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Subject: [WVPioneers] German Element - Chapter 6 - Part 1
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 20:03:23 EDT


Some of the earliest settlers to the Valley were the Germans, Scotch and
Irish. Even with their lack of the English language in which to communicate
with the Scotch and Irish, the Germans fared well in the Valley. They had an
energy and willingness that allowed them to perservere.

In 1734 Benjamin ALLEN, Riley MOORE and William WHITE came from MD and
located on land near the present town of Mt. Jackson. The Germans went a
little farther west settling in Timberville, Forestville, Rinkerton, Hamburg,
Lantz's Mill, Moore's Store, Conicville and Columbia Furnace.

The main line of travel was nearer the river and for the most part followed
an old Indian trail. The Moravian missionaries referred to it as the "great
road" and it followed closely from Winchester, to Woodstock, to Mt. Jackson,
to New Market and Harrisonburg to Staunton. ( Vivian's note…is this not
present day Interstate 81?)

With roads near the river the need was there for ferries to cross. The first
record of one was in 1736 at Front Royal in Warren County….and the price was
three pence for a man, and for a horse three pence. In May, 1755 Thomas
SWEARINGEN conducted a ferry across the Potomac in Frederick County. In 1761,
Robert HARPER established what would later became Harper's Ferry. In 1761
one was established across the Potomac into MD at Mecklenburg (Shepherdstown)

In 1745, Peter MAUK, a German, made the first application at Winchester for
naturalization papers. This was three to four years after Adam MILLER, the
pioneer of Augusta County had obtained his.

Will now give a little background history on the establishment of towns that
the Germans helped to establish.

STAUNTON---In 1748 an Act of Assy passe for establishing a town in Augusta,
and for some reason it was repealed in 1752. In 1761, it was permanently
established by law. The Scotch-Irish were the leaders in Staunton from the
beginning but the Germans have been among the most enterprising and
influential citizens. The city was incorporated on 23-Dec-1801. Election held
shortly after and Jacob SWOOP, a German, was elected mayor. Three of the
twelve men on the executive board were Germans: Michael GARBER, Michael
HARMAN and Jacob LEASE.

WINCHESTER---This site had two houses in 1738. It was legally established as
a town in 1752 and incorporated in 1779. James WOODE laid out the town in
1752. The village was called Frederick town and later "Old Town". In
September, 1758 the boundaries were enlarged and the following were appointed
as trustees. Lord Fairfax, Thomas Bryan MARTIN, James WOOD, Lewis STEPHENS,
Gabriel JONES, John HITE, John DOOE, Isaac PARKINS, Robert RUTHERFORD, Philip
BOUSH.

STEPHENSBURG---First known as Stephensburg, later "New Town" and present day
as Stephens City was established by law in September, 1758. It was laid out
on the land of Lewis STEPHENS and was settled exclusively by Germans. The
original founder of the town was Peter STEPHENS, the father of Lewis who came
to Virginia in 1732 with Jost HITE. The same board served Stephensburg as
served Winchester.

On 3-May-1760 Nicholas and Mary PITTMAN bought several lots in the town of
Stephensburg. Nicholas is the ancestor of one of the best known Virginia
families. He came from Bingen on the Rhine about 1740 with some of the
BAKERS and CONRADS of Winchester. In 1802, his son, Lawrence, built the old
brick mansion at Red Banks, about four miles below Mt. Jackson in Shenandoah
County.

STRASBURG---First called "Staufferstadt" after it's founder, Peter STOVER, in
1761 when it was established by law STOVER called it Strausburg after his
birthplace in Germany. The ten trustrees were: William MILLER, Matthew
HARRISON, Jacob BOWMAN, Valentine SMITH, Charles BUCK, Peter STOVER, Isaac
HITE, Leonard BATICE, John FUNK, and Philip HUFFMAN. By this proclamation
the towns of Strasburg and New London were forbid to build or erect any
wooden chimnies and all in existence were to be torn down by August of that
year.

To be continued…………………………..

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