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ETZWILER, WILLIAM H., blacksmith and general iron worker, was born in Jefferson township, Dauphin county, Pa., August 28, 1866. His great-grandfather, Daniel Etzwiler, was killed by the Indians in Lykens Valley many years ago. Daniel Etzwiler, Jr., grandfather of William H., was a farmer and stockman in Lykens Valley, where he was born in 1800. He married Christina Smith. His son, Michael Etzwiler, father of William H., was born at Elizabethville, in the Lykens Valley, November 15, 1831. He attended school in Washington and Jefferson townships, and worked as a farm laborer until he was twenty-one years old. He then went to Hanover township and served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade, then worked as journeyman, spending in all five years there. After that he returned to Jefferson township, where he passed the remainder of his life. He worked at his trade for thirty-five years and was patronized by all the surrounding country. He also cultivated a small farm.

Michael Etzwiler was married September 27, 1855, in Jackson township, to Catherine Bodner, born in Lykens township, March 12, 1838; daughter of Jacob and Mary (Snyder) Bodner, of Jackson township. They have had nine children: Amanda, born June 16, 1856, wife of James W. Nelson. farmer and dairyman, of Mercer county, Pa.: Rebecca J., born February 4, 1858, wife of John C. Nelson, farmer, Mercer county; Christina, born July 3, 1860, died August 31, 1860; Anna Sophia, born September 16, 1864, died August 20, 1866; William H.; Nathaniel E., born January 3, 1869, carpenter, in Mercer county; Jacob F., born July 7, 1871, blacksmith, with his brother William H.; Simon, born January 14, 1875, died October 6,1879, and Carrie E., born May 3, 1878, is at home. Mr. Etzwiler was first a Democrat, but his political views changing in later life, he became a Republican. He was a justice of the peace for twenty-five consecutive years; for several years he was a school director. He was a member of the Lutheran church, in which he was deacon, elder, treasurer and trustee, and superintendent of the Sundayschool. He died December 14, 1893. He was a good man, liked and honored by all who knew him.

William H. Etzwiler attended school in Jefferson township and two sessions in .Mercer county. In the latter county he worked two years as dairyman. After this he returned to Jefferson township and worked in his father's shop. In 1891 his father sold to him his interest in the slop and retired from business. He has since conducted the business with success. He was married, in Jackson township, August 28, 1891. to Amelia Enterline, born in Wayne township, May 10, 1871. They had four children : Thomas G., born October 26, 1891 ; Emma R., July 12, 1892 ; Michael J., July 3, 1894, deceased, and Gertrude E., September 13, 1895.

Mr. Etzwiler is a Republican. He is a school director, has been delegate to conventions, and clerk of elections, and has served in various township offices. He attends the Lutheran church and is a hard-working, upright and intelligent man, enterprising and successful in business. He is genial in social intercourse and is esteemed for his many excellencies of character.

Jacob F. Etzwiler, brother of William H., was married, in Fisherville, December 25, 1894, to Jennie G. Lehr, daughter of Emanuel and Isabella Lehr, of Enterline, Wayne township, Dauphin county, and to this union has been born one child, Carrie B., born June 18, 1895. He is election inspector, a Republican in political views, and attends the Lutheran church.


Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Joanne Nichols for The Dauphin

County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 29 Jan 2001

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