Many of my relatives on my father’s side of the family lived their lives in the railroad town of Newton, Kansas, after migrating west to this prairie state after six generations of living on the prosperous Spangler Farm two miles east of Redersburg, Pennsylvania. The farm was bought in 1796 by Johann “Christopher” Spangler – a son of George Spangler who was a Prussian who immigrated to the colonies from Amsterdam in 1749. The dressed blue limestone used in the eight room house was quarried from the area and the house must have been constructed by craftsmen because it is in excellent condition today. My parents visited the site of the old homestead back in the early 1990’s and it was still in great shape.
Spangler Home: Built in 1805 on Tract of Land Bought from Samuel Miles in 1796
The Spangler family help to found the Evangelical Association with Reverand Jacob Albright, on on the family farm and was a place of regular meetings for religious services and the headquarters of the ministers for many years. In the early 20th century the association numbered 148,506 members, not including children, with 1,864 ministers and 2,043 churches, in the United States, Canada and Germany. It was founded in 1800, by the Rev. Jacob Albright, a German-speaking Christian native of Pennsylvania (1759–1808), influenced by John Wesley and the Methodist movement. The first meetings were held in 1803, and a Book of Discipline was introduced six years later. In 1816, the church took on the name “The Evangelical Association”.The Evangelical Church merged eventually with the Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.
In the early 1800’s, Christopher had a large grandfather clock built that may still be ticking at Friendly Acres Nursing Home in Newton, Kansas, to this day. The clock is made of cherry wood, with brass mechanism, each part made by hand. The clock keeps time as well as tracks the day of the month and the phases of the moon. The clock was passed on to his son Jonathan Spangler (1803-1888). Jonathan sold the clock for the sum of $25 to his son, Simon Mace Spangler, who brought the clock with him to Kansas after fighting with Company “B” of the 10th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the civil war. Finding the farmhouse ceiling too low for the full height of the clock, Simon cut off a foot of its wooden base. The Reverand Edward S. Spangler received the clock from his father, Simon as a legacy in 1922. Following the death of the good Reverand in 1956, his wife Ida LaRue Easterday- Spangler gave her home and the clock to the E.U.B. Church and so is now a family heirloom in the permanent possession of Friendly Acres. I will be traveling to Newton in September to witness the induction of Harold Hauck (great grandchild to Simon Spangler) into the Newton High School Athletic Hall of Fame. While in Newton, I hope to catch a glimpse of this well-traveled and appreciated family heirloom. I hope it continues to tick.
The Spangler Family Clock
From local Newton paper…
S.M. Spangler Gone to Reward
Pioneer, Respected Citizen Passed Away Tuesday Afternoon
Newton and Harvey county sustained the loss of one of the leading citizens, a pioneer, a man prominent in public affairs, a Civil war veteran and a man of force and character, in the death of Simon M. Spangler, which occurred at his home at 401 East Fourth, Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 7, at 4:39. Mr. Spangler was in his eighty-second year. His death followed a series of apoplectic strokes and he had been critically ill for several days.