|(The following description of Kitzmiller's
Mill, near which Dudley Digges was shot by Jacob
Kitzmiller, is reprinted from the August 10th,
1886 edition of the Gettysburg Compiler. The author "M" is
unknown to The Gettysburg Times.)
THIS mill is located near the head
waters of the Little Conowago, in Conowago township,
Adams county; part of the land is situated in Union township
and it is part of an original tract of 164 acres which
was deeded by Thomas and Richard Penn to Martin Kitzmiller
for the sum of £25, 8 shillings and 4 pence. The
deed is dated Sept. 17, 1759, and was issued on a land
warrant held by Mr. Kitzmiller from the Penns under date
of Feb. 5, 1747, and with the stipulation of paying one-half
penny, sterling, annually per acre, like Manor of Maske.
The tract was bounded by lands of Barnet Brandt, Abraham
Sell, John Diggs and Conrad Keefhaver.
If the dates of the building of the first mill are correct Mr. Kitzmiller
must either have been a "squatter" or the tract held
in dispute, since the tragic altercation between Martin Kitzmiller
and Dudley Diggs occurred in 1752.
The founder of this mill exercised sufficient foresight to carve in
stone a few dates to be a guide for future generations. In the gable
of the old mill, about 14 feet from the ground, is placed half a mill
burr in the wall, upon which is the following inscription: Hans Martin
Kitzmiller, underneath the inscription are the initials I H G K M,
on the left Ano 1738, on the right Ano 1755, underneath the five initials
May 12, 1791. According to these dates the first log mill was built
in 1738, which antedates any of the churches organized west of York.
In 1755 part of the mill now standing, 28 by 42 feet, was built of
brick, and on the north gable it can yet be seen where the mill was
built alongside of the old mill or a dwelling house; a dwelling house
is still remembered by old citizens, and in 1791 an addition was built
to the mill, making her dimensions 42 by 60, walls 2 feet thick and
3 stories high. We have heard of no one yet that could solve the meaning
of the five initials. Your historian might venture on a guess, but
not having access to the proper manuscripts, he will withhold his opinion
for the present.
In 1773 John and George Kitzmiller, Assignees of Martin Kitzmiller,
conveyed the mill and 188~ acres of land to George Kitzmiller for the
sum of 5 shillings. In 1829 Jacob 'Heagy, of Germany township, bought
of Michael Kitzmiller, Executor of George Kitzmiller, the mill and
85 acres for $7,060. In 1830 he sold the mill and farm to Jacob Kitzmiller
for $7,600. In 1831 Michael Kitzmiller bought the mill and farm, 85
acres, for $8,360. In 1832 Mr. Kitzmiller increased the water power
by building the mill dam, which covered 18 acres. In 1844 he sold the
mill and 26 acres of land to William S. Jenkins for $6,500. Thus the
mill, with the exception of one year, was in the possession of the
Kitzmillers for 106 years. Wm. S. Jenkins sold the mill to John Duttera
in 1854 for $8,010.
In 1866 Ephraim and Benjamin Bollinger bought the mill of John Duttera
for $9,000. The tract now contains 27 acres. The Bollinger brothers
remodeled the mill in 1869, putting in turbine wheels and entire new
machinery, etc. After the death of Benjamin his brother, Ephraim Bollinger,
bought his half interest in 1877, and is now the sole owner.
A short distance north of the mill was a saw and hemp mill, the tail
race still being visible. There was a clover huller run by water power
in connection with the property.
The mill and farm, and the two farms now the Stoner and Bollinger farms,
were owned by the Kitzmillers. They were robust and hardy pioneers,
and the surroundings indicate that they kept pace with the times and
Mr. Ephraim Bollinger has a plot of a town that was laid out on what
is now the Major Bollinger, deceased, farm, dated Aug. 30, 1815, containing
82 lots; it was laid out by Robert Jones and was called Gainsburg.
The farm was formerly owned by George Kitzmiller. The lots remained
unsold and in 1825 he was sold out by the sheriff. The dwelling house,
one of the old land marks in Conowago township, was torn down last
year. On one of the logs was some carving and a date 1732 or '39, quite
likely the latter, it being on the public highway, which was not laid
out until 1740-41. The larger part of the original mill tract is now
owned by Ezra Miller and David Boyer.
Littlestown, July 28, 1886.
From the Gettysburg Compiler August 10, 1886