Archiver > PAFAYETT > 1999-10 > 0940133176

From: "TOM SPEERS" <>
Subject: Re: Fayette/Greene German Glassmakers: Kramer, Reitz, Gabler, Eberhart, Reppert, Hoover
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 00:06:16 -0400

Van Voorhis, in his book "The Old and New Monongahela" provides some
history of the glass industry in Belle Vernon, Pa on the edge of Fayette
County. Gabler, Eberhart and Reppert are mentioned in the book. There seems
to have been glass manufacturing in many of the towns along the
Monongahela River. Fayette City, previously called Cookstown and Freeport,
and Monongahela, previously named Mon City and Williamsport
both had glass industries early on.

The first in Bellevernon was that of Kendall and Patton. It did not get off
to a good start. In 1836 William Eberhart, son of Albert Eberhart of
Geneva, PA, began glass manufacture in B V. I am interested in this history
due to cousins who spelled their name Speer without the s who were
involved. Noah W. Speer, the son of Noah
Speer or Speers, Sr. who founded BV, married William Eberhart's daughter
Elizabeth and became the head salesman at Eberhart's warehouse in
Cincinnati, Ohio. The warehouse burnt down and sent Eberhart into financial
difficulties in 1853. Noah Q. Speer, son of Louis M. Speer and grandson of
Noah, Sr and nephew to Noah W., along with a Solomon and John Speer
operated sand quarries in Speers, Pa just across the river and supplied the
area glass industries with glass sand. Noah Q. patented a steam process for
cleaning sand and operated the Clipper Sand (processing) Works in Speers.
He also operated sand quarries at several other sites in Pennsylvania and
VA and the huge glass sand quarry, a mountain range, started in 1877
that is still operated in Berkeley Springs, WV. I drove past this quarry 30
years before I found out my distant cousin started it all. When I began to
research my family tree, I was particulary surprised to find a sand
industry existed in the West Belle Vernon area (Speers, Pa) at that time. I
thought there was only coal and gas and the large Gibsonton Whiskey

In B V, all at the same time, were 3 or 4 Noah Speers or Speer families. I
had a Noah W. (a Methodist) and Noah Q. Speer (a Rehobeth Church
Presbyterian), and I also had my own ancestor Noah Speers, a Baptist, who
was operating the Belle Vernon to Speers Ferry. And, there was a Noah Q.
Speer, Jr but he came along a little later and moved to McKeesport. Three
Noah's in the same area probably explains why some chose to drop the s on
Speers and some didn't. I count 14 Noah's in my family tree, 2 or 3 still
alive in Texas, 4 Louis Marchand Speer's, 19 William's including 4 William
Finley Speer/s and 10 Solomon's. Sometimes it is
easy tracing my ancestors and cousins. I have a US phone Directory CD and I
found several Noah's cousins right away in Texas. I really had no idea they
went South. I
also found another Noah in Texas - a Noah Spears, one of my KY cousins who
spell their name "Spears". By the way, the "Q" in Noah Q. Speer's name is
just that - just a Q. The wife of Noah Speer of Texas gave me that
bit of interesting info. You can figure out why there was a Q. Getting mail
in those days must have been a mess with families having so many cousins
with the same names.

One of my ancestors married a William Hoover about 1822 who had a store in
B V. I would like to know if he is connected to the Hoover's mentioned

My maternal grandfather George Gillen and his father worked in the American
Glass Plant in BV and probably in a glass plant in Fayette City. I have a
group picture of
some American Glass Company employees with them in it that appeared in the
Monesson Independent. Other pictures of the plant have appeared in that
newspaper and some of these can also be found in the 1962/3 Belle Vernon
Sesquicentenial Book. I am working on the Bicentenial book for the year
2012/3 for BV if anyone wants to help, especially with pictures. I live in
the south now and I need some help gathering info.

Tom Speers

> From: Brian D Core <>
> To:
> Subject: Fayette/Greene German Glassmakers: Kramer, Reitz, Gabler,
Eberhart, Reppert, Hoover
> Date: Friday, October 15, 1999 7:46 PM
> I pay pretty close attention to the German Pioneers of Greene, Fayette,
> and Monongalia counties, because I'm kin to so many of these families. I
> had noticed that there were a lot of relationships between the Kramer,
> Hoover, Eberhart, Reitz, Gabler, and Eberhart families, with a few of
> these families peripherally related to my Engle, Garrison, and Core
> lines. In volume 2 of "The Monongalia Story," my grandfather (Earl Core)
> cites Franklin Ellis' "History of Fayette County" (1882) in a paragraph
> about the glass industry in the Monongahela Valley; Ellis wrote that
> Albert Gallatin brought in Christian Kramer, Adolph Eberhart, Lewis
> Reitz, John George Reppert, Baltzer Kramer, and John Christian Gabler to
> operate his glass factory, which I believe was in New Geneva. Andrew
> Hoover was the bookkeeper for the glass operation. The glass factory
> later moved across the river to Greene County, and most of these German
> families moved with it. I've stumbled across a few genealogical facts
> about these families that I'd like to share, and I'd be interested to see
> what other listers could add to what we know about the German
> glassmakers.
> Andrew Hoover was born in Germany about 1723, and moved first to
> Lancaster Co., PA before coming to Fayette County. He died in 1784, so
> the bookkeeper at the glass factory must have been his son. His will was
> filed on May 25, 1784, and the legatees were: wife, Catherine; sons;
> Jacob Hoover, John Hoover, George Hoover, Henry Hoover, and Andrew
> Hoover. Daughters; Elisabeth Hoontzacker (?), Catherine Herbach, Anne
> Hoover. Andrew, Sr. lived in what is now German Twp., and his heirs may
> have neglected some of his less desirable real estate; schedule E of the
> 1798 Federal Direct Tax shows that a piece of his property was sold to
> Henry Core for non-payment of the tax. Andrew's grandson George Hoover
> (son of Jacob) married Elisabeth Garrison (daughter of Leonard and his
> first wife) and moved to Ohio Co., KY, where he died between 1826 and
> 1830.
> Christian Kramer and Margaretha had a daughter Margaretha, who was
> baptized at Jacobs Lutheran Church in German Twp. on 11 April 1807; on
> the same day, Balthazar and Sarah Kramer had a son named Balthasar
> baptized, Georg Kramer and Barbara had a son named Georg baptized, Ludwig
> ("Lewis") Reitz and Margaret had a son named Philip baptized, and Georg
> Reppert and Christina had a daughter named Wilhelmina baptized. They must
> have had quite a party afterwards! The next week, Peter Engle and
> Sussanna had a daughter named Rebecca baptized; she later married John
> Donham, and lived most of the rest of her life in Greene County. Peter
> Engle and Susanna (nee Bugh) later moved to Greene County; he was a
> gunsmith, and I've often wondered if Albert Gallatin had induced him to
> move to Fayette County as well.
> The above-mentioned Ludwig ("Lewis") Reitz had a daughter named Margaret,
> who married David Core (son of Christian and Fanny). David and Margaret
> (Reitz) Core moved to Tyler Co., (W)VA in the 1830's. David Core died in
> Tyler Co. in 1851, and his mother died there in 1852. His father
> Christian Core died in 1842, and is buried at Jacobs Lutheran Church in
> German Twp. Lewis Reitz died in Greene Co. in 1824; one of his executors
> was Baltzer Kramer, and one of the witnesses to his will was John Gabler.
> The will is in Will Book 1, pp. 256-257.
> John Christian Gabler died in Greene Co. in 1821, naming his wife Sophia
> as executrix. His will was filed in Greene Co. Will Book 1, pp. 115-116.
> The baptisms mentioned above are from:
> Ruff, Paul M. 1996. Jacobs Lutheran Church Parish Records Part II.
> Published by author.
> If anybody needs more information about the families mentioned above,
> I'll share anything I have; of course, I'd like to learn more about them,
> too.
> Brian

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