The History of the Borough of Nazareth
THE BOROUGH OF NAZARETH.
BY REV. EDWARD H. REICHEL.
IN the year of Grace 1457, some of the religious followers of the staunch
Bohemian martyr, John Huss (who was burnt at the stake on July 6th, 1417),
formed themselves into a close church fellowship with like-minded believers
from Moravia, and assumed the name of “The United Brethren.” The
descendants of these sorely tried professors of the Gospel, after having
suffered the most intense persecutions, were scattered through the
contiguous States of Central Europe, and finally almost entirely
extirpated. A remnant was, however, preserved; and some three hundred years
after the martyrdom of Huss-whom they considered the founder of their
church-the Spirit of God brought about a great awakening among this
remnant; and, in order to enjoy religious liberty and freedom of
conscience-sacred principles, always upheld by their ancestors-they now
threw off the shackles of oppression, by leaving their native lands, and
escaping into the Kingdom of Saxony. Here these hardy refugees found a
kind welcome, and were soon permitted to begin a settlement on the estate
of Count Zinzendorf in Upper Lusatia, where they founded Herrnhut in 1722.1
Five years later, a regular Church Government, was, established, and
thence dates the birth of the Renewed Brethrens Church, whose members are
now commonly styled “Moravians.” Imbued with a genuine missionary spirit,
their poster, Zinzendorf, who proved himself a worthy instrument in God’s
hand, used all his influence, political and religion, to further the spread
of the gospel; and here were men ready and willing to leave home and
friends, in order to carry the message of salvation to the uttermost parts
of the earth. It was in accordance with this movement that the first
Moravians crossed the Atlantic in 1735, and landed at Savannah, in the
Province of Georgia, there to engage in missionary labors among the negro
slaves. Others followed, and some of these proceeded northward into
Here Whitefield, the great Methodist preacher, who had previously become
acquainted with the Moravian Brethren, secured the services of some of them
to erect a large building for a school for negro orphans, on a tract of
5,000 acres of land, in the Forks of the Delaware, which he had purchased
He called this tract Nazareth; known, also, its “The Barony,” because,
when this purchase was “released and confirmed by William Penn to his
trusty friend, Sir John Fagg, for the sole use and behoof of his beloved
daughter, Letitia Aubrey, it was done on the condition of the payment of
one red rose, yearly, if demanded, in full for all services, customs, and
rents; with the privilege of holding thereon court baron, and views of
frank pledge for the conservation of the peace.”
It was on May 30th, in the year aforesaid, that this small band of hardy
mechanics, under the leadership of Peter Boehler(2) reached the spot
designated; and, as the shades of night closed upon them, they met for
their evening worship under the wide spread branches of a primitive oak,
which stood but a short distance from Captain Johns Indian village.(3) Before
the expiration of six months, two log houses (one of which is still
standing-the other was removed more than twenty years ago), and the lower
portion of the walls of the large edifice, were completed.
In consequence of some difficulty which now arose, nothing more was done
until 1743, when Whitefield sold this estate to the Moravians, who then
finished the main building, which has since that time been known as
“Ephrata,” or “The Whitefield House.4 ”
Here, then, was the first of that cordon of Moravian settlements
gradually made during the next twenty years in this section of the country.
In several cases, nothing is left of the original structures, but the
localities of all are still known by their names.
Taking Ephrata as our starting point, we find old Nazareth a few hundred
rods to the south, commenced in 1744; but whose quaint looking houses have
all been removed. One mile westward, was Gnadenthal, whose spacious
buildings, erected in 1745, gave way to those of the Courity Almshouse,
which was located here in 1835.
A short distance south of this spot is Christianspring, laid out in 1748,
and where we still find several of the first dwellings. About a mile to the
east of Ephrata is Friedensthal, on the Lehietan (Bushkill), whose first
mill, built in 1750, supplied the neighboring inhabitants with the best of
The Rose Settlement, containing the first Inn, or House of Entertainment,
was begun in 1752, on the Kings road, about a mile to the northeast.
“Standing on the very confines of barbarism, like a beacon off some dark
and stormy coast, its cheering presence was henceforth hailed by horsemen
and packers journeying on the Kings road, that led past and over the Blue
Mountain, many miles northward, to the farms and settlements that dotted
both shores of the Delaware in the Minisinks.” This ancient hostelry was
demolished in 1858.
The pretty hamlet of Schoeneck, commenced in 1761, is to the north,
almost within calling; and its old stone church, built in 1793, is still,
fortunately, cherished by those whose ancestors delighted to worship within
its massive walls.
The present town of Nazareth, embracing Ephrata and Old Nazareth within
its limits, was laid out on six hundred acres of the original tract, in 1771.
The corner-stone of Nazareth Hall was laid in 1755,and the building was
brought under roof within five months. Originally intended for the manor
house, it was, however, never occupied by Count Zinzendorf, whose return
from Germany did not take place, as death ended his useful career in 1760.
The ground floor of this building was used as a place of worship, until
the erection of the first church, in 1841; and its other roomy apartments
have been devoted to school purposes, from 1759 to the present day.5
The first graveyard was located, in 1753, on the highest point of the
ridge, running westward, and more than a mile from Ephrata. It was used for
only some ten or twelve years, and was gradually lost and forgotten amid
the forest trees which surrounded it.
In 1870, the Moravian Historical Society erected a plain marble shaft, on
a mound in the centre of the enclosure, and we find inscribed on it the
names of more than sixty persons, of various nationalites, whose mortal
remains were buried here.
In 1756, the present place of burial was set apart, on the brow of the
hill, just west of the hall. It has been enlarged several times, and is now
within the limits of The Evergreen Cemetery.
1. Captain Zinzendorf was born in Dresden, May 17th, he received a most
liberal education and finished his collegiate course, in the University
at Wittemberg. For some years he held in important position in the
government of Saxony, which he, however cheerfully resigned, in order
to devote all his time, talents, and influence, to the service of God.
He became the patron of the Moravians, who settled on one his estates,
in Lusatia. He entered the regular ministry of their church, and was
consecrated bishop in 1737. His subsequent life was one of constant
activity in planning and carrying out various projects for the
evangelization of the heathen in different parts of the world. In 1739
he visited the Moravian missions in the West Indies, and subsequently
made extensive journeyings ,among the Indiana in Pennsylvania and New
York. His truly eventful life closed in 1760, and his remains repose in
the centre of the graveyard at Herrnhut
2. This truly great man was born in Frankfort-on-the-Main.
December 3lst, 1712. He was intended by his fattier for the medical
profession, but entered the University of Jena as a divinity student, when
in his eighteenth year. Here he made the acquaintance of some Moravians
whose communion he joined; and, in 1737,, he was sent to missionate among
the negro slaves on the Plantations near Savannah Georgia. Three years
later, he proceeded to Pennsylvania, and this province became the principal
fleld of his future activity. He visited Europe several times, and died in
London, in April, 1755. John Wesley, the Methodist revivalist, calls Peter
Boehler his spiritual father.- (See Life of Wesley, &c.,)
3. Captain John, a Delaware, was a son of old Captain Harris, and a
half-brother to Tadeuskund, King of the Delawares in 1756. A populous
village of this tribe, under the jurisdiction of Captain John, occupied the
later site of old Nazareth, in 1740. For a time, this “shrewd old
Ishmalite” refused to give the Moravians full possession of the land just
purchased by them. He died in 1747, and, in accordance with his dying
request, was buried after the Christian mode of burial.
4.This building was originally intended by Whitefield for a school or
asylum for orphan negro children. Having passed out of his hands, it became
as well remarked, “the cradle of Moravianism in America.” The old house
has undergone many changes, and been used for many purposes. For a number
of years it was set apart as a nursery for infant children between two and
three years of age, thus to enable their parents “the better to labor for
the common good of the community.” This Institution was abolished about
1760, and, thenceforward, the Ephrata House was occupied by families for a
long period and in later years (1856) it was used, also, for educational
purposes. In 1871 the building was completely renovated, and altered in its
interior arrangements. Since that date, it has been set apart as a
temporary retreat for disabled missionaries and ministers, of the Church,
and is now called “The Missionary Home.” The Moravian Historical society
occupies the second floor for its library and museum.
5. In 1785, the hall was surmounted with a belfry, bull, and vane. The
hollow ball contains a document giving a short historical amount of the
origin of the neighboring settlements.” In 1796, a terrace was constructed
on the roof, and the belfry now received a clock, the workmanship of Mr.
Joseph Eberman, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which, for nearly fifty years,
did goodly service in that spot. The old bell, with its devout
inscription, “Deo soli gloria” (To God alone be the glory) still rings
where it rang at first; but the clock was removed into the tower of the new
church, in 1841, where a large, mellow-toned bell awaited it; but in 1861,
both bell and clock were placed in the spire of the beautiful brick
sanctuary, whence we hear the hours of the day, and their quarters,
proclaimed, year in, year out.
THE EVERGREEN CEMETERY.
Whose choice collection of spruce, pine, hemlock, and other suitable
trees, makes it a most appropriate spot for interment.
In the latter part of 1771, the first inn was built, on the very site of
A contemporary writer describes it as having been “a rather murky-looking
tenement;” but, in course of time, it was improved, enlarged, and
ultimately renovated; and now appears with all the appointments of modern
During the next year, a store was opened in a two-story stone house on
the east side of the square, in whose centre there was now placed a
convenient pump for public use. This received its supply of water through
pipes from a spring which still sends forth its never-failing stream, a
short distance northwest of the hall. The waters from several contiguous
spring, were, in time, led into this main pipe; and thus was the town
supplied for nearly a century.
In 1859, a reservoir (since enlarged), was built, just west of the
cemetery, and the waters of Johns Spring. Some distance beyond, brought
into it, iron pipes distribute the supply through the greater part of the
town. The present WATER COMPANY was chartered in 1870.
A public, market house was built in the square about 1780, and was in use
until the hand of modern improvement demolished it in 1857.
Two hand fire-engines, were introduced; the first about 1790, and the
second about 1820. At different times, as many various fire organizations
existed, but at present there is no fire company. Both engines are still on
hand, and also a large supply of hose, for attachment to the fire plugs
connected with the pipes leading from the reservoir. Fortunately, but few
fires have ever occurred.
After the war for American Independence, when our National Government was
established, a POST OFFICE.
Was soon opened in Nazareth, which now became the centre of post roads
and travel from New York and Philadelphia to the northern parts, of
Pennsylvania. The arrival and departure of the mail stage caused no little
stir to the quiet community, and especially so during the times of the
“Troy coaches and four” (still within the memory of the living), when the
postillion’s here announced, already from afar, the approach of travelers,
whose advent at the old inn was always an hour full of strange
expectations. But this has all been changed by the railroad facilities
around us, though we still have a ride of five miles to the nearest depot.
GERMAN NEWSPAPER, ETC.
Between the years 1835 and 1838, a weekly German paper, Die Abend Zeitung
(the Evening Paper), was published at Nazareth, but the office was
afterwards removed to Easton, and there combined with some other paper.
All the various handicrafts which necessity and comfort call for were
gradually introduced; and though building operations were never very rapid,
yet house after house was erected, and these mostly of a plain and
THE LIMESTONE QUARRIES.
Opened for the construction of the Whitefield House, are still in use,
and supply quantities of material for building and other purposes Of late
years, thousands of tons of this stone have been burnt into lime (in large
kilns, near the town), and mostly used by farmers to our north, who find it
a valuable fertilizer; and since its introduction, the scrub-oak was to have
been converted into productive grain farms.
As time sped on a change was taking place in the habits and customs of
the exclusively Moravian community of Nazareth, and it was by and by
decided to abrogate the rules of the past, and to take a more liberal view
of the sentiments of the world around. Hence in 1849 THE LEASE SYSTEM
was abolished by the Church authorities, met in General Synod (Clergy and
Lay men) at Bethlehem; and soon after the town plan of Nazareth was
enlarged, property was offered to the highest bidders, and an impetus thus
given to business in general, which resulted in the erection of a number of
well-built brick dwellings, on several of the new streets just opened.
The Moravian Church of 1841, was, now converted into a Parochial
schoolhouse, and the present beautiful church building erected, in 1861, on
the west side of Centre Square. The Lutheran and Reformed congregations,
built St. Johns Church in 1859, on South Broad, corner of Prospect, street,
and in 1867 the German Evangelical Association put up a place of worship at
the corner of Broad and Walnut street. Two additional PUBLIC HOUSES
were opened-the American Hotel in 1853, and the Franklin House, in 1860.
THE FAIR GROUND.
Of the Northampton County Agricultural Society, was laid out in 1854, in
the southern part of the town, between Main and Broad streets.
FREE SCHOOL HOUSES ETC.
A school house was built, in 1868, at the corner of North Broad and
Chestnut Sts., in connection with which a building of smaller dimensions
near by, is devoted to school purposes. As education, in its true and most
thorough sense, always field a prominent place among the leading principles
of the Moravian Church, schools for boys and for girls, and also for
infants, were early established here, as elsewhere, and they have been
maintained unto the present day. Musical talent, so natural among Germans,
has also been well cultivated, and literary societies are not wanting. A
Philharmonic Society, a Cornet Band and a Young Mens Lyceum, have, for many
decades afforded opportunities for pleasant and useful recreation.
In 1857 the Moravian Historical Society was instituted, and its, library
and museum of antiquities, occupy the second floor ofthe Whitefield House
Sunday-schools and other religious association, are connected with all the
churches, the oldest and most important of which are the Missionary
Societies of the Moravians.
A museum of Indian relies and other curiosities, was opened by a private
individual in 1869, whose cabinet contains one of the largest and most
valuable collection of birds eggs and nests to be met with. The
enthusiastic owner has spent full fifty years in making this collection.
As already stated Nazareth has been a post-town for nearly a century.
There are daily mails and stage and express facilities to all parts of the
country. With regard to the military record of the borough, during the
late. War of the Rebellion, it is but just to state that at the first call
for troops, the young men were not slow in offering their services. The
first company regularly organized, was Company A, 153d Regiment, Pa. Vols.,
the record of , which at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, is well known.
INCORPORATED A BOROUGH.
April 14th, 1863. All of the usual professions and trades of a provincial
town are represented in the village, and from the appended list, it will be
seen that our population, of about 1,000, are well served in this respect.
The three churches have comfortable parsonages for their presences.
There are seven buildings in the borough used for school purposes, and
some twenty teachers are, employed. We have four physicians; strange to
say, no lawyer has ever opened all office in the town, though it has
unfortunately not been free from litigation
one veterinary surgeon
three dry goods, grocery, and notion stores
two hardware stores
one iron foundry
one machine-shop, for agricultural implements
one sash factory and planing-mill
one baker and confectioner
two floor still feed stores
one hatter and dealer in furs
two lumber yards
two cabinet makers
two carriage, factories
one stone cotter
four house carpenters and painters
one carpet and coverlet weaver
two harness makers
one paint works
one cigar-box maker
three hotels, three restaurants
two brick yards
one guitar factory
one nursery of fruit and shade trees
two barber shops
three tinsmiths and dealers in stoves
two life and fire insurance agencies
one telegraph (Western Union office)
one fire-engine house
one livery stable
one Gas Works for the Moravian Church)
two Justices of the peace, Burgess and five Councilmen
one High Constable
one lyceum and reading-room
This list of handicrafts shows that we have no idle community; and as
nearly all of the houses are owned by their occupants, there is good proof
that the efforts of all who were faithful and diligent in business, were
crowned with a satisfactory success. By the practice of diligence and
economy, have not only home-comforts been secured, but generous spirit of
beneficence has, been cherished, and a ready and active part taken by the
people of Nazareth, in the great charitable projects of the day.
The citizens, mostly of German descent, retain many of the staid and
quiet habits of their ancestors, and have been content to pursue their
various enjoyments with but few ambitious traits, to spur them on to more
active, and lucrative businesses. While the German language still
predominates in common conversation, the English is spoken by nearly every
one, and, is gradually becoming more general in its use.
The town itself, noted for its healthy position, has a natural drainage,
is well supplied with pure water, has graded streets and good sidewalks,
street lamps, public hydrants and fire-plugs, and other necessary and
The houses, are mostly of stone and brick; plain, well-built, and roomy
without any pretensions to architectural beauty. The principal
thoroughfares run north and south, and are crossed by others at right
angles, all duly named.
Situated near the centre of the county, with a, rather confined local
trade. Nazareth cannot think of competing in business with the large towns,
but a few miles distant, which possess canal and railroad advantages, and
in which extensive iron works, foundries, forges, rolling-mills, etc., are
located. But should the day come, which perhaps is not far off when a long
contemplated railroad, to pass the town in a northeasterly course, will be
built, then, no doubt, the development of our rich natural products will
become lucrative, and a fair portion of traffic and encouragement in our
THE NAZARETH COUNTY No. 1, ORDER OF UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS,
was instituted in 1849 It contains some sixty members. The
MANITOBA TRIBE, No. 125, IMPROVED ORDER OF RED MEN, was established in 1870.
The most prominent as well as the most interesting feature of the borough
of Nazareth, is the venerable institution of learning, known as NAZARETH HALL
PICTURE OF NAZARETH HALL APPEARS HERE
In 1740, George Whitefield, then in the zenith of his activity it, the
British Provinces of North America, purchased of Mr. William Allen of
Philadelphia, 5,000 acres of land, in the Forks of the Delaware, which he
named Nazareth. Here he projected a school for negroes, and here he
designed settling such of his adherents in England as, might be compelled
to leave, their country for conscience sake. His plans, however, were never
consummate. The school-building-at the present day, called the Whitefield
House-was only in course, of erection, when, in 1741, the death of
Whitefield’s financial agent compelled him to relinquish his noble
enterprise. Becoming pecuniarily embarrassed, he threw his estate in
Pennsylvania on the market, and in the summer of the above mentioned year,
it was purchased by Bishop Spangenberg, then in London, for the Moravian
On this historic tract, Nazareth Hall was commenced in May, 1755, but
was not completed until in the summer of 1758; a delay, which was
unavoidable, in times troublous, for the borders of the Province, us were
those which succeed Braddock’s disastrous campaign.
It is built of the limestone of the neighborhood, is eighty feet long by
forty broad, three stories, high, and has a broken or gambrel roof, which
is surmounted by a balustered terrace and a belfry.
Nazareth Hall is in imposing structure, and even now challenges admiration
for the chasteness of its design, and the justness of its proportions.
Count Zinzendorf, for whom the hall had been built, failing to revisit
this country, in June of 1759, it was converted into a boarding-school for
Moravian lads exclusively, In December of 1764, there were as many as one
hundred and six pupils in charge of sixteen tutors and twelve assistants,
in the building. In May of 1737, a Provincial Synod of the Church held its
sessions in the chapel of the Hall, and in the summer of the same year,
Bishop Spangenberg, who for nearly twenty years superintended the Moravian
movement in North America, occupied a suite of its apartments.
The Hall and the four buildings (including the Principals residence) now
belonging to the Institution, front on a pleasant lawn, and are distant
from the main street and business portion of the borough.
In the rear ties the farm, containing some forty acres.
The valuation of these estates and properties, including furniture,
stock, equipments, etc, may not be far from $50,000. There have been
fourteen principals, the first of whom, was:
REV. CHARLES G. REICHEL, 1785-1802
Mr. Reichel, a graduate of the Moravian Theological Seminary at Barby,
Saxony, came to this country in the autumn of 1784, to take charge of the
then recently planned Boarding School at Nazareth. On the third of
October, 1785, the day on which it was opened, be assumed the duties of
presiding officer. There were but eleven pupils entered on that day, and
these were sons of members of the Moravian Church.
Joseph Shaw, of Philadelphia, was the first but not of Moravian parentage
In 1787, John Konkaput, a Housatonic Indian, from Stockbridge, Mass., was
placed at the Institution by the United States Government. Accessions of
pupils from the West Indies, date from the year 1788; and, from that time,
there was scarcely a year but that sons of English and Danish planters from
these islands were inmates of the Hall.
During Mr. Reichel’s administration, one hundred and sixty-three pupils
were connected with the Institution.
Special attention was paid to the study of the English and German
languages, the pupils being required to express themselves exclusively in
the one or the other, on alternate days, in their intercourse with each
other and their preceptors. The first examination of classes open to the
public, was held in October of 1789.
In August of 1786, fifty-five and a half perches of land lying west ofthe
Hall, were laid out into a park. It was subsequently enlarged, planted with
forest trees, shrubs and wild flowers, add thus became “the shades of the
Academy,” in which, successive generations of its inmate sought rest and
recreation from mental toil.
Mr. Reichel returned to Europe in 1818, and died at Nisky, Lower Silesia,
in April of 1825.
REV. JACOB VAN VLECK, 1802-1809
Mr. Van Vleck was a native of New York, and his parents members of the
church which the Moravians organized in that city in 1748. After having
pursued it collegiate course of instruction in the Hall, he, in 1771, went
abroad, to prepare for the ministry at the Theological Seminary at Barby.
Returning to his native country after a seven years absence, Mr. Van Vleck
was ordained, and, in 1790, appointed Principal of the Young Ladies
Seminary at Bethlehem, and in 1802, succeeded Mr. Reichel at Nazareth Hall.
One hundred and nineteen pupils, of which number but eighteen were
Moravians, were admitted during his administration. As the sons of Moravian
parents were now beginning to preponderate in the school, the German
language, which had at first been used in destruction to a great extent,
was supplanted by the English.
It was found necessary also, to bring the curriculum more in conformity
with that of other schools in the country.
As, the school grew, great difficulty was experienced in procuring
liberally educated preceptors.
It was, therefore, resolved to make special provision for this pressing
want, and, in 1807, a Collegiate and Divinity School was established at the
Hall, in which young men of the Church were trained as preceptors while
studying for the ministry. This was the origin of the preteens Theological
Seminary at Bethlehem. Since 1810 this Institution has supplied most of the
teachers employed in Nazareth Hall.
REV. CHARLES F. SEIDEL 1809-1817.
Mr. Seidel was a graduate of the Moravian Theological Seminary at Nisky;
came to this country in 1806, and in 1809 took charge of the, Hall
The third of October, 1810, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the
founding of the school The occasion was impressively observed; the chapel
decorated; the pupils for the first tune occupied a common refectory; and a
musical entertainment closed the festivities of the day.
REV. JOHN C. BECKLER, 1817-1822.
During his administration there was erected a residence for the
Principal, who, with his family had hitherto been domiciled in the Hall.
REV. WM. H. VAN VLECK, 1822-29.
Mr. Van Vleck a son of the second Principal, was educated in the
logical Seminar at Nazareth, and discharged the duties of a tutor in the
Hall, prior to his entrance into the ministry. As a Principal he was
successful, and the Institution entrusted to his care flourished as it had
never done before. The number of pupils reached seventy-one.
Subsequent to his retirement from the school, Mr. Van Vleck took charge
of the Moravian Church in New York; was some time President of the
Executive Board of the Province South; and, while senior pastor at
Bethlehem, died in January of 1852.
REV. JOHN G. HERMAN, 1829-1837.
The sixth Principal of the Hall was a graduate of the Theological
Seminary at Nisky, came to this country in 1817, and after having labored
in the ministry for twelve years, took charge of the Institution at Nazareth.
His administration was eminently prosperous, the number of pupils
eventually reaching seventy-three.
The semi-centennial of the Institution was observed on the third of
Eight hundred and seventeen pupils were admitted during the first half
century of the Institutions existence.
Two hundred and four were from Philadelphia
one hundred and seventeen from other points in Pennsylvania
one hundred and fifty-nine from the City and State of New York
fifty-three from Baltimore
eighty-two from the West India Islands
forty-one from Bethlehem
eighteen from Nazareth
fourteen from Litiz
twelve from Salem, N. C.
one hundred and nine from other States of the Union, Canada, and from abroad.
In 1830, the refectory, which had hitherto been to the basement of the
Hall, was transferred to a wing attached in the east end of the building.
REV. CHARLES A. VAN VLECK, 1837-1839.
Mr. Van Vleck was a brother of the first Principal. He was a graduate of
the Theological Seminary at Nazareth. Died in Greenville, Tenn., in
REV. CHARLES F. KLUGE 1839-1844.
Mr. Kluge was a graduate of the Theological Seminary at, Nazareth, and
subsequently pastor of the Moravian Church in New York. During his
administration at the Hall, the Trustees of the Institution purchased the
building from the congregation who had been holding services in the lower
part of the Hall, that having been conveyed to them in 1771, when the
division of a portion of the unity estates in this country was effected. It
was furnished as a chapel, additions made for refectory and kitchen, and
the pupils boarded by the Institution.
Mr. Jacobson was educated in the Theological Seminary at Nisky, Came to
this country in 1816, and for ten years was a tutor in the Hall. His first
pastoral charge was in the Province South. For eleven years he presided
over the Young Ladies Academy at Salem, leaving it to enter upon the duties
of Principal at Nazareth Hall.
One hundred and thirty-two pupils are registered for this administration,
the number at one time reaching seventy.
REV. LEVI T. REICHEL, 1849-1853.
Mr. Reichel, a son of the first Principal, was born at Bethlehem and
educated for the ministry abroad. In 1834 he entered the Hall as it tutor,
and in 1837 was called to a charge in the neighborhood of Nazareth.
During this administration the arrangements in the school underwent a
change the course of study was modified, the use of the German language in
the daily intercourse of the pupils was reintroduced, and day-scholars were
no longer admitted.
REV. EDWARD RONDTHALER, 1853-54,
Was born at Nazareth and educated in the Theological Seminary at that
place, From the Hall, in which he labored as tutor for six years, he was,
in 1841, called to the charge of a congregation in the neighborhood.
Subsequently he was settled at Graceham, Frederick county, Md., and in
On severing his connection with the Institution in whose interests he
wrought zealously, Mr. Ronthaler was appointed Professor in the Theological
Seminary, at that time temporarily located at Nazareth. There he died, in
March of 1865.
REV. EDWARD H. REICHEL 1854-1866,
A grandson of the first Principal of Nazareth Hall, was graduated frown
the Theological Seminary at Bethlehem, served as a tutor in the first-named
Institution, and in 1849 was settled in the ministry at Camden Valley,
Washington County, N. Y. From that church he was called to the Hall.
The annual increase in the number of pupils calling for ampler
accommodation, to the autumn of 1865 a three-story wing was added to the
Hall. Thus the capacity of the school was permanently increased.
In 1862, Mr, Reichel organized his pupils into a uniformed cadet company,
and introduced military drill as part of the routine of physical culture.
During his incumbency, the Institution was relieved from financial
embarrassments, under which it had labored much to its disadvantage for a
number of years.
Reunions were held annually as late as 1859. At the one of
June 11th, 1858, a mural tablet, hearing the names ofthe twelve Principals
of the Hall, (a tribute from former pupils) was inserted in the wall of
the chapel. The reunion of 1866 was one of more than ordinary interest,
calling forth the rehearsal of services rendered no their country in the
time of her danger by patriotic Alumni of the school. Upward of six hundred
pupils were admitted into the Hall during this administration.
REV. ROBERT DE SCHWEINITZ, 1866-1867.
Graduated from the Theological Seminary at Bethlehem, and, after having
been a tutor in the, Hall for six years, was settled successively in
different pastorates. Between 18,53 and 1855, he was Principal of the Young
Ladies, Seminary at Salem.
He is now President of the Board of Trustees of Nazareth Hall.
REV. EUGENE LEIBERT, 1867.
Mr. Leibert was graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Moravian
Church in l853, and entered the Hall as a tutor. Having been settled in the
ministry successively at Sharon, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and on Staten
Island, he was in July of 1867 called to the Institution over which he has
now presided for nine years. During this period the capacity of the school
has been greatly increased, and only lately a commodious four-story
building near the Hall has been purchased in order to meet the wants of its
growing patronage. The present number of pupils is one hundred and fifty.
The ninth reunion of former pupils, marked by the inauguration of it
memorial cenotaph in honor of such Alumni as fell in the defence of their
country during the late civil war, was held June 11th, 1868.
One hundred and thirty-three former inmates of the Hall, some of whom
entered is early as 1788, were present on this interesting occasion,
Among the members of the Committee of Arrangements were
Andrew A. Humphreys, Major-General, U. S. A. (a pupil of the class of 1822)
John Baille McIntosh, Brevet Major-General, U. S. A. (a pupil of 1837)
Nathaniel Michler, Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. A, (a pupil of 1836)
George P. Ihrie, Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. A. (a pupil of 1836)
Major Giles Porter, U. S A. (a pupil of 1840)
The orator of the day was Rev. Edmund de Schweinitz, of Bethlehem, a
pupil of 1834; and to General Humphreys, the senior officer present, was
awarded the honor of unvailing the stone. It stands in the center of the
green which spreads out before the flail. Its base is a block of granite,
six and-a-half feet square.
On this rests the pedestal, consisting of slabs of Connecticut sand-
stone, supporting a solid block of New Brunswick drab-stone, into whose
southern face is cut the National Cost of Arms, The pedestal is surmounted
by a square the of Italian white marble, on which are inscribed appropriate
legends and the names of the fallen Alumni. The obelisk itself is composed
of1docks of Cleveland drab-stone alternating with slabs of Connecticut
brown-stone. The south face of the marble bears the following
“To commemorate the memory or sons of Nazareth Hall, who died that their
country might be healed and live, this stone, is erected by the Alumni of
the institution in the year of grace, 1868.”
On the east face are inscribed these names:
VAN BRUNT M. BERGEN
HERMAN L. BEITEL
CHARLES M BERG
EUQENE FERD CLEWELL
GEORGE LORILLARD FREAM
DANIEL H. FASIG
JOSEPH P. BACHMAN
HORACE C. BENNET
And below, the comforting words of Scripture:
“They shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun
light on them, nor any heat. For the lamb which is in the midst of them
shall feed them, and shall lead them at living fountain of waters; and God
shall wipe away all tests from their eyes.”
The north side bears the names of
JAMES T. GRAFTON
JOHN C. HAGEN
PLINY A. JEWETT, JR.
WILLIAM W. LADD
DAVID T. LATINIER
BENJAMIN F. LANDELL
And the legend,
“The Academy is the nursing mother of patroits, rearing her children in
the ways of truth and freedom.”
On the west, face the record is completed with the names of
EDMUND A SHOUSE
EDWIN A. KIRVING
CHARLES L. SMEIDLE
CHRISTIAN F. SMITH
CHARLES M. STOUT
ARTHUR L. VAN VLECK
JOHN A. WITMER
JOHN F. WOOD
And underneath, the words of Plato:
“Hence it, is, that the fathers of these men, and themselves too, being
nurtured in all freedom and well-born, have shown before all men deeds many
and glorious in public and private, deeming it their duty to fight for
freedom and their country, even against their countrymen.”
The Military and Naval Record of the, Institution, furthermore, shows
that two hundred and six of its pupils entered the Army or Navy or the
United States in the civil war, in addition to the twenty-eight who fell in
battle, or died of disease contracted in the service.
Upwards of 3,000 pupils, as has been stated, have been educated in part
or entirely within the past ninety-one years, at this now venerable
Institution of learning. Many of these are known to have risen to eminence
in the various walks of life, and have been or are men of mark in the eyes
of the world.
Truly, it is an Institution of which gray old Nazareth may well he proud.