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NEWBECKER, JOHN J., master mechanic of merchant and billet mill, Pennsylvania Steel Works, Steelton, Pa., was born near Halifax. Dauphin county, Pa., February 5, 1850. He is a son of Dr. J. B. and Caroline (Maise) Newbecker. His great-great-grand-father, John Martin Newbecker, came over the ocean from Rotterdam in the ship Edinburg. He qualified September 15, 1749, and settled at the mouth of Powell’s creek on the Susquehanna river, eighteen miles above Harrisburg. His son, Philip Newbecker, great-grandfather of John J. Newbecker, was first lieutenant of the Sixth company, Fourth battalion of associated battalions and militia of the Revolution, in 1777, under Col. Robert Elder. Philip Newbecker, Jr., grandfather of John J., was a farmer and blacksmith for many years at Powell’s creek, Dauphin county. He was also an expert gunsmith and manufactured rifles and shop guns from the raw material. Some of these weapons are still in existence in Dauphin county. He died about twenty years ago, at the age of seventy-eight, leaving three sons, George, Samuel, and John B.

The third son, John B. Newbecker, was the father of John J. Newbecker, and was born at Halifax, Dauphin county, July 2, 1820; son of Philip and Mary M. (Rhawn) Newbecker. He attended the schools of his native borough, after which he began the study of medicine with Dr. S. P. Brown, of Halifax, and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1852. After practicing in Lower Augusta township, Northumberland county, until 1861, he settled in Trevorton and established his drug business, which he has since conducted in connection with his practice. In 1862 the Doctor was commissioned by Governor Curtin as assistant surgeon of the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania volunteers, and in 1864 was attached to the While Hall hospital, Bucks county, Pa., and the Seminary hospital, Alexandria, Va. The Doctor is a Democrat. In 1871 he was elected to the State Legislature. He has served the township as treasurer, also many times as school director. He is connected with the Masonic fraternity and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Dr. Newbecker was married, in 1842, to Caroline, daughter of Henry Maize, of Dauphin county. Four of their children are living: Philip, a physician , of Danville, Pa.; Louisa, wife of A. L. Bastress, of Lycoming county, Pa.; John J., master mechanic at Steelton; and Mary M., wife of J. J. John, Lykens, Pa. Dr. Newbecker is a member of the Baptist church. He is regarded as one of the representative citizens of Northumberland county.

John J. Newbecker was educated in the public schools and at Dixon’s Academy, which he attended until he was sixteen years old. He then learned his trade, that of machinist, with the Hickok Manufacturing Company, of Harrisburg, serving an apprenticeship of four years. He worked one year for the Harrisburg Foundry and Machine Company and then went to Kansas, where he took charge of the King Iron Bridge Company, of Topeka, as master mechanic, remaining there until 1874, when he returned to his native place. In 1875 Mr. Newbecker entered the employ of the Snyder Manufacturing Company, of Pottsville, Pa., builders of steam engines and mining machinery. After serving with this company for several years he became superintendent of the Shamokin Gas Company, and a year later began work for the Pennsylvania Coal Company, of Lykens, Pa., where he remained for a similar length of time. In 1878 he entered the service of the Pennsylvania Steel Company and worked as a mechanic for four years. Then a new mill, known as the "merchant and billet mills" being erected, Mr. Newbecker was, in 1881, made its master mechanic, a position which he fills to-day with the same integrity and devotion to duty that have characterized his work whenever he has been employed.

In 1891 Mr. Newbecker was elected a councilman of Steelton borough, in which capacity he served creditably for three years. He is affiliated with Robert Burns Lodge, No. 464, F. & A. M., Harrisburg, Pa.. and with Steelton Conclave, No. 106, I. O. H. He is also a director in the Steelton Home Water Company. John J. Newbecker was married, in 1880, to Alice E., daughter of John W. and Sarah A. (Nein) Geiger. Their children are: Leon M., Verna A., Margie, and Brice Atwood. Nr. Newbecker and family attended the Reformed church.

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Transcribed by Judy Warner Bookwalter, for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project –
Date of Transcription: 10 July 2001
Copyright © 2001 – All Rights Reserved; Use, duplication, or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.