The History of the Borough of Bath
THE Borough of Bath was incorporated February 1st, 1856, and the first
election was held oil the twenty-first, of the following March, The first
borough officers were,
Burgess, James Vleet
Members of Council-
Secretary, Abraham Knecht;
High Constable, Benjamin Hunt;
Street Commissioner, Daniel Miller;
Treasurer, Dr. G. P. Kern
James Vleet was appointed Surveyor, and authorized and directed to make a
survey and plot of the borough.
The Council adopted the Rule of the Borough of Easton for the government
of their body.
Among the early settlers in the, limits and vicinity of the present,
Borough of Bath, were
These, with other settlers were here during and before the period of the
Revolutionary War, though not until many years later than the planting of
the Craig settlement, which was within it short distance of them, to the
John Lattimore was the purchaser of a tract of confiscated land sold by
Benjamin Franklin for the Government in 1778
Other early settlers, upon that part of East Allen township where Bath
now is, were
Jacob Kern, and a Hebrew named First, which latter, established the first store at this
point about 1810, being followed by Jacob Vogel, who commenced about 1815,
arid Jacob Kern about 1820. The first dwelling house in Bath (according to
the recollection of the oldest citizen) was erected by Joseph Siegfried,
about the year 1810. A tannery had, however, been established here at, a
much earlier date.
THE FIRST GRIST-MILL.
Was built in 1812, by Joseph Siegfried. It is the same now owned by John
Koch. A second one was erected fit 1817, by Jacob Vogel. This property is
now owned and carried on by Levi Barber.
In 1816 Bath was laid out as a village by James Ralston. It contained at
that time not, more than five dwellings, and yet it must have been a place,
of some little consideration, as containing two stores, a tannery and a
grist-mill, to which were added another mill and store immediately after,
as we have seen.
In the year 1833, the meeting was called to build a house of worship, At,
this meeting it was resolved to erect A UNION CHURCH to be used as a place
of worship by the Reformed and Lutheran people. On the twenty-fourth of
February, 1833, a meeting was called to elect a building committee, and in
May, 1833, a constitution was adopted.
The first officers were
The church was completed in October, 1834, and named, “Bath Church,” on
the eleventh and twelfth days of October, 1834, it was consecrated, in
1834. Rev. A. Fuchs was unanimously elected pastor of the Lutheran
Congregation. April 5th, 1835, Father Fuchs entered upon his duties as
pastor, the congregation numbering thirteen communicant members. He
continued pastor up to May, 1875, when, on account of feeble health, he
resigned. During the forty years of his ministration, the congregation,
which had been so small when he assumed its, charge, had become strong and
numerous, and both Lutheran and Reformed thought, it was advisable that, a
separation should be made, and each congregation should build its own
Accordingly, the first meeting of the Lutherans was held
November 13th, 1875, at which a committee was appointed to select a
suitable site for the erection of a church, and on December 4th, 1875, it
was resolved to purchase the property on which their church now stands; and
steps were taken to procure a charter, under the name of
“St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bath.”
The charter and constitution were adopted December 11th, 1875, and a
building committee appointed. April 12th, 1876, the contract for the
erection of the church building was given to T M. D. Hirst, of Bethlehem.
Rev. S. A. Ziegenfuss was unanimously chosen pastor. He entered upon his
duties November 5th, 1876.
The officers of the church were
Henry F. Steckel
J. P. Moser
The basement of the church was consecrated December 10th, 1876. Up to this
time the Lutherans had worshiped in the old church.
April 21st and 22d, 1877, the main audience-room was consecrated. The size
ofthe building is 43 x 71 feet, a brick structure, and the property is
estimated at $18,000. The congregation numbers between three, and four
The history of the Reformed Congregation is in common with that of the
Luther an until their separation in November, 1876. In June previous to
their separation, measurements were taken for the immediate erection of a
house of worship, and a committee appointed to solicit aid, who, during the
first month, received subscriptions to the amount of $6,000. Upon the
evidence of this, encouraging report a building committee., was appointed,
who, purchasing a lot on Chestnut street, proceeded immediately to erect a
church, and so vigorously was the work prosecuted that in the latter part
of June the corner-stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies, conducted by
Revs. Smith, Heisler, Leinbach, and others. The church at this date is
nearly completed. It is constructed of brick, one-story with basement, at
a cost of about $9,000.
Congregation was organized by Rev. S. Rhoads in 1860. Services were held in
the Hall of the Sons of Temperance for a number of Years, and the hall was
finally bought and used as a place of meeting until 1870. The congregation
consisted of forty members, who, determined to build a church edifice,
which was done in the year 1870, under the pastoral care of Rev. W. A.
Leopold, who served three, Years and was succeeded by the Rev. Lewis
Snyder, who was succeeded two years later by the Rev. S. C. Breyfogel, The
present pastor is the Rev. George W. Gross. The church has now eighty-seven
members and a flourishing Sunday-school.
The building occupied by this denomination is a brick edifice, erected in
1870. Size, 36 x 60 feet, one-story with a basement, cost estimated at
$9,000. The corner-stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies in the spring
of 1870, and the building was consecrated in November, 1870, by Rev. Mr. James.
Previous to this the congregation met in the old Bath Church.
The building committee were
THE UNION SCHOOL HOUSE.
Is the only building in the borough which is used for educational
purposes. Its rooms and accommodations the ample for the present school
necessities of the town.
The Bath tannery is the direct successor of the old establishment started
here before the Revolution. It is now carried on by William Badder.
There are two marble works in Bath; one, carried on by Rhoads & Michael,
located on Chestnut street; and the other, by Daniel F. Reinhardt, on Main street.
The carriage manufactories are those of C. Haupt, on Chestnut street; and
of Rohrer & Crock, on Main street.
A foundry was established, in 1852, by Levi Barber, at the mill which was
built by Jacob Vogel in 1817, and a second foundry was started, in 1872, by
Barber, Knouse & Smock.
A furniture manufactory is operated by Josiah Bartholomew, on Main street.
There are, three general stores in the borough, namely, those of James
W. Heller and Reuben Schuman, on Chestnut street, and Henry Scholl, on Union
The other merchants of the place are
Thomas Moser & Son, dealers in hardware, corner Main and Chestnut streets
George P. Kern & Son, drugs, on Main street
John H. Blair and Charles Beers, both dealers in stoves and tinware, Main street
James P. Snyder, hats and caps, corner of Main and Walnut streets
THE UNION SAVINGS BANK OF EAST PENNNSYLVANIA
Is located at Bath. Charter granted, March 1st, 1870.
Incorporators met at Bethlehem, March 26th, 1870, and elected the
A. J. Erwin
J. H. Scholl
And adjourned, to meet at Bath; April 9th upon which day they met and
elected William Chapman as President, and Henry Scholl Vice-president;
whereupon they adjourned, to meet again on the twenty-third day of April.
Upon said day they met and elected Thomas H. Seem as Cashier, and opened
for business, June 1st, 1870. Authorized capital, $100,000. The
stockholders are personally responsible to the deposit for double the
amount of the capital stock. The bank has been doing very successful
business ever since.
The present trustees are:
A. W. Lerch
Dr. David Engelman
John H. Odenwelder
H. B. Fish, President
William Chapman; Vice President
A. W. Lerch; Cashier
Thomas H. Seem
THE BATH HOTEL.
Hotel, owned by Harry Gurnett, and kept by John Frey. This was erected by
Jacob Vogel, in 18217. Its first landlord was – Hurst,
THE AMERICAN HOUSE.
The American Home, kept at present by William Koch, was erected in 1847, by
Jacob Vogel, and first conducted by John Stein.
THE SLATE EXCHANGE.
The Slate Exchange was erected in 1857, by Samuel Straub, and is now kept
by John Beaver.
There is but one attorney in the borough, viz,: S. S. Duffy, Esq.
The physicians are:
Dr. G. P. Kern
Dr. Palmer M. Kern
Dr. W. H. Seip
Dr. G. T. Fox
Manoquesy Lodge, No. 413 -Established June 4th, 1868
KNIGHT OF PYTHTIAS.
Bath Lodge, No. 240 -Chartered February 16th. 1860. Established
February l7th, 1860.
ORDER UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS.
Bath Council, No. 174-Chartered and established October 31st, 1868.
Bath Council, No. 73, Junior O. U. A. M.-Chartered and established
November 11th, 1875
Was erected in 1847, on present location, Main street.
Is the old “Bath Church ” converted, and named as above, by the Knights of
Burgess, Charles Haupt
Members of Borough Council-
Charles Beers, President
Peter F. Snyder
James Moser, Secretary
Henry Schull, Treasurer
High Constable, Geo. Siegfried
Supervisor, William Warman
Solicitor, S. S. Duffy
Board of Health-
Dr. G. P. Kern
P. F. Snyder
John R. Warman
Dr. G. P. Kern
James W. Heller
Justices of the Peace-John McIlheney, Esq. elected 1875
S. S. Duffy, Esq., elected 1877
The population of the borough in 1870 was seven hundred and seven.