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Montgomery John Zahniser    

Montgomery Johnson Zahniser, a machinist in the plant of the Davin Tool Company of Washington, a former member of the manufacturing firm of Zahniser Brothers in Washington, and one of the best known men in that city, was born in North Mills, Mercer county, this state, December 10, 1868, but has been a resident of Washington since the days of his boyhood. He is a son of Michael and Margaret (Hogg) Zahniser, the former of whom was born in that same county. October 13, 1820, and died at his home in Washington, March 3, 1899, as is set out elsewhere in this work, together with further and informative details regarding the Zahniser family in this county.

Montgomery Johnson Zahniser finished his schooling in the Washington Business College and then became a partner in the firm of Zahniser Brothers, associated in business with his brothers, V. O., A. J.. M. R., J. N. and W. S. Zahniser, and thus continued until 1916, when he sold his interest in that old established concern. In the next year, during the stress of government activities in connection with this country’s participation in the World war. Mr. Zahniser became connected with the operations of the treasury department, a deputy collector of internal revenue, working out of the Pittsburgh office, in the Washington field. In 1918 he resigned that government position and became a traveling salesman for S. F. Bowser & Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, manufacturers of gauge pumps. Upon retiring from that employment he took up the sale of bonds for a Pittsburgh bond house and after a period of employment in that capacity spent a year in the operations of the Western Electric Company in Cleveland, Ohio. In January, 1925, Mr. Zahniser entered upon his present connection with the operations of the Davin Tool Company of Washington. He is a democrat, and he and his wife are members of the First Presbyterian church, in the congregation of which he was at one time a deacon.

On September 27, 1894, in Washington, Mr. Zahniser was united in marriage to Miss Minnie C. Caldwell, a member of one of the old families of this county, and they have two children: Sarah Elizabeth and Margaret Caldwell, the latter of whom, born July 23, 1905, was graduated from the Washington high school, had further school work in the State Normal School in Indiana, became the wife of Maurice Williams of Washington, and has a son, Richard Montgomery Williams, born November 23, 1923. Miss Sarah Elizabeth Zahniser, born January 20, 1902, supplemented the schooling received in the Washington high school and in Washington Seminary by a course in the Washington Business College, from which she was graduated in 1920, and is now serving as secretary to the superintendent of the Washington public schools.

Mrs. Zahniser was born in this county May 11, 1871, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Hartzell) Caldwell, both now deceased and both also natives of this county, the latter born in Washington, November 25, 1833, a daughter of Otho and Elizabeth (Johnson) Hartzell, in their generation well known citizens of that place. Otho Hartzell was for some time in the old stage-coach days employed as a driver of the stage between Pittsburgh and Washington. During the time of the Civil war he rendered army service as a driver of military supply wagon trains. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. The late Joseph Caldwell, who in his generation was a well known farmer in the Taylorsville neighborhood, was born on the old Caldwell home farm there, October 3, 1821, and died there on March 20, 1884. His widow survived him for nearly twenty years, her death occurring in Washington on September 2, 1902, she then being near sixty-nine years of age. Joseph Caldwell was a son of John and Esther (McCracken) Caldwell, who many years ago were in the hotel business in Claysville, John Caldwell later becoming a well established farmer in the Claysville neighborhood. He was a democrat and lie and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. The Zahnisers reside at No. 195 Duncan avenue.

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania, 1926; Forrest, Earle Robert, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., pages 241-242.  Search Hundreds of 1880s-1890s Pennsylvania County History Books for biographies and historical information on your ancestors.  View the book page images on line and print them out for your genealogy file!  Free Access to the old history books - plus birth & death records, census images and ALL other records at

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