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Brillinger Homestead, immigration, indentured servitude, pigs, military enlistment, barn doors, funeral customs


Handwritten notes from the York Gazette of 1894 copied by Alfred L. Shoemaker circa 1950. The articles cover topics including indentured servitude for immigrants, enlisting in the Revolutionary War and funeral practices.

Corresponds to:

Packet 94-23


York, Pennsylvania


York Gazette

June 2, 1894

Owned in ’94 by Michael Snyder

Brillinger homestead in Manchester Top.

“The old homestead has quite an interesting history connected with its construction. Away back in the colonial times, when most of the immigrants who came to this country were too poor to pay their passages, companies were organized, who furnished passages on condition that the product of their labor would be sent to the company for a number of years. In about 1657 a man and his wife came over to America under the above conditions, and a man by the name of Bixler was their master. These poor mortals were promised their freedom if they would build a stone house for him. They immediately set to work and about 10 or 15 years, as near as it can be ascertained, had passed before they had completed the work of erection. The man did the most work and the wife assisted by carrying the materials.

Tradition has it that when the house was completed, their master, Mr. Bixler, told them that now they must build a pig sty yet and then they would be free. They had to comply but with a great deal of dissatisfaction. They completed this work also, but before they left the woman said that their master should never have any luck in raising pigs. Mr. Brillinger said that strange as it may seem, never a pig was raised in that pig sty.”

June 23, 1894. G. W. P. Curtis' “Recollections”

”When the 'Southern Riflemen' were enlisting (they afterward became famous under Captain Dondel) Yorktown offered so many men, that the young Lieutenant, Henry Miller, wishing to diminish the number adopted the picturesque expedient of chalking a very small nose on a barn door, saying “I’ll take only the men that can hit that nose at one hundred and fifty yards.” The newspapers of the time said, “take care of your nose, General Gage!’”

July 25, 1894 Crazy over Witches

George Kellar in Ohio native of Franklin County, Pa.

Holtz news item

It is the usage all over this part of the county, and has been the same for a long time in the past, that upon the death of any person the family of the deceased selected from four to six men who will open the grave and at the funeral act in the capacity of pall-bearers. This is considered an honor of which no one will refuse.”



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Notes From the York Gazette: June 2, 1894 to July 25, 1894



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