(Including Packerton)


Pages 742 to 749


Including sections on:

                                    Early Settlement

                                    Stores & Mills


Post-Offices & Schools.


Centre Square

New Mahoning



PAGE 742

The first official information obtained of the erection of this township is found in the first assessment-roll in 1842 in the records of Northampton County, and is as follows:


“Northampton County, SS.

“Commissioners’ Office.

“To Charles G. Bauer, assessor of Mahoning township (formerly part of East Penn township), Greeting: We herewith transmit to you the last assessment of East Penn township. With assistance of the assessor of East Penn Township you are to transcribe from it all such taxable inhabitants, their professions and property, which now reside within your limits, as they respectfully stand rated.

“Given under our hand and seal of office this 7th day of April, 1842.

“John Santee, Com. Of Northampton County

“John Lentz, Com. Of Northampton County.”


The township was set off from the north part of East Penn township, and is bounded on the north by the Mahoning Mountain, which separates it from Mauch Chunk township, east by Schuylkill County, south by the township of East Penn, and west by the Lehigh River.  It is watered by the Mahoning Creek, which rises in Schuylkill County and flows easterly through the valley of the Mahoning, and enters the Lehigh River near Lehighton.


Early Settlement. – A part of the territory now embraced in the limits of Mahoning was the first to which any title was obtained by the whites in the immediate region north of the Blue Ridge.  A tract of five thousand acres was released, in March, 1682, by William Penn to Adrian Vroesen, of Rotterdam, and by him deeded to Benjohan Furley, of the same city, and surveyed for his heirs in 1735, and in March, 1745, conveyed to Edward Shippen, a merchant of Philadelphia, by Thomas Lawrence, attorney of the heirs of Benjohan Furley.  Mr. Shippen conveyed the tract, in September of the same year, to Richard Peters, of Philadelphia, who at the same time deeded one hundred and twenty acres of the land to Charles Brockden, for the use of the Moravians at Bethlehem, who at this time had gathered around them a large Indian congregation, part of whom had been driven out of Shekomeko, Conn., and from Patchgatgoch, in New York.  In 1742, Count Zinzendorf, who came to Bethlehem in December, 1741, ascended the Lehigh River, with two friendly Indians as interpreters, and held a conference (near what is now Lehighton) with a party of Indians, whose hunting-grounds were in the valley of the Mahoning and the adjacent country.  The beauty of the scenery here attracted the attention of the count, and he looked upon the locality as a good one upon which to establish a mission.  This was mentioned to the brethren at Bethlehem, and resulted in the purchase of the tract, as above mentioned.  The writer of an article entitled “Lehighton One Hundred and Twenty-five Years Ago, “ published in 1879, says, after speaking of the conference with the Indians, “As the colony at Bethlehem gathered strength from the influx of immigration they pushed forward their efforts to convert the Indians in this direction.  It was four years, however, before they established a mission-house at Gnadenhütten, a providential circumstance favoring this measure. About forty of the Mohegan Indians, who had been converted to Christianity through the instrumentality of Christian Henry Rauch, at Shekomeko, in Connecticut, fled from persecution to the brethren at Bethlehem.  And these were sent forward to plant the Standard of Peace at Gnadenhütten.  With these mutual friends at the outpost the colony at Bethlehem began to extend its way up the Lehigh Valley.  Their efforts were rewarded with great success.  Their relations with the Indians had been of a most amicable character, and prosperous farms dotted the Lehigh Valley and its tributaries (the results of seven years’ effort), and the congregation, composed of Indians and colonists, who worshiped at Gnadenhütten numbered five hundred or more.”


Martin Mack, who came to Bethlehem with the first settlers at that place, went up to the new station, “Gnadenhütten,” with Christian Henry Rauych as one of the missionaries in charge.  A church was erected and dwellings built for the missionaries and Indians.


Loskiel, writing at the time, said, “Gnadenhütten now (1746) became a very regular and pleasant town.  The church stood in the valley, on one side the Indian houses forming a crescent, upon a rising ground; and on the other stood the house of the missionaries and the burying-ground.  The missionaries tilled their own grounds, and every Indian family their plantation, and on the 18th of August they had the satisfaction to partake of the first fruits of the land at a love-feast.”  As the colony increased the church was found to be too small, and in September, 1749, Bishop Johannes von Watteville visited Gnadenhütten, and laid the foundation-stone of a new church.  About the same time Rev. David Brainerd, with several Indian converts, visited Gnadenhütten.  The numbers increased, and the mission prospered greatly, and in 1754 numbered about five hundred Indians.  It was thought advisable for several reasons to establish a new mission on the other side of the river, which was done in that year. 1


The account of the attack by the Indians on the mission, Nov. 24, 1755, will be found in the chapter on Indian history.  The massacre at that time so disheartened the Moravians that no further attempts were made to rebuild at that place, and after a few years it was left entirely to desolation.


No knowledge is obtained as to who purchased other portions of the tract of five thousand acres, but the valley was settled between 1750 and 1775 by Eng-…




1) An account of New Gnadenhütten will be found in the history of Weissport.



PAGE 743


                                                                                           …lish families, -- the Custards, Thomases, Gilberts, Dodsons, Perts, Johns, and others.  Most of these families remained till the close of the Revolution, when they removed to the neighborhood of the Susquehanna River.  Sketches of a few of the families are here given.


The name of Custard occurs as that of one of the settlers who located in the Mahoning Valley.  But little is known of him or his family.  The most that is trustworthy concerning him is in a letter from Timothy Horsfield, Esq., of Bethlehem, who writes to Governor Morris, Nov. 26, 1755, on receiving the news of the massacre at Gnadenhütten.  After speaking of the escape of Joseph Sturges, George Partch and his wife, and their arrival at Bethlehem, where they reported the affair, he says, that “Monday, the 24th instant, an hour before sunset, George Custard with two others of the neighbors came to Mahoning (the place the murder was committed at), and informed them that in the evening they might expect a number of armed men to be with them all night.”  No further mention is made of George Custard or the neighbors that were with him. The name does not appear on the assessment-roll of the township in 1781 or 1808, and it is probable that the family fled.


The family of Benjamin Gilbert came to the valley of the Mahoning in 1775, and settled on the Mahoning Creek at the place now owned by Michael Garber.  His step-son, Benjamin Peart, located about half a mile away.  Benjamin Gilbert was a native of Byberry, fifteen miles from Philadelphia, where he was born in the year 1711.  He was educated by the Quakers, and resided near his birthplace till he moved to the Mahoning Valley, in 1775.  He married a lady in his youth by whom he had several children.  They arrived at years of maturity, and several of them settled there.  About the year 1748 he published a trestise against war in answer to Gilbert Tennent.  In 1769 and 1770 he published two large works on religious subjects.  After the death of his wife he contracted a second marriage with Elizabeth, the widow of Benjamin Peart, who also had several children.


It was some years after this second marriage that it was decided to move north of the Blue Ridge.  His sons and daughters, connections and friends were not strangers to the dangers to which they would be exposed, and earnestly besought them to remain in their midst.


The journey was made.  The party consisted of Benjamin Gilbert, his wife Elizabeth, his sons, Joseph, Jesse, and Abner; Rebecca and Elizabeth, daughters; Benjamin and Thomas Peart, sons of Mrs. Gilbert.  After reaching the place selected, a comfortable log house and barn were erected.  Later a saw-mill and grist-mill were erected on the creek, which drew custom from a large extent of country and rendered the position of the family comfortable.  After five years of quiet the family was surprised on the morning of the 25th of April, 1780, by a party of eleven Indians and taken captives. The house was plundered and all the buildings burned.  The Indians then visited the house of Benjamin Peart, who a year or two previous had married and settled about half a mile away, and captured him and his wife and child.  Abigail, a daughter of Samuel Dodson, a neighbor, had brought from home to the mill early in the morning a grist, and she was still there and captured with the rest.1


The family was in bondage two years and five months, and on the 22nd of August, 1783, its members were gathered together in Montreal and soon after returned to Byberry, with the exception of Benjamin, the father, who died June 8, 1780, while going down the river St. Lawrence, Andrew Harrigar, who escaped and returned to Byberry and conveyed the first knowledge of the fate and condition of the family, and Abigail Dodson, who was adopted by one of the families of the Cayuga Nation.


After the return of the family, in 1783, the farm in the Mahoning Valley was sold to Capt. Joseph Longstreth, who, with Robert McDaniel, went up to the place and rebuilt the house and mill.  How long Capt. Longstreth remained is not known.  His name does not appear in the assessment-roll of 1808.  Later the property was owned by Dr. S. Kennedy, and in 1820 was bought by Septimus Hough.


The family of Samuel Dodson came to the valley about the same time the Gilberts came in.  They settled about a mile distant, on a farm now owned by David D. Kistler, near Pleasant Corner.  He was a native of Chester County, where he was married, and where his children were born.  Abigail, when fourteen years of age, was sent by her father to the mill of Benjamin Gilbert, on the Mahoning Creek, early on the morning of the 25th of April, 1780.  She was captured with the Gilbert family by the Indians.  She was separated from the others, and adopted first by a tribe of the Cayugas and later by others.  The family of Dodsons remained upon their plantation, and did not, like many others, abandon their settlement.


In 1785, Thomas Dodson, a cousin of Abigail, determined to go up to the northward and make a search for Abigail.  He was provided with the necessary equipment, and started on horseback. After much search she was found in the Genesee Valley with the tribe of Indians by which she had been adopted.  As her return at some time had been anticipated, it had been decided that if her friends came for her she would be allowed to go.  The chief of the tribe was away at the time Thomas arrived, and the family of which she was a member, although loath to let her leave them, consented, and preparations were made for her departure.  A new suit of Indian cloth, ornamented with beads, was made for her, and feasts were given at which many gathered.  When all was ready …





1) An account of their captivity and wanderings will be found in the chapter on Indian history. An account was verbally given by them on their return, in 1783, and was written by William Walton, and published by Joseph Cruikshank in 1784.



PAGE 744



                                                                                                                                                … they departed.  For some reason, Thomas had left his horse at Genesee, a few miles away.  Upon reaching the place and applying for his horse, the man in whose care he had left him refused to let him have the horse except upon the payment of one hundred dollars.  As he had not that much money, he was compelled to leave him.  An arrangement was made by which they were taken to Towanda, where Thomas obtained a canoe, in which they paddled and floated down the Susquehanna River to Salem, and stopped at the house of Nathan Beach.  He provided them with a horse, and they proceeded on their way to Mahoning Valley, where they arrived in October, 1786.  Abigail had been absent from home five years and six months, during which time she had been with several different tribes and had learned the languages of five of them.  On arriving near home, Abigail went to the house first and knocked.  Her mother came to the door, invited her in, stepped back and called her husband, saying, “Here is a squaw, and a pretty good-looking one, too.”  Her father came in, and neither of them recognized her, upon which Abigail exclaimed, “Mother, don’t you know me?” Thomas soon came in, and the family gathered around the long-lost one, and great was their joy at her return.  The story of her captivity and wanderings was known to the family, up to the time of her separation from the Gilberts, who returned in 1783, and adoption by the Cayugas, but from that time no trace of her had been found until this time.  She had for so long been accustomed to Indian life that she did not feel at home for some time, and often longed for the old life, but this feeling passed away.  She remained at home, and moved with the family in 1797 to Shamokin, and later to Huntington township, Luzerne Co., where she married Peter Brink, and lived many years and died, leaving no children.1


The family of Samuel Dodson lived at the place where they settled in 1775 until 1797.  Samuel Dodson, the father, died in 1795, and was buried at Lizard Creek.  His children were John, Thomas, Samuel, Joseph, Hannah, Elizabeth, Polly, Abigail, and Sally.  John, the eldest son, after the death of his father, took the management of the farm, and in 1797 sold it, and the family all moved to Shamokin.  The children of Samuel had all reached maturity, and several of them were married and settled on the homestead farm in Mahoning Valley.  Joseph was married before the death of the father; and Isaac T. Dodson, so well known to old citizens of the county of Carbon, was born on the homestead farm in 1796.  His father, Joseph, moved with the rest of the family to Shamokin.  After a few years most of the family of Samuel removed to Huntington township, Luzerne Co., where their descendants are numerous.


Isaac T. Dodson came to Mauch Chunk in 1820, and entered the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  He was appointed justice of the peace Jan. 9, 1828, and served many years.  He died in Mauch Chunk in 1873, aged seventy-seven years. His son, George W. Dodson, was a teacher in Mauch Chunk, and in the employ of the Coal and Navigation Company.  He died in 1863. Mary (Mrs. Abraham Focht), Elizabeth (Mrs. Owen Williams), and Mahala D. (Mrs. Israel Beahm), all of Mauch Chunk, are daughters of Isaac T. Dodson.


It will be remembered that Capt. Joseph Lonstreth purchased the Gilbert farm in 1783, and at that time Robert McDaniel came to the valley with him.  He was born Aug. 24, 1756, in a small lumbering village near the Penobscot Falls, Maine.  He was apprenticed by his father to Capt. Joseph Longstreth, of Philadelphia, to learn the trade of a tanner and currier, and lived in that city some years.  After a residence of a year or two at the mill with Capt. Longstreth in the valley, he bought a tract of land not far from the Gilbert mill, now partly owned by Samuel Moser, and married Elizabeth Hicks.  She was born in 1766, and is said to have been a native of Lizard Creek Valley, and when very young was placed in charge of William Thomas, who lived near where the Benn Salem Church stands.  No other knowledge of the Hicks family is obtained.  They settled upon the farm, and lived many years.  They died there, and were buried in the Benn Salem churchyard.  Their children were Rachel, Nancy, Lydia, Elizabeth, Robert, and James.  Rachel became the wife of Charles Haney, and settled in the township.  Mrs. Henry Arner is a daughter.  Lewis Haney, for many years a teacher in the township and the first coroner of the county, was a son.  Nancy became the wife of Samuel Solt, and settled in Lehighton.  Lydia married Joseph Musselman, lived for a time in the township, and moved to Ohio.  Oliver, a son, remained with his grandfather, and taught school in the township, was elected register and recorder in 1846 and 1849, and later moved to Ohio, where he is now a journalist.  Elizabeth became the wife of Christian Klotz (who came from Lowhill, Lehigh Co.), in 1816.  They settled near the homestead, and in 1823 moved to what is now the Hoppes Mill, where she died in 1826, aged thirty-one years.  Robert, son of Robert, emigrated to the West.  James, the youngest son, settled in the township, and died there.  His son, J. T. McDaniel, keeps the old Freyman Hotel, and is postmaster.


The sketches given thus far are of families who settle in the Mahoning Valley between the years 1750 and 1785.  From the latter year, to 1805-6, no settlements seem to have been made, and but one or two of the families that were there remained.  In fact, the descendants of Robert McDaniel are the only ones whose ancestors were in the limits of the present Mahoning township prior to 1800.


The assessment-roll of Penn township of 1781 con- …




1) One of the leggings, trimmed with beads, which she wore upon her return is now in the possession of Robert Boehm, of Mauch Chunk, who is of the family.       



PAGE 745


                                                                                 …tains the following names of persons who were resident in what is to-day Mahoning township: Samuel Dodson, Richard Dodson, George Gilbert, George J. Gilbert. The names of Michael Hoppes and Michael S. Hoppes appear, but disappear in 1808 in East Penn, and are found the same year in West Penn township.


The following persons are named on the assessment-roll of East Penn township in 1808, when it was first set off, and were residents of the present township: Andrew Beck, John and Abraham Freyman, Robert McDaniel, Peter, Henry, and John Notestine, Peter Musselman.


Andrew Beck, of Siegersville, Lehigh Co., about the year 1800, purchased a lumber tract on the Nesquehoning Creek, about half a mile below the present village of Nesquehoning, upon which he erected a saw-mill.  The site is now owned by Cornelius Zangle.  About 1805 he purchased one hundred and thirty-five acres of land in Mahoning township for his son, Andrew, who lived upon it three years, and in 1808 sold it to his brother, George Beck, who settled there and lived all his days.  He died in 1870.  He left twelve children, all living except one.  Caroline (Mrs. Gabriel Delcher)  is living on the homestead; Daniel is also living in the township; Thomas G. lives at Lehighton; Christiana (Mrs. James M. Keller) resides at Lansford; others are in Ohio and Illinois.


John Freyman settled about the year 1800 on a farm near Stewart’s Run, on which his grandson, Thomas, now resides.  He had sons, - Jacob, Henry, and George.  Jacob settled on the homestead, where he died in 1882, aged seventy-five years.  Henry lived unmarried, and built the hotel where J. G. McDaniel now resides, and kept it for several years.  George settled in the upper part of the township, and later kept hotel and store at Pleasant Corner, and owned the farm now owned by the Kistlers.  He died in 1849, aged thirty-five years. His son, William G. Freyman, is an attorney at Mauch Chunk.


Peter Musselman, a native of Upper Milford, Lehigh Co., came to the Mahoning Valley in 1807, and purchased the farm now owned by his grandson, Thomas Musselman.  He died in 1860.  Of his sons, Joseph married Lydia, the daughter of Robert McDaniel, settled near the homestead for a short time, and removed to Ohio.  Oliver Musselman, of Ohio, is their son.  Charles settled near his father, and still resides there, well advanced in years.  Jacob settled on the homestead, and married Rebecca, the daughter of John G. Kemerer.  Their son, Thomas, now owns the property.  Susan became the wife of George Kamerer, and settled in Lehighton.  Polly became Mrs. Boaz, and Walton, the youngest, emigrated to Warsaw, Ind.


It is not known what year the Notestines came to the township, but in the year 1808 the three brothers (Henry, Peter, and John) were owners of property at Centre Square.  Their father, Peter Notestine, lived with them.  He had served in the Revolutionary war, was well advanced in years, died there, and was buried in the graveyard near Centre Square.  Henry resided at Centre Square, and about 1818 erected the store-house now owned by David Longaker.  A stone in the building records that it was built by “Henry Notestine and his wife, Barbara.”  He left several children, - Daniel, Henry, Elias, and John.  Daniel lived on the homestead, and died in 1873.  A daughter (Mrs. C. H. Seidel) is a resident at Centre Square.  Henry remained at home a few years after arriving at maturity, kept the hotel at Pennsville at one time, and later removed to Kansas, where he died.  Elias lived at home, and died in 1878.  John resides in the township of East Penn.  Peter Notestine settled on Mahoning Mountain.  His daughter, Catharine (Mrs. Peter Xandres), lives on part of the homestead.  Of his other children, Rachel (Mrs. Lauchner) and Elizabeth (Mrs. Kochner) settled in the township, and are both deceased.  John, brother of Henry and Peter, emigrated to Fort Wayne, Ind.  Matthew (a younger brother of Henry), Peter, and John, after arriving at maturity, settled on a farm between Henry and Peter.  His children were Daniel, Jonas, David, James, and Joseph. Daniel, Jonas, and James settle in East Penn township, David in Mahoning, and Joseph in Lehighton.


The names of Abram and Jost Miller appear on the roll of 1808, and when Henry Arner came to the township, in 1817, he rented a farm of Isaac Miller, which he afterwards purchased.  Henry was born in Lehigh County in 1798, and when three years of age was taken with his father’s family to what became, in 1808, West Penn township.  He married about 1817, and came to the Mahoning Valley and rented a farm, where he now lives, and resided there seven years.  About 1825 he purchased one hundred and nineteen acres of land of James Brodrick, now owned by Ammon Arner, and resided there thirty years, and purchased one hundred and twenty-five acres, including his present place, of his son, Tilghman Arner, and moved to the old home, where he now resides.  He was engaged in the manufacture of shoes about the time of the opening of the coal-mines at Summit Hill, and later manufactured powder.  He had by his first wife five children, - Tilghman, Abigail, Eliza, Ammon, and Louisa.  Tilghman resided in and near New Mahoning, and died in 1880.  Abigail (Mrs. Amos Reille), Eliza (Mrs. Benjamin Koontz), and Louisa (Mrs. Zachariah Long) are residents of Lehighton.  Ammon resides at New Mahoning, where he carries on the mercantile business, and also conducts a large farm.


In the year 1819, Jacob Fenstermacher came to what is now New Mahoning, and soon after erected the hotel which he kept till his death.  It is now kept by his son, Stephen.


Christian Klotz was born in Lowhill township, Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., May 14, 1789. He …




PAGE 746



… was a miller by trade, and about 1814 came to the Landing Tavern, on the Lehigh River, and for a year or two was at work rafting and in the mill.  In the year 1816 he went up the Mahoning Creek, and obtained work in the mill on the site of the Gilbert Mill.  In this year he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert McDaniel, who lived a short distance from the mill.  He remained at the mill till about 1823, when he built a mill on Pine Creek, now known as the Hoppes mill-site, and moved his family there-to.  At this place his wife died, Nov. 5, 1826, aged thirty-one years, leaving five children, - Ammon, Robert, Charlotte, Anna, and Joseph.  Ammon and Anna (Mrs. Grover) settled in Franklin township, where the former is still living.  Charlotte became the wife of a Mr. Yost, and is long since deceased.  Joseph resides at Pittston, Luzerne Co., Pa.  Robert lives in Mauch Chunk. He was elected the first register and recorder of the county of Carbon in 1843, has filled many important offices, and was a member of Congress for this district in the Forty-sixth Congress.  Christian Klotz married a second wife, by whom he had several children. He died at Lehighton, March 12, 1848, aged fifty-nine years, and was buried by the side of his first wife in the Moravian Cemetery.


John, Jacob, and Daniel Klotz, brothers of Christian, came to the Mahoning Valley and settled.  John died in Lehighton in 1829.  Jacob and Daniel lived and died in Mahoning township.


John G. Kamerer, a native of Lehigh County, came to the valley in 1818, and purchased the farm now owned by Zachariah Ham.  Of his children, Thomas is now president of the National Bank of Lehighton.  Theodore R. and William are engaged in business at Lehighton.  Catharine also resides in that place.  Rebecca, one of the elder children, became the wife of Joseph Musselman, and removed to Ohio.


Thomas Beltz, a son of Leonard and Elizabeth Beltz, was a native of Towamensing township, where he was born in 1805.  In 1820 he engaged with the Coal and Navigation Company at Summit Hill, and worked for them fifteen years.  During this time he married Rebecca, a daughter of Jonathan Bachman, and settled in what is now Mahoning township.  She died early in life, leaving two children, of whom Nathan resides in Stockton, Luzerne Co., Pa.  He married, as a second wife, Maria, the daughter of Henry Arner, who is still living.  Harrison A. Beltz, now justice of the peace at Lehighton, is a son.


The mother of Thomas Beltz resided with him in her later years, and died at his house in February, 1867, at the age of one hundred and five years.  She was a daughter of Frederick Boyer, and was born in Towamensing township, Dec. 14, 1761.


Septimus Hough, a Quaker, who was a native of Bucks County, born near Doylestown, in the year 1820 purchased the old Gilbert mill and farm and settled there.  His wife died in 1845, and he survived her until May 4, 1852.  A son, John, died many years ago.  A son, James P., now lives at Mount Jefferson, in Mauch Chunk township.  After the death of Mr. Hough the property was sold to Michael Garber, who now owns it.


A sketch of the Balliet family will be found in the history of North Whitehall township, Lehigh Co., to which place the first of the family, Paul Balliet, emigrated in 1742.  Joseph Balliet, who settled in this township, was a son of Leonard Balliet, a native of Northampton (now Lehigh) County, who settled in West Penn township, Schuylkill Co.  Joseph bought a farm first at Centre Square, now owned by Joseph Hunsecker, and later he purchased a farm of Jacob Feller, which he lived on and where he died in 1881, aged eighty-seven years.  He left a son, Nathan, who lives on the homestead.  Thomas M. Balliet, the present superintendent of common schools, is a son of Nathan Balliet.


Solomon Gordon, who, in 1808, lived near the Gilbert Mill, was a blacksmith, and had a shop at that place.  Later he moved about half a mile east, where he lived a few years and then emigrated to the West, and died on the way.


Philip Sanders, in 1808, lived on the road from Lehighton to New Mahoning, where his son, John, now resides.


Jonathan Bachman is mentioned in 1808.  His daughter married Thomas Beltz.


In the year 1842, when the township was erected and the first assessment-roll was made, the following persons’ names appeared in connection with the properties and pursuits here given:


John Ammon, clock-maker and trader.

Henry Arner, powder-mill and saw-mill.

John Betz, grist-mill.

Jacob Fenstenmacher, innkeeper.

Michael Garber, grist- and saw-mill.

David Heller, tan-yard.

Reuben Hagenbuch, innkeeper.

Christian Horn, innkeeper and butcher.

Alfred Havline, merchant- and powder-mill.

Morganroth & Hanline, merchants.

William Horn, teacher.

Abram Horn, innkeeper.

George Heilman, saw-mill.

John Kuntz, grist- and saw-mill.

Jacob Musselman, saw-mill.

Henry Notestine, saw-mill.

John Solt, saw-mill.


Stores – Mills.  – The first store in the township outside of what is now the borough of Lehighton was opened by Thomas Walton before the year 1825 on the farm now owned by A. Reigel, a quarter of a mile east of the New Mahoning post-office.  He also opened a hotel and blacksmith-shop.  The store was soon after kept by Abraham Hanline, and later by --- Hunsicker, and the hotel was abandoned.


About 1820, Henry Arner opened a shoe-factory on…




PAGE 747


                                                                                    … the present farm of Ammon Arner to supply the miners at Summit Hill.  Henry Bretnich learned his trade with Arner, and upon his retirement, in 1835, succeeded to the business, and continued till 1855.


In 1832, Henry Arner and Abraham Hanline erected a powder-mill on the site of the present bone- and saw-mill of Ammon Arner.  An explosion occurred in 1839 or 1840, which resulted in the destruction of the buildings.  They were rebuilt, and on the 8th of June, 1841 , another explosion took place, and Daniel Arner, a son of Henry Arner, and John Snyder, a brother of the present State representative, E. H. Snyder, were killed.  The mill was again rebuilt, and run under the management of Jonas Fritz until 1854, when it was abandoned.  Hanline & Morganroth erected a powder-mill after 1842 on the run where the bone-mill of David Kuntz now stands.  This was run for many years by John Erb for the proprietors.  An explosion occurred and one man was killed.  It was rebuilt, and again exploded, killing two brothers, Kemerer, and wounding Emanuel Durmitzer, then one of the proprietors.  These powder-mills gave employment to charcoal-burners, prominent among whom was Robert Blair, a Scotchman, who burned charcoal in the summer and taught school in the winter.  He also had a cooper-shop, and employed several men to make kegs.  Gabriel Dilcher and David Miller were coopers and worked at the shop.


The first grist-mills erected in the limits of the township were at the Gnadenhutten Mission soon after the arrival of the Moravians, in 1746.  After this the first one built was one on the site of what is known as the Heilman Mill, which was built before the destruction of the mission.  It was owned by Nathan Hinkle.  His name does not appear in 1781, and he probably abandoned his settlement.  The next mill was built by Benjamin Gilbert, soon after 1775, upon the site of the Garber Mill of to-day.  After its destruction, in 1780, Capt. Joseph Longstreth purchased the property, in 1783, and rebuilt it.  The property passed to D. and S. Kennedy, and from them to Septimus Hough, who sold it to the present owner.


The next mill of importance was erected by Christian Klotz, in 1823, on the stream and by the site now occupied by Solomon Hoppes.  The old mill is still standing.  The present mill was built across the street about 1850, by the present owner.  It was operated in 1842 by John Beltz.


In 1832, David Boyer, a native of Berks County, came to the township and established a gun-shop on the site of the present St. John’s Church, where he manufactured guns for three years.  He removed to Orwigsburg.  He married Hannah, a daughter of George Beck.


Lutheran and German Reformed Churches. – This congregation was organized prior to 1850, and in that year erected the present church edifice.  At the same time a lot adjoining was laid out for a burial-place.  The pastors who have served the Lutheran congregation have been as follows: Rev. E. A. Bauer and W. H. Strauss, the last named being now in charge.  The German Reformed have been served by the Rev. Charles Eichenberg and the Rev. Abraham Bartholomew; the last mentioned now occupies the pulpit.  The church is situated about a mile east of New Mahoning, on the road leading from Lehighton up they valley.


Evangelical Church. – The Evangelical Church, situated in Mahoning township, is about half a mile east of New Mahoning.  The edifice was erected in 1861.  Prior to 1873 the church was supplied with preaching from ministers who were located at Weissport and other places.  Since that year the ministers of the association at Lehighton have served the church, and have been as here given: Rev. A. F. Leopold, A. Kreeker, D. B. Albright, B. J. Smoyer, and W. K. Wieand, the present pastor.


Beaver Run Methodist Episcopal Church. – A society of Methodists was organized into a church in the spring of 1881, and a church edifice was erected, at a cost of eight hundred dollars, on the road leading from Packerton to Tamaqua, about three miles west from Lehighton.  It was dedicated on the 29th of January, 1882, and placed under the charge of the Rev. L. B. Hoffman.


Post-Offices. – A post-office was established, about 1850, at New Mahoning, with Tilghman Arner as postmaster.   He was succeeded by John H. Arner, who is the present incumbent.


A post-office was established at Pleasant Corner, and later moved to the Freyman Hotel, where it is now kept by J. T. McDaniel.


Schools. – The first schools in the limits of the township were kept by the Moravians at the Gnadenhütten Mission, between 1746 and 1755.  About 1820 a log house was built on the site of the old mission, and used many years.  It was in charge of the Moravians of Bethlehem.  The site is now embraced in the limits of Lehighton borough.  About 1823 schools were commenced in different parts of the township, and at Centre Square a lot of thirty acres was purchased for church and school purposes, about the year 1830, and placed in charge of trustees.  A schoolhouse was erected, and used many years; it is still standing, but unused.  When it became necessary to rebuild, it was decided that the trustees could not give title to the board of school directors, and another lot was purchased and a school building erected in 1873.  Of early teachers in the township, Isaac Harleman, Samuel Dodson, and John Fulton taught while the old system was in vogue, and John Fulton was a teacher many years after the school law of 1834 was adopted.  Harleman taught at Centre Square, and was succeeded by Fulton.  Dodson taught between Centre Square and Lehighton.  About 1835-36, Lewis Haney, a native of the township, commenced teaching at Pleasant Corner, and taught…




PAGE 748


                                                                                                                                    … several years.  The school law was accepted by this township about 1840; the township was divided into districts.  The school-houses that had been used were still continued, and where there were none in the limits of the district, school was held in buildings fitted up – either dwellings or ships – until a house was erected for the purpose.  The district in which Lehighton was situated was made an independent district in 1866, and Packerton also became an independent district in 1872.  The following districts are now in the township:


District No. 2, Sendel’s, is situated west from Lehighton.  The school-house stands on the road from Lehighton to New Mahoning.


District No. 3 is known as Pleasant Corner.  The school is situated a little north of the hotel and on the main road.


District No. 4, or New Mahoning, is situated in the center of the west end of the township.  The school is situated nearly at the corners, at New Mahoning post-office.  The present building was erected in 1873.


District No. 5 is known as Centre Square, and embraces the southwest corner of the township.  The present school-house was built in 1873.


District No. 6 is known as Garber’s.  The school-house is situated on the road south of Mahoning Creek and near the Eagle Hotel.


District No. 7, known as Nishollow, is situated between Mahoning Creek and the East Penn township-line.  The school-house is on the valley road, in the west part of the district.


District No. 8 is bounded by Lehigh River, East Penn township, District No. 7, and Lehighton borough.  The school-house is on the road that runs along the township-line.


Districts Nos. 10 and 11 embrace the territory of the north part of the township.  The school-houses in each are placed about the center of the district, on the main road that runs along the base of the mountain.


The school directors elected since the erection of Carbon County have been as follows:


1844. – Charles Keyser, Christian Klotz.

1845. – W. H. H. Barton, Jacob Everts.

1846. – John Derr, John B. Amon, Jacob Bowman.

1847. – Daniel Sendel, Jonathan Freyman, George Cunfer.

1848. – E. Durmetzer, Henry Arner.

1849. – Thomas Beltz, John Sendel, Ammon Klotz.

1850. – Francis Stucker, E. A. Bauer.

1851. – Benjamin Kuntz, Tilghman Arner.

1852. – George Smith, Conrad Solt.

1853. – Henry Bretnich, William Horn.

1854. – Thomas Kemerer, Oliver Musselman.

1855. – Thomas H. Beck, Zachariah H. Long.

1856. – Amos Reigel, William Horn.

1857. – Charles Xandres, Nathan Klotz.

1858. – Nathan Mosser, William Kistler.

1859. – Jonas Horn, Gabriel Dilchert, Elwin Bauer.

1860. – Ammon Arner, Elwin Bauer.

1861. – Thomas Kemerer, John Lentz, Elias Sheve.

1862. – Jonas A. Horn, Thomas McClean.

1863. – Ammon Arner, Reuben Hunsicker, Jonas Miller.

1864. – Amos Miller, Daniel Olewine.

1865. – Gabriel Dilchert, Thomas Kemerer.

1866. – Conrad Hausman, Josiah Musselman, George Kemerer.

1867. – W. G. Freyman, Joseph Everts.

1868. – Elias Sheve, Amos Miller.

1869. – David Kistler, Charles Sittler.

1870. – Nathan Balliet, William G. Freyman.

1871. – John McKelby, Tilghman Amer.

1872. – Henry Nothstein, John Sterner.

1873. – Daniel Bach, William Horn.

1874. –  -------- Bretnich, P. D. Keiser.

1875. – P. D. Keiser, Jacob Hoffman.

1876. – Nathan Mosser, David Longaker.

1877. – Moses Rex, Godfrey Peters.

1878. – George Boyer, John Freyman.

1879. – None reported.

1880. – J. T. Semmel, Amos Riegel, John McKelvy.

1881. – William Sittler, J. H. G. Horn.

1882. – Henry Long, Godfrey Peters.

1883. – Jacob Frantz, David Longaker.


The following is a list of the justices of the peace since 1846:


Thomas Kemerer, elected March, 1846.

John Horn, elected March, 1847.

Thomas Kemerer, elected March, 1851.

Tilghman Arner, elected March, 1852.

Thomas Kemerer, elected March, 1856.

Tilghman Arner, elected March, 1857.

William Kistler, elected March, 1861.

Elias H. Snyder, elected March, 1864.

William G. Freyman, elected March, 1866.

Nathan Mosser, elected March, 1867.

Thomas M. Weaver, elected October, 1870.

Tilghman Arner, elected March, 1872.

J. C. Xandres, elected March, 1874.

Nathan Mosser, elected March, 1875.

Thomas Weaver, elected March, 1876.

Nathan Mosser, elected March, 1880.

Thomas Musselman, elected March, 1881.


Packerton (by W. Lee Stiles) is situated on the Lehigh River, midway between Lehighton and Mauch Chunk.  It was originally called Burlington.  The owners of the soil prior to the great freshet of 1862 were engaged in small farming, Mauch Chunk furnishing a ready market for their products.  The Beaver Meadow Railroad, passing through this place, extending as far down as Parryville, was built in 1887.


Asa Packer, projector and builder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, bought the Beaver Meadow Railroad extension from Mauch Chunk.  Mauch Chunk was the shipping-point.  After the great freshet the increasing coal tonnage of the Lehigh Valley Rail-…




PAGE 749


                                                                                  … road demanded more room.  Asa Packer therefore made large purchases of land at this point of George and John Dolon and others, with a view to making it the shipping-point for all coal passing east.  A car-shop, roundhouse, and forwarding office were built, additional tracks laid, and dwelling-houses for the employés were erected.  Shortly after this is the name was changed to Packerton.


It is the central point of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company’s immense coal traffic.  The forwarding department is located here in a commodious brick building; also the weigh-scales, over which pass the entire tonnage east, reaching several million tons per annum.  The car-shops, employing several hundred men, is an important feature.  In the shops is some of the finest and most improved machinery in the country.  Upon the accession of Harry E. Packer to the presidency of the Lehigh Valley Railroad great and much-needed improvements were made.  The shipping-yard was enlarged, and is now one of the finest in the country.  It will hold over three thousand loaded coal-cars, and about the same number of empty cars.  The approach to the upper end of the yard is of sufficient grade to permit the movement of loaded cars by gravity.  A large bulk of the coal is weighed by night.  The entire yard, about two miles in length, is illumined by the Metropolitan Electric Light.  Two large round-houses, to house sixty engines, and also a large machine-shop, are being pushed to completion.  The population is between two and three hundred. The male portion find employment with the railroad company, some few on the Lehigh and Susquehanna Division of the Reading Railroad, which passes through the place.  There are but few private residences, owned as follows: W. F. Brodhead, Levi Miller, Levi Krum, Alfred Vanscooter, John Fritzinger, Tilghman Remaly, Mrs. Luke Boylan, Charles Langkamerer, John McGinn, and George Dolon.  John C. Dolon, of Mauch Chunk, is a large real-estate owner, and has several tenant-houses.


A post-office was established here, with the late M. W. Raudenbush as the first postmaster.  Lyman McDaniel is the present incumbent.


Packerton is an independent school and election district, and has a fine large brick school-house (the gift of Asa Packer), a Methodist Church (originally intended to be a Union Church), two stores, and a large hotel (owned by the present landlord, Leopold Myers).  The population is made up of all creeds and nationalities, composing a law-abiding, Sabbath-observing people, frugal, industrious, and, of course, correspondingly happy.


Centre Square is a settlement situated near the west end of the township, and not far from the line of East Penn township, and contains several dwellings, a store, school-house, and hotel.  The property belonged to the Notestines, who settled there about 1800.  About 1845, Daniel Notestine and George Freyman opened a store at the place, and later a hotel was opened.  The first school-house in the township (except the Moravian school) was built at this place about 1830.  About 1852, George Freyman built a hotel on the road from Lehighton to New Mahoning, at the placed called Pleasant Corner.  This he kept for several years.  It is now in the possession of Francis Stucker, and is still kept as a hotel.


New Mahoning is a settlement that contains a few dwellings, a store kept by Ammon Arner, a post-office, a hotel kept by Stephen Fenstermacher, and a school-house.  Business operations have been carried on to considerable extent in and near the settlement since 1819, an account of which has been given.  The first hotel was opened by Jacob Fenstermacher in 1820.  The store was kept many years by Tilghman Arner.


About the year 1835 a hotel was erected by Henry Freyman on the road from Tamaqua to Lehighton, and kept by him several years.  He was succeeded respectively by Philip and James Ginter, and Jonathan Seidle.  At present John T. McDaniel is the landlord.

















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 April 2003


Susan Gilkeson Sterling



Web page by

Jack Sterling

May 2003