I have a letter that was obviously transposed from a hand written letter regarding the Henry Ebrite/Jacob Zercher family history. Anyone here related?
Mt. Pulaski, Logan County, Ill. Feb 22, 1885
Mr. Daniel Ebrite:
Your welcome letter of the 27th of January was duly received; was glad to hear from you. Indeed it afforded me great pleasure to hear something of the families of Uncle John Ebrite and Samuel Beily.
My father was married in 1828 to Susannah Daily at Lebanon, PA. He was 33 years old and my mother 18 years of age. My oldest brother, Reuben, was born in 1829 and John, the next, in 1831. William was born in 1833 and died from the effects of a buen in 1835. Lydia was born in 1837, George (myself) was born in 1840, Mary in 1843, Simon in 1846 and died from dropsy resulting from scarlet fever in 1852; Benjamin the youngest was born in 1850.
My mother was the daughter of Jacob Daily, who was a resident of near Reading, PA, and was a Revolutionary soldier, belonging to “Mad” Anthony Wayne’s Division of the Pennsylvania line. He commenced his military career by marching to Canada in 1776 and after service under Wayne in New Jersey, Brandywine, Paoli and Valley Forge, he wound up at the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown, where he was wounded in the arm and for which he was pensioned in the year 1782. When he was at home on furlough (Reading, PA) and before starting to Yorktown, he was married to Susannah Sellheimer, who was then 17 years old. Grandfather Daily died in 1812, when my mother who was the youngest child, was only two years old. Grandmother Daily had her home with my father for many years and died at my father’s house January 3, 1853, aged about 88 years. She had an annual pension of $96.00 up to the time of her death as the widow of a Revolutionary War Soldier. Her brother, John Sellheimer, was killed in Commodore Perry’s battle on Lake Erie. My mother is now living with my youngest sister at Lebanon, PA and is nearly 75 years old; my youngest sister’s name is Mary, and is the wife of David G. Fox.
My brother Reuben is married to Matilda Boyer of near Reading, PA, and lives near Lebanon. Brother John married Caroline Shenk and lives in Lebanon, also. Sister Lydia married Rudolf Shenk and lives at Armville, PA. Brother Benjamin married Sarah Bechtle, and they live in Lebanon, PA.
I was married on my return from the war in 1865 to Sarah Hannah of Bellfonte, PA, and I have been married nearly 20 years. My oldest child, Earle W. Ebrite is now in his 19th year, and is a printer by trade; my daughter Annie is 16 years of age; Harry is 14; Mary 4; and (illegible) is one year old. Charles, the only other child, died at the age of four years from scarlet fever. He died at Ashland, PA in 1880. I practiced medicine in Schuylkill County, PA from January 17th to Sept 1st , 1882, when I moved to this place. I shall probably move to southwest Missouri this spring. I think southwest Missouri is in many respects a good place. The land is tolerably good. The climate mild and timber and coal abundant. Central Illinois is too malarious for me. Everyone has chills and fever and most of the people here have a greenish-yellow looking skin. Medical practice is all one thing here and I don’t like it. Illinois has the richest soil in the country and has also more rich land than any other state but I have now said all of the good there is to be said for the state.
Barbara Davis, the former widow of Uncle George Ebrite, resides seven miles from the town of Cambridge, Ill. It is Henry County where cousin Andrew used to live before he went to Missouri. I have never been in Henry County, Ill and have never seen Aunt Barbara, and it is somewhat doubtful if she is still among the living. Uncle George’s Andrew moved from Cambridge to Carl Junction, MO., in 1870 and died there in 1872 from the effects of the kick of a horse and from chronic malaria acquired in Illinois. Andrew’s first wife was a Miss Plummer, and he married her in Adams County, Ohio. She died about 1868 at Cambridge Ill. About a year later he married a young widow with six children. His second wife and her relatives nearly broke him up in a short time and he moved to Missouri. My father, Andrew Ebrite was born November 1st, 1793 in West Lampester Township, Lancaster County, PA, and died at Lebanon, February 10th, 1865 in his 70th year. His father, (my grandfather) was born at Marcas Hook, Delaware County, PA, in 1747 and was married at Lancaster, PA. to a Miss Grubb. He lived many years in Lancaster County. Later in life, he moved to Franklin Count, PA, and died near Chambersburg, PA in Aug 1820, of Typhoid fever, aged 73 years.
Grandmother Ebrite then kept house for a few years in Lebanon, PA, with her sons, Andrew (my father), George and Daniel, and later went with Uncle George Ebrite to Adams County, Ohio, where she lieved with Uncle John Ebrite (your father) until Dec 20th, 1852 when she died at the advanced age of 100 years. I think grandfather Ebrite’s first name was John. His mother kept a store at Marcas Hook on the Delaware River, and where and when your father and my father, boys of 12 and 15 years of age, they several times walked from near Lancaster, PA, to their grandmother’s place, and each got a suit of clothes from her as a present. The distance was about 45 miles.
Our father’s grandfather kept a store at Marcas Hook where his widow subsequently continued the business. While in Philadelphia to buy goods, he dropped dead at the corner of Vine and 5th Streets, of apoplexy. It is now more than 100 years ago that he died. His name was Henry Ebrite and he had come when a single man, from a French Canton of Switzerland. He belonged to the German Reformed Church. He could speak both French and German. He visited his parents once in Switzerland after he had come to America. He died at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
Our grandmother’s brothers, Michael and Jacob Grubb, marched with a company of volunteers from Lancaster, PA to Boston, Mass in June 1775, but reached the theatre of war too late to take part in the battle of Bunker Hill. They marched from Boston with Gen. George Washington to Long Island and took part in the battles of Flat Bush and White Plains near New York City, and subsequently retreated with Washington through New Jersey. How much longer they followed the fortunes of war I cannot tell, but I think they were also at Germantown and Brandywine.
Grandfather John Ebrite (our father’s father) hauled on load of cannonballs from Elizabeth Furnace, north east of Litis, PA, to Brandywine, just before the battle at that place. Uncle Jacob Ebrite, the oldest of our grandfather’s children, was the fifer in Uncle Michael Grubb’s Company when he marched to Baltimore in the war of 1812, but the battle was over when they got there. They returned home without meeting a British soldier, for all of which Uncle Michael Grubb was very sorry because he held a sort of vicious grudge against the “red coats”. Even in his old age, Old Michael was a true patriot. The Grubb family has become numerous and influential in general in the counties of Lancaster and Philadelphia.
Uncle Jacob Ebrite moved from near Lancaster, PA., to the vicinity of Chambersburg, PA., in about the year 1816 or 18. However, I am not certain about that time. He died at Chambersburg perhaps over 40 years ago. I lost track of Uncle Jacob Ebrite’s family altogether. When the last war broke out, his son Jacob still resided in the vicinity of Chambersburg up to 1867, and he had a large family of tall children, as nearly all of them were over six feet high. Ames Ebrite is a grandson of Uncle Jacob Ebrite.
Please write me within the next three weeks as I would like to hear from you before leaving on a prospecting tour through southwestern Missouri. Tell me also if you are well pleased the result of the last presidential election as I am. I am very well pleased as I am a Democrat. One of Uncle Jacob Ebrite’s sons used to live in Elkhart County, Indiana, but I do not know whether he or his family live there now or not. Uncle Henry Ebrite died at Lancaster, PA, when about 21 years of age. Uncle Melchion Ebrite died at New Orleans where he was stricken. Uncle George Ebrite died at the age of 68 in Brown County, Ohio, but I don’t know much about the matter; his sons George and Samuel live in Kansas. Uncle John Ebrite (your father) left Lancaster County, PA, in 1814 with his wife and one son (you) in a one horse wagon, and reached Adams County with $100.00 in silver, his horse, wagon, pump tools and some cooking utensils, bedding, such as he could carry in a wagon with one horse. I have now given you some family history hastily. I wish you would give me some in return. I think Uncle George’s widow did quite well when she married Mr. Davis, but I cannot say whether she or Davis are living yet. How old were you when you left PA.
Signed – Yours Truly
George W. Ebrite, M.D. son of Andrew Ebrite who was born Nov 1 at 1793 in Lancaster, PA, and died at Lebanon, PA, February 10, 1865, and who was a brother of your father John Ebrite.
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