William Henry Decker (1836-1906) of Carbondale, descendant of Nicholas Decker

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

My search for information about Charles Gilbert Decker, who was reportedly born in Carbondale, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, lead me on a quest to find other Deckers that lived in the area in the mid-1800s. The book "Portrait and biographical record of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania", published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1897, contains the following biography for William Henry Decker, on p. 910-911:


Generation 1. Nicholas Decker who came from Amsterdam and went to Copake, NY. Nicholas had three sons: Gideon, killed in the War of 1812, George, Colonel in the War of 1812, and Abraham. Nicholas was the great-grandfather of William Henry Decker, the subject of this sketch.

Generation 2. Abraham Decker married a daughter of William Moore, of German descent, and in 1821, they settled in Pittston Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He later moved to Hyde Park (Lackawanna County?) where he died. One of his sons was George Decker.

Generation 3. George W. Decker was born near Hillsdale, New York, in May of 1814, and in 1821 went to Pennsylvania with his parents. He learned the trade of blacksmith from D. Brown of Priceburg. In 1839, George went to Hyde Park "before the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company's furnace was started". He ran his shop until is retirement. George Decker married Catherine Snyder, born in Columbia County, New York. She died in July of 1891 at the age of 75 (born 1817). She was the daughter of John I. Snyder, of German descent., who served in the War of 1812. Mr. Snyder came to Pennsylvania abt. 1831, settling at Blakely. He died at 81 years old. George died in 1898 and is buried in Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania. George & Catherine Decker had eleven children:

Generation 4. (Known children of George & Catherine Decker)

  1. William Henry Decker lived in Lackawanna County all his life. He was born in Priceburg in the borough of Dickson City, PA on 1-14-1836. He was of direct Holland-Dutch descent. William Henry Decker married in Brewerton, NY, on 2-16-1856 to Miss Fannie Shafer, born in Rome, New York, in 1838. She was the daughter of David Shafer, M.D., who was born in Dutchess, New York, and practiced medicine in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Shafer retired and moved to Scranton where he died. William was a blacksmith. He died on Feb. 8, 1906 in Newton, PA, and is buried in Washburn Street Cemetery in Scranton. He was known to have an extremely keen memory. William & Fannie had four children. (See Generation 5).

  2. Catherine M. Decker, who married Evan S. Jones of Scranton. UPDATE: Catherine was born 9-24-1838 in Mayfield, Luzerne, PA, and died 2-8-1923 in Scranton. She is buried next to her husband, Evan S. Jones, in Dunmore Cemetery in Scranton. They had two sons: William G. and Robert D. Jones, Sr. (Update courtesy of Carolyn Jones).

  3. Martin M. Decker, (1841-1910) a blacksmith of "this city" (Carbondale).

  4. Harriet Decker, Mrs. A.P. Vining, of Broome County, NY.

  5. Mary E. Decker, Mrs. Henry Earley (Earlley), who died in Scranton in 1892. she was born in 1846.

  6. Eliza Decker, Mrs. Goble, who died in "this city" (Carbondale).

  7. George W. Decker, an engineer on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western road. He was born in Hyde Park, Lackawanna County, PA, on 12-18-1853, and died in Scranton on 12-31-1941. He married Mary Ann Harris (1854-1882).

  8. Ella Decker, widow of Thomas Tague (Tigue), of Scranton. She was born in Scranton in 1861 and died there in 1953. She is buried in Washburn Street Cemetery.

  9. Clara J. Decker, born 1852, died 1894. She was married to Howard S. Brown and had a son named Howard S. Brown (1883-1917). (Clara is not mentioned in the 1897 book, presumable because she died three years prior to the book being published).

Generation 5. (Known children of William and Fannie Decker):

  1. Frank L. Decker, who "is with the New Jersey Central Railroad", (born abt. 1858, he was single and still living at home with his parents in Scranton in 1880, at the age of 22).

  2. Charles William Decker, born abt. 1860, who died at the age of 28. When he was 20, he was counted on the 1880 census in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His occupation was "works in coal mine". UPDATE: He married Ella Emaline Harding.

  3. Addie (or Ada) Decker, Mrs. B.E. Clark, of "this city" (Carbondale). She was born abt. 1865. In 1880, at the age of 15, she was counted in the home with her parents in Scranton where she was attending school.

  4. William Henry Decker, Jr., who "assists his father in the shop". At the age of 9 he, too, was attending school and living in the home of his parents in Scranton (1880 Census). UPDATE: He lived from 1867 to 1959 and married 1st to Josephine Smith and 2nd to Grace Gregory. (Update courtesy of Carolyn Jones).

I am trying to determine if this family was related to Charles Gilbert Decker who was born in Carbondale between 1861 and 1864. He died in Walden in 1909.

See more Decker genealogy on the Decker page.

#decker #Decker #pennsylvania #otherdeckers #carbondale


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