David Whetstone, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1814: Calculating from the information on his tombstone, the individual who I think is the right David Whetstone was born in 1814.

1837-1840: It seems likely that this is the David Whetstone, son of Samuel, who (according to the 1975 book "Descendants of Samuel Diehl") married Julia Ann Diehl and and was the father of Rebecca Whetstone who was born on December 13, 1837, and Mary Ann Whetstone, who was born December 17, 1840. This family is also reported in the 1915 Book "Diehl Families of America" as follows:

1840: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" identifies a David Whetstone as a Monroe Township, Bedford County gunsmith in 1840, apparently based on a tax record. The book reports him as being a silversmith, a gunsmith, and a farmer.

1840-1841: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts David Whetstone in Monroe Township, Bedford County as a gunsmith and a farmer in the 1840 to 1841 timeframe.

1850: The following composite images from the 1850 census show the scope and productivity of the Samuel and David Whetstone farms:

1853: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" indicates that the farm of David Whetstone appears on an 1853 map of Hopewell township that I am not familiar with.

1855: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" indicates that Samuel Whetstone purchased Colerain Township property from David Whetstone on May 11, 1855.

1857: John Bowser's gristmill is identified on the 1961 map that is included below. An interesting lawsuit occurred between John Bowser and the Whetstones concerning an underground waterway. It was announced in the January 23, 1857 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper:

1857: The water-related lawsuit made it to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The case ruling below is from Volume V of the 1858 book "Pennsylvania State Reports."

1860: David Whetstone appears as a 45-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer in a Rainsburg PO, Colerain Township census sheet that was prepared on June 29, 1860. His real estate was valued at $6,000.00 and his personal property was valued at $600.00. In his household were 37-year-old Pennsylvania-born Caroline Whetstone, 20-year-old Pennsylvania-born Mary A. Whetstone, and 16-year-old Pennsylvania born farm laborer William Bingham.

1860: Samuel Whetstone appears as a 59-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer in a Rainsburg PO, Colerain Township census sheet that was prepared on June 29, 1860. His real estate was valued at $20,000.00 and his personal property was valued at $1,000.00. In his household were 51-year-old Julian Whetstone, 12-year-old Delilah Whetstone, 9-year-old Caroline Whetstone, 7-year-old Hannah Whetstone, 18-year-old farm laborer David Harcleroad, and 67-year-old farm laborer Solomon Whetstone, all Pennsylvania-born.

1861: Samuel Whetstone appears to have been a substantial property holder in Colerain Township. The report above that Samuel Whetstone purchased Colerain Township property from David Whetstone on May 11, 1855 suggests David's farm is one of the Whetstone farms identified on the Colerain Township portion of the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County that is included below:

1861: The following notice was published in the June 7, 1861 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper, and shows David Whetstone serving as an Administrator of Samuel Whetstone's estate:

1861: A Samuel Whetstone who died April 13, 1861 is buried in the Friends Cove United Church of Christ Cemetery in Bedford County. The following newspaper article about that cemetery gives the genealogy of the Samuel Whetstone who is buried there:

Volume XXXII of the 1899 book "Biographical Review" contains the following information on Henry Whetstone and his son Samuel:

"JOHN S. WHETSTONE, a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser of Snake Spring township, Pa., was born in this place, May 22, 1852, a son of Aaron and Catherine (Shaffer) Whetstone. His great-grandfather, Henry Whetstone, was an early pioneer of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, having located in Colerain township when much of the land was an unbroken wilderness. There Henry Whetstone reared a family of children, of whom Samuel was the next in this line of descent.

Aaron Whetstone, son of Samuel, was bred and educated in Colerain township, and, while still living under the parental roof, obtained a practical knowledge of farming. In 1847 he took up his residence in the nearby township of Snake Spring, and was here successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1876."

1865: The death of Rebecca Diehl, daughter of David Whetstone, was reported in the March 10, 1865 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper:

1867: The following item from the November 8, 1867 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" indicates David Whetstone was still living in Colerain Township:

1883: David Whetstone died at age 68 on July 19, 1883 and is buried at Saint Mark Lutheran Church (39.9813881, -78.4542847) in Ott Town, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" there was another, earlier gunsmith named David Whetstone who worked in Ayr Township (which is now part of Fulton County) and appears on the township tax rolls as a gunsmith in the 1807 to 1824 timeframe, and was listed as dead on the 1825 assessment. The book states that this David Whetstone was born in 1780, and was an apprentice of the Hagerstown, Maryland gunsmith John Gonter commencing January 11, 1796. The book mentioned a restocked rifle that is believed to have been made by this David Whetstone that has a patch box that is typical to those of the early period of what is now Fulton County, and has "David Whetstone" engraved on a brass barrel inlay.

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