STRICKLER, JOSEPH S., farmer, stock raiser and lime manufacturer, of Hummelstown, Pa., was born on the old Strickler homestead, in Derry township, Dauphin county, Pa., September 1, 1834.
It is pleasant to write and profitable to read the simple chronicles of a family like the stricklers. They display those virtues which are developed and strengthened and bequeathed to succeeding generations in the lines of those who till the soil and live in the country. Such families are the strength and glory of the nation, and the promise and potency of its enduring prosperity. Mr. Strickler is a representative of the fourth generation of those of his name and line who have lived and labored and rested where he now has his home, his occupation and his enjoyment. His great-grandfather, Abraham Strickler, who was of German ancestry, bought this farm, now known as the "Strickler Homestead," about 1766. The Stricklers throughout the county spring from that owner of the Derry township farm. Abraham Strickler bequeathed the farm to his son, Henry Strickler; for easy identification, let him be called the first Henry Strickler. He married Miss Fronica Ziegler, and they occupied and cultivated the homestead farm. They had four children. One of these children was the second Henry Strickler, the father of Joseph S. The second Henry Strickler was a noted farmer and stockman. He occupied and tilled the homestead farm for the greater part of his life. In 1831 he married Elizabeth Shanks, who was born in Lancaster county, Pa. They had eight children: Joseph S., John, living in Cumberland county; Fannie, wife of J. Lowe, of Cumberland county, Pa.; David, died young; Samuel, farmer, of Cumberland county; Henry, railroad engineer, Fort Wayne and Chicago railroad, residing at Ashtabula, Ohio; Abraham, died young; Annie, unmarried, living in Cumberland county. In 1859 he removed from the old homestead, in Derry township, to Cumberland county, Pa., where he engaged extensively in farming and stock raising, and where he died in 1886. His wife died in 1880. He was a Republican and a member of the Mennonite church. He was a prosperous man, of solid character and great personal worth.
Joseph S. Strickler attended the schools of Derry township, and took an English course in Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pa.; he also took a commercial course. After studying at Gettysburg for three years he returned to the homestead, and for five years he conducted the farm for his father. His father then removed to Cumberland county, and Joseph took charge of the homestead. He gave to the old farm his undivided attention and it became his joy and his pride. He planned important improvements and proceeded to work out his plans. In 1886 he erected one of the finest stone dwellings in the township, and furnished it with all modern conveniences, gas, hot and cold water, and bath room, also heating it throughout with steam. He built a magnificent barn with a stone basement, and furnished it at a cost of six thousand dollars. He made an additional outlay of two thousand dollars upon other outhouses and minor buildings. Altogether, upon new buildings and improvements, he expended fourteen thousand dollars, and thus made for himself one of the most convenient, substantial and luxurious farm homes in the State.
He cultivates two hundred and thirty-five acres of land and keeps the entire farm under the most skillful and productive tillage. His farm is stocked with the finest breeds of horses, cattle, hogs and sheeps, and no farmer surpasses him in raising live stock. In addition to his extensive and profitable operations in agriculture, he has fitted up a lime burning plant of several kilns, and is now able to produce thirty thousand bushels of lime per year.
He was one of the promoters of the Farmerís Bank, of Hummelstown, and has been a director of the bank since 1885. He is a Republican, but his political action centers in voting, not in seeking office. He was elected justice of the peace, but would not accept the office. He has always found enough in his farm and business to employ his time and strength. Mr. Strickler is a model business man and an explempary citizen. He is enterprising and progressive and in every way up with the times. He is widely known and everywhere honored and respected.
In December, 1858, he married, in Middletown, Susan, daughter of Jacob B. Hummel, of Hummelstown, Pa., born December 18, 1840. They had twelve children, three of whom are living: Marian C., born September 8, 1859, wife of Dr. M.R. Fisher, of Campbellstown, Pa., a practicing physican; Charles, born October 5, 1868, educated in the district schools and Commercial College, in Philadelphia, resides on the homestead, is an excellent young man, well-equipped for business and promises a successful career, unmarried; Edwin J., educated at college, now in New Orleans. The deceased children are: Elizabeth, born February 26, 1865, died March 19, 1865; Samuel H., born September 30, 1863, died October 14, 1866; George H., born October 24, 1862, died September 1, 1877; Katie H., born August 26, 1870, died July 27, 1886; A. Lincoln, born November 8, 1860; died January 2, 1887. Four other children died in infancy. Mr. Strickler married his second wife. Emma Epler, born in Londonderry township, April 6, 1847. She died April 10, 1895, without issue.