Hon. Jost. J. Stutzman
The history of the township of Elk Lick would be in a measure incomplete without a sketch of the life of the venerable man whose portrait is here presented to the patrons of the work,. by his son Dr. C. G. Stutzman. As the name would indicate, he is of German extraction, although born in Brother's Valley township in this county. Reared on a farm, but little is know of his early life, except that when he had reached about the age of fifteen years he accompanied his parents to Ohio, where he grew to manhood without any of the many advantages for obtaining an education which are now so accessible to those who "thirst after knowledge." It is a trite saying that "where there is a will there is a way," and this has been broadly exemplified in the life of Mr. Stutzman. Although deprived of instructors, he eagerly availed himself of every avenue of information and set about the self-imposed, but to him pleasant, task of self education, and by untiring diligence he acquired, not only a good English and German but also a classical education. He was a life- long student, for he did not, even in advanced age, lose his love for the acquisition of knowledge, of which he was a veritable store house. He acquired a very large vocabulary by systematically memorizing words from slips of paper containing them, which he carried with him when books would be inconvenient.
Having married Elizabeth Gerver, he removed to his native county, and located at Salisbury, where he engaged in school teaching, thus becoming one of the early educators, and the first one to introduce grammar into the school of this section. Being an enthusiast, he infused new life into the community, who were decidedly apathetic in the cause of education. He was the leaven that has worked wonderful results, and the good he accomplished it would be hard to estimate or even approximate, for it will continue for time indefinite. Many of the first scholars of the former generation received their primary education from him, and they refer with love and pride to their former tutor, who instilled into their minds a desire for higher education.
He served for many years as justice of the peace, and as such was a benefactor to the community where he resided, for he always sought to heal differences and prevent litigation, although by so doing he curtailed his fees, which to him, under the circumstances, were a minor consideration. As an evidence of the esteem in which he was held by the citizens of Somerset county, he was elected to the legislature for two terms, against his wishes. In later life he devoted himself to the management of his landed estate and in loaning money, which was then a great accommodation to the people, it being prior to the establishment of banks in this portion of the county. He became the father of nine children, and was twice married, the last time to Elizabeth Dehaven. He was a consistent member of the Evangelical Lutheran church. This venerable old gentleman departed this life September 21, 1867, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, full of days and riches and honor.
Information taken directly from: "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania 1884 "Waterman, Watkins and Co."
Provided by Ardi Deal
|Chief Cornplanter||Abraham P. Beachy|
|John W. Beachy||Calvin T. Hay|
|Peter S. Hay||J.D. Livengood|
|Jost J. Stutzman||Dennis Wagner|
|John Wright||Markley Family|
|Representative Citizens 1||Representative Citizens 2|
|John and Elizabeth Peck||Edward Mallory|