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FOCHT, John, was born in Berks county, Pa., in 1799. When he was yet a boy his parents removed to Dauphin county and settled on the farm which is now the family homestead, near Linglestown. He was one of the pioneers of Dauphin county, and was reared in the ways and customs of pioneer life. He early began to work his own way. Since he had no material inheritance, it became needful for him to bring into play his native energy and enterprise. He first worked upon his fatherís farm, and was afterwards industriously employed in various occupations, as opportunities for obtaining employment presented themselves. Among his earlier ventures in business was the transportation of produce and merchandise by team between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and in several other directions as well. Freighting by his line was not as rapid as it is by rail and canal in our time, but it was more satisfactory in other ways. He learned to know every foot of the way and every house of entertainment on the road between the two cities. In good weather the trip was a picnic from start to finish. The company was good, for the best people of the country followed the turnpike for pleasure or profit, as they now follow the railroad. This stream of travel and transportation was also the news nerve of the Nation, for there were few newspapers and no telegraph or fast mail trains. In order to get the news one must be in touch with the turnpike.

What wonder that the jolly freighter was late in settling down at home? He was near the age of forty-five when he married Catherine Buck. They had two daughters. Elizabeth died at the age of twenty-three years, five months and five days. Mary M. is still living. His wife died November 28, 1870, aged about fifty-seven. Mr. Focht died April 15,1882, at the age of eighty-three. Politically he was a Republican. He was a man of great force of character and of solid worth. The golden rule was his law in business and in social intercourse. With habits of industry and frugality he easily accumulated a competence, and was able to leave a handsome property to his heirs. But his best legacy to them was his spotless reputation and his good name.

Mary M. Focht, sole surviving child of John Focht, received her education in the public schools. She remained with her parents until their death. In 1887 she removed to her present residence. Her uncle Jacob made his home with her until his death, which occurred January 22, 1887, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. Miss Focht is a member of the Lutheran church.


Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Ronald Singer for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project

Date of Transcription: 16 March 2001

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