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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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HENRY C. BABBLE, one of the substantial men of Middlesex township, Cumberland county, owning here a fine farm of 138 acres, comes of German ancestors who settled in York county at an early day. Mr. Babble was born May 12, 1829, in Dover township, York county.

In every sense Mr. Babble may be termed a self-made man, and his successful career may well be cited as an example of what may be secured through honesty, perseverance and energy. When he was six years old his parents moved to Cumberland county, and he was sent to a German school in Silver Spring township, later to a school in Shiremanstown, but as soon as he was old enough he was put to farm work. His father owned no machinery, and he remembers when he rode the horses over the wheat on the barn floors to trample out the grain, which later had to be separated from the chaff. On the odd days when it was impossible to work, he went to school. In 1848 he entered the tannery of Samuel Fought in Silver Spring township, and remained there three years, being paid $5 a month. He still continued to work on farms, earning from forty to seventy-five cents a day, and in harvest time getting $1. He kept at work with these wages until he had saved $200 with which, in 1857 he purchased the Fought tannery with one acre of land. He was obliged to borrow $100 to get a supply of hides with which to work, and he then began tanning, all that the business brought him during the first year being put back into it in improvements and additions. He built also a house and barn, cautiously advancing step by step, working hard and being as economical as possible.

When the Civil war broke out, what was a disaster for some lines of business, proved a boom for the tanning industry, and Mr. Babble found it necessary greatly to increase his accommodations. He built a new tannery with dimensions of ninety feet, and two years later added fifty-seven feet and two stories, operating this large plant for thirty-four years. In 1881 he bought the Sample tannery at Sulphur Springs, operating both plants for three years, when he sold the first for $4,200. On Oct. 1, 1881, he removed to the tannery at Sulphur Springs, and operated it until 1893, selling it and buying his present farm. In consists of three tracts, thirty-one acres in the home farm, and 138 in the other farm, and 117 acres of Mountain land.

In politics Mr. Babble is a strong Democrat. He has served as judge of elections, and could have filled many offices, but has uniformly declined with the exception of the postmastership at Carlisle Springs. He is a thoroughly respected man, has reared a fine family, and is indebted to no man for his success.

Mr. Babble has been twice married, (first) to Phoebe Wertz, who died Oct. 26, 1873, and (second) to Elizabeth Swartz. His children are: Emma, Mrs. Daniel Kunkle, of Cumberland county; Martha Jane, Mrs. Daniel Hoy, of Silver Spring township; Mary Ann, wife (first) of William Voglesong, and (second) W. A. Armstrong; Catherine, Mrs. Isaac Brenizer, of Cumberland county; Clara, Mrs. Daniel Witmer, of Cumberland county; Susan, Mrs. Abraham Bierbower, of Cumberland county; William H. and Samuel C. of Steelton, Pa.; and Talbert McClelland, of Philadelphia. Both Mr. and Mrs. Babble are members of the German Reformed Church of Carlisle Springs.

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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. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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