Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

Bells Go Awry in Dillsburg and York

York County, Pennsylvania people were having bell trouble, according to the November 20, 1877 issue of the York Gazette. Dillsburg’s St. Paul’s Lutheran Church had a cracked bell, and Mary Mayer of York broke her arm trying to ring a door bell.

First the Dillsburg story:
“NEW CHURCH BELL.–A new bell, weighing 400 pounds has been placed in the belfry of St. Paul’s Lutheran church of Dillsburg. The bell is from the foundries of Henry McShane & Co., Baltimore. The cost of the new bell, with hanging complete was $126, though the old bell, which was broken in tolling several years since, was taken as part pay, the difference, $60, being paid in cash.”
According to Gibson’s 1886 History of York County, Lutherans first met in Dillsburg in the schoolhouse. In 1856 they dedicated their own church building at a cost of $1,250. The bell, therefore, would have only been twenty years old. Perhaps the replacement lasted longed.
Then there was the faulty doorbell in York:
“SINGULAR ACCIDENT.–On Tuesday evening, Miss Mary Mayer, sister of the late John L. Mayer, Esq., ascended the steps at the residence of Maj. A. H. Ness, and while trying to ring the hall bell, the knob became detached from the wire, causing her to fall backward on the pavement, fracturing the bones of her right fore arm, and considerably bruising her back.”
Mary Mayer and her brother John L. Mayer (1810-1874) were children of Rev. Lewis Mayer, German Reformed minister and head of the Reformed (now U.C.C.) seminary when it was located in Carlisle and then York. Brother John’s daughter, Julia Mayer, was the wife of Grier Hersh, extremely successful York banker.
A. H. Ness (Nes) was probably Alexander Hamilton Nes (1827-1879) who (according to Prowell’s 1907 History of York County) took over his uncle’s brewery with W. H. Kurtz, and then had a successful malt business. His widow Eliza Brillinger Nes lived at “the old homestead,” 119 W. Market Street in 1907. The doorbell, hopefully, was replaced or repaired.
More Dillsburg news.
Click on the links below to read about York County brewers.
Barnitz family brewers of York and Baltimore.
Early York Barnitz brewers.