William M Knepshield

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WILLIAM M. KNEPSHIELD has been a lifelong resident of Burrell township, where he owns a fine farm of 200 acres. His family is of German origin, his great-grandfather Barnhard Knepshield having been a native of Germany. He belonged to a fine family and was educated in the Catholic priesthood, but the church did not appeal to him and he left it, becoming a Lutheran. While still young he came to America, and he served the Colonial cause as a surgeon during the Revolution, after which he went to Porto Rico, practicing surgery there for a few years. From there he returned to the United States, living in South Carolina for some time, and later in York county, Pa., where he died at an advanced age, universally respected. He never went back to Germany to claim his share of the estate to which he was entitled. His great-grandson, William M. Knepshield, still has the case in which he carried his instruments. His papers were destroyed in a fire at Leechburg which burned the residence of his daughter Susanna, wife of John Knepshield. Dr. Knepshield spoke seven languages.

John Knepshield, son of Barnhard, had a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters, Samuel, George, Catherine, John, Lany, Susanna, Jacob, and Michael.

Samuel Knepshield, son of John and father of William M. Knepshield, was born March 29, 1818 in York county Pa. After living two years in Ohio he came to Westmoreland county, Pa., where he remained a few years, thence moving to Kiskiminetas township, Armstrong Co., Pa. He made his home there for twelve years, during which time he married, at the end of that period moving to Kittanning township, where he lived for seven years. Moving back to Kiskiminetas township, he resided there for eighteen months, and then settled in Burrell township, on the farm now occupied by his son William. He died July 6, 1884. In 1840 he married Mary Ann Remaley, of Kiskiminetas township, who was born June, 1823, one of the nine children (four sons and five daughters) born to Anthony and Lydia (Naley) Remaley of that township. Mrs. Knepshield died in 1904, aged eighty-one years.

William M. Knepshield was born on the old farm in Burrell township June 26, 1862. He has been a very successful farmer, and his valuable property, which comprises 200 acres, is in excellent condition under his efficient management. Grain, hay and stock are his principle products. His interest in public affairs has led him to take some part in the local government, and he has served as constable and for several terms as school director.

On June 5, 1884, Mr. Knepshield married Emma Pierce, of Plum Creek township, daughter of James and Sarah (Harrold) Pierce, both of whom are deceased. Seven children, one son and six daughters, have been born to this marriage: Essie Jane, born Dec. 17, 1885, married Charles Davis, of Burrell township, who is now employed by the Westinghouse Company at East Pittsburgh, and has one child Mary Wilmina, born Sept. 22, 1887, married Charles Peters of Burrell township, a farmer, and has two children, one son and one daughter; Cora Edna was born July 3, 1890; Emma adelaide, Oct. 14, 1893; Thelma, Jan. 12, 1896; Anna Mabel, Oct. 8, 1899 (died aged eleven years); William Harold, April 7, 1903.

Mr. Knepshield and his family are members of St. Michael´┐Żs Lutheran Church, Brick Church and he has served faithfully as deacon, secretary, and treasurer. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., belonging to Lodge No. 1076, of Elderton.

Source: Pages 910 - 911 , 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 (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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