David Defibaugh, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1840: According to his tombstone, David Defibaugh was born March 18, 1840. The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that David Defibaugh is a son of William Defibaugh. According to page 42 of the 1963 book "Some Nycum Descendants" Sophia (Nycum) Smouse's daughter Elizabeth Smouse married William Defibaugh, and had the following children: David, Lawrence, Wesley, Milton, William, Sophia, Mary, Belle, Kate, Eliza, and Clara.

1850: According to Mary Lou Cook's August 3, 2013 Defibaugh working file, in the 1850 census of West Providence Township, Bedford County, 35-year-old gunsmith William Defibaugh and 34-year-old Elizabeth Defibaugh are enumerated with 10-year-old David, 8-year-old Laurence, 7-year-old Wesley, 5-year-old Mary, 3-year-old Sophia A, and 1-year-old Milton. William's property was valued at $500.00.

1860-1864: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts David Defibaugh in Everett from 1860 to 1864, and has him in the borough of Bedford in 1864.

1864: The following advertisement is from the December 2, 1864 issue of the Bedford Gazette. It indicates that John Border is deceased, and David Defibaugh has taken over his workshop. The text "July 1, 1864--1y" is apparently the starting date and duration of the advertisement.

1864: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", David Defibaugh, a son of William Defibaugh, is identified as a gunsmith on the tax roll of Bedford Township in the year 1864, and manufactured some half-stock double barreled rifles before becoming a jeweler in the village of Everett.

1865: I found a similar advertisement with an "October 20, '65" date in the October 27, 1865, December 1, 1865, December 8, 1865, January 5, 1866, January 19, 1866, January 26, 1866, February 16, 1866, February 23, 1866, March 2, 1866, March 16, 1866, March 23, 1866, April 20, 1866, and April 27, 1866 issues of the Bedford Gazette. The example below is from the October 27, 1865 issue, and was located on the front page, below an advertisement for Daniel Border's jewelry store.

1865: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" locates David Defibaugh in Bedford Township in 1865 as a gunsmith who is married. I think it is safe to say that this information is based on the Bedford County Militia Enrollment rolls for 1865.

1865-1866: The following notice is from the March 16, 1866 issue of the Bedford Gazette. It lists David Defibaugh as a gunsmith in Bedford. I have also seen this "GUNSMITHING--David Defibaugh, Bedford" listing within a business directory in the October 27, 1865 and January 5, 1866 issues of the Bedford Gazette.

1866: The following item from the June 1, 1866 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper documents Lawrence Defibaugh , David Defibaugh, and Daniel Border doing work for the Bedford Borough. Daniel Border wound the town clock, and all three did repair work on hydrants.

1870-1914: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" locates David Defibaugh in Everett from 1870 to 1914.

1877: This image from the Everett Section of the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford Pennsylvania" shows the location of David Defibaugh's lot, and his gun shop, which was located at the intersection of Water Street and Third Street in Everett at 40.014449, -78.372988.

1878: The following image is from the 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania", which was "Printed at the Inquirer Office, Bedford, Pa." It lists David Defibaugh as a gunsmith on Water Street in Everitt, Bedford County.

1880: David Defibaugh is enumerated as a 40-year-old gunsmith in the 1880 federal census of the Borough of Bedford. Also in his household are 36-year-old wife Susan, 16-year-old Mary E., 14-year-old Annie R., 11-year-old Sarah V., 8-year-old William A, and 6-year-old James H.

1886: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that David Defibaugh is listed as a watchmaker and jeweler in the 1886 Farquar Directory.

1887: The November 23, 1887 issue of the "Everett Press" includes an article titled "A Serious Accident" that states: "On Sunday morning last, Mr. David Defibaugh, wife and son James started to Waterside to pay a short visit to the daughter of the former, who resides at that place. They remained there overnight, and started to return on Monday morning. Mr. Defibaugh has considerable experience as a horseman, and although the horse he drove was a spirited one, he felt no uneasiness. He had driven successfully from Waterside until he arrived at the summit between Everett and Tatesville, where the line of the H. & B. T. R. R., runs parallel with the road. It was 12:15 o'clock, and just the time the local freight train passes this point. As he was driving along the road, the freight came along. The engine was laboring greatly, and made a roaring, hissing noise. Mr. Defibaugh decided to stop the horse and wait till the train pass. Accordingly he did so, and as the train was passing he brought the beast to a standstill. The horse was very 'tender in the mouth,' and becoming restless, was held by Mr. Defibaugh with a tight rein. Thereupon, he began to plunge and rear, and M. Defibaugh drew the conveyance into the fence corner. At this moment the horse, frightened at the engine, made a plunge which upset the carriage and precipitated all out. Mr. Defibaugh struck his shoulder against a rail of the fence and broke his collar bone, while the conveyance turned completely over and covered himself and wife, James, the son, fortunately escaped, The shafts were broken off, and the horse started with them hanging to him, for town, where he was caught by Mr. J. G. Barndollar and taken to Mr. Richard's Livery stable where he belonged. James Defibaugh finally succeeded in overturning the carriage and liberating his parents. Through the kindness of Mr. Geo. B. May the party were brought home, and Drs. E. J. Miller and W. P. S. Henry were summoned. They discovered the clavicle or collar bone badly fractured and the victim in great pain. Relief was soon brought, however, and yesterday the patient was much better. Truly, there is nothing bad, but might be worse, and it is remarkable that there was no loss of life under the circumstances. Mrs. Defibaugh and James escaped without even slight injuries. It is generally conceded that the road from here to Tatesville is a dangerous one, and numerous accidents occur along the road, which lies thus close to the railroad. For the safety of travellers a better road should be viewed and laid out."

The red circle on the following 1902 topographic map shows the location of the accident described above.

1914: David Defibaugh is buried in the Everett Cemetery (40.010841, -78.358641) that is located in Everett, Bedford County. The tombstone inscription states:

"David Defibaugh
Mar. 18, 1840
Dec. 25, 1914
His wife
Susan Defibaugh
Nov. 11, 1842
July 17, 1918
James H. Defibaugh
Nov. 26, 1873
Feb. 21, 1927"

1914: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, and Somerset Counties" states that the will of David Defibaugh identifies James H., William A., and Sarah Eichelberger as children and directs that David's gunsmithing tools and his gun and jewelry shops go to James. The book also states that his date and time of death was sworn by his widow Rebecca. I am unable to reconcile the differences in the date of death and wife's name between what I've found and what is published in the 2001 book. The 2001 book states that the value of David Defibaugh's estate was $1,364.24.

1915: The following obituary is from the January 1, 1915 issue of the "Bedford Gazette". The date of death conflicts with what is published in the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, and Somerset Counties" by Whisker and Yantz.

The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts David Defibaugh in the southern part of Bedford county and describes him as the son of William Defibaugh, and the brother of Milton Defibaugh.

The 1972 book "Greenfield Village" and the 1978 book "Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum" illustrate David Defibaugh's metal template set for laying out rifle decorations. The templates are part of a museum display.

The 2006 book "Bedford and its Neighbors" has a photo of Milton and David Defibaugh in their youth, with Milton holding a full stock long arm, and David holding a small pistol.

Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" reports that David Defibaugh signed his rifles with the initials "D.D."

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