Henry Keller Hershberger

UP DATE OF HENRY KELLER HERSHBERGER B.  20 June 1812 D. 29 Sept 1876

A lot was not known know about Henry who was a brother of Jacob K. Hershberger and the son of John Hershberger. At the timeof publishing of the Hershberger book. We knew he was in Ohio, but not whether he was alive.
We found out he had moved to Ohio and he had a grist mill and was deceased by 1874.

He is mentioned in his father John Hershberger’s will, dated 1864. It says:

  • I have made to my son Henry Hershberger deceased and also deducting the amount of
  • indebtedness on bonds and notes which I hold against my said deceased son and also deducting
  • the amount of loss of said steam mill property, what it will sell for less then what I paid for
  • it if any remains I give and bequeath the same to his children.

In the Lancaster County Court House I found the following court papers:

  • In a bond dated, 5 day of Feb 1849, Henry Hershberger th agreed to pay his father John Hershberger, sum of two thousand dollars.
  • In 1852 he signed another bond to his father, John Hershberger, for the sum of One Thousand four hundred and fifty dollars. Henry resided at this time in East Cocalico in the county of Lancaster and was listed as a miller.
  • In another paper, dated 1858, it seems that he paid off some of the previous mentioned bond, which John Hershberger holds against his son Henry K Hershberger late of Crawford County of state of Ohio, deceased for $725. Henry paid off this bond starting March 23, 1853, in the amount of $36.25, ending March 1857.
  • He sold 5 acres of land in January of 1858 for $125 dollars but retained the saw timber and all shingle timber and agrees to remove said timber by one year.

Because of this information I visited Crawford County, Ohio for more information. There wasn’t a lot of information in the county records, but I did find out why he died so young.

Newspaper account of his death, Crawford County Forum, May 14, 1858:

  • Henry K. Hershberger, who has hereto resided on the Oceola Road, some three miles from this
  • place, on last Monday morning for the purpose of self-destruction, shot himself twice with a
  • revolver, cut his throat and lacerated his wrist badly. Dr. Swingly was immediately called but
  • his was immediately called but his skill was not sufficient to save the wounded man. He died
  • during Monday night. The only cause assigned for this rash act was trouble in money matters.
  • He left a family to mourn his lost.

Henry is buried in a lonely grave at Union Cemetery, Row 23, outside of Bucyrus, Ohio.

In probate papers, 1858:

  • S. R. Harris is appointed guardian for Jacob B, Mary, Henry and John Hershberger. Catherine is
  • listed as his widow and John Hershberger aged five years and Henry Hershberger aged nine his
  • minor children.(Why not Mary?) He left no homestead and petitioner was compelled to rent a
  • house in Bucyrus. At the time of her marriage she had property to the amount of about five
  • hundred dollars, which came in the possession of the deceased and was used by him.

List of inventory and items sold tell of a sad story of Henry K.’s life. Most of his possessions are
of lumber items including many pieces of wood or logs. Jacob Hershberger is shown buying a lot
of these things. Probably his cousin Jacob E Hershberger, whose father was Jacob son of
Heinrich. This Jacob died in 1897. All the items sold totaled up to $389.99.

His wife recevied the following items:

  • Iron Kettle, hoe spring calf, shovel, grinestone, hammer, hogshead, box corn, Barl (?) and salt, 2
  • boxes, and one crosent saw.

The administrator of Henry K’s will is a Henry Hershberger, probably another cousin, son of
Jacob Hershberger.

Letter written to Leah K. Hershberger, sister to Henry K, dated January 30, 1859 from
Jacob B. Hershberger, son of Henry K. Hershberger.
(exactly as written):

  • Dear Aunt,
  • I take the oppertunity to inform you a few lines that we are all well at preasent time and we
  • leave you know that we live in Bucyrus and i am in Bucyrus some times, but most of the time
  • i am out at the sawmill getting logs in to get some lumber to take it to town and sell it but
  • there are very hard times for money and we have verry bad roads to get logs in we havent had
  • no snow yet of any account here and if i work out at the mill get logs in I board with a man
  • that lives verry close their at the mill I am doing the best I know for all of us to make a living
  • we cant rent a house less then three dollers a month from that up to five to ten dollars a month
  • and about Granfather Baker I leave you know that he didnt write us yet nor he didn’t do any
  • thing for mother and I leave you knw that I wish the best luck to David for him to get well as
  • I can and if he will go out to iowa again I want him to come and see us I wonder why is the
  • is the reason he dident come here to see us as he was going in it wouldent have been any futher
  • and I wish you would tell David & Isaac to write me a letter and you Aunt write me how
  • Granfather and Grand-mother and Henry Swilly is getting along. Excuse poor ritings bad
  • spelling.

There is a note at the end of this from Mary Hershberger, daughter of Henry K.:

  • Dear Aunt
  • I take my pen to drop a few lines to you to let you know that I aint at home now I work at Mr
  • Estills they live in Bucyrus but this spring I am a goin to larn lkey Milner trade I will learn
  • to make Bonnets and I was verry glad to receved your letter please write us again and if you
  • can come and see us and write me how grandfather & grandmother is so much at present
  • from your neese Mary Hershberger

Letter from Jacob K. Hershberger, 1864, to his sister and mother in Lancaster:

  • I also Recd a letter from Jacob B. Hershberger yesterday. I had been looking for him out here
  • about the first of may to take a place in a Mill which I thought a good place for him and now
  • in his letter he don’t State Exactly what he is going to do. whether he don’t know what to go
  • at, I think he had better quit trading Horses &c. and get himself a good place and be a good
  • Study Boy. this Trading and Jockeying aint a very Safe thing. if he had a good place in a Mill
  • out here I believe he would do better. if you See him tell him So. the place I spoke for, for him
  • is Still open for him if he comes Soon. And if you don’t need Henry another year I want him
  • to come out and Stay with me. I will give him a good chance as I cant work So hard any more
  • and I don’t want to rent my Land to a stranger to let it run down. it may be after all that Some
  • of the Boys will be round after a while. let me know in time this Summer.

The family moved back to Lancaster County (date unknown), where wife Catherine is buried in Lincoln

1860 Census, Lebanon, Pennsylvania:

  • Catherine Hershberger age 67
  • Mary age 18 Dressmaker
  • John Age 7
  • living next door to a Henry Swope
  • Henry age 11 living with a Becker in Lebanon Twp.
  • Jacob age 19 servant in Union Twp Lebanon

Catharine Hershberger will 1874, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (exactly as written):

  • In the name of God, Amen.
  • I Catharine Hershberger, widow being weak in body and of sound mind and memory and
  • understanding. But considering the uncertainty of this tranistory life do make and publish this
  • my last will and testament in manner to form following to wit: First, It is my will and I do
  • order that all my past debts and funeral expenses duly paid and satified, as soon as
  • conveniently can be after my decease (to be paid out of the first moneys that come into the
  • hands of my executors, from any portion of my estate, real or personal.) Also I direct that the
  • whole of my household furniture shall be the absolute property of my children, Jacob, Mary,
  • Henry and John to share and share alike which can divide amongst themselves and which they
  • can keep or dispose at their ??? and it is futher my will I direct that within one year after my
  • decease ?? Property and home when in I now live (situated in Lincoln Lancaster Co. PA. Be
  • sold at Public sale to the highest bidder upon such time as my exec. As named may deam best
  • time of payment not exceeding one year from date of ??? and further I direct that the preceeds
  • of such sale and the money ?? I have in my hand to divided or share of estate per share. Each
  • share being equal to the share. One full share to my daughter Mary Eitner and one full share
  • do I bequest unto son John B. Hershberger and one full share to my son Henry B. Hershberger
  • the remaining full share shall be disposed of as follows.: The obligation of my son Jacob B
  • to my estate and to my daughter Mary Eitner , the obiligation to my daughter ?????
  • Make and ordain and appoint my son Henry B. Hershberger and my daughter Mary Eitner of
  • this my last will and Testament executors. Whereas Catharine Hershberger the testatrix 1874.
  • Catharine (her mark)