The Minersville Area
Historical Society

From the book:
"History of Schuylkill County, Pa"
W. W. Munsell, 1881

(Last update July 16, 2006)


[History][Schools][Press][Business][Fire Dept] [Societies] [Churches]

In a brief sketch by Charles W. Taylor, it is said: "Minersville was founded in 1830 by Titus Bennet, who laid out the town in that year on parts of two tracts of land. One of these was patented to Titus Bennet on the 7th of December, 1830, and enrolled in patent book 'H,' vol. 28, page 567. The other was patented to Lawrence Lewis and Robert M. Lewis on the 20th of July, 1829, and recorded in patent book 'H', vol. 26, page 493. "The borough of Minersville was incorporated on the 1st of April, 1831, and the act was approved by Governor George Wolf. The original limits of the borough were the following boundaries; 'Beginning at a spruce tree on the corner of lands of Bennet and Walton, adjoining lands of Wetherill and others; from thence south 60E west, 131 perches, to a white oak stump; thence north 30E west, 63 perches; thence north 51E west, 127 perches; thence north 66E east, 128 perches; thence north 60E east, to a point on the division line of lands belonging to Bennet, Walton, and John White; and thence, by said line, to the place of beginning.'
"Minersville was so named because of the fact that a large portion of the inhabitants were engaged in coal mining." In the Miners' Journal of December, 1830, it is said: "A little more than a twelvemonth ago the present site of town dwelt in all the loveliness of uncultivated nature, since which its aspect has undergone a wonderful change in improvements and population. Along the margin of the stream the West Branch railroad extends, and terminates at Schuylkill Haven (distance seven and one-half miles from Minersville), affording an easy and expeditious mode of transportation. The principal street bears the name of Sunbury, on which are situated all the stores and public buildings. It was formerly the old Sunbury road, communicating with the rich valleys in the direction of the Susquehanna. The northern portion of the village is of firm dry soil, gradually rising and affording a southern exposure, of favorable character for private dwellings. Seven large houses have already been erected during the present season on this spot by Messrs. Bennet and Gilmore, together with a number of small buildings in the same quarter. Last spring there were but six dwellings in all, since which there has been an increase of forty-nine substantial houses. The place contains six taverns, in any one of which are to be found respectable accommodations; eight stores, well supplied with every article for country consumption; six blacksmiths' shops, one saddlery, one bakery, two tailors' shops and two butchers'-all seeming to be in a thriving way. The population is estimated to be 500." Since the incorporation of the borough it has been twice enlarged, and its corporate limits include about double its original area.
The first settler here was Thomas Reed, who came in March, 1793, built a saw-mill in the west branch if the Schuylkill, just below the mouth is Wolf creek, and a log house near it. This, it is believed, was the first residence in the place. He soon after ward built a tavern on the south side of what was then the Sunbury road, now Sunbury street, on the present site of the church of St. Vincent de Paul. At about the same tine he erected a distillery for converting his surplus coarse grain into spirits. This was a log building, and it stood on a portion of the site of a brick house nearly opposite the Catholic parsonage. A portion of the timber of this distillery has been used in the construction of an outbuilding in the rear of this house. Besides the tavern and log house no other residences are known to have been built in Minersville till the latter part of 1828. The hotel was long known as the "Half-Way House" between Reading and Sunbury. It also had the local name of the "Red House." Mr. Reed kept this hotel till his death in 1814. It is remembered that during the war of 1812 a body of troops were coming from Northumberland over the Sunbury road, and a boy, mistaking them for Indians, ran in his fright and reported what he thought he had seen to Mr. Reed, who sent away his family and secreted himself, rifle in hand, to await the coming of the savages. His alarm was of course dissipated on learning that they were American soldiers.
The first child born in Minersville was Susanna, daughter of Thomas Reed, December 18th, 1793.
The first resident of this place married was Jacob Reed, to Rebecca Bittle, January 13th, 1813.
The first death was that of Thomas Reed, in 1814. He was buried in the cemetery at the rear of his hotel. (A body had previously been buried there-that of the man who carried the mail, on foot, between Reading and Sunbury. He was found murdered at what is now called Primrose, about a mile and a half above Minersville. His body was guarded by his large dog, and after it was, with some difficulty, taken away and buried, this dog snuffed a short time at the grave, then ran away and went to Sunbury. The appearance of the man's dog alarmed his friends for his safety, and they came and learned the facts of the case, but the murderers were never apprehended. Robbery was supposed to be their motive.)

The first cemetery was in the rear of the old red tavern, adjoining the present cemetery of the church of St. Vincent de Paul. The ground was donated by Thomas Reed. The other cemeteries are St. Mary's, in the northwest part of the borough; the German Lutheran and German Reformed, southeast from the borough on the road to Llewellyn; the Welsh Baptist, on Spencer street; the Congregational, near St. Mary's; and that of St. Vincent de Paul in the rear of the church.
Peter Dilman resided in the log house near the saw-mill after Mr. Reed removed to the red tavern. He was the sawyer in the mill. The lumber that was manufactured in this region at that early period was manufactured in this region at that early period was rafted down the Schuylkill and found a market at Reading and the places below it. Lumbering was the principal business of the few settlers here. When the Mine Hill Railroad was built, and an outlet was thus given to the mineral wealth of this region, the influx of settlers was very rapid.
 Among the first settlers in 1829 was Joseph Dobbins, a carpenter, who built some of the earliest houses here. The first blacksmith was George Dengler, whose shop was a board shanty near where the tavern of Mr. Mock, on Sunbury street, now stands. He also boarded railroad hands in a newly built house near his shop.

The first store was established in 1830 by John Swaine and his partner, a Mr. Duncan, on the north side of Sunbury street, near Third. Drs. Robbins and Steinberger were the first physicians In 1830 or 1831 Francis Finselbach established the first brewery on the south side of Sunbury street, between First and Second streets. 

[12/12/07  I received an email this date as follows:

Tom, It is listed in the History of Minersville that the first brewer was Francis Finselbach.  His name was “Kinselbach” he was my gr gr grandfather.  He name actually was Franz Kinzelbach but he used Frank Kinselbach. I like your web site thanks,  Don Wills

Thank you Mr. Wills!]


 Among the people who came in 1829 and 1830 were Samuel Rickert, Daniel R. Bennet, N. Baker, B. McLenathan, Joseph Mills Jacob Bruner, Samuel McBride and others, whose names cannot be recalled. As before stated, the growth of the place was very rapid after 1829.
 Thomas Reed was early appointed a justice of the peace. It is said that on the re-election of Governor Snyder, Jacob Reed, his son, was also appointed, as a reward for having cast his first vote for Mr. Snyder, in opposition to the wishes of his father. The son was a magistrate here during many years, and had his office in the log house which has been mentioned as the first residence erected in the place.
The first election for borough officers was held at the house of David Buckwatler May 1st, 1831, and resulted in the choice of the following officers:
Samuel Rickert, Chief burgess
John Provost John L. Swaine
John Patrick  Dr Anthony Steinberger
 Daniel R. Bennet, John B. Hahn  Daniel Buckwalter
(all councilmen)
 Daniel R. Bennet  president of the council.
John Bruner borough treasurer
Thomas J. Harman town clerk
Milligan G. Gable high constable
 The burgesses elected since:

 Danile R. Bennet, 1832;

Jacob Bruner, 1834;

John F.G. Kumsius, 1838;

Blair McClanagan, 1839, 1843;

 Samuel Kauffman, 1842;

John Trayer, 1844, 1847, 1864, 1872;

David F. Jones, 1845;

Evan Evans, 1849, 1859;

Thomas A. Wiliams, 1857;

Moses Weiser, 1860;

John Oerther, 1861;

Joseph Thirlwell, 1863;

William Matthews, 1865;

Philip Jones, 1866;

E.M. Heilner, 1867, 1869;

John J. Rees, 1868;

Joseph Morgan, 1870;

Joseph Levan, 1876;

Frederick Friend, 1877;

Levi King, 1880.

Minersville has ten hotels, thirteen dry goods and grocery stores, a drug and hardware store, three drug stores, five green groceries, two book and stationery stores, six shoe stores, six milliners, four clothieries, two jewellers, six liquor stores, three tobacco stores, three furniture stores, a foundry and machine shop, a shoe factory, seven meat markets, two stove and tin shops, six barbers three wheelwright and blacksmith' shops, two lumber yards, two breweries, a screw factory, and a soap factory. A public hall was finished in 1876 in a block on the corner of Sunbury and Third streets, by Kear Brother. This hall is 85 by 50, and it has a stage 35 by 50, with ample scenery. The seating capacity of the hall is 700.

In or about 1837 the first public schools were taught in Minersville by Chester Stratton and his sister Eunice. These schools were opened in a framed building on South street, which was purchased in 1842 by the English Baptists. It is said that a Mr. Tomlins also taught a school about the same time, in a building still standing on the northeast corner of Fifth and Sunbury streets and occupied by Lemuel D. Jones. Minersville, thought incorporated as a borough April 1st, 1831, was at this time included in the school district consisting of Cass and Branch townships. March 7th, 1843, Minersville became a separate school district, and in September of the following year 119 pupils were admitted into the schools. The number enrolled during the term immediately preceding the division was 277. These schools were taught by Chester Stratton, Benjamin C. Christ, Miss Elizabeth A. Christ and Miss E.W. Tomlins. Dr. William N. Robins was at this time and for a number of years afterward secretary of the school board. Subsequently Mary Stratton, Rachel Morris, Arthur Connelly, Heman Hall, Jonathan J. Dickerson, Eber Dickerson, Amos Y. Thomas, a Mr. Butler, Levi King and several others were, previous to 1853, employed as teachers. In September, 1853, Jonathan K. Krewson, of Bucks county, became principal of the schools, which were then, for the first time, graded. Mr. Krewson having been elected superintendent of the public schools of Schuylkill county, J.W. Danenhower, M.D., the present incumbent, was in September, 1854, appointed to take charge of the schools as principal teacher and superintendent. The several appointments then made were as follows: High school, J.W. Danenhower teacher; grammar school, Levi King; secondary school No. 1, Ellen Parks; secondary school No. 2, Lucy Green- wood; primary school No. 1, Sarah Davis; primary school No. 2 Maggie P. Sorber. Miss Sorber taught at Minersville twenty-eight years, resigning June 30th, 1880. The high school numbered at this time about 40, and the members of the school board were Anthony S. McKee, president; William N. Robins, secretary; Chester Stratton, William Sterner, John H. Detwiler and Abraham Trout. During the term of 1854-55, a third primary school was opened and a Miss Connelly and Matilda Schenk taught that term. A two-story stone school-house containing two rooms on a floor was built in 1839, on Twin street. Schools were also opened in the basements of the Welsh Baptist and Welsh Congregational churches. The large three-story brick school-house on Third street was completed and occupied in September, 1856. It accommodated six schools, including grammar school No. 2, then just opened with Juliet Robins as teacher. The next term (1857-58) an "ungraded school", taught by Levi King, was opened for the accommodation of boys who could attend school for a short time only. This school has been continued in the winter season to the present time. In 1868 another large and commodious brick school-house was occupied; and at the same time "secondary school No. 3" (now Grammar) was started, Eliza A. Sutton teacher. The remaining rooms of this building were first occupied in 1880. Object lessons and language lessons are given in the primary schools, and drawing is taught in all the schools. Other branches were gradually added to the curriculum till the course embraced mathematics in general, with mental arithmetic and book-keeping; the natural sciences, German and a full course of English. We find the following note in the school register, dated June 30th, 1870: "Since the grade was first established, in 1853-54, there have been connected with the Minersville High School 348 pupils, of whom 157 were males and 191 were females. Of this number about 40 obtained the county or State certificate and taught school; 65 became clerks, book-keepers or merchants; and 9 are professional men." The greatest number of admissions to all the borough schools (1,141) occurred in the term of 1864-65; and the least (792) in the term of 1878-79. The first district institute was held September 18th, 1869, and it continues its meetings on alternate Saturdays. We append the names of the directors and teachers connected with the Minersville public schools since 1854: Presidents of the School Boards.- B.C. Christ, George Spencer, Louis C. Dougherty, Jacob S. Lawrence, John Sterner, Joseph C. Gartley, Solomon A. Philips. Secretaries.- Dr. William N. Robins, John Witzeman, Dr. Oscar M. Robins, David A. Jones. Other Members.- Joseph Bowen , Thomas Jones, Chester Stratton, John H. Detwiler, Frederick Roehrig, James H. Richards, Jacob Maurer, John D. Jones, John R. Jones, Dr. U.B. Howell, John Shellenberger, John Mohan, Jacob Osman, Engelhard Hummel, Wil- liam Lloyd, James Evans, Richard Evans, Dr. Theodore Helwig, Frank C. Lawrence, Henry Hammer, Mark Hodges. Teachers.-J.W. Danenhower, Levi King, A.J. Gerritson, Richard Humphriss, C.C. Carpenter, Thomas P. Davis, James G. Cleveland, George W. Channell, H.H. Spayd, Joseph Jones, Dennis O'Neill, Lemuel D. Jones, Maggie P.Sorber, Matilda Schenk, Ruth A. Smith, Ann Williams, Sallie Humphriss, Sarah Davis, Mary Lloyd, Martha Jones, Sallie Sixsmith, Christie Snyder, Sallie Bowen, Lizzie Beach, Ettie Prevost, Emma C. Hoffman, Juliet Robins, Lottie Trout, Minnie Aspril, Jennie Dier, Susie Sterner, Sarah J. Hoch, Eliza A. Sutton, Kate E. Auld, Essie Dier, Alice Robins, Estelle Williams, Kate S. Richards, Mary Dando, Mary J. McDonald, Hattie M. Telford.


The Schuylkill Republican was established in December, 1872, by Charles D. Elliot and John A. Beck, both of whom had been connected with the "Miners' Journal". It entered at once on a prosperous career, and assumed an influential position as a Republican organ. In November, 1874, Mr. Beck retired from the firm, and the paper was conducted by Mr. Elliot till September, 1879, when J.H. Zerby, the present editor and proprietor, purchased the establishment. Mr. Zerby had been connected with the Republican in different capacities from its commencements, and he feels a just pride in the fact that he became an editor at the age of twenty-one.

The First National Bank of Minersville was incorporated in 1863, under the national banking system, with a capital of $50,000. The first directors were Richard Kear, Samuel Kauffman, Jacob Wist, Jacob S. Lawrence, John Witzeman, John Mohan and John Wadlinger. The presidents of this bank have been, in succession, Richard Kear, Jacob S. Lawrence, William Kear, and Jacob Lawrence, the present president. The first cashier was Samual Kauffman, who was succeeded by the present cashier, Robert F. Potter. The banking house, which is owned by the bank, is on the corner of Sunbury and North Third streets. The Minersville Iron Works was founded in 1838 by William De Haven. It was at first a blacksmith shop and a car shop. A foundry, machine shop and boiler works were soon added; and the shops were enlarged as the increase of business required till they reached their present dimensions. Mr. De Haven conducted the business till his death, and in 1864 the present firm, Gastler & Fox, purchased the works, and the business has since been conducted by this firm. At first the business was limited to machinery for collieries; but it has been much expanded and made to embrace a very wide range. The works have a capacity for a business of $200,000 per annum. The Minersville Water Company was incorporated by an act of Assembly passed April 30th, 1855. Under this act the company was organized in 1856, with William Sterner president. Water was introduced in the borough in 1861. It was brought from Big run or Dyer's run on Broad mountain, four miles north from the borough, in pipes which pass through Mine Hill Gap. The dam from which the pipes are supplied is 470 feet higher than the lowest point in the borough, giving a pressure sufficient to throw an inch and a quarter stream to a height of 120 feet, of course obviating all necessity for fire engines. Pipes are laid through all the principal streets of the borough, which is supplied with water of a purity not excelled. The engineer under whom the work was laid out was Samuel Lewis.

[Mountaineer][Good Will][Independent] [Rescue Hook & Ladder]

The fire department, of which Jacob S. Lawrence has long been the head, consists of three hose companies and a hook and ladder company.
Mountain Hose Company
was organized August 15th, 1864, with 31 members. John Hehr was the first president, Jacob S. Lawrence vice-president, H.C. Taylor secretary, and R.R. Levan treasurer. The company is fully equipped with hose-cart and hose. Its house is in Mountaineer Hall, corner of Third and Sunbury streets. The present number of members is 27. George F. Dando is president, Myer Hexter vice-president, and C.H. Roehrig secretary.

Good Will Hose Company
was incorporated September 2nd, 1867, with Matthew Beddow president, John Mohan vice-president, F.C. Bender secretary, and John Wadlinger treasurer. The company is fully equipped and has three full sets of uniforms. J.W. Loeser is president and A.W. Sterner secretary.

Independent Hose Company
was organized in 1869, with 35 mem- bers and the following officers: John Mohan, president, W.J. McElroy, vice-president, H.J. Mohan, secretary, Wm. Matthews, treasurer. The company furnished their own hose carriage and uniforms. The present number of members is 25. The officers are: T. Mohan, president, Matthias Feeney, vice-president, W.J. McElroy, secretary. The company's house is on Sunbury street, above Fifth.

Rescue Hook and Ladder Company
was organized October 11th, 1871, with 26 members. John Matthews was president, John Robbins vice president, John N. Fisher secretary, John Deitrich treasurer, and John N. Fisher foreman. The company were furnished with apparatus by the borough, and furnished their own uniforms. Their house is on the corner of Third street and the railroad. The present number of members is 34. The officers are: Richard D. Mainwaring president, Joseph Dando vice-president, John N. Fisher secretary, Ivor D. Jones assistant secretary and treasurer.

Social Lodge, No. 56, I.O.O.F. was the instituted in 1837, with the following officers: Charles H. Fitch, N.G.; Jacob F. Thumm, V.G.; John Bruner, S.; Charles Warn, Asst. S.; John Thurlwell, T. It has maintained an uninterrupted and a prosper- ous existence since its institution. The lodge holds, by its trustees, $3,670 of stock in Odd Fellows' Hall, a brick building on the south side of Sunbury street, between Second and Third streets, where it meets every Wednesday evening. The present number of members is 140. The officers are: John L. Williams, N.G.; Alexander Scott, V.G.; John T. Parry, S.; John W. Jones, Asst. S., and Cyrus Moore, T.

Anthracite Lodge, No. 136, I.O.O.F. was instituted November 20th, 1846. The charter members were: John P. Harris, N.G.; B.C. Christ, V.G.; William H. Cherrington, S.; E.P. Burkert, Asst. S.; Augustus Witman, T. It has always prospered, and now holds, by its trustees, $1,882 of stock in Odd Fellow's Hall. The present number of members is 77. The present officers are; Thomas Tovey, N.G,; Daniel Roberts, V.G.; S.A. Phillips, S.; Thomas Morgan, Asst. S.; Abraham Hexter, T.; Abraham Hexter, William L. Killinger and Ivor D. Jones, trustees.

Minersville Lodge, No. 222, F.&A.M. was instituted December 2nd, 1846. The charter members were: William M. Robbins, W.M.; Samuel Gumpert, S.W.; S.C. Foster, J.W. Lewis, secretary; J.F.G. Kumsius and Samuel Heilner, deacons; Moritz Heilner, Tyler. The present number of members is 90. The present officers are: William T. Beach, W.M.; Samuel Taylor, S.W.; Jacob Faust, J.W.; J.F.G. Kumsius, secretary; Cyrus Moore, treasurer. The lodge meets at Odd Fellows' Hall on the Tuesday next preceding each full moon. Schuylkill Chapter, No. 159, R.A.M. was reinstated at Pottsville, July 19th, 1847, with the following officers: B. Potts, H.P.; D.N. Robbins, K.; S. Gumpert, S.; John C. Loessig, treasurer; and J.F.G. Kumsius, secretary. Its place of meeting was at Pottsville till 1849, then till 1852 alternately at that place and Minersville, and since that year it has met regularly at Minersville, and since that year it has met regularly on Thursday at or before each full moon. The present officers are: William Clark, H.P.; S.A. Phillips, K.; James Murray, S.; F. Bedford, treasurer; and J.F.G. Kumsius, secretary.

The German Beneficial Society was organized August 10th, 1853, for mutual aid in sickness. The charter members were Englehard Hummel, Frank Reifer, Michael Weierich, Christian Weber, Peter Burkhard, Friederich Molly, Daniel Young, Philip Flarres, Anthony Panley,Jacob Kerfer and Theodore Ludes. The first officers were: Englehard Hummel, president; Michael Weierich, secretary; Frank Reifer, treasurer. The society meets on the first Wednesday in each month at Pauley's Hall. The present officers are: Balthasar Hummel, president; Christian Weber, secretary, and Michael Pauley, Treasurer.

Sons of America. -The charter of Washington Camp, No. 46, P.O.S. of A. was granted March 19th, 1857, to the follow members: H.C. Taylor, John S. DeSilva, N.B. Moore, M.B. Musser, John Thi- rlwell, C.M. Brumm, George Spencer, R.R. Levan, John T. Freck, William H. Dier and Simeon Wythes. The first principal officers were: H.C. Taylor, P.P.; John S. DeSilva, P.; N.V. Moore, V.T. The camp continued its work till the outbreak of the Rebellion, when all its members who were eligible enlisted in the army, leaving scarcely a quorum behind. Several years after the close of the war the camp suspended, but it was soon rechartered, and now it has a membership of 125. The present officers are: A. Roehrig, P.P.; George Merkel, P., and Meyer Hexter, V.P. The trustees are R.R. Levan, George Merkel and A. Roehrig.

 Steuben Lodge, No. 112, A.D.O.H. was instituted May 7th, 1861. The first officers were Conrad Seltzer, Louis Pfeilsticker, George Oerther, Paul Neugart, Henry Oerther and John Oerther. The other members were Louis Freund, David Neiser, Henry Steffee, Henry Buech, Daniel Holpp, Valentine Gerlach, Frederick Abendroth, ------ Abraham, Andreas Heckman, Michael Clenems, John Kern, Daniel Young, Henry George and William Halbaur. The present officers are Frederick Zimmerman, Jacob Orf, August Orf and Michael Ferg. There were two lodges, one of the U.D.O.H. and one of the A.D.O.H. Their principles were the same, and in 1870 they unit- ed. The lodge meets at Felsburg's Hall on the first and third Monday in each month.

 Captain George J. Lawrence Post G.A.R., No. 17, was instituted December 17th, 1886, with 24 charter members, of whom C.M. Brumm was P.C. The post was named in honor of Captain George J. Lawrence, Company A 129th Pa. V., who died of wounds received at the battle of Fredericksburg. Of the comrades in this post G.L. Brown has held the office of department commander. The present officers are: R.R. Levan, P.C.; Elijah Hoffman, S.V.C.; D.H. Zimmerman, J.V.C.; R.F. Potter, L.M.; A.W. Sterner, adjutant; William Kuehn, C.; George L. Brown, O.D.; Thomas Fowler, O.G.: John Lawrence, I.S.; John Hass, O.S. The C. of A. are J.H. Levan, G.L. Brown and Joseph Schmidt. The post meets every Wednesday evening at its headquarters in Odd Fellows' Hall.

 The Frugal Saving Fund and Building Association of Minersville was organized in 1872, with John Miller president, Charles R. Taylor secretary and F.C. Lawrence treasurer. The eleventh series of shares is now being issued. The present total number is 381. The present officers are: A.J. Crawford, president; Albert Roehrig, secretary, and James Murray, treasurer.

 Flower of Charity Lodge, No. 24, Cambro-American Order of True Ivorites is a branch of a Welsh benevolent association established at Wrexham, North Wales, in 1836. It was named in honor of Ivor Llewellyn, more generally known among the Welsh people as "Ifor Gael", a charitable Welsh gentleman, Lord of Maesley and Wenaltt. The society has flourished greatly, and it has thousands of members both in Great Britain and America. The first lodge of this order in America was established a few years since at St. Clair in this county. November 15th, 1873, Flower of Charity Lodge was instituted at Minersville, with the following charter members: John D. Evans, Stephen Lewis, Watkin Price. David J. Harris, Job R. Jones, John L. Anwyt, David T. Lloyd, John W. Davis, Morgan Howard, Edmond Edmonds, Thomas R. Jones and William T. Davis. The first chief officers were: David J. Harris, President; John D. Evans, vice-president; Job R. Jones, secretary; Mark Hodges, treasurer. The present officers are; Thomas R. Jones, president; John D. Evans, vice-president; Joseph Turner, secretary; Mark Hodges, treasurer. The lodge meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month in O'Malley's Hall. This society is not only beneficial in its character, but it has also a literary feature. One of its objects is to maintain the Welsh language pure and intact; and to that end its business is done entirely in that tongue. To further the objects for which this lodge was established (benevolence and maintenance of Welsh literature), an Eisteddfod was held under its auspices in 1876 and another in 1878. These added to the treasury of the lodge $180. This society continues in a flourishing condition and does its share to ameliorate that distress which would cover the land but for the opportune aid of benevolent associations.


Horeb Welsh Baptist Church was first organized in 1831, and during two years William Owen preached occasionally to the small congregation in a rented room, but the society was not prosperous. It was reorganized in 1834 with 14 constituent members. Rev. William Morgans and Rev. Theophilus Jones officiated at its reorganization, and the former, who was the pastor of a church at Pottsville, preached to the congregation during several years. He was succeeded by a resident pastor, Rev. John P. Harris, who remained in charge during 17 years. He was followed by Revs. John Spincer James, John Roberts, Owen Griffiths, and John B. Jones, the last regular pastor. There were other brief pastorates that are not remembered. The first house of worship was a small wooden structure, built in 1835 and 1836, on the corner of Church and Spencer streets. In 1847 the present church building was erected on the same corner. It is of wood, 40 by 50, with a abasement and gal- lery. The present membership is about 65. The Sunday-school of this church was organized in 1837. The superintendent have been changed nearly every year. The number of scholars has ranged from 50 to 300. The school has a large library.

The First Congregational Church of Minersville (Welsh) was organized in 1836. The first church edifice (12 by 14 feet) was on the corner of North and Second streets. It was consecrated April 1st, 1834. The second stood on a portion of the site of the present building. It was 30 feet square and its cost was $700. It was consecrated December 25th, 1840. The present house of worship stands on the south side of Sunbury street, between Third and Fourth. It is a brick structure, 38 by 55, and it was erected at an expense of $4,000. It was dedicated February 9th, 1848. The pastors and the terms of their pastorates have been: Revs. E.B. Evans, 8 years; R.R. Williams, 18; J.E. Jones, M. Watkins, and D.T. Davis, 4 years each. Sunday-schools have been maintained from the beginning. The present number of scholars is about 120.

Methodist Episcopal Churches.- Minersville was made a regular preaching appointment, in connection with Pottsville Methodist Episcopal Church, during the pastorate of Rev. H.G. King, 1834- 35. He first preached in McPherson's (afterwards Trout's) store, now occupied by J.K. Burns as a drug store, Second and Sunbury streets. In 1836 Rev. James B. Ayars, who was established at Potts- ville, formed the first class as the result if a camp-meeting held on the site of the Gate Vein colliery. This class was held in the house of Joseph Dobbins, Father of Rev. J.B. Dobbins, now of the Philadelphia Conference; the latter was a member of this class. In 1837, during the pastorate of Rev. Thomas Sovereign, a neat frame church was built on the site of the present one. It was dedicated on the last Sabbath of November, Rev. James W. Dandy preaching in the morning; Rev. John Jones, a local preach- er, preached in Welsh in the afternoon; Rev. Thomas Sovereign preached at night. In 1838 Minersville M. E. Church was connected with Orwigsburg Mission and served by Rev. James Flannery. In 1839 it was associated again with Pottsville charge, Rev. William Cooper and Rev. William H. Elliot being the preachers. In 1840 Rev. J.B. Hagany and Rev. J. W. Arthur were in charge. In 1841 Minersville M. E. Church was made a separate charge, Rev. L.K. Berridge being the pastor. In 1842 Rev. James Aspril was the minister, and in 1843 Rev. William Campbell, who enlarged the church building. In 1844 this society united with Pottsville under Rev. R.W. Thomas and David Titus. In 1846 Minersville M.E. Church became a separate station again, Rev. Newton Heston being pastor. The pastors since have been: 1847, 1848, Joseph H. Wythes; 1849, 1850, Rev. P. Hallowell; 1851, 1852, Rev. J.B. McCullough (who built the present church); 1853, 1854, Rev. J.E. Meredith; 1855, 1856, Rev. J. Humphries; 1857, 1858, Rev. R.M. Greenbank; 1859, Rev. B.F. Price; 1860, 1861, Rev. J.F. Meredith; 1862, 1863, Rev. J.H. Turner; 1864, 1865, Rev. Joseph Aspril; 1866-1868 Rev. Noble Frame, during whose pastorate the church building was thoroughly repaired, reseated and frescoed; 1869, 1870, Rev. J.M. Dalrymple; 1871, 1872, Rev. G.G. Rakestraw; 1873, 1874, Rev. George Heacock; 1875, 1876, Rev. J.M. Hinson; 1877, 1878, Rev. G.D. Carrow; 1879, 1880, Rev. H.H. Bodine. The last name, who is now serving the charge, furnished this historical sketch of his church. The first year the church was made a separate charge (1841) the membership numbered 85; the present membership is 275. The Sunday-school was started in 1830 by Peter Stroup, but no regular Sunday-school society was organized until 1838. James Russel was president; Thomas Bayley was vice-president; S.G. Dobbins, treasurer and J.B. Dobbins, secretary. From July 3d, 1838, J.B. Dobbins, was superintendent until 1841, when he entered the Methodist ministry. His successors as superintendent have been Samuel G. Dobbins, William Oldknow. William V. Stroup, Isaiah Wells (fourteen years), Rev. W. Dalrymple, Rev. G.G. Rakestraw, Albert Roehrig, Thomas Lawrence, Rev. H.H. Bodine and William Mapstone. From 1847 to 1855 the number of scholars varied from 137 to 160; the present membership is about 300. In 1854 the infant school was organized by Mrs. Lucy A. Strenbeck and numbered 30 scholars. She was superintendent until 1871; then Mrs. Heilner, her daughter, until 1878, and since then Miss Lizzie Christ, Miss Mary Kissinger, and in 1880 Mrs. Heilner again. The class now numbers about 100. October 28th, 1859, the school held its first anniversary, when addresses were by Rev. B.F. Price, the pastor of the church, and Benjamin Haywood. In July, 1871, the Berean Lesson Leaves were introduced. The present officers are: William Mapstone, superintendent; George Tovey, assistant superintendent; Miss Lizzie Christ, female superintendent; Calvin Phillips, secretary; William Richards, assistant secretary; Matthew Deal, librarian; G.W. Heckman, treasurer. The missionary money contributed by the school since 1853 amounts to $3,074.

The "First English Baptist Church of Minersville" was organized May 14th, 1840. Its constituent members were George Lewis, Aaron Kelly and James Rowe and their wives, Thomas Williams, Edmund Holt, Susanna Vaughn, Eliza Bacon, and Hannah Spencer. In a rented house on the northeast corner of Second and North streets, which had formerly been occupied by the Welsh Baptist and the Welsh Congregational churches, this church held its first meetings. Here a Sunday-school was organized, with George Lewis as superintendent. In 1842 the church bought a small framed school- house on South street, in which for several years if met for worship. This was subsequently sold in order to secure an eligible lot on the northwest corner of Third and South streets. Upon this lot was erected in 1865 the present framed church building, 30 by 40 feet. Before it was built preaching services and Sun- day-school had some time been held in the Odd Fellows' Hall on Sunbury street. The superintendent of the school was J.W. Danenhower. It has often numbered more than 100 pupils. From the organization of the church till the spring of 1841, Rev. G.M. Spratt was pastor; then Rev. A.B. Wright six months; Rev. A.M. Tyler till April, 1873; Rev. J.R. Morris from April 1st, 1844, till Dec. 18th, 1847; Rev. John R. Ross from July to November, 1848; Rev. John M. Lyons from December 31st, 1851, till October 25th, 1852; J.H. Brittain from July 31st, 1862, till August 30th, 1863; Rev. A.B. Pendleton from November 8th, 1863, till April 1st, 1864; Rev. Theophilus Jones from September 11th, 1864, till January 1st, 1866; Rev. A.J. Hastings from August 12th, 1866, till September 3rd, 1867; Rev. D.T. Davis from Sep- tember 21st,1873, till July 25th, 1875. Although this church has had repeated accessions to its member ship it has rarely for any length of time been entirely self-sustaining, owing mainly, perhaps, to the removal of many of its members to distant places. During the ten years from 1852 to 1862, when the church was pastorless, Revs. J.H. Castle and R.H. Austin, both of Pottsville, frequently supplied the pulpit. From September 19th, 1869, to April 29th, 1872, Rev. A.H. Sembower, in connection with his pastorate of the Pottsville Baptist Church, supplied this church. For several years past, Rev. A. Myers, of Pottsville, has with much acceptance supplied the pulpit a part of the time and has rendered some pastoral services. Since 1871 Dr. J.W. Danenhower has frequently officiated as a supply; and in this service he has been greatly assisted by Professor H.H. Spayd, who became a licentiate of the church in 1878. Emmanuel's Church (Reformed) was organized in 1840. Among the first members were Messrs. A. Goufer, M. Merkle and one Weaver. The pastors of this congregation and the years of their pastorates, as nearly as can be learned, have been: Revs. ----- First, 184-: C.Y. Hoofmeir, 1847; Jacob Kline, 1857; J.B. Poerner, 1865; C.A. Rittenhaus, 1868; F. Dechant, 1871; J.A. Schultz, 1874, and D.M. Christman, 1880. The congregation worshiped (sic) in the Lutheran church building till 1867, when their present house of worship was erected. It stands on the corner of Church and Centre streets. It is of brick, 36 by 54. The building committee were G. Wagner, W. Dernbargh and G. Gable. A Sunday-school is maintained by this congregation.

St. Vincent de Paul Church.-The Roman Catholic parish of St. Vincent de Paul was established in January, 1846, with Rev. Hugh P.Fitzsimmons, then assistant at St. Patrick's church, Pottsville, as the first pastor. Father Fitzsimmons, upon assuming charge of the parish, erected a small frame building, 20 by 30 feet, in the cemetery lot, where he celebrated mass for his flock. On April 21st, 1846, digging for the foundation walls of a new church 50 by 100 feet, was commenced, and the cornerstone of the building was laid the following August by Bishop Newman, of Philadelphia, in the presence of a large number of the clergy and about three thousand people from the surrounding districts. A sermon was preached by Rev. Father McElhone, from Philadelphia. The church building was under roof the following Christmas, and the first mass celebrated therein by the pastor. This new parish of St. Vincent de Paul in those days covered an area of about 240 miles; extending in a westerly direction 30 miles, and 8 miles from north to south; having a Catholic popu- lation of 7,000 souls. The church was only partially finished under the pastoral charge of Father Fitzsimmons. August 12th, 1884, Rev. Michael Malone was appointed pastor of this church, who finished the interior of the building, and in August, 1860, adorned it exteriorly by building a tower at its southern extrem- ity at cost of $700. In December, 1861, he placed therein the present very handsome bell, weighing 1,086 pounds and costing $403. In 1852 Rev. Father Malone built a very handsome brick pasto- ral residence, 40 by 60 feet, two and a half stories high, ad- joining the church, at a cost of about $4,000. Father Malone very often attended sick calls at a distance of 40 miles from the church. He died April 16th, 1877, having been pastor of this church for 28 years and 8 months. His remains lie in a vault in front of the church, on Sunbury street. The pastors who succeeded him are: Revs. James McGeveran, P.J. Egan (deceased), John Scanlan and the present pastor, Matthew P. O'Brien, appointed by Archbishop Wood, of Philadelphia, October 27th, 1879. He is now engaged in making improvements and additions to the church by frescoing the walls and ceiling, painting the pews, erecting three altars (the main altar to be marble), and building a sacristy 16 by 18 feet. The present Catholic population of the parish is about 2,200 souls.

 St. Paul's Church (P.E.) was incorporated in 1845. The corporators were George Spencer, Robert, William, Andrew, Thomas and George Patten (brothers), John and George Scott, Henry Ellis, Frederick Longabach, John Wightman, William Best, William N. Robbins, S. Heilner and Joseph Wightman. The church edifice was built in 1849. It stands on North Second street, and the site was donated by Joseph Jeanes. It is a wooden building 40 by 50. By reasons of inaccessibility of the records a complete list of the rectors cannot be given. The following are remembered: Revs. Marmaduke Hirst, Robert B. Peet, Harrison Byllesby, William Wright, ---- Pastorius, A.E. Fortat, George B. Allen, J. Thompson Carpenter, Luther Wolcott, F.W. Winslow. The present paster (sic) is John W. Koons.

German Lutheran Church.--One of the first Protestant organizations in Minersville was the "German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Congregation." The date of its organization is not known. The first officers mentioned were Philip Merkle, Joseph Reber, Carl Koller, Jacob Farne, S. Heilner, Heinrich Henig and Jacob F. Thumm. The first place of worship was a school-house, but on the 21st of June, 1849, the corner stone of the present church building was laid, on the corner of Lewis and Fourth streets. This house was afterward remodeled and improved. The first pastor was Rev. William G. Mennig, whose pastorate terminated about 1859. He was succeeded by Daniel Sanner, and he in 1871 by Rev. G. F. Guensch, the present pastor. The membership is more than 300. The present church council consists of W. Baker, Engle Scanner, Jonas Laubenstein, Michael Ferg, William Neudhard, Adolph Kuhns and Peter Drummeler. The Sunday-school numbers about 160 scholars and 28 teachers. John Heilner is the superintendent.

English Lutheran Church.- This congregation was organized in 1851. Daniel Hock and Isaac Straub were the first elders; Levi Dietrich and Joseph Weaver the first deacons. The congregation first worshiped (sic) in a small Baptist church on South street; thence removed to Odd Fellows' Hall, on the south east corner of Sunbury and Second streets, being, supplied with preaching by Rev. Daniel Steck of Pottsville. During that time the present church was erected, and in the autumn of 1853 it was dedicated. It is a wooden, 40 by 60, on the corner of Third and Church streets. The following are the names of the pastors who have served the congregation: Revs. J.K. Kast, Jacob Steck, E.A. Auld, H.C.Shindle, Charles Fickinger, R. Wiser, J.B. Anthony, A.M. Warner, and the present pastor, I.P. Neff.

 St. Mary's Church of Mount Carmel (German Catholic) was built about 1855, on Second street in the north part of the borough. It is a brick building, 50 by 66. From the baptismal record it appears that Rev. Matthew Joseph Meurer was the pastor till 1859. Then the church was a mission, attended by several priests from Pottsville, till 1866, when Rev. Anthony Schwarze, the present pastor, took charge. According to an estimate from the number of baptisms it appears that the number of souls in the church at first was about 720. At present there are fifty families.

Zoar Baptist Church (Welsh).- This church was organized in 1874, with R. M. Richardson pastor and fifty constituent members. The same year the present church edifice was built, on North street a short distance from Fourth. It is a wooden house, 36 by 60. Mr. Richardson continued in charge till 1877, since which there has been no regular pastor. A Sunday-school was organized in 1874 with William Kendrick superintendent, and about 90 scholars. The superintendents have since been many times charged, William M. Evans holds the posi- tion at present. The number of scholars is 60. The library has about 150 volumes.