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Thomas Arner Account Book and Estate Records

Identifier: SC MS 0351

Scope and Contents

The collection is an account book and some inserts such as an Inventory list of Thomas Arner's possessions at time of death, a Notice regarding the sale of his possessions, two small manufacturer (William A. Rich, No. 107 Reade Street, New York) broadsides for the "Cucumber Wood Pumps" from 1874 and a small Polaroid photograph of a barnyard wood pump presumeably a "cucumber wood pump." The "Cucumber Wood Pump" design is a simple barnyard type readily available in the 1870s to 1880s featuring a wood pipe (cucumber wood) sunk into a well or cistern that filters water and can sustain a strong pull. The American short story writer O'Henry in The Shamrock and the Palm writes about "the cool water from a cucumber wood pump." The accounts book has several pages cut out of it from among pages that were blank possibly used for receipts or notes. Thomas Arner was a very industrious man. Several notes from the seller, Jean Kulp, explain her rationale that Thomas Arner was a Pennsylvania German turner, cabinetmaker, carpenter in Towamensing Township who made pump casings. Some of the entries are in German. There are notations indicating that Thomas Arner was a supporter of St. Paul's Church, Big Creek and that he settled his father's estate. The handwriting is different among the pages and there is no real sequence of dates. Based on the dates in the book, it took William Kern three years to settle the estate of Thomas Arner after several auction sales of his possessions. The Thomas Arner estate had renters: ? Eichenberg and Moses McGee from 1849-1851.


  • 1841-1846


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Access Restrictions: Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Use Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

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Biographical / Historical

Carbon County was created in 1843 out of Northampton and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania so there is some confusion as to the eminent domain involved in the contents of this collection. Thomas Arner was born November 17, 1814 in Towamensing Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania - not Carbon County as attributed to in the genealogy timeline, however he died September 3, 1846 in Upper Towamensing Township, Carbon County, Pennsylvania. In 1768 Towamensing Township was divided into East Penn Township and Franklin Township was created out of part of Old Towamensing Township in Carbon County, likewise Towamensing Township was further divided into Upper Towamensing Township. John Arner (Johann Jacob Arner 1750-1818), the sire of the Arner Family, was an early settler in Towamensing Township settling there following service in the Revolutionary War. He was a carpenter and builder. He is buried in Lehigh County. Thomas Arner was the son of Jacob (son of Johann Jacob) and Anna Maria (Dreisbach) Arner. Anna Maria Dreisbach (1791-1863) siblings were Daniel (1796-1881), Catherina Dreisbach Hartman (1800-1886) and Peter (1807-1883). Thomas siblings were Daniel Arner, Jonas Arner, Juditha Ann Arner, Celinda Arner (1825-?), Maria (Arner) Boehm, Harriet Arner. He was the husband of Celina (Salinda) Kerchner Arner and their children were William Harrison Arner (born 1840), Mary Anna (Arner) Welty (born 1842), Thomas Franklin Arner (born 1845) and Anna Catherine Arner (died 1847). His profession was attributed as carpenter (his brother Jonas was listed as carpenter in a "History of Carbon County") but from the accounts in his ledger book he also provided sundry items such as ironwork (purchased iron from the Maria Iron Works - formerly the New Hampton Furnace owned by David and John Heimbach in 1827 later by John Albright), straw, boards (milled wood), hauling, farm work. The credit arrangements noted in his book indicate that he was an entrepreneur, merchant and handyman as well. He was able to read and write but his spelling is questionable. He applied himself to many activities. He created and filed a Will in early 1846 with William Kern as Administrator. Thomas Arner died in September 1846. One of the Notes found within the ledger has Thomas Arner and William Kern co-signing a promissory note to J.D. Bauman (John D. Bauman had a saw-mill). Arner's mother was a Dreisbach and Kern's wife was Elizabeth Dreisbach (1799-1868) - all descendent from Jost/Yost Dreisbach (1764-1854) married to Anna Margaretha Solt (1764-1846) so apparently the men could have been business partners as well as relatives. In October 1846 an inventory of his possessions was made by Daniel Solt and James Brown which was presented to David Bauman as the County's Justice of Peace. From the inventory contents it can be deduced that he was a carpenter and merchant as well as a road worker and farmer. It took William Kern, as administrator of Thomas Arner's estate three years to settle the accounts and sell off the possessions within the estate. Based on the accounting of Thomas Arner's possessions, he was well off at his death. These possessions give a valuable insight into the life and the chattels of rural residents in the Nineteenth century. Related: see SC MS 0352 for William Kern Day Book. Many names listed in the accounts book are still prevalent surnames among the population known as Pennsylvania Dutch/German existing in the Lehigh Valley making the account book valuable to genealogy seekers today.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 Volume in box, 0.5 Linear Feet)


The collection is an account book and some inserts such as an Inventory list of 19th century Pennsylvania carpenter Thomas Arner's estate at time of death, a Notice regarding the sale of his possessions. The account book documents Thomas Arner's business activities and has information on local families and their business practices.


The account book has assorted entries from 1839 to 1847.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, May 28, 2018

Related Materials

SC MS 0352 Merchant William Kern General Store Daybook -- SC MS 0173 John H. Levering Ledger: 1873-1888, A Philadelphia Surveyor's Practice


Mathews, Alfred and Hungerford, Austin N. "History of Carbon County" from History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon Counties, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: Everts & Richards. 1884

Personal Names Mentioned

-- Arner, Thomas (1814-1846) -- Arner, Daniel -- Arner, Jonas [carpenter] -- Arner, Celina [Salinda] (Kerchner) -- Arner, Anna Maria (Dreisbach) (1791-1863) -- Arner, Harriet -- Arner, Jacob -- Arner, Johann/John Jacob (1750-1818)(early settler of Towamensing Township, -- Northampton County, Pa. and carpenter) -- Arner, Mary -- Albright, Joseph J. [merchant, forge, saw-mill] -- Anthony, James -- Ash, Charles -- Bachman, John -- Barlin(Berlean?), Joel -- Bauman, David (operated a forge Maria Iron Works) -- Bauman, Jacob -- Bauman Jr., John D. [innkeeper, saw-mill] -- Been, Alexander -- Beltz, Peter -- Bennet, Thomas -- Beyer, Jacob -- Bittenbender, William -- Bloss, Charles -- Bock, David -- Boyer, Jacob -- Boyer, John [farmer] -- Britten, Joseph -- Broad, Mike -- Brown, James -- Brown, Peter -- Connor, James -- Daniel, Robert M. -- Decker, John -- Dreisbach, Daniel (1796-1850/81) -- Dreisbach, John (1792/1797?-1850/1832?) -- Dreisbach, John Jost/Yost (1764-1854) -- Dreisbach, Peter (1807-1883) -- Dreisbach, William (1825-1898) -- Dunbar, William -- Eckhard, George -- Feels (Fields?), Joseph C. -- Finch, Samuel B. -- First, George J. -- Fisher, John S. -- Glaise, John -- Greenswige, Jonas -- Grill, Nicholas -- Hahn, Joseph [blacksmith] -- Hanes, Jonathan -- Hartman, Joseph -- Horn Sr., George -- Kelchner, Charles -- Kemmerer, Daniel (clerk at forge) -- Kemmerer, Theodore -- Kerchner, John -- Kern, Elizabeth (Dreisbach) -- Kern, William (1792-1856) -- Krill, Nicholas [forgeman] -- Krum, Christian -- Krum, Daniel -- Laury, James -- Lichtenwalder, Daniel -- Lucas (Luckas), Abraham [farmer] -- Metzger, Christian -- Miner, Friderick -- Nunamac(k)er/Nonnemacher, Samuel -- Reichenderfer, John [blacksmith] -- Richart, Samuel L. -- Riner, John -- Rothstine, George -- Schnell, William -- Shaffer, David -- Smith, Solloman -- Snall, William -- Snyder, Thomas -- Snyder, Frederic -- Snyder, Thomas [tanner] -- Solt, Daniel -- Solt, Jacob [weaver] -- Solt, John -- Solt Jr., Paul -- Solt, Peter -- Stemler, Daniel -- Stoud, Thomas -- Strohl, Solomon -- Wagner, William -- Walck, George [farmer] -- Walck, Simon -- Walck, Sollomon -- Walp, John [cordwainer] -- Walp, William -- Weiss, Edward -- Weiss, Lewis -- Wentz, Daniel (1806-1882) -- Wentz, Rebecca (Dreisbach) -- Werst, Michal -- Ziegenfus, George [teacher] -- Zink, Jacob

Business Names Mentioned

-- Maria Iron Works -- New Hampton Furnace -- William A. Rich, New York -- Smith & Caldwell [1100 acres, nonresident] -- Smith & Richards [192 acres, nonresident] (1836 Thomas Arner worked) -- Saint Paul Church, Big Creek

Family Names Mentioned

-- Arner Family -- Bauman Family -- Dreisbach Family -- Kelchner Family -- Wentz Family

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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)