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Early, Aaron Daniel Seth, is of the fourth generation in the line of descent from Thomas Early. He was born May 14, 1828, in Lebanon county, on the farm known as the Beetime farm, half way between Palmyra and Cambellstown. He is a son of the late William Early, Esq., and Christiana (Kreider) Early, daughter of Rev. Martin Kreider. When seven years of age his father moved to Bendnaugles in 1835. He worked on the farm and went to the Bendnaugle’s parochial school until 1845, when he entered the store of his brother, M.G. Early, and went to Alexander Dasher’s school at Palmyra, Pa., until 1847. He then studied at the Lebanon Academy under John Gluge, principal, until 1848, when he went to Annville Mills, now Shiner P.O., one mile below New Market Forge, to represent his brother Martin’s half interest in a store. In 1849 he bought the store and began business for himself. He erected a new building, the largest and finest country store in Lebanon county, and also bought a farm, built two houses and two barns, and carried on his business and improved his property until 1857, when he sold out the store, moved to Annville, bought another store, Sertyer’s old stand, and carried on a large general mercantile business, and also dealt in real estate. He is a Republican in politics and was elected judge of elections of North Annville township in 1851, when he was twenty-three years of age. He was elected one of the corporators of the Annville Fire Insurance Company in 1858 or 1859, and one of the street commissioners to grade the town in 1860. On account of impaired health, he freed himself from business for one year. In 1861, in connection with John H. Balsbaugh, he bought the half interest in a large warehouse and entered the grain, milling and coal business at Swatara Station. In 1861 he was appointed postmaster by President Lincoln, and ticket agent by the Reading Railroad Company. He also built a large brick dwelling house at Swatara Station. In 1864 he sold his large business interests to Abraham Brechbill, ad moved to Hummelstown, and opened a large grain, coal and lime business. By his ability and influence he was instrumental in locating the Denominational College of the United Brethren in Christ at Annville, and was elected the first president of the board of trustees of this college. He was elected president of the board of commissioners to grade the town of Hummelstown. He was the discoverer of the Brown Hermetite ore mines near Swatara Station, and the organizer of the Swatara Iron Company, and was elected the general superintendent of the same. He was elected a director of the United Brethren Mutual Aid Society of Pennsylvania in 1869, and filled the place for twenty-seven years. In 1870 he was elected general superintendent for ten and filled it for eleven years, when he resigned on account of failing health. While in the office he traveled over twenty States and part of Canada. In 1872 he moved to Harrisburg in order to afford his children the advantages of education, improvement, culture and the enjoyment which the city affords. His residence is on the corner of Sixth and Kelker streets. He organized a Greenback Club in 1877 and was made candidate for Congress by that party, and ran far ahead even of the candidate for governor on the same ticket. He was one of the organizers of the Reily Hose Fire Company No.10, in Harrisburg, and was the first treasurer of the company. He was one of the first subscribers and a stockholder and organizer of the Kelker Street Market Company of Harrisburg. Is a stockholder in the first Harrisburg Street Railway Company. He is one of the organizers of the German-American Union. He was one of the first supporters and organizers of the Committee of One Hundred of the city of Harrisburg, and served as its chairman. Mr. Early was a subscriber of funds to build and aid four colleges, two Lutheran churches, one Church of God, thirty-two United Brethren in Christ churches, six parsonages, one printing house, four missionary societies, two church erection societies, and owner of forty-eight properties that were deeded to him. He was farmer, merchant, grain and coal dealer, mineralogist, inventor, insurance manager, or general agent of insurance, builder, lecturer and minister of the gospel.

Mr. Early, January 1, 1859, received a quarterly conference license of the United Brethren Church, without his knowledge, by a unanimous vote of said Quarterly, to preach the gospel at Annville, Lebanon county, Pa., signed by the presiding elder, Rev. A Steigerwalt. On January 12, 1861, at the annual conference of the same church held at Pine Grove, Schuylkill county, Pa., after the examination on his character and regular reading course, he also received a conference license, of the East Pennsylvania Conference, to preach the gospel, signed by Bishop J.J. Glossbrenner. February 28, 1864, at the annual conference held at Schuylkill Haven, Mr. Early was ordained an elder of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and received authority to administer the ordinances, signed by Bishop J Markwood.

Mr. Early was married January 23, 1851, to Miss Amanda A. Mark, daughter of Rev. George A. and Christiana Runkel Mark. To them have been born six children, four of whom are living, namely: Clara S., wife of E. W. S. Parthemore; Minerva J., single; Ida E., wife of Albert Deitrich; Nora J., wife of William Deitrich; two sisters having married two brothers on the same day.

William Early, the father of A.D.S. Early, was one of the founders of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, an active politician, a Whig until after Gen. William Henry Harrison’s presidential election, when he turned Democrat, and all his sons Republicans, except his son Joshua Heaster, who was an independent voter. After 1865, his oldest son, John, also became a Democrat, and his son Daniel Seth turned to the Greenbacks, and was a leader of that party, and ever since, he says he is "an Independent of the Independents." All the rest of the Earlys are still Republicans.

pages 286, 289 & 290 transcribed by Judy Laros (jlaros@earthlink.net)