Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NOTABLE ANTIQUE GUNS

Glaze Family

by Jim Whisker


The Glaze family was first noted in print by the late arms historian William S. Bowers in his Gunsmiths of Pen-Mar-Va(1) a book long out of print.  A Romney, West Virginia, attorney, William Ansel, then did additional research of gunsmiths of his home area, Hampshire County, West Virginia, largely by checking land transfers(2).  The Glaze family contributed significantly to the development of guns in that region.

The first member of the family whom we meet is Earhart Glaze.  He was a gunsmith and farmer, c.1768-80, in Hampshire County.  Earhart was a brother of Conrad Glaze, Sr.  On July 7, 1768, John and Jane Keating sold 219 acres plus 150 acres on the South Branch to Earhart Glaze; and on March 19, 1770, Mary Bromsey sold 416 acres on South Branch to Earhart Glaze.  On May 9, 1780, Eve, the widow of the deceased Earhart Glaze, sold two tracts of land on the South Branch(3).

Conrad was evidently the younger brother of Earhart Glaze and was more likely to have been active in the manufacture of rifles than his sibling.  On May 12-13, 1777, Conrad bought land on the South Branch, Hampshire County, from Edward and Melicent McGuire.  He owned lot 49 on the South Branch, across from George Glaze, in Fairfax Estates(4).  Glaze's will was dated May 17, 1831.  It named his sons as Andrew and Conrad, Jr.  His estate inventory showed the tools of the gunsmith's trade(5):

1 smooth bore rifle and molds, $8
1 smooth bore rifle, $5
1 gun box, $1.50
box of screwplates & spoon molds, $2.50
1 lot of gunstocks, rakes & tongs, $0.50



George was evidently a third Glaze brother.  He, too, was a gunsmith and farmer.  On May 9, 1780, George obtained 133 acres of land near Romney, Hampshire County, from Eva, widow of Earhart Glaze.  George died in 1823 and the estate inventory showed tools of gunsmith's trade.  He left the tools and $550 to his son George W. Glaze(6).

George W. Glaze was born in 1780, a son of George Glaze.  Initially he was a gunsmith and farmer near Springfield, Hampshire County.  George owned lot 48 on South Branch(7).  As we have seen, he received his father's tools upon the latter's death. 

By 1850 George had moved west and had set up a gun manufactory in Bellville, Hendricks County, Indiana.  In that year George W. reported to the Census of Industry.  He noted that he had a capital investment of $300 and employed one man, paying him $26 a month.  Over the previous 12 months he had produced guns valued at $600(8).  

                                  Glaze, George W.  1823 Hampshire County WV

The Gun 
The gun illustrated here belongs to a dear friend and I have known of its existence for many years.  It is by far the finest Glaze rifle I have ever seen.  It is our belief that this gun was made circa 1823 in Hampshire County, made before Glaze moved west.  The workmanship is quite good, the finial is distinct, and the engraving most attractive.  The relief engraving has a flair of its own.  The architecture, which is both attractive and distinct, sets it apart from late Golden Age guns. 

Endnotes
(1) William S. Bowers, Gunsmiths of Pen-Mar-Va [Mercerburg, PA: Irwinton], p.171
(2) William Ansel, "Hampshire County Gunsmiths" West Virginia History, p. 78: 135ff.
(3) Hampshire County Deeds; Ansel, p. 135
(4) Bowers, Gunsmiths of Pen-Mar-Va, p. 171; Ansel, p. 135 
(5) Hampshire County Will Book 9: p. 481 
(6) Hampshire Deed Book 5: p. 110; Ansel, p. 135; Hampshire County Wills and Estates.
(7) Ansel, p. 135
(8) U.S. Census of Manufactures, 1850

ARTICLE REPRINTED FROM THE MARCH, 2014 ISSUE OF MUZZLE BLASTS MAGAZINE COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL MUZZLE LOADING RIFLE ASSOCIATION (WWW.NMLRA.ORG).  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

**SPECIAL THANKS TO AUTHOR JAMES B. WHISKER & THE NATIONAL MUZZLE 

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

GEORGE YOUNG GUNSMITH

WE ORIGINALLY POSTED A BLOG ON GEORGE YOUNG IN MARCH OF 2013.  SINCE THEN, WE HAVE FOUND NEW INFORMATION.  ALSO WE HAVE ADDED SEVERAL  PICTURES. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THOSE WHO  SHARED THIS INFO & PICTURES  WITH US. WE ALWAYS WELCOME NEW FACTUAL INFORMATION & PHOTOS.

 THE STUDY OF THE AMERICAN LONGRIFLE IS CONTINUOUS  , WE WILL NEVER HAVE THE COMPLETE STORY ON THESE MAKERS OR THEIR RIFLES.

                                                                 
                                                       TOP   GEORGE YOUNG
                                                    MIDDLE   JAMES RINEHART
                                                    BOTTOM  GEORGE YOUNG
                                                    Click Images For Larger View
                                                                         
                                                                       
                                                                         

 
 He Would Sign His Barrels, G. Young. He Would Use Either A Silver Plate Inletted Into The Barrel With His Signature On It, Or Would Scribe His Name Directly Onto The Barrel.
                                                                         
                                                                   
 George was one of Hampshire County's finest gunsmiths. Born in Harpers Ferry in 1802. The son of Peter and Catherine Young. Catherine was a sister to William Hollenback Sr who was a gunsmith who made rifles near Fort Ashby.  William had a son by the same name, who was a gunsmith  as well. Sometime before 1815 both Peter and Catherine died, leaving George to be raised by his grandmother Margaret Hollenback.  In 1815 George was indentured to Frederick Sheetz.  Frederick Sheetz is to  many students of the Hampshire County Long Rifle the finest maker Hampshire County ever had.  While many have agreed that Young must have apprenticed to Sheetz, we did not have positive proof until recently , when the following record was uncovered.  Much thanks goes to our friend  for sharing this with us:

                                               "To the Court of Hampshire"

The subscriber was some eight or ten years ago appointed guardian for her grandson George Young. And now on account of her age and infirmities,  wishes to relinquish the same favour of Fred'k Sheetz, Esq.  To whom she inclines binding the boy that he should to learn the Trade of Gunsmith, he having arrived to the age of nearly thirteen years. It is also the desire of the boy that he should be bound to Mr. Sheetz. Given under my hand this 15th day of Apl 1815.

Signed,  Margaret ( her mark) Hollinback
George Young was born 7th Augt 1802
Signed, Margaret ( her mark) Hollinback
In the presence of A. King and Zebn Sheetz

The witness "Zebn Sheetz"  was no doubt Zebulon Sheetz, Gunsmith and brother to Frederick. This leaves lil wonder why George became such a skilled maker of long rifles.


EARLY SIGNED GEORGE YOUNG RIFLE


                                                              "Long Rifles of Virginia"
                                                                          Page 99
                                                                         
                    This Signed George Young Rifle Has Never Left  The County, Or The Original                                                                          Owners  Family.


                                                          Engraved Toe Plate


                                                 He Mostly used Incised Carving

"Long Rifles Of Virginia"
Page 100
                                                           1830 Circa made in Romney
                                   Same Type Side Plate That Zebulon Sheetz Used
You Can See The Influence of  Frederick Sheetz 
                           This George Young Rifle Likely Blew Apart  Shortly After It
                                    Was Made in About 1830. The  Carving Is Not Worn.
                                                  Maybe The Result Of To Much Powder,
                                                          Or Failure To Seat The Ball
                                   Nearly Identical Carving To Signed George Young Rifle.
                                         Rifle Was A Master Piece Before Its Destruction
Click Pictures For Larger Image
George Young's Work Rivaled  That of Frederick Sheetz

George Young's Will


Estate Inventory 




George served his apprenticeship at present day Headsville. This is where Frederick located his gun shop and mill, after leaving Fort Ashby. For many years Headsville was called "Sheetz' Mill". This was one of the mills that Union Troops burned during the Civil War.


George married Elizabeth Nicholson in 1824. She was born in 1805. Together they had eight children.



We  find George Young in the 1830 census in Hampshire County. George bought lot 17 in Romney  in 1832. There he opened his gun shop and made some of his finest rifles. I believe that lot 17 is on the corner of South Bolton and Rt. 50, where Voit's garage is presently located.

George did incised carving on the maple wood stocks on some of his rifles. He  liked to use silver wire inlay and other silver inlays. He was a excellent engraver as can be seen on the brass patchboxes and on some of the inlays. The use of rectangular shaped nail heads can be seen on his rifles. This was  nearly a trademark of Frederick Sheetz, to whom he apprenticed with. You will find some of his rifles are flintlock. Most of the rifles made after 1830 were percussion. While he did make some real fancy rifles, he also built rifles for the average person of his day. We are fortunate that a few of his rifles have survived.

George Young Left Romney Area Around 1840,  and headed West to Perry County, Illinois.  There he continued the art of gun making  until his death in 1875. He is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Du Quoin Illinois. After the death of George, his wife Elizabeth, and some of their children relocated to Orange County, California. Elizabeth Young, died 1888 and is buried in the Santa Ana Cemetery.
                                                                   
                                                       
                                                                     
Here is a link with interesting information on three of George Young's sons.

Here is a link to an interesting story about George Young and a Neighbor.
http://usgwarchives.org/court/IL/1849-50/young78gwl.txt
Note: Silkwood was originally from Hampshire County it is possible that Young and Silkwood left Hampshire County about the same time, so this feud may have started here. After this incident two of Youngs's sons married daugheters of Elam Silkwood.

For more information on George Young and other West Virginia Gunsmiths:
"Gunsmiths of West Virginia" By James Whisker
"West Virginia History Volume XLV 1984" Pages 125-158 William H. Ansel & James B. Whisker

Photos From Page 99 & 100 " Long Rifles Of Virginia" Courtesy Of James B Whisker





THANKS TO THE COLLECTORS WHO ALLOWED US TO POST PICTURES OF THEIR RIFLES.  PLEASE DO NOT COPY.