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BALSBAUGH, JOHN H., was born in Derry township, Dauphin county, Pa., July 11, 1828. He was educated in the common schools and made farming his occupation until 1858, when he engaged in the coal and grain business at Swatara, where he erected the first building and secured the location of a station by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. He was at the head of the latter business until 1881, when he sold out and gave his attention chiefly to farming, cultivating about seven hundred acres and making substantial improvements in buildings and equipments. He was a large real estate owner, and was considered one of the most successful and progressive farmers in the county. He was manager of the Swatara Stone and Lime Company, in which he had large interests, and was a stockholder and director of the National Bank, of Hummelstown, from its organization in 1886. He was married, December 23, 1847, to Mary, daughter of Abraham and Mary (Landis) Brightbill, born near Campbellstown, Lebanon county, Pa., October 13, 1827. She was a kind-hearted woman, and universally loved and respected. The needy were never turned away from her door unaided. They had two children: Linda, who died young, and Hiram Whewell. Mr. and Mrs. Balsbaugh met death suddenly on the night before Christmas, 1895. They were found in their bedchamber on Christmas morning poisoned to death by the escape of noxious gas from a defective stove pipe. The high esteem in which they were held in the community was attested by the gathering at the funeral of the largest concourse of people ever assembled on a like occasion in that section. Fully three thousand people were there met, with hearts full of sympathy and sorrow, and with eyes suffused with tears.

Hiram Whewell Balsbaugh, the only surviving child and the only son of John H. and May Balsbaugh, deceased, was born June 12, 1856. He received a classical education, beginning with a primary course in the district schools and finishing with the curriculum at Cornell University. After completing his studies he was a partner with his father in the grain business until 1881, when he engaged in journalism, and was employed on leading daily newspapers of New York and Chicago. He became connected with a prominent life insurance company of New York in 1888, occupying positions of trust and responsibility, until the sudden death of his father made it necessary for him to make a homestead, at Swatara, his residence and assume the settlement and care of the estate. He was married, April 29, 1896, to Theodora, daughter of Theodore Pfafflin, of New York, manager of Chickering & Sons, piano manufacturers.



Transcribed by Dorothy Bumbaugh,, for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project--