Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of the PITZER Family


         The PITZER Family — This family was always prominent in the affairs of Berkeley County since first moving there, about the beginning of the 19th century. At that time three brothers, Martin Pitzer, Jacob Pitzer, and John Pitzer, emigrated from Ireland to the vicinity of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They didn’t stay there long before moving to Berkeley County in search of homes. Martin ad Jacob purchased about 800 acres of land in the vicinity of Arden and North Mountain, but the third brother returned to Gettysburg and purchased a farm there. On that farm, the fiercest part of the Battle of Gettysburg, known as "Wheat Field Fight," was fought. It was said this field of wheat was ready to cut and that Mr. Pitzer was to begin harvesting of the morning of the first day’s fight, but after the battle was over, not a spear of wheat was left standing — it had been completely destroyed.

         The descendants of Martin Pitzer were John W. Pitzer, the first Sheriff of Berkeley County after it became part of West Virginia; Elias M. Pitzer, the first Assessor of the county after it became West Virginia, was a member of the county court, and was a member of a commission appointed by Governor Arthur I. Boreman, first governor of West Virginia, to “lay off” the county into townships; Mrs. William T. Noll, the wife of Lieutenant William T. Noll, a celebrated office in the Confederate Army and Deputy Sheriff of Berkeley County, and the mother of Allen B. Noll, attorney and Prosecuting Attorney for Berkeley County; Mrs. Benjamin F. Busey, mother of the Rev. B.P.S. Busey, minister of the United Brethren Church; Mrs. James Walker, mother of educator E.M. Walker, County Superintendent of Schools of Berkeley County; and Mrs. Anthony Turner, mother of Thomas W. Turner, one-time mayor of Martinsburg.

         Sons of John W. Pitzer were William A. Pitzer, principal of the Burke Street School and secretary of the Board of Education of Martinsburg for many years; U.S. Grant Pitzer, lawyer and Prosecuting Attorney for Berkeley County; and Charles W. Pitzer, veteran baseball player, a member of the first baseball league of Martinsburg, and mail carrier for that city.

         Sons and daughters of Jacob Pitzer were George V. Pitzer, the father of George W. Pitzer, a member of the Gerardstown Board of Education for many years; Harrison Taylor Pitzer, of Tabler, manufacturer of apple by products of that place; Mrs. Frank Noll of Tuscarora; Mrs. S.S. Harrison of Arden; Mrs. Eliza Rench of Martinsburg; Mrs. Preston Lewis of Tablers; Mrs. Harry S. Catrow of Arden; Miss Ida Pitzer of Martinsburg; Michael K. Pitzer of Arden, whose son, George D. Pitzer, was a member and president of the Arden Board of Education for a number of years; Mrs. George R. Sperow of Dry Run; Mrs. Lida Snook of Frederick, Maryland; Mrs. Smith M. Vanmetre of Martinsburg; Charles L. Pitzer, County Commissioner of Berkeley County (deceased by 1928); and Glen M. Pitzer, World War I veteran and County Commission of Berkeley County.

         Other descendants of Michael K. Pitzer were Mrs. George D. Miller, wife of George D. Miller, one time County Commissioner for Berkeley County; Mrs. Benjamin F. Brady, wife of Benjamin F. Brady, also County Commissioner and a member of the West Virginia Legislature; Mrs. Washington Bender; Mrs. William Couchman; and Mrs. Barnet Seibert.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928

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