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AFTER what has been said, in the preceding chapters, respecting the labors of this eminently useful servant of the Lord, we need to add but a brief sketch of his life.  It may be said, in truth, that the history of the Lutheran churches in Perry County and his life are so inseparably connected, that the former cannot be written without writing the latter.  Our object will therefore be to endeavor to supply what may be wanting, and to connect the leading facts of his life, and thus present a general outline of the man, the Christian, and the minister of the Gospel.

John George Heim, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and arrived on the shores of America in October, 1751.*  He was the father of William Heim, who settled in Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County, Pa., in about 1780, and removed to Jackson Township, Perry County, Pa, in 1815, and died here in 1856, at an advanced age.**

* See I. D. Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Immigrants," page 199.

** "Died in Jackson Township, Perry County, Pa., on Sunday, the 2d of March, 1856, Mr. William Heim, aged ninety-five years.  Mr. Heim was the father of the Rev. John W. Heim, who ministered so long and faithfully to the Lutheran Churches of the upper end of this county.  In recording the death of this aged patriarch, we lose one of the links that connected us with the past.  He was an honest man, the noblest work of God.  Mr. Heim was the only surviving hero of our memorable revolutionary struggle living in this county.  He could narrate many incidents of the long contest which resulted in the declaration of our independence.  He asked the Government to reward him for his services, but he could furnish no evidence, except the existence of his name on the roll of his company.  The State had given him a trifling sum."  People's Advocate of Perry County, March 5th, 1856.

John William Heim, the oldest child and son of William and Elizabeth Heim, was born in Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County, Pa., on the 8th of August, 1782.  At an early age he was sent to school, and aided his father on the farm.  At the age of seventeen, in 1799, he attended the catechetical lectures of the Rev. Henry Miller, by whom he was confirmed according to the custom of the Lutheran Church.  Rev. Miller was at that time pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Harrisburg, and also occasionally visited the scattered and destitute members of the Church in the southwest part of Northumberland County.

Although young Heim worked on his father's farm, he nevertheless neglected no opportunity to improve his mind, and his proficiency was such that he was soon solicited to teach a common school.  As a teacher he enjoyed additional advantages for study and self-improvement.  He was known as a pious, studious, and most excellent instructor of children.  He opened and closed his school every day with the singing of a hymn and the offering of a prayer, and the pupils were required to recite to him daily a given portion of the Catechism.  


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This page was last updated on:   03/03/2009

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