Category Archives: Shoemaker

R. F. Shoemaker and Almira Lowmiller

The son of Samuel G. Shoemaker and Mary Pott, Robert Fleming Shoemaker (1835-1893) married Almira Lowmiller (1840-1923) on September 5, 1867.

R. F. Shoemaker Almira Lowmiller
Almira Lowmiller Almira Lowmiller

Robert was a farmer. He and Almira had seven children:

  • Amelia Pott (1869-1952), married Coleman Bubb
  • Jessie (1870-1946), buried in Muncy
  • Robert Fleming (b. 1872), moved to Ohio
  • Harold (1874), died in infancy, buried in Muncy
  • Emily Crouse (1875-1950), buried in Muncy, married Harry Herbert Houston
  • Paul E. (b. 1877), married Margarett Painter and moved to Idaho
  • Carl Ickis (1883-1941), buried in Muncy

Jessie Shoemaker

Jessie Shoemaker

Emily Crouse Shoemaker

Emily Crouse Shoemaker

Shoemaker family plot in Muncy Cemetery, E. Penn Street, Muncy, PA

More on the Lowmillers

Almira Lowmiller was a daughter of William Lowmiller (1809-1879) and Lanah  Van Steever (1815-1904). The Lowmillers had six children who survived infancy:

  • Almira (1840-1923), buried in Muncy
  • J. Henry (1843-1864), enlisted in the 84th Regiment – Pennsylvania Volunteers and died in a Falls Church, VA hospital
  • Marietta (1845-1924), married Roland B. Fiester and moved to Iowa
  • Jenetta (b. 1847)
  • William (b. 1852)
  • Elizabeth (b. 1855), married Warren B. Hoffman

Almira Lowmiller and friends

Almira Lowmiller and friends

Marietta

Marietta Lowmiller

Jennetta

Jenetta Lowmiller

William Lowmiller came from Level Corners (west of Williamsport at a bend in the Susquehanna between Linden and Jersey Shore [1]) and wove coverlets. Later in life, he became a carpet weaver.[2] His father was likely Henry Lowmiller (1770-1844), who owned land in Anthony Township, northwest of Williamsport and north of Linden, PA. Henry Lowmiller was the son of Johann Heinrich Lowmiller of Kassel, Germany, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1752 and married Feronica Snevely.[3] They lived in Dauphin County, PA, possibly East Hanover Township.

William Lowmiller’s wife Lanah Van Steever[4] was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The 1900 census lists her family as originating from Germany. Her family moved to Paradise Valley (south of Muncy, near Turbotville) and, before coming to Muncy, she lived with a friend in Sugar Valley (near Loganton, PA).[5]

William and Lanah married and moved to Muncy in 1838. They moved William’s weaving equipment from Level Corners by boat to their home at  124 S. Main Street in Muncy.[6] William dyed his own wool and used jacquard cards to make designs. Examples of William Lowmiller’s coverlets include:

Coverlet from Level Corners (1835)

Double-side coverlet from Muncy (1845)

A 1939 article on the Lowmillers

The Lowmillers are buried in the Muncy Cemetery on E. Penn Street.


[1] Mrs. Frederic Hoffman, “The Lowmiller Coverlids and their Makers” in The Muncy Luminary, June 15, 1939.

[2] Clarita S. Anderson, American Coverlets and Their Weavers (Colonial Williamburg Foundation, 2002). Accessed November 16, 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=0WTYF82o5RgC.

[3] A Lowmiller genealogy is available at https://sites.google.com/site/kevinborland/lowmiller

[4] Variant spellings include seen in the census and in secondary sources: Lena, Lenah; Staver, Stover, Stuver

[5] Mrs. Frederic Hoffman, “The Lowmiller Coverlids and their Makers” in The Muncy Luminary, June 15, 1939.

[6] Ibid.

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Samuel Givin Shoemaker and Mary Pott

Samuel Givin Shoemaker (1791-1873), son of Henry and Susan, was a farmer.   He married Mary Pott (1797 – 1880) of Pottsville, PA on May 22, 1817.  They had nine children:

  • George Washington (1819-1842), buried in Muncy
  • Susan Harriet (1821-1823), buried in Muncy
  • Catherine (1825-1901), moved to Ohio
  • Jasper (1826-1907), moved to Lackawanna, PA
  • William Pott (1829-1897), moved to Kansas
  • Charles Bell (1831-1877), moved to Iowa
  • Matthew Houston (1833-1917), moved to Nebraska
  • Robert Fleming (1835-1893), buried in Muncy
  • Melissa Mary (1838-1890), buried in Muncy

William Pott Shoemaker

William Pott Shoemaker

Anne, wife of William

Anne, wife of William

Anne, wife of Charles Bell Shoemaker

Anne, wife of Charles Bell Shoemaker

Matthew Houston Shoemaker

Matthew Houston Shoemaker

Robert Fleming Shoemaker

Robert Fleming Shoemaker

Melissa Shoemaker

Melissa Shoemaker

Samuel Givin purchased the family plot in the Muncy Cemetery in 1860:

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.

The Shoemakers in America

The Shoemaker family has a rich history, made complex by two separate family lines. Both lines came from the Palatinate region of Germany, but settled in Pennsylvania at different times. Jacob Shoemaker of Mainz came to Germantown in Philadelphia, PA in 1683, while Simon Shoemaker of Zweibrücken came to Reading, PA about 70 years later.[1]

The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA incorrectly traces the Reading line to Jacob Shoemaker, who set out for America in 1683 with Francis Daniel Pastorius and settled Germantown.[2] Sources from the Germantown Historical Society show that Jacob Shoemaker was not the grandfather of Henry (1731-1797) and Charles (1735-1820) Shoemaker, the brothers who founded Shoemakersville. No records exist listing Jacob Shoemaker II and his wife Elizabeth Roberts as being the parents of two boys named Henry and Charles.

The incorrect lineage is also reiterated in a small black notebook, which otherwise contains accurate genealogical information. The notebook is identified on the last page by the name “Mary Lightfoot, Williamsport,” the likely author of the volume.

Story of Jacob Shoemaker who came to America in 1683

A Shoemaker genealogy in the black notebook

However, Benjamin H. Shoemaker’s “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown” sets the record straight:

It is unfortunate that the Reading Shoemakers are unrelated, as they have had many prominent descendants. Henry and Charles Shoemaker who founded Shoemakersville above Reading were children of Simon Shoemaker of Zweibrücken, Germany, as show by the records of Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading. This may be the Simon Shoemaker, listed by Rupp [in his 30,000 Immigrants] as reaching Pennsylvania in 1752.[3].

Further research at the historical and genealogical societies of Berks County may yield additional information about the Shoemakers of Reading.


[1] Benjamin H. Shoemaker, 3rd, “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown,” Germantown Crier 3 (1952?): 20.

[2] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 4-6. Accessed November 15, 2012, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL22893368M/The_Shoemaker_family_of_Shoemakersville_Pennsylvania_1682-1909.

[3] Benjamin H. Shoemaker, 3rd, “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown,” Germantown Crier 3 (1952?): 20.

Harry Herbert Houston, Sr. and Emily Shoemaker

Harry Herbert Houston (10.06.1880 – 07.16.1959) was born in Tampico, IL to Herbert Merton Houston and Lucy Smith. A copy of Harry’s birth certificate shows that Herbert Merton worked as a farmer and Lucy as a housewife. Harry was the youngest of four children: Merton (b. 03.14.1871), Edith (b. 06.16.1873), and Walter (b. 05.1878).

As an adult, Harry worked for the Bell Telephone Company as an electrical engineer and for a time he lived in Jersey City, NJ. At age 26, he married Emily Crouse Shoemaker (03.19.1875 – 10.31.1950), an elementary schoolteacher from Muncy, PA. Robert Fleming Shoemaker, a farmer, and Almira Lowmiller had seven children: Amelia (b. 1869), Jessie (1870-1946), Robert F. (b. 1872), Harold (b. 1874), Emily, Paul E. (b. 1877), and Carl (1883-1941).

The wedding took place on June 27, 1907 at St. James Episcopal Church (215 S. Main Street) in Muncy. Emily’s brother, Paul, gave her away as their father, Robert Fleming, had passed away in 1893. The couple spent their honeymoon visiting Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.

By 1909, Harry and Emily had moved to Yonkers, NY (Ward 9, Westchester, according census data from 1910, 1925, 1930, and 1940)  and Harry began working for the NY Central Railroad. They lived first at 84 Chester Place with two other families (1910 Census). A few years later, they moved to Edgewood Avenue and by about 1918, they moved to 52 St. James Terrace.

Emily and Harry had two sons: Harry Herbert Jr. (b. 1909) and G. N. Crosby (b. 1916), both born in Yonkers.

Harry Herbert Houston Senior and Junior

Harry Herbert Houston, Jr. at Edgewood Avenue

Emily with her sons Herbert and baby Crosby

On September 18, 1918, Harry completed a WWI Draft Registration Card. His occupation is stated as a telegram and telephone pilot for the N.Y.C.R.R.Co. The registrar described Harry as tall and of medium build with grey hair and grey eyes.

According to the 1940 census, Harry at age 59 still worked full-time for the NY Central Railroad along with his son, Crosby. Harry continued work as a telephone wireman and his 24-year-old son worked as a “dynamo man.” They both worked 52 weeks per year and their salaries were $2200 and $1800, respectively. Amelia Bubb, Emily’s widowed sister, aged 71, lived with the family as this time.

Emily (far right) at an antiques show in Yonkers, NY.

Harry Herbert Houston, Sr.

Harry and Emily moved back to Muncy in their old age. Emily died from a stroke and Harry from cancer. They are buried on the Shoemaker family plot on the far western end of the Muncy Cemetery on E. Penn Street. Their son Crosby continued to live at the St. James Terrace house in Yonkers, NY.