Originally Compiled and Written by K. R. Overholt Critchfield copyright 9-1-1999
Updated copyright 1-30-2013
~~ Updated and Renovated copyright 7-14-2022 ~~


Karen's Note: You may be asking why I created a timeline for our branch of the Overholt family. Well, to be honest, how can someone write about the history and genealogy of a family without learning about what was happening in their lives and times? It cannot be done, not with any expectation of clarity. A writer of genealogy needs to collect some of the history about those lives to gain some measure of understanding about the trials and tribulations of their day-to-day and year-to-year interactions with the world that was around them. This collection begins in the 16th century, with our earliest known ancestors, and ends in 1935, because OVERHOLT: History of a Whiskey was written circa 1935 -- it was the cornerstone historic document of The Overholt Family Tree ~~ Karen's Branches. Let us hope future generations will have a list of important dates to add, concerning Overholt history onward from 1935.

The data shown here includes information from many sources, not only from A. J. Fretz material and Oberholser Family Association (OFA) material, but also from numerous history books, encyclopedia websites, and websites dedicated to details of British and American military conflicts. Our ancestors experienced loads of hardships, from plagues to warfare, and from political to religious to social upheavals. They made journeys fraught with dangers, and grappled with harsh necessities of relocating their families and rebuilding their fortunes over and over. They were always hoping for the best while struggling to survive catastrophes of one kind or another. They were people. They had hopes and dreams. They got married, and had babies, and raised up sons and daughters who created lives of their own. And every single one of them had emotional and intellectual responses to whatever was happening around them.

This renovation of our history timeline was begun several years ago, begun in earnest in 2012, and uploaded as "a work in progress" to the files at Karen's Branches on January 30, 2013. The webpage was not actually published, although at least one of my correspondents was given access to that information. My apologies are offered for the delay in getting this page ready for publication. With many new tweaks, this version may be the best one for now. I hope this material will be somewhat revealing of how the world scene shaped what happened in our family's past, and will suggest how the contemporary world continues to shape our present and our future.


The 16th Century

1500 -Switzerland begins suffering Bubonic plague in 13 or 14 surges, accounting for 31 plague years by 1640
c 1516 -Husband and Wife OBERHOLZER live in Lower House, Aathal (Valley of the Spring), Wald, Zurich, Switzerland
1517 -The Protestant Reformation begins when Martin Luther (1483-1546) nails his 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany; he preaches "great fundamental truths" of justification by faith alone and exclusive authority of the Word of God; his sermons draw thousands of Christians from all over Europe to his philosophy; Lutherans work to discard "degraded and corrupt" practices of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e., salvation by works, denial of the Bible to the people, and the burden of ceremony and forms imposed by the priests
-Authorities of the Roman Catholic Church move against Luther & his movement
1519 -Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) begins preaching biblical sermons at the Great Minster Church in Zurich, Switzerland; his version of Protestantism differs from Lutherans in that the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper have only symbolic meaning; Zwinglians are stricter in their demands for righteous living, emphasizing the doctrine of obedience to God and instituting state churches
-Zwingli exercises great influence over the Swiss Reformation; his version of Protestant Christianity spreads to include most of the population of Switzerland north of the Alps, along with sections of southwestern Germany
1521-1648 -Martin Luther is condemned as a heretic and is excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church
-For opposing Luther, England's King Henry VIII receives the title Defender of the Faith from Pope Leo X
1524 -In Switzerland, the alpine cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Lucerne and Zug remain Catholic; they form a League of the Five Cantons (Bund der funf Orte) to combat the spreading of the new faith; conflicts arise in common territories when administrations change bi-annually, switching the official faith from Protestant to Catholic and back again
1525 -City Council of Zurich threatens exile to any who fail to baptize an infant before the age of eight days
-The Anabaptist movement begins (January 21) in Zurich, Switzerland, with the first adult baptisms of the Brethren, the main issues of contention being their opposition to state churches, their expectation of a complete reformation of the Christian Church and their insistence that the Church include believers only (i.e., adults having an experience with God, who commit their lives in unreserved obedience to the Word of God, solemnized with adult baptism)
-Martin Luther organizes the Evangelical Church of Germany as a universal state church, requiring infant baptism; he agrees with permitting territorial rulers to determine the religion of the people of that territory; he advocates the use of force to persecute those who refuse to accept the authorized religion -- a principal leading to the severe persecution and death of thousands of people that continues for 200 years or more after the Reformation
1527 -Government authorities of Zurich and neighboring cantons institute the death penalty for the Swiss Brethren, the first of the Zurich martyrs (1527) being Felix Manz and the last martyr in the district (1614) being Hans Landis
-Over 1500 lives are sacrificed (1531-1597) for their religious beliefs
-Over the course of the Reformation, persecutions by Catholics and Protestants result in the execution of 4000 to 5000 Anabaptists by fire, water and sword
1529 -The canton of Schwyz burns a Protestant pastor; Zurich declares war -- the First War of Kappel; open warfare is avoided with mediation by the other cantons, but tensions remain unresolved
c1530-1600 -Witch-hunts reach their height in Europe
-Witch trials are numerous in Switzerland, held in Protestant and Catholic cantons, often ending in burning the accused; typical victims are elderly women, the crippled and social outcasts
1531 -Second War of Kappel breaks out in Switzerland; Zwingli is killed in the Battle of Kappel am Albis; Catholic cantons defeat Zurich; Protestant cantons are forced to accept a peace treaty that gives Catholicism the priority in the common territories; communes already converted are allowed to remain Protestant, but strategic locations are returned to Catholicism by force
1534 -Act of Supremacy; Henry VIII is declared the supreme head of the Church in England
1537 -JAKOB Oberholzer (1537-dies after 1568) is born in Wald, Canton Zurich, Switzerland; he is the first Oberholzer that appears in Swiss records; Jakob marries (before 1559) Annli Cuntz (died after 1568); they have six children and many grandchildren
1546-1547 -German religious wars are prosecuted; Zurich and the other Protestant cantons remain neutral
1553 -Mary I is Queen of England; she marries (1554) Philip, heir to the throne of Spain
1555 -England returns (1555) to Catholicism, with persecution of Protestants; about 300 people, including Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, are burned at the stake
-Religious Peace of Augsburg; Protestant princes are granted freedom of worship and the right to introduce the Reformation into their territories
1558 -Elizabeth I is Queen of England, after the death of Mary I; Catholic legislation in England is repealed
-Puritanism develops in England as an activist movement; fundamentally anti-Roman Catholic, they advocate replacement of episcopal polity with a congregational form of church governance and alteration of the Book of Common Prayer
1561 -In January, MATHEUS Oberholzer (1561, Wald - living in Aa, 1582) is born in Wald, Switzerland; he is a son of JAKOB Oberholzer; he marries (Sept 11, 1580, Wald) Annli Strehlerin (Aathal, Wald, Zurich, Switzerland); they have eleven children
1562-1598 -French Wars of Religion are prosecuted, with civil infighting and military operations between French Catholics and Protestant Huguenots; factional disputes arise between aristocrats, who receive assistance from foreign sources; Swiss mercenaries are employed to fight on all sides
1563 -The Thirty-nine Articles; the Anglican Church is established in England
1572 -St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (August 23 & 24); Catholics kill thousands of Huguenots in Paris; thousands more are killed in the French provinces; by September 17, almost 25,000 Protestants are dead in Paris alone; outside Paris, the killing continues until October 3 -- the exact number killed is unknown; an amnesty is granted (1573) that pardons the perpetrators
1576 -Protestantism is forbidden in France
1580 -Switzerland is beset with outbreaks of smallpox every 4 to 5 years, with a high mortality rate (80 to 90 percent) among children under the age of five
1584 -Bern, Geneva and Zurich form an alliance against Roman Catholic cantons
1586 -Expedition of Sir Francis Drake to the West Indies
1588 -England's war with Spain (1587-1603) goes well, with the English fleet defeating the Spanish Armada
1593 -Sweden's Diet of Uppsala upholds the doctrines of Martin Luther
1595 -MARTI Oberholzer (1595-1670), a son of MATHEUS and a grandson of JAKOB, is born in Wald, Switzerland; he marries (before 1633) Margaretha Schollenberger (born c 1595, Zurich - died in Aa, Wald, Zurich, Switzerland); they have nine children, including seven sons: Jacob, Samuel, Hans Jagli, twins MARX and Hans Heinrich, Matteus and Martin; MARTI becomes a Swiss Brethren preacher (derided as "Anabaptist") and a martyr, when he is drowned (1670) by Zwinglians
1596-1602 -Plague arrives in Spain from northern Europe
1597-1601 -Irish Rebellion, under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone; Irish rebels defeat (1599) Earl of Essex; the rebellion is "put down" in 1601
1598 -Edict of Nantes ends the French Wars of Religion; Protestant Huguenots gain equal political rights with Roman Catholics
1599 -Plague hits the Netherlands and continually returns (to 1664) in waves; trade by sailing ships spreads the disease to other European countries

The 17th Century

1603 -Plague hits England, killing 30,000 Londoners
-England's Queen Elizabeth I dies
-King James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England, reigning to 1625
-In America, Samuel de Champlain explores the St. Lawrence River
1604 -England's Hampton Court Conference maintains Church enmity with Puritanism
-King James I bans Jesuits
1607 -The English colony of Virginia is founded at Jamestown by John Smith
-Henry Hudson begins his voyage of discovery to Greenland and North America
1610 -A series of small civil wars break out in southern France, remnants of the French Wars of Religion; the weapons of choice are destruction of churches, iconoclasm, forced conversions and execution of heretics
-Galileo Galilei reveals stellar observations made for the first time with a telescope
-Henry Hudson discovers Hudson Bay
-Tea is introduced to Europe
1618-1648 -The Thirty Years' War is prosecuted in Germany, rising from a quarrel between Roman Catholic and Protestant princes over who should become the next Holy Roman Emperor
-In Germany, Swedish armies destroy 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns; an estimated 30% of the total population of Germany are killed, but in some regions, two-thirds of the population is dead
-Switzerland remains peaceful and prosperous, while cantons make mercenary contracts and alliances, sending mercenaries to fight on all sides
-Episodes of widespread famine and disease devastate the remaining populations of German states, the Low Countries and Italy, bankrupting many powers involved
1620 -French Huguenots are on the defensive, with increasing pressure from the government
-Puritans and Pilgrim Fathers reach Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the ship Mayflower; they found New Plymouth, the first permanent colony of Europeans in New England

-On February 1, Jacob Oberholzer (1620-dies after 1683) is born; he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer; he marries (January 27, 1646) Anna Buchman (born c 1626) of Mettmenstetten, a daughter of Anabaptist Casper and Vreni nee Wyss Buchman; they have five children: Hans Jacob, Samuel, Regel, Barbara, Johannes; they emigrate (1657) from Wald, Switzerland to Germany; Jacob is a Wiedertauffer (1663) at Immelhausenhoff

1625 -Charles I, son of James I, is King of England; he pursues policies designed to eliminate the religious distinctiveness and excesses of Puritans, convicting and imprisoning them via the Star Chamber and Court of High Commission
-Plague hits England, killing 35,000 people
1626 -Battle of Dessau; Catholic forces under Albrecht Von Wallenstein defeat Protestants
-New Amsterdam is founded in America by the Dutch
1628 -Huguenots, members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, surrender to Roman Catholic Cardinal Richelieu, losing all political power
1630 -On January 17, Samuel Oberholzer is born; he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer; he emigrates (1657-1663) from Wald, Switzerland to Germany; he marries (1663) Elsbeth Streler
1631 -On December 25, Hans Jagli Oberholzer is born; he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer; he emigrates (1657-1663) from Wald, Switzerland to Germany; he goes to the Pfalz (1661) with his wife and four children; he lives (1663) in Strassberg, Austria
1633 -In this year, MARX Oberholzer is born in Aa, Wald, Zurich, Switzerland (he dies September 14, 1680); MARX is a son of MARTI Oberholzer and is the twin of Hans Heinrich Oberholzer; MARX is baptized (July 2, 1634) as an infant; he emigrates (1657) to Buhenauerhof, Germany, near Sinsheim; he lives (1660) at the Immelhauserhof; he is the Keeper of the Immelhauserhof (1661) ; he marries (c 1662) Margaret/Barbary Dobler/Tobler; he is the father of five children: Catherine, MARCUS, Hans Jagli/Jacob, Martin, Anna; he is buried (1680) in Hilsbach [today's Baden] without singing or bells; widow Margaret Dobler immigrates to America (year?) with sons MARCUS, Hans Jagli/Jacob and Martin

-In this year, Hans Heinrich Oberholzer is born in Aa, Wald, Zurich, Switzerland (dies before October 26, 1669); he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer and the twin of MARX Oberholzer; he marries Elsbeth Kindlimann (born c 1641); he does NOT emigrate from Wald, Switzerland; following his death, younger brother Martin returns to Wald to marry (October 26, 1669) widow Elsbeth Kindlimann

c 1635 -Matheus Oberholzer is born in Wald, Switzerland (born c 1635); he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer; he marries and has children; he emigrates (1657-1663) to Germany; he emigrates from Frankfort-on-the-Rhine to England; he is listed in records in England, along with his children
1636 -England suffers another round of plague, killing about 10,000 people
1639 -First Bishops' War between England's Charles I and Scottish Church; ends with Pacification of Dunse

-On May 5, Martin Oberholzer is born in Aa, Wald, Zurich, Switzerland (dies January 22, 1711); he is a son of MARTI Oberholzer; he emigrates(1657 and 1663) from Wald, Switzerland to Germany; he marries 1st (November 11, 1662) Margaretha Reiman; he marries 2nd in Wald (October 26, 1669) Elsbeth Kindlimann Oberholzer (born c 1641), widow of his older brother Hans Heinrich Oberholzer; Martin dies (1711) in the Palatinate, Germany

1630-1642 -Period of migration of about 16,000 colonists from England, for settlement in Massachusetts
-Colony of Connecticut is founded in 1633
1640 -Second Bishops' War is prosecuted; ends with Treaty of Ripon
1641 -Catholics in Ireland revolt; some 30,000 Protestants are massacred
1642-1646 -Civil War in England between royalist Cavaliers and (mostly Puritan) Parliamentarian Roundheads
-Montreal is founded (1642) by the French
1647-1652 -Great Plague of Seville; a massive outbreak of disease in Spain kills up to 500,000 people
1649-1660 -Charles I of England is executed in 1649; Commonwealth in England lasts to 1660, when Charles II regains the English throne
1650 -Absolutist tendencies of Swiss governments successfully transform democratic cantons into oligarchies, an order that prevails for another 150 years
1652-1654 -Anglo-Dutch War is prosecuted; ends in 1654, with Treaty of Westminster between England and Dutch Republic
1656 -First Villmergen War in Switzerland between Protestant and Catholic cantons
-England and Spain at war (1656-1659)
1657-1663 -Swiss exit permits show three of MARTI Oberholzer's sons -- Hans Jacob, MARX & Samuel -- are among a family group who leave Switzerland for the German Palatinate as tenant farmers; records identify them as "Taufers"

-Six sons of MARTI Oberholzer emigrate to Germany: Jacob, Samuel, Hans Jagli, MARX, Matheus, Martin

-MARX Oberholzer (1633-1680) emigrates (1657) to Buhenauerhof, Germany, near Sinsheim; he lives (1660) at Immelhauserhof; he is (1661) Keeper of the Immelhauserhof; he marries Margaret/Barbary Dobler/Tobler; he fathers five children: Catherine, MARCUS, Hans Jagli/Jacob, Martin, Anna; he is buried (1680) at the Buschenhoff in Hilsbach [today's Baden] without singing or bells; widow Margaret Dobler immigrates to America with sons MARCUS, Hans Jagli/Jacob, Martin

1661 -Cavalier Parliament of England's Charles II, passes a series of repressive laws against Nonconformists
1663-1664 -Amsterdam is ravaged by plague, killing 50,000 people; shipping spreads the disease to other ports
1664 -Great Plague (bubonic plague) of England begins (late 1664), causing 75,000 to 100,000 deaths; Samuel Pepys writes an account of the plague in his diary
-England seizes the colony of New Amsterdam from the Dutch and changes the name to New York
1665 -Sir Isaac Newton discovers the laws of gravitation, but does not publish discoveries until 1686
c 1664 -[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c 1664-1726) is born in Europe; he is a son of MARX Oberholzer and Margaret Dobler; he marries Elizabeth Ely; he emigrates with his family from Rotterdam, Netherlands and arrives (1709) in England with his wife and five children: Jacob, Samuel, Nancy, Marcus, Elizabeth; his son MARTIN Oberholtzer (1709-1744) is born either "thirty miles from Frankfort-on-the-Main" on the journey from Germany to England and brought by his family with the Jacob Wismer (1684-1787) movement, OR he was born in England after his family arrived; the [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer family immigrates to America (1710) on the ship Mary Hope; they live in Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; another son, Henry, is born (1713) in America

-Karen's Note: Somewhere during emigrations from Switzerland to Germany, or from Germany through the Netherlands to England, the family surname changes from Oberholzer to Oberholtzer. By the time the families settle in America, there are many other spellings (e.g., Oberholser, Oberholtz, Overholser, Overhulser, Overholtz, Overholts, and Overholt). There are even some spellings that do not even look like the originals (e.g., Oberheuser, Uberholtzer, VanHulser, Atherholt and Obold).

1666 -Plague rages in Cologne and on the Rhine, lasting until 1670
-Great Fire of London burns from September 2 to September 9, destroying most of the city
1667 -Second Anglo-Dutch War begins
-Plague is in the Netherlands to 1669
1668 -France suffers its last plague epidemic
1669 -Martin Oberholzer (1639-1711), a son of MARTI Oberholzer, returns to Wald to marry (October 26) second wife Elsbeth Kindlimann, the widow of older brother Hans Heinrich Oberholzer [the twin of brother MARX]
1670 - Anabaptist preacher MARTI Oberholzer (1595-1670) becomes a martyr in Switzerland, when drowned by Zwinglians

-Secret Treaty of Dover is signed (June 1) between England's Charles II and Louis XIV of France; the treaty intends to restore Roman Catholicism to England and join France in a war against the Dutch Republic, instigating the Third Anglo-Dutch War
-Hudson's Bay Company is founded and commences to control the fur trading business through much of British-controlled North America; over time, it becomes the oldest commercial corporation in North America

1675-1676 -The First Indian War (King Philip's War) is waged in New England; Metacomet (King Philip), chief of the Wampanoags, enlists the aid of the Narragansetts and prosecutes a war to drive the Europeans from the country; the war ends with the death of Metacomet in a Rhode Island swamp; an estimated 3,000 Native Americans are lost and their power is broken, leaving farms desolate, thirteen towns in ashes and around 600 Puritans dead
1676 -Plague hits Spain; famine (1682-1683) makes the situation worse; an estimated 250,000 lives are lost
1679 -Great Plague of Vienna begins (1679), recurring into the early 1680s, killing an estimated 76,000 people and spreading the disease through trade to other parts of Europe
1681 -William Penn (1644-1718) receives charter for the region he names Pennsylvania
-Sieur de La Salle explores the Mississippi River (to 1682)
1683 -Land agents for William Penn are advertising and selling large blocks of land in Pennsylvania; agents are sent specifically to the expatriate Swiss Anabaptist communities in Germany to convince them to immigrate
1685 -Edict of Fontainebleau; French King Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes and declares Protestantism to be illegal, resulting in civil bloodshed, ruined commerce and the illegal flight of hundreds of thousands of Protestants to other countries
-Four thousand French Protestants immigrate to North American colonies, especially New York and Virginia
1686-1689 -The Dominion of New England is formed by the King of England, attempting to coordinate the governance of the British colonies; it is composed of present-day Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey; ultimately, the union fails (1689), being too large an area for a single governor to manage
1688-1697 -King William's War (First Intercolonial War) is prosecuted in Quebec; associated with Europe's War of the Grand Alliance

The 18th Century

1700 -In North American, New England’s population is approximately 100,000
1702 -Anne (1665-1714) becomes Queen of England (March 8) upon the death of William III; she is the last monarch of the House of Stuart
1702-1713 -Queen Anne’s War (Third Indian War and Second Intercolonial War) is prosecuted in North America, the result of the War of the Spanish Succession being fought in Europe and Spanish Florida; it is the second in a series of French and Indian Wars
1706 -At least twenty-six Overholt ancestors (male and female) have immigrated to America
1707 -The Act of Union by England’s Queen Anne creates Great Britain
1709-1710 -[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726) arrives (1709) in England from Rotterdam, with wife Elizabeth Ely and five children: Jacob, Samuel, Nancy, Marcus, Elizabeth

-The 6th child, MARTIN Oberholtzer (1709-1744) is born, either "thirty miles from Frankfort-on-the-Main" on the journey from Germany to England and brought by his family with the Jacob Wismer (1684-1787) movement OR he was born in England after his family arrived

-[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726) immigrates (1710) with his family to America on the ship Mary Hope; they live in Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania

-The 7th child of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer, namely Henry Oberholtzer/Overholdser, is born (1713) in America; The Oberholtzer Book identifies this Henry Oberholtzer as [MC2]; subsequent research identifies him as the seventh child of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer, who was born in America

c 1711 -[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726) is cheated by Thomas Fairman, who pretends to sell him land in Chester County, located on the Schuylkill river, just south of Pottstown, PA
1711-1713 -Tuscarora War is prosecuted in North Carolina, with British, Dutch and German settlers fighting against the Tuscarora tribe, who were heavily impacted by European diseases and steady encroachment of settlers
1713 -Henry Oberholtzer/Overholdser is born (1713) in America; he is the 7th child of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726); The Oberholtzer Book identifies this Henry Oberholtzer as [MC2]; subsequent research identifies him as the seventh child of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer, who was born in America
1714 -George I (1660-1727) becomes King of England (August 1) after the death of Queen Anne of Great Britain
1715-1717 -Yamasee War is prosecuted in South Carolina, between British settlers and several Native American tribes
1719 -[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726) obtains a warrant for 300 acres of land in Coventry Twp., Chester Co., PA
1720 -England controls most of the eastern coastline of North America
1726 -[MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (born c1664, Europe) dies in Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; in the year 1735, 211 acres of his land is survied to his youngest son, Henry Oberholtzer, who was born (1713) in America
1730-1755 -Era of German immigration from the Rhineland to North America, most ships landing in Philadelphia, PA
1732 -Georgia is chartered by King George II, the last of the original 13 colonies
1735-1760s -The First Great Awakening sweeps through British America and Protestant Europe; the revival pulls away from ritual and ceremony in favor of a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, characterized by personal introspection and living by new standards of morality
- Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is a leading American theologian in Massachusetts, whose sermons attract a large following, inspiring visiting English Anglican preacher George Whitefield (1714-1770), who subsequently travels across the colonies, preaching in a more dramatic and emotional style
1736 -[MC7] MARTIN Oberholtzer (1709-4/5/1744), a son of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726), marries (11/2/1736) Agnes Kolb (1713-1786); Agnes is a daughter of immigrant Henry Kolb and Barbara, from a family of Swiss Mennonite scholars and clergymen, several were weavers; relocating to Deep Run, Bucks County, Martin and Agnes build a homestead and work a farm owned by the Deep Run Mennonite community; they have five children: Barbara, HENRICH, Maria, John (died 4 months old), Martin

-Karen's Note: Recent research by the Overholser Family Association indicates MARTIN should be designated MC6, rather than MC7 (as per The Oberholtzer Book, published in 1995 by the OFA), because MARTIN was the sixth child of MARCUS, not the seventh. This would require adjustments to the whole MC line, but genealogists do not seem inclined to make such extensive changes, once they have identified a person with an alpha-numeric designation.

1739 -[MC72] HENRICH Oberholtzer (2/5/1739-3/5/1813) is born; he is the second of five children of MARTIN Oberholtzer (1709-1744) and Agnes Kolb (1713-1786); HENRICH marries (1/3/1765) Anna Beitler (3/24/1745-4/5/1835) & becomes a successful farmer in Bedminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; he serves during the American War of Independence; Henrich & Anna have twelve children: Agnes, Maria, Jacob, Anna, Martin, Barbara, Elizabeth, Henry, Sarah, d. infant, ABRAHAM, Christian & Susanna, d. single

-Karen's Note: Continuing as mentioned above, HENRICH Oberholtzer (aka Henry Overholt) should be designated MC62, not MC72. If this change is initiated, all the numerical designations in this family line could be affected, but genealogists do not seem inclined to make such extensive changes, once an alpha-numerical designation has been made.

1744 -[MC7] MARTIN Oberholtzer (1709-1744) dies young, leaving Agnes Kolb Oberholtzer a widow with young children to support; the church-owned land she and her husband has worked throughout their married years becomes the property of William Nash (1696-abt.1760), a twice-married, twice-widowed father of five children

-Agnes marries (date unknown) William Nash; she raises William's five children from two marriages (Elise/Alice, Ann, Katherine) and (William, Magdalena/Madaline), plus her four surviving Oberholtzer children (Barbara, HENRICH, Maria, Martin) and brings another four Nash children into the world (Elizabeth, Joseph, Benjamin, d. young, Abraham)

1744-1748 -King George’s War (Third Intercolonial War) is prosecuted in America, associated with Europe's War of the Austrian Succession
1746 -Marcus Oberholtzer (1701-1765), a son of [MC] MARCUS Oberholtzer (c1664-1726), is a signer of the deed for the Old Mennonite Church at Deep Run, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

-Note from Barbara B. Ford's The Oberholtzer Book: "We will never know how many Oberholtzers are buried in the Deep Run Mennonite Cemetery, Bucks Co because there are many fieldstone markers that are either broken or illegible. 'OH' has been used as a mark for Oberholtzer and in the cemetery there are at least 11 stones, from 1758-1801, which probably belong to the family."

1754-1763 -Albany Congress (June 19-July11); representatives of seven of the 13 British North American colonies meet to pursue a treaty with the Mohawks, discussing better relations with the Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French
-French and Indian War (Sixth Indian War and Fourth Intercolonial War) is prosecuted in North America, associated with Europe's Seven Years' War; it begins with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers (Forks of the Ohio), site of the French Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh, PA)
1755 -British General Edward Braddock and his army of 2,000 soldiers are sent to remove the French from Fort Duquesne [now Pittsburgh, PA]; the army cuts a military trail through the wilderness, roughly following Nemacolin's path, a Native American trail; with the help of troops of the Virginia militia and aid-de-camp George Washington, this is the first improved road to cross successive ridgelines of the Appalachian Mountains; the expedition gives Washington and other American military officers their first field military experience, a number of whom would later fight the British during the American War of Independence (the Revolutionary War)

-General Braddock is defeated by the French and Indians from Fort Duquesne; Braddock is killed

-Young George Washington takes command of the remaining army, leading their retreat from the area

-As Postmaster General of all the colonies, Benjamin Franklin was empowered to contract for hire 150 wagons, each with teams of four horses, and 1500 saddle or pack-horses; he advertised for and contracted German-speaking and English-speaking teamsters to transport food and supplies to Braddock's army; teamsters supplied their own wagons, teams of horses, horses with pack saddles and single horses without saddles, along with supplies of "oats, Indian corn or other forage"; Franklin promised that on no account would the teamsters be called upon "to do the duty of soldiers"; the mission was hazardous and dangerous, especially during attacks by Indians; among the names of the teamsters were Overholtzer, Graff, Schank, Hartmann, Brenhar, Huffman, Rohrer, Willheim, Bricker, Mummau, Meyer, Schnavley, Bauer, Schulz

1760 -American phase of the French and Indian War mostly ends in North America, while fighting in Europe continues
-George III (1738-1820) becomes King of Great Britain and Ireland
1763 -Treaty of Paris is signed (February 10) by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement; the treaty ends the Seven Years' War in Europe and the French and Indian War in North America; it begins an era of British dominance outside Europe
-Pontiac, leader of the Ottawa, launches (in May) an uprising with a loose confederation of elements of Native American tribes who are dissatisfied with British postwar policies in the Great Lakes region; eight forts are destroyed and hundreds of colonists are killed or captured, with many more fleeing the region; peace negotiations over the next two years prompt the British government to modify their policies
-Proclamation of 1763 is issued by the British government, creating a boundary between the colonists and Native Americans, meaning to prevent further violence, but it is unpopular with the colonists
1764 -Sugar Act (American Revenue Act or American Duties Act) passes the Parliament of Great Britain, intending to collect revenue for defraying the expenses of defending, protecting and securing control of the British colonies
1765 -Stamp Act (Duties in American Colonies Act) is imposed by the British Parliament on the colonies of British America, requiring legal documents, magazines, newspapers and other types of paper used to be produced on embossed revenue-stamped paper from London; the revenue is expected to help pay for British troops stationed in North America
-Sons of Liberty formed
1766 -Repeal of Stamp Act; testimony from Benjamin Franklin before Great Britain's House of Commons leads to the repeal, making him the leading spokesman in England for American interests
-Declaratory Act; an act accompanying the repeal of the Stamp Act; Parliament of Great Britain justifies the repeal, adds a declaration that Parliament's authority is the same in America as in Britain and asserts the authority to pass laws that are binding on the American colonies
1767 -Townshend Acts are passed by Parliament of Great Britain, named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the intent is to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges, so that they would be independent of colonial rule, to punish the province of New York for failing to comply with the 1765 Quarter Act and establish the precedent that Parliament had the right to tax the colonies; the Acts are met with resistance in the colonies
1770 -Boston Massacre (Incident on King Street); soldiers of the British Army, ordered to protect & support crown-appointed colonial officials, support (March 5) a harassed British sentry; without orders, they fire into the crowd, killing five civilian men & injuring six others
-Repeal of Townshend duties, done in response to the massacre in Boston; the tea tax is retained
1772 -Boston Committee of Correspondence is formed in November, the first of many such committees; colonial leaders identify common causes, coordinate responses to Great Britain and share their plans; by 1773, the committees emerge as shadow governments, superseding the colonial legislature and royal officials
1773 -Tea Act is imposed on American colonists
-Boston Tea Party; colonists dressed as Indians board (Dec. 16) British ships in Boston's harbor and throw cargoes of tea overboard
1774 -Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts) are passed by the British Parliament and imposed upon the British colonies in response to the Boston Tea Party; they impose punitive measures on Boston Harbor and Massachusetts, intending to reverse the trend of colonial resistance to parliamentary authority; the acts include the Quebec Act, enlarging boundaries of the Province of Quebec and instituting reforms favorable to the French Catholic inhabitants of the region; colonists view the acts as arbitrary violations of their rights
-First Continental Congress meets (September 5-October 26) at Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, PA; delegates from 12 British colonies discuss the Intolerable Acts and their rights and grievances; they consider an economic boycott of British trade and petitioning King George III for redress of grievances
1775 -American War of Independence begins with Battles of Lexington & Concord

Casualties of the Revolutionary War

"The total loss of life throughout the war is largely unknown. As was typical in the wars of the era, disease claimed far more lives than battle. Between 1775 and 1782 a smallpox epidemic swept across North America, killing 40 people in Boston alone. Historian Joseph Ellis suggests that Washington's decision to have his troops inoculated against the smallpox epidemic, was one of his most important decisions. At least 25,000 American Patriots died during active military service. About 6,800 of these deaths were in battle; the other 17,000 recorded deaths were from disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died of starvation or disease brought on by deplorable conditions while prisoners of war, most in rotting British prison ships in New York. Another estimate, however, puts the total death toll at around 70,000, which if true would make the conflict proportionately deadlier than the American Civil War. The uncertainty arises from the number of disease deaths, which were believed to be quite numerous, amounting to an estimated 10,000 in 1776 alone.
"The number of Patriots seriously wounded or disabled by the war has been estimated from 8,500 to 25,000. Proportionate to the population of the colonies, the Revolutionary War was at least the second-deadliest conflict in American history, ranking ahead of World War II and behind only the Civil War."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia article, American Revolutionary War

-Second Continental Congress is convened (May 10) in Philadelphia, PA; delegates from the 13 British colonies manage the colonial war effort and move towards independence by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats and making formal treaties
-George Washington is appointed commanding general of the Continental Army, upon a June 14 vote of the Congress to create the army with units of militia around Boston

-HENRICH Oberholtzer (1739-1813), later known as HENRY OVERHOLT, serves in Capt. McHenry's Company, Bedminster Township, Bucks County; about 16 men named Overholt are listed on the muster rolls of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

1776 -Thomas Paine's 48-page pamphlet, Common Sense, is published (January 10) anonymously "Written by an Englishman;" it is an immediate success in the colonies, providing an argument for freedom from British rule; it is structured as a sermon, connecting independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs and in a style that common people understand; Paine presents a distinctly American political identity
-British evacuate Boston
-Declaration of Independence is drafted by Congress via the Committee of Five, namely, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston; on July 2, Congress votes for independence; on July 4, the declaration is published; on July 9, General Washington reads the declaration to his troops in New York City
-New York campaign
1777 -British take Philadelphia
-Battles of Saratoga (September 19 & October 7); Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold tests the patience of his superior, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, but manages to decrease the British forces to the point that British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrenders
-Gen. George Washington and American forces spend the winter at Valley Forge, PA
1778 -Treaty of Alliance between the United States and France states that France will be an ally if the U.S. goes to war with Britain, whereupon the two nations will work together to defeat the common foe; land claims are set, granting the U.S. all territory conquered in North America, while France retains lands and islands captured in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico; the treaty dictates that neither nation will make peace without the consent of the other, and the independence of the U.S. is to be recognized by Britain
-British evacuate Philadelphia
-Loyalist and Iroquois forces attack American settlements in western New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, and win a victory (July 3, 1778) over Colonel Zebulon Butler's militia at Wyoming Valley
1779 -Major General John Sullivan, dispatched by General George Washington, launches an expedition against Iroquois villages; moving up through the Wyoming Valley (summer of 1779), Sullivan's force destroys the towns and villages of the Iroquois, badly damaging their military potential
1780 -British take Charleston
1781 -The Articles of Confederation are ratified by the Continental Congress (March 1, 1781), officially establishing a new government for the former colonies; Congress had been operating on the basis of the Articles since they were drafted in mid-1777; the Articles empowered Congress to make war, mint coins, resolve issues with the western territories, and negotiate diplomatic agreements, but did not allow Congress to levy taxes or regulate commerce, which results in the Continental Army suffering from lack of funds and supplies

-Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis raids Virginia (summer 1781), nearly capturing Governor Thomas Jefferson; during this time, a small Continental force led by the Marquis de Lafayette is watching Cornwallis' army

-General Washington links up with the French army of Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Ponton de Rochambeau, creating a combined force that threatens Cornwallis

-British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton orders Cornwallis to move to a deep-water port where his men could embark for New York; Cornwallis moves his army to Yorktown to await transport; Lafayette, now with 5,000 men, takes up a position at Williamsburg

-General Washington receives news that Rear Admiral Comte de Grasse plans to bring a French fleet to the Chesapeake; seeing an opportunity, he and Rochambeau leave a small blocking force near New York and embark on a secret march with the bulk of the army

-The French fleet rack up a naval victory at the Battle of the Chesapeake, allowing the French to blockade the mouth of the bay, which prevents Cornwallis and his army from escaping by ship

-Uniting at Williamsburg, the combined Franco-American army arrives outside Yorktown (September 28); deploying around the town, the force begins to build siege lines (October 5/6), while a smaller force is dispatched to Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown, to pen in a British garrison

-Cornwallis' army is outnumbered more than 2 to 1; the British lines take artillery fire; Cornwallis still hopes for aid from Lieutenant General Clinton

-The Franco-American army captures two key redoubts, then builds a second siege line closer to Cornwallis' position

-Cornwallis again sends to Clinton for help, then attempts to break out (October 16), but to no success; that night he begins shifting men to Gloucester with the goal of escaping north, but a storm scatters their boats, the operation ending in failure; the next day, Cornwallis begins surrender negotiations, which are concluded two days later

-Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown (October 19), a capitulation effectively decides the war in favor of the Americans

1782 -Peace negotiations begin
1783 -British Treaty of Paris is signed (September 3), despite Parliament's unhappiness with some of the terms; the treaty formally recognizes the thirteen former colonies as free and independent states, and both sides agree to free access to the Mississippi River
-In the United States, the last British troops depart from New York City (November 25)
1784 -Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris (January 14), and after nearly nine years of conflict, the American Revolution ends with the birth of a new nation

-Since colonial times, United States law protects trademarks under state common law

-On April 19, ABRAHAM Overholt (1784-1870) is born in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania; he is the 10th of twelve children born to HENRICH Oberholtzer (1739-1813) and Anna Beitler (1745-1835) and the first of his siblings to be a born citizen of the fledgling United States of America; at age 16, he emigrates (1800) with his family and extended family to Westmoreland County, Western Pennsylvania; he marries (April 20, 1809) Maria Stauffer (1791-1874), and they have eight children: Henry S., Anna S., Jacob S., ABRAHAM S., Elizabeth S., Martin S., Christian S., John S.

-Karen's Note: Karen's direct line is from Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) to Abraham Stauffer Overholt (1817-1863), George Washington Overholt (1845-1908), George Frederick Overholt (1892-1966) and her father, (Arthur) Frederic John Overholt (1924-1985).

-Piracy against American shipping in the Mediterranean begins (October 11) when the brigantine Betsey is seized by Moroccan pirates; the Spanish government negotiates the release of the captured ship and crew, then advises the Americans to offer tribute to the pirates to avoid further attacks; U.S. Minister to France, Thomas Jefferson, sends envoys to Morocco and Algeria; Morocco signs a treaty with the U.S. (June 23, 1786), ending all Moroccan piracy against American shipping interests, but Algeria does not do likewise

1785 -Algeria begins piracy against U.S. shipping (July 25), with the capture of the schooner Maria; the Dauphin is taken a week later and all four Barbary Coast states demand $660,000 as ransom and/or tribute for the release of the ships and crews; diplomatic talks are unsuccessful and the crews of these ships are in captivity for a decade, joined by those from other captured ships; the U.S. ends up paying ransom and tribute money to Algeria, up to one million dollars per year for over 15 years for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages
1789 -George Washington is elected 1st President of the United States of America
-The U.S. Department of the Navy is founded in order to prevent further piracy attacks upon American shipping and to end the demands for tribute by the Barbary States
c 1790 -The Second Great Awakening, a Protestant revival movement, begins in America, expressing an Arminian theology that every person can be saved through revivals, repentance and conversion; many converts believe the Awakening heralds a new millennial age, prompting new denominations and reform movements working to remedy the evils of society before the "second coming of Jesus Christ;" the majority of converts are women whose religious fervor provides peer support and meaningful activity outside the home; the movement gains momentum by 1800 and reaches its peak among Baptist and Methodist congregations after 1820 and dies down by the 1840s, with occasional revivals continuing through the 1850s
1791 -U.S. Congress in Philadelphia passes (on March 3) a federal excise tax of seven cents per gallon of whiskey in an effort to raise revenue to pay off debts incurred by the Revolutionary War; farmers from Western Pennsylvania through the western frontiers of Virginia, Kentucky and the Carolinas resist the whiskey tax, most farmers believing the government had no right to "steal" money that they had themselves earned
1793 -Samuel Slater establishes the first successful water-powered textile spinning mill in America at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, launching the use of water power to operate machinery to process cotton fiber into yarn, which is then outsourced to small weaving shops and private homes to be woven into cloth on hand-operated looms
1794 -Whiskey Rebellion begins (August 1) when a group of farmers in Pennsylvania's Washington County challenges Inspector of Revenue Brig. Gen. John Neville, then burns down his home; to maintain control of the situation,

-President Washington issues a Whiskey Rebellion Proclamation, ordering the insurgents to go home and calling out a militia; Washington rides to Western Pennsylvania with 13,000 militia troops as far as Bedford, issues orders to General Lee and starts back to Philadelphia; with the arrest of about 150 rebels on the night of November 13, the Whiskey Rebellion officially ends; the excise tax on whiskey ends in 1801

-U.S. Navy is recommissioned, increasing American firepower on the seas and making it possible for the U.S. to refuse to pay tribute to the Barbary Coast states

1796 -John Adams is elected 2nd President of the United States of America
1798-1800 -Quasi-War with France, an undeclared war, is the result of privateers from Revolutionary France threatening, harassing and preying on American merchant shipping; the United States lacks the military power to halt the transgressions

The 19th Century

1800 -Thomas Jefferson is elected 3rd President of the United States of America

-HENRICH Oberholtzer/Henry Overholt (1739-1813) sells his Bucks County farm and homestead, then moves his family and extended family from Bucks County to the "wild lands" of Westmoreland County; they are reported to be the first family to travel West in a train of Conestoga wagons; the company includes Henrich's wife, five sons, seven daughters, five sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law and 13 grandchildren, "together with a great quantity of goods and chattels;" the journey is 300 miles long

-ABRAHAM Overholt (1784-1870) is 16 years old and a well-trained weaver from a family and extended family of weavers

-HENRICH Oberholtzer's wagon train reaches East Huntingdon Township in the summer of 1800; using money gained from the sale of their properties in Bucks County, the families purchase farms and/or take possession of farms already arranged for purchase and settle into their new environment; they create a community named "Overton" and Henrich's "Overton Farm" is the familial hub of the community

-The Second Great Awakening gains momentum

1801 -James Finley completes America's first iron suspension bridge; based on his own design, Finley's bridge is solely supported by two iron chains, measures approximately 13 feet wide and stretches nearly 70 feet across Jacobs Creek near today's Scottdale, PA; the bridge is stronger than wooden truss bridges that are common in this era and able to hold much more than its own weight; a noticeable difference is its solid and level horizontal deck, which could handle carts and other wheeled vehicles to cross easily

-Karen's Note: Finley's bridge is less than a mile from "Overton Farm"

-Religious Revival draws 10,000-25,000 people to Cane Ridge, Kentucky
-Congress passes naval legislation that, among other things, provides for six frigates officered and manned as the President of the United States directed; in the event of a declaration of war on the United States by the Barbary powers, the ships are charged to protect U.S. commerce and "chastise their insolence" by sinking, burning or destroying their ships and vessels, wherever they are found
-Upon the inauguration of President Jefferson, Tripoli demands $225,000 from the new administration; Jefferson refuses the demand, resulting in the Barbary powers cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate, thus declaring war on the United States in the customary Barbary manner; Algiers and Tunis do not follow suit
-Jefferson sends a small force to the Barbary Coast area to protect American ships and citizens against potential aggression; later, Congress authorizes the President to instruct the commanders of armed American vessels to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli, and to further act as justified by a state of war
-After a fierce battle, the American schooner USS Enterprise defeats (on August 1) the Tripoli, a 14-gun Tripolitan corsair

1801-1805 -First Barbary War begins; known as the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Coast War, the first of two wars fought between the United States and the Northwest African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States (chiefly Tripoli and Algiers), which were quasi-independent entities nominally belonging to the Ottoman Empire and the independent Sultanate of Morocco; the Muslim rulers have long practiced the capturing of merchant ships and enslaving or ransoming their crews, providing these nations with wealth and naval power
1803 -The Westmoreland County Deed Book 9, page 163, shows William and Eleanor Newell of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, sells 260 and one-half acres to "Henry Overhold" (i.e., Henrich Oberholtzer) for 1300 pounds on 7 June 1803. The tract was called Rostraver, and had been previously patented by Newell on 18 Dec 1801; Henrich names his land "Overton Farm," and the community of "Overton" that is later known as West Overton

Unsolved Mysteries

Karen's Note: To date, I have found no details explaining the delay between the arrival of Henrich's wagons in Westmoreland County in the summer of 1800, and the 1803 registration of the sale of the tract named Rostraver. Maybe registrations of sales of land normally took years back then. To me, it seems unlikely that Henrich would arrive without the assurance of a farmstead waiting for him to purchase and take over. His homestead farm in Bucks County (comprised of 175 acres and 44 perches at Deep Run, Bedminster Township) was a good and well-run established family farm. So what was the problem when he arrived in Westmoreland County?

Was there a problem surrounding the patent being registered, more than a year after Henrich arrived, money in hand? Were William and Eleanor Newell living on land they had not yet patented? Had they promised to sell the land to Henrich Oberholtzer before their journey west, but when Henrich arrived in the summer of 1800, did the Newells tell Henrich they had not registered a patent yet? Pennsylvania had a solid step-by-step process for legally acquiring land.

History of PA Land Office, etc.

"The origins of the Proprietary Land Office may be traced to 1682 when William Penn appointed Thomas Holme Surveyor General. Under a constantly evolving set of procedures and relationships, the Surveyor General cooperated with the Secretary of Proprietary Affairs, a Master of Rolls, a Receiver General, and Commissioners of Property in conducting the sale of Pennsylvania lands.

"Acting collectively, the various officers who comprised the Land Office were responsible for accepting applications, issuing warrants, surveying tracts, verifying returns of survey and granting patents for tracts of land in Pennsylvania."

. . . .

"After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War the proprietary Land Office ceased to function. The Divesting Act of 1779 transferred ownership of most of the remaining 22 million acres of proprietary lands to the Commonwealth.

"In 1781 the Revolutionary Era State Assembly created a new State Land Office consisting of a Secretary, a Receiver General, and a Surveyor General who were assigned the records and responsibilities of their proprietary predecessors of the same titles. A Board of Property, similar to Commissioners of Property under the Penn government, was also created in 1782 to hear and determine cases of disputes arising from the transaction of Land Office business. The Board initially consisted of either the president or vice-president of the Supreme Executive Council, an additional member of the Council, and the appointed officers of the Land Office.

"In 1809, the offices of Receiver General and Master of Rolls were abolished and the responsibilities of collecting purchase money and enrolling state laws were assigned to the Secretary of the Land Office and the Secretary of the Commonwealth respectively. In that year, the patent books and land-title papers of the Master of Rolls were transferred to the Secretary of the Land Office.

"In 1843, the functions of the Secretary of the Land Office were inherited by the Surveyor General. The Constitution of 1873 transferred the duties of the Surveyor General and the Land Office to the Secretary of Internal Affairs. The Land Office Bureau, or as it was later designated, the Bureau of Land Records, remained in the Department of Internal Affairs until 1968, when it was assigned to the Department of Community Affairs.

-from Land Office Collection RG-017
Pennsylvania State Archives, Government Records, Land Office
(See https://gencat6.eloquent-systems.com)

Often, when new tracts of land became available for settlers, government officials would find many "squatters" living on land that was unpatented and unpaid for. In the case of Henrich's choice of Rostraver, it would have been the responsibility of the Newell's to first archive the registration of an original patent, so that they could, at a later date, legally register the sale of that land. Of course, the government's price for that land should have been paid before that.

William Newell's patent on the land in question (Rostraver) was recorded on December 18, 1801. Then on June 7, 1803, according to the deed, Henrich and the Newells (i.e., William Newell of Allegheny County and Elenor his wife, and Henry Overhold of East Huntington [sic] Township Westmoreland County) were standing before the Westmoreland Justice of the Peace, with Henrich exchanging the money in hand -- thirteen hundred pounds of lawful money of Pennsylvania -- to the Newells as the full purchase price.

It could have been that upon arriving in East Huntingdon Township, Henrich focused on getting his extended family getting settled on their farms, before deciding to purchase land for himself. If so, did Henrich approach the Newells before or after the patent for Rostraver was recorded? If they worked out a deal after the patent was registered, the registration of the sale was still delayed and was not done until the summer of 1803. It seems unlikely that Henrich, Anna and their unmarried children lived with other members of their family for several years, waiting for the day they could pay for and take possession of the land and the existing log house that became Overton Farm. Will this mystery ever be solved?

-Under the command of American Commodore Edward Preble, the U.S. Navy maintains a blockage of the Barbary ports throughout the year, executing a campaign of raids and attacks against the fleets of those cities
-Louisiana Purchase brings a vast stretch of North America into the United States; challenging the limits of the Constitution, President Jefferson goes ahead with the purchase from France, buying 828,000 square miles for less than 3 cents per acre; the transaction removes the presence of the French in the region, protects U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and gains free passage on the Mississippi River; the territory eventually becomes all or part of 15 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces
-In Europe, the ongoing struggle between the British and the French leads to a British Navy policy of impressing British citizens for service on their ships; the policy is extended to boarding neutral ships and includes removing American sailors from American ships, claiming, "Once an Englishman, always an Englishman;" the American government protests repeatedly, but lacks the military power to halt the transgressions

1804-1806 -Congress approves funding of an expedition to explore the lands encompassing the Louisiana Purchase
-Lewis and Clark Expedition officially begins May 21, 1804, and lasts until September 1806
1804 -Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel on July 11, at Weehawken, New Jersey
1806 -President Thomas Jefferson authorizes (March 29) the construction of the Cumberland Road to replace the Braddock Road between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, roughly following the same alignment until just east of Uniontown, PA; from Uniontown, where the Braddock Road turned north to Pittsburgh, the Cumberland Road would continue west to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia), on the Ohio River
1807 -Responding to a particularly onerous impressment of American sailors, Congress passes the Embargo Act of 1807, in an attempt to punish Britain and France for interfering with American trade during their war with each other; the embargo bars American ships from using European ports in order to deprive Britain and France of American goods, but results in stifling American trade and failing its goal to pressure the Europeans to end their transgressions
-Robert Fulton’s steamboat, Clermont, launches (August 17) from the East River in New York City and arrives the next day at Clermont, 110 miles away, then continues for another 40 miles, reaching Albany in 8 hours, making a record of 150 miles in 32 hours; the Clermont returns to New York City in 30 hours; the new steamboat is a success
1808 -James Madison is elected 4th President of the United States of America
1809 -ABRAHAM Overholt (1784-1870) marries (April 20) Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); from the years 1810 to 1827, eight children are born: Henry S., Anna S., Jacob S., ABRAHAM S., Elizabeth S., Martin S., Christian S., John S.

-Karen's Note: Karen's direct line from master distiller Abraham Overholt comes through son Abraham Stauffer Overholt (1817-1863), followed by George Washington Overholt (1845-1908), George Frederick Overholt (1892-1966) and (Arthur) Frederic John Overholt (1924-1985)

-On December 25, Congress replaces the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act, allowing overseas trade, but not with Britain and France; this act also fails to change the situation in Europe or the policies of Britain or France

1810 -ABRAHAM Overholt (1784-1870) builds a new log cabin distillery and begins distilling pure rye whiskey as a commercial product at "Overton Farm"

-On August 10, Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) is born at "Overton Farm;" he is a son and first child of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); he marries (1846) Abigail Carpenter (1824-1898); they have seven children: Sarah Ann, Benjamin Franklin, Maria C., Abigail C., Abraham C., Henry C., Jennie C.

-Karen's Note: Henry's dates match the years Abraham Overholt was involved with commercial distilling (i.e., 1810-1870); both men pass away in 1870, a little more than five months apart (about 155 days)

-At some point, while digging a well on his property, Abraham discovers coal; he is the first person to discover coal in that region and the first there to use coal as an energy resource for his home and businesses, often used to fuel steam engines

-At some point, Abraham operates his enterprise as A. Overholt Company

-Congress revises shipping policies, removing all embargoes, but states that if either Britain or France stops attacking American ships, the United States would begin an embargo against the other; Napoleon Bonaparte accepts this offer, promising President Madison that neutral rights would be honored; the agreement further angers the British, despite the fact that the French do not keep their promise and continue seizing neutral ships
-Henry Clay of Kentucky, the bright light of the new War Hawks politicians, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and is immediately elected Speaker of the House; Henry Clay pushes the War Hawk agenda, seeking war with Britain in order to end Native American raids on the frontier, believed to be supported by British Canada; the politicians are nationalistic in spirit, seeking to "restore the nation's honor," and expel the British from Canada
-Francis Cabot Lowell visits Lancashire, England, where he studies the British textile industry, paying particular attention to the power loom; he studies the loom and commits the plans to memory

1811 -Construction begins on the Cumberland Road (later part of the National Road) on the Potomac River in Cumberland, Maryland, heading westward; this is the first major improved highway in the United States built by the federal government; the road crosses the Allegheny Mountains, southwestern Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, then construction stops at Vandalia, Illinois; the road becomes a gateway to the West for thousands of settlers
1812 - Approximately 5,000 to 9,000 American sailors have been forced (pressed) into serving in the British Royal Navy between the years 1803 to 1812, although as many as three-quarters have been legitimate American citizens, plus, the long conflict between the British and French still results in American merchant ships falling prey to both sides
-Henry Clay and his War Hawk politicians clamor for war, citing the issues of British Royal Navy impressment of American citizens, British Canada support of Native American attacks in the frontier, and British seizure of American ships at sea; believing the capture of Canada would be a simple task, efforts are made to strengthen the unprepared military and expand the army, but with little success
-In Washington, President Madison submits his war message to Congress (June 1), focusing on maritime grievances with Britain; three days later, the House of Representatives vote 79 to 49 in favor of war
-Britain's King George III and his government are preoccupied with Napoleon's invasion of Russia and the larger conflict in Europe; the British do not wish to fight a war in North America, so Parliament begins to normalize trade relations with the United States; the Orders in Council are suspended on June 16, and removed on June 23; news of these developments are slow to reach the United States
-Debate in the U. S. Senate ends; on June 17, the Senate votes 19 to 13 for war; President Madison signs the declaration the following day
-War of 1812 begins between the United States and Britain, lasting until 1815

-On July 4, Anna Stauffer Overholt (1812-1866) is born at "Overton Farm," the second child and first of two daughters of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); she marries (1830) John Tinstman (1807-1877) and they have ten children: Maria O., Jacob O., Abraham O. [A. O. Tinstman], Henry O., Anna O., John O., Elizabeth, Abigail, Emma, Christian S. O.

1813 -On June 11, Henry O. Overholt (1813-1880) is born, a son of Martin Overholt (1772-1835) and Catharine Overholt (1781-1866) [see note]. Henry O. Overholt was a farmer, but his first claim to fame comes from his excellent weaving skills that support the success of the first commercial business of the extended family (i.e., weaving "coverlids"), and his second claim to fame comes from being the partner first of his cousin, Jacob Stauffer Overholt, and then of his uncle, Abraham Overholt, in the creation and success of the Broad Ford distillery complex. Henry O. Overholt marries (xxxx) Elizabeth Bachtel (1819-1887); they have eight children: Catharine, Maria, Reuben B., Isaiah, Esther, Martin, Lindlay, Jessie

-Karen's Note: [MC725] Martin Overholt (1772-1835) is the fifth child and oldest son of [MC72] Henrich Oberholtzer (1739-1813) and Anna Beitler (1745-1835); he is the oldest brother of Abraham Overholt. Martin marries (1802) [JF156] Catharine Overholt (1781-1866), a daughter of [JF15] Rev. Abraham Oberholtzer of Bucks County, PA, from another branch of the extended "O" family. Martin and Catharine have seven children: Susanna, Esther, Anne, Abraham, Henry, John, Martin. Their sons have a double "Overholt" in their names [e.g., Abraham O. Overholt (1811-1893), Henry O. Overholt (1813-1880), John O. Overholt (1816-1877), Martin O. Overholt (1824-xxxx)]. The "O" initial gets passed down to subsequent generations of the family.

-Boston Manufacturing Company is founded in September by Francis Cabot Lowell, when The Boston Associates purchase the Boies Paper Mill site in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a plan to establish a revolutionary new power loom; using Paul Moody's improved power loom design, for the first time, all phases of cloth production could be brought under one roof; Moody develops a system of power transmission using a series of leather belts and pulleys powered by water turbines

1814 -On October 18, Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) is born, second son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); he marries (1836) Mary Fox (1816-1895); Jacob conducts "general business" and becomes a master distiller at the "Overton Farm" and Broad Ford distilleries; he is the driving force behind the creation and success of the Broad Ford distillery complex; Jacob and Mary Fox have nine children: Maria F., Elizabeth F., Abraham F., Isaac, Mary Anne, Fenton C., Christian F., Jacob Webster, Emma F.

-Hartford Convention begins (December 15) in Hartford, Connecticut; 26 delegates from New England states hold secret meetings through January 5, 1815; they discuss grievances concerning President Madison's prosecution of the ongoing War of 1812 and fears that the federal government is increasing its power, threatening to bring military despotism into the nation; radicals seek secession from the western states and entertain plans to seek a separate peace with Great Britain; they discuss removing the "three-fifths compromise," which gives slave states more power in Congress; the delegates draft a report proposing several amendments to the U.S. Constitution, then send three commissioners to Washington, D.C. to negotiate, arriving in February 1815; news of Andrew Jackson's victory in the Battle of New Orleans and the signing of the Treaty of Ghent has preceded them and they quickly return home; the Hartford Convention and the Federalists become synonymous with disunion, secession and treason, especially in the South; the Federalist Party is ruined and ceases to be a significant force in national politics
-Treaty of Ghent is signed (December 24) in Ghent, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (today's Belgium), ending the War of 1812, between the United States and Great Britain; the treaty largely restores relations between the two nations with no loss of territory either way; the treaty is ratified in Great Britain on December 30, but the era's slow communications delays the news for weeks, so that the Battle of New Orleans is fought and the British achieve a victory in the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer, after it is signed; the treaty is not in effect until ratified by Congress

1815 -Battle of New Orleans (January 8) is prosecuted by U.S. troops under the command of Major General Andrew Jackson, defeating an invading British Army intent upon seizing New Orleans and the territory the United States acquired with the Louisiana Purchase; this battle is widely regarded as the greatest American land victory of the War of 1812
-Congress ratifies the Treaty of Ghent (February 16), a month after the New Orleans battle ended; after the ratification of the treaty, the British launch an assault on Mobile, Alabama; there are skirmishes between U.S. troops and British-allied Indians along the Mississippi River frontier for months, including the Battle of the Sink Hole in May
1816 -James Monroe is elected 5th President of the United States of America
-Second Bank of the United States is chartered (April 10), signed into law by President Madison; following the War of 1812, the federal government suffers from unregulated currency and a lack of fiscal order; business interests and a national alliance come together to legislate a central bank to bring security to government bonds; the Second Bank of the United States serves as the nation's federally authorized central bank from February 1817 to January 1836; beginning operations in Philadelphia (January 7, 1817), the bank manages 25 branch offices nationwide by 1832; in its time, the bank is the largest monied corporation in the world
1817 -On January 23, Karen's great-great grandfather is born: ABRAHAM Stauffer Overholt (1817-1863) at "Overton Farm;" he is the third son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); he marries (1844) Mary Ann Newmyer (1824-1877) and they have four children: GEORGE W., John S., Norman, Mary
-Construction of the Erie Canal begins on the Hudson River at Albany, New York, heading northwest toward Lake Erie
1818 -The National Road reaches the Ohio River (August 1) in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) ; the road is approximately 620 miles long (1,000 km) and provides a connection between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, serving as a gateway to the West for thousands of settlers
1819 -On June 2, Elizabeth Stauffer Overholt (1819-1905) is born at "Overton Farm," the younger of two daughters born to Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); she marries (1847) John W. Frick (1822-1888); they have six children: Maria O., Henry Clay Frick, Annie O., Aaron O., J. Edgar, Sallie O.
1819-1823 -Financial panic; depression
1820 -The U.S. Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, an agreement between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the government; this regulates slavery in the western territories, balancing the number of "slave states" and "free states," cooling the disputes between the southern and northern states seeking power in Congress and control over future territories; the creation of a Compromise Line prompts a letter (April 22) from President Jefferson predicting that the division of the country would eventually lead to the destruction of the Union
1820s -The success of the Boston Manufacturing Company's system of textile milling, the Waltham System, is copied at Lowell and spreads from Massachusetts to other industrial cities, changing the economy of New England from agriculture-based to dominated by industry; the Waltham factory methods are then copied by other industries
1822 -On March 31, Martin Stauffer Overholt (1822-1899) is born, the fourth son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); he marries (xxxx) Maria S. Wakefield (1827-1886); they have six children: Hudson W., James C., Mary E., J. Franklin, Harry E., Ida M.
1823 -President James Monroe puts forth (December 2) a policy, later called the Monroe Doctrine, that becomes a defining moment and one of the longest-standing tenets in the foreign policy of the United States; the policy states that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North America or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention; the primary objective is to establish a doctrine that the New World and the Old World are to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, for they are entirely separate and independent nations; the term "Monroe Doctrine" is coined in 1853
1824 -John Quincy Adams is elected 6th President of the United States of America
-An eastern extension of the National Road is completed going eastward from Cumberland toward the Atlantic coast, connecting the National Road to Baltimore, Maryland's port on Chesapeake Bay

-On October 18, Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911) is born at "Overton Farm," the seventh child and fifth son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); he marries (1853) Katharine Lippencott Newmyer (1831-1894); they have six children: Alice C., Charles, Mary V., Elmer E., Anna May, William S.

-Karen's Note: Genealogist A. J. Fretz describes Christian as "a business man of long and wide experience" with "prominent connection with financial and industrial affairs," as well as "an admirable and valuable member of the Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners." He was the manager of A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA, and afterwards, for many years president of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, PA, before moving to Philadelphia. Christian S. Overholt is the direct MC ancestor of the OFA's Barbara B. Ford, compiler of The Oberholtzer Book.

1825 -After eight years of construction, the Erie Canal reaches Lake Erie at Buffalo, New York, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes (about 363 miles, or 584 km); at a cost of seven million dollars, the construction is achieved using some of the most advanced engineering technology of the era; canal boats in draft are pulled by horses and mules along a towpath, but it is the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard and the western interior of the United States that does not require portage; travel by the canal is faster than carts pulled by draft animals, and the costs of transport is cut by about 95 percent; due to the canal, western New York State sees a population surge; the canal provides settlers access to regions farther west, but also ensures that New York City will become a major U.S. port
1826 -On June 1, John Stauffer Overholt (1826-1846) is born at "Overton Farm," the final birth and sixth son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); as a young man, he dies suddenly on September 28, 1846, unmarried at age 20
1827 -The Commonwealth of Virginia charters (March 8) the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company to build a railroad from the port of Baltimore westward to the Ohio River, with the intention of providing an alternate and faster route than the Erie Canal for Midwestern goods to reach the East Coast
1828 -Andrew Jackson is elected 7th President of the United States of America
1829 -By 1829, Abraham Overholt's "Overton" distillery has four stills and is estimated to be worth $400
1830 -Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begins operation, restoring the Western trade that has been diverted from the port city of Baltimore, Maryland, by steam navigation; the railroad brings shipments to and from Baltimore worth tens of millions of dollars, making the city the commercial and financial capital of the region south of Philadelphia
1831 -Cyrus McCormick demonstrates his mechanical reaper at the village of Steeles Tavern, Virginia; he is granted a patent on the reaper (June 21, 1834), and begins a lifelong enterprise to perfect the machine; McCormick develops savvy and innovative business practices; operating out of Chicago, by the 1840s the McCormick reaper sells well, helped by the development of railroads that facilitate a wide distribution to distant markets; McCormick develops fresh marketing and sales techniques, using a network of salesmen trained to demonstrate his machines in the field; the invention of the reaper reduces human labor on farms and increases productivity, contributing to the industrialization of agriculture
1832 -By 1832, Abraham Overholt's "Overton" distillery is evaluated to be worth one thousand dollars
c1834-1834 -Mill women strike at Lowell, Massachusetts

-After 24 years in business, Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) has shown himself to be a public-spirited man, who conducts his farm and business affairs in an energetic but orderly fashion, never disappointing a creditor and an employer who is gentle with his employees

-Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) builds his own brick flouring mill on his "Overton Farm" property; the Overholt sons cease hauling grain on poor roads to be milled in nearby towns; the "Overton" mill operates for the next 25 years, producing a superior quality flour, and milled corn and rye for the production of both corn whiskey and rye whiskey

-Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) purchases a half-interest in his father's business; the company name becomes A. and H. S. Overholt Company; records show Henry is a respected farmer, distiller and miller, who excels as a manager and businessman

-On September 13, Abraham Overholt Tinstman (1834-1915) [aka A. O. Tinstman] is born, a son of Anna Stauffer Overholt (1812-1866) and John Tinstman (1807-1877) and a grandson of Abraham Overholt; at 25 years of age, he takes charge of the mill, distillery and land of A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, becoming his grandfather's partner in 1864; he marries (1875) Harriet Cornelia Markle (1847-1926), a daughter of Gen. Cyrus Painter Markle (aka Gen. C. P. Markle); they have one child: Cyrus Painter Markle Tinstman (1878-1941)

1836 -Martin Van Buren is elected 8th President of the United States of America
-Texas wins its independence from Mexico; for the next nine years, Texans favor joining the United States, but Washington does not take action, due to Northern concerns about adding another "slave state" to the Union, while others were concerned about provoking a conflict with Mexico
1838 -At age 54, Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) measures out and builds his brick Homestead House on the site of the original log farmhouse purchased by his father, Henrich Oberholtzer (1739-1813); while living in Henrich's farmhouse, Abraham and Maria have brought eight children into the world; they bring their last few unmarried children with them into their new brick home
1839-1843 -Depression
1840 -William H. Harrison is elected 9th President of the United States of America

-Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) and Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859), the two oldest sons of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870), begin to shoulder all the responsibilities for running "Overton Farm" and the Overholt whiskey business

1841 -John Tyler is 10th President of the United States of America
1844 -Baltimore-Washington telegraph line
-James K. Polk is elected 11th President of the United States of America
1845 -Karen's great-grandfather is born, GEORGE Washington Overholt (1845-1908), a son of ABRAHAM Stauffer Overholt (1817-1863) and Mary Ann Newmyer (1824-1877); he marries (1891) Agnes G. RIFFLE (1859-1933) (surname is not Ripple); they have two children: GEORGE Frederick, Mary Elizabeth; they live in the town of Mount Pleasant, PA

Henrich Oberholtzer > Abraham Overholt > Abraham Stauffer Overholt > George Washington Overholt

-Karen's Note: This George W. Overholt is not to be confused with another George W. Overholt (b. April 24, 1869), a son of Abraham Fox Overholt (1841-1927) and Martha Rist (1845-1881); Abraham Fox Overholt is a son of Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) and Mary Fox (1816-1895); Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) is a son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874)

Henrich Oberholtzer > Abraham Overholt > Jacob Stauffer Overholt > Abraham Fox Overholt > George W. Overholt

-Texas is admitted to the Union on December 29

c1846 -The Henry S. Overholt House is built, a large brick dwelling with part of the building providing rooms used by servants, guests, and likely, visiting businessmen; Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) is the first child and oldest son of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); the 1990 HABS/HAER West Overton Survey states that this is the earliest second-generation family dwelling built in the West Overton distilling complex, reflecting the growth and development of the Overholt Company and the related community of West Overton, probably built just prior to Henry's marriage on February 10, 1846
1846 -On February10, Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) marries Abigail Carpenter (1824-1898); over the next 16 years (1846-1862), they have seven children: Sarah Ann, Benjamin Franklin, Maria C., Abigail C., Abraham C., Henry C., Jennie C.

-On September 28, John Stauffer Overholt (1826-1846) dies unexpectedly, three months after his twentieth birthday; he is the youngest child of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874) and the first of their children to pass away; John dies unmarried; Maria is so moved by his death that a carton of his keepsakes remains under her bed until the day she dies

-On December 12, 1846, Sarah Ann Overholt is born; she is the first child of Henry S. Overholt (1810-1870) and Abigail Carpenter (1824-1898); in years to come, she and her family will be the last Overholts to live in the Abraham Overholt Homestead House at West Overton

-Armed conflict between U.S. and Mexican troops results from Mexican resentment over the U.S. annexation of Texas and an ongoing border dispute with Texas, Texas claiming the Rio Grande as its southern border and Mexico claiming the Nueces River farther north as the border;
-Mexican-American War begins when Congress issues a declaration of war on May 13; battles are fought mostly in northeastern and central Mexico; it becomes the only major military dispute that occurs between the two nations

1848 -Zachary Taylor is elected 12th President of the United States of America
-Mexican-American War ends (February 2) with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the treaty cedes to the United States the land now comprising the states of California, Utah and Nevada, also portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado; moreover, Mexico renounces all rights to Texas; U.S. casualties are 1,773 killed in action and 4,152 wounded; Mexican casualties are estimated to be 25,000 killed or wounded
1849 -California gold rush

-On December 19, Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) is born at "Overton Farm," the second child of Elizabeth Stauffer Overholt (1819-1905) and first son of John W. Frick (1822-1889); he is a grandson of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874); in his youth, he is known to all as "Clay Frick" and years later, he marries (1881) Adalaide Childs (1859-1931) of Pittsburgh, PA; they have four children: Childs, Martha (d. young), Helen, Henry, Jr. (d. infant)

Thinking About My Cousin

Karen's Note: Henry Clay Frick is my first cousin, three generations removed. The stories of his personal life, public and political life, and entrepreneural history fill many books currently available in book stores or online stores. His coal, coke and steel history is detailed in many old history books dedicated to Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny counties, books that are available at Historic Pittsburgh (https://historicpittsburgh.org) and Internet Archive (https://archive.org).

In my years of research, I have found that all types of publications (historic volumes, modern books and current news articles) are often inaccurate, regarding Overholt-Frick genealogy and history. More often than not, writers are oblivious to the importance of how many members of the Overholt family gave close attention to the welfare of "Clay Frick" and therefore had a great impact on his life. The person he became later in life was molded by his own hands.

Some modern inaccuracies about the Overholt-Frick story may have been made by accident or simply due to poor research, but many of the historical misrepresentations appear deliberate, as if written to sprinkle stardust, so to speak, on perceived heroes of the Industrial Revolution and the Gilded Age. Many sources pretty much obliterate the name Overholt in accounts of Frick's childhood, youth and early adulthood. Abraham Overholt is often only mentioned in passing.

It is refreshing that in recent years, the folks at West Overton began to highlight Abraham, his family and extended family -- sometimes for more than rye whiskey. Perhaps 25 years of my writing and publishing articles at Karen's Branches helped to expand the collective mindset.

1850 -Millard Fillmore is 13th President of the United States of America
c1850 -Abraham Overholt brings second son Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) into the family business at "Overton Farm," as a full partner with himself and oldest son Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870); doubtless, Jacob would have purchased this partnership; the company name changes to A. Overholt and Sons; Jacob is admired as a man of great energy and a talented distiller; Henry and Jacob have already been in charge of all farming and business concerns for the past ten years

-A cooper shop to make the barrels is present at "Overton Farm" by at least 1850, when it produced 12,000 casks. The company ledger records only minor numbers of barrels being sold to locals, for more than enough of them were used by the distillery (2,750 barrels in 1850) and the flour mill (10,800 barrels). In 1850, the distillery was listed as entailing a capital investment of $13,000, producing a gross income of $17,990, and employing three men. The mill required an investment of only $3,000, but brought in $32,000. (HABS/HAER Report on West Overton (1990), page 3)

About Building Railroads

During the 1850s, folks in Western Pennsylvania were serious about building railroads. Periodically, local newspapers would announce an upcoming Railroad Convention, calling a gathering of local businessmen, lawyers, banking representatives, and public servants from local government. They would come together to propose the creation of new railroad lines or a rail branch to one of the existing railroad lines, in order to link up communities that had no existing rail service and provide transport for local goods. Up until the appointed day, the conventions were advertised in the daily news, and then were covered by newspaper reporters, when they commenced.

Anybody who was anybody would participate, coming to conventions prepared to pledge money toward the project, knowing from the onset that their names would appear in print. Afterwards, newspapers would publish the minutes of meetings and reports made by project engineers, and such. All such activities, being open to public scrutiny, gave the endeavors a patina of sure worth, attracting small investors who lived all along proposed routes.

However, railroads were a financially speculative enterprise, and with so many big railroad companies agitating for dominance, many proposed independent lines were never accomplished. No doubt, some wealthy investors made a lot of money on these speculations, but there were many who lost all their money. Financially well-situated Europeans also invested heavily in American railroad speculations, and many of them lost a lot of money, too.

-Overholt names show up in historic newspapers, before and during the Civil War years, not only in whiskey advertisements, but also in serious discussions about railroads. Abraham Overholt and other members of the family and extended family are listed as leaders, participants, or stockholders in local railroad enterprises.

-Henry D. Overholt (1797-1856), son of an older brother of Abraham Overholt, namely Jacob Overholt (1795-1878) and Elizabeth Detweiler (1775-1849), was especially active in railroad conventions and transportation matters; as far back as May 1838, and as close to his death as December 1854, Henry D. Overholt is listed in newspaper articles as attending and/or working at conventions; he is a well-known local farmer and "a lawyer notary for Fayette County." Henry D. Overholt marries (1824) Elizabeth Sherrick (1803-1864); they have six children: Anna, Jacob, John, Elizabeth, Susan, Henry; events surrounding his unexpected death by hanging are curious

1852 -Franklin Pierce is elected 14th President of the United States of America
1853 -British study of American manufacturing

-On June 28, "merchant" Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911) marries (1853) Katharine Lippencott Newmyer (1831-1894); Christian is the seventh child and fifth son of Abraham Overholt; over the next 13 years, their six children are born: Alice, Charles, Mary, Elmer, Anna May, William

-Before 1854, the Christian S. Overholt Store and House is built, which is a new home at "Overton" with a general store attached; the 1990 HABS/HAER West Overton Survey states that the Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911) residence and store is "one of the larger structures built by the Overholts and marks the family's transition from wealthy farmers to managers of an industrial hamlet." Also given in the Survey is more on Christian's transition from working on the family farm to working at the family distillery. In 1848-1849, he is called "farmer" and in 1850-1851, he is called "distiller." The 1850 census indicates Christian is 25 years old and still living at home. In 1852, he is called "farmer" and in 1853, he is designated a "merchant." Farmers were taxed much less than were distillers or merchants, and after several years as a merchant, Christian is again named a "farmer" in 1861 and 1862.
1854 -On May 29, 1854, Abraham Overholt transfers a one-half interest in "Overton Farm" and the growing distillery complex at "Overton" to his oldest son, Henry S. Overholt (1810-1870); the deed describes a plot of 253 acres on which are erected houses, outhouses, a grist marchant [sic] mill, distillery, barn, stables and the village of Overton with many other valuable improvements; as stated by the Survey, the house is "depicted on county atlas maps of 1857, 1867 and 1876, and is prominent in the lithographic view of the complex in the 1876 atlas"

-On the same date, May 29, 1854, Abraham Overholt deeds a 24-acre segment of "Overton Farm" to Christian S. Overholt (1824-1911) , which includes the lot in "Overton" on which is erected the large brick store and dwelling house -- and other valuable improvements; Abraham also conveys to Christian a 252-acre farm just to the northwest of the village

Annual Meeting of the Stockholders of the

As reported in the Thursday, December 7, 1854, edition of Pittsburgh's The Daily Morning Post, on December 4, Henry D. Overholt (1797-1856) of Fayette County, son of Abraham Overholt's older brother, Jacob Overholt (1768-1847), was appointed Chairman of the annual stockholders meeting of the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad Company, held at the company office in the city of Pittsburgh. The object of the meeting was the submission of their annual report to the stockholders, which was read, adopted and ordered to be printed. The Chief Engineer submitted his report on the operations of his department, exhibiting in detail the progress of the work during the past year, which was read, adopted, and ordered to be printed. Henry D. Overholt of Fayette County and Jacob S. Overholt (1814-1859) of Westmoreland County were appointed to be judges tasked with holding an election for the following year's directors of the company. The other judge was Joseph M. Kinkead of Pittsburgh. The votes were counted and the new members of the Board of Directors are announced.

Karen's Note: This is a brief summary of a very long article. The same issue has another
long article, Pittsburgh and Connelsville [sic] Railroad - Engineer's Report.
See Image 1 of The Daily Morning Post, Pittsburgh, PA; December 07, 1854.
Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive (https://panewsarchive.psu.edu/)

-Railroad reaches the Mississippi River

1855 -Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859), second son of Abraham Overholt, turns his attention to Broad Ford, PA, planning to build a larger distillery complex along the bank of the Youghiogheny River, where the "broad ford" of native Americans is located; Jacob amicably dissolves his partnership with brother Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870), then moves to Broad Ford to give the project his full attention; the company name at "Overton Farm" reverts to A. and H. S. Overholt Company
1856 -James Buchanan is elected 15th President of the United States of America

-Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) brings his cousin Henry O. Overholt (1813-1880) into the Broad Ford enterprise as a partner with a one-third interest in the business; they produce Monongahela Whiskey, despite the fact that the distillery is located on the Youghiogheny River, not the Monongahela River

-Jacob S. Overholt establishes a saw-mill at Broad Ford, "mainly for supplying the firm with materials with which to build up a then-prospective village and a distillery, which in time became the most famous of the Overholt distilleries."

-Jacob S. Overholt oversees the building projects at Broad Ford, originally containing only three dwellings, which shortly grows into a busy village; he is "a man of great energy and business activity and integrity ... and everybody's friend, noted for his charity, never allowing the needy to go unserved by his door."

-Karen's Note: Henry O. Overholt (1813-1880) is a son of Martin Overholt (1772-1835) and Catharine Overholt (1781-1866), daughter of Rev. Abraham Oberholtzer from another branch of the extended "O" family; Martin Overholt is a son of Henrich Oberholtzer (1739-1813) and Anna Beitler (1745-1835); Henry O. Overholt is originally known for his excellent weaving skills, when the family produces "coverlids" as a business enterprise

1859 -John Brown raids Harper’s Ferry, VA

-On April 19, Abraham Overholt marks his 75th birthday; he and wife Maria expect to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary the next day; however, their son, Jacob, dies on that day

-On April 20, Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859) dies from "his last illness" and leaves his widow, Mary Fox (1816-1895), and their seven surviving children (Abraham, Isaac, Mary Anne, Fenton, Christian, Jacob, Emma) without a husband and father; the future of the Broad Ford distillery is in jeopardy

-Abraham Overholt steps up to purchase Jacob’s two-thirds interest in the Broad Ford distillery; the price he pays for Jacob's two-thirds interest will provide financial support for Jacob's widow and seven surviving children; with his nephew Henry O. Overholt continuing as a partner, Abraham operates the business as A. Overholt and Company

-At the age of 25, Abraham Overholt Tinstman (1834-1915) (aka A. O. Tinstman) is working as a farmer on the Broad Ford farm owned by his grandfather, Abraham Overholt; Abraham decides to bring in this grandson to be the manager of the Broad Ford distillery complex; thereafter, the output reaches a daily capacity of 200 bushels of grain and 860 gallons of whiskey

-After 49 years of distilling at "Overton Farm," Abraham Overholt pulls down his stone distillery and brick flouring mill and builds a six-story combined mill and distillery building (that still exists on site); the capacity of the distillery is 200 bushels per day, the capacity of the mill is 50 barrels of flour per day

-On December 19, 1859, another grandson of Abraham Overholt celebrates his tenth birthday, namely Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919)

-Oil discovered at Titusville in northwest Pennsylvania

1860 -Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th President of the United States of America

-Described as "ever ardent" regarding politics, Abraham Overholt "unites" with the newly formed Republican party, and takes "extreme interest in its welfare" as "a warm Lincoln man," and during the war between the states, he is "deeply aroused over the affairs of the country"

-South Carolina secedes from the Union
-President Lincoln’s favorite whiskey is reported to be Overholt rye whiskey

-A. Overholt and Company Whiskey is the product produced by the "Overton" and Broad Ford distilleries

-On Tuesday, July 3, 1860, Abraham Overholt visits the tomb of George Washington at Mt. Vernon, Virginia, along with one of his grown sons and D. P. Patterson; they pose for an ambrotype photograph; subsequently, on Friday, July 6, The Philadelphia Press, publishes Arrivals at the Principal Hotels as of midnight July 5; a list from The Union Hotel includes A. Overholt, Overton and D. P. Patterson, Overton; presumably, Abraham and his son shared a room

-By this time, "the fame of Overholt whiskey had spread the length and breadth of the land. Those who boated whiskey down the western rivers declared that Overholt commanded a premium price throughout the southern and western markets. It went across the plains and the Rocky Mountains into the far reaches of the West with the expanding frontier."

1861-1865 -American Civil War

-Many young men from "Overton" families serve the Union in the War Between the States, some perish from wartime diseases and some die of wounds from battle; what is little known is the existence of soldiers fighting for the Southern states that are named Overholt, or other versions of the name, due to the fact that some of our earliest European immigrant ancestors ended up putting down roots in Virginia

-Abraham Overholt makes his whiskey available to Union soldiers (possibly to surgeons, and for other medicinal purposes) and "in his anxiety over the state of the country," at nearly eighty years of age, he visits "the seat of war twice ... to encourage soldiers in the field with whom he was personally acquainted."

1863 -Emancipation Proclamation
-Battle of Gettysburg, PA
1863 -Abraham Overholt composes his Last Will and Testament at "Overton Farm," Overton, PA

-At age 14, Henry Clay Frick clerks at the store of his uncle Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911) at home in "Overton"

1864 -Henry O. Overholt (1830-1880) retires from the whiskey business, selling his one-third interest of the Broad Ford distillery complex, presumably to Abraham Overholt or directly to A. O. Tinstman

-Abraham Overholt accepts his grandson Abraham Overholt Tinstman (1834-1915) [aka A. O. Tinstman] as a partner in A. Overholt and Company; doubtless the partnership was purchased by Tinstman

1865 -Lee surrenders at Appomattox

-Abraham Overholt Tinstman (1834-1915) (aka A. O. Tinstman), a grandson of Abraham Overholt, buys 600 acres of coal land adjoining the village of Broad Ford with his partner Joseph Rist

-At age 16, Henry Clay Frick moves to the nearby town of Mount Pleasant to clerk for his uncle Martin Stauffer Overholt (1822-1899) in the Overholt and Shallenberger store; for the next three years, young Frick lives and works there, attends college sporadically and attends the Baptist Church

-President Lincoln is assassinated
-Andrew Johnson is 17th President of the United States of America
-President Johnson begins Reconstruction

1866-1867 -At Broad Ford, about 1866, the Overholts bring down the existing distillery and completely rebuild it, then they update whiskey production at the "Overton" distillery
1867 -U.S. purchase of Alaska
1868 -Ulysses S. Grant is elected 18th President of the United States of America

-Abraham Overholt Tinstman (1834-1915) [aka A. O. Tinstman] opens the Morgan Mines in partnership with Col. A. S. M. Morgan and engages in making coke; Morgan and Company controls nearly all the coking business of this region and builds a mile of railroad to secure an outlet for their product

-Abraham Overholt loans grandson A. O. Tinstman the sum of $20,000 to invest in the lucrative Morgan Mines in Broad Ford Run Valley

-At the Overholt and Shallenberger store in Mt. Pleasant, Martin Stauffer Overholt (1822-1899) finds just cause to fire Henry Clay Frick, who returns to "Overton Farm" to seek help from his grandmother Maria Stauffer Overholt, who immediately seeks out her husband, Abraham Overholt, who puts the young Frick on a horse and rides with him straight to the Broad Ford distillery; Abraham talks with his nephew, A. O. Tinstman, who then hires Frick as an office boy at $25 per month

-Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911) secures a position at Pittsburgh’s Macrum and Carlisle for his nephew, Henry Clay Frick, where he, at age 19, clerks in the linen and lace department for $6.00 per week; Frick borrows $50 from "a relative" to buy a new suit of clothes; he attends the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh, a church built with the help of wealthy Pittsburgh boot and shoe manufacturer Asa P. Childs; years later, Frick marries (1881) a daughter of Asa P. Childs, namely, Adelaide Howard Childs

-Henry Clay Frick contracts typhoid fever shortly after starting a new job at another Pittsburgh establishment; he returns to "Overton Farm" to receive care, administered by his mother, grandmother and sister; thereafter, young Frick works at the "Overton" distillery as a salesman and helps the bookkeeper, working three months without pay, presumably to repay accrued debts

-A. O. Tinstman (1834-1915) hires Henry Clay Frick at the Broad Ford distillery “to take care of the office” at a salary of $1,000 per year (i.e., roughly $83 per month)

1869 -First transcontinental railroad is the Union Pacific
1870 -By the 1870s, "Overton" becomes known as West Overton, perhaps to differentiate the Overholt community in Westmoreland County from other Overton sites, like Overton Township in Bradford County, that are served by the railroads

-U.S. Congress attempts to establish a federal trademark regime, however, the Supreme Court strikes it down in the Trade-Mark Cases
-The Mellon Bank is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by retired judge Thomas Mellon, who has acquired great wealth from investments based on requiring judgments on mortgages and personal security loans, using "debt without writ" documents that allow an attorney or court officer to confess judgment and seize a debtor's property without the fuss of a trial

-Karen's Note: Thomas Mellon grew up near "Overton Farm," and he and his family knew the Overholt family well; Thomas was known to be a special friend of Elizabeth S. Overholt, Abraham Overholt's younger daughter

-On January 15, Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) dies at "Overton Farm," leaving an estate of about $350,000 to immediate members of his family -- twenty-year-old Henry Clay Frick is not named among them

Herald of Truth Obituary - Abraham Overholt

On Saturday morning, January 15, at his residence in East Huntingdon township, Westmoreland county, Pa., ABRAHAM OVERHOLT, in the 86th year of his age. He arose in the morning in usual health and took the lantern and went out, and not returning, the family went to look for him and found him in an out-house and the lamp of life almost extinguished. He was buried on the 18th in the Mennonite burying ground in said township, followed by a large concourse of relatives and friends. The occasion was improved by ___ Woodbury of the Baptist church in the English language, and by Bro. Blough in German. Bro. Overholt was a faithful member of the Mennonite church for many years, and the church has reason to mourn for him. His seat was seldom vacant at public worship, and he was one of the most benevolent men the church had. When any benevolent purpose demanded it he was always willing and ready to give of his abundance. C. S.

From Herald of Truth Obituaries,
Herald Of Truth, Volume VII, Number 3;
March, 1870; page 46-47.

-On Arpil 6, the Mount Pleasant and Broad Ford Railroad Company is incorporated, with a capital stock of $200,000; the corporators are Daniel Shupe, C. S. Overholt, J. B. Jordan, William J. Hitchman, Joseph R. Stauffer, A. O. Tinstman, Israel Painter, C. P. Markle, James Neel; the line is completed and is opened on Saturday, February 18, 1871

-A. O. Tinstman (1834-1915) organizes the Mount Pleasant and Broad Ford Railroad Company and is chosen president; they build a new railroad line connecting with the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad Company at Broad Ford; A. O. Tinstman continues as president until 1876, when the entire road is sold to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company

-Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870), oldest of Abraham Overholt's children and joint owner with him of the West Overton distillery, mill and farm, retires and dissolves the brief partnership between himself and his father's executors, namely, his brothers Christian Stauffer Overholt and Martin Stauffer Overholt, and his cousin Jacob Overholt Tinstman

-On June 18, Henry Stauffer Overholt (1810-1870) dies at West Overton, a little more than five months after his father, Abraham Overholt, passed away; now the three most essential entrepreneurs of Overton Farm and the Overholt whiskey enterprises (i.e., Abraham, Henry and Jacob) are no longer present to guide the family or their financial future

-Karen's Note: The next generations of the Overholt family continue to expand their horizons in business, banking and industrial enterprises, but their successes -- and there are many -- tend to take them farther and farther away from the heart and soul of West Overton and Broad Ford. The familial, philosophical and physical centers of Abraham Overholt's Overton Farm and rye whiskey business slowly become ripe for corporate takeover, mostly because the men who are becoming the "movers and shakers" of burgeoning industries have left behind the era of gentlemen entrepreneurs who made business deals with mutual trust and a handshake. Business activity is rapidly becoming a vicious circle of "dog-eat-dog" with the emergence of monopolies.

1871 -On February 18, the Mount Pleasant and Broad Ford Railroad is completed and open for business; "preceding the opening of the road, it was leased to the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad Company, and afterwards by that lessee to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company," so that it operated "in conjunction with the main line of road from Pittsburgh to Cumberland"

-A. O. Tinstman forms another coke company, associated with Joseph Rist and cousin Henry Clay Frick, under the firm name of Frick and Company; they build 200 coke ovens; later the site is known as the “Novelty” and the “Henry Clay Works”

-Henry Clay Frick goes to Pittsburgh, where unannounced, he asks to see Thomas Mellon at his Mellon Bank; Frick benefits from Mellon's friendship with his mother when they both were young, plus the Overholt family name and reputation, along with Frick's display of some measure of business accumen; coming away with $10,000 at ten percent interest for six months, Frick builds 50 coke ovens at Broad Ford; later he obtains from Mellon another $10,000 before the first loan is paid off

1872 -Karen's Note: I found one historic source (History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by Franklin Ellis) stating that in 1872, A. O Tinstman purchases the two-thirds Overholt interest in the A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA, and carries on the business alone, until 1874, when he brings in a Tinstman brother to help
1872-1876 -A. O Tinstman and partner Col. A. S. M. Morgan (as Morgan and Co.) buy about four hundred acres of coking coal lands at Latrobe, Westmoreland County, and build fifty coke ovens; continuously to 1876, Tinstman buys large tracts of coal lands on the line of the Mount Pleasant and Broad Ford Railroad, comprising nearly all the best coal lands in that region
1873-1878 -Financial Panic and Depression
1873 -Comstock Lode, silver discovery in Nevada
-In May, panic strikes the bourse in Vienna and it spreads through the exchanges in Europe, which are overloaded with stocks and bonds in American ventures, mostly railroads; reckless investment in America ends and Europe plunges into recession; by September, the financial crisis impacts America with panic at the N.Y. Stock Exchange and then banks fail

-A. O. Tinstman suffers severe losses in the financial panic of 1873

1874 -By spring, the aftermath of the financial panic reaches Broad Ford, where Henry Clay Frick is selling coke well below the cost of producing it; rival coke operators and even Frick’s partners sell out at depressed prices; farmers trade land for cash in almost any amount; Frick covers his operating deficit by peddling his notes; Frick options more land, drawing on the inheritance of his mother (Elizabeth Stauffer Overholt Frick), sister (Maria Overholt Frick Overholt), and others -- largely money and property bequeathed to them by Abraham Overholt

-Acting alone and on his own initiative, Henry Clay Frick tracks down the stockholders of the Mt. Pleasant and Broad Ford Railroad, obtains their signatures on options, then offers the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad a deal they cannot refuse -- the Broad Ford railroad line at cost ($200,000); Frick earns a $50,000 commission for himself in the bargain; quite literally, Frick manages to sell off the signature accomplishment of his cousin, A. O. Tinstman, right from under him, while Tinstman is still serving as the company president

-A. O. Tinstman brings in his brother, C. S. O. Tinstman, into his whiskey business, A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA; this brother is Christian Stauffer Overholt Tinstman (1851-xxxx), youngest son of John Tinstman (1807-1877) and Anna Stauffer Overholt (1812-1866), daughter of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874)

-A. O. Tinstman and his partner Col. A. S. M. Morgan seek to consolidate their lucrative Morgan Mines with Frick and Company; Frick offers $550,000 against the $650,000 asking price; the deal does not go through

-On or before November 1, 1874, Maria Stauffer Overholt, widow of Abraham Overholt, dies at West Overton at the age of 83; at the time of her death, she is the mother of eight children, the grandmother of 48 grandchildren (including Henry Clay Frick) and the great-grandmother of 25 great-grandchildren; everything husband Abraham Overholt set aside for his wife's welfare -- money and property -- now is untethered and can be used by others

In Memoriam
Maria Stauffer Overholt

During the last century, a Mr. Stauffer and wife moved into the wilds of Western Pennsylvania and settled near what is now Fountain Mills, or Everson, in Fayette County, on the 18th of July, 1791.  A daughter was born to them whom they named Maria.  At the age of eighteen, Maria was married to Abraham Overholt.  About the same time, they both united with the Mennonite Church, of which they lived and died members.

Soon after marriage they began housekeeping in a little stone house in West Overton, which is still standing.  They afterwards occupied a log house nearby, and lastly the fine brick residence from which grandmother Overholt has just been borne by loving friends to her final resting place.

Jan. 15, 1870, Mr. Overholt died, after they had lived together something over 60 years.  On Sabbath, November 1st, 1874, Mrs. Maria Stauffer Overholt passed from earth, having attained the ripe age of eighty-three years, three months and eighteen days, and having lived on the same farm sixty-five years.  She was the mother of eight children, only three of whom survive her.  At the time of her death she had also forty-eight grand-children and twenty-five great-grand-children.  Her mind remained clear to the last, and her heart never lost that preeminent kindness for which her life was so distinguished.  The peace with which she waited the time of her departure was never apparently disturbed.  Just before she passed away, her life seemed to be repeating itself, and she lived over in words and thoughts her life of thirty or forty years ago.

Although feeble in body for some time, she never lost her all-controlling desire to make others happy.  As she was in life, so she remained, peaceful, tender and gentle, loving and beloved, and so she died.  It is truly a loss not to have such an one to care for.  But we must speak a word of the departed as a mother.  Although so far removed in age from the rising generation, she was their special friend and favorite, and a very gratifying evidence of it is the impress she left upon their minds for doing good.

And we must not omit the mention of one for which thousands will yet arise to call her blessed.  To her more than to any other person do we owe the existence of Mt. Pleasant Institute.  While she only gave $5,000 herself, yet it is from her children and grandchildren, and we may hope from her great-grand-children, has already come and will continue to come, at least one-half of the financial support of the Institute.  When the first $100,000 is made up, her name will be connected with about $60,000 of it.  Nor are Messrs. C. S. Overholt and A. O. Tinstman, her son and grand-son, the only subscribers, but there are a considerable number of very liberal subscriptions from others similarly related.  The marble in the cemetery will speak feeble words compared with this monument to Christian learning, which will yield its fruits as long as time lasts.

News article, author(s) unknown; News source unknown
Overholt, Maria Stauffer, Obituary In Memoriam. Box 1, Folder C19.
West Overton Village and Museums, Scottdale, Pennsylvania

1875 -Already the owner of one-third interest in the firm A. Overholt and Company, A. O. Tinstman purchases the two-thirds interest of deceased grandfather Abraham Overholt, managed by the executors of Abraham's will, Christian S. Overholt and Martin S. Overholt (sons of Abraham Overholt), and Jacob Overholt Tinstman (brother of A. O. Tinstman), including the right to use the Overholt name as a brand and trade mark; another source says this purchase was already made back in 1872

-By February, Henry Clay Frick is critically ill in another round of "inflammatory rheumatism;" his relatives move him from his Broad Ford dwelling to a room in the Abraham Overholt Homestead House, where he is nursed by members of his family; a full year goes by before his health returns

-On July 1, A. O Tinstman marries Harriet Cornelia Markle (1847-1926 ), daughter of Gen. Cyrus Painter Markle, of Westmoreland County; they have one son: Cyrus Painter Markle Tinstman (1878-1941)

-By October, Henry Clay Frick has the deed to the Morgan Mines executed and delivered to his cousin A. O. Tinstman and Col. A. S. M. Morgan, leaving open for them the possibility of recovery by stipulating that if Tinstman repays the notes (amounting to $60,000) within two years, together with any interest on the $10,000 note, the “deed of conveyance should become null and void”

-Secured by the B and O Railroad deal, Henry Clay Frick further strengthens his financial base by paying his employees in Frick Dollar Bills and building his first company store

1876 -A. O. Tinstman and his wife begin to reside in Turtle Creek, Allegheny County, PA

-A. O Tinstman and his brother C. S. O. Tinstman are proprietors of A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA

-Gold rush in the Black Hills
-Rutherford B. Hayes elected 19th President of the United States of America

-A. O. Tinstman sells his interest in A. Overholt and Company to his brother C. S .O.Tinstman, together with the right to use the firm name as a brand and trade mark; C. S. O. Tinstman and Christopher Fritchman become partners and proprietors of A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA

c1876 -Henry Clay Frick’s borrowing from T. Mellon and Sons reaches $100,000, but he has acquired 60 percent of the area's coal acreage and he is producing 80 percent of the coke coming from the region, setting his own prices and earning 100 percent over costs
1877 -Henry Clay Frick trades acre for acre the surface rights of four farms for all the coal on the Morewood farm; Frick then opens a company store at Morewood, which eventually rakes in profits of 80 to 100 thousand dollars

-First national strike over Pennsylvania Railroad labor practices leads to riots, looting and deaths, which forever polarizes America between the antagonistic forces of capital and labor

-Henry Clay Frick warns strikers to vacate the shacks along the railroad line that his cousin A. O. Tinstman spearheaded and presided over as company president; later Frick helps a deputy evict James King, throwing him into a creek -- it is a story about Frick that never dies

-A. O. Tinstman is unable to buy back his interest in the Morgan Mines, so the mines officially become the property of Henry Clay Frick

1878 -C. S. O. Tinstman and partner Christopher Fritchman are owners of an undivided two-thirds interest in the firm A. Overholt and Company, and lessees of the other one-third interest from the First National Bank of Uniontown; they take into co-partnership with them James G. Pontefract for the term of one year (from August 1, 1878 to August 1, 1879, then by renewal to April 1, 1881); Tinstman and Fritchman do not realize that this leasing arrangement with the bank, plus the co-partnership with Pontefract, can put them at serious risk of losing their company

-Henry Clay Frick sells shares in Frick and Company to Edmund M. Ferguson, then to Walton Ferguson the following year, renaming the business H. C. Frick and Company; Frick suffers another bout of inflammatory rheumatism; he stays at the home of Edmund M. Ferguson in Pittsburgh for a year while recovering

-In 1878 and 1880, A. O. Tinstman buys options on large tracts of coal lands in the Connellsville region

1879 -A. O. Tinstman builds a "fine mansion" for himself and his family in Turtle Creek, Allegheny County, PA

-Thomas Edison perfects the incandescent light bulb
-All around West Overton, coal mining and coke production are impacting the agrarian culture; trees die from the smoke of coke furnaces and large sink holes appear in local pastures as mining tunnels collapse; miners and beehive coke oven workers suffer death in accidents or lose their health because of polluted air below ground and above ground; the once-fresh streams and rivers are polluted; serious diseases and debilitating illnesses are familiar tragedies

-On December 19, Henry Clay Frick quietly celebrates his 30th birthday, buying a Havana cigar on credit; he has accomplished his life’s ambition of being worth a million dollars

1880s -Large numbers of Eastern European and Southern European immigrants begin to arrive in U.S.
-Flush toilets become widely spread in the U.S.
-The germ theory of disease gains wide acceptance
-Mass production of tin cans begins
1880 -James A. Garfield is elected 20th President of the United States of America

-A. O. Tinstman sells "at a good advance over cost price" about 8500 acres to E. K. Hyndman, who about that period organizes the Connellsville Coal and Iron Company; Tinstman also sells 3,500 acres of coal land at a good profit, establishes the firm of A. O. Tinstman and Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then buys a half interest in the Rising Sun Coke Works on the June Bug Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad

-Building project #3 commences at Broad Ford distillery; by utilizing coal for steam power, the daily capacity increases to 800 bushels of grain and 3,450 gallons of whiskey

1881 -Chester A. Arthur is 21st President of the United States of America
-Congress passes a new trademark act
, pursuant to its Commerce Clause powers; the first federal trademark law enables producers to register and protect brand names
1881 -A. O. Tinstman buys the Mt. Braddock Coke-Works, located on the Fayette County Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad; later that same year, Tinstman buys Pennsville Coke Works, on the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, "embracing in all about three hundred ovens"

-With a document dated March 1, Henry Clay Frick obtains from the executors of Abraham Overholt (i.e., Martin Stauffer Overholt (1822-1899) and Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911), both sons of Abraham) the right to use the A. Overholt and Company name “at the distillery property in Connellsville township, Fayette County, PA,” for the consideration of one dollar “and other good and valuable considerations”

Karen's Note: Remember, back in 1875: Already the owner of one-third interest in the firm A. Overholt and Company, A. O. Tinstman purchases the two-thirds interest of deceased grandfather Abraham Overholt, managed by the executors of Abraham's will, Christian S. Overholt and Martin S. Overholt (sons of Abraham Overholt), and Jacob Overholt Tinstman (brother of A. O. Tinstman), including the right to use the Overholt name as a brand and trade mark; another source says this purchase was already made back in 1872.

Back in 1876: A. O. Tinstman sells his interest in A. Overholt and Company to his brother C. S .O.Tinstman, together with the right to use the firm name as a brand and trade mark; C. S. O. Tinstman and Christopher Fritchman become partners and proprietors of A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA

-On March 12, partners C. S. O. Tinstman and Christopher Fritchman enter into another two-year agreement with James G. Pontefract, granting him (until April 1, 1883) the right to use the name of the firm A. Overholt and Company and the various brands at the Broad Ford distillery

-Karen's Note: Tinstman and Fritchman must be totally unaware of what Frick is doing, regarding securing the rights of the trademark Overholt name and ownership of the Broad Ford distillery complex. And they must be unaware that Pontefract is willing to support Frick in a corporate takeover.

-According to Henry Clay Frick, before the Pontefract lease expires on April 1, he has purchased the undivided one-third interest in the firm A. Overholt & Company from the First National Bank of Uniontown “and others”

-By March 23, Henry Clay Frick owns the undivided two-thirds of “a certain tract of land in Connellsville Township, Fayette County, PA” on which are erected a distillery, warehouse, and other improvements, and known as the A. Overholt & Company Distillery, and James G. Pontefract owns the undivided one-third interest; Frick leases the site to Pontefract for five years for the “manufacture, storage and sale of whiskey on said premises”

-Karen's Note: One has to wonder if Frick offers Pontefract "the undivided one-third interest" in A. Overholt and Company before or after he makes his Broad Ford land purchase. Most people at the time might have figured Frick needed to purchase most of the land at Broad Ford for the sake of coal and coke production, but the whole Overholt distillery complex is built on that land. Frick buys the land and everything on it, thereby securing two huge business opportunities for himself with one unique slight-of-hand maneuver.

-According to Henry Clay Frick, by the latter part of March 1881, he has purchased the undivided two-thirds interest in the Broad Ford distillery property, including all brands and marks from his cousin C. S. O. Tinstman and Christopher Fritchman

-According to his own testimony, on April 1, Henry Clay Frick, leased the firm A. Overholt & Company to James G. Pontefract to make and mark “whiskey manufactured thereat”

-Karen's Note: If coal veins were the prime reason to own the Broad Ford land, Frick might have demolished the distillery complex to gain direct access to the coal, but that is not what he did. Thereafter, no matter what, whether the value of the coal and coke business rises or falls, Frick holds onto the distillery complex, rebuilds it over and over again, maintains his grandfather's name of the company, and creates a new label, OLD OVERHOLT. He did not do this for the sake of the Overholt family. He did it for his own sake, wanting it all for himself and for whomever he tapped to join him in owning it, like the Mellon brothers, circa 1905.

-On or about April 1, according to their own testimony, C. S. O. Tinstman and Christopher Fritchman acknowledge that they ceased to own the business and distillery property (at Broad Ford), but they still maintain the validity of their lease granted to James G. Pontefract for the use of the firm name A. Overholt and Company until April 1, 1883

-On December 15, four days before Henry Clay Frick will celebrate his 32nd birthday, he marries 22-year-old Adelaide Howard Childs, a daughter of wealthy Pittsburgh boot and shoe manufacturer Asa P. Childs; early in their marriage, they have four children: Childs, Martha (d. young), Helen, Henry Jr. (d. infant)

1882-1883 -Three more transcontinental railroad routes
1883 -On April 1, C. S. O. Tinstman and C. Fritchman expect James G. Pontefract to surrender the rights leased to him for the use of the name A. Overholt & Company, but Pontefract does not comply; Tinstman and Fritchman sue Pontefract
1884 -Grover Cleveland is elected 22nd President of the United States of America

-On July 23, at 11 p.m., the Broad Ford distillery complex suffers a fire that destroys the main building, three bonded warehouses and 7,000 barrels of whiskey in three hours; the buildings are wood frame, not brick or stone, so nothing stops the conflagration; the gross value of the fire is reported to be $550,000, with the loss of buildings and machinery at $115,000; one warehouse with 600 barrels of whiskey is saved

-On July 30, The Somerset Herald publishes a story about the distillery fire, saying, "The heat of the fire was intense, and the flames lit up the country for miles. Burning whisky flowed down the river. Twenty-five barrels were rolled away and the whisky dipped up by a mob. There were hundreds of drunken men."

-A. O. Tinstman sells all his coke interests and engages in the purchase and sale of coal lands in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia

1884-1885 -Depression
1886 -The suit filed by C. S. O. Tinstman and C. Fritchman against James G. Pontefract reaches the Supreme Court on June 17

-Karen's Note: It would be good to have the details of this lawsuit, and whether or not it ever reached the point of securing a decision from the Court. I have certainly searched the Internet, but have not located it. Maybe I have looked in all the wrong places.

1888 -Eighteen years after the death of Abraham Overholt, in the year 1888, the impressive A. Overholt and Company distillery complex at Broad Ford launches the brand name OLD OVERHOLT, with a label that includes a drawing that represents Abraham Overholt; August 1, 1888, is the First Use in Commerce date for a Portrait of A. Overholt, deceased for the name brand OLD OVERHOLT rye whiskey; elsewhere, there is some evidence pointing to an earlier label without a portrait

-Benjamin Harrison is elected 23rd President of the United States of America

1889 -Thomas Edison invents motion-picture camera and viewing device
-The Johnstown Flood (Friday, May 31) devastates the countryside between South Fork and Johnstown, Pennsylvania; the flood kills 2,209 people and causes damage estimated at $17,000,000 (about $513 million in 2021 dollars)

-The investigation surrounding the causes of the Johnstown Flood implicates H. C. Frick, his South Fork club project, and the earthen dam at the site that failed; survivors are thwarted in attempts to recover damages from the wealthy owners, prompting changes in American law -- from fault-based to strict liability

-Henry Clay Frick is made chairman of Carnegie Brothers and Company; he is tasked with reorganizing their steel business, ultimately developing it into the largest manufacturer of steel and coke in the world

1890s -Electric trolleys replace horse-driven mass transit systems
1892 -A union strike at Homestead, Pennsylvania, becomes a violent labor dispute between Carnegie Steel Company and the workers; all 3,800 workers are fired on July 2, security guards arrive on July 6, gunfire is exchanged in battle, killing at least three guards and seven workers; with the help of the state National Guard, the steel mill is again operational by July 15, but with replacement workers

-The Homestead Strike impacts H. C. Frick; given permission to break the union, Frick had full control of the events in Homestead, prompting anarchist Alexander Berkman's attempt to assassinate him on July 23, shooting and stabbing him; because Frick fights back, the attack fails in its mission; Frick survives and returns home to recuperate

-Karen's Note: Author Martha Frick Symington Sanger describes this episode of Frick's life in one of her books. In the aftermath of the assassination attempt, Frick returns home in bad shape. His wife Adelaide is in extreme distress to see her husband in such a condition. She is given medication to calm her fears, during a time when she is dutifully breastfeeding her newborn son. The baby becomes listless and dies in his sleep, having never been given a name. Following the death of the baby, before he is taken away to be buried, a household servant identifies him as Henry Clay Frick, Jr.

-Grover Cleveland is elected 24th President of the United States of America

-On October 13, Karen's grandfather, GEORGE Frederick Overholt (1892-1966), is born in the town of Mount Pleasant, PA; he is the son of George Washington Overholt (1845-1908) and Agnes G. Riffle (1904-1930) and a great-grandson of Abraham Overholt; George becomes a gifted pianist; as a young man, he commands his own small orchestra; later he is a showman during the heyday of Vaudeville; on one occasion, he conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; he marries Esther Mae Willis (1904-1930); they have two children: (Arthur) FREDERIC John Overholt (1924-1985) & Ralph Edward Overholt (1927-1990)

Remembering My Grandfather

My mentioning that George Frederick Overholt at least on one occasion conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra needs some explanation. About the time I was a pre-teen, my father pulled out his wallet to show me two things -- a picture of an old Vaudeville poster featuring only his mother, and an article clipped from a Pittsburgh newspaper that reported his father conducting the city's orchestra. His mother, Esther Mae Willis, had been a showgirl in George White's Scandals. My father said only the most beautiful girls were in that show, and his reverence for that picture of Esther revealed he thought his mother was beautiful -- and he said I looked like her, which made me feel a bit special. And he was proud that his father had conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He said my grandfather could play anything on a piano, and published maybe hundreds of songs over the course of his career. Later on, I learned that when his traveling days were over, my grandfather was often hired to coach Miss Pennsylvania contestants on how to stand and how to walk across a stage, how to talk and how to sing, etc., prior to appearing in Miss America pageants.

When we were stationed in West Texas, attached to Webb Air Force Base, before we got a house on base, my grandfather visited us in the old, wood-frame house we were renting. He had with him a huge old trunk that was brimming with sheet music that he had hauled through a lifetime of train stations, while on tour. My grandfather left that trunk with us, when he went back to Pittsburgh, and I loved looking over that music, spending hours enjoying the stylish covers -- some plain, some fancy. I could not "read music," but managed to teach myself the song Lavender Blue from some well-worn pages. When the family got to move on base to live in a newly built, state-of-the-art, all-electric ranch-style home, my father left that old trunk on the cement back porch of the old house, saying there was no room for it in our station wagon. He promised to return and collect it later, but when he came back, someone had broken the lock and sheet music was scattered all around, and since it had rained overnight, the contents was pretty much ruined.

All my life since then, I wished I still had that trunk of old sheet music. In my many years spent singing in choirs, sheet music was always something to appreciate. Occasionally, I purchased some of my favorite modern hymns and classical church music, and put them safely away in a few drawers of my file cabinets, tucked in beside my original poetry and plays I have written. Maybe one day I will buy a big old trunk to hold all these treasures. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

1893-1897 -Depression
1893 -Great Northern Railroad completed
1896 -William McKinley is elected 25th President of the United States of America
1898 -Spanish-American War is prosecuted between April and August, the result of U.S. concern over the treatment of Cuba by the Spanish, political pressures, and anger over the sinking of the USS Maine; in rapid campaigns, U.S. forces seize the Philippines and Guam; a longer campaign follows in southern Cuba, with U.S. victories at sea and on land; on all fronts, the Spanish face defeat, so they sign an armistice (August 12) ceding Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the U.S.; Spain also surrenders its rights to Cuba, allowing the island to become independent under the guidance of the U.S. government; the conflict marks the end of the Spanish Empire and the rise of the United States as a world power
1899 -Another building project commences at Broad Ford, with the entire plant being dismantled and reconstructed, adding new rack warehouses; the construction is finished by 1905

The 20th Century

1900s -Rise in popularity of vaudeville
1900-1910 -Peak years of immigration
1900 -Gold Standard Act
-U.S. exports total $1.5 billion
1901 -Henry Clay Frick plays a major role in the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, later becoming a director

-United States Steel Corporation is founded
-Assassination of President William McKinley
-Theodore Roosevelt is 26th President of the United States of America

1903 -First baseball World Series
1905 -On February 20, The Lanham Act governs common law trademark rights, acquired automatically when a business uses a name or logo in commerce and are enforceable in state courts; marks registered with the federal government (today's U.S. Patent & Trademark Office) are given a higher degree of protection in federal courts than unregistered marks; both registered and unregistered trademarks are granted some degree of federal protection under the Lanham Act

-Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon are equal partners in the firm A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford, PA; the distillery complex operates with a daily capacity of 1,500 bushels of grain and 6,450 gallons of whiskey

-On Sunday, November 20, the Broad Ford Overholt Distillery suffers a devastating fire; The Weekly Courier in Connellsville, PA, publishes a wide-ranging article, Big Fire at the Overholt Distillery, on Thursday, November 24, relating the dramatic events surrounding a fire destroying "Ware House D," leading to an estimated loss of $800,000 in destroyed whiskey, loss of business, and payment of tax on the whiskey

1906 -A. Overholt and Company suffers another financial blow with the loss of revenue stamps worth $10,000

The A. Overholt Company Gobbles Up a
New Distillery Concern That Had the
Old West Overton Plant.


A. Overholt Company, owner of the big Broadford [sic] distillery, has purchased the interests of the Old Overholt Company. The latter concern planned to operate the old Overholt distillery at West Overton, which Abraham Overholt established in 1810. He later built a more modern plant at Broadford [sic], and his interests were then bought by H. C. Frick and the Mellons, of Pittsburg [sic].
Several months ago A. C. and B. F. Overholt [sic], grandsons of Abraham Overholt, with fellow Scottdale capitalists, organized a company with a capital of $250,000 to take over the old distillery and operate it.
A suit was instituted against the A. Overholt Company over the right to use the Overholt name. This was settled by the deal just closed.

-From The Mount Pleasant Journal, Mount Pleasant, PA;
Thursday, February 8, 1906; page 7.

-Karen's Note: The grandsons mentioned in the article were Benjamin Franklin Overholt (1848-1816) and Abraham Carpenter Overholt (1858-1923), sons of Henry S. Overholt (1810-1870) and Abigail Carpenter (1824-1898). Henry was the oldest son of Abraham Overholt and Maria Stauffer.

-The trademark OLD FARM is used in commerce at West Overton Distilling Company, perhaps beginning March 1, 1906, if not earlier; filing for the mark will not be done until the autumn of 1929; West Overton Distilling Company also uses the trademark West Overton Rye

-Pure Food and Drug Act
-U.S. invades Cuba

1907 -Economic Panic

-On August 31, Benjamin Franklin Overholt (1848-1916) and Ralph Overholt (1870-1956) are among the investors and directors filing a certificate of incorporation in West Virginia for the Fairmont and Southern Railroad Company, seeking to build a new railroad line from Belington, West Virginia, via. Grafton and Fairmont to a point at or near the City of Pittsburgh, PA; Benjamin is a son of Henry S. Overholt (1810-1870) and Abigail Carpenter (1824-1898); Benjamin's nephew, Ralph, is a son of his sister, Sarah Ann Overholt (1846-1921) and cousin Aaron S. R. Overholt (1837-1905); Sarah Ann and Aaron, along with their sons Ralph and Clyde, are the last Overholt family to live in the Abraham Overholt Homestead House. As an adult, Ralph lived in Pittsburgh.

-Karen's Note: A Tribune-Review news article from 2003, Railroads contributed greatly to area's economic development, lists the Everett, Fairmont, Morgantown and Pittsburgh Railroad as prior to 1890, the Pittsburgh and Southern Railroad (1879), the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad (prior to 1896).

-On September 3, 1907, the front page under the banner of The Fairmont West Virginian newspaper declares in their largest font, NEW RAILROAD LINE PROJECTED FROM BELINGTON TO PITTSBURG [sic]; font about half that size adds, FAIRMONT AND SOUTHERN WILL FIGHT THE B. AND N. The two articles below tell the story, showing how complicated it could be to build a railroad line.


Local People Are Interested

The granting of a certificate of incorporation to the Fairmont and Southern Railroad Company and the company's (filing) for record the map and profile of the proposed route of the new road have caused much talk among the citizens of the city and a great deal of speculation has been indulged in as to the outcome of the fight that is bound to come between the Fairmont and Southern and the interests that control the Buckhannon and Northern as the survey of the proposed Fairmont and Southern covers the survey of the Buckhannon and Northern or what is known as a blanket survey. This is sure to bring about a fight which will be looked upon with interest. The matter may be carried to the highest court of resort before it is settled. The proposed road is to be built from Belington to Pittsburg [sic].
Some interesting facts have been ascertained on good authority from one who is thoroughly acquainted with the inside workings of the large companies that are constructing roads and from what could be gleaned we gathered the following interesting bit of information:
Several years ago the Buckhannon and Northern railroad was sold out to a representative of the Gould interests, viz., Ramsey. When Ramsey and Gould had their quarrel Ramsey refused to turn over the Buckhannon and Northern to Gould for whom it was bought but held onto it and later disposed of it to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and its allied interest, namely, the Pittsburg [sic] and Lake Erie Railroad Company. It is said that with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and its allied interests in control of the Buckhannon and Northern that road is not likely to be built and if it is built, the Baltimore and Ohio company will reap the whole benefit of the road and will still have a firmer grip on the people in the upper Monongahela valley. Then again, the constitution of West Virginia forbids any railroad company building a parallel road with one that it has already in operation, so if the interests that are now in control of the Buckhannon and Northern construct the road, they will be forced to sell it to a company that will operate in competition to its present owners.
It was probably for this reason that a blanket survey of the proposed route of the Buckhannon and Northern was made. If the Buckhannon and Northern is not built the procedure of the Fairmont and Southern will likely be to go into a court of equity and have the real owners of the holdings of that road disclosed. Then the new company will institute condemnation proceedings against the Buckhannon and Northern after the purchase price has been tendered in open court and in that way secure the end for which it will contend. the Fairmont and Southern company, if the Buckhannon and Northern is built by its present owners, will attack the constitutionality of the proceeding and will do its utmost to force the company to sell out so that instead of having co-operative lines in the Monongahela valley and Tygart's valley we will have competitive lines.
From either point of view it looks as if the Fairmont and Southern has a cinch on the Buckhannon and Northern.
The following dispatch was sent out by the United Press Association concerning the new company:
NEW CUIMBERLAND, W. Va., Sept. 3. -- Ralph Overholt, of Pittsburg [sic], and Benj. F. Overholt, of Scottdale, Pa., is head of a new company under West Virginia laws proposing to build a new railroad through Tygart valley into Pittsburg [sic]. The company was chartered with nominal stock of twenty-five thousand dollars and will be known as the Fairmont and Southern ....

(Continued on Page Eight.)

New Railroad
(Continued from Page One.)

Railroad Company. Associated with Overholt interests are John T. Williams, Baltimore, Md., Chas. F. Teter, Philippi, West Virginia, Waitman H. and Chas. E. Conaway, of Fairmont, West Virginia. The new road commences near Belington in Barbour county, extending through Tygart's valley to the Monongahela river, taking in the cities of Fairmont and Grafton, W. Va., and from Fairmont to Pittsburg [sic]. Operations will begin soon.

-from the September 3, 1907 edition of The Fairmont West Virginian


(Other Items, then the following.)

Certificate of Incorporation.

A certificate of incorporation dated August 31, 1907, has been granted to the Fairmont and Southern Railroad Company. The xxxxxx of incorporation contain the following clauses:
First, The name of the corporation shall be the Fairmont and Southern Railroad Company.
Second. The railroad which this corporation proposes to build will commence at or near the town of Belington, in the County of Barbour, in the State of West Virginia, and to run thence by the most practical route, along the Tygart's Valley river and the Monongahela river, via. Grafton and Fairmont to a point at or near the City of Pittsburg [sic] in the State of Pennsylvania.
Third, The principal business office of this corporation will be at Fairmont, in the county of Marion, State of West Virginia.
Fourth, This corporation shall continue perpetually.
Fifth, The capital stock of this company shall be Twenty-five Thousand ($25,000.00) Dollars, divided into shares of One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars each.
Sixth, The names and places of residence of the persons forming this corporation, and the number of shares of stock subscribed by each, are as follows:
John F. Williams, Baltimore, Md., one share. Benjamin F. Overholt, Scottdale, Pa., one share. Ralph Overholt, Pittsburg [sic], Pa., one share. Charles F. Teter, Philippi, W. Va., one share. Samuel A. Moore, Philippi, W. Va., one share. Charles E. Conaway, Fairmont, W. Va., one share. Waitman H. Conaway, Fairmont, W. Va., one share.
The officers of the new company are:
Charles E. Conaway, president; C. F. Teter, of Philippi, vice president; Waitman H. Conaway, secretary and statutory attorney; S. A. Moore, of Philippi, treasurer; John F. Williams, of Baltimore, general counsel. The directors are: B. F. Overholt, Scottdale, Pa.; Ralph Overholt, Pittsburg [sic]; J. F. Williams, Baltimore; C. F. Teter, S. A. Moore, Philippi; C. E. Conaway, of this city
The map and profile of the proposed Fairmont and Southern which has been admitted at the county clerk's office for record shows that it is a counterpart of the proposed route of the much talked of Buckhannon and Northern. In other words, it is a blanket survey of the Buckhannon and Northern.

1908 -William H. Taft is elected 27th President of the United States of America

-On June 10, Karen's grandfather, GEORGE Frederick Overholt (1892-1966) graduates with the senior class of 1908 in the Mount Pleasant Institute 35th annual commencement in the Grand Opera House of Mount Pleasant, PA; he performs on piano for three of the eight events that were scheduled over five days, from Saturday afternoon, June 6, to Wednesday night, June 10; at the Graduate Recital on Tuesday afternoon, GEORGE performs An der Quelle by Piutti and Rhapsodie by Brahme; at the Senior Reception on Tuesday evening, he performs an instrumental solo; at the Graduation Night exercises on Wednesday, he performs The Brook by Pape

-On Thursday, June 11, 1908, The Mount Pleasant Journal publishes an extensive article about the events comprising the 35th annual commencement at Mount Pleasant Institute, mentioning all the students who participated in the Under-Graduate Recital, Declamation Contests, Baccalaureate Sermon, Musical Contests, Graduate Recital, Senior Reception, and Graduation Night

-From the Mount Pleasant Journal, June 11, 1908
The State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historic Newspapers

1909 -NAACP is founded
1910 -Motion pictures have become an art form
-Mexican revolution begins
1911 -On February 1, Christian Stauffer Overholt dies at the age of 86; a local newspaper reports he died in the early morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Carl C. Law (i.e., Anna May Overholt Law), 325 Graham Street, East End (325 S. Graham Street, Pittsburgh)

Funeral of C. S. Overholt

"Funeral services will be held at 11 o'clock Saturday morning in the Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant, Pa., for Christian Stauffer Overholt, aged 86, who died early yesterday morning in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Carl C. Law, 325 Graham street, East End. Mr. Overholt was the last surviving member of the family that established the distilling firm of Overholt and Company at West Overton, Westmoreland county, Pa., in 1805 [sic]. He was born in West Overton, the youngest son of Abraham and Maria Overholt. At an early age he became associated in business with his father and brothers, and upon the death of the former, he succeeded to the management of the family estate and business.

"For years Mr. Overholt was president of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, Pa., and he also was for many years a trustee of Bucknell University. In 1898 Gov. Daniel H. Hastings appointed him one of the commissioners of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, at Omaha, Neb.

"Mr. Overholt was one of the founders of the Mt. Pleasant Classical and Scientific Institute and was for 25 years president of its board of directors. He was a Mason, being a life member of Kedron Commandery of Greensburg, Pa. In 1852 Mr. Overholt married Miss Catherine Lippincott Newmeyer, who died in 1894. Of this union there were six children, of whom four survive, Miss Alice C. Overholt of this city, Mrs. George Nox McCain of Philadelphia, Pa.; Mrs. Carl C. Law and W. S. Overholt of this city, the latter being connected with the H. C. Frick Coal and Coke Company. Mr. Overholt also leaves nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was an uncle of Henry Clay Frick."

-Taken from Funeral of C. S. Overholt, a news article from an unknown newspaper,
found at the Find A Grave Memorial for Christian Stauffer Overholt (1824-1911),
added by Greiner101 on 24 Feb 2022.

1912 -Woodrow Wilson is elected 28th President of the United States of America
-U.S. troops enter Cuba again
-U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua
1913 -First moving assembly line at Ford Motor Co.
1914 -Federal Trade Commission Act
-Clayton Anti-Trust Act
-U.S. troops invade Mexico
-First World War begins in Europe
-Panama Canal opens
1915 -D. W. Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation
1916 -U.S. troops invade Mexico again
1917 -U.S. entry into First World War
-Selective Service Act
-Espionage Act
-War Industries Board created
-Federal courts create the Aunt Jemima Doctrine, protecting trademarks even when used by an established trademark to sell a different product (e.g., pancake syrup, rather than pancake mix)
1918-1919 -Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919; known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe," the flu kills between 20 million and 40 million people world-wide, cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

"In the fall of 1918 the Great War in Europe was winding down and peace was on the horizon. The Americans had joined in the fight, bringing the Allies closer to victory against the Germans. Deep within the trenches these men lived through some of the most brutal conditions of life, which it seemed could not be any worse. Then, in pockets across the globe, something erupted that seemed as benign as the common cold. The influenza of that season, however, was far more than a cold. In the two years that this scourge ravaged the earth, a fifth of the world's population was infected. The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. This pattern of morbidity was unusual for influenza which is usually a killer of the elderly and young children. It infected 28 percent of all Americans (Tice). An estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the pandemic, ten times as many as in the world war. Of the U.S. soldiers who died in Europe, half of them fell to the influenza virus and not to the enemy (Deseret News). An estimated 43,000 servicemen mobilized for WWI died of influenza (Crosby). 1918 would go down as unforgettable year of suffering and death and yet of peace....

"The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5 percent compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1 percent. The death rate for 15 to 34-year-olds of influenza and pneumonia were 20 times higher in 1918 than in previous years (Taubenberger). People were struck with illness on the street and died rapid deaths....One physician writes that patients with seemingly ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," (Grist, 1979). Another physician recalls that the influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth," (Starr, 1976). The physicians of the time were helpless against this powerful agent of influenza....

"The influenza pandemic circled the globe. Most of humanity felt the effects of this strain of the influenza virus. It spread following the path of its human carriers, along trade routes and shipping lines. Outbreaks swept through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Brazil and the South Pacific (Taubenberger). In India the mortality rate was extremely high at around 50 deaths from influenza per 1,000 people (Brown).  The Great War, with its mass movements of men in armies and aboard ships, probably aided in its rapid diffusion and attack. The origins of the deadly flu disease were unknown but widely speculated upon. Some of the allies thought of the epidemic as a biological warfare tool of the Germans. Many thought it was a result of the trench warfare, the use of mustard gases and the generated "smoke and fumes" of the war. A national campaign began using the ready rhetoric of war to fight the new enemy of microscopic proportions."

See the full article at (https://virus.stanford.edu/uda/).

1918 -U.S. troops at Chateau-Thierry
-U.S. troops intervene in Russia

-On March 28, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon and R. B. Mellon are still equal partners in the firm A. Overholt and Company at Broad Ford; Mellon writes to Frick about the “110,000,000 gallons of beverage spirits of all kinds,” and speculates about profits after being ordered to shut down, due to Prohibition

1919 -Steel Strike undermined by “steel barons”
-Eighteenth Amendment ratified (Prohibition)

-West Overton Distilling Company is shut down due to Prohibition

-Broad Ford's Overholt Distillery remains in operation “for medicinal purposes,” with a capacity of 1,800 bushels of grain and 7,700 gallons of whiskey per day; later the capacity rises to 2,270 bushels of grain and 9,760 gallons of whiskey per day

-On December 2, Henry Clay Frick dies at his home in New York City, and is buried three days later in Pittsburgh, PA, following a private funeral attended by Andrew Mellon, the executor of his will; Frick leaves one-sixth of his fortune to his family, and the rest to charitable institutions in New York, Pittsburgh and the West Overton-Connellsville Coke Region; Frick bequeaths 15 million dollars for an endowment and his Fifth Avenue mansion to New York City to establish The Frick Collection, a trove of paintings, bronzes, and enamels he had collected over a 40-year period; Frick's other gifts include a 150-acre park and a two million dollar endowment to the city of Pittsburgh, plus liberal contributions to Princeton University

1920 -Majority of Americans (51.4 percent) live in cities
-Warren G. Harding is elected 29th President of the United States of America
-First commercial radio broadcast
1920-1921 -Postwar deflation and depression
1921 -Federal Highway Act
-Immigration quotas established
1922 -Economic recovery
-Mussolini comes to power in Italy
1923 -Calvin Coolidge is 30th President of the United States of America
1924 -On October 15, Karen's father, (Arthur) FREDERIC John Overholt (1924-1985), is born in Pittsburgh, PA, the first of two sons of George Frederick Overholt (1892-1966) and Esther Mae Willis (1904-1930); he serves in the U.S. Army during World War II, seeing action in China along the Burma Road; after the war, he is in the new U.S. Air Force and his military career includes serving in Rabat (Morocco), Tripoli (Libya) and Bangkok (Thailand), earning the rank of Master Sergeant; he marries (1947) Rose Joann Plocido (1929-2010) and they have five children: Michael, KAREN, Frederic, Jr., Duane, Stephanie
1925 -Fundamentalism vs. science in Scopes trial
1926 -American troops occupy Nicaragua
1927 -Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight
-First sound movie, The Jazz Singer
1928 -Stock market soars
-Herbert C. Hoover is elected 31st President of the United States of America
1929-1933 -100,000 American businesses fail
-Corporate profits fall from $10 billion to $1 billion
-Gross National Product is cut in half
1929 -Onset of the Great Depression
-Federal Farm Board created
-Stock market crash
1930 -Six million Americans are jobless; millions more are under-employed
1931 -Japan seizes Manchuria
-Stock market crash
1932 -Ford Hunger March in Dearborn
-Bonus March on Washington, D.C.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt elected 32nd President of the United States of America
1933 -13 million Americans are unemployed
-Nine million savings accounts have been lost, amounting to $2.5 billion in losses
-Beer-Wine Revenue Bill
-Agriculture Adjustment Act
-Tennessee Valley Authority established
-National Industrial Recovery Act
-Hitler comes to power in Germany
-U.S. recognition of Soviet Russia
-Good Neighbor policy announced
-U.S. subverts Cuban revolution
-Film King Kong released
-21st Amendment ratified (repeals Prohibition)
1935 -National Labor Relations Act
-Social Security Act
-Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO)
-Italy invades Ethiopia
-Neutrality Act

-In December 1935, The Frick Collection is finally opened to the public, bequeathed to New York City upon his death in December 1919; fifteen million dollars for an endowment and his Fifth Avenue mansion were bequeathed to New York City to establish The Frick Collection, consisting of paintings, bronzes and enamels collected over a 40-year period of his life, along with the mansion furnishings

OVERHOLT: History of a Whiskey was written circa 1935.

END OF TIMELINE -- Go back to Karen's Branches

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