NEWTON H. SLONAKER, one of the proprietors of the Hyde Park Foundry &
Machine Company, at Leechburg, Armstrong Co., Pa., belongs to an old
Pennsylvania family of this section, and was himself born in Westmoreland
county Nov. 6, 1870, son of John Slonaker. The family is of German origin.
Michael Slonaker, the pioneer of this family in Westmoreland county,
resided near Salem, now Delmont. His family consisted of seven children:
George; Daniel; Sallie; Esther, who married Conrad Hawk, a great-uncle of Mrs.
Newton H. Slonaker; Katy, Mrs. Houser; Mrs. Fennel, and Mrs. Borts (originally
Daniel Slonaker, son of Michael, was the grandfather of Newton H. Slonaker.
He was born in eastern Pennsylvania, and came with the family from east of the
mountains to Westmoreland county. About 1829 he came to near Markle,
Westmoreland county, where he bought a tract of 200 acres and followed farming
the rest of his life, dying on that property. He was married at what was then
Salem, now Delmont, to Mary E. Kepple, of near Salem; she had a sister, Mrs.
Fink. To Daniel and Mary E. (Kepple) Slonaker were born six children, namely:
George; Michael, who married Nancy Younkins; Abraham, who married Mary Spiker;
Mary, who married Peter Klingensmith; Sallie, who married Israel Potts; and
John. The mother of this family died in 1886, aged about eighty years. Both
the parents were Lutheran in religious faith. As a rule the Slonakers were
noted for strength, and George and Abraham Slonaker, uncles of Newton H.
Slonaker, had the reputation of being the most powerful men in their
John Slonaker, father of Newton H. Slonaker, was born in Allegheny
township, Westmoreland county. He learned the trade of wagonmaker and followed
it, though for about ten years before his death he gave the greater part of
his attention to farming. He was a man of considerable prominence in his
locality, serving as a school director and in other offices, and for twenty
years he was justice of the peace in Allegheny township. He was an active
member and liberal supporter of the Lutheran Church. His death occurred May
16, 1905, when he was aged sixty-six years, three months, nineteen days, and
he was buried in Upper Burrell township, Westmoreland county. His wife,
Elizabeth Bole, who is a native of Armstrong county, still survives, residing
in Allegheny township, Westmoreland county. They had the following family:
Delia L., Anna M., Newton H., D. Homer, C. F. Burton, Catherine J., Charlotte
E., and a child that died when three days old.
Newton H. Slonaker attended public school in Allegheny township and also at
Leechburg, and up to the age of nineteen years worked mainly at farming. About
that time he entered the employ of the Leechburg Foundry & Machine
Company, to learn the machinist's trade, proved an apt pupil, and remained
about five years. He then entered the business for himself, becoming an active
member of the Hyde Park Foundry & Machine Company, organized in 1895, his
associates being James Fox, Thomas McCausland, James Lees and George Shaner,
all but the last named experienced foundry and machine men. Starting in a
small way, they soon acquired a valuable equipment, being prepared to make
large castings and machinery. At present the output comprises rolling mill
machinery and chilled rolls, and a general class of foundry machine work is
done, employment being given to 150 men. Besides the pattern shop and power
house there are two buildings, the foundry, 80 by 280 feet in dimensions, and
a machine shop of the same size. The firm is prepared to do any kind of work
in this line, and its high standing and extensive operations have a recognized
value in the prosperity of the town. Thomas McCausland is president of the
firm, James Lees vice president, N. H. Slonaker secretary and treasurer. In
January, 1911, Mr. Slonaker was elected a director of the First National Bank
of Leechburg, succeeding the late George W. Thompson.
Mr. Slonaker was married Sept. 7, 1893, to Cora I. Trout, daughter of
William R. and Jerusha (Maggie) (Lang) Trout, and they have had the following
children: Charles T. (now a student at the Pennsylvania State College, a
member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity), Paul N., Margaret E., Lee J.,
Joseph C., Mary L. and Walter D., all surviving except Lee J. and Joseph C.,
who died young. Paul and Margaret have unusual artistic ability, painting in
oil. Mr. Slonaker is a member of the Hebron Lutheran Church and is serving on
the church council, and is also librarian of the Sunday school. In politics he
is a Republican, and in November, 1913, was elected councilman. He is a past
master of the Leechburg Lodge, No. 577, F. & A. M., and also belongs to
Orient Chapter, No. 247, R. A. M., of Kittanning; Tancred Commandery, No. 48,
K. T. of Pittsburgh; and Coudersport Consistory. He holds membership also in
both branches of the Odd Fellows.
Mrs. Slonaker's paternal great-great grandfather came to this country from
Germany, in company with one of his brothers, and first settled at Germantown,
near Philadelphia. They separated, and the family never afterward succeeded in
locating the brother mentioned. The great-great-grandfather married in
Philadelphia, and after living there for some years went to the Colony of
Virginia, where he died. His son, Baltzer Trout, great-grandfather of Mrs.
Slonaker, was born at Germantown and went with his father to Virginia, near
Winchester. He was a stonemason by trade. During the Revolution he served as a
soldier in the Colonial forces, was with Washington at Yorktown and in his
later years received a pension for his services. He was married in Virginia,
his wife being Elizabeth Ridenour (Ritinour), sister of William, and in 1806
removed to Westmoreland county, Pa., among the pioneers of that region,
settling in the woods three miles from Delmont. There he cleared a tract of
land and continued to make his home for eighteen years; his place is now known
as the Branthouver farm. His family consisted of five sons and two daughters,
all born in Virginia: Henry, who died in Illinois; John, who died in
Westmoreland county, Pa.; Jacob, who died in Westmoreland county; Baltzer, who
died in Greenfield, Pa.; Daniel, who died in Westmoreland county; Catherine,
wife of Philip Walters; and Elizabeth, wife of John Johnston. The father of
this family died July 5, 1837, in Allegheny township, Westmoreland Co., Pa.,
and the mother died in December of the same year; they are buried in the Poke
Run Churchyard. Mr. and Mrs. Trout were members of the Methodist Church.
Jacob Trout, son of Baltzer Trout, was born Jan. 28, 1789, in Virginia, and
when a child came with his father to Westmoreland county, where he followed
farming in Allegheny township from 1832 until he retired because of his
advancing years. He owned 137 acres, and had a well improved farm, which he
cultivated intelligently, the place showing the result of his good management.
Outside of his farm work he was not particularly active in the community
except in his connection with the Lutheran church, of which he was a prominent
member, taking a leading part in its work. He died June 5, 1868. Mr. Trout
married Mary A. Hawk, daughter of Daniel and Magdalena (Bricker) Hawk. A large
family was born to this union: William R.; Baltzer, who is deceased; Jacob,
deceased; Daniel, living in California; Henry, living in Iowa; David P., a
dentist, of Leechburg; Mary A., who married George H. Goodsel; Harriet,
deceased; Jennie, unmarried; Melvina R., who married Cochran Valentine;
Jemima, unmarried; and Caroline E., who died young. Some of the sons served
during the Civil war, Henry, who enlisted from Westmoreland county, being
captured and confined in Libby prison.
William R. Trout, eldest son of Jacob, was born Sept. 26, 1829, in
Washington township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and was reared upon the farm,
where he remained until twenty-four years old. He was educated in the common
schools and at Leechburg Academy, and taught school for fourteen years, for
six terms of the time being engaged in Armstrong county, the balance in
Westmoreland county. For several years he followed farming on part of the old
homestead in Westmoreland county, Allegheny township, and since he retired
from agricultural pursuits, in 1904, he has made his home at Vandergrift, Pa.
He is a member of the Presbyterian church at Leechburg, and teaches in the
Sunday school. He was made a mason at Freeport, Pa., in 1866. Mr. Trout has
made a special study of Indian days and history in this section, on which
subject he has become an authority. He married Maggie Lang, daughter of John
Lang, and they had five children: Judson L., who is a resident of Leechburg;
Mary, unmarried; Cora I., who married N. H. Slonaker; Anna, who married H. E.
Walthout; and Malvina R., unmarried. Mrs. Trout died in 1891, and is buried in
Pleasant Hill cemetery, in Allegheny township, Westmoreland county.
Catherine Trout, daughter of Baltzer, married Philip Walters (or Walter),
the third, and they had children: John; Margaret, who married Michael Dewalt;
Jacob; Philip; Anthony and George. Philip Walter, grandfather of Philip, was
one of the emigrants from Germany to Pennsylvania about the middle of the
eighteenth century. After a few years he sent to Germany for his future wife,
whom he had not seen since she was a child of ten years. After his death she
married a Mr. Hawk, one of the early settlers near Greensburg, Westmoreland
Co., Pa. By Mr. Walter she had a son Philip, who married Catherine Spahr, and
their son Philip married Catherine Trout, as before related.
John Lang, Mrs. Slonaker's maternal grandfather, came from Juniata county,
Pa., and became engaged as a woolen manufacturer, having a mill at Langville,
Jefferson county, which his son John still operates. The town was named in his
honor. Mr. Lang was born in MacElravey's fort during the war of the
Revolution, in which his father was a soldier. John Lang, Sr., married a Miss
Moore, and their sons James and Aaron, Mrs. Slonaker's uncles, served in the
Civil war; Aaron was imprisoned at Andersonville.