History of Bucks
County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
HON. HARRY J. SHOEMAKER
HON. HARRY J. SHOEMAKER, one of the prominent members of the Bucks county bar, and an officer of several of the important corporations of the county, was born in Horsham township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1855, and is a son of James and Phebe (SHOEMAKER) SHOEMAKER, of that township. He comes of a distinguished ancestry that have been potent in the affairs of their respective communities since the founding of Penn’s colony on the Delaware.
His paternal ancestor, Peter SHOEMAKER, was born in Kreighsheim, a rural village on the Upper Rhine, "two hours ride from the City of Worms," in the years 1622. He was one of the earliest converts to the principles of George FOX, the founder of the Society of Friends, and suffered persecution for his religious faith as early as 1665 when he had goods to the value of two guilders taken from him in payment of a fine for attending a meeting of Friends at Worms. He was also imprisoned and fined at subsequent periods for his religious faith. He was one of the Friends seen by PENN on his visit to Kreigsheim early in 1683, and was induced to join a company of Palatines in founding a colony in PENN’s new province of Pennsylvania. He was a carpenter by trade, and before leaving Kreighsheim entered into an agreement with Dirck SIDMAN, of Crefeld, on August 16, 1685, to proceed to Germantown, where the original thirteen families from Crefeld had already formed a settlement, and receive from Herman OP DEN GRAEF 200 acres of land upon which he was to erect a dwelling and pay therefore two rix dollars. This old agreement and the deed for the land is recorded in German at Philadelphia and has been seen by the writer. He embarked in the "Frances & Dorothy," with his son Peter, daughters, Mary, Frances, and Gertrude, and the widow of his cousin, Sarah SHOEMAKER and her children and arrived at Germantown, October 12, 1685. He at once became one of the active men of the youthful colony, and is frequently mentioned in the old annals of Germantown. He was an active member of the Society of Friends and one of the signers of the certificate to the Meeting at London in 1695 for Samuel JENNINGS, who carried the protest of Pennsylvania Friends against the schism of George Keith. He died in Germantown in 1707, aged eighty-five years. His daughter Frances married John Jacob VAN BEBBER, and another daughter married Rynier Herman VON BARKELOW and removed to Bohemia Manor, Maryland. A grandson Martin KOLB accompanied him from Germany and has left numerous descendants.
Peter SHOEMAKER, Jr., born at Kreigsheim, accompanied his father and sisters to Germantown in 1685 and became one of the prominent men of the colony, filling the office of burgess of Germantown in 1696, 1704, and 1707, and many other positions of trust. He was one of the committee appointed December 30, 1701, to organize a school at Germantown, erect a school house and arrange for a teacher. Through his efforts Francis Daniel PASTORIUS was induced to take charge of the school and it became one of the famous institutions of the infant province. Peter, Jr., was like his father a carpenter or "Turner," and had a part in the erection of most of the early buildings in Germantown. He was a prominent member of the Society of Friends, and was frequently the representative of his meeting in quarterly and yearly meetings. He married, at Germantown Meeting, 2 mo. 6, 1697, Margaret OP DEN GRAEF, daughter of Herman OP DEN GRAEF, one of three brothers who were among the first thirteen families to settle Germantown in October, 1683. He was a native of Crefeld on the Lower Rhine, and a son of Isaac and grandson of Herman OP DEN GRAEF, who was born at Alderkerk, November 26, 1585, and died at Crefeld, December 27, 1642. He was a delegate to the Mennonite council at Dordrecht in 1632 that formulated the creed of that sect. Herman OP DEN GRAEF and his brothers were the authors of the famous protest against human slavery presented to Germantown Meeting in 1688 and by them forwarded to the Quarterly and Yearly Meetings of the Society. It was the first protest of its kind ever formulated in America. Peter SHOEMAKER died at Germantown, 4 mo. 1, 1741, and his widow Margaret on 7 mo. 14, 1748. They were the parents of ten children, as follows: 1. Sarah, born 5 mo. 22, 1698, married Daniel POTTS; 2. Mary, born 7 mo. 15, 1701, married Thomas PHIPPS; 3. Margaret, born 6 mo. 8, 1794, married Benjamin MASIN; 4. Peter, born 6 mo. 8, 1796; 5. Daniel, born 11 mo. 14, 1709; 6. Isaac, born 1 mo. 15, 1711, see forward; 7. Elizabeth, born 11 mo 6, 1713, married Joseph DAVIS; 8. Agnes, born 3 mo. 9, 1716, married William HALLOWELL; 9. John, born 6 mo. 30, 1718; 10. Samuel, born 6 mo. 13, 1720, died young.
Isaac SHOEMAKER, son of Peter and Margaret, born at Germantown, March 15, 1711, on arriving at manhood settled in Upper Dublin township, Philadelphia (now Montgomery) county, where he purchased a tract of land and followed the life of a farmer. He was a member of Abington Meeting and took a certificate from there to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, 5 mo. 27, 1741, to marry Hannah ROBERTS, daughter of John ROBERTS, of Philadelphia. They were members of Horsham Meeting at its organization. Isaac and Hannah (ROBERTS) SHOEMAKER were the parents of thirteen children, as follows; Margaret, born 10 mo. 3, 1742, died unmarried in 1788; Peter, born 4 mo. 12, 1744, married Hannah NORMAN; Elizabeth, born 4 mo. 23, 1748, married John LETCHWORTH; Martha, born 7 mo. 14, 1750, married Jonathan SHOEMAKER; Daniel, born 12 mo. 9, 1752, married Phebe WALTON, daughter of Thomas, of Byberry; Isaac, born 10 mo. 29, 1754; James, born 10 mo. 13, 1757, see forward; Rachel, born 3 mo. 26, 1759; David, born 6 mo. 15, 1761; Hannah and Mary, born 3 mo. 9, 1764; Thomas, born 3 mo. 22, 1766, and Rebecca, born 4 mo. 29, 1769.
James SHOEMAKER, seventh child of Isaac and Hannah, born in Upper Dublin, 10 mo. 13, 1757, was a farmer and lived all his life in Upper Dublin. He married in Horsham Meeting house, 6 mo. 1, 1781, Phebe WALTON, daughter of William and Phebe (ATKINSON) WALTON, the original certificate of the marriage engraved on parchment, as well as that of the marriage of William Walton and Phebe ATKINSON, which was solemnized at the same place, 9 mo. 26, 1741, are in the possession of the subject of this sketch. William WALTON, father of Phebe SHOEMAKER, was a resident of Moreland, and a son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (WALMSLEY) WALTON, of Byberry. William WALTON, father of Jeremiah, was one of the four Walton brothers who landed at New Castle in 1675 and subsequently located in Byberry. He was married at Byberry, 4 mo. 29, 1689, to Sarah HOWELL, and was the first minister at Byberry after the Keithian trouble and continued to preach there for many years. Phebe (ATKINSON) WALTON was a daughter of William and Phebe (TAYLER) ATKINSON, of Upper Dublin, and granddaughter of John and Susannah (HINDE) ATKINSON, of Lancashire, England, an account of whom is given elsewhere in this volume.
William and Phebe (ATKINSON) WALTON were the parents of ten children, several of whom died young. Phebe, who married James SHOEMAKER, was the second of the name and was born 11 mo. 16, 1759. The children of James and Phebe (WALTON) SHOEMAKER were as follows; William, born 3 mo. 16. 1782; Joseph, died an infant; Isaac, born 4 mo. 6, 1785; John, born 9 mo. 8, 1786; Hannah, born 2 mo. 24, 1789; Jesse, born 4 mo. 17, 1791, see forward; Jonathan, born 9 mo. 3, 1793, married in 1822 Margaret RUTTER; Rebecca, died an infant; Rachel, born 2 mo. 28, 1798; and Phebe, born 9 mo. 2, 1802.
JESSE SHOEMAKER, sixth child of James and Phebe, was born and reared in Upper Dublin, and spent the active years of his life in that township, removing late in life to Horsham where he died in 1882, aged over ninety years. He married at Horsham Meeting, 3 mo. 8, 1821, Edith LONGSTRETH, daughter of Isaac and Jane LONGSTRETH, of Bucks county, a descendant of Bartholomew LONGSTRETH, one of the earliest settlers in Warminster, who was born in Longstrothdale, Yorkshire, in 1679, came to Pennsylvania in 1698, and married Ann DAWSON in 1727. The children of Jesse and Edith (LONGSTRETH) SHOEMAKER were; James, the father of the subject of this sketch, born 8 mo. 20, 1822; Charlotte L., who died in infancy; and John L., born 10 mo. 7, 1832. The latter became an eminent lawyer in Philadelphia and filled many important positions. He was a member of select and common council for a number of years, and took an active part in the management of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876.
James SHOEMAKER, eldest son of Jesse and Edith, was born in Upper Dublin, but on arriving at manhood settled on a farm in Horsham township, where he has since resided, following the life of a farmer during his active years. He married Phoebe SHOEMAKER, daughter of Jonathan and Margaret (RUTTER) SHOEMAKER, and granddaughter of James and Mary RUTTER. She died in April, 1896. James and Phoebe were the parents of eight children; Bella, residing with her father in Horsham; Adeline B., wife of Charles E. CHANDLER, of Germantown; Jesse, who died in infancy; Harry J., the subject of this sketch; Augustus BROCK, an active business man of Tullytown, Bucks county, who married Ida, daughter of Elwood and Anna BURTON, and has one son Lester; Charlotte L., wife of Russel TWINING, of Horsham; Emily P., wife of Edward B. WEBSTER, of Philadelphia; and Mary G., wife of Isaac WARNER, of Horsham.
Hon. Harry J. SHOEMAKER was born and reared in Horsham township and acquired his education at the public schools and at Doylestown Seminary. At the age of nineteen years he began teaching school in Bedminster township, Bucks county, and the following year was appointed principal of the Tullytown (Bucks county) school, which he taught for three years. In 1880, he embarked in the mercantile business at Tullytown, conducting a general merchandise store there until 1884. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and has always taken an active interest in the councils of his party and in everything that pertains to the best interest of the community in which he lived. He was postmaster of Tullytown for four years, and also filled the office of school director and other local offices in that district. In the fall of 1884 he was elected to the state legislature, being the only Republican elected from Bucks county, and served one term with marked ability, being appointed on several important committees. At the termination of his term he declined the renomination and became a candidate for congress in the seventh congressional district, but was defeated in the convention by two votes. He was a delegate to the National Republican convention of 1884, and also to that of 1888, which nominated Benjamin Harrison to the presidency. During HARRISON’s administration he was confidential clerk to the second Comptroller of the United States treasury. In the meantime he entered himself as a student at law in the office of the late Hon. B. F. GILKESON, of Bristol, and was admitted to the bar of his native county, and also to the Bucks county bar on January 3, 1890. At the close of his term of four years as confidential clerk he located in Doylestown and began the practice of law, in which he has been successful in the building up of a lucrative practice. Later he was admitted to practice in the supreme courts of Pennsylvania and of the District of Columbia. In 1893 he was a judge of awards at the World’s Fair at Chicago, and in that capacity served as secretary of the committee on food products. In 1896 he was again a candidate for the nomination for congress and received a majority of the votes from his home county, but was defeated in the joint convention. He was a charter member of the Doylestown Trust Company, and has served continuously as a director of that institution since its organization. He was one of the original promoters of a trolley road from Doylestown to Easton, and was one of the most active and energetic in pushing the work to a completion, being one of the original directors of the Philadelphia and Easton Railway Company, who built the road, and is secretary and treasurer of the company. He is also solicitor and director of a number of other important corporations. He has served for a number of years as school director of Doylestown township, and fills the position of secretary of the board. He married, November 28, 1878, Ella B. WRIGHT, daughter of John H. and Elizabeth (HARDING) WRIGHT, of Penn Manor, and they have been the parents of two daughters; Elsie C., who died November 30, 1898, at the age of eighteen years; and Edith E., who died in infancy.
Test taken from page 296-299 of:
Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed January 2002 by Joan Lollis of IN. as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html
Published January 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages atwww.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/