Karthaus family papersCreation: 1794-1966
Peter Arnold Karthaus (1765-1840) immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1796 and established a mercantile business in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Valley. The collection documents Karthaus' mercantile business, land development in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and his partnership with fellow German immigrant, Frederick W. Geissenhainer, a pioneer in using coal to smelt iron.
- Creation: 1794-1966
- Karthaus family (Family)
1.3 Linear Feet
Peter Arnold Karthaus, Sr. (1765-1840) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. There he established a mercantile business trading with Germany, Holland, France and the Caribbean. During the War of 1812 he operated at least ten vessels as privateers under letters of marque, although he remained a silent partner in these ventures.
Karthaus was also a pioneer in opening up the trade of the valley of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and attempting to direct it to Baltimore. Early on he purchased large tracts of land in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, particularly around the junction of Little Moshannon Creek and the West Branch, where the town of Karthaus was eventually built. As early as 1811 he was associated with a fellow German immigrant, the Reverand Frederick W. Geissenhainer, a pioneer in using coal to smelt iron. Agents were sent to open the property and ship coal down the Susquehanna to Baltimore in flatboats.
Geissenhainer came up to Clearfield County in 1814 and directed the erection of a charcoal blast furnace which turned out hollow ware and stoves. The partnership of Karthaus and Geissenhainer was dissolved in December 1818. Thereafter Karthaus retained the land as an absentee owner. Peter A. Karthaus, Jr.(1799-1860), died without issue. Administration of the Karthaus Estate passed to his sister Regina and her husband, Frederick Focke, and eventually to their grandson, Charles Lee Reese, Sr.
Scope and Content
The collection documents Karthaus' mercantile business, land development in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and his partnership with fellow German immigrant, Frederick W. Geissenhainer, a pioneer in using coal to smelt iron.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Karthaus family papers
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Finding aid written in English.