York Town Square

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Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, known for its neat features – Part III

Rudy Art Studio produced this stained-glass window at York’s First Moravian Church, one of series made by this noted turn-of-the-20th century York art studio. This window was given in memorial of George Small, who bore a common York-area name. Who was this particular George Small? Read below. Also of interest: Beautiful York, Pa., church known for neat features, as in 31 stained glass windows and Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part II and York County enthusiasts could find historical event, site to visit every day

The most-prominent branch of the massive Small family of York, Pa. goes like this, according to my “East of Gettysburg”:
Lorentz Schmahl came to American in 1743.
Killian, Lorentz’s son, had seven sons.
George was the most prominent of Killian’s seven sons, all carpenters.
George’s family included sons, P.A. and Samuel, who were the most successful businessmen in 19th-century York.
P.A. had three sons – George, William Latimer and Samuel – who became prominent in the York business community.
The last George Small in this particular Small family line died in 2002… .

George Latimer Small, 81, ran P.A. & S. Small Co., from 1945 until its merger with another company in 1976. The Roland Park, Md., resident died at the age of 81.
The George Small, who was memorialized with a Rudy Art Glass Window in York’s First Moravian Church is apparently not of this particular line.
But his name lives on, as Terrence Downs explains in this third exposition of First Moravian’s Rudy windows, excerpted here:

“The planning for the 1910 retrofit of the Moravian Church in York, recognized now as First Moravian (being one of 3 Moravian Church factions in a growing York) was cutting edge from its earlier form to a higher style then Moravians regionally ever imagined.
“The congregation, emerging from a body of settlers of York Town, moving from its former location in 1868 to a more advantageous spot, and thru the material prosperity of the times within York First Church and the community enabled this new atmosphere of setting to emerge. The reputed Rudy Studios here in York gave their all for the glass tributes that personify our Worship Center, no window without exception in placement to enhance those who call our sanctuary a haven of beauty and inspiration.
“In this season celebrating The Epiphany, God’s calling for His Son was to be the bearer of Light to a very dark world. As Jesus entered His ministry here on earth, He was aware to the task before Him. And so, the only Way of Salvation was thru Him: the only Gospel that explains this in detail is John 14:6 – with Thomas questioning him of it while at the upper room where Jesus was teaching them before His pending crucifixion – equipping the Disciples with the direction to Salvation, the Holy Spirit and the World’s hatred – but the Disciples not fully in tune of conscious listening to the context of his message. This window invokes the clear understanding initially told from Isaiah.
“The unit shows this precept in nine prolific words. In respect to the Sanctuary plan, it is located by the Apostles’ Creed – being situated to the spot where we baptize. Interestingly this window holds a more arresting compilation of blue-green glass, which at varied times of the day and seasons – its iridescence ever changes on this unit, even during the time of a worship service.
“George Small, who died May 8th, 1907, was the husband of Fannie Seitz Small. George was baptized at the Moravian Church of York (on) March 13, 1836. Fannie was baptized at Christ Lutheran in 1855. They were married on June 15, 1876 and she was received a member at York First on April 9, 1882.
“From this union it is noted of four sons & 3 daughters. Rev. T. W. Shields, pastor of York First in 1907 states, ‘Bro. Small was a faithful member of this Congregation for many years,’ and in regard to (the) funeral at his home, Pastor Shields documents in his journal, ‘The funeral was held at his late home, was largely attended by sorrowing friends and relatives, and his children being present except his daughter, Mrs. Theodore Reinecke, who is a Moravian Missionary in Nicaragua, Central America.’
“George Small was the son of Isaiah (or Josiah) and Louise Shank Small. Records are not immediately accessible to the status of the family – for another George Small was prominent in York in 1907… .”
“However, our Mr. George Small life’s gifts to his Church – in a daughter married to a Moravian Pastor & Missionary, as well as his ability to serve many years on the Board of Trustees warranted the place of honor to a glass window tribute. In due time we may learn more of our George Small, his place in York – and other noteworthy attributes.”