Franz Krick (1702-1784)

Franz Krick (1702-1784)


When Indians were part of the landscape

Stories about Franz Krick (1702-1784)

How this yeoman solved "the Indian problem."

  • Berks County, PA

William Penn, the Proprietor of the Pennsylvania colony, had maintained good relations with the Lenni Lenape Indians whose lands he purchased, little by little, ever since 1697.  Penn signed many treaties with the Red Men, giving them things they wanted—brass kettles, blankets, shoes and buckles, guns and hatchets, tobacco tongs and looking glasses—in exchange for “land that a horse can travel upon in two days of summer.” Thus by 1732,the Indians had moved out into the hills on the northern edge of Berks County, and the relentless tide of settlers moved in to the soon-to-be fruitful valleys.     There were sections of the county still held by Indians, however.  But the rush of German settlers couldn’t be held back.  Whites began occupying lands not yet secured by peace-pipe treaty.   Just such a claimant was our ancestor Franz Krick who came from Germany in 1731 and staked out a homestead in Cumru Township, then part of Lancaster County.  Family lore has it that the Indians never troubled Yeoman Krick because he bought his land directly from them!  Since the ancestral homestead remained in the Krick family for at least six generations, he must have also patented it the legal English way as well.  Franz Krick fathered 13 children, five of whom served in the Revolutionary War.  Two Krick grandsons served in the War of 1812.  Seventeen “sons” fought in the Civil War, and four in the Spanish American War.   We are connected to the patriotic Kricks through Frantz’s great granddaughter, MARY KRICK  (1808-- ? ) who married SAMUEL KOCHEL (1801-1844) and became the mother-in-law of JOSEPH WITMAN (1827-1874).   Many of the Kricks and Witmans of the 19th century are buried in the beautiful hillside cemetery of St. John’s Church, in Cumru Township.  Those buried in that cemetery after 1850 were at “St. John’s of Spring Township.”  Finally, after the turn of the century you could find your Krick or Witman loved one in the cemetery of “St. John’s of Sinking Spring.”  It was no longer in Lancaster County. Cumru Township had become a part of Berks County back in 1752.  The cemetery “changed location” without ever moving; only the name of the prevailing local government mutated.  Data from “Two Centuries of Reading_,_ PA. 1748-1948” by Raymond W. Albright, published by the Historical Society of Berks__County_, 1948. “Berks_ County__Annals_,” by Morton L. Montgomery, 1909, p. 318; township development, interview with Norman Dettra,_ Spring__Township attorney-historian, July 5, 2007_._

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