The Shoemakers Across Pennsylvania

Henry Shoemaker (1731-1797) was the first Shoemaker to come to Muncy. In 1761, he married Barbara Kepner (1744-1817), daughter of a miller named Benedict Kepner and Maria Barbara Lindemuth. The Kepners lived in from Bern Township, Berks County, north of Reading. (It seems Henry’s younger brother Charles married Barbara’s sister Maria.)

Henry and Charles moved “to Shoemakersville—then a dense forest, almost an unbroken wilderness—about the year 1765, where Henry built the first stone house in 1768.”[1] The brothers bought a pipe organ from Europe for the house.[2] They also operated a tannery “on the east bank of the Schuylkill river at Shoemakersville”[3] and served in the Berks County army during the Revolutionary War. Charles (1735-1820) and another of the Shoemaker brothers, Jacob, were important citizens of Berks County as evidenced by their profiles in History of Berks County, Pennsylvania.[4]

Henry went on from Shoemakersville to Muncy. The author of the black notebook (see previous post) describes how “Henry I came to Muncy with his family in May 1783. Coming by way of Harrisburg, he struck the River near Peter’s Mountain. His wife, being a large woman and not able to ride far in a wagon, they put in a canoe with her youngest son Samuel and poled it from Harrisburg to Walton’s Landing, then to the mouth of Muncy Creek.”[5]  An early Muncy settler, Henry built a “grist and saw mill” and accumulated about 2,000 acres of land.[6]

Page 1 of Shoemaker notebook

Page 1 of the Shoemaker notebook

Page 2 of Shoemaker notebook

Page 2 of the Shoemaker notebook

Henry and Barbara had ten children, the first son being Henry Shoemaker II (1762-1805).  Henry II was Muncy’s first postmaster and married Susan Dudder (1763-1835), whose family settled in Muncy “at an early date.”  Henry II and Susan had nine children. Their youngest son was Samuel Givin.


[1] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 6. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL22893368M/The_Shoemaker_family_of_Shoemakersville_Pennsylvania_1682-1909.

[2] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 7. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL22893368M/The_Shoemaker_family_of_Shoemakersville_Pennsylvania_1682-1909.

[3] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 7-8. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL22893368M/The_Shoemaker_family_of_Shoemakersville_Pennsylvania_1682-1909.

[4] Morton L. Montgomery, History of Berks County, Pennsylvania (Reading: Chas F. Haage, 1894), 269-271. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=SE0OAAAAIAAJ&dq.

[5] Story confirmed by John F. McGinness, History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania (publication data unknown: 1892), 947. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=NQFu5DfPSvwC&dq.

[6] Ibid.

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