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Chalfont - Chalfont Borough Municipal Building
Municipal Offices
40 N Main Street
Chalfont, PA 18914
215-822-7295
School District:Central Bucks

Chalfont Borough -- Is located in the southwestern part of New Britain Township. It was first called Butler or Butlers Mill. 

 

The earliest name by which the village was known was Barndtville

 

Daniel H. Sellers, s/o Philip and Hanna, was born in Montgomery co. in 1810, died at Chalfont, bucks co in 1897. he married Mary Ann bush in 1834, she was born 1814 and died 1891 children; Hiriam Francis, born 1835, married Mary Ann Oakford, Charles p .born 1839 unmarried, Alphonso b. born 1842, of new hope, married Adam. Philips, d/o Charles and Sarah (Smith) Phillip, no children, Daniel w. married Elizabeth Brunner, harry a. married Carrie Dinkelacher.

DANIEL H. SELLERS (Edward1, John2, Enoch3, Hannah 4), son of Philip and Hannah (Roberts) Sellers, born in Montgomery County, Pa., in 1810, died at Chalfont, Bucks County, in 1897. He taught school for nineteen years, from 1833 to 1852. During five years of this period he taught in Philadelphia. In 1852 he purchased a farm in New Britain Township, near Chalfont, which he operated until 1883. In the latter year he removed to Chalfont, and lived retired until his death. He married in 1834

Ben Ernest Avram of Cape Coral, Fla., and formerly a 20-year resident of Chalfont, died Aug. 23, 2002, at his son’s home in Telford after a long illness. He was 60. May 22, 1896 David Groff age 62 years, died in the home of his brother in Chalfont, buried in Quakertown Union Cemetery.
ABRAHAM M. SWARTLEY. Among the old German families of Penn sylvania is that of which Abraham M. Swartley, of Chalfont, is a represen tative. Mr. Swartley is a great-grand son of Philip Swartley, who was born in 1764 in Baden, Germany, and in 1782 emigrated to America. He married Sarah Rosenberger, and they were the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters. Among the sons was Philip, mentioned at length hereinafter. Mr. Swartley died September 2, 1840, and his wife passed away in April, 1847. at the advanced age of eighty-four years. Philip Swartley, son of Philip and Sarah (Rosenberger) Swartley, was born February 28, 1799, in New Britain township, and followed the calling of a farmer. He married Mary Smith, and their family consisted of the following children: George, born July 12, 1820, married Catharine Funk; Henry S., mentioned at length hereinafter ; Levi, born April 7, 1824, married Catharine Haldeman; Philip, born November 12, 1825; Susanna, born March 23, 1827, married Jacob Alderfer; Sarah, born November 11. 1830. married John Alder fer, whom she survived but one day and whose grave she shared; Mary, born December 9, 1833, married David Rosen berger; Elizabeth, born August 15, 1838, became the wife of Louis Schleier, and Aaron, born February 7, 1841, married Maria Leidy. Henry S. Swartley, son of Philip and Mary (Smith) Swartley, was born March 24. 1822, on the homestead. He married Sarah Myers, and the following children were born to them: Lavinia, who married Isaac, son of Joseph Funk: Abraham M., mentioned at length hereinafter: Anna Eliza, who became the wife of Henry F., son of Abraham Moyer; and Sallie J., who married David, son of Joseph Funk. Abraham M. Swartley, son of Henry S. and Sarah (Myers) Swartley, was born November 6, 1854. on the home stead in New Britain township. He received his primary education in the New- ville public school, and graduated at the Millersville high school. His youth and early manhood were passed in assisting his father in the cultivation of the pater nal acres, and on reaching the age of twenty-eight years he settled on the farm which is now his home. For a number of years he conducted a large dairy, disposing of its products in the markets of Philadelphia, but is now en gaged exclusively in general farming. He is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Mennonite church at Line Lexington. Mr. Swartley married, March 28, 1885, Anna M., daughter of Oliver K. and Mary Jane (Stever) Myers. The latter was the daughter of Reuben Stever, who built the Dublin Hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Swartley are the parents of the follow ing children: Mary M., who was born December 15, 1886, and died August 5, 1887: Harry M., born December 9, 1890; Sadie M., born March 9, 1892 ; Viola Mae, born April 18, 1900; and Minnie Isabella, born August 20, 1903, and died February 2, 1904.
Funk's Park a.k.a Forrest Park [Chalfont, Bucks County, PA]

1928

Baburich,John, ,Chalfont,Dec.28

Bevan,Harrison H, Chalfont,June 5.

History of Bucks County Pennsylvania from the Discovery of the Delaware to the Present time. William Watts Hart Davis

page 60 - In 1720 John James and his eldest son Thomas purchased one thousand acres in New Britain township, Bucks County, including a portion of the present borough of Chalfont, and extending eastward at least two miles, and north westerly at its western end nearly as far, being in the shape of the Letter L. Between that date and 1726, when they made a division of the land between the, they conveyed nearly one half of this tract to the other three brothers, William, Josiah and Isaac, and William and Thomas had purchased other tracts adjoining on the northeast until the family owned nearly if not quite 10,000 acres, extending from Chalfont far into what is now Doylestown township, and up across Pine Run and North Branch to the old highway leading through New Galena. Two of the brothers, Josiah and Isaac, do not seem to have left descendants in Bucks County, though both owned portions of the original 1,000 acre purchase. Josiah married, May 21, 1724. Elizabeth , daughter of Thomas Perry of Great Valley Baptist church, Chester county, and a year later she was received as a member of Montgomery church, but Jne 16, 1727, they received a dismissal to Great Valley and probably settled in Chester county.

Samuel James, youngest son of Thomas and Jane, received from his father a farm of about 150 acres just north east of Chalfont and died there in 1804. He married, April 8, 1765, Anna Keshien, a sister to his brother John's first wife and had five children: 1. Samuel, who married Elizabeth Shewell, and removed to Maryland, where he died in1847; 2. Levi, who married Rebecca Polk and was the father of Samuel P. and grandfather of Levi L., James, late a member of the bar, and father of Robert James, deceased, who son Louis H. was also a lawyer and Lydia, who married John G. Mann; 3. Elizabeth, married Isaac Oakford; 4. Margaret, married John Wolfe; and 5. Ann James. Levi married late in life Mary Polk, nee Good who survived him many years.

He inherited the homestead farm near Chalfont, and was a prominent and successful farmer, acquiring considerable other land in the vicinity. He married Mary Stephens, Daughter of David Stephens and granddaughter of Evan Stephens

page 161 - Thomas Mathew, youngest son of Simon and Jane, was born in New Britain in 1728. He inherited the homestead farm near Chalfont, and was a prominent and successful farmer, acquiring considerable other land in the vicinity. He married Mary Stephens, daughter of David Stephens and granddaughter of Evan Stephens, an early Welsh settler in New Britain. He died in 1795.

page 221- Harvey W. Moyer, son of Levi S. and Caroline (Weinberger) Moyer, was born June 21, 1868, in Bingham, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and was educated in the public schools of his birthplace. There also he was trained by his father to the occupation of a' butcher, and followed the business for four years. Beginning in a small way and on borrowed capital, his efforts were crowned with success, and he was enabled to discharge his obligations and build up a flourishing with success, and he was enabled to discharge his obligations and build up a flourishing trade. In 1894 he moved to Chalfont, and is now at the head of a large establishment, his connections extending throughout the adjacent country. He is a successful business man and has built for himself a comfortable and attractive home. He is active as a citizen, and has been chosen by his neighbors a member of the town council, an office which he still holds. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion a member of the Mennonite church. Mr. Moyer married, December 29, 1892, Lizzie S., born November 23, 1871, daughter of Abram and Ellamina (Sleifer) Kulp, and three children have been born to them : Florence, who was born January 30, 1894; Grace Lorene, born October 14, 1896; and Ray K., born November 23, 198, and died July 19, 1900.page 222 - LEVI SWARTLEY, of Chalfont, Bucks county, is the only surviving child of John and Mary (Mover) Swartley, and was born in New Britain township, April 5. 1832. Philip Schwardley, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Eppingen, in Necker, grand duchy of Baden, Germany, October 28, 1764 and is supposed to have come to this country with his elder brothers John and Jacob in the ship "Minerva," arriving at Philadelphia on September 30, 1772. As, however, the list of passengers does not include the names of the two younger brothers, it is possible they may have followed their brother to Pennsylvania some years later. Philip was probably a resident for some years of Franconia township, Montgomery county, where he married Sarah Rosenberger, born January 24, 1765, daughter of Rev. Henry and Barbara (Oberholtzer) Rosenberger,

page 266 - ROBERT M. JOHNSON, one of the energetic business men of Chalfont, is a son of William Johnson, who was reared on a . farm, and upon the breaking out of the civil war enlisted in the Union army from New Britain township. He married Hannah Lutz, and their children were: Franklin L., Emma E., and Robert M., mentioned at length hereinafter. Franklin L. married Anna Lister. Emma E.. became the wife of Abraham Clymer. of Line Lexington, and after his death married John Lewis, of Hilltown. Robert M. Johnson, son of William and Hannah (Lutz) Johnson, was born July 13, 1859, in New Britain township, and was educated in the public schools of his birthplace. He acquired a knowledge of plumbing, heating and ventilation with David E. Hebner, of Chalfont, and after the expiration of his time he worked for five years as journeyman at Line Lexington. In 1887 he purchased the store of William Bruner, at Chalfont, where he now conducts an extensive , plumbing and heating business, carrying a large stock of stoves, heaters, ranges and similar articles. His patronage is not limited to Chalfont, but includes the surrounding towns. His political connections are with the Democratic party, and he is a member of the Pleasantville Reformed church.

Battle's History of Bucks County 1887

. The principal inducement with the earliest settlers in locating here was the low price at which lands were for sale as compared with what was asked for improved tracts nearer the river or the city of Philadelphia. It is scarcely possible that any one of them would have predicted the removal of the countyseat, which occurred three-quarters of a century later, but long before the possible existence of a town in the midst of their settlement dawned upon the minds of the most sanguine, the present site of Doylestown became an objective point, easily accessible from all directions by two of the much-frequented highways of the period—the Easton and Swedes' Ford roads. The former was opened from Philadelphia to Round Meadows (Willow Grove), thence to the governor's residence in Horsham, and thence, upon petition of inhabitants of Plumstead, it was extended to Dyer's mill in 1723. That part of the road from Coryell's ferry (New Hope) to Norristown, between the York road and Simon Butler's mill (Chalfont), was opened in 1730. These highways cross as Main and State streets of the borough, and to the advantages thus conferred the existence and present importance of the town are directly traceable.

The earliest name by which the village was known was Barndtville,-from the village tavernkeeper's name. A post-office was established in 1843 under the name of Whitehallville with William Stephens as postmaster. Upon the opening of the railroad in 1856 this name was continued for a time, but finally changed to Chalfont, which seems to meet with general approbation and will probably be more permanent than its predecessors.

VB. CLYMER, wholesale dealer in cattle, hogs, etc., P. 0. Chalfont, was born , in Warrington township, Bucks county, in 1845. The Clymer family is one of the oldest in the township, and have always been highly esteemed. Henry Clymer, grandfather of V. B., married Christiana Culp of this county. They were the parents of eleven children, Henry being the third son. He married Mary Benner, by whom he had eleven children, seven of whom are still living. Henry Clymer died in 1865. V. B. Clymer was a son of this couple, attended the common schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he learned the carpenter's trade. He afterwards removed to his present location, and engaged in milling. In 1881 he lost his property by fire, and commenced his present business, which he carried on extensively in connection with butchering, shipping principally to Philadelphia markets. In 1870 he married Emma, daughter of Christian and Susanna H. Haldeman, of this county. They are the parents of two daughters : Flora May, aged 15 years; and Elsie, aged 7 years. Mr. Clymer is a member of the New Britain Baptist Church In politics be is a republican.

Francis J. Curley, farmer, P. O. Chalfont, was born in Galway county, Ireland, in 1828. His grandfather was Nicholas Curley, who married Margaret McDermoft, and bad three sons and two daughters. Nicholas, the youngest of this family, married Bridget Burns. The result of this union was a son and three daughters, all living. Francis J. was the second child.

John Geil, farmer, P. O. Chalfont, was born in Bucks county in 1819. His paternal grandfather came to this country from Germany, and was the father of John Geil. The latter married Elizabeth Pretz, by whom he had nine children, eight of whom lived to maturity, our subject being the second son. John Geil was a well-known Mennonite preacher ; his congregation was at Line Lexington. He was also a republican in (politics. He was born in New Britain township, April 1, 1778, and died January 9, 1866. He was pastor of the Mennonite church fifty-five years. He was a man of intelligence, read quite a great deal, wrote wills, deeds, agreements, etc., yet he went to school but a few months. John Geil, Jr., was born in the house where he now lives, and was reared on a farm, remaining there until he was 28 years of age. He married Sarah, daughter of Jesse Koe, who bore him three children : Samuel S., born December 19, 1857 ; Mary Frances, born July 31, 1850; and Margaret, born October 13, 1853. His first wife died in 1859, and he was again married, in 1862, to Lydia, daughter of Isaac and Catherine Strouse, of this county. They have no issue. Mr. Geil has travelled a great deal, and has owned land and carried on farming in Ohio and Indiana. He is a great reader, and is well informed on the topics of the day. He is a republican politically.

Wilson Haldeman, proprietor of creamery, P. O. Chalfont, was born in this county in 1845. About the year 1700 the original Haldemans came to America from Germany in the persons of two brothers, one of whom never married. It is believed that the Haldemans in the United States are all descended from the other brother. John R., the father of Wilson, married Mary, the daughter of Henry Hohlbain, of this county, and had two children, only one of whom, Wilson, is still livino-. He was educated in the common schools and in business college at Philadelphia. He engaged in general merchandise business for seventeen years at Chalfont; the store property he still owns.

.Jacob T. Hillpot, farmer, P. 0. Chalfont, was born in Tinicum township, Bucks county, in 1840. George Adam Hillpot, the great-grandfather of Jacob T.,married Maria Phillippina Schnauffer, who bore him five sons and four daughters. At the age of forty years this pioneer died of fever contracted in the revolutionary war. Frederick Hillpot vias a son of this patriot. He married Susanna Stem, by whom he had five sons and four daughters. Samuel, the third child, married Eva Trauger, of this county, and they were the parents of four children : Joseph, a clergyman ; Hannah (Mrs. Grouver), Jacob T. and Susanna (Mrs. Allium). Jacob T. Hillpot attended school until he was 19 years of age. In 1873 he married Lydia, daughter of Joseph and Rosanna Ahlum, of this county. They have no issue. Mr. Hillpot lived on his father's farm until he purchased his present farm in 1882. He is a member of the Lutheran church and a democrat.

Samuel G. Kerns, coach-maker, P. O. Chalfont, is a grandson of John Adam and Catherine (Shaffer) Kerns. They had five sons and one daughter. Samuel, their youngest child, married Catherine Geiger, of Montgomery county, Pa., to whom two sons and two daughters M^ere born, our subject, Samuel G., being the youngest son and third child. The ancestors came from Holland. Samuel G. received a common-school education, and at the age of 18 years learned the coachbuilding trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years and following his trade in this and many Western states. In 1859 he came to the East and in 1863 was married to Elmira, daughter of John and Elizabeth Eckhart, of Newville, this county. Three children were born to them: Franklin P., Willard Van (deceased) and Oliver E. Both sons are at home with their father. Since 1863 Mr. Kerns has been located at his present place of business. He manufactures and repairs all kinds of heavy and light wagons, etc. In 1862 he volunteered as a private in the Union army and for fourteen months was exposed to the dangers of war. He was engaged in the battle of Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg. Being wounded he was honorably discharged from duty. Mr. Kerns is a Lutheran and a democrat.

Samuel G. Kerns, coach-maker, P. O. Chalfont, is a grandson of John Adam and Catherine (Shaffer) Kerns. They had five sons and one daughter. Samuel, their youngest child, married Catherine Geiger, of Montgomery county, Pa., to whom two sons and two daughters M^ere born, our subject, Samuel G., being the youngest son and third child. The ancestors came from Holland. Samuel G. received a common-school education, and at the age of 18 years learned the coachbuilding trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years and following his trade in this and many Western states. In 1859 he came to the East and in 1863 was married to Elmira, daughter of John and Elizabeth Eckhart, of Newville, this county. Three children were born to them: Franklin P., Willard Van (deceased) and Oliver E. Both sons are at home with their father. Since 1863 Mr. Kerns has been located at his present place of business. He manufactures and repairs all kinds of heavy and light wagons, etc. In 1862 he volunteered as a private in the Union army and for fourteen months was exposed to the dangers of war. He was engaged in the battle of Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg. Being wounded he was honorably discharged from duty. Mr. Kerns is a Lutheran and a democrat.

Zachariah Leidy, real estate agent, P. O. Chalfont, was born in Montgomery county in 1814. His great-grandfather came from Germany! Jacob, the son of this early settler, was married to a Miss Sclioll, and had five sons and four daughters. John, the oldest son and child, was married to Mary Groff. Zachariah is the youngest of their four children. His mother died when he was only four months old. Later his father was married to the widow of Jacob Gerliart. Two daughters wer6 the result of this marriage. Our subject was married in 1835 to Catherine A., daughter of Philip Gable, of Montgomery county, to whom five children were born : Isaiah, Jeremiah, Mary, Amanda and Emma. Amanda, now Mrs. Doughty, of Hartsville, Bucks county, is their only surviving child. Being the youngest son, our subject was sent away from home at the age of 7 years. When 18 years old he learned the tanner's trade and started in business for himself. His tannery was located in Hilltown township. Being of an enterprising disposition, he was soon engaged in a lucrative business, which he carried on for fifteen years. He erected several dwelling-houses near his own and built up a town which now bears his name. He also erected a temperance hotel which he kept in connection with a general store. In 1863 he removed to Chalfont, then Whitehallville, and engaged in the real estate business. He is a director of the "Whitehall Fire Insurance and Chalfont Storm Insurance companies, and in the year 1886 insured property to the amount of $200,000. When 16 years old, he joined the church and at the age of 22 was elected deacon. In the year 1853 he with several other members erected the present Leidytown Presbyterian church, in which he was an elder for about twenty-two years. About ten years ago he was instrumental in building the Presbyterian church at Chalfont, a branch of the Leidytown church. He gave the ground on which the above-mentioned church is built and has always rendered financial support in time of need. He is a republican, and the prohibition cause has in him a sincere advocate.

Charles (or Karl) Massinger, farmer, P. O. Chalfont, was born in Kaiserlantern Rhinepfals, Bavaria, August 17, 1832. There is probably not another family in the United States who bear this name, except one in New York city, and it is supposed that the above was the original spelling of the name which is now pronounced Messinger. Jacob and Catherine (Wenzel) Massinger were the parents of four children : Charles, Magdalena, Babette, and Louisa. In 1850 Mr. Massinger emigrated to America, landing in New York on July 4th of that year, settled in Hilltown township till 1854, and from that date till 18G5 traveled from Hilltown north, south, and as far west as the Rocky mountains, and in 1865 visited his native country, returning the same year. From 1860 to 1867 he was engaged in gold mining at Pike's Peak, and in 1867 returned and settled in New Britain township. He was married in 1867 to Mary Amanda, daughter of Samuel and Annie Heckler, of Hilltown township, this county, and has six children : C. Jerome, now studying medicine ; Eber M., Wesley, H. Omray, William and K. Mabel, at home. Mr. Massinger, since his final settlement in the place, has devoted his time to looking after his farm. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a democrat.

Abel J. Mathews, physician and druggist, P. 0. Chalfont. It was about the year 1712 that Simon Mathews, with a party of emigrants, came from Wales to America and settled in this neighborhood. In 1713, to this pioneer was born a son, John, who married Diana Thomas. They were the parents of ten children, of whom three died in infancy. Joseph, born 1747, the youngest son, married Sarah Thomas, who bore him two children, both dying young. His wife, Sarah, died and he afterward married Lydia Eaton, and by her had two children, John and Joseph. Joseph, born 1789, was the eldest child, and married Hannah, daughter of William and Elizabeth Hines. They were the parents of eight children : Simon, the oldest son, married Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Trumbower, of this county, and had three children, all living. Attending the common schools till the age of 18 years, Mr. Mathews commenced at the age of 19 years to study medicine, and in 1870 entered Jefferson Medical college at Philadelphia, graduating in 1873. Although not a graduate in pharmacy, he passed an examination before the examining board of Philadelphia, and was employed as clerk in a drug store for two years. In 1875 he located at this place. He was married December 25, 1876, to Ella, daughter of Joseph and Jane Scott, of Philadelphia. They have had four children : Walter, Abel, Harry (deceased), and Ethel. Mr. Mathews is a member of the Baptist church, and a republican.

Charles M. Pearson, farmer, P. O. Chalfont. The pioneer from whom the Pearson families in this country are descended, came from England with William Penn. It is said that he christened " Chester" county in this state. His son Jesse married Hannah, daughter of Gideon and Hannah Vore, of Chester county. Nine children were born to this couple, of whom John was the sixth child. He married Martha Miller, of Reading, Pa., and had thirteen children, of whom seven are now living. Charles M. was the youngest. He attended the High school till 17 years of age, and was also a student in a business college three years. After leaving school he was employed as a clerk, and for three years was engaged in manufacturing-. In 1859 he married Lizzie, daughter of John and Elizabeth Rockafellow, of New Jersey. They have had four children : Martha, deceased ; Clara N., deceased ; Bessie H. and Charles E. For eighteen years Mr. Pearson has owned the property where he now resides, which is beautifully situated along the Neshaminy creek. During the summer months sojourners from the city find the house a resort second to none°in the locality. Mr. and Mrs. Pearson are members of the Baptist church, and he is a republican.

John S. Ruth, farmer, P. O. Chalfont, is a native of this township, and was born in 1845. David, his great-grandfather, came from Switzerland. Joseph, a son of this early settler, married Sallie Price, of Montgomery county (now 90 years old, with fair intellect), and by her had three sons and two daughters, all living, with the exception of one daughter. Henry, the oldest son, married Magdalena, daughter of John Swartley, a descendant of Philip Swartley, who came from the town of Ebengen, Germany, in 1782, and married Sallie Rosenberger, of Montgomery county. This couple lived to a ripe old age, and owned the farm now occupied by Abraham G. Ruth. John S. and Joseph S. are the sons born to Henry and Magdalena. Ambitious to engage in the practical concerns of life, our subject abandoned school at the age of 13, and for the next twenty-three years devoted his time to farming, produce commission business and travelling. In 1874 he married Sallie Swartley, now deceased. She bore him two sons, Harry and Frank, both living. Mr. Ruth was married, in 1882, to Annie E., daughter of Lewis Seifer, a well-to-do farmer of Richland township, this county. In 1874 he purchased the farm where he was born and reared, and where he remained till 1882. In 1879 he was elected a director of the Union National bank of Souderton,in which capacity he still serves. He was engaged in the mercantile business at Chalfont for two years, then moved to his present home. He has for some time made a special study of phrenology, and his clear conception of men indicates conclusively there is in the science a great percentage of truthfulness. Both he and his wife are members of the Mennonite church, and he is a republican.

Samuel Weisel, farmer and lumberman, P. O. Chalfont, is of German lineage, his great-great-grandfather having emigrated from Germany, when 12 yeai'S of ao'e. He settled in Bedminster township, where his son Micliael was born and lived until his death. His son, George, was tlie grandfatlier of our subject. He was born in Bedminster, Marcli 11, 1773, and removed to Montgomery county, where he bouo-ht a farm, where he lived until he came to the farm now occupied by Samuel, on which he died, April 23, 1862, in his ninetieth year. On April 19, 1796, he was married to Margaret Sclieib, who was born June 8, 1775, and died May 27, 1858, in her eighty-third year. Their children were : Mary Magdalena, George and Michael, all deceased. George, the father of Samuel, was born November 8, 1799, and died February 23, 1881, aged 82. He lived with his father until the latter's death, and in 1833 removed from Montgomery county to the place now occupied by his descendants in this township, which he and his brother Michael owned in partnership. Later they dissolved, and George took the entire property, wliich he deeded to his son Samuel on the latter's marriage. On September 15, 1822, he was married to Catherine, daughter of John Sclieib, of New Britain township, where she was born, August 22, 1802. She is still living with her son, and is now in her eighty-sixth year. To tiiis union four children were born: Henry, born September 21,1823, and died June 3, 1884 ; Mary Ann, born October 3, 1825, who died February 20, 1878; Aaron, born February 25, 1831, now living in New Britain township; and Samuel, born April 12, 1828. He was five years of age when his parents came to this township, and since then has always lived on^he same place. On his marriage he took possession of the farm, his parents removing to the new house they had built on the property where his father died, and where Samuel had also removed a few months previously. The farm then comprised sixty-four acres, but subsequent purchases by Mr. Samuel Weisel have increased it to two hundred and seventythree acres, making him the largest landowner in the township. Seven years ago he gave up the active management of the farm to his son, Franklin P., and has since attended to the saw-mill, which adjoins the place. On November 2, 1851, he was married to Catherine A., daughter of John M. Kober, who was born in New Britain township, September 15, 1829. Their union was blessed with six children: Franklin P., A. Amanda, Mary A., Catherine Ann, Henry Phares, living; and Sallie E., deceased. , Mr. Weisel has an interest in educational matters, and for sixteen years has been school director. He and his wife are members of St. Peter's Reformed church at Hilltown, of which he has been a deacon. He is an energetic citizen, whose well-directed labors have entitled him to the competence he is enjoying. In politics he is a democrat.

 

CHURCHES

Church's fate 'in God's hands'

By FREDA R. SAVANA
The Intelligencer

Church's fate 'in God's hands'
By FREDA R. SAVANA
The Intelligencer

After nearly 150 years, St. James Lutheran Church is facing a financial crisis that may force it to close and its members to worship elsewhere.

Declining membership, a hefty mortgage and the rising costs of heating and maintaining the old building in the heart of the historic district, at Main Street and Park Avenue, have contributed to the congregation's considerable money woes, said Jim Karthaus, the church's treasurer.

“We're giving it our best, last effort,” said Karthaus. “If we can't raise enough we'll have to vote to hand it over to the synod. That could come within the next couple of months.

Karthaus said it's likely the synod (the church's parent organization) would sell the building, possibly to another church.

Church members are looking for support from within as well as in the wider community, hoping to reach a goal of some $300,000 to pay off a mortgage twice that size that it took in the late 1990s. The church borrowed more than $600,000 for a major renovation project that restored its original tin ceiling, added a reception area, two nurseries and a new entryway.

Andy Grove, president of the church's council, said raising the money would allow the church, the oldest in the tiny borough, to survive.

“I like to put it in God's hands,” he said.

Problems started as the congregation began to shrink over

the past decade. That was due in large part, said Grove, to a change in services that shifted from traditional to contemporary.

When the church decided to move away from a traditional Lutheran service, Grove said, many families left and membership plummeted from its high of 175 families to the 40 or so families it has today.

“We are wonderful and love who we are,” said Karthaus, “but the building may be too big for us.”

With dwindling members “it's just not enough to cover the mortgage, pay a full time pastor and heat the building,” he said. Utility costs alone reach $1,000 a month.

Should the church dissolve, both Grove and Karthaus said, members could move to a Lutheran church in nearby Hilltown or Dublin or stay together and worship in each other's homes or another location.

Pastor Jim Heckman of St. Peter's on Hilltown Pike will be available to meet with interested members from St. James to give an overview of the ministries at his church on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

While the congregation continues to hold its Saturday and Sunday services, it is also meeting each Tuesday night at 6:30 for prayer and conversation at the church.

Regardless of whether the church continues, Grove said the congregation is optimistic the landmark building will maintain its historical integrity, protected by its status in the historic district.

Donations can be sent to:
St. James Lutheran Church
14 Park Ave.
Chalfont, PA 18914
For more information, call (267) 221-8223 or (215) 345-0788

Freda R. Savana can be reached at (215) 345-3061 or fsavana@phillyBurbs.com.

January 21, 2007 6:09 AM

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Page last updated: January 24, 2017

 

 

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Nancy C. Janyszeski All rights reserved.     Information submitted remains, to the extent the laws allows, the property of the submitter who by submitting it agrees that it may be freely copied, but never sold or used in a commercial venture without the knowledge and permission of the rightful owners.   

This website was created as a guide to the history and genealogy of Bucks County Pennsylvania. All efforts have been made to be accurate and to document sources. Some of the material has been contributed and published, with permission, in good faith. All effort has been made to be accurate as possible, and to refer to sources used. If you see an error, please let me know. This website was designed to be informative, a guide to Bucks County history and genealogical research, and hopefully fun. I can't guarantee that all the data is accurate.

Broken Links:  NancyJanyszeski@yahoo.com Bucks County