THE BOROUGH OF LEHIGHTON
Pages 731 to 737
Including sections on:
The Presbyterian Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church
St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Catholic Church
Zion Reformed Congregation
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Ebenezer Church of the Evangelical Association
And Biographical Sketches of:
The southwest part of the borough of Lehighton was occupied by the Gnadenhutten Mission, an account of which will be found in the history of the township of Mahoning, and in the first chapter of the history of Carbon County. The original town plot was part of a large tract of land which, in 1794, was owned by Jacob Weiss and William Henry, and in that year the town plot was laid out. A few years ago, when the question of erecting a new school-house was being agitated, it was suggested that it be built on the town square. As the idea prevailed that the square could not legally be used for that purpose, it was thought best to obtain legal advice, and on the 17th of May 1873, Henry Green, an attorney of Easton, delivered an opinion on the subject. From this opinion are obtained facts concerning the origin of Lehighton. Mr. Green says that the land in 1794 was owned by Jacob Weiss and William Henry, and that a plot of ground was laid out at their instance with streets, alleys, and a square called “town square,” with lots bordering on them all. A number of conveyances of lots were made between 1794 and 1800, which were described as bordering on the “town square,” which was reserved for public use. No knowledge is obtained of who the first purchasers were.
In the year 1804 the bridge was built across the Lehigh River at Jacob Weiss’ mill, and the road continues from the bridge up the river, through the narrows, to the place later so well known as the “Landing Tavern,” and in this year the Lehigh and Susquehanna Turnpike Company was incorporated. After the road was built over the Broad Mountain, and a route was opened across the mountains to Berwick, on the Susquehanna River, the tide of travel was turned in this direction, and along the route taverns were opened. The first in this vicinity was presided over by John Hagenbuch, who came from Siegfried’s Ferry (now known as Siegfried’s Bridge), in Northampton County, in the year 1809. This tavern is on the site of the present Exchange Hotel. John Hagenbuch was landlord for many years, and was succeeded by his son, Reuben Hagenbuch. Mrs. Thomas Craig, of Towamensing, was a daughter of John Hagenbuch. In the year 1814, Nicholas Fuller erected a tavern near the bridge, and kept it many years. Before 1820, David Heller built a tannery of the site of Linderman block. About this time (1820) the settlement attracted the attention of John Davis, who erected a building on the site of the present residence of Joseph Obert, and opened a store. From this time on the growth of the settlement was slow, until the building of the canal through this region, in 1828-1829. Efforts were made at this time to induce persons to locate at this place. A correspondent of the Lehigh Courier, then published at Mauch Chunk, writing of the place in March, 1830, says—
“It is just far enough from the coal landing at Mauch Chunk to keep clear of the dust, the situation is open and free, the ground plot of the town is laid out upon an elevated piece of table-land, the lots are large, affording an extensive garden and yard to each dwelling. The view from the town, although not extensive, is beautiful. It commands a prospect of the river and canal, the valley in which the town of Weissport is located, the Blue Mountain in the distance, and the nearer view of the Mahoning Mountain and the Lehigh hills. The Mahoning Creek flows at the foot of the Mahoning Mountain, and empties into the Lehigh within half a mile of the village.”
The tannery that was started before 1820 was kept by David Heller till 1840, when he was succeeded by Stephen Kistler. It was torn away in 1870 to make room for the present Linderman Block.
John Davis continued in the mercantile business in Lehighton till 1836, when he removed to Easton and later was president of the Easton National Bank. He was succeeded in the business by David Snyder.
The Moravians, of Bethlehem, who purchased in 1746 one hundred and twenty acres of land, on which the Gnadenhutten Mission was established, still retained a portion of the land on which the Gnadenhutten Cemetery is now situated, and about the year 1820 the society built a log school-house, which was in charge of one of their members sent up from Bethlehem. This school was attended by children from a region many miles in extent, on both sides of the river.
About the year 1825 a grist-mill was erected at the mouth of Mahoning Creek, and was operated by Daniel Snyder, who continued there many years. He was succeeded by John Koontz, who later sold the property to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, who are still in possession.
In 1859, Daniel Olewine purchased a portion of the Moravian land near the cemetery, and erected a tannery, which he conducted till 1873, when it was destroyed by fire. The property was purchased by B. J. Koontz, who erected the present buildings and continued the business.
… became the landlord, and continued until 1848, when the property was purchased by J. K. Wannemacher, who kept it from that time to 1862. It was then purchased by Thomas Kemerer, who sold it the next year to George Fegley, whose property, consisting of tavern, store and other buildings, was destroyed at the place opposite Penn Haven, on the Lehigh River, by the freshet of January 1862. Mr. Fegley, remained a year or two, and sold to J.A. Horn, who continued at the hotel till 1867, when he sold to Thomas Moutz, the present proprietor, who erected the Exchange Hotel, of which he is now the landlord.
The tavern erected by Nicholas Feller in 1814 was kept by many years, and passed to Christian Horn about 1840. He continued till 1855, and sold to George Esch, to whose estate it still belongs.
Abraham Horn of Bethlehem, came to Lehighton in the year 1840, and built a tavern near Lehighton Spring, and kept it till 1843, when his son-in-law, Thomas Horn, succeeded him. It was continued as a tavern a few years and abandoned.
In the year 1842, Jacob Metzgar erected the hotel now known as the Carbon House, and opened it as a tavern under the sign of the Eagle. Upon his death, a few years later, the property was sold to Adam German, and the hotel was kept by Abraham Klotz till 1852. It was kept till 1858 by Daniel Clouss, Jonathan Kolb, Jesse Miller, and Elwyn Bauer. From 1858 to 1867, Col. John Lentz was the proprietor. After several changes it passed in September, 1874, to J.W. Raudenbush, the present proprietor.
Daniel Lapp opened a small store on one of the back streets about 1848, and later added a saloon and a tavern. The last was given up for several years and reopened by Samuel Snyder, and kept successively by Augustus Miller, Aaron Schleicker, Willoughby Koontz, James Hill and Fred. Miller. It was know as the Centennial Hotel, and was destroyed by fire in 1880.
Between 1850 and 1855, Enos Barrol enlarged and fitted up a barn in the north end of town for a tavern, which he kept from that time till 1867-68, when it was purchased by J. A. Horn, who refitted it to as the “Farmers’ and Drovers’ Home.” During the spring of 1879, it was destroyed by fire. Mr. Horn in the summer and fall of that year, erected the Mansion House, near the depot of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. He remained its landlord till his death, in January, 1882. He was succeeded in the hotel by A.P. Clauss, who is the present proprietor.
The cause that brought about the organization of a Presbyterian Church at Lehighton was the action of a Miss Frederika Miska, a native of Moscow, Poland. She came to this country about 1825 or 1830, and purchased of the Moravians of Bethlehem two tracts of land, embracing the site of the old Gnadenhutten Mission, for which she agreed to pay five hundred dollars. A mortgage was given, which later was assigned to a German minister of Philadelphia. She became convinced that it was her duty to build a church upon the site of the old mission, and made out a subscription-book and visited many places, and succeeded in raising five hundred dollars. The church which she contemplated, however, was never built. A Mr. George Douglass, of New York, presented her with five hundred dollars, which was a sufficient sum to take up the mortgage against the property, for which she executed to him a trust deed, dated Nov. 1, 1833, for the land, and made him trustee for other assets which she was possessed, with the provision that the avails of the property should be used for the construction of a church on the Gnadenhutten property for the use of a denomination of Christians called Presbyterians. Under Mr. Douglass the cemetery was opened August, 1848, for public use. On the 29th of December, 1852, living in New York, so far away, he transferred the trust to Messrs. Mark Hyndman, John Leisenring, Jonathan Simpson, Joseph H. Siewers, and William Gorman, of Mauch Chunk, under the same restriction. After a time the property ceased to be productive, and a part of it was sold, and the proceeds placed at the disposal of the Presbyterian Church of Mauch Chunk, who then were erecting a house of worship at that place. In 1870, an act of Assembly was passed authorizing the trustees to sell the remainder of the property. In…
… 1872 the Rev. Jacob Beleville, the pastor of the church of Mauch Chunk, conceived the idea of establishing a church at Lehighton and transferring the trust to trustees. In accordance with this idea a congregation was organized and trustees elected; the funds, with interest, were transferred to the Presbyterian Church of Lehighton. A lot was selected, and the present Presbyterian church edifice was built with the funds realized. In 1870 the land now owned by the Gnadenhutten Cemetery Association was sold to the society by the trustees of the fund.
The church is a brick structure. The tower rises to a height of about eighty feet above the street. The church contains three rooms, all on the same floor,–a main audience room, thirty-six by sixty feet, with twenty-six feet walls; a lecture-room, twenty and one-half by thirty-six feet, with twenty two feet walls, opening by folding-doors with the main audience-room; and an infant-class room, thirteen and one-half by twenty and one-half feet, at the rear of the lecture room, into which it opens by sash and doors.
The pastors who have been in charge since 1865 are W. B. Durelle, E. Townsend, W. H. Friese, J. Lindermuth, J. F. Swindells, Wilmer Coffman, L. B. Brown, ____ Oram, J. P. Miller, G. W. North, and Henry G. Watt, the present pastor.
St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Catholic Church (German).– This congregation was organized in 1869. The first pastor was the Rev. G. Frende, who resided in Lehighton, and had other churches in charge. The Catholic German school was founded at the same time, attended by the same pastors and is now taught by the Sisters from East Mauch Chunk. Mr. Frende was succeeded in 1872 by the Rev. W. Heinan, who is the present pastor. In 1871, the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was organized at East Mauch Chunk, and placed under the care of Father Heinan, who, in 1874, removed from Lehighton to that place. Father Heinan has had as assistant pastors the following: Rev A. Merach, 1879; Rev. A Fietz, 1880; Rev. A. Mistell, 1881; Rev. A. Wolf, 1882.
Zion’s Reformed Congregation.– In 1872 a few persons gathered together in Lehighton, under the care of Rev. A. Bartholomew, and on the 29th of April, 1873, they were organized as a church, and the Rev. L. K. Derr, became their pastor, and served till 1881. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. H. Hortman. A church edifice was erected in 1876, the basement of which was fitted for use and dedicated Jan. 14, 1877. A bell was added to the tower in November of that year. The church is not yet fully completed. It is the intention to finish and occupy it during the present year.
Trinity Evangelical Luther Church. – This society was organized by the Rev. D. K. Kepner on the 5th of January, 1873. Efforts were at once made to erect a church edifice. A lot was purchased on the corner of Iron and Northampton Streets, and the corner-stone of a new building laid June 1, 1873. At this time the church numbered one hundred and seventy-five members. Work progressed slowly, and on the 8th of February, 1874, and on the 23d and 24th of that month was dedicated. The building was dedicated with appropriate services in both English and German. The edifice is forty by seventy feet, with a spire one hundred and forty-five feet in height, a cost of sixteen thousand dollars. The Rev. D. K. Kepner was pastor from the organization to September, 1874. The Rev. Gustav A. Bruegel was chosen pastor on Jan. 10, 1875, and installed July 4th in that year. He was succeeded in 1878 by the Rev. William Laitzle, who remained till April, 1882, when the Rev. J. H. Kuder, the present pastor, was chosen.
Ebenezer Church of the Evangelical Association.–This society was organized in 1872, and services were held in the school-house on Pine Street until the new church edifice was completed, the corner-stone of which was laid with appropriate ceremonies on the 15th of August, 1875. The church is built of brick, and was completed in the spring of 1876, and dedicated on the 21st of May in that year. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Bishop Thomas Bowman, from Rev. xxi. 3, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” The first pastor was the Rev. A. F. Leopold, who served the people till February, 1874. He was succeeded by the Rev. A. Krecker, who continued till March, 1875, when the Rev. J. C. Bleim was appointed. He served three years, and in March, 1878, the Rev. D. B. Albright succeeded him. He was followed, in March, 1879, by the Rev. B. J. Smoyer, who served three years. In March, 1882, the Rev. W. K. Wiend, the present pastor, was appointed.
Gnadenhutten Cemetery Association.– The land now owned by this association was made the burial-place of the Moravians who were massacred near here on the evening of Nov. 24, 1755. From the year 1820 the grounds were occasionally used as a burial-place by the people of the surrounding country. The land on which the burial-place was located was sold about 1830 to Frederika Miska, a polish woman. It was in 1833 left in trust for the Presbyterians, and…
… on the 7th of August, 1838, was opened for public use as a burial-place. In the year 1788 the Moravians of Bethlehem erected a marble slab over the remains of their brethren, which contained the following inscription:
“To the memory of
Gottlieb and Christina Anders,
with their child Johanna,
Martin and Susanna Nitschman,
Ann Catharina Senseman,
Christian Fabricus Clark,
George Schweigert, John Frederick Lesly,
and Martin Presser;
who lived at Gnaden Huetten
unto the Lord, and lost their lives in surprise
from Indian warriors,
November the 24th,
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
Psalms cxvi, 15 [A. Bower, Phila, 1788]”
[A. Bower, Phila., 1788]”
After the opening of the grounds in 1848 they were inclosed with a fence. Over the entrance was placed an arch with the following inscription:
“’ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth’
Commenced Aug. 7, 1748. Renewed Aug. 7, 1848”
A few years since a citizen of Bethlehem erected a small marble monument upon the grounds, upon which is inscribed:
“To honor and perpetuate
the remembrance of the
whose ashes are gathered
at its base, this monument
In the year 1867 a number of gentlemen of Lehighton decided to form an association for the purpose of securing and keeping in good condition a cemetery for the use of the people of Lehighton and surrounding country. A society was formed, which was incorporated by the court of Carbon County, Dec. 30, 1867, as “The Gnadenhutten Cemetery Association.” A committee was appointed to select a suitable site for a cemetery.
The committee made a report Jan. 12, 1870, in which it is stated that the trustees of the Gnadenhutten land were willing to sell the Gnadenhutten burial ground to the association for two hundred dollars per acre. The proposition was accepted and ground purchased. Since that time a small addition has been made to the grounds, and the cemetery now contains about eight acres.
William Miller is the president of the association, and Thomas Kemerer is secretary.
On the 29th of July, 1873, the board of school directors decided to erect a three-story brick school-house, with the third story fitted up for public purposes. The present site was selected and purchased, plans were drawn by J. Boyd Henri, an architect of Allentown, which, after due examination, were accepted. Work was commenced in May of that year, carried forward with energy, and completed at a cost of forty-five thousand dollars. Upon its completion the three schools in the borough were gathered in the building, where they have remained since.
Upon the erection of the borough of Lehighton, in 1866, it became an independent school district. The directors since that time have been as follows:
1866. - Moses Heilman, Thomas S. Beck, N. B. Rober, E. A. Bauer, W. A. Santee, T. M. Sweeny.
1867. - E. H. Snyder, Granville Clauss.
1868. - John Miller, M. W. Radenbush.
1869. - Phillip Miller, N. B. Raber.
1870. - Granville Clauss, Zachariah H. Long.
1871. - No record.
1872. - N. B. Rober, John S. Lentz.
1873. - R. J. Younker, Charles Siefert.
1874. - George W. Heilman, E. B. Albright.
1875. - N. B. Raber, A. G. Dollenmoyer.
1876. - John S. Lentz, B. J. Kuntz, Daniel Graver.
1877. - William H. Rex, William D. Zehner.
1878. - E. H. Snyder, Reuben Fenstermacher.
1879. - Daniel Grover, Daniel Olewine, A. Bartholomew.
1880. - A. Bartholomew, John Peters.
1881. - E. H. Snyder, F. P. Lentz, M. Heilman.
1882. - R. F. Hofford, William Mentz.
1883. - F. P. Lentz, C. F. Horn, George Musbaum.
The original building was sold about 1865 to the Methodist society, and lots were purchased on Bank Street, and a Carbon Academy building was erected, which is now used for dwellings.
The academy was closed after the death of Mr. Christine, though several attempts were made to re-…
open the school, but without success. In 1872 it was opened by Professor A. S. Bauer, under the name of Lehighton Academy, but after a year closed.
W. W. Bowman, cashier of this bank, is the great-grandson of Henry Bauman, who was of German extraction, and one of the first settlers of Northampton County, north of the Blue Mountains. He proceeded at once in preparing a farm by clearing and tilling the ground, which occupation he followed in after years in connection with the lumbering business. He, like the early settlers generally, labored under great disadvantages and difficulties, as one can readily imagine. Among others, they occasionally came in contact with the Indians, making it necessary to remove their families to places of safety. Mr. Bauman was the father of four children, the oldest John D., the grandfather of W. W., was born about the year 1772. In 1796 he settled in the place now known as Bowmansville, his home being the characteristic old log house, more substantial than beautiful. He also engaged in clearing land preparatory to farming; in connection with lumbering business he devoted much time to hunting and trapping, game being very abundant in those days. In 1808, after building a large stone house, he secured a license and kept a public-house. He was the father of twelve children, - eight sons and four daughter, - seven of whom are now living. Jacob Bauman, the second oldest, was born at Bowmansville, March 28, 1799. His early life was spent at home assisting his father in his business pursuits.
On June 9, 1829, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Weiss, daughter of Thomas Weiss, and granddaughter of Col. Jacob Weiss, one of the first settlers in the county (see history of Weissport). Thomas Weiss, father of Mrs. Bauman, lived at Weissport. The present Weissport borough was his farm. Mrs. Bauman was born Dec. 5, 1808.
Mr. Jacob Bauman after his marriage, in June, 1829 moved to Lehigh Gap, where he engaged in the hotel business and general store. He was converted through the instrumentality of the Evangelical Association. His wife while under deep conviction received pardon for her troubled heart while in bed at night. Her joy was complete, and she praised her God with a loud voice. Mr. Bauman shortly after this, after he had closed the hotel in the evening, knelt down beside the bar of his hotel and poured out his heart to God, when he too found peace. He immediately gave up the hotel business and moved across the river (Lehigh) to a small old house.
Shortly after, in the spring of 1845, he moved to Millport, where he engaged in farming, milling, and lumbering business. He had ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Bauman early impressed their children with the principles of Christianity, and their efforts in this direction were not lost. They had the pleasure of seeing their children converted and united with the church of their choice. Two of their sons, Thomas and James, entered the ministry. Capt. James Bowman entered the ministry at the close of the Rebellion, in which he had served three years; nine months of which time was spent in Salsbury, Danville, and Libby Prisons. Thomas, their oldest son, is now bishop in the Evangelical Association. He rose in sixteen years from a country store to the highest dignity of the Evangelical Church. Jacob Bauman died Oct. 17, 1877.
W. W. Bowman was born at Millport, Carbon Co., April 7, 1849. His youthful days were spent at the paternal homestead in securing an education and assisting his father on the farm. He also clerked for Sharp, Weiss & Co., at Eckley, Pa, who as a firm ranked among our prominent and most successful coal operators; also for Lehigh Slate Company, at Slatington, Pa. At the age of fifteen, in order to complete his education, he entered Dickinson Seminary, at Williamsport, Pa; from there he attended the Freeland Seminary, finishing his course of instruction at the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, Fort Edward, N. Y. He was then employed by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company at their office at Packerton. Shortly afterward he took charge of the general books…
… of the Carbon Iron Company, at Parryville, Pa., who at this time were doing a large and prosperous business. The First National Bank of Lehighton was organized in 1875; the board of directors was composed of the following gentleman, viz: Daniel Olewine, R. F. Hofford, Judge Dennis Bauman, J. K. Reickert, Judge Levi Wentz, Hon. A. J. Durling, and Thomas Kemerer. After careful consideration these directors decided on W. W. Bowman at their cashier, which action, considering the Mr. Bowman was but twenty-six years old, showed their just appreciation in selecting a man who though young in years was worthy in experience, integrity, and intellect. Mr. Bowman has filled this position satisfactorily alike to the citizens, depositors, and bank officials ever since.
On June 15, 1871, he was married by his brother, Bishop Thomas Bowman, to Miss Zeina F. Kuntz, daughter of Henry Kuntz, of Slatington. The result of their union is a family of five children, viz: Charles B., Minnie V., May E., Raymond K., Clarke W.
The Carbon Advocate was established by H. V. Morthimer, the present editor and proprietor. The first number was issued on the 23rd of November, 1872. It is independent in politics. Originally a six-column paper, it was enlarged in 1878 to eight columns. Many facts concerning the history of Lehighton are gleaned from its columns.
Gnaden Huetten Lodge, No. 680, I. O. O. F., chartered Nov. 16, 1869.
Rebecca Degree Lodge (Bernice), No. 124, I. O. O. F., chartered Sept. 22, 1879.
Lehighton Lodge, No. 234, K. of P., chartered Jan. 14, 1870.
Gnaden Huetten Council, No. 249, O. of U. A. M., chartered Jan. 27, 1871.
1866. - John Lentz.
1867. - R. F. Hofford.
1868. - R. F. Hofford.
1869. - Francis Stickler.
1870. - Francis Stickler.
1871 to 1875. - William Wagner.
1876 to 1879. - John T. Semmel.
1880. - E. K. Snyder.
1881. - Zachariah H. Long.
1882-83. - John T. Semmel
1866. - Daniel Olewine, Thomas Kemerer, Reuben Hunsicker, Joseph Obert, John Senkle.
1867. - M. W. Raudenbush.
1868. - William Rex, John T. Nusbaum.
1869. - W. C. Frederici, William C. Seabold.
1870. - William Miller.
1872. - William Miller, Manasses Asker.
1873. - William Waterboer, Reuben Fenstermacher
1875. - George Swartz, William Rapsher.
1876. - William Miller.
1877. - Theodore R. Kemmerer, Moses Harleman, William Waterboer.
1878. - William M. Rapsher, J. L. Gable.
1879. - William Miller.
1880. - William Waterboer, Daniel Wieand, A. Hinkell.
1881. - William M. Rapsher, W. H. Mantz.
1882. - William Miller, Richard Koons.
1883. - William Waterboer, Valentine Schwartz.
Justices Of The Peace.
1866. - A. S. Christine.
1869. - Thomas Kemerer, E. H. Snyder.
1874. - E. H. Snyder, Thomas S. Beck.
1879. - Thomas S. Beck
1881. - Harrison A. Beltz.
The population of the borough, as given by the census of 1882, is two thousand five hundred and thirty-two.
…Lehighton being desirous of establishing manufactures of some kind, meetings were held and a committee appointed to visit and confer with manufacturers. Dr. G. B. Linderman, who had then recently purchased a farm near the borough, became interested in the project, and after hearing the reports of the committee, proposed to establish a foundry for the manufacture of stoves and hollow-ware, and subscribed largely to stock. Sufficient capital was secured and the Lehigh Stove-Works was incorporated in 1867. Land was purchased between the Lehigh River and the track of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The stone building, engine- and boiler-rooms were erected in the summer of that year, and work was commenced. Additional buildings have been added as the business enlarged. There are in the employ of the company about thirty-five men.
The stockholders of the company are G. B. Linderman, president; C. W. Anthony, secretary and treasurer; C. O. Skeer, Robert Klotz, William Lilly, W. B. Mack, and A. G. Brodhead.
Daniel Wieand, a practical carriage-builder, commenced business about 1881, on Bank Street. In 1883 he erected a salesroom in front of the factory.
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 2004
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