WORKIZER, Christian, an accomplished German gentleman, entered the English
army as lieutenant at Aschaffenburg, in 1743, when George II was fighting
in Germany. He subsequently rose to the rank of colonel, and came to
Canada as aide-de-camp to Gen. Wolfe, in 1758. He was one of the three who
bore his brave commander to the rear when mortally wounded on the Heights
of Abraham. After the capture of Quebec, Col. Workizer retired from the
British army, and marrying soon after Mademoiselle Girardin, of Quebec, a
lady of French extraction, he and his wife came to Chester County and
settled, purchasing the lands on which are now located the village of
Howellville and the adjacent homestead farm. Having sworn fealty to the
British crown as a officer, and having been truly attached to his late
commander, Col. Workizer remained strictly neutral during the war of the
Revolution. Col. Workizer was accompanied by his wife's brother, Mr. A.
Girardin (Anglice Sheridan). This gentleman bought lands in and around
Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh, and in Erie. He owned the Swan property, Race
Street near Second, and the floating ferry at Fairmount, Philadelphia.
April 27, 1779, he was married by Rev. Henry Muhlenberg to Miss Barbara
Snyder, at Pikeland.
Col. Workizer became the father of four daughters,--Mary, Margaretta,
Elizabeth, and Priscilla--and two sons,--John and Jacob Sheridan,--all born
at or near Howellville, the hotel of that village having been the second
homestead of the Workizer family.
Jacob Sheridan Workizer, a fine Latin scholar, wrote for one of the
Philadelphia papers. He was early engaged to an accomplished lady, Miss
Evans, but died of consumption before the marriage was consummated. Hon.
Jonathan Roberts, United States senator from Pennsylvania, his personal
friend, said of him, "Sheridan Workizer was a youth of rare promise, and
our society* felt his loss." He spoke admiringly of his bright intellect,
and of his power of attracting his associates to him.
Mr. John Workizer was very proud of his mother. He loved to tell of her
walking all the way from Howellville to her brother's home in Philadelphia
and returning with medicine, salt, etc., in pockets underneath her dress,
having successfully eluded the British sentinels at their outposts.
Gen. Washington, with his customary affability, had noticed the Workizer
boys occasionally when he encountered them, and Mr. John Workizer loved to
recall the general as he remembered him, descanting with almost boyish
enthusiasm on the imposing figure and the grand face of the world's hero,
with its serene and benignant expression.
One of Col. Workizer's daughters (reputed to be belles in their day)
married Mr. George Norman, who, accompanied by his wife, her two sisters,
and some members of Governor Snyder's family (their relatives), removed
about 1820 to the vicinity of Cincinnati. Mr. Norman bought 400 acres of
the Little Miami bottom lands, and built thereon his family homestead,
where some of Col. Workizer's descendants still reside. The others live in
Cincinnati, and Mrs. David Mills, of that city, a grandchild, retains as an
heirloom in the family part of an old black velvet suit, presented to Col.
Workizer by the mother of Gen. Wolfe, to be worn as mourning for her son.
Mr. John Workizer, who inherited the village of Howellville, married Miss
Mary Turner, whose roomy old home is still standing, near Spring City, Pa.
The young couple removed to Valley Forge, and purchased considerable
property in and around the village. In their old homestead at Valley
forge, (now the Mansion House hotel) six children--five girls and one
boy--were born to them, and some grandchildren, among the latter Gen.
Galusha Pennypacker, United States army, the intrepid young officer who
especially distinguished himself at Fort Fisher during the civil war.
Mr. John Workizer's eldest daughter, Eloisa, married Mr. Morey, his
second, Matilda, Mr. William Lewis, and his third Mr. Joseph E. Anderson.
His fourth daughter, Anna Virginia, was a young lady of remarkable beauty
and intelligence. Having as yet no son, Mr. Workizer educated this
daughter to be his amanuensis in business, and there are many deeds,
contracts, and other documents still extant written, not only for her
father, but gratuitously for the neighboring farmers, in the clear,
beautiful penmanship of this superior woman.
John Sheridan, the only son, inherited and sold out of the family
Howellville village. He subsequently removed to Indianapolis.