History of Bucks
County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
THE SCHEETZ FAMILY
THE SCHEETZ FAMILY is an extensive one in Bucks county, as well as in other parts of Pennsylvania and in many other states of the Union, south and west. They are the representatives of probably no less than thirty pioneer emigrants of the name who emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania between the years 1700 and 1760. All these pioneer emigrants probably trace to a common ancestor at or near Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany in the seventeenth century or earlier.
The earliest record of the family in connection with Pennsylvania was in 1683, when Johan Jacob Scheetz, a minister of Crefeldt, on the Rhine, purchased of William Penn four thousand acres of land to be laid out in Pennsylvania. He was one of about a score of Palatines who purchased large tract of land of Penn with the purpose of establishing a German colony in Pennsylvania, and later organized themselves into a company known as the Frankfort Company, and named the eminent scholar and teacher Francis Daniel Pastorious and others to come to Pennsylvania and take up the land for them. In accordance with this plan the thirteen families principally from Crefeldt, came to Pennsylvania in 1683 and founded Germantown. Not nearly all the purchasers were included in these thirteen families. Johan Jacob Scheetz never came to America, but died in Crefeldt prior to 1701, when William Penn patented to his widow Catharine the land originally purchased by him. Catharine sold the greater part of the land to Daniel Falkner, Arnold Stork and George Miller. Later, however, representatives of the family began to make their appearance at Germantown. Conrad Scheetz, said to have been a son of Johan Jacob, arrived at Philadelphia in he ship "Samuel", August 30, 1737, aged thirty years and George Scheetz followed him in October of the same year. Conrad Scheetz died in 1771, leaving a widow Catharine and several children. He is supposed to be the father of Henry Scheetz, who married Catharine Rubinkam, daughter of Justus and Susanna (Rittehuissen) Rubinkam, and was the father of General Henry Scheetz, of Montgomery county, who commanded a brigade in the Fries rebellion, and later in the war of 1812-14. Conrad Scheetz was a "paper maker" in Lower Merion in 1763, as shown by the Philadelphia records, and Henry, the father of the General, was later the proprietor of a paper mill at Sandy Run, White Marsh township, where the General was born in 1761.
Conrad Scheetz, of Germantown, "hatter" and later a "storekeeper," doubtless a son of Conrad, the "papermaker," though possibly the *Johan Conrad Scheetz who emigrated from Germany in the "Loyal Judith" in 1743, was the ancestor of the Scheetz family of Kellersí Church, Haycock, and Doylestown, Bucks county. He died at Germantown in 1812, and his widow Christianna survived him many years. He was associated in the ownership of land at Germantown and Chestnut Hill with Philip Scheetz, probably a son, who was an "inn-keeper" in Haycock township, Bucks county, 1798 to 1802, when he purchased of Conrad the real estate at Chestnut Hill and removed there. Philip had come to Bucks county in 1788, and followed the trade of a hatter at or near Sellersville for ten years prior to his removal to Haycock, where he purchased a farm of 114 acres in 1798. Conrad and Christianna were the parents of three sons and three daughters, who died unmarried.
George Scheetz, son of Conrad and Christianna, was born at Germantown, December 12, 1785 and was also a hatter by trade. He came to bucks county when a young man and lived at Keller's Church, Bedminster township, for forty-five years, dying there September 17, 1863. He was a school teacher for many years, and many old residents of that locality acquired their early education at his school at Keller's Church. For twenty years prior to his death he was a member of Keller's Reformed Church, and served several years as a deacon. He married Hester Fluck, who was born March 6, 1792, and died April 7, 1875, and they reared a family of nine children, viz: William, Edwin, Francis, Reuben F., Jacob, Eliza, wife of Aaron Fulmer, Samuel F., Charles, and Albert F., all of whom are now deceased. Of the children of George and Ester (Fluck) Scheetz, William, the eldest, born in 1812, was a farmer for many years, latterly in Richland, near Quakertown, where hi died October 19, 1888, leaving two sons and four daughters. Francis, born 1814, was a farmer and later a merchant at Norristown, Montgomery county, where he died 1897, leaving two sons, Remandus, a wholesale grocer of Norristown, and Mahlon F. Scheetz. Jacob, born 1815, was a carpenter by trade, but was a lifelong farmer in Bedminster, and died there April 5, 1899, he had two children, Levi G. and Lizzie Ott. Reuben F., born 1817, was a mason by trade, but most of his life was devoted to clerical and mercantile pursuits, he was many years a resident of Doylestown, and at one time had a hardware store there; he was clerk of quarter sessions of Bucks county, 1849-51; prothonotary, 1866-69; deputy sheriff, 1863-66; deputy clerk of orphans' court, 1884-87. He died in Doylestown early in 1888; he had five sons and one daughter, two sons are since deceased. Edwin F., born 1821, was a miller by trade, which he learned at New Hope, Pennsylvania; he was, however a merchant for the greater part of his active life, later living retired in Quakertown, where he died September 28, 1904; two children-Oliver R., teller of Quakertown Bank, and Amanda, wife of Charles Biehn, survive. Charles, born January 17, 1823, was a justice of the peace and merchant at Keller's Church, Bedminster township, where he lived all his life, dying June 1, 1901. He married Magdalena Hager, and had eight children; his son, George H., succeeded him as justice and is also a merchant at Keller's Church. Eliza married Aaron Fulmer, a farmer of Bedminster, she died in 1888. Samuel F., born 1828, was a merchant and justice of the peace for many years at Rich Hill, Rockhill township, where he died August 3, 1890; had three daughters.
Albert F. Scheetz, youngest son of George and Ester (Fluck) Scheetz, was born at Keller's Church, Bedminster township, Bucks county June 1, 1831. He was for a half century actively connected with business enterprises in Bucks county, the greater part of which was spent in Doylestown. He was reared in Bedminster township, and received his intellectual training at the public schools and under the private tuition of his father. At the age of seventeen years he was apprenticed to the carriage maker's trade at Springtown, Bucks county. After serving two years in that capacity he continued for one year at journey work at Quakertown, and then went to Bedminster and filled the position of clerk in a mercantile establishment for two years. In 1853 he opened and conducted a store for one year at Stover's Mills, Haycock township, for Jonas Stover. He then went into the mercantile business for himself at Wormansville, Tinicum township, with his brother-in-law, Morgan Rufe, as partner, under the firm name of Scheetz & Rufe, which continued until 1857. In that year he formed a copartnership with his brother, Edwin F. Scheetz, under the firm name of E. F. Scheetz & Brother, and they conducted a store at Quakertown for three years. In 1860 he purchased his brother's interest and conducted the store alone until the close of the war in 1865, when he disposed of the store to his brother Edwin F. Scheetz. A year later he came to Doylestown, and in partnership with Morgan Rufe, under the firm name of Rufe & Scheetz, bought and finished leather until 1869, when they built a steam tannery at Doylestown and manufactured and sold leather for a number of years. In 1870, leaving Mr. Rufe to attend to the tannery, Mr. Scheetz removed to Pittston, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, where he established a store and sold leather of his own manufacture. In 1872 he purchased his partner's interest and returning to Doylestown, operated the tannery for several years. In 1878 he formed a partnership again with his old partner, Morgan Rufe, under the old firm name of Rufe & Scheetz, and opened a general merchandise store in the Armstrong building on Main street, Doylestown, where they remained for six years, when Mr. Rufe purchased the Cowell House, (hotel property) at Court and Pine streets, and rebuilt it and converted it into a store, and, the firm taking a new partner, Oliver R. Scheetz, a nephew, located there. Mr. Rufe retired at the end of one year, and the firm of A. F. & O. R. Scheetz, continued for another year, when Mr. Scheetz purchased his nephew's interest and conducted the business for three years, until 1889, when he retired and was succeeded by his two sons, Leo and Harvey. Leo died September 8, 1890, and was succeeded by his brother Harry. Harry died in 1896, and the youngest son Erwin became a member of the firm and with his eldest brother Harvey still conducts the business under the firm name of A. F. Scheetz's Sons. Morgan Rufe, dying in 1894, the present firm purchased the property, rebuilding and refitting it, and have the largest general merchandise store in Doylestown. When the present store was first opened it was in a sense an experiment, as the idea of conducting a large department store of its class in a country town was a new one, but by a careful study of the wants of the people, courteous treatment of customers and the application of thorough business principles to every branch of the trade, Mr. Scheetz and the succeeding members of the firm have built up and maintained a business institution of which the town if proud. A few years after retiring from the business, Mr. Scheetz was afflicted with locomotor ataxia, and was almost helpless for about three years. He died December 8, 1903. Mr. Scheetz married, in 1859, Matilda Laubach, born in Durham township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1833, ninth and youngest child of Frederic and Catharine (Jacoby) Laubach, of Durham and a descendant of Christian Lauback, who with his father, Rhinehardt Laubach came to Bucks county from Germany and settled in Lower Saucon, Northampton (then Bucks) county, in 1738. (See Laubach in the work). Christian Laubach was captain of a "Ranging Company" that saw active service in the French and Indian war.
Frederick Laubach was a son of Urich Laubach, and grandson of Captain Christian. He was reared in Lower Saucon and removed to Durham in 1816, where he became a large landowner and prominent man. He died May 17, 1851, and his wife, Catharine Jacoby, born November 11, 1791, died January 8, 1862. She was a daughter of Peter (1750-1815) and Catharine (Trauger) Jacoby, of Durham, and a granddaughter of Conrad Jacoby, born 1730, died 1795, who was one of the early German settlers in Lower Milford, Bucks county, removing successively to Springfield, Durham and Bedminster, where he died. (See Jacoby in this work).
Albert F. and Matilda (Laubach) Scheetz were the parents of seven children: Leo, who died in 1890; Morgan, died young; Harry died 1896; Harvey, and Erwin, the members of the present firm; Ellen, living with her mother in Doylestown; and Allen, a twin to Erwin, who died in infancy. Albert F. Scheetz and his family were and are members of the German Reformed church. In politics he was a Democrat. Though in no sense a politician, he took a deep interest in local affairs. He was for sixteen years a member of the school board of Doylestown borough and was treasurer of the board when the handsome new school building was erected. He was one of the organizers of the Doylestown Electric Company in 1892, was superintendent and purchasing agent from its inception to 1895, and one of the board of directors from its organization to his death. He was also one of the purchasers of the plant of the Doylestown Gas Company, in 1894, and a director therein until his death. As a business man and public spirited Christian gentleman Mr. Scheetz stood exceedingly high in the estimation of those who knew him best, and won and held the respect and esteem of all who knew him.
Harvey Scheetz, senior member of the firm of A. F. Scheetzís Sons, was born at Quakertown, February 22, 1861, and came to Doylestown with his parents at the age of five years, and was reared in that town, acquiring his education at the Doylestown schools. At the age of fifteen years he entered his fatherís store as a clerk, and continued to fill that position until he became a member of the firm in 1889, with his brother Leo. At about the same time he and Leo purchased the Novelty Hat Store on State street, Doylestown, which Leo conducted until his death in 1890, after which it was conducted by the youngest brother, Erwin, until the latter became a member of the firm, Harvey retaining the management of the department store of which he has been one of the proprietors under the firm name of A. F. Scheetzís Sons since 1889. He is one of the directors of the Doylestown Electric Company, and is one of the active managers of the plant, and was one of the promoters of the Doylestown Worsted Company, and has served as a director from its organization. He was also one of the active organizers of the Doylestown Board of Trade, of which he is a director. He is a member of Salem Reformed church, and politically is a Democrat. He is a member of Aquetong Lodge, No. 193, I. O. O. F., a charter member of St. Tammany Castle, No 173, K. G. E. Mr. Scheetz married, April 1892, Clara M. Desh, daughter of Aaron and Susan (Bunstine) Desh, of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, and they are the parents of one child, Albert Frederick.
Erwin Scheetz, junior member of the firm of A. F. Scheetzís Sons, was born in Doylestown, May 26, 1873 and received his intellectual training there. He entered the store at an early age and grew up with the business. At the death of his brother Harry, he purchased the Novelty Hat Store, which he conducted from one year, and then purchased his brother Harryís interest in the firm of A. F. Scheetzís Sons, and has since been a member of that firm with his brother Harvey. He married, February 14, 1903. Sarah Huber, of Philadelphia. Mr. Scheetz is a director in the Doylestown Gas Company, and is interested in other local enterprises. He is a member of Aquetong Lodge, No. 193, I. O. O. F., and religiously is affiliated with Salem Reformed church.
*This Conrad Scheetz settled in Upper Hanover, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, in 1755.
NOTE-There is another branch of the Sheetz family in Bucks county, the descendants of George Ludwig Scheetz, who arrived in the "Dragon," September 30, 1732, and soon after settled in Milford township, Bucks county, where he purchased land in 1753, which he and wife Ann Mary conveyed to their son George in 1767. Adam Scheetz, of Nockamixon, probably of the same branch, died in 1819 at an advanced age. He had sons, Conrad, John, Andrew, Adam, Jacob, John and Michael, and three daughters who married and reared families by name of Althouse. Raisner and Stone. Some of this family removed to Virginia and North Carolina about 1800.
Text taken from page 383-385 of:
Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed May, 2002 by Robert Scheetz as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html
Published May 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/