History of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...
Edited by F. Ellis and A. N. Hungerford.
Published in Philadelphia by Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886
ABRAHAM L. GUSS.
By A. L. Guss
CHARLES GUSS, the progenitor of all bearing the name in the United States, as far as known, came from Baden, Germany, to America about 1750. He was a school-teacher, and lived most of his time in Vincent township, Chester County. His wife was Mary, daughter of Simon Shunk, whose wife was a daughter of Conrad Shimer, a wealthy gentleman and benefactor of the churches of Pikeland and Zion. Simon seems to have been the uncle of Governor Shunk.
The children of these parents mere Mary Magdalena, Charles Jr., Rachel, Catharine and Elizabeth (twins), Simon, Salome. Rachel and Salome were married to Conrad Holman, who moved near Landisburg, in Perry County, where many of his descendants still reside, being intermarried with the Leiby, Jordan, Stroop, Sheibley, Burtnett, Baker and Kohler families. Charles, Jr., married Martha Limburg; and their children were Samuel (Pottsville), John (Sunbury), Casper (Fremont, Ohio), Lewis (Winnemac, Ind.), Christiana, Sophia, Catharine. Their descendants are scattered far and wide, the wife of Dr. G. L. Derr, of Mifflintown, being a daughter of Samuel.
Charles Guss died in 1795, aged sixty-three years; his wife Mary died in 1821, aged eighty years. They are buried at Rhodes' Mennonite Meeting-House, near Spring City, built in 1750, in which house at one time Charles taught school.
Simon Guss was born February 15, 1773, and was five years old when the patriot army lay near by, at Valley Forge. His trade was that of a shoemaker and he resided near Kimberton. In 1803 he moved near Landisburg, Perry County, near where Holman, the husband of his sister, and Zachariah Rice, Jr., the husband of his wife's sister, had moved previously. In 1815, Simon Guss and his son Abraham came over the Tuscarora Mountain to Milford township, in Juniata County, after the customs of those days, when tailors, shoemakers and such tradesmen did their work from house to house. Being pleased with the country and the business outlook in that region, the family was moved over the next year.
Simon Guss married Barbara, daughter of Henry Knerr, who came to America a poor boy, in 1752, served his time to pay his passage with Conrad Selner, and as the result of a prosperous life, he died about 1805, leaving an estate worth near ten thousand dollars. In returning from a trip to Chester County, Barbara brought with her one time, tied on behind the saddle on which she rode, two small sweet cherry trees, one black and the other red, which were planted at her residence, where Ephraim Guss now lives, and were the first fruit of the kind planted in that region.
Simon Guss died in 1818, aged forty-five years; and his wife Barbara died in 1843, aged seventy-five years. They are buried at the Lutheran Church in Mifflintown.
The children of Simon and Barbara Guss were Henry, John, Samuel, Charles, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, George, Elizabeth and William, all born between the years 1762 and 1777. All but the second and fourth raised families, Samuel died in West Chester (1859) and Jacob near Spring City (1875), in Chester County. Henry (1866), Isaac (1877), Elizabeth Kerlin (1851) and Abraham died in Milford, while George still lives there, and William near Barry, Ill.
Abraham Guss, Sr., was born on French creek, East Vincent township, Chester County, September 13, 1800. At the age of eighteen he was left the oldest of six children at home, who, with a widowed mother, were to care and provide for. Thus placed at the head of the family, he passed through a severe and trying school, but if no doubt tended greatly to develop his self-reliance and fit him for a successful after-life. For several years he traveled over a radius of half a dozen miles, carrying his kit of tools, and even a stool, making his home for the time being with his patrons, according to the customs of those days. By the aid of his industrious, exemplary and economical helpmate, he accumulated sufficient to buy the McGuire-Hardy-Patterson tract, on Licking Creek, in 1832, on which he lived fifty-two years, on which he erected a fine brick house, a large bank barn, cider-press, saw-mill, a tenant-house and other buildings, and greatly improved and enlarged the farm. He was a successful farmer, a substantial citizen, an honest and judicious man. In 1820 he joined the Lutheran Church at Church Hill, near Port Royal; soon afterwards he transferred his membership to Mifflintown, where he was an elder as early as 1837; and his name is found at the head of almost every subscription paper up to 1861, when he took an active part in the erection of a new church near his home in Licking Creek, and was the largest contributor to that laudable enterprise.
In 1820 he married Mary M., daughter of Henry Ache (or Aughey), Sr. She was an estimable woman, who, during a long church life, "maintained a consistent deportment and performed the relative duties of life with faithful assiduitv." After_a painful illness, she died peaceful and happy, August 6, 1854, aged fifty-eight years and four months, and was buried at the church in Mifffintown. The Ache family were French Huguenots. Three brothers came to America September 22, 1752. One of these, who on arrival signed himself Johan Ludwig Ache in fine Latin script, taught French and learned English in the " hoch schul " in Philadelphia; removed to and taught school in Vincent, Chester County; served in a company against the Indians; removed to Tulpehocken, Berks County, before 1759; then near Linglestown, Dauphin County, in 1774, where he died after 1793. His son Henry, who removed to Milford township in 1803, was married to Elizabeth, daughter of John, son of Daniel Shuey, also a French Huguenot, who landed here in 1732--the name being originally Shue, like Ache, Luche and such names. A Shuey genealogy has been published. Conrad, brother of Elizabeth, lived near Lieutenand Caleb Graydon in Paxtang, bought his tract above Patterson, moved up in 1792 and was the means of getting the Ache family to move up. Conrad afterwards moved near Greensburg.
After the death of Mary M., his first wife, Abraham Guss, Sr., was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Partner, and widowof Joshua Shuman, and she is still living.
Abraham Guss, Sr., died August 9, 1884, aged eighty-three years, ten months and twenty-six days, and was buried at the Lutheran Church in Licking Creek Valley.
His children were all by the first marriage,--Uriah, married Catharine Sieber; Catharine, married Abraham Guss,Jr.; Elizabeth, married Christopher Hardy, Jr.; Mary M., married Michael Sieber; William, married Mary R. Shuman (then Mary A. Moyer); Abraham L., the subject of this sketch ; Salina, married John T. Mettlen; Jefferson, J. A., of Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, died February 11, 1863, aged over twenty-one years.
Abraham L. Guss, son of Abraham Guss, Sr., and Mary Magdalena Ache (now Aughey), was born August 21, 1834, in Milford township, Juniata County, in Licking Creek Valley, four miles west of Mifflintown. In his early youth he attended the public schools, where a desire for more knowledge was awakened. He entered the preparatory department of Pennsylvania College, at Gettysburg, in the fall of 1851, in which he spent two years, and then three years in the college classes. In the year 1856 he married Susan Maria, daughter of Christian and Margaret Mummert Rindlaub, residing in Straban township, Adams County, who was born January 14, 1836. They removed to Johnstown, Cambria County, where he taught a year in the gymnasium as associate principal, and then a year in the graded public schools. He then returned to college, and was graduated with the class of l859. By private study he entered the second year's course in the theological seminary the same fall, and in the spring of 1860 was licensed by the Evangelical Luthern Synod of Central Pennsylvania, and in July took charge of the congregations in and near Dickinson (Centreville), eight miles above Carlisle, in Cumberland County, where he remained a year, returning home during the winter. He purchased the Juniata Sentinel in July, 1861, and published a strong Union paper, upholding the Lincoln administration in every effort to suppress the Rebellion. In the fall of 1865 he sold the printing-office and took charge of, as principal and proprietor, a soldiers' orphans' school at Cassville, Huntingdon County, under laws relating thereto in the commonwealth. He conducted this school with great success until December, 1872, when he purchased the Huntingdon Globe, removed to that town and became its editor. In the fall of that year he took an active interest, through the columns of his paper and by personal effort, in a Congressional contest. He continued to edit the Globe until July, 1877; having demonstrated his capacity to defend his own castle, he ceased to fight other men's battles at his own expense, and retired from the turmoils of politics. The next two years were spent in closing up business and in historical pursuits, especially in collecting matter relating to Juniata County. In December, 1879, he accepted a clerkship in the Internal Revenue Bureau of the Treasury Department in Washington, D. C., where he continued until the 26th of August, 1885, when, being an "offensive partisan," he had the honor to resign by request, deeming this a testimonial of his influence and nanhood. While in charge of the orphans' school he was designated the "professor," which has clung as a convenient but meaningless handle to his name ever since. He has written and published several addresses, a number of articles on Indians, and historical, genealogical and biographical sketches. His oldest child, Adelaide L., died at the age of four and a-half years. He has one son, Harry T., and four daughters,--Annie M., Mary F., Katie B. and Emma G. Harry T. is a student of medicine, and resides in Philadelphia.