THEODORE D., was born in Harrisburg, Pa., December 11, 1820. He is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Krause) Greenawalt.
His great-grandfather, Philip Lorentz Greenawalt, was born in Germany in
1725, came to America in 1749, settled at Ephrata, Lancaster county, Pa., and
engaged in farming and hotel keeping. He
participated in the Revolutionary war, held the commission of colonel, and was
with Washington at Brandywine, Germantown, Trenton, Princeton, and in other
engagements. He was commissioned by
Thomas Wharton, Jr., as colonel of the First battalion of Lancaster county, of
which he was placed in command. He
was appointed by Governor Mifflin, in connection with Colonels Green, Burd and
Grubb, as a commission to devise ways and means to bring the war to a successful
After the close of the war he settled
at Lancaster, and kept a hotel. He
was identified with many successful business enterprises and accumulated a large
amount of property. He died in
Lebanon, PA., in 1802. He was a prominent member of the German Reformed Church.
He first married a Miss Uhland. His
second wife was Miss Margaret Foesser,
of Lebanon, by whom he had eleven children:
John Philip, Christian, married Elizabeth Kelker, John, Elizabeth,
married Henry Kelker, Margaret, married Philip Stoehr, Matthias, married Annie
Barbara Hetrick, Jacob, of Hummelstown, Catherine, married John Jacob Zinn,
Leonard, a tanner, of Lebanon County, married Catherine Pool, and two, Michael
and Maria M., who died in infancy.
John Philip Greenawalt, grandfather of
Major Greenawalt, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and was
commissioned first lieutenant. After the war he became a hotel keeper at
Lebanon. He was a member of the German Reformed church.
His children were: John Philip, died at the age of two years; Jacob; John
Philip(2), deceased, a carpenter, worked on the State capitol; Matthias,
deceased; John, married Ann Brown; Charles, who conducted a hardware business in
Lebanon for several years, married Mary Ann Shaffner; Elizabeth, deceased,
married Daniel Frantz, of Lebanon; Catharine, deceased, married Rev. Henry
Shaffer, of Marietta, Pa., and Lydia, married Benjamin Stees and located in St.
Jacob Greenawalt, father of Maj.
Theodore D., was born in Lebanon county in 1784.
He was educated, as usual, in the schools of that period, both in German
and in English. He came to
Harrisburg in 1811, and established a tannery, which he conducted until his
death in 1854. He learned his trade
from his uncle, Mr. Shaffner, in Hagerstown, Md.
He carried on a large business, and had the reputation of making the best
leather shipped to the Philadelphia market.
He was a stockholder in the Harrisburg Bank.
He was drafted for service in the war of 1812, but on account of sickness
was unable to serve, and sent a substitute.
Mr. Greenawalt took a pew in the Chestnut street German Reformed church
in 1821, and retained it until his death. He
took an active interest in all church work. His wife, Catherine Krause, was a daughter of David Krause,
associate judge of Lebanon county, and a sister of Judge Krause, of Norristown,
who, with his brother John, were members of the Pennsylvania Legislature at the
same time. They had eight children:
Louisa, deceased, married Philip Fisher, of Jonestown, Lebanon county, a tanner
and ex-sheriff of the county; Elizabeth, a maiden lady, of Harrisburg;
Theophilus, died in 1860, a tanner and currier; Camilla, died at three years of
age; Theodore D.; Regina C., married William Calder, of Harrisburg; Jacob and
Jeremiah K., both of Harrisburg.
Theodore D. Greenawalt was educated in
the subscription schools, and remained with his father until he was seventeen
years of age. At this time he was
employed as clerk by Philip Wolfersberger.
He was to receive a salary of one hundred dollars per annum, and pay for
all his own expenses. He worked under this contract for fifteen months and then
found employment with Dock & Hummel, with whom he remained one year. He was clerk also for Van Horn & Meredith.
In 1844 he embarked in the dry goods and grocery business for himself,
which he conducted for three years. He
then acted as clerk at the Coverly Hotel until 1849, when he entered the office
of William Calder, in the stage line and packet boat business, and remained with
him thirteen years. When the Prince
of Wales, on his tour through America, visited Harrisburg, Mr. Greenawalt, as
manager of the transfer business, had the honor of escorting Lord Lyons and the
Prince over the capital city. And
when Abraham Lincoln stopped in Harrisburg on his way to Washington City to be
inaugurated President of the United States, Mr. Greenawalt assisted Mr. Calder
in conveying the President-elect secretly from his hotel to a train of cars
which Hon. Thomas Scott had on the track a mile south of the city. During the
day Mr. Calder received a telegram from John s. Giddings, the banker, of
Baltimore, containing the words, "In no wise permit President Lincoln to go
to Washington by way of York of Baltimore."
Acting on this advice Mr. Calder ordered Mr. Greenawalt to bring out a
trusty team, which Mr. Calder himself drove with the President to the train, so
quietly that not even Mr. Lincoln's family, left by him at the supper table,
knew of his departure under fear of danger.
At the breaking out of the war, or in
May, 1861, Mr. Greenawalt turned the key in the office door, and enlisted as
private for three months under Capt. Henry McCormick.
(He already held the commission of brigade major, with the rank of
captain, for the counties of Dauphin, Lebanon and Berks, in the State militia.)
At the end of the three months' service, he was appointed by Gen. Simon
Cameron as assistant to Major Allison, in the paymaster's office; and on
November 26, 1862, he was appointed paymaster. His first duties in this position
were with the Army of the Potomac, in and around Washington.
He was then transferred to the department of the Mississippi, with
headquarters at St. Louis, Mo., and with payments at Vicksburg, Miss.
In this assignment he served fifteen months.
The boat in which he made his first trip down the river was loaded at St.
Louis with Government supplies, including $3,000,000, which Major Greenawalt was
to distribute among the soldiers. On the arrival of the boat at Cairo, Ill., the Captain
announced that it would lie over for six hours.
Major Greenawalt concluded to take a walk through the town.
Passing along the street, he met his next door neighbor, Theodore Adams,
who was waiting for a boat en route for St. Louis. He
and Mr. Adams enjoyed a long chat. At
last the Major, finding that it was about time for his boat to leave, went to
the wharf, and was surprised to learn that it was already gone, another boat
having arrived. Mr. Greenawalt took the next boat down the river, and while
on the way, passed the boat which had left him behind, and which was on fire.
He did not know at the time that it was the boat containing his effects,
the Government money, and his nephew and assistant, Theodore Fisher, who, with
fifty-two other persons, lost his life by this fire, the work of an incendiary.
Major Greenawalt was next assigned to the department of the Gulf, with
headquarters at New Orleans, and payments at Brownsville,
Natchez, Baton Rouge and other points. In
May, 1863, at Camp Gray, D. C., he was presented with a silver cup by the
officers of the Sixth Michigan cavalry. He
was mustered out of service November 15, 1865.
During Major Greenawalt's service as paymaster he had disbursed, with the
assistance of his clerk only, the sum of $3,564,289.42.
He holds a receipt from the paymaster general and the Secretary of War,
stating that the United States had no claim against him.
He received the appointment after the war of deputy U. S. marshal for the
counties of Dauphin, Union, Snyder, Juniata, Northumberland, and part of
The war being ended, Major Greenawalt
returned to Harrisburg, where he has since been connected with many important
enterprises. He is president of the
Harrisburg Car Manufacturing Company and of the Chestnut Street Market Company.
Of the former he is one of the heaviest stockholders, and has been
connected with the company since 1866; of the latter company he was among the
organizers. He is vice-president of
the Harrisburg Foundry and Machine Works, and of the East Harrisburg Passenger
Railway Company. He is a member of
the boards of directors of the following organizations:
Lebanon Gas Company, First National Bank of Harrisburg, Commonwealth
Guarantee Trust and Safe Deposit Company, People's Gas and Gaseous Fuel Company
of Harrisburg, Harrisburg Traction Company, Harrisburg Steam Heat and Power
Company, Harrisburg Burial Case Company, and Harrisburg Furniture Manufacturing
Company. In 1848 he became a
stockholder in the first telegraph company, called the Atlantic and Ohio
Telegraph Company. For thirteen years he was a member, with Jacob and Jeremiah
K. Greenawalt, of the firm of Greenawalt Bros., in the tannery business.
He has dealt largely in real estate, and has been running two fine farms
in Dauphin county since 1870.