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Shiremanstown Historical Society

The Shireman's

From where they came and where they went

By : Michael Weaver

Kidnapped from his German home and placed on a sailing vessel, a young boy found himself as a stowaway bound for America, (circa 1740). When discovered by the captain and questioned the scared little boy would only reply, "I'm a Shireman." This in provincial German means "Stable Boy." This was put on his documents as his name.

Why he was kidnapped from his home and, placed on a ship is to this day a mystery to many generations of decendents in this country. What the true family name is another unsolved mystery. What is for sure is that when the ship landed in Philadelphia, that Captain received his fare for passage from a family that lived near Philadelphia and were in need of an indentured helper in their family butcher shop.

Shireman took on the first name of Daniel. He became a butcher from a very early age and all of his needs were met by his host family. He was very shrewd and saved money. By young adulthood he was in a sound financial position for a young man. He set off to make his way in the world. He married Dorthea Creutzer, and between 1777 and 1785 they had four girls and a boy, Daniel, born on 11/4/1785.

Part of the 7,751 acres of land set aside by William Penn for Indian reservations was Lowther Manor. Between 1739 and 1764 Germans were settling in the Manor with the graces of the Indians. In this area of Spring Grove west of the Susquehanna around 1755 Peter Dicks set up the 1st iron ore Mine. Around 1770 he built a forge near the Spring, becoming Iron History's Pennsylvania, Spring Forge. It continued to grow and in 1775 Daniel Shireman bought out the iron forge.

Much of the iron forged by Shireman's Spring Forge was sent east toward Philadelphia to make cannons and ammunition for the American Army to fight the British just before the occupation of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. From his money earned during that time he bought much of the land in this area. The immigrant Daniel Shireman died in the general area of Shiremanstown on August 6, 1797 and his wife took control of his wealth until her death. Eventually their son, Daniel would take over his father's fortune and built the town on the land his father owned.

However one must first know the history surrounding this area. This whole area was an Indian Reservation set aside by William Penn known as Louther Manor. The first settlers into the area, German Immigrants, two brothers John and William Orr, circa 1740, settled over by the Conodoguinet Creek in the area known today as Orr's Bridge Road.

Then in 1764 the reservation was divided into parcels and sold to settlers. In 1772 John Jonas Rupp came to the area from Annville and built a log cabin for his family. As he settled his land he piled the limestone rock and soon build a large home for his family. The building withstood the elements over the past 225 years or so while being transformed from a home to a several restaurants, and now to a luxurious law practice on Trindle Road baring its owners name, John Fenstermacher.

The first church, for the Lutheran Congregation, was erected high on a hill top over looking the Conodoguinet Creek in 1787 near the present day Holy Spirit Hospital. The only thing that remains of it today is it's cemetery. German Reformed Congregation was meeting in a cabin near present day Shiremanstown in the early 1790's. In 1798 the two Congregations jointly built Peace Church. Meanwhile around 1800 the Mohler Family built the Dunkard Church near present Day Gettysburg .Pike, still standing today on wedged between Old Gettysburg Pike and 11 & 15 S about 1 miles S.W. of Shiremanstown

John Sheely came to the area in 1815 farming land just west of Shiremanstown out by Messiah Village. Other to quickly follow were Ferdinand Roth Between Simpson Ferry and Gettysburg Road, Christian Eberly's farm was West Street and beyond, H.S. Rupp the first nurseryman in the county, J.R. Miller a feed merchant out where present day Mechanicsburg Water is, Henry Zearing settled in the Shiremanstown area in 1825, Levi Merkel settled in the area of Allen Jr. High School in 1840, before moving to present day 8 W. Green Street, Shiremanstown in 1856.

The home of George Schnebely's widow or that of Inn keeper, John Davis, was the first property built on the grounds owned by Shireman around 1814. By 1827, Jacob Rupp laid out the land now known as the village of Shiremanstown, was formed as the original town. It's borders were current day the Main Street east of present day Rail Road Ave. and Market St. with very little going on north or south of Main. The street was a major through way for loggers west of here to get their product to the Susquehanna River as well as eventually live stock traveling to barges on their way to slutter houses. The town continued to grow and by 1841 John and George Rupp laid out additional lots, and again in 1845 Jacob Markel laid out second Street, Present day Green Street.

Information received by:

Article in a LaPorte Texas n ewspaper with a personal interview of Isaac Wayne Shireman about family history prior to his death in 1937

Genealogy documents of Mr. Wayne Shireman, from Ames Iowa, 2008

The History of Shiremanstown by Mrs. Hugh Henderson, on Feb 3, 1944

Isaac Shireman
Wayne Shireman

Phone: 717.761.4169