Jacob Horner, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

There were two men named Jacob Horner in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. We know this because one was already taxed in Quemahoning Township in 1797, and the other wasn't born until 1803.

The older Jacob Horner
In his book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", James B. Whisker reports that the older Jacob Horner was identified as a single freeman in the 1797 Quemahoning Township tax roll, appears with property in the 1798 Quemahoning Township tax roll, and appears as a single freeman again in 1801, and was married to Susannah Fox.

According to the November 1972 issue of the "Laurel Messenger" Jacob Horner and Susannah Fox were married on April 19, 1798. Here is more about the marriage from the August 1974 "Laurel Messenger":

In his book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", James B. Whisker reports that this Jacob Horner was a gunsmith. The basis seems to be text that is reportedly quoted from page 463 of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties", but the text does not exist anywhere in the referenced book. According to Mr. Whisker, the 1884 book states, "Jacob Horner was a native of eastern Pennsylvania. He settled in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County in 1800. He married twice and lived to the age of 76. He was a carpenter, farmer and gunsmith." Mr. Whisker has done an amazing amount of work documenting gunsmiths, and he is entitled to make a mistake once in a while. Here is what page 463 of the book actually says about a different Horner (not Jacob):

The older Jacob Horner died July 28, 1842 and is buried in the Sandyvale Cemetery (40.3121900, -78.9140500) in Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. His wife Susannah is also buried there.

The younger Jacob Horner
The younger Jacob Horner is buried in the Horner-Mount Tabor Church Cemetery (40.120647, -79.003803), which is about three miles west-northwest from Stoystown, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states: "Jacob G. Horner died Oct. 2 1877. Aged 73 yrs 10 mo & 23 ds. His first wife Mary is also buried there. She died on November 27, 1845 at the age of 35 years, 6 months, and 10 days.

According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Jacob Horner is identified as a gunsmith in the 1832, 1837, 1849, an 1853 tax rolls of Quemahoning Township, and in the 1861 tax roll of Jenner Township.

1825-1863: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts the gunsmith Jacob Horner in Quemahoning Township of Somerset County from 1825 to 1863, and indicates he was born in 1804.

Circa 1832-1835: Christine Finecy's online genealogy "Horner's of Somerset Co., PA" indicates that the Lewis H. Horner who married Anna Nancy Blough, died in 1897, and is buried in the Stoystown IOOF cemetery was a son of the Jacob G. Horner who died in 1877 and is buried in the Mount Tabor Cemetery. Christine Finecy gives the maiden name of Lewis's mother (Jacob's first wife) as Mary Christ. Based on his obituary, Lewis Horner was born circa 1832. Based on his tombstone, Lewis Horner was born circa 1835.

Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote in an article titled "Co. Had 30 Gunmakers-Gunsmiths" in the November 1971 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

Here is a "J. Horners" on the Jenners Township portion of the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County. This may be the gunsmith's residence, but more research is needed.

In the 1830 federal census of Quemahoning Township, Jacob Horner's household has one male and one female in the 20 to 30 age gap, an one male under five years old.

In the 1840 federal census of Quemahoning Township, Jacob Horner's household has 1 male and 1 female in the 30 to 40 age group, 1 male in the 10 to 15 age group, 3 males in the 5 to 10 age group, and 2 females in the under five years age group. The listed occupation is manufacturing. One of the individuals is blind, and two people older than 20 are illiterate.

In the 1850 federal census of Quemahoning Township, Jacob Horner is enumerated as a 46-year-old gunsmith with property valued at $300.00. Living with him in his household are Lewis Horner age 14, Ann M. Horner age 15, Abraham Horner age 11, Edmund Horner age 2, Nathan Horner age 1, and Catharine Miller age 8. All of the individuals were born in Pennsylvania.

In the 1860 federal census of Quemahoning Township, Jacob Horner is enumerated as a 54-year-old Master Gun Smith with real estate valued at $400.00 and personal property valued at $240.00. Living with him in his household are Margaret age 44, Edward age 12, Noah age 10, Clarissa age 8, Jacob age 6, Margaret M. age 4, Nancy age 2, and Catharine Miller an 18-year-old Servant. I can't find a candidate residence for Jacob Horner on the Quemahoning Township portion of 1860 Walker map of Somerset County.

In the 1870 federal census of Somerset Township, Jacob Horner is enumerated as a 66-year-old Farmer with real estate valued at $3,000 and personal property valued at $250.00. Living with him in his household are 56-year-old Margaret Horner (keeping house), 22-year-old Edmond Horner (Laborer), 20-year-old Noah Horner (Laborer), 13-year-old Jacob Horner, and 13-year-old Margaret Horner.

Here is an article from the August 1979 "Laurel Messenger" that mentions Jacob Horner:

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