Lester Korns' Carl Korn replica apple butter stirrer

Korn replica apple butter stirrer

This 1998 photograph shows an apple butter stirrer that Lester Korns had in his living room. He said that it was a replica of one that his father Earl Korns owned that had once belonged to the immigrant ancestor Carl Korn. Lester said that the original was destroyed in an outbuilding fire at their farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania when Lester was young. After Lester said this, I queried him to make sure that he really meant Carl Korn, not Michael Korn. He affirmed that he indeed meant to say Carl Korn.

Lester hired someone to build the replica. Its design was based on his recollections of the construction of the original. The replica apple butter stirrer had a cross that rested on top of a kettle. The cross supported a vertical shaft with two paddles that went down into the kettle. A wooden peg gear at the top of the vertical shaft was driven by another similarly sized gear on a long horizontal shaft that had a hand crank at the opposite end. The purpose of the device was to enable one to be remote from the hot fire while performing the stirring operation. The replica is now in the possession of another Somerset County Korns family member.

The important thing to note here is that there was a Carl Korn tradition in a Somerset County Korns family that lived very close to the Michael Korns, Sr. farm. In the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania", the parentage of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County, PA is established by inference from old Berks County, PA and Somerset County, PA records. Here is the quote from the "Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr." book: "The children had moved from Berks County as the census of 1790 and again of 1800 did not enumerate any person by the name of Korn or Corn in Berks County. The inference is that four of the children have located in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pa., and Cumberland, MD." That's all good logic to be sure, but it is also comforting to know that the inference that Michael Korn's father was Carl is also supported by local family tradition by Lester Korns, who was once the owner of the Michael Korns, Sr. farm, and was keenly interested in local lore.

L. Dietle

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