|Birth: ||Jul. 20, 1835|
|Death: ||Sep. 9, 1915|
Rev. Jacob R. Runk, an extraordinarily active preacher in the United Brethren, was my great great grandpa, at least on paper. His wife was Henrietta Geist. His one daughter Martha Ella Runk married my great grandpa Professor Daniel H Romberger, and she died within a year of their marriage, probably in childbirth. She is buried with her parents.
Reverend Jacob Runk had quite a lengthy and busy career within the United Brethren church. While not the most accurate of sources, the Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County had much to say about his predecessors and himself. Note that Rev. Runk's father Philip was a superintendent of schools, which may have made my great grandpa in the same field seem an apt suitor for Runk's daughter, Ella. Note also as you are reading, the dates of birth of the last child of each of his two wives, and the wives' dates of death and you will see that it is very probable that Rev. Runk lost both his wives to childbirthing. One can imagine that even as Rev. Runk lost a daughter, it may have made him empathetic to my great grandpa when Ella died.
"RUNK, Rev, Jacob. Retired minister of the United Brethren church, residing at Berrysburg, Pa., was born in Elizabethville, Dauphin county, Pa., July 20 1835.
(The Rev.'s GRANDPA) His grandfather, John Jacob Runk, was born in Germany, April 16, 1763. He came to this country early in life and settled in Lykens Valley, then a part of Lancaster county. He married a Miss Hayman and bought of his father-in-law seventy acres of woodland. This he cleared and built upon it a dwelling and other structures, living at first in a log house. He was always a farmer. His children were: Michael, Jacob, Philip, Ludwig, John, Susan, Elizabeth, Kate, and Hannah. Mr. Runk and his wife died on the homestead, the former on December 4, 1826. They were members of the German Reformed church. Mr. Runk is a Democrat.
(The Rev.'s FATHER) His son Philip, father of Rev. Jacob Runk, was born in Elizabethville in September, 1805. He had a fairly good German education and grew up on his father's farm. He became a farmer and cultivated eighty acres of land: he had also forty acres of timber land. He was to some extent a stock raiser. He was married, in Lykens Valley, to Elizabeth Smith, born in the valley near Elizabethville, in 1808; daughter of John Adam Smith, a farmer of Berks county of German descent. They had nine children: Mary, deceased; Susan, deceased, wife of William Bordner, Powell's Valley; Rev. Jacob; Christina, wife of Henry Buffington, Dauphin county; Michael, blacksmith, Pine Grove, Pa.; Elizabeth, wife of John Shoop, Nineveh, Mo.; Hannah, wife of Elias Shoop, farmer, Powell's Valley; Adam, resides in Logansport, Ind., and Philip, died young. The father died on the homestead in December, 1874. He was born a Democrat and died a Republican. He was school director, supervisor and a member of the United Brethren church, in which he was a class leader and trustee. His wife also took an active part in church affairs. She died on the homestead in 1877.
Our subject Jacob Runk attended a German school in Powell's Valley, kept in the basement of a private house, and afterwards went to English and German schools of the township. From eight to twenty-one years of age he worked on his father's farm. He educated himself by reading and observation, and took up preaching. He was licensed to preach, and after taking a three years course in theology was ordained to the ministry in the United Brethren church by the conference held at Schuylkill Haven, Pa., in 1859.
Mr. Runk's first field of labor in the Lord's vineyard was near Reading, Berks county, Pa., where he spent a short time. He went thence to Lebanon circuit, and remained two years; thence to Hummelstown one year; thence to Lykens Valley; thence to Middleburg, Snyder county, two years; to Reading Station two years; to Bethlehem, Northampton county, three years; to Salem church, Lebanon, as station preacher, two years. He was then presiding elder for four years. He went then to the town of Lykens for three years; thence to Jacksonville circuit two years; to Lykens Valley circuit two years. Thence he went to Bellevue, Lebanon county, and was one year on Bellevue circuit; thence to Allentown two years. Mr. Runk was again elected presiding elder in 1888, and removed to Berrysburg, where he has since resided.
After serving four years as presiding elder he retired to his fine farm of thirty-eight acres, on which he has his home. Several churches have been built up under his supervision. He has been three times a delegate to general conference: at Dayton, Ohio, in 1873; Westfield, Ill., 1877; and York, Pa., 1889. He still takes an active part in church matters.
Rev. Jacob Runk was married, in Uniontown (Pillow), Mifflin township, Dauphin county, Pa., to Henrietta Geist, born in Uniontown, August 21, 1843; daughter of Conrad Geist, a preacher of the United Brethren church. They have five children: Cora M., born April 10, 1865, wife of Rev. Charles Mutch, a United Brethren preacher, of Shamokin, Northumberland county; Anna I., born September 7, 1867; M. Ellie, born January 2, 1870, wife of Prof. Daniel Romberger, Williamstown, Pa., died June 5, 1893; Irvin, born August 23, 1874, teacher, now studying at Lebanon Valley College.
(His wife) Mrs. Henrietta Runk died August 28, 1874. She was a devout Christian, and a talented leader in church work, a lovely lady, and a devoted mother.
Mr. Runk was married the second time in 1876, at Lebanon, to Sallie Davis, born November 18, 1846, in Lebanon county. They had one child, Harry V., born July 11, 1877, who is a tinsmith at Uniontown. Mrs. Sallie Runk died July 11, 1877.
Mr. Runk is a Republican and a Prohibitionist. He worked hard to obtain an education, having to depend upon his own resources. He won success, and established himself in his chosen profession. He has been very active and useful; he has worked for the establishment of righteousness and religion, and in all his fields of labor has been a power for good. Advancing years have not chilled his ardor or dampened his zeal; in years, as in youth, he is alive to the needs of the world, and to all opportunities for doing good."
Lycoming College has records about Rev. Jacob R Runk as well:
Born: 7-20-1835 Elizabethville PA
married: Henrietta Geist
Died: 9-9-1915 Berrysburg PA
obit: [8/21/1843 – 5/28/1874] (Henrietta's dates)
Miller-Raker #: no
married2: Sarah Davis
Fulton #: no
obit2: [d. 1877] (Sarah's date of death)
Gilbble list: yes
1857 license, East Pennsylvania Conference
1864 ordained, East Pennsylvania Conference
Interment: Berrysburg PA
Obit: East Pennsylvania Conference 1915,38
1857-59 Lebanon circuit
1859-60 Hummelstown circuit
1863-65 Lykens Valley circuit (moved in the middle of the second year)
1865-65 Sinking Spring circuit (last part of the year)
1865-67 Middleburg circuit
1867-69 Reading Zion
1869 charter member of East German Conference
1869-72 Bethlehem circuit
1872-74 Lebanon Salem
1874-78 district superintendent
1878-80 Williams Valley circuit
1880-82 Jacksonville circuit
1882-84 Lykens Valley circuit
1884-85 Grantville circuit
1885-87 Allentown Zion
1887-91 district superintendent
1896-98 Ebenezer station
1898-99 Avon Zion
1899-01 Lebanon Salem
1901 transfer to East Pennsylvania Conference
1901-03 West Lebanon
1903-04 Pleasant Hill
1904-05 Sinking Spring
Note: Jacob Runk is the father of Irvin E. Runk and Cora M. Runk Mutch, the wife of Charles A. Mutch.
On a personal note, it is interesting how linked the Lutheran Rombergers and the United Brethren Runks were. Not only did my great grandpa Daniel Romberger marry a Runk daughter Ella, but the ceremony was performed by a preacher who had married into the Runk family, Charles Mutch, the husband of Ella's sister Cora. Also, years later, Daniel's little brother Ralph's marriage ceremony was performed by Irvin Runk, Ella's brother.
Henrietta Geist Runk (1843 - 1874)*
Irvin E. Runk (____ - 1959)*
Cora M Runk Mutch (1865 - 1940)*
Martha Ella/Ellis Runk Romberger (1870 - 1893)*
Sweitzers Memorial Cemetery
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Oct 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30458673
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