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Gunmakers (N-Sp)
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Author Topic: Gunmakers (N-Sp)  (Read 9280 times)
Fred Garner
Gunsmiths of the Upper Susquehanna
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« on: June 01, 2012, 06:03:15 PM »

Parks, Sr.,John . – 1820-1841 – Center/Penn Township – In 1833 he was living in Center Township on land owned by Henry Ritter. He is also known to have lived briefly in Huntingdon and Clearfield Counties. Ewing indicates that he worked in the flint and percussion period and produced rifles with incised carving.  One rifle by Parks is known which shows some very unusual fake tiger maple striping.  While it has no carving, it does have a very nice patchbox and inlay work.  Two guns by Parks were apparently made as a set.  William G. Herrold had a gun made by Parks and his name was engraved on the patchbox cover.  Herrold adopted Mish Hanselman who later became a colonel during the Civil War.  He had a second rifle made to match the first with the exception of the name of Mish engraved on the patchbox. Neither of these rifles had any carving.  He signed his work   “J * P”.  A rifle made by him is in the collection of the Packwood House Museum collection in Lewisburg.

Parks Sr, John Gun#1                                                                     ( Pictures from Julia Auction )






Parks Sr. , John Gun #2













Gun#3 John Parks, Sr                          (Courtesy Morphy's Auction)






Parks, Jr,  John – 1843-1876 – Penn Township/Selinsgrove – He probably learned the trade from his father and was a very capable gunsmith. One of his rifles sold in 2011 that had over 100 silver inlays. Some of his guns were signed “J.P. Jr.”  He was 34 in 1850.

Rate, Jacob – ca. 1861 – White Deer Twp., Union Co.  Identified by Whisker.
Riling, John – unknown – Juniata Valley, Pa. - Gluckman identifies as having worked during the percussion period.
Rothrock, Jr, Edward – 1890-1930 – Middlecreek Twp. – He was the last gun maker to work in the area.  He was born in 1872 and died Jan. 1, 1934.
Rothrock, Sr., Edward – ca. 1870 – Middlecreek Twp. - He was identified in the census of 1870 and 1880 as a gunsmith.
Roup – unknown – Mifflinburg – Gluckman identifies him and a J. Roop who worked in Bellefonte, Pa. ca. 1860.

Roush, David – ca. 1826 – Freeburg – at least one of his rifles is highly inlayed and shows he was a very capable gunsmith.  His family went to the same church as the Moor family and possibly it was Roush that taught Adam Moor the gun trade.  He was born in 1799.
Row, Edward – ca. 1854 – Penn Township – None of his guns have been identified, but there may be a connection between the Row and Laudenslager family.  This is an area for future investigation.
Row, Elias – 1845-1865 – Penn Township – Ewing stated that he signed his percussion rifles either “E.R.” or “E. Row”.
Row, Jacob – 1842-1860 – Penn Township – Ewing did not indicate that he knew of any rifles by this gun maker, but did suggest that he later worked in the county as a blacksmith.

"GS"  Either George Smith or G. Spangle
Debate remains amongst collectors and owners as to who "GS" stands for.
( 6.26.12)










"SS"   ( possibly Samuel St.Clair)    (Courtesy of Morphy's Auction) If you can identify this maker with certainty, please contact us







Schaefer, Joseph (Shafer) – 1760/1800 – Snyder Co., Pa. – Gluckman identifies him as a “maker of early rifles of Snyder Co., Pa., style and fine workmanship…..”  His rifles show he was a fine maker and because he signed his guns in script, they have been at times attributed to Joe Long.

Schaefer, Joseph  Gun #1








Schaefer, Joseph Gun #2











Siegfried (Sifred), John– ca. 1850 – Center Township - In 1850 he was 31 years old and was assessed as a gun barrel maker.  He probably never made any guns.  He employed Elick and Edward Bishop who were 17 in 1850.  In 1860, Edward was living on the property of gunsmith George Boyer.
Siegfred, Alescander H. – ca. 1860 – (Salem) Penn Township – Until this gun surfaced in 6.2012, none of his guns were known.







Slauffer, Franklin – ca. 1850 – New Berlin – He was identified as a gunsmith by the New Berlin Heritage Association.  None of his work has been identified.
Smith (Shmidt) ,Catherine – ca.1780 – White Deer – The Widow Catharine Smith is a well documented maker of gun barrels at her mill in White Deer Township.  Several sources identify her as having been married to Peter Smith while living in Berks County, and they had several sons who later became gunsmiths.  Peter died in 1773.  Whisker states that the Specht gunsmiths of Beavertown were descended from the Widow Smith.  The birth and baptismal certificate of Elias Specht states that his mother was a Shmidt (the German variation of Smith).  This would indicate that the Widow Catharine Shmidt came out of the German gun making tradition and some descendants continued to use the German form of Smith well into the 1820’s.  Many of the areas finest gunsmiths seem to have a connection to the White Deer area, and it may be because of the Shmidt/Smith family.  As some of this area (Gregg Twp.) was at times in Lycoming County and later in Union County, it has not always been included in research of the Union and Snyder County areas.
George Smith – 1795-1826 – New Berlin – Ewing stated that he was the finest gunsmith who worked in the area.  He signed his work “G.S.” and his guns show nice carving and nice brass work.  He was a very early maker in the area, and his work should be studied for the features common to the Snyder County School.  He probably worked for a time in Buffalo Township.
Smith, Jacob –ca. 1820 – Beaver Township – He was born in 1763 and died in 1847. Whisker suggests that he was possibly a son of Peter and Catherine Smith as he was born in Berks County.  At least one of his rifles ranks among the best ever made in the area.  
Peter Smith, Jr. – ca. 1830 - New Berlin, Union Co. /Mifflin Co., /Huntingdon Co. – He was born in 1796 and several sources identify him as a gunsmith.  He made rifles with fine carving and brass inlays. Ewing stated he made fine rifles and later moved to Centre Co., Pa.  He had a son named Peter who worked as a gunsmith in Huntingdon Co.
Smith, Sr., Peter – 1798-1833- Sunbury, Northumberland Co./Lewistown, Mifflin Co./Wayne Co., Ohio – He was born in 1756 in Berks Co. and was the son of Peter and Catherine Smith. In 1800 he was listed as a gunsmith in New Berlin.  Adam Specht was also listed as a resident of New Berlin in 1800.  Smith would have been one of the earliest gunsmiths in the area, and probably had a lot of influence on the development of rifles in the area.  Whisker states that his daughter Catherine married Adam Specht.


Smither

Smither Gun #1











Snyder, Charles – unknown – Watsontown, Northumberland Co. – While researching deeds of a farm on the edge of town, part of the records indicated that Snyder was the builder of the stone home and his occupation was a gunsmith.  None of his guns have been identified.
Snyder, Ira –Woodward, Union Co., Pa. – 1860 - Identified by Gluckman as having worked in the percussion period.  Whisker states that he later worked in Haines Twp., Centre Co.
Specht, Sr., Adam – ca. 1810 – New Berlin/Beaver Township – He was born in 1784 and died in 1872.  Whisker states that he married Catherine, the daughter of Peter Smith and granddaughter of Widow Catherine Smith.  The baptismal certificate of Elias states that his mother was the daughter of John.  Perhaps Peter’s full name was John Peter Shmidt.  Adam was both a potter and a gunsmith. At least one of his guns ranks among the best ever produced in the region.  Adam is buried in the Beavertown Cemetery.

Specht Sr., Adam – ca. 1810 – New Berlin/Beaver Township – He was born in 1784 and died in 1872.  Whisker states that he married Catherine, the daughter of Peter Smith and granddaughter of Widow Catherine Smith.  The baptismal certificate of Elias states that his mother was the daughter of John.  Perhaps Peter’s full name was John Peter Shmidt.  Adam was both a potter and a gunsmith. At least one of his guns ranks among the best ever produced in the region.  Adam is buried in the Beavertown Cemetery.
Specht, Adam – ca. 1850 – Beaver Township – He signed some of his work “A. Specht” and was a fine maker of flint and percussion rifles.  He was born in 1823 and died in1891. It is probable that some of his work has been confused with that of his father.  Whisker identifies a gunsmith named “Arthur” and it is possible that this is the same as Adam.
Specht,Elias – ca. 1860 – Beaver Township – His baptismal certificate indicates he was born March 25, 1820, the son of Adam Specht and Catharina Shmidt.  He seems to have been a prolific maker, signing his work “E.S.” or “E.Specht”.  While some of his guns are very plain, others show a lot of inlays.  Ewing noted that he also made swivel breech rifles.  He died in 1890.











  Specht, Moses – ca. 1840/50 – Beaver Township – He was born in 1818 and died in 1895.  It is assumed that Adam, Elias, and Moses were all sons of Adam and Catherine Specht.  Ewing holds Moses to be one of the areas best gunsmiths who produced highly inlayed rifles.  By 1860 he was assessed as a merchant and possibly made guns as a sideline.  Gluckman notes a “Moah” Spect in Bellville, Pa. who made over-under percussion rifles.

Specht, Moses Gun #1







Specht, Moses   Gun #2 ( Attribution)











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