archives BuildingSouthern Lancaster County Historical Society

Biographical Annals of Lancaster County" Beers inc printed 1903

page .

WILLIAM G. BEAR (deceased.)

Prominent among the business men of West Earl township, was William G. Bear, late the popular veteran proprietor of the well-known "Brownstown Hotel," a hostelry which justly deserves the commendation of the traveling public.

Mr. Bear came of German stock, his grandfather, Peter Bear, who was born in 1789, having come from Germany as one of the old settlers of West Earl township. He was the father of these children: Mary, who married William Spearan and resides in West Earl township; Elizabeth, who married Peter Hillman; Margaretta, who married Levi Ruff; R. E., a well-known plasterer; Jacob; and Abraham, who died unmarried.

Jacob Bear, the father of William G. was born March 31, 1820, and died June 21, 1890, and for many years was a hotelkeeper, in Brownstown. On Nov. 5, 1845, he married Sophia Gorman, who was born Jan. 17, 1827, and died March 5, 1900. To this union were born: William G., born Jan. 24, 1847, Isaac, born Oct. 16, 1848, resides in Davenport, Iowa, where he is a saddler; Mary Ann, born May 10, 1851, is the wife of Mathew Rozzer, a shoe dealer of West Earl: Jacob, born Jan. 15, 1855, resides in West Earl; Alfred, born May 20, 1865, resides in West Earl, were he is a cigarmaker; and Elmer E., born Jan. 20, 1867, is also a cigarmaker of West Earl.

William G. Bear was reared in West Earl and received his education in the common schools. His business came to him from his father, who was also an excellent hotelkeeper, and all of his life, with the exception of his army experience, was passed in looking after the convenience and comfort of his guests. His excellent hotel was well and favorably known, and he had a wide circle of friends.

Mr. Bear enlisted in 1864, in Co. G, 195th P. V. I., and continued in the service of his country until the close of the Civil war. Although Mr. Bear came of a Democratic family, his belief was in the Republican party and his vote was always cast in, its support. In the township he filled many of the local offices, and was a most efficient judge of election. Socially he was connected with the K. of P., in which order he was highly valued.

On Nov. 15, 1873, William G. Bear was married to Miss Emma L. Gorman., who was born April 11, 1851, in Ephrata township, a daughter of Harry and Katherine (Rutter) Gorman, and to this union were born: Harry, born April 11, 1875, died April 5, 1891; Minnie C., born Aug. 28, 1876, is at home; and Edna G., born Feb. 15, 1886, died March 9, 1888. Mr. Bear was highly esteemed in the locality where his life was passed, and by those who knew him best. Devoted to his family and friends, up-right in his dealings with the public, and a progressive and intelligent man, he represented the fine old county of Lancaster.

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