PAGES 570 & 571


The great grandfather of Peter Gross was Paul Gross, a native of Zweibrücken, Germany, who came to America in 1754.  He located in North Whitehall township, Lehigh Co., and married a Miss Guth, also of Zweibrücken.  Their children were a son, Peter Gross, and a daughter married to Michael Diebert.  Paul Gross died in his forty-sixth year.  Peter married Miss Barbara Troxell, whose children were four sons—Daniel, Joseph, Solomon, and John--and four daughters.  John, of this number, still survives in his eighty-fourth year, while the remainder of the family died at an advanced age.  Peter Gross was appointed by Governor Simon Snyder justice of the peace in 1812, and held the office for forty-five consecutive years.  His son, Daniel, learned the trade of a hatter, and followed it until failing health compelled its abandonment, when he became a successful farmer.  He was twice married, his first wife being Catherine Kuntz, daughter of Jacob Kuntz, justice of the peace of Northampton County.  His children were four sons—Jonathan, Joel, Peter, and Simon K. —and seven daughters, all of whom, with the exception of Mrs. Shaffer, are deceased.  Peter Gross, the subject of this biography, was born July 10, 1816, in North Whitehall township, Lehigh Co., and confirmed in the German Reformed church by Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs.  His education was received at private schools, there being no public instruction at that early day, after which he assisted, until twenty years of age, in the labor of the farm.  He then removed to Hunterdon County, N. J., and for one year followed the carpenter’s trade.  In 1838 he entered the employ of Stephen Balliet, Jr., as salesman in his store at Ballietsville, and was the same year appointed assistant postmaster of North Whitehall post-office.  In 1851, in connection with Godfrey Peter, he leased a storehouse at Laury’s Station, and embarked in the store business, and in the following year, having sold his interest, became clerk for Durs Rudy, in Washington township.  He was next employed by Nathan German, of Germansville, for who he purchased goods and opened a store.


Mr. Gross was, on the 26th of March, 1843, married to Miss Mary Rudy, daughter of the late Durs Rudy, whose only son, Joseph P. Gross, graduated with honor at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and pursued a course of French and German in Europe.  He read law with Professor James Pierson, of Philadelphia, attended lectures at the Law Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the bar soon after.  He is the author of two valuable works, on topics connected with the profession.  Mrs. Gross died Feb. 7, 1874, and Mr. Gross was again married to Mrs. Henrietta Price, widow of the late Simon H. Price, and a daughter of the late Samuel Maxwell, of Allentown.  In 1843, in company with his brother, Joel, Mr. Gross became a landlord and merchant at Schnecksville, where he was appointed postmaster, and held the office for sixteen years, resigning in favor of his brother Joel.


In 1856 he was elected one of the managers of the Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Northampton County, and for many years acted as its treasurer.  He has also been, for an extended period, one of the managers of the Slatington Bridge Company, and was in 1878 appointed its treasurer.


He was elected, in 1862, justice of the peace for North Whitehall township, and twice re-elected, serving a continuous term of fifteen years.  In 1873, Mr. Gross was appointed one of the committee of the board of charities of Lehigh County, of which he was chosen chairman, and held the office for ten years.  After a residence of thirty-one years in Schnecksville, during which he conducted an extensive and successful business, he sold his interest at that point, having meanwhile been largely engaged in surveying and the settlement of estates.  In 1875, on the establishment of the National Bank of Slatington, he was elected its president, and still holds the position.  He is also a member of Gross, Fritzinger & Co., of Slatington, dealers in Hardware.  In politics Mr. Gross is a consistent Democrat, and has acted as chairman of many important meetings.  He is a member of the German Reformed Church, and active in Sabbath-school work, having been for years superintendent of various Sabbath-schools.














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 March 2005


Jack Sterling



Web page by

Jack Sterling

 March 2005