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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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JACOB BUCKWALTER, one of the leading farmers of Skippack township, is a descendant of an old family in eastern Pennsylvania. He was born in Lower Providence, Montgomery county, December 28, 1834, the son of William and Anna (Fry) Buckwalter.

William Buckwalter (father) was the son of Jacob and Mary (Essick) Buckwalter, and was of German descent. He was born and reared on a farm, and after his marriage farmed the old homestead two years, then removing to Lower Providence, where he bought a small tract of land to which he added a larger tract, making substantial improvements to the buildings and remaining there many years. He devoted his attention to general farming and attended market, being a practical and successful business man. In politics he was a Whig and later a Republican, but never aspired to public office. Late in life he sold the farm and retired to Norristown for two years, removing later to Evansburg, where he made his home with his son. Both he and his wife died at the home of our subject, he at the age of eighty-six years, his widow surviving him ten years and dying at the age of eighty-six years. Both belonged to the German Reformed church, he filling a number of important offices therein, including deacon, trustee, etc. Mrs. Buckwalter was a daughter of John Fry, a farmer of Lower Providence township, of German descent, and a member of the Reformed church at Trappe. The children of John Fry: Mary, Mrs. F. Alderfer; Anna (mother); Hester, Mrs. Cook; Abraham, a farmer. The children of William and Anna Buckwalter: Elizabeth, Mrs. Isaac Fry, whose husband removed later to Norristown, where he was coroner of the county and held other positions; Jacob, the subject of this sketch; Abraham, a prominent farmer of Collegeville; Sarah A., Mrs. H. Foley; Emma, married F. Law. All are living.

Jacob Buckwalter (grandfather) was a farmer by occupation. He was a member of the Muhlenberg Lutheran church at Trappe. He had several brothers, among them Joseph, who served in the war of 1812. Jacob reared a large family and lived to an advanced age. He married Mary Essick, and their children were Abraham, who settled in Chester county, was a millwright and machinist by trade and operated a saw mill, born in 1797, married Rachel Ortlip, died in 1878, his wife dying in 1898, at the age of ninety-two years; she was the daughter of Henry and Mary Ortlip. Their children were: Samuel, William, Elias, Henry, Franklin, J. Addison, whose sketch appears elsewhere; I. Newton, David R., Lewis, Theodore and John W. The other children of Jacob and Mary Buckwalter were: Joseph, a widely known and popular business man and hotel proprietor; Jacob, a farmer who settled in Cass county, Indiana; William (father); David, a stone mason, who settled in Upper Providence; George, a shoemaker by trade, who located in Upper Providence; Mary, Mrs. Cressinger; Hannah, Mrs. Kramb; Sarah, Mrs. A. Coulston.

The first ancestor of the Buckwalters in this country was Francis Buckwalter, who came to America from Switzerland early in the eighteenth century, locating near where Phoenixville is now situated, and taking up a large tract of land.

William Buckwalter (father) was a man of the highest integrity and accumulated a considerable estate.

Jacob Buckwalter remained with his parents until he was about thirty years of age, when he married and farmed the homestead for two years. He then bought a farm in Upper Providence, remaining upon it seven years. He then sold it, worked at his trade of wheelwright for two years, and in 1872 bought the farm on Skippack Creek, near Keyser’s Mill, on which he now lives. It contains seventy-five acres. He has remodeled the house and added to it, besides putting the land in good condition and building a large barn and convenient outbuildings. He has given attention to general farming, and attended market for fourteen years. He raised some stock. Of late years he has lived retired from active labor, his son attending to the farm work. At one time he engaged at Norristown with Jacob G. Landis in the feed business, but later sold his interest and gave attention to his farm. Politically Mr. Buckwalter is a Republican. He has filled many township offices, having been township supervisor for ten years, and could have continued but declined to serve longer. He was school director for nine years, filling all these positions creditably to himself and with satisfaction to the public. He is a member of the Reformed church at Trappe, and is a trustee there. During the rebellion he served in the state militia four months, doing guard duty in Maryland and Virginia. He was in several skirmishes, but did not participate in any battle. He was honorably discharged when he had served his time, having enlisted when the rebels proposed to invade Pennsylvania.

Mr. Buckwalter married, February 6, 1864, Elizabeth Longacre, born in Upper Providence township, November 23, 1834. She is the daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Landes) Longacre, both of German descent, Daniel being a mill-wright and later a farmer and market man. They were members of the Reformed church at Trappe, and both died on the homestead which he owned and where his wife was reared. He died in his seventy-first year, and his wife survived ten years longer and died in her seventy-first year. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Daniel Longacre: Abram, settled as a farmer near Royersford; John, settled near Gratersford; Jacob, a brick manufacturer of Upper Providence township.

The children of Jacob and Elizabeth L. Buckwalter: William H., who manages his father’s farm; he married Kate Hallman, and they have three daughters: Elizabeth, Cora and Eva. Elmer, a clerk in a store. Daniel, a contractor and builder, died November 28, 1899, leaving a wife and one child, Jennie May, who is deceased; Emanuel, a prominent farmer; he married (first) Esther Anderson, and they had one son, Jacob; he married (second) Ella Anderson, sister of his first wife; no issue. Jacob, a contractor and builder of Skippack township; he married Amanda Hallman, and they have one child, Catherine.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

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

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