I was reseaching my Grube Family and came across this letter I had copied several years ago. I can't remember where I copied it from, maybe a library in Bucks County, PA. I will post here in case you have not seen it. Very interesting!
From the writing of David H. Bera on May 25, 1895:
Springtown, Bucks County, PA
To John H. Zeiner of Filmore, Indiana
The following is an outline of the history of the people of the first settlers on the South Mountain commonly called Swope Hill. Some of the first settlers who settled in Bucks and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania on the South Mountain the most southerly range of the Blue Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania such as the Zeiners, the Christines, the Reichards, the Grubes, the Schliriers, (Sloyers) etc. came originally from Wurtemberg, Germany and since their native country being a very hilly one, when they came to America seeking a home they selected a place similar to the one from whence they came, but always near a spring of water. The fertile valleys appeared to them too wild to make a home there.
These people in the country of Wurtemberg are called Swopes, and their country Swopeland and therefore the South Mountain is frequently nicknamed Swope Hill on account of the origin of the first settlers.
These immigrants all belonged to the Lutheran Sect or denomination, and their church and burial place was "Williams Township". When they came to America they brought their original habits, which were honesty, industry, frugality, and contentment. Pride and ostentation was not known among them. Women worked in the fields with the men. Refinement and high living was unknown to them. Real poverty was not found amongst them. They had some learning but their religion was only in form. Their mode of life was, with the original ones, nearly the same here as in their native land.
George Zeiner, the first of the names known to the writer, settled about one mile north of Springtown, where he lived and died. He was about 5 1/2 feet high, broad shouldered, full-faced, full-breasted, short-necked, broad-faced, prominent check bones, flat-nosed, prominent lips, and rather light-colored face. He spoke the Pennsylvania German Language without the foreign High German accent. This shows that he either came to America when young, or was born here. George Zeiner was married twice, the first wife was a Miss Christine, and with her he had two children, Jacob Zeiner and the wife of Nicholas Strouse, the second wife was a widow Kressler whose maiden name was Jacoby, and with her he had four children, Issac Zeiner, Andrew Zeiner, Susanna Zeiner, and Barbara Zeiner. Issac Zeiner lived and died in Centre Valley, Lehigh County, PA. He was a man of wealth, and had one child, a son named Milton A. Zeiner, who is now a distinguished Mennonite Minister of the Gospel. He resides On his hi father's large farm at Centre Valley. His P.O. is Centre Valley, Lehigh County, PA. Andrew Zeiner has quite a lot of children. Suzanna Zeiner was married and lived in Easton, Barbara is married to Josiah Brotzman of William Township and she has girls now grown. The P.O. of Josiah Brotzman is Chain Dam, Northampton Co, PA. The writer very well remembers Josiah Brotzman for when he taught school at the new Williams Township Church in 1840, little Josial came to school and was then probably 6 or 8 years old. Andrew Zeiner is married to a Miss Raub.
Jacob Zeiner was married to a Miss Bauder, Jacob Zeiner was a hard working honest farmer and his wife was a hard working woman. They had numerous family. As the Christine women were people of the darker complexion, Jacob Zeiner was a man of somewhat dark complexion tall and stout, with a Roman nose. His wife was also of dark complexion and tall. Nicholas Strouse's wife was a short woman and of light complexion-------
Nicholas Strouse himself was also a small man of light complexion.
The first Christine settled about a half mile north west of Houpt's Mill on the lands formerly belonging to Peter Grube (Little Petty Grube) and George Reichard. The Reichards settled about two miles north of Houpt's Mill toward the William Township Church. Of the Sloyers, Henry settled near George Zeiner, and the other Michael settled about a mile west of Houpt's Mill. (Houpt's Mill is two miles east of Springtown). (William Township Church is three miles north east of Houpt's Mill).
The first Christine had a family of boys and girls, to wit Nicholas, Peter, George, Daniel, George Zeiner's first wife, and Henry Sloyers first and second wife.
These Wurtembergers were in the habit of marring together, so in time whole Swope Hill appeared to be one family, and at funerals it was somewhat difficult to find help outside of the relatives. So the saying was that whole Swope Hill was like a field of flour overspun with flax ________. If a person would fall in at one end it would shake the whole hill.
The Christine were quite a primitive people and lived with little of the comforts of life, but were honest, content, and to some degree industrious.
Abraham Sloyer now owns the George Zeiner farm. He is the grandson of Henry Sloyer above named, who was a brother-in-law to George Zeiner.
Henry Adams and Emanuel now owns the original Christine Farm.
George Kunsman (now deceased) and the above named Abraham Sloyer now owns the original Henry Sloyer Farm.
Rev. P. Diehl and Chapman Wolbach own the original Michael Sloyer farm etc. all belonged to Old John Sloyer once the father of John R. Sloyer.
Chancey Christine now owns the old Leonard Cyphert farm. Herman Werner owns the old Frederick Werner farm. Issac Eichelberger owns the old Nicholas Strouse farm. John G. Kaniper owns the Johnny Kunsman farm. George Seifert owns the Old George Seifert farm. Jacob Pearson owns the Charles Apple farm. Orlando Frackenthall owns the Jacob Eakin farm. Elias Cawley and John Cawley own the Absolom Cawley farm. Widow Jonas Funk now owns the Old Joseph Funk farm. Springtown has petitioned to Court to be incorporated a borough.
There is more and if interested I can post the remainder of letter.
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