Jacob Gottschall, a representative farmer and prominent citizen of Gallagher township, Clinton county, was born January 21, 1831, near Williamsport, Lycoming county, Penn., and on the paternal side is of German descent...
As there were no schools in Gallagher township during the boyhood of our subject, his education has all been acquired outside of books. At the early age of seven years he began to handle the axe in the woods, and worked for his father both at lumbering and farming in Gallagher township until he had attained his majority in 1852, when he bought a tract of 125 acres of land still covered with a heavy growth of timber. In the midst of the wilderness he began life for himself, and as he cut down the trees upon his place he manufactured them into shingles by hand, making 1,400,000 for John Ram, of Chatham Run. When he located upon his far the country roundabout was all wild, and the nearest gristmill and store were twelve miles distant, while no roads led to his place, and he had to carry his grain to mill. For almost a half century he has now resided there, and in that time a wonderful transformation has taken place; where once were unbroken forests, fields of grain now greet the eye, and fine orchard has been set out, and a good residence, barns and outbuildings have been erected, making it a most desirable farm. Although he never kept books of any kind, he had an excellent memory, and while extensively engaged in the lumber business and the manufacture of shingles, employing a number of men, he could give his expenditures and receipts of the year to a cent. At one time he was in partnership with John Blush, a well-known shingle manufacturer and lumberman.
On October 2, 1852, in Gallagher township, Mr. Gottschall married Miss Sarah Fritz, who was born in Lock Haven, a daughter of Joseph Fritz, and a stepdaughter of our subject's father: Their children were as follows: Martha B., born May 21, 1856, is the wife of Wesley Phillips, a farmer of Gallagher township; Mary A., born July 17, 1858, is the wife of Albert Green, also an agriculturist of Gallagher township; Ambrose, born November 6, 1860, a farmer, is married to Ellen Connoway, of Gallagher township, by whom he has three children; George, born July 20, 1864, also a farmer, married Emma Edwards, and has one son, Samuel; Robert, born October 26, 1866, wedded Mary Manier, and operates the home far; Jennie, born May 4, 1869, is the wife of Hiram Myers, and has three children; and Rosie, born March 13, 1877, is at home. Mrs. Gottschall, who was a devoted wife and loving mother, died October 26, 1892. The family belong to the Baptist Church, and are widely and favorably known.
In 1852 Mr. Gottschall cast his first vote for Van Buren, the Democratic candidate for President, later became a Whig, and now supports the Republican party, casting his last Presidential ballot for Major McKinley in 1896. Although he had no education to assist him in his life work, he has made the most of his opportunities, and has not only acquired a comfortable competence, but has also gained the good will and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact.