Second St Between Walnut and Pine

Address: 626 Second St
Name: Philip Storm Residence
Year built: 1860
Built by:  possibly Elizabeth Schwartz (Swartz)

The home was the residence of Philip Storm.  Philip Storm came to America from Bavaria in 1848, loaded coal boats on the canal and worked in local limestone quarries before serving in the Civil War, Company D, 175th Regiment of the PA Infantry.  After the war, Storm was employed at the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co (CMC) as a foreman for 26 years, handling the scales and helping build the mill that was added in 1863.  In 1889, he became a buyer and seller of iron for CMC while also operating his own iron scrap business @ the SW corner of Front & Chestnut.

Mr. Storm was a member of the council for three years, served as burgess for four terms beginning in 1881, and served as health officer for twelve years. He was an elder in the Lutheran church, a Mason, and a member of the Fuller Post, No. 378, Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1851 Mr. Storm married Gertrude Koch, a native of Germany, who died in 1883. They had five children.  His second wife was Sarah A. (Trollinger) Miller, widow of John P. Miller, of Allentown;  Sarah had a daughter by her former marriage.  His daughter Louisa married Allen Heckman, a blacksmith; they lived in the unit block of Front St.  His daughter Sarah married Ambrose A. Seyfried, and they ran the confectionary shop at 613-615 Front St.  A son William ran a bakery at 762 Front St.  A grandson George Storm fought in the Spanish American war and eventually died during WWI in France.  A son John married Catherine Leikel Storm:  they both died in 1890 in their early 30s, leaving three children, who were cared for by Philip and Gertrude.  The 1887 directory lists Philip and Gertrude Storm living further up Walnut Street.  Philip lived in West Catasauqua when he died in 1913, at which time he was supervisor of Fairview Cemetery (and had pre-dug his own grave).

Other Occupants: Storm purchased the home from Elizabeth Swartz in 1881 who purchased the lot in 1857; she is listed as the owner of this house/property on the 1876 lot map.  The Lawall family who ran Lawall’s Pharmacy resided here from at least 1890 through the 1940s.  Mrs. Henrietta Lawall, widow of Edgar J. Lawall, and Edgar S. Lawall, pharmacist, were llisted in the 1929/1930 Directory.  Dr.Richard D. Fullagar, an eye doctor, had his office here in the late 1960s, early 1970s; he lived on Peach St on “Mortgage Hill”.

Architectural Notes:
Originally a Federal style house, the three story bay and tower, brackets and lintel ornamentation were added at a later date giving the house an Italianate ambience.  Several frame additions were added to the back of the home.   Mr. and Mrs. Luis Nogales resided here during the late 1900s, caring for the historical details of the home.  The current residents renovated the home in 2009.

Address:  623 Second St (numbering changed from 511 c.1896)
Name: Reuben and Rebecca Boyer

Across Second St form the Storm residence, at the site of the current church parking, was the home of Reuben A. and Rebecca Boyer.  It is shown on the 1870s maps and is listed as 511 Second, the home of Rebecca Boyer, widowof Reuben, and Emily & Margaret, in the 1890 Wiliams directory.  Reuben was involved in iron mining and also operated a general store on Church St above Second.
Their daughter Minnie Boyer married Henry Seaman;  H. J. Seaman started as a chemist for the Crane and went on to become superintendent of Atlas Cement.

The Boyer’s son Edward married Annie Williams; Edward Boyer became superintendent of Hercules Cement Company of Catasauqua.

Their daughter Margaret married Walter Watson, who was general manager of the Clear Springs Water Company.which was a spin off of the Crane Iron, supplying water to both nearby industries and municipalities (until the borough built a municipal water plant in 1910 for residential use). Walter Watson also was manager of the Lackawanna Land Co, a developer of lots in North Catasauqua. The Watsons moved into 1041 Fifth in 1907 and later to Philadelphia.

Chester and Mary Dyer and their children Edgar, Eleanor and Henrietta lived here c1909 to 1916.  Chester was a blacksmith and later a machinist.  Mary, who was very active in the Red Cross and other ccommunity organizations, died in 1920 at age 57, by which time they had moved to 543 Third St.

Address: 616 Second St
Name: Williams/Holton
Year built: 1875
Built by: Oliver Williams

Williams worked for Catasauqua Manufacturing Co for 25 years starting in 1867, first as manager, then President. It was the largest merchant iron mill east of Alleghenies during that time.  Williams also was one of the founders of Bryden Horseshoe Works, where he served as Treasurer and President, and was President of Union Foundry and Machine Co until his death in 1904 (he and his brother David and Wm Hopkins purchased Union Foundry from D. Thomas in 1869).  He was VP of Whitehall Portland Cement Co in Cementon, President of Cement National Bank in Seigfried, PA, President of the National Iron Association, President of the Eastern Bar Iron Association, and a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers.  He  well known throughout the valley, state, and country.

Williams was born in S. Wales in 1831, came to America with his parents at the age of two, and to ‘Craneville’ in 1840.  For a time he left Catasauqua, moving to Philadelphia where he learned the iron moulder trade (1849), then switched to the optical business (1853), moved to Milwaukee for a time, then entered the leather business in Chicago (1853).  He married Anna Heilig of Germantown.
He was a lifelong friend of David Thomas, and when David Thomas was looking for someone to run the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co, he offered the position to Oliver Williams in 1867, who then returned to Catasauqua where he remained for the rest of his life.   He was a member of the Amphion Choral Society and the Oratorio Society of Allentown and attended the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  He was also a judge of show chickens and had a gentleman’s farm in Hanover Twsp.  Oliver had three brothers – Thomas P, David W., John – who also settled in Catasauqua with their families.

Other Occupants:  Holton/Faust/Adamiak

George Holten was born in London in 1868 where he obtained a scientific education and came to America in 1886.  Prior to being hired by Oliver Williams, Holton worked at Pencoyd Iron Works of Philadelphia, then G.W.G. Ferris of Pittsburgh inspecting cast iron segments used in the construction of the first tunnel under the Hudson River (Hoboken Tunnel). In 1892, Oliver Williams hired Holton as a salesman for Bryden Horseshoe Co.  Holton went on to establish sales offices throughout country and moved up to sales manager and VP. Upon the death of Williams, Holten became president and treasurer until his death in 1913.  George Holton also served as a Director of the National Bank of Catasauqua and president and treasurer of Emanuel & Co. He was a member of the Catasauqua Club, Livingston Club (Allentown), Bryden Gun Club, Railroad and Engineers Club (NYC), VP of Lehigh Valley Symphony Society.

George Holten married Jessica Williams (the boss’s daughter) and they also resided here.  Jessica remarried after George’s death in 1913 and continued to live here until 1914.  The business was actually left to Jesssica.  She was a prime force in Catasauqua’s support of the Red Cross during WWI.

George Holten married Jessica Williams (the boss’s daughter) and they also resided here. Jessica remarried after George’s death in 1913 and continued to live here until 1914. The business was actually left to Jesssica. She was a prime force in Catasauqua’s support of the Red Cross during WWI.

Jessica Williams Holton Mattice subdivided the property into 5 tracts, which were sold to Elmer J. & Anna Faust around 1914. Faust was a partner in Faust and Landes, a jewelry store in Allentown. The Fausts lived here until 1935, when they sold the property to Margaret E. & Wm, P. Michell of Allentown. The Michells converted the property back into two tracks and resold it in 1936 to Eugene K. and Martha C. Twining. Twining was an attorney in Allentown and Martha was a teacher. In 1944 the property was purchased by Dr. Adamiak and his wife, Marion, and it was their home and his office until his death. Dr. Dale Bowen also practiced out of the office in this home around 1965, before moving his practice to North Catasauqua at 6th and Chapel in 1966 and later to the corner of Buttonwood and 5th. In 1977, it was purchased by the current residents. The Houghton name on the post card is likely an alternate (or mis-) spelling of Holton.

Architectural Notes:

Queen Anne Tudor.  The central hall has cherry wood wainscoting and an open staircase which extends to the third floor; large stained glass window is in the ceiling. Formal living and dining rooms and library have Victorian wainscoting and stained and leaded glass windows.  The solarium has a cathedral ceiling and leads to the patio and gardens.  Property is completely enclosed by a stone and iron fence. The landscaping was featured in Country Homes Magazine in Sept 1922.

Other Site History:

Edith Pritchard Hudders, widow of John, was one of the prominent landmarks of the early village.  Her home was on the corner of Second and Pine (then numbered 502 Second), the land now part of the 616 Second St lot as shown in the 1885 Sanborn map section to the right.  She was educated and an expert with the needle.  She taught school in the church basement and gave sewing lessons two days a week.  Every woman with daughters was a patron of Miss Hudders, and the latter, with a calm and dignified manner, would cut a big apple pie for her pupils as willingly as she would a switch from the limb on which the apple had grown.  The Hudders name here goes back to the Irish Settlement.  John & Esther/Edith Pritchard Hudders met in Chester County while attending school there in the 1830s, before moving to the Irish Settlement, the home of John’s mother.  They taught at a few of the early schools in the area before teaching at the “Academy” on the SW corner of Howertown and Bridge.  Some of the early residents that were students there were Wm Glace, James Thomas, Owen Leibert, James W. Fuller, and Wm R, Jones.
“Squire” Hudder also was a bookkeeper for Robert J. McIntyre, was Justice of the Peace for the newly incorporated borough, and served as president of the school board.  He was the agent for the LV Railroad’s Catasauqua Station for much of his later life, and was considered the most methodical and efficient agent in the Company’s service:  a VP of the railroad sent his son to be trained in the railroad business by Hudders.   His penmanship was noted as beautiful, like “copper plate”. He died in 1881.
Mrs. Hudders was of Pilgrim stock from Connecticut, but grew up in Susquehanna County.  Her cousin Sarah Blakeslee married Asa Packer, prompting frequent visits between Mauch Chunk and Catasauqua.  She taught at Dry Run School and a school on the corner of Church and Limestone before teaching at the Academy.  She also taught at a private school in the basement of the Bridge St Presbyterian Church and the Hanover Twp school building on Union St (pictured).  At the later she taught sewing and embroidery to girls in addition to academic subjects.  She was “a woman of great intellectual force and ability, possessing a remarkable memory, … could repeat the entire ritual of the Episcopal Prayer Book, and was particularly fond of the poets Montgomery, Rogers, Campbell and Wordsworth.”   She died in 1887.

The 1890-1900 directories list this now-gone Hudder residence (number had changed to 604 2nd)  as the home of George & Amelia Bower.  Born in Lehighton in 1832 and originally a teacher, he married in 1851, and, in 1858, George Bower opened a meat business in Catasauqua with a slaughterhouse on Canal & Mulberry.  He served a term as Burgess, served nine years as a Borough councilman and three years on the school board.  They had ten children.  In 1880, he was elected Sheriff of Lehigh County. His son C. D. W. Bower took over the butcher business from his father in 1878 and opened the borough’s first meat market, expanding to two locations:  one on Front and one on Second St just south of Bridge.  His daughter Emma married George W. Applegate, son of Jacob Applegate, and partner in J. Applegate & Sons Department Store which was next door to the Bower Meat Market on the SW corner of Bridge and Second.

Address: 613 Second St
Name: Presbyterian Church (& Manse)
Year built: 1854-56
Built by: Congregation.

Prior to the construction of this church, the congregation, which formed in 1839, held services in David Thomas’ home on Front St while constructing a church on the north side of Church St near Howertown Rd in 1840, the land for which was donated by the Crane Iron Co.   When the ‘Church St’ building became too small, David Thomas/Lehich Crane Iron donated land at 2nd and Pine for the construction of this larger church.

Though the church was completed in 1856, the congregation would not worship in the church until it was debt free. That same year, David Thomas built his home on the opposite corner of Pine St.  David Thomas was a generous benefactor to the congregation for many years and donated the pipe organ in 1868.

Samuel Thomas, David Thomas’s son, gave a beautiful speech on the history of the church upon the Semi-Centennial Jubilee in 1904.  The speech can be found in both 1914 histories.

Architectural Notes:

Built of brick, semi-Gothic in style, the main building is 40X63ft, exclusive of tower and pulpit recess.  It has a transept on the south side and an organ transept on the north side.  Memorials in the church include several stained glass windows, one of which is dedicated to Joan Dery, who died of typhoid fever in 1909 and was the daughter of D. G. Dery of Dery Silk.  The chime of 11 bells was donated to the church in 1925 by members of the Thomas family in memory of Edwin Thomas.  The 150 ft steeple was built by Cain Semmel, a local builder who resided at 527 Third St. There are 16 stained glass windows in the sanctuary; of special interest are two Tiffany windows.

Before cars, there was a home where the parking lot is now.

Address: 525 Second St
Name: David Thomas Mansion/Mouer Apts
Year built: 1856
Built by: David Thomas

Prior to constructing this residence, Mr. Thomas lived at the SE corner of Front and Church, in a 2-story home built for his family by the Lehigh Crane Iron Co.  525 2nd St was originally clapboard (shown on the right), but was encased in stone later by his grandson Edwin.

Born in Wales, David Thomas received an education, being the sole son of a small farmer.  Ambition and thirst for knowledge led to employment at Neath Abbey Iron Works at age 17, followed 5 years later by the position of superintendent at the Yniscedwyn Iron Works (and associated iron and coal mines) in the Swansea Valley.  Thomas continued as superintendent for 22 years, though the works suffered from financial difficulties and change in ownership.  In 1823, when George Crane took over, Thomas had already been experimenting unsuccessfully with using anthracite coal. After obtaining plans and a license from James Nielson for use of a hot blast process, Thomas and Crane constructed ovens for heating the blast in 1836, and declared success in 1837.

Josiah White’s nephew, Soloman W.  Roberts, was in Wales in 1836-1837 as an inspector of rails ordered by the Philadelphia and Reading railroad, when he met Crane and Thomas. He took back plans and specifications to his uncle upon his return in late 1937.  Josiah White and Erskine Hazard organized the Lehigh Crane Iron Co and Erskine, and his son Alexander went to Wales to meet with Crane in Nov, 1838. They signed a contract with Thomas on Dec 31, 1838 to design and build an iron furnace for the Lehigh Crane Iron Co on the bank of the Lehigh Canal/River. They purchased land from Frederick Biery, extending from what is now the canal to Howertown Rd, and between Church and Wood Sts. Employing Crane’s patented hot blast process, it became the first commercially successful iron furnace in America to use exclusively anthracite coal as fuel. Thomas remained in charge through 1855, erecting 5 furnaces, then stayed on as cashier until 1865.

Shortly after the successful start of the Crane, he and others created The Thomas Iron Co in1854, which built furnaces in Hokendauqua (Butz farm) and Lock Ridge (Alburtis), established the Catasauqua & Foglesville Railroad which connected Hokendauqua to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, coal and ore fields, purchased the Ironton Railroad, purchased the Keystone Furnace in Glendon, and Saucon Iron near Hellertown. David’s son Samuel served as President until 1887. The last of these furnaces, stacks 1&3 at Hokendauqua were upgraded in the 1920’s, shut down in 1927 and sold to Bethlehem Steel for scrap in the 1930’s. David Thomas was also a stockholder in the Carbon Iron Co at Parryville, PA.

Also in 1854, he purchased (with W. Michel) the Union Foundry and Machine Co (an early venture of Fritz of Bethlehem Steel fame) located at the corner of Pine and Front.  He sold the business to Williams and Hopkins in 1869.

In 1863, he was one of founders of Catasauqua Manufacturing Co (CMC), serving as until 1879.  CMC manufactured armor plate for ships during the Civil War, then tanks and boiler plate and sheet-iron afterward.  The plant added an 18in bar iron and a 10in guide mill in 1866-7. Thomas purchased the Ferndale (Fullerton) rolling mill in 1870.

With Ritter & MacHose, he founded the Lehigh Fire Brick Co in 1868 to make lining for furnaces. Upon retirement of the other partners, his sons Samuel and John, and son-in law Joshua Hunt joined the business.  D. Thomas retained financial interest until his death. The business was located at the NE corner of Spring and Brick St, between Front and the canal.

Thomas was president of the Catasauqua and Fogelsville Railroad and director of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.   He was one of the organizers of Catasauqua National Bank in 1857; also a stockholder and director.

He was a trustee and executive member of St. Luke’s Hospital and a trustee of Lafayette College.  He served as the first Burgess of the Borough of Catasauqua. He was one of the founders and the 1st president of the American Institute of Mining Engineers.  He was dubbed the “Father of the American Anthracite-Iron Industry” by the American Iron and Steel Association. With the outbreak of the Civil War in the 1860’s, he chaired the committee to recruit and finance contingent of soldiers from Catasauqua to fight in Civil War.  He built the first fire station, and helped form the Humane, Phoenix and Southwark fire companies. He was a principle backer of the “Academy”, a private school erected in 1851 at the SW corner of Bridge and Howertown.

Note:  There were two Thomas families, both prominent in Catasauqua’s history: David & Hopkins, no relation to each other, though both were from S. Wales and apprenticed together at Neath. In 1855, David’s son John married Hopkins’s daughter Helen; they resided in Hokendauqua.

The home was purchased from Edwin Thomas, David Thomas’s grandson.In 1951, Allentown architect George Yundt, who converted the mansion into 16 apartments.  Larry & Cathy Mouer purchased the apartment building in 1972 and have maintained, enhanced the historical character of the building.

Site History:

This corner of the intersection marked the NE boundary of the Breisch Farm, which extended between what is now Second and Third – and Pine to Church.  David Thomas purchased surrounding farm, laid out the town (streets and lots), and developed lots in the Mansion District, workers houses across from the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co, and along Church & Wood Sts for the Crane Iron Co workers. Thomas sold off lots slowly: and many lots in what is now the Historic District lots were not developed until after his death. This home, built by David Thomas in 1856, was also occupied by his grandson Edwin Thomas and other family members and descendants.

On the NW corner of the lot, one can detect a rectangular foundation of the outside office of David Thomas.  His desk from this office can be seen in the Biery House at 8 Race St, Catasauqua.

Architectural Notes:

Originally a wood frame house, Edwin Thomas encased it in grey granite around 1885, which was transported to Catasauqua on barges on the Lehigh. The turret lends a castle like grandeur to the otherwise Queen Anne style home.  The home is currently apartments; current owner (since 1972) maintains the historical exterior. During renovations, three oil portraits of the Thomas Family were discovered in the attic: David, Elizabeth, and daughter Jane.

550 Limestone St:

The Rabe Brothers who started with a filling & service station on Bridge & Front, purchased 550 Limestone St in order to enlarge their quarters and expand a fuel oil business. 550 Limestone was in Back of the David Thomas house where the current high rise was built in 1979.  The Rabe Bros business occupied the original Carriage House for the David Thomas Mansion.  That site is now occupied by the Senior Highrise.