12 January 2010
Elsie Singmaster Lewars (1879-1958)
You don't hear much about the Pennsylvania Dutch anymore. It's a shame. It's a way of life and a language that seems to be falling to the wayside. However, with my first trip to Solomon's in Macungie, PA, I got to see a real old tombstone that I just seem fascinated with. I saw Lydia Singmaster's grave and had flowers on it.
Of course, this made me wonder. Was it family or was it a famous person? So I did some google searching and I found out that one of her descendants was Elsie Singmaster Lewars. She is a Pennsylvania Dutch author.
Elsie was born in 1879 in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Rev. John Alden Singmaster and Caroline Hoopes Singmaster. She live in Macungie, PA (known as Millertown at the time) from 1882-1885 while her father was pastor of the Saint Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church. When she went to publich school in Macungie, her teacher spoke Pennsylvania German.
In 1887 her father left Macungie to minister in Brooklyn, NY and then in Allentown, PA. Of course, the family followed but Elsie and her brothers would return to Macungie, PA during the summer.
In 1900, the family moved to Gettysburg, PA, when Dr Singmaster became a professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. She returned to Macungie for many visits but Elsie's home was on the campus of the seminary. However, she did return to Macungie in 1959 for her burial in Fairview Cemetery on Route 100. She is buried with her husband, her infant son, and her mother and father.