PACAMBRI-L ArchivesArchiver > PACAMBRI > 2000-01 > 0949050795
From: "Brian L. Cartwright" <>
Subject: Re: [PACAMBRI] HORNER bio.
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 04:13:15 -0500
> Wow! I hope all you HORNER folks correspond with one another! <G> I am
> going to get this bio. out because I have had over 20 requests in the past
> hour! Will also add a bio. from another source - cite below. The first
> bio. is taken from my referenced bi-centennial pamphlet pub. by the
> Commissioners of Stonycreek Twp. and titled "Stonycreek Township History
There are a couple of erros in these bios -
> John HORNER had come from England about the middle of the Eighteenth
> and had settled in Washington Township, Franklin County. He was the owner
> of a farm, grist mill, distillery, and a general store.
The Horners were a German family, his father Johannes Hanauer probably born
in Germany, his mother Anna Elizabeth Groscost born 1719 in Mutterstadt,
> "Jacob C. HORNER, a descendant of one of the early pioneer settlers of
> Cambria Co., PA is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Horner) HORNER, and was
> born in Hornerstown, now the Seventh ward of Johnstown, July 26, 1835.
> g/grandfather, Adam HORNER, a native of Adams county, was one of the early
> pioneer settlers of Cambria Co., locating here when the prosperous county
> was principally a forest.
The great-grandfather should read John Horner (Jr), spoken of above. They
lived in Hanover, York Co, before coming to Johnstown.
The following is excerpted from Storey's 1906 "History of Cambria County",
Jack Horner Bells's 1980 "Horner Patriots" and articles by Jack Horner Bell
in the 'Laurel Messenger', the newsletter of the Somerset County Historical
The first traces of the old patriarch, John Horner, Sr., or "Johannes
Hanauer", are found in the early 1740's near Hanover, in Berwick Township,
York Co. His sons were born as follows: John, abt 1743; Abraham, 1745;
Solomon abt 1751; Frederick abt 1754; Daniel abt 1757; and Elias abt 1759.
There is no doubt that the "Johannes Hanauer" who married Susannah Dick
in St.. Matthews Lutheran Church in Hanover, York County, on June 4, 1765,
is John Horner, Jr. There are copies of York County deeds which transfer
property back and forth between Adam Dick, Susanna's father, and John
Horner, Jr. York County deed 2-E-203, September 7, 1770, transferred a
plantation from Adam Dick to Jonas Wolf and John Horner, Jr., both of
Berwick Township.. Then on April 24, 1786, York County deed 2-D-255 divides
property in Berwick Township among the heirs of Adam Dick, with 1/6 going to
Susanna, wife of John Horner.
The year 1770 was the period when the Horners left Berwick Township and
moved across the first chain of mountains into Franklin (then Cumberland)
County., which was the frontier. They, like everyone else, lived in log
houses or cabins, and there were constant Indian atrocities, burnings,
killings, scalpings, and taking of captives. The Horner attended a segment
of the German Baptist Church. The congregation for years "carried their guns
regularly to church, stacked them by the door, and placed a sentinel by them
to give the alarm, so that the men could rush to their arms."
During and after the Revolutionary war, the Horners prospered and
multiplied. With the end of the war, peace had finally descended upon the
Cumberland Valley, the menace of the Indians having receded. During the
1780's, the Horners continued to increase their land holdings, and in the
latter half of the decade John Horner, Jr., increased the acreage of his
esate, known as "Hornhead", located near Waynesboro and still farmed to this
During this time, the German religious sects had roving preachers whose
circuits took them into the western wilds. Those "men of God" returned with
stories of the vast areas of virgin timber and fertile ground just waiting
to be taken. The sprit of adventure was aroused and more and more early
Americans were packing up and moving westward
John Horner, Jr. had become a well-to-do man in the Cumberland Valley,
however, he obviously had decided as early as 1796 to follow his eldest son,
Adam, into "The Promised Land" of Somerset County because he began selling
off his properties in Franklin County. On May 7, 1796, he and his wife,
Susannah, sold "Hornhead" to Philip Hollinger for thirteen hundred pounds,
an enormous amount of money in those days.
At the time of the first census in 1790, all the Horners were in Franklin
County. John, Jr. had a family of eight sons and two daughters, many of them
fully grown. Abraham had four sons and a daughter, and Solomon had seven
By the time of the second census in 1800, John, Sr. and all of his sons,
with the exception of Elias, were living in Somerset County. The westward
migration was made in several increments with one or more families moving
every year or so. The same Conestoga wagons likely ferried back and forth,
serving each contingent. Everything they needed had to be brought with them.
Tools, cooking utensils, stoves, tables, chairs, beds and bedding, barrels
of food, and needs for next years crops all had to be brought along.
Anything forgotten or broken had to be improvised, borrowed from distant
neighbors, or done without.
The Horners took the difficult northern route, northwest to Chambersburg,
then along the Forbes Road, now US Route 30. This took them past Fort
Loudon, McConnellsburg, Everett, Bedford, and Stoystown, where they split up
and fanned outward, Abraham south to Brothersvalley Township, Daniel (who
about 1805 would move to Ontario), Frederick, Solomon and John north to
what was then all Quemahoning Township. Frederick's 50 acres was located in
the area which became Jenners Township in 1811, and John, Jr. settled
farthest north, on 200 acres in the northern valley of the Stonycreek River,
which became part of Conemaugh Township in the new Cambria County.
Cambria County was created by the Act of March 26, 1804, from parts of
Somerset, Bedford and Huntingdon counties. It's name is the old name for
Wales, and many of the original settlers in the central part of the new
county were Welsh. John Horner, Jr., was prominent enough to be named as one
of the three men to accept the title for the land which was donated for the
The oldest title for land in what is now Cambria County, which was
actually occupied and cultivated, is the Horner title, in the Seventh Ward
(Hornerstown) of the city of Johnstown, extending into Dale Borough and
Walnut Grove, then in Stonycreek Township. It is officially known as the
"Adams Improvement, or the Mill Seat", or toherwise as the Peter Snyder
survey, which became vested in John Horner in 1797.
Samuel and Solomon Adams and their sister Rachel occupied it about 1770.
Samuel Adams was on his way from this land to the block house at Bedford
when he was killed in the Indian duel at Sandy Run in 1771. Peter Snyder
sold his warrant to Henry Hill on July 28, 1774, and on May 28, 1776,
thrity-six days before the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, the
commonwealth issued a patent for it to Mr. Hill, who sold it to George
Clymer. The title passed through several parties and became vested in Martin
Reilly, who sold it to John Horner, June 3, 1797.
John Horner built a dwelling and storeroom near the Von Lunen road and
Solomon's Run, and opened a store. About 1800 he erected a saw mill and
grist mill on the run, ans also had some kind of a weaving mill connected
with the enterprise. One of the rooms in the mill was used for pay schools
during the winter season. In addition to the Snyder tract, he acquired other
land contiguous, so that at his death he owned 478 acres, besides some lots,
then in the village of Conemnaugh, which he had purchased from Joseph Johns.
John Horner died intestate at his residence, apparently in 1824. There
is confusion because another John Horner recorded a will on March 29, 1814,
which was probated April 12, 1814. Although his wife's name was also
Susannah, he was illiterate, signing his will with an "X", and had four
children under ten years of age in the 1810 census, who would receive their
shares "as they come of age".
The Horner family rarely made wills. Occasionally the land has been
divided by partition proceedings in court, but frequently the family did it
by an amicable partition, giving deeds to each other, and in many instances
did not record them, which ommission makes a break in the paper chain of
In 1825 the land was divided in partition proceedings and the estate
settled. This land was divided in four parcels and described thus:
No. 1. Part of a tract called the Mill seat containing 140 acres 85 perches,
adjoining lands of Peter Morgan, Joseph Harshberger, et al, and now in the
possession of Jonas Horner. Value $9.95 per acre. Jonas Horner took this
part at the valuation and paid the other heirs their share of the estate.
All of this parcel lies south of what is now known as Messenger street, and
southeast of Von Lunen road.
No. 2, contained 108 acres 116 perches and adjoined the lands of John
Anderson and others, then in the possession of Jacob Horner. It is likely
all of it lies north of Messenger street and extends to the Charles Campbell
survey. It was valued at $6.62 per acre. Jacob Horner accepted this
valuation and likewise paid the other heirs.
No. 3 contained about 150 acres and lay on both sides of Solomon's Run,
adjoining the lands of Lewis Wissinger and others, then in the occupancy of
Adam Horner, who took it at the appraised value of 50 cents per acre. It is
in Stonycreek township.
No. 4 was a parcel held by improvements, containing eighty acres, situated
on the Stonycreek river, adjoining the lands of Samuel Kuhns and others, the
in the occupancy of Joseph Aish. It was valued at $15, and taken by
Frederick Horner. It lies on the west side of the river, above the Moxham
Thus it will be observed that the three sons, Adam, Jacob and Jonas,
became the owners of all the land on the east side of the Stonycreek river,
which is now included in the Seventh ward (Hornerstown), Dale, and Walnut
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