Howertown Road above Bridge Street
The land east of Howertown Road was part of the Kurtz farm, 186 acres which extended from Howertown Road east. The Kurtz family purchased the land in 1831 from Abraham and Elisabeth Ziegler, who acquired the land in 1807 through a Sheriff’s sale from Conrad and Hannah Haas. Kurtz sold off a lot to Nevins in 1871 upon which he built his home.
The 1876 lot map shows the Nevin House as the only residence along Howertown between Bridge and Walnut. Lots were laid out and many sold, but no homes had been built. It would be many years before the Kurtz farm was fully developed.
The land on the west side of Howertown was the Fuller Homestead.
Address: 418 Bridge St – NE Corner of Howertown & Bridge
Name: James Nevins
Year built: 1876
Built by: James Nevins
James was born in Ireland in 1826 and came to Mauch Chunk to wrought iron in 1842. In 1847, he came to Catasauqua where he worked in the furnaces in Catasauqua for 42 years. He married Mary Ann Liebert, PA German, in 1852. His father was a linen weaver. He attributed his “fine, comfortable home” to his wife.
Mary Ann’s parents were Jane and John Leibert, who lived near Koehler’s Lock (No 37). John worked as boss carpenter for the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co repairing canal boats, then for Biery’s Port as a mill-wright and miller. He later oversaw the water machinery at the Crane Iron. When John Leibert died, his son Owen, 9 years old, had to go to work. David Thomas became his legal guardian, and the Thomas’s trained him as a blacksmith at the Crane, later becoming foreman of the shop. At 21 he went to work for the Bethlehem Iron Works as a blacksmith, and later machinist. He at one point became assistant engineer to John Fritz and became general superintendent of the Bethlehem Iron Co in 1893 upon the retirement of John Fritz. Owen built a mansion on Market Street in Bethlehem.
After the death of Mary Ann Nevins, the house passed to their daughters, Emma Nevins Morrow (wife of James Morrow) and Margaret A. Nevins Liebert (wife of John Leibert).
In 1926, the house and lot was sold to the Presbyterian Church, who continued to use the house as the parsonage for the Bridge Street Presbyterian Church. The house was sold to the Crothers family in 1938 (Cands Fabrics) who lived there for two generations. In 1971 the home was sold to Nancy Davidson aka Hart. In 1989, it was purchased by the current owners.
Borough Directory listings for the Nevins House: (CBD: Catasauqua Borough Directory)
1898 CBD – James B. Nevins; Yeoman; James & Emma Morrow; blacksmith (address listed as 416)
1900 CBD – James B. Nevins, Yeoman; James, blacksmith & Emma Morrow
1900, 1908 CBDs – In addition to Nevins and the Morrows, Jane Leibert also lived here.
1910 census – James Nevins; James Morrow (Son-in-law); Foreman – Cement Co; Emma Morrow (Daughter)
1920 census – James & Emma Morrow; Foreman – Cement Mill
1930 census – Andrew M. & Louise Brown; Minister – Presbyterian Church
1940 census – Joseph L. & Cathryn R. Crothers & Family; Foreman – Silk Mill (Cands Fabrics)
PA Vernacular/Late Federal style. 2-story wrap around bay and wrap-around porch, as well as the lintels over the windows and ornate brackets provide an Italianate ambiance. The original side porch was enclosed, then opened up to become part of the living space. An original flue for a smoke room in the cellar, now serves the family room fireplace.
Address: 511 Howertown
The 1930 Directory of Catasauqua lists a 511 Howertown Rd address, which would have been just above the Nevin House on Howertown, between it and 517 Howertown (on the corner of Blackberry). 511 Howertown was the residence of Anna L. and James F. Manley, the president and manager of the Eagle Brewing Company at that time. Manley was also a big supporter of kids sports and helped found the Boys Club in town.
The current home was built in 1995.
Address: 514 Howertown
Year built: c. 1885
Info needed on this home.
Other Site History:
Land was owned by Uriah Kurtz, of the Kurtz farm, until 1916. The home was converted from two living units to a single-family home by the current residents between 1989 and 1993, restoring the woodwork and replacing doors and mantles with period pieces. (HCPA House tour 1993).
Address: 517 Howertown
Location: SE Corner of Blackberry & Howertown
Year Built: 1875
1930 : Mr and Mrs James Manley; James Manley was married to Anna Price, daughter of David and Amanda Price of 131 Mulberry St. David was the pattern shop foreman at Davies and Thomas. James was an owner of the Eagle Brewery during prohibition, later the Catasauqua Brewing Co. He was also director of the Catasauqua Athletic Association in the 1920s and a strong supporter of local and school athletic teams and events.
1940 : Ebert J Greene, supt Grace ME Sunday School;
1945 : Roland J Bachman; In 1960 PPL recognized Roland J Bachman for 40 or more years of service with the company. His wife Beatrice died in 1973 and Roland died a month later.
Address: 519 Howertown
Location: NE Corner Blackberry & Howertown
1885: William Young, carpenter @ Kurtz nr Howertown
1908 CBD: Young, Milton J, tailor, h 519 Howertown. Young, Amanda J, h 519 Howertown
1908 Miller, Charles, lab, bds 519 Howertown
1925: Wm E Young, heater, and Lillie; 1930: horse shoe worker
Address: 520 Howertown
Year Built: 1939
Clyde S. Frankenfields was principal of CASD for many years. His wife Marie Faulkner Frankenfield died at age 81 in 1976, and he died the following year at age 89. It stayed in the family until this year. Their son, Bruce, a doctor, had the worst bedside manner; he was a grouch.
Address: 524 Howertown (Gotebeski)
Year built: c. 1885
This was the carriage house for the home built by James W. Fuller, II that stood on the corner lot on Bridge extending from Fourth St to Howertown Road and north to Strawberry Alley.
After autos, the building became a garage. When the home was razed, the building still stood and its basement was used during WWII as a meeting place for the Air Raid Wardens. The Gotebeski’s purchased the property from the Maude Elverson estate in 1956.
Address: 526 Howertown
Year Built: 1913
Address: 530 Howertown
Year Built 1957
First occupants were Robert and Flora Fritzges and family, who moved here from Cleveland, OH. The house was built by Harry Scheirer. Flora was an active supporter of the local ambulance corp. In 1964, they added the property at the rear of the lot as a home/office for her father and mother, Dr. E Ross and Dr Mary E. Laughlin. Ross passed away here in 1969 and Mary in 1986. Robert Fritzges was a WWII vet, worked for Mack trucks for 34 years, and volunteered at the Mack Truck Museum. A tragedy hit the family in 1976 when their son Jeffrey was killed at the Race St RR crossing while driving with three friends on his 28th birthday.
Address: 534 Howertown
Year Built: 1956
PT Seibert, partner in Cands Fabrics, 1938-1959. Started as a loom fixer for Dery, and went to Wahnetah in 1902 as a foreman, and later became superintendent of the plant, a position he held until it closed in 1938. Percival and Lovina lived at 520 2ndbefore moving here. He sold his interest in Cands Fabrics and retired in 1959; passed away in 1966. His wife died in 1976.
B Skipek bought the property in 1977.
Address: 501 Kurtz
Location: SE Corner Howertown and Kurtz
The lot in 1876 was owned by A Snyder, possibly Aaron, a butcher who boarded in town. Zillow says the house was built in 1875, and A Snyder was no longer here then. More research is needed to determine who built the house and who were the first occupants.
In 1907, Robert J Beitel, jeweler, and Clara Sieger Beitel remodeled and moved into 501 Kurtz after their marriage. Robert worked with his father at J C Beitel and Son Jewelers, located on the first floor of the bank building at Front and Bridge. Prior to the construction of the bank in the early 1900s, the Beitel’s business and residence was at 213-215 Front St. In 1922, Robert bought the James Thomas property at 516 Walnut. By then, Robert was running the jewelry and optician business, and his father focused solely on the bank, as its president.
The property was purchased by Jonas L. Young in 1924 who opened a corner grocery here which he and his wife ran from over 40 years. He lived here with his wife Lulu (Hackman), daughter Mildred, who was a clerk and, later, a telephone operator, another daughter Mary and a son, Reynold. Reynold graduated HS in 1930 and went to work for Bethlehem Steel. In 1942, he married Lucille Kuehner (of Kuehner’s Bakery, 130 Front St). Mrs. Young died in 1963 at age 77. Jonas closed the store around 1961 and passed away in 1966 at age 85. He. The daughters continued to live here. Mildred retired as a telephone operator after 40 years; she died at age 76 in 1986. Mary continued here, selling the house in 2005.
Address: 537 Howertown
~1905-1929: Stella and Thos H Hicks, O’Donnel (domestic, 1908). Mr. Hicks was chief chemist for the Atlas Cement Co. working out of the Chicago and later NYC offices. They moved here in early in the 1900s and stayed until 1930, at which time they moved back to Allentown then to NYC: Mr. Hicks continued to travel frequently for the Atlas. Mrs. Hicks was one of the leaders in establishing the park and playground while they lived here. She also worked with the Holton daughters in setting up the Red Cross here in 1917. They returned to Catasauqua ~1950.
1930s-mid 50s: Atty Thos E Weaver began his law practice in 1928 in Allentown and also practiced out of his home here before opening an office at 425 Front St in 1935 and, later, in the Lehigh National Bank Building. Grace Walp was his first steno. He was the solicitor for the borough and, in 1943, was appointed assistant DA for Lehigh Co. From 1947-57 he was supt of the Presby Church Sunday School and served as legal representative for many organizations in the borough. Married to Emma Brenneman of Carlisle, they had three children, Thomas E, Ralph Steele, and Janet Louise. In 1955, when son Thomas graduated from Gettysburg College, his father and mother were living at 540 4th St, home of their aunt, Mary Weaver. However, in 1956, they moved to 502 Pine, the former home of William R Thomas.
Address: 541 Howertown: (now Kish)
1908-1914: Uriah & Catherine Kurtz. Catherine died in 1914; Uriah died in 1915 at age 73. Uriah, born in 1842, started out as a miller working for Berger and Younger. He served inn Co B of the 38th Militia at Gettysburg, ran a dairy business, then took over the Catasauqua Mill in 1891, succeeding Younger.
1915-1959: Gertrude and Claude Smith. Claude was an electrician at the Davies and Thomas Co. He died in 1933 at age 51. His wife Gertrude died at home in 1958 at age 78, from a fall down the stairs. Her son, Seymour, and daughter-in-law lived here with Mrs Smith at the time, but were away on vacation at the Jersey shore. Her maiden name was Case.
Address: 545 Howertown
Year Built: 1880
Owner: Simon Breinig
He owned many farms in the area. His wife died here in 1896 and he died in 1906. The Breinigs were pioneer settlers of Northampton County. Part of this farm (Breinig’s Woods, located across Howertown Rd from Fuller Grove) became Clearview Field.
The home was rented to Preston Fry, coachman, his wife Lizzie (nee Diefenderfer), and mother Harriet, widow of Lewis Fry. The family were saddlers, with a shop at 403 Front. Lewis died in 1904 at age 67, having been a harness maker for 40 years: he was blind the last 25 of his career. Preston and his wife, married in 1896, lived at 314 Church St before moving here in the early 1900s. Harriet died here in 1914; she continued the saddlery after her husband died, with son Charles. Preston became a coachman/chauffeur to R E Wilbur. In 1912 he drove the Wilburs and Stillmans on a 7 week tour of New England in Wilbur’s new Pierce-Arrow. In 1914 he became the chauffeur for Mrs Kate Fuller. In 1914, the Fry’s moved to 600 Kurtz St. He later worked for Hersch Hardware in town before retiring. In 1951, the Frys celebrated 57 years of marriage. They had 5 children.
1926: sale of property by Elizabeth C Breinig estate to Mabel and John S Green, supt of the Fuller-Lehigh Co. Mabel was one of the founding members of the LC branch of the PA Children’s Aid Society and active in both the local and Lehigh Valley Congress of Women’s Clubs, a trustee for the Library, and on the board of the Welfare Federation of Catasauqua, formed in 1930. Their daughter Helen was a reporter for the Evening Chronicle in Allentown. The Greens left here in 1931 when Mr Green was transferred to OH with the sale of Fuller business to Babcock & Wilcox.
1931: Wm Kratzer family purchases. Wm dies 1969. He was an equipment operator for the borough for 15 years, retiring in 1968. 1949 Arthur W G Dornblaster, wife Helen Schleicher (Walnut St); (same time at Kratzers)
Address: 549-551 Howertown Rd (BZ 549)
Name: Dr. J. L. Kline/Haas Family
The left side of the double was the residence of William B. Haas, the milkman, and his wife Floranda from 1900 (still listed here in the 1930 directory). They moved here from 6 Howertown Road.
Dr. J L. Kline, a physician, had his home and office here (along with the Haas) in 1908. Also Charles A. M. Kline, solicitor., and Brown, Flora L.
In 1916, Henry and Jennie Kline were also listed as being residents here; Henry was a “yeoman” (self-employed).
The right side was the home of the Struebings from the early 1900s to 1929. The household included Henry and his wife, Mary C; daughter Elizabeth, Henry’s mother Sophia (Sophia died in 1906 at age 85) (his father Frederick passed away much earlier) and Mary’s mother, Christiana Witt (died 1911) and Mary’s father John L Witt (died 1918 at age 93). John Witt came to Catasauqua in the 1850s and worked for the Crane most of his life. The Struebings had several other children who lived in Philly. By the 1919 CBD, Mary was listed as Henry’s widow (Henry died in 1919 at age 71). She and her daughter continued to appear in the directories through 1927. Elizabeth was listed as a silk worker. While the Struebings did not show up in directories up through 1900, Henry Struebing owned some property near the CMCo in 1898, which went to sheriff sale that year (the year that CMCo went bankrupt). He was also listed as a superintendent of the East Catty Sunday School in 1871. They apparently moved to Philadelphia and NY and returned later. Toward the end of his life, Henry was a watchman at the Catasauqua Castings Co.
Mary Witt Struebing was born in 1853 on the ship to America. Her parents John and Catherine Witt came to Catasauqua when she was 3. She married in 1872 and had 14 children, 5 of whom were alive at the time of her death in 1929. She was an organizer of the Orpah Rebecca Lodge (women’s arm of the Elks) in Catasauqua. Her brother John Witt (Jr) was a burgess of North Catty.
Address: 557-559 Howertown Rd
Year built: 1890
Name: MacHose Family Home
Built originally as a double, a duplicate of 549-551 Howertown Rd, it was converted to a single family dwelling in 1938 by the MacHose family. The house was passed on to Howard and Hermina McHose in 1948 and sold that year to C. Thomas Fuller and his wife Alexandra; they raised their children Peter and Holly here. The Fullers later moved to the Fuller estate at Willow Brook Farms. The Crother and Leggett families owned the home before it was purchased by the Remingtons in 1992. As of 2005, it has been the home of the current owners.
The MacHose family came here from Allentown in the early industrial days. In 1854, Samuel McHose, the mason who supervised the construction of nearly all the early furnaces throughout the valley, and Oliver A. Ritter established a fire-brick factory at the foot of Gordon St in Allentown. In 1868, these two men joined with David Thomas in starting the Lehigh Fire Brick Works in a frame building located at the northwest corner of Spring and Brick Streets. Samuel MacHose also was the first burgess of Allentown.
CT Fuller was the younger son of James Fuller the III, and nephew of the James Fuller II. He served in the U.S. Navy in both theatres of the war. He was Chairman of the Board of the Allentown Portland Cement Company until the company was sold to National Gypsum in 1960 and President of The Fuller Company. Fuller was a noted horseman and President of Willow Brook Enterprises, Inc. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and also into the National Reining Horse Hall of Fame. Many of his Quarter Horses were world renowned both at the track and in the performance arena.
The Crothers moved here from 418 Bridge St. Joseph L. Crothers was involved in silk industry. In 1938, his father, JLE Crothers, plus KB Crothers and PT Seibert (534 Howertown Rd) formed “C and S” or Cands Fabric Co in Catasauqua, one of two companies to move into the Wahnetah Silk Mill facility after it closed, operating from 1935 to 1971. Daughter Louise was a buyer and designer for the business. Daughter Charlotte Crothers married Lt Russell Leggett, a West Point grad from North Catty who died soon after they wedding copiloting a B-45 bomber on a training flight over the Chesapeake Bay in 1951. The Carothers and Leggitt families became very close.
Other Site History: The land was part of the Kurtz farm. The lot was sold to Samuel Snyder in 1883, and then to Lucius MacHose in 1889, who built a double here in 1890. 557 was purchased by Lizzie Downs and resold to Sarah MacHose, both in 1901. The 1908 borough directory lists the following residents of 557 Howertown: McHose, L H, lab, res 557 Howertown. Sarah.; McHose, Malcolm, student, h 557 Howertown. The left side of the home (559 Howertown) in 1908 was occupied by Siegfried, Warren C, carpenter and his wife Maggie and Siegfried, Mabel M, music teacher.
Address: 563 Howertown Rd
Year built: 1889-1890
Name: Noah Davies/Milton O. Knauss
This house was built for the Noah Davies’ family at the same time as 567, according to an article in the Catty Dispatch, Dec 1889. (Not related to Noah Davis who led the Crane Blacksmith Shop and who died in 1859), he was a master mechanic for the Crane, then machinist for Bethlehem Iron. He left Catasauqua in 1897 to become foreman at the Standard Castor Works in NYC. Mrs. Davies was the daughter of Rebecca and Henry Johnson, inventor and creator of the Johnson cold rolled steel company in Fullerton.
After their wedding in 1897, Roland Thomas (son of James Thomas, Davies & Thomas Co) and Clara Hopkins (daughter of the late John Hopkins, supt of Union Foundry) moved into the home vacated by the Noah Davies’ family.
In 1904, Herman Seltmann, supt Dery Silk, purchased the Noah Davies home on Howertown where he and his family resided until 1910, when he moved to Fountain Hill and became gen mgr of a new silk mill in Northampton. The 1908 directory lists Mary Savino living here as a domestic.
H. Morley Holton, treas of the Bryden (and brother of Geo Holton, president of the Bryden), moved here in 1910 after marrying Anna Kane of New Brunswick, NJ. In the 1920s, this was the home of Ralph S Weaver, officer of the Lehigh Fuller Machine Co. By 1928, he moved to 540 4th and was affiliated at that time with the Fuller Co (treas), Willow Brook, Allentown Portland Cement Co, and Valley Forge Cement Co.
Milton Knauss was the next resident of this home, son of George F. Knauss (weighmaster and prior partner in the carriage works on Railroad St). Milton O. Knauss started out in the labs of the Crane Iron in 1898 and became chief chemist under Leonard Peckitt. After serving as supt of Empire Steel & Iron’s Macungie furnace and helping restart the Topton furnace, he was appointed supt of the Crane Iron Works beginning in 1911 (succeeding H. R. Hall who succeeded Leonard Peckitt). Around that time, he and his wife lived at 507 Walnut St. When the Crane closed, he worked in various shops leaving Catasauqua for a time. When they returned, they lived here. In 1939, he and others took over the Davies & Thomas Machine Shop, running that machine works until the Davies & Thomas Co closed. After that, he took his machinists to the Fuller Co. Knauss retired to a new home he had constructed at 323 Bridge St on land subdivided from the Fuller Estate. The subdivision took place before the Fuller home on the SW corner of Howertown and Bridge was donated to St Paul’s (and razed).
Address: 567 Howertown Road – SE Corner of Pine & Howertown
Name: J. Arthur Williams Family Home
Year built: 1889-1890
Built by: J. Arthur Williams
J. Arthur Williams was a grandson of David Williams who immigrated to America in 1833 and settled in Catasauqua in 1840. J. Arthur ‘s father moved to Catasauqua in 1868 and was killed on the railroad in 1872. His uncles Oliver (see Catasauqua Manufacturing Co and Bryden Horseshoe Co) and John Williams (Crane and Catasauqua Manuf. Co ) also lived here.
J. Arthur went to work at the Union Foundry, eventually becoming an officer of the company. When the Union Foundry closed in 1905, J. Arthur had already formed the Hercules Metal Works, located in West Catasauqua below the Race St Bridge. Hercules Metal Works manufactured high grade brass, bronze, copper metal castings. He also served as treasurer for the Borough and was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church. The 1908 CBD lists the following: Williams, J A, brass foundry, res Pine and Howertown. Ida., Williams, Mildred, student, h Pine and Howertown, Williams, Dorothy, h Pine and Howertown.
Also known to locals as the Churetta House. A picture of this home exists from a time when the copper beech in the front yard (now gone) was just a seedling. If anyone is willing to share this picture for the website, contact HCPA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: 603 Howertown Road – NE Corner of Howertown & Pine
Name: C. Frank Beck
Year built: 1891
Built by: C. Frank Beck
Residence of Franklin Beck who was a partner in the plumbing business of Beck and Frey. The company was started by Beck’s brother David at 109 Front St. Frank moved the business to 528 Pine St in 1904. Frank, his wife, Sarah, had two daughters, and after the death of their daughter Helen, they took in her children. Frank was involved in varied enterprises. He was a news agent, ran an appliance store, owned rental properties, He died suddenly in 1932 at age 70. He was the son of Charles Beck and Catherine Biery Beck. Early on, he worked with his father in the Beck and Frederick Foundry in Fullerton which built railroad cars.