Part of the PAGenWeb




Home | Up

Table of Contents

Newport, known for many years as Reiderville, was laid out by Mr. Daniel Reider in about 1814.  Its growth was very slow till the canal was made in 1830.  After that it improved gradually.  The town is located on the west bank of the Juniata, and the canal and Pennsylvania railway pass through it.  

At the beginning of the present century a number of Lutheran families settled along the Juniata and in the vicinity of Newport.  These attended preaching at Bloomfield, a distance from five to ten miles, as they had no church of their own nearer at hand.  As early as 1830, the

Rev. John William Heim

preached for them occasionally on week-days in school-houses and private dwellings.  In 1835, a number of persons from near Newport were confirmed at Bloomfield.  The town having grown and the number of members increased, after this Rev. Heim preached regularly at Newport once every four weeks in a brick school-house.  He preached exclusively in the German language.  In 1842, when he was requested to preach also in the English language, he told his hearers:  "Now I will come no more."  He did not organize a congregation here; this was only one of his preaching stations.  The members went to Bloomfield on occasions of communion, and there the young people were also catechized and confirmed.  Rev. Heim however collected the members here, and thus accomplished good.  In the fall of 1843,

Rev. Levi T. Williams

who had located at Petersburg, now Duncannon, as a sort of missionary for that neighborhood, was invited by some of the members at Newport to visit and preach for them.  He accepted the invitation, and in November, 1843, he preached for the first time at Newport, in the old brick school-house, from Acts 10:29, "Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for.  I ask, therefore, for what intent ye have sent for me?"

With but few exceptions, Rev. Williams preached in the old brick school-house till he resigned in September, 1745.  He preached once every four weeks, and only an occasional sermon in the German language.  After he had resigned, the German was required by the members no more.

The congregation was regularly organized on the 14th of January, 1844, when the following brethren were elected and installed as its first officers:

Daniel Reider, Sen., Elder

Godfrey Lenig & Henry D. Smith, Deacons.

Early in the spring of 1844, near the canal, a filthy brick warehouse was fitted up to hold in it a protracted meeting.  When the time for holding the meeting had come, the use of the Methodist Episcopal meeting-house was generously offered for the purpose and the meeting was then held here with encouraging success.

The first communion was held on the 2d of June, 1844, in the Methodist meeting-house.  On Saturday previous, the 1st of June, after having been duly instructed, the following persons were confirmed:

Christian Long, Sen. (baptized)
David Deardorff (baptized)
John Wilson
Benjamin Horting
Mrs. Ann Loug
Miss Sarah Smith
Mrs. N. Horting (baptized)
Miss Rebecca Hobble (baptized)

The second communion was held on the 17th of November, 1844.  On Saturday previous, the 16th of November, the following persons were confirmed:

Mrs. Priscilla Reider
Miss Sarah Ann Nailer
Miss Margaretta Bell
Miss Catharine Zigler
Mrs. Anna Klink (baptized)
Miss Sarah Miller, by certificate.

For want of a church the congregation labored under great disadvantage.  But as the membership was as yet comparatively small, they formed a union with others to build a Union church.  The materials for the proposed church were nearly all collected during the latter part of the summer of 1845.  Rev. Williams resigned and preached his farewell sermon in September, 1845, from 1 Cor. 16:23, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

Rev. Lloyd Knight

took charge of this congregation on the 1st of October, 1845, and served it in connection with Bloomfield.  He preached here once every three weeks in the old brick school-house until the new church was completed.  On Saturday the 10th of January, 1846, the following persons were confirmed:

Abraham Horting                                    Miss Catharine Smith
Charles Bressler                                    Mrs. Cordelia Henning
Mrs. Ann Horting                                    Miss Eve. E. Brown

On Sunday, the 11th, at the first communion Rev. Knight held here, the whole number of communicant members was twenty-nine.

The building committee, appointed to superintend the erection of the church, consisted of Messrs. Christian Long, A. Ziegler, and A. B. Maxwell.  A deed for a lot of ground was executed.  From this deed we give the following extract:

"Know all men by these presents, that we, John Wiley of the Borough of Newport, Perry County, and State of Pennsylvania, and Barbara his wife, for an in consideration of seventy-five dollars, to us in hand paid, at the ensealing thereof, by A. B. Maxwell, Jacob Loy and John Fickes, Trustees of the Church, named and styled, The Union Church of Newport, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, do grant, bargain, sell &c., the Trustees aforesaid,...a certain lot of ground,.... for the purpose of erecting a church thereon, to be called by the name, style and title of The Union Church of Newport," &c.  This deed was acknowledged on the 1st day of May, 1846.  See Deed Book, Letter L, p. 446.

The corner-stone of the church was laid on Tuesday the 12th of May, 1846, at 2 o'clock, p.m.  Rev. Messrs. Knight and Shull were present and officiated on the occasion.  The church was consecrated to the service of God on Whit-Sunday the 23d of May, 1847, as The Union Church of Newport.  Rev. Messrs. Knight, Weaver and Shull participated in the exercises of this occasion.  The church-edifice is a frame structure, forty-two by forty-six feet in size, surmounted by a steeple and bell.  It has one end gallery and the internal arrangement is convenient and judicious.  The cost of the church was about twelve hundred dollars.

Having been instructed for some time in the Catechism, on the 24th of October, 1847, the following persons were confirmed:

Catharine Leiby                                    Margaret Fickes
Catharine Smith                                    Lavina Smith
Leah Smith                                            Mrs. Mary Troup (baptized)

Having served the congregation as pastor about three years and a half, Rev. Knight resigned in June, 1849, and was succeeded, on the 1st of July following, by the

Rev. Jacob Martin,

who served the congregation in connection with Bloomfield, preaching here regularly once every three weeks.  In a letter, Rev. Martin says:  "During my pastorship of the Bloomfield charge, I confirmed between 125 and 150 persons.  Their names and the time when they were confirmed, I am not able to give."  The congregation had as yet no church-record book.  After considerable inquiry we found that on the 20th of April, 1851, the following persons were confirmed:

Jacob A. Wolf                                    Michael Smith
Martin Ziegler                                    Christian Martin
Jacob E. Ziegler                                Andrew Moses
Daniel Reider                                    Rebecca E. Loy
Robert Taylor                                    Barbara Super
Frederick B. Kohler                          Margaret Leiby
William Wilson                                  Julian Smith
Benjamin Wilson                               Barbara Smith
Henry Asper                                      Margaret Horting
Stephen B. Holly                               Elizabeth Horting
Christian Long, Jr.                            Mrs. Mary Ann Smith
Charles Grubb                                  Mrs. Susan Martin
Isaac Grubb                                      Mrs. Eliz. Holly, by certficate.

Having collected and instructed another class of catechumens, on the 26th of October, 1851, Rev. Martin confirmed the following persons:

Mrs. Harriet Tate                            Caroline Loy
Mrs. Rebecca Crist                        Barbara Asper
Mrs. Mary E. Ziegler (baptized)    Mary Eliz. Ziegler
Mrs. Rachel E. Heims (baptized) Catharine  Yohn
Mary Ann Wolf (baptized)              Eve Bowers

At this place the pastoral labors of Rev. Martin were signally blessed by the Lord.  Through his instrumentality many souls were made savingly acquainted with Jesus as their Savior, and with gratitude to God they dwell on the name of their former pastor.  To the sincere regret of this congregation, Rev. Martin resigned on the 1st of April, 1852, having served it about two years and nine months.  The

Rev. William Gerhardt

took charge of the congregation in June of the same year, and served it in connection with Bloomfield.  He preached here once every three weeks, alternately in he forenoon and afternoon.  A church-record book was now bought, and hereafter entries were regularly made of baptisms, confirmations, deaths &c.

On the 25th of September, 1852, Mr. George M. Miller and his wife Catharine, and in March, 1853, Mr. Francis M. Mickey and his wife Elizabeth, and Mr. George Mickey and his wife Mary, were received by certificate as members of this congregation.

After having been faithfully instructed in the doctrines of our holy religion, on the 22d of April, 1853, the following persons were confirmed:

Jacob M. Miller                                    Catharine Clouser
Henry Miller                                          Sarah Ann Horting
Ann Jane Wilson                                 Rebecca Cath. Horting

Having served the charge about one year, Rev. Gerhardt resigned in June, 1853.  The charge was now vacant about eight months.  A call was then extended to the

Rev. Adam Height,

and accepted by him.  He entered on his pastoral labors in the charge on the 1st of March, 1854.  Here he preached once every three weeks.  He instructed a class of catechumens; but before they were confirmed and for reasons not necessary to record here, having preached for about seven months, in September, 1854, he ceased his ministry.

The congregation then requested Rev. J. Martin to confirm the persons who had been instructed by Mr. Height.  With this request Rev. Martin complied, and on the 10th of December, 1854, the following persons were confirmed:

Harrison A. Kepner                                Mary Jane Kepner
George M. Miller                                     Catharine A. Smith
John Fleisher                                          Elizabeth Super

At the same time Rev. Martin held the communion, and preached a series of sermons for the congregation.  The charge was again vacant about eight months.  Having accepted a call from the Bloomfield charge, the

Rev. David H. Focht

commenced his pastoral labors in the charge on the 1st of June, 1855, and preached his introductory sermon at Newport on the 10th of June, from Col. 1:28.

A protracted meeting was commenced here on the 22d of January, 1856, and closed on the evening of the 31st of the same month.  During this time some thirty persons professed to have found peace to their souls by the exercise of repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Of these, some were members of the Church, some belonged to other denominations, and some were catechumens.  Every day the catechumens and anxious persons were met for prayer and instruction, and every evening there was preaching.  To God be given all the praise and glory his this display of his abounding and saving grace!

On the 6th of March, 1856, Mr. George Dunbar was admitted to membership by baptism, and as the result of the above meeting, on the 19th of April following, Mrs. Mary Ann Smith and Mrs. Sarah Tinney were received by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:

John Horting                                    Julian Zigler (baptized)
George A. Smith                             Margaret Jane Zinn
Peter Brown (baptized)                  Maria Hunter
Mrs. Magdalene Horting                Mary Jane Asper
Mrs. Martha Ann Armstrong          Ameline Hertzel
Mary Jane Zigler (baptized)          Ann Clouser.

Soon after his baptism, George Dunbar fell asleep in the arms of death in the sure hope of heaven.

"Great God! on what a slender thread
Hang everlasting things!
Th' eternal states of all the dead
Upon life's feeble strings."

On the 15th of November, 1856, Miss Sophia Singer was received by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:

J. Don L. Gantt, Esq. (baptized)
Miss Amanda Jane Wolf
Miss Martha Clouser.

One of the above young females has since gone to her grave.  May the rest be also ready to depart!

"Peaceful be thy silent slumber--
Peaceful in the grave so low:
Thou no more wilt join our number;
Thou no more our songs shalt know."

On Saturday, the 2d of May, 1857, Mrs. Isabella Musser was received by certificate as a member, and the following persons were confirmed:

Abraham K. Long (baptized)                        Ann Maria Smith
Daniel L. Zigler (baptized)                            Martha Jane Smith
Jacob Super

Since their confirmation, the last named of the above class has been removed from time to eternity.

"Tis well when Jesus calls,
From earth and sin, arise,
Join with the hosts of virgin souls,
Made to salvation wise."

On Saturday, the 7th of November, 1857, after having been instructed in the Catechism in the doctrines of our Christian religion, the following persons were confirmed:

Jacob Fleisher                                            Margaret R. Smith
Catharine Fleisher                                     Mrs. Jennie D. Smith
Mary Smith

"Let thoughtless thousands choose the road
That leads the soul away from God;
This happiness, dear Lord, he mine,
To live and die entirely thine."

On the 24th of April, 1858, Mrs. Mary Harman, and on the 26th of March, 1859, Mrs. Sarah Crist, were received by certificate.  At the latter date, Mrs. Martha Ann Wilson was received as a member by the sacrament of baptism.  May the great Head of the Church richly bless these members!

In the fall of 1859, an unusual degree of religious interest was clearly seen among the people of God in particular, and in the community of Newport in general.  A class of catechumens was formed and instructed for some time.  A meeting was held in December, when many souls were awakened, and, as we humbly trust, truly converted to God.  On Saturday, the 10th of December, 1859, Mr. Joseph Anderson was received by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:

Peter K. Lehr                                        Joanna Hunter
Benjamin F. Clouser                            Eliz. Jane Smith
James Smith                                        Margaret Smith
Nancy Clouser

"Stand fast upon the solid rock
Of the Redeemer's righteousness:
Adorn the Gospel with your lives,
And practice what your lips profess."

Immediately after the above persons were confirmed, a large number of others were found willing to attend the lectures of the pastor on the Catechism.  They were regularly instructed.  The awakening deepened and extended until it became quite general.  Never, perhaps, was there such a wide spread and genuine work of divine grace at Newport before.  In February, 1861, a meeting was commenced, which lasted about two weeks.  On this occasion the pastor was some time assisted by the Rev. P. M. Rightmyer.  Many souls were awakened by the truth, and directed to Jesus as their only Savior from sin and death eternal. We would do violence to the truth, and the sincere promptings of our own heart, were we not to refer in this way to a work so precious and gracious, so full of glory and power divine, and long may we praise and bless the Lord for a favor so distinguished and full of love and mercy to poor sinners!  We will not attempt to describe the awfully solemn, deep, and moving scene.  The sigh of the penitent, the tears of sorrow and joy, the melting prayer, and the sweet song of praise to God,--all, all tended to make it a holy place and good to be there.  To God alone belongs and be given all the honor and glory!

On Saturday, the 3d of March, 1860, Mr. Philip Zigler and his wife Ann Eliza were received by certificate, and the following persons by baptism and confirmation:

John Wertz                                        Eliz. Harper (baptized)
George W. Wolf                                Julian Horting, "
George Wilson                                 Sarah J. Horting, "
John H. Horting                                Adaline Horting, "
Amos K. Smith                                 Mary Jane Smith
Edward H. Mehrle                            Mary Jane Horting
Henry Fleisher                                  Emeline Horting
George W. Eckard                           Elizabeth Kraft
Joshua Sweger                                Sarah Kraft
Samuel Fravel                                  Levina Hunter
Nathan Newkirk, (baptized)            Rachel Hunter
Sarah Clouser (baptized)               Lydia Ann Super
Lydia Clouser, (baptized)               Mary Ann Fleisher
Asenath Clouser, (baptized)          Eliza Jane Wertz.
Nydia Super, (baptized)

"Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by thy help I've come,
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

"Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand'ring from the fold of God;
He, to save my soul from danger,
Interpos'd his precious blood."

On Sunday, the 4th of March, the whole number of members who communed was one hundred and twenty-three; also sixty-three, who were not members of this congregation, communed;  thus at this time the whole number of communicants was one hundred and eighty-six.  On account of sickness and other causes, about ten members were absent.

On the 10th of November, 1860, Mrs. Martha Mahaffey and Thomas and Alexander Mahaffey were, by certificate, received as members of this congregation, which numbers at this time (1862) about one hundred and thirty-five members.  During the seven years the present pastor has had this congregation in charge, seventy-nine members were added to it by confirmation and certificate.

There is connected with the congregation a well-conducted and flourishing Sunday-school.  The weekly prayer-meeting is regularly kept up, and is generally well attended.  The members generally supply themselves with the literature of the Church, and their piety is consistent and intelligent.  Their annual contributions to the various causes of benevolence in the Church are liberal, owing, doubtless, to their knowledge of the wants of the Church, derived from the reading of the Lutheran Observer.

Owing to the largeness of the charge, no pastor has been able to preach here oftener than once every three weeks.  This is to be regretted very much.  The congregation ought to have preaching at least once every two weeks, and if possible every Sabbath.  We sincerely hope that, before long, some arrangements will be made to secure this much-needed and desired end.

On the 22d of March, 1862, Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson and Mrs. Jemima Fleisher were received as members by certificate, and at the same time Peter Wolf, his wife Susan (baptized), Miss Levina Huggins, and Miss Mary Ann Ackley were received by confirmation.  Dear friends, be faithful to the end, and you shall receive the crown of life.

Since the organization of the congregation on the 14th of January, 1844, the following brethren have at different times served as its officers:


Daniel Reider, Sr., from Jan. 1844 to 1846
Benjamin Horting, from 1846 to 1855
John Wilson, from 1855 yet in office.
Jacob A. Wolf, from 1857 yet in office.


Godfrey Lenig, from Jan 1844 to 1846.
Henry D. Smith, from Jan. 1844 to 1846.
John Wilson, from 1846 to 1849.
Jacob C. Smith from 1846 to 1849.
Michael Smith, from 1849 to 1852.
Abraham Horting, from 1849 to 1857.
Henry D. Smith, from 1852 to 1857.
Stephen B. Holly, from 1857 to 1858.
Michael Smith, from 1857 to 1859.
Henry L. Smith, from 1857 to 1860.
George Fleisher, from 1858 to 1861.
John Horting, from 1859 yet in office.
Peter Brown, from 1860 yet in office.
John Fleisher, from 1861 yet in office.


Jacob Loy, from 1845 to 1857.
Christian Long, Sr., from 1857 yet in office.


Daniel Reider, from 1857 to 1861.
Christian Long, Sr., from 1861 yet in office.

Home | Up 
Table of Contents


This site is maintained  by Cathy Wentz-Eisenstadt
Copyright 2003-2010.  All Rights Reserved.

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

People for better PA Historical Records Access (PaHR-Access)
Learn about the grassroots effort to make older PA state death certificates available on-line!!  Please consider helping.