Henry Shaner


HENRY SHANER, of Gilpin township, Armstrong county, now living retired, has occupied his present home for over fifty years and is one of the oldest residents of his district. He was born Dec. 6, 1834, in Allegheny township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., son of' Henry Shaner, and is a member of a family whose representatives are known for useful citizenship and honorable living, respected, and esteemed in every community with which they have been identified Peter Shaner, who founded the family in this country, came to America from Germany before the Revolutionary war, and settled in western Pennsylvania, along the Schuylkill river. After living there for some time he removed to Maryland, where he died. His family consisted of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, namely: Adam; Peter; Henry; Christopher; David; Daniel; JohnAndrew; another son whose name is not remembered; Christian (daughter) and Catherine, whose husbands were both named Keefer; and another daughter who became Mrs. Ichus. All the sons except John and Andrew removed to western Pennsylvania about the year 1800, Adam and Henry settling in Butler county; some of their descendants are living in Pittsburgh. Christopher had the following children: William, Frederick, Joseph, Sampson, Katy (Mrs. Shafer) and Polly (Mrs. Henry Klingensmith); of these, Joseph and Sampson never married.

George Shaner, brother of Peter Shaner, the emigrant, fought under Washington in the American Revolution. He settled in Westmoreland county, Pa., and some of his descendants are now living near Turtle Creek, in Allegheny county, this State.

Daniel Shaner, son of Peter the emigrant, settled near Buena Vista, in Allegheny county, about 1807. The place was then known as Brown's Ferry. His children were John (the historian of the Shaner family), William, Daniel, George, Hetty and Peggy. Shaner's station, on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, was named after Daniel Shaner, of this family. Peter Shaner, Jr., grandfather of Henry Shaner, was a farmer by occupation, and lived and died in Westmoreland county. He was killed at Adamsburg. His children were: Jacob; Eli; Henry; Margaret, who died unmarried; Mrs. Henry Brewer; and one daughter who died young.

Henry Shaner, son of Peter, Jr., was born in 1809 in Allegheny township, Westmoreland county, and owned two farms in that township. Besides following farming he was enaaged during the winter season in making barrels, as well as flaxbrakes for his neighbors. He was an active man in. his localitv, served as tax collector, was a member of the Lutheran Church, and in politics was identified with the Republican party. He died Nov. 6, 1881, and is buried in Pleasant View cemetery in Westmoreland county. His wife, Catherine (Cline), daughter of Peter Cline, died in March, 1887. They had a large family, viz.: John lives in Parks township, Armstrong county; Daniel lives in Gilpin township Armstrong county; Henry is mentioned below; William, who now lives in Allegheny township, Westmoreland county, served during the Civil war in Company C, 139th Pennsylvania Regiment, and was wounded at Spotsylvania Court House May 12, 1864; Catherine is the widow of John Keppel and resides in Parks township, where she has a farm; Peter enlisted June 8, 1861, in the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves, and was killed at the battle of Gaines's Mill, June 27, 1862; Eli is living on the old homestead in Westmoreland county; Andrew, twin of Eli, died when five years old; David lives at Apollo, Pa. (he is the father of Sheriff Thomas Shaner, of Armstrong county); Thomas, a contractor, resides at Warren, Pa.; Caroline is the widow of Isaac Heckman and resident in Gilpin township; Rebecca, widow of William Frederick, resides in Westmoreland county; Solomon is living at New Kingston, Pa.; Zacharias is living at the old homestead in Westmoreland county; Elizabeth married Joseph McGeary, of Butler, Pennsylvania.

Henry Shaner was reared upon the home farm, remaining there until he reached the age of eighteen years. He then learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for a period of seven years. In 1857 he and his brother Daniel, with John M. Shaner, a cousin, went out to Kansas, where Henry Shaner remained for twenty-one months, during which time he had the privilege of casting his vote. in favor of Kansas becoming a free State. In 1859 he bought his present farm, part of the property of the David Leech heirs, which then consisted of eighty-one acres lying along the Kittanning road. He has since sold off four acres to the Evergreen cemetery. Mr. Shaner had to clear most of the land himself, and he has made practically all the improvements on the property, put up all the buildings, etc., so that the place in its present condition is the work of his own hands. There are three profitable gas wells on the farm, and it is all underlaid with coal. Mr. Shaner has the coal deposits leased to a company, and mining was commenced in 1899; the find proved valuable, operations having been continued steadily ever since. Mr. Shaner has served as supervisor of Gilpin township, and he is well known in his connection with the Hebron Lutheran Church of Leechburg, which he joined in 1859, and which he has served in an official capacity for many years. He is a Republican in politics.

On Jan. 6, 1859, Mr. Shaner married Catherine Sober, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Spiker) Sober. She died Jan. 14, 1910, aged sixty-nine years, six months, twenty days, and is buried in Evergreen cemetery. Five children were born of this marriage: (1) Frances B. is the widow of Thomas H. Moore and resides on the home place with her father. She has one son, William E. Moore, of McKee's Rocks, Allegheny Co., Pa. (2) Rev. Braden E., born Feb. 20, 1862, graduated from Gettysburg College in 1886 and from the theological seminary in 1889, and from that time until his death, Oct. 21, 1910, was engaged in the work of the Lutheran ministry, preaching for sixteen years. He raised large sums of money for the church at different places. His last charge was at Tarentum, Pa., where he did very good work, placing the church there upon a selfsustaining basis. He married Annie Dutterer, of Middleburg, Carroll Co., Md., and they had a family of ten children: Emma C., Harold E., Clarence, Anna Bell, Elizabeth S., Henry B., Ruth M., Helen, John and Alice. (3) Media married Charles Kelley and lives at Sheridan, Pa. They have one son, Chauncey V. (4) William H., born Jan. 10, 1866, died in Oregon April 9, 1890, and is buried in Evergreen cemetery, at Leechburg, Pa. (5) Elizabeth J. married Thomas Groves, who is living at Leechburg, Pa., and their children are Catherine, Gerald A., Henry M., Edgar W., Elizabeth, Thomas and Charles.

William Moore, father of Thomas H. Moore, who married Frances B. Shaner, was born in Woodcock valley, in Huntingdon county, Pa. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. His parents emigrated from Ireland in the same shift while quite young, before their marriage was brought up in the faith of the old Seceder Church, and enjoyed such religious instruction and training as pious parents of that day could give. His early life was spent in Huntingdon county in rural pursuits. In 1835 he came to Pittsburgh, where he was employed for several years at rough carpenter work. In 1837 he married Mary Anderson, and they soon afterward moved to their farm near Leechburg, Armstrong Co., Pa., where Mr. Moore resided until his death. Shortly after his settlement in Armstrong county he united with the Presbyterian Church at, Freeport, Pa. Upon the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Leechburg he transferred his membership to the new body and was chosen a ruling elder, which position he held, and filled with rare fidelity, until his death. Mr. Moore was diffident, and retiring in his disposition, yet he was very social with those whom he knew well. He always extended a cordial hospitality to all who came under his roof, and his attachment to friends was warm and lasting. He was a man of piety and accustomed to secret devotion, and of ten, especially during his latter years, he was found alone in communion with his heavenly father. God's law was the guide of his life and His Sabbaths were a delight unto him.

As a citizen he was highly esteemed in the community in which he lived so long. As a Christian his character was beyond reproach. As a husband and father he was loved and revered in his home. As an officer of the church he was prompt and efficient to the extent of his ability. He was very prompt and careful in all his business relations and literally carried out the apostle's injunction "owe no man anything." is life was full of blessing and his end was peace. On Tuesday evening, May 28 (1877), after coming in from his usual work, he took suddenly ill. He was better, however, and continued better till Saturday evening, June 2d, when he was again seized, with a violent pain in the region of the heart. He now felt that his end was drawing near. He had no fear of death. After giving some directions about his business and pious counsel to all present, and bidding his wife and children an affectionate farewell, he gently fell asleep. He was survived by his wife and five children, all grown up. Mr. Moore was in his seventy-third year. He and his wife had the following family: James A., who has been a clerk in the Pittsburgh post office for over forty years; Mary C.; Nancy J., deceased; Margaret, deceased; John Bracken, deceased; and Thomas H., who married Frances B. Shaner.

Source: Pages 441, 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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