William P. Lauster


WILLIAM P. LAUSTER, proprietor of the Yatesboro Roller Mills, at Yatesboro, Pa., was born March 2l, 1874, in Cowanshannock township, Armstrong county, son of Henry and Christena (Koch) Lauster, and a grandson of Eniest Martin Lauster.

Ernest Marti Lauster was born in 1800, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, where he followed milling until he came to America in 1848. He was accompanied by his family and they landed at Baltimore, Md., from there proceeding to Pittsburgh, Pa. Shortly afterward he secured land in what is now East Liberty and followed gardening until 1855, when he moved to Armstrong county and bought a f arm of 150 acres from Samuel Beers, in Kittanning township. Mr. Lauster remained on this farm until 1866, when he moved to the farm of a son in another part of the township, living there until 1881, at which time he removed to his son Henry's home in Cowanshannock township, where he died in 1888. His wife was also long-lived; born in 1799, she died in 1885. They were interred in St. Paul's cemetery, in Armstrong county. They had three sons: George, residing on the old homestead in Kittanning township; Peter, formerly a successful business man of Pittsburgh; and Henry.

Henry Lauster, son of Ernest Martin Lauster, was born Feb. 7, 1837, in the town of Axel, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. When eleven years of age he accompanied his parents to America and was about nineteen when his father bought his farm in Armstrong county. Henry learned the milling business about this time and later was associated with J. A. Boyer, under the firm name of Boyer & Lauster, the firm later becoming Lauster, Sowers & Co., and the North Star mill was erected, three miles southwest of Yatesboro. In April 1889, the business of the mill became very poor, and Henry Lauster together with his brother, Peter Lauster, then of Pittsburgh, bought out the interests of the other partners and remodeled the mill to the roller system. Henry Lauster was in charge of the mill business and it prospered under his management, which continued until 1903, when he retired, and what was widely known as Lauster's mill was sold. After a. year of rest on his farm in Kittanning township, he built a comfortable residence at Rural Valley, and was about ready to move into it when he sustained an injury to his foot, which, after much suffering and a surgical operation in the hospital at Kittanning, Pa., caused his death, Nov. 13, 1906. He was buried in the cemetery connected with St. Paul's Reformed Church, near Blanco. Among his fellow citizens generally, Mr. Lauster was held in very high regard. It was said of him that he was a kind-hearted, generous man, of unimpeachable integrity, a good husband and a loving father. In 1858 Henry Lauster was married to Christena Koch, of Kittanning township, Armstrong county, and four children were born to them, three sons and one daughter. In 1882 the family was stricken with typhoid fever and on Oct. 18th two of the children succumbed, the only daughter, who was seventeen years old, and the son John, who had reached his twenty-second year. Two other sons survived the epidemic, Henry F. and William P.

Henry F. Lauster was born Nov. 13, 1862, and was associated in the milling business with his younger brother, William P., until he died, Feb. 7, 1908. He married Narcissa Wagner, and three sons survive him: John B., Wilbert E. and O. Elsworth.

Mrs. Christena (Koch) Lauster was born May 11, 1839, and resides at Rural Valley. She took possession of the new residence while her husband was at the hospital, hopefully preparing the home to which he never returned alive. Her parents were John and Anna (Reichert) Koch.

William P. Lauster attended the public schools and then took a summer business course at Kittanning, after which he learned the milling business with his father. Immediately after his father's retirement and sale of the old mill, Mr. Lauster, in partnership with his brother, the late Henry F. Lauster, erected the Yatesboro Roller Mills at Yatesboro. Under the firm style of Lauster Brothers the mills continued to be operated until the death of Henry F. Lauster, and in 1909 William P. Lauster bought the interest of his brother's heirs and -since then has the business under his own name. The mills are modern in every way, being thoroughly equipped with improved machinery. The product is a high grade of spring and winter wheat flour, and a specialty made of highgrade buckwheat flour. The mills are headquarters for oats, corn, hay, straw, feed of all kinds and poultry supplies. The business is in a very flourishing condition.

Mr. Lauster married Ida McGregor, daughter of James McGregor, of Kittanning township, and they reside at Yatesboro. In politics Mr. Lauster is a Democrat, and in this connection is quite prominent, in 1910 serving as a delegate to the State convention, and at present is being a member of the council of Rural Valley. In the early spring of 1912 Mr. Lauster's many friends in the party throughout Armstrong county insisted on his becoming a candidate for the Legislature. For business reasons he could not see his way clear to acquiesce and did not certify for the primaries, but there was a surprise when the result of the primaries was announced showing that he had been voluntarily nominated, After a spirited and clean-cut campaign he was defeated by a very close margin, in a county which hitherto had been overwhelmingly Republican.

Source: Pages 438, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Vaughn Davis 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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