Friday, September 30, 2016

Harshbarger line: A newspaper article about Simon Essig, 1754-1851

I've written about Simon Essig before, but this find is just to good to not pass along.   It was printed in the Canton Daily News of October 1, 1922 and was written by John McGregor.  I found it reprinted in the History of Stark County by Herbert t. O. Blue, which was published in 1928.  It's not usual to find evidence of a newspaper article for a man who died in 1851.  I would love to see the original newspaper article, because it apparently included a picture of the original home of the Essigs, but it's wonderful to find this and to be able to share it with you.

"Simon Essig, Revolutionary Soldier"

" In the pioneer days of this county it was, of course, very sparsely settled, the families being few and far between.

This condition necessarily brought the pioneer families into close social relations and intermarriage was a natural consequence.

In writing of one of these families, it is necessary to write of three old pioneers whose intermarriage is such that we cannot speak of one without bringing them all into our story. 

The first of these was the old Simon Essig family, among the earliest of our pioneer families.  The original Essig family, so far as our record goes, was that of Wendell Essig, a descendant of whom, named Frederick Essig, was major of the Canton Bern, Switzerland, in 1890.  This Wendell Essig was born February 7, 1700, and arrived in this country at Philadelphia September 17, 1749.  He was recorded on the ship's books as a Palatine, and it has always been suggested he was a Royal Grenadier of Frederick William, King of Prussia. 

Simon Essig, a descendant of of Wendell, came to Stark County from Cumberland County, Pa. in the year 1808 and settled on the farm later known as the Herbruck farm on the Harrisburg Road and now in the city limits. 

The illustration above shows the old log cabin erected by Simon Essig on the bank of Middlebranch Creek.  There were born to Simon Essig and wife six sons and six daughters and here in the wilderness did Simon Essig and wife rear a family of twelve children whose descendants now number many thousands.  Simon Essig died on the farm at the age of 97 years. 

His descendants are scattered across the entire United States and hold prominent positions of trust and honor.  One of his great grandsons, Hon. Scott Wike of Illinois, was assistant secretary of the treasury under Grover Cleveland and also represented his district in the United States Congress two terms.

Simon Essig was born in 1754 and died in 1852.  The last and youngest of Simon Essig's children was Rebecca, who died October 14,1896 at the advanced age of 96 years."

I also have notes under this source that say "Adam Essig and Jacob Essig, War of 1812 soldiers and Simon's sons, are also buried at Warstler's Cemetery."

I need to double check the date of Simon's death, as I show it as March 18, 1851.  If my date is wrong, I need to correct it.  The name of Simon's wife, mother of twelve children, is Julia Margaret Schnerr or Schneer. She also lived to a good old age, dying in 1844 at the age of 79.  Simon's son George, the Harshbarger connection, also served in the War of 1812.  He was wounded at Pu-in-Bay in one of the Indian skirmishes. 

I've blogged about Simon before but I thought this article was interesting since it reflects some of the stories in the family history, and gives more details about the life of the family.  I certainly wasn't expecting to find this when I picked up that particular book!

The line of descent is

Simon Essig-Julia Margaret Schnerr
George Essig-Catherine Shollenberger
Susannah Essig-Daniel Kemery
Adam Kemery-Nancy Fannie Buchtel
Della Kemery-William H Withers
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants