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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM R. LINE. In the early days of this State there lived in Manheim township, Lancaster county, a man named David Line. He was born June 10, 1753, and died Aug. 10, 1814. His wife, Ann, was born Jan. 12, 1758, and died Feb. 15, 1823. Both are buried in a graveyard in Manheim township. David and Ann Line had the following children: Rachel, born Jan. 5, 1777, died Sept. 17, 1814; John, born Dec. 25, 1778, died Nov. 28, 1852; George, born Dec. 2. 1780, died March 2, 1835; Daniel, born Jan. 12, 1782; William, born Oct. 15, 1785, died Nov. 16, 1868; Ann, born Oct. 29, 1788; Jesse, born Dec. 23, 1790; Sarah, born Feb. 16, 1793; Rebecca, born Jan. 1, 1796; Gabriel, born Aug. 10, 1798. Along about 1810, three of these ten children, John, George and William, moved to Cumberland county. John and William settled in the part of Allen township that is now Monroe, where they for a number of years taught school. George settled in the part of East Pennsboro that is now Silver Spring. John and George continued to live in their respective localities the rest of their days, the former dying on Nov. 28, 1852, and the latter on March 2, 1835. Both are buried in the cemetery of the Trindle Spring Church.

When these three sons of David and Ann Line came to Cumberland county there lived in the vicinity of Churchtown a man named Jacob Wise, who was a prominent citizen and possessed of much property. Jacob Wise and Ann, his wife, had the following children: Mary, Elizabeth, George, David, Nancy, Rebecca, Sally, Catherine, Jacob and Samuel. Into this large family William Line, the young school teacher, from Lancaster county, came for a helpmeet. On April 2, 1812, he married Rebecca, daughter of Jacob and Ann Wise, the Rev. Alfred Halfenstine, pastor of the Reformed Church at Carlisle, pronouncing them man and wife. They took up housekeeping at Churchtown, then one of the most prosperous and promising points in the large township of Allen. He continued to teach school and do surveying and scrivening up until 1815. As the country was then rapidly becoming settled there was much surveying and conveyancing to do, and he consequently found it advantageous to reside at the county seat. He therefore moved to Carlisle, and located on West South street, in a brick house owned by one Patrick Phillips, father of the late Abram Phillips. While living here he bought a lot on the east side of South Hanover street, in the vicinity of the present Manse of the Second Presbyterian Church, and there he built himself a house and lived for several years. In December, 1819, he bought from Major Sterrett Ramsey at the eastern edge of town, forty-eight acres of land, a property that has since long been the home of the late James W. Bosler, and is now in the possession of his heirs. Later he purchased on the north side of the York Road in the same locality, a four-acre tract afterward owned by the late Carey W. Ahl — upon which he lived for many years. Still later he purchased the property opposite to where the Philadelphia & Reading passenger depot now stands, now owned by his son Luther A., and there he spent the rest of his days. He died on Nov. 16, 1868, after having lived out a long and useful career. From early in life he actively participated in public affairs, wielding great influence and winning a prominence which few men locally attain. His true worth can best be judged by the number and character of the public trusts he filled, and to enable the reader to judge correctly we here enumerate the principal ones: In 1813 Governor Snyder appointed him a justice of the peace for Allen township; in 1814 the same governor appointed him deputy surveyor for Cumberland county; in 1818 Governor Findlay appointed him Recorder of Deeds and also Register of Wills; in 1828 Governor Shultz appointed him an Associate Judge, and in December, 1833, he was again appointed Register of Wills by Governor Ritner. Through being so many years in the service of the public he became thoroughly familiar with public affairs, and a very ready and agreeable conversationalist. He was in a large sense a public servant, and for many years was popularly known as “Judge” Line. In his later years, after he had in a measure retired, he devoted his time and attention principally to the culture of flowers and ornamental plants, and found much enjoyment in showing visitors through his gardens, greenhouses and nursery, and many persons called expressly to hear him talk on flowers and relate personal reminiscences of which he had an inexhaustible store. To William Line and Rebecca, his wife, were born children as follows: Washington, born March 11, 1813; William Ramsey, born Dec. 1, 1814; Augustus Asbury, born May 17, 1819; and Amelia Ann, born June 6, 1823. Rebecca (Wise) Line died Feb. 18, 1826, and Oct. 12, 1830, Mr. Line married Mrs. Catherine King, widow of Dr. John King, and daughter of Dr. John Luther, of Harrisburg, by which marriage he had the following children: Cornelia Emily, born Sept. 13, 1831; Luther Alexander, born Dec. 21, 1835. Mrs. Catherine Line, Judge Line’s second wife, died Jan. 24, 1854, and he and his two wives are buried on the same lot in Ashland cemetery.

Washington, the oldest child by his first marriage, went West and for several years taught school near Dayton, Ohio, where he died when about thirty years of age.

Augustus Asbury, the third son, lived all his days in the town of Carlisle where he was actively engaged in business and public affairs until late in life. He died Aug. 24, 1903.

Amelia Ann, William and Rebecca Line’s only daughter, married John R. Elder, of Indianapolis, Ind., who met her while he was a student at Dickinson College. He for a long time was editor of a paper in Indianapolis. Mrs. Elder died in October, 1899, leaving her husband and three children.

Cornelia Emily, the oldest child and only daughter of William and Catherine Line, died on May 26, 1899.

Luther Alexander, the only son by the second marriage, is mentioned below.

William Ramsey, second son of Judge William and Rebecca (Wise) Line, was born while his parents resided on West South street, Carlisle, and was named after the Hon. William Ramsey, an intimate friend of his father. He grew to manhood in, and has always lived near the town. During his youth he attended the private schools which then flourished in Carlisle, chief among them being that conducted by a man named Gad Day. Among his schoolmates in Gad Day’s school were members of the families of Isaac Brown Parker, Andrew Holmes and Robert Irwin, all of whom are now dead. Meager as were the educational advantages of the day William R. Line made good progress in his studies, and before he had reached manhood’s years had acquired sufficient knowledge to teach school which he did for a number of years. His first teaching was done at the Red School House, now named Paradise, in South Middleton township. He next taught the Wise School and subsequently the one located near the head of the Letort Spring, now known as the Bonny Brook school. He was successful from the first, and as his reputation as an instructor spread, patrons multiplied, and his school grew to large size, young men and women, some of them married, availing themselves of his teaching. This school was always well filled with studious and well-behaved pupils. The venerable William Barnitz and the late Wesley Miles were professional cotemporaries of his, Mr. Miles having preceded him as teacher of the school at Bonny Brook. Besides being a natural scholar and instructor, he in his earlier years had a mechanical bent of mind and worked in wood as a recreation from his studies and school duties. While teaching the Wise school he spent much of his spare time in the carpenter shop of Philip Shissler nearby, and among other useful things made himself a new buggy.

On July 10, 1845, William Ramsey Line married Mrs. Mary Simpson Campbell, the Rev. T. V. Moore, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, performing the ceremony. Mrs. Campbell was the widow of Adams Campbell, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster county, and a daughter of Samuel Elder and granddaughter of the Rev. John Elder, who for fifty years was pastor of the Paxton Presbyterian Church, Dauphin county, where in the early pioneer days he often preached with his loaded rifle in his pulpit ready for use in case of attacks from the Indians. Soon after his marriage he moved to the farm lying on the Trindle Spring Road a short distance east of Carlisle, the ownership of which he has since acquired. Here he has resided continuously ever since. His life has been quiet and uneventful, but full of the kind deeds which let not the right hand know what the left hand doth. He is a man of excellent business judgment, and the fact that he is a director in an enterprise inspires confidence in that enterprise in all who know the man. He was elected a director in the Carlisle Deposit Bank in 1866, and with the exception of one or two intermissions of a year each, that were required by a former charter, has been continued a director ever since. Along his early associates in this institution were such well remembered citizens and business men as John Zug, Dr. W. W. Dale, Judge Hugh Stuart, John Stuart, Robert C. Woodward, Henry Saxton and Judge R. M. Henderson, All of whom, excepting Judge Henderson, are now deceased. For a period of more than twenty years he has also been a director in the Allen and East Pennsboro Insurance Company, another of Cumberland county’s substantial business institutions.

Mr. Line is a Republican in politics, but in no sense a partisan. He has never sought office, but in 1886 was elected Director of the Poor, being the only Republican on a large ticket that was elected. In religion he may be considered a Presbyterian. He holds a pew in the First Presbyterian Church, where, although not a communicant, he has always, when physically able, attended services. He has passed through the cares and trials of almost four score and ten years of life, and through all of that long journey he has performed every duty conscientiously and borne an unblemished character. He has been a good citizen and an honest man.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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