Thomas M Klingensmith


THOMAS M. KLINGENSMITH, a farmer of Gilpin township, Armstrong county, was born in that township Jan. 28, 1854, a son of Henry W. and Esther (Myers) Klingensmith. His paternal great-grandfather, who came to western Pennsylvania from Germany, was the founder of the family in this country.

Adam Klingensmith, son of the founder, was born in 1804, and died in 1871. He settled in what is now Parks township, Armstrong county, Pa., where he owned a farm of sixty acres, operating it in conjunction with hewing 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 was born in Allegheny (now Parks) township, this county, in 1829, and developed from a carpenter into a contractor and lumber dealer. During his useful life he became a well-known man, one whose honesty was proverbial. His death occurred in Leechburg, Pa., May 30, 1910, when he was eighty one years of age and his remains lie in the Forks cemetery. His first wife, Esther Myers, born Feb. 20, 1832, died July 9, 1868, the mother of the following named children: Susanna, deceased; Thomas M.; Leanda, who married William S. Miller; Aaron, deceased; Philip, of Westmoreland county, Jeremiah, 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, 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 in infancy; and Henry, of Leechburg. Mr. Klingensmith�s third marriage was to the widow of Finley Shuster, and she survives, making her home at Leechburg. There were no children by the third union. Mr. Klingensmith belonged to that high class of men whose sense of honor was so strong that their verbal promise was accepted as another man�s written bond would be. n During the years he lived in Parks township he made his influence felt, always directing it towards securing the betterment of existing conditions, and a general moral uplift. His loss was deeply felt in the community in which he had spent his life.

Thomas M. Klingensmith attended Mt. Joy school No. 7, in Gilpin township, until he was sixteen years, when he left to devote all of his attention to helping his father in his various undertakings, thus securing a thorough training and laying the foundation for a life of useful endeavor. When he was twenty-six years old he was married, and leaving the parental roof, began teaming for Kirkpatrick & Co., at Leechburg, who conducted the rolling mill there. For ten years he continued in this line, the last eighteen months being labor boss. Having secured valuable experience and connections he embarked in business for himself, and for a quarter of a century operated a flourishing teaming business. Preferring to spend the remainder of his life on a farm, he bought his present property in Gilpin township, moving upon it in 1907. It is a beautiful farm, located along the Kiskiminetas river, following the line of Parks township. The property consists of fifty-seven acres of valuable land, and is underlaid with fine soft coal, which Mr. Klingensmith has sold. He raises peaches and apples, having a magnificent orchard, and sells in the Leechburg markets, which he attends personally, and where he is one of the best known dealers.

On Jan. 19, 1878, Mr. Klingensmith was married to Annie M. Shaner, daughter of John Shaner, of Parks township. They have the following children: Homer W., of Leechburg, employed at the steel mill; John T., of Gilpin township, also employed at the steel mill, at Hyde Park, and Lavern S., who is at school.

Mr. Klingensmith is a Republican, but has never entered a public life. The Lutheran Church holds his membership, and he is active in the Sunday school. Fraternally he belongs to the Odd Fellows, being past grand of his lodge and prominent in the encampment. In everything he has undertaken Mr. Klingensmith has proved himself a man of resource, quick to take advantage of opportunities as presented, and he is justly numbered among the leading men of Gilpin township.

Source: Pages 913 - 914 , Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed February 1999 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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