History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



HARVEY S. KISER, of Doylestown, one of the rising younger members of the Bucks county bar, was born in Springfield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1871, and is a son of Edwin and Emma (Selner) Kiser, the former of whom is serving his second term as county commissioner.

     The first paternal ancestor of this branch of the Kiser family of whom we have any knowledge was Frederick Kiser, said to have been a native of Germany.  He settled in Durham township near the Nockamixon line in 1773, having first appeared as a communicant of Nockamixon Lutheran church in June, 1773.  November 21, 1774, he purchased Tract No. 19 of the Durham Tract, containing 145 acres and 25 perches, and lying along the Nockamixon line, and lived thereon until his death, about June 1, 1792.  His wife, Anna Barbara Stein, was a native of Brotzinger, a little village near the Rhine, in the grand duchy of Baden, and was a daughter of Johan Michel Stein, who died there about the year 1784.  August 7, 1784, Friedrich Kyser, of Durham, Bucks county, and Anna Barbara, his wife, “an heir and issue of Johan Michel Stein, late of Brotzinger, in Germany, under the jurisdiction of Baden-Durlach, now of the County of Bucks” make a power of attorney to their “loving friend, Jacob Epp, of Easton, in the county of Northampton” to collect in her name and for her use her whole inheritance “which my deceased father Johan Michel Stein, and mother Barbara, left unto me in Brotzinger, under the jurisdiction of Baden-Durlach, and in the hands, care and administration of my dear and loving friend Johan Jacob Hocksmuth.

    The children of Friedrich and Anna Barbara (Stein) Kyser, were five in number, viz.:  Mary, who married a Wagner; Michel; Conrad; Friedrich; and Margaret, who married a Gesler or Gresler.

    Friedrich Kiser, youngest son of Friedrich and Anna Barbara, was born September 14, 1764.  He married Gertrude Hoffman, born September 22, 1770, daughter of Conrad Hoffman and Gertrude his wife, the former being one of the earliest patentees of lands in Nockamixon who became actual settlers there.  Conrad Hoffman obtained a patent from the proprietors for two hundred acres of land in Nockamixon in 1765, and died there in 1780, leaving sons Conrad, Martin, and William, and daughter “Kertrout” wife of Friedrich Kiser, Jr., and Catherine.  The widow “Kertrout” Hoffman married a German by the name of Premour.  In 1793 these heirs of Conrad Hoffman made partition of the two hundred acres of land, and “allowance” and one-half of the same, amounting to 111 acres, was conveyed to Frederick Kiser and Gertrude his wife, but they soon after conveyed it to Martin Hoffman.  On April 7, 1794, Frederick Kiser, Jr., purchased of his brother, Conrad Kiser, a plantation of 135 acres in Nockamixon, near the Durham line where he lived the remainder of his life, adding to it thirty acres additional in 1802.  This plantation was called “Candia” and was originally patented to Thomas Leightle, whose widow and son conveyed it to Conrad Kiser in 1792.  Frederick Kiser later purchased 115 acres of land adjoining his “Candia” plantation.  He died on the old homestead December 5, 1846, aged over eighty-two years.  His wife Gertrude preceded him six years, dying May 25, 1840, at the age of seventy years.  They were the parents of five sons:  Conrad, John, Jacob, Frederick and Samuel, of whom the eldest, Conrad, born January 21, 1792, died April 23, 1823; and six daughters—Mary, wife of John Hoffman, who settled in Monroe county; Catharine, wife of William Campbell; Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Trough; Sarah, wife of John Selner; Susan, wife of George Ott, who removed to Indiana; and Polly, who never married.

    Samuel Kiser, youngest son of Frederick and Gertrude (Hoffman) Kiser, was the grandfather of Harvey S. Kiser.  He was born on the old homestead in Nockamixon, October 12, 1814, married Mary Ochs, who was born in Lower Saucon, Northampton county, November 7, 1816, and settled on the farm bought in that year by his father, adjoining the old homestead, which he purchased of his father’s estate in 1847.  He was a lifelong resident of Nockamixon, dying there March 26, 1877.  His widow, Mary (Ochs) Kiser, died August 10, 1880.  They were the parents of two sons:  Wilson O. Kiser, of Nockamixon; and Edwin Kiser, of Springfield.

    Edwin Kiser, father of Harvey S. Kiser, was born in Nockamixon in 1840.  He was engaged in the mercantile business at Bursonville for a number of years, but for the past fifteen years has been engaged in farming in Springfield township.  He has always taken an active interest in the affairs of the community in which he lived, and has filled a number of local offices, serving for several years as school director of his district, and also filling the office of supervisor of the roads.  In February, 1902, he was appointed by the court to fill the unexpired term of Michael Callahan, deceased, as county commissioner, and at the following November election, was elected to succeed himself for the term of three years, and made a conscientious and efficient official.  He married in 1870 Emma Selner, daughter of Peter and Hannah Selner, of Springfield, and that union has been blessed with five children:  Harvey S., the subject of this sketch; Frank W., now engaged in the mercantile business in Germantown; Minnie A., a dressmaker in Allentown; Ella N., residing at home; and Warren S., a bookkeeper in Philadelphia.

    Harvey S. Kiser was reared in Springfield township, and acquired his education at the Springtown Academy and the Keystone Normal School at Kutztown, Pennsylvania, graduating from the latter in 1893.  Prior to his graduation at Kutztown he taught school in Springfield for four years, and after his graduation taught at Richboro, Northampton township, Bucks county, for two years.  He then entered Dickinson Law School, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1897.  He then entered the office of Hon. Webster Grim, at Doylestown, as a student at law, and on June 6, 1898, was admitted to practice at the Bucks county bar.  He at once opened an office at the county seat and entered upon the practice of his profession.  July 1, 1900, he formed a partnership with Hon. Mahlon H. Stout, under the firm name of Stout & Kiser, attorneys and counsellors at law, which continued until the elevation of Mr. Stout to the bench in January, 1904.  Both members of the firm were popular and successful lawyers and built up a large clientage.  Mr. Kiser has since continued the practice of his chosen profession alone with marked success.  He has always taken an active interest in all that pertains to the best interest of the town in which he lives.  At the organization of the Doylestown Board of Trade he was selected as its president, a position he still fills.  He is a director of the Bucks County Trust Company, Doylestown’s leading financial institution, and is identified with several business and social institutions of the town.

    Mr. Kiser married, June 5, 1901, Miss Louisa Butler, an accomplished young lady of Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Text taken from pages 478-480 of:

Davis, William W.H., A.M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed February 2004 by Thera Schwenk-Hammond; tsh@harborside.com; http:// www..rootsweb.com/~schwenk as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published April  2004 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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