1906 Publication




Our efforts thus far have been confined to securing the family records of the five sons of Christian, the Pioneer; the sixth, Adam, was broken in health by his service under Gen. Washington and died soon after the Revolutionary War was over. We will make brief mention of the five daughters of Christian, the pioneer.


We have our information from Catharine, youngest daughter of John. Sr., who is in perfect, mental health, and in powers of memory is not inferior to her brother, John, the centenarian.


I. Elizabeth, married to Frederick Rice. They resided near Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland Co., and later removed to Ohio. Grandmother Waugaman never saw this aunt; Elizabeth died many years before her husband.


II. Susanna, whose husband's name was Simon Drumm, farmer, and proprietor of one of Greensburg's first hotels. She lived with her children after her husband's death especially with Simon, the Greensburg merchant. Gen. Richard Drumm, of Washington, D. C., retired army officer, now in his eighties, is a son of Simon Drumm, Jr., and grandson of Susanna Laffer.  Grandmother Waugaman recalls a visit Simon Drumm and his son, Simon, made (about 1840) to her father's, John Laffer, Sr.


III. Catharine, wife of Jacob Christman. She lived near Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland Co., all her life time. She left a large family, the record of which has not as yet been secured. 


IV. Mary Laffer, married to Wentzell, of Millersdale, Westmoreland Co., Pa., where some of her grandchildren still reside.


V. Magdalenna, the youngest, married to John Bash. They lived along the Kiskiminetas River, on the tract of land that Adam Laffer purchased, then sold to his father, Christian. See Land Transfers, vol. 8, p, 526, office of Recorder of Deeds, Westmoreland County, Pa.



On the evening of Sept. 9, 1904, our Secretary interviewed Gen. Richard Drumm, veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars, while he was visiting his sister, Miss Emily Drumm, of Greensburg.


The General's father was Simon Drumm, the well-known merchant of Greensburg, of 50 years ago, and his grandfather was Simon Drumm, Sr., who was married to Susan Lauffer, daughter of Christian, the Pioneer.


The General says that his grandfather and others of the connection came into Westmoreland in 1770. The delayed growth of Western Pennsylvania was due to disputed sovereignty over the regions west of the Alleghenies, between the colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Settlers had to pay taxes to both governments, and received protection against the Indians from neither.  When the dispute was settled in favor of Pennsylvania, the stream of emigration from the Eastern counties set in, and the land was acquired by settlers under Penn Grants. As to protection from the Indians, the Quakers forced the frontiersmen to attend to that matter themselves.


On the farm of Simon Drumm, just south of Greensburg, a block house, built of logs and stone, was constructed, and with long tin horns the settlers were warned of the approach of bands of savages, from Kittanning and towns on the Kiskiminetas.


This fort was large enough to include the house and spring, and provisions were here stored so that they were able to endure the siege; men with their wives and children took refuge in the Drumm Block Home, when the Indians came down upon them.


It was not until after the defeat of the Indians by Gen. Boquet in the Manor Valley along Brush Run that the power of the Red Men was broken in Westmoreland County.


The General recalls the great streams of immigration out of Westmoreland into Ohio, when he was a boy, that carried so many of our people into the middle west.

14                                 THE LAUFFER HISTORY



He remembers the old mill below the old German cemetery, which belonged to Isaac Baer, who was married to Hannah Laffer, a daughter of Henry Lauffer. Her brother Samuel he well remembers: he opened a book store in Greensburg about 1835. He married a Cumberland Lady, sold out his business in Greensburg to a Boughman, and embarked in the same business on Wood Street, Pittsburg; his later record in the army, the General promised to look up for us.


There was a warm friendship between Henry Lauffer, Jr., and Simon Drumm,  "they called each other cousin," "my father was always very fond of his Lauffer relatives." "Sam's father and my father were very intimate," the General asserts.


He thinks Col. Christopher Truby (elsewhere mentioned) was related to the Drumms and the Lauffers, for the daughter of Christopher Truby used to call his father "Cousin Simon."


As to the source of our people he knows we are from the Palatine, a country beautiful beyond anything: when General Tourans was sent into it, its devastation was so complete that in delivering his report to the French monarch he could truthfully say: "Sire I have not left a stick standing as big as that finger."


The people homeless, in destitution, came into the province of Pennsylvania, to find civil and religious liberty, and a chance to live.