02 November 2009

John Jacob Mickley St John's UCC Mickley

In Whitehall, PA, in a section of Whitehall that used to be called Mickley, is one of the neatest tombstones I have seen.

According to FindAGrave.Com, John Jacob Mickley served in the PVT 1 CO 1 Battalion Northampton County, Pennsylvania Militia and served under Capt. Benjamin Weiser. He was instrumental in moving The Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown. I wanted to know more about his roll in that so I went to the Allentown Public Library and looked up a book on the local history.

That book told me that after Philadelphia was left defenseless in 1777, The Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ordered that 11 bells be taken away to prevent the British from melting them down to make cannon balls. So a train of 700+ wagons that were guarded by 200 soldiers took the bells from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In the wagons where hay and manure that were covering the bells. Also, in with the State House Bell was John Jacob Mickley. On September 23rd, the bishop of the Moravian Church (I think it was Central Moravian) said that the wagon train arrived and the bells went into Allentown. The State House Bell was transferred to a wagon and was taken to the Zion's Reformed Church, which still stands in Center City Allentown. All the bells were stored there under the floorboards.

What I really found interesting about this tombstone was the big of family history that is on it. The father and wife on the top, the kids as steps, and on the back was a little bit about how the family came to the United States. I found that to be enjoyable.


  1. Don't you just love finding stuff like this? It gets you digging and digging and pretty soon you have more information than you need...

  2. Becky, Great find! Love the fact that you got the story to go with it.

  3. Thanks guys. I love finding this kind of stuff.

  4. This is my ancestor! Thanks for posting this! I have the Mickley geneology book that details this event as well, but it was nice to see a picture of the grave site, and to know where it is! We're visiting Philly in one week, and I plan to see this grave on the way!
    (I'm a Mickley on both my mother and my father's side - from two of the Mickley boys who immigrated)

  5. Hey, if you need any directions,I can help you get there. You can't access it from Rt 145 but the side road. just let me know!


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