Universal York

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Lots of York County Furniture Makers

I’ve been doing some research lately on early York County furniture makers and found that there were many more of these skilled craftspeople than I realized. It does make sense–everyone needed furniture and few were wealthy enough to have it “imported” from Baltimore or Philadelphia.
The existing tax lists from 1800-1850 abound with cabinet makers, chair makers, joiners and turners. There are hundreds of carpenters listed, most of which may have been house carpenters, but some probably also made some furniture. Some, like George Dowdel, who invented a bedbug-proof bedstead didn’t get picked up in the existing tax lists as a furniture maker or carpenter at all.
Click here for previous post.
Dowdel/Doudel did make more than just bedsteads, as evidenced by his sale bill, listed in the January 24, 1832 Gazette. He was selling everything, including his carpenter and cabinetmakers. A George Doudel from Pennsylvania arrived in Ohio about this time, so he may have preparing to move west, as many were doing during this period.
The sale bill, transcribed below, also gives us a glimpse of daily life in York in the 1830s.


Will be sold at public vendue, on Thursday the first day of March next, at the house of the subscriber in the borough of York, in main street, near the bridge and next to Adam Eichelberger’s tavern, the following property, viz.
Two ten plate Stoves and pipe, and one Cooking Stove with all the cooking apparatus, Tables, Chairs, Secretary, Desk, Bureaus, bedsteads, one Eight day Clock and Case, Carpeting, and a variety of household and kitchen furniture.


at the same time and place, Three head of Horses, on Cow, one Waggon, wood Ladders, Hay Ladders, Cutting Box, Plows, Harrows, and a variety of farming utensils.


a large quantity of New furniture, consisting of Bureaus, Dining and Breakfast Tables, one Desk, one Secretary and Desk, Bedsteads, with a large quantity of Carpenter and Cabinetmaker Tools, Turning Lath and Work benches, Cherry and Pine Boards, with a lot of Poplar Scantling.


at the same time, will be sold, all the Household Furniture of Jacob Doudel.
Sale to commence on said day, at ten o’clock. A.M. and attendance given and terms made known by


N.B. At the same time and place, Eight Acres and 93 perches of Land, with young thriving timber, in York township, adjoining Jacob Loucks, John Gotwalt and others, and about three hundred excellent Chesnut Posts ready for fencing, and some unfinished.


Jan. 24.

Click here to read about the variety of furniture manufactured in York by Charles Strack in the 1840s.
Click here to read about Weaver piano and organ manufacturer.
Click here to read about some York countians that settled in Ohio.