Charles Monroe Knupp, Somerset County gunsmith

Introduction: Charles Monroe Knupp was a Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith who made rifles that were often indistinguishable from the standard pattern of Jonathan Dormayer (Dunmyer), except for the quality of engraving and the initials engraved on the lock. This implies some sort of working relationship with Jonathan Dormayer.

Donna Knupp reports that Levi Knupp (1837-1885) was the father of Charles Monroe Knupp, and reports that Barbara Knupp (1827-1883), sister of Levi Knupp, married Jonathan Dunmeyer (1826-1885). The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" reports that Charles Monroe Knupp's Aunt Barbara Knupp was married to Jonathan Dunmeyer.

1863: According to his tombstone, Charles Monroe Knupp was born in 1863. According to his obituary (included below), "He was a son of Levi and Mary Knupp..." I believe this and the 1870 census record below correct the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", which states that Charles Monroe Knupp was one of the children of Isaac Knupp, Sr. and his wife Mary. This also corrects the 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900", which states that Charles Monroe Knupp was the son of Eli Knupp. The following items are from the 1981 book "Some of the ancestors and descendents of Dewalt Ankeny". They list Levi Knupp's children and provide information on Charles Monroe Knupp.

1870: On July 20, 1870 Levi Knupp was enumerated in the federal census of Somerset Township as a 33-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer with real estate valued at $4,000.00 and personal property valued at $1,000. his household was 32-year-old Mary keeping house, 8-year-old Madison Knupp, 6-year-old Monroe Knupp, and less than one-year-old William H. Knupp, all Pennsylvania born.

1885: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Charles Monroe Knupp purchased two gun barrels at the vendue sale of Jonathan Dunmeyer's possessions. According to his tombstone, "Jonathan Dormayer died Jan. 11, 1885..." Charles Monroe Knupp was about 22 years old when Jonathan Dormayer died. Donna Knupp reports that Charles Monroe Knupp was one of the last apprentices of Jonathan Dunmeyer.

1886: The notice below is from the March 17, 1886 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper.

1895: Charles Monroe Knupp's father died on February 22, 1895 and is buried at the Ritter Cemetery in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

1898: The news item below is from the February 9, 1898 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper.

1898: The news item below is from the July 13, 1898 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper.

1898: The following item is from the August, 1898 issue of "The Wood-Worker" magazine.

1899: The news item below is from the August 16, 1899 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper.

1900: The 1900 census of Somerset County indicates that Charles Monroe Knupp was operating a sawmill.

1905: The following 1955 newspaper clipping includes a 1905 lumber-related photo and mentions Monroe Knupp:

1906: The 1906 edition of "Hendrick's Commercial Register of the United States for Buyers and Sellers" lists C. M. Knupp in Bakersville (Somerset County) with a sawmill:

1910: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" indicates that C. Monroe Knupp was a gunsmith in Bakersville around 1910.

1910: Charles Monroe Knupp's mother Mary Knupp died in 1910 and is buried at the Bakersville Cemetery in Somerset County. Her tombstone states, "Mary Knupp 1837-1910".

According to the 1953 edition of the book "American Gunmakers", when Westmoreland County gunsmith Worthe G. Suter (born October 6, 1895) was young, he worked as a gunsmith assistant to Charles Monroe Knupp of Bakersfield. This seems to imply an apprenticeship relationship.

1937: The obituary of Charles Monroe Knupp was published in the February 12, 1937 issue of the "Somerset Daily American":

The Reverend Railey in the preceding obituary sounded so familiar, so I dug around a little and found that he married my grandparents Allen and Gladys (Bittner) Korns on August 25, 1925 and also married my parents Roy and Estalene (Korns) Dietle on Nov. 22, 1952.

The February 15, 1937 issue of the "Connellsville Daily Courier" incudes the statement, "Monroe Knupp, 73, died Thursday at I the home of his brother, J. M., at Bakersville."

1937: Charles Monroe Knupp is buried next to his mother in the Bakersville Cemetery at Bakersville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states, "Charles Monroe Knupp 1863--1937". This and the newspaper article above correct the 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900", which indicates that Charles Monroe Knupp died in 1939.

1937: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", the estate of Charles Monroe Knupp was valued at $4,314.86, and included Nash and Cadillac automobiles, a Ford truck, blacksmithing tools and other shop contents, and a case of fishing rods and guns that was valued at $70.00.

1937: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" reports that Charles Monroe Knupp willed most of his possessions to his brother and his sister-in-law Mr. & Mrs. James Madison Knupp because they took care of him in his old age.

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