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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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FREDERICK B. MENTZER, deputy sheriff of Cumberland county, and an enterprising citizen as well as popular official, comes of a family that early settled in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Mentzer’s ancestors on the paternal side came from Hungary, and on the maternal side from Germany, prior to the Revolutionary war. John Mentzer, his great-great-grandfather, was twice married, and this branch of the family is descended from the second wife, whose name was Christina Wasinger.

John Mentzer (2), son of John and great-grandfather of Frederick B., was born Dec. 15, 1780, in Lancaster county, and died Feb. 5, 1861, in Frankford township, Cumberland county, aged eighty-one years. His wife was Elizabeth Ernst, born March 14, 1793, daughter of John Ernst, who came to America from Germany when eighteen years of age; she died July 6, 1880, aged eighty-seven years. They had a family of nine children, as follows; Frederick; John, born Nov. 12, 1818, married (first) Eliza Seitz, and (second) Eva Householder, and died in 1879; Henry, born July 29, 1820, married Polly Lehman, of West Pennsboro township, where they resided until they died, both reaching old age; Simon, born Oct. 2, 1829, married Barbara Raudabaugh, of Frankford township, and lived and died there; David, born Nov. 24, 1832, married Ann Frey, and they lived in West Pennsboro township; George, born Feb. 27, 1835, married Henrietta Oiler and they lived on the Bloser Mansion farm; Barbara married John D. Snyder, of Frankford township; Catherine married William Kost, and both are deceased; Miss Sarah, who lived with her brother George, is deceased.

Frederick Mentzer, son of John (2), and grandfather of Frederick B., was born Aug. 31, 1813, and resided on his father’s farm until his marriage, when, after numerous changes, he bought the Laird farm, which is now the property of his son Francis. In 1864 he retired from farming and purchased a comfortable little home in the village of Bloserville, where he died July 7, 1874. He was a thorough-going man, one who could always be depended upon, and he enjoyed the esteem and respect of his fellow citizens, on a number of occasions being elected to local offices. He was a man of exemplary life, and a leading member of the Lutheran Church. On Jan. 26, 1837, he married Martha Bowman, of Frankford township, whose father, Francis Bowman, was born Dec. 11, 1788, and died April 21, 1846. Her mother, originally a Miss Bloser, died Jan. 26, 1856, aged ninety-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mentzer had a family of six children, namely: William, born July 15, 1838, married Ellen De Sanno, and died Feb. 28, 1865, and his widow married William Lucas, of Peoria, Ill.; William graduated from the Jefferson Medical College, visited the medical schools of the principal cities of Europe, and practiced at Carlisle; John, born May 29, 1842, married Anna Keck, of Perry county, and was accidentally drowned March 17, 1883, in Conedoguinet creek, his widow continuing to live on the farm in West Pennsboro township; Abram, born July 14, 1844, married Sarah, daughter of Hezekiah Koch, of Mifflin township, and resides on Francis Mentzer’s farm; David, born April 4, 1847, married Mina Chronister, of Adams county, and they reside on the Francis Mentzer farm; Mary Elizabeth, born July 8, 1849, married A. P. Shimp, of South Middleton township. The family is of the greatest respectability and prominence in the county.

Francis Mentzer, second son of Frederick Mentzer, was born Feb. 4, 1840, and remained at home until after his marriage. After operating several neighboring farms he finally removed to Mount Rock, Penn township, and there spent seven years, returning to the old farm in 1870. Two years prior to this he had purchased the property of his father, and he lived there six years, then settling for eighteen months at Bloserville. During this period he visited the West, and upon his return, went back to the farm and there remained until 1885, when he removed to the place where he now resides. In 1884 he bought an interest in the business carried on under the firm name of Shambaugh & Mentzer, which he sold to his son Frederick in the spring of 1886.

Mr. Mentzer has always been an enterprising citizen and active business man, and has built many houses in this vicinity. He has been extensively engaged with his brother-in-law, Joseph Drawbaugh, in the lumber business. He has been prominent in the councils of the Democratic party in his locality, and has held a number of the local offices.

On Nov. 22, 1860, Mr. Mentzer married Mary, daughter of William Drawbaugh, born Feb. 28, 1840, in Frankford township, her death taking place Nov. 11, 1881, caused by the accidental explosion of a lamp. The children left motherless by this tragic occurrence were: Abner D., born Sept. 13, 1862, the present clerk of the Boiling Springs Hotel, married Lillian Gleim, of South Middleton township; Frederick B., born March 18, 1865; Martha E., born May 14, 1867, married Thomas A. Derrick, of Newville; William H., born May 21, 1870, died July 15, 1870; Harvey, born Dec. 17, 1871, dean in the department of Pharmacy at the Medico-Chirurgical College, of Philadelphia, Pa., married Catherine Musser, of Silver Spring township; Francis, born Dec. 31, 1873, a farmer of Frankford township, married Emma Wolf; Minnie Catherine, born Sept. 30, 1876, is the wife of H. S. Derr, of West Pennsboro township. On Dec. 21, 1882, Mr. Mentzer married Kate D. Mentzer, a cousin, daughter of John Mentzer, born Feb. 8, 1851. One daughter, Mamie, was born to this marriage May 19, 1884, and died May 4, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Mentzer with the family, all belong to the Evangelical Church. The whole family is held in high esteem.

Frederick B. Mentzer was born as above stated, in Penn township, and he received his education in the public schools, and in the select schools at Boiling Springs, under the supervision of Profs. A. J. Beitzel and S. S. Smith. After completing a very liberal and comprehensive course of study, he engaged in teaching at Bloserville from 1883 to 1885, and then bought his father’s interest in the mercantile establishment of Shambaugh & Mentzer and was engaged in this business for four years, selling out in 1887 to engage in the buying, selling and shipping of live stock, which he continued until 1889. In this year he removed to Plainfield, West Pennsboro township, where he remained four years, and then purchased a property from his father in the village of Greason, and continued there in the stock business and the buying and selling of agricultural implements. He makes frequent trips to Kentucky, Virginia and other southern and eastern points in the interests of stock, and he is regarded as one of the leading men in his line in this locality.

Mr. Mentzer is prominent also in political circles and has served as a member of the standing committee of the Democratic party, and in the spring of 1900, at the convention held at Carlisle, was elected chairman of the county committee. He has most capably held a number of township positions both in Frankford and West Pennsboro townships, and is in the confidence of the party in both localities. In 1901 he was appointed deputy sheriff of Cumberland county, and has most efficiently performed the duties attendant upon this office. During his first year he took part in the execution of Martin L. Frey, and passed through the trying ordeal with the utmost regard to law and order. In 1904 he was re-appointed deputy sheriff of Cumberland county. In 1896 he was chosen one of the five delegates to attend the State Democratic convention held at Allentown, proving a worthy representative of Cumberland county. In the spring of 1904 at a Democratic convention held in Carlisle he was elected delegate of the National Democratic Convention held in St. Louis, Mo., July 6, 1904.

On March 22, 1886, Mr. Mentzer was married to Miss Laurene A. McCaleb, of Newton township, daughter of Alexander and Annie (Zeigler) McCaleb, and they have two children living, Anna Mary, born May 12, 1890, and Myra Winifred, born Nov. 4, 1892. Two children are deceased: Francis A., born June 28, 1900, died Feb. 27, 1901; and Frederick B., born March 1, 1904, died March 6, 1904. The religious connection of the family is with the Evangelical Church. Mr. Mentzer has taken an active part in Sabbath-school work and in the efforts of the Christian Endeavor society, serving eight years as a teacher. At present he is president of the Keystone League of the United Evangelical Church of Carlisle. Fraternally, he is a member of St. John’s Lodge, No. 260, A. F. & A. M.; Conedoguinet Lodge, I. O. R. M.; and Council No. 502, Royal Arcanum of Carlisle, of which he is regent. Mr. Mentzer is a man of quick thought and ready action. On Jan. 1, 1904, while riding upon a Cumberland Valley railroad train, nine miles west of Carlisle, Mr. Mentzer rendered valuable assistance in a wreck that occurred at that time, being instrumental in saving the lives of several people, among whom may be mentioned, Rosie Middleton, of Phoenix City, Ma., a blind girl, who, in this wreck, sustained the loss of her right arm, and had it not been for the prompt assistance of Mr. Mentzer, she would have died from loss of blood. Mr. Mentzer is a man of pleasant social qualities and enjoys the esteem of a very wide circle of friends.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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