Michael Knecht

Michael Knecht immigrated from Germany to Keysers Ridge, Maryland.  He eventually settled in the West Salisbury area and set up a blacksmith shop (1880).  He established the M. Knecht & Sons Foundry and produced iron and machine products.  Michael Knecht was a prominent area business man as well as a staunch Roman Catholic.  Mr. Knecht often held church services in his home until St. Michael's Catholic Church was built in 1887.  In 1892 Michael Knecht purchased what was then known as the Salisbury Foundry from J.M. Hay, Howard H. Keim, Samuel Gipe and Elias Hershberger.  His business prospered to the extent that he had to acquire more property.  In June 1901 he bought an additional plat of ground from Peter S. Hay.  Mr. Knecht had five sons:  John, William, Joseph, Frank and Harry all of whom worked in the shop, under their father, and became expert mechanics.  In 1905 Mr. Knecht and two of his sons, John and William, formed a partnership under the trade name of M. Knecht & Sons.  On March 18, 1912 the father and son team mutually agreed to dissolve the partnership.  William Knecht purchased the entire business, land, machinery, stock and equipment.
     William trained his sons, Francis and Carl, to be highly skill mechanics and together they continued the operation of the plant until the death of William on May 1, 1956.  In 1936 he suffered a heavy loss when the building burned to the ground --  valuable machinery, tools and equipment were ruined by fire and water.  After assessing the needs of the community William rebuilt the plant on a larger scale, installed more and larger machinery and equipment and continued to prosper.  After William's death the ownership of the plant went to William's three sons and one daughter.  In addition to serving the local community, the firm had customers over a large part of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio.


Henry Livengood (left) John Knecht (right)
Approximate date of photo 1900
Photograph donated by Michael McKenzie from the collection of Rita Knecht

Photograph Titled
"Grandpa Knecht"
Donated by Meyersdale Historical Association

Donated by Meyersdale Historical Association

Photograph titled
"Knechts Foundry"
Donated by Meyersdale Historical Association


Physicians Of Salisbury Post Office, The First National Bank , D.I. Hay Store
M. Knecht & Sons Foundry West Salisbury Garage
Lichliter Feed Store page one  Lichliter Feed Store page two
West Salisbury Depot General Railroad History
Obituary of Michael Riley The Making of Maple Products Page One
The Making of Maple Products Page Two The History of Maple Syrup and Production
Salisbury Elk Lick industry Coal and Logging industry

History of Salisbury School Salisbury Bands Sports History Area Churches Salisbury Organizations Salisbury Veterans Salisbury Endures Aerial and Street views of Salisbury Industry -- from logging to cars. Cornplanter Indians Surrounding Area History Message Board Showalter Garlitz Genealogy Welcome To Salisbury History