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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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MELVIN T. HUNSICKER, a prominent merchant, and postmaster at Iron Bridge, Perkiomen township, was born September 26, 1859, in Skippack township, Montgomery county. He is the son of Philip M. and Elizabeth R. (Tyson) Hunsicker. He was reared on his father’s farm, and assisted in the mill when he was not attending school. He received his education in the public schools and in Ursinus College.

Philip M. Hunsicker (father) was born November 18, 1836, in Franconia township, Montgomery county. He assisted his father in his mill, and attended the common schools and Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College. He removed with his father in 1850 to Perkiomen township, and entered his father’s mill on the Perkiomen, opposite Rahn Station, and learned the milling trade. Later he entered the mill, and operated it until 1875, when he engaged in the lumber, coal and feed business at Rahn, thus continuing until 1884, when he sold out to his sons, H. T. and Melvin T. Hunsicker. Mr. Hunsicker married, September 18, 1858, Lizzie R., daughter of John Z. Tyson, of Perkiomen. Their children: Melvin T., born in 1859, the subject of this sketch; Henry T., born in 1861, a prominent business man of Iron Bridge; Clayton H., born in 1863, a manufacturer of Boston, Massachusetts; Norwood Penrose (deceased), born in 1869; Elmer Ellsworth, born in 1873, an employee of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Chicago, Illinois; and Addie T. (deceased), born in 1875. Mrs. Elizabeth R. Hunsicker died May 4, 1881. She was a member of the Reformed church of Collegeville, as was also her husband.

Philip M. Hunsicker married (second wife), October 26, 1882, Mrs. Ella C. Kulp, daughter of John H. Custer, of Worcester township. Mr. and Mrs. Kulp had two children. The child of Philip M. and Ella Hunsicker, Eleanor, unmarried. Mr. Philip Hunsicker is a member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle. In politics he is a Republican, but has never sought office. In religious faith he is a member of Trinity Reformed church, Collegeville. The brothers and sisters of Elizabeth R. (Tyson) Hunsicker: Henry, Sarah, Mary (Mrs. Hallman), and Enos.

Henry C. Hunsicker (grandfather) was born in Perkiomen township, where his early life was spent. He learned the trade of a miller, and bought the old mill, built in 1747, at Iron Bridge, he purchasing it just one hundred years later. He remained there during the rest of his life. In religious faith he was a Mennonite, and in politics a Whig and Republican. He married in 1833, Lydia, daughter of Philip Markley, of the same township. Their children: Mary, Deborah, Charles M., Philip M.(father); Ann M. (Mrs. James Koons); Kate M., Lydia (Mrs. Benjamin Saylor). Mary married Henry Yelles. Deborah married H. T. Johnson. On the occasion of his marriage, Henry C. Hunsicker removed to Franconia, and was engaged in farming there until 1850, when he returned to his native township, where he combined milling with farming until a few years prior to his death, when he retired from business. Henry Hunsicker (great-grandfather) married Mary, daughter of John Detwiler, their children being: Henry C. (grandfather); John, Daniel, William, Elizabeth, Mary and Susanna. The progenitor of the family in America was Valentine Hunsicker, a native of Switzerland, who came to the United States in 1717 and settled in Skippack township.

Melvin T. Hunsicker was reared in the vicinity in which he now lives. He assisted his father in the mill and in the lumber business, and for three years was station agent at the railroad. Later he clerked for the Iron Bridge Hat Association, and then went to Philadelphia with another firm, and was with them there three years, returning to Iron Bridge in 1892. He bought out the store, conducted it two years, and then bought the large block for a store and residence, and still later another store in the village. He has greatly increased the business, and carries a very large stock such as is needed for farmers and others. He also runs a route wagon, and does a very extensive business. In 1893 he was appointed postmaster, and has held the office ever since. He is agent for the Worcester Salt Works, and sells their products in carload lots. He gives close attention to his business, being a practical, energetic and successful merchant, as well as a broadminded, intelligent and public-spirited citizen. He is a stockholder in several leading corporations. He is a strong Republican, and is now township auditor and a member of the election board he belongs to Warren Lodge, No. 310, F. and A. M., at Trappe, in which he has held the offices of senior warden, master of ceremonies, and steward of lodge, and also belongs to the commandery of Norristown and the Mystic Shrine of Philadelphia. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Knights of the Golden Eagle at Iron Bridge, and to the Patriotic Sons of America. He is a deacon in the Reformed church of Collegeville, of which he is a member, and in connection with two others has charge of the Sunday school work.

Melvin T. Hunsicker married, December 31, 1881, Ellen D. Hunsicker, born in Upper Providence township, May 22, 1862, a daughter of Abram D. and Mary (Detwiler) Hunsicker. The children of M. T, and Ellen D. Hunsicker: Carl H., born December 22, 1882, received a liberal education, and is now employed at Chicago, Illinois, by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, still unmarried; May, born May 1, 1886, resides with her parents; Florence, born March 3, 1891, also resides with her parents.

The ancestor of Mrs. M. T. Hunsicker was also Valentine Hunsicker, born in Switzerland in 1700, who came to America and settled in Skippack township in 1717. Henry Hunsicker (great-grandfather of Mrs. Hunsicker) was a bishop in the Mennonite church. His children were: John, Jacob, Henry, Garrett (grandfather), Abram, Elizabeth, Annie, Kate and Sarah. Garrett Hunsicker (grandfather) was a practical and successful farmer who lived retired during the last years of his life. He married Catharine Detwiller, and their children were: Elizabeth, Henry G., Esther, Christian, Kate, Garrett, Mary, and Abram D. (father). The oldest of these children was born in 1812.

Abram D. Hunsicker (father of Mrs. Hunsicker) was a prominent and well known farmer. He attended market, and was one of the originators of the Ridge Avenue Market, of which he was treasurer for many years. He was a school director, and interested in educational matters. He was at first a Mennonite, but on the organization of the Reformed church at Collegeville he joined that congregation, in which he served as deacon. He was a director in the Spring City National Bank, and was a broad-minded business man. When well advanced in years he sold the homestead to his son, C. D., and he and his wife retired from active life. They lived among their children, partly with their daughter in Philadelphia and partly with their daughter, Mrs. Hunsicker. Mr. Abram Hunsicker died at Iron Bridge, June 2, 1903, and his wife is still living. She was born near Iron Bridge, November 8, 1831.

Mrs. Abram Hunsicker (mother of Mrs. M. T. Hunsicker) is the daughter of Christian and Catharine (Heebner) Detwiler. Mr. Detwiler was a farmer of Montgomery county who attended Philadelphia market. He was a Mennonite. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Detwiler: Abram, died leaving four sons; Samuel, a farmer; Margaret (Mrs. Custer); Evan, lives on the homestead farm; Catharine, married P. Good; Mary, married Abram Hunsicker; Isaiah, a farmer; Christian, died leaving six children; Lydia (Mrs. Gotwals).

The children of Abram D. and Mary Hunsicker: Garrett F., died in August, 1903, in Philadelphia, leaving one child; C. D., lives on the homestead farm; Ella, wife of M. T. Hunsicker; Mlary, married F. Rahm, a hatter of Philadelphia. All of these children were members of the Reformed church except Garrett, who was a Lutheran.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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