This was transcribed from a newspaper article sent to me by Ray Powell of Corvallis, OR. Thank you Ray.
TAUGHT SCHOOL MANY YEARS AGO
The Interesting Reminiscences of Reuben F. Leibyâ€”How He Made His First Trip to Phila. â€“ A Native of Berks
Reuben F. Leiby, now of Snyderâ€™s Schuylkill county, formerly a native of Berks, is one of the oldest residents of eastern Schuylkill. He is remarkably well preserved. Mr. Leiby was born July 4, 1814. He is a son of the long-deceased Frederick Leiby, who for many years conducted a farm in Lynn, near ---- Lehigh county. The ancestors ---- of this sketch were long-lived. His mother was 88, his father 70, and an uncle on his motherâ€™s side some 90 years of age.
Reuben F. Leiby was the oldest of the family. His brothers and sisters were:
Daniel, deceased, of Iowa; Catharine, wife of Michael Kistler, of Greenwich, Berks county, both deceased; Rebecca, widow of a Mr. Haring, residing near Grimsville, Berks county, and in her 82nd year; Jacob, who died on the old homestead in Lynn, Lehigh county, now operated by his son Jacob; John, who died near Jacksonville; Isaac, who died in Texas 5 years ago; Elizabeth, of Stony Run, Berks county, widow of Henry Reinhard; Samuel, deceased, of Lynn, near Steinâ€™s Corner; Mary, wife of John Dietrich, of Grimsville, Berks county; Sallie Ann, wife of Jacob Fry, of Steinâ€™s Corner.
Frederick Leiby, the father, was married to Christina, daughter of Matthias Brobst, of Lynn, Lehigh county. Reuben F. Leiby was married in 1842 to Salome, daughter of Daniel Correll, of West Penn, Scbuylkill county, Rev. John Sziglig, of Steinsville, performing the ceremony. This union resulted in the following children: Rebecca, wife of John Snyder, proprietor of Snyderâ€™s Hotel, Snyderâ€™s P. O.., with whom the subject of this sketch spends most of his time; Leanda, widow of Nathan Knepper, West Penn; Sallie Ann, deceased, wife of D. B. Snyder, Snyderâ€™s; Sebila and Aluena, who died young.
Reuben F. Leibyâ€™s second wife was Lydia Driesbach, of near New Ringgold. By this union there were three children, as follows: Carolina, widow of William Knepper, West Penn; Priscilla, wife of Jeremiah Schaeffer, near Snyderâ€™s; Frank [sic ] Dorset, Schuylkill county.
Mr. Leiby worked on the farm until 19 years of age, when he started to learn tanning with Charles Frederici, of Lynn, Lehigh county. After finishing his trade he worked as a journeyman at a number of places. He also taught day school at Lynnport. One term he started with seven and ended with 40 pupils. For each he received at the rate of 40 cents per month. He never believed in whipping and always got along well even with the most unruly of the large boys. The text books he used were the German ABC book, the Psalter, Testament and sometimes a newspaper. Everything, of course, was German. Sometimes married men were among the pupils. During dull times in summer the schoolmaster passed his time making beehives, at which he was considered a good hand. He also kept bees.
In 1841 Mr. Leiby came to Schuylkill county and located near his present home. The present villages [sic] of Leibysville was named after him. He soon became one of the leading citizens of the locality. He came over from Lehigh county on foot and started tanning as a journeyman. Soon after he started in the business for himself. He erected a tannery in the building of which he took a most active part. He dug all the pits himself and made much of the light woodwork for the building. He bought most of the hides around home for the tannery, but occasionally he purchased [---] in Phila. All his Spanish hides he bought at the latter place. These were used for the manufacture of sole leather. Calcutta kip was turned out to a considerable extent from this tannery. It was used for shoes, horse collars, etc.
Concerning his first visit to Phila., Mr. Leiby says: â€œI left my fatherâ€™s place near Jacksonville on foot in the morning after the sun was up. That day I walked as far as the vicinity of Sumneytown, where I stayed over night. The next forenoon at 11 oâ€™clock I was in Phila., at the Black Bear Hotel. I bought a lot of hides and sent them home by canal. On my way home I took the train as far as Reading. I had intended to walk all the way home, but my feet became to [sic] sore that this became almost impossible.â€
Mr. Leiby conducted his tannery at Leibysville on a large scale for those days, using some years as high as 90 cords of bark. Finally he also went into the hotel business at Leibysville and continued it for 20 years. In the tanning business he was engaged for 40 years. He was a surveyor in his time as well as justice of the peace at West Penn. He was at one time captain of the West Penn Militia and for a number of years was greater master at battalion, being appointed to the latter position by Col. John P. Hubbard.
Mr. Leibyâ€™s great-grandfather, John Jacob Leiby, was one of the early settlers in Greenwich, Berks Co. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was John Leiby and he lived in Lynn. He was a Revolutionary soldier. The company to which he belonged was discharged and on their way home when they were attacked by a party of British soldiers near where Skippach now stands. John Leiby was severely beaten about the head with the stock of a musket. He carried 24 marks to his grave and as a result of the beating partially lost his reason, never recovering the same to his dying day. He lived on the farm in Lynn which subsequently passed into the hands of his son Frederick. This original homestead comprised over 200 acres which were subsequently divided into three parts. Jacob Leiby now lives on the one-third. The other 2 sections are occupied by Daniel Feinauer and Samuel Hartman.
The subject of this sketch was in the cattle business years ago, making many a trip to New York state. He attended the Kutztown battalion regularly. At the age of 23 years he walked to Ohio to visit his uncle. He walked it in 13 days. Part of the distance he had a partner whom he picked up on the way. He also fetched many a wagon load of shad from the fisheries. He was one of the enterprising citizens of West Penn who years ago insisted that the township must have a school. Before the days of the public schools he and Isaac Shelheimer hired an English teacher and under their direction the school was carried on successfully until free schools were established. Mr. Leiby was a director for 6 years under the free school system, being one of the first elected to West Penn. He was township auditor for 12 years and county auditor for 3 years. The Leibyâ€™s always have been staunch Democrats.
Reuben F. Leiby was in his time a prominent Odd Fellow, being a member of West Penn Lodge No. 515.
He reads without glasses and occasionally walks across the Blue Mountain to Jacksonville, a distance of 7 miles. He has been smoking and using liquor moderately since his youth. In dress he preserves the mode of