archives BuildingSouthern Lancaster County Historical Society

Biographical Annals of Lancaster County" Beers inc printed 1903

page 805 .

JOHN JOHNS BAIR, the genial head of the coat and wrap department of Watt & Shand's big establishment, Lancaster, comes from a family who settled in Lancaster county early in the eighteenth, century. Three brothers Bair came to America and secured from William Penn, a large land grant along Mill creek, extending from Spangler's mill to Hoover's mill, near the Welsh mountains. This tract extended for a distance of perhaps five miles, and the road which these three Bair brothers laid out was originally only an Indian foot path. Of the descendants of these pioneers, John Bair became a prominent drover and farmer, and his son Levi E., was for many years a farmer, but is now living retired, by reason of ill health. Levi E. Bair married Josephine Johns, a daughter of the late Jacob Johns, a farmer of West Earl, and who, like the Bairs, came from an old and honored family. The marriage was blessed with six children, only two of whom are living: Levi R., of the class of 1909, Franklin and Marshall College; and John J. John Johns Bair was born in Upper Leacock township, Oct. 12, 1867. His parents removed from that section when he was only two years old, and his education was obtained at Honey Brook, Chester county (where he was graduated from the high school), and at the State Normal School at Millersville. After leaving the State Normal, Mr. Bair returned to his father's farm, and, after spending two years there, entered the service of Messrs. Watt & Shand. This was in 1886 and he has remained there ever since. After mastering the details of a general mercantile business in the ever popular New York store, Mr. Bair took charge of the cloak department-a department which, largely through his exertions, has become noted all through the community. Mr. Bair does all the buying, and superintends all the selling of that important part of this big establishment. He is accepted as an authority on ladies wraps by many of the best dressers of Lancaster. Socially Mr. Bair is a member of the Knights of Matta, and Odd Fellows, being a past officer of the latter; politically he is a Republican; and religiously a Lutheran, being identified with Grace Lutheran Church. In all the walks of life he is a courteous, intelligent and conscientious gentleman.

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