1889 Eyewitness Account

What follows is an excerpt from the 1919 publication “Age-Long Battle of Satan for the Crown of Christ” written by the Rev. J. H. Leeper. It appears, unabridged, here courtesy of Wallace N. Leeper a descendent of the Rev. Leeper. The formatting has been changed to make it more readable.

Not only does this personal account describe the horror of the flood itself, but his experiences afterward on his trip home to Philadelphia. He mentions many places familiar to me. The Logan House in Altoona, Tyrone, Bellefonte the Juniata River, and the beauty of Seven Mountains, one of my favorite places on the planet. It was a joy to read his description of these places and how they looked more than 100 years ago. He also provides an interesting perspective seen through the eyes of a theologian at the turn of the century and the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Hang on to your hats . . . it is an exciting story.

A Tragedy In Which The Author Had A Part;

A Week from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia

From early childhood we have heard our fathers tell of the trip over the mountains from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and how it took a week to accomplish it. Let me tell you of a week’s sights and experiences recently in making that same trip. We did not embark in a great blue English wagon, drawn by four heavily harnessed horses, or in a clumsy coach like those of a hundred years ago, but in the splendid easy coaches of world-renowned Pennsylvania Railroad. On Friday, May 31st, after a week of two spent among friends in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, we boarded the train at Pittsburgh known as the Day Express. The through passengers from Chicago and St. Louis meet there and by two sections of trains proceed on their journey eastward, leaving Pittsburgh at 8 AM. We continued our journey without interruption till about 10:30 AM, we reached the banks of the Conemaugh, a tributary of the Allegheny into which it empties at Freeport, Armstrong County. As we glided up this stream we noticed its swollen condition with some apprehension and felt a little nervous when running near its banks. We crossed the massive stone bridge with its four railroad tracks and were in the heart of Johnstown, the great iron and steel center of the state.

At this place the Conemaugh is reinforced by the foaming waters of a mountain stream, known as Stony Creek. The junction is above the railroad bridge. This creek was passionately imitating its ally in its contributions of logs, brush, etc., to the united current, some of which refused to pass the arches of the bridge. The accumulation of debris there made the passage of so large a quantity of water impossible so that it was backed up into the streets and was filling the basements and lower stories of the houses. As we passed through the town we observed the people wading about in their yards, dining rooms and parlors in water waist deep. A lady was seen floating on a broad board with a child in one arm while she steered the simple craft with a stick in her right hand. She was possibly going to pay a visit to some of her neighbors, as the Venetians do in their gondolas. Perhaps it was a mother’s love “taking time by the forelock.” They did not seem particularly disconcerted, as that condition of affairs was not altogether new.

Our train moved on up the narrow valley, two short miles past the little suburb of Woodvale into the borough of Conemaugh, and halted. The passengers learned that a few miles up the mountain the track was covered with a slide, which would soon be removed, when we could proceed on our journey. After waiting an hour or more watching the freaks of the logs and trees and an occasional chicken coop as they floated by, not even recognizing the numerous watchers on the banks, and witnessing the collapsing of a wagon and footbridge, on which three boys came nearly losing their lives, the third one being pulled u on the end pier after the bridge had sunk from under him, we were made to feel a little nervous by the crumbling of the railroad bed just behind the train and it was found necessary to move up on to higher and firmer ground. We were standing now near the swollen stream about the center of the town on our left and with the “great roundhouse” with about two dozen locomotives in the basement, the company’s rooms on the second floor, and the signal office in the octagonal observatory as a third story on our right.

About eight miles up the mountain ahead of us and on the south fork of the Conemaugh one mile to the right of the main stream was built many years ago a dam, the breastwork of which was thrown across this tributary. As I understand, its original purpose was to furnish water as a feeder to the old Pennsylvania Canal. A few years ago some persons of wealth and leisure conceived the idea of converting the dam into a lake – supplying it with fish and making it a place of pleasurable resort. These persons reside for the most part in Allegheny and Pittsburgh. They accordingly formed a company and were incorporated by the legislature of Pennsylvania with a charter. They widened the breastwork to thirty feet and raised it to the incredible height of seventy-five feet. Thus a lake resulted, five miles long, one mile wide and about seventy feet deep at the works. I was told that the people of Johnstown protested and sought to obtain an injunction while the work was being done to have it stopped, but money and influence prevailed and the trap was completed; not, however, till the company was given a bond in three million dollars as an indemnity in case of loss to the inhabitants below if the lake should ever break through its confines. The heavy rains of the 30th, which continued throughout the day and succeeding night and extended over the area of the central portion of the state, must have culminated in a giant waterspout. The mountains were white with waters churned into foam as they leaped down the steep declivities into the valley gorges. The Juniata running eastward into the Susquehanna and the Conemaugh running westward into the Allegheny through the Kiskiminetas were soon swollen to the dimensions and fury of torrent rivers.

We noticed some maneuvers of the trainmen as we stood waiting, half impatient and half in fear, which were only understood when we reflect that they themselves were in fearful suspense. Other trains having arrived from the west, they were arranged on the four tracks, side by side, with those in the center a car’s length in advance of the others, thus forming a wedge-shaped tier of trains, with the point ready to receive and divide the flood if it came. A freight train loaded with stone was placed next the river as a breakwater and protection to the trains containing passengers against the violence of the stream when angered by the coming flood if it should come. On the side next the village stood the through mail train. Thus were the passengers protected on either side. If the trainmen had known of the awful catastrophe which in one short hour was to come down upon us like an avalanche of horror, they could not have more wisely prepared for it. If they did expect the bursting of the reservoir they calmly did the best thing for all concerned. They dropped an occasional remark that some apprehension obtained as to the lake in the mountain. Had they known the measure and imminence of the threatening danger it would certainly have been their plain duty to warn the passengers to “flee to the mountains.” Under all the circumstances, they are to be commended for doing just as they did. Had they sent the passengers over to the hill and no disaster occurred, they would have been both scolded and laughed at. As it was, there was not sufficient time to get them all safely out of danger after it was certainly known.

Some famous rides have been recorded in history and celebrated in poetry. Paul Revere’s midnight ride to Concord to give notice of the intended attack of General Gage, April 1775, who had arranged for an expedition to that place to seize the stores of the Colonies, which expedition provoked the battle of Lexington. Sheridan’s twelve-mile ride from Winchester to turn the tide against the forces under Early. Collins Graves, who by a dashing ride, saved thousands of lives when the dam at Williamsburg, N.H. broke. The commemorative poem of O’Reilly is thus introduced:

“He draws no rein, but he shakes the street

With a shout and a ring of the galloping feet.

And this the cry that he flings to the wind:

To the hills for your lives! The flood is behind.”

There were two men who signaled themselves in the Conemaugh disaster. John G. Parks was the first to discover the impending break in the south fork dam. He sprang into the saddle and dashed down the valley, shouting: “The dam is breaking; run for your lives.” When he reached the railroad station on the main branch, he telegraphed the tidings to Johnstown, ten miles below, on e hour before the flood came. Some heeded, fled to the hills and were saved. Other doubted, questioned, waited and were swept away. Parks climbed up into the mountain when the water was close upon his horse and saw the torrent rush by to do its awful work down the doomed valley.

Daniel Peyton, a citizen of Johnstown, was in Conemaugh, and, hearing of the message that passed along the wires, obtained a horse and rode with furious speed two miles down the river to give warning in the city. As he passed up and down the streets shouting “Run to the hills! Run to the hills!” the people came in crowds out into the streets and followed him with eyes but wondered who he could be and whether he was not some deranged person. Some were awestruck and dazed. Others made light of him and laughed. But on, the hopeless task of arousing the inhabitants to a realization of their danger, till when it was too late they were engulfed in a moving mountain of ruin as irresistible as an avalanche from Mount Blanc. It moved everything in its way as it crashed, twisted, hurled, and ground to splinters the buildings along the street and alleys and thoroughfares of the doomed city. The strange noise was mingled with the cries and shrieks of men and women and children who were being crushed and bruised by the grinding and falling timbers and floating down to death. On, on, raced the rider, faithful to the last moment. Just as he turned to fly for his own safety across the great stone bridge, he and his faithful horse were caught by the giant wave and hurled into the yawning gulf below the bridge. When found, he was laying with his face upward, while near by lay the noble animal he had ridden. He gave his life for the people! How many were lost who might have been saved had they heeded the warning! The memory of Parks and Peyton will ever be green in the hearts of many that escaped through the warning given.

But to take up the thread of the story of the tragedy; A locomotive and tender were sent up the valley on a reconnaissance. In a short time the noise of the swollen river and conversation of the passengers were broken by the shrill, continuous scream of that engine as ti came rolling back into the midst of its kindred group, its bell ringing a solemn warning. A pallor mantled every face as the work was passed through the trains: “The reservoir is burst and a lake of water is coming down upon us!” We were panic-stricken, dazed, paralyzed! A decision had to be made in the next moment which might involve the most solemn question of our earthly experience-life-death! To remain on the train meant being surrounded and possibly swept away by a flood the volume of which was to be measured by what we have heard of the dimensions of the lake above us. The failure to decide a course of action at once cost twenty-two passengers their lives who started for the hill a little too late. Five seconds was as fatal as half an hour. Rev. Mr. Rainy, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, with his wife, stepped out of the train, no doubt thinking his wife was following him. She was swept away and lost. When we left Conemaugh he was still searching for her, not seeming to know whether he would find her among the living or the dead! Another instance illustrating indecision in the moment of peril: Two ladies, one of whom had a child in her arms, had reached the plank over the ditch assisted by a trainman. The foremost lady slipped from the plank and was carried down with the torrent. The other lady dropped her child as she was crossing the plank, sprang after it, and both sent together to a watery grave. These all started for safety when it was too late! That is a fearful work – too late!

I reached the mountain slope by a brisk run, having left my satchel on the train , and turned to look on a scene that no tongue nor pen can ever describe. It was an avalanche of trees and houses carried along on dark billows standing about twenty feet high and moving at the rate of ten miles an hour. If you can imagine yourself standing on an eminence and looking down on a village of houses, with trees, borne down by a terrific hurricane, and can you imagine the whole scene moving along by some dark giant power and groaning somewhat like thunder in the distance and crushing everything in its path, you have the picture of that which was witnessed by those who stood on the Conemaugh hillside, half paralyzed with awe and amazement. Even yet I cannot rid myself of the strange spell which, like the shadow of a hideous monster, filled us with awe and trembling. The engine house, with more than twenty locomotives in it, each weighing more than fifty tons, was lifted and crushed like an eggshell. The engines were scattered about promiscuously and come of them swept down into Johnstown, two miles below, one of them being hurled into the debris at the stone bridge.

One of our train locomotives was wrenched from its train and lay half buried in the sand thirty yards to the left of the train. The baggage car of one of the trains, taking advantage of the situation, cut loose from its environments and started with all it plunder of trunks, valises, bandboxes, etc., for Cincinnati. One passenger car was carried away by the smaller current on the left side of the train. It seemed to take its leave reluctantly, not having its share of the passengers, for it had but two, and they were on the outside. These two men had great difficulty to keep out of the water, for the car was rolling from side to side, which necessitated their climbing and clutching to it as it rolled. Soon the car struck deeper water and disappeared far down the valley. Our hearts ached for the two frightened, unwilling passengers who we felt sure were lost, but the morning found them lodged on a high cinder dump, between two angry currents, a short distance above Johnstown. They were rescued about 1PM Saturday from their perilous situation on a raft which they had constructed themselves from lumber drifted against the tiny island. As soon as the body of the lake had passed we found that the group of trains had escaped utter destruction by a wonderful providence. (Prayer meeting and result.) One of the train locomotives had been thrown on its side across and in from of the trains. A passing tree kindly turned in and wrapped its long, strong arms about the engine; then the angel of the deep shoveled a hundred tons of sand and stones upon this mass of nature and art and thus formed, in less time than I am taking to tell it, a fortification against and divided the mad torrent, throwing its wild billows on either side of the group of trains, and thus God saved a hundred lives on the death carnival day! But for this interposition of Him who sometimes saves by a hair’s breadth, the passengers who remained on the trains and who were stricken dumb by the fury of the passing deluge would have had a awful ride on the bosom of death to almost certain destruction, for the trains were seen from the hillside to move quite a little distance before the force of the first shock of the torrent. When the waters had sufficiently subsided to allow egress from the train, those who had remained aboard came over to the crowd on the hillside.


The few houses and a United Brethren church remaining in Conemaugh were kindly thrown open to give shelter to the homeless not washed away and the passengers saved from the trains. (A Mr. Devlin’s home was my lodging place.) About four o’clock next morning the church bell suddenly rang out on the stillness, creating consternation anew among those who had escaped the perils of the evening before. Some word had gone around that the lake was but partially emptied and a second edition of the flood might come thundering down the valley at any moment. It proved, however, a less calamity.

A carload of burnt limestone had heated into a flame and set fire to the Pullman cars standing alongside, and before it could be finally extinguished three of the were consumed, thus adding fifty thousand dollars’ loss to the millions caused by the flood. I went over to the trains to see the evidences of the peril that surrounded those who remained aboard. The car from which I escaped was the hindmost of the first section of the Day Express. The side for the entire length was broken through by being thrown with violence against the freight car next to it by the force of the waves. It was a testing moment to those within it who, I was informed, fled into the next car, which fared a little better. Passing through the trains we found them standing and leaning at various angles containing mud and water. In one of the parlor cars where, in passing through an hour before the disaster, I had observed a group playing at cards, we now saw a deck scattered about on the floor with some empty wine bottles! Some of the group said that one of their companions was lost trying to escape. “Lost.” in more senses than one, it is to be feared.

Three-fourths of the town of Conemaugh is so completely erased that a stranger would think it to have once been the bed of a river, from which the river had receded having washed for itself another channel. A little below Conemaugh was the borough of Woodvale, a village of modest homes belonging to their occupants, who as employees in the iron and steel works had from their wages saved and built for themselves, their wives and families, these cozy little homes. These houses – the wives and mothers and the children- all disappeared as the dust before the broom in the hand of a heartless giant. The site of Woodvale is a sandy waste or the bottom of a river! And its inhabitants mostly over yonder, never to return in time!


When the flood reached Johnstown it was divided into three awful currents, each about one square wide. These three seething volumes of wrath went tearing, washing, thundering right down through the city, dealing out ruin and terror in their pathway to an extent and with a fury unknown in modern times. Frame buildings were lifted up as by the hands of giant furies and either dashed to pieces against one another or sent tumbling and swimming on the bosom of the foaming current. The strong stone bridge stood with unyielding fidelity against the inconceivable force of these currents. Here the floating mass of houses, trees, logs, cattle, sheep, horses and human bodies were piled up far into the air in one awful conglomerate mountain pyre. The stables to two horse-car companies containing ninety horses were in that pile. Young men from the country had driven in to see the swollen river and hitched their teams to the street racks. These are all in that pile and their drivers “are not.” for the flood took them! This huge pile took fire and burned for several days till the fire engines from Pittsburgh, after a persistent effort, succeeded in extinguishing it. There were many living persons wedged in among the broken timbers of that pile, whose screams were only hushed by the cruel flames!

As the visitor stands on the hillside and looks over the ruins of that once commercially prosperous city of thirty thousand inhabitants and remembers the great hotels with their extensive drinking rooms, where demon-music of clinking glasses was kept up far into every night of every day of every week of every month of the year, and calls to mind the long rows of groggeries and drinking saloons that lined the streets of Johnstown and some other towns of that fated valley, now all swept away as with God’s great besom of wrath, and sees the churches nearly all standing as monuments of His mercy, their spires pointing as if to letter of fire written on the sky; “Hear the work of Jehovah ye children of America, for Jehovah hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is not truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying and killing and stealing and committing adultery they break out and blood toucheth blood” (Hosea 4:1-2) and “When my judgements are in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” You will almost involuntarily ask: ” Whose voice is this that speaks from the hills and thunders from the skies – and what is the lesson He would have us learn?” Think of the appalling loss of life and property all over te state and especially in this valley! Ten thousand people summoned to the bar of final judgement in one short hour! Fifty million dollars of wealth crushed into the mire under the feet of a justly angry God! (Amos 3:6) The time of this awful visitation gives it the solemnity of a voice from the throne of Heaven. One state after another had refused at the ballot box to liberate the thousands of powerless inebriates who go bowed under the relentless oppression of the saloon, refused to extend relief to the suffering, sorrowing, bleeding mothers and children of the drunkard’s home! In a few days Pennsylvania was to place herself on the record on the same burning issue between the cruel wrong and the bleeding, sobbing, pleading right; then God spoke out from the eternal throne of right in a voice that no wise and honest man can misunderstand – a voice of solemn warning. If this should not be heard He will speak again and again in louder and louder tones till the ears of the deaf will be opened and the hearts of the hardest be made to feel. What God said to Eli concerning the chastisement of Israel for their sins as a nation, he is repeating in our ears: “When I begin I will also make an end.” (Sam 3:12)

From the Conemaugh valley, we were carried up the mountain and over the country to Ebensburg, a nice little mountain town, thence by rail to Altoona, which we reached on Saturday evening. There the east and west travelers were comfortable cared for at the Logan House, a large and fine hotel, with a fine library and reading room. It deserves to be recorded that the Pennsylvania R.R. Company evinced a noble spirit in their watchful and kindly attention to the storm stayed passengers, really less unfortunate than the company themselves. Even the telegraphic agents entered into anxious feelings of those unwillingly detained and sought to give them assurance as to the brief communications of their safety sent to loved ones. The Logan House was more of a “a home among the trees” where all the comforts of home, except the presence of all the loved ones, were enjoyed than a mere lodging house. There is no liquor bar there to annoy and shame passengers of taste and Christian culture. At great expense hundreds of wayfarers were cared for nearly a week. All honor to the magnanimous Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the commercial bulwark of the state! What a paralysis the stopping of their trains for four days of that awful week caused for hundreds of miles all around. Having waited at Altoona for one hundred and eight hours without any communication with the outside world save one dispatch of five words, and hearing of a possible way out in company with Major Hilton, the temperance evangelist of Washington, D.C. , I left for Tyrone, thence north to Bellefonte, on the sixth of June. At Bellefonte, we obtained a wagon and started across the mountains for Lewistown on the Company’s road form which point we learned we could reach home. The distance is thirty-two miles. The way is grand old mountain pike leading over the “seven-mountains” and through two surpassingly beautiful basins. The air was delightful, the scenery grand, our team all we could wish.

We had been toiling up the north slope of the range when upon reaching the top there was suddenly spread out before and far below us a valley-landscape about six miles long and three miles wide, which for picturesque beauty surpasses anything I have ever seen in this country – or Switzerland. (I have never been in Switzerland) The well- cultured farms with their green and golden fields of a coming harvest make this mountain basin look like a great oval bowl filled with well-arranged flowers, set about with a mountain rim of evergreen for the pleasure of angel-messengers as they fly to and fro over the earth on divinely appointed missions to God’s children among men. But our wagon load of earthly mortals regaled themselves with the unique beauty of the scene. This is called “Penn Valley.” It is inhabited by the traditional Pennsylvania Dutchman of beer and sauerkraut fame, to that, as I suppose, the aforesaid angelic messengers, while lying over this valley, find it necessary to hold their noses as they sate their eyes on the beauties of nature beneath.

At length our drive is brought to a close in a little town called Reedsville. Here the highway crosses a large creek, Kissakoquillas by name. This stream not willing to be outdone by other little rivers, had divested itself of all its bridges! Crossing one of its branches on an improvised pontoon thrown over it by the people of the village, we walked down the main branch on a broken section of the road till it brought us in against the mountain, where we much cross the little river. Creeping over the rocks that had been dumped from nature’s cart away back in the geologic ages (for the side of that mountain up to the dizzy summit is a mass of tumbled rocks) we crawled down to the water’s edge, where a skiff was being used to ferry the stragglers over.

When we reached Lewistown three miles distant, which we did by a hack, we found the “Blue Juniata” after a mad food spasm, now sullen and muddy and the people were “blue.” Their town suffered tremendously. Bridges and mills and stores and houses within reach of the torrent stream, lying around topsy-turvy and the high railroad bridge gone. This river crossed and we were on same ground and soon on the train for home, where loved ones had been held in painful suspense for one week. Thus ended an experience which I have no desire to repeat and which will to the end of my earthly life seem like a horrible dream.

An interesting incident occurred in connection with the destruction of the Lewistown bridge. A barn located a mile or two up the valley in which a number of cattle had taken refuge from the storm, was surrounded by the swollen stream, lifted from its foundation and carried out into the mighty current. When it stuck the bridge, which was still standing, it went to pieces letting its cargo of livestock etc, in to the water. One of the cattle, a large bull, soon appeared in a central position on a section of the roof and was carried a short distance down the river and landed on the top of a high cinder dump which formed a small island in the midst of the torrent and in view of the town. There he stood, transfixed with fear, with his head erect, a picture of bovine majesty. Several views of him were taken by a Lewistown photographer. He was captured later on and held on exhibition for a time as one of the “survivors of the flood.” When a full half mile in length and elevated probably thirty feet about low-water mark was built, the engineer constructing it had determined its elevation by the high-water mark of the highest flood of the Juniata on record – 1847. But the torrent of 1889 scored a mark eight feet higher than its proudest predecessor; hence the bridge went the way of all the drift.


It was thought for a time that the “Limited Express” was lost; but this train which leaves Pittsburgh a few minutes in advance of the Day Express, was halted by a telegraphic order just below South Fork bridge. There it was standing when the flying messenger from the lake arrived on his downward trip, who warned the engineer to pull quickly over to the other side and up the valley or be washed to certain ruin. He acted on the warning and train and its freight of human life was saved. A freight train was lying farther down the valley. Its brakemen were asleep as they lay waiting for orders. When the alarm was given only the engineer ad fireman heard it. Blowing the whistle and ringing the bell to awake the sleepers, which was ineffectual however, they uncoupled the engine and started down the valley at full speed, the mountain of angry waters being close behind them. It was a race for life. They know if they could reach a certain bridge farther down the valley the farther end of which was close in against the hill, they could ‘slow up’ and springing from the engine, climb the hill and be safe. But what was their consternation, when nearing the bridge, to find it occupied by a freight train! They however slowed up against the train and escaped across the bridge and up on to the side of the mountain,


1. God keeps even with law-breakers. If an accurate account of profit and loss were kept it would be found that R.R. Sabbath-breaking does not pay financially. The unavoidable R. R. accidents foot up more losses than Sabbath-traffic makes up. The floods of May 31 and June 1, and 2, 1889, destroyed about $3,000,000 worth of R. R. property in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The railroads are the mammoth Sabbath-breakers of the world.

2. The government at Washington were obliged to perambulate the streets of the capital during those flood-days in boats instead of barouches. The national government charters the Sabbath breaking railroads and hires them to carry the mail all over this country seven days in the week. Th flood stopped that bold insult to the Lord of the Sabbath for one trip at least. June 2, 1889 was Sabbath.

3. The last few years have been characterized by an unusual number of unusually destructive calamities, fires, flood, famines, earthquakes, cyclones, and volcanic eruptions. Now pestilence on its black horse is stalking forth and making war on the frightened ranks of mankind. ” When will we learn to “fear God and keep His commandments?”

4. The citizens of Johnstown in their reception of the announcement of that coming calamity furnished a remarkable illustration of what, it is predicted, will transpire at the final winding up of the present state of human affairs. (Matt 24:36-42)

P.S. – An official of a branch of the Pennsylvania railroad system said to be the writer that the grind of seven-day-week labor by their employees was costing vastly more to the company than all their traffic on the Lord’s Day footed up. Our men need the weekly rest the God of nature enjoins. Law-violators are always losers eventually.

 About the Author

Reference: History of the Leeper Family by Reverend James L. Leeper, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1894.

Joseph Harper Leeper was the son (12th child living to adulthood) of Hugh Leeper (born 1793, died October 1867, of rheumatism of the heart) and Esther Harper (born January 15th, 1798, died 1872). They were married in 1818 and resided at the “Leeper” farm, ½ mile South of Hookstown, Greene Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

After receiving his education at the Hookstown Collegiate Institute, JHL began the profession of teaching. He was elected principal of the grammar department of the public schools of Xenia, Ohio, which position he filled for about six years. Having been induced to study the ministry by his pastor, Rev. R. D. Harper, D.D., and Professor Samuel Wilson, D.D. of the Xenia Theological Seminary, he yielded to what he felt was a call to the Gospel ministry and entering seminary at Xenia, 1865, graduated in 1867. JHL was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Xenia Presbytery of the U.P. Church in April 1867. Having been called to the pastorate of the united charges of Calcutta and West Beaver, Ohio, he was ordained and installed as their pastor, June 30, 1868. While a teacher, he married Miss Mavia J. Galloway, of Xenia, Ohio. Three children were born to them while living in Xenia: William Archibald, Hester Mary, and Joanna Lavinia.

Subsequently, three more children were born to them while living in Calcutta: Hugh Thomas, Edith Isabel, and Harriet Edna. William, Joanna, and Hugh lie buried in Woodland Cemetery, Xenia, Ohio. JHL resigned the pastorate of West Beaver (PA?) After six hears and gave his whole time to Calcutta, Ohio and Toronto, Ohio. Calcutta, at length took his entire time. After a pastorate of over fourteen years at Calcutta, he was called to the congregation of Jonathon’s Creek, Ohio. This charge was relinquished after three years in order to accept the General Field Secretaryship of the National Reform Association. He removed to New Concord, Ohio and entered upon his work. After twenty-seven months he was called to Philadelphia, PA, for the business management of the Christian Statesman, the N. R. organ, and after four years, he accepted the State Secretaryship of the Pennsylvania Sabbath Association, which position he still holds. JHL resides in Philadelphia at No. 2315, 20th Street. His children, Mary, Edith, and Edna reside with him, engaged in teaching, or attending school (as of 1894).

copyright © 1998 Wallace N. Leeper

Send email to Wallace Leeper at  gatorink@pinehurst.net