, then president of Lafayette College, officiating. 


In the autumn of 1855, Rev. T. M. Adams, of New York, began to serve as supply, and continued until 1857.  During the latter year, Rev. A. G. Harned, of Summit Hill, was called as pastor and accepted.  He remained about nine years, and was succeeded by the Rev. George J. Porter, who served until 1869.  In March, 1870, a call was extended to Rev. John McNaughton, of New York, who accepted and was installed in April.


In 1874, the church building having fallen into bad condition, it was decided to build a new one, and the corner-stone was laid that year.  On Oct. 1, 1875, Mr. McNaughton resigned, and the church was again without a pastor.  It was supplied during the summer by Thomas M. Boyd, a Princeton student.  During that period services were held in the basement of the uncompleted edifice.  The church was finished and dedicated Sept. 29, 1876, by Rev. Dr. William Ormisston, of New York, preaching the sermon.  The structure cost about seven thousand dollars.  The building committee consisted of Robert McDowell, D. D. Roper, D. D. Jones, Jesse Labar, and Samuel Caskie.  Rev. S. Stockton Burroughs was called to fill the pulpit, and accepting, served until 1870, since which time there has been only supply preaching.  The present membership is about seventy.


There is a Sunday–school in connection with the church, which was started by Mr. McDowell in 1854 with only six members, and grew to two hundred and seventy-three in eleven years.


Evangelical Association. – The society of this denomination was organized in Slatington in 1862, and meetings were held in private homes at first, and later in a hall rented by Lewis Henritzy, in the lower town, where the society met until 1870, in which year the present church edifice, thirty-four by fifty-five feet, built of frame, was erected on second and Washington Streets.  The corner-stone was laid on the 19th of June, 1870.  From the time of the organization the churches of Slatedale and Slatington have been one field of labor, and have unitedly two hundred and sixty-four members.


The following are the preachers that labored in this charge: Revs. John Schell, George Knerr, J. Specht, D. Yingst, R. Deisher, 1874-75; Moses Dis-…



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                                                                                                …singer, 1876-78; J. C. Bliem, 1879l-81; and the Rev. G. W. Gross, the present pastor, 1882-84.


The Welsh Churches. – The Welsh of this region organized about 1846, and worshiped in dwellings until 1851, when they built a stone house one story high, used till 1858, when the congregation divided into the Welsh Congregational and Welsh Presbyterian bodies.  The latter, which was named “Salem Church,” built a brick house of worship on the same lot, a little west.  This was destroyed by fire in 1864, and was rebuilt of brick on the same site.  In 1883 the congregation desired a larger house, and the present brick edifice, thirty-four by sixty-six feet in dimensions, was built.  The congregation numbers one hundred, and is without a regular pastor, being supplied by missionaries.


Bethel Church. – The members of the church, after the division in 1858, received as a donation a lot on West Church Street for church purposes.  A frame house was erected there, which was used till 1883.  The close proximity and encroachments of Penryn Quarry led them to seek another lot, and one on Fourth and Franklin Streets was selected, and the corner-stone of a brick building, thirty-two by sixty-four feet was laid Nov. 25, 1883.  The basement of the church is now used.  The church has about sixty members, and is under the care of the Rev. D. C. Griffiths, of Catasauqua.


The Catholic Church is of very recent origin, having been established in 1883.  The corner-stone was laid September 16th, and the house was dedicated November 25th.  The congregation is under the charge of Father Heinan.


Schools. – Prior to 1858 the children of Lower Slatington attended a school half a mile north, on the river, and the children of Upper Slatington attended the Friedensville school.  The first school within the present limits of Slatington was kept in the old stone mill in Lower Slatington in the year 1820 by William Kern, but it was only sustained for a year or two.  The next was opened in 1858.  At this time the Welsh Church had become divided, and the school directors of the township rented the stone church which the congregation had built.  This was used until 1868, when the new building was completed.  During this period the following persons were teachers:  George Berke, Xantippe Kohler, one Jones (a Welshman), Miss Susan Knauss, Miss M. D. Baker (of New Jersey), Miss Jane Mott (of Susquehanna County), and others, whose names are now forgotten.  A school was kept for a time in the second story of the Lehigh Slate Company’s office, and taught by Miss Rebecca McDowell.  Another was held in the house of Moses Kuntz.


Rev. A. G. Harned, during his term of service as pastor of the Presbyterian congregation, from 1857 to 1866, kept a school in the church.  It was taught a portion of the time by a Mr. Berry, of Connecticut.  Other schools were held in private houses, but by 1868 most of them gave way to the common schools.  In that year, as we have already stated, the schoolhouse was erected.  This was a good, substantial structure, forty-seven by fifty feet in dimensions, and two stories high, built at a cost of about seven thousand dollars, it was dedicated Sunday, August 30th, and soon afterward schools were opened in it.  At this time the schools were divided into four grades, -- primary, secondary, grammar, and high school.  There were about two hundred pupils, all under the superintendence of H. A. Kline.  He was succeeded in 1869 by Professor Atwater, who in turn gave place to Professor J. P. Roland in 1871.  He served until 1872, when Professor J. H. Deardorff became principal.  In 1875, Professor F. J. Stetler, who had for two years been in charge of the grammar school, became the principal.  He regraded the schools, established a better classification, and introduced a regular course of study.  At this time there were over three hundred pupils in attendance, and a second primary school was opened in McDowell Hall.  Higher studies were also introduced for advanced pupils.


In the year 1879 the number of pupils had so increased that more room was demanded.  Consequently an addition, two stories high and twenty-five by forty-five feet in dimensions, was built, at a coast of about two thousand five hundred dollars.  The rooms were the same year furnished with the latest improved furniture, at a cost of one thousand dollars.  The grounds were also improved by grading and tree-planting, and a wall was built along Main Street.  These schools became very popular, and were attended by pupils from the adjoining districts in Lehigh.  During Professor Stetler’s administration over fifty young men and women have gone out from the high school as teachers, most of them securing positions in Lehigh and the adjoining counties.  The number of pupils at present is over five hundred, and the overcrowded condition of the schools demands more room, which the board is now taking steps to supply.


Besides the common schools, Professor Stetler has two night schools, one attended by the quarry and factory boys to the number of nearly thirty, and held two evenings each week, and the other for advanced pupils and teachers, of whom about fifteen are in attendance.


The following is al list of the school directors of the borough from 1865 to 1884:


1865. –Richard H. Dyer, Moses Kuntz, William Peter, David Heintzleman, Lewis C.

           Smith, Nixon Lewis, Aaron Peter.


1866. – Henry Kuntz, Jonas Hoffman.


1867. – David McKenna, R. W. Parry.


1868. – G. R. Davis (resigned), David Heintzleman, David Williams.


1869. – William H. Gish, Alexander Weaver, Jesse Labar, Lewis Heinritzy.


1870. – George Brown, John Morgan.


1871. – Thomas Kern, James Anthony.



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1872. – David Williams, Philip Woodring.


1873. – David McKenna, L. C. Smith.


1874. – A. P. Steckel, Robert McDowell.


1875. – D. D. Jones, Robert F. App.


1876. – David McKenna, Aaron Peter.


1877. – D. D. Roper, Samuel H. Schneck.


1878. – D. M. Cassell, Thomas Kern.


1879. – A. P. Steckel, Daniel R. Williams.


1880. – H. J. Hankle, John T. Roberts.


1881. – G. T. Oplinger, H. L. Davis.


1882. – Dr. A. P. Steckel, Dr. J. F. Miller.


1883. – John F. Roberts, David McKenna.


Physicians. – The first physician who located here was Dr. H. O. Wilson, who came to the embryo town in 1852 from Maryland, and made an arrangement to attend the employés at the slate-quarries whenever needed, each one to pay him fifty cents per month.  He subsequently entered into general practice, became postmaster, and died in 1879 while holding that office.


Dr. A. P. Steckel came here from Whitehall in 1864, and is still in practice, as is also Dr. J. F. Miller, who came from Easton the same year.


Dr. Stephen Ruch, of Whitehall, practiced in Slatington about four years and then removed to Scranton, and subsequently to Elmira, NY, where he died.  Dr. Joseph Grosscup was also a practitioner here for some time.  Dr. R. W. Young came here from Northampton County and studied with Dr. Wilson.  Dr. M. J. Holben (homœopathic physician), at present located here, came from Lynn township.


Banking. – The Dime Savings Institution was organized Sept. 9, 1868, with D. D. Jones, H. Williams, Robert McDowell, David Williams, L. C. Smith, Jacob Renninger, Abraham Gist, Philip Woodring, and John T. Kress as directors; D. D. Jones was elected president; R. McDowell, vice –president; and in December A. J. Schnackenberger was chosen cashier.  The company purchased the Carr property, fitted it up, and began business Jan. 11, 1869.  The bank was closed Dec. 19, 1873.


The National Bank of Slatington was organized May 22, 1875, with the following as directors: Peter Gross, Robert McDowell, Valentine W. Wearer, Dr. Henry H. Riegel, John Craig, David D. Roper, Samuel J. Kistler, William Andrews, Thomas Kern, John Balliet, and John Henry.  Peter Gross was elected president, and William H. Gish cashier.  The charter was dated Aug. 11, 1875.  The paid-up capital was fifty thousand dollars; authorized capital, one hundred thousand dollars.  The bank commenced business Monday, Aug. 31, 1875, with Abraham Gish the first depositor.  The building of the late Dime Savings-Fund was purchased by Robert McDowell for this bank, and in the spring of 1876 was remodeled and a fireproof vault built.  The present directors are P. Gross, V. W. Wearer, H. H. Riegel, John Craig, D. D. Roper, S. J. Kistler, Thomas Kern, John Balliet, J. F. Miller, David Henry, E. D. Peters; Peter Gross, president; Wm. H. Gish, cashier.


Business Interests. – The manufacture of school slates was commenced about 1866, on the site of the present building, by the firm of D. & H. Williams.  The old building burned down in 1876, and the present one was then built.  This building is forty by eighty feet, and three stories high.  About ten thousand cases of slates are manufactured here per year or one million two hundred thousand slates.  Thomas Kane & Co., of Chicago, rent a part of the Williams building in the manufacture of the Victor Noiseless Slate.  They use annually about thirty thousand square yards of scarlet felt, fifteen hundred miles of linen laces for binding, and about twelve hundred pounds of thread.


Henry Fulmer & Co., of Easton, bought of Williams & Harper, in the summer of 1882, a piece of land on which they erected their present building, three stores high, and one hundred and seventy-five feet long by thirty-six in width.  They leased half of it to Hyatt Slate Company, who began, in the fall of 1883, to manufacture their patent school-slate, for which they obtain the material from the old Fulmer Quarry.  Mr. Fulmer intends to manufacture blackboards, mantel stock, and roofing-slate during the present year.  Marcus Gardiner is the secretary, treasurer, and general manager of the Hyatt Slate Company.


M. H. Horn, who owns the Blue Vein Quarry, furnishes his slate to Jon D. Emack, of the New York Slate and Novelty Company, who, at the factory here, dresses and prepares them for the market.  The business was begun in April, 1883, and since that time over three thousand five hundred cases of slates have been shipped.


Willoughby Kern started the manufacture of carriages in the building opposite the depot in 1871, and in 1874 moved to the site of the building now occupied by Berkemeyer & Co.  In 1880, Newhart & Berkemeyer bought him out, and, after a year, the first-named partner sold to John Berkemeyer.  The business is now carried on by the firm of Charles Berkemeyer & Brother.


In 1869, James Knecht commenced the manufacture of carriages in the old stone building, and continued until 1872.  The business passed through various hands, and is now carried on by Samuel Berkemeyer. 


The Horlacher Beer Bottling establishment was started in 1880 on Second Street, and in January, 1884, moved to a building on McDowell Street constructed especially for it.


Post-Office and Postmasters. – Previous to 1851 the nearest post-0ffice was at Craig’s store, in the Lehigh Gap.  Business having by the year mentioned so increased, it was inconvenient to travel to the Gap for the mail, and as it was also evident that this place would grow to a town of importance, application was made to the Post-Office Department at Washington for an office to be located at “Waverly.”  Information was returned that inasmuch as there was one office by that name, another should be selected, as the …



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                                                         …Post-Office Department could not duplicate names in the same State; hence originated the more appropriate name of Slatington, and D. D. Jones was appointed the first postmaster.  The mail then passed through here daily from Philadelphia, arriving at ten o’clock P.M. on its way to Mauch Chunk, and returned here at two o’clock in the morning on its way back to the city.  The total receipts for the first year were less than fifty dollars, half of which went to the government and half to the postmaster for his services, so that the government pays the postmaster an annual salary of one thousand dollars, and makes it a presidential appointment.  Robert McDowell was appointed postmaster in 1852, and served until 1861.  Moses Kuntz held the office from 1861 to May 10, 1869, and Dr. H. O. Wilson from the latter date to 1879 (on Feb. 26, 1870, Oscar A. Neff was appointed deputy postmaster, as Dr. Wilson was then lying seriously ill.  He died about the 1st of March, and Mr. Neff held the office until the appointment of L. C. Smith, March 17, 1879).  L. C. Smith, the present incumbent, was appointed in the latter year.


Water-Works. – In 1853, John and George Ramaly, who owned the spring from which a portion of the present water-supply is obtained, laid wooden pipes from it down to the town, and supplied a few customers with water.  In 1859 they leased the system to Moses Kuntz for five years, at eighty-five dollars per year.  In 1861, D. D. Jones bought the farm on which the springs are located, and two years later Kuntz gave up to him the lease.  Mr. Jones then transferred the lease and privilege which it covered to the Slatington Water-Works Company, who put in iron pipes.  A second water company was organized later, and brought water to the village from springs below D. D. Jones’ house. Subsequently they connected with the upper pipes.  In the fall of 1883 the borough bought the works, and also the spring property of the Dorward estate, from which eight-inch pipes were laid.  The water-works now have a capacity of twenty gallons per minute, and are fully adequate to the demand upon them.


The Slatington News. – The Slatington News sent its first issue to the public on the 2nd day of September, 1868, under the firm-name of Godshalk & Bright.  After flourishing five months under the management of these gentlemen, it was transferred Feb. 3, 1869, to the possession of Schlauch & Smith, who managed its affairs until the 22nd day of September, when Mr. Smith retired and Henry A. Kline became partner with Mr. Schlauch.  Under their management the paper increased in circulation and popularity.  On the 22nd of June, 1870, Mr. Kline retired, and D. D. Roper, Esq., became one of the proprietors, and the News flourished under the firm-name of Roper & Schlauch, Mr. Roper managing the editorial department and Mr. Schlauch the job and printing establishment.  Mr. Roper at the same time followed the practice of his profession, and for three years labored successfully as lawyer and editor, until May 7, 1873, when the news again changed proprietors, Mr. Roper retiring and Mr. G. B. Fickardt, of Bethlehem, entering into partnership with Mr. Schlauch.  The former retired, and on the 1st of August, 1874, Mr. Benjamin Patterson joined his fortunes with Mr. Schlauch.  The latter gentleman, whatever the changes, was always relied upon to draw the load through, being an old experienced printer.


On Jan. 16, 1878, Mr. L. E. Schlauch purchased Mr. Patterson’s interest in full, this giving him entire control of the paper.  Since that time he has been the sold manager and editor.  On May 1, 1879, he reduced the price of subscription on the paper from two dollars to one dollar per annum, and the circulation has about doubled.  The News is now a fixture and permanently installed in good and handsome rooms.


The paper has been enlarged, its circulation greatly increased; and as it makes a specialty of publishing the weekly shipments of all kinds of slate from this vicinity, together with other statistics and matters of slate interest, it may be looked upon as the slate organ for this valley.


The Lehigh Valley Branch Railroad. – In 1868 the first survey was made by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company for a branch road up Trout Creek to Slatedale, and in 1870 the same was opened for carrying slate from the several quarries which it passes to the main road.  This improvement was solicited by the slate operators, and while they acknowledge quite a saving over the expenses of carting, to obtain this advantage they were obliged to furnish a free right of way to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, besides suffer a tax of forty cents per ton for carrying the slate in full car-loads a distance of one and a half miles.


Since then, the Berks County Railroad Company have built a road from Reading to Franklin, where it connects with the Slatedale branch, making a western outlet for carrying slate in competition with the Lehigh Valley and Erie.  This road was subsequently leased and is now managed by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company.


Societies – Independent Orsder of Odd-Fellows. – A charter was granted on April 15, 1868, to institute Slatington Lodge No 624, Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and on May 12, 1868, a meeting of the Grand Lodge officers was opened by District Deputy Grand Master John McLean, assisted by Past Grands W. F. Woolie, George B. Shall, E. J. Knauss, and B. F. Wonderly, after which the hall, fitted up for the use of Slatington Lodge No. 624, Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, was duly dedicated, when the lodge was opened in regular form and the following officers installed: G. F. Kimball, N. G. ; S. W. Ruch, V. G.; John S. Weigandt, Sec.; W. H. Miller, Asst. Sec.; Daniel Kress, Treas.



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The hall where the meetings were first held was situated on lots of William Carr and Robert McDowell, and in February, 1869, the lodge rented a hall from Mr. J. C. Mack, which is occupied at the present time.  The following are the present officers: John H. Lloyd, N. G.; O.. S. Peter, V. G.; L. Campbell, Sec.; R. H. Dalby, Asst. Sec.; Thomas Kern, Treas.


The following are the Past Grands of the lodge: Thomas Kern, Duan Neff, Owen E. Mank, L. Campbell, R. G. Russell, D. F. Kressley, William Thomas, Robert F. App, John G. Davis, Leon Hunsicker, Evan E. Evans, John Haughton, R. H. Dalby, Daniel Thomas, Joel Neff, W. P. Williams, A. Leibfried, W. W. Ellis. 


The lodge at present has seventy-six members in good standing, and is in a prosperous condition.


Slatington Encampment, No. 231, Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, was instituted on the 12th of September, 1872, with eighteen charger members.  A. B. Steckel was chosen as Chief Patriarch and John G. Dyer as Past Chief Patriarch, by dispensation, and High Priest.


The Past Chief Patriarchs have been A. S. Steckel, Thomas Kern, Dr. L. Campbell, C. W. Horn, F. J. Steller, S. A. Santee, Charles Peter, R. H. Dalby, and Allen Leibfried.  The society has twenty-one members; William W. Ellis, present Chief Patriarch.


Masonic. – Slatington Lodge, No 440, A. Y. & M., was chartered July 10, 1869.  The officers first installed were: W. M., John L. Schrieber; S. W., J. T. C. Williams; J. W. Abiel, Heilman; Treas., Charles Peters; Sec., L. C. Smith; Chap., A. J. Martin.  Meetings were first held in the town hall, but in 1880 a Masonic hall was fitted up in Mack’s building, in which the lodge has since met. 


Past Masters: John L. Schrieber, Allen J. Morton, David McKenna, William G. Grosscup, Lewis C. Smith, John Morgan, Owen A. Peter, Jesse Labar, Daniel Thomas, Robert H. Daley, Luther Campbell, Thomas Kern, Moses M. Rice.


The present officers are Robert G. Russel, W. M.; Charles L. Burkemeyer, S. W.; Alexander Caskie, J. W.; John Morgan, Treas.; Robert Hl Dalby, Sec.  The lodge has thirty-one members.


Grand Army of the Republic. – Farragut Post, No 214, was organized in July, 1870, with sixty members.  The Post Commanders have been Clement C. White, A. M. Miller, Owen E. Mack, and William D. Kane.  Meetings were first held in the town hall and later in the bank building and in Wehr’s hall.  The post disbanded in 1878.


Samuel Kress Post, No 284, was organized in August, 1882, with twenty members.  The first commander was A. M. Miller.  This post, which now has fifty-two members, holds regular meetings in Burgenmeyer’s hall.


The Slatington Rifles. (by Corporal P. E. Schlauch) In June of 1875 a petition consisting of seventy signers, who were desirous of entering the National Guard of the State, was forwarded to the Adjutant-general’s office by Capt. D. G. Rhoads, with a request for permission to organize a military company in this borough under the State military laws.


The petition was favorably received, and, at a meeting held in town hall on July 17, 1875, the company was temporarily organized, with D. G. Rhoads as captain, O. E. Mank, first lieutenant, and George McDowell, second lieutenant.  Weekly drills were ordered, so as to lose no time in preparing for the fall inspection.  On Aug. 9, 1875, the company, consisting of fifty men and three officers, were mustered into service for five years, by Maj. Newhard, of Gen. Bolton’s staff, under the name and title of the Slatington Rifles, Company H, Fourth Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania.


After the mustering ceremony was over the company paraded through town, and were highly complimented by the mustering officer, Maj. Newhard.


The organization being thus formally completed and organized by the State authorities, the ladies of the borough presented the company with a handsome silk field flag on Sept. 4, 1875.


Sept. 13, 1875, the company paraded with the Second Division at Reading for inspection.  At this inspection the company numbered three officers and thirty-nine men.  In the adjutant-general’s report of 1875, these remarks appeared: “Company H, Capt. D. G. Rhoads, an officer who with his new command has done well.  He looks and acts the soldier.  Pieces clean; men steady.  Neat in general appearance. 


The remainder of 1875 and the first few months of 1875 were occupied in weekly drills for the perfection of the members in the science and art of military tactics.


On Saturday, July 21, 1877, at half past one o’clock P.M., the company assembled in its armory to participate in a  picnic in Kuntz’s Grove.  On the bulletin board was posted an order from Col. T. H. Good, commanding Capt. Rhoads to keep his company ready to move at a moment’s notice in case of any more serious difficulties with the strikers.  On Sunday, July 22nd, the situation of affairs became more critical and at about seven o’clock P.M. Capt. Rhoads received a telegram to move his command at once to Allentown.  The men were notified to move as soon as possible, and were formed in the armory about ten o’clock, marched to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Depot, where they embarked on a special train en route for Allentown, where they arrived at half-past eleven P.M., and were assigned quarters at the Centennial Hotel (a baker’s dozen to each room).  In the afternoon of Monday, July 23rd, the regiment was formed for regimental drill.  After a short drill the command was halted and the following orders read: 


“Norristown, Pa., July 23, 1877

“Brig.-Gen. Frank Reeder

“Take Fourth Regiment to Reading at once.  Report immediately on arrival.


                                                             “Major General”



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Col. T. H. Good ordered the different company commanders to have their commands ready to move in fifteen minutes.  With as little delay as possible the regiment assembled and was marched to the East Pennsylvania depot, and embarked for Reading about half-past five P.M., reaching there about half-past seven.  The regiment disembarked about five hundred yards from the depot, where it was formed and marched to the depot, which was found in quiet possession of the Coal and Iron Police, the rioters having withdrawn into the “cut,” through which the railroad passes upon Seventh Street, and where they had just previously captured a passenger-train.  The regiment was at once moved forward to the mouth of the “cut,” where it was halted, ordered to load, and the music sent to the rear.  This was done amid the jeers and yells of the mob, who, with much profanity, cursed at their supposed blank cartridges.  After loading the command was moved forward, and on entering the “cut” was greeted with a volley of stones, steamboat-coal, and occasional pistol shots, which continued to fall in perfect showers during the march through about two-thirds of the “cut.” By this time ten men had been injured, --Lieut. O. E. Mank and private O. F. Mumbower seriously.  It was with difficulty that the latter kept up with his company, using his rifle as a crutch.  The men, now thoroughly exasperated, began firing, which at once became general along the line, resulting in serious loss to the rioters, eleven being killed and over fifty wounded.  The regiment kept moving, and was halted in front of the Mansion House, on Penn Square.  The hotel was used as a hospital for portion of our wounded.  The regiment then moved back to the depot, which it guarded during the night.  The night was eventful for a number of false alarms, calling the boys into line and the arrest of two of the principal rioters by Corp. Medlar and private H. A. Schertzinger, of H company.  About eight o’clock A.M., July 24th, five companies of the Fourth and four companies of the Sixteenth Regiments (which regiment reached Reading at six o’clock A.M. of the 24th) were ordered to march to Seventh and Penn Streets in order to cover repairs to the railroad track intended to be made that morning.  The companies of the Fourth Regiment marched up one side of the “cut,” and those of the Sixteenth on the other.  In passing under one of the bridges spanning the pavement, H company was saluted with a shower of stones from the rioters, who were assembled in great force.  One of the missiles struck Capt. D. G. Rhoads on the head, knocking off his cap and nearly felling him to the ground.  He ordered his command forward.  It was formed in a hollow square, inclosing the damaged track.  The mob becoming momentarily more furious, Companies D and H of the Fourth Regiment were wheeled to the rear and came to a ready.  At this movement the mob in their front broke and scattered in all directions, when the Sixteenth assumed a threatening attitude and ordered the Fourth not to fire.  The rioters hailed this act with shouts of approval, and gave three cheers for the Sixteenth.  The repair-men not making their appearance, and the imminent danger of a collision between the Fourth and the Sixteenth Regiments, --only separated by the width of the street, -- from prudential motives they were ordered back to the depot, where the breach between the two regiments became so open that orders were issued to the Fourth to remove to Lyons, there to await orders.  At about five P.M. orders were received to proceed to Allentown.  Upon reaching Emaus, the railroad officials refusing to transport the men any further, the command was compelled to march to Allentown, arriving at that place at Eleven o’clock P.M.  They went into camp at the fair grounds, where they remained until the evening of the 31st of July, when they broke camp and left by rail for Harrisburg, to do guard duty at the State arsenal.  Arriving at Harrisburg about ten o’clock A.M., August 1st, they remained on duty until relieved by Special Order No. 40, from headquarters National Guard of Pennsylvania.  They left camp early on the morning of the 11th of August, arriving at Slatington at nine o’clock in the evening.  They marched to the armory, of which the generous-hearted citizens had taken possession, and were given a warm welcome home, -- fond mothers, loving wives, sisters and sweethearts being assembled to greet them.  After partaking of a splendid collation, which had been prepared by the ladies, they dispersed with heartfelt feelings of the kind welcome tendered by the citizens of the town at this the first experience of a warlike nature.


A most successful undertaking of this company was an encampment of soldiers from July 4 to 8, 1878.  Invitations were issued to a number of military dignitaries and different companies of the National Guard, and were accepted by the following: Brig.-Gen. Frank Reeder and staff, Col. T. H. Good and staff, Gen. Bertolette, Companies B, D, E, I, and K, of the Fourth Regiment, H Company, of the Ninth Regiment, and the Lily Cadets of Mauch Chunk.  Tents were pitched in a beautiful grove opposite the borough, and the camp christened “camp Good, “ in honor of Co. T. H. Good, commander of the Fourth Regiment.  Upon the arrival of the different companies they were immediately assigned quarters, and the regular routine of camp duty entered into.  Thus the encampment continued until July 8th, when the visiting companies returned home, being highly delighted with the hospitable entertainment, and feeling that the time had been most pleasantly and very profitably spent.  The encampment was pronounced by all a grand success, and its success must be attributed to the indefatigable exertions of Capt. D. G. Rhoads.


On Sept. 3, 1878, Capt. D. G. Rhoads tendered his resignation as captain of Company H, which was very reluctantly accepted, and the captain honorably dis-…



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                                                                                                            …-charged.  A special order from brigade headquarters ordered Capt. H. S. Hart, of Company I, Fourth Regiment, to hold an election for a captain of Company H on Friday, Oct. 11, 1878, to fill the vacancy caused by the acceptance of the resignation.  At this election 1st Lieut. George McDowell was elected captain, 2nd Lieut. Walter L. Williams was elected First Lieutenant, and 1st Sergt. James M. Kress was elected second lieutenant.  On Nov. 25, 1878, the company, with the Fourth Regiment, paraded in Allentown for inspection.  At this, the first inspection under a new captain, the company, in the “Adjutant-General’s Report of 1878,” received the following: “Company H. Capt. George McDowell commanding; fine in all respects, and one of the impressive commands of the regiment.  Discipline, good; arms, very good and well handled.”


Arrangements were effected to have a parade incident at the inauguration of Governor-elect Henry M. Hoyt, of the entire guard of the State, in Harrisburg, on Jan. 21, 1879.  Company H participated in this parade, and received its due share of applause for excellent marching and manœuvring.  The company also participated in one of the largest parades ever held in the State, viz., --the parade in Philadelphia, on Dec. 6, 1879, incident to a reception tendered Gen. U. S. Grant, on his return from Europe.  If handclapping is a criterion of approval, then surely H company received its full share on this occasion.  The National Guard of Pennsylvania having received an invitation from the Executive Committee on inaugural ceremonies to participate in the parade in Washington, D. C., on March 4, 1881, incident to the inauguration of President-elect James A. Garfield, and it having been accepted, this company, as usual, carried off some of the honors for its soldierly appearance.  Another great parade that this company participated in was the one in Philadelphia during the bi-centennial week, on Oct. 27, 1882, at which its high standard was again made manifest by the storms of applause that greeted it on the march. 


Having mentioned the principal parades this company participated in since its organization, the following are the averages allotted the company by the adjutant-general in his report to the Governor of the State, at the several fall inspections and encampments.  At Camp George G. Meade, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Aug. 7-12, 1880, the company received 98.6; at Camp James A. Garfield, Wilkesbarre, Aug. 23-29, 1881, 93; at Camp John Fulton Reynolds, Lewistown, Aug. 5-12, 1882, 100, that being perfection.  Not having received the adjutant-general’s report for 1883, we are unable to give the average allotted at Camp Andrew A. Humphries, Williamsport; but it is confidently believe that the record of 1882 was fully maintained.


When the company was organized it occupied a room on the second floor of a three-story building known as Town Hall, situated in Lower Slatington.  Not knowing how long it could be retained and being desirous of obtaining a permanent place, a lease of an old building situated in the outskirts of Lower Slatington was effected, to which the company removed in the spring of 1877.  They went to considerable pains and expense in properly fitting up this place for a drill-room, and occupied it nearly four years.  It was found, however, very inconvenient, being at the outer end of the borough and in a place difficult of access.  The room in winter was very cold and extremely hot in summer.  Being confident that the organization was likely to remain intact for years, the men resolved on building a new armory if a suitable site could be obtained.  The matter being once brought to the attention of the public, quite a number of the citizens of the borough encouraged the project, offering both aid and council in favor of the proposed new armory.  A number of locations were spoken of, and finally a committee was appointed to confer with the Borough Council in regard to a borough lot situated on the corner of Church Street and Middle Alley.  Several propositions were made to the company for said lot, and finally, on March 15, 1880, it was agreed upon between the committee for the company and the Borough Council to lease the lot for ten years, with the privilege of purchasing it within that time for five hundred dollars.  A plan was at once obtained from architect William A. Fink, of Reading, and ground broken for the new armory on May 1, 1880.  It was completed and ready for occupancy Jan. 1, 1881, at which time the company removed all State and company property from the old into the new armory.  On Feb. 22, 1881, it was dedicated with very appropriate ceremonies.


The new armory is of brick, thirty-nine feet front and one hundred feet deep, with a basement-wall of a thickness of eighteen inches.  The front wall is thirty-two feet high, built in parapet style, and terminates at the top in a dome; this is surmounted by the “Stars and Strips” of our union.  The front surface of the dome is ornamented with a handsome cornice work, and through its centre, describing a half moon, the word “Armory” is painted in prominent letters.  Immediately below the dome in the centre of the wall is a small window, after the French Gothic order, designed both for beauty and ventilating the gallery of the main hall.  Beneath this window is the main entrance to the building, and on each side of this entrance is a handsomely-corniced window of fair dimensions.  The entrance is six feet wide, and is gained by ascending steps from the pavement to a set of double doors, over which is a large and shapely transom.  The steps rise from the pavement at two separate places, forming a half-circle, in the centre of which is a large door leading to the basement.  The basement is a room thirty-six feet wide by fifty-six feet deep, with a row of pillars through the centre.  The ceiling of the basement is nine feet high.  It is fitted up as a restaurant, and…



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                                                                                                                                    … the rental of same brings in a handsome income.  The pavement in front of armory is laid with flagging and is twenty feet wide.


On each side of the hall leading to the main portion is a small room sixteen by eighteen feet.  The one on the right side is used as the business headquarters of the company, and the one on the left side is used as the meeting-room of the Borough Council.  A stairway also on the left side of the entrance leads up to a gallery, the dimensions of which are eighteen by thirty-six feet.  At the inner end of the hallway leading from the outside doors is the entrance to the main hall.  This room has a floor thirty feet wide by sixty-five feet long, and the ceiling is at a height of twenty feet, making the largest and most desirable room in town for the purpose of entertainments and for drilling exercises of the company.  At the farthest end of the hall is a stage seventeen by eighteen feet, with a dressing-room on each side of the stage, of nine by seventeen feet.  The entire hall is illuminated by a large and handsome chandelier, and by wall-lamps placed at regular intervals on each side of the room.  We have lately purchased sectional opera seats, and now having a seating capacity of about four hundred.  The cost of the hall, with all the fixtures, including basement, is very near seven thousand dollars.  We are now one of the few companies in the State which own their own armory.  The idea of building so spacious a hall was indeed a good one, for not only doe it give the company an attractive and ample headquarters, but it supplies a need long felt in Slatington.  The hall is an ornament to the town, and reflects credit upon the community, gives the company pride in themselves and pride in the good cause they are serving. 


The following is the roster of active members:


Capt., George McDowell; 1st lieut., F. R. Hoffman; 2nd lieut., H. W. Hanker; sergts., James R. Hunt, B. F. Hunt, James Hall, Mark Jones, and William H. Keener; corps., Lafayette Ramaly, William H. Breisch, P E. Schlauch, W. M. Benninger, Archibald E. Hunt, John R. Griffith, El. E. Houssman, and Henry H. Krauss.




William Bachman.                    Owen Lloyd.

J. P. Breisch.                            John C. Maher.

John Evans.                              S. W. Marshall.

Charles E. Frederick.                William H. Morgan.

John Hartline.                          Milton A. Neff.

F. H. Henritzy.                          William Parry.

Charles M. Hoats.                     William J. Parry.

L. W. Hunt.                               Thomas Person.

John R. Jones.                          El. E. Peters.

Alfred Keener.                          John Peters.

A. G. Keiser.                             Cyrus Ramaly.

James D. Kern.                        Benjamin B. Roberts.

E. Peter Krause.                       Richard J. Roberts.

H. W. Krause.                           A. A. Schoenberger.

Aaron Leibenguth.                    James C. Thomas.

John F. Link.                            William H. Wassman.

                             David Lloyd.





Biographical Sketches of :

                                      Robert McDowell

                                      Peter Gross

                                      Hiram Hankee














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


Jack Sterling



Web page by

Jack Sterling

March 2005