Mervin L. Shoemaker


MERVIN L. SHOEMAKER, a prominent farmer of Madison township, owns and occupies the old homestead where he was born Sept. 29, 1879, son of Joseph B. and Margaret A. (Ferguson) Shoemaker.

George Shoemaker, his great-grandfather, with six brothers John, Solomon, Adam, Simon, Samuel and Daniel, emigrated from Germany to America prior to 1770, and first settled in Loudoun county, Va. In 1798 or 1800 George Shoemaker settled at Cochrans Mills, in what is now Burrell township, Armstrong county. His wife was Margaret Miller, and their children were:

Isaac; John; Peter; Daniel; George; Jesse; Joseph; Catherine, Mrs. Blogher; Margaret, Mrs. Hind; and Hannah, Mrs. Uncapher. Of these, Peter Shoemaker was the grandfather of Mervin L. He settled in what is now Mahoning township, Armstrong county, near Oakland, in 1824, having purchased 200 acres of land from his cousin Phil Shoemaker, who had settled there in 1814. He cleared and improved this property, and became a prominent and successful man of affairs. His death occurred in 1872. He married Sarah Ringer, who bore him twelve children, ten of whom grew to maturity: Isaac, William, Peter, Jesse, Joseph B., George, Mary (who married Thomas Montgomery), Catherine (who married Samuel Young), Margaret and Sarah.

Joseph B. Shoemaker was born on the old homestead in Mahoning township July 31, 1839, and there was reared to manhood. He settled in Madison township in 1864, owning a tract of land of about 160 acres there, which he cleared and improved, and died there March 13, 1900, in his sixty-first year. He was a prominent farmer of his day, and his farm was considered the most valuable in Madison township. He owned the first combined reaper and mower brought to the township. In early life Mr. Shoemaker was a member of the German Baptist Church, but later he became a member of the Free Baptist Church at Deanville, of which he was a deacon for many years. He held various township offices, was a Republican in political sentiment, and an advocate of prohibition. He married Margaret A. Ferguson, whose death occurred May 19, 1912. She was the daughter of Samuel Ferguson, a native of Ireland, who was a pioneer of what is now Mahoning township, clearing and improving the farm now owned by Joseph Ferguson; his death occurred there.

Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker reared a family of seven children, as follows: Carrie, wife of F.E. Claypoole; Homer H.; Ora A., Junie F., wife of Adam Shindledecker; Bertha G., wife of John Shindledecker; Mervin L., and Claude C.

Mervin L. Shoemaker received his education in the schools of Deanville. With the exception of two years, when he worked as clerk in his brother Homer's store, he has always lived on the homestead, and came into full possession of the property in March, 1912. He has always followed farming as an occupation, being one of those industrious men who have found success by untiring effort and. perseverance. He is prominent in his community and well liked by all who knew him.

On May 3, 1903, Mr. Shoemaker married Myrtle, daughter of Robert and Catherine (Smith) Sherrieb, of Madison township, and they have two children, Blair and Joseph B. He is a member of the Free Baptist and has always been a stanch adherent to the principles of the Republican party.

Source: Page 468-496, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 1999 by Michael S. Caldwell for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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