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Ancestors of William Huffman Miller

Generation No. 7

      78. Peter Arnold Karthaus, born January 22, 1765 in Remschide, Germany48; died Abt. October 184148. He married 79. Anna Maria Magdalen Hermes Abt. January 178848.

      79. Anna Maria Magdalen Hermes, born October 17, 176648; died April 03, 181548.

Notes for Peter Arnold Karthaus:

By Ed I. Gilliland

The Historian Sherman Day says; "We are more familiar with the history of England, Rome or Greece' and with the career of Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon than with the events that have occurred in our own vicinity. Yes, even in the very fields that we ourselves are tilling."

The reader of the Public Spirit is reminded of the truth of the above quotation when we turn to inquire who were the pioneers of the part of our county in which we reside. We know the county was once a vast wilderness wherein the red man roamed, and with the panther, wolf and bear held undisputed away. Now how changed: the red man has passed westward towards the setting sun, the scream of the panther and howl of the wolf are no longer heard. Churches and school houses crown our hill tops, pretty farm houses dot our slopes and valleys, busy industries on all our streams and towns and villages in every township.

We naturally inquire and desire to know to whom we are indebted for this great' change. Who struck the first blows for civilization? These inquiries in all cases cannot be satisfactorily answered: the period has passed for compiling a faultless history of our township. Over eighty years have passed since the pioneer first set foot within our borders. What we learn has mostly come down to us through former generations, and is traditional only in part what we desire to know. Most of our pioneers have passed beyond the boundary of time.

The starting point in our history dates back to the year 1814. For ten years or more improvement was slow. Coal, iron ore and tinator were in abundance but in a great measure unavailable. The floating of logs and rafts to the markets of the lower Susquehanna had not yet been demonstrated. Railroads were yet unknown and the only way to reach the markets of Harrisburg and Columbia with our coal and iron was in arks and flat boats by the most precarious ways of the Susquehanna River.

Peter Arnold Karthaus, Sr., in whose honor our township was named, was born in the city of Hamburg, Germany, in the year 1765. He emigrated to America in 1796, when 31 years of age. Shortly after his arrival he established himself in the mercantile business in the city of Baltimore, MD. Having considerable means and being successful as a merchant he soon gained great commercial influence.

When the war of 1812 broke out between the United States and England, Karthaus being of a ventur some disposition, purchased several vessels and fitted them out as blockade runners and traded with the West Indies. Towards the close of the war he owned three vessels, which sailed under letters of "Marque11 issued by the Government. Their names were Bordeaux, Thetis and Pike. These he loaded with flour and provisions and cleared from Baltimore for St. Bartholomew, West Indies. Although the British vessels of war patrolled Chesapeake Bay on the lookout for blockade runners Karthaus' fleet succeeded in reaching their destination in safety.

J.. F. W. Schnars, one of our pioneers, was on board the "Pike" and had control of the venture as super cargo. After exchanging his stores for colonial produce he set sail on his return to the United States. This time the British were more alert. Off the Coast of Bermuda a clop of war hove in sight and gave chase. The three vesse1s separated and each took a different course. The sloop of war singled out the Bordeaux as the largest and richest prize, and soon overhauled and captured her. Night coming on the others crowded on all sail and escaped. The "Pike steered for the Delaware capes and reached Philadelphia in safety, while the "Thetis", with Supercargo Schnars on board, ran the gauntlet of British war vessels into Egg Harbor, on the coast of New Jersey, and shipped her cargo overland to Philadelphia.

This adventure cured Karthaus of the sea. He sold his remaining vessels and turned his attention to other and less perilous pursuits. About the year 1811 he purchased in connection with others, several tracts of land in Clearfield county bordering on the Little Moshannon creek. He was also a member of the Allegheny Coal Co., which owned lands adjoining him and included all of the present Horse Shoe.

Rev. Frederick W. Geisenhainer, of New York City, also a native of Germany, who was an eminent divine of the Lutheran church, to divert his mind from the loss of loved ones, had also purchased an interest in the Coal company and turned his attention to the development of their lands. The existence of the great anthracite coal basin of Pennsylvania was known but its qualities had not yet been ascertained and no one dreamed of it ever becoming so valuable and indispensable as an article of fuel. Bituminous coal was used for all purposes and was in very great demand at this time. To open new fields to supply their ever-increasing demand gave rise to the Allegheny Coal Company. Among its stockholders was P. A. Karthaus,

F. W. Geisenhainer and Harmon Young. At a meeting held in the year 1813 in New York, Rev. Geisenhainer was chosen General Superintendent and Harmon Young President of the company.

Another of our pioneers was George Philip Guelich. On his arrival in New York in 1812 he went direct to the house of Rev. Geisenhainer, as they had been school mates in the F'atherland.

Charles and a brother of Guelich had been employed by the Coal Company and sent out to prospect for coal on the "Ringold tract," on Clearfield creek. On their return to New York city they gave such a flowing description of that country that Rev. Geisenhainer employed George Philip Guelich to go out and explore the lands of Karthaus' and the Alleghney Coal Company bordering on the Moshannon creek. They deferred starting until December, a very unfavorable time in which to explore a new country. Tradition says that Guelich arrived at Muncy the week before Christmas, where he procured a canoe and needed stores and accompanied by Joseph Richie, he attempted to ascend the river to the Little Moshannon. After a severe struggle with snow and ice they reached and canoed on Birch Island. The weather was getting colder; they found it impossible to push there

laden canoe against the slush-ice in the stream, concluded to return to Muncy before the river, the then only highway, would be closed. During the winter1 by Rev. Geisenhainer's orders1 Guelich had two boats built, and in the early spring with them laden with tools and provisions again set out. This time he was accompanied by John Frazer and James Bowman.

After a fatiguing journey of several days they reached the Little Moshannon on the evening of April 8, lBl4, and camped on its banks. The next day George Philip Guelich felled the first tree ever cut in Karthaus Township and commenced the erection of a cabin. This was completed on Good Friday. Six weeks followed of hard work, clearing land on which to build log houses for those who would be engaged in the future operations of the Coal Co.

Some time in June 0 F. J. Junge arrived in a flat board with fresh supplies and additional help. Junge had been sent out by the company as manager and at once assumed direction of all improvements.

Shortly after his arrival a difference on some matters concerning the work sprange up between Junge and Guelich, and the latter determined to return to New York. Between Karthaus and Big Island (Lock Haven) he met Rev. Frederick W. Geisenhainer with two large flat boats. Geisenhainer was accompanied by his wife and son1 John Reiter, Sr., wife and four children, and seven other German families. (The names of these seven families cannot be ascertained.) The party had pushed their boats from Harrisburg. Rev. Geisenhainer wanted Guelich to return with him and he would arrange matters so there would no be frictions between him and Junge, but he refused. Finally he was prevailed upon to go up to the Company's land on Clearfield creek and assume the management there.

Through this difference with Lungo, Karthaus Township lost its first pioneer. Fifty years ago the name of George Phillip Guehlich was known in every household in our county. He was known for his upright, Christian character and scholarly attainments. He was called a Lutheran. His walk and conversation stamped him a sincere, Christian gentleman. Guelich Township perpetuates his name.

Rev. Geisenhainer continued to clear land now embraced in the present Karthaus. Also, in connection with Harmon Young founded Youngstown. This town between the S & C.R.R. water tank and farm of Geo. Emerick estate, about one half mile from Karthaus and on the Horse Shoe lands. Here the first store and first school in our township was located.

Young1 or the Allegheny Coal Co., commenced to mine coals by the stripping process. The veins were stripped of the earth and other overlying substances; then the coal being thus exposed was dug. The next question that arose was the getting of the coal to market. The only way was to transport it down the Susquehanna in arks. But how to get the arks built in a country without sawmills and nail factories was a puzzler. Arks were finally built out of hewn planks, put together with wooden pins, of a capacity of from 800 to 1000 bushels.




6301 TUDOR WAY 214

Children of Peter Karthaus and Anna Hermes are:
  i.   John Peter Karthaus, born Abt. 1788.
  ii.   Catherine Dorthea Karthaus, born December 22, 1789 in Remschide, Germany48; died December 04, 1866 in Massillon, Stark, OH48; married Ferdinand Godfried Hurxthal March 08, 180848; born October 18, 177948; died December 01, 1858 in Massillon, Stark, OH48.
  iii.   John Gotlieb Karthaus, born December 11, 179248; died Abt. 179648
  39 iv.   Caroline Wilhemina Karthaus, born August 02, 1795 in Remschide, Germany; died August 15, 1844; married Lewis Hurxthal.
  v.   Peter Arnold Karthaus, born September 02, 179948; died Abt. 186048
  vi.   Fredericka Karthaus, born June 25, 180248; died WFT Est. 1830-189648; married Keidel WFT Est. 1830-186448; born WFT Est. 1785-180548; died WFT Est. 1830-189148.
  vii.   Regina Rosina Karthaus, born June 27, 180548; died WFT Est. 1806-189948
  viii.   Emelia Karthaus, born January 04, 180848; died WFT Est. 1809-190248

      80. John Huffman, born January 01, 1756 in Berks, PA; died 1824 in Vincennes, Knox Co. IN. He was the son of 160. Michael HUFFMAN. He married 81. Nancy Sprinkle 1786.

      81. Nancy Sprinkle, born 1764 in York County, PA; died in Knox, IN. She was the daughter of 162. John Michael Sprinkle and 163. Maria Elisabeth Weigel.

Notes for John Huffman:
John Huffman was born 1 Jan 1759 Pennsylvania. He died 1824 and buried Herman Cemetery, Knox County. He married Margaret Upp and second wife Nancy Sprinkle married 1786. The soldier's will mentions the following children: George; Michael; Betsey; Polly; Peggy; Sally; Caty, a daughter; Solomon; Samuel; James; Jacob; Nancy; Hannah; Eliza; Harriet; William. Source Page 199, Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana, 1938.

More About John Huffman:
Burial: Herman Cemetary, Knox, IN

  Notes for Nancy Sprinkle:
Her parents and quite a large extended family moved to Henderson County, Kentucky in 1791 probably via Redstone, PA. Some of the family then moved on to Knox County, IN.
Children of John Huffman and Nancy Sprinkle are:
  40 i.   Solomon Huffman, born 1750; married Fanny Ann Purcell February 21, 1827 in Vincennes, Indiana Knox County.
  ii.   Sally Huffman
  iii.   Caty Huffman
  iv.   Hannah Huffman
  v.   Jacob Huffman
  vi.   William Huffman
  vii.   Eliza Huffman
  viii.   James Huffman
  ix.   Nancy Huffman, born May 25, 1805 in PA; died June 27, 1880 in Monroe City, Knox, IN; married James Douglas WILLIAMS; born January 16, 1808 in Pickaway, Ohio; died November 20, 1880 in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana.
  x.   Harriet Huffman
  xi.   Samuel Huffman

      82. William Purcell, born July 31, 1761; died May 06, 1842. He married 83. Margaret Lang.

      83. Margaret Lang, born October 25, 1771; died April 25, 1840.

Notes for William Purcell:
Lived in Randolph Co. VA, Tiger Valey near Winchester also near Romney.
Children of William Purcell and Margaret Lang are:
  i.   Eveline Purcell
  41 ii.   Fanny Ann Purcell, born May 26, 1809; died August 02, 1873; married Solomon Huffman February 21, 1827 in Vincennes, Indiana Knox County.

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