Jacob Gaumer, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: The gunsmith Jacob Gaumer was an early resident of southeastern Somerset County, Pennsylvania who eventually moved to Salem Township, Muskingum County, Ohio. He is known as a gunsmith from family lore that is captured in Ohio history books. In the extensive quotes below from these books, I have used red to identify the text that is most relevant. Since he moved to Ohio late in life, I think it is safe to assume that he learned and practiced gunsmithing long before moving to Ohio. He was recorded as a "smith" on an 1800 Somerset County assessment list.

As you read the various accounts included below, you will find discrepancies. My goal is not to resolve every discrepancy, such as the place of birth, rank in the Revolutionary War, or the year of migration to Ohio. Instead, my goal is simply to assemble the various accounts so they can be reviewed and scrutinized.

1722-1794: The following excerpt about the father of Jacob Gaumer is from Myrtle Weniger's 1946 book "The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines". It puts Jacob Gaumer's father in "Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., Pa."

1756 baptism record: The July 30, 1756 baptism record for Johan Jacob Gaumer at the Lehigh Church in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania lists Dietrich and Elisabetha Gaumer as his parents. Mattheis and Elisabetha Eigner were recorded as witnesses. (Lehigh County was formed from a portion of Northampton County in 1812.)

1756-1820: The following excerpt about Jacob Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

The following Philadelphia blacksmithing tradition is also from Weniger's 1946 book:

1774-1784 Bedford County tax lists: I did not find Jacob Gaumer in the transcripts of the Brothers Valley Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania tax lists in the 1774 to 1784 timeframe.

1778 militia roll: An individual named Jacob Gaummer appears in a general muster roll of the second battalion of Northampton County, Pennsylvania Militia, Second Company, May 14, 1778.

1781-1782 militia roll: An individual named Jacob Gaumers appears in the Seventh Company of the First Battalion of Northampton County, Pennsylvania Militia in a general return for the period November 1, 1781 to January 1, 1782.

1781-1859 a son named Daniel Gaumer: The following biography of Daniel Gaumer is from the 1905 book " Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio". It indicates that Daniel Gaumer was a son of Jacob Gaumer, and grew up in Somerset County, Pennsylvania:

"Jonathan Gaumer was for many years numbered among the worthy and honored pioneer residents of Muskingum county and moreover was one of her native sons. His birth occurred in Washington township, in June, 1822, and his parents were Daniel and Hannah (Baughman) Gaumer. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Gaumer, was born in Germany. When this country was still a part of the colonial possessions of Great Britain, he became a resident of the new world, establishing his home in Virginia and when the colonies could no longer endure the yoke of British oppression and rose in arms against the mother country he joined the troops under General Washington and served as a drum major in the army.

Daniel Gaumer was born in Virginia, April 10, 1781. but spent his boyhood days in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and in 1809 he removed to Washington township, Muskingum county, establishing his home upon a farm on the Muskingum river about seven miles from Zanesville. At the time of the war of 1812, he, too, espoused the cause of his country and became a soldier. He carried on farming in Washington township for a number of years and about 1825 removed to Salem township, making his home near the Lutheran church. There he and his wife remained until called to their final rest, his attention being given to the development of his land which became very arable and productive. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he was one of the earliest settlers of the New Hope Lutheran church. He donated to that church the ground that is now used for cemetery purposes. His landed possessions comprise one hundred acres and his farm was the evidence of his life of industry, perseverance and diligence. He passed away in September, 1859, when about seventy-five years of age, respected by all who knew him, and his wife departed this life in Salem township in 1874." Daniel Gaumer is buried in the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Muskingum County, Ohio, where his tombstone indicates he died on September 28, 1859.

The following excerpt is from Volume 1 of the 1908 book "History of Richland County, Ohio, from 1808 to 1908". It indicates the family moved to Ohio from Somerset County, Pennsylvania:

"Charles N. Gaumer, who for many years was prominently known as one of the leading democratic editors of Ohio, is now retired from active connection with business affairs but is still financially interested in various corporations and business concerns. He was born in Adamsville, Muskingum county, Ohio, November 19, 1849. His father, Jonathan Gaumer, was a native of the same county, a carpenter and farmer. He married Mahala Barrett and died n the year 1895, his widow still surviving at the age of eighty-four years. The family were long pioneers of Muskingum county, coming to Ohio a century ago from Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Jacob Gaumer, the great-grandfather of our subject, was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He came to Ohio with his family in the year 1806 and located near Zanesville. His son Daniel Gaumer came to Ohio three years later an established his home in the then unbroken forest, a few miles north of Zanesville. He was a soldier in the war of 1812."

The following excerpt is from Volume 2 of the 1917 book "History of Champaign County, Ohio, its people, industries and institutions" and provides biographical material on Jacob Gaumer and his son Daniel Gaumer. It indicates that Jacob Gaumer, Sr. and his family moved to Ohio from Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The reference to Fort Duquesne is obviously incorrect.

"The late Thomas M. Gaumer was born in Adamsville, Ohio, February 2, 1848, a son of Jonathan and Mahala (Barrett) Gaumer; a grandson of Daniel Gaumer and a great-grandson of Jacob Gaumer. The Gaumer family, which has numerous members in many parts of the United States, is of German origin; however, the coming of the founder of the family to the New World was at so early a period that the date of that immigration is not known. The known history of the Gaumer family in the United States begins with Jacob Gaumer, Sr., whose family lived at various times in Virginia, Maryland, and in Lehigh and Somerset counties, Pennsylvania; in which latter state he was born about the middle of the eighteenth century. Sometime after the 'embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world' at Concord bridge, Jacob Gaumer left his farm and those dear to him to follow the martial fortunes of Washington, from Ft. Du Quesne to Yorktown, as drum major. In 1806 Jacob Gaumer and his family pushed out of Ohio from Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and settled on a tract in the unbroken wilderness, eight miles north of Zanesville, in Muskingum county. Later, however, he moved to another tract in the woods near Adamsville, in the same county. At the latter place his death occurred in 1820, and that of his wife in 1814. Jacob Gaumer's son, Daniel, and his family remained back in the Keystone state when his father came out to Ohio in 1806; but in 1809 he, too, found the lure of the West irresistible and followed his father to Ohio with his family and settled near Adamsville, in Muskingum county. His death occurred there in 1859, and that of his wife, Hannah (Baughman) Gaumer, in 1874. All four of these pioneers, as well as Dr. Thomas M. Gaumer and many others of the family, are buried in the New Hope Lutheran cemetery, near Adamsville, Ohio, the land for which was given by Jacob Gaumer from his farm soon after he located at that place. Daniel Gaumer, too, heard the call of his country in the time of its need and went forth to do or die in the War of 1812. He was the father of fourteen children, the eleventh of whom was Jonathan Gaumer. the father of Dr. Thomas M. Gaumer. "

The following excerpt about Daniel Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

1783-1860 a daughter named Catherine Gaumer: The inscription on a tombstone at Comp's Church in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania includes the words, "Catherine wife of Adam Sturtz died February _, 1860..." A website indicates that Adam Sturtz's wife Catherine was a daughter of Johann Jacob Gaumer and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer and was born in 1783.

The following excerpt about a Maria Catherine Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book. I do not know if this individual is the Catherine Gaumer listed above who married Adam Sturtz and is buried at Comp's Cemetery in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1785-1865 a daughter named Elizabeth Gaumer: The inscription on a tombstone at the Workman Cemetery in Knox County, Ohio includes the words, "Elizabeth wife of John Welker died May 14, 1865..." A website indicates that Elizabeth Welker was a daughter of Johann Jacob Gaumer and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer and was born on September 19, 1785. For what it may be worth, Workman was a common name in the early days of the area that would become southern Somerset County, Pennsylvania and nearby Allegany County, Maryland.

The following excerpt about Elizabeth Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

1789-1850 a daughter named Susana Gaumer: The inscription on a tombstone at the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Muskingum County, Ohio includes the statement, "Susana wife of Jacob Baughman formerly the widow of Jacob Sturtz Oct. 1. 1850". A website indicates that Susana was a daughter of Johann Jacob Gaumer and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer, and was born in 1789. Sturtz is a common surname from Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania and Baughman is a surname I am familiar with from southeastern Somerset County. These surnames help me believe the history books that indicate Jacob Gaumer lived in Somerset County.

Regarding Susan Gaumer, page 582 of the 1892 book "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio" states that her husband was the gunsmith and former Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident Jacob Sturtz:

"Jacob Sturtz ... was born in Somerset county, Penn., in 1787, and of Pennsylvania Dutch stock. He received a common school education in German, was reared a farmer, and married Susan Gaumer, the daughter of Jacob Gaumer, a Revolutionary soldier from Reading, Penn., who settled in Washington township, this county, in 1808, the families coming together. Jacob Sturtz settled, the same year, on land now owned by Mr. Lovett. To himself and wife were born ten children: Daniel (born in Pennsylvania, and died soon after coming to this county), Charles (born in Washington township, this county), Lucinda, Catherine, Adam, Andrew, Lydia, Martin, Solomon and Margaret. All lived to maturity, except the first. ... In 1818 he settled in Adams township, on land now owned by George W. Bell, and here died, December 24, 1834. He was very handy at almost any work. He was a blacksmith, gunsmith and carpenter, and very often built houses. Among other things he prepared gunpowder and charcoal, and was considered one of the best hunters of the time in his county." I do not know whether Jacob Sturtz learned gunsmithing in Pennsylvania or Ohio. According to this account, he would have been about 21 years old and already a father when he moved to Ohio.

In reality, Jacob Sturtz did not move to Ohio until after the 1810 census of Southampton Township was taken. In a transcript of that census, the Jacob Shortz household has one male and one female in the 16 to 26 age group, and one male in the up to 10 age group. If born in 1787, Jacob Sturtz would have been about 23 years old in 1810.

The following excerpt about Susan Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

1789-1863 a son named Jacob Gaumer, Jr.: A website indicates that Jacob Gaumer, Jr., son of Johann Jacob Gaumer and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer, was born in 1789, married Elizabeth Sturtz, died on December 12, 1863, and is buried in the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery, Muskingum County, Ohio.

The following excerpt about Jacob Gaumer, Jr. is from the Adams Township portion of the 1892 book "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio": "Jacob Gaumer, Jr., came to Ohio in 1808 with his father, Jacob Gaumer, who was a Revolutionary soldier and settled first in Washington township and then in Salem township, giving two acres of his land for the Lutheran church. Jacob Gaumer, Jr., after marriage, in 1814, moved with his family through the woods and settled in Adams township, on the land now occupied by Geo. W. Bell. He was a noted hunter and selected this land on one of his hunting excursions. He built the first brick house in Adams township. The brick were made and burned on his farm in 1840 and the building was erected in 1841, and is still in good condition. Mr. Gaumer assisted to build the log Lutheran church and also the barn structure which took its place. He was a soldier in the war of 1812."

The following excerpt about Jacob Gaumer, Jr. is from Weniger's 1946 book. Since "Peggy" is a nickname for Margaret, this seems to be a reference to one of the children of Christian Sturtz, Jr.

1789-1811 warrant registers: I did not find references to any land warrants to Jacob Gaumer in the 1789-1811 timeframe in the warrant registers of Bedford and Somerset counties, Pennsylvania.

1789 militia list: Jacob Gaumer's name is not included on the 1789 Londonderry Township militia list.

Circa 1789-1790 settlement date: In an article included in the September 18, 1930 issue of the "Meyersdale Republican" newspaper, Charles F. Cook surmised that Jacob Gaumer settled in Southampton Township between 1789 and 1790.

1790 Bedford County census: The following excerpt is from the 1790 manuscript census records of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. It lists the Jacob Gaumer household next to the Adam Lepley household. The juxtaposition of Adam Lepley and Jacob Gaumer suggests that Jacob Gaumer was in the part of Bedford County that is now southeastern Somerset County.

Jacob Gaumer in the 1790 census of Bedford County, Pennsylvania

Where Adam Lepley lived: Page 546a of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" includes the following hint regarding the location of Adam Lepley's residence: "Adam, who was born in Germany in 1753, settled in Somerset county. He married Barbara Bugher, who was born May 6, 1755, in Pennsylvania. They became the parents of six sons and two daughters. One of their sons, also named Adam, was born August 5, 1776, near Willard's Gap, in Larimer township, Somerset county, where the turnpike crosses the Allegheny mountains." The referenced turnpike is now Route 160, which crosses the Allegheny Mountain through a gap at 39.8483018, -78.9498826. The Larimer Township portion of the same 1884 book includes the following statement about Adam Lepley, "He moved to Ohio about 1810, and there died at an advanced age." Adam Lepley and his wife Barbara share a modern-looking tombstone at the Bethel Cemetery in Knox County, Ohio. The tombstone lists Adam's lifetime as 1748 to 1831 and lists Barbara's lifetime as 1755 to 1842. Adam was the ancestor of several generations of Lepley gunsmiths who lived in Southampton Township, Somerset County.

c1794/9-1862 a son named John A. Gaumer: A tombstone at the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Muskingum County, Ohio is inscribed, "John Gaumer died Aug 28, 1852 aged 68 yrs, 4 mo & 16 ds." A website indicates this individual was the son of Johann Jacob Gaumer and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer, was born on April 13, 1794, and married Mary Magdalena Shirer.

The following excerpt is from the 1895 book "Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio...". It indicates that the parents of John A. Gaumer were from Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

"In the year 1856 Mr. Herbert was married to Mary Gaumer, who was born in Coshocton County, this state, April 27, 1840. She is a most estimable lady, and the daughter of John and Magdalene Gaumer, the former of whom served in the War of 1812. To the latter couple were born the following children: Chester, now a retired farmer of this township, and at present living in Guernsey; John A., engaged is business in Iowa; Jacob R., also living retired in Plain field, this state; Saloma, the wife of Val Zimmer, who resides in Muskingum County, Ohio; Elizabeth, Hannah and Susan, deceased; and Mary, the wife of our subject. The father of this family, who was a son of Jacob and Catharine (Schowash) Gaumer, was born in Pennsylvania, April 13, 1799, and died on his farm August 28, 1862. His parents were natives of Somerset County, Pa., and were farmers by occupation. Mrs. Gaumer, who was also a native of the Keystone State, was a daughter of Adam and Saloma (Swartz) Shirer, farmers, and was born May 20, 1803. She was eighty-four years old at the time of her decease. She and her husband were people widely known in Coshocton County, where the remaining years of their life were passed, and by means of their sterling worth and strict integrity won the confidence and high regard of all with whom they were brought in contact." The difference in birth years between the tombstone and the history book is probably the result of whether one thinks his tombstone says he died at age 63 or age 68.

The following excerpt about John Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

1795 initial formation of Somerset County: Somerset County was formed from part of Bedford County on April 17, 1795 but did not include what is now Southampton Township.

1800 census and tax lists: Jacob Gaumer is listed as a "smith" on the mysterious Rockland Township assessment list, which is essentially just a differently organized version of the 1800 Londonderry Township taxables list of Bedford County. I did not find Jacob Gaumer in transcripts of the 1800 census of Bedford County or the 1800 census of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1800 annexing additional area to Somerset County: "...that part of Bedford County in Londonderry township, lying westward of a line to begin on the top of the Little Allegheny mountain, where the Maryland line crosses the same, thence running along said mountain a northerly direction to where the mountain breaks, thence a straight line to the breast works..." was annexed to Somerset County by an act that passed on March 1, 1800.

1801 formation of Southampton Township: The 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" states, "Southampton township was formed in 1801. It then included the present townships of Allegheny, Greenville, Northampton and Larimer."

1805 taxables of Southampton Township: The following alphabetical 1805 list of taxables in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania is from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania". It identifies Jacob Gaumer as a resident of Southampton Township.

1809 Sarah Gaumer: The following excerpt about Sarah Gaumer is from Weniger's 1946 book:

1810 Census of Southampton Township: In the 1810 federal census of Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania the household of a Jacob Gaumer has one male and one female in the 45 and up age group, one male in the 16 to 26 age group, and two females in the 10 to 16 age group. To me, at least, this does not appear to be the family of Jacob Gaumer, Jr. due to the male and female in the 45 and up age group. This makes me suspect that Jacob Gaumer, Sr. did not migrate to Ohio until after the 1810 census of Southampton Township. The following image a composite made from two different pages of the 1810 census.

Circa 1811-1820 life of Jacob Gaumer in Ohio: The following excerpt is from the Salem Township portion of the 1882 book "History of Muskingum County Ohio". It indicates that Jacob Gaumer migrated to Muskingum County, Ohio in 1811 and was a gunsmith. Stoner, Livengood, Sturtz, and Wertz are familiar names from the history of southeastern Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

"The first actual settler in this township, William Denison, came from Massachusetts, and located on the northeast quarter of section fifteen, in 1810. His son, William S. Denison, now occupies the property, and claims that his father was the first actual settler in the present Salem township.

Jesse Williams came with Denison, and married his daughter, Lucy, and settled on the northwest quarter of section thirteen. Jacob Swigert came soon after, and located on lot forty, of the school land, in Salem. Philip Shroyer located on lot eleven, of the same lands. Peter Worts on lot eight, and Jacob Gaumer on lot twenty-eight, about 1811. Lawrence Wisecarver, George Stoner, Peter Livingood, George Shurtz, Samuel Shurtz, John Shurtz and Jacob Sturtz were early settlers. Joseph Stiers came in 1815, and settled on the southwest quarter of section eight. William and Stephen Starkey came from Virginia and settled about the same time, and Thomas Collins located on the southwest quarter of section thirteen, in 1815. The Rev. William Spencer located on lot thirty-six, of the school lands, in 1816. ...

The first death recorded was Catherine Gaumer, wife of Jacob Gaumer, in 1816. She was buried in the ground set apart for a graveyard, by the Lutheran Denomination, and was the first person buried there. This is the oldest cemetery in the township. The land was deeded for church and cemetery purposes, by Jacob Gaumer. ...


Jacob Gaumer lived on lot twenty-eight of the school land, and repaired guns, and occasionally did blacksmithing, in 1811. He may be called the first blacksmith. The descendants of Peter Wertz and Abner Wade, cotemporaries of Gaumer, dispute and claim this honor.

The first carpenter and millwright was Stephen Starkey.


New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1811, by Rev. Anthony Weyer, with the following members: Jacob Gaumer and Catharine, his wife; Philip Shroyer and Maria, his wife; Peter Wertz and Susan, his wife; Henry Bainter, Adam Bainter and wife, Samuel Shurtz and Mary, his wife; George Shurtz and wife, Christian Shroyer and wife, Catharine; Jacob Gaumer, Jr., and Elizabeth, his wife; Daniel Gaumer and Hannah, his wife; Catharine and Margaret Shurtz, John Shurtz, John Ault and Mary, his wife; Jacob Sturtz, Jacob Shroyer, Abraham Shroyer, Anthony Slater and Susan, his wife, and George Stoner and wife.

The Elders, from 1812 to 1818, were Daniel Gaumer and Frederick Munnig (now spelt Minnick). The Elders, from 1818 to 1821, were Samuel Shurtz and Frederick Garijan (now spelt Yarian).

The Deacons, from 1812 to 1818, were Jacob Gaumer and John Stoner; from 1818 to 1821, Michael Shain and George Shurtz.

The Trustees, from 1816 to 1818, were Jacob Gaumer, Adam Lander, Daniel Gaumer, Philip Shroyer, and Jacob Gaumer, Jr.

The first church was built on the northwest corner of lot twenty-eight, the site now occupied by the Lutheran Cemetery. It was a small structure, erected in 1817, and, in 1838, was removed, to give place to a two-story, brick church, which did service until 1870, when a new frame building was erected. The corner-stone was laid May 14th, 1870, by N. J. Knisely, and the house was finished the same year. It is forty-two by seventy, and cost six thousand dollars. The dedication ceremonies were performed May 28th, 1871, by Rev. M. C. Horine and Rev. J. A. Roof.

The old church site and graveyard, consisting of about two acres, was donated to the Trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in 1819, by Jacob Gaumer, and the present site of the church (about one acre), was donated for that purpose, by Jonathan Gaumer. ..."

The yellow star on the following excerpt from the 1852 Bennett map of Muskingum County identifies lot no. 28, where Jacob Gaumer settled, and the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery (40.06968864, -81.85193790) is located. Daniel Gaumer owned the property when the map was made.

The red star on the following excerpt from the Salem Township portion of the 1866 Muskingum County atlas identifies lot no. 28. Daniel Gaumer's surname is badly mis-spelled. I included this map because it shows the location of several structures on the property.

The following excerpt is from the Salem Township portion of the 1892 book "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio", and states that Jacob Gaumer was the first gunsmith in Salem Township.

"The settlement of this township began in 1810-1811. Among the early settlers were Jacob Gaumer, William Denison, Jesse Williams, Jacob Swigert, Philip Shroyer, Peter Wertz, Laurence-Wisecarver, George Stoner, Peter Livingood, George, Samuel, John and Jacob Shurtz, Joseph Stiers, William and Stephen Starkey, Thomas Collins and Rev. William Spencer. Jacob Gaumer located on lot 28. William Denison, from Massachussetts, located on the northeast quarter of section 15, on the William S. Denison property, and with him came Jesse Williams, who married Lucy Denison, daughter of William, and settled on the northwest quarter of section 13. Swigert located on lot 40, Of the school land, Shroyer on lot 11, Wertz on lot 8. Stiers settled on the southwest quarter of section 8, Collins on the southwest quarter of section 13, and Rev. William Spencer on school land lot No. 28. The Starkeys were from Virginia. In 1868 Sutherland Stiers, a mile south of Adamsville, cut down a large white oak tree and within its body found a succession of "blazes" made with an ax, as was very evident, and not with a hatchet or tomahawk. A computation of the difference between the date of the discovery and the number of annular rings enveloping the scars, revealed the fact that the marks were made in 1752. That was twelve years before Bouquet's expedition and antedates that of Braddock, and the men of Salem have cudgeled their brains in vain in the attempt to identify even a probable white visitor to this territory at that remote date. The first frame house in the township was built in 1812 by William S. Denison. The first stone house by Jacob Limmer, in 1827, and the first brick house by William S. Denison in 1841. The first public road through the township was that from Zanesville to Plainfield, Coshocton county; the second ran from Mechanicsville to Livingood's mill on section 18. Jesse Williams and Lucy Denison were the first couple married in the township, and their son Gordon Williams was the first white child born here. The first death was that of Mrs. Jacob Gaumer, about 1816. Dr. Jacob S. Reasoner was the first physician in Salem. He practiced here, from 1832 to 1853. Dr. Henry Decker came in 1839; Dr. Jared Cone practiced here 1845-55; Dr. James Crawford 1835-42; Doctor Loy and Doctor Blake about 1841-42; Dr. John Mills, who studied with Doctor Decker 1843-50; Dr. P. A. Baker, 1857-79; Doctor Sidle came in 1860, but remained only a short time. Dr. Thomas Gaumer came in 1879. Later physicians in this township are Drs. W. R. Hosick, and W. C. Waters. The primitive mill within the borders of Salem was that erected by Peter Livingood, below the forks of Salt Creek, on section 18, about 1814-16. Sometime about 1830 it was sold to one Bratton, and has long since disappeared. On the southeast one-fourth of section 16, or Salt Creek, Joseph Bowers put a sawmill in operation, in 1832, which he sold, in 1849, to Jacob Keiffer. The latter moved the concern to the east bank of the stream and, in 1869 added a large frame grist mill, In 1836, Charles Sturtz built a sawmill on a branch of Symmes run, or section 4, in which was made most of the lumber used in building the earlier houses in Adamsville. It is not now in existence. A steam sawmill was built on school land lot 21 about 1850 by Isaac Stiers and Samuel Harris. About a year or two later it was bought by Mr. Shrigley, who added a grinding department. G. W. Shoemaker became the owner in 1854, and was succeeded by John Skinner in 1855. Mr. Skinner's ownership was short lived, however, for the concern was destroyed by fire in 1856. A steam grist mill was built near Adamsville in 1862 by Charles Beck. In 1873 it was sold to John D. Hanks. Levi McLaughlin later entered the milling business at Adamsville. Jacob Gaumer was the first gunsmith in the township. He and Peter Wertz and Adam Wade were early blacksmiths. Stephen Starkey was the first carpenter.

The first school house in Salem was erected in 1817 on school land lot 37. Abraham Smith opened. the first school there in December, that year. Amy Wade taught there in 1820, Mr. Colvin in 1822. 'Jacob and William Shively were two other old settlers,' says the Adamsville Register. 'Jacob Shively was the first settler on the farm now owned by Julius Taylor and William Shively the farm now owned by Jacob Lane. At the present time none of their descendants remain in the township. James Shively is a valued subscriber of the Register, residing at Kansas, Illinois. Benjamin Crane, the grandfather of our fellow citizen, Jacob Crane, was another pioneer. He settled on what is now the Charley Bowden farm in the year 1814, and built a cabin in the woods.

New Hope Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1811, by Rev. Anthony Weyer, with the following members: Jacob Gaumer, Catharine Gaumer, Philip Shroyer, Maria Shroyer, Peter Wertz, Susan Wertz, Henry Bainter, Adam Bainter and his wife, Samuel Shurtz, Mary Shurtz, George Shurtz and his wife, Christian Shroyer, Catharine Shroyer, Jacob Gaumer, Jr., Elizabeth Gaumer, Daniel Gaumer, Hannah Gaumer, Catharine Shurtz, Margaret Shurtz, John Shurtz, John Ault, Mary Ault, Jacob Shurtz, Jacob Shroyer, Abraham Shroyer, Anthony Slater, Susan Slater, George Stiner and wife. The first church was built on the northwest corner of lot 28, the site now occupied by the old Lutheran cemetery, already referred to, in 1817. In 1838, it gave place to a brick building which was superseded in 1870 by a frame structure. The cornerstone was laid May 14, 1870, by N. J. Knisely, and the church was dedicated May 28, 1871, by Revs. McHorine and Jacob Roff. The old church site and graveyard was donated to the trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by Jacob Gaumer, in 1819, and the present church site was donated by Jonathan Gaumer. ...

The oldest cemetery in the township is that early set apart by the Lutherans. The first person buried there was Mrs. Jacob Gaumer. The first summer Peter Wertz discovered his little daughter Margaret in danger from a copper-head snake. Picking her up, he held her under one arm, while with a club in the other he dispatched the snake. His son Jacob Wertz is authority for the statement that before he left the spot he killed fourteen of those dangerous reptiles.

The following excerpt is from the Salem Township portion of the 1905 book "Past and present of the city of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio". It indicates that Jacob Gaumer was a gunsmith.

"The first settler was Wm. Denison, who located in section fifteen, in 1810, and erected the first cabin and planted the first orchard, and in 1812 erected the first frame house; he was accompanied by Jesse Williams who married his daughter, Lucy, in 1810, being the first wedding in the township, and their son, Gordon, was the first white child born in the township, an event which transpired in April, 1811. Williams located in section thirteen. Jacob Swigert, Peter Shroyer, Peter Worts, Adam Wade and Jacob Gaumer were early successors of Denison, the last three being blacksmiths, and Gaumer was in addition a gunsmith. Lawrence Wisecarver, George Stoner, George, Samuel and Jacob Shurtz and Peter Livingood came soon after, and the latter built the first grist mill in section eighteen in 1814-15. Joseph Stiers located in section eight, in 1815. ...


New Hope Evangelical Lutheran. A class of thirty-one was formed in 1811 and a small church was built in 1817 on the site of the Lutheran cemetery, a tract of two acres which had been donated by Jacob Gaumer, and whose wife, buried in 1816, was the first death in the township; in 1838 a two-story brick was erected and May 14, 1870, the corner stone of a frame church, 42 by 70 feet, was laid, completed at a cost of $6,000.00 and dedicated May 28, 1871, on a site containing one acre contributed by Jonathan Gaumer."

1814 death of Catherina Gaumer, wife of Jacob Gaumer, Sr.: Catherina Gaumer's German-language tombstone is eroded, but the name "Catherina Gaumer" is still very legible. The top of the tombstone carries the date "1759", which is assumed to be the year of birth. An older photograph of the tombstone reveals the date "1814" near the bottom of the tombstone, which is assumed to be the year of death.

1820 census: Click here to see a Jacob Gaumer entry in the manuscript 1820 census records of Madison Township, Muskingum County, Ohio.

1820 death of Jacob Gaumer, Sr.: Jacob Gaumer is buried at the New Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Muskingum County, Ohio. His 1927 tombstone states, "Jacob Gaumer, Sr. soldier of the American Revolution. Came from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1806. Original proprietor of this cemetery. Died in 1820 his wife Catherina is buried in adjoining grave, first burial in the cemetery."

The following text is from the May 18, 1927 issue of the Adamsville, Ohio "Adamsville Register" newspaper: "Monument erected at the Grave of a Revolutionary Soldier, Jacob Gaumer in New Hope Cemetery. C. N. Gaumer of Zanesville has placed a monument over the grave of his great grandfather Jacob Gaumer, Sr. in New Hope Cemetery. This grave was originally marked by a sandstone slab from which the inscription was worn off by the weather many years ago and later the headstone was broken down. Jacob Gaumer, Sr. was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was a drum major in General Washington's army. He participated in the battle of Yorktown, Virginia and the surrender of General Cornwallis and his army which ended the war of the American Revolution. In 1806 Jacob Gaumer, Sr. and his family emigrated from Pennsylvania to the then new state of Ohio and settled on a piece of land near the present site of the village of Gilbert, later locating on the well known Gaumer farm adjoining New Hope Cemetery, where he died in 1820. He sold to the New Hope Church two acres of cemetery ground for the price of four dollars. His wife Catharina is buried in the adjoining grave and is said to be the first person buried in the cemetery. Jacob Gaumer was one of the founders of New Hope Church which was organized in 1811. There are three other Revolutionary soldiers buried in New Hope Cemetery - Abner Wade, Jacob Bainter and Abraham Shroyer. The daughters of the American Revolution are now in charge of the locating and marking of the graves of the Revolutionary soldiers throughout the country and they have provided markers for the graves in New Hope Cemetery, but the graves of Bainter and Shroyer have not been yet located. If any relatives of these two men can furnish the necessary information to H. N. Slater superintendent of the cemetery, the markers will be placed where they belong. The Jacob Gaumer monument was erected last week by McGee & Watson of 25 North Sixth Street, Zanesville. Mr. C. N. Gaumer wanted something better than the government markers hence the monument has been erected."

Volume 1 of the 1929 book "The official roster of the soldiers of the American revolution buried in the state of Ohio" states:

"GAUMER, JACOB, Sr., (Muskingum Co.)
Drum Maj in Washington's Army. Mar Catherine, bur by husband. D 1820. Bur New Hope Cem near Adamsville, Salem Twp. Monument placed by great grand-son, C. N. Gaumer, 1927. 1806 he and family came from Pa. to Ohio at Gilbert. He sold ground to New Hope for cem. Two acres for $4.00. Was present at the surrender of Cornwallis army at Yorktown. Fur infor Muskingum Chap."

An angled yellow arrow to draw attention to a link related to early Pennsylvania rifle makers. Click on this link to access an index of biographical information about other muzzleloader gunsmiths with connections to Somerset and/or Bedford county, Pennsylvania. Links are also provided to pictures of the long rifles produced in those counties.

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