Fayette County Genealogy Project

Contributed by Keely Deuschle

GANS (p. 516-518)
This family was founded in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, by George and Joseph Gans, born in Germany, from which country they fled to escape persecution. They settled at or near Antietam, Maryland, where they remained about ten years. In 1784 they came to Fayette county, settling in Springhill township, where each took up about four hundred acres of land that was surveyed to them by the government. Both married and founded families.

(I) The founder of the branch herein recorded was George Gans, who died in 1807. He was a member of the German Baptist church (Dunkard), although most of his children and their descendants became members of the Christian church (Disciples of Christ). He married and left issue: Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, George, Margaret, married A. Getzendaner; Anna, married A. Greenley, and lived in Greene county, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth, and William. These sons later in life all settled in the west, except William.

(II) William, youngest child of George Gans, was born in Springhill township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, 1789, died there in 1867. He grew up on the farm near Morris Cross Roads, which is still owned in the family. He later became its owner and spent his entire active life engaged in its care and cultivation. He married Magdalene, daughter of George Custer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 3, 1744, died on his farm in Georges township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1829. He was a large healthy man and the father of fifteen children. He was the fourth son of Paul Custer, who married Sarah Ball, daughter of Colonel William Ball, of Lancaster county, Virginia, and a sister of Mary Ball, the second wife of Augustine Washington, and the mother of George Washington, the "Father of his Country." Mary Ball married Augustine Washington, March 6, 1731, and died August 25, 1789. Her son, George Washington, was born February 22, 1732. He was a first cousin of George Custer, father of Magdalene, wife of William Gans. Children of William Gans: 1. Dr. George, many years a practicing physician of Moundsville, West Virginia. 3. Dr. Daniel, settled near Canton, Ohio, where he practiced medicine: married Margaret Hanna: children: Henry C., of Youngstown, Ohio; Emmet and Mrs. Olive Muckley,  both of Cleveland, Ohio; Elizabeth, married Judge Krichbaum, of Canton, Ohio. 3. Jonathan, a farmer moved to Missouri, but later returned to Fayette county, were he died; married Sarah Eberhardt, her father was a farmer of Nicholson township, Fayette county, and a veteran of the civil war. 4. Altha, owned the farm in south Fayette county, where Gans Station is now standing and named in his honor. 5. Lebbeus Biglow, of whom further. 6. Mary Ann, married William P. Griffin, who lived on his own farm in Nicholson township for over sixty years. 7. Lydia, married James C. Ramsey, a farmer of Springhill township.

(III) Lebbeus Biglow, fifth son of William and Magdalene (Custer) Gans, was born in Springhill township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, March 31, 1825. He was educated in the common school, grew to manhood on the home farm, and later purchased the homestead property. He was a prosperous farmer and added an adjoining one hundred and thirty-four acres, which gave him three hundred acres of the best farm land in southern Fayette county. He later in life devoted his attention more to the raising of fine live stock than to agriculture, but he was all his life a farmer. A feature of his farm was a sugar maple grove containing two thousand trees which yielded a good profit annually. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and held in high esteem by his neighbors. He married (first) January 6, 1848, Elizabeth J., daughter of James C. Ramsey; children: 1. Dorcas Ann, married T. F. Prozman, many years a merchant at Morris Cross Roads. 2. Elizabeth J. married W. Morgan Smith, of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. 3. A son, died in infancy. He married (second) October 10, 1868, Emily S., daughter of Henry B. Goe, of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, born in Fayette county, on the farm now owned by H. B. Goe, December 28, 1803m died November 1, 1889. He was a farmer in Jefferson township in early life, but about 1865 moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he died. He left the farm to engage in oil production, having oil interests in McKean county. He married Catherine Shotwell, born at Shotwell farm in Franklin township, December 28, 1806, died August 11, 1889. They were married in 1824, and spent sixty-five years of married life together. They were both members of the Christian church. The Goe family came originally from Scotland and the emigrant settling in Jefferson township on land yet held in the family name. Children of Henry B. Goe. 1. Henry B. (2), moved from Pittsburgh to Bradford, Pennsylvania, about 1880, engaged in oil production, and soon afterward died; married Lydia White, of Connellsville; children: Henry B. (3), Gertrude, Elizabeth, Catherine. 2. John S., lived and died in Jefferson township, a fancy stock and cattle dealer; married and left children: Dorcas, wife of John H. Gans; Emma V., widow of John Moore, of Georges township; Eva Catherine and Irene of Uniontown; also John S. Jr., who died in the west. 3. Robert S., a farmer on the old home farm in Jefferson township; married Heater Higginbotham; children: James H., Henry B., of Jefferson township; Ada, wife of Attorney Robert M. Curry, of Pittsburgh; Cora, wife of Dr. Lloyd Trowbridge, of Piqua, Ohio. 4. Joel S., died in Pittsburgh. 5. Susan, married John Newcomer; she survives him and has lived for over fifty years on Main street, Connellsville, Pennsylvania; children: Mrs. L. F. Ruth and Mrs. W. Foley. 6. Sarah, married Robert Elliot, a farmer of Jefferson township; both deceased; children: Henry and James, living in Iowa; Lawrence and George, of Jefferson township, Fayette county; Charles S., of Clarksburg, West Virginia; Frank; Mary; Catherine and Martha; the last four live in Greenwood, Delaware. 7. Emily S. (of previous mention), wife of Lebbeus B. Gans. 8. Rose, married John D. Bailey (deceased); he was a broker, belonging to the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange, and for many years was known as the oldest member of the Exchange. 9. Laura, resides in Pittsburgh, unmarried. Children of Lebbeus B. Gans and his second wife Emily S. Goe. 1. Henry B., a civil engineer, living in Uniontown, Pennsylvania; married Harriet Brownfield. 2. William L. of whom further. 3. Catherine (deceased), married William H. Morgan, of Morgantown, West Virginia, who survives her with one child, Emily Josephine. 4. Dr. Robert A., a physician of New Salem, Fayette county, Pennsylvania; married Laura Buckley, of Omaha, Nebraska.

(IV) William L., son of Lebbeus B. and Emily (Goe) Gans was born on the farm settled on by his great-grandfather, in Springhill township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1873. He was educated in the public schools in Springhill township, and Bethany College, West Virginia, whence he was graduated, class of 1895, after a course in the liberal arts. He was a member of the college Neotrophian Literary Society and an active worker. After finishing his college course he began a course of legal study under the direction of Howell & Reppert, in the latter's law offices at Uniontown, Pennsylvania. In 1897 he was admitted to the Fayette county bar, and at once began practice in Uniontown, where he has been constantly engaged in his profession ever since. In 1906 he formed a law partnership with Thomas P. Jones, under the firm name Gans & Jones which continued until the death of the latter, October 24, 1911. Mr. Gans has since been practicing alone. He is well established in a good business, and is a leader among the younger professional men of his city. He is the secretary and a director of the Fairchance & Smithfield Traction Company, and has other business interests. He is a Republican in politics, and has served as councilman in Uniontown. He is a member of the Central Christian Church, and the lodge, chapter and commandery of the Masonic order, York Rite, also a thirty-second degree Mason of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Pittsburgh Consistory. He married, January 10, 1900, Lucy Brooke, born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1876, daughter of Frank L. and Mary (McCormick) Brooke, of Uniontown. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Child: William Paul, born April 19, 1903. The family home is in South Union township. [Note: Handwritten notes appear on this page. In the first paragraph, the word "Germany" is crossed out and replaced by "Germantown, Pa." Additionally, notes handwritten at the bottom of page 516 state: "George and Joseph Gans who settled in Fayette were sons of Jacob G and grandsons of the D??ke George Balzer Gans who settled in Germantown...." (the rest has been cut off)]

Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Under the Editorial Supervision of
John W. Jordan, LL.D.
Librarian of Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia AND
James Hadden of Uniontown, Pennsylvania; author of “Washington and Braddock’s Expeditions Through Fayette County,” and the reproductions of Judge James Veech’s work entitled “The Monongahela of Old, or Historical Sketches of Southwestern Pennsylvania to the Year 1800.”

New York
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
Three Volumes

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