THE BOROUGH OF HELLERTOWN. By J. S. HESS, ESQ. HELLERTOWN is a thriving village, situated in the centre of Lower Saucon township, in the rich and fertile Saucon valley, on the right bank of the Saucon Creek, on the eastern side of the North Pennsylvania Railroad, of which it is an important station. It was incorporated as a borough by the January Court in 1872, after considerable opposition on the part of some of the old citizens. The first election resulted in the choice of the following officers Chief Burgess, Thos. R. Laubach Town Council- Charles Wagner J. B. Leith C. J. Weierbach Moses Henninger W. F. Detwiller T. S. Eisenhart Justice of the Peace, P. B. Lerch. THE ORIGINAL SETTLERS. In or near Hellertown were Christopher and Simon Heller two brothers, Palatines, who came across the ocean in the ship "Winter Galley," from Rotterdam, and arrived September 5th, 1738. Christopher obtained the patent for his land September 8th, 1742, and Simon received his patent October 14th, 1746. There is reason to believe that they were, descendants of a Michael Heller, as that is a favorite name with the family. In 1800, we find three of that name in Hellertown, who were distinguished as "Oehlig" Mike "Knicke" Mike "Heffner" Mike, because the first was engaged in the manufacture of linseed-oil, the second lived close by the Saucon Creek, and the third was a potter. Two of these had sons by the name of Michael, who were known as " Knicke" Mikes Mike and " Oehlig" Mikes Mike. The family of the same name living in Hellertown, now, the widow of C. B. Heller, and her son, Dr. H. Heller, are not lineal descendants of either of the original settlers. Anthony Boehm, the son of Rev. John Philip Boehm, who came to this country about 1720, built what is the oldest house still standing in Hellertown. It is the property of John A. Geisinger, The Schaeffers and the M'Hoses were early residents of the town. The village, has, from its earliest days, been noted for LITIGATION. The civil court is rarely without a case from Hellertown, even at the present day. The criminal court is happily less often appealed to. It is related that, at the beginning of the present century, when Samuel Sitgreaves, a high-toned gentleman, was at the head of the Easton bar, two Schaeffers of Hellertown had a suit at court. S. Sitgreaves, Esq., was employed by one of them, who stated that he could prove his claim by three witnesses. When they came to court the first witness testified to the opposite of what had been promised, the second witness corroborated the testimony of the first. This was too much for such an honorable man of the old school as Sitgreaves. He arose from his seat in court, put his bag under his arm, and addressed the court as follows: "Your honor, my client has deceived me woefully, I am his attorney no longer," and left the room. In 1820 the town contained thirteen houses eighteen families three taverns two stores one grist-mill seventy-three inhabitants. There was a linseed-oil manufactory in the place the early part of the century, which afterwards burned down. A distillery was also among the early industrial interests of the town. For many years the growth of the place was slow. SCHOOL Matters were not neglected in the village, although no separate school building was erected until 1845, when John Reutzheimer presented a lot for that purpose, alongside of the brook, in the centre of the town. Previous to that a room was let from one or the other of the citizens for educational purposes. School was taught in no less than six of the thirteen houses constituting Hellertown, in 1820. As soon as the place was incorporated the school was divided into primary and grammar schools. The school term at present is eight months, and the salaries are fifty-five and thirty dollars per month. A TANNERY Was started between 1780 and 1790, which continued in operation until 1872, when the old tannery passed out of the hands of Joseph F Landis into those of Dr. W. F. Detwiller. The completion of the NORTH PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD Through this place, in 1856, gave a new impetus to business. Rudolphus Kent, of Gwynedd, with others from Philadelphia, bought the Geisinger farm, laid it out in town lots, secured the railroad station on their tract, and called the new town Hampton. This real estate enterprise proved a failure, only one house having been built on it for many years. The station had originally been promised to the other end of town, on lands of Rev. Samuel Hess, and hence no interest was taken by the old citizens in the town that was to supplant the old place and name. A number of buildings were erected in that part of the town where the station was originally intended to be. Hampton was finally abandoned, and the land resold to the original owner, John Geisinger. For many years, a small frame shanty was used as a station-house. In 1868, a large, convenient brick building, was erected by the railroad company. 231 COAL YARDS. A coal yard was started by Joseph F. Boyer, the railroad agent, soon after the completion of the road, who continued in business until 1868, when Jer. S. Hess, started a coal and lumber yard, in the southern portion of the town, where the business is still carried on by Hess & Roth, who also have charge of the BRICK YARD started by Rev. Samuel Hess, in 1849. The organization of THE SAUCON IRON COMPANY. In 1866, and the establishment of their works in Hellertown gave a fresh start to the quiet little village, and new buildings were erected in different, parte of the town. In one year, more than twenty new houses were erected. The company was organized (mainly through the influence of Jacob Riegel a native of Saucon, near Hellertown, and a successful and prominent dry goods merchant, of Philadelphia,) on the twenty-first of August, 1866, and was granted letters patent, under the general manufacturing laws of Pennsylvania, by the Governor, August 23d, 1866. On March 18th, 1868, the company obtained a special charter from the Legislature, with an authorized capital of $300,000, with the privilege of increasing the same to S1,000,000. The capital stock has since been increased to $600,000, which is paid in full. The company was organized in August 1866, by the election of Messr. Joseph Wharton Jacob Riegel J. Gillingham Fell Joseph B. Altemus Joshua, Lippincott George W. Whitaker William Riegel Directors of the Company Mr. Geo. W. Whitaker was elected President and Superintendent Mr. Jacob Riegel, Treasurer Mr. James D. Bennett, Secretary Mr. Joseph Diehl, Superintendent of Mines The works of the company, consist of two blast-furnaces, and it number of hematite and magnetic, ore-mines. Under the plan, and immediate Superintendence of Mr. Whitaker-the President and Superintendent-work was at once begun on the first stack, which was completed in February, 1868, and blown-in March 23d, 1868. The Second stack was completed in April 1870, and blown-in May five feet high, and sixteen feet in diameter at the boshes they are iron shells, hoed with brick, and supported by iron columns; the hot-blast ovens and boiler-houses, are built on the top of large stone arches, making them on a level with the tops of the furnaces. The capacity of each stack, is about ten thousand tons of Foundry Pig-iron, per annum. The ores used by this company, are mined by themselves. Hematite, principally in Northampton county, and the remainder in Lehigh county, magnetic ores in Lehigh county, and in Morris county, N. J. When the works are, in full blast, they afford employment to about three hundred and fifty hands. The present officers of the company are Messrs Joseph Wharton Jacob Riegel Joseph R. Whitaker Joseph B. Altemus Joshua Lippincott William RiegelDirector J oseph B. Altemus, President Jacob Riegel, Treasurer Michael Fackenthal, Secretary THE HELLERTOWN FOUNDRY. Now owned by Brown & Co, was started by Samuel Solliday in 1872, and was first run, by horse-power. It changed hands repeatedly, until it, was finally bought by, its present owners, in 1874, who purchased additional machinery and enlarged the building. In 1876 they took a contract from the Light House Board of the United States, to erect the iron superstructure of a light house, to be placed at Fowey Rocks on the Florida coast. They failed to complete the contract within the specified time, and it was taken out of their hands. They gave employment, at, times, to more than forty persons. THE SAUCON SAVING BANK Was organized for business, on the l6th of October 1871. The charter was obtained from the State Legislature, in 1871, and is dated May 10th. The first officers of the institution were: P. B. Breinig, M.D., President Jer. S. Hess, Cashier Directors- P. B. Breinig Thomas R. Laubach William R. Yeager Rev. Samuel Hess Jacob Markle After Dr. Breinig removed from Hellertown, Thomas R. Laubach was elected President, and still occupies the position. The capital stock is $20,000. The deposit, vary from $100,000 to $123,000. The stockholders are individually liable for double the amount of the capital stock. A PLANING-MILL Was begun on a small scale, in 1874, by Jacob Hames. In 1875, Messrs. March and Kreider, built, a new mill, adding improved machinery, and the business is now successfully carried on by Kreidler & Co. A FURNITURE MANUFACTORY With a Baxter engine and all the necessary machinery, was started by F. L. Reilman, in 1875. Previous to that, the furniture business was carried on by the same gentleman, but the work was made by hand, or purchased from the city manufacturers. THE HELLERTOWN FLOUR-MILL Is situated just outside the borough limits, and belongs to J. & J. Wagner. In 1875, the building was re-modeled, and turbine water-wheel with other improved machinery, put in. The first notice we find of this mill is in a deed of Thomas and Richard Penn, to Blasius Beyer, Dec 13th, 1867, in which it is called Beyers mill-seat. He deeded it to Joseph Jennning, Feb, 10th, 1708, and he to Jacob Overpack, Oct 1st, 1768, from him Christopher Wagner received it, Oct. 20th, 1772. When Christopher Wagner received the property, it was a saw-mill, only. It has since remained in the Wagner family. THE SAW-MILL Belonging to Henry Stever, is but a short distance from town. It is now run by water-power, and a large amount of oak and chestnut timber, is annually sawed at this mill. Owing to the proximity of the old churches, built when Hellertown consisted of but a few scattered farm houses, no RELIGOUS SERVICES Were regularly hold in town until within the last few years. The congregations are still small, owing to the fact, that many of the citizens still attend the neighboring churches. There are two church edifices, in town at present-the one a Union Church, in which the Reformed and Lutheran congregations worship-the other the Evangelical Church The members of the EVANGELICAL CHURCH purchased the old school house in 1870, and had it fitted up for divine worship. The building is small, but answers except on extraordinary occasions. Before the purchase of the building, the members were wont to meet for divine worship in an upper room fitted up for the purpose in the dwelling house connected with the tannery, then the property of Joseph F. Landis. Services were first held there, about twenty years ago, by Rev. Wm. Bachman, and ever since, more or less regularly, by the various pastors, who were sent to minister to them, down to the year 1870. Rev. N. Goebel was the first minister of the Evangelical Church who preached in Hellertown. He came to Hellertown, some time in 1850, and asked to preach in the school house, but was refused admission by the trustees, so he spoke, in front, of the building. After the school house was bought of the School Board, twenty, year later, and converted into a church, he assisted in the dedicatory service. The regular pastor, since, 1870, were Revs. Henry Stetzel Jacob Zern Moses Dissinger Daniel Yiengst. The Sunday-school connected with this church, was started soon after the dedication. It is under the superintendency of Francis L. Fehr; numbers sixty scholars, and fifteen teachers and officers. In April, 1870, previous to the sale of the School house to the Evangelical brethren, the members, of the REFORMED AND LUTHERAN CHURCHES Met in the school house relative to the erection of a church edifice. After an eligible site had been selected-on the southeast corner of Saucon and Northampton streets-a building committee was appointed, consisting of Rev. Samuel Hess Thomas R. Laubach W. Lambert Wm. Riegel Peter Harris P. B. Breinig was elected Treasurer Jer. S. Hess. Secretary From this, time service were held regularly in the Hellertown by T. O. Stem Reformed), and Rev. Wm. Rath (Lutheran). The building was started at once, forty-five feet front and eighty feet deep. It is a plain, substantial brick edifice. The corner-stone was laid July 30th, 1870, and services held on Saturday and Sunday, July 30th and 31st. The church was completed by the following spring, and dedicated to the service of God, on Whitsuntide, May 28th and 29th 1871. Rev T. O. Stem officiated until September 1876, when he offered his resignation and left, Rev A. B. Koplin has been elected his successor. Rev. Wm. Rath is still the officiating Lutheran clergyman. The communicant members, of the two congregations worshiped in this church-called Christ Union Church-number about one, hundred and fifty. Services are held in two languages-one-half German and one-half English. The first officiating of the Reformed Congregation were : Elders-Thos. R. Laubach and P. B. Lerch Deacons- Lewis H. Heft J. Franck Roth Samuel J. Hoffard Walter S. Green Of the Lutheran Congregation : Elders-T. S. Eisenhart and H. H. Klein Deacons Moses Henninger J. B. Leith K. L. Rothman James Wagner The Sunday-school connected with this church comprises a corps of excellent teachers and officers. It was only a continuation of the Sunday-school, which has been in existence about thirty years, The school is at present under the superintendency of Jer. S. Hess, It members about one hundred and twenty-five scholars and twenty-five teachers and officers. The library is small. The singing of the school, which is in charge of Assistant Superintendent, T. K. Reichard, is excellent. In September, 1876, the Sunday-school undertook the work of excavating Load placing a basement under the church, By Utristmas, the room was really for a church festival, from which was realized three-fourths of the amount necessary to defray the expenses of the basement. 232 THE UNION CEMETERY Association was started in 1874. Finding it necessary to have a burial grounds, the following gentlemen: Rev. Samuel Hess T. S. Eisenhart J. F. Rentzheimer Jer. S Hess, associated themselves under the name and title of "The Union Cemetery Association of Hellertown," obtained a charter from the Court, February 26th, 1874, and purchased a tract of two acres and a half from Jacob Rentzheimer and Charles Roth, southeast of the borough limits, which was regularly laid out in walks, drives, and burial plots. The officers of the Association are: President, J. F. Rentzheimer, Vice-President, T. S. Eisenhart Secretary and Treasurer, Jer. S. Hess The incorporators derive no pecuniary benefit from it. As soon as the purchase money, expenses, and interest are paid, the balance belongs to the Association, to be used for the improvement of the grounds. The first interment was that of Caroline Rentzheimer, the widow of Charles Rentzheimer. One of the incorporators, Rev. Samuel Hess, has since been buried on it. There are at present but two LODGES in the, borough, the "Odd Fellows" (under which we include the "Encampment") and the "Sons of Herman;" the "Mechanics." the "Seven Wise Men," and the "Rebekah" lodges, have no organization at present. The "Sons of Herman" is a German lodge, which was organized on the second of October, 1869, and numbers seventy-one members at the present time. THE ODD FELLOWS Have been the most prosperous. The Lodge, which goes under the name of "Sancara Lodge, No. 606," was organized September 2d, 1867. The first officers were: Dr. A., J, Harris, N. G. L. E. Weaver, V. G. Joshua K. Hess, Secretary W. H. Werst, Assistant Secretary The "Encampment" called "Trinick," was chartered September 3d 1870. The Odd Fellows number at least one hundred members. In May, 1876, they bought a lot, with an old house on it, from Peter Moll, and in August they tore it down and commenced the erection of a large and commodious hall, which is an ornament to the town. The hall is thirty feet front by sixty feet deep. It is a three-story building, not including the basement and Mansard roof. The first floor is fitted up for a store, the second floor for a town hall, and the third for association purposes. The Board of Trustees, under whose efficient management the building was erected were: Charles A. Mauch H. H. Klein J. Francis Roth H. D. Heller was elected vice Roth, before the building was completed. THE MEDICAL PROFESSION Is well represented, There are four doctors, viz: W. F. Detwiller A. J. Harris A. Brown H. D. Heller The first is a son, and the last a grandson, of Dr. Henry Detwiller, a resident of Easton, the pioneer of homeopathy in this county, and one of the most active citizens of Hellertown in days gone-by. NEWSPAPERS. Two attempts to publish newspapers have been made, but both proved abortive. Thos. M Weber commenced The Hellertown Telegraph, an English and German paper in 1858, but it only survived about a year. In 1875, L. H. Roth started a monthly sheet, entitled The Saucon Advertiser. It died after an existence of a few months. John A. Laubach has charge of a small job printing office at present Thos. R. Weber has been publishing a singing-book, called Pennsylvania Harmony, for many years, which is used in Reformed and Lutheran churches of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The population of Hellertown proper (exclusive of the population north of the corporate limits, near the furnace) is about five hundred and fifty. It contains five stores two hardware stores one drug store two carriage factories one foundry one grist-mill one saw-mill one planing-mill two furnace stacks three hotels coal and lumber yard furniture manufactory a town hall a bank two churches. This last enumeration includes all in the immediate vicinity of Hellertown, The population, including what should belong to the borough, would be about 1.000.