JEREMIAH KLINGENSMITH, one of the leading citizens of Gilpin township, Armstrong county, where he is now engaged in the cider and feed business, has been active in that locality in various other connections and is a man whose worth is universally recognized. He was born Sept. 9, 1861, in what is now Gilpin (then Allegheny) township, son of Henry W. Klingensmith. His great-grandfather, who came to this country from Germany, was a pioneer in western Pennsylvania.

Adam Klingensmith, grandfather of Jeremiah Klingensmith, was born in 1804 and died in 1871. He settled in what is not Parks township, Armstrong Co., Pa., where he owned a farm of sixty acres, and besides bultivatin his place hewed timber for barns. His remains are interred at the Forks Church in Gilpin township. His wife, Jennie (Shoop), was born in 1809, and died in 1876. Their children were: David, who went West; Henry W.; Abraham, of Armstrong county; Adam, who went West; and Peter, of Armstrong county.

Henry W. Klingensmith, son of Adam, was born in Allegheny township (now Parks), this county, in 1829, and beginning life as a carpenter, became a contractor and lumber dealer. He was a useful member of his community, a man of proverbial honesty, and was well known in his day. He died at Leechburg, this county, May 30, 1910, when he was eighty-one years of age, and is buried in the Forks Cemetery. His fir wife, Esther (Myers), born Feb. 20, 1832, died July 9, 1868, the mother of the following children: Susanna, who is deceased; Thomas M.; Leanda, who married William S. Miller; Aaron, deceased; Philip, of Westmoreland county' Jeremiah; Winchester, of Gilpin township; Margaret, who married Philip Brothers; and Laban, who was killed by a train. After the death of his first wife Mr. Klingensmith married (second) Sina Craig, of Red Bank, born Nov. 28, 1834, who died Nov. 8, 1903. By this marriage he became the father of four children: Augustus J., of Leechburg; Clarissa, of Leechburg; a daughter that died young; and Harry, of Leechburg. Mr. Klingensmith was subsequently married (third) to the widow of Finley Shuster; she survives, making her home at Leechburg. There were no children by this marriage.

Mr. Klingensmith belonged to that class of men developed during the last century whose strength and influence were felt strongly in the community. During his residence in Parks township he was one of the citizens who aided in its progress and contributed to the betterment of existing conditions, and his loss was deeply felt.

Jeremiah Klingensmith received his education in the common schools of his native township. After following farming for a short time during his early manhood we went to work in the sheet mill at Leechburg, in 1881, entering the employ of Kirkpatrick & Co. He continued to follow mill work for twenty years, until in 1901 he bought a fine farm of 129 acres near Leechburg, on the Kittanning road, purchasing this property from the Elizabeth Patterson heirs. From time to time he sold parts of this tract, in 1911 disposing of all that was left except the small piece upon which his home is located. In 1907, he began the manufacture of cider, and from a small beginning has built up a very large trade, so extensive that in August, 1911, he installed in his plant a cider press of the most modern make, of thirty-five to forty tons capacity, and twelve-horsepower engine. He also has a chop mill, having established a feed business of profitable proportions since he entered that line, and he now gives all his attention to his cider and feed establishment. He is at present serving as a member of the school board of Gilpin township, to which office he was elected in 1909, and he is a prominent member of the Hebron Lutheran Church at Leechburg. He was at one time a prominent member of the Forks Lutheran Church, which he served officially as trustee and superintendent of the Sunday school. In politics he is a Republican and much interested in the success of the party.

In 1882, Mr. Klingensmith married Ella R. Miller, who was born in 1861, daughter of John C. Miller, of Westmoreland county, and died in 1899. She was the mother of three children: Charles C., who was killed at Sharon, Pa., Feb. 23, 1909, when twenty-seven years old; Myrtle R., a graduate of the Leechburg high school, now engaged in teaching at Leechburg; and Ira M., a graduate of the Leechburg high school, now teaching in Gilpin township. Mr. Klingensmith's second marriage was to Annie M. Sober, daughter of John Sober, and they have three children: Edith, Paul N. and Lelan J.

Source: Pages 633-634 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Lynn Beatty for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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