David Whetstone, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: David Whetstone is known as a Bedford County gunsmith from statements in collector publications that are referenced below. The basis of the statements is unknown to me.

1810: The 1810 census of Bedford County lists the households of Abraham, Daniel, David, and Henry Whetstone. David is found in "Air" (Ayr) Township. This establishes that there was more than one David Whetstone in early Bedford County.

1814: Calculating from the information on his tombstone, the David Whetstone who is the subject of this web page was born in 1814.

1820: The 1820 census of Bedford County lists the households of Abraham, Daniel, Jacob, and Samuel Whetstone. Information relating to Samuel's estate that is included below suggests to me that he was the father of the David Whetstone who is the subject of this web page.

1837-1840: According to the 1975 book "Descendants of Samuel Diehl" David Whetstone, son of Samuel, 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" which indicates that David Whetstone is the brother-in-law of the Bedford County gunsmith Joshua Pennell (composite image):

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. The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker & Yantz 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.

In the transcript of the 1840 Bedford County census that I reviewed, there is only one David Whetstone, and he was enumerated in West Providence Township. In his household were one male and one female in the 20 to 30 age group, one male and one female in the 15 to 20 age group, and one female in the up to five age group. The other Whetstone households listed in a transcript of the 1840 census of Bedford County are Henry, Jacob, and Samuel Whetstone.

1850: The following composite images from the agricultural schedule of the 1850 census show the scope and productivity of the Samuel and David Whetstone farms in Colerain Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania:

1850: In a transcript of a Sept. 18, 1850 census record from Colerain Township, David Whetstone is enumerated as a 34-year-old Pennsylvania-born farmer. Also living in his household are 27-year-old Caroline Whetstone, 12-year-old Rebecca Whetstone, and 10-year-old Mary A. Whetstone, all Pennsylvania-born.

1853: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book indicates that a farm of David Whetstone appears on an 1853 map of Hopewell township that I am not familiar with.

1855: The 2001 Whisker & Yantz book indicates that Samuel Whetstone purchased Colerain Township property from David Whetstone on May 11, 1855.

1857: John Bowser's gristmill is identified on the 1861 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."

1858: A notice in the March 5, 1858 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper announces the February 25, 1858 marriage of Michael Deal's son Nicholas to David Whetstone's eldest daughter Rebecca, all residents of Friends Cove.

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."

1862: In an advertisement in the February 28, 1862 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper, David and Aaron Whetstone, in their capacity as Administrators of the estate of Samuel Whetstone, announced a March 14, 1862 auction to be held for a 226 acre-plus tract of land adjoining the property of David Whetstone and the Widow Diehl that has a large brick dwelling house, a log tenant house, a smoke house, a spring house, a large bank barn, a wagon shed, a hay shed, and other buildings.

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

1866: The following composite image is from the April 20, 1866 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. His tombstone includes the inscription "David Whetstone died July 19, 1886. Aged 68 Yrs. 11 Mos. & 11 Ds."

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