Peter (Johan) Laufer Sr.
- Born: 18 Oct 1752, Moore Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania
- Marriage: Magdalena Susanna Grosher in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
- Died: 21 Jul 1830, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania at age 77
Peter Laufer made shoes for Washington's army, during the three years of his enlistment. He was a shoemaker by trade, and added to this fact, he was too small to bear arms, being below the average in stature. Also, at a time when the Southern and New England Colonies gave nothing to support the Continental Government, for the prosecution of the war for Independence, he was one of the Pennsylvania German farmers that contributed to his utmost to the success of Liberty's cause.
Peter served in the 7th Company, 3rd Brigade, under Capt. John Deter. He served from 1782 to 1784 and acheived the rank of 5th Class Private.
From the 1905 Lauffer History: "Peter Lauffer, the Revolutionary Shoemaker. He lived in troublous times, for it is said that it was not safe to sleep in the house at night, for fear of the Indians. The settlers had to go to the block house at Howersville. When his father Christian, and all his brothers and sisters emigrated into Westmoreland Co., he alone remained in Northampton County. Tradition has it that he married a wife who refused to cross the Mountains. The Old Homestead is owned by a descendant of his named Jacob P. Laufer, who has in his possession the old deeds and wills of the Peter Laufer family. PATENT. No. 702 152A, S Land North,N Co,Ty In rolled in the Rolls of office for the State of Pennsylvania In Patent Book No. 1, page 469 &C Witness my hand and seal of office, March 13, 1783, Enrollment office of Pennsylvania JOHN MORRIS, Mk In Pennsylvania Archives Vol. 19, Third series. Page 140, under Federal Taxes of Moore TWP., Northampton Co., for 1785, we learn that Peter Laffer owned 150 acres of land, two horses, two cattle, and no sheep. His tax was 15 shillings, 5 pence".
THE SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA.
To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting;
KNOW YE, that in consideration of the sum Twenty four pounds six shillings & nine pence lawful Money, paid by Peter Laffer into the Receiver Generals Office of this Commonwealth, there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto the said Peter Laffer a certain tract of land called Lafferton situate in Moore; and Lehi Township, Northampton County; Beginning at a corner stone of Adam Deeters land, thence by the same North Seventy degrees East Seven perches to a corner stone of John Deeters land, thence by the same South twenty degrees East seventy one perches and a quarter to a stone set for a corner, thence North seventy degrees East forty five perches to a stone, thence South forty four Degrees East one hundred and forty eight perches to a corner stone, thence by land of David Marsh eighty two degrees and a half West two hundred and twenty nine perches to a stone set for a corner, thence South twenty five degrees East ninety perches to a corner stone of Christian Guffners land thence by the same South Seventy five degrees West twelve perches to a corner stone of Simon Cowers land, thence by the same and Adam Hickers land North thirty degrees West one hundred and seventy five perches to a corner post in the line of George Nagles land, thence by the same North eightynine degrees East eighty six perches and a half to a stone, thence North eleven degrees and a half West seventy four perches to a stone, thence North eighty degrees East forty seven perches and a half to a corner post, thence North ten degrees West, thirty seven perches to the first mentioned stone and place of beginning, containing one hundred and fifty two Acres and allowance of Six p Cent for roads &ca. With the Appurtenances (which said Tract of land was surveyed by virtue of an order on application No. 1997 entered the 22nd of October 1766 by Valentine Marsh: who by deed dated the 11 June 1767 conveyed the said land to Jacob Griesman; who by Deed dated the 24 of March 1768, conveyed the same to the said Peter Laffer and his Heirs, to the use of the said Peter Laffer his Heirs and assigns for ever; free and clear of all restrictions and reservations as to Mines, Royalties, Quitrents or otherwise excepting and reserving only the fifth part of all Gold and Silver Ore for the use of this Commonwealth, to be delivered at the pit mouth, clear of all charges.
In witness whereof His Excellency John Dickinson, Esq., president of the Supreme Executive Council hath hereto set. His hand, and caused the State Seal to be hereunto affixed in Council, the thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two; and of the Commonwealth the Seventh. Attest,
JOHN DICKINSON (Seal)
T. Matlack, Secy. Seal of the State of Pennsylvania.
While searching the Archives of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, 13th and Locust, Philadelphia, we discovered the name of Peter Laufer:
Wills of Northampton County, Page 739. We learn that the executors of the Estate of David Mersch were George Hersch and Peter Lafter (sic).
In Pennsylvania Archives Vol. 19, Third series, Page 140, under Federal Taxes of Moore Twp., Northampton Co., for 1785, we learn that Peter Laffer owned 150 acres of land, two horses, two cattle, and no sheep. His tax was 15 shillings, 5 pence.
Grandmother Scholl tells us that her father (Peter Laufer Jr.) and grandfather (Peter Laufer, the shoemaker,) were not large men but squarely built, solid men weighing about 160 and 170 pounds. She remembers how her grandfather wound up the clock every morning when he got up, before coming to breakfast. One morning he was late in coming to breakfast. His son went to see why he did not come. He found him unable to talk, lying in bed. He motioned to his son to go to wind the clock. He laid sick in bed for a week. It was harvest time. And as he lay sick in bed, his granddaughter (Grandmother Scholl) with a fly brush made of paper, kept the flies from him, and gave him drinks. The men and women were all at work in the harvest fields. She thinks she was about eight years old when she thus cared for her grandfather.
She remembers her grandfather's shoemaker bench. She was around when he made shoes. She would meddle with his tools, and she recalls his telling her to let things alone.
Grandmother Scholl remembers that the father of her grandfather was Christian Laufer. And she as well as Nathan of Broadheadsville, and Jacob P. Laufer of the Old Homestead, have it by tradition that Father Christian and his sons and daughters went westward to near Pittsburg, and that Peter remained East.
Kleppinger's Fort was located near Petersville Church, east from the Laufer Homestead. Families went to this or other nearby forts every night, for in those days people were stolen by the Indians and houses were burned.
Grandmother Scholl remembers the spinning, turning the spinning wheel or reel a whole day, when you would like to sled ride, or go fishing, was an evil of the olden day. The Laufers sent their yarn to the weavers and their cloth to the fullers. In fulling the cloth, she recalls that soap was used. The cloth was then colored brown. When thus dyed it made fine cloth for dresses.
Her father was very fond of bees, of which he had about seventy. He wove basket hives out of straw for them. Deiter, his neighbor, had eighty. Both tried to reach one hundred. It was said in those days that a person could not have one hundred bees together. As their number increased, they commenced going back, neither reached one hundred. In those days cane sugar was not used by the settlers, and beet sugar had not been introduced. For sweet, they were dependent upon honey, which was used freely for all purposes.
They rendered their honey in a big iron kettle. They made it hot and strained it out through a colander. The honey thus rendered was set aside in crocks. The part that did not go through the colander was returned to the kettle. Water was added and it was boiled. It was again put through the colander. The filtrate was put in a keg or barrel and set aside to ferment. The part that remained in the colander this second time, was returned to the kettle and purified as wax. They had a way of gathering the wax as follows: as the water boiled the wax came to the surface; the hands were made wet in cold water and placed on the surface of the water, which caused the wax to adhere to the fingers. It was then rubbed off the hands and the hands again dipped in cold water.
The filtrate in the keg would ripen in a year's time. It made a drink much relished by her father and grand father, says Grandmother Scholl. In her words it was "sehr stark." The German name for this drink is Meticulum.
We are informed that Peter Laufer made shoes for Washington's army, during the three years of his enlistment. He was a shoemaker by trade, and added to this fact, he was too small to bear arms, being below the average in stature. Also, at a time when the Southern and New England Colonies gave nothing to support the Continental Government, for the prosecution of the war for Independence, he was one of the Pennsylvania German farmers that contributed to his utmost to the success of Liberty's cause.
The family of Peter Laufer consisted of three sons and five daughters. *His wife's name from the 1905 Lauffer History was Magdalena Susanna Grosher. Cemetery records from the Zion Cemetery indicate he was married to Maria Magdalena Althaus.
Peter was buried in the Kreidersville Zion (Lutheran German Reformed) Stone Church Cemetery. The church and cemetery are situated near Kreidersville in Allen Township, 15 miles N.W. of Easton, PA, overlooking the Hokendauqua Valley. The very large yard was laid-out between 1760 and 1770. The first church was erected in 1771.
Peter married Magdalena Susanna Grosher in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Magdalena Susanna Grosher was born on 15 May 1767 in Norhampton, Pennslyvania, died in 1823 in Norhampton, Pennslyvania and was buried in Kreidersville Zion (Lutheran German Reformed) Stone Church.)