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LUTHER, JOHN, was a native of Freuhlingen, Germany, born on the 1st of April, 1756. In his youth he came to America, and with either his parents or friends located in Virginia. He studied medicine, and married in that state, coming to Harrisburg in 1785, the year it was laid out, purchasing the lot now occupied by the Harrisburg National Bank and the house adjoining, the latter of which he erected. Here he at once began his profession, which proved a successful one. He was chosen at the first election held under the charter given the borough, one of the burgesses, and subsequently served as a member of the town council, of which body he was at one time president.

From the "Reminiscenses of an Octogenarian," we have this description of Dr. Luther: "He was a man somewhat resembling the great reformer, Martin Luther, if I dare judge from the printed representation I have seen of the latter. He was of medium height and proportionately stout. He was a very pleasant man and agreeably received whenever he entered company. He carried a snuff box and made frequent use of its contents. He wore black cloth coat, vest and breeches, with buckles on his shoes. He was popular as a physican and esteemed highly for his skill. He wore his hair in a cue, as was common in the early times of Harrisburg, but wherever he went there was healing in the creak of his shoes. When he felt your pulse, told you to put out your tongue, and smelled the ivory on the top of his cane, you might be sure he was hunting for a fever, or something direful, that might require a dose of calomel and jalap..... Dr. Luther was of a jovial disposition, and it was said, as was the custom of those days when anti-fogmatics was necessary to keep off fever and ague, that he Ďdidnít object to his patients taking a little tansy bitters in the morning.í His practice was extensive."

Dr. Luther died at Harrisburg on Monday, January 28, 1811, in his fifty-fourth year.

Dr. Luther married, May 21, 1779, Barbara Weaver, of Philadelphia. She was probably the mother of all his children. The doctor subsequently married Eva Hisser, born in 1766, died at Harrisburg, Wednesday, August 15, 1804. Dr. Luther had four children: Catharne, Cornelius, Martin, and John. All of his sons became physicans. Dr. Cornelius and Martin remained at Harrisburg, and succeeded, in a great measure, to their fatherís practice. Cornelius died quite young and Martin April 29, 1829, aged forty-five years. Dr. John Luther settled in New Holland, Lancaster county; married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Diller, and raised a large family. Catharine Luther married Dr. King, of Hummelstown, and on becoming a widow married Judge William Lyon, of Cumberland county. The remains of Dr. Luther, his wife and two sons are interred in the Harrisburg cemetery.


Dorothy Bumbaugh

Sidney, Indiana page 353