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



GARRET HARLOW LAMPEN, the distinguished educator, author and lecturer on American History, Ethnology, Archaeology and kindred subjects, comes of Bucks county ancestry and is a son of the late Michael Lampen.

Simon Lampen, so far as is known to his descendants, was the pioneer ancestor of his family in America. At the time the Colonists were beginning to arm in defense of their liberties in 1775, he was a resident of New Hampshire, and of about the age of twenty-five years. He was descended according to family tradition from one of two brothers who emigrated from Anhalt, Prussia, to England, and were granted coats-of-arms by the King of England in 1565 for conspicuous services to the crown. Simon Lampen rendered valuable services to the patriot cause, assisting in the organization of the militia of New Hampshire, and participating in a number of battles and skirmishes. In 1778 he removed to Haycock township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he spent his remaining days. He was survived by two sons, at least–Michael, mentioned later in this narrative, and Nicholas. The latter married but left no sons. One daughter removed to Philadelphia, and the other three, to New Jersey, two of the latter never marrying.

Michael Lampen, son of Simon Lampen, was born in Haycock township, Bucks county, in 1779. As a boy he was a close student, and he became a man of scholarly habits, easily ranking as one of the best educated and most widely read men of his county. He was an unusual Greek and Latin scholar, conversing as fluently in these languages as he did in German and English. He was also deeply interested in several of the sciences, and he gave much of his time to literature. His library of much-thumbed books, nearly all of them being along intellectual lines, evidenced a man of high intellectual endowment and deep thought. It was therefore a great surprise to his neighbors and friends that he chose the humble trade of a weaver as his life work. He was intensely patriotic and served for a number of years as an officer in and was prominently identified with the volunteer militia of Bucks county. Michael Lampen married in 1827 Marie Anne Byers, a widow, with one son Joseph. Mrs. Byers had come from Switzerland to Bucks county in 1817 at the age of fourteen years. Michael Lampen died in 1863, his wife having died two years before. Both are buried at the Brick church, Tinicum, Bucks county. They were survived by three children: Rebecca, born July 18, 1828, married Henry Clemens, died May 21, 1882, leaving one son and one daughter, one son having died in infancy; Michael, born 1831, mentioned later in this narrative; John, born march 14, 1834, married Elizabeth Thomas, died June 14, 1895, leaving one son and four daughters, one daughter having died in infancy.

Michael Lampen, Jr., son of Michael and Marie Anne (Byers) Lampen, was born in Bucks county, April 10, 1831. Inheriting his father’s intellectual abilities and love of study, he worked his way through the lower schools and then through the old Pennsylvania Medical College, at Philadelphia, taking a full three years’ course and graduating with high honors, and then taking a post-graduate course of one year at the same institution. The expenses of his college course were paid with money earned by farm labor, teaching in the public schools and in surveying a road across the state of Ohio. He served throughout the civil war as assistant surgeon in the Union army, being part of the time with the army in South Carolina, but during the greater part of the time being detailed to service in the Satterlee Military Hospital at Philadelphia. At the close of the war he settled in Philadelphia and resumed the practice of medicine. He acquired an enviable reputation as a specialist in diseases of the heart and lungs, and became one of the greatest obstetricians of his day. In 1858 he married Rachel Ann Vandegrift, of Newportville, Bucks county, a member of one of the oldest Dutch families in the country, an account of which is given elsewhere in this work. Dr. Lampen died June 18, 1890, and is survived by his widow and five children, four others having died in infancy. Those who survive are: Louis Peale, who is also a distinguished obstetrician, and who married Elizabeth Horbert; Howard Rand, who married Eleanor Thompson Piper, and is a business man of Philadelphia; Minnie Roe, who married Rev. William Allen, Jr., of the Presbyterian church, and has two sons; Garret Harlow, mentioned at length hereinafter, and Maud, who married Joseph Guild Muirhead, a member of one of the old families of New Jersey.

Garret Harlow Lampen, the youngest son of Dr. Michael and Rachel Ann (Vandegrift) Lampen, was born in Philadelphia, January 26, 1867. He received his elementary education at the public schools of his native city, after which he took the Arts course in the Philadelphia High School, and later took a special course at Franklin College, Ohio, where he received the degree of Master of Arts. Devoting his attention to educational work he for several years specialized in American History and Politics, and made extensive original researches in American Ethnology and Archaeology, and is considered an authority on these latter subjects. Professor Lampen has always aimed for a high plane of work in his chosen profession. Entering educational work in 1894 he remarked to an associate that he expected to reach a college presidency “in ten years”; he realized that goal in one week less than the time set, being called to the presidency of Bellevue College, Bellevue, Nebraska. He has been honored with several degrees by various educational institutions.

Professor Lampen has a national reputation as an educational and historical writer, and he is also the author of a number of poems which have received favorable mention and criticism. He has attained his high rank in the face of almost insurmountable difficulties, among them the total loss of sight for a time, and four years under the constant care of an oculist. From the time he left Philadelphia High School he paid his own way as his father had done before him, never receiving any outside assistance. In 1895 Professor Lampen, while superintendent of the Indian School at Philadelphia, was sent of a special mission by the United States government to the Chippewa Indian reservation. He served with the Second Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry for four years (1894-7, inclusive), and joined the Nineteenth Regiment in 1898, with the hope that it would take him to the front in the Spanish-American war, and the Second Regiment having refused him admission by reason of the condition of his eyes. He volunteered for service in the war against Spain eight times, and he is said to have suggested and planned the trip across Cuba taken by Lieutenant Rowan of the regulars to connect the armies of the United States with the Cuban forces. Professor Lampen has always kept up a lively interest in Bucks county, the birthplace of his parents, and during the greater part of his life has spent a portion of each year within her borders, and has always considered himself as belonging to the county. Religiously he has always been actively associated with the Presbyterian church. He has never married.

Text taken from page 407

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

Transcribed December  2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published January 2003 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks

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