Samuel Redsecker Slaymaker, Founder of Slaymaker Locks

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Samuel Redsecker Slaymaker, Founder of Slaymaker Locks

Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Death: November 28, 1940 (74)
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Samuel Cochran Slaymaker and Jane Elizabeth Cameron Slaymaker
Husband of Minnie Louise Slaymaker and Martha Fletcher
Father of Samuel Cochran Ii, II; Helen Elizabeth Slaymaker; Jane Cameron Zimmerman; William F. Slaymaker and Private
Brother of Rebecca Jane Slaymaker; Henry Cochran Slaymaker and Jane Slaymaker

Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Samuel Redsecker Slaymaker, Founder of Slaymaker Locks

SAMUEL R. SLAYMAKER -- In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the name of Samuel R. Slaymaker was well known as one of the progressive citizens of that city. He was an astute business man of proven ability and wide experience, a financier of note, a gentleman who knew the needs of the community and did all within his power to promote local welfare.

Samuel R. Slaymaker was born near Donegal, on March 14, 1866, son of Samuel Cochran and Jane Cameron (Redsecker) Slaymaker. He lived in Lancaster most of his life, receiving his preliminary education in the grade and high schools. After graduating from high school he entered Franklin and Marshall College. Not long after leaving college he was engaged as a civil engineer with the Pennsylvania Railroad system and likewise served several other railroads, being engineer in charge of the construction of the Conestoga Bridge at Lancaster Water Works. At one time in his engineering career he was chief engineer with the Pennsylvania Traction Company. In 1888 he founded the Slaymaker Lock Company, now one of the largest producers of padlocks in the world; his son, Samuel C. Slaymaker is president of the company.

In 1919, Mr. Slaymaker purchased the "Examiner." In 1920 he purchased the "New Era" and consolidated the two newspapers. In 1922 he sold his newspapers to Paul Block, of New York, but retained the job printing depart- ment, which became the Lancaster Press, Inc. He also was a former president of the Lancaster & Eastern Railway Company. At one time he was the owner of the Woolworth Building in Lancaster. This building is now owned by his four children.

At the time of his death he was head of the following boards of directors; the Slaymaker Lock Company, which he founded; the Lancaster Press, Inc., the Grand View Heights Corporation and the Grand View Housing Corporation.

In politics he was a Republican, and, although never seeking public office, he was willing to serve his country and his party. During the First World War he was fuel administrator for Lancaster County. He also served on the Padlock Manufacturers War Defense Board in 1918. In 1920 he was a Presidential elector, representing the Lancaster County Congressional District in the election of Warren G. Harding as President.

Active in business and civic affairs of Lancaster, in 1903 Mr. Slaymaker became a director of the Lancaster Board of Trade, predecessor of the Chamber of Com- merce. In 1914 he served as president of the Lancaster Manufacturers Association and served for a time as a director of the Lancaster National Bank and the Lan- caster General Hospital. In 1924 he was chairman of the board of directors of the United States Asbestos Company, of Manheim. He also served on the board of the Home for Friendless Children. When Lancaster celebrated its bi-centennial in 1928, Mr. Slaymaker served as general chairman.

His clubs included the Pine Valley Club, the Lancaster Country Club, the Hamilton Club, of which he was a director from 1916 to 1924; the Coatesville Country Club, of which he was a charter member and one of the or- ganizers; the Republican Club of New York, and the Pennsylvania Society of New York. By right of ancient lineage he was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

On June 27, 1895, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Samuel R. Slaymaker married Minnie L. Cohr, daughter of Frederick and Helena (Demmy) Cohr. Mr. and Mrs. Slaymaker were the parents of four children: 1. Samuel C; who married Martha Ann Fletcher and has two children: Samuel R., II, and Ann Louise. 2. Helen Eliza- beth, who married John J. Mitchell, III, and has two children: John J., IV, and Helena. 3. Jane Cameron, who married John G. Zimmerman and has three children: John, William, and Louisa. 4. William F., who married Ann Basett.

In his religious affiliations, Mr. Slaymaker was a trustee of Belview Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Donegal Presbyterian Church and a member of the executive board of the Donegal Society.

Mr. Slaymaker resided at No. 427 North Duke Street, in Lancaster. He also was the owner of White Chimneys, historic home of the Slaymakers, which was built in 1779 by his great-grandfather, Amos Slaymaker, who was a member of Congress and a partner of Jasper Yeates. The ancestral home of Mr. Slaymaker has been in the family ever since it was originally built. In Colonial days, White Chimneys was the scene of many events of historical significance, among them was a reception given in honor of and attended by General Lafayette.

The death of Samuel R. Slaymaker, which occurred November 28, 1940, was a distinct loss, not only to the commercial and industrial circles of the city of Lancaster, but to the surrounding country. He had lived an upright life, both private and public, his strict code of ethics, his ability, efficiency, industry, and perseverance won substantial success and his humanitarian activities endeared him to all with whom he came in contact.

(Source: Biographical and Genealogical Sketches from Central Pennsylvania: excerpted from Chronicles of Central Pennsylvania, Vol. IV: Personal and Family History, by Frederic A. Godcharles, 1944, p. 496-7.) Rootsweb

PA Death Certificate #102588 lists parents as Samuel C. Slaymaker and Jane Cameron (Redsecker), Spouse: Minnie L. C. Slaymaker.

Photo of Samuel R. Slamaker was published in the Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) 29 Nov 2015, pg. B13 in their "Lancaster That Was" section.

"75 Years Ago: The Nov. 29, 1940, Intelligencer Journal marked the passing of Samuel R. Slaymaker. The one-time publisher of the New Era (newspaper) was an elector for Warren G. Harding in 1920, served on many boards and trusts and was the general chairman of the Bi-Centennial Celebration. Slaymaker was 74."

NOTE: Original publication probably has more information and can probably be obtained at the Cocalico Valley Historical Society.

The following is from contributor Richard H. L. Chichester, III (member #46953186):

Samuel Redsecker Slaymaker (b., March 14, 1866; m., June 27, 1895), married Minnie Louisa Cohr. Two children:

1. Samuel Cochran Slaymaker (b., April 18, 1896).
2. Helen Elizabeth Slaymaker (b., July 24, 1905).
~History of the descendants of Mathias Slaymaker who emigrated from Germany and settled in the eastern part of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, about 1710; Henry Cochran Slaymaker; s.n., 1909.

  • Name: Samuel R Slaymaker
  • Event Type: Marriage
  • Marriage Date: 27 Jun 1895
  • Marriage Place: Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Denomination: Christian
  • Organization Name: Harrisburg First Church of God
  • Spouse: Minnie L Cohr
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Samuel Redsecker Slaymaker, Founder of Slaymaker Locks's Timeline

March 14, 1866
Pennsylvania, United States
April 18, 1896
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
July 24, 1905
Pennsylvania, United States
January 7, 1913
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Pennsylvania, United States
November 28, 1940
Age 74
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
November 28, 1940
Age 74
Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States