From Mifflinburg Telegraph Weekly Newspaper|
Trail of History for Week of April 26, 2012
Apr 26, 2012 - 1:00:11 PM
The Lewisburg Toll House
If you follow the 1868 Atlas of Union and Snyder Counties, on what was called the Mifflinburg and Lewisburg Turnpike you can see places that were marked and houses that were marked. Some of them still are there.
Samuel Reber had a tavern at Lochiel in 1830. For many years it was the only place between Mifflinburg and Lewisburg, and since travel at that time was by horseback or stagecoach or walking, it was a distance to do in a day. One had to stop and rest, get a drink or eat or go to the toilet (so to speak). Farmers stopped on their way as they delivered grain and products to the canal at Lewisburg. In the 1880’s the railroad took some of the place of the stagecoach stop.
The Linn family was involved in the turnpike and I have a little material on the family. James F. Linn was born in 1802, the youngest child of John Linn. John was born April 2, 1754 and came to Union County in 1775. John married Ann Fleming Nov. 7, 1780. She was born Sept. 6, 1761. John died Mar. 18, 1809 and Ann died Sept. 4, 1841. John Linn was a son of William Linn. The early Linns were from Lungan Twp., Cumberland County. They came to America from Ireland in 1732 and to Chester County, later Franklin County and then Cumberland County.
James F. Linn worked on the farm in Union County until 1818. He went to school in Milton and then studied law under James Merrill. James F. Linn began to practice law in Lewisburg about 1826 and stayed there until he died. He made many surveys that he kept. He died Oct. 8, 1869. He married Margaret Wilson July 20, 1826. They had a son John Blair Linn, b. Oct. 15, 1831. He inherited his father’s collection of surveys and history and genealogy and put them in a book “Annals of Buffalo Valley” still an excellent book for history. John Blair Linn read law with his father and came to Union County and practiced and then moved to Bellefonte in 1871.
In 1879, when John Blair Linn wrote the “Annals of Buffalo Valley,” he was the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1882 he wrote the “History of Center and Clinton Counties,” which covered that section very well. John Blair Linn married 1. in 1857 Julia Pollock of Milton. He married 2d. Mary Wilson. The Linn family had been noted all the years since they became lawyers in this county.
In 1803 John Reber purchased land near Lochiel from Solomon Betz. When he died he had 290 acres which he divided among his sons. In 1830, he moved to Lewisburg, built a house and died June 22, 1852, age 82. He married Catherine Moser and had ten children, one was Samuel Reber who became a member of the Legislature in 1843; another son was James, born Sept. 21, 1805 near Lochiel. In 1831 he married Elizabeth Royer who was born Feb. 26, 1811. She came to Union County with her parents Joel and Susannah Royer from Lancaster County. They lived on the homestead near Lochiel and later moved to Lewisburg. James Royer died in Sept. 1852. His widow re-married Isaac Meyers. She died April 1890 and she and James Reber are buried in Lewisburg
Isaac Reber was born on the homestead near Lochiel, April 20, 1834. He went to the Fairfield School, and the Royer School in Kelly Township. He did poorly in school. He hauled lumber from Brush Valley (Centre County) to Lewisburg. Many of the homes and barns in East Buffalo Township were built of lumber he brought down to this area.
He went to Stephenson County, Illinois and came back to Union County in 1854. He then worked for Abram Wolfe, a farmer in East Buffalo Township at $9 a month in winter and $12 a month in summer. Isaac Reber married Susan Wolfe Dec. 27, 1855. She was born Dec. 27, 1835, the daughter of George Wolfe and Catherine Reamer. Isaac Reber began housekeeping at his mother’s at Smoketown, and stayed three years. In 1859 he engaged in general mercantile business at Smoketown with his brother, John Reber, but after six years sold it to Simon Duck. His wife died Dec. 4, 1882 and is buried in the Lewisburg cemetery. Lewis Reber died April 8, 1884. Isaac Reber married Sarah Groover of White Deer Township as his second wife. She was born Aug. 24, 1847.
Gideon Biehl was a son of Peter. Gideon Biehl was born in 1804 in Berks County. Gideon was a blacksmith and married Rebecca Dreibelbis of Berks County. She was born in 1808. In 1845, Gideon moved to Buffalo Valley. Later he bought the hotel on the pike which he conducted for many years. It became known as Biehl’s Hotel and was sold in 1868 to David Royer who owned it in 1898. Gideon’s wife died in 1856. Gideon died in 1874 and he and his wife are buried in Dreisbach Cemetery. They had Hannah who married Elam Meixel and died in Kelly Township; Sarah married John F. Zeller; Catherine married F.W. Miller of East Buffalo Township; and James, born Mar. 17, 1829 in Berks Co. James married Rebecca Pawling, Jan. 14, 1851 in Snyder Co. and went to his father’s farm in Buffalo Township. In 1885, he moved and had: Sarah J. b. Sept. 7, 1852 who married Israel T. Ruhl; Jefferson P., born Jan. 29, 1857; and Gideon T. born Dec. 24, 1861.
David Royer is a descendant of Sebastian Royer. Sebastian came from Switzerland in 1718 to the Schuylkill River area to what is called Royer’s Ford. He and his two sons, John and Amos moved to Lancaster Co. where Sebastian died in 1758. Amos Royer died in 1769 and had five sons: Philip, Christopher, Peter, John and Daniel. Christopher is the great grandfather of David. Christopher Royer came to Union County, and had: John, Daniel and Joel (the grandfather of David). Joel was born April 13, 1779 and died Oct. 30, 1853, he married Susannah Brenheiser, who was born June 30, 1779 and died Mar. 30, 1871.
They had twelve children: Nancy, Isaac, Israel, Adam, Sarah, Elizabeth, Anna, Rebecca, Susanna, Joel, Catharine and Mary R. Israel Royer was born in Lancaster Co. and came to Union Co. when he was a boy. He married Catherine Ritter and they had eleven children: Susannah, married Daniel Rangler; Mary A., married John Neese; David, owner of the hotel; Rebecca, married Frank Troxel; William; Samuel; Joel, who was killed in the Civil war; Adam; Anna, deceased; Elizabeth, married Charles Zechman; and Catherine, who died early. Their father married 2d. Mrs. Catherine Shively and had John and Michael. Both of Israel Royer’s wives were Dunkerds and are buried in the Dunkerd Cemetery west of Mifflinburg.
David Royer was born at the old home in Kelly Township, Feb. 16, 1835. David married Mary C. Heinley of Buffalo Township. In 1868 he bought the hotel with 31 acres. He also bought 15 acres from John Dunkle and 55 acres from Andrew Miller. He also owned two dwelling houses in the same vicinity. He bought and sold livestock. He had a daughter, Adda M.
Charles Dreisbach was the son of Martin Dreisbach II. Charles Dreisbach built the Great Western Hotel on the south side of the turnpike a short distance west of the ancestral home. Charles died at Vicksburg, age 32. Martin Dreisbach, his father, was the son of Martin Dreisbach. The family came from Berks Co. about 1772 to Buffalo Valley. In 1788 they gave 7-1/2 acres of land for what we know as the Dreisbach Church. The 1850 Census for Buffalo Township shows Martin is 50, wife Elizabeth is 48, and children: Martin, 7; Charles, 21; Hiram, 18; William, 15; Marian, 10; and they also had Solomon and Cyrus. The 1860 Census for Buffalo Township shows a Charles Dreisbach, age 30, and Martha, 30, but no children.
The hotel was a large, rectangular building, three stories high with long porches on the south and east. It drew people in the 1880’s who sold horses at its stables. During the summer at the turn of the century, the hostelry became a resort patronized by visitors from Philadelphia and Shamokin. A tennis court and croquet green offered entertainment.
The commercial activity at the hotel drew Joseph Raudenbush to open a general store in 1865 on the lob west of it. The Raudenbush family also built the brick mansion on the north side of Rte. 45 which is still there today.
Part Three concludes next week
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