Samuel Mier, gunsmith, Somerset County, Pennsylvania

1831: According to his tombstone Samuel Mier was born on October 7, 1831. Beth Page reports that Samuel Mier's parents were Jacob Mier and Margaret Risinger.

1850: The following composite image of a Somerset Borough sheet from the 1850 census was provided by Glenda Tressler Smith. It shows Samuel Mier as an 18-year-old gunsmith in the household of the gunsmith Jacob Mier. The individuals listed for the family are Jacob, 57, Gunsmith; Ellen, 23; John, 21, Cigar Maker; Samuel, 18, Gunsmith; and William, 16, Wagon maker.

1852-1872: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Mier is identified as a gunsmith on the tax rolls of Elk Lick Township in 1852, 1853, and 1861, on the tax roll of Somerset Borough in 1853, and on the tax rolls of Salisbury Borough in the years 1863, 1867, and 1872. Here's what Vaughn E. Whisker wrote about Samuel Mier in an article titled "Co. Had 30 Gunmakers-Gunsmiths" in the November 1971 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

1860: In the 1860 census of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Samuel Mier is enumerated as a 27-year-old gunsmith with a 19-year-old wife Harriet.

1863 & 1868: The following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" shows that Samuel Mier was a Justice of the Peace in Salisbury, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1863 and 1868.

1870: In the 1870 census of Salisbury, Samuel Mier is enumerated as a 38-year-old gunsmith living with his wife Harriet, a six-year-old son John and a nine-year-old daughter Bertha.

1874: The following clipping is from the May 13, 1874 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies Samuel Mier of Salisbury, Pennsylvania as a member of the 1874 Somerset County Republican Committee.

1875: The following clipping is from the April 21, 1875 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies Samuel Mier of Salisbury, Pennsylvania as a member of the 1875 Somerset County Republican Committee.

1876: Here is the location of Samuel Mier's Salisbury, Pennsylvania gun shop and adjacent residence, as identified in the 1876 Beers atlas of Somerset County. The fact that the shop shows up on the map was identified by Beth Page.

1877: The following clipping is from the November 28, 1877 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies Samuel Mier as a road viewer

1878: The following is from the February 13, 1878 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies a fire loss suffered by Samuel Mier. A 1935 newspaper article, included below, indicates that his gunshop burned to the ground around this time.

1878: The following clipping is from the March 27, 1878 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies "SAMUEL MIER, (famous for rifle manufacture) of Salisbury, as a candidate for Assembly." The same notice appeared in the May 1, 1878 issue.

1879: In his 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", James B. Whisker reports that Samuel Mier placed an advertisement in the August 1, 1879 issue of the "Meyersdale Commercial" newspaper indicating that he was shutting down his gunshop on the first of December. The advertisement stated that those wanting a gun made by him needed to order quickly. In the advertisement, he offered to produce "...any kind of gun this season, at the very lowest figures -- single or double barrel rifles and shot guns." The advertisement referenced several different prices for guns: $14.00, $15.00, and $18.00. The $14.00 rifle was full-stocked. The $15.00 rifle was half-stocked in maple with a patent breech and came with accessories. The $18.00 rifle had a steel barrel.

1880: In the 1880 census of Salisbury, Samuel Mier is enumerated as a 48-year-old gunsmith living with his wife Harriet, a two-year-old daughter Nellie, an eight-year old son Willie, a 16-year-old son John, and two coal mining boarders.

1880: The following item is from the June 16, 1880 issue of the "Somerset Herald". In this item, Samuel Mier announces his candidacy for the Pennsylvania Assembly.

1880: The following is from the June 30, 1880 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It shows that Samuel Mier is running for the Pennsylvania Assembly, and Alexander Korns is running for the office of Director of the Poorhouse in Jenner Township.

1880: The following is from the July 2, 1880 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1880: The following item from the July 2, 1880 issue of the "Somerset Herald" shows gunsmith Sam Mier running for the Pennsylvania State Assembly, and shows gunsmith William Shaw serving on the Republican Committee for Ursina borough:

1880: Click here to see Alfred Johnson's October 12, 1880 breechloading gun lock patent, which Samuel Mier had one half ownership of.

1880: The following is from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania". It indicates that Samuel Mier was elected as a State Representative in 1880.

1881: The following clipping is from the January 26, 1881 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1881: The following clipping is from the June 15, 1881 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1881: The following biography of House Member Samuel Mier is from the 1881 book "Smull's Legislative Hand Book, Rules and Decisions of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania". It identifies Samuel Mier as a Somerset County gunsmith.

1882: The following clipping is from the February 1, 1882 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1882: Beth Page reports that the May 26, 1882 issue of the "Meyersdale Commercial" indicates that Samuel Mier and Sam Gipe leased a foundry in Salisbury. Beth also reports that the foundry was called a "rifleworks" but I'm not sure if Beth obtained that information from the same source. I imagine the foundry is the "Salisbury Foundry" that was located close to Samuel Mier's residence, and is mentioned in a 1935 newspaper article included below.

1883: Beth Page reports that in 1883, Samuel Mier and Sam Gipe manufactured the Johnson rifle and purchased the patterns of the old Berlin, Pennsylvania foundry. I am not sure what Beth's source for this information is, but it may be another newspaper article.

1883: The following is from the February 28, 1883 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies Samuel Mier as the Auditor of Salisbury Borough.

1883: The following clipping is from the October 10, 1883 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1883: The following clipping is from the December 19, 1883 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1884: The following is from the April 30, 1884 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier is running for the Pennsylvania Assembly.

1884: The following is from the May 21, 1884 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1885: The following is from the January 21, 1885 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier visited the newspaper office.

1888: The following clipping is from the October 3, 1888 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1888: The following is from the February 29, 1888 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier is visiting the town of Somerset, Pennsylvania.

1889: The following is from the April 3, 1889 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It suggests that Samuel Mier may be a gun collector.

1890: The following clipping is from the February 26, 1890 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It shows that Samuel Mier has been elected as Burgess of Salisbury, Pennsylvania.

1890: The 1890 book "The Umberger Tragedy" includes a Salisbury-related advertisement that states, "Sam. Mier, manufacturer and dealer in all kinds of guns, pistols, etc. Repairing done promptly and all work warranted."

1891: The following item is from the December 24, 1891 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It makes a joke about Samuel Mier's panther stories.

1891: The following is from the December 30, 1891 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It repeats the joke about Samuel Mier's panther stories, suggesting that Samuel Mier was well known in the town of Somerset.

1892: The following clipping is from the February 24, 1892 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It shows that Samuel Mier has been elected as Salisbury Assessor.

1892: The following is from the March 2, 1892 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier visited the office of the newspaper.

1892: The following item is from the March 3, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It announces progress on the Elk Lick Oil Well, and solicits additional funds to continue the project.

1892: The following item is from the March 17, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It announces that the article that was posted about the Elk Lick Oil Well was successful as a fund raising mechanism.

1892: The following item is from the March 24, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1892: The following item is from the May 5, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It announces that Samuel Mier was re-elected as Secretary.

1892: The article from the August 25, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" Newspaper identifies Samuel Mier as a Salisbury, Pennsylvania gunsmith..

1892: The following item is from the September 1, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It shows that Samuel Mier was supervising the drilling of the oil well.

1892: The following item is from the October 20, 1892 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1893: The following item is from the April 20, 1893 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. The humorous tenor of the article suggests that Samuel Mier was a well-loved local character.

1893: The following item is also from the April 20, 1893 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. In this item, Samuel Mier announces a meeting of the Elk Lick Oil Company.

1893: The following item is from the August 2, 1893 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper. It shows that brothers Samuel and William B. Mier were called for jury duty.

1895: The following is from the February 27, 1895 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It identifies Samuel Mier as the Assessor for the Borough of Salisbury, Pennsylvania.

1896: The following clipping is from the January 15, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1896: The following is from the January 22, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that the wife of Samuel Mier is critically ill, and not expected to recover.

1896: The following is from the June 10, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier's wife died.

1896: The following is from the September 9, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier is visiting his brothers in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

1896: The following is from the November 11, 1896 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1897: The following clipping is from the February 24, 1897 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It indicates that Samuel Mier has been elected as a Justice in Salisbury, Pennsylvania.

1898: The following is from the February 23, 1898 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It suggests that Samuel Mier is considering moving back to Somerset.

1898: The following item is from the March 17, 1898 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1898: The following item is from the August 4, 1898 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1899: The following is from the February 22, 1899 issue of the "Somerset Herald". It mentions Samuel Mier in connection with a Dye factory.

1899: The following clipping is from the September 13, 1899 issue of the "Somerset Herald".

1904: The following item is from the September 29, 1904 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1906: The following item is from the September 6, 1906 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1906: The following excerpt from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" provides information on the ancestry of Samuel Mier's wife Harriet:

1907: The following item is from the May 9, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1907: The following item is from the June 6, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. The referenced rifle is featured on pages 114 and 115 of the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker and Yantz. It may be the most elaborately decorated Pennsylvania longrifle ever attempted, which explains its extremely high $75.00 price when made.

1907: The following item is from the June 6, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper. It describes the time Jacob Yost forgot to remove the ramrod before shooting his Mier rifle at a squirrel.

1907: The following item is from the June 13, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1907: The following item is from the August 29, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1907: The following item is from the August 15, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1907: The following item is from the September 5, 1907 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1908: The following item is from the September 17, 1908 issue of the "Somerset County Star" newspaper.

1909: The following obituary of John Mier was identified by Glenda Tressler Smith. It is from the June 17, 1909 issue of the "Republic" newspaper from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, and indicates that John and Samuel Mier are sons of "Jacob Mier, a celebrated gunsmith in the early history of Somerset".

1909: The following obituary of Samuel Mier is from the December 23, 1909 issue of the "Republic" newspaper from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.

1909: Samuel Mier is buried in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery in Salisbury, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states: "Samuel Mier Oct. 7, 1831 Dec. 19, 1909 Harriet his wife June 21, 1841 June 3, 1896". The cemetery is located at Latitude 39.749396, Longitude -79.085164.

1935: The following short biography of Samuel Mier was identified by Glenda Tressler Smith. It is from the January 24, 1935 issue of the "Republic" newspaper from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.

The following image from the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset Pennsylvania" has been annotated with green, red, and blue arrows to show the gun shop, residence, and foundry mentioned in the preceding article.

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