Heilman Family

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HEILMAN. A number of the Heilmans of Armstrong county are descended from Frederick Heilman, who moved into this region from Dauphin county, Pa., and who was one of the sons of Peter and Elizabeth (Harter) Heilman, who settled in Kittanning township in 1795-96.

Peter Heilman, eldest son of Frederick, was born in July, 1819, on the home farm, where he died Feb. 25, 1878. He was a prosperous farmer, and energetic in business matters, operating a brick yard on his farm, and meeting with substantial success in his ventures. In 1871 he was elected county commissioner, being a member of the board which erected the Armstrong county jail, which has the reputation of being one of the finest and strongest structures of the kind in the United States. This building was completed in 1873, at a cost of $252,000. Its foundation is 24 feet deep, from the surface, and 7 feet wide from the bottom. After his service as commissioner Mr. Heilman devoted all his time to his own affairs. He had previously been school director, and during the Civil war he served as enrolling officer. He was a Republican on political questions. He was an esteemed member and liberal supporter of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, which he served officially. By his first wife, Susanna Helfrich, daughter of Anthony Helfrich (whose wife was named Schutte or Shutt), he had three children, namely: Amanda, who never married; Albert, who starved to death in Andersonville prison, while a Union soldier; and one that died in infancy. His second, Elizabeth (Remaley), daughter of Anthony Remaley, of Kiskiminetas township, was the mother of ten chldren, viz.: James M., William M., Reuben (a hardware merchant), John F., George (who died aged twenty-one years), Frank (who died when eighteen years old), Eliza (wife of Frank McClister), Edward (in the hardware business), Charles C. (president of the Merchants' Trust Company Bank, of Greensburg - he spells the name Hileman) and Curtin A. (engaged as a furniture dealer at Greensburg).

Anthony Remaley, grandfather of Mrs. Peter Heilman, married a daughter of Anthony Schaeffer, who was a Revolutionary soldier, and afterward clerk in the State Senate. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Remaley had a son Anthony whose daughter married Peter Heilman. The Heilmans worshipped at the old Heller Church, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

William M. Heilman was born April 7, 1850, at Kittanning, and was educated in the public schools of his neighborhood. When twenty-one years old he began business as a contractor and builder, in partnership with his brother J. M. Heilman, this association continuing until 1878, when another brother, John F., came into the business, the firm name becoming Heilman Brothers. In connection with their large contracting business the brothers erected a planing mill, equipped it with modern machinery and appliances, driven by a fifty-horsepower engine. An extensive business was carried on, the firm contracting for and building houses in Armstrong, Westmoreland, Allegheny, Butler and Venango counties. In 1909 the firm was incorporated as Heilman Brothers & Co. Lumber Company, with William M. Heilman as treasurer. In 1905 Mr. Heilman was elected vice president of the Kittanning Plate Glass Company, and in May, 1911, was elected president and general manager of that concern, which offices he held at the time of his death. Employment is given to five hundred persons. The plant is well equipped and modern in every detail. Under the efficient and active supervision of Mr. Heilman the company's affairs were brought into excellent condition. In addition to these interests, Mr. Heilman was a stockholder and director in the Fort Pitt Powder Company. For a number of years he was a councilman of Kittanning, and he was one of the first men to advocate the paving and sewering of the borough, and through his persistence the improvements were made.

On Oct. 13, 1874, Mr. Heilman married Emma L. Anderson, daughter of Robert Anderson, and eight children were born to this union: Harry A.; Frank W.; Mary A.; Blanche L.; Helen E., who was graduated from Washington Seminary in 1911 and is now in Vassar College, class of 1915. All these are living, three having died in infancy. Mr. Heilman is a member of Blue Lodge No. 244, F. & A. M., and Orient Chapter, No. 247, R. A. M., both of Kittanning, and of Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1, K. T., and Syria Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. During a European trip a few years ago Mr. Heilman enjoyed being a visitor to various lodges in the different countries he visited. Probably few men have had the opportunity to meet so many fellow Masons as he. While at Madeira, Rome, various German cities, in Egypt even, he was the guest of the Masonic lodges in those places. One spot of interest to which he made a special trip was the stone quarry from which King Solomon secured the stone for the building of the temple, so intimately associated with Masonic rites. During this trip Mr. Heilman was accompanied by his eldest daughter. He was a Republican in politics. Mr. Heilman died on the 16th day of June, 1914.

Frank W. Heilman, M. D., a physician and surgeon of Kittanning, was born in that city Oct. 27, 1877, son of William M. Heilman. Like his brother and sisters, Mr. Heilman first attended school at Kittanning, passing through the grammar and high school grades. He then took up the study of medicine, entering the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and being graduated from that institution in 1902. For a short time he practiced medicine at Kittanning, and then went to Europe to finish his medical training, taking a course of studies at the University of Berlin, Germany, and in France, Italy, Russia and England, spending five years abroad in all. Returning to Kittanning in 1908, he resumed his practice. Dr. Heilman is one of the most skilled physicians and surgeons of Armstrong county, and his practice is very large.

The Heilman family is one of the oldest and best known in Armstrong county, and its representatives have been and are men considerably above the average. They are to be found in all the learned professions, occupying offices of great responsibility, and active in commercial life. All of them have been ready and willing to give time and attention toward the betterment of existing conditions, and labored to bring about a moral uplift. It is such men as these, and those whom they influence, who work out reforms, and maintain good standards wherever they are found.

Source: Pages 977-978, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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