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History of Freeland, Pa.
People of Freeland noted in Bradsby's History, 1893

The following Freeland area citizens were listed, with biographical sketches, in History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Selections, edited by H. C. Bradsby (Chicago, S. B. Nelson & Co., 1893).


Typed copies of the full sketches are available on the website Luzerne County GenWeb, at I highly recommend reading the full biographical sketches. The experiences detailed in the lives of these individuals are fascinating.

REV. JOSEPH W. BEDFORD, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of White Haven borough, was born in Fulton county, Pa., December 5, 1850.

REV. A. BIEMUELLER, pastor of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Freeland, is a native of Germany, having been born at Mashbach, Bavaria, February 1, 1866.

THOMAS BIRKBECK, born June 6, 1846, engaged in the butchering business for himself, at South Heberton, where he remained one year, when he removed his business to Upper Lehigh, following it there just twenty-one years. In 1886 he removed to Freeland; followed
droving a short time, and then engaged in the hardware business, which he still continues.

JAMES G. BOHLIN, boot and shoe merchant, Freeland, is a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, and was born February 4, 1855.

GEORGE S. CHRISTIAN, a partner in the Freeland Beef Company, is a native of Bradford county, Pa., born in Tuscarora township, November 30, 1864.

JOHN M. CUNNIUS, proprietor of the Freeland Planing mill, builder, and contractor, and dealer in all kinds of building material, is a native of Drums.

GEORGE CUTLER, retired, Freeland, was born in Somersetshire, England, June 14, 1830, and went to work in the mines for Sharp, Weiss & Co.

W.H. DAUBER, proprietor of the St. John’s Flouring Mills, St. John’s, Pa, is a native of Rockland Township, Berks County, Pa.

L.J. DAVIES, merchant tailor, is a native of Bettaws, Glamorganshire, South Wales. He worked in Shenandoah, Bethlebem and Freeland and in August, 1892, established his present business in Hazleton.

B.F. DAVIS, dealer in flour, feed, hay and grain, Freeland, is a native of Buck Mountain, Carbon County, born March 4, 1859.

DE PIERRO BROTHERS, R.F. and Salvatore, are natives of Calvello, Italy. R. F. is the Luzerne county court interpreter for the Italian language, and is employed in a like capacity by other counties, and he is also a member of De Pierro’s celebrated orchestra. Salvatore, at the age of twelve, became leader of the De Pierro Orchestra. The brothers have also opened up a first class café.

JOHN DRUMTRA, breaker-boss, Stockton, was born in Germany, October 9, 1863 and grew up in Freeland.

CHARLES DUSHEK, hotel proprietor, Freeland, was born in Bohemia, Austria, December 31, 1844. He is also manager of St. Mary’s corporative store, and a director of the Citizens Bank of Freeland.

JAMES EDGAR, a retired veteran of the Civil war, now residing at Freeland.

JONAH EVANS was born in South Wales, February 8, 1858. At the age of seventeen, when he engaged in the butchering business, and opened a market in Freeland, where he now commands a large and profitable patronage. Besides his Freeland market, his wagons visit adjacent towns within a radius of five miles

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C. EDWARD FAAS, dealer in stationery, cigars and tobacco, is a Philadelphian by
birth, in which city he began his earthly existence, January 11, 1871.

REV. M. J. FALLIHEE, pastor of the St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, Hazle Township, is a native of Susquehanna County, PA, born near Friedsville, August 15, 1844.

GEORGE W. FOLTZ, was born at Hamburg, near Washington, D.C., June 7, 1863. In 1884 he came to Freeland, and opened a shaving parlor.

F. C. FORSCHNER, jeweler, Nanticoke, was born in White Haven. At the age of nineteen, he went to Freeland and in 1879 embarked in the business for his own account. There he remained until 1886, when he sold out the entire business and came to Nanticoke, where he began the trade again with an entire new stock.

OWEN FOWLER was born in Light Street, Columbia Co., Pa., May 29, 1859. In 1881 Mr. Fowler came to Freeland and began the publication of "The Progress", the pioneer newspaper of the town. He published it as a Weekly journal until May, 1887, when he made it a Daily, which he continued six months as an experiment; he then concluded that a semi-weekly was just what the people wanted, and "The Progress" has since been so published, the paper being now known as the "Semi-Weekly Progress". He has also been appointed postmaster of Freeland.

PHILIP GERITZ, watchmaker and jeweler, Freeland, is a native of Holstein, Germany, and was born April 15, 1848.

M.H. HUNSICKER, proprietor of the "Central Hotel," the oldest hostelry in Freeland, was born in Lehighton, Carbon Co., Pa., November 12, 1859. In addition to his hotel interests he
is well known as a prominent dealer in horses, especially "trotters," which latter he keeps and has driven in races.

HON. WILLIAM R. JEFFREY, a worker in behalf of organized labor, was born at Slatington, Lehigh county, October 12, 1857. He was a master workman in the Knights of Labor, and in 1888 he was elected Representative of the Fourth District, which office he now

HARRY C. JONES, round-house man for E.B. Coxe & Co., Drifton, was born at Lykens, Daupin Co., Pa., July 3, 1864.

ROWLAND WATKINS JONES, merchant tailor, was born in Anglesea, Wales, in 1854. In 1887 he came to this country, locating at Slatington, where he was engaged in the merchant-tailoring business for two years, thence coming to Freeland to engage in business for himself.

DANIEL KLINE, justice of the peace, Foster Township, was born in Jeddo, this county, March 17, 1867. In 1883, he in partnership with his brother W.D. commenced dealing in lime, brick, sand and builders' general supplies, one year later adding hay, feed, etc., to their stock and since 1889, they have manufactured their own feed.

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HENRY C. KOONS is a native of Lehighton, Carbon County, born December 17, 1843.
In 1875 he came to Freeland, and still continues to be the leading store of the town. He has been forced to enlarge to his store to keep pace with his rapidly growing trade, but his place of business has remained substantially on the original site. His furniture department occupies spacious premises adjoining his general store.

HENRY R. LACEY, wholesale dealer in Chicago beef, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Laceyville, Wyoming Co., Pa., June 13, 1846. He was the original dealer in Wilkes-Barre for Armour & Co. in Chicago dressed beef; has now establishments in Freeland and Nanticoke.

RUDOLPH LUDWIG, Freeland, is a native of Prussia, born February 5, 1850. At the age of ten years, Rudolph began picking slate, and also worked in various other capacities around the mines for eight years. He then worked with his father, who was a butcher, and there learned the butchering trade. After working with his father for nine years, he came to Freeland and engaged in the business on his own account. He has also carried on various other businesses in
Freeland, and conducted a restaurant for six years.

JAMES McHUGH, freight and passenger agent for the Lehigh Valley Division of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad system, at Freeland, was born at Buck Mountain, Pa., September 13, 1861.

ADAM STEPHENSON McKNIGHT, M.D., is a Philadelphian, and was born in the Twenty-first Ward of that city (Managunk), October 23, 1858. On March 11, 1892, he came to the anthracite coal regions, as successor to Dr. W. B. Nichols, and assistant to Dr. George S. Wentz. He is at present secretary of the Freeland Board of Health.

HUGH MALLOY, merchant, Freeland, is a native of Ireland, whence at the age of fourteen he emigrated to this country. After over 20 years working in the mines, he engaged in the boot and shoe business, later adding a stock of clothing and gents furnishing goods.

ARIO P. MAYBERRY, instructor of band music in Freeland, is a native of Butler township. Since 1880 he has devoted his entire attention to instruction in band music, and during that time he has trained many bands to a remarkably high standard, and as an instructor in this line he has established a reputation well known to every one in Luzerne county.

RAYMOND E. MEYER, jeweler, was born in Hazleton, July 9, 1871. When he was but eight years of age the phenomena of electricity attracted his attention, and since that time he has been an ardent worker in this broad field of scientific development. In 1891 he purchased the jewelry business of W. J. Gentz, of Freeland.

THOMAS J. MOORE, proprietor of "Moore's Restaurant", Freeland, was born at Coaldale, Schuylkill Co., Pa.

EDWARD A. MURPHY, restaurant proprietor, Freeland, was born March 9, 1864, at Jeansville. After much travel and various jobs, in October 8, 1889 he came to Freeland and purchased his restaurant from Charles Dushek, which he has ever since conducted.

JOHN B. QUIGLEY, constable, Freeland, was born in Philadelphia, in March, 1848. In 1888 he was elected constable, and has been re-elected once since; at present he is also a member of the Freeland police force.

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CALVIN D. ROHRBACH, hardware merchant, Freeland, is a native of Saegersville, Pa., and was born January 22, 1862. At about the age of sixteen he began working around the mines, and filled several positions, following mining until he was twenty-five years of age, when he entered the employ of H. C. Koons, as clerk, at which he continued two years. He then engaged in the hardware business at Freeland.

ANTHONY RUDEWICK, general merchant, South Heberton, is a native of Poland, born in 1854. In 1878 he came to South Heberton and engaged in the general mercantile business, which he has since continuously followed with the exception of two years that he was in business at Freeland, and a short time that he was engaged in farming

MATHIAS SCHWABE, butcher and drover, South Heberton, is a native of Prussia, born October 4, 1849. He has made butchering and droving the chief occupation of his life; he carries on an extensive traffic in this line, handling about forty head of cattle per week. He is also interested in real estate, owning the old Dunop homestead in Freeland, and over twenty-five tenement houses. Mr. Schwabe is a lover of blooded horses, and does a great deal of horse dealing.

MATT. SIEGER, proprietor of the "Cottage Hotel," Freeland, was born in Siegersville, Lehigh Co., Pa., April 6, 1847.

JACOB L. WAGNER, contractor and builder, Hazleton, was born June 5, 1849. He learned the trades of carpenter and cabinet-maker, and carried these on until 1882, when he engaged in contracting and building at Drifton, during one year, and at Freeland, two years. He then came to Hazleton, and has here continued that business.

W. E. WATKINS, merchant, Freeland, is a native of Minersville, Schuylkill Co., Pa., and was born November 19, 1849. When he was a youth he began working around the mines, and he remained in Lansford and worked in the mines in the employ of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company until 1873, when he removed to Freeland, where he has since resided. In 1888 he engaged in the mercantile business.

H. F. WENNER was born in Butler Valley, August 17, 1856. At the age of eighteen he learned the carpenter's trade with his father, who is now a pattern maker in the Drifton shop. After following this occupation for two years he engaged in the plumber's trade, which he followed one year. He then entered the general store of Coxe Bros. & Co., at Drifton, where he was employed as clerk for eight years. In 1883 the father, Samuel, and his three sons engaged in their present business, and about seven years later his son J. A. left the partnership and embarked in business for himself at Hazleton.

WILLIAM WILLIAMSON, merchant, Freeland, is a native of Summit Hill, Carbon Co., Pa., born April 5, 1849. He worked in various capacities around the mines, running a stationary engine four years. He then followed the carpenter's trade three years, at the end of which time he entered the employ of J.H. Lindsay, of Freeland, as clerk. With him he remained four years, and then engaged in general mercantile business at Freeland, in partnership with J. C. Berner. At the end of four years he sold out and embarked in the hardware business.

CAPTAIN LIBOR WINTER, restaurant proprietor, Freeland, is a native of Germany, and was born July 21, 1836.

JERE WOODRING, civil and mining engineer, Sandy Run, is a native of Luzerne county, born in Butler Valley. When a boy he worked considerably around the mines, and at the age of fourteen engaged in clerking in a store in Freeland, where he remained about two years. He then came to Sandy Run, and engaged in clerking in the supply store of M. S. Kemmerer & Co., remaining at
this place four years, when he was transferred to Pond Creek as manager of their stores there. At the age of twenty-two he received the appointment as engineer for the M. S. Kemmerer Coal Company, at Sandy Run.

WILLIAM WOOLCOCK, druggist, Freeland, is a native of Mahanoy City, Pa., born January 20, 1867. After receiving his degree was employed in his father's drug-store in Mahanoy City. He then came to Freeland and engaged in business for himself.

JOHN YANNES, bottler, Freeland, is a native of Seterale, Austria, and was born in 1839. In 1879 he removed to Freeland, where he engaged in the hotel and bottling business. In 1885 his business premises were destroyed by fire. He re-built and re-established his business, which he has since extensively enlarged. The Freeland Opera House is located in this building, and has a seating capacity of over 1,200.

MICHAEL ZEMANY, general merchant, Freeland, was born in Kucsin, Saros Co., Hungary, June 11, 1849. He followed mining in various parts of the Upper Lehigh district of the anthracite regions for two years, at the end of which time he established a clothing store in Mahanoy City. Here he remained until 1876, when he removed to Upper Lehigh and worked at his trade until 1880. He then removed to Freeland, where he opened a saloon, and a year later also engaged in the bottling business and operated a general store.

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